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What *really* happened to Buffy in Heaven (grain of salt warning) :-) -- Aquitaine, 21:48:20 12/06/01 Thu

I was cleaning out my hard drive tonight and stumbled onto this little bit of fiction I wrote right after the season finale to cheer myself up. Since I knew Buffy would be coming back, I took a decidedly ironic pen to my topic. Originally, this was meant to fit into another one of my stories but I ended up not using this bit. Considering all the very lugubrious talk about 'heaven' and S/B sex, I thought reading this with hindsight might make you smile.


Postmark: Heaven

As Michael watched, Buffy plopped herself down on the most comfortable looking cloud.

"Hey! This is just like the cream cheese commercial!" Buffy cried, making a sweeping gesture with a white-draped arm. "This is definitely my idea of heaven. Clouds with silver linings and *cheese*. You think that April robot was trying to tell me something?" she asked the heavenly creature playfully.

"It would appear that dying has not put much of a damper on your acerbic wit, Ms. Summers," Michael responded, smiling indulgently.

"Hmmph," Buffy replied, popping a cheese square into her mouth. With a beatific smile, she thought: "It feels so good not to worry about anything."

"And what was with all that ‘curds and whey’ and ‘counting down to 730’ stuff, anyway?" Buffy grumbled. "Better to be dead once and for all. I could seriously get used to the no- worries, warm-fuzzies, waited-on-foot-and-mouth."

Michael chuckled. "I’m afraid you may be labouring under a delusion. You have 7 remaining lives to live. The cat is only dead to the Fox. You have much Unfulfilled Promise to Nurture."


"That’s right, you died before you heard about the big move… This is only a way station, Ms Summers. You will be returning to your former life as soon as they," Michael looked down, "are ready for you."

"Wh- what? No. You don’t understand. I don’t want to live in that," Buffy pointed down with her hand and tears threatened to spill, " kind of world. Never, ever, nuh-uh. From now on, it’s fluffy clouds and cheese all the way."

Silence fell between Michael and Buffy as she curled into a ball and closed her eyes against him.

"What if *they* don’t want to live in that world without you?" Michael suggested softly.

Buffy pretended not to hear him and a heavy silence descended on the heavens once again. Then, a part of heaven came loose and fell.

Postmark: Magic Box

The bookcase tottered a bit before it came crashing down.

"Jeepers Creepers!" Xander screamed. "I hate doing inventory!"

Anya, Tara, Willow, Giles and Dawn came running up.

"I hate taxes!" Anya chirped.

In the process of rolling her eyes at Anya’s comment, Willow decided to make light of the situation: "I hate… brussel sprouts!"

"I hate rabbits!" Anya chirped again, happy with the new game.

"I hate large, unwieldy messes in my shop," Giles grumbled as he took in the mess.

"Hellllooooo! Has everyone gone insane? Could I get some help here?" Xander asked.

"Ohhhh sweetie. Are you OK? Are you hurt somewhere? I can kiss and make it better," Anya said as Xander grabbed her hand and raised himself off the floor.

"Maybe later," Xander answered wanly.

"I hate porridge!" Tara said suddenly and everyone turned to look at her.

"I hate Glory and Ben," Dawn, who had been quiet until now, said. "This game is stupid," she said accusingly and walked away.

The Magic Box front bell clanged and Spike appeared in the doorway.

"What happened here? Spell gone bad, Will?"

"Very funny, Spike!"

Spike shrugged and moved to go to the back training room to pick up some weapons before he went out on patrol.

"Hey Spike! Name something you hate," Willow asked trying to get him in on the game.

Spike looked at her strangely, realising she was trying to tell him something. He didn’t quite get it though.

After much consideration, Spike said: "Don’t reckon I hate anything right this minute."

Spike disappeared into the back room of the Magic Box.

Xander giggled nervously as he realised that, out of them all, only Spike claimed to hate nothing.


Postmark: Heaven

"Is there anything I can get you, Ms Summers, that will make your stay here with us more comfortable," Michael asked, not unkindly.

"No! Leave me alone."

"As you wish."

"Wait!" Buffy said suddenly, scrambling from her foetal position on her cloud.

"I want Mr. Gordo."

"Mr… who?

"Mr. Gordo, my pet pig."

"I’m not sure animals are allowed here Ms…"

"Mr. Gordo is a stuffed animal, you moron."

"Oh. I really should know these things. I’m very sorry about the confusion. I only just got your case yesterday as Gabriel was called away unexpectedly."

"Great. I love it when TPTB dabble with my life without having all the necessary information," Buffy answered bitterly.

"I’m sure I can get you…er… Mr. Gordo is it?" Michael asked making a note on a small notepad.

Buffy sighed.

"Were you this vacuous when you were alive?" Michael burst out suddenly.

"I used to be and then I was quote ‘called’ unquote."

"Did you resent being called?"

"Jeez. Didn’t you read any part of my file?" Buffy shrugged. "It kinda sucked all around. Death and dying aren’t all that exhilarating, you know."

"They aren’t?" Michael asked, a little too innocently.

"Wipe that bloody smirk off your face. You’re as bad as he was."

"You didn’t enjoy…" Michael riffled through the pages of the dossier in front of him, ‘kicking demon butt’, not even a little bit?"

"It was fine. OK. Death was my art, yada yada. I slew a few vampires and miscellaneous evil demons, saved the world; Hey, I even died once before. Though I didn’t have the dubious honour of visiting you that time." Buffy said, her voice dripping with sarcasm. "Then I found out death was my gift…"

"So being the Slayer was a negative experience all around, then pet?" Michael said.

"What did you call me?"

"The Slayer."

"No. You called me ‘pet’. No one ever called me pet except…"

"I’m sorry if I offended you Ms Summers." Michael’s eyes gleamed with mirth.

"It isn’t bad enough he tormented me in life; now he’s followed me to heaven," Buffy said, petulantly. For the first time, she looked unhappy to be on cloud nine. She paced around, restless.

"Is there something wrong, Ms Summers?" Michael asked.

"Don't you have any riff-raff around. You know. Something I could kill or maim?" Buffy made a staking motion with her hand.

Hearing her words, God, in his heaven, smiled.

And Michael made a note for future reference: Go to Plan B.


It's just a fragment but I hope it made you smile.
[> *big smile*very nice! and to go far, far OT, I've a few Q's for you or any Quebecois with a minute -- res, 00:02:10 12/07/01 Fri

I'm a senior in High School and I'm seriously considering going to McGill for college... The biggest perks for me are a. it's an escape from the society in America, b. it's friggin cheap compared even to state schools here in CA, c. I would be more apt to fulfill a lifelong goal I have to become bilingual, and c. Montreal seems like a really thriving, beautiful place to live. The thing is I won't be able to visit Montreal before I go (money and time restraints) but I would really like to hear what you or others here may have to say about it, because I hold you and many people on this board in high esteem concerning the sort of intellectual and interactive atmosphere I'm looking for in college, in life. thank you so much for any comments you have time to make.

ps. cheese, falling chunks of heaven, porridge, hate -- wonderful grasp of Buffyverse scriptwriting!
[> [> McGill U -- pagangodess, 06:32:49 12/07/01 Fri

Although I am not a Quebeqer, hell I don't even speak french (shame on me) I have visited Montreal on countless occasions (I have family there and we are only two hours away). My friend went to McGill and she quite enjoyed it, as much as you can enjoy school anyway. So to answer your question, Montreal is a fine city. My favourite of all I've visited in this country. It has excellent public transpo, so you may not even need a car. Lots to see and do. But I'll let the actual residents of this metropolis rave about it to you.

[> [> Re: OT - McGill and Montréal -- Aquitaine, 14:48:16 12/07/01 Fri


I went to Concordia University but, without a doubt, McGill has a very good international reputation (but depending on your major any of the three other universities could be a good choice). I'm biased but I think that Montréal could just be the most 'balanced' city in the world culturally. As pagangoddess has already pointed out, public transit is excellent. You'll want to live downtown just... because:) I suggest rooming with someone else maybe someone French (perhaps looking at the housing boards for the French universities - UQAM and Université de Montréal - could help you with this) because socialising at McGill will keep you in a unilingual frame of mind (and, dare I say, in a slightly elitist world).

I could go on but... if you have more specific questions, let me know:)

[> [> [> thank you both very much!(really good to hear about public transit since there'll be no car for me.) -- res, 18:55:38 12/08/01 Sat

[> wanna hear Plan B -- slime, 00:06:15 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> Me too, me TOO! :D -- RH, 08:51:40 12/07/01 Fri

[> I chortled :) -- Traveler, 00:40:45 12/07/01 Fri

[> Just lovely, Aq! -- Rahael, 05:20:51 12/07/01 Fri

[> If there's nothing to kill or maim, is she really in Heaven? ROTFLMAO -- Kimberly, 05:54:53 12/07/01 Fri

[> Hee! Hee! It gave me the giggles! You're down with the funny! :-) -- Rob, 08:40:30 12/07/01 Fri

[> heavenly, Aquitaine! -- purplegrrl, 13:30:34 12/07/01 Fri

[> Most enjoyable! (NT) -- Dichotomy, 16:52:55 12/07/01 Fri

[> Did you ever finish that fic you posted here some months ago? -- Isabel, 19:29:46 12/08/01 Sat

I think you called it "Perchance to Dream?"

I liked it, and then it appeared for about 2 weeks on and then disappeared again. I wondered how it came out.
ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- Shaglio, 06:21:56 12/07/01 Fri

Since the Winter Solstice is rapidly aproaching, I thought it would be nice to get my roommate a little gift for the holiday. She's pagan and celebrates the solstice, but I know absolutely nothing about it. Is it even customary to give someone a gift for the Winter Solstice? And if so, what would be a good thing to get her?
[> Re: ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- Kimberly, 06:26:48 12/07/01 Fri

Gifts at the time of the solstice are an ancient custom, so it would be completely appropriate. As far as what, without knowing more about your roommate, hard to say. Do you want to go with a Pagan- theme, or just something for her? (Pagan style: the easiest generic gift I can think of would be either candles or symbolic jewelry.)

Hope this helps.
[> [> Re: ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- Shaglio, 07:17:06 12/07/01 Fri

"(Pagan style: the easiest generic gift I can think of would be either candles or symbolic jewelry.)"

I think Pagan style would be best since it would be keeping in sync with the holiday. As for jewelry, I don't think that would be a good idea because I don't want to send the wrong message (we used to date, but are now "just friends"). Candles sounds good; any specific shape/size/length/color?

Thanks for your assistence, Kimberly :)
[> [> [> Re: ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- Kimberly, 08:06:32 12/07/01 Fri

Keeping in season with the holiday: You could go with a large red candle surrounded with greenery (symbolic of a Yule log, which was originally a Pagan symbol). You could go with something with a solar theme (most to all cultures in the Northern Hemisphere are convincing the sun to come back, lengthen the days and warm the earth again.) You could give her something with a friendship theme. Candle holders, lamps, etc., fit with this too. Colors: red, green, yellow.

BTW, most symbols used for Christmas work just as well for a Pagan Winter Solstice: the Christians stole them from the Pagans in the first place, including the birth of the Sun at the dark of the year. :- )

Glad if I can offer any help here.
[> [> [> [> Re: ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- RH, 08:50:12 12/07/01 Fri

" the Christians stole them from the Pagans in the first place, including the birth of the Sun at the dark of the year."

We didn't "steal" - we're "sharing"! If it weren't for all that darned persecution by the Romans we'd have had our own separate holiday! ;)

Enjoy the Solstice, everyone!
[> [> [> [> [> Re: ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- boy_mercury, 09:36:04 12/07/01 Fri

You're talking to pagans about PERSECUTION??? It's been a two-way road, let me assure you. And in defending paganism and Wicca, the side for large mainstream religions such as Christianity can be seen as a large auditorium full of people, and the side for paganism can be seen as one person bound and gagged in the corner! Hence Christmas being a national holiday and Yule (winter solstice) being nothing but a change of season. And don't get me started on the perversion that is Halloween.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Okaaaaaaay! Relaaaaaax! -- RH, 09:46:58 12/07/01 Fri

I was not jumping down anyone's throat or trying to get sympathy - the past is the past! I was simply saying that Christian's are sharing the same holiday (rather than stealing), and gave one reason why we didn't just pick another date and another way to celebrate!

Let's try to keep that whole "peace on Earth" thing working, okay?! :)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Have a wonderful Winter Solstice (Hannukah, Yule and Christmas, in calendrical order) Way OT -- Kimberly, 11:26:50 12/07/01 Fri

Yes, to everyone, have a wonderful Winter Solstice holiday of your choice.

BTW, RH, the "theft" probably began as people not wanting to give up their beloved traditions--a phenomenon which can be seen in today's Pagan communities. However, Pagans today are a little touchy about Christians and their interactions with the Pagans today. Realize this: a Pagan today has to THINK about whether or not they publicly admit their religion; doing so can mean the loss of children, friends, jobs, property and, in some extreme cases, life. Although I can understand that you didn't intend anything negative, far too many of your co-religionists DO, and it hurts us all.

Again, Merry Christmas to you.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> and let's not leave out ramadan... -- anom, 20:16:07 12/09/01 Sun

...already in progress. @>)

And, at the other end of the calendrical progression, Kwanzaa.

BTW, are there any actual Muslims (as distinct from Islamists/students of Islam) on the board?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oops -- Kimberly, 08:32:20 12/10/01 Mon

Knew I forgot somebody. Sorry to all Muslims and those who celebrate Kwanzaa. And Happy Ramadan (or whatever the appropriate salutation is) and Happy Kwanzaa.

Or, let's make it simple: Happy Winter Solstice Holiday, However You Celebrate It.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ramadan is not a Winter Solstice holiday. -- d'Herblay, 13:46:07 12/10/01 Mon

Have a happy one anyway!

The Islamic calendar is lunar, composed of 12 months, each of which begin with the first sighting of the waxing crescent after the new moon. This leads to a month of approximately 29 or 30 days and a year of a little more than 354 days. There is no attempt to insert "extra" days into the lunar year to keep it aligned with the solar year, as there is in the Hebrew calendar. These means that the starts of Islamic months move forward about eleven days each year when converted to a solar calendar, like the Gregorian one most of us are familiar with. Ramadan began on November 17 this year; it is predicted that it will begin on November 6 next year and on October 27 in 2003. The fact that the Winter Solstice fell in Ramadan last year and the two years before is expected (it will do so for, I'm doing the math in my head so forgive me if I'm wrong, 2 or 3 out of every 33 years or so) but coincidental. Ramadan will eventually encompass the Summer Solstice before cycling back to the Winter.

But we might wish all Zoroastrians a happy Sada, Zuni Indians a merry Shalako and ancient Romans a felis Dies Natalis Invicti, a happy Day of the Birth of the Invincible Sun, which was set on the Winter Solstice, fixed in the Julian Calendar on December 25. It's a little late to wish Hindus a happy Diwali -- a festival of lights which coincides with a period of long, dark nights, but which falls in October or November.

And let's not forget the holiday Giles, in "Into the Woods," hopes to be a retail stimulus: Gurnenthar's Ascendance.

Easter and Passover are roughly correlated to coincide with the Vernal Equinox. Hey, pagans and other interested parties: how come I've never heard of anyone making a big deal out of either the Summer Solstice or the Autumnal Equinox?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> one more -- Shaglio, 13:51:28 12/10/01 Mon

Don't forget Boxing Day for our British boardmates.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Summer Solstice / Autumnal Equinox -- Kimberly, 14:26:31 12/10/01 Mon

Holidays attached to the Summer Solstice: end of school, St. John's Day (the Baptist), Pentecost, Independence Day (the date chosen is coincidental, but many of the traditional celebrations are traditional Solstice celebrations) and, I think Shavuot (I think that's the Jewish Pentecost).

Holidays attached to the Autumnal Equinox: beginning of school, second harvest/Harvest Home, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur.

I don't claim to know holidays for other than Pagan, Christian and Jewish religions, and on the Jewish ones I'm shaky on both dates and spelling. These are the ones off the top of my head.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Summer Solstice / Autumnal Equinox -- anom, 21:54:51 12/10/01 Mon

"...and, I think Shavuot (I think that's the Jewish Pentecost)."

Literally, in the sense of 50 days. We count 7 weeks (7 x 7) after Passover starts, & the next day is Shavuot. It usually falls in May/June (although I don't think it ever occurs as late as the solstice) & is celebrated as the day the Torah was given at Mt. Sinai. It's also the day of offering first fruits.

"Holidays attached to the Autumnal Equinox: beginning of school, second harvest/Harvest Home, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur.

I don't claim to know holidays for other than Pagan, Christian and Jewish religions, and on the Jewish ones I'm shaky on both dates and spelling. These are the ones off the top of my head."

In Judaism there's also Sukkot, the harvest festival when we eat (& some sleep) in booths, immediately followed by Shemini Atzeret & Simchat Torah (fall is a very busy time for us!). The spellings are fine.

What I'm not familiar with is (are?) 2nd harvest (when's the 1st?)/harvest home.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Summer Solstice / Autumnal Equinox -- Kimberly, 09:25:34 12/11/01 Tue

You can probably tell I'm not Jewish; I know about the holidays, but I don't have the "feel" for them.

Harvest Home is a traditional holiday, I think British Isles, celebrating the harvest. I've seen dates on it ranging from August to September; it probably depends on when the main harvest for the area is. The traditions look a lot like Thanksgiving: thanks to the god(s) and lots of food.

Harvest is not actually a holiday; it is what is generally celebrated at this time (at least in the Northern Hemisphere). Each culture has its own set of celebrations thanking the god(s) for the harvest.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> it's "ramadan mubarak" ("blessed ramadan")...not sure about kwanzaa -- anom, 21:43:57 12/10/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> Re: ATTN: Wicca and Pagan posters (very OT) -- Shaglio, 10:40:19 12/07/01 Fri

Maybe I'll buy her red, green, and yellow candles. Thanks again for all your help :)
My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Jennifer, 06:25:24 12/07/01 Fri

Dearest Joss,
Thank you for all the wonderful years of humor, angst and horror that you have provided us with on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I never thought the day would come when I would feel the need to critique the greatest show on earth.

I stood by when Angel went bad…knowing that you had something fantastic up your sleeve.

I stood by when the Initiative was happening …knowing you would redeem yourself for a Season of so-so episodes with a fantastic Season Finale (Restless).

I stood by when all of a sudden Buffy had a sister…knowing that you would explain it all and have it make sense.

I stood by when Buffy, our favorite heroine, died…knowing you would bring her back and make our lives better.

But now I am scared. Season 6, in my opinion, started out promising. A bit dark, but that is to be expected considering Buffy was coming back from the dead, and her friends were alone without her fighting the good fight. But then it stayed dark…I found bits of hope: Willow going evil, Xander afraid of marriage, Buffy having feelings for Spike. "Once More With Feeling" brought my hopes to the highest of highs…and it continued with Tabula Rasa…then began to sink…but still I made the decision to stand by you again.

But then "Wrecked" came along. Why, oh why Joss did you turn what could have been an exceptional episode into After School Special material?? I was so heartbroken after this episode. And not for the right reasons. Not because Dawn was almost killed. Not because Willow misses Tara and needs help with her "addiction". Not because Buffy is conflicted about Spike. I was heartbroken because this episode increasingly became predictable, pat, and just WRONG!!! No drug metaphors please!!! I hate to say that this was the worst most insulting (to fans) episode ever, but it was. Please heed my advice and advice from all the Buffy fans I have chatted with regarding this. It is as follows:

Willow: You can still explore this. But no drug metaphors please!! It insults our intelligence more than you can know!!! Evil Willow is much more interesting than Addicted Willow. Have the Magical Powers take her over and then she can be redeemed somewhere down the road. There is so much to do with this character and right now she is just being used for all the wrong reasons!

