April 2003 posts

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The continuation of the meaning of names (spoilers for SHP) -- Solitude1056, 13:55:40 04/11/03 Fri

I *knew* there was something bugging me about the reference to "night-blooming" when what's-her-face references the flowers for the fifteenth time in three minutes. Finally tracked this information down, which I thought everyone else might find equally interesting/amusing:

Well, now. Tain't the real thing, and highly poisonous to boot. Wonder what that might mean... and even more to the point, I wonder if anyone on Joss' AtS crew is a good enough gardener to have caught these details.

[> I looked up atropine and found this.(spoilers for SHP) -- Arethusa, 14:03:49 04/11/03 Fri

"Atropine: A drug obtained from belladonna that is administered via injection, eye drops, or in oral form to relax muscles by inhibiting nerve responses. Used to dilate the pupils and as an antispasmodic.

From the Greek goddess Atropos, the oldest and ugliest of three sisters, the Fates, who controlled the destiny of men. Her youngest sister Klotho placed the gold and silver thread of life onto the spindle of the loom. The middle sister Lachesis spun the thread. And Atropos cut it to bring the life of a person on Earth to a close."
from medterms.com

[> [> And, of course, "belladonna" means "beautiful (or good) woman" -- Solitude1056, 14:36:36 04/11/03 Fri

[> [> [> Now I'm thinking of La Belle Dame Sans Merci..... - - Rahael, 16:13:57 04/11/03 Fri

[> Re: The continuation of the meaning of names (spoilers for SHP) -- Heartbeast, 22:01:46 04/11/03 Fri

Also, according to some sources, the symbolic meaning of Jasmine in the language of flowers is "I am too happy".

(Oh! Look! After over a year of lurking, I'm surfacing! *blush*)

[> [> Re: The continuation of the meaning of names (spoilers for SHP) -- Rufus, 22:25:38 04/11/03 Fri

Welcome......and the symbolic meaning of Jasmine certainly fits in with the title of the episode.

[> I remember it from "I Only Have Eyes for You" season 2 Buffy -- Rufus, 22:17:44 04/11/03 Fri

From Psyche's transcripts for Buffy s2 I Only Have Eyes for You......

Cut to a modern-looking but deserted mansion. Cut inside to an atrium.

Angelus comes in leading Spike and Drusilla on a tour.

Angelus: And this... this is the garden.

Drusilla: Wow! (walks through) Look. Jasmine. (holds a flower)

Angelus: Night blooming. (plays with some pruning shears)

Perfect garden for the undead.

Quick note about Fred -- lunasea, 14:25:39 04/11/03 Fri

Fred is one of the few character to realize that we are presented with at least two options for reality.

From "Through the Looking Glass" (from Psyche of course) "Because - you're not real. - Or I'm not real. *Somebody* here isn't real and I suspect it's you. So if you're not real, that means that my head came off back there and that I'm dead now. Dead. And with me being dead and you not being real I can hardly be expected to have some big conversation with you at the moment, because it's just a little too much pressure, alright?!"

We get a similar moment in regards to her parents in "Fredless." (again from Psyche) "I got lost. I got lost, and they did terrible things to me, but, but it was just a storybook. It was just a story with monsters, not real. (keeps shaking her head) Not in the world but - but if you're here and you see me then - then it's real! And it did happen. If you see what they made of me... I - I didn't mean to get so lost!"

Fred is a theoretical physicist. She studies various theories of reality. She is sure that her theory "Probably be disproven in no time. It's just - I used to dream I'd discover some revolutionary concept, and - oh, it's silly." I could quote what she said in "Supersymmetry" about her theory, but reading it again gives me a headache.

The insane aren't too attached to this reality and neither is Fred. Fred's insanity is actually a sanity beyond most. Her scribbles attempt to make sense of the world, something most take for granted. She has been through extraordinary circumstances and she didn't go insane. She maintained her identity, something even Angel lost temporarily in Hell. She is the only one in the entire Buffyverse with two great, loving and supportive parents.

Also from Fredless "Fred: "Well, sure. It's a story. (They both look at the walls) Once upon a time - there was a girl who lived all alone in a horrible cave - so far from home it made her chest hurt. - And every day in that horrible cave, the girl tried to figure out a way to escape. - None of her plans ever succeeded, of course, - and she'd almost given up hopin' - when one day, just like in a fairy tale - a handsome man rode up on a horse and saved her, - and took her back to his castle. - - Now you'd think that was the end, wouldn'tcha? Dumb old fairy tales and their happily ever afters."

Fred sits down on the edge of her bed and Angel sits down beside her.

Fred: "But see, the minute they got back to the castle, - the handsome man went away again. - And even though she didn't mean to, - didn't want to - high up in that castle the girl just built herself another cave. Hoping he would save her again. (Looks at Angel) But you can't save me *this* time. - Can you?"

Fred ends up saving herself by realizing "Look - I could go home with you and pretend the last five years didn't happen. - I could even pretend to have a normal life. - But the truth of it is... Well, I'm not normal anymore. (Roger and Trish exchange a look) I guess what I'm getting at is... - I- I missed you both so bad. But - I belong here. (Turns to the gang) Un-unless I don't. Which if- if you all don't wanna put up with me, I completely understand..."

That is what makes Fred so special. She is the sane that has the qualities of the insane that allow them to see things.

I knew there was a reason I liked Fred. SHP made me see why. It is getting to be a better episode with every post I make and read.

The reality of happiness (spoilers for AtS season 4 up to SHP) -- Masq, 16:13:23 04/11/03 Fri

While working on my Shiny Happy People analysis ('cause doing my job? That would never happen), it occured to me that we've seen Angel with his ideal perfect life three times this season, and each of those times, it's been a fantasy.

The first was in "Deep Down" when Angel and his friends are having dinner together. Wesley, Connor, Cordelia--everyone who shouldn't be there enjoying his company is. Of course, Angel is really at the bottom of the ocean hallucinating and out of his mind with hunger.

The next time is in "Awakening". In Angel's perfect day fantasy, life just keeps getting better and better as he makes up with Wesley, rebonds with Connor, kills the Beast and makes love with Cordelia. But of course he's flat on his back in a cage getting his soul sucked out.

Then, finally, we have "Shiny Happy People". Angel is as close to bliss as he can be while keeping one eye on his fluffy white soul. He and Connor are getting along, he is as content as everyone else to have Cordelia in her "eternal bliss" state, A.I. is defeating demons left and right. And yet of course Angel is under the influence of Jasmine's shiny happy mojo.

So I gotta wonder. What does this repeated theme mean? Is it:

(1) more a statement of who Angel is, cursed to being unhappy unless it's "not really real"--"Don't interrupt me, I'm brooding".

(2) more a statement of who M.E. is, with Joss's patented "nobody stays happy for long on my show(s)!"


(3) more a statement of the fact that interesting story- telling must have conflict to stay interesting, and can't show too much happiness lest it get boring?

Or something else?

Just noticed it, just curious.

[> One thing is missing though (spoiler SHP) -- lunasea, 16:31:58 04/11/03 Fri

Buffy. Angel has only known real happiness with Buffy, even with all the chaos that surrounded them. We still need the Buffygasm explained.

We have had two hallucinations/fantasies. There still needs to be another one, reality. Deep Down was hell. Awakening was heaven. Each revolved around happiness. Real life is just this, living. When Angel focuses on happiness, he pushes it away (sorry I never finished that essay I promised you. I got seriously side tracked.) Think of it like the desperate girl at the bar. She sends out vibes that others pick up and this makes her less desirable. The more she wants to be with someone, the less it will happen. When we are happy in a relationship, others seemed more attracted to us. We put off different vibes and don't try so hard (at least that has been my experience).

When Angel isn't concerned with happiness, like holding his new born son or going to meet Cordelia, he comes closest to it. Just live. That is what ANgel needs to learn, but then again that is what everyone needs to learn. It isn't a statement about Angel, ME or even the story. It is life.

Interesting point about Jasmine's shiney happy mojo. How much mojo is it if Angel can keep himself from going all the way to bliss? How much "control" does Jasmine really have?

Another thing, has the curse been changed since Willow did it and doesn't hold any vengeance towards Angel? No Romanian possession this time. They made a point to show us that. Willow was in control the whole time. Why didn't Angel lose his soul the moment he layed eyes on Jasmine? It just takes a moment. Surely that first moment was bliss.

We also still need to find out why Jasmine wanted Angelus out. Are we looking at something like "Demolition Man" where the ruler creates chaos so the people will want his help and let him create his perfect society?

[> Re: The reality of happiness (spoilers for AtS season 4 up to SHP) -- Rob, 11:11:56 04/12/03 Sat

Another question to add would be does the fact that ME keeps giving Angel happies this season, but with strings attached, mean that true happiness for the gang is never going to happen? Or is it anticipating the day that it will? I wonder whether the gang will ever be relatively back to a good place, on the whole...Will Wes and Gunn ever really be able to be friends again? Will all of them ever be able to be friends again the same way they were in the past? Do these wish-fulfillments (Angel's dream in "Deep Down," his "retarded fantasy" in "Awakening", the shiny-happiness with Jasmine) foreshadow the day that all of these things can happen, for real, or are they meant as proof that they won't happen?


[> A note about happiness and stories -- lunasea, 10:08:44 04/13/03 Sun

more a statement of the fact that interesting story- telling must have conflict to stay interesting, and can't show too much happiness lest it get boring?

One thing I have noticed about myself when coming up with stories is that when the happy parts come, I either end the story and start a new one or the story takes a dramatic turn. It isn't a comment on the story, but on humanity. We are conflicted creatures. These stories come from that conflict. I don't avoid happiness or consider it boring. I just can't write it. If I am at such a point, I don't write at all. There is nothng inside of me screaming to get out.

That is what the story is for me, something inside of myself screaming to be let out. I know many writers who feel the same way. Happiness tends not to scream to be let out, so it tends not to get written about. It isn't that I am an unhappy person. It is just I have other ways to express that happiness.

[> Re: The reality of happiness (spoilers for AtS season 4 up to SHP) -- Rufus, 07:24:20 04/14/03 Mon

I say a combination of number 2 and 3.....if everyone was that happy for that long there would be no conflict and things would be so boring that they would end up taking up shuffleboard to break the monotony. If the popularity of new programing and reality TV is any indication....people want to see other people who aren't them, suffer. Some people like to see others suffer more than should be normal. One thing I've noticed was in SHP, Connor also has an ideal about what would make him happy, and that is a family....the type that he has been on the outside looking in at for so long. Remember when he rescued that family? He was facinated at how families work. The poor kid only has known the company of a guy who had a vengeance thing going on that was stronger than any love tie he ever made with the kid. Connor wants, needs, desires a family. He is just so unsure about what one is that he has done some stupid things to get one...like helping kill that poor girl. I think people like to see a journey from misery to happiness, but an emphasis on the getting to happy instead of lingering too long on what seems to be a big yawn after awhile.

Vendettas in Inside Out, reconsidered after SHP (spoilers IO & SHP) -- skyMatrix, 17:02:26 04/11/03 Fri

The vague title is my attempt to avoid title spoilers (Skip vs. Fred woulda been my preferred title). This is just a small observation that I had, but you know how Skip goes gunning for Fred after he gets free near the end of "Inside Out"? Well at the time it seemed that he was merely seeking retribution against her, since she was the one who threatened him with the dimensional portal. But considering that Fred is now the lone AI member against Jasmine, is it possible that Skip anticipated that Fred would oppose Jasmine, and planned to eliminate her in order to make Jasmine's plan run more smoothly? I think this is likely although considering that Skip is dead, we'll probably never be told this straight out.

(OT) Anime possible recommendation "Saiyuki" a Buffy clone?? -- neaux, 17:49:38 04/11/03 Fri

Back again with another OT recommendation. I took the time to watch the first episode of Saiyuki. Its an anime series hitting your local DVD shelves April 29th.

I was hesitant to watch this screener disc due to the Shoujo nature of this series. Yes "Shoujo" anime means that it is geared towards women. That means long shots of drool worthy pretty boys for all fan girls out there.

Being a guy and all, I try to steer clear from this type of anime.. but I heard good things about it soooo...

Anyhoo. after watching this one episode screener, I must say I was pleasantly surprised. Why? Its about demons. Slaying demons. Demons that go poof when killed. Dusted in the same Buffy manner with the same Buffy style.

Who is the Hero? Its a band of 4, lead by a human Priest. and 3 Half Demon/Half humans help fight the good fight. (is this sounding familiar??) Yes The 3 halfbreeds are fighting good but have the willpower to do so because they are half human. Also they wear this nifty Band/crowns on their head that seem to act in a "chippy" manner similar to a fangboy we all know and love.

ok ok its sounding like a big fat rip off of Buffy. but it really is cool and the closest thing to a Buffy cartoon we are going to get any time soon.

Check it out if you dare!!

[> Monkey Magic! -- Indri, 19:27:53 04/11/03 Fri

Its a band of 4, lead by a human Priest. and 3 Half Demon/Half humans help fight the good fight.

To me, this also sounds like the story of Monkey, which I know mainly through the 1970s Japanese children's TV show, which is much loved by Brits and Australians but which I don't think was shown much in the US. It's based on a 16th century satirical novel by Wu Cheng'en.

From chinaguide.com:

This lively fantasy relates the amazing adventures of the priest Xuanzang as he travels west in search of Buddhist sutras with his three disciples, the irreverent and capable Monkey, greedy Pig, and Friar Sand. [...] The main story, the journey, takes the priest through all kinds of entertaining trials and tribulations, mainly at the hands of monsters and spirits who want to eat him. [...]These and all the other fiends test to the very limit Monkey's ingenuity, supernatural powers and connections throughout the universe.

Friar Sand is a water spirit (argh, I forget the proper name for his type of demon). Monkey and Pigsie are also supernatural beings. In the campy and delightful TV show, the monk provides Buddhist guidance to Monkey, Pigsy and Sandy as they travel through demon-infested lands. Hi-jinks ensue etc.

Actually, watching Buffy I often wonder if Monkey aka Monkey Magic aka Journey to the West didn't influence Joss. He must have seen it if he lived in the UK for any time at all. Some aspects are very similar.

[> [> I've heard of an anime called "Devil Hunter Yohko" that seems to predate Buffy and/or influence it. -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:14:55 04/11/03 Fri

From what I've heard, it's about a sixteen year old girl who's inherited demon fighting powers through her family line (though her mother doesn't have powers which means Yohko has to be very independent). Yohko has to stop some demons from taking over her school after crossing into our world from another dimension. It's also supposed to be a comedy/drama/action mixture, as well. And it even has an almost Whedonesque use of sex (if Yohko loses her virginity before her birthday, she'll lose her demon fighting powers).

Does this sound familiar to anyone? And the review I read of it was written in either 1997 or 1996, so it probably predates Buffy (though possibly not Buffy the Movie or the concept as planned out in Joss's head). Nevertheless, when I read the review, I immediatly thought "it's like the Japanese Buffy!"

[> [> [> Tis true.. -- neaux, 06:31:58 04/12/03 Sat

From the eps I've seen of Devil Hunter Yokho you can easily see how Buffy was influenced by it.

I decided to bring up Saiyuki because its new to the U.S. and since Buffy is ending.. some people might be interested in checking it out this summer.

[> [> [> [> drifting even more OT, not even vaguely Buffish -- MsGiles, 08:34:18 04/12/03 Sat

..but I just found one in a car boot sale, that turned out to be really good, beautifully drawn, characterised, about a small girl accidentally getting lost, and ending up stuck in a spirits' bathhouse, where she has to work, while she finds how to escape and rescue her rather pig-like parents, who've been turned into actual pigs. Kids film maybe but well worth seeing if you find it, I reckon. Won a Golden Bear (exciting prize!). Great monster/demon/spirit creations. Chihiro's Journey, aka Spirited Away.

[> [> [> [> [> "Spirited Away" also just won the Oscar for Animated film -- Darby, 09:51:13 04/12/03 Sat

...And I suspect has enough side jokes and embedded messages to compare with a season of Buffy, although I don't have the cultural background to really appreciate them.

I wonder if there are discussion boards about the animator's work?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Coming in the late April BtVS downtime: My major Buffy/"Spirited Away" essay -- cjl, 22:15:51 04/12/03 Sat

Been working on it on and off since I saw "Spirited Away" in the theaters months ago. I'm getting SA on DVD in about another week, and I'll finish up the essay.

Spirited Away is one of the high points in the phenomenal career of Japanese animation master Hayao Miyazaki. It has many intersection point with Joss Whedon's worldview and Buffy, and it deserves the full ATP treatment.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Looking forward to it! -- ponygirl, 09:55:26 04/13/03 Sun

[> [> Re: Monkey Magic! -- luna, 19:22:28 04/13/03 Sun

This takes off from a Chinese classic, Journey to the West, translated as Monkey by Arthur Whaley. The Japanese TV show is reasonably faithful to the characters--I don't know about the plot, not having seen much of it. I've written earlier about the similarities of Monkey and Spike.

[> Re: (OT) I was wondering what Saiyuki means... (long story) -- Sang, 10:04:19 04/12/03 Sat

After I read Indri's reply, I realized it is the 'Journal of Journey to West' in Japanese pronounciation.

This ancient Chinese novel has been one of the most popular kid book in Asia and made for animations and cartoons maybe more than hundred times in China, Tiwan, Korea, Japan and other countries.

One of well known modern adaptation of this story is 'Dragon Ball' in Japan.

What I remember is that the story was based on real journey of one brave monk who traveled to India to seek for scripts of Buddha's original teaching.

