December 2001 posts

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Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- OnM, 05:17:59 12/01/01 Sat

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When the basic building blocks of any society-- the bonds between mother, father, children-- are so grossly violated, that illness seeps into the lives of their neighbors, schoolmates and co-workers; kinship and humanity become a mere mockery.

............ Nelson George

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Willow: (On her hands and knees, sobbing uncontrollably): Iím sorry. Iím so, so sorry.

Buffy: Get up.

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Back when I was in high school, I used to pass by the faculty lounge on the way to several of my daily classes. On occasion, as I walked by, the door to the room would open, and a teacher or occasionally an administrator would waltz out, accompanied by a billowing cloud of smoke.

If my high school had been located on top of a hellmouth like Sunnydale High, I might have attributed this to some nefarious demonic activity, but in fact it was just the result of plain old (albeit still somewhat nefarious) cigarette smoking. Quite a lot of the teaching staff seemed to be addicted to those little cancer sticks (and yes, we called them that, even back in the 60ís). Some of my fellow students used to joke that theyíd never indulge in a filthy habit like that when there were Ďcleanerí drugs available like speed or heroin.

Iím not exaggerating about the Ďbillowingí effect, either, or the fact that the people who were supposed to be exemplars of proper adult behavior for our still-formative little minds couldnít control themselves in even this seemingly trivial aspect. Even though we were of sufficient age to understand the nature of what drives people into doing stupid things despite their best intentions, it was still a glaring example of hypocrisy, and hypocrisy on the part of adult role models tends to bring about more withering verbal retorts and/or rolling of eyes than pretty much any alternative character defect presented to the youth in question.

And question it we should. There is no better way to gain someoneís admiration than to Ďtalk the talk, and walk the walkí, or at least make a clear and certain attempt to do so as often as humanly possible. It you did fail to do the right thing, you copped to it and took your lumps, you didnít make lame excuses. My parents were average, ordinary folks, not any special archetypes of virtue, but they commanded respect because they earned it. It was a continual, and always disconcerting shock to me as I grew up how often adults failed to behave as morally and responsibly as my mom and dad did.

Of course, some kids turn out bad no matter how good their parents and teachers are or were. Environment contributes, to be sure, but I do accept that there is a very strong genetic predisposition in many humans to act for self-interest alone and damn the fallout. Put someone like this in a bad home, and youíve pretty much built a sociopath in your (very) spare time.

All of this relates to why I found myself with a much greater appreciation of a recent anti-drug public service message on the tube, in that instead of the normal slap Ďem upside-the-head modus operandi, it sugested to teen druggies to consider the following-- what if your younger brother or sister saw you getting high? Do you think this is a good example for them, especially if they look up to you, admire you?

Granted, sibling relations are often pretty rough-and-tumble, there can be abject resentment as much as high regard, but that wasnít the point at issue. Said point was, the makers of the p.s.a. decided to take the unusual approach of talking up to the intended audience instead of down to them, suggesting the advanced state of being that exists when you consider yourself of enough personal value to have those values reflected in a younger version of yourself. This is a very adult concept, in the best possible way, and you are assuming enough intelligence in the minds present on the other side of the CRT to get it.

I thought of this, and how it all reverberates with the events on the last two episodes of Buffy, when one of the main story arcs culminates with an out-of-control Willow finally being brought back down to Earth by an angry and disillusioned Dawn, who, lacking proportionate words to verbalize the level of betrayal she feels, simply slaps her in the face.

Violence, of course, can be one possible way to get someoneís attention, but it is always an extreme response, and so should always be utilized with great restraint and greater responsibility. Using violence as a Ďsolutioní can become an addicting behavior in and of itself, since like all addictive mediums it involves directly feeding the pleasure centers of the hindbrain, and the surge of righteousness that occurs from righting a perceived wrong can be as rush-inducing as any narcotic.

If you have the slightest doubt about this particular prescription, then I suggest you check out this weekís Classic Movie, a 1994 release by New Zealand director Lee Tamahori, Once Were Warriors. This film depicts, better than any other film in both recent or distant memory, the horrendous damage caused by one of the worst possible variants of pathologically violent behavior, that directed against a spouse or family member. I wish to warn all concerned right up front, while the depictions of brutality that occur in this movie are meted out in brief, sporadic fashion rather than in a long, drawn out Peckinpah-ish motif, they are uncompromisingly realistic and therefore very disturbing and frightening. This film completely deserves its ĎRí rating, and not because it uses the classic four- letter sexual profanity with some degree of regularity.

The film opens with a scene that pretty much sets the tone for the remainder of the story, as we slowly pull back from a stunningly beautiful scenic view, a landscape that as we stare more closely, seems almost too perfect to be real. As the pullback continues, such is revealed as literally the case, the Edenic splendor is nothing more than an advertisement on a billboard atop a tall building. The camera now starts to widen itís field of view, and slowly pans downward to reveal a gritty, harsh urban industrial environment. Raucous sounds from an adjacent major highway begin to assult our ears, as we reach ground level and see a woman pushing a shopping cart along a trash-laden path by the road side. She pauses as the opening credits blast onto the screen, taking over most of it, framing her in the center. She moves on, as do we.

The woman is Beth Heke, played by New Zealand actress Rena Owen. She projects a rough yet somehow elegant beauty, a contrast that suits her character well. Shortly thereafter, we meet her husband Jake (Temuera Morrison), a big, tightly muscular man who by eye-contact alone leaves a lingering impression of fear and respect in a youthful street gang member who accidently bumps him while walking with his Ďtroopsí. Finally, one by one, we are introduced to the coupleís numerous children, who span a range of years from young adult to elementary school age.

The area of the city that the Hekeís call home is a poor suburb of Auckland, where the inhabitants eke out an existence primarily defined by low-wage employment, unstable relationships, drunken parties both in bars and in the homes of friends, and assorted confrontations with authorities. Despite these grave limitations, Beth and Jake and family seem to be making do, and the couple displays a mutual affection and passion for each other that briefly implores us to admire their ability to survive such deplorable surroundings.

But just as our vision of ĎEdení in the opening seconds morphed quickly into an all-to-hellish reality, we see that Beth and her children are victims of Jakeís hair-trigger temper, a temper made even more vicious by the control-loosening effects of the copious amounts of alcohol that lubricates the gears of poverty in this social factory.

What seems most depressing to witness is not just the ugly physical aftermath of Jakeís rages, but how not only Beth, but her friends and family seem to grudgingly accept that this Ďis their lot in lifeí. It is easy to see how bit by bit, betrayal by betrayal, oneís sensitivities are first dulled, then numbed, then finally abandoned altogether. Life becomes basic physical, animal existence, nothing more. If the simple illustration of this despair was the endpoint of the filmmakerís intentions, the noble- sounding title Once Were Warriors would represent nothing more than yet another example of pointlessly painful irony, but I urge you to stay with it through to the end, as such is not the case. As with Willowís repudiation by Dawn, and the sudden clarity of awareness that it brings, however painfully, Beth Heke is likewise driven to stand up for herself and her family, and reject the hypocrisy of a man who states that he Ďlovesí her but allows his addiction to the power of violence to demonstrate that he bears her no such real respect.

This is a film about heroes-- not the superhuman kind, but the once-were-ordinary kind who transcend that ordinariness by reaching down into the well of their souls and lifting out the crisp, clear water of dignity that once seemed hopelessly out of reach.

Drink deep.

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,

OnM

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Technical Once-Over:

Once Were Warriors is available on DVD, according to the Internet Movie Database. The review copy was on laserdisc. The laserdisc copy contained several extra features, including a commentary track by director Lee Tamahori. The DVD edition may have similar content, and of course the film is available on standard VHS.

The film was released in 1994, running time is 1 hour and 42 minutes. Original theatrical aspect ratio is 1.85:1, which was preserved on the laserdisc edition, and is likely also on the DVD. The screenplay was written by Riwia Brown, based on the original novel written by Alan Duff. Director of cinematography was Stuart Dryburgh and editing was by Michael Horton. The soundtrack is standard Dolby Surround, with music by a variety of artists, primarily New Zealanders.

Cast overview:

Rena Owen .... Beth Heke
Temuera Morrison .... Jake Heke
Mamaengaroa Kerr-Bell .... Grace Heke
Julian Arahanga .... Nig Heke
Taungaroa Emile .... Boogie Heke
Rachael Morris Jr. .... Polly Heke
Joseph Kairau .... Huata Heke
Cliff Curtis .... Bully
Pete Smith .... Dooley
George Henare .... Bennett
Mere Boynton .... Mavis
Shannon Williams .... Toot
Calvin Tuteao .... Taka (Gang Leader)
Ray Bishop .... King Hitter (in pub)
Ian Mune .... Judge

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Miscellaneous and the Question of the Week:

If youíre too generally bummed for any reason (Buffy-ish or otherwise) to viddy another intense movie such as the one I am recommending this week, and just want something fun and effortless to enjoy, I would heartily recommend renting a film I have briefly plugged before in recent weeks, Legally Blonde starring Reese Witherspoon. This is a popcorn movie, but itís a pretty darn tasty popcorm movie, and the DVD comes with a funny and delightful commentary track and several other goodies that make for an enjoyable 2nd or 3rd viewing (I finally got to actually watch my DVD copy last Sunday, after buying the darn thing weeks ago! Damn work schedule! Arrrgggghhh.....)

QotW:

Have you ever walked out on a movie somewhere in the middle of it, not because it was bad, but just because it was so intense you had trouble handling it? If so, what was it about, how old were you at the time, and did you ever go back to see it again, or watch it on video at a later time? Did it affect you the same way again, or was it better the second time around?

(Yes, I know thatís really several questions, but they are all related so cut me some slack, OK? Thanks!)

Thatís all for this edition, post Ďem if you got Ďem, and hey, yeah, this means you lurker types too, I wanna hear from ya! Ebert knows I love my regulars, but I crave the cinematic thoughts of some of you newbies. Remember, like they said in Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, Ďthe net is where you go to view pornography and bitch about moviesí.

Make me proud, and prove them wrong. I may be the moviesí bitch, but Iím man enough to post philosophically on it!

Peace.

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[> Sorry for not getting this posted Fri nite, but the Voy server was down again! -- OnM, 05:26:08 12/01/01 Sat

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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Andy, 06:41:00 12/01/01 Sat

I've never walked out of a movie in the theaters because of anything wrong with the material (I did get sick in the middle of Greystoke when I was a kid, but that was just me being sick, not anything to do with the film :)).

However, on video I was never able to finish watching Hellraiser. I was at my sister's hanging out when I was a young teenager and everyone over there (her husband and our stepbrother and his girlfriend) decided that watching Hellraiser would be a good way to pass the time. So we start watching it, and while I don't remember much of the film (having never watched it all the way through), IIRC, when the puzzle box started working its mojo, I actually passed out.

But that's not even the coolest part because I didn't just pass out. Again, the details are all fuzzy (I'm sure someone here has seen the movie and can correct me on stuff), but as I recall, the scene involved all these hooks popping out of the box and ripping into this guy, and the problem is that I have a deep phobia of the idea of people getting torn apart by razors or hooks (go figure :)). So I'm watching this part, and getting increasingly queasy, and then suddenly my vision just faded into red, and when I came to, I was clutching my drink at arm's length in front of me with both hands while everyone was staring at me with these freaked expressions on their faces. According to them, I had taken the Coke can I was drinking out of and suddenly begun holding it out in front of me while I grunted like a caveman while my eyes were wide open, which apparently went on for about a minute. (I was still pretty messed up when I came out of it and thought I was holding the drink upside down, so to save from spilling anything I turned it over, which of course really did spill it all over the carpet.) So, not surprisingly, after this happened everyone agreed that maybe watching something light and funny was a better idea.

I never have gone back to watch the film all the way through. There are plenty of other seriously gory horror films I've watched and loved, and maybe I could watch it with no problem now, but it just has a certain vibe to me that makes me want to shy away from it :)

Andy
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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Cactus Watcher, 06:52:30 12/01/01 Sat

I've only walked out of movies twice, both when I was seeing a lot of movies in college. Once the movie was bad, and the friend I was with insisted on leaving. The second time I was by myself, and a gay guy sat down beside me and began trying to start up a conversation in the middle of the movie. I didn't want any conversation, and being straight certainly not the kind he was looking for. Being unresponsive didn't work. The guy kept trying. So rather than make a big scene I said nothing, got up and left. He got the message.
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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Neaux, 07:23:02 12/01/01 Sat

I remember seeing my first "R" rated movie in the Theater.. I had seen many nudie "R" movies at home but never in the theater until I was 15.

The Movie was "Shocker" starring the now famous Mitch Peleggi. My dad bought me and my friends tickets and It was soooo hard for me to sit through it, because of the blood and gore. But it totally desensitized me, and now at age 27 I live for horror movies.
XD
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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Kimberly, 16:44:54 12/01/01 Sat

I can't remember ever having walked out of a movie, but there is one I refuse to watch and another I always have trouble with. The first is On Golden Pond (although I was forced to watch it at my in- laws, but I refuse to watch it again) and the second is Ordinary People. In both cases, the themes hit too close to home, and I don't choose to subject myself to the misery.

Of course, lately, about the only movies I get to watch in theaters is kid-vid.
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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Wisewoman, 23:58:19 12/01/01 Sat

I think the only movie I've ever walked out of was a real stinker starring none other than Pia Zadora. I think it was called "Lonely Lady" and the scene right after the opening credits looked like it was going to involve rape by garden hose, so I was outta there.

I did get tossed out of a showing of The Blob (the Steve McQueen version) when I was a kid, because I was hiding under my seat whimpering. Since then I've done over 20 years of theatre make-up, and nothing much phases me now in the way of cinematic special effects. I'm more likely to wonder how they achieved something than to be frightened by it.

For some reason, the remake of Cat People made me nauseous...no, I mean really! I think I was anxious to begin with about something and it just struck me as very suspenseful.

Once Were Warriors was difficult to watch, but well worth it.

Ooops, I lied. I walked out of Malcolm X halfway through, think it was something about the treatment of the womenfolk...something he said in a speech that equated women with other household goods and chattel...got my dander up, whatever it was!
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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Isabel, 17:24:28 12/02/01 Sun

I almost left in the middle of 'Platoon.' The violence was too much for me and if I wasn't against the wall with several friends and winter coats between me and the aisle I would have left. As it was, I had to shut my eyes and cover my ears for a few minutes. I have never been able to sit through a video showing of it since.
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[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Humanitas, 17:10:32 12/03/01 Mon

I have only walked out on one film in the theater, ever. Call me an optimist, but even while watching a bad movie, I continually hope that the filmmaker will pull it out by the end. I walked out on Dead Ringers, though, 'cause it just bothered me too much. I was in high-school at the time, and truthfully only dimly remember anything about the film, but I had such a visceral reaction to it that I still literally shudder when I see the box in the video store.
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[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - November 30th 2001 -- Brian, 20:16:38 12/03/01 Mon

I walked out of Showgirls after twenty minutes. I told myself that if there were more than 5 cliches in the next 5 minutes, I would leave, and I did.
I'm in the chat room -- sheri, 09:55:51 12/01/01 Sat

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[> Partial Chat Transcript -- Sheri, 11:46:51 12/01/01 Sat

Here's some bits and pieces of our discussion on Siddhartha and Buffy. I wasn't able to catch everything, but here is a highlight
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[aquitaine] Potentiality... Buffy has resisted this. NO?
[Brian] sort of find the self, lose the self, be the self
[aquitaine] Buffy has the 'be' part down... not doing so hot with 'find' and 'lose'... working hard at it though
[Brian] Buffy found her self in death, now she has to lose the self by finding her realtionship to others
sheri> right, Brian
[aquitaine] B, there's definitely a parallel there with Sidd
sheri> that's one reason that I don't think the B/S sex is so bad.... she needs to explore that side - (philosophically... not meant to be dirty)
[Brian] Absolutely, but I also see that Willow is on this same path as well
[Brian] nothing wrong with sex
sheri> wasn't the point of Siddhartha, that everybody is on that same path?
[aquitaine] Willow... hmmm interesting. I agree re: the sex. It was almost like Buffy had a 'heavenly' experience.
[Brian] each taking different paths to get to something
[aquitaine] willow has such a long way to go, though. She is very very lost.
sheri> so what is Buffy's goal?
[Brian] isn't Spike the first lover to say lets talk about how great it was?
[aquitaine] Death is her gift... has she achieved that goal (as well as the "love give forgive"?
[Brian] I see Willow at the same point as Sid with the investments
[aquitaine] Spike is the first to say many things.
sheri> he was doing pretty good, till he said the worlds worst thing to say to a girl after doing the nasty.
[snuffynelson] significant also that spike is able to break through buffy's defensiveness--control. (Over the top - symbolism of walls crashing down, etc)
[Brian] just being ruthlessly honest
sheri> right...Willow tried to fill herself with all this knowledge... but things are still screwed up... her - friend died, came back, and is little miss depression...... why not get a little frivilous with the ol' magic?
[aquitaine] ruthless?
[aquitaine] Willow cannot accept loss.
[Brian] I thought the house destruction was symbolic of the end of her contructed world, her defenses against - feeling something for Spike
[aquitaine] feeling something for herself too. She's spent alot of time building her anti-hurt shell
sheri> does anybody mind if I post this chat? (I can snip out stuff that doesn't relate to the Siddhartha - discussion if we get *too* off topic)
[snuffynelson] sort of a cathartic epiphany, then?
[Brian] ruthless in that he doesn't sugar coat the truth - it's in its raw form
sheri> althought the buffer only goes back so far... gosh darnit
[snuffynelson] except she then immediately backslides again
[Brian] just like willow will with her magic
sheri> do rivers get rip tides? (currents that go backwards)
[Brian] it took Sid almost his whole life to find what he was looking for
[snuffynelson] (and like willow _has_ with her magic--she already "gave up magic for a week" w/ stunning success)
[aquitaine] just snip off that I didn't read the book in its entirety:)
[aquitaine] Rivers flows in one direction only
[Brian] some rivers do
[aquitaine] they do?
[Brian] big ones
[snuffynelson] eddies by the shores
sheri> so is buffy stuck in an eddy?
[Brian] i'd say so
[aquitaine] Not anymore
[aquitaine] She's been spit out onto shore for awhile
[Brian] Sid spent years by the river trying to hear its voice
sheri> I don't think Buffy is listening for that voice.... she's like Sid when he was all nauseated over his life - as a merchant.
[snuffynelson] (i'm still stuck w/ buffy and walls. hadn't occured to me until just now how boxy that last scene - was, where she's recreated walls w/ garlic)
sheri> She's still waiting to hear that "om"
sheri> I shudder to think how much she's going to stink :)
[Brian] i'm sure she and spike heard the "om" she just didn't recognize it
[aquitaine] Remember the final scene of Restless... with Buffy gazing into her darkened bedroom?
[snuffynelson] and how she bricked her mother up into a wall...
sheri> nah, I think they heard the "ooooooh" ;)
[aquitaine] Not to be funny but there was something otherworldly about the B/S sex.
[aquitaine] Even, we, in the audience, didn't hear the house coming down. Only Buffy and Spike... coming.
[Brian] that hot music was also a little unearthly
[aquitaine] And the angelic voice
sheri> angelic voice?
[aquitaine] in the music?
[Brian] but we did see the center beam collapse
[aquitaine] listen to it without the visuals, Sheri
[aquitaine] You'll be less distracted:)
sheri> ok.. so buffy's ignoring the om.... what will it take for her to finally hear it?
[Brian] growing up?!
sheri> well, yes
[aquitaine] Is she ignoring it? Xander's almost there though.
sheri> but what will it take for her to grow up?
[aquitaine] Or avoiding it.
[Brian] and how hard is that another "normal" circumstances
[Brian] under
sheri> how would you compare Buffy's relationship with Dawn to Sid's relationship with his son?
[aquitaine] I've been thinking against about that song at the end of TR and I think that Buffy has a lot of - mourning to do.
Odds of Spike surviving S6? -- Crooked Mind, 12:19:58 12/01/01 Sat

I've been reflecting throughout the discussion of the season thus far, and the more I think on it, the less I like Spike's chances of "living" through the season.