Buffy/Spike: Ok, I can believe the attraction to Spike. I understood the bonding at the beginning of the Season and why she could only talk to him. But this denial she is experiencing (kiss…hate you…kiss…hate you…sex…hate you) is just so tiring. Give in to your primal instinct, admit it, and maybe Spike can help you understand. Stop pushing him away.

Dawn: Such a pivotal player in Season 5, but delegated to background and filler in Season 6. The worst thing you could do is to set her up as the next Slayer. Please tell me that is not even a consideration. She is a teenager…fill her with angst and confusion like regular teenagers…or like the Scoobies once were.

Xander: Give this man a story line. Xander is a core Scoobie and the brilliant Nicholas is being sorely underused. Five minutes per episode is just an insult to such an amazing actor and an amazing character. I can almost guarantee that this is one of the main complaints from the fans. Not enough Xander.

Anya: Ok, the whole "I was immortal, now I am mortal and don’t know manners" bit was funny…for a while. Two things: Maybe let her get her powers back, if only temporary, lots of ideas for great stories here. And please tell the beautiful Ms. Caulfield to pick a hair shade. This is just too disturbing.

Tara: BRAVO!!!! The one character who is unbelievably…believable. There was a time when I could relate to each and everyone of the people in the Buffy Universe. But these past few months, my believability has been shot. But what has happened to the Tara character has been great. You gave the girl a backbone. Kudos to you!!!

The Nerds of Doom: Please Joss, tell me this will all work out. I can’t even begin to give my advice because I just don’t think there is anything that can happen that will make me accept this.

Giles: Can’t talk …sniff sniff…about this…sniff sniff…without bawling. I MISS GILES!!!!!

The Scooby Gang: Where is accountability? Jonathon casts a spell (Superstar) and gets the riot act from Buffy about the dangers…but Xander is responsible for the outbreak of song and not a word is spoken to him? Willow is responsible for amnesia and not a word is spoken? Where is the love? I miss the camaraderie. I miss the "I love you" between friends. I miss it all. I want it back. Now.

There are so many wonderful things going on over at "Angel". The characters are acting just like their characters, as it should be. Why has Buffy changed so much? Joss, I am hanging by a thread here, sadly. Please tell me that by the end of this Season that this thread will be a nice big sturdy rope. I miss my funny, heartwarming, scary show.

[> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Joss, 06:49:56 12/07/01 Fri

Dear Jennifer,

As I've stated before, I am giving you, the viewing audience, what you NEED, not what you want. Perservere, and see what happens...

~J. Whedon
[> [> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Stranger, 07:08:23 12/07/01 Fri

Well, Misser, sometimes we have to give you the review that you need, not the one that you want.
[> [> [> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Jennifer, 07:29:32 12/07/01 Fri

What exactly is it that I NEED? What is being given to my by BTVS, Season 6, that I NEED?
[> [> [> [> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Stranger, 07:36:05 12/07/01 Fri

Well, i meant that i can't agree more with your post Jennifer
maybe Joss should understand, as a part of the "Oh ! grow up" theme, than it comes a time when people have to decide by their own what they need ? ;)
[> [> [> [> Okay - you know that wasn't REALLY a letter from Joss, right?! (Spoilers/Ramblings) -- RH, 08:40:45 12/07/01 Fri

I liked your comment on Buffy and love - it made me wonder whether THAT is what has been missing since she came back.

We know that the First Slayer told her she "loves much" - which was good, right?! But what if this time around, Buffy is choosing not to love as much? In OMTwF Buffy states that she "wants the fire back", and that she just wants to "feel", yet at almost every opportunity, she denies herself any significant connection with the fire and feelings she yearns for.

Xander + Anya = love (worked through issues from OMTwF)
Xander/Anya + SG = love (honest concern for Willow and Tara; concern and caring for Buffy and Dawn)

Willow + Tara = love (at least, we KNOW Tara loves Willow)
Willow/Tara + Dawn = love (surrogate mother role - only disturbed by "addiction")

Giles + Buffy = love (father/daughter - does what's best for her despite pain to him)
Giles + SG = love (didn't want to leave them alone in Sunnydale; took over mentor role)

Dawn + Buffy = love (touching scene at Buffy's return, and care for her)
Dawn + Tara/Willow/(SG) = they are her family

Spike + Buffy = love (consistent, honest, supportive)

Who does Buffy love?

-The SG? She didn't confide in any of them about having been torn from heaven, and hasn't talked to anyone about her relationship with Spike. Sure, there are justifications, but she is denying herself the emotional assistance of her beloved friends.

-Spike? She confides in him about heaven, (is the reason what he sang - "Whisper in a dead man's ear, doesn't make it real"?), seeks his assistance, and "cavorts" with him but refuses to acknowledge that there are any true feelings between them.

-Dawn? She seems to view protecting and caring for Dawn as a "chore", ("Dawn's in trouble? It must be Tuesday.) Although she showed mild outrage at Dawn's vamp-boyfriend situation (because of the immediate threat), she neglected any further discussion on the matter; the stealing has still gone unnoticed, and responsibility for Dawn has been shirked to Giles and Willow. We have barely seen any interaction between these two since Buffy's return, (only in "Bargaining 2").

-Giles? Buffy has shown the most tender emotion where Giles is concerned. She "missed" him and gave him a bone-cracking hug when he returned; then she was touched and greatful for his monetary gift, (the cheque). At this point, she began to take him forgranted, (expecting him to take care of Dawn); then he leaves again, causing more hurt and anger, and Buffy once again retreats emotionally from those around her.

-Xander and Anya's engagement announcement is met with mild surprise and confusion.
-Tara's departure doesn't affect her at all.
-Amy's return elicits only mild surprise.
-Willow's addiction is brushed off as insignificant, (until the "fallout").

Buffy seems to be handling things with as little emotion as she can - self-preservation? The only passionate emotions we have seen from her have been the darker emotions, (anger and desire), yet all of the lighter emotions, (laughter, love, tenderness), have been in short supply.

We know that Buffy has been hurt by love before, (Angel left, Riley left, Joyce died, heaven was taken from her, etc.), and it is a natural reaction for those who are hurt to hide from their emotions, but love is part of life. If Buffy wants to get back in "synch" with things again, she's going to have to reach out and touch the fire and open herself up to feeling, to loving - to living!

I also liked your comment about Anya:

"And please tell the beautiful Ms. Caulfield to pick a hair shade. This is just too disturbing."

LOL! I've been thinking the exact same thing! I liked the straight blonde look she had in "Bargaining" best!
[> [> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Spike Lover, 12:46:51 12/07/01 Fri

Wow, I did not know that THE Joss Whedon read this board!!
[> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- maddog, 07:08:10 12/07/01 Fri

I'm still not understanding why you, and many others, hate the drug issue...I find it to be a very prominent problem and something that should be addressed...especially on a show where the main characters tend to be goody goodies. I mean, sure, they've cheated and lied before, but nothing in comparison to getting mixed up in anything for it being blatant, what do you think the storyline around Parker was for? That could have been an after school special too.

As for the "after school special - ness" of this...those shows tend to have one problem and fix you honestly think Willow's done with magic for good? Do you honestly think Buffy can stay Spike free? Come between the lines. And Buffy's back and forth, last time I checked people did crap like guess what...he made her reactions realistic.

I think we're going to see more from Dawn as the season goes on. She started to have a decent storyline in the halloween episode...and that stealing thing seems to be progressing somewhat slowly(though as we could tell, she was getting frustrated in OMWF when she started her song, only to get kidnapped). But that I will agree with you...very little use..needs more. I think Xander's also one that will hit a higher not in the second half of the season...the marriage is coming...that's sure to bring out at least a few Xander-centric shows....cause Lord knows he's not ready for marriage. :)

I find Anya to be the comic relief that's been passed down from Cordy through Oz(though he was much more subtle) to her...she's supposed to be that way(though I do also like the ideas of her getting her powers back...say if Xander decides he has cold feet at the last minute). I also agree that Tara's been perfect...reacted naturally...and with Amy hanging around I can see even better stuff from Tara in the near future. Agreed that the Nerds are pretty lame so far...hoping Joss has more in store for us...maybe even them conjuring something they can't control. I miss Giles too but the fact of the matter is the show couldn't do much about's like when they had to write Oz off...that wasn't their plan at all, but when actors move gotta let em.

I miss the Scoobie comraderie too, though this may be part of Joss's plan in the "Oh Grow Up" concept. Sometimes groups like that just don't fact, that's often the case...and it's not like they aren't friends, but they don't stay as close...other things factor in. I think Xander got away with what he did cause of the confusion of the whole thing...they were all left a little less happy after OMWF. And I could see a glimmer with Xander and Buffy talking about Willow and the overuse of magic, but Buffy wiped it under the rug(at least then she did) they're talking, they're just not listening...if you get what I mean.

In conclusion, if you found it in yourself to stand by Joss as he did all these crazy storylines that never made sense, then why stop now? why take a few mid season episodes and proclaim them the downfall of the show? and if the drug storyline was that bad then why haven't you hated all of this season's episodes...cause this problem escalated when Willow decided she could raise Buffy from the dead(and has roots that go as far back as restoring Angel's soul).
[> [> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Jennifer, 07:25:51 12/07/01 Fri

I respect all you said but as far as Willow...yes, I know that drug problems are a major concern, but Willow is not doing drugs...she is using magic. I just don't like the metaphor. And I didn't say I wasn't going to stand by Joss, It does not say that. I was voicing my concern but did not say that I was giving up.
[> [> [> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- maddog, 07:33:59 12/07/01 Fri

Sorry, sounded like you were on the verge of giving up.

As for Willow, you keep saying you "don't like the metaphor" but never explain why...that's what no one can seem to explain to me...I think it's perfect. Something that when dabled in tends to seem harmless but also seems to draw people in do more dangerous types which then tends to create an addiction.
[> WE'RE the ones with the addiction! -- RabidHarpy, 07:27:55 12/07/01 Fri

It's interesting that with Joss and Co. dealing with "addictions" and compulsive behaviour, (Willow, Buffy, Dawn, etc.) - we, the audience, seem to be displaying similar behaviour!

How often on this board -(and yes, most of us are "obsessed", regular viewers!) - have we had people display anger, confusion, shock, hope, disappointment, euphoria, etc., about the recent directions the BtVS storyline has taken?

Some of us sit at the edge of our seats anxiously awaiting next Tuesday's "hit" while still coming off of last Tuesday's "high" - "Oooh! I can't wait to see how the fur flies this week!!!"

Some of us are feeling distraught and anxious - "What will happen next week? How can this possibly be resolved? What did THAT mean?"

Some of us are outraged and confused - "This can't be happening! What is Joss DOING? This doesn't make any sense at all! AAAAAAAAUUUGH!"

Some of us are angry - "I hate Dawn! Angel should never have left! Buffy can't love Spike - he's eeeeeeevil! Why aren't they giving Xander and Anya more lines! The Troika are so dumb - they'll NEVER be a legitimate threat, and their mindless rantings are driving me INSANE!!! AAAAAAAAUUUGH!"

Yet are any of us planning on deliberately skipping the next "new" episode, (and curbing our addiction!)? I THINK NOT! Joss has us all wrapped around his finger and he KNOWS it!
Face it, we're all "Joss Junkies" and we don't give a d@mn if our addiction is out of control - GIVE US MORE!!! MUAH-HA-HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA!


(If we're lucky, we'll all get to sit with Willow and Buffy in rehab!)
[> [> Re: WE'RE the ones with the addiction! -- maddog, 07:36:31 12/07/01 Fri

in complete agreement here...perfect example...see I tend not to get offended by what Joss does, but more by the reactions of fans that can't handle it. It's like they feel he should handle things the way they want...that's not life...that's not reality...and I think that, while this show is definitely sci fi, there are certain elements that always stay true to reality...and we have to remember that when we get critical of what he's done.
[> [> Now, that what I call an detached opinion, unfettered by emotion! LOL! -- CW, 07:37:39 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> Re: Now, that what I call an detached opinion, unfettered by emotion! LOL! -- maddog, 07:42:33 12/07/01 Fri

See, I can do that though...I enjoy these shows for the storylines and the excitement of it all...good or bad. I mean, I won't say I don't have my favorites, but I don't let it get to me to the point where I have to come here and ramble off at the main man of the show either.
[> [> [> [> Let me clarify... -- Jennifer, 08:35:03 12/07/01 Fri

Let me clarify this letter to Joss...

I wrote it in jest, as an emotional outlet, thinking my fellow Buffy fans would understand. Did you really think that I would sit down and tell the man himself how to run his show? Do you really think the man himself would respond (so quickly) with a one or two line smartass response? Come on!!! I lurk around at least 6 Buffy message boards a day and thought this one would be the one where I could vent to anyone and people would understand. I am not some kid who took it upon themselves to sit down and write a half-ass, unproffesional letter to the greatest creater of a television show. I am a grown woman with a bit more sense than that.

It was an outlet. I could have wrote it to "Whom it may concern". It wasn't for Mr. Whedon, per se. If I was seriously going to write a letter to him regarding the show, it would have been well planned, thought out, and I would have enlisted the help of my many Buffy Internet friends.

God, was THAT taken the wrong way or what!!!
[> [> [> [> [> If it makes you feel better - I "got" that it was a joke! :) -- RH, 08:44:04 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> I did also. I enjoyed reading your letter...Didn't agree with all of it, but I enjoyed it. -- Rob, 08:48:49 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Let me clarify... -- maddog, 08:57:36 12/07/01 Fri

Well no, it wasn't done in jest, cause you meant everything you typed, it was done as an outlet...I get that...I apologize if I wrote to the contrary in a past post, but what I'm saying still felt the need to vent to this're so wrapped up in how you feel these situations should be handled that you're forgetting that the show is there for our enjoyment and that we have to follow these characters through their ups and downs...even when we HATE their downs...we're the audience...we have no say.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Let me clarify... -- LoriAnn, 10:12:02 12/07/01 Fri

"I am not some kid who took it upon themselves to sit down and write a half-ass, unproffesional letter to the greatest creater of a television show. I am a grown woman with a bit more sense than that."

Apparently not.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Let me clarify... -- Shaglio, 11:01:03 12/07/01 Fri

Jennifer, while I do not agree with EVERYTHING you said in your post, I do agree with some of it. I thought your post was quite humorous and a good way to let off a little steam. I've noticed that you've recieved quite a bit of flack for it and wish to offer you a cyberhug. Please don't be scared away from this board - we welcome all people who want to have intellegent, thoughtful conversation about BtVS and AtS.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I concur... -- VampRiley, 08:18:02 12/09/01 Sun

As of late, I've only had time to lurk for the most part. Been to busy. But I wanted to give my two cents on this topic. While many of the regular posters (at least those from the Meet the Posters page) have haven't done much if any postings of late (Cleanthes? Where art thou?), for the most part, people here will welcome different perspectives and opinions about stuff about Joss and the things that go on in his twisted little mind. That's why many of us come here. Many websites have boards with simple sentences consiting of like three or four word sentences and no substance whatsoever. It was driving me nuts. Then after coming to Masq's site for a while (I remember when she still had "Examples of the Explicit Harnessing or Exchange of Energy" on the Magic of BtVS page), she then got the site's first message board at up and running. And from pretty much the begining, it has remained consistant with highly intelligent and respectful discussions about our shared addiction and other topics, sometimes related, sometimes not. Occassionally you will find people who will be disrespectful or or give you problems with what you post when you post. There really isn't anything you can do about it. Although, in recent memory, Masq has banned one person, (I forget their screen name). Best advice I can give is take the constructive criticism with an open mind and just ignor the really bad stuff.

So, in conclusion, don't feel bad if some give you flack. And don't worry if you get little or no replies to any of your posts. We're all on different schedules and some of us may not be able to get around to everything. If you get a low number of posts, it's nothing personal against you or your thoughts. It just happens sometimes.

Masq? I wanna thank you for getting the message board. I love it.

[> Thoughts on Season Six -- Nutmeg, 08:37:23 12/07/01 Fri

I haven't had any problems with this season, with the one *possible* exception of the development in the Willow story in "Wrecked".

I've loved just about everything else, particularly the handling of the Buffy/Spike storyline. I think it's quite believable considering Buffy's history. She has all kind of relationship and abandonment issues, including the fact that the people in her life who have told her "I love you" have usually really meant "I'm about to tear out your heart and tap dance on it". I think she also has fears that if she lets herself enjoy the "naughty" (or "perverse and degrading") things in life, she might turn into Faith. Not to mention the fact that Spike isn't just the sexy bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks, but has actively tried to kill her on more than one occassion, and that she really can't be sure he wouldn't go on a killing spree if the chip stopped working. Anyway, with all these issues, I would have a hard time accepting the story if Buffy wasn't skittish about the idea of developing feelings for him. I mean, she spent at least one episode (Doomed) playing the same kind of "I like you; I don't want anything to do with you" games with Riley, and she didn't have even one tenth the issues with Riley as she has with Spike, so I would be surprised if she wasn't acting this way when it comes to her feelings for Spike.

The Willow stuff, OTOH, I think I have to reserve judgement on. If what they did in "Wrecked" really was the After School Special many people are calling it, then I have to agree with the thumbs down on that. But I'm not convinced that's where things are going. I think this is sort of a red herring that is going to convince the Scoobies that Willow has dealt with her problem and that it is over, but I don't expect that to be the real case.

I don't think Willow's real problem is an addiction to magic. I think it's an "addiction" (for lack of a better word) to POWER. She likes the feeling of being able to manipulate the world around her, to make whatever she wants to have happen just happen. And I don't see that ending any time soon simply because Dawn got hurt. IMO, Willow is the sort of person who is not at all sorry for any of the things she's done, but she is very very sorry that she got caught doing them. I suspect, once she feels safe and believes everyone is into "forgive and forget" mode, we're going to see Willow get right back into her power trip.

Of course, if I turn out to be wrong about where they are going with the Willow story, and "Wrecked" really was the end of it, then I would have to agree that the Willow parts of "Wrecked" pretty much sucked.

As for Buffy making the comparison between Willow's problem and her own "problem", I also think that Buffy is eventually going to realize that that is not really a fair comparison at all. Willow's problem nearly got Dawn killed. Buffy's "problem" took Dawn to the hospital. Willow's problem caused Dawn's injury. Buffy's "problem" helped to fix it.
[> [> Re: Thoughts on Season Six -- maddog, 09:02:30 12/07/01 Fri

Don't you think though that an addiction to magic and power are almost the same thing...because with magic comes power.

And it's obvious that bad consequences don't deter her cause if that was the case then she would have been more devestated with Tara leaving and she would have stopped then. This thing with Dawn, while bad, wasn't harsh enough to make her stop. Oh, and I'm in agreement that if this is over then I'll be as disappointed as all those who are now...cause it would be a true waste of a potentially powerful storyline.
[> [> [> Re: Thoughts on Season Six -- Nutmeg, 09:15:50 12/07/01 Fri

"Don't you think though that an addiction to magic and power are almost the same thing...because with magic comes power."

That's why I said "for lack of a better word" in my original post. I don't think it's an "addiction", in the sense of something like a drug addiction. I don't think it has any physical affect on her at all. Compare Willow' own use of magic, where she sometimes had headaches, nosebleeds, and (in the beginning of "Wrecked") lost her powers for a while to what happened after she went to Rack. These symptoms are roughly analogous to someone who has overextended herself in anything, it has nothing to do with "magic" per se. An athlete who trains too hard may injure himself, or he may experience pain or fatigue, but he doesn't get the shivers and shakes. Because of this difference, I believe that whatever it was Rack did to Willow was physically dangerous to her, but her own use of magic before that was not.

