December 2001 posts

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Quick thought on Spike's name -- The Last Jack, 15:36:05 12/10/01 Mon

Bookworm said he doubted William the Bloody would have taken the name Spike when it was just an insult and not a trademark of how he killed. That is a good arguement, and he may be right. I have always thought though, that he took the name like Matt Murdock took the name Daredevil. He was taunted by that name as a child, but then made it his own when he became a crimefighter, much like women nowadays take the word bitch and use it as a symbol of power, rather than an insult. Its all kind of a "F*ck you" to the world that is mean to them.

Also, I stated below that I thought that the whole railroad spike thing was just a rumor/story that was mistaken for the truth. I mean, this was over hundred years ago, when information wasn't as accessible as it is today. Look at the Wild West; many of the great cowboys of that day weren't nearly as amazing as their legends make them out to be. William could have just decided to adopt that story and the name to spite his former peers (and the name Spike is pretty cool), and kept bragging he killed people like that, which the Watchers later recorded as fact. Back then, alot of information was second or third handed.

Then again, I could be wrong ;)
[> I think you've got a point -- Cactus Watcher, 06:54:11 12/11/01 Tue

Spike is a as big a braggart as he is a romantic. The 'spike story' well might be a product of his hot air. As we've noticed, the watchers aren't as meticulous about gathering facts as we were once led to believe. After all, they left Buffy basically 'unwatched' for over a year, and, now that Giles is gone, I don't exactly see her filing written reports to England concerning the creatures she's running into and slaying these days. Some of what they do gather must be, as you said, little more than rumor.
[> Re: Quick thought on Spike's name -- skeeve, 09:51:54 12/11/01 Tue

My recollection is a spike through the head is how William's poetry was described during his human lifetime.
[> [> Re: Quick thought on Spike's name -- anom, 22:12:43 12/11/01 Tue

"My recollection is a spike through the head is how William's poetry was described during his human lifetime."

Well, one of Cecily's friends said something like that, or that he'd rather be tortured w/one. Maybe the recently turned William took him up on it, exaggerated this 1 incident, & based his name & rep on it.
Another theory about Spike's chip..... -- furnace, 20:04:43 12/10/01 Mon

'cause like the commercials say, you can't have just one.

I was watching The Yoko Factor on F/X the other night and something stuck out. When Adam is talking to Spike about Spike's chip he calls it "your behavior modification circuitry". I had always thought the chip just prevented Spike from harming "any living creature" like Riley said in The Initiative. This got me to thinking about what Drusilla said in Crush. She tells Spike, "Electricity lies, Spike. It tells you you're not a bad dog, but you are." She doesn't say that it keeps him from hurting someone, but that it is telling him he's not a "bad dog".

So, what if what we're seeing with Spike is actually the result of the chip slowly changing his behavior, sort of rewriting his programming, so to speak. It's been working on him slowly since it was implanted. He seemed to be able to fight back a bit in his escape from the Initiative, but by the time he had found Buffy's dorm room some of the programming had taken hold and he couldn't bite Willow. It stands to reason that the "can't harm" rule would be one of the easier rules to enforce, while more sweeping changes would take more time. This might explain some of the inconsistancy we've seen in his behavior. He could be fighting the chip's effect.
[> Re: Another theory about Spike's chip..... -- Eric, 21:19:09 12/10/01 Mon

In a past posting I asked about Spike's Chip. My question was since vampires are nearly invulnerable, why can't he, or another such as Dru just rip the silly thing out? It would hurt but he'd get over it. Well, nobody answered me. (I really wish they would.) But in any case your line of reasoning goes a long way towards expaining why it might eventually be a moot point. Another can of worms may be open though. If Spike and Buffy are having a relationship, how much can it be trusted if part of it depends on a behaviour modification? Its a twist on the old Magic Love Potion conundrum. If I feed SMG a love potion so she dumps Freddie Prince Jr. and marries me, how can I ever believe she'd truly love me without it?
[> [> Re: Another theory about Spike's chip..... -- cat, 06:03:04 12/11/01 Tue

"My question was since vampires are nearly invulnerable, why can't he, or another such as Dru just rip the silly thing out? It would hurt but he'd get over it."

