April 2003 posts

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My analysis of "Sacrifice" is up -- Masquerade, 13:41:51 04/27/03 Sun

Here. This episode, as I understand it, was the first AtS episode penned by Firefly refuge Ben Edlund. This guy is one to keep your eye on. This episode if full of interesting fantasy elements, rich metaphorical layers and crunchy philosophical goodness.

Plus some cool butt-kicking.

Let's hope Mr. Edlund gets another chance to write for AtS!

[> Thanks, Masq. -- LadyStarlight, 14:19:55 04/27/03 Sun

[> Yummy foreshadowing (spoilers aired AtS eps) -- Anneth, 15:39:02 04/27/03 Sun

Y'know, I just realized this, thanks to Masq's analysis(which probably everyone caught on to ages ago and I just haven't been keeping up with the AtS posts enough to have noticed) - whichever episode it is where Rocky massacres Wolfram and Hart, and they turn into mindless zombies bent on destruction and death, even at cost to themselves, beautifully foreshadows the Jasmine arc. A seemingly invincible bad guy somehow manages to raise an entire army of mindless drones who wreak havoc and try to kill our heros despite the fact that many of their number will perish in the attempt. The first person the bad guy reaches out to, though (Lilah being poked in the abdomen with a claw, Fred being taken aside by Jasmine at the bowling alley) becomes the person who escapes the bad guy's influence and shows the others (for Lilah it was Wes, for Fred it was the rest of the AI gang, except Connor), even forces the others, to follow her.

Kind of like the vain, airheaded VampHarmony and her gang of inept minions foreshadows Glory and her gang of hobbits with leprosy... It's like I'm back in the 5th grade and get excited whenever I notice foreshadowing in the book I'm reading!

[> Thanks, Masq.... -- WickedBuffy, 19:09:50 04/27/03 Sun

I missed the whole insect dimension section of the show and your analysis has filled it for me.

(And it's great that Angel is killing beasts with their own body parts now, saves on the weapons budget!)

[> Thanks, Masq. A double quote! I feel singularly honored.... -- cjl, 07:48:16 04/28/03 Mon

I agree, Mr. Edlund acquitted himself well in his first Buffyverse script. He needs more time to get comfortable with the characters, but the weirdness was spot on--and I would expect nothing less from the creator of The Tick.

[> Re: My analysis of "Sacrifice" is up -- Shiraz, 08:51:12 04/28/03 Mon

Is this the same Ben Edlund who wrote 'The Tick' comic?

If so, great things could be in store for Angel.


* * *

"...this is also a story about sex, although probably not in the athletic, tumbling, count-the-number-of-legs-and-divide- by-two sense unless the characters get totally beyond the author's control. They might."

Terry Pratchett - "Equal Rites"

[> [> Read cjl's response right above.... -- Masq, 09:54:50 04/28/03 Mon

Connor and Jasmine (Spoilers for "Sacrifice") -- RichardX1, 19:44:47 04/27/03 Sun

>>After being infected with Cordelia's blood, Connor is free of Jasmine's spell...<<

Was Connor ever under Jasmine's spell in the first place, before that scene in "Sacrifice" where he "surrendered his pain" to her?

BTW, does anyone know the reason that whenever I try to post directly from IE (as opposed to going through AOL), I get a dozen pop-ups for video cameras, hot girls in bikinis, and a whole bunch of other online sales flyers?

[> connor & jasmine's green glow (spoilers for "magic bullet") -- anom, 20:32:24 04/27/03 Sun

I think the fact that Connor, like Angel, fell to his knees when he 1st saw Jasmine means that he was under her spell. The other things that bind him to her--like having something to feel he's part of--didn't come till later.

But maybe they have more of a connection than that. When Jasmine "ate" the people Connor had escorted to her room, Connor was outside in the hallway w/his back to the door. The green glow appeared, & a smile came over his face. When the glow intensified, so did the smile. Did he feel what was happening, even though he didn't realize what it meant (& may not even have seen the glow)? Was he sharing Jasmine's feelings as she absorbed (or whatever she did) the people, or their ecstasy as they became one w/her? Was he the only one who felt it, & does that mean he has a deeper connection w/her than the others? That might be another explanation for why contact w/Cordelia's blood didn't break it. Or did everyone under Jasmine's influence have the same beatific smile, but the only one we saw it on was Connor?

[> [> oOO good point, Anom (spoilers for "magic bullet") -- WickedBuffy, 11:15:51 04/28/03 Mon

Connor *was* getting dosed with the green light.... while gaurding the foor (and smiling as you said) and then being directly *in* the room.

Reminds me of getting an xray.

About the smiling as the glow grows.... we still don't know for certain what happens between the lunchables and Jamsine as that happens. Maybe the green glow isn't after the eating, it's before - bliss them out so much they explode with happiness. ::koff::

[> [> [> wow--hadn't even thought of that! -- anom, 16:36:28 04/28/03 Mon

Connor's getting "dosed," that is. You may be onto something there. Maybe it made him resistant--or reinforced his resistance--to the blood cure. Not what's usually meant by "that which does not kill me makes me stronger"!

On the other hand, maybe it went the other way in terms of physical strength. If Jasmine blisses out the lunchables as she absorbs their energy, maybe Connor's smile went along w/a proportional reduction of his energy. It did seem to be easier than I'd've expected for the others to overcome him to administer the blood cure.

[> [> [> [> Jasmine doesn't want to reduce Connors "energy" -- Masq, 16:57:59 04/28/03 Mon

He's her head body guard. She picked him as her little minion for a reason. Gullible, not too bright, but at least as strong as Daddy.

[> [> [> [> [> Hey! Connor is as bright as a brick! (slight spoliers Sacrifice) -- WickedBuffy, 17:46:27 04/28/03 Mon

Yes, it would seem she'd want him in top-form - and if possible, up his strength by dosing him. But the green light seems to be only increasing Jasmines SH powers, not her physical strength. If she has any physical strength. For all we know, Jasmine can't lift a cake.

So, if Connor was getting dosed, could he be getting some of the power to affect people? Or does it affect only Jasmine that way. Or, lalalalal on I go.... could it only act on strengthening the strengths you already have - for Jasmine is would be increasing her mind power over people and her ability to constantly maintain amazingly perfect happy, shiny hair. For Connor, it would be his physical strength, and ummmm .. errrr.... magnificent disdain of a blow dryer? Monkey-agility? Ability to wear shirts from Gap Kids, sz narrow? ;>

[> [> [> [> [> [> Disclaimer: I love Connor & I spelled "spoilers" wrong on purpose. ::neh:: -- WickedWatchMyBack, 17:51:44 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No one loves Connor more than I do, but... -- Masq, 18:24:35 04/28/03 Mon

Let's face it, he ain't logic-boy.

I'm thinking back to the episode (Release?) where he first got zapped by the anti-demon spell. Cordelia says to him, "hey, being part demon makes you different, special."

In the next episode, he asks her how he can kill Angelus without setting off the anti-demon spell, and Cordelia says, "We can get around that spell because we're different, special."

So they're different and special because they're part demon and they won't set off the anti-demon spell because they're different and special.


PS Stop picking on his hair! And his chest seems perfectly proportional to the rest of his body. He's just a tiny person, like mum.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> K-i-s-s-i-n-g! Masq & Connor sittin' in a tree. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes a -- demonfightin' Mensa kid in a baby carriage! WB, 19:00:35 04/28/03 Mon

ok, ok yes, you love Connor the most, someone showed me a gif of your tattoo - I just love him platonically. And yes, a rubrick cube would probably fry his cute lil brain. But he never went to school.

Except Holtz Elementary, Holtz Middle School and maybe the first year at Holtz High. (Shoot me, I'm spelling Holtzs name wrong.)

As for being different and special.... both of those made perfect sense to me as well as to him! When you are different and special, ALL rules bend for you, some even backwards on themselves or even contradict themselves - when you are THAT different and special! Connor could be severely, perhaps fatally, lactose intolerant because he is different and special, and yet, he could easily and comfortably chug down 23 large chocolate milkshakes, because.... he IS different and special!

(I do worry about him falling thru the straw when he's drinking those shakes, though.)

But, his hair? Sure, sure, when he boyishly peeks from behind his bangs to sneak a leer at Faith - yes, the coiffure works. But Faith left and there's no one leerable left to use his one hair advantage on. What if he tried on some different hats? Meet you halfway?

HIs chest?! Compared to his moms chest? ::koff:: Is there a comparison? O:>

I demand he have different and special hair by the next episode. Or I will take my magic markers to the TV and DRAW a decent cut on him!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Personally... -- Masq, 20:57:36 04/28/03 Mon

I'd rather look at his mom's chest. Or Faith's.

Mmmm. Now you got me thinking about Faith's outfit in "This Year's Girl" when she's picking on Joyce:

"How do I look?"
"I was shooting for sultry, but hey."

I love Connor, but I don't love Connor, capice? I just don't like you pickin' on his nifty stylin' 70's look. All the boys in my junior high school had that keen Connor sense of style! Aint nothing wrong with it!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> We agree - Darla has a noticeable delicate chest. But Connor as retro '70's? -- WickedBuffy ::imaginin' Connor struttin' on the catwalk::), 19:32:30 04/29/03 Tue

... he's at least one backpack, two pairs of suede desert boots, twelve purple polyester disco shirts and a jangle of gold chains short of being that. ;>

well... wait.... early 70's or late '70s?

and, yes, he does to like to teach the world sing.... he does get that spaced-out, dazed, faraway look that most of my classmates had back then... ok you could be right - Connor is simply trying to bring back the '70's.

::musing on the amazing Fall Fashion Previews Connors influence will have on the world of style::

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not the polyester '70's, the grunge '70's -- Masq, 21:18:05 04/29/03 Tue

And how old were you in the '70's. 'cause the boys I knew back then looked more like Connor than John Travolta in "Saturday Night Fever"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No kidding... -- Rufus, 04:33:33 04/30/03 Wed

Travolta is what every guy fancied they looked like and Connor more like the reality cept prettier.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Time folded over on itself the day I was born... -- WickedBuffy, 11:03:18 04/30/03 Wed

... so I'm not sure how old I am. My birth certificate just says ->insert guesstimate here<-.

ok, the early 70's then - which still had shreds of the '60's hanging onto it - and one of them was HAIR. Long, beautiful lalalal ummm okok the Age of Aquarius. Connor is simulating The Age of Aquarius.

Now I'm wondering what he'd look like in a crewcut, simulating the '50's! Still cute? or not so.

Flock of Seagulls? OooooOo he's be stunning!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> OK, you asked for it, WB... -- Masq, 11:36:31 04/30/03 Wed

Not a crew cut, but...

And I uploaded this one just to torture you! Personally, this is the one I find stunning.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's the bangs!!! He's drop-dead gorgeous & we don't get to see it. -- WickedBuffy ::enlarging & wallpapering house with gifs::, 12:31:09 04/30/03 Wed

But, wait - oh tricky one....

we were debating his coiffure, though - not his fine, fine, FINE face.

Don' t you agree, though, that it would be even MORE pleasurable if we could see that fine face better?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Like I'm always saying to my television set, "Get your hair out of your eyes, kid!" -- Masq, 12:33:58 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> not saying she *wants* to...just that it might have been a side effect -- anom, 19:21:04 04/28/03 Mon

Merely speculating...we know so little, there are tons of possibilities!

[> [> [> [> [> [> ok, apparently not... -- anom, 23:34:12 04/29/03 Tue

...considering that this time Connor was in the room when the "eating" took place & suffered no ill effects.

[> Pop-up ads (answering the By The Way...) -- Veronica, 09:06:06 04/28/03 Mon

The pop-up ads are likely caused by some sort of "spy-ware". They install as an add-on to browsers and monitor where you surf and present related ads. The ads don't appear to be served by AtPoBtVS or Voy.

Try reading up on Spyware to see if you recognize any plug- ins you've added lately: http://www.goo gle.com/search?q=spyware


[> [> Re: Pop-up ads (answering the By The Way...) -- maddog, 11:11:12 04/28/03 Mon

or you can go to www.download.com and search for Adaware. It's a program that goes through and finds all those plugin type things...lets you delete them if you want. You'd be surprised at how many are just hiding there.

Transcript of Globe and Mail article....."Buffy we hardly knew you" by Nikki Stafford (no spoilers) -- Rufus, 02:07:33 04/28/03 Mon


Buffy article from the Globe & Mail April 27, 2003
´ Thread started on: Today at 12:26am ª

Transcribed by Kyle Voltti

Globe & Mail April 26, 2003 Weekend Review

She has died twice, fallen in love with her vampire enemies and changed pop culture along the way. As Buffy the Vampire Slayer draws to a close, the showís fierce fans ó from teenagers to academics ó mourn the passing of a legend.

Buffy we hardly knew you By Nikki Stafford

ìIf the apocalypse comes, beep me.î And with those words, a legend was born. Or, actually, a teenaged slayer was defying her Watcher by dating a cute guy rather than fighting the forces of darkness. Same dif. Buffy the Vampire Slayer was a show that wasnít supposed to last.

It had a silly title, an unlikely premise, and was based on a box-office flop. Its title still draws snickers from non- viewers, who donít realize they a ridiculing what is arguably the most intelligent and best written series on television today, if not the past decade. Yet that same title contains the very essence of the show: Itís a drama laced with comedy, just as a fluffy name, Buffy, is juxtaposed with a rather ominous signifier, Vampire Slayer.
After seven years of pain, pain, a few laughs, and more pain, Buffy is about to take her last vampire. The final four episodes will run Tuesdays at 8 p.m., beginning next week.

It all began in March, 1997, when Buffy the Vampire Slayer was slotted in as a midseason replacement on the WB network. The show was about a girl, played by Sara Michelle Gellar, who was the Chosen one, the one who was destined to fight evil. Itís the stuff of comic books. Except this girl didnít want to be chosen. She wanted to be a normal teenager, and for the first season she dealt with the usual perils of teen angst ó divorced parents, new friends, problems at school, and a confusing love life ñ along side the not-so-usual perils ñ having to patrol graveyards at night, discovering her boyfriend is a 242-year-old vampire, and trying to stop a nest of vampires from opening the mouth of Hell and bringing forth the apocalypse. By the end of the first season, she knew her destiny was inescapable.

Now, seven years later, Buffy has grown up, sheís killed her boyfriend (but heís feeling much better now), lost her mother to a brain aneurysm, acquired a kid sister, sacrificed herself to save the world, and crawled out of her own grave. As one character has commented, ìI suddenly find myself needing to know the plural of ëapocalypse.íî
Now, she faces perhaps the biggest threat the gang has ever seen ñ a malignant non-corporeal entity that embodies the worldís most primal evil ñ and in the process viewers have watched Buffy grow from a 16-year-old girl into a 22-year- old woman, and suffered with her along the way.

Buffy is different from other shows on television. It might only have about five million viewers every week, yet itís cultural significance far outweighs its seemingly small audience. In contrast, shows such as ER or The West Wing, both well-written, well-acted programs with four times the viewership, are not considered worthy of study and fan dissection, certainly not to the extent that Buffy or its spinoff show, Angel, might be.

On dozens of Web sites, its fans dissect everything from whether the lovesick, formerly evil vampire Spike is a proper consort for Buffy, to the criminal neglect that the show has faced from the awards establishment (even itís best episodes, such as the near silent Hush or the all-musical Once More With Feeling have been ignored by the Emmys). Famously, Buffy also has a devoted fan base among academics, who parse its every shot and line of dialogue for cultural significance.