Up until the visit to Rack's place, (and particularly after Willow took the short cut to finish the "Solid" spell in "After Life") I thought they were going for a kind of Darth Vader type story with Willow. You know... "Is the Dark Side more powerful? No. Quicker. Easier. More seductive."

I thought that Willow's thirst for power was going to lead her to the "dark side", possibly even making her this season's Big Bad.

I'm still not convinced that's not where we're headed, because I tend to think the so-called "easy fix" at the end of "Wrecked" was just a red herring.
[> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts on Season Six -- maddog, 09:31:37 12/07/01 Fri

"I don't think it has any physical affect on her at all."

See that's the thing, it doesn't have to...those are the effects of drug addiction...but addictions in general have different effects. The defintion of "addiction" states that addiction is, "The condition of being habitually or compulsively occupied with or or involved in something."
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts on Season Six -- Nutmeg, 09:59:26 12/07/01 Fri

I guess if it's an "addiction" in the sense that Willow is psychologically addicted to power, and just keeps wanting more and more, then I don't have as much of a problem with that as I would if Willow was developing some kind of physical dependency on magic.

But I think it's more about what Giles told Willow before she did the spell to restore Angel's soul. Willow opened a door that she is not finding it that easy to close. We never really saw any consequences to Willow for having done that spell, and I'd like to think that's what we're seeing now. Willow's powers seemed to really start building in season 4, and she got ueber-powerful by the end of season 5.

Willow has never shown any real respect for magic. She's a hacker. If she needs to illegally break into someone's computer system, and she can rationalize to herself that she has a "good" reason for doing it, she does it. And she has always approached magic with the same mentality. If she needs to tinker with a spell to make it work better for her, she doesn't see the harm in that, so she tinkers. She thinks she can make things "better" with Tara if Tara just forgets about the fight, and make things "better" for Buffy by having Buffy just forget about being in Heaven ... it was all for the "greater good" (in her opinion), so she didn't see the harm in any of it. Even with Amy in "Smashed", well, they had fun, nobody got hurt, I'll bet the people at the Bronze don't really remember any of what happened to them (residents of Sunnydale apparently have a phenomenal ability to repress memories of the supernatural), so, no harm no foul. Up until "Wrecked", everything Willow did was something she could rationalize to herself as being "good" because either she was "trying to help" or she was "just having fun and nobody got hurt".

And that's why I have to reserve judgment on what happened in "Wrecked" until I see more of where (if anywhere) the story is going. Rack and the addiction stuff really don't fit in to the patterns of Willow's previous behavior. If that really was the end of the story I think it was handled quite poorly. If it was just a momentary abberation in Willow's story, a red herring, and the story is still going to continue, well, then I don't think I can say how I feel about "Wrecked" until I find out how it fits into the overall season's arc.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Drug metaphor -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:44:46 12/07/01 Fri

I tend to agree with Nutmeg. In "Wrecked," it was implied that Willow liked the physical sensation of Rack's magic. Until that point, it was the POWER that seem to attract Willow.

Per "Restless," Willow still tends to think of herself as this inept geeky young woman; the display of her magical power tends to drive that feeling away. This viewer considers that sense of loss of your own limitations to be a more persuasive cause of Willow's addiction than physical sensation.
[> [> [> [> [> I just thought the drug metaphor was clumsy -- CaptainPugwash, 10:03:34 12/07/01 Fri

No-one is denying that Willow is addicted to Magic - she has come to depend on it in ways that other don't (using it for everyday tasks and as a fix for low-self esteem [Willow vs Super-Willow]).

What upset me about the drug metaphor was its sheer clumsiness. We already know that Willow crossed the line (or crossed a line) when she ressurected Buffy, and her descent was well- chartered/observed with the mind-control/amnesia/location spells and her antics with Amy. It was inevitable that one day she would actually endanger/hurt someone else...

But why invoke all this pusher & drug nonsense?

Magic has ceased to become 'like a drug' and is now a drug in itself, complete with pushers, addicts, withdrawal symptons etc. There was simply no need for that; all of the associated hallucinations, psychedelia, and 'tripping' were just stupid. All Willow had to do was cast a spell that hurt someone; she didn't need Rack to do that.

What's even worse is that people are coming up with 'cold turkey' nonsense for Willow when she's merely recovering from being in a car wreck!
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I just thought the drug metaphor was clumsy -- DEN, 13:29:23 12/07/01 Fri

To nutmeg, maddog, and the Captain--thanks for aa series of posts helping me to sort out my own thinking on Willow and the power/adiction metaphors. Cap, I particularly appreciate your common- sense point that the muscle spasms at the end of "Wrecked " are perfectly consistent with the aftermath of a car accident, as well as with drug withdrawal!

But I still have a problem. To call Willow addicted to power implies a Darth Vader/Saruman paradigm. To me the key questions are what has power been used for, and why has it been used. Certainly Willow's identity is now bound up with being super-witch. But her overall pattern of using power has not been for self-aggrandizement. She has employed magic primarily--though not exclusively--to "fix" objectively serious threats (the barrier spell and the Knights of Byzantium come to mind), and to relieve her own pain/guilt (the mindwipings--both meant to be person-specific). To me that is not the same as "seeking power" in a "Pinky and the Brain" sense, or even being tempted/caught by the Dark Side. It is, as nutmeg suggests, closer to a dependancy/addiction pattern. There too the metaphor is incomplete, but it seems closer to the behavior I see in S5/6 Willow. Very serious, yes--but for other reasons than a sheer attraction to power. And it makes the "Smashed"/Wrecked" mini-arc both less anvilly and less conclusive than the eps' critics suggest.

I'll certainly appreciate any comments.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I just thought the drug metaphor was clumsy -- Rufus, 02:36:15 12/08/01 Sat

Id don't see the reference to "cold turkey" as nonsense. Willow isn't simply recovering from a car accident, though the car wreck is a good metaphor for her life as it has evolved. The addiction is a metaphor for need, Willow needs to feel like Buffy, a superhero. Her use of magic made her feel like people could actually see her for the first time. She was no longer the shy school girl in the jumper and sensible shoes. She didn't even believe that Tara could love her if it weren't for her special, super power. She went from computer geek to "Big Gun" and she found that the only way she felt powerful was when she was doing spells. Magic is the metaphor for drugs and drugs make people feel free from themselves, free from a reality that they don't want to see or can't appreciate.
I find I'm happy with the drug metaphor because it allows us to see just how dependant Willow has become on artifice or something that shouldn't be real to have an identity. What was once used for the benefit of others is now used to bolster Willows scant self worth. When Willow was in bed with the shakes I saw that as reality attempting to put the witch back into the jumper of the high school years. Her need to be special as much physical as mental. Willow going "cold turkey" leaves her defenceless from her own self doubt and fear of being exposed as a fake. Willow needs her magic to be more than she thinks she already is. To not be able to use it has brought reality into her dreams of grandeur.
The use of Rack is not fully understood yet, but I see him as a parasite who is what Willow could become if she doesn't smarten up. He is the real faker, a leech of power that is not his own. A pathetic man who only gets attention because of his ability to make people forget their worries. He is power in it's most corrupt self serving form. A pusher junkie who is capable of making people freeze themselves in unreality blind to all life that continues to go on without them.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I just thought the drug metaphor was clumsy -- DEN, 06:58:50 12/08/01 Sat

THANKS, Rufus! "A metaphor for need" says exactly what I was trying to say and could not conceptualize through all these postings. " have an identity!" Willow uses power to fill the proverbial "hole in her soul." Control is a secondary issue, not pursued either for its own sake or for pleasure in exercising power over others. That's what makes Willow such a poor candidate for "Big Bad" and such a good one for a story arc about growing up.
[> [> [> [> Season Six and Critical Comments -- matching mole, 10:44:58 12/07/01 Fri

The term criticism is used in two very different contexts as I’m sure most of you are aware. One is the analysis of something (a book, film, painting, TV program) in any of a wide variety of ways without necessarily making a value judgment. Examples of this abound in this forum. The second context is reviewing a book, film, etc. Here some sort of value judgment is placed on the work being reviewed (is it entertaining?, is it believable?, is it morally sound?). Examples of this type of criticism are also very common on this board and they tend to be generally positive. I have two general comments to make about these two contexts.

I find criticism that combines both meanings of the term vastly more interesting and more useful than either on its own. Reading a long analysis of the social or political meaning of some allegory with no indication from the author of how that makes them feel about the work in question is not likely to hold my interest. On the other hand simply stating that something had a gripping plot or lifeless characters is unlikely to convince me or interest me greatly. I’ll use as an example of what I mean my favourite film critic, Jonathon Rosenbaum of the Chicago Reader. Mr. Rosenbaum is vastly more knowledgeable about film than I am and much more interested in it as well. He writes very long reviews of selected films. People I knew when I lived in Chicago often dismissed him because a) he disliked a movie they loved or b) he highly praised a movie they hated. I certainly do not always agree with him but because he is honest about his biases once I have read a number of his reviews I can generally guess whether I will like a film based on his review (or at least know for which subclasses of film I can disregard his reviews). And the detailed analyses he presents often greatly increase my appreciation of the films.

My second comment has to do with positive versus negative comments. One thing I wish that people would do more of on this board is say what they don’t like about the two shows. I get the impression that somehow this is considered disloyal or disrespectful. I would never bother to make ‘critical’ (in the negative sense of the word) a piece of art (show, book, whatever) they I didn’t feel is inherently highly worthwhile. I think that negative as well as positive comments can be highly illuminating and revealing. I also have a regard for Mr. Whedon and ME but I would hardly consider them infallible (no one is).

In that spirit here are a couple of comments on season 6 and the issues discussed in this thread. There have been a couple of elements this season that I think have just been poorly handled, although I don’t think that they really pose any danger to the overall quality of the show. One is the way in which Giles left and the other is the handling of the magic/addiction theme specifically in the episode ‘Wrecked.’ It should be carefully noted that I am referring to the handling of these events not the occurrence of these events. Giles departure really deserved an episode of its own and it just seemed to be crammed in around all the other events happening. The nature of Willow’s ‘addiction’ to magic seemed to take a rather unsubtle turn from manipulating events to being completely manipulated by them in Wrecked. The direction taken seemed reasonable but the way it was handled seemed clumsy (one minute Willow is turning people into giant vegetables at the Bronze, the next she is going to a magical drug dealer).

There are also a number of things that I have not been enthralled with in BtVS seasons 5 and 6 that I think have more to do with who I am rather than some decline in the shows quality. For example, unlike most of you, I don’t find the current Buffy/Spike storyline amazingly compelling. I don’t think it is out of character for either of them or poorly constructed in any way. I don’t hate it, I’m not repulsed by it. It just doesn’t excite me. Since the start of season 2/5 I have generally found AtS much more interesting than BtVS. Again I don’t think that this reflects some sort of quality difference in the two shows but a reflection of my own idiosyncrasies. I am not a big fan of teen (or I guess by now young adult) tragedy but rather comedy. This probably stems from my view as a teenager that most of my peers were completely ridiculous, now, thankfully, somewhat softened with age. Thinking this through and writing it down was very illuminating – both about the shows and myself. I hope it doesn’t seem too self indulgent.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Season Six and Critical Comments -- mundusmundi, 12:54:29 12/07/01 Fri

Outstanding, mm, as per usual.

Having dabbled in criticism of films (or, as the late anti-snob snob Pauline Kael defined them, movies), and as an avid reader of critics of many mediums, I guess I'm considerably less offended by individual opinions than some. On the contrary, what matters to me is less the opinion itself than how it is written, if it deepens my experience of a movie or book or TV show, or shows me things that I hadn't noticed before. Sharing ideas and experiences is one of the pleasures of our culture, even when those ideas and experiences run counter to our own.

In Buffy's case, I will requote a pet phrase that has come to me of late: Everybody hates something about the show, but nobody agrees what it is. For many, season 4 remains the bane of all existence. For others, the Dawn/Key arc from last year still sticks in their craw. Still more have a particular character they despise, and whether it be Xander, Riley, Tara or even Buffy herself, there always exists the temptation to cite selective evidence that supports one's loathing, while ignoring the counter-evidence of when said character has exceeded our normal expectations.

That I share many of the misgivings of Jennifer, matching mole and others re: "Wrecked" naturally makes me sympathetic toward their position. Yet others on this board (and a few prominent critics, at Salon, EW and elsewhere) have written eloquent defenses of the episode which, while I don't entirely agree with, I respect as valid criticism. Whatever my concerns, I also agree that it's only one episode, not the "end of the world," and that we should wait and see what happens in conjunction with the rest of the season.

What I do not want to see happen on this board (and let me make clear that this is not an accusation) is what is all too common elsewhere -- the extremist position that we as audience members are somehow "unfit" to judge the show -- or any show -- on its merits. Buffy is an intensely emotional experience, so it's only natural that it's going to spawn intensely emotional opinions that may be frequently divisive. I found this board around the time of "The Gift," and the respect accorded by its legion of supporters to the minority who found flaws in the episode enticed me to stick around. How refreshing it has been to hear very little of the din at other forums, e.g., "You just don't like it because you don't understand this..." or "You need to respect the views of the majority..." or that old reliable, "I'd like to see you do better!" (To which there is the obvious retort: You don't have to lay an egg to know if one tastes good.)

Of course we have all encountered the opposite extremist, the kind of crank whose hatred of a particular subject seems proportionate to the endlessh ours he spends bitching about it. I would submit, however, that critics are nonetheless more valuable now than ever. Good, bad or ugly, they are a buffer against the hype. I don't write hate mail to the Harry Potter critics, for example, because Harry is a big boy and can fight his own fisticuffs. Ditto Joss. Critics are always worth hearing out, even if we think they are every bit as moronic as you may think I am now. "Real patriots ask questions," Carl Sagan once wrote. So do real fans.

Just one man's opinion,

--the other mm
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: typo last paragraph; should read "endless hours." -- correct-a-mundi, 12:59:01 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Season Six and Critical Comments -- matching mole, 14:32:25 12/07/01 Fri

thanks for your kind words, original mm. I just looked back over my post and had to cringe a little at some of my sloppy sentence structure though.

I have to agree that the lack of extreme partisanship (for almost any cause imaginable) that seems so prevelant on the net is one thing that attracted me to this board.

A followup to your comment about people hating or loving particular characters. I'm often confused by this because I'm never sure what people mean when they say they 'love' or 'hate' a particular character. I can think of at least 4 possible meanings of 'liking' a fictional character (with the converses applying to 'hating' a character).

1. If they were a real person you would like to be friends with them.
2. You empathize with them and really want them to do well (you think they are good and derserving of happiness).
3. You find that they cause interesting developments in the narrative.
4. You find them entertaining.

For me, given that these are fictional characters I would argue that 1 is irrelevant to any valuation of a character. Either 3 or 4 (or both) is essential Number 2 is iffy and probably a matter of personal taste.

I like (or dislike) characters in the Buffyverse in many different ways. Some examples

Cordelia (on BtVS and early AtS) - I like her very much in the 4 way and not at all in the 1 way. My 2 and 3 feelings were intermediate. In later AtS the 4 aspect has declined somewhat but 3 has gone way up.

Riley - A nice affable guy - definitely scored high on the 1 scale and reasonably high on the 2 scale. Registered just about a zero on the other scales.

Anya - Very high on the 4 scale, only intermittent on the 3 scale (as in her speech about Joyce in 'The Body'). Very low on the 1 scale. Originally moderately high on the 2 scale but her enthusiastic conversion to capitalistic greed has lessened my empathy.

I'd be curious to know what others mean when they say they like or hate a character.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Season Six and Critical Comments -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:52:00 12/07/01 Fri

To both "MMs"

Good stuff from both of you; I've generally searched for Mundusmundi ("world of worlds?" if I remember my Latin) when accessing the board as what he (she?) has to say is always worth reading. Pursuant to his own comments above I've occasionally disagreed with his comments but have ALWAYS found them well-reasoned and thought-provoking.

I shall now pay special attention to Matching Mole as well. I think that his four-part paradigm for evaluation of characters should become a board, if not community, standard.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: He's a he. And right back acha! -- mundusmundi, the screamingly obvious pseudonymn, 15:20:02 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Characters, love 'em or hate 'em -- mundusmundi, 15:36:32 12/07/01 Fri

A follow up to your comment about people hating or loving particular characters. I'm often confused by this because I'm never sure what people mean when they say they 'love' or 'hate' a particular character.

I've never really understood this either. Your paradigm is helpful, though:

1. If they were a real person you would like to be friends with them.
2. You empathize with them and really want them to do well (you think they are good and derserving of happiness).
3. You find that they cause interesting developments in the narrative.
4. You find them entertaining.

And, I agree that #'s 3 and 4 are by far the most important.
"Value-judgments" always strike me as a little specious and considerably less intriguing than whether or not the characters are compelling. (Take James Ellroy's L.A. Confidential, which features not one likable or morally sound protagonist yet are, in the words of the movie adaptation's director Curt Hanson, "magnificent bastards all.") For instance: I may not have liked Xander's lie to Buffy near the end of "Becoming," but I wouldn't have wanted him any other way, the magnificent bastard.

(Am I the original mm? Don't most people prefer the peanuty kind? ;)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Characters, love 'em or hate 'em -- matching mole (probably not an obvious pseudonym), 19:28:58 12/07/01 Fri

Great point about L.A. Confidential (a splendid film) which could be applied to vast amounts of film noir among other things. The old Cordelia is my pick as the most magnificent bastard of the Buffyverse. As astoundingly unlikelable as I would have found her as an actual person I couldn't help but admire her and I'm still not sure why.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Season Six and Critical Comments -- fresne, 16:42:40 12/07/01 Fri

Excellent Love/Hate criteria.

And okay, slight "Go board plug." Here's a thread that, while it got a little snapish, so many other places would have devolved into: "Oh, yeah, flame that."

Instead happy philosophical criteria for why we like characters.

I would however like to add one. When I say I love a character, I most often mean that I have a big fat crush on them.

Thus while Miles Naismith of the Vorkosigan books is high on 3 and 4, certainly some 2 points, a little scary on 1, I mostly love him because I find his character enormously attractive.

Same goes for Lord Peter Whimsy (I'm polyfictoamorous), were he real, I know I'd just stand there stammering, but from the safety of a book, ah, well he has a glorious spine.

As to the episode itself, hmmm…its such a personal value judgement. I liked the episode. Short explanation, that which I like pleases me easily. I explain things for a living. I can come up with a justification for liking anything. As I shall now attempt to prove.

The long explanation, I saw the physiological effects as a consequence of a change in drugs. Willow has been doing oh, say earl gray tea and chocolate to feel better about herself. Well, okay, not really good, but I've been there. It had a few physiological effects. Headaches. Nose bleeds. Which I do agree they should have repeated a few examples of this season just to emphasize the point. Over time, she's increased quantity and dosage. Now she's switched to a harsher drug. Jolt Cola. Sugar packets. Drugs with stronger physiological consequences.

And well, personally, I'd say every time her eyes went black, there was some sort of rush involved. Makes me think of the Craft (a movie which I liked the first half of, didn't care for the second half. I'm capricious. Go figure.). There are spells. Fun with consequences. And then there's channeling primal forces. Yeah there's a rush. But no really, not a good idea.

Hmmm…so, we know Buffy is Teresa of Avila/Joan of Arc. Ecstatic visions of heaven etc. In some ways, Willow is also Teresa. Pierced with power and visions.

Perhaps best symbolized by their discussion at Wrecked end. Willow wants to be Teresa. Seeks out the ecstasy of difference.