It's been pointed out that one of the big issues (if not the biggest) in the B/S saga is Buffy's record with men to date . . . she tends to lose those she cares about, which in turn drives the storyline in new directions.

So I keep having this vision of the ongoing struggle of B/S (each with themselves as much as each other) . . . and in the meantime the development of events that threaten the world or members of the SG or both . . . and B/S finally lining up and growing together . . . and Spike making the ultimate sacrifice to save __________, the final statement of his growth from a monster back into a man. And from there Buffy crashes from yet another period of growth ending in loss . . . and here we are spending our summer going out of our collective heads trying to figure how it will all get fixed!

My first instinct is "They wouldn't dare write JM out given his popularity", but history doesn't stand with that reasoning, does it?

Okay . . . fire away . . .

CM
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[> Re: Odds of Spike surviving S6? -- Moose, 12:46:51 12/01/01 Sat

I've thought of this as well. Something along the lines of Spike unwilling to watch Buffy sacrifice herself again (which she may fully want to do to return to heaven) and instead Spike takes her place, or at least attempts to.

It's the kind of self-sacrifice/redemptive act we expect from ME (ala Darla). The only problem with going through with it is that Spike is a MAJOR character now, and there is always the criticism of repeating the end of last season instead of doing something new.

I suspect we might see something sooner rather than later involving Spike. Some sacrifice on his part to help crack Buffy's armor--perhaps by saving one of the SG and being injured in the process? Who knows? There are a million ways to do it. I also think Dawn is going to play a part in getting B/S together. A reality check from the Dawnster regarding Spike is long overdue.
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[> [> "A reality check from the Dawnster regarding Spike is long overdue" --so true. -- res, 13:13:24 12/01/01 Sat

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[> I think so too -- CaptainPugwash, 12:50:21 12/01/01 Sat

Well, if all the rumours about someone dying this season are true, then Spike seems to be the most likely candidate.

Although I'm a huge B/S fan (I hate shippers), I think their relationship is transforming them both for the better. However, I can't see it ending 'happily'...

Maybe its just wishful thinking, but I think Spike is going to die saving whoever (and being redeemed) too. It's the only option (soul restoration, de-chipping are the others) that seems to make any sense to me.
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[> [> Re: I think so too -- Cleanthes, 13:31:01 12/01/01 Sat

Well, if all the rumours about someone dying this season are true, then Spike seems to be the most likely candidate.

That would leave the cast with 4 females (five counting Tara) and one male. I can't see Xander or Spike dying, for this reason alone.
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[> [> [> Spoiler Spec -- Wisewoman, 13:50:24 12/01/01 Sat

All the rumours about someone dying this season are accompanied by the rumour that this person will have a four-letter name, i.e. Anya, Tara, or Dawn. (Or Rack, now that I come to think of it.)

Spike is saved by the fifth letter, barely.

;o)
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[> [> [> [> I hope it's Dawn -- MayaPapaya9, 14:16:36 12/01/01 Sat

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[> [> [> [> [> Poor Dawnie. -- Deeva, 14:32:07 12/01/01 Sat

While I didn't love Dawn initially, she has grown on me, like a fungus ;o). I didn't get why she was so stubborn but hey then I thought "She's a teenager. It's what they do." I know I did. I don't know how my mother put up with me!

So I hope it's not Dawn. But then I don't want anyone to die.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Poor Dawnie... and Anya... and Tara... -- Monique, 14:39:47 12/01/01 Sat

A year ago I would have said "I hope Anya dies"... and yet now I find myself a huge Anya fan, and I love Dawn and Tara too much to see them go, even though they havenīt been doing much these days. I just donīt want anybody to die!! *cries*
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> *pat,pat* here's a hankie, Monique.I think it's a great cast right now. They should leave it alone. -- Deeva, 18:08:10 12/01/01 Sat

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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you :) -- Monique (smiling weakly), 18:34:44 12/01/01 Sat

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[> [> [> [> [> [> *Ahem* -- MayaPapaya9, 21:13:36 12/01/01 Sat

I didn't get why she was so stubborn but hey then I thought "She's a teenager. It's what they do."

Ummmmmm, excuse me but I do not ever recall being half as stupid or selfish as Dawn is sometimes! Hahaha. I REALLY despised her last season. Actually I agree with you Deeva that she's better recently, especially in Wrecked. But if it's between her, Tara and Anya, I say...good riddance to Dawn. She's not real anyways. That was one thing that annoyed me last year, the Buffy cared so much for something that was not even real. It doesn't seem fair that Dawn gets such a central role in the Scooby Gang's lives when she hasn't even put in the previous four years of time.
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[> [> [> [> Re: Spoiler Spec -- Cleanthes, 15:14:28 12/01/01 Sat

4 letters, eh?

I'd go with "Will".

In real life, AH has the biggest career outside the show.

On the show, most of the story involving Willow has been told. She can't now get a boyfriend, nor can she realistically return to a magic relationship with Tara. All of the "best friend" tales with Buffy have also been told. Were she to leave, a male character can take her place, partly addressing the sex-ratio situation.

Tara can actually stay on, too, as Buffy's new best friend and "mom" for Dawn. Her character hasn't played out, and, a new girlfriend for her would have considerable story potential that a new girlfriend for Willow would not have.

Finally, Willow messed with the big evil and brought back the dead from heaven. How else can she legitimately atone for her sins than through martyrdom?

Dawn can't leave, that'd just obviate season 5, which would suck. Anya could leave, but then they'd have to find another clueless truth-teller for expository reasons. What's more, actually having Xander and Anya married violates the norms of young-person TV stories, so I'd personally like to see it.
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[> [> [> [> [> Re: Or "Buff." Nah....;) -- mm, 15:22:26 12/01/01 Sat

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Or "Buff." Nah....;) -- CW, 17:24:26 12/01/01 Sat

Thank goodness, Rupe has his own show! Alex maybe? Andy, Warr, or Levy (Jonathan Levinson). How far can I stretch this before I get a pie in the face? ;o)
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> About that far...***PIE***... ;o) -- WW, 23:20:37 12/01/01 Sat

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[> [> [> [> [> Hmmm, maybe "Bill," short for William; there are possibilities everywhere! :-) -- Rattletrap, 04:48:58 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> [> [> Re: Spoiler Spec -- bible belt, 15:54:19 12/01/01 Sat

Maybe that's the price Willow is going to have to pay for bringing Buffy back, Tara's life. Maybe Willow will have to make a choice between Buffy's or Tara's life. Willow finally gets herself togethor only to see Tara die for bringing Buffy back. Damn!
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[> [> [> [> Re: Spoiler Spec -- Carrolle, 17:34:47 12/01/01 Sat

The spoilers never said a 4-letter NAME, they said think 4-letters which could mean any number of things.
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[> [> [> [> What was the actual quote - wasn't it "four letters"? -- Solitude1056, 20:36:18 12/02/01 Sun

I thought the actual quote was more ambiguous - something to do with four letters, which could be interpreted as 4-letter name, or 4-letter word... such as "love" or "hate." In that case, it could be anyone in a major relationship - Anya/Xander, Tara/Willow, or Buffy/Spike if they develop to that point. It opens the doors to just about anyone getting thwacked, even Dawn if she ends up dating someone & has a first luvvvvvvvve.
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[> Re: Odds of Spike surviving S6? -- Q, 12:52:19 12/01/01 Sat

It kind of depends on your definition of "survive". I think history is on JM's side. They haven't written anybody THAT popular out(unless the actor left). What is more important than the popularity with the fans is the popularity with the people who work on the show, and JM seems to be in like flint there.

No, I don't see Spike dying, but I don't see this current story lasting the run of the show, which will be AT LEAST through next season. So while Spike will not die, the Spike/Buffy romance will, and we will see what that leaves us with. Evil, Big Bad, Spike? Buffy estranged from all whom she loves because of Spike? Spike in L.A. fighting Angel? Who knows.

Just what I see happening--but then they ALWAYS throw me for a loop!
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[> [> Re: Or Spike in LA fighting with Angel. -- bb, 16:13:19 12/01/01 Sat

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[> sniff sniff -- Monique (sobbing miserably), 13:08:29 12/01/01 Sat

I donīt think they are going to kill him *yet* but I am sure that heīll be dust by the end of season 7... poor Spikey... at least lets hope he dies a heroīs death :sniff sniff:
Oh, and I also hope Buffy keeps the coat... itīd be a pity to have it turn to dust as well ;)
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[> [> Buffy's to short to wear Spike's coat :) -- Da Ripper, 08:17:38 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> [> Well make that Dawn then... I love that coat too much to see it dissapearing for ever ;) -- Monique, 09:55:35 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> [> [> That would make sense... -- RH, 07:58:04 12/03/01 Mon

If Spike were to get dusted in some sort of self-sacrificing fashion in order to saved Buffy and the SG, and the PTB decided that everyone had suffered enough and gave them their normal lives back (without the knowledge of ever having been, or having known the Slayer) - then Dawn, (the only one who remembers), could continue as the new Slayer AND wear Spike's funky leather coat - very cool! (Except for Spike dying and everyone else forgetting most of what happened in their lives...!!!)

Think of the voice over at the beginning of the new Slayer series, "New Dawn"...

"To each generation a Slayer was born - one girl in all the world who was chosen to protect the earth from the dark forces of evil, but in recent times, a new prophesy has unfolded... She is Dawn the Vampire Slayer; blood of the Slayer's blood; a mystical energy sent to the Slayer in the form of a sister, who must now carry on the neverending battle between the forces of good and evil..."

[Closing shot of Dawn's back, hair blowing in the wind, long, black, leather coat flapping around her legs as she walks down a night-lit street in Sunnydale.]
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[> Re: Odds of Spike surviving S6? (Spolier Spec.) -- Deeva, 13:19:20 12/01/01 Sat

Big, huge fan of Spike here and I would absolutely HATE to see JM go but if Joss felt that Spike "going away" was the next step for the show then he would do it, popularity be damned. Joss has stated before that he alway gave the fans what they needed, not what they wanted cause if he did that I think that BtVS would not be as compelling as it is. That's why we all tune in every week (well, not for at least 2 months for new ones), to see what the hell the writers have come up with and not because we know what's going to happen (except for us Spoiler Trollops!). I have been to the SpoilerSlayer and he has posted a rumour (he says that the source is unknown and doesn't give it much credence) saying that JM might not be signed up for another year. But like I said earlier, he was not able to verify the source. This kind of talk always makes me nervous. *sigh*
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[> I've had my fill of death on BtVS. How about... -- Aquitaine, 14:37:58 12/01/01 Sat

starting a rumour about characters actually going about living their lives and taking care of business and facing their responsibilities?

Not as exciting a rumour, but it's something I'd like to see keep happening. Death is part of life but life is also a part of life.

-Aquitaine
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[> And now, for something completely different, a season when no one dies! ;o) -- WW, 15:01:14 12/01/01 Sat

Hey, it could happen...
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[> They don't have the balls to kill Spike because the girls like his balls. <nt> -- The Truth, 15:23:13 12/01/01 Sat

aa
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[> Re: Odds of Spike surviving S6? -- Shiver, 17:15:02 12/01/01 Sat

If Andromeda survives, JM would have a good shot at a recurring role as Charlemagne Bolivar. Anybody else watch it this week? I thought he did a great job. But every time he tilted his head and narrowed his eyes, I saw Spike :-) they should have taken the hair color all the way down maybe.
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[> [> I'll be watching it today at 9pm! I can't wait. -- Deeva, 18:12:48 12/01/01 Sat

As for the hair color, this ep. of Andromeda was shot during summer hiatus and after he did Strange Frequency in Canada. I think that I read somewhere that JM likes to let his hair grow out when he can.
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[> Re: Odds of Spike surviving S6? -- Kimberly, 17:38:18 12/01/01 Sat

I had an interesting idea stimulated by a book I read decades ago (slight exaggeration). They are fighting something powerful, Spike goes to some entity with power, the only way the entity can handle the problem is with power granted it. The power it needs: Spike's immortality. That would leave us with HumanSpike with or without soul (I think without would be more interesting.)

I've actually been thinking on this since The Gift. BTW, I'm not a B/S shipper as such, but I find the whole Spike remdemption theme wonderful. Then again, I prefer gray to black or white.
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[> Aaah . . . Seems I'm not the only one . . . -- Crooked Mind, 21:36:23 12/01/01 Sat

So it's not just me . . .

This line of thought jumped out at me after I read d'Herblay's excellent little script/ficpiece. As that piece suggests, the only thing left to do if Buffy actually reaches a happy, stable place is to end the world.

An overriding central theme in the show has always been Buffy's "holy grail", the peaceful happiness that she will never likely attain (or actually maintain; guess she was there in Heaven, huh?) as long as the show is running. She is destined to fight, struggle and suffer "for the good of the world"; making happy with a solid, strong, and balanced "mate" relationship just doesn't fit with this. Despite all that the SG contribute, the bottom line is that the Slayer stands alone. Yes it can be argued that Buffy is no longer in the official position of Slayer, but such tidbits don't change the essential nature of the show that is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

As for arguements regarding JM's popularity . . . seems to me that Joss & Co. have made it abundantly clear that they are dedicated to the story and aren't fearful of sacrifices. I mean honestly . . . who here is going to stop watching over death of a central character? C'mon, Buff had to kill Angel herself--and later herself--to save the world . . . and we're still here (understatement of the decade).

This has also proven out in many other storylines . . . back when I was a comic-addict teenager Marvel set a precedent by killing off Phoenix, a key character in the X-Men (which at the time was the uncontested top mag in existence). The comic community was in utter chaos . . . no one had ever killed off someone that everyone so much cared about. Many swore that Marvel had blown it, that the X-Men was going to wither after such a move . . . That was ~20 years ago . . . and we just saw the X-Men become a big-bucks, successful movie.

If anything, JM's popularity heightens the potential impact of his passing--and as such makes for an even more compelling story progression.

Bottom line, I cannot in any way envision the show maintaining with B/S as the "happy couple" . . . as much as I'm cheering for the growth they're experiencing together, "happily ever after" is just not what BtVS is or has ever been about.

CM
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[> [> Re: Aaah . . . Seems I'm not the only one . . . -- MaryAnn, 07:41:44 12/02/01 Sun

I think the "ultimate sacrifice" has been planned for Spike at least since "Restless" when, after the vampire poses (in Giles's dream),he takes up a crucifix pose (I believe there may also be a crucifix pose in the musical, but being in England I haven't seen that yet in full). Also,look at "Fool for Love". Spike claimed that he was able to kill both slayers because they had a death-wish. That's as may be, but what actually killed them was, in each case, an exterior event which turned the fight. In China it was an explosion outside the window; in New York it was the lights in the subway train going out (one of these is in the shooting scipt, the other isn't). So the PTB (or whatever we want to call them) need Spike to survive - this also explains why so often, both post and pre chip, people could have staked him but didn't. Of course, if the PTB, in the process are willing to put up with all the deaths that Spike has meanwhile caused, then his ultimate sacrifice must be pretty darned important - world saveage to end all world saveage! I had thought it would be intimately connected with Buffy, but now I'm wondering if it might be something to do with Dawn (having failed once, he'd have more incentive to try to sacrifice himself again for her). One further snippet in favour of my theory is that I read somewhere in a JM interview that Joss had told him (I paraphrase) "I'll kill you some day, but not yet".

I hasten to add that I'm hoping against hope that the ultimate sacrifice will be at the end of season seven, not six!

I'm a new poster, by the way, but I've been lurking here forever! However, if all these points have already been made, please forgive me!
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[> [> [> Welcome, MaryAnn! -- Masquerade, 14:09:51 12/03/01 Mon

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[> [> [> And remember -- Rufus, 19:43:58 12/03/01 Mon

Dru did say in FFL that Spike tasted like ashes......can that be a good thing?
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[> [> [> [> Re: And remember -- Shaglio, 05:27:44 12/04/01 Tue

"Dru did say in FFL that Spike tasted like ashes......can that be a good thing?"

Dru's mad ramblings aren't always so obvious. It could mean that figuratively his vampire side is "dead," which it is since he is chipped and now seems to act more as a normal human being.
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[> [> [> [> [> Or that he's just a heavy smoker. It's like kissing an ashtray... except more sensuous -- Masq, 09:01:00 12/04/01 Tue

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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Or that he's just a heavy smoker. It's like kissing an ashtray... except more sensuous -- Brian, 10:10:44 12/04/01 Tue

Gee, Masq, I hate to appear to be defending smokers (an ugly, dangerous habit) but I have dated several smokers in my life, and that taste, scent, was just part of their charm, attraction to me. Now used ashtrays on the other hand are really gross!:)
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Actually... -- Masq, 10:30:01 12/04/01 Tue

"that taste, scent, was just part of their charm, attraction to me."

Me too. : ) I once wrote a poem entitled "The taste of cigarettes reminds me of sex."

I also got a little thrill out of watching my lovers who smoked light up, too.

Is that a kinky thing?

I like to think it (the scent) is like a lover's cologne/perfume--how the scent of it on their clothes makes you smile when they're not around.
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[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Actually... -- Brian, 11:30:18 12/04/01 Tue

Totally in agreement with you, Masq, and it's best we leave all that Freudian stuff to others to ponder. "Love does as love sees!"
the nerd squad -- phoenix, 18:41:20 12/01/01 Sat

Anyone notice the similarities between the nerd squad and Mr.Freeze in Batman. The Diamond, the freeze gun, and the use of words like neto and lair. Are they planning on taking over Sunnydale by freezing the whole town?
Yea Existential Scoobies ! -- Liquidram, 20:16:41 12/01/01 Sat

Hey all!

The stats for the ES site are higher than ever for the month of November. We average over 200 unique visitors a day with links coming this month from slayage.com, bronzebeta.com, jamesmarsters.com and a new one for us - cityofangels.com!

You may notice that I'm a bit anti-social this month. I'm sure it's a busy time for all of you as well. I would like to wish you all a wonderful blessed holiday season. If you have time, please visit this link to read my favorite holiday story written in 1926 by Temple Bailey. It is called A Candle in the Forest.

Remember. The best things in life are not things.

My love and best wishes to you all! LJ
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[> Great news, Liq! -- rowan, 08:01:19 12/02/01 Sun

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[> I believe it was E. M. Forster who said "Only connect"... Thanks for sharing -- Aquitaine, 13:29:56 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Re: That ... is ... so ... kewl! -- Dedalus, 19:37:51 12/04/01 Tue

I CAN see Spike attending PTA meetings... -- MayaPapaya9, 21:35:32 12/01/01 Sat

A lot of people are saying that Spike and Buffy will never work out because he can't support her or be anything remotely normal for her. Well, I disagree. Spike must do normal things like go shopping, how else does he get his black nail polish and necklaces (which seem to have the power of appearing whenever they wish)??

While rewatching Wrecked for the third time this evening, I realized I really liked the part at the end where Buffy and Spike aren't fighting for once, but acting like Dawn's parents. I liked how they were both supporting her, something just seemed RIGHT about it to me. Spike was totally mature and he ran to Dawn first thing to make sure she was okay. Also it seemed like he assured Buffy he'd take care of Dawn so Buffy could go deal with Willow who was sobbing on the ground. I like it when he acts all understanding like that. And if Buffy will just get over her denial issues he'd probably act like that all the time.

Strange as it may seem I can see Spike and Buffy and Dawn being a weird sort of family. I'm not saying they should get married and Spike should get a job as something boring and secure like an investment banker (no offense to any investment bankers, I'm making a sweeping generalization!). But they could have a relationship, I think. Spike has shown time and time again that he's there for Buffy and he's not going to leave her. He didn't even leave when she was dead. I mean think about it. For all he knew, Buffy was dead forever and he'd never see her again, yet he stayed to watch over Dawn because he still loved her.

Spike could support Buffy, maybe not financially but emotionally. Think about it, now that Giles is gone, Buffy has no one mature and objective for support. Spike is right when he says he's all Buffy's got. Willow's got major issues, Tara isn't gonna be around much, Xander and Anya are sweet but not very deep. Spike understands her and she has found it easy to open up to him lots of times before. He's usually very responsible with Dawn. I think if Buffy would acknowledge her feelings for him, Spike would become even more inspired to be someone better. Love does that to people! And yeah, I'm sure he really loves her. The expression on his face when he saw she was alive in Bargaining was enough proof for me.

