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Willow Question- S4 Speculation -- Wizardman, 00:37:53 08/06/02 Tue

Well, We have 1 month and 18 days to Buffy S7. Can't wait. I just have onr question: how much grovelling will we see Willow be doing, and to whom? I think that #1 will be an Anya/Giles tie, followed shortly by Dawn, then Buffy. I think that she'll try to grovel to Xander, but he won't allow her to. What do you think?

[> Re: Willow Question- S4 Speculation -- Quentin Collins, 01:50:54 08/06/02 Tue

I agree that she won't have to with Xander. It was clear that he had pretty much forgiven her in the last scenes of "Grave". Since presumably Willow has been in England with Giles all summer, we may not see how much she had to grovel with him. With Anya it may depend on what her future plans are. If she wants to give up being a Vengeance Demon, she may be bitter about Willow trashing the Magic Shop. If she gets her Vengeance mojo back, she may feel that it liberated her.

I would guess that things will be weirdest with Buffy and Dawn. Buffy and Willow have always quickly forgiven each other, but we have never seen anything like this before. And the scene when Willow hinted that she would turn Dawn back into her key form still creeps me out. It may take Dawn a long time to get over that one.

[> [> Betrayal and Forgiveness -- Dochawk, 06:45:24 08/06/02 Tue

Maladanza wrote a wonderful post a few months back on Buffy and her ability to forgive and forget. I think this will be true for Willow again this time. She knows that it wasn't "Willow" when she was fighting her, that Willow was possessed. I think Willow will be forgiven by everyone (except maybe Dawn) quickly, her problem is going to be forgiving herself.

This contrasts to Wesley on Angel. His betrayal of Angel was much more personal. He betrayed Angel's trust and its gonna take a lot longer for the Fang Gang to forgive Wes. It has to do with how personal and deep the deed was.

[> [> [> Forgive the hijack, but ... -- Earl Allison, 09:31:38 08/06/02 Tue

I have a real problem with Wesley's actions being so terrible when Angel's (NOT as Angelus, either) were much, much worse, resulting in several deaths and the very real risk of unleashing Angelus again.

Wesley at least has the benefit of have tried to do what was right -- a lot of Angel's actions (especially late S2) were done out of spite and malice (leaving the lawyers to die, torching Drusilla and Darla and not staking them), with little to no goodwill or decent intent to mitigate said actions.

Now back to your normal thread :)

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> But logic doesn't enter into this. -- HonorH, 12:37:21 08/06/02 Tue

I'm sure Angel would admit outright that his actions were objectively far worse than Wesley's. However, when it comes to your child--someone taking your child from you, and that action resulting in that child being raised in a hell dimension by someone who hates you--logic gets introduced to the window. There's just no way around that.

Interesting observation--I've noticed that the males on the board seem to be more willing to polarize themselves along Angel vs. Wesley lines, while the females (or those I recognize as females) are more prone to saying, "I understand why Wesley did what he did, but I also understand why Angel couldn't react any other way than he did."

[> [> [> [> [> I understand, but I also think ... -- Earl Allison, 13:56:01 08/06/02 Tue

... that Angel of all people has NO leg to stand on, and that AI as a whole virtually abandoning him (Wesley) is a travesty. I admit to holding grudges a LONG time myself, and were I Wesley, it would be a cold day in hell before AI got anything from me, not my help, not my hindrance, not even my notice -- that's what galls me -- Angel screwed up far worse than Wesley, with less reason, and they turn on him like hyenas!

I'll leave it here, I don't want to hijack the thread anymore :)

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> [> [> This is why I think -- HonorH, 14:04:04 08/06/02 Tue

Angel and Wesley will have a far easier time making up than Wesley will with any of the others, actually. At least with Angel, it's a definite and understandable issue. Wesley even waved away Fred's, "I'm sorry for what Angel did to you," in "The Price." He understands that Angel perhaps can never forgive him for what he ended up doing to Connor. And Angel having no leg to stand on? That's part of the logic that goes out the window when it comes to one's child.

The others, though, I agree. At least Fred spoke to Wesley and said *why* she was upset with him, and she's also tried to contact him at other times. Gunn and Cordy, though? It'll be a loooong time before Wesley can forgive them for abandoning him.

[> [> [> [> Re: Forgive the hijack, but ... -- acesgirl, 15:16:01 08/06/02 Tue

Earl, please forgive me contributing to the continued highjack of this thread but I wanted to comment on something that you said in your post, something that I have heard repeatedly from other posters and other boards and it confuses me.

"Wesley at least has the benefit of have tried to do what was right"

I'm not sure that I fully understand what this means. I understand that Wesley wanted to protect Connor from a potential threat from Angel and I understand that he wanted to protect Angel from knowing the pain of causing harm to his child. These are good and noble goals based in love and friendship. What I don't understand is how, under any circumstances (including his broken heart and his lack of sleep), Wesley reached the conclusion that the solution to this problem was to kidnap Connor. IMO, that is the most illogical conclusion he could have reached. How did he plan to protect him once he had him? Where was he going to take him that no one would find them? And why did he think he was more capable of protecting Connor from Angel than Angel was? I guess what I'm saying is that when you add up all the numbers in the two columns, I think that Wesley's ultimate decision vastly outweighs his original intent almost to the point of negating it.

However, that being said, I do agree with you that Angel has little room to pass judgement and he will need to come to terms with what Wesley did if he is ever to get back on the path to redemption. And I can hardly wait to see it all play out.

[> [> [> [> Re: Forgive the hijack, but ... -- Malandanza, 21:01:08 08/06/02 Tue

"I have a real problem with Wesley's actions being so terrible when Angel's (NOT as Angelus, either) were much, much worse, resulting in several deaths and the very real risk of unleashing Angelus again."

I agree with much of what acesgirl said about Wesley, but would add that Wesley also betrayed Angel and in America betrayal is the worst imaginable crime. Perhaps, in part due to the Christian heritage -- Judas Iscariot being the worst person in the Bible. We also have Benedict Arnold. Even in modern times, people who snitch on the mob bosses are seen as worse than the people they betray. That betrayal is the worst crime was emphasized by Dante's Inferno -- with Judas in the middle mouth of Satan. By contrast, Angel didn't personally betray any member of AI. I don't have a problem with Wesley, Gunn and Cordelia eventually forgiving Angel for not stopping the murder of the lawyers (who, after all, put themselves in that situation) while not forgiving Wesely for stealing Angel's child.

"Wesley at least has the benefit of have tried to do what was right -- a lot of Angel's actions (especially late S2) were done out of spite and malice (leaving the lawyers to die, torching Drusilla and Darla and not staking them), with little to no goodwill or decent intent to mitigate said actions."

Angel also thought he was doing what was necessary. Consider this quote from Redefinition:

WESLEY: ...Someone has to fight the good fight.

He looks at Angel for a moment longer, then leaves. Angel looks at the knives in his hands, then HURLS one at the target. THUNK! It lands several inches left of the mark.

TIGHT ON ANGEL - he closes his eyes.

ANGEL (V.O.): And someone has to fight the war.

A beat, then Angel opens his eyes. He THROWS the last knife -- THUNK! Bullseye.

The other voice-overs expand on this theme -- that Angel thought his path was the only way to fight W&H. He was mistaken (as was Wesley about Conner) but he did believe he was doing what was "right". Also in this episode, Angel gives his reason for not killing Darla:

ANGEL (V.O.) I'm not ready.

INSERT - A FLASH of DARLA from the previous scene, turning around, calling, "Angel?"

BACK ON ANGEL - He turns, hands against the wall, and rests his head against the brick.

ANGEL (V.O.): I can still feel her. Her pain, her need. Her hope. I'm too close.

He pushes off from the wall. Stands in the alley, head down. A beat. Then he raises his head -

ANGEL (V.O.): I'm too close to fight her.

So no spite or malice in not staking the girls, just human weakness (like Buffy failing to stake Angelus back in Season 2).

I'd also point out, in Angel's defense, that Wesley doesn't have a demon living inside of him, whispering "kill, kill,kill" into his subconscious. Wesley's mistake was his own -- he has a soul and a conscience telling him what's right, and he ignored both to make a unilateral decision that he knew was wrong (but thought was necessary). Angel has to constantly fight against his demon (as we saw in The Shroud of Rahmon after he had tasted Kate's blood, and again in Disharmony when he was visibly disturbed by her almost sexual description of drinking warm, human blood). And W&H had been doing their best to bring out Angelus. Think of Angel as a tame tiger and W&H as a boy who keeps poking the tiger with a stick, ignoring the flattened ears, the lashing tail and the warning growls. Eventually, he ends up needing intensive care -- do you blame the tiger or the boy?

Finally, Angel wasn't just forgiven instantly by the AI team -- he spent quite a bit of time groveling and being tested. So far, Wesley has been defiant and unrepentant (rejecting openings by both Gunn and Fred), as if he were the injured party instead of Conner and Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> And in Wesley's defense now -- HonorH, 21:30:28 08/06/02 Tue

Gunn's wasn't exactly an opening. "I didn't want to come here" were practically the first words out of his mouth. He demanded information in a very high-handed way and didn't even give Wesley a chance to explain *his* thought processes. To an extent I can understand this: Wesley, in TOGOM, threatened to fire Gunn for exactly what Wesley eventually did, i.e. withhold important information. And, too, the whole AI gang loved Angel's baby. Still, Wesley deserved better than Gunn's coldness and Cordy's silence. Only Fred even bothered to visit him in the hospital and speak to him and express her hurt at his refusal to confide in any of them. Like I said--in the end, I think that hurts Wesley even more than Angel's fury.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks for the backup and I agree in return. -- acesgirl, 10:13:39 08/07/02 Wed

Malandanza, you elaborated so nicely on my original point and with much more evidence. Thanks for doing all the hard work.

I think you've hit the nail on the head with the "personal betrayal" idea. A more recent example that comes to mind is the Clinton/Lewinsky mess. Lots of differing opinions all over the place regarding the two principal players but the only clear cut villain seemed to be Linda Tripp for her betrayal of her professed friend.

[> Eventually, everybody will forgive Willow except... (S7 spec) -- cjl, 07:15:24 08/06/02 Tue


Buffy will rationalize Will's Darth Rosenberg phase as magical possession; Dawn will grumble and snark for about five episodes, but eventually cave in; Xander, of course, will be Mr. Hugs the microsecond Willow steps off the plane.

Willow won't be nearly so easy on herself. She won't buy the Willow/Dark Willow split any more than Angel buys into the Angel/Angelus split. She's going to try to build bridges with Dawn, but will always remember she endangered Dawn twice last season ("Two to Go" and "Wrecked"), and might (on some level) back away for Dawn's own safety. And as for Xander, she might dismiss his unconditional forgiveness as love for someone who doesn't exist any more (i.e., the Old, Sweet Willow).

So I don't think the problem will be the rest of the Scoobs. Willow might think she no longer deserves her friends...

[> [> More S7 Spec. Spoilers for S6 only. -- Arethusa, 08:12:48 08/06/02 Tue

I have a feeling that a lot of Willow's readjustment will take place over the summer. Mopey guilty Willow would be too much like S6 mopey depressed Buffy. I think ME will trust us to understand she spent time working through her issues of power and self-esteem. If they remember she had them.

Dawn's interactions with everyone will be interesting. Presumably, Buffy will continue to train her to defend herself. Dawn will almost surely have problems with Spike, but if Spike wants to make up with Buffy he'll probably try to make amends with Dawn too. Instead of curtailing her relationship with Willow, ME might develop a new relationship on a more equal level-Willow was always Dawn's ideal (see narration in "The Real Me"), and part of her problem with Willow was watching her hero fall.

In fact, all of the relationships will shift next year, as significant others become less significant. They can't go back to the way they were, so we will probably see less unhealthy interdependence and more healthy bonding. I'm hoping.

[> [> [> Re: More S7 Spec. Spoilers for S6 only. -- HonorH, 12:47:26 08/06/02 Tue

"Instead of curtailing her relationship with Willow, ME might develop a new relationship on a more equal level-Willow was always Dawn's ideal (see narration in "The Real Me"), and part of her problem with Willow was watching her hero fall."

Oh! I love you for saying this! I think it is indeed key to understanding Dawn's character *and* her interactions. I think the moment everything changed for her was when she slapped Willow in "Wrecked." That was when we started seeing Angry Dawn instead of just Sad Dawn or Lonely Dawn. It was like that moment was when she admitted to herself that the adults in her life had serious problems, and they weren't going to be able to help her with hers. That moment of disillusionment is what brought out her anger, just as her reconciliation with Buffy soothed that anger.

Yes, it's going to be interesting to see how Dawn reacts to everyone now, especially Willow and Spike. I think she'll have more anger at Spike, though I don't see her being anywhere near comfortable with Willow. She might be able to do with Willow what she did with Buffy after "Normal Again"--"It wasn't you"--but what Willow said and did had to hurt. Willow's taunting of her hit Dawn's two biggest hurts. One, the deaths in her family--"Mom! Buffy! Tara! Wah!" Two, her Key-ness. Even if Dawn can forgive Willow, it'll take time for the hurt to ease.

As for Spike--he hurt Buffy, which is even worse, given how protective the Summers sisters are of each other. *Really* looking forward to their first meeting next season! Oh, the pain! The angst! Bwahahahaha!!!!

Yeah, evil again.

[> [> [> [> Let's hope Dawn isn't carrying her sword when it happens. -- Arethusa, 13:33:06 08/06/02 Tue

(This is the 2nd time I tried to post this-hoping no double post appears. Sacrificing a goat to Moloch as I type. Yuck. Goat guts.)

Good points about Dawn's emotions. It was the morning after "Smashed" that we saw Dawn wear the Red Clothing of Power and/or Strong Emotion.

[> [> Re: Eventually, everybody will forgive Willow except... (S7 spec) -- redcat, 08:55:47 08/06/02 Tue

I think you're probably spot-on, cjl, but humans are odd, complex beings, even the ones who are just fictional characters. I wonder if anyone has suggested that Willow's journey towards recovery will require her to deal with not only her own guilt for what she has done, but also the anger she probably still feels at Buffy for not stopping Warren before he killed Tara? Granted, even with just a quick perusal of the plotlines of S6, one could find instances where every member of the gang, including Willow herself, could be held accountable for not recognizing and dealing with the Troika. But Buffy is the Slayer and I think the fact of her inaction, in particular after Katrina's death, must be rattling around deep inside Willow somewhere, probably buried under all that shame and self-loathing. We saw much of Willow's deeply repressed anger flash out during DarkWillow's fight with Buffy in the magic shop, but I was struck at the time by how the issues Willow raised were only the long-standing ones developed over six years of friendship, while there wasn't even a hint of her blaming Buffy for not having stopped Tara's murder. Grief almost always contains some small but persistent element of anger at the person who has died, even when (as is true in almost all cases of human death) the cause of death was not under the control of that person. But when someone is murdered so violently in front of one like Tara was in front of Willow, the sense of helplessness is overwhelming and can lead to some pretty wild transferals of blame from the actual perpetrator to the self as well as, sometimes, to those others who also couldn't -- or didn't -- stop it from happening. It would be fairly unusual for someone who has experienced what Willow has to NOT have some residual resentment of the hero who didn't save her world.

I'm not Buffy bashing here -- far from it. Whatever Buffy's actual responsibility in this sense might be, IF she can be said to have any at all, is a separate issue. Personally, I'm of the opinion that no one is to blame for Tara's death but Warren. I'm only thinking here about what *Willow* will still need to deal with when she gets back to Sunnydale.

[> [> Re: Eventually, everybody will forgive Willow except... (S7 spec) -- DEN, 11:52:33 08/06/02 Tue

I think Willow is also going to feel VERY responsible for Tara's death. Tara was no Xena--not even a Gabrielle, seeking adventure and a new identity. She put herself in the front line of a war because of her love for Willow. It's hard to believe Willow won't be tormented by the question of whether she failed her soulmate--especially since Willow has meaningful life choices, and is correspondingly far more a "true volunteer" than any of the other scoobies. It will be interesting as well to see if Willow expresses hostility to Buffy, for being the catalyst of Willow's initial decisions, and for still being alive while Tara is gone.

[> [> [> Re: Eventually, everybody will forgive Willow except... (S7 spec) -- Ronia, 12:58:56 08/06/02 Tue

I have been wonderring if the death of Tara will cause any of the scoobies to reconsider their decision to fight the fight. Buffy is chosen...she is more or less compelled to do it. However, I have been thinking about the "slayer and all her friends" sentiment. I initially brushed it off as a plot device, used to show that Buffy is feeling dejected at the moment. Eventually it came to my attention just how many times it has in one way or another been expressed. Got me thinking about the history of slayerdom. Surely there have been other slayers who were at some time inclined to be social. The fact that the "scooby gang" is unprecedented sort of suprised me. I had some vague thoughts about choices made in late teendom that had lasting consequences floating around in my mind, and after SR, they sort of began to coher. Both Xander and Willow were saved by Buffy from becoming wishverse vamps..or so it is suggested. Other than that though, most of the danger they have survived has been voluntary. It was written off as "well, now that I know how can I not act?" Looking back though, I think that most people who live in the world pick their battles, and the rule of measure is usually sacrifice compared with gratification. Both Xander and Willow have had many years of gratification, and only saw the sacrifice as a third party. In fact, they made the decision while still in the gratification years. Xander may never have made the decision at all, just continued on his current trajectory, as is his habbit. Now, we are seeing some loss, some bad decisions, some blurring of the lines. We get to see our heroes topple from their pedastals and hit the ground with the beauty and grace of a hefty bag full of vegetable soup. A conversation between Cordelia and Vamp Harmony (again played for laughs, but with a grasp of truth of expectations gone amiss) about the funny turns life can sometimes take brings this home for me perfectly. Who would have thought back in computer lab, that you would be an office manager, and I'd be dead? Now real loss has occurred. This year of growing up hasn't been pretty, but I think it was worthwhile. I would love to see some issues tackled next season, such as, how much are we willing to give up? If we know that we place ourselves in danger, have we the right to involve others? Can we walk away? If we don't walk away, what changes need to be made? It has never ceased to amaze me, how many times Willow and Xander put themselves in harms way as though nothing CAN happen to them. An example of this was the beginning of WSWB...a very sweet scene, complete with Xander attempting to defend Willow, and all I could do was sit there thinking, now that they know what they do..what are they doing waltzing around outside after dark? They didn't know, not really. Now maybe they do..I can't wait to see what comes next as a result.

[> [> [> [> Personally, I'm looking forward to Xander's character development. -- HonorH, 19:43:59 08/06/02 Tue

In particular, I mean. He saved the world when no one else--not even Buffy--could do it. I don't think that'll lead him to reconsider fighting by Buffy's side, by any means. If anything, it'll build his confidence in who he is--what his unique abilities are. I love the gender reversal, btw. Rather than a woman fighting with her body, like Buffy, we've got a man whose only weapon is his love, and that's enough to win the day. Gotta love that.

I don't know about Willow. I think she'll be reluctant to draw anyone else into her world now, just as you suggest, and that's one reason I don't think we'll see her being eager to start another relationship, aside from it just being too soon after Tara. We've already seen that Buffy's reluctant to bring anyone, sister, mother, or boyfriend, closer to the fire.

Dunno if this has anything to do with anything, of course, but it's a good question, Ronia.