I had this same question, the answer I came up with is that since Whedonverse vamps can be killed by decapitation, and the chip is in the head, Spike wouldn't want to risk damage to the ol' noggin for fear of accidental decapitation. Don't know if that's the reason, it's just my speculation.
[> [> [> Re: Another theory about Spike's chip..... -- Marie, 06:08:19 12/11/01 Tue

I would have thought it was more the fear of some sort of brain damage resulting from the attempt to rip it out. If you were Spike, would you risk it? There is some evidence (the fork guy vamp in 'Teacher's Pet'), that, while they might heal quickly, the Sunnydale vamps don't regenerate like the vamps in, say, the movie 'Blade'. Spike's intelligent enough not to want to risk any brain cells!

[> [> [> [> My thoughts exactly! -- The Last Jack, 07:45:59 12/11/01 Tue

It has alway been my opinon that vampires have a healing factor, not a regenerative one (you can probably say the same about buffy). The difference is, a healing factor can mend damaged cells or tissues faster than normal, but it can't replace them. They can heal from a bullet wound just like us (althogh faster), but they can't regrow a missing limb or organ. And since damage done to nerve cells and brain tissue are the hardest injuries to recover from, Spike isn't too likely to risk turning himself into a drooling idiot just to get the chip out
[> [> [> [> [> Re: My thoughts exactly! -- MrDave, 21:07:11 12/11/01 Tue

Actually, while Vamps HEAL well enough, they do not truely "Regenerate".

Look at Spike's scar, and I can remember a vamp with a mean looking hook. Tattoos would not be permanant if vamps could regenerate. And permanant injury...Remember Dru?

If it is damaged permanantly, its permanant. Barring magickal interferance (ala Darla).

Can you imagine Spike with damage to his cereberal Cortex? It's be a lot like the movie "Memento"
[> Re: Another theory about Spike's chip..... something complete different -- purplegrrl, 14:52:50 12/11/01 Tue

Could it be that instead of Buffy coming back "wrong" and not completely human (Spike's take on why he can "harm" her now), that the chip somehow recognizes that Spike and Buffy's "fighting" is some twisted form of foreplay??? (Okay, I know this makes the chip sound even more sophisticated that it already is.)

In my opinion, the way that the chip has changed Spike's behavior is the way he gets his violence jollies. Pre-chip Spike didn't have much use for other types of demons, except for possibly as part of a gang or some other operation of his. Post-chip Spike can only take his aggression out on demons since he can no longer harm humans.

Spike has always had a thing for Slayers ever since he found out they existed. And Spike especially has a thing for Buffy. Even before he was chipped, Spike found ways to get on Buffy's good side -- his agreement with her about how to deal with Angelus up to and including "Becoming."

Despite all his big talk, Spike has never really been able to hurt Buffy (unless you count emotionally). Maybe the chip recognizes that.
[> [> Has Spike's chip ever worked on Buffy? -- skeve, 08:59:34 12/12/01 Wed

After his "trip to the vet" and before Bargaining, had Spike ever tried to attack Buffy? Buffy is a bit of a supernatural creature and the chip, supposedly pure technology, seems rather effective at distinguishing humans from human-shaped creatures.
[> [> [> In the ep. Out of my Mind it clearly worked with Buffy -- CW, 10:10:35 12/12/01 Wed

Buffy the Serial Killer -- Eric, 21:06:26 12/10/01 Mon

"In case you haven't noticed, the Police in Sunnydale are deeply stupid" - Principle Snyder