Buffy is the subject of four books of academic essays, and in October, 2002, fans from around the world gathered at the University of East Anglia in England to hear more then 50 papers on the ìBuffverseî delivered by academics. Topics ranged from ìQueering the bitch: Spike, Transgression, and Erotic Empowermentî to ìYeatsís Entropic Gyre and Season Six of Buffy the Vampire Slayer.î So what happened to the idea of this being a juvenile television show?

What sets Buffy apart is the writing. Joss Whedon, the creator of the show, had a vision of the series that was dramatic and mythic but still contained a lot of humour. Along the way, he developed an original language that found itís way into the vocabulary of his viewers. He mapped out a seven-year arc for the show that he and his staff have followed religiously for the shows duration, with a few pit stops along the way. As such the series has always had a forward momentum, a feeling that everything that has happened has had a reason.

David Fury, writer-director and co-executive producer on Buffy and consulting producer on Angel (most fans will recognize him as the Mustard Man from Once More With Feeling) say the perception of Buffy the Vampire Slayer as a pop-culture icon was a bit of a surprise at first. ìNobody sets out to be a cultural phenomenon,î he says. ìI canít imagine that joss ever imagined that it would be that, but heís enormously gratified that it has been recognized by the intelligentsia, and itís very rewarding for us. It feels really good to know weíre respected like that.î

This season, the show is going back to seasons one through six and using all of the knowledge viewers have gained over the years to bring it to a mind-blowing climax. Whedon has rewarded his loyal fans by bringing up unresolved events that happened years ago and finally offering an explanation for them. However, in doing so, he has made this show that has become impenetrable to new viewers. This season the ratings have been lower, because while the adult viewership has expanded due to Buffyís darker and more complex plots, the teen viewership ñ the staple of UPN ñ has dropped (The show is carried on the VR network in Canada).

But because UPN is one of the smaller networks, ratings donít really matter. ìwe donít register [the fact the ratings have dropped] because weíre just doing the show as best we can, like we always have, and we know our fans and we know weíre not a show based on ratings,î fury says.
Aimee Grosso, a fan from Chesterfield Mich., believes the reason the show is so popular is because the writers ìgive the fans what they ëneedí rather then what they ëwant.íî
One thing that often kills good shows is when relationships are requited; when Mulder and Scully got together on The X- Files, for example, the tension was gone, and the show lost itís viewers. But on Buffy, as much as the viewers want to see Buffy and her erstwhile mortal enemy Spike get together, the writers realize that what will be more intriguing to viewers in the long run is to make the characters suffer, doubt each other, and show their worst sides to one another before deciding if they should start a relationship.

Spike is a witty, generous, funny guy who truly cares for Buffy. Or at least the ìmanî part of him does. Spike (played by James Marsters) may be in love with Buffy, but heís a vampire with a demon trapped inside him along with the man. One minute heís pledging his everlasting love to Buffy, and the next his demon side emerges and he tries to rape her. Itís these grey areas that act as metaphor for the complexities of human relations but also have alienated some viewers, while allowing others to appreciate the risks the writers take.

But these conflicts lend Buffy a realism that is lacking in other programs. Heather-Anne Gillis of Dartmouth N.S. agrees: ìEven though the struggle is couched in the life of a young woman, we see in her struggles the demons that we face every day.î In reality, relationships are difficult; on the Hellmouth, theyíre practically impossible.

Spike isnít the only one with a dark side. Buffyís friends as well as her sometimes reluctant allies ñ Willow, Giles, Angel, Oz and Anya ñ have all recognized a frightening darkness within themselves. Even Xander, the heart of the group, fears that the alcoholism in his family might turn him into a monster some day. Each character has committed acts that are thoughtless and stupid, and much of Buffy is about the remorse and self-hatred they must live with.

Buffy, the one who is supposed to fight evil, has been living with the fear that she has evil within her too, and her struggle to overcome her fears, and not to succumb to a death wish, has given the show itís dark edge for the past two years.

Rhonda Wilcox is a professor of English at Georgiaís Gordon College and co-editor of Fighting the Forces: Whatís at Stake in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Slayage: the Online International Journal of Buffy Studies. She was one of the organizers of the East Anglia conference, and she agrees that what sets Buffy apart from other shows is itís epic quality.

ìI think that Buffy has raised the bar for television art,î Wilcox says. ìWhile Twin Peaks was unprecedented in terms of itís visual work and dream like content, Buffy is unprecedented in itís use of long-term narrative. The people who make Buffy have done so with great integrity ñ with respect for the audience and with respect for their own text. The seriesí careful continuity has allowed for character development of a sort never seen before. This show has made it possible for people to see that while most of television is waited mental space, TV can be art.î
The writers knew years ago how season seven would end and, as a result, the show has a definite momentum, a feeling that weíre moving toward something. But along the way writers have had fun with more gimmicky episodes, such as Once More With Feeling, the musical episode that cemented Whedonís reputation as a genius in song as well as script. Or Hush, which boasted 29 minutes of silence when the demons stole everyoneís voices, yet the personality of each character still shone through.

So, to quote a song from the musical episode, Where do we go from here? The talk of a spinoff this fall has been quashed. The writers had hopes of developing a show about Faith (the darker, even more messed-up vampire slayer) before Eliza Dushku, the actress who plays her, accepted a role in another television pilot.

Considering the present amount of academic literature on the show, the end of Buffy could signal the true beginning of itís study. Scholars will now have the entire oeuvre to debate, and perhaps only then can the true analysis begin. Which would be a fitting irony for a Slayer who preferred a good staking to a good book. ìIntroduction to the modern novel?î she says as sheís choosing her university courses. ìIím guessing Iíd have to read the modern novel. Ö Do they have an introduction to the modern blurb?î

For the viewers of the show, weíll be able to take our memories with us. The characters felt like people we all knew, and we could identify with Buffyís problems. For seven years the series taught us that nobody ñ not even the Chosen One ñ is perfect. It left us with the notion that a petite blond woman can save the world, as long as she has friends in her corner. ìYou have to take care of each other,î she says. ìYou have to be strong. The hardest thing in this world is to live in it. Be brave. Live, fro me.î

Nikki Strafford is the author of Bite Me! An Unofficial Guide to the World of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, published by ECW Press

Lessons from the slayer

The Master: You were destined to die, it was written.
Buffy: What can I ay? I flunked the written.

Xander: Did you hear that? A bonus day of class, plus Cordilia. Mix in a little rectal surgery and itís my best day ever.

Principal Snyder: There are things I will not tolerate: students loitering on campus after school, horrible murders with hearts removed. And also smoking.

Buffy: Sorry, but Iím an old-fashioned gal. I was raised to believe that men dig up corpses and the women have the babies.

Crodilia: Well, does looking at guns make you want to have sex?
Xander: Iím 17. looking at linoleum makes me want to have sex.

Buffy: Youíre a vampire. Oh, Iím sorry. Was that an offensive term? Should I say undead American?

Anya: Men like sports. Iím sure of it.
Xander: yes. Men like sports. Men watch the action movie, they eat the beef, and enjoy to look at the bosoms. A thousand years of avenging our wrongs, and thatís all youíve learned?

Spike: If every vampire who said he was at the Crucifixion was actually there it would have been like Woodstock. I feed of a flower person and I spent six hours watching my hand move.

Buffy: Stay backÖ or Iíll pull a William Burroughs on your leader here.
Xander: Youíll bore him to death with free prose?
Buffy: Was I the only one awake in English that day? Iíll kill him.

Xander: Anya has a theory. She thinks Martha Stewart froze that guy.
Anya: Donít be ridiculous. Martha Stewart isnít a demon. Sheís a witch.
Xander: Please, sheÖ really?
Anya: Of course. Nobody could do that much decoupage without calling on the powers of darkness.

Giles: You might have let me in on your plan while he throttled me.
Spike: Oh, poor Watcher. Did your life pass before your eyes? Cuppa tea, cuppa tea, almost got shagged, cuppa tea?

[> Excellent article, in spite of the flagrant abuse of "it's" and the two mini-trolls I captured. -- HonorH (*twitching*), 07:06:40 04/28/03 Mon

Yes, I'm just that anal. Got a problem with it?

[> [> You've discovered one of the great joys of the Globe&Mail! -- ponygirl, 08:06:39 04/28/03 Mon

Not even sure the transcriber is to blame, since one of my weekly rituals is sitting down with the Saturday paper and counting the typos and grammatical errors. My personal best was the time I came across three different spellings of an author's name in the course of one book review.

Once there were copy editors...

[> [> Re: Heck, no, it's what's always needed -- Brian, 09:20:31 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> ayup, its great you catch there error's! -- WickedBufy ::ducking::, 10:47:11 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> [> *Thwap!* -- HonorH, 15:48:01 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> heh ... you missed me. ::handing Brian an icepack:: -- WickedGoodDodger, 17:10:47 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> Not at all, in fact, here's another one of my hot buttons... -- LadyStarlight, 14:07:07 04/28/03 Mon

...when people say something like "Buffy's been on the air for 7 years". Either do the math properly and say 6 years, or use the proper terminology and say 7 seasons!

[> Where did she get this factoid? -- Vickie, 08:02:05 04/28/03 Mon

The writers knew years ago how season seven would end and, as a result, the show has a definite momentum, a feeling that we?re moving toward something.

I have often heard that Joss and company plan each season out well in advance, and that Joss has plot ideas that span several seasons (Dawn, Dark Willow). I have never before heard that anybody at ME EVER thought they'd get seven years, let alone that they knew what they would do with those years.

Any idea where she got this one? And thanks, Ruf, for sharing!

[> [> Making this up... -- pr10n, 08:45:34 04/28/03 Mon

Maybe she's referring to the Fray scenario, that Joss has had an idea of how The Tale of Buffy would end in general, not necessarily the end of S7.

[Why am I retconing for a stranger? Ha! So I don't have to work on my own stuff; same answer as always.]

[> [> [> That was my thought immediately - Fray -- Dochawk, 10:55:01 04/28/03 Mon

Back from vacation -- Brian, 05:27:08 04/28/03 Mon

where I dipped my toes in the Atlantic daily for three weeks, while catching up on sand, surf, and sun.

And since today is my birthday, here's a Buffy poem for Season Seven about power:

Sunnydale Slayer Reel

I - Sunnydale

Sharp-toothed vamps
Come sniffiní at my door,
Tryiní to catch my scent.
Their low-slung jowls,
Are hungry for the hunt.
But I keep from my window,
I keep from my door,
And shift a darker path;
My shadow shall slay them all.

II - Slayer

Sheís reaching for her stake;
The vampire canít believe.
Sheís a righteous force:
Watching the demon die,
Spattering herself with dusty otherís blood,
Shocking the neighborhood night,
With her quipping, radiant smile.
Her Watcherís proud; the Scoobies applaud.
The Slayerís got a stake;
Sheís a force, a power,
Cruising the suburban night.

III - Reel

Sheís got funny eyes;
Theyíve seen Heaven and Hell.
Theyíve burned her clean to bone,
And set the dancing wind to scream.
Her taste is only ashes:
Her desire is but a dream.
Her eyes burn with ancient fires
To purge a modern world.

[> Happy Birthday, Brian -- CW, 06:00:21 04/28/03 Mon

Another day older and another year better. ;o)

[> [> Re: HB, Bro -- Pegleg Pete, 06:41:34 04/28/03 Mon

[> Happy Birthday, my Prince. -- LadyStarlight, 07:48:02 04/28/03 Mon

[> Have a happy one! -- ponygirl, 07:59:51 04/28/03 Mon

[> My birthday, too. Isn't it fun to share a birthday with Saddam Hussein? -- leslie, 09:04:54 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> Sharing a birthday with Saddam Hussein? -- CW, 09:13:36 04/28/03 Mon

Just don't get 'bombed' tonight! ;o) Happy Birthday to you, too, leslie!

[> [> Re: Hey. Leslie, Happy Birthday to another Tauren (Let the Bull rule!) -- Brian, 09:14:09 04/28/03 Mon

So SH has the same B-day as us?! May all his daisy chains be pied.

[> [> Hope you have a better year than he does! :) -- ponygirl, 10:26:03 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> [> Re: Hope you have a better year than he does! :) - - leslie, 12:18:12 04/28/03 Mon

This was the "if today's your birthday" astrological forecast in the paper this morning--highly ironic if you think in terms of Saddam:

"You walk on the wild side this year, and a change in your point of view helps you express yourself in new ways. New employment makes the spring a bit stressful but also one of your most resourceful periods. Loved ones show their affection and esteem; an ego boost in June is enough to encourage you to ask for more money and get it"

[> [> My boss's birthday too!! -- neaux, 10:34:05 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> [> Re: Hey, neaux, was that the psycho one? Or was that s'kat's? -- Brian, 13:23:13 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> happy mutual birthday, brian & leslie! -- anom, 22:29:03 04/28/03 Mon

We had a Mini-meet! =D in Durham, NC -- neaux, 10:46:21 04/28/03 Mon

Turns out some ATPOBTVS Posters were in my backyard this weekend, so I got to meet up with LittleBit, Random and Oce at a local diner for an afternoon lunch yesterday!!

For those in attendance I would like to say thank you for the chance to meet all of you and it was nice to have at least a brief discussion on some Buffy/Angel goodness.

Although I couldn't stay long, I really enjoyed myself.

[> Re: We had a Mini-meet! =D in Durham, NC -- MaeveRigan, 11:41:58 04/28/03 Mon

And you didn't call me? I'm hurt! Next time, don't be a stranger!

[> [> Oh dear...*you* were the one I was trying to remember! -- Random, 12:43:59 04/28/03 Mon

Damn! I knew there was at least one other person in the area...I just couldn't remember who. We're very, very sorry. We'll let you know if there's another meet. Or the locals -- me and neaux -- could meet up with you sometime. Just let us know.

Anyway, it was a good meet. Bit, oce, and neaux were a lot of fun to hang out with. Food and conversation and chocolate milkshakes. Even got a pic, which would have had neaux in it if he hadn't raced off so soon:-) Can't beat those. Hope to do something like that again soon.

[> [> [> Re: Oh dear...*you* were the one I was trying to remember! -- neaux, 13:06:31 04/28/03 Mon

Ha!! I escaped the photo!! I'm sooo elusive!

You guys should have told me you had a camera, I would have struck a pose!

[> [> [> [> Post the pic! -- Rob, 17:35:33 04/28/03 Mon

[> tell the board next time you plan one! -- luna, 12:52:19 04/28/03 Mon

Some of the rest of us may not be far away!

[> [> Will do...again, very sorry about that oversight -- Random, 21:29:18 04/28/03 Mon

[> Woo-hoo! -- oceloty, 21:14:37 04/28/03 Mon

My first meet!

neaux, Random, and LittleBit, a pleasure to meet you all! (And apologies again for my tardiness.) The milkshake was yummy, but you were even more fun (in a completely non- double meaning way). Thanks muchly, 'cause it was a blast.

To those I didn't meet -- hope to see you sometime!

[> Ack, I missed it!? -- Traveler, 20:15:49 04/29/03 Tue

Hey, I live in Chapel Hill. I didn't know anybody on this board lived even remotely close to me. If you have a get together like this again, please let me know.

[> [> Will do, Fenris...I apologize again for arranging this meeting without advertising -- it's my fault -- Random, 22:39:50 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> Traveler, Traveler!!! My god, is my brain even working nowadays?!?!?!? -- Random, 00:04:17 04/30/03 Wed

Does relationship dysfunction come with the Slayer package or is it just Buffy? -- WickedB (spoilers as vague as mist, if any), 11:17:39 04/28/03 Mon

OK, Buffy has relationship problems - the boyfriend type. It's been mentioned plenty of times here so I won't do a rundown of every single time. important enough to probably be helped by seeing a therapist or at least reading one of the million self-help books about love.

