August 2003 posts

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Well, SMG looked the most relaxed and peacefully happy I've ever seen her. -- WB, 10:21:15 08/07/03 Thu

Last night when she won a Kids Choice aAward? some surfboard award. She wasn't with any of the BtVS cast, it looked like, though.

[> Re: Well, SMG looked the most relaxed and peacefully happy I've ever seen her. -- celticross, 13:59:39 08/07/03 Thu

She certainly looked very pretty. [snippy wannabe fashion maven] That shirt wasn't doing her any favors, though. [swfm]

[> [> LOL! At first I thought she was wearing her belt up under her armpits! -- WickedBuffy, 15:40:25 08/07/03 Thu

[> Re: Well, SMG looked the most relaxed and peacefully happy I've ever seen her. -- mademoiselle bistouri, 04:35:57 08/08/03 Fri

She looks like she's gained some weight - it suits her. Here's a link for anyone who's interested in this OT "gossip":

[> [> Re: Well, SMG looked the most relaxed and peacefully happy I've ever seen her. -- heywhynot, 14:14:23 08/08/03 Fri

Nice to see a woman in Hollywood gaining some weight. And shocks of shocks (dripping with sarcasm), she is even more beautiful. Amazing what a healthy look does for a person. Now we can only hope that some stupid trade magazine/taploid doesn't start saying she is becoming fat (which is far from the truth) like they did to Alicia Silverstone. SMG was IMHO looking a little too thin especially when compared to herself before IKWYDLS and to MT & AH. It is a much healthier look. Maybe the stress of no longer being the star of a TV show has removed alot of pressures from her life. Whatever it is, she does seem happier & good for her.

[> Extremely Bitchy Comment Herein. Ignore, if possible! -- dub ;o), 08:16:29 08/08/03 Fri

...relaxed and peacefully happy...

Looking at this year's photos next to last year's, the first thing that comes to mind is that the quote above is exactly what Botox is supposed to do for one.


dub ;o)

[> [> LOL! Well, whatever it is - she really did look "different" - in a good way. ummm.... preggers? -- WB ::spreading rumors::, 09:15:27 08/08/03 Fri

[> [> [> Definitely another possibility...and much less bitchy! -- dub ;o), 09:21:46 08/08/03 Fri

[> [> I don't see that as bitchy -- sdev, 19:09:50 08/08/03 Fri

Slayers/Watchers in S2 & S3 --
Claudia, 11:21:27 08/07/03 Thu

have a few questions about Slayers and the Watcher's Council from Season 2 and 3 episodes:
1) Why didn't Kendra's Watcher buy her a decent round trip ticket between Jamaica and California? He was a Watcher, receiving a salary from the Watcher's Council. Why force her to travel in the cargo hold of a plane?

2) Is Faith older or younger than Buffy? Or the same age? If she's not older, why was she forced to live in some seedy hotel in a bad neighborhood? Why didn't Giles, Wesley or Ms. Post make arrangements for better living conditions? Even if she was older than Buffy, why didn't they help her with financial matters?

[> Re: Slayers/Watchers in S2 & S3 -- ZachsMind, 12:38:01 08/07/03 Thu

Why'd we never see Kendra's Watcher show up in Sunnydale to kick Giles' ass for letting Kendra die on his watch? We know very little about Kendra's watcher. I want to say his name was Mr. Umbutu but I should probably go look it up. That's about all we know. Giles wasn't being paid enough to give Buffy round trip tickets to Jamaica. You'd think if the Council really was rich, it would have at least given Buffy an expense account. I mean running around killing vampires is WORK. And somebody shoulda been paying her for it. However, there's never any talk of Buffy getting any kind of financial assistance from the Council, so it naturally makes sense that Kendra wouldn't get jack from them either.

As for ages of the Slayers, I can't find any canonical evidence one way or the other (which doesn't mean it's not there, just that I can't find it). However, since Faith was 'called' two or more years after Buffy, I think it's safe to assume Faith is younger. Just not by much. It's also safe I think to surmise that Faith is younger than she lets on, and was an early bloomer. She could pass almost for a young adult even in the early days, but a lot of that was due to her attitude more than anything else.

...I for one would've loved to see Umbutu & Giles kick each other's butts. Shame that never went down.

[> [> Younger Than Buffy -- Claudia, 13:45:00 08/07/03 Thu

Any girl that becomes a Slayer after Buffy is naturally younger? Is that some kind of law?

[> [> [> Re: Younger Than Buffy -- ZachsMind, 14:07:25 08/07/03 Thu

No. It's an educated guess.

I can't find any canonical evidence that sways things one way or the other. I'm not even sure if we know her birthday. We do know that Buffy was born in January of 1981 and that on average every other year we'd get an episode of Buffy that took place on or near her birthday. However, I don't think Faith's ever admitted her birthday. Maybe she doesn't even know. If it's at all helpful, both actresses were playing characters younger than they were. Sarah Gellar is 26 years old in reality, Eliza Dushku is 23, making the actress who played Faith younger than the actress playing Buffy, so again it's more probable that Faith is the younger of the two.

[> Re: Slayers/Watchers in S2 & S3 -- heywhynot, 13:00:55 08/07/03 Thu

1) It appears this Watcher believed very strongly in the whole secret ID rule. Kendra's contact with the outside world was to be kept to a bare minimum. Plus given Kendra's description of her Watcher, I would suspect that the Watcher would of thought it was a good Slayer building experience for her.

2) Faith I believe was said to be around Buffy's age, maybe a year younger. She came to Sunnydale on her own and made arrangements. Plus pride probably kept Faith from partaking in any help from the Watchers. They did not develop a relationship that would allow Faith to open up like that. The Mayor was able to and got her into a nicer place to live.

[> Faith's age -- Valheru, 14:20:12 08/07/03 Thu

I always assumed that Faith was older than Buffy. She was at least 16 by the time of FH&T because she had dropped out of high school (not to say that she couldn't have done that at 15, but the State would have been looking for her at that age). And since we never saw Faith undergo the Cruciamentum, she is either many months older than Buffy (IOW, she took it before she arrived in Sunnydale), or her 18th birthday comes sometime after Enemies (after which the Watchers wouldn't have bothered).

My guess is that Faith was 18 by FH&T, having taken the Cruciamentum shortly before her Watcher was killed. It could even be that Kakistos was her Kralik--like Kralik, Kakistos may have escaped and gone after Faith's parental figure, who in Faith's case would be her Watcher, but unlike Buffy, Faith was unable to stop her target.

Besides, Faith always came across like Buffy's big sister--showing her the ropes of the "real world," leading her into risky fights, living on her own, etc...basically being someone Buffy sorta looked up to for a while--doesn't work as well if Faith is younger.

[> [> Funny, I always thought of Faith as the younger sister... -- Alison, 15:08:16 08/07/03 Thu

I believe Doug Petrie talks about the sister relationship on the TYG commentary...but Buffy's sense of responsibility towards Faith, and the Faith/Dawn comparisons only seem to work if Faith is the younger of the two.

[> [> [> I see Faith as the younger one as well -- Scroll, 15:59:53 08/08/03 Fri

Even though she has that line about dressing up in "big sister's clothes", I think the relationship edges more to Buffy as the older one, Faith as the younger one. In other instances, they're played as much more like equals. And while Faith is more jaded and sexually experienced than Buffy, especially in the beginning, that has very little to do with chronological age. The Faith = Dawn parallels are pretty blatant in S7, and Buffy/Faith and Buffy/Dawn have a lot of similarities.

As for the Cruciamentum, I'm of the firm belief that Faith had her 18th birthday in prison and celebrated it with a nice visit from Angel.

[> [> All dressed up in big sister's clothes -- Rook, 04:26:16 08/08/03 Fri

While not evidence, it's at least obvious from that comment that Faith sees herself as the more mature and "older" of the two, even if she's not chronologically older. It may have more to do with her experiences and attitude being a more useful way of handling the adult world than Buffy's more cheerful outlook.

[> [> [> My new little sister -- Vickie, 11:17:19 08/08/03 Fri

True, Rook. Yet Buffy clearly considered Faith the younger.

It's pretty clear we don't have conclusive on-screen evidence one way or the other. Here's my best take on it:

1. Because she was called later, it is somewhat likely that Faith is a little younger than Buffy.

2. Faith dropped out of school. Massachusetts seems to require schooling to age 16 (as does CA), but the gang is 17-18 in FHT. Therefore, without any idea how long ago Faith dropped out, she could still be younger than Buffy.

3. Faith has been "on her own", independent, and self reliant while Buffy is still living at home with Mom. While some see this as evidence Faith is older, I see it as evidence that Faith is "at risk". She shouldn't be on her own, however streetwise she is.

4. Faith considers herself the older sister (big sister's clothes). Well, she would, wouldn't she? Besides, she's trying to get under Buffy's skin when she says this, so she may not consider it literally true.

5. Buffy considers herself the older sister. Again, she would. She's more responsible and reliable, the "good one" who obeys the rules.

6. Stepping outside the story for a moment, the whole thing is more tragic if Faith is the younger. And ME always does the more tragic.

So I think Faith is younger.

[> [> [> [> Excellent reasoning, Vickie -- Scroll, 16:03:49 08/08/03 Fri

Especially the conclusion that ME always goes the most tragic route. It makes sense that Faith is younger. Hell, even if she had been older than Buffy, the girl had no business living in a dangerous, rat-trap motel in Season 3.

[> Re: Slayers/Watchers in S2 & S3 -- shambleau, 11:27:03 08/08/03 Fri

As for why Mrs. Post didn't arrange for better living conditions, the being incinerated after a day or two in Sunnydale probably contributed. Wesley was only there a short time until the incident with Faith killing Finch, and after that, may have felt until she proved herself, she didn't get rewarded with fancier quarters. Giles wasn't her Watcher to begin with and then was fired.

Also, "All those alchemists on the Board of Directors and we still have to fly coach" tells you a lot about how cheap the CoW was. They left Faith in a coma being taken care of on the Mayor's dime, presumably to save the cost of setting her up in a facility in England. They considered Slayers to be weapons, not people, and would figure if she had no mother to take care of her, give her enough to get by and no more. A Watcher's salary probably was for the Watcher and wasn't meant to cover the Slayer, or at least not to the extent of setting her up with a nice apartment.

You! Come here and be enlightened! -- Honorificus (She Who Rocks Your World), 12:06:40 08/07/03 Thu

My Super-Simpy Alter-Ego has (foolishly) allowed me to post in her LiveJournal. What she's unaware of is that it's my next step in taking over her life completely, and if any of you tell her that, I'll feed your entrails to my minions. To get to the point, in the aforementioned journal entry, I elucidate what plans we demons should be making in the Slayer-ridden world Buffy the Pestilential just made. If all Demonic Alter-Egos would kindly follow me:

HonorH's (soon to be Honorificus') LiveJournal

[> Loved your defence of season six, I thought it was great too. -- btvsk8, 15:07:08 08/07/03 Thu

[> A Beginners Guide to Evil Feng Shui -- Pushy Queen of Slut Town, 20:21:36 08/07/03 Thu


Overall a glorious plan, but I might point out one teensy-eensy little problem. Canada is currently under the domination and control of the most fearsome demon-god to ever walk this dimension -- Celine Dion. Being stuck on the Las Vegas hellmouth right now (my damned alter-ego wonít move to someplace with swampland), Iíve already run up against this powerful evil and the small litter of two she has produced.

Now, about those minion heads, this provides an excellent opportunity to introduce some of the lesser evils to the basic working principals of evil feng shui (which is a bit of a redundancy, since there is no such thing as "good" feng shui).

When designing your lair, remember to keep in mind that everything from the surrounding swampland to the placement of your power source influences the flow of chi. Chi is the energy that shapes our plans. When understood properly, it can be harnessed for world annihilation.

Chi interacts with everything, even the most casual of objects. How many of us havenít, once or twice, slaughtered a meal and left the rotting carcass wherever it fell? Next time, take a moment to consider how those bones block the chi from reaching areas such the abundance and prosperity quadrant of your lair or crypt.

Speaking of quadrants, there are nine to every dungeon, cave or crypt you call home. To determine them, superimpose the bagua map over your existing floor plan. You can find the bagua map on many different websites ñ just do like that witch and google the term.

Now, for Honorificusí concern about the best place to mount the heads of her decapitated minions, the obvious choice would be the quadrant for Helpful People, which is located to the far right of your lair, in the front or side closest to the main entrance. I know, I know, "minion" and "helpful" seem at odds with each other, but think of thisÖ your yet-to-be-decapitated minions will obviously be forced to linger near the heads of their dead loved ones, and maybe some of that "helpful people" chi might strike them. You might have marginally more useful minions. Plus, this particular quadrant is associated with metal, so itíll be convenient to keep the heads on iron pikes alongside some of your more creative weapons of mass torture.

Letís take a look at some classic evil feng shui blunders. Weíll start with Caleb. Now, that vineyard he holed himself up in was pretty much just wine kegs and the scythe in the stone. Listen up, lesser evils, and repeat after me. "I will not keep powerful weapons in the ëChildrení Quadrant." Why? Because these damned slayers are nothing but children. It like begging the chi to take them directly to your weapon of mass destruction. At least that wanna-be-demon Sadam Hussein was smart enough to bury his in the "Career and Life Path" quadrant.

Another classic mistake. One of our most dearly missed sisters, Glory, was nearly a master of Feng Shui. She decorated each area of her lair, in turn, as the need arose. She spent some particular time on the "Fame and Reputation" quadrant (in the central rear of your lair) and invited the chi to flow inward. Her downfall, ultimately, was a careless mistake. She placed a mirror (to admire her stunning self) in the way of the chi that was previously flowing into the "prosperity and abundance" quadrant (rear left). That mirror redirected the chi into the damned "Family and Foundation" quadrant. If your master plan involves a poorly constructed scaffold 500 feet in the air and the death of any relative of the slayer, you do not want the chi flowing in that direction.

But the biggest blunder of all Sunnydale history was the geek trio. Why, oh why do we super-evil entities have to invite these losers to the monthly mixer? Anyway, these nimrods were so clueless about their chi, that they blocked it from even entering that basement. If they had a full brain between them, they might have known that moving the giant cardboard cutout of Seven-of-Nine into the rear right (the Relationships and Love quadrant) might have had some surprising results.

Some quick tips for beginners:
* First off, you can pretty much ignore all the books on Feng Shui written by humans, they have a very twisted view of things.
* Try not to overlight the common areas of the lair.
* Do not sleep with your feet pointed toward the main entrance, it is considered the death position. This rule does not apply if you are already dead.
* Remember: clutter, slime, sharp angles and dead plants are essential to the flow of chi. Just make sure you clutter with a purpose.
* I know that the vampires arenít going to like this one, but mirrors really are essential to redirecting chi in proper directions.
* Placing a map (or globe) in your career quadrant can help to keep you focused on your ultimate goal of domination.
* Decorate your relationship quadrant with chains, cuffs, whips and hot wax to attract many nubile sex slaves. Try to keep electronics out of this area unless youíre one of those sick geeks with the sexbot fascination.

Now all you lesser evils get to work! Or at least instruct your minions to get to work. If Iím invited to one more gathering in the home of an evil who thinks Nsync posters even marginally qualify as appropriate interior design, I will send the Fab 5 ñ those delightful creatures of perversion from "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" ñ to take care of the situation.

Ah, Honorificus, youíve got me going on and on when there are at least 10 stunningly beautiful hostages ready to worship their queen. Iím feeling hungry.

Pushy Queen of Slut Town

[> [> Darling! I so love your work! -- HonorH, 21:52:39 08/07/03 Thu

Exactly what I needed. I'll set the minions about rearranging my lair straightaway. Do come over sometime next week, and we'll do a sacrifice together, okay?

[> [> [> The demon is doing an HonorH impression! -- Finn Mac Cool, 23:31:02 08/07/03 Thu

[> [> [> H, ya moron! -- HonorH (the real one), 00:08:31 08/08/03 Fri

What have I told you about posting under my name?

I thought you could use some aggravation in your life.

Yeah, God knows I wouldn't wanna run out of that . . .

Revising ATS s5 speculation (one casting spoiler, the big one that everyone knows) -- abt, 13:45:21 08/07/03 Thu

I posted some ATS s5 speculation on 05/25/03. I'm no more spoiled now than I was then. Spoilers for everything broadcast, ATS s5 WKCS, spoilery info in post-season interviews from May about likely direction of ATS s5.

I speculated that Spike would return human. I wrote that post back in May a couple of days after seeing Spike burnt up from the inside by some sort of purifying soul-related light. Based on the manner of his death, it makes sense that he would return human, i.e. presumably the light burned away all the demon, therefore the vampireness would be gone.

However I have been thinking about it some more, and it occurs to me that maybe it would be better to base my speculation not on the manner of his death, but instead on the role he will play in Angel's life in the future. It might be more logical for him to be human because of how he died, but if vampire+soul is what works better for his story on ATS, then that's what it'll be.

So I think he might be a vampire+soul. I still think it'll be roughly along the lines of 'activist versus politician'. Both wanting to do what's right, but in conflict. One not 'selling out', the other compromising on some things in order to be able to do other great things. If Spike is to be a foil for Angel, perhaps there needs to be some sort of equality between the two? Perhaps they would want to make them similar in one way by making them both ensouled vampires, in order to play up their differences in other respects? I have been speculating about Angel and Spike both trying to do good, but in different ways. Perhaps it would be easier to compare and contrast if they were both in the same condition? Then we could argue about the merits of their actions rather than the merits of their humanity/souled vampireness? IYSWIM. (Although we could still do that if one was human and the other vamp+soul.)

Spike as human or as vampire+soul, both have merits, both could be used to tell a good story that relates to Angel.

I still think it's perfectly possible he could be human, but Spike as ensouled vampire would also allow for more spectacular physical fights, which I would imagine is a fairly large factor in increasing the chances.

Spike finds out about Angel's deal with W&H...

Spike: What the bloody hell were you thinking signing up with this lot, they're evil!

Angel: (patient and patronising) Look Spike, I understand you mean well, you're all excited about your new soul, but when you've been a champion as long as I have, you'll start to realise..

Spike: #*@#!

[> I kinda doubt the last part -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:31:09 08/07/03 Thu

Spike has always had a very pragmatic personality. When evil, he was still willing to work with the Slayer in order to get Drusilla back, and killed plenty of other demons if they got in his way or if he was bored. And, post-souling, he bit Robin Wood and threatened to kill him if he attacked him again. I just kinda doubt Spike has enough of an idealistic streak to come down on the W&H merger unless he's got someone/thing pushing him to do it (for example, as I suspect might happen, convincing Angel and Co. to leave Wolfram & Hart might be one of the terms of his resurrection).

