August 2003 posts

Previous August 2003  

More August 2003

A bit of Buffy love for "I Only Have Eyes For You" -- Just George, 09:52:34 08/05/03 Tue

I saw "I Only Have Eyes For You" on FX last night. I remember not thinking too much about the episode the first time I saw it. But after reading some interpretations on this board, I reevaluated the ep when I watched it this time. And this time I loved watching IOHEFY. The episode does several very necessary things that help set up the subsequent S2 finale, Bargaining Part I & II.

IOHEFY reminds us of the emotional stakes for Buffy. Buffy feels responsible for "killing" her lover, by turning Angel into Angelus. She can not forgive herself for the deed. When Buffy rams a sword into Angel at the end of B2, it is emotionally a continuation of how she "murdered" Angel when she slept with him.

Buffy also loves Angel so much that being apart is "killing" her. When Buffy leaves Sunnydale at the end of B2 and becomes Anne in LA, she is "killing" her old self, committing identify suicide.

The episode also foreshadows issues that will ultimately doom Buffy and Angel. The teacher, speaking through Angel, talks about wanting her lover to have a normal life. This is the reason Angel gives for leaving at the end of Season 3.

I also loved how SMG played Buffy in IOHEFY. It was a very "raw" performance.

We get to see many sides of Buffy in this episode. Buffy's anger at the boy, her unwillingness to forgive, is vivid and real. It aptly demonstrates Buffy's unwillingness to forgive herself. I knew Buffy was being too harsh on the boy. But I could see why she felt as she did. SMG "brought me along" on Buffy's emotional journey.

And I loved SMG's performance in the confrontation scene with Angel where they are both "possessed by love". Buffy was emotionally naked,, with every nerve ending exposed. Buffy's many-fold and conflicting "needs" were all on display:

* Buffy needed to be with Angel because she loved him so much.
* Buffy needed to vent her anger at Angel because she felt abandoned.
* Buffy needed to punish herself for "killing" Angel and turning him into Angelus.
* Buffy needed to be forgiven because she felt responsible for "killing" Angel.

And SMG made me feel every one of Buffy's raw "needs". Again, she brought me along on Buffy's emotional journey.

After examining an episode like IOHEFY, I'm reminded of one of the core emotional elements that drew me to BTVS. I loved it when the characters "wanted" things that they couldn't have. Often they wanted things that were contradictory. That was OK, so long as what the characters wanted was clear, emotional, and drove them to act.

For example, Buffy wanted people to be safe and wanted to have a normal life. But she had to be the Slayer to help achieve the first so she couldn't have the second. And no matter how good she was as the Slayer, Buffy couldn't save everyone, so she couldn't have the first either. But both impulses existed. And each could drive Buffy to act, though neither need could ever be fulfilled.

That's about it for my ramble. I just wanted to share a bit of Buffy love after thoroughly enjoying a classic episode.

Thanks for listening.

-Just George

[> interesting thoughts - thanks! -- Anneth, 09:57:04 08/05/03 Tue

I haven't seen IOHEFY in a long time; thanks for bringing it to mind.

[> [> Re: One of my favorites of Season 2 -- Brian, 10:01:10 08/05/03 Tue

That whole concept that you need to forgive someone because they need it, not because they deserve it really hit my inner core of belief.

[> [> [> After rewatching IOHEFY, it is now one of my favorites of Season 2 as well! -- Just George, 14:56:34 08/05/03 Tue

[> Re: A bit of Buffy love for "I Only Have Eyes For You" -- Yellow Bear, 13:48:50 08/05/03 Tue

One of the strongest episodes of S2, and the first real Marti Noxon episode. Noxon had written several (terrific) episodes before but this is the first one to have her unique sense of tragic romanticism. The way the best things we do in love are tied up in the worst things we do in love. How in relationships there is nothing as simple as a good guy or bad guy, and how you can shift from the right to wronged party in a moments notice. You will see it again in Beauty & The Beasts, Wild At Heart, New Moon Rising, Into the Woods & Wrecked but this is the first time that she will bring that rich, tortured romanticism to BTVS.

[> [> The writing was very good -- Just George, 14:53:17 08/05/03 Tue

The writing was very good. The technique of giving Buffy the boys lines and Angel the teacher's lines fits perfectly in retrospect, but was startling the first time. I was also surprised how natural the lines felt each time they were used. Because the audience hears the ghost's lines so many times, they could have easily become repetitive. But they had real meaning each time, both in creating horrific tension and in mirroring our heroes deepest thoughts.


Anybody seen "Whale Rider" -- Q, 09:59:30 08/05/03 Tue

I just saw Whale Rider-- and I was blown away by the similarities between it and Buffy's story (although the non-Buffy intellectuals I watched it with scoffed at me-- unable to believe a show with as silly a title as BtVS could be as emotianally deep and provacative). Has anybody else seen the film, and care to discuss?

[> Re: Anybody seen "Whale Rider" -- Cheryl, 12:28:15 08/05/03 Tue

Not less than an hour ago someone at work was raving about it - and now that there might be Buffy similarities I guess I'll have to go see it!

[> I did see it -- d'Herblay, 12:58:21 08/05/03 Tue

I was definitely struck by the Buffy resonances -- especially during the speech Pikeia gives (the one that won the regional competition; the one she's crying during because her Grandfather isn't there to hear it), which seemed to recapitulate the central idea of "Chosen." In fact, I've been thinking of reviewing it here, but have held off because I keep wishing I had a transcript of that speech. I want to know the exact words she uses when she's talking about the idea of all people becoming the prophet, or the chief, or whatever.

In any case, it's no Pirates of the Caribbean, I guess, so I haven't seen that much discussion of it. Thanks for bringing it up, Q.

[> [> I saw "Whale Rider" too -- MaeveRigan, 07:13:54 08/06/03 Wed

...and had the same response as d'Herblay--Buffy resonances all the way, especially in Paikea's speech, of which I, too, would love to see a transcript--because I seem to recall that she talked about sharing power, which is exactly the key concept of "Chosen."

Definitely worth seeking out, and you'll probably have to look for it, because you won't find it at the monster multi-plex.

[> Re: Anybody seen "Whale Rider" -- Oyceter, 16:51:08 08/05/03 Tue

Just saw it a few days ago, and I must say, I hadn't thought about the Buffy resemblances...

Off the top of my head, I think of Paikea as the anti-Buffy. She's got a destiny and is chosen for a great purpose, and yet, instead of being forced into the role unwillingly, she must struggle all the way for her right to it. But I do like d'H's comparison with Chosen -- the feminist message and the twisting of prophecy and fate.

[> [> Giant "Whale Rider" Spoilers-- please see film before reading... -- Q, 23:22:22 08/05/03 Tue

Aahh... good point. That is the difference between Buffy and Pakaia(Iíve only seen the film once, and Iím not sure if I am spelling, or even saying it, right...sorry)óone has to fight for her birthright, the other is dragged into it kicking and screaming.

There are however, some rather significant similarities.

**Pakaia is the last in the great ìline of chiefsî, fated to save her peopleódestined to lead her people.
**Buffy is the last in the great ìline of slayersî, fated to save her peopleódestined to lead her people.

**Pakaiaís primordial roots are explored through her visions of the whales
**Buffyís primordial roots are explored through her visions of the First Slayer in Seasons 5-7.

** Season 5 ends with Buffy meeting her destinyódying to save her peopleóonly to be re-born to lead them at a future day.
** Pakaia meets her destiny by riding the whaleóher death is less literal than Buffyís, and her re-birth in the hospital is just symbolic of a death/re-birth situation, nevertheless she does ìdieî and is ìrebornî to lead her people at a future day.

**Season 7 ends with Buffy empowering all of the women of her kindógiving them all the power in the ìline of slayersî
**Whale Rider ends with Pakaia riding the boat with her grandfather. As the boat is rowed out to seaówe see for the first time, FEMALES involved in the processóboth of the rowing and of the cultural danceóPakaia has empowered all of the women of her kindógiving them all the power in the ìline of chiefsî.

I also saw similarities between Pakaiaís grandfather and the council of watchers, Buffy and Pakiaís ìnaturalî ability to perform skills with little previous training, similarities between Pakiaís birthóand that of Melaka and Harth Fray, and similarities in the fact that they were both females trying to attain their destined birthright in a "man's world" despite having to consistently overcome sexism and chauvenism.

Hellóthe film even dealt significantly with absentee fathers!

[> [> [> Plus, don't forget the chopsocky ethnic quarterstaff action! -- d'Herblay, 00:21:05 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Anybody seen "Whale Rider" -- aliera, 06:14:03 08/06/03 Wed

I read about this a few weeks ago... do you think I would like it?

[> Yes, I told MY friends that it was Buffy, but with whales. I quite agree. -- Rochefort, 21:52:29 08/05/03 Tue

"hold me"--a sex-biased privilege? -- anom, 10:50:48 08/05/03 Tue

If that subject line sounds contentious, I don't mean it to be. But it's occurred to me that the last 2 seasons of BtVS had crucial scenes near the end of each of a main character being held in a time of great need: Willow being held by Xander as she is finally able to express her grief over Tara's death (Grave), & Buffy being held by Spike for comforting & rest & to regain her emotional strength (Touched).

I was trying to think of other instances where characters have held each other--for example, Willow & Buffy do this for each other (not at the same time) when they've lost their 1st loves, Buffy & Dawn hold each other when Buffy breaks down at the end of Forever, & Willow holds Buffy after bringing her out of her catatonic state in Weight of the World. It seemed as though this was a comfort reserved for women on the show.

Then I saw Passion on the UPN reruns. After Buffy saves Giles from Angel & from the fire, she punches him for risking his life & says, "I can't do this without you!" Then both of them cry w/their arms around each other. Are there any other examples of men being held on BtVS? (I wouldn't count Xander being hugged by Buffy & Willow when he returns after leaving Anya at the altar--it doesn't last long enough--or Angel at the end of Beauty & the Beasts--I'm not even sure Buffy's really holding him, & as far as I remember, it didn't look very comforting.) Is it that it's not accepted for men to need to be held--or just not to get it when they need it? (More likely, not to admit they need it!)

If Joss ever subverts this particular societal & TV convention, I can't think of where. Can anyone else?

[> A couple -- Anneth, 11:35:06 08/05/03 Tue

Willow and Buffy hug each other in Primeval, and then Xander, while infiltrating the Initiative. (X then calls up to G something along the lines of "hey Giles! Hurry up, there's hugs!") Buffy, Xander, Willow, Oz, and Kathy hug in The Freshman, but that seems to be mostly for form's sake, though the X/O interaction is priceless: "do we hug?" (possibly a little meta on the phenomenon you point out?)

I think the best example of what you're going for, though, is when Giles subverts his own stuffy demeanor by hugging Willow in Dopplegangland upon realizing that she's not dead. Buffy and Xander hug Willow, of course, but then Giles rushes up out of frame to do the same, clearly surprising everyone.

[> [> Oh, and -- Anneth, 11:38:26 08/05/03 Tue

Note Giles' surprise in After Life when he reaches out to touch Buffy while they're talking, and she seems oblivious to his actions. That can be contrasted to the way she reacts to his return in TTG/Grave, where the two hug with genuine emotion. (Which, touchingly, Anya then attempts to emulate.)

[> [> Also... -- Kate, 11:53:46 08/05/03 Tue

Buffy and Angel hold each other at the end of "Choices" while discussing the speech the Mayor had given them about how a life together could never work.

Buffy and Xander hug when he apologizes for his harsh words and reaction to learning that she had been sleeping with Spike - that was "Seeing Red" I think.

(I suppose you could also count Buffy allowing Spike to lean on her when she rescued him from the cave where he was held prisoner by The First.)

Very interesting observation though. I actually think sometimes there is often little non-sexual touching between either F/F M/F or on a rare occasion M/M that when it does happen it tends to be for fairly significant reasons, especially during later seasons. Early on Willow and Buffy would often link arms or hold hands (one of the things I loved about their friendship), but even that started to occur less frequently as they grewp (and apart).

[> [> that's not really the same thing -- anom, 13:41:00 08/05/03 Tue

Maybe I needed to be clearer. I didn't mean every hug, but the "hold me" kinda moments where it's done for purposes of comforting. So this wouldn't include welcome-back hugs, or I'm-glad-we're-not-fighting-anymore hugs, or even I'm-glad-you're-not-dead-after-all hugs (although Giles lurching in to hug Willow in Doppelg”ngland was a wonderful moment!). I'm talking about holding someone because they really need it--for example, because they've lost someone they love (now that I think about it, most of the examples in my post were this kind) or are feeling overwhelmed by their circumstances. That's a lot rarer, & even more so for males, it seems to me.

[> [> [> Oh, no, you were clear! -- Anneth, 14:29:14 08/05/03 Tue

'Twas my fault; I was skimming and didn't read your initial post carefully.

Did you (or I?) mention Buffy's cuddle with Joyce at the end of Innocence? It was between two women, but seems to be an example of the holding you mean -?

[> Re: "hold me"--a sex-biased privilege? -- Gyrus, 11:39:34 08/05/03 Tue

I'm wracking my brain, and I can't think of a single one.

Though the subject of men being held does remind me of a favorite moment (from "Primeval"):

Buffy: Xander!
Willow: Sweet, wonderful Xander!
Buffy: You know we love you, right?
Willow: We totally do!
Xander: Oh, God, we're gonna die, aren't we?

[> Re: "hold me"--a sex-biased privilege? -- Alison, 11:49:31 08/05/03 Tue

I'm not certain, but didn't Buffy hold Riley during some point in his withdrawl from the Initiative drugs?

[> Re: "hold me"--a sex-biased privilege? (Spoilers for S4 Angel "Orpheus, just in case) --
Kenny, 11:50:21 08/05/03 Tue

Well, Connor got held alot during AtS S3. Actually, you can kind of count the end of "Orpheus", when Angel gets his soul back and grabs Connor from behind (hmm, that sounds kinky).

Was there any Buffy/Angel holding during "Amends"? Other than maybe that, I can't think of any.

[> Re: "hold me"--a sex-biased privilege? -- sdev, 14:10:32 08/05/03 Tue

Drusilla holds and comforts Spike at the end of School Hard. I also think there are several moments when Spike holds her when she is sick.

[> Trying to think -- Diana, 17:26:53 08/05/03 Tue

I felt the Xander/Willow hug in "Grave" echoed the way that Willow held a dead Tara.

I was trying to think of times either Wesley or Angel were held. "Orpheus" comes to mind when Willow hugs him. I'm not sure if the line of sexual demarcation when it comes to hugging is because hugs aren't manly, but because Angel dealing with his pain by himself is pretty much his trademark.

As for "Beauty and the Beast," the script is amazing what it says. "Angel feels the first comfort he has for over a hundred years" (or something along those lines. WE NEED PSYCHE). Go MARTI!!!! Way to subvert the stereotype.

[> Re: "hold me"--a sex-biased privilege? -- Corwin of Amber, 17:51:42 08/05/03 Tue

Xander holds Buffy after Teresa delivered her message from Angelus in "Phases".

Xander and Jesse hug in the WTTH.

Buffy and Willow walk silently through town, holding hands, in "Hush".

[> subverting female hugging -- sdev, 22:44:29 08/05/03 Tue

I know you clarified and said holding not hugging, but I thought it was interesting that when Buffy and Kendra say goodbye in What's My Line 2, Kendra says, as Buffy begins to move in for the hug, "I don't do hugs."

[> [> Re: subverting female hugging -- Gyrus, 07:36:01 08/06/03 Wed

I think the "I don't hug" line was written partly for laughs and partly to show how much Kendra (whose function on the show was to illustrate the attitudes of traditional Slayers) isolates herself from other people, throwing Buffy's bring-the-whole-family attitute into relief.

[> wandering ot a little -- MsGiles, 03:38:37 08/06/03 Wed

I was wondering if it was possible for a man to hug a man in a supportive kind of way. On or off TV.

I forgot Xander and Jesse. Thanks, Corwin. That might be the *only* BtVS example?

I can't help but remember Spike and Giles in Tabula Rasa, under the impression that they are father and son, doing a kind of stiff-upper-lip goodbye hug with lots of embarrassed backslapping to indicate English male affection. Not quite the same though.

And then of course there's Angel possessed by Marcus hugging Wesley (on AtS), under the impression he's splitting up with him, but then that's playing with the gay subtext, so it's even more completely different.

But I guess men in 'real life' don't hug each other a lot for consolation. (Or do they? Secretly? ) Whereas they wouldn't mind being hugged by a woman.

Anya hugs Giles at the end of Grave, which is the sort of situation where you might expect a comfort hug, but it's her delight rather than his comfort, as he looks pleased but pained.

[> I think I have a good one -- btvsk8, 05:11:26 08/06/03 Wed

When Buffy and Spike sleep in the abandoned house in touched, I remember the shooting script specifically said that Buffy was to fall asleep being held by spike and that they were to wake up with Buffy holding spike. Probably as a way to show their mutual support and reliance.

[> [> it looked more mutual when buffy woke up -- anom, 10:03:15 08/06/03 Wed

" touched, I remember the shooting script specifically said that Buffy was to fall asleep being held by spike and that they were to wake up with Buffy holding spike."

It didn't look like just "Buffy holding Spike" in the episode as it aired. And if you're not awake for it (Buffy woke up 1st & left w/out waking Spike), how comforting can it be? Not that Spike didn't get something out of it--"best night of my life"--but he didn't seem to be in need of comforting in that instance.

[> not looking for a list of every hug -- anom, 10:38:53 08/06/03 Wed

Sorry, I'm just getting frustrated here. A list of all the hugs would make this the longest thread I ever started, but that's not what I had in mind. I'm talking about holding to comfort the other person, as distinct from hugging out of friendship or...well, see my reply to Anneth for a list of what I didn't mean. I was asking about how rare it is on TV in general & even in the Jossverse for this to be done for male characters, whether the character doing the holding is M or F.

I was hoping we could get a discussion going about why it's so rare on TV (& movies) & whether/why it really is equally rare in real life. MsGiles picked up on this when she asked, "I was wondering if it was possible for a man to hug a man in a supportive kind of way. On or off TV." Maybe it's more likely to be seen as acceptable for gay men (whether they're in a relationship or not), or between men who are closely related. Otherwise...I dunno. Are men just not "allowed" to need this kind of comforting? Or to admit to needing it? How much of an obstacle is worry about implications of homosexuality? How severe does the need have to be before you just don't care about that? Discussion, anyone?

[> [> Men, and the hugging thereof -- Gyrus, 13:42:53 08/06/03 Wed

Are men just not "allowed" to need this kind of comforting? Or to admit to needing it? How much of an obstacle is worry about implications of homosexuality? How severe does the need have to be before you just don't care about that? Discussion, anyone?

You seem to be addressing two slightly different subjects: male/male hugging and men being hugged for comfort (by men or women).

Regarding male/male hugging, certainly it is tacitly discouraged in a lot of families and cultures, mine included. Homophobia is a factor, but so is tradition; men are supposed to greet each other by shaking hands, and that's the way it is. (Maybe it's that my family is mostly of British and German ancestry -- not the cuddliest ethnic groups around.)

As far as being hugged for comfort goes, yes; men (where I come from) aren't supposed to admit that they need it. The only time it is OK to give a man that kind of support is if he is so distressed that he breaks down right in front of you -- something he would not be expected to do unless he is under extreme stress.

It's all incredibly stupid, of course, but there it is.

[> [> Re: not looking for a list of every hug -- ponygirl, 13:44:36 08/06/03 Wed

I do understand what you're saying. With the exception of Touched, the other instances of holding involved a complete emotional breakdown - the person being held seemed incapable of requesting or refusing comfort, they just had to accept it. It's a very vulnerable position. In the case of Touched, Buffy had to admit to her need for comfort, and it stemmed out of her prior inability to admit weakness. We certainly never see a similar situation played by a male character, the closest I think would be Spike asking Buffy to stay with him in Help, and that request was refused.

There are instances of men on the shows being held, Angel by Buffy, Gunn by Wesley - but in all cases they are a result of physical weakness rather than emotional, a key difference and one I think is a result of cultural ideas about men expressing their emotions. I think society teaches us to see emotional vulnerability as a weakness, but women, in general, are taught that admitting weakness will lead to help being offered, men have no such assurance.

[> [> [> now that i think of it, we did hear... -- anom, 22:41:58 08/06/03 Wed

...Robin Wood tell Faith (in Touched) that when the FE appeared to him as his mother, he wanted her to hold him like a little child. But then he had to follow that by saying, "In a manly way, of course." He doesn't get held, though; instead, he gets sex. Hmm. Hadn't thought to contrast this particular aspect of it w/the Buffy/Spike holding scene, aside from the contrast of that scene w/all the sex scenes. But F/R didn't look like comfort sex (to me anyway); Faith initiates it, seemingly not related to Robin's earlier statement. It looked more like we-might-not-live-to-have-another-chance sex. Then again, there's been plenty said on this board about Robin's slayer = mother issues....

And after all that, I'm not sure where this example fits in.

[> [> [> [> Re: now that i think of it, we did hear... -- Gyrus, 22:47:45 08/06/03 Wed

Robin Wood tell Faith (in Touched) that when the FE appeared to him as his mother, he wanted her to hold him like a little child. But then he had to follow that by saying, "In a manly way, of course." He doesn't get held, though; instead, he gets sex.

Maybe he's a conquistador AND a comfortador.


[> [> [> [> [> or the other way around? -- anom, 09:57:20 08/07/03 Thu

"Maybe he's a conquistador AND a comfortador."

Or maybe Faith's both a conquistadora & a comfortadora. Or both are both.

Even more sorry now, aren'tcha? @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: or the other way around? -- Gyrus, 12:52:36 08/07/03 Thu

Or maybe Faith's both a conquistadora & a comfortadora. Or both are both.

I guess Faith is rather Xanderesque in that way -- having to learn that you can be close with someone of the opposite sex without having to get groiny.

Even more sorry now, aren'tcha? @>)

Big time. But I guess I had it coming. :)

Thinking out loud again.. One (of many) ways of explaining Dawn -- ZachsMind, 15:00:35 08/05/03 Tue

This is all speculation and quite apocryphal, but it's fun to contemplate. This line of thinking started for me with something that Anya, Dawn & Willow talked about in the seventh season episode "Get It Done."

DAWN: Willow, how would you get Buffy back..?
WILLOW: ...Uh, physics, principles, basic laws...
DAWN: Such as?
WILLOW: Uh, conservation of energies. You can't really create or destroy anything, only transfer.
(Anya scoffs)
DAWN: I'm sorry, are you helping?
ANYA: No, but at least I'm not galloping off in the wrong direction.
WILLOW: Magic works off physics.
ANYA: Not without a catalyst. If you're talking about transferring energies, you need some kind of conduit.

In that episode, an exchange was made. Buffy was sent into the distant past (assumedly in her own temporal dimension) and a demon was sent into the present to take her place. The demon's body was used as part of a "reverse exchange" spell to get Buffy back.

Now. We KNOW that Dawn's not really supposed to be there, but she is all the same. Some monks had this green energy ball and they had to hide it from Glorificus, so in an act of desperation, they hid the green energy ball inside a mortal entity that was to be Buffy's sister. Did they just concoct Dawnie out of thin air? How can three monks sitting in a monastery with a little magic literally create life? Even gods like Osiris fear resurrecting life. Believe me. The monks didn't create Dawnie.

Dawnie was energy but has somehow been mystically transmuted into matter. Then we are to believe the monks were bright enough, in their haste, to research the psyches of not only Buffy & Joyce, but also everyone from Anya to Xander (A to Z I mean). With memories so incredibly vivid and consistent, that they're easier to take for granted than the reality - Dawnie's not really real.

I don't buy this. I just don't. The monks must have gotten the inspiration from somewhere. And magic (in Whedon's fictional universe anyway) does have its own distorted but functional system of physics and logic. You cannot create something from nothing. You can change something but you can't just make something that's not there. Furthermore, the monks would need some kind of template from which to base these changes.

When it comes to fiction anyway, I'm a strong proponent of the Many Worlds theory of Quantum Mechanics. In "The Wish" we saw Anya appear to create from scratch an alternate reality in which Buffy never made it to Sunnydale. One can assume that a vengeance demon has the power to just invent alternate realities at a whim. I theorize that somewhen, that alternate reality always existed. That there's also an alternate reality in which Buffy made it to Sunnydale, but Giles did not. There's a potentially infinite number of alternate realities, each slightly different from the others. One where Xander's actually cool. One where Willow & Oz never break up. One where.. well you get the idea.

I believe there is an alternate reality in which Buffy always had a sister, her name was Dawn, and other than that one little difference, everything else about Buffy's universe is the same. I believe the monks drew from that alternate reality (whether they realized it or not) and took that reality's Dawn - snatched her from that other reality, and replaced her with the green energy orb.

This other alternate reality is the real home of the Dawn we know. In that reality everyone there took her presence as much for granted as you take for granted everyone you know. One morning, Buffy & Joyce went to wake up their sleepyhead Dawnie for school, and in her place was a glowing green energy orb. Now, in this other alternate reality, Glorificus was not cast out of her hell, didn't go mad, and didn't need the key. So the key was safe.

Because of this magic spell, Dawn is inexplicably linked to this green ball of energy existing in an alternate reality. The memories of all the Scoobies were very briefly merged with their alternate reality counterparts, as space and time were distorted by the very powerful magicks to make this whole thing take place.

