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The Buffy Chronicles -- Anneth, 00:02:54 04/15/03 Tue

Little Bit and Random prevailed upon me in chat tonight to post this. Please don't hit me!

The Buffy Chronicles ñ Summer 2002

June 7

Last night, D and I rented Bridget Jonesís Diary. D said I remind her of B and gave me one of her 76 blank journals so I could keep a diary too. Though why I remind her of Bridget Jones I donít know. I read a review of the movie that described BJ as ìnebbishî - am I nebbish? What is nebbish? Prob. Just another British slang word. Why is my life so full of British slang? Well, it was, anyway, til they all leftÖ

June 9

Dear Diary ñ
Maybe I shouldnít call this a Diary. Maybe I should name it ñ I name it John. Okay.
Dear John ñ
No, wait, thatís bad, right? Oh, forget it.

June 10

Sunnydale is so boring in the summer! Thank god I was dead last summer! The fewer summers in Sunnydale the better! (hah hah ñ I was deadÖ fewer SummersÖ God, I kill me. Hah! I slay me!)
Okay. So, boring. No Willow, no Giles, almost no Anya, no Spike, no Tara, no nerds ñ almost no bad guys! And Xís all mopey, and D is really bored and annoying, and work is really boring and smelly and even Sophie left! I even miss that Machiavelli guy.

June 30

I am so bored.
X came over last night w/ the move True Lies. That girl looks a lot like Faith, only less insane and skanky. And X got all weird and mopey when Jamie Lee Curtis did her quote unquote Sexy Dance, and started muttering to himself about sexy dances and didnít actually make any sense. Then we got into a popcorn fight. (X lost) We need to get a dog, so I donít have to sweep up after X comes over. Itís always messier after he comes over. And itís not like D cleans up around hereÖ

July 4

My first July 4th in 2 years! Now, how many people can say that? D, X, and I went to the park for a bbq. We couldnít use my backyard because, depressing. And we couldnít use his balcony because he and Anya did something I donít even wanna think about up there and it makes him all mopey to go onto the balcony now. So we went to the park. Anyway, we forgot the charcoal briquettes and so we had to scrounge around for half-used ones in other bbq pits and tried to light the 7 we found with some old newspaper, except we didnít have any matches, so we ended up making lettuce, tomato, and onion sandwiches. D put potato chips in hers, though, which was really gross. Then we threw potato chips at each other, then X threw me and D into the gross swampy pond and we chased him around because we were drippy slime-monsters and then I picked him up and threw him in the pond and then we realized that every single other picnicker in the park was staring at us and we got embarrassed and left. D had a really bad sunburn and was grouchy all night. It was like 105 degrees inside and she made me read Pride and Prejudice to her. Again. The part where Mr. Darcy jumps into the lake. Again.

July 8

D has been pestering me all week about getting a pet. I tried to remind her how all pets in Sunnydale disappear or turn into zombies or something, but sheís convinced that This Time Itíll Be Different. Today she wants a cat. Less work than a dog (except that itíd be like a vacuum!) except that X and W have always had that weird thing about puppiesÖ And she wanted a boa constrictor last Tuesday, til I reminded her that you have to feed them live mice. Maybe Iíll buy her a Chia Pet.


I dusted my first vamp in a month tonight! A month! Whatís with this town? No zombies, no demons, no possessions, no mysterious disappearancesÖ and no vamps! Really, whatís a Chosen One to do?

July 9

Oh my god I am so bored.

July 13

Yíknow, it wouldnít kill Giles and W to call once in a while. Itís not like a 21-year-old with an underage sister, depressed best (only) friend, huge money-sucking house, and minimum-wage job can really afford long calls to England! I mean, G has that comfy WC salary ñ that I netted him ñ and itís not like talking to us is gonna stall Wís de- eviling!
D got another sunburn today. From another tough day at the beach. Man. Sucks to have her life.

July 20

X came over last night all miserable because he accidentally ran into A at the mall. We went to the video store to find something, but ended up renting all 6 Pride and Prejudice videos (again) because old musicals remind D of mom, Bollywood reminds X of W, action movies annoy me, and romantic comedies depress us all.
So we watched P and P. Again. All 6 hours. X fell asleep about 20 minutes into it. I made it all the way through tape 1! Still donít get why Bridget Jones would chose Colin Firth over Hugh Grant, by the way. I mean, yeah, CF has those broody vibes, but HG is all hot! D thinks I should rethink my taste in men. Riiiiight, Ms. I have a Justin Timberlake poster taped up inside my closet and think no one knows. There are no secrets from the Slayer!

July 22

God. Iím so bored. Boooooooooooooored.

July 25

Hey, Will emailed! Guess she hadnít before because sheís staying with G and he doesnít have a computer. She wasnít allowed out in public til yesterday to find an internet cafÈ. But still, they could call.

July 26

Well ñ it finally happened. I guess it was inevitable ñ but still, a shock. I havenít told D ñ I may never.
X was all depressive again, and I got desperate to cheer him up and took him to the Bronze. Weíve all sort of avoided it since spring ñ sort of me because of the balcony thingee, and X because heís concerned heíll run into A - but we were so bored, and so depressedÖ and itís just the only place to get alcohol in this town. So we went. We got to talking, and we drank too muchÖ one thing led to anotherÖ and all of a suddenÖ X was telling me all about everywhere he and A had had sex! They used my training room at the Magic Box! My mats! My chairs! And ñ ugh ñ everywhere else conceivable! It was a game they played ñ how many places can we have sex? It was horrible. Oh god.

August 2

Clem came over tonight. I think D has a crush on him! Sheís told him about wanting a pet earlier this summer. He brought her a hermit crab! (Thank god, not a kitten.) Anyway, she named it Mr. Darcy. Really, Iím concerned that sheís developing an unhealthy obsession.

Aug 5

D, X, and I played miniature golf today. X made little individual pizzas, ìfor old timeís sake.î But he forgot to unfreeze them (ìmade,î indeed) so his joke fell down all pancake-like. Hah hah. D made me spend 2 hours curling her hair this morning so sheíd look like Elizabeth Bennet. Fortunately, I talked her out of the stupid empire-waist dress (Iím so sorry those are out of fashion). At minigolf, I hit my ball too hard and it hit one of the windmill blades and broke it (well, them. The ball and the blade.) and we had to leave quietly. X was okay with that because he was behind 15 strokes.

Aug 9

D has decided to become a vegetarian.

Aug 10.

D had decided to become a vegan.

Day 3 of Veganism

Clear signs of chocolate and pizza withdrawl.

Day 5

D fainted in the mall this afternoon. Fortunately, X and I were able to get her out and back home before anyone called the police. Just what I need, to be reported to child services for neglect.

Day 9

X came over last night and made a big steak. D nearly keeled over her plate of spinach.

Day 12

Dawn has abandoned veganism. She realized last night that she canít eat marshmallows and itís simply not as much fun to explode them in the microwave if you canít eat the remains afterwards.

Aug 23

Got a message from W today; Giles bought a horse! Hah. Giles on a horse. ìHey, that horse has two asses!î lalala.

Aug 25

D gets to start high school at the new high school that got rebuilt over the hellmouth tomorrow. I think Iíll take her out for some vampire-slaying tonight. Thereís always a vampire or two around on the night before school starts.

[> Liked it a lot! -- CW, 06:28:52 04/15/03 Tue

[> Re: The Buffy Chronicles -- LadyStarlight, 07:20:39 04/15/03 Tue

(looks around furtively) psst, Anneth, are you gonna expand this any? 'Cause it should go up on FC.

(loved it, btw)

[> [> Why, as a matter of fact... -- Anneth, 08:12:18 04/15/03 Tue

(blush) I've already got about 7 of the S7 eps "written up."

[> [> [> Re: Why, as a matter of fact... -- LadyStarlight, 10:52:47 04/15/03 Tue

When you're done, just let me know & we'll get it posted.

[> LMAO!! -- s'kat, 08:16:14 04/15/03 Tue

Very good. Although I don't think Mr. Darcy ever dove in the lake in Pride and Prejudice. They just did that in the series to get across the sexiness of Colin Firth. I could be wrong - been a while.

Outside of that minor quibble, which I seriously doubt anyone else noticed, very very good. Laughed through it.


[> [> (I noticed it too, sk, and you're right--) -- Dyna, 11:31:42 04/15/03 Tue

--the original book is disappointingly light on soaking-wet Mr. Darcy scenes, though I still think it has many good qualities to recommend it! ;)

[> [> [> blushing and hiding red face behind hands.... -- Anneth, 11:48:37 04/15/03 Tue

Sigh. I blame such a blatant error on the fact that I read Edge of Reason more recently than Pride and Prejudice. And to think, P and P is one of my favorite books! I've even read it more than twice!

I beg the board's forgiveness and promse to never, ever do it again. No wet Mr. D in the book. Bad Anneth. No cookie for you.

[> [> [> [> There SHOULD have been a wet Mr. Darcy in the book Anneth... -- Caroline, 11:58:48 04/15/03 Tue

and I think that your version of the Chronicles is much funnier with it! Thanks for channeling it!

Caroline, who now prefers her P&P DVDs to the book because of the whole wet Mr. Darcy thing.

[> [> [> [> It's not your fault, Anneth.... -- Random, 11:59:42 04/15/03 Tue

You were just being verisimilitudinous...it's a mistake that's perfectly in character for Buffy. Good job. It's the subtle little details like that that make for great character writing!

[> [> [> [> Oh no, don't blush! It's Jane Austen's mistake for not putting that in the book! -- Dyna, who loves all wet- hero scenes, canon or no, 13:53:47 04/15/03 Tue

[> That was hilarious! -- Rob, 08:35:09 04/15/03 Tue

"The fewer summers in Sunnydale the better! (hah hah ñ I was deadÖ fewer SummersÖ God, I kill me. Hah! I slay me!)"



[> That was great! -- ponygirl, 09:45:09 04/15/03 Tue

A perfect read for the first warm bit of weather we've had in ages. Now all I can think about is summer... and Colin Firth.

[> Great job, Anneth! Glad you posted. Hilarious ("...fewer Summers..."...*snicker*) -- Random, 09:59:47 04/15/03 Tue

Plus I like how you named us just in case you needed a defense for having posted

[> Thanks, Anneth!!! -- LittleBit, 12:43:38 04/15/03 Tue

This was every bit as funny as I thought it would be, and I'm quite happy to take part of the credit for it being here! ;-)

[> Re: The Buffy Chronicles -- Rahael, 15:42:10 04/15/03 Tue

Okay, I LOVED this! LOLOLOL. I'm a complete sucker for anything that adds earthy domestic detail to the Buffyverse (Buffy missing the trash collectors in S6 etc)

(oh, and the swimming in lake scene is sublime. Sigh. Sigh.)

And while I type this I can hear dH laughing out loud as he reads it!

[> Belated but many thanks , Anneth! -- aliera, 18:25:03 04/15/03 Tue

I'm getting behind on the reading!

[> Chortle! Like buffy getting annoyed by action movies.. -- MsGiles, 02:14:59 04/16/03 Wed

Actual Latin Phrase -- Jash, 10:28:13 04/15/03 Tue

When Willow as EvilWillow, she used a latin phrase to give herself strength and speed comparable to the Slayer.

The english translation of that phrase is "give me strength."

What is the actual latin phrase that Willow uttered?


[> According to the shooting script, -- Sophist, 10:58:26 04/15/03 Tue

which gives the phrase phonetically, it's "Da mihi vim." Means "Give to me strength".

[> [> Not exactly phonetically, actually.. -- Random, 12:11:09 04/15/03 Tue

Most obvious reason: Latin doesn't use the "v" sound...so it would be transcribed as "wim". The other words aren't strictly phonetic either, I don't think. At least not "mihi."

[> [> [> Re: Not exactly phonetically, actually.. -- O'Cailleagh, 12:29:14 04/15/03 Tue

Not phonetic I agree, but it depends on which school of thought you follow on Latin pronunciation. When I started studying it at school (about 12 years ago), 'v' was pronounced 'v'. The teacher who took over the following year pronounced it 'w'.


[> [> [> [> I think the w sound is correct for classical Latin -- oboemaboe, 14:28:37 04/15/03 Tue

and the v sound is Church Latin.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I think the w sound is correct for classical Latin -- Jash, 10:26:16 04/16/03 Wed

Thanks to everyone for the answers :)

[> [> [> Re: Not exactly phonetically, actually.. -- Sophist, 12:29:42 04/15/03 Tue

The shooting script gave it as (from memory) "Dah mee-hee wim." I "translated" it back.

[> [> [> [> Ah...oops. Sorry. Misunderstood you. -- Random, 13:32:21 04/15/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Not your fault. My post was ambiguous. -- Sophist, 14:15:14 04/15/03 Tue

[> [> [> Re: Not exactly phonetically, actually.. -- Revel, 18:52:36 04/15/03 Tue

Most modern transcriptions of (classical) latin use 'v' for the 'w' sound and 'u' for the vowel sound even though classical roman spelling used a 'v' for both....

However, church latin uses the modern spelling (v for a consonant and u for a vowel) but pronounces the v as a voiced fricative (i.e. an english v), not a the liquid w.

BTVS latin tends to go back and forth between church latin pronunciation and classical pronunciation.


This is so depressing (*possible spoilers for 7.18*) -- A.C.S., 18:01:06 04/15/03 Tue

Watching "Dirty Girls" now - I am so depressed. Every single line of dialogue is a tired cliche from every mass-produced action flick ever made. This show used to be so well- written. It used to have characters and meaning. Now the characters are mere tools for thre plot, which is stereotyped crap. Lazy, uninspired, and lazy. It's embarrassing and it's depressing. I'm thinking that it's a good thing that this show is ending and that makes me even more depressed.

[> OOOI (*definite spoilers for 7.18*) -- Darby, 18:15:36 04/15/03 Tue

That's Officially Out Of Ideas, folks.

Hating, hating, hating this!

What's happened to the sophistication, the characterization, the plotting of the show?

We get a serial killer that would be campy in a B movie, with no twist, and he's physically overpowering?

Puh-leeze!!! Glory was fun, the Ubervamp was dull and eventually unbelievable, Caleb is treading on being an insult.

If one is going to go against the embodiment of Evil shouldn't the storyline be interesting? Shouldn't it be unbeatable because it isn't ultimately a physical threat?

Except for Faith, this would have been a substandard episode of Charmed.

I may come down from this eventually, but I had to get my visceral reaction up.

Maybe I should have had that foot rub...

[> [> Awww, Darby... (*definite spoilers for 7.18*) -- Random, 20:24:09 04/15/03 Tue

I agree vociferously that Caleb is cliched and an example of pure lazy writing on the part of Drew and ME...but I found the episode as a whole quite good. The physical threat represented by Caleb, to say nothing of the stereotypical threat, is being presented to us with 4 more eps to go. Calling it a substandard episode of Charmed may be a little unfair. I loathed the little "talk twisted fundamentalism to the (almost) empty air to show the audience how crazy the poor bastard is" device. But one valid criticism does not an episode ruin, IMHO. Hope you come down later, cause I laughed, I cried, I threw things at the TV while watching this episode.

Eh, Caleb's still annoying.

[> [> But to beat a dying horse... (more spoilers for DG) -- Darby, 05:49:06 04/16/03 Wed

I mentioned to cjl on Sunday that my theory on the Buffy arcs as metaphors for Joss' life started as just a kind of fun but not really serious idea, but hold up remarkably well on inspection. Now I'm wondering if Caleb, spouting outdated and stupid rhetoric but wielding a power that makes him unassailable, doesn't represent the network suit(s) who first messed with and then canceled Firefly, with all of the collateral damage that goes with having a crew put out of work. Maybe the casting was more deliberate than we knew?