This novel used the real charactor 'priest' and put three odd anti-heros to help him to find his way where the world is inhabited with various kinds of demons.

These three are not half demons. Actually they were criminals of heaven who were cursed to become monsters.

The hero, monkey king was born from stone. No one, not even god, knows how and why he was born in the world. He had power and courage that no other living thing can match. He became a king of monkeys and eventually freed monkeys from humans and demons.

But he wanted to be an imortal, something like a god. He learn magic, got powers and passed the tests to become a higher being.

Unfortunately for him, no creature in heaven want to make a monkey to become one of them. So they humilated him and cheated him.

When he found out that he rebelled against heaven and hell. He lead lower beings and defeated both heaven and hell's army. He invaded hell and erased his name and his follwers from list of death and claims his own imortality.

At the end, heaven asked Buddha's help and he put him in the bottom of the mountain, and make him bleed and suffer for 500 years.

After 500 years, he got his second chance. If he follows and protect the priest, he can be redeemed and become higher being.

And the Pig-man.. he was very handsome officer in heaven, he did something long. I think it was about a girl who was higher being, but I am not so sure. His punishment was sent to the earth with pig's face, and pig's temper, so everyone will see a monster.

With frustration, he terrorized village until moneky king stops him. Pig man follows them for his own redemption and return to heaven with his own face.

They met Friar Sand, a cannibal living in moving sand. They tried to kill this monster but he was also former higher being (lower class like other two) who were punished unfairly by higher class higher beings and became ugly cannibal.

Like other two, he followed this journey to redeem himself.

Not well know factor about this story is that there were fourth member of this group. The horse. The horse was not really horse, it can talk, it can fly, it can cast magic.

The horse was originally a prince of dragons. He was punished too, and he joined this group.

They are basically very powerful beings, even though they are belong to lower class in heaven. Among them, monkey king is the most powerful, yet the most dangerous one.

Gods gave priest a small device which is kind of a head band. They tricked monkey king to wear it. It can give him pain by will of the priest.

Whenever monkey king disobey or try to kill human (even bad guys) priest activate it give him the pain.

When I was kid, I loved this story. The moneky king is one of the most popular charactor in Asia. He might be considerd as evil, but very brave and charming when he refused to accept his fate and challeange against it.

After being traped and tortured for long times, it was somewhat sad that he finally surrender himself and became a humble servant of a weak but good human, the monk.

The story gets more interesting, since the monkey king's violent nature conflicts with the monk's pacifism. At first, It looked like they dislike each other. Gradually, they built trust and bonding between them.

At the end, one can see that they genuinely care for each other.

It is old story, but still a great story.

[> [> Thanks Sang! -- neaux, 13:35:06 04/13/03 Sun

Buffy's Philosophical Low LIghts -- Cactus Watcher, 06:14:04 04/12/03 Sat

I had a reply to Angel Wannabe's catch-all best/worst thread eaten when the board crashed yesterday morning. I had commitments that kept me from getting on again until I'd forgotten most of what I wanted to say. However one category I wanted to bring up was worst philosophical moments on Buffy, not necessarily bad or unlikeable moments, but ones where either the philosophy was lame or totally lacking on purpose.

My candidates:
From 'Bad Eggs' Lyle Gorch intones the immortal words, "Okay it's over now..."

Buffy sits on the swing set near the end of 'I Was Made to Love You' and gathers wisdom about how to handle the relationship she started with Ben, by listening to April blather programmed platitudes while her batteris ran down.

In 'Phases' for the first and only time, Giles suddenly finds one of Xander's non-sequitur interruptions gleefully funny. The topic of the discussion? The dark psychological influences of the full moon. Xander's contribution? "Yet, ironically, (it) also led to the invention of the Moon Pie."

[> April's Philosophy -- dub, 12:26:52 04/12/03 Sat

I'm with ya on the philosophical lowlights, CW, but for some reason, April's death scene is still one of the only times I've been moved to tears by a Buffy ep. (The other, understandably, was Anya's speech in The Body, not the main part of it, but the part where she says something like, "...and nobody can tell me why.")

I guess I projected from April, a programmed love-bot without sentience, to a situation in which a human woman might be mouthing the same platitudes while dying for love...and it just didn't seem all that farfetched, unfortunately.

dub ;o)


[> [> Re: April's Philosophy -- CW, 18:17:20 04/12/03 Sat

Just shows Jane Esepenson earned her pay. She wanted an emotional response from the audience and she got one.

Re The Body: As Tara says that real-life experience is different for everyone who goes through it. Different viewers are going to get weepy at different times. I keep saying it, but the moment Buffy tells Giles, "We're not supposed to move the body." and snaps out of her numbness and shock to realize what has happened is the moment that gets me every time.

To heck with philosophy, some of my favorite cactus are blooming today. ;o)

[> [> Re: April's Philosophy -- Sara, 19:48:55 04/12/03 Sat

Hey Dub! I got choked up at that scene too. I think even though it was platitudes they were so sincerely felt by April that it was really touching to watch her die without being able to understand why Warren didn't love her anymore. The bot's programming made them feel a very pure kind of love. I felt really sad when the Buffybot was destroyed, there was a real sweetness to both April and the Buffybot.

- Sara, who has been known to choke up at long distance commercials

[> [> [> Re: April's Philosophy, (I) Identify Much? -- AngelVSAngelus, 14:52:07 04/13/03 Sun

that scene gets me everytime too, for I am a projector myself. everytime I see it I think of myself in my last relationship, always thinking my ex-girlfriend would become more thoughtful and sensitive if I gave another 100%.

Potential pop culture shout-out and speculation/spoilers for next Buffy ep -- KdS, 07:30:26 04/12/03 Sat

Now, it should be fairly well-known by now that the next BtVS ep will introduce a new villainous character known as Caleb. Now that's a somewhat unusual and archaic name, and it makes me wonder if we're seeing a reference to the much- lamented American Gothic.

One of the central characters of American Gothic was a young lad named Caleb Temple. Caleb was the illegitimate son (conceived by rape) of the Sheriff and town boss Lucas Buck. Now Lucas was at the very least a black magician and possibly either demon-possessed or full-blown demon. Think Richard Wilkins, except that this guy made Wilkins look like a pathetic incompetent. Many of the episodes revolved around Lucas trying to corrupt the essentially decent Caleb to the side of evil. The painful twist was that whatever force gave Lucas his power was implied to be hereditary, and if Lucas died it would jump into Caleb and possess him. Now Caleb's psychic elder sister Merlyn was murdered by Lucas in the first ep of the series, but spent the rest of the season hanging around as a sort of guardian spirit, glowing, white- clad, and helping him and others to try to defeat Lucas's plots. What is also interesting, is that in one ep Merlyn cracked a little under the strain and tried to wipe out the whole town with a mystical plague, taking out the evil without worrying about collatoral damage. Also interesting ;-)

Of course, none of this means anything (and apart from the simple fact of Caleb's name and villainousness I'm unspoiled) but there might be some echoes...

[> SPOILERS for NEXT, UNTRANSMITTED Buffy ep above - thought title might not make it clear enough :-P -- KdS, 07:32:15 04/12/03 Sat

[> Much to think about! (SPOILERS, for NEXT EP!) -- Rahael, 07:40:11 04/12/03 Sat

I hadn't heard this at all, and I've never seen American Gothic but it does seem to have very strong parallels!! Especially the glowy older sister and the hereditaryness and all! What implications does this have for BtVS, do you think?

[> Re: Potential pop culture shout-out and speculation/spoilers for next Buffy ep -- parakeet, 02:40:56 04/13/03 Sun

I loved American Gothic. I remember arguing with a British friend about whether or not Lucas Buck was an effective bad guy. My friend's point was that the character lacked subtlety and so couldn't be truly scary. I disagreed, saying that in a small town, an over-the-top (believably so, IMO) villain was not only believable, but necessary. I live close enough to the rural South (Southern Maryland is a cross between Old/New South and the North) to understand the power of a corrupt sheriff. (The only time I ever voted for a Republican -- political bias alert! -- was to vote against a Democratic incumbent for sheriff who'd proven himself to be psycho, which is most definitately not a good quality in a position of such local power.)
This doesn't tie in to the new episode of Buffy; I just wanted to share. :)

Glory, FE, Jasmine -- heywhynot, 08:06:35 04/12/03 Sat

I have been thinking. We have had three higher beings come down and directly interact upon the worldly plane. One, Glory, was cast down by two other "Gods" and basically could give a rat's rear about humanity. The other two have not mentioned. But then we have two other higher beings. One labelled the First Evil, the other named Jasmine. Both having existed at least since before humanity and implied since the dawn of it all. Could it be that the other two Gods were the FE and Jasmine? Each who is more active in the affairs of humanity and now directly involved. Each having a different vision of how humanity should turn out. I know Glory was said to be from a hell dimension. Lets face it one person's heaven is another's hell. Cordelia did not seem to be loving being in the higher plane. (And yes those shots of Cordelia I believe to be an uninfluenced Cordy). Buffy on the other hand, loved it. Sorry this is not more thought out yet. Just thought I would put it out there.

My analysis of "Shiny Happy People" is up -- Masquerade, 11:06:15 04/12/03 Sat


I know some people didn't like this episode. Taken in itself, it seems kind of clichÈ science-fictiony. But to see it as only that is to underestimate M.E. Taken in the context of the season as a whole--hell, in the context of the series as a whole--the episode hints at answers to long- held questions and raises some very interesting philosophical issues that we debated at length here on the board. Plus it has some interesting resonances to what's going on on BtVS. I for one am looking forward to the rest of the season on both shows.

[> Re: My analysis of "Shiny Happy People" is up (AtS up to SHP spoilers) -- Rob, 11:51:31 04/12/03 Sat

Wonderful analysis, as usual. It was also great because it highlighted some mythology points in the episode that can be easily overlooked. I completely forgot about the revelation about Connor's birth. From when Darla first got pregnant, I was positive ME had figured some way to fit this into the mythology instead of just breaking the rules. And I was right...they had. Connor being the life that Angel earned in "The Trial" is such a fantastic piece of continuity, and completely gells with the mythology. I was very impressed, because up to that point I was a little worried that the answer would just be that the powers had made it possible. But this made an actual reason for Connor's birth. Also, I think that any credit Jasmine does take for Connor was just her making herself sound more powerful. I doubt that she was the one who arranged it. If this was all a part of her masterplan, I wonder whether being kidnapped by Holtz and living on Quortoth was part of that, or whether that was merely a hindrance. Perhaps she, or the powers, had to do with the breaking down of the dimensional walls in "The Price." Just thinking out loud here...


[> [> A post of mine from further down the board (AtS up to SHP spoilers) -- Masq, 12:53:45 04/12/03 Sat

I absolutely love the idea that Connor was conceived as a result of the life Angel was owed for being willing to sacrifice himself for Darla in the Realm of the Trials. That's metaphysically and emotionally pleasing at the same time: it explains how a vampire could get pregnant, and it means that despite Angel and Darla's attitudes at the time they had sex, Connor was actually conceived through an act of love, not an act of despair and disdain. I hope this part of what Jasmine said is true.

In my episode analysis, I hypothesize that Jasmine took advantage of Connor's miraculous conception for her own purposes, but that perhaps she didn't cause it.

She has a definite agenda for Connor above and beyond his fatherhood role, and the question for me is not whether it is good or bad, but whether it is well-intentioned or not. What intrigues me about Jasmine is that she seems to believe what she says. She did all these awful things while inside Cordelia, but in her mind, they were necessary to bring about something she sees as beneficial to humankind. I'm hoping she is a PTB that's gotten too ambitious, that has no real conception of what good and evil mean to mere mortals, and who is trying to promulgate her own conception of perfection on us in a way that can only, in the end, make our lives worse because our freedom to chose and make mistakes and be true heroes will be gone.

[> [> [> Shiny Happy People and Him spoilers for both AtS and Buffy -- Rufus, 22:49:26 04/12/03 Sat

Connor was born (sort of)as a human (sort of) infant...the only control he had over others was his status as a baby...a diaper crapping, crying, babbling baby. The kind of love that the others felt for Connor is the type of love most of us have for babies. Then there is Jasmine...she wasn't born she emerged from somewhere through Cordy....something is amiss and that takes me back to Buffy and the episode "Him". Jasmine is like that jacket in him...whatever magic surrounds Jasmine makes people act similar to how Buffy and the others acted in "Him".....that kid in Him wasn't any better looking than the others til he put that jacket on and then every female couldn't resist him. They started doing things that they wouldn't normally do if in their right minds. Buffy remembers that she is a Slayer and slay means kill, so she sets out to prove her love to the Jacket (cause it was the jacket that inspired the nuttiness and not the kid in it) by killing Wood. The same sort of thing on a way larger scale seems to be happening in LA. Angel comes to the conclusion that Fred must be killed with little thought. People start acting in ridiculous ways, just because they saw Jasmine. The difference is the scale of the magic used. In Buffy the jacket is the thing and the results are played for laughs, but in ATS it's clear that Jasmine has a lot more power behind her. Jasmine seems to speak in favor of Fred but doesn't rule out killing her. She decides that as soon she will have eyes everywhere that Fred isn't that much of a threat. I get nervous when people drop everything to worship something at the exclusion of all else. And I ask the question, does the reaction to Jasmine and the jacket in him take away free-will?

[> [> [> [> Jasmine and free will (spoilers AtS 4.18) -- Masq, 07:00:12 04/13/03 Sun

I think that everyone is "free" to act within a set of boundaries that Jasmine has set out for them. She never really tells them what to do, they come up with it on their own, and often what they decide to do is consistent with their personalities, with the kind of people that they are.

But it's their personalities taken to extremes. Angel beats on a guy's face, suggests they need to kill the "evil" Fred. If John or Fred were big scary monsters slaughtering anyone, we'd expect this behavior from Angel. Likewise with Fred's mad cleaning. One suspects that during her life in Pylea, everyday chores like cleaning and finding food became very important to her, not just to survive, but because they were the things in her world she could control. So she tries to clean Jasmine's blouse, and Needing to clean it becomes overwhelming for her.

Normal stuff, taken to extremes, inspired by intense feelings for Jasmine.

So these are our regular characters, doing what they individually decide to do, but their motives have changed. It's all about what I can do for Jasmine, not what I can do for myself or my friends. A very limited sort of free will, and certainly not what any of us mean by "free will" when we use the term.

[> [> [> [> [> Interesting -- CW, 07:13:46 04/13/03 Sun

This leads me to wonder if Jasmine is suppressing parts of everyone's personality, letting the extremes be manifest or if she's enhancing those extreme parts for her own purposes, say to keep everyone feeling guilty about not following her seemingly good-peaceful path.

[> [> [> Re: A post of mine from further down the board (AtS up to SHP spoilers) -- lunasea, 09:47:05 04/13/03 Sun

She did all these awful things while inside Cordelia, but in her mind, they were necessary to bring about something she sees as beneficial to humankind.

Did Jasmine actually do it or was it like what Angel did in "SHP" when he beat the crap out of that guy? Was Jasmine talking through Cordelia, or was it how Cordelia would be under the influence of Jasmine? I can see Cordy spouting about being "special" (especially since she gets to play Virgin Mary) and being willing to do what is necessary to bring about Jasmine and paradise. How much form does Jasmine have before she becomes Jasmine?

I think that might be more interesting and in-line with the mythology of the Buffyverse than just a bunch of non- corporal beings sitting around in the higher realms watching. It would fit with the First rather well.

I'm hoping she has been able to physically manifest because of some sort of alteration in mystical forces that allow whatever she is to accumulate and thus become an entity. If hate and fear can lump together to form the First, why not love and compassion to become Jasmine. The problem becomes that humans have both sides and love/compassion can get twisted into fanaticism which results in what Cordy has done in Jasmine's name, Angel beating that guy and Fred's obession with the shirt.

The Trials may have allowed Connor's conception, not just because Angel earned a life, but because the love and compassion that Angel showed for Darla was intense. Buffy's alteration of the mystical forces around the Slayer line are allowing the First to be a pain. All the good actions of Angel have given Jasmine form (it was his "I'm sorry" that brought her forward). Great story.

I have always seen Connor being conceived in love. Not love between Angel and Darla, but how Angel feels about the world. He wouldn't have felt such dispair, if he didn't love the world so much. He wouldn't have cared at all, let alone so much he didn't want to care any more. To me that is the core of Angel, he cares therefore he hurts/broods.

[> [> [> [> My evolving Cordelia theory (spoilers up to SHP) -- Masq, 14:41:07 04/13/03 Sun

I'm rewatching the early season 4 episodes in light of "SHP" and I think this is my new latest theory on Season 4 Cordelia:

She gets inhabited by Jasmine in the Higher Plane. She is brought back to Earth. Amnesia action figure Cordy is almost 100% Cordelia. I think some of her actions--in particular her inherent trust of Connor--are the influence of Jasmine.

They restore Cordy's memories, and that gives Jasmine more power to influence Cordelia. Most of Jasmine's influence is subconscious--like post-hypnotic suggestions, they push Cordelia towards certain courses of action, like sleeping with Connor (kudos to Rob for thinking this was the case way back in November!)

Cordelia certainly didn't bring the Beast into the world, or influence him to bring the rain of fire. The Beast already had his instructions before he ever arose.

So Cordelia sleeps with Connor and becomes impregnated. Now technically, the fetus inside her is the vessel that will be born in April, but I think as it grew, Jasmine's influence on her grew. This influence took several forms:

(1) subconscious suggestion towards certain actions,
(2) visions, such as remembering Angelus and the Beast together, or the fake spell to "reensoul Angel",
and (3) a "shiny-happy" mojo influence much like the gang is experiencing now that made Cordelia act in ways she thought the PTB's wanted her to act.