Is this built in to the Slayer package, though? An inherant dysfunction to help keep them on track, solo, mind on their duty. Buffy seems to buck the system alot if it is - in addition to having a group of friends and family. And even having a family - it's been mentioned that SITs may be taken away from their families when it's time to train. (Is it some? All?) Buffy wasn't - even though it kept coming up in conversations with Giles and even the other Watchers ( and The First Slayer) that the Slayer is to be a loner.

I'm pointing my finger at the Watcher Council and even Giles for adding more misery and difficulties to Buffys life for keeping her in a situation where it would be more difficult to be alone than to be in a group. Why would they do that, knowing it makes it even harder to carry out her job she was chosen for?

I have a feeling, even though they protested so much and grumbled about it being out of tradition - and even blamed her group relationships for her weaknesses - she was meant not to be alone. It wasn't just a teenager personality thing of "I want my friends, it's my life" situation. It wasn't just Buffy wanting a normal life and fighting to get it. (The Watchers could have created a situation where she ended up with NO type family, like Faith. (That she would be close to, anyway.) And she was even given a sister. I believe it was secretly encouraged and supported.

Probably for the reasons we'll find out in the finale. It must be serving some ultimate purpose in creating the final outcome.

And yes, I DO think there was a second gunman. ;>

[> Re: Does relationship dysfunction come with the Slayer package or is it just Buffy? -- skeeve, 12:21:44 04/28/03 Mon

WickedB: "And yes, I DO think there was a second gunman."

Yes, there was. I saw him on Red Drarf.

BTW Post-high school Buffy could have introduced Giles as
"my librarian." In response to the next question Buffy would say, "No, MY librarian."
Buffy would decline to explain why she needed her own librarian.

[> Re: Does relationship dysfunction come with the Slayer package or is it just Buffy? -- Rabel Dusk, 14:44:24 04/28/03 Mon

Consider other Slayers. Faith has trouble bonding with anyone. Her best relationship seems to have been with the mayor - a rather unhealthy father/daughter thing. Kendra was so shy she couldn't look at or speak to any male who could be considered as boyfreind material. Principal Wood's Slayer mother had a pretty distant relationship with him which he resents up to the present day.

[> [> Re: Does relationship dysfunction come with the Slayer package or is it just Buffy? -- Bronson, 15:58:46 04/28/03 Mon

Expanding on that, consider other superheroes. Except for Superman in his later years, most of the DC & Marvel pantheons have trouble relating to other people at all, let alone forming close romantic ties. Even without the "s/he can't know my secret identity" barrier, having a special gift is (apparently) an isolating experience, for a whole bunch of different reasons.

[> [> [> It also helps ensure more focus on the job... -- WickedBuffy, 16:54:46 04/28/03 Mon

aside from the sociological and psychological influences, it's also a very practical built-in evolutionary trait that would keep the "hero" strongest and most capable of doing his/her superduty at top form.

The lone Slayer would have less distractions, less chance of vulnerability through people close to her, little blackmail opportunities, no loss of attention to the more issues at hand .... ummmmm wait, now I am describing describing a Slayer, but not Buffy. ;>

But Faith seems to be getting MUCH better with her interpersonal skills (maybe the enforced confinement in prison forced that to evolve) - will that weaken her, too? It seems the more demon in the human makes a more effective Slayer - just as the Shadowmen counciled.

::pondering one what a Slayer without a soul would be like in JossWorld::

[> [> [> [> but the problem is ... -- M., 20:47:06 04/28/03 Mon

The lone slayer might be more focused on the fight, but what would she be fighting for? Faith is the perfect example, no family, no real friends, and no connections to the world around her. It is no wonder she was willing to fight for the bad guys. The more recent Faith does care more about the world, and so is a better slayer.
Kendra may have had trouble in this area herself. She was lucky to meet and become friends with Buffy who showed her that it was possible for a slayer to have a life, but what if she hadnít. What if Buffy had died (and stayed dead) when she faced the Master and then Kendra had to be the only slayer. Would Kendra have been able to do the things that Buffy did, or would she have quit. Would she have turned evil like Faith did, or just been killed early on because she had a death wish.
Niki (Woodís Mother) may have had a distant relationship with her son, but she still cared deeply for him, he was the reason she fought.
Likewise Buffyís friends and family have been more than useful allies, they have been her reason to fight.

A degree of disconnection may come with the territory, but total isolation would be devastating. Like just about everything else it is a matter of balance.

[> [> [> [> [> Doesn't this all just make you wonder .... -- WickedBuffy, 11:54:00 04/30/03 Wed

... if this kind of drama went on with all the previous Slayers? No wonder they die young - if a demon didn't get them, then their own dysfunctions as a side-effect of being a Slayer, would. (this is anti-grammar day, btw)

Even discounting Buffy - look at Faith and Kendra, as you pointed out. And Woods mom.

[> tweed loincloths -- MsGiles, 02:31:52 04/29/03 Tue

You guys into S7 may know more than I do, held in snooker limbo halfway thro S6 at present. However, the whole Watcher thing seems pretty weird. A bunch of English academic types mananging world slayage?

So what were they back at the time of the First Slayer (pictures come of a bunch of hairy guys in tweed loincloths, sitting round a fire, drinking hot water with a dash of milk (as in Asterix, waiting for Getafix the Druid to arrive from France and invent tea))

Giles doesn't even seem to know that much about training. He tried to get the Buffybot to use her Ki, so perhaps he knows a bit about martial arts - but he could have picked that up from films. When it came to fighting Ethan, he just seemed to grab him and thump him, no fancy moves.

Meandering off on thought about the CoW. I wonder if the CoW is a relatively late fix. Until the 17c there probably wouldn't have been enough global communication for the pattern of slayage to emerge and be managed. After this I could see various Councils coming and going, attempts to globalise frustrated by poor communications and social upheavals. Revolutionary France would probably have had its own Council (for a few months anyway) if there were any French slayers around. They would have only been allowing the staking of aristo vamps, disastrously. Perhaps the post Independance US would have broken away. I couldn't see a Brit Council going down too well there for a while.

The motivation for a global CoW could have come as much from capitalism as from the Fight against Evil. After all, vampires are not a good market. In Buffy and much other vamp fiction, they generally seem to lose the commercial urge along with their souls. They're sometimes interested in power, like yuppievamp Mr Trick, but they rarely engage fully with trade and commerce. Even Spike, up with every modern trend, doesn't really seem to care whether he plays for cash or kittens (although he might prefer kittens). Vamps are bad for business. Although you could see sneaky Empire builders encouraging a bit of vamping, like opium, where they thought it might soften up a regime for them..

But say the CoW consolidated sometime in the 18 or 19c, based on some pocket of ancient slayer scholarship surviving in the Mediaeval Studies department at Oxford (started by refugee academics from Prague in 1481 or something). They would then have picked up the bits and pieces of slayer lore collated over the eons, and have (after a lot of committees, sub-committees, and tea) come up with the Code.

One thing, in an age before contraception, it would probably be important to stop slayers getting pregnant - hence no boyfriends, before or after being called. That no longer needs to be a concern, and anyway, dating vamps avoids the issue. I see there is a reference to a slayer parent in S7, interesting.

Chinese slayer must have known her mother, but was the CoW functioning at this stage? Could her mother have been her Watcher? Did NY Slayer have family? She had an afro and a cool leather coat, so perhaps a bit more of a cultural identity than one-shirt/travel-in-cargo-holds Kendra. No effort was made to separate Buffy from her parents before or after being called, Code or no Code. Perhaps every watcher learned the Code, but then went out and did things in his of her own way.

Except for Kendra's watcher, who took it all completely literally.

Or perhaps Giles, being a maverick wild guy (in spite of the tweed and the filing obsession) was deliberately paired up with Buffy, (who the CoW found more culturally incomprehensible than any other slayer ever) and allowed to do it his way.

[> [> My theory on the subject -- Doug, 12:32:03 04/29/03 Tue

There was no way the Council of Watchers would have bee able to function as a world wide body until very recently. There would have been no way for Watchers on different continents to communicate. And there can't have been Watchers only in Europe, since that would have left all the Slayers called in other regions of the world without training.

I think that there were multiple orders of Watchers in diferet parts of the world. They would either get a Slayer for a time or they wouldn't; and when they were left without they did their best to fight the forces of darkness on their own. I think that the reason that the modern Watcher's council is centered in Britain is because Europe dominated the world for the centuries whe all these different groups would have encountered one another. So the various groups in other regions were integrated (or subjugated) into the structure of the European Watcher's council, which is based in Britain. now why Britain and not France, Germany, or the Vatican is another question entirely.

I'm Interested in what anybody thinks of the theory.

[> [> [> I Disagree (Spoilers up to BtVS 7.15 and Angel S5) -- RadiusRS, 05:12:04 04/30/03 Wed

The Watcher line seems to pass on from parent to child in many cases, so there would already be an oral history linking all the Watchers, thereby allowing a greater ability to work together. If the Medicine Men were the first incarnation of the Council (as I believe it is quite apparent they were, at least thematically), then the counsel has been employing magic since the beginning, and therefore I don't believe it's out of the question that Watchers all over the world would be able to communicate through magical means, they had those means to find newly called slayers before they were even called so I doubt long-distance communication (perhaps through familiars?) was too big of a problem. I also think the Council doesn't care much for the individual slayers, but rather the line as a whole, and therefore give their watchers a lot of leeway (what? there's a dragon in medieval China for the Slayer to fight? I must alert the Council, get information from them, and wait for their reply, by which time my Slayer is probably dead, the dragon is loose, and the closest Slayer is in the jungles of Brazil). It seems to me the Council represents Knowledge, and being able to communicate their info is essential to their filling their purpose. Perhaps the Council only grew pig headed once communication was so easy since they could pick and choose who needed to know what. Perhaps before England, they were in the Vatican or something like that. And now that they've been destroyed, with AI taking over Wolfram & Hart, there is now a new "Good" source of Knowledge in America, the superpower of our time.

[> [> [> [> "Superpower of our time"!? -- Ismali Farqin, 11:12:06 04/30/03 Wed

[> Re: Does relationship dysfunction come with the Slayer package or is it just Buffy? -- Vesica, 07:03:42 04/29/03 Tue

Does relationship dysfunction come with the Slayer package or is it just Buffy?

Yes and Yes, though I think Buffy has a strain of dysfunction unique among Slayers.

I believe it [Buffyís relationships] was secretly encouraged and supported.

No! It would, in my opinion, be more accurate to say that The Watcherís Council has rolled with the punches. In their design Buffy would be no different from the earlier Slayers.

Historically, it becomes very important that the Slayer is female. Females have not had their own power or social role in most cultures for most of recorded history. Or they have been allowed only special kinds of roles. I think the ëno family, no friendsí trend was an essential part of the Slayer formula.

The lone slayer might be more focused on the fight, but what would she be fighting for? Faith is the perfect example, no family, no real friends, and no connections to the world around her. It is no wonder she was willing to fight for the bad guys.

She would be fighting for her Watcher and the Council. Their word would be canon law. They are in the position to define the Slayerís duty and send her against that which they deem evil. Faith isnít a perfect example because of the breakdown of her Watcher/Slayer relationship. Think about how it would have worked for the majority of Slayers throughout history. Here they are young girls separated from their families and homes, turned over to the care of an older man. For ease of living, they probably would have married or at least passed themselves off as married. Yet they would have been loveless relationships as the Council has been quite clear on how a Watcher should feel about their Slayer. Yes, there are a few female Watchers, but they would not have become useful until the late 19th century at the earliest. Of course, there is the alternate theory, that being the Slayer would be so alienating and outside of societies norms that Slayers would have sought refuge in ëprofessionsí completely outside the framework of society, like gypsies or prostitutes. Either way you end up with a young women of expectional strength alienated, rejected by the larger society and thrust into a group that praises her power and strength, asking only complete obedience in return for love and acceptance. With all legitimate outlets for her pain and *ahem* hormones blocked, she becomes an incredible weapon in the Councilís arsenal.

I think in the end, the Slayer/Watcher relationship was designed to create a warrior with unquestioned loyalty, who fights when duty calls without the entanglements of personal relationships or even ethics. Buffy has completely shattered this mold ñ a fact I doubt pleased the Watcherís Council too much. In the end, her way has proven effective. But it has also created just as many problems as it has solved. True, Buffy is a happier, more well-adjusted and balanced individual than the Slayers who came before her. She has also irreversibly muddied the lines between good and evil to the point that Slayers and the whole system will never be the same. While Buffy has greater freedom, she also has an enormous amount of responsibility and the guilt that comes with poor decisions. The Council has been useless at best, manipulative at worst, because they have never had Slayers like this before. They (excluding Giles) have no framework for helping a Slayer understand and cope with the agony over the high cost of her love. She loves and the world nearly ends ñ She loves and must kill her beloved ñ She loves, making those she loves targets for torture and sufferingñ She loves, continually scarring her own soul as she does what must be done, ignoring the personal price. Ideally (according to the Council) the Slayer is all about the collective good, personal good is irrelevant and distracting.

From ìHelplessî
Cruciamentum is not easy... for Slayer or Watcher. But it's been done this way for a dozen centuries. Whenever a Slayer turns eighteen. It's a time- honored rite of passage.

Giles: It's an archaic exercise in cruelty. To lock her in this... tomb... weakened, defenseless. And to unleash *that* on her.

If any one of the Council still had actual contact with a Slayer, they would see, but I'm the one in the thick of it.

Quentin: Which is why you're not qualified to make this decision. You're too close.


(post test)
Quentin: Not quite. She passed. You didn't. The Slayer is not the only one who must perform in this situation. I've recommended to the Council, and they've agreed, that you be relieved of your duties as Watcher immediately. You're fired.

Giles: On what grounds?

Quentin: Your affection for your charge has rendered you incapable of clear and impartial judgment. You have a father's love for the child, and that is useless to the cause. It would be best if you had no further contact with the Slayer.

From ìCheckpointî
Buffy ... I can sense your resistance, and I don't blame you. But I think your Watcher hasn't reminded you lately of the resolute status of the players in our little game. The Council fights evil. The Slayer is the instrument by which we fight. The Council remains, the Slayers change. It's been that way from the beginning,

Giles: (scornfully) Well, that's a very comforting, bloodless way of looking at it, isn't it?

solving the Jasmine problem -- skeeve, 11:31:09 04/28/03 Mon

Find a vengeance demon. "I wish Jasmine had never come to our dimension."

Find Willow. Have her send Earth and the rest of the solar system, except Jasmine, into another dimension, preferable one without an earth of its own.

Maybe slice off a follower's head. Other wounds heal, but at least they occur. A beheading might not be healable. I had similar thoughts about slicing and dicing the mayor during his invinciblity stage.

It occurs to me that Willow might be able to help with less large-scale magic. If her teleportation spell still works, she might be able to feed Jasmine to Caleb. A better idea might be to feed just her head to a toxic waste dump.

Sending Jasmine through a portal probably wouldn't work, her minion was sent through a portal, but he came back.

Does Jasmine still have to breathe? If so, Willow might be able to teleport her air away.

Since Jasmine can still be wounded, it seems likely that Willow could get some of her blood. From that, Willow could probably figure out how to cure the shiny happy people without more blood than Jasmine has.

Of course we all know that the final solution to the Jasmine problem will involve Angel finding out Jasmine's previous name.

BTW they looked like scorpions to me.

BTW a message expired while I was replying to it. The result of my attempted reply was a mesage that I should repost it as a new message "below", with no obvious way to do that. The only likely prospect resulting in a blank form to fill out.

[> Or they could attack Jasmine with hummus. -- oboemaboe, 12:50:17 04/28/03 Mon

Just start a new thread and call it "Reply to [poster], [original thread name] cont."

I'm sure that's allowable etiquette.