Is Jasmine playing to the Focus Group?

But I've gotta say, metaphor or not, I actually don't care where we're headed with this if the steps along the way are this ham-handed. Evil is seductive, dammit, or it has no power! This First kind of evil is not part of development in most folks' lives - most of us have to fight the evil that tempts us way more than the evil that purposely hurts us. This is becoming worse than the magickrack theme.

[> I humbly disagree -- Jay, 18:17:11 04/15/03 Tue

But I'll leave the point by point to someone who wants to waste the time.

[> Re: This is so depressing (*possible spoilers for 7.18*) -- Kt, 18:33:33 04/15/03 Tue

I thought the convo b/t Spike and Faith was well written. The rest maybe not so much, but I still thoroughly enjoyed this episode, and I thought it got a lot of stuff done. Buffy's issues as "Ms Hacks-away" are being confronted, very gruesomely, her relationships with everybody are being tested, so many things are being dealt with. The Evil Southern Preacher is a tad old, but I think he was played well and suitably sickly. I am very sorry to see the show go, I enjoy Buffy as much now as I did when I first started watching.

[> Re: This is so depressing (*possible spoilers for 7.18*) -- michae, 18:52:30 04/15/03 Tue

I'm ambivalent about this episode as well. ACS has a point. There has been something about the pacing of the dialogue, and maybe the dialogue, with the last few episodes. Everything feels heavy, very operatic. We keep getting the inspiring speeches followed by a let down. As if no one is reading the script from the week before. As a general, Buffy doesn't do well, and maybe that's the direction the show is taking. The Slayer has always been a lonely position, even in Sunnydale. And now, she seems to be cutting herself off from anyone and everyone who could be of assistance. Remember the past seasons where the whole gang was in on the caper?
Come on, Joss, make us proud. Make it worth our while. Make it Buffy.

[> [> Re: This is so depressing (*possible spoilers for 7.18*) -- Traveler, 21:03:07 04/15/03 Tue

"We keep getting the inspiring speeches followed by a let down."

I think this is intentional. Remember, Giles said "it takes more than inspiring speeches to be a general."

"Remember the past seasons where the whole gang was in on the caper?"

Remember "The Yoko Ono Factor?" There have been many episodes where Buffy cut herself off from her friends, and it never went well.

[> [> [> I wish I could believe this ... -- Earl Allison, 03:58:05 04/16/03 Wed

But I have the terrible feeling that, as in S5 (and this is only IMHO) Buffy will be saved by Writer Ex Machina, much as she and the world was in "The Gift."

Buffy should have been the one to lose an eye, not Xander. Buffy is the one making terrible mistakes, and others keep paying for them.

I still have the sinking feeling that ME will show us that Buffy is right, though, despite her unfathomable behavior.

I hope and pray I am wrong, but after the trainwreck to date of S6 and S7 (again, IMHO), I don't think I will be.

Take it and run.

[> Re: This is so depressing (*possible spoilers for 7.18*) -- Dariel, 19:42:25 04/15/03 Tue

Well, I'm depressed, but only half as much as you. I enjoyed all of Faith's scenes, especially her scenes with Spike. Great dialogue and chemistry--my TV screen was smoking!

Caleb I hated, every second, and he started to repeat himself almost immediately. Nothing interesting or original about him. There's enough misogyny in the world--I don't need to see it on Buffy. I much prefer the First's equal opportunity hatred of all things good.

[> I not so humbly disagree (spoiler 7.18) -- Traveler, 20:55:20 04/15/03 Tue

Every season's Big Bad since the first season has been a cliche. The meat of the show has never been in how interesting the enemy is or what kind of wifty powers they have. It's how the protagonists confront the obstacles and traumas before them that matter. The preacher is scary, not because of his physical power or southern accent, but because he blew apart Buffy's aura of invincibility and sewed doubt in the hearts of the scooby gang and the potentials. I haven't read any spoilers, but I'm willing to bet Buffy isn't going to beat this guy with a wrecking ball or hammer (as she did Glory). It will be something much more subtle and meaningful.

[> [> I don't know about that. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:20:58 04/15/03 Tue

Caleb is the minion, not the Big Bad. The First Evil, the true Big Bad, is the one most likely to be defeated in a subtle way. Caleb, being the Little Bad, as well as a physical being, will most likely face a physical defeat (and not necessarily at Buffy's hands).

Dude, I Can NOT Believe That Those People Were Right... (spoilers for tonight's Buffy episode) -- AngelVSAngelus, 18:25:24 04/15/03 Tue

The people I'm referring to are those "I've been noticing for four seasons weird attention being given to Xander's left eye so he must be going to lose it" people. I didn't deny the oddity of so much imagery having that in common, but I always thought it accidental/coincidental at best.
I stand corrected... *cringes as he rewatches the scene in which his boy Xander gets poked*
Kind of tempts you to readdress the 'numbered shirts' issue, doesn't it?

[> Except for the fact that this was a Drew Goddard ep -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:48:47 04/15/03 Tue

And he has often seemed like the sorta writer you'd get if you took the average Buffy fan, gave him more writing talent than 99% of fans have, and let him write for ME. Mayhaps Ultimate!Drew read the same speculation that you did, and decided it was something he had to fit into the show.

By the way, I have NEVER heard speculation about Xander's left eye. Care to give occassions of emphasis?

[> [> You'll Hate Me For My Memory, But.... -- AngelVSAngelus, 19:13:13 04/15/03 Tue

I can't remember exact occurences. I just have vague memories of it appearing at some point here. I think it was here. I sound crazy, but I SWEAR its come up before and I really didn't believe it anything more than coincidence. Maybe someone could find it in the archives?

[> [> [> Re: You'll Hate Me For My Memory, But.... -- tost, 21:00:42 04/15/03 Tue

The only one I remember was in "Bad Girls" when his eye twitched when Faith was mentioned. Kinda strange considering.

Horestes Crudites With Vice Dip (Angel - I strongly advise you not to read this) -- Celebaelin, 18:34:19 04/15/03 Tue

Excuse me while I just slip this onto the buffet table, or should that be the ahahaha Buffy table. Shhuunk. See, barely looks out of place, soufflÈs may be one thing but when it comes to slicing raw vegetables I tell you I've got what it takes (i.e. a small knife and a chopping board).

Anyway, what was I going on about? Oh yeah, Elizabethan Morality Plays, specifically John Pickering's Horestes (1567). Point is the Vice is revenge, right? Sorry? Oh, the Vice is the personified evil, evil incarnate, embodied evil - and in this case it's 'revenge', the play itself is a precursor to Hamlet. In fact technically it's not a play it's an interlude apparently, but that translates as 'short play performed during a scene change', which in itself puts the play within a play in both Hamlet and A Midsummer Nights' Dream in a new perspective oh, ahahaha! for me, but I digress). The Vice is to blame ultimately and the character seeking revenge is absolved, or forgiven, or whatever - it's not the revenging individuals' fault from the perspective of the play, but one must oppose the Vice, geddit? Of course you do, Private Eye terminology slipping in there I'm afraid.

So, having read that and some comments on tendencies in the nature of characters who embark on revenge I started thinking 'hold on a second' secretive, solitary, extreme, introspective - hmmm, Angel much? Then I thought a bit more and it's not just Angel, it's Liam, Angelus and Angel, they're all motivated by revenge. Liam wants to avenge himself against his oppressive father and does so by rejecting his values. Angelus still wants to avenge himself against his oppressive father but in a really bad way (and anyone elses' father for that matter, and any anyone they hold dear, and their pets, and maybe a few casual acquaintances, and the guy from the phone company who was just in completely the wrong place at entirely the wrong time). Angel wants to avenge himself against Angelus by re- asserting his humanity(ish), compassion and love, until he felt these things, enabled by his soul, he did not re-engage with humans at all, screams of the countless dead in his ears or otherwise. This gets a bit crazy, when Angelus 'comes back to town' things escalate as Angelus tries to avenge himself on Angel. Unless I'm missing something this idea fits in with the Othello motif pretty well.

Well, that's about it for my theory of Liam's contribution to the personality of Angel(us). Try a nibble or two and tell me what you think but don't forget to take into account my artistic temperament, I can be vicious with a melon baller when I'm roused.


[> Re: Horestes Crudites With Vice Dip (Angel - I strongly advise you not to read this) -- Cactus Watcher, 06:34:51 04/16/03 Wed

Actually, I see Angel's hangup as more being with familial love than with revenge. In all three forms of his existence he's had problems with it. Liam's solution to his problems with his father was to stay drunk most of the time. Angelus' solution was to commit revenge not just on his whole family, but on the families and friends of anyone he took a fancy to like Dru and Buffy. Angelus once had a family of sorts with Darla and the gang , but it was largely loveless at least from his emotional stand point. And once through Darla, and then again through Spike, a century later, this psuedo- family ended up destroying him. Angel's solution is more of a muddle, approach-avoidance if you will. Sometimes he's running around like an uncle obsessed with reunions trying to bring a family of any sort together. Sometimes he decides families don't work for him and he tries to push everybody close to him away. The rest of the time he just sits and broods about it.

For those of you wondering (ha ha), yes I loved tonight's ep! (7.18 spoilers) -- Rob, 18:37:28 04/15/03 Tue

First I will quickly get out of the way my problems with the episode:

***No Anya...What the hell? I forgave the Chloe disappearance, but this? How could they possibly have an episode where such a major thing happens to Xander and not have Anya there, not to mention, where else would she be?

***It was bit overstuffed. Although I love this season, one problem I have noticed is that with only 5 episodes left (4 after tonight), they don't seem to have enough time to do everything they need to do. I was worried about this before, and this ep is kind of renewing my fear. There are just too many characters, too much that needs to be done. There was a general unevenness in the fact that the episode began being about Faith's return and the arrival of Caleb, and yet Faith is barely used in the final act. In fact, it being a Drew Goddard ep, I was a bit disappointed with that aspect.

***Repeat after me Joss: Xander. Willow. Dawn. Anya. Spike. Giles. They are the important supporting characters. IMO, no one except Faith and Andrew have any right taking away screen time from any of those characters besides Buffy herself in the last 5 episodes ever. I am tired of them being cameo roles, taking backseat to the likes of characters we do not care for as much. (As an addendum, I will say that in this ep, Spike and Faith were perfectly handled, as was Buffy. Xander had some great moments to shine--although still not enough, and definitely not enough Willow. Not enough Dawn. Not enough Giles. Not enough Anya! I understand each episode is only about 42 minutes and not everyone can have all the scenes each week. But this sitch really needs to be rectified.)

***The Xander dream felt a little out of place. I understand exactly why it was there. It was meant to be a representation of all the stereotypes about women Caleb holds so near and dear to his heart. And although I can't come up with a perfect connection yet (I'm sure I will soon), Xander has this dream of "sinful" women and later loses an eye to the very person who most revels in these beliefs. Still, though, the direction and execution seems like it would be more at place in "Storyteller." Also could say that of the Faith flashback extravaganza, but the Vulcan flashback is so hilarious, that I completely forgive that one.

On to the good, and there's a lot:

***Faith. Faith. Faith. She was absolutely pitch-perfect, as usual, and not only was she on fire, but Drew G's writing for her just sparkled. Her scenes with Spike were ingenious, and it was great seeing her just catch up with this strange, new Sunnydale, except for the Summers house, which always look the same.

***The tension you could cut with a knife. By the last moments of the episode, my heart was beating a mile a minute. The attack on Xander, for example, was so brutal and so gutwrenching, I felt sympathy pains. I felt for him because I love the character so much, and after all these years, the fact that Joss would permanently scar Xander astounds me. In a way, I'm also happy, though. Because it intensifies the gravity of the situation. The show is nearing the end, and permanent damage could be done. Nobody is safe.

***Caleb's narration at the end. Actually, all of Caleb's scenes. Nathan Fillion is brilliant, the character is creepy, menacing, and most scary, a fanatic...And it completely makes sense that he would be the type to blow up the Watchers Council. The one thing that didn't seem right about it blowing up was that the Bringers didn't seem like they'd be much for modern technology such as bombs, and the First couldn't do it itself. A possibly human (though with superstrength) pseudo-religious nutcase, though, I can totally believe.

***The wonderful dialogue. It was a very well-written script, besides the few caveats I had at the top of the page. What I do love is that Drew knows the characters and the show, loves them, and writes each with the right voice.

***Kennedy being completely sidelined by the other characters this week, and being knocked out quite early on. Despite all her bravado, she has once again proven herself not the most powerful potential.

Ummm...can't think of anything else now. I'll write more later when my head stops reeling.

Rob, putting on an eyepatch in tribute to poor Xander

[> Re: For those of you wondering (ha ha), yes I loved tonight's ep! (7.18 spoilers) -- Alison, 19:33:59 04/15/03 Tue

Well, if it helps, I get the feeling this new injury means Xander may start getting more screen time..I hope that the "you're the one who sees" line gives him a story line.
And I adored this episode!

[> [> a teensy bit of future spec in above post -- Alison, 19:36:24 04/15/03 Tue

[> Re: For those of you wondering (ha ha), yes I loved tonight's ep! (7.18 spoilers) -- Jay, 19:50:31 04/15/03 Tue

I gave up on grading individual episodes somewhere before halfway through the season, because, how can you? Now, you can count me in the camp that didn't care much for Storyteller, at least, not yet. And even though I liked 90 percent of Lies My Parents Told Me, the 10 percent I didn't care for was all in the last five minutes. So, I've been sitting here for three weeks, starving for an episode to sink my teeth into, and not regret it at the end.

I'd give Dirty Girls a 90 percent positive, much like LMPTM, only the 10 percent I didn't care for was sprinkled throughout the episode. Five percent of the ten was the absence of Anya. So that leaves five percent of what was actually in the episode leaving me wanting. Even on a Buffy scale, a much higher standard than most of tv, it's an unqualified success.

[> My wacky theory of the week (tm)...(7.18 and SHP spoilers) -- ponygirl, 20:24:19 04/15/03 Tue

Yay Rob! Should we call Xander Patch now? I actually screamed out loud when it happened. Watched it again when my roommate came home and even though I knew it was coming I screamed again. Though I can't help but think, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king...

But that's not my wacky theory. Watching Dirty Girls and finally getting to see Shiny Happy People tonight, I was wondering if the FE is, like Jasmine, seeking to become somewhat human, or at least corporeal, and if the FE is seeking a host or vessel. What if that vessel is Buffy? Caleb seemed awestruck when he realized the FE was "wearing" Buffy in their first scene together. Later he talked about purifying Buffy, plus there was his whole final monologue once again emphasizing Buffy's importance. Is the First's plan to somehow lead Buffy to fall into some kind of merger with the First?

[> Re: For those of you wondering (ha ha), yes I loved tonight's ep! (7.18 spoilers) -- darvangi, 20:38:45 04/15/03 Tue

"***No Anya...What the hell?"
Yeah, I would have liked to have heard where Anya was this ep. At first I didn't notice her being gone, but then seeing Xander in the hospital at the end made me wonder why she wasn't there with him in a 'I know you're not really my boyfriend anymore but I still care about you' capacity. Her unexplained absence fits in, unfortunately, with that of Giles in a few recent eps and the lack of Xander in Conversations with Dead People.

"***Repeat after me Joss: Xander. Willow. Dawn. Anya. Spike. Giles. "
I would go so far as to say that they should have spent less time even on Faith in this ep. I like her character, but she certainly isn't as important to the series as the others you listed. I hope Willow, in particular, gets some real screen time in these last few eps.