[> [> [> [> [> why thank you HH :0) -- Ronia, 19:48:42 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Anytime, dearie! n/t -- HonorH, 22:06:16 08/06/02 Tue

Why is Noxon in charge? Anyone have the inside story?
-- Rochefort, 01:05:20 08/06/02 Tue

yeah yeah there's "seniority" but I highly doubt that's what it was. I mean sheesh. You know in the season 2 DVD"s noxon actually admits to never having even bothered to watch season one? Would anyone else presume to executive produce a show you hadn't even bothered to watch? Anyway, I'm interested in the question for very "pure science" reasons and not at all to aid in the rumored coup d'etat.

In an unrelated train of thought, I was recently watching some Jane Espenson episodes and boy are they snazzy. Well crafted. Deep. Light hearted. And in the spirit of Joss's vision. Just thought I'd throw that out there. Yes, I know, people complain about Double Meat Palace but I think it was a scathing critique of the fast food industry and anyone that upsets the sponsers is o.k. by me. And it's her only weak point in an ouvre that includes a plethora of brilliant episodes: intervention, the giles demon, the buffybot, harsh late of day etc etc etc.

And has anyone else noticed that Rebecca Rand Kirshner? Now THERE'S an up and coming artist! Yay to Tabula Rasa.

Wasn't there some rumors about some dissatisfaction in the David Fury camp? Isn't he all upset at Noxon and leaving us for another Joss show? Perhaps he could be entreated to return if promised the propper backing.... I mean who KNOWS why he got so upset in the first place right?

Well let's hope nobody upsets the twisted Noxon empire, especially since it already seems to be showing so many cracks. It would be awful if someone who had a lot of money tried to fund some sort of splinter group to overthrow the Noxon dictatorship....

Or at the very least.... ties Noxon to a chair and has her watch season one so she at least knows what's going on. You know in the season 2 dvd, she actually says that it took her a really long time to realize that Joss wasn't just telling horror stories.... but ...lie...using METAPHORS! Quicker than the rest of us, that Marti Noxon. No wonder she's in charge. Anyway. Happily awaiting season 7 and until then I'll just be sitting inside and waiting for the signal....

[> Re: Why is Noxon in charge? Anyone have the inside story? -- Quentin Collins, 01:58:30 08/06/02 Tue

You know, I was also thrown when I first heard Noxon's commentary on the season two DVD. She seemed to know less about the show than even a casual fan. And in some interview tid bits over the years, she has seemed equally clueless.

However, I am in no way a Noxon basher. I enjoyed season six thoroughly. It was not until then that I became a "spoiler whore", watched episodes obsessively over and over, and started frequenting "Buffy" websites and boards. I dislike the common tendency of blaming Noxon for everything that people don't like and praising Whedon for what they do like. I doubt that much happens that Joss doesn't sign off on.

[> Noxon the 'dictator' -- Rahael, 06:16:27 08/06/02 Tue

I think there's a very good case for saying that Noxon isn't dictatorial enough. Joss was able to control the entire ME team. The crucial faultline in Season 6, to my mind was that every staff writer just wrote what they wanted. They didn't follow the line strictly enough. This is why we ended up with so much uneveness. Marti doesn't appear to be as much of a control freak as Joss, and I mean that in the best possible sense to both of them.

I'd also like to point out that Fury is probably leaving because of the Spike storyline - he doesn't like it. He doesn't want redeemed Spike - its very clear from his commentary on Primeval.

Another thing - David wrote this episode, and he couldn't even remember what happened at the end!!! The director, who sat with him for the commentary had to remind him. I don't think the writers obsess about the show the way we do. Why should they? I'd worry about their sanity if they spent all their mind/time on their work. They need to read books, watch films, relax, so they can give us more metophorical goodness!

One thing I noticed about the women writers' commentaries. They tend to be much more self deprecating than the men. They tend to thank Joss more, and point less to the metaphorical stuff they put in. In contrast, Petrie and Fury were more likely to say "yeah, and I put this in, and that in, and this signifies this."

As for sounding silly in interviews. Espenson nearly lost a whole lot of credibility with me re the "Spike always wanted a soul". At least Joss came out and admitted that JM had been asked to play it one way, thus allowing puzzled fans know why it appeared that Spike wanted to lose his chip. But you know, interviews are interviews.

Steven de Knight, another great ME writer didn't give very mature interviews this season either!

Similarly, the people who really don't like Marti's interviews this season were people who didn't like Spike as the 'bad boyfriend', and who bash her for 'putting her own life into the work'. Whereas when people comment that if Joss had one good day in High School he wouldn't have written BtVS, that's meant as a mark in his favour!

I liked Marti in her commentaries. She seemed warm, down to earth, self deprecating. She's written enough excellent episodes to prevent me sneering at her lack of intellect. One thing to say that she's done badly as producer. Another thing to bash her as a human being. Criticise her work all you want. But we shouldn't throw around mud based upon unsubtantiated rumours. I have never heard anything previously about a 'Noxon' Empire. Though I do know that women aren't promoted in Hollywood because of their mediocrity.

And I pretty much think that in the heyday of Season 2 and 3, you couldn't have separated Marti and Joss.

[> [> Re: Noxon the 'dictator' -- J, 07:07:42 08/06/02 Tue

I liked Marti in her commentaries. She seemed warm, down to earth, self deprecating. She's written enough excellent episodes to prevent me sneering at her lack of intellect. . . . And I pretty much think that in the heyday of Season 2 and 3, you couldn't have separated Marti and Joss.

Agreed on all counts. Moreover, I just listened to the S2 commentaries on "What's My Line," and I think that Marti's being cute when she says she never watched the S1 episodes. First, she says something to the effect that "Buffy apparently died in S1, or so I've been told." A bit later in the commentary, however, she describes in detail the circumstances of Buffy's drowning at the hands of the Master. Either somebody whispered it in her ear while she was recording the commentaries, or she knew all along. I tend to think it's the latter.


p.s. BTW, Joss' commentary on 'Innocence' is pure genius, and there's one particular aspect of it that I think explains why the show suffered mid-S6. However, I suppose that's for a different thread.

[> [> Brava, Rahael! -- Rob, 07:51:25 08/06/02 Tue

I'm am tired of everybody trying to rip Marti to shreds. She is not the anti-Christ. She has the job because she deserved it, and I think she's been doing a great job. Besides "Bad Eggs," I have loved every episode she has written, most especially "I Only Have Eyes for You" and "Bargaining." I love Marti!


[> [> [> "I'm am?!?" Just shoot me! lol -- Rob, 07:52:34 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> Thank you! -- Earl Allison, 08:43:04 08/06/02 Tue

Thank you, Rahael, for posting that!

I was going to post when I read the thread this morning, but there was no way I was going to manage without spewing venom and nasty comments -- you saved me the trouble by saying things without being aggressive or nasty.

Criticize the work, not the person -- excellent!

Sorry to hear your suspicions on why Fury might be leaving :(

Great post!

Again, thank you.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: Thank you! - from me, too! -- Marie, 08:55:14 08/06/02 Tue

This sort of thing normally makes me roll my eyes and move on, but I just want to say I'm totally fed up with the bashing some of the writers are getting from some of the fans over S6. Bloody hell, if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have two great shows to watch every week. How many times! JOSS KEEPS HIS EYE ON EVERYTHING!

And that goes for the SMG bashing I've seen, too. Leave the girl alone!


[> [> Commentaries...... -- Rufus, 14:52:59 08/06/02 Tue

You all know that I love commentaries....they are my favorite part of getting the DVDs. I haven't heard the David Fury commentary yet....hopefully doc made it to the post office...;)

As for Jane....she made it clear that the Spike did always want a soul when he went to Africa and the mislead was his attitude that made it look like he wanted to get the chip out. His problems are deeper than the chip and by the time he made the choice to make the fastest trip to Africa I've ever seen, he knew that the "soul" would be what Buffy deserved. Portion of Succubus Club interview......

Q: How did you feel about that? Because we know you like Spike --

JE: I *love* Spike. And I was very worried about the attempted rape because that's not something you play around with. That's not something --

Q: It's hard to come back from.

JE: It's very hard to come back from. And you know, okay, Luke and Laura came back from it, but that was a different time.

Q: Yeah -- you're talking twenty years ago.

JE: Yeah, exactly. I think we have to be very careful that we're not saying anything about humans. When we say that Spike looked into his soul at that moment and saw the demon in him, and that's what made him want to go get a soul --

Q: Okay. Okay.

Q: This is good.

Q: Thank you for going here.

Q: What a segue. What a segue.

Q: You are a great segue kind of person.

JE: Yes, in my mind, that's ... we did a big ole' mislead on you all where we wanted you to think he was gonna go get dechipped. We knew, the whole time, from the very beginning, that he was going to go get a soul.

Q: Oh!

JE: And when he says "I want Buffy to have what she deserves -- give the Slayer what she deserves -- he means a lover with a soul."

Q: No way! Okay, Kitty and I had this conversation in the hallway and I'm going -- I was duped; all right, I was duped.

K: I knew that it could go any way, because I know you guys - you are mischievous.

C: And you guys did it that way, because he goes like, "I want to be like I was before," and you know, he didn't use his ??? the exact words, because what does that mean?

K: Vague.

JE: It was very vague, and if we're vague, we're vague for a reason.

K: I knew that, see! I knew that!

JE: And a lot of the people on the Internet guessed it; a lot of the people guessed either that he wanted a soul or
that he wanted to be human again.

If you go back to the Steve DeKnight interview he acknowledges the fact that Spike was coming across more sympathetic than personal feeling is that they put in the attempted rape to show that without a soul, Spike could never be trusted...the soul being the thing needed for him to know the difference between right and wrong...specially in those stressful situations. In Smashed, Spike was angry with Buffy, but did he seek her out when he thought the chip wasn't working? No, he went and attempted to take it out on a stranger........if Buffy ever knew about that she would have been in a position of having to kill him regardless of her feelings for him.

I agree that the writers don't love the characters in the same way we do.....they are doing a job where they are constantly having to think ahead....and it shows in certain flubs they make. Furys inability to remember plot points is no biggie for me cause the writers admit that the fans know the show better than they do at times.

The weakest part of this year was the fact that they attempted to lose the metaphor and switch some around, it didn't fly and they knew it....I expect to see that reflected in season seven.

[> [> [> Re: Commentaries...... -- Miss Edith, 16:48:56 08/06/02 Tue

Spike is capable of remorse and differentiating from right and wrong. Marti said in an interview that she believed he would have been remorseful and felt guilty if he had bitten the girl in Smashed. And after the AR Spike is eaten up with guilt and confusion, he is shown to be haunted by Buffy's begging tone. Therefore a soul was not the only way of Spike being able to know right from wrong.
Spike did have problems with his ethics sure. But he was willing to learn, the problem was the scoobies weren't interested in helping him. Buffy dismissed him as a hopeless case in AYW when she found out about the eggs she says it was just a Spike thing to do. Again in DT Spike asks Buffy to tell him why losing one person in the mission was so important to her. She answered him with a smack in the face. Spike felt condemed to be a demon because the scoobies made him believe he was incapable of being a man. I still think Spike could have learned some morals without needing a soul but I guess ME didn't agree.

[> [> [> [> Re: Commentaries...... -- Rufus, 18:29:06 08/06/02 Tue

I still think Spike could have learned some morals without needing a soul but I guess ME didn't agree.

That pretty much sums it up.....ME is telling us that Spike had gone as far as he was going to regardless what fans think or say. Spike did seem to care and begin to be able to feel a bit more for his victims but what I got out of the last set of episodes was the fact that it wouldn't be enough and he would continue to be a danger as long as he didn't have a soul.

Again in DT Spike asks Buffy to tell him why losing one person in the mission was so important to her. She answered him with a smack in the face. Spike felt condemed to be a demon because the scoobies made him believe he was incapable of being a man.

Buffy actually said a did a bit more than smack him in the face, she went on a rant on why she could never be his girl, and part of it was because he could never understand why Katrina was anything more than "another body" to Spike. Remember that Spike attempted to attack a stranger, someone he didn't know or care about, meaning to me that he had a selective sense of who was okay to kill or not.....of course what would happen if he got angry with Buffy again? Best intentions could be forgotten in one fit of anger, causing Spike to do something he couldn't take back, couldn't fix, couldn't be allowed to work along side of Buffy....a risk she wasn't willing to take and I don't blame her...she is supposed to save the world, not babysit a chipped vampire. I like Spike but realize that he would be a continuing threat that could at any time lose control and have to be destroyed. To point at Buffy and call only her an abuser is forgetting Spikes history. If Buffy were that cruel she would break out the holy water and a spray bottle,have a little party before plugging in the hoover and cleaning up the mess. We have to look at the history of each character in a fair way....I look at risk and without a soul Spike was still a risk that was too great to just hope the best for and ignore.

[> [> [> [> Re: Commentaries...... -- Arethusa, 19:15:44 08/06/02 Tue

"Spike is capable of remorse and differentiating from right and wrong. Marti said in an interview that she believed he would have been remorseful and felt guilty if he had bitten the girl in Smashed. And after the AR Spike is eaten up with guilt and confusion, he is shown to be haunted by Buffy's begging tone. Therefore a soul was not the only way of Spike being able to know right from wrong."

In "Dead Things," Spike can't understand why Buffy would want to turn herself into the police when all she did was kill just one person. He wasn't asking her to explain the moral delimma to him-he was asking her to ignore manslaughter. That is the attitude of a confused person, but not a moral one who knows right from wrong. Spike can act moral, with the right motivation. He can do right, instead of wrong. But he isn't moral-that is, he doesn't have a moral center. He can't always tell what is right, and what is wrong. When he does do good, it is usually because he wants to do good for Buffy, not for himself.

If there is no intrinsic difference between someone with a soul and someone without a soul, Spike would actually be culpable for every single solitary murder he has committed (and for which he does *not* feel guilty). He would be an evil serial killer. Evidently Marti did not say *why* Spike would feel guilty if he bit the woman in the alley-he feels guilty when he hurts Buffy, or does something of which she would disapprove.

"Spike did have problems with his ethics sure. But he was willing to learn, the problem was the scoobies weren't interested in helping him."

I disagree that the scoobies were in any way responsible for Spike's behavior. They were often very unkind to him, but what do you expect? Xander has hated vampires since they killed Jesse-his only friend besides Willow. Spike terrorized and threatened to kill Willow at least twice-once over the love spell, and once in her dorm room. Giles has based his entire life on killing vampires, not rehabilitating them. If Spike can learn morality on his own, why would he need the scoobies' help to be good?

[> [> [> [> I agree... -- Forsaken, 04:45:12 08/07/02 Wed

Did you see the look on Spike's face back in Crush when Dru killed that girl for him to eat? He looked shocked, horrified, even a bit guilty. He looked to me as if he was going to cry over it, before his tummy started making with the gurglies. And just think, that was before his good-deed doing even really got off the ground.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree... -- Miss Edith, 06:49:55 08/07/02 Wed

Spike had been conditioned to feed for over 100 years. To even have doubts about feeding was a good step in my mind and pretty astonishing for a vampire. I agree Spike didn't get why Katrina mattered so much to Buffy but he did say "explain it to me then". That suggests he was willing to learn. I don't think his lack of a soul was the only reason why he didn't care about Katrina. Faith took a while to learn the intrinsic value of one human life against all she had saved as well. Angel helped her come to terms with her self-hatred but Buffy just wanted to beat Faith to death. Therefore I think Buffy wasn't much help to Spike.
I am not blaming buffy only for the relationship with Spike. They both abused each other, I am not denying that. Nor am I saying it was the scoobies responsibility to help Spike. Any more than Angel was obliged to help Faith after what she had done to Buffy. All I am saying is that IMO if the scoobies had helped Spike he could have reformed. No one believed in him or wanted to give him the chance. He felt worthless because no one loved him. Look at Anya. She was accepted into the group and loved by Xander. She only returned to being a demon because of Xander's rejection. Again it was her choice and Spike and Anya both need to take responsibility for their actions. All I am saying is that I think the scoobies could have done more to help Spike, not they they necesserily should have done. I am hypothetically wondering if Spike could have reformed depending on his enviroment even without a soul.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Good Point -- Brian, 07:01:33 08/07/02 Wed

I thought the same. Spike would make choices not based on whether he had a soul or not, but because he had decided that it was what he wanted to do. That doing good felt better than doing bad. Much of fan fic has this Spike as their main character. But, according to ME, if you want to be good, "You gotta have soul...)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree... -- Miss Edith, 10:55:18 08/07/02 Wed

And didn't Spike make the choice to be good when pursuing a soul? People can argue his motives weren't pure because he did it for love. But how many of us can claim to have committed good deeds with no selfish intend behind them? It is the rules of society that stop chidren from shoplifting for instance more than guilt at depriving the shop owners of money. Spike learning to adjust to society with his chip is the same thing IMO. Children generally don't steal because they will get in trouble, not because they recognise the innate wrongness of stealing.
The way I look at it is Spike did something that hurt someone he loved, he felt remorse and wanted to make sure it would never happen again. Spike wanted to be good, hence the soul. He simply didn't believe he could be good whilst he was still an "evil, souless thing".
And again I am not saying Buffy should be blamed for Spike's mistake. I am simply pointing out that Spike's lack of belief in himself comes from the negative reinforcement and constantly being told he is evil and needs a soul to be good.
Angelous had contact with humanity including Buffy who he was in love with, yet he lost his soul in Innocence and had no interest in regaining it and being good despite of his interaction with humanity. Spike didn't want to hurt anyone any more, as Dru might say he wanted to learn to be a good dog and function around the people he cared for. Therefore I disagre with the idea that he is incapable of making moral choices or being good. By willingly fighting for a soul he had already made a moral decision. He wanted to be good but didn't think he could be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree... -- Arethusa, 11:10:07 08/07/02 Wed

Did Spike say he chose to be souled because he wanted to be good? I don't remember, and I can't find a script site with "Grave" on it. All I remember is Spike saying he wanted to give Buffy what she deserved. Can you give me an exact (or nearly exact) quote?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree... -- Miss Edith, 11:27:40 08/07/02 Wed

Spike hurt Buffy someone he loved and he wanted to ensure that it would never happen again. Therefore he changed his entire being and requested what everyone was telling him he was lacking a soul. The writers wanted to misdirect us so they told the actor Spike wanted his chip out and James Marsters played it incorrectly. But in interviews later on the writers told us Spike wanted a soul so he would not commit wrong doing and hurt someone he loved. To me that is as close to an unselfish act as most if us get.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Try (Disclaimer included) -- Darby, 11:39:42 08/07/02 Wed

The Grave script is at

the site is probably (almost certainly, really) posting the scripts illegally, but is in Germany and somewhat unreachable, but is a valuable resource to this community when references like this are needed. Our uses of them for analysis is quasilegal, although with an illegal source I don't know how if that matters.

I've got the script books that have been published, but who knows if there will be any more? I don't feel unethical making use of Psyche (can you tell that this discussion has been had here many times?).

