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"The Puppet Show" Revisited -- Darby, 21:21:36 08/08/03 Fri

First, an assertion: I really believe that in this episode, the intent was to twist a few subgenre stories, but almost totally lacking in purposeful metaphor. The closest it gets is the use of another demon hunter who doesn't die young but doesn't exactly live, either.

Although I can't really say what the oedipus stuff is at the end. With the gender reversals of the show, I'm not sure I want it to mean anything.


Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all. I think we can all agree that Cordelia manages to get that down. I'm not sure it works later when she claims to not really know what the song is about, though.

Which is harder, an actress who can't sing getting out there and showing it to the world, or an actress who can sing getting out there and doing it just bad enough to be convincing? I suspect Charisma is the 2nd - it's almost talent, and close enough that Cordy - who we'll find out is fairly self-aware - might think it's legitimate.

Snyder's description in the script: "In years and schools past, he has ruled with unwavering confidence and was able, despite his size and appearance, to strike fear and respect into his students. But that was then and this is Sunnydale."

One of the hardest things to figure out through the next two seasons is what Snyder knows and when he knows it. I think it's clear that he comes in with an understanding of Sunnydale's unique circumstances, but it would seem from early shows that he doesn't know what the Scoobies are, even though he seems to have - has been directed to have? - a special interest in them.

"I saw a dummy, it gave me the wig. There really wasn't a story there." Very Whedonesque twist.

Tom Wyner, the voice of Sid, has quite an interesting

The monster's POV shots are all from close to knee-level, obviously to make us suspect the dummy. But it isn't the dummy. Does the demon tend to crawl around while pursuing victims?

Willow's stage fright, introduced here, has been used to great effect over the years. Three major appearances.

Now, if Snyder knows that Giles and the crew are a group, he gives Giles a heads up to keep a low profile, which could be the plan. It's hard to believe that if he knows Buffy, Xander and Willow are a gang, that he wouldn't know that Giles has some connection to that gang. Maybe he's just telling us...

Sara chimes in with something she just realized - none of the group like it when people die, but Xander gets the most upset about it usually. She also notes that Buffy's dress is better described as a shirt. Yikes!

The demon = pure evil definition continues.

Lots of great uses of that creepy dummy face in this episode - the look as Morgan closes the box is maybe the creepiest.

Snyder actually grabs Buffy when she's poking in Morgan's locker. She's intimidated by him, and breaks contact, but somewhat sheepishly, but the Buffy we've come to know would somehow have made it clear that grabbing and holding are unacceptable.

Weird fact: my suspension of disbelief is bothered by women in nightclothes and bras - I'm not a woman, but the ones I've known well enough to ask seem to all agree that the comfort lack kinda precludes doing that. Joyce is in a dark earthtone jammy that makes such an observation difficult - if an actress doesn't feel comfortable sans undergarments, why not put them in something that at least hides it? Does Buffy have to be Lolita 24/7?

Interesting that Joyce makes a point that Buffy not sleep with the window open, which through the Angel era she does all the time. Or is it just the window by the light that Joyce is concerned about?

Having a long list of bit players appearing through the episode ("This week, we hire speaking roles with the money from doing no dustings.") does a great job of hiding who the real demon is. And, of course, we suspect Snyder, too.

Giles dealing with Cordelia by using Xander's advice is a little bit of equalization within the group. There will be several of these Giles-Xander tweaks, because otherwise what good is Xander from Giles' point-of-view?

Okay, everyone look at me like I'm in a bunny suit. First, Xander might have imagined her in a Playboy Bunny suit (but is probably too young). Then the writers realized later that they needed to take the image to the next level with Anya.

I like it better when the class lecture material can be connected in some oblique way to the episode. Can anybody connect Sid the Dummy to the Monroe Doctrine?

Xander's "Redrum!" with Sid was not in the shooting script. Added later, or that rarity, the improvised line that makes it into the edited show?

One should be grateful that there were no lines about "Morgan's organs." Until now.

Buffy backstage shares the screen with one of those Halloween wall-mounted dayglo demon faces, which has a definite Buffy demon feel. Could one of their creature creators have produced it and slipped it in?

Buffy asserts herself with Snyder backstage, and he backs down. Maybe that grab just needed to percolate in her head for a while...

Interesting that Sid hooked up with Morgan because he was already a bit nuts.

Giles: "It's a welcome change to have someone else explain all these things." A bit of metanarration on Giles' role in the series.

Giles backstage walks away from Cordelia and past a violinist whose bow is in another zip code from the violin, "playing."

We get a first mention of other Slayers - one in the 1930s, Korean. Eventually, through Spike, there will be two more...

Giles' power circle is meant to specifically check for missing performers - and there aren't any. But moments later, when the magician tells him that his assistant is sick, he accepts it (maybe he figures it's stage fright).

More disbelief suspension quandaries, but not so weird this time - Buffy continues to wear these big clunky rings, quite the no-no for anyone whose avocation is punching things.

The Morgan file that Willow checks is formatted the same way as the Buffy file the previous week, except that the image looks like a printout on 3-hole lined paper. Eh-?

The follow-up medical file actually says what Willow says it does, although it's only partly visible onscreen for a fraction of a second.

How did the situation get from "needs brain" to "needs really good brain"? And how does slicing through Giles' cranium release an intact brain?

Brain tumors are quite the common condition on the show - here, Lie to Me, Joyce...what is it with these threes???

The script has the test guillotining with a lettuce, but a melon was a much better choice - gets you thinking noggin rather than salad.

Good thing the bad guy can't get a sharp hatchet to match his butcher blades!

The curtain opening on them is a cool touch, but who opened it, and why? It is reminiscent of tableau performance of the late 1800s, though - I guess that's old enough to be avant garde.

So whaddaya figure they did with Sid's, um, body? Maybe bury it with Morgan?

The script has the Oedipus lines, but no stage directions, except for the audience to look stunned.

A fun episode, with hints of things to come, but not a very thick onion this week. Ah, but next week...!

[> Re: "The Puppet Show" Revisited -- CW, 08:36:37 08/09/03 Sat

Sid the dummy, is probably one of my all-time least favorite Buffy characters. As soon as Morgan walked on stage with him in the teaser and long before the act starts, I'd guessed the jist of the story; Living dummy seems to be the bad guy, but isn't... In this case it was way too obvious they were going to twist the evil dummy stereotype around. Sid, the person in the dummy, like Whistler and Doyle is a stock character out of the 1950's. The only way Sid could be more hackneyed is if he'd referred to women as 'dames' more.

Buffy's attire - yes, it's pretty obvious, that in season 1 they were doing all kinds of things to get people to watch, besides just working hard on scripts, and acting. It's interesting that in season 4 Buffy's wardrobe is dramatically more conservative. Although she doesn't wear bras all the time anymore, she rarely shows cleavage either. Her sleep attire becomes more consistantly pajamas and sweats. Fortunately ME felt the audience had grown up a little as well as Buffy.

Actually I thought Snyder grabbing Buffy and her reaction was perfectly normal, but then I come from an era that wasn't as concerned with teachers touching the young innocents.

Buffy's rings never bothered me, but her multiple earrings always did. After all those fights you'd think her ears would start looking like Clem's.

Tableau - That's exactly what I was thinking when Glory sends Buffy crashing through the empty cobra cage at the zoo. Buffy is beaten and lies limply. Glory cries out "Scene!" but I think "Tableau!" would have been more appropriate.

The dramatic reading - Joss says in the interview with the episode on tape, that it was hard to film because people would keep laughing. The final product does represent some pretty convincing good "bad acting," but I have to say it isn't all that funny. I think this was the one time the show could have benifited from showing out-takes instead of the finished product.

[> The metaphor is the message -- Sophist, 10:19:51 08/09/03 Sat

I'm not sure if it qualifies as a metaphor, but there is an obvious lesson for Buffy: Sid continues to slay demons even though it will inevitably cost him his "life". It's exactly the choice Buffy will have to make in PG.

I'm really gaining new appreciation for S1 in looking for details like this.

[> [> Shadows -- mamcu, 08:57:08 08/11/03 Mon

All these shows with robots, dummies, possessions, alter egos seem related to me, in that they all remind me of the Jungian shadow idea. Since Caro just explained that on the AAS board, I won't repeat, but often the shadow self contains the darker or emptier side (EvilWillow, Buffybot, etc). Sid as the shadow of Morgan is living although his body is dead; Morgan is about to die. But as Sophist says, the real shadowing is Buffy. In this case Sid carries a lot of negatives for Buffy: he's physically weaker, cursed, a horny old guy, etc. But they share that choice of self-sacrifice. And more--Sid looks at death as a good thing, like Buffy in early S6.

i gotta know (o/t to a certain albany family)... -- anom, 23:42:53 08/09/03 Sat did Graffiti's bar mitzvah go? Did everyone survive the ordeal, um, festivities?

Let me know as soon as you're done w/the nervous breakdown!

Oh yeah...and: MAZEL TOV!!!

[> Mazel Tov, Graffiti! And congratulations to Sara...the long nightmare is over... -- Random, 09:19:15 08/10/03 Sun

...and another one is just beginning. Ooops. Anyway, congratulations to all!

[> It's official - I have the best kid in the world -- Sara, 12:17:50 08/10/03 Sun

I know that you all have very good kids out there, but someone had to have the very, very best kid, and I just happened to be in line the moment that the best kid was being given out. Graffiti was truly amazing in his performance, singing his way into everyone's heart.

For the Jewish members of this audience, I will tell you that in addition to his Maftir and Haftorah, Graffiti davened Shacharit, the Torah Service and Musaf. For the non-Jewish members who that means nothing to, I'll just say that the boy/man actually led 90% of an over 2 hour service, in Hebrew by the way. And yes I am blatently and without shame bragging, but it was just so cool, how could I not? I did a prayer, called an aliyah, and I was petrified! About 2 minutes in the entire service and I thought I was going to die! But somehow I survived, and Graffiti excelled.

The lunch in the Synagogue afterwards went well `- too much food, but hey, better than too little! I got to hear from lots of different people how fabulous the Graffiti monster was, which is something a mother never minds listening to. And Graffiti gots lots of envelopes which made him very happy. Everytime we looked at him he had this goofy smile on his face, as he contemplated his new found riches. "Oh Graffiti, do you have a couple of bucks I could borrow?"

Afterwards, friends and family went back to the house for a nice backyard party. No rain, lots of chatting and munching, and it would have been perfect if I remembered to put out the angel food cake and spice cake I made, and didn't drop a tray of sandwiches. But if it had been perfect, it wouldn't have been a party made by Sara.

Now I'm sitting around watching the West Wing marathon, eating leftovers and wondering if I have enough energy to get out of my pj's. Probably not. Everything went so well that I've decided to take Random's advice and put off my nervous breakdown until Graffiti is introduced to his first keg. I was really looking forward to having a nice meltdown, but I probably shouldn't waste a good breakdown until I really need it.

Thanks to everyone for their interest and good wishes!

[> [> Well of course, he's had practice... -- dub ;o), 13:31:06 08/10/03 Sun

Singing along to OMWF for hours at a time!


[> [> [> We knew our obsession would come in handy sooner or later -- Sara, humming "I've got a theory...", 11:24:50 08/11/03 Mon

[> [> You guys must be so proud! -- Scroll, 23:13:44 08/10/03 Sun

And mazel tov, Graffiti! I bet you were terrific. There's only one problem that comes out of all this... Now your mom will actually expect you to live up to this wonderfulness 24/7!!! I don't know how you'll take the pressure!

Heh. Congrats again :)

[> [> [> Proud but realistic -- Sara, who only likes to visit fantasy land, not live there!, 11:21:53 08/11/03 Mon

Now your mom will actually expect you to live up to this wonderfulness 24/7!!!

24/7 wouldn't that be great? That is so never going to happen!

...but a mom can dream, can't she?

[> [> well, i'm officially impressed! -- anom, 10:28:17 08/11/03 Mon

Sounds like he did great! And you're his mom, you're supposed to brag! As for me, I'm e-kvelling from here (for non-Jews who haven't read The Joys of Yiddish, kvell means "to beam with immense pride and pleasure, most commonly over an achievement of a child or grandchild [hey, it doesn't say it has to be your own child!]); to be so proudly happy that your delight is uncontainable." I'm glad Graffiti did excellently, & it went so well, & you didn't even need that nervous breakdown!

[> [> [> Thanks! -- Sara, 11:29:53 08/11/03 Mon

I love the concept of e-kvelling!!!! I'm glad that I'm supposed to brag, because I really can't help myself on this one!

Now that I'm back to work, I'm kind of regretting the postponement of the breakdown...

[> [> Congrats -- sdev, 15:55:53 08/11/03 Mon

Mazal Tov to you and your family. What chapter did he read and what was it about?

[> [> [> Deuteronomy -- Darby, 17:01:10 08/11/03 Mon

Passages about the establishment of Israel through the booting of the locals and Moses' instructions to the folks before they went in.

...Then he did his discussion about how they had been promised the land but had to go to war to get it, and they were told to take land in the same section as the Commandment that instructs not to covet your neighbor's things. And the rabbi's speech (it's a tiny congregation with a parttime student rabbi) was about how Graffiti's constant questioning has helped him to clarify some issues, which led to a sermon about how each person gets the God that makes sense to them.

I think. It was mostly Hebrew to me.

[> Congrats to Graffiti Darby! -- Masq, 13:01:02 08/10/03 Sun

[> Mazeltov, Graffiti! -- cjl, 20:34:46 08/10/03 Sun

[> Adding my congrats! -- Marie, 01:29:14 08/11/03 Mon

Glory and Spike's chip -- Ray, 03:12:50 08/10/03 Sun

If Glory was basically contained in a human form, why was Spike able to hit her?

[> Re: Glory and Spike's chip -- Rook, 04:10:25 08/10/03 Sun

Because she's not a demon. She's a God.

[> What does the chip do? -- dmw, 08:15:27 08/10/03 Sun

How can a complex microchip distinguish between demons and humans? One obvious difference is appearance which works in most cases, but vampires look like people much of the time. The next obvious characteristic for the chip to examine in order to determine demonhood is behavior. Glory displays nonhuman abilities, has demonic allies, and acts like a demon so the chip classifies her as one.

This type of analysis is also why Spike could strike Buffy after her resurrection. Humans do not die, get buried, then emerge from the grave with superhuman strength. Vampires do. I suspect that's the conclusion at which the chip arrived. The chip doesn't have an antenna or anything but Spike's senses to determine whether something is human or demon, so while Buffy may have a molecular suntan, there's no way for the chip to perceive it. Tara's lack of knowledge of computers doesn't offer much credibility to her hypothesis either.

Thinking of Tara, Spike's chip couldn't provide a definite determination of whether she was a demon or not. It's not a magical demon detector. Tara looked human and acted human (other than in casting spells, but we assume Willow is fine and I'm not sure that Spike's seen Tara cast a spell by this point in time), so why would it think she was a demon?

[> Re: Glory and Spike's chip --
Cleanthes, 09:56:13 08/10/03 Sun

Unbeknowst to the Initiative's designers, the chip determines "humanness" teleologically from all the evidence at the end of time. If, at the end of time when all that is knowable is known, the entity was, at the point in time when Spike hit the entity, not human, then the chip did not fire. Thus, the chip always worked perfectly as a plot determinant, which is a darn good thing inasmuch as Spike always found himself wrapped up in fictional stories.

More interestingly, what would have happened if Spike had hit Ben?

[> Because Glory *wasn't* contained in a human form. -- HonorH, 10:19:47 08/10/03 Sun

As General Exposition said, she'd learned how to come forward from time to time. Ben didn't have any of Glory's special abilities; he was human. Glory, however, was invulnerable and extremely strong. That doesn't sound human to me.

[> How Spike's chip worked... -- ZachsMind, 11:17:04 08/10/03 Sun

I've gone round and round on this topic with people before. It's a fun topic to argue. These are my findings.

The chip did not have a separate database from which to pull information regarding lifeform types. It did not have a sensory array separate from Spike's own perception. It was just a little mechanism that monitored Spike's own brain activity and then gave him a shock whenever Spike himself perceived he was attacking a human being. So Spike's own brain activity was operating this chip. If he believed something to be human, whether his scruples believed it okay to hit the human or not, the chip would fire. He was being betrayed by his own psychological makeup.

Now, although Willow is a witch, she's still human, so when he tried to bite her in season four immediately after getting the chip, naturally he couldn't do it, because of the programming of the chip. This set the precedent. A normal human cannot be attacked by Spike when the chip is active. Some episodes later, Spike learns almost by accident that he CAN attack demons. That the chip restricts him from attacking homo sapiens. Anything that's not a normal run of the mill human therefore, becomes fair game.

Spike received a shock when he hit Tara because Spike believed she was human. This was sufficient apparently for everyone in the room, to convince them that Tara was in fact human, because never did Tara behave in a demonic way around Spike. Naturally he'd believe her to be human, because her family's argument that she was sounded incongruous to Spike. Tara actually could still have been some kind of demon/human hybrid. Spike had no perception of that and so the chip fired.

Spike did NOT receive a shock when he hit Glory, because Glory exhibited actions in his presence that proved to Spike she was something other than human. The chip allowed him to hit humanoids - just not normal human beings. Granted, she was spending half her time inside Ben, and Spike knew that when no one else did, but Glory was still more than merely a human. Now, whether or not Spike could have killed Ben? That's left open to speculation.

When Buffy came back from the dead, the only reason Spike could hit her was because his own psychological makeup unconsciously could no longer define Buffy as a normal human. She had come back from the dead after three months buried under ground. By Spike's objective definition, given his own personal experience in the matter, that qualified Buffy for undead status. Maybe she wasn't a vampire or a demon but she definitely was no longer human. Humans, by definition, stay dead after they have died. Unconsciously, Spike didn't know what she was, so he could punch her all he wanted. Now, after getting his chip doublechecked, he consciously assumed this meant Buffy came back _wrong_ when objectively it's the fact that she came back at all which made her inhuman in Spike's mind. Tara proved in her own research later that IF Buffy came back _wrong_, it's at such a perceptively low level as to be irrelevant. She really wasn't different at all - Spike's perception of her changed.

The same would have been the case in regards to Anya. Spike's perception of Anya was that she was more than a mere human, because Anya herself admitted in Spike's presence that she was an ex-demon. I hear the argument now being that ex-demon means she was human again. That would have been irrelevant to Spike's unconscious mind, where the chip was quantifying its function. Although I don't recall Spike ever punching Anya or trying to bite her, he could have, even when she was powerless and humany - because she had lived for a thousand years. Though she was human now, unconsciously Spike would have been able to attack her, because in his mind she was most decidedly not a normal human. In hindsight, it may have been a conscious decision on the part of the writers never to get Anya and Spike in a position where he'd be tempted to punch her or bite her. He assumed he couldn't hurt her and therefore never tried, when in actuality he could have if he'd wanted.

So in summary, the chip worked by examining Spike's accumulated knowledge in his subconscious, and comparing it with the sensory input coming in at any given instant. If the chip saw that Spike was causing (or in some cases threatening) violence upon what his own accumulted knowledge perceived to be a normal human, it'd fire off the electrical impulse. So if Spike attacked something he perceieved to be a monster, but was in fact human, he'd get a jolt. And the chip was very black & white about it.

This is also why the chip began to malfunction and slowly kill him. It was his own guilt gone wonky. He realized after the fact, that he had turned all these humans, because of the sleeper trigger melody that temporarily turned off the chip, placing him in The First's thrall. After all that was over, he could not reconcile within himself the guilt he felt over killing all those people. So the chip began firing at random intervals, probably coinciding with irrational flashbacks as his mind drifted towards contemplating the horror he had done.

[> [> Drusilla was able to deactivate the chip -- Deacon, 14:51:23 08/10/03 Sun

S5 "crush":
Dru: Naughtt shh. you needn't make up stories. I already know why you are not coming, poor boy, tin solders put litle nick nacks in your brain. Can't hunt, can't hurt can't kill. You've got a chip.

Spike: right so you've heard spike, become a cautionary tale for vampire's, you better be good kiddeys or they will wire you up some day.

Dru: I don't believe in science. All those bits and molecules that no one has ever seen. I trust eyes and heart alone. And you know what mine is singing out. Right now your a killer born to slash and bash and bleed like beautiful poetry no little tinker toy can stop you from flowing.

Spike: But the pain love, you don't understand it sering, blinding.

Dru: All in you head, I can see it little bits of plastic spiderwebbing nasty bits of blue shocks, and every one is a lie. Electricity lies spike it tells you that your not a bad dog but you are.


I agree with ZachsMind's findings, very good points, I especially like the reasoning on why the chip started to malfunction.

Is there any other evidence that buffy came back wrong besides Spike being able to hit her. There is the fact that the First Evil was able to take buffy's form, but was that because there was something wrong with her or just because she had died, if it was the latter the FE would have been able to do that after she died the first time.

[> [> [> Re: Drusilla was able to deactivate the chip -- sdev, 15:38:19 08/10/03 Sun

I too like this explanation of the way the chip operated. But there is a problem-- in Smashed, in the alley, Spike goes to attack the muggers who he later says he thought were Demons, and the chip zaps him. I could spackle a little here and say that in between going to hit them and getting zapped he realized they were human.

The other really suggestive support for this theory is in FFL when Spike throws a punch at Buffy as a demonstration. He tells Buffy he is able to take a swing at her because he is aware she will never allow him to connect. I think he says"since there is no intention" the chip doesn't go off.

Were the writers just inconsistent in Smashed? I just watched the DVD commentary by Marti Noxon from Suprise and she talked about them making consistency errors and doing the equivalent of spackling whan they caught them. So I think that is possible. I think any mystical explanation of the chip very unlikely as the Initiative was not involved in that kind of experimentation.

Where in this quote do you see that Drusilla was able to deactivate the chip? I don't think she was. She was just willing to work around it until maybe they found a way.

[> [> [> [> Intention vs. species -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:51:13 08/10/03 Sun

In "Smashed" and "Family" (moreso in "Smashed"), it is presented that the chip is able to tell who is and who isn't human on its own accord, without having to rely on Spike's senses. However, in "Fool For Love", when Spike throws a punch but knows Buffy will dodge it, he doesn't get any pain. The answer, to me, seems somewhat obvious: the chip senses who is and who isn't human, and then shocks Spike if he forms an intention to hurt them. So it's a mixture of working through Spike's brain and analyzing events itself. I don't really have a problem with it sensing whether someone's human or not; the Initiative had lots of protein sensors that could track demons and the like, they probably built one like that into the chip, only had it geared towards demons. Yes, it seems impossibly advanced for such a small piece of machinery, but, then, a high school student once brought his dead brother back to life and a college student built an android that could reasonably simulate human behavior. If a couple of guys with virtually no resources can do this, imagine what a giant, government organization can do.

[> [> [> [> [> Intention vs. species-Yes that makes sense -- sdev, 16:08:21 08/10/03 Sun

This is consistent and believable. I could also see it as something the Initiative would want to do- build a demon detector. The intention part is critical as well though since it comes into play several times.