***The Xander dream...Xander has this dream of "sinful" women and later loses an eye to the very person who most revels in these beliefs.
I don't believe that Xander's dream had anything to do with Caleb's views on sinful women or that him losing an eye was retribution for his dream. I think the dream was just comic relief for the otherwise fairly grim ep.

Overall, I really loved the story and pacing of this ep. It moved so fast, it was gone before I knew it. Caleb seems extremely evil to me; genuinely scary in a tangible way that the First can't acheive. I love that the First seems to be exploiting people who have moral weaknesses and are already prone to evil - Caleb, Andrew, Spike. The fact that Spike and Andrew were cut free of their servitude to the First shows that people with enough goodness in them can be rehabilitated (echoing the approprateness of Faith at this point in the story), but that there is also a point of no return, such as with Caleb, where a person has completely given in and lost total control of normal human morality. I'm eager to see how it all turns out now.

[> Right there with you (7.18 spoilers) -- Traveler, 20:40:02 04/15/03 Tue

Although I would like to see more of my favorite characters, I like the epic feel the new recruits give to the show, and I think the direction was superb, especially in the fight scenes.

And let me say, I am now a Faith/Spike shipper! Those two are so perfect for each other; why didn't I see it before!? And Eliza won't work on a spin off. I'm more disappointed than I was before :(

[> [> Absolutely (spoilers through AtS 4.15 and BtVS 7.18) -- dms, 20:56:27 04/15/03 Tue

[quote] And let me say, I am now a Faith/Spike shipper! Those two are so perfect for each other; why didn't I see it before!? And Eliza won't work on a spin off. I'm more disappointed than I was before [/quote]

I LOVED the Spike/Faith scenes (and I have to admit that for quite a while my one 'ship has been Spaith. I know, I know. Never going to happen). The chemistry was wonderful, and Spike actually seemed happy and relaxed for the first time in ages. Oh, for the spinoff that will never happen. *sob*

I didn't like Faith that much in her recent AtS arc ( she was a bit Mary Sue for my taste), but I thought she was great in this episode.

[> Do I have a perverse little mind or what? I just thought of this in chat... (HUGE 7.18 SPOILER) -- Rob, 21:40:11 04/15/03 Tue

While trying to come up with a parallel for Caleb and Xander having the dream (and I am convinced that there does have to be a connection...Xander has a dream about girls misbehaving in an ep called "Dirty Girls" and focuses on a fanatic misogynist who hates women...there is a connection), I thought of this...

Xander has a sexual dream about women together, leading to an umm "leg cramp" and then, later in the ep, just as the old saying goes...actually does go (sort of) blind!


[> [> Ah, Rob, you're a sick, sick puppy... -- dub ;o), 22:06:54 04/15/03 Tue

I like that in a person.


[> [> [> Why, thank you! Wait till you meet me in person. ;o) -- Rob, 07:46:25 04/16/03 Wed

[> [> THAT is brilliant!! -- Vesica, 09:51:49 04/16/03 Wed

That is quite possibly the funniest and yet most intelligent theory I have seen put forward for Xander's recent maiming. Despite all the territory Buffy has covered, we always seem to come back to an overarching Christian conception of good and evil. Now I have an Alanis song going through my head...

"My brothers, they never went blind for what they knew
Though I may as well have"

[> [> [> Thank you! And, yes, that's a GREAT song! -- Rob, 10:01:10 04/16/03 Wed

FireFly's entrance into the BuffyVerse(spoiler) -- Doug, the banker of the BuffyVerse, 18:53:40 04/15/03 Tue

First, Jasmine on Angel, and now Caleb on BTVS. Was Joss indebted to make a certain number of shows featuring the two of them? Good to see them again...

Regarding this evening's episode, I cannot judge it within its own context. If nothing else has been shown the past seven years, "the sum of the whole is greater than the parts." I hardly think Caleb anything than a mignon of the All-Mighty...we have yet to see the "First." What does it say when the "first" can give such power to such a lowly being? And what does it say, when we have yet to see "the First" in its purest form? I believe we have yet to see its greatest power (that is unless we find it to be a second version of the fear demon from the haunted house in season 4):)

[> Hmmm, we seem two have two individuals named Doug - - Doug, 19:26:15 04/15/03 Tue

This bothers me... *spoilers for Dirty Girls* -- Corwin of Amber, 19:43:30 04/15/03 Tue

Ok, wanting to hear theories on how Caleb knew what Dawn said to Xander at the end of Potential. The 'you're the one who sees...' thing...

[> Re: This bothers me... *spoilers for Dirty Girls* - - Alison, 19:47:27 04/15/03 Tue

my theory: Xander does see. while the first sees the evil that every human contains, Xander sees the potential for love and good. His gift of sight, whatever it may be, will be crucial in the final battle.

[> [> Or maybe the First told him -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:10:25 04/15/03 Tue

[> [> [> Re: Or maybe the First told him -- Corwin of Amber, 22:45:36 04/15/03 Tue

How would the First know? As I remember, there was no one else there, other than Dawn and Xander, and neither of them is dead.

[> [> [> [> Re: Or maybe the First told him -- Creol, 22:54:42 04/15/03 Tue

But both of them (as do all) have evil in their being. As the First is source of all evil it is quite likely to have a connection of some sort with everything in existance through its taint on them. While if there were a 'dead body' walking around what would explain it, its doubtful that that ability alone would have been enough to allow the first to know what Buffy said to Wood on the back porch about the potentials and use it later. It would need to be able to connect directly to each person and experience what they sence but not likely what they think (or 'hear' telepathically) as shown by Its inability to plan for what was going to happen in Showtime.

[> [> [> [> [> Um, it doesn't have to make itself visible -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:06:46 04/16/03 Wed

We've seen before that it can appear to one person, but that others can't always see it (CwDP, Sleeper, Get It Done). As such, it's quite possible that the First Evil can be somewhere but make itself invisible to everyone. So it could have eavesdropped on Dawn and Xander quite easily.

[> Could be pulling a Ginny Weasley. -- HonorH, 23:02:05 04/15/03 Tue

Dawn as unwitting dupe?

Or perhaps her observation that Xander "sees" isn't unique to her. Perhaps, rather, it *is* a power he has, and it's something the First is afraid of. It tried to get Willow to stop using magic and/or kill herself. It tried to get Spike to go evil again. Now it's gone after Xander's eye. Hmm.

Interesting Comparison: Mysogyny in the Bible -- Majin Gojira, 19:52:23 04/15/03 Tue

Interesting to Compare Caleb to some of the nasty things said about women in the Bible.


This is not ment to be degrading to any religion. simply to acknowledge that the idea of a Mysogynist preacher villain has little need for creativity.

[> Re: Interesting Comparison: Mysogyny in the Bible - - lurker, 20:15:35 04/15/03 Tue


"Paul forbids women to teach or "to usurp authority over" men. Rather they are to "learn [from men] in silence with all subjection [to men]." "

[> [> Remember to read in context -- Scroll, 20:46:09 04/15/03 Tue

Not to defend misogyny or anything (cuz Paul does irritate me in places), but I think the context needs to be considered. The church in Corinth was having some problems with a couple of women who were preaching heresy. I think Paul's letter is mostly admonishing the church not to listen to false teaching. And considering that in that time, women didn't have the same education in the Jewish scriptures as men, it makes sense for Paul to say, listen to the men (cuz they know what they're talking about) and don't listen to the women.

But don't forget the next few verses as well:

"In the Lord, however, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman. For as woman came from man, so also man is born of woman. But everything comes from God." ~ 1 Corinthians 11:11-12

As for the whole covering your hair thing, well, I see it as a cultural phenomenon. I mean, some Christians still follow this tradition (i.e. nuns, Eastern Orthodox) but most of us don't.

[> [> [> Maybe the Bible, maybe not, but certainly the early church -- luna, 05:36:52 04/16/03 Wed

See Elaine Pagel's Gnostic Gospels for an account of how women were systematically excluded from church governance and how that contributed to things as basic as the Nicene creed. In the VERY early church, women were recognized as priest like, but you see what happened.

[> [> [> [> Re: Maybe the Bible, maybe not, but certainly the early church -- Sophie, 06:49:47 04/16/03 Wed

Are the "Gnostic Gospels" available in book form? Or on the net?

[> [> [> [> [> "Gnostic Gospels" is a book (There's a copy sitting on my desk at home...) -- Thomas the Skeptic, 14:11:01 04/16/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> In paperback, used, from Amazon, but -- luna, 19:12:39 04/16/03 Wed

if you really want to study Gnostic thought, start with Hans Jonas--Pagels is a lot more readable, and does add that femininist twist, but Jonas covers more ground.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Sophie, 09:57:00 04/17/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Which once again proves my theory... -- RichardX1, 08:20:25 04/16/03 Wed

What truly ruined Christianity was making a religion out of it.

[> [> [> Re: Remember to read in context -- Sophist, 08:38:21 04/16/03 Wed

I guess context includes the Greco-Roman-Jewish society of the time. It was what we would consider highly misogynistic. Paul's numerous misogynistic comments may grate on our sensibilities, but were fairly common for that place and time.

[> [> [> [> Re: Remember to read in context -- luna, 19:16:46 04/16/03 Wed

But the Buddha (and even Mao Zedong) were able to go against the misogynism of their societies, so to me, that doesn't excuse Paul et al.

[> [> [> [> [> Of course not. -- Sophist, 08:18:31 04/17/03 Thu

Paul's misogynism is inexcusable, in the same way that it was inexcusable for Thomas Jefferson to "own" slaves. My only point was that one purpose of historical analysis is to understand people in the context of their own time. That may mitigate the amount of blame we assess.

Much more inexcusable than Paul are those who insist today on taking his words as literal commands.

[> All threads lead to Elizabeth Cady Stanton -- cjl, 09:08:23 04/17/03 Thu

In case you hadn't noticed, MG, a good chunk of these annotations are from Elizabeth Cady Stanton's The Women's Bible.

From the Skeptic's Bible site:

"The Woman's Bible, written by famous 19th Century feminist Elizabeth Cady Stanton and a 'Revising Committee,' is one of the first attempts by women to evaluate the Judeo-Christian legacy and its impact on women through history. Stanton concluded that 'the Bible in its teachings degrades Women from Genesis to Revelation.' However she and the other contributors found much to admire in the Bible, particularly some of the Old Testament women. While many of her views are still controversial, time and advances in womens' rights have lessened some of the shock value of this book. Stanton doesn't go as far as some modern feminist theologians and proclaim 'God is a woman', but there are several contributions which discuss the gender of the 'Elohim' and the female aspects of the Kabbalah."

For more on ECS and how her work relates to Buffy in general and what's happening in S7 in particular, see my "Buffy, the Birth of American Feminism and the Solitude of the Self" essay in the Existential Scoobies essay section. (Thanks to OnM and LS for putting it there.)

[> [> Re: All threads lead to Elizabeth Cady Stanton -- ponygirl, 09:40:37 04/17/03 Thu

cjl, can you recommend any good bios on Stanton? I've only read a few articles on her, nothing in depth, but your essays have me intrigued!

I wonder... (spoilers) -- Yu Yu Hakusho, 19:55:54 04/15/03 Tue

You know, I think Xander is the first major character in Buffy/Angel to ever get disfigured. So far, its only been cuts, bruises and scars easily hidden by clothing. I wonder if ME doesn't have something up its sleeve for him. Hey, maybe he will get a magic eye, and will truely be "the one who sees."

Man, saying that out loud sounds kind of lame lol. Maybe they should just stick him with an eyepatch (I wonder if they tested to see how Nick would look with one; you know, not many people can pull of that look).

Yu Yu

[> *cries* (Spoilers for Dirty Girls) -- Utopia, 20:49:06 04/15/03 Tue

Dammit dammit dammit, I knew it was going to happen. Somebody slipped that spoiler in without a warning and I saw it even though I was trying to be all spoiler-free - and all that talk of seeing and stuff? I mean it was the kind of spoiler that is just too awful to be false and I could see the foreshadowing months away...

But here's the thing, why can Willow regrow skin and heal bullet wounds and raise the dead and not give him a new eye?? It doesn't have to have magic powers, but she can do that much for him, right? Right? She better. Or I'll have to be depressed for the rest of the season and cry every time he's on screen.

Dammit, this isn't about good and evil, this is about *appearance*! For once it's important! (And apparently Iím shallow! heheh)

[> [> Willow and flesh wounds -- ceej, 23:08:08 04/15/03 Tue

>why can Willow regrow skin and heal bullet wounds and raise the dead and not give him a new eye?? It doesn't have to have magic powers, but she can do that much for him, right? Right? She better. Or I'll have to be depressed for the rest of the season and cry every time he's on screen.

Willow was able to regrow skin becuase she was drawing energy from the earth, in the episode (same time, same place) it's obvious willow was unable to keep the regrowing for a long period of time, she was "wiped out" being eaten and all. She had to draw energy from Buffy to heal...

About the bullet wound, Willow was only able to do that after she literally sucked the essence out of the black arts books up in the magic shop. so she was pretty juiced up on mystical energy and knowledge.

Will's only risen the dead once. That was Buffy, and when she tried to do that with Tara the mystical God-with-dark- clouds-in-bedroom wouldnt let her, and she killed it. There's a lot of rules and regulations... Which can be broken but, come with a price (ie: thurmogenesis)

At willow's magick level right now she could probably make an eye for Xander. However.. Magic can't be used to alter the natural order of things, this law can be broken it seems to be at times not a regulated law. Willow broke it several times (taking bullet out of Buffy, going dark willow etc) but there are things like Tara's death which she cant undo with Magicks. Plus, Tara said in Shadow "I've heard stories about people trying healing spells if we did something, it could make things a lot worse...." It may not be exactly be similar to joyce's condition (brain-taumor) versus xanders(eye-loss), but the same basic idea is there.. using magick could make it much WORSE then it already is. There tends to be a backfire affect when using magick mixed with altering natural things.


[> [> [> Re: Willow and flesh wounds -- Utopia, 01:07:03 04/16/03 Wed

Hmmm. You have some good points there. Way to use logic to dash my fantasy to pieces. Heh.

Still, I wonder if you could argue that since Caleb... (And may I pause to point out the cringingly stereotypical southern name? Yikes!) Right. Topic. Since Caleb is all weird and super-strong and obviously supernaturally augmented, this might be classified as an injury that was caused by something other than natural? Not by human means? Sure, yeah, a thumb, but an unnatural thumb.. To beat up slayers the way he did, it is possible that he isn't human anymore.

[> [> [> [> Re: Willow and flesh wounds -- Edward, 08:35:34 04/16/03 Wed

Why do people think that just becuse Willow isn't all dark and evil anymore she doesn't have that power. She didn't take the books power, but thier knowledge. In witchcraft and wicca(Willow follows witchcraft argue all you want) power comes only from knowledge. She has the power and always will...She might after she dies but thats kinda debatable....no matter.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Willow and flesh wounds -- ceej, 12:25:41 04/16/03 Wed

I'm not sure who you're saying this to but I feel like its being directed at me, but maybe not. In anycase, I agree with you willow has power (even though she's not dark)-- she's learned how to connect to higher energies (aside from her own energy). I was simply saying that there are some rules that may or may not be regulated but are logical in the sense that magick is NOT FREE its very tricky and the reason why one shouldn't mess with natural order of things is, it messes-up the balance. Look what happend when Willow brought Buffy back, not only did the thurmogenesis happend but, it made the First Evil get all peeved.