Plus I think the PTA meeting would be a really funny episode!
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[> He couldn't do any worse than the Buffybot! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 23:45:17 12/01/01 Sat

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[> [> Hey, the teachers LOVED Buffybot :P -- Traveler, 11:19:53 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> [> Re: Hey, the teachers LOVED Buffybot :P -- DEN, 13:59:09 12/02/01 Sun

I think Spike would be elected president of the PTA within months! He'd impress the parents, charm the teachers, and add a touch of the exotic to the banalities of fundraising.
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[> [> [> [> lets vote Mr. Spike presedent of the PTA!!!!! -- sl, 14:52:37 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> [> [> [> Spike's parental touch -- Spike Lover, 17:58:00 12/02/01 Sun

I recalled as I was reading the above posts how Spike was dealing w/ Dawn in the season opener when Buff was still 6 ft under. I remember at one point he told her to do something, and then I believe he said "Please".

When during the demons's raid, she ran off from him, he searched everywhere for her and found her at home. He said something like "If you ever do that again, I will rip your head off and drink from it."

I remember a poster criticizing him for that remark, saying it was evidence that he still had very violent tendencies. I disagree. Do you have any idea how many times as a child I heard the words, "If you ever do that again, I will kill you." (or variations) from my parents?

Dawn needs a strong influence. I don't know how Joyce was. Buffy is pathetic. Giles was probably pretty good, although he did not have the power to "ground" her. I think Dawn is going to need something besides a sound lecture on how disappointed they are in her behavior. Given the authority, I am confident Spike could raise and discipline her well. (Actually, I have no idea how they are going to discipline her. She is too old to spank. They can't take away her car or phone -she doesn't have either. And grounding and making her stay in her room never worked on Buffy. Should it work w/ Dawn?)
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[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike's parental touch -- MayaPapaya9, 21:17:02 12/02/01 Sun

Oh my god, imagine, Buffy grounding Dawn! That would be such a riot. And Dawn would then of course have to climb out her window, in true Summers tradition, and go to the Bronze.
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[> [> [> [> [> Spike and the PTA -- Kimberly, 07:08:38 12/03/01 Mon

I'm not so sure about this; have you ever been to a PTA meeting? I suspect that large numbers of the members wouldn't survive the first meeting he attended. (And I wouldn't blame him, either. Sheesh.)
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[> [> [> [> Spike and the PTA -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 18:09:12 12/02/01 Sun

Correct on all counts --

but his inability to appear at the annual picnic (unless at night) would be a problem.
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[> [> [> [> [> Well if he was the president he could MAKE it at night!! :) -- MayaPapaya9, 21:10:19 12/02/01 Sun

About Slayer strengh (SPOILERS for SEASON 6) -- Slayrunt, 23:43:08 12/01/01 Sat

Every week I tape BtVS on Tues, and every week I have to go to my friends house with the tape so they can see it (apparently, they have decided that since I tape it they can tape something else and watch my copy. I don't really mind as I get to watch it again and have people to talk about it with, I mean people I can see. I know I digress, but at this point, I just want to see how long I can keep this going. So, If you want to get to the real part of my post please skip to the next paragraph. Now, if you are still reading this, I thank you. My friend is a very intelligent person but gets very focused on little things and can't or won't see the big picture. I could give you many example, but I will spare you and finally get to the point).

My friend insists that Buffy has returned stronger than before, examples follow... the demon bikers wail on her with clubs and pipes and she stands there and takes it, the foreplay with Spike ( tossing him across the room with enough force to go through a wall and a brick fireplace).

I agree with him, but have read nothing here about it, so, are we crazy or is my friend on to something. It might fit into the theory that Buffy is the Slayer half (Marie's, I think), or the Angel theory (sorry, don't remember whose).

so I will end with Earl Allison's ending

Take it and run
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[> Sorry that's strength -- Slayrunt, 02:48:40 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Re: About Slayer strengh (SPOILERS for SEASON 6) -- furnace, 03:50:44 12/02/01 Sun

I've thought the same thing this season. Either that or she doesn't hold back like she may have before. When Faith and Angel fought a couple of seasons ago they seemed to throw each other around in ways we usually don't seem Buffy behave. She's stronger than either of them so maybe she held back a little. Afraid of the damage she could really do if she let go.

I'm in the camp that Buffy has come back more Slayer than before, and her strength and willingness to use it seem to fit.
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[> Re: About Slayer strengh (SPOILERS for SEASON 6) -- Isabel, 17:46:18 12/02/01 Sun

I don't know. I seem to remember in interviews Joss & Co. insisted that Buffy would have no new powers. I think I remember someone also saying she wouldn't be stronger either.

My memory could be faulty or ME could have been spreading misinformation. BUT- it could also be new special effects or a new stunt coordinator. There are a couple of new writers as well. On Angel, in "Billy", Angel easily jumps a 10' fence. I don't remember ever seeing him do anything like that before.
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[> Something's different about her strength... -- Aquitaine, 17:54:45 12/02/01 Sun

or how she uses her strength. Giles, Xander and now Amy have been 'squished' by her slayer grip. Either she's stronger or isn't controlling/stiffling her strength as much.

-Aquitaine
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[> [> that's nothing new... -- anom, 20:42:06 12/04/01 Tue

...remember how she nearly crushed the dr. after her mom came through the operation OK in season 5?
Connections between Buffy and Angel -- Q, 23:56:10 12/01/01 Sat

Somebody at this sight has always maintained that BtVS and Angel have similar thematic connections running side by side during each season. Last season they had some excellent posts about the Wizard of Oz references. Who was that?

Anyway, I was wondering if anybody thought it was planned or coincidence that Giles refered to Xander as Ahab just a week before Holtz was introduced on Angel. It seems that Holtz's character could be a version of the literary character of Ahab, and a theme on the corrupting and destructive force of vengeance. I wonder if the shows coordinated that, or if it was just a coincidence.

I am also wondering if there is any connection at this time with the Angel/Darla relationship and the Buffy/Spike relationship. They seem very similar. Last season Angel had given up on life. He was in a very dark place mentally and emotionally. He sort of used Darla as an escape, and slept with her. This season Buffy has given up on life. She is in a very dark place mentally and emotionally. She seems to be using Spike as an escape, and is sleeping with him. These two situations seem intentional to me, and I wonder if the mirroring will continue, and what that means for the future of Spike and Buffy.

Any other connections happening between the shows that you are aware of, or do you think this is all just silly and not really meant to be as correlated as I am making it?
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[> Re: Connections between Buffy and Angel -- John Burwood, 01:32:11 12/02/01 Sun

Good thinking, and not silly at all. ME are well capable of writing such correlations.
But, on the other hand, it could be pure coincidence - in which case you have thought of something ME didn't, which would be even smarter thinking.
Either way, only time would tell.
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[> Re: Connections between Buffy and Angel -- LoriAnn, 04:34:05 12/02/01 Sun

Ultimately, Joss sets the tone and direction for both series. Although I think he realizes what he is doing, even if he doesn't, he could certainly be putting parallel themes or motifs in the two series. I can't think of any more now, but the parallels you mentioned are a few of many.
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[> Re: If so... -- bible belt, 12:36:07 12/02/01 Sun

are we going to see Buffy with some really bizarre cravings, and later, kicking Spikes butt and dragging him to Lamaze class with her stomach out to here? ;-o
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[> [> Re: If so... -- sl, 14:53:48 12/02/01 Sun

How about pregnant Willow?
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[> [> Re: If so...Spoilers to Smashed and Lullaby -- Age, 22:12:46 12/02/01 Sun

No, but it is possible that the two eps(S and L) were put together to show the responsibility that comes with sexuality: the production of a baby. While vampires can't ordinarily have them, these series are about real life, and we are not vampires. Also, to put the production(baby) of Angel's period of darkness and epiphany together with the ep in which Buffy and Spike couple(the word 'revelation' is used to describe it) may have a symbolic significance in that it shows that such a journey bears fruit, so to speak, and will do for Buffy. The baby is thus a symbol of responsibility and hope, and of course human connection.

Could it be more than just coincidence that death is her gift for both Darla and Buffy, and that in the eps of the same week Buffy is moving towards the sexuality that's been Darla's domain and Darla moves towards the self sacrifice that's been Buffy's; and that both characters fall into knowledge of their conditions: one full of love, the other not quite human anymore? Both seem to have come back this season wrong: Buffy disconnected from human feelings, going through the motions; while Darla's lack of empathy as vampire is done away with in the ep. It's as if they both make a step to growing up in embracing if temporarily that aspect of themselves that has been missing, with Darla leaving behind her vampire nature which symbolizes perpetual adolescence.

And it may be more than just a coincidence that there is a smashing of buildings in both eps: there is a movement from the stale sanctuary of the museum to the smashing of the building in the 'Buffy' ep; and the destruction of the sanctuary of Caritas. Both eps seem to be about reaching a point of no return(to adolescence) where the sexual act and knowledge, as in the Eden(childhood sanctuary) myth, in one ep is followed by knowledge and results of sexual knowing in the other.

There may indeed not be any connection other than the two eps contain dramatic content because of November sweeps, but then again...

Age.
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[> [> [> Re: If so...Spoilers to Smashed and Lullaby -- bb, 16:27:36 12/03/01 Mon

Buffy and Cordelia's entire lives seem to parallel each other. Cordelia goes to LA thinking she's going to have an acting career and the truth just gets in the way. Buffy wishes no more than to have a normal non-slayie life and all she gets is the truth as well.
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[> Re: Connections between Buffy and Angel Spoilers to Present. -- Age, 22:47:18 12/02/01 Sun

I think you are referring to me.

Here is part of a posting that I did recently about parallels:

If we look at the current season there are sets of the eps shown the same week with similar content or themes: when Buffy in 'Life Serial' is going through a bunch of tests to see where she fits in, Fred in the 'Angel' ep is trying to figure out where she belongs. Or, when Dawn starts to date in 'All the Way' she is faced with the idea that boys are just sexual predators; while Xander's announcement of proposal to Anya deconstructs that idea, with Xander retaining his role from season two when he deconstructed that idea for Buffy; then in the 'Angel' episode 'Billy' we witness an argument between the idea that men are hard wired misogynists or culturally set up to hate women(ie its an infection done to them.) In the musical ep Buffy reveals a big secret about her whereabouts over the summer, heaven; while Angel 'reveals' his big secret about what he did with Darla, both being symbols of adolescence and/or feeling/being dead. In 'Tabula Rasa' there is both the search for identity and the start of a new beginning, or at least the set up through the exit of the two characters from the house, for the beginning of a journey for Buffy and Willow; while in the 'Angel' ep there is the search for the identity of the baby, this episode's tabula rasa, and the set up of a new beginning in Darla's labour.

Not only this, but the non-cross over earlier in the season between Angel and Buffy after the former learns that the latter is alive again is perhaps a confirmation that both season arcs are about growing up and facing adult responsibilities because quite clearly from their reactions there seems to be no going back for these title characters to any relationship, a relationship that symbolizes an adolescent time for both.

I also suggested that 'Smashed' and 'Lullaby' were paired together using the fall from Eden myth.

It also seems more than a coincidence that both title characters are now parents of a sort.

I missed the Ahab reference, but it's an intriguing observation.

It seems that this year Buffy is seeing the hell that Angel got shown last year on his elevator ride. Angel was told that if there wasn't some evil in people then they'd all be angels. Perhaps this applies to Buffy through her relationship with Spike: she's being shown a side of herself that she only thinks is bad. If she didn't have this aspect to her she'd simply be a stone angel as the image in silhouette suggested this season.

Whether these connections have been intended by the writers or not, they certainly add to the discussion as points of comparison.

Sorry I can't comment more right now, but it's late.

Age.
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[> [> Re: Connections between Buffy and Angel Spoilers to Present. -- Q, 18:06:45 12/05/01 Wed

Thanks! I missed these points this season, but remember being very impressed with your compare and contrast postings last season. These are great points.
What is the true meaning of "soul" relating to BtVS vampires?(some spoilage) - - Crooked Mind, 01:30:56 12/02/01 Sun

Continuing on with discussion of Spike's character development over the past few seasons . . .

In the "psychoanalysis" thread a few days back we bantered around a bit about Spike changing, and I think there's a more global question to consider.

In Buffyverse, what is the signficance of the soul as it relates to vampires? Further, are vampires or are they not incarnations of evil?

If asked these questions back at the beginning, one could have responded (with Angel as the illustration) that "soul" was a necessary element in being "good" (not a perfect match I know, but bear with me). That is, having a soul was is what set Angel apart and allowed him to eventually stand on the side of the Light . . . or so I once thought.

But the development of Spike over the past few seasons has thrown a big monkey wrench into said theory . . . because we now have a "soulless" creature that's doing a damn good impression having a conscience and being a servant of the Light.

With Angel, we had the following: Bad boy human (arguably evil) goes vamp and becomes exponentially "badder" SOULLESS demon boy Angelus. Angelus then "cursed" with a soul (whose soul BTW? Surely not his original bad boy self?!?!) and suddenly has a major conscience and can no longer be the evil thing he once was. Skid forward to present day, Angel loses soul and suddenly we're back to Angelus in all his evil glory; pop the soul back in again and we again have Angel, servant of the Light.

Alone, the above is acceptable if we go with the definition of "vampire" as soulless human body possessed by a demon to yield an evil undead creature. Angel then in effect is a "possessed vampire", an evil creature infected with a dominant, good soul, end result being the exception to the vampire rule and thus reviled by other vamps.

Further, one could have argued that the "soul" was the essence of "person", without which a human body is naught but a physiological husk (except for the fact that vamps seem to carry forward much of the personality of the former person . . .but we'll talk about that in a bit).

Okay . . . . . enter Spike.

Here we have a "good" if low in self-esteem human who turns to vamp in response to unrequited love. Nice William becomes Bloody William and later Spike, an unquestionably evil if still passionate/romantic being that is all vampire.

Or at least he was . . . .

Then Big Bad got himself chipped by the Initiative, which I argued should have been the equivalent of muzzling a viscious dog (you take away the ability to bite, not the desire; a viscious dog with a muzzle is still viscious despite the restraint). In other words, Spike--still a soulless demon-possessed body--should by definition of vampire be keeping to his evil nature and trying to "bite" at every opportunity.

But he's not, is he?

No. In fact, he's not acting like a soulless vamp at all. He's exhibiting genuine caring and concern for others, willingness to sacrifice his own existence for those who should be his enemies/prey, and showing definite signs of having a conscience. His motivations have shifted from vampiric drives to an arguably good human nature, so much so that in "Wrecked" we see him having to talk himself into attempting evil (snack in the alley).

Yes, his selfish pursuit of Buffy can be used to explain it away as just following a more intense desire (to "have" Buffy), but this doesn't track . . . it doesn't account for his incredible concern for Dawn, his willingness to stand against "his own kind" and destroy same, his continued association with the SG long after Buffy's death, etc.

To the point, I'm having trouble these days drawing many distinctions between Spike & Angel aside from typical personality differences. Chipped vamp and ensouled vamp are becoming harder to distinguish from one another . . .

Thus, I find myself asking what is the "real" Buffyverse nature of the soul and the vampiric demon, because the definitions that seemed to hold years ago no longer seem fit.

For one, as mentioned earlier, vamps seem to carry forward many of the traits of their host bodies. One would have thought that without the person's soul you'd instead have a demon entering into a tabula rasa body, but such has not proven to be the case. Spike shows definite residual traits of William, Angelus was an obvious extension of Liam, Darla continued on as the self-serving, manipulative creature she was in life . . . the list goes on. This suggests that personality somehow stands separate from soul. So if not the essential self, then what is a soul?

Then there's the issue of what soul has to do with good and evil . . . Angel supposedly can escape his vamp nature b/c of having a soul. Indeed, Darla was disgusted with his mere presence due to the "feel" of a soul on him. Yet conventional theory here suggests that souls may be good or evil; on death's release good go to Heaven, bad to Hell. So why is it that having a soul makes Angel who he is, and how is soulless Spike able to shirk his essential nature without such intervention? And if vamps have a potential on their own to develop beyond their evil nature, then what impact does it have on the definition/mission of the Vampire Slayer

I have much more running around in my head, but I'm losing focus so I'm going to throw this out for discussion as is to see what others are thinking . . .

CM
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[> Re: What is the true meaning of "soul" relating to BtVS vampires?(some spoilage) -- Rufus, 02:48:28 12/02/01 Sun

We have gone over that one for a long time. So one more time....

Season One: The Harvest

This world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their...their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creatures.........

Xander: So vampires are demons:

Giles: The books tell that last demon to leave this reality fed of a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding...killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

Then in the episode Angel, Giles is confronted with a question from Buffy. She had just found out that Angel was a vampire.

Buffy: I can't believe this is happening. One minute we were kissing, and the next minute......Can a vampire ever be a good person? Couldn't it happen?

Giles: A vampire isn't a person at all. It may have the movements, the, the memories, even the personality of the person that it took over, but i-it's still a demon at the core, there is no halfway.

Those are the basics from the first season. Vampires were created, I guess, as revenge for man taking over this reality. The last demon gave humanity a parting gift by infecting a human with a fragment of the demons soul. The information that Giles has is straight from the books. This is what canon is all about, but I believe that there is more to it. Take the memories, personality, and movements and you have the person who once was. Infected, corrupted, cursed by a demon. Cursed to infect humanity by committing acts of vengeance for a demon long gone. Angel even said that the vampire is pretty much what the person was in Doppelgangland, and in The Prodigal, Darla speaks of the person that once was.

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.

For Darla, love was an infection, one as strong as the demon. What vampires once were informs all that they become, death doesn't change who they were, just how they act out. Angelus, was compelled to go back and settle a score with his father, I say his, because Angelus is still Liam, a Liam with no leash on how his anger and helplessness is acted upon. He kills his father, certain that he has won a contest. Darla finds that funny. A dead father can never approve of the son that killed him. A monster was created. So, what does the soul have to do with all of this? I consider the soul as the agent that predisposes humans to prefer goodness, it isn't the only thing, but it's the beginning. People can be every bit as monsterous as any demon. Joss said something last March at the Paley festival that got my attention.

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

So that is season one, and Joss in 2001. Now, we have Spike and Buffy having sex. Sleeping with the enemy. Is she nuts? Or is there a reason that she is drawn to Spike that isn't apparent, besides the cheekbones and nakedness. I see vampirism as a curse, and infection. So, is there and antidote other than death?
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[> [> What is a "soul" anyway? (some spoilage) -- CaptainPugwash, 04:20:37 12/02/01 Sun

The reason why Buffy is drawn to Spike is quite obvious. He can provide her with insights (and sex) that no-one else can. That's oversimplifying things a bit, but I think B/S has to be seen as a sexual awakening for Buffy. Spike was able to sexually fulfil her in ways that Angel, Parker, and Riley couldn't.

Don't triviliase Spike's sexual attraction for Buffy; she doesn't *need* another reason to be drawn to him.

I don't know if this is canon or not, but I tend to see the "soul" as a kind of weak/inferior human 'demon' that just happens to require a body in order to interact with this world. The blood demon is exactly the same; the only difference is that is pre-disposed towards evil whereas the human demon is pre-disposed towards good.

Think of the body as some kind of empty house that the human demon moves into at birth/conception. By interacting with the world (and other human demons) it acquires furniture and decorates and stuff and gradually accumulates a 'personality'. This is a mix of good and bad things, but because the human demon is pre-disposed towards good the bad things get left in the cupboard under the stairs. Now, when the human demon gets evicted by a blood demon all of these bad things assume pride of place and the good things are shoved in the cupboard.

What I've noticed about vamps is that nearly all of them seem to be perverted versions of their former hosts. Is the blood demon some kind of blank sponge that just happens to soak up whatever personality traits that the human demon encoded in the body?

Thus, Spike is just a very dangerous version of ambitious romantic William (note that TR Spike wanted to be the 'big good'). Vamp Harmony is still Harmony, and Vamp Willow is recognisably Willow.