So if this is true, there's an alternate reality in which Dawnie existed for the equivalent of the first four seasons, then suddenly disappeared and was replaced by a glowing green energy orb thingy, with no explanation as to why. Buffy & the others may have speculated that the green energy thingy was Dawnie, and may have kept the orb in safe keeping all these years since, or they just decided that Dawnie was missing and presumed dead. Maybe a runaway. Maybe snatched by bad guys, who left the green glowing orb thingy as a calling card. However, no one in that reality would have the slightest idea what the green glowing energy orb thingy was for. At best they could find a wise demon or call on The Oracle or something, and learn that the green glowing energy orb thingy was not of their reality. Other than that it'd be a dead end. Or would it?

What we know as seasons five through seven would have happened remarkably differently in this other reality. Glory wasn't trapped in Ben, so Tara never got turned crazy. We can surmise that other things happened normally. Spike still started pining for Buffy. Riley & Buffy still had their falling out. Xander & Anya still got together. Tara & Willow stayed together. Life went on. Faith got out of her coma and tried to steal Buffy's life, but ultimately ended up in jail. Buffy never died in this reality, because the key didn't open a portal there. However, since Joyce died of natural causes, we can surmise that Buffy lost her mother only months after losing her younger sister.

...Woah. And we thought season six was bad for a Buffy that had lost her mother and had died but come back to life. Imagine a Buffy who didn't have Joyce OR Dawn, and never died herself but wished she had. The more I think about this idea the more I like it, cuz it'd take years for Willow to figure it out, but one would surmise that eventually she'd engineer a way to get their Dawnie back, not realizing that Dawnie doesn't know she's got a home somewhere else.

[> Interesting idea -- Diana, 16:13:59 08/05/03 Tue

Though listen to what Anya is saying:"Not without a catalyst. If you're talking about transferring energies, you need some kind of conduit."

Anya's magick worked off of the power of "The Wish." In the episode which bears this title and we meet Anya, we see what Buffy would be like if she never met the Scoobies and Angel. But the story is centered around Cordelia. It explores the power and limitation of the wish, its pros and cons. Cordy's wish is the catalyst for this alternative dimension (I would say created from that wish, not just a pre-existing one). Her wish that Buffy not come to Sunnydale not only didn't make her life any better, but in the Wishverse Willow and Xander are *really* together. Also, her wish ends up consuming her.

Anya's power source is smashed by Giles (mind) who believes that the other universe has to be better. This action shows just what it takes to get out of the fantasy worlds we all create in our minds by the power of The Wish. "Superstar" revisits this. What consitutes reality is one of the many things that the Buffyverse has explored.

Dawn is the ultimate exploration of this. Even though Buffy knows that her memories are false, she feels they aren't and accepts them as real. The monks can easily turn The Key into Dawn. That is a fairly simple transfer of energies. What is impressive is the memory alterations. What is powerful enough to cause that?

Answer: Season 5 is all about Buffy's ability to love. Once Buffy thinks that Dawn is her sister, this love can fuel the magick that is required to change the memories of quite a few people, even Angel in LA. All these people are connected to Dawn through Buffy. "She is me." This connection can be used as a conduit for the memory changes.

Pre-existing alternative universes are an interesting idea, one that has been discussed in physics before. However the show seems to be strong on logical consequences. "The Wish," "Superstar" and Dawn herself all seem to me to be an exploration of this.

Just my ideas.

[> [> Re: Interesting idea -- heywhynot, 17:04:08 08/05/03 Tue

I would say that the "Wishverse" is the same universe as we saw in all season of Buffy. It wasn't an alternate universe that was created, it was the same universe rewound and played again this time with Buffy going to Cleveland instead of Sunnydale. Anya's magics did this with Cordelia's wish acting as the catalyst.

In Superstar, we have people's memories changed and Sunnydale to match those memories. Of course given Jonathan made himself Mr. Sauve-good guy, to keep things balanced a demon was created.

With Dawn, you have living energy that changes form into Dawn. The Monks did not create life, they gave the Key a new form. Their magics appear to have retroactively inserted Dawn into history at least in terms of people's memories. Though it could of been that it was like the Wish (ie the universe was altered itself so the same events occurred just with Dawn there) which would of made Dawn even harder for Glory to find. Got to love how JW & gang primed Dawn's appearance from showing world's could be altered to the dream's hinting at Dawn's arrival.

Of course the wonderful thing at an infinite number of realities is that if it is in the realm of possible, then such a scenario did happen in some universe.

Still saying Dracula's appearance was part of the ruse to insert Dawn into Buffy's life. ;)

[> [> But your catalyst isn't realized until after the spell is cast.. -- ZachsMind, 19:13:07 08/05/03 Tue

I understand what you're saying. Anya did point out that a catalyst is required to initiate the spell.

You're citing Buffy's love for Dawn as the catalyst for the spell that turned the green energy orb into Dawn, but it can't work that way. Buffy's love for Dawn didn't exist until after the spell was cast. That would be like using Jane's love for John as the catalyst for a spell to make her love him, when she didn't before the spell was cast.

The monks did need a catalyst. I agree with you there. We weren't shown what that catalyst was, but it would have been up to the monks to provide that before the spell began. We have to assume they found the catalyst because they were obviously successful. You are right in saying that a catalyst is required to start a spell, but that's not at issue here, because all we see are the after effects of the spell, and a glimpse of the three monks chanting at the end of their spell. We're not privy to information prior to that, beyond the knowledge that their cause was effective.

I believe what happened with Dawn & the Key was a mild and very brief merger of two almost identical alternate realities. So brief that it didn't even register to anyone inside either of those realities. Even a god like Glory was oblivious. The monks themselves may have been oblivious to the mechanics of what their spell caused. This is also what happened with The Wish, but rather than merge the two realities together, D'Hoffryn's mystic powers, through the conduit of Anyanka, using Cordy's wish as the catalyst, catapulted Cordy into a reality not far removed from her own. This kind of thing probably happened all the time. The difference here was that Anya, not thinking, gave her power center to Cordy, and Giles destroyed it, thus undoing the spell. However, and here's the tricky part. The Giles who destroyed the amulet didn't suddenly become the Giles we know and love. That other Giles in the Buffyless universe was STILL in that other universe. All he did was banish Anya and Cordy from his reality. From his perspective, the action had no result. It did nothing at all. He was still powerless against The Master and still had no Slayer to help him.

This is also how Vampire Willow was available some months later in "Dopplegangland." The Buffyless reality still existed in an adjacent reality to the one we most often saw on the show, and Anya's busted spell with Willow didn't reinvent the reality again. It was already there. D'Hoffryn's power, through Anya as the conduit, only had access to it.

Think of it. EVERY time a magic user in the series created something seemingly out of thin air, that stuff came from somewhere. It didn't just magically appear out of nothing. It was moved. Either from some other location in the same reality, or an adjacent location in a different reality in which that stuff already existed. When Willow magically put decorations all over Buffy's house for a party, those decorations already existed precisely in that location in an alternate reality and Willow just mystically "borrowed" them, which probably ticked off the other Willow in that other reality who put the stuff up there the old fashioned way. However she had no idea that it was her own counterpart in another reality that swiped her decorations.

The Superstar spell actually coincides with my theory as well. There IS, believe it or not, a reality in which Jonathan was an even greater dogooder than Buffy. When Jonathan instigated that spell, he temporarily merged those two realities together. However, to make the Jonathan that instigated the spell match the Jonathan that existed in that other reality, some energies had to be removed from 'our' Jonathan, and that's where that meanie monster came from, it consisted of the fears and insecurities of 'our' Jonathan that the other Jonathan had successfully removed in whatever manner he used to become a hero type.

So back to Dawnie. The monks were the conduit. We don't know what the catalyst was. It may have been D'Hoffryn for all we know (which would mean Dawnie's as connected to D'Hoffryn as Anya and Willow are). Were we ever told just who the monks in question actually worshipped? Where they got their magic powers from? That was probably the catalyst.

Or are we talking apples and oranges here?

[> [> [> Two tiered spell -- Diana, 19:48:13 08/05/03 Tue

First: Monks turn the Key into the human form of Dawn. Then they make Buffy think she is her sister, with no memories.

Second: Buffy loves anyone who is her sister (they turned her specifically into her sister so she would love and protect her), so this is the conduit for the memory changes.

It is like in Chem lab when you have to first create one compound to use in another part of the experiment

[> [> [> "Superstar" explanation doesn't make sense -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:52:07 08/05/03 Tue

A big point of "Superstar" was that the Jonathan we saw couldn't possibly exist. He was the big hero of Sunnydale, yet somehow movies starring him came from Hollywood. He was a big public celebrity, but the super-secret Initiative didn't have a problem with their top advisor doing that. There was no mention of him having supernatural powers, yet he kicked butt better than Buffy. I thought part of "Superstar's" message was that the Jonathan we saw couldn't possibly exist.

Also, addressing your general point about "something out of nothing", I still maintain that magical energy can be turned into physical form. So, it's not really "something out of nothing", it's "something physical out of something non-physical".

[> [> [> [> Oh wait, you're wanting me to make sense? =) -- ZachsMind, 09:49:20 08/06/03 Wed

We're talking about a fictional series about vampires, demons mixing it up with college dropouts, and you want me to make sense? Okay I'll give it a try.

What I was trying to explain was that everything comes from somewhere. Now, when "our" Jonathan was using magic to concoct his own private heaven of perfection, he was drawing from some other reality. Maybe he was drawing from several realities, in which case, whatever source he was calling upon, using himself as the conduit, was immensely powerful - perhaps more powerful than whatever banished Glory a year later. These Jonathan in these other realities were each different from "our" Jonathan in some way, and he was unwittingly using them as templates to redesign himself, trying to create the perfect Jonathan. No doubt this was causing a lot of instability in the multiverse, hence the instability we saw in the reality.

The inconsistencies you mention only prove that there couldn't be a Jonathan that did all these things simultaneously. However, it is possible that there's a reality in which Jonathan was a singer, one in which he was a military operative, one in which he was an official Scooby, and "our" Jonathan used magic from his vantage point to temporarily merge all these similar but distinctly different realities together into his own. The monster created from him was a manifestation of all his insecurities and everything about him that he was trying to push away, but that couldn't find a way into those other alternate realities.

I'm not saying this is THE answer, but it's an alternative way of looking at things. If what's really happening with magic in Buffy's reality is that it's a matter of dimensional transference instead of literal transmutation, its why some people are better able to manipulate magic than others. Willow's real reason for being overwhelmed by magic is because she's like a child playing matches. She doesn't understand the real mechanics behind the power she possesses, and therefore keeps getting burned.

This doesn't explain all magic. I mean when she was spinning a pencil in the air and then shot it into a tree, she didn't draw from an alternate reality in which pencils just do that for no reason. Some magic is mundane and not dimensionally affected, but when a human calls upon some great power wanting something that's not possible is one reality, that magic seeks out similar alternate realities and finds one in which it is possible.

[> Disagreeing -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:50:37 08/05/03 Tue

"How can three monks sitting in a monastery with a little magic literally create life? Even gods like Osiris fear resurrecting life. Believe me. The monks didn't create Dawnie."

I think there's a difference between creating life and resurrection. The creation of Dawn was making new life (which, actually, happens all the time, only by less supernatural means), whereas resurrecting Tara would be bringing somebody dead back to life, which has been impressed on us many times as being out of the natural order and an all around bad idea. Plus, I wouldn't say Osiris (or his spokesdemon) was afraid; rather, he just seemed unwilling to break cosmic rules to do it.

"Dawnie was energy but has somehow been mystically transmuted into matter. Then we are to believe the monks were bright enough, in their haste, to research the psyches of not only Buffy & Joyce, but also everyone from Anya to Xander (A to Z I mean). With memories so incredibly vivid and consistent, that they're easier to take for granted than the reality - Dawnie's not really real.

"I don't buy this. I just don't. The monks must have gotten the inspiration from somewhere."

They're not sorcerors, remember, they're monks. The word "monk" implies they were part of some religious affiliation. Given that, doesn't it seem far more likely that, instead of creating Dawn and building memories themselves, they called upon a higher power to do it for them? And we do know that very powerful beings can alter reality in such a way. Jasmine (a Power That Is) made the world as though Cordelia had never met Angel in LA (granted, there were a lot of flaws in that, but, then, Jasmine wanted Cordelia to see through it). She also wiped all memories or physical records of the Beast from the earthly plane, and Wolfram & Hart (presumably with the aid of the Senior Partners) altered the Connor's memories so that he thought he was part of a normal family, as well as altering the family's memories to fit that, and altering AI's memories so that they don't know who Connor is. Clearly great powers like the Senior Partners and the PTB can drastically remodel memories and reality when they want to, so, if the monks called upon one of them for assistance, the memory building doesn't seem so ludicrous. All they'd do is say, "Send her to the Slayer as a sister", and the power they called upon would do the rest.

"You cannot create something from nothing. You can change something but you can't just make something that's not there."

Actually, in a way you can. At some point in Season 4, Willow referred to creating something out of nothing as a magical goal she was aiming towards, and she did just that with the party decorations in "All the Way". Of course, out of nothing isn't technically correct. However, Einstein showed that matter and energy are made of the same stuff, so you can, theoretically, create matter (like Dawn or the party decorations) out of energy (or magic).

I'm not saying your theory about alternate timelines isn't possible. Buffyverse laws of metaphysics have never spoken against it. However, your reasons for supporting it don't seem quite that solid. Plus, even if you don't subscribe to Occam's Razor, there is the fact that JW isn't overly concerned with how mystical events happen on "Buffy", so a complicated theory (like yours) isn't likely to pan out.

[> [> Re: Disagreeing -- heywhynot, 07:43:17 08/06/03 Wed

It should also be pointed out that the monks did not create life that was not there before even. The Key was living energy. Using the whole e-mc2 natural order of the universe as Finn pointed out, made it not that hard to give the Key the form of Dawn. The form was actually relatively easy to make. They had Buffy's blood/DNA as a template and knew the events in Buffy's life, making a sister with magics would not be that hard. They had the nature and nurture elements to work with.

Memories are also easy to play with. Our minds are not tape recorders. All our memories are warped for lack of a better term and don't actually exactly mirror what actually happened. We force fit things all the time. Look at how inaccurate eyewitness accounts are (and how varied they can be). We have seen on BtVS and Angel multiple times memories being changed. The monks knew magics better than Jonathan and look what he was able to do.

[> Re: Thinking out loud again.. One (of many) ways of explaining Dawn -- sdev, 22:33:41 08/05/03 Tue

I believe there is an alternate reality in which Buffy always had a sister, her name was Dawn, and other than that one little difference, everything else about Buffy's universe is the same. I believe the monks drew from that alternate reality (whether they realized it or not) and took that reality's Dawn - snatched her from that other reality, and replaced her with the green energy orb.

As I understand you, Dawn as she appeared in Season 5 was just a real regular sister of Buffy's from an alternate dimension not a green energy orb. If this is your theory I see a problem. Several beings were able to recognize her as not really being there and just being a ball of green energy-- all the Glory mind sucked victims and the snake thing Glory conjured. Per Giles journal, which Spike and Dawn read together, mentally disturbed (psychotic?) people could recognize that Dawn was energy.

My problem with Dawn's story is post-Glory did anyone still see a difference? Was there still a difference? I have the impression that once the temporal window of opportunity closed she somehow lost her green energy status and became a totally normal person. Maybe there was some transformation when her energy was used to open the walls between dimensions; maybe the energy part of her was used up and she became a regular person.

[> [> More fun with this crazy idea... -- ZachsMind, 06:30:31 08/06/03 Wed

It's really all a matter of perception. Millenia ago, Man would look out at the sky and see that the moon and the sun appeared to be equally powerful entities, one ruling the night and one ruling the day. They perceived these celestial bodies as gods. Today we know the moon is a vrey large rock and the sun is a mass of incandescent gas. What if tomorrow a scientist learned something about them that we didn't know yesterday? I don't know what. Some irrefutable proof that both the sun and the moon are on some curious level, sentient (say, moreso than dolphins but less than humans, for example). Our perception would again change.

Hypothetically speaking, what the crazies saw was Dawn's pandimensional counterpart, to which she was connected, and still is, in the alternate reality adjacent to her own. The realities are so close together that 'touched' people with affected minds can get glimpses into them both, and would at times have difficulty differentiating, since they're looking at things from a distorted point of view. They can't see alternate realities all the time, but in the proximity of someone like Dawn who is a dimensional anomaly, they are affected. Glory's presence in the city would further exacerbate dimensional distortions, being a powerful anomaly herself.

Remember that even as late as the season six finale, Dark Willow admitted seeing what Dawn really is, and threatened changing her back. From the perspective of people only seeing one reality, even people as powerful as Glory or Dark Willow, it appears from their perspective that they'd be changing her from a normal human into green energy. However, (theoretically) what's actually happening is a dimensional transference, not a transmutation.

It's further possible that deep down, Glory understood a part of this, but couldn't comprehend enough of it without going insane, Despite her power, she could not grapple interdimensional physics as it applied to her directly. To her it was not unlike calculating the buoyancy factors of water as she was drowning in it, which might have contributed to her growing madness.

A thought on "Dirty Girls" -- Elenphant, 19:27:34 08/05/03 Tue

While watching it for the first time when it was on tonight, something occurred to me. Caleb made a Cain and Abel reference when everybody was fighting in the vineyard. It suddenly struck me that, in Steinbeck's "East of Eden," the story was based on the story of Cain and Abel. In the book, there are two brothers who oppose one another. Caleb is the name of the Cain analogue, and Aaron is Abel. The story is in large part about Caleb's journey of redemption. There is also the idea that it is necessary for everyone to have a little darkness in them, otherwise one is overwhelmed by the evils of the world and cannot function properly. Aaron dies because he was TOO good. In this, I am thinking that Faith's character and some of her dialogue with Spike fits with this idea (in fact, much of the 7th season in general). It has been many years since I've read the book, but was there a vineyard in the story? Also, some of the talk between Buffy!First and Caleb reminded me a little of the narrative descriptions of the mother (Kate? Catherine?) of the two brothers in the book.


An alternate universe Buffy? -- Cheryl, 19:53:09 08/05/03 Tue

I just read a little bit of trivia that said Christian Kane had auditioned for the part of Riley Finn. This got me to thinking about other casting decisions that were made and how this may have impacted the success of Buffy.

I have the unaired pilot with the other Willow. I know that SMG originally auditioned for the role of Cordy and that Julie Benz auditioned for Buffy. After seven seasons itís near impossible to envision the show with different actors playing these parts, as much as I love all of them. Julie Benz was (is?) wonderful as Darla and I loved Christian Kane as Lindsey. Riley is one of my favorite characters (I know, Iím in the minority), as played by Marc Blucas so I canít even imagine CK playing Riley. After seeing the other Willow, I am SO glad ME found AH. And can anyone picture someone other than SMG as Buffy? After just writing this it occurred to me that Tabula Rasa might have been even more interesting if each character woke up thinking they were one of the other characters. Picture Giles thinking he was Spike or Dawn thinking she was Anya. No, maybe better to not go there. ;-0

So, what is it these actors bring to their characters that makes us love (or hate) them so much? Strength, vulnerability, comedic timing, honesty, integrity . . . ? What makes them jump off the page and become real?

For example, with JM and Spike I think JM brings a great deal of vulnerability and sweetness to the character ñ otherwise how could I possibly like him so much and root for him? And then thereís that smoking sensuality and comedic flare.

With NB and Xander the first thing that comes to mind is comedic timing and insecurity, but as the character and actor grew (NB didnít have much acting experience in the beginning), heís become stronger and more confident ñ and because we watched NB/Xander ìgrow upî itís believable. When I watch the first couple seasons now and compare his character/performance to later seasons, I think thereís a very marked difference.

With Riley and MB I just love the kind of dorky jock who is really good at what he does and is sincere and vulnerable. And since Iíve seen MB play similar roles in movies, I just think these are traits he has. I canít picture Kane playing dorky jock hero Riley.

One of ME's strengths is finding good actors to bring their characters to life. That's why they reuse the good ones they find.

This is all off the top of my head, so I know Iím not articulating well what it is that draws me to them. I have to give it some serious thought, but Iíd love to know what others think.

[> The One That Could Have Been -- cjl, 20:20:39 08/05/03 Tue

"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (WB; 60 min.) - Buffy, the one girl in the world chosen to fight vampires, and her newfound friends face the threat of the Master, a vampire lord who threatens their hometown of Sunnydale.


BUFFY - Julie Benz
WILLOW - Riff Reagan
CORDELIA - Bianca Lawson
XANDER - Danny Strong
GILES - James Marsters

I know--weird, huh? Would we still be watching after S1? Could Riff Reagan have pulled off S2 Willow? Would there be B/G fanfic flooding the 'net if James played Giles and Julie played Buffy? (Probably.) Interesting to think about...

[> [> Musical chairs -- Cheryl, 21:16:58 08/05/03 Tue


BUFFY - Julie Benz
WILLOW - Riff Reagan
CORDELIA - Bianca Lawson
XANDER - Danny Strong
GILES - James Marsters

I had actually been trying to picture Danny Strong as Oz earlier. :-)

Did Bianca Lawson audition for the Buffy role?

What if Robin Sachs (Ethan) had been cast as Giles? An edgier, less stuffy Giles? Although I can't really picture that Giles with Jenny.

Juliet Landau as Cordelia? Charisma Carpenter as Willow? Kristine Sutherland as Jenny?

Someone wake me from this nightmare!!!

[> [> Am I really out of the loop? Did JM audition for Giles??! -- btvsk8, 05:02:12 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> [> Nah. Just me foolin'. DS was never up for Xander, either. The other 3 are legit. -- cjl, 06:37:40 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Correction. DS did audition for Xander. And Jesse. See below. -- cjl, 09:07:11 08/06/03 Wed

[> The signpost up ahead, your next stop? The Slayer Zone -- ZachsMind, 21:32:36 08/05/03 Tue

Here's a recasting I think would be fun to have seen...

BUFFY - Charisma Carpenter
WILLOW - Amber Benson
XANDER - Danny Strong
ANGEL - James Marsters
FAITH - Juliet Landau
OZ - Tom Lenk
GILES - Robin Sachs
THE MASTER - Anthony Stewart Head
SPIKE - Nicholas Brendon
DRUSILLA - Alyson Hannigan
HARMONY - Sarah Michelle Gellar
GLORY - Mercedes McNabb

Joyce, Dawn, and everybody else played by the same people, but Dawn's written in from year one, which would be a full 22 episodes, and incorporate The Mayor in it more. By the season finale, The Master, The Mayor and Glorificus would all be incorporated simultaneously.

Buffy would die and come back to life in the season premiere, thanks to the kiss of life by Xander. This would trigger Faith's entrance before Christmas. Basically the first three years condensed into one, but not in a way that exhausts the big bads by season's end. The Master, The Mayor and Glorificus would each be in the picture until Graduation Day, at times working together and at times fighting one another while Buffy flip flopped between trying to take them down and barely surviving everything getting thrown at her.

It'd be like "Buffy Extreme Sports."

[> Christian Kane and Marc Blucas -- HonorH, 22:09:44 08/05/03 Tue

originally auditioned for each other's parts. Imagining CK as Riley, I think of a more cerebral, less physical Riley who has more of a dark edge to begin with. Plus that sweet little drawl.

Imagining MB as Lindsey, OTOH, leads to a Lindsey who's more physical, more willing to hit back when Angel hits him. I imagine a Lindsey who's outwardly sweet--who's fully capable of looking and acting like Captain America--while calculating the best way to stab you in the back.

In other words, coulda been fun!

[> [> CK as Riley is my most intriguing might-have-been -- KdS, 04:15:12 08/06/03 Wed

Season 5 might have been very different. I suspect a Kane Riley would have been far less willing to bottle his feelings up and let Buffy sideline him until he exploded, and have been a far more serious rival for Spike.

[> [> [> Re: CK as Riley is my most intriguing might-have-been -- Cheryl, 11:29:19 08/06/03 Wed

I've only seen Season 1 Lindsey and am anxiously waiting for the Season 2 DVDs to come out (soon, right?). So these takes on CK as Riley are interesting to me because I haven't seen how CK/Lindsey develops yet.

[> Danny Strong as Jesse -- pellenaka, 08:53:51 08/06/03 Wed

Danny Strong originally auditioned for the role of Jesse after having a line in the unaired pilot. According to what Nicholas Brendon told him, the role was written for DS. Good thing he didn't get it.

It's a very good, long interview. This excert is from page 4. You can read it from the beginning here:

STRONG: The original pilot. So here's the deal. I auditioned to be Xander, for the casting director, and I did not get a call back. About two months later, maybe it was a little bit less, she called me in to read for some of the bit parts. Okay, I know exactly when this was ñ this was June of '96, because I had just graduated from college and I was flat broke. I mean, flat broke, you know? So she brought me in for some bit parts, and I read three different one-line roles for Joss, even though I didn't know it was Joss at the time ñ it was just some guy in the room. He seemed like a nice guy. He really liked one of them, and he gave me the part. So I had one line in the pilot presentation, and I was thrilled because it was, like, I got $600 and it was like the sky had opened up and rained money upon me, you know? It was like, "I'm rich!" I couldn't believe it. So we did the pilot presentation, I had one line, and they all really liked it. I just remember, after we shot the line, everybody came up to me and was like, "Joss thought you were hilarious. That was really funny." I was like, "Okay. It was just one line, but if you guys laughed, good." Then I started running into Nick Brendon all over town. True story. I ran into him like six times, and he kept saying, "Yeah, Joss is going to write you an episode, he loved you so much. Everybody talks about you all the time, of the guy who said the line, and they're going to write you an episode." I couldn't believe it, right? I couldn't even believe it when he recognized me when I ran into him the first time. He was like, "You're Danny Strong, right?" Like, he knew my name. So then they get picked up and they start shooting their new pilot, which I don't remember when that was ñ I think that was in '97, or that was late in '96, maybe?

