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Mutiny on the Buffy, or why should I feel sympathetic to Buffy Summers? -- Earl Allison, 05:29:23 04/30/03 Wed

I really thought about posting this, and whether it was even worth it anymore. That's not a slam at the lurkers and posters here, but more to the point of "why bother"? It's not an in-depth, thoughtful review, it's spiteful, petty, and probably nasty, bordering on character bashing (which I apologize for in advance), but in retrospect I think it needs to be said.

Why? Because I am convinced ME does not care anymore. The fight scenes, the talking heads that convey no information, the ham-handed attempts to manipulate the viewer's emotions, this is NOT the show I fell in love with, IMHO.

Technically, the fight scenes with Faith were terrible. This is the woman who leapt atop a police cruiser, kicked one officer, and ran off back in S4? She could barely handle herself in the fight -- ONE punch should have been enough to incapacitate any normal human -- we've seen Buffy KO Giles (waaaay back in "Prophecy Girl").

I know the show has always moved between extremes. One day Buffy is stronger than vampires, another day she's being pounded into the ground. Ditto for Willow and her magic, but it still strikes me as a glaring problem.

Andrew. Why is he here, again? Oh, right, ME likes him. So he stays around, totally unrepentant over his actions and complicity that led to Katrina Silber's death (remember her? ME hopes you don't, since we've NEVER seen any remorse over it). But he's cute and funny and nerdy so we'll keep him around. Remember when the STORY came first? I'm pretty sure Robia LaMorte was a good actress and likable woman, yet Jenny Calendar died at Angelus' hands -- Amber Benson's Tara died for the story -- what is Andrew here for, a parallel to Spike? Isn't Spike ENOUGH anymore? Aren't the people who made the show successful (Willow, Xander, Giles, Buffy) enough?

Buffy, for whatever reason, doesn't stay with Willow and Xander in the hospital. Yes, we the omniscient viewers see that she's sad (with the same old photo and music they've used what, three times before), but she can barely spare a kind word? She can't stay and cry, be a PART of her friends and their pain? Might this not be part of why Willow and Xander cannot side with her? She doesn't even TRY to talk with them anymore.

She then has the audacity (and this more than anything is why I will NEVER be sympathetic to the thing ME is trying to claim is Buffy) to say that only SPIKE has her back?

SPIKE?!? So, to hell with Xander and Willow and Giles for their years of friendship, love, and support? She only trusts the vampire who, until this year was STILL doing evil things and trying to kill people? I can understand her resentment of Giles (despite my opinion that Giles at least had REASONS for his actions), but what did Willow and Xander do to deserve being stabbed in the back like that?

Buffy returns to the school, where Caleb again pummels her effortlessly.

Then, without maybe discussing her "plan" with her closest friends, she springs it on everyone publicly, leaving any disagreement to be public.

Here I thought ME dropped the ball AGAIN. It started out well enough, and the others were all right, IMHO, to question the logic of going after an enemy that has just handed you your head. It quickly disintegrated into ME trying to manipulate things emotionally, refusing to let anyone present an actual ARGUMENT, instead sniping at each other.

Still, Buffy simply tries to force everyone into line, deciding to consider compromise only when it is clear she has no support, and after needlessly insulting Giles again, implying that he sent Spike away so he could attack her.

I guess the viewer is expected to ignore the fact that Giles (as far as we know) did not and could not have known that Buffy would encounter Caleb again and come up with a non- plan to lead her Charge of the Light Brigade II. Again, behold ME's ham-handed storytelling tactics, or lack thereof.

Then she turns on Faith, after hitting her earlier (at the Bronze), accusing her of loving all of this. There is a Slayer with issues in the room, Buffy, but it isn't Faith.

Kicking her out of the house was extreme, but Buffy drew the lines, Buffy refused to watch the others follow Faith, and Buffy has shown the tactical ability of a turnip so far. TWICE she's encountered Caleb, and twice she hasn't so much as bruised him -- now she wants to go back, after she, Faith and Spike couldn't phase him?

I understand WHY she wants to go back, but what she didn't do, and SHOULD have doine FIRST was explain HOW. This should have come before telling them they WERE going back.

As it was, it looked like a repeat of her absurd second showing against the Turok-Han. Sure, brute force was useless before, so Buffy tried it again, and won through the miracle of writer fiat -- not through clever planning. Not through tactics, not through cleverly-placed traps and weapons -- through sheer luck and Script Ex Machina. It SHOULD have ended like "Dirty Girls" did, as a disaster.

As for Kennedy and Rona speaking up, look closely. Both of them bear the scars of Buffy's last failed plan. It's THEIR lives she's talking about risking, I think they (and Wood, and Faith) have every right to express their opinions.

Well, Buffy left the house, and while I didn't agree with Rona's little song, I could agree with the sentiment.

It was NEVER a "my way or the highway" leadership, and Buffy seems to have forgotten that she did not defeat ANY of the Big Bads without help from her Inner Circle (and in fact didn't have anything to do with the endgame in S6). To paint things in the light of "I did, I did, me, me, me!" made her look, IMHO, like a petulant child.

I understand that she didn't ask for the burden, but neither did she make any effort to utilize the assets around her. She's belittled Anya more than once, mocked dead potentials (poor Chloe), and coddled Spike to the exclusion of her alleged friends.

I don't say the others are blameless, not by any stretch, but Buffy has at least half of the blame on her plate, and I don't see her or ME as being willing to address it. I DO think we'll see Faith and the others fail badly -- again, not because of any facts or hidden plot points, but because that's where the script is headed.

I truly fear that the endgame for S7 will make Buffy right, and vindicate her and her pet vampire despite all facts and evidence to the contrary.

And that infuriates me beyond all ability to express.

I apologize for subjugating you all to this. Unless things improve drastically, it will probably be the last time. If ME doesn't care, why should I?

I think they had a starting point for the season, and an ending point, and didn't know or didn't care how to get there.

All of you have put more thought and meaning behind what we've seen than ME could have conceived of, and that's a shame. I used to believe there were greater meanings, and in the past, there were.

I don't think so anymore. BtVS is tired, and ME can't be bothered to try, they're "just going through the motions."


Take it and run, and be well, all of you.

[> Logic queries on last night's episodes (spoilers, obviously) -- Katrina, 06:16:06 04/30/03 Wed

Sorry if these are covered in other threads: my loading time is super-slow and I don't have a chance to read all.

Why was it so wrong for the girls to go to the Bronze? Are they prisoners? And apart from whether it was more dangerous than taking them into traps as back-up, or locking them in crypts with vampires to prove their mettle, hasn't the Bronze been known as a primary vampire feeding ground since episode one? And yet Buffy and all her friends spent countless hours there, even when they were the targets of other seemingly unstoppable evil. Did Giles, whilst still an authority figure, ever slug Buffy for her foolishness?

How would the 15-year-old Buffy have reacted to her contemporary self?

Why, exactly, are the common mortals fleeing Sunnydale? Bad vibes, and the odd hysteric screetching about the evil from beneath you? I'm in Riley Finn country, and we have plenty of scary nuts who yell on the street. And if everyone's fleeing the city, shouldn't the cops have a little less time on their hands? Shouldn't the Bronze be a little emptier?

Why doesn't anyone see if Caleb can be taken down by, like, a gun? For all we know, it's just Slayer-like super- strength, not invincibility. But even if it was, the Mayor was impervious to physical injury, and Glory almost totally so as well, and they took them down. Don't they remember the spell they used against Adam? Why don't they surround the winery, block the doors from the outside, and burn it down? I'm no tactician, so if these thoughts occurred to me, they must have occurred to someone else.

I hate to always sound like I'm knocking the show, but I too am frustrated with the writers.

[> Re: Mutiny on the Buffy, or why should I feel sympathetic to Buffy Summers? -- lurker, 08:18:36 04/30/03 Wed

hmm.. My first response to your rant above is - why do you still watch the show?? Why do you feel you are being manipulated to feel sorry for Buffy?

I much prefer the deeper psychological issues addressed this season and last season to Seasons 1-4. (I enjoyed those seasons but they don't really speak to me or touch me very deeply.) To me, the show is more about the coming of age of an exceptional young woman. For me, Spike serves as a metaphor for Buffy's dark feminine side - not her "pet vampire". Andrew is another aspect of Buffy that is being explored and he is HILARIOUS. For me, the point of this season seems to be Buffy's integration of the different confilicting parts of her personality - as represented by many (if not most/all) of the chararcters on the show. This is where the show has been headed for a long time. We won't know exactly where it is headed until the end of the last ep. This season is about Buffy figuring out how to deal with power - her own and other people's power. And she is not finding quick easy sit-com answers.

Personally, I get a lot more out of "Buffy" when I see it as the metaphor for growing up in all its complexity and ambiguity. I do see plot holes when I look at it as an action/adventure soap opera - especially this season and Season 6. But I forgive the plot holes when I look at the bigger, MUCH more interesting metaphorical and long term character development issues.

If Buffy was just a cool action/adventure/vampire/supernatural/sci fi show - I wouldn't watch it. If it didn't make me uncomfortable sometimes, I would feel cheated. The show is "all about Buffy". The show is telling ME's story - not your version. We are SUPPOSED to feel uncomfortable about a lot of this stuff. Growing up is hard and we make mistakes along the way.

That's why I only read this board and not the million boards that don't appreciate the subtle, more interesting aspects of this show. I ALWAYS learn so much here and deepen my appreciation for ME even if they are less than perfect.

Just IMHO.

[> [> I'm sorry you felt personally slighted, but ... -- Earl Allison, 09:15:41 04/30/03 Wed

My first response to your question is, I care about this show, and want to see it through, even if (as I see it) it is being beached on the rocks -- and last I checked, I WAS entitled to my opinion, even when it didn't mesh with yours.

I tried, really tried to make it clear, the original post was MY opinion, no one else's. I also thought it was clear
that I APPRECIATED the people here who saw something more, but that, again, IMHO, ME isn't doing their part of the job. ME isn't putting that layer there, AS I SEE IT.

I do not think your nastiness was called for, but that is, as you stated, YOUR opinion.

WHY do I feel manipulated to feel for Buffy? The music, the framed picture from S1 (trotted out again), the sadness that Buffy feels, but doesn't allow anyone to see, and the closing shot of poor Buffy, leaving her house alone. They are all designed to, IMHO, make me feel bad for Buffy. Unfortunately, they are storytelling tricks, I don't SEE Buffy reaching out to her friends (or even trying to), I see her treating them as disposable assets she considers less important than Spike (since he is the only one she trusts with her back). I don't SEE her trying to talk to them, merely assuming they will fall in line.

None of that tells me they are friends anymore, and two seconds of her welling up over a photo isn't going to make up for episodes of her ignoring and/or neglecting them.

Is that clearer for you? Is it acceptable to you that I assume that, and that I feel that way?

If you're getting something out of the story, that's great, really. I mean that, I envy anyone who sees something deeper in S7.

It's about power, I think I got that when the First malletted that one episodes ago. Again, it's TELLING me this, why not SHOW it, and show it well? ME used to do that well, IMHO, in the seasons you disregard as not being as deep.

I didn't ask for sitcom answers, so I would be ever so grateful if you didn't assume I did.

You can forgive the holes, I cannot. To me, if the story doesn't hold on its own merits, if glaring problems bring me out of the world ME has created, it is not my job to overlook it for the big picture -- in other words, if you send me an essay with several errors, you might have the best essay TOPIC-WISE in the world, but if the errors pull me out of it, the fault is yours, not mine for not being able to overlook them. Presentation is everything, IMHO.

I also didn't ask for ME to tell MY story. I want them to tell me what works out to (I admit this is subjective) a GOOD story. I do not consider a story with unsympathetic "heroes," massive plot-holes, and exposition out the ears a good story.

I would recommend you tone down your arrogance in the second to last paragraph. This is an excellent site, and I respect almost everyone here who posts, but I don't carry the notion that it automatically makes them better than people who post elsewhere, which is what you are coming very close to saying. Again, finding fault with something or not digging deep into the issues doesn't mean they should be disregarded out of hand, or that they DON'T see those issues.

In the future, please do what everyone else is apparently doing with this post, if they don't like it and don't want to add anything constructive, they ignore it.

At the very least, don't come off like you are attacking me, or implying I am somehow incapable of comprehending things. My opinion differs from yours, but at least I didn't have the audacity to imply that others who didn't see things as I did weren't as complex, or that they wanted simple answers. I certainly didn't turn to the cop-out "then why are you still watching" comment, which says you can't be bothered to actually address what was asked. And by and large, you didn't. Why IS Andrew around. Why DOES Buffy think Spike is the only one to have her back? HOW did Buffy plan on taking Caleb's power away from him?

Take it and run.

To anyone else (not you, lurker, you were more than happy to make snide comments, I feel I owe you no more apologies) who took offense to my original post and felt I was attacking them or their viewpoints, I apologize.

Masq, feel free to delete the entire thread if you wish. I have no problems with that should you choose to do so.

Be well.

[> [> [> More Opinion. -- Darby, 09:40:05 04/30/03 Wed

First, EA, I think you've majorly overreacted to the lurker. It's tough, I know, to post opinions that you feel will garner a backlash, but this backlash was pretty mild. It seemed like you were reacting more to what you had feared you'd get than what was actually said, even if your refutation points were all valid. I didn't see that strong a negative to lurker's comments.

I largely agree with your opinions, I think that the show is failing on a number of fronts. If the various folks are metaphors for Buffy's personality, it would help if they had some personality of their own. It would help if they had some life beyond the hour (or less) a week - the only characters who seem to still have offscreen interactions, a longtime given of the series, are Clem and Andrew - because if these folks were really all living together for these weeks on end, these issues would have been hashed out endlessly and not built the way ME has needed them to.

I have lots more to say, but I'm trying to resist. I still enjoy the show, but the good scenes are being more and more dragged down by the bad ones. I was going to do a "Revisited" to Dirty Girls, and hoped to like it more, but a preparatory reading of the shooting script made me realize that the post would be way too critical, so I didn't do it. I may not be able to do one for this last one, either.

[> [> [> Re: I'm sorry you felt personally slighted, but ... Not at all. It sounds like you were. -- lurker, 10:13:15 04/30/03 Wed

Yikes! I did not attack you. Nor did I take your comments personally. This is a TV show and I have a different opinion than you do. You seem like you wanted a reaction.

To respond to your query - In some ways I think Andrew exists for comic relief during this heavy push to the end of the series and I suspect he'll play some vital function in the finale. I was merely pointing out that the character is funny to some of us. If you don't like him - that's fine. I like and have enjoyed all of the main characters and I don't think we are supposed to like the SITs. The only one who doesn't seem to belong anymore (to me) is Anya. But I have loved her character up to this point and figure she has more of a role to play later. I also know that several of the actors have other jobs in movies and sitcoms and don't have as much time for Buffy.

Sorry you took so much offense. I guess I have trouble with some of the more stident opinions that this season of Buffy is vastly inferior to the older seasons. IN GENERAL, I simply don't feel that way. That's all. There are three more episodes to go and I am looking forward to them.

[> [> [> [> Please accept my apologies -- Earl Allison, 11:22:38 04/30/03 Wed


There are not words to exclaim how sorry I am. I could give excuses for why I reacted the way I did, but they would be just that, excuses. For that reason, I offer none, save that I was wrong.

All I can do, and I know it is precious little, is humble offer my apologies, and hope that you can accept that small gesture.

I wish there were more I could do.

Please, if you wish any more of me, you are welcome to contact me directly, if you do not wish to respond here.

Earl Allison

[> [> [> [> [> No problem at all!!! -- lurker, 12:27:39 04/30/03 Wed

No need to apologize. I probably was a lot snipier than intended. I am always very impressed with how civil and intelligent the discussions are here.

I just wondered (maybe a little too harshly) why someone who had such negative opinions about this darker direction of Buffy continued to watch. Not just you but the segment of the audience you represent. But then I loved Season 6 and don't think Marti Noxon is eeevil.