Plus, it's a heckuva lot easier to find stuff in a script at Psyche's than it is in the books. Go, do a Control-F...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ahhh. Thanks so much, Darby -- Arethusa, 11:51:02 08/07/02 Wed

I was looking at the transcripts, not shooting scripts. Thanks again.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree... -- Miss Edith, 11:21:19 08/07/02 Wed

And if we are going to talk about Spike being immoral because his reasons for doing good aren't good enough what about Angel? Did he commit good deeds purely to help people or did he do so to get some self-repect and feel better about himself? His conscience made him feel guilty hence he could only kill rapists, thieves and murderers when his soul was returned. Darla rejected him and he lived on the streets until encoutering Buffy and wanting to make a difference. But he would have continued feeding when he was first given a soul if he could. This was shown in the episode Darla. Therefore rather than doing good and stopping feeding from some inate idea that it was bad he was actually doing so because he felt guilty and didn't want to feel bad. He couldn't live with the guilt.
People may only be doing good because of the fear of eternal damnation on the Day of Judgement. I just think if we start asking why people do good and if the motives are pure and "good enough" we end up on a slippery slope.
A soul is a catylst and gives us the capacity to choose between right and wrong. Spike was capable of doing so without a soul when he went in pursuit of a soul and a way to be good in the first place surely?
Saints see outside themselves and do good deeds selflessly for no other reason than to help others. Wheares it could be argued that Angel being motivated by guilt means he is doing good to benefit himself, not others. At one point he was seeing all humans he saved as a number on his way to his reward of being human. Therefore was all the good he did at that time worthless/meaningless? If an action benefits himself then is that action selfish? Surely Spike is just being human in only doing good to help himself and others?
Obviously there are exceptions as Angel in IWRY choose to remain a vampire purely to help others. That was an example of selflessness. But then again we have the example of Provider in which Angel refused to slay a few vampires for a man whose life was endangered unless a few dollar bills were waved in front of his face. Yes he helped in the end grudgingly but his prinary motive in doing good and helping the helpless was in the money after the birth of Conner. And Spike helping the scoobies over the summer wasn't altogether selfish as he received no reward other than knowing he was doing good and would make Buffy proud.
All of us have some reason for doing good otherwise we would be saints. E.g if we give money to a homeless person is that because we will feel guilty to just walk past and not offer them money. Don't we get a sense of personal satisfaction from helping others? So why is Spike immoral for helping Buffy and the scoobies becasue it makes him feel good? Sorry that's just my cynical view of the world.

[> [> [> Regarding the Soul metaphor -- shadowkat, 11:50:41 08/07/02 Wed

You know i think the problem everyone is having is we keep thinking the whole soul metaphor means just one thing =redemption.

I have a hunch that's not it in Spike's case. No I don't mean he won't be redeemed. I just don't think that's the metaphor Joss Whedon is emphasizing with Spike. He had Spike go after a soul not to determine right from wrong or good versus evil or relive Angel on his solitary trip to redemption saving one life at a time...No. He had him do it to grow up.
Try for a minute to forget the whole Angel thing. And think about it from another angle.

Vampires are a metaphor for arrested development.
Souls - we can grow, learn, change, develop. Without one you are stuck. Spike grew as far as he could without one.
The Vampire is a perpetual adolescent - twisted - but perpetually stuck, never graduates from those late teen
years. When the vampire gets a soul he graduates to the period right after that - that difficult period between adolescense and adulthood where you have to start figuring out what you want to do, who to believe, values, responsibilities, etc - the part in which you think you may go nuts with everything. The whole Spike arc is about the process of growing up. Just like adolescents and children know difference between right and wrong so does Spike. But people experiment, they don't see the consequences, you have to be slapped. The chip was the slap. The SG was the slap. Now he's moved past that - a soul will slap him without the SG's help, but the chip continues the slapping to a degree.

Think about those writers commentaries. Think about the story so far. They know it. They may not know every little particle - but they know overall direction.

HEre's Spikes:
1. First see him: He arrives with sister/mommy Dru to seek Daddy and a cure for mommy. He gets cure. Gets hurt. Daddy takes up with Mommy Dru again. He rebells (possibly for the first time) against both Dru and Angelus to get dru back.
(Very Oedipal).
2. Returns lovesick and lonely. Mommy threw him out. (Tough love anyone?) He gets a chip which forces him to learn anger management and how to deal with people without killing them. Also forces him to see that there are consequences to actions. Spike has grown into adolescence from the Fruedian fantasies of youth to rebellious adolescence but is being disciplined by chip and SG.
3. Falls in love -a) have initial insult the girl, get her attention pre-school stage, b) steal girl's underwear and fantasize about her, stalk her (crush stage) c) be her noble knight and help her save people and save her (romantic Romeo stage) d) be her confidant (buddy stage)e)sex slave (college meaningless sex - it's wonderful relationship as long as sex is good stage). Get broken up with and try to force the girl - very immature but still early 20s stage (new several people like this back then).
Now finally we get to see the - respect the other person's decisions and form adult relationships stage.

Also think about snarky Spike's stages?
1. Niaf William (mother's expecting me)
2. Fun loving - let's find a good fight!
3. Plotting but failing - getting cures for Dru. Braggart.
See how great i am.
4. Snarky remarks, smart alek ( Snipes with Xander reminded me of two teenage boys in Season 4)
5. Juvenile Delingquent - breaking into cars, the bonding with Dawn - they were like older brother and younger sister.
6. Con-man, fist-fights (Marsters says in an interview he did a lot of fighting when he was in his early 20s and teens)

Finally moving past that to maybe some responsibility?

Spike has been described by Marsters and the writers as an immature Vampire. Remember Angel got his soul over 100 years ago. Angel was introduced as an Adult.

Another thing - the names! Spike is a kid's nickname. The type of name a kid would pick. And it's picked form something his tormentors say. Kid's do that. William is the adult name - and both vampire parents use it. People use it to reach the adult. This is similar to Giles/Ripper. Re-watch Band Candy - Giles acts exactly like Spike in that episode.

Spike is growing up. It's the Ripper to Giles arc not the Angelus to Angel arc. And I can't wait to see how they pull it off - considering they've been working on it for four years.

So stop thinking it's about redemption. Or about Angel. Btvs
is NOT the same as Angel. It's a whole different metaphor
a different theme. Think Clockwork Orange. Believe me if you think this is redemption with a soul aka Angel or something like that? You are going to be shocked.

Agree with Rufus - their big mistake in Season 6 was trying to drop layers of metaphor. They still used it but not as much as before. They realized it was a mistake. They did the same thing on Angel - tried to do an anthology series with lots of addiction metaphors, got slammed and jumped away from it.

Can't wait to see what they do next year.

Of course I realize I'm in the minority here. ME gave me pretty much everything I wanted. I liked Season 6 better than the others. And show just keeps getting better from my perspective. No one's changed my mind on that score. I may have my problems with Season 6...but hey I had problems with every season. Still prefer Btvs and Angel to everything else on TV. Nothing else IMHO comes close to it
in writing, acting or unpredictablity. IF it went off air.
I would probably just turn off my set at this point. Purely subjective opinion...sure no one cares. ;-)

Okay end of ramble...will jump out now. Been staying off the board b/c of this temptation. (Aren't you glad I have?)

[> [> [> [> Very helpful, thanks. -- Arethusa, 12:19:38 08/07/02 Wed

Wedon did say Spike's journey is nothing like Angel's. It's very helpful to think of Spike's journey as the road to maturity and integration of his disparate selves, not as stages in his affair with Buffy.

A marker of adulthood, IMO, is the ability to see a situation from multiple points of view. Spike's world view has always been exceptionally narrow, pretty much confined to whatever affects him directly. Watching Spike become a fully rounded human(ish) being would be far more interesting and complex than seeing him merely as Buffy's boyfriend, souled or not. There's a great deal more to Spike than his romantic relationships-at least, there should be.

[> [> [> [> [> Shadowkat and Arethusa - couldn't agree more! -- Caroline, 12:25:30 08/07/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Very helpful, thanks. -- shadowkat, 17:55:45 08/07/02 Wed

"Wedon did say Spike's journey is nothing like Angel's. It's very helpful to think of Spike's journey as the road to maturity and integration of his disparate selves, not as stages in his affair with Buffy.

A marker of adulthood, IMO, is the ability to see a situation from multiple points of view. Spike's world view has always been exceptionally narrow, pretty much confined to whatever affects him directly. Watching Spike become a fully rounded human(ish) being would be far more interesting and complex than seeing him merely as Buffy's boyfriend, souled or not. There's a great deal more to Spike than his romantic relationships-at least, there should be."

Exactly. The cool thing about the show is through the interaction of the characters and each character's trials you see several themes followed from multiple angles.
The show is not a romance - it's not about 'ships - thank god! The Spuffy ship was used partly to move both characters forward, also to show a stage in relationships that is rather horrid - fitting for a horror show. Want to see pleasant stages in relationships? Watching the wrong tv show. Btvs always goes for the dark side of human nature, our darkest fears about growing up, sex, dating, parents, authority, etc. That's why it's so cool. And watching the journey to maturity through ME's eyes has been very intriquing.

I think we've started to move past just Spike/Buffy.
No longer just her boyfriend. Angel's story actually got far more interesting when he moved past the boyfriend stage.
Riley - well the poor boy never got to be anything but her boyfriend really. Can't wait to see how they incorporate those selves and what a mature/adult Spike looks like.
Will he be Giles? Will he be Angel? Will he be something else entirely? Watching them do it is a bit like watching
David Copperfield attempt to pull off some impossible feat...we hold our collective breaths and wonder what will happen next. The difference? We know Copperfield or David Blane will succeed. Don't know about Btvs. Love that.

[> [> [> [> 'kats and dogs -- ponygirl, 12:33:02 08/07/02 Wed

Glad you gave into temptation shadowkat, always enjoy your ramblings! I agree of course, Angel's story has been about redemption that doesn't mean that Spike's will be. I keep coming back to the dog references that have always been used with Spike. He's a bad dog, he's been fixed by his chip, he is always love's bitch. A dog may be many things, loyal, vicious, meek, brave, but its chief attribute is servility. Spike has never been his own master, even when he doesn't have a person to follow/react against he is under the yoke of his own concepts of love or Big Badness. Maybe for him a soul is the way for him to transcend his nature, to break the collar and finally be a person in his own right.

ponygirl (actually had a cat named Spike when I was 16!)

[> [> [> [> Brava, shadowkat! -- Dead Soul, 12:40:35 08/07/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Regarding the Soul metaphor, season six, and cats and dogs -- aliera, 13:38:28 08/07/02 Wed

"Can't wait to see what they do next year.

Of course I realize I'm in the minority here. ME gave me pretty much everything I wanted. I liked Season 6 better than the others. And show just keeps getting better from my perspective. No one's changed my mind on that score. I may have my problems with Season 6...but hey I had problems with every season. Still prefer Btvs and Angel to everything else on TV. Nothing else IMHO comes close to it
in writing, acting or unpredictablity. IF it went off air.
I would probably just turn off my set at this point. Purely subjective opinion...sure no one cares."

Absolutely, except to the not caring part...that must have been sarcasm font! And I'm never one to confuse my own prefs with gooodness or badness (just look at all those trashy novels under my bed) Mea's not my favorite season; but, that doesn't change my mind about the show. And now I'm also catching up on Angel too! Two hooks for the price of one.

Hey ponygirl...I'd love to meet a servile dog. I know they're out there; but I keep getting the bossy ones ;-) You'd have to meet my two. Definitely not servile (but I love em) LOL!

[> Marti Noxon has the better episodes and the better singing voice -- darrenK, 09:52:32 08/06/02 Tue

This is one of those debates the board has every few months. And I have to admit that i find it kind of irritating, not because people don't have a right to their opinion, but, instead, because the Noxon bashers never seem very fair so I end up frothing at the mouth a bit in frustration and indignation, but I'll try and control myself.

A poster at Ain't it Cool a few weeks ago was actually sick enough to write, after slamming Marti professionally, that he "hoped that fucking bitch would have a miscarriage." I still can't believe that someone would write something so brutal and cruel just because he's not sure if his favorite hour long drama is headed in the right direction.

Well, now I'll get on with my defense of Marti's career with Buffy...

First off, the point about all good things being credited to Joss and all bad things to Marti is a really good one. She's the scapegoat because she's dared to put her name next to Joss' at the beginning of the credits.

There are several twilight zone elements to all this. The first is that every writer interviewed has said that Joss is in every story meeting. Every one. And Joss himself has stated that he's in charge of the story, that he plots the major elements. So don't blame Marti for what you don't like about the plot, blame all the writers, because they all break every episode.

Next point: Joss, the infallible god of the noxon-bashers' imaginations, hand-picked Marti as his co-exec. It has nothing to do with seniority. He chose her and in interviews he calls her "brilliant." Everyone acknowledges Joss's genius and his commitment to his work. Would he want someone who was inferior to be in charge of his show?

Next point: If you read the interviews at the back of the Watcher's guides you would find out that Joss was ecstatic to find and hire Marti at the beginning of season 2. He says that she was the first writer that he and David Greenwalt hired who really "got" the show. Marti herself says that from the moment she was hired that she, David G. and Joss were "thick as thieves," that it was the three of them who really plotted the show from then on. In an interview David Greenwalt referred to the three of them as "the triumvirate of evil." From all indications that's the way it has stayed, other writers have joined, but the three of them are the first among equals.

Next point: The same fans currently slamming Marti are usually the ones who are the biggest fans of seasons 2 and 3. But, do these fans notice that Marti wrote most of their beloved Season 2? True, not all of her episodes were great, but, I think Bad Eggs can go head to head with David Greenwalt's Reptile Boy any old day. And a couple of her episodes from that season are great--Surprise, Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered and I Only Have Eyes For You.

This brings me to the next point, the most important one: she's a good writer. The dialogue in her episodes is always fresh and full of subtext. There's always interesting words and strange, gripping circumlocutions.

If you don't trust this point go back and watch the teaser for Bargaining 1, which has:

€One of the funniest Spike lines ever..."your life flash before you're eyes, did it? Cupa tea, cupa tea, almost got shagged, cupa tea.
€That weird left field kill line from the buffybot: "That'll put marzipan in your pie plate bingo."
€And that unbelievably funny sad complex knock-knock joke at the end (which I won't even attempt to recreate from memory.)

Bargaining 1 was just a great episode. I didn't pay it enough attention when it first aired b/c I was too interested in seeing how Buffy returned, but go back and watch it. It's funny and moving without being maudlin. Just watch Giles's goodbye to see a terrific example of writerly restraint in the face of a potentially cloying scene.

And that's the next thing, there's a whole list of Marti episodes that are among the very best Buffys ever--what about The Wish? Or Consequences? With that scene where Willow realizes Xander slept with Faith? Heartbreaking. And can anyone out there imagine a Buffy prom experience more apt than...The Prom? And Villians just out and out rocked.

I won't go any further, but I will say that her episodes, and I'm sure her influence, are part of what has given Buffy it's emotional depth. Joss seems to think so and judging from the goosebumps that I got when Buffy was named "class protector" I think so too.

Next point: I'll agree that Jane Espensen and Rebecca Rand Kirschner are great writers and Kirschner definitely shows a lot of promise, but David Fury? I've posted about this in the past, but, to be honest, the only reason fans seem to automatically choose him as a foil to Marti seems to be a cool name, his tendency to interact with fans on the internet and, of course, sexism. Oops, did I say that?

He's written some good episodes. I liked Real Me. I liked Helpless (though I still can't figure out why the holy water didn't burn that vampire's lips, mouth, throat and esophagus before causing an explosion in his stomach). But to be honest, I find his episodes to be hollow. They're usually heavy on the action, but the dialogue and character interactions are really weak and weightless. Not only that, but he has a tendency to use dialogue that's already been used before, giving his episodes a slightly warmed over feel.

Two examples of this both from Grave.
€When Buffy says to Willow that [if she thinks she can kick Buffy's ass then] she really doesn't know what a slayer is. On this he was stealing from his own line in the I in Team
€Once more in the fight with Willow, Buffy tells her, "just because I don't want to hurt you doesn't mean I won't."
Now, maybe it can be argued that it's supposed to directly evoke Spike using the exact same words in Becoming 2, but I think he's just unoriginal.

Truthfully, if he's leaving--good. His episodes are functional, but surely don't have the balance of humor, emotion, sensitivity, action, camp and carnage that makes Buffy great. If he's leaving it makes more room for his betters.

If you must choose a male writer whose cause you want to champion, why not Doug Petrie? His episodes are dense and interesting. He's got a great a feel for the balance between dialogue and action and The Initiative might be one of the best, most layered episodes ever.

And because I have to say it: I think that Marti is being coy in her commentary. Dont' take her literally. I doubt she's going to say, Yes, I've memorized 6 years worth of Buffy episodes , but it's certainly obvious that she has.

And lastly Marti Noxon has a better singing voice than David Fury.

[> [> Re: Male writers -- Rob, 09:57:25 08/06/02 Tue

I would also add Drew Z. Greenberg to the list of up-and-coming writers. Although his first two outings were less than perfect, I think he has a great grasp of the characters and really finds the humanity in them. The best example was his third and best episode, "Entropy," which ranks right there with the top episodes of this season, and, in my opinion, of the entire series.


[> [> [> I agree, BUT... -- AngelVSAngelus, 10:39:06 08/06/02 Tue

I agree with comments about Noxon, both as not as good a producer as Joss (letting every writer go in completely different directions and intentions), and as one of the best writers for the show.
Fury, however, seems to me to be an element needed, not necessarily for episodes, but for the canon. Its been his criticizing voice in interviews that's mirrored my complaints, and while I don't consider him to be the best writer on the show, or better than Marti for that matter, I do think having him around as a watchdog consultant is important.
But then again, I didn't want redeemed Spike either, so I'm probably entirely alone in that assessment anyway.

[> [> [> [> Not totally alone -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:58:47 08/06/02 Tue

I didn't want redeemed Spike either. However, I'm hoping getting a soul will drive him to insanity. That would be fun.

[> [> [> [> [> No redeemed Spikers unite! -- Masq, 13:42:44 08/06/02 Tue

It's interesting that people who don't want redeemed Spike (like me) don't care to see him with a soul, either. People accuse Spike-non-Redemptionists of being "too tied to canon".

But the truth is the exact opposite. I think we use the canon of "redemption only with a soul" as a convenient argument for something we already want--to see Spike stay a villian, interestingly morally gray, siding with the Slayer when it suits him, being her nemesis when he doesn't.

The proof of this is in the fact that we don't really care for the "Spike got a soul" story line--one would think that would satisfy us if all we were after was adherence canon. "Oh, he has a soul now, he can be redeemed, fine."

But no, we're like, "Spike has a soul now? Boring! Change him back or write a twist and make him evil with a soul, like Warren or Wolfram and Hart!

Well, maybe there is no "we" here. Maybe this is just what I want.

[> [> [> [> [> [> There's a "we" here. -- d'Herblay, 15:20:37 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> We few...we happy few. -- Arethusa, 15:58:08 08/06/02 Tue

I vote for the souled-but-evil entree on today's menu. Especially if Spike tries to be good but somehow always manages to do evil anyway. Like a reversal of S4, when he kept trying to do evil but got sucked into doing good despite himself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No redeemed Spikers unite! -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:07:02 08/06/02 Tue

Going on the assumption that a souled Spike would be like the picture that Spike Redemptionists paint of him, then I will probably hate souled Spike! However, Mutant Enemy isn't the kind to give anybody exactly what they want, whether they're Redemptionists or Snarkists, so there is hope.

Also, canon does make a difference. If the writers made Spike a good guy without a soul, I'd probably quite watching. It would smack of pandering to fans and warping a beloved character. Now, if they make Spike a good guy with a soul, I may not like that particular storyline, but I will keep watching.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Spike Snarkies Represent! -- AngelVSAngelus, 18:09:00 08/06/02 Tue

Yeah! Let us unite as an army for the cause of Spike villainy! Long live the Spike that HATES the Slayer :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> You guys are so living in the past... -- Dariel, 20:46:07 08/06/02 Tue

Evil Spike, huh? Bet you're all B/A shippers, too.