[> [> [> [> Re: Drusilla was able to deactivate the chip -- Deacon, 16:16:01 08/10/03 Sun

About the guestion you asked "where does it say in the quote that Drusilla was able to deactivate the chip"

It does not say in the quote but in the episode, "Crush" dru does help spike and then the go to the bronze and the both kill someone, then later on Spike tells buffy that with Dru he is able to feed again.

[> [> [> [> [> I don't think so -- sdev, 17:12:01 08/10/03 Sun

I think in that scene in the Bronze, Drusilla first kills the woman by breaking her neck then hands the woman off to Spike so that he can feed. Spike feeds after she is dead. It is not his act of feeding which kills the woman.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Sdev's right. -- HonorH, 19:03:25 08/10/03 Sun

It's even in the shooting script, I believe--the girl's already dead by the time Spike bites her. Can't harm her after she's dead.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I see you point -- deacon, 19:07:39 08/10/03 Sun

I carefully watched the scene again, I had always thought that she just passed her of to him, but I see now where Dru snaped her neck, I thought she was able to sort of hypnotize him, and later spike calls her the face of his salvation

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think the "salvation" thing referred to when she turned him 120 years ago -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:24:05 08/10/03 Sun

[> Re: Glory and Spike's chip -- Kenny, 14:40:03 08/10/03 Sun

Well, people have a lot of theories as to how the chip worked. At the end of the day, though, they're all theories. So little is said that any theory can be shaped around it.

My own take is that they found a demon that could distinguish between human and demon, or, more to the point, human from non-human. I bet Spike could hurt animals. Perhaps they ran across a demon that human-detecting as some kind of adaptation to aid in the human-hunting process. They extracted the organ (maybe a gland in the brain) and were able to put it on a chip, then tied it into Spike's brain in such a way as to cause pain when the organ fired.

That said, there's no evidence for this theory, just like there's no evidence for any other theory. I like it, though. We've seen the Initiative use technology to mix and match demon parts, so that totally falls within their MO. Heck, maybe vampires themselves have that capacity without realizing it (for instance, Darla could smell Angel's soul). Anyway, I like the idea that the basis for "human determination" is supernatural, not technological, and that the technology part is was bridges the gap between detection and deterrence.

[> [> disagree about animals...probably -- anom, 21:45:19 08/11/03 Mon

"My own take is that they found a demon that could distinguish between human and demon, or, more to the point, human from non-human. I bet Spike could hurt animals."

He shows up starving in Pangs. It sure doesn't look as if he's been drinking animal blood, & if it came down to survival, I don't think Spike would be too proud to. And in The Initiative, Riley says, "The implant works. Hostile 17 can't harm any living creature, in any way, without intense neurological pain." That doesn't sound like he can hurt animals. (Of course, it doesn't sound like he can hurt demons either....)

[> [> [> Re: disagree about animals...probably -- Kenny, 22:00:29 08/11/03 Mon

Honestly, when Pangs was written, I couldn't even conceive of Spike attempting to drink on anything other than a human. The thought just wouldn't occur to him. He'd just silently swear at the bunny rabbits bouncing by as he made his way to the Slayer's house. He's fairly one-track as far as those things go.

He at least played Kitty poker. He survived from the end of season 6 to the beginning of 7, and that's with a soul. You'd think chip+soul combo would keep him from feeding on any living thing. And no one was giving him bloodbags. If only we had seen him step on a cockroach in his crypt! Then this damned questioning would be over.

[> [> [> [> Re: disagree about animals...probably -- anom, 22:32:43 08/11/03 Mon

Well, I think he'd try killing animals for food before he'd go to the Slayer for help--that'd be an even worse blow to his pride! As for surviving btwn. S6 & S7, he had enough means to get to Africa for a soul; he could have either bought animal blood or hunted animals. On the other hand, we see him trying to sneak up on a rat in the school basement in (I think) Beneath You. Hmm...blood bags...picture Spike digging through containers labeled "Biohazard" for human blood discarded as unsuitable for transfusion after testing!

"If only we had seen him step on a cockroach in his crypt!"

Heehee--I was actually thinking the same thing when I wrote my previous post! Well, not a cockroach--what would they find to eat in a vampire's crypt, until Clem moved in w/his Bugles? But under your interpretation, the chip would go off even if Spike stepped on a bug without realizing it, right?

[> [> [> [> [> Why did he play poker for kittens, then, if he couldn't take a bite? -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:52:46 08/11/03 Mon

Also, in "Pangs", Spike didn't even know he could hurt demons. You can see that very clearly when he's afraid of Harmony. So odds are he thought all violence would set the chip off; probably didn't try animals until after "Doomed".

scythe --
chris, 14:37:10 08/10/03 Sun

i was wondering if anybody knew where i can find a picture of the scythe if anybody knows can you email me it would be great to find one

[> They're selling one at -- Darby, 20:20:27 08/10/03 Sun

Look for the "Axe" and click on the code for a picture.

Classic Movie of the Week - August 10th 2003 - Guilty Pleasures / Buried Treasures Pt. II -- OnM, 19:24:29 08/10/03 Sun


A slight touch of friendly malice and amusement towards those we love keeps our affections for them from turning flat.

............ Logan P. Smith


ìI f**ked up...î

ìYes, but you gave it a 100% effort.î

............ dialog excerpt from this weekís film


I am a part of all that I have met.

............ Alfred, Lord Tennyson


If youíre a movie fan, youíre certainly aware that films can be classed or categorized into a wide variety of different
genres. Oh, I donít mean like ëcomedyí or ëscience-fictioní or ëwesterní, I mean in terms of how you remember them
and like to view them. This wasnít always the case, at least not to any great extent, because at one time there was only
one way to see a movie, and so your options were inherently pretty limited. I think that Iíd like to talk about this idea for
a little while, because something has been happening here, and Iím not sure we think much about what it is.

Iíll start out by noting that this occasional movie column wouldnít even exist if not for the past presence of one Buffy
the Vampire Slayer
, and not merely because I have been given kind leave to post it on a Buffy-centric website.
Buffy changed my television and film viewing habits irrevocably, all because of one opportunity it presented to
me that I had seldom appreciated before-- the ability to enjoy multiple viewings of the same program. In virtually all
cases, I discovered that I could re-watch a given episode several, perhaps even many times, without getting tired of
doing so. In fact, my pleasure in experiencing the story often grew with subsequent involvement. While there have
always been a number of favorite movies that will typically get me to stop whatever Iím currently doing and watch them
should they pop up on the tube, it was extremely rare that I would see a movie in the theater and then go back a second
time and see it again within a few days to a week.

I still rarely do that, but itís nearly always a time constraint issue as the cause, not a lack of desire, and this is whatís
new for me. Of course, if I really didnít like the flick all that much, itís only reasonable not to go for a repeater, but I
mostly venture out to see movies that I have at least some interest in seeing. As long as the film is adequately entertaining
or thoughtful in some way or another, I almost always buy a copy when it comes out on video. The film I recommended
last week, Charlieís Angels, was a perfect example of this-- on the surface level of the initial viewing, it
appeared to be a fairly mindless but nevertheless energetic and happy romp. A later, second runthrough on video with
the DVD commentary track engaged, and it turns out there is more than meets the eye-candy. Go figure.

Well, I wouldnít have ëfiguredí at all six or seven years ago. Even other past TV shows that I dearly loved, like
Northern Exposure or Hill Street Blues, seldom got me to do more than tune in the occasional summer
reruns and I know for a fact that most other people out there do likewise. Iíve long since lost track of how many times I
have pitched the concept to customers of including some software storage for tapes or DVDs in a home theater setup
and heard the response ìWe never watch a movie more than onceî. It seems an inescapable conclusion that many
people treat TV and movies very differently from books or music, especially the latter. Why? Iíll now venture some
possible answers.

Even though the significant majority of us ëmodern folkí exist in a technologically driven world, technology is something
that carries with it an inherent degree of suspicion, sometimes even a degree of fear or loathing. Machines have
improved our daily lives in many ways (cars, telephones, and computers for example), but they also have a dark side
just like we do, or perhaps because we do. Cars, telephones and computers, to use the three examples just
cited, make many of us as miserable as they make others happy, and (perversely) the ëotherí is often us, just at a
different point in time and space.

Art that derives from a technologically based mode of creation is very often saddled with a form of suble distrust, a
distrust that only fades into insignificance with the passage of time and the complete absorption of the technology into
social ënormalityí. So, take a piano, for example. Pianos and their variants have been around for over several hundred
years now, and few music lovers would ever even think of them as a machine, let alone ëtechnologyí. But of course they
are-- do a little time travel and park a Bosendorfer down in ancient Greece or China, and check out the reaction. Some
musicians would get all enthused at this new invention, many or most others would denounce it as a tool of the devil, or
wonder why it needs to be so damn big and complicated-- you know, why canít I carry it on my back or whack the
strings directly with something?

Consider how long electric guitars have been around now, yet youíll still find ardent defenders of the concept that only
an acoustic musical instrument is a ërealí musical instrument. At least, electric or not, you can see that there is still a
nominal guitar entity underneath the pickups and amplification and stuff. What about purely electronic instruments, just
transistors and ICís and hard drives, digital bits and such? Agghh! Heresy! For a few generations, anyway, then after a
while what was new and in the way becomes old hat and part of the established tradition.

The visual and written arts are the same way. Theatrical plays are OK, because you have a very ëhumaní structure and
audience interface. You go into a building, park yourself down in a chair, and other humans walk out on a stage and do
the entertainment thang. There might be sets, props, lights, but itís all very corporeal and immediate. Books have been
around for millenia, but they werenít widely available to the masses until the printing press was developed. Anyone care
to bet that wasnít viewed as a universal good when it did first appear? Next thing you know, the Earth wonít be the
center of the universe anymore, and then what?

Itís easy to make fun of these attitudes now, but history is a continuum of repetitive behavior on our part when some
traditional art form mutates with innovation. We trust the old, question the new, and so it goes. Theater was updated
when motion picture photography came into being, and movies were updated when television showed up. In the last 30
years, video and computer technology have updated TV and movies.

The theater clan was certain that movies would destroy them. The movie industry knew without the slightest doubt that
television would do them in, shutter all the studios forever. The TV and film establishments fought a long, protracted and
expensive legal battle to keep VCRs and the legal right to record their programming from the world in the 1970ís,
because there was no question that no one would actually pay to see programming if they could get it ëfor freeí.

Hey, hereís an idea, someone said. Why not sell your programs to people on video? You retain the
copyright and all, and you could even make additional money once the original film was released or TV show

Pfffttt..., they collectively snarked. What a ridiculous idea! Whoís gonna watch a movie or TV show more than
once, let alone buy it?

Well, what about music?, the persistant types persisted with. Lots of people buy records, and they often
listen to them over and over again, even collect them. How would this be different?

It just is. Go away.

Move forward a few decades, and DVDs are selling like crazy, and renting at such a level that most video stores now
stock them in preference to VHS tapes. Besides the reliable, ongoing release of recent films, the catalog of older works
going back for decades is growing almost geometrically, and-- even more amazing-- video re-issues of both new and
classic TV shows are in high demand by thousands of ardent fans. The video industry is rolling in money, and
thereís no sign of things slacking off. Best of all, people still attend movies and plays and even watch TV, although the
ëfreeí broadcast networks are hurting for viewers as the main demographic shifts toward cable and satellite.

Because of this, itís really tempting to blast the entertainment industry for crying wolf over and over and add in some
additional scorching on behalf of not recognizing a new business opportunity when one was handed to them, but to be
fair, the dire predictions were based on the evidence they had before them at the time. What I donít think they thought
about back then was that they were faced with circumstances that represented a chicken-or-egg paradigm. It was true
that very few people watched a TV show or a movie more than once, but why was that? Stop and think about it... how
could they have done so if they wanted to?

Before TV came on the scene, once you saw a movie upon its first release, there was no simple way to see it again in
the future. There was no mass market operation in place to provide the public with films in a consumer-level format,
which would have been 8mm or later on maybe Super8. 16mm prints would have been expensive to buy, or even rent.
16mm projectors werenít cheap either, and in any case the viewing room had to be dark, and you needed a screen, and
so on and so on. Sometimes a town might be lucky enough to have a school, college or museum that had a ëfilm seriesí,
where you could see some past favorites again, but overall, the pickinsí were mighty mighty slim.

TV changed all that, and movie reruns became a staple part of almost every networkís and stationís program lineup.
This brought in extra income for the studios (what with the licensing and all), but it also did start to keep some
moviegoers from attending original theatrical screenings. The technology of the ëlittle screení was becoming mainstream
enough that, indeed, ìwhy pay when I can watch it for free?î did begin to have a chilling effect on film production. The
industry countered by promoting the increasing use of color vs. B&W, stereo sound instead of monaural, and one of the
true innovations that TV back then just couldnít touch-- widescreen aspect ratios for that really grand scale, involving
visual experience.

Time warp again to the present day, where as entertainment consumers we are in a pretty delightful situation. No matter
what kind of program choice rings your bell, you can very likely find it out there somewhere. If you have a TV set and a
VCR or DVD player, you all but have entertainment on demand. If you donít want to buy, you can rent. Increases in
internet connection bandwidth could add even more selection in the near future. I personally donít think we are more
than a decade away from the time when you can log on to something like an offshoot of the IMDb and select from
almost any still existing film or program ever made and download it in about 5 or 10 minutes.

Quantity of choice is no longer an issue, not even in the here and now. But one issue very much is, and this topic loops
me back to riffage square one where I was talking about the desire to categorize movies (and TV) by how you
watch it, and why. Because after you have quantity, quality becomes the final frontier. Quality is what makes you
want to spend the time to really delve into a work repeatedly, whether itís an hour or a day later, or once every several
years for a period of decades.

This weekís Classic Movie, Mystic Pizza by director Donald Petrie, is a truly wonderful movie, one
that I always enjoy a great deal as long as I only dig it out once every couple years, viddy it, and then put it away again.
I came to realize this interesting fact during the second viewing I made prior to composing this column, and itís what got
me to thinking about the transition weíve made into this newly video-saturated world, so radically different from a mere
few decades ago. Thanks to BtVS, Iíve gotten into the habit of repeat viewings of my favorite video art, and the vast
majority of the films Iíve recommended over the past three years are ones that I can watch many times over and still
enjoy and/or find enhanced.

But that doesnít always mean repeating several times in one day or even one week, you see. I can do that with, say,
Fool for Love, or Desperately Seeking Susan, or The Road Warrior or The Gift. Why? I
donít really know, itís a question of the particular connection those creations or others like them make with my head, or
maybe itís because they have a larger metaphorical depth that is lacking in a more ëslice-of-lifeí kind of story. (Yes,
there is metaphorical depth in Desperately Seeking Susan, and itís mighty damn funny besides.) TV and film on
video has become the New Music for me, and I suspect it has for a lot of other peeps also.

More conventionally categorized, Mystic Pizza definitely fits the ëslice-of-lifeí genre of film, a category that rises
or falls on how honestly the slice is depicted. This story revolves around three young women, in a time not too long after
their high-school graduations, and how successfully or unsuccessfully they have been able to meet lifeís challenges so
far. Two of the women, Katherine (ëKatí) Arujo (Annabeth Gish) and her sister Daisy (Julia Roberts) are employed as
waitresses in the pizza shop of the title, located in the town of Mystic, CT. While their mutual best friend, JoJo (Lili
Taylor) works there with them, the films opens not in the shop but in a church. Itís a wedding scene and JoJo is the
bride, except she seems more queasy and lightheaded than blushing.

We know weíre in for something different right off when the camera shifts from a wider shot of the large gathering of
friends and family members to show us JoJoís increasingly ëfuzzyí POV of the proceedings by shooting through what
appears to be her veil. As the minister begins his solemn oratory regarding the ëpermananceí of the institution of
marriage, emphasising in several increasingly onerous ways about how once it has been entered into, it cannot be set
aside ëuntil one of you no longer draws breathí, JoJo faints and collapses in the aisle. There may be commitment issues
here, you see.

We cut to the interior of the pizza shop, the first of many scenes there that will punctuate the events of the story at
regular intervals. Using a workplace as a pivot point for balancing a series of interlocking character story arcs is a
common storytelling device, since it makes for an easy way to bring the characters together and then let them move
apart again in a natural fashion. What elevates this use of the convention beyond the average is that the pizza shop isnít
just a convenient location, itís almost a character in and of itself. A lot of the credit for this goes to the actress playing
Leona, the shop owner (Conchata Ferrell) and to the excellent screenwriting work by head writer Amy Holden Jones.

Leona is proud of her pizza, which is made from a special recipe taught to her by a family member from the ëold
countryí and that she keeps secret even from the shopsí staff. Not only is the name of the shop ëMystic Pizzaí, the
aforementioned house specialty carries the same title. Mystic is a very small town, largely employing workers in the
fishing/lobster industry, many of whom are of Portuguese ancestry and/or Catholic. Heritage aside, the people we meet
are clearly later-generation descendants who have become more connected to the new country than the old. I have to
appreciate the writer and director understanding that the univeral love of ëcheesy cuisineí makes a nice metaphor for a
community that enjoys commonality despite the different backgrounds and personalities of the inhabitants. Call it a
melting pot, or a salad bowl, the idea of a Portuguese variant of an Italian dish radically popularized by Americans and
(in this instance) happily coexisting with lobsters presents a portrait of a U.S. I still like to pretend exists somewhere out
there. It may be a fantasy, but itís a pleasant one to visit, and makes for a large part of Pizzaís quiet charm.

JoJo is still troubled by her failure to marry Bill, whom she is loves very much but passionately dreads settling into the
classic kids, house and husband routine with. She really isnít quite sure what she wants to do with her life,
except maybe eventually take over the pizza shop when Leona retires, but weíre left unsure whether this is a real desire
or just a better sounding way of saying ìI have no ideaî. Bill, played by Vincent D'Onofrio, is typical of the male
characters in this story in that heís basically a nice guy without any really dark secrets to hide. This in itself is a pleasant
change-- a film where the normal challenges of living are made to be interesting and involving, and neither male nor
female genders become demonized along the way. For his part, Bill is steadfastly trying to cut JoJo some slack, but at
the same time he is baffled at her wanting to hold off on marriage-- to him, they love each other, there ainít no doubt, so
whatís the deal?

The two sisters, Kat and Daisy, are very different people in many ways, which of course causes a degree of friction,
although there is far more tension between Daisy and her mother than between her and Kat. Kat, the younger sister, has
just graduated from high school and has been accepted at Yale, where she plans to start in the later semester, money
willing. She has just begun a very pleasant babysitting job, taking care of the 4-year-old daughter of an architect/builder
(Tim Travers, played by William R. Moses) who is currently rehabbing a classic home in the area. Timís wife is away in
England for several months for her job, thus the need for the babysitting duties. Heís a Yale graduate, talented,
handsome and charming, perfect for Kat, except for the being married part. Kat dutifully tries to keep an emotional
distance from Tim, but the attraction is powerful between the two, and soon she will be faced with a decision that would
profoundly affect her so-far perfectly orderly life.

Katís mother is (quite naturally) very proud of her daughterís academic achievements, and Daisy keeps getting the
impression that this translates into additional disapproval for her already ëquestionableí lifestyle. Daisy, we see, is the
more worldly, assertive and outgoing child-- she drinks, smokes, curses and worst of all-- has occasional sexual
relations with men she isnít married to, all of which deeply disturbs the very conservative and religious Mrs. Arujo. Her
latest romantic interest is the son of a wealthy local man, who is ëtaking some time offí from law school. (Thereís far
more to it, and him, of course, but I wonít spoil things for you.) Mrs. Arujo distrusts the young man, presuming that he
will dump Daisy after a brief sexual fling with her, further sullying what she already sees as Daisyís ëtarnishedí

Here again, we have a not-so-secret recipe for ëformulaí that doesnít ever occur. It would be typical to turn the parents
of these young women into cartoon stereotypes, but it doesnít happen. There is no real malevolence involved, no one
goes ëpsychoí (no one even enters therapy, unless you count the pizza), and while the parents may grumble they also
realize that their children will have to live their own lives and take responsibility for their own mistakes.

I could go on reciting the various plot details, but I think you already get the general outline. There are a goodly number
of both genuinely touching and very funny moments on an ongoing basis throughout the entire film, and the ending is
almost Whedonesque in its oddball/heartwarming way. This film certainly qualifies as a buried treasure, and I would
additionally like to suggest to my readers of the male persuasion not to write this off as a standard ëchick flickí, because
it isnít, even though the central stories revolve largely around women and relationship issues. The greater relationship
issue in Mystic Pizza has more to do with humanityís frailities and strengths in a non-gendered sense, elements
that describe a greater, more universal human story about becoming ëpart of all that we have metí.

So there you have it, and let the pepperoni fall where it may!

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically, finding the Pope in the pizza very well might be a mystical experience:

Mystic Pizza is available on DVD, which was also the format of the review copy. The film was released in 1988,
and run time is 1 hour and 44 minutes. The original theatrical aspect ratio was 1.85:1, which was preserved on the DVD

The film was produced by Samuel Goldwyn Jr., Mark Levinson, Scott Rosenfelt and Susan Vogelfang. Writing credits
go to Amy Holden Jones, Perry Howze, Randy Howze and Alfred Uhry. Cinematography was by Tim Suhrstedt, with
film editing by Don Brochu & Marion Rothman. Production design was by David Chapman, with art direction by Mark
Haack, set decoration by Clay A. Griffith and costume design by Jennifer von Mayrhauser. Original Music was by
David McHugh and Barry Coffing. The original theatrical sound mix was provided in ëUltra Stereoí.

Cast overview:

Julia Roberts .... Daisy
Annabeth Gish .... Kat
Lili Taylor .... JoJo
Vincent D'Onofrio .... Bill
William R. Moses .... Tim Travers
Adam Storke .... Charles Gordon Windsor Jr.
Conchata Ferrell .... Leona
Joanna Merlin .... Mrs. Arujo
Porscha Radcliffe .... Phoebe (Tim's daughter)
Arthur Walsh .... Manny
John Fiore .... Jake (crewman on fishing boat JoJo)
Gene Amoroso .... Mr. Barboza
Sheila Ferrini .... Mrs. Barboza
Janet Zarish .... Nicole Travers
Louis Turenne .... Hector Freshette (the ëEveryday Gourmetí)
Lauren O'Brien .... Serena
John Cunningham .... Charles Gordon Windsor Sr.
Ann Flood .... Polly Windsor
Suzanne Shepherd .... Aunt Tweedy
Matt Damon .... Steamer


Miscellaneous Dept: (Part I) (aka - giving it a 100% effort)

I orignally had incorporated this paragraph as part of the main review, but decided to move it here because it kind of
broke up the flow there. I didnít want to delete it altogether, because it said something I thought was important to say, so I modded it a bit and added some extra value here and there:

I would like to say a few things about Julia Roberts. Mystic Pizza was, for all practical purposes, her first
venture into feature films, and watching this debut itís not even vaguely difficult to immediately see how special she is.
Every actor in this movie does a wonderful job and are a joy to watch as they inhabit the characters and bring them to
life. As good as they all are, Roberts brings a stunningly effortless quality to her work here that makes my mind boggle
when I consider how young she was and how relatively little practical experience came prior to her starring in this
movie. It isnít just a fluke, either. People talk about her as ëAmericaís sweetheartí, and she seems to be a very likable
person, but I sometimes think that people donít go beyond that impression, and fail to put her in the same class as
ëseriousí actors like Meryl Streep or Robert DeNiro, and she so deserves to be. Consider this list of her major film
work from 1988 to today, only about 15 years, and how many of these were really good films, and then try to think of
any of them, even the weaker ones, that she ever gave a bad performance in. Gives you pause, doesnít it?