[> [> a really ripe haggis might do the trick.... -- WickedClan, 13:18:21 04/28/03 Mon

[> [> Re: Or they could attack Jasmine with hummus. -- skeeve, 15:14:49 04/28/03 Mon

What's hummus?

[> [> [> Re: Or they could attack Jasmine with hummus. -- Bronson, 15:22:56 04/28/03 Mon

And if one were to attack Jasmine with a tasty chickpea-and- sesame-tahini paste, would it really harm her, or just make her more attractive to her vegetarian followers?

[> [> [> [> Here's a great recipe for the artillery.*L -- BR, 16:37:57 04/28/03 Mon

Tahini Dip/Hummus

This is the Greek version and the texture is a lot smoother & fuller than the other versions I have tried.

2 15 and 1/2oz cans Garbanzo beans - drain one!
1/4 cup finest olive oil
1Tablespoon White Wine Vinegar or Lemon Juice
1/4 cup coursely chunked onion (about 1/2 of a large white onion)
2 large cloves garlic peeled
Pinch Cayenne pepper, (about 1/8th teaspoon)
1/2 cup Tahini (sesame seed paste)
Salt to taste
Additional olive oil for garnish

(this won't work in a blender or doing it by hand!)

To Food processor; add garbanzo beans with the remaining can's liquid, process until smooth. Add olive oil and tahini, vinegar, Cayenne and salt, blend well. Add the onion and garlic and process in pulses for about 30 seconds, it should be slightly fine chopped.

Remove to a deep plate (pie pans are good) and drizzle olive oil over top. Serve at room temp with a good pita or other flat bread. This will hold at least 4 days in the fridge tightly covered. This is also excellent made into sandwiches with a soft french roll and tomato, lettuce and thinly sliced onion. Add the little Italian Pepperoncinis for a nice bite of heat.*LOL

This one is really easy to "half" - just use 1 can of chickpeas, drain into a cup and pour about 1/2 into food processor or blender. I usually go ahead and use the full 1/4 cup olive oil for the half recipe - and then use half the amount of everything else. You can't have too much olive oil in a healthy diet. Just don't add the oil garnish to the half recipe.

[> [> [> [> Re: Or they could attack Jasmine with hummus. -- WickedBuffy, 16:50:53 04/28/03 Mon

What would happen if she absorbed an "infected" human (or, one covered in hummus, I guess, though I still feel more strongly that haggis would be a more potent poison).

Does Jasmine "heal" people, too? I know she did Connor - but on a widescale influence has she? I've forgotten to notice - though I do remember the deaf woman wanting to blow Freds brain up. Her influence really is a very focused one - strictly Happy Shiny. No magic tricks to awe anyone, no healing to bring followers into her fold - just that one thing.

[> [> [> [> [> Healing (and hummus and haggis) -- Bronson, 17:26:44 04/28/03 Mon

I get the impression that she could heal everyone if she so desired -- especially as her power increases by the day, and she becomes more and more connected to her followers. That's just not her gig. Why heal when you can seduce?

Also, she doesn't appear to choose only the strongest or most healthy-looking folks to consume. It would be interesting to see what, if anything, happened if Jasmine ate a chronically ill person(or one that had eaten a bad haggis.) However, if she's just feeding off their energy, it probably would just be a less nutritious meal than usual for her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Whoa, crazy idea here.(Perhaps NOT as crazy as hummus, but still crazy) -- Masamune, 18:30:20 04/28/03 Mon

Hey, good call with the part about her absorbing a sick person; It gave me an idea.

Does anyone remember that guy that she touched outside of the bowling alley? You know, the one that turned part demon where she touched him? I wonder what would happen if she absorbed him. Perhaps some kind of reverse-healing because he didn't love her, he hated her.

Secondly, has she touched any non-demons aside from that guy? I don't think she did, but I'm not positive.

[> Constipation (vague Sacrifice spoilers) -- WickedBuffy, 17:12:34 04/28/03 Mon

We know she's absorbing the people somehow and she gets stronger as she does. Do we know, really, anything else about that energy? We assume she's keeping it all in herself. Is it possible it's being channeled somewhere else (maybe even the somewhere else Cordy is tucked away). And Jasmine gets a piece for herself as it goes though?

I can't imagine something absorbing so much "food" and not doing something with it. Is it her sole source of power to create SH people? She's taking in more and more, and we see her getting stronger and stronger. If they could somehow contain her for a period of time, without lunchables, would her powers diminish? She reminds me abit of The First Evil in that she's not actually doing anything physical - it's all done for her by others. Can she be physically subdued by infected humans if they can isolate her from her followers? She doesn't seem to be able to re-infect anyone, so they could approach her without being stopped by the one power she does seem to possess.

If she is channeling most of the green energy to someplace else, (y'know the old SF plot - conquer the world and suck off all it's resources for your own dying planet) - they might find a way to block that , causing her to ummm overload and explode or at least be unable to contain such a force within herself and survive.

Ubee Deux, B? and/or Sandy sez *ARF*- Thoughts on *Dirty Girls* -- OnM, 22:36:57 04/28/03 Mon


Man that is born of a woman is of few days and full of trouble.
He cometh forth like a flower, and is cut down: he fleeth also as a shadow, and continueth not.
And doth thou open thine eyes upon such an one, and bringest me into judgment with thee?
Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? Not one.

............ Job, Chapter14:1-5


A Time/CNN poll has found that 17% of Americans -- nearly one in five -- believe that the end of the world will come
in their lifetimes, and 59% believe that the prophecies about the end of the world found in the Christian New Testament
Book of Revelations are true and will happen, if not in the near future. (...)

Michael Adams, president of polling firm Environics, notes in his forthcoming book, Fire and Ice: The United
States, Canada and the Myth of Converging Values
, that over the past half-century Canadians have shifted from
attending religious services far more regularly than Americans to attending less than half as regularly. Mr. Adams says
this growing American religious fervour, much of which is Christian fundamentalist, puts the United States at odds
with other advanced industrial nations. (...)

More intriguing (...) is Mr. Adams's report that religious beliefs in the two countries closely track Americans' and
Canadians' attitudes toward traditional patriarchal authority.

Nearly half of Americans -- 49% -- believe that "the father of the family must be master in his own home" while only
18% of Canadians do, a values gulf that has widened over the past decade ( in 1992, the numbers were respectively
42% and 26% ).

............ Michael Valpy, from The Globe and Mail, 04/26/2003


Give not thy strength unto women, nor thy ways to that which destroyeth kings.

............ Proverbs 31:3


Caleb - (male) - English, Biblical - Pronounced: KAY- leb

Means "dog" in Hebrew. In the Old Testament this was the name of one of the twelve spies sent by Moses into Israel.
Of the Israelites who left Egypt with Moses, Caleb and Joshua were the only ones who lived to see the promised land.

Keleb - (keh'-leb) - From an unused root: meaning to yelp, or else to attack; a dog; hence (by euphemism) a male


I try to get along with dogs. Really, I do.

But dogs generally do not get along with me, so there is always a certain degree of tension present when weíre in each
otherís company. And itís kind of the same way with gods. When all is said and someday done, weíll just have to see
how everything works out.

Everything reminds me of my dog, quoth the folksinger Jane Siberry, and you could substitute the word god
and the song could still be true, epecially to the faithful of whatever stripe.

Me and my ferocious dog
We're walking down the street
and everyone we meet says
"ach yer a goot doogie!..."
"ach yer a goot doogie!..."
"ach yer a goot doogie!..."

Except when we go for a walk
To get the Sunday paper
I stand there and read the headlines
He reads the wind
Sometimes he hits a funny smell and laughs
I hate it when he does that- I feel so dumb
What? what? I say

The obvious mystery of the universe is certainly one of the primary reasons that humans affiliate themselves with
deities. From this general association, I would posit that the faithful tend to fall into two broad camps, those that have
to know all the answers, and those that can let the mystery be. To the extent that Iím not an officially religious
individual, I do count myself among the latter group in the sense that curiosity is not the be-all and end-all of my
existence-- I can sleep quite well at night without obsessing that Iím ëgoing down the right pathí. It isnít that the path
lacks importance, itís more a matter that the path winds about and around in such complex ways that to think a
complete understanding of it can be had is sheer hubris.

That wonít stop people from trying, naturally, and I most sincerely donít object as long as they donít get too full of
themselves. When that does happen, heartache inevitably follows for the unenlightened souls who happen to be the
innocent bystanders on the periphery of The Great Truth.


Caleb: Drink of this, for it is my blood... You know, I loved the story of the last supper, the body, the
blood of Christ becoming rich red wine... I recall as a boy though I couldn't help thinking, what if you're at the last
supper and you ordered the white? Nice oakey chardonnay, or a white zin, was he gonna make that out of his lymph or
some all? I never did bring it up, but... well I suppose there was reason I never could stay with the same parish for very
long. Just looking for answers -- looking for the Lord -- in the wrong damn places. 'Til you showed me the light.

( The First, as Buffy, steps out of complete black shadow. )

Buffy/FE: Do you think I'm God?

Caleb: I surely do not. I'm beyond concepts like that.

Buffy/FE: But you still wear the outfit...

Caleb: Man can't turn his back on what he come from. Besides, black is slimming. Everyone knows that.

Buffy/FE: How do you like what I'm wearing?

Caleb: Just another dirty girl. And since you only dress up in dead folk, I'm guessing it's one has been paid her

Buffy/FE: Look hard.

( He does, looking her up and down. Not lasciviously, just calculating. Comes close and stares in her eyes. )

Buffy/FE: What do you see?

Caleb: Strength. And the loneliness that comes with real strength.

Buffy/FE: Nothing about my pert and bouncy hairdo?

Caleb: (realizing) You're her.

Buffy/FE: The Slayer.

Caleb: At long last...

~ ~ ~

Itís traditional in the seasonal ebb and flow of the Buffyverse to have Big Bads that come and go. Typically, in the
early portion of the year we are presented with a ëLittle Big Badí whom Buffy has initial trouble with but soon knocks
out of the picture, while in the background the Big Big Bad lurks away, biding his/her/its time and changing size as
suits the moment. Last fall, we had the Turok-Han, or Qubervampí, a primal, feral form of vampire that was particularly
nasty and equally hard to dust. Ostensibly a henchman (henchdemon?) of The First Evil, the seasonís true Big Bad,
Ubee gave Buffy a taste of the pain to come, nearly killing her in the process.

In the most recent new Buffy episode, Dirty Girls, we are duly introduced to Ubee II, a new/old creature
residing at the other end of the evolutionary scale, a human without a soul (or so it might seem) who shares Ubee Iís
priapic bloodlust but adds the benefit of reinforcing the vampireís desire for destruction with the rationalizations his
forebrain gives rise to.

Thatís right-- we meet Caleb, who possesses all the strength of a vampire (and then some) without the untidy side
effects of having to be dead. Caleb, who has a thing about women-- he doesnít care for them very much, although he
couches his opinions in vague attempts at learned indifference:

Caleb: There's no blame here. You were born dirty. Born without a soul, born with that gaping maw that
wants to open up and suck out a man's marrow. Makes me puke to think too hard on it.

~ ~ ~

Pretty nasty stuff, but it most assuredly isnít a new thought. In fact, the writer seems to have relied on at least one
ancient philosophical/historical tome for inspiration:

The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the Lord shall fall therein.

............ Proverbs 22:14

~ ~ ~

(Sigh). What goes around... Anyway, Caleb has big issues, as do many humans, but Caleb, much like Mayor Wilkins of
BtVS season three, has obviously made some kind of pact with the forces of darkness in return for superhuman gifts,
and these gifts have in turn been willingly used to serve the needs of Calebís new Master-- or is it Mistress?

Caleb: Well that was... are you all right?

Shannon: (nodding) Thank you. Thank God you were there...

Caleb: (smiles) Well, let's not give Him credit for everything...

~ ~ ~

Jossís Caleb seems to be depicted as a somewhat over-the-top character, but I think that this assumption may be
premature-- weíll surely learn a bit more about him as the next four episodes finish out the season. At first observation,
the stereotypical ëEvil Southern Preacherí archetype seems like something weíve seen over and again in films and
television until you feel the need to groan at the sheer pervasiveness of the image. But whatís truly scary is just how
common his belief system seems to be in so many different world cultures, and the American one is hardly excluded, as
evidenced by the excerpt from Canadaís Globe and Mail that I quoted near the very beginning of the review.
Itís only a matter of degree, and it isnít just about misogyny-- Iíve made the point before that Joss often uses feminism
as an introduction to humanism. Hatred can be directed at a whole host of ëminoritiesí, not just women. BtVS is a
show about a young womanís journey, so it naturally takes on a feminist slant. But Buffy is human before she is
female-- the latter is the subset of the former.

Caleb: There once was a woman. And she was foul, like all women. For Adam's rib was dirty, just like Adam
himself, for what was he but human?

~ ~ ~

Eve - (female) - English, French, Biblical - Pronounced: EEV

From the Hebrew name Chavvah, which was derived from the Hebrew word chavah "to breathe" or the
related word chayah "to live". According to the Old Testament Book of Genesis Eve and Adam were the first humans.

Adam - (male) - English, French, German, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Biblical - Pronounced: A-dam

This is the Hebrew word for "man". It could be ultimately derived from Hebrew adam meaning "to be red",
referring to the ruddy colour of human skin, or from Assyrian adamu meaning "to make". According to Genesis
in the Old Testament Adam was created from the earth by God (there is a word play on Hebrew adamah

~ ~ ~

Hereís another insight into the character by another reviewer who sees Caleb similarly to the way I do:

To begin with, I liked how Caleb's misogyny tied in with Joss's original reason for creating the show: the girl in slasher
movies who goes down a dark alley and gets killed by a monster (left implicit by Joss was the requisite accompanying
fact that the victim's death always serves as a punishment for her having had sex). Caleb's attitude toward women is an
excellent compliment to Joss's original concept. In the same vein, the scene in which Caleb re-enacted his past murders
with the First-Evil-as-Buffy portraying his victims was powerfully creepy, in large part because it was such an astute
comment on the way some men enjoy watching depictions of violence toward women. It's good that the show is
returning to its original point in its waning days. It's even better that it manages to make such perceptive comments
(which are all the more disturbing for being so perceptive) on the still prevalent misogyny in our culture.

............ wwolfe - The West Coast Review: "Bad Girls" - 04/16/03

~ ~ ~

ëBack to the Beginningí, indeed. Iíve commented in the past about misogyny being a rather odd form of discrimination
in that effectively one is dening the value of creation itself, which seems quite bizarre considering the powerful
biological imperative to reproduce. Since only females can recreate the species, one would think that females would be
honored, not scorned.

Much as I hate to say it, I canít help but feel that this is one of those instances where our normally useful forebrain
betrays us. To a less complex animal, survival typically entails direct reactions to external events, not extended analysis.
If your dog senses that you are in danger, heíll go after your attacker-- he wonít sit there and debate if getting some
revenge for serving his dinner 2 hours late one night last week might be a more appropriate course of action. Naturally,
he might be in error if he bites someone who turns out to be your friend, and not an attacker, but at least the
motivation is pure (by dog standards).

So far, we havenít been given any clues as to why our dog/vamp/god Caleb has such a hate-on for the ësplitsí
(as he so crudely puts it), but he does state over and over again that he desires and respects power. It is
fascinating that he does not mock the First Evil for appearing to him in the guise of a woman-- it appears that the
(boundless?) power the First holds trumps all other factors. Or perhaps he considers the First to be ëpureí due to its
incorporeality (see the comment above re: Adam/humans as also being ëdirtyí). This would follow-- many religious
people consider all that is not God to be ëimpureí to a least some degree, so twisting this around into the negative,
Caleb could consider all that is not ultimately powerful to be impure, and he sees Evil as the greater power because
God chooses not to directly confront it.