I think that Buffy has to get isolated and bereft for a while before she can find herself in the end. Since this is the last season - she has to get REALLY low - for now. It's not supposed to feel good.

I also think it is very interesting and brave that ME is willing to alienate much of their audience for the sake of its vision of the story. Even though I don't like everything about BtVS, it always amazes me that people can hate the things I love and love the things I hate. Love it or hate it - it stirs a lot of emotions - ya know? What other show does that?


[> You're right in many ways, but another view... -- luna, 10:31:52 04/30/03 Wed

I think we're supposed to be seeing Buffy as wrong, at this point. I think that's why we've had all the generalissimo speeches, etc. The point is that she has super physical powers, but she's not superhuman in every way--she's fallible. I think the gang (what are they now? Not just Scoobies, not just potentials) is right to go against her. Why should they be able to fight him this time, when they didn't have a chance against him last time? What new weapon do they have (although it looks like one is coming...)?

In earlier seasons, we saw her wrestling the typical teenage issues. In S6 and S7, she's dealing with the just-becoming- adult issues. Some of those are responsibility are judgment. She is flawed in those areas. I don't think that's careless, I think it's the point. In S6, Buffy took the journey through depression. In this season, it's the other swing of the pendulum. The challenge of the FE is so great that she can't stand to face her possible inadequacy (that's why Clem was there to bring it up in case we forgot), so she shuts self-criticism off entirely.

On the other hand, I agree about the lapse in quality of these last few eps, though I don't relate it to the same plot and character issues that you list. It's a writing- directing-acting issues, but I can't put my finger on it. I just don't feel the emotional pull that I've felt before. I can identify intellectually, but I don't feel torn, elated, sad, etc. (even the Xander thing--somehow the adult and now injured Xander doesn't work for me like the Xander even of Hell's Bells). However, I was like this with mid-season S6, getting VERY tired of the Trio, and then from Seeing Red on was totally involved. So maybe the last three episodes will pull it out after all.

To me, one problem may be that the season plot-arc is TOO dominant. The FE is everything. In other seasons, there have been many good episodes unrelated to the main plot of the season, but this year is getting to be a like a soap opera.

[> [> luna - are you lunasea, or are you two different people? It's been nagging at me. -- dream, 10:44:31 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> wait - that made no sense. but you know what I meant. -- dream, 10:46:37 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> luna and Lunasea are two different people -- luna, 12:43:44 04/30/03 Wed

I thought about changing my name when lunasea came, but then most people would miss the change announcement and think I was yet another person. Sorry about the confusion. I don't think lunasea wants to claim some of my rants and rambles!

[> I just don't see -- dream, 10:38:05 04/30/03 Wed

feeling sympathy for Buffy and knowing that's she's screwing up as mutually exclusive. Buffy's always had problems relating to people - she feels deeply, but she doesn't talk so well. Her emotional distancing this season has led to her being completely isolated from her friends. I think we are supposed to be laying most of the blame at Buffy's feet - the deeply emotional scene between Willow and Xander (and that was played beautifully, I thought) is supposed to contrast with Buffy's embarassed quick exit. Her scheme for going back into the winery is supposed to suck. We're supposed to be pissed that she hasn't bothered to learn the SIT's names. At the same time, I think we're supposed to understand where this comes from - from her fear of getting emotionally involved, from her sense of beng completely overwhelmed. Let's not forget the last apocalypse she stopped involved her dying. (She really wasn't instrumental in the last one.)

**Here I thought ME dropped the ball AGAIN. It started out well enough, and the others were all right, IMHO, to question the logic of going after an enemy that has just handed you your head. It quickly disintegrated into ME trying to manipulate things emotionally, refusing to let anyone present an actual ARGUMENT, instead sniping at each other.**

See, I didn't see that scene as emotional manipulation. I saw some people getting nasty, some resentments coming to the surface (Rona, Anya) and I saw some perfectly reasonable arguments (Willow - and acutally, Rona, too, in her point that Faith is a Slayer as much as Buffy). Sniping at each other tends to happen when people are at the end of their ropes.

I acutally didn't love this episode, because I thought it was a little slow-moving (and for this late in the season particularly). It also hurt, terribly. I did feel for Buffy, the way you feel for anyone you care about when you see him/her making a mistake that causes pain. I don't think Faith and the girls will ultimately do it all without Buffy, but I don't think she's going to come riding in like the cavalry to save the day. I think she's going to have to realize her mistakes. Remember how Faith and Spike were bathed in wine (symbolic blood) in the vineyard? And they are the two who seem to be able to listen and understand the best right now? Faith and Spike have both had to accept the mistakes they have made (if you want to get religious, you could say they had to confront their sinfulness). Buffy needs to confront her own mistakes. When she does, she will be able to come back and make the difference we were told she would make.

[> [> YES! Said it very well. -- lurker, 11:10:19 04/30/03 Wed

"feeling sympathy for Buffy and knowing that's she's screwing up as mutually exclusive."

Well said. Buffy IS screwing up AND I can feel sympathy for her. In fact that is, in a way, WHY I feel sympathy for her. She is not perfect but everyone expects her to be. Or at least she thinks that's what they expect.

[> [> Buffy and King Arthur (spoilers buffy and angel aired eps) -- luna, 13:16:04 04/30/03 Wed

...but I don't think she's going to come riding in like the cavalry to save the day.

Plot-, theme-, and character-wise, I'd agree. However, just as in Angel we get the hint that knowing Jasmine's name is the key to defeating her, so in Empty Places and the teaser for next week we get the hint that there is a weapon for only the Slayer to use. Thanks to Masq's wonderful new ATP google engine, I see that Rob already has wonderfully covered the Arthurian parallels--so I'm not trying to repeat that, but nevertheless... here's an apparent sword in a stone, sitting there waiting for only the slayer.

[> [> [> Yes, but which one? -- dream, 13:28:43 04/30/03 Wed

Do you think it might be a mislead? We're supposed to believe it's Buffy, but it's really Faith? Of course, it could be Buffy - after all, the First isn't all dressed up as Faith.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy and King Arthur (spoilers buffy and angel aired eps) -- ponygirl, 14:06:48 04/30/03 Wed

I was actually getting a holy grail vibe from the whole scenario in Empty Places. Can't say why very clearly right now (work, brain, work!) though I do recall a William the Poet post mentioning the Grail/Arthur legends at the start of the season.

[> [> [> Thanks, luna! ("Empty Spaces" spoiler) -- Rob, 14:55:09 04/30/03 Wed

"Thanks to Masq's wonderful new ATP google engine, I see that Rob already has wonderfully covered the Arthurian parallels..."

Very nice of you to say, and I have to also repeat what you already said--the google search is great! I had absolutely no memory of ever making that Arthurian post. When you posted that, I almost thought you credited the wrong person!

Looking at what I said back then, the "Dawn-as-Mordred" parallel seems very timely, considering what happened last night! Although, perhaps, with Faith taking over Buffy's job, she is a better Mordred parallel after all. Guess we'll have to see!


[> [> [> [> And other candidates for some roles -- luna, 18:03:22 04/30/03 Wed

Or maybe Andrew is Mordred? He certainly has behaved that way in the past, but it's hard to take him seriously--but then, that's sort of a Mordred characteristic, isn't it?

Of course there's also the other versions of the Arthur legends--I'm thinking of the ones where Gawain is the grail seeker. In some ways I can see Angel as Gawain, especially now. More on this later.

[> Hi Earl! You brought up a point that I had not considered -- Spike Lover, 10:59:23 04/30/03 Wed

I think you are right. MN has run the show into a ditch (a few seasons ago), Joss was too busy with 'other projects' to give Buftvs a second look (since it already had an audience base), and as soon as they knew it was the final season, the writers have been 'going thru the motions'. (Maybe that opening song of OMWF was more poignant than we knew. -The Disney beast in the graveyard. Were the writers saying, 'at this point, it doesn't matter what crap we write for you, we know the audience is hooked and will spend hours on the internet analyzing our BS.)

Too harsh?

Ego is definately Buffy's problem. And whereas I continue to love Spike (he is still my favorite character, barely, Anya coming a close second), I liked him a lot better as a non-repentant, soulless vampire who had a wicked thing for Buffy. (In love with certain death and all that.)

I have to admit that there have been LOTS of loose threads this season: introduction of Princ. Wood., reintro of Faith, the soon reintro of Angel, the intro of friends for Dawn in ep 1, and the intro of a potential love interest for Xan in ep 2. They played the rape card for the longest time this season to set up these weird feelings between Buff and Spike, and then have completely ignored them. Ep 3 when Anya gives up being a vengence demon and seems to want to figure out why she is the way she is. (Remember the Mrs. song? It suggested that she did not have her own identity and got hers from the men around her, which was why the jilting devasted her. Then they dropped it cold. Course, the show is not called, 'Anya the ex VD'.

It is difficult to know what the writers are trying to do. Are they trying to tie up the Buffy loose end, alone? (You should have seen how Roswell or even Star Trek Voyager finished off their series. It was a mess.)

If they are trying to tie up the Buffy loose end, they are trying to do it without much emotional investment. Right before people die, they (I think) do a couple of things. Once choice is to have sex or try to have some fun. I was glad to see them at the Bronze having some fun. I think they actually would be doing a lot more of this. Next week we get the bump and grind and I am looking forward to it. (I have no life.)

The other choice is to sit down and really analyze your life. The mistakes you made. The people you hurt. It is in depth and it is painful. I keep thinking that the

[> [> Earl, I want to thank you sincerely... -- Thomas the Skeptic, 14:30:15 04/30/03 Wed

... for broaching a topic I was too nervous to bring up myself. Frankly, I've been posting less and less because I am worried that I'll be hammered for my "disloyal" opinions regarding the latter half of this season. Don't get me wrong, I still love this show and am eagerly awaiting the finale, but, in the last 4 episodes particularly, I have been alarmed by the flatness of tone, the lackluster fight sequences and the general didacticism of the theme: "Buffy is emotionally constipated. Watch Buffy alienate her oldest and dearest friends on her painful journey of discovering that 'love is still her gift'". (I remain unspoiled but the plotting and dialogue is so heavy-handed right now that its obvious this is what is coming). For someone who has always prefered "Buffy" to "Angel" hands down, it pains me to have to admit that, overall, AtS has had a much better season. It shocks me, too, because I think BtVS roared out of the gate and kept a tremendous momentum well past the midway point. Yet, suddenly it feels like everything is falling apart. I'm glad you had the courage to speak up because, believe me, you'll not the only one with these reservations. I guess all we can do is try to keep the faith and hope that master Whedon can pull off a miracle one more time.

[> [> Caution: Major future spoiler mentioned in SL's post above -- Dyna, 15:48:27 04/30/03 Wed

[> Hold on Earl! We're all in this together, have faith in ME for just a few more episodes! -- ponygirl wanting to hold hands and sing kumbya-ya, 11:31:40 04/30/03 Wed

[> Ding dong the witch is dead! -- Miss Edith, 18:39:38 04/30/03 Wed

If ME wanted to increase sympathy for Buffy it didn't work with me. They tried pulling vunerable Buffy in SR, admitting people were meant to support Buffy. I get the feeling we are supposed to be outraged on Buffy's behalf again, with the way everyone turned on her, and she started crying at the end. The tearful breakdown just felt contrived to me. Going for the sympathy factor? Sorry but such manipulation didn't work for me. I hated the "me, me, me" speech about how Buffy was the one who kept them alive, Buffy saved the world. Xander saved Buffy in PG for a start, her friends have always fought alongisde her. This is clearly illustrated in epiosdes like Primevil. Buffy has always been part of a group effort in the past. I cannot warm to General Buffy and her "everybody sucks but me" speeches. Girl needs to learn some humility.

Anyway Buffy wasn't actually thrown out. She argued she didn't want to be there if she wasn't going to be in charge, and Dawn called her on it. Buffy didn't want a democracy, she wanted to be boss, going back to the whole feeling guilty about having a superiority complex that she addressed back in CWDP. If Bufy refused to follow Faith's leadership, then she will be undermining Faith's authority. She should have respected the wishes of thr group IMO. They fairly voted for Faith, they rejected Buffy's dictatorship style of leadership period. Dawn, "We have to be together on this".

I need a heroine to relate to, someone who is capable of experiencing growth. Buffy never seems to change her patterns of behaviour. She wants her own way in the Angel episode Sanctury, when Angel disagrees with her she smacks him. She bullied a chipped and defenceless Spike in season 5 when frustrated (e.g when Dawn was kidnapped by Harmony's gang, and when Riley was sick). Not to mention Dead Things and the beating she inflicted on Spike. Now she is using Faith's chin to connect with her fist as Spike is no longer handy. I see her as a stunted human being at the moment.

I stopped caring for Buffy Summers around the time of OAFA/AYW and much as I tried I have never liked her much since then. And at the beginning of season 6 up until Tabula Rasa I related to Buffy more than I ever had before.

On another note I do feel season 7 did start strongly. It lost it for me around Showtime. New characters were thrown at us in hope of creating a spin-off. Kennedy and Willow were apparently considered for a spin-off leading a school of SITs, Dawn was considered so those characters were pushed ahead of favourites like Giles, Willow, Xander, and Anya. I think Bts started going through the motions at the moment. It's ridiculous to throw so many new characters at us, whilst fan favourites like Giles don't even have a story arc. I understand wanting to continue the franchise, but don't neglect the original characters in favour of people like Wood and Kennedy. I do like the addition of Andrew mind you. This season has just to me been all build-up, no culmination. I'm not impressed with the spoilers for upcoming episodes either.

I haven't been posting much because I am feeling so negative about the show. Oh well that's my little rant for what it's worth.

Help to settle a bet? (spoilers Empty Places) -- pellenaka, 06:45:01 04/30/03 Wed

My sister claims that Spike's voice sounded weird when they were driving on the motorcycle because they were really driving.
I believe it was recorded in a studio, with blue screen and maybe some wind machines.

And so I'm asking you, wise people.

What do you think?

[> Re: Help to settle a bet? (spoilers Empty Places) - - CW, 07:36:32 04/30/03 Wed

You can't record someone's voice actually riding on a motor cycle. A typical trick is to mount a motorcycle dummy on the back of a truck or on a trailer pulled by a truck, then you take the truck down the street with someone "riding" the motorcycle dummy. That's what this looks like. Because of tire noise, the actual sound track used in the broadcast is usually taped over in studio. In this case the voices may be as filmed, but the motorcycle noise is phony.

[> [> Re: Help to settle a bet? (spoilers Empty Places) - - Darby, 07:56:41 04/30/03 Wed

It was definitely on a trailer, rigged with a "bumpy ride" generator that was so regular as to be really distracting.

[> [> [> Thank you guys. You are, indeed, wise people. :-) - - pellenaka, 09:47:06 04/30/03 Wed

Joyce's message (spoilers for last night's Buffy) - - mmm, 06:50:02 04/30/03 Wed

Things are coming, Dawn. Listen.
Things are on their way. I love you.
And I love Buffy. But she will not
be there for you.

What? What are you--

There will be choosing to be done.
And when it is very bad, Buffy will
not choose you. She will be against

In light of last night's episode, I found this quote interesting. Originally, (before I read the transcript) I thought maybe Joyce's message could be interpreted as a message to Buffy that Dawn would not choose HER. Unfortunately, i misremembered the exact quote :) However, I still think it's something to dwell on in light of the fact that Buffy is now g

[> Scroll down to the thread s'kat started and the one I started for more on this! -- Rob, 07:41:07 04/30/03 Wed

Is Buffy right? (Empty Places spoilers) -- Rob, 07:21:47 04/30/03 Wed

Buffy came to a logical conclusion last night, one that addresses what many people have been asking this year...If the Seal of Danthazar is so important, why hasn't the FE been camping out there and guarding it? Therefore, she comes to the assumption that it's a red herring to distract their attention and the real trouble is at the Vineyard. An astute theory...but still, we do know that the Seal is basically a Turok-Han Pez dispenser and that it was leaking Hellmouth energy to the high school students. So it can't be nothing. I always figured that the fact that the basement was so easy to get lost in and things were always changing down there was protection enough for the Seal, also the fact that it could control anyone who touched it and was continually unburied for every time it was buried again. I don't know if the Seal needed protecting. Not saying that there isn't possibly something huge at the vineyard to. Buffy's almost always right about things like this, but still, I wouldn't ignore the Seal all together.