Well, from what you said "She didn't take the books power, but thier knowledge." Then you go and say "power comes only from knowledge" So then she did take the "power" of the books, becuase the power they offer is knowledge and thats what she sucked out of them...

Lastly, Willow yes indeed has power and always will, power in the sense of KNOWLEDGE, but her mystical power can be spent IE: in Wrecked, when Will couldn't close the curtians with a simple comand spell (Claudete)..
She goes on to say in the episode: "I felt awful today, and I couldn't do magic. Took me all day to get my powers back."


[> Re: I wonder... (spoilers) -- ahira, 21:11:51 04/15/03 Tue

A thought just popped in my head. I read a book quite a while back and can't remember the title of it. Alan Dean Foster was the author I believe. Anyhow, there were some mystical type badguys and it was a fight to keep them from entering into and taking over the earth dimension. The main characters that assembled to save the world all had one thing in common. At some point in their lives, they had lost an eye. They could "see" these beings out of the corner of the eye, the glass eyes that they all had. Just maybe the losing an eye thing will inadvertantly lead to Xander being able to "see" more.

[> [> Yes, and....[spoilers] -- Veronica, 22:18:25 04/15/03 Tue

And don't they say that people who are blind develop other senses? (keener hearing, perception, etc.). It will be interesting to see what happens with Xander. Especially in light of the talk he had with Dawn about the fact that all his friends had superpowers...

[> [> [> Medicially speaking and magickally speaking.... -- Briar Rose, 03:44:31 04/16/03 Wed

Assuming that Caleb didn't ruin the entire socket - as in inner nerves and connections needed to work - they could simply use a donated eye and cornea for Xander and replace it with less problems than...say Anne Rice's symbology of her character of the Red haired Twin (having problems remembering names here) stealing human eyes and magickally making them work with her Vampiric blood.

As for "all magick having backlash"... Well, that's only in Wiccan tenet and apparently in the Joss-verse and has nothing to do with any of the other numerous occult branches beliefs.*L Otherwise, if Willow was advanced enough in the Craft to heal other fleshly wounds, including death, she could heal the Xander eye sitch with no problem.

Since we're dealing with ME - all it says to me is that either they are going to come up with a really cool way to fix it before the end of the series, or Brendon is not signing up for anything remotely BtVS related in the future playing Xander.*S*

[> [> A slightly different perspective - Maybe I should get a cape... (spoils Dirty Girls, Potential) -- DL, 07:41:17 04/16/03 Wed

In my extremely humble opinion, I actually think, based off the speech Xander gave earlier in the episode, that he already "sees" more. While he could no doubt gain some extra power or develop something special, I think that the act of him losing his eye symbolically indicates that he didn't really need it. He knows what the situation is. He understands the role Buffy plays. That's because he is the Loyal - he is the Heart - which to me sees more clearly than the eye. Because he doesn't have some superpower, he's able to see things with clarity and balance, without having to be emotionally attached - because, as he says, no one is watching him. That part is best explained by his speech to Dawn in Potential. Then at the end, Dawn says that "Seeing. Knowing." are his powers. Dawnie, I love you, because you're absolutely right.

Unfortunately he has to be punished for it, in something that has stuck in my mind all night. And the fact that Caleb already knows this indicates to me that there is more to him than we see.

Brief pause to applaud excellent writing and connection by ME.

Anyhoo, just my brief thoughts. I'd love to hear what you all think.


[> Or perhaps... -- RichardX1, 08:23:57 04/16/03 Wed

He could get a magic eye that allows him to read people's minds and capture their souls inside Duel Monsters cards!

Oh, like nobody expected a Yu-Gi-Oh! reference to show up after that.

[> Re: I wonder... (spoilers) -- leslie, 11:13:55 04/16/03 Wed

"Maybe they should just stick him with an eyepatch (I wonder if they tested to see how Nick would look with one; you know, not many people can pull of that look)."

They already did--he was wearing a patch as a pirate at the Halloween sale at the Magic Box when he announced he and Anya were getting married. Arrrr. Shiver me timbers.

[> Re: Didn't anyone think of Mad Eye Moody? -- B, 13:25:10 04/16/03 Wed

I think I've figured it out! (spoilers for SHP & Dirty Girls) -- Scroll, 20:23:19 04/15/03 Tue

Masq quoted Jasmine's speech on how Good and Evil began, etc. in her review of "Shiny Happy People":

"In the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the Earth. (Powers that Were? Angels? Gods?)

Untold power emanated from all quarters, the seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. [Yet there was a balance.] (A balance that the PTB have been working to restore ever since? Seems like Whistler's thing.)

But the shadows stretched and became darkness. And the malevolent among us grew stronger. The Earth became a demon realm. (As told in GiD via the shadow play.)

Those of us who had the will to resist left this place. (Where did they go?)

But we remained ever watchful. (Interesting. So they were Watchers?)

Then something new emerged from deep inside the Earth. (From beneath you?)

Neither demon nor god. And it seemed, for a time, that through this new race the balance might be restored."

Considering Caleb's emphasis that what humanity wants is power, and that wanting power isn't necessarily a bad thing, and with all the tie-in of how the First Evil wants to upset the balance, then it stands to reason the day will be saved when Humanity Takes Hold of Power.

Ugh. This is very incoherent. And now I must go study or else I will fail my exams.

[> It's certainly what I hope for! Good post. -- Rahael, 14:19:49 04/16/03 Wed

I think you've hit on a number of key points here. I totally agree, and am ruminating on these sorts of ideas - nothing coherent yet though.

[> [> Heh, you give me too much credit -- Scroll, 22:16:24 04/16/03 Wed

I went back over my post and realised that I should never, ever post on zero hours of sleep right before a big exam. It never goes well! Anyway, hopefully I will have a more coherent theory by next week.

[> [> [> Not in the least! -- Rahael, 01:27:24 04/17/03 Thu

I'll have more to say soon too - and in the meantime, good luck vibes still happening!

Faith and Willow -- Jenny's Love, 20:41:05 04/15/03 Tue

What I want to know is, who's car was Willow driving? Also, I wonder what she and Faith talked about on the drive from L.A. (granted, not a very long road trip, but still). Maybe they just listened to muzak the whole time--who knows.

[> Re: Faith and Willow -- Utopia, 22:03:58 04/15/03 Tue

Wasn't that Xanders car?

[> [> Re: Faith and Willow -- Jenny's Love, 07:26:38 04/16/03 Wed

Good point!

Dirty Girls scene - a King Lear parallel? -- BlueStem, 21:22:45 04/15/03 Tue

Does the eye stabbing scene remind anyone of King Lear's eye gouging scene? Like the play, this scene is gratuitously violent. And there seems to be some kind of point-counterpoint thing with the physical sight vs. spiritual sight theme. In Lear, Gloucester "sees" the truth (e.g. about Edmund) after his eyes were gouged. Here, Xander got stabbed because Caleb thinks he sees the big picture.

Do I make sense at all? Or am I just seeing things in tangent?

[> Hmm, maybe -- Cleanthes, 22:26:10 04/15/03 Tue

But then, wouldn't it have to have something to do with Cordelia somehow? (kidding, I think, although I've always wanted to find a King Lear reason for the name "Cordelia" to have been chosen. Why have none of the potentials been named Regan or Goneril? Hmpff)

"Great Gods that we adore, whereof comes this?"

When I see great violence, I recall Seneca's use of this and so stoically deny that any violence is gratuitous.

You make sense, but I see only in tangents, so make of this what you will.

[> [> Re: Hmm, maybe -- Grant, 23:05:21 04/15/03 Tue

My guess as to the use of the name Cordelia refers to both characters speaking their minds. Buffyverse Cordelia is well known as being very proudly tactless and, as we learned in Earshot, basically saying what she is thinking. Learverse Cordelia causes a whole mess of trouble because she does not want to join in on a silly game King Lear is playing in which he is making his daughters tell him how much they love him before he gives them their inheritance. She tells him the truth: he is acting childish and the other two sisters were being dishonest in the way they pledged their love to him. Both Cordelia's seem to share the epithet Learverse Cordelia gives herself: "So young, my lord, and true" (I.i.108). At least, that is the best connection I have found between them. It is possible there is a deeper connection I have missed, or that there is no connection at all and I'm just making something out of nothing (which King Lear would not approve of at all).

[> [> [> Re: Hmm, maybe -- Cleanthes, 06:11:14 04/16/03 Wed

It is possible there is a deeper connection I have missed, or that there is no connection at all and I'm just making something out of nothing (which King Lear would not approve of at all).

"Nothing comes of nothing!" Hehe, pretty good!

I suppose they had some fun casting Charisma Carpenter as Cordelia Chase, too.

In my earlier post I quoted from memory and it's been 32 years since I played in Lear in high school and I didn't even play Albany. The actual line I quoted should have gone "Now, gods that we adore..." instead of Great gods The anal-retentive fusspot in me insists on mentioning this for all of you who hit the search engines to find my quote in the text of Lear.

On the broader issue of a blindness parallel between the recent Buffy's and Lear, I think BlueStem is on to something. Lear has the greatest blindness in the play. Has Buffy been blind, too?

Wood and Giles have not seen, either.

The First needs to blind those who can see - direct attacks have now targetted Faith, Willow & Xander.

[> [> [> agree: a baby name book moment -- tim, 11:42:55 04/16/03 Wed

Last summer, my wife and I were going through a baby name book, thinking of the (possibly distant) future, and ran across the following entry for CORDELIA:

"In King Lear, Cordelia was a woman of rare honesty."

It seemed to fit our Cordy so well, that I can still remember the entry, more or less verbatim, eight months later.


[> I was thinking Odin -- Vickie, 08:30:40 04/16/03 Wed

Gloucester had both eyes gouged out. Odin gave up one eye to achieve wisdom (IIRC).

[> [> Re: I was thinking Odin -- leslie, 09:20:22 04/16/03 Wed

Not just Odin--generally, in myth, one-eyed-ness is the mark of someone who can "see in both worlds." In fact, as soon as Caleb started gouging I was thinking "Well that's dumb of you, don't you realize you're just going to make him see better??" Though perhaps he intended to do one eye at a time and Spike spiked that plan, turning a bad thing into a useful thing.

Generally, in Indo-European mythology, you get a pairing of the "one-eyed god" with the "one-handed god" (in Germanic mythology, Odin and Tyr; in Irish, you get, for instance in the Second Battle of Moytura, Balor and Nuada; and the Indian cognates escape me at the moment). So I'm going to be very nervous if someone looks like they're going to stick their hand in something that could lop it off, like, say, a big wolf's jaws.

[> [> [> Hmm--one handed like the potential whose arm was broken, maybe? -- Dyna, 16:16:18 04/16/03 Wed

[> King Lear, or possibly farther back... -- Bronson, 08:35:54 04/16/03 Wed

As you point out, there are differences between Xander's blinding, which is incomplete and apparently done *because* of his insight, and Gloucester's blinding, which is total and (as I remember) a result of his lack of insight -- he trusted the wrong people.
The spiritual-insight-vs.-physical-sight theme is a hoary old chestnut. Oedipus at Colonus and Paul at Damascus come to mind immediately -- both stories predate Shakespeare, though probably not his source material for Lear. Xander's blinding is a strange twist, though. Surely Caleb doesn't think he's eliminating Xander's sensibilities by impairing his senses? Perhaps he's counting on pain and rage to overwhelm Xander's reasoning?
Or is he just taking out another enemy foot-soldier?

[> [> Re: King Lear, or possibly farther back... -- luminesce, 08:59:04 04/16/03 Wed

Tiresias is another source for the physical sight/spiritual insight thing. His loss of physical sight brought on his powers of prophecy.

Milton (who was blind/going blind) picks up on that imagery in the Invocation at the opening of book 3 of Paradise Lost.

Of course, on the more practical and less philosophical side, if the Bringers are, as Caleb says "my boys" maybe he's the one who makes them, and maybe he's taken the first step towards turning Xander into one.

[> [> [> Blinding -- Rahael, 17:18:58 04/16/03 Wed

This is slightly OT, but Milton's critics (political) claimed that his blindness was a judgement against him by God. He affirms the opposite message - real blindness (mental) as opposed to physical blindness, is self inflicted. Milton may be physically blind, but to him it is a 'house of liberty' compared to the mental prisons that others may live in.

In a season where 'disconnection' has been emphasised, is Xander's physical blinding, counterpointed with his ability to see a pointer for us to look at characters who are not seeing? The FE after all, plays with illusion and deception and false imagery.

[> [> [> [> Spoilers for DG above -- Rahael, 17:31:26 04/16/03 Wed

Gimme that Old Time Religion and other impressions....(spoilers Dirty Girls Btvs and SHP) -- s'kat, 22:02:23 04/15/03 Tue

Give me that old -time religion;
Give me that old-time religion;
Give me that old-time religion,
It's good enough for me.

It was good for our mothers,
It was good for our mothers;
It was good for our mothers,
And it's good enough for me.

It has served our fathers, etc.

Makes me love everybody, etc.

It will do when I'm dying, etc.

It will take us all to heaven, etc.

Old gospel tune that was hard as heck to find.

Shall we gather by the river. The beautiful, beautiful river?Yes! We'll gather at the river. That beautiful, beautiful river; gather with the saints at the river that flows by the throne of God!"

Robert Lowery - wrote this spiritual. Been stuck in my head ever since Arethusa's post "we are gathered here in peace" last week. (See archive one or two...I think)


Ah religion. What is it about ME and religion? If you were watching Firefly this past fall, you would have caught a cliche episode that I can't remember the name of. The plot was roughly: Doctor Simon and his sister River, feeling abandoned by the Serenity Crew, are kidnapped by a bunch of ignorant religious fanatics who need a doctor. They react to River, who has odd visions, as a witch and proceed to burn her at the stake. I mean she has to be evil, right? She can see the future! The Doc tries to stop them and finds himself about to be burned at the stake too. A old time preacher/leader presiding over it. Until Captain Mal (played by Nathan Fillion, Caleb) and Zoe (played by Gina Torres, Jasmine) come flying to the rescue, spouting something about how they believe in each other and don't go by religion or outside gods. It's not the afterlife they are worried about, it's the here and now.

Yep that old time religion. Meant to bring us together, comfort us, yet more often than not is used as an excuse to seperate us and break us apart. Is it our human weakness that makes us depend on religion? Do we feel so powerless that we need it as a crutch? That we want someone to be our shepard? Someone to save us? Or do we seek religion to find meaning in life, connection with one another and hope? Both I expect. Religion can be a good thing and a bad thing.
But taken to an extreme? Never good. But then nothing taken to an extreme ever is.

On the surface - it feels like two cliches and I'm sure many casual viewers saw it as such. The False Messiah and the Evil Preacher. But and I repeat, "There are no new ideas, just new ways of telling them. " A cliche only happens when the idea is retread in the same exact way. But if you put a new spin on it? No longer a cliche. And only time will tell how and if this new spin will happen. What seems like a cliche today, may not two episodes from now.

Xander, Xander, Xander....oddly enough I just finished watching Inca Mummy Girl and School HArd prior to tonight's episode. In both, Xander is the potential sacrifice. He is almost sacrificed to Spike by Angel as a ruse to trick Spike in School Hard. Angel exposes Xander's neck to his old pal Spike. Later he almost sacrifices himself to Ampamta the Inca Mummy Girl who wishes to live no matter what, she wants the power of life, but to have it, she must suck it from others, since she is already dead. In tonight's episode - Xander is emphasized as the man who can see to the "heart" of the matter. He cuts through the crap. He cuts through the potential's whining and tells them who and what Buffy is and why they should trust her. He cuts through the criticism upstairs and says what Giles can't quite state, that they could be stepping into a trap which oddly enough reminds me of well numerous other episodes, when Xander points out it's a trap and Buffy walks smack into it.