This last idea returns us to the dog world again. Dogs, like many pack animals, organize themselves according to a
vertical hierarchy within the overalll structure of the pack. There is an Alpha dog (typically male) that assumes
leadership on a basis of physical strength and cunning. For another dog to take the Alphaís place, combat is the norm,
and the defeated animal must either become submissive to the successful Alpha, or else leave the pack. At a basic,
biological level, humans do much the same, we just extemporize above and beyond our primitive sectors of DNA and
decide to assign reasons for doing so. We think, therefore we politicize.

Buffy: We've got a new player in town. Dresses like a preacher. Calls himself Caleb. Looks like he's working
for The First.

Dawn: So he's like... The Second?

~ ~ ~

That last line got cut out of the actual show, but did appear in the earlier shooting script. It tends to confirm what I was
just saying, although I am wondering if Caleb is content to serve the First as he is currently. When I saw the scene at
the vineyard where he almost casually backhands Buffy, and she goes flying across the room and gets knocked
unconscious, the very first thought that popped into my head was Glory. And that thought led to
another, one which I have had long before this year-- did the death of Glory, who after all should have been
unkillable, open a slot in the cosmic hierarchy for a new hellgod to take her place? Or maybe a god of any sort?
Suppose the battle is between the new god being on the side of good vs. being on the side of evil? Is Buffy the other
potential, and is that why the First appears as Buffy across from Caleb?

Youíve noticed that we havenít heard anything about what the Beljoxaís Eye had to say regarding the ëdisruptioní in
the ëforcesí. I am assuming that like the Dagonsphere and the Enchanted Troll Hammer, this is going to be one of
those short ëforgottení diversions that suddenly pops into relevancy on or about the last episode of the year. As you
may recall from Lies My Parents Told Me, in the original shooting script Giles told Buffy about what he did to
Ben, and how he thus killed Glory. I have been puzzled ever since about why they chose to delete this part-- it really
wouldnít have made the scene any longer, it would have just been cut differently. Are they going to fit it in later, at a
possibly more effective time? Did Giles bring about the possibility of Calebís ascendency by defying Buffyís will and
killing Ben?

What would Caleb gain by becoming a god?

Buffy/FE: Most people don't like visits from their dead, you know.

Caleb: It's okay with me. Might unsatisfying's all. I must confess I miss the bite of flesh on a knife. Freeing a
soul from its body should have a, a tug to it.

~ ~ ~

Could it really be that simple? The simple satisfaction of the power exercised by taking a life? It does fit the misogyny
angle that I mentioned earlier-- the negation of creation made both metaphorical and literal. And for comparison, we
have our previous hellgodess, Glorificus, who also was intensely fond of causing death, although to her credit she
apparently didnít care about the gender, as long as the intended suffered and died in mass quantities.

Caleb would take Gloryís work one step farther, in that he not only covets the creation of death, but the death of
creation. In his earlier, presumably ëmere humaní days, he settles for killing human women. Now, part demon or part
god, he raises the supernatural power stakes by bringing about the destruction of the Slayer line, the supernaturally-
endowed female protectors of humanity. If he succeeds? All of humanity follows, and the First gains a great victory.

So one one level, we have the shifting balance of power on a cosmic scale, and on the other level(s) we are watching
the balance of power shift among the humans and superhumans who surround our Buffy. There are several, all taking
place at the same time:

The most obvious one is between Buffy and Giles, and this is also the most critical of the conflicts, because of the
generational link involved. Giles represents the collected knowledge of the past, and the imperative need to pass that
knowledge on to the next generation. Buffy is angry, and understandably so, at the recent betrayal by her ëfatherí, but if
this unfortunate rift is not repaired, the flow of knowledge will stop, and the wisdom of oneís elders doesnít suddenly
vanish when the child reaches early adulthood, disagreements or no. Buffy still needs Giles, and for that matter, Giles
needs Buffy.

The re-introduction of Faith into the events currently taking place in Sunnydale is placing another power play into the
mix. I was very curious for weeks before this show aired to see just how the writers would handle the interactions
between the two Slayers-- the one time friends or at least ësisters-in-armsí, then foes, then bitter enemies. Now-- what
is Buffy really thinking? Frankly I was impressed at the degree of acceptance she is offering to Faith. Considering the
raging anger Buffy once held towards Faith for betraying not only Buffy personally, but for betraying her calling as
Slayer, Buffy is being pretty darn reasonable and controlled. Granted, ëmost of [Buffyís] friends are murderersí as
Andrew stated in all technical accuracy, so why should Faith not be forgiven also? The theory might work that way,
but of course practice is quite another.

The scenes with Spike and Faith both paraphrase and emphasize this psychological dilemma nicely. Buffy comes down
into the basement only to find Spike and Faith becoming very chummy with one another. One the one hand, Buffy is
obviously unsure about what Faithís true motives may be in returning to Sunnydale, but sitting right there beside her is
Spike, a murderer on a scale that makes poor Faith look like a rank amateur, and Buffy has not only not killed Spike,
she is actively protecting him from those who now want to kill him. This new reminder canít help but rub her nose in
Gileís accusations that she ëirrationallyí favors Spikeís welfare all over again.

Another struggle for power soon arises between Buffy and the proto-Slayers. Buffyís apparently reckless desire to
engage the new and nearly unknown enemy in open combat with minimal advance preparation makes the protos
question her leadership abilities. Considering the prior examples Buffy has set, I would think that the ëtroopsí would
give her the benefit of the doubt without the need for Xander to stick up for her (in what was, for sure, a lovely and
heartfelt vote of confidence on his part). I suspect that the SITís, much like Dawn did in prior years, subconsciously
pick up on the fears that Buffy is trying so hard to conceal, and that unsettles them in turn. One of the great myths that
the very young harbor about their elders is that adults always know just what to do, and itís one of the most chastening
revelations of oneís life to realize that it isnít remotely so. Once this fact becomes known, itís very easy to let the
pendulum swing back the other way, and assume that your elders know knowing-- an equally grave misconception.

Naturally, things go bad in the worst possible way. Buffy makes the reasonable assumption that however tough Caleb
may be, so far all heís done for certain is attempt to kill one girl with a knife-- hardly something a supernatually
powerful, god-like being would do. She also knows that he has some association with the Bringers, and that their
power is also reasonably limited. The is planning an attack that employs not only herself, but another Slayer of equal
power to herself, her usual experienced Scooby Gang, and a whole raft of protos. What are the odds that they wonít
succeed? Is it logical to assume that Caleb has god-like strength?

Logical or not, the resulting disaster leaves Buffy with a staggering loss of credibility in the eyes of the surviving
protos, and Buffy herself is emotionally devastated. Once again, she has resisted her own initial instincts and attempted
to play by the rules as defined for her by others:

Buffy: You're firing me? I just refrained from kicking your ass!

Wood: Buffy, there's nothing here for you. People are leaving town, half the kids don't even bother to show up
anymore... You've got things to deal with that're worse than anything here. Look at the big picture.

Buffy: Right. The big picture of the big war with all the dead little girls.

Wood: Not dead. Not if you get them ready.

( Buffy sits down. )

Buffy: I don't want to lead them into a war, Robin. War can't be the right thing.

Wood: Most wars aren't. They aren't right and they aren't necessary and humans kill other humans. This isn't
that war. The only question about this one is are you going to be ready for it?

Buffy: I don't know. These girls... they haven't been tested in battle.

Wood: Then I guess... maybe you should test them?

( Buffy thinks about that. )

Buffy: Couldn't I just come to work part-time? I could make flyers for encounter groups and post them around
the school. Kids could bring snacks--

Wood: And you're fired again. Remember, Buffy... (beat, tiny bit bitter) "The mission's what matters."

( Buffy's affects a resigned look )

~ ~ ~

Poor Buffy... deep down inside she knows that what she is doing is wrong, but she doesnít know why, and what all
these other mentors keep telling her just seems so logical, and sensible. Letís be perfectly fair here, what
Wood is telling her is absolutely true-- ìMost wars aren't (...) right and they aren't necessary and humans kill other
humans. This isn't that war. The only question about this one is are you going to be ready for it?î
What Wood
doesnít understand is that when he says that ìthis isnít that warî he really doesnít get it either-- as usual, heís
making pronouncements of ëfactí when he out of his depth. Remember Rileyís classic old line about needing to know
the plural of Apocalypse? Riley was newly in awe of Buffyís abilities and knowledge when he said that, and Riley knew
a lot more about fighting demons then than Wood does even now.

So Buffy doesnít press the issue, and do what she needs to do, for her own sanity at least-- keep her job as school
counselor and gain some self-assurance that sheís doing some good by means other than killing things. So half
of the student body isnít showing up? What about the other half that is? Isnít it reasonable to presume that they
may be terrified, and now the one person inthe school that they could go to and look for reassurance, a person who by
reputation wonít consider them psychotic for thinking that somethingís out to kill them. I have to tell you, Wood is not
thinking clearly here, and certainly not for the welfare of his students. I personally recall only too well the ëbig pictureí
type of administrative thinking when I was in school, and even with only realverse demons around and about, it was
pretty damn dismissive.

This internal divisiveness resurfaces again in Buffyís talk with Faith as they scout the vineyard prior to engaging Caleb
in battle. Perversely, this time itís Faith who wants to hold back and get a better handle on things before attacking, and
Buffy who wants to press ahead, but Faith knows she has to tread lightly here-- sheís carrying some of her greatest
guilt as regards what she did to Buffy, and she doesnít want to trigger the latent feelings that she knows Buffy is
keeping repressed under a layer of reluctant civility.

Faith: They say your other senses get better. Maybe all blind people are smokin' in a knife fight. (off her look)
Not sayin' it's likely. (then) They just roam free 'round town?

Buffy: Well, normally they show up out of nowhere and either stab or get stabbed and then run off. (pause)
This guy seems like he wants to be found.

Faith: Lends weight to that whole "it's a trap" theory.

Buffy: (with barely restrained anger) I'm through waiting around for people to attack us!

Faith: (attempting nonchalance) Hey, I'm with you. Drop me in the hornet's nest. What the hell.

( Buffy nods, keeping her eyes on the Bringer she's tracking. Faith awkwardly takes the moment to try to connect. )

Faith: You've got a rough sitch here. Trying to turn a bunch of little girls into an army.

( Buffy doesn't like that description )

Buffy: They're potential Slayers. Just like we were.

Faith: Right. Maybe they'll do as good as us.

( Buffy shoots a glance at Faith... was that sarcasm? She's not sure. )

Buffy: They're getting better.

~ ~ ~

As the scene continues, Faith again tries to lighten things up just a little to ease the tension, and makes a very
amusingly Buffy-like comment about ëfashion senseí and the SITís. Finally it happens, what weíve all been waiting for
since Faith returned to Sunnydale-- Buffy gets to the heart of whatís eating at her:

Buffy: Why'd you come back?

Faith: Willow said you needed me. Didn't give it a lot of thought. Do you... am I getting you want me to be
not here?

( Buffy is startled. )

Buffy: No. That's not what I meant. I'm... glad you're here. It's good. ( making an effort ) Thank you.

Faith: No prob. You know me, I'm all about the good deeds.

~ ~ ~

I really liked the way this whole scene was handled, and in fact the way the entire episode detailed the awkwardness
between these two women. I was afraid that Faith would either overcompensate for her guilty feelings and not be her
usual assertive self, or else go too far in the opposite direction and aggressively blow her chance at mending the fences
that she obviously so desperately want to mend. Instead, she walk right down the middle, much as she did during her
recent weeks in the Angelverse. I was just as afraid that Buffy would dig in her heels and hold Faith at extreme arms
length, but she didnít. Of course, things could go downhill from here, and very well might, but this does establish some
solid foundation to work on. This is certainly important if, as I speculate, Faith is going to be the one who gets
ëchosení at seasonís end, and will officially take over the role that Buffy hold now. (Yes I know, the Faith spinoff is
said to be out of the running for next season and possibly forever, but that wouldnít really change things as regards this
season. Destiny doesnít depend on spinoffs).

Andrew: Her name alone invokes awe. Faith-- A set of principles or beliefs...

( Let's make sure we get that shot of Faith putting her hands above her head from "Bad Girls" in here. )

~ ~ ~

One more little intriguing item from the shooting script that didnít make it into the show, which is a shame, because itís
really revealing about Faithís new insightfullness in a surprising way (see part in italics):

Buffy: You were in Angel's mind.

( Faith picks up on Buffy's annoyance. And, despite herself, enjoys it a little. )

Faith: Yeah. Very weird. We got close. Saw all sorts of heavy stuff from his past. Tripped me out.

Buffy: Uh-huh.

Faith: That whole vampire-with-a-soul trip, interesting isn't it? I mean, the darkness and the light. I can see
it in Spike

Buffy: So... how much did you and Spike--

( Faith cuts her off. )

Faith: Buffy. ( She nods towards the Bringer up ahead. )

~ ~ ~

Finally, a few words about Xander, and then itís a wrap for this week.


OK, thatís one word. You expect more, I know you do, but OWWWWW!

What can I say-- no good deed goes unpunished in the Jossverse, and we should have known that the beautiful speech
about his hero, Buffy Summers would only bring him suffering. (Sigh) Forgive me if the ëOne-eyed man in the kingdom
of the blindí homily will soon apply as I suspect it will somehow, being a good carpenter without decent 3D vision is
gonna be a bitch, and I donít mean in bitch-as-empowering mode. At least, Caleb proves that heíll eventually get
around to being an equal-opportunity destructor.

Such an un/happy thought

(Sigh yet again) -- Letís not go out on it.


Rona: Xander! Goddamn it.

Xander: Wha -- What's going -- ( panicked ) I'm sleeping.

Rona: Dominique has the stomach flu and the toilet's backed up.

( Behind her we see some of the girls sleeping or standing around, grumpy, wearing unflattering full-body pajamas,
and one girl has orthodontic headgear on )

Rona: It actually backed up while she was on the toilet. And she has the stomach flu. (beat) You should
probably visualize that before you go in there, it'll make it easier to deal with.

Xander: ( flustered ) Be right out. Just have a... leg cramp.

~ ~ ~

Well, thatís better... but happier yet, please.

Faith: Damn! I had no idea you were that cool.

Buffy: Well, you were always a little slow.

Faith: I get that now.

~ ~ ~

Almost there... running up that hill... ( if I could make a deal with God... )

For there is hope of a tree, if it be cut down, that it will sprout again, and that the tender branch thereof will not cease.
Though the root thereof wax old in the earth, and the stock thereof die in the ground;
Yet through the scent of water it will bud, and bring forth boughs like a plant.

............ Job, Chapter14:7-9



Artists remind me of my dog
Staking out their originality on the nearest tree

If you remind me of my dog
We'll probably git along little doggie
Git along git along little doggie git a...


[> *** Spoilers *** for BtVS 7.18 and a Few, the Proud, and the Eps Before -- OnM, 22:40:56 04/28/03 Mon

[> well, you're reminding me of that dyslexic insomniac atheist... -- anom, 00:29:08 04/29/03 Tue

...I don't even need to finish that, do I?

OK, this'll just be a few here-&-there notes...as much as I can get written before my tea cools enough to drink & I'm done brushing my teeth. 2 of which were drilled in today, & my jaw is still sore...hope I can sleep. If I can't, maybe I'll come back & write more! OK, more or less in order:

I hope I'm in that 2nd group of faithful. At least, I always like it when some new observation screws up everything somebody thinks they know...well, maybe not so much when the someone is me. Depending on what the new thing ends up meaning. There are some things I'd like to be sure of. But people who are sure of everything also fall into 2 groups: scary & reassuring. Which group any given person belongs to is probably in the eye of the beholder.