[> Re: Is Buffy right? (Empty Places spoilers) -- Rufus, 07:26:13 04/30/03 Wed

She isn't ignoring the Seal, she is pointing out the fact that the bad guys seem more interested in something that isn't near the Seal. If the Seal is the thing then why is everyone at the Winery?

[> [> Re: Is Buffy right? (Empty Places spoilers) -- Darby, 07:53:41 04/30/03 Wed

But can anyone tell me why she came to this conclusion after finding Caleb in the school?? My 12-year-old was yelling at the lack of logic there!

[> [> [> Inspiration - not logic -- OnM, 08:31:09 04/30/03 Wed

Which has always been Buffy's strong suit, not the use of pure logic.

If you are one of those people who chronically forgets names, what do you do to remember them? You use something-- an image or idea-- that brings up an association to the name you are trying to remember, and that association in turn brings forth the memory of the name.

This seems odd and indirect, but it works for many people-- inspiration often comes as a result of (mental) association. For example, at work I developed a color code to assign different channels of a surround sound speaker hookup by association with something I could use as a mnemonic. ("Yellow is the center channel color, because the center channel goes over the video display, and the standard color for video cables is yellow.")

Buffy makes the connection that Caleb is protecting something that is not at the school simply because she happens to be in the school when he shows up. Her brain suddenly makes an association that it didn't before, and an intuitive leap occurs. (School-- hellmouth-- seal-- center of evil power-- Hey! Why didn't he lead us to the school???)

Short form-- what is the logic of the string around the finger being used as a 'reminder'? It isn't logic-- it's a link between associations.

[> [> [> [> Re: Inspiration - not logic -- CW, 09:06:17 04/30/03 Wed

The problem is that an equally inspired solution is Why is he leading us away from the school?

Anya's point about luck is important here. Even if Buffy is right, there comes a point at which all of this inpiration sans logic looks like dumb luck. And as several of the SIT's and Xander found out anyone's luck can run out.

[> [> [> [> [> You are correct - and there's the rub. ME so evil! ;- ) -- OnM, 09:16:02 04/30/03 Wed

I'd like to talk some more about this, but Voy is being all but unworkable at the moment. I'll stop back later on.


[> [> [> [> Yummy herring or sinister plan? -- ponygirl, 10:50:13 04/30/03 Wed

I think Buffy's leap occurred because Caleb kept mentioning the school and the Seal when he was attacking her. And then he didn't kill her. She assumes that he wanted her to conclude that he had made the classic villian mistake of revealing too much, when in fact he was setting her up for another trap. It's actually pretty logical for Buffy to believe that Caleb was deliberately misleading her given her past experiences. However the question becomes: does Caleb expect Buffy to figure out that his clue was actually a mislead? Confusing isn't it?

[> [> [> The limitations of logic -- Sophist, 18:47:41 04/30/03 Wed

I don't see that formal logic would make your son feel better:

1. Caleb is not guarding the Hellmouth. Therefore, the Hellmouth is not important.

2. Caleb is not guarding the Hellmouth. Therefore, the Hellmouth is important because he is trying to divert our attention elsewhere.

Both conclusions are perfectly logical. Only one (probably) is true. Logic can't resolve the dilemma, only additional facts can.

[> [> [> Through Insane Trollop Logic.....meaning Buffy is a Trollop....<g>..;)..spoilers for Empty Places -- Rufus, 20:59:06 04/30/03 Wed

Oh please....the school over the hellmouth is deserted..and Caleb shows up, but alone...so where is everyone? The last place the rest of his boys were seen was at the Winery.

Plus, I'd still be asking why he hasn't killed Buffy when he had a chance at the school....taking me back to what was said to Spike about that secret room and what the reaction of Caleb was when he read the inscription on the wall. In season five Glory could have killed Buffy many times but we found out in the end that she had been infected with a bit of Bens humanity....I wonder what is up with this new powerful enemy Caleb?

Buffy said the bad guys go where the power is....so where is it? If they had all the power there wouldn't be a conflict cause they already would have won. Makes you rethink the title Empty Places....the school, the place in Gilroy....

[> Is what she alone can wield at the winery? -- MakaniKai, 09:06:00 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> Then it can't be wine, we've seen how she holds her liquer! -- WickedBuffy (maybe she just wields the cork), 11:49:34 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> Aloha e SeaWind, are you from Hawai'i? (Cool name either way.) -- Resh, 12:03:38 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> Re: Aloha e SeaWind, are you from Hawai'i? (Cool name either way.) -- MakaniKai, 12:42:03 04/30/03 Wed

Yes, and we don't get UPN on Oceanic cable. I just happen to be on the mainland for this season... at least until mid- May... I'll have a friend email me the series finale. Bummer.

[> [> [> [> Good to see there's another islander posting here - - Resh, 14:26:02 04/30/03 Wed

I live on O'ahu and we do get Buffy on Oceanic. However, the UPN affiliate here, KHON2, shows it on a really erratic schedule. Lately, it's mostly been on Saturdays somewhere between noon and 4pm; during football, volleyball and surf- meet season, it was on anywhere from Fridays @ 11:35pm (that is not a typo...) to Sundays @ 2am. For awhile there, I was on a first-name basis with the station's programming manager, but often even she didn't know when they were going to show Buffy. Now, I just check the internet TV guide, set my VCR and pray for a miracle.

Makes reading the board while trying to stay spoiler-free more of a cruise-by experience than an in-depth one, although the archive, as ever, remains a dear friend...

Hope you're having a nice time on the continent. When you return, give me a head's up via the board and I can make you copies of the season's ending episodes without you having to wait for the post.

malama pono,

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good to see there's another islander posting here -- MakaniKai, 14:32:21 04/30/03 Wed

Hmmm... I was obviously misinformed; my friend back home probably didn't have your perseverance. I'll let 'em know. Mahalo.

[> Manipulation of Buffy (Spoilers for Empty Places) - - Robert, 10:03:26 04/30/03 Wed

Buffy's logic may be valid and still be wrong. However, I believe that the First Evil has been manipulating Buffy. What does the First Evil really want Buffy to do? It appears that Buffy is being manipulated into bringing all the potentials and slayers into the winery where Caleb can destroy them all.

What Buffy has learned in the past 6-1/2 years is to trust her instincts, her intuition. These have always served her well. Now however, they are failing her. I believe that the First Evil has done its research very well and knows how to turn Buffy's strengths into her weaknesses.

The current problem for Buffy is that she is caught between irreconcilable forces. Her instincts tell her that only she can keep her charges safe. Her morals and ethics require that she do everything within her power to keep them safe. Her instincts are, however, putting her charges in the danger she desparately is trying to keep them safe from. Buffy cannot run away. Unlike the rest of Sunnydale, Buffy knows that ultimately there is nowhere to hide if the First Evil is not stopped somehow.

I do not see the actions of the Scooby Gang and Potentials as mutiny, rather as relieving Buffy of her command, due to incapacity. They can do this and still love her at the same time. Buffy is not a stupid or hateful person. She knows that she cannot lead her people at this time. She does not yet understand why this is the case. But, she is still able to think past her fear, frustration and (most importantly) hatred of Faith to empower Faith with the authority and responsibility for leading the troops.

How is the First Evil manipulating Buffy? In short, I don't know! However, we have seen the First Evil manipulate individuals in the past (Angel, Spike, Andrew, the bringers, and maybe others). The characteristics of such manipulation has been different in each case, but the end result of getting each to do the bidding of the First Evil was achieved. I think that the First Evil has been pulling Buffy's string for some time now. Caleb's message to Buffy two weeks ago and his message to her last night are strong indications of such.

[> [> Agree -- tomfool, 11:07:53 04/30/03 Wed

I think you've on the right track. The First has indeed done its homework. Buffy would obviously be dead if that's what the First wanted. I think this is the key piece of dialogue from EP:

First as Buffy: And how was our best girl?
Caleb: They always think they should put up a fight.
FaB: Did you lay the proper groundwork?
Caleb: Yeah, I did. Reckon she got the message, even if she doesnít know it yet. So now the big strong slayer goes back to those girls. Sheís just so ready to walk them right into it. And all we have to is give her that one final, gentle nudge. [Puts hand through BaF]
FaB: Excellent.

I still think that someone within Casa Summers will be revealed as an agent/dupe of the first. Possibly Buffy herself?

[> [> Disagree (Spoilers for Empty Places) -- WildBuffy (but very politely), 12:05:57 04/30/03 Wed

I don' t think the manipulation was to get her to bring all the SITs back into the winery. It was a step further than that. I strongly believe it was more clever than that - it was to further alienate Buffy from the rest of the gang.

The First wants Buffy alive. On their side. Why? Because only Buffy can wield something that will insure The Firsts conquest.

Caleb knew the rest of them would think it was a bad idea when he planted it in Buffys head - he's working her like a puppet. He knows how horrified they were afterwards, he made sure he did extravagant, horrible things when he killed those SITs and poked out Xanders eye.

Isolation. Separation. A very vulnerable Slayer, now, emotionally and physically.

[> [> [> We are all assuming that The First is interested in Buffy... -- OnM, 12:56:02 04/30/03 Wed

...and that she is being manipulated to that effect. I agree completely about the manipulation part, but I don't think the ultimate goal of the First (and its henchman Caleb) is directed at Buffy, but at the real Slayer-- the one who could actually call a new Slayer if she were killed.

Think about it-- Buffy is directing all her energies to the point of personal distraction to 'save the world' by protecting the proto-Slayers.

But who's protecting Faith? Other than Faith, that is? The closing scene of this ep is the beginning of the first faint glimmers of realization for Buffy-- she doesn't understand it all yet, and likely won't in totality until Chosen unfurls. There has to be some reason why the question has never come up as to why a new Slayer was not called after Buffy died in The Gift, and I do not believe for a second that this was a careless oversight on ME's part.

Remember, past is prologue. Last season, Buffy's friend saved the world, not Buffy. This season, I predict that Buffy's (former) enemy will do the honors.

[> [> [> [> Some disagreement -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:54:16 04/30/03 Wed

First off, I'd appreciate it if people would stop using the term "real Slayer" to refer to Faith. Yes, Faith is the only one whose death can cause a new Slayer to be called, but that doesn't mean that she's any more of a Slayer than Buffy. Aside from the fact that Buffy has retained Slayer strength and speed, as well as healing and fighting abilities, she has displayed a few abilities/traits known only to the Slayer. The "Primeval" ritual which involved calling on the power of the First Slayer most likely would only have worked for the actual Slayer. Then there's the shadow-play thingy in "Get It Done", also with implications that it's Slayer specific. Then there's the fact that she still has prophetic dreams, a uniquely Slayer trait we've been given no sign that potential slayers have.

Second, the First Evil does seem to have some interest in keeping Buffy alive. In "Showtime", it told the Turok-Han to kill everyone except "her". Granted, there were several hers in the house, but we do know that there was someone in the Summers house at that time that the First didn't want killed. Then there's the fact that, when Caleb and Buffy faced off in "Empty Places", Caleb was in the perfect position to kill Buffy, but didn't. Either this is the result of some unwillingness on Caleb's part (very unlikely), a stupid mistake by ME (a judgement I will only give out under very extenuating circumstances), or the First simply doesn't want Buffy dead (at least at the time). I wonder if Buffy will save the Scoobies in one of the next three episodes by threatening to kill herself. Just a random thought.

[> [> [> [> [> Makes ya wonder if Faith would have swallowed ... -- WickedBuffy ( W.W.F.D.), 19:09:46 04/30/03 Wed

..the demon dust. Or for that matter how she would have dealt with First Slayer... or any of the "Slayer Only" situations and choices Buffy has been put in lately.

I'd love to see that alternate reality!

::making bracelet and bumpersticker to replace the Xena ones:: "W.W.F.D.?"

[> [> [> [> [> Your point is well taken, Finn... the problem is one of language -- OnM, 20:22:42 04/30/03 Wed

I agree that the words 'real Slayer' are not the best, but I am at a loss as to how to differentiate without the use of a long description, like 'She who can call the next Chosen' or 'She who cannot call the next Chosen but otherwise is like the one who can'. If anyone can come up with a good, simple terminology, let's go with it!

As you probably already assumed, I mean no disrespect of any kind to Buffy. In fact, if the series pans out in the way I am (and have been) speculating, Buffy will somehow manage to effectively destroy the traditional method of Slayer decendency. So, in this light, she still is 'fertile' (which, as you see, isn't a good choice of word either, since the alternative is ...)

See what I mean?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Slayer and Slayer Emeritus? Slayer Dowager? -- luna, 23:39:51 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Your point is well taken, Finn... the problem is one of language -- Rufus, 21:04:07 04/30/03 Wed

I see the term of 'real Slayer' as one that is being used to divide Buffy and Faith...the fact that Caleb mentioned the term to Faith a good hint that the First whispers in his ear.

A scene that creeped me out was the one where Caleb mentions giving that gentle nudge to Buffy, while his hands go through the First who appears in Buffys form. Kinda like the form of Buffy is like a trigger to this guys urge to kill women.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Manipulation...is it Buffy or everyone else? (Spoilers to Btvs7.19 & Angel 4.21) -- s'kat, 21:51:46 04/30/03 Wed

Not sure where to post this on this thread, so thought I'd pick a post I agreed with.

I agree with Rufus on this one. Two things creeped me out:
1. Caleb saying he just needed to give Buffy one more nudge and the fact the FE keeps taking Buffy's form with Caleb.
2. The plaque that Spike and Andrew found.

So who is the FE manipulating and why?

1. Wood. This guy has been very very handy in pulling Buffy's strings. Wonder how much is the FE's work and how much is just Wood?

Unanswered questions on Wood:
- He knew about the seal for a long long time before he told anyone about it.
- He knew who and what Buffy was way before First Date, possibly even before he came to Sunnydale
- Did he know what was in Nikki's bag as well?
- Why didn't he tell anyone where he buried Jonathan or that he did? And why did ME show us Wood burying Jonathan?
- How much does Wood know that he's not telling? He was near that seal for a while.
- And why did Wood come back to the Summers house after firing Buffy?

Also Wood succeeded in furthering the FE's cause in several interesting ways:
1. Got Giles to betray Buffy, causing dissension
2. Suggested Faith take over - causing Buffy to be pushed aside (or am I remembering that wrong?)
3. Suggested Buffy test the potentials in combat

2. Giles - I think the FE must be enjoying the heck out of Giles.

1. Giles has pressured Buffy into thinking she's the only one who can save the world (BoTN)
2. Giles doesn't help Buffy with the Uber vamp in BoTN at all.
3. Giles keeps bringing potentials and scaring them with flash cards.
4. Giles questions Buffy's judgement at every turn, he hasn't backed her up once this year and keeps saying she has stuff to learn. (LMPTM, BoTN, FD,)
5. Giles tells Buffy that she may have to let others die, everyone is expendable. (LMPTM)
6. Giles goes behind Buffy's back to plot Spike's demise with Wood ( this is both a pro and a con for the FE - it de- triggers Spike and causes a rift between Buffy and Giles, and creates more distrust between Giles and Spike and Wood.)

Question - was Giles in any of the episodes where Buffy saved the day? I don't think he was in Showtime. But he certainly is around to make comments when she fails.

3. Willow - the First Evil has been at work here big time, making Willow question her judgement, her power, and how it should be used. Tried to get her to kill herself. When she did a locator spell - said she was only making it stronger.