Oh, I had a great class once where we discussed Teresa and other medieval mystics and the interesting phenomenon by which men(priests) get to interpret the text of the Bible, but female mystics can always say, yeah whatever, "You're Christ's friend. I'm his bride. Thus my visions beat your text." Intentional power play or not, it resulted in a number of powerful/wealthy religious orders. Well, and some burnings.

Anyway, Willow seeks out the emotional lift that comes from magic, visions, power. She wants to be Joan/Teresa/superWillow. Buffy has no choice. Buffy is superBuffy. The visions, the power, the magic. She is in herself a primal power. Thus to a certain extent the rejection of Spike is yet another rejection of that weirdness in her life. If she gives into, (any, all, even an acknowledgement of its normalcy for her) then she isn't just a girl.

Okay, so maybe I liked the episode because it makes my brain run round Amy's cage, now that she's not using it.

Can that be an extra special category? Just for us?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> REALLY enjoy your character likeabilitiy criteria. 's really gonna help in future arguments of mine -- res, 19:44:35 12/08/01 Sat

I've actually found that the people with whom I can't share Buffy or other good stories (filmed, written, painted) are people who rely almost wholly on #1 and #2 with absolutely no weight given to #3, and with #4 directly connected to 1 and 2. (bad sentence, oh well!) I really think 3 is absolutely necessary at least _some_ of the time, if not all. I just don't understand how people can _want_ a show composed entirely of people that they *like*, it'd be so boring.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Season Six and Critical Comments -- bible belt, 15:16:22 12/08/01 Sat

"…We should wait and see what happens in conjunction with the rest of the season."

I’m not a very good critic but there does seem to be a lot of things left unresolved, in a good way, to this point in the season. I haven’t cared much about Willow’s addiction, but I don’t know enough to say it’s not being handled right. Needless to say my interest has not waned in the least. I find that a lot of the episodes grow on me over time. Is that because what I enjoy about the show is the emotional high I get out of it? I’m guessing that’s it.

I first started paying attention to movie critics with Siskel and Ebert and now Ebert and Roeper and I wouldn’t go see a movie unless they liked it. I don’t think I haven’t liked a movie they didn’t like, but god only knows how many movies I might have liked that I didn’t go see because they didn’t give them a thumbs up.

Then one day I picked up one of Ebert’s books and started thumbing through it and read his review of Koyaanisqatsi and he said some critical things about the movie that I didn’t entirely agree with. I hated him for a long time after that. I understand now that he liked the movie over all. There were just some things about it that he didn’t like or didn’t agree with and that that’s ok, duh!

I read more reviews in print now than before and I’m starting to get a handle on being able to tell whether it might be something I might want to watch even if the critic didn’t like it. When I first began reading reviews, more recently than I care to admit, I had a hard time even figuring out whether they were positive or negative. I get it now; it’s more than just, "that rocked" or "that sucked," the thumbs up or thumbs down is a pretty clever trademark for dimwits like me. I still can’t read record reviews; they might as well be Greek for all I get out of them. Maybe it takes practice and more knowledge base than I have (or more brains!).

I’m not sure what the point of this post is, except to reveal my dim-wittedness once again, and to thank mm and mm (lol) for their nice clear posts.

Oh, and Koyaanisqatsi, it rocked!
[> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) - the point inside the metaphor -- Darby, 09:58:25 12/07/01 Fri

I've got to admit that I thought that the drug allusions were too heavy-handed, but I also think that it isn't the effects on Willow that are supposed to parallel drug addictions, it's the effects on OTHERS. Here, the comparison holds up, as Willow becomes immersed more and more in her "addiction," first to the point of ignoring its emotional consequences on herself, then on others (Tara and then, with the amnesia spell, on everybody), then on her responsibilities (to be home for Dawn), and then to the point of endangering others (the Willow-Amy magicfest and then Dawn). Remember, if this show is ABOUT anything, it's about life filtered through relationships...

If anything, I'm more worried about the addiction implications of the B/S storyline aimed at US. Why show us that, freed of the chip, Spike would revert to his "homicide for fun" ways (it COULD have been very much a "need to feed in a vampire mode" scene), if not to make us acknowledge our addiction to this fascinating dance against our better judgment? At the same time that I love the scenes with B/S (they play off one another better than almost any other duo on the show), I CAN'T ignore the fact that she's literally climbing into bed with a happy serial killer. Is this an indication of our B/S addiction? Do we care?
[> [> Sorry, we newbies sometimes double-post without realizing it... -- Darby, 10:45:32 12/07/01 Fri

I'm still not sure why my first response wasn't there, and then it was, but the next one more-or-less duplicates the first one...

Please ignore the man behind the curtain...
[> Re: My Letter to Joss (spoilers) -- Darby, 10:41:53 12/07/01 Fri

I think that the "addiction" storyline has been trying too hard, for sure, but I don't think it's fair to look for exact comparisons between drug addiction and magic's effects on Willow. The metaphor seems to be about how it affects Willow's relationships with other people, and in that light it's a valid comparison. She seems to act without seeing or, eventually, really caring about the effects on: herself, then Tara, then her friends (the amnesia spell), then her responsibilities (to Dawn), then the safety of strangers (the Willow-Amy Magicfest), then the safety of loved ones (Dawn). It's a classic story of not-so-strange estrangements. The show has always been a mirror to life filtered through recognizable relationships...

I'm more worried about my OWN addictions and having my nose rubbed in them. I, like so many of us, really revel in the B/S interplay (I think the actors play off each other as well as any duo on the show); I acknowledge that the playing field had to be levelled by "de-chipping" Spike, at least in relation to Buffy. But how can I be anything but guilty after being shown that, given the opportunity, Spike is still an unapologetic serial killer? The chip-testing scene could have played against more internal conflict, or with a rationale of a "return to normal feeding," but Spike was enjoying the power and potential, with no potential for regret since he couldn't comsummate the act. I don't think that it's accidental that this was part of the arc here. Are we supposed to be happy that the heroine is literally in bed with the happy homicidal maniac? The scary part is, if it leads to more B/S scenes, my addiction is fine with it...
[> [> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- bible belt, 13:49:01 12/08/01 Sat

I think the chip story (and I think someone else has alluded to this) will give Buffy pause to wonder whether or not she isn't a homicidal maniac herself. If Spike can be redeemed, then can Buffy continue to dust vampires without contrition?
[> [> [> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- Rufus, 16:09:55 12/08/01 Sat

There is a big difference between a serial killer and the killing that Buffy does. It's easy to kill when you think you are in the right and the target is just that, dehumanized, evil, disgusting. But killing isn't easy (unless the person is nuts)it's something that may have to be done for the protection of others, but it's something that should never become easily excused or the first action to a problem. Buffy kills demons that are a threat. She kills the freshly risen(and they are in the first throes of bloodlust and are truely dangerous), and the demons that actively attack. She also has been known to give demons the chance of walking away from a confrontation. Buffy may not realize it but she doesn't kill for enjoyment. She kills because she is the one, the chosen one. What would the impact of knowing that vampires could potentially have the stuff to change their impluse to kill? I don't think it would change that much. If a vampire is not threatening, Buffy isn't going to kill them (vamp hooker in alley the exception). Then we can get into what a serial killer is. The easy description is that it's a person that has killed 3 or more people. But there is more to that reality. Serial killers are motivated by a sexual impulse coupled with anger. Buffy kills because vampires are a threat to the survival of humanity, that simply isn't a serial killing.
[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- bb, 17:17:44 12/08/01 Sat

I agree with everything you said. I was mostly being facetious about the serial killer thing.

If Spike could be redeemed with a chip, then maybe the Initiative was really on to something. Granted their original plan was to make slaves soldiers out of the demons, but in the process never even realized the full potential of the chip. Although I guess chipping people (demons) to make them more civilized, productive members of society raises some other issues, especially since Spike showed some evidence that he was beginning to change before he was chipped. Sorry for meandering off topic.
[> I want to sign Jennifer's petition!!! -- Rochefort, 14:20:08 12/07/01 Fri

I agree with everything in that letter. Xander has had NO story line ALL season and I MISS him. He's a really great character but now he's been reduced to "Marriage Jitters Boy" I am getting very tired of Anya's shtick, AND WRECKED WAS THE WORST EPISODE EVER EVER EVER!!! By a long shot. Joss has got to be hearing this stuff from everywhere. I also miss Giles a lot all ready, too. There's nothing that can be done about that, I suppose but good LORD were the lines in Wrecked bad. Jennifer, I also agree with you about Tara. She's been great this season. But even Spike has lost a tiny bit of charm. His greatest moment was when he was going to break Bubba Fett's head off though. I think he should have. But, as you say, it's not hopeless, there have been some good episodes this season like Tabula if only because Spike was named Randy Giles which was worth the whole thing.
[> [> also.... -- Rochefort, 14:24:42 12/07/01 Fri

It does seem to me that no one can be critical of Buffy on this board without getting jumped on. I mean everyone here LOVES the show or really why would they bother? But you gotta admit Wrecked sucked.
Buffy DVD Info! -- Rob, 08:59:27 12/07/01 Fri

Click the following link for a complete rundown of everything in the Buffy Season One DVD set, including a picture of the cover art!!!:

[> Re: Buffy DVD Info! -- tornado, 09:48:46 12/07/01 Fri

Amazon has it for preorder for $29.98, and B&N has it for 32.99. The latter currently has free shipping on orders of 2 or more items.
[> Terrific! Thank you, Rob! :) -- RH, 09:57:33 12/07/01 Fri

[> By the way, the 1st DVD set will be available at Costco for $25.99. -- A8, 17:36:06 12/10/01 Mon

Martha Stewart is a witch -- pagangodess, 09:49:28 12/07/01 Fri

I was just looking through some Martha Stewart magazines in preparation for the season. I don't even know why I do this to myself, looking at the 57 different kinds of Christmas cookies, perfectly arranged on a gleaming platter not only makes me feel inadequate, but really puts a damper on my happy holiday season thoughts. So here is to Anya:

"Oh, she's not a demon, she's a witch. Lets face it, nobody could do all this without drawing on some dark powers." (sorry for the inperfect quote)

I shall always remember this line, thanks Marti, you just made my hectic holiday season a bit easier to bear.

Purple significance? -- Moose, 10:27:52 12/07/01 Fri

I rewatched "OMWF" and was struck by the color of Buffy's jacket liner when she removes it to sing "Play A Part". It was almost if not a perfect match to the purple color Spike wore in "Smashed".

Anyone else notice this? Is purple signifying dark revelations?
[> Re: Purple significance? -- Spike Lover, 12:10:43 12/07/01 Fri

I thought it matched, but I thought it was red.
[> Re: Purple significance? -- NOPE, 13:41:59 12/07/01 Fri

How about it's just a purple liner and it means nothing. The people that post on this board look for meaning in every single solitary thing that goes on IN A TELEVISISON SHOW!
[> [> Some things do mean something(s?) -- Darby, 13:51:17 12/07/01 Fri

It certainly isn't a reach to see significance in the fact that Buffy leaves the Magic Shop in a white sleeveless top and winds up "walking through the fire" in the "babe" version of Spike's outfit! Black leather coat, red shirt, jeans, where have we seen that emsemble before...?
[> [> you're obviously not aware... -- pocky, 15:33:13 12/07/01 Fri

of the fact that there's been a lot of incidents in which little things like that had significance.

and if it's just a television show, why are you getting worked up about it? geez.
[> Re: Purple significance? -- Aquitaine, 14:36:36 12/07/01 Fri

I only noticed the blue(?) lining of her jacket after I had read Nina's post on the use of red and blue in OMwF. IMO, it simply means that Buffy was revealing parts of herself she was keeping hidden deep down: opening her heart and showing her true colours/feelings.

Just wanted to let you guys know... -- Rob, 12:59:39 12/07/01 Fri

...that I have officially begun my Very Long Buffy Essay...something I've wanted to do for a Very Long time. :) After reading all the many, many brilliant posts here and at the Fictionary Corner, I thought I'd take a crack at a long essay myself.

Just wanted to thank everybody who's inspired me at this Board...Masq, rowan, Liq, WW, RH, Rufus, Tillow, Shaglio, Rahael, Kimberly, pagangoddess, maddog, and on and on and on (sorry to everybody I missed!!!)...You guys are all such great writers. I haven't written a long essay in a long time, and you guys have inspired me to do so.

So, I'm going to be writing it this weekend, and I'll post it as soon as it is ready.

Here's some hints: It's about a classic fairy tale, a certain song from OMWF, and a love that dare not speak its name.

I will now fade mysteriously away to write. ;)

[> Sounds good! Looking forward to juicy reading : ) -- Masq, 13:01:59 12/07/01 Fri

[> I have to wait all weekend? :-) -- Kimberly, 13:23:40 12/07/01 Fri

(Assume a whining voice above)

Seriously, though, I'm looking forward to reading it; it's sure to be a good read.
[> Re: Just wanted to let you guys know... -- Shaglio, 13:34:14 12/07/01 Fri

Thanks Rob, but I'm pretty sure I don't belong on that list. I've never written a post of more than 5 sentences. I usually just add stray thoughts on to the end of other people's posts. Or post off topic stuff. I should stop now before I have to start a 6th sentence. ;)
[> [> Technically... -- GreatRewards, 13:36:27 12/07/01 Fri

That was only 4 sentences, with an inappropriate period before the word "Or". So you're safe to write one more sentence without fear of apocalypse!
[> I can't wait ........ -- Rufus, 14:31:54 12/07/01 Fri

[> I am polishing up my keyboard itching to code that essay! -- Liq, 15:38:56 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> Oooh, Rob, the pressure's on... just ignore us : ) -- Masq, 16:54:06 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> You mean now I'm going to have to actually write this thing?!? LOL! Just j/k, I swear! :-) -- Rob, 18:50:07 12/07/01 Fri

[> is it posted yet? i'm ready to read! -- JBone, 19:22:00 12/07/01 Fri

[> Re: Just wanted to let you guys know... -- pagangodess, 19:24:59 12/07/01 Fri

Good luck, Rob. Can't wait for Monday or is it going to be Tuesday. Don't keep us waiting too long.

:) pagan

P.S. Thanks, for putting me on the list, though I strongly doubt that my name belongs there.
[> Re: This board is a source of inspiration for sure -- Dedalus, 19:42:53 12/07/01 Fri

It so helps having a ready-made audience that will read what you write, and even more than that, will actually understand it.

Good luck Rob.
please don't shoot me..... -- yabyumpan, 15:30:54 12/07/01 Fri

I got this from another board and checked it out on the following site.....the next BtVS ep will be called GONE Spike bites Buffy and puts her in hospital, the SG go after Spike and dust him....Buffy hides her distress from the Scoobies AHHHHHHHHHHHHH
Again, please don't shoot me, only the messenger and all that. Anyone else heard anything, I can't believe this is true. Please some one tell me that the site is a joke board or something.
If it is true, so sorry to spoil this season of goodwill and stuff. I've actually been hanging onto this since yesterday as I didn't want to upset people but I really need to "share" now. typing this has made me even more upset than I was before...
[> Spoilerish content above (though I'm thinkin' "Not bloody likely!") -- GreatRewards, 15:36:56 12/07/01 Fri

[> Re: please don't shoot me.....SPOILER sorry forgot -- yabyumpan, 16:08:04 12/07/01 Fri

[> Not true, the ep is about the nerd trio. <nt> -- Jod, 21:08:52 12/07/01 Fri

[> I just checked the site, and it didn't give any details about GONE -- vampire hunter D, 13:02:08 12/08/01 Sat

[> [> Re: I just checked the site, and it didn't give any details about GONE -- yabyumpan, 13:59:20 12/08/01 Sat

You have to login then type in Buffy the Vampire slayer and search. I've just checked it again and it's still there.
[> No worries- -- Spike Lover, 15:54:05 12/08/01 Sat

If you go to the Yahoo TV and select Buffy under TV Favorites, you will see the Buffy ep etc. Underneath this are articles that have been written about the episodes. One of them talks about The Sex Scene w/ Spike having to be cut. (You will easily find it.)

In this article, they interviewed someone w/ the show who said that much more sex and nudity (yeah) is going to be on this season. And that is going to be difficult for the studio to accomplish if they actually dust Spike, the sex machine.
[> Don't get worried...(Perhaps Spoilery) -- Isabel, 22:29:46 12/08/01 Sat

I just checked the Spoiler Slayer site and while there is a chance the next episode may be called Gone, he only gives it a "Likely." Likely is above Possible but below Highly Likely and way below Confirmed.

Plus-none of what got you upset is mentioned as possible spoilers for the next episode on his site. Check it yourself:

Also, think rationally about it. We just heard that the next new episode will be aired New Year's Day. That's not a sweeps period, and any episode where Spike actually succeeds in hospitalizing Buffy is gonna be played for ratings. Just my cynical opinion. ;-)

Personally, I'm thinking it'll be a lighter episode in the "Triangle" vein. (Hung-over people are fickle viewers.)
[> [> Re: Don't get worried...(Perhaps Spoilery) -- me, 15:45:54 12/09/01 Sun

>Also, think rationally about it. We just heard that the next new episode will be aired New Year's Day. That's not a sweeps period, and any episode where Spike actually succeeds in hospitalizing Buffy is gonna be played for ratings. Just my cynical opinion. ;-)

Personally, I'm thinking it'll be a lighter episode in the "Triangle" vein. (Hung-over people are fickle viewers.)<

Yes, but ME isn't always "rationale". They seem to think about what makes sense and then totally buck that tradition. Leave it up to them to hide a potentially monstrous moment in a non-sweeps, hungover episode--thus guaranteeing a lot of complaining and higher ratings on the repeat!

I for one think that wouldn't be THAT bad of ending to Spike. We would get the fun of a shocking character death, and the personal issues Buffy would face afterwards would be fun to explore.BUT...I think it is just too soon.
Could Joss have really been imagining Tabula Rasa 2 whole years ago???? -- GreatRewards, 15:40:59 12/07/01 Fri

I just reread the shooting script from "Restless" and there's one small scene during Xander's dream sequence that has Giles and Spike sitting on a swingset in a playground. The dialog goes like this:

Giles here is gonna teach me to be a
Watcher. Says I got the stuff.

Spike's like a son to me....

Could Joss REALLY have had Tabula Rasa already in his head when he wrote this little tidbit as foreshadowing, or do you think it's more likely that this little scene came to mind while they wrote Tabula Rasa. If the former, then "my God! Joss is freakin' genuis!". If the latter, then "Oh, he's got good memory."

[> Re: Could Joss: Spoilers for Season 4; 'Something Blue'; and Season 6 -- Age, 18:30:23 12/07/01 Fri

If you look at the fourth season episode, 'Something Blue' elements relevant to season six are contained in it; it's just that Buffy and Spike aren't ready at that point for this season's developments: Spike's new chip still has to work its conditioning; while Buffy has to have her faith/Faith in herself and men resurrected by the good Christ figure Riley(Christ wound in his side; restoration of Faith/faith in Buffy in the church.)

Looking at the ep there is Spike referring to Giles as father-in-law; Spike digging at the ground with his bare hands trying to get at something, foreshadowing perhaps Buffy's resurrection this season; there is Willow's problem with magic/power, her having to work it out herself, by herself, and her contrition at the end of the episode; there's the brief de-ratting of Amy; there's Buffy's discussion with Willow about the type of relationship she'd like to have and the idea that something is missing in a nice safe one; there's the image of Giles' blindness, a possible foreshadowing of his coming to see that he's standing in the way(which he definitely is in 'Something Blue'); there's the idea of something going wrong as we see this season with the return of Buffy; there's even the mention of a forgetting spell towards the end of the ep.

[> If you go farther in that scene from Restless and Tabula Rasa -- JBone, 19:29:56 12/07/01 Fri

Gotta have something. Gotta be always moving forward.