IGNFF: That was late '96.

STRONG: Yeah, that was the fall of '96. So I got a call that I had an audition for Buffy, and I was so nervous, because this was the part that Nick Brendon had told me five times it was written for me. I went in, and it was the part of Jesse, and I auditioned and I gave a bad audition, and I did not get the part.

IGNFF: What's your definition of a bad audition?

STRONG: I was just too nervous.

IGNFF: So, in other words, Nick Brendon screwed you up.

STRONG: You know what, it wasn't just Nick ñ although that bastard did have it in for me ñ it was, like, people who knew Sarah had heard this as well. So I'd actually ended up hearing this from about four different people. Now, that part, actually, Eric Balfour got ñ and he dies in the pilot. He gets staked.

IGNFF: So you lucked out.

STRONG: So it actually worked out for me in the end ... I was just so upset at not getting the part, because it was the first time someone had written a role for me, or so I'd been told, and I couldn't get the part. I mean, talk about killing your ego. I mean, just depressing. So then they brought me in for another guest star about three months later, and I didn't get that part. I told myself that my hands were washed of Buffy. I was like, "I'm never doing this show, I never want to audition for this show ñ I hate them, I hate everybody. I hate you, Mom!" you know?

IGNFF: So you're like the prodigal son at this point...

STRONG: Yes, completely like it ñ just an angry little kid. Then I didn't hear from them again until the fall of '97, and they just offered me the role of Jonathan in "Inca Mummy Girl." That is the timeline.

IGNFF: So what was the process? Did they call you up every couple of months and say, "Hey, there's something for Jonathan..."?

STRONG: Yes. That's exactly how it was for a while. They'd just sort of call me and they'd put you on "AVAIL" for certain dates. They'd just say, "We want to put Danny on hold for these dates, because we may use him on the show." And it was basically a series of snappy one-liners, you know? They just kept bringing me back and bringing me back and they thought it was fun, and I certainly could've used the cash ñ it worked out nicely for all.

IGNFF: So many times your character could have been killed and wasn't.

STRONG: Yeah, well, that became the joke, I think, for them. Because there was a couple of episodes where it wasn't even Jonathan in the script ñ it was just 'student' ñ and it was like, "Oh, let's have Danny Strong do it." I know David Greenwalt ñ so he's told me ñ that he was a big champion of me, and that he was always the one that, a number of them were his ideas to bring me in on... Which was great, you know?

IGNFF: To actually get assigned a name, that's definitely a move.

STRONG: Yeah, because the first one I did in "Inca Mummy Girl," it was Jonathan, and then certain ones it was just 'student.' I remember being a little offended, like, "I've got a name, people. It is Jonathan ñ can't they put that in the script?"

And there's lots more.

[> [> Very interesting, thanks! -- Cheryl, 11:27:01 08/06/03 Wed

What was Jasmine's use for Angelus and the Beast? -- Gomez, 08:39:41 08/06/03 Wed

So I'm wondering how Jasmine's master plan included the Beast and Angelus, since she was so desperate to have them, and pretty ticked off when those plans fell through. Were they just there to protect Cordelia until she gave birth? Or did they have a purpose post-Cordelia?

[> Think pregnancy and childbirth... -- ZachsMind, 09:29:46 08/06/03 Wed

Y'know in television whenever there's an impending childbirth and there's characters on screen who want to be helpful but are just in the way? The one person who actually knows what they're doing and has a game plan turns to the interfering characters and tells them to go get hot water or clean towels or something like that, right?

Well, in Jasmine's plans, The Beast was hot water and Angelus was clean towels. They kept the other characters busy and out of the way long enough for her to get herself outta Cordy's oven. In fact, I don't think it was Jasmine's intention to keep Angelus desouled. He was probably easier to keep under control after Jasmine was fully realized. Otherwise she would have tried harder to make Angel really happy again in order to permanently desoul him.

Also keep in mind that Jasmine was kinda like BtVS's s.5 Glorificus. Any godlike entity, realized in human form, suffers from various human limitations. Jasmine may not have actually had a plan, per se, but instead a goal of global domination through forced psychological peace. Any and all actions were a means to an end.

It's the War Of The Worlds plotline. This terrible power comes to Earth and threatens to destroy lifekind, but the very foibles and weaknesses of humanity also adversely affect the invading body in a manner which it had not predicted. For Jasmine, things like vanity, mistrust, guilt and emotional confusion came into play towards the end. She had this ideal and felt she was in the right. She would make everybody peaceful if it killed her. The needs of the many outweighed the needs of the few. In return for bringing global harmony, she'd skip 10% of humanity off the top. To her it seemed a very sensible compromise.

Something humans and demonic influences do have in common, rationalizing the irrational. Ultimately this too led to her downfall. Well, that and the severed head.. AND both Connor & Angel kicking her nubile ass.

Beyond that explanation, if it still doesn't make any sense, take a page from Joel & the 'bots: "Just repeat to yourself it's just a show, you should really just relax." =)

[> [> I absolutely love this analogy! -- Sheri, 20:11:21 08/06/03 Wed

[> Problems with the Cordy/Jasmine/Beast plotline -- cjl, 10:09:59 08/06/03 Wed

We dealt with this question on the board three weeks ago during TCH's Season 4 wrap-up, without reaching a satisfying resolution to the debate. Here was my (deflation-devalued) two cents:

"Give momma some sugar" and other musings on the Cordy/Beast/Jasmine question -- cjl, 11:30:12 07/17/03 Thu

The relationship between Cordy, Jasmine and the Beast is one of those grey areas during Season 4 that tends to hurt the more I think about it. Give a simple explanation--Jasmine is the Savior!--and I'm fine. Dig deep into questions of motivation and practicality, and we're in trouble. Let's look at a number of possible motivations for the Rain of Fire and some of the other bizarre events in the middle of S4:

1. THE BIG DISTRACTION. The Rain of Fire and all the other disasters sent Team Angel scrambling like rats for half the season, and kept them from seeing the real danger incubating under their very noses. If you buy this theory, Jasmine (or Cordy-as-Jasmine) wanted the Fang Gang to bring out Angelus so Angel wouldn't organize the group and take out Cordelia prematurely. (If Willow didn't intervene, Jasmine herself would have converted Angelus back to Angel, and the events of "Shiny Happy People" onward would have unfolded as told.)

The distraction theory only works, though, if you absolutely insist that Cordelia had to be with the Fang Gang at all times. Look at it this way: if Jasmine has been the power behind the power of everything that's happened to Angel and crew since (at least) "The Trial," her manipulations have been SUBTLE. The rain of fire, blotting out the sun and all the other catastrophes were anything but. C-as-J could have achieved the same results by precipitating a small, domestic crisis within the FG, manipulating Connor into bed, and then DISAPPEARING FOR TWO MONTHS. (It's not like she hasn't disappeared before.) Cordelia could have bid her friends a tearful goodbye (saying she's stressed-out, "confused" and "betrayed" by her teammates and the PTB), then vanished to a mountain retreat somewhere, and given birth to Jasmine quietly, without Angel nearly decapitating her on delivery. They wouldn't have even known Cordelia was pregnant.

The Big Distraction, on the other hand, drew a lot of unwanted attention anyway, and Angel nearly stopped the birth of Jasmine in both Players and Inside Out. (Side note: Angel's decision to kill Cordy in I/O should have been one of the most dramatic moments of the season, but Jeff Bell underplayed it. Odd.)

Of course, if C-as-J went the quiet route, we wouldn't have had Charisma Carpenter around at all. (No comments, please.)

2. JASMINE AS SAVIOR. This was hinted at during the cocktail party in Players, but it was never emphasized. When Jasmine came on the scene in SHP, Joss and Co. emphasized that she was rescuing the populace of L.A. from the general miseries of the Human Condition, not from the badness of the previous ten episodes. It would have made things a lot easier for everyone watching if Jasmine took credit for saving humanity from the crises she created, but that would have tipped her not-so-pure intentions to the audience, and ME decided not to go there.

Even if you ignore the "tip the hand" plot tripwire, choice #2 still has the same basic problem as #1: The events from AN/RoF on drew too much attention to themselves. Jasmine may have wanted to act as the Savior of Humankind, but the flashy, apocalyptic disasters almost got her killed before she was even born. A quiet, uneventful birth wouldn't have changed much: she still would have been greeted as Humanity's Savior, even without the disasters she created.

3. THE UNIVERSE HAS RULES. Given the ritualistic nature of the summoning of the rain of fire, Lilah's murder, the blotting out of the sun, and the virgin sacrifice, I had the vague impression for awhile that all of these "ceremonies" were necessary preludes to the birth of Jasmine--that is, she physically could not have entered the universe without these events coming to pass. However, once Jasmine herself arrived, the whole sequence of events was dismissed as "birth pains" and the issue was dropped. I think this particular theory might have worked better than the other two, but we're never gonna know.

[> [> Why I think idea II works -- KdS, 15:44:09 08/06/03 Wed

My personal opinion is that Jasmine-as-Saviour was what she planned, but that events transpired to stop her from carrying out her plan to the extent that she intended. Remember that the Beast's Master (using this term to avoid getting into the whole Jasmine/Cordy mess) asked him to create the one weapon that could harm him as an offering. The most obvious explanation of the reason for this is that Jasmine was planning to have the Beast create havoc until her birth, and then kill him spectacularly and publically herself to establish herself as Saviour. Unfortunately, the Master failed to realise the extent of Angelus's desire not to play second fiddle to anyone.

With the Beast dead, the Master tried to recruit Angelus as replacement causer of mayhem. Unfortunately, Angelus wouldn't play (possibly because he realised the implications of having the Beast create the weapon, and that he would end up dead as the climax of the plan). When Willow resouled Angelus, Jasmine's birth was already imminent, and the Master decided to concentrate on the birth and have Jasmine take over LA with raw power rather than any violent demonstration. As it was, her power was sufficient that she could paint herself simply as a spiritual saviour without establishing herself by any of the temporal actions intended in the orginal plan.

[> [> [> asked him? -- anom, 22:56:31 08/06/03 Wed

"Remember that the Beast's Master...asked him to create the one weapon that could harm him as an offering."

I don't remember her asking him for it--certainly not specifically for that kind of offering. When the Beast offered the knife, "forged from my unworthy bones," it seemed to come out of nowhere. Unless I missed a scene.

[> [> [> [> I sought of assumed because it seemed such an odd thing to do. Then again, demons are weird. -- KdS, 04:26:28 08/07/03 Thu

[> [> I kinda lean towards #3 --
Kenny, 20:42:33 08/06/03 Wed

But I don't think any of those things necessarily have to happen. I think one of the reasons the PTB don't take a more active role is that this type of thing happens. In my mind, the one "rule" is that prolonged communication between the powers in the higher plane and mortals in the lower one is unnatural. Messages get confused. Cordy has painful, sometimes cryptic, visions. Oracles, Loas, and Eyes speak in riddles.

And just imagine one coming to earth. So, yeah, I think they were "birth pains" (Jasmine treated them as such, and I'm inclined to believe her), but not specific ones that had to be acclompished for Jasmine to be born.

[> [> Could the Bugverse offer a clue? -- Darby, 07:43:20 08/07/03 Thu

The insect / arachnoids were trying to entice Jasmine to return, unsuccessfully (even though they knew her true name). Were any clues to necessary conditions given?

Personally, I think Jasmine's love grew / twisted out of pain, mistrust, and desperation, and those conditions had to be maximized to allow her access to Angel's LA. The Beast's mission was to eliminate threats and sow despair by blotting out the sun, which never spread as far as everyone expected it to.

[> A few flaws in her plan -- Gomez, 06:28:40 08/07/03 Thu

After checking the archives (forgive those of us in Australia who are a few months behind the US schedule) on the related subject, there are still a few quibbles (yes, I know it's a tv show, the writers are entitled to a few liberties, but still....)

Cordelia/Jasmine put herself in harms way a few times by opening the cage to release Angelus (and any sane vampire would kill her, or have a snack), then remained at the hotel while Angelus was on the loose. She knew his history, and his tactics. And while it did provide an opportunity to kill Lilah, she didn't seem to employ any method to deter Angelus from killing Cordelia. No cross, holy water, mind control, magic, etc.

And I'll accept that Jasmine intended to destroy the Beast after her birth (a point I hadn't considered), and bring back the sunlight, but if her master plan was down to stalling, wouldn't it have been easier to lock the gang in seperate cages? I'll admit that the easiest option would be to have a sniper pick them all off, but that kinda destroys the show.

And when Angel told Cordelia to run back to her boyfriend, and she seemed shocked, was that merely for Angel's super hearing? Or maybe Jasmine was, at that stage, mostly in her subconscious, and we saw Cordelia with an alien presence making just a few of her decisions, and then sitting back to let Cordelia deal with the consequences.

Either way, it might have been nice for someone on the show to have cleared these things up. But they may not be able to see the forest from the trees. Oh well.

The Puppet Show- a Buffy landmark -- Tchaikovsky, 08:49:37 08/06/03 Wed

Although a mixture of laziness and admiration of Darby and manwitch has hitherto stopped me from posting in these nostalgia threads, I feel I should put in a few good words, for the genius of 'The Puppet Show', a Season One keeper which is often overlooked, but hits on the exactly right notes to make it the funniest episode of the mini-Season, and a prototype for the Espenson comedies which would sparkle through the later series. Jane would have been proud of this one herself.

Some marvellous moments:

-The beginning has the introduction of Snyder- one of those characters who, while remarkably grotesque, was never quite a cariacature while we remember Principals of our college days. If he knew what it meant, I'm sure Snyder would knock Flutie and Wood into a cocked hat. And it's this groundwork which allows the later writers, (notably Greenwalt in 'School Hard', Whedon in 'Becoming' and Espenson in 'Band Candy') to expand into a character that we are eventually sad to see being eaten by a snake, (even if with a twinge bemused schadenfreude).

-And Snyder's use at the start of the episode nicely subverts an oft-used cliche in Season One of Buffy- the teasing of a powerless Giles by the kids, (oh, and they really were just kids back in those days). Makes you all dewy-eyed. Here, Giles gets his own back in spectacular fashion.

-Xander is really, really funny in this episode, in an entirely hapless way that he would perfect later. His talent for nuanced physical comedy shines through here, particularly in his scenes with Sid.

-When watching the episode for the first time, it seems that this is another sappy predictable plot, for which the end can be spied a mile off. Sid is evil, yaddy, yaddy yaddah. But it isn't that. It's yet another, and a classic, ME subversion. For scary puppet guy, read proto-Holtz. In fact, I sometimes wonder whether, during Quickening, anybody drew the parallels. Amusingly, it is Holtz or Holz=Wood who comes to play the part of the very wooden puppet later, and with fearsome, deliberately ambiguous force. In the world of Sid, it is a more simple job. Remember that this is the the pre-'Lie To Me' Buffyverse, and while we're no means in Charmed land, there's no doubt that the preying mantis, Moloch and the monster whom Sid is hunting is evil.

-And yet, despite all this, Sid's death is somewhat saddening- the end of a quest that has taken him years. Death haunts Buffy form its earliest moments. We have Jesse, then Flutie, then Sid, and finally the prospect of Buffy's death in Prophecy Girl, a directorial debut from Whedon, which, in straight thematic story-telling terms, he barely matches again. Here death is a bittersweet thing- a Nicholas Flamel of relief and yet still that loss. And of such a new, suspicious friend.

And yet we are left with the stupendous Oedipus Rex to keep us giggling. This is a pre-echo of Willow's beautiful dream in Whedon's finest creation Restless, and Snyder's totally clueless 'Avant-garde?' would work as a gentle self-deprecation for Cowboy Guy and the rest. And yet here the talen show is more simply just an emobodimant of the exhibitionism of high school. The need to consistently flaunt yourself, and to have a talent that nobody else has. Of course, for those who's talents aren't naturally performed, it is not long until they alight on something truly horrifying. Cordelia, the ultimate high school Queen, being dreadful at singing is a nice joke. And the song she sings is brought back six seasons later on a whole different show. Everything except the deepest inside of Cordelia had changed, but there's still that beautiful consistency.

And it's that consistency which makes 'The Puppet Show' such a good watch. The fatigued Buffy of Season Seven, the carpenter Xander, and the Goddess Willow are all recognisable from back here. Like old friends, they seem, once we've talked to them for a while, and had the pleasure of their company, not to have changed all that much. What we were, remember, informs all that we become, and the Buffy to whose face a smile begins to creep at the end of Chosen has been informed by all these episodes, so various, and so fun. Underlying Sid is an archetype of what Buffy might become, at least in her own fearful consciousness- someone desperately attacking one demon, even if with those spiffy put-downs. Even this early, we can see how the resolution in Chosen profoundly affects Buffy's life, giving her release but not complete regression to her childhood self.

It's episodes liek 'The Puppet Show' which allow us to understand the greatness of 'The Body', the poorness of 'She', and the general quality of the series. It is an average episode which in most other television would be super. It is something of a reminder of what we still don't quite believe we deserve.


[> Excellent (in best Burns voice) -- Yellow Bear, 10:33:52 08/06/03 Wed

[> Hey, TCH, want to start a "Buffy" Odyssey? -- Masq, 13:36:27 08/06/03 Wed

You'd have fans!

[> [> Well, here's one plan -- Tchaikovsky, 14:02:43 08/06/03 Wed

I don't think I could keep up with an episode every week for Buffy- one of the wonderful things about Angel was that it was all at my own pace, but also that I was fascinated by the old what-happens-next factor, which won't occur so much with reviewing (in both senses) Buffy. It happens to an extent, because, as people who've read my posts for any length of time know, I routinely mess up the accurate details of plot. My mind wonders in themes and references, for some reason.

But what I was thinking of doing, was writing a review for every episode that's made me cry. Now, I've just watched the Lion King, and I don't know if it's just me, but I cried three times. It's a tremendous film. So there are many episodes- ie

Prophecy Girl
I Only Have Eyes For You
Choices (that end always gets me)
The Prom
etc etc etc

Then I could pick and choose a bit. I could call it Sob Stories, or something.


[> [> [> Cool! -- Masq, 14:34:57 08/06/03 Wed

Those are some of my favorite eps!

I Did Post As a Response -- Rina, 10:27:34 08/06/03 Wed

[Don't leave. I think the mistake you made was to post what appears to be a response to a specific post as a new message
thread. Thus, the pronouns "you" and "your" which, I think, refer to the poster or posters to whom you are responding, sound like you are criticising the entire board. You should have made your post as a response to a specific post, rather than posting it as a new message.]

One, I'm not leaving.

Two, I did post my original message as a response. This is the second or third time I had posted a response on this board and it ended up as a new post. And I don't know why.

[> This might depend on where you're posting. -- Rob, 10:35:41 08/06/03 Wed

When you want to respond to a post, have you been writing your response in the form on the bottom of the page of that particular post you want, or in a "new message" form? You have to make sure when you want to respond to a post that the form you fill out says "Post a reply to this message" at the top, not "post a new message." Have you been doing that?


masq. - Are we going to see 'Home' any time soon? -- Yellow Bear, 10:29:41 08/06/03 Wed

I don't wish to be a pain but I was just wondering?

Now, I'll sit here and try to be a goog, patient little boy.

[> Sorry. Haven't posted in awhile and messed that up. -- Yellow Bear, 10:31:55 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> Goog? I meant good. Clearly, my morning for the typo. -- Yellow Bear, 10:40:40 08/06/03 Wed

[> Oy, you had to ask! -- Masq, 11:43:27 08/06/03 Wed

I know I have been terribly slow with this episode analysis. A lot of personal stuff is my only excuse. I figure I have a good two months (slightly less than two months) remaining before I MUST get that puppy up.

But it will be there. I'm nothing if not completely anal about stuff like that. ; )

[> [> Great! I've been wondering myself -- Random, 11:52:13 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> It's half-done -- Masq, 12:33:40 08/06/03 Wed

I've got everything written, even the Joss-forsaken Connor bits. Most everything still needs to be edited to a reasonable, comprehensible size, formatted, and hyper-linked.

The thing I'm still struggling over is the parts where I need fan quotations. I saved some fan quotes from back then, but I still go mental when I read them (naturally, they're on the whole Connor issue).

It's been difficult for me to give my usual fair-minded, disinterested analysis of this one. What would really help is to read a really thoughtfully-written argument that Angel did the right thing where Connor is concerned, one that isn't dismissive of the character of Connor. Because all I can see is that Connor was not given the same chance every other character in the Buffyverse gets to redeem himself as he is. He got erased and written over.

That's the one chunk of my analysis that's missing.

[> [> [> Re: Connor -- Miyu tVP, 13:34:47 08/06/03 Wed

Look at me - all de-lurking. I'm new! Please don't rip on me too bad. :)

Connor was not given a chance to redeem himself *yet*. I'm not convinced this is over.

As a side note "redemption" comes from Latin meaning "buy back." The biblical analogy of redemption came from the real life process of being being bought out of slavery (or debt, ransom) by someone. The idea being that redemption is possible through a 3rd party (which in the bible is of course god). Maybe *Angel*'s sacrifice has paved the way for Connor's redemption? Angel literally exchanged quid pro quo - I'll join W&H (and forfeit my paternal feelings) if Connor is freed from his pain. He paid a price on behalf of Connor who couldn't do it for himself.

I hesitate to say that because it undermines the idea of personal responsibility and self-redemption. But in Connor's case, it seems that the outside world has imposed on him a boatload of crap to deal with, when he was too young to have dealt with it properly. Angel's wiping of the slate is not so much absolution for his wrongs, but giving him a chance to grow into his own (healthy) person, and THEN redeem himself.

In real life, I have a hard time holding up a high moral/emotional standard to someone who suffered severe abuse early in life. Like someone rolling there eyes at me bc I can't speak Japanese - no one taught me, so how on earth would I be excpected to know it? Connor grew up in a hell dimension, so how can one realistically expect him to "know" trust, respect, emotional attachment, responsibility? Angel wants him to have a chance to learn these things. It is rather clearly stated in the episode that everything Angel is doing is for the sake of his son. (sort of like Buffy stepping in for Dawn in the Gift? Not that Dawn was guilty, but just the idea of intervening.)


Looking forward to your Home analysis!

[> [> [> The "Help Masq finish her 'Home' analysis challenge" above -- Masq, 14:32:30 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Hey, Masq: Here's some pro Angel's choice posts -- shadowkat (delurking briefly to help Masq), 20:00:54 08/06/03 Wed

Hey - I found this over at Angel's Soul Board - they range from VERY pro Angel's decision to semi-pro Angel. It's a spoiler board so you may not frequent it very often.

Here's the url for the discussion:

Here's the pro-posts:

[> Oooo, I started reading then all the words blurred. Let's see .... -- Phaedra, 20:43:15 08/06/03 Wed (

I don't think of it as a failure when Angel didn't stop Wes/Holtz from kidnapping Conner. And shame on any of us that think that!! OMG Can you imagine the pain and torture parents of kidnapped children go through. This was not a failure as a parent, but a tragic, tragic event.

And how many parents have tried to save the "souls" of children that commit suicide. All the questions that go through you head - what could I have done to stop it, make it better, do differently! AGAIN, not a failure to not save his soul? (where did that come from), just an unfortunate event that may never have been deterred no matter what Angel did as a parent.

Why the hell does anyone think that Conner ending up in a loving family home with a college future, parents that are proud of him, a girlfriend that was going to get into the same college is a bad thing? All good in my book. Angel had one chance to make better the hurt and pain that was Conner's life. I think he knew in his dead heart that a future with him was not the normal, loving type future that he wanted for his son. So he made a wish in exchange for a favor. I do not think it was bad. Parents sacrifice for their children all the time.

Angel should be commended, not condemned. He did the best he could with the circumstances he was given. I feel for both of them. In the end, I think Conner is in a better place and Angel, in a very loving way, provided that for him.

Me, I never want to see Conner's story dragged through the mud ever again. I think he's suffered and fought and been disappointed enough for his young life. I totally agree with Andromeda here: "But the needs of the child should be paramount." Everything else is so self-centered.

*pant*, *pant* Ok, I'll stop now.


[> Re: Why Angel really gave Connor up -- Andromeda, 20:16:31 08/06/03 Wed (

It may have been unfair to force total strangers to include Connor in their family; but really, it's exactly the same thing the monks did to Joyce and Buffy.

The idea is that it's the best thing for the child; and that's still a criteria that the courts use in custody and support cases today.

Is it best for everyone?
Well, no.
But the needs of the child should be paramount.

[> Actually that reminds me of something -- Esmerelda, 18:06:44 08/06/03 Wed (

their is an arguement that Conner was to far gone to be helped, someting I personally strongly disagree with, no one, cetainly not an 18 year old, is so far gone there beyond being helped, although I agree, you need to want to be helped first, anyway my point is in the mall, when Conner asked what Angel was going to do about it, that to me sounded like a cry for help, and not the kind that results in his throat being cut, it sounded like a genuine effort to ask for Angel's help, not to kill himslef, but to get better. However, Angel in his panic, a panic I understand, didnt catch it.

At the end of the day, while I understand why Angel did what he did, and think is what many parents would do, it was wrong. He went for a quick solotion, not for his convience, but to spare Conner more pain, the thing about quick solotions when it comes to this stuff, it never works.

