April 2003 posts

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May 2003

Dirty Girls and Empty Spaces as allegory for US in Iraq -- nitemagi, 10:04:14 04/30/03 Wed

(First time poster)
So as I watched Empty Spaces with my roommate, who has fresh eyes, never seeing a single buffy ep before, he pointed out that this whole scenario of Buffy leading them all into danger without preparation and thought, leading to many getting hurt, may be an Allegory for the US involvement in Iraq. The only difference, of course, being that here Buffy got ousted after all of her bad choices, whereas Bush remains in power.

[> Was Joss making a statement of some kind... (this post contains a quote from Empty Spaces) -- WickedBuffy (not postin' in war threads anymore), 10:45:34 04/30/03 Wed

I'm sitting her going thru mail and the posts and last nights show is on .... and I catch these words coming out of Buffy's mouth. (During the heated confrontation's scene in the living room.)

"Democracies don't win battles!!"

I have no idea about allegories and Bush and the war or anything - but it seemed a pretty weird thing to say in general, anyway.

::sobbing uncontrollably that the Profile I submitted and slaved over for hours was blasted into internet hellvoid::

[> Not really -- CaptainPugwash, 10:50:49 04/30/03 Wed

There was never any possibility of the US losing the recent war in Iraq. The big unknown was how much resistance they would encounter; this unknown would determine the length of the war and the number of casualties.

Thankfully, the Iraqi regime collapsed like a house of cards and casualties were not as high as some feared (but still awful); winning the peace will not be so easy.

A better analogy would be the US' continuation the Vietnam conflict despite suffering apalling yearly losses; what Buffy was proposing was suicidal, but I don't understand why she had to be publicly deposed...

[> Re: Dirty Girls and Empty Spaces as allegory for US in Iraq -- DEN, 11:15:45 04/30/03 Wed

The difference is that the US overran Iraq while Buffy walked into a disaster. "WELL BEGUN IS HALF DONE."

[> [> I can't believe you guys keep making it a question of winning or losing... -- Rochefort, 12:10:46 04/30/03 Wed

Obviously your roommate is right and this is partly an allegory and commentary on the UN and Iraq. I mean "We have something" vague, and "they're sitting on some" power are too freaking weird to be ANYTHING but Iraq's supposed weapons of mass destruction that have now amazingly been put on a pick up truck and driven to Syria. Also, you can not TELL me, and don't even try, that Anya's speech to Buffy about the luck she had at birth NOT meaning she was more capable than anyone else to make decisions was not a reference to being born a friggin Bush and thinking that gives you the right to decide right or wrong, life and death. The entire question of whether or not a democracy could work in a time of war was the question NOT whether or not Iraq could win a war with us, Jesus nobody ever thought that. How does Buffy differ from the current global situation? In this: Buffy is a hell of a better leader. In order to keep democracy and unity she stepped down instead of using her power to rule as a dictator just because she could. "It's important that we're together" was obviously a reference to the UN and the US's opinion that we don't need to respect the world. I am reminded of Ani Difranco's statement that nobody in this country understands metaphor.

[> [> [> psst, don't forget - sometimes there's more than one metaphor going on -- Wicked? just confused/USA is a democracy or monarchy?, 12:40:12 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Democratic Republic! -- Slayrunt, 23:14:36 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> Re: I can't believe you guys keep making it a question of winning or losing... -- DEN, 12:48:33 04/30/03 Wed

I beg to differ with Ms.Difranco. We understand metaphor well enough--if it's well executed! Ihaven't lost so much respect for ME that I "credit" them with offering that kind of unsophisticated, ham-handed imagery AND expecting anyone to take it seriously."If you want to send a message, call Western Union" remains good advice even in an email age.

Besides, as I understood most of the initial criticism, the issues at stake in the military operation involved probable comparative levels of casualties and destruction, rather than any question of ultimate US capacity to reduce Iraq to radioactive rubble. Similarly, the central issue of "Operation Winery" seemed to be the list of Scooby dead and wounded relative to no gains whatever. Even Willow's near- suicidal commando strike at Glory in s5 showed the mad goddess could be hurt!

Those things said, I meant my comment primarily as a joke, though I can see its edge may have been sharper than I first understood.No offense meant, Rochefort--I've enjoyed your comments and insights far too long to pick a fight over something neither of us are responsible for. But you owe me a beer when Iraq elects Bush king!

Quest for Power - Ramblings about last night's Btvs -- Spike Lover, 10:04:40 04/30/03 Wed

Sorry folks, these observations about last night's Buffy are not sympathetic to her. I don't care that she feels lonely or betrayed. Read on if you dare.

Kudos to everyone who picked up that bad leadership was going to be a major theme this year.

Buffy says something to the idea that Caleb is at the vineyard for a reason, and that must be where his power is. Let's go and take it from him.

Hmmm... "It's about power." (ep 1 of Season 7)

Power that she could have had from the predawn shamans, but refused it.

The power to lead, the power to make the final decisions, the power to delegate.

The question is not whether Faith can lead but whether Buffy can follow. This may be a really good question. Can she not be #1. Can she not be the one it is all about.

"For 7 years, I have saved the world."

Let's face it, Buff. You did not save the world last year. Xander & Giles (with coven magic) did. If it had been left up to you, the world would not be here now. Last year, you did not even come close.

In Season 5, you ultimately did not save the world from Glory/Ben. (Giles did that.)

This year, you did not save the frat boys. Willow and Xan did that also. You were going to kill Anya, but that would not have brought the bad boys back to life.

You did not save Wood from Spike. Spike did that.

Face it, Buff, you are losing your touch. Maybe you are not as powerful as you think you are.

In fact, you have had some close calls this year. The jacket episode, you nearly killed p. Woods. (Spike saved him.) Remember, it was her own idea to kill him- just out of the blue. And your sister nearly killed herself because of it. And your 'go in and kick ass' plan at the vineyard did get X hurt and kill 2 potentials. It was forgiveable (maybe) because you did not know what you were up against, but give me a break, going back in there with no new information? That was group suicide.

For the first time, I really thought Buffy was an idiot. It reminded me of Season 2 when Angelus called Buffy out to fight, and when she showed up, he had Giles kidnapped and Willow got hurt. What did he tell her? "I knew you would come. YOu always think it is all about you."

What I don't understand is why are Willow's powers getting weaker? She could barely hold the mind thing on the cop.

Why isn't Giles saying more- hitting the books as we have seen Wesley & Fred and the Angel crew do countless times?

I also can't understand why they are not really researching why the Potentials are being targeted. It is like the main Watcher guy said. 'She knows nothing.' It is like they are afraid to ask the hard questions.

Speculation only: We know the line goes through Faith. What is the FE's plan? Kill the potentials, then Faith, then Buffy? Or Kill the potentials, kill Buffy, and then Faith and wipe out the line? (HOwever, we know that the power does not travel backward.)

I keep going back to Faith, the true slayer, who claims she is not "leader chic". On Angel, we had this big dream walk episode in which we decided that the point was not 'Angel' but Faith wanting to give in. It makes me think that this year, it has to be Faith, and faith alone, that will save the world.

If this is true, Buffy MUST relinquish her power, either thru death or will alone, to the true slayer. Has the fact that there is more than one slayer deluted the slayer's power (perhaps imperceptibly?)

Or perhaps they should activate all the potentials in order to get an army together? Or perhaps they should send Faith back to the shamans to get the power needed. (Perhaps a scary thought.) Or do they need the original slayer back to fight the original evil?

Or perhaps, Buffy will wake up and it was all a dream...

[> Re: Quest for Power? This is About Fear. -- Rina, 10:22:59 04/30/03 Wed

This wasn't about Buffy's ego. This was about the Scoobies' fear, after their encounter with Caleb. You know the old saying from STAR WARS about how fear leads to the dark side. This is exactly what happened.

Buffy has made it clear from the moment the Potentials first showed up that they were in a war. I don't think that anyone was listening. They were the ones who turned to her. They were the ones who followed her - especially the Scoobies, who have been doing this since the show's beginning. They have suffered setbacks before - including Buffy's first two encounters with Glory. But due to the defeat they had suffered at the hands of Caleb, the Scoobies and the Potentials lost their nerve and got rid of her.

[> [> Re: Quest for Power? This is About Fear. -- kisstara, 10:42:31 04/30/03 Wed

Its not the fear of the situation its the respect for the situation that the Scoobie Gang is speaking from. The Potentials are afraid because to them the experience of success is somewhat unknown. The Scoobies plus Faith, Spike, and maybe even Wood know from experience that to defeat the FE is possible, but they all need to contribute to the fight. Buffy cannot always be the leader as Willow has pointed out before, Slayer does not equal Leader.
Buffy has used bad judgement before, and has even been unable to lead on occassion. She needs to "Fall in Line" and let the Scoobies work as a team.

[> [> [> ...and just WHEN did everything change from a democracy to a monarchy? (spoilers EP) -- WickedBuffy ::I agree with ya, kisstara::, 11:31:22 04/30/03 Wed

I don't understand quite where or what year this happened, Sure, the Scoobies were a very casual democracy, more like a council with Buffy as headspokesperson.

What event changed it? Or was it slower, gradual over a longer time. Did Buffy misinterpet their need for her to focus more on deathly things than on her romance problems? Did she hear "Be our Queen" instead of "Come back to the table with us so we can figure this out"? Does she secretly have Watcher Council blood in her and it reared it's ugly DNA head to roar "I get to boss YOU around!"

... and then Buffy shouted, "Democracies don't win batttles!" as the group wrestled the tiara from her head:

[> [> [> [> LOL! Wicked Buffy! -- Spike Lover, 11:50:47 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: ...and just WHEN did everything change from a democracy to a monarchy? (spoilers EP) -- Rina, 11:54:22 04/30/03 Wed

This is war. In a war, there is a general, the lieutenants and the foot soldiers.

With an army, there is no such thing as a democracy. If there was, there would be chaos.

[> [> [> [> [> Hail Hail Buffy as Queen & Bush as King then, I guess. -- WickedBuffy ::looking around confusedly::, 12:08:12 04/30/03 Wed

Quit making me post about this stuff!!! I have a weaknes for cajoling!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hail Hail Buffy as Queen & Bush as King then, I guess. -- Katrina, 13:15:43 04/30/03 Wed

Maybe my problem with the whole "not a democracy" thing is that I'm not seeing why this end of the world is so much different from every other end of the world that's already been quashed. Or maybe it's because I'm way more inclined to fall in with "the Free Will Gang." I think bringing up the Watchers' Council makes an interesting point. Hasn't Buffy spent all these years chafing under and then openly rejecting the same kind of logic she's using this season? Didn't the Watchers' Council have a deal about how they were all at war with the forces of evil, and that's why they had the top-down, we're in charge, what we say goes and no questions asked thing that Buffy just couldn't abide? Didn't they treat the Slayers as expendable foot soldiers? Maybe Buffy shouldn't have been so mad at Giles about her 18th birthday and a little nicer to Wesley...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hail Hail Buffy as Queen & Bush as King then, I guess. -- Yorick2000, 14:46:04 04/30/03 Wed

Greetings all. I just joined this board out of need to air what I think is a valid take on the current Buffy season. I am very unlikely the first here to make the following observation. Most of the board messages/commentary that I have read is very ground-level character-specific discussion. Nothing wrong with that at all. We all know Joss is very gifted at creating characters that you care about and that seem "real" compared to most other TV shows, despite the fantasy setting. He is also gifted at layering his scripts with substance beyond the interpersonal. It is there that I go in this message.

After watching last night's episode, I believe that Joss is definitely playing out this drama to drive a very real- world agenda. I suggest that this entire season can be seen as a metaphor for the current events that America finds itself in. Bizarrely, Buffy represents Bush as the leader of the Good who, in response to being confronted and hurt/defeated by a "new kind of evil" (9/11= eye-opening beating from Ubervamp), has responded with a change in psychology, moving from being down-to-earth and human oriented to being focussed on everything in a mythic, Armageddon "sacrifices must be made for the greater good" mindset. I think Caleb represents terrorism, which rules by fear and violence and which cannot be defeated by normal Buffy-style butt-whupping. The First COULD (though it is maybe a little more of a stretch than others) be seen as Osama Bin Laden, masterminding the downfall of the Scooby Gang/America without doing any work Itself, instead relying on the misguided leader (Buffy/Bush). Spike=Tony Blair=only "crucial" ally of Buffy's/Bush's, "in bed together", goes off and does some things that Buffy/Bush wouldn't really approve of, but that are indulged because of preferred ally status. I have been increasing disturbed by how different Buffy has been since getting beaten by the Ubervamp. She just doesn't seem like Buffy. The rematch fight with the UV for the benefit of impressing the Potentials is parallel to our attack of Afghanistan (as a display of power showing America that we are indeed still tough-as-nails and capable of beating evil in a standup fight.) The fact that it merely showed us the extent of the "evil" out there and its elusiveness is another common trait of both plot lines (current events/Buffy).

This last episode seems to have changed everything as far as how things will wrap up.

In one episode, this show has gone from being a march to Apocalypse to a Scooby revolution with Buffy being DE-NIED by all of her allies, as she tried to rally them for the misguided "Final Attack" (which the First and Caleb seem to be desiring). I think that the rebellion this episode is Joss's subliminal call to the masses in America to fight back against the self-declared, self-important, "in-charge", Chosen One, who can't bother to think twice before kicking Evil's butt.

Redemption has always been a centerpiece of Joss's Buffy stories. Many former foes are now allies and forces for Good as a result of Buffy's redemption influences. It is a beautiful thing that Joss now concludes his series by redeeming the Redeemer. I think we are in for a much more hopeful optimistic ending than what we were going towards last week.

(End conspiracy theory.)

No doubt others have made similar observations. If anyone here knows of a paper or article (or best would be an interview with Joss covering this territory) please let me know. Thanks.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hail Hail Buffy as Queen & Bush as King then, I guess. -- Yorick2000, 14:54:48 04/30/03 Wed

Looking over the board, it seems I am definitely not adding much to existing discussions. I just posted this on a couple other boards and they thought I was seeing more than what is there. Glad to see I'm not the only one "imagining things".

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> We're ALL imagining things, Yorick! You're in great company. :> -- WickedBuffy, 19:00:33 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Other roles? -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 19:31:15 04/30/03 Wed

Does that mean that Faith is Dick Cheney, but with a better wardrobe and cardiovascular system?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! and much better hair, too! -- WickedBuffy, 20:13:07 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Re: ...and just WHEN did everything change from a democracy to a monarchy? (spoilers EP) -- Shiraz, 13:18:03 04/30/03 Wed

But generals don't fight. You can't command from the front lines.

The thug with the biggest gun may have the power, but if things are being run right they don't have authority. That resides in someone who sees the whole picture, not just whats on the other end of the pointy stick.

Why do you think the military doesn't give officers heavy weapons? It's because if they aren't supposed to fight! Their job is to make sure everyone else is fighting properly.


"The midwife's name was Granny Weatherwax. She was a witch. That was quite acceptable in the Ramtops, and no one had a bad word to say about witches. At least, not if he wanted to wake up in the morning the same shape as he went to bed."

-Terry Pratchett "Equal Rites" (on the fringe benefits of Wicca)

[> Re: Quest for Power - Ramblings about last night's Btvs -- maddog, 12:01:33 04/30/03 Wed

First off, Buffy DID save the world in Season 5. If Giles doesn't kill Ben/Glory off then she's got a few hundred years before she can do that again...rendering anything she does practically useless. Buffy's the one that sacrficed herself to save the world...She could have let Dawn die. Maybe a true general would have....sacrifice one to save many. But Buffy lets her emotions get involved and does the only thing she knows will work otherwise.

I'm not so sure Willow's powers are weaker as much as the mind control thing is probably new to her(have we seen her use it before?). Something she's still mastering.

The books aren't been helpful because it's the First...it predates books...it predates most stories that are passed down from generation to generation...we found that out early on in the season.

How much of this season have you been watching? I don't mean that to sound cruel but some of your questions, like the one I previously answered, have already been answered in the show. They clearly stated earlier this season that the First was going after the slayer line...first the SIT's, then Faith, and finally Buffy. No more slayer means demon bonanza and hell on earth as we know it.

Make no mistake, this show isn't called Buffy the Vampire Slayer for nothing...as much as Faith should be helpful, when it comes down to who's the most important in the final battle, Buffy will be there...in the mix somewhere.

[> [> Willow's mind control -- Mystery, 12:15:49 04/30/03 Wed

She used it to make Anya set her free in "Grave"

[> [> [> Re: Willow's mind control -- maddog, 12:47:50 04/30/03 Wed

Right...I did forget about that. I guess I considered them different because one was manipulating someone who knows they're doing something against their will(Anya) and manipulating someone to think what you think(the policeman).

[> [> [> Re: Willow's mind control -- WickedWhyHaveIBeenSittingHereAllDayPosting?, 12:56:24 04/30/03 Wed

Willow seems to need to have her emotions running pretty high to get much power going. It's almost as if her magic is powered by the energy of her mood.

[> [> [> [> Magick is 80% emotion, 15% focus, 2.5% luck and 2.5% actual knowledge -- Briar Rose (one ME finally got right on the Craft *LOL), 15:58:18 04/30/03 Wed

[> Re: Quest for Power - Ramblings about last night's Btvs -- Morgan Ross Brooks, 21:05:33 04/30/03 Wed

Has it acured to anyone else that their should be 3 slayers now.When giles and anya were talking to the giant eyeball it told them that buffy returning is what is allowing the first to surface. We know that nature will keep all things in balance.If when buffy died a new slayer was activated without the councils knoledge(after all they didn't find buffy untill after she was active) Then the good would be much more powerfull than evil. theirfore I think mayby nature had to let the first loose to even the field

[> [> Re: Quest for Power - Ramblings about last night's Btvs -- Spike Lover, 08:23:49 05/01/03 Thu

Actually, I have an answer for that. The THEORY is that the slayer line has already passed Buffy. She died and Kendra came forward. Kendra died and Faith came forward. Buffy died again, and nothing happened, because the line (power) goes through Faith. Again, this would make Faith the key player, not Buffy. (It suggests that if Faith dies, another girl will be activated.)