[> [> Re: I kinda doubt the last part -- luvthistle1, 00:22:48 08/08/03 Fri

he didn't bit Robin, he only threaten to.

Question: how come it's not ok, for Holtz to seek revenge on "angel", for killing his hole family, but everyone feel it's o.k for Robin wood to seek revenge on Spke for Killing his mother?

[> [> [> For me -- Tchaikovsky, 04:35:48 08/08/03 Fri

Neither are OK. I don't know who you mean by everyone, but I think both are unacceptable, though understandable.


[> [> [> Where do you get that idea from? -- Diana, 07:52:50 08/08/03 Fri

ME takes great pains to show the motives of its characters and show how from their perspectives they are acting rationally and are in the right. However, when it comes to ultimate OK, neither Wood or Holtz' vendettas were seen as OK, since the character had changed by being resouled. They were understandable, though.

However, Angel's treatment of Holtz and Spike's treatment of Wood were different. THAT is where the difference is. Angel has a lot more reason to hate Holtz than Spike does to hate Wood, but Angel didn't harm Holtz. Compare "Benediction" to "LMPTM." Not a bash, just an observation.

[> [> [> [> Vengeance is usually punished in Whedon's world.. -- ZachsMind, 17:03:22 08/08/03 Fri

Or at the very least it never seems to work quite the way one intended. It's like how vengeance works in Shakespeare. It escalates. Tybalt kills Mercutio. Romeo kills Tybalt. Uhm... the Apothecary kills Romeo... Or wait, was it Mercutio kills Tybalt and then the Nurse kills Ophelia? I ferget.

Angel kills Holtz's family. Holtz takes away Angel's hopes for a normal family. Fair's fair and all that, but Holtz sacrificed a lot to get to do that, and then he ended up dying anyway, a hopeless and empty shell of a man. In contrast, Spike killed Wood's mother. Wood tries to kill Spike. Buffy tells them both to grow up and quit being such big babies.

I like Buffy's Way. =)

[> [> [> On vengeance -- Tyreseus, 18:00:08 08/09/03 Sat

I'm trying to think of even a single episode in which getting vengeance is seen as "OK." Even Buffy's crossover appearance on AtS in season one to punish Faith was presented as understandable, but not OK.

There are examples, of course, of getting revenge on soulless, evil things. But the revenge usually serves a dual purpose: 1) to get vengeance on the wrongs done to an individual; and 2) to protect the world from further acts of evil and destruction. For instance, we could argue that Buffy's slaying of the Master was, in part, motivated by vengeance.

But I can't find a single instance of vengeance being okay against souled, redeemable characters. Look at Willow's season 6 finish.

But there is a gray and hard to explain line between vengeance and simple justice. I think of Halfrek's PC comment that they prefer the term "justice demons" over "vengeance demons." Or the code of vengeance pursued by the gipsies who cursed Angel with a soul.

BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 --
Claudia, 16:06:02 08/07/03 Thu

My impressions of Buffy the Vampire Slayer, the series: (updated 22-May-2003):

1. Best season?

Season 5. Despite ìBuffy vs. Draculaî, Season 5 was simply the best. I loved the Glory story arc, which intertwined with Dawnís arrival, beautifully. We saw the beginning of Spikeís redemption and it also boast some of the best BUFFY episodes ever, including ñ ìFools For Loveî, ìThe Bodyî, ìInterventionî and the best finale ñ ìThe Giftî.

2. Worst season?

Season 1. It wasnít terrible and I liked the finale, ìProphecy Girlî. But quite frankly, it still bores me. To me, itís simply an introduction to the series and nothing else.

3.Best decision made by the production team?

Sent Angel away to his own series, after Season 3. ANGEL THE SERIES made a great companion series for BUFFY.

4.Worst decision made by the production team?

Kept Angel around during the entire Season 3. He really wasnít much use to the series, following his return from the hell dimension. ANGEL THE SERIES could have been a mid-season series, like BUFFY.

5.Seasons ranked in order of best to worst?

Season 5
Season 7
Season 3
Season 6
Season 2
Season 4
Season 1

6.Best single episode?

Season 5ís ìFool For Loveî ñ a classic BtVS episode at its best, thanks to superb writing, filming, editing, and a superb performance by James Marsters.

7.Worst single episode?

Season 6ís ìDoublemeat Palaceî ñ may I say ìbarfî? This episode really turned my stomach.

[> no accounting for some people's tastes I guess :) -- BuffyJunkie, 18:41:32 08/07/03 Thu

Season 7 ahead of Season 2? Season 6 ahead of anything? That was so depressing I seriously thought I might slit my wrists after "Smashed"...and it only got worse...

And as for the Gift, the last 10 or so minutes of it were some of the most poignant and moving scenes of Buffy for me, but the rest of the ep had more holes in it than Swiss cheese...

[> [> Re: no accounting for some people's tastes I guess :) -- Claudia, 08:08:18 08/08/03 Fri

Actually, I had posted that list to encourage you to make your own. Instead, you criticized my selections.

As for your preference for Season 2 over Season 7, that's your choice. I still prefer Season 7. With the exception of the mid-Season (from "Bring On the Night" to "The Killer Within") I really enjoyed it. And the Big Bad, the First, was very subtle and manipulative, without being obvious.

Season 2 had a lot of good episodes, but the entire story arc for that season seemed very fragmented and the transition from Little Bad to Big (namely Spike & Drusilla to Angel) was not smoothly written. Even worse, the whole episode about Angel's loss of soul seemed more of an anti-climax and lacked dramatic punch. Season 4 was more smoother than Season 2, as far as story arc goes, but most of its episodes were mediocre. This is why I hold Seasons 2 and 4 in almost the same regard.

[> [> I loved season 6 -- Ray, 03:17:42 08/10/03 Sun

It really captured the feeling of despair that can accompany entering adulthood. It showed real relationships, hard choices, and mistakes. But, in the end, they all made it through.
And, unlike season 7, it actually focused on characters I gave a damn about.

[> Doublemeat Palace: Most Maligned Episode Ever? Why? -- dmw, 19:00:05 08/07/03 Thu

While Doublemeat Palace is far from my favorite episode of Buffy, I don't understand why people dislike it so much. It was a welcome relief to me after the terrible trio of episodes that preceded it, all of which vie for worst episode in my list. I thought it had some wonderfully funny moments like the scary introductory video with the chicken/cow merging scene and Buffy's hysterical "Soylent Green" tirade at the customers.

More importantly, we got to see smart and brave Willow again. You remember, the one who gradually vanished as Willow started to become a cool witch? There is the continuation of the stupid addiction story arc with the appearance of Amy so Willow's scenes aren't an unqualified joy, but they're so much better than what we see of her during most of season 6.

[> [> I agree -- Gyrus, 07:57:55 08/08/03 Fri

"Doublemeat Palace" is certainly underrated. OK, the giant phallus-beast was stupid, but how can anyone not love the creepy burger guy's monologue about grease?
("Skin...eyelashes...nostrils...the insides of your ears...")

[> [> [> Yeah, it wasn't the worst....and whats up with people hating "B vs. D"? I like that ep! -- Nino, 17:07:19 08/08/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> It might've been the disappointment after the summer advertising campaign -- dmw, 07:49:01 08/09/03 Sat

[> Let's all play-- My turn. -- Q, 22:09:24 08/07/03 Thu

1. Best Season.

I agree, season 5. Season 2 had BIGGER episodes. Season 3 was a little more consistent. But season 5 combined consistency AND big episodes better than any other season

2. Worst Season

Season 4. Too many light, fluffy, "side" episodes, and the worst "Big Bad" and overall season arc of all time.

3. Best decision made by the production team?

Hard to say... but NOT what you said!

4. Worst decision made by the production team?

EASY. Hands Down. Giving Spike a soul. When Spike was making all kinds of moral and benevolent decisions I was confused that they were flying in the face of ALL vampire canon they had ever laid down. When I finally started to accept it, and was ready to explore how a soulless fiend might find his redemption and humanity, they changed their mind, and said, "Ya-- vampires really CAN't be benevolent or noble without a soul" and stuffed one on him to satisfy a weak longing for Spike/Buffy action by a large contingent of the population. Season 5 Spike spat on 5 years of vampire mythology-- Season 7 spat on 2 years of Spike development. In fact, maybe I'll change my mind and say EVERYTHING they did with Spike from "Harsh Light of Day" on is the worst idea in ME history-- ya, that's it.

5. Seasons ranked from best to worst:

Best : Season 5
2nd Best : Season 3
3rd Best : Season 2
Middle : Season 1
3rd Worst: Season 7
2nd Worst: Season 6
Worst : Season 4

6. Best single episode.

I'm not sure I know what you mean by "single episode", unless you mean the all time best episode. If that's so I'm torn between a few. Five way tie here:

Becomings 2
The Body
Once More With Feeling

7. Worst single episode

Something Blue: may I also say "barf"? This episode turned MY stomach.

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003-( Kinda long) -- Artemis, 22:29:11 08/07/03 Thu

I agree with your comments Claudia, in many instances though my order is somewhat different and sometimes changes.
I tend to look at the whole series as a novel . I novel I didn't start at the beginning. I actually started watching a few episodes of Season Two my sister had on tape.By this time Season Four was airing . So I liked Season Four but I wasn't obsessed. Even then I didn't think Riley was an interesting boyfirend and I hadn't even gotten into the whole Angel lovefest yet.
Season Five is when everything changed. That season was fantastic to me. And I am one of the few who loved "Buffy and Dracula" I thought it was hysterical and still do. Plus I kinda liked the touches of darkness they threw into the Buffy character at this point. You could see it was beginning to scare her . I know they had some of that in season Three too but I hadn't seen those episodes yet.

Season Five Loves are:

1. Dawns mysterious entrance and how they accomplished it.

2. I loved Glory. Boy I know I'm a minority here but I thought she was too funny. I hadn't been really introduced to Cordelia yet, so Glory was my first Cordy.

3. Riley getting a little dark. This made him and their relationship more interesting to me. Plus I could feel it was ending for them so I liked Riley more. Yes I'm sick but I've accepted it.
4. Definitely Loved Spike in Season Five and thought he and Buffys' relationship was facinating. Hate, but Attraction always bled through both of them as if they couldnt help it. Especially in "Fool for Love"

5. The Body, The Gift. Excellent.

6. Willows first taste of Heroin, I mean Dark magic, after Tara's mind had been sucked. Magic had been her marijauna before this. Cool but not dangerous before this.JMHO

Yeah season Five is definitely my favorite.

After that Season I was obsessed and taped or got tapes of every previous episode.

I go back and forth from Season Two and Season Three. Loved the Angel and Buffy drama of Season Two. But have more of Season Three episodes that I hold dear.

Agree It was time for Angel to move on. But Faith and the Mayor are classics.

Loved Season Six. I can really live in the darkness. But to me it wasn't dark for the sake of being dark. It was a natural progression of the choices that all the characters made and reflected emotionally the world they lived in . I absolutely was more than obsessed at this point.I could hardly wait for each new episode.
Though I do agree with your views on "Doublemeat Palace." I think the stories that season were so intense that I just saw this episode as having little to say about where they were going. Or maybe I just didn't think it was that funny. I think If I had any problems with season Six it was that I just was not a big fan of the Trios humor.

Season Four. Surprisingly, though I started with Season Four and at the time thought it was just ok, but Ok enough to continue watching the show on and off, I liked it much better after I knew Riley would not be Buffy's permanent boyfriend. And to look at it straight through without having to wait week to week, It's pretty good.
Plus there's Hush, Primeval, Restless and the return of Faith. Cool season over-all.

Season Seven. Feels very much like a greek play to me. I'm not sure why. It feels didactic. It has it's message but it keeps you at a distance. Almost like an outline that ask you to fill in many of the blanks.It felt to me as if this was on purpose yet I can't say why. Because of this. I didn't have quite the probems that many others had. It just seemed like a different writing style for this chapter of the book.
Season one is the season that I enjoy but more as "after fact". As a history of what they once were, but one I'm glad they moved away from. I know that It would not have captured me if I had started to watch back then. But I do enjoy reading the book from beginning to end now. Experiencing the whole journey now that I know where the story is going.

So I guess I can't really put them in an order after Season Five, cause like I said it changes all the time

Thanks for sharing your impressions Claudia.

[> [> I give in, I'll play too (-; -- dmw, 07:42:35 08/08/03 Fri

1. Best season?

Season 3. It's hard to choose between seasons two and three, but season 3 holds together a bit better and The Mayor and Faith are my favorite little bad/big bad pair.

2. Worst season?

Season 6. I love dark fiction; my favorite novelist is Dostoyevsky and my favorite horror writer is H.P. Lovecraft. However, I found this season dull and flat, rather than dark. Violations of continuity in character and setting were far too large, and the season villains (trio, crack magic Willow) were just bad, which was disappointing as I was looking forward to a dark Willow arc on par with the dark Faith arc of season 3. They had good ideas (dark Willow, life as the villain), but didn't execute them successfully.

3. Best decision made by the production team?

Choosing to make Faith and The Mayor the villains of season three instead of Mr Trick as I've read was originally planned.

4. Worst decision made by the production team?

The idea that magic is crack.

5. Seasons ranked in order of best to worst?

  1. S3: Great arc, best villain ever (Mayor/Faith), great episodes (Dopplegangland)

  2. S2: Great arc, great villain (Angelus/Spike&Dru), great episodes (Becoming)

  3. S5: Good arc, decent villain (Glory, though Doc would've been great with more screen time), great episodes (The Body). Solid recovery from the problems that plagued S4.

  4. S4: Willow's arc is great; she and Tara are a joy to watch together. No other other pair of characters ever displays so much chemistry. Great episodes like Hush and NMR, and great one-shot villains like the Gentlemen.

    However, the other character replacements don't fit in well and with the setting change on top of that, this season suffers from some of the same introductory season problems that season 1 has. The facts that the big bad, Adam, is rather boring, and that their method of defeating him marks the beginning of pulling tricks out of the magic hat instead of being smart, both hurt this season.

  5. S1: Good arc, decent villain (Master/Annointed), and at least one great episode (Prophecy Girl).

  6. S7: Boring villain with even more boring little bads; too many new characters without purpose; continues the problems begun in S6. No great episodes.

  7. S6: Major out-of-character actions, plot holes, and setting holes. The musical was excellent, but there's no other episode of the season I really like, though there are excellent individual scenes through Seeing Red. Some good story ideas, but poor execution all around.

6. Best single episode?

Hush. Delightfully creepy monsters with a legend of their own. Great use of expressions, gestures, and such to tell a story without words. Willow and Tara's emotionally and magickally powerful first spell together.

7. Worst single episode?

Wrecked. The name says it all--this is the episode that wrecked Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Magic crack makes its first appearance. I picked this episode over the final three of the season as it establishes most of the problems that we see come to fruition in the finale.

[> Ha, I must play too! -- Rook, 04:20:44 08/08/03 Fri

Best Season:

Season 3. There is no bad here. No major gaping plot holes (Can we say all say "Hammer of a God"?) Better placement of the stand alone episodes in relation to the main arc than season 2, and a whole bunch of chick fights.

Worst Season: 4

Bland Riley, Incmprhensible Adam, Disappearing Prof. Walsh, etc. In spite of having 3 of my top 10 episodes (Restless, Hush and Something Blue) the forced march towards whatever Adam's plan was was just too much.

Best Decision made by the production team:

Sending Cordy with Angel. She didn't really have anywhere else to go on Buffy, and she actually got to develop on AtS

Worst decision made by the production team:

Ignoring the blindingly obvious Riley/Willow chemistry, and forcing the Buffy/Riley Tara/Willow romances for plot reasons. This is one time where they should have let the story go in the direction it was naturally heading. Of course with major, sudden cast abandonment (Crouse and Green) I'm sure that just getting the season back under control was hard enough. Without the behind the scenes factors, I think we'd have seen a much better season 4.

Seasons ranked from best to worst:


Best Single Episode

OMWF. Hands Down. There are a lot of others that would seriously compete for the #2 spot (GDII, Becomng II, Restless, The Body, etc.) But OMWF has it over all of them.

Worst Single Episode:

As You Were. Riley found the only person more annoying than himself for a wife. ANd it looked like it was shot on a budget of $3.50...the monster special effects actually worse than Mrs. French, and what was up with that camera work and lighting?

[> Listing, ranking, ordering- who can resist? -- Tchaikovsky, 05:18:11 08/08/03 Fri

1. Best season?

Season Three, I think. My only gripe with it is that it's book-ends, Anne and Graduation Day pale in comparison with a few other Seasons, notably Season Two's When She Was Bad and Becoming, and Four's The Freshman and Restless. Yet in between, there's nary a dud between them. If I was being super-picky, Revelations is atad predictable, but apart from that, it's full speed ahead, with the glorious drama of Helpless, Bad Girls/Consequences, Enemies, Choices and The Prom, interspersed with beautiful comedies-with-morals like Band Candy, Earshot and Doppelgangland. And then there's The Wish. And Amends. Darn, it's a great season.

2. Worst season?

Hum. 1. Not that it was given a chance as it's so short, and it did have four excellent episodes. Of the full length seasons, I'm afraid Season Seven cops it for an inert middle third and a slightly untidy ending.

3.Best decision made by the production team?

Tim Minear. Oh, that was on Angel. OK. Um. Michelle Trachtenberg is a marvellopus actor who regenerated the show into the laceratingly powerful fifth Season denouement, a crescendo made possible by her turns in No Place Like Home, Blood Ties and Forever. And then there's the face-as-a-piece-of-scrunched-up-rubbish of The Body, which fits with Giles in Passion, as truly remarkable reactions on Buffy.

4.Worst decision made by the production team?

Tracey Forbes. Three awful episodes. Good bye.

5.Seasons ranked in order of best to worst?

Season 3
Season 5
Season 2
Season 6
Season 4
Season 7
Season 1

6.Best single episode?


7.Worst single episode?


[> this is just too fun (well known Ats casting spoiler) -- btvsk8, 06:03:13 08/08/03 Fri

Best season-
I'd have to say five as well, especially if we are talking about the overall season's pacing, arcs and themes.
Funnily enough while very bored and attempting to avoid revising for my A-levels earlier this year I rated every Buffy episode out of ten and then put them in order. I then tried to find out what the best season was in terms of the average episode rating for each season but in terms of this they were amazingly close i.e. decimal points were separating them. It just goes to show that it is not the strength of individual episodes that make a great SEASON.