The only way that I've been able to rationalise it is to see the body as some kind of cd-rw thing that retains the characteristics and experiences of whatever happens to control it (human demon or blood demon). Human occupants steer the body one way (towards good), whereas Blood occupants do the opposite.

I now tend the see the 'soul' as something which makes someone human (it IS the human) rather than something which makes someone good. Spike might become good, but he will never become human. Does this matter?

I refuse to comment on Spike's 'change' until the chip is removed. What I'd really like to know is whether Spike still *wants* the chip to be removed; that would probably be the best 'test' of his 'reformed' character.

Of course, Angel really screws my little hypothesis up. The only suggestion I can think of is that Angel's body hosts a blood demon and a human demon (not the original one?) simultaneously (rather like Ben/Glory). The difference between Angel & Angelus seems to be about which of the two demons happens to be in control. I'm guessing that human demons are weaker, and therefore can be banished from the body (turning/vamping, gypse curse failure) whereas blood demons can only be banished/killed by destroying the body (or with fancy magic/whatever from Angel's human destiny).

I don't know really; maybe its just a tv show with highly flexible rules...
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[> [> [> Re: What is a "soul" anyway? (some spoilage) -- Q, 10:22:26 12/02/01 Sun

I'd like to really quick offer my take on this:

>Of course, Angel really screws my little hypothesis up. The only suggestion I can think of is that Angel's body hosts a blood demon and a human demon (not the original one?) simultaneously (rather like Ben/Glory). The difference between Angel & Angelus seems to be about which of the two demons happens to be in control. I'm guessing that human demons are weaker, and therefore can be banished from the body (turning/vamping, gypse curse failure) whereas blood demons can only be banished/killed by destroying the body (or with fancy magic/whatever from Angel's human destiny).<

I think Angel went through what I said all vamps do in my other post on this thread. Liam was killed. Liams spirit went to heaven, Angelous' took over Liam's body. When the Gypsy's cursed Angelous, Liams spirit came back to ANgels body. Now both the demon spirit AND the human spirit inhabited Angel. The human spirit is actually STRONGER than the demon, because even with both in the body, Angels human spirit is able to keep controll, in less it is lulled to sleep such as in "Eternity". Both spirits are kicked out of the body when the body dies. The only difference is, it is harder to kill a vampire body. Much more specific things need to happen (stake, fire, etc). But Angels spirit left when he died as a human, and if he ever dies as a vampire, both spirits will leave.

As far as excorcising the spirits, we have seen the human spirit can be kicked out of the living body, when Angel lost his soul. I think the demon spirit could also be kicked out, they just don't know how. But if the Shanshu prophecy is correct, that is probably what will happen.
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[> [> Re: What is the true meaning of "soul" relating to BtVS vampires?(some spoilage) -- LoriAnn, 04:26:47 12/02/01 Sun

Then is soul the same as conscience? Spike certainly seems to be developing a conscience; it may be a somewhat selective conscience, but a conscience nonetheless. Does that mean Spike is developing a rudimentary soul? I do want to disagree with one thing Rufus said: the idea of "canon" certainly can't be based on what characters say, no matter how authoratative they or their sources may seem. Giles, not to mention the writers of some mysterious and antique books, may have believed the information he has transmitted, but that doesn't make it true. "Canon" is generally the perview of the creator and writers, and not necessarily what they say, but rather what their underlying assumptions are, what Henry James called the "donne," that which is given. More than that, we've got it from Joss's mouth that he's capable of and willing to spread disinformation one way or another. So what can you believe? Beats me.
Of course, nothing I've written helps understand "soul" in the Buffyverse, but I'm not sure there is a cut and dried definition. Joss said "soul" is an amorphous concept. "Amorphous" means without form. Is to ask what a soul is, then, the same thing as asking an artist to sketch something that is formless? Even a blob of paint has a form. It may be an irregular form, but it's still a form. What Rufus wrote, quoting Joss, is what Joss said and what seems reasonable. I believe him, but I wonder if there isn't, within his, perhaps amorphous, definition of soul, some serious wiggle room. Have you noticed how the people at ME are very willing to tell us a truth that seems to explain something, but at the same time, not give us enough information to understand what the implications of that truth really are.
Not only that, they're good at it.
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[> [> Evil is as Evil does -- Traveler, 11:45:46 12/02/01 Sun

"So that is season one, and Joss in 2001. Now, we have Spike and Buffy having sex. Sleeping with the enemy. Is she nuts? Or is there a reason that she is drawn to Spike that isn't apparent, besides the cheekbones and nakedness.
I see vampirism as a curse, and infection. So, is there and antidote other than death?"
I would argue that one of the reasons Buffy could love Spike now is that he doesn't ACT evil. Oh, he still has his bad boy attitude, but that is a far cry from the horrors he used to perpetrate. Exactly "how deeply" his reform extends is another question, but it can't really be answered definitively until the chip comes out. As for vampires being "cured," the answer seems to be no. Angel, Darla, and Spike have all gone through positive changes, but they still have to fight their inner natures.
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[> [> Human evil. -- Rufus, 13:18:28 12/02/01 Sun

The quote from Joss was his reaction to an audience member asking if the soul was acting as a conscience. As you can see he didn't give an actual yes or no answer. The soul is amorphous, you can't see it, measure it. The presence of a soul doesn't mean that the person will ultimately end up good. In Pylea we saw Angel's beast, the monster in pure form, and it wasn't the brightest pencil in the box. It was more of a creature of instinct. All the evil vampires do comes from the mind of the person that once was. The soul gone, that person acts upon his/her darkest feelings. So, if the soul is the only reason a person can be good, then what the hell is making so many people evil? Season one was more simple, Buffy was young the fight easy. As she has grown up she has learned that evil isn't just something demons are capable of. With a soul people can still decide for whatever their initial reason, to become evil. The evil man has done to each other makes the demon look like an amateur. With a soul, a human can become evil enough to kill, the soul unable to stop them.
The reason that Spikes ability to choose to be good is troubling because it smacks of having a conscience. The chip only seems to inhibit Spike from acting out in the most convenient way. When Buffy angered Spike and he thought the chip was gone the first thing he did was go look at all the goodies. When it came time for the kill he had to talk himself into it, but, he would have carried out his attack on that girl. We can only speculate if he would feel remourse for what he did.
I feel that the lack of soul causes the vampire to act upon their darkest urges first. But the darkness has to be an innate darkness, has to be there first, making me think that we are all closer to being monsters than we think.
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[> Re: What is the true meaning of "soul" relating to BtVS vampires?(some spoilage) -- change, 06:30:08 12/02/01 Sun

Vampires have a demon spirit that takes the place of a soul. Joss has stated that the difference between a demon's soul and a human soul is that demons have a propensity towards evil, while humans have a propensity towards good (see Rufus's response above). So, Spike does have a soul, it's just an evil one.

The questions really are, Why is Spike doing good things when he has an evil soul? and Is Spike becoming good, or developing a human soul? The answer is that souls (demon and human) are not just good or evil. They can be somewhere in the middle. Somebody posted a big discussion thread about this sometime ago about the "greying" of the Buffyverse. Quoting Joss (from Rufus's post above):

Souls are by their nature amorphous, but to me it's really about what star you are guided by. Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star....I believe it's kind of like a spectrum, but they are setting their course by opposite directions. But they're all sort of somewhere in the middle.

So, humans and demons are not strictly good or evil. They are somewhere in the middle with a disposition for one or the other.

Spike has always been very grey. Remember that Spike helped Buffy save the world in Becoming. He gave her a line about not wanting to lose his "happy meals", but it always seemed rather lame to me. In Surprise, the Judge seemed to indicate that Spike (and Druscilla) had human feelings. In Lover's Walk, Spike had the opportunity to kill Joyce, but didn't. These events were all before Spike was chipped.

The chip itself does not seem to stop Spike from doing evil. It only stops him from physically hurting a human. It does not stop him from hurting humans emotionally like he did in Doomed. It does not stop him from helping other demons to hurt humans like he did with Adam in season four. It does not prevent him from getting other vampires or demons to do his dirty work for him (Out of My Mind). And it does not prevent him from stealing from humans (Crush). So, the chip is doing nothing to prevent Spike from helping (or hiring) some demons kill Buffy and the scoobies. The reason he doesn't do this is that he just doesn't want to.

The explaination for Spike's behaviour is that he was always conflicted between good and evil. He has always been drawn towards good to some degree. However, he knew he was a vampire (a thing of evil) and so acted as such. It was also what he had to do to be accepted by other vampires. However, now he has the chip. I think the chip serves as an excuse to be good. He could still do evil if he wanted to, but now the chip provides him with psychological reason why he can't. The chip is not the reason for his behaviour, it is his excuse for it.

So, I don't really think that Spike's character has evolved all that much. I think he was always grey and still is. He always had human feelings, and had feelings for Buffy long before he was chipped. Druscilla said as much when she left him. The difference is that before the chip Spike saw himself as a thing of evil and hid these feelings because he felt they were a sign of weakness. The chip just gives him an excuse to let these feelings out.
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[> Great thoughts...I think that the soul and the conscience must be two different things. -- sassette, 07:15:42 12/02/01 Sun

My take is that the soul and the conscience are two different things, not tied to one another. Faith had a soul, but, without a conscience, she choose evil over good. Then, through her interactions with Angel, she developed a conscience.

Spike has no soul but, with the chip forcing him to have prolonged interaction with the SG, I think he has developed a conscience.

The conscience, I think, could be the "missing link" between the good and the evil. Clearly, a soul would not be enough to keep someone as terribly evil as Angelus under control. If a soul couldn't keep someone like Faith in line, how could it be expected to control Angelus? The only explanation that works for me is that Angelus was cursed by both a soul AND a conscience.

A conscience can be learned; a soul you either have or don't have. So, if the conscience is the seat of choice in the Buffyverse, where decisions about good and evil get made (guided but not totally determined by the presence of absence of a soul), that means that "redemption"--defined as the acquisition of a conscience and the choice to do what is right--if a feasible possibility for all beings. However, I don't think it makes Buffy's job in any way wrong or evil, since the process of acquiring a conscience, as we've seen with Faith and Spike, is long and arduous and full of setbacks and, during the process, vampires would still be dangerous to humans. But, it does open up the possibility of the Buffyverse being a more complicated place than soul=good/soulless=evil allows.
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[> Re: What is the true meaning of "soul" relating to BtVS vampires?(some spoilage) -- Q, 10:09:56 12/02/01 Sun

Here is my take, and it may change, because the show changes so damn fast that I always have to change my "take".

When a vamp kills a person, the persons spirit, soul, essence, whatever you want to call it leaves the body. The body is deposited 6 feet under, the essence goes--(insert place the spirit goes in your religion/belief system here). The actual person is now dead, and the spirit is in Heaven or wherever you believe, maybe reincarnated in another body, I don't know. I was raised to believe in heaven so I'll stick with that (even though I've grown out of my religious upbringing).

If a vampire "turns" the body, it rises, soulless from the ground, and is now controlled by a new demon. The vampire has now reproduced and the demon controls the body. Because our brains are like giant information holders, the vampire keeps some of our personality because it has all of our memories and experiences in its brain, but its spirit is in our bodies, and our spirit is in heaven.

Why is Spike "different". I think it has to do with the demon inhabiting him. Just like every human is different personality wise, the demons that inhabit vampires may be different. Some may be absolutely evil, relishing in the pain of others, like Angelous. Others may be just good guys, who happen to live at the top of the food chain and eat humans the way a lot humans eat cows (are humans evil just because they eat the next step down on the food chain? Are vampires?) I think there can probably be as much varience in vampires as humans. What seperates Ghandi from Hitler could probably be the difference between two vampires as well.

I would like to also state at this time that I think Spike being "good" is highly overrated. I think Spike came into the world evil, and is still very evil. Sure if you muzzle an angry dog he is still angry-just muzzled. But if you shock the hell out of a dog every time he bites, he may just become CONDITIONED not to bite. This explains Spike in my opinion. Granted there is more moral complexity to him than in season 1-2 vampires, but when it came time, he did go for the kill. It took him less than a minute to "talk himself" into being evil. Harmony lasted longer when she tried to turn to "light". I could easily chalk the "talking himself" into talk up to being nervous about trying the painful chip out again. Sure Spike has love--for Buffy, Dawn, and probably Joyce--but that is nothing new. The day he was introduced he had extraordinary amounts of love for Dru. This may change his behavior towards some people, and explain his allience with the Scooby gang, but does not change his evil outlook on every one else.

Onto Angel. I do not think Liams soul was "evil" as you had stated. It was immature, like many men that age, but not "evil". He drank, gambled, slept around, and stole. But he didn't kill. I think it is VERY possible that the same soul was restored, but because of experiences and memories in his brain, it was now a MUCH more mature soul.
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[> [> I think it's more than conditioning -- Traveler, 11:57:53 12/02/01 Sun

When Buffy was dead, Spike kept his word to protect Dawn. I can see him doing that out of his love for Buffy, even if he were still evil. But, why did he help the rest of the scooby gang go out and fight vampires for the entire summer. I would argue that he grew to care about the rest of the gang to some extent, as also shown by his hurt feelings when he found out that they hadn't told him about the plan to ressurect Buffy. A lot of people have compared vampires drinking the blood of humans to humans eating cows. What if some of your best friends were cows? Wouldn't that change your feelings toward them in general? IMHO, Spike is far too complex a character now to explain away his actions with simple psychological theories.
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[> [> [> Re: I think it's more than conditioning -- Edward, 22:19:39 12/03/01 Mon

Spike is not yet good, but he is not as evil as he used to be. I think that his trip to try out the chip after the argument with Buffy is at least in part Buffy's fault.

Spike has been trying very hard to show Buffy progress towards being good, and yes this started for completely selfish reasons, i.e. his obsession with Buffy, but that is really not relevant. He contininued long after Buffy was dead and without any thought that she would be back.

But Buffy and the Scobbies don't acknowledge any of his efforts, won't let him forget that he is supposed to be evil, albeit somewhat impotent at the momemnt, and he was therefore quite upset. He started to feel like a part of the SG gang, only to find out that they had left him out of resurrecting Buffy. They betrayed him, and Giles for that matter. Buffy has not thanked him or in any way acknowleged his efforts for Dawn while she was dead, knowing that he did that without any expectation of reward. It's interesting that she did recognize the selfless act when he allowed himself to be tortured by Glory last season, but can't see it know that she is back.

Back to his argument to himself when trying to attack the girl it was basically well, if thats what she (Buffy) thinks I am then I'll show her just how evil I can be. Considering what she and the SG have been doing to him, this is a normal reaction.

The worst thing you can do to a child is to constantly tell him or her what a bad child they are. It is always better to praise the good things and to discuss the bad things calmly while reminding them that they are still good.

We have no way of knowing whether he would have actually gone through with killing her or not, and if he did whether he would have felt remorse or not. That will presumably be played out in the season's second half.

I will say this though, as long as he continues to be beaten down by Buffy and the SG, and continues to receive no praise and/or positive reinforcement for being good, he will have difficulty in believing in himself as a force for good.

In TR he decided that he was a noble vampire, one with a soul, on the side of good. I think he has a serious case of Angel envy, and it would be interesting to see him end up working with Angel once he and Buffy do eventually decide that she needs to move on. I hope that it is mutual when it happens as Buffy does not need any more male abandonment in her life.
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[> Re: What is the true meaning of "soul" relating to BtVS vampires?(some spoilage) -- Maxwell, 14:00:42 12/02/01 Sun

"To the point, I'm having trouble these days drawing many distinctions between Spike & Angel aside from typical personality differences. Chipped vamp and ensouled vamp are becoming harder to distinguish from one another ."

When looking at the differences between Spike and Angle we should look at the complete picture, in other words the who are/were William, Spike B.C. (Before Chip), Spike A.C. (After Chip) and naturally Liam, Angelus, and Angel.
Liam was a drunk and a playboy who eschewed his responsibilities. He was constantly in conflict with his overbearing father and grew to hate him. Liam certainly had many negative qualities but I would not say that he was in any way "evil". Liam saw life as an opportunity to have a good time, he overindulged in alcohol, used women with no real concern for them or their feelings. Again the question would be what would happen to Liam if he were allowed to grow up as a Human. Many young men who spend to much time partying eventually come to take on responsibility, he may have reconciled with his father, he may have learned not only from his fathers strengths and become a responsible person but also learned from this fathers flaws and become more compassionate and understanding. This was not to be.
Angelus was pure evil, but creative evil. He liked to play with is victim for his own amusement. He delighted not only is killing but in tormenting and torturing his victims. In this way he is not unlike Liam who may have used people (women) for his own pleasure, but now we see just how incredible evil this attitude can be. The challenge for Angelus was not finding tough opponents to kill, but in making the kill truly horrendous, to make people and even demons shudder at the thought. He chooses as his victims people with great feeling, the truly innocent, children and religious people (he was said to have a thing for nunneries). He chose Drusilla for the depth if her feeling, for her connection with the spiritual (her visions) and he piety. He drove her mad, killed her family, terrified her and drove her to a nunnery before and even then decided to commit an even greater crime than just killing her and made her a vampire. And finally he chose a favourite daughter of a small closely knit gypsy community as his last victim. The Gypsies curse Angelus with the return of his soul and we now have Angel (and it was his soul Ė Liamís soul, I see no evidence or reason to believe otherwise). Angel is tormented with the memories of his crimes. This does not automatically make him good. He spends several years trying to continue with Darla to kill and destroy but eventually finds that he can no longer live this way. He then spend the years moving around trying to avoid human society and eventually becoming a homeless street bum, avoiding his responsibilities just as Liam did. During these years Angel can be seen as a "shade of grey", it is not till Whistler shows up and sets Angel on the path that he can truly be seen as a good guy of a soldier for light.
William was a romantic "soul", a poet (albeit a bad one), but as he said a good man. He loved completely and was willing to sacrifice himself, his dignity, and his reputation for the women he loved. He was rejected an mocked by the high society of his day. He learned that gentleness, and love were things that brought him pain. We may wonder who William may have become if he were allowed to grow up and grow old as a human. He may have eventually found love with a women as equals, a women who would accept his love and love him back. He may even have become a good poet. This of course did not happen
Spike (B.C.) quickly came to reject the society (ponces) that rejected him and began to identify with a more common image. He revelled in his new power and wanted to prove himself the "big bad". He killed not only for food but for pleasure. He love the fights, the bigger the better, strong men, mobs, soldiers, and of course the ultimate challenge Ė the slayer. I personally have always had a huge problem with people claiming that Spike was somehow "less evil" than Angel. There may be infinite gradations of evil but would you give "brownie points" to a mass murderer because he did not torture the thousands of people he killed? Is a serial killer less evil because he does not try to destroy the world. Spike is absolutely not a "shade of grey" in the Buffyverse.
This is not to say that Spike (B.C.) is not a complex character with desires and motivations of his own. Spike does truly love Drusilla, he worships her much like William worshiped Cecily, he took care of her when she was sick and the "Judge" did comment on the humanity of these two vampires. (before anyone sees the Judges comments a proof positive of Spikes goodness remember that Spike brought the Judge together to kill humans). It is true that Spike (B.C.) did help Buffy defeat Angelus and stop Acathla , but he did so for his own reasons, e.g. the world is nice as it is "happy meals with legs", his love for Drusilla who seems now to be taken with Angel, and his rivalry with Angel.
The important question is who and what is Spike now? Spikeís chip prevents him from attacking humans but it does not actually make him good or prevent him from doing evil. So what does motivate the "new Spike"? If Angelus had been implanted with this chip I donít think it would have even slowed him down much. He would have continued to manipulate people, drive them insane, scheme for their downfall, or what ever he could think of. He simply would be unable to hurt then directly/physically. We saw a chipped Spike manipulating the SG for evil purposes at the end of season 4 but this really didnít seem to work for Spike and since then we have seen him act as an agent of good, but why.?
Since being implanted Spike has been hanging around with Buffy and the SG much more closely than he ever could have before. This has not only allowed us to see more of Spikes character but also allowed him to develop relations with humans and grow as a person. We already know that Spike is capable of deep love despite being a vampire and he is now truly in love with Buffy. He seemed to have a kind of respect for Joyce ever since she hit him with an axe season one. Most significant of all is his big brotherly relationship with Dawn. Because of his chip he is able to interact with Dawn and develop affection and protective feelings for her. We may also say the Spike has some degree of affection and respect for other members of the Scoobie Gang, but what of the rest of the world, are they still "happy meals with legs"? When Spike believed that the chip was inactive he wasted no time in finding his next victim. I believe that even without the chip Spike would not kill Buffy or allow her to come to harm and the same certainly goes for Dawn. The rest of the SG, maybe, maybe not but the rest of the human race would be cattle, his to kill for food or fun. Not having a soul means that Spike is naturally inclined to evil, it does not mean that he has no choice but with the exception I have mentioned I see no reason to believe that he would at this point choose to act any different that he did before the chip.
Angel has a soul and is naturally inclined to good, but he too has a choice, he could kill humans, he could do evil, or he could do nothing. Instead Angel fights against evil and against his own nature for the cause of good. He does so not out of love for a single individual (although love for Buffy may have been a main motivating factor for him back in the beginning). He does even fight out of guilt or in an effort to gain redemption (in the last season of Angel I think he learned that this was not enough Ė to gain redemption you must not seek it, how Zen!) The only reason Angel fight for good is for the sake of good. Spike does so for other reasons.
This is the difference between Angel and Spike, and perhaps between a soul and whatever it is that Spike has.
OT - 2nd Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 04:32:58 12/02/01 Sun

Thinking about Darla's sacrifice, made me think of this poem:

TITANIC

Thereís panic in the crew;
The passengers are shocked, wrapped in confusion;
The Captain stands thunderstruck,
Watching the great white Nemesis slide by,
Leaving his ship a floundering beast,
Caught in a trap of cold, liquid sinews.