But, who knows? Maybe something different will happen.

Question about Xander in "Dirty Girls" -- JRedGiant, 13:56:04 04/30/03 Wed

Why does Caleb refer to Xander as "the one who sees everything"? Did he see some part of the First's plan?

[> I should think... (spoilers up to Dirty Girls) -- Forsaken, 14:27:12 04/30/03 Wed

Xander has referred to himself as the "one who sees everything" as well. It was how he comforted Dawn when it turned out she was not a potential slayer. He told her that he watched everything, had been watching everything for seven years. Sure, he gets to help sometimes, but often enough all he can do is watch and remember. I think Caleb's subsequent attempt to blind him was a mockery of mercy: by taking away his sight, Caleb would have made sure Xander never had to helplessly watch anything ever again.

[> [> I liked how you put that! (Specs'n'Spoilers Dirty Girls) -- WickedBuffy, 19:44:57 04/30/03 Wed

I think it helps Caleb and FEs strategy, also, to weaken the person who was best at seeing The Big Picture.

Most everyone is pretty narrowly focused on their part or what they think their part should be. Willow/magic, SITs fighting, Faith/playing nice with others, Wood/revenge, Buffy/kicking ass/ etc.

In addition to the irony of poking out the eye of the guy who sees everything, it might also be a protective move on FEs part because perhaps only someone who CAN see the big picture would be able to see where the FE's weaknesses are. Or, at the very least, be able to see the Big Picture in such Gigantor-Vision that it shows what the FE is going to do and how the FE is getting it done.

IMHO: It was the goriest thing I've ever felt/seen on Buffy. Much worse than the Willow bellyskin snacking. But it could have been much worse - remember when they would always refer to Xander as "the heart" of the group?

He wouldn't have survived what Caleb would have done with THAT one.

[> [> [> But don't limit the ugly (Specs'n'Spoilers Dirty Girls) -- pr10n, 20:01:06 04/30/03 Wed

In a way, Caleb got a twofer -- real eyeball, metaphorical heart.

D'Hoffryn said that Xander "sees with the eyes of love" and Caleb plucked out half of that ability. In DG we have Willow the Will of the UberBuff, and Xander the Heart of the UberBuff, both stepping back from what Buffy asks; and Giles the Mind is arguing full steam against Buffy, who has always been "the plan." Of course, there was that debilitating head injury that (didn't) happen to Giles.

Xander isn't courageous, Willow loses her control, and Giles is in opposition to his own beliefs -- I'd say DG did some Scooby damage all right.

They've lost their umph, and left Buffy to wander, her Slayer Hands folded helplessly against her chest.

[> [> [> [> That's what codependancy does to a Slayer. -- WickedBuffy, 20:19:14 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> Why pocking Xander's eye -- Etrangere, 20:30:43 04/30/03 Wed

Haven't you watched Minority Report ?
In the realm of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.

In Restless, which foreshadowed Xander's multiple roles as sacrifice, there were one point (just after he talks to an apple-biting Giles with a tree in the background) where he was taken by a group of people (who later lead him to Giles) and the picture is put up-side-down, as if Xander was in a Hanged Man position.

So, we've got that in S6 with the whole carpenter deal.

Because Tree of Life and Christian Cross and Yggdrasil, it's an the same deal, it's Axis of the World.

So it makes sense with Xander's previous roles as sacrifice that he would give up an eye - to see.

Sorry if this was already mentionned, haven't been following closely the board lately, so i don't know if the Odin reference has been spotted already.

Spike and Angel (Re-posted from Trollop Board, long, but no spoilers) -- dub (but not my post!) ;o), 15:00:01 04/30/03 Wed

The following post was made by a regular poster on the ConverseBuffyverse Spoiler Board, and I was so impressed with it I asked the author for permission to re-print it here. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did. Thank you Lee!
;o) dub

From: "J. L. Hillhouse"
Date: Wed Apr 30, 2003 12:47 pm

Before I explore why I love Spike, I'm going to address some of the
assertions people make, about those who love Spike.

It offends me when people assert that women are inclined to overlook
a rapist, psychopathic killer's wily ways because we think he's a
hottie. I realize there are the occasional idiots, who fall in love
with the Ted Bundy type...offer to marry him in prison, fantasize
about dying in his hands, while having hot, lusty sex..

To imply that the vast majority of women, who love Spike, do so with
a willingness to abandon all morality is kind of insulting. I think
most of us don't see a Ted Bundy, in Spike.

Plus, Lesbian Much! How does the, "women are masochists who want to
love the bad boy" interpretation, fit in with that? Women who are
not masochists and even women who are not, straight, often love the
bad boy, because the bad boy comes with an interesting attitude AND
story. Forget Billy Idol, Spike is James Dean with Fangs.

Most of the women, I've met on the Internet, are moral, good, big-
hearted, etc. We don't love serial killers. We don't take the
victimization of women lightly. Spike isn't a serial killer. He's a
vampire. This isn't Earth, as we know it. It's a little more
complicated, than just comparing vampires to The Son of Sam. "We're
having a talk with vampires in it." I don't think it's Spike's and
Angel's killing sprees, most of us are attracted to. We're attracted
to the struggle. Angel and Spike are unique. They are doing
something unique. ...and it doesn't hurt that they're hotties.

Also, I've heard people accuse Spike fans of disloyalty to the other
characters. They claim we are the most rabid of fans. That simply
isn't true. Check out the Ducks or the Kittens. The Ducks are hard-
core B/A 'shippers and the Kittens are so devoted to Willow and Tara
they have an actual agenda to destroy the show, if Joss doesn't bring
Tara back...alive. With three episodes left...I have a strong
feeling they're shit out of luck.

I know a woman who swears Tara was an evil hussy, who intentionally
stole Willow from Oz....planned and schemed and used the magics...

There are always those who turn "fan" back to "fanatic".

There are many of us who love all the characters. In fact, my
ultimate loyalty, is to Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles, Angel and
Cordelia. They were in "Welcome to the Hellmouth".

...but I love all of the characters. You rarely find me insulting
any of them. I've been goaded into it, a couple of times, by those
who bring up anything Spike did pre-soul, as proof Angel is a better
man. They forgive Angel, Angelus' behavior, though they would get
furious, if I brought up Angelus murdering Jenny, when talking about
Angel. Yet they will bring up Spike's pre-soul AR, as a reason to
not like Spike, with a soul.

As pre-souled Vampires, Angelus and Spike committed unspeakable
horrors. If it doesn't count against a souled Angel, in people's
hearts, why the hell should it count against a souled Spike?

Plus, the biggest Miracle we've seen, on either show, is the unsouled
Spike, seeking a soul. ...and going through torture to get it. An
unprecedented event, regardless of "why". There is nothing "Untrue",
in "Love" being his motivation. "Love" is not an impure motive.
There is also nothing wrong in his pre-soul hope, that if he got a
soul, Buffy would love him. Needing and wanting a few positive pats
on the head and a little reinforcement, for one's good deeds, just
means someone is "human". A few positive strokes keep us
alive...that pat on the head or small kindness...it's what keeps
people going.

Go to lists for donors to any charity. See how many anonymous donors
there are? Almost none. People need and crave recognition and
attention. Without it, we become "Invisible Girl".

He sought a soul because of his great love for Buffy..
Philosophically, Psychologically, Spiritually, "Love" is usually
thought of as one of the Higher Valued Motivators. A noble quest.
If "Love" can change the world, there is nothing "less" or base about
it, when it changes a man's heart.

Anyway, I love all the characters and I think they all have an
interesting story but I personally find, "I'm a Vampire With a Soul"
more interesting than, "I'm Xander and I bowl."

Go figure. That doesn't mean I don't love Xander. I find Spike's
story more engaging. Don't clump us all together, claiming we
rabidly hate all the characters, except Spike, simply because we
don't agree with the condemnation of Spike. In my case, at least,
that's a crock. There will always be those who love to hate, those
who don't know how to defend their favorite without tearing down
someone else. There will always be the grudge bearers and the
Unforgiving. I love all the Buffy/Angel characters...even when they
make me angry. I have never been angry enough at any of them, for it
to lessen my love of any of them. I can be severely angry at one of
them and not love them any less....just like with "real life"
friends. Fair-weather friends aren't worth my spit.

Another thing people bring up is their bewilderment that some of us
thought Giles did the wrong thing, conspiring with Wood, to murder
Spike...and with soul, it would be "murder".

Why was Giles wrong, even if Spike MAY have presented a danger to The
Potentials? I can think of several reasons.

For one thing, it was a betrayal of Buffy. For no reason, other
than that her opinion was different than his, he decided she was
incapable of making that decision.

All souled beings get the benefit of the doubt.

In Jossverse, the Soul gives you the Right to Live. For that right
to be taken, from a souled being, there would have to have been no
other way to contain him, if he became a threat, to others. In
Jossverse, a Human Soul is Precious.

Spike has the right to Live because in Jossverse all with Human Soul
are granted the automatic Right to Life. Spike doesn't lose that
right simply because some people don't like Spike and Buffy doing the
horizontal. Period. Spike has the right to be alive for the same
reason you or I, have a right to be alive. Keeping Spike alive, does
not threaten the human species, the way keeping Ben alive would
have. Spike, at his unsouled worse, is not the vessel for a
Hellgod. (...and why do we assume Ben still had a Human Soul?)

One of the most righteous acts in the world is to give someone
another chance. If The Battle For "Good" isn't a Battle For
Redemption, Forgiveness, Faith and Love, it is no longer a Battle
Noble or Worthy and Evil has already won.

In my opinion, anyone who doesn't love Spike, is missing the most
important message, of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". I feel the same
way about Angel. ...but we've talked about redemption. What draws
me to them is their complexity. Their Battle is the most difficult
battle one can fight. It's the Battle against one's own Nature.

When an emotional, romantic, depressed, neurotic William was crossed
with a blood-thirsty, sadistic demon, a very interesting character
emerged. Everyone from Philosophers to Freud, would like an
interview with Spike. There was a reason the woman from The
Watcher's Council wrote her thesis on Spike.

The Judge says Spike reeks of humanity. Even after trying to bite
Willow and not being able to, he comforts her and assures her she
would be quite nummy, truly sensing the way she feels. We have a
rapist, murderer mentality, combined with a compassionate, sensitive,
reassuring mentality. He has hot cocoa with Joyce. He's incredibly
intuitive. How many times have the Scoobies assumed someone like
Willow, was doing well and Spike's like:
"What are you talking about. Any ninny can see the girl's falling

He goes to shoot Buffy and comforts her instead.

He's constantly conflicted. ...and then with soul...the soul gives
the Vampire more "conflict", nourishes "the seeds of Human love",
already present, in the Vampire, and adds "remorse" .

Additionally interesting about Spike, is he started to get these
inklings pre-soul. Spike, even as an unchipped, unsouled vampire was
one of the ones who suffer love and loyalty. Some vamps don't.
We've seen both kinds. (Gee, kind of like humans.)

There wasn't any indication, pre-soul, pre-chip, that Spike would
stop killing humans. That doesn't mean the changes because of the
chip are not real and with substance. Behavioral modification truly
can cause substantive changes. The chip forced him to take pause,
and it's never as easy to kill your enemy, after you've gotten to
know your enemy.

So Spike has a soul and Angel has a soul. They have the most
difficult journeys of anyone on the show, except for Buffy. By
Nature, they are Multiple Personalities, (now called Dissociative
Identity Disorder), battling part of themselves, constantly vigilant.
Eve and Sybil have nothing on a Vampire With a Soul. I think this
journey is incredibly interesting. It's the metaphor, within one
being, of the battle between "Good" and "Evil". That's so cool.

Why am I invested in believing Spike and Angel will do right? Why do
I want to stand by them in Battle? I've answered that a thousand
times, by now...because that is the point...Forgiveness, Redemption,
Compassion, Faith, Love and also because, a Vampire With a Soul is
the character I most identify with. (Interestingly enough, when I
take that little test to see which characters I am, when I do the
female side, I come out as Willow and on the male side, I come out as
a cross between Riley and Spike...interesting contrast...)

I've been in so much trouble, in my life...one thing I won't say,
ongroup but the rest...hell, I've said everything else on the
I left home at 15.
I spent two years in a nuthouse.
...and from the time I was 17 until I was in my late 20s, I was off
and on, homeless...a street kid. I've been in and out of jail more
times than I want to say.. According to statistics, I should be in a
hospital, jail or dead.

Instead, I have a good life and own my own home and drive a Volvo and
have been with the same woman for 11 years...not that I think Spike
or Angel would want to drive a Volvo.... How did I get from the bad
place to the good place?

I got there because enough people love me; enough people think I'm
worth it, because people have, steadfastly, stood by me, even when I
fuck up...always and without fail. Enough people believe in my
Redemption. Stats say, I should be dead but I'm not. ...and like
with Spike, the love of a good woman...

Because of this, I steadfastly stand by those I believe in. I
believe in the power of Love and I believe The struggle never ends
and there may never be a pie-in-the-sky reward. It truly is the

I'm not that impressed with those who always do the right thing but
are never tempted otherwise.

I love Buffy and Spike and Angel's Journey. Two Souled Immortals, in
love with a young Hero, a Chosen Girl, destined by that Choosing, to
die young. All three on a quest, star-crossed, full of turmoil, an
unquenchable thirst to do Good, even when beaten and battered and too
weary to stand.

The multiple nature of the Souled Vampire, the Inner Struggle of
those, forced to grapple with Good and Evil and those who have to
make Unthinkable Choices...we have devotion and lovers forced to
spend the rest of their lives, fighting the most noble fight there
is, every minute of every day....in their hearts and in the world.

There really is no rest for the weary...a reason I get tired of those
who criticize any of them. This Battle would have most of us,
whimpering in the corner, peeing our pants. They go on, day after
day, knowing the odds of ever having anything close to Inner Peace,
is probably non-existent. They live with death and nightmares, and
memories and choices, beyond the realm of torturous. Then they do it
again. That Spike and Angel are even trying to wage this Battle,
against part of their very nature, is in itself heroic. That they do
it at a time when the "other" side, is probably pretty compelling, to
the demon within, is above and beyond Heroic.

Because some people have never had to make these choices, because
some people have never been tempted, by the other side and by rote,
go with "Good", doesn't in the ultimate scheme of things, mean they
are morally superior. Being tempted by bad or drawn into bad and
then choosing good and trying to earn redemption, that Is The Godlike
Struggle. That is the Struggle that creates Spiritual Evolution.
That is the Struggle I am most interested in. ...and that is the
Struggle of our Heroes, two of whom, are Vampires With a Soul.


[> Faith -- dub ;o), 15:22:05 04/30/03 Wed

Lee wrote:
Because some people have never had to make these choices, because some people have never been tempted, by the other side and by rote, go with "Good", doesn't in the ultimate scheme of things, mean they are morally superior. Being tempted by bad or drawn into bad and then choosing good and trying to earn redemption, that Is The Godlike
Struggle. That is the Struggle that creates Spiritual Evolution. That is the Struggle I am most interested in. ...and that is the Struggle of our Heroes, two of whom, are Vampires With a Soul.

This sums up my current feelings about Faith. I don't know how many of you remember, but I pretty much, well, despised Faith, mostly for her murder of the Spock- like Lester Worth *g*. I've come around 180 degrees, can't get enough of her now, think she's great. I was much easier on Vampires who killed humans than on humans who killed humans, much more ready to forgive them on the basis of prey selection as opposed to murder.

What bothered me most about Faith was that she acted with a complete disregard for consequences, and now she certainly does not. She has redeemed herself, at least in my eyes.

dub ;o)

[> [> Yes, let the characters grow! -- kisstara, 20:48:49 04/30/03 Wed

My best friend is a War Vet, recovering alcoholic, homeless for a time. When I see Spike I see him.

I love that the characters are real people who grow, change, hurt others, participate in good and evil, and fight for justice and revenge. They are human and superhuman beings.

[> [> [> I enjoyed the post and particularly -- dms, 21:02:56 04/30/03 Wed

this..."All three on a quest, star-crossed, full of turmoil, an unquenchable thirst to do Good, even when beaten and battered and too weary to stand."

I do think Spike, Angel and Buffy have been on parallel journeys this season, and I believe they're all going to end up somewhere a little different (emotionally speaking). I've got a post brewing on this topic, but I want to wait and see where the final eps. on AtS and BtVS take all three characters.

Why we like what we like (with digression on Trek and Buffy fandom) -- Katrina, 16:08:45 04/30/03 Wed

A lot of people seem to be reading current episodes of BtVS with dramatically different, and sometimes heated, interpretations, and I'm wondering if there is some division going on based on the taste and temperament of individuals. Of course, that's always true in reacting to art, but sometimes it seems to come out more than at other times, and the range of opinion seems greater.

I happen to know a lot of people who are big into Star Trek, and I've noticed that in these social circles there is frequently a division based on a particular series: Classic Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise. In Trek fandom, each series makes up a different world, with a distinct thematic framework and even philosophy, with which its fans tend to identify. For example, fans of TNG tend (in my experience) to feel strongly about the utopian aspect of the show, the positive spin it puts on a future where human nature has become more enlightened, and so forth. Many (not all) TNG fans thought of DS9as too dark, too cynical, sometimes even as a betrayal of Gene Roddenberry's hopeful vision of the future. On the other hand, many DS9 fans tended to appreciate the more multilayered view of the world represented there, with its different loyalties and moral ambiguities, and sometimes thought of TNG as a little too shiny and happy.