Worst season
One- the show only found its feet by Prophesy Girl.

Best Decision made by the production team
Oh I've never thought about this before. I think bringing Spike on as a regular was a risk that paid off. Oh and stopping the show before IMHO it jumped the shark.

Worst production decision-
Angel was around for too long in season 3, the B/A relationship was the biggest weakness in that otherwise great season. Perhaps he should have stayed dead? (I know, controversial. And I don't really mean it, because we wouldn't have Ats now). I also have to agree that giving Spike a soul was a bad decision, and though I am reserving judgement, bringing him back on Ats also looks bad, mostly because it seems to have been done for commercial rather than artistic reasons.

Seasons (best to worst) Based purely on the criteria i mentioned before.

Best episode- OMWF- not only groundbreaking, but also very 'Buffy', in a way that the equally amazing The Body was not. Oh, and it also works as a key turning point in season six, as well as a stand alone.

Worst episode
Killed by death or Goodbye Iowa. Yuck. Sorry I can't give a better reason, but I'm sure many people will understand why.

Woo that was fun! Oh and re: Doublemeat Palace, I don't think it was that bad- in fact I'd even go so far as to say I liked it!

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- KdS, 06:41:44 08/08/03 Fri

1. Best season?

Season 3. The only one without a single truly bad episode, and the best balance of optimism and pessimism in the whole series.

2. Worst season?

Season 1. So shallow compared to everything that followed. If I have to pick a full-length season, I'd have to go for Seven, for the neglect of anyone not Buffy or Spike, disappointing shallowness of the metaphors and ramshackleness of the plot.

3.Best decision made by the production team?

Turning Angel evil. The whole deepening of the Buffyverse starts here.

4.Worst decision made by the production team?

The Seeing Red rape scene. Recent discussions here have convinced me that the brutal naturalism of that scene was a truly disastrous decision if the way Spike and Spuffy were to be developed in S7 was already planned.

5.Seasons ranked in order of best to worst?

Season 3
Season 5
Season 2
Season 6
Season 4
Season 7
Season 1

6.Best single episode?

How am I seriously going to answer this? I need an alphabetical or transmission-order list of twenty to be comfortable.

7.Worst single episode?

Lies My Parents Told Me. Still haven't changed my mind on anything I wrote on first viewing.

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- heywhynot, 10:56:57 08/08/03 Fri

1. Best Season?
To me Season 5 was the tops. You have Buffy v. Dracula to start things off with its intro of Dawn, Dracula's words "You think you know..." a fun begining & reintro to all the characters. Then you have the building to the finale including such gems as , Fool for Love, The Body, Forever, and of course the end, The Gift. To top it all off, Restless in many respects was the episdoe 0 for season 5. And what was to come & boy did we have no idea.

2. Worst season?
I would say season one. Everyone was finding there way. Everyone did not hit their stride until Prophecy Girl.

3.Best decision made by the production team?
Bringing Kendra and Faith on & following up on it to give the origins of the Slayer and fitting it into the overall message of the show.

4.Worst decision made by the production team?
Giving in and getting ride of Riley.

5.Seasons ranked in order of best to worst?
Season 5
Season 7
Season 3
Season 2
Season 4
Season 6
Season 1

6.Best single episode?
Chosen. The whole point of the series summed up and great moments between the originals harkening back to season one.

7.Worst single episode?
I, Robot... You, Jane

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- Maura, 11:09:07 08/08/03 Fri

Iím just going to play the part of the game I can do off the top of my head: the ranking thing. Here goes, from favorite to least:

Season 5:
Excellent arc overall and for just about every individual character. Great illustration of the theme of everyone having something unique to contribute, especially in The Gift.

Season 2:
Great arc, great Big Bads.

Season 6:
I like the way it really deals with the repercussions of Buffyís death. It has bad points: Willowís arc didnít work for me and Xander, Anya, Dawn, and Giles werenít given enough to do. For me, however, the development of Buffy and Spike carried it. I understand why others donít feel that way. (I liked the Trio too.)

Season 3:
This is the one Iíve watched least, so I canít speak authoritatively. It does have a lot of good episodes and Faith was a great invention. But I personally get turned off by S3 because too often Buffy seems to be set up as the ìgood girlî to Faithís ìbad girl.î It seems a bit simplistic and makes me sympathize with Faith more than Buffy. But again, I havenít seen it much and not any of it in a while, so if you say Iím missing the point, youíre probably right.

Season 4:
Weak arc but great standalones. Some nice character development, especially Willow, Tara, and Xander.

Season 1:
S1 suffers for me just from being at the beginning and so having less character background to build on. The arc and individual episodes in general seem good; itís just lacking in the depth of much that came later.

Season 7:
I still canít come to terms with it. Actually, I consider more than half of the individual episodes to be very good. (I only count about 5 as "bad.") But the arc fails for me, in a nutshell, because the ìwarî plan doesnít make tactical sense and no one ever points this out. This does not make me want to approve Buffy as a powerful feminist leader.

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- Alison, 12:12:56 08/08/03 Fri

1. Best Season?
Intellectually, I'd have to say Season 3, because it has the most consistently high quality eps.
Emotionally, I'm torn between Seasons 2 and 6. What can I say...I like the big, wrenching drama.

2. Worst Season?
Season 1...definitely. It had some great moments, but when compared with the rest of the series, it seems lacking.

3. Best decision?
Having Angel go evil. It changed everything, allowed the show to explore darkness, and started a chain of events that reshaped the Buffyverse.

4. Worst decision?
It's a toss up between the magicrack story line, and the Kennedy/Willow ship. I think the magic as an addiction was worse, because the potential of Willow being corrupted by power was amazing.

6. Best Episode?
It's a difficult choice...but I rewatched Becoming 2 last night, and I was struck by how every little choice, every little betrayal is so important. This episode matters, no line is a throwaway.

7. Worst Episode?
Go Fish. The one episode I absolutely cannot rewatch. It's painful. It's dull. It's pointless...there are no words for how much I hate this ep.

[> [> so totally agree with worst episode pick -- tam, 17:30:56 08/09/03 Sat

as i was reading the posts, i thought "why doesn't somebody say 'go fish'. why didn't somebody say 'bad eggs'

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- pinkpansy, 13:29:55 08/08/03 Fri

well I usually like to look at this show for the best episodes (imo) that captivate me every season rather than looking at each season as a whole. But here goes.

Best season:
Season 2 by far. I've always been partial to the high school episodes for their brilliant metaphors connecting everyday occurences to supernatural. something like parents night getting abruptly cut short by a gang of vampires. It may have been structually weak but I think this season was crucial for our understanding of Buffy and her Sunnydale life. Great eps like When she was bad, Lie to me, What's my line 1 and 2, Passion and Becoming 2. The high school Buffy, Willow, Xander, Giles group dynamic at the library in the midst of Snyder and high school activities was classic and worked so well to establish the conflicts and resolutions.

Worst season:
cant decide which one was worse, 4 or 7? I think 4 is definitely more bearable than 7. 7 just felt like all the fizz was taken out of the soda can leaving it flat. Buffy became unrecognizable to me even more than the detached Buffy of season 6. There were too many extraneous characters and hardly any original SG interaction. Too much emphasis on Spike and episodes that lack the impact of the other seasons.

Best decision made by the production team:
Making Angel go evil after his night of pleasure with Buffy. This created an unforgettable story arc in s2 with Angelus.
Worst decision made:
Season 6 as a whole. Sure, there were some winners like Bargaining 1,2, once more with feeling, and tabula rasa. But too dark and too depressing overall. When it wasn't painful, it was way too mundane to muster up any interest.

Seasons ranked in best order:


Best ep:
Hmmm, have to be Becoming 2 as #1 but I also love the What's My Line eps 1 and 2.

Worst ep:
First date, there was absolutely no point to the episode other than the fact that Robin is the son of a slayer. the Ashanti demon proves that if a show like Buffy had to resort to casting a famous name for the sake of ratings, it was probably breathing its last few breaths.

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- Millan, 13:57:29 08/08/03 Fri

Oh, I wanna play as well!

It's been a long time since I wrote anything here, still lurk from time to time, though.
And I can't resist participating in something like this.

Best season:
Season two.
I think the characters had gotten firm and settled., but the story and the feel was still fresh and surprising. I have never been a Buffy/Angel shipper but the angst was good and emotional. Angelus was a very good Big Bad.

Worst season:
I've always said season four was the worst season IMHO.
My problem is mainly with Adam, Riley and the Initiative.
Funny thing is, when I stop and consider it, I love many of the actual episodes of this season. Strange.

Best decision:
Letting Angel leave.
The angst had played its part. It was old and getting boring.

Worst decistion:
Don't really know, I guess making the Adam and Initiative story-line so long. Thinking about it logically, the story makes good sense, and would fit well in the Buffy-verse, but when faced with the end-results, the feel was just not there.

Seasons ranked from top to bottom:

Best episode:
OMWF, Doppelangland, Selfless, Band Candy, School Hard and Becoming (1 and 2).

Worst episode:
Ted, Dubbelmeat Palace, Listening To Fear, As You Were and Goodbye Iowa.


"You fell for a mystical, ancient curse. Who hasn't made that mistake seven, eight times?"
Xander, 'Him'

[> Not that anyone will read my little old list, but.... -- Nino, 16:40:43 08/08/03 Fri

1.) Best Season:
Gotta agree with most others here...season 5 rocked my felt like everything in the past 5 years was leading up to that one moment in "The Gift" before Buffy jumped. Although Clare Kramer's performance as Glory was often less then stellar, the character and story arc were so grande, I ate it up. Larger than life storytelling...

2.)Worst Season:
Again...I concur...season 1...i mean, "I Robot...You Jane" just seems silly compared to the stuff we had in store.

3.)Best decision made by the production team
The arrival of Dawn. It was risky business...we all thought Joss had gone wacky...but it was the greatest payoff in all seven years...It set an awesome arc into motion. And I think that payoffs life this are what made us so disappointed in the anti-payoffs of season 7...

4.) Worst decision made by the production team:
To pull stuff outta there asses in season 7...basically, lack of Dawn/Anya, weirdness of Willow/Giles, and total waste of a potentially AMAZING big bad all for the sake of seeing some lesbians kiss and B/S fall in love...not so much with the good

5.)Season ranking:
Season 5
Season 3
Season 2
Season 6
Season 7 (sometimes switches with 4...depends on my mood)
Season 4
Season 1

6.) Best Ep:
Sorry, nothing original here...."Once More, With Feeling." My two favorite things in the world are Buffy and musicals...imagine my delight when first I read of this fabulous ep...and no..i never thought it was going to suck.

7.)Worst Ep:
Just so I'm not saying the same thing as everyone else...(yeah, we all know "Doublemeat Palace" and "Bad Eggs" sucked)...I'll say "First Date" because we had the most to loose with this ep..It was a total waste of time...Remember that interview with Joss saying it would have been silly to send Dawn off on a date so late in season 7...but it was ok to get Ashanti to come suck ass? SO bad...minus the final scene with the First and Wood...this ep felt like it was written for season 1.

[> me too, me too! -- celticross, 20:56:21 08/08/03 Fri

Let's see...

1) Best season?
Season 3. Despite the occasional angst coma brought on by Buffy and Angel's Doomed Soulmate Love (sorry, it got old), the overall quality of the episodes and consistancy of the arc was wonderful. The fabulous relationship between Buffy and Faith, with Faith's eventual turn to the Mayor, was beautifully done, treading lightly between love and hate. Plus, we've got Oz, Cordy, a little glimpse of the Ripper himself, and my favorite Big Bad of all, the Mayor.

2) Worst season?
Season 7. I really had high hopes for Season 7, and it was doing pretty well building up a suitably dangerous and mysterious villian and dealing with the consquences of Season 6. But about a third of the way through the season, it started to unravel. The nameless, interchangable Potentials, Giles' odd, distant behavior, the issue of Spike's soul being an eternal source of conversation but never one of exploration. Plot lines were brought up, talked about (and talked, and talked), and then dropped. Chosen just couldn't feel satsifying for me; there were too many unanswered questions.

3.Best decision made by the production team?
Having the courage to let Joss do his "gimmick" episodes (for want of a better term), ex. Hush, The Body, and Once More, With Feeling.

4.Worst decision made by the production team?
Two words. Magic Crack. As far as I'm concerned, all my problems with Season 6 can be summed up in those two words.

5.Seasons ranked in order of best to worst?
Season 3
Season 5
Season 2
Season 4
Season 1
Season 6
Season 7

6.Best single episode?
The Body. An emotional suckerpunch that makes me cry no matter how many times I've seen it.

7.Worst single episode?
Two to Go/Grave. Ok, I know that's two episodes, but they were aired at the same time. And I know a lot of people on this board love the Season 6 finale, but it failed for me. It bored me. They held off on getting to the main action of the season (the turning of Willow) until the last 4 episodes of the season, and the finale was *still* repetitive. Dark Willow says something mean to Scoobie Friend, and they fight. Willow and Buffy fight some more. And some more. Then Giles appears, rather deus ex machina (seeing as we haven't heard from him for months and he's suddenly very powerful) and there's more fighting. Then Willow decides, in the space of a few lines of dialogue, that the world needs destroying. Sorry to ramble, but I'm still bitter about it all.

[> Re: BtVS Impressions - 1997 to 2003 -- Haddock, 05:39:50 08/09/03 Sat

Hey, I want to play too.....

Best season: Season five - I just felt the overall story-arc was the most affecting of all of them - the one where they really got to the heart of what it means to be a slayer - the constant proximity of death - plus they really began to flesh out a couple of my favourite characters, Tara and Spike. To my mind, the Gift was the perfect way to end Buffy - although that way we would never have got to see seasons 6 and 7. And yes, I know the whole plot is shot absolutely full of holes, but to me at least, that isn't the point.

Worst Season: Season one - Its not that its bad, but it just feels that bit less like a really classy drama with some top notch writers, and that bit more like a decent bit of teen-entertainment that lucked in with a few great episodes. Welcome to the Hellmouth + The Harvest though gives some indication of how much better the Buffy film could have been.....

Best Decision ever made by the Buffy Crew

Season 2 - when they decided they had to kill someone, getting rid of Jenny and keeping Oz. Nothing wrong with Jenny Callendar as a character, but season 3 just wouldn't have been the same without Oz....

Worst Decision ever made by the Buffy crew

The whole potential slayers arc in Season 7 - what a mess. Surely they should have known that would be an unworkable nightmare to write and direct.....

Seasons ranked in order best to worst


Best single esipode ?

Restless - how much complexity can you cram into 45 minutes of television and still pull it off - the most rewatchable episode of Buffy by a long way

Worst single esipode ?

Ted. There's probably worse episodes if I think about it but never a more disappointing one. I just felt the whole 'Ted is a robot' angle was a cop-out - and, come to that not at all in keeping with the Buffyverse (albeit this applies equally to Warren's bots - but I felt they at least served a more interesting narrative purpose - a way of tackling the question of what is real.

[> Expanded Impressions (top/bottom 10 episodes) -- dmw, 18:01:29 08/09/03 Sat

I love so many episodes that I had a hard time picking just 10, so I ended up with 11, some of which are two parters.
They're somewhat vaguely ordered, though Hush is my favorite:

1. Hush
2. Becoming
3. Dopplegangland
4. The Wish
5. The Body
6. Innocence
7. New Moon Rising
8. Passion
9. Who Are You?
10. Prophecy Girl
11. Graduation

These were hard choices to make, as there are many other excellent episodes like What's My Line?, Choices, Fear Itself, and OMWF that don't quite make it.

Here's my bottom 10 episodes from worst to just very bad:

1. Wrecked
2. Grave
3. Two to Go
4. Smashed
5. Him
6. Gone
8. Showtime
9. TKiM
10. AYW

There are episodes from earlier seasons like Bad Eggs, Gingerbread, WTWTA, and Triangle that I dislike, but none quite so much as the ones above.

The (IR)Redeemability of Connor -- Diana, 16:25:09 08/07/03 Thu

I fully believe that ME meant to show Connor as irredeemable, but based on the controversy surrounding his demise, I am not sure they accomplished this. My husband believes that by showing that Jasmine's blood did not affect him and his reaction, they were showing this. I believe the lines regarding Fred and finding out why she would reject Jasmine's love and Connor's reaction were designed for this purpose.

However, rather than get into another debate regarding whether Connor or anyone is irredeemable in the Buffyverse (NOT Real Life), I would like to hear ways that ME could have better shown that Connor was in fact irredeemable.

I would have like to see Connor dreaming earlier in the season, perhaps the same episode where Cordy dreams of pod people, about Quor-Toth and him not see it as a nightmare. That could be contrasted with Angel having some nightmare and his horrified reaction to it.

We can go back through the season and look at how Connor repeatedly rejected love that was shown him and how there was nothing to really reach. VK played Connor's reaction to Angel being resouled perfectly. Same with his sewer talk with Angel in "Magic Bullet." What other moments like this could have built up to the ultimate sacrifice that Angel once again had to make.

[> He could have killed Cordelia or some of the other people . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:33:39 08/07/03 Thu

. . . and not even react to it. Just keep the blank, emotionless face he had throughout it. What they were trying to show in "Home" was that, after going through so much, Connor had become dead inside, and someone who cannot feel really can't seek redemption.

[> [> Re: He could have killed Cordelia or some of the other people . . . -- Rook, 04:31:25 08/08/03 Fri

I think that all of this stuff culminated in his participation of the virgin sacrifice for Jasmine's birth. From that point, it was clear to me at least, that he was a dead man.

One thing about the Buffyverse, is that evil is only redeemable through "death", even if you do come back from it: See Darla, Angel, Connor, Spike, and Anya.

It's probably my one complaint with Willow's redemption: She didn't have to pay nearly as much as others that went back and forth over the good/evil line.

[> [> [> What about Faith? -- Diana, 06:08:43 08/08/03 Fri

And Lindsey? Death isn't the only vehicle to Redemption in the Buffyverse. Also Ripper seems to have made the transition to Giles.

Why should someone have to "pay nearly as much as others"? It isn't a cosmic balance sheet. It is about a change in perception.

And you left off Doyle in the characters who were redeemed through death. He is the Tim Reaper's first real victim.