[> Re: Why Angel really gave Connor up -- Dottie, 17:57:59 08/06/03 Wed (

What happened to Connor was not Angel's fault. No one can predict and control everything that happens in a harsh and cruel world. There were some very strong forces acting against Angel, and he did the best he could to deal with them. He fought for his son all the way, and never turned his back on him. He treated that boy with patience, kindness, and love. But Connor was a mess, and under the circumstances, I don't know what else Angel could have done to fix him. You can't help someone if he won't LET YOU. Connor *REJECTED* his father's love. So Angel made a desperate sacrifice to save the boy the only way he thought he could. So it's not fair to keep blaming Angel."

I'll post my own views: both sides after this message.
Hope it helps. SK

[> [> [> [> [> Here's my view and anothers - it's pro Angel -- s'kat (continued from above), 20:50:34 08/06/03 Wed

After Home ended, I talked to my mother about the episode over the phone. She had a completely different take from most people, including myself, hopefully I can remember how she put it. My writing has been off lately, hence the lack of posting. Emotions/RL getting in the way. But I continue to lurk and read. ;-)

At any rate this is what my mother said regarding Angel's decision combined with my own embellishment. My mother believed Angel made the right choice. The selfless choice.
She saw what he did as a tremendous gift of compassion for his son. Giving him up. Obliterating himself and his taint from his son's life, so his son could have the normal life.
So his son could live and make choices based on a good environment as opposed to an environment that was negative not because of anything Connor did, but the legacy his parents left him. By erasing himself, Darla, Holtz, Cordy from Connor's life and inserting a normal family - Angel gave Connor the ability to have a life of his own choosing, not the life Angel himself chose.

According to my mother:
Angel made the only decision he could under the circumstances. It was probably the most self-less decision he ever made. And it was an incredibly hard one.

Here was his son - who he could not realistically ever be a father to, after all Angel is a vampire. He can't hold his son in the light. He can't give his son peace. This is shown early on in Provider and Couplet - where we see Angel envying Groos ability to be in light. Or when Angel attempts to rush his son to the hospital through the daylight, but has to hand him over to Cordelia. His own
horrible condition taints his son - makes his son feel like a monster.

As they lived, his son had no true choices. He didn't choose Quotorth. He didn't choose to fight. He didn't choose Holtz. He didn't even really get to choose a name.
Steven was thrust on him by Holtz. Connor by Angel. Both symbolic of the father forcing his will on the son. In contrast: both Angel and later Spike - choose their own names and with those names their own existence. Connor never had that chance.

Connor wanted a family. In this way, he is very much like yet very different from Angel. Angel seeks family only to destroy it - since he keeps wanting to be the head of the family but can't quite become it, because of his own struggle/need for approval and unresolved feelings with his father. Connor doesn't want to be the head, so much as to be a part of one. Connor doesn't require his father's approval so much as his father's love. His father's time. A family's love. This was his deepest wish. It is the reason he did what he did with Cordelia. And it is how EvilCordy was able to control him. She knew that was Connor's achilees heel. Those of us who have close families probably can't quite appreciate this need.

In the episode (Long Day's Journey or Soulless?) where they go to the priestesses' house and find everyone slaughtered - Connor is devastated by the death and destruction and mentions to Cordelia that what bothered him the most was the note regarding Dad's Birthday on the fridge...this was a family. It was the one thing he wanted. The one thing he revers and loves most. He refers to this desire again in Shiny Happy People (I believe) where he tells Angel how Holtz tied him to a tree in Quortorth as a child - and ran off, his assignment to hunt and track Holtz. Connor - craved the family - but Jasmine doesn't give it to him, not really, Cordy is in a coma and everyone is blessed with believing the lie, but Connor. Connor can see through it. So even with Jasmine - Connor is outside the group, deprived of being a shiny happy person. He is still fighting.

Why does Connor snap in Home? What sets him off? He's helping a man on a rooftop until he discovers the man had abandoned his family, his wife, his children, and Connor loses it completely. Why, he wonders, would someone give up their family?? We often wonder why someone else takes for granted that which we greatly desire. We resent them in our envy. Connor's envy for the shiny happy people overwhelms him, his rage and self-hate eats at him. He believes he doesn't deserve a family or a good life. And he begins to project that rage on to the people at the shopping mall - wanting to destroy them, himself and Cordelia. Because maybe, just maybe if I destroy it - it won't hurt so much.
Rage is a funny thing. It burns through us. Causing us to lash out blindly. Wanting to destroy everything in our path.
And when it's over? There's nothing left but despair and self-hatred, and remorse....until we're numb. Angel saw in Connor's eyes something very familar - an echo of his own rage. The rage that caused him to leave home, get seduced by a vampire and destroy his village, or when he lost his soul the first time - to attempt to destroy the world. Rage is something Angel knows all too well. He knows how it eats you alive and he knows that he put that rage into Connor. Not deliberately, perhaps, but he did it all the same. Or at least helped.

So when he sees Connor at the mall about to blow everyone up, he takes Lilah up on her offer - her offer to provide Connor with peace. Angel like any parent wishes to give his son the one thing he can't give himself - peace of mind.
But to do so, he must hurt himself - to give Connor this gift, Angel must sacrifice a portion of his own soul, his own redemption.

It is a selfless act that maybe only a parent can understand. A parent who has had a son who doesn't always do nice things. Angel didn't save Connor so much as give Connor a second chance at life. A second chance at family.
A chance that Connor would never ever have had with Angel.
And in doing so, Angel gave up two things that were the most important to him: his son and his own self-respect.

My mother saw Angel's sacrifice as being truly heroic.
I see it less so. But then I'm not a parent, so perhaps that's partly the reason? Not sure. Did Angel do the right thing by Connor? I don't know. Did he do the right thing by his friends, by himself - probably not. And perhaps that is the very thing that makes what he did for Connor - so special?

An old law professor once told me - "there but for the Grace of God go I" and my Granny often repeats an old native american saying she learned, "before judging someone's actions, walk a mile in their mocassions", Granny
loves these sayings - another one is "you never can tell, little Johnny may have died and then fell in the well..."
oddly enough I think all three sayings apply to this situation.

Before we judge Angel too harshly...perhaps we should all hike a few blocks in those moccassions?

Hope this helps you finish your essay/review, Masq.



[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Here's my view and anothers - it's pro Angel -- Rufus, 03:39:09 08/08/03 Fri

She saw what he did as a tremendous gift of compassion for his son.

I also see this as a gift of new memories for his son. Connor didn't have life experience of having the family he longed for, and Angel gave him the one thing he always wanted. But, if things happen and Connor had his memory restored I could see a similar thing going on like with Dawn when she found out she wasn't "real". I have to wonder Connors reaction to Angel's act if he also has the parallel memories of being loved in a family? I also think that out of any of the people that Angel knows that it just could be Wesley that would appreciate what Angel did the most. I don't see everyone's memories as being gone as much as I see that many of the conflicts remain just twisted around different situations to get the same emotional end result as when Connor existed.

I can't judge Angel as all right or all wrong when it comes to his gift of family to Connor. It's easy to be a backseat driver when it isn't our own lives. I wonder how any of us would react if we were presented with a similar situation. That said, I do go with what I said below, there will be consequences, but will they fit the "crime"?

[> [> [> [> [> masq--some help w/your "home"-work -- anom, 17:40:24 08/07/03 Thu

"But Connor was a mess, and under the circumstances, I don't know what else Angel could have done to fix him. You can't help someone if he won't LET YOU. Connor *REJECTED* his father's love. So Angel made a desperate sacrifice to save the boy the only way he thought he could. So it's not fair to keep blaming Angel."

I just can't help suspecting that W&H isn't likely to have given Angel a full list of options. He may have thought this was the only thing he could do, but was it really?

Not really sounding like a defense of Angel, I suppose, or at least not of the choice he made. The point is that he may not have been making a fully informed choice. If you don't know there are other possibilities, you have to do the best you can w/the info you have. Then it's a question of what effort you make to find out what other choices there may be. But Angel didn't have a whole lot of time to do that, & lives were at stake.

[> [> [> [> [> [> sorry--above post belongs after s'kat's 1st one -- anom, 23:07:53 08/07/03 Thu

[> [> [> Random wrote a great post in response to TCH's Odyssey for Home you might want to check out, Masq. -- Rob, 14:34:14 08/06/03 Wed

It has a great, positive analysis of Angel's decision.


[> [> [> [> Already have it on my hard-drive -- Masq, 14:37:12 08/06/03 Wed

It's one of the one's I'm considering. I'm just not sure if it takes the strong "pro" side I'm looking for. It's a little too much in agreement with the "con" side.

[> [> [> [> [> Huh. I see your point, having just gone over the post. -- Rob, 14:55:10 08/06/03 Wed

This is a tough one, because I think in most cases, even in the positive reviews of Angel's decision, as with TCH's Odyssey post, an admission is made that it was a wrong decison, but its wrongness is what is interesting or thought-provoking. I see it as being intentionally ironic and like it as a thematic counterpoint to the free will that Angel had "bestowed" back upon the people of the world. But was it the right decision? I don't think so. It's very tough to argue, especially on this show, that someone can be completely irredeemable.


[> [> [> [> [> [> And yet some people have made such arguments -- Masq, 17:14:50 08/06/03 Wed

I have seen "Connor was too far gone. He needed to start from scratch with a better environment" arguments. At least, I remember seeing such arguments. I can't find them now. I don't know if I saved them, because I was so angry back then I couldn't finish reading them in the first place.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Back when we were discussing power for the "magazine" -- Vickie, 19:17:40 08/06/03 Wed

We talked a lot about the "power to" and the "power over." And how power over another person was so often a violation of their right to self-determination.

My personal conclusion was that there are very few times it is right to use one's power over another, one of those being to protect one's child (or any child, really). Thing is, Connor is very close to not being a child, right on the border, and has been responsible for himself (to the extent he's been able to) for quite a while.

So we're back in grayville, which is, I think, right where ME wants us. Whether or not we ever see Connor again.

[> [> [> On Connor -- Tyreseus, 14:36:39 08/06/03 Wed

What would really help is to read a really thoughtfully-written argument that Angel did the right thing where Connor is concerned, one that isn't dismissive of the character of Connor

As another one of the Connor fans out there, I really want to help you with non-character dissmissive arguments.. but I still don't believe Angel did the right thing. I think I'm with you on this - he didn't get the Whedon-given right to redemption.

[> [> [> Re: It's half-done -- yabyumpan, 15:07:09 08/06/03 Wed

For me it's not about 'redemption' with Connor. I'm aware that there's the question of his taking part in killing the girl in 'inside out' and yes, I do think he knew right from wrong....BUT....I think you can equate Connor's existance to a caged, wild animal who is continually getting taunted, denied sustanance and poked with sticks, at some point they're going to lash out. Would that animal need 'redemption, would it deserve to be put down? or would it actually need and deserve, love and caring and kindness?
I think that's what Angel did, or believes that he did, or tried to do. No, I don't like what happened to Connor any more than you do but for me it's not about his 'Joss'given right to 'redemption'.

Sorry, I'm sure that doesn't help at all ;O)

[> [> [> [> agree! -- Miyu tVP, 16:32:12 08/06/03 Wed

I was trying to get at something like this - but your analogy is much more vivid.

Has Angel robbed Connor of the right to redemption?

We don't know that this is a permanent state. In the wacky world of Joss anything could happen. Episode one could have his memories flooding back.

In keeping with the abuse victim/caged animal theme perhaps this is just a "break" or even therapy. A chance to distance himself from his rage and regroup.

I think this would be in keeping with the Buffyverse. Like the artifically imposed chip for Spike. It didn't redeem him, but helped him to get into a different pattern of behavior, leading him to seek redemption of his own free will.

I could envision something where Connor carries on for a while in his blissful existance, but then is needed by the group, his memories restored... which is an agonizing process for him, but this time he has the coping skills to start to deal with it.

As far as "not liking" what happened to Connor - I was completely choked up watching that scene. I think it was the most loving thing Angel could possibly have done.

[> [> [> [> You have a point -- Masq, 17:11:55 08/06/03 Wed

Actually, I agree with this, for the most part. I say "redemption" because it's such a big Joss theme, and to tip my hat at folks who think Connor did wrong while knowing right from wrong. I tend to fall more into the camp that says "What Connor really needs is lots of love, hugs, and therapy". That's what Angel should have given him. His time. His love.

But a year or more of Angel and Connor in hospitals and therapist's offices doesn't lend itself to "interesting television drama", at least not to the take-or-leave-Connor crowd.

But so instead ME writes him out of everyone's memories? Surely they could have come up with a third option.

[> [> [> [> [> "Who's Connor?" -- yabyumpan, 17:25:06 08/06/03 Wed

One of the most ill-conceved lines in ME history IMO. No need for it, surely there was enough angst with what happened to Connor anyway and enough greyness with Angel accepting the deal for everyone and the FG now working for/at W&H. I'd love to hear TM/JW explain the reason for it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, that line kept me awake at night after "Home" -- Masq, 12:47:01 08/07/03 Thu

Thinking, "What the f*** are they gonna do to deal with that?"

And worrying that they'll blow it off and not do anything with that even though it totally messes up Wesley's S. 3- S. 4 journey.

Of course, it's not like I was getting any sleep towards the end of the season anyway.

But I was really hoping the last ten minutes of "Home" was a weird dream I had.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, that line kept me awake at night after "Home" -- heywhynot, 15:57:27 08/07/03 Thu

I personally did not have a problem with what Angel did. To me the trauma's Connor went through were more than modern psychology & psychiatry could deal with. Faith was abused and had issues & could be saved. Connor reached a point where he was broken the likes of which we have never seen on Buffy. Of course we like our heroes being able to overcome impossible odds. To me though Angel did not give up on Connor, which would of been letting him die or outright killing him or putting him in a WH prison. Angel was creative and came up with a way to let Connor's potential shine through.

In terms of Wesley's journey, I don't think it negates what has happened the last couple of seaons of AtS. The events did happen, just no one remembers Connor. He was placed into a family, like how Dawn was insereted into Buffy's life. Jasmine happened. The FG did end world peace. Coredlia is in a coma. W&H did offer AI their LA firm for stopping Jasmine (and reasons yet to be told). Just because no one remembers who Connor is, doesn't mean they don't remember a son of Angel. To them the son was not named Connor and he is no longer with them. Almost like the latest Flash. The universe is altered so no one remembers who the Flash (and the previous Flash) is. The events that require people knowing his ID still happened. People remember the events but not that detail. Of course those involved in said events will over time question the logic of what happened without them knowing who the Flash is.

[> [> [> [> [> What would Connor have wanted? -- Arethusa, 20:51:16 08/06/03 Wed

Connor wouldn't have spent a year or three in therapy. He would have been in jail or a secure hospital for a very long time, and probably would be in intensive therapy for years more. Most importantly, he would have been very very unhappy for a very long time. He was homicidal and suicidal. Possibly he had an
attachment disorder. Connor had just killed his daughter and helped slit the throat of an innocent girl who was pleading for her life. When Jasmine said she was eating people he smiled and said, "Cool." He slept with the girl his father loved, than rubbed it in his face. He beat a man, probably to death. A year before he came close to killing Cordelia and sank his father to the bottom of the ocean to live in eternal torment, starving and mad.

Connor was suffering, and would have continued to suffer for decades. And Angel knew this. It was too late to save the people he, Angel, killed. It was too late to save Drusilla, who still wanders the erth, tortured and insane, both filled with suffering and inflicting suffering on others. Angel was never able to stake Dru, even for her own sake. He had taken her sanity, and couldn't bring himself to take her life too. Perhaps he felt he deserved to be haunted with guilt by her presence, and it would be taking the easy way out to remove the evidence of his crimes.

But now, letting Connor continue living his life as it was was taking the easy way out. Angel would get to keep his son and the hope of being part of a family. But Connor, like Drusilla, would pay the price for Angel's actions. He would continue to suffer for decades more, of this I am certain. Angel had seconds to make a deal with W&H. So he gave Connor something he would never have himself, something that Connor would never have either-peace of mind.

Angel knew what it was to like to kill and spent nearly one hundred years suffering from guilt and regret for his actions. He wasn't going to let Connor spend his life like that. He couldn't. So he made a deal with the devil and he-and we-lost the boy we loved. But he made that choice for Connor, to give the boy love and peace and happiness. Not fake Jasmine happiness-the real kind. Angel did what he used to depend on TPTB to do-save a life and prevent killing. What he did was no better or worse than giving up Connor for adoption as a baby (retroactively), to give him a chance at a good life.

Yes, what Angel did could be said to be giving up on his son. And it may seem that ME is saying that damaged children are unredeemable. But I think those are unduly pessamistic views of Angel's act of love. Connor's case was unique, as unique as his parentage. And I know that if someone came up to me when I was eighteen and offered me a new life, with a good and loving mom and dad and a successful life, I would have gladly given up my current life.

[> [> [> Here's a theory, then.. -- Random, 16:43:55 08/06/03 Wed

The Angelverse is not a deterministic one, not really. For all the talk of prophecy and apocalypse, ultimately the players are the builders, if not the architects, of their own futures. Consider the Angelus of "The Becoming": Angelus: Everything that I am, everything that I have done, has led me here. But this is a destiny in retrospect, a glance backwards at a path that has become inevitable because it already is. It cannot be recalled. So Angel stands over a son whose entire life has been a tragedy, a glass darkly with only a couple point where the light can shine through clearly -- the love of Cordelia and of Angel himself.

The Gnostics argue that the world is a creation of an imperfect god, a demiurge. Connor's world has been shaped by failed gods, up to and including the most literally of imperfect gods, Jasmine herself. And even the few shreds of happiness in this marred existence have been ripped away. Everything that Connor was has led him to this point, and Angel the Father has failed. It is no longer the parent that Connor needs, but a new demiurge, a second chance. The Father has failed, but perhaps the strength of the Champion offers a hope where the love of the Father was insufficient. So Angel does not act as a father, or even as a humanistic hero of the people. He makes the hardest of choices, the decision to give Connor salvation from himself. This is not the democratic way, or the humanistic one, or the Christian one. This is the Last Judgment, where the quick and the damned are separated. Angel divided the quick from the damned within the person of Connor himself. It was a decision that appeared wrong on many, many levels -- but that is why it took a Champion to make it, to take the pain upon himself. Angel realized that the time had passed for talking, for mere redemption. So he acts...not for the sake of nebulous values of love and freewill, but for the sake of Connor's very soul.

[> [> [> [> Re: Here's a theory, then.. -- yabyumpan, 17:18:08 08/06/03 Wed

So he acts...not for the sake of nebulous values of love and freewill, but for the sake of Connor's very soul.

I think that's one of the problems I have with it. Maybe I relate AtS too much to RL and should jsut remember that it's a 'fantasy' show, but for I compare it RL children who have been abused all their lives or children in Liberia forced to be soldiers or any other of the heart-breaking situations that children can go through before they reach adulthood. For me what ME is saying about those children is that there is no hope, because in RL they wouldn't be able to start again in the same way Connor did. If we accept that there was no other course of action for Angel, that Connor was too broken to be able to be healed in any other way, then it feels like damming all the RL children who's lives have also been hell and I just can't accept that.

[> [> [> [> [> Agree, mostly, actually -- Random, 17:34:49 08/06/03 Wed

But consider it in this light: Angel didn't give up on Connor. Like a good Father, he took all of his child's pain on himself. Was he right? Did he choose the proper path? These can be debated endlessly. But he demonstrated one of the highest fidelity a Father can show, and thus demonstrated his Champion-like qualities: he laid down his own happiness for that of his son. He once again must suffer alone. In a sense, it is atonement for the suffering of his son, the loneliness and lack-of-belonging that overwhelmed Connor's life. Yes, he might have chosen a different path, one that was just as hard for him, and for Connor. But he didn't. He offered his own peace as a sacrifice to gain Connor's. And if it was a fundamentally flawed decision, and a coward's way out in many ways, it was nevertheless a terribly brave one too. ME isn't talking about the hopelessness of the other is talking about the hopelessness of the Father who desires the best for his child in the midst of overwhelming tragedy

[> [> [> [> [> [> Also don't forget what he said in "Peace Out" -- Diana, 07:47:58 08/07/03 Thu

In "Peace Out" he wouldn't let Jasmine hold him accountable for ending world peace. "It's not my fault" he screamed at her. In "Home" when he sees on the TV just how damaged Connor is, he accuses Lilah and she shift blame by saying "Looking at him." Angel takes the responsibility for what his son has become on himself, which isn't wholely his fault.

I won't debate whether that is right or not. It is beautiful. To take on the sins of another, to hang on a cross for the sins of Man, that is what Angel did. Angel did the best thing he thought he could. Whether that was the best thing, I really don't care. He totally reversed direction from "Peace Out," which as the Insect priest pointed out, he did for his son.

I was glad to see him smile in "Chosen."

[> [> [> [> Angel made a Dad's decision...... -- Rufus, 17:27:24 08/06/03 Wed

No matter who created him, why he was created, Connor is Angel and Darla's son. Circumstances led to a young man who was no longer capable of making a rational choice because of his life experience, and his experience of life had been just one big flaming hell. Angel couldn't change it, Darla only had moments to try to change it, and what Cordy had become had done the most damage. The result was someone who no longer wanted to play in the big sandbox of life with the rest of us. What does Angel do, the right thing? The Wrong thing? I don't think either, he made the decision of a Dad who wanted his tortured son to have the life that was stolen from him as a baby by that whack job Holtz. Angel took the free will he resored to all others from his son because he loved him and felt at that moment he had a chance to make things better. The question I ask is what is the difference between what we would do for others and what we will do for our loved ones? I'm not going to say that Angel did the wrong thing cause maybe if the circumstances were the same maybe I'd make the same choice that he did. Thing is that everything we do has consequences, I have to wonder what they will be for Angel this season. I also felt for the fact that Angel gave up his son to be able to see that last scene where Connor the son who no longer was his toast to the happy life he thinks has always been his. That moment I was with Angel, even though the consequences are unknown, to see a child who was in pain no longer suffering can make a parent do anything, just like Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> I have to agree -- Vickie, 19:26:20 08/06/03 Wed

What does every parent want when something bad happens to their child? They want it to not happen.

Not to comfort them, not to "heal" them. They want bad things to not happen to their kids.

Just like a Real Life Dad, Angel was not able to protect Connor from the bad things in the world. But, because of Wolfram and Hart, he was able to retroactively make those bad things not happen to his son.

I really cannot expect it to work, given ME thematic canon in this area. But I do completely understand Angel's choice.

[> [> [> [> [> Did Angel take Connnor's free will or restore it? -- Diana, 07:52:14 08/07/03 Thu

What Connor had become was totally grasping, little better than an animal. What free will did he really have? Could he have done anything differently? Could he have been "redeemed?"

What Connor became was off to college and a world of possibilities. Angel restored Connor's free will. Connor now had choices and he was capable of making them. He could respond to love. He could love.

Why is this such a bad thing?

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm pointing out something that goes beyond the right or wrong of the situation. -- Rufus, 15:30:45 08/07/03 Thu

You used the quote yourself...

But sometimes the price we end up paying for one bad choice isnít commensurate with the offence. The Prodigal

As much as people have opinions on the right or wrong nature of what Angel did, I'm pointing out that the consequences may or may not reflect either the right or wrong position each of us has taken.

[> [> [> Connor compared himself to Angel -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:56:34 08/06/03 Wed

(Note: personally, I've found this issue to be so ambigous that I really can't stick with any position for too long, so this post both does and does not reflect my views on Angel's decision in "Home").

Connor compared himself to Angel; I think that's what finally nudged Angel into the decisions he made. Angel knows what it's like to suffer. He's one of the few people who has gone through more pain and heartache than Connor has, and so is the only one in a position to understand.

Angel has tried to make amends for his past; he's tried in many different ways to put his history behind him, to make up for what he did. But, after so many years of trying, he's starting to believe that he can't. He tried being Buffy's guide, helping her be a hero, but eventually it became too risky to continue. He tried to be a hero himself, to do enough good that he'd be rewarded with humanity and a chance at happiness. But, throughout Season 2, he was shown that the road to redemption is never ending, and that there very well might not be a glorious end in sight. He tried forgetting his past and started living day by day, doing acts of kindness without expectation of reward. But that began not to satisfy as much, as the joys of family overtook him. He tried being a great Champion, a model of what should-be in a world of shouldn't-be. But Jasmine showed him where the path of idealism can lead, how it can cause even greater destruction. Angel has tried every path he can think of to make his amends, and so far none of them have worked. He's begun to believe there is no hope of redemption or peace or resolution. The world seems to him to be a hard, cruel place where there are no solutions, where nothing ever works out. As he tells Faith, "We pay for everything".

So, when Connor compares himself to his father, Angel realizes that, if there's no hope for him, what hope is there for his son? Does he let Connor go through the trials he went through, chasing one vain hope after another, only to see them all crashing down? Or does he take the one option left open, the only chance of happiness that he can see? He does. He joins Wolfram & Hart; he gives up his quest of ideals and redemption through fighting evil. Instead he joins it, works with it, in effect condeming his soul, all in order to give Connor the chance Angel never had: too erase the past, take all of the violence and pain away, and start over. In that moment, that decision, Angel resigns himself to a hopeless world, all so his son doesn't have to.

That is heroic.

[> [> [> question- defining the problem -- sdev, 23:01:12 08/06/03 Wed

Is your problem with Angel's choice- whether it was the right thing for Angel to do morally, and if not, why did he do it, and what consequences will there be?

Or is your problem that you believe Connor was unfairly denied a chance to fix himself, and you feel he could have?

Is your problem with Angel or Connor? They are separable it seems to me.