Now, in the Trek world, I'm a DS9 person. When I look at the TNG world, it seems too limited. Everything is about Starfleet and the Federation. They're the good guys, they may screw up, there may be grey areas, but in the end, they're the heroes, they're the moral arbiters, they're who we're supposed to identify with. Now, a person like me looks at the Federation and sees a quasi-military world full of conformity and overbearing authority figures. It may have virtues as a TV show, in its characters and storytelling. But personally, I like the world of DS9, where major characters are on different ideological sides, and may respect each other but never agree. Or vice versa. Also, its world seems much larger to me: there are characters who are civilians, just minding their own business, or who are from groups opposed to the Federation. That world, imaginatively, depicts a future where there could be a place for my kind.

This phenomenon could be likened to people who prefer BtVS, who prefer AtS, who strongly prefer the first three seasons the last few.

More than in the first seasons, I've been seeing on BtVS a world in which Buffy is totally the hero, the moral arbiter, basically the be-all and end-all. If a person wanted to fight evil in Sunnydale, it seems like they'd have to do it with Buffy or not at all. In my totally subjective opinion, I prefer the AtS world to this one, where friends can fire or try to smother each other, and the alienated parties can just keep fighting evil across town. On Buffy, it's all about Buffy, but sometimes Angel is practically a supporting character on his show. I like that aspect, and that there are crews of vampire hunters just roaming around in Angel's L.A.

IMHO, I think the schism between the first three seasons and the later seasons isn't so much about "darkness" or lack thereof, but the fact that in the first seasons, Buffy and her friends were a part of a solid world, with recurring characters, locations, and a continuity almost unheard of in television. Minor characters had arcs (like Larry), stereotypes became fuller-developed (Cordelia). Buffy had home, school, the Bronze, different pressures, which, despite the over-the-top nature of her adventures, placed her in a very real and very fully fleshed fictional world. Someone pointed out today how the current storyline is very much in Buffy's mind, that the arena of the action has shrunk. I think that's true, and as the later seasons have grown more inward, I miss the world of early Sunnydale.

Someone once said that the reason why people become fans of particular kinds of dramas is because they depict a world where an individual would like to live. An example is the Harry Potter phenomenon, or LOTR. Even if we know a world is entirely fictitious, it still symbolizes to us certain aspects of the real world, or ideal visions of how we would like to see our own world transformed. There may be colorfulness, a sense of adventure, a sense of a world with its values in the right place, where nature is revered -- the possibilities are endless. It's too reductive to believe that this is the only reason for the extreme differences in opinion between people, but it may be part of it. Some people may be appreciating merits that I just can't see because of my own unconscious personal biases. Deep down, I'd be willing to live in the Sunnydale of the Sunnydale High era, Hellmouth included. And I could certainly make a place for myself in Angel's L.A. But I wouldn't last any longer at Buffy's house these days than I would at Starfleet Academy: I'd be a washout
So some people clearly are getting something valuable out of the current episodes, and I think that's valid. Clearly ME feels they have a story here worth telling. But as long as the storyline is determined to go in a certain direction, I just can't go with it, even if it may be providing valuable insights to others.

At any rate, I'm very interested in how other people can delineate their own biases about the shows. Do you prefer the Buffyverse, or the Angelverse? And why? Where would you like to live?

[> Re: Why we like what we like (no significant spoilers) -- Robert, 17:57:47 04/30/03 Wed

>>> I'm very interested in how other people can delineate their own biases about the shows.

Since you asked, I prefer BtVS over AtS to the extent that occasionally, I am unable to watch AtS. I do enjoy the current story arc with Jasmine, but I was unable to tolerate the mid-season 2 story arc with Angel and Darla.

Regarding BtVS, I prefer seasons 5, 6, and 7 over seasons 1 through 4. There were individual episodes and mini story arcs during the early seasons which I found exceptional and compelling, but the extended story arcs were less interesting to me. I have no good explanations for my preferences, and maybe none are possible. All I can say that my feelings resonate more with Buffy's situation these past three seasons.

[> Interesting question Katrina -- kisstara, 20:37:29 04/30/03 Wed

In High School,the year 1984, one of my teachers commented how students who enter the job world become adults faster than those who head for college. Now at 41 years old I understand that statement.

The spinoff of Angel to LA is about the Sunnydale graduates thrown into an adult world in a city environment. The characters are exposed to different lifestyles and cultures within blocks of the hotel. They are responsible for their own well being as well as others.

The characters of BTVS live in a suburban environment and until very recently hide their lifestyles from their parents and neighbors. For the first four years their parents paid the rent and tuition, and some Scoobies probably still get funded. They fight world evil with the great energy but lack of foresight that many teenagers with out guidance would.

I think the storyline of S7 is the struggle for the Scoobies to embrace maturity, which often means separation from the gang and telling those you once saw as authority to step back. Buffy told Giles this, and now her peers gave her the option. They all have to seek out the environment they are best suited for and then regroup.

[> personal preferences, no offence intended to anyone elses prefs -- MsGiles, 05:55:05 05/01/03 Thu

hmm. Pondering this, wondering if I'll like S7. I'm liking S6 a lot, but in a very different way to any previous Buffy. I've fallen out with all the characters, and the writing style seems a bit erratic, but I'm really enjoying the dark storylines, and I am finding myself engaged with it emotionally more rather than just enjoying the verbal/conceptual fireworks of the earlier series.

I *must* get some Angel CDs and catch up. I missed the first series - started to watch, but at the time I liked the clever way Buffy was picking up the traumas of my younger life, metaphorising them, and kicking their ass, and Angel didn't seem to be doing that. Angel the moody broody didn't press my buttons anyway, so I dropped it off the radar. Then so did the BBC, so now I'll have to get CDs.

I relate to what you say about STNG. I feel that at last one person I know that's into it really values the safety factor. It's very contained, in that warm, brightly-lit, polyester-lined flying womb, which no-one ever has to leave for very long (it's all stormy and spiky out there in the Galaxy). People may fall out for a bit, but you know they're going to end up working it out, they're all so *nice*. Sometimes there's a bit of conflict, with stroppy Worf or emotionless Data, but then they tend to end up all huggly snuggly as well. It's an optimistic universe.

I'm not really as down on STNG as this might sound. Every now and then I find myself watching an episode, and thinking, I missed this before, it's really good story. I liked all the Borg stuff, and I do like a lot of the Data storylines. The Borg gave a darkness to the STNGverse that seemed to be missing other wise. Although it is has no moral greys, it also seems to lack any really dark shades a lot of the time. I tend to think of it aa a moral pastel world.

Thinking about it, the storylines I prefer on STNG are the internal stuff, the stuff that deals with psychology, character. Lieutenant Barclay and hif fixation on Councillor Troi. Warf trying to reconcile the warrior ethic with being in the StarFleet bureacracy, Data wondering how near he is to being human and what it could mean, Picard going into unknown parts of his psyche when he becomes Borg and then comes out again. The episodes I like least, I think, are those dealing with alien civilisations, the ones where everyone has a bumpy forehead and wears hessian, and they all have to be helped along in a rather patronising way.

But I've never really gotten hooked, as I did on the OS. I wonder if that was due to being adolescent during the first series, as well as because it was one of the very few SF series around, and by the second season it was getting to deal with classic SF themes. At that time, like Xander, watching linoleum would have made me think of sex. And all these people cooped up in this little ship week after week, having emotional scenes and wearing light clothing... When Spock came out as sexually confused, I went into boggle mode for the rest of the run. STNG could never quite follow that. So I suppose I partly conclude that this is due to where I was at in my life, rather than the intrinsic merit of either series.

But the safety factor .. I ended up in recent years not really being grabbed by any of the ST spinoffs, while enjoying some episodes, but getting much more regularly into Farscape, where people tended to have a really *bad* time in a wacky psychedelic/gothic universe, and weren't safe at all. I guess that was more what I needed, or related to by this time. Farscape was grey from the start. Crichton lands up at the beginning of the series in with a bunch of fleeing criminals, who are by no means unequivocally good people. They are persued by Peacekeepers, sort of self-elected intergalactic police, who are not particularly good either. And it doesn't get any clearer. A lot of the themes are to do with surviving, finding identity, among sets of conflicting ideals, demands, emotions.

To be honest, think that interests me more than the wider view, political dimension, which is maybe why I haven't been drawn to DS9 so much, and maybe why I drifted from Babylon 5.

I must have another go at Angel though, especially since it may carry on when Buffy ends, and will no doubt become the main topic on the board if it does.

[> [> Thanks for responding. Gives me perspective on the later seasons. -- Katrina, 07:16:05 05/01/03 Thu

[> [> [> question remains of DS9/Angel :STNG/Buffy divide tho -- MsGiles, 09:26:14 05/01/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Not such a clear divide... -- Amkath, 09:55:08 05/01/03 Thu

I happen to like DS9 and Buffy better than I do STNG and Angel for a very personal reason. I find I tend to watch shows where one or more characters grabs my interest. No matter what else is going on in the show, I want to find out more about that character.

In DS9 it was Dr. Bashir and Garak. They intrigued me. I was never sure what to expect from them, what their true motives were, how they would react to different situations.

No character in STNG ever grabbed my attention that way. Some of the characters I found interesting (Data and occasionally Gordi), but others grated like nails on chalkboard (Riker, Troi, Wesley). I watched only because there was not much else SciFi at the time.

On to Buffy and Angel - I like Buffy (and the last 3 seasons) more mainly because of Spike and Willow. Their characters have had very interesting story arcs and unresolved questions - the struggle with evil/power over good/control, questions of identity (are they really who they fear they are), etc.

No character on Angel has held my interest that way except for Wesley (from when he kidnapped Conner). He had a desperate edge to him that made him unpredictable. The rest of the characters don't interest me as much (although Lorne makes me smile).

So for me at least, show preference really breaks down into character preference. How's that for muddying the water?

[> [> [> [> [> Agree about Riker. He annoys the unholy crap out of me! -- Rob, 10:54:17 05/01/03 Thu

He only has 3 emotions: annoyed, arrogant, and jovial. And he switches between them in the same scene at such at an alarming rate that it can get downright distracting sometimes. I couldn't tell whether they wanted Riker to be a fun-loving guy everyone loved, or a more rigid stick-in-the- mud even than the older Captain, who was much more fun than he was.

Other than that, TNG was my fave ST show, and I loved Troi and could deal with Wesley. But I do agree with you on preferring Buffy over AtS because of a closer connection to the characters.


Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy -- Majin Gojira, 18:15:46 04/30/03 Wed

It mainly has to do with 2 things:

Buffy's bad habit of cutting herself off from those who care about her/whom she cares about. (Something she does a lot, and always pays for. Infact, there's hardly a time when she has saved the world without them. Hell, last time she didn't do it, Xander did.)

Buffy's Priority Issues. (Spike's Favoritism in the face of the neglect of the others, The fear instilled in her by the First causing some reckless behavior (the Vinyard is not appart of this) and Potentials as both Soldiers and Refugees)

I've tried several times to write this post, but have been unable to articulate my views, hopefully, someone will pick up on these basic ideas and maybe add some of their own...

[> Re: Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy (Vague spoilers thru now) -- WickedBuffy, 20:07:19 04/30/03 Wed

I agree with you. Buffy cutting herself off from people is practically tradition to the Scoobies. Just how she is, like Xanders bad luck with women, or Giles incessant eyeglass wiping. It's just "how they are." But the SITs came in with no highschool memories or attachments. They pretty much called Buffy on it from a more objective, fresher viewpoint than the Scoobies had been able to until then.

Buffys priority issues, ayup - especially about Spike. Buffy doesn't even completely understand it herself, how could the SITs? They are told their job is to kill vampires. But not the ones Buffy likes alot. And, to the Scoobies, it may even feel as if she's constantly choosing Spike over them in terms of trust. ("He's the only one who watches my back.")

(I didn't understand what you meant about the FE's instilled fear and the SITs as Soldiers/Refugees though. Did you mean how much pressure she puts on them, how important they fight is in the situation - yet also almost seems to consider them mostly already goners anyway? And as Faith put it, not even bothering to know their names?)

One thing I was thinking about, after reading your post. Is it Buffy the person they distrust? Their old school buddy? Or is it Buffy the Slayer they are feeling alienated from? It seems historically the Scoobies saw Buffy as a person first, and Slayer second.

But now they see her as The Slayer, first and foremost. Which actually would make it even easier to feel distant from. Sentimental attachments are difficult when dealing strictly with a demon fighter and not a perky blonde freshman.

[> [> Re: Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy (Vague spoilers thru now) -- Traveler, 20:31:09 04/30/03 Wed

" Is it Buffy the person they distrust? Their old school buddy?"

I'd say it's general Buffy.

[> [> Re: Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy (Vague spoilers thru now) -- MayaPapaya9, 21:39:59 04/30/03 Wed

***And, to the Scoobies, it may even feel as if she's constantly choosing Spike over them in terms of trust. ("He's the only one who watches my back.")***

But, apparently the Scoobies have just proved Buffy right on this point! Spike IS the only one she can trust. Xander and Willow and Giles, the ones who have been with her the longest, have all turned on her. And I don't buy that they still love and respect her and all. There was no respect in what they did. It made me cringe in horror and shock to see Willow just sitting by while Anya kept telling Buffy how much she didn't deserve to be the leader. OF COURSE she deserves to be the leader. I honestly can't envision any of the others doing the job! They'd sit around and argue and debate and never get anything done.

But wait, that's another topic. The point is, Buffy trusts and values and NEEDS Spike around because she knows he's not going anywhere. After all she put him through in season 6, he still hasn't left her side. We all know about Buffy's abandonment issues, I've read dozens of posts on the subject. Hank, Angel, Riley, Giles all left her. Now that even Xander has left her, Spike has become the ONLY man in Buffy's life to stay. I understand completely why she makes him a priority.

[> [> [> Just because she's been proven 'right'... -- Majin Gojira, 04:41:32 05/01/03 Thu

Does not change the fact that it was infact one of the causes of the rifts forming in their relationships. Something cannot be truely considered wholy 'good' when it is the cause of major problems as well.

On the leadership comment...

What is needed to be a good leader: Trust.

If you don't have that, which Buffy didn't--partially because of Spike, you'll end up getting bit in the arse.

[> [> [> [> General Ranting along these lines...(spoilers 7.19) -- DL, 07:42:09 05/01/03 Thu

Just want to chip in my cent here. You're absolutely right - trust is vital to being a leader. On the flip side, the SITs have to have something that they currently don't: Faith.

I hate to see all of the original Scoobies without it too. Well, they've got to put their Faith in Faith. But we're definitely at rock bottom, and I can see how things will get better. All of the lack of Faith stems from Fear, which has been mentioned multiple times below, and amazingly, fear passes in time. Or, at least in a few episodes...

Thanks! Good observations, all!

[> [> [> Some see the glass half full, others see it half empty -- I ask, who drank my water? -- Earl Allison, 10:29:15 05/01/03 Thu

Here's where perception varies greatly.

I see Buffy as FORCING the confrontation with her "plan," which I put in quotes because any similarity between an actual thought-out course of action and Buffy's idea to go back to the nice man who demolished her group previously (and beat her senseless not too long ago at the school) are purely coincidental.

Buffy selected the worst-possible time to voice her plan, scant seconds after Xander returned from the hospital. She didn't discuss it with ANY of her lieutenants. I can understand her hesitance with Giles (although I disagree with her reasons), but why didn't she at least run it by Willow and Xander first? If there were objections, logically they would come from her most experienced allies first, and she could have hashed out a plan and argued back and forth with them, and they ALL could have presented a unified front.

Buffy CAUSED that confrontation by her choice of timing and poor presentation. I still think the first thing she should have done was explain what weaknesses, if any, she intended to exploit in Caleb. I mean, Caleb mopped the floor with her "best warrior," Spike, and knocked her and Faith around like tennis balls! To not initially address this is ASKING for dissent.

What she DID say, about it "not being fun," was IMHO a slap in the face (and understatment of the series) to what Xander, Rona, Molly, and the other murdered SiT suffered). NOT FUN? Wow, thanks for that, people were maimed and killed, show some respect for the gravity of the situation, please.

Now, I can understand WHY Buffy wants to attack again, for morale. After a crushing defeat, if some sort of victory isn't had (big OR small), the troops become disspirited and morale plummets. But one does not buoy morale by signing one's troops up for Charge of the Light Brigade, Episode II.

As for Buffy deserving to be leader -- pre-S6, absolutely, I agree completely. Because THAT Buffy knew how to utilize her friends/strategic assets, build consensus, and mock long- winded speeches. Picture a S1 through S4 Buffy listening to this season's Buffy -- she'd mock her constantly, blow her off, and find a better way to do things.

Buffy has become, IMHO, a caricature of herself, the perfect little Quentin Travers Slayer, citing following orders and making pointless speeches.

As for Spike, yes, he probably WILL back her, that's what (IMHO) doormats do. And Spike has been a doormat to Buffy for quite some time, desperate not to lose her. Remember what he said in early S6, along the lines of taking any Buffy he could get? That he wouldn't have let the others kill her, even if the "her" in question was her in form alone (if the resurrection had gone badly, like what was implied with Joyce)? The Spike that, in my interpretation of his comments about getting a soul, did it "for (Buffy), all for (Buffy)"?

Spike's not going anywhere because he (IMHO, from what we've seen) needs a woman to mold himself to, to cater to and/or be ordered by. We saw this with Drusilla, with his mother (LMPTM), and now with Buffy. Spike won't go anywhere until and unless Buffy kicks him out, unless he's seriously changed from the flashbacks of LMPTM and the habits it set in motion.

To say that Willow and Xander betrayed her is, IMHO, blatantly false. There is a difference between betrayal and refusing to follow someone (anyone!) blindly.

And Buffy made Spike a priority this entire season, in some ways to the DETRIMENT of Xander or Willow (certainly Anya).

Observe her treatment of Willow and Anya compared to Spike.

A skinless body surfaces, and she immediately assumes it could be Willow. Worse, Willow tells her she understands this!

Anya has potentially killed someone (and Buffy's information is second-hand, from Willow's guesswork), and it's off to kill Anyanka, despite Xander's ability to get her to revoke a wish earlier, despite knowing that her amulet is her power (from last year's birthday episode with Halfrek), and despite happily using her to watch Dawn (the same episode with Gnarl).