There are too few lifeboats;
The band plays tunes to beat back the fear,
But the creature is loose,
And Chaos stalks the screaming night.

Below decks, in the beguiling quiet,
Regina Vanderling slumps against her cabin wall,
Her focus on the small life within her
That cannot grasp the lock of love than surrounds it,
Nor the relentlessness of the mighty, indifferent deep.
A future for Buffy, Spike, and Dawn? Spoilers??? -- LoriAnn, 05:56:13 12/02/01 Sun

Although I really don't like to call conjecture spoilers, I do want to warn anyone adverse to conjecture about the future of the series, so I'm going to put some spoiler space. If you don't want to go any farther, don't go any farther.
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I want to go into the future for Buffy, Spike, and Dawn, and I'll start with Spike.
In "Restless," Giles acknowledges Spike as his son, his heir. In "Tabula Rasa," we see Spike dressed as a stuffy and stereotypical Brit, as Giles can be. We also see Giles, despite his disappointment with his son, again acknowledging Spike as his heir, and the two exchange a hug as "Randy" goes out, perhaps, to sacrifice himself in an effort to lure danger away from the SG. I posit that the hug was the passing of the mantle. Giles passes his duties to Spike and leaves, ostensibly forever. What does this mean? Before I can get to what it means, let's look at Buffy. I don't pretend to understand just what she is, but what she is portends big changes for the future. In some posts below, posters brought up her apparently greater strength since the resurection. Some have also brought up the "cheesy" wire-work as she battled the demon in "Wrecked." The only other time ME has used obvious wire-work has been in the final conflict with Adam when Buffy was mystically imbued with the strength of the first slayer, perhaps of all the past slayers. Is this "cheesy Matrix clone" really cheesy, or is it hinting at something? Is it a foreshadowing of Buffy's enhanced powers and position? Has she become more than a slayer, more than the slayer? Bear with me, if you will, and let's go to Dawn. Dawn kicked the demon in "Wrecked" harder that might have been thought possible. In the past, she has sometimes shown amazing self-possession and cleverness when facing extreme danger. Also, whose approbation would she most like to have? Pick two people, more or less. I'd say Buffy and Spike. Although she can be bummed out about either or both of them at times, she clearly loves Buffy and, at least, has affection for Spike.
I'm finally getting to some conclusions. The mantle of, I won't say "Watcher," teacher and father-figure to the new slayer has fallen on Spike. Giles was Buffy's mentor, and Spike is Dawn's. We've been told that Dawn is Buffy, although it isn't clear if that is true, or if it is true, what it means. It could account for Dawn's growing ability and willingness to perform the duties of a slayer.
But can a vampire mentor a vampire slayer. As far as that goes, we have some history. Spike has been Dawn's mentor or helper on several occassions, particularly in helping her discover her nature, finding a spell to resurrect Joyce, and getting the demon's egg to use in the spell. Although these are not the most sterling examples of good guidance, Spike is still a work in progress himself, and he did keep Dawn safe.
What about Buffy? Although I am not a B/S shipper, it seems to me that Spike is the guy for the Buffster. At this time in her life, he can meet her sexual needs as no mortal can and perhaps better than Angel can. He is also very capable of fighting beside her and has been willing to as well. But he's an "evil thing." Isn't he? Look at that this way? Angel is "cursed" with a soul and does good because he is compelled to because of his guilty feelings, although that has changed a bit since he left Buffy. Spike can't hurt humans because of his chip, but he can still do evil and has and may yet again. However, because of his love for Buffy, his evil deeds have been a bit scarce lately. As has been mentioned below, he even had to talk himself into biting a girl when he thought his chip might have malfunctioned. He didn't act like the serial killer just let out of prison and on a rampage to make up for lost time. So who's better Angel or Spike? Spike could go out and do horrendous evil, as long as he didn't personally harm a human, but doesn't because, on at least one level, he doesn't want to. Yet he doesn't have a soul, that moral compass to predispose him to good. Angel doesn't do evil because he has a soul. He, if we can believe Joss, has the moral compass that predisposes him to good. Who's more admirable? Or perhaps a better question is who's good deeds should be harder to do and, therefore, more admirable, the person aimed at good or the person aimed at evil.
So here's the bottom line, what comes after "grow up"? The answer is living as an adult and procreating to be sure the human race doesn't die out for lack of interest. Buffy has already procreated since Dawn is her "offspring." She has only to start taking more hands-on responsibility for Dawn. Dawn is heir to the title slayer. Spike is Buffy's lover and is heir to Giles's mantle as teacher and father-figure to the new slayer. I am seeing this as the nuclear family. Buffy, Spike, and Dawn. This would provide a new nucleus for the SG with perhaps Auntie Tara as witch/researcher; that's not to exclude Anya and Xander, but I haven't really thought about them. Willow could be included, but seems to be heading toward a dead end as season six unfolds. The new dynamic would infuse the show with the potential to go off in new directions with intricate new twists in plot. I also see it as providing potential for an ongoing series should BtVS cease production after the seventh year. There is also the possibility in this for a tidy resolution of BtVS. Buffy could give her life to banish some monumental evil, so she would finally get back to heaven, and Spike could either continue with Dawn or give his life to save her, his, by then, well-trained slayer, thereby seeing to his redemption. Dawn continues the fight to make Tuesday night's safe for all of us.
I'm not sure this is written as clearly as I saw it as I was waking up this morning, but I hope it will provide some thought provoking tidbits that can be debated and perhaps expanded upon.
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[> well done! :) -- sl, 09:13:35 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Between one world and the next -- darren KI, 19:58:15 12/02/01 Sun

I agree with most of what you're saying.

But I think it's important to stress that Spike doesn't literally have to be Dawn's "Watcher" in order to perform the role of guide to Dawn.

Much like King Arthur's knights of the Round Table, each of Buffy's companions is on his or her own Hero's journey.

Spike playing that role for Dawn is also indicative of some larger forces at work among the Scoobies. Back in Seasons 1,2,&3, the gang represented the humans against the demons. But starting with season 4, their role became more complex. They were joined by two demons, Anya and Spike. And the initiative became the representative champions of the humans. The Scoobs became a bridge between the humans and the Demons. They became the champions of balance. We see them play that role again in the war between the Byzantium knights and Glory.

I dare say that this transformed role is no accident and that Buffy's new form (whatever that may be ) is wrapped up in it.

dK
Buffy season 6: Now we now what Angel REALLY went through! -- Q, 10:42:59 12/02/01 Sun

A lot of this comes from my posts on the implication of the soul, and what happens when a vampire "becomes"--so let me quickly rehash to set up my point.

I believe that when a person dies, the spirit, essence, soul, whatever goes on to "heaven" (or wherever you want to believe it goes) while the body is buried 6 feet under. When a vampire turns somebody, their reproduced demon spirit now takes over the body. The brain has memories and experiences stored, so the demon keeps some of the personality, but the human spirit is now in heaven, and the demon spirit is in control.

On to Buffy. We know that she is having a very (understatement coming) hard time this season. While her body had been layed 6 feet under, her spirit had found perfect bliss and contentment in heaven. She was then torn away from that peace, and brought back to Earth. In comparison, earth seemed to be a hell, because it was SO much more violent and ugly than the heaven Buffy had found. Because of all of this, Buffy is totally tortured and miserable. Getting from moment to moment is a constant struggle for her.

Back to Angel. Liams spirit was probably in a heaven as well. (this depends on your view on what it takes to get into heaven, Liam was no saint, but was also not EVIL, just very immature). When the gypsy's cursed Angel, Liams spirit was yanked out of heaven just like Buffy's and put back on earth. Not only did Angel have to deal with the same torture that Buffy is going through now, but he also had to deal with the guilt of what Angelous had done with his body, AND find a way to live in the world as a non-human AND non-vampire! It was glossed over a lot more than in Buffy's situation, but now I feel genuing empathy. He must have been SEVERELY tortured and miserable!

Jump ahead to the late '90's. Angel soul is taken again. This time I KNOW it is in a similar heaven as Buffy's was, because the Angel of the '90's was VERY noble.

Jump to Becomings part 2. Angels spirit is ripped from heaven, just like Buffy's was this year. He is taken from a life of perfect contentment, peace, and bliss, and put back on the cold, hard, earth. But this time it is FAR worse than what Buffy is going through! He only makes it on earth a couple of minutes and then BAM, Buffy sends him to HELL! A dimension of untold tortures and horrors. If Buffy thinks earth seems like a hell compared to her heaven, what must HELL be like? Angel spends about 900,000 years (demon dimension years) in Hell, struggling through every torturous and miserable moment the way Buffy is now, only in a worse place.

It was never depicted as miserable, and I kind of took the "tortured vampire" act for granted. But now seeing the vivid depiction of Buffy's return, I feel genuine horror for what Angel must have gone through. He was REALLY tortured!

This must be why he seems so much more happy and care-free now. Because being taken from Hell and put on Earth must make Angel as happy as being taken from heaven and put on earth makes Buffy sad!
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[> Re: Buffy season 6: Now we now what Angel REALLY went through! -- LoriAnn, 11:29:36 12/02/01 Sun

Angel's soul was not in heaven. He said he was tortured.
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[> [> Re: Buffy season 6: Now we now what Angel REALLY went through! -- MayaPapaya9, 14:42:25 12/02/01 Sun

"Angel's soul was not in heaven. He said he was tortured."

I think she meant the first time he was turned by Darla, not when Buffy sent him to Acatha's hell.
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[> [> [> The one flaw in Joss's Vampire world -- Spike Lover, 16:33:26 12/02/01 Sun

In my opinion, this may be the one flaw (though interesting) of Joss's Vampire world.

Ok, I have never read Bram Stoker, but I have seen the play based on his book and several movies (or parts of them.) (And Nosforatu). (And Love At First Bite). To my knowledge, back then, the souls of the bitten victims did not go to heaven. The person was changed into the undead and started a new life of evil, usually feeding off of loved ones. And that was why it was scary for me.

Think about it. What do you care if you are killed or turned into a vampire? You won't know it. Your self awareness will be in Heaven (if you lived a good life.) No, the scary part was that a vampire bite would not only deprive you of your present life, but would deprive you of your eternal reward. You would be doomed to walk the earth forever, doomed to perform evil acts that you would have found horrible and reprehensible in life -etc.

In that movie that was based on Anne Rice's book, Brad Pitt played the Southern vampire, who felt miserable and guilty for his horrible impulses/deeds. He was suffering. (I suffered too just watching the show. It grossed me out.)

The vampire legend of course is based a bit on a tradition of superstition. I was watching some show on the Discovery Channel once. They were saying that in Transylvannia, people who die "bad deaths" are still buried very shallowly. After the funeral, some of the townspeople go back, dig up the coffin, drive a stake through the corpse's heart (area) and then bury them again at the 6 foot depth.

The point is that they do this with people who have "bad deaths," specifically (the program mentioned) suicides. These people's souls are already "in jeapordy", and it seems to give credence to the original belief that vampires had the victim's soul intact.
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[> [> [> [> Not a flaw! -- Rob, 09:17:55 12/03/01 Mon

"Think about it. What do you care if you are killed or turned into a vampire? You won't know it. Your self awareness will be in Heaven (if you lived a good life.)"

That is not true of Joss's world. When someone is vamped, his or her soul is trapped in the ether, which is not heaven, but sort of a containment place for souls. There has been much speculation regarding what qualifies as a soul in the Buffyverse and whether, once a vamp is staked, if his or her soul will go from the ether to either heaven or hell. I don't want to get into a huge discussion of that here. But I would just like to point out that, if a good person is vamped, his soul does not go to heaven. His soul is trapped.

Further, not all bite victims become vamps, even in Bram Stoker's works. According to Bram Stoker, someone must be bitten on three separate occassions to become a vampire. But, since then, it is Anne Rice's theory that has become the norm for most vampire mythologies, including Joss's: A vampire must drain someone to the point of death. Then the vampire gouges himself and allows his victim to drink from the wound. That is how a vamp is created. If the victim, at the point of death, is not given the blood to drink, the victim just dies. You are not "cursed" or sent to hell or tortured for being killed by a vamp--your soul is only in trouble if you get turned into one. The notion that just by being bitten, you are cursed, is not a common one in modern vampire literature. Anne Rice is really the writer that changed that idea, and, in so doing, affected all other vampire fiction of the latter part of the 20th century.

Rob
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[> [> [> neither of the above -- anom, 21:00:29 12/04/01 Tue

"'Angel's soul was not in heaven. He said he was tortured.'

I think she meant the first time he was turned by Darla, not when Buffy sent him to Acatha's hell."

No, it was the 2nd time Angel lost his soul, after he had sex w/Buffy. Willow then sent his soul back to him, just before Buffy sent him to Acathla. So he had his soul (in his body) while he was tortured.
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[> Post-Traumatic-Resouling-Shock-Syndrome? -- Lili, 06:13:59 12/03/01 Mon

Do you think if Buffy went to a demon psychiatrist, it would recognize the symptoms?
Kissing a Fool: Smashing, Wrecking, and Rebuilding Spike's Identity 1/2 -- rowan, 11:34:51 12/02/01 Sun

In Smashed, Buffy and Spike physically smash each other and their surroundings; metatextually, the episode smashes their illusions about their individual identities as vampire and slayer and their joint identity as a couple. The episode culminates in their sexual union amidst the physical and psychic rubble. In Wrecked, we start to see hints of what will survive and rise like a phoenix out of the rubble and wreckage. The importance of these two episodes when evaluating the potential for true internal change and possible redemption for Spike canít be emphasized enough.

Spike, long established in the Buffyverse as the teller of uncomfortable truths, keeps reminding us that things have changed. In fact, both episodes are book ended by this notion. Early in Smashed, Spike tells Buffy, "A man can change." After he finds out that his chip is still functional, he then comments, "Itís about the rules having changed. Everything is different now." Early in Wrecked, after Buffy tells him their night together was a mistake, Spike tells her, "It was a bloody revelation." Close to the end of the episode, he comments again that since their night together, "Things have changed."

So what exactly has changed? Spike has started to make noticeable progress towards putting together his new identity. We saw the problem in Smashed: heís neither a vampire nor a human. Heís not good nor is he evil. Heís supposed to slay the Slayer, not love the Slayer. Whatever peace of mind Spike showed in Tough Love when he commented to Dawn "Well, Iím not good, and Iím okay" seems to have evaporated to some extent. If heís not those things, who is he?

In Tabula Rasa, Randy showed us that Spikeís basic instincts lean more towards good than evil. When Randy discovers he has no apparent desire to bite Joan, he decides, "I must be a noble vampire. A good guy. On a mission of redemption. I help the helpless. Iím a vampire with a soul."

The small problem here is that Spike is not Randy. Spike has life experiences that does not mesh with what Randy thinks is his identity. In fact, what Randy believes is his identity is actually Angelís identity. When Spikeís life experiences return to him, he canít realistically assume that identity as his own. Angelís path of redemption leads him to altruistic expressions of love for humanity. He wants to help the stranger on the street to balance the incredible crimes against humanity that Angelus perpetrated. But Spike has always been something different. Heís a fool for love. Spikeís love is personal, passionate, and specific.

Instead of taking the obvious definition of a fool as someone who is full of hot air or easily deceived, letís focus on a different definition. In the Tarot, The Fool in the Major Arcana is the risk-taker. The Fool is an innocent, totally at ease with the physical world and ready to start a journey of enlightenment.

Interestingly enough, the Fool corresponds to the Joker in the contemporary pack of playing cards. Iíve read several interesting analyses discussing how Spike (and Buffy) function as jokers in the Buffyverse. They are totally off the radar screen of TPtB. It seems their prophecies, while full of Angel, are remarkably silent on Spike. Buffy dropped off their radar screen after she fulfilled her function as Prophecy Girl. But both Spike and Buffy have had profound effects on the course of events in the Buffyverse; in some cases, extremely unpredictable effects.

But I digress. Letís get back to our Fool. In FFL, William starts that journey for enlightenment one night in an alley with Dru as he gropes for something effulgent.

Drusilla is looking for a lover. She wants a partner in the way Darla has Angel as her partner. They suggest she sire someone. She says, "I could pick the wisest and bravest knight in all the land Ė and make him mine forever with a kiss." In some ways, thatís exactly what Dru did. William was a bloody awful 19th century poet. He was probably steeped in Arthurian lore and the chivalric tradition of courtly love as reinterpreted by Victorian poets like Tennyson. He idealized Cecily through that lens, offering her his poems like a knight offers his lady his service of arms.

In that alley, Spike was born. In order to assume his identity within the Ďgangí and win his dark lady Dru from her father (Angelus), he begins an unlifelong quest: the hunt for Slayers. He is the darkly twisted chivalric knight, searching out the Holy Grail of vampires. He validates himself in his own eyes and his lovers through this quest.

In China during the Boxer Rebellion, he kills his first Slayer, offering her blood to Dru. The Holy Grail contained the blood of Christ. The Slayer contains the Buffyverse equivalent. Spike drinks of it and then offers it to his lady as a token of love. They even make love afterwards.

Later, in New York, he kills a second Slayer, this time keeping her leather duster as a trophy of battle. Itís interesting that he doesnít drink from this Slayer (at least not that we see). The quest is now more about the battle than the object. Itís the journey, not the destination heís craving. He also picks a token that is purely for himself, not something he shares with his lady.

TBC
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[> Re: Kissing a Fool: Smashing, Wrecking, and Rebuilding Spike's Identity 2/2 -- rowan, 11:36:59 12/02/01 Sun

But this journey begun in that alley has another effect on Spike. Eventually, it turns him into loveís bitch: someone under anotherís control who loves pain as an end, not a means. Exposure to Dru over a 100+ years warps him. We never really get to see Spike and Druís relationship at any healthy point. In Season 2, we first see Dru control Spike through her illness and weakness. Once the situations are reversed and Angelus arrives, we discover that for Dru, itís really all about Daddy. Spike has loved Dru, but she has never really loved him back: heís been her toy to occupy her when the real man she wanted was unavailable.

In some respects, Spike has been Buffyís bitch since he realized he loved her in Out of My Mind. The temptation for Spike after Smashed is to revert to that identity and duplicate the destructive patterns of his relationship with Dru in his new relationship with Buffy. In Smashed, Buffy even taunts Spike that he doesnít love her, he loves the pain she provides.

But in Wrecked, when Buffy starts doling out the pain, Spike tells Buffy clearly, "I wonít be your whipping boy." He rejects the pain. He wants the pleasure. Thatís what his love is about. He reinforces this at the end of the episode when he tells her that if she continues to play the bitch, he will bite back. He refuses to continue their patterns. He will not attack her, but he will defend himself. He sets boundaries and he lets her know where they are, while at the same time reinforcing that he loves her.