Confessions of a Dangerous Mind (2002) .... Patricia
Full Frontal (2002) .... Catherine/Francesca
Grand Champion (2002)
Ocean's Eleven (2001) .... Tess Ocean
America's Sweethearts (2001) .... Kathleen 'Kiki' Harrison
Mexican, The (2001) .... Samantha Barzel
Erin Brockovich (2000) .... Erin Brockovich
Runaway Bride (1999) .... Maggie Carpenter
Notting Hill (1999) .... Anna Scott
Stepmom (1998) .... Isabel Kelly
Conspiracy Theory (1997) .... Alice Sutton
My Best Friend's Wedding (1997) .... Julianne 'Jules' Potter
Everyone Says I Love You (1996) .... Von
Michael Collins (1996) .... Kitty Kiernan
Mary Reilly (1996) .... Mary Reilly
Something to Talk About (1995) .... Grace Bichon
PrÍt-ý-Porter (1994) .... Anne Eisenhower
I Love Trouble (1994) .... Sabrina Peterson
Pelican Brief, The (1993) .... Darby Shaw
Hook (1991) .... Tinkerbell
Dying Young (1991) .... Hilary 'Hil/Hils' O'Neil
Sleeping with the Enemy (1991) .... Sara Waters/Laura Burney
Flatliners (1990) .... Rachel Mannus
Pretty Woman (1990) .... Vivian 'Viv' Ward
Steel Magnolias (1989) .... Shelby Eatenton Latcherie
Blood Red (1989) .... Maria Collogero
Mystic Pizza (1988) .... Daisy
Satisfaction (aka ëGirls of Summerí) (1988) .... Daryle Shane


Misc. Part II: (aka - STOP!! THIEF!!!)

A quote from an article in the Philadelphia Inquirer, 08/10/2003: (Underlined portions mine)

With reports of further declines in CD sales and news of lawsuits against illegal downloading, it's gotten so that music
technology has become a kind of all-purpose, amorphous villain. If you believe the hype, the genie is now out of the
bottle and on a campaign of mass destruction. Yet no matter what the label lawyers say, technology itself isn't the
problem. The problem is how the technology is used, and how copyrights are protected with those new uses.

Along with that comes the challenge of rebuilding relationships with consumers who are increasingly treated like
. Sooner or later, companies will have to shift their emphasis from policing and throwing up roadblocks to
their exclusive material and move toward inspiring listeners, engaging them, bringing them into more active modes of
listening and interacting with music.

No guarentee how long this will stay up, but at the moment you can see the full article via this link at:

I realize that there may be far more troublesome issues in the world today, but isnít it the little things that really bug you
way out of normal proportion? It is extremely irritating to be presumed a criminal before you have done anything
at all to suggest that you might be. The article cited above is talking about the music business, but things are pretty much
the same for the TV and film business. Probably half of the DVDs I buy, no matter what store I buy them from, are not
only shrink-wrapped without any easy way to get the wrap off short of a knife or other tool, but there are as many as
three seperate tamper-proof seals tenaciously holding the disc case closed. I keep an X-Acto handy by my video
system, but it still takes me several minutes to wrestle the damn stuff off of the box without damaging it or leaving any
glue residue behind, and finally get to the disc. Then, while I donít have to remove it, I usually see the magnetic anti-theft
device stuck inside the disc case somewhere.

While I donít have to physically un-theft-deterrent my TV, I am still constantly infuriated by the ever-growing and
ever-more obnoxious cluttering of the screen with channel and network ID logos, weather announcements that donít
come and go but stay on for hours at a time, news ëbannersí scrolling here and there, and other pointless, insipid crap.
The next thing you know, weíll find ourselves sitting through 20 minutes of commercials before the movie starts up even
when we actually go out to the theater instead of just watching flicks on TV!

Oh wait, theyíre already doing that. Never mind.



Misc. Part III: (aka - you gotta start somewhere!)

ìHey mom, you want my green stuff?î

............ Matt Damon, with his only line in Mystic Pizza

Something like ten years later, Damon wins an Academy Award for his work in Good Will Hunting


Misc. Part IV: (aka - oh yeah, thatís where I remember her!)

Annabeth Gish played the recurring role of Special Agent Monica Reyes on later seasons of The X-Files.


Misc. Part V: (aka - you win some, you lose some)

If only director Donald Petrie had had as much cinematic success as Julia Roberts, he would be... much less obscure.
He has done a lot of TV stuff over the years, though. You can check out he IMDb for a complete list, but here is most
of his feature filmography. In the meantime, please understand Iím not being critical about his success rate, since at
minimum he has made at least one really good film more than I have, and my boss thinks that Grumpy Old Men
is absolutely hilarious.

Miss Congeniality (2000)
My Favorite Martian (1999)
Associate, The (1996)
Richie Rich (1994)
Favor, The (1994)
Grumpy Old Men (1993)
Opportunity Knocks (1990)
Mystic Pizza (1988)


The Question of the Week:

Every movie fan has one, or likely several underappreciated actors who are laboring in obscurity that they like to talk
about and encourage people to see. So, hereís a harder question to answer:

What well-known, highly famous and talented actor do you think absolutely deserves every nice thing
everyone has ever said about him or her?

Thatís all for this week, gentle viewers! Post ëem if youíve got ëem, and Iíll see you next week!

Take care.


[> Hey, OnM! I'm gonna give you two--Tom Hanks and George Clooney. -- cjl, 20:30:08 08/10/03 Sun

I'm still waiting for Tom Hanks to take a role where's he's evil incarnate (his oily record producer in "That Thing You Do!" is close, but not quite)--other than that, I have absolutely no complaints about the man's choice of movies, his performances, and his refusal to play into the Hollywood star-maker machinery even though he's probably the biggest male movie star on the planet.

Did you hate Forrest Gump? Did you think it misrepresented two crucial decades of American history, and was a conservative's wet dream about how a simple country boy knew better than all them dirty hippies about living right? Don't blame Hanks. His performance as Forrest was warm, unique, indelible. Did you hate Philadelphia? Did you think Hanks' queer martyr was an unbearable cliche? Don't blame Hanks. He played the character with clear eyes, compassion, and without excess sentimentality. Are you sick of Hanks being up for an Oscar every twenty seconds? Tough. Most of the time he deserves it, even when he's not nominated.

Loved him on Bosom Buddies, and it gladdened my heart when I saw old buddy Peter Scolari as a TV Emcee in That Thing You Do!--Hanks doesn't forget his friends.

I'm not a sentimental sap, and even I bought Sleepless in Seattle. I love a shaggy dog story, I'm a big fan of John Patrick Shanley, and I love Joe Versus the Volcano, even if everybody else thinks it's nonsense. (Which it probably is.) However, I do admit that after You've Got Mail, I never want to see Tom and Meg together again. Ever.

In the last year, Hanks has done Road to Perdition and Catch Me If You Can, and he was great in both. He can be warm, funny, romantic, joyful, angry, bitter, cynical. We should enjoy this guy while he's at his peak. The new Henry Fonda? The new Jimmy Stewart? No comparisons, please. He's the original Tom Hanks, and that should be good enough for everybody.

Favorte Hanks performance: Punchline.
Least favorite Hanks performance: The Man with One Red Shoe.


As for George Clooney...

After struggling for decades in show biz, he finally hit it big and the first thing he did with his newfound clout was David Russell's stinging Persian Gulf war farce, Three Kings.

He did Ocean's Eleven for laughs (and I laughed), and followed it up with Solaris, which nobody saw, not even me. (Shame on me--I've read the original Lem novel and loved the 1972 Tarkovsky adaptation.) He did it for love.

His first directing job was the astounding, criminally ignored Chuck Barris biopic, Confessions of a Dangerous Mind. He was goofy and charming in "O Brother Where Art Thou?"--so much so, that the Coen Brothers invited him back for this summer's Intolerable Cruelty (that's the title, not what the Coens are doing to him on the set). "Batman and Robin" WASN'T HIS FAULT.

He could have turned his crooked half-smile into an annoying money-making quirk, like the Afflecks of the world, but I have no desire to bludgeon Clooney every time he turns up the charm on screen. He continues branching off in weird and fascinating directions, far too weird for a major motion picture icon. Frankly, if given the choice between Sean Penn and George Clooney giving up acting for directing, I'd rather see Clooney slip behind the camera. He has a better nose for good material.

Favorite Clooney performance: Confession of a Dangerous Mind
Worst Clooney performance (coasting on charm): Ocean's Eleven

[> [> I liked "You've Got Mail", and I fell asleep during "Solaris" does that count? -- Rufus, 21:56:23 08/10/03 Sun

[> [> [> No problem, Ruf. Book or movie, Solaris defines the word "meditative"... -- cjl, 07:04:32 08/11/03 Mon

No surprise that some folks would take a nice, restful nap in the middle.

I still consider You've Got Mail one of Hanks' rare mistakes over his last 20 years of film-making. Compares poorly to the original (The Shop Around the Corner) and Sleepless in Seattle blows it out of the water. Hanks and Ryan should have quit while they were ahead, or waited for a completely different type of project. ("Joe Versus the Volcano," for example, was a complete curveball, something radically different from SiS.)

[> [> [> Re:"Solaris" The original Russian version is also a sure cure for insomnia -- CW, 08:34:21 08/11/03 Mon

Can't figure out why they wanted to remake it.

[> [> [> [> neither are quite the book, not to condemn them for that -- MsGiles, 07:54:03 08/12/03 Tue

Tarkovsky's Solaris, like his other films, uses the plot as a way of musing on his obsessions: memory, nostalgia, the lost past, the hearts desire, life's mistakes, the possibility of redemption or retrieval. It's full of a kind of peaceful regret, an ache of loss. The leaving of earth for the Solaris research station (cut back cinematically for financial reasons) seems like just another level of loss, of leaving. The end offers a kind of healing, of forgiveness - but it's his parents, his childhood home, that are the empty space within him, the lost Eden, and the forgiveness, if it is forgiveness, is alien, somehow detached.

Soderburgh/Clooney's is surprisingly acceptable. Surprising to me, anyway. I'd just seen Clooney in 'Oh Brother Where Art Thou', and had him down as a Clark Gable remould, all dry rogueishness. His 'Solaris' has much more of a romantic emphasis than Tark's, but it's not fluff. It's less about the lost purity of childhood, than about the lost relationship between Kelvin (the Clooney character) and Rheya, his wife. Here, the Solaris effect is a means of examining guilt, loss, wrong turnings in life, and the closure offered by the conclusion is more overt than either the other film or the book.

I re-read Lem's story after seeing the Soderburgh film, and was surprised how much my memory of it had been usurped by the Tarkovsky version. Lem was interested in the intellectual and philosophical rather than the emotional ramifications of his idea, the conflict between objective science and subjective experience, mediated through the observations of the psychologist Kelvin. Kelvin finds himself, because of the Solaris effect, experiencing that conflict, trying to understand what makes a person's identity, finding his own unresolved issues suddenly very present.

Much of the book deals with 'research' into the Solaris phenomenon, and the scientists' attempts to understand it, and in that respect it relates more to science fiction than fantasy, unlike either film. There's a lot of quite 'dry' philosophical speculation, phrased as researchers theories about the sentience or otherwise of Solaris itself, and the reasons for its many manifestations.

Essentially Tarkovsky used the plot of the book as a hook on which to hang his own semi-mystical preoccupations, and Soderburgh/Clooney have made it into something much closer to a conventional (though quite interesting and not unbearably syrupy) romance.

Finally, the book's conclusion is not the quasi-religious healing of either Tarkovsky or Soderburgh's films, but more a personal revelation on the part of Kelvin, as he makes his final choice.

[> [> Hanks and Philadelphia -- KdS, 16:01:02 08/11/03 Mon

Sorry, but Hanks never, for one moment, convinced me in Philadelphia that he was sexually attracted to men. Every time he had to show Banderas's character affection, or receive it, he went rigid and looked as if he was desperately trying not to run screaming.

[> [> [> Have to agree there. -- Rob, 13:30:10 08/12/03 Tue

Willow and Kennedy had more chemistry. ;)


[> Nicolas Cage and Renee Zellweger -- s'kat, 22:37:01 08/10/03 Sun

Nicolas Cage has done it all - bad guys, good guys, nerds, he has even made himself appear ugly onscreen. He has appeared in unknown independents to huge action movies.
(A little antecdote on Cage - somewhere in the early 80's,
the son of my parents friends hung out at Coppola's house with Coppola's nephew - they used to watch movies on Coppolas huge movie screen. Both were struggling actors. The son (person I've met) was waiting tables, working on scripts - then the nephew (who at the time I'd never heard of) some guy named Nicolas Coppola got a few bit parts including a role in one of his uncle's SE Hinton adaptations. The nephew became Nicolas Cage. Yep - it's who you know, BUT - how many actors who are relatives of celebrity directors or actors truly make it? Cage deserves his career, and has worked hard for it.) His first role was a bit part on TV and a cameo in Fast Times At Ridgemount High.

Filmography: Current to past - look at the range!

1. Ghost Rider (2004) (in production) .... Johnny Blaze/Ghost Rider
2. Land of Destiny (2004) (announced)
3. National Treasure (2004) (pre-production) .... Benjamin Franklin Gates
4. Matchstick Men (2003) (completed) .... Roy
5. Adaptation. (2002) .... Charlie Kaufman/Donald Kaufman
6. Sonny (2002) .... Acid Yellow
7. Windtalkers (2002) .... Sgt. Joe Enders
8. Christmas Carol: The Movie (2001) (voice) .... Jacob Marley
9. Captain Corelli's Mandolin (2001) .... Captain Corelli
... aka Capitaine Corelli (2001) (France)
10. Family Man, The (2000) .... Jack Campbell
11. Gone in Sixty Seconds (2000) .... Randall 'Memphis' Raines
12. Bringing Out the Dead (1999) .... Frank Pierce
13. 8MM (1999) .... Tom Welles
... aka 8mm - Acht Millimeter (1999) (Germany)
14. Snake Eyes (1998) .... Rick Santoro
15. City of Angels (1998) .... Seth
... aka Stadt der Engel (1998) (Germany)
16. Face/Off (1997) .... Castor Troy/Sean Archer
... aka Face Off (1997)
17. Con Air (1997) .... Cameron Poe
18. Rock, The (1996) .... Dr. Stanley Goodspeed
19. Leaving Las Vegas (1995) .... Ben Sanderson
... aka Leaving Las Vegas (1995) (France)
20. Kiss of Death (1995) .... Little Junior Brown
21. Trapped in Paradise (1994) .... Bill Firpo
22. It Could Happen to You (1994) .... Charlie Lang
23. Guarding Tess (1994) .... Doug Chesnic
24. Deadfall (1993) .... Eddie
25. Amos & Andrew (1993) .... Amos Odell
26. Red Rock West (1992) .... Michael Williams
27. Honeymoon in Vegas (1992) .... Jack Singer
28. Zandalee (1991) .... Johnny
29. Industrial Symphony No. 1: The Dream of the Broken Hearted (1990) (TV) .... Heartbreaking Man
30. Tempo di uccidere (1990) .... Enrico Silvestri
... aka Raccourci, Le (1990) (France)
... aka Short Cut, The (1990)
... aka Time to Kill (1990)
31. Wild at Heart (1990) .... Sailor
... aka David Lynch's Wild at Heart (1990) (USA)
32. Fire Birds (1990) .... Jake Preston
... aka Wings of the Apache (1990)
33. Vampire's Kiss (1989) .... Peter Loew
34. Never on Tuesday (1988) (uncredited) .... Man in Red Sports Car
35. Moonstruck (1987) .... Ronny Cammareri
36. Raising Arizona (1987) .... H.I. McDonnough
37. Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) .... Charlie Bodell
38. Boy in Blue, The (1986) .... Ned Hanlan
39. Birdy (1984) .... Sergeant Al Columbato
40. Cotton Club, The (1984) .... Vincent Dwyer
41. Racing with the Moon (1984) .... Nicky/Bud
42. Rumble Fish (1983) .... Smokey
43. Valley Girl (1983) .... Randy
... aka Bad Boyz (1983)
... aka Rebel Dreams (1983) (video title)
44. Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) (as Nicolas Coppola) .... Brad's Bud
45. Best of Times (1981) (TV)

Best Role? Hard to pick - I'd say Adaptation and Leaving Los Vegas

Worste Role: Con Air

But then I haven't seen all his movies. He has the uncanny ability to play the comedy in very dark characters. Bring out all those nervous little ticks we all want to hide and make us laugh at them. He also can play pathos and conflict.
The idea of Cage as Ghost Rider...hmmm, interesting.

I considered doing John Cusack (another favorite...but I'll suggest a lady instead : Renee Zellweger.

She also has the ability to make dark characters sweet and funny and endearing. Her recent turn as Roxy in Chicago was a wonder to watch. I still think she was better than Catherine Zeta Jones. And her little known part as the woman who believes she's a nurse in a soap opera is a tour de force. She's new on the scene - hasn't quite had the number of roles Cage, Clooney and Roberts have had...but watch her begin to take off. Her next role is in Cold Mountain as a mountain woman.

Actress - filmography
(In Production) (2000s) (1990s)
1. Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason (2004) (announced) .... Bridget Jones
2. Cinderella Man (2004) (pre-production)
3. Sharkslayer (2004) (filming) (voice) .... Angie
4. Cold Mountain (2003) (post-production) .... Ruby Thewes
5. Down with Love (2003) .... Barbara Novak
6. Chicago (2002) .... Roxie Hart
7. White Oleander (2002) .... Claire Richards
8. Bridget Jones's Diary (2001) .... Bridget Jones
... aka Journal de Bridget Jones, Le (2001) (France)
9. Me, Myself & Irene (2000) .... Irene P. Waters
10. Nurse Betty (2000) .... Betty Sizemore
... aka Nurse Betty - Gef”hrliche Tr”ume (2000) (Germany)
11. Bachelor, The (1999) .... Anne Arden
12. One True Thing (1998) .... Ellen Gulden
13. Price Above Rubies, A (1998) .... Sonia Horowitz
14. Deceiver (1997) .... Elizabeth
... aka Liar (1997)
15. Jerry Maguire (1996) (as Renee Zellweger) .... Dorothy Boyd
16. Whole Wide World, The (1996) .... Novalyne Price
17. Low Life, The (1995) .... Poet
18. Empire Records (1995) (as Renee Zellweger) .... Gina
... aka Empire (1995/II)
... aka Rock & Fun (1995)
19. Shake, Rattle and Rock! (1994) (TV) .... Susan
20. Return of the Texas Chainsaw Massacre, The (1994) (as Renee Zellweger) .... Jenny
... aka TCM 4 (1994) (USA: abbreviated title)
... aka Texas Chainsaw Massacre 4 (1994) (abbreviated title)
... aka Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation, The (1997) (USA: reissue title)
21. Love and a .45 (1994) .... Starlene Cheatham
22. 8 Seconds (1994) .... Prescott Motel Buckle Bunny
... aka Lane Frost Story, The (1994)
23. Reality Bites (1994) (as Renee Zellweger) .... Tami
24. My Boyfriend's Back (1993) (uncredited)
... aka Johnny Zombie (1993)
25. Murder in the Heartland (1993) (TV) .... Barbara
26. Taste for Killing, A (1992) (TV) .... Mary Lou

Her best role? Nurse Betty in my humble opinion

Worste? Me Myself and Irene...but then I just wasn't fond of the movie. Haven't seen all of them. Her best stuff seems to be more recent.

Source for flimography is imbd.


[> Paul Newman -- Anneth, 10:00:27 08/11/03 Mon

Good actor, good man.

Plus, his Newman's Own Soccaroni Pasta Sauce is my favorite marinara sauce ever. It may not be his recipie, but it means a lot to me that his company uses organic ingredients and donates the proceeds to charity.

Oh, and Cool Hand Luke turns me into warm jelly. Every time.

[> [> Ditto. And, if the dead qualify, Jimmy Stewart. -- dream, 11:03:33 08/11/03 Mon

Personally, I think the quality of movie choices matters. Julia Roberts may have wonderful qualities, but she also chooses a lot of really bad films - Pretty Woman, anyone? To my mind, a great actor has to care about the final product - the whole thing, not just their part in it, enough not to make a pile of crappy movies. I avoid all movies that star Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks, and Sandra Bullock, among others, not because the actors are that bad, but because I have pretty much hated everything they have ever chosen to be involved in. Now, I think Andie McDowell is about the worst actress in Hollywood, wooden and stiff. Compared to Julia Roberts, she's a robot. But I have enjoyed a few movies she's been in (Shortcuts, sex lies and videotape, even Four Wedding and a Funeral), so I won't avoid an otherwise-recommended film because she's in it. Tom Hanks, yes.

That's not to say that a great actor can't make bad movies. I can't think of one that hasn't, and some have made many, many terrible films (Elizabeth Taylor comes to mind). But I just can't consider someone a great actor who has consistently chosen cheap roles.

Paul Newman also makes a really nice microwave popcorn, with no scary ingredients, just popcorn and oil. Bless him.

[> [> [> Paul Newman is a great actor but... -- sdev, 15:52:57 08/11/03 Mon

he insists on dim lighting and less than sharp focus to disguise his age. Or so I heard. That is kind of creepy.

[> [> Re: Paul Newman -- Haddock, 12:07:15 08/12/03 Tue

The recipe may not be his own, but Mr Newman does have other talents besides acting - he is also the oldest man ever to win an international status 24 Hour motor race at the grand old age of 68

Doesn't he have a clothing line as well ?

[> Vanessa Redgrave -- mamcu, 18:44:06 08/11/03 Mon

She is wonderful. I've never seen her in a movie I didn't like--from Blow Up to Girl, Interrupted. She remains real.

However, she's made a lot of things I haven't seen, so there may be some clinkers in there.

[> [> Re: Vanessa Redgrave -- mamcu, 18:48:56 08/11/03 Mon

She's been so incredibly good for so long--from Camelot and Blowup through Julia and Howard's End to Girl, Interrupted. She remains real.

But I haven't seen everything she's done.

Re: Question about scythe -- Tyreseus, 19:38:16 08/10/03 Sun

Someone was asking how to get a picture of the scythe. Well, it's on sale at & there's a pic. Bids are up to over $2000.