Holden tells her Spike is kiling again, and she suspects something is up, yet she bends over backwards to find reasons why it can't be Spike, or that Spike is being controlled, all without any actual FACTS or REASONS available to Buffy herself. We the viewers know otherwise, but Buffy doesn't, and where she at least entertains the thought of guilt for Willow, and embraces it wholeheartedly for Anya(nka), for Spike there MUST be another reason.

Worse, Spike punches Xander out (and could have killed him), but when Buffy arrives, who is she concerned with? Her friend of six-plus years? No, she wants to know where Spike is. When Xander has been stabbed in the stomach by Ashanti- demoness, who does Buffy run to? Spike, who has been punched and is in no danger, as opposed to her alleged friend, the one who drove her and Dawn to school, and smashed the totem at the beginning of the season, the one who might be bleeding to death, or who might have perforated intestines.

Buffy has seemingly favored Spike for quite a while, and if simply standing by her was the only requirement, Giles, Willow and Xander did it a hell of a lot longer, and not because they were in love with her or wanted to sleep with her.

I don't see what Willow or Xander did as betrayal. As too little too late, perhaps, since they've enabled and indulged her dictatorial snits all this time (which didn't do her any favors), but not as betrayals.

If anything, she betrayed them by shutting them out, and expecting them to snap to whenever she issued orders. There was no respect in how she treated anyone in that room, from accusing Giles of setting her up to be without Spike

There's blame enough for everyone, and that most especially includes "I've learned all you have to teach me" Buffy.

Buffy pre-S6 deserved to be leader. Now, since S6, I'm not so sure. She has cavalierly played with everyone's lives by giving an easily-triggerable Spike free reign, having his chip removed (because HER instincts said it was okay) and not even having the decency to TELL EVERYONE. Anya might have gone a bit far, but Buffy HAS been acting like she knows best, even when proven wrong. And Buffy's way has not always been the best, either.

WILLOW solved the Anyanka issue better than Buffy, who would have in the best case ended up with a dead Anyanka. Willow managed to depower her, get the frat boys restored to life, and prevent what might have been an inseperable chasm between Xander and Buffy had she killed Anyanka in front of him.

What makes me cringe is watching ME try to convince me that Buffy, Giles, Xander and Willow are friends anymore. Xander and Willow, maybe -- that opening scene at the hospital really moved me, that was old-school BtVS. Giles and Willow had some nice scenes early on in the season, as did Buffy and Willow and Buffy and Xander, but since then, Buffy has closed everyone out, IMHO.

You say to-MAH-to, I say to-MAY-to.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> Running... -- Spike Lover, 12:42:05 05/01/03 Thu

True to my name, I want to present another take on the 'Sending Spike away - he is the only one who has my back.'

Don't count your chickens, Girlie.

Spike, in the last few eps has actually acted a bit more sensibly than he has in a while. (See him choosing not to kill Woods-)

Do you REALLY think if Spike had been there, he would have supported her?

I see three possibilities: 1) He says nothing. (doubtful). I think he and Andrew definately would have voiced something. 2) He would have stared at her like she was crazy Drucilla. (More likely). -I will state here that before the resouling, he would have thought, "What the Hell. Got to die sometime," and backed her. Now that he has been resouled, I doubt that he would be willing to see any more SiTs die or any more eyes plucked out. (Remember, he protected Xander and he ran from a demon in an alley with Anya a few eps back.) 3) He would go along with her but secretly sabatoge her so that she could not carry out her plan. (Less likely, but possible). (See Season 2 where he makes a pact with Buffy in order to save Dru from certain death.)

But, actually, since the last time she gave a 'pep talk' she lashed in to him, calling him a 'wimpire', I suspect, he would have voiced dissent with the rest. (Remember, he does not think he has a real chance with her anymore.) AND WOULDN'T THAT HAVE BEEN A BLOW TO BUFFY, TO HAVE SPIKE TURN ON HER ALSO.

I don't see Spike as a doormat (of course), but I will admit that he lacks a lot of zest that he had in previous seasons.

[> [> [> [> Re: Some see the glass half full, others see it half empty -- I ask, who drank my water? -- celticross, 16:06:04 05/01/03 Thu

Wow, Earl.

You've managed to articulate all my frustrations with the characters for the last half season. (an aside - what is up with season arcs taking a nosedive at the halfway mark? The arc fell apart last year with the intro of Magic Crack and this season, it's the Evil that goes into remission) I still love the show, but I hate seeing missed opportunities, and Buffy the character has missed so many. At this point, all I want is to hear her tell Willow, Xander, Giles, "I'm sorry I doubted you" and have them say the same to her. There's a lot of blame on both sides.

As for Spike having her back...well, I found her "I'm not ready for you to leave" incredibly selfish, and it saddens me that he still hasn't learned that she's really not very good for him.

[> [> [> [> Re: Some see the glass half full, others see it half empty -- I ask, who drank my water? -- Rhys_Michael, 17:36:17 05/01/03 Thu

***To say that Willow and Xander betrayed her is, IMHO, blatantly false. There is a difference between betrayal and refusing to follow someone (anyone!) blindly***

I agree with you that there is a '...difference between betrayal and refusing to follow someone...' but, I think that the betrayal was not their refusal to follow. It was the scoobies not even trying to compromise, not even trying to get her to compromise. They kicked her out/let her be kicked out of her home. They choose Faith over her, at least implicitly.

They, without attempting to really reach her, thrust her out on her own. It seems to me that most of them have been having varying levels of issues with her, but none of them have seemed to be willing to discuss it with her or each other. They just sent her away.

I am most disappointed in Xander in this matter (He is my favorite character in the show btw). I realize that he had just lost an eye and was hurt that Buffy couldn't/wouldn't spend time with him at the hospital. But Let's have a little perspective here. He lost his eye, She died, killed her true love, let her true love leave her, died again, and gave up HEAVEN, all for them, for the world, for everyone. He lost an eye. That is admittedly a horrible thing and is a testament to his commitment to the cause. He has almost always been a hero in this show, the only one I would call a White Hat Hero. He has sacrificed, and he has been hurt, but her sacrifices have, it seems to me, been greater than most.

***Buffy CAUSED that confrontation by her choice of timing and poor presentation***

Yes she did cause that confrontation. She has been more and more abrasive and overbearing this season. I think that Giles has prompted her to be the general but hasn't taken the time to help her find out what it means to be a general. It has been implied that this time it will be different that any challenge they have face d before, and as such she will have to be different.

But, at any rate, a confrontation requires two sides. She gave her "plan", they reacted negatively, she demanded obedience, they attacked, she issued an ultimatum, they renewed the attack, it seems that no real attempt was made by anyone, Buffy included, to steer things away from the confrontation.

I am sorry for the typos, misspellings and the rambling nature of my post, I am exhausted and haven't the brain juice to be more coherent at the moment.

Having said all that I said I think that what happened will turn out to be for the better, I think that her "plan" was probably right but the timing was way off.

Also I loved the episode, I think that the story was excellent, and the whole thing coming to a head like that was realistic, many times we don't realize that there is a problem until too late, or we put off doing something about an issue bothering us until it explodes. Very real, and painful.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Some see the glass half full, others see it half empty -- I ask, who drank my water? -- celticross, 08:17:22 05/02/03 Fri

"He lost his eye, She died, killed her true love, let her true love leave her, died again, and gave up HEAVEN, all for them, for the world, for everyone"

But some of those events you're describing happened years ago. When someone you love does something that aggrieves or angers you, you don't rationally sit back and think of all the good things they've done over the years. The first thing that comes to mind is the recent behavior that hurt you. Buffy has done amazing, incredible, sacrifical things in the last seven years. But she hasn't in the last few months. Xander did lose "just" an eye at the vinyard. What has Buffy lost in the War with the First? She's been beaten up, yes, but so has everyone else.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Some see the glass half full, others see it half empty -- I ask, who drank my water? -- Rhys_Michael, 11:36:38 05/02/03 Fri

Oh, I agree with you, I think that the reactions of the various Scoobies and SIT's were realistic and very human.

I think that in my comments I am probably taking too much of an outside view. We see more of the story than they do, and we have the past fresher in our minds than they do, thanks to reruns and videos. I really think that the EP was excellent.

And I am not critizing the story or how the characters were presented.

I dissapprove of most of their actions, including Buffy's, but in a "I hope I would behave differently if I was there" kind of way. At the same time very much enjoying their actions as valid, in character, and believable.

Thanks :)

[> [> [> [> i say, that's half a glass of water -- anom, 22:56:41 05/01/03 Thu

[> Re: Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy -- Traveler, 20:36:05 04/30/03 Wed

I'm not sure if it's priority so much as methodology. Buffy thinks her "troops" would see her fears/doubts/hurt as weakness and tries to hide all that. Insteady, she tries to build an aura of invincibility for herself, thinking it will encourage her followers. It is very sad that Buffy trusts Spike more than Giles now, but to some degree Giles brought that on himself when he tried to kill Spike.

The fear instilled in her by the First causing some reckless behavior "

I think you're right on target with this idea. The first is counting on this response and so far has been getting it.

[> [> Re: Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy -- Rina, 10:04:18 05/01/03 Thu

Why is it sad that Buffy trusts Spike more than Giles? I don't think it is sad. He knows and understands her better than anyone, save Angel. In some ways, she's a lot like the vampires and demons that she fights. And despite Giles' comments and little lessons about moral ambiguity earlier in the series, he has not really outgrown his black-and-white view of the world. He seemed to have regressed to this view, following the destruction of the Watchers' Council. Buffy, on the otherhand, has developed an ambiguous view on morality - and Giles does not understand this. Or possibly doesn't want to. Nor does he, a great number of fans or any of the Scoobies really understand her relationship with Spike.

If Giles had handled the situation with Spike in "Lies My Parents Told Me" and treated Buffy as an adult, instead of an adolescent that needed to learn a lesson, this whole mess with Caleb and the betrayal could have been avoided.

[> Re: Devil's Advocate: Why the scoobies no longer trust Buffy -- Morgan Ross Brooks, 20:42:26 04/30/03 Wed

I've never understood why she cuts herself off when she needs them the most. Except mayby thats it. she's seen so many die that she has to seperate herself to survive.
Zander has never been given the credit he deserves he has no power, no special ability at all, but hes allways write in the middle of it. Usually kicking ass. evryone i know says hes allways getting beat up, But considering what he is usually fighting the fact that he wins no matter how bad he gets hurt says alot. I believe he is the real hero, see buffy isn't really doing this by choice, she believes she has to, it is her responsabilaty becouse of her powers, Zander is their completly by choice, and he never backs down while the people he loves are in danger.
I do think that the scoobies are right not to follow "B", but I think their is something in the vineyard. I think buffy is "losing it" but who wouldn't after what shes been through in her life,and giles betraying her i think was the breaking point.
Spike is the only one she feels she can still trust and who can take care of himself. evryone is against him (good and bad). and that gives buffy a connection. he is alone, and she believes she is to. Even before giles' rescent betrayal he abandoned her even thou i understand and even agree with his reasons he was the only father she had. and he left her,( the same as her real one.) so his first betrayal was worse than his more rescent actions. She may say its ok, but how can it be? I also must say about Zander, the only real problem I've ever had with him is his treatment of spike,did you notice that no matter how much they fought,zander allways went to spike when they needed help, and spike never said no. even when buffy was gone(dead). as for the potentials I agree with buffy's treatment of them.they have to defend themselves if they are going to make it.Buffy and Faith cant defend them all against this many bringers, and caleb and the first. Allthough I allso agree with faith that they needed to get out and have some fun.
Last I would like to add that I'm very glad to see faith, I was never happy with the way she was treated, I would rather see her die fighting than to leave her in prison, she killed people, sitting in prison will not make up for that. Only saving lives can ,mayby,
O.K. Ive got to go becouse angel is about to come on. Feel free to e-mail me anytime to discuss our opinions and how they might vary.

Spoilers for "Peace Out" -- RichardX1, 18:25:16 04/30/03 Wed


... it rarely happens.

Faith vs Buffy -- Meme, 20:27:05 04/30/03 Wed

Quick question probably shouldn't start a new post but i didn't know where to fit this in. How did they get over their absolute hate of faith so quickly? What happened to Dawn's, "Does she have to stay here?" and Giles cold repection. Remember how much Willow hated her and anya can't love her for that whole thing with Xander. Why then did they suddenly choose the girl they all hate over their best friend? They are usually fairly emotional.

[> Re: Faith vs Buffy -- Corwin of Amber, 20:31:25 04/30/03 Wed

I think rather than choosing Faith, they rejected Buffy. Faith herself wasn't thrilled with the idea.

[> Re: Faith vs Buffy -- Traveler, 20:38:45 04/30/03 Wed

My take on that, especially with Dawn, was that it wasn't a vote for Faith. It was a vote against Buffy. They seem to be stuck with the idea that "the Slayer" has to be their leader, so Faith is their only other option.

[> But let's not be too hasty...(spoilers for Empty Spaces here and in above posts) -- Random, 08:01:43 05/01/03 Thu

They didn't reject Buffy per se...they rejected her decisions in this episode -- not the least of which being the "my way or the highway" decision. I don't think they've come to love Faith -- though the SiT's, not having the Scoobies' personal experience with her, were a lot less inclined to allow history to interfere with their current judgment. And, as Corwin quite correctly points out, Faith wasn't particularly thrilled with the way it went. More to the point, she seemed rather dismayed, and I don't think it was just because she didn't want the job. She seemed sincerely disconcerted at the idea that she was being given Buffy's job. One wonders whether this is a sign of her reform -- she doesn't want to profit at Buffy's expense. (Though "profit" may not be the best word for it, seeing as she now has the responsibility of leading the Scoobs and the SiT's against the FE.) What is interesting to me is the possibility that Faith may, in fact, be a better leader because she has more incentive to listen to those around her. She has more to prove because of her history and need to have her moral reformation validated by those she hurt the most. She is, ironically, humbler than Buffy now, more willing to compromise, more willing to sublimate her ego and interests in the interest of success. Buffy has to learn the lesson that she cannot afford to lose sight of the goal by focusing excessively on her perception of how to reach that goal. It's a lesson the Scoobies are teaching her, and that, I think, is the choice they made. It has little, if anything, to do with Faith and everything to do with the Slayer they've known and loved over the years. Make no mistake...they still love and respect her. If one believes they don't, one is making a judment that has no basis in the entire arc of S7.


Is Jasmine/Former Ptb in the same league as a hellgod like Glory? -- Connor@, 20:38:52 04/30/03 Wed

Jasmine after she came to earth she was still strong ang powerful but not immortal or invunerable like Glory was. Both required a certain energy to maintain their powers. I think Jasmine was probablr a little more powerful because of her powers other than that she could fight Glory one on one.

[> Re: Is Jasmine/Former Ptb in the same league as a hellgod like Glory? -- Rufus, 20:48:43 04/30/03 Wed

I guess the main difference between Jasmine and Glory is that Glory tossed away her 'leftovers', Jasmine cleans up her plate.

[> [> Glory is the god of one dimension. Jasmine is pan- dimensional -- Masq, 10:44:08 05/01/03 Thu

[> Re: Is Jasmine/Former Ptb in the same league as a hellgod like Glory? -- Jon Favreual III, 23:11:14 04/30/03 Wed

Only in Bowling as Glory was a "hellgod", which most of the heavier reference books cite as a "kind of minion" as compared to "The Powers That Be".

"Hellgods" are evil and therefore aligned with all the stereotypical ideas we have about hell, gods in hell and hellish gods.

"The Powers That Be" are never confined to one Imaginary Area (for example "hell" or "the cayman islands"), but travel wherever they like, take any form they like and even choose how they are interpreted, but each PTB selects for itself whether it is perceived as evil or good or nondescript.

Should Jasmine and Glory both Enter the annual pie-eating contest at the Big Company Picnic, Glory would let Jasmine win, simply because of the Hierarchy of The Inherent System.

Someone or something can become a hellgod though Magicks, Clever Postioning in the demon political arena or any one of a myriad of other methods covered my other postings.

"The Powers That Be" are born into their postition, it's a bloodline that goes back farther than the fires of creation, as Jasmine mentioned because you can bribe your way to hellgodliness, but, as i mentioned just a few seconds ago, you must be born into "The Powers That Be", there is an Olde Saying:

"The Powers That Be
Must Be Conceived
Hellgods are Not
Because They can Be Bought"

I'm currently finishing a Dissertation on the Place of irony And order regarding feminine pathos As presented by characters Fred and Lorne which includes an indepth revelation of the entire Order of Dieties, their places in society and what colors look best on them that I will Post Later this Week and it goes into much more detail than I've been able to delve into at This Point in TIme. Thank you.

Impressions on Peace-Out (Major Spoilers Tonights ATS 4.21) -- s'kat, 20:43:39 04/30/03 Wed

In my incredibly humble opinion - tonight's episode was one of the best examples of subverting and expanding on sci/fantasy noir I've seen in a while. Brillaintly satirical at times and very dark. So I'm going to write a weird post tonight. I'm going to try and do it around points of noir and show how Peace-Out commented on the tradition and expanded on it.

The key points of noir mentioned in Writing the New Noir Film by Sharon Y. Cobb in Film Noir Reader 2:

1. Noir plots revolve around betrayal on a personal basis with one character betraying another or more extensively when the stakes are raised and betrayal has nationwide or even worldwide consequences.

Well let's see Angel betrayed Jasmine by giving out her name. Connor betrayed Jasmine by killing her. Connor betrayed the gang by imprisoning them.

2. Noir stories symbolize our subconscious fears, our darkest ruminations, our worst nightmares.

A god who brings us world peace and love is also a devourer, she takes the whole concept of to serve man, somewhat uh literally. Doesn't make her evil, just a bit ravenous. Oh and we lose the freedom of choice. But who cares as long as there's world peace.