So Caleb knew from "oaky chardonnay" & "white zin" as a boy, huh? Just how young y'suppose he started drinking?

I don't know of a Hebrew word chavah that has to do w/"breathe" (nasham) & couldn't find such a meaning in my Hebrew-English dictionary; it does seem to be related to chayah similarly to the way the word for the present--& the Name of God (did anyone read that post?)--are to hayah, "be."

Hebrew can be kinda tricky. Yes, adam means "man," but in the sense of "human." "Man" meaning "adult male human" is ish, & "woman" is ishah. Adam covers both but can also be used in a male-only sense. The relation to adamah may be more than wordplay, just as "human" is related to "humus" (yep! & I don't mean "hummus"- -that's another thread) &, I think, similar words are related in other languages, though I'm not gonna look it up now when I'm going for my toothbrush. But I don't think that's what Caleb means when he says Adam was dirty.

I hope you're right about Giles telling Buffy later about Ben. The series shouldn't end w/out addressing that.

Interesting that Caleb speaks of "freeing a soul from its body" when earlier he told a woman she was "born without a soul."

I'm with you on the attack on Caleb (fits in w/Buffy's BOTN speech about seeking out their fears--in fact, it may be the 1st thing since that speech that does), the loss of Buffy's counseling job, & the handling of the "reunion" w/Faith. I liked it that Buffy was pragmatically accepting of Faith's showing up to help & that Dawn was the one who had a problem w/it--which also lends support to the "Dawn shows Buffy's emotions" idea. Also with you on Xander--OOWWWWW!!

One thing that bothered me was the repeated use of "little girls" to refer to the Potentials. It always bothers me in real life, but I've never heard it on Buffy & never expected to. They're going to be legal adults in 3-7 years (the ones who live that long)--don't they get to be "girls" w/out the "little" before they go straight to being "women"? When I hear "little girl," I think of a child under 10 years old. Would anyone refer to boys the same age as "little boys"? This literal belittling is part of what the entire theme of this show was meant to counter.

Hokay...not how I especially wanted to end, but it sure beats my usual not even getting my thoughts together to post before the thread is archived.

Teeth brushed. A while back, actually, before I got carried away w/that rant. Now bed.

[> [> Little girls (spoilers DG, unspoiled spec) -- Anneth, 14:47:49 04/29/03 Tue

One thing that bothered me was the repeated use of "little girls" to refer to the Potentials. It always bothers me in real life, but I've never heard it on Buffy & never expected to. They're going to be legal adults in 3-7 years (the ones who live that long)--don't they get to be "girls" w/out the "little" before they go straight to being "women"?

Unfortunately, when you're a youngish looking small female, people are more likely to refer to you (often to your face) as "little girl" over, even, "miss." It's interesting that ME would do this when, as you mention,

Would anyone refer to boys the same age as "little boys"? This literal belittling is part of what the entire theme of this show was meant to counter.

Doesn't Spike refer to Andrew as "the little boy"? But more to the point, in many ways ME this season has been going against the themes it went to such great pains to establish over the last 6 years. The obvious example, of course, being the difference between Buffy's "we're not the law" speeches to Faith in S3 and her "I'm the law" speech to Xander and Willow in Selfless. I imagine that ME's purpose in doing so is a big set-up, and that something's going to happen to make Buffy realize that she's become what she fought so hard against previously. The casual use of the phrase "little girls" is indicative of the casual way in which Buffy has accepted her role of matriarch/general to the SiTs/children. It's more Faith-like than anything; S3 Faith would, I imagine, have characterized the SiTs exactly as "little girls." But Faith now instead compliments Dawn on how much she's grown. Dawn, who's the same age as many, if not most, of the SiTs.

The Buffy/Faith flipping this season is also interesting in light of Faith's nearly-first comment to Buffy in DG - "Are you the bad slayer? Am I the good slayer?" Also, consider that S3 Giles implicitly trusted Buffy over Faith when Faith tried to blame Buffy for what's-his-name's death, while Giles now is inherently distrustful of Buffy's decision- making ability, if not her very - uh - credibility. It's as though he's lost his faith in Buffy as she's become more Faith-ful! heh. Okay. Anyway. Returning to S3, Giles is pretty unhappy about Buffy's nursing Angel, but doesn't try to kill him. It's an interesting contrast to Giles' reaction to Buffy and Spike this season.

So, as usual, I began this post meaning to write only one or two sentences and ended up on a completely different topic. My point is this: I'm bothered by Buffy's use of the phrase "little girls" when referring to the SiTs also, anom, and I think it's indicative of the larger "good slayer/bad slayer" question that's been in the background all season long, and has begun to rear its head now that Faith's back in town.

[> Recipe for destruction... spoilers for s5 and spoilers for end of s7. -- Rufus, 00:46:39 04/29/03 Tue

Hate, fear, paranoia....and a pinch of stupidity...;)

I had fun going through the sript making corrections and striking out what was not said in the final product. I keep thinking of season five where there was Glory..an insane god intent on getting home..she just couldn't get the ruby slippers to work. Then we had Ben, a vessel created to contain a god, that god trapped with him til he died, ending the immortal god with him. Neat punishment making a god live inside a human being, a human being who had some morals and wanted to help people. The most tragic part of that story is that while Glory was becoming more human due to sharing human emotions, Ben became less human because he gained some of her godly ego. I was creeped out by Giles killing Ben but could see where he was making sure he kept the world and Buffy safe. But what we will never know is if Ben could have kept his word and no longer be a threat to the world or any of the Scoobies.

Hate... everyone hates something, I do...I know everyone I know hates something. It's an emotion that can be a big waste of time and effort but every once in awhile someone is able to make that emotion work in a way that is so destructive that people kill each other. How this all starts is finding a common ground in folks such as fear of the future, or economic happiness...find someone to blame for those fears and slowly work them into a state where they no longer will answer to reason. The First works like that....finds that thing that will get someones attention then work away at it til the person forgets their mission. Then there is Caleb....the First had no work to do....this guy was already a dangerous person in his own right. He has the gift of gab and a look that makes people trust and follow him just long enough to get them into a corner to kill. He only reveals himself as an evil killer when he's sure you can't escape. Caleb uses the uniform of the clergy much like anyone trying to con someone using the uniform of something that people will trust...priest, cop, Maytag repairman. The First is incorporeal and what better to do the dirty work it can't but a man who wears the cloth of someone who represents hope, love, and redemption. Everytime Caleb kills a girl he gets that rush that can only be attained the moment of the kill, the moment the soul or breath leaves the body forever. That lack of feeling for others is something that had to start somewhere with this guy, and who know if we will ever find out exactly why. He does show us just how hate can look like us, normal. The world is quick enough to fight each other, but the First wants to make hate, killing, fear be the predominant thing on this world, perhaps just before he sends man back to that beginning.....nothing.

[> Wonderful post, OnM!! -- ponygirl, 08:36:58 04/29/03 Tue

[> Thank you so much for that -- lunasea, 08:44:33 04/29/03 Tue

I am working on something that shows the more complete picture of Man that Christianity is supposed to believe, which is more in line with the Buffyverse. The Bible says in Genesis that Man was created in God's image. Much of the negative Christian denominations focus on the sin and the dirt. They do believe something along the lines of Caleb. They forget what Man's nature is. In many ways they remind me of Buffy season 5 who doubted her ability to love, even though the Guide tells her that her nature is to "love, give, forgive."

I hope you don't mind if I make reference to this wonderful post in my later one.

Job is an interesting book. It is written after the Second Diaspora and is heavily influenced by Zorastrianism. Bildad, Zophar and Eliphaz each give standard Jewish beliefs at the time. By this point in the history of Israel, they have been so punished so much that they can't believe that they would have done enough to merit what has been done to them (much of the Old Testament is justification for bad things happening. Israel transgresses, so God punishes them). The Book of Job shows a drastic change in Jewish thought, so drastic that it wasn't ratified as canon until 90 CE at the Council of Jamnia (with the destruction of the temple in 68 CE also came the disintigration of the Sadducees who opposed this book). Jesus, with the Beatitudes, takes up the promises made to Israel, through Abraham, and fulfills them by ordering them no longer to the possession of a territory, but to the Kingdom of heaven. These ideas are started in Job and Dan.

The rebuttal to Job is Acts 10:15 "The voice spoke to him again, a second time, "What God has made clean, you are not to call profane." It futher goes on to say in verse 28 spoken by St. Peter himself "You know that it is unlawful for a Jewish man to associate with, or visit, a Gentile, but God has shown me that I should not call any person profane or unclean."

I like how you said that BtVS uses "feminism as an introduction to humanism." The Bible uses interaction with the Gentiles in the same way. Sometimes I wish those that claim to follow the Good Book actually followed it, instead of taking a black marker to wipe out those passages that don't support their narrow world-view.

[> As usual, great bookend -- tomfool, 09:36:37 04/29/03 Tue

As usual, you tie together so many random thoughts bouncing around my head so well. Not much to add. One little thought though.

I like the comparison with S3. ". . . much like Mayor Wilkins of BtVS season three, has obviously made some kind of pact with the forces of darkness in return for superhuman gifts . . ." The Mayor, like Caleb, seems to have been fully human at one point and then sold his soul. The Mayor is the only other example of a soulless human that I recall. So in the final confrontation, we'll again have a human without a soul v. a vampire with a now fully-integrated soul as a key part of the Scoobie team. S3 ended with the destruction of the Scoobies' high school world. This is arguably the largest amount of destruction of the 'world' in any season- ending apocolypse, at least if viewed from the outside perspective. The other seasons were more private apocoli, known only to the Scoobs and a limited group of outsiders. Plus Faith is back in the mix. I wonder if S3 is the blueprint we should be looking at for our series ender.

Thanks for a wonderful post.

[> [> Re: As usual, great bookend -- dream, 09:57:36 04/29/03 Tue

The other seasons were more private apocoli, known only to the Scoobs and a limited group of outsiders.

The season seems to be moving in this direction. The Scoobies' surprisingly open dealings with Nancy at the beginning of the season, the references to student gossip about Buffy, the fact that people are actually moving away from the town - there seems to be a shift in attitudes, an acceptance that people can't be protected by their ignorance. The low point of the last episode showed Buffy walking alone through the streets of Sunnydale. I think when she finds her way, she will no longer be alone.

[> [> Glad ya'all liked it-- just squeaked in under the wire! -- OnM, 21:21:55 04/29/03 Tue

I've been wondering how I'm gonna get the next four done in time with just a week to work in-- every ep seems to be getting more complex just as I have less and less time to work on the analyses.

And tonight's ep -- holy moly! Guess I could just cut down on the length...

(hee hee hee-- I just crack me up sometimes!)


a little thing in "magic bullet" that bothered me (minor spoiler) -- anom, 22:43:57 04/28/03 Mon

When Fred & Angel go into Cordelia's room to take some of her blood, everything in the scene emphasizes how much they don't want to be doing this. Except 1 thing. Well, 2 things. Actually 1 thing twice. Angel flips the knife. Twice. It's the kind of show-offy thing he might do to impress an enemy (or an audience) in a fight. (A staged fight--it'd be dumb to waste time showing off in a real fight.) To me, it was a fancy little move that undercut (so to speak) the respect they were trying to show Cordelia even as they carried out what amounted to a violation of her person. It just came off as wrong & struck a sour note in the scene.

Or is it just me?

[> Re: a little thing in "magic bullet" that bothered me (minor spoiler) -- Revel, 05:25:50 04/29/03 Tue

Could just be nervousness or guilt. Basically, most people will fiddle with something they are holding if they are in a situation that causes them emotional distress. Angel was distressed, he was holding a knife and so he fiddles with the knife.


[> Re: a little thing in "magic bullet" that bothered me (minor spoiler) -- lunasea, 07:35:51 04/29/03 Tue

I actually really liked it. It undercut the scene, which is where ME's brillance lies. It showed how comfortable Angel is with weapons as opposed to what he was doing. It wasn't about showing off and often in a real fight showing off does serve a purpose, psychologically. Most fights are won or lost in the mind, not the body.

Interesting that it rubbed you wrong. I thought it was a nice touch that was completely in character.

Joss' 10 All-Time Favorite BtVS Episodes (spoilers for those aired eps only) -- Rob, whose top 10 list is very close to Joss', 09:10:54 04/29/03 Tue

http://www.usatoday.com/life/television/news/2003-04-28- buffy-top10_x.htm

Show's creator takes a stab at 10 favorite episodes

Here are creator Joss Whedon's 10 favorite episodes of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. With each show is its original airdate, a description by USA TODAY's Robert Bianco and a brief explanation from Whedon. (Unless otherwise noted, the episodes were written and directed by Whedon.)

1. Innocence (Jan. 20, 1998)

Every girl's nightmare, and one of the show's most sly yet most powerful uses of metaphor. Buffy has sex with Angel, who immediately turns into a monster. Though devastated, Buffy realizes that her mission is more important than her feelings.

Why? "It's a mission-statement show, and one of the ones where I first found out what we could do."

2. Once More With Feeling (Nov. 6, 2001)

The musical episode, in which a demon causes everyone in Sunnydale to burst into song. The songs are comic and romantic at first, but they get darker, until, at the end, Buffy reveals that she would rather be dead. Oklahoma! it's not. Whedon also wrote the well-regarded score.

Why? Whedon was given a chance to write an original musical for TV, an opportunity that few series writers ever get. He loved it: "What am I going to say?"

3. Hush (Dec. 14, 1999)

The (mostly) silent episode, and one of the series' most traditionally scary. A group of floating demons, The Gentlemen, steals the voices of everyone in Sunnydale ó a prelude to harvesting their hearts.

Why? See below.

4. The Body (Feb. 27, 2001)

A particularly haunting episode built around the death of Buffy's mother and the way death transforms a person into a body. Joyce's loss is one of the few natural deaths in the series, and it provoked one of the show's most serious episodes.

Why? On some series, "Hush" and "The Body" would exist solely to show off some gimmick. Whedon is proud of the episodes precisely because they aren't stunts; each advanced the season's big story, and each made perfect sense in the Buffy universe.

5. Doppelgangland (Feb. 23, 1999)

While casting a spell, Willow accidentally brings forth her alternative-universe vampire double, whom viewers first met in "The Wish." It turns out Vampire Willow is very hot, very bad and, as Willow says, "kind of gay" ó a sign of things to come.

Why? "Because one Willow is certainly not enough."

6. The Wish (Dec. 8, 1998)

Anya the Vengeance Demon grants Cordelia's wish that Buffy had never come to Sunnydale, creating a universe where The Master's vampires rule. Buffy arrives and is killed by The Master. Written by Marti Noxon; directed by David Greenwalt.

Why? "Very bleak, very fun. It went to a dark place, and that's really exciting to me. That's where I live."

7. Becoming, Part II (May 19, 1998)

The second-season finale, as Buffy rushes to stop the soul- free Angel from destroying the world. Willow does restore Angel's soul, but not before he opens a vortex that will suck the world into hell. The only way for Buffy to close the vortex is to kill the man she loves ó which she does.

Why? "Buffy loses everything. Also, it had a sword fight. I love sword fighting."

8. Restless (May 23, 2000)

The fourth-season finale. Having saved the world again, Buffy and her friends plan to spend a peaceful evening at home. Instead, they're sucked into a dream world where they are hunted by the First Slayer.

Why? "Most people sort of shake their heads at it. It was different, but not pointless."

9. Conversations With Dead People (Nov. 12, 2002)

Buffy, Willow and Dawn chat with the dead: Buffy with a vampire, Dawn with her mother, and Willow with Tara. But Willow isn't actually talking to a dead person at all; she's talking to The First, the season's "Big Bad." Written by Jane Espenson and Drew Goddard; directed by Nick Marck.