You just have to give this souled Spike thing a chance. There are so many possibilities. He could still be evil, yes. Or he could become Williamesque--a dreamer, quiet, and disdainful of violence. He could, in an ironic reversal of Angel/Angelus, discover that he is no longer obsessed/in love with Buffy.

Or (this is my hunch), he could have the recently-souled vamp version of multiple personality disorder. One day he's talking like your beloved, Slayer-hating Big Bad, then he's distant and vague and spouting poetry, then he's having a conversation with the voices in his head.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Was I Just Stereotyped? *raises an eyebrow* -- AngelVSAngelus, 22:19:59 08/06/02 Tue

While I found the rest of your post an interesting expression of a valid opinion, I found the fact that you decided to categorize me under any banner rather offensive.
You can suddenly ascertain my 'demographic' now, based upon my preference for a period of time in which the character's writing made more consistent SENSE?! Dude, don't you think that's kind of unfair and mean?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Was I Just Stereotyped? *raises an eyebrow* -- Dariel, 10:06:40 08/07/02 Wed

Wasn't meant to "stereotype" anybody; it was just a tease.
Actually, I wasn't aware of any "likes Spike evil and is a B/A shipper demographic."

And I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the "evil Spike" wish. If he were, say, to get over Buffy and team up with Dru again; well, I wouldn't hate it. Spike trailing kisses up Dru's arm and calling her his "ripe, wicked Plum" was certainly a highlight of my Buffy-watching career.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I prefer to think of it as living in an alternate present -- d'Herblay, 00:07:20 08/07/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You guys are so living in the past... -- Marginal Drifter, 15:21:49 08/07/02 Wed

Actually, one of the major changes I can see in Spike's character comes from the fact that in wanting to become what he was so that Buffy could have what she deserved, he's kind of realised that he was a "better" person back in his nerdy days, and that because of this he has the potential to become more self assured, less likely to hide from that side of himself behind his Big Bad image, and in turn this could lead to him being more willing to stand on his own two feet and stop throwing himself at the feet of every pretty girl he gets a crush on.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You guys are so living in the past... -- Malandanza, 17:21:29 08/07/02 Wed

"You just have to give this souled Spike thing a chance. There are so many possibilities. He could still be evil, yes. Or he could become Williamesque--a dreamer, quiet, and disdainful of violence. He could, in an ironic reversal of Angel/Angelus, discover that he is no longer obsessed/in love with Buffy."

Or he could be Randy.

Which, I suspect, is far more likely. I think we'll see Spike looking more pathetic than he ever did back in Season Four -- with much weeping and begging (and perhaps even some poetry). I'm still hopeful that ME will make him human instead of just giving him a soul -- I'd love to see Spike trying to keep the dead-end jobs that he used to mock Xander for having or working the DMP shift alongside Buffy.

I don't think there is any chance that he'll be able to do evil without terrible, conscience wracking guilt -- we have the examples of Angelus and Darla and they were much more evil than Spike. Whatever he comes back as though, I think Spuffy is over. Buffy will have had the summer to put the relationship into its proper perspective and she would no sooner date the new improved Spike than Jonathan or Andrew (and think of the irony -- Spike becomes a man only to have Buffy realize that she does need a little monster in her man).

I guess what I'm saying is this: once the new season begins, it's the Redemptionistas who are going to be complaining that they want the old, evil Spike back. The rest of us will be too busy enjoying his discomfort.

(And I hated Buffy/Angel -- which is part of why I loved B2)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You guys are so living in the past... -- Rufus, 17:34:52 08/07/02 Wed

I guess what I'm saying is this: once the new season begins, it's the Redemptionistas who are going to be complaining that they want the old, evil Spike back. The rest of us will be too busy enjoying his discomfort.

The old evil Spike was in the first bit of season 2, he then slowly it became apparent that Spike was more hype than reality.....doesn't mean he didn't kill anyone, doesn't mean I dispute the numbers of kills, just means that his killing wasn't epic as much as it was just pathetic.....of course I wanted season two Spike dead...not being a fan of bad boys...they are sooooooo boring. And karma wise, I guess Spike has earned some discomfort.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You guys are so living in the past... -- mrfh, 08:23:10 08/08/02 Thu

My thought is that Spike will be neither redeemed nor evil, but exactly the same. That would be the least expected alternative in my mind.

Wow, I never post here, but always lurk. I'm not sure what changed that today!


[> [> [> [> Now you just KNOW I'm on board re: Spike :) -- Earl Allison, 11:49:49 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> You keep doing this Darren! -- Rahael, 09:59:30 08/06/02 Tue

You don't post all that often, but when you do, it's a real event!

Great post.

[> [> [> Rah-Thanx for the encouragement -- darrenK, 08:35:05 08/07/02 Wed

[> [> Thank you, I was thinking all of this but you said it better than I would have. -- Rattletrap, 10:03:41 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> Hear! Hear! -- Caroline, 10:04:30 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> Anybody else want Marti to put out a CD...? -- Rob, 10:16:30 08/06/02 Tue

For every track, she could just sing "Nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah!" to her detractors!!


[> [> New Quote from Joss -- darrenK, 20:44:01 08/07/02 Wed

This quote was in an interview with Joss in SciFi Magazine. Since it backs up my point I figured I'd throw it into the mix.

It's amazing you could do four shows. For most producers, one show would be plenty.
Whedon: One show nearly broke me, you know, but that was when it was just in infancy and the only person I really had at my back was David Greenwalt. And then gradually, I found Marti Noxon and I found these other people. I found directors that I could really count on. And the actors became really comfortable with their parts. It doesn't mean that I still don't think I need to be in there, because I feel like I do. But when you're just starting out you don't have - I mean, I'm starting Firefly, my writers are writing a lot of the scripts. A lot of the production people have come over from Buffy and Angel, either to try something new or with a promotion. So they're all part of the family already. I have people watching my back.

[> Re: Why is Noxon in charge? Anyone have the inside story? -- Miss Edith, 11:20:57 08/06/02 Tue

I think the problem is that the general perception that season 6 wasn't too good has become linked in peoples minds with Joss not being heavily involved. Yes he says he's attented every staff meeting to plan out the seasonal arcs but he has not been around to maintain continuity of episodes. He has been heavily involved in developing Firefly instead.
I do think Marti is a great writer but she is lacking Joss's skills as an executive producer. The real problem is that Buffy was Joss's baby. He created and developed the series so of course he has a better handle on it than Marti does.
I don't think that should say anything about Marti's abilities in particular. It is only to be expected, just as if Marti developed her own series she would "get" the concepts of what she was trying to say more than Joss.
The real problem is the general sense that season 6 was The Year of Marti as it has been well documented that she based this season on her life experiences. Hence the fan discountent and accusations of soap opera and melodrama. I personally did not enjoy season 6. But I would never join in the Buffy fans who blame Marti for everything they didn't enjoy this season. She is a brillinat writer and a valuable part of the Buffy team. If people feel the need to blame anyone I would have thought Joss was the obvious choice as he was the one who spend less time on his creation, therefore the standard dropped. Marti was doing the best she could.
BTW is it true that ME have tried to encourage Marti to stay away from publicity? On the cross and stake board I read that owing to some fan alienating interviews in which she seemed to have a simplistic grasp of the show (such as calling Spike the bad boyfriend and Buffy his victim) she would not be doing as much publicity as Joss. Anyone know if this is indeed the case? She did complain in interviews that fans could not grasp what was trying to be said with B/S for instance hence the fans turning on her. But the imaturity and unpleasntness that I have witnessed on other boards is far beyond what I would have expected from Buffy fans. Just as I was disgusted with the homophobia expressed following Tara's introduction. I always thought Buffy fans were more accepting than the general tv audience owing to the fact that they had chosen to watch a show called BTVS in the first place. It saddens me to be proven wrong.

[> [> The Writers and Why They're a Staff -- AngelVSAngelus, 22:28:44 08/06/02 Tue

They all need each other, save perhaps Joss Whedon himself. Everyone of them has vast strengths and individual weaknesses.
I've found Marti most of the time has amazing emotional insight into people, and subsequently the characters. However, the passage of time in her scripts always feels, to me, a little off and odd.
Fury, I've spoken my piece on. Okie writer for fill in eps, mostly important as a canonical voice.
Espenson I think has an amazing talent for comic scripting, but I do think that she tends to be a little TOO light for my own tastes.
My boys Greenwalt and Minear went to Angel and have continued to produce amazing work there. Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been? Lullaby? I could go on, but I won't.
They all started as the core and they all need each other to balance themselves. Of course, Joss, as far as I can tell, wasn't around as much to keep them ALL on the path of the story that needs to be told. Their differing opinions on a number of things caused confusion in the narrative, as they all seem to have served individual agendas rather than being forced to compromise.
Did I mention I love Minear?

Joss interview in today's TV Guide (season 7 spoilers)
-- Rob, 07:56:31 08/06/02 Tue

Joss Whedon Gives Buffy Back its Bite
Tuesday, August 6, 2002

Since Buffy the Vampire Slayer bummed out even its diehard loyalists worse than a pair of teeth marks to the neck last season, series creator Joss Whedon knows that this year there's a lot, uh, at stake. Luckily, he has a master plan to keep the UPN sleeper out of the TV-show graveyard and in the Sunnydale Cemetery where it belongs: In upcoming episodes, he reveals, "there will be vampires. And we're going to give [the Scoobies] cute catch phrases like 'Eat this' and 'You're dust.'" All kidding aside, the auteur does have a few tricks up his sleeve to turn around the bloody mess that the cult fave became - and no, none of them involve hiring Luke Perry to reprise his role from the anemic 1992 film. Phew! He's off to a good start already. Here are some of his other ideas to keep creatures of the night glued to the tube on Tuesdays. - Michael Ausiello

Buffy will cheer up. Whedon concedes that last season, Buffy "got very dark, and not everybody responded to that." So from here on, the Chosen One won't be playing the victim anymore. "We're going to see Buffy empowered again," he says, "instead of seeing her at the mercy of life."

Sunnydale High School will be rebuilt. "Buffy's going to get involved in the school and Dawn (Michelle Trachtenberg) will be attending," he says. "It's about getting back to the mission statement of the show, which was, 'Here's a little girl with a lot of power and a lot of people who underestimate it.'"

A lot of familiar faces will be returning. Not only is Amber Benson coming back as a character other than Tara, so might be Eliza Dushku (Faith), Clare Kramer (Glory), Juliet Landau (Drusilla) and George Hertzberg (Adam). "[They're all returning] for a very particular reason that I will not explain to you," Whedon teases.

Anthony Stewart Head will be around more. At least Whedon hopes so. To date, the actor - who's currently appearing on the BBC America series Manchild - is only committed to doing 10 episodes of Buffy. "But we want more," Whedon says. "We missed him [last year]." Meanwhile, Ripper, the in-the-works spinoff revolving around Head's counterpart Giles, has been put on hold.

Willow (Alyson Hannigan) will get a new girlfriend.. Well, maybe. "That's something I'm not going to comment on," Whedon says. "But it's definitely a possibility."

Spike will not turn into a little Angel. Although the blonde blood-sucker got back his soul, Whedon has no intention of turning him into a clone of Buffy's first love. "If you think [that], you don't know me," he asserts. "The trick is to do it differently and have it mean something new."

Buffy will go on - with or without Sarah Michelle Gellar. A decision about an eighth season has yet to be made. However, Whedon certainly isn't eager to dust the franchise. "The show is about growing up, and that process never stops," he says. "I really do feel like it could go on forever" - even if Gellar hangs up Mr. Pointy when her contract expires in May? "I'm game for almost anything," Whedon says. "It's a huge universe we've created and an incredible cast of actors."

[> Re: Joss interview in today's TV Guide (season 7 spoilers) -- Marie, 08:44:46 08/06/02 Tue

Hmmm... sounds like we're going to see some flashbacks and/or dream sequences, maybe?


[> [> Re: Or Maybe.... -- Purple Tulip (in need of some sleep), 10:26:28 08/06/02 Tue Amber not returning as Tara, they will all come back as look-alikes, or clones, but be completely different- maybe even normal people. OR maybe they will all be summoned, having been Buffy's biggest enemies throughout the years, by the Master who is set to return, to sort of make a force against Buffy, a demon shield if you will. OR maybe they all got zapped by that demon ray that split Xander into two and now there are multiple little Glorys running around with bad perms and cheap knock-off clothing. Ok, none of these are really good ideas, just my tired mind spewing random thoughts out like dust from a sun-fried vamp.

[> [> [> Wow. Joss Has Actually Got Me Stoked -- AngelVSAngelus, 12:42:01 08/06/02 Tue

and considering how I feel about year six, that's saying something.
Whedon has my hyped about his cleaning up what, to me, was a mess from last year, and returning it to the show I'd loved more than anything before it all happened.

[> [> [> [> Re: Wow. Joss Has Actually Got Me Stoked -- parakeet, 20:54:42 08/06/02 Tue

I'm a bit worried, actually. OK, I liked season 6, but I do understand why a lot of people didn't. However, they can't go back to the beginning; they've been there. I don't even really understand why anybody would want them to. Surely it would just be a pathetic attempt to regain youth (much like an ill-advised comb-over)? Hopefully, I'm underestimating ME, as they've certainly done a damn good job so far, but when has an attempt "to be what we were" ever gone well? Hasn't it always been better to go forward, with balls and attitude intact? Too many question marks. As I said, I have learned respect for ME, and they probably won't let me down by actually attempting to retrace their own steps, especially not to please people with the expected when they should be trying to do something that they haven't done before.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Wow. Joss Has Actually Got Me Stoked -- Lyonors, 12:54:20 08/07/02 Wed

Hmmmm, I somehow think that when ME says "back to the beginning" they mean something trickier than actually rehashing and/or returning to earlier themes of the show. Somehow I just think they are that tricky.


[> [> [> [> [> Back to Basics -- Darby, 12:55:20 08/07/02 Wed

There's a difference between getting back to root concepts - female power, humor mixed with horror, all the things that made the show unique - and rehashing the first year. A return of spirit.

When Joss makes Buffy - Year One comments, he's invoking a similar move made a while back on Batman, usually linked to Frank Miller but probably more a product of Dick Giordano and Denny Miller, wherein they tried to recover the dark "creature of the night" hiding a psychically damaged person, as the character had been originally conceived.

[> Re: Joss interview in today's TV Guide (season 7 spoilers) -- Alvin, 15:40:28 08/06/02 Tue

Maybe this actually is the middle of a two year story arc, and the gang actually is in an alternate dimension, but don't know it. When they find out, they set out across the dimensions a la Sliders and travel to a dimension where Glory won, where Adam won, etc. That would explain all the guest stars. Actually, I don't really believe it, but it is a possibility.

[> [> Re: Joss interview in today's TV Guide (season 7 spoilers) -- Amber, 22:29:39 08/06/02 Tue

I've got a theory...

I don't know if this has been considered before, but is we go back to Dawn's original title of "the key" and we assume that Dawn is going to be coming into her own power in S7 it's possible that Dawn, as the key, could be unlocking doors to the past, or alternate dimensions (where Glory won, where the Master didn't die etc.)

That's my theory anyway. Of course, it's up for debate whether Dawn would open those doors on purpose or if they would just be misshaps that occur while she is trying to learn to control her powers.

Sound plausible?

We hit the 60,000 posts point!
-- Masq, 09:36:02 08/06/02 Tue

And the winner is... ponygirl and her "Signs" spoiler post!

[> Wow! I'm honoured and proud! (do I win anything?) -- ponygirl, 09:53:03 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> OT: Does anyone else see the irony in the magic #'d post not being about BtVS or AtS? ;-) -- redcat, wooing and hooing along with the gang. Congrats, M!, 11:58:24 08/06/02 Tue

[> Can I hear a woo and a hoo?!? -- Rob, 09:53:25 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> A woo and a hoo -- VR, 10:45:02 08/06/02 Tue

[> Congrats! -- aliera, 14:32:07 08/06/02 Tue

[> Do we rock the house down? I think we do!!! YEE HAW!!! -- Wizardman, 15:29:29 08/06/02 Tue

[> Break out the champaigne!!! ... and vodka !!!!! and ... -- Caesar Augustus, 21:21:25 08/06/02 Tue

[> [> vodka... -- Rob, 07:54:44 08/07/02 Wed

I am NEVER drinking that stuff again. Not gonna go into details. ;o)


Xander and Anya
-- Elenphant (aka hathir_child), 23:17:22 08/06/02 Tue

I've decided to adopt Elenphant as my handle on this board. Hathir Child, which I use on BC&S, translates to 'Elephant's Child' (Hathi=elephant in my native language + r, which is the possessive), from the story by Kipling. So Elenphant comes from there. Get it? :-) Elephant + enfant (French for child). Sorry for going on about this. I was rather proud of my cleverness in thinking this up.

To my point. For some time, in viewing Xander and Anya's relationship, I have sort of been viewing it as one between an older woman and a younger man. What do people think? It gives an interesting light to their dynamic during their duet in OMWF and the conversation between Spike and Anya - 'We're the only ones who've really lived' - in Entropy. As well as to their interaction with each other in other eps.


[>Gotta disagree -- Darby, 06:41:01 08/07/02 Wed

In many ways this is the first relationship between equals since...Giles and Jenny comes to mind, but Jenny was clearly the controlling force in that relationship. Spike and Drusilla, maybe-?

Anyway, Anya's only "older woman" attribute is that she's older, but she isn't really - her experience as a modern human is still much more limited than Xander's, and she defers to him on almost any matter beyond mojo, where her long life really has given her knowledge, and commerce, where she has worked much harder to acclimate. As she has adapted, her forceful personality has led her to be more and more involved in their decision-making, to the point where it seemed, in planning the wedding, to be much more of a collaboration than is usually shown in fiction.

But Anya's lack of social niceties does not give Xander more "power" (bad word choice, I know) in the relationship. I know some people see Xander's treatment of Anya as borderline abusive, but I think it just shows a relationship where the comfort level has exceeded the need to be careful (gotta say I think that it's a bad thing when you talk to your partner without regard for their feelings, but it's a common enough feature of long-term relationships and not an automatic precursor of abuse). Anya craves an anchor, someone who accepts her and loves her and who can act as a buffer between her and the world, and Xander is all of those. And her deferral really is a deferral, because when she truly does not like something she won't hesitate to voice that. She has been a true partner pretty much since they started.

For someone whose jealousy had led to demonization, she has shown remarkable trust in Xander's devotion (she did set limits, but even his relationship with Buffy and Willow was something she accepted), making the betrayal in Hell's Bells that much more of a surprise.

I'm realizing as I write this that I miss the two of them, that they had perhaps the most successful relationship of either ME show (and maybe were the best bickering couple on tv, since every issue was driven by their very particular characters), and that Xander's fears of becoming his father were groundless. Those sorts of abusive tendencies - or the drinking problem, for that matter - wouldn't still be buried after a couple of years with Anya, including most of a year living together. I'm also realizing why Anya has not understood Xander's motivation in leaving her at the altar - she knows him, and she wouldn't see the comparison between him and his family that he sees and fears.

[> [>Oh, and... -- Darby, 06:46:26 08/07/02 Wed

Thanks and welcome!

Don't take it personally that I disagree with you - it's the function of the board. But what you wrote and where it made my mind go is the real function here, because it made me focus on and rethink an issue from the shows that had bothered me but I hadn't gotten the perspective to address.

On an issue like this, we may find lots and lots of disagreeing perspectives here.

[> [>Re: Xander & Anya -- Brian, 07:07:27 08/07/02 Wed

Perhaps, in the end, their experiences will leave them older and wiser, and more able to forgive each other. Like the young lovers in The Fantastiks, "Without a hurt, the heart is hollow."