[> Well, it is so shiny... -- Pathfinder, 20:03:39 08/11/03 Mon

But feeling the need to go into Giles mode and furiously clean my glasses here. "Good lord, who on earth would pay that much for a show prop. Admittedly, a very shiny show prop, but still..."

GILES: It appears to be paranormal in origin.
WILLOW: How can you tell?
GILES: Well, it's so shiny.

Faith vs Kennedy --
JBone, 20:17:22 08/10/03 Sun

Faith would totally do that. Faith was built to do that. She's the 'do that' girl!

I haven't heard from everyone, but I believe we have a new tiebreaker Council. All new. I'm not too worried about it for the first match this week. I'm a little hesitant in naming them until I hear back from them all, but they will take us through the remainder of the first round. Second round shifts and on will only last a week. Since things really get shaking then anyway. I guess I could make up a schedule for the second round and send it out to make sure everyone is ready and willing. I'll put that on the must do list. I'm still accepting volunteers for the Council, but they won't have much of a chance on serving in the final rounds. I'm saving that for people who bothered to volunteer in the first round.

There is a place to post comments at the voting site, but I'll continue to include those posted here or emailed to me.

[> The probable scenario.... -- cjl, 20:47:14 08/10/03 Sun

After anchoring Willow's "nifty" spell, and kicking Ubervamp booty from here to Cleveland, Kennedy is pumped and ready to take on the world. Her GF gives her the enthusiastic thumbs up, and the newbie Slayer is practically swaggering. Then, two minutes before the match, reality sets in: Willow goes over to Faith's corner and begs her not to beat up Kennedy too badly. Faith, a sucker for lesbian romance (she saw a lot of it in prison) has mercy on Da Wonder Brat and leaves enough of Kennedy intact so W/K can enjoy a little post-bout consolation. (Drop and give me twenty, maggot! Faith and her mad skillz, all the way.)

[> [> Faith and Kennedy would make a swell oil-wrestling match -- Masq, 22:09:26 08/10/03 Sun

[> Hmm...what a tough choice. -- deeva, 21:25:18 08/10/03 Sun

Not really. Faith can so kick Kennedy's ass. Even with her activated slayerness Kennedy is no match. Sorry, K but you're not even in the same league as Fathie-poo.

[> Faith and Kennedy in Faith's motel room . . . -- HonorH, 22:26:23 08/10/03 Sun

Am I the only person thinking slashy thoughts here? JBone, what *were* you thinking?

[> [> Just looked at the stats-- -- HonorH, 22:29:20 08/10/03 Sun

Either there are a lot more Kennedy fans than I thought there were, or more people really hated Faith than I thought. Kinda expected this to go the way of Darla vs. Trick with Faith playing Darla. Huh! Guess you never know.

[> [> [> You know what's weird? -- deeva, 22:33:24 08/10/03 Sun

When I looked at the stats earlier it was Faith that was ahead, 6-0.

[> [> [> [> It's getting steadily weirder. -- HonorH, 23:10:58 08/10/03 Sun

This, btw, is coming from someone who *liked* Kennedy, but I'm having a hard time believing she's leading Faith as much as she is. Is something going funky with the votes? Who's voting for Kennedy over Faith, anyway? Just so I can see the why.

[> [> [> [> [> I'm gonna leave it up for now... -- Jay, 04:54:08 08/11/03 Mon

but I'm highly suspicious. There's stuff all over the comments page that I can barely read.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, you've come down with a troll, all right. -- HonorH, 10:34:57 08/11/03 Mon

The Netspeak almost made my eyes bleed. I'd wager someone's stuffing the box with Kennedy votes just to be annoying.

[> [> there are immoral liasons going on there (the fleabag hotel) -- Jay, 16:45:33 08/11/03 Mon

[> My shameful admission.....I don't like Faith very much.....sob! -- Rufus, 01:28:26 08/11/03 Mon

I just can't help myself...her posturing and horrible dialogue make me think that we saw enough of her in season three. I did however like her interaction with Wes on Angel this year...I bet for her he'd monogram a bucket...;)

[> The man from the tiebreaker council- he say... -- Tchaikovsky, 02:17:10 08/11/03 Mon

I do really like Kennedy.

But Faith inspired the best cross-show period ever, (This Year's Girl, Who Are You?, Five by Five, Sanctuary).

So I vote Faith.


[> Uh, JBone -- KdS, 02:52:43 08/11/03 Mon

I think you have a polyvoting troll on your official comments page.

[> [> Agreed. I smell another attempted rigging. -- cjl, 06:51:23 08/11/03 Mon

[> I voted for Faith, and Kennedy was leading! -- Scroll, 08:05:38 08/11/03 Mon

I mean, I like Kennedy and all, but I adore Faith. Maybe I've got the wrong impression but I thought most people on this board preferred Faith over Kennedy. How is it that Kennedy is leading by 50%, with Faith trailing at 49%?

Faith is the original bad girl; Kennedy is just a rich kid who plays at being bad, tongue-ring and all. Faith is the true Slayer and the greatest survivor, the street kid from the rough side of Boston, the one with the snark and the attitude and the jaded, old-before-her-time outlook on life. Faith is the one with the best lines, like "five by five", "want. take. have.", and "because it's wrong". She taught us the five torture groups. She showed us it's possible to find peace in prison. What has Kennedy ever taught us except that she's a verbally abusive drill sergeant?

Faith may have made mistakes in the past, that's true, but she has faced up to the consequences of her actions and continues even now to pay the price. She understands what it means to strive for redemption, knowing that it is something one must work at day after day. Kennedy is a self-proclaimed "brat" who doesn't have the charisma or life experience to tries to emulate, but doesn't quite pull off, Faith's old lust for power and Faith's newer confidence in being the leader. Kennedy, even more than Gwen, is Faith-lite.

Besides, when it comes to sheer sexual magnetism, Kennedy pales in comparison to our girl Faith. Faith is sex on toast. And she will so kick that rich bitch's ass!

[> Faith all the way! -- AngelVSAngelus, 09:51:45 08/11/03 Mon

Both in terms of which character I vastly enjoy more, and who I objectively think would win hands down in physical combat.
I never really felt that there was any dimension to Kennedy's character beyond hitting on Willow. Faith's 'broken-goods' story of traumatic events leading a person down the wrong path make her an extremely sympathetic character, even at her most villainous.

[> Repost from comment place. -- ApOpHiS, 17:56:56 08/11/03 Mon

This is more than a simple fight between two young women; this is a living metaphor for the eternal struggle between the valiant Proletariat and the corrupt, vile Bourgeois. Kennedy, the spoiled little rich girl, represents the forces of oppression and greed, while Faith, who lived much of her life on the streets, is the heroine of the working class who must scrape together their livings from the scraps of their despotic masters. It is Faith's destiny to defeat Kennedy, just as it is the Proletariat's destiny to violently overthrow the yoke of the Bourgeois' oppression. A vote for Faith is a vote for the People! Viva la causa! Viva la revolution!

[> [> Ah, but both switched around -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:17:37 08/11/03 Mon

When given the opportunity, Faith gave up her noble, proletariat caste to join with the corrupt and evil establishment of Mayor Wilkins. She helped exploit the working class people of Sunnydale in order to be provided with the enormous extravangences of the Bourgeois.

Meanwhile, Kennedy redeemed her capitalist upbringing by coming to live in the communal environment of the Summers' house and being part of a low income, hard working group.

While they began as you described, their positions reversed during their lives.

[> [> [> True, but... -- ApOpHiS, 20:31:10 08/11/03 Mon

Faith's choice to turn her back on the People led to severe reprecussions; she has since seen the error of her ways and returned to the correct side of the struggle. Kennedy, despite helping the People's cause, also spent much of her time engaged in selfish, counter-revolutionary actions, such as sowing disent amongst the Scoobies (ie, suggesting everyone listen to Willow, her lover, rather than Buffy due to Willow's raw power). Her political manuveurings were designed to place her in a position of power, much like the one she was born into but was forced to leave due to the war on the First.

[> [> [> [> Re: True, but... -- Kenny, 21:51:10 08/11/03 Mon

And let us not forget the finality of these matters. How was each motivated? Faith realized the balance of personal power with the balance of social power. The Potentials (read Slayers) only had power as a group if each believed in herself as Persyn. Kennedy, by the end of Chosen, had not learned the power of freedom through individuality through responsibility that Faith had achieved. Her justification for being "right" was still through privilege. While her alteration of goals is commendable, her justification for such actions is still extremely suspect.

Our Random -- RobBit, 22:20:35 08/10/03 Sun

--secretly needs to check a pocket dictionary when re-reading his own posts
--does not know what "Pip" from Great Expectations is short for...
--...and doesn't care
--has a crush on TCH, for being one of the few who can hold his own in a Poetry Smackdown against him...
--Öbut keeps it to himself
--isn't random at all but quite specific
--likes snuggling a bit too much, if ya know what we mean
--never gets sick. ever.
--always gets to places on timeÖ
--...but then inexplicably stands outside for 5 minutes before going in
--secretly wants to get inside Robís cheerleader outfitÖ
--...Rob still being in at the time would be an added bonus.
--thinks that Caleb and Eveís Southern accents actually werenít too far-offÖ
--Öbut would never admit it, even on threat of death
--falls asleep at the most inopportune moments
--knows Alice in Wonderland by heart, but still kicks himself at night for not being able to commit Buffyís Earshot speech to memory
--never uses Cliff Notes
--wouldnít mind being the middle of a Masq-díH sandwich
--has already been the middle of an Umberto Eco-John Steinbeck sandwich. Long story!
--has a schoolboy crush on Rah
-- Once had a non-naughty thought, but was puzzled by it and tossed it in the "Philosophical Dilemmas" out-box
-- Likes to be a mediator, aspires to be a gladiator...
-- Öbut really likes the control aspect
-- likes to have his hair flowing freely down his back
-- has a master's degree in literature...
-- Öbut starts philosophical threads based on shampoo bottle instructions
--snarks, therefore he is
--is a great friend

Rob and 'Bit

[> Random can snark? I must have missed that. -- Rufus, 22:25:01 08/12/03 Tue

likes to have his hair flowing freely down his back

Öbut starts philosophical threads based on shampoo bottle instructions

If Random wants to become the 5th Cordette along with me he is going to have to write that post on "conditioner"'s the next step after shampoo.

[> [> Pointing out that nowhere in this post does Rufus say "a thing" -- LittleBit, 13:17:44 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> That was that other post, but then I couldn't help myself, things just popped out...;) -- Rufus, 14:07:18 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: That was that other post, but then I couldn't help myself, things just popped out...;) -- LittleBit, 15:17:36 08/13/03 Wed

I looked carefully and nowhere in any of your posts in this thread did you use the phrase "a thing" ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: That was that other post, but then I couldn't help myself, things just popped out...;) -- Rufus, 16:18:11 08/13/03 Wed

Okay no things....just conditioner...and you know after conditioner there are these easy to use hair serums that make your hair more silky and shiny...not that I'm saying that Ran needs it.....;)

[> Preserving... -- Rob, 08:28:37 08/11/03 Mon

[> Must be preserved! -- Sara, laughing and missing chat, 11:15:28 08/11/03 Mon

[> LOL! Definitely preserving this! -- Scroll, 20:51:34 08/11/03 Mon

[> Doing the hokey pokey of preservation. -- Rob, 07:41:19 08/12/03 Tue

[> Joining in the dance of preservation -- Anneth, 09:32:27 08/12/03 Tue

[> I never thought it could happen to *me*!! -- Random, 16:57:44 08/12/03 Tue

There I was, blissfully meme-ing other board posters and what should I see but Rob and Bit striking back. What did I ever do to deserve th...oh, right. Nevermind. Love you both.

[> [> awwwww...[more hugs] -- LittleBit, 21:52:24 08/12/03 Tue

[> [> Notice....I haven't said a thing.....not a thing.......;) -- Rufus, 22:21:03 08/12/03 Tue

[> [> awww <hugs> -- Rob, 20:31:24 08/12/03 Tue

My Angel/Buffy/Spike -- Diana, 09:11:23 08/11/03 Mon

Memes aren't really my forte, but I wanted to share how I see this turgid supernatural triangle. It's my story (actually book at this point), so naturally Buffy and Angel are together (though why is the whole point of the story). Spike is still dead because I don't want to have to deal with guessing how he will be brought back, so as VR suggested, this takes place before he comes back. This passage takes place about 1/3rd way into the story and is after Buffy comes back from a shopping spree that Angel had Buffy go on in order to replace what she lost to the Hellmouth. Fred went with her. Also throughout the story, Buffy is acting a bit out of character and Angel is trying to find out what is going on. At one point he suggests having Lorne read her, but this really hurts Buffy, so he takes it back.

Any comments are fine.


When they got up to Angelís penthouse, the guards brought Buffyís packages into the living room. They covered the couch and table. Buffy had to go to the bathroom and left as they were doing that. When she got back, she saw Angel in the living room looking over what she got.

ìDid you leave anything at the mall for other people to buy?î he wondered out loud as she came in.

ìItís not all for me,î she said indignantly. ìThis thing is amazing,î she said holding the credit card. ìJust take it out, wave it around and people are falling all over themselves to help you. Itís like magick.î She handed it back to him. ìIt isnít really magick, is it?î Buffy asked.

ìNope. Just good ole basic human greed.î Angel said putting it away. ìSeems you have that down pretty well yourself,î he teased.

ìYou said to do this. Besides, like I said. It isnít all for me. I hope you donít mind. Iím not the only one that lost everything in the line of duty and this would look just perfect on Dawn,î Buffy said holding up a peach sweater. ìCleveland gets really cold, Iíve heard. REALLY cold.î She shivered at the thought. She had only seen snow once in her lifetime.

ìThatís fine,î Angel said taking the sweater and putting it down. Leave it to Buffy to have to get presents for all her friends. It was cute and she was right. They had all lost everything. He was glad that he got the Watchers Councilís funds released for them. Having your own law firm had advantages. They had Giles declared the head of the organization as the only surviving member. It didnít take long, well as long as it should have. His people were still working on insurance claims from the Hellmouth devouring Sunnydale. Buffy had no idea just how powerful the name Wolfram and Hart really was, even without resorting to the supernatural or unethical methods.

Buffy moved some bags and plopped down on the couch. Her exhaustion from the day was starting to really catch up with her. She kicked a few more bags aside and put her feet up on the table. She looked around at everything and started to laugh.

ìI went a tad overboard, didnít I?î she confessed.

ìMaybe,î Angel admitted looking through things, ìbut it looks like you had fun.î

ìI did,î Buffy said finding a little more energy to sustain her a bit longer. ìI havenít done that, well since I became Slayer almost. There was that one time, I went to stay with my father in LA. You remember that summer?î Buffy threw a couple of bags on the floor to make room for Angel. He sat next to her.

ìWould that be after the Master killed you?î Buffy nodded. ìI remember what you were like when you came back,î he said.

ìWell, Iím not like that any more,î she said as she snuggled next to him. ìMy father didnít know how to talk to me, so he just kept buying me things. I canít remember how many shoes I got out of him that summer.î Buffy just sighed contentedly as she snuggled closer to Angel. He closed his eyes and wrapped his arm around her. ìYouíre not doing that, are you?î she asked him.

ìWhat?î he wanted to know.

ìLetting me buy things because you donít know how to talk to me,î Buffy said looking at him. ìíCause Iíll take it all back. Iíd rather you talk to me, Angel. Fred knows more about you than I do. I want to know stuff.î

ìWhat sort of stuff?î Angel responded.

ìAnything. Why did you give me the credit card today? And none of this, thank you gift from the world hallmark crap. The truth Angel.î

ìHonestly?î Angel looked at her. She nodded. ìYou looked sad about the stuff you had lost this summer. I figured this would help a little.î

Buffy stood up and walked away from everything she had just bought. The living room had a nice view of the city. She looked at it for a while, contemplating all that she had lost. Then a smile spread across her face.

ìThatís really sweet,î she said turning around. Angel was standing right behind her and this startled her. ìYou are too good at that, you know,î she scolded him.

ìI guess there are worse things than being too sweet,î he said smiling at her. Buffy laughed a little.

ìNot that. That sneaking up thing you do,î she said. ìXander wanted to tie a bell on you.î They both laughed at that, but Buffyís was forced and didnít last long. She sighed and let Angelís arms envelope her. It felt so good. Still, it couldnít wash away the pain of this past year completely.

ìWhatís wrong?î Angel asked. His voice was sweet and warm and tender and it didnít matter. Buffyís body tensed and she pulled away.

ìNot this again,î she said through clenched teeth. Her arms were folded in front of her and Angel was severely lucky that one of the Slayerís powers isnít the evil eye. Angel was taken aback.

ìWhat?î Angel asked totally confused. Buffy started to storm out, but Angel grabbed her arm. When she glowered at him, he let it go and took a step back with his hands up. ìI didnít mean to upset you like this. Canít we just talk, instead of you running away?î

Buffy walked over to the phone and picked it up. ìCall Lorne,î she ordered him. ìI am sick of this. It stops NOW.î

Angel came over and took the phone from her. He put it back down. He shook his head and started to laugh.

ìIím glad you find this so amusing,î Buffy said, clearly not amused herself. ìI donít and if you donít call him, I will find out his number myself and. . .î Buffy was off on her own rant. Angel managed to contain himself.

ìSorry,î Angel got out. ìI didnít know what else to do. It wasnít ëwhatís wrong,í as in ëwhat deep seated psychological issues is making Buffy flip out.í It was just what was making you sad.î Buffy managed a small giggle herself.

ìSorry,î she said embarrassed that she jumped to conclusions about what Angel meant.

ìSo, whatís making you sad?î Angel asked. Buffy looked at all the stuff she had just bought.

ìI really used to be quite the material girl,î Buffy admitted. She walked over to the couch and sat back down. Angel stayed where he was still looking at her. She looked straight ahead and sighed deeply before continuing. ìThen that all changed.î She looked over at Angel. ìWant to know when?î

ìSure,î he told her.

ìMy seventeenth birthday.î Angel looked down and Buffy looked at the piles in front of her. ìMom was going to take me out for a mom-sponsored shopping spree, but it just didnít seem to matter any more.î She walked over and stood in front of Angel. ìYou mattered, and,î she couldnít go on. She closed her eyes. When she opened them, they were glistening with the tears that wanted to fall. She tried to hold them back. Angel hugged her tightly and she wrapped her arms around him.

ìIím sorry,î he told her. He considered what he did to Drusilla to be his greatest crime. That didnít compare to the simple act of losing his soul with Buffy. If he had tried, he couldnít have devised a worse way to hurt someone. They never spoke of it. What could either of them say? I lost my soul and tormented you and your friends for months, you sent me to hell for a hundred years. Letís call it even? Angel was so grateful that she was there and squeezed her tighter. Buffy returned the squeeze before she pulled away.

ìItís not your fault. It isnít anyoneís.î She could see in Angelís eyes his regret. ìThat isnít why I brought it up. I just wanted to say that I realized what was important then and all that,î she turned around and motioned to the damage she had done to the mall, ìisnít it.î She leaned back into Angel and he put his arms around her waist. She sighed long and deep before she brightened just a little.

ìI wish I could go to the mall and just replace people like I did all those clothes,î Buffy told him still feeling his arms around her.

ìI bet they could do that downstairs,î Angel tried to joke. Buffy tried to laugh at it. She knew Angel was joking and was just trying to make her feel better. It didnít work. She pulled away and walked over to the table loaded with all her purchases. She turned around and looked at Angel.

ìAnya was the definition of materialistic,î Buffy started. ìIn the dictionary, right next to the word capitalist is a picture of Anya. Actually, there is. Willow taped it there one day. Well, not any more. That got sucked into the Hellmouth, too.î Buffy sighed and sat down. Angel came over and sat next to her. He put his hand on hers. ìI think she just wanted some sort of security and maybe could get that through owning things. Maybe?î

ìWere you two close?î Angel asked her.

ìNot sure,î Buffy told him. ìI had to kill her once, so I guess that puts her in the ëBuffy Friends, Family and Loved Onesë category.ì She managed a weak smile. ìOnly one I never had to think about killing was Xander, at least not in the actually way. I sure thought about it when he told Riley about you. And I didnít know it was Giles, so I guess he doesnít count either.î

ìIf itís any consolation, Iím not sure how I feel either,î Angel said.

ìI didnít know you even met Anya.î Buffyís surprise showed. ìDid she come to ëAngelís Workshop for the Formerly Evilí or something?î Angel laughed.

ìNo. I think I met her briefly once or twice,î Angel admitted. ìShe wasnít who I was talking about.î

ìAnd you donít know how you feel?î Buffy looked at him incredulously. îYou hated him Angel.î Now it was Angelís turn to stand up and walk away.

ìHate might not be the right word,î Angel admitted. ìI really didnít think about him much at all. He was more of an annoyance than anything, well except for that time he had me tortured.î Angel thought about it for a beat. ìActually hate might be a very good word.î

ìHe hated you,î Buffy said. ìA lot. Willow told me that he even had the Buffybot programed to insult you.î

ìWhatís the Buffybot?î Angel asked.

ìYou donít want to know,î Buffy said. It took Angel a moment, but he figured out just what it was.

ìYouíve got to be kidding,î he said. Buffy shook her head. ìI donít know why it would surprise me.î Buffy interrupted before Angel could say anything else.

ìThat was before he got his soul,î Buffy said to defend him. ìHe did a lot of good and he died to. . .î Buffy tried, but she just couldnít hold back the tears any more. The floodgates opened and her whole body was racked with the sobs she wouldnít let herself have earlier.

Angel came over to her and put her head on his shoulder. Her tears got him wet, but she just couldnít stop. He said nothing, but sometimes words werenít the best way to comfort someone. When her tears had slowed to a babbling brook, rather than the tsunami that overwhelmed her, she pulled back and looked at Angel.

ìYouíre just loving this, arenít you,î she accused him.

ìNo!î Angelís shock was genuine. ìYou think I like seeing you like this?î She tried to get up, but Angel held her there.

ìYouíre glad heís dead,î she said. Angel looked her straight in the eyes.

ìI said Iím not sure how I feel and I meant it,î by his tone she could tell he did. She didnít know what to say to that. Luckily Angel continued. ìDo you think I liked the idea of the two of you together, souled or unsouled? Hell no. I didnít even like him with Dru. He ALWAYS annoyed me. The curse probably saved his life because I know I would have staked him sooner or later. He was THAT annoying.î

ìNot getting a whole lot of mixed feelings there, Angel,î Buffy said.

ìYou said he had a soul. He had to for the amulet to work.î Angel started trying to figure out how he felt so he could explain it to Buffy.

ìYeah. You went all school yard on me when I told you, if I remember correctly.î Angel remembered it.