Why? "I'm very fond of 'Conversations With Dead People.' I just thought structurally and tonally it was very interesting and had a lot to say. And I got to write another song."

10. Prophecy Girl (June 2, 1997)

The first-season finale. Shaken by a prophecy that she will die at the hands of The Master, the series' first "Big Bad," Buffy resigns as Slayer. But when she realizes that she's the only one who can stop The Master from taking over the world, she returns to face him ó and dies. Briefly.

Why? "Because that was my first time, besides telling directors what to do, that I actually got to direct. And it was the first time I got to kill Buffy, and the first season ender, and it was the first time I realized I could take everything we did in the season and tie it in a bow."

[> "Jinx!" -- dream (punching Rob, and running off), 09:17:53 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> Oof! -- Rob, hobbling off into a corner to lick his wounds, 09:34:35 04/29/03 Tue

[> But Faith isn't in any of those eps -- Helen, 09:30:36 04/29/03 Tue

and that's got to be not good. Where's Graduation Day? Where's This Year's Girl?

I'm beginning to think from a number of polls that have been on this site lately that my idea of a good ep is ... not other people's. Down right weird apparently. I love Homecoming, Triangle, Tabula Rasa and This Year's Girl/Who are You. Not disputing that any of the above are really good, but I think these eps are better than a lot of them.

[> [> She's in "Doppelgangland." (And I love all those eps you mentioned, too.) -- Rob, 09:36:44 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> and if you look REALLY close, she's in the Wish too -- Alison, 10:18:51 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> Re: But Faith isn't in any of those eps -- CW, 11:06:58 04/29/03 Tue

I can take Homecoming or leave it, but I wouldn't quibble over the rest of your choice. I'm happy Joss didn't list The Gift, and a little bit surprised he picked Doppelgangland so high.

[> [> [> Didn't he have any passion for "Passion"? -- DickBD, 11:25:54 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> I would've preferred "The Gift" over PG, but as he said, that was the first time she'd died. -- Rob, 11:38:49 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> Sentimental journies -- ponygirl, 12:03:25 04/29/03 Tue

I suspect The Gift was pretty stressful to shoot with all the switching networks kerfuffle. Probably not a lot of happy memories... whereas with PG I can only imagine how giddy Joss must have felt at the time, finishing the first season, directing, and getting to do something that never happens on normal tv - killing your heroine.

The Wish is an interesting choice. I love it, but I think all of its strength rests on that final "everybody dies" sequence. In some ways I see that a "mission statement" episode too - like Becoming, the question is raised, what do you do when everything is taken away? Here the answer is to keep fighting for the possibility of something better. Maybe that's why I've never really liked Doppelgangland - it took one element out of a self-contained, incredibly bleak story and played it for laughs. I'm too cranky I know, Joss is a huge Willow fan and it was probably fun for all concerned to play with her character, but it's the one choice on the list that raised my eyebrows. Glad to see CwDP in the top 10, I love it so!

[> [> [> [> [> Elsewhere I have read why Joss loves "Doppelgangland" so much... -- Rob, 12:30:19 04/29/03 Tue

...and besides the production aspects, getting to work with 2 Willows, etc., he said (sorry, don't have a source) that he loved being able to show the darker side of the sweetest character on the show and how it foreshadowed later developments in her character, and revealed that vampires may not be so different from their human counterparts as the show once implied.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Good reasons all -- ponygirl, 12:45:07 04/29/03 Tue

And it is a good episode. It just wouldn't be on MY top 10 list... but that doesn't get printed in USA Today no matter how many threatening letters I send them. Are you listening USA Today? [shakes fist to the sky] Are you?

ponygirl, who maybe needs a coffee break

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Recommending decaf... -- V (with tongue firmly in cheek), 15:11:38 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> Damn, you're right -- dream, 11:52:35 04/29/03 Tue

Then I'll have to go for an even dozen and include Graduation Day 1 & 2. It's odd - Season Three is may favorite, but the individual episodes don't stand out as clearly.

It's funny how tastes differ. I haven't seen Triangle or This Year's Girl/Who Are You (can't wait for the Season Four set), but I found Homecoming really tedious, and I practically turned off Tabula Rasa - and then came here to find everyone loved it.

This list clearly skews away from the funny. If I can be allowed a baker's dozen, I'll add Band Candy, which I loved. I also liked A New Man, which didn't appeal to a lot of people. Basically, if Giles is getting funky, I'm down with it.

[> [> She was also in "The Wish" (Kinda) -- Grant, 20:37:12 04/29/03 Tue

Eliza Dushku made a brief cameo in The Wish during the scene where vamp Xander and Willow were walking to the Bronze. Various vampires are doing evil things outside as they walk by, and one is sucking the blood of a very familiar looking dark-haired girl. This was actually ED in an uncredited appearance. She happened to show up at the set when they were filming that scene, and Joss thought it would be fun to stick her in as a victim.

[> Willow with Tara? -- SS, 11:46:01 04/29/03 Tue

But Willow wasn't with Tara in CWDP...she was with Cassie...

Did Joss say Willow was with Tara?

[> [> Re: Willow with Tara? -- Darby, 13:48:44 04/29/03 Tue

It may be that in Joss' mind, the original concept (and script) is the concept he retains. It was supposed to be Tara, but Amber wouldn't or couldn't do it.

[> A Song in CWDP? -- Buffyboy, 13:53:25 04/29/03 Tue

"I'm very fond of 'Conversations With Dead People.' I just thought structurally and tonally it was very interesting and had a lot to say. And I got to write another song."

What's up with Joss? Did I miss something in CWDP? Or is Joss confusing it with Selfless?

[> [> Joss wrote the song "blue," performed by Angie Hart in the opening and closing scenes -- Dyna, 13:56:45 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> High tide, Inside -- cougar, 14:39:13 04/29/03 Tue

Now I know why I was singing it for weeks!

[> [> [> [> What a great song! So haunting and beautiful. I find myself humming it at the oddest moments! -- Rob, 20:04:15 04/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> Thanks much -- Buffyboy, 17:10:50 04/29/03 Tue

[> What about what he thinks are the worst episodes? - - bell456, 15:12:15 04/29/03 Tue

Now that would be something I'd be interested in reading. A discussion on the episodes that didn't quite work out the way envisoned.

What do you think were the stinkers of each season? Of course bad Buffy is still far more entertaining than most stuff on TV these days....

[> [> Ah, a "Worst of BUFFY" poll. Brings out the curmudgeon in everyone.... -- cjl, 18:55:22 04/29/03 Tue

Going season by season:

S1: Teacher's Pet -- From the cliched Xanderfantasie in the teaser to the "mutually suspicious/mutually attracted" B/A repartee (that would get old REALLY fast) to the loose ends dangling at the end, this is nobody's idea of a good time. Greenwalt stretched the plot to make damn sure that Buffy's knowledge about sonar would save the day; and "The Claw" is one of the lamest red herrings in the history of the series. Nick Brendon is OK here in his first spotlight ep, but he's not given much to work with. He'll shine in "The Pack," a superior effort in all respects.

S2: Bad Eggs -- I know most people would pick either "Go Fish" or "Reptile Boy" for the S2 stinkeroo, but I had way too much fun with the former (cheesy though it may be), and I still look back fondly on the "rebellious Buffy" of the latter as a sign of things to come. "Bad Eggs," on the other hand, has no such soft and squishy memories for me, despite my newfound respect for the direction and the detection of an actual theme (the end of childhood) upon a recent viewing for Rob's Annotated BtVS. It's still too much of an Invasion of the Body Snatchers ripoff. There's still too much Clueless Joyce (grrr!). And there's way too much Gorch. Joss sure loves "The Wild Bunch," but that doesn't make cowboy vampires a good idea.

S3: Anne - If "Bad Eggs" isn't exactly a shocker, I'm betting this one catches a few Buffistas by surprise. The episode isn't atrocious, but the pacing was absoutely leaden, and I felt it was a huge letdown from the traumatic ending of S2. Rick and Lily never interested me that much, and the only time I was emotionally involved was when Giles and Joyce were on the screen. Not much dramatic heft from the L.A. location shooting, either. Gotta love the hammer and sickle action shot--but iconic poses ain't everything.

S4: Where the Wild Things Are -- Can two great scenes redeem a lousy episode? The Spike/Anya bonding and Giles' God of Acoustic Rock moment of glory are indelible memories, but we had to wade through a load of horse manure to get to those gems--mainly, the endless Buffy/Riley shag-a-thon and the tedious plot, centered around the less-than-scary ghost story. Tracey Forbes lost her job for a reason.

S5: Shadow -- I was never impressed with Clare Kramer's Glory--I thought she was S1 Cordelia x 1000, a megabitch with a higher order of attitude problem. Therefore, an episode featuring a heavy dose of her magnificence was bound to bore the stuffing out of me. Riley is sulking about his status as "the mission's boyfriend" and Dawn is threatened by a less-than-impressive CGI cobra that provokes one of Michelle Trachtenberg's hypersonic screeches. A rare bump in the road in an otherwise solid season.

S6: As You Were -- I thought "Wrecked" was semi-satirical in its treatment of Willow's addiction problem, so I tend to give Marti a little slack (I know many other people on this board aren't so forgiving); I happened to think Doublemeat Palace was well-crafted satire, and it's due for a major reassessment (around 2015 or so). However, not all satire translates well from page to screen. Doug Petrie may have meant for the Finns to be satirical, a too-perfect Mr. and Mrs. Captain America, but most viewers thought they were just obnoxious. Inauspicious debut for Petrie as writer/director: too many plot holes, and the "Spike as international demon egg merchant" twist is beyond suspension of disbelief, even for the Buffyverse. A disaster.

S7: Still in progress. But "Bring on the Night" looks like the prime candidate.

I think I've distributed the humiliation pretty evenly:


Nothing personal. I could easily put together a best-of list with these same people.

[> [> [> Re: Ah, a "Worst of BUFFY" poll. Brings out the curmudgeon in everyone.... -- bell456, 19:35:38 04/29/03 Tue

I forgot to add my list to my earlier post so here they are. (I'm reserving judgement on the best until the season is over)

Season One: Teacher's Pet - I hate bugs. In any form.

Season Two: Ted - this is purely for my complete personal horror of all things involving John Ritter. Inca Mummy Girl is a close runner up.

Season Three: Gingerbread - again personal prejudice rears it's ugly head. The whole dead kids/wacked out MOO group did nothing for me.

Season Four: Primeval - Adam was such a non interesting big bad for me. I liked the spell that combined their essences together, but that was it. Adams eventual demise was pretty non-climatic in my eyes.

Season Five: Buffy vs. Dracula - Had me wondering & worried about kind of season was going to follow. And was there some kind of written rule that Xander had to be a complete idiot/asshat/butt monkey in at least one episode each season?

Season Six: As You Were - the whole Spike as demon egg broker? Please. Did not buy it at all. Felt like the writers were desprerately searching for an easy excuse for Buffy to break it off with Spike rather than just doing it for adult mature reasons. But I did think the scene where Buffy breaks up with Spike was done well. When she calls him William...such a nice touch.

Season Seven: Him - Felt like I had seen this before and didn't like it the first time around. However, the scene with Buffy running around outside Wood's office with the rocket launcher made me laugh out loud.

Hmm...let's see if I was balanced...Greenwalt, Greenwalt & Whedon, St.John & Epenson, Fury, Noxon, Petrie, Greenberg. That seems pretty much across the board.

[> [> Re: What about what he thinks are the worst episodes? (spoilers to "Him") -- skyMatrix, 00:53:50 04/30/03 Wed

I like the idea of a "season by season" format instead of "Bottom 10." So here's mine.

Season 1: "Out of Mind, Out of Sight*"
Maybe I was just cranky and tired at the time, but there really seemed to be a lot of dead air and idiotic writing in this one. The idea of Marcie is great, since the story is by Whedon, but the execution really lets the idea down, the teleplay being by Ashley Gable and Tom Swyden. Their other ep was "I, Robot - You Jane" which I honestly felt had some higher quality Scooby interaction, or maybe I was just nostalgic when I watched that one! I dunno, a lot of Season 1 isn't that good.

* Alternate title is "Invisible Girl," but I'm going by the title the DVD uses (that's official right? Right??!)

Season 2: "Reptile Boy" or "Bad Eggs"
I kinda like some of the goofy MoW eps of this season ("Inca Mummy Girl," "Go Fish"), even though they do weaken the season overall. It's a toss up between these two, because both have great moments and lines, but overall far from quality.

Season 3: "Band Candy"
Easily Espenson's worst, she admitted in a recent interview that she had become lazy working for sitcoms, in which ones' jokes were all re-written. More wasted potential and dead air. We go from scenes of "look how wacky the grownups at large are" to scenes that promise us a chance to meet the infamous Ripper, only be to disappointed in his weak depiction. Ethan is also quite pathetic. In my opinion Espenson really picks up in Season 3 with "Gingerbread," which I love, and goes on to score a Top 10 ep with "Earshot."

Season 4:
Um... ask me in June, I don't remember. I kinda like "Where the Wild Things Are" sans the B/R sex scenes (obviously), so maybe "Beer Bad" is the stinker they all say it is (but I'm often a champion of eps others call stinkers, see "Gingerbread" and "Where the Wild Things Are.)

Season 5: "The Weight of the World"
It's probably not actually worse than "Shadow" or "Listening to Fear," but I just felt this one should have been a lot better considering the position of importance it occupies. I really like "The Gift," it just felt at the time that they didn't know how to lead up to it (this happens a lot, or often it's that they don't know how to follow up a Joss ep like that).

Season 6: Wrecked
I accepted it at the time, but I look back and say, if Giles says Willow wasn't really addicted, does that mean that this ep and the "addiction plotline" (the only plotline I have decided I can really no longer fanwank) can be totally disregarded, and in fact I probably shoulda done something else with my Tuesday night that week (ok technically I was in France when it aired and watched the tape in January). But seriously, what was the point? Why Joss, why?

Season 7: "Him"
"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered" is a great ep despite the premise, in a way, so why revisit the premise and then make it quite so lame? Of course they did admit the retread, and it's not so much the retread as the execution that makes it bad. Even so, maybe the counterpart to "back to the beginning" is "be careful what you wish for" (adressed to the fans), at least regarding this ep. And the worst part - are we meant to believe Buffy had (was having) sex with R.J.? Because if so, I just have really big issues with that. The only thing that keeps it from being rape is that whole thing about how he didn't actually know what the jacket did, but stil, it means Buffy was violated doens't it? ICK! Don't throw these kinda things into a lame comedy. (Of course maybe she hadn't yet gotten that far, but Season 6 sure showed us enough fully-clothed sex to make me suspicious).

Ok, that list was incoherent but it's late and all!

[> [> [> W-w-what? Band Candy a worst? Huh? -- Rob, 07:47:14 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> I love it, too, Rob -- dream, 12:01:25 04/30/03 Wed

There was an article about intergenerational issues in Buffy in Slayage a while back that looked at Band Candy at length - the general arguemnt was that Band Candy was specifically striking as younger generations' resentment of the Boomer generation's indulgences. If I didn't love the episode before that (and I did), I certainly did afterward.

I'm also amazed that Gingerbread is commonly considered a stinker. I love that episode.

[> [> [> [> [> Me too. Gotta love the MOO. -- Rob, 21:24:49 04/30/03 Wed

[> A top 10 for Buffy -- Tchaikovsky, 07:53:44 04/30/03 Wed

Hello everyone

Disclaimer: I've only seen up to the fifth episode of this current Season, so Buffy episodes like Conversations With Dead People, and any remaining Angel episodes, which I'm glad to say I currently know nothing about, are excluded. This is highly personal, and in chronological order.