[> [>Re: Gotta disagree -- Robert, 09:35:57 08/07/02 Wed

There's another point to the relationship between Anya and Xander. Their relationship started as strictly a sexual one early in season four. I don't think Xander even liked Anya until sometime in season five. He moved from loathing (in season three) to lust (in season four) to love (in season five). His nitpicking and snide remarks began in this loathing relationship and became a familiar aspect of the loving relationship.

I don't think that Xander ever stopped loving Anya in season six, even after his dastardly deed in the church. Rather, I believe, that Xander came to loath himself.

[> [> [>Cordelia and Anya -- desert rat, 18:43:28 08/07/02 Wed

I've been noticing the similarities between Cordy and Anya. Both are quick to speak their mind, often being rude and insensitive to those around them. I'm not sure however, if this reveals a continuity in Xander's character (i.e. the type of woman that he is attracted to) or if it highlights Xander's insecurities? Why does he allow women to talk to him the way both Cordy and Anya have?

Any thoughts?

[> [> [> [>Re: Cordelia and Anya -- Wizardman, 20:05:20 08/07/02 Wed

I've always thought that Xander is attracted to powerful women. Buffy is very forceful, and as you've pointed out, so are Cordelia and Anya. Look at some of the other women in his life:

Willow- Part of the early barrier to a W/X realtionship may have been that Xander always saw her as just a friend, but 'The Pack' showed the he was subconsciously aware of her feelings towards him. Also, he only started to show romantic/lusty feelings towards her in S3, when she was more or less constantly displaying the spine that we all knew she had (not to say she was spineless earlier on- The Harvest and IRYJ showed us how tough she could really be!)

Miss French- Very sexy, yes, but also in a postion of power, and her demeanor very much reflected that.

Ampata- Ampata is perhaps the exception that made the rule. The girl was tough, yes, but she acted more like a 'girly-girl' towards the Scoobies, at least at first. Maybe he subconsciously noticed her toughness, but I'm not sure- he didn't spend years around her like he has with Willow.

Kendra and Faith- His reaction to Kendra was: "Ooh Slayer! Oh... she's shy." Being powerful is in a Slayer's job description, but Kendra stuttered and acted nervous when Xander began to put the moves on her, turing him right off. Faith on the other hand... well, she was his first. With the major exception of Anya, his only. He could have said no, and she might have let him get away with it. She didn't later on, but a) that was after she started to slide into darkness, and b) he couldn't know what would happen in the future. To me, his reactions to these two confirm the 'powerful women' theory, but that's just me.

[> [> [> [> [>Re: Cordelia and Anya -- Elenphant, 01:51:28 08/08/02 Thu seems that my post didn't get across the way I intended. Darby - I in no way implied an imbalance of power in their relationship. I was talking more in particulars. In Anya's 'scared little boy' comment, and her previous words with Spike about how the Scoobies are so afarid of life, it sounded to me somewhat as if what she wants from Xander is for him to 'grow up.' Now, before you take that the wrong way, let me clarify. Anya may be inexperienced when it comes to being human, but I think not necessarily in the ways you see her to be. She does in my opinion have a great understanding of relationships and men and women.

Her time as a vengeance demon (I refuse to use the acronym VD, for obvious reasons. is amusing when considering Xander's funny syphillis...) I believe made her 'clarify' her world view into black and white. Before that she was human. The guy in Triangle was what got her recruited. It seems to me she might have, as many of us do when highly emotional, thrown her reasoning out the door. All her understanding of the greys was put aside. You could say her time as Anyanka was one long fit of anger. The stripping of her powers was when she started to become reaquainted with what she once knew.

Also, one should keep in mind that she was human during a time when there were fewer shades of grey. Ancient traditions and thought was much more primal and absolute in its view of things. It isn't that the grey wasn't there - it wasn't acknowledged or taken into consideration in things like law (I sort of think of a vengeance demon as a lawyer - one who is called upon to exact revenge - for often that's what suits really are at their base). The modern consideration for the grey in things comes from, I think, a way of thinking that was started by the Athenian philosophers (then later by the European Enlightenment), etc.

Anya's bluntness (and it's not that she's unaware of what she says - sometimes it's deliberate) is to me a signifier of this. Think of say, ancient writing (perhaps using the Bible as an example) and modern writing. The Bible says things outright - no pussyfooting around. What it's saying or what it really means may be up for debate, but whatever it is, it doesn't mince words. Next consider a Victorian text. It is overly circuitous in saying what it wants in comparison, and may take five pages to say something that could be summed up in one line (as the Bible often does, and which is why the precise meanings of things are so open to debate - conciseness does not easily allow room for the acknowledgment of nuance).

Which is partly the deal with Spike as well, I think. I agree with shadowkat - he is growing up. Spike was born a Victorian, but rejected it in favor of a persona more 'primitive' - outside civilized law (there's some suggestion he may have been a clerk of some sort), working class accent, etc. He got tired of greyness and nuance (William the poet) because in the end it didn't get him anywhere (Hamlet sort of bogs himself down with the consideration of greyness to the point where he isn't able to take any action). But now he's learning again that a black and white world view leads to a dead end in its own way (he walks right into the dead end of the alley in OMWF and doesn't even realize it until after he climbs the fence - the AR scene IMO. He then needs to turn around and head back in the direction from which he came.).

In a way, one can think of Anya's and Spike's maturation and development to parallel that of the development of literature through time.....okay I'll stop now because I think I'm getting way too esoteric....I've also wandered away from my own original thought.


[> [> [> [> [> [>Anya and history -- Darby, 07:32:00 08/08/02 Thu

I focused on power and balance because what is there in an "older woman - younger man" relationship once you get beyond age differences? It's how the differences in experience drive the power balance. And on that, I have to disagree with your assessment of Anya again.

Anya is like a crazed criminal justice official in the world of love - and like people in such systems, has gotten a very skewed idea of how things work. Her experience and persona have made her less capable of conducting herself in a relationship or reading the motivations of her partner. Xander was the perfect match for her here, understanding her problems and working through them to help her adjust. But Xander, young as he is, has a better handle on keeping a relationship going than she does.

And I agree that her job has given her a much more black-and-white view of the world, but I strongly disagree that such an attitude would be inherent in someone from the past. I find it very patronizing how you have portrayed the world of our ancestors (and how people still relate to so-called "primitive societies that still exist) - do you really think that any collection of human beings interact in simple ways? I don't think that reading the "official rules" of a society tells you how individuals related to each other. Our ancestors may have been ignorant in some areas, and their worlds may have been more local than ours, but there's no reason to imagine them quaint and unsophisticated in their day-to-day dealings with each other. Was living in Dark Age Scandinavia different than today? No doubt. Were the people then more quaint and simple, like a society of children? That's chauvinism.

Sorry, you've hit upon one of my hot-button topics (the list is much longer than I would like it to be). I hope that I've toned down my reaction, but that isn't a thing I'm really good at.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [>'Primitive' versus 'civilised' -- Rahael, 08:16:34 08/08/02 Thu

Ahhhh, yes Darby. This is one of my hot button topics also.

The rules of society are not more complex in the 'modern day world'. The rules are simply different. The unwritten rules and rituals which arise out of any civilised group, whether 'face to face' or not are equally complex and sophisticated.

Also, decoding text and judging it's 'simplicity' or 'complexity' from our viewpoint is pointless. The way to judge any text is to understand the contex in which it was written. Also, with regard to the Bible, it's been translated by different societies and groupings. Unless one's a Hebrew scholar, which I'm not, I always read the King James edition as a kind of entry point into early modern England, not the written word of God transcribed by the prophets/disciples etc. Translations tell us more, very often, about the translater and the society he/she lives in than the original text. The wording chosen. The texts chosen, the reasons why etc.

When anthropologists first went to study 'primitive' societies in distant less European parts of the world, they thought they would be taking a snap shot of the primitive past of European society - after all, surely these were 'unevolved' societies, and European civilisation, the high watermark of human achievement and progress (hollow laughter here) surely was far more complex and superior. Studying these little tribes would be similar to studying the bones of neanderthals or early humans, to see what our past was like. Not so, of course. It simply tells us how human being react in different settings.

Having disagreed with Hathir child's use of wording, I'd have to disagree with your point re Anya being less good at relationships? Is she? Doesn't she have an honesty? But then I've always liked Anya. The writers have used her 'getting used to the strange ways of these little humans' as a source of humour and satire.

The Anya who practised her wedding vows with such emotion and sincerity could not be more open to love. The Xander who turned away was closed, fearful, scared. Teaching Anya about human ways was simply a device to teach Xander about human ways. To teach the Scoobies how to understand death and life. To look at our world with new, unjaded, sad and wondering eyes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>whoops -- Rahael, 08:29:58 08/08/02 Thu

Rife with typos as usual - but very bad of me to revert to calling Elenphant Hathir child - your explanation of your name change was so charming it backfired!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>And Whoops, myself! -- redcat, 10:01:02 08/08/02 Thu

Sorry, Darby and Rahael, didn't mean to repeat your posts. You must both have posted while I was off composing and I didn't see yours till just now. (Note to board: dont bother reading my overy-long missive below, Rah and Darby do it better and MUCH shorter.)

And apologies to Elenphant - don't want you to think we're ganging up on you. You obviously just hit a button with some of us...

[> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Cordelia and Anya -- redcat, 08:56:14 08/08/02 Thu

Aloha e Elenphant and welcome to the board! And thanks for starting this quite interesting thread.

I think I understand what you're saying about Anya being an "older woman" to Xander in some essential or near-classic way.
Sometimes she almost mothers him, and at other times, you can see her becoming almost frustrated with his continued emotional
immaturity, both of which are common experiences of being an older woman partnered with a much younger man. I think,
however, that physical age is not so much at the core of this question, as that age itself is perhaps being used as a metaphor for a
particular approach to life. Anya is pragmatic, direct and rarely plays with her food. Although Xander often winds up being the
voice of reason in the larger gang and has taken up the mantle of adulthood through his work as a carpenter, he is just as likely to
initially approach issues emotionally, he often works very hard to NOT see what is going on and he still thinks playing war with
pastry products is cute.

However, in the "everyday" part of their lives together, I also agree with Darby's point that in terms of "power," their relationship
(pre-Hell's Bell's) was fairly well-balanced. Each had strengths and weaknesses, they generally supported once another, and each
"put up with" somewhat unpleasant traits in the other out of a sense of love and commitment to the relationship.

But the real reason I'm writing this post is because of something you said about "ancient traditions" and your comparison of
Anya's maturation as a post-vengeance-demon human to the development of literature over time. Now, I hate to welcome a new
poster by disagreeing with an off-topic point in an otherwise interesting and on-topic thread, but neither of these assumptions
seem valid to me.

As for Anya being "ancient," I suppose that depends on one's perspective. I say what follows with some sense of irony, having
just had a conversation yesterday with my 12-year-old niece, with whom I share a birthday, and who told me that I couldn't
possibly be 4 times her own age, because she knows for a fact that I couldn't possibly be that ancient, since, after all, I'm her most
fun and favorite auntie, etc., etc. I think she's angling for a Game Box for her birthday this year, but that's beside my point....
Which is that Anya is only about 1,100 years old and her troll ex-boyfriend was clearly dressed to suggest some sort of easily-
recognizable, Hollywood version of "medieval guy." I would hardly call the medieval period "ancient," especially when one's
frame of reference also includes the scribes of the Judeo-Christian Bible and the Athenian philosophers. If consciousness of moral
grey is purported to have begun with the latter and come to fruition in the European Enlightenment, then surely (if we are to
accept the implication of near-inevitable historical "progress" embedded in such a schema), the medieval period would have
witnessed some degree of ethical blurring. As you suggest, this is not evident in either medieval law or literature. However, it may
well have been central to actual lived experience and the cultural norms with which a village-based peasant woman, like the one
Anya is supposed to have been, would have been more familiar. In fact, regardless of formal law or elite literature (which is what
all European literature was until at least the middle of the 19th century), non-elite or "commoner" cultures across Europe, in both
urban and rural areas, may well have operated with a fairly well-developed sense of moral grey. This is delineated in the formal
literature most emphatically in court testimony and depositions recorded by court officials (in places like England, Scotland,
France, Belgium, Germany, Spain and Italy) that have survived and which give rich evidence of how carefully and observantly
common witnesses to crimes articulated human actions, even very violent ones, as embedded in complex and multiply-layered
contexts that affected, in the witness' minds at least, both the social and legal meanings of those acts. Rarely in such records, in
fact, do historians find as much evidence of a "black and white" mentality among peasants as they do among the educated elite,
and the disjuncture between depositions and judgements is often startling to a contemporary readers. So I'm not convinced that
Anya's personal lack of a sense of moral ambiguity is more a matter of the historical time in which she was born and/or her
cultural background, rather than being primarily a function of her personality and the experience of having lived for a thousand
years as a tool of judgement and revenge.

Secondly, my own experience is that the common acceptance of moral ambiguity that historians find in non-elite pre-modern
European cultures is repeated in most indigenous cultures around the earth that anthropologists have been able to study.
Acknowledgment that there are grey areas in human behavior and ethics comes, not from any one philosophical or religious
tradition, but from the experience of living as humans. Life itself is complicated and uneven, sometimes it seems irrational, and
most human cultures seem to produce either oral or written literature that addresses this fact. Whether we call them works of
great literature, or indigenous myths and legends, or just talk-story, in every culture that I can think of, both those that fall within
the European intellectual field and those far outside of it, issues of moral ambiguity and the process of figuring out what
constitutes ethical behavior in the face of complex circumstances are at the center of human self-examination. To suggest that this
is somehow a "modern," and thus western, enterprise seems to me to discount the richness of human cultural and social
experience around the globe and across history.

And I disagree, for similar reasons, in a schema that asserts that human literature, or even just western literature, has progressed
along some sort of rational developmental path from simple but unsophisticated (the Bible) to overly-sophisticated (the
Victorians) to whatever it is we have now (either postmodernist jargon or tabloid sensationalism - not sure what direction you'd
take there). Not only does that seem to rely on Enlightenment notions of the inevitability of linear human advancement towards
some (not terribly well agreed upon, I think) goal, but it discounts a lot of cultures, societies and peoples who 1) are not
convinced by Enlightenment philosophy and 2) don't see either time or humans as linear critters.

Now I'm sure you didn't mean any of this by your off-hand musings, and my disagreements with you on these minor points do not
detract from my enjoyment of you posts in general. But there's a common set of perceptions and assumptions among many
modern peoples, regardless of their ethnic/cultural backgrounds, that our ancestors must have been more superstitious, less
observant and less capable of rationality than we are now, since we can look back on them and their silly mistakes from our
nearly-omniscient historical and philosophical positions as post-modern folks. However, growing up to be a fully adult human is
not the same thing as walking a straight path from point A to point B, and it never has been, anywhere, anytime, or for anyone. If
Xander or Anya (or Spike for that matter) still have some growing to do, I seriously doubt that we can blame that on the time
period in which they were born.

[> [> [> [> [>Re: Cordelia and Anya -- acesgirl, 10:39:30 08/08/02 Thu

"I've always thought that Xander is attracted to powerful women. Buffy is very forceful, and as you've pointed out, so are Cordelia and Anya. Look at some of the other women in his life:"

Let's not forget the most important woman in Xander's life - his mother. Xander's attraction to strong women makes so much sense to me after meeting the Harris'. Imagine being a boy growing up in that house, watching your mother be abused verbally and emotionally and most likely physically by your father every day. You are unable to do anything to protect her because you are too small and too powerless. And as you grow up, you come to not only resent your father for the way he treats your mother but also your mother for allowing it to happen. As a result, Xander surrounds himself with strong and capable women.

However, every now and then, the little part of his father that resides deep inside of him seeps out. He gets a little too upset when Buffy turns him down for the dance in PG and he lashes out at her verbally. He bickers a little too visciously with his first girlfriend, but she's a tough cookie and gives as good as she gets. He loses his virginity to Faith. Wow, talk about putting himself in a position where he couldn't possibly be dominant. And then there is Anya. Another strong woman who's been taking care of herself for 1100 years. But she's newly human and she needs him. She really needs him, in a way that no other woman has needed him. Anya is fully committed to Xander, her vows in Hell's Bells proved that to me. She is in for the long haul, and it is this, I think, that finally releases Xander's deepest fear causing him to break things off with Anya. What's so ultimately sad about Xander giving into his fears of turning into his father is that he had already chosen a woman that would not repeat the mistakes of his mother. He had been doing this all along with all of the women in his life. In the end, not only did Xander not trust himself, he did not trust Anya to remain the strong, opinionated, sexually agressive, money loving woman that he fell for. I am one of those people that have often thought that Xander's verbal barbs at Anya bordered on abusive. Maybe, somewhere deep inside, he thought so too.

[> [> [> [> [> [>Xander and his women -- yabyumpan, 11:32:53 08/08/02 Thu

acesgirl, I agree that at times Xanders treatment of Anya bordered on abusive, the same as his treatment of Cordelia (go change in to something etc). I think it's interesting that with both of them (and Faith), he's embarrassed/ashamed of them with regard to the Scoobies.
I don't really have any great insight into Xander's character so I'm not going to try to analyze his actions but I thought it'd put the thought out there for greater minds than me :-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Xander and his women -- desert rat, 18:28:31 08/08/02 Thu

This is what I was trying (unsucessfully) to point out- that Xander's relationships have been rather dysfunctional. Xander abususes AND allows hinself to be abused.

Does he just think that that is "normal"? Or does he lack the self-confidence to be in a "normal" relationship?

If it is a strong woman that he is looking for, why do they allow his abuse? Maybe they give as good as they get, but that doesn't make it healthy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Xander and his women -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:21:12 08/08/02 Thu

The only two women we've seen Xander in a relationship with have been with Cordelia and Anya, and neither one of those was abusive.

Did Xander insult them? Yes. Did they insult him? Yes. However, neither took the jokes at their expense very seriously, so it doesn't count. In my opinion, it's not abuse unless someone is actually hurt, either emotionally or physically.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Xander and his women -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:23:02 08/08/02 Thu

The only two women we've seen Xander in a relationship with have been with Cordelia and Anya, and neither one of those was abusive.

Did Xander insult them? Yes. Did they insult him? Yes. However, neither took the jokes at their expense very seriously, so it doesn't count. In my opinion, it's not abuse unless someone is actually hurt, either emotionally or physically.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Xander and his women -- desert rat, 12:48:22 08/09/02 Fri

I have to disagree. Verbal and emotional abuse add up over time. Besides, an argument can be made that Xander, at least, WAS hurt by the constant barbs. How many times have we seen that he feels inferior to the rest of the scoobies? Why does he date the women most apt to point out his perceived inadequacies? Not healthy.

Was Faith's descent into darkness inevitable?
-- Quentin Collins, 09:43:09 08/07/02 Wed

With the apparent return of ED to the Buffyverse, I have been wondering. What would have happened if the Deputy Mayor did not happen to be in that alley in "Bad Girls"? Would it have been likely that Faith would not have turned into a rogue slayer? Or was she simply a ticking time bomb that would have gone off a week or a month or a year later anyway? I have often wondered if she had not killed a human when she did and if Giles or Wesley would have been more loving father figures, if things might have turned out differently for her.

[> Is there a S7 spoiler in the above? If so, please label -- Dead Soul, 10:31:26 08/07/02 Wed

Trying desperately to stay unspoiled and chaste.