[> [> [> [> Also, Anya's wasn't a redemptive death -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:58:37 08/08/03 Fri

Yes, she died, but her death really didn't have anything to do with redemption. It was intended as a battlefield death, a death of senselessness, in order to contrast with Spike's. In my opinion, Anya redeemed herself in "Selfless", when she was willing to die to undo the wrongs she did.

Also, there's Andrew, who also went over the good/evil line, and he very pointedly did NOT die.

[> [> [> [> [> Faith, Andrew, Anya... -- Rook, 23:19:51 08/08/03 Fri

The entire conversation with Andrew about her "loving humanity" was a setup for a redemptive death. It wasn't senseless. Senseless would have been getting run down in the street without having the epiphany.

As for Faith, I count her coma the same way as I count Angel's stay in Hell. She got gutted and knocked out for 8 months. Granted, she didn't come back redeemed, that took walking a mile in Buffy's shoes to accomplish, but at the end of her return arc on S4/S1, she's on the road. So Faith had it a little harder than the others, because she had to both "die" (at least in the metaphorical sense.) and switch places with Buffy in order ot see the error of her ways.

As for Andrew, while he didn't die, it took the threat of death for him to start on the road, and really, he was never redeemed the way the other characters were, in that they were fully accepted into the ranks of the "good guys" (This is true for Faith on BtVS as well, but less so in terms of AtS). He's probably the closest thing to an exception, but while his "death" may just have been a threat, his redemption really wasn't a whole lot more solid.

[> [> [> Angel? -- KdS, 06:25:51 08/08/03 Fri

Angel's "death" in Becoming is never implied as having anything to do with redemption - just as a tragedy for both Angel and Buffy.

[> [> [> Double standard -- sdev, 13:56:24 08/08/03 Fri

One for humans one for demons

[> Re: The (IR)Redeemability of Connor -- Tyreseus, 17:42:42 08/09/03 Sat

A partcular bit of dialogue keeps nagging at my brian every time we talk about Connor's chance at redemption. From "Beauty and the Beasts"

Giles: I really can't say. From what is known about that dimension, i-it would suggest a world of... brutal torment. And time moves quite differently there, so...

Buffy: I remember. So he would've been down there for hundreds of years.

Giles: Yes. (looks up at her)

Buffy: Of torture.

Giles: It would take someone of extraordinary... will and character to survive that and, uh, retain any semblance of self. (swallows hard) Most likely, he'd be, be a monster.

Buffy: (hopelessly) A lost cause.

Giles: Maybe. Maybe not. In my experience, there are... two types of monster. The first, uh, can be redeemed, or more importantly, wants to be redeemed.

Buffy: And the second type?

Giles: The second is void of humanity, cannot respond to reason... or love.

Now, this was probably written before Connor was even a glimmer in Joss's eye, but Angel could be having this same conversation with Giles shorly after Connor returned to this dimension.

So when we debate over whether or not Angel did the right thing, I think it ultimately comes down to a question of Connor's character. Was he so far gone that he couldn't respond to love anymore? Maybe. Was he so bad off that he couldn't respond to reason? Well, it's all a matter of opinion.

From "inside Out"
DARLA: Because we shared a soul. I feel the pain, the anger, the hurt, like it were my own. (walks up to Connor, looks him in the eyes) But most of all, I feel the good in you and no matter how much you're beaten or twisted or lied to, it's still there in your heart. I know it, and deep down, you know it, too.

Even though Connor made the wrong choice, I still believe that Darla was right. He does want to do the right thing.

The only possible way I can justify Angel's stripping Connor of his right to find his way back to good is if the deal struck with W&H is, perhaps, just temporary. That it works similar to "dosing" Willow with good magic at the end of Season 6. By creating an entire lifetime where Connor learned how to love and trust, then allowing him to regain the memories of his other "true" life, he can find his way back to goodness. Unfortunately, I have my doubts that this is what actually happened.

Riley vs Caleb --
JBone, 20:23:19 08/07/03 Thu

Yeah, but I'm a walking bruise today. If you see me with my clothes off, I look like a... I mean, I have bruises.

I don't have yesterday's results up, but Anya won big. I want to thank those who have volunteered for the Tiebreaker council. I haven't figured up who's pulling duty in the next couple weeks yet, so if any of you can't one week or the other, send me an email so I can schedule accordingly. I guess those who have already done so should let me know if they can't also. I'll email whoever ends up on the council next week sometime this weekend. Follow? Oh, and there is still a little room for more volunteers. Interested?

Any other business?

[> Agent Finn is equipped with a sidearm for just this sort of eventuality -- Celebaelin, 20:33:42 08/07/03 Thu

[> An off-year election; expect a low turnout at the polls.... -- cjl, 20:34:37 08/07/03 Thu

Not a lot of love in fandom for either of these gents. After rooting for Riley all the way through Seasons 4 and 5, "As You Were" made me wonder why I bothered; and if I had to listen to any more of Caleb's cornpone anti-Bible stories, I would have grabbed the Scythe and done the job myself. So, all things being substandard, it comes down to whether you think Initiative technology could beat Caleb's Vitamin E(vil) injections. Since I have a small amount of affection left from Riley's TA days, I say the farm boy zaps the preacher good. Riley wins (for whatever it's worth).

[> [> Speaking of off-year elections [OT] -- Kenny, 07:36:35 08/08/03 Fri

Here's a great clip from The Daily Show. Just thought I'd share.

[> Comment business -- Jay, 20:47:09 08/07/03 Thu

I lost a post somewhere. Just a little funky modem trouble. Been fighting it all night.

I wanted to point out to those who post comments, that I don't believe you have to fill in the city, email and webpage address form stuff to post in the comment (guestbook) section. It seems to be working, but if it's not, let me know and post ?em here or email me. Back on point, all I need is a name and your comment (message).

[> Repost from comment place. -- ApOpHiS, 21:10:03 08/07/03 Thu

Yeah, Caleb got bland real fast, but I've never liked Riley. It's that simple. The greatest moment of my life was when Angel beat the hell out of him. That moment could only be topped by the mental image of a priest wailing on him. Besides, Riley needs to pay penance for "As You Were."

[> Tough, and I hate doing this, but-- -- HonorH, 00:06:15 08/08/03 Fri

I think Caleb would win this one. He took a lot of killing. I don't even think a gun would do the job. Now, if Riley had a handy-dandy grenade he could slip down Caleb's pants when he wasn't looking, that would be something. Otherwise, though, ain't happening. Sorry, Riley--you know I love you, but I gotta be real here.

[> [> Not only that--he's Capt. Mal! and channels The First! -- mamcu, 10:08:14 08/08/03 Fri

Sure some of that Mal goodness spills over into the power of this new incarnation, lame though it may be.

And let's face it, the First is a tough opponent. Just can't see Riley getting around it.

[> [> [> Sorry Riley -- ponygirl waving buh-bye, 10:30:12 08/08/03 Fri

[> Re: Riley vs Caleb -- Anneth, 11:25:05 08/08/03 Fri

In a fair fight, Riley'd be no match for Sir Psycho-unsexy; happily, Riley's learned a lesson or two in his time and no longer goes in for that "even matchup" stuff when he's to be fighting super-powered charicatures. So, Caleb, exhausted after a hard day of wimmin-hatin' and wimmin'-killin', runs himself a nice, relaxing bath (in his ancient but well-equipped-with-modern-amenities wine cellar). Riley stealths in to the steamy bathroom and drops several hungry piranahs into the tub. Caleb is quickly reduced to a jumble of reddish bones, and the piranahs are put on display at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

[> Truth is? I was rather underwhelmed by both of them. -- Scroll, 08:02:18 08/09/03 Sat

But I suppose I'll vote for Riley anyway cuz he's a good guy and the good guys have to win, y'know. Plus, Xander had a crush on him whereas Caleb poked out my Xand-man's eye :( No rosaries for Caleb!

[> [> Um, can someone vote for me? I keep getting errors on the page! -- Scroll, 08:05:26 08/09/03 Sat

Thanks! Vote one for Riley for me, please!

Today's New York Mini-Meet at the Neil Gaiman Signing -- Rob, 23:21:10 08/07/03 Thu

Well, this looks like it might end up being one of the tiniest ever ATPo meets. So far, it's just me and anom, but here's the info, just in case you'd like to come.

The store is the Borders on Wall Street.

The announcement on the Borders website says:

Neil Gaiman Signs 'The Wolves in the Walls'

Gaiman signs his book for children and adults. Neil Gaiman wrote the award-winning graphic novel series The Sandman and, with Terry Pratchett, the award-winning novel Good Omens. His first book for children, The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish, illustrated by Dave McKean, hasn't yet won any awards but was one of Newsweek's Best Children's Books of 1997. Today, Gaiman returns with his new book, The Wolves in the Walls. Be sure to bring the kids for a special reading of the book with Gaiman.

August 8, 2003 3:00 PM
Location: in store.
Manhattan - Wall Street
100 Broadway
New York, NY

And according to Neil Gaiman's official website, Neil will sign an unlimited amount of copies of "The Wolves in the Walls" for each person, and 2 other books of his. In other words, you can have 3 copies of "Wolves" signed, and also one "American Gods" and one "Stardust." Get it?

There's a Dean and DeLucca restaurant right outside the Borders Store. I will be getting there at about 2:10. anom is set to arrive at about 2:45-2:50. I'll try to get a table as close to the front door as possible. So, if you want to mosey on down, please do! It would probably be best to get there as early as possible, just so you have enough time to finish your food before it's time to go to the reading/signing.


[> note on the restaurant -- anom, 05:33:52 08/08/03 Fri

"There's a Dean and DeLucca restaurant right outside the Borders Store."

I think it's actually inside the store. A little more location info: the store's at Pine & Broadway in the bottom two floors of the American Surety Building.

[> Could you imagine Gaiman writing a Buffy novel? -- ZachsMind, 10:22:23 08/08/03 Fri

Actually it'd be cool if Gaiman had done some kinda Restless inspired crossover where Buffy, Giles, Xander and Willow got mixed up with the Lord of Dreams, who sorta informally found himself presiding over an argument between Giles & The First Slayer about whether or not Buffy's been abusing the power that TFS has given her.

"Death is your gift." The First Slayer in season five was basically telling Buffy to curl up and die. From TFS's perspective, Buffy is THE worst Slayer ever in the history of Slayerness, cuz Buffy has absolutely no clue what's going on. The First Evil and The First Slayer? Same damn thing. Dream. Death. Delirium/Delight. Destruction. Despair and Destiny. It's all there in Buffy. I think it woulda made for a great crossover.

Oh. I'm nowhere near New York. Sorry. Y'all have fun.

[> [> And thus are the seeds of fanfiction planted... -- ApOpHiS, 20:53:30 08/08/03 Fri

[> anom and I had a mini-blast. You guys missed out! ;o) -- Rob, 08:53:12 08/09/03 Sat

[> [> yeah, we had us a fine micro-meet! when's the next (bigger!) one? -- anom, 15:49:34 08/11/03 Mon

This meet was micro in terms of both number of posters & time. I was working at a client's office & just had a lunch hour, so I took it late. I got to the bookstore just in time to meet Rob & go to hear Neil Gaiman read. We were in the overflow space...meaning the whole rest of the store. (Note: Don't believe store personnel when they tell you they don't expect much of a crowd. Not if it's Neil Gaiman reading, anyway.)

I had to head back to work almost as soon as the reading was over, leaving Rob to wait on line for autographs (another reason more of you shoulda come--to keep him company!). My main complaint is that we didn't have much time to talk. It was just enough to whet my appetite for another meet. Was it worth it? Hell yeah!

And it got me thinking about another possible approach to these local meets--something I've been wondering if I should suggest since around the time of the last NYC meet. The client I mentioned calls me in for 3-4 days around this time every month. They're at Park Av. & 34th St. Another poster mentioned (at the meet, I think) that she works near the Empire State Bldg., right nearby. (I'll leave it up to her if she wants to identify herself.) How many more of us work in midtown? Lunch meet, anyone? Let's find out who's where & find a restaurant in a central location! Students & people without regular employment might be able to come too. The main drawback, of course, would be the limited time...but I've had that term redefined by Friday's micro-meet. So whaddya think? Could this work? Is it worth a try, at least? I say, hell yeah!

Question on What's My Line? Pt. II -- Maura, 10:48:38 08/08/03 Fri

Iíve been working on an essay for which I wanted to use Whatís My Line? Pt. II as an example, but the more I think about it, the more Iím confused about the sequence of events (off-screen) surrounding the Scoobies all getting to the church.

Unless Iím really missing something (quite possible without access to the transcripts -- annoying!), hereís what we see: Buffy gets dragged into the church. A couple of seconds later, Kendra shows up, and a couple of seconds after that, Giles and company appear.

How did they all converge here at this particular moment? Was Kendra just following Buffy (never went back to Giles like she said she would)? This seems to be the only way she could arrive so fast, but then how did Giles et al. know which church to go to? Did I miss the moment when they figured it out?

I could really use some help clarifying all this!

[> Re: Question on What's My Line? Pt. II -- Q, 12:06:10 08/08/03 Fri

It's a little murky, and there's probably not an easy answer-- but we know that Willow and Giles were working on finding the location of the church while Buffy and Kendra interrogated Willy. Kendra probably went back, told them Buffy went with Willy, and Giles said "I know where they went-- let's go!!"

That's my guess.

[> [> Re: Question on What's My Line? Pt. II -- Kate, 13:52:38 08/08/03 Fri

I know what you mean about being confused about the sequence of events. It's been awhile since I wathched the DVD commentary by Marti Noxon, but I thought she said what (we were to assumed) had happened was that Kendra and Buffy had the whole thing planned out before they went back to Willy's. So when Kendra and the gang show up at the church to "rescue" Buffy that was part of the plan. Which you can kind of see - especially from the fact that a) it doesn't take them long to show up and b) Cordelia and Xander were all ready with the glue stuff to destroy the Bug-man.

Hope that helps.

[> Other transcripty places.. -- ZachsMind, 14:09:30 08/08/03 Fri

There's no need to wait for to come back. There's other places to go.

Buffyverse Dialogue Database has been newly christened to feature Angel AND Buffy interchange. It is one of my favorite places cuz it cross-references like Felix Unger on speed. And it looks purty. Although it doesn't chronicle every detail. The purpose is to hit the highlights, but it's more thorough than it might appear to be on the surface.

BuffyWorld features transcripts for practically every episode of both Buffy and Angel. First choose the season and then scan down for the episode. There's links to trailers, screencaps, summaries and transcripts, when available.

Buffy vs Angel has both program guides and transcripts for both series. And a bunch of other stuff. It's interesting to explore.

And of course there's for all your frog dissection needs. Though not transcrippy, Masq's rundowns of each episode is more fun than should be allowed by humans.

You be peace I be out.

[> [> Thanks to all for ep. commentary and transcripty info.! -- Maura, 10:39:43 08/09/03 Sat

New TV Idea - Willow's Angels --
Claudia, 15:32:43 08/08/03 Fri

Here is an idea for a BUFFY spin-off:

Willow is a power witch living in Cleveland, who overseas three Slayers to battle evil - namely former potentials, Kennedy, Rona and Vi. Either Andrew or Xander can do the Bosley role.

[> New TV Idea - Eighty is Enough -- ZachsMind, 15:55:02 08/08/03 Fri

Giles finds a condemned building in Cleveland, buys the property, and with Willow's mystic help, renovates it to accomodate all the Slayers they can find. Willow then sends out a broadcast telepath message to all Slayers on the planet letting them know where to come for training and stuff.

Eighty report in. Kinda like Eight is Enough only with a lot of slayage. Giles is like the Dick Van Patten role. Willow's like Betty Buckley, and there's no sex just like in the 80s sitcom cuz Willow's gay and Giles is old and that'd just be Reverse Sunset Boulevard anyway and I couldn't hang.

Willie Aames gets to be the first villian, as that crazy preacher down the street on the corner telling children about Bible Man. Eighty slayers come pouring out of the building and beat the ever lovin' crap outta him. What a season premiere, huh!?

[> [> That's perfect! LMAO! -- punkinpuss, 20:37:18 08/08/03 Fri

[> Re: New TV Idea - Andrew's Island -- Cheryl, 20:38:31 08/08/03 Fri

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip, That started in this tropic port, aboard this tiny ship. The mate was a mighty sailin' man, the Skipper brave and sure. Five passengers set sail that day for a three hour tour. A three hour tour.

With Andrew, the Skipper (Spike) too, the Millionaire (Xander) and his wife (Anya), the movie star (Willow), the Professor (Giles)and Mary Ann (Dawn), here on Andrew's Isle.

[> [> ROFL!!! -- WickedCoconutShell, 11:45:54 08/09/03 Sat

[> baywatch sunnydale -- skpe, 07:17:19 08/10/03 Sun

The sunnydale crater is filled with water and some developer turns it into the next happening resort. The SITs get boob jobs and skimpy bathing suits and run around staking vamps and saving drowned people

[> Touched by a Scooby -- monsieurxander, 00:48:37 08/11/03 Mon

The spirits of Tara, Anya, Joyce, and Jenny travel around, helping those in emotional peril and teaching them life's lessons... but with a Whedonverse catch. They have to face off with a demonic Della Reese. *shudder*

Souls, etc. (PSA: There are no souled vampires in this post!) -- dub ;o), 18:15:08 08/08/03 Fri

Okay, so JW has been quoted many times as having said that the soul is a sort of compass that orients one toward good, or evil, a sort of guiding star. (I know Rufus has the exact references at her finger tips, so I can afford to be lazy and not look it up.)

JW has also proudly proclaimed himself an "angry atheist." Fine with me. And his definition of a soul could be considered to be consonant with his religious, or non-religious status.

But, here's my question. If that's all a soul is, then what part of Buffy thought she'd been in "Heaven?"

Don't get me wrong--I think JW had Buffy refer to it as Heaven because that would be the only thing she'd think it could be, not because he thought that's where she was. He probably thought she was in some alternate Heaven dimension, must like there are Hell dimensions in the Buffyverse. And that's fine. I really don't care about the whole God-Heaven-Hell thing. My point is, we saw Buffy's mortal remains mouldering in her grave (yeccch!) so it wasn't that part of her that felt like it was in Heaven. It had to have been some other part, i.e. the "real" Buffy, the part that makes Buffy, well, Buffy. The part that Willow brought back when she resurrected Buffy and revivified, indeed reconstituted, her corpse.

Now, if that's not her soul, then what the heck is it? Is Joss trying to imply that Buffy's id (or ego, or superego, for that matter) survived her death and made it to a really nice, heavenly place? Or perhaps her consciousness?