ìI donít even know why I did that,î Angel admitted. Buffy was going to say why, but he continued before she got a chance to. ìI knew him without a soul. I didnít know what he was like with one. Well, he seemed to be a loser as a human, but it wasnít like I really knew the guy. If you saw something worth something, I would say it was probably there. He was willing to sacrifice himself like that, so I just donít know how I feel. I didnít know him.î

Buffy had to agree with that. She was going to say something, but Angel continued.

ìBut I still feel like I did. He was that annoying guy that hung all over my little girl and couldnít give her what she needed. They both annoyed the hell out of Darla.î That really made Buffy think. Drusilla as Angelís ìlittle girlî? Talk about creepy, but she could understand it, sort of. ìI mean, I tried to make him into something, but. . . ì Angel didnít know what to say. ìThen again, that wasnít exactly me either.î He looked at Buffy. ìSee, told you I didnít know how I felt.î

ìI know how he felt,î Buffy admitted. ìHe wanted one thing in the entire world, one thing I couldnít give him.î Tears started falling again. It looked like they would make permanent lines on Buffyís face as they eroded away the river bed they traveled in. Angel tried to comfort her, but she pulled away. ìPlease donít,î she said as she got up.

Buffy went back to the window and looked at the bright lights of LA. Then, she looked up at the sky. She couldnít see a single star. Was he up in heaven like she had been? The thought made her smile. The smile was short lived.

ìI actually said it,î she said quietly, still looking out the window. Angel came up silently behind her and put his hands on her shoulders.

ìWhat?î he asked as quietly as she had spoken earlier.

ìI love you,î she said even more quietly.

"I love you, too,î he said hugging her from behind. She turned around to look at him. Her tears were no longer flowing, but her eyes still glistened and her cheeks were still wet.

ìNot that,î she said. ìI mean I do love you,î she started crying again. Angel tried to hug her, but she pulled away and started looking out the window towards heaven. ìHim,î she said. Angel could tell the tears were still flowing. ìI told him ëI love you.íî

ìOh,î was all Angel could say. He forced himself to stay there for her. She turned around.

ìI did love him,î she let Angel know. Angel didnít know how to react to that. Buffy in love with. . . he couldnít even think it. ìLike I do Xander.î Angel wanted to breath a sigh of relief, but figured that was in poor taste, so he didnít. Buffy was still upset and he turned all his attention to her.

ìThat wasnít what he wanted,î Buffy continued. ìI was so proud of him and more than a little overwhelmed by the whole thing. It just seemed like the right thing to say.î Buffy wasnít crying any more. ìWant to know what he said?î

Angel actually did and told her so by nodding his head.

ìNo you donít, but thanks for saying it.î She even did the accent when she said it, but there was just a hint of anger to her voice. She shook her head and let Angel draw her into his embrace. She closed her eyes and just absorbed how she felt.

ìItís ok not to know how you are feeling,î Angel let her know.

ìMakes sense,î Buffy admitted. ìIt wasnít like I had a clue when he was alive. Why should his death be any different?î She managed a small laugh. She looked behind Angel to all those packages and shook her head. Had she tried to cover up the grief she wouldnít let herself feel by buying all of that? Well, she did need it and she did have a blast with Fred tonight. Maybe you could go to the mall and replace people. Not replace exactly, but make new friends.

Buffy brightened tenfold. She stood on her tip toes and gave Angel a kiss that let him know how much she appreciated him. He responded in kind.

[> great post NT -- Deacon, 15:02:55 08/11/03 Mon


Sid the demon-hunting dummy -- purplegrrl, 09:29:36 08/11/03 Mon

"The Puppet Show" is one of the few episodes that I didn't totally get. Maybe because I never had to participate in a high school talent show. Or maybe because I never really understood why Sid the ventriloquist's dummy with a consciousness was also a demon fighter, and why he had to kill a certain number (or certain demons) to be released from his "karmic duty."

Of course, I liked the theme that you can't judge anyone by their appearance, or even sometimes by their actions. And I liked the part where Giles almost gets the top of his head guillotined off [I'm sort of "off" that way ;-)] and the way the curtain opens on this surreal tableau that Snyder just doesn't get. But I really loved the bit over the end credits of Buffy, Willow, and Xander butchering "Eudipes" (spelling??).

[> Why Sid was a demon fighter... -- ZachsMind, 11:27:53 08/11/03 Mon

Puppet Show:

SID: This is what I do. I hunt demons. Yeah, you wouldn't know it to look at me. Let's just say there was me, there was a really mean demon, there was a curse, and the next thing I know I'm not me anymore. I'm sitting on some guy's knee, with his hand up my shirt.
WILLOW: And ever since then you've been a living dummy?
SID: The kid here was right all along. I shoulda picked you to team up with. But I didn't because...
BUFFY: Because you thought *I* was the demon.
SID: Who can blame me for thinking? Look at you! You're strong, athletic, limber... nubile... I'm back! In any case, now that this demon's got the heart and brain, he gets to keep the human form he's in for another seven years.
GILES: I must say, it's a welcome change to have someone else explain all these things.
SID: There were seven of these guys. I've killed six. If I can get the last one, the curse will be lifted and I'll be free. I'm sure it's someone in that stupid talent show...

And it was. And they did. And it was lifted. And he was free. The end. =)

[> [> Re: Why Sid was a demon fighter... -- purplegrrl, 11:55:49 08/11/03 Mon

Yeah, I know what they said in the episode. But it seemed such a throwaway line to focus an episode on a sentient ventriloquist's dummy that fights demons. Maybe some backstory or a flashback would have helped more.

Maybe it's just me!! ;-)

Besides, if there was ONE demon that cursed Sid, why does he have to kill SEVEN demons to be able to move on?? Is that the curse?? Sid just needed to be a little more forthcoming with the info. But it seems that Giles knew what was going on -- he accepted Sid's vagueness as an explanation.

I guess we just got better explanations (for me at least) for stuff like this in other episodes.

[> [> [> Well... -- ZachsMind, 12:54:28 08/11/03 Mon

I think the writer just liked the concept of a ventriloquist dummy being either a demon or a demon hunter, and only put as much thought as necessary into getting the premise to work for that episode. It was hurried exposition towards the end there. I liked Giles' flippant comment about how for once he wasn't the one who had to explain everything just before the climactic finale.

I personally always thought it a shame they let Sid 'meet his maker' so to speak at the end of that episode. Seeing Sid show up once every other season woulda been kinda cute. There's a handful of other characters who I woulda liked to see again, like the invisible girl, or Amy's mom (still trapped in that little cheerleading statue last we knew). I guess some questions will just never get answered. *shrug*

[> [> [> [> Re: Well... -- DEN, 17:02:54 08/11/03 Mon

And there's something both poignant and foreshadowy aboutthe climax, with Sid suddenly slumping forward, nothing any more but a ventriloquist's dummy. That memory stayed with me long after the rest of the ep faded.

[> [> "The end." - or is it? (Spoilers for Chaos Bleeds, the upcoming videogame) -- whistler, 08:04:43 08/12/03 Tue

I don't know exactly how or why, but Sid will appear in the next videogame that should come out this month - and takes place in the 5th season.

[> Re: Sid the demon-hunting dummy -- neaux, 05:24:33 08/12/03 Tue

well maybe your questions will be answered with the next Buffy the Vampire Slayer Video Game.

Sid will actually be part of the storyline!

Who Is Angel? --
Claudia, 14:19:11 08/11/03 Mon

Who is Angel? Is he part of the Liam/Angeleus personality? Or is he a construct that is a result of the 19th century Romany gypsies' curse? Since his soul is cursed, doesn't that make all the good that Angel has achieved, meaningless? At least for him?

[> Re: Who Is Angel? -- skeeve, 12:07:06 08/13/03 Wed

What do you mean by "who"?
What data are you asking for?
On what matters of taste or morals
are you asking for a decision?

Regarding the reality of Angel: Fragility is not the same as

[> Re: Who Is Angel? -- ZachsMind, 15:07:25 08/11/03 Mon

My theory is that "Angel" is a composite of sorts, and one of definitely two and potentially more alternate personalities which comprise the Liam/Angelus personality merger. The souling of the vampire Angelus by the gypsies was a traumatic event - moreso because it happened without any warning and against the wishes of the vampire. "Angel" is the psyche's attempt to attain sanity amidst the maelstrom. Liam is no more, really. he died when Darla sired Angelus. However, when Angelus was resouled, the evil personality became recessive - ever-present but unable to control the host body. The human soul took dominance. It can be argued that this is Liam returned, but I beg to differ. IF it's Liam, it's a Liam who is bombarded with a century of cruelty done in his stead, for which he must take responsibility. The Liam personality alone was obviously incapable of withstanding the guilt, and so this third personality was built by the psyche, to work as a bridge between the extremes.

He's still trying to figure out who he is even over two hundred years later. Doesn't give much hope to those of us who get about half that much time to figure things out. You can see many of the pieces of this puzzle over at Masq's place.

[> [> Re: Who Is Angel? -- Claudia, 15:14:51 08/11/03 Mon

[""Angel" is the psyche's attempt to attain sanity amidst the maelstrom."]

Again, this doesn't make sense, especially if Angeleus became Angel against his will in the first place.

[> [> [> Angel as a case of Multiple Personality Disorder -- ZachsMind, 18:18:39 08/11/03 Mon

Of course it makes sense.

Multiple Personality Disorder, aka Dissociative Identity Disorder, is a condition of the mind in which two or more personalities appear to inhabit the same body. Technically, these different personalities are actually facets of the same personality. From the perspective of the individual affected they are separate entities. This is widely believed to be a coping mechanism that the average human brain is capable of doing, in an attempt to sort of partition the brain and separate memories about traumatic events. It allows the conscious mind to distance itself from these memories, so that it can attempt to live a normal life. However, and this cannot be emphasized enough, these are not separate people. They're different manifestations of the same psyche, and the overall mental identity itself splits itself into pieces, in order to separate the part of itself which cannot cope from those memories causing it too much stress.

Angel and Angelus and Liam are the same guy. They're just separate manifestations of the same psyche, and there may be other manifestations as well that we have not yet seen.

Scientists believe real MPD/DID occurs most often due to childhood trauma. An example is parental abuse or neglect of a physical or emotional nature that is so great it's not possible for the individual to fathom the memories. So the unconscious mind invents a separate entity that is better able to cope, gives those memories to that individual, and then locks that personality away, allowing a more dominant personality to handle every day activities in the present.

We do not know if Liam's father was abusive, but it's probable considering their mutual attitude in the flashbacks before we see Liam sired by Darla and turned into Angelus. So it's very possible that Liam was a MPD/DID type before the bloodletting. If so, vampirism just exacerbated it. If not, then the trauma that occurred when Angelus was resouled by the gypsies was so great, it caused the psyche to schism.

Here's the deal. Angelus couldn't deal with feeling good things and wanting to do good deeds. However, when the soul returned, he began to feel revulsion at the very things he had been enjoying. He began to feel guilt. He began to feel pain and frustration and doubt and a bunch of other stuff. The evil in him was repulsed by this revulsion. He hated himself for hating himself and this started a feedback loop. He could not be both evil and good in one psyche. So rather than allowing himself to completely accept and forgive himself, Angelus kept the darkness of his psyche together and partitioned as a recessive personality, and allowed the soul control over the body in a more dominant role. There is no doubt a perpetual battle actually. Perhaps saying ALLOWED is misleading. The vampire in Angie simply wasn't as strong as the soul. However, had the schism not occurred and Angelus allowed himself to feel guilt over what he had done as a vampire? Chances are Angie as a whole would have ceased to exist, either through suicide or who knows what.

This coincides with Angel's general behavior in regards to disassociating himself with humanity, and with individuals, even people he loves most. He gets too close to people and he gets burned. Gets to far away from people and his humanity slips. He's got the same kind of balancing act going on within too. He must disassociate his personalities in order to cope, but doing so separates him from himself and makes it harder for him to deal with his own inner demons.

His relationship with Buffy is most ideal now, because he loves her and he knows she loves him, but she's perpetually kept at bay. This is a convenience for him because unconsciously he can't stand being too close to somebody. In this manner, he has the best of both worlds. Yes. I'm saying the gypsy curse is a convenience. I believe Angel has as much potential capability of rewriting that curse as Buffy had rewriting the Slayer prophecy. It's a matter of choice. It's a matter of desire, and let's face it, it's easier for Angel to NOT cope with all the horrors of his past, and keep himself compartmentalized.

Now, I'm not saying Angel is the original personality. He's merely the dominant one. It is possible that Liam himself is still in there somewhere, but that we rarely ever see him (partially because David Boreanaz is terrible at doing an irish accent). Liam may be the personality permanently traumatized and perpetually reminded of all the terrible things he did under the influence of Angelus. So Liam can't cope by himself. He can't come out. Liam needed another personality to stand in for him. That other "good" heroic champion personality, is Angel.

However, Angel does not have a right to dominance any more than Angelus does. They are basically two sides of the same coin. Or rather facets of the same jewel. However, Angel doesn't realize this. Further, it was not the gypsies which enacted this disorder on Angel directly. All they did was throw the spirit back into the flesh.

In order to cope, Angie did this to himself.

[> [> [> [> Facets of a Jewel -- dmw, 10:59:48 08/12/03 Tue

I've noticed this metaphor appearing frequently here. Has everyone read Neil Gaiman's The Kindly Ones?

[> [> [> [> [> Sandman Book Nine? Actually, yes. -- ZachsMind, 07:26:14 08/18/03 Mon

Not sure what you're referring to though. What does facets of a jewel have to do with the death of Dream?

[> [> Re: Who Is Angel? (Spoilers for AtS 4.15) -- RadiusRS, 01:35:09 08/12/03 Tue

I don't know if it should be taken as canon but in "Long Days Journey into Night, the 4 part comic book miniseries cowritten by Joss Whedon (which is why it might be canon), an asian vampire comes after Angel saying that the soul he was cursed with was just supposed to be a test case, and that the Gypsies were slaughtered by Angelus' Brood (Nest? Gaggle? What's the correct word for a group of vampires who live and hunt together?) before they could give the soul to the asian vampire, who was destined to fulfill the "vampire with a soul" prophecy. It seems odd to me, but is consistent with Whedon trying to make Angel suffer as much as possible. Buffyverse lore is pretty clear that vampires are demons which usurp the victims body after they are turned, but retain all the hosts memories and personality traits. Therefore, a vamp is a mixture of demon and the original human, which has also been established in the Buffyverse. I believe that, despite the Angel miniseries, Angel's soul is Liam's soul, and I poin to "Spin the Bottle", written by Whedon himself, as proof of this. I think that most of Angel's issues stem from his inability to integrate both the demon aspect and the human soul within him. The demon IS Angel, because it has his memory and personality, but then again so is Liam. Angel's struggle has been to balance both sides of himself by keeping them separate. But he chose to keep the Angel part of Angelus, perhaps as an unconscious attempt to take responsibility for the demon's actions. This leads me to believe that the soul is just the yin to the demon's yang. In "Orpheus" there was a clear delineation between the good and bad sides of Angel, with both fighting each other at one point. But I think Angel represents the Gnostic notion of Duality, that we are all heaven and earth, good and bad, light and dark, black and white. At the end of "Orpheus", we clearly see Angelus and good Angel BOTH shine with the light of the soul, and then merge into one being. I believe that this episode helped merge the schism in Angel's psyche between his notions of good and evil (and let's face it, Angelus DID find out the most about the Beastmaster, which was they wanted him there all along). The themes of the season, about how blurry the line between good and evil is, and how sometimes good actions lead to negative consequences and vice-versa, is consistent with this theory. I think whoever Angel is now, he is neither Liam nor Angelus, but more than the sum of their parts, and has finally accepted that he will always be both Good AND Evil in nature. I hope they explore this next season, as I believe that this is Angel's first step to true redemption (and it also explains why Spike, who actually WANTED a soul while still a demon and therefore saw no distinction between his good and evil sides, overcame this schism much more quickly).

[> [> [> Re: Who Is Angel? (Spoilers for AtS 4.15) -- Angeloz, 03:35:50 08/13/03 Wed

RadiusRS I like the Angelus' Brood reference for it reminds me of broody Angel also brood as in offspring. Although they should be Darla's Brood for she is the matriach (mother- Angelus, grandmother- Drusilla, great-grandmother- Spike) I believe however some call them the Fanged Four or something like that.

I mainly agree with what you say except the DEMON isn't Angel nor Angelus. If Pylea & Wesley is correct then the pure vampire demon has no higher brain functions; it's the human host that supplies what the demon thinks. However without a human soul & the bloodlust of the demon "soul" (if you hate the term soul then infection) the vampire becomes a form of sociopath. I include even Spike for before he got the human soul did he feel guilt for those he killed? I'll note just because someone has a human soul doesn't mean they are good nor does it mean if they don't they are bad either eg. Lorne. It's just it provides the possibility of it (good). I don't have time to say more but will say I think multiple personality also fits somewhat but due to the human soul it's not a perfect fit. Hopefully I can get into this later.


[> [> [> [> The Brood -- RadiusRS, 20:54:52 08/14/03 Thu

RadiusRS I like the Angelus' Brood reference for it reminds me of broody Angel also brood as in offspring. Although they should be Darla's Brood for she is the matriach (mother- Angelus, grandmother- Drusilla, great-grandmother- Spike) I believe however some call them the Fanged Four or something like that.

I almost did write Darla's Brood, but I believe that Angelus was the true head of the pack. I believe Darla, despite her obvious strengths, was always portrayed as submissive to other males (Season 1 of Buffy with the Master, letting the Master reshape her in body and name, various flashback episodes with Angelus, trying to get vamps to bite her when she found out she was dying again, even post-revampification with Lindsey when she let him beat her), perhaps as a retention of her prostitute psychology when she was vamped. This is not to say that she was weak, as she displayed independence on various occassions, but she always seemed to represent the submissive female to me, ready to do whatever it took, no matter how demeaning, to get what she wanted (which, with her considerable manipulation skills, she sometimes used to great effect). What makes Darla's sacrifice so poignant, and perhaps powerful enough to absolve her of 400 years of sins, was that she chose to sacrifice herself, and therefore, for perhaps the first time in her life, literally took matters into her own hands. Is it any surprise then that she appeared to Connor to remind him of the power of his choice? After Angelus was cursed, it was only a matter of time before the Fanged Four fell apart, and Darla pretty ,much tolerated the other two because of Angel. Angelus' personality is that of a dominant male, which is why I called them Angelus' Brood despite the ancestry lying with Darla.

[> [> [> To Me, Angel Is a Lie -- Claudia, 09:50:03 08/12/03 Tue

To me, Angel is a lie. Every good deed he has done, every moment of remorse he has felt is a lie to me. Because he had regained a soul via a curse from 19th century gypsies. Every good deed he has committed or positive feeling he has felt was brought upon him - against his will. I found this from an article I read by Therese Blanco:

"Angel is a created being. He is not real. His existence is transitory and tenuous. Liam is the source; Angelus is the expression of Liam freed of conscience. Angel is ephemeral. Sex, drugs, a soul extractor, a really good fantasy, that pesky soul is gone and Angelus is ascendant. Angel, good intentions aside, can never be trusted. Not because there is something inherently evil about him, but because he doesn't really exist and can therefore be all too handily dismissed. His goodness though powerful, is not of his own doing, but rather something imposed on him by the Gypsy curse. Angel and Angelus are comfortable to the audience because they represent a western concept of duality; pure good, and pure evil."

[> [> [> [> Alternate realities and identity -- mamcu, 10:46:11 08/13/03 Wed

I read Angel's existence as being very similar to Connor's new life at the end of home. It's the idea of many different realities, created by difference branching lines of cause and effect. Angel exists as a separate being from Liam and Angelus, created by the effects of the curse and everything since then. Part of Angel is his past existence as Angelus and Liam.

It also seems a bit similar to the ideas of rebirth in some philosophies/religions. First there was Liam, then Angelus, then Angel--separate identities, but bound by one basic consciousness. The "soul" is just the sudden awareness of what it means to carry all that past baggage, and the return of Angelus is a way of denying the implications of his acts. As long as Angel acts to benefit others, he can move toward goodness.

[> [> [> [> Re: To Me, Angel Is a Lie -- Arethusa, 12:09:17 08/13/03 Wed

The cursed soul was imposed on him, not goodness. Goodness is a choice for souled beings. Therefoe his goodness is not invalidated.

Angel is Liam with a name change and a demon hitchhiker. He's no more a lie or unreal because of the demon than Jenny was when she was possessed by Eygohn. Therefore his existance is not invalidated.

The existance of this site proves Westerners are capable of more than black and white views of good and evil.

[> [> [> [> I think Therese Blanco is mistaken -- manwitch, 16:16:11 08/14/03 Thu

I think Therese Blanco is mistaken, not only on philosophical grounds but on a basic watching of the show. The curse imposed by the gypsies turned Liam into a self-indulgent snivelling rat-eater who smelled like trash. It did not turn him into a do-gooder seeking redemption.

When offered a choice as to how he would live in response to his condition, he chose to become an Angel. The existentialist argument is, of course, that none of us get to choose everything about our lives. We are created in a time and place that is not of our own choosing, we are named as a character in someone else's story, we have knowledge and concepts such as right and wrong imposed upon us from outside, but we are then left with the absolute and total moral accountability for whatever we do after.

Everyone gets cursed by gypsies at some point. The big moments are gonna happen. You can't stop em. The real question is what you do after. That's when you find out who you are.

I think Angel's done pretty well.

[> [> [> [> In agreement with you there. -- btvsk8, 11:47:26 08/12/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> Dawn is a created being. Does that make her a lie? -- Scroll, 15:57:55 08/12/03 Tue

Dawn is nothing more than a body conjured up by some Czech monks and filled up with 14 years of fake memories. She can be unmade by the next powerful witch on a magick-high. She can be bled by a hell goddess and used to destroy the world. Does all this make Dawn a lie? Is Dawn real?

Or do the feelings she engenders in her family and friends, her own memories and actions, even the actions of a past ascribed to her by the monks, make Dawn something more than a spell? Are Dawn's interactions with the real world, the choices she's made and the lives she's touched, make her a Real Girl?

I agree with RadiusRS: "I think whoever Angel is now, he is neither Liam nor Angelus, but more than the sum of their parts, and has finally accepted that he will always be both Good AND Evil in nature." I think Angel is an amalgamation of Liam and Angelus, plus something extra. Something ephemeral, if you will, but still essential in this new, created being. Angel is more than simply a gypsy curse. And just because he is a created being doesn't mean Angel is a lie or somehow a non-existent shadow floating in the Reality of the Buffyverse. No, he is very much a real person with real feelings and real actions and real relationships. His words and deeds affect life around him, and he himself is affected in return by the words and deeds of those around him.

Besides, I'd feel really bad for the people of Los Angeles if their champion turned out to be nothing more than some non-existent gypsy curse.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dawn is a created being. Does that make her a lie? -- Claudia, 08:58:27 08/13/03 Wed

"Dawn is nothing more than a body conjured up by some Czech monks and filled up with 14 years of fake memories. She can be unmade by the next powerful witch on a magick-high. She can be bled by a hell goddess and used to destroy the world. Does all this make Dawn a lie? Is Dawn real?"