When our savoir's real name is revealed to us, we see the monster symbolizing that peace and salvation may come at too high a price or doesn't exist? Depends I guess on the pov. But it is our worst nightmare. (Similar ideas were expressed in the films Invaders from Mars - where a boy discovers everyone is nice to one another but actually being controlled, Kiss Me Deadly - the lady opens the box and there goes the world in a blast, and The Day the Earth Stood Still - all noir films.)

3. In Noir good and evil are confused and sometimes indistinguishable. Moral ambivalence and complicated discrepancies in character motivation encourage the audience to feel the torment and insecurity of the protagonist.

Tonight we felt Angel and to a degree Connor's torment.
Both were resulting with moral ambiguities. Angel with whether his son had a purpose outside of JAsmine, if Angel could. If choice was more valuable than peace. JAsmine and Angel's argument is telling - she tells him the other powers don't care, they just watch, she's the only one who cared who loved them enough to help. So yes she has to devour a few, but what's a 1000 to save billions? He's eaten people after all. He's dead. Why does he care?
Why destroy world peace and love? For what choice?

Hey, she has a point. Do an opinion poll - ask people what they would ask for if a genie granted them three wishes and I bet you money at least 85% would ask for world peace. That we just get along. But the killer is...are we willing to pay the price? Jasmine says there is no right and wrong, there are no absolutes. Only choices. This is the mantra of the noir film - the existentialists dilemma. And it echoes what Wes says in Sacrifice...I miss knowing the right thing to do. Having the choice made for me.

Connor meanwhile is arguing with himself. I always knew JAsmine was a lie, he states. But what are lies to me? My whole life is a lie. I just thought this one was better than the others. It seemed to make everyone so happy. Everyone but me. I still have the rage. The pain. The anger.
Why can't I be freed of it?

Which brings me to point 4.

4. The main characters are not heroes at all, but the antithesis of heroic. They are desperate characters, with little hope of positive change in their lives. They live on the outskirts of normalcy, surviving as best they can in a chaotic world both inner and outer.

Now not certain about this one - since we could argue that it talks like a hero, it walks like a hero, it is a hero.
But is it? Connor and Angel are struggling with that dilemma. If there are no absolutes, are there any heros or anti-heros? They live on the outskirts of normalcy, surviving as best they can in a chaotic world...whether or not they are heroes depends on your point of view. Noir doesn't provide any absolute answers nor for that matter does Angel The Series. It's not like most stuff on TV with a nice neat moral at the end or a clear good guy - it makes us figure it out for ourselves - this is in keeping with noir tradition.

This episode made an interesting comment on hero. Jasmine makes it clear that Angel is no hero. Look at the damage he's wrought, she states as she wanders aimlessly through the streets of ravaged chaotic LA trying to re-connect with her followers. Prior to Angel's revelation - LA was actually a nice place to live. Peaceful. Everyone got along. People were polite. Happy. Granted they seemed a bit creepy and zombie like at times, but overall? Pretty nice.
Angel reveals her name and all hell breaks loose, we have riots in the streets, fire, bloodshed. Which side of the Apocalypse is Angel on here?? And the loving Jasmine, now has decided to destroy the world.

It's not Angel who stops her, but his son and her father Connor with a fist through the head. Perhaps Connor was the only one who could destroy her...all along. Cordelia was a mislead. So is Connor a hero? Ask Connor that question.

Also the whole shanshu thing? Maybe we just got it? Wouldn't it be ironic - if what shanshus Angel is Jasmine's kiss? I mean what did that kiss do to Angel any way??
Not sure. Just wondering.

Noir often will flip our concepts of morality, good, evil, and redemption on its head...which brings me to point 5.

5. Unlike other genres, the Noir protagonist rarely redeems himself in the end. He may regret being caught for his criminal or even murderous behavior, but he seldom learns from his mistakes and almost never performs some courageous selfless act ot redeem himself at the end of the story.

What if Ats took this idea and flipped it on its head? The hero attempts over and over again to redeem himself but doesn't quite do it. OR not in the way he thought. His behavior while seemingly courageous and selfless to him - isn't really.

Angel is shocked when he discovers his friends still alive in the hotel. (Geeze...if he only knew what is waiting with them there.) He had assumed they'd been killed when he jumped dimensions. He'd sacrificed them, his son, his girl, everything. Uhm not quite. They are alive. His son won't ever love him. And Cordy may be lost. But the gang is there.
All intact.

Also Angel believes he's saving the world by his act. He believes it's selfless. But as JAsmine points out, is it?
Really? Everyone was happy. But you and your friends. Did you do them any favors? And as the bug guy points out in the alternate universe - you're not here for Jasmine or your friends (let's face it you think they are dead), you're here to redeem your kid in your head to get his love, and you never will. He doesn't want you.

Angel wants desperately to be the champion, the hero, but is he...depends on your point of view I suppose. Arguements have been made either way. I'm sure someone will make a long one in response to this post and it will probably be a very good one. But the irony is, in noir, the protagonist believes or wants to believe he is...but seldom is. He wants to be redeemed but the irony is...without moral absolutes - is there such a thing really as redeemption?

Wouldn't it be a hoot if Angel merely shanshued, became human because of a god he despised kiss? Maybe that's Jasmine's parting gift to him - giving him what he thinks he wants. Jasmine was good at that. After all wasn't that Jasmine's greatest gift - giving people what they thought they wanted?

6. The noir protagonist almost always experiences a sense of isolation, either physical and/or psychological, and this isolation and alienation is pronounced.

Well as Jasmine states - the AI gang is isolated alone. Angel certainly feels isolated in the alien world, just as he does upon his return. When the AI gang emerges from their cage they are greeted by a ghost hotel, so empty it's creepy. And poor Connor, he feels more alone than anyone.

7. Femme Fatale - In many Film Noir movies the main character's only source of hope may be a female character, the femme fatale, who is integral to the main plot of the story.

According to Cobb - she represents the better life, wealthy, beautiful, intelligent, and illusive.

Well, we have more than one in this little piece, don't we?
Cordelia who lies in a coma. Jasmine who has seduced the
world. But the key femme fatale is my favorite female character Lilah.

Lilah. Yes. She's back. Walking through the door. Greeting Angel in typical fatale fashion. Well you ended world peace, congratualtions!! And she fits the role to a T.
Exit Jasmine, exit Cordy, enter Lilah. Oh Lilah, I missed you so.

And three more points for good measure:

8. For Adults Only - there are few kids in New Noir - children represent optimism and a potentially promising future and since Noir symbolizes our worst nightmares, hope is out of place.

While Connor may be a child in some respects, he hasn't acted much like one and hope is certainly not something I'd identify with him. This is in keeping with noir films that use children.

What will AI do with Connor? Abandon him? Take him in?
Or set him free? Poor Connor, as he tells Cordelia, all he wants to do is rest. He's so tired. (His speech in some ways reminded me of Spike's in the church in Beneath You.)
He's tired of fighting. It's all he's ever done. And he still can't stop. Even with Jasmine. He can't stop fighting. It never ends. He's like the child in The Professional, who gets trained in the art of killing and never can leave it.

9. Plot Twists and Reversals - Tension in Noir stories is generated as much by plot twists as it is from anticipated violence.

And Peace Out had numerous plot twists - starting with Connor's revelation that he's always known what JAsmine looked like, something Wes sort of figured out on his own.
Wes...those dark days gave you some insight into the dark reaches of the human soul, didn't they? Then JAsmine's reveal to Angel that she was the answer to the prophecies, that she was the only PTB that cared enough to interfer. He got what he asked for and is throwing it away. Then Connor's switch at the end - where he kills Jasmine. Finally, Lilah's reappearence. That's at least four in one episode. Two reversals - Connor and Lilah. Two twists.

Of course some were positive, which isn't always the case in noir.

10. Evoking the images - wet streets at night, the dramatic contrast between light and shadow, the stark symbols of isolation...most are lonely bars, abandoned dark streets, and seedy motels, any place that arouses our feelings of isolation, fear and warns of violence.

Here we had an abandoned church. An abandoned hotel. A jail cell. A sewer. And the dark wet city streets.

The twists on the genre may be the heroic or anti-heroic nature of the characters, the desire for redemption and whether such a thing is possible. In noir it's not really.
But in Ats' expansion on noir - that question remains an open one, unanswered. Just as Jasmine's true nature remains unanswered.

Jasmine's name sounded like Kabblah - it reminded me of Kali and something someone blasted me on last year. I tend to remember things I get blasted on. This poster blasted me for suggesting Kali was evil or just a devourer, a dark goddess. (A misconception that in my own defense I managed to get from George Lucas and Stephen Speilberg movies, not that that excuses it of course. It doesn't. I think ME sort of gets it right here, oddly enough. Kudos ME. Someone in Hollywood knows mythology.) When in truth Kali or whatever we wish to call her is neither good/nor evil. She's both creation and destruction. Jasmine tries unsuccessfully to explain this to Angel and crew. I'm neither good nor evil, these don't exist. There is no right/wrong absolute. Just choices we make. You choose whether I'm evil or not and I'm become so. I'm the creator and the destroyer. I'm what you choose to see me as. A lie? or a god? up to you.
But, Angel asks, you take away our freedom to choose.
Yes, JAsmine answers...but isn't that a small price to pay for peace and happiness. You ate 1000 people. What are a 1000 for billions? And we find ourselves wondering about the ends justifying the means once again. Also...was it really eating? They became a part of her. Isn't that what people want to become a part of their God?

Hmm...maybe there's something to this whole not knowing thing. If we knew could we handle it? Can Angel?

Ran out of steam again in my ramble. Make of it what you will.

All quotes are from Sharon Y Cobb's essay in Film Noir Reader 2,pp 209-213

Thanks for reading.


[> Ugh typos again...and serving man -- sk, 20:48:18 04/30/03 Wed

"resulting" under point 3 should be "wrestling", in case you couldn't figure it out. I need to proof these things first. My apologies.

Uhm also - kudos to the person who figures out where we heard To Serve Man Before and what sci-fi series/story it's taken from.

I know it's Lessons. Can't remember the literary ref.


[> [> Twilight Zone -- Rufus, 20:50:25 04/30/03 Wed

[> [> and Lessons -- Vickie, 23:33:17 04/30/03 Wed

"To serve man is a cookbook!" Dawn to Buffy, referring to Damon Knight's story by the same name, as well and the Twilight Zone (1962) episode based upon the book.

[> The. Best. Angel. Episode. Ever. (Peace Out spoilers) -- Rob, 21:14:18 04/30/03 Wed

I am absolutely stunned...and who'd've thunk, it's a David Fury ep!

Everything was perfect. I am so, so, so happy that to the very end Jasmine remained (in her mind) good. I was so worried they were going to drop the ball on that. But no, they address it head on. She would have made the world a better place. And Angel has just ended peace on earth and gone against the only Power That Be that really cares! What a perfect twist of fate! Sure there's the ambiguity because yeah, she eats people, but how many more would she have saved? Now, I'm not endorsing Jasmine, just commenting on the great ambiguity here.

Also Angel believes he's saving the world by his act. He believes it's selfless. But as JAsmine points out, is it?
Really? Everyone was happy. But you and your friends. Did you do them any favors?

Just had to reprint that, because it was so dead-on brilliantly written and no recap I could write could have stated it any better. Basically, once again this year Angel has been given perfect happiness and again had it taken away from him, this time, though, by his own choice.

Sure there are still a lot of questions, but this episode not only answered a great deal but was fast-paced, exciting, brilliantly directed and acted...I just can't stop gushing about it. And what a killer ending!

I was so excited when I saw Lilah, and the first person I thought of was you, s'kat! I just thought, man, she's gonna love that! Still jumping up and down over here. Usually AtS leaves me feeling perplexed and confused at the end, pondering over so many issues. This ending, though, just made me happy. AtS better be renewed, because this may be the coolest turn any show has taken ever.

I basically stopped rating episodes, too (got too messy having to raise or lower scores in comparison to other eps, etc), but if I hadn't, this ep would be an easy 10 out of 10. Also have to say it has one of the coolest episode titles ever, too.


[> [> I concur -- CaptainPugwash, 03:50:15 05/01/03 Thu

I have found the buildup to this all rather tedious, but it was worth it; another great take on the blissful robots vs independent imbeciles dilemma

[> [> Agree...wonderful episode. (Peace Out spoilers) -- s'kat, 22:42:16 05/01/03 Thu

I was so excited when I saw Lilah, and the first person I thought of was you, s'kat! I just thought, man, she's gonna love that! Still jumping up and down over here. Usually AtS leaves me feeling perplexed and confused at the end, pondering over so many issues. This ending, though, just made me happy. AtS better be renewed, because this may be the coolest turn any show has taken ever.

Yep. You were right. I grinned and said aloud. YES! they brought back my Lilah. She has become my favorite female character on both shows. Was jumping up and down too.

Very happy about the rumors on where this baby is going.
Now, WB? Please renew and give them money!!! sigh.

Everything was perfect. I am so, so, so happy that to the very end Jasmine remained (in her mind) good. I was so worried they were going to drop the ball on that. But no, they address it head on. She would have made the world a better place. And Angel has just ended peace on earth and gone against the only Power That Be that really cares! What a perfect twist of fate! Sure there's the ambiguity because yeah, she eats people, but how many more would she have saved? Now, I'm not endorsing Jasmine, just commenting on the great ambiguity here.

Also agree. Was very pleased with this plot twist. I'd been worried in Sacrifice and Magic Bullet and Shiny Happy People that we were going down the cliche false messiah route. I'm so happy they went for the ironic twist and subverted the cliche. Sort of answering that time old question - what would happen if a God really came down and decided to give you world peace..what price would s/he ask?
And they fact they made it female was wonderful. Everyone had been assuming it was a he. Same on Buffy - keep assuming FE is a he. Methinks its a she for some reason.

Yep, Fury surprised me. This is possibly his best episode.
The ending blew me away. From Connor's speech to Cordy all the way up to Lilah's entrance at the end. And boy, they still give her the best lines.

Thanks for the reply Rob!


[> Great analysis s'kat (Major Spoilers Tonights ATS 4.21) -- dms, 21:28:36 04/30/03 Wed

Don't have time to respond in-depth tonight, but I just wanted to agree with you on:

1) the Spike/Connor similarities (I shouted "Beneath You" when he went into the church). In fact, I saw many similarities/parallels between Angel/Connor/Buffy/Spike (and I think they can be arranged in many ways). It's got me worried about what's going to happen in the last three eps. of BtVS.

2) Yay! Lilah's back. AtS without Darla and Lilah was making me a little unhappy. Fred and pod!coma!Cordy are poor substitutes.

3) Angel's motives for deposing Jasmine being (wonderfully) muddled. At the beginning I thought he was interested primarily in Connor; when he confronted Jasmine I thought he was concerned about the world; by the time he returned to the hotel I was back to thinking that it was all.about.Angel (and Connor). Now? I'm a little confused.

And one slight disagreement. I really felt for Connor this episode, especially when he said he knew Jasmine was another lie, just a better one than all the other lies he's been fed over the course of his short life. VK really sold that scene, imo. OTOH, I wasn't particularly feeling Angel's torment. Perhaps it's Fury's writing of Angel (which bothers me); perhaps it's just that I want Angel to be just a little more self-aware and little less champion-y. What is it about the destined heroes that makes them so willing to martyr themselves and so reluctant to engage in self- reflection? Or is this just a trait of ME characters in general?

[> Where's all the blood? -- MagicBone, 21:53:21 04/30/03 Wed

With Buffy winding down and Angel redefining, I've been expecting to see some cast members killed off. Now they are bringing them back? What is this? Where is the blood? There was suppose to be torture for the audience, not entertainment. Damnit! Someone significant better die before the seasons are over or I'm switching to the cartoon network. That's not an idle threat either.

[> Thoughts on Gunn -- neaux, 04:16:50 05/01/03 Thu

while your analysis is great as usual, what do you think of Gunn?

Did Gunn display optimism with his "Never give up, never surrender" actions? I would say so. Was he stubborn? Yes. But of the four characters imprisoned in a cell, he was the only one wanting to escape.

You could go as far as to say he was the one not accepting of the fate he was handed and willing to attempt owning his own fate. Didnt Angel say something like that to Jasmine? It's up to humans to control their own fate. (I cant remember but it sounds good).

[> [> Galaxy Quest -- skeeve, 07:37:32 05/01/03 Thu

It had probably been said before but "Never give up, never surrender" made me think of Galaxy Quest, a truly wonderful movie.

[> [> [> Re: Galaxy Quest -- CW, 08:33:41 05/01/03 Thu

Charisma Carpenter might well defend the bizzare and often comatose nature of her part this year by taking a page from Galaxy Quest's Gwen and say, "Look, I have one job on this lousy (show). It's stupid, but I'm going to do it. Okay?"

[> [> [> [> LOL! -- Rob, 13:01:21 05/01/03 Thu

The funny thing is I've enjoyed everything that has happened to Cordy (or the thing in Cordy's body at least, um, except for the having sex with Connor thing lol) plotwise, but characterwise, it's horrible what they did to her! How could one possibly figure out what or who the hell Cordy is now? CC really needs to come back next season to set some things straight, such as WHO THE HELL SHE IS!!, or I'm not sure I'd believe the use of her character as a puppet was justified. Still holding out hope though that they give Cordy some consequences to deal with when and if she comes back, and that it turns out that she wasn't just a Cordy-shaped wind- up toy. I like the theory best where she was herself but under Jasmine's thrall. I really don't want them to drop the ball on this. Again, I loved the Cordy is evil! surprise, and the great twists that ensued from there, but I don't want to leave this character forever after a season where Cordy wasn't Cordy!


[> [> [> It's originally Winston Churchill . . . -- Susan, 15:22:41 05/01/03 Thu

It's an allusion to a speech Churchill made during the Blitz:

"We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender . . . ."