As the fetus grew, Jasmine's influence in her grew. The Cordelia we see is always Cordelia, I don't think it's every purely Jasmine taking over her body, but the influence gets greater and greater making Cordelia do really nuts things like let Angelus out of his cage, kill Lilah, and manipulate Connor into becoming an accessory to murder.

This is my working theory. I'm only up to "Apocalypse Nowish" in my re-watching.

I suspect when Cordelia wakes up, she will feel guilt that will rival Angel's over the deeds of Angelus. All we need is another brooder in the family! Angel and Angel, junior are broody enough for everyone!! ; )

[> [> [> [> [> Re: My evolving Cordelia theory (spoilers up to SHP) -- lunasea, 16:02:41 04/14/03 Mon

I want to respond, but I need to start a new thread for it. I have been very interested in what you have said about Cordy. It is hard to see Jasmine as good, if you think that it is She who is controling or influencing Cordy or responsible for all the bad things. Your posts actually helped me put a few things together.

If Joss is going where I think he is, amazing. I don't see how Buffy can remotely compete with this. I think it hasn't captured my imagination like Angel did this season, because the Big Bad on Buffy is EVIL. I am still waiting for some shade of grey. At least the Master cared about the Annointed one, Spike cared about Dru, The Mayor cared about Faith, Professor Maggie had that warped thing going on with Riley, Glory just wanted to go home, Jonathan might have been redeemed. What about the First Evil? It is just evil.

Not to put down Buffy. As usual Angel is just going into areas that aren't usually explored and hitting more than one note while doing it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmm, guess it depends on the larger picture -- Masq, 16:46:27 04/14/03 Mon

The picture we're starting to get is that there was a powerful race of beings who roamed the Earth and were neither good nor evil. Then something happened to make them start splitting off into these dualities. The First Evil could be that thing that originally started doing things to harm others out of self-interest. It could be that "PTB" that helped turn the Earth into a demon realm for some gain of its own.

But I see the First Evil as representing evil as we know it here on Earth--evil in the Buffyverse is never purely evil, it is usually self-interest taken to the extreme.

Many of the baddies on the show(s) have been baddies because they've let themselves believe their interests were all that mattered, that they were better than other people, that other people were there to serve their interests. Wolfram and Hart was in the business of making people suffer so that other people could have whatever they wanted. Most vampires consider humans a lesser species that is no better than cattle.

The First Evil may have an agenda that it is not letting the BtVS humans in on. It may be an agenda at the level of the PTB's. It wants to have the upper hand over the "good" PTBs, perhaps. It is doing that by interfering with human lives, by destroying the Slayer line.

I just think there's more to the First Evil than meets the eye, and it transects with what is going on on AtS.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm, guess it depends on the larger picture -- lunasea, 17:24:11 04/14/03 Mon

I just think there's more to the First Evil than meets the eye, and it transects with what is going on on AtS.

I hope so. Hopefully the new character will grey things up a bit. As it is, the First doesn't hold my imagination. I feel like Buffy did in Amends "I get it, you're evil."

There is another side to the baddies besides self-interest. There is a pull towards destruction and chaos. A vampire isn't an amoral character, just out for their own self- interest. There is something more there. It is an interesting commentary on humanity, not necessarily one I agree with.

I am sure the First has an agenda it isn't letting anyone in on. Going after the Slayer line is pretty weanie. I think it is using Buffy to get at the PTBs themselves. The mystical forces around the slayer line are a connection between the slayers and the PTBs. Connections run two ways.

Great battle, yada yada. Interesting special effects. Wonderful. The real moral dilema of Angel just enthralls me. I'm hoping Buffy gets one soon. S1: the decision to die. S2: the decision to kill Angel. S3: the decision to kill Faith and then let Angel feed off of her. S4: no real dilema but nice resolution involving team work. S5: the decision to die again rather than kill Dawn. S6: no dilema but nice resolution out of dark night. S7 seems to be setting up for nice resolution again out of Generalismo Buffy.

I hope I am wrong.

[> Thanks a whole bunch -- lunasea, 09:29:18 04/13/03 Sun

With one line, you made Jasmine make complete sense.

""What's the point of being an all powerful what's-a-ma- whosit if I'm not allowed to intervene? My friends are gonna die!" --Higher Being Cordelia, The House Always Wins"

With that line, Cordelia gave Jasmine implied consent to be her vessel. Until that point, Jasmine is surrounding her as that nice light that Angel saw waiting for her chance. With that statement, Cordelia then consents to Jasmine taking her over and Cordelia can be returned to Earth.

It is a lot like what Anya did as a vengeance demon.

Does Jasmine want to take away our free will or does she want/need us to give it up?

I'm hoping when Cordy does wake up, the first words out of her mouth are "I really screwed up, didn't I?" Then I want her to get hit with a vision (the old fashion ones that hurt a lot) so the other PTBs let her know that they still want her to be their messenger, even though she did screw up.

[> [> Do you think Cordelia's attitude towards ...(Spoilers through SHP) -- Arethusa, 09:49:02 04/13/03 Sun

TPTB will change, now that she's been a vessel for one of them? (If she survives.) I'm wondering if we'll see a return of the old Cordelia, who declared she wasn't a sheep to follow the dictates of others, or if she'll still want to be a Seer. Doyle said (pre-visions) Cordelia was important to Angel because she helped him connect to humanity. It was after she became connected to the Divine that she began to separate herself from the others, especially by hiding her illness.

[> [> [> I think EVERYBODY's attitude will change -- lunasea, 09:57:15 04/13/03 Sun

Especially Angel's. After this season, they will have a better understanding about how the universe and humanity work. Their attitudes toward the PTB and themselves are going to change.

I have a feeling that will set up something rather shocking for next season.

[> [> [> [> God, I hope there will be another season -- Masq, 14:29:15 04/13/03 Sun

Fan fic and mulling over old episodes just wouldn't cut it for me.

I'm ready to start mulling over old Buffy episodes, looking forward to it this summer. But not old AtS eps. Not yet.

[> My unspoiled speculation for the next AtS -- Jay, 21:06:20 04/13/03 Sun

I read your analysis of the blood to blood transfer of the "called". I've re-watched the episode, and I'm buying into your breakdown. So as far as this goes according to Jasmine, Fred and the other guy have "contaminated" blood. It's unclear to me whether Fred saw Jasmine's rotting face every time she looked at her, or if it was only the one time. But I believe that Angel will put the bite on either Fred or the other "called" guy. Giving him a taste of the contaminated blood, making him able to see Jasmine for what the "called" see her.

Just a theory.

[> [> Or maybe they just swap spit (spoilers for AtS preview) -- Masq, 21:23:37 04/13/03 Sun

Maybe that's what the smooch in the preview was about. Whatever's "in the blood" is also in the saliva, so Fred grabs Angel and kisses him and he awakens to the true nature of the universe.

Or, you know, at least the true nature of the little problem in L.A.

[> [> [> My spit will show you the way........ewwwww..;) -- Rufus, 22:06:52 04/13/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> I haven't read any of this thread, but it's sooo tempting! -- Scroll, 05:19:06 04/14/03 Mon

From the few glimpses I've had of people's reactions to this ep, I'm thinking this was a controversial episode. In a "people either loved it or hated it" kind of way. Argh, so frustrating!

[> [> [> [> [> When do the Canucks get to see the new eps? -- Masq, 06:48:54 04/14/03 Mon

Er... I meant the Hosers. Oh, no wait, I meant the Chocolate- eating cat-worshippers. Oh no, I meant my momma's family. Oh, no, I meant...


[> [> [> [> [> [> Hey! Careful you could hurt the feelings of a CDCW -- Rufus, 07:12:36 04/14/03 Mon

Canada got screwed a few weeks ago when the PTB's decided to delay the feed a week.....so instead of being a day ahead of the US we are a week behind.....those bastards.

Good news is that I have digital cable and get to watch the Angel eps with my American friends...but some of us have to wait that horrible week.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> yeah, but is it Tuesday or Wednesday? -- Masq, 09:19:17 04/14/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: yeah, but is it Tuesday or Wednesday? -- Rufus, 19:19:23 04/14/03 Mon


[> [> [> [> [> [> I see new Angel at 6 pm PDT on Wednesday -- dub, 12:05:42 04/14/03 Mon

From some WB station on the East Coast somewhere...Boston, maybe? Ummm, maybe New York?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I see new Angel at 6 pm PDT on Wednesday -- Rufus, 19:20:45 04/14/03 Mon

I see it twice on Wednsdays...first on an eastern station then at 9pm on KTLA

[> [> [> [> Does this mean... -- Jay, 08:19:38 04/14/03 Mon

In order to cure the gang, Fred has to become the pushy queen of slut town?

[> [> [> [> Yikes. -- Arethusa, 08:47:52 04/15/03 Tue

Suddenly I'm remembering how Beverly saves the rest of the gang in Steven King's It, which BtVs seems to be channeling a bit this year.

A theory on 'Inside Out': the First Good? (spoilers) -- Direwolf, 16:13:26 04/12/03 Sat

I'll start by saying that although I really liked Inside Out, there were a lot of things that didn't work for me in this episode. Chief among them was Darla's appearance. Although it made for some good drama, it didn't make any sense: Darla was a vampire, a creature of evil, and didn't possess a soul of her own after being re-vamped (pardon the pun) by Drusilla. Although she was ensouled, in a way, when she died, that soul didn't move on, but stayed in Connor's body. Why, then, would Darla go to heaven? Why would she be good and working for the Powers? At first I assumed it was Darla's original human soul. But that soul didn't possess the memories of being pregnant and sacrificing herself for Connor, so who was that woman?
Then I hit on an idea: could the person who appeared to Connor be the equal and opposite of the First Evil, namely the First Good? If there is a balance between those two extremes (and the Buffyverse have clues aplenty that such a balance exists) then why should we assume that there is no force corresponding to the FE? Why should there only be incorporial ultimate evil, but no good? Imagine such a thing exists. It will preobably have to follow the same rules the FE. No touching. Only appear as dead people. Optional invisibility to others. Darla fits the bill in this episode. We're even given further reason to believe it in her lines: "I have her memories, her feelings..." That's precisely the way the FE works. Also, she didn't confirm that she was the real Darla. If anything, her relpy seems to indicate that she isn't.

another possibility is that she was a part of Connor's sould that somehow stayed behind when Darla died, due to the unique "soul sharing" between them. However, this seems unlikely since: a) this has never happened to Connor before and b) she specifically mentions being sent by the Powers.

What do you guys think?

[> FE/FG,Tara, Season 7, Faint, The End (spoiler) -- Deacon, 07:32:27 04/13/03 Sun

That was an intersting idea of the first good. It seems as though it would be the only thing that could fight the FE. And maybe Tara could come back as the first good. Which I would absoltly love. Amber Benson was a fantastic actor and Tara was my favorite character she had beautiful innoncance and shyness that people could relate too. Sadly it seems as though amber benson will not be returning that is the impression that I get from the rumors going around.

Personally I do not find First Evil that intersting and this season seems a little weak altough it is still alot better that 99% of the rest of the T.V. out there. I think the writters are having a hard time keeping the very high standards of season 6, which I though was amazing and was by far my favorite season. It dove into the personal emotions and heart ache of the characters. Personally I find the relationships and emotions alot more intersting than an apocalypse. There has been so many of them they have almost gotten a little boring, The Master, The Judge, Acathala, The Mayor, Adam, Glory and now FE. And after "The Zeppo" were the appocalyspe was a subplot to Xander's adventure it is hard to take an "the world is going to end" seriously. While there was no real big bad of season 6 and it did not need one, and they would not have been able to make one that was better than glory.

One thing that disapoints me about season 7 is that there are no big revations, Storyteller a great eposide but with so little time left why spend a whole eposide devolping a new character. In the season premire it seemed as though they were starting the show in a direction but never went there. It started with dawn starting high school and having her own story line and buffy starting as consouler, and introduces dawns friends, her own willow and xander, but we never see them again. It seemed like they were going to start the show as a high school drama again but then went the other way. Then there was the army of the turkia under the seal of danthar but then andrea cries on it, then that story line is gone.

There is not much time left for them to set up the finalie. The return of Faith will be amazing I can't wait. Since Sarah Michelle Geller anonced that this is her last season the idea of FAITH THE VAMPIRE SLAYER show would be fantastic, there would be a great storyline of her triing to redeam herself, Giles would need to guide her and he would be a watcher again and the tension between her and the scobbies would be great to watch. I've heard that Eliza Dusku is set to do a Sci-fi show like the Dead Zone with Fox, but it seems unlikly that it will do nearly as well as buffy.

I can not congure an idea of how this season will end, they only have 4 shows left to set up the end. They already killed Buffy and brought her back, what can they do to top that, I would love to hear some ideas.

Vote For Your Favorite Buffy Line (Something less controversial) -- Angel Wannabe, 00:04:47 04/13/03 Sun

No matter if you like the show Buffy The Vampire Slayer or not, NO ONE can say that the show does not follow Star Trek in the the sense that there are GREAT ONE-LINERS in every episode!

For instance, in Star Trek, some of the best one-liners were (on a fan-voting poll):

"I'm a doctor, not a brick layer!"
"I'm a doctor, not an escalator!"
"Captain that's all I can give ya!"
"He's dead Jim"
"He's dead."
"The captain is dead."
"It was worse than dead."
"Beam me up Scotty."
"I would say that was a logical assumption."

Now.........back to BTVS.....

My favorite lines:
(Sorry if I miss a word here and there, I do try for accuracy but I don't claim to be perfect)

"Giles, don't make cave-slayer angry." (Beer Bad)

"Hello, still Jewish." (Amends)

"When Giles sends me on a mission he always says 'please.' And then I get a cookie!" (Consequences)

"And I don't want to spend the next week trying to get librarian out of the carpet." (Becoming)

"Aren't you gonna introduce me to your... (recognizes) Holy *!*, you're Willow." (Dopplegangland)

"And you have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. Just have at it would you and stop fluttering about." (The Prom)

"You don't like the color?" (The Witch)

"(Insert any line from Oz)" (Many episodes)

Now I didn't list very many from the later episodes simply because I haven't seen them as many times as the older ones but I know they have a lot of good lines as well. Even though I used the word "vote" in the subject line, this is simply a place to list some of your favorite one-liners. I look forward to reading some of yours especially if you like the later part of the show. But with all posts please include this last item:

What is the most important line in the entire show? It could be something funny or serious, from the beginning or from the end. Here is mine (and believe it or not it's from season 7):

"You don't know hurt. This last year's gonna seem like cake after what I put you and your friends through, and I am not a fan of easy death. Fact is, the whole good-versus-evil, balancing the scales thingóI'm over it. I'm done with the mortal coil. But believe me, I'm going for a big finish."

-- Cassie/The First from "Conversations With Dead People"

I look forward to seeing all your replies to this post and remember, I appreciate all views whether they agree with mine or not because they are all opinions and they are all valid.

[> Re: Vote For Your Favorite Buffy Line (Something less controversial) -- Lethe, 06:02:08 04/13/03 Sun

Pick one line? I don't think I could pick one favorite there are just too many.
I do have a favorite speech though it's is from Becoming pt2 (which I'm currently watching right now I'm woman I can do more than one thing at a time ;-p)
Anyway it is the argument between Buffy and Joyce after Joyce finds out about the whole slayer thing:

(from Psyche's)Buffy: (steps closer) Open your eyes, Mom. What do you think has been
going on for the past two years? The fights, the weird occurrences. How
many times have you washed blood out of my clothing, and you still
haven't figured it out?

Joyce: (raises her voice angrily) Well, it stops now!

Buffy: (raises her voice also) No, it doesn't stop! It *never* stops! Do-do you think I chose to be like this? Do you have any idea how lonely it is, how dangerous? I would *love* to be upstairs watching TV or gossiping about boys or... God, even studying! But I have to save the world... again.

I also agree with any line of Oz's

There are a dozen others I'm sure and I'll think of them after I post this.


[> We did this recently -- CW, 06:50:55 04/13/03 Sun

so you may not get many players. I have one that isn't as funny or poignant as some, but sums up Buffy's life on the show. From "Checkpoint," Buffy - "Honestly, I really can't handle almost being killed, right now."

Re Star Trek: The late DeForrest Kelly used to joke that his tombstone would read, "He's dead, Jim."

[> Re: Vote For Your Favorite Buffy Line (Something less controversial) -- Rob, 07:38:47 04/13/03 Sun

Mine isn't a spoken line, but Xander's brilliant double entendre in "Hush" when he misinterprets Buffy's up-and-down motion with her stake. And Buffy's horrified reaction.


[> memorable quotes -- Deacon, 08:37:59 04/13/03 Sun

Another draft of what I wrote on tuesday

Willow: I new it,well not in the sence of having any idea but I new there was something that I didn't know.

Spike: What are you doing pet.
Drusilla: I'm naming all the stars.
Spike:You can't see the stars, that the celling also it's daylight
Drusilla: I can see them but I named them all the same thing and there is terrible confusion

Spike: If I want her back I know what I have to, I have to be the man I was, the man she feel in love with. First I will find her where ever she is, capture her, torture her, untill she likes me again.

Willow: That's me as a vampire, Im so evil and skanky and I think I am kind of gay.

Drusilla: Say uncle oh that's right you killed my uncle.

Dawn: Is this blood.

Spike: So when do we destroy the world already.

Buffy: Vampires are creepes
Giles: Yes that is why one slayes them.