[> Re: Was Faith's descent into darkness inevitable? -- Vickie, 11:16:36 08/07/02 Wed

IMHO, a good storyteller could have taken her either way. This being the Whedonverse, we have good storytellers who want to show us the horror of life, so I'd guess her descent (from a meta standpoint) was inevitable.

From within the narrative, I still think she could have gone either way but was overwhelmingingly headed downward. She hurt, and her response to hurt was to deny the hurt and push away everything and everyone reminding her of the hurt. Not a recipe for getting past the denial and into a healthier frame of mind.

I'm trying (and failing) to express exactly what Faith's problem was. Best I can do, she was a loner. She was exactly what Buffy would be without the friends and family plan. (How often has ME told us that?) A slayer in that position inevitably dies young. More significant to your topic, she also has no help navigating the moral/ethical/emotional obstacle course of being humanity's champion (and therefore going out every night, putting her butt on the line, and killing lots of beings).

The slayer starts young. In terms of understanding the moral and ethical complexities of her situation, she's going to be in way over her head. If she isn't the cookie-cutter Council slave (as they tried with Kendra), she's going to be asking a LOT of questions. Questions not too different from those a regular teen would ask (or any regular person not all ossified from being a grown-up), just spiced up with constant mortal terror and dangers.

Without friends and family to support her in this, to help her come back to her emotional center when she gets off, the slayer can become someone on autopilot: killing by reflex because if you kill them fast they can't get you and maybe you won't have to think about it. IMHO, this is where Faith was in Bad Girls/Consequences. And yes, IMHO, something of the kind was inevitable for her.

The one thing that might have turned this around is if the Scoobies had successfully befriended her earlier. It's debatable whether Faith was capable of truly being befriended; her "trust only youself" modus operandi pushed people away continually. But maybe if Buffy had been in a better place herself when Faith first arrived, if Buffy hadn't gone through the whole "she's got my french fries, she's got my life" 'tude, a true friendship might have developed between them before Faith got too far down her road.

As always, your mileage may vary.

[> Re: Was Faith's descent into darkness inevitable? -- Darby, 12:47:47 08/07/02 Wed

Faith's downfall was that she had become superfluous - after a short lifetime of bopping around, she had been given a purpose as a Slayer, only to find that Buffy was still around and she would never measure up to that standard. And on top of that, Buffy's regular life outstripped what she had been able to put together! If Buffy had stepped aside, I believe that Faith would have become an effective Slayer, even with Wesley as her Watcher. That's the Faith who eventually turned herself into the authorities.

And the potential return of Faith is one of those non-spoilers - if Eliza Dushku is available, they'll find a way to use her on either show. They've said that before. But with season-long arcs it's hard to plan around an actress who might be making a movie when you get to episode 9 and want to use her.

[> It was inevitable -- Majin Gojira, 05:55:54 08/08/02 Thu

I have the notion that the PTB used Faith as a means to defeat the Mayor. If she DIDN'T Turn evil, how would the scoobies have found his weakness (which was HER).

Crazy, ain't it?

Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation)
-- Sarand, 13:05:29 08/07/02 Wed

I've never started a posting before so I hope the above subject line is correct. This might have been relevant to the Willow discussion below but I didn't know whether that discussion had run its course.

Reading the discussions below, including the Jane Espenson interview about Spike and the attempted rape, and watching "Dead Things" last night got me thinking about Willow and the consequences of her actions. (No, really, this is about Willow, not Spike). Ever since "Villains", I've been very troubled by her actions in torturing and killing Warren and how the show plans to bring her back from that. As Espenson said in the interview, the writers had to be very careful about the attempted rape because it is difficult to bring a character back from that place, or something to that effect. Similarly, I think it's very difficult to bring a character back after s/he has killed someone. In reading comments about next season and some fanfiction taking off from "Grave," most of the focus has been on cleansing Willow of the black magic and speculating on her interaction with the Scoobies when she returns. This, of course, is one of the most interesting aspect of the show: the interactions between the characters. But I have read very little of the real world consequences for Willow's actions. After all, she's a human being who killed another human being. Even if her actions are completely understandable and the evil little wanker deserved it, it wasn't legally justifiable and was still a crime. In a society of laws, one is not justified in killing for revenge. And I really don't buy the excuse that she was under the control of the magic, as if she was somehow possessed - similar to saying "the demon made me do it." I think that Willow knew what she was doing and used the magic to accomplish that.

So, my point, and I do have one, is how the show is going to deal with the real world consequences. This brings me to "Dead Things." Buffy thought she had killed Katrina and even though it was an accident she believed she had to tell the police what happened. I think this was right. One of the many things that was important about her scene with Spike in the alley was that it demonstrated Spike's lack of morality in trying to prevent her from going to the police. He had no understanding as to why she had to do that or why his hiding the body was wrong. Even though he may have been right that the police wouldn't believe her ("Demons in the woods, time goin' wonky, they won't believe you"), she still had to tell what she thought she had done.
So is Willow going to face any real world consequences for her actions? I'm not advocated that there has to be a trial here. For one thing, boring. But I feel there has to be an explanation for why there isn't going to be one. Yes, the police have shown a remarkable ability to avoid dealing with the strange goings on in Sunnydale and I don't think for a minute that the police would believe her when she tells them how she tortured Warren and killed him ("... and then with a wave of my hand, he went poof"). But I feel that if they don't make an effort to try, it will be inconsistent with what Buffy believed was the right thing to do in "Dead Things" and with the fact that Faith is sitting in jail because of her murders. And for the Scoobies and Giles to say that no one would believe them anyway so they won't try is no different than what Spike said in the alley.
So I guess I'm curious as to how the show will deal with this in a way that I can find satisfactory. If they don't, I may find it difficult to continue watching. I stopped watching ER this year because of the show's complete failure to address a murder committed by Dr. Greene, one committed for similar reasons to Willow's, but a murder nonetheless.

I just had to throw this out there because I had not seen much on this particular topic. If it has been done to death (no pun intended) and I missed it, my apologies. But I would be interested in any thoughts on the matter.

[>Willow and Real World consequences -- HonorH, 13:27:07 08/07/02 Wed

You're very right that what Willow did was indeed criminal (in several ways). However, as you also pointed out, there's very little she can actually *do* about it. With Katrina, there was still a body left. With Faith's crimes, there were police records (and a string of bodies, etc.). With Willow? No body. No remains of any kind. Warren literally just disappeared. There's no evidence of what happened to him. If there were, I'm sure there would be at least one person in the SG (probably Buffy) who would advocate going to the police. As things are, though--Willow would simply never be believed, and they all know that. As Warren was being sought by the police, they'll most likely simply think he ran off to Mexico or something. So advocating real-world consequences frankly isn't going to do anyone any good. Not the ideal solution, but that's kinda the way things are.

Remember, too, that Giles killed Ben. Whatever his reasons, there was a dead body, with evidence of murder. Giles never faced real-world consequences for that. So it's not unprecedented. Incidentally, I wonder if he'll tell Willow about Ben?

[> [>Re: Willow and the police -- ponygirl, 13:43:44 08/07/02 Wed

There may not be any evidence linking Willow to Warren but she did tear apart the Sunnydale police station and mystically assault several police officers. Since the police were staring right at her while she did these things it's going to be weird if they don't recognize her ("sure the hair's different and the eyes have pupils now, but it's the same girl!"). Of course since the Sunnydale PD's motto is "Ignore and Forget" maybe they won't want to hear a confession. I can picture the scene of Willow trying to turn herself in, "Remember the bricks flying? The high-pitched screaming? That was me." "Nope. Don't remember a thing. In fact I was off duty that night. The police station was hit by a freak mini-earthquake accompanied by a gas leak that caused mass hallucinations."

[> [> [>Re: Willow and the police -- aliera, 14:41:37 08/07/02 Wed

You guys did this really well and humor is not my forte (what? surprised?) so I'm going to skip to one of the other questions. I think there's little being written on possible consequences (except for the there 'better' be consequences posts...not saying this is one, so don't worry!) because we're having some trouble envisioning what those are going to be...the whole coven trying to heal Willow thing is a bit of a departure and I'm not really sure how they are going to work it. Will atonement be part of the healing or will that come later? Don't really have a sense of this yet. I don't see it not happening at all though. And remember last year people were saying..."I don't know how they will possibly bring her back from the dead in a believable way!" So I'd tend to just hang in there for a bit longer on this issue. JMHO.

[> [> [> [>Re: Willow and the coven -- ponygirl, 19:25:49 08/07/02 Wed

Totally agree, I have no idea what they're going to do with Willow (or any other character for that matter) and am enjoying the anticipation. Spoiler free is my mantra!

However I agree with Mal's quotage lower down on the thread. Giles' line about Willow not being the same after has some chilling connotations that go beyond Willow's own guilt. How does one extract magical ability? Is it some sort of magical lobotomy? And are there side effects to being for a time connected to everyone else in the world? Interesting that Cordelia went through something similiar at the end of s1 of AtS and came out of it with a renewed sense of purpose. Would Willow feel the same, or having felt so much pain would she withdraw? Too many possibilities!

[> [> [>The best line regarding the police -- Maroon Lagoon, 15:20:42 08/07/02 Wed

came from the musical when Xander is reading the paper:


[> [> [> [>Yeah, I've gotta say . . . -- HonorH, 15:52:19 08/07/02 Wed

. . . that when it comes to Consequences for Willow, the SPD isn't exactly the place to go lookin'.

[> [> [> [> [>Re: Yeah, I've gotta say . . . -- MaeveRigan, 10:45:55 08/08/02 Thu

I think Principal Snyder said it all in "Becoming" 2:

"In case you haven't noticed, the police of Sunnydale are *deeply* stupid."

Some things don't change.

[> [>Re: Willow and Real World consequences -- desert rat, 18:06:52 08/07/02 Wed

It was indicated in S3 that the council had means to deal with a rogue slayer (Faith). I have assumed that the coven Giles referred to plans to deal with Willow. Even though Willow was a human, perpetrating crimes against humans, the crimes were mystical in content. Therefore, the mystial world must execute the justice. (BTW, I wondered why Buffy went to the police rather than the Council (or something comparable) when she thought she killed Katrina. She should have at least called Giles for advice. She knew that there was a precedent for the situation.)

[> [> [>Re: Willow and Real World consequences -- Wizardman, 19:36:12 08/07/02 Wed

Between her Spike problem, her personal problems, not to mention the time-effects of the demons, Buffy was not thinking straight sfter she 'killed' Katrina. To a degree, the G-Man was out of sight, out of mind. I have no doubt that if Giles was still around she would have gone to him, and I have no doubt that not only would Giles have approved of what Spike did, he may even have helped. He's ruthless enough.

[> [> [> [>Re: Willow and Real World consequences -- desert rat, 00:27:46 08/08/02 Thu

What I had actually meant about consulting Giles was that there was an established procedure for dealing with accidental human death during slayage. The police were the wrong people to go to in the situation.

However, given their current relationship with the Council, Giles might have opted for Spike's route.

When Giles killed Ben, I was shocked, but mostly by the fact that I admired him for it. In the given position, it was the best decision. ..but that really makes me think about my own sense of morality. It was a great piece of writing.

[> [>possible evidence (big eewww factor) & real-world consequences -- anom, 20:17:17 08/07/02 Wed

"No body. No remains of any kind. Warren literally just disappeared. There's no evidence of what happened to him."

When Willow magically flayed Warren, his skin went flying off--of him, & into the woods behind him. I didn't see any indication that it burned up/disappeared when the rest of him did. Could it still be there? A whole, stripped-off human skin? What if someone found it--what would the Sunnydale police make of it? At the least, it would be identifiable as Warren's, but there's still nothing to connect it w/Willow, unless she confesses. And if she does, all the points other posters have made about the unbelievability of her explanations will still apply.

"Incidentally, I wonder if [Giles will] tell Willow about Ben?"

Maybe. I vote yes. It might help both of them come back from what they've done & what it's done to them. (I'm thinking of the scene between Giles & Spike at the end of ch. 4 of Rowan's "A Place So Bitter." Go see what I mean.) And I would call Willow's--& Giles's--need to do the work it will take to face & overcome what they've done & the work it will take to repair their relationships w/those who know (or in Giles's case, will know--I hope) about it, & everything they'll have to go through to do that, "real-world consequences."

[> [> [>I'd apologize for this post -- HonorH, 23:04:25 08/07/02 Wed

. . . but I'm not really sorry. It's that "evil" thing again. Gets me every time:

"Mac? C'mere and take a look at this. Looks like someone's skin. I dunno--pasty white, lots of chest hair, about a 34 waist, 18-inch collar, bad hair. Kinda reminds me of that idiot who kept hitting on my kid sister when she was in high school . . ."

[> [> [> [>I'll apologize for this post -- Fred, the oblivious pseudonym, 23:16:51 08/07/02 Wed

"Gee, Sarge, are you sure it was a crime? Maybe he kinda just took it off and forgot about it . . . "

[> [> [> [> [>HA! That is all. :) -- Dyna, 15:20:58 08/09/02 Fri

[>Re: Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation) -- Zahir, 15:42:17 08/07/02 Wed

There's an idea I've seen (and this post seems an example) that it is wrong for a story to portray a murder that is not punished by society. At least that seems to be what Sarand is saying. I would take the opposite tack--it is wrong for fiction to always portray murderers as punished by society. Why? Because that is not a reflection of reality. In fact many murders go unsolved. No doubt a horrible number of serial killers go undiscovered. Natural law does not mandate in any way that society will succeed in finding the perpetrator of violent crimes.

A very disturbing idea, that. An uncomfortable truth. One we probably wish weren't true. is true. Jack the Ripper, Zodiac, the Black Dahlia killer--all of them escaped any kind of human justice.

Now, I'm not saying that Willow belongs in that camp. For one thing, methinks the argument that Willow was temporarily insane has plenty of validity. Among Americans in particular this is an unpopular view, but that doesn't change the fact that we are not always in control of ourselves. Some years back a man was rear-ended in his car. He got out, and beat the other motorist to death. In court, it came out his wife had died that day, and his daughter had been raped, his son had been diagnosed with inoperable cancer and he himself had lost his job. All on the same day. The jury ruled he was temporarily insane. The victim's family couldn't disagree.

Meanwhile it has been pretty much established in the Buffyverse that magic can alter a person's brain and personality. In RL you're entitled to think this a copout but in the Buffyverse we have to go with the rules set out by its creators.

But the idea that she and the Scoobies must face the consequences of her actions *without* any help from the government seems a perfectly good and truthful story. At heart, it certainly seems more dramatic and germane to the human condition than any kind of trial.

(Besides, if she confessed to how she did it, the Court would stick her in an asylum anyway--she didn't get in a fight and stab the wrong person, she magically skinned him alive)

I suppose my main point is that Justice exists in what we do, not in what is done to or for us. And finding our way to that goal is not a simple matter of black and white, sometimes. Good deeds can (and do) have evil consequences. Evil deeds will (and have) lead to good consequences. Life just is comlex that way.

[> [>Re: Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation) -- Rahael, 15:47:03 08/07/02 Wed

Nice Post!!

Especially these points:

"But the idea that she and the Scoobies must face the consequences of her actions *without* any help from the government seems a perfectly good and truthful story. At heart, it certainly seems more dramatic and germane to the human condition than any kind of trial."

"I suppose my main point is that Justice exists in what we do, not in what is done to or for us. And finding our way to that goal is not a simple matter of black and white, sometimes. Good deeds can (and do) have evil consequences. Evil deeds will (and have) lead to good consequences. Life just is comlex that way."

[> [>Re: Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation/) -- aliera, 19:12:01 08/07/02 Wed

They do and it is. I think Buffy was speaking about some of this directly to the audience in discussing Warren's punishment with Xander and Dawn. In the case of a human Villain, there is a human system (even if ineptly) in place, in BTVS. However, in Grave Willow was approaching demi-hellgoddess status. In Willow's situation (depending on her powers at this time) who would be the jury of her peers? Perhaps, the coven would be the logical group to fulfill this role. One difficult being that they haven't been granted this role by society at large. Who makes this decision?

Mal also made a valid point regarding the uncertainty of Willow's condition after the Coven's treatment in his/her post below.

An alternate problem, should you wish to consider it, is the subject of vigilanteism (sp?) in general. They have approached this issue a number of times but haven't really danced with it yet. No denouement. They've blended the black and white this season pretty thoroughly and have opened up a richer and more complex world in which to approach should they so choose; Willow's story was and is a substantial part of that.

I believe you are right, Zahir, that there are other issues beyond Willow's not be given up to the police and of the lack of connection that sometimes exists between actions and consequences. Interesting post.

[>The police are the least of Willow's worries -- Malandanza, 17:44:51 08/07/02 Wed

Willow's punishment is in Giles' hands -- the man who thought killing Dawn to stop Glory was a good plan and who did kill Ben to prevent future mischief by his alter-ego. Giles likes Willow, but that isn't going to stop him from seeing that she's punished, it just means he'll feel sorry for her while she's undergoing her punishments.

Comments Giles made during The Grave suggest that Willow might not even survive what the Coven has planned for her,and that Willow's death, while regrettable, would not prevent Giles from seeing that her punishment is carried out:

GILES: The coven is working on a way to extract her powers without killing her.
And should she survive, you ought to know... There's no guarantee she'll be... as she was.

Buffy stares at him.

There's more to the scene than the Shooting Script indicates -- Buffy's expression is one of shock, and Giles' hasty explanation

GILES (cont'd)(explaining) Willow killed a human being, Buffy. How will she be able to live with herself?

might convince Buffy (but from her expression, I doubt it) but it shouldn't convince those of us who have seen Giles in his Ripper moments. Furthermore, during the battle Giles' looked at Buffy in disbelief when Buffy cautions him about hurting Willow:

GILES (cont'd) Excudo!

ON WILLOW - as she's BLASTED back, SMASHING THROUGH the BRICK WALL, slamming into the pillar to the Upper Landing, cracking it, before hitting the floor.

BUFFY: Giles! You're gonna kill her!

Giles tosses a glance at her.

Willow isn't getting a free ride this time -- she will pay, Giles will make sure of that.

[> [>I hadn't thought of that, but . . . -- Quentin Collins, 00:19:04 08/08/02 Thu

I hope you are wrong about Giles punishing Willow. I think that would make him a hypocrite and go against his obvious utilitarian moral leanings.

Remember this is the man who went after the killer of his lover just as Willow did. And if the world did end in "Grave", it would have been partially caused by his miscalculation. Before he entered the fray, Willow had no plans for an apocalypse.

Given Giles' utilitarian outlook (influenced by his service with the ultra-utilitarian Watchers' Council) demonstrated by his willingness to kill Ben and his willingness to sacrifice Dawn if need be, he should see punishing Willow as contributing little to the greater good. He will probably view extracting her powers as the action that will maximize the good (although I myself remain unconvinced that that is the best option). And don't forget that Willow has already lost Tara. Any further punishment would seem cruel -- something which Giles is not.

[> [> [>Giles offers sanctuary not punishment -- Rufus, 03:27:42 08/08/02 Thu

All you have to do is remember the words to Anya in Grave.....

She's alive.
(looking at Anya)
The magic she took from me, it did
what I hoped it would...

(getting it)
You dosed her. You knew she was
going to take your powers all along.

W-well, I knew there was a
possibility. The gift I was given by
the coven was the true essence of
Magic. Which comes, in all it's
purity, from the Earth itself.

Willow's magic came from a place of
rage and power.

Oh, and vengeance. Don't forget

How... could I? In any case, the
magic she took from me tapped into
the spark of humanity she had left.
Allowed her to feel again... Giving
Xander the opportunity to reach her.