[> [> [> Angel did do the right thing -- Diana, 07:36:17 08/07/03 Thu

We've had to had my mother committed several times, most recently a few weeks ago. The decision to do this to a loved one is one of the hardest thing that a family has to do. Unless you have been through it, you have no idea how it can tear a family apart, even when all members agree it is the right thing. The decision is even harder when the member is pretty functional most of the time.

Connor had a bomb strapped to him. He was beyond suicidal. In real life, he would have been declared criminally insane. In the Buffyverse, he was metaphorically committed. What happened was foreshadowed in "Magic Bullet" when Angel said that Fred gets to live until they find out why she rejected Jasmine's love. Connor asks why would anyone reject love. In that same episode, we find out just how damaged Connor really was by Holtz and Quor-toth. When Angel finds out why Connor is rejecting all love, he has to kill him, just as he said about Fred.

Connor isn't redeemable. Not everyone is. It is a nice happy feely attitude, but it just isn't reality. My mother is NEVER going to be OK. The most we can do is medicate her to the point where she is no longer suicidal and then she can come back home temporarily, until the next time she starts to get depressed again. Connor got a whole new life. How would the viewer feel if Connor was just outright actually killed? I would be interested to see a discussion of this.

Also, Connor represents Angel's past. Angel cannot make up for his past. He can only move beyond it. Because of this, Connor had to metaphorically die. I am sorry, but that is the requirements of the story. At least there was an element of hope left for Angel in that Connor was alive, just not as Connor any more.

I admit that I stayed out of the Connor discussions because it is such a personal and painful issue for me. I know what Angel felt because I have had to go through that. I did not like seeing him bashed for what he did. Please be kind in your treatment of him. He did the best he could for a son that he couldn't help any other way. Whether you wish Connor had been given a chance or not, sometimes we just have to accept that some people cannot be helped.

[> [> [> there's still a possibility for redemption -- Anneth, 10:56:49 08/07/03 Thu

Because all I can see is that Connor was not given the same chance every other character in the Buffyverse gets to redeem himself as he is. He got erased and written over.

Do you mean that he's lost his chance at redemption because he's lost his memories of the acts he needs to redeem himself from? Because those acts have essentially been taken from him, made not his responsibility?

An interesting question is, what form can his redemption take? As things stand, only Angel and the viewers know of Connor's acts - if he never remembers them, but becomes a famous advocate of social reform, for example, does that redeem him? Can a life of good works make up for a multitude of sins that he doesn't know he committed? Must he know of his past in order to make his redemption truly a redemption? Or must he somehow be made aware of his past in order to redeem himself?

Does he even need to be redeemed? After all, if he doesn't remember his acts, and no one else (in the Buffyverse, except Angel) knows he committed them, is there any reason for him to be redeemed? Must he redeem himself merely because he committed the acts? Or must he know of them in order to redeem himself? What happens if he learns that he's committed them, but has no memory of them?

I think the only thing that could have happened to make Connor totally irredeemable is if he'd died, either by his own hand or someone else's, particularly Angel's. As things stand, the possibility of redemption remains to him - if only by virtue of the fact that he's still alive. If he were dead, then nope, no possibilty for redemption whatsoever. But though we don't know yet what will happen to him, the universe of infinite possibility still lies before him. I don't think we know enough yet to write Connor of as irredeemable. I don't think his story's over yet.

Tara doesn't necessarily have to have ever died... (caution: retroactive plot reconstruction ahead) -- ZachsMind, 11:03:58 08/06/03 Wed

Without having to adversely alter anything that happened in the tv series, it is effectively possible to say that Tara never died. That the entire thing was a set up to convince Willow that she had gotten Tara back, and that Tara died at her hands, cuz it was the only way to get Willow to turn evil.

The prime suspect is The First Evil. However, TFE cannot actually touch physical manner, let alone hug and kiss and make out with it. So something tangible had to have been in place of Tara. Something tangible had to have taken the bullet - must have been acting as an operative for The First, much like Caleb was at the end. It can't have been either Cassie or Amy cuz they both are still alive later in season seven.

Then I looked at
Normal Again again. Willow was going to confront Tara, but saw she had another woman with her, and chickened out. We never find out anything about this other woman. In Entropy, Willow catches Tara again. This time Tara's alone, and refers to that other woman only as "a friend" and Willow drops it at that. Asking no more questions.

I submit it's plausible that from Entropy onward, the woman we briefly saw with Tara in Normal Again, was actually an operative of The First who somehow dispatched Tara (perhaps getting the Tabula Rasa spell right where Willow failed and causing Tara to lose her identity), sent her far away, and then used a simple glamour incantation to take on Tara's voice, appearance and demeanor. Convincing enough to fool Willow. No mean feat, seeing as how they got all hot & heavy the night before Tara's alleged death, but it is possible. Willow wanted to believe Tara's return so much, any idiosyncracies like Tara kissing differently or perhaps subtle chemical differences between them might have been overlooked.

But what about after "Tara" gets shot? Would the magic glamour have worn off by then? Or hours later after Dawnie sees her dead body? Not necessarily. When Willow called upon Osiris, he seemed pretty easy to take out. What if the reason why he was listening in was cuz he secretly had a hand in what was going on? With Osiris' god-like powers in the mix, the ruse could be complete.

This would explain a lot of things, including Osiris' involvement and easy dispatch, Tara's easy turnabout back into Willow's arms after ending the relationship just weeks before, and it would also allow for a "Willow the Series" in which Willow could slowly put pieces together and over time rescue the love of her life. Only to find that where she's been taken isn't particularly a place where she's in any danger.

But okay. Who would go through this much trouble not only to turn Willow dark, but also to take Tara away from Willow without actually killing her? I know the perfect candidates. What if Tara's Family hadn't been lying? What if Tara's really a demon? What if the whole family is some kind of demon/human hybrid, like was often revealed as possible in the first season of Angel?

At the very least, it should be food for thought for fanfictionadoes. =)

[> *crickets chirping* -- Woah. Tough crowd. - NT, 14:31:26 08/06/03 Wed

[> I've read this -- dmw, 15:49:54 08/06/03 Wed

I like the idea of Tara not really being dead at all, her death being a deception of the FE to manipulate Willow. I encountered this idea a little while ago in the in-progress fic Shades of Grey. I like the beginning of the story with Tara's shocking return in mid season 7. The same authors are writing their own Season 7 based on ideas about Tara returning because she's not being quite human.

[> I read it, liked it and concluded that you are quite mad...*mad*, I say, *m-a-a-a-d*!!! -- Random, 16:48:51 08/06/03 Wed

[> [> yeah but it's a good kinda mad - NT -- ZachsMind, 06:41:26 08/07/03 Thu

Item about ED's reason for noBtVS spinoff -- jane, 12:01:21 08/06/03 Wed

From today's Vancouver Sun: "Former BtVS cast member Eliza Dushku, who played rogue-slayer Faith on that show (and earlier this year turned down the lead role in a Buffy spinoff)is in town starring in Fox's Tru Calling,which began production here last week. Dushku told the TV critics press tour recently why she passed on the spinoff. "I started the character of Faith five years ago and the character kind of travelled with me as I grew up and was me in a lot of ways. And I love that show and that character's been good to me and I love the people involved and there wasn't a doubt in my mind we could have made an interesting show, but I think that you kind of go down the road less travelled sometimes." She's now goin'down the road as Tru Davies, a young college grad who owns up to some major psychic powers. "She's strong,but she's not psychotic,"Dushku says, comparing the characters. "I mean, let's be real, Faith was a little over-the-top sometimes, you know."

[> Your missing the important next part -- Dochawk, 19:45:29 08/06/03 Wed

in a different interview where she has the same quote, she followed that with something to the effect that she was going to work with Joss again, either in a spinoff or in something else. It was very hopeful. its all in the way the interviewers cut the edit on her statement.

Help! Need some info on Gunn's history... -- Kate, 12:40:21 08/06/03 Wed

I'm working on a story and have Gunn mention some stuff from his past in a conversation, but just realized the info I made up might have actually been mentioned on the show. So here's my question (cause I can't remember this), have we ever learned how Gunn ended up on the streets and/or whatever happened to his parents?

If someone can answer my question or point me in the right direction for a character website, I would really appreciate it!! Thanks. :)

[> I don't think it was ever mentioned -- Masq, 13:16:54 08/06/03 Wed

But I got the impression his parents died. I mean, if he ran away, it seems unlikely he would have his sister with him. If they were both orphaned, it would make more sense that both of them were on the streets.

Of course, Gunn mentioned an aunt once, and a "baby cousin", and it seems odd that orphaned kids wouldn't go stay with relatives.

[> [> Thanks Masq! -- Kate, 14:17:43 08/06/03 Wed

I just didn't want to make up some info for his background and then find out that there was actual cannon I could have used.

[> [> [> You've got me curious, though -- Masq, 14:30:22 08/06/03 Wed

I might have to go back and check "War Zone" and a few other Gunn-centric eps just to be absolutely sure nothing was said.

God, I wish Psyche was still up. I could do it from work.

[> [> [> [> From War Zone -- Tyreseus, 10:26:41 08/07/03 Thu

Perhaps the line that tells us those most about Gunn's past:

Alonna:Ý "Remember when we were kids - in that shelter on Plummer Street, hmm?Ý (Gunn nods) Second floor was all rotted out.Ý -Ý You used to dare kids to cross, and of *course* you were the best at it, because you were theÝ - you were the bravest.Ý I wanted to be like you so bad, so I went up, and the floor gave out.Ý I would have broken my neck, but - you'd been watching me the whole time.Ý You were standing right below - and you caught me.Ý -Ý Ever since I can remember you've been looking out for me. - But you don't have to any more, because I'm good, and it's my turn to look out for you now."

So they've been living in "shelters" since they were "kids." Wonder what their definition of that is? Anyway, it implies that parents haven't been in the picture for quite some time.

P.S. Until Psyche gets his site up again, I've been referencing for transcripts.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: From War Zone -- LadyStarlight, 10:54:26 08/07/03 Thu

Could be wrong here, but 'shelters' implies a homeless shelter to me. Leading from that, no shelter I've heard of will take kids without a parent/guardian type.

Unless Alonna meant a street kid type shelter. Like Anne's gig in Blood Money and The Thin Dead Line -- in which case I'd buy the no parents around.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The 'rents may or may not have been around.. -- ZachsMind, 13:44:01 08/07/03 Thu

GUNN: "You know? I was cool before I met y'all."

Chances are the details will get filled in next season. I have an inkling that Gunn will be heavily featured this fall, in a way that's gonna show us what he's really made of. His past is gonna have to factor in. It'll take several episodes for us to really know what's goin' down with him. Gunn staring into the kitty cat's eyes in the season four finale? They're not just gonna let that lie.

Gunn may have had parents when he and his sister were kids, but their family was homeless, and his 'rents probably dind't last long. Chances are one or more of the 'rents were killed by vamps, which would explain Gunn's obsession with saving as many people as he could. A runaway bent on street survival, takin' on the demons like it ain't no thang. We're led to assume in "War Zone" that Gunn and his friends had been at it for awhile. However, their situation was very precarious. Besides his sister and a couple others, it looked like the majority of his 'followers' for lack of a better term, were fresh blood. That hints to me that Gunn's success ratio wasn't very good. He just managed to outrun and outfox the vamps, but people around him were dropping like flies.

Gunn doesn't talk much about his past. Ever. Kinda weird. You'd think the writers would go there more. Furthermore, what he's told us is circumspect. Gunn once mentioned he has an Uncle Theo, but he doesn't. He was just making it up. Chances are if pressed, he'd make up other stuff too. He may just not want anyone to know about his past. At all.

There is one thing we do know though.

GUNN: "..if the bad Angel walks through that door, I will kill him in two seconds flat."

He staked his own sister when he found out she'd been turned. If it ever came down to staking Angel/Angelus once and for all? It should be Gunn. He's the most believable candidate. Not even Faith could do it, but Gunn could. Provided he could get close enough without being turned himself.

[> [> Re: " seems odd that orphaned kids wouldn't go stay with relatives." -- Marie, 08:56:57 08/07/03 Thu

Not really, if Gunn was in his mid- to late-teens when his parents died. And especially if they died by bite!

I can just imagine Gunn vowing to care for his little sister himself and wanting to keep her close, and also to rid "his" streets of the vermin that killed his folks (if they did die that way, I mean). He's always struck me as very independent, and when we met him, he was the leader of a fairly large gang. He didn't get there overnight, so I would think he'd been on the streets for some time at that point.

Be interested to read your story, Kate!


[> Re: Help! Need some info on Gunn's history... -- luvthistle1, 02:05:21 08/07/03 Thu

I not sure. butI know Gunn had a sister"Alonna" and never really known his father. I think he has taken care of his sister ever since his mom died. she was later Vamp, by a group of vampires out to get Gunn. ( they snatch her in daylight) Gunn blame himself for not being able to save her. he was the once to stake her, once she return.

Gunn's backstory was introduce in "war Zone"

[> Thanks Guys!! -- Kate, 13:22:21 08/07/03 Thu

Tyreseus - thanks for the quote and for the transcript site.

Marie - if and when I ever get the sucker finished, I'll let you know where I post. Thanks for the interest. :)

Fray #8 (spoilers) --
Kenny, 19:56:53 08/06/03 Wed

Santa Claus is real! And he brought me Fray #8, even though it's not Christmas, because I've been a really good boy.

Seriously, this was a great cap to the series. I've always been sketchy on the Buffy comics. I just don't think live television and movies translate well to comic books. Or novels, for that matter. Now, a Buffy radio drama (with the actors of the series, natch) I could deal with. Actually, now that I think about it, it sounds incredibly neat. I bet that's a concept JW would love. Too bad it would never get pulled off.

Anyway, comic books. Yeah, I don't like Buffy comics. I love Fray. Because she's a comic book character, yet she fits seemlessly into the Buffyverse. Melaka Fray, Urkonn, Harth, heck, even Gunther, are the types of new characters that were missed in S7. They're multi-faceted, motivated, flawed, likeable characters. Even the ones you don't like.

There are echoes of both BtVS and Angel the series through this book. Upon completing the series, there's an obvious similarity in structure between this and WTTH/Harvest. By the end of it, we have a clear understanding of who the main characters are and the relationships between them. And, like Jesse's "surprise" turning (well, if you skipped the opening credits, that is), there's the shock of Urkonn's actions and demise. Very Whedonesque. And, as Buffy accepts that she'll kill demons while going to high school, Mel's ready to go about killing demons while she continues her regular life. It's not full-time to her...yet. And just as the Master awaited Buffy beneath the library, Mel becomes aware of mysterious adversaries. It's all setup.

On to the characters. There's Mel, of course. She's not Buffy. For one, she doesn't have the wardrobe. Buffy grew up in sunny California. Mel group up in the dark places beneath the big city. Mel is a thief. Buffy stole a tube of lipstick once. Buffy was the queen of some kind of cash crop, or maybe the vernal equinox. Mel's not used to having friends. On the surface, she seems more akin to Faith. On the other hand, it doesn't appear that she's going to go psycho, so one for the "big difference" category. Because, like Buffy, Mel has a moral code, something it took Faith a while to achieve. It's her own code, to be sure. Unlike Robin Hood, her reasons for stealing aren't too political. It was a happy surprise that she was still a thief at the end of the story. Yep, we've got another existential hero on our hands.

Now, one thing that's gotten on my nerves lately is that people have become so enamoured with the "obeys their own rules" aspect of the existential hero that it's all they focus on. Those tend to be the same people who root for the villain in the movie. It's about the "cool" side of existentialism, and the fact that these people don't have anyone to answer. The must have stopped reading their philosophy books before getting to the "responsibility" part. That's where Faith went wrong. And that's where "Fray" goes right. Mel is a hero. She wears the role differently than Buffy, however. Originally, Buffy was a crime fighter. Slaying was something she did, but it didn't have the emotional resonance it would later take on. It was until "Anne" that Buffy really accepted the role of protector, which she would later be acknowledged for. Mel's already there. Mel's journey may actually run a bit opposite to Buffy's. Buffy started as the hero and grew into the protector. I don't think Mel considers herself a hero yet, but she may come to in the future.

As for the other main characters, we have Mel's sister Erin. She actually reminds me of a combination of Kate Lockley and Kate's father. It's interesting to see the police here as more of an active force than they ever were on Buffy. Now they're used to mutants and scientific oddities. They're more prepared to face the supernatural. The world, in general, is more prepared. It'll be interesting to see the role of a slayer in such a plae. It could conceivably be similar to cultures where the role of the slayer is revered. Back to Erin, though. Not a whole lot to say, but I like her. I hope Mel doesn't take advantage of their relationship and Erin's knowledge of the supernatural to keep getting off the hook.

And Gunther. Snyderesque. He's a creep. But I like him. He also looks like a potential "funny pain" victim. He'll keep getting thrown out of the water like Giles kept getting knocked out.

There are tons of other things to discuss about this series, but I'm tired. Suffice it to say, I like this book. It's much better than the "Angel" series JW co-wrote. I'd be happy if Whedon started writing this monthly and it became the "Buffy" spinoff. It's not a Buffy comic. It's a Joss Whedon comic. He needs to do more.

[> Hey, hey it's Fray (spoilers Fray 8) -- ponygirl, 09:12:27 08/07/03 Thu

In line at the comic book store yesterday an acquaintance and a stranger both saw my Fray purchase in hand and we all rolled our eyes and said "finally."

I need to gather all my issues and do a serious reread because it is hard to form an opinion of the series as a whole after all these months. Right now I'm wondering how I would have felt reading the line "it's not enough" before seeing the First Slayer say it in Get It Done. Would it have echoed as much for me? And would the revelation about Urkonn have hit harder if it didn't now seem a retread of Skip? It becomes another case of if it looks like an evil demon it probably is an evil demon. Wouldn't it have been more interesting if he was a good guy after all, just a horribly ruthless one? I kind of wished that Urkonn had gotten a chance to make his point, I wouldn't have agreed with it, but it would have made the situation more grey. Or if he had been upfront from the beginning - as in, I represent people who are evil, but they want to you to win, so we'll work together - and we see their friendship grow despite everything. Obviously we would have lost the twist, but I wasn't that crazy about the twist.

Most of all, reading this post-Chosen, I'm starting to wonder if Joss is developing a problem with closure. Don't get me wrong, I really like Mel, I'd like to see her story continue, but the series now seems like a prelude to more rather than a self-contained story. After all this time I guess I just wanted more. Which makes me feel more like a good consumer than a loyal reader. ;)

Anya vs Merle --
JBone, 20:07:43 08/06/03 Wed

How is old Wesley, huh? Or the other two ya fired. They doin all right? Oh, gee, let me guess, you never even bothered to check!

Try out the stupid comment thing at the bottom of the showtime page. It's another guestbook thing that I thought I'd try before I started tearing out my hair learning new software. Yeah, I haven't started yet, and I have such pretty hair. It hasn't been tested, so if it doesn't work right, post yer comments here or email me.

June Player of the Month - Rupert Giles
Giles set an early pace in the first week of the Apocalypse when he beat Gavin by a plus 38 votes. Which, not counting the current week (I haven't checked), stands as the largest margin of victory thus far in the Apocalypse. Also considered: Harmony Kendall.

That was something fun I thought of. I haven't begun to consider who might be player of the month for July, and I wouldn't mind if someone else took this idea and ran with it. I'm thinking it might have to be more frequent when the second round starts. Maybe, a player of the week? I haven't figured where to stick it on the website yet, but I will. Maybe a separate "Awards" page? What do ya think?

[> Re: Anya vs Merle -- dub ;o), 20:32:55 08/06/03 Wed

Merle had a voice like a hinge that needed oiling. It made my head ache. Anya's voice was beautiful and melodic. It was only the things she said that made my head ache. I vote Anya.


[> Re: Anya vs Merle -- Jay, 20:50:57 08/06/03 Wed

ApOpHiS's comments are testing the limits right now, and it seems the guestbook is passing. Push it. I need to know.

[> Re: Anya vs Merle -- deeva, 08:11:17 08/07/03 Thu

I don't know much about Merle other than he had a knack for knowing the things that Angel wanted to hear about.

But it appears to me that our 4th of July baby has cajones that Merle will never have. But then I know nothing of Merle's physiology. He just seems like he would wet his pants in the face of danger. Does he even wear pants?

*sniff* unlike li'l Anya Emanuelle who went down fighting.

Fan Fiction Recommendations -- dmw, 07:20:31 08/07/03 Thu

What fan fiction stories would you recommend? I prefer good writing above anything else, but I'd like the people of the story to be in-character. However, I'm not necessarily looking for stories that slavishly follow the format and style of a Buffy season. That was television, and this is the written word. Perhaps more importantly, this is fan fiction, free of the strict requirements that limit most of the Buffy novelizations (with the notable exceptions of Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids all in a Row and The Lost Slayer.)

Let me start the thread off by sharing three of my recommendations:

Tulipp's Bread
This jewel of a short story is the perfect farewell to Buffy. Focusing on Willow, Tara, and Dawn, it tells the story of the summer after The Gift in a handful of moments where small changes made all the difference: A June night. A July morning. An August afternoon. It begins and ends with one of my favorite quotes from Ursula K LeGuin:
Love doesn't just sit there, like a stone;
it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time,
made new.

Tulipp has a superlative ability to deeply and compassionately understand the characters of Buffy, both their flaws and their strengths. While I'd read her work for her elegant style and beautiful descriptive writing alone, it's her command of character that allows her to write those small, often wordless, moments that touch me the most and that inspires me to reread her works. This story does not lead to any of the events of season 6.

Tulipp's Terra Firma
Willow returns with Dawn from their summer with the Coven in England after the events of season 6 (this story was written before season 7). Once again, Tulipp gathers up the discarded or underused threads of the past season's story and weaves them together in a new tapestry of surpassing beauty. We slowly learn to compassionately understand how each of the characters ended up where they were at the end of that season and how they can grow from there.

As with Bread, the major characters are Willow, Dawn, and yes, Tara; her return is a mystery whose depths we gradually explore throughout the course of the story. It also brings back my favorite villain of season 5: the wonderfully creepy Doc, who has his own past with a deeper connection to the Scoobies than you might have expected. However, this longer story takes the time to deal with the changes in all the Scoobies; I especially like what we learn about Giles's history and how he both fails and succeeds in dealing with Willow's changes over the course of this story.

Chapter 6, "Breathe," is a wonderful and powerful story in itself, whose ability to deal with complex issues without dialog reminds me of the episode Hush. However, my favorite chapter is the final one. The elemental imagery of the ending is beautiful, with each pair of element and person matching perfectly with the character's story and personality. The ending is more powerful emotionally than that of Grave, not only for Buffy and Dawn but also for Willow. As the title promises, it brings us, the readers, out of the storm that was season 6 to once again stand on firm ground, terra firma.

Anna S's Season Noir
If you want something that feels and reads like an actual season of Buffy, this story is the one for you. It successfully creates that dark under seige atmosphere that season 7 attempted but never succeeded in creating for me. She also gives Spike a great reason to exist as an ally of the Scoobies, while still maintaining the necessary tension between him belonging to the group and being an outsider. The tensions between the Scoobies are well written for the most part, and I think she does an excellent job of showing how fighting in a conflict that embraces all of Sunnydale in a way that none before ever has changes all of the Scoobies.

[> At the risk of being too bold... -- ZachsMind, 10:27:46 08/07/03 Thu

I look for Buffy fan fiction and I rarely find what I'm looking for, so off the top of my head I can't think of any recommendations.. Well except for the crap I've written myself, but to take this thread and use it to push my own wares? Perhaps that would be too bold of me, so I'll resist the temptation.

Rather, if I may be so bold, I'd like to add to DMW's sentiments what I'm personally looking for when it comes to Whedonesque fan fiction of the Buffy vein.

I don't look for slash or even shipper stuff. I'm what I prefer to call a 'plotter.' I want stuff that's Whedonesque in style, which focuses on the main characters and doesn't take liberties with the canonical information provided by the series. However, I also like to read about creative and extravagant happenings within the confines of Whedon's fictional universe. There's a number of ways to temporarily upset things but then the author would need to make sure to put everything back the way it was afterwards, so their story could coincide safely with more canonical material.

There. That's a very brief run down. Lemme go more into detail for those with longer attention spans. =) And to the rest of you, thanks for reading down this far.


1. No slash. Not that there's anything wrong with it, necessarily, but it's just not my thing. I personally am not interested in someone else's fantasy about character A & character B getting it on. Regardless of whether or not those two actually were an item in the actual run of the show.

2. Canonically apocryphal. By that I mean I like Buffy fan fiction which stays as true as possible to the characters, settings, and events of the Scooby gang as possible. To keep my attention, the piece should not introduce elements which would set the story outside the canonical events inside the series itself. Any fan fiction is by definition apocryphal when compared to the original source material, but I prefer reading stuff that could feasibly slide in between episodes or in between seasons, to better support the suspension of disbelief while reading it.

3. Doesn't allude to other apocryphal works. Unless said works are going to be very very good, cuz it means once I'm done reading story B I have to go back and find story A to see the context, and I'd rather just every apocryphal work stand alone. Obvious exceptions to this are episodic works, like the written equivalent of a two part episode, although unless written in script format, that shouldn't be necessary.

4. Stays true to characters. If done well, it is possible to put characters into a combination of situations that would lead them to act out of character. However, it's more interesting to see our familiar characters in new and interesting situations and experience them reacting much as we would imagine they would, based on our familiarity with them. It's possible to add knowledge about them which we have not heard before. Say for example the author mentions that Anya & Halfrek went to Woodstock and did drugs and got naked. So long as it doesn't contradict any other canonical 'fact' and remains in keeping with what we do know about the characters, I'll go along with it. However, if the writer states Anya wasn't a part of the Bolshevik Revolution, we learned from an episode of the series that she was, so the piece wouldn't be in keeping with the character, and would also not be canonically apocryphal.