Doc: I don't see a soul on you any where, why do you care.
Spike: I made a promise to a lady.

Spike: It's a big rock, I can't wait to tell my friends, I bet they don't have a rock this big.

Faith: Little Miss Muffet counting down to 7-3-0

Spike: I may be dirt but your the one who like to roll around in it.

Buffy: Dawn's in trouble again, it must be tuesday.

Spike: Angel, he should have warned me.

Anya: If I get vamped, I'm going to come back and bite your ass.

Willow: Bored now.

Spike: Button, button someone's got the button, my money's on the witch

Willow: Six years as a side kick and now I get to be the slayer.

Buffy: Oh I know this one, slaying entails certain sacerfices, blah, blah, blah, biddy, blah, I's so stuffy give me a scone.

Buffy: When Giles sends me on a mission he says please and afterwards I get a cookie.

Willow: Nothing in the world can stop me now.
Giles: I'd like to test that theory

Darla: I think our boys are going to fight.
Drusilla: The king of cups expects a picnic but it is not his birthday.
Darla: Good point.

Tara: I am you know
Willow: what
Tara: yours

Buffy: Dawn Listen to me, I Love you, I will always Love you. This is the work that I have to do. Tell Giles that I've figured to out, and I'm Okay. Give my love to my friends. You have to take care of them now, you have to take care of each other, you have to be strong, Dawn the hardest thing is this world is to live in it. Be brave, live, for me.

[> "for you? adventure! for me? destiny!" -- frisby, 13:04:17 04/13/03 Sun

buffy says to riley "for you this is only an adventure, but for me its destiny!"

that's my favorite, and alludes to Odysseus vs. Oedipus

[> Re: Vote For Your Favorite Buffy Line (Something less controversial) -- O'Cailleagh, 14:01:08 04/13/03 Sun

My current favourite line has to be Giles in OMWF "Anya! Tara! She needs back-up!" I'm giggling now just thinking of it! Also, anything that Dru has ever said.

And on the Star Trek thing (I know this isn't the game but you reminded me of it), from DS9, the Tribble episode, Dr Bashir saying "I'm a doctor not a historian!" or some such. Again with the giggling!


belated LMPTM issue from a lurker -- Abracapocus, 15:59:15 04/13/03 Sun

I tend to take a while to process things (the process of which is enormously helped by the intelligent discussion on this board).

I know it's been a couple weeks since LMPTM aired, but there is one thing I haven't seen discussed, here or elsewhere, that has been bothering me. Forgive me if this has been addressed, and I just missed it.

To wit:

Why on earth would Giles think that Wood's plan for an impromptu, solo Spike-killing was a good idea--just on a practical level? Wouldn't it be just as likely to result in a dead or badly damaged Wood (ahem) as a dusted Spike? Wood's best chance would have been to take Spike completely by surprise, which would involve a level of luck rarely manifested on the Hellmouth (especially considering Spike's distrust of the principal).

As it was, the only reason Wood made any headway in the first half of the fight was that Spike was still engulfed in the memories/visions released by the prokaryote--and Wood had no way of knowing that. The almost careless ease with which Spike deflected Wood once he (Spike) returned to himself only reinforces my point. Barring great good luck or Spike holding back, Wood never had a chance in a fight against Spike. And Giles had to know that.

Now, I imagine that Wood did *not* tell Giles the part where he planned to trigger Spike's vicious, animalistic, brainwashed inner vampire. It doesn't look as if they discussed strategies much, if at all. So why on earth would Giles agree to this? He only just met this principal, and no matter how alarmed he his by the state of the High School library I doubt he'd want to see the man risk his life so foolishly.

I understand why Wood himself wouldn't be too worried about the risks. Self-sacrifice can be an acceptable form of vengeance--or a way to simultaneously join his mother, symbolically punish her for abandoning him and himself for not being able to bring her back, and add to the guilt of her killer. But Giles?? His behavior has made very little sense since his return to Sunnydale, and this is only one example (as many have pointed out).

There is a great deal more to say about the emotional dynamics at work in LMPTM for all the central characters-- and most of it has already been said. :)

On to Part II: Giles Perplex

I have a theory that Giles is both in shock at the collapse of the Council (even though he had abdicated his role with them), and fighting deeply mixed feelings about his re- involvement with the Scoobies. He left Sunnydale in part to reclaim his own life, which he was beginning to do with the important, adult work he was doing with the coven. Now he's been dragged back into the melodramas of these 22-year-olds and teenagers. And he no longer knows how to (or is willing to) function in their world--a world which exacted so much of him over the years, and which had always ignored any possibility of his having a separate identity.

The "kids" are still "kids", and part of him doesn't want to deal with it any more. It would make sense if part of him resents the years dedicated to fighting both the Hellmouth and the adolescence of his much-loved but often exasperating charges, especially now that he's had a brief taste of a different life. And he finds himself falling into dysfunctional, judgmental surrogate-parenting patterns, which is probably the last thing he wants--especially as those patterns only serve to alienate Buffy. He wanted her to be independent--but now he doesn't know how to fit in her life or how to engage her when he disagrees with her decisions. Ring a bell, anyone?

Of course, I'm only speculating. I fear the real source of this problem is unfocused writing, plus the decision to try to misdirect us with the possibility that Giles was the First. But it would still make sense if Giles has some resentment and inter-generational bewilderment issues going on.

And there's a database I'm supposed to be working on. :)

"Would I knew a little more
or very much less." --Dorothy Parker

[> Welcome! And stay de-lurked! -- dub ;o), 19:37:20 04/13/03 Sun

Some very good points here, and I must admit I tend to feel as you do about Giles in recent eps.

I do think Wood may have convinced him that he could handle Spike on the basis of being the son of a slayer and having been raised by a watcher, even though it would have taken some elaborately planned surprise attack. That might have convinced Giles, but then Wood was so driven by revenge that he may have just skipped the plan and gotten right to the whalin' on him. Bad move, because, as you point out, had Spike not been distracted by thoughs of Mommy Dearest, he would have made short work of Wood at the outset of the contest.


[> Re: belated LMPTM issue from a lurker -- maddog, 20:17:49 04/13/03 Sun

Did you watch the beginning of that episode? That song brought out the ruthless Spike...the true vampire. Wood saw all he needed to to set up that trap.

Giles wasn't thinking as a humanitarian...he was thinking as a watcher...as someone who Spike has annoyed and as someone who wants to keep the others as safe as possible. Mind you he's wrong, but that's the way he wanted it.

and what he did wasn't taking Spike by surprise? Wow, I'd like to see your definition of a surprise.

He didn't need to tell Giles how he was going to do it. In the end, all either cared about was that Spike would be eliminated. Remember, while Giles liked the concept of having another skilled allie it's not like he was emotionally attached to Wood.

I like your second theory. He never really has been right since he came back. The question of who was in control was always out there. and it always seemed to shift. First Giles would ask Buffy to take control then he'd do something that takes that control right back.

[> Welcome, Ab. -- aliera, 05:09:37 04/14/03 Mon

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.
ó Earl Weaver.

Knowledge comes, but wisdom lingers.
ó Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809-1892).

Strange how much you have to know before you know how little you know.
óUnknown. ;-)

[> Oh, god, the Giles situation just gets worse and worse! -- dream, 07:54:00 04/14/03 Mon

Congratulations, Ab, on delurking and on having your name abbreviated so quickly!

I hadn't thought about the logistics from Giles point of view -- did wonder wbout Buffy thinking Wood could watch Spike, but didn't think about Giles thinking that Wood would be able to take Spike. This leaves me with two thoughts, one more depressing that the other:

a) Giles assumed Wood would stake Spike from behind -- after all, setting off his trigger and going for the long fight isn't exactly smart thinking. More devious and underhanded might have gotten the job done.

b) Giles assumed that if Wood failed to kill Spike, Spike would kill Wood. In which case, Buffy would kill Spike.

Just the possibility of b makes my stomach all queasy. I pray to the ME gods that Giles have a chance to redeem himself before the series ends.

Psychiatric Help 25 Cents - The Doctor is *In* - Thoughts on *Lies My Parents Told Me* - Pt. I -- OnM, 16:01:16 04/13/03 Sun


I clearly don't know this Giles that has come back from England this season. Where is his trust in Buffy? As has
been stated repeatedly by other posters, she has proven her abilities and he should have faith in the training he has
given her.

And therein lies the explanation: He no longer has faith in himself; therefore, how can he trust the training he
gave Buffy? I feel like Giles is lost now, with the Watchers gone and the First rising. He's falling back on what he
learned at the Watcher Academy far too much, because he honestly doesn't know what else to do. He doesn't
trust Buffy. He doesn't trust anybody. But the person he trusts least is himself.

............ HonorH


I really wish that this episode had been shown in what obviously was the correct chronological order, on the
night before Orpheus over on Angel. The contrast between Wesley's resumption of his Watcher
role with Faith and Giles's with Buffy is very stark.

............ leslie


When Giles tells Buffy this is the way wars are won, he's talking about subterfuge, deceit, and murder. When
Buffy talks to Wood about the mission, she's talking about accepting allies no matter what differences you had in
the past.

............ jenoff


Lucy Van Pelt: A personís activities say a lot about him, Charlie Brown. What have you done so far

Charlie Brown: ìWell, I spent most of the morning cleaning off the top of my dresser.î

Lucy: ìGood grief! People all around the world are plowing fields, chopping wood, digging wells, planting
trees, laying bricks-- and all youíve done is clean the top of your dresser?? No wonder you have no feeling of

(Linus Van Pelt, Lucyís brother, happens to walk by right at this moment).

Lucy: ìHey! You there! What have you been doing today?î

Linus: ìWatching TV. Why?î

(Lucy suddenly looks very dismayed. Charlie Brown suddenly looks very confident and pleased with himself).

Charlie Brown: ìThe top of my dresser is real clean.î


That very last item above came from a Sunday color comic strip that first appeared on January 28, 1979. And
right after you go ëhumm...í or somesuch similar sub- verbalization, you might find yourself asking why I
deliberately chose to point out that it was a color comic strip. As opposed to what? And why would that
matter anyway?

There are a couple of reasons, mostly contexual, others directly relevant. First, it indirectly suggests that I am an
old fart (like Giles), since only a person of advanced years would still recall the time before color was an
established norm, and was in fact an ëupgradeí to convention. Second, comic art exists on a wide variety of
temporal platforms, all the way from the single-panel ëone- linerí of The Far Side or Ziggy to
book-length ëgraphic novelsí, some done as simple B&W line drawings all the way to Prince Valiant style
mega-detail. Third, comic art is unquestionably an element of what we refer to as ëpopular cultureí, and we all
know how historically pointless popular culture is when compared to the great wisdom to be imparted by The

And fourth, we all know, or should, what utter nonsense that last statement is. If comic art is only something
intended to entertain the intellectually bereft masses or occupy the power fantasies of children, then where did
the ëclassicalí comic art of today come from? Is there such a thing in the first place? And if there is a classical
comic art, or any classical art form for that matter, how does it differ from its contemporary or modern
descendent? Isnít is all a question of conveying some universal truth, regardless of the medium? Ah, truth. Truth
is a slippery weasel, thatís why I cut mine out of the color comics and post it on my bedroom closet door.

Part of the overall style that I affect when I write these ëthoughts oní pieces is to attempt a sort of
non-style, wherein I borrow freely from a variety of methodologies, often mixing and matching same, in a
technique that reminds me a great deal of modern comic art. Many decades ago, a traditional comic artist decided
upon a certain drawing technique depending mainly on the subject matter at hand, and then tailored the look and
feel along the lines of accepted templates. So, you might have ëfunnyí comics with funny looking (and typically
non-human) characters, political/satirical strips with recognizable caricatures of realworld persons, ëseriousí
storytelling work with detailed and lifelike drawings, action/adventure serials, etc.

The creators of Steve Canyon or Dick Tracy or Liíl Abnerí would never have thought to
break the fourth wall, or mix their own drawing/writing technique with that employed by another comic artist,
even one they respected and admired. To do so would be to risk disconcerting the reader, who has come to
expect that a certain continuity be maintained at all times, and in fact this is a perfectly reasonable constraint.

But is it too constraining? Apparently so for many modern graphic artists. Take the popular Ziggy strip,
for example, wherein the title character regularly breaks the fourth wall, speaking directly to the reader,
and even openly acknowledging that he is a comic character. Similar wall-breakage takes place in Fred
, where the dog often turns itís head and looks directly outward from the page at the reader while he

Doonesbury has given fits to newspaper editors for decades, who are unsure whether to place it on the
regular comics page, or move it to the opinion/editorial section. My own hometown paper did exactly this several
years ago, after continual bombardment from angry local conservatives that ëultra-liberalí strips like Trudeauís
had no right to exist coexist with ënormal family fareí in the regular comics section. (Funny how I never
saw ongoing complaints by liberals about openly conservative strips like Liíl Abnerí or Dick Tracy.
Gee, wonder why?)

While the one-to-eightish panel length of newspaper strips limits the use of borrowing cinematic style
conventions, creators of comic books and graphic novels often utilize POV shots that are very cameralike, and
place their own twists on that viewpoint, and most recently in film work the reverse is becoming true. The advent
of computer-generated visuals in the film world has opened up the door to a number of heretofore impossible
vantages and styles, and fused them perfectly with normal ërealityí. For example, one could cite the two recent
Lord of the Rings films, or even go back to Apollo 13, where we witness the stunning power and
grandeur of a rocket lift-off without realizing that the camera could not possibly have been positioned where
it was

So one creative element borrows on the style of the other, and the conventions of the past disengage and
recouple in sometimes unusual fashion. The goal hasnít changed though-- regardless of the media or the
conventions being upheld or held upside-down, what we keep returning to is that we are on the couch, and the
headshrinker is asking us, ìWhat seems to be the problem?î

Us: ìProblems? I donít have any problems. Well, maybe some teensy ones. Hardly worth discussing.
Next subject, please.î

HS: ìOK, letís talk about your parents.î

Us: ìWell, my mom threw away all my comics when I was 16.î

HS: ìHummm... no wonder you have no sense of self- worth. I sense large fees coming my way very

Us: ìHuh?î

Letís talk David Fury for a few moments, before I lie back on the couch and recite a mostly linear series of
digressions on this weekís wonderful BtVS episode, Lies My Parents Told Me.

I am well aware that Dave Fury is a sore spot for a lot of Buffyverse fans, and that many do not like his writing
style, or the fact that he seems at war with Joss regarding certain elements of BV canon and isnít shy about
letting that be known.

While I agree that these are valid points, and that he is not generally a favorite of mine either, I happen to think
that he did a really excellent job with this episode. Perhaps itís just a matter of the current arc direction suiting
the story he wants to tell, or that co-writer Drew Goddard acted as a tempering influence. Machts nichts-- I
loved this episode, for many reasons, not the least of which is the cinematography and directing style that seems
directly lifted from comic book/graphic novel short/sharp/shocked conventions and ends up nicely translated to
the television medium. Placed on top of the good technical foundation and stylistic choices is a timeless tale of
how one comes to deal psychologically with the inevitable discovery that our parents are capable of willful deceit
when it comes to their offspring, and how we can recover from this traumatic revelation.

Good grief. Couch time now-- going back to the beginning:

We are in New York City, where itís raining, raining like hell.

It is certainly a kind of hell for one Nikki Wood, Slayer, and her life. The initial camera shot ends with the fourth
wall POV looking nearly straight downward, watching the rain fall away from us like the warp-drive star streaks
in the Trekverse, except for going down towards the earth and not outward into the cosmos. We see Nikki and
Spike fighting, or ëdancingí if you believe Spike. It seems fairly obvious to me that Fury does not believe Spike is
the truthteller in this instance, and I have to agree with him. What I see is a woman already burdened with the
duty of her calling, a calling that like all the Slayers before and after her, she had no choice but to accept. But in
addition to this, she carries a special burden, a burden that is also a gift-- for Nikki has a child, a son.

The son is with her on this night, and inadvertently saves her life by bumping a trash can next to the park bench
he is hiding behind. Spike is momentarily distracted and Nikki regains the upper hand, fending him off. He makes
a comment about loving her coat (the long leather duster he took from her as a trophy after her eventual death at
his hands), and literally drops out of sight over a nearby wall. (It now seems the height of the earth is relative--
we thought we were already on the low ground, but Spike proves otherwise).

While there may have been other Slayers in the history of the line who had a child, we have not seen any, unless
you count Dawn as being Buffyís (mystical) child. I am counting that, since I think the parallel is deliberate, but
more on that later. I believe we are to accept that this is a unique situation, even if it has not been explicitiy
stated as such by ME.

We know from the events of Fool for Love that Spike sees Buffy as having a commonality of style with
Nikki. He is thinking in terms of fighting style, but we in the audience are intended to see beyond that to
other comparisons. One of the points that I am still unclear about-- and I believe that ME intended it to remain
unclear-- is whether or not Spike knew that Nikki had a child when he killed her. Yes, I know that Spike saw
Robin hiding behind the bench, but would he necessarily have assumed that the child was the Slayerís?

And if he did understand that Nikki was a mother, would that have made any difference? I tend to doubt it. Spike
may have a soft spot for devoted mothers, but this moment in time was prior to his meeting Buffy and falling
under her influence. It is my own opinion that he still would have killed Nikki and Robin both-- you may
remember the story he was telling Dawn about the little girl hiding in the coal bin after he had killed her family.