Technically? Not really.

[> [> [> [> [> [> What are your qualification for existance? -- Arethusa, 12:21:13 08/13/03 Wed

All of us are ephemeral. We will all lose this form some day, unless like Elijah we are carried directly to heaven in a golden chariot. So unless we are all unreal (a possiblity I do not seriously contemplate), Dawn (and Angel) are real. In a fictional way, of course. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> What you said, Arethusa ; ) -- Scroll, 19:09:41 08/13/03 Wed

As far as the Buffyverse is concerned, I think nearly all the characters we've ever met are Real in every way that matters. Dru, Phatom Dennis, Connor, Dawn, Mayor Wilkins, Angel, Holland, Anne Steele -- they're all real people/vampires/ghosts/giant snakes/etc. They may be a little odd and not quite "real" according to this hum-drum world's definition of the word, but they are certainly real in the Buffyverse. And heck, I think this world's definition of "real" is pretty narrow and limiting anyway!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What about the Portuguese Explorers? -- Cleanthes, 19:58:22 08/14/03 Thu

Whose statue you can see in St. John's, Newfoundland?
Gaspar and Miguel Corte um ...


Tragic um ... real life story.

But, maybe we just look at shadows on a wall and the

um ... real truth would be ...

NOOO, we can't handle the truth.

Buffy is off the air. That's the bitter real truth.

[> [> [> [> Disagree and a question -- yabyumpan, 17:38:34 08/12/03 Tue

So, using your reasoning i.e. that everything Angel is post soul is a lie because the soul was forced on him against his will, would you also say that everything Spike did post-chip (including getting a soul) is also a lie, because the chip was forced on him, against his will? I don't honestly think that anyone could argue that Spike, pre-chip, would have chosen to get a soul. In fact, the last time we see Spike without a chip in 'Harsh light of Day', he's digging up SD for the Gem of Amarra so he can do the killing thing 24/7, starting with the Slayer.

I think that Angel post-soul is a fascinating look at the struggle with guilt and remorse and how that can be turned around to be a powerful force for good.

In the same way, I think that Spike post-chip is an interesting look at Behaviour Modification Therapy and how that, along with the influence of those around him, can be a powerful force for change.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Disagree -- Claudia, 09:04:39 08/13/03 Wed

"would you also say that everything Spike did post-chip (including getting a soul) is also a lie, because the chip was forced on him, against his will? I don't honestly think that anyone could argue that Spike, pre-chip, would have chosen to get a soul."

I'm afraid this argument doesn't really wash. Even after he received the chip, Spike continued to do evil. He betrayed the Scoobies to work with Adam, so he could get rid of his chip. And in "Out of My Mind", a chipped Spike and Harmony kidnapped an Initiave doctor to remove the chip. The chip only prevented Spike from feeding off humans. It didn't prevent him from committing evil, or even considering evil. And even chipless, Spike proved he was capable of love. Remember what the Judge told him and Drusilla in "Surprise"? In the end, it was Spike's love for Buffy that turned him away from evil, not the chip. Spike could have easily continued a path of evil, with the chip. Since he could attack demons, he could have easily created an army of minions to do his dirty work for him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> exactly the point -- sdev, 09:48:47 08/13/03 Wed

The question still stands. Without a chip would/could Spike have come to the step of seeking a soul on his own?

You've only addressed one end of that point- Spike with the chip could have continued to do evil. I agree.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Besides, a soul is no guarantee of good, either -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:37:51 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's an interesting question actually -- s'kat, 11:31:27 08/14/03 Thu

Without a chip would/could Spike have come to the step of seeking a soul on his own?

Perhaps the question is without a chip would Spike have fallen in love with Buffy? Or would he have continued attempting to kill her until one of them were did?

I honestly believe Spike's quest for a soul would not have happened without one key ingredient - falling in love with Buffy.

In that aspect Angel and Spike have a lot in common - both
sought to become better people b/c of Buffy. She inspired them. For Angel, he was a mess until he saw Buffy as documented in Becoming and S1 Btvs and S1 Ats. For Spike, he
only could think about causing chaos or doing evil before he fell for Buffy. Falling for Buffy and wanting to make Buffy happy and obtain Buffy's approval - was what motivated Spike to try and change.

So the question is not whether Spike would have sought the soul without the chip but would Spike have fallen in love with or realized he was in love with Buffy and not gotten staked first without the chip??

I honestly don't think so. I think she would have staked him or he would have killed her before they got the chance.
Remember it's not until his dream in Out of My Mind that he realizes his preoccupation with Buffy is not so much b/c of hate as b/c of love. And he's had that chip for a little over a year by that point.

By the same token would Angelus have ever met let alone fallen in love with Buffy without the soul? (Please note, I'm not saying he couldn't love anyone as a vampire, or asking whether vamps can love, because I believe they can and do.) I think it unlikely for the same reasons it would be unlikely for Spike to have realized it pre-chip. Opportunity. There was none. Buffy would not have let either vamp close enough to her if they didn't have a chip or a soul to keep them in check - they'd be dust. By the same token, neither vamp would have let Buffy get to know them without torturing her and killing her and raping her first, if they didn't have a soul or chip. Spike and Angel were two of the most dangerous vamps in history, they had to be - they were both over a hundred years old. You don't survive that long if you are a Harmony type.

So, logic dictates that neither Spike nor Angel would have been able to meet let alone fall in love with Buffy if it hadn't been for circumstance. While the chip is hardly the same as a soul, the chip allowed Spike the ability to get to know the SG and Buffy, to get close to them without either harming the other. It gave him a chance to get to know humans and find other outlets for anger and violence.
IF he hadn't found the SG and the SG had not agreed to help him - would he have fallen in love with Buffy and sought a soul? Unlikely. Would he still be alive? Probably not - either The Initiative or that chip probably would have killed him eventually. Remember the chip had an expiration date.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wait, do you believe Angelus could actually love someone? -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:39:19 08/14/03 Thu

I thought it was established in "Innocence" that there was no humanity in Angelus, and later depictions of Angelus have been in keeping with the "no love, no compassion, no caring" angle.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Dru said vampires can love... -- jane, 20:48:24 08/14/03 Thu

quite well, if not wisely. Or words to that effect - I don't remember the exact quote.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I never said vampires couldn't feel love . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:30:19 08/14/03 Thu

I said Angelus, a specific vampire, couldn't feel love. He is by no means the rule, and is quite possibly a rare specimen even among vampires. Just as there are humans who are incapable of love (I believe there's a psychological condition, for example, that makes people unable to feel certain emotions, including love), there are most likely vampires who can't feel love, either, and Angelus is definitely a prime candidate. I will full-heartedly admit that vampires can love; the question is, can Angelus?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It was clearly stated that Darla didn't -- MsGiles, 06:23:57 08/15/03 Fri

until she felt the effect of the infant Connor's soul inside her, providing her with a completely new sensation. Before, she couldn't imagine wanting it. After, she couldn't imagine losing it. Her relationship with Angelus was predicated on the assumption that neither of them was in love, with each other or anyone else, and I got the feeling they felt rather superior to other vamps that were in love. That said, it's hard not to think that they did have some kind of feeling for each other, even if they were choosing not to describe it or enact it as romantic love. To me that begs the perennial question, how much is being in love a social construct? Not any less real a feeling for that of course ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Can Angelus love? Hmmm... -- s'kat, 12:51:00 08/15/03 Fri

I thought it was established in "Innocence" that there was no humanity in Angelus, and later depictions of Angelus have been in keeping with the "no love, no compassion, no caring" angle.

Well, so did I. For the longest time I assumed Angelus couldn't love. But, a while ago, possibly last year when this debate first arose, there was a poster who made me question that assumption. And having recently re-watched Passion through Becoming. I'm beginning to wonder. In Passion - Willow makes the point that Buffy is still all Angelus thinks about. Spike points out Angelus' inability to just kill Buffy.

With Darla and Angelus - they abandon each other - yet always go back to one another like boomarangs. And Darla left the Master for her new boy.

Is that love? They may not see it as love. Angel tells Buffy that she is the only thing he has loved in a 100 years. (Which is similar in a way to what Spike tells her in Touched - that in over a 100 years she's the one thing he's been certain of (note he does not say love, he did love Dru, but he was never certain of Dru, actually I'm not sure Dru is certain of Dru, so that's not exactly saying
anything.)). I do believe Angelus cared about his own.
Maybe love isn't the right word. But he certainly cared.
Possibly because he wanted to be head of the family? Those Daddy issues that plagued him?? Not sure.

My difficulty is that Tim Minear and the writers of ATS have done a very good job of showing through flashbacks that Angelus may have, if not loved others, had affection for them. He certainly seems to have affection for crazy Dru and Darla. Enough affection - that Angel is motivated to seek them out after gaining his soul and seeks Dru and Spike out when he loses it. Enough affection - that Angelus nor Angel attempts at any time to kill Dru/Spike nor does he seem motivated to kill Darla unless forced to like he was in Angel S1. That illustrates to me - there's affection there or some sort of caring. Also the swami in Guise Will Be Guise notes that Angel/Angelus' feelings for Darla may be far deeper than he realizes - in fact Angel's attraction to Buffy and Angelus' subsequent torture of Buffy may have more to do with Darla and Darla's rejection of Angel. Buffy is after all similar in size, coloring and emotional attributes to Darla (clever, quippy, powerful and blond).
And the swami suggest Angel go find someone similar to Darla and do to her what Darla did to him - which uhm Angelus sort of did to Buffy.. (This is not to say Angel never loved Buffy or doesn't love Buffy - I think he does more or less.) but I do think part of the reason he became attracted to Buffy as opposed to Cordelia or Faith or Willow is Darla. I think Darla informs who and what Angel has become as much as Drusilla informs who and what Spike became. I also think both vamps hold a great deal of love and affection for their vampire sires, which even Buffy can't quite touch or conceive of. And that's why I think that yes - as much as it is possible for something inhuman to love, Angelus loved.

Hope that made a little sense.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Can Angelus love? Hmmm... -- yabyumpan, 15:42:17 08/15/03 Fri

The way I see it is that Angelus and Darla refused to love. I think they both saw it as a sign of weakness and neither of them could bare to be seen as, or to feel weak.
I think it's interesting that Angel holds on to the notion that he couldn't love even after having a soul. In 'Dear Boy' he says to Darla that he couldn't feel that for her because he didn't have a soul, even though he's known Vampires who can and do love - Spike & Dru and James & Elizabeth, even without a soul.
With Darla I think it's pretty easy to see why, a life spent as a prostitute would probably be enough to make her very cynical about the idea of 'romantic love'.
With Angelus it's possibly more complicated. In part, it's probably to do with Darla's 'training' of him. If you're with someone who would laugh in your face if you mentioned 'love', any feelings you did develop you would learn to hide pretty quickly. Over time they would just get twisted into something else. With Angelus it seems to me that it got twisted into actually needing to destroy 'love', to destroy 'goodness'. I think it's also clear that, while Liam's situation wasn't as loveless as the human Darla's, his experience of love was as something controling (I'm thinking mainly of his Father) and not necessarily affectionate or positive.
When he regained his soul it was probably easier for him to think that he 'couldn't' love because he didn't have a soul, that way he can just wrap it up as being part and parcel of being a soulless Vampire, rather than have something else to feel bad about as a Vampire with a soul.

I would think that the ability of a Vampire to love is very much tied into what their experience of love was as a human. If, as a human, you experienced a lot of love and affection, if it was something that was very much part of your every day life, then I would think that would carry on being the case once you were turned. I would think that there are probably as many Vampires out there who do love as those who don't, even if that love gets twisted i.e. I would say that Luke 'loved' the Master.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Curious about something...slightly OT -- s'kat, 18:56:58 08/15/03 Fri

The way I see it is that Angelus and Darla refused to love. I think they both saw it as a sign of weakness and neither of them could bare to be seen as, or to feel weak.

I agree. But I wonder - is it possible to feel love, yet refuse to acknowledge it or act on it or even see it as such? Could Angelus and Darla have felt love for each other yet refused to acknowledge it? OR even more to the point supressed it? Can someone do that? (ie. subconsciously love, yet not be aware?)

Angelus does appear to attempt to destroy it when he becomes conscious of loving Buffy in IOHEFY. When Dru and Spike comment on his scrubbing himself raw, he states:"I was violated by love." Which gets a look of shock/contempt/pity from the duo - ie. "poor Angelus he doesn't get it, does he?" Or at least that was my gut reaction to that scene - one of my all time favorites in Btvs.

I think it's interesting that Angel holds on to the notion that he couldn't love even after having a soul. In 'Dear Boy' he says to Darla that he couldn't feel that for her because he didn't have a soul, even though he's known Vampires who can and do love - Spike & Dru and James & Elizabeth, even without a soul.

It is an interesting view of Angel's - one he is forced to confront with James in Heartthrob. Where James challenges Angel on his inability to truly care about anyone enough to risk his life for them or to die for them. (Sort of the ATS version of HIM, where a lead character in this case Cordelia, states that committing suicide for someone isn't necessarly showing love or the only means of showing it. In the episode Angel is struggling with that fact that Buffy's death isn't tearing him apart inside, doesn't make him want to die. While Elizabeth's death makes James want to die. And Buffy's death is tearing Spike apart.) Perhaps a soulless love - is more obessive in nature, more uninhibited, without boundaries and without maturity ...(can't quite find the word I'm looking for here), while ensouled love does have those boundaries. Compare soulless Spike's desperate love for Buffy, his mother, Drusilla to
ensouled Spike's love of Buffy and William's love of his mother. One is willing to do "anything" no matter the cost or the pain to the other - as long as he can have them, it's possessive, while the other just loves without conditions and is not willing to do "anything" - is not about possession.

So having a soul is not a requirement for love. You can love with or without one. But a soul is a requirement to love "wisely" as Dru of all people states so clearly.
Emphasis on "wise". In the romance department we often put more emphasis on the love side of the equation as opposed to the wise side. When perhaps it should be the other way around.

Angelus may have been capable of love - but he was afraid of it - he believed it would weaken him as he believed it weakend Dru, Spike, his alter ego Angel/Liam, James, and
Elizabeth. He saw love as overwhelming you, becoming your master - much as the psychologist explains to Buffy in Beauty and The Beasts. So he chose not to do it at all. As a soulless vampire there was no middle ground.

Angel struggles to love wisely - not as easy as it looks.
But unlike Angelus, he does not view love as necessarily weak. He doesn't suppress it.

Soulless Spike loved unwisely but well - he loved with all his being and it was tragically destructive to him and all
around him. Ensouled Spike loves wisely and well - like Angel he struggles to love wisely and not allow love to destroy or consume him and others for it's own sake.

It's an interesting distinction to make and a good way of using the soul metaphor contrivance.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heartless Love -- Arethusa, 21:14:50 08/15/03 Fri

I agree that for a vampire love is a selfish, possessive thing. In fact, I don't consider it love at all. It is need, usually a need left over from their human life. William's life was built around his mother's utter love and devotion, and he continued the pattern in death. Drusilla, who appreciated him like no other young woman, who saw things in him only his mother had seen before, became his mother substitute, his source of approval and love. And so he thought he loved her, when he really needed her to give him identity and purpose. Lonely Drusilla needed someone too, so she took Angelus' advice and made herself "a playmate."

I think what people often call love is really need. Most of what we consider love--including affection, attachment, enthusiasm, admiration, tenderness, attraction, according to Mirriam Webster--can be part of a relationship that does not include love. For me, the feelings must be disinterested, expecting and wanting nothing in return, to be love. And I don't think vampires are capable of purely altruistic and unselfish motivations. They could be in love, which does not require altruism, but they did not really love. They couldn't tell the difference between lust and attraction, attachment and obsession, enthusiasm and stalking.

Elisabeth: "You know neither poetry nor love, Angelus."

Darla: "He knows other things. Marvelously vile and ripping things. (Heartthrob)

Angelus' needs were different. Liam hated his feelings of powerlessness and inadequacy, and Angelus, according to the Judge, was clean of human emotions. I don't know whether he eliminated them by denying them or just crossed over into his undead life without them, but both he and Darla said they could not love. Both had probably never known love in real life, and it was not part of their character as vampires. But they did fulfill a need for each other. In Darla, Darla told Angel, "Now I find I need you, just as I've always needed you." In a time when men and women both saw men as holding all the power, something that was a harsh reality for a former prostitute, Darla had use of a powerful man. When Angelus lost his soul, she complained, "He got a soul and it sickened me. All that power wasted on a whiny mopey do-gooder. God, I could eat his eyeballs." (Dear Boy) And Angelus needed Darla, to introduce him to the world and channel his power. But they didn't love each other, because what they referred to as love wasn't what we consider love.

DARLA: What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts, even if they no longer beat. Simple death won't change that.

ANGELUS: (looking a little distraught) Love? Is this the work of love?

DARLA: (smiling) Darling boy. So young. Still so very young.
(The Prodigal)

Besides need, there could be another reason for Angel's strong attachement to Darla and Drusilla. Those who sire a human develop a very strong supernatural connection to their "progeny," as we saw in Sommnubulist (and Dracula). After centuries of separation, Angel could feel Pitt's presence, and as you state he was haunted by the vestiges of his attachment to Darla.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Better late... -- sdev, 12:06:28 08/16/03 Sat

I agree with a lot of what others have written here. Great comments!

Skat says: I do believe Angelus cared about his own. Maybe love isn't the right word. But he certainly cared.

I think this is accurate and as you point out the motivation is paternalistic, not necessarily love, but responsibility and camaraderie. As to why Angelus never tried to kill Drusilla, I think it is a guilt thing, which he has to a lesser extent with Spike, a generation removed, so to speak. I also can see the obsessive nature of vampire love in Spike, almost an adolescent type, like that of Dawn and the others in Him. But I don't see Angelus having even this kind of love. He has an obsessive hate/revenge thing.

Finn Mac Cool says there are even humans incapable of love, and I think that is true too. So vampires, like humans, must run the full panoply.

Arethusa says: both he and Darla said they could not love. Both had probably never known love in real life, and it was not part of their character as vampires.

To me this makes total sense within the big picture. If you didn't get it pre-vamping, you weren't going to have it post. It also fits in with who Angel is. As Angel he is progressing beyond what Liam was, and thus could fall in love with Buffy

From the episode with the Judge and the contrast of Angelus to Spike, both at the time unsouled and no chip, it looks like vampires have a range of human emotive possibility. In the Judge episode, the Judge also picked on the vampire with the glasses as another "fallen" vampire, too humanlike in his love of books.

I do not think Angelus capable of love. His reaction to Buffy after he lost his soul was obsessive and vengeful, he could not stand that he had loved her. What we know of his treatment of Drusilla shows a comparable pattern. He liked to torture the women who were the objects of his obsession. His obsessive hatred appears almost as a mirror image of love.

[> [> [> [> [> Agree-made the same point before I saw your post -- sdev, 17:47:49 08/12/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> I think it's the old Kantian vs. Foucault battle ;-) -- s'kat, 21:23:44 08/12/03 Tue

Sorry for butting in. ;-)

My hunch for what it's worth (which isn't much) is how you view this might have to do with your own philosophical/religious leanings, which manwitch points out so well and I honestly think ME was going for in their continued struggle not to repeat themselves ;-) We all have our philosophical/religious preferences after all. And we can be quite violently emotional about them at times.

I'm by no means an expert in this - go to the archives and find manwitch's posts on Kant compared to Foucault/Nietzche for a better description. I'm less than a novice when it comes to discussing these guys. So forgive the mistakes. ;-)

I think there's a portion of viewers who just can't buy Kant's view of the universe. If you're an athesist or agnostic, you probably really struggle with it. Also if over time you've been burned by this philosophy in any way, you probably also can't quite buy it. So Angel as a representative of the Kantian view probably sticks a bit in your craw so to speak. ME is going to have to work awfully hard to redeem him in the anti-Kantian's eyes. Considering Whedon proclaims himself athesist and doesn't really appear to favor Kant overly much, I think we can rest assured they are cognizant of these difficulties and may in fact address these issues. Otherwise, Angel would have been redeemed in season 1 and the show would be over. Whedon sees Angel's redeemption as an nearly impossible challenge - this is why he got intrigued and did a show about Angel's quest for it.
If he saw redemption as easy for Angel? Angel would never have gotten his own show. You need some internal conflict to sustain drama after all. OTOH - the pro-Kantian's would state I'm completely wrong, and of course Angel is redeemed
by his remorse, and each day he shows that remorse and struggles with guilt shows redemption. Then again maybe I've completely misunderstood Kant?? Or it has zip to do with Kant and some people just love brooding heros.

The other group isn't overly fond of Foucault and Nietzche.
They don't believe people can change through things like Behavior modification or can change themselves. That someone can choose a soul and go after it seems odd to this group. They may be determinists - believe in destiny over free-will. Dislike Neitzche's philosophy. They may believe as Kubrick did that people can't change no matter what we do - or as Kubrick expressed in his flim version of A Clockwork Orange, where Alex is conditioned, but once the conditioning is removed goes back to violence. Burgess who wrote A Clockwork Orange was a believer in Foucault and believed that people can change and evolve that they can learn to be better through behavior modification or just the process of finally growing up. But from what I've seen on the boards, there are quite a few people who think Foucault was full of it and Kant is the way to go. OF course the pro-Foucaultians may laugh at me and say I totally missed the point and it's about overcoming the conditioning and creating your own soul (which uhm ME sort of fudged on). Either that or some people just like snarky

Then there's the group that likes both ideas and thinks both are possible. That these ideas feed each other and together they make a heck of a lot of sense. Or at least portions of them do. This group isn't quite sure what it believes in yet and is working on keeping an open mind.
I'm not sure but I think ME may fall into this third category - the open-mind group. Which means both vamps are a means of examining the issue of redemption. (Although, JW did state at Comiccon and numerous interviews that Spike was redeemed and Angel wasn't. But hey, Spike is dead, Angel is undead and still corporeal and wandering about. Besides we are watching Angel the series, not Spike the series. Be pretty boring if Angel was redeemed when the whole point of the series is his quest for redemption. This is a tv show after all not reality - writers have to do things to create conflict and make it work.)

How you respond to Spike (Foucault/Neitzche) and Angel (Kant) may have a heck of a lot to do with your philosophical leanings. What ME's philosophical leanings are? Continues to be open to debate.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Redemption is in the eye of the beholder -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:49:10 08/12/03 Tue

There is no external scale you have to measure up to until you count as redeemed. Redemption is really a term people view in various different ways. Some say you just have to perform enough good acts to be redeemed, others say faith in a divine savior is necessary, others say pleas of forgiveness are needed, others say being forgiven by those you wronged is what is needed, and there are others who say redemption is utterly pointless. Everyone has their own view about how redemption could be reached, and about how much someone must do before they can be redeemed.

As I see it, someone seeking redemption can be seeking two types, actually:

Redeeming yourself in your own eyes. Essentially, being able to look your own face in the mirror, to borrow a catch phrase (hmm, Angel doesn't have a reflection, did ME realize the symbolism here?)