4. Dawn - Joyce's suggestion Buffy won't choose her. The whole not being a potential thing.

5. Buffy...it's manipulating her through everyone else. It doesn't have to appear to her, when it has all those SIt's to play with. So many, it can slip in unawares. It doesn't have to when Giles and Wood are doing such a good job. And Xander? Well that one's easy - pluck out his eye and he becomes like the vengeance spirit in Lessons - the boy vengeance spirit had a pencil poked in his left eye when Dawn looked at him in her classroom. No longer Buffy's right hand, no longer her stalwart supporter. Taking him out of the game was a cinch. Just damage him a bit. In fact poking out Xander's eyes sort of killed three birds with one stone - it caused Willow, Dawn and Xander to stop trusting Buffy. IT also caused Buffy to further distance herself. Killing two SIT's - that got the rest to distrust her.

I don't think FE will have too much trouble with Faith...if and when it decides to appear to her. After all Faith has a few achillees heels, one of which I'm just dying to see. No, I bet the FE was doing the happy snoopy jig when it found out the SG chose Faith over Buffy. Assuming it has.
Because that is probably what it wants. Get Buffy alone.
Separate. And oh put Faith in charge...much fun.

Also I wonder if FE has appeared to anyone else besides Caleb and Spike as Buffy??

No, last night's episode did not bode well for anyone in that was left in that house.

There's something Joyce says to Buffy in BoTN that I still believe is the key to all of this: Evil isn't coming Buffy it's already here. You can't eradicate it. It's natural. It's in all of us.

Reminds me of Jasmine's comment to Angel - "there are no absolutes. No clear right and wrong. Just choices."

In Btvs - Empty Places - I think everyone except possibly Spike and Andrew, played right into the FE's hands. Remember how upset the FE as Eve was in Showtime, when Buffy got everyone behind her? When she worked with Willow and Xander telepathically to defeat the uber-vamp? When Xander found the location? Willow did the barrier spell?
The FE was pissed. It was losing then.

Now with Caleb, it couldn't be happier. Grinning up a storm.
Why? Because it's goal is the same as Iago's in Othello to turn everyone against each other, to cause dissension, to highlight the evil in everyone, to make them play to their worst impulses. Look at how wonky the cops were acting?
If the hellmouth affected them - why would the SIT's be immune? The SG, Sits, Faith, Wood, Giles, Buffy - they all played right into the FE's hands. They made it stronger.
IF they don't all wise up soon and start listening to each other they will die.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree with everything you wrote -- Artemis, 21:11:34 05/01/03 Thu

Thank you for laying it out so thoroughly. I especially agree with what you've layed out regarding Giles. He has set Buffy up to believe that it's all up to her to save the world. I even remember Xander commenting on it, I believe his words were "But no pressure"
It's as if the FE has played them all like chess pieces. I thank you for laying out how each piece has been moved. It's like you read my mind and saved me from typing it out.

One point-I don't hate the Wood character.However I don't trust him either. More than likely the FE is using him most of all.(Which you did suggest was a possibility)Wood has more for the FE to grab. While he can definitely grab hold of everyone elses fears and use them to its advantage. Wood has a hate that the FE can get a better grip on . If that makes any sense.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> s'kat, you analysis was... (wild speculation included for future included, absolutely zero spoilers) -- Kate, 21:38:15 05/02/03 Fri

Dead on! You put into words my thoughts exactly. I'm also beginning to think that the FE needs something of/from Buffy, especially after the "writing on the wall" that Spike and Andrew discovered this week. So there is some power that Buffy still holds, which keeps the FE somewhat in check, maybe? Or at the very least something which Caleb apparently cannot access himself.

So taking it one step further...let's compare Angel and Spike's experiences with the FE to Buffy's and see where it leads.

Case one: Angel - the FE wanted Angelus back in the fold. Plain and simple. It not only tormented Angel with the ghosts of his past, but gave Buffy a seat front and center for the show, showing her in all its bloody detail Angel's past. Something, obviously, he never wanted her to see too up close and personal. Then, the FE hits Angel while he's down with the greatest gift/temptation of all...Buffy. To lose his body and soul in her. I mean how could he resist?!?! We all then know what the outcome would be if he did and voila!...the FE has his Angelus. Yet in this case, TPTB intervened (and Buffy to some degree), forcing the FE to slink back to its corner of the underworld.

Case two: Spike - All freshly ensouled, plagued with guilt, and making with the crazies thanks to the wonderful Hellmouth energy and he's is ripe for the manipulating to also bring back into the fold. And oh does the FE work its mojo here. We've got triggers, a basement full of bodies and no memory to show for any of it. But a few cracks appear in Spike's memory (or lack there of) and he turns to Buffy, in desparation for sure, for help. Once again, the FE has its puppy taken away from it (by Buffy once again, no less) and the root of all evil is one unhappy camper because it still has plans for good, old Spike. So the FE steals him back. But (dum, dum, dum)...not before Spike is given the thing he needs most now in this world - Buffy's belief in him - which in the end gives Spike the strength to resist the FE and stay on the side of good (or at least Buffy's side, which isn't the FE's). Ah, foiled again FE..and by the slayer a second time. (Add on the trigger being deactivated as well and Spike seems to be pretty well lost to the FE as an agent for its team.)

Finally, we have Buffy. As s'kat listed in her post (her, yes? If I have your gender wrong, I sincerely apologize. :) ) the FE has also been manipulating Buffy as well. Only Buffy doesn't have a horrible past as a vicious killer to taunt her with, so alternative methods of torment are required...the FE follows Spike's lead from "The Yoko Factor" and simply uses the people closest to her to do its dirty work. And so far, its proving to be a brillant plan. (Of course, we all know that's probably all about to change over the course of the last 3 episodes, but still...working like a charm for the moment.) So why does the FE need/want Buffy playing for its team? Power. She has it and the FE doesn't - well something specific at least that is probably preventing it from finishing its master plan. I think that's what the words on the wall were saying and why Caleb got so p.o.'d when he read them...in the end, it still all about the girl. So I'm guessing the FE figures it brings Buffy to her lowest to bring her to its team - no friends, no weapons, no hope...and what does she have left? Well, we all know the answer to that one, but I'm thinking the FE doesn't. The last 3 episodes are sure going to be a bumpy ride and I, for one, am excited to be strapping in!!

So that's my crazy theory anyway. Feel free to laugh at it, mock it or poke holes in it! lol But counter-points are also appreciated. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks...some ideas.. -- s'kat, 09:01:12 05/03/03 Sat

After re-watching Empty Places this morning, yes, I actually got myself to do that, ;-) I realized that two things may be going on here.

1. The FE's plan could have been to get Buffy to bring the girls back into the vineyard, this time without Xander or Spike. It could kill all the girls, leaving just Buffy at her lowest point and grab her then. Caleb after all states to the FE that he's planted something in her head, and even though she doesn't realize it yet, she will soon and bring the girls to them...The FE doesn't say anything.

Of course the plan doesn't quite work out b/c the SIT's and SG mutiny and throw Buffy out. And appoint Faith boss.
(Well, actually it was not as dramatic as that...it was more Faith suggesting Buffy take a siesta and think about this. Buffy declaring she has no time and they need to follow. Faith saying can you. Then Kennedy, Rona, Wood leaping onto Faith's words like a lifeline to get back at Buffy, who all three of them have a bone to pick with, and deciding they should elect Faith. And the SG more or less backing them up.)So, we the audience are lead to believe, ah, the SG foiled Caleb's plan. It didn't work. Buffy can't be used, because not everyone is following her, she doesn't have the power.

Or that could have been a mislead. And the FE's real plan which it hadn't clued Caleb in on was:

2. That Buffy would go to the SG/SIt's with this idea, they'd mutiny, and she'd be thrown out. So as a result, she'd be alone, depressed, self-hating, angry at everyone, and reactive - negative emotions that the FE feeds off of.
So ripe for the taking. Now, this is in keeping with what the FE has been doing all along. The above - that they'll follow Buffy into the vineyard again - makes no sense from the FE's stand point, because if it wanted the SIT's and everyone to keep following Buffy, why does it keep doing things to cause dissension in the ranks? Why does it keep pulling people's strings? Why go to the trouble to cause a rift between Buffy and her friends, a la Yoko Factor?

No, I think you're right Kate. I think the FE is playing both ends against the middle. Using Caleb's greed for power against Buffy's presumption she has it. Notice how the hellmouth is making people act wonky. Why would anyone in Summers house be immune to this? (The wonkiness reminds me the Jacket). Also notice what Wood tells Faith when she asks him where he lives? "The Center of town".
What is in the Center of town? The hellmouth. The school. Wood also is the one who suggests the vote in the Summer's house. "So we put it to a vote." and says "Faith's got the floor." He helps push things to the mutiney stage.
So either Wood is an agent/spy for the First, which we don't know about. OR he's just a poor deluded soul being used by it from time to time, due to his own issues. Faith does notice he has more going on than concern for Buffy.

The other thing the mutiney reminded me of was EVE in Showtime, who also attempts to cause dissension. Just as the Fe as Chloe attempts it in Get it Done. So it feels like the FE had a win-win scenerio going for it.

If Buffy succeeded in getting them to follow her into the vineyard again - and failed - then it would have Buffy at her weakest point and dead girls and dissension. IF Buffy gets thrown out by SG, it still has Buffy at her weakest point and dissension. It's goal is to have Buffy weak.
And it is succeeding.

The question I have is what is Buffy and the SG doing wrong here? Is it that they are trying to fight violence with violence? I really don't know at this point. Have no clue where they are going with this.

SK (oh am a female...so no worries)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My sense? They are fighting water with fire. -- WickedBuffy (I talked about it in a lone post earlier), 14:37:57 05/03/03 Sat

I posted what I thought they were doing wrong, with what they were using, in a post below this one called:

"What Caleb Wields. What Buffy Wields."

I don't think anyone read it, but it's my idea of what they are fighting each other with and why it's turning out the way it is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks...some ideas.. -- Rufus, 16:38:06 05/04/03 Sun

Spike and Andrew go to that place in Gilroy where Caleb has been and find it abandoned except for that priest who showes them a secret room with that inscription on the wall....."It is not for thee, but for her alone to wield"....something...a thing....but Gilroy is abandoned except for the surviving priest, the seal is abandoned except for Caleb coming to Buffy to try to piss her off. The only place that has been described as a hive of activity is the winery. Buffy is right....bad guys go where the power is, and the power is precious to them. So, why is the only place they are swarming around the winery? What do bee's do? They swarm around a central element...the queen.....in Buffy the bee's are swarming around the First, but the First goes where the power is. Caleb may have gone to Buffy in the school....but note...he went straight back the the winery after. I'd go the winery, cause Caleb isn't expecting them to, and if they have something that is so precious to them that everyone is there, I'd want to know what it is.

One more thing......whatever they have just may not be theirs, but the Slayers giving what Caleb said about having something of Buffy's make more sense.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thanks...some ideas.. -- s'kat, 17:00:48 05/04/03 Sun

So the only two places in SunnyD that aren't empty are A) the vineyard and b) the Summers House. Curious that Caleb hasn't blown up the Summer's House yet.

The FE used to hang out at the school. It's moved itself to the vineyard which looks like a hive. By the way is the vineyard any where close to where Wood buried Jonathan?
Doubt it. Where is it? Have they told us? (Beginning to wish I had a map of Sunnydale.)

One more thing......whatever they have just may not be theirs, but the Slayers giving what Caleb said about having something of Buffy's make more sense.

So Caleb actually does have something of Buffy's but it's something he can't use without her. Could it be the power that imbues the slayer? The hands? The spirt? The heart?
the mind? the soul?

Not sure. Hoping it will become clear soon.

Right now my current pet spec is that everyone will die and Buffy will have to bring them all back again, weilding whatever it is the FE has. Ah the fun of not being spoiled - I can come up with outrageous specs and think they are true for a few weeks. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Isaac Asimov's "The Aquisitive Chuckle"-- Spoilers for the story -- Arethusa, 17:49:33 05/04/03 Sun

A greedy and crooked man steals from a meeker man. The meek guy visits the crook's home and tells him he took something in return. The greedy aquisitive man is maddened because he can't figure out what it was, so he can't do anything about it. The meek man later tells others that what he took was the man's peace of mind.

(I think that's the title. This is a very rough description- I read the story ages ago. It was one of the Tales of the Black Widowers. Caleb could have taken something like Buffy's confidence, or the Potentials' respect.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Isaac Asimov's "The Aquisitive Chuckle"-- Spoilers for the story -- s'kat, 21:05:29 05/04/03 Sun

Caleb could have taken something like Buffy's confidence, or the Potentials' respect.

I think that might be it. I may be wrong on this, but my gut is that what they did in Empty Places is going to really really have bad consequences. I felt a very strong sense of unease. I think it was ironically enough a good move for Buffy but a very bad move for everyone else in the house. Something tells me that Caleb (or actually the FE who has been working the gang for months through Wood, Spike, Andrew, Eve, Jonathan, and anything/anyone else it can get its hooks into) took not only Buffy's confidence, but the trust and confidence everyone had in her. That move of blinding Xander was a stroke of genius, b/c Xander was holding them together - a bit of a parallel actually to Jasmine's taking of Cordelia in Ats - remove the heart or the heart's devotion to the leader and disaster. And by doing that - he accomplished something no other big bad has managed to do since maybe the First Slayer in Restless - split Buffy off from her friends, family, followers. This is bad for the SG.

My question is - how are the writers going to get themselves out of this corner? How are they going to resolve things between Buffy and the group? They only have 3 hours left. They did it rather quickly in Yoko Factor, Buffy blamed Spike. In Dead Man's Party - the zombies solved things. So...is it going to be solved by Buffy going solo and letting Faith lead the army? In which case...
maybe the writers plan on either:

1. Flipping Buffy and making her go against the gang
2. Killing everyone but Buffy and she has to find a way to bring them all back, disrupt time, would explain the time wonkiness.
3. Or have the two sides find a way of working together and solo at the same time?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I still think Buffy has to wield the Truth. Caleb says it's words that have the power...truth. -- WickedStubborn, 19:49:01 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm drawing a blank here (mild rant about Wood) -- Doug, 09:13:14 05/01/03 Thu

Has Wood done anything yet this season that didn't play into the hands of the First? I can't think of anything. I'm also drawing a blank at what he would still be around for. His revenge attempt was thwarted, he's fired Buffy, and he most certainly didn't go into battle with the rest of the crew. I'm just drawing a blank as to how he get's the key role in the meeting that he does, or why he's even in the meeting for that matter.

That's the logical problem I have with Wood; I'll save the personal problem for another time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My totally shallow reason that Wood is still here.....;) -- Rufus, 03:39:57 05/03/03 Sat

I think the actor is yummy and Mutant Enemy caved into my demand that they keep him as long as they could....who could not want to keep me happy?......;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmm, so Wood lives only until Rufus craves another. (getting a sense of the power hierarchy in here) -- WickedBuffy ::marking "Rufus" near top of Voy Flowchart::, 14:40:54 05/03/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Playing devil's advocate - defense of Wood -- s'kat, 12:40:17 05/01/03 Thu

Has Wood done anything yet this season that didn't play into the hands of the First? I can't think of anything. I'm also drawing a blank at what he would still be around for. His revenge attempt was thwarted, he's fired Buffy, and he most certainly didn't go into battle with the rest of the crew. I'm just drawing a blank as to how he get's the key role in the meeting that he does, or why he's even in the meeting for that matter.

That's the logical problem I have with Wood; I'll save the personal problem for another time.

Well said.

But...and here I'm about to do something that will probably shock a few people on the board, I'm going to defend Wood.

Wood is trusted by the SG for several reasons.

1. He gave Buffy a job as counselor at the School. He was kind to them. When Dawn dealt with him, he always seemed fair. Amanda certainly had no problems with him. He kept the school safe or as safe as he could. He gave Buffy the job apparently to help protect the school - that's the reason he gives, who can argue with that? I mean it echoes Xander's sentiments in Lessons.