After Spike leaves, Nikki congratulates Robin for being a ëgood boyí and staying out of harmís way, just like she
had told him to do. He wants to go home with her, but Nikki tells him that they are going to Crowleyís house,
which we guess (correctly, as Giles reveals later) is the name of Nikkiís Watcher. Robin is visibly hurt and
disappointed at his motherís unwillingness to take him with her, but Nikki reassures him that she loves him, itís
just that ìthe mission comes first.î She stands up and takes his hand to lead him away, but he breaks off and runs
back to retrieve the stake that Spike tossed aside. We cut to the present day, with the adult Robin in the midst of
a fight with several vampires. Spike and Buffy are there, fighting alongside of him. Buffy does a neat little flip
move that looks almost exactly like one that Nikki just did in her encounter with Spike

As the fight wears on, Robin falters and his vamp is about to press his advantage when suddenly the vamp is
dusted by Spike. Spike helps Robin to his feet, and reminds him that ìthe stake is your friend-- donít be afraid to
use it.î Robin quietly seethes as he watches Spike walk away, gripping the piece of broken wood in his hand so
tightly that he begins to bleed. In the background, we see Buffy waling away at her vamp, beating at him
viciously and repeatedly much as Faith did in a shared fight with Buffy several years ago. ìJust waiting for my
momentî, Wood mutters quietly. Cut to opening credits.

One extremely minor nitpick before we leave this scene and go on to the first act: While I personally wouldnít
have done the all-too-obvious-looking camera zoom intended to reveal Robin hiding behind the park bench, I did
find it less distracting on subsequent viewings. I would have preferred that we became aware of Robin more by
visual and POV suggestion (until he bumps the trash can) than overtly as it was actually done. Since this zoom
trick came very early on during the opening scene, I was momentarily afraid that other such clumsy methods
would crop up during the remainder of the ep, but they didnít, so Iím more than willing to let it go. Other than
this one technical/styling misstep, everything else was really first rate.

Metaphorically speaking, I really liked the rain, the yellow rubber boots and the image of Wood grasping the
makeshift stake until he begins to bleed. Using rain as a metaphor is always risky because itís such a common
one-- I even found myself deleting the ësky is cryingí part of a sentence I wrote above, because itís so easy to fall
into triteness with this image.

Nevertheless, water is a primal element, and when used skillfully as it was here, the emotions it conjures up are
equally visceral for most people. I liked that the foley (post-production sound) artist used such a
natural-sounding recording as background for the scenes where Nikki is in a close-up two-shot with Robin, and
the audible sense of the rain falling on their clothing was so realistic-- it seemed to pervade all the space around
them, both enveloping and isolating them from the world. I canít imagine invoking a better subliminal impression
for what Nikki must have been feeling.

The yellow boots were another fine touch, suggesting a link with innocence about to be broken, much like with
Willow and the broken yellow crayon. Later on in the episode, when Spike confronts Wood with the idea that
perhaps his mother didnít love him enough, I thought back to the yellow boots and saw that as additional
evidence that he was wrong. Stop and think a moment-- given the nature of Nikkiís ëworkí, and the risk that it
would present to Robin, why would she have gotten him yellow boots? If she is trying to hide him from
the dark world she is immersed in, why make such a colorful, and attention getting choice in footwear?

The likely answer is probably the simplest one-- because he saw them and liked them. Kids tend to like bright
colors, like to be noticed. Common sense would dictate that Nikki would veto his choice, and have him wear
black boots, all the better to ëstay out of harmís wayí, but at the same time she hates being forced to make this
choice, one that should be trivial but instead is weighted with consequence. Her love for her son and the desire to
make him happy win out. This is one very minor thing out of the total scheme of things, but given that I assume
that Buffy made the right decision in saving Dawn back in The Gift, and now in Lies is having
Giles openly question that wisdom, I think that a clear parallel is being drawn. Nikki understands her duty, but
she also seeks to retain her humanity, just as Buffy attempts to, and not give in to the cult of expediency until
there is no other alternative.

As to the quiet rage and the bleeding hand, itís a fitting image that Wood is becoming his own worst enemy-- the
makeshift stake is Wood, but it isnít smooth and polished, itís splintered and jagged like Woodís psyche. When
he squeezes it until blood runs freely from his palm, he is crushing himself, though he is blind to this fact. The
First Evil has done its work well, and with very few words.

Going back to the fight with Spike, we donít know what the time frame is on this sequence relative to when
Spike eventually kills Nikki in the subway car, but for some reason I am presuming that the latter event takes
place fairly soon after the fight in the rain. It seems obvious that Nikki has a very bad feeling about Spike, and
about what could happen to her in the near future, so her first priority is to get Robin to safety. Robin sees this
not as the attempt at protection that it is but as promoting the suspicion that his mother cares more for her work
than for him. This suspicion gets reinforced when Nikki tells him exactly that-- even though she prefaces it by
saying that she loves him.

Nikki is in a no-win situation, and Robin is the central victim of it. Later on, and with the help of a few other
posters, I want to make the point in greater detail that this clearly seems intended as a metaphor for the plight of
a lot of ëworking mothersí, or even more accurately, working parents in contemporary America.


We are now in the opening act, and after an establishing shot of Sunnydale High, we cut to Wood looking out
throught he horizontal blinds of the office into the school hallway, his hand bandaged from the stake-squeezing
action. Like the rain, the ëimprisoningí effect of the bars of light created by the blinds is one that can be overused,
but once again I think Fury comes down just on the side of validity here. The fact that Woodís ëprisoní is in this
case his office, and that his office is over the Hellmouth reinforces the idea that he chose to put himself into this
prison, consciously or no. (Recall that Wood also willingly walked out on top of the Seal of Danzalthar a few
episodes back, and then attacked Buffy for sleeping with Spike. Foreshadowing of the end of this ep when he
finds that Buffy does indeed yield preference to Spike over him?)

Buffy comes in, and comments about how things have settled down with the deactivation of the Danthalzar seal.
Wood agrees, and thinks that maybe Buffy has actually beaten the FE, but Buffy doesnít think so-- she quips that
ìit would be too easyî. Wood expresses incredulity at the ëeasyí part, but Buffy replies that any Apocalypse that
she doesnít die in is an ëeasyí one. Wood once again has to realize that he is so very out of his depth here,
and his subsequent comment to Buffy reinforces this thought.

Wood comments that Buffy reminds him of his mother, and her calls her Ms. Summers, which I initially
thought was sort of odd, like he was simultaneously proud of her yet keeping an emotional distance. On
revisiting the comment after the entire show had played out, it made perfect sense. Wood is greatly attracted to
Buffy, but is disturbed by her ëcontradictionsí, much as he was (and still is) by his motherís. In both the NY
scene and in the alleyway scene, Wood is being protected by a woman who is stronger than he is. He was a child
then, and an adult now, but itís still the same dynamic. Nikki praises her son for staying hidden, out of the line of
fire. He obeys but feels betrayed by her in ways that he canít really articulate. Likewise, he defers to Buffy as an
authority figure, but is baffled that she accepts Spike as a kind of equal. He is even more dismayed when it is
Spike who saves him in the alleyway fight, and not Buffy.

Buffy is unaware of Robinís inner uneasiness regarding her, and graciously accepts the compliment. Shortly after
this moment, Giles bursts into the office, complaining that the library is full of computers. Buffy smiles at this,
accepting that itís just one more patented Giles-ism, but Robin looks completely baffled.

Giles has been a mystery to me for most of this season. Here Giles is, complaining about the computers even
though he certainly knows that they have been partly responsible for more than several victories in the past. Giles
must know intellectually that computers are useful creations that supplement his books, not supplant
them. Back in the beginning of the fourth season, when Giles was going to leave Sunnydale (reasoning that his
time as Buffyís teacher was over), he was even arranging to have Willow transfer his occult library collection to
a computer. So whatís the deal here?

I believe that what ME is trying to portray is a contrast between Buffyís growth into adulthood and her ongoing
acceptance of the demands of a changing future, and that of Giles regressing painfully into the past as it begins to
weigh him down with its steadily increasing gravity. A microcosm of this argument is illustrated by the little dig
Buffy starts to throw at Giles about him being old. In the past, Buffy would have let the jibe pass in its entirety,
but being older now herself, she suddenly realizes in midstream that sheís not really being very kind, even if the
joke was a lighthearted one. She attempts to recover, but itís too late. Giles is visibly rankled and glares at her,
although in years past he would have just rolled his eyes and let it pass by.

Part of the freedom of youth is the freedom to be obnoxious at times, and get away with it. Part of the
responsibility of adulthood is to restrain your natural tendencies to speak your mind at all times, when doing so
could hurt someone to no real point. As examples, at the one extreme we have Spikeís mother Anne, who would
never utter an unkind word about her son, even if he was actually boring her to tears. Near the other end we have
the demons, who for the most part feel almost obligated to offer insults and put downs as often as possible.

Despite his prior falling out with the Watcherís Council, Giles appears to have suffered some kind of extremely
serious emotional/spiritual collapse since its destruction. This, coupled with Buffyís increasing competence only
magnifies his feelings of uselessness and encourages a reactionary outlook. In the fourth season, he would have
simply moved on and made some kind of new life for himself, which would be the mature thing to do. Instead, he
now starts falling back onto his early, more dogmatic/patriarchial training as a Watcher, which is revealing itself
in a number of unhealthy and unhelpful ways.

First, he stops being overtly supportive of Buffy when she is under stress, and only intensifies her fears by
emphasizing the burdens she carries, and is already all too well aware of. He then starts questioning her
decisions, and when she insists that sheís on top of things, he openly doubts her. When she or the other members
of the gang try to lighten things up a bit or blow off some steam, he angrily asserts that they are ëlosing touch
with realityí. Now, heís increasingly trying to control Buffy rather than follow her lead. (By the end of the
episode, we will see that he goes so far as to lie to her and betray her.)

ìKnowledge comes from crafted bindings and pages, not ones and zeroes.î Giles has regressed to making
simplistic statements that are beneath him, and soon will embrace the worst one of them all-- ëthe ends justify the
meansí. He and Robin apparently meet for the first time here, and it is revealing that these two individuals are
both in a position of authority over youth-- and are now conspiring together to fail as mentors and leaders.

--- ( Continued in Part II ) ---

[> Psychiatric Help 25 Cents - Thoughts on *Lies My Parents Told Me* - Pt. II -- OnM, 16:06:59 04/13/03 Sun

--- ( Continued from Part I ) ---

Lightening things up just a bit, I thought that the ëwhoís on firstí routine between Buffy, Giles and Robin was
funny, clever and kept some of the darkness mixed in with the humor, in that inimitable ME fashion.
Buffy had (reasonably) assumed that Giles was on yet another trip to obtain potentials, but instead he was getting
the ëmagic rockí to de-trigger Spike.

Buffy: Did you bring back more Potentials?

Giles: Ah, no. Actually my trip was on a different matter. Regarding Spike.

Buffy: Spike? What about him?

Giles: Buffy, I told you my concerns when you recklessly chose to remove the chip in his head.

Wood: Wait. Sorry. Chip?

Giles: Long story--

Buffy: Military put a chip in Spike's brain so he couldn't hurt anyone.

Giles: And that would be the abridged version.

Buffy: He has a soul now, Giles. Spike won't let himself harm anyone.

Giles: Unless The First triggers him again.

Wood: Triggers the chip?

Buffy: The trigger's a post-hypnotic deal The First put in his head. Made him... He was killing again.

Wood: So heís got a trigger, a soul and a hip.

Giles: Not anymore.

Buffy: It was killing him, Giles.

Wood: The trigger?

Buffy: The chip. The trigger's not working anymore.

Wood: Because the military gave him a soul.

( Buffy just looks at him. )

Wood: Sorry.

We move on to the attempt to define and hopefully remove the trigger from Spikeís brain. We are in the Casa
Summers basement with the primary Scoobies, minus Anya but now plus Robin. Spike seems perturbed at
finding principal Wood present, which is understandable even if one doesnít take into account what we know of
Woodís vendetta against the monster who killed his mother-- Spike may not know the details of what is to
happen to him as yet, but poking around into someoneís mind is a very intimate act, and having a relative
stranger present must make it seem like Spike is back in the Initiative laboratory again.

Itís interesting to observe the range of emotional responses directed at Spike from the various persons present:
Giles is openly cold and almost antagonistic towards Spike, Wood is outwardly inscrutable but quietly seething
inside, Xander is mostly neutral, joking about the chains not being there when he needed them the other week,
but nevertheless giving Spike a quick pat on the shoulder before moving away.

As mentioned, Anya isnít there at all. (A scene from the original shooting script states that she was there,
but left, apparently as a self-defensive matter). Willow seems focused mostly on being able to do the magic part
correctly, but like Xander seems mainly neutral. Dawn and Buffy are the only ones openly concerned, with Buffy
obviously more so.

Willow reads from a magic text, and the Prokaryote stone turns into a sort of worm-like creature. The creature
then crawls into Spikeís eye socket, and supposedly from there travels along his optic nerve. (Which in Spike
must run along the forehead, unlike in normal humans-- or not. OK, so two goofs in this ep. Still let it go). Spike
looks uncomfortable at first, then cries out in apparently substantial pain. Buffy rushes to his side, although the
others draw back. She asks him if heís OK, he replies wondering how he will know when the magic rock does its
thing. As he says this, he opens his eyes and sees himself (as William) back in last century England reading poetry
to his mother. The poem is, well-- bloody awful, but his mother lovingly beams at him, apparently hanging over
every word.

Williamís mother is obviously frail and sickly, and as she coughs raggedly, we see blood on a handkerchief.
Tuberculosis? We arenít told specifically, but it would seem to fit the symptoms and time period. For some
reason I wanted to find a connection between the blood on the cloth from Faithís neck wound in the AtS episode
Orpheus, because in each case the camera kind of lingered on the sight for a moment longer than seemed
necessary, but I confess I canít think of one. (Two different types of families caring for one another in a critical
moment? Blood symbolic of sacrifices? Some kind of foreshadowing for a future event? Iím open to suggestions,
assuming anyone else thought this very odd juxtaposition was in any way deliberate).

This ep also reveals two names that we werenít aware of before, one of which is Cicelyís last name, which
appears to be Underwood. This is another choice that I keep thinking must be relevant somehow, but
again Iím not sure why. The second new name is that of Williamís mother, Anne, which was presented to
the viewer in a very sneaky metanarrational-only fashion, being never spoken aloud by any character at
anytime during the entire show
. The name is only revealed if one turns on the closed captioning, or of course
has access to the shooting script. (So, if anyone has ever had any doubts about ME being well aware of its fansí
obsessive proclivities, this should quell them once and for all!) Anne, of course, is Buffyís middle name, and the
name that she adopted for her ënon-Slayerí self after leaving Sunnydale at the close of the 2nd season.

William and Anne talk for a while after he has read the poem, which mentions his unrequited love, Cecily. Then,
he seats himself on the floor by his motherís side, a contented smile on his face, as she begins to sing the folk sing
that we have come to know as the ëtriggerí. (I was struck by the fact that she could sing so well considering the
effects of the disease. Did she sing not only because William liked to hear it, but because the act of singing was
freeing for her also somehow?)

Back in the Summersí basement, Spike suddenly morphs into full, feral vampface, and goes on a rampage. He
grabs Buffy violently by her neck, and throws her aside, then flings the cot he was seated on at Dawn, striking
her hard on the forehead. The rest of the gang recoil in horror as Spike strains at his chains, trying to break free.
Buffy in particular is aghast at the quickness of the transformation, which has just confirmed Gileís suspicions,
suspicions she had previously questioned.


Weíre back from the commercial break, and beginning Act Two. Upstairs, Willow is tending to the gash on
Dawnís forehead, while downstairs Buffy is trying to decide what to do about Spike, who is still chained up,
although he is back to ënormalí again. Giles is vigorously insisting that Spike has not been de-triggered,
and furthermore that such is the case because Spike is repressing certain memories that the stone has released.
Spike is angily denying this accusation, and wants to be released from the chains. Willow, who has just received a
phone call from (Angelverse) Fred in Los Angeles comes down the stairs and tells Buffy that she needs to go
away for a few days to take care of something-- she doesnít tell Buffy what. Buffy OKís this, and Willow exits
back up the stairs. There is some additional argument, and Buffy eventually decides to release Spike, which
makes Giles angry enough to actually reach out and grab Buffy by the arm, physically attempting to stop her.
This decision also shocks Wood, although he doesnít comment verbally to Buffy as Giles does. Buffy and Spike
go back up the basement stairs, leaving Giles and Wood behind.

OK, time for a couple of quasi-analytical thoughts before we go on.

One of the commonest comments that I hear directed at Dave Fury as a Buffyverse writer is that he is too
heavy-handed and unsubtle most of the time. There are certainly occasions over the years where I might agree
with this, but I loved the equipoise he struck, over and over again, in Lies. This episode is filled
almost continually with balanced tension that comes from the fact that none of the people in the
story are behaving in an unreasonable way, given their individual perspectives and predispositions. Each time I
played back my tape, I found that while I could understand one characterís point of view, I could just as easily
take the other side and find at least reasonable validity in it. While the eventual ending of the show clearly states
what I think is MEís actual opinion on events, itís still very arguable. This is very fine writing, and first
rate direction. I really think that this may be Daveís best work to date, although of course I do not know the
extent of Drew Goddardís contributions from the writing aspect.