It's a little dicey, I feel, positing that consciousness survives physical death without giving us an alternative to the various religious explanations for that phenomenon.

Nowadays there are a number of (fairly flakey) theories concerning quantum mechanics and the theory of entanglement of particles that try to explain things like ghosts without reference to religions, but they're not widely accepted as credible.

Come to think of it, what the heck is an angry atheist doing creating character after character who survives physical death? Darla, Buffy, Lilah...I'd think the whole concept would be anathema. Vampires, sure, the body goes on because it's host to an infecting demon. No religion necessary. But human life after death? Okay now, just explain this to me, Mr. Whedon!


[> Maybe he's saying that the id/ego/are built in translators for the soul. -- WB, 19:58:35 08/08/03 Fri

[> Confusing creativity with belief -- Gyrus, 21:03:40 08/08/03 Fri

You seem to be assuming that JW bases the Buffyverse and his concept of souls on his own beliefs. Why it would be necessary for someone to believe in spiritual phenomena in order to make up stories about them?

If anything, Whedon's atheism probably enables him to be more creative, in that he is free to do what he likes with his fictional world without ever worrying that he is committing blasphemy or tempting viewers to embrace false spiritual beliefs.

[> [> Re: Confusing creativity with belief -- dub ;o), 21:45:36 08/08/03 Fri

You seem to be assuming that JW bases the Buffyverse and his concept of souls on his own beliefs.

Oh, not at all, and I apologize if I gave that impression. I tried not to. No, what I'm after is whether we can equate that part of Buffy that went to "Heaven" with a Buffyverse soul and, if not, then what part was it? In the context of the canon of the Buffyverse, of course.

dub ;o)

[> [> [> Re: Confusing creativity with belief -- Gyrus, 22:44:06 08/08/03 Fri

Oh, now I get you. Sorry for the confusion.

The idea that the soul is a moral compass doesn't exclude the possibility that it contains some sort of consciousness. Maybe the soul is a kind of desire for the divine. Being that, the soul drives its owner to seek out those things that most closely resemble the divine -- kindness, love, peace, and so on. Heaven, being a place of ultimate love and peace, would be the "North" towards which the soul points.

(By extension of that idea, evil people would be those who stifle their own souls to such a degree that they never find their way to Heaven after they die.)

Of course, I don't have any idea if this line of reasoning resembles JW's, or if he's even given the subject that much thought. The whole "Heaven" thing was mainly meant as a device to drive the plot and create bucketloads of angst.

[> [> [> [> Heaven -- auroramama, 07:38:48 08/09/03 Sat

Heaven certainly boosted the angst. But I also thought Buffy's description, along with her reactions to coming back to life, was JW's best guess at how death could be all right without an afterlife. What Buffy describes could be a single eternal moment. There are no actions or events, just knowledge, peace, and completion. Nothing happens, but it's enough for her. It's the logical endpoint of her realization in The Gift that this was her moment to die. It's the opposite of struggle, vigilance, and fear, and it's her reward for enduring them. It might not be heaven to anyone else, and there doesn't seem to be anyone else there (only a sense of being loved), but it's heaven for Buffy.

I thought Buffy's heaven was a remarkable achievement.

[> Definition of a soul -- Valheru, 23:34:24 08/08/03 Fri

IMO, when the Buffyverse refers to a "soul," it isn't the traditional real-world meaning. We think of the soul as a person's spiritual essence, which in the death of our physical bodies continues on to another plane (Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, ether, etc.). A body without a soul is just an inanimate shell that decomposes. But in the Buffyverse, the existence of the undead contradicts that theory--if vampires are soulless, then how can they exist at all?

Real-world beliefs don't really have an explanation for soulless creatures (after all, why would they?), so the concept of a "soul" is rather straightforward. The Buffyverse, by necessity, must explain the soulless to some degree. Enter the idea of "demon essence." The demon essence supposedly acts as a soul substitute, replacing the soul in the case of the reanimated (vampires), while acting as a sort of negative-soul in the case of true demons.

As the show got deeper into metaphysics, however, the concept of a "demon essence" weakened. The explanation became less "Vampires are evil because they are humans infected with demons," and more "Vampires are evil because they have no souls." Therefore, "soul" began to equate to what Joss describes, a spiritual conscience.

ME still flip-flops on their explanations, which I can understand for two reasons: 1) it's a tricky subject to wrap your mind around, and 2) it's not really the point. Joss is writing characters, metaphor, and pop culture; he'd rather be liberal with the soul concept in exchange for a good story, as opposed to fouling up a good story just so he gets the metaphysics correct. As long as the story gets across to the audience, he probably doesn't care all that much about how precisely they work with souls.

But where does that leave us in the text of the Buffyverse? IMO, a person is composed of two parts--physical (body) and spiritual (essence). The soul is the spiritual conscience and is a component of the essence. When a person dies, their body loses its essence (including the soul). When that body is reanimated (except in the case of zombies), the essence is restored sans the soul. In vampires, the demon acts as a negative-soul, guiding them toward Evil rather than Good.

With Angel, the Romany were able to restore his soul to his essence, although they were not able to expel the demon. Spike (so far as we've seen) got his demon expelled and his soul restored. When Buffy died, her essence went to Heaven, then was somehow restored complete with her soul upon resurrection.

In the real-world, I think we would describe it as Buffy's soul having gone to Heaven. But again, the Buffyverse wouldn't describe it as such because it operates under more complex rules.

As for Joss, I think he is understanding it all on a whole other level completely. If I understand atheism correctly, they don't necessarily believe that religion is hogwash, just that they interpret religious beliefs as metaphor as opposed to literal. So just because Joss doesn't believe in a physical Heaven doesn't mean he doesn't believe in a psychological Heaven, to which he would have no qualms about sending Buffy.

[> [> The demon's in the details... -- ZachsMind, 09:10:17 08/09/03 Sat

I agree with your observations, Valheru. For those of us who like dissecting Whedon's universe, it would have been nice if he'd made it easier to figure out how souls work. Sometimes it seems his writing staff goes one way and sometimes it feels as if they're going another. This leads one to believe that both are true: When Angel loses his soul, something else takes precedence - a demon essence. However, does that make a vampire the same as a demon/human hybrid? No. Cordelia has a demon essence within her, thanks to Doyle, but she doesn't function like a vampire. Vampires are something else entirely. But what are they? The demon's in the details. To explore this in the context of a story would bore the audience, unless it's explored as an integral part of the plot structure.

In Once More With Feeling, Buffy turns to her friends and sings that she _thinks_ she was in heaven. When she does so, it's the most poignant moment of the entire episode, and a powerful moment it is. She's only confided this to Spike before now. Sweet's demonic musical magicks practically force it out of her. So it was possible to explore the mechanics of afterlife in this context, but only to a point.

The operative word here is Buffy "thinks" she was in heaven. To explore further and more definitively one way or the other would take all the fun out of the storytelling. Whedon's not admitting there is a heaven in his fictional universe, nor is he denouncing its existence. Looking through Buffy's eyes, Whedon sees something that would naturally look like heaven to Buffy. A place that made her all warm and fuzzy inside with no concept of time. A place where there may have even been a shopping mall open always which always had things on sale: in other words, Buffy's ideal paradise. However, to bother with a scene where Buffy actually attempts to convey details to others, would bog the storytelling down.

Whedon does the same thing with the soul debate. At every turn, Whedon falls short of definitively stating whether a vampire is a human absent a soul, or a human somehow possessed by a demon. I mean, if it were as simple as that, then Angel could just get an exorcism performed on himself, have spiritually removed whatever it is which causes Angelus to exist inside him, and then Angel would live the rest of his existence as a normal human... or dust, which is more probable.

Because whatever it is that makes a vampire a vampire, it's more than just an abscence of humanity. When Holden Webster was headshrinking Buffy, we learn that he's basically the same guy he was before the turning, but that now there's also this connection with dark powers. Something promising him victory over the slayer and greatness beyond the dreams of avarice. Leading eventually to some chaotic end of reality which will be a blaze of glory, and the turned Holden Webster is very okay with that, while before Spike's siring of Webster, he would have been a little put off by it.

So was Holden Webster an animated dead thing with no soul, or was his soul replaced by a demonic influence? Or is it not a demon essence at all that makes vampires but instead a soulless magical viral infection that transfers from one body to another through saliva and blood? If that were the case, then anyone bitten would turn vampire, and in Whedon's world the acceptance of being a vampire is a choice. In the siring, a person must be brought to the brink of death and then offered a vampire's blood, at which point they either just die, or become a vampire. We learn this when Dracula visited Buffy in season five. She could taste his blood because she hadn't been almost sucked dry herself. Back in season three when Buffy learned that only a slayer's blood would cure Angel, she volunteered herself, and Angel almost brought her to the brink, but Buffy didn't drink from him in return, so she didn't get turned.

At least that's how I _think_ it works. Whedon could change his mind in future stories. Whatever's necessary in the context of the story he's telling at the time. This is one of the curses of internal continuity. There's always the danger of writing oneself into a corner, if the writers have to pay attention to crap that happened back in season two of a tv series that isn't even on prime time anymore.

This past season on Angel, the characters got to a point where they believed the only way to resolve their current predicament was to purposefully remove Angel's soul from his body, and bring Angelus to the forefront. This decision was based on years of previous history regarding Angel's character. Stuff that new viewers were not privy to. Sometimes it seems they have to do a lot of exposition on Angel. He's not your ordinary vampire. A new viewer can't just tune in and see him and at a glance go, "oh yeah so I get it he's a vampire with a soul who was cursed by gypsies hundreds of years ago and he used to eat people but now so long as he's never truly happy he's a champion - one of the good guys and we're supposed to root for him and his friends as he saves the universe a lot." I mean when ya look at it that way, it makes it understandable why "cop" shows and "law" dramas are so popular. You don't have to be a fanatic to appreciate The Practice or NYPD Blue. You tune in. You figure out who the lawyers and policemen are and you just watch. In sitcoms you can usually figure out who's who by the first commercial break. It's dumbed down for a reason. They're dumbing down Angel Five because they've done the soap opera melodrama thing with story arcs ranging anywhere from three episodes to entire seasons. It wasn't bringing in new fans.

Last season on Angel, it wasn't episodic. It was chaotic. During this souling thing, we saw that Angel's soul can be manifest as a cute little white sphere of energy trapped inside a magical glass container. This is something that harkened back to season two of Buffy when a bedridden Willow started blabbing Latin in front of the books. Then they brought IN Willow to finish the job, and put Angel back together. Newcomers were probably confused as all get out but to the rest of us it made perfect sense. However, continuity's going to get worse as we veer further away from Buffy and find Whedon's universe focusing more and more on Angel.

If one is to really examine this whole soul sphere thing, that's simultaneously cool and corny. Do we really want to explore this further? Why aren't there glowing white spheres hovering around graveyards all the time? Why can't we actually see these manifestations of souls whenever Buffy goes patrolling? Dead person on screen - where's his white soully thingy? ARE they always there, and only through certain magicks are they temporarily visible to the naked eye?

Is Tara's soul following Willow around like a sick puppy? We'll never know unless it becomes a required plot element in a story, and even then perhaps it's best left unknown.

Are there cute glowy energy balls floating around the heads of all vampires? Trying to get back in? And some dark essence inside the vampire body keeping it at bay? Or do these energy balls normally just fly off somewhere? To one or more places that one would _think_ might be heaven? If that's the case, how did the gypsies get Angel's soul back from that unknown well of souls that all cute little energy balls eventually go?

And if Dawn is a green glowing energy ball - a key that unlocks dimensions, is she really just another soul? Isn't that the same thing? Could any soul be mystically trapped and then enchanted to become a mystic key? Is a captured soul one of the ingredients for making a mystic key like Dawn?

All these questions could be answered within the confines of storytelling, and some of these answers may still get explored in Angel or perhaps some future incarnation of the franchise. However, dissertations or ramblings do not make very entertaining television, so we'll have to wait until Whedon figures out how to make them interesting for prime time viewerships.

I for one am patiently impatient about it all.

[> [> [> A couple thoughts -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:49:48 08/09/03 Sat

"in Whedon's world the acceptance of being a vampire is a choice."

I don't think this is necessarily the case. We know that the human must first be drained to the point of death and that they then must drink some of the vampire's blood. However, it's not necessarily a choice. If you've ever read the book "Dracula", it describes the infamous Count as forcing someone to drink his blood, filling her mouth with it until she can't help but swallow. I personally think this fits in best with the vampires we've seen on Buffy. While there are definitely some cases of humans willingly becoming vampires (Billy Ford and Darla were, and Spike did offer the choice to Willow), but, for the most part, vampiric attacks seem far too violent for the choice thing to come into play.

Also, on another note: what if Buffy really has no memories of wherever she was while she was dead? What if the Heaven she described was really just her consciousness at the point of death? After all, she had just saved the world and her sister, as well as getting release from a hard and cruel world. Odds are she was fairly happy then. Combine that with her sense of reality become a little skewed, what with the dying and all, then you could very well say that her memories of Heaven are really just memories of dying.

[> [> [> [> Well, again, we are spared the details.. -- ZachsMind, 16:45:05 08/09/03 Sat

We have seen very few sirings. Usually what we've seen doesn't involve direct coercion or torture. Either this is because the networks wouldn't let Whedon direct what would ultimately turn into a snuff film for television, or because it's not what Whedon wants to say. At any rate, we're spared the details unless they're required for purposes of storytelling.

Dracula tried to sire Buffy, and she turned him down. If my memory serves, Darla cut the skin just above her cleavage and offered it to Angel. I mean what guy near death is gonna turn down that? Darla offered Spike a chance to be more than what he was. Granted, I don't think Angel gave Drusilla that same choice. He tortured her and took away her family, her sanity, her faith, her everything, so that Dru literally had nothing to turn to other than him in the end. But why did he do that when all Angel really had to do was stuff a cut finger of his down her throat? Would have saved him a lot of time.

No. He did what he did to her because he wanted to turn her, but he had to get her to accept it, and the only way to do that was to remove from her all available alternatives. Get her to a point where she _believed_ even her God had turned His back on her. THEN Angelus would win.

Y'know I wish they'd bring Juliet Landau back in Angel as the principal badguy for like half a season, just to have her kill off everyone he cares about one by one, and somehow torture the crap out of Angel. I think she's long overdue. She'd make the best villianess ever if she just let herself pull all the stops. *smirk*

When I talk about choice, I'm not dismissing coercion. There are other factors involved. No doubt there are times when a vampire, for one reason or another, feels he has to amass some kind of army really fast. We're not sure the details regarding the sirings that Spike did under the influence of The First in season seven. They may have all been coercion, seduction, or a combination of the two. Regardless of force or not, I don't recall ever in Buffy or Angel hearing of a vampire literally forcing a bloodletting down a victim's throat.

Using a person for food, granted. They'd grab just about anybody. However, actually turning? A vampire picks and chooses who that's going to be usually, and there's some kind of plan involved. Even Harmony had a plan. She wanted to be the leader of a gang. She just wasn't very good at effective plan strategy, but she did have one. ...Sorta. (wooden unicorns - what the hell was she thinking?)

The choice given may be a bleak one, either suck outta me what I just sucked outta you or curl up and die. Still, there comes a point in the process when the dying victim IS given a choice: die, or live forever. A drowning man will cling to anything in desperation for survival. It's like a test of the soul. If one is truly selfless, they'll accept death, knowing the alternative would be to become what is killing you, and spread the evil further throughout the world. Perhaps the average human being though is not so selfless, and would selfishly cling to life even if it meant becoming a predator on the living.

But, again, these details are only explored in the context of storytelling, so there are details left open to interpretation. Some will watch Buffy and assume that all vampires were forced into it. Others will see a different story being told. Jessie telling Xander how wonderful it is to be so aware that one can actually feel the worms in the earth. Holden telling Buffy about this powerful force he's connected to. Willow facing the evil and embracing it, then with a friend's help spurning it. Dracula offering to make Buffy his wife, and Buffy telling him his blood sucks.

I think Whedon made it clear in the end of season seven that he ended the story with the theme of choice. That we choose to do the right thing or the wrong thing, and that's what ultimately reveals who we are. What separates the white hats from the black hats is that choice. However, I think he's been talking about choice from the very beginning. Buffy could either continue to be ignorant and let people die knowing she had the power to help them, just so she could selfishly live the life of a teenager, or she could embrace her destiny and accept the fact that she had a duty and a calling to help other people. It's always been about choosing and being chosen. For good or for bad.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, again, we are spared the details.. -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:00:51 08/09/03 Sat

"Dracula tried to sire Buffy, and she turned him down."

When Dracula offered her his blood, he mentioned that, since she wasn't near death, it wouldn't turn her. So that doesn't really say anything about choice in siring.

"If my memory serves, Darla cut the skin just above her cleavage and offered it to Angel. I mean what guy near death is gonna turn down that?"

As my memory serves, she made the cut in her head and pressed Liam's mouth to it. It didn't show him actually going for the blood.

"Darla offered Spike a chance to be more than what he was."

But Spike didn't know what she was offering, except maybe at the last minute while she was already draining him, so not much choice in the matter left.

"Granted, I don't think Angel gave Drusilla that same choice. He tortured her and took away her family, her sanity, her faith, her everything, so that Dru literally had nothing to turn to other than him in the end. But why did he do that when all Angel really had to do was stuff a cut finger of his down her throat? Would have saved him a lot of time."

Um, hello, it's Angelus. Spending a lot of time on torture and mind games is just what he does. He didn't just want to make another vampire, he wanted to make Drusilla suffer forever by siring her at the height of her madness and pain. He says as much in "Darla".

"Regardless of force or not, I don't recall ever in Buffy or Angel hearing of a vampire literally forcing a bloodletting down a victim's throat."

However, there have been many cases where vampires have turned people who looked VERY unwilling. Like that Watcher in "Helpless", or the girl Spike killed in CWDP, or Darla in "The Trial" (and didn't the following episode have her say she hadn't wanted to be vamped?), or Harmony in "Graduation Day" (assuming that's when she was vamped), or the child who became the Annointed One (I doubt a little kid like that, one whose greatest fear was monsters, would choose to be sired). Also, as far as forced blood drinking goes, from the outsider perspective of the TV screen, you can't tell the difference between voluntary and involuntary, so what you imagine happening really is based on what you think is supposed to happen.

"Using a person for food, granted. They'd grab just about anybody. However, actually turning? A vampire picks and chooses who that's going to be usually, and there's some kind of plan involved."