Letís step back to FFL for a minute for some clues about what might be going on in Wrecked. In the scene where the Fabulous Four are hiding in the sewers, Angelus and Spike begin a verbal and physical fight. Itís a fight over two things: the identity of the gang and Drusilla. Angelus wants to maintain a low profile, minimizing risk and maximizing success. Spike wants risk; he wants to fight the fights they donít know they can win. Itís also a fight over Drusilla. Even though she owns Spike because she sired him, Angelus still owns Dru: she is one of his two women.

Drusilla makes a strange comment that day. She says, "The King of Cups expects a picnic. But today is not his birthday." We know that Dru has the Sight. Earlier in FFL, she sees burning baby fishes around Williamís head, which sounds much like a prediction about the chip. But what does this prophecy mean?

Who is the King of Cups? In the Tarot, the Minor Arcana has four suits, each associated with a particular element. Cups (the modern day equivalent is Hearts) is associated with Water. The element of Water is associated with moods, dreams, emotions, romance, and fantasy. Itís seasonal correspondence isÖsummer.

Each court card represents a personality type. The King of Cups is a mature man of wisdom and intuitive insights. He appreciates beauty. He is often thought to be a good husband and father. His trademark is his ability to forgive and empathize with others. When his jealous nature is aroused and his veneer of self-control is breached, he can be fierce.

Druís reference to a picnic/birthday party could symbolize a coming of age (growing up) moment that has not yet arrived. It doesnít seem too much of a stretch to suggest that the King of Cups could well be an identity that Spike will eventually assume. This particular confrontation between Angelus and Spike is not Ďtheí confrontation about Spikeís identity.

Wrecked may be the birthday party or at least its harbinger. Spike is now experiencing Summer(s). Heís also fighting again for a woman he loves and his main rival is Angel. This time, heís fighting Buffyís memory of Angel, her illusions about Angel, and the damage resulting from her relationship with Angel. References to Angel are all over the morning after scene. Spike claims vampires get Buffy hot and Buffy immediately contrasts the Ďoneí vampire against the Ďconvenientí vampire. Spike takes Buffyís taunt that he thinks he is Godís gift and claims thatís hardy true because Ďit wouldnít be nearly as interesting.í Buffyís sexuality was forged in Angelís fire as much as Spikeís was in Druís. Angel and Dru are part of the ghosts they have to lay to rest in the rubble.

Spike is still a Fool on his journey for love. But now the journey is as much about loving himself as loving others. Letís look at this new fool for love who is arising from the rubble of Smashed. He appears to have a certain wisdom and maturity characteristic of what a redeemed Spike might display. First, heís not bad enough to find Rackís house. Amy can find it. Willow can sense it once Amy points it out and then is able to find it on her own. Spikeís clueless.

Second, despite the sexual tension and bantering that Spike loves, once Buffy mentions Rack, Spikeís mind is immediately on how to help Dawn and Willow. Heís about sex play, sure, but heís not about irresponsibility.

Third, despite their uncomfortable conversation on the street that leads Buffy to claim she wants Spike out of her life, her work, and her home, Spike points out that life is more complicated than that. Sheís already invited him in. Heís involved. She just canít wish him away with a few words. Things are messy. He shares her work with her and the Scoobies, and he shares the care of Dawn. He also points out how immature it would be for Buffy to risk harm to Dawn just to spite him. Heís advocating responsibility both in this particular situation and in others going forward.

Fourth, Spike demonstrates his caring and nurturing side with Dawn. He strokes her hair, he takes her hand, and he tends to her while Buffy fights the demon. Simply put, he loves Dawn. Clearly, he isnít just a fool for sexual love. He is capable of non-romantic, non-sexual connections.

But we really already knew that about Spike. Whatís new in Wrecked is that Spike is clearly now able to empathize with humans outside the Summers family. It is Spike who stops, moved by Willowís tears, much as Buffyís tears in FFL moved him. He has every reason to be as angry on Dawnís behalf as both Dawn and Buffy are. But he keeps his head. He doesnít say a word. Itís his compassionate heart that causes Buffy to stop, rethink her anger, and go to her friend. Spike manages to do this despite the fact that heís never really had anyone extend an empathetic hand to him in quite the same way.

Fifth, this is all combined with the Spike weíve already seen, who has tremendous and profound insight into others. He knows Buffy felt something. He knows it was a bloody revelation. He senses heís breached some walls.

Not everything is rosy in Wrecked. Spike does problematically say to Buffy, "If Iím dirt, then youíre the one who loves rolling in it." Itís unclear whether he believes that about himself or if heís just trying to use Buffyís own comments against her. Itís been clear since The Gift that Spike does not believe Buffy can ever love him. But in Wrecked, part of his revelation is that Buffy does feel something for him and when Buffy challenges him that itís not love, he replies enigmatically, ĎNot yet.í Itís unclear whether Spike now feels himself worthy of Buffyís love because he is aspiring to her level of goodness or if itís because Buffy has now descended to his level.

Where will he go from here? Weíll see when we return from rerun hell in January. But the first half of Season Six has been a bright one for Spikeís redemption.

I owe some debts of gratitude to various people whose thought-provoking conversation contributed greatly to this essay. First, thanks to all those at BAPS. Their astute insights into Smashed and Wrecked really helped coalesce my thinking. Also, I have benefited generously from their discussions (particularly Clairelís) about Spike and Buffyís roles as Ďjokers in the packí operating outside the purview of TPtB. Second, thanks to Vicki, Lisa, and AZ. While I was off ruminating about the Fool in the Tarot and how that related to Spike, their keen eyes caught the reference in FFL to the King of Cups and how it relates to the person that Spike can be.
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[> [> Re: Kissing a Fool: Thanks, what a fascinating exegesis -- Herself, 12:27:42 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> Good points -- Traveler, 12:36:23 12/02/01 Sun

This post is a great answer to those who suggest that all of Spike's "good" behavior is the result of conditioning and his love for Buffy.
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[> [> Re: Kissing a Fool: Smashing, Wrecking, and Rebuilding Spike's Identity 2/2 -- LoriAnn, 12:50:48 12/02/01 Sun

Rowan, you've outdone yourself. Your post is staggeringly enlightening. Unless Spike has a serious relapse or someone messes with his chip first, the explosion when Buffy realizes what you've covered is going to be unbelievable. Spike and Buffy have already taken out one building; next time several square blocks may be demolished. I'm looking forward to the blast.
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[> [> Wow!! Absolutely amazing, with many brilliant insights. I bow down most humbly! ... :) -- OnM, 22:37:47 12/02/01 Sun

Too many great points to cover them all, but I especially liked the 'King of Cups' explanation, to date the best, and most lyrical one I've heard.

Great work, rowan.
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[> [> Re: Kissing a Fool: Smashing, Wrecking, and Rebuilding Spike's Identity 2/2 -- Rufus, 01:03:26 12/03/01 Mon

Good read quite enjoyed it.

I think one of the important things that Dru said to Spike was Your wealth lies here...and here. In the spirit...and..imagination. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine.

Funny, Spike is now in "the new world" living in a time the others at that party could never have imagined. They are long dead. And his vampire friends would never have imagined that a killer of slayers would eventually love one.
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[> [> Brava, Rowan! -- Rob, 08:47:34 12/03/01 Mon

Wow...Just wow! I loved reading your essay, as usual. I don't think anybody understands or writes about Spike as well as you do!

I was also very glad you noted the fact that Spike's feelings are more than just sexual, evidenced in the way he jumps to protect Dawn and forgoes the sex talk when he finds out where Willow has taken her. He has true feelings of love for Buffy and Dawn. He is also very empathetic to Willow, while at the same time understanding Dawn's anger. Spike is, in many ways, a very levelheaded thinker. He does not rush to judgment, and, in fact, judges very few people harshly at all. That is why his instant condemnation of Rack proves what an evil figure Rack really is.

Oh, and my opinion about Spike's "If Iím dirt, then youíre the one who loves rolling in it" line is that he did not truly believe that about himself, but was just turning Buffy's words around on her. I could be wrong, but that's just the feeling I got from that exchange.

Other random comments:

I adored your "King of Cups" explanation. It is the very best one I've heard so far. :)

I also adored your explanation of Buffy and Spike's relationship, and their smashing of the house as symbolic of the smashing of their old identities and a forging of a new one. In conjunction with your scripted dialogue between Joss and the New Guy (forget his name, sorry!) about the episode, and this essay, I have come to a much better understanding of the past two episodes. I love reading the writings of a fellow Buffy/Spike shipper. ;)

Rob
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[> [> Re: Kissing a Fool: Smashing, Wrecking, and Rebuilding Spike's Identity 2/2 -- purplegrrl, 14:37:03 12/03/01 Mon

Excellent analysis, rowan.

I'm enjoying Buffy and Spike's "relationship" -- however it may end up. [BTW, I still think Spike's "love" for Buffy is at least one part obsession ;-) ]
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[> [> Rowan, you amaze me! -- Humanitas, 18:17:49 12/03/01 Mon

Excellent post. If I might be so bold as to extend one of your points just a bit:

He is the darkly twisted chivalric knight, searching out the Holy Grail of vampires.

More specifically, he is Sir Galahad, the one who actually finds the Grail. This is true both in the sense that he finds and kills Slayers, and also in that he is the one to find the Gem of Amarra, which is directly compared to the Grail in "The Harsh Light of Day." Interestingly, it is only after having completed this quest that he is "rewarded" by the writers with the chip that transforms him from Just Another Big Bad into a much more complex and facinating character.
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[> [> [> Very interesting! -- rowan, 18:38:18 12/03/01 Mon

So he gives up the gem for the chip and thereby sets himself on the path for redemption? I like it!

Someone on another list suggested to me that Spike is the Fisher King (King of Cups) being healed by three women: The Virgin (Dawn), the Wife (Buffy), and the Crone (Willow/Tara). Sir Galahad actually fits the idea of Spike as Knight of Cups evolving to King of Cups.

Have I told anyone lately how much I just love Spike? The fun just never ends, does it? :)

rowan
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[> [> [> Re: Rowan, you amaze me! -- Rufus, 19:11:40 12/03/01 Mon

What I like about this situation is that if Spike ends up with the Grail it won't be because he was originally looking for it. The Grail in this case would be the ability to reconnect with humanity, something that the curse of vampirism prevented him from doing. Also look to Angel..the latest story of a child born of vampire parents, one with a soul.....what impact will this child have to the vampire world? Vampirism is a curse, do curses have a cure? Killing vampires hasn't made the problem go away.....so is the situation with Spike and Buffy and the child in Angel the response of the powers of light to the curse of darkness?
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[> [> Soooo very good that it's chocolatey! -- Deeva, 09:57:15 12/03/01 Mon

I love reading your posts! Always so thought provoking and well done. I couldn't even begin to hammer anything together that would even approach cohesiveness.
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[> [> Thank you, Rob. -- rowan, 13:06:24 12/03/01 Mon

"Wow...Just wow! I loved reading your essay, as usual. I don't think anybody understands or writes about Spike as well as you do!"

Well, thank you, but there are alot of people on this board who do. Right verdantheart? Right Aquitaine? I could go on forever shouting out names. But for me, It's.All.About.Spike. ;)

Actually, I'm working on a Willow essay, but I must confess I don't really understand her this season.

rowan
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[> [> [> Re: Thank you, Rob. -- DEN, 18:52:07 12/03/01 Mon

Now THAT one I want to see. Please hurry and finish it!
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[> [> [> Willow essay -- Isabel, 18:20:55 12/05/01 Wed

I'm looking forward to what you make of her. She's lots of fun. :o)
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[> Rowan - May we post this essay at Fictionary Corner? -- liq, 12:57:20 12/02/01 Sun

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[> [> Yes, you may. :) -- rowan, 13:04:32 12/02/01 Sun

I can send you an MS word doc if that would be more helpful. Or if there is other formatting I need to do for you, let me know.
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[> [> [> Ignore me...I found the instructions fo r submission on the site. :) -- rowan, 13:43:29 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Great job Rowan, and a comment on Spike -- Moose, 15:05:32 12/02/01 Sun

Spike seems to be coming into his own. He is displaying maturity and patience like never before.

I posted this before, but I thought I would mention it again.

I was particularly struck in "Wrecked" at how he so easily diffused Buffy's comment of "perverse and degrading" by a simple "me too". Spike instantly changed the focus from HER "degrading" experience to their SHARED experience. Which quite frankly is much more accurate.

Buffy gave as good as she got in the fight and in their coupling, as Spike points out.

Now if Buffy can just stop punishing Spike (and herself) for liking liking it so much, maybe the two could actually move forward in a meaningful way.
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[> [> A Few Stray Comments -- Spike Lover, 16:14:15 12/02/01 Sun

These stray comments may not have anything to do with Rowan's insightful remarks. But anyway...

1) The most "preverse, degrading night of my life" comment. When I heard it, I thought Spike responded (jokingly and as a way to embarass her) as if she had actually said "Last night was the greatest night of my life."

2) "I always knew doing a slayer..." comment- I don't think it was an insult. I think it was another terribly honest moment of Spike's. Even when he and Buffy were enemies in the 1st and 2nd season, he was probably thinking about what it would be like- . (Back then, everyone used to comment that Buffy was far prettier than the last slayer.) He probably should not have said it, but if it had been me, and the guy I had just been with said that (and it was a compliment), I would have laughed or at least smiled. (I would not have been insulted.)

3) Spike's honesty. I have posted before that Spike is honest, much more so than Buffy. (Xander runs a close 2nd.) His honesty, faithfulness/trustworthiness and insightfulness are the main reasons I am attracted to him, but this is the controversial part-- -and something that (please forgive me for saying this-) Truth- is Of God. God is Truth. The Devil is a liar. Which makes Spike's potential for goodness (or redemption) very strong. (I know I am on thin ice here. -Let me finish by just saying that this is another way that Joss W. blurrs the good/evil characters because none are every pure- good or evil.

-
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[> Impressive, as always, rowan -- verdantheart, 06:29:16 12/03/01 Mon

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[> Re: Kissing a Fool: Smashing, Wrecking, and Rebuilding Spike's Identity 1/2 -- Clarity, 12:03:55 12/03/01 Mon

A thought, and a question.

I am eschewing my Cloak of Lurking, and am stepping forth into the light. The thoughtful and reasoned nature of your posts have lured me out, so here goes.

I find myself in agreement with Rowan and a post I read a few days ago by someone named Loki. The development of the relationship between Buffy and Spike has been amazing, messy, exciting and perfect. I did not see Smashed/Wrecked as violent or inappropriate, but rather as the culmination and destination they have moving towards for Years. Only one thing in the midst of these eps has left a small disturbance in my center.

Why was Spike so excited and (dare I say) even gleeful at the prospect that Buffy had "come back wrong". He loves Buffy, and Buffy is who she is, why would he be so malevolently joyous that she was not who he loves? I've thunk, and I've thunk, and I have a theory.

Perhaps his joy is not so very malevolent. Perhaps his joy is actually just that-joy. Think about it. He's been in love with her for quite a while, and will be stalking the earth for quite a while. Slayers have extremely short lives. Spike doesn't seem to want this to be a one night score, he truly loves and cares for this woman. He faithfully followed dru for over a hundred years. And he knows in the depths of his heart that he WILL NOT have that with buffy, no matter how much he desires it or what form their relationship takes---because Buffy is a mortal woman.

Or is she.

Could it be that if she did, indeed, come back wrong, she will be around longer? Like a vampire, or a "good" demon? Could his joy be springing up from the thought that they may potentially have CENTURIES to be together, instead of a few years, if they're lucky?

I know, I know. Quality vs Quantity. But who among us wouldn't be positively giddy at the prospect of BOTH?

Does anyone else have any thoughts regarding this?
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[> [> Wasn't joy ... -- Shiver, 17:13:29 12/03/01 Mon

... so much as vindication for Spike. Buffy's main jibe at Spike has been his non-humanity, his lack of a soul, the fact that he is a vampire and thus all demon makes him beneath her. Finding out that he can strike her means she is not 100% human, means that the playing field between them is leveled - mentally as well as physically. His gleefulness has not so much to do with Buffy coming back wrong as it does with Buffy no longer being able to pull the high and mighty "I'm above you" baloney.
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[> [> [> Re: Wasn't joy ... -- Rufus, 19:14:14 12/03/01 Mon

If Buffy is no longer all "human", what are the implications in her treatment of demons? When she said that Spike was an evil thing, she was speaking as a human. If she is no longer human, how will her attitude change to both demon and human alike?
The girl in the vision...Spoilers for Wrecked and future spec. -- Jen C., 15:05:43 12/02/01 Sun

I just watched "Wrecked" again and have a theory regarding the female form that the demon was carrying through the rift in Willow's hallucination.

As we saw in the season premiere, Willow's spell to resurrect Buffy was interrupted. It seemed to work alright, although Buffy was left with the unpleasant task of digging herself out of her own grave.

I know that some have commented on the fact that Willow didn't specifically ask for Buffy to return. She called for the return of the "warrior of the people", and some believe (myself included) that is exactly what was brought back.

I have a deep distrust of Joss and co. - I believe that they tell us exactly what's going on every step of the way, but we never really know the whole of it until it happens. So, consider this:

Buffy's soul was indeed sent to a hell dimension, where it has been held captive by a very nasty demon. The slayer aspect of Buffy was sent back to its waiting place (sort of an Avalon for slayers) where it would await reintegration with another chosen one. Willow's spell was working quite well, but then it was interrupted, and only one aspect of Buffy came back, the slayer (not a new theory, I know).

But, what if Buffy's soul - the soul of the girl - was in the process of coming back as well? When Willow was "disconnected" the slayer's soul stayed caught between worlds (in the queue if you will) and when Willow went on her little "trip" she reconnected with whatever place/mode/plane where she was working to resurrect Buffy. As soon as she showed up, the resurrection resumed, and the Demon was forced to bring forth its precious prisoner, but not without attempting to hide it first (we saw a woman dragged into the underbrush in Willow's vision). The demon said that Willow had summoned him...he didn't say when.

The question now...where did the soul go? Can it get back into Buffy without help now that she's already been resurrected?