What struck me as odd regarding Xander in this episode, is two things:

1. Xander and the dream sequence and most importantly, Anya's absence. Where indeed was Anya? Her absence is almost deliberate. I kept looking for her. In the dream sequence, she's not present either. He is alone, having what amounts to a wet dream about girls - what after Caleb discusses "dirty girls" being whores.

2. When Caleb grabs Xander to take out his eye, his left eye. The camera gives us a close up of Spike's eyes and shocked/horrified expression. (Not Buffy's, not Faith's, not the potential he saved.) Why? Spike in fact has been in the process of dragging Buffy out of there, but he stops horrified when Caleb grabs Xander. And it is Spike who rescues Xander and gets him out of Caleb's grasp. Spike and Buffy help get Xander out of there.

What's the deal? I think maybe Spike and Xander are connected somehow. Just as Faith and Buffy are. Two sides of a coin. Faith had abusive sex with Xander. Buffy had abusive sex with Spike. Also note first team is Buffy, Spike, potentials. Second team is Faith, Xander and potentials. Seemed odd to me she had Xander come, since he's not super- powered or anything. While we're on the topic of teams - note Giles and Willow stayed with the home team.

Going back to the religion theme. When I think of religion, I think of authority, patriarchial authority figures - comes from being raised Catholic, I expect, I also have been to quite a few of the Protestant churchs. At any rate - the head cheese is a man. The collar symbolizes "Father" and/or celibacy, if memory serves (feel a bit nervous mentioning religion on this board - we got one too many theologians and religion experts lurking about just waiting for someone to slip up. So big disclaimer: what follows is not based on any textual fact, it is purely my opinion. Feel free to correct at will.), in the Catholic faith - the priest was supposed to be a stand-in for Christ, his agent on earth. Caleb is clearly a stand-in/agent for the First Evil - who interestingly enough has taken Buffy's shape. And dang, was it just me, or does SMG look better as the First than she does as Buffy? Must be all that supernatural faux lighting.

Caleb also represents all of Buffy's worse fears. Fears we see popping up all over the place this season. First with Wood, who calls her a filthy whore when he's possessed briefly by the First in Storyteller, then with Giles who keeps questioning her authority.

Authority figures.

Wood - the boss/principal - representative of all of Buffy's principal's and bosses through the years. The manipulative charming man who has his own private agenda.
Once you cross him? He fires you, but he is oh so charming about it, letting you know it's for your own good. He's doing you a favor. Sort of reminds me of The Mayor meets Snyder meets Flutie meets the Psychiatrist meets Wesley.

Giles - the mentor/teacher/father - representative of all Buffy's father figures. Telling her what to do. Questioning her every action. Treating her like a little girl who doesn't know any better. (This is how Buffy feels.)

Now we have Caleb. Caleb's lines in the opening reminded me of what went through Buffy's head last year when she thought she'd come back wrong. "Dirty, filthy, soulless thing". Women have no soul. You suck the marrow from men's bones. You are empty and only filled with darkness.

Think back to the shadowmen in Get it Done - they want to fill Buffy up with darkness and she refuses. When she does they show her hell on earth.

Then we have Faith - who like Buffy both fears and desires authority. The Mayor reassured her. Yet she fought him.
She is willing to let Buffy take the lead. She's uncertain of where she stands.

Her conversation with Spike actually fascinated me. His questions regarding prison -were quite insightful. Why stay?
he asks. What purpose? What did you get from it? And Faith realizes with some discomfort very little - hence the quick change in topics to something she is comfortable with - sex. Something Buffy is extreemly uncomfortable with. So now we have Faith taking Anya's place? (Is that why we had no Anya, I wonder?) Faith is coming on to Spike, and to his credit he deals with her pretty well. They almost sort of bond. But then Faith has an advantage over everyone else - she spent time inside Angel's head, she knows a little something about remorse and trying to redeem oneself. And she learned from Angel - living with it is far harder than dying.

Side note here: This is rapidly becoming Buffy's ex-murder's club. We have Faith, Giles, Willow, Spike, Anya,
Andrew - all who have at one point or another murdered someone. Dangerous people.

Faith also notice seems to be very comfortable sitting on the bed, smoking, with a half-naked Spike, tousled bed head and everything. Buffy, not so much. She also got a thrill out of the idea that Buffy actually may have boinked Spike.
As she says to Buffy : "You just hang out with all the cool vampires..."

I note this - because the idea of bed/sex/and kinkiness is emphasized big time in this episode. First with Caleb's comment that all women are whores. The First Evil's appearance as Buffy and coy come on to Caleb. Then Xander's wet dream about two girls doing it in front of him and the girl pillow fight (very interesting that it was a three- some, ie kinky sex with the girls in control). Faith describes her sexual encounters to Spike - the bull-whip being used on her, and the girl scout and cheerleader trick. Spike states it's old hat, implying she can do better? Possibly be the one in control now? She says - if you can't beat them (a sexual come on, not a redeemptive line btw), Spike states - join them and implies he bets she'd be on top. She joins him for a smoke on the bed and they discuss that little scene where she came on to him in Buffy's Body in Who Are You - which may have set off Spike's spin from killing Buffy to lusting after Buffy.
The discussion between the two of them is almost completely about sex. And the handcuffs? Once again sex is alluded to.
Fitting since Faith - like Spike - has no troubles with sex and kinks. She is free about it. And free with her body being sexually attractive.

Buffy is not fine. And who should appear to emphasize this fear? But Caleb - who considers women dirty.

Gimme That Old Time Religion...

In old time religion, women were dirty, they were beneath the guys. They knew their place.

And well there was always that eye for an eye. You look on the lord and become blinded. Blinded by Knowledge. And you smite me? I take out your eye. Eye for an Eye - the metaphor for vengeance.

So Xander, the heart of the gang, the one who has become very non-vengeful this year. Who sees with the eyes of love. Loses his eye. And it is an Eye in Showtime that tells Giles and Anya that Buffy disrupted the balance. Could the eye in Showtime actually be Xander's eye transformed? Also note, Xander tells the potentials before they leave to either hit the villians in heart, neck or eyes. The villians kill the potentials by stabbing through heart, breaking their necks, or taking out Xander's eye. Xander says everyone has eyes except the bringers - when in doubt go for them. So Caleb being the only villain in the room with eyes, goes for Xander's. Very ironic. And in a way - an eye for an eye.

The potentials who got killed - sadly not Rona or Kennedy. But if you didn't like Molly? Guess what - gone. Stabbed through the heart. The Chinese girl? Also gone. Broken neck. And Rona? Broken arm. Interesting injuries.

Also in the fight? Spike and Faith are both thrown into the red wine compared to blood - symbolizing a baptism in their sins. Both have souls drenched in blood. Both symbolically are thrown by evil priest caleb into it. Only Buffy is able to hurt Caleb at all, and only after she gets enraged.

So we have the mention of wine into blood or the transbutation (sp?) and the commentary that all non- Catholics wonder about it - what if it was white wine?
LOL! But the significance of this is also the whole - it always has to blood, blood is life. Jasmine is born through the sacrifice of innocent blood. Caleb drinks wine symbolizing innocent blood.

Prior to joining the first, Caleb preached about the power of religion. Power. The flashback vision of the girl he killed - comes to him for power. She's seduced by the notion of it. He, Caleb, searched for answers all his life, but found them only in the taking of life or the power that the taking of life gave him. Power to take life seems a wonderous thing to Caleb. Possibly because he can't create it.

Jasmine is born by sapping the life energy from Cordy. From taking life. Caleb grows in power from taking life. Inca Mummy Girl gains life's power by taking life. The Master got out of the hellmouth by taking life. Giles was empowered by killing Ben. Wood would have felt empowered by killing Spike. Spike felt empowered once by killing Nikki and feels empowered when he wears he coat. Faith felt empowered by killing two men and loved her knife. Willow felt empowered by taking life. But is this true power?
Or just one end of it? The left as opposed to the right?

We are gathered here by the river, the beautiful river.
Rivers flow from sources of life. They are about life.
Religion when it works is about connecting to life not death. When we connect to the power of creation we are restored, but mortality and death also are part of the cycle. Where humans often fail is by focusing on one and not the other...tipping the balance. Nature does both and continues onwards. It connects life to death and back again. It's not a straight line, it's a circle.

Caleb gets the power of death but not of life. He sees negation only. And that is his weakness.

Religion that focuses on only the after-life - only on death is similarly weak and holds no true power.

Hmmm not sure where I'm going with this ramble anymore.
Will leave it to you guys to figure it out since it's almost one and I should go to sleep.

Thanks for indulging me. Hope it generates discussion.


PS: yep, I loved the episode.

[> Uhm spoilers for Ats SHP too, also a Firefly episode. -- s'kat, 22:10:07 04/15/03 Tue

Sure typos and other mistakes abound as well. It's late.
And I got lazy. What can i say? ;-) sk

[> Regarding Anya: (spoiler for 7.18) -- HonorH, 22:53:34 04/15/03 Tue

Is anyone else thinking this was filmed while EC was filming "Darkness Falls"? That would account for Anya's absence. I do want to see her reaction to Xander's mutilation and hope we'll get to that when the show returns. Eegh!

[> [> Re: Regarding Anya: (spoiler for 7.18) -- Dochawk, 23:34:04 04/15/03 Tue

Nope this was 4 or 5 weeks ago. Darkness Falls was done last summer. In reality, not only was Anya missing, Dawn had one line, Giles barely more. AH was off shooting American Wedding so that explains her 5 lines. This was Buffy/Faith and Xander/Spike and thats about it.

[> Since we are going to talk cliche, not a commentary on Skat's post.......spoilers for Dirty Girls -- Rufus, 00:48:19 04/16/03 Wed

On the Trollop board things can get a bit crazy as we are waiting for the episodes to air. A few people write up summaries but the summary is only as good as the details within. One problem with summaries based upon Shooting Scripts is that they tend to be bent toward a certain character or characters...and the nuance of the actors performance or the cuts or rewrites can't be taken into consideration.....here is what I said after a summary of Dirty Girls in February.....

Trollop Board

From: "bedstemore "
Date: Mon Feb 24, 2003 12:22 am
Subject: ****A Comment on the Latest ep 18 spoilers****


I've been sleeping off and on all day but do somehow remember posting the Spoilers from ep 18 by Bubonic Plague. Bub was very honest in her disclaimer about her leanings towards Spike as her favorite character....so the spoilers are going to be seen looking more at that character. Do not get depressed or upset about anything for one reason....the printed word or the script can only give the facts, it's the actors that give us the emotional side to everything and what reads one way on paper just may look very very different onscreen. I love all the characters because the show needs them all to tell the story...we all have our favorites that we can get emotional about, and sometimes in our emotion forget that we may make snap judgements about the actions in this episode. So remember the printed page and a fictional show are one thing.....we all the members of Spoiler Crypt and ConverseBuffyverse are real live people. We won't always agree but just remember that all our feelings count (except for obvious trolls, they don't). When I think of the show one quote from a screenwriter came to mind......

"Storytelling, it's all contrivances, it's all cliches......The cliches are cliches cause they are universal truths."

Ken Hixon screenwriter for City by the Sea

From what I have read so far on ep 18 I'm very happy....I feel a strong story is coming out that just may spark accusations of cliche but life is one big cliche, or we wouldn't form communities like SC and CVBV......so relax we only have part of a story...we can quibble about the contrivances when we see the finished product....


Now back to the show.....I'm going to do something that will surprise the pure among you....I'm going to say don't read the summary for the season finale and I listed some of the reasons above. I remember before ep 18 came out people were some pissed about the new character Caleb, but he has a place in the storyline that people should be paying attention to...hint....why is he the "chosen one" of the First....and why the hell is he the only one with eyes left? Okay the second comment doesn't count. But back to cliche..Ken Hixon said it way better than I ever could...we have cliches because they come from some truth. In the last few episodes I can see where people just may wonder what the heck is going on....so again I say don't read the summary for the final ep of Buffy. One, it's skewed towards one character, two, there are going to be changes when the ep was filmed and I suspect some stuff added that isn't in the script that has been leaked. So...follow the story and ignore the calls of cliche, contrivance....and wait to see what happens at the end.....oh jeeze I just may have to hand in my Spoiler Trollop identity card....the shame of it.....;)

[> [> A trollop confesses (no spoilers for anything I promise) -- Helen, 01:36:46 04/16/03 Wed

I read the 7.22 summary and now I so wish I hadn't. I am convinced that it is reliable, but now I know exactly what is going to happen and I wish I didn't. I feel all nasty and unclean (hey! I'm a Dirty Girl!) but there it was, I had to look, and kind of like Eve I tasted of the Tree of knowledge and now there's no way back.

Fortunately I don't know too much about what happens between now and then, so I will try to stay away from the evil Spoiler boards. Help me be strong people please.

[> [> [> Re: A trollop confesses (no spoilers for anything I promise) -- Rufus, 02:55:56 04/16/03 Wed

All I can say is that the summary is skewed in favor of one character......what I've seen I just love..all of it...;)

[> [> [> [> Re: RUFUS & HELEN- A trollop confesses (no spoilers for anything I promise) -- Angelina, 07:33:44 04/16/03 Wed

I agree with your warning Rufus & Helen, Sadly, I too have read Bubonic's Review of the 7.22 script and I must say that at first blush, I was crazed (hysterical laughing as usual with her commentary, but nonetheless crazed). But after a while I got to thinking and was somehow strangely OK with this finale ending. Even as presented in the script that is out now (and I honestly feel that what we DONíT see in that script is going to make ALL the difference at the end), I can live with what happens to "our gang". Just remember, be optimistic, I have called for Joss' head 100 times these past two days, but I am going to have one last bit of faith in the man that created the mythology that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer - one of the greatest creations for the screen EVER. Joss cannot let the finale air as written now. There will be more added, some deleted, and it will be all good. Maybe I am being too gullible about it, but I just love Buffy (and my Spike too) and want her to go out the hero she is and always will be in my heart. God, I am going to miss her and this show. Have Faith. I hope I can live up to these thoughts in the end. If not, Iím gonna go after Joss Whedon with a two by four. Hee.

[> [> [> [> [> still no spoilers, I wouldn't want anyone to feel like I do -- Helen, 07:52:52 04/16/03 Wed

I had no problem with what appeared from the Bubonic summary to be the plot of the episode, and since the summary lacked dialogue, directions, lighting, bodies etc I won't pretend there'll be no pleasure in seeing it. I remember reading the shooting scripts for various eps before I had seen them and thinking "God, that's going to be crap!", and then being blown away. But still, I wish I had been stronger. Learn from me, my children, do not follow me into sinful ways.

Helen recites Poster's Prayer five times and performs an act of contrition.

[> [> Cliches and note on spoilers.......spoilers for Dirty Girls -- s'kat, 07:14:52 04/16/03 Wed

A quick note on spoilers - I've been avoiding them for a while now. I got slightly spoiled on Xander's eye, by reading a Nick Brendon interview on another board - ugh!
Spoiled on what Caleb was from Nathan Fillion interview.
And I got slightly spoiled on a casting spoiler for the last episode. That's it. What I do know from seeing rumors
and spec floating around is this:

If you are spoiled for episode 7.22? Think again. Whedon has filmed at least four different versions. He has six shooting scripts floating about. And he wrote one version in September and another now. Also the majority of shooting scripts this season have been way off on some things. Lies certainly was. So was Beneath You. And last year? People were convinced Spike would get the chip removed.