Here's a plot for a Buffy ep: Buffy has been around enough death and destruction that DIDN'T involve dusted vamps. And the same detective has been on the scene almost every time. What if he's been secretly building a case for her as The Sunnydale Psychopath? Hell, if you can write off vampires with fangs as random gangs of PCP addicts, you can certainly pin some murders on the Slayer. The evidence would be purely circumstancial, yet huge, and connected to seriously demented crimes. Buffy Anne Summers has been connected with several riots at the Bronze, a motorcycle gang invasion, the bombing of Sunnydale High School that claimed the Mayor and principal, and numerous murders - possibly even her mother's. And her associates wouldn't exactly win any confidence under scrutiny either. Zander Harris: Disturbed loner with bad employment record. Lives in a basement with assorted military paraphanalia and a delusional girlfriend. Willow Rosenberg: obviously the source for the group's pathological behavior due to her belief and practice of black magic - possibly Satanism. She was witnessed sacrificing a large animal. Possible root cause was one Rutherford Giles, called a "Watcher" whatever that is - with whom they spent an unhealthy amount of time with in High School. He supposedly returned to the UK so notify Interpol. All were associates of suspected murderer known as Faith who's whereabouts are unknown. With a rep like the Scoobies could wind up looking like a cross between Devil Worshippers and Extreme Right Wing Anarchists.
[> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- change, 03:47:59 12/11/01 Tue

You must have missed a few episodes because:

Buffy Anne Summers has been connected with...numerous murders - possibly even her mother's

Joyce died of natural causes. There are numerous hospital records and an autopsy to prove it.

Zander Harris: Disturbed loner with bad employment record. Lives in a basement with assorted military paraphanalia and a delusional girlfriend.

Actually, his nick name is Xander, an abbreviation of Alexander. Xander has had a steady job in construction for over a year, has been promoted to supervisor, and lives in an apartment. He apparently doesn't have any military paraphernalia because at one point when Buffy was fighting Glory or Adam (I forget which), she asked Xander for everything he had and he didn't have anything. While Anya may be a little strange, she is not all that odd for California, and especially not for Sunnydale.

All were associates of suspected murderer known as Faith who's whereabouts are unknown.

Faith turned herself in and is serving time in prison.

Obviously, you have not yet reached the level of fanaticism needed to post on this board, but there is hope for you yet. I suggest you buy all of the Buffy video tapes, preorder the DVDs, buy cable TV, subscribe to FX, buy a TIVO box, record all Buffy and Angel shows on TIVO, and then watch them repeatedly until you can spot the differences between the lines in the shooting scripts, and what the actors actually say. Then go through the archives and memorize all of Rufus's, d'Herblay, OnM's, Wisewoman's, and Solitude1056's posts. At this point you should be able to post effectively.
[> [> Er, Rutherford? Is he Rupert's evil clone? -- Marie, 05:53:51 12/11/01 Tue

[> [> Please cut me some slack :( -- Eric, 10:33:40 12/11/01 Tue

Yes you are correct, as are posters below. To think I was merely worried about "Anne" having an "e". Alas, I was in the kill zone when WB pulled Buffy from the several TV stations, so I missed two seasons with the exception of two eps when visiting Texas. For reasons I don't care to mention I don't have access to satillite TV. I am, however, currently recording it on FX and on Sunday watched twelve Buffy eps in a row. In spite of what the kindly doctors say, I have a real life and long term duties and obligations which inhibit fanaticism. Which is for the best, since Sarah Michelle Gellar (I can spell THAT name right) really doesn't need a stalker.

I enjoy this board because it fascinates me with: 1) People that think WAY to much about Buffy the Vampire Slayer and 2) People that nevertheless can display, at the drop of a hat, the intrinsic, higher meanings and significance of Buffy. I will continue to post because of the piece of paper on my wall saying I'm a college grad and I fondly remember once living a life of the mind. I will attempt to curb my ignorance, but it is one of the few things I can truly call my own. BTW, my policy is never to email or post anything I wouldn't say to an ill tempered person face to face.
[> [> [> Consider your slack cut! :-) Please keep posting, also! -- Rob, 10:59:52 12/11/01 Tue

[> [> [> Don't misunderstand - you are very welcome here! -- RabidHarpy, 11:02:31 12/11/01 Tue

You'll have to forgive our varying degrees of "humour" on this board - none of us claim (publicly anyways!) to be the next great mind of the 21st century!