[> [> [> [> Churchill would never have been so redundant on purpose. -- CW, 15:37:59 05/01/03 Thu

Being clumsy and a little pathetic was the whole point of using the phrase in the movie.

[> [> Re: Thoughts on Gunn -- maddog, 08:19:15 05/01/03 Thu

That semi quote by Angel leads me to my question...am I the only one that thinks while the moral of the story may have been ambiguous, the true response is that Jasmine was wrong. World peace is obviously what we all want but is it really worth not only the lives she eats, but the power she weilds and the loss of free will? Our choices shape part of who we are. They make us us. How can you even think of giving that up? You'd be peaceful...but you'd be a drone...and I wouldn't want to live like that.

[> [> [> Well, that's the thing, isn't it? -- RichardX1, 15:47:15 05/01/03 Thu

Free will means giving people the opportunity to make choices that are destructive for both themselves and society; and the more people you have with free will, the more likely any one of them is to make a harmful choice with repercussions that could destroy or at least harm civilization. Therefore, the only way to achieve true absolute peace (on this side of eternity) is to utterly abolish freedom, even unto the mental and spiritual levels (watch the first two episodes of Beast Machines and you'll get another interpretation of this version of "utopia").

Total freedom, on the other hand, isn't so hot. In fact, we have a name for absolute freedom: anarchy. There's a reason the word has a negative connotation. In a society with no control whatsoever, nothing exists to keep the amoral, the id-driven, and the utterly Evil from running roughshod over anyone who tries to be the least bit decent.

So that's where we're left. We can't have total freedom, or we'll have no peace. On the other hand, we can't have total peace, because we'd have to sacrifice freedoms we can't even imagine not having. So where's the balance? Is there one?

[> [Sigh......] -- Caroline, 13:28:02 05/01/03 Thu

Jasmine's name sounded like Kabblah - it reminded me of Kali and something someone blasted me on last year. I tend to remember things I get blasted on. This poster blasted me for suggesting Kali was evil or just a devourer, a dark goddess. (A misconception that in my own defense I managed to get from George Lucas and Stephen Speilberg movies, not that that excuses it of course. It doesn't. I think ME sort of gets it right here, oddly enough. Kudos ME. Someone in Hollywood knows mythology.) When in truth Kali or whatever we wish to call her is neither good/nor evil. She's both creation and destruction. Jasmine tries unsuccessfully to explain this to Angel and crew. I'm neither good nor evil, these don't exist. There is no right/wrong absolute. Just choices we make. You choose whether I'm evil or not and I'm become so. I'm the creator and the destroyer. I'm what you choose to see me as. A lie? or a god? up to you. But, Angel asks, you take away our freedom to choose. Yes, Jasmine answers...but isn't that a small price to pay for peace and happiness. You ate 1000 people. What are a 1000 for billions? And we find ourselves wondering about the ends justifying the means once again. Also...was it really eating? They became a part of her. Isn't that what people want to become a part of their God?

Shadowkat, there are 2 things that I wish to address in the quote above. The first is that I am very nearly sure that I was the person who corrected your view of Kali in the post you mention (I tried doing an archive search but couldn't find the post and if I'm not the person, feel free to ignore this). However, I have no recollection of blasting you. I am sorry if that is how you interpreted it but that is not how it was meant. On this board we often correct each other and it is usually done without rancour. We have all written things that require correction or disagreement - how boring if we all agreed with each other or all knew everything! There'd be nothing to discuss! I am disappointed that you would interpret what I see as reasoned debate or constructive criticism as somehow judgemental or denigrating of you or your views. In the future, I would like you to know that I mean no animus or offense when I respond to your posts. But I would like to know how you think one should respond when one disagrees with a fellow poster?

I think that when one disagrees with a fellow poster, one should respond with what the disagreement is and the reasons why in a respectful way. For example, (and getting to my second point) I think that the parallel you make between Jasmine and Kali does not fit. Kali destroys the demons but the passions that have been stirred on an instinctual level to such a degree that they have taken over her judgement and she cannot stop because she is so caught up. This does not fit Jasmine - she is perfectly conscious of what she is doing, she is not having a fit of temporary insanity a la Kali. Additionally, Kali can be stopped by reason or logos as shown by Shiva but Jasmine cannot - she sees what she is doing (eating people) as eminently reasonable. Just because Jasmine and Kali both create and destroy does not mean that there are psychological or symbolic parallels between them. This is just my opinion which you are free to disagree with, just as I am free to disagree with yours. I think it would be more constructive if we could discuss our views rather than become defensive about our disagreements or lack of knowledge.

[> [> You weren't the poster. -- SK, 17:19:25 05/01/03 Thu

Who has the power? Feminism and Buffy (spoilers to present) -- Traveler, 21:02:07 04/30/03 Wed

I was really struck this episode with how vulnerable and scared Buffy looked as she tried to escape from the Preacher's grasp. It's so rare that we see her looking like a victim, that it made me stop and think. I suddenly realized that ME has been systematically removing Buffy's power all season. First, her ability to relate to others, then her specialness (Faith, the "other" slayer), her physical strength, and now her friends.

Since Buffy is suppose to be a feminist vision, let's look at who has the power now.

The First Evil - untouchable and manipulates events on the sidelines. It is interesting that the FE takes on Buffy's appearance, howver. Could the FE represent the evil that Buffy could do, her dark side?

Caleb - a stereotypical misogynist, but he is controlled by his idealogy and the first evil. He represents the dark side of religion/fanatacism.

Faith - was once evil like the FE or the preacher, but now she fights for her beliefs. Yet she hasn't forgotten her dark past and doesn't reject the edgier sides of her nature.

Now here's a thought that blew my mind. What if Buffy is to Faith as Caleb is to the First Evil? Buffy is caught in "the mission," the religion her vampire slaying has become. In sacrificing everything for her goals, doesn't she begin to resemble Caleb?

On other side of the spectrum, perhaps Faith represents what Buffy could be if she accepted herself, and allowed herself to be human? Perhaps "Faith" (as opposed to blind obediance) is the antithesis of the First Evil?

I'm completely unspoiled and would like to remain so, but I have to wonder. Everybody assumes that the season finale will end with Buffy giving up her power. What if instead Buffy recieves Faith's powers?

[> Re: Who has the power? Feminism and Buffy (spoilers to present) -- MayaPapaya9, 21:30:14 04/30/03 Wed

Question: If all the Potentials DON'T have superhuman strength, this means that the superstrength is transferred to each Slayer once she is called. If the Slayer line now ends in Faith, how does Buffy retain her strength? Is it at all possible that maybe the Buffy's power is all in her head, that she has strength because she thinks she does instead of actually having it? Like its all in her mind? And that its Faith that actually has the strength right now?

Does that even make sense??

[> [> Re: Who has the power? superhuman strength (spoilers to present) -- Vickie, 22:33:44 04/30/03 Wed

I think that the potentials all have better than normal strength, but nothing that can be called "superhuman". They probably retain that all their lives.

A chosen one receives a quickening if you will (sorry Highlander fans) that brings the potential of their strength to full flower. After that, they have the full strength as long as they are kicking. Regardless of other quickenings.

In other words, it isn't a zero-sum game of power: I have the power so you don't. It's more like: you get fully realized and that doesn't keep me from being fully realized.

uh, I think I just waxed philosophical!

what makes the FE such a threat? -- la lune, 21:38:16 04/30/03 Wed

hi. newbie here. question for everyone...

what's the big deal about the first?
i mean why are the scoobies so worred about it. they've faced"unstopable" evil before. adam and the mayor. glory was strong and invincible andit seemed there was no way to kill her. What about dark willow, to a lessr exent-shwas pretty unkillable.

the first evil has no form, can do nothing directly. sure, it sends some really strong vamps, but no stronger than the master, the maor, glory, or adam. caleb's strong, but again....they've faced strength before. is it that theyre the ones on the defensive.

is it just me or does this season lack a sense of urgency. i cant connect with the scoobies fears. and am i the only one who feels isolated by the recet changes in the characters. i always love buffy. faorite character, even last year whe everyone enjoyed their buffy-bashing. but all of a sudden she's lost smething (i know, shes jaded and shutting off her emotins....but as a viewer it feels different this time. i always simpathized wth her before).

just wondeng what ll thougt.

More on well, everything... (Spoilers for peace out) -- Masamune, 22:26:50 04/30/03 Wed

Okay. Okay. What the hell? So, Jasmine was good? No. She wasn't good. She was misunderstood. She thought that she was doing the right thing, I truly think that she did, but as Angel said: We deserved a choice, even if it was the wrong one.

And with Connor. Some GREAT character development there, what with the whole going against EVERYTHING he believed in and all. Also, I'm just going to go ahead and assume that he was able to kill Jasmine in one punch because (Not unlike Cordie) his blood is too the same as hers, and somehow that would give him power over her.

The whole name thing still wasn't really explained, or if it was, I think I missed it.

And lastly, in the scenes for next week. I had previously heard that the entire premise of the show would be changed in the season finale, and boy were THOSE rumors true! Angel working for Wolfram and Hart??? What the hell??? And how is Lila still alive? Last time I checked, she had been beaten to a pulp, stabbed in the neck, biten, and decapitated. Maybe she's some kind of ghost? Maybe?

I don't know. Great episode though. Resposes? Anything?

[> Re: More on well, everything... (Spoilers for peace out) -- maddog, 08:26:43 05/01/03 Thu

I'm not sure anyone here was saying she was good...I think the consensus is the same as you came to. She thought she was doing what was best(yeah and so did Hitler...doesn't mean I have to like either of them).

The name thing seemed rather self explanitory. By saying Jasmine's true name it took away her power...so when Angel cut open what was shutting the demon's mouth, the demon spoke her name(though I couldn't quite make it out) and then everyone could see the disgusting face.

I too am looking forward to next week. I can only image what the lawyers have in mind for the Angel crew. and Lilah..yes, nice to see her back...in whatever form.

[> [> Jasmines face?... (Spoilers for peace out) -- WickedBuffy, 09:21:43 05/01/03 Thu

I really didn't understand what the purpose of disfiguring her face and neck was about. (Her hair and figure and everything else I could see seemed fine.)

"Ugly" means "evil"? and there are no absolutes? Just seemed silly to me. It wasn't even the face the AIs had been seeing.

More illustrating ambiguities? Here's beauty and ugly in one form? Or just to remind us she wasn't shiny any more? Seemed odd.

[> [> [> Re: Jasmines face?... (Spoilers for peace out) -- lcolford, 11:14:39 05/01/03 Thu

Totally in agreement here. Never could get their association between ugly and evil, except in some neo gothic maggoty = corruption sense.
In the 14th century gravestones were "decorated" with images of decaying bodies to remind the living of eventual death and rot. The continual plagues changed the artistic, religious life. Being surrounded by pestilence, bodies rotting in open air twisted populations into a death culture. Portents of the impending apocalypse were seen everywhere.
AtS and Buffy's yearly apocalypse storylines carry with them other remnants of our medieval history, ie.omens, talismans, unexplained natural phenonena. Maybe Joss was mining his history for a relevant metaphor to describe Jasmine's moral ambiguity.

[> Contracts -- KdS, 09:07:54 05/01/03 Thu

As Holland explained to Angel in Reprise, Wolfram and Hart's employment contracts last well beyond death. Lilah's dead, just definitely not resting in peace.

[> Jasmine and Caleb? Separated at birth?... (vague spoilers PO & DG) ) -- WickedBuffy, 09:19:19 05/01/03 Thu

When Jasmine suddenly goes Supergirl and tossed the car at Angel, it reminded me of how incredible Calebs physical strength is always being shown. On both shows, they appear(ed) to be stronger than anyone else ever shown.

Both of them true believers in what they said. There was truth to it. Murder and death were small prices to pay to get to their ultimate goal - a vision of how the world should be. And they were going to make sure that vision happened no matter what.

Their characters seemed to be shaped by the same persons imagination. ;>

The moral ambiuity of God (Spoilers for 'Peace Out') -- Charlemagne, 23:13:47 04/30/03 Wed

The moral ambiuity of God (Spoilers for 'Peace Out')

As a minister I'm occasionally surprised by the questions Joss poses that sincerely bring to a head some of the most intimate things that humans have to struggle with. The lesson on Jasmine is ultimately the question of whether or not absolute Good and Evil can exist and whether or not ultimately that anyone has the right to draw the line or if there really is a line to draw whatsoever.

Jasmine is basically saying that she was the only power in the world who truly cared enough to intervene in humanity's affairs, rather like a sort of twisted version of the mortal form of God in Jesus minus the monotheism.

Sure she stole free will and ate humans but in another question (forgive me if I read too much Christian allegory) by another means my religion promises eternal bliss and an end to all evil either in Heaven or in the return of Jesus. The hows are different but far less concrete to many.

In Jasmine's case as in often the point we are presented with another 'god' ala Glory who is presumably immensley intelligent as well as wise and yet still crosses boundaries that we as a personal society find repugnant but also comes the fact that no matter how good an idea is it will ALWAYS be offensive to at least some segment of the population unless all individuality is uniformed.

As Jasmine more or less illustrated with Angel. A person can be beloved by 99.9 of the population but that .1 percent can still find them repugnant, kill them as Angel did despite the odds, and probably go to bed sleeping fairly soundly he's done a favor for the remaining folk.

Apparently knowledge and immortality are no guarentee of being perfect and if good is an absolute then is it truly situational?

That the "absolute good" requires lesser evils to be commited and the total moral purity preached about is impossible for even gods. There is only the path of least wickedness?

Angel is confronted with the fact that very possibly there is no Higher Cause whatsoever. There might be Powers that Be but their agenda is possibly inscrutable, morally offensive, or simply different. His defination of "good" might correspond to theirs or it might not but its ultimately his personal choice that determines his good and evil and ultimately his trust in them or himself that guides his path.

If there is nothing truly 'natural' about good, faith in one's leaders and divinity take on a startling new proportion. Heck to some Zeus would be preferrable because for all his lusts and activities he is anthromorphic and makes no pretensions to being morally superior to mortals, merely demanding it.

I haven't had my faith shaken by this event, possibly strengthened by a startlingly concrete logical answer to world suffering even by a perfect being, its some startlingly deep thoughts

Then again how difficult is it to summarize

"There's no easy answer to anything. No path that doesn't involve something going badly."

The question I suppose is if for angel the end will be worth it because we know there can never be a moment of true happiness

Then again, maybe a bit of sadness colors even the Heavens so that will ever after keep Angel's soul safe :-)


One note, I'm probably going to lose the high from a kick- arse episode and not feel overly burdened by it affecting in any way my moral or ethical structures as a minister

But Its good I write it now my rambling thoughts :-)

[> Jasmine.....the Lie.......spoilers for Peace Out -- Rufus, 06:09:14 05/01/03 Thu

Yeah, Jasmine made her schtick sound pretty damn good...

Jasmine: I want to thank you for allowing me to speak with you. I come to you, not as a leader, or divinity, but as your partner in a venture to make this the best of all possible worlds....without borders, without hunger..war..or misery. A world built on love, respect, understanding...and just enjoying each other.....Doesn't that sound nice?

War, poverty, misery....hate em. But, do I think that the sacrifice of some random people so I can enjoy that peace is worth it....no. Jasmine is great with the pretty words, but the reality is that she is just like any pretender, she comes with a price....and that is talky meat.

TV reporter: What can we do to show our love for you?

Jasmine: You don't have to do anything but love one another...although a temple would be nice...something massive and awe inspiring...yet warm and nurturing...celebrating the gentle pleasures of a peaceful precious co-existance...where violent behavior....

That's about where Angel crashed the party. Bringing the word, the word with power. Jasmine was a lie, if she weren't she wouldn't have had to put everyone under her thrall, her works would speak for themselves. She took away free-will, and took many lives in the process. That girl who spoke to Jasmine about how her life had been so crappy. Jasmine assured her she no longer had to worry about anything......no kidding, cause she ate the girl.

If someone is so good, they don't have to have a temple, they don't want human sacrifices. The best part of the conversations with Angel was when Jasmine had lost, because in her loss her true self was again revealed.

Angel: Jasmine...It's over...you've lost.

Jasmine: I've lost! Do you have any idea what you've done?

Angel: What I had to do.

Jasmine: No..No Angel. There are no absolutes...no right, no wrong. Haven't you learned anything working for the powers? There are only choices. I offered Paradise....you chose this!

Angel: Because I could...because that's what you took away from us....choice.

Jasmine: And look what Free-will has gotten you.

Angel: I didn't say we were smart. I said it's our right..it's what makes us human.

Jasmine: But you're not human.

Angel: Workin on it.

I guess Angel has rejected Paradise in an Mutant Enemy version of the Paradox of the Fortunate Fall. Angel made the choice to reject the lie, reject the false nature of the paradise Jasmine offered. He chose to let humanity figure out how to live in a way that is right. Jasmine said there is no right or wrong....I say crap to that...we know what wrong is because the difference between the two is how we make our choices. Humanity isn't perfect. We make lousy choices all the time. But Jasmine took the ability to reason away from everyone. She took that choice and tried to sell us a paradise where no one was capable of anything but be part of Jasmine.

Jasmine: And how many will die because of you? I could have stopped it Angel. All of it. War..disease..poverty...how many precious beautiful lives would have been saved in a handfull of years? Yes...I murdered thousands to save billions. This world is doomed to drown in it's own blood now.

Angel: The price was to high Jasmine. Our fate has to be our own, or we are nothing.

Angel offers Jasmine a chance to make a difference...help the world without without strings attached.

Jasmine: I loved this world...I sacrificed everything I was to be with you.

Angel: So you could rule us?

Jasmine: Because I cared..the Other Powers don't never really did...you know that's true in your heart.

Remember the Prophecy, Angel? The one that says in the time of the Apocalypse you'd play a major part? How you never knew wether you'd be on the side of good or evil. Well now you know. Next to you, this frail little power that was, has just enough strength in her to wipe our your whole species....and it's all on your hands.