Anyway, just consider where we are so far:

Buffy is certain that Spike is ësafeí, and stands up very firmly in the face of Gilesí suggestion that he is anything
but. We are lead to trust Buffyís instinct, even though we know that Giles might be correct. Giles performs the
Prokaryote ritual, and sure enough, Spike is not only easily ëtriggeredí, but the results are shocking, even to
Buffy. Giles feels utterly vindicated, but after Buffy deliberates she still appears to take Spikeís ësideí. Is Buffy
really blinded by her connection to Spike-- is Giles correct after all? Or is it another instance of that same
subconscious intuition that has kept her from killing Spike all along, for some good reason, that logic
does not answer to? At this point, it is unfair to blame Giles for not accepting Buffyís decision, even
though we might want to resist this idea. Giles holds the high ground at the moment, or at least can lay
reasonable claim to it, but defeats himself when he makes the eventual decision to act behind Buffyís back. Had
he simply waited a day or two, Buffy may have reconsidered at least to the extent of pursuing the de-triggering

Willowís appearance, while brief, is perfectly in tune with the overall theme of the show. By not telling Buffy
what she knows of the factors that are calling her to Los Angeles, she is predicating a lie of omission. It may be
stretching the concept just a little, since Willow isnít really a parent to Buffy, but the relationship between the
two women is equally close in a non-sexual manner. Looking to motivations, Willow undoubtably realizes that if
Buffy were to find out that Angelus has been set loose again, it would add to her already substantial burdens.
Buffy might even insist on attempting to ëhelpí, which in all honesty she probably could not. So, I find I have to
agree with Willow that this was a necessary lie, or at least a reasonable one. I think that ME agrees with this,
judging by the fact that Willow was standing directly underneath the light at the bottom of the cellar stairs when
she tells Buffy she needs to go out of town.

And no, Iím not reaching here. Play back this scene again and pay extra attention to the way the lighting is
handled throughout. We cut from the scene of William siring his mother to Willow coming down the stairs.
Williamís intentions are good, at least from his perspective- - he wants to cure his mother of the ëweaknesses of
her humanityí, not kill her. The light that is on his face when he is about to sire his mother is full on him. When
Willow is standing at the bottom of the stairs, she is also surrounded by light-- there are shadows, but they are
soft, vague and not at all disquieting.

Shortly after this moment, Buffy moves across the basement and begins to unchain Spike from the wall. A very
bright light source that a few seconds before placed Giles and Wood in a backlight (and with resultant stark
shadows) now has Buffy directly between it and Spike. The light is extremely brilliant on her side of the frame,
and Spike is on her other side, in shadow. On the one hand you can clearly interpret the shot as saying that Buffy
is the light, and she is bringing it to Spike. Or-- the light was on him but she is now blocking it,
placing him in shadow. Two actors, one light source, completely ambiguous meaning. The depth of potential
meaning in this ësimpleí shot is stunning.

It continues. Spike and Buffy head back up the cellar stairs, and we now see Giles and Wood, who are standing
under the exact same light that illuminated Willow, but now the shadows cast are hard and bisecting-- the faces
and forms of both men are largely in darkness, which now surrounds the frame that they are centered in.
Treachery is afoot, and the level of the impending deceit is doubly emphasized by both the deep shadow and the
fact that Giles and Wood are still ëbeneath youí in the basement, while everyone else has returned upstairs.

In Spikeís second ëvisioní, we return to his home, but in the time period after William has been sired by Drusilla.
Dru is present with him in the house, and William is relating to her how they will ravage Europe, and wreak
vengeance onto all the ëelitistsí who wanted to put ëthemí (him) down. This statement reinforces the previously
suggested idea that William and his family were pretty much either ëcommonersí, or else lived on the low side of
the upper class. Perhaps Anne was a commoner who married a man of means (or vice versa), and so in the eyes
of upper class society, he was a sociological bastard. This would also fit in with Cecilyís demeaning remark that
William was ëbeneath herí, and the utter disdain shown for his attempts at ëartí through his poetry.

William ever-so-casually mentions to Dru that he intends to bring his mother with them on their bloody rampage,
which, rather amusingly, Dru finds distressing when she realizes that he doesnít mean as a food source. Over the
years of the show, we have seen quite a range of vampiric behavior, from the purely animalistic to the reasonable
civilized (by vamp standards, anyway). William is remarkable in that his change into a ëcreature of the nightí has
made him lose absolutely none of his love for his mother. He wants to sire her, both to cure her of her deadly
illness, and give her eternal life, so that he can be with her always, and she him. It never occurs to him that she
might not want this, but then why would it?

From a technical standpoint, I admired the wonderful costuming and makeup work on Juliet Landau, who was
also fully back into her intensely creepy, early-BtVS reading of Drusilla as perched on that blade-edge between
insanity and intelligence. One of the best subtle camera shots of the entire ep took place off to the side of the
frame when William is approaching his mother to tell her of the joys of his conversion, and what it would mean
for her to join him in eternal life. While the main lensing action focusses on William and Anne, Drusilla begins to
ever so slowly rub her abdomen in a circular fashion-- not her stomach, but the area below, over her uterus. I
donít know if this bit was Furyís idea or some ad-lib by Landau, but it was one of the most oddly chilling things I
have seen in a long time on this series. I had to wonder, whatever was she thinking at that moment? That as
William was a childe to her siring, that Williamís mother was to be a childe to him? Wasnít there a previous
scene in an earlier AtS concerning Darla being both grandmother and child to Dru at the same time? Of course,
just a short while before this moment, Dru delivered the line ìIím the other that gave birth to your son.î
The ëotherí, indeed.

We are now at the scene where Buffy and Giles are walking through one of the Sunnydale cemetaries. Earlier
this week, another reviewer had already remarked about the strange ëbeautyí in this shot, with its long shadows
and muted moonlight colors, a scene that should be making the viewer uneasy, but instead seems
remarkably familiar and oddly comforting. I have to agree with this-- I had much the same reaction, which I
strongly suspect has to do with the long term relationship, and the trust within that relationship, between Buffy
and her father-figure Giles. Of course, we know that in reality Giles has finally stepped over the line and is
actively trying to deceive his ëdaughterí, so the comfort and familiarity is yet another visual lie paralleling the
literal one being enacted. This portion of Lies conjures up the episode Helpless, at least in terms
of the level of betrayal, but even back then, Giles was dealing with the conflict between following the traditions
of the Watcherís Council and simultaneously trying to protect the interests of the young woman under his care.
In the end, his love of Buffy triumphed over his desire to be a ëgood soldierí. In this case, years later, he seems to
be totally subservient to ëthe greater goodí as he perceives it to be.

As she did in the first stages of the events of Helpless, Buffy knows no clear reason at this point to
mistrust Giles. She understands what he is trying to tell her, although it is frustratingly clear to us that he does
not understand that she understands
. The statement Buffy makes about ìthe way that Iíve been treating my
friends, the potentials, Andrew?î is incredibly revealing, but Giles isnít trying to listen, heís trying to dictate.
Buffy obviously feels incredibly guilty about the hardships sheís imposed on her friends and the protos and the
callous way she has sometimes treated them over the last few weeks. She is still trying to work out a balance
between being the general and the chaplain.

But Giles keeps hammering the point, and then finally the new Cruciamentum test is revealed. Giles drives Buffy
into revealing a truth that she desperately wanted to keep to herself, an ugly truth that surely was her
justifiable right to keep to herself, buried deeply away in her mind, because the pain it involved was her
own cross to bear, not anyone elseís. She doesnít understand why her ëfatherí is so insistent on hearing her say it
aloud, making it ërealí, but she trusts that there must be a good reason, so she relents:

Buffy: We've had this conversation before, Giles. When I told you I wouldn't sacrifice Dawn to stop
Glory from destroying the world.

Giles: Things are different now, aren't they? After what you've been through. Knowing what you're up
against. Faced with the same choice now... you'd let her die.

Buffy: If I have to. To save the world... (quietly) Yes.

Now, I think that this sequence stunned many long term viewers because they felt that Buffy has really changed,
become so hardened that she would now be willing to do what she would not before. I disagree with this
interpretation, because I have maintained all along since the time that The Gift first aired that Buffy
would have sacrificed Dawn if there was absolutely no other choice. Buffy has always been able
to make the hard decision when there is no other recourse, but not until that point has been reached. This
is the salient difference between her worldview and the ethical pragmatism Giles is espousing (or Wesley, or even
her dark counterpart Faith on many similar occasions). They want to head off the problem at the soonest
opportunity, even if the costs for doing so are very high in terms of the ëcollateral damageí. Buffy detests this
type of ëexpediencyí-- for her the human and moral costs are primary. Sacrificing Dawn, even to save the world,
represents a moral failure of the worst sort to Buffy-- she has committed a fundamental and irredeemable act of
evil, even though another greater evil may have been defeated by doing so.

Be that as it may, Buffy isnít a pie-in-the-sky idealist, by any means. In fact, under conditions that are less
apocalypse-worthy, she is often very selfishly pragmatic herself, sometimes too much so. This does not render
her unheroic, it merely renders her human. What makes Buffy superhuman isnít her physical strength or healing
abilities, itís a moral core that can be bent but not broken- - something that is exceedingly rare. It is why I believe
that had Buffy sacrificed Dawn in The Gift, or even allowed Dawn to sacrifice herself as she intended,
Buffy would have joined her in death. ( ìThe last thing sheíll see is me protecting her.î ) To Buffyís way
of thinking, this would be only just and fitting in light of her ëfailureí.

I have to think that a large part of what so assiduously presses Giles to pry this ëtruthí out of Buffy is his own
feelings of inferiority in this aspect. As such, this scene is far more revealing about Gilesí weakness then it
is about Buffyís (supposed) one. In the original shooting script, Giles revealed that he was the one who killed
Glory by killing Ben. Iíll reprint that portion here so that you can gain the context, although as you know, it did
not make it into the final aired version of the show.

Giles: You want Spike here even after what he's done to you in the past?

Buffy: It's different. He has a soul now.

Giles: Yes, and The First seems to be exploiting it to his advantage.

Buffy: Exactly. The First's doing this. Spike's innocent.

Giles: So was Ben.

Buffy: Ben?

Giles: (with difficulty) He was a human being, after all. Forced, his whole life, to share his mortal form
with a demi-god from a hell-dimension.

Buffy: Glory. I know. What does that have to do--

Giles: Ben was oblivious to the atrocities Glory committed. No more responsible for her crimes than
Spike is to his, when triggered. Glory was invincible, impossible to kill... Ben was not. So after you defeated her.
After you left Ben lying there. Alive. I made a decision. One that you couldn't.

Buffy: Giles...

Giles: I put my hand over his mouth. And as he struggled, weakly... I smothered him. Because it had to
be done. (looks at Buffy) He was a liability.

( Buffy's eyes go wide as she starts to put it together. )

Buffy: Oh god... You've been stalling me. Keeping me away--

Giles: Buffy, it's time to stop playing the role of a general and start being one.

( Buffy stares at him in shock, then turns and runs... )

Giles: (calls after her) This is the way wars are won.

--- ( Continued in Part III ) ---

[> [> The Doctor is *In* - Thoughts on *Lies My Parents Told Me* - Pt. III -- OnM, 16:13:46 04/13/03 Sun

--- ( Continued from Part II ) ---

While Gilesí diversionary tactic has been taking place, Wood and Spike have entered into Woodís ësanctuaryí.
Spike has been feeling a certain degree of unease around this new proto-Scooby for some time now, and his
instincts turn out to be all too correct. Wood, like Giles, does not see subterfuge as wrong if there is a greater
good to be served. Again, this isnít inherently wrong in an absolute sense, itís all about the particulars of
the subterfuge. What we do see here is that his proposal to Giles to assist in killing Spike wasnít just a spur of
the moment thought that occurred to him in the Summersí basement after the de-triggering failure. The garage
wall space filled with crosses, the computer set up to download/play the trigger tune, the brass-knuckle-like
fighting accoutrements kept in the desk drawer-- this was a planned act, and planned very carefully in advance.

Itís very hard not to blame Wood for this. There is no question that Spike killed his mother. After being
confronted with this fact, Spike even calmly and accurately states that ìIíve killed a lot of peopleís
. What Spike views as a simple statement of inarguable fact, Wood sees as additional proof of
Spikeís callousness and indifference to suffering. Wood may be correct on the face of his observation, but as with
Giles lecturing Buffy about the need for expediency in battle, he does not get-- or want to get-- that Neo-Spike is
not completely congruent with his perceptions. Wood and Giles are both emotionally raging below their calm
exteriors-- but who contains the greater demon inside at this moment? Buffy and Spike, to different degress, are
working to master their demons, both literal and figurative, and have made gradual progress in doing so. Giles
and Wood have steadily lost ground to theirs.

Itís striking to me that so many different persons/entities want Spike to be evil, for various reasons. The
First Evil wants Spike to be evil because it suits its greater plan, whatever that ultimately is. Giles wants Spike to
be evil so he can feel justified in killing him for the ëgreater goodí, and because he sees Spike as being a negative
influence on his ëdaughterí. Robin Wood wants Spike to be evil so he can exact just revenge for his motherís
death at Spikeís hands.

The latter belief becomes clearly revealed with Woodís quiet exclamation of ìThere you areî after
playing the trigger song on the computer and seeing the feral, demonic visage appear on Spike. (I liked that this
brought back memories of Drusilla saying the same thing after she succeeded-- at least temporarily-- in bringing
back ëthe bad dogí in a previous season). Wood has understandable difficulty in killing the Spike who seems to
be Buffyís comrade in arms (in more ways than one), but once the demon is set free, that difficulty vanishes.
Watching this, I couldnít help but think of that intensely annoying phrase used by certain other righteous
individuals, namely ìHate the sin, love the sinner.î I keep coming back to the thought that this particular
ode must have been the seminal brain-child of the Inquisition and/or other ëGod-fearingí doublethinkers who
figured that torturing witches and heretics was really entirely for the benefit of the miserable and mutilated
victims and not for their own pleasure or political gain.

Well, Spike did say that Woodís sanctuary was a place where he could ìLet your hair down-- so to
. By the way, the references to traditional, patriarchical religions show up in other places than the
collection of crosses on the walls. A wonderfully clever touch was the circular mouse pad at Woodís computer
station, its concentric circles conjuring up reflections of the spiral pattern on the floor of the Shadowmenís cave
in Get It Done., and fusing it with the modern age. While I would be astounded if anyone at ME actually
thought of this, the spiral on the Shadowmenís cave floor vs. the concentric circles on the mouse pad made me
think of the difference in the way music is stored on a vinyl (analog) recording vs. the concentric tracks/sectors
of a hard drive or CD-ROM used in a computer. Another contrast bewteen the old and the new, the traditional
and the contemporary? ( Handcrafted bindings, not ones and zeros. )

The ME art department and the cinematographer continued their excellent work with this scene. Notice that the
light shining on the crosses becomes noticably more intense when they are behind Wood. One shot in
particular places Robin in front of a large, ornate cross that in turn is in front of a glass block window. The blue
gel used to tint the light from the window places him in a sort of halo or aura that visually suggests the
ërighteousí nature of his battle with Spike.

I canít say enough about the skilled editing work in this episode, and especially in this last act. The cuts between
the Buffy/Giles sequence, the William/DemonAnne sequence and the fight in Woodís garage were perfect, with
split-second timing. All of the various prior tensions/oppositions come down to balance over this main fulcrum,
but in the end, has the balance shifted in any definitive way, or has there merely been the rearranging of conflicts
into new forms?

As Buffy realizes that she has been deceived, she frantically runs off to Woodís house to see if Spike has been
harmed. As she arrives, Spike is leaving, obviously beaten up but still ëaliveí and even in possession of his leather
coat. Is Wood dead, as the previous scene seemed to imply?

No, he still lives, as Spike explains, pushing the door open to reveal the equally battered man painfully struggling
to sit up against the garage wall inside. ìI gave him a pass, because I killed his mum. But thatís all he
Spike tells the shocked Buffy, with Woodís secret revealed to her at last. Spike wanders off and Buffy
goes to help Wood to his feet, then she notices all the crosses on the wall, and pulls back, dismayed at yet
another layer of betrayal. This wasnít a fight picked on a momentís notice, in the heat of anger, it was obviously
well pre-planned and coldly executed with a deliberate attempt made to keep her out of the picture. First Giles,
and now another potential mentor and friend have done the unthinkable.

Anyone who disputes what I said earlier about Buffy having not given in to her ëgeneralissimoí side should
consider that she displays genuine compassion for Robin Wood despite his actions. She is perceptive enough to
understand that under normal circumstances Woodís desire to kill Spike as revenge for killing his mother is
eminently reasonable. She relates the story of her own motherís death, and how profoundly it affected her, to
show Wood that she has been there too. But at the same time, she makes it very clear that she is in charge here,
and not Wood. Wood tries to defend himself and his actions, but with the utmost of calm and deadly assurance
Buffy sets the record straight:

Buffy: I lost my mom a couple years ago. I came home and found her dead on the couch.

Wood: (softly): I'm sorry.

Buffy: I understand... what you tried to do. But she's dead. He killed her.

Wood: She got herself killed.

Buffy: And none of it matters. We're preparing to fight a war, and you're looking for revenge on a man
who doesn't exist anymore.

Wood: Don't delude yourself. That man still exists.

Buffy: Spike's the strongest warrior I have, and we need him if we're going to get through this alive.

(a long beat)

Buffy: If you try anything again, he's going to kill you, but more importantly, I'm going to let

(Wood looks down -- he can't bring himself to meet her gaze.)

Buffy: I have a mission: to win this war, save the world. I don't have time for your vendettas.

(She turns her back on him, begins to walk away.)

Buffy: The mission's what matters.