Giles knows what it is like to be out of control with power and the feeling that power gives one. In The Dark Age, Giles told Buffy about his days of playing with the dark arts, he is giving back some of what he took in helping Willow now. Who can better understand someone who has gone out of control with dark magic, than Giles. He isn't about punishment, but about acceptance and moving on with new purpose.

[> [> [>Re: I hadn't thought of that, but . . . -- Malandanza, 07:28:30 08/08/02 Thu

"I hope you are wrong about Giles punishing Willow. I think that would make him a hypocrite and go against his obvious utilitarian moral leanings."

While I agree that there is something hypocritical if Giles were to punish Willow for murdering Warren, I think there are significant differences in Willow's case:

1. Angelus was a vampire they were trying to kill anyway
2. Tara's death was an accident, Jenny's was premeditated to a rather chilling degree
3. Willow didn't just kill (and torture) Warren -- she tried to kill Andrew and Jonathan three different times, she tried to kill Dawn once and she was willing to risk Dawn and Xander's death in order to kill Andrew and Jonathan.
4. Willow tried to destroy the world.

Granted, the last category, as you pointed out, is due in part to Giles' interference. Furthermore, I don't think it matters to a Utilitarian if they are being hypocritical or not -- what matters are the results. Wasn't there a Giles quote about Faith "having great power and the willingness to use it for evil"? In a strictly Utilitarian outlook, killing Willow would be reasonable (the fate the WC had planned for Faith) so I think that merely extracting her ability to do magic is far from cruel -- it is favoritism. But then, Willow was always the "watcher's pet."

[>Re: Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation) -- Sarand, 05:54:42 08/08/02 Thu

Thanks for the responses everyone. Very thoughtful.

I know that this is the Buffyverse and different rules apply but I've always had trouble when the Buffyverse bumps up against the real world. I think my original post was phrased badly by focusing on consequences. Since the show was about growing up this past season, one of the aspects of growing up is taking responsibility for your actions. You do something wrong, you should take responsibility for it and face whatever consequences are meted out. Isn't that what Dawn had to do when she was caught stealing? Didn't she have to return what she stole or promise to pay and wasn't she not allowed in some stores because of her thefts? Yes, it's true, the justice system doesn't work sometimes. People are not caught for crimes they commit or they are not convicted. Saying that there's nothing to prosecute because there's no body is not true. Lots of murders are prosecuted without a body. Warren existed. His mother or any number of people could testify to that. And the Scoobies were witnesses to what Willow did and could corroborate her confession. Of course, they would all be put in an insane asylum if they did. If she had taken a gun and shot Warren, the responsibilities of all would have been clear. The fact that she did it with magic makes it impossible for the real world to deal with it. I get that. The witches coven conducting some sort of trial or inquisition and exacting punishment may do it for me, as long as the fact that she killed a human is not left out of the equation of all the other things she did. Although torturing Willow? Ewww.
I wish I could agree that losing Tara was punishment enough for Willow. I just think that leads to justifying vengeance. "You killed my loved one so I get to kill you because I'm hurting so bad." Who ends up suffering then? The loved ones of the person you killed and they didn't do anything to you. Temporary insanity? Possible. Could certainly be used to diminish the severity of the crime. But in the scenario in someone's post about a man getting off for killing a motorist, remember that that was a decision made by a jury, not by the police or the man's friends. The witches coven could well be the jury of Willow's peers.

In conclusion, I do think that the show will deal with this. Joss Whedon doesn't seem to do anything carelessly. I just wanted to see what people thought they would do.

[> [>Re: Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation) -- skpe, 06:58:21 08/08/02 Thu

I would think that the coven would be more concerned about willows near destruction of the earth. Since that is a greater misuse of magical powers than the murder of one person. And it is something only they, (or maybe the PTB's) could handle

[> [>Pedantic legal points Re: temporary insanity, a jury of your "peers" -- Sophist, 08:39:43 08/08/02 Thu

Two points to consider here about the law of California.

First, several people have mentioned a jury of Willow's "peers". I get the sense that a witches coven may meet some implicit sense of fairness for some posters. However, and notwithstanding the common misunderstanding, American law has no provision for a jury of one's "peers". You are entitled only to a jury. The word "peer" is used in Magna Charta because there it referred only to those of the rank of Baron and above. Since we don't have those here (we're all equal under the law, right?), there is no need for anything other than a plain old jury.

Second, there is the issue of temporary insanity. That would not be a defense under California law in this case. The easiest way to see this is to think of someone freebasing cocaine and suffering a temporary psychosis (this is an actual case). It's not a defense because (1) the drugs were taken voluntarily, and (2) the psychosis must last beyond the duration of the effects of the drug. Even if Willow committed the acts "under the influence" of magic (a notion I personally find ridiculous, but that's JMHO about the whole magic/drugs story line), that provides no legal defense.

[> [> [>Re: Pedantic legal points Re: temporary insanity, a jury of your "peers" -- Sarand, 13:15:29 08/08/02 Thu

What about temporary insanity based on her grief? I agree with the magics/drug analogy. Voluntary intoxication from drugs or alcohol is not a defense here in NY either.

[> [> [> [>Grief does not equal insanity -- Sophist, 13:59:12 08/08/02 Thu

Under CA law, a disturbed emotional state perverting the moral sense is not a defense when the mind itself is not deranged (is that jargon enough? I'm paraphrasing a case in order to be precise). In plain English, Willow could not use her grief to show temporary insanity.

It may be possible to use grief to show that a defendant lacked the specific intent required for certain crimes. However, murder does not require specific intent, so, again, Willow's grief would not be a defense. The long lapse of time between Tara's murder and Warren's murder would make this problematic in any case; as several people have pointed out, such an exception would justify revenge killings in almost every case.

[> [> [> [> [>Willow wasn't insane. -- HonorH, 14:11:51 08/08/02 Thu

Tripped out on bad magic, yes. Furious, yes. Grieving, yes. Insane? No. She knew what she was doing, particularly when she went into the Magic Box and drained those books. As someone at SunS pointed out: you may not be yourself when you drink, but you're the one who picked up the bottle. Willow *knew* she wouldn't come back from that all the way back in OAFA.

What her punishment is going to be is knowing what she's done. She left a trail of destruction in her wake, opened herself to dark forces she couldn't possibly control, took human lives (if Rack was, indeed, human), and fought and harmed her friends. The law may never be able to punish her, but that by no means means that she isn't going to be paying for what she did for a long, long time.

[> [> [> [> [> [>Flogging and punishing -- Sophist, 15:44:09 08/08/02 Thu

may have been adequate in S4, but I can't agree with you when you say "What her punishment is going to be is knowing what she's done."

Certainly the law wouldn't see it that way (hey, we could open all the prisons). Nor, I think, can any standard of morality. If Willow's only punishment is her own guilt, I think ME would be making a huge mistake in assessing its viewers.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [>What would a good punishment be? -- HonorH, 16:05:20 08/08/02 Thu

I'm not being sarcastic here, btw. I just don't know what sort of punishment would fit Willow's crimes. Perhaps making some sort of restitution for what she's done? That's certainly something we've seen on this show (Angel, anyone?).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Well, -- Sophist, 18:47:55 08/08/02 Thu

Dark Phoenix sacrificed her own life to save the world. That would work. So would sacrificing herself for Buffy, Dawn or the SG generally. Not much short of that would (for me, anyway). I'm also open to suggestions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>'Kay, that's going a bit far -- HonorH, 19:53:48 08/08/02 Thu

You're not going to be satisfied with anything less than Willow's death? How, incidentally, do you feel about Angel or Spike? Even with their souls, they're still culpable for their crimes.

I think justice would be better served by Willow living on and making restitution to the people she harmed. Obviously, she can't do that with Warren; there's not a thing she can do for him. If Jonathan and Andrew come back to town, she could help them. She should live on and do exactly what she has been doing: helping to save the world and make it a better place. Like Angel. Like Spike.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Well, -- Tymen, 20:00:45 08/08/02 Thu

How would Willow's sacrifice of herself for another allow her to grow and learn from her mistakes? (Trying to end the world was a big one, I'll admit.)

Death is (normally) a rather permanent state.
Is Willow irreedemable then? Can she only redeem herself through sacrificing her life for others?

In which case would you say that Spike and Angel can only redeem themselves by sacrificing their lives for others. Both have been involved in torture and attempts to destroy the world.

She can not make amends if she is Dead. Even if through a Noble Sacrifice. Her death would only cause more pain in the world. (Buffy, Xander and Dawn don't need anymore pain right now don't you think.)

What of Mercy, Compassion and Forgiveness? Where do they fit in?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Willow's "redemption" -- Sophist, 08:37:59 08/09/02 Fri

Before I get to Willow, I need to explain, so that I can put to one side, my view of the comparison that both HH and Tymen made between Angel and Willow. I think most posters know my view of this and they can skip the next paragraph.

The difference between Angel and Willow, for me anyway, stems from my interpretation of the soul canon. There appear to be 2 ways of viewing this. One says that Angel/Angelus are essentially the same. The other, which is my view, is that the presence or absence of the soul makes Angel an entirely different creature from Angelus, and thus not responsible for Angelus's actions. We've discussed this quite a bit on the Board, and it really isn't my intention to start that debate anew. I'm merely letting you and HonorH know this so we can put that issue aside and move on to Willow.

In contrast to Angel, I view Willow as responsible for the actions of DarkWillow. As I mentioned above, grief and the silly magic/drugs equation don't give her any defense. So I start from the existential point that Willow is the responsible actor.

There are now 3 analytically distinct ways of looking at her situation. One involves her subjective view, i.e., how can she grow and improve from the experience. A second involves society's view -- when and under what circumstances can others trust her again. A third involves some more abstract notion of "redemption" (a term I don't like; rehabilitation is better maybe).

Both posts above seem to me to address Willow's subjective response. I don't deny the importance of that, but I don't think that ends the inquiry.

In order for society to have some sense of confidence in her future behavior, it (we) must see that she bears some consequence for her actions. Not the sort that says "I murdered my father and mother, now I'm an orphan, poor, poor me." It must be an external consequence that we can all appreciate. This is, in fact, what happens when raising children. They get a time out or they get grounded, etc. so that we are sure that the lesson is driven home and internalized.

IRL, we would clearly put Willow in prison. In BtVS, the closest analogy to Willow is Faith, and she is in prison. That clearly is not going to happen here, so we then have to decide what to do next. I personally can't come up with any punishment that suits the needs of the show (she has to be there every week, after all) and the seriousness of her actions.

My suggestions above skipped a step at this point. I compressed the punishment issue into the rehabilitation issue. To me, rehabilitation must be at least close to commensurate with the misconduct. This is quite subjective, and I wouldn't doubt that we'd all have different views of what's appropriate. When I suggested that the best result is for Willow to sacrifice her own life for others, I took into account both (a) the fact that no punishment appears to be available, and (b) the fact that she tortured and murdered another (admittedly despicable) human being. Such a sacrifice would both satisfy everyone that she had internalized the lessons without the need for punishment, and be commensurate with the crimes she committed.

One other factor entered into my thinking. Since this is televison, not RL, it's easy for the writers to hand out "get out of jail free" cards to characters. Having Willow sacrifice herself ensures that this won't happen. If ME can come up with some other result that develops naturally out of the character and the plot, that could suffice. I can't think of a way to do this, but ME is much more inventive than I am.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Sarand, 09:34:45 08/09/02 Fri

Thanks, Sophist. You clarified what I was trying to get at very well.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- DEn, 09:54:31 08/09/02 Fri

The discussion on this thread highlights the near-perfect botch ME made of the dark Willow arc. Whatever promise it may have had, the writers by midseason had so obviously failed to make a convincing case that the addiction metaphor was all that remained to carry the "darkness" forward--and the only thing strong enough to trigger the darkness credibly was the now-infamous dead lesbian cliche. Had ME been willing to kill Willow off, some kind of the balance Sophist discusses might have been achieved. Instead we get "naughty Willow," a dead-ended story line, and Joss's "come shot" at the end of SR. IMHO a damn poor exchange! Joss may be God, but after that storyline fiasco I'm not sure I trust him to run a filling station, much less the Buffyverse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Malandanza, 10:57:53 08/09/02 Fri

"The difference between Angel and Willow, for me anyway, stems from my interpretation of the soul canon. There appear to be 2 ways of viewing this. One says that Angel/Angelus are essentially the same. The other, which is my view, is that the presence or absence of the soul makes Angel an entirely different creature from Angelus, and thus not responsible for Angelus's actions"

I think that the people who claim Angel is Liam+Angelus+soul still admit that Angelus influences Angel's actions -- they would have to, since Angelus is part of Angel. Thus, Angel's actions are somewhat mitigated by the fact that the devil really did make him do some of his less admirable actions. Angel's noir period seems to me to be the closest we've seen of an Angel/Angelus merger, with Angel having given up fighting against many of his evil impulses. Willow/Angel is not as a good an analogy as is Willow/Faith because Willow doesn't have a demon inside of her.

Although slayers do seem (to me, anyway) to be influenced by dark impulses much as are vampires. We've seen Buffy appear driven by the hunt in Season Five and she has had other moments when Buffy seems to vanish and the Slayer takes her place -- out of control moments like the battle with the vampire pimp and his minions and, to a lesser extent, Bad Girls. When Faith returned from her coma, we even say flashes of violence where she imagined herself gutting Willow or Angel. It does seem clear that Angelus has more of an influence on Angel than does the First Slayer on Buffy or Faith.

Even if we assume that Faith has only herself to blame for her actions, Faith still comes off better than Willow -- Faith has an accidental death, an intentional murder and a torture scene to her credit, plus a host of miscellaneous acts of violence. Willow attempted to kill Warren at the bus, but killed a robot instead (if Faith had not killed the Mayor's assistance and had gotten a second chance as did Willow, I think it's uncertain that she would have ended up evil). Willow immediately began to hunt Warren and ultimately tortured and murdered him. She then tried to kill Andrew and Jonathan several times -- at the jail, on the road (where she also endangered Xander, Buffy and the truck driver), in the Magic Box and, finally, with a long range nuke (which risked Xander and Dawn's lives as well). She murdered Rack and would have murdered Dawn as well had Buffy not shown up (maybe Rack's magic shop was visible because Rack was dead).

"Both posts above seem to me to address Willow's subjective response. I don't deny the importance of that, but I don't think that ends the inquiry "

Angel realized that no matter how much good he does, he can never make amends for the evil he (as Angelus and Noir Angel) has done. Buffy came to this same realization from the other direction -- all the good she has done cannot counterbalance an accidental death of an innocent. Both Angel and Buffy have rejected the Utilitarian approach to morality and have made it clear that every life is important. I find it hard to believe that Willow will ever accept that she cannot be redeemed for her evil; in fact, I don't think it's far-fetched to suggest that Willow will find a way to see herself as the injured party if Giles and the Coven do find a way to "extract" her powers -- that she will view the "punishment" of losing her magic as out of proportion for her crimes. I don't even consider Warren's death to be the worst -- the torture is worse, as was the attempt to kill Dawn and her willingness to kill her friends. I don't expect Willow to receive any punishment worse than the loss of her magic -- which, in fact, is no punishment at all. It is more of a preventative measure than a punitive one, like taking a gun away from someone who has misused it (and preventing them from ever owning another) or chemically castrating a rapist. In essence, I agree with you -- Willow will not receive a punishment that is in any way "commensurate with the misconduct" and Willow's own conscience is too weak to inflict any real punishment on herself for any extended period of time -- she will quickly drift into the "poor me" stage. (Maybe the Coven can dig up some gypsies to curse Willow with the kind of conscience that Angel has).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:32:21 08/09/02 Fri

Ah, but who knows what nasty effects having magic stripped from Willow might do to her. Giles said the Coven was trying to find a way to do it without killing her. It would be very Jossian to give Willow horrible side-effects from the magic removal.

I agree that torturing Warren before killing him is what will really make it hard for her to be redeemed/rehabilitated.

Anyway, I think it will work out well, despite what some may say. Why? Well, let me just pull out my "In Joss We Trust" T-shirt and show.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Tymen, 12:56:22 08/09/02 Fri

If ME were to do that with Willow, it would totally undermine the theme of Season 6, "Oh, Grow Up". Therefore, I don't see it happening.

Willow will grow and change with what has happened. She will learn from what has transpired before and integrate it into the new person she will become, much like Giles after his Ripper days.

Which brings me back to why Willow sacrificing herself as the only way to her redemption bothers me?

It precludes the above growth and change. To think that it is the only way for her to redeem herself and to in a sense demand that from her is to me Justice untempered by Mercy.

One final thought. If we can see Spike as redeemable, despite the evil he caused in his past. Then I say we must give equal weight to allow the redemption of Willow, a young woman with a soul who fell from grace and must live with her choices, her grief and her trespasses. We shouldn't discount the Good she has done in her past.

She should be allowed the opportunity to atone for her sins

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Sophist, 13:40:07 08/09/02 Fri

Which brings me back to why Willow sacrificing herself as the only way to her redemption bothers me?

It precludes the above growth and change. To think that it is the only way for her to redeem herself and to in a sense demand that from her is to me Justice untempered by Mercy.

One final thought. If we can see Spike as redeemable, despite the evil he caused in his past. Then I say we must give equal weight to allow the redemption of Willow, a young woman with a soul who fell from grace and must live with her choices, her grief and her trespasses. We shouldn't discount the Good she has done in her past.

She should be allowed the opportunity to atone for her sins

It seems to me that this argument applies just as much to Warren as it does to Willow. Willow deprived Warren of that chance, small though it may have been.

The argument for "mercy" with Willow certainly applies to Faith, and probably to every other criminal. I think it important not to let our affection for the character blind us to the double standard that we would necessarily follow if we granted mercy untempered by justice.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Tymen, 14:43:24 08/09/02 Fri

It seems to me that this argument applies just as much to Warren as it does to Willow. Willow deprived Warren of that chance, small though it may have been.
I agree, but I believe the difference between Willow and Warren is the fact that Willow would seek out redemption and that Warren would not.

The argument for "mercy" with Willow certainly applies to Faith, and probably to every other criminal. I think it important not to let our affection for the character blind us to the double standard that we would necessarily follow if we granted mercy untempered by justice.

My affection for the character notwithstanding. I believe that the double-standard I'm fighting is the idea that Willow has no chance or little chance at redemption save through death and that Spike does have that opportunity.
(I know you didn't bring it up Sophist, but it just feels like Willow is being hung out to dry without any opportunity of redemption and Spike has been given the benefit of the doubt alot.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- shambleau, 18:46:40 08/09/02 Fri

I'm not sure why Angel gets a pass from Sophist while Willow doesn't. Angel, when he was trying to get back with Darla in 1900, tried to fool her that he was still evil by killing "only" rapists, murderers and thieves" as Darla scornfully put it. He was also responsible for the deaths of innocent waiters and SOs who were murdered along with the lawyers. Besides that, the lawyers were deprived of the right to change and redeem themselves by an Angel with a soul, not Angelus. That he didn't do it directly doesn't mitigate his responsibility.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Sophist, 20:32:47 08/09/02 Fri

I'm not giving Angel a "pass". I wasn't really discussing him here. All I said was that I don't hold Angel responsible for the acts of Angelus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:40:49 08/09/02 Fri


I don't think that Willow should die for what she did. However, some punishment is definitely needed. Either you or someone else said that taking away her magic wasn't punishment, but it could be. Giles said the Coven was trying to find a way to do it without killing Willow. If finding a non-lethal way to extract magical power is a big project, than there will probably be a lot of serious side-effects of it. This could well be punishment enough.