Now, if Jasmine was the real deal, you'd think the love she preached would have room for the ability to forgive...she sounded like someone with a lot of power, used to getting her own way...having the ultimate tantrum when she got her first boo boo. Jasmine was a lie, one that had to hide its true self to the world to exist. Darla appeared to Connor and told him that Choice was the most precious gift there was. Choices aren't always easy, but they exist. In a world of Shiny Happy People nothing is real. God or whatever people see God to be has left us to our own devices, to figure out a way to either kill each other, or find that we are all more than that. The best gifts are sometimes the ones we don't know we really have.

[> [> Re: Jasmine.....the Lie.......spoilers for Peace Out -- CW, 07:05:56 05/01/03 Thu

There are no absolutes...no right, no wrong. Haven't you learned anything working for the powers? There are only choices.

"Jasmine was a lie, one that had to hide its true self to the world to exist"

If there are no absolutes then why does everyone, including Connor, recognize Jasmine's true nature? Forgive me for indulging my personal philosophy, but I think the reason Jasmine fails is that Jasmine's quote above is also a deception, one by ME. If there is no right and wrong even in ME's eyes, then truly Angel is just being perverse to fight her, as Jasmine says. But, we all sense that's not true.

The path is often murky, muddy and littered with wreckage. But there is a path. Even if currently, it looks like it leads back to Wolfram & Hart. ;o)

[> [> [> Re: Jasmine.....the Lie.......spoilers for Peace Out -- maddog, 09:15:51 05/01/03 Thu

A good point...if there were no right and wrong then what is the Champion's mission for? To fight the people that are "kinda bad"? :)

[> [> [> [> Have the definitions of Champion and of Hero changed now? -- WickedBuffy (any evolution going on in us, too?), 09:38:39 05/01/03 Thu

After watching the most recent Buffy and Angel episodes, does it seem our definitions of Champion and Hero (within ME) might be different than what they were much earlier in the season?

And also, are the two words interchangeable? Just wondering what others thought about the concepts now. Earlier in the season, it was discussed - but in light of recent events, is it different now?

I'm noticing some posters using the terms as if they were the same, and some as if they were separate.

[> [> [> of course it's a lie -- anom, 22:13:01 05/01/03 Thu

"There are only choices"??? That's exactly what there aren't since Jasmine showed up. Where does she get off saying that's all there is? Not only that, but without adequate information, there's no meaningful choice. All they have to do to show their love for Jasmine is love one another? Not exactly! There are plenty of choices we have to make without being sure of the consequences, but in this case the info was deliberately withheld.

And if there are no right & wrong, what is there to choose? Why is peace any better than violence? Why are billions of lives worth any more than thousands? (That line gave me chills because it reminded me of the Jewish kapos in the concentration camps, letting the Nazis take their people a few at a time in the hope--or the illusion--that they could save the greater number that way. In the end, all they were doing was keeping the victims from putting up any resistance that might've had a chance of being effective. Not that I'm making a comparison!--just an association.)

Rufus left something out. Jasmine speaks of "a peaceful precious coexistence...where violent behavior--" [Angel shows up] "--Kill him!" There's a 180 for you! Way to show your love, people! It's a smaller-scale version of Jasmine's turnaround toward the world she claimed to love when it rejected her--she was ready to use the last of her strength to kill all its people.

If there's anything I'm disappointed with ME for, it's that nobody stated the obvious: Asking Jasmine, "If you're so sure of people's love, why do you need to deceive them?" Or asking the people fighting them, "Is this what you do out of love?" Is it love to want to be in someone's head so you can explode her brain? To sing "Freddie's Dead" (funny as hell, though)? Is anyone feeding those 37 cats all named Jasmine? Did any of the people who came to the hotel leave children at home? Is it really love if you're neglecting those you're responsible for, or is it just a nice feeling that lets you ignore the consequences of that neglect?

The bookstore owner was happy even though nobody was buying his books. Who else isn't doing any business, or any work? Is the garbage being picked up? The food being grown & delivered? If everyone's so blissed out they're not taking care of business, how long will most people live anyway, even if they're all at peace? Or would people have gone on working happily--& w/reason, because love would make the working world better? Sweatshop owners willingly improving workers' conditions, corporate execs giving back most of their huge salaries & perks to be shared among employees no longer required to put in workaholic hours, command economies freed to find their own ways, industries actively pursuing ways to cut pollution, even bureaucrats waiving red- tape requirements...all out of love. (And all the lawyers unemployed--who'd need them?) Wow. If it's the latter, maybe it would be worth it!

NO!! Free will! Gotta work it out ourselves...sigh. Besides, I have a feeling it woulda been the former.

[> [> [> [> Re: of course it's a lie -- Wizard, 01:39:52 05/02/03 Fri

I dunno- it may well have been the latter. Why else would Wolfram and Hart (yay Lilah!) be so quick to congratulate Angel? ;)

[> [> [> There are no *absolute* rights and wrongs -- Arethusa, 08:34:47 05/02/03 Fri

If everything is a choice, there are no absolutes. No rules that always apply to everyone under all circumstances. That's not to say that there's no good or evil-just that what might be evil to Angel might not be evil to Jasmine. A billion people might be willing to give up free will for peace on earth, but a couple of billion others might think that is wrong. Democracy might be the only good way to live here, but in Iran it might be considered immoral, since it doesn't entail living by Allah's laws. Just as many Americans think our current government is immoral becuase it doesn't follow their interpretation of Christian laws.

Jasmine is both good and evil. We can't say her motivation is absolutely evil, because she wants peace and happiness. We can't say her method is good, because it includes eradicating free will and treating people like Happy Meals with legs. Her presence underlines the existential struggle each person must undergo while making those choices-are my actions good or evil? How do I know? Well, how do they affect me and others? What are my alternatives? What are my motivations? Are they pure, or are they inspired by fears and desires?

Angel must ask himself the same types of questions now. He can't just say, "the PTB told me to do this so it's the right thing to do." He must ask why they want him to do something, is it the right thing to do, who will be affected and how.

[> [> Here Here! -- Mackenzie, 08:08:14 05/01/03 Thu

Thank you Thank you Thank you.
I have been reading other posts and driving myself insane because some here are still clinging to the idea that Jasmine is good and Angel made a mistake.
"if Jasmine was the real deal, you'd think the love she preached would have room for the ability to forgive"
And she would have accepted her fate and found other ways to help this world. All the power and all the knowledge that she has aquired over eons would have been enough to help humanity in other ways. That is, if her love was real and true. Angel has proven himself a champion of the people over and over again, if she really cared for humanity she would never have tried to destroy one of the few who continually fights to make the world better. That brings me to another point. If Jasmine wanted to make the world a better place and she truly loved humanity she would have understood how important our free will is to us. Look at the world today, how many countries have some form of democratic government? Of those that don't, how many of it's citizens try to make it clear that is what they want? If her love was true Jasmine would have understood this and given people choices, she would have been willing to fight to make the world a better place. She instead, stripped us of our ability to choose and essentially turned us into cattle. Eating some of us, and allowing the others to blissfully be out to pasture.

[> Re: The moral ambiuity of God (Spoilers for 'Peace Out') -- RichardX1, 07:37:58 05/01/03 Thu

OMG, a minister posted on this board! It really is the Apocalypse! :-P

Seriously, though, this episode brings to mind one of the key paradoxes in Christian doctrine: that only God can save us (by way of that whole Jesus dying for our sins project), but only we can let Him save us.

YHWH is like Morpheus in The Matrix: showing us the door, but leaving us to choose whether to pass through. Jasmine, on the other hand, opens the door, grabs us by the wrist and yanks us through... leaving a few noticeable bruises in the process (in the form of consumed individuals).

In that sense, she's sort of an anti-antichrist (which does not make her Christ, for the record). The antichrist, the Beast inhabited by the Dragon, does not force his mark of damnation upon anyone (true, he kills people who don't take it, but a choice between death and another alternative is still a choice); his goal, however, is to get everyone worshipping him just to rub it in the Almighty's face. Jasmine, on the other hand, seems to sincerely want to make the world a better place; unfortunately, she has to force her will upon the minds of the masses in order to accomplish it.

And no, the A.I. gang in the dungeon awaiting their demise do not parallel refusing the mark of the Beast in this comparison: they're more like if the mark was imposed on everyone as soon as the antichrist arrived, and people had to have it removed.

And for my final note, God actually went on record as telling one of his followers (King David) NOT to build a temple for Him (the going theory is that David's hands were too bloodstained; but OTOH Solomon built the temple with heavy taxation and possibly some slave labor, so go figure).

[> [> Angel justifies the ways of God to man -- Katrina, 08:03:42 05/01/03 Thu

And I don't mean that in a blasphemous way!

I actually have not seen any of this season's AtS as an attack on Christendom in general or fundamentalism in particular (I know some folks in the wide world have), but rather as an explanation of why, if God (or the PTBs, to keep this fictional and not offend any real-life beliefs of any kind) exists and has all this power, why don't they just make the world a better place? It's the eternal question of the origin of evil and suffering in the world. Angel the character, and possibly the series, has weighed in with the free will defense. All the mistakes the characters have made, and all the bad things they've done, they've done because they had the free will to do them, thus illustrating how evil and/or suffering can originate in the choices of people with free will. And I think the show's done a good job of depicting how scary a world without free will would be.

[> [> [> Yes, that's how I see it the message as well -- Masq, 09:44:27 05/01/03 Thu

Whether you agree with it or disagree with it, that's what I think ME is trying to explore.

[> [> [> [> What wil this mean for Angel? -- Arethusa, 11:21:05 05/01/03 Thu

Jasmine quotes Dr. Pangloss in Voltaire's "Candide," who believes since God make the world, everthing in it is "the best of all possible worlds." Voltaire also said, "So far from the notion of the best of possible worlds being consoling, it drives to despair the philosophers who embrace it. The problem of good and evil remains an inexplicable chaos for those who seek in good faith. It is an intellectual exercise for those who argue: they are convicts who play with their chains. As for the unthinking mass, it rather resembles fish who have been moved from a river to a reservoir. They do not suspect that they are there to be eaten in lent: nor do we know anything by our own resources about the causes of our destiny."

So what does this mean for Angel's destiny? He has chosen free will, but on what basis will his and Connor's choices be made? What does destiny and being a champion for the powers mean to him now?

[> [> [> [> [> In some sense, Angel rejected the powers a long time ago -- Masq, 11:49:39 05/01/03 Thu

I would say in "Epiphany". Angel rejected the idea of working towards redemption, of "earning" humanity as a reward. He came to decide that just doing good works, helping people day to day moment to moment was how he wanted to live his life. He would gain humanity by acting like a human being--by acting humane. Shanshu be damned.

That is what being a champion means to Angel. Doing the little things, by his own choice, whether they end up helping or not. He tried to impart that philosophy to his son in Deep Down. Connor was in no shape to understand it or accept it. Who knows if he will ever be. He imparted that philosophy to Faith in Orpheus. She took it to heart and carried it to Sunnydale with her.

Angel has gone back and forth on that philosophy since, asked the powers to intervene when he felt at an impasse, railed on the powers for not intervening when things clearly seemed dark and out of his control. He still feels the tug of their presence because they won't let him go. They give Cordelia visions. They want Angel there when they need him, they give him a child and snatch it away.

Angel lived up to his philosophy last night, and he will need it to get through what is to come. The Powers are a group of Powerful beings that existed long before humans. No one put them in charge. They are not God. Angel owes them very little, if Anything. Angel may owe the world something for taking away Jasmine, but what he owes them is to pick up where he left off and get back to the helping because he choses to,

[> [> [> [> [> [> That's just it. -- Arethusa, 14:04:50 05/01/03 Thu

Angel had his epiphany long ago. I just keep feeling there's something I'm missing, since it seems odd to me that ME feels it necessary for Angel to have the same epiphany again. Is this ME's way of removing TPTB from the scene? Or are they just redoing the epiphany for Connor's sake? (He was just heartbreaking in his scene with Cordy. I was very impressed by VK.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Angel's epiphany -- Masq, 15:29:08 05/01/03 Thu

Angel's gone back and forth on his epiphany more than once since he had it, that was part of my point. He needed to work out just what his relationship with the PTB's was, because the PTB's don't just go away because you become an existentialist.

Angel learned to be skeptical of them. He has spent the two plus years since his epiphany questioning their motives, railing on them for their non-interference policy, and sometimes just ignoring them. I think he did have to meet one to know for sure they aren't the masters of the universe despite their powers. They were born with creation, but they didn't create the universe. They have no inherent right to determine what happens to him or to the world. He needed to learn that. He already suspected it.

He knows what they are now and can chose to accept their help or not. He knows he can't expect their help--they have no innate obligation to him or to the world, either.

That said, I think Angel wasn't so much HAVING an epiphany here as LIVING an epiphany he already had years ago. He was living up to his convictions.

He wants Connor to understand those convictions, but Connor isn't ready. Connor has a life time of inner demons to fight first.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I am being too impatient. -- Arethusa, 07:10:45 05/02/03 Fri

It's better to see this spelled out, and it's really great to see Angel living the epiphany. I was pleasantly suprised to see his attempt to reach out to Jasmine after all she had done.

[> [> [> You took the words etc (spoilers to 7.21) -- skyMatrix, 10:05:54 05/01/03 Thu

Although Joss and I obviously come from different angles, me being a Christian also, I feel that this plot reflects the common ground between free-thinking people of religious, aetheist and agnostic backgrounds. Many people do actually turn away from God because, "if there was a God, He wouldn't let bad things happen." This season, ME said, "whether or not there's a God, he/she shouldn't operate by taking away our capacity to do bad, because look what happens!" I guess a non-religious person could still argue that the afterlife as Christians believe it would be more-or-less a Jasmine- style world however...

I do have a question for you all, and that is, did ME make it too easy for us by having Jasmine eat people, not to mention the rain of fire et al that brought her about? IMO Angel still should have (and would have) defeated her even without all these things that she did. Did they think that we the audience needed Jasmine to do these things in order to feel less ambiguous about her? Did we actually need that? Or did they just include all that to keep the plot going? ;)

[> [> [> [> Yes, that was part of my difficulty with it -- Masq, 16:58:32 05/01/03 Thu

I do have a question for you all, and that is, did ME make it too easy for us by having Jasmine eat people, not to mention the rain of fire et al that brought her about? IMO Angel still should have (and would have) defeated her even without all these things that she did. Did they think that we the audience needed Jasmine to do these things in order to feel less ambiguous about her? Did we actually need that? Or did they just include all that to keep the plot going? ;)

Before last night's episode, I was having a hard time really believing Jasmine was sincere. If she was the one who brought the rain of fire, the blotting out of the sun, etc., how did she reconcile that with her "perfect world"? Well, she apparently saw it as a trade off.

This goes back to my feelings at seeing "Magic Bullet" after seeing "Shiny Happy People". I liked SHP because I thought-- Jasmine is a PTB! They're going to finally do a story line about a PTB! Then when she started eating people in MB, I decided she'd lied about being a PTB. I thought it was your standard purple-people-eater monster Big Bad and I was Very Disappointed.

So imagine my surprise when Jasmine continues to claim to be a PTB to Angel not only when he's not under the influence, but when she is defeated and almost powerless. I'm taking her at her word this time, which means ME Did do a PTB- visits-Earth story.

But then you have to reconcile why the PTBs, who seemed so benevolent, who seemed to ring up Angel when an individual L.A. citizen was going to die, with a PTB who would be willing to slaughter thousands. Jasmine wasn't like the other Powers. She wanted to be involved. She wanted to Help. She thought the good of the many outweighed the good of the few. The ends justify the means. Human Free Will isn't the ultimate bottom line.

Jasmine just ain't like the other PTBs.

The people-eating thing was an unnecessary story device. It made us want Jasmine out of power more, it gave Angel something to hold against her, but that, and the "crawly bug face" were designed to make us not like her when in fact ME's message could have been much stronger with Jasmine as just a powerful being coming to Earth and creating paradise at the expense of free will.

Just MHO.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes, that was part of my difficulty with it -- Rob, 18:10:19 05/01/03 Thu

"The people-eating thing was an unnecessary story device. It made us want Jasmine out of power more, it gave Angel something to hold against her, but that, and the "crawly bug face" were designed to make us not like her when in fact ME's message could have been much stronger with Jasmine as just a powerful being coming to Earth and creating paradise at the expense of free will."

See, I personally liked the eating people thing because it strengthened the metaphor of Jasmine devouring her followers and incorporating them into the "body Jasmine." Also, it fits in with the Buffyverse conception of there being a price to pay for all magic. Jonathan's superstar status created that monster, Buffy's resurrection led to the M'Fashnik demon. Jasmine was the embodiment of both. The world would get the benefits (paradise, peace on earth, etc) and the monster in a single package. I also think it was important to give Jasmine definable villainous traits to further muddy the waters. Even in the end, one can argue against Angel quite easily. Just look at all the confusion and desperation after he lets Jasmine's real name out. The world literally crumbles apart before our eyes.

I like the ultimate irony that the PTB who does want to take an active role in coming down to Earth and "saving" humanity destroys so many people to do it, whereas those who she says "don't care" never harmed anybody and helped Angel with information. Both forms of PTB come with a price. The other PTB are vague and can't fix everything, but they don't take away people's free wills or devour them into a single Borg-like entity.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes, that was part of my difficulty with it -- lunasea, 18:39:31 05/01/03 Thu

But then you have to reconcile why the PTBs, who seemed so benevolent, who seemed to ring up Angel when an individual L.A. citizen was going to die,

Was that for the individual or to help Angel along on his path?

Were those visions from Jasmine or the other PTBs?