1) 'Innocence'

I entirely concur with Joss here. This is an episode which jolted the Buffyverse from being a charming, largely episodic, beautifully written horror show to a stratospherically brilliant examination of the pain of growing up, the wedges that fate shoves between good friends and lovers, and the possibility of consolation in people whose sheer love and consideration just might see you through. These are my top 10 Buffy episodes, so it's almost redundant to say this has me in tears, but 'Remember you're my one sweetheart' is as good as that darned umbrella for me. Who is the sweetheart? Xander is no longer Willow's. Jenny is no longer Giles', and Angel is no longer Buffy's, so in this sense, there is a deeply painful irony going on- furthermore the somewhat less sympathetic Drusilla/Spike coupling is starting to be inveigled by Angelus. The truly healing transformative love comes at the end, and it's completely familial or platonic. Giles playing the perfect father for once, (which follows on from the underrated and often ignored ending to 'Never Kill A Boy on The First Dat' which is also lovely), and then Joyce doing the same. Happy birthday Buffy. Oooh, and the DVD commentary is as funny as a Woody Allen film. 'Tony Head is again without pants'; 'Emotional resonance and rocket launchers'. If you've never listened to the commentary, find the time- it's the best.

2) 'Passion'

Shocked that Whedon didn't have this in. I'm going to make a sweeping statement which I'll regret later and say that the way Giles' face melts as he sees Jenny dead is the finest piece of acting in the whole series. The scene powerfully evokes the pain that Angelus achieves by his artistic murders- five Season's before D'Hoffryn's proclamation he already knows 'never to go for the kill when you can go for the pain'. akita's explanation of the words from the opera allows the perfectly romance to take on an extra ulterior power. And there's Joss' skilful remastering of Ty King's original jaded metaphors playing in to the monologue. This is a foreshadow of the noir Angel of 'Redefinition', his next monologue. Here Angel presents the idea of 'Passion' in a beautifully ambiguous way. Because he is alone in saying it, there becomes an irony in his descriptions- he is telling no-one about passion- it is as if he has none whatsoever himself. Of course, in order to be the heartless killer, many of his emotions must be nullified, whether merely by the loss of his soul or by some repression that seems somehow correct. Meanwhile, we see Giles' passion, and Buffy's passion fall apart. Yet we must not despair, for passion is what makes us 'other than dead'. An interesting counterpoint to the end of the season, where Buffy rejects mere passion with Angel in favour of saving the world- her duty above her love, metaphorically at least. 'Passion' fits perfectly into a season which is a wonderful brooding meditation on the merits and traumas of romantic love.

3) 'Becoming, Part Two'

I was chatting with Etrangere once, and she challenged me to back up my assertion that Becoming is funny. Yes, it is. Almost all Whedon's stuff is. The Spike/Joyce conversation and Whistler's insouciance work nicely here. Oz's 'I missed some stuff' perfectly encapsulates his understatement. Xander's 'If you saw what you wanted to see, why would you see me', and Giles' reaction is preiceless 'Becoming' is Whedon's finest piece of simple uncompromising drama. Every single line is a joke, a character development or a plot point, and most often two or three of those come together. It has the mission statement word of the show, which is there under my favourite line question in 'Meet the Posters'. 'Me'. In a show which is prided for its flippant wordplay, this minimalist construction of a statement, the belief in empowerment for everyone, but through women, is as articulate as anything. Yet subversion, subversion, subversion. As Whistler, a kind of mini-narrator, knows, Buffy has one more thing to lose. Angel. The peeling away of the onion of Buffy's life- school gone, home gone, friends isolating her through Xander's Lie, and the Slayer identity- Kendra; what Buffy might be gone, leaving only her. And then, ultimately, she rejects her life- after saving the world through believing in herself only, she believes she cannot save her life. 'I need a hug'. Sarah Machlachlan singing as Buffy leaves town, reflecting on turmoil and the battle won, but at what cost. A moment of despair. Season Three Angel subverts everything in the finale formula, but Season Two Buffy got there first. We say that at the end of the Season Buffy beats the bad guys and all is well. Here, the sacrifice necessary to do that ultimately temporarily defeats her, and if the Season is tied up in a bow, it's a black one.

4) 'Amends'

The pilot for Angel. Buffy in this episode is NOT the main character, which is extraordinarily rare, and usually only occurs very knowingly in episodes like 'The Zeppo' and 'Superstar'. Here, Angel is the prime figure. We see his past misdemeanours coming back to haunt him. There's this Job-like intensity to his pain. Also, Joss has the supporting characters back up his journey, not Buffy's. Note how Oz, usually the 'What They Should Have Done' parallel, here controls the literal and metaphorical monster raging inside him, and allows Willow a second chance. And even after this, he knows when sex would be a statement rather than a symbol of love, and turns it away. And Willow, as in his lorry in 'Innocence', falls head over heels for Oz again. This is what Angel is searching for, the love he must have with Buffy, because, as Spike the proto-joker says in 'Lover's Walk', they can't just be friends. Eventually he makes it due to a miracle. He can never expect forgiveness for what he's done. Giles' fragile civility to Angel represents all that he has already destroyed, although Giles' willingness to help is quite startlingly mature of itself.
And then there's the snow: http://www.atpobtvs.com/existentialscoobies/archives/dec02_p 12.html#57

5) 'The Prom'

Apart from the well-observed moment at the end of 'Graduation Day' where Oz tells everyone they survived high school, there is not so much about the end of school there. It's about all sorts of endings which fit together, and the idea of blowing up the school, but the end of school- the moment of understanding that you're moving on, comes here. The Angel/Buffy break-up scene is good, although the scene with Joyce before it is better. Joyce is being selfless, but is she misguided? Marti Noxon really had all the character's voices working dead-on at this stage of the show, and her emotional scenes are as good as any writers. A couple make me cry although they're not as obvious as the really high- profile ones. The scene between Willow and Buffy on her bed is perfect. Willow is the great friend, trying on the criticiser's role and the shoulder to cry on role. When Buffy says she's just trying to keep from dying, you can see how invested Sarah Michelle Gellar is in the storyline, and it's no surprise to me that she cited this episode as her personal favourite. There are a couple of moments with Giles which are also beautiful.
The episode is to a degree about acts of selflessness which seem too painful. Xander commits a truly altruistic act- no- one knows but Cordelia, who never reveals it to anyone but him in the most lovely of phrases, 'Of course it does'. Narcissism betraying gratitude, as everything Cordelia like should be at this stage. There's Angel forfeiting his fairy tale love for Buffy's future, and for his own independence against the stagnation of his life. Then played against this we have the ultimate malcontent, 'Andrew's brother' Tucker, who is the exact opposite, the person who wants to spoil other people's lives because of his personal pain.

Finally, after Giles' perfect 'blueberry scone' line to Wesley, we come to the manifestation of the gratitude of Buffy's peers to her supreme act of seflessness, which unlike Willow's new-made decision in 'Choices', or Xander's here, has last three years and will last another three. The umbrella is wonderful. The breaking of the umbrella in 'The Freshman' is almost unbearable to me. And Angel finally making the right decision to dance, with the underlying pain still there, but calmed for a while.

6) 'Restless'

The best episode of Buffy there will ever be. The four main characters entirely explained in the most wantonly abstract and funny way ever. There's comedy [the immortal 'And try not to bleed on my couch/ I've just had it steam-cleaned'], foreshadowing [Be Back Before Dawn], the questions of Buffy's calling in the first Slayer, technical mastery of the camera, egregious lesbian kissing, (although brilliantly the network apparently asked the network to cut Xander's reaction face- thereby cutting something entirely implicit), Spike as the film star, Willow as the insecure freshman, Xander as the directionless hormonal young man, Giles as the person finding no resolution in the battle between duty and freedom, and finally back to Buffy, and just who she is. Visionary dialogue, interspersed with the achingly funny 'Energy, energy, energy', classic feminist subtexts, and all with enough time for a quirky in-joke. Absolutely perfect.

7) 'Fool For Love'

Another character study, this time of Spike, so complexly interwoven with Buffy's own journey that it once and for all proves Doug Petrie's genius. Where is Spike's journey best elucidated? The threatening punk, the timid poet, the lovesick puppy, the Uncomfortable Teller of Truths, the ultimate confidant for Buffy. Ultimately, he is all of these at times, and the externality of his changes through the years, intricately and carefully portrayed in the flashbacks, leads to the final, somewhat intellectual plot twist, that Spike's life is invariant, because he is again rejected by a woman whom he tries to love or idolise, and again is rejected in the same words. His immediate reaction is rage- Spike has never bottled up his emotions. His complex textural collage of a Slayer with a death wish is probably his own carefully constructed fantasy- and it all comes crashing down. As he is once again rejected as Willian the Poet, the suitor for the unattainable woman, he reverts to angry punk Spike, the vampire vindicated by killing Slayers. Ultimately he has transformed again. In the final scene, we see that Spike's story, the Slayer's origins, and Buffy's future are all interwoven. The final scene indicates the show is All About Buffy, and this is where we are shown that so is Spike's life, as Drusilla rejects him because of the Slayer's influence. Buffy is tender, worried about her Mother's mortality, and Spike tries to help. Silence says it best at the end of the story of a loquacious Joker.

7) 'The Body'

The truth of this episode's greatness lies in my temptation not to put it in. Because it's too harrowing and really truthful about loss, and the lack of catharsis in loss. It's not classical drama; it's not even modernist drama, it's just a stream of mundane, meaningless events, ending in nothing- just Dawn not touching the Body, still not comprehending death. Sarah Michelle Gellar's performance is something quite unlike she achieves anywhere else. Trachtenberg is, as always, a mini-God. Emma Caulfield performs the lines which express the complete inexpressibility of grief as it must be. When Anya is bound by lying conventions, she cannot do it,cannot comprehend. Here, noone has conventions, and truth shows real grief. Still painful for me to watch, so I don't as often as any of these others. But Death is one of very few Ultimate Certainties in this life, and this is Whedon's Ode to the Grim Reaper.

8) Once More, With Feeling

This is a moment where a totally happy piece makes me choke up, and it's just because it's nailed on. Anya may deride it as a 'retro pastiche', but 'I'll Never Tell' is excatly how Whedon writes best- comedy, emotional honesty, pain, and the sheer joy of dancing, (Nicholas Brendon copying Anya's moves as Xander's shows again after the Replacement how funny he is as a dancer.) It changes style three times,but remains cohesive, because the overall tone and direction are clear, just like Buffy's drama/horror/comedy/soap. Giles and Tara's duet makes me melt for either of them, (it's one of those moments where everyone should be both straight AND gay), Michelle Trachtenberg really can dance- the dialogue zips along. 'Once More, With Feeling' gave me a bit of an epiphany about musicals. It's not really about the music, as long as it's servicable. 'Somewhere' from West Side Story is a terrible tune. Whedon's songs are all bar a couple mediocre. It's about the words. Playfulness, honesty, parallels. That's why Whedon can do it. He'll never be a writer for pop stars, but he can do 'show numbers', because it's all in the words. How often do we quote a line from 'Once MOre, With Feeling' on this board? The case rests.

9) 'Dead Things'

Well, this for me is the darkest episode of the series. There are darker episodes in Angel, (vote 'Reprise' for most brilliantly nihilistic episode ever), but not on Buffy, for me at least. There's rape, misogyny, violent sexual relationships, domestic breakdown, suggestions of necrophilia, Doublemeat Palace, and another moment of complete Buffy despair where she realises that she doesn't have a licence to love Spike metaphysically- it's an emotional life choice, and she can't handle it. While it wasn't really her, it was OK.

Steven DeKnight deserves much kudos for turning the Trio easily from uncomfortable but basically comic characters to truly evil. We see how the results of living in a fantasy world is a desensitising of real events. Andrew's 'We got away with murder. That's kinda cool' is bone-chilling, and reflects back all the horrible sentiments perpetuated by the underthemes of brands like James Bond and Star Wars, while mostly criticising those people who choose to leave in these worlds to the detriment of respecting reality. We have the 'You always hurt the one you love, pet' line, after a scene which provoked controversy for Buffy's actions. She's beating up herself, beleieving her to be just like Spike. She almost turns herself into the police because she feels that she is wrong as a person, and hopes falling back on the police will help her. Also, while clearly not her fault, she over-identifies with Faith's quasi-accidental killing of Alan Finch. Was Buffy's enjoyment of the vampire fight the cause for her supposed death of Katrina? Clearly not, but in Buffy's mind, just maybe. The end of the episode is perfect, with Tara, our Speaker of Wise Words in the absence of Giles, telling Buffy that she must reconcile herself to her choices, and not flee from them, but she has nothing to be afraid of. However, Buffy takes several episodes to understand this message.

In a poor run from 'Gone' to 'Normal Again', this is the masterpiece that allows the others to be carried.

10) ?
One space in my top 10 is vacant. It might be the lovely thematic unity of 'Lover's Walk', or the sheer release of 'Triangle', or the martyrdom of 'The Gift', or 'Family' and 'The Freshman', which I identify strongly with and think are among Whedon's best, or perhaps 'Selfless'. But I leave the gap to be filled after I complete the seventh season. If I always leave myself a hole, no-one can ever completely disagree with me...

TCH- whose end of holidays, evil exams and as evil coursework has prompted his return to prattling

[> [> Who would have guessed I was doing a maths degree? -- TCH- who at least named 10 episodes...;-), 09:21:14 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> Great choices, great analysis. BUT -- Sophist, 10:01:31 04/30/03 Wed

AMENDS? Over Hush? Over Normal Again? Over CwDP? JMHO, but I could come up with an awful lot of great episodes before I got to Amends.

[> [> [> Maybe it's just me -- Tchaikovsky, 11:02:48 04/30/03 Wed

It was watching 'Amends' for about the twentieth time that made me think- 'Actually, maybe I should give AtS a go', and so I give it a lot of credit for that. I think it's the best portrait of Angel the character in BtVS, and I'm personally fascinated by his character.

As for your other choices, they are all good, of course, but you actually pick two that I like less than the general opinion, and one that I am yet to see.

'Hush' is a brilliant Auteur Joss episode. My only personal dislike of it is that for the middle half an hour, the interpersonal stuff that Joss does so well is necessarily diluted by the absence of dialogue. I listen to the usual Jossian babble of the first act and feel almost disappointed that it won't continue. I think this has only started to happen on repeated viewings- to start with I loved it. I think it's just a personal thing that it happens to fall just below my top ten. It would certainly be in the top ten for 'scariest monsters', 'best score', and 'Triumphs of Joss'.

I'm actually not that keen on 'Normal Again'. I'd already seen the premise on 'Far Beyond the Stars' in Deep Space Nine. I was disappointed by the dialogue, (presumably Diego Gutierrez' fault), if intrigued by the idea. It's something I'm ambivalent about- I'm happy to watch something that disturbs the usual flowing narrative and jolts concepts; it's just that this one had a paucity of forward motion, no significant B plot, and a tendency to lack interesting characterisation in the Buffy in Sunnydale sections. I did enjoy the lighting- the clinical white of the mental asylum acting as a deliberate contrast to the bright colours of the apparent delusion. I enjoyed the asylum scenes, and Sarah Michelle Gellar turned in a good performance. I didn't like the resolution of the plot, but enjoyed the final ambiguous ending.

CwDP I am really looking forward to watching, probably relatively soon when my fairy Godmother yabyumpan sends me the next set of tapes!


[> [> [> [> Go snow! And good to see you TCH! -- ponygirl, fellow Amends lover, 12:04:40 04/30/03 Wed

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