2. He helped Buffy save Xander in First Date. He's the one who cuts Xander down from the wheel and is looking over Xander's wounds.

3. He brings Nikki's emergency kit and helps the SG figure out what's in it. He also helps them fight the monster that comes out in their house.

4. He backs up Buffy and Spike when they bring Andrew into the school to close the seal. Yeah he goes after Spike in Storyteller, but no one but us sees it. As far as the SG and Buffy know he backed her up. Helped.

5. He welcomes Giles into the school and even suggests he become the librarian. Granted that is soon dropped. But he and Giles share another connection. Giles is a watcher.
Robin was raised by one.

6. Wood as far as everyone knows has only done one thing - he teamed up with Giles to kill Spike. Because Spike killed his mother who was a slayer. Yes this is vengeance. But we have an ex-vengeance demon in the house, and reformed Witch who went all evil because of vengeance. Plus Mr. the Ends Justify the MEans guy Giles who can't deal with Buffy's relationship with Spike for numerous reasons. Then there's Dawn who has shown no signs of understanding why Buffy has forgiven Spike or of accepting Spike. As far as we know, the SG may have actually been behind Giles/Wood's decision.
We don't know. At any rate, I can't imagine them holding it against Wood. Not with Willow and Anya in the group.

Also Buffy forgave Wood for it. So they would. Nor would they be all that understanding of Buffy's ultimatium to Wood. You have to understand the SG has a double standard when it comes to vampires. They also all believe that Buffy is deluded when it comes to Spike. Just as they saw her as deluded when it came to Angel.

7. The fact Wood fires Buffy, can be looked at from two angles. The more positive one? That he was doing Buffy a favor. No one was showing up at school anyway. When Caleb greets her there, she is completely alone. Half of SunnyDale is leaving. There's no point. She should focus on other things. All of these are valid points. And she does in that episode, tell him she still needs him. He should still fight with them. He has given her no reason not to be included outside of the Spike thing and well, Giles was equally responsible for that from Buffy's pov. Possibly more so.

8. Wood has proven himself to be a decent fighter. He has been trained by a watcher. They need all the able bodied players they can get right now. Particularly with Xander out of commission and Wood is a better fighter than Xander was.

Metaphorically? Wood seems to represent all Buffy's old authority figures and father figures, that's why he's there.
And it's also the reason he and Buffy's foil/shadow Faith will probably hook up briefly.

While watching Faith Hope and Trick last night I decided Wood was a hybrid of Snyder and Trick. But hey that could just be me.

At any rate, as much as I despise Wood, and believe me no one despises this character more than I do, I can see why he was at the meeting and why he had a say in it. Buffy gave him that power - that's why. Remember it's not about right and wrong - it's about power. Who has it. Who doesn't.
But most important what you do with it.

Not sure that made sense.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Playing devil's advocate - defense of Wood -- Eryn, 14:31:25 05/02/03 Fri

Well said--Often I find I'm the only one who will defend Wood. I understand why so many viewers dislike him, though I enjoy his character. He tried to kill Spike, who now is arguably a very different guy than the one who killed Wood's mother. Still you can see where Wood is coming from, and it certainly can't help matters that Wood's introduction to Spike is, "Oh, Spike's a vamp, but he's a good vamp; oh look, now he's killing people again, but he's still a good vamp."

I think we haven't seen the whole deal with Wood yet (at least I hope not--otherwise, what a lot of time wasted on a minor character!). I also think the character of Wood brings everything full circle re: Sunnydale High, which never had much luck with principals, but now we have one who, at least on the surface, is aware of the evil in Sunnydale, is aware of the Slayer legacy, and can also kick a**.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wood smells like red herring. (small spoilers to Empty Places Promo) -- Whited Sepulcher, 18:30:20 05/02/03 Fri

Waste of time. Diversion. Already played out his part in the drama with Spike. Photographs well naked with Faith. Poser-character to appear mysterious, raise questions and keep the plot from being an "easy-read". The second shooter on the knoll. The crop circle of Sunnydale. A red herring in muddy waters. His part in the ending will be small and momentarily surprising. Then on to the real deal - what happens to the Scoobies. Biggest surprise about Wood? The lack of importance his part becomes in the larger scheme of things.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wood smells like red herring. (small spoilers to Empty Places Promo) -- s'kat, 19:29:23 05/02/03 Fri

Biggest surprise about Wood? The lack of importance his part becomes in the larger scheme of things.

I agree. I think he's a red herring or plot device for Faith, Spike, Buffy and Giles. He's been used to manipulate or show a certain thing about each character.

I do have my hopes that he will die in a nice twist on the arrow shooting scene in Graduation Day Part I. OR just be eaten by the hellmouth. But I'm not counting on it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wood smells like red herring. -- Whited Sepulcher, 20:25:52 05/02/03 Fri

Bought 43 used adding machines at Salvation Army.

Retrieved 16 crayoned, but functional, abacuses from behind the Montessori School.

Sacrificed the neighborhood virgin to a Mayan Priest for ancient stone calendar.

I'm really counting on Woods quietus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Playing devil's advocate - defense of Wood -- s'kat, 19:53:50 05/02/03 Fri

I understand why so many viewers dislike him, though I enjoy his character. He tried to kill Spike, who now is arguably a very different guy than the one who killed Wood's mother. Still you can see where Wood is coming from, and it certainly can't help matters that Wood's introduction to Spike is, "Oh, Spike's a vamp, but he's a good vamp; oh look, now he's killing people again, but he's still a good vamp."

Oh, I'm not sure you do. I wouldn't assume fans hate Wood because of Spike. Lots of people make the mistake of assuming that. I'd hate Wood if Spike didn't exist. I started despising the character in Bring on The Night, way before Spike entered into it. My dislike of Wood has everything to do with Buffy and much less to do with Spike. That does not mean however that I'm incapable of seeing his good points and can't defend him or objectively analyze him. The character confuses me, because I hate him so bloody much, but can't for the life of me decide if I'm supposed to. I keep trying to like him, but each episode just makes me dislike him even more. It's really tough when you hate a supporting character that the writers want you to like. Sort of puts you at cross-purposes with the story.
And it made LMPTM difficult, because I went into that episode despising Wood.

Why do I hate him? KdS actually nails my difficulty with this character on the head in his post on Storyteller above. Wood is incredibly patronising. Politely patronising, which is the worst kind. Because you can't quite decide if you're hearing it correctly. Give me a Snyder over a Wood any day. And full of himself. So full of himself that I'm beginning to wonder if maybe you're not supposed to really like him. He's line to Buffy at that meeting and at the school were examples of that ego. He's been patronizing the heroine and treating her like she's beneath him - keeping with the whole beneath you theme. He clearly underestimates her abilities, sees himself as superior to her. And has laughed at her. Doesn't think she can make good decisions and has manipulated her. Heck he shows off in First Date. Unlike Riley, he is unimpressed by what she's done or by who she is. But then unlike Riley, he was raised by a Watcher who saw slayers as weapons. The men controlled. He says as much to Giles in LMPTM - Don't you tell her what to do? Don't slayers always obey their watchers? Also the man has a series hard-on for his mother. No, Wood is a metaphor for authority figures who've always under-estimated Buffy. Remember in StoryTeller, Spike says Buffy always wins the day with admiration, Wood scoffs at the idea. Wood desperately needs to have every inch of his ass kicked by someone other than Spike.

He is not supposed to be a good person. You aren't supposed to root for him. That does not mean that the SG shouldn't trust him right now. Nor does it mean he's evil. And I do agree with White Spelcher - I think he is a red herring, another metaphor for Buffy's psychological dilemma.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Playing devil's advocate - defense of Wood -- Eryn, 15:53:24 05/03/03 Sat

I obviously jumped the gun in assuming dislike of Wood was about the whole Wood/Spike melodrama. I also agree that the man has obvious and glaring flaws, but my reaction to his condescension and superiority is a big "So what?" (That's aimed at the character's flaw, s'kat, and not your very excellent points regarding them.) The reason I love "Buffy" so much is that all the characters need a slap now and then. I still like Wood, and despite his quirks, I still root for him (glad he didn't dust Spike though). I feel there's still a lot of potential there.

Of course the people who argue he's nothing but a red herring are probably right, which makes me wonder why I'm still thinking about this . . . .?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Because red herrings leave a nasty odor in your mind for months?. -- WickedLysol, 17:53:10 05/03/03 Sat

I'll admit, I never cared much for Wood. Each fight scene left me a little disappointed he was still up and around.

It never had anything to do with what his character did with other characters in the show (revenge on Spike, patronizing Buffy) . But that his character just didn't seem to *fit* in the show. I'd rather have Giles old gf back , ummm - sorry mindblank - the computer teacher/gypsy or even give someone else more screen time ::koffanyafaithandrew::. When ever he interacted with Spike, I was wishing he'd hurry up and get done so Spike could go interact with someone else.

I like the actor, though. He can play a great villian or probably any other part - vampire - demon - misunderstood, intense good guy. But on another show. Wood just seems to me as if he was crammed into the plot too late - and the plot was already full enough.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Playing devil's advocate - defense of Wood -- s'kat, 08:09:14 05/04/03 Sun

Wicked Buffy's remarks actually are better.

But in response to you're big so what? If you ever end up working for a serial bully or abusive boss? You will understand it is NOT a big so what. Go to www.toxicboss.com
to see what I mean.

Condescension leading to overt manipulation such as we have seen this past year with Wood has become an increasingly horrible problem in the workplace.
Wood manipulates Buffy into a job, lies to her about why he hired her, manipulates her into doing what he wants, the General Von Buffy you are seeing? Partly a direct result of Wood's manipulation and in keeping with the symptoms shown of people who have suffered this type of victimization. Note what Wood tells Buffy after he fires her? Suggests she test the potentials in battle - not that she take them out and blow off steam. He decides to tell her partial truths in First Date - but he sets it up so he looks really good before he does so. He manipulates her into taking him to her house so he can see the vampire. He is a manipulative creep. I've known people like this in my life, believe me, you see one? RUN.

So many people dismiss this type of behavior as innocous or so what and as a result it is allowed to continue.

But you won't get until you are the victime of it. Something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy. Is this a little projection on my part? Well I thought so, until other posters on the board, posters I might add who dislike Spike, said some of the same things. When other people state similar arguments, then it's not just projection.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Giles and the First....spoilers -- Rufus, 18:00:25 05/01/03 Thu

You know I've been wondering about Giles....and the First. Does anyone remember the First approaching Giles in any way? Or Xander, Anya. The ones who have seem something out of the ordinary have been Buffy..some of the Potentials, Wood. Are we to assume that the First is working in subtle ways that don't include showing itself in the form of some dead person?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Who the FE has approached and Giles -- s'kat, 08:50:52 05/02/03 Fri

Regarding Giles

No, outside of Giles getting almost scalped by a Bringer?
Have no memory of him being approached or attacked in any way.

Also it's interesting that neither the First nor the bringers went after Giles directly. He only was put in danger because he was leaning over a Watcher who had been stabbed.

Once the metaphorical scalping takes place, Giles changes.
Seems off. He is shown distant. Not really touching things.
Note in BoTN - Buffy goes to embrace him when she sees him at the doorway and is prevented by the entrance of Annabelle, Molly and Kennedy. Her only time alone with him in the episode is when they hunt down the place she'd found the first in Amends. The now empty Christmas Tree Lot. And she falls into the pit. When she struggles to get out, Giles doesn't do anything. He doesn't move to help her. Embrace her or even check to see if she's alright.

Later in First Date...we don't get much affection between Giles and anyone. If anything he's scaring people with flash cards.

And he does not try to comfort Buffy when the ubervamp nearly kills her in BoTN. Nor do we see him comforting her when Chloe dies. He's not there. When the first has made it's appearences either to the group or to an individual Giles is not there.

Regarding the First's appearences.

Buffy has only seen it in the company of others, the SIT's. When it appeared to Spike? She never saw it. She's also only seen it when it appeared over Willow.

Same with Xander - he only saw it in connection with Willow in BoTN and he disrupted it. He also only saw it when it was infilterating the SIT's as Eve with Buffy.

Dawn has seen it and interacted with it three times now. Possibly either as Joyce or as the thing keeping Joyce from her (not sure on that one), as Eve, as Chloe, and as Jonathan in the room with Willow. (I'd love to see the FE as Buffy or Glory appear to Dawn right now, but hasn't happened.)

Willow has seen it - three times. Once alone in the library. Once in BoTN. Once when it appeared as Jonathan. And it gave them a clue there, if they were listening. "I only tell you what I want you to hear, I only show you what I want you to see. Nothing more or less."

The potentials have seen it at least three times - Eve, Chloe and Jonathan. Eve and Chloe worked best.

Anya to my knowledge has never seen it. Nor has Giles.
Which is odd, but possibly more due to logistics than deliberate?

Wood as far as we know has only seen it once. But - it's possible he's seen it more...we don't know. I think the First has it's hooks deep in Wood. But I don't know. He might also merely be serving as a metaphor for the ambiguity of human nature a la Snyder, Forrest, Walsh, Warren, Parker etc.

Andrew and Spike have seen the First the most. Neither knew it was the First when it appeared to them. They of everyone present are the most aware of the First's tricks and manipulations. Actually makes them, ironically enough, the most resistant at the moment to the First.

It's the ones who haven't seen it and are blissfully unaware of what it does that I'm worried about. Xander - right now is very vulnerable. And if he thinks losing an eye is bad? Just wait. Something tells me by the end of this, the eye will be the least of his concerns. So is Anya. Very vulnerable. Willow and Dawn are equally vulnerable, since neither character was forthcoming on what their ghosts told them and both still half believe it.
Faith - big time vulnerability. The First could come to her as the Mayor, her past murder victims, Angelus, Trick, Kakistos, her old Watcher...it's endless. And she's just taken the leadership role...If I were the First, I'd wait until she was at her most vulnerable then strike.

So we have quite a few possibilities here. Makes it really hard to predict what they will do next. Unless of course you're a spoiler trollop ;-) And I've managed to stay cold turkey on that one, so far. God it's hard. Particularly with all the death rumors and spec floating about.

[> [> [> [> [> agree, finn--besides... (spoilers for "dirty girls") -- anom, 18:00:15 05/01/03 Thu

...in Dirty Girls, Caleb made it very clear when he stabbed Shannon in the car that his message was for the "real" Slayer, not that other one (don't remember the exact words). And if that's Caleb's opinion, I think we can be pretty sure it's the First's as well.

"Granted, there were several hers in the house, but we do know that there was someone in the Summers house at that time that the First didn't want killed."

Yep, & Faith wasn't 1 of the "hers" at the time.

[> [> [> [> [> [> You thinking it might just be Dawn? -- Whited Sepulcher, 19:51:20 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> you mean the "her"? (spoilers through "empty places") -- anom, 22:27:13 05/04/03 Sun

Had to go back & read my own post again, & Finn's, to know what you were talking about! The FE could've meant Dawn, true, but if, as Finn was speculating, it wanted to keep the Slayer--the "real" one--alive for the time being, "her" could only have referred to Buffy, since Faith wasn't at the house yet. The fact that Caleb didn't kill Buffy at the school may support this. But there's no way to know yet (unless you're a Spoiler Trollop).

[> [> [> Yes, yes yes ... very good! (minor spoilers for Empty Places) -- Robert, 13:49:16 04/30/03 Wed

I can see the maniputation that the First Evil is applying to Buffy and the rest of the gang, but I can't see where it all leads. I think that both Wildbuffy and OnM are on to some important speculations though.

What I don't understand is why the board discussions have been directed toward the questions of "who is right?", "who is reckless?", "who betrayed whom?", "who is a bitch?", etc. In my mind, the core questions here should be centered on what the First Evil is doing to Buffy and the gang, what is its goal, and how the gang can recognize these manipulations.