Redeeming yourself in the eyes of others. This is doing what you can so that the world around you forgives your sins.

Angel doesn't have to worry too much about the second kind. Sure, he's got the occasional reminder in the forms of Holtz, Drusilla, Connor, and Jasmine/Cordelia, but most of the people he interacts with don't seem too troubled by his villainous past.

What Angel's real struggle seems to be is forgiving himself. He rarely if ever plays the poor victim saying, "It wasn't my fault!" to a crowd of judgemental people. Often his friends/family are willing to accept and forgive him, but he often keeps himself at a distance because he believes himself still tainted, still a monster. He hasn't yet forgiven himself. And, if he keeps following the path he has, I don't think he will. He keeps trying, but he's always looking for someone sort of validation, some sort of sign that he did it, that he's made his amends. He keeps waiting for the Powers That Be to lay that Shanshu on him or whatever it is he's after now. But it never comes, because, in the end, what he's after isn't someone to tell him it's all OK (he's had plenty of people do that), what he's after is the ability to forgive himself, and, when/if it comes, it won't be with big, mystical fanfare. It will be him coming home one day and realizing: hey, I don't feel too bad.

Of course, then he'd turn into Angelus and wacky hijinks would ensue :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> For me redemption is more than forgiveness -- Diana, 05:53:29 08/13/03 Wed

It's about trust. The alcoholic takes it "One day at a time," because any more than that is just too much to handle. Maybe I'm not a good or strong person, but if I just worry about today, maybe I can "fake until I make it." Then one day, I'll notice I made it. I will be redeemed. I'll trust myself again.

That's how I see Angel's redemption. Whether he can be redeemed or not depends on whether you believe that an alcoholic will always been recoverING or can be recoverED. I fall into the latter category because I am the latter category.

Angel won't shanshu UNTIL he believes/trusts himself again. It will be the outward manifestation of whatever is going on inside of him. It won't led to his acceptance, but be the result of it. At least, that is what I believe.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: For me redemption is more than forgiveness -- Claudia, 09:13:03 08/13/03 Wed

I'm not one of those anti-Angel fans who believe that he is beyond redemption. I believe he can take the step on the road to redemption - voluntarily. But I simply don't think much of his past actions at the moment, because everything he did before was against his will. Because a group of 19th century gypsies forced a cursed soul upon him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: For me redemption is more than forgiveness -- Diana, 09:38:42 08/13/03 Wed

You are entitled to your opinion, but as for the reason for Angel's change in heart (literally), who cares what the reason is? Say someone is drug addict and because of this, they do horrible things. Then they get arrested and in jail are forced to clean up. When they get cleaned up, they realize what they did was wrong. They then try to be the best person they can be. Because going to jail and having rehab forced on them is the catalyst for the change, that negates everything? They are still *bad*?

Like I said, you are entitled to your opinion. I just find it to be concentrating on things that really don't matter at this point. Angel does things because *he* realizes they are right. That's all that is important.

You can think he "can take the step" but he HAS. HE admitted that he couldn't control his problem by himself. HE came to believe that working for others could help him. HE made the decision to turn his life over to the service of others. HE makes searching and fearless inventories of himself. HE talks to his friends about how he is wrong. HE has been willing to allow working for others to correct these defects. HE works hard to make amends to those he has hurt. HE is still taking inventory and admits when he is wrong. He continues to work for others and he takes this message to others, like Faith. He hasn't taken A step. He's taken 12.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> How does Awakening and its peek into Angel's mind correlate with this 12-step theory? -- Arethusa, 12:03:35 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How does Awakening and its peek into Angel's mind correlate with this 12-step theory? -- Diana, 12:30:09 08/13/03 Wed

The 12 steps aren't linear. There are regressions all the time. That is why there is the 10th step "Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong, promptly admitted it."

The Angelus arc takes us to the 12th step though.

There was too much criticism of Angel's perfect day. It wasn't how he thought things are or even should be. It was how he WANTED them to be. We can compare "Awakening" to "Orpheus" and see how Angel's focus has changed. In Angel's perfect world, everyone apologizes to him and he gets to be magnanimous. In "Orpheus," Angel battles his past and is more concerned about Faith than anything. In "Awakening" much of it is about his past and in "Orpheus" Angel isn't concerned about his past. He did crap that he wishes he didn't, but he has moved beyond that.

Drives Angelus nuts though. Id boy doesn't have super-ego, so there are no 12 steps. He is still out of control, powerless over the addiction that consumes him. At least in "Awakening" Angel's addiction is helping others. Not quite addiction free, but not such a destructive addiction. There are plenty of people that become addicted to the 12 steps. I believe we are seeing Angel get beyond this.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: For me redemption is more than forgiveness -- Claudia, 10:42:05 08/14/03 Thu

[You are entitled to your opinion, but as for the reason for Angel's change in heart (literally), who cares what the reason is? Say someone is drug addict and because of this, they do horrible things. Then they get arrested and in jail are forced to clean up. When they get cleaned up, they realize what they did was wrong. They then try to be the best person they can be. Because going to jail and having rehab forced on them is the catalyst for the change, that negates everything? They are still *bad*?]

I don't equate drug abuse with badness. I equate it with sickness. No matter what that person did, while under the influence of drugs.

And yes, I'm sticking with my opinion on Angel. I find all of his remorse and goodness since having a soul, a bit shallow. For me, Angel has to volunteer for that road to redemption. By his own choice and not through the actions of others.

By the way one can say the same about people who are drug abusers or alcoholics. You can't really force people to rehabilitate. Yes, you can force them into the clinic, etc. But in the end, that person has to make the choice to rehabilitate. And remain rehabilitated.

Is Angel capable of making that voluntary step toward redemption? Sure. I think the Judge was wrong when he declared that Angeleus had no spark of humanity in "Surprise". I feel otherwise. If Angeleus had no spark of humanity, he would have never been in love with Buffy. Angel's love for Buffy remained after he became Angeleus. It never went away. It's just that Angeleus could not handle it and therefore, proceeded to destroy Buffy. Look at how he went after his (Liam's) father. Angeleus killed his father out of anger and resentment. There was nothing cold-blooded about that act. So if Angeleus has that bit of humanity within him, as I believe he does, then he's capable of taking the step toward the road of redemption.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Losing his soul was forced on him, too -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:19:15 08/14/03 Thu

Angel never asked to be a vampire. Sure he did offer Darla consent, but he was pretty drunk at the time, not to mention having no idea what he was being offered. In a way, the gypsy curse that restored his soul was really returning him to his original state. So, if anything, Angelus is the lie, not Angel.

Plus, this is all moot if Angel and Angelus are seperate people, in which case Angelus's decisions don't really effect Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I don't really see it as a battle :o) -- yabyumpan, 03:20:25 08/13/03 Wed

I don't have any particular religious leanings, I tend to see things from a Panthiest perspective (one consciousness-everything/everyone is 'God' evolving). I also don't have any particular philospohical leanings, I don't think that any one school of thought can hold all the answers. I think there as many 'truths' as there are people (probably more). I've read very little philosophy so the way I see the world is mainly based on life experience and insomnia. I just make it up as I go along.
With regard to the shows, I'm interested in the 'journey', stuff like 'redemption' means very little to me. If anything, it's just a tea-stop on the 'journey'. I just watch and base any conclusions I come to on what I see happening on the screen. As in life, those conclusions can change depending on what happens next. I may well see things very differently a year from now, who knows? I'm open the where ever the journey takes me. :o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm not sure that explanation really works -- Rahael, 05:06:16 08/13/03 Wed

I'm not all that interested in Spike, post soul and yet Foucault is my biggest influence, apart from Wittgenstein. And yet, I love Angel as a character, second only to Connor. I don't think Manwitch's analysis can be applied to the fans, only to the actual characters themselves.

I should add that chipped Spike was quite interesting, especially in S4 which could be due to me reading Foucauldian themes into the Initiative.

Plus, Manwitch has admitted he is only addressing the Angel we saw on BtVS. He's had 4 whole seasons of character development since. Time to find a new philosophical model for him - I believe that in the subsequent seasons, since leaving BtVS, Angel has struggled to find his own model, seeking to understand a whole new world, one that does relies less on the old Angel good Angelus bad model, more and more, a struggle which many of us, - souled and unsould ;) - can empathise with.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Perhaps it can only be applied to me then ;-) -- s'kat, 07:35:37 08/13/03 Wed

I'm trying to figure out why Spike involves me more than Angel's story does. Don't get me wrong I like both. But I find Spike more interesting, less predictable, and far more innovative and subversive. I think it might be the Foucault
vs. Kant thing, I despise Kant and the aspects of Angel's character that represent that theory annoy me. Also I don't believe in destiny - or that the gods can save you, you have to do it yourself - so perhaps the constant interference in Angel's life by PTB makes me roll my eyes.
Again perhaps it's more a personal thing than I realized.
Pehaps now that the PTB is more out of it, Angel's journey will seem more valid to me, as long as the PTB was guiding it I found the journey to be somewhat contrived. It wasn't Angel the character or his desire to seek redemption that annoyed me - it was the writers reliance on the PTB to guide him that did. With Spike? He did it largely on his own or with the guidance of people in his life, not some heavenly power telling him he's destined to do this or that.
If that makes sense. Again it's a personal thing, don't mean to start another war on the topic. Delete this if it does, please.

Again - don't misunderstand me, not that anyone is, but you can never quite tell on the internet, misunderstandings abound like rabbits hip-hoppiting around the place - I do believe both characters can be redeemed. And obviously like both, or I wouldn't have watched Angel for four years, would I? (Bit hard to watch a series if you don't care about the central character now, isn't it. ;-) ) My difficulty with Angel's story has zip to do with his character and everything to do with two plot devices: cursed soul (ugh! can we get rid of it now please? The metaphor has gotten old) and the PTB guiding him as if he can't do it on his own. I think what I loved most about S4 was the revelation that you can't count on anyone to guide
you - and you have to guide yourself. The loss of the PTB and the visions was in my humble opinion the best thing the show did. Again this has more to do with my own personal makeup and beliefs at this point in my life than anything else.

YMMV. (You're mileage may vary of course. ;-) It usually does.)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree. Yet seeing a PTB, Jasmine, helped me get over that part of the Angel reluctance I had. -- WickedBuffy, 09:03:27 08/13/03 Wed

The PTB guiding him was always so fuzzy to me - not because of Angel - but because the PTB were so vague. And the vagueness had me thinking of them in stereotypes, since I had such little bits of info to go on.

But after Jasmine showed up, in all her nuances, I felt a better understanding of the PTB - and stopped feeling that Angel was merely their star puppet.

Don't know if this is coming out like I want - but Jasmine helped me delineate who Angel was and how much the PTB's influence on Angels was.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmm -- Rahael, 09:21:06 08/13/03 Wed

I thought Angel's growing questioning of the PTB happened long before S4. I thought it happened in S2, but then perception does vary.

Funnily enough, I've never seen the PTB all that active in the Angelverse. It seems the loneliest, hardest, bleakest place, yet one full of irony and humour too.I want Angel and Faith out in the rain - a difficult, yet compassionate place to be. And that's where I think AtS the series and Angel the character dwells. And AtS/Angel the character produced Connor. THe most interesting, most fascinating character I've seen on both shows.

Even its most possibly sentimental message - Darla, turning up to remind Connor of her maternal sacrifice, of the power of love is neatly balanced by the hard, harsh cynisim of Skip. AtS and Angel lives in that space.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree -- Diana, 10:16:05 08/13/03 Wed

After "Inside Out" I started working on the theology behind the Buffyverse. Not the philosophy, but if the story of Buffy and Angel were some sort of sacred text, what are the gods telling us about themselves and how the universe works. Earlier, I compared the Catechism of the Catholic Church and the Buffyverse to show what I consider to be THE story behind both. In looking back over the PTBs and the supernatural, the gods reveal themselves.

It's at 7 pages and only up to "Dear Boy." It looks at each vision, each prophecy to see the motives of the gods and how they work. I'll post it if anyone wants.

That said, I don't see Angel as their puppet. I see their goals as compatible, so Angel doesn't curse them. I think their goals are slightly different, though I'm not sure if Angel see this. I don't think he can. It is why he feels forsaken S4. I would have liked to see the Job angle addressed more last season, but there was just so much going on.

I think Angel uses them. They allow him to help others more efficiently. He has given up his life to the mission. He belongs to the world fighting, not to the PTBs. When he believes this is what the PTBs want, he follows their suggestions. When he doesn't, he questions them.

For me Buffy is about faith and Angel is hope. In order to need a message of hope, the world has to be a pretty dark place. AtS does this amazingly well.

Just my opinion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Beautiful, Diana! -- Scroll, 19:17:32 08/13/03 Wed

For me Buffy is about faith and Angel is hope. In order to need a message of hope, the world has to be a pretty dark place. AtS does this amazingly well.

I'd love to see a reading of Angel as a "sacred text". Instead of looking at it merely as a philosophy, an analysis in which faith, hope, ephemeral spiritual tendencies, all play pivotal roles in molding and evolving all the characters. Really looking forward to seeing your essay!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> What is Whedon trying to explore with Angel? -- Arethusa, 11:58:54 08/13/03 Wed

Is Angel still on an existentialst journey, or is that narrowing the focus of his journey too much?

I agree regarding TPTB, but I also think that questioning them wasn't enough-Angel had to reject their authority over him, as he did in Season 4. And now Angel is the authority. The next issue might be how does Angel form his own criteria for morality and what does it entail? What actions are good or evil, when good can do evil (Jasmine) and evil can help others (Spike), and under what circumstances will he cross over the line between them?

On one end of the existential spectrum we have Cordy, who chose belief in fate and TPTB and to follow its authority. She believed that TPTB were good and would always have the best of intentions towards humanity. Before she ascended she professed her faith that she was doing the right thing and everything would be okay. She put her faith in TPTB and followed their dictates; therefore, she was vulnerable to the god Jasmine's decisions, and suffered the buffeting fate always seems to give humans. Connor was on the other side of the spectrum. Connor's behavior showed what happens when existentialism is taken to nihilist extremes. He rejected all authority and connection to humanity, which left him with no place in the universe. Angel ended up creating and imposing upon Connor the place Angel wanted Connor to have in the universe. Angel doesn't have that option. He must figure out right and wrong for himself and find out where he belongs in the shadowy in-between world he inhabits.

Is redemption part of his journey anymore?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Per Tim Minear in 2002 Interview -- Diana, 12:17:39 08/13/03 Wed

Part of the problem with a show like Angel, as opposed to its predecessor, Buffy, is that the overarching metaphor of the show isn't as clear. According to Minear, Buffy's metaphor is very clear: high school is Hell. Girl power. The phases of life. With Angel, it's not that simple.

"In Angel it's necessary to go through operatic situations. It's a little more style than substance vis a vis Buffy. Lot of work to keep that level of melodrama. The baby thing worked because it had specific phases. It helped pay off the previous thing with Darla. You don't get to knock around your ex-girlfriend, have sex with her and almost commit suicide. No, there are consequences. She shows up with a bun in the oven. Sometimes its hard to come up with situations that affect Angel as a character directly but this one left us with some interesting questions. How? What does it mean? Is it human?

"Basically, we took Angel, gave him the thing he shouldn't have, and then broke his heart. And then sunk him to the bottom of the ocean. Now we have an interesting relationship to play: Angel and his estranged son. We also have interesting new characters to add to mix, to alter the dynamic so they don't get stale. Angel works best as high melodrama, almost to point of corny. When you play the pain of "YOU TOOK MY SON," that's when its cool. Keeping it at that pitch is not a terrible idea for us. Happy ideas Happy characters with no problems aren't interesting. For instance, most of (Gunn and Fred's) problems have been reactive to other people's problems, aside from that thing from Gunn's past. Looks like that could change. I'm not saying that Gunn dies in episode two of season 4. I'm not saying that."

Whether Gunn survives or notand remember, this is a writer who's appeared on fan boards with posts such as "I killed Doyle, and I'd do it again" and "I'm busy killing your favorite characters"Minear claims that one of the themes of next season's Angel will be "Regression," wherein there will be stories that reflect a bit on who the characters were, as opposed to who they are now.

"There's a lot to explore," says Minear, "The whole question of Angel's relationship with his son; what does the son mean? How does Wesley fit in, who is he now? What is the new configuration? It's not as clear as 'My first year at college.' It's based on pieces of soup. What can we make of this that'll be interesting, melodramtic, epic, bigger than life? I think we do that very well."

Interview found at: Tim Minear Interview

As Joss has joked, the only show on the WB not trying to be Buffy is Angel.

We are so used to the simple metaphor of Buffy that perhaps what throws people is that Angel is a bit more complex. Redemption is still part of the journey (Shanshu was mentioned in "Peace Out"), but what that means and how he can attain it has changed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But Buffy grew out of her metaphor... -- ZachsMind, 12:08:16 08/14/03 Thu

First off, the Buffy metaphor was never a simple metaphor. However, I acknowledge that it's easier to soundbyte than anything that's happened on Angel.

I believe with season six and seven of BtVS, the original metaphor of "school is hell" started looking like Buffy wearing last year's fashions. It no longer fit. She was overdue for a makeover. Instead, at the end of season seven they tried going back to formula. It was an act of regression putting Buffy back in school again, as a sort of authority figure. This did bring things back full circle, but it wasn't allowing the character to properly grow.

Had there been a season eight, and there won't be but had their been, and they did everything in season seven that they did, the show we'd be looking forward to now in Buffy eight would effectively be starting from scratch - but with baggage. It would truly have been "where do we go from here." and I think that would have been fascinating but at the same time unwieldly for a network tv show. Executives would be freaking out because on the outset, the only set they'd know for certain was needed was the inside of a school bus. That's simultaneously freeing and frightening.

Angel has been precisely the opposite up until now, but now Buffy HAD a greater potential to be more than what it was in the past. They're trying to create stability in Angel now and that bugs me. Because what has made it interesting this past season has been the lack of certainty. Las Vegas one week, rain of fire the next. Unpredictability has its charm, but I guess it also has difficulty keeping advertisers.

So with Angel five we're seeing a drift towards patterns and metaphor and simplicity. Whereas, just when Buffy was becoming free of such constructs, it is no more. This is why these two shows are both so incredible and so difficult to hit the mainstream. Whedon's team dance on the edge. Personally I wanna see what's on the other side of that edge.

I wanna see what happens to Buffy after she smiled over the crater, then turned around and saw the highway stretched out and beconing before her, leading out of what was Sunnydale.

I want to continue to see Angel WITHOUT a net as we definitely have seen the past two seasons. Wolfram & Hart looks like training wheels to me, from a writing standpoint. It's a return to formula. Why is complexity such a bad thing?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm -- s'kat, 12:41:08 08/13/03 Wed

I do think it is one of perception.

My difficulty with the curse and the PTB and the whole Shanshue thing in the Angel story line - is it felt as if he was only seeking redemption so he could become human and get Buffy like one gets a trophy at the end of a race. In fact I stopped watching Angel for a while in Season 1 -2 because of this feeling. I started up again in Season 3
after Connor was kidnapped by Wes and came back. BabyConnor held no interest for me, but young adult Connor (17 year old) fascinated me. That's when the series stopped being about redemption for a reward and became about the continuous struggle to become a better person and how no one can really guide us and destiny is a trap that can turn on you at the last minute if you buy into it. Angel's view that he's the prophesied vamp and the Champion of the powers and this is his destiny...felt contrived and false to me. But Angel's realization that this was all manipulation and not true and he had to be the master of his own fate and not depend on a higher power made him and his journey more interesting - more like it had been in Btvs 1-2. (Prior to Amends where I felt the writers went off-kilter). As a result, I amongst the few who adored S4 Ats and thought it was the best season. I liked the fact that they dropped the whole "destiney" or "if you do this or that you'll be rewarded" - and went for the "make your own destiney and do good to become a better person not so you can be rewarded".

So now, yes I think Angel's journey is interesting. Prior
to Inside Out? Not so much.



[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Very different takes, indeed : ) -- Scroll, 19:52:25 08/13/03 Wed

My difficulty with the curse and the PTB and the whole Shanshue thing in the Angel story line - is it felt as if he was only seeking redemption so he could become human and get Buffy like one gets a trophy at the end of a race. In fact I stopped watching Angel for a while in Season 1 -2 because of this feeling.

Hmm. We do see things very differently. I never saw Angel's early search for redemption to have anything to do with becoming human -- at least, not until post-"To Shanshu in L.A." in which he finds out about the prophecy. I do agree that part of his need for redemption was about being somehow "worthy" of Buffy, of being the kind of man she deserved to have (even though he knew he couldn't be with her). However, I do believe Angel has always had ideals, and merely suppressed them out of fear, apathy, and despair. He didn't start coming out of his shell until Whistler showed him Buffy.

So I never saw Angel's early years of playing vamp detective to be anything but (mostly) an altruistic desire to do good. Of course, I won't deny that Liam's Catholic heritage didn't play a part. Doing good deeds in some deep-seeded hope he would one day be forgiven for his sins -- by God, fate, the universe, his past victims, etc. But I never once saw Angel as equating the Powers That Be to any Christian concept of God. I saw him as treating the PTB mostly as powerful, seemingly benevolent, prescient beings that liked to lend a hand. So while Angel did follow the PTB in as much as he took advantage of every vision Doyle and Cordelia ever had, every timely intervention, I don't see it as a "blind faith".

But I think Angel stopped doing good for reward even earlier than "Epiphany". Partly because he had stopped believing that anything he ever did would earn him forgiveness, partly because he realised (as per his chat with Kate) that doing good wasn't about winning against evil, but saving souls and stopping pain wherever he could.

So no, I never saw Angel post-"Epiphany" to ever be fighting because he wanted a reward. Yes, he is still a "champion", and a warrior chosen by the PTB. Does this make his struggle to do good any less real or sincere or powerful? Not in my eyes.

Perhaps our differing backgrounds inform how we view Angel's journey. I don't believe that having faith in a higher power means that your struggles or decisions less meaningful or somehow flawed. I don't think that faith precludes logic or rational thinking, merely that it adds something to the decision-making process. That's just me, though :)

So yeah, I don't think "Amends" was were the writers went off-kilter. "Amends" is one of my favourite episodes because grace and hope are such wonderful, necessary things. Again, just my opinion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well said. I agree. -- jane, 20:09:18 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmm...trying to clarify -- s'kat, 21:52:58 08/13/03 Wed

Perhaps our differing backgrounds inform how we view Angel's journey. I don't believe that having faith in a higher power means that your struggles or decisions less meaningful or somehow flawed. I don't think that faith precludes logic or rational thinking, merely that it adds something to the decision-making process. That's just me, though :)

Neither do I. Sorry, if I suggested otherwise. Didn't mean to.

I just don't see that in Ats from Season 1-Season 2Epiphany.