Whew. Now that is the essence of horror, if ever there was such. The horror genre as a whole, be it literary or
cinematic, has always been about the fundamental interplay between life and death, power and morality. As
sentient beings caught between the spiritual and the animal sectors of our nature, we seek either guidance, or
catharsis, or at minimum recognition by others of these conflicting desires.

It is very clear, at least at this moment in time, where Buffy stands on the issue. After the scene above, which in a
lesser effort would have been the point where we fade to black, show over, we instead cut to a scene in Dawnís
bedroom, with Buffy seated by her, reaching out to caress her cheek while she sleeps. It may be The Mission that
matters, but Buffy is still clearly in touch with the spiritual side of her humanity. When she rises to leave the
room, Giles is there at the door (yes, the door metaphor again-- continuity prevails, still far more often than not
at ME) and again misunderstanding the circumstances, attempts to be the ëwise and experiencedí teacher once

And Buffy closes the door in his face. End of show, cut to credits.

Again, whew. Writing all this down here just reminds me once again why I have come to place this episode as
one of the very best of this season, and among the best of the entire series. It gets better and better every time I
watch it again, the sure sign of a classic.

So, time for my own last act of this already very long review. If youíre still with me here, thanks-- I just felt
kinda linear this week and in the mood for an extended ramble.

Each week, I typically cutínípaste a number of ep-relevant comments from other Jossverse fans into my WP and
use them to help organize my thoughts. Sometimes the organization is in response to an agreement with what
someone else has written, at other times itís because of a disagreement. Most of the comments I wanted to make
about Lies My Parents Told Me were woven in with the main body of this review, but there are still a few
remaining items I would like to talk about or respond to that I think are important. Iíve decided just to list the
comments by others, and then add my own thoughts before or after. Iíll start with this excerpt from the very fine
Buffyverse reviewer wwolfe, where I was struck by how perfectly he nailed the ambient emotive feelings the
Buffy/Giles opening graveyard scene visuals evoked in my own interpretation.

~ ~ ~

As we approach the end of the show, unexpected moments may catch our attention. In Lies My Parents Told
, there is a scene - one of dozens, if not hundreds, of similar scenes from the past seven seasons - in which
Giles and Buffy walk through a graveyard late at night. The second time I watched this episode, I was struck by
what a strangely beautiful sight this has always been: the rich green of the grass, the muted gray of the
headstones, the deep velvet black of the night, and the two figures in long shot, walking through the hushed,
reverent stillness of the setting. In a small way, this is a good example of what has made the show special: in the
back of our minds, we've always been aware that, in the midst of all the hurly-burly, Buffy has a quiet,
fundamentally serious center. And, conversely, even in this deeply solemn location, slapstick inevitably intrudes.

............ wwolfe, The West Coast Review: Lies My Parents Told Me, 04/01/03

~ ~ ~

(OnM): Hereís one where I think Malandanza gets it right, or pretty darn close. We really donít know much of
anything about the man who raised Robin Wood after his mother, Nikki, was killed, so in all honesty it may be
very presumptuous to presume what Mal is stating is true. However, the parallels to Holtz on AtS are ripe for
the picking. One of the things that made Holtz such a realistic and often sympathetic villain was that you could
perfectly understand where he was coming from, just like you could with Robin and Spike. Each of these men
were deeply wounded by the tragic events in their lives, and despair feeds demons. If Crowley also happened to
be Robinís father... But weíll never likely know, will we?

~ ~ ~

*** He was raised by his mother's Watcher, who, if he favors the other Watchers we've seen, isn't big into the
emotional side of life. Crowley raised a warrior, not a son. ***

I'll go a little further -- Crowley raised a tool for vengeance, not a warrior.

Remember in Fool for Love that Buffy cannot find any accounts of why the previous slayers died. Giles
explains that the Watchers likely found it too painful to write down the final account of the slayer they had
trained, sometimes since birth, and who died by their command. That Crowley was traumatized [by] Nikki's
death is clear from his subsequent resignation. My guess is that most of Wood's obsession with killing vampires
was built carefully into his personality by a vengeful watcher obsessed with his own failure.

............ Malandanza, in response to HonorH, 03/26/03

~ ~ ~

(OnM): (cough) Daddy issues... (cough)

~ ~ ~

In all the overwhelmingness of finally finding out what William's deal with his mother was, and Wood's deal with
his mother, I think Buffy and her daddy issues have gotten lost by the wayside. (...)

I think the final shot of the episode, of Buffy closing her bedroom door in Giles's face, was pretty definitive and
parallels, in an odd way, Spike's new understanding that his mother did, indeed, love him. Both have given up
their reliance on the opinion and regard of their opposite- sex "parent" and made it clear that, for better or worse,
they are independent adults--that they have free will. William goes back to his mother after he is vamped in the
belief that he can make his happy childhood last forever now, without the fear that his mother will die. (...) Buffy
going to the graveyard to train with Giles is, again, a return to the past, a recapitulation of the days when she
needed to train with him, when he was her authority figure and trusted "father." (...)

I also think it's interesting that the two who betray her in this episode are Buffy's "superiors." Giles is her
Watcher, Wood is, at the end of the day, her boss. Her relationship with Wood has charted an interesting
course--originally, he was just her boss, the guy who gave her a job when she really needed one. When he
revealed that he was a Slayer's son, they moved to a relationship of equals, comrades-in-arms. Now Buffy is the
General, and by the end of the episode, she has made it clear to Wood that she outranks him. There's more than
just Wood's desire to avenge his mother going on here--the alliance between Giles and Wood is an alliance of
male superiors who feel that their authority over The Girl is threatened by her increasing competence and power.
It's also significant, I think, that Wood approaches Giles in his role as Buffy's Watcher. (...)

............ leslie, 03/26/03

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(OnM): OK, now here is where some other like-minded folks save me a whole lotta writiní! When I saw
Lies for the very first time, I immediately thought about the connection between Nikkiís dilemma
as a Slayer with a child and the ubiquitous realverse situation of single mothers (or parents, for that matter) and
how they often get treated as second class citizens by those who are lucky enough to be paired up and/or
economically fortunate. As brief as her total time onscreen in the Buffyverse has been, I saw Nikki as clearly
trying to make the best of a totally unwinnable scenario, and I do want to emphasize the word
unwinnable. Going back to my much earlier comics tangent, I hereby recall the immortal words
of Mammy Yokum from Liíl Abner:

Good always triumphs over Evil because itís nicer.

Yeahm, uh-huh. Donít we wish. But then, when I was a child, I didnít realize that the comics could carry a
political subtext along with the funny looking characters, let alone that the subtext might not be what it first
appears. And BTW, some very good friends of mine who live in northern PA home-schooled their children not
for religious reasons, as is often the case, but precisely because they both had horrible experiences growing up in
public schools. Do they blame the public schools per se? No, they blame the failure of the American political
system for treating children according to the class structures ëthat donít existí.

Yeahm, uh-huh.

~ ~ ~

*** And a Slayer who takes her child on patrol, where she executes strategic distractions, has a very strange
parental thing going on. Did she figure that when she went, she wanted Robin to go with her - like Spike and
Mommy? It was just dumb luck that when Spike did kill her, Robin wasn't there as dessert. ***

On the basis of one short scene, you appear to conclude;

(1) that Nikki was on patrol,
(2) that Nikki routinely took Robin with her on patrol,
(3) that Nikki trained Robin to fight with her,
(4) that Nikki wanted Robin to die with her.

There is nothing in this scene to dispute such conclusions, but I see such conclusions as extremely cynical. I don't
think that we know whether Nikki was on patrol or not. Spike was pretty clear that he sought out Nikki, not the
other way. I certainly don't think that we know that Nikki routinely takes Robin on patrol, only that she trained
him well on what to do if vampires ever attacked.

It is true that Robin distracted Spike (though I think that tactical would be a better description), but it wasn't the
distraction for which Nikki praised Robin. She praised him for hiding, and staying hidden, when the vampire
attacked. The distraction may have been inspired, or it may have been a stumble of shock -- we don't know. I
don't believe that we can conclude that Nikki specifically trained Robin to perform such maneuvers.

And finally, just how do you conclude that Nikki wanted Robin to die with her? That goes beyond cynical. There
are some parents who are truly mentally diseased, who want death for their children. They, thankfully, are few
and far between. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, in this scene to suggest that Nikki had a death wish
for Robin.

Nikki's only mistake (if such could be said at all) was in keeping the child in the first place. She couldn't
completely shield Robin from her mission and its consequential collateral damage, any more than Buffy could
shield Dawn. Nikki loved Robin so much that she couldn't bear to give him up, so she attempted to give him the
tools to maximize his chances of survival. Some might suggest that Nikki was selfish for not giving up the child. I
would suggest that safety is completely relative.

What one person considers an acceptible risk for their child may be considered negligence by the next person. If I
were to have a child today, I wouldn't even consider risking the child with the public school system. I detest
public schools for the way they treated me, my wife, and my step daughter. And yet, millions of parents see no
problem with sending their children. So, what does it mean to keep your child safe? What level of risk constitutes
safety? Was Nikki a bad person for attempting to raise a child? If so, who gets to draw the line?

I stand in awe in the diverse reactions people can take from a simple scene such as this. I saw a metaphor for the
single mother who was trapped by circumstance, trying to do the best for the child she loved in a world which is
giving her no good choices. Spike is a teller of lies of the worst sort, and he always has been (The Yoko Factor
for instance). He uses truths to tell his lies. It is true that Nikki didn't give up the mission in favor of Robin, but
she understood that she could not give up the mission. There was only one slayer and she was it. In order to call
a new slayer to replace her, she would have to die. If she quit, then there would be no slayer to protect the
world. Nikki was screwed by circumstance, and yet it appears that Nikki still gets the blame -- compassion be

............ Robert, 03/26/03

~ ~ ~

(...) Robin rejects the idea of going to Crowley, he wants to be with his mother. How natural ñ he loves his
mother and wants her attention as any child does. That doesnít mean that she has denied him for her mission ñ
she has managed to keep both of them alive in the time that she has been a slayer. She has tried to make
motherhood and a career work. And single motherhood at that (since Robin was not subsequently raised by his
father but his watcher).

Nikki is starting to sound more and more heroic to me all the time. Anyone who knows a single mother trying to
work, whether she is a single mother through the death of a spouse, divorce or other reasons, knows what a
struggle it is, how difficult it is and how you can feel pulled in so many directions at the same time. Weíve seen a
little of this in Buffyís attempt to keep things together after her motherís death. While motherhood is indeed a
very special role that a woman can take on, a woman is not just a mother. There are other parts to her identity
that she must express. Many woman have a vocation that they must continue or suffer from great unhappiness
for not fulfilling their potential. Some must continue in their work while being mothers for material necessity. A
mother must balance her own needs with those of her child. A mother will never be able to fulfill a childís every
need, but one of the things that she can teach a child by her own example is how to grow and become your own
person and fulfill your potential. I thought Nikki was doing that with Robin. [With William] we see the
consequences of a mother who devotes herself completely to her child ñ that again is not necessarily healthy.

But Nikki was stopped from being with her child because of Spikeís ë one good dayí. Not from her death wish.
The death wish was Spikeís and later Buffyís. But just because the hurt child within Spike wanted to kill the dark
mother and her external manifestations does not mean that the slayers he killed wanted to die. And certainly not
Nikki, who had her son to live for. Spike may have been right about himself (his 'killing' wish) and Buffy (her
death wish). We just donít have enough evidence to suggest that Nikki had a death wish.

............ Caroline, 04/03/03

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

(OnM): I have mentioned this before in several prior posts, but my thinking on Nikkiís death is that it closely
parallels what Buffy did for Dawn in The Gift, minus the saving the world part of course. For whatever
reason, I think that Nikki felt certain that if not now, then at sometime in the future this Spike creature--
obviously obsessed with her for some demonic reason-- would get the better of her and cause her death. If this
happened, her son could be killed also. I donít think that Nikki took Robin on patrol with her, but when Spike
attacked her in the scene we saw in Lies, she realized that there was only so much she could ever do to
protect him. After all, if Robin hadnít distracted Spike by knocking over the tarsh can, Nikki could have been
dead right then and there. This had to affect her thinking beyond that point.

When the two fighters met again on the subway, Nikki may have allowed Spike to kill her, knowing that
if she was dead, Crowley could take Robin and move away, thus protecting him far better then she ever would be
able too, no matter how good her intentions. It may be a horrific Slayer-universe version of giving your child up
for adoption, but it makes sense, and indeed Robin survived and grew to adulthood.
Nikki knew that another Slayer would be called after she died, and so the beat goes on.

This also works knowing Furyís vision of what he believes should constitute Spikeís psychology. Spike
tells Buffy in Fool for Love that Slayers all have a death wish. Does Spike believe this? Quite likely, but
that doesnít make it true, and in fact by the end of FFL Spike is proven wrong, and even admits it slightly

(Spike is loading a shotgun as Harmony pleads with him not to go after Buffy, that sheíll only kill him or worse).

Spike: Hasnít got a death wish? (He snaps the shotgun shut loudly) Bitch wonít need

Ironically, Nikkiís ëdeath wishí was not about wanting to experience death for herself, but about giving life to her
child. Spike gets to be correct in the literal sense, but totally wrong in the reality. Just like Giles thinks he
understands what Buffy is really thinking regarding Dawn, and gets it wrong, so does Spike as regards Nikki.

Speaking of Spike as ëtruth-tellerí, the jury is still out on his opinion as to whether or not his own mother truly
loved him, but for the record I do think he is right on this one. His mother did love him, perhaps a bit too much
for his own good, but in her own way she was only looking to protect him, the same as Joyce did with Buffy,
Buffy with Dawn, and Nikki with Robin. Granted that I am basing this conclusion on the brief moment when
Anne reappears before him, the kindly, loving look back on her face, before she turns to dust, but since this is not
the typical way that we see vamps dematerialize I have to assume it was intended to convey this impression.

~ ~ ~

(OnM): Now, next to finally, this last bit, not directly related to this ep, but interesting nevertheless because of
the comments re: Dave Fury. Enjoy!

~ ~ ~

Allyson: Iím so glad you called, I had nothing to write. I would have had to make stuff up.

Doug Petrie: Itís not unheard of, you could still make stuff up.

Allyson: Yeah, but I promised an interview with you, Iíd have to make stuff up about you.

Doug: Thatís okay, too.

Allyson: So this is it? Youíre done? Home now? Office cleaned out?

Doug: Itís so traumatic, I still have the other half of my posters to take down, but yeah, this is it, itís
over. Iím sad, but Iím relieved

Allyson: Why relieved?

Doug: Fandom, itís crazy, sometimes. I get Furyís hatemail. Heís always pushing peopleís buttons.

Allyson: What are the secrets of David Fury?

Doug: Donít back down. Puff out your chest and hand his attitude right back to him.

Allyson: Now you tell me. I wish I had known that four years ago.

(More laughter, more of my sycophantic adoration. We wonít go there.)

Allyson: Do you check out the posting boards for reactions after your episodes air?

Doug: No, not really. Itís all either youíre a God or you need to be destroyed, right now. Not good for
the ego. I really love going to the Posting Board Party, and meeting the fans, though.

............ Allyson, from ìPetrie Dish: Interview with Doug Petrieî, 3/27/2003

~ ~ ~

And there we be, gentle (and probably exhausted) readers-- all I can think of for now. While as usual there is no
final conclusion to be drawn, only a pause in the long, continuing journey, I will remark in summation that:

Giles is definitely crabbier than Lucy van Pelt, Spike may or may not be DemonLinus, but the top of Buffyís
dresser is reasonably clean.

25 cents, please.


[> [> [> *** Spoilers *** for B7.17 (obviously) and a few here and there for earlier eps. -- OnM, 16:21:56 04/13/03 Sun

Plus some occasional bleeding-heart liberalism. Sue me. I'm too poor to get anything from anyway.


[> [> [> [> Bleeding-heart liberal or not-- -- HonorH, 16:34:39 04/13/03 Sun

This is one heck of a review. I agree with absolutely every word of it and have nothing to add. Therefore, I will now shut up.

[> [> [> [> Demons Feed Despair -- Haecceity, 19:03:33 04/13/03 Sun

Lovely as ever, OnM. On a personal note: How often do you have to replace your keyboard from wear and tear? :)

I haven't much to add to the discussion, actually. I've been away for awhile--the demands of class and employment are simply too much these days between the rigors of lessons in Mystery: Ancient and Modern and the research project that would not die--but I do try to dip in for a read every now and then. I doubly appreciate your posts for just that reason--you manage to synthesize a vast number of threads into something cohesive and well-balanced and, though long, much shorter than two pages of threads which sing their siren songs as I mutter ìmust finish that *&$#@! paper firstî and dutifully stuff beeswax in my ears. I promise I will get to them some day, but not likely till May! Threads, that is. The papers are due first.

So I haven't anything new or different to add in the whole Mummy/Daddy Issue department, or even the single parenthood gig, but that line, "despair feeds demons" in your post jumped out at me and I'd like to bat it around a bit. I'm wondering if this is the point of the Buffyverse. Of course the whole "puns in the face of danger" bit is fun and certainly a reason for the show's artistic and popular success, but maybe there's something more intrinsic to it. Maybe the only thing that can save us in the face of horror and despair is humor.