Hurry up January!
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[> More questions... -- MayaPapaya9, 21:39:31 12/02/01 Sun

Yeah you know, I didn't really understand about the demon. When did Willow summon him? I thought Rack was the one doing the spells ON Willow, Willow wasn't doing anything herself. Therefore wasn't it Rack who summoned the demon? And also, I didn't get why the demon evaporated in the middle of its fight with Buffy. Was it Willow who made it disappear, because she's standing behind him with the black eyes and crackling hands right after he poofs. Or did the demon evaporate on its own?
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[> [> Re: More questions... -- Jen C., 22:35:34 12/02/01 Sun

Did anyone think that it looked a lot like the demon from Pylea? It kindof dissolved like a vampire in the sun.
Redemption, Reincarnation and Vamping Out -- Margrave, 15:24:24 12/02/01 Sun

Hi there
I'm a long time fan of this board and I thought I would de-lurk long enough to pass on a couple of random thoughts and an observation.
First the observation:
I'm not sure if this hasn't already been discussed but I thought I would throw it out there anyway. In "Smashed" Buffy and Spike were going at it hammer and tongs but at no time did Spike vamp out, despite the ferocity of their battle. I find this especially curious since he spent a good portion of his time in Tabula Rasa decked out in his full vamped face glory.
And now the random thoughts:
1) I've read elsewhere descriptions of William's love, Cecily, as being the "Cordelia of her day" but it seems to me that Cecily might also have a lot in common with Pre-Slayage Buffy. After all, before her destiny kicked in, Buffy was one of the most popular girls in her school and dare we say it, possibly a bit shallow. I can't help but wonder what would happen if, through some time / space shenanigans, a Buffy who never became the slayer and a Drucilla free William, were to meet. Would she have looked down on him just as Cecily did? This leads me further into random thought territory as it occurs to me how interesting it would be if it turned out that somehow Buffy was the reincarnation of Cecily. (Although I truly doubt this is where Joss is headed with B & S's relationship)
Thought number 2)
Speaking of reincarnation, I was thinking the other day how hard it would be to actually be a slayer. You would be pretty much guaranteed a short life span filled with fights against overwhelming odds, living in almost complete isolation from the people you are supposed to be helping (well, of course with Buffy as the exception), all most likely ending in a brutal and grisly death. Who would choose that life if it wasn't forced upon them and why would such innocent girls deserve such a fate? So, where I'm going with this is, what if Slayers are reincarnated vampires and other baddies working off some serious karma for the Powers That Be? After all, Buffy's powers are very similar to a vampire's without the shortcomings and we've seen hints that her abilities are "rooted in darkness". It would also account for the fact that at her darkest, Faith's "want, take, have" approach to life was very close to the adolescent and immoral mind set we've seen vampires display. Now of course, I have now idea why the Powers that Be would set up such a scenario, but so far we have seen little of how the " zillion heavenly dimensions" and the hell dimensions interact. Perhaps there is indeed an unmentioned theme of redemption that carries through the different worlds, leaving a chance of redemption open not only to Angel and possibly Spike, but to all those designs of hell who choose to seek it out.
Anyway, that's my two cents. Now back to lurking. :-)
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[> Whoops, possible Spoilers and Speculation in the message above -- Margrave, 15:30:47 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Re: Redemption, Reincarnation and Vamping Out -- celticross, 17:49:08 12/02/01 Sun

"what if Slayers are reincarnated vampires and other baddies working off some serious karma for the Powers That Be? "

Wow....now that provokes thought...and it would explain a lot. Everybody's been pondering and wondering about what exactly the "darkness" the Slayer's powers come from really is. Working off karma would explain it....of course, does that point us to Darla the Vampire Slayer in the future?
However...it's been noted before that ME doesn't pay nearly as much attention to philosophical systems as some of the fans do, an example being that the Wiccan Rede doesn't seem to exist in the Buffyverse. So does karma exist there, either?
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[> [> Re: Redemption, Reincarnation and Vamping Out -- Traveler, 18:07:41 12/02/01 Sun

"However...it's been noted before that ME doesn't pay nearly as much attention to philosophical systems as some of the fans do, an example being that the Wiccan Rede doesn't seem to exist in the Buffyverse. So does karma exist there, either?"

Also, male wiccans aren't called Warlocks, according to a wicca friend of mine. I very much dislike the idea that we might be forced to pay for the sins of a previous life in this one. What's the point of punishing someone if they don't know what they did wrong, or even that they are being punished?

As for vamp Spike, a lot of people noticed how he stayed in game face for a lot of TR. My guess is that the writers contrasted Spike's vampiness with his good guy actions to make Buffy (and us) confused and uncomfortable. That really isn't needed any more for Buffy at least, because she is plenty confused and uncomfortable with Spike as things stand.
"Randy Giles" old fashion suit of clothes -- Spike Lover, 15:34:00 12/01/01 Sat

Does anyone remember the season final episode after they had defeated Adam? The 1st Slayer visited their dreams?

Spike was in one of those dreams swinging on a swingset wearing that suit. He announced in that dream that Giles was training him to be a watcher.

Remember?

Was that a prophetic moment? What is the Suit connection??
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[> Re: "Randy Giles" old fashion suit of clothes -- MayaPapaya9, 21:16:43 12/01/01 Sat

Can't forget that Giles said, "Spike is like a son to me," in Restless. And then voila-in Tabula Rasa they think they're family! I guess its just that freaky foreshadowing thing going on.
Where are the Good Guys? -- Ender, 17:10:46 12/02/01 Sun

We have moved through five and a half seasons of Buffy, two and a half for Angel; and yet those who fight for the 'light' side seem few and far in between. We have a few examples of demons that are ambiguous, we have some ex-vampires turned to fight for right, a couple of demon hunters, a council that is severally out dated, and some mysterious powers who the closest we have gotten too is some oracles. Even our slayer has her power come from questionable sources. Where are the archangels with flaming swords of retribution, where are the big guns of the forces of good? Skip is the only one I can think of. This has bothered me about Buffy and Angel, those keeping the dark side in check seem severally out numbered not even counting the dimensions that are filled with the naughty badness. Explanations for these huge gaps? In other words, whatís up with that?
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[> Re: Where are the Good Guys? -- Traveler, 18:27:02 12/02/01 Sun

BtVS is a very complex, insightful show. Trying to distill into terms of pure good vs pure evil is a mistake. One of the points that I think that the show is trying to make is that there is good and evil inside all of us. Buffy IS one of the big guns for the forces of good, whatever the origin of her power. Her actions over the past six years show us that. But she is still flawed, like everybody else. That's what makes the show interesting.
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[> [> Re: Where are the Good Guys? -- Ender, 19:21:55 12/02/01 Sun

I understand that the lines between good and evil are blurry and Buffy tries to show this with the characters. It seems that the buffyverse occupies a yin-yang philosophy, in light darkness/in darkness light. But isnít it inherit in this concept that the scales balance in the equation. We have seen creatures that were mindlessly evil; but is there, if you will, a mindlessly good creature? For an Acathla power demon, is there a powerhouse good guy? The scales are not balanced as far as the show has seemed to reveal. Buffy is a big gun, but she reacts as Prof. Walsh puts it. Who is taking the battle to the other side? There is some sort of confrontation between two sides that seems to be occurring, and Buffy is a home front player and not an invader. To win a confrontation you must attack, not only defend. Maybe Angel is an example of someone working for the Ďlightí side that takes it to them, but he alone doesnít seem like enough. And doesnít it seem logical that if there are hell dimensions filled with demons that there are heavenly dimensions with equivalents. Angelic inhabitants if you will, not purely good but slanted towards what we would think of as good. An anit- pylea maybe.
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[> [> [> Re: Where are the Good Guys? -- Keyser Soze, 20:26:08 12/02/01 Sun

I think there's something that you're missing in this whole situation. There's a war between good and evil, right? But you're supposing that there is a balance between dark and light, neither side dominant. The situation isn't like that at all. In the Buffyverse, the world is indubitably dominated by the forces of good. Remember, probably 98% of the world are just peacefully living their lives, with the normal joys and miseries that life entails. The offensive is the charge of the forces of evil, to upset the order of good. Remember, in the past, it was the reverse. Evil dominated the world, and the "big guns" of Good are what crumbled the hegemony of evil. Buffy, Angel, the CoW, and other demon hunters seem adequate enough to keep Earth from falling to the forces of darknss. At least until there's an apocalypse that actually happens.
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[> [> [> We are the "good guys" -- Traveler, 10:40:18 12/03/01 Mon

"Who is taking the battle to the other side?"

That's one of the problems of good, isn't it? Since anybody and anything can turn to evil, the only solution is to be vigilant and deal with it as you find it. After all, Angel tried to eradicate the root of all evil once, only to find out how impossible that task is. While it's true that there are a bunch of evil demons and no angels, really it doesn't "unbalance" the show. In a way, human beings ARE the angels of the Buffyverse. They have a soul and the predisposition to do good, plus they make a natural foil for demons. In that context, what is a vampire but a fallen angel?
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[> Re: Where are the Good Guys? -- RH, 08:40:55 12/03/01 Mon

"Where are the archangels with flaming swords of retribution...?"

I don't know, but I'd gladly volunteer to play one! I would love to see some angellic hosts helping kick demon butt!
We need to see more of the good guys. -- zombie, 18:11:10 12/02/01 Sun

Where are all these warrior's of good? I think we need to see alot more of these guys helping both series to see that they aren't alone in the fight against the darkness. I would like to see some more demons doing good or some bad guys turn good.
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[> I'd rather see more "normal" people like Gunn, seems more heroic. <nt> -- blaylock, 21:30:00 12/02/01 Sun

s
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[> Re: We need to see more of the good guys. -- Andy, 08:13:40 12/03/01 Mon

I like the idea of keeping it limited. I think they've already come uncomfortably close to diluting the concept of The Slayer as it is, with the extra Slayers and the vampires doing good and the superpowerful good witches and the good demons and whatever else. Buffy should have allies - after all, even the best people can't do it all alone - but it should never reach a point where Buffy seems like just another "agent of good" (although I think Angel has been a little more guilty of this than BTVS).

Andy
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[> [> Apocalypse... only in Sunnydale? -- Ardent, 22:22:27 12/03/01 Mon

My suspended disbelief problem is the fact that there HAVE to be demons, vampires, apocalypse cults, and all manner of evil EVERYWHERE...

Yet about 3 or so apocalypses have been averted in sunnydale alone...

You'd think some of these people would do the apocalypse thing SOMEWHERE ELSE by now. :)

And another interesting weird thought... Say it's 1400. Slayer dies, new AMERICAN INDIAN slayer is called... And the watcher's council finds them how? :)
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[> [> [> My guess? They don't. -- Caira, 01:10:44 12/06/01 Thu

... in any case, this has the makings of a damn good fanfic, for someone who has the necessary background knowledge.
Are demonhunter's choose their job or is it predestined like a slayer? -- zombie, 18:17:02 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Re: Are demonhunter's choose their job or is it predestined like a slayer? -- darrenK, 20:02:34 12/02/01 Sun

No.

Buffy didn't choose to be the Slayer. It's a mystical calling with special powers, gifts abilities and responsibilities.

The demonhunters shown in BTVS and ATS are humans who've chosen the role with no special abilities other than a hunter's knowledge of its prey.

I'm sure some use magic as well, even though Wesley and Gunn's crew only seem to use conventional weapons.dK
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[> [> What about... -- VampRiley, 08:06:58 12/03/01 Mon

...someone that grows up dreaming to be a Slayer or demonhunter and when they do grow up, they get "called" as a Vampire Slayer or whatever? But as they were growing up, they had no knowledge that they would be "called". Would they just be lucky that they got what thy wanted?

VR
If you were to create a character for buffy or angel what would they be? -- zombie, 20:48:28 12/02/01 Sun

My character would be a good shadowknight because they are warrior necromancer's and because he has magic too. He or she would either just as a outsider at first later part of their team later on.
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[> Let me guess Zombie, you Play EverQuest. -- Wolfhowl3, 20:53:12 12/02/01 Sun

Not a slame on EverQuest or it's players, I've been playing it for years.

Wolfhowl
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[> Woo-hoo, Mary Sue time -- self-depricating only :) -- Earl Allison, 09:03:41 12/03/01 Mon

If I were to choose a character for the Buffy/Angel series, who or what would he (or she) be?

Well, it's not like I've never considered it, or role-played it (although I know I'll never get the courage to actually write fics about it), so here goes.

I'm REALLY counting on not being ripped to shreds for this -- I never claimed to be a genius writer or idea man :)

I'd like to add a simple vampire hunter, a junior Van Helsing, if you will. Someone with a very personal stake (no pun intended) in why he does what he does. No magic, no "powers," just skill and medieval weapons.

The character I originally came up with (a couple years ago) came to Sunnydale from LA during the early part of the group's sophomore year, transferring in to the school. He got into hunting vampires after his childhood friend turned girlfriend was vamped during his freshman year. Enough of the girl's personality remained that she came to him and begged him to kill her -- which he did, making him a rather emotionally unhealthy sort.

After seeing the existence of vampires firsthand, he found all the books on the subject he could, and set out hunting the vampires that comprised the small nest in his suburbs, learning as he went.

Eventually he learned of Sunnydale, of the Hellmouth, and the myths surrounding the Slayer and Watchers. Becoming more and more withdrawn after his girlfriend's death, his parents decided to move, and he suggested the charming-sounding Sunnydale -- where he eventually met the Slayer and her Slayerettes.

How's that? Yeah, I know, you can smell the Mary Sue-ness from your terminal
:)

Take it and run.
Questions about Dawn -- MayaPapaya9, 21:33:44 12/02/01 Sun

Where is Dawn going to school, first of all? They never did rebuild Sunnydale High, did they? She must be a sophomore now at some other school. I wonder if she tried out for cheerleading. Who's the Cordelia & Harmony at her school? Hahaha, who's the principal and the librarian? I just realized we don't know anything about her actual life, like who her friends are or how she does at school. And don't her friends ask her questions about the weirdness of her life? She must be keeping a lot of things secret, important things like sisters dying, and that means she can't have any really close friendships with anyone her age. I mean, how is she supposed to share the important events of her life at a sleepover? Her only close friends are all from twenty to I think, 124 (how old is Spike nowadays?).

One thing I'll say for her is she's got so many people who love her! She has like six surrogate parents (and one of them is Spike! I'm jealous!) and everyone is constantly worrying about her. I wonder what kind of effect that will have on her when she feels the need to act rebellious. Instead of one or two rebukes from mom and dad, she'll get six from sister, sister's vampire boyfriend, witch #1, witch #2, ex-demon and zeppo, and possible a long-distance call from rogish English uncle if she's been really bad, making seven!

And where in the world is their father? I mean, come on! Joyce DIED and the writers are just ignoring the issue of Hank Summers completely! Did he call, even? Or send a check? Can't Buffy get some sort of child support out of him? He wasn't at the funeral. He's only like seven hours in Los Angeles (I like to believe that Sunnydale is in the Bay Area, lol), how hard is it to visit his kids after their mother dies?? Or at any rate, send them money? Buffy's in some serious need of money right now, what with her having no job.

Anyways this post got a little off-track, but any answers are greatly appreciated!
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[> Re: Questions about Dawn -- Ardent, 21:51:58 12/02/01 Sun

He's in Spain at last hearing. :)

And the things you mention are the big problem I have with Dawn in the show.

You can't start adding her friends to the mix, without making the cast gigantic and unwieldy for a weekly hour show.

But keeping her hanging out with her 20yr old people every week is getting kinda weird as well... shouldn't she have her own friends?
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[> [> Little Sister -- darrenK, 08:33:39 12/03/01 Mon

As a person with an actual real life little sister let me tell you that little sis would MUCH RATHER hang out with her older siblings friends than her own.

Though it might seem weird, it's actually completely accurate. My friends would give my sister rides home, loan her money, act protective if my sister was in trouble, etc.

I've always thought that Dawn's relationship with the Scoobs was one of the most realistic on the show. dK
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[> [> [> Seriously? -- Ardent, 22:19:39 12/03/01 Mon

As an only child I don't actually have a good frame of reference, other than my Ex's sister in high school... but she was only a year younger than me, so it didn't count. :)

I just found it amazingly odd that Dawn's friends hardly ever make it on the show... unless they're in it to be shown as corrupters. :)
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[> [> [> [> Yep, your older siblings' friends always seem much cooler than your own. -- CW, 06:42:11 12/04/01 Tue

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[> [> [> [> [> I agree. My brother's friends seemed so cool... -- Caligo, 10:14:03 12/04/01 Tue

...when I was in high school. Plus there's the added bonus of "Ooo, Ooo, I get to hang out with the big kids/college kids/out of college kids!"
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[> Answers about Dawn -- vampire hunter D, 22:33:20 12/02/01 Sun

Well, I've got some answers and/or theories that could answer some of your questions. First, it looks like they have a new Sunnydale high. Either that or she's going to another high school in the same town (like those 3 dead cheerleaders in "Some Assembly Required". And the new Cordettes would be that gorl Kirsti nad her crew (if you don't know who I'm talking about, watch Dawn's sequence of "The Body".)

Now, Dawn does have friends her own age (Janice, for example). But since the show is about Buffy, and Buffy doesn't hang out with teenagers, we don't see people Dwan's age unless the episode focuses on Dawn. So that's why we don't see Dawn hanging out with her friends.

As for getting hell when she acts rebellios, well who's gonna? All the adults in her life are too wraped up in their own problems to notice what she's doing. And when they do, they all seem to try to dodge Dawn-discipining duty.

ANd lastly, Sunnydale is near Santa Barbera. Now, I don't know how close that is to San Fran, but justy letting you know.
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[> [> Re: Answers about Dawn -- SKPE, 07:03:35 12/03/01 Mon

I thought that Sunnydale was supposed to be south of LA (The other way from Santa Barbera).Sunnydale also has An active seaport a airport large enough to land a DC10, (what Giles was shown leaving in), several large high schools and a UC campus. There is only one city that fits all the above,(its UC campus is even UCSD) and that is San Deago unfortunately SD is way to big to be Sunnydale. So I guess Sunnydale only exists in the Buffyverse
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[> [> [> Re: Answers about Dawn -- Shaglio, 13:45:03 12/03/01 Mon

"Sunnydale also has an active seaport a airport large enough to land a DC10, (what Giles was shown leaving in), several large high schools and a UC campus."

I've read several other posters mentioning how Sunnydale has all these elements within its borders. With the exception of the UC Campus, it could be quite possible that some of these other sites are in neighboring towns. It could even be possible that Giles flew out of LAX. I don't remember them specifically stating that it was SunnyD's airport. Maybe it was in Shelbyville . . . no wait, wrong show ;)
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[> [> [> [> Re: Answers about Dawn -- Tanker, 23:08:22 12/03/01 Mon

The airport Giles flew out of in "Bargaining" was clearly named "Sunnydale Airport." The flight announcement mentioned "Los Angeles and continuing to London." Which is rather unlikely, I'd think. Giles probably tranferred to another flight at LAX. Well, it's only a tv show.

A long time ago, Joss or one of the other writers said that Sunnydale is about where Santa Barbara is in the real world. This is reinforced by some of the arial exterior shots of "Sunnydale;" they are actually shots of Santa Barbara (if you've ever been there, it's rather recognizable). One problem: SB is larger than Sunnydale. One theory is that it's a suburb of SB. But again, it's only a tv show. Sunnydale will have whatever is required by the script, while still being a "one Starbucks town."
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[> [> teenage rebellion isn't a natural instinct (tan) -- res, 22:38:07 12/03/01 Mon

First I wanted to say that I do think that people would notice if she really got rebellious (and I'm not talking just low-key klepto action) because the problems they've wrapped themselves up in often have to do with Dawn. But the whole idea of teenage rebellion isn't something in our genes, it has to do with our individualistic culture and stuff. Highly collective cultures are relatively devoid of "teenage rebellion." I think the environment that Dawn has grown up in hasn't cultivated a need for rebellion, yet. Though she is under a lock and key tighter almost than I've ever seen, she still seems to want it, desperately -- "but you're gonna be here tonight, right?"
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[> [> [> Re: teenage rebellion isn't a natural instinct (tan) -- CW, 07:04:36 12/04/01 Tue

You've been reading too much propaganda. ;o) It is true that highly regimented societies (and know it or not, that is what you are talking about) show less 'teen rebellion.' But, that doesn't mean it's not still there. The old Soviet Union was about as highly collective as it gets on a grand scale, and I met plenty of kids there who did things they weren't supposed to, just to be different. The youth movements here in the West in the sixties and the cultural revolution in China about the same time were in fact normal youthful rebelliousness gotten out of hand because our elders were so bogged down with their own moral issues, they couldn't provide a decent example for us.

Yes, Virginia, teen rebellion is a complex matter of hormones and social pressures. But, I guarantee you genes are part of the mix.
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[> [> [> [> The Knight's son and Prince Hal -- Rahael, 07:55:50 12/05/01 Wed

As far as I know, adolescents in early modern England did indeed 'act out'.

Going back even further, a hilarious picture of the image concious adolescent occurs in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales - the knight's son. And the most famous literary tear away is Shakespeare's Prince Hal, (drinking, thieving and generally being a bad sort) who of course grows to become the more responsible (though ruthless) Henry V.
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[> Re: Questions about Dawn -- pagangodess, 19:10:47 12/03/01 Mon

Lets not forget Anya, she's like over 1100 years old.

In Buffy books, it is mentioned that L.A. is only about an hour and a half away. Route 17 is also mentioned in books as well as in the tv series. It may mean something to those of you living on the US west coast.

Just had to get my two cents in.
'To Scream Like a Woman' - My Thoughts on *Wrecked* ... (*Spoilers*) -- OnM, 21:58:56 12/02/01 Sun

Note: The following scenario takes place in alternate universe number S6.10.13042301, or as itís commonly referred to by the Meta-Dimensional Cartographers Society, the ĎMy Dinner with Andre Universeí.