This season thus far, Buffy and the scooby gang have been trapped by rules (or a paradigm) established by the First Evil. Buffy thought she was stepping out of these rules when she took the initiative by fighting and defeating the turok- han. But, how can they know that any action they take isn't yet another part of the First Evil's grand plan? How can they step out of these rules and truly take the initiative against the First Evil?

The loss of one turok-han now seems such a minor victory, when the First Evil has a whole shit-load more of them waiting to be hatched. As awsome and scary the prior "big bads" have been, I think the First Evil is shaping up to be the most terrifying yet.

[> [> [> [> Agree...some questions and theories (minor spoilers for Empty Places and Ats 4.21) -- shadowkat, 07:47:48 05/01/03 Thu

What I don't understand is why the board discussions have been directed toward the questions of "who is right?", "who is reckless?", "who betrayed whom?", "who is a bitch?", etc. In my mind, the core questions here should be centered on what the First Evil is doing to Buffy and the gang, what is its goal, and how the gang can recognize these manipulations.

Completely agree. I think the core question is NOT who is at fault within the gang - b/c the answer to that is rather obvious - they ALL are. They remind me a bit of the cast of Agathe Christie's Curtain, where an Iagoish villain succeeds in sewing dissent and alienation amongst people, even getting them to kill. We're never really certain of it's purpose, which is the reason it isn't easy to catch.
At any rate - we do know the First's purpose - to end everything. But we don't know exactly how or what it needs to do it. It's safe to assume that up until now it's been relying on assorted big bads to do it, but each time Buffy has thwarted these plans. Except it wasn't just Buffy alone, it was Buffy and the SG. And as Spike tells Adam in Yoko Factor - Buffy is impossible to beat when she has her friends with her - the key, Adam realizes is to separate her from her friends. But as we learn in Season 5 with the guide it's more than that.

I'm not sure the question is what does the FE want - to end everything. Nor really how it proposes to get it. Since that may also be fairly clear - through Buffy and the actions of others. But how and where does it get its strength? BoTN answers some of these questions.

It tells them all - you only make me stronger, when Willow attempts a spell to locate it and it appears to locate her.

It tells Spike - how can you ever expect to be good? You don't have the control here. (Indicating he's a part of it?)

And Buffy has two encounters: one with Mom and one with Wood.

Wood tells her that once you see the true face of evil it changes you, you never forget it. And he prefers mysteries to horror movies, the puzzle of getting to what lies underneath it all. Ironic thing about Wood's statement is how patronizing it is - considering of the two of them, Buffy not Wood has seen the true face of evil. Wood has seen merely a reflection.

Mom tells Buffy that evil has always been here. That it is in everyone. It is natural. Like the sun rising and setting. You can't eradicate it.

Then of course we have the computer searching - Buffy is hunting for evil on the internet - gets over 9 billion some hits. She decides to narrow it to manifestations of evil.

And when Willow hunts - she finds the First Bank of Sunnydale and herself.

After the uber-vamp almost kills Buffy. Two interesting things are said.

1. Giles - if Buffy is incapaciatated (and he assumes she is), we've already lost. She was our plan A, we don't have a plan B. In the beginning of the episode, he makes it plain that only Buffy can help them and lead them. Xander's response is "no pressure.."

2. Buffy - says it's time they became an army and sought out their fears and rooted them out and destroyed them.

If you've been watching Angel this year, you will have noticed some similar themes being relayed. Angel likewise thinks oh I can save the world. I can eradicate evil. When Jasmine comes down to earth and literally gives him that option - eradicating pain and violence...he doesn't like the price and learns the hard way that the gift of free will comes with a hefty price. Angel Investigations like the Scooby Gang has been manipulated lately by a powerful being. The question on the manipulation - is why could it?

Both groups have this view that to save the world they must eradicate evil. They both see the world in black and white.
They both think in terms of right and wrong. Going back to Lessons - what does the First tell Spike? It's not about good and evil or right and wrong, it's about power. And what's our greatest power? Angel the Series answers that question - our free will, our ability to choose.

This season thus far, Buffy and the scooby gang have been trapped by rules (or a paradigm) established by the First Evil. Buffy thought she was stepping out of these rules when she took the initiative by fighting and defeating the turok- han. But, how can they know that any action they take isn't yet another part of the First Evil's grand plan? How can they step out of these rules and truly take the initiative against the First Evil?

Exactly. They are playing by the old rules. The paradigram.
Set up by the the Shadowmen, The Council. In the Angel episode Inside Out - Gunn says something interesting to Fred about how if they are being manipulated, then it's time to flip the playing board. Start your own game. That when push comes to shove? No one knows the final score. You still have a choice.

Buffy and the SG are letting the FE dictate the rules to them. It sets up a big bad - they go fight the big bad. It opens up the seal, they go off to close the seal. It kills some of their team, they fight amongst themselves giving it greater power. They don't like one slayer? They choose another slayer to lead them. Instead of a Watcher or a Witch. Buffy's bottled up rage, humilation, fear, and love is eating her alive - we see it in the cracks in her house and the greek chorus of SIT's. She hasn't released her emotions in a while. Whenever she is on the brink of tears, she holds back b/c she's interrupted. She looks as if she's about to explode. But now some of the pressure is off her, it's been switched to Faith. She's lost the faith of the SIt's and everyone else, now Faith has it. I have a hunch Faith is going to inadvertently make the same mistakes as Buffy. Unless she stops playing by the rules. And since she like Buffy has somewhat bought into them...I doubt that will happen.

The question therefore is - how do you change the rules?
What are the SG and Buffy and Faith doing wrong?

1. Is it that they are fighting the bads the First sends to them in combat? Should they just stop fighting?
2. Is it that they are fighting amongst themselves?
3. Is it that they've put the mission above small things like respect, human comradship, kindness, friendship,
4. Is it that they've stopped listening to each other and instead are talking at each other, projecting their worst fears on each other?
5. How can they flip the board, if they don't even know they are on it? Or how to flip it?

I don't know. I've been wondering about this myself for quite a while now. How do you fight something that represents the evil in everything? Including yourself? How do you eradicate it, when it is also in you? Is that Buffy and everyone else's problem? Recognizing the evil in themselves? Buffy keeps saying she's the only one who hasn't done evil. Everyone's been evil here - but me. I haven't. But is that really true? Is that the problem?
Her denial? These aren't rhetorical questions really.
I'm just not sure.

At any rate, I agree with what you said above. It's not so much that the FE is manipulating Buffy and the SG, but how they can recognize the fact that it is. And the key to recognizing it may lie in self-awareness. The only characters, oddly enough, that appear in any way self-aware at the moment are Faith and Spike - which may explain why they are the ones that seem to be listening. They are the only ones who aren't denying they have been evil and have evil inside them. Everyone else seems to be working overtime either justifying their evil tendencies and making them good - like Giles and Wood, ignoring them like Willow and Anya, or denying it even exists in them like Buffy and the Sit's. Then of course you have Dawn and Andrew who just don't know. I think that may be how the FE is manipulating everyone - through their own denial. It was manipulating Spike through his denial of the evil act he did against his mother which influenced all his other evil acts. It was manipulating Andrew through his denial/justification of the evil acts he'd done before. It has been manipulating Wood through his vendetta. To fight the FE, perhaps what everyone needs to do is look for the evil in themselves, stare it in the face, admit it, and actively choose not to give in to it. Stop justifying it. And confess?

Just my ten cents towards an interesting thread.

[> [> [> [> [> couple of good points there...& 1 nitpick -- anom, 23:29:09 05/01/03 Thu

"...Buffy is impossible to beat when she has her friends with her - the key, Adam realizes is to separate her from her friends. But as we learn in Season 5 with the guide it's more than that."

Yes. The guide told her she'll only lose her humanity if she rejects the love that fills her. "Risk the pain." But that's exactly what Buffy is refusing to do. It's clearest (to me, anyway) in her visit to Xander in the hospital. One of her best friends, someone she loves, has been horribly wounded in a life-altering way. Yet she speaks to him in a clinical way, telling him what the doctor said about his condition rather than expressing her concern & sorrow for him. You can see she wants to, but she can't let herself. (Of course, we see later, when Xander & Willow are talking, that he's not ready to deal w/it either, but Buffy can't even banter w/him the way Willow does.) The same thing happens when Xander comes home & Buffy barely acknowledges his return. If Xander represents her heart, Buffy is seriously distanced from it.

"To fight the FE, perhaps what everyone needs to do is look for the evil in themselves, stare it in the face, admit it, and actively choose not to give in to it. Stop justifying it. And confess?"

I like this! And not just everyone on the show, but everyone in the world! Too bad we can't get everyone to do it, but that's kinda the point--we each have to do it for ourselves. And maybe the best way to get others to do it is to set the example (without being self-righteous about it, of course).

Now the nitpick: "Buffy keeps saying she's the only one who hasn't done evil. Everyone's been evil here - but me. I haven't. But is that really true?"

First, she doesn't keep saying it. She just says it once. Actually, not that she hasn't done evil--she knows she has. Wood says all of them have turned evil. She says no, not all of us. I haven't. But she doesn't say only she hasn't. (I don't think Xander has, or Giles- -being turned into a demon doesn't count!) But they've all done evil, except maybe Xander, depending how you look at it (he's done things w/evil consequences, but not w/intent). I don't think Buffy ever claims differently.

[> [> [> [> [> Only Buffy can wield the truth in way stronger than Caleb does. -- WickedBuffy, 19:55:18 05/04/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Or, they could just ask The FE what it wants directly. Haven't done that yet. -- WickedBuffy, 15:35:28 05/01/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Manipulation of Buffy (Spoilers for Empty Places) -- Ixchel, 16:39:47 04/30/03 Wed

I agree about the manipulation and it seems no matter how this episode could have unfolded, the FE still has Buffy and the others right where it wants them. If everyone had gone along (fearfully, no doubt) with her plan, they probably would have lost more people. Then they would have "turned" on her. As it happened, they rejected her plan and she perceived that as turning on her. Either way, Buffy is isolated from the others. Everyone is demoralized. And they aren't prepared to attempt any sort of effective resistance. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the FE had manipulated the situation so that almost _anything_ Buffy and the SG did would be to its advantage.


[> [> [> Re: Manipulation of Buffy (Spoilers for Empty Places) -- Sophist, 18:53:16 04/30/03 Wed

I'm not so sure. I think the FE lost. Caleb says to FE/Buffy words to the effect "All you have to do is show up and they'll follow you. And I'll kill them all."

Now, of course, they are not following Buffy. If the FE shows up as Buffy -- a good bet IM(unspoiled)O -- they probably will not follow her at all.

But don't you wonder: Why can't Caleb just march into Casa Summers and kill them right now?

[> [> [> [> Caleb's Marching Orders (Spoilers for Empty Places) -- WickedStrategist, 19:28:47 04/30/03 Wed

"Why can't Caleb just march into Casa Summers and kill them right now?"

Maybe the same reason that Faith and the SITs didn't just grab those huge police guns to use on Caleb or any other UberEvils.

Plot line?

Heh, kidding - (kinda) ... I still think Caleb is angry that he doesn't get to be the one who starts off the UberStampede, that "only she can wield the power", as chisled into the church's hidden room. (And as the priest/monk/whoeverthatguywas described, Caleb was P.O.ed about it.)

Perhaps, mirroring Dawns ex-job in the scheme of things, Buffy is "The Key" this time. The Key to opening the door for letting all the Uberdemons loose on earth. But first, she has to be manipulated more accurately, as do the rest, into the proper positions and attitudes to get it just right. (Pretend I typed "attitudes" in bold italics.)

The First Evil is a mind game player and Caleb seems to be its Physical Henchman. Using violence and actual physical pain, he's helping to move all the pieces on the board right where they have to be to unlock the Hellmouth.

The emptiest space of all (spoilers Empty Spaces, Joss interview about finale, not really spoilery) -- lunasea, 07:48:39 04/30/03 Wed

Buffy is still Joss' hero. Have her instincts EVER been wrong? When she logics herself out of them, like in "Prophecy Girl" or "Dirty Girls" she screws up, but if Buffy's instincts say something, they are ALWAYS right.

In a recent interview to the Chicago Sun-Times, Joss said "The mission statement of this show is that this girl [Buffy] has power. Nobody knows. Nobody sees it. They don't respect her. They don't get it. But she has enormous power, and [next month's final] episode is about that as well. This episode deals very specifically with how she decides to use that power and what she thinks of it and what it's really for, and that to me is very important."

The most crowded place in Sunnydale is the Summers house. In some respect it is also the most empty. This season Willow was a basket case, Giles was useless, Xander was living in the past, Spike was a sleeper, Anya never was very useful, Potentials kept showing up on Buffy's door expecting to be protected from what goes bump in the night. Through all of that, they cried "We don't know what to do. Buffy lead us. Buffy save us."

As Buffy was trying to save everyone, she was being devoured. The rest of the Scoobies had a chance to put themselves back together. Willow found herself. Giles seems to have miraculously recovered. Xander has discovered that he wasn't seeing things so clearly. Spike has been "cured" (maybe, not sure yet). Anya is contacting her demon friends. The Potentials now think they are an army. Why? Because Buffy supported Willow. Because Buffy took the presure off of Giles. Because Xander was hurt. Because Buffy believed in Spike enough that the First didn't get him. Because Buffy has everyone doing things, so Anya has to do something. Because Buffy made the Potentials into an army.

Now that people have gotten better, they dumped on Buffy big- time. Xander was a prick. Maybe he can't see her point because it is to the left. It is so easy for him to say that he got hurt because he trusted Buffy and supported her. Takes all the responsibility off of him. It is much harder for him to admit that he wasn't seeing things clearly and that supporting Buffy would have actually entailed getting her to trust her instincts. Buffy's friends have failed her.

NOBODY knows. NOBODY sees it. NOBODY respects her. (well at least nobody left on the show) The Slayer is alone.

"Don't...be afraid to lead them." Buffy's words as she is all alone, kicked out of her house by her own sister (legally the house would belong to her, not Dawn. Dawn is a minor) show how even though no one respects or understands her, she still loves them. She allowed herself to get devoured to protect them. The area around her heart has been eaten away. It is the emptiest place in Sunnydale.

As opposed to Buffy's heart, the fullest place. Nothing can take that away from her. It just hurts like hell.

[> Thoughtful comments, as usual, but one slight area of disagreement (*** Spoilers B7.19 ***) -- OnM, 09:04:21 04/30/03 Wed

*** NOBODY knows. NOBODY sees it. NOBODY respects her. (well at least nobody left on the show) The Slayer is alone. ***

I believe that this assessment is mistaken, but don't feel bad-- I think that ME wants to leave this impression at this point, as a diversionary tactic. There are three people who do see her, and respect her, and I believe even know her, and the clues are all around if you know where to look.

* The first person is Spike, who I think is the most obvious one-- and note that he was missing from the room when the 'betrayal' occurred.

* The second person is Faith. No, I'm very serious. I intend to get into this in more detail in my review later on, but the short form is to understand that Faith truly has changed. Faith understands herself now, and as a result of that she now has the ability to understand Buffy. She understands Buffy's motivations, but at the same time she also understands that Buffy is 'not herself' at the moment. Thus, incredibly enough if we recall the 'old, evil' Faith, she is genuinely trying to help Buffy make the right decision.

* The third person is Dawn. Again, I'll have more detail on this later, but the main clue is in the hairstyle. When does it change, and why? Buffy demands that her wishes be obeyed, until Dawn steps forward and does what Faith cannot do, even though she is right. Buffy is crushed, but she accepts Dawn's decision, and leaves.

The very next scene, with Buffy and Faith on the porch, reveals the truth of this supposition, at least to me. The dynamic between these two women is clear, and it's a very different one than it was before.

Take it and amble.


[> [> Re: Thoughtful comments, as usual, but one slight area of disagreement (*** Spoilers B7.19 ***) -- lunasea, 09:48:33 04/30/03 Wed


Does Spike really see Buffy? He strikes me more as a worshiper who wants to know God, but cannot fully see Her. Spike unconditionally supports her, but if he or anyone really knew her, they wouldn't have let things go this far.