5. Sounds appropriately Whedonesque. One of the first turn-offs when I read fan fiction is that it sounds anything other than something that might have come from Mutant Enemy. Admittedly, there were more writers on staff than Whedon, but notice that the series overall had a general feel about it. Though not every word was written by Joss, you get the feel he had his finger on the pulse of the series overall. There were some things shows could do, and some things it couldn't do. Jane Espenson's stuff tended to be funnier than most others, but humor persisted whether Espenson was involved or not. If a writer's voice is so distinctly unique as to not be capable of sounding like a Buffy episode, then the writer should not be spending time writing fan fiction.

To be Whedonesque about the fan fiction, it's important to understand the characters very well. This takes work. For example, you could describe Xander riding a skateboard because we saw him do it. Once. However, he wasn't very good at it, and although he may have skateboarded off camera periodically, it would be hard to convincingly describe him skateboarding after high school. We also never saw Oz skateboard, and it does not seem in keeping with his character, but you might be able to write it so that it was convincing.

6. Have fun with the story elements. The piece should try stuff that couldn't be done in the tv series. Fan fiction has the unlimited budget of a human reader's imagination. While still holding true to the world Whedon made, it should try something completely new. You can turn the sky pink if you want, so long as it goes back to blue by the story's end. Leave Joss Whedon's sandbox as you found it, but build something truly extraordinary while you're there.

7. Focus on the main characters. This one's a tricky one to explain. First off, there's a reason why a lot of people make fun of Mary Sue fiction. I believe it has it's place, but if you're basically writing yourself into Buffy's world, you're entertaining yourself more than you are your audience. I know from personal experience. I've attempted to write Mary Sue styled fanfic and I've tried reading it. We're basically talking intellectual masturbation here. It doesn't work. You can rationalize it all you want but bottom line is you're minimizing your potential audience and I for one will probably stop reading soon as I figure it out. So if you're gonna write Mary Sue fanfic? You better be really good at hiding it.

Secondly, I will admit that Buffy is not my favorite character. However, a truly Buffyesque sounding fanfic makes her the center of attention. After all, the show is named after her. Rarely if ever was Buffy the one in distress and the others had to save her. Usually it came down to Buffy saving her friend, or a stranger, or the town, or the world, or the universe. Her friends were there to help, but Buffy almost always dealt the final blow. It's her world. Primarily, everything should revolve around her.

There are exceptions to this rule of course. If the writer is purposefully wanting to explore things from another character's perspective, then that character would naturally be the center of attention instead, but that should be explained up front. Spike & Dru fiction can be even better than some Buffy canon episodes, but it should be labelled as such up front so people know this is gonna be something different. Whether it be Ripperesque, Zeppoesque or Blessedbe, the label up front should be clear. I wanna know it's Buffy absent before I read the first paragraph. Also keep in mind the further away from the Buffy Core, the less Whedonesque it is. I've personally wanted to write fanfic focusing on Jonathan & Amy and a couple other lesser known characters, but the further from Buffy the harder it gets to write.

8. Know the Core and know the Score. As I explained above, Buffy is the center of the Buffy universe. Everything revolves around her. When this gets upset, like in season five where Dawn & Glory often became the center of attention, Buffy would one way or the other come out shining brighter than the rest. She may go down, but never for the count. Immediately surrounding Buffy are Willow, Xander and Giles. After Giles left for England, his place was temporarily filled by either Spike, Anya, or some other character depending on the needs of the scene. Anya often said the complicated exposition about ancient past stuff which Giles would usually look up. Spike would often operate as a sounding board for Buffy when Giles wasn't there. However, Spike & Anya were never truly Core. Others would come and go, but Buffy, Xander & Willow were always the foundation of the series, as was Giles until around season four when he started drifting a bit outside the circle. A fanfic not taking this into account is written by someone who doesn't know the core and doesn't know the score, and their effort will weaken because of it. Again, I know from personal experience.

And again, there's exceptions. Maybe you want to dwell on the summer without Buffy, when everyone believed her dead after season five. When that happened, the core changed. Willow became the key figure. The core kinda expanded around Willow to include not only Giles & Xander but also Tara, Dawn, Anya and Spike. Notice that in the season six premiere, it was Willow, Anya, Tara and Xander who worked together to raise Buffy from the dead. Willow trusted those three over the others, which meant technically Spike, Dawn, and Giles were outside Willow's core. However, depending on the circumstances, a story taking place after The Gift and before Bargaining might have Willow depending more on Spike Dawn & Giles if she thought maybe there was something wrong with Anya per se.

Finally, the Score is something that changed from one season to the next and sometimes from one episode to the next. A good Buffy fanfic writer needs to know which character combinations work and which ones don't from a temporal perspective. Faith didn't appear until Buffy's senior year of high school and became a villianous before Graduation. Oz became a werewolf in season two and left the series in season four. So if a story's written that includes Oz & Faith, and Faith's on good terms with everybody, it's either an alternate reality story or it's happening between "Faith, Hope & Trick" and "Bad Girls." That's only about eleven episodes. If either Anya or Spike are in the mix, that restricts the where and when even further.

They also need to understand why some locations can't be used without care. The high school was a shambles after Graduation until it was rebuilt for season seven, so a story taking place between seasons four and six that includes the high school would need an internal explanation as to why. Likewise, a story taking place in season six that incorporated The Initiative underneath the college? No go. Maybe a rag tag group of ex-Initiative operatives could temporarily be found setting up base elsewhere, but after the season four finale there was little left. Further, a storyline that literally assumed The Initiative was cemented shut would go against the season seven episode that witnessed Buffy & Spike re-entering the Initiative for the first time since season four.

[> [> one question -- WickedBuffy, 10:35:46 08/07/03 Thu

First - great post - it answered many questions I hadn't gotten far enough in fan fic to think about yet.

::looking evilly at my one lone story::

I wasn't clear on the Whedonesqueity part. Were you saying to write in an ME writers style? As in, write in Janes voice? No new voices, even if it follows all other rules to a "t"?

[> [> [> Re: one question -- ZachsMind, 12:15:17 08/07/03 Thu

Well it's hard to explain. And keep in mind all this rambling is just my opinion. It's just what I'm looking for in Buffy Fic. I'm not saying anything that doesn't fit MY vision of what Buffy fanfic should be just can't be Buffy fanfic. I mean, my own writing pales here. I don't meet up to my own expectations. Buffy fanfic writing is not as easy as it looks, and chances are if it's coming to you really easy? You may be doing it wrong.

My opinion and a couple bucks git you a cup of coffee at Starbucks. I don't wanna hear people bitchin' at me cuz my opinions differ from others. Of course they differ. That's to be expected.

First off, you're gonna use your voice. There's no escaping that. So there is technically no way we can become identical to the Mutant Enemy, Joss Whedon, insert your favorite Buffy cast & crew names here *SOUND* per se. You can't use Jane's voice cuz you're not Jane Espenson. However, it's kinda like celebrity impersonators. They don't literally become their target. They emulate the target and then kinda put new words in the target's mouth, like Dana Carvey doing Bush Sr. He'll say "thousand point of light.. stay the course.." and then he'll say something rude about Clinton's mother. However, he rarely if ever cusses while impersonating Bush Sr., except on rare occasion when it's really really funny. The further away from the target, the greater the risk ruining the illusion.

They say it's the sincerest form of flattery. Some claim it's an insincere form of plagiarism. There's a fine line one must dance to impersonate the Whedonesque style properly. Go too far one way and you might as well be writing original material. Go too far the other way and people will just call you a hack.

If one were to study the various episodes and compare them to the author names, they would find trends. I happened by pure chance to learn that some of the funniest episodes were written by Espenson. She basically sets the bar in that area. "Band Candy" and "Earshot" for example. Or "Doublemeat Palace." Or Angel season one's "Room w/a Vu" which is still in my opinion one of the best episodes ever written for the spinoff, and Espenson nailed Cordy down to a tee with how the word "bitch" triggered her competitive side. Watching Charisma Carpenter's reaction to the trigger "bitch" was like watching Gloria Swanson's reaction to the word "camera" at the end of Sunset Boulevard. It gave me the same kinda chills. A lightbulb just turns on in the eyes. Breathtaking work... Okay that's acting and not writing, but Espenson GOT Carpenter to that moment. Sheer brilliance from start to finish.

However, not every Buffy story has been funny, and your sense of humor may not mesh well with BtVS. That's okay. Not every Buffy story sounds exactly the same. The episode "Sleeper" doesn't sound at all like "The Witch." Still there are some correlations one can find and some similar agreeance to the internal physics of the Buffy World. There are times when those physical laws can be broken and there are times when they can't.

There are admittedly a lot of voices that can be heard in BtVS. Marti Noxon's voice, for better (in my opinion) or for worse (in that of others) is all over season six. It's dark. It's daring. It's raw and unapologetically angsty. God I love season six! However, it's also a far cry from the more plot driven season four or damn near cathartic season five. Exactly who does what is hard to fathom. Sometimes when asked, even the writers themselves aren't quite sure. Often Buffy was written by committee, with one person submitting an early draft based on notes and ideas batted around by Whedon and others, then that draft would be passed around and screened and sometimes writers would each do separate drafts and then trade drafts and edit each other's work. Sometimes different writers would take different acts, or different plot breakdowns. Episodes like "Life Serial" or "Conversations With Dead People" were definitely group efforts, focusing on Espenson, Goddard, and Fury.

Is there one voice? No. It's more like a chorus really. Although not 100% penned by Joss Whedon, I often refer to the voice of Buffy overall as "Whedonesque" out of respect to the originator of the storyline as well as cuz it's simply easier to do that than try to spend forty paragraphs trying to explain just how they really did it behind the scenes for almost a decade. Is there a difference between the Whedonesque voice and most fanfic out there? You bet your booty. You gotta understand the theme. You gotta understand where the series purposefully stays real and where it turns into a parody of other styles of storytelling (and sometimes even a parody of itself). So few fanfic writers bother to do this. It's too much like homework.

If you want to write just a romantic interlude between two characters who were not romantically involved in the course of the series, chances are you're using your voice and not the Whedon voice. Or at the very least you're using Hallmark's voice. Either way, it's not consistent with the source material. Buffy tales usually incorporate action. There is some romance, but not at the expense of a plot. Buffy stories show the ordinary mixing it up with the extraordinary. There's almost always a comparison going on between fictional monsters and the real nightmares of every day living.

There's almost always humor even if it's dark and subtle.
The humor almost always develops organically out of the moment How each of the ladies react to the love spell in "Him" for example. It wouldn't have been funny if Dawn went to rob a bank, but when Anya did it it was downright hilarious because for her greedy character it made perfect sense. Buffy with the bazooka, then Spike chasing after her in the background while Principal Wood is oblivious in the foreground? It was very out there but the moment wasn't forced, it just sorta evolved naturally from the course of events.

There's almost always a talisman or an amulet or a gourd or some kinda something. It always does something simultaneously cool and annoying. Something's always in jeopardy. Something's always causing it. Buffy and her friends are the only ones who can stop it. Police only enter the situation if it's impossible not to include them, and never can any legitimate criminal justice entity deal with the stuff Buffy has to deal with - and likewise Buffy never gets mixed up with more mundane stuff better left to the police. Buffy knows her beat.

Notice how by season five vampires became almost an afterthought. They began being the thing that Buffy did in between bigger things, and stopped being the end all be all itself. Still, she should slay at least one vampire somewhere in the story, just so she can still call herself the slayer.

You gotta understand each character and how they interact with one another. Each character has a distinctive voice. Xander uses humor when he's nervous. Oz uses as few words as physically possible to speak volumes. Faith's affected street talk is the stuff of legend. Buffy's a mallrat at heart. She's a distant relative of the 80s Valley Girl species, and her language (moreso in earlier seasons but even slightly up to the end) should depict that.

Some characters are more honest and open with their feelings than others. Spike says "bollocks" a lot, and from season four onward is simultaneously a bad guy and a good guy in one way or another. Giles prefers tea to coffee unless he hasn't slept recently, and he takes off his glasses and cleans them at least once every episode. Anya hates bunnies, but loves what they do in their spare time. Xander never gets super powers, and he's usually the first to get thrown across the room. Cordy and Buffy were two sides of the same coin: Cordy was what Buffy would have been had she never become the Slayer.

Deep down Willow resents being Buffy's sidekick. This affects her motives and actions far more than might be noticeable on the surface. Willow is still waters run deep personified. Personally I believe this to be a cornerstone of what makes the series tick. Certainly it's what makes Willow tick. Furthermore, without Buffy? Willow would have become a bad guy and not a good guy. They are inexplicably intertwined and need each other on levels far surpassing mere words. Or slash, for that matter. =)

You gotta remember the history of the storyline, the arc, where the writers were going with the canon material, and THEN you have to extrapolate past that to fill in blanks left by the Mutant Enemy writing staff without adversely breaking from the continuity of the series as a whole.

It's not as easy as it sounds. I've tried repeatedly myself and I feel I fall short. I look for fanfic written by people who can accomplish all this. Actually, what I find more often is stuff where people have an idea that has nothing to do with BtVS, and for some reason they insist on trying to incorporate it into the Buffy world. This makes me wonder why they don't just write original fiction.

It's like my opinion of Highlander the motion picture versus its many sequels and the accompanying tv series. I don't believe any of the stuff that came after the first film sounds like the work of the original. Entertaining? Perhaps, but from the point in the second film where it's mentioned that the immortals are from another planet. It's like taking a Snickers bar and putting it in a Milky Way wrapper. It would be like saying Buffy is really a mermaid from Atlantis. It completely changes the original work in a way that doesn't support it or improves upon it in any substantial way.

Good fanfic has to be in keeping with its original source material, elevating its source in tribute while simultaneously taking the reader to new exciting stories. It's not easy. If you stay true to Buffy's world, and the laws intrinsic to its source material, your voice will have a Whedonesque flair, and you'll probably be safe.

Now, if you can do ALL the above, and THEN have a scene where Giles is crossdressing and singing "Timewarp?" I'll be VERY impressed. =) Not holding my breath though.

[> [> [> [> You just explained in 1 post what I haven't discovered in reading a thousand others. Thank-you. -- WB, 16:04:55 08/07/03 Thu


I also appreciate the time you took to explain everything. I find your opinions and visions of the form enlightening and intriguing. They also seem very solid.

One more question - (sorry, I'm always a curious one and when I find an admirable source, I can't help but want more).

"Good fanfic has to be in keeping with its original source material, elevating its source in tribute while simultaneously taking the reader to new exciting stories. It's not easy. If you stay true to Buffy's world, and the laws intrinsic to its source material, your voice will have a Whedonesque flair, and you'll probably be safe."

Is this a little (little) similar in some ways to how the the novels of "Thieves World" are done? I realize there was never a core of original writers as there was for BtVS, but there is universe set down with certain boundaries and overlapping characters, but done by a variety of writers.

I know it is not fanfic, I'm just looking for comparisons to styles I'm more familiar with. I would guess that Marion Zimmer Bradleys "Swords & Sorcery" series is not even close to being an analogy for this.

Where have you hidden your fanfic, btw?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: You just explained in 1 post what I haven't discovered in reading a thousand others. Thank-you. -- ZachsMind, 16:44:52 08/07/03 Thu

Actually yeah I think Thieves World is a good comparison. Now granted, it was invented by Robert Aspirin with others as a purposeful shared reality within which they could tell their stories. Whatever the people before you wrote down, you accepted as gospel and then wrote around or beyond it. It was designed from the start with this in mind.

Buffy's World is kinda designed that way too, but it was only for people who were actually on Mutant Enemy's payroll. So those of us who do fanfiction are kinda like crashing the party.

Which can be fun. =)

Oh and my junk is over at

[> [> [> [> [> [> The Long and Glorious Tradition of Fanfic -- dmw, 18:38:51 08/07/03 Thu

Buffy's World is kinda designed that way too, but it was only for people who were actually on Mutant Enemy's payroll. So those of us who do fanfiction are kinda like crashing the party.

Fan fiction has a long and glorious tradition, predating the idea that people could own stories. Look at the Greek playrights' retelling of the Greek stories or Ovid's much later retelling in Latin. In more modern times, there's Tom Stoppard's play Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead. Only in recent times have people dared to think that they could own culture to such a degree that they could disallow fan fiction.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> This is a dangerous debate to enter in this forum... -- ZachsMind, 10:36:18 08/08/03 Fri

There's a lot of things the greeks and romans did which I wouldn't advise doing today. Throwing Christians to lions for example - not good for the complexion.

I imagine there are quite emotional opinions on both sides of the intellectual property / fan fiction debate. It's only been in the past century or so that the idea of intellectual property has become such a big business. It kinda sucks that we have to pay for stories. However, it would suck if Whedon & his crew put so much effort into it and then didn't get paid.

So you may argue. They already got paid. It's our turn now. Not so. It's still his sandbox. He's still playing in it. The only reason fanfiction proliferates is because no one's ever proven it has any economic effect whatsoever. That doesn't mean it's legal. It's just that it's not financially viable for anyone to bother combatting it.

If I were to come up with an idea for a setting in which characters of my design could coexist and interact in a series of events that gave rise to conflict and romance and adventure, and I was able to make money doing this and entertain lots of people, I'd get pretty ticked off if other people came along, used my setting and characters and went off and did their own thing without so much as a 'by your leave, milud' or anything.

Granted, that doesn't stop me from DOING fanfic, but I try to have at least an attempt at respect for someone else's property. Yes it's been going on for as long as stories have been told, but there's a reason why we remember the name Hans Christian Anderson. He put his name on a lot of stories. Doesn't necessarily mean he made them all up all by himself. He may have heard stories told by others around campfires or in taverns, changed a few things here and there, wrote them down in a tangible form and signed his name at the bottom. History says that makes them his. Yet they belong to humanity. Others take his stories, redesign them and turn them into anything from saturday morning cartoons to Disneyfied major motion pictures. Then they own them, yet they belong to humanity.

So if I write a story about Buffy and Angel, do I own that story, or does Whedon? Like I said. Dangerous debate for this forum.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: This is a dangerous debate to enter in this forum... -- Rendyl, 11:25:22 08/08/03 Fri

Writers University -

Everything you wanted to know about the (very) murky arena of copyright law and how it applies to derivative works. (like fan fiction, parody, critical essays, etc)

For most creative endeavors whether or not you make money off the work copied has nothing to do with whether or not you are breaking the law. Most fan fiction falls into the 'if the author doesn't object, then you are probably safe' category. Safe, but still violating copyright law. Most fanfic authors state a disclaimer at the beginning of a story but legally it is kinda pointless to do so. It won't deflect a lawsuit if the original author chooses to complain.

Some authors very loudly protest the use of their work by anyone but themselves (McCaffrey and Rice come to mind, while others only take action in certain situations. And many don't seem to care.

(and yes, I do understand I am surfing on the wrong side of the law by putting fan fic up on my website. -grin- But until the original author/creator asks me to remove it or until the laws are better explained and/or enforced it will stay up)

I do have a comment though. I am very careful to get permission for any work I showcase on my site. People work hard on their stuff and I don't mind clearing my use with them. BUT- I am still always (evil grin) amused by the 'this is my work, don't copy it' discaimers on most fanfiction. There is little logic in copying from someone, then forbidding everyone else to copy from you. ;)

Ren - Carl Sandburg (however) is happily in the public domain -

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ack! Clarification -- Rendyl, 11:33:34 08/08/03 Fri

There are several good sites on copyright law and because it is slightly murky it never hurts to cross reference anything you find.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> So. Wait. Are you agreeing with me? -- ZachsMind, 12:18:22 08/08/03 Fri

I'm confused. I thought I said what you said, just that I didn't say it as well. I mean just cuz everybody's doing it and most fan fiction artists are not getting sued, that doesn't mean it's right.

As the copyright laws exist presently, it's still technically wrong. Rendyl's absolutely right in saying that disclaimers do nothing. If Mutant Enemy wanted to pour millions of dollars into attorneys today, all our fan fiction on the 'Net would go belly up tomorrow. And there needs to be some kind of... well not legislation or.. well maybe legislation! Protection! I think if fan fiction artists want to defend their right to do what they do, there's gotta be some way to take the bull by the horns. I believe fan fiction SHOULD be okay. It should be acceptable. It's not, and it wouldn't take very much beyond money to take away our right to explore these fictional universes as fans of those universes.

There isn't a legal distinction between literally stealing copyrighted material for profit and borrowing copyrighted material as an echphrastic tribute to the original work. Comparatively, the music industry is slowly winning its battle of stopping fans of music from sharing one another's music collections freely online. There is no legal leg to stand on for mere fans, and the music industry does have a legitimate gripe - it's literally impossible to tell the difference between a mere fan and someone blatantly trying to rip musicians and the industry off. Blatantly digitizing and copying music without changing it in any way is not art. It's copying. And slowly inch by inch the music industry is legally proving that copying is illegal. The money. The lawyers. The litigation, and some day the very policing of it all will be in their hands, meaning fans will have no rights in that area whatsoever.

This cannot be tolerated for fan fiction. We cannot capitulate. There IS an ethical and artistic distinction between ecphrastic literary art and blatant commercial theft. That distinction is monetary. Somehow there must be a way for fan fiction artists to rally together and defend their rights.

"Or we could just sit around and glare..."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: So. Wait. Are you agreeing with me? -- Er...this isn't Pismo Beach?, 13:32:26 08/08/03 Fri

Sorry. I meant to pop up under dmw but it came out under yours instead. The workings of Voynak are not to be underestimated.

Fan fiction writers have no rights over someone else's work. I don't agree they should have. I do appreciate that many writers allow fanfic writers to use their characters and settings but to go so far as to declare we all have a 'right' to do so is infringing on the work they imagined and created. Shared universes are nice but they usually include all the writers agreeing to share. Most fanfic doesn't get permission first.

I am not stingy. If someone wanted to borrow one of my OC or story settings I would likely okay it. But if I found my chars in some badly written, porno-esque thing I would throw a fit and have the story taken down. My work - my right.

So I think I agreed, and disagreed with you. :)

Ren - no 'Cass does the Lone Gunmen' allowed - (even if poor Langly really needs it)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Voynak lives to confuse and torment me... -- Rendyl, 13:35:00 08/08/03 Fri

Or it could be I am just really out of it today...sigh

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Regarding the legalities -- s'kat, 19:59:55 08/08/03 Fri

This is a field I'm somewhat of an expert in, having worked in it for six years. ;-) (As some may know, I used to
negotiate agreements with journals and magazines to put content online, also granted permission, and registered trademarks and created a copyright policy for my company.)

Regarding copyright and fanfic? Rendyl and Zachsmind are both correct. Co-opting characters and worlds copyrighted and trademarked by someone else is illegal and technically speaking an infringement of copyright law. However, copyright is part of intellectual property and the overriding purpose of property law is protecting the rights of the owner/creator.
People generally only sue someone if they are getting hurt, financially, physically or emotionally in some way. The best way to interpret copyright infringement is to ask yourself this question: Am I hurting the owner by using h/ir product in this way? If you are? Stop, desist. If not?
Don't worry about it.

Why did McAffrey and Rice insist people stop writing fanfiction using their characters, while Whedon seems to encourage it? A couple of reasons, the biggest one being the medium these people work within, the second being who owns the rights, although I think the Kuzuis and Fox, being savvy business people realize that encouraging or ignoring fanfic is far more profitable than stopping it - hey look what it did for Star Trek.

People writing fanfic based on characters in serialized books does not help the writers of those books, if anything, the fanfic is in competition with those writers.
IF I can go download a story about Lestate and Louis off, why would I bother paying for one, unless I'm devoted to the writer not the characters? Many readers read books for characters and could care less about the writer.
And if a fanfic writer does a good job of copying the writer's style - then why go buy the writer's book? As a result the writer loses a customer. Fanfic derived from books does not further interest necessarily in the original books or more books in that series - instead it furthers interest in a competing product with the same characters. For the same reason - we don't see writers such as Nancy Holder and Christopher Golden being permitted to write sequels to the Lestate Chronicles or DragonRiders of Pern.
Same thing with copying albums off the internet - which Napster did - if you can copy Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit or Nora Jones latest album off the net, why go buy it in the record store? The Napster free copying system became a competing product and deprived the owners of the songs of their royalties.

Star Trek and BTVS and ATS are television shows. TV is a whole different situation. Now if you could create fanfic tv shows with the same actors and post them then yes, that would be a competing product and Fox would sue you. But by creating written versions of these characters or electronic books - all you are doing is furthering viewers' interest in the characters. I have to admit, whenever I got disenchanted with what was on screen - I'd go to fanfic - which succeeded in renewing my interest in what was going on - onscreen. If it weren't for fanfic? I might have stopped watching. I've heard others state the same thing.
Also fanfic will often explain a gap in the show or fix a fault. Not to mention, free advertising. Fox, the Kuzuis and ME would have to be nuts to discourage fanfic. Or just plain dumb. They aren't. Whedon and his writers encourage it with sly references in the show - re-watch Storyteller, Beneath You, and Help - some obvious references to fanfic in those episodes. Also a nifty reference in Chosen with the "there could be oil" line. They have learned from Gene Roddenberry and Star Trek - why do you think Star Trek managed to survive in the cult consciousness as long as it did? It wasn't just the reruns. It was partly the fanfic.
TV is perfect for fanfic - no competition.