It is nighttime, and as we gaze down a trash-littered and dingy street in an obviously rough part of town, we see a small human figure appear down near the end of the street. The figure walks briskly towards us, and as the image grows larger with the closing distance, we see it is Buffy Summers, out on her nightly patrol, heading toward the cemetery a few blocks away. She does not see us, because we are the Phantoms of the Fourth Wall, although revealing this to you is not germane to the story at hand. It only serves to explain how we are able to eavesdrop undetected on the thoughts and conversations to follow.

We disappear and instantly reappear at the entrance to the cemetery. The Slayerís thoughts begin to appear in our minds as she walks steadfastly towards the gate, hands buried deeply in the pockets of the snug leather coat she wears, although by normal human standards, it is not very cold outside.

I could always live in my art, but never in my life. Of course, death is my art. Pfff. I try to remember when I was a child, when my Ďartí was no different than any other young girlís, hanging out with my friends at school, buying new clothes, going out for cheerleading, holding my little baby sister in my arms while mom and dad beamed at me lovingly. I was wealthy then, I didnít even know it. Now I spend my days just trying to pay the bills that constantly come due, bills not just of substance but of mind, bills sent to me unknowing and uncaring of my ability to pay them.

I was the child, now I am the parent, and worst of all Iím apparently not a very good one. Last night my best friend nearly got my sister killed, and where was I? I was so unsure of what to do that I debased my personal integrity yet one more time by seeking help from someone I should have killed years ago, but somehow didnít, and now I canít, even though heís more of a danger to me than ever.

He loves me. God, the thought turns my stomach, yet I keep seeing him again and again, Iím like some dog fascinated by the smell of itís own vomit. What the hell is wrong with me? Is it true, is he right, did I come back wrong, am I no longer human, do I still even have a soul? How can that be? I still feel angry when I see these creatures feed off of us like we were cattle, I still care for my friends and whatís left of my family, I burn inside to even think of shirking my responsibility as a warrior for good. If I donít have a soul, how could I feel these things? If he doesnít have one, how can he love me?

The graveyard is quiet tonight, Buffy looks around and then closes her eyes, momentarily shutting off the internal dialog with herself and allowing her heightened senses to reach out into the stillness, searching for the presence of any demonic vibrations. There are none, but she nonetheless lingers in the moment, the sweet emptiness of awareness bereft of conscious thought acting like a soothing balm to the harshness of ordinary existence. Reluctantly, she slowly allows her higher mind to reconnect, opens her eyes, and noticing an area below a nearby oak tree with a fairly thick-looking patch of grass under it, heads over to the spot to sit and wait.

Of course, he would argue that the soul has nothing to do with anything. It only predisposes one to follow the path of good, it doesnít assure it. By the same token, the lack of a soul doesnít guarentee that one will inevitably follow the path of evil. Serial killers can have souls, and I once referred to him as being a serial killer who happens to be in prison, thanks to that chip in his head. For that matter, why donít I just keep him literally locked up? The police may use criminals as informants, that doesnít necessarily mean they have to let them run free. I could force him to stay in the crypt, and just beat the information out of him when I needed it. Not that he might not like that. Itís occurred to me on more than one occasion that maybe Iím approaching this relationship all wrong, that he wants me to control him, be his superhuman mistress or some other sick thing. I still recall that comment he made back after Dru left him the first time, that he would Ďfind her and torture her until she loves him againí. What was scary was that it made sense to me in some perverse fashion. But why would he think Iím capable of such a role? Iím not really a bitch, I just play one in order to serve my calling.

A soft sound suddenly appears from a few dozen feet away, and Buffy instantly shifts from sitting to crouching, one hand on the ground to steady herself and provide a fulcrum for a fast return to full vertical, the other curling around the handle of the stake clipped to her belt. She stares intently as a shadowy shape emerges into the full moonlight, then with a dejected expression returns herself back down into the seated position once again. The hand releases the stake, and folds itself along with the other, cross-armed in front of her chest.

"Naturally. It would be you. Itíll always be you, Spike."

A half-smile curls at Spikeís lips as he walks over, stands above Buffy.

"Iíd like to think so."

Buffy doesnít reply. Spike stands for several long seconds, watching her not watching him, eyes cast at the ground. He gets down on one knee, turns and sits with his back against another quadrant of the tree, the shoulder of his coat missing the shoulder of hers by just an inch or so. "Silent treatment tonight, is that it? Just like an old married couple already, and we havenít even finished the honeymoon."

A fist flies up at his face as Buffy snaps an arm out of the fold, he clamps his hand around it, stopping it millimeters fom his cheek. His other hand waits for the expected followup blow, but it doesnít occur. The pressure abruptly disappears from the hand near his cheek, and he uncurls his fingers from around it. Buffy retracts the arm, pulls her knees up towards her chest and locks her fingers around her knees. Another 30 seconds passes, then Buffy finally speaks.

"There is no honeymoon. There will be no marriage. I donít love you, you know that. Iím not even sure I love myself very much at the moment for allowing what happened to happen. It most surely will not happen again. I am not going down the same path that Willow traveled. I will not give in to temptation when doing so will cause harm to people, no matter the... the sensation of the moment. Leaving oneself open to the unconscious opens one to all sorts of frightening manipulations. I must help Willow to deal with her... problems, and I must help myself to learn to deal with mine."

"Ahh. Well, thatís progress, luv. At least you admit you have problems. Score one for the side of evil."

"No scoring. There will be no more scoring. Get that through what passes for your brain."

"How is Red, anyway? She didnít look so good the other night after that little excursion into realms of magical bliss. Pretty bloody stupid of her to drag the kid along, I must say I expected better. I knew the fall was coming, just surprised how far down it went, and how fast."

"It was too fast. I ignored the signs, I admit it. I think it was just too close to home. But I donít see how even the trauma of having Tara leave could change her so quickly, and in such a bizarro way. Yeah, she was overusing the magic, I get that, but her spells were mostly well intentioned, even the one she did to.... to..."

Buffy stops speaking, her lips pressing together in a thin, hard straight line. Spike watches her face, sees her failed attempts to push the emotion out of it. She looks up and away, the moonlight making her countenance nearly as pale as that of the vampire sitting next to her.

"... bring me back. She didnít know where I was. And maybe it was selfish, maybe she just felt she couldnít go on without me, but that isnít for me to say. She is my friend, I have to let it go. Just like with Rack, and with her endangering Dawn. She knows it was stupid, but she isnít evil. Sheíll learn, and everyone will move on."

"Really? You think so? Sheíll just give up all that power, and be a good little non-witch from now on? Overnight, all the insecurities of her entire life will just go Ďpoofí and sheíll be all shiny and happy again? You pat her on the back, say Ďall is forgivení, and the next time some big bad comes to the streets of Sunnyhell, and you find you need some serious spellcasting done to save the bloody day, you wonít be saying, ĎOh, Will, now I know you have this teensy little magical dependency difficulty and all, but might you be so good as to transport this nasty ogre to some handy orge- dimension ASAP?"

Buffy abruptly arises and walks away from the tree, not looking back at Spike. He just as quickly gets up and runs after her as she continues to walk away, heading for the exit to the graveyard.. As he approaches her back she stops, and speaks without turning around.

"That wonít happen. You canít take someone with an uncontrollable desire and enable that desire. You are just as screwed up as they are if you do that. She has to stop, no magic, end of story. I wonít ask her to cast any more spells. No one will ask her to cast any more spells. Thatís the only way."

"So itís like Dawn? Damn the world, youíre going to save her, no matter what? Now whoís drunk on power? You think you donít have to make compromises to win the war? Tell me, Slayer, and tell the truth, Ďcos you know Iíll know if you donít..."

Buffy turns and stares angrily at Spike, seems about to interrupt, but allows him to continue.

"If push came to shove, you would have killed her up on that tower, wouldnít you? You would have killed her if there was no other way to save the world, and Watcher-boy knew it, and I knew it, and you know it. The rest of your groupie troop knew it too, I suspect, and when you figured out that you could die in her place, it was all so perfect, you get to die gloriously in battle, and save the universe in the bargain, and you donít have to compromise any principles. You were already in heaven."

"Your point being what? That I somehow got off easy? That the fates or whatever you want to call them took pity on me and gave me an out? You know, if they had really felt sorry for the poor little Slayer girl, they couldíve just zapped Glory with a big olí godly bolt of lightning and saved everyone from everything. But they didnít, did they? As usual, it was up to me, and I did what I had to do, what I always do. Iíd do it again."

"That is exactly the point, which you are still not getting. You keep on getting all wound up about losing yourself in a moment of being yourself. You have the strength to willingly, even lovingly die to save the world, but you think if you stoop to getting a few orgasmic jollies with a demon type, that somehow all your precariously poised morality will crumble and turn to dust. It doesnít work that way. That isnít who you are. Your fears serve no purpose but to weaken you with indecision. You have plenty of faults, Slayer, but a propensity for addictive behavior isnít one of them."

"And I should just take your highly perceptive word for that? It worked that way for Willow, and she never struck me as the losing-your-marbles type. And as you just recently mentioned, she went down pretty damn fast. Like what, two or three nights with some black-magic spell-pusher? What makes you different from him, or me from her?"

"Letís leave me out of the equation for the moment. The difference is that she longs to gain power, and you long to lose it. She wants to be SuperWillow, you want to be Joan. The difference is that she has no inherent gift for, and little developed skill at handling real power, and you were born to wield it. Everyone who meets you clearly recognizes that, except for the idiots and yourself. A human being is a complex and dangerous creature, and you are one of the most complex and dangerous humans I have ever met."

Spike pauses, his voice softens.

"Itís why I love you, I suspect. Itís exactly why I fell in love with Dru, although the evil part was kind of a bonus. I accept that I may not get that bonus with you, but Iím willing to compromise as long as I get to keep the dangerous part. You may not see the beauty in it, but itís there, and itís real, and if you would stop bitching and griping about it long enough to allow it to fit into itís rightful place as a part of that mystery which is you, princess, youíd be a happier woman, and a better Slayer."

Buffy starts to respond, but stops before the first instinctive denial starts to leap off her tongue. What if itís true? Is this why I canít kill him, canít leave him alone, is he some sort of mirror for my subconscious, one of those heavy people who reveals the soft spot? She turns and begins to walk back toward the oak tree where they were sitting just a few minutes before, then spies a stone bench nearby. Sitting down on it, Buffy reclines wearily against the unyielding surface. Spike wanders over, sits on the ground in front of her. Buffy waits for him to continue his harangue, but he simply stares at her, somehow without looking at him she can still sense his piercing eyes sharply focussed on her face. OK, one more time, with feeling... She sighs quietly, and then speaks slowly and deliberately.

"Spike, itís a step, down a path. Maybe youíre right, maybe I do have this part of me, some dark portion of my soul where tears and laughter seem to merge. But I canít allow it to tempt me, Spike, I have to grow beyond it. Perhaps I could learn to balance the dark and the light, perhaps I could learn to use you as my demon sex toy and then blithely climb back up the ladder and go back to dusting the rest of your kind..."

Spike chuckles. "Thatíd be a start, luv."

"Please. Let me finish. Iím trying really hard here not to pound you senseless, you know. God knows that hasnít worked, has it?"

"All part of the dance, Slayer."

Buffy sighs again.

"Anyway, I could do that, and meanwhile be making excuses to myself that itís just a role- playing scene, that Iím pretending, that itís harmless. But it isnít. People would get hurt, and itís my duty to protect people, not to harm them. No, I didnít ask for this job, and I donít want it, but since I have it, Iím damn well going to do it, and do it as well as I possibly can. If that means no big Oís for Slayer girl, then so be it."

She turned her head to look straight at Spike.

"It was an intense moment. Is that what you want to hear? Yes, I lost myself, and in that short period of time the rest of the world went away, there was only me and eternity and being. But you canít stay that way for very long, at least not in this mortal life. People need to have purpose, things to do, goals to pursue. Contentment in just Ďbeing in the momentí calls for also being where I was last summer. Tell me, Spike-- do you expect to get there someday? Do you care?"

Spike seemed taken aback slightly, and leaned back on his arms, momentarily dropping his eyes away from the sleek, powerful body that he longed, insanely, to serve.

"I canít say Iíve given it a lot of thought, luv. Not the kind of thing we living-challenged consider much, you know? I suppose we donít fear hell the way you mortal types do. We make our own and then we get used to it, you see?"

Buffy sat up on the bench, looked around, stood up.

"Get up, Spike."

"Get up?"

"Nothingís happening tonight. Time for me to go home. Time for you to do the same."

"What, go home with you?" Spike quickly picked himself up off the ground, and moved over close to Buffy. "Well, I would have tried calm, dispassionate reason with you sooner if I thought it would work this nicely..."

Buffy neither moved away nor stood any closer to her strange nemesis.

"Your home, Spike. Your crypt. I donít live there. You donít live in my house. If we meet, itís in the middle somewhere. Iím not sure just where I want that middle to be, but I will give it some thought. Is that sufficiently non-bitchy enough for you?"

"Oh. Well. Right then. I suppose itís a start. See you."

He turned to leave, and she watched him stride off, the darkness enveloping him in exactly the reverse manner of how he appeared earlier that night. The moon had shifted to a lower part of the sky, and Buffy began walking quickly out past the cemetary gate, out into the street and back towards Revello Drive.

The Phantoms of the Fourth Wall shift time and space once more, and we see Buffy entering the foyer of the Summerís home, dropping the keys on the table, and heading upstairs. Passing by Dawnís room, Buffy carefully opens the door, peers into the dim light of the room and sees that Dawn is sound asleep, ribbons of light from the window blinds crossing the rounded form under the covers.

Closing the door, she passes by Willow and Taraís room, where the door stands fully open. Willow is sitting up against the headboard of the bed, still looking somewhat haggard, though not as bad as the previous night. Hearing the sound of footsteps at the doorway, Willow turns to look at Buffy, a smile appearing on her face.

"Hey."

"Hey." Pause. "How are you tonight? You look better."

"Yeah, Iím better. Most of the shakes are gone. But Dawn is still pointedly ignoring my presence. Guess I canít blame her. Getting nearly killed by a spell-junkie witch can warp your perspective a bit, I understand that.

Buffy doesnít immediately reply, Willow notices the classic Summersídark and pensive look and quickly expresses concern.

"Buffy? Are you all right? I... I know that Iím not the very best of company right this moment, but... if there is something you wanna talk to me about... I mean, well, spill, OK? I so owe you big time for the way youíve handled this... me... so far."

Willow looks away. It still hurts to stare back at the face of such grace. How will she ever trust me again, after I betrayed her so horribly? Maybe she never will. She says she forgives me, but how can she? I couldnít if I were her. Sheís so strong, and Iím so weak and pathetic.

Buffy walks over to the bed, and sits down softly on it, looks over at Willow, meeting the soft, slightly moist-eyed gaze of her best friend.

"Willow, Dawnís asleep now, but I want to tell you something, I need to talk to someone about this. Iíll tell Dawn tomorrow, she needs to know also, but I need to get this out, or Iíll go crazy."

"Buffy? What? What is it?"

Well, here goes...

********

(One remaining, tiny, shift in space finds us...)

In the next room over, Dawn is dreaming, walking down a dark street late at might, feeling strangely free of fear in spite of the ominous surroundings. An odd internal sensation, like a spine- tingle, but not quite, causes her to stop and look around her. Suddenly, a tall, powerful looking vampire jumps from a fire escape down right in front of her, fangs bared, bloodlust glaring from itís cold, dark eyes. Without missing a beat, she kicks it powerfully in the abdomen, knocking it flying to the hard cement. In a matter of seconds she jumps and straddles it, her arm swinging up and just as blindingly fast plunging down, impaling the creature through the heart, watching it turn to dry bones and then dust beneath her. She stands, feeling an immense sense of satisfaction, and strangely, hunger. The dreamscape bleeds and shifts, and she is opening the door of a refrigerator. As she sits down at the kitchen table with a bowl of ice cream and a very large glass of milk, she feels her body tremble in a not unpleasant way, and thinks, God, what a rush that was...

(The Phantoms depart, and we fade to black.)

*******
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[> um.....wow! -- Jen C., 22:33:52 12/02/01 Sun

What was that? Fiction? Role play? Some sort of direct line from the Buffyverse to the Realverse? That was so awesome!
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[> [> Thanks! Actually, it's just my usual warped idea of a 'review'. ;) -- OnM, 22:51:52 12/02/01 Sun

Just a wee bit more warped than usual this week! As an added bonus, persons who recall the L. Malle film can have extra fun picking out the lifts.

Sorry about the late posting, I promised it would be up by Sunday, and I just made it if you go by Central or later time.

Sleepy-time now, back tomorrow as serves my own addiction.

See ya'all!
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[> [> [> Au Revoir Les Enfants or My Dinner with Andre? -- Su, 23:36:07 12/02/01 Sun

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[> Wow! -- Kimberly, 06:27:40 12/03/01 Mon

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[> Wow...humbled in the face of your brilliance again, OnM. -- rowan, 07:54:10 12/03/01 Mon

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[> Re: 'To Scream Like a Woman' - My Thoughts on *Wrecked* ... (*Spoilers*) -- purplegrrl, 13:56:33 12/03/01 Mon

Hey, OnM, with all this writing talent, why weren't you a contributor to our summer fan-fic??

Excellent as always.
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[> I like your wrecked much, much, much, much better!!! -- sl, 14:07:51 12/03/01 Mon

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[> Gee....what are you getting me for Christmas? -- Rufus, 16:47:06 12/03/01 Mon

I need a new toner pac for the printer.

Loved........"living challenged".....and major giggles during the "dispassionate reason"....and who can forget "no Big O's for Slayer Girl".........

Wonderful job.
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[> [> Re: Gee....what are you getting me for Christmas? -- DEN, 18:46:44 12/03/01 Mon

If I could write like that, I'd never write anything because I'd have a sore arm from patting myself on the back.
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[> I took this post, and d'Herblay's bachelorette scene... -- Wisewoman, 20:07:36 12/03/01 Mon

and sent them to my fellow Buffy-fanatic at work. If that doesn't convince her to start frequenting this Board, nothing will!

;o)
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[> [> Re: I took this post, and d'Herblay's bachelorette scene... -- Rufus, 20:39:59 12/03/01 Mon

There is another Buffy fanatic in Vancouver? Pretty soon we will be bringing OnM his slippers and telling him to not worry about the nasty world.....just write.
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[> [> [> Not only a fanatic, but a dyed-in-the-wool trollop as well! -- WW, 13:21:31 12/06/01 Thu

She just keeps insisting she doesn't have the time to spend on the computer...darn work ethic!

;o)
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[> [> now who's the 'pusher'? -- pagangodess, 20:59:52 12/03/01 Mon

Did we not all agree a bit further down that we are all terribly addicted to this board? Do you honestly wish another innocent all those late late nights reading the pc screen and the jitters of non- connectivity and inability to read new posts (withdrawals can be nasty, I had one this weekend because we had guests)? You know that once your friend enters this 'union' he/she will have to forsake all others, mostly due to time limits.

I say go for it, convince her any way you can. We all suffer these symptoms - the more the merrier.

:)

pagan

P.S. Hope I did not put my foot in my mouth again, as this particular extremity seems to have taken up permanent resisdence there.
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[> [> [> LOL! Yes, we need to convince others to join us! -- Wisewoman, 20:58:45 12/05/01 Wed

Soon there will be more Buffy fanatics than non-fanatics! We'll rule the world!!!

I'm doing my part.

;o)
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[> [> [> [> But I don't want to rule the world. I just want more vacation time.... ;) -- OnM, 08:27:40 12/06/01 Thu

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[> [> [> [> [> Re: But I don't want to rule the world. I just want more vacation time.... ;) -- John Burwood, 08:13:30 12/07/01 Fri

Me too! And I would spend some of that vacation time on this board - if and when I can actually get on the damn thing. I got in to skim through your 'Wrecked' review just before rushing off to work Monday, planned to read it through properly when I got home - now (Friday afternoon when I actually do I have a day off) is the first time my crap TV Internet system has let me on the Board instead of saying the page is too big to load.
But I am at least back for now, to add my compliments. You always manage to remind me of my insect reflection as a poster. Your reviews are addictive in their own right.
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[> um, "wow" - yes. -- res, 22:55:15 12/03/01 Mon


Current board | More December 2001