Because it wouldnít be a post from me without at least an ounce of quotageó

******But first! Taking a page from you and that premature Norman:
ìIf youíre evil and you know it, quote something!
If youíre evil and you know it, quote something!
If youíre evil and you know it,
Then your source will surely show it!
If youíre evil and you know it, quote something!********

ìNo human life which is lived consciously can forever evade all unimaginable realities. Humor is not the only solution of the dilemma between unimaginable facts and the limits of our imagination, but it is an important one. It distorts the facts, but it does not distort them at random. It does not lead to a bewilderment of human consciousness, but to a new acceptance of the unimaginable, and yet inescapable, reality. True humor always concerns matters of ultimate importance. What is comical in this profound way suddenly opens a vista on matters of a most incomprehensible or unacceptable nature.î ñKees W. Bolle, The Freedom of Man in Myth

ìAgainst a joke thereís no argument.î ñFranz Kafka

ìThatíll put marzipan in your pie plate, bingo!î ñBuffybot

Someone here posted on the forgettable nature of epiphanies. In true high ironic fashion, Iíve forgotten who it was, but I do remember the profundity of that notion. Itís long been a pet theory of mine that we live our lives in concentric circlesóeverything comes ëround again and itís only at those points where the circles meet that we catch a glimpse of the enormity of our existenceóbut the circles continue, widening, as we travel familiar paths in unfamiliar worlds, and it is the nature of journeys to begin with a loss, which is only a different kind of remembering.

One epiphany that seems to have been truly left in the dust is last yearís Buffy/Giles cathartic gigglefest. After a long hard slog through the deepening despair of season six, this unquestionably funny abandonment of high seriousness was, I think, the true point at which Buffy crawled out of her grave. All the running about and hack ën slash afterwards was just toppingóBuffy gained back her confidence when she remembered how to laugh. There have been moments of funny on the show this season, but how many of them have been experienced *by the characters*? When did they last laugh? And how significant is it that he of the giddy giggling in the face of last yearís revelations, is the one to quash any lightening of mood this year? And that the FE creeps into those heart-places where despair lies deep? And what will happen when we reach that point where the circles come 'round and the past, present and future rush into each other?

I am truly hoping that this yearís finale is not only a genuine love-fest, but that *everyoneís* Jar Oí Humor catches a marble at high speed.

Rambling. Check.
Disjointed. Check.
Any point to be found will have to be searched for. Check.
Quotage. Check.
Thatís it, think Iím done.

wishing fervently that OnM were available to summarize daily life, 'cause quite frankly somedays I could use a primer and some cool music:)

[> [> [> [> Bravo !! Great Analysis. -- Artemis, 20:08:16 04/13/03 Sun

I especially loved your analysis of the relationship between Buffy and Giles as well as how Giles has arrived at the emotional place is in now. Also thank you for including some of the post that I missed which defend Nikki,including your own thoughts. I have never understood the assumption that Nikki was a bad mother, based on the scenes we have been given.
Great read.

[> [> [> [> [> Ooops - -- Darby, 06:09:32 04/14/03 Mon

I know I wasn't the only one to kind of blame Nikki (the unattributed quote in Robert's quote was mine), but in my defense I would like to point out that by the time of my Revisited post I had a chance to say that I had largely changed my mind. And I never doubted that Spike was wrong about both his mother (not meaning what the vamp said) and Robin's (not loving him).

But I still think an unconscious desire to take Robin with her when she went has a neat-but-creepy symmetry.

Interesting post.

Lil Abner was blatantly conservative? I may have been too young to pick up on it, but I seem to remember it as being all over the map in who it satirized.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: L'il Abner -- OnM, 07:00:54 04/14/03 Mon

*** Lil Abner was blatantly conservative? I may have been too young to pick up on it, but I seem to remember it as being all over the map in who it satirized. ***

As always, time does not permit too much expansion on certain themes I touched on in the review (not to mention that the whole darn thing was long enough already!), but actually this point could be arguable.

You are correct in that, as a satirist, Al Capp did indeed cover a wide variety of topics in the years that he did the strip. I read it when I was between the ages of roughly 5 and 15, and found it was getting sort of repetitive after that.

I admit that I didn't think of the strip as being 'conservative' until years later when I read stories about Capp and what his personal politics really were. Looking at the series from this perspective, certain contextural things began to stand out that I had never paid much attention to before, such as the apparent contempt for the working class and intense distrust of the federal government ("There is no Jack S. like our Jack S." -- referring to the senator from Dogpatch, Jack S. Fogbound).

Think about it-- L'il Abner's career choice was as a mattress tester. Essentially, he slept all day for money. What does this say about the American working class? Or take the quote that I paraphrased in my review, Mammy Yokum's "Good's better'n Evil 'cos it's nicer". Wouldn't this be the type of thing a conservative would envision a mindless, 'bleeding-heart, pie-in-the-sky' liberal of saying?

Then there were the schmoos, little Casper the Friendly ghost-ish sort of creatures who loved nothing better than to sacrifice themselves for anything anybody wanted them to, no questions asked.

It's been a very long time since I last read anything about Capp's proclivities. it might be interesting to do a little Googling and some study about him. In the meantime, anyone who disagress or has other info to present on Capp or any other comics pages political satirists, do jump in. It's two whole days 'til the next new Buffy ep!


By the way, Darby, I originally did attribute your quote, but before posting decided not to since I did not have the time to read the entire original thread in question, and wanted to avoid:

A. The possibility of taking the quote of of context, and...

B. Suggesting you were the only one with this opinion, obviously you were not.

So, the idea was to make a specific statement into a general one for the purposes of discussion. If you feel this was inappropriate, I apologize. Editing is hard, as somebody just said a short while ago!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, no... -- Darby, 07:11:48 04/14/03 Mon

I just figured you were being considerate - since both Robert's quote and your expansion criticized the opinion (and the mini-quote was embedded), it seemed reasonable to not attribute it. I just figured I needed to if I was going to 'fess up to changing my mind. I don't mind having made the original assertion, though - it got lots of interesting discussion going. Sorry if it pushed anybody's buttons. But then, I always am - and always seem to keep being able to do it...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Mammy Yokum -- CW, 08:02:21 04/14/03 Mon

Mammy Yokum representing a bleeding-heart liberal? Yipe! I always got the feeling that she was a crustier version of Al Capp himself. After all, she was the one who always got the last say.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Capp's politics -- luna, 12:42:08 04/14/03 Mon

Evidently (though I couldn't quickly find what I consider reputable sources), Capp's politics shifted during the 60's. Here's from Wikipedia (what's that?):

In the '60s, Capp's politics swung from liberal to conservative, and he began spoofing counterculture icons instead of big business types. He became a popular speaker on college campuses during the era, attacking anti-war protesters and demonstrators.

Here's a quote from the man himself:

I had grown up in the days when anybody who ate regularly (the upper class) felt no responsibility for the poor souls who didn't, and helped them only out of human kindness. As I grew into the upper class, I became a liberal. We demanded that the unfortunate be given welfare, that their rent be paid, that they be given food benefits. We fought for all that, and slowly, painfully, we won. It was marvelous being a liberal in those days, because you were on the side of humanity.

What began to bother me, privately, was that, as things grew better, the empire of the needy seemed to grow larger. Somehow they became entitled to government gifts other people couldn't get, such as people who worked. Yet I remained a loyal liberal. I lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the home of liberalism. I spoke at liberal banquets in New York, Los Angeles, Washington. One day a lady photographer came to my studio and showed me a collection of Boston photographs. A publisher would publish them if only I would rattle off the captions. She had brought a tape recorder. Well, one doesn't turn down a lady liberal. The pictures were funny. My captions tried to be. And then we came to the last one. This one, she said, will break your heart. She showed me a picture of a city street. It was mid-afternoon, the sun was shining. Garbage cans were tipped on the sidewalk. Bottles lined the gutters. On a porch sprawled a half dozen teenagers, drinking and smoking. The caption, I said, should be "Get up off your asses and clean up your street!" The lady stormed out. I guess that was when I began leaving what liberalism had become.

[> [> [> [> On a completely trivial note -- ponygirl, 08:18:15 04/14/03 Mon

I was in Ikea last weekend and saw a big pile of Wood's circular mouse pads! In lots of different colours! I was simultaneously tickled and chilled, but soon all was drowned out by my Ikea-rage. There's no dignity in allen keys I tell you.

Great review, OnM!

[> [> [> [> Congratulations on a balanced and wonderful review -- s'kat, 21:17:56 04/14/03 Mon

Wholeheartedly agree with your assessment on LMPTM. It is one of the best episodes I've seen as well.

Also good job on the issues at work in the episode. It was an incredibly complex episode with no clear good guys/bad guys.

[> [> That name -- KdS, 10:57:42 04/14/03 Mon

The only thing that "Underwood" brings to mind is that there is a well-known British writer and researcher on paranormal matters named Peter Underwood. Possibly a shout-out to him?

[> [> [> Well, I can't make any sense of it... -- dream, 11:39:44 04/14/03 Mon

Because Halfrek/Cecily is gone and all, and I can't figure the connection, but of course what is Under Wood is the Hellmouth.

[> [> [> Could it be... oh, no, wait... that was Underhill. Oops. Wrong Under! -- Solitude1056, 16:13:40 04/14/03 Mon

[> [> [> Re: That name -- ponygirl, 12:14:38 04/15/03 Tue

There's also the famous Underwood typewriter line, but I don't know if that's significant.

[> Hoo! Quoted by both Masq and OnM! -- HonorH, 19:17:01 04/13/03 Sun

I must've been *on* that week! Go, me!

[> [> Hah! So you admit it... -- Masq, 21:20:37 04/13/03 Sun

That pesky little alter ego that usurps your body when you have a moment of true fashion crisis and lose your soul--the one you claim is such a thorn in your side and vice versa, the one you disavow and vice versa, it's really you!

HonorH = Honorificus!!

[> [> [> I remind you, darling Board Mom: -- HonorH (the nice one), 22:25:35 04/13/03 Sun

You quoted *both* myself *and* Honorificus in your "Lies" review. I refuse, utterly refuse, to admit that Fashion Whore is in any way a part of me.

At least you've got that much right, toots.

Yeah, right, whatever, bite me.

Some other time. Preferably after you've showered.

[> [> [> [> Well, then both you, and you are very welcome -- Masq, 06:41:53 04/14/03 Mon

[> West Coast Review of Buffy 7.17 "Lies My Parents Told Me" -- Rufus, 20:49:40 04/13/03 Sun

Since OnM brought it up I had to repost the review from wwolfe...I posted it on the Trollop board as well awhile back.

ht tp://thewestcoastreview.homestead.com

Lies My Parents Told Me

As we approach the end of the show, unexpected moments may catch our attention. In "Lies My Parents Told Me," there is a scene - one of dozens, if not hundreds, of similar scenes from the past seven seasons - in which Giles and Buffy walk through a graveyard late at night. The second time I watched this episode, I was struck by what a strangely beautiful sight this has always been: the rich green of the grass, the muted gray of the headstones, the deep velvet black of the night, and the two figures in long shot, walking through the hushed, reverent stillness of the setting. In a small way, this is a good example of what has made the show special: in the back of our minds, we've always been aware that, in the midst of all the hurly-burly, "Buffy" has a quiet, fundamentally serious center. And, conversely, even in this deeply solemn location, slapstick inevitably intrudes.

As a philosopher once noted, tragedy is two rights in irresolvable conflict. In this episode, we ! were presented with four such rights, paired off in two conflicting sets, neither of which had been resolved by the final moment. In one instance, there was Spike's continuing attempt to rise above his murderous impulses and become a man, in the best and fullest sense of that phrase, in conflict with Wood's understandable desire to seek justice for his mother's death. In the second instance, there was Giles' prudent concern for the danger created by the First's influence over a non-chipped Spike in conflict with Buffy's belief that Spike deserves a chance to show that he's changed, as well as her practical need for his fighting prowess in the coming battle. The beauty of this arrangement lay in the fairness and balance with which each view point was presented. The conflict between Wood and Spike deserves special praise simply because it is such a satisfying dramatic enactment of the long (long!) running arguments about Spike that are familiar to any devoted fan of the show.
As I've thought about this episode, I've found that with each argument I make for the position of one of the four main characters, I can't help but find myself saying, "Yes, but...," followed by an equally valid argument for the opposing character's point of view. I think this is a sign of the success of the writing - in a moral sense, this is a chess game in which none of the four players can ever checkmate his opponent. At the same time, we always feel that these are characters living their lives and making difficult decisions; the feeling never creeps in that this is all programmatic, that the writer is merely checking off points on a "To Do" list and assigning them to the characters.

The title of the episode compels us to consider what exactly are the lies that the various parents told their respective children. Giles lied when he told Buffy that she needed to go to the graveyard, of course. But, in his role as her de facto father, the more profound lie arguabl! y was his implicitly stated belief in her decision-making abilities when he told her last season that she would never grow up unless he left her on her own to fend for herself. One interpretation of his rejection in this episode of her decision about Spike would be that he does not truly have faith in her ability to make crucial decisions for herself. Spike's mother lied as a vampire, in her brutal statements to her son, but I suspect more important was her tacit lie as a human when she failed to tell her son the ways in which he was stunting his own growth by treating his mother as his "girl." Buffy now appears to have lied in her role as de facto mother to Dawn on those occasions when she has said that she would not sacrifice her younger sister for the greater good. Wood, I suspect, feels that his mother lied to him at some basic level, simply because she placed her Slayer duties ahead of her motherly duties (as with Buffy's new point of view about Dawn, whether Wood's feeli! ngs about his mother are valid or not isn't the issue here - it's what Wood himself believes that's important for the purposes of this episode).

Questions of right and wrong to one side, I think it's safe to say that just about all kids could see their relationships with their parents as being similar at one time or another to one of these four parent-child relationships (just as all parents could by the same token see their relationships with their parents as being equally similar; everybody has parents, after all - even vampires). I also like how each relationship played out in a different way and at its own speed. Spike is only now figuring out the effect that his mother's lies (both as a human and as a vampire) have had on him all this time. Buffy realized immediately how Giles had lied to her; the question now will be how soon and how wisely she can work past his error to repair their relationship. Wood seems trapped in his view of his mother and himself, with more! damage to himself most likely being the result. And, perhaps most poignant, there is Dawn, who does not yet even know the lie that her older sister now seems to have told her, much less the damage this will cause her, or how - or if - she will recover.

The untrustworthiness shown by the various parents in this episode dovetails nicely with the First's ability to morph into the shape of others that we've seen in several episodes this season. In both cases, the message is that the characters cannot trust those nearest and dearest to them. How this will play out over the remaining episodes remains to be seen, but I would bet that the final message at season's end will not be nearly so bleak. In the BuffyVerse, trouble has always come when one character loses faith in another; likewise, the characters have found their way out of darkness by showing faith in their friends and family. I suspect that will be the case this time, too. I also have no doubt it will be very r! ough going, for them and for us. Which is as it should be. In the words of the old country song, true love travels on a gravel road.

[> [> Amazingly balanced and apt review -- s'kat, 21:13:14 04/14/03 Mon

I was half afraid to read this, because wwolf's reviews last year felt so...not balanced. But this review is truly amazing. And I found myself agreeing with every word.

The same goes for OnM's of course. A truly balanced review that sums up the board debates and hits the pulse of a great episode.


[> Thanks, Onm. -- aliera, 05:14:45 04/14/03 Mon

I checked in looking for this this AM...as usual, downloading for much later enjoyment tonight when it gets quiet again. Thanks, I do so look foward to your reviews!

[> I'm not going to Vancouver -- Solitude1056, 12:30:20 04/14/03 Mon

unless OnM is gonna make it, too. This man not only deserves to have someone buy him a beer, he deserves the whole keg!

[> [> Re: I'm not going to Vancouver -- LadyStarlight, 12:56:10 04/14/03 Mon

Second that, (except the not going part) & am saving a ten- spot towards a keg!

[> [> [> LS, I'm about to phone in my reservation. Just out of curiousity, what's the current head count? -- cjl, 13:04:34 04/14/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> About 25, some of those are maybes -- LadyStarlight, 14:17:49 04/14/03 Mon

[> [> [> Oh, great, cause there's no way I could afford LS the SC... -- Solitude1056, 16:08:04 04/14/03 Mon

Cause, like, where OnM gets a keg for his thinking power, LS gets the whole freakin' bar for her exemplary coding power as the new Fiction/Essay Mistress!

[> [> [> [> Re: Oh, great, cause there's no way I could afford LS the SC... -- Rufus, 19:18:17 04/14/03 Mon

I'm not a drinker so OnM can have my share of any keg....I'm such a giving person (I also take notes)...;)

[> [> [> [> awww, now I'm all blush-y & stammer-y... -- LadyStarlight, 07:22:36 04/15/03 Tue

plus, I'm a cheap drunk, so no worries. ;)

[> [> Ah, gawann, go already! I'll raise a few to you here in the East ! -- OnM, 20:05:51 04/14/03 Mon

Assuming I'm not still working on getting my *Thoughts On* for 7.22 done.

( Lessee... now where'd I leave off. Oh yeah, Page 97... )


[> [> If I come, can bring... -- luna, 06:52:51 04/15/03 Tue

my son and his partner with me? We're seriously considering finding a new country (a pattern in our family when facism looms) and would like to check out Vancouver seriously. They're both big Buffy/Angel fans (in fact, introduced me) but don't hang out on the board. But if that would take advantage of the opportunity, I won't do it.

[> [> [> Re: If I come, can bring... -- LadyStarlight, 07:15:27 04/15/03 Tue

Of course! The more the merrier, I always say.

Any spouse/children/significant other/whatever is welcome, if they're not big Buffy fans, well, Vancouver has tons of neat stuff to do. Check it out here. I myself am planning to go to the Vancouver Aquarium at least once during this shindig. (not that you guys aren't endlessly fascinating, but...otters!)

(and what's with the if? ;) )

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