I've been tempted to get spoiled on 7.22 by numerous posts
and teasers I've read here, but I don't want to be. Respect that decision and do NOT post any definite or not so definite spoilers to this thread. (Not that you did Rufus - you didn't. You've been very good. I'm just warning other people who might decide to.) I don't want to know.

Okay maybe not so quick.


Cliches are partly cliches because they sprout from universal truths. There's a reason we repeat the same stories. We are trying to figure something out, perhaps?

So I ask you what universal truth do the Evil Preacher and the False Messiah represent? What is it about these two that bears repeating? And why do we do it?

For what it's worth - I think it may be part of the reason that many of us practice religion. The Evil Preacher and False Messiah stand as warnings in a way of our own dependence on religion. A warning not to trust too much in the leadership of an alleged agent of God or too much in an alleged prophet. To not allow it to fog our minds. These two represent what happens when we take religion to extreems. When we decide to blindly follow someone else.
That in a way is the metaphor of the bringers - they blindly follow the preacher Caleb who acts as the agent of the First. They can see nothing but their allegiance and as a result have no eyes. They can't see.

Caleb is the preacher who lost his faith. He felt nothing.
Kept searching. Then the First appeared. The First says something interesting to Caleb's speech about his finding the First and seeing the answers in it. "You think I'm a god?" The First posing as Buffy seems amused by this.
Caleb too is blind, in a way, he can only see what he wants to see.

Then we have Jasmine - whose followers are blind to her true state. Their desires blind them to what Jasmine truly is and they drop everything. They stop. Just as Angel and others stopped in THAW, blind to anything but the slots, giving up their path for it. That's the danger of blind devotion - you lose your way. Again the fairy tales - Little Red Riding Hood who loses her way in the forest because she stops to chat with a handsome wolf. Or any number of stories. People in Ats are blinded by Jasmine's beauty, her hope and can't see the rot behind it. Blinded by hope. People in Btvs are blinded by fear, despair, rage, and anger. Wood is blinded by his anger at Spike, his need for vengeance. Giles is blinded by his fears. etc.

The Evil Preacher uses our fears to mold us to his will. His preachings are based on "hellfire and brimstone", on the worst case scenerio. In the Old Time Religion - we
are threatened if we don't follow. We are pushed into the lake to be baptised and almost drowned. It's based on fear.

The False Messiah uses our hopes and dreams, our desire for peace to mold us to it's will. It's preachings are based on platitudes. We are given the best case scenerio. But blinded by it. We believe we are saved, that everything will be fine and just sit happily singing...oblivious to that which is around us.

Both are extremes. Both serve as lessons. And both are still present in our society today. That may be why they keep being repeated in our stories.


[> [> [> Re: Cliches and note on spoilers.......spoilers for Dirty Girls -- lunasea, 15:33:35 04/16/03 Wed

Caleb is the preacher who lost his faith. He felt nothing.

Caleb has his faith. He just doesn't have love. He is pretty darn powerful. He smacked Buffy across the room like she was a doll. How often do we see Buffy lose consciousness? We haven't found the source of Caleb's power yet.

Caleb isn't blind devotion. He is in charge of those with blind devotion. Xander has blind devotion to Buffy, thus he is maimed by Caleb. Caleb is real danger. He can see, but he lacks love.

The vampire symbols abounded with Caleb. Caleb is what happens with faith without soul/love. Caleb is in more control than vampires are. He is even more dangerous.

Caleb is truly scary. I have a feeling Connor will play that roll over on AtS and not Jasmine.

[> [> [> Amend that -- s'kat, 15:40:37 04/16/03 Wed

Caleb lost his faith in love and god and good and refound it in evil and power of death. He is a bit like the preacher who lost faith, got angry, found a representation of the pain he felt and got power from that.

[> [> Re: Since we are going to talk cliche, not a commentary on Skat's post -- maddog, 08:39:01 04/16/03 Wed

I wouldn't say so...it's one thing to be spoiled for the majority of the season...even in some cases the season finale...but when you're speaking of a series finale...a series that's as beloved as Buffy...I think you can take that one show off from spoilage and just sit back and be amazed at the writing and acting that we've grown to love. I know I"m steering clear of any finale spoilage I see.

[> Appearances, words, and belief..a thought or two....(spoilers Dirty Girls Btvs and SHP) -- Rufus, 01:25:51 04/16/03 Wed

"Dirty Girls"....great title for an episode that was so visually...interesting. I have to take some time to say that sometimes words can be confused and we end up with Faith killing an innocent Vulcan. Most of all words are important this season because they can be taken so many ways. We have Andrew who lives in a comic book, movie, mish mashed in with reality, but sometimes he does say things that are effective. Words, powerful in that said in the right order, the right way, folks will kill over them...I have to wonder just how much carnage the Good Book has started...all because of how people interpret the words they read or hear.

Early in the show we get Andrew explaining Faith, in a montage of images that made me think it was just one long wonder-bra commercial. Of course cause Faith has breasts, and likes to make sure we all know that, she is a dirty girl. Take that thought to the extreme and a woman that gives a man a sideways glance is asking for it...whatever it is. Xander has his wet dream at the beginning of the show where he has a naughty dream about the potentials. And Giles and Wood are seen as men of authority who know which way or thing is the best to do. Buffy is busy trying to fit into that male way of problem solving using those dreary speeches which all sound the same, and have no other value other than put everyone into a coma before they are picked off by the First. Yet, we listen to Xander when he tells the girls that Buffy cares about them more than her speeches and actions show.

Tonight we got the cliche Southern Preacher full of hate over what he considers dirty girls, whores..the reason that life is so screwed up. I have to wonder what the hell his mother was like, to heck with mom, how about dad while I'm at it. Caleb, he is full of righteousness, but he is evil to the marrow. He takes words and twists them into a reason to cleanse the earth of the whore, the dirty girl. No wonder the First has this guy as a mouthpiece...at the very least he is entertaining to listen to, just before you get tempted to punch his lights out.....here we go eye for and eye again. But that's the thing about words...they can cause so many different reactions. From someone who thinks like Caleb does...the ultimate blaming the other guy, well girl that goes back to the beginning of time...Eve. Oh yeah, the First has been an Eve this year. So does that make Caleb an Adam with a better idea on how to keep things a paradise? I bet he does.

Words...damn things get used to the point of no return, make one forget what they know, what they see to be true, and decide to take the word as a truth...depending on how it is said or written. Bringing me back to the First. First evil....the part of us that we'd like to think has no power, but every time we doubt ourself, think badly about each other, that evil can come to the surface and influence how we do things. The First doesn't seem so scary when we see it mainly as Buffy...or other characters, but that is why it's so good at what it does. The First has a way with words, a way of finding that twinge of self-doubt....use the truth to get people making mistakes. Getting people to look for something before they know what it even is, or if it is anything at all.

Words...cliches...we saw lots of them tonight, and how confusing things can get when words are used in the right or wrong way. Was Buffy right to go into full attack mode? Would anyone else have made better choices? One thing, I feel the gang better start considering the words they use and the words used against them before making up their minds on what is right, wrong, or if to go. And to all of us, it's time to look past the obvious cliche or say breasts or collar, and our reaction to it/them and consider what it all means to the outcome of the problem of the First Evil.

[> [> Words I will cling to for now -- Deb, 04:39:32 04/16/03 Wed

Thanks for a level headed take on all these words. I did such a stupid thing yesterday. I read that ep. 22 spoiler. This after I've already cried my eyes out while reading an academic journal article. Then my daughter calls from school crying and I start crying with her. Then one of her teachers call crying about upsetting my daughter and I cry with her. Then this guy I've been seeing for a couple of weeks calls, and I'm all upset so I try real hard to not cry, and he asks me if I'm upset and I start crying. Then I cry some more after the conversation because I just know that was the last time I'll ever hear from him again because I was crying. THEN I read the spoiler for ep 22 and cry (oh so many reasons!). Then I remember I'm depressed, but my doctor skipped town one night and forgot I was going through withdrawals from a highly addictive drug another stupid doctor perscribed for me and didn't leave a note telling anyone else that we were supposed to be a team through this and I have to taper off the drug or I'll have seizures, but I'm told I have to wait to have a seizure and go to the emergency room before I can get more drugs and I start crying because I feel like a junkie who can't find a heroin fix. Then I watch Buffy and everthing is so flat -- the acting, the fight scenes, the characters -- so I start crying again. Then I realize that I'm a complete failure in all areas of life simply because I have too many areas of life, and I don't feel like I have a life at all really. Then I wonder if I could let someone die if it would save the world and I realize that that is a stupid question. I mean it. That is really a stupid question. It's the kind of question that stupid white men ask. The question really should be, "Can you stop trying to kill yourself, and just walk away from your self imposed prison and just be happy even if it means the world loses all of your "potential" but gains one happy resident?" I hate my potential. I have all this wonderful insight that just illuminates my potential, but when I see it I know life is really just a really bad joke because I was given all this potential and all I can produce is ambivalence. I wish I could auction off my potential on EBay and sell it to someone who isn't encased in stone.

[> [> Interesting thing about words (Spoilers for SHP and Dirty Girls) -- s'kat, 06:50:34 04/16/03 Wed

In both shows words have been used in an interesting way.

Last week's episode of Ats for instance, Shiny Happy People, Jasmine uses all sorts of happy reassuring boring cliche phrases to set people at ease. But does not appear to have a name and instead takes one from a flower. The First Evil uses all sorts of hateful, manipulative, words but also does not appear to have a name. Why? I wonder if it's because we, humanity, has never found a name for it.
If we can't give our fears, our hopes a name - what happens to them? Names have power. In fairy tales - if you say the name of a creature - you hold the power over it. If it says your name it has power over you. The Farmers Wife was only able to break Rumplestilkskin's hold over her by saying it's name. In the film Spirited Away - the individuals enslaved in the alternate dimension can only break free when they remember their true names.

And some of our characters seem to have multiple names. Names that identify alternate selves.

Giles, Ripper, Rupert, Watcher, Librarian, Archivist
Robin, Wood, son, Principal, Demon hunter
Alexander, Harris, Xander, Buttmonkey, Friend, Seer,
Buffy, Summers, Anne, Slayer,The, Bitch, Friend, Lover, Girl, woman
Spike, William, William the Bloody, William the Bloody Awful Poet, Vampire, Man, Wimpire, Animal, Demon
Anayanka, Aud, Emmaneula, Christina, Jenkins, Anya
Willow, Rosenberg, She-Witch, Witch, Wicca-that-Wonta, Wicca, Captain of the Nerd Squad

Keepers of words: Giles' role

Archivists and librarians keep our books, catalogue them.
Interpret words. Giles is the keeper of words. From the beginning of the series Giles is introduced first as the "new librarian" then as the watcher. Constantly he lauds the value of books. When a problem occurs he goes to the books, reads things, interprets. And he values the written word above all else. The Council of Watchers - are in a way archivists - they records of words. And they interpret them.

Giles - ever since he was almost scalped by a bringer - has been off this season. He doesn't stutter so much as leave thoughts half-said, the words come out almost garbled or when they do are misunderstood. He knows five languages, but cannot figure out the Chinese girl's language and every time he communicates with her - she thinks he wants to kill her. Unable to communicate he tries flash-cards, but these only terrify her. When Giles tries to communicate to Buffy, he conveys hurtful or wrong messages - telling her she's their only hope, or when she's injured, they are doomed. (See BoTN - Dirty Girls). Later he tells her she has much to learn and doesn't understand sacrifice. When she decides to take people into battle, he tells her she's all wrong and has no clue what she is getting into. Giles - who once was the reliable communicator and keeper of words has become less reliable than Andrew.

Andrew - the teller of stories, who embroderies the words.
Embellishes. He may be annoyingly accurate when it comes to something like whether Mathew Broderick killed the real Godzilla or who played Mr. Spock. But he confuses the words Vulcan and Volcano - because they sound the same. And he embellishes Faith's story.

Willow - who uses words to invoke spirits and power. Can barely communicate to Buffy what went down in LA. She doesn't fill Faith in on Spike. She babbles and yammers.
She seems uncertain. Yet...her words hold more power than anyones.

Xander - who doesn't consider himself a man of words, manages to locate the right ones to set the potentials at ease, and bring tears to Andrew and Dawn's eyes. (Those two are definitely being linked here). Xander finds the right things to say about fighting. The right words. The man who always used the wrong ones, now speaking from his heart uses the right ones.

The First Evil and Caleb

These two use words very well. Caleb even quotes the Gospels but twists the meanings. As Scroll comments below, you can't take St, Paul's words out of context or they will sound misogynistic. In context they aren't. But isn't that what we do when we choose to manipulate text or others words to serve our own purposes? On the board - people are often accused of misquoting others, taking only part of a sentence or part of a thought and using it to support an argument. Twisting what someone else said to support their views - in some cases twisting it to support a view that is the complete opposite of the original intent. The First does this all the time. It takes on forms of the dead, but the form is a twisted version, it appears to be the original but there's something ever so slightly off about it. A smirk. A smile. A wink. Or tonal inflection. Spike knew the First wasn't Dru. It also twists our own thoughts against us. It manipulates the truth until we can't recognize it.

Caleb also is a master manipulator of words. A Preacher - who uses them to persuade. Perverting the gospels to reach his own ends. He uses words to bring people to him. And the eyes are removed, because if you can't see, words/hearing becomes more valid. He uses half-truths to convince Buffy to come - he misleads her. I have something of yours he tells her and she comes and asks what. He smiles and gestures around him at the potentials at her crew.

Stick and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me. Oh if only that were true.

Good post Ruf.


[> [> Regarding Eve, Satan, Revelations, et al. (spoilers for S1,S5, Dirty Girls) -- Bronson, 10:31:53 04/16/03 Wed

The First as Eve? Maybe Caleb sees her that way, as he seems to be confused on a lot of spiritual matters, but I think that the First has behaved a lot more like Satan than Eve. Sure, it's taken on a lot of female forms, but it's playing the devil-as-seducer rather than the first-mother role. It's also appeared as Spike and Warren, and overall it seems pretty genderless. Its habit for appearing as Buffy brings several things to mind, some of which are probably unintentional:
ïFor the purposes of the storyteller, it's a constant reminder that Buffy is dead. She died once as a victim, overpowered by the Master. She died once -- more permanently -- as a hero, sacrificing herself for the world. (Does part of Buffy remain dead? If she is to die again, perhaps it is to be in a third, different, role?
ïThe FE is obsessed with Buffy. She's a powerful person, and the FE is all about power. Also, as the eye said, it is because Buffy continues to live that the FE is able to make its move. (I think it said that. I missed most of that episode. Please correct if I'm wrong.)
ïCaleb's little speech at the end of Dirty Girls reinforces the idea that the FE is somehow very like Buffy, that Buffy's army could easily follow the FE. It's almost like the FE is, besides being a hugely powerful primeval force, is also Buffy's nemesis. Nemesis in the I've-read-too- much-Neil-Gaiman sense of the unconquerable enemy borne out of oneself.

The silly idea that keeps banging around in my brain is that Buffy's return from Paradise has somehow kick-started Armageddon without Good being ready. I'm sure this has been discussed to death on the board, but didn't y'all see Jasmine and think "Aha! the Antichrist!"? She's got all the right signs.

Run out of ramblings, would welcome constructive put- downs.