What about Sunday? She turned that Freshman student, even though he was mainly just an easy meal and source of new stuff. Or then there's Drusilla, who turned that girl in "School Hard" even though it was Spike who brought her, probably just to serve as a treat. And what about the many anonymous vamps that Buffy slays in the graveyard? If they were part of some vamp's plan, I think they wouldn't let them get sent to the Slayer butchering field.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, again, we are spared the details.. -- Dead Soul, 14:11:20 08/10/03 Sun

What about Sunday? She turned that Freshman student, even though he was mainly just an easy meal and source of new stuff.

She saw him with the Slayer, whom she already knew was on campus, and turned him to use as bait for Buffy. Just my take on it.

Angel said something to the effect of "You think you can resist, but you can't." I think it was just after Darla'd been revamped, but I'd have to check. Meaning, I think, that even if you've made the clear and hard decision that you don't want to be turned, when you're on the brink of dying, your survival instinct will kick in and you will not be able to stop yourself from drinking.

Makes me wonder if, during GD, when Angel had nearly bled Buffy to death, had he then offered her his blood, would she have been able to refuse? Because surely, if anyone would have been able to resist it, it would have been Buffy.

Just some idle speculatin'.

[> [> [> [> Darla had no choice the second time -- Diana, 05:12:33 08/10/03 Sun

The script even reads "It is as ugly as gang rape." I don't see how anyone who has seen "The Trials" can say that. Vamping is a metaphor for rape. Unless the girl "asked for it" choice doesn't seem to be a part of vamping.

As for the thread, the traditional split is mind-body-soul. The soul in the Buffyverse gets split into heart and spirit. The soul just becomes a switch. So we have mind-body-heart-spirit. Body stays behind, usually, when the creature dies, so that isn't what goes on to an afterlife. Buffy was conscious, so mind does in some respect. So does heart since she had feelings while she was there. Not sure about spirit, but I would say that goes as well.

Since the Christian concept of soul muddies things, we can use the Sanskrit word of atman or we can just call it essence. It is a combination of mind-spirit-heart.

Or we can just say it is whatever the story required it to be so that S6 made the remotest sense. Sometimes it is best not to think too deeply about these things. It becomes a thread that once pulled will unravel things.

[> [> Re: Definition of a soul (vague season 7 spoilers) --
Abracapocus, 15:21:28 08/09/03 Sat

Thank you, Valheru, for your thoughtful post. I was with you all the way to here:

With Angel, the Romany were able to restore his soul to his essence, although they were not able to expel the demon. Spike (so far as we've seen) got his demon expelled and his soul restored.

I'm curious: what leads you to believe that Spike's demon was expelled? I understood that the vampire demon visage ("vamping out") is, well, the inner demon manifesting so that it can feed (don't know why it needs brow ridges and yellow eyes for that, but there you go). We saw Spike's vampire face (which I thought equaled the demon's face) a few very significant times after his ensouled return to Sunnydale, almost always in furtherance of important plot points ("Beneath You", "First Date", "Get It Done").

In your view, does "vamp-face" have no connection to the demon animating the corpse? Is it your theory that Spike can still have the physical existence of a vampire (living on blood, "vamping out") while animated not by the demon essence but by his own original, human soul?

As others have pointed out, the definitions of "soul" and "vampire" fluctuate conveniently in the service of stoytelling in the Buffyverse, and we shouldn't necessarily try to impose strict rules of metaphysics on the corpus of episodes. That said: I would like to hear more about why you think Spike's demon was expelled, Valheru. This is an intriguing line of thought, and I always enjoy seeing how other people interpret the evidence (helps me examine my own assumptions more thoroughly).

Regardless of what a soul is in the Buffyverse, and what the relationship between demon and human "essence" is in a vampire, souled or otherwise--one constant we seem to have is memory. A sired vampire shares his or her human host's memories, and is influenced to greater or lesser degree by the (dead) human's likes, dislikes, attachments, etc. (if only by reacting against them). For both Angel and Spike, when the human soul is restored, the ensouled vampire is tortured by memories of what the vampire did, and felt.

Angel and his friends, 105 years into his ensouled existence, compartmentalize the two identities, saying that it was the demon who did those brutal things and Angel is not responsible. Spike, at least in his first year of ensoulment, feels a raw and very painful connection to William the Bloody's deeds. He does *not* separate himself from his memories of his vampire existence--and neither do the people around him (giving Spike fans reason to cry foul re: double standard! double standard!).

Part of this is context, and time, though, not simple discrimination between the two characters. Angel seceded from human society for the first 98 years or so of his ensouled existence (re-ensouled 1898; saw Buffy in LA 1996-ish). He didn't have a social or emotional connection to any humans when his soul was restored, and in his guilt he did not seek one until Whistler showed Buffy to him (and even then, he didn't exactly seek out a social group; he has only gradually learned how to be with people over the course of AtS). We don't know how Angel conceived his relationship with his demon self in the first year of his ensoulment, other than the fact that he tried (and failed) to return to vampire ways with Darla in his 2nd year with a soul (Boxer Rebellion, 1900). This indicates, at least to me, that he wasn't compartmentalizing so much in the beginning, given that he tried to re-assume his vampire identity.

Spike's situation is radically different. After seeking and regaining his soul, he went right back to the scene of his most recent crimes, right back to the people who had fought him, and then uneasily tolerated him, and believed him "an evil soulless thing". The connection with his vampire self feels raw because it *is* raw. He can't separate himself from it yet. If he'd had another 97 years to live as an ensouled vampire, he might have begun to feel differently. There are too many differences between Spike and Angel, in terms of personality and of circumstances, to draw an exact parallel between their experiences (or the conclusions they draw about those experiences).

But I digress. Rather badly. I think.

See, this is why I rarely post! I ramble!!! And I start writing lengthy essays!!

OK, one last vampire/soul thought. I'm still not sure what they were telling us about the relationship between Angelus and Angel in AtS s.4. Angelus is always there, "deep down", witnessing Angel's life, tormenting Angel with his desires and waiting for his chance to come out? Or is that just how he talks when Angel's human soul is absent, and the demon is restored, now sharing all of Angel's memories as if they were his own and reacting to them from his own demonic worldview? I'm pretty sure we can't consider Angelus a reliable reporter. ;-)

But I'd better stop there, before I launch a rather different essay.

[> [> [> Re: Definition of a soul (vague season 7/season 4 spoilers) -- Valheru, 23:34:47 08/09/03 Sat

I think I jumped the gun a little bit with Spike. Not to say that at some point it won't be revealed as I stated, but we really don't know at this time.

By becoming a vampire, a human undergoes two changes. The first is psychological/spiritual, where the soul is lost in death and replaced by the negative-soul of a demon. In reading the Joss quotes Rufus provided below, I refer to this one:

Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star. They believe in evil, they believe in causing it, they like it. They believe it in the way that people believe in good.

So I think "negative-soul" is a good nomer. A soul instills the basic natural desire to do Good (even if, in people like Warren and Holtz, they commit evil in the process); a negative-soul instills the basic natural desire to do Evil (even if, in demons like Spike and Clem, they commit good in the process).

Anyway, the spiritual change is the replacement of the soul with the negative-soul. The other change is physical, where the human's physiology is replaced by that of the demonic vampire. Heightened senses, supernatural strength, speed, endurance, and healing, immortality, shapeshifting, and the bloodlust are all added. Immunity from sunlight, crosses, holy water, and garlic, the need to breathe, the ability to self-generate blood, and mirrored refelction are all taken away. Everything else remains the same from human to vampire (including the ability to die from a stake through the heart and decapitation).

So what happens when the human soul is restored to a vampire? First, look at what happened to Angel (of course in his case, the Romany curse still affects the soul restoration, but he's all we have to compare Spike to). Angelus' change into Angel was just spiritual. His original soul was restored, but not his original physiology. Also, the Romany spell did not remove the negative-soul; in effect, all it did was put Liam's soul on top of Angelus' negative-soul.

(Side note: Orpheus indicates something different than this, but it was left ambiguous. OTOH, The Dark Age very clearly states that Angel still has the demonic essence inside him, which the subsequent Angel/Angelus switch/switch-back in S2 does not contradict. So until there is a definitive answer, I'm sticking by the BtVS S2 rules.)

In all other ways, Angel is still a vampire. In a way, Angelus is always around. Angel is 100% demon, however, he is also 50% human. I know, fuzzy math, but it goes like this:

100% Angelus
+50% Liam
150% Angel

The Romany spell only affects soul/human/Liam part of Angel, keeping it glued over Angelus when he's tortured, removing it in the event of The Moment of Perfect Happiness.

Wherefore Spike? I'm not sure. But there are only two base possibilities:

1) Like Angelus, Spike's negative-soul is supplanted by William's soul. The only difference is that Liam's soul has an ON/OFF switch for Angelus in the form of the curse; William's soul in eternally ON in Spike.

2) Spike's negative-soul was removed, replaced by William's soul.

Actually, Option #1 is more likely. The only way #2 can work is if it is possible to remove the spiritual change (the negative-soul) of the demon without removing the physical changes of the demon. Now unless I'm forgetting an episode somewhere, I don't think that has been answered. Still, I think it's best to stick with what we know is possible (Option #1) rather than what we can guess is possible.

Now if it turns out that Spike's demonic essence was expelled in Grave, it would mean one of two things: a) a demon body can survive independent of its essence, or b) the physical attributes of a vampire are not those of the infecting demon, but rather a side-effect of the vampification. Not sure what that would mean, but it would be HUGE, I tell ya!

[> [> [> [> Please explain -- sdev, 01:24:05 08/10/03 Sun

Also, the Romany spell did not remove the negative-soul; in effect, all it did was put Liam's soul on top of Angelus' negative-soul.

Where are you getting this from? I'm really not following you here.

Is Demonic essence the same as a soul? i don't think that is possible. Buffy has some demonic essence in her and that has no "soul" effect.

[> [> [> [> [> There can be physical and spiritual demonic essence -- Finn Mac Cool, 01:34:16 08/10/03 Sun

I personally believe Slayers are physiologically altered by the demon implantation process the First Slayer went through. Vampires, however, are affected by the demon essence at a spiritual level, so it affects their behavior. Maybe "demon spirit" would be better?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: There can be physical and spiritual demonic essence -- sdev, 17:26:35 08/10/03 Sun

By physiologically do you mean that only their body (ie. strength) is altered? I don't think that can be all because Buffy was clearly concerned that additional demon essence would alter her spiritually, and that the demon essence she already had dehumanized her to some extent, perhaps necessarily so.

OTOH it can't be only spiritual either because of the physiological differences slayers and vampires have with humans. Thus the demon essence, it seems to me, creates both physiological and spiritual changes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I will half-agree about vampires, but not about Buffy and Slayers. -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:07:06 08/10/03 Sun

I half-agree about vampires. Let me put it this way: I agree that they are physically altered by the process, but I think their DNA is still that of dead human beings.

Now, while Buffy was concerned about demonic energy inside her affecting her personality, we never got any proof that those were anything other than concerns. Was there any real proof that the demon dust actually effected her behavior? The supposed Slayer darkness and death wish seemed, to me, to be a very human reaction to very bizarre circumstances. If the writers were going the demonic influence route, then they wasted their best opportunity in "Dead Things".

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> when two halves are more than the whole -- sdev, 23:18:09 08/10/03 Sun

First I see the death wish as totally a different issue than the darkness. By death wish I assume you are referring to what Spike said in FFL. First, I was never sure I really believed him. Second, what he referred to was based on nurture, so to speak, meaning it was a product of the life and killing the Slayer perforce had to perform and the constant risks she had to take. Spike described it as such, and it kind of made sense psychologically.

The darkness, OTOH, was what began (I think that was the beginning) to be discussed beginning Season 4, Dracula episode. Although Faith's behavior as a Slayer, her love of fighting, may have been an earlier allusion to it. The darkness, if it exists, was supposed to be inherent in the Slayer power, in the nature of slayers, and not a byproduct of the life and environment of the Slayer.

Did demonic essence affect the human spirit of the Slayer? I think so. It is a thin line in some places between the physical and the spiritual particularly in the area of heightened perceptions. Strength is easier to see as purely physical. But what do you call Buffy and Faith's ability to feel something in the Scythe? What was the source of Buffy's prophetic dreams? How was she able to sense people while blindfolded or when they were behind her? Is a slayer just a slayer because they have more than human strength? What was the source of these more than purely physical, enhanced, or in some cases totally other than human, mystical abilities?

In Season 7, Get it Done, we saw that The Slayer was created from demon energy added to a human girl.

You question whether this affected her personality or behavior. How could it not? How could she even function if it did not? But used in conjunction with the much greater human essence and human soul it was also a positive source of emotional strength and leadership rather than a negative one. A controlled dark side allowed her to perform her calling which required great mental and spiritual fortitude.

Did it also have a dark effect? Sometimes what is dark also has positive value. Buffy needed to be cold and distant at times, needed to divorce herself from compassion and emotion. She needed to kill Holden, and a multitude of others, for instance without her emotions crying mercy. Again in Get It Done, the positive power of the dark side is shown in Willow and Spike when Buffy calls on them to summon those parts of their selves that have been destructive and harness them in a controlled and useful manner. Buffy herself is a metaphor for the dark and light self, and how if one is to function at peak capacity one needs to utilize both.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Please explain -- Valheru, 01:58:47 08/10/03 Sun

I'm getting it from many places. First, in The Dark Age, Eyghon is destroyed when he jumps into Angel, the explanation being that Angelus still resides in Angel's body. Secondly, we know from the events of Surprise/Innocence, as well as from Enyos, that Angel becomes Angelus by losing his soul, not by having Angelus' negative-soul restored (IOW, he becomes Angelus by having something taken away, not something added). The inverse is also true, seen in Becoming, that Angelus becomes Angel by the addition of the soul, not the removal of the negative-soul. Thirdly, Angelus tells Faith in Orpheus that he is always there, yet suppressed by Angel's soul.

The distinction that I'm trying to make is that the Romany spell did not revert Angelus back to Liam but with vampire powers, instead it put Liam on top of Angelus. Or maybe a little math...

(Angelus - Angelus) + Liam + vampire powers = Angel (No)
Angelus + Liam = Angel (Yes)

Take Liam (soul) away from Angel, you're left with Angelus. In the first equation, if you take Liam away from Angel, you're basically left with a vampire zombie unless you reintroduce Angelus' negative-soul to the body, which we know isn't how the curse works.

With demons, there isn't really much of a distinction between essence and negative-soul, since the demons don't have an afterlife to which their essences can travel. The two things are inseparable (unless we start delving into Spike's actions in S5, which S6&7 hazily explained). But because humans can have a separation between essence and soul--the essence can live on in a vampire, but the soul doesn't--there must be a distinction.

[> [> [> [> [> [> different take -- sdev, 15:57:09 08/10/03 Sun

My view is different. I only see one soul. The soul in Angel controls the demon essence which is still there trying to come out as the dominant force. That is why he is not Liam. The soul in humans control their human essence. The soul in Buffy controls both her essences which co-exist like in Angel.

How then is she different than Angel. She has only a very small amount of demon essence and a full amount of human essence. I don't know that Angel has any human essence (maybe the part that retained the pre-vamping human memories is a vestige of human essence).

If anyone is your 150% model it is Buffy with her full allotment of human and partial demon essence.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Now I think I'm agreeing, but maybe I'm missing something -- sdev, 19:36:33 08/11/03 Mon

In reading your post again, I'm not too sure we have any difference of opinion. Does this work?

Human=Human essence + human soul
Vampire=Demon essence, no soul
Angel=Demon essence + human soul (since demon essence is always there, Angelus is always present supressed by the soul)
Buffy=Human essence + soul + some part demon essence

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Works for me! -- Valheru, 00:19:02 08/12/03 Tue

Though with Buffy, I'd say that she's just human essence + human soul. Despite all the "Slayer darkness" stuff the First Slayer, Dracula, and Spike talked about, it was never shown that Buffy's darkness was anything more than a human trait applied to supernatural circumstances. IMO, the Potential becomes a Slayer only via a physical change--powers of a human to powers of a demon.

And while we've covered three of the combinations (human/human, demon/demon, demon/human), what about the fourth? Have we seen anyone with a human essence + demon (no) soul? The Mayor? Evil Faith? Warren? Dark Willow? The little boy in I've Got You Under My Skin? Holland Manners? Lilah?

[> Speculation on Souls and Whedon -- Arethusa, 09:53:59 08/09/03 Sat

I don't know if the contradiction can be explained logically. Whedon's said the soul is a moral compass in the context of the story. He has shown repeatedly that when a person dies that soul leaves the body and is released into the ether (IIRC), leaving the person's consciousness (personality, memory, recognition of self) behind. Yet Buffy was aware of herself in the ether she called Heaven. Therefore Buffy soul and consciousness left her body.

Now, Buffy's consciousness might have been sent to a heavenly dimension as part of the mystical activity of the portal's opening. (Were we ever told what would happen to the Key after it was used?) Dawn's body would die, but would the green glowy thing called the Key die and cease to exist, or would it be sent to its reward for its sacrifice? Of course this is all spackle, there's no evidence to support this loophole.

You have to be angry with God to deny he exists. As that quote from Epicurus in Masq's commentary demonstrates. What kind of god would create this world and all its suffering, etc. Otherwise you'd be an agnostic, logically satisfied to let time answer the qestion. I guess both exist simultaneously, the desire to be wrong and the certainty you're right. And so someone believes in nothing but imagines everything; anything is possible because nothing is certain. Throw in a fondness for subverting everything, including yourself, and voila! Joss Whedon.

[> [> The Soul is a Copy of the Mind -- dmw, 10:52:43 08/09/03 Sat

One of the implications of an afterlife as in Bargaining is that the soul is, at least in part, a copy of the mind. The electrochemical potentials of Buffy's brain had died away and neural connections had rotted away, but after her resurrection, she remembers the details of her past. The soul functions in much that way that a mirror of a web site does. Even in reincarnation, copying must occur as the soul is supposed to remember its past lives, though it has a difficult time sharing those memories with its current existence.

It appears that the mirroring process is broken when someone loses their soul to become a vampire. We see this effect in Angel in Becoming when he doesn't remember what he's done since Innocence. He's confused for a moment until the copying process catches up, re-synchronizing the versions of his past in soul and mind. This dichotomy on a larger scale may have been why Angel and Spike couldn't immediately adjust to their first experience of having a soul after so many years without one.