I think if Spike does go over to Angel he could be a very interesting addition. Angel is redemption through works. Spike is more about redemption through faith. It is the Luther-Calvin debate. I don't think that Spike really understands what motivates Buffy, so he can't really understand her.

Faith is another one that doesn't understand Buffy's motivations. She understands that works are required, but she does those through will alone, not charity/love.

No one understands the incredible pain Buffy feels. They don't know what motivates her. A lot of people complain that Buffy doesn't talk things out. She does communicate loud enough that the audience can pick up on things visually. Why don't the Scoobies? Should someone have to come to us when they are in pain or should their friends pick up on this and reach out to them?

Is Buffy "not herself" at the moment? Who is Buffy then? Can we ever be "not ourselves?" Buffy is experiencing a tremendous amount of pain and just trying to hold herself together so that she can save lives. She is trying to lead, what everyone says they want her to do. People aren't seeing the Buffy that is in pain. Instead they see the Buffy that is being a pain.

I look forward to your review later. I always look forward to your review.

[> [> [> Re: Thoughtful comments, as usual, but one slight area of disagreement (*** Spoilers B7.19 ***) -- Michael, 10:32:05 04/30/03 Wed

One thing before I get into the meat of the message.
I have said this before and I'll say it again: I miss the fun of the show. Spike and Andrew's onion discussion was a perfect example of what we have been missing. What was it Spike said earlier in the second season: "Let's have a little more fun and a little less ritual around here."
Even though this is probably the darkest season yet, and with good reason, I think a bit of humor would help us endure the night.

Okay, I feel better.

Why is the Slayer being isolated? What's with Caleb and the priest thing? Why is no one listening to her? Why is Buffy being such a jerk about everything?
Buffy is moving toward her apotheosis. She has been rejected by her followers whom she has fed and protected and taught and now she is going out into the night by herself to consider her possibilities. She is moving toward her Gethsemane where she will "pray" to discover what her future is. And she may not like what will happen to her, but she will go through it.
Then, she has to face her Golgotha, her Calvary, where she will once again have to give her life up for those who have rejected her. She will learn that to truly have the power, she has to give it up.
This may be why Caleb appears in a collar. He represents the established church, as the Pharisees were in the time of Jesus. He wants her dead because he thinks it will solve everything, even though he knows that "the power is not yours, but hers."
That's the only way I can see this going. It's the end of the hero cycle where the hero goes into the abyss and discovers the item that brings life. It is the ultimate transformation.
Make it so, Joss. Make it so.

[> [> [> [> A few unspoiled predictions based on B7.19 -- lunasea, 11:44:37 04/30/03 Wed

Right now Buffy can't bear to watch those that she loves die, which she is convinced is going to happen. She is taking drastic steps to try and prevent this which are devouring her. When they won't do what she thinks is the only way to save them, she tries to assert her authority, authority they made her take.

In Gethsemane Jesus didn't pray for mankind. He prayed for the cup to be taken from him. I don't think we are seeing Buffy afraid of what she has to do. Buffy is willing to do whatever she can. At this point, she doesn't think she can save the world. I think ME should have built up her hopelessness better. Her hopelessness is rooted in her lack of faith. Can't have faith looking forward without faith.

(it is similar to what happened S6. Her self-hatred was rooted in not having anything to sing about. She hated herself because she saw the world differently. The world couldn't be wrong, so she had to be. They didn't really show how this related, so her self-loathing didn't make sense unless you have been through something similar yourself)

Jesus NEVER lost faith, for even a second. Buffy needs to find her faith. She doesn't need an army. She is the army. People have compared this to "The Yoko Factor." It is actually a reverse of it. In the Yoko Factor, she thought she could do it alone and the solution was in the cojoining spell. This time, she is the solution, but she keeps trying to rely on others.

SHE is the reason the First is here. She ALONE can weild it. What is "it"? Probably something in the vineyard, something that Caleb was right in saying belonged to her. It wouldn't surprise me if the vineyard used to be owned by monks. That would be a good place for Buffy to start, research the history and ownership of the vineyard.

The question is how will she get that faith back so that she can probably save the people who hurt her most. Typically it happens one of two ways. Angel (or new-improved Riley or Xander) talks to her and shows her herself through their eyes. Something happens where she has to take action and doesn't have time for doubt. Probably both will occur.

Buffy won't die this time. Joss loves to subvert things. His hero will go on. What Buffy will learn is what Joss says in my original post. No death required.

Just a note, the Pharisees weren't the Church. The Sadducees were. The name comes from Zadok the High Priest under David. Jesus was a Pharisee, just a different school. What is shown in the Bible is a legal squabble.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A few unspoiled predictions based on B7.19 -- MaeveRigan, 12:03:39 04/30/03 Wed

lunasea notes, most astutely:

Her hopelessness is rooted in her lack of faith. Can't have faith looking forward without faith.

Buffy needs to find her faith.

In the words of various other characters at various other times, "I'm standing right here!" Buffy's Faith is right beside her, literally AND metaphorically, but Buffy is so wrapped up in herself that she can't see or hear her.

Faith has always been the flip-side of Buffy. Her name used to be ironic. Now she really is Faith-ful, and without losing any of her cool. As you say, Joss loves to subvert things!

By handing the reins over to Faith, Buffy reveals that she has caught a glimpse of this, perhaps. All (all!) she has to do now is connect with it herself.

Because although she will be alone, also, "it's all connected."

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A few unspoiled predictions based on B7.19 -- Dochawk, 12:55:36 04/30/03 Wed

I agree with the way you think things will move on, I wish it was Giles that will help with the self discovery, because more than anyone his showing faith in Buffy would help Buffy the most, but it obviously will be Spike. Because Spike is the only one left, including Buffy herself (well actually besides Andrew) who has faith in her and can talk to her (I agree with OnM - I think Faith definitely recognizes this and even has begun to feel the love that Buffy has to offer - tough love though it may be).

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A few unspoiled predictions based on B7.19 -- lunasea, 13:31:43 04/30/03 Wed

I don't think it will be Spike. I think she will retreat to Spike and receive some TLC there. This won't be enough. She needs to hear this from someone who is her equal, someone she respects his opinion, a fellow champion. Only one creature fits those requirements in the Buffyverse and it isn't Spike.

I would love Faith to be involved. Buffy saved Angel and Angel saved Faith. Wouldn't it be great to complete the circle by having Faith save Buffy? I see something happening to say Xander and Dawn and Faith being the one to tell Buffy. Then they can have a quick pep-talk before kicking butt. Next the above mentioned creature can sweep in and finish helping Buffy get her head on straight. After this, Buffy beats the First and life goes on until the next Apocalypse.

Still unspoiled, but that seems to me the logical way to go.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Very plausable spec but I really hope not -- Julie, 13:19:47 05/01/03 Thu

I sooooooo can see it ending in this way, but if it does I will be majorly disappointed. Angel hasn't been fighting by her side for the last four years. Why can't it be her friends who inspire her, they've had her back for the last seven years? This relationship has always perplexed me. I've been waiting in vain for Buffy to move past it, like the rest of us do(as part of growing up and moving on from our first love experience and learning to trust ourselves enough to love again, a little older and wiser.) Bringing Angel in at this point to be Buffy's touchstone will cheapen the end for me. At least if its Faith, its kinda like Buffy coming to terms finally with the darker side of herself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Very plausable spec but I really hope not -- Dariel, 14:47:45 05/01/03 Thu

I wouldn't worry--I don't believe that ME will follow this route. It goes against everything they've been building towards with Buffy's development. Angel can play a role, perhaps giving Buffy some choice advice about being a leader. However, in the end, I believe that Buffy will draw strength from all of the people that care about her.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: A few unspoiled predictions based on B7.19 -- dms, 20:41:58 04/30/03 Wed

[quote] Spike is more about about redemption through faith [/quote]

[quote] Jesus NEVER lost faith, for even a second. Buffy needs to find her faith. [/quote]

Are you arguing, lunasea, that Buffy has lost faith and just needs to find it before she can re-emerge as the Christ figure of BtVS? Because, IMO, SPIKE has become this figure in Season 7. I think Joss has been pretty clear so far (some might say rather ham-handed) with his Spike-as-Jesus parallels; there was an interesting post on the board a few days ago pointing out all the allusions, including one to Gethsemane. Buffy has not been the messianic figure on the show since The Gift; I think that part of her journey is over. I'm not really sure where ME is taking her right now, but I think it has to do with living in the world and (hopefully) discovering something about herself, rather than trying to save it single-handedly as General von Buffy. Buffy has spent years thinking about the world; perhaps it's time she thought about herself. Spike, OTOH, has spent years thinking locally; and for the first time in decades he's thinking beyond himself and what his love-interest desires. I'm not arguing that Buffy isn't still on a hero's journey, but I'd say that saving the world on her own isn't something she needs to do AGAIN (and I know it's questionable whether she's ever done it on her own).

As you point out, Spike's faith has not wavered (and while you argue that his faith is only in Buffy, I would argue that he has just as much invested in "the mission" succeeding as he does in helping/supporting Buffy). I think ME has been showing that Spike, who dealt with what had been devouring him (i.e., his fear) in Lies, is now in a unique position to help Buffy with her mission/war/campaign against the FE. More than anyone else, IMO, he believes that taking care of this latest apocalypse is what is important, and that his negative feelings (anger, jealousy, resentment, sadness) need to be set aside for the time being. He seems pretty centered, focused and calm, amazingly so considering this is Spike we're talking about.

And, I also think that he and Buffy have been set up by ME as equals (I think that was one of the points of LMPTM). Buffy trusts Spike to guard her back and vice versa. Whether she should fully trust him or he should fully trust her is debatable; I think Spike gives her far too much credit and Buffy is simply using him. However, character and shipping preferences aside, I think the point ME is trying to make is that the two are partners, standing together. And because of that I think it will be Spike who talks to her and shows her how others see her (and that, despite her superiority/inferiority complex, she is worthy of love). Whether she'll reciprocate is (IMO) up in the air.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A few unspoiled predictions based on B7.19 -- lunasea, 04:59:51 05/01/03 Thu

Are you arguing, lunasea, that Buffy has lost faith and just needs to find it before she can re-emerge as the Christ figure of BtVS?

Pretty much. I will elaborate on faith later today. It is something I have been working on for over a week and is really long.

Faith and Caleb represent the two levels of faith within Buffy. With Season 3 Faith, we see faith in oneself and what that led to, both with and without love. Seasons 1-3 was a more mundane arc. Then we get season 4, which is a transition to seasons 5-7 (much like this season's AtS is a transition to the new paradigm). Season 5-7 isn't just faith in oneself, but faith in oneself as the divine. Buffy as Slayer is a bit more than human.

Buffy and perhaps Angel are more Jesus than people reason. What Jesus did was take the promises that God made to Israel through Abraham of territory and ordered them to a Kingdom that would come. Buffy is currently taking the role of Slayer as physical savior of the world and ordering it to something else.

General von Buffy wasn't saving the world single-handedly. That is her problem. She has lost faith in her ability to fight, because she can't physically fight the First. Instead, she has created an army out of innocents. What she needs to realize is this isn't a physical battle and it is one she can win. Then new-improved Buffy will discover what her power is and what it is for.

I'm really not going to talk much about Spike. Any time I try to put this character in perspective, I get accused of bashing. I am only interested in him as he relates to Buffy. He gets little screen time, so what people see tends to be what they fill in with themselves. The discussions get too personal and out of hand.

[> [> [> well, that's why... -- anom, 11:12:36 05/01/03 Thu

"Spike unconditionally supports her, but if he or anyone really knew her, they wouldn't have let things go this far."

...the plot required getting him out of the house--he had to be absent when that scene took place.

[> [> Agree about Faith, but not Dawn -- Malandanza, 10:43:19 04/30/03 Wed

I agree with you about Faith being on Buffy's side, and sort of agree about Spike. Yes, Spike's on her side, but his loyalty lacks any sort of judgment. As Lunasea says, he's with Bufy no matter what -- it's the loyalty of Glory's minions to Glory, not loyalty built on years of trust and friendship. The kind of loyalty Xander professed pre-raid.

" The third person is Dawn. Again, I'll have more detail on this later, but the main clue is in the hairstyle. When does it change, and why? Buffy demands that her wishes be obeyed, until Dawn steps forward and does what Faith cannot do, even though she is right. Buffy is crushed, but she accepts Dawn's decision, and leaves."

I thought was an "et tu, Brute?" moment for Buffy -- she gave up when she realized the person who she loved most (and, in fact, had given her life to save) had joined the mutiny.

As for Xander blaming Buffy entirely for the raid, I think other people share the blame, but so much as Xander. The Potentials were in a state of mutiny before the raid; Xander
managed to shift their opinions with a little rousing propaganda which, in retrospect, is clear he didn't really believe. I'm reminded of this Aesop's fable:

The Trumpeter Taken Prisoner

A Trumpeter, bravely leading on the soldiers, was captured by the enemy. He cried out to his captors, "Pray spare me, and do not take my life without cause or without inquiry. I have not slain a single man of your troop. I have no arms, and carry nothing but this one brass trumpet." "That is the very reason for which you should be put to death," they said; "for, while you do not fight yourself, your trumpet stirs all the others to battle."

[> [> Buffy is not alone. -- kisstara, 11:19:18 04/30/03 Wed

Buffy is respected, her plan is not. The Scoobies are refusing to agree with the plan. I agree that Dawn and Faith know Buffy best and are not betraying her but filling in for her. Buffy is unable to lead right now.

Spike and Andrew would do any thing B asked--for different reasons. The Potentials are just scared, immature and going against the establishment. They'll be against any leader in this situation.

But the Scoobies are a team and Buffy is once again forgetting that they succeed when they combine their human and supernatural strengths. Yes, she supports them, but why help strengthen your ally and just ignore their strength.

Buffy will return with a better view of the FE and the gang, and she will realize that her heart is not empty, just overwhelmed.

[> [> Re: Thoughtful comments, as usual, but one slight area of disagreement (*** Spoilers B7.19 ***) -- Rufus, 19:44:16 04/30/03 Wed

We all do know I put the wrong word in my post and it's Empty Places not Empty Spaces...;)

Going back to the Yoko Factor I have to bring up the fact that everyone involved in the conflict in Empty Places is a little bit right and a little bit wrong. I don't think that the Scoobies and the Potentials hate Buffy or never appreciated her, I'm saying that tensions develop that can be divisive, even with the heroes of a story. Fear, anger, and frustration are the enemy, not the characters themselves. In The Yoko Factor everyone ended up alone....I stress alone....but in Primevil they managed to put their differences aside, forgive each other (put aside their resentments) and join to fight the evil that threatened them all.

If you give into your fears and resentments you can no longer use the power of reason to move forward. That doesn't mean that the condition is permanent but like everything subject to time, something that may pass, allowing everyone to move forward.

[> Brutal, lunasea...and I disagree with virtually every point (spoilers for Dirty Girls) -- Random, 09:35:39 04/30/03 Wed

The only point I agree with is that Buffy will almost- certainly turn out to be right...and that annoys me no end. She doesn't deserve the high moral ground, at least not as of this episode. But she is the heroine of the show, so it seems inevitable that she will come out ahead and above the rest of the pack.

Buffy offers little in the way of actual support nowadays...she claims to be a general, but has forgotten what it means to lead the Scoobies. The army metaphor is flawed here, and no-one seems to be pointing that out.
In an army, to lead at the highest levels means simply to give orders and have them carried out. It's that simple. You may get advice from associates and subordinates, but in the end, you must give the commands and they must be obeyed without question, without thought. I don't question this...but Buffy has never -- instincts or no -- triumphed through this technique. Why is this situation different? We have little evidence that an army is even a good idea...fighting the Mayor and his flunkies, or fighting Adam both seem like more appropriate instances.