-Finn Mac Cool

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- shambleau, 08:30:45 08/10/02 Sat

Sophist, I understand that you don't hold Angel responsible for the crimes of Angelus. But ensouled Angel committed the same crime as Willow, and I thought the question that started this discussion was why shouldn't Angel be judged by the same standard. In the episode Darla, he tells Darla "I've killed men. You've seen it." She says "Rapists and murderers. Thieves and scoundrels. Did you think I wouldn't notice? You kill only evildoers now."

That description of "evildoers" sounds like Warren to me. Multiple Warrens, in fact. And Angel didn't kill under the influence of grief, personal demons and massive amounts of absorbed black magic. He killed to get back with Darla and chose to kill "bad" people because that was okay, they deserved it anyway. And I've never heard anyone calling for him to sacrifice himself as the only way to atone. Most people have always ignored that particular scene, actually. Which is fine with me. I want the show to go on, even though Angel has never paid a commensurate price for what he did. Same with Willow.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Sophist, 09:46:50 08/10/02 Sat

I really don't intend this thread to be about Angel, and I think Faith is a better example for Willow anyway. That being said, I will say this about Angel.

Part of the distinction between Willow and Angel involves the time frame. The crimes you mentioned for Angel all occurred 100 years ago. We don't have that time for Willow, since S7 may very well be the last. Part of my thinking is influenced by what is doable in that one season.

We also have to consider Angel's other conduct since Darla threw him out. He apparently spent 95 years contemplating his sins, which I view as roughly equivalent to a prison sentence. He also was "killed", though admittedly not in self-sacrifice (B2). That resulted in hundreds of years of torment in a hell dimension. Finally, he has risked his own life for others much more often than Willow has.

I think all these distinctions are important. However, I do want to be clear that, while Willow's death seems to me the most appropriate result given all the constraints, I have never said it was the only way. ME is more inventive than I am; they may do something different that I find satisfying.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Willow's "redemption" -- Malandanza, 09:50:21 08/10/02 Sat

You make some good points about comparing Angel's actions (not Angelus') with Willow's. But I do think there are some differences:

ANGEL (To Lilah) The game. Kinda fun actually when you know the rules -- I mean... when you know there aren't any. I see how it works. You screw with me. And screw with me. And screw with me... and now -- I screw with you.

Blood Money

In Season One of BtVS, Angel has difficulty keeping Angelus under control -- he involuntarily vamps out more than once --while fighting, when Darla tosses an unconscious and bleeding Joyce to him and when he kisses Buffy. We have seen him struggling to keep Angelus down -- W&H put enough pressure on Angel that he finally let his control slip with the massacre. Remember that Dru calls him the "Angel Beast" when he first enters the room, but when he shuts the door he is "Daddy!" -- an indication that Angelus was, if not in control, then at least exerting a significant influence. Angel's noir period continues with Angelus' influence -- because Angel has stopped trying to keep as tight a reign on Angelus as he had in the past -- in a since he has regressed to the state he was in during the end AYNOHYEB.

Given the difficulty Angel has in controlling Angelus after a century of practice, I'd say that when Angelus first got his soul he didn't suddenly become Angel. At first Angelus dominated. It was only after a significant period of time that Angel emerged as the dominant force. So, during Angel's noir period, he was Angel strongly influenced by Angelus and during his earlier period he was Angelus strongly influenced by Angel.

However, I think you can draw a comparison between Angel and Willow for Season Three -- Connor's abduction by Wesley which led to Connor being taken into a hell dimension by Holtz led to Angel's attack on Wesley just as Warren's killing of Tara led to Willow's attack on Warren. Even here, there is a difference -- after failing to kill Wesley the first time, Angel didn't track him down, torture and kill him the way Willow did. Nor did he try to kill Gunn, Cordelia and Fred when they stopped him from killing Wesley.

"And Angel didn't kill under the influence of grief, personal demons and massive amounts of absorbed black magic."

As far as personal demons go, Angel has Willow beat :).

Where Connor and the Lawyers were concerned, Angel was under the influence of grief -- the loss of Darla (after he had tried so hard to save her) and the loss of Connor. And black magic? Angel didn't suddenly seem significantly more evil or have a loss of control when he used black magic to try to open a portal to Connor's dimension. I am sure Willow, Buffy and Xander will all insist that the magic made Willow temporarily insane, but I hope Giles will not give her such an easy way out.

"And I've never heard anyone calling for him to sacrifice himself as the only way to atone."

Angel was willing to sacrifice himself in The Trial -- to give human Darla another shot at redemption. But I don't think Sophist was saying that Willow ought to sacrifice herself, but that the only was to atone would be to sacrifice herself. There really is nothing else that can make up for the evil that she did -- although, like Angel, she ought to devote the rest of her life to trying to make amends.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>One other significant point about Angel -- Sophist, 13:49:13 08/10/02 Sat

The story line has made it clear that the PTB have a personal interest in his case. That forces us to suspend judgment while that arc plays out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: One other significant point about Angel -- shambleau, 18:56:24 08/10/02 Sat

Well, I wouldn't rule out a PTB interest in Willow. From Willow's possession by some power when she did her spell to save Angel, to insane Tara's remark to Giles that this is all set down, to the mystical bond of the four parts of the UberBuffy, to the hints of a special future for Buffy, the Slayer who is different because of her friends, there's ample room to go that way if ME chooses.

I don't know if Angel spent the full 95 years contemplating his sins. He could have gone the "poor me" route that some are so sure Willow will take, at least up until 1955. Based on his disregard of the suicide in the Hyperion, lack of desire to help the girl who was trying to pass and his letting the Paranoia Demon kill them all, knowing full well that the demon was behind their trying to lynch him, I'd say he was mostly just bitter about his fate. After that, maybe actual remorse.

Whether spending time in hell for unrelated reasons should count as adequate punishment for what he did in China, I'm undecided.

As for Angelus affecting Angel, I don't know either. I waver, but tend to hold Angel responsible for the deaths of the lawyers, not Angelus. Wolfram and Hart want the vampire with a soul to go dark, not Angelus, who's already there. So, even if Angel's time in hell and suffering with a soul give him some redemption from what he did in China, he's created fresh crimes since then, for me, which aren't paid for.

The dark, addictive magic is ME's attempt to give Willow the same out that Angel has with Angelus. Regardless of what we think of it's appropriateness or validity (and I think it was badly handled, but merged successfully with her power issues by the end), it was put there to keep Willow on the show. I doubt if even ME knows yet whether there will be an eighth season, and they certainly didn't when they conceived the arc. So they had to have something that would not entail her dying or spending years in prison.
I'm with Sophist in hoping that they can come up with something satisfying short of that, although I'm not as strict on what that could be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>I get you. -- HonorH, 12:47:51 08/09/02 Fri

Don't agree with you, but I get you. As I stated, I'm of the opinion that Angelus is a *part* of Angel, and thus while Angel's soul is innocent, Angel himself is not. He's man, demon, and soul in one hybrid creature. And I'm sorry, Sophist, but with all respect for your POV, to deny Angel's culpability for his crimes is to cheapen the redemption he seeks.

This is why I can compare him and Willow. Willow, in her grief and pain, made the decision to seek out dark magicks in order to punish Warren. While she was indeed still Willow, the longer she had those magicks inside her, the more they augmented her own dark side. By the time she took Rack's power, her soul was so far buried she might as well have had a demon inside her. It took Giles' good magicks to reawaken the humanity she still possessed. So no, I don't hold Willow entirely responsible for how far she went under the influence of the dark magicks.

What I do blame her for is picking up the bottle and disregarding Buffy and Xander when she still could have come back from that. I also blame her for Warren's death and his torture. Those are not going to be prosecutable by law, so we have to look at other options.

Unlike Malandanza, I believe Willow will realize just how serious her actions were. Joss Himself has stated that she's going to face consequences for her crimes. She's going to have to face the Scoobies, who she hurt. She'll have to face the fact that she can't go back to being the person she was before--the one who hadn't taken a human life. She'll likely have to face Andrew and Jonathan. She'll have to face Giles, who I can't see going easy on her (recall the scene in "Flooded"). Her entire life has essentially been destroyed, and she's going to have to rebuild herself from the ground up.

The above is just an opinion, but I'll bet anything I'll be proven right by the next season. If Willow comes back from England with a "poor me" attitude, I'll eat my hat (and you can make me), but I don't think it'll happen. Remember, they were able to bring Buffy back from the dead in a way that had serious Consequences; I can't see them going easy on Willow now.

I'm not going all bleeding-heart-poor-Willow here. I'm as horrified at what she's done as the next person. What I'm saying is that there need not be legal consequences for Willow to be punished. Angel faces his past every day without legal consequences; Willow will have to do the same. In a way, that could actually make it harder for her. Jail? You've paid your debt to society by the time you get out (or so say the criminals who get out and commit the same crimes again). Knowing what you've done, how bad it was, and knowing you'll spend the rest of your life trying to make up for it--that's something else entirely.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: I get you. -- Sophist, 13:18:47 08/09/02 Fri

I have no problem agreeing to disagree. I do have comments on two of your statements.

to deny Angel's culpability for his crimes is to cheapen the redemption he seeks.

I'm not sure Angel is "seeking" redemption. I thought the whole point of Epiphany was that he was no longer doing good for the sake of a reward at the end.

My own view of Angel does not require any "cheapening" of his redemption in any case. That, however, is a different topic.

By the time she took Rack's power, her soul was so far buried she might as well have had a demon inside her.

Perhaps I'm unduly influenced by the legal system, but the "might as well" doesn't persuade me. That was the point of my posts above on temporary insanity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: I get you. -- Malandanza, 18:33:20 08/09/02 Fri

"By the time she took Rack's power, her soul was so far buried she might as well have had a demon inside her."

I think this remark is the biggest impediment to Willow's ultimate redemption. Willow, Buffy and Xander will all agree that it wasn't Willow who committed all those crimes -- the magic made her do it. Unless she accepts responsibility for her actions, I can see no hope of redemption. I can understand why Buffy would want to believe that Willow is incapable of murdering Dawn in cold blood just to get a power boost -- how could she forgive Willow otherwise? I can certainly imagine Willow coming back from England all broody and contrite, but eventually the novelty will wear off and she'll be eager to forgive herself and forget Warren.

"She'll have to face Giles, who I can't see going easy on her..."

If Willow is punished for her crimes, it will be because of Giles' actions, not Willow's underdeveloped conscience. The uncertainty I have about Willow next season hinges upon Giles -- how seriously will he take the barely averted apocalypse? And does he know the whole story? (He arrived after the double murders -- he may not know that Willow tortured and killed Warren, killed Rack and tried to kill Dawn).

"Angel faces his past every day without legal consequences;"

Angel suffers for things that I really don't see as his fault (the things that Angelus did) as well the things he's actually done. The gypsy curse makes him suffer. I just don't see anything in past episodes that makes me believe that Willow will repent of her evil in anything but a perfunctory manner. Like Electra in Sartre's The Flies, she will be able to reconcile the evil that she did -- it wasn't really her, it was the magic. I give her two months of suffering, some of may even be real -- then she'll back as though nothing ever happened and will bristle with indignation when someone alludes to her Dark Phoenix period.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: I get you. -- Dariel, 09:36:27 08/11/02 Sun

I'm afraid to say it, but you're probably right. And Willow will have the convenient parallel of Buffy's actions in Normal Again to help "absolve" herself. No matter that Buffy did not choose to take in the demon poison and was truly delusional.

It's an odd thing about people with a lot of self hate--they often despise themselves for things that are just normal and human, like their own fears and vulnerabilities and their inability to do everything "perfectly." And yet, like Willow, they have a huge blindspot about the things they do that really are wrong.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Still betting against the lot of you. -- HonorH, 10:06:05 08/11/02 Sun

The theme of the season was about growing up, changing. If Willow isn't changed by what she's done--as Joss has promised she will be--all that is crap. Why don't we wait until the new season before judging what ME is doing with her?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Putting 20 metadollars on HonorH -- Arethusa, sportingly, 10:10:40 08/11/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Brava HonorH! I agree. -- Just George, 11:39:16 08/11/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>Re: Still betting against the lot of you. -- Malandanza, 13:44:22 08/11/02 Sun

"The theme of the season was about growing up, changing. If Willow isn't changed by what she's done--as Joss has promised she will be--all that is crap. Why don't we wait until the new season before judging what ME is doing with her?"

First of all, we're not judging ME, just speculating -- and if we were to exclude speculation from our discussions there wouldn't be much to discuss. I'm sure that ME will make Willow's journey an interesting one.

Yes, the theme was growing up: Buffy, Xander, Dawn, Jonathan, Anya and Willow all faced life-changing moments. Of course Willow will be changed by what she's done -- but change doesn't mean a complete reinvention of the character. The old Willow will still be there. Willow is also the least mature of the Scoobies (although Dawn is not far behind) so she can grow quite a bit and still be pretty immature.

Having said that, I also think that we've seen the whole redemption-as-epiphany before, with Angel and Faith, and we're likely to see it again with the creature formerly known as Spike, so I doubt that ME will have two characters seeking redemption in the same manner. It might make for an amusing scene to have Willow and Spike comparing past misconduct, but I think the ME will use Willow and Spike to show a contrast in the way two very different characters seek to make amends. I think Spike will follow Angel's route, although without the 90 or so years to get his act together -- he was never as committed to evil as was Angelus, he has a support group (the Scoobies) and he has already struggled with some of the man/monster issues that still occasionally trouble Angel. I find it easier to believe that Spike will acknowledge his own responsibility (which, ironically, was the responsibility of the demon inside of him, not the newly souled entity) than that Willow will do so. The closest she has ever come to recognizing and admitting guilt was in DMP when she made a confession via the fast food intercom. I can see Spike freely admitting all the evil he's done, even the things that Buffy didn't know about (like helping breakup the B/R romance) and getting himself into even more trouble.

Ultimately, I think that Willow will have a more difficult path to redemption (or rehabilitation) than will Spike because she will resist more and Buffy and Xander will unknowingly assist her by being too willing to forget.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>The surd - Willow is "Jackie" -- Cleanthes, 21:32:30 08/11/02 Sun

Take away everything that makes sense and what's left is the surd. It's absurd but true.

Nothing whatever, mortal, immortal, finite or infinite trumps being "cute, cute, cute in a stupid ass way" in Jacques Brel's lyric. (see Jackie )

The most real, although admittedly probably not the most satisfying, resolution of Willow's guilt and culpability, then, is for her to get away with it without much in the way of consequences because she's cute and the universe is unfair that way.

This ties in with comments made above about the PTB's involvement with Angel --- to demand Willow properly respond for her sins is to demand a rationality of the infinite that cannot succeed because of the absurdity of the inadequate information available to us who are finite on this side of the mediation. Perhaps she Will dodge responsibility because of some vast eternal plan?

[> [>Re: Willow, again (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation) -- aliera, 09:43:56 08/08/02 Thu

These are difficult issues and I didn't think your original post was phrased badly. I think we're concerned and that feels right. Some of us like to deconstruct for pleasure and that's OK too. If there's one thing I learned this year from reading this board, it is that even though we drift into interesting Off-off-off topic issues or debate some very esoteric minutae, there are people out here thinking and caring about these issues and I find that very reassuring. And thanks for the post.

[>Re: Willow, again concentrating on the drama (S6 spoilers, S7 Speculation) -- Just George, 17:38:09 08/09/02 Fri

There are many questions in how to deal with Willow in S7 and beyond. Some have to do with morality, others with drama. I'll concentrate on drama.

One classic way to describe drama is by splitting it up into three types of confrontations: man against nature, man against others, and man against himself. How would these be dealt with in Willow's case?

Willow Against Nature

This could be Willow's battle with the forces of magic that reside inside her. It can be an extension of the addiction metaphor or something more powerful.

Many do not like the addiction metaphor. But a few scattered bits of cannon establish the idea that there can be different kinds of magic. Maybe Rack's version of black magic was specifically designed to "hook" his clientele. This way they would return to him again and again so he could tap into their "power" for himself. This would need to be established in S7, but could be done using a single line of exposition.

Once the addiction metaphor is "legitimized" it could become easier to accept as a part of the story. Willow might retain the ability to use magic, but only "the pure essence of magic" as Giles calls what the coven gave him. Perhaps even using "good" magic could tempt Willow into using the dark stuff. Part of Willow's story could be about be about a triumph over temptation while learning to use her abilities for good. Thus, Willow's story could combine her inner struggles and attempts at redemption without sacrificing the "girl power" aesthetic.

Willow Against Others

These struggles can be divided into two categories, Willow's relationships with her friends (the Scoobies) and with her enemies (perhaps Jonathan, Andrew, Amy, and/or any enemy demons/vampires).

Willow's relationship with the other Scoobies is obviously going to be a part of the series since she is still a series regular. How will Willow react to each of them? How will they react to her? These are obvious sources of drama. Since this is an N-dimensional problem (Willow reacting to each Scooby, each Scooby reacting to Willow, and each Scooby reacting to how each other Scooby is reacting to Willow) these is lots of room for disagreement, confrontation, and reconciliation. Also, how each character reacts can illuminate something about who they are (for example: Willow guilty, Xander loving, Buffy forgiving, Giles wary, Dawn fearful, etc.)

Willow's reactions to her human enemies is another potential source of drama. The interactions with human enemies like Jonathan, Andrew, and Amy can illuminate things about everyone's character. All have wronged Willow. However, Willow has wronged them as well. If Johnathan comes back asking for forgiveness or Amy sets herself up as Rack's replacement, then Willow will have to make some big decisions. And making decisions is the essence of drama.

Willow's reactions to monstrous enemies can also be illuminating of her character. Does she see herself as a monster? If she seeks redemption, can they? Does her "walk in darkness" mean she is more willing to do "whatever it takes" because she knows how dangerous "dark powers" can be?

Willow Against Herself

These are Willow's inner struggles with her feelings (potentially guilt, exhilaration, betrayal, horror, etc.) I suspect that Willow will have obvious struggles with her feelings, and her feelings about her feelings. Did she secretly enjoy herself while she was beating on Buffy, but now feels guilty for enjoying it? Does she feel betrayed because no one stopped Warren from killing Tara? Did she just dig flying and now she misses it? These inner struggles will most likely be externalized in Willow's interactions with others.

This is also the struggle where Willow can come to grips with her "control" and "avoidance" issues. Willow has a history of using magic to shape the people and situations around her so she can avoid "hard" choices and consequences. From "Will be done" to "Forget" Willow used magic without worrying about how it effected anyone but herself. Does Willow think she was essentially selfish? Or does Willow think the problem was that the magic was not effective enough? How will she grow and how will she demonstrate growth?

Lets assume that ME picks the most dramatic aspects of each struggle. Given that premise, I suspect:

* Willow will not be stripped of her magic because it is more dramatic for her to have to struggle with it.

* The Scoobies will have mixed reactions to Willow's return because it is more dramatic for them to disagree about it.

* Willow will have to confront at least one of her human enemies because it causes her to make decisions about how she will treat them.

* Willow will be conflicted about her feelings concerning the whole incident, because it makes her (hopefully) ultimate decision to do the right thing more powerful.

* Willow will have to confront her "control" and "avoidance" issues, even if she does so using a metaphor other than magic.

Will Willow be punished? Sure. How? The most dramatic way possible. The way that causes Willow and the Scooby Gang to struggle to reach the "best" answers. And (hopefully) the way that is the most fun to watch.

[> [>And to that, Just George, I say simply: -- HonorH, 21:41:54 08/09/02 Fri


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