[> As a matter of fact here are a few Joss quotes to help. -- Rufus, 16:47:10 08/09/03 Sat


The Paley Festival, March 30, 2001

Audience Member: "I'd like to know what your definition of a soul is? And what distinguishes Angel from the other vampires, because it becomes clear from both Buffy and Angel that vampires have human emotions and human attachments. So is that a conscience? And then what separates vampires from humans if it is a conscience?"

JW: "Um, very little. (laugh) Essentially, souls are by their nature amorphous but to me it's really about what star you are guided by. Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star. They believe in evil, they believe in causing it, they like it. They believe it in the way that people believe in good. So they can love someone, they can attach to someone, they can actually want to do things that will make that person happy in the way they know they would. The way Spike has sort of become, an example is Spike obviously on Buffy, is getting more and more completely conflicted. But basically his natural bent is towards doing the wrong thing. His court's creating chaos where as in most humans, most humans, is the opposite, and that's really how I see it. I believe it's kind of like a spectrum, but they are setting their course by opposite directions. But they're all sort of somewhere in the middle."

Audience Member: "You have a tendency to mention things early on and then bring them back at the really most interesting times, like Jonathan. How do you get these kind of ideas? And When is Buffy ever gonna realize that she slept with Angel?"

TM: "When she gets a rash." (laughter)

JW: "Very specifically in terms of huge -- arcing these things out as far in advance as we can. Some of them are fortuitous acts and as we look back and say, 'Oh you know we had this and it will connect this with this and that.' Eventually, and some of them come from disasters. For example, one that we did on Buffy, 'Lovers Walk,' the episode where Spike came back and Drusilla had left him. Juliet was shooting a movie and they were gonna come back together. They were Spike and Dru and we couldn't get her and we said, 'Well, what if they broke up?' So eventually, as I've said before, the story's telling us what's going to happen. There a symbiosis between what we're doing and what the story's doing to the point where when we come up with something, even if it surprises us we look back and go, "Wow, we've been building towards that and we didn't even know it.' The Xander and Cordelia romance -- a long time on Buffy. The intensity of their arguments had been increasing and increasing and we had not thought about giving them a romance. When we looked back and it was like we had been trying to do it from the second episode. So it really just takes on a life of its own and some of it's planned, some of it isn't. Some of it comes from the trouble but it's like riding the rapids. And we keep going and it all seems to fall together . . . sometimes."




Joss Whedon

May 16, 2003

Q. 5. I would like to get a more in-depth, coherent explanation of your concept of the soul. It seems to be the crucial thing that separates good and evil in the Buffyverse, yet at times it is treated like a commodity -- if you survive torture or know the right kind of magic you, too, can get a soul. Is it one particular soul per customer, as the white fog in the glass jar, identified as "Angel's soul" would indicate? Or is the soul merely the conscience? Why was Spike able to be "good" even without a soul?

A. I would love to give you a more in-depth coherent explanation of my view of the soul, and if I had one I would. The soul and my concept of it are as ephemeral as anybodyís, and possibly more so. And in terms of the show, it is something that exists to meet the needs of convenience; the truth is sometimes you can trap it in a jar; the truth is sometimes someone without one seems more interesting than someone with one. I donít think Clem has a soul, but heís certainly a sweet guy. Spike was definitely kind of a soulful character before he had a soul, but we made it clear that there was a level on which he could not operate. Although Spike could feel love, it was the possessive and selfish kind of love that most people feel. The concept of real altruism didnít exist for him. And although he did love Buffy and was moved by her emotionally, ultimately his desire to possess her led him to try and rape her because he couldnít make the connection -- the difference between their dominance games and actual rape.

With a soul comes a more adult understanding. That is again, a little vague, butÖ can I say that I believe in the soul? I donít know that I can. Itís a beautiful concept, as is resurrection and a lot of other things we have on the show that Iím not really sure I can explain and I certainly donít believe in. It does fall prey to convenience, but at the same time it has consistently marked the real difference between somebody with a complex moral structure and someone who may be affable and even likable, but ultimately eats kittens.

Q. 7. Redemption has been an important theme of the show. Is redemption the mode through which the characters become less cliched, more inspiring and interesting? Is redemption a theme that you have looked for in other texts from which you have drawn inspiration?

A. Redemption has become one of the most important themes in my work and it really did start with Angel. I would say probably with the episode "Amends," but even with the character itself and the concept of the spin-off was about redemption. It was about addiction and how you get through that and come out the other side, how you redeem yourself from a terrible life. I do actually work with a number of reformed addicts, if thatís what you call them. I call them drunks. But my point is a good number of people that are most close to me creatively have lived that life, and it informs their work. I never have, and so Iím not sure why it is that redemption is so fascinating to me. I think the mistakes Iíve made in my own life have plagued me, but theyíre pretty boring mistakes: I committed a series of grisly murders in the eighties and I think I once owned a Wilson-Phillips Album. Apart from that Iím pretty much an average guy, yet I have an enormous burden of guilt. Iím not sure why. Iím a WASP, so itís not Jewish or Catholic guilt; itís just there. Ultimately, the concept of somebody who needed to be redeemed is more interesting to me. I think it does make a character more textured than one who doesnít.
I can't think of anything, off hand, that I am a big fan of that contains that kind of thing. My favorite fictions are usually the kind I make, which is sort of adolescent rites of passage, which is what "Buffy" is about. Itís about the getting of strength and thatís probably the most important theme in any of my work, but I would say coming a close second is the theme of redemption. I think as you make your way through life itís hard to maintain a moral structure, and that difficulty and the process of coming out the other side of a dark, even psychological time is to me the most important part of adulthood.
I think to an extent every human being needs to be redeemed somewhat or at least needs to look at themselves and say, "Iíve made mistakes, Iím off course, I need to change." Which is probably the hardest thing for a human being to do and maybe thatís why it interests me so.

[> [> Thanks! Knew I could count on you. -- dub ;o), 21:08:45 08/09/03 Sat

[> [> Marti quotes from the CBC "The Yearning for Belief" -- Rufus, 18:52:39 08/10/03 Sun


Buffy World

MOC: One thing that struck me watching the show was whether it was teenagers or feminist historians, they were attracted to the idea of a calling, a higher purpose to Buffy's sense of mission. Does that surprise you?

MN: Oh gosh, noÖthere's two things. I somehow believe that's something everybody wishes they had. That everybody wishes they had such a strong sense of their destiny. Buffy, for all of her doubt, confusion, and masochistic impulses, for all of that, she knows what her job is. She knows what her purpose is, above all other. It's really interesting, but becoming a mom, I feel a kind of clarity in my life, more than anything else, I know what I have to do. I feel more settled. I have something precious to protect. I know what my first job is and also, there's a spiritual yearning in it.

MOC: I think you're right about that, tell me about that.

MN: Well, to me, Buffy just doesn't serve herself. I have a calling which is to be a writer, but that's pretty selfish. I mean, it brings me great joy, who knows if it brings better things into the world, but ultimately, it serves me. Buffy's calling is to serve mankind, and it connects her to a greater good, and I know I struggle to feel connected to something, and connected to something larger than our daily existence, and Buffy's plugged into it. And I think the idea of destiny and serving God in a way, and Joss, by the way, is a rabid atheist, but his work is full of yearning for belief. And I think the show speaks to people who also have that yearning. I mean, the whole show in a way, the whole show ping pongs between the darkest night of the soul and this whole yearning for belief.

MOC: Do you think this is Joss Whedon's personal belief? That saving the world is an endless struggle, to do good?

MN: I think that he does feel like it's sort of a meaningless void, and what matters is the struggle to find the good. And the relationships you build with people while you struggle. And in some ways you'll never find it, but the quest and the questors, and the people that you find, who are not necessarily your family, are the only thing that lends the journey meaning. I think that is his major theme.

[> [> [> CBC link that works -- Rufus, 19:00:03 08/10/03 Sun

CBC Ideas: Buffyworld

[> How does soul music fit in with this? -- Cleanthes, 09:59:53 08/10/03 Sun

[> [> LOL! -- dub ;o), 10:33:34 08/10/03 Sun

Well, it's obvious. That's what the Angel Demons are playing in the Heaven dimensions.


[> [> That's the music that was playing on the Soul Train(tm) that Buffy took to heaven -- Kenny, 18:26:06 08/10/03 Sun

Music to Slay Vampires By.. -- ZachsMind, 18:47:33 08/08/03 Fri

Okay first a word from our sponsors. Not really, but it sounded funny when I was typing it.
BuffyMusic is a great place to look up info about music that actually occurred on the show, from Sprung Monkeys to Heather Nova. For all the official stuff, that's a great site to check out.

But I'm talking about your music collection and mine. If you wish to participate in this thread, please list some bands and songs which fit one or more of the following criteria.

1) Stuff you actually like, which you'd recommend others listen to.
2) Songs which have a sound that you could actually imagine in an average episode of Buffy or Angel or Ripper or Zeppo or Blessedbe or [Insert Your Fantasy Whedon Spinoff Here].
3) Music which includes lyrics that somehow echo Buffyesque sentiments. Examples include:
a. like words that might've cheered up Willow after losing Oz,
b. or words that might describe Spike to a tee,
c. or words which if sung by Giles at a guitar shop could almost make Tara swoon.
d. or words that could somehow describe one or more events that occurred in the show.
e. or, well, you know, stuff like that.

Okay. Here's one of mine to get things started. It's by a group called Eden Automatic and the name of the song is Good Versus Evil. Here's the lyrics.

Dropped by to see the devil, to ask a favor of her.
"There is no use in playing favorites," is what she said.
"You've got to get rid of these pirates that rape your head."
Drove down to see the savior, but she wasn't at home.
I thought I was being clever when I left her this note.

I am falling far away.
Far away from grace.
I am falling far away.
I can't live at this pace.

It's always good versus evil, each and every day.
We would take all we could steal if we thought we could get away.
Waiting for a happy ending, to come our way.
But there is no use in pretending.
I wouldn't know what to do the next day.


I can't take any more direction, I've no place to go.
Only self deflection can leave an empty hole.
It's always good versus evil, and someday we will win.
So cut the cards and deal.
I'm feeling lucky again.


Admittedly it sounds a lot better than it reads. Eden Automatic also has a song called "Vampire Discoteque" but I like this one better. When I hear "Good Versus Evil" the first part sounds like a dream Buffy might have. Many of the words convey elements you'd find in a given episode. Talk about saviors, devils, and even pirates. "Waiting for a happy ending" is what Buffy seemed to be doing through parts of seasons six and seven, and then when she got a happy ending she just stood there with a big dumb grin on her face and had absolutely know idea what they were gonna do next. The final sentiments regarding direction and self-deflection may have crossed the minds of more than one supporting actor of the show after SMG formally announced her leaving the series, and the talk about dealing cards makes me think about kitten poker.

So. That's mine. What's yours?

[> Ooh! I posted the message too soon.. -- ZachsMind, 19:18:45 08/08/03 Fri


I forgot to preface it by explaining, if you're going to actually listen to the song, imagine that the "devil" is Anya, the "savior" is Buffy, and the narrator is Willow. You got the makings of "Same Time Same Place" from season seven. Or maybe if Xander's the narrator, it's his perspective in "Selfless" but that doesn't work quite as well.

Okay I'm shutting up.

[> I've only got about a gazillion of these -- Celebaelin, 03:12:37 08/09/03 Sat

I'm about to rush out of the house so more later but as a taster here's a little ditty called Rescue Me from the Earthshaker album by one of my all time favourite bands Y&T. The following is my best guess at the lyrics, I'm fairly sure they're right, think "The Gift".

Rescue Me

I was down, I was barely makin' it
She was gone and I couldn't take it
I was looking for a new way of thinkin'
When I go to sleep, I pray I wouldn't wake up
Well I want you, I want you, to
Rescue Me

The wheel kept turning
But I stood still
Like a shadow looking for the man
Did I play to win
Or did I win to loose
Of all the cards I had to draw the fool

All people tellin' me
About things I do
The more I hear
The less I see the truth
Oh, well I'm on the edge
I can't look down
Oh, slippin', slippin', slippin' Ohhhh

I want you to Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me Oh you know I want you
I want you to Rescue Me
Ohhh, Rescue Me

A voice faintly callin'
From another time
Oh so strange,
It sounds like mine
Shades of black
And a twisted road
And I can see the sky from here

Oh, do I turn around?
Or go straight ahead
I can't stop now
I'll find the light somewhere
Oh, well I'm on the edge I can't look down
Oh, slippin', slippin', slippin' Ohhh

I want you to Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me Oh you know I want you
I want you to Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me

Solo: Dave Meniketti

I want you to Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me Oh you know I want you
I want you to Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me

Oh you know I want you
I want you to Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me
Oh, Rescue Me

From a BtVS perspective it seems to switch between Buffy's pov and Dawn's, but it's close to perfect otherwise. In addition to being a fantastic song in its' own right. The version they played at the 1982 Reading Rock Festival kicked ass and took names (you can get that on disc too, but not the entire set, courtesy of the BBC's Friday Rock Show).

Short (23s) Real One Player clip of the intro to Rescue Me from Petaluma 2002-11-16 available here

Rock till you drop


[> Earthshaker - Building Buffy the Y&T way -- Celebaelin, 08:27:01 08/09/03 Sat

All the following are from the same album. This one could be Faithís theme tune. Not too closely related to the Dirty Girls ep. though, but then Motorhead's Killed by Death doesn't resemble the ep. either.

Dirty Girl

I get a one-track mind
When I see you from behind
Black stockings and those sexy legs
Is drivin' me wild

Body heat gives me a thrill
Gotta look that says you will
Turn around, let me check her out
Give me a sign

Dirty Girl
Hot on your tail
Oh, girl you wear me out
Dirty Girl
Oh, what you got
If you give it, I can take it all night

Oh babe, I like the way you move
Let me lay it down in the groove
Heat me up with your bony thighs
So easy to please...
You got my knees a shakin'
You got my seams a breakin'
Don't go and let me down
I got what you need

Dirty Girl
Hot on your tail
Oh, girl you wear me out
Dirty Girl
Oh, what you got
If you give it I can take it all night

Break - Dave Meniketti

Dirty Girl
Hot on your tail
Oh, girl you wear me out
Dirty Girl
Oh, what you got
If you give it I can take it all night
I can take it all night
Dirty, Dirty, Dirty, Dirty Girl
Only you got, only you got
Oh, you got what I want
You got what I need
Oww, so good!
Will you take it all night
If I give it
If I give it to you
Can you take it all night
Oh you're so hot!
Oh, you're so hot!
Dirty, Dirty, Dirty Girl
Oh, you got what I want

and again for Faith, or possibly Buffy (this one is not what the bandsí initials stand for btw)

Young and Tough

Here she comes like a heart attack
The way she looksíll kill ya, all dressed in black.
With her lips on fire, aní her wild hair
She knows the boys are looking, but she don`t care
She`s way too smart for an empty life
Gotta let her know, she`s my kind
She`s young, she`s young
and tough
Check out the moves, she`s got the stuff
She`s young, so young
and tough
You better want it
Some like to talk, some fantasize
They call her cheap and easy, but that`s a lie
She`s got class, got style
She got ëem beat by a city mile
She`s way to fine for an empty life
Gotta let her know, she`s my kind
She`s Young (She`s Young)
and Tough
She`s got the moves, she`s got the stuff
She`s young, so young
and tough
You bet I want it

Break - Dave Meniketti

Here she comes like a heart attack
The way she looksíll kill ya, all dressed in black.
With her lips on fire, aní her wild hair
She knows the boys are looking, but she don`t care
She`s way to fine for an empty life
Gotta let her know, she`s my kind
She`s young, she`s young
and tough
She`s got the moves, she`s got the stuff
She`s young, so young
and tough
Baby, baby, baby do your stuff
Youíre young, so young
Young and so tough
you`ve got the moves, you`ve got the stuff
She`s young, she`s young
so young, and tough
Baby, baby, baby do your stuff
Youíre young, so young
Young and so tough
You`ve got the moves, oh baby, baby, baby
Young and tough
You better watch it
I told you it was bad woman

and again


Cold chill, down your back
You feel the power, about to attack
The winter sky is streaked with pain
You hear it`s warning, as it drives you insane
Gonna drive you insane
Well, it`s a Hurricane yeah
and it`s coming down on you
well, it`s a Hurricane yeah
and it`s coming down on you, you, you, you

Fear strikes, deep inside
You`re on your own, with no place to hide
Much too late, you hear that sound
You`re in it`s grasp, never to be found
Well, it`s a Hurricane yeah
and it`s coming down on you
Well, it`s a Hurricane yeah
And it`s coming down on you, you, you, you
Oh, gonna getcha

Break - Dave Meniketti

Cold chill, down your back
You feel the power, about to attack
Donít attack
Well, it`s a Hurricane yeah
And it`s coming down on you
Well, it`s a Hurricane yeah
And it`s coming down on you, you, you, you, you, you
Gonna get you baby

and again

Knock You Out

Iíve been getting so roped , I neednít play any more.
I`ve been hit by the best,
But never hit the floor.
Donít, I told you no (?)
Ahh, youíre shooting that prize
Cause I`ve got what it takes,
If you wanna stand up and fight.
I`m gonna knock you out
Already picked the round
Oh when you step in my ring,
You know you`re standing on my ground.
I`m gonna knock you out
Ain`t gonna hold back
Upper cut, left, right yeah.
Gonna knock you out tonight
Got power, feel what I`ve done
I`ve seen a lot like you,
On the way to number one
Don`t expect me, to turn the other cheek
Get in my way, and you will hear me speak

Break - Meniketti

I`m gonna knock you out
Already picked the round
Oh when you step in my ring,
You know you`re standing on my ground.
I`m gonna knock you out
Ain`t gonna hold back
Upper cut, left, right yeah.
Gonna knock you out tonight
Iím gonna knock you
Say Iím gonna knock you
You know gonna knock you

From Buffy to Spike (or maybe Angel)

Let Me Go

Been so long since I've seen you smile,
The way you used to do.
Something's changed and it's hard to tell,
If it's me or if it's you.
Words come hard after all this time,
You see there's nothing left to say.
Let's face it baby, though we really tried,
You know we can't go on this way.
Let me go
Let me go
All I want from you
Is just to Let me go

Once lovers now touch,
Making love don't mean a thing.
Even close feels so far away,
Only time will ease the pain.
Ain't no use in me hangin' on,
Why don't you just let it be.
Hate to say it but there ain't no way,
Itís time for you to set me free..yes.
Let me go
Let me go
All I want from you, is just to
Let me go

Break - Dave Meniketti

Let me go
Let me go
All I want from you
Is just to Let me go
Let me go
Let me go
All I want from you
Is just to Let me go
Let me go
Let me go
Oh, all I want from you
Youíve got to Let me go
Oh all I want from you
All I want from you
Oh please
Turn me loose right now

and from Riley to Buffy

I Believe In You

You came to me, with your love to share,
Showed me always that
Oh, baby
You'd be right there
Well the love we shared,
And the times we had
Were like a dream baby, they were never bad- oh no
But how I felt has changed with time,
And you know my life, oh baby, has ceased to shine,
But I'm telling you...
I believe in you, believe in you baby
I believe in you, I believe in you
All I want to say to you
I believe in you, I believe in you
The way you are, I love you for,
I only wish that I, wish that I, had only gave you more
So much more
And after all that we've been through
So much baby
I still see myself, see myself, right here with you
Oh yeah
I believe in you, believe in you baby
I believe in you, I believe in you
All I want to say to you
I believe in you, I believe in you

Break - Meniketti

Your phony friends, they all counsel you
The things they say-oh baby
Oh, you know aren't true, know aren't true
Cause even though I've been away
For such a long time
Just remember baby, you remember baby
When you hear me say I'm telling you yes
I believe in you, believe in you baby
I believe in you, I believe in you
All I want to say to you
I believe in you, I believe in you
I believe in you, believe in you baby
I believe in you, I believe in you
All I want to say to you
I believe in you, believe in you
Believe in you, believe in you

For a total of 7 out of the 10 tracks that can be related to BtVS in some fairly definite way. I like this game.