Like a shark.

A shark with feet. And much less... fins.

AND on land.

Very good...

Remember the loan "shark" that Spike owed kittens to. I'm not sure how yet, but Restless is all OVER this season.
[> [> you have to remember that this is the man who refrenced dawn in the season three finale! -- heather galaxy, 05:27:02 12/08/01 Sat

[> [> [> Re: you have to remember that this is the man who refrenced dawn in the season three finale! -- DEN, 06:42:35 12/08/01 Sat

And without denying the conceptual genius of Joss and Co,. it's not the toughest thing in the world to draw on past eps for filler, presenting story lines in settings and concepts familiar to the kind of viewers who frequent posting boards. I can even believe it might be fun for the writers to make a thread out of what had been originally intended as a one-off.
[> Re: Could Joss have really been imagining Tabula Rasa 2 whole years ago???? -- vampire hunter D, 12:56:35 12/08/01 Sat

Of course he could have. SMG once said in an interview that Joss has known what's gonna happen this season since season 3. So yes, he could have written forshadowing into season 4.
Now, I don't think there is forshadowing going on now. First of all, the show is only scheduled for two more years, so there isn't much to forshadow. Second, seasons 5 and 6 seem to be "real story" seasons, where as 4 seemed more of a "filler" season (something to put on between the Graduation saga and the Key saga). Which is why I think 4 sucked so bad.
[> [> Ok- What about the Sand Box? -- Spike Lover, 15:47:13 12/08/01 Sat

In that season finale dream sequence, Xander (?) saw Buffy in the sandbox by herself and commented on it. What about it?
[> [> [> Re: Ok- What about the Sand Box? -- Wisewoman, 11:29:47 12/09/01 Sun

That was Buffy in the dessert, following her guide, and talking to the Primitive.
[> [> [> [> Re: Ok- What about the Sand Box? -- OnM, 06:13:17 12/11/01 Tue

Deserts also strike me as a metaphor for being alone, or retreating from civilization. This certainly could apply to Buffy's current state of spiritual/emotional 'aloneness'.

Going by memory, doesn't Xander caution her about 'that's a pretty big sandbox'? And isn't her reply this sort of sad but resigned 'I'm way ahead of you, big brother'?

This latter comment was always particularly cryptic to me. I can see the 'big brother' allusion, in that Xander has always sort of considered himself as being in that position after he couldn't make a go of a romantic relationship with Buffy.

But 'ahead of you'? In my old KH post, I gave it a messianic spin, Buffy as some future god with the universe as a sandbox, and the loneliness/power exemplified in that.

Dunno. Talk about studying the 'scrolls'...
[> Re: Could Joss have really been imagining Tabula Rasa 2 whole years ago???? -- bible belt, 15:50:40 12/09/01 Sun

I remember Tara telling Buffy that she had no idea what she would become, and when Buffy said she had to go Tara said,"be back before dawn." Very interesting.
Buffy Season 3 DVD Commentary on 'Earshot' Part 1 (long) -- Rahael, 16:41:43 12/07/01 Fri

So I finally typed up another commentary! This is Jane Espenson talking over the episode 'Earshot' as it plays. There's quite a few little intriguing pointers toward Season 6. And guess what? my two favourite parts of this episode were actually written by Joss. What a surprise that was!

I've tried to indicate as much as possible what scene we are supposed to be looking at without interrupting Jane's narrative.


Commentary by Jane Espenson

Buffy fights the demon
Buffy is battling the mouthless demon. This demon has a tail, something which Joss generally doesn’t really like to do, because they can look silly. But I had written a joke where Buffy worries about getting a tail, so that required that these demons had to have tails. In an episode I wrote in the following season ‘A New Man’, where Giles turns into a demon, again, we created a demon with tails because I had written jokes about it.

In the first draft, all the voices which Buffy started hearing were in her own voice. And this was the way we were going to get around her not recognizing the voice which says "this time tomorrow, you’ll all be dead". But ultimately wouldn’t have been as satisfying. Part of the fun of this episode is getting to hear, for example, Cordelia’s inner voice and her outer voice next to each other as the same voice.

Scene in the Library
Buffy’s talking to Willow. Speculating about what’s going to happen during the Ascension. They don’t know yet that the Mayor is going to turn into a snake. Actually, when I wrote this, I didn’t know that the mayor was going to turn into a snake. So some of this is a little bit of an inside joke about how little we knew about what exactly was going to be happening, specifically, at the end of the season. We had general ideas but nothing specific yet.

Wesley’s such a wonderful character. I’ve written a couple of episodes for Angel, after this, and I really enjoy writing for him. Its kind of fun to see how he’s evolved…there’s my name…yay!

Corridor Scene
Now they are talking about Hogan Martin the fancy school jock superstar. I actually named him after a guy I went to school with. I just picked the name because I thought it was the coolest name, and I needed it to be memorable. There’s Percy. I’m actually writing a comic book now, where I think I may bring back the Hogan Martin character, as someone Buffy’s friends set her up on a date with after Angel leaves.

I frequently go on set when they are shooting one of my episodes. I was around for a lot of this episode. Not as much as for Band Candy or Superstar.. those I was there for every shot. But I was for this one. Occasionally an actor will come up and point out a line they feel uncomfortable saying or something that doesn’t make sense, or someone else on the set will notice something that doesn’t make sense. So you would have to do a bit of rewriting. But I don’t remember doing that for Earshot. We spent a lot of time on this. We did lots of drafts and Joss did some writing on this, so I think it was pretty solid. There was a line that was uttered by Xander about Pierce Brosnan….there was some hesitation about whether we would allow that line or not because people were a little afraid that Pierce Brosnan wouldn’t like it. But I don’t know that Pierce Brosnan watches Buffy so I think we’re ok.

Buffy talking to Angel at night
Buffy’s wishing she knew what Angel thought. This is the arc of the episode – it’s a careful what you wish for episode, which is a structure that I like a lot. Band Candy had the same structure. Buffy wishes she had something, she gets it and then learns that its not what she hoped it would be. So in Bandy Candy she was getting a lot of parental supervision from….."I wish I didn’t have these adults running my life" and then they’re not adults anymore and she realises that she needs them, needs them as grown ups. And in this episode, feeling isolated from other people, and gee I wish I knew what Angel was thinking and then she gets this ability. She has a line "its as if all these doors have opened up and I can walk into any of these rooms and see what’s there" and then she realises that that’s not what its like at all. Much later on in the episode, when she realises that its not a gift, she says "its like people can walk into my head". So her metaphor has been reversed. Now the doors are in her head, and people are walking into her. So, yeah, careful what you wish for. It was nice when David Boreanaz was around. Its fun writing for Angel, but it was really nice having Sarah and David in scenes together, they were always fun to write.

Scene in Sunnydale High
Oz is really hard to write for, because he says so little that when he did talk, it felt like a big deal, and you had to make his line very significant. Talking about the Basketball game that Buffy didn’t get to go to. Buffy’s just overheard Xander’s thought…..

We are heading toward the second act here, where Buffy is overhearing people’s thoughts. Our theory was that what we could do was that sometimes we could hear what people were thinking, and sometimes we could see Buffy’s reaction to it. Not entirely clear that it worked perfectly. There are few moments where we see her react to thoughts we don’t hear. I’ve never been completely clear that its obvious what’s going on.

Library scene with Giles
I love this moment where Buffy is enthusiastic. A happy Buffy is a joy to behold. I love it when we can give her moments like this. Buffy has overheard Giles’ unflattering thought about her shoes. I wrote that line because a couple of episodes ago, I had noticed that they had given her these crazy, thick platform shoes on Buffy, they were such great shoes.

Classroom scene/discussion of Othello
This is the scene that Joss rewrote. In my first draft, it was a history class, and they were talking about Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn and it didn’t have any resonance with the rest of the show. Joss said what about if what they were discussing in this class actually relates to Buffy’s situation and how she relates to Angel and so I changed it to an English class and they were discussing Catcher in the Rhy and I found some interesting connection…I can’t remember what it was now. But Joss rewrote it into an discussion of Othello, and we introduced some of the other characters, the misleads in the whodunnit. There is Freddy the newspaper editor, and Nancy the overcompetitive student. I like both of those actors a lot and it would have been fun to bring them back, but we were almost at the end of high school at this point.

Buffy just said the word "spurious". The notion was that she just heard the word spurious in her head, she didn’t know what it meant, she just repeated it. This is all Joss. We have two important moments. We have Buffy feeling proud and satisfied and enjoying her new gift, and we have the teacher talking about jealousy. And now Buffy’s thinking…erk, I got this boyfriend whose mind I can’t read, I got this new gift, let’s put these two things together.

Buffy at Angel’s mansion
A few episodes before this, Angel had pretended to be evil, and as part of this deception, he had been smooching with Faith, Buffy’s enemy. And Buffy’s been wondering how genuine that was. Now she wants to read his mind. There was a line which got cut, which I miss. Buffy says, about Faith, "I know she’s an enemy, but is she an arch-enemy?" It was Sarah’s idea, which I thought was a very good one, that she look at Angel very intensely at moments during this scene, where you can see that she is straining to hear what he’s thinking. It was very well executed. I liked David in this scene. He is very straightforward and reasonable with her. You sort of realise that there are aspects of their relationship which are problematic not because they are Slayer and Vampire, but because they are boy and girl. And they are just having the same sort of "why aren’t you more communcative" "well, why didn’t you ask" they are having the same sort of conversation that any couple might have. He also reminds us of the special aspect of their relationship here…he’s a 240 year old vampire, and he’s dated a lot of girls. I think Joss rewrote parts of this. Where he says "I’ve lived 240 years and I’ve loved exactly one girl", and she says "oh, its me right?". I think that was Joss’. In general, if a line’s really good, it tends to be his. Its remarkable how many times the writers get complimented on a line and it turns out to be one of Joss’.

Library Scene
This was a very complicated scene. A big library scene…..look at all the people. You had to give them all lines, so that one wouldn’t get left out. And in this case, there were all the internal lines as well. So it was like writing a scene for 14 characters, except for the fact, of course, that Cordelia’s inner and outer voice were exactly the same, which I adored. I think that worked very well. She was a wonderful character. Oz’s thoughts are something that changed a lot from the first draft, and in the first draft, it just had him getting tangled up: "is she hearing me thinking this? Well that means that she just heard me think this too, I don’t know if I can think anymore, all I can think is that she can hear what I’m thinking!" And Joss said, write him something that sounds like what Nietzsche would have said in this situation. So I came up with all that "We think, therefore Buffy is" kind of stuff.

There was a line I originally had for Wesley in this scene, where he’s looking at Cordelia, and he thinks: "if I had but a statue of her, so that I might touch heaven" perhaps slightly overwritten! Perhaps its better that it was cut!
And here we see that Buffy’s gift is actually driving away her friends. Willow feels that Buffy is becoming less human, because of all the special powers she has, its an interesting take on the whole specialness of being a slayer.

Corridor Scene
Here is the darker side of High School, where she’s hearing all the loneliness and depression, isolation and self hatred, all those things that people think about in High School.
[> And here's part 2 (also long) -- Rahael, 16:44:23 12/07/01 Fri

Cafeteria Scene
There’s Jonathon, introduced very, very subtly here. We just see him for a second. Jonathon is a character who has been seen in small bits and pieces in episodes before this, usually as a kid who is in grave danger. This is the first episode where he got some real prominence. And subsequently I wrote Superstar, in which Jonathan had created an alternate universe where he was the coolest guy in the world.

Buffy hears the threat. And they treated the voice so you can’t really here if it was a male or female voice. We see Buffy in detective mode here, trying to see who could have been responsible for that thought. We establish very clearly that Jonathan was in the lunchroom at that time [Buffy clutches Jonathan]. A lot of swirling.

Outside the School
There’s some lines in this scene….Cordelia’s lines that I find hard to understand. Lines that Buffy overhears, if you hear everyone expressing concern about Buffy, and then if you listen carefully, you can hear that Cordelia is just thinking "I’m cold". And later on, everyone is even more concerned about Buffy, and Cordelia’s thinks "I’m not getting any warmer!".

One of the things that I love about this show is that Buffy isn’t just the muscle. Being the Slayer also makes you General. She has to be the one to figure out how they are going to approach all their crises, so this is a great scene, where even as she is sick and being led away, she is still directing everyone. A lot of people have this misconception that this show is about an airhead who happens to have strength, and its not. Buffy is very smart. As Giles leads Buffy away to the car, she overhears him thinking "if this isn’t stopped, she’ll go insane"….I’m not sure that I like the line reading we picked for that, it sounds a little overdramatic. I wish it sounded a little more matter of fact. I’m sure that it was our problem, not Tony’s problem.

Buffy/Joyce scene in Buffy’s bedroom
In this episode Buffy overhears her mother thinking about ‘Band Candy’, where Giles and Joyce were seen kissing on top of a police car, and Buffy makes a comment, that "thank goodness I got to you before anything happened". And Joyce and Giles kind of look at each other and go "yeah, right". To my surprise, a lot of people were confused as to how far Giles and Joyce had gone, and so I really enjoyed making it very clear in this scene that they actually had sex on top of the police car. I just wanted America to know that I guess.

This is one of the examples where we don’t hear the thought, we just see Buffy’s reaction. Which for this particular joke, absolutely had to be structured that way.

Library Scene
I like Willow in charge, she has to organise the effort in Buffy’s absence, and I like it that she does it in a teacherly way.

Willow questions Jonathan
This scene is an explicit reference to a scene in a previous episode, an episode where the swim team turn into creatures from the black lagoon. In that episode, Willow interrogated Jonathan, and this is a call back to that scene, where Jonathan doesn’t have a clue what Willow’s going on about.

Oz questions Hogan
In the first draft, I had Oz asking Hogan whether he tortured animals as a kid, because that is an indicator of murderers. And I had him say "well, maybe I pulled the wings of flies, but I didn’t play Hamster baseball or anything" and I’m really glad that Joss rewrote that, because it really was unpleasant.

Cordelia has a very direct approach….she just asks if they were planning on killing anyone. I love her straightforwardness. Anya has a lot of that too. I think a lot of people feel that we just put Anya in there to replace Cordelia but she has her own special vibe.

Oz in newspaper office.
These headlines are supposed to indicate the tough, really depressed, morose view of the world that Freddy has, and to indicate that he could be a killer. I’m not sure they were hard edged enough to come across.

Buffy in her bedroom
Buffy is getting to the point where she can’t shut out the thoughts. She’s hearing all the thoughts in the neighbourhood. I love whodunnits, I love Agatha Christie, and I love the idea of setting up a cast of characters all of whom have a good motive and opportunity. Obviously the structure of this….the entire staff had to work together to break the story, so I can’t really take the credit for the complex whodunnit structure, but it was a lot of fun to do the writing on this.

Angel fights the demons
We don’t see any scenes where Giles and Wesley approach Angel to get the heart of the demon, so we don’t know whether he already knows Buffy needs this, or whether he was told. But we do get to see Angel in action, Angel in action without Buffy. So that was nice.

Willow questions Nancy
I like Nancy a lot. I wish we could have kept her for another episode

Larry and Xander scene
Larry died at the end of the season, during the Mayor’s Ascension. We lost a number of good characters that day. It was the same episode when Harmony was turned into a vampire, and other interesting things happened. Larry is under the impression that Xander is gay too.

The Summers’ House
A nice Giles/Joyce moment. I always liked having these two characters together, because on our show, they are what serve as Buffy’s parents. Potion is actually glowing. They put something fluorescent in it. And those are actual chunks of meat floating in it. The top it is capped, so that Sarah doesn’t actually drink any of it, because that would be gross.

Sunnydale High Court Yard
We actually constructed this bell tower. There was no bell tower in Torrance. Oh my goodness, we find out that Jonathan has brought a gun to school. This was why the broadcast of this episode was delayed many months. Because of Columbine. It was a good thing, because while the episode had a lot of positive messages in it, it also had a couple of joke that were just not funny right at that time. I think the episode plays better with a little time cushion.

Freddy’s office
Big confrontation. I like the fact that there is a double mislead in this episode, where we think we’ve found the murderer twice, and we’re wrong. They realise that its Jonathan they’re after. Cordelia is just looking for short boys in striped shirts. She looks at them very carefully to make sure they’re not Jonathan. I like that. Xander is distracted by jello.

Buffy and Jonathan in the Bell Tower.
Danny Strong does a great job here. This is another scene where Joss really got in there and threw out what I had written, mercifully. This is all his material, and I think its really beautiful. There are a few lines which really jump out at me, particularly when Jonathan says "Stop using my name like a friend", and when Buffy says later on " I could have taken that gun away at anytime" and he goes, "oh yeah, that’s right". She was giving him some dignity, she gave him the option of handing over that gun voluntarily. I love the message of this scene. You feel as if everyone is looking at you. In fact, they are not really looking at you because they are in terrible pain themselves. In my first draft, after I had Buffy explain that, I had Jonathan say "wow, this place really is a hell hole!", and Buffy says "yeah, in a couple of different ways".

Here we find out that Jonathan didn’t want to kill everyone, he wanted to kill himself. This is very characteristic of Jonathan. In Superstar, he wanted to solve all his problems with one grand dramatic gesture, but he goes the other way. Instead of eliminating himself, he makes himself the most important person in the world. Pretty interesting character.

People seemed to like this episode. I did not get a lot of criticism from people saying how dare you show someone bringing a gun to school. I think mostly people kind of got it.

Xander stealing jello scene
I love this shot. The great back and forth shot of the lunch lady putting rat poison in and Xander eating the jello, and the moment where they both look guilty, before Xander realises that what he’s been caught doing isn’t as bad as what she’s been caught doing. We realise that Xander’s earlier line about the cafeteria food was true. Joss was very insistent that there be a line very early on about the lunch lady.

Final scene
I don’t know what’s up with this skirt. [Buffy’s half see-thru white skirt]. I didn’t really notice it myself, but when I watch the episode with friends, they always go, "what’s with that skirt?" I suspect that it must have been high fashion and I just didn’t get it.

Buffy reveals to Giles she knows that he had sex with Joyce. I like the way our show does not suddenly drop facts. They remain true for the whole run of the series

Finis. Credit Rolls.
[> [> Thanks Rah! Very interesting! Makes me wonder about Jonathan. -- Dichotomy, 17:09:27 12/07/01 Fri

She obviously likes the character of Jonathan. Makes me think we'll get something more from him than just being part of the evil trio. Maybe later in the season, he'll be instrumental in helping the scoobies defeat the other two. Whaddaya think?
[> [> [> That leapt out at me too! v. mild spoilers for S6 so far -- Rahael, 17:23:25 12/07/01 Fri

The fact that during Season 5, when Jane actually did this commentary, she regarded Jonathan as an 'very interesting character' given to making big dramatic gestures. I took this to mean that this was the thinking behind including him in the Geek trio. What part he'll play, is shrouded in mystery, to me at least! At least one thing - they haven't forgotten about who Jonathan was before Season 6. How much more a pointed comment than Jane's final one? Characters change, but only for a reason.

I also thought it was significant when Jane talked about how Buffy felt 'less than human' and that this was a different perspective to her 'slayer specialness'. A big hint as to the reason for a major plot trend this season??