[> [> [> Re: Regarding Eve, Satan, Revelations, et al. (spoilers for S1,S5, Dirty Girls) -- Rufus, 19:29:54 04/16/03 Wed

The First as Eve?

I didn't mean the first as Eve as much as I meant that the First feeds that hate that Caleb has for womenfolk with images of women...his speech referencing the First Evil in his opinion as being Eve....I hope that makes more sense. for Caleb, women are the problem that he wants to fix in a permanent way. The First in appearing as women (like the potential called Eve) is encouraging her pet cleric or ex- claric in his lunacy. In Caleb's mind you want to see evil, all you have to do is look at the opposite sex.

would welcome constructive put-downs.

Nope the best you will get is "erudite prick posters"...the words in quotations an example of how I have a tendancy to misread things sometimes. I'll leave the put-downs to professionals. We are actually quite nice here...;)

The FE is obsessed with Buffy. She's a powerful person, and the FE is all about power. Also, as the eye said, it is because Buffy continues to live that the FE is able to make its move. (I think it said that. I missed most of that episode. Please correct if I'm wrong.)

I go back to season five when Buffy was up against a god who could have killed her easily....but it turns out that Buffy had something the god wanted, giving her power she didn't understand til later in the season...of course Glory/the god was nuts and infected with Ben's humanity...too bad she cross contaminated Ben with her pride and lack of caring. So with the First, I think that Buffy has power she doesn't know she has......she was too busy trying to figure out what Caleb had of hers.

[> Faith controled the bull whip in her memories.*S* (Spoils Dirty Girls Btvs and SHP) -- Briar, 03:30:19 04/16/03 Wed

[> Buffy. Ms. Summers, if you're Dirty. -- neaux, 05:35:49 04/16/03 Wed

I dont have much to add. Your post was great as usual S'kat.

but I'm waiting for someone. anyone to compare Bad Girls to Dirty Girls.

Specifically Faith's impact on Buffy in BAd Girls and their forrays into battle and last night's Dirty Girls where the two of them are on their way to the Hornet's Nest.

any takers?

[> [> Metanarration, Bad Girls, Consequences, etc. (Spoilers Dirty Girls) -- s'kat, 07:28:48 04/16/03 Wed

They've been comparing S7 episodes with past episodes all season long. This episode had the longest preview sequence I think I've seen. And they used a sequence from Season 3 Amends to describe the First Evil which I found odd.

Bad Girls.

Well a good portion of the montage in Andrew's little story was taken from Bad Girls. Bad Girls was also where we got some emphasis on the "sexual aggression". But I think probably the most important thing to take from both episodes is Buffy's fears. This is why the scene between Faith and Spike is so great. They both have at one time or another represented the shadow side of Buffy's psyche. Buffy has at one time or another projected her self-hate and fears on to them. F and B switch bodies in S4. S6 spike appears to seduce Buffy to dark side, but is the one who pays. Just as Faith seduced Buffy to the dark side in Bad Girls but is the one who pays. And it is in Bad Girls that Buffy is dunked in the water trough that Spike is later dunked in in BoTN.
Faith also states in Bad Girls that she loves falling into a hornets nest or trouble - seeks it out even. Come on, doesn't it give you a thrill? B. She jumps into a manhole and Buffy is forced to follow her. They run into trouble.
Prior to it happening, Buffy asks Faith - what if you're out- numbered? Faith, says - all the more fun. Now we have the reverse. It's Buffy who wants to rush into the Hornet's nest and Faith who is reticient. Notice Faith's interesting comment to Buffy at the beginning of the episode? Are you the bad slayer now and I'm the good one?? Another clear commentary on S3 - where in Consequences Faith attempted to convince Giles that Buffy was the bad guy not her.

Also in Bad Girls we have people fighting with swords and an ancient fiend who quotes in riddles.

There's more I'm sure..


[> [> [> =D Thanks Skat! -- neaux, 08:03:36 04/16/03 Wed

[> When in doubt, respond to s'kat -- dream, 07:26:01 04/16/03 Wed

I never have fully formed ideas to share, just a few odds and ends, so I guess I'll tack them on here.

Did anyone else find the combination Southern preacher/Catholic priest a little weird? I mean, generally, not two groups that hang, so to speak. I'm going to think of him a Amalgamated Misogynistic Regliious Guy (Or AMiRG!) Cliche? Sure, but the Master was hardly the zenith of subtlty. It's all about how they work it. And with the references to Eve, again, and the general scope of the Good/Evil structure that seems to be evolving, a religious nut was almost a requirement.

Okay, the Xander dream. Did anyone else think this was just there to undercut the hard-core feminist angle with a little humor? Point being that the real threat comes from guys like the AMiRG, where as the fantasies of guys like Xander are just human nature - after all, after his dream, he's embarrassed about his "leg cramp," and he fixes the broken toilet resulting from stomach-flu related overuse - he's clearly shown as a good guy in this scene. I liked the scene for this reason - it seems to add some balance.

Faith and Spike were fab, but everyone knows that....

Willow and Faith were also fab. LOVED that Willow was the only one to understand that the Scoobie Gang had been remiss in not contacting Faith. She may have needed it pointed out to her, but she did get it- and boy, doesn't Buffy still have her issues?

HumanBuffy didn't look good in this episode - even my roommate, who never notices these things, said it looked like they had deliberately made her look frumpy. Contrasting with Faith even more, of course.

Oh, god, am I sick of Andrew's storytelling techniques! It's not funnny - make it stop! I canunderstand that they might be worried that people won't know who Faith is - but at this point, no one is watching who hasn't been watching a long time. How could they? As David Lavery pointed out, it's practically a hermetic text at this point. Pretty soon the "previously on Buffy" section will be longer than the actual show.

The blinding of Xander was gut-wrenching. I also loved seeing Willow at Xander's bedside.(More shades of an inverted Becoming?)

Why was Wood of all people the only person Buffy seemed to be listening to? Is he being influenced at this point by the FE?

Is anyone else itching for the script? There seemed to be a lot of lines with more than one thing going on. (Dawn is "all woman-shaped" - yes, she is, a Key shaped as a woman.)

The house metaphor seems to be intact - Faith's comment on the house could also be a comment on the Scooby Gang, as could Buffy's response. They may have been broken, beaten, repaired and in some cases replaced (Oz, with Tara, then Kennedy, Angel with Spike, and so on) but they are still here, still fundamentally the same core people fighting together as hard as they can. (Giles' comment to Willow from lessons.)

The ending of this episode was devastating: Buffy walking through the tattered remains of her army, whose confidence in her has been lost. Guess it's a good thing Faith is there, huh?

[> [> Some responses...on Andrew, preveiws, etc (Spoilers DG) -- s'kat, 08:04:32 04/16/03 Wed

Did anyone else find the combination Southern preacher/Catholic priest a little weird? I mean, generally, not two groups that hang, so to speak. I'm going to think of him a Amalgamated Misogynistic Regliious Guy (Or AMiRG!) Cliche? Sure, but the Master was hardly the zenith of subtlty. It's all about how they work it. And with the references to Eve, again, and the general scope of the Good/Evil structure that seems to be evolving, a religious nut was almost a requirement

Yes. I definitely found it odd. Couldn't decide if he was supposed to be Baptist, Catholic, or ...Decided ME was hedging its bets and going with an amagaltion. You can't be offended after all - if you can't figure out which branch it is. And I love Caleb's little religious jokes. I remember laughing aloud at a couple and saying boy is ME having fun poking at religion this year.

1. Caleb mentions St. Paul and how Paul had some things to say about women
2. The garden of eden thing and how the First showed man the way or Caleb showed man the way - which confused me
3. The whole Eve reference
4. Seeing Faith as Cain to Buffy's Able
5. The Transubtation - in Catholic faith - wine becomes blood. In other faiths it just symbolises the blood of christ and doesn't necessarily have to be red wine to do it. In fact that is one of the hallmark differences between the faiths - Catholic's believe it becomes the blood of Christ and body of Christ - the others don't. Very confusing doctrine. Caleb makes fun of it with his last supper line about how he wonders if someone went for a white chardonnay - would they be drinking a lymp node?
6. Caleb's line about everything breaking down into good and evil, bad and good, dirty and clean, black and white.

Willow and Faith were also fab. LOVED that Willow was the only one to understand that the Scoobie Gang had been remiss in not contacting Faith. She may have needed it pointed out to her, but she did get it- and boy, doesn't Buffy still have her issues?

Would agree. Buffy does have her issues. She did not deal at all well with Faith and Spike bonding over a cigarette in the basement. It clearly urked her. And she is struggling with Faith. Faith in a way represents all that she hates about her self, she also I think represents something Buffy has always struggled with - that she's not THE slayer, she's not the only one. There is another. And Faith is the path not taken.

Also Buffy, I think responds to Faith in somewhat the same ways Spike responds to Angel and vice versa for both. "I'm nothing like Angel. Totally different coloring."

Oh, god, am I sick of Andrew's storytelling techniques! It's not funnny - make it stop! I canunderstand that they might be worried that people won't know who Faith is - but at this point, no one is watching who hasn't been watching a long time. How could they? As David Lavery pointed out, it's practically a hermetic text at this point. Pretty soon the "previously on Buffy" section will be longer than the actual show

Oh god, yes. I was thinking just that..."pretty soon the previously on Buffy section is going to take up most of the show". They literally did a montage from most of season 3. Each time it gets longer and longer and longer. And why represent the First with a scene from Amends for this episode? Also at this point is the previously really necessary? I mean, I seriously doubt anyone is watching but long-term viewers or people who've seen all the episodes on FX? As one critic aptly put it - "if you've never watched Btvs, don't even try now..."

And yes, Andrew's prissy storytelling has been getting on my ever-living nerve for quite a while now. Would have much preferred they use the time for a Dawn/Faith bitch scene. Or a Faith/Giles moment. sigh. Although can't complain too heavily at least I got that moment where Faith confides to Spike it was her not Buffy who came on to him in Who Are You. And Spike let's Faith know - that Buffy followed through. That was way more than I expected.

Why was Wood of all people the only person Buffy seemed to be listening to? Is he being influenced at this point by the FE?

This could just be me, but I didn't sense she was listening to him. She was trying to make up in a way with him. Trying to keep her job. Poor girl can't keep a job. Not her fault.
Totally identify. Did it occur to Wood that she has expenses? Did he consider giving her severance pay? That maybe she wasn't working just for the bleeding fun of it?
No. Because Wood isn't a real principal, he maneuvered his way into the job so he could be on the hellmouth.

OTOH - what he says to her is perfectly logical. You have the mission, school just gets in the way. Except it was balancing her out. It was giving her something constructive and helpful to do. She got to be counselor not just slayer.

The authority figure doesn't see that of course. And I think that's part of the lesson here. Buffy does appear in a way to listen to him. She is trying to fit into the models established by male authority figures, their power structure, of right and wrong, heirarchy, no moderation, boring speeches. She was oddly enough I think more empowered when they left her alone and she was the counselor.

[> [> [> I was thinking of -- dream, 08:23:23 04/16/03 Wed

the line about testing the Potentials? Wasn't Buffy quoting Wood to the gang at that point? Or was she quoting herself talking to Wood? I can't remember - it played at 11 in Boston, which is way past my bedtime.

"Totally different coloring" pretty much summed up everything, didn't it? Spike's insecurities, and Faith's, and Buffy's...

[> [> [> Re: A word in favor of the perpetually growing Previously on Buffy -- Dedalus, 11:23:27 04/16/03 Wed

Look, I didn't know there was going to be a new Buffy this week. I tried to find out. Via the internet. TV Guide. Fans at work. Etc. No one knew.

So I was like, "Oh, they're not going to have a new Buffy on this week." Then I sit down at eight and flip over to UPN just in case, and I hear, "Faith returns on an all new Buffy, starting Right Now."

So I'm sitting there. No tape in hand. No idea where the last tape I'm on is. My VCR isn't plugged up because I can't use DVDs on my Playstation 2 when it is. And Buffy is starting. I'm, clearly, in trouble.

Yet only - and I do mean only - because the previously on Buffy was so interminably long, I was able to grab a freshly wound tape up, hot foot it into the second living room, jam it into another VCR, and miss not nary a second of the actual episode.

Not the most intellectual post of all time, but still, it needed to be said.

[> [> [> [> Another possible benefit.... -- cjl, 11:36:11 04/16/03 Wed

When the Season 7 boxed set comes out in 2005, they'll be able to fit all 22 eps plus commentary onto three disks.

[> [> Re: When in doubt, respond to s'kat -- Shiraz, 09:30:49 04/16/03 Wed

"Okay, the Xander dream. Did anyone else think this was just there to undercut the hard-core feminist angle with a little humor? Point being that the real threat comes from guys like the AMiRG, where as the fantasies of guys like Xander are just human nature - after all, after his dream, he's embarrassed about his "leg cramp," and he fixes the broken toilet resulting from stomach-flu related overuse - he's clearly shown as a good guy in this scene. I liked the scene for this reason - it seems to add some balance."

Well, there might be another reason behind this scene; I'm not sure but maybe this scene was here to underline the point that Xander LIKES 'Dirty Girls'. This contrasts him favorably to the first's pet preacher. Maybe the same point was being made in the Faith/Spike scene.

Of course, I could just be reading too much into it, as usual.


What shall we do?" said Twoflower.

"Panic?" said Rincewind hopefully. He always held that panic was the best means of survival; back in the olden days, his theory went, people faced with hungry sabretoothed tigers could be divided very simply into those who panicked and those who stood there saying "What a magnificent brute!"

Terry Pratchett - "The Light Fantastic" (could also apply to those who stood there asking "How do we know it doesn't have a soul?)

[> [> [> Re: When in doubt, respond to s'kat -- crgn, 10:56:42 04/16/03 Wed

I think you're on to something here. Misogyny = hatred/fear of women, but more so of the power that women seem to have over men because sex/connection can break men out of their rational self-interest. Sex/connection can make a man do what his rational self tells him is not in his personal interest - care for another beyond caring for himself.

Xander doesn't fear sex/connection with women - he wants it, he values it. He knows it doesn't diminish him but empowers him. Connection to other people enhances his own humanity, his heart.

Caleb's anger and fear of women is that of the man who thinks the sexual climax is the ultimate loss of power - giving up his rational self (to his emotional self) but thinking he is giving his self over to the sexual partner (woman for most). He thinks the girls who come to him, influenced by the power of his words, are there to take his power through sexual temptation. The only way to prevent that is to kill the girl, thereby avoiding having sex with her. He can't take responsibility for his own feelings/desires as that implies his willingness to give up power, so he must hate and destroy the object of his desire.

The FE is amused by Caleb because he is so easily manipulated into accomplishing the FE's goals - destroying the slayer (and potentials), who also happen to be girls. The FE is not a misogynist, but is happy to have one available to do its bidding.

[> [> [> [> Misogyny and the FE -- KdS, 11:14:01 04/16/03 Wed

After Caleb's introduction and Wood's "whore" rant during his own brief FE influence, I'm getting a little disturbed by the message put across that men seem to become universally misogynistic under the FE's influence. It reminds me unpleasantly of the "primordial misogyny" stuff in Billy. Maybe Willow, Faith, Anya or Kennedy will get possessed and start ranting about all men being rapists ;-)

[> [> [> [> Do you think he drinks only distilled water or vodka? ;- ) -- V, 15:34:58 04/16/03 Wed

[> [> [> My interpretation also -- Rahael, 13:59:43 04/16/03 Wed

[> Re: Gimme that Old Time Religion and other impressions....(spoilers Dirty Girls Btvs and SHP) -- ponygirl, 07:27:18 04/16/03 Wed

That was great sk! I had the same thought about both Spike and Faith being tossed into the red wine while Buffy remains clean (very fortunate in that jacket!).