[> Re: Music to Slay Vampires By.. -- jane, 20:33:25 08/09/03 Sat

I was listening to a CD by Johnny Clegg and Savuka called "My African Dream" this afternoon. This song kept triggering images of Buffy and Spike in "Touched", fromSpikes's POV.
Tough Enough
Lomhlaba unzima,lomhlaba
(This world is a harsh place, this world.)
Picture the end of a cycle
here's the fire from heaven
There's a tired planet closing down
no more news at eleven
somewhere the last of a species has died
somewhere a child is born
when I hold you, I tremble inside
can we ride out the storm?
Are you tough enough - can you take the strain
Are you tough enough - to walk in the burning rain
Are you tough enough - can you take the change
Are you tough enough - baby just say!
Into the heart of the human dream
into a strange new world
remember me under the Tree of Man
where I first heard your words
gonna make it through, I can feel it!
What we need is a miracle
What we need is some time
What we need is an angel of Mercy in this life
Are you tough enough.....
There's your mama & your papa
waving goodbye in the cold moonlight
in their eyes the confusion of a world gone by
and you hold me tightly as we step out
into the morning light
and I know that you are thinking
that for something to be born
something has to die.

Also in the same album, this song, which has Angel/Buffy connotations for me (Chosen, perhaps, or Graduation Day?)

These Days
What happened to the diamonds in your eyes
What happened to the hunger for the days chase?
What happened to the electric smile
that danced your life across your face?
We used to talk about changing the world
Now all you want to do is change your name
Come on baby don't surrender now
to the empty heart of these days.
We used to talk so deep into the night
You had the heart of a wild horse running
You bared your soul to me
and we both knew these days were coming.
These days - blood in the heavens
These days - fire and ice
These days - burning streets and visions
These days - of the loveless child
Yashimbawula! (the watchman's fire is burning)
You are the reason I came here
You will always be the one I'm looking for
I can't stand to see the way
these days are pushing you up against the wall
Got to get up, got to move out
Face the tide beyond the door
Outside there's a whole world changing
We can't stand here, trapped inside
Let's step out and test the weather
Hang on baby, it's going to be a rough ride thru'
These days - searching for a vision
These days - gun metal blue
These days - changing my religion
These days - heartless and cruel.
say the words and fill my sails
I will love you through the coming gale
we'll get through the darkest heart of these days.
"It's killing time"
Who will watch the watchers?
Who will keep the keepers?
Who will love the lovers - could you?

This is a good high energy album; really like it.

[> Re: Music to Slay Vampires By.. -- Zo, 22:42:18 08/09/03 Sat

Hello, first time poster to the board.

A great song for the series would have been Three Doors Down's Duck and Run. A sampling:

All my work and endless measures
Never seem to get me very far
Walk a mile just to move an inch
Now even though Iím trying so
Damn hard
Iím trying so hard

This world can turn me down but I
Wonít turn away
And I wonít duck and run, cause
Iím not built that way
When everything is gone there is
Nothing there to fear
This world cannot bring me down
No cause Iím already here, oh no!

[> An interesting fact: -- KdS, 03:44:35 08/10/03 Sun

Every single song Nick Cave has ever written can be applied to either Angel, Angelus or Spike.

Spike's unlife in Nick Cave songs:

Jangling Jack
Lover's Walk
Brother My Cup Is Empty
Harsh Light of Day
Up Jumped The Devil
When I First Came to Town
Out of My Mind
I Let Love In
Jack the Ripper
Nick the Stripper
Conversations With Dead People
Get it Done
City of Refuge
Lay Me Low

And I can't think of Angelus in general without thinking of Deep in the Woods or the S2 Angelus/Buffy relationship without thiking of From Her to Eternity.

[> Sex & Religion - Steve Vai -- Celebaelin, 06:01:48 08/10/03 Sun

Steve Vai's son is called Julian Angel Vai incidentally

Angel mate, ditch the opera and get your head round some Steve Vai. From the Sex & Religion album

Steve Vai
Sex & Religion (1993)

Here & Now

Here we stand,
As time keeps turning,
Near and far,
The fires are burning

The endless passion,
For a cause,
We will take an action

I'm not a savior,
I'm not a king,
There's only the voice in your head

But I feel your anger,
I speak your peace,
Freedom time is here

So are you ready for the
Here and now

The soul keeps baring,
Bring new life to a world worth sparing

I'm not a prophet,
I'm not a prince,
The ego dies with the flesh

You are the garden,
I am the seed,
Harvest time is here

But tell me are you ready for the
Here and now



One for all,
Time is fleeting,
Hear the call,
Our world is bleeding

There are no saviors,
There are no kings,
The power lies in your hands

So, you be the fire,
The light without heat,
Precious time is here

So tell me are you ready for the here and now,
So tell me are you ready
Are you ready for the here and now,
So tell me are you ready
Are you ready for the here and now,
So tell me are you ready

In My Dreams With You

I'm watchin' you,
I'm wantin' you,
But you turn away
I'd crawl through broken glass to you,
But it wouldn't pay
You take me for a fool,
But if you only knew
What I do in my dreams with you

You're so cold and critical,
And baby that's too bad
So my reality will have to come to me
In my dreams

I know that you belong to me every night,
You suddenly appear in my eyes
It happens when I sleep,
It isn't right,
What I do in my dreams with you

I love the way you come to me
Every night
My fantasies are real,
And they never lie
If you only knew,
What I do in my dreams with you, yeah
It isn't right,
Lord knows that it isn't right

The world can make you cynical,
With all its love and pain
But I don't have to carry
The weight of the world



Baby don't wake me,
Let me take you
On an endless journey
We touch,
And the softest kiss
Explodes with lust, yeah
It's real, you can't deny
The heat you feel
And if I die before I wake,
Baby, that's all right


I know that you belong to me
Every night,
You suddenly appear in my eyes
(repeats out...)

Still My Bleeding Heart

A child to a boy,
From a boy to a man
Pride growing stronger,
Reaching his victories
He speaks no lies,
He fights his cause
He judges not the scavengers
That persecute humanity

Fate does call
And the sickness falls,
Lights of life dim down
Fear like an alien comes to view,
But with words like the mountains

I'll die like a soldier in your arms,
My will enduring till the pain is gone
Then he looked into his lover's eyes and he cried

In the name of love,
Still my bleeding heart
For the love of God,
Still my bleeding heart

His chin he held high,
And the courage in his voice
Was like the burning of the sun,
But like the breath of an angel
How could this be,
I had to scream
Why this innocent young boy,
Must suffer so helplessly?

But who am I to challenge God
In the ways of the world,
Remain divine mystery
I crumble down
On my hands and knees
While his words fill the air,
As he looks into his destiny

I'll die like a soldier in your arms,
And I will be brave so you can be strong
And then he looked into his lover's eyes and he cried



And he died like a soldier in his lover's arms
Brave as a hero in a blood red war
And his final words as he reached for the stars

In the name of love, still my bleeding heart
Be well my love, still my bleeding heart
In the name of love, still my bleeding heart
For the love of God, still my bleeding heart
(repeats out...)

Sex & Religion

Repent, repent, repent ye sinners

What do you think you got,
When you thought you had a lot
But all your feelings are dead?
And who do you think you are,
When you're reaching for the stars
But all your feelings are dead?

Must you make a decision,
Between sex and religion
Why can't you love God in your bed?

Well, Jesus Christ
Is in your bed tonight,
To bring you back from the dead

How are you gonna fight
For what you think is right
If all your feelings are dead?

And what can you know of love,
From the eyes of a child to the heavens above
When all your feelings are dead?

It's a tragic condition,
Sex and religion,
Makin' a manic mess in your head


Jesus Christ,
or any son of the heatless light
When all your feelings are dead


I raise my hands high up into the air
Get down on my knees
And start-a-prayin'

When love walks in,
My body begins
I feel my promised land comin',
But I gotta go to Hell now
And those creatures,
Evangelist preachers
The ones that take money,
For the promise of hope
Well, they are dangerous,
I'm not dangerous
Brain washing us,
And we're not gonna take it


I just wanna know,
Oh, Lord, how it is so
How is it that you can take my sins away?

Oh, Lord tell me,
So I can see the light again
I don't think anybody can take my sins away

How can the truth be known,
If we got little black holes
In our souls
And all our feelings are dead?

Are we imprisoned
By sex and religion
Or is God the one that's trapped in our mess?


So remember now folks,
When you kneel to pray
Blow a little kiss to the hypocrites

Good God knows when you turn
The other cheek
Which direction you're pointing it

Holy shit! Holy Jesus Christ! Oh, I hurt your brain!? Huh! Good God Steve My fingers are numb! Right now. Yeah theyíre numb. ëCos I deprived my brain of oxygen.

Whilst Iím at it I shouldnít imagine this one would be lost on Oz but for anyone who hasnít heard it

Ozzy Osbourne - Bark At The Moon

Screams break the silence
Waking from the dead of night
Vengence is boiling
He's returned to kill the light
When he's found who he's looking for
Listen in awe and you'll hear him

Bark at the moon

Years spent in torment
Buried in a nameless grave
Now he has risen
Miracles would have to save
Those that this beast is looking for
Listen in awe and you'll hear him

Bark at the moon

They cursed and buried him
Along with shame
And thought his timeless soul had gone
In empty burning hell - unholy one
But now he's returned to prove them wrong (oh no)
Howling in shadows
Living in a lunar spell
He finds his heaven
Spewing from the mouth of hell

And when he finds who he's looking for
Listen in awe and you'll hear him
Bark at the moon.

[> [> Oz? More like Angelus to me -- KdS, 02:31:20 08/11/03 Mon

[> Re: Music to Slay Vampires By.. -- btvsk8, 06:53:54 08/10/03 Sun

Ok, I'll say first off that this is a song by a boyband who I was a huge fan off in my early teen years. But my tastes have now definately moved on! However this is one of their better songs and it could have come straight out of Spike's mouth in season seven:

It's been a while how have you been doing
Do you over think about me and you and
All the things we used to do
The times that we shared
Well I've been looking for love and affection
It's brought me back in your direction
Even though we've been apart
You're part of my soul

Ok I know (I know I was a fool)
A fool (To lose my faith in you)
But the girl before you go
I want you to know

That I think of you every day, baby
And I can't seem to get away
from these feelings
And I, I need to tell you some how
That I need your love right now

Looking back I can see things clearly
The mistakes that I paid for dearly
Taking love for granted only leaves you alone
Well if we talked you would understand that
Time has made me a better man and
With your love behind me there's nowhere I can't go

So take a chance (Just take a chance on me)
And you'll see (It's where you need to be)
If your heart it tells you so
You'll know what I know

That I think of you every day, baby
And I can't seem to get away from these feelings
And I, I need to tell you some how
That I need your love right now

Right now is the time for both of us
To put aside our differences and trust
All the words I never used to say
Now I've found a way
(Now I've found a way)

[> [> Artist and Title please? -- Sofdog, 13:49:55 08/13/03 Wed

[> for the jasmine arc -- anom, 09:49:32 08/10/03 Sun

First, proper credit: Solitude1056 mentioned the Monkees in a post about an episode in this arc (or maybe the whole arc). Sol must have been thinking about "I'm a Believer." I don't have time to check for the exact lyrics right now, but it's amazing how these things come back to mind.

The 1st verse could apply to Connor:

"I thought love was only true in fairy tales,
Meant for someone else but not for me.
Love was out to get me,
That's the way it seemed,
Disappointment haunted all my dreams"

And the chorus is perfect for Jasmine's effect on the general public:

"Then I saw her face,
Now I'm a believer
Not a trace
Of doubt in my mind.
I'm in love--
Ooooh, I'm a believer,
I couldn't leave her
If I tried."
[oops, sorry--that's the guitar chords playing in my head]

There's a 2nd verse that's not coming back to me like the rest...I might try to find it when I get home tonight. No promises, though.

[> [> -- Celebaelin, 10:41:34 08/10/03 Sun

I got as far as

I thought love was more or less a given thing
Seems the more I gave the less I got

Then I had to look it up

[> [> [> thanks! but is it... -- anom, 10:44:34 08/11/03 Mon

..."a given thing" or "a givin' thing," which is how I always understood it? I notice the site you link to has a box to rate how correct the lyrics are (& the fact that 1 = "aweful" doesn't say much for their likely accuracy!).

[> [> [> [> From the Neil Diamond Lyrics page (it is a Neil Diamond song, you know)... -- cjl, 10:04:56 08/12/03 Tue

I'm a Believer (1966)

I thought love was only true in fairy tales
Meant for someone else, but not for me
Love was out to get me
That's the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm in love and I'm a believer
I couldn't leave her if I tried

I thought love was more or less a giving thing
Seems the more I gave, the less I got
What's the use in trying, all you get is pain
When I needed sunshine, I got rain

Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm in love and I'm a believer
I couldn't leave her if I tried


Love was out to get me
That's the way it seemed
Disappointment haunted all my dreams

Then I saw her face, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm in love and I'm a believer
I couldn't leave her if I tried
Saw her face, now I'm a believer
Not a trace of doubt in my mind
I'm in love, and I'm a believer

Neil Diamond 1966
Album: Just For You

[> [> [> [> [> sure, i know!...since i followed celebaelin's link, anyway -- anom, 23:23:24 08/12/03 Tue

But it was a surprise when I found out. Hard to imagine him singing it, it's so identified as a Monkees song in my mind.

Thanks for posting the full lyrics. If the verses apply to Connor, "when I needed sunshine, I got rain" could mean the rain of fire. Or, alternatively, the morning after with Cordelia....

[> Blind Guardian + Buffy = a perfect mix -- BMF, 12:28:52 08/10/03 Sun

When it comes to Buffy, I can't help but make a musical association with Blind Guardian's album A Night at the Opera. Particularly salient is the song "Wait for an Answer", which I think describes exactly what was going through Buffy's head for most of S7 (I'm in a hurry, so excuse the poor grammar):

I cannot say that I don't care
cause I'm aware
of everyone and everything
they're everywhere

Don't be a fool
stop spinning around
spinning around
you're right it ain't safe here
start using your brain
your brain

The cautious hare
cannot be seen as a coward
he's simply aware
he constantly knows what's going on
that the wheel of life turns on
it won't hold on

silent creature
filthy teacher's
spreading the disease
a release
a vanished kingdom falls

it goes on and on
and on
and again it goes on
round and round
oh I can't get it out of my head

Wish I'd be a bird of prey
a pure and a blessed
a hawk who could ease the pain

Don't look back, tell me
is it where you belong
a place in the dark
a song without hope
don'y look back tell me
is it where you belong
Oh I wait for an answer
so far
don't look back tell me
is it where you belong
i will wait for an answer

We're the last descendants
in a line of valiant soldiers
we're mistreated angels
we're the blackbird nation
we're the chosen ones
we're the last descendants
we're a tribe of unsung glory
we are the fallen angels

well the time is right
you shall be on my side

I don't need anyone
be with or against me
I'm white I am chosen

There is not the slightest doubt at all
at all

In lower airs
we're ground down by their ignorance

Hate will grow like a foul cancer
To find a foe seems to be the answer


Don't be a fool stop spinning around
don't move it ain't safe here
they've stained holy ground

The hopeful sadly admits
There's no hero
No place to hide
There is no shelterfrom the storm
The maddened crow will spread terror
But I know they will stumble
smash themselves bitterly against the ground


It's you who's said there's no tomorrow
I don't know but who I am
I wouldn't sit back any longer
It's surely built in sadness
But the sadness will go by
So we will all know the answer
The answer's within
It's in your mind

Think about Buffy's cloudy thoughts and muddled leadership, until she realizes that the answers really are within. Plus, there are several references to being chosen and finally accepting at the end what that means to do. As far as I'm concerned, PERFECT.

[> Re: Music to Slay Vampires By.. -- Kenny, 18:47:56 08/10/03 Sun

First, from one of my favorite bands, Wilco. The song's "I am Trying to Break Your Heart" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Letís forget about the tongue-tied lightning
Letís undress just like cross-eyed strangers
This is not a joke so please stop smiling
What was I thinking when I said it didnít hurt?
I want to glide through those brown eyes dreaming
Take from the inside, lady hold on tight
You so right when you said I been drinking
What was I thinking when we said goodnight?
I want to hold you in the bible-black pre-dawn
Youíre quite a quiet domino, bury me now
Take off your bandaid because I donít believe in touchdowns
What was I thinking when we said hello?
I always thought that if I held you tightly
Youíd always love me like you did back then
Then I fell asleep & the city kept blinking
What was I thinking when I let you back in?
I am trying to break your heart
I am trying to break your heart
Used to be lying when I said it wasnít easy
I am trying to break your heart

It's got a certain Buffy/Spike flair to me. Next up is "Still Fighting It" from Ben Fold's Rockin' The Suburbs. These two lines sum up Angel/Connor for me:

And you're so much like me
I'm sorry

That's all I can think of at the moment. I'm sure I'll have more later.

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