And finally....those little clues as to Willow taking charge in Buffy's absence.....they really do try not to forget anything, don't they. The most interesting contrast with this season was of course, that Willow took charge in a lawless, rather than the lawful, 'teacherly' way she did in Earshot.
[> [> [> I agree with you about Jonathan, there is no way he is "evil", only misguided.<nt> -- Jod, 20:56:31 12/07/01 Fri

[> [> [> Re: Thanks Rah! Very interesting! Makes me wonder about Jonathan. -- Andy, 06:51:02 12/08/01 Sat

Definitely. Espenson loves Jonathan. She even wrote a Jonathan comic book last year. I never read it, but I think it's mildly hilarious that they actually did a Jonathan comic book :) And I'll be very surprised if Jonathan doesn't end up doing the right thing in the end and turning on the other geeks. He's a well meaning character. Just not too bright :)

[> [> [> [> Perhaps Jonathan becomes a Scooby... -- Caligo, 07:59:51 12/12/01 Wed

balancing out the whole gender inbalance a little more, AND giving Xander a guy to talk to. Poor Xander...

XANDER: (wistfully) Beautiful girl with ... no other thought but to please you ... willing to do anything...

::He looks up. Shots of the four girls staring at him. Xander laughs nervously. ::

XANDER: Too many girls. I miss Oz. He'd get it. He wouldn't say anything, but... (clears throat) he'd get it.
-From I Was Made to Love You

There was also the Defcon 1 comment in another episode but I can't find it. Basically it was another comment about how he needs more guy friends.

I dunno. I think Jonathan would be a good addition to the regular crew, he'd take over most of the stupid goofiness that Xander is slowly maturing out of. He's already show some spell-casting ability. Hehe, who wants to see Jonathan vs. Rack!!!
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps Jonathan becomes a Scooby... -- Eric, 10:16:49 12/13/01 Thu

Yes, he would be a good addition. But he would probably have to be drafted since his stature and social habits aren't exactly condusive to confronting Evil head on (at least without the resources he had in "Superstar"). But Jonathan, by successfully casting a spell, definitely proved himself free of the Sunnydale blinders. His choices are now limited to: 1) Leaving Sunnydale. 2) Fighting the forces of darkness. 3) Joining the forces of darkness. 4) Puttiing the blinders back on (The Snyder Option). To me at least #3 and #4 will eventually yield the same results. I suspect a lot of very minor characters are potential Scoobies in waiting. Its a Fortean idea but not too alien for the Buffyverse. After all there are always Slayers in waiting and a villain(s) in Sunnydale, so why not Scoobies in waiting? When one goes down or leaves another steps up to the plate. (Plus it gives the accountants at UPN workable salary projections.)
[> Somewhat depressing -- darrenK, 07:53:33 12/11/01 Tue

I've always been a fan of Earshot. It's an episode that has a positive message about a current problem while still maintaining the integrity of all that is Buffy.

And the 3 most inspired sections in it were always the Shakespeare classroom conversation, The mentally interior/exterior Scooby meeting and the Buffy's speech to Jonathan.

To me, these scenes were evidence that there were multiple genius writers on Buffy, not just Joss. But, not we find that the episodes most inspired scenes were written by Joss. And that while the other writers are good, great by the pathetic standards of normal TV. Joss remains the only genius...

The reason this is depressing is that back during Season 3 when there was only one Buffyverse TV project, Joss was able to devote himself to work on every script. I doubt he has time for that now between Angel, Buffy, the Buffy cartoon, Ripper, Fray, Tales of the Slayer, Iron Man and whatever script doctoring Fox has him doing.

As I said...depressing...
[> [> Still optimistic -- Rahael, 09:46:33 12/14/01 Fri

I think Jane Espenson is a very modest person.

Joss merely rewrote existing material. He's obviously found a talented team of people with whom he produces great work. The sum can be more than the total of the parts after all.

I've been enjoying the commentaries on the dvds.

And I read a comment by Joss in his interview with Onion AV, in which he talked about the possibility of Buffy burnout. I'd rather he did whatever he wanted to do, than concentrate solely on Buffy, if that means he gets bored with it.

Its also clear that Joss keeps a very close eye on all episodes, even the ones he does not write.
Giles (old spoilers - watching 'em re-runs on FX) -- Sophie, 17:45:34 12/07/01 Fri

What is with Giles’ getting drunk in "The Yoko Factor"?
[> Re: Giles (old spoilers - watching 'em re-runs on FX) -- JM, 10:12:16 12/08/01 Sat

From what people who have visited England tell me, the English are a little more relaxed about alcohol than we Americans. However, Giles has been shown hitting the bottle a number of times when under stress. In "The Dark Age" when he's hiding out at his apartment, trying to fix the Eyghon sitch before Buffy finds out about it, he appears, by the level of the bottle the next morning, to have had a lot to drink. Plus, Buffy seemed to be able to smell the alcohol on him.

Season four, in "Something Blue" he reacts to creeping blindness first by trying to hide it and then with "It's all right, I've got more scotch." In "The New Man," he's feeling extremely low and he and Ethan quite tie one on. In "The Yoko Factor," Spike hits him really hard where he lives, and it looks like he goes on a twenty-four hour bender. I don't think it's enough to indicate a drinking problem, but it does suggest that when Giles feels vulnerable, he self-medicates instead of talking about it.
[> [> Re: Giles (old spoilers - watching 'em re-runs on FX) -- Eric, 18:17:25 12/09/01 Sun

In "Blue", Giles was further traumatized by Buffy getting smoochy with Spike, something that caused ME to crave self medication. Eew!
Buffy and responsibility (spoilers for S6) -- Dichotomy, 18:26:28 12/07/01 Fri

This is my first attempt at a longish post, and is really more of a question than a statement. Perhaps those of you with more background in ethics, or philosophy or psychology, or life experience even, could give me some direction or insight. Be gentle! Here goes:

We all know that this season, the theme is "Oh, grow up!" And right now I think Buffy and the Scoobies are facing, not entirely successfully, one of the hardest parts of growing up: responsibility. While they appear to be responsible in the most basic ways (holding jobs, attending school, paying bills, slaying demons) where they are failing is in claiming responsibility for their actions. While I could discuss Willow's irresponsibility with magic, or Xander's summoning Sweet, I'll confine my thoughts to Buffy, and specifically, her interactions with Spike.

Buffy was burdened with the enormous responsibility of being the Slayer and I, of course, don't mean to minimize that. Although she wasn't forced to sacrifice a normal childhood and adolescence like the other Slayers,and at times she resented that responsibility and even attempted to run away from it, she always returned and ultimately gave her life to save the world. What more should we expect of her?

Should she be excused of her current behavior because of all she went through, all she gave up? She was in Heaven (or a heavenly dimension) and then forced back into the comparatively hellish world-- give the girl a break already, right?

Maybe not. I see her ressurection, her return, or whatever it was as her official entry into the adult world. You think demons are bad? Try a guilty conscience. Yikes! And that may be what's in store for our Buffy.

What she seems to have forgotten in all her angsty mopiness is that her actions, even her mere words, have a very strong effect on those around her, both directly and indirectly. It's almost as if her incredibly mature and selfless sacrifice in the Gift is for naught,and she's starting over on her road to adulthood. Children and teenagers are very me-centric, and those who make the smoothest transition to adulthood learn perhaps not to entirely sublimate this tendency, but at least tone it down a bit.

Right now, Buffy seems unable to do this. She shares smoochies with Spike, not once, but twice, then has sex with him. And always there's an excuse, somehow indicating that she's really not accountable. Deciding that her sexual liaisons with Spike had to end was just the first, and most obvious step toward responsibility. But more important is actually owning up to her actions, not just pretending they never happened or brushing them off. Shouldn't she talk to him about it? Something along the lines of "yes, it really was hot and all that , but I can't keep doing this just because it feels good." But then also keeping him as loyal as possible by respecting him as an asset, while keeping him close enough to keep an eye on him. That seems to have been enough for him at the end of last season.

Spike is in love with her (or his version of love) and she knows what she says and does affects him deeply. So while she trusts him to protect Dawn and counts on him for backup, she also knows he's potentially dangerous, especially now that he can kill her if he wants to, and possibly others in the future, should his chip malfunction. To assume that he'll always be benign would be idiotic given the fact she lives in a world where even her true love turned on her. Spike attempted to feed on the woman in the alley not only because he thought he could, but because Buffy had treated him so badly, after all he had done for her. Right or wrong, he felt he had to answer to her emasculation of him. (As a side note, Spike, in his moment of near-murder in the alley is the perfect symbol for the adult who never grows up. Spike clearly relates his need to be bad again, to kill, to Buffy's frustratingly confusing and negative view of him. He never gets older physically, and this blaming his behavior on someone else shows an emotional immaturity as well. Being a Spikeophile, I hope that he will "grow up" too.)

So I guess it comes down to this: If Spike had killed the woman in the alley, would Buffy have been partially responsible? Maybe not legally, but ethically or morally? Or, at the very least, should she *feel* responsible? I'm not suggesting that Spike wouldn't be responsible, but part of growing up for Buffy should be understanding what effect her words and actions have, and deciding to use them more wisely. After all, the lives of all her loved ones could depend on it.
[> Re: Buffy and responsibility (spoilers for S6) -- Rufus, 21:52:48 12/07/01 Fri

First I will deal with Buffy's resonsibility in Spikes actions in the alley. Only Spike is resonsible for his actions. The part about growing up and becoming mature is the ability to accept rejection without having a tantrum. Spike was told some hurtful things. But none of those things excuse him from how he acted out at that woman. First, he was angry then his solution was to try to reclaim the Big Bad persona that makes him feel powerful instead of powerless. Spike was once critical of Angelus for engaging in confrontations that he was most powerful and likely to win, then Spike did the same thing. Instead of going an beating up some demons that could have had a chance of defending themselves and give Spike a run for his money, he chose to pick out the weakest person he cold find and attempt to attack her. I think part of that reflects just how powerless he feels at this time. He has been prevented from fighting for so long that he was afraid to try someone close to his own size. Furthermore, his anger was at a woman who wouldn't listen to him and had been verbally abusive, so it's telling that he found a woman in a position of vunerability that forced her to listen and do what ever he wanted. Angel said in Amends that it was the man that needed killing in the vampire, and I believe that. The demon is only giving the vampire a preference for evil and an addiction to blood, it's the person who once was that acts out on these urges. With Angelus he wanted to win a constest with his father, finding killing him the easy way out. Spike gave into that type of weakness in the alley, his choice of victim a reflection of how helpless and weak he feels himself. To his credit he found that killing was something that was harder to do than he thought, but he still attacked. If Spike ever reverts to evil it will be the man in him that decides that based upon his past experiences of rejection. For Spike, growing up will be something that is achieved when he can drop the need for approval that created the Big Bad.
[> [> Re: Buffy and responsibility (spoilers for S6) -- Dichotomy, 09:47:43 12/08/01 Sat

I agree with you that Spike would be responsible for the murder if he had been able to kill the woman in the alley. As I said before, he displays the emotinal immaturity of someone who has not grown up enough to take responsibility for his feelings and actions.

My question was more about Buffy. Shouldn't she take more responsibility with how her words and actions affect others (in this case, Spike)? Knowing that Spike is already feeling frustratingly powerless and then saying and doing things to reinforce that, seems to me irresponsible. If he had killed the women, should she have felt partially responsible or even just a bit guilty that her misuse of power over Spike (an emotinally immature vampire) pushed him to take that action? Especially when a few kind, but not misleading words might have prevented that rage?
[> [> [> Re: The Power of Words -- Aquitaine, 11:41:02 12/08/01 Sat

Shouldn't she take more responsibility with how her words and actions affect others (in this case, Spike)? Knowing that Spike is already feeling frustratingly powerless and then saying and doing things to reinforce that, seems to me irresponsible.

At the moment, Buffy seems to be more aware of the power of the words she infers rather than those by which she, herself, implies things.

Let me give you a few examples. Buffy silences Spike's words in TR, "Smashed" and "Wrecked". She cannot bear to hear what he has to say. Conversely, she doesn't seem to realise the power her own words have on Spike precisely because she is afraid to hear him. That her lack of understanding forces Spike into taking action does not make her responsible for his actions per se. However, there is a cause and effect motion at play. The attempted biting and the direct and rather brutal confrontation in the alley in "Smashed" are a direct result of Buffy's walking away from her problem rather than facing it.

Without a doubt, Spike owns his own actions but no character lives in a vacuum. I like to merge the concepts of blame and responsibility and talk about consequences. I wasn't all that upset at Buffy's nun-like reaction in "Wrecked". I think she misinterpreted the consequences of her sleeping with Spike but at least she is engaged in the process of finding a way to deal with the choice she made.

Another example of her lack of understanding would be how Buffy interprets and internalises Xander's (and Anya's) words about Willow in "Smashed" and "Wrecked". She personalises them to the point where she isn't even talking to them on the same wavelength.

This makes me think about the scene she has with Dawn as she sees her house for the first time in "Afterlife". Buffy is not interacting with Dawn at all. She's in her own little world of limited vision and understanding. Similarly, Buffy does not communicate well with Willow when Willow is trying to get her to react as she punches the bag in the training room (sorry, I forget in which episode that takes place).

So Buffy has avoided real communication with the SG (her attempt to confide in Willow in "Smashed" failed but I took it as a good sign that she gave it a try) and sought out Spike's presence, though not necessarily his words. Remember how she just sat in silence before him as he went on about saving her every night?

However, a major shift in communication occurred in OMwF. Spike, who'd been holding back from confronting Buffy about his own issues, put her on the spot. Then, she was forced to confess what her friends had done to her. The events and interactions in TR, "Smashed" and "Wrecked" are direct consequences of this breach in the communication structure Buffy had gotten comfortable with since her return. Suddenly, her friends' words take on too much meaning and she has to urge Spike not to speak. She's overwhelmed and has to act out.

I think her acting out is less damaging than her prior lack of reactivity. I think her initial inaccessibility indirectly or directly contributed to Xander's (if it really was him) casting the spell, Willow's use of magic, Dawn's shoplifting, Giles' leaving, Spike's attempt to bite that girl...

[> [> [> [> Re: The Power of Words -- Traveler, 15:40:43 12/09/01 Sun

"I think she misinterpreted the consequences of her sleeping with Spike but at least she is engaged in the process of finding a way to deal with the choice she made."

It doesn't seem to me that Buffy is dealing at all with the choice(s) she made. She doesn't share her feelings for Spike with anyone. Rather, she continues to avoid and supress. I take it as a hopeful sign, however, that Buffy takes the time to talk to Willow and try to help her with her problems, when once she might have left that to Giles (or at least depended on his advice).
[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Power of Words -- Aquitaine, 17:19:44 12/09/01 Sun

Traveler, why do you think she doesn't speak of her feelings about Spike to anyone? Would that 'make them* real' and/or 'make *her* real'?


Sometimes I wonder if she even knows her *own* mind. Since ME doesn't seem to be in much of a hurry to tell us what's going on with her (right down to answering the question of her 'humanity'), I gather they are trying to make a point. LOL. Suddenly, I *know* how Riley felt in "The Initiative". Buffy's a total mystery to me!

[> [> [> [> [> [> The Confusion of Words (minor spoilers) -- Traveler, 18:08:43 12/09/01 Sun

"Traveler, why do you think she doesn't speak of her feelings about Spike to anyone? Would that 'make them* real' and/or 'make *her* real'?"

You mean, if she doesn't tell anybody about her feelings, she can pretend they don't exist? That would go along with what I was saying about avoiding important issues. As for making HER real, I say "huh?" Please explain.

As for Buffy psychology... I think I understand where she is coming from. Buffy wants her life to return to the way it was before her mother died, Glory tried to kill her sister, and she sacrificed herself. Also, she has felt "off" ever since she came back, and she wants to be the same kind of person she was before she died. Her feelings for Spike (whatever they are) bother her, because they contradict the way she sees herself. Thus, she wonders if she is becoming (or already) a different person, and she's afraid of who that person might be. Really, the question of "what" she is now is not nearly as important to Buffy as "who" she is. The outer confusion about her humanity is really just a mirror of the inner quandary she already had. I'm guessing that things will get easier for her when she stops trying to fit herself into a preconceived mold of who she thinks she ought to be.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Confusion of Words (minor spoilers) -- Rufus, 21:17:55 12/09/01 Sun

What would be the meaning behind Buffy, the hero, the one with the answers and the the physical power to defeat monsters, finding a passion for such a monster? Is she having meaningless sex in an effort to forget the pain of losing heaven? Or is there more to her constant seeking out of a monster who is acting like a man? She has taken many long looks at the face of a monster, Spike, a creature of darkness. What does she see that she couldn't before? What does she fear that makes her grasp a spiritual talisman (cross)to protect her from her passion for a monster?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Confusion of Words (minor spoilers) -- Traveler, 15:43:56 12/10/01 Mon

"She has taken many long looks at the face of a monster, Spike, a creature of darkness. What does she see that she couldn't before?"

There are many answers to this question. Spike is different. Buffy is different. Buffy seems to want to condemn Spike as a monster and disown her love/lust for him, but really it isn't that simple and neither is he. IMHO, Buffy isn't simply looking for an escape, although that's part of it. Rather, Spike is somebody who can understand her and see the not so pleasant parts of her and accept them. Do you remember when Spike said to Dawn, "I know evil, and you are not evil." That's a powerful thing to say, because we know that he really DOES know evil. It puts him in a unique position with Buffy. He can see Buffy's dark side, but he won't judge her for it. He can say "you aren't really a bad person," and Buffy can believe him. So why is Buffy so afraid of Spike? I wrote a long essay about this idea earlier, but I'll try to be brief here. In essence, Buffy is afraid of losing control. She isn't sure who she is anymore, and Spike is tempting her to the "dark side." If she gives in to her feelings for him, what kind of person would she become? Like Willow, deperate for the next fix, the next sensation? Like Spike, someone who preys on the innocent, with no concept of right or wrong? I believe this is what Buffy fears: losing herself.
[> [> [> Re: Buffy and responsibility (spoilers for S6) -- Spike Lover, 16:17:07 12/08/01 Sat

I see y'all are still really upset about the possible back- alley biting that Spike was attempting when he was testing out his chip. That is how I see that scene. Not trying to revert back to evil, but simply testing his equipment. (If the rules seemed to have changed, in his place, I would have wanted to do the same.) And as I have said before, we don't know if he would have gone all the way and killed that girl. (Biting her would have been enough to test the chip.) Anyway, if he had never intended to hurt her in any way, he would not have been able to test the chip since it seems to be able to read intentions.

As far as Spike's responsible nature, I have always seen him as the mature/responsible one (and Willow as the irresponsible one.) I think he and Dru had a good relationship on both sides, although she was flaky, perhaps not totally faithful, and completely nuts. When he originally made the pact w/ Buff to defeat Angelus, he did it out of concern for Dru and the world that he claimed to love. When Dru broke up w/ him, he did not blame anyone else- He took responsiblity that the breakup was a result of his decision to align w/ the Slayer.

If he ever did anything that I considered "Childish", it was aligning w/ Adam, but perhaps that was something that he just thought he had to do. You can hardly blame him for being self-preservationist or wanting his old life back.

Even when Buffy has treated him badly, he hasn't done the type of scary/evil stuff that Angelus did- trying to get revenge on Buffy for rejecting him. He hasn't threatened her. He continues to keep her secrets. (Remember when Angel told Joyce that he had been w/ Buffy?) I think he handles rejection very well. Does a spoiled child handle it so well?

I am just not certain what all the fuss is about.
[> [> [> [> uhh, 'scuse me... -- anom, 19:24:16 12/11/01 Tue

"And as I have said before, we don't know if he would have gone all the way and killed that girl. (Biting her would have been enough to test the chip.)"