The only times fanfic can be a problem is:

1. if a fanfic writer stumbles upon the actual arc of the show - causing ME to have to change a story arc or worry about being sued for plagirism. ME as a result does not read fanfic -- they can't afford to, or they could be sued for picking up an idea from it and not crediting the original writer. Even though they have people who do - just to make sure they are covered and aren't doing the same stories the fanfic writers are doing. (The people who read it - probably also read ME's scripts and say whether there's something out there that is exactly like or not without going into too much detail. The TV/Movie industry is paranoid about plagirism - they've been burned a few times.)

2. fanfic writer plagirizes the story through spoilers prior to the airing of the episode - if you use actual dialogue prior to the episode airing or from casting sides?
Watch out. Fox may sue you. That could interfer with people's enjoyment of the series or cost them viewers. It did in the case of Seeing Red.

3. if the fanfic writer makes money off the fic or does it for commercial gain in any way? They will probably sue you - because now you are competing with their ancillary products division and they have very precise rules regarding ancillary products.

The business test regarding whether anyone will bother suing you over copyright infringement is: have you hurt them by using their property? The law regarding copyright infringement - is if someone else owns it? You have to ask permission and they do own and have copyright in it the moment they write/create it and show it to someone else.

Hope that helps clarify things a bit.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Really don''t agree with you here... -- KdS, 04:22:41 08/09/03 Sat

People writing fanfic based on characters in serialized books does not help the writers of those books, if anything, the fanfic is in competition with those writers.
IF I can go download a story about Lestate and Louis off, why would I bother paying for one, unless I'm devoted to the writer not the characters? Many readers read books for characters and could care less about the writer.
And if a fanfic writer does a good job of copying the writer's style - then why go buy the writer's book? As a result the writer loses a customer. Fanfic derived from books does not further interest necessarily in the original books or more books in that series - instead it furthers interest in a competing product with the same characters. For the same reason - we don't see writers such as Nancy Holder and Christopher Golden being permitted to write sequels to the Lestate Chronicles or DragonRiders of Pern.

I don't think there's any kind of distinction between prose and drama. I don't know what gave you the idea, but I think that most people who read prose fiction do like the author's prose as much as the characters, and wouldn't see fanfic as a replacement for, or an excuse not to buy, the "official" works. I think McCaffrey and Rice's well-known hostility to fanfic is more down to their own (perfectly defensible) emotional feelings of violation than any difference between prose and drama.

Agree with you on the problem of similarities of plot between fanfic and official material. The makers of Babylon 5 actually did end up in legal wrangling when they used a plot idea in the series which it turned out someone had speculatively suggested in a newsgroup. (Although, to my mind, if a plot idea you suggested in a fan forum gets used in a show, the moral response would be to feel pleased that you predicted the authors' thought process rather than getting greedy and sueing.) You do feel when something like that happens that some fan authors are just incredibly on the wavelength of ME's minds. I recently read a fanfic story which was written immediately post-S4 and predicted the emotional nature of Spike and Buffy's actual S6 relationship with incredible accuracy, although the circumstances that the writer used to put them in that mindset to start with were very AU.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sigh...clarifying -- s'kat, 08:14:59 08/09/03 Sat

Actually - the difference isn't between prose and drama but between the visual (I see it on TV) vs. the visual (read a book)medium.

And from a legal perspective, it is easier to steal something from a book than a tv show and reproduce it.

Someone can write a sequel to Interview with A Vampire
and send it off over the internet and it could be seen as a competing product with Anne Rice's sequel. Granted it's more likely Anne Rice's will sell and most people prefer
her writing. But - there are people who will take what they can get with no money being spent.

Someone can not film an episode of BTVS and produce it with the same cast and send it off over the internet. Yes, they can write scripts and fanfic sequels, but they can't film it. BTVS is not a script or a play - it's a tv show with actors, makeup, costumes, etc - impossible to reproduce that
collaborative effort. So no fanfic is going to come close to competing with that. A fanfic sequel of Interview? Pretty dang close.

Honestly? If I was creating a tv show - I'd love to see fanfic of it. If I was a published author with books out?
I'd make sure there wasn't any. For the reasons stated above.

Probably still explaining it badly. But no, I don't think it was just about emotional violation. I think Rice and McAffry had legitimate business concerns.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Except of course that a fanfic sequel has very slim odds of being that good -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:20:17 08/09/03 Sat

Most authors can rest comfortable in the knowledge that almost all of the fanficcers of the world can't write as well as they can.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Authors are rarely that egotistical about their work, as to assume no one's better. -- ZachsMind, 16:47:34 08/09/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fanfiction tends to draw a lot of really bad writers -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:26:29 08/09/03 Sat

I'm not sure if that's just because the general population has a lot of really bad writers, or if there's something about fanfiction that holds extra appeal for the bad ones. Only a very small percentage of fanfiction writers seem to be even moderately good. And, assuming a writer popular enough to inspire fanfiction must be pretty good, the odds of an even better writer turning up amid the oceans of bad is pretty darn slim.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's sort of subjective though...because -- s'kat, 12:22:46 08/10/03 Sun

There's a lot of bad writing that gets published too.
And gets made into movies. Or we see on TV.

Truth's not limited to fanfiction. Also as I've discovered: one person's idea of bad writing is another's concept of genius.

Example: when Ulysses by James Joyce was first published
many critics panned it. Said it was horrible. Now it's made the top 100 best novels of the century.

Same thing on Stephen King - many critics believe King to be a horrible, sloppy lousey writer, yet he is a best seller.

Or The Pirates of The Carribean - some critics despise it others love it.

Truth is? What you might consider bad writing - may someday considered fantastic. Sometimes, not always, it really is a subjective thing. Which is one of the reasons writing is such a tough profession to do well in.

You can point to objective considerations such as : bad grammar, typos, plot-holes, lack of plot, out of character moments - but truth is? I've seen them all in published novels and some in movies and tv shows. Heck, the novelization of Season 7, Chosen, is allegedly ripe with typos and grammatical errors. Yet it's on the shelves.

Copyright could care less about whether a writer is good or bad. All it cares about is if you wrote and published your work and if someone took a piece of it without your permission and after you clearly published it first.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sturgeon's Law: Quality and Fan Fiction (plus Joss vs King) -- dmw, 14:37:26 08/10/03 Sun

There's a famous quote from author Theodore Sturgeon about the quality of science fiction that I think applies equally well to this discussion of the quality of fan fiction: "Sure, 90% of science fiction is crud. That's because 90% of everything is crud."

That said, I do think that the publishing houses set a certain minimimum standard of quality which eliminates many of the lowest quality works, though as with any human selection process, it's subjective and fallible, allowing some bad books to slip through and eliminating some good books that should've been published. I have also noticed a decline in the quality of proofreading over the last 20 years, perhaps due to the reliance on cheaper automated software over expensive human professionals.

I think there is such a thing as quality of writing, though it isn't completely objective. In general, what I mean when I recommend a fan fiction is that if it was a book available for purchase at a bookstore, I'd buy it. That's a criterion which most fan fiction stories fail to meet, but it's also a criterion most published novels fail to meet. There's definitely an overlap in quality between published books and fan fiction novels; I can think of a dozen or so fan fics I prefer over any of the Buffy novelizations and over the majority of the Buffy episodes. I can also think of many more that are worse than any of the novelizations or episodes.

As an aside, it's interesting that you brought up Stephen King as the widely variable quality of his writing reminds me of Joss. Joss has worked on some really good movies like Toy Story and some really bad ones like Waterworld or Alien Resurrection; similarly, King has worked on some really good ones like The Shawshank Redemption and Stand By Me and some bad ones like Sometimes They Come Back. Joss' masterpiece, Buffy, suffered when he attempted to change theme and direction, and so did King's, The Stand, when he tried to make a similar sort of change though in the opposite direction.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What sort of change was made with "The Stand"? -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:55:04 08/10/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> He updated it to reflect current fads, etc. & added in deleted pages. -- WB, 16:36:10 08/10/03 Sun

In 1991, The Stand was rereleased in it's original and uncut version. This edition included hundreds of pages of previously unpublished material, some of which had been just cut from the original The Stand release, and some of which had been reworked by Stephen King to move The Stand to the 1990s.

"THE STAND:THE COMPLETE & UNCUT EDITION includes more than 500 pages of material deleted, along with new material that King added as he reworked the manuscript for a new generation."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What sort of change was made with "The Stand"? -- dmw, 17:33:25 08/10/03 Sun

Actually, I wasn't talking about his later release of what was more or less his original version, but rather the point in the late middle of the book where he changed directions. The story is in his book On Writing. I knew precisely what point in the book he was talking about, as I noticed the change when I first read the book.

The explosion at the Council in Boulder is the turning point. After the explosion, the book changes from a more or less realistic discussion of the plague and its consequences with limited supernatural elements to a metaphorical and spiritual journey in the style of the OT prophets to confront the evil in Las Vegas.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It had lots of turning points -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:59:43 08/10/03 Sun

It started out with several small scale drama stories. Those got incorporated into a sci-fi disaster story, which soon became an exploration of rebuilding society, and that grew into a fantasy journey. I, frankly, just took changing of themes and genres as a natural flow of the book, which it was quite fun to get into the rhythm of (also, it wasn't until the later part of the book, when things get more fantasy-esque that Flagg got interesting).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I do think fanfic inspires laziness, though -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:08:53 08/10/03 Sun

A lot of people seem willing to accept lower quality and put less effort into fanfic then they would if it were an original, published work. I am guilty of this myself. As such, I think fanfic in general does tend to suffer from people who feel, "Eh, it's just fanfic, no one will care if this plot's really flimsy, or if this character's out of whack, or if the descriptions are horribly confusing and/or spartan".

Add in the fact that the really bad books rarely grab enough fans to inspire fanfiction, and there is usually something of a gap between the average fanfic and the source material.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's not illegal unless somebody presses charges -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:34:08 08/09/03 Sat

Take this scenario as an example:

I stop over at somebody's house. They're not really a friend of mine, just sort of an aquaintence (sp?). While I'm there, this aquaintence leaves the room for a moment, and I take a can of pop from his fridge and start drinking it. The aquaintence comes back into the room and sees me with his can of pop, but doesn't stop me from drinking it. Have I stolen his pop? No. By not attempting to stop me, the aquaintence is giving unspoken permission for me to drink his can of pop.

The same applies to fanfic. Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, and FOX have never attempted to ban "Buffy" fanfiction. So, by not pressing charges for copyright infringement, they are giving unspoken permission for people to write fanfic.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Woah wait, backup a parsec.. -- ZachsMind, 16:59:16 08/09/03 Sat

If you're the pop owner's friend, and they invite you into their home, and walk you into their kitchen, and then when they step out of the room you help yourself to a can of soda without permission? No it's not illegal. It's unscrupulous perhaps but just in a tiny way. One can argue the semantics and differences of opinion here. It would be POLITE to ASK, but it's not required. If the friend has literally come out and said "help yourself to the fridge" or words to that effect, fine. Otherwise it'd be polite to ask. Still, the guy let you INTO his home, probably on the understanding that if you are the sort to steal from him, it probably won't be much more than a can of soda, and perhaps his girlfriend when he's not looking. *rolls eyes*

Fanfic isn't a matter of inviting someone onto their premises. An author of a commercial, copyrighted work doesn't get to decide who has the right to experience his work. With the inclusion of libraries, and the sharing of books among friends, an author can't require that a person pay for 'admittance' into the fictional reality they've created. A work of literature, or a tv show for that matter, isn't the same as a house. It's barely comparable to a public market or a town square. When someone writes fanfic, while I fall short of calling it a direct violation of someone else's artistic expression, it IS taking liberties that go beyond a mere aquisition of soda from someone else's fridge. There should be some level of respect for the work, even if you're blatantly satirizing it for humorous impact. Otherwise you might as well be telling pollack jokes.

As for something only being illegal if legal charges are filed? Speeding is still against the law even if there's no cops around to enforce it. The idea of it only being wrong if you're caught? Shoplifting, vandalism, and a lot of other things are crimes whether someone is there to witness it, or there to press charges.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I made sure to mention acquaintence, not friend -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:17:51 08/09/03 Sat

And I never said the acquanitence understood I'd be the type to take a soda. Maybe he thought I was the sort who wouldn't do something like that.

Also, you could argue that allowing people to watch the show is the equivelent of the invitation. Both are similar: without it (invitation, showing the show), the person is unable to commit the act of taking something. Granted, invitation to a house is a lot more personal, so let's put it another way: it's a large gathering of people, most of whom are simply the friend of a friend of a friend. Most of them you've never seen before in your life, you don't know them at all. Apply the pop taking scenario in that situation, and you get a little closer.

Also, I wasn't using the old "it's only illegal if you get caught" excuse. What you have to understand is that speeding and stealing are very different crimes. Speeding is what I tend to think of as a "state crime" while stealing is a "personal crime". A "state crime" is one that hurts either the government (at any of its levels) or the public in general. Speeding endangers all other drivers on the road, so it's always a crime. Stealing, on the other hand, has a specific person who is hurt by it, thus making it a "personal crime". If somebody's property is damaged or stolen, they have the right to press charges against the perpetrator. However, they also have the right not to press charges, which is basically saying, "I know they broke/stole my stuff, but I'm cool with it". If charges aren't pressed, it's not a crime. So, how it works is, Joss, Mutant Enemy, and FOX don't press charges against fanfic authors, so it's not illegal. It only becomes a crime if they are not OK with it and do press charges. It's got nothing to do with whether the law is able to notice the crime or catch the criminal, it's whether the specific person/people hurt by the act want to press criminal charges.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I made sure to mention acquaintence, not friend -- s'kat, 12:05:15 08/10/03 Sun

Not sure how the law works in Great Britain, it may be different there.

But illegal is anything that is against a law or statute, not anything that charges are pressed for. It's not a matter for philosophical debate - it's breaking a law or statute, even a stupid law or statute. There are many things that are considered illegal that seem sort of odd to me, but they are. Some Examples (not examples of odd laws, can't think of any off the top of my head, just laws) - not picking up your dogs poop on the sidewalk - and just leaving it there or leaving it next to that tree on the sidewalk - that is illegal in New York City - you will get a $500 fine if someone catches you.
Even if you don't get caught? Still illegal. Same with scanning a copyrighted magazine article into the internet and posting it to your site without permission - that is an infringement of copyright law and hence illegal - no it is unlikely you will go to jail for it, but if some lawyer now or ten years from now sends you a letter telling you it is copyrighted and can provide proof, then you better remove it or you will be fined a hefty sum. And yes since you broke a law - it was illegal.

Another Example: you copy a videotape you rented from your video store - there's a warning in the front that states any copying of said videotape is against the law, but you do it any way. Now it is unlikely anyone will charge you for it since they don't know you did it. But - if you start selling them? You'll probably get caught and fined and maybe sent to jail.

Fanfiction: you decide to write stories using the names and likenesses of a copyrighted world, also trademarked. You create stories where it is clear these are characters from that world and that it is that world you are writing about.
You post them on the internet. Illegal? Well is the material you are using clearly copyrighted or trademarked by someone else? Yes. Did you know this? Yes. Did you reuse it in your own product and publish that without permission? Yes - posting on the internet is publishing - heck sending a manuscript to someone even if it is just yourself is considered publication under the law. Is there a law or statute that states you are not supposed to use something owned by someone else and publish it without first getting written permission? Yes - under the copyright statutes there is a law that states that if something is copyrighted you have to ask permission and receive "written" not just oral or implied, permission to reuse it in any way (heck if this wasn't the case I wouldn't have worked in a company negotiating contracts for written permission for six years)--- with a few exceptions known as Fair Use, Fair Use applies to scholarly writings, library archiving, and educational purpose. Fanfiction could fall somewhere within that - writing exercise per se - but it's a tough one. Even if you want to advertise something - ie. McDonalds wants to put Buffy characters on mugs which would advertise Buffy and help Buffy - they have to ask permission first. Just as Oprah Winfrey had to get the author of the Corrections permission to advertise his book as part of her book club. He protested. So yes, Finn, it is illegal. Doing something against the law is illegal. But just because it's illegal does not mean you'll be punished - mitigating factors come into play and it is the mitigating factors you are mentioning above that can be used as a defense against anyone who wants to prosecute you for the action.

So the fact that FOX, ME, and Kuzuis have not prosecuted the fanfic sites (well not all of them - they have shut down a few of the sites but those were the ones distributing shooting scripts and video clippage), can be used as a defense. It does not mean your action wasn't illegal. What it means is you had reason to believe that there was implied consent from Fox, since they had to know you were writing fanfic and never did anything to stop it.
Also the fact they allow all those other fanfic sites to exist. Fox can of course reply with the view that a) they didn't know (a bit farfetched and would probably be laughed at) or b) that there are too many to possibly shut down all of them at once, they are getting around to it though.

Realistically? I think the fanfic community is safe as long as they don't start publishing fanfic in trade paperbacks and selling them for profit. If you're writing fanfic on published novels, where the writer is still alive and still writing sequels, - I think you might have a problem, actually I'm surprised people haven't shut you down.
Whether you think it is fair or not, doesn't matter. Personally I see fanfic as being helpful to tv shows, books? not so much, different mediums. And most tv show producers seem to agree with me - if they weren't savvy businesspeople they wouldn't have gotten as far as they did. But if the idea fanfic is illegal under copyright law gets under your skin - then try to get an exception to the law made. Arguing with me about it - is pretty much preaching to the choir, actually arguing with anyone on this board about it is preaching to the choir. ;-)

IT is against the law in US to take someone else's property without their permission and use it yourself. You can defend that action with the fact that you "reasonably" believed they gave their implied consent. But they can equally state that they had no knowledge of what you were doing until someone pointed it out to them and it was at that very moment they took measures to take legal action against you. The burden of proof in this instance is most likely going to be on you to prove that they knew what you were doing or you could reasonably believe that they did. Not on them. The copyright law is on their side - they are the infringed owner/victim, you are the infringer/perpetuator - all they have to prove is you used their content. You have to prove that you had permission. Whomever has the bigger burden of proof placed upon them - is the one with the tougher case.

So you see? The situation you mention above is not really analogous. It is easier for your acquaintance to prove that you let him take a soda from your fridge - hey you let him in your house? Right? And offering him refreshment? That's only polite. His actions may seem rude, but suing him over it or arresting him seems a tad excessive, particularly if you let him in your house and you took a soda. Now if you owned a soda shop and were selling those sodas and acquaintance or best friend took one without buying it? Whole other story. That's stealing. You're out serious money, since that soda is inventory. You'd pay for that soda if you took one. And there's no common law or etiguette or pattern of behavior stating the acquaintance should expect you to offer him a drink or refreshment. The first instance - where he takes it from your fridge is impolite but not illegal - not really breaking a law or statute. The second instance he is breaking a law or statute and is stealing. Of course if it is a complete stranger that walks into your house univited and takes a soda from your fridge? That is illegal - breaking and entering and stealing. People aren't allowed to just wander into our homes uninvited in US. YEs, technically all three people are taking your property - but there are mitigating factors and if the statute (and most do) state those factors - then the three actions are considered distinctly different under the law. Problem with laws is some make distinctions between cases and some laws don't - it all depends on how the law is written. If the law isn't clearly written than courts interpret whether actions are against the law on a case by case basis - that's why you are assuming/ arguing it's only illegal if someone presses
charges against you. If the law or statute is unclear on the issue - that is probably true. But when it is clear? Different story. For instance, when you shoot someone - that is illegal, you don't need anyone to press charges, do need someone to prove you shot the person - but the act is illegal. Same with breaking and entering. Stealing a soda from a store. Or stealing a portion of someone else's story or work product and using it as your own. The burden of proof is to prove you did these things. No on whether the actions themselves are illegal. In these cases the burden is on the defendant to prove it's NOT illegal not on the plaintiff to prove it is. The plaintiff or prosecutor just needs to prove you did it. It's up to you to prove, assuming you did it, that it's not a crime.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Again, has nothing to do with whether they catch you or not -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:16:40 08/10/03 Sun

It's whether they catch you and decide to prosecute.

Also, FOX and ME have the write to press charges against any fanfiction writer at any time. The writer could claim in court that the lack of charges pressed against other writers was non-verbal consent. However, I agree, in that scenario, they would be guilty. But they aren't guilty until the charges are pressed. Until ME or FOX come down against fanfiction or start pressing charges against it, fanfic is legal. However, if they ever decide to do so, all fanfic becomes illegal retroactively. What was once legal since no charges were pressed suddenly becomes illegal. However, in the meantime, FOX and ME have not come down against fanfiction, so it is legal until/unless they do so. Using my earlier analogy: if you take something from someone, but know they won't mind if you do, and they don't raise any fuss about it, it's not stealing. It's like two neighbors, one of which borrows the other's stuff a lot. They have a history of the first one being allowed to take stuff (within a limited range) from the second, so, until the second neighbor complains about it, I really don't think it would be stealing.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Civil vs Criminal Law -- dmw, 14:44:36 08/10/03 Sun

Until recently, copyright was a matter of civil law rather than criminal law, meaning that the person whose copyright was infringed upon had to sue the infringer in order to deal with the issue. This may be the difference you're looking for.

For a good analysis of how copyright law has changed in recent years and why you should be concerned as a reader, read law professor Jessica Litman's The Exclusive Right to Read. She's the author of the excellent book Digital Copyright, excerpts of which are available on her web site.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I made sure to mention acquaintence, not friend -- fidhle, 16:20:50 08/10/03 Sun

If you're invited into an acquaintance's house, and without permission take and drink a soda, you are guilty of theft. Theft is simply the taking of property of another, against the will and consent of the owner, with intent to deprive the owner of the property. It is illegal. Now, under the circumstances of your situation, the owner may not wish to press charges because, perhaps she values your acquaintanceship more than she values the soda, or perhaps she isn't upset at the taking of a soda. But were she to press charges, you would be guilty of theft. The act was illegal when you did it, not because the owner wanted to press charges.

Likewise, the act of using trademarked or copywrited property without the permission of the owner is illegal, with civil (lawsuit and money damages) and criminal (prosecution and jail and/or fine) consequences. Due to the nature of the infringement, the owner of the property has to complain and take legal action for there to be these consequences. Shadowkat is simply suggesting that Joss, Fox and the others who own the characters in Buffy would be unlikely to take such action because fanfiction doesn't affect their business, except perhaps to create interest, while an author or publisher of books would be likely to take such action because the fan fiction might very well affect their business. Consider the fake versions of the latest Harry Potter book that appeared shortly before the real version was released.

The fact that the property owner is unlikely to take action agains an infringement doesn't mean that the infringement is legal. It merely means that you may not have to worry about it. There is no such thing as a retroactive illegality, at least in the US where we have a constitution provision against ex post facto laws.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Don't you wish? -- dmw, 17:27:42 08/10/03 Sun

There is no such thing as a retroactive illegality, at least in the US where we have a constitution provision against ex post facto laws.

We do, but for better or for worse, the constitution is just a piece of paper. Congress happily passed the Sonny Bono Copyright Extension Act which retroactively extended copyright terms and the Supreme Court upheld the law this January.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But it wouldn't be against their will in this scenario -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:54:03 08/10/03 Sun

"Theft is simply the taking of property of another, against the will and consent of the owner, with intent to deprive the owner of the property."

Ah, but if the owner doesn't press charges, it's not against their will. By not pressing charges for theft (whether of objects or ideas) you are basically saying, "It's OK with me that they took it". And, if the person it's taken from doesn't mind, then it's not theft, rather it's them giving the property away.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: But it wouldn't be against their will in this scenario -- fidhle, 19:38:26 08/10/03 Sun

Not necessarily. If you were to take my soda without permission, I would have the right to charge you with theft, or I might overlook it and say it's OK to take my soda, or I might decide that your acquaintanceship is not worth the taking of my soda but the taking of the soda is not worth the bother of charging you, with resultant court appearances etc. In that case, I may simply never let you come in my house at all. Bottom line is that it is not as simple as saying that by not charging, I am approving of your conduct, and it doesn't change the illegal nature of the conduct at all. It simply means that you are not being charged for what is illegal conduct.

BTW, I think way too many people charge people for things that are little more serious than your soda example, but they go to court and are very often found guilty, and thus get a criminal record. Many of the things that I would not have charged people with when I was in high school, are now routinely charged against people. I only wish that the criminal law was used only in serious cases, but trivial cases very often are prosecuted in our courts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It's not illegal unless somebody presses charges -- dmw, 17:39:46 08/10/03 Sun

Finn's argument is correct about some types of intangible property. You lose control of trademarks if you don't sue those who violate them, it being assumed that by not doing so you're tacitly giving permission. Look at terms like "xerox" and "kleenex" which have become generic.

[> [> Why do you read fan fiction? More Buffy or alternate Buffy? -- dmw, 11:00:40 08/07/03 Thu

I look for Buffy fan fiction and I rarely find what I'm looking for

One of the frustrating discoveries that I've made about Buffy fan fiction is that most of the best authors hide their work where you won't easily find it. They keep it on personal pages, small archives, or sometimes won't archive it at all, so if you don't know the original mailing list or board it's posted on, you'll never see it.

I agree with the general sentiment of your feelings about fan fiction, with the exception of the Whedonesque style. I don't read fan fiction as a way of getting more episodes of Buffy in written form, but rather as a way of seeing aspects of Buffy that I didn't get to see on screen. Of course, if you're writing a Buffy-like plot, it's important to have reasons why you're focusing on different characters or settings such as setting the story after The Gift as you suggested, but I also like between the scenes looks that let us see what we didn't see on screen.