The effective dynamic of the Scoobies lies in their interdependence. Vast acres of pixels have been devoted to this topic. And that's just talking about TYF, Primeval and FFL. Buffy has found that, in forging the Scoobies and the SiTs into an "army", she has lost the very thing that has given her a fighting chance against all manner of apocali (apocalypses?)over the last 7 years...the support and consent of those around her. She lacks Giles' wisdom and experience. She lacks Willow's witchy mojo. Hell, she even lacks some of Faith's and Spike's panache and flair. Buffy is a warrior, a leader...but she can't win single-handedly, and certainly hasn't shown that she has the ability, much less the talent, to make every correct decision, see every outcome, control every offensive. She is fallible and, quite frankly, not as smart as, say, Giles or Willow. For the most part, the Scoobies have been a democracy...they work with her, not for her. We can go through the seasons individually if you want and tick off the barest highlights:

1) Xander revives her from death -- without being ordered to follow her down to the Master's lair;
2) Giles, Kendra, Spike, Willow, and Xander all play their parts, whether through research, or through bringing a blessed sword, or through double-crossing Angelus and Drusilla...plus, the Xandman came through with the coolest weapon ever on the series in "Innocence";
3) Buffy raises the basic idea of war...and requires everyone to help her make it possible;
4) Well, Primeval is pretty self-explanatory...and even Spike played his part by saving the spell-entranced Scoobies;
5) They all pitch in to help Buffy...and Anya has one of her finest moments when she offers her little "helpful suggestions." In the penultimate episode, it is Buffy who succumbs to despair and catatonia, and Willow leads her out again;
6) Did Buffy accomplish anything particularly helpful except allow the remaining geeks to escape? And would even that have happened if Anya hadn't been there chanting her heart out and risking death?

Don't get me wrong. Buffy is, and always has been, my favorite character. And if one were arguing whether she has paid dearly and made more sacrifices than anyone else in saving the world, I would be leading the parade in her honour...but ultimately, she has discovered that leadership means listening to those around you. She laid down the law, and is shocked to discover that the people likely to die under this law feel certain doubts about the wisdom. A leader must always remember that her choices affect a lot of people. When one SiT goes running off into the darkness and gets killed by the ubervamp, she depressed the others, but she was the only one who died. When Buffy leads the SiTs into a certain trap -- allowing no-one to argue the point -- two SiTs die, Xander loses his eye, and Buffy has learned a lesson...or so one would think. A good leader must never forget that putting your own life and happiness on the line doesn't automatically justify your choices, as if virtue always leads to wisdom. Yes, she must make the hard choices. But to ignore the will and advice of those closest to her is to make the choices half-blind. The metaphor that Xander raises is not an idle one. She fails as a leader if she leads in this manner. She is the Law...but the Law without good Judgment is, at best, ineffectual, and at worst, corrupt.

So Buffy offers the only choice and expected everyone to just fall in line. She brooked no disagreement. She only grudgingly agreed to talk strategy when it became clear that her plan wasn't being met with universal approval...strategy, mind you, not the basic premise of the plan. Had she thought for half-a-second, it might have occured to her that Caleb certainly didn't seem to mind them coming over for a housewarming party the week before. He practically egged her on, in fact. When she walks into the same damned trap three times -- WSWB, The Becoming, and DG - - it is incumbent upon true friends to offer a critique. Anya had it right when talking about her vengeance demons: after the first few times, you start to think that maybe the scorned party is doing something wrong too.

And she offers the final insult, a imprecation far deadlier and more invidious than any offered to her: she questions the Scoobies' loyalty to her. Does she truly think the rest are less-dedicated to her? That they are less-willing to offer themselves to the fire to save the world? Yes, Rona and some of the SiT's feel doubts...but they have been tossed into the cage match without preparation. And, in the end, it is the Scoobies that truly matter in this situations. They have been to the wall for her, have sacrificed for her. Just because they haven't sacrificed as much as her doesn't make their sacrifice meaningless. Xander's monocular vision isn't as bad as dying, but it is still a great sacrifice...and he put his life on the line in making it. The fact that he didn't die at Caleb's hands makes him lucky, not lacking in dedication. She feels betrayed by Giles, so she shunts him away, rejecting what he has to offer...and just a couple episodes earlier, she tells Wood she doesn't have time for his vendettas. If she rejects what Giles has to offer, she falls into hypocrisy. The mission apparently matters less than the fact she feels betrayed. So they question her, and she takes it as a challenge to her as a person rather than to her choices, her leadership. Following blindly is not loyalty or friendship, it's mindlessness. In the end, Buffy herself -- the girl who doesn't like ultimatums -- offers the final ultimatum: do as I say, without question, or we can't work together. And they called her bluff. Not because they are disloyal, but because they are loyal, because they do care. They have stuck with her through thick and thin. They offer a challenge to her plan when they feel it is foolish and dangerous, and this is disloyalty? Trying to avert a friend from a path that you percieve as utterly destructive is betrayal? If they wanted to betray Buffy, the Scoobies could have piled into Clem's car and headed out of town. But they cannot abandon Buffy. They still haven't. She placed them in an untenable situation -- either she leads or she leaves. So they gave her a time-out. In the end, it may have been the only truly wise decision made.

I've been criticizing Buffy, I know, because that's the point of this post. I would like to note, however, that the rest are also at fault...though not to the same degree as Buffy. One of my cheerworthy moments came when Dawn knocked Rona off her pegs, cause I still feel Buffy is a hero, and deserves to be treated with some respect.

[> [> And, of course, spoilers for Empty Spaces in above post...sigh -- Random, 09:39:18 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> Have to agree, Random -- Spike Lover, 10:25:08 04/30/03 Wed

Beautifully put.

But is Joss throwing us another 'thunderdome' moment, where we think one thing is happening, and really, it is a preordained plan to mislead the bad guys, the SiTs, and the audience?

Is Buffy really isolated or is she just pretending to be isolated?

[> [> Re: Also disagreeing with lunasea (spoilers thru Empty Space & Sacrifice) -- MaeveRigan, 10:43:39 04/30/03 Wed

Normally I'm all-about-Buffy, and in fact, I still am--as is Random above, so yay us! But I think Random's read is spot on regarding "Empty Spaces."

At the same time, I really admire lunasea's "three virtues" approach to season 7, and I think it probably will work out in the end. Just not quite yet; or not exactly here. Buffy is not acting out of love/caritas yet; she's still learning that virtue, or how to act it out, even though it remains the Slayer's greatest gift.

Faith is more charitable in "Empty Spaces" than Buffy: she knows the Potentials' names (we all know how important that is after A4.20 "Sacrifice"), she knows what Buffy's feeling and doesn't want to take her place.

Buffy's theory about the vineyard will probably turn out to be right, but that's not the point right now. She's forgotten everything she ever knew about love and connection, and she "needs to rest" (said dream-Joyce-- Mother knows best). Dawn's rejection looked like a betrayal, but perhaps she is one Summers woman who has finally "grown up"?

Or else she's been stewing over what glowy!Joyce said in "Conversations with Dead People" and decided to not choose Buffy before Buffy could "not choose" her? Couldn't resist tossing that into the mix, but I think that one's yet to come.

[> [> [> Re: Also disagreeing with lunasea (spoilers thru Empty Space & Sacrifice) -- lunasea, 13:06:38 04/30/03 Wed

Thanks. If you like the stuff about the three theological virtues, you should like the next installment (one question, what is the longest post every done).

In "Get It Done," when Buffy has her dream, she tries to comfort Chloe and uses her name. She does know it. She isn't sure that is her name though. Buffy has a lot on her mind. She wants to be able to be there for the girls, but she can't be. That is what is eating her up inside.

I don't think Faith does know where Buffy is coming from. Faith doesn't want the responsibility of being leader and responsible for the lives of everyone. Buffy is going through much more than this. Buffy can't even bear watching them die. It isn't just about the responsibility. It is the pain of Jesus who cried on the cross "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

In "Sacrifice" Fred gives a great speech about the importance of feelings. She makes the mistake of thinking that anyone is capable of shutting them off, though. Both Angel and Buffy feel everything. They just try not to show it. This eats them up inside. I don't think that Faith understands the feelings that Buffy is having because she does't act from the same place yet. I don't think Faith understands why love is pain yet.

It is easy to say that after "Orpheus" Faith now understands everything. She has gotten to hope, but she still isn't working from love/charity yet. It is completely will.

Buffy has been put in extraordinary circumstances. She hasn't forgotten about love. She doesn't understand its power to being with. She never would have let Angel leave if she did. Her love is brighter than the fire. It causes her tremendous pain, pain I don't think any other character (besides Angel) understands like she does. She needs to turn that pain to strength.

She'll do it. It is her final lesson.

[> [> Re: Brutal, lunasea...and I disagree with virtually every point (spoilers for Dirty Girls) -- lunasea, 12:34:53 04/30/03 Wed

The only point I agree with is that Buffy will almost- certainly turn out to be right...and that annoys me no end.

She'll be right and wrong. She'll be right in that there is something in the vineyard. She'll be wrong in including the Potentials in obtaining this thing. This is the reverse of the Yoko Factor. She needs to be acting alone, but instead since she lacks faith in herself, she is trying to turn innocents into an army.

Her speech in "Bring on the Night" said that it would choke on her, but then she proceeded to create her army, showing that she didn't think she could handle things. Rona is right. The Potentials are innocents who came there for protection, not to fight. Anya thought they had super strength because they are Potentials. They don't. They are just little girls.

This is different than arming the student body in "Graduation Day." Those were some massive odds that were being led by Army Xander and Angel. Buffy had her job and she did it. She had faith that she could do it. She was special forces. She isn't doing that this time. That is her mistake. She needs to either disband the army or give them to Faith and she needs to be Special Forces.

Buffy offers little in the way of actual support nowadays...she claims to be a general, but has forgotten what it means to lead the Scoobies.

Until recently, the Scoobies forgot what it was like to be a Scoobie. It has only been recently that they have even been assets that Buffy could rely on. They pretty much abandoned her in their fear (and not necessarily of the First) and inadequacy. She kept giving bad speeches because she felt she needed to.

Buffy has more assets than she has ever had before. That leads me to think that she won't need any of them.

She is fallible and, quite frankly, not as smart as, say, Giles or Willow.

It was Buffy who came up with the solution in Graduation Day. I wouldn't call her dumb. She is a creative thinker. There is a difference between book learning and smart. She took control in both Graduation Day and The Gift. She issued orders and people followed. She just strategized better.

This time we weren't talking about Buffy going in blind because she was tired of not acting. She figured something out. Her instincts spoke up. This is not the same thing as "Dirty Girls." The Scoobies can't see that.

This time she is not only dealing with the Scoobies, but a bunch of scared sheep. It is their insolence she can't tolerate. She cannot have the Scoobies disagreeing with her in front of them. She has never had to actually deal with this many people. It is probably a bit overwhelming and requires a different style than she is using.

[> [> [> Didn't say she was stupid...I love our little Slayer and thinks she has righteous brainiac moments -- Random, 08:07:51 05/01/03 Thu

I just say that Willow and Giles are, IMHO, a little smarter in general. Not just in booklarnin', but in logical skills and ability to have insights outside of flashes of intuition. But our Buffy is a smart girl, and, as I said, probably right about the vineyard. Her failure to comprehend the flaws that were readily apparent to everyone else demonstrates that she does have her intellectual shortcomings.

[> Re: The emptiest space of all (spoilers Empty Spaces, Joss interview about finale) -- maddog, 13:08:56 04/30/03 Wed

No they're not. :)

Buffy makes mistakes all the time. It's just a matter that between she and her friends they find ways to fix things. Buffy's far from perfect.

One thing I say in all posts when people use words like always and never....those words are dangerous. They're extremes that are impossible to prove. The fact of the matter is the SIT's don't respect her. They don't have the background the others do in the fact that she ends up fixing things and getting it right...that's why they don't respect her as much. But I assure you the others do. For the Scoobies this isn't about respect...it's about common sense. And common sense says you don't rush back to a battle you just got your ass kicked in.

By the way, I like the quote from Joss. It'll be exciting to see the clarity Buffy has as she makes this big decision.

[> [> Re: The emptiest space of all (spoilers Empty Spaces, Joss interview about finale) -- lunasea, 13:48:44 04/30/03 Wed

I didn't say that Buffy didn't make mistakes. I said that her instincts have never been wrong. It was one thing that I couldn't decide about "Doublemeat Palace," should there have been a demon in it proving that Buffy was right. In "Living Conditions" she says her roommate is a demon and no one will believe her. Buffy is wrong when she goes against her instincts, like in "Dirty Girls." When Buffy is wrong, the show shows why she is. It hasn't been her instincts, yet.

Common sense also said there wasn't a demon at the Doublemeat Palace. Buffy was the one that was right. Common sense says you don't let your vampire boyfriend feed on you right before the ascension. If she hadn't done that, she wouldn't have had the vision that gave her the key to defeating the Mayor. Common sense says that you kill said boyfriend when you think he has fed off your mother or he comes back from hell as a monster. Common sense says you kill Dawn when Glory is after her. Common sense says you let Willow die rather than arrange a trade in "Choices." Common sense says Spike is dust seasons ago.

Common sense tends to be wrong and listening to that over Buffy's instincts is disrespecting them and therefore Buffy.

I liked the quote from Joss, too. It really put the show into focus. I have to endure one more episode from my least favorite writer and then I will get to see the Buffy I want to.

[> [> [> Would this be the writer of 7.20 you're talking about? -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:04:39 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Yes -- lunasea, 15:12:03 04/30/03 Wed

She started this Spuffy crap with Out of My Mind. It is fitting she should have to end it. I can't wait to see what Espenson and Petrie come up with for 21. Talk about a story of empowerment. These two understand it first hand. I wish Marti could have written it, but I am glad that she got her own series.

Besides, I have a feeling Joss will write certain parts. Marti is the only other writer that seems to be able to write certain things.

[> [> [> [> [> Lunasea, I hope to hell that's not a FUTURE SPOILER IN ABOVE POST -- Anneth, 19:10:08 04/30/03 Wed

PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, if you know something is going to happen, mark it as a spoiler. If you think or hope something will happen, make sure it's clear that you're speculating. PLEASE!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Nah. More like wishful thinking. -- lunasea, 19:27:05 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> *sigh* Okay, thanks. I was all grouchy for a while there. :) -- Anneth, 19:48:29 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: *sigh* Okay, thanks. I was all grouchy for a while there. :) -- Anneth, 19:53:52 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Offer Anneth some chocolate-chip and nutella cookies <wink> -- Random, 08:12:15 05/01/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: matrix shift(spoilers) -- DEN, 15:08:00 04/30/03 Wed

One problem with s7 involves the shift in matrix from the "secret agent" to the "war story" genre. For years the Scoobs sat in the library or the Magic box and planned limited-scale clandestine operations on a strong consensual (e g "democratic")basis. But to make the "war story," with its expanded structure, even begin to work Buffy has had to shift from being Jane Bond to being "General Buffy." Willow is now chief of staff. There are so many characters, with the SiTs, that a de facto "command structure" becomes necessary. The images and the rhetoric are military. For example, Buffy's final admonition to Faith in "Empty Spaces" is a direct copy of Henry Fonda's advice to John Wayne in "Fort Apache:" "When you command this regiment...COMMAND it!" The scene at the Bronze replicated dozens of episodes where a battered fighter squadron lets off steam before taking off on their next hopeless mission.

Nothing is necessarily WRONG with any of this. But the ME writers seem to have no feel and little sympathy for the dynamics and requirements of the "war story" genre. Recent political developments probably complicate the issue as well- - I can't imagine the show's staff wishes to do anything that might be construed as sympathizing with the war in Iraq.

The result, IMO, is a set of scenes that are neither convincing nor compelling, and a distortion of the central characters even greater than in s6.

[> no, the emptiest space of all is gonna be buffy's time slot after the season ends! >sniff< -- anom, 11:23:26 05/01/03 Thu

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