So would hitting her. Or anyone. He had to work himself up to it, but according to his own dialog, he meant to kill her. It didn't look so much like a test to me as like taking advantage of the chip's apparently not working. Didn't you see the look on his face once Buffy left after he hit her & didn't get zapped? Not "All right, let's find out if it's really not working"--he had no reason to think it still was--but "Yyyeaaahhh!!" Not even pumping himself up as the Big Bad, just all ready to be evil again.
An overall theory about Buffy's return (kinda long, spoilerish) -- Xen, 19:45:16 12/07/01 Fri

I’ve been thinking about how Buffy may have come back "wrong," as Spike put it, and I think it may be more a case that she has come back "incomplete". She came back, not wrong, but exactly in the way that is necessary for her continued growth and development. It should also be noted I’m not claiming this is where ME is heading with the whole thing, but I think it does make an interesting interpretation.

There have been hints, especially in season 4, about how the role of the slayer is really dual natured. The ferocity and bloodlust of the First Slayer combined with the martyr potential of the "death is your gift" revelation. The slayer plays the role of both the redeemer and the destroyer. There is, as Dracula said, darkness in the slayer’s power, but only in that there is a dark aspect coexisting equally with the light aspect (being a creature of darkness himself, Dracula would only be drawn to the darkness in her and not recognize the light). Buffy came to terms with the light aspect of her power (the redeemer) in "The Gift" by sacrificing her own life for others, specifically Dawn. If we then accept that she had fully embraced and incorporated that aspect of herself then there would be nothing more for her to accomplish internally with regards to that aspect. What she has never been able to fully embrace and accept on anything other than a superficial level is her darker nature (the destroyer). When I say she came back "incomplete" what I mean is that she left the parts of herself she had already fully integrated behind in the hereafter so that the other parts of her would have the opportunity to develop. This could be why she has felt so detached from life and empty inside (missing the fire), because all the things that formerly connected her to life, and that she used to defined her place in it, have been temporarily left in the great beyond. I’m not trying to suggest that she is in fact a demon or all the good in her is missing, but rather the good is no longer present with the same degree of force that she has previously used to deny and quash her darker self completely. That inner aspect left her in order to force her to come to terms with her dark side (which would parallel Giles leaving to force her to come to terms with adult responsibility). As an example, it can be argued that she has always had a certain attraction for and been drawn to Spike. Not necessarily Spike the man/vampire in a sexual way, although that does seem to exist, but rather what he represents of her own darker impulses. She does in fact "love the dance" as much as he does and refuses to accept that part of her. Last season she was able to almost completely repress that attraction, but this season the part of her that gave those convictions such force is missing, and so she finds herself irresistibly drawn to him despite her own weakened internal objections. The reoccurring angelic/martyr symbolism this season that others have pointed out may be meant to show how she has already fully integrated the angelic into her greater self. She has in some sense already become an angel, and what remains now is to incorporate the demonic as well. Thus when she was resurrected she was reborn with something of a Tabula Rasa, leaving behind all the things that would hinder her continued growth. This type of thing would seem to fall in line with the mythic notion of a heroine’s death/resurrection, or journey through the underworld, as a means of reaching a new power and enlightenment. The conditions necessary for such a transformation have been established and Buffy just has to work for it. By being "incomplete" and learning to embrace her own darkness she can eventually come full circle and end up becoming more "complete".
OT - 7th Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 20:24:30 12/07/01 Fri


Forgo Day. Forget the Night.
Banish the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars.
Abandon surf, sand, and tan.
Consign yourself to rooms without windows.
Stretch your pale arms to artificial light.
Hear your trained voice echo to false walls.
Turn your vision towards hothouse lights
That impale you like the luckless butterfly.
And seek to discover your soul
In a soul of gesture and words.
[> That's it, exactly...thanks, Brian ;o) -- Wisewoman, 11:55:07 12/08/01 Sat

[> Thank you they keep getting better.....:):) -- Rufus, 16:11:11 12/08/01 Sat

[> my favorite so far... beautiful. thanks. -- res, 20:01:57 12/08/01 Sat

[> I'm usually more cheerful about it than that, but... -- Humanitas, 16:39:58 12/11/01 Tue

That 'bout sums it up, for sure. That's also why I haven't been around as much lately. It's a busy season, and it looks to be getting busier. I do check in on the board as much as I can, though, 'cause I miss you folks.

[> [> We miss you too, Hum! ;o) -- WW, 18:34:12 12/11/01 Tue

Classic Movie of the Week - December 7th 2001 -- OnM, 21:59:17 12/07/01 Fri


It’s human nature, Buff. It’s gotta be seductive, just giving in to it, going totally wild.

............ Alexander Harris


Preconceptions are a fact of life, and to be perfectly fair, we need them. If you had to go about your typical day analyzing every single facet of existence you wouldn’t get very much done. I mean, if you are waiting for the bus or train to take you to work each morning, you pretty much assume that it will show up, and therefore have time to engage your mind on some other worthy subject, such as Buffy.

They also serve as able preventatives against unreasonable time-wasting-- if you know for certain that you don’t care for Westerns, for example, you won’t buy any books or see any movies that work within that particular genre. Or, if you are of a specific religious bent and have no desire to entertain thoughts and philosophies outside of the said true and holy writ, you won’t read any treatises seeking to convert your soul to otherwise.

Now, I’m not a big fan of Westerns, and I’m pretty secular in my humanism, but I also like to keep an open mind. Preconceptions inevitably migrate into conceptions, which in turn may give birth to the unexpected. This can be a bad, or a good thing, depending on how flexible your mind is, and how important you think maintaining the status quo should be. If I ruled out all of the Western film genre automatically all of the time, I would have missed seeing such great films as Lonesome Dove, Unforgiven, The Quick and the Dead, Tombstone, Dances with Wolves, The Shootist and others. If I did the same for religiously themed works, I would have never gloried over The Rapture or The Last Temptation of Christ, the latter work in particular one that has serious implications for the Buffyverse, at least in my personal vision of the still-evolving creation dream of the Jossians.

One of the little wisdoms that occasionally manifests itself with advancing age is that you become aware that you can never convince someone about something if they aren’t willing to adapt their preconceptions to at least a small degree. I spend quite a bit of my professional life trying to undo the nonsense that people’s heads have been filled with from reading hobbyist magazines or manufacturers’ propaganda in regards to audio and video gear. One of the many tweako-cultist idiocies that refuses to die away in audioland, for example, is the notion that vacuum tube equipment somehow sounds ‘superior’ to solid state gear. Both my ears and my repair shop’s expensive test equipment quite definitively tell me otherwise, but I have learned to not assert this truth too assiduously when clients bring up the subject, if it is obvious (and you can always tell, trust me) that they accept otherwise. To do so all but guarantees that I will lose the sale, because then they think that I’m the ignorant one, not them.

So, I suggest alternatives, sprinkle a little dash of reason and scientific fact oh-so-gently here and there, and try to point out that a) the tube gear is a lot more expensive and b) costs a lot more money to maintain when it breaks down and c) it does the latter rather unpleasantly often. Only the biggest, baddest, most bold-faced liars among the other dealer salesfolk out there will be willing to dispute those statements, and if I am lucky I will have prevented another random act of stupidity from degrading the already ethically-challenged A/V marketplace.

All of which brings us to the alternative of this week’s Classic Movie, one that I was all too delighted to viddy again prior to writing my essay/review/alternate-universe-phantasmagoria on Wrecked last Sunday, the late, and very, very great director Louis Malle’s My Dinner with Andre.

This is one of the most unusual films ever to grace the silver screen, and it is either one that you will really love or really be seriously bored by, depending (big surprise now, huh?) on what your preconceptions are. The story begins as we see Wallace Shawn (seemingly playing himself, but not really) walking up a littered, sort of grundgy looking street as he provides his own voice over. He talks about the current state of his life, which is a bit down at the moment. Wally is a playwright, but his plays aren’t selling too well at the moment. He has ‘fallen back’ on acting, which unfortunately isn’t getting him much work either, and the bills keep coming in regardless of whether he’s working or not. He laments how ‘wealthy’ he was in his youth, living on the Upper East Side, being driven around in taxis, and now all that concerns him is that he can’t make ends meet and so obsesses about money instead of on his ‘art’.

At this particular moment, he is also intensely concerned about meeting a man who was once an old friend, one Andre Gregory (who also plays ‘himself’), a well-known and highly-regarded New York City theater director. Andre had gotten Wally started in the theater business by putting on one of the plays he had written, but somewhere along the line, there had been a falling out, and Wally had been actively avoiding Andre since that time.

Then, a few years ago, Andre suddenly seemed to disappear from the theater community, all that was known was that he was traveling extensively abroad-- to Tibet, to The Sahara, to Poland and to some odd commune in England. Wally had recently chanced to run into a mutual aquaintance of he and Andre who insisted that he meet with Gregory, who was now back in New York. The aquaintance related a startling description of of how he found Andre leaning against a lamppost and crying one night. Andre explained that he had suddenly started uncontrollably sobbing upon hearing a line from an Ingmar Bergman film, Autumn Sonata, "I could always live in my art, but not in my life". He had left the theater and wandered aimlessly some 25 blocks or more, when the aquaintance came upon him.

As Wally approaches the resturant, he is frantically wondering just what he is supposed to do when he and Andre finally meet again. Does the aquaintance expect him to act like some kind of therapist for a man who is obviously possibly very disturbed? After all, Wally ‘has problems of his own’ to deal with. Nevertheless, he ventures inside the resturant, and after a short wait is joined by his old companion, who cheerfully and enthusiastically acknowledges Wally’s greeting of ‘you look great!’ with ‘but I feel terrible!’ Wally acts nonplussed, but fortunately the waiter comes by to seat them at their table.

The two men settle in for dinner, and the following hour and 45 minutes appears to take place in real time as the two converse. The dialog goes back and forth, with the ebb and flow of natural conversation as a rather imperturbable waiter occasionally drifts in and out of the space around the table, his expression scarcely providing a clue as to whether he has any interest in the increasingly odd conversation at hand.

Andre probably has the most to say, as he recounts a number of strange adventures he experienced during those years that he had gone missing from ‘normal’ society, quite a few of which not only verge on, but break over into the paranormal. Wally listens raptly, but is quite obviously at a loss as to how much credence to allow Andre, who to a rational point of view is hallucinating at best, or grandly extemporizing at worst. One thing for sure, if Andre has suffered some manner of mental breakdown, it’s a fascinating one. He is obviously a gifted storyteller, and one of the brilliant achievements of the film is how it allows the audience to clearly visualize, and then immerse themselves in, the scenarios Andre describes, in spite of, or perhaps due to the bizarre nature of the tales.

Wally, after spending roughly the first hour of the dinner mainly plying Andre with questions, begins to shoulder his share of the conversation as he starts to take issue with some of the concepts Andre is trying to promote, which sound far too ‘new-agey’ and ‘touchy-feelie’ to him. Wally sees himself as a rationalist, and understands that what he, Wally, really wants out of life is to be able to write his plays, earn enough from doing so to pay his bills, have a quiet dinner with his girlfriend in the evening, and read the newspaper every morning. He finds comfort in the day-to-day tasks of living, and while agreeing with Andre that people may need to examine their lives to ensure that they are not becoming the ‘wardens of their own prison’, he emphatically declares that ‘you don’t need to make a journey to Mt. Everest’ when the ‘truth’ is available ‘right in your own backyard’.

For his part, Andre doesn’t dispute this possibility, but feels that most people are too far immersed in their immediate, personal realities to change their lives without benefit of the sorts of emotional and spiritual ‘shock treatment’ that he allowed himself to experience, and grow from. And so it goes, a fascinating give-and-take that makes the restaurant into a microcosmic stage where the playwrights are also simultaneously the actors and directors, improvising scene after scene on the fly.

There are many, many levels to enjoy this movie on. Besides the highly philosophical nature of the dialog, the technical craft of the film itself excels in that it appears to be formless and flowing, as if shot in real time, but in reality the script was written well before shooting took place, and was followed very closely with little improvisation. The deceptively simple-looking camerawork that we see strongly implies a documentary or cinema verite style of shooting, but again the reality was that it took a period of several weeks to film, and was shot on a set, not in a real resturant. Malle’s detailed attention to preventing continuity errors or other technical faux pas acts to create a seamless fabric out of what for all practical purposes is a quilt pieced together from many different scraps.

Unless your taste in flicks runs strictly to the overt action variety, My Dinner with Andre should be a quilt that keeps you warm for quite a long while. Check it out this weekend, and then start a few strange conversations of your own.

E. Pluribus Cinema Unum,



Technical Minimalism:

My Dinner with André is available on DVD, according to the Internet Movie Database, the review copy was (unfortunately) on an old Beta tape recorded off cable. (Hey, sorry, I can’t spend all my bread on buying up DVD’s and laserdiscs, I need something left for food and clothing and other more unimportant stuff!) The film was released in 1981 and running time is 1 hour and 50 minutes. The screenplay was by Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn.

Cast overview:

Wallace Shawn .... Wally
Andre Gregory .... Andre
Jean Lenauer .... Waiter
Roy Butler .... Bartender


Miscellaneous and (in just a very short while) the Question of the Week:

Item 1: Back in the text of my review, I mentioned the words silver screen. This term may have evolved into a permanent part of our cinematic lexicon, but the screen hasn’t actually been ‘silver’ since color film came onto the scene many’s the long decade ago. In the early days of (black & white only) filmmaking, projectors had relatively little light output, so the more reflective the screen was, the better. Thus, a silvery metallic reflective material was added to the basic white fabric of the screen surface to increase the perceived brightness of the image. This had to be dispensed with when color came around, because it would adversely affect the color balance, so the screen has been a very neutral white color ever since. While reflectivity of the screen surface is still very important, modern projectors generally have plenty of light output, so it isn’t the factor it once was.

Item 2: Speaking of ‘What’s in a name...’, this past Wednesday I stumbled across this little tidbit from Roger Ebert’s ‘Movie Answer Man’ portion of his website, and thought you all might appreciate it, being that Harry Potter is just doing boffo at the box office here of late.

( The following is (c) 2001 Roger Ebert and The Chicago Sun-Times ):

Q. It's said no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public. ''Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone'' is an excellent film up here in Canada, as was ''The Madness of George III.'' I wonder if the same can be said for the U.S. releases ''Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone'' and ''The Madness of King George.'' The point of course, is that these minor title details were changed for American audiences on the assumption they are too stupid to handle the concept of the philosopher's stone of alchemical fame, or to realize seeing George III doesn't mean you've missed parts I and II. Are these decisions made because the suits think I'm really dumb, or is it because they are?

A. Let's say they think you're as dumb as they are when they make the decisions. The Harry Potter title change was made not by Warner Brothers but by the book publishers, Scholastic, who feared American readers might be scared off by the word ''philosopher.''

Q. In ''Harry Potter,'' when the stone is referred to, is the line ''the sorcerer's stone'' in all versions? Or is it referred to as ''the philosopher's stone'' in the U.K., Canada, Australia, etc.?

A. Director Chris Columbus says he shot two versions of the dialog, one with ''philosopher,'' the other with ''sorcerer.''

Item 3, AKA ‘Free Plug Dept’: For those of you with a yen for finding the answers to oddball questions or strange observations regarding anything filmic, by all means check out Roger Ebert’s Questions for the Movie Answer Man at your friendly local bookstore, it makes for fascinating reading.

Item 4: Countdown to BtVS Season 1, Region 1 (US/Canada) DVD box set: 1.5 Moons. Yeee-, and also Haaa....! Likewise for the brilliant and eminently peculiar cult classic The Adventures of Buckaroo Bonzai Across the Eighth Dimension. Ohh, and also Yeahh!


The Question of the Week:

Andre is often sited as being a ‘unique’ film in that even when a screenplay is made up primarily of dialog, there is still some kind of ‘action’ taking place while the dialog rolls on, such as a change in scenery or location. Even when stage plays are converted to cinema form, the film medium is almost always utilized to allow for more detailed or elaborate ‘staging’.

Can you name a particular film that you personally think of very fondly, or otherwise consider to be well made, that was primarily composed of dialog, with very little or no action of any kind? Or is Andre truly unique?

That’s all for this week-- post ‘em if you’ve got ‘em, and take care!

[> Would "Swimming to Cambodia" count? (NT) -- Annoying1, 13:49:03 12/08/01 Sat

[> [> Re: Would "Swimming to Cambodia" count? (NT) -- bible belt, 16:04:25 12/08/01 Sat

Swimming to Cambodia was my first thought too.

What about Oliver Stone's Talk Radio? It's been a long time since I saw the movie, but wasn't it mostly Eric Bogosian in the studio talking to his would be assasin?
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - December 7th 2001 -- Neaux, 14:54:28 12/08/01 Sat

what about the 1995 movie The Last Supper with Cameron Diaz?
[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - December 7th 2001 -- Isabel, 23:08:36 12/08/01 Sat

What about "Babette's Feast?" I seem to remember most of it taking place at the dinner table. (But my memory could be faulty.)
[> [> Re: Babette's Feast -- OnM, 07:36:42 12/09/01 Sun

A lot of it does indeed take place at the dinner table, but there were still quite a few changes in set and scenery throughout the film. Even during the dinner sequence, we regularly cut to shots of Babette in the kitchen, preparing the meal.

Great film, BTW. Suggest you see it again if you haven't for a while!

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - December 7th 2001 -- Aquitaine, 09:28:04 12/09/01 Sun

Well, there's a bit of 'action' in Hitchcock's "Rope" but I can't ever remember watching a more hermetic film!

I like the point you make about preconceptions and conceptions. Without a doubt, BtVS and 'genre' films are often 'victims' of potential viewers' preconceptions. This is why it is notoriously difficult (or has proved to be for me) to convert people to Buffy.

Thanks for sharing your CMoTW:)

- Aquitaine
[> [> "Rope" was also the first movie that came to my mind. Also, what about... -- Dichotomy, 15:01:48 12/10/01 Mon

"Lifeboat"? I never saw it, but doesn't take place primarily on a lifeboat? Has anyone seen it?
[> [> [> Lifeboat -- Isabel, 17:47:23 12/10/01 Mon

I have seen it. It does all take place in a lifeboat, but I've never considered it a 'conversation' movie, although it is mostly dialogue. There are action bits, boats sinking, bombs whizzing by, that the survivors are witness to. I remember shaking with tension the first time I saw it, it was so well done. Someone tried to do a sci-fi version called "Lifepod" several years back that was nowhere near as good.
[> [> [> [> Re: Lifeboat -- OnM, 05:57:33 12/11/01 Tue

This is probably the closest one I can think of, also. I assumed that people might view the question from different angles, and it's true, Lifeboat isn't a 'conversation movie', but it is almost entirely dialog, and there is really minimal 'action'.

Also, Andre only involves two people (leaving aside the very minimal contributions from the waiter and bartender) and Lifeboat involves multiple people each with significant sections in the overall verbiage.
[> Mindwalk. -- Solitude1056, 06:02:35 12/10/01 Mon

I'd be surprised if OnM hasn't already read/reviewed Mindwalk, since it closely parallels My Dinner with Andre in terms of philosophical heavy-duty-ness and excessive talkyness.

For those of you not familiar, the plotline is pretty simple. A politician (played by Sam Waterson, I think) takes a break after losing an election and visits his poet friend (played by John Heard) in the north of France. While touring Mont St Michel, they meet up with a scientist whose also touring the cathedral and environs. A lot of talk ensues. It's not as nicely written or crafted as Malle's movie, and there are some inconsistencies in terms of the scientific analogies used as well as minor issues with plothole devices... and if you don't like talking, well, you'll fall asleep during this one as much as during My Dinner with Andre. But I found it worth sitting through, since the political "system" as related to the scientific "system" and the understanding of how music and poetry both work is drawn out and beautifully explained. It all boils down to the idea of a universal system, sort of like fractals, with some gorgeous dovetailing between the three separate "systems" (political, poetic, and scientific).