You can turn the sky pink if you want, so long as it goes back to blue by the story's end. Leave Joss Whedon's sandbox as you found it, but build something truly extraordinary while you're there.

While I do like between the scenes looks at what happened on Buffy, I prefer stories where there is character and plot development that isn't erased or waved away at the end of the story to return to Buffy the way it was before the story began. This may be why I prefer to read novel-length stories so they have the time for such developments to occur in a natural way.

As for mentioning your own fan fic, go for it. I'm curious to see what you write after reading what you like to read.

[> [> [> Okay fine. Tooting my own horn.. -- ZachsMind, 13:02:48 08/07/03 Thu is a place where I put some of my older fanfic attempts. Keep in mind my stuff does not always adhere to the descriptions I've made in this thread.

"Christmas Gift" and "House of Mirrors" still mostly work, and I think they're about as close to my ideal hope for fanfic as I've personally been able to accomplish, but it's far from perfect. Also, Xmas Gift takes liberties with Dawnie's memories, and works on the assumption that Hank & Joyce took their children to Sunday School when they were little. Very apocryphal. Not necessarily going against canon, but there's no proof it's valid. "House of Mirrors" is rather tongue in cheek, and technically would destroy canon because in it the Scoobies find out that.. well I wouldn't wanna ruin it for you. It's cute. It's fun. I wish I could do better.

You can pretty much skip most of the Buffy faux season seven scripts now. I wrote them the summer before season seven. They're not at all canonically apocrphyphal, in light of season seven itself, and in hindsight don't hold true to the characters as much as I had tried. I wanted to write Tara back into the game, but gave up by episode seven when cuz the real season seven kicked in and I couldn't hold a candle to it. I also read that the odds of Tara coming back as a ghost weren't very good.

However, "You Slay Me" and "Unrest" have some fun bits in them. Someday maybe I'll rewrite them in a manner that makes them standalones rather than dependent on extraneous apocryphal assumptions. "Unrest" is my tribute to "Restless," and while outside the series continuity as well as offensive to pretty much every religion on the planet, it's still a fun trip through the place between life and afterlife.

More recent attempts at fan fiction are just in my online journal due to laziness on my part. For example, Buffy Versus Batman is short and sweet and cute but beyond that nothing to write home about.
Standing the Test of Time was going to be part of an idea I was playing with where I could write about Buffy characters outside Buffy continuity, to explore characterizations without being apocryphal. This experiment has been abandoned. Still it was fun attempting.

[> [> [> [> Links and Scripts -- dmw, 20:20:22 08/09/03 Sat

You need to add "index.html" to make your link work. I was surprised to find that you write in script format; that takes a bit more effort for me to get into, but I'll try to check out the two stories you mentioned another night.

[> I will recommend anything written by HonorH -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:45:43 08/07/03 Thu

[> [> There's a good boy! (oh, and linkage) -- HonorH, 20:15:01 08/07/03 Thu

I'll have to treat you nicer at OBAFU now. Okay, I won't, but it was a nice thought, wasn't it?

Here's my one link, which is, astoundingly enough, to my FFN page. Don't run too fast, though--it houses my favorites as well as my own fic, and you're guaranteed to find something good to read:

My FFN Page

[> [> [> Re: There's a good boy! (oh, and linkage) -- jane, 20:34:06 08/07/03 Thu

I really like HonorH's stuff, and the OBAFU should be a must read for writers of fanfic. Also, I recommend a long AU novel by Yahtzee,"Phoenix Burning"; "Inside" by Gyrus,(about Faith) and "Another Peaceful War" by Mariner (about Riley).

[> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Gyrus, 12:39:35 08/08/03 Fri

I'm always happy to be mentioned in the same sentence as HonorH, Yahtzee, and Mariner. :)

[> [> [> [> [> You're welcome! BTW, I loved "Regression". -- jane, 19:22:40 08/08/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- HonorH (the co-author), 19:34:15 08/08/03 Fri

That was a fun one to do--the first time either of us had collaborated with another author. Can't decide what I liked best--creating the villains, or messing with Spike and Angel. Hee!

[> [> [> Buffy/Sandman Crossovers -- dmw, 07:57:02 08/08/03 Fri

HonorH, I enjoyed your Buffy/Sandman crossover "Under the Dream." I thought did a great job of capturing Dream and connecting him to Buffy with his compact with the Slayer. I'm not surprised to see that I'm not the only person who thought of mixing these two types of story.

I wrote my own Buffy/Sandman crossover this summer, involving Destiny instead of Dream. It's told from the point of view of a Buffy character, but it's slightly more a Sandman story than a Buffy one, though a flashback offers an explanation for the spell Willow cast in All the Way. It's Endless Moments: Destiny.

[> [> [> [> If you're in the market for more-- -- HonorH, 09:26:37 08/08/03 Fri

Try this author: Elena Zovatto. The "Hot Chocolate" one, in particular, is one of the best Buffy characterizations I've ever seen, and she nails Death, too.

[> [> [> [> [> I liked "Hot Chocolate" too; the longer one didn't hold my interest -- dmw, 20:05:54 08/09/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> You should finish it. The ending packs a hell of a punch. -- HonorH, 22:56:32 08/09/03 Sat

[> Re: Fan Fiction Recommendations -- Rendyl, 13:36:55 08/07/03 Thu

I must (once again -grin-) recommend (drumroll please)

"When Hellmouths Collide" - by Kimberley Rector and Martha Wilson.

It is an amazing crossover and the characters sound like they are supposed to.

I would also recommend HonorH's "Dawn and the Dead" just because it has one of the funniest quotes in it. (I use the quote on my website - with proper nods to HonorH of course)

There are others but I can't find the emails with the authors name and I am unsure of which story goes with which author. Is 'Happily Ever After' by Rheanna?

Is it BTVS fiction specifically or Whedon based stuff? If you branch out I would recommend -ANYTHING- by Nicole Clevenger. She has some amazing 'Firefly' stories.


[> [> What quote? -- HonorH, 20:12:06 08/07/03 Thu

Now you've got me curious.

[> [> [> Re: What quote?...(spoilers for 'Dawn and the Dead') -- Rendyl, 07:34:54 08/08/03 Fri

The 'sulk demon' quote. I love that whole passage. :)


[> [> When Hellmouths Collide -- dmw, 20:12:15 08/09/03 Sat

The story's an enjoyable romp, a fun little quick read. Overall, I tend to go for the deeper and often angsty stuff, but something light was just what I needed after spending an afternoon reviewing finite automata.

As for other realms of fan fiction, the only one I'm interested in outside of Buffy/Angel is Sandman.

[> Recommendations request -- Prosperina, 11:52:53 08/08/03 Fri

While I don't have any fanfic to recommend, I would like to inquire if anyone knows of any good fanfics that pick up after 'Chosen' and try to imagine what becomes of our friends after they leave that huge smoking crater. I've tried looking for some on my own, but got discouraged by wading through a lot of dreck. I'm sure that all those creative people out there have come of with some fabulous scenarios for the futures of Buffy and Co. - if only I could find them!

[> [> Try this... -- Alison, 12:11:42 08/08/03 Fri

Start with "Now Leaving Sunnydale"'s a great series, very true to the characters, and not overly angsty. It really picks up with "Now Entering Elsewhere".

[> [> [> yum....thanks -- Prosperina, 13:41:56 08/08/03 Fri

Just by the website photos alone, I know I'm going to like this author. What can I say? I'm a sucker for Buffy-Willow-Xander friendship fics. Thanks so much for the recommendation!

[> [> Re: Recommendations request -- dmw, 13:51:56 08/08/03 Fri

I've been hearing a lot about Watchers, a virtual post-Chosen spinoff series, but I don't know if they have any episodes up yet or not.

[> [> Also you could try... -- jane, 15:32:58 08/08/03 Fri

"Bakery" by Dlgood. Don't know how to link to it,but go to and look up the author.

[> [> I've tried that... Writing a faux season eight? Not easy. -- ZachsMind, 20:34:54 08/08/03 Fri

After my fiasco writing a faux season seven last summer, I'm gun shy. I had some great ideas about bringing Tara back from the dead. It was going to be a roundabout way of doing it but I knew what my final episode's finale was gonna look like. I was giving myself twenty-two episodes to get there. By the time I got to season seven it just felt futile, cuz it was obvious I was nowhere close to how Mutant Enemy was going to do it. Tara was gone.

I've been afraid. Even though there will never be a season eight of Buffy to compare my faux efforts to, there's still going to be Angel. There's still going to be other stuff (hopefully) someday.

I have ideas, but putting them together doesn't work well for me, given this lack of faith that anything I come up with is gonna have legs. Also the fact that it's almost imperative to incorporate the surviving SITs as well as incorporate new slayers? It's tough to do it and do any justice to it. Without knowing how some other characters will incorporate into Angel, it's really tricky to write something that's not going to become out of date a couple months from now.

One would have to completely leave Spike alone. The Scoobies assume him dead, so no Spikey in the fanfic. That bites right there. We know Anya's dead. I don't know how to write her back in. No Anya in the fanfic, and she's one of my favorite characters. I hear her dialogue so clearly when I'm writing her. That sucks. Wood wasn't gonna be bench pressing anything for awhile, but he was gonna survive. That sucks cuz I absolutely do not hear his voice when I'm writing. In fact I'd probably just have Wood and Faith leave together, either to take Faith back to prison, or to run away from people trying to put her back in prison. OR they'd just make plans to leave the country altogether, change their identities and start fresh. Eventually either on purpose or by accident they'd become liasons for Willow. People who would be points of contact for new slayers and all that. However, I'd avoid using the characters at all costs, cuz I can't write Wood dialogue and whenever I try to write Faith dialogue I always wanna add "yo" at the end of her ever utterence. *shiver*

Which SITs actually died, that's harder to fathom. Chao-ahn and Amanda bit it on camera. Pretty hard to write them back in. Not impossible, but if I tried to write a faux season eight I'd want it as believable as possible. Rona looked like she wasn't going to make it. As I suspected from her general attitude all season, when it came time to CHOOSE? She didn't. She couldn't. Her defense mechanisms were attempts to hide her fears. She unconsciously turned down the power of the Slayer, and was dying because of it. However, for me that gives a glimpse into her character that I can use, so I wouldn't wanna kill her cuz there's workable stuff there, from a writer's perspective. Does that mean she was never a potential Slayer? Because the power passed her over? Or is it because when Willow and Buffy changed the rules, Rona didn't see herself worthy? Or didn't see the slayer powers as worthy of her? There's a lot of meat in there to chew on. Rona held the scythe for just a moment. Even killed an ubervamp with it. However, she nearly immediately threw it back to Buffy. Was there perhaps some kind of mental exchange between Rona and the slayer power then? Did Rona learn something about herself when she held the reaper?

Vi's alive. Vi and Kennedy are definitely Slayer material now. Faith and Buffy survived obviously. So that's four we know for absolute certainty. Did anybody get a headcount? How many other SIT turned Slayers made it out? How many 'awakened' slayers are there? It's kind of important to know that before someone just starts writing, unless the writer makes a conscious decision to never 'go there' and avoid the topic entirely. That'd be possible, but also tricky, restrictive and ultimately cowardly.

So okay. First things first. You're standing there at the edge of a crater. You being Buffy and Giles and Faith and Willow and Xander. Buffy's just smiling like a weight's been lifted off her shoulders. Dawn's asking her where to go next?

Meanwhile, Rona's bleeding all over the inside of the bus.

How to get Wood and Rona and others safely to medical attention? Drive the bus to the hospital, but it didn't look like Rona'd make it so Willow would need to do a little mystic mumbo jumbo to patch Rona up enough to make sure she made it. We know Willow can heal herself. She's done it. But that was just skin grafting. We know she can take a bullet out of a person and patch up a slayer like Buffy up enough to bring her back from death. However, we also know she CAN'T heal something like an eyeball. She's not THAT powerful. Otherwise that's what she woulda done for Xander - unless he specifically asked her not to ("Y'know how your magic sometimes goes kablooey Will?" I can hear Xander say, "I don't want ya goin' kablooey inside my skull, y'know?") Further, we know she's probably pretty wasted in the magic department cuz what she did with the scythe? It's not as easy as a common locator spell.

So actually logic and reason dictates Willow would use magic to keep Rona alive long enough to get to a hospital. Wood's a different story. He's in pain obviously, and may need medical attention, but he's also a big faker, trying to fake out Faith, so he's not as bad off as he was pretending. Still, he'd need a once over by a doctor. So they must have gone to a hospital of some kind soon after leaving the crater.

The next nearest town is what? L.A.? I think there must be some city closer than that. I'd wanna avoid L.A. to minimize having to rewrite after Angel Five. Then there's the question of where they'd go afterwards. The fun answer would be Disneyland. Problem there: we're dealing with a dozen or so people whose every material possession in Sunnydale now no longer exists. Perhaps you could say they managed to pack up the bus before they left, but at the very best they each own a few changes of clothing, bathroom essentials and not much else. I don't recall them ever mentioning that they were going to take the time to pack.

For many fans, the obvious choice is Cleveland, but other critics are right in saying Giles mention of that was a throwaway line, and a tip of the hat to the season three episode "The Wish." However, it's not necessarily where any of them would wanna go. At least not at first. Perhaps it's eventually a destination, but only after they've corralled some more slayers.

Whedon might keep the Cleveland thing up, explaining that the reason why so few Buffy alumni show up on Angel is cuz they're all in Cleveland, and Angel's never going to Cleveland. So that would be convenient. It's also equally possible that Whedon would do no such thing. So at this point you're basically trying to outthink and outguess Whedon. Unless, like a lot of fanfic writers, you don't care about devoting time and energy into writing something that weeks from now will be outdated. I've already done that before. Been down that road. It sucks. Don't wanna go there again.

So you have a busload of slayers and champions in a school bus, driving through the desert, towards a hospital, and then to parts unknown. Willow has a mystic link to all the slayers. She supposedly knows where they are, but of course her magic's always a little wonky. You could do stories over the course of the summer, where the group of them are in that bus and are trying to get to the unrealized Slayers before the evil forces get to them. That could take at least three months, but by that time, they'd probably have all the Slayers they were gonna save.

From a writing standpoint, you gotta somehow get the Slayer numbers down. You can't kill off Kennedy or Vi, without making a big deal of it. Well. Okay ya could but that's what I call The Kendra faux pas. I never believed Whedon gave Kendra the proper sendoff. How she died kinda ticked me off. Once a character achieves more than mere extra status? You gotta give them a good send off. Comparatively, Jonathan got a great sendoff. Vi should die better than Kendra but not as good as Jonathan, and since Kennedy has actually gotten some bases loaded with Willow, something Kendra never did and Jonathan never could? Kennedy has to die REALLY good if you're gonna kill her off.

[> [> [> Dangit! Dangit dangit dangit!!! I forgot to close a tag! DANGIT! -- ZachsMind, 20:36:13 08/08/03 Fri

[> [> [> Tara Returns -- dmw, 06:41:55 08/09/03 Sat

After my fiasco writing a faux season seven last summer, I'm gun shy. I had some great ideas about bringing Tara back from the dead. It was going to be a roundabout way of doing it but I knew what my final episode's finale was gonna look like. I was giving myself twenty-two episodes to get there. By the time I got to season seven it just felt futile, cuz it was obvious I was nowhere close to how Mutant Enemy was going to do it. Tara was gone.

Ummm...isn't that the point of writing your own stories, that they are different from ME's?

When I wrote my own post-season 6 story, The Dark Rose, I set it some years after the end of season 6, giving myself time and space to separate my story from the events of the TV series. I knew that my story wouldn't converge with those of season 7, though I did make one surprisingly prescient prediction. However, I wanted to do things that ME wouldn't do anyway; I wanted to focus on Willow's darkness without the addiction idiocy and I wanted to deal with Tara's return in a complex way that couldn't be covered in a season of TV.

[> Tempus Fugit -- dmw, 13:49:08 08/08/03 Fri

Here's another one of my top 5 fan fictions.

lipkandy's Tempus Fugit
In the Fall after season 6, Willow is uneasily attempting to rebuild her friendships with Buffy and Dawn. Making the mixture of personalities more volatile, Faith returns to Sunnydale with a story about Cordelia having a vision about a world-destroying artifact which Buffy has just discovered. She wants to take it back to LA with her.

Buffy doesn't believe Faith and accidentally triggers the artifact, sending her and Willow back in time to season 4 where they exist in their bodies of that time, leaving Dawn in the present with the almost impossible task of getting Faith, Spike, Anya, and Xander, all of whom have substantial reasons not to trust or like each other, to work together long enough to figure out what's happened to Buffy and Willow and how to fix it.

Back in season 4, Willow warns Buffy that they have to do everything just the same or the butterfly effect will erase their present. That's easier said than done, not only for a Slayer whose diary says "lunch" and "patrol" every day, but also for a witch who has what might be a second chance at life and love. Buffy is also faced with the temptation of having a second chance with those she loves most. The scenes with Joyce are wonderful and reveals some aspects of her character which help us understand her better in season 5.

Of course, how they got to the past might kill them along with their friends in the future who need their help to face the artifact's demonic owner. For some, that might be a sacrifice worth making for a few moments of perfect happiness with those who have departed. But butterflies or not, changing the future is both easier and harder than you would expect, and there are no simple solutions to the problems of the present in doing so.

The author has a deep grasp of all the Buffy characters; her Dawn, unsure and hurt but determined to do what's right to save her sister and Willow, and Faith, who's striving to do what's right but whose feet occassionally slip on the road to redemption, are especially well portrayed. While the events of the present feel like an episode of Buffy, the events of the past are a beautiful look at what could have been with the poignant knowledge that Buffy and Willow have to return to the present, one way or the other.

The ending is wonderfully complex and unexpected.

By the way, don't confuse Tempus Fugit (S4), a light and fluffy piece by the same author, with this story. It's a fun story, but nothing like Tempus Fugit in terms of quality.

[> A few stories I've always enjoyed -- Scroll, 17:06:39 08/08/03 Fri

Here are a few stories I found saved on my hard drive that I'd like to recommend:

1) "The Real World", by Felicity. Buffy Season 6. This story explores what might have happened to a "Normal Again" Buffy if she had chosen her parents and normality over her Slayerhood and Sunnydale. The author quotes Borges at the end of her fic: "In the dream of the man that was dreaming, the dreamt man awoke."

You can also try Felicity's "In This World", which has a similar premise but comes off (to me, at least) less angsty overall. One of the best, and most plausible, Human!Angel fics I've seen. This is a good read.

2) "Not Even Jimmy Olsen", by Blair Provence. Set mid-Season 3, this is an anti-Mary Sue. Very interesting seeing the Scoobies through the eyes of an outsider.

3) "Toy Soldiers", by Perri Smith. Season 3, mostly Giles POV, but some Wesley as well. Very gen, very old school. The Scoobies when they were still young, but not so innocent. The Watchers when they were still figuring out their roles in the grand scheme of things.

4) "Lesser Men", by Jedi Buttercup. This is an AU that takes off after the Angel S3 ep, "Loyalty". As much as I love Connor, I rather enjoyed this take on the "Who Is Connor?" spec that ran rampant last year. Lovely Jonathan development, nice use of Giles, and great Wesley agnst. I love Wes angst :) You can also try the "Interludes" in the author's "Lesser Men" series over on her main fanfic page.

5) I don't know who on this board likes slash, but The Brat Queen's Wesley/Angel slashfic turned me into an ultimate Wes/Angel 'shipper ;) Seriously, her various Wes/Angel(us) series are wonderful and she tends to update regularly.

6) Go to Double Indemnity for Wesley/Lilah fanfic! My favourites are "Til Break of Day" and "Letting Go in Four Acts" by Jennifer-Oksana. Actually any Wes/Lilah fic by Jenny-O is terrific. She is the foremost champion of Lilah on the net :)

7) And of course I must recommend everything written by HonorH, my favourites being "That's Life" and Rebuilding, which I think was the very first HonorH story I ever read.

I love fanfic so much :)

[> [> I've always liked Normal Again. I'll have to check out The Real World. -- dmw, 19:58:27 08/09/03 Sat

[> Tales of the Wishverse -- dmw, 07:11:41 08/09/03 Sat

Thanks for all the recommendations that people have posted. It looks like I've got a lot of reading ahead of me, but let me ask for recommendations in one more category: stories about the Wishverse. The Wish and Doppelgangland are two of my favorite episodes of Buffy, and I'd love to see more of them. Here's a recommendation for my favorite Wishverse story:

Katharyn's Sidestep Chronicle
The ultimate vampire Willow story. It starts with her vamping and follows up with her resurrection at the hands of Wolfram and Hart in the place of Darla's resurrection of the Angel season 1 finale. This story shows all of your favorite characters from a different point of view: Faith who becomes Giles' surrogate daughter as Buffy did elsewhere though without losing her edge; a harder Giles who's had to see Sunnydale fall to the vamps, though he has Jenny to balance his edge; Lilah who represents Wolfram and Hart's to the Mayor (who else would be the Mayor's lawyer.)

And of course, a darker Tara who's become a vampire hunter after the loss of her parents. Tara comes to Sunnydale to work for the Mayor to destroy the Master, who she blames for her loss. She knows it's a diabolical bargain, in much the same way that her use of the magicks is, but she can't help liking the man who acts more like a father to her than her own father ever did. She also finds a friend and perhaps more in Lilah, who comes to check on her for a mysterious prophecy held by Wolfram and Hart. Who and what the prophecy actually talks about is a wonderful twist, subverting all the expectations developed upon first reading about it.

Meanwhile, Tara meets a beautiful red-haired vampire, the parody of the girl of her dreams. She can't resist her and what they have is more than sex; but it's a lot less than love and it's sure to get someone killed, perhaps including both of them, as Tara and vampire Willow play an uneasy game of alliances with the Mayor, Master, Wolfram & Hart, and the Council of Watchers.

Vampire Willow retains her predatory vampiric edge to a greater degree than canonical Spike does. Her revenge on Oz is scary; however, my favorites are her reaction to Tara being sick and how she ends up giving Tara a kitten as a "gift;" both are priceless. Theirs is a tragic affair that both have difficulty pulling themselves away from; I would've loved to have seen Buffy/Spike written more like this.

[> [> I'm loving this fic, but... -- Alison, 21:57:28 08/09/03 Sat

I can only find up to part 9, where Tara arrives in Sunnydale. Can you help me find the rest? Any help would be very much appricated.

[> [> [> Never mind -- Alison, feeling embarrassed, 22:06:58 08/09/03 Sat

I think I've figured out the layout of the site. Thanks anyway.

[> [> [> [> I understand -- dmw, 06:58:03 08/10/03 Sun

Katharyn refuses to archive her stories, and it's a bit confusing to read the chapters intermixed with the comments at first. As you get deeper into the story though, the comments become an interesting read in themselves with some multi-page analyses of the story and its relation to Buffy and myth.

[> Re: Fan Fiction Recommendations -- yabyumpan, 13:01:06 08/09/03 Sat

Just read an amazing fic 'The Dead Church' by Julie Fortune. It's AtS post 'Sleep Tight', AU with everyone looking for Connor. Great characterisation and a wondeful fleshed out Justine teaming up with Wesley. It's at The Dead Church you'll need to register to read it but it's well worth it.
While you're there check out 'Heat Stroke' by starlet2367, another wonderfully written story.

[> Touchstone -- dmw, 06:56:21 08/10/03 Sun

Here's another of my top 5 fan fics:

Tommo's Touchstone (available here at the bottom of the page)
This story features the best descriptive writing of any fan fiction. The images of both Wales, where the story is set, and of the characters and their interactions are deftly drawn and simply beautiful. If you want to learn how to make descriptive writing come alive, this is the story for you.

It starts after season 6 with Giles in Wales, where he's been exiled to a particularly unimportant and somewhat uncomfortable post as Watcher. He welcomes Tara and Willow (this story was started before the end of s6), who have come to visit to deal with Willow's issues with magic as well as their issues with each other (despite Tara's statement in Entropy, they can't "just skip it" forever) in a place that's supposedly safer than the Hellmouth.

But which may not be ... there's something mysterious in the woods and Cerys, a new Watcher with a secret agenda, arrives soon after Giles welcomes Tara and Willow into his cottage. Cerys is one of the best drawn original characters I've seen in fan fiction, being both well described and well balanced as to avoid taking the focus from the characters we already know. Tommo has a deep command of the Buffy characters as well, and her Giles is a delight to read and reflect upon.

[> Stories that Changed Your Perception of Buffy -- dmw, 08:29:00 08/10/03 Sun

What fan fiction stories have changed your perception of Buffy, its events, characters, and mythology? The written word has the potential to let us see deeper into the stories that we see on screen, especially by letting us look inside the heads of the characters. I've found several fics that have given me a deeper appreciation of certain characters and that have offered a better look at some of the show's mythology. I'll mention two of them here.

I was never fond of Dawn until I read Tulipp's portrayal of her in Terra Firma. This story lets you understand the Dawn of season 6, her relationships with her sister and Willow and even her klepto phase. It also doesn't forget the story of season 5; I love the twist on the mythology of the Key presented here too. This is the story that got me to make Dawn a major focus of some of my own stories.

I also never liked Anya much, as she was too one-dimensional to be an adequate replacement for Cordelia, but I gained an appreciation of her from Sassette's Ansswering Darkness. I love the chapter where Anya and Tara take a road trip, getting the two outsiders away from the influence of the Scoobies so we can see them in a situation where they're not overshadowed by the others. Sassette also does a great job of layering metaphor and purpose on top of the bare drama of Willow's addiction.

Current board | More August 2003