Angel seemed to rely way to much on the approval of the higher power. It informs his character this requirement for the "father's" love... in fact it may be the central core of his personality if we think about it. ME tried to use the PTB to symbolize that need. It didn't really work for me up until the Jasmine arc when it occured to me that in an odd way they were satirizing it. Angel's very need for that approval, that reward, that trophy - is what allows Jasmine to exist, Connor to go to Quortorth, and is why he makes the decision he does in Home.

It's not his faith in a higher being that informs his choices, but his need for that higher beings approval. He was so certain he didn't have it in Amends - so he tried to kill himself. The snow gave him the reassurance that yes, God loved him.

Oddly enough Buffy never really required this approval from the higher being, she doesn't really appear to believe in one. She required it from her peers and her loved ones and most of all herself.

Angel in contrast - does require it. That's why the idea of sunlight is so appealing - the sun represents the approval he can never quite have.

Angel also needs the title of Champion - he needs as Connor puts it, to be the fighter - to have the role - to get the medal. Remember his perfect day in Awakenings is really about being the Champion and getting approval.

For me, the only way Angel can be redeemed is when he stops doing the deeds for the approval of higher beings and does them to become a better man, to become as he tells Jasmine more connected to humanity. PErhaps in PEace-Out he finally realizes it, maybe because he's finally met the "higher power" and realizes that it's not what it's cracked up to be? (I got the feeling he got this a bit in Epiphany, but slid back again - maybe b/c once again in Epiphany the higher power intervened and gave him access to his friend Kate's apt without an invite so he could save her life. It really isn't until Peace-Out that Angel starts to get it and that may be why he does what he does in Home. What do you do when you discover the higher power you've been relying on has an ulterior motive?)

I don't believe that is an anti-god or anti-Christian view.
I don't believe we need to go to church or pray to a higher power to make this world better or to believe in the words of Christ. Or to want to do good to become better people. I also believe that for some, praying and going to church helps them to help others. (It hinders others from helping by the same token, there is no formula. Religion like anything else can lead to both good and ill, it depends not on the religion but on the people interpretating it -- which ME shows with JAsmine. ) Isn't Christianity essentially about helping others because in doing so we become better people, we are connected? It's not about
getting rewards or reassurance or getting into heaven -- although many people use that as motivation. It's about trying to make heaven on earth as opposed to hell.
I believe in Christ's words...and I more or less believe in a higher being (looking at the ocean alone convinces me one exists) - I just am not sure about all the rest and the hatred pushed by many organized religions against people according to their race, sexual preferences, or acts turns me off. As a result I define myself as agnostic with a belief in a higher being, who does not intercede to make my life better or worse, not because it doesn't care so much as because part of life is making our way on our own. (Meaning of agnostic = does not know or no knowledge
one way or the other - not to be confused with athesist who has no belief.)

Not sure any of that made sense. I find religion to be a dicey topic to discuss in public forums, partly because my own views regarding it tend to be somewhat muddled at the moment and continuously changing.

Truth is I honestly think part of my problem with Ats has more to do with the television formula it is based on and less to do with the show itself. A formula I've seen too much of and find overly predictable partly due to the fact that I've seen way too much of it. I keep hoping ME will completely subvert the formula or do something new - one of the hazards of having watched way too much television in my life time.

Examples of the Cursed Hero Formula:
1. The Incredible Hulk - David Banner spends the series duration hunting a way to rid himself of the monster that comes out whenever he loses his temper.
2. The Fugitive - Dr. Kimble spends the series duration trying to prove his not a murderer. It's basically LEs Miserables with a twist. This was one of the first of the form.
3. Have Gun Will Travel - a tad darker, a gun man played by Richard Boone travels around helping people, on a guest to redeem himself (or maybe not...this could actually be the most subversive of the group).
4. Quatum Leap - man leaps to different time periods helping people hoping that one will take him home or to
the answer. (No real dark secret here)
5. The PRetender - man wanders about helping people while fleeing from secret organization on a quest to find his family and redeem himself from the teachings of the organization.
6. Xena: Warrior Princess - woman helps people to redeem herself from past crimes.
7. John Doe - man solves crimes while trying to figure out who he is and is afraid he's a killer.

So maybe it's just the formula that bugs me. ;-) I hate quests that never get resovled until the series ends.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Faith exploration v Hope exploration -- Diana, 05:16:22 08/14/03 Thu

Buffy's exploration is one of faith. She is the god and a belief in a Higher Power is her belief as the Chosen One. She IS the higher power.

Angel's exploration is one of hope. As such, faith has to be a given. He doesn't require approval. That isn't his focus. Hope works on happiness. He isn't allowed to be happy, so what does he have to motivate him? He doesn't need approval. He needs hope. He is every bit as hopeless at times as those he helps.

Perhaps which show ressonates more deeply with someone is dependent on which area someone has the most issues in.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreeage -- ponygirl, 07:27:11 08/14/03 Thu

I wonder if any of Chosen's message of empowering everyone and sharing the burden of specialness will spill over into AtS? Angel, and I say the character not the series, seems to follow the traditional idea of the lone hero bearing all of the responsibility and sacrifice while BtVS ended up changing that ideal.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't see any need for approval -- Scroll, 10:15:41 08/14/03 Thu

Angel wants forgiveness, yes, but not approval. Not the same things, in my mind, though I'd be hard pressed to explain the differences. I guess it's the difference between being allowed to wash your hands clean versus wanting someone to put rings on your fingers. How's that for an analogy? Heh :)

But I don't understand what you mean here: "Angel's very need for that approval, that reward, that trophy - is what allows Jasmine to exist, Connor to go to Quortorth, and is why he makes the decision he does in Home."

I don't see how Angel's hope in one day being forgiven (if he does indeed still have this hope) have anything to do with Jasmine being born, and especially with Connor being kidnapped into Quortoth. Holtz and Wesley's actions are what allowed Connor to be kidnapped; it had nothing to do with Angel's hope of being forgiven beyond Connor being a symbol of his hope. IMHO, anyway.

As for Angel's decision in "Home", I actually see mind-wiping Connor to be a failure of hope and faith, at least a failure of hope and faith in Angel himself as being a good enough father to help Connor overcome his pain and rage. Instead, Angel opted for the easy way out (a reasonable decision, in some ways, and I do understand why he did what he did) and had Wolfram & Hart "fix" Connor so that Connor could have all the peace and love that Angel had hoped/wanted for his baby boy.

I do agree that Angel needs/wants his "Champion" title, and I agree that this could be interpreted as needing "approval" from higher powers. But again, I don't see anything wrong with this desire to be "legitimate". Even if Angel wasn't "legitimate", he would still be doing good and helping people. I believe that his words to Faith in "Judgement", Kate in "Epiphany", Faith again in "Orpheus", and Jasmine in "Peace Out" all stem from the same belief in saving souls because souls are worth saving, and for no other reason. I see his "champion" title to merely be a perk that comes with the job. Much as I believe Buffy would've still done what she could to fight demons when she thought she had lost her powers in "Helpless" and was no longer The Slayer, I think Angel would continue to save souls even without his "Champion" title.

Again, JMHO :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I don't see any need for approval -- s'kat, 11:06:28 08/14/03 Thu

Angel plays Champion to Darla in the Trial, making another bargain of sorts with who he believes to be the PTB, just as he did the oracles in IWARY. By fighting those trials for Darla, he wins a life - Connor.

Angel loses hope and sleeps with Darla, hits rock bottom and we get the Epiphany. Except that in Epiphany, where he says helping is it's own reward - he gets a few gentle approving nudges. One - he gets into Kate's apt without an invite so he can save her. Two - he is told by Lorne that he shouldn't feel bad about killing the lawyers b/c after all, they were evil and the PTB intended it and was trying to keep Angel away.

Connor ends up in Quortuth due to The Prophecy or reliance on prophecies. The AI gang from Angel on down is overly reliant on prophecy. More so than BTVS gang. Angel is after all the PTB "Champion", not that there's anything wrong with that...but why can't he help people without the title?
You believe he would? I'm not so sure. He had 90 years to do it and it's not until the PTB interfered that he began to, some fatherly figure nudged him. Also we have Connor acting as a foil to Angel - the whole need for a "father's love" with both Angel and Holtz. Plus Angel's odd need for Holtz' forgiveness and to a degree Connor's in S3.

Jasmine comes about - partly due to Cordelia's acceptance of Angel's calling, the idea of being a higher being, of being rewarded and elevated - yet another foil for the story line. And of course Connor's need for love and approval - and ability to only obtain that through Cordelia.
This brings them together. Angel's need to have Cordy and Connor's approval and lack of it, causes him to be self-destructive and gives Jasmine the leverage she needs to come into being. (It was a poorly written arc - but I think that was part of the gist of it.)

Home - Angel attempts to give Connor what he never had himself, an approving family. The final scene has Connor's family approving of him - being proud of him, since he is validictorian of his class and off to a good school.

It's not that approval is a bad thing, Scroll. But it is a flaw. Angel is a deeply flawed character - otherwise he'd be dull as a table lamp or Superman. He's not Superman, he's Batman, thank god. It's actually what I like about him.
I had troubles with the story when I accepted the surface message = Angel =Champion/hero/who helps the helpless. (gah!) Basically Touched by An Equalizer with a little Highway to HEaven thrown in. (Which is fine, just not my cup of tea ;-) ) When I realized that they were satirizing that concept and Angel=deeply flawed man hunting a way to make himself better yet needing to believe he was Superman or rather Supervamp and the Champion, needing the approval that came with that belief - I took a second look - that is a show worth analyzing and a character worth appreciating.

It occurs to me, we may be talking at cross-purposes here.
What I like about Angel is his flaws. When I believed that Angel was just a man helping the helpless, a la the Equalizer, I got bored and flipped channels. The writers changed my mind in S2 then again in S3. I don't see anything wrong with needing approval. And I don't equate the need for approval as being the same as the hope for forgiveness. The two are very different concepts in my brain. We seek approval from people who we do not require forgiveness from all the time. And vice versa. Angel's hope for forgiveness is an interesting quality - partly b/c the people he needs it from the most will never give it to him. In Amends for example - he did not need buffy's forgiveness as much as Giles, which is why Buffy couldn't get him in from the sunlight. He doesn't need Cordy's forgiveness as much as he need's his son's for failing him. And his son needs his yet will never obtain it. Angel has in Home lost the hope for forgiveness, yet still wants the approval or he wouldn't have been tempted by the amulet or taking over W&H.

Angel, if you think about it, is a fascinating character b/c we can flip him every which way and still come up with completely different but not necessarily invalid views regarding him. He is also written so ambiguously that we are never completely sure what the writers takes are.
The writers themselves seem to have completely different takes on him, which one would think impossible within the context of a tv series. Yet they somehow manage to pull off. Most of the time. ;-)

Hope that made sense. ;-)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree Angel is deeply flawed; just disagree what those flaws are! -- Scroll :o), 13:26:40 08/15/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Who knows if you keep at it, you might change my mind ;-) -- s'kat, 19:08:23 08/15/03 Fri

Already changed it regarding the hope for forgiveness, decided you're right on that. Not a flaw. Also not to be confused with approval. Also faith in a higher being?
Not a flaw. (Unless your Cordelia but that's another debate.)


I think Angel's desire for approval from outside sources may be what caused him to join W&H and follow the PTB as blindly as he often does.
It certainly is the reason he gave in and let them take his soul. Cordy's whole thing about Angelus being smarter.
Hubris...and the desire for approval go hand in hand.

However..if you don't see hubris and the desire for approval as Angel's flaws. I'm curious - What do you think are his flaws? OR maybe you do see hubris but not the desire for approval???
(Not being snarky here, I promise. I just can't think of any outside vanity, hubris and the desire for approval off-hand.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It's not approval, but love -- Diana, 06:23:41 08/16/03 Sat

The same thing we all want. Angel in "The Prodigal" confuses his father's disapproval for lack of love. "And is that the only thing you can find in your heart for me now, father?" What Angel wants, what Angel got from Buffy was unconditional love. Buffy didn't approve Angel. She loves him.

You can look it from the perspective of approval, though I'm curious why the character that has most to do with validation from outside sources (Spike) enthralls you, but you just seem to dismiss Angel.

I don't see Angel's flaw as hubris. It isn't pride, let alone an exaggerated sense of self-importance, so much as how to keep the demon in check. As Angelus said in "Orpheus" he is always just beneath the surface. Angel uses his image as "Champion" to keep himself in check. Champions don't eat people. Champions don't let bad things happen. Champions don't live in alleys. Being Champion give Angel the motivation to do what he has to, even if that is killing Cordelia.

Also, Angel isn't the one that throws the C word around. Others do in reference to Angel. Angel has been told he is a champion so many times, that he believes it. One of these seasons, Angel will find out what makes him a champion. It isn't the PTBs or approval or anything like that. It is a heart that is brighter than the fire. It is a heart that has been greatly hurt, so as Angelus he lashes out and as Angel he has to reach out.

At least that is how I see the character. What is Angel's flaw? He's human. He has a very bad past that he has to come to grips with. He thinks he is that past. The past informs all that we do, but it doesn't have to be our master. Angel is learning that. I think he made great strides in the Angelus arc this season.

Why the importance of free will this season? It is free will that allows us to get away from our pasts. It is free will that cuts the fetters that bind us. This season had a definite regression/past theme to it. How does Hubris fit into this? Love does. Love was rather prevelent this season, always is.

That is just how I see the show.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Faith (not the character, but the stuff of Abraham) -- Diana, 05:08:19 08/14/03 Thu

First, "Judgment" pretty much squashed the whole working for a reward thing. Angel's speech in "Epiphany" says *exactly* why he fights. There is a maturity continuum present there that for a television show to actually address, well it made Buffy look fairly superficial.

Second, faith really gets a bum rap because it is equated with blind faith. Everyone has faith in something, even if it is the human mind. Without faith, we couldn't function. Faith is simply a belief, a belief in ANYTHING. It is necessary for any action. Faith is the source for all that we do.

Does is matter whether we believe in ourselves or project that belief onto some external thing? Does it matter whether we believe in God, love, humanity, anything? They are all really synonyms (my own belief).

Now to throw hope into the mix. Faith is belief. Hope is what motivates us to act on the belief. That's what the story of Angel is to me. Angel has a very dark side and needs the motivation to overcome this. He is scared that he doesn't have it. That is why his "Epiphany" is so beautiful. He gives into his dark side and realizes that just isn't who he is. He CAN'T lose his soul. He CAN'T lose his goodness. That IS who he is. When he finds that out, he realizes he isn't such a monster and what forms his motivation. It's truly beautiful. I said that already, but no other word does it justice.

Faith, hope, love/charity. Belief, motivation, action. Just different words, different perspectives.

And believe it or not, I'm an atheist (really an I-don't-car-theist. Doesn't matter to me whether is some sort of god or not). Doesn't mean I can't see the beauty that is present in theology.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Makes sense, Diana -- Scroll, 10:01:08 08/14/03 Thu

Faith, hope, love/charity. Belief, motivation, action. Just different words, different perspectives.

I never thought of it that way before. And if Angel and Angel are all about hope, then I have no problems with his actions and his beliefs.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Look at the theme song -- Diana, 11:18:02 08/14/03 Thu

Joss is very deliberate with his choice of music. Darling Violetta's amazing music is so perfect for Angel's story. There's a yearning present that just grabs me. The sense of hopelessness of the helpless and then along comes their savior. It is beautiful.

What hit me most this season was Angel's dispair. He doesn't have the crises of faith of Buffy. He has true dispair that comes from a deep sense of hopelessness. His character is the conflict between hope and dispair.

Such is the life of an addict. Hope gives us the strength to resist our addiction. Dispair causes us to run to it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I love that theme song - gives me goosebumps! -- jane, 20:41:22 08/14/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps it can only be applied to me then ;-) -- sdev, 22:48:05 08/13/03 Wed

I find Spike more interesting, less predictable, and far more innovative and subversive

Me too. For me that also has to do with Angel's guilt as well. I find guilt, as distinguished from morality, to be a singularly destructive, annoying and unproductive emotion. Spike, OTOH, is often motivated by the positive, love for instance, or as you say a subversive, to me iconoclastic quality, which is unpredictable, as in helping Tara in Family or killing the Annointed one. I find that reaches me more.

Sometimes Angel has more positive motivations and I find him much more likeable then. I particularly liked his kindnesses and sly amusement to Cordelia and Wes early on.

And I agree the PTB are uninteresting because they take away the human dilemma- choice. They are a device and make it uninteresting just like deus ex machina was boring in BtVS. They are pretty transparent as a contrived plot device instead of more creative choices. I also have trouble with prophecies, and I kind of think that may be ME's point-- they are a double-edged sword. That was a point made very clearly in BtVS Season 1 Prophecy Girl.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well said. I Completely agree. -- s'kat, 11:14:49 08/14/03 Thu

Although...I did and do love beige Angel and Angelus.
Particularly in Redefinition, Soulless, Forgiving, The Price, and Home.

Thanks for putting that so succintly and well. It was what I was attempting to get to in my series of rambling posts. ;-) sk

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> While reading up on Foucauld I found this: -- Arethusa, 07:54:58 08/13/03 Wed


Too bad they don't really exist. In my imagination I'm already giving Perter Pan's sword to Kant and Luke Skywalker's lightsaber to Foucauld and letting them battle for supremecy. Foucauld has the technological edge, but don't underestimate the dexterity of Kant.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> FoucaulT!! Not FoucaulD! Philosophically ignorant fool!! -- Medusa, 07:57:32 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, cut me some slack. -- Arethusa, 08:54:32 08/13/03 Wed

Nobody taught me philosophy, I had to pick it up in the schoolyard and street corners. And you just wouldn't believe the misinformation out there....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! Where Foucault pick all his up? -- WickedBuffy, 09:06:40 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That is the Kewlest!! Thanks for pointing it out! -- Rahael, 09:06:40 08/13/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heh! Apparently there's a Freud action figure too. -- s'kat, 12:27:29 08/13/03 Wed

Ramses2 mentioned owning one on ASSB, except it's not
anatomically correct. Wonder if Foucault and Kant are?;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think Foucault would be spinning in his grave if it wasn't ;-) -- KdS, 02:20:31 08/14/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe the problem is -- Diana, 09:51:58 08/13/03 Wed

Philosophers have this tendancy to want to define the indefinable. What am I? My answer, who cares. Seems to be my answer about a lot of things. Is there a God? Does it matter? Good and evil as abstract concepts have little interest to me.

What matters to me is what matters to me. What is important. For me that is the only question worth answering. Is there a universal answer for all humanity? Possibly, but I need to know *my* answer. From there I can act.

Angel is a lie? What the heck does that mean? All sorts of things happen to us that are against our wills that make us who we are. Does that mean we are all lies? Vampires are a lie. Restoring Angel's soul in some ways restores him more to "truth." But who cares? Angel is what and who Angel is. He is no more a lie than any other character. Buffy was Chosen. Does that make her a lie? Willow has been altered by the magick she channels. Does that make her a lie? Dawn is the perfect example of someone that isn't real. There are no lies in the Buffyverse. Just what is.

When we start breaking the characters into the various philosophies, we start to lose them. Angel is what he is. Spike is what he is. Same with Buffy, Willow, etc. To me that is more the lesson behind the curse. Souled and unsouled, Angel or Angelus he is what he is. Doesn't matter how he gets there. He's there.

[> [> [> [> Disagree -- sdev, 17:45:17 08/12/03 Tue

Are we all lies because at some point in time our morality was externally imposed and created via our parents and caretakers?

At what moment do we "internalize" the morality and thus it becomes a part of us? The human psyche must be a very complex mechanism of stimuli and feedback which creates who we are and who we are always becoming.

Angel with the curse spent 200+ years 'becoming' by this process as well. If you remove the curse, yes, he regresses to Angelus. But that is more like a reflexive physiological change, almost like cessation of a medication used to control an autonomic spasm. The real question is whether the Angel of 200 years ago, when first cursed, is the same Angel as now after 200 years of soulful experience. His change, progression, is what makes "every good deed he has committed or positive feeling" not a lie.

That Angel "cannot be trusted" is true, again, in the physiological sense that he is physically vulnerable to removal of his soul from external sources such as accidental triggering of the happiness clause, someone deliberately seeking its removal to bring back Angelus, or Angel himself as in Season 4 seeking its removal under controlled conditions to further a good cause. It is like Superman and Kryptonite; Angel has a physical vulnerability.

He could also opt to seek its removal and seek to be evil again. But isn't that just the point? He has the choice and chooses not to just like many, not all, soulful beings. And that is the source of our trust in him. The choices he makes.

Some people have posited that Spike, chipped, went through a similar growth experience in Season 5 and 6 which enabled him to progress enough to seek his soul on his own. Prior to the chip, you don't think he could have voluntarily sought a soul, do you?

[> [> [> Smooch! -- Dead (and feeling more than usually silly) Soul, 19:26:38 08/12/03 Tue

(Nest? Gaggle? What's the correct word for a group of vampires who live and hunt together?)

A group of vampires is called a "kiss".

Funny, huh?

[> [> [> [> Pluralmania. -- Darby, 06:14:12 08/13/03 Wed

Am I the only one who feels that when those long lists of group categories are created, the writers make many of them up (the ones that don't really exist, or can't be found) in order to have a decent list, and to mess with people's heads?

And then subsequent lists build on the early lists...

Anybody wanna create a list for Buffyverse items? What is a group of Potentials - an annoyance, maybe?

A Hairy Eyeball of Watchers?
A Smarm of Glory Minions?
A Perk of Fembots?
A Tartar of Go Fish demons?

You can see why someone might do this...

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Pluralmania. -- Dead (and please don't make me parenthesize again) Soul, 23:26:44 08/13/03 Wed

These are great! Wish I could think of some equally funny ones to add to your list.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Souled vampires - -- Darby, 09:38:55 08/14/03 Thu

Would that be a Brood, or a Confusion?

Maybe a Device, to inject a bit of cynicism?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> How about -- ponygirl, 12:38:56 08/14/03 Thu

An Arc of souled vampires?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How about -- Arethusa, 13:03:54 08/14/03 Thu

a pitter-patter of Potentials

a slew of slayers (both the noun and verb meanings in one!)

an apocalypse of Big Bads

a breakfast of champions (okay, bad, but points for pop culture reference)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! Re: How about -- MsGiles, 06:53:35 08/15/03 Fri

a righteousness of vengeance demons

a stagger of zombies

a primp of hosts

a sulk of goths

a machina of dei

and a cluck of librarians..

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I particularly like... -- Dead Soul, 22:49:17 08/15/03 Fri

a stagger of zombies

[> [> [> [> this is from some kind of official source? -- anom, 23:18:23 08/17/03 Sun

"A group of vampires is called a 'kiss'."

Wonder who came up w/that? I'd favor "clot" myself!

[> [> [> [> [> I kind of like "battery" -- d'Herblay, 23:46:45 08/17/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> hey, cruelty to our fangy friends, all those little cages.. -- MsGiles, 06:38:46 08/18/03 Mon

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