Interesting that the sex/power dynamic is emphasized. Caleb seems to hate women not only because he sees them as soulless but also because of their sexual power. Xander's dream shows him as the comfortador but definitely shows the girls making the sexual overtures. Faith talks about other people's fantasies but asserts that she is always in control.

I loved the sexy vibe of Spike and Faith's conversation, but what really struck me about it was that it reminded me that neither of these characters has any friends right now. Is sex a larger power in and of itself or is it about a desire for connection? Is religion about a desire to connect with God and is that why some religions are so concerned with regulating sex? Ramble ramble, must do some work.

[> [> Sex, friends and connections....(spoilers Dirty Girls Btvs and SHP) -- s'kat, 08:59:02 04/16/03 Wed

I loved the sexy vibe of Spike and Faith's conversation, but what really struck me about it was that it reminded me that neither of these characters has any friends right now. Is sex a larger power in and of itself or is it about a desire for connection? Is religion about a desire to connect with God and is that why some religions are so concerned with regulating sex?

Yes, I wondered the same. Notice when they enter the house, the only one who takes time to fill Faith in on what's up is Spike. Spike sets her at ease - revealing the tension isn't so much about her as him.

Dawn treats both as potential enemies b/c whoa they each hurt Buffy at one point. Faith swapped bodies with her and tried to kill her. Spike tried to rape her. Both are reformed, but Dawn is understandably leery.

Giles treats both with barely restrained dislike and reluctantly makes room for them. Notice in all his wanderings picking up potentials and mentions of the slayer, not once did he contact Wes or Faith. They were almost dead to him. It was in part Giles responsibility to do that, more than anyone elses. I don't blame Faith when she states to Spike, "makes me feel worse about Giles", she just came from LA where Wes, her old Watcher, broke her out of prison to re- ensoul Angel not kill him. Now she's faced with Giles who tried to kill a ensouled Spike for Buffy's own good. Oh to have a moment inside Faith's head.

Then the potentials - well if we thought they'd rebell and join Faith, that's shot. Andrew basically painted Faith as a remorseless killer in their eyes. And Faith was always a bit of a loner, dealing with all those girls must be hard.
Just as it's hard for Spike - who they've also been told to fear.

Two reformed killers trying desperately to connect. In a sense they've been trying to connect to something for ages.
Through first sex, then violence, then kinky sex, to them sex was well just sex, nothing to worry about. But Buffy changed it for both of them. Faith as Buffy discovers the connection with Riley and freaks. Spike discovers he wants that connection when he engages in his sexual gymnastics with Buffy.

So it is interesting that the two connect to each other through talking about it. Over a smoke. Smoking in bed after sex is a time old movie/film noir cliche. In a way they connect more here than they would if they slept together. And it is in the same cot that Xander and Anya had sex in, but did not really connect in StoryTeller.
If anything X/A's sex in Storyteller was the end of their relationship.

If I remember correctly in the Catholic faith - priests and nuns are celibate partly because they are considered married to god. Nuns even go through a ceremony that is like a wedding. First Communion is also similar to a wedding ceremony - I remember wearing a little bridal uniform during mine.

In some religions - the view is sex is the creation of life. It is the sole purpose. In the Catholic faith - birth control and abortion have long been considered wrong, sins. Because they regulate this process of creating life. They make sex about well pleasure not life. Just bodies banging together or so it appears.

In others - sex is considered powerful and is encouraged as part of the ceremony. Some pagan or new age religions may even consider it a necessary element. Through the sexual release you commune with god?

So yes, I think sex is a power in of itself - it can after all create life. It also can cause a vampire to lose his soul and in a way another to seek one.

[> [> [> Re: Sex, friends and connections....(spoilers Dirty Girls Btvs and SHP) -- Arethusa, 09:12:25 04/16/03 Wed

In some religions - the view is sex is the creation of life. It is the sole purpose. In the Catholic faith - birth control and abortion have long been considered wrong, sins. Because they regulate this process of creating life. They make sex about well pleasure not life. Just bodies banging together or so it appears.

And the ban against euthenasia and the death penalty. Only God can have control over life and death. To do any of these things is to usurp God's power, place one's self above God-idolotry of self, so to speak.
Notice the FE and Jasmine don't kill-they have to get someone else to do it. (Although maybe Jasmine can and just hasn't yet.)

[> [> [> Smoking (Spoilers for DG) -- Sophist, 09:15:09 04/16/03 Wed

I wondered about the smoking scene. Yes, I got the post- coital vibe (never saw Faith smoke before, though). But for most of BtVS, the ones who smoke are evil (Spike) or about to die (prostitute in Innocence, psychiatrist in B&B). This scene may not bode well for Spike or Faith.

[> [> [> Rebel yell...(spoilers Dirty Girls) -- ponygirl, 09:43:56 04/16/03 Wed

Then the potentials - well if we thought they'd rebell and join Faith, that's shot. Andrew basically painted Faith as a remorseless killer in their eyes. And Faith was always a bit of a loner, dealing with all those girls must be hard.

I wonder though. Their dissatisfaction with Buffy seems to be emphasized a lot lately and now that they see her as having led them into a trap? And with Xander, her biggest defender to the SiTs seriously injured? Plus Faith after complaining about the girls pretty quickly said that they were ok and she'd work with them. I'd like to see Faith in an instructor role, she's been betrayed by authority and rejected by her peers so many times that she might be more comfortable in that sort of power position. I was a bit surprised by Giles' coldness though, does he equate Faith with Spike as another one of Buffy's reformation projects? Is Faith a reminder to Giles of the disruption of the Slayer line that he believes is causing their current problems?

[> [> [> [> I'm with you - this is still a possibility -- dream, 09:48:52 04/16/03 Wed

[> shadowkat - A fine philosophical dining experience delivered at drive-thru speeds! ... ;-) -- OnM, 08:06:12 04/16/03 Wed

How do you do that, anyway? Be advised I may have to quote you extensively in my own eventual review!

*** Power to take life seems a wonderous thing to Caleb. Possibly because he can't create it. ***

Of the many insightful things you mentioned, I picked this one out as really getting to the core of the matter, and I think it's the primary subtext behind the overt behavior we see Caleb depict. And suppose we extend that concept to the First Evil? Is the FE the universe's spiritual respository of hate and violence because it can never really, truly create anything, only manipulate whatever might already exist, existence created by some other power? Is it all fundamentally about jealousy?

[> [> Power of creation and envy -- s'kat, 08:35:33 04/16/03 Wed

Thanks, OnM and I love being quoted in your reviews. A high compliment. So quote away.

How do I do it? Just stream of consciousness mostly. I have to write it all down before it drifts away. Unfortunately it does get a bit rambly.

*** Power to take life seems a wonderous thing to Caleb. Possibly because he can't create it. ***

Of the many insightful things you mentioned, I picked this one out as really getting to the core of the matter, and I think it's the primary subtext behind the overt behavior we see Caleb depict. And suppose we extend that concept to the First Evil? Is the FE the universe's spiritual respository of hate and violence because it can never really, truly create anything, only manipulate whatever might already exist, existence created by some other power? Is it all fundamentally about jealousy?

I think you're right. So much envy in this episode. Not sure jealousy is the right word so much as envy. In the basic bible thumping patriarchial religions - men see women as dirty because of the menstruation cycle - this goes back to Judaisim and the cross-over from the pagan religions to the monotheistic ones. Now, my knowledge is sketchy and dates back 15 years, so feel free to correct on any and all mistakes I make (warding off the cranky mythologists and theologians lurking in our midst that I may piss off inadvertently), but ancient men had troubles with the idea that a woman could bleed for seven days and live. They found this dirty and women were often separated from them, placed elsewhere during this time. No sex was permitted or the man would be contaminated. In some cultures - this period was considered a sacred time and the woman went to a "red tent" with other women and was pampered treated as a princess. But as time wore on, she was treated as dirty and an embarrassment during this time. Birth was also looked at as a frightening and odd event, one men had no control over.
The woman could give life to man. But man could not. She could also abort that life without telling him - via drugs or accident. At times she even gave her life for the child.
In ancient times - men may not have known that they played a part in this. So her power overwhelmed them. They could hunt and kill, but she could give birth from her body. Out of her body came life. I've always wondered about that irony. Caleb makes a point of stating how Eve came from Adam's rib - was constructed from Adam. That man gave birth to woman. Yet is that so?

Caleb kills the girls. The stab wound for the first girl in the opening sequence is in the gut, the bowels, the womb.
He stabs the girl the first poses as across the place the womb is located. He stabs poor innocent Molly in the womb.
And the bringers are all male and all blind.

Also what makes Buffy different from all the other slayers that came before, including Faith? She has died twice. The FE can be her. Buffy has triumphed over death. She also has a sister that was made from her body, much like Eve was reportedly made from Adam? She didn't give birth to Dawn. Dawn was molded from her DNA. Buffy has power of life and death. She has given birth to Dawn. She has risen from the grave, not once but twice. She has empowered not one but two vampires to change their course in life and turn from destruction - in effect giving birth to new states. And she has slain demons, phallically with wooden stakes. She stabs them, penetrates their hearts. Death as Spike once said, is her gift. So here is the ultimate power in the FE's view - a woman who can give life and take it away. When she died - a new slayer was born. From her the key of the universe was molded into her sister - another life. For her - a soulless dead thing chose a soul and may be reborn. I think it's that power of creation from destruction the First envies.
And is represented partly by the spirals.

Not sure. Really look forward to your take on it.


[> [> Perhaps-Spoilers up through Dirty Girls -- Arethusa, 08:41:56 04/16/03 Wed

Very briefly, some incomplete thoughts re. jealousy--

Didn't Cain kill Able out of jealousy?
Skip's monkey cracks sounded like jealousy perhaps-if The Prophecy is being referenced.
Men jealous of women's ability to give birth, plus fear of the "gaping maw" I think Caleb talked about--fear of castration. And thereby repression and "demonization" of female sexuality, leading to the massive retcon called Adam and Eve. TPTB and the FE didn't have bodies to procreate like mankind, couldn't create like God/Whomever.
Jasmine and the FE seem like two kids fighting over their parent's inheritance before he dies-like in King Lear, come to think of it. (Thanks, Blue Stem) They are Goneril (?) and Reagan. But GodMom left it to Cordelia (mankind), and now they want it back. Hey, that's cool. Cordelia (Chase) represents Cordelia (Mankind).
Is Jasmine jealous of humanity? She really seemed to enjoy being human. Why become human at all? The PTB have interfered before from wherever they are. Maybe the others won't let anyone act alone.
Faith's still jealous of Buffy, and Buffy didn't seem too happy to see Spike and Faith enjoying a moment.

Another mention of cleansing fire, and Buffy's male authority figure is fittingly a minister/preacher/priest with sexual issues.

[> [> [> Er-- -- Arethusa, 08:44:30 04/16/03 Wed

I know Cordelia was disinherited in King Lear-my point, if I have one, is that the tug of war over inheritance was really about who Dad loved most. The tug of war over good and evil is the tug of war over control of humanity??

[> [> [> Add Amy to the jealousy list (TKiM) -- dream, 08:55:20 04/16/03 Wed

[> [> Re: shadowkat - A fine philosophical dining experience delivered at drive-thru speeds! ... ;-) -- grifter, 09:03:39 04/16/03 Wed

OnM wrote:


How do you do that, anyway? Be advised I may have to quote you extensively in my own eventual review!

*** Power to take life seems a wonderous thing to Caleb. Possibly because he can't create it. ***

Of the many insightful things you mentioned, I picked this one out as really getting to the core of the matter, and I think it's the primary subtext behind the overt behavior we see Caleb depict. And suppose we extend that concept to the First Evil? Is the FE the universe's spiritual respository of hate and violence because it can never really, truly create anything, only manipulate whatever might already exist, existence created by some other power? Is it all fundamentally about jealousy?


Is it all about Evil being jealous of Good?

In the end, Evil is a pathetic creature. Born out of fear, not creating anything, only spreading hate and destruction, eventually self-destructing.

Since the First Evil seems to think of itself as a persona and not a concept, I¥ll treat it as a being. Maybe one of the beings that, according to Jasmine over in Angel, roamed the earth before demons and men came. So, what was it that pushed the ìFirst Evilî to become evil? Fear. The First Fear, so to speak. Maybe it became afraid that the other beings would take it¥s power? Or keep it from taking the power emanating from earth. So it became hateful of them. Did the first ìevilî deed. This triggered other beings into becoming evil, demons took control of the earth, the beings originally roaming earth went away, becoming the ìPowers that Beî or their evil counterparts like the First. Then men came, possibly created by an enemy of the First Evil, a force I will call ìGoodî. ìGoodî did something ìEvilî could not: it created life. ìEvilî could only destroy and corrupt. So it became jealous. Started fighting against ìGoodî. ìEvil¥sî demons versus ìGood¥sî champions, most of all the Slayer. But then something happened. Buffy, faced with an impossible choice of either killing her sister or letting the world get destroyed, found a third way. She sacrificed herself in ìThe Giftî. And the ìFirst Evilî was terrified. It realized that this wasn¥t a war it could win with conventional means. It had to do something drastic, something that would change everything.

ìFact is, the whole "good versus evil, balancing the scales" thing? I'm over it. I'm done with the mortal coil. But, believe me, I'm going for a big finish.î

This ìbig finishî, will it mean it¥s own destruction? Does Evil hate Good so much that it is willing to destroy everything, including itself? Does Evil hate itself so much?

[> [> [> Spoilers above for BtVS: Dirty Girls and Angel: Shiny, Happy People (nt) -- grifter, 09:19:36 04/16/03 Wed

[> [> Ooo! "The Screwtape Letters"! -- HonorH, 10:03:05 04/16/03 Wed

In C.S. Lewis' "The Screwtape Letters," Screwtape bemoans the fact that the Forces of Evil can't truly create anything. Everything in creation is essentially good, and to make use of it, they have to find some way to pervert it. Which they have, with remarkable success, but it's still a source of frustration for Screwtape, who regards the lack of creative ability to be a great handicap in the Eternal War.

Dunno if this has anything to do with anything, but it seemed relevant somehow.

[> [> [> Fascinating... this actually sorta ties in with my theory... -- OnM, 11:58:54 04/16/03 Wed

... about Faith, Buffy and Dawn. As you probably already know, I've postulated that when the monks formed the Key into Dawn, they molded her from both Buffy and Faith, because both women were technically 'The Slayer' at the time.

I later revisited this thought with the idea that in fact, since Faith is the 'real' current Slayer (as 'proven' by Buffy's 2nd death not calling any new Slayer), Dawn was molded on her DNA, not Buffy's. During the shared dream sequence in Graduation Part II, when Faith touched Buffy's cheek, she mystically transferred part of herself to Buffy, and it was this part of herself that allowed Buffy to close the portal in Dawn's place in The Gift.

One additional, even more radical interpretation of this idea is that Buffy actually had none of Dawn's 'DNA' when she made that fatal leap, but it worked anyway because she believed that it would.

The relevance? Buffy would have created 'out of nothing' in this instance, which would be evidence of a god- like ability that would surely send fear into the FE. (See Primeval and the results of the 'combining spell' for foreshadowing this concept).

Anyway, whichever permutation of the theory one accepts (and of course, I could be completely wrong), it's why I believe that Buffy eventually discovering this 'truth' is the 'key' to defeating the FE.

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