Ok, so if you're not a bleeding heart liberal, you might have issues with a scientist who up & leaves research science because her invention was used in SDI, but hey. That's a huge ethical question, raised by Einstein and a few others way before this character. And I've heard folks get cranky at a scientist's determination to walk away from research for those reasons, but it's not something you can argue a person into or out of - it's a personal decision, really. And the scientist's analogies are sometimes iffy, since as a scientist/physicist one might expect her to have better ways of putting things, but I've known enough scientists in my time who can't string a decent sentence together but have brilliant minds. The conversation has a veneer of versimilitude, and incomplete or ineffective analogies are part of our everyday conversation. In that sense, the lapses are forgivable, since otherwise the script would've ended up with characters who are constantly able to craft sentences "on the fly" that leave the impression that the script is formed of nothing more than the sort of thing one thinks of after hanging up the phone, if you get my drift. And no one's dialogue is 100% snappy and expressive lines, we all stutter, stumble, and mutilate our ideas as we try to express them into a conversation.
[> "Before Sunrise" by Richard Linklater... -- A8, 16:24:35 12/10/01 Mon basically a day long conversation between two potential lovers. Ethan Hawke meets Julie Delpy on a train and on impulse manages to convince the young French university student to spend the day with him in Vienna to pass the time before his flight leaves for the States.
[> [> Re: Wonderful flick -- mm, 16:13:07 12/11/01 Tue

How should it end? -- Eric, 23:17:14 12/07/01 Fri

When TV shows end, it is usually a cancellation, which doesn't end the show but cuts it short. Sometimes a show gets prior warning due to low ratings or whatever so it there's a farewell ep. This is not always a bad thing. The novelist Neil Gaiman made a claim that a story, like a life, that lasts forever loses its meaning. Cases in point would be the X-Files, dragging on two seasons after is should have ended and MASH, which lasted eight years longer than the Korean War.
I hope BtVS stays on for a long time. If the eps stay or surpass their normal quality I'd be pleased to see Buffy collect social security, Willow complete the maiden-mother-crone process, and Zander lose his hair and get a beer gut. But eventually it must end. And it would be well within the BtVS writer tradition for Buffy and/or most of the Scooby gang to perish in the final ep.
Precedents? James Garner of "Maverick" fame once starred as a sheriff in a low rated '60's western. When notified of the show's cancellation, the last ep was rewritten to have him go down, guns blazing, in an old west gunfight. When the future of Magnum PI was in doubt, the final ep showed Magnum in a coma dying of gun shot wounds. A reunion of all the character's friends ensued with many retrospectives. The final scene showed him walking into the clouds, as Higgins (his comic nemesis) demanded he return. The show was later extended another season, so he woke up the next fall. The first ending was actually better than the second.
This being said, I myself am an old softie. I MUCH prefer the stereotypical Hollywood, neatly wrapped with red ribbon, happy endings. I'd demand Fruit for Buffy.
But my question to you all is: How do YOU feel BtVS should end? (BTW, if you're one of the talents who do scripts on this board, please indulge us with a final scene).
[> Re: How should it end? -- matching mole, 06:11:56 12/08/01 Sat

Buffy's death seems like a fitting ending except, given that she's already died twice it might seem a bit repetitive. A possible scenario that I can envision is that the series ends with Faith dying a noble death, producing a new Slayer and allowing Buffy to retire. Actually I have no idea what kind of ending I would like to see. Now that I think of it, I'd rather be surprised.

The ultimate series ender that I've seen was for the British SF series 'Blake's Seven' which was originally broadcast in the early 1980s. You could interpret this show as a response to the American idealism and optimism of both Star Wars and Star Trek. The Galactic Federation is a dictatorship of the most ruthless and personally intrusive nature. The rebels fighting it are basically criminals, barely kept from giving up and pursuing their own selfish ends by their leader, Blake. In the last episode the entire cast is killed off under the illusion of perceived treachery where none existed.
[> [> How should it end -- and Blake's Seven -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 20:26:34 12/08/01 Sat

I actually appreciated that terminal episode of Blake's Seven immensely. The revolutionaries suffered the normal fate of revolutionaries -- they lose and end up in unmarked graves in the back end of nowhere. Every once in a while I like it when art imitates life.

Just as a note -- the Garner series referred to above was, I think, "Nichols," (c. 1970-71) where James was a Garner-character who prefers to solve problems with brains instead of bullets. The problem he couldn't solve, however, was low ratings; so he went down in an ambush and his twin brother (Garner again, of course) who was more of a root-tootin' gunslinger came in to avenge him. Still didn't fix the ratings. I believe Margot Kidder was also in it.

As far as Buffy goes, I favor the "salvation through chocolate" scenario Aquitaine (? I think) proposed below.
[> [> [> Re: How should it end -- What you leave behind / blakes 7 -- chuk_38, 13:13:47 12/10/01 Mon

I know that i am being totally sadistic, but it is what i would prefer happen.

When I started watching Star Trek Voyager, I used to love it. It was a starship lost in a strange part of the galaxy, Facing new enemies at every turn. It was one ship with no reinforcements of the federation, or with a limited weapon system. Now I haven't seen 'endgame', but i have heard that they get home safely in the end. My first impression was 'thats not possible'. and throughout it's run i started thinking that it would be a better(more emotional) ending if the ship was destroyed, or if they simply didn't make it home.
I think that deep space 9 had a great ending, as it was a mixture between a happy ending & a sad ending.

I might be the only one who thinks this, but the best buffy finales have been sad ones
* becoming
* the gift

and also the best stories have been the saddest ones
* the body(one of the best buffy eps ever)

So i think that the END of buffy should be the END of buffy.

But I think that the ending of buffy has to be a momumental show.
* They should bring back everyone for the last episode
* They should make it a story ark (5 or 6 episodes long)
* They should KILL as many of the cast as they can.
*also killing faith(i can't believe i just wrote that), so there is a possibility of a new show, with a new slayer. Or just calling the programme faith the vampire slayer. It could be about her trying to prove herself to the survivors of the 'scooby massacre' and to herself that she is capable of being a 'slayer', not just a killer.

SO FOR THE FINALE I SAY KILL THEM ALL,or at least most of them.
[> [> [> Re: How should it end -- What you leave behind / blakes 7 -- chuk_38, 13:46:31 12/10/01 Mon

I know that i am being totally sadistic, but it is what i would prefer happen.

When I started watching Star Trek Voyager, I used to love it. It was a starship lost in a strange part of the galaxy, Facing new enemies at every turn. It was one ship with no reinforcements of the federation, or with a limited weapon system. Now I haven't seen 'endgame', but i have heard that they get home safely in the end. My first impression was 'thats not possible'. and throughout it's run i started thinking that it would be a better(more emotional) ending if the ship was destroyed, or if they simply didn't make it home.
I think that deep space 9 had a great ending, as it was a mixture between a happy ending & a sad ending.

I might be the only one who thinks this, but the best buffy finales have been sad ones
* becoming
* the gift

and also the best stories have been the saddest ones
* the body(one of the best buffy eps ever)

So i think that the END of buffy should be the END of buffy.

But I think that the ending of buffy has to be a momumental show.
* They should bring back everyone for the last episode
* They should make it a story ark (5 or 6 episodes long)
* They should KILL as many of the cast as they can.
*also killing faith(i can't believe i just wrote that), so there is a possibility of a new show, with a new slayer. Or just calling the programme faith the vampire slayer. It could be about her trying to prove herself to the survivors of the 'scooby massacre' and to herself that she is capable of being a 'slayer', not just a killer.

SO FOR THE FINALE I SAY KILL THEM ALL,or at least most of them.
[> Re: How should it end? -- Rattletrap, 06:39:19 12/08/01 Sat

I think the series should ideally end with most or all of the SG killed in an epic, apocalyptic battle. That would be in keeping with the way Joss has run the series up to this point, and it would be fitting in so many ways.
[> [> Re: How should it end? -- Sharon Fearnley, 06:49:45 12/08/01 Sat

What a bloodthirsty lot you are! I have just seen the "Tough Love" episode and found it SO depressing! Isn't TV supposed to be entertaining?
[> [> [> Re: How should it end? -- grifter, 07:17:02 12/08/01 Sat

Entertainment = Happy End????
[> [> [> [> Re: How should it end? -- chuk_38, 06:34:18 12/12/01 Wed

no way,
I want to see the gang in a battle that they simply cannot win. it would be more fitting, in my view
[> [> [> [> [> Buffy & Scoobies vs. The Supernova? -- Eric, 10:31:50 12/12/01 Wed

[> Re: How should it end? -- Cactus Watcher, 06:54:26 12/08/01 Sat

I thought about this last season before I learned UPN was buying more eps. I thought then and I still think it should end with Buffy's last and final death closing the Hellmouth for good. It wouldn't exactly end all evil. But, her surviving Scoobies would know she'd accomplished something permanent for them.
[> I'd like to see Buffy turned into a vampire. That would be really striking. -- Stranger, 07:05:46 12/08/01 Sat

[> [> if a slayer got vamped... -- anom, 17:21:47 12/12/01 Wed

...would that register as her death & call the next Slayer? Or would a new Slayer not appear until the vamp-Slayer got dusted? (Assuming it was her 1st death, of course--wouldn't work w/Buffy. And this is completely separate from whether the vamp would retain any Slayer power[s].)

If it's the latter--wow, what a strategy for the vamps! Turn the Slayer & protect her from dusting as long as possible, which would be that much longer if she's not replaced! I could see a whole vamp cult willing to sacrifice scores of its members trying, just to find out if it would work. And to take this back on topic, it would be an end to the series that could set up a spinoff. We know it wouldn't work w/Buffy, but do the vamps?
[> [> [> Re: if a slayer got vamped... -- Philistine, 08:39:43 12/13/01 Thu

Interesting idea, but I think there has to be some sort of consent on the part of the vamped. If the potential vamp refuses to drink from the would-be sire, that's the end of it. (Remember what VampWillow told Willow?) How likely is it that a Slayer would consent?
[> [> [> [> Re: if a slayer got vamped... -- Stranger, 02:28:32 12/14/01 Fri

I think there is ways to make a dying girl, even a Slayer, drink a small amount of blood. It's not that hard.
[> [> [> [> Re: if a slayer got vamped...(spoilers for helpless) -- anom, 19:34:27 12/16/01 Sun

UPN aired a rerun of Helpless today. Kralik tells Joyce he's going to make Buffy like him. Didn't sound like he thought she'd have much choice about it.
[> According to "Fray"... (spoilers for Fray) -- grifter, 07:19:52 12/08/01 Sat

...the last slayer (probably Buffy) and her magical allies will fight a giant battle and the demons will be locked out for the next few hundred years. So I see two possibilities for Buffy: a heroic (final) death, or retirement.
[> [> Re: According to "Fray"... (spoilers for Fray) -- Lucifer_Sponge, 09:03:55 12/08/01 Sat

Actually, if you pay close attention to that specific scene in the comic where they show that, all of the demons get sucked out of earth through some sort of portal... And it -looks- as though Buffy gets dragged along with them.
[> [> [> Re: According to "Fray"... (spoilers for Fray) -- Rufus, 16:14:57 12/08/01 Sat

If Buffy is less than human now that would make sense. In banishing magicks and demons to another reality her new sacrifice would be giving up the world she had grown up in.
[> [> [> Sounds like Capt. Sisko's fate. <nt> -- Dood, 01:55:17 12/09/01 Sun

[> [> [> Not necessarily -- darrenK, 14:06:13 12/09/01 Sun

No, it just looks like SOMEONE is dragged along with them...
[> [> [> [> Re: Not necessarily -- grifter, 04:05:27 12/10/01 Mon

I guess we just don´t know (that evil Joss!)
[> I demand a happy ending! -- bookworm, 08:03:12 12/08/01 Sat

I want them to walk off into the sunset together, at peace with themselves and alive. I want the bunch of them to take Buffy the Ice Capades (without the irony) or have some assurance that they will continue fighting the good fight as they grow older. They've done death and heroic endings already. As Buffy said, the hardest thing about the world is to live in it. I want them to continue living in it.
[> [> Re: I demand a happy ending! -- matching mole, 09:31:49 12/08/01 Sat

I'd forgotten about the ice capades. Maybe that should be the next theme episode; BtVS on Ice. I'm not sure why so many of you think that having most or all of the cast die in the final episode is 'in keeping' with the series. Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe that no regular character (meaning appearing in the opening title sequence) on BtVS has ever died and stayed dead. The only character with that distinction in the Buffyverse is Doyle. True, two long-term recurring characters have died: Jenny Calendar and Joyce Summers. More than most TV series, but hardly enough to consider a wholesale bloodbath likely. In fact the general pattern seems to be that the longer you hang around the less likely you are to die (if you're a regular).

In fact you could argue just the opposite, that the resurrection of the dead is a common theme of the show and that the series finale would feature the return of many of the dearly departed.

Note that I'm not arguing for or against any particular outcome just looking at the evidence.
[> Re: How should it end? -- Maxwell, 10:00:34 12/08/01 Sat

I could see Buffy being "elevated" by the PTB’s and changed into something more than just a Slayer. She would then leave Sunnydale and maybe even the Earth itself to fight even greater evils somewhere else. Some people on this board have already speculated that Buffy may be part angel. Although I think that this to too simplistic and too "Judeo Christian" for Joss, there may be something to it.
[> Well, it shouldn't. -- Wisewoman, 12:20:22 12/08/01 Sat

Not on TV, anyway. The last televised episode of BtVS should be the type of cliffhanger that leads naturally into the first of the big-screen movies of BtVS, featuring, of course, the original television cast.

[> [> Re: I could go for that WW. -- bible belt, 17:33:26 12/08/01 Sat

[> Re: How should it end? -- vampire hunter D, 12:34:19 12/08/01 Sat

Unfortunately, the ending I'd have liked to see (Buffy dying in a very dramatic, noble, and self- sacrificial way) has already been done. The Gift was exactly what I think the end of the series should have been. So now I'm not sure how to end it.

I have two ideas, though. One, Buffy's worst fear comes true as she is turned into a vampire. This ends with her being staked, by Dawn, Spike, or Faith.

The other is Buffy being relieved of her responsibility and being allowed to live a normal life. Perhaps even ending with Buffy giving birth to a daughter or something along those lines. I say that because it goes along ith an idea I ahd , that there are TWO ways out of being the Slayer (to recieve death or give life) and the Council has been keeping the second one a secret (to keep their Slayers from quiting by getting pregnant). And it does give the show a happy ending.

One thing to consider is that whatever ending the show has, it can't affect Angel. So eliminating Demons and Vampires completly is not an option (because then Angel would have nothing to fight).
[> [> Re: How should it end? -- yabyumpan, 14:10:46 12/08/01 Sat

I've thought about this for the film....Angel finally Shanshus, becomes human, him and Buffy get together, every thing is rosey until the final scene when buffy is turned into a Vampire and Angel has to dust her.... (yes I am evil!!!!!)
[> Bittersweet - with sorrow and hope -- xanthe, 14:18:30 12/08/01 Sat

The end of BTVS should be in keeping with the tone of the whole show, that good can triumph over evil, but often at a price. Think of the season finales that moved us the most: Becoming, Graduation Day, The Gift. None of them were unequivocally happy, but Buffy saved the day each time. There were hard choices and people suffered. I can't see Joss allowing a happily ever after, Buffy walking into the sunset-type ending. It just wouldn't be true to how the show has dealt with final battles and story climaxes. However, I also don't see everyone dying in some horrific and futile effort to defeat some monsterous evil. There should be hope that though there may be loss, what they fight for remains intact and the survivors will one day find happiness and joy.

Of course, Buffy's story won't truly be over until she's dead, for real. Unless we see her dying, a grandmother resting in bed after a long life, or giving her life for the third time to thwart evil, there will always be possible stories to tell. However, the show might finish without major characters' deaths simply because Joss would like to leave the door open for movies.

We have learned from life that there are rarely neat endings and I personally would be disappointed if the last episode ever is Buffy smiling and receiving her college diploma after completing her degree in record time (she took summer classes) and then stepping off the stage into Angel's waiting arms while the rest of the gang cheer and snap pictures. There should be demons! (Personal and otherwise) Hard choices! The forces of good should be challenged, but not beaten! Irony! Humor! Bunnies! So give us death, if you must, but also give us hope that what they're fighting for will survive. That's all I ask.
[> [> Re: Bittersweet - with sorrow and hope -- Gilina, 15:41:52 12/08/01 Sat

I agree. Bittersweet. Something lost and something gained. And maybe with the theme of "Be careful what you wish for." If the metaphor of Buffy is to continue, so should she. But - everything will be different...
[> Re: How should it end? -- bible belt, 17:37:23 12/08/01 Sat

I wouldn't be upset to see Buffy and Spike walking off into the dawn trading barbs and continueing the struggle.
[> [> How should it end? -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 20:32:02 12/08/01 Sat

Possible -- although if they're walking into the dawn Spike better have undergone some massive personal changes or be wearing 30,000 PF sunscreen.
[> [> [> Re: How should it end? -- bb, 11:00:03 12/09/01 Sun

I was thinking along the lines of walking off to the lair for a good days rest or whatever else you want to imagine.
[> Re: How should it end? -- Eric, 21:50:29 12/08/01 Sat

Quite a morbid lot! A disappointing (to me) amount of people weighing in on a Buffy/Scoobie gang demise. Again its within the writers' style. But even the most bloody minded among you must realize these are well loved characters. If they bite the big one it better be a damn well written death. I forgot to mention Xena's series ended with her death, but many fans found it distasteful, even offensive.
I heartily agree with the poster suggesting a strong element of hope remain. It ties in well with what Angel told Buffy once. Its not that we fight Evil to win, but because some things are worth fighting for. A pregnant Buffy is truly a surprise ending but it could work. A vampire Buffy is slightly less unusual, but could work for a happily ever after with Angel with the proper spells/chip. Personnally, I'd like to see Faith take up the mantle. When she took Buffy's place she almost saw what Slayage was all about.
A final question: What's wrong with a happy ending? Life is messy, Good doesn't always win, and the stage players aren't issued scorecards or scripts. And its true that people have unrealistic expectations of happy endings. They are often derided as being immature, unsophisticated, and having a denial/superficial understanding of earthly realities such as evil, suffering, and death. Hollywood panders to these expectations shamelessly. But happy endings do happen. The life imitates art imitates life cycle wouldn't include them if they didn't. Again: Fruit for Buffy!
[> [> Re: How should it end? -- bible belt, 11:21:50 12/09/01 Sun

I tend to agree with you, and I don't think killing off everyone would necessarily be in keeping with the writer’s style. I think it's a very uplifting show personally. There is a quote from a Vonnegut book, where his son said something like; "we're all here to help each other get through this thing whatever it is." I think that's what the show is all about. That's what is so good about the show. It imitates life without glossing over all the grim stuff and tries to show how to maybe get through it.
[> Give it the Highlander treatment -- The Last Jack, 06:06:54 12/09/01 Sun

I rather liked how they ended Highlander: The series. Sort of a recap of all the good Duncan had done throughout the centuries, and then having him walk off into the mist, like a creature of legend, off to do more good and have more adventures
[> [> How should it end? -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 18:15:08 12/09/01 Sun

One word:

[> [> [> Buffydammerung = the twilight of Buffy? (NT) -- skeve, 10:13:26 12/10/01 Mon

[> [> [> [> "Buffydammerung" - Kewl! (NT) -- Eric, 20:22:38 12/10/01 Mon

[> Re: How should it end? -- maddog, 09:47:29 12/12/01 Wed

I think a show like this will end when it wants cancellation poor, poor ratings. And for the finale, Joss will have to come up with something huge. Hell, for all we know he knows exactly how long he wants the show to go and exactly how the finale will work. So for that reason alone I don't want to speculate...because no matter what I think up, he'll come up with something better.

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