This season was very important. Prior to this the show was about Angel's relationships with others. Now we are going to get more into freedom and choice. Both are aspects that make us human.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes, that was part of my difficulty with it -- gds, 18:41:37 05/01/03 Thu

Your point is valid, but look around. People are willing to sacrifice their freedom - not to mention the freedom of others for the illusion of security. It has been this way for some time, but since 911 it is much worse. The things being attempted for Homeland Security justify the horror that name fills me with, it is Nightwatch (B5 fans know what I mean) trying to be born. Fortunately I think it is premature for anything that severe to gain a strong foothold, but it is trying. There are other examples I could mention, but I have neither the time nor desire to get in debates about them.

If it is economically profitable, if it is convenient, if it seems to satisfy someone's simplistic view of how everything should be, people will flock to it. This is the stock in trade of both religions and governments. This is how they gain power to which they have no right and respect they haven't earned.

This does support your point that it would be more effective if Jasmine wasn't visibly a monster, but it also supports the contention that the public wouldn't catch the point.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yes, that was part of my difficulty with it (spoilers) -- CW, 21:20:41 05/01/03 Thu

I agree with you on a couple of accounts. To me Jasmine must have been a 'bargain basement' PTB, one that wanted all the perks of petty godhood, a cozy temple and lots of yummy sacrifices, in return for which she was willing to make easy (but not necessarily good) answers to all questions.

I think the message would have been stronger, just as you did, if Jasmine's evil wasn't quite so blatant until it was over. I understand what gds is saying in his/her reply. But I've seen 'Jasmine' in action. It was called the Soviet Union. The people under this kind of thrall want deperately to believe they are happy, when, as gds implies, all they are really getting is some sense of security against dangers they don't understand and against things being called dangers that clearly are not dangers in the eyes of an outsider. There were definitely moments when I was in the USSR that all I could think of was "When people figure out what's happening to them here, this place is going to explode!" It did eventually, but more accurately as after the naming of Jasmine, the place just collapsed.

I think it would have worked very well if we were not sure there was anything wrong with Jasmine's utopia except the lack of free will, until the moment it came apart. How much more tense would it have been if we were never sure that Fred and Angel were doing the right thing in opposing her, until it was too late to go back?

I was too young to go to school, when the Army-McCarthy hearings were on live TV. Joe McCarthy had much of this country convinced the US needed a general witch-hunt and purge of anyone vaguely connected with 'communists.' But, the afternoon Joe McCarthy got his comeuppance, even a small child like me could see what a petty, evil man he was. If Angel played out as Masq suggested, not everybody would have gotten the connection to current events, I'm sure. But, more than you might think. Certainly more than will make the same connection knowing Jasmine was a maggoty-faced people- eater early on.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The Star Trek before Generations (whose name I can't remember) -- Charlemagne, 12:33:57 05/02/03 Fri

Captain Pichard argues that 1000 lives of eternal immortal peace and security are more important than the lives of the billions of the federation because they own the "property" and its wrong to seize it.

No mention is made to the moral obligation these 1000 might have to sacrafice their immortality (as the rich do) or the possibility of alternative paths like stem cell research's current controversy.

the neat little good vs. evil controversy isn't so strong and petty when you see millions and millions dead because of an arbitrary judgement.

The Mind-control issue could have been voiced more than the "eating them" issue but can you say you would turn down the opportunity for knowing totally your fellow man?

Ala neon genesis Evangelion "insturmentality" as illustrated in this scene?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Are you sure you don't mean "before *Nemesis*"? -- RichardX1, 13:04:50 05/02/03 Fri

It sounds like you're talking about Star Trek: Insurrection, which was two movies after Generations.

The order of the Next Generation movies:

First Contact
(Best. Next Generation movie. Ever.)

Also, in Insurrection, the people Picard was trying to save were called the Baku, and the aliens who suggested uprooting the Baku and stealing their immortality radiation were called the So'na.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes your right. -- Charlemagne, 14:26:03 05/02/03 Fri

In any case the message didn't speak to me very strongly. Rather like the people of Star Trek Voyager not stopping the Phage aliens or curing them as Roddenbury's Star Trek folk would have.

[> [> [> [> [> i feel the same way, masq -- anom, 22:42:37 05/01/03 Thu

About both the people-eating & the maggoty face. They could've shown why the answer she offered was wrong through the consequences of the massive loss of free will w/out having such overt indications of her nature. And if there's any show that could do it, it's "Angel"...or "Buffy." Maybe there's only so far they can go against TV conventions.

I also want to address Rob's point about the chaos that followed Jasmine's exposure. I don't get why that happened. I can understand people screaming & running from her once they see what she is, but why were they screaming & running all over the city? Why were cars on fire? Why weren't people just sitting looking empty, or crying like Fred did after her own cure? Why was there any more than localized panic? Just because it looks better on TV?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Jasmine's nature, why there was chaos, and why Angel was able to hold off everyone with a Head -- RadiusRS, 00:57:55 05/02/03 Fri

The main problem with a Hive Mind is that the connectivity is also it's greatest weakness, and it takes more to sustain it. That's why Jasmine had her Last Supper with all those people, she needed fuel to take over a population approximately 600 times the size of L.A. It also makes sense that this effort would require the sacrifice (albeit temporary) of some of her other powers until this goal had been acheived. (Energy is neither created nor destroyed, it just changes form, For every Action there is an equal and opposite reaction, One body acting a certain manner will keep acting in that manner until another body acts upon it, one body affecting another is, in turn, affected by the other body.) I think this episode was rife with with parallels to the laws of physics, which seems to be the m.o. of the Buffyverse in general (see above posts for some excellent examples). I believe the Buffyverse is, in a very sublime way, applying an evolutionary explanation to the Supernatural. Willow mentions and demonstrates how magic is just another kind of science with it's own set of laws, Fred demonstrated in "Supersymmetry" how physics can explain interdemonsional travel, Jasmine tried to de-evolve herself while retaining her essence and thus her powers (Dark Cordy's comment in "Inside Out" how once upon a time she would have seen Angel's ruse eons before he ever thought of it), Jasmine said she could only do so much with "bugs" and that they were a test run for the humans, the more evolved species, except she forgot that they were, well bugs and that we'd already evolved beyond that and vampires are evolutionary relatives of the Turok-hans. Jasmine was a Devourer yet she was Sweet as well. She was a maggot faced creature, but someone like Connor could still see her as beautiful, so there was the possibility that some day everyone could see her as beautiful, even with her "true" face (I believe that's why her final face was sort of a mixture of the two). Her m.o. has pretty much been survival, even at the risk of the destruction of everything she's fought for. She was the vessel for everyone to get along and understand each other through her Hive Powers, and isn't that what everyone wants? But in a way she was very human and very demon, much like Angel himself (and remember, even if she was a PTW, her anchor in this world was a biological human-demon hybrid). Jasmine appreciated love, but she didn't have a clue about what pain was until everything was taken from her, and it drove her even crazier. I believe her great crime was impatience (though if you had been around since Creation, I guess you'd be pretty impatient, too). Jasmine's plan was to kick up our evolution, perhaps into a hive mind, so that we would be able to continue to grow, and perhaps explore the rest of Creation and bring them the message of unity (she did want a temple so that would make her followers missionaries in other places, but doesn't she deserve one for creating Paradise on Earth?). To do this, she had to become partially human and partially demon herself since her own nature as a highly evolved Power required the demon component and the human component to balance out the demon part, to make her capable of good. She needed to be able to do good in order to counteract the darkness that some of her peers had become, and she herself said that humans had the potential to balance the scales. In a way, Jasmine mirrors Angel and Spike, but since they originated as humans, they represent the true hope for humanity that, even though we may be destroyed by a demon, we may still be able to redeem the part of us that makes us human, our souls. Spike realized this when he saw that it would be better to go on as a souled vampire than as a chipped vampire, a chip that would eventually would have killed him, soul or not (it WAS government issue), and no one would have been willing to help evil but chipped Spike. Perhaps the demon in him bet that a good Spike would survive and that, if Angelus could come back, so could it at some time in a possibly chip-free body. Angel reflects Jasmine in that he has become disillusioned in the fight (Connor parallel here, too), he has yet to accept that there are no easy answers and that pain is the only thing that can make him value life. He gave up once before when he chose to cut himself off from his friends and sleep with Darla, and this experience has served to show him how desperately he needs to be in touch with his humanity if he wants to do good (which is why Angelus returned this season, to remind us of that fact). This time, Angel lost the chance for the woman he loved (for the second time), lost his friends (at least he thought so), lost the world, lost the chance to let Jasmine make good on her promise to eliminate the darkness in him, and lost Connor (in his mind). But even despite losing everything, he was still willing to go on, which shows that he did learn something from his previous epiphany. It seems logical to assume that if he had chosen to stay human in Season 1, the PTBs wouldn't have interfered, but he was given the choice to sacrifice that in order to do greater good by reversing time. Angel has finally understood that since when he lost everything, all that's left is what's truly him, and because of what Jasmine is, he must offer her the same chance that has been offered to him by the Universe, the right to choose her own fate. Just as Angel has chosen to keep fighting for the greater good and souled Spike chose not join the First Evil. They accepted the consequences of their actions. Jasmine seems to when she says that she did evil for the greater good, but she has misunderstood the fragility her new form entails.

Now on to why she was so powerful and, in the end, so powerless to stop Angel. By eliminanting the differences between people, she allowed them to become united in her bliss (for she was Sweet). But every time her influence grew larger, so did the need for a power source. By uniting everyone, she could theoretically eliminate all differences, therefore, she wouldn't need as much power to keep converting people, just to maintain her control. And our own evolution in the Body Jasmine would have minimized her need to maintain that control. So perhaps, she could have truly created a Paradise through her human/demon/Power incarnation at the cost of a few thousand or million unlucky lives (collateral damage). She is at the point of maximizing her power so that she will be truly undefeatable when Angel makes his appearance the worst possible time, when that Connection is still active and she's vulnerable (which is why Jasmine has to tell her followers to kill him rather than just will it). But because so many people are already connected by her (they don't lose the connection, just the direct access), they recognize the head of the Keeper because Jasmine recognizes it, and are terrified by it because she is terrified by it. At this point, Angel severs the connection of billions of people to Jasmine by revealing her true face, and since they feel what Jasmine feels, those billions of people feel her loss of power AND the requisite despair and depression that accompany the severing of the connection at the same time and on a massive scale. It seems that the more people that were under Jasmine's thrall, the harder it was for them to deal with the loss of her (Angel and Fred didn't whine nearly as much Wes, Gunn, and Lorne), and having that open connection reversed at its peek created a vaccuum of all the Order she had created, so Chaos naturally moved in to fill it. It's also why people reacted so violently to her, because her polarity had been reversed and instead of love, she now provoked pain. But in that moment, Jasmine understood what it was like to truly suffer, to truly feel human pain. She said she sacrificed everything for this world and, in the end, she did. Her human weakness for Connor allowed him to destroy her, but maybe her life and death truly changed the world for the better. Perhaps because of her actions, the PTB and the balance of the universe have been irrevocably altered and stirred up after stagnating, and that by her becoming part human, she has been able to stir things up and change the world for the better to restore the balance she talked about that humanity semmed able to accomplish. Perhaps in her afterlife (for I do believe she has some version of a soul), she might be content with that. Or perhaps she might want to try to finish her revenge on Angel. We'll see...

Please disect, discuss, and challenge.

[> [> [> [> [> does anyone think it Jasmine who sent Doyle and Cordy the visions? -- Helen, 04:17:23 05/02/03 Fri

Masq makes a(very good) point that the other PTB seemed more, not less caring than Jasmine, since they considered it worth while to send warnings to Angel of indiviuals in trouble. But what if that was Jasmine, and just part of the manipulation?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: does anyone think it Jasmine who sent Doyle and Cordy the visions? -- yabyumpan, 08:26:32 05/02/03 Fri

Masq makes a(very good) point that the other PTB seemed more, not less caring than Jasmine, since they considered it worth while to send warnings to Angel of indiviuals in trouble. But what if that was Jasmine, and just part of the manipulation?

But to what end? It seems to me that, if we are to believe Skip and this has all been planned out in advance, then it just leaves to much to chance and Free Will, something Jasmine wasn't very fond of. There was no guarantee that Doyle would sacrifice his life in 'Hero', or that Cordelia would turn down the chance of giving up her visions to Groo or that Angel would fall into despair from W&H's manipulations and sleep with Darla or that Connor would end up in Quartoth and age 17 years in a few months, thus enabling him to mate with Cordelia and produce Jasmine.
I see Jasmine more as an opportunist, either seeing her opportunity when Cordelia was dying from the visions in Birthday or when she went up to the higher relms.
I also have a theory that the reason she chose Cordelia was so that she could block warning messages from the PTB. The PTB may not be that bothered about interfering in humanity but I wouldn't think they would be happy with one of their own going rogue, it would seem to totally contradict their pretty much 'hands off' policy. With Jasmine-in-Cordelia, she could deflect their warnings and carry out her plan.
I hope we get resolusion to all the, as yet, unanswered questions this season has produced and it's not just left up in the air.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes, I agree yab -- Masq, 09:12:07 05/02/03 Fri

Jasmine would never leave anything to chance, to human choice. She took her opportunities where she found them. I believe she was the one who kept Connor from being aborted before he was born. She was the one who master-minded coming to an ill Cordelia and turned her into a part-demon/higher being.

But the other powers--the hands-off, human-free-will powers- -they gave human beings the visions. Maybe they gave Doyle the visions and sent him to Angel. But no one could predict Doyle would kiss Cordelia. Maybe they took that moment to pass the visions on to Cordelia, but the kind of visions Doyle and Cordelia had weren't Jasmine's style. Saving one girl from a demon? Saving one boy from a gang of vampires? Allowing Angel to chose to turn his back on the visions if he wanted to?

Jasmine just doesn't value human choice or individual lives. She's all about the warm, fuzzy big picture of paternalistically enforced (and therefore ultimately empty) happiness.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Why stop there? Spoilers BtVS &AtS so far, brief Speculation for BtVS end -- fresne, 09:44:51 05/02/03 Fri

Oh, definitely. Think how much easier to manipulate peopleís actions if, to a degree, you are manipulating the cases and causes that they pick up. Not necessarily every case, but the crucial key ones, certainly. Who knows, perhaps in general the visions are on auto pilot.

So, what was the vision to prevent Angel from going to Wolfram and Hart when Darla and Drucilla came for the tasting? A strategy tree in which each branch led to victory? He goes. Heís sufficiently alienated to sleep with Darla. He doesnít go. Some lawyers, who youíre planning on killing later, die anyway. This huge tree of choices with so very many paths leading to where Jasmine needed to be. All the time in the universe.

Since, Iím more Baroque Byzantine than that in my suspicions. And here forgive me if these were voiced previously and I speak in repetition, but last night was my first opportunity to watch the two beginning Jasmine episodes.

Why stop at Connor. Why not imagine little pushes to bring Darla back. She has a roll to play in your grand design. Further. Consider that the Beast approached Angelus long ago, so this is a plan of long spinning.

The prophesy that said that Connor would kill Sanjan.

Inspire it.

It will put Holtz into play. Nice to think that the manipulator of prophesies was himself manipulated.


Iím sure someone had to have mentioned this, but Angelís return from whatever hell he was Acathla in. Consider what Whistler said, that no one saw Buffy coming. She was supposed to die at the Masterís hand. Probably causing Angel to come into play to kill the Master. Prevent that end of the world. Instead she lived and Angel lost his soul and time for plan, well not B, but W.

Who was it who gave Willow that extra power to bring back Angelís soul anyway. Long before Willow knew any of the black magics, she was showered in a white light.

And who sent Whistler to Angel in the first place? Have to get him out of his sewer by showing him a blond girl, the innocent version/vision of Darla. Things to do. Places to be.

My mind boggles at the snow that kept Angel from killing himself, then if Jasmine sent, cross over after all. Why did the First Evil target Angel? Because he had a roll to play in some opposing apocalypse?

And in the end, who knows what a father will choose? What a few drops of blood and Clorox will do?

Iím not saying that itís all Jasmine, itís just that this resolves for me so many of my fundamental problems with AtS and several long standing questions, that I needs must grasp. Why is Angel so special? Why do the Powers take such an interest in him? So, many pushes at so many crucial moments. Why is he so specifically designated a Champion? Because someone had a plan. And I wonder, how many Champions did not arrive at the gate. How many Angels and Cordelias and Connors and on. Because itís all about choice.

Connor had to choose to participate to bring Jasmine into the world. Both he and Cordelia Jasmineís anchors. Humans had to choose to name her. Sweet night blooming flower. And in the end, Connor had the choice to cling to the lie or choose well, choice. Just as the Hellmouth may influence, but Scooby or First Evil Acolyte must choose. Maybe not the best choices, as Angel said, no one said we were smart, but choices. Branches in an infinite tree of options.

When old gods weary of the games and distance, perhaps Buffy is headed for a Babylon 5 resolution and not Highlander after all. And Angel, well, the worldís his choice box.

[> [> [> [> [> I agree. -- Arethusa, 07:05:03 05/02/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> No offense but if people subsume their free will willingly... -- Charlemagne, 12:23:24 05/02/03 Fri

That's rather a voluntary choice and not necessarily an evil one I should indicate. People give up freedom for security and guidence every day in their lives. In Islam the idea of submission to god's will above all things is actually the pen ultimate virtue of the religion.

I admit its creepy speaking out Jasmine's voice but the unity of all living souls is hardly an evil thing.

[> [> [> Re: Angel justifies the ways of God to man -- fleur- de-lis, 13:19:53 05/01/03 Thu

when any mortal(even the most odd)

can justify the ways of man to God
i'll think it strange that normal mortals can

not justify the ways of God to man

e. e. cummings

thanks Katrina--reminded me of Cumming's observation, tied right in with last night's ep

[> [> [> [> thanks for posting this, fleur! never saw it before! absolutely appropriate! -- anom, 22:44:36 05/01/03 Thu

[> [> I actually post here alot... -- Charlemagne, 12:38:30 05/02/03 Fri

Or at least semi-regurarly. You can see some of my Annotations at the Annotated Buffy site.

A very interesting interpretation of the story and one I heartily commend.

Current board | May 2003