I can't speak for everyone, but I a lot of people on this board (myself included), thoroughly enjoy the multitude of opinions and ideas being bandied about here. By having others question our beliefs and opinions, and through exposure to other's writings, we not only improve our own writing and thought processes, but also gain deeper insights into the wonderful world of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer".

Welcome to the board Eric - we trust we'll be hearing more from you! :)
[> [> [> [> Calm down, RH...We get the point! LOL :-) -- Rob, 13:08:37 12/11/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> When I posted that response... -- Rob, 10:09:32 12/12/01 Wed

...just to clarify, RH's message was listed 3 times. My little joke works much better in that context, obviously. Hee hee. ;)

[> [> [> [> RH is right, we are sick we are twisted, and (whispers)............ -- Rufus, 15:08:48 12/11/01 Tue

some of us are Canadian....never tell.......just bribe us with chocolate and join in.....:):):)
[> [> [> Welcome, Eric! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 11:46:06 12/11/01 Tue

And as to the actual theory proposed in your original post, it's not a bad one at all. Given the various amendments suggested by subsequent posters, it still leaves a good case for strong suspicion of Buffy. I've often wondered why the police in Sunnydale haven't been far more interested in her. And she's probably staked a lot of new vamps who were very recently turned, and perhaps not found and buried first, which would make her one of the prime suspects in their murders, as well.

Maybe living on the Hellmouth figures into the equation when hiring officers of the law? Probably a much greater demand than the available supply of recruits!

[> [> [> [> except... -- anom, 22:05:39 12/11/01 Tue

"And she's probably staked a lot of new vamps who were very recently turned, and perhaps not found and buried first, which would make her one of the prime suspects in their murders, as well." body, no evidence.
[> [> [> [> [> Right! Where is my head?? ;o) -- WW, 08:06:18 12/12/01 Wed

[> [> [> Aww, we're not ill-tempered - just, um, ill! -- Marie, 01:50:28 12/12/01 Wed

[> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- skeeve, 10:05:56 12/11/01 Tue

If Buffy and the Scoobies ever have to deal with the legal system, the result of the truth spell Willow puts on the police and other public officials should be quite interesting.

BTW my recollection is that no one ever did an autopsy on the mayor, so it's not official that he died at the hands or fertilizer of another. That fertilizer bomb was about as pathetic as one could make it. Fortunately it worked anyway.
[> [> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- MrDave, 21:01:02 12/11/01 Tue

I'd agree with the idea that the legal system of Sunnydale has its share of losers and "Officer Brady" types but the fact is that with the Mayer running things for all those years, a tight legal force would be counter productive to a demonic haven parked on a hellmouth.

I can hear the wispered rumors among the underworld now..."Its great, the cops blame EVERYTHING on drugs!"

But while plausible deniability would be a survival trait in a force like that, a really observant, smart cop (or detective friend) who was biding his time in order to take a higher position with better pay, and higher survivability (less encountres with the big bads while driving a desk) might actually STEER investigation AWAY from Buffy and friends. Why? Her presence INCREASES the survivability of cops. In short she is good for business...and bad for the baddies. One look at the world of "The Wish" would confirm that.

Here's another headscrather in this vein...why doesn't the Magic Box have a burgler alarm? Mystical or Electronic?
[> Re: Buffy the Serial Killer -- cecilia, 15:44:29 12/11/01 Tue

This reminds me of the joke my husband used to say about that old Angela Landsbury show Murder She Wrote. He used to say, no way could a little old lady "stumble" across all these murder mysteries every week, especially in a small town like she lived in. He speculated that she actually commited all the murders and framed people so she could solve the cases and write books.
[> [> Buffy the Serial Killer -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 17:55:19 12/11/01 Tue

Eric, you and I were thinking along similar lines; until it was Overtaken By Events (OBE) I was planning a fan-fic involving Buffy, the Sunnydale Police (who were Sipowitz wanna-bes and not very good at it) and possibly the world's most inept hired killer.

The working title of the script was "Lee Harvey Elmo."
OT - 8th Poem for Christmas -- Brian, 04:33:35 12/11/01 Tue



Child, can you hear?


Child, can’t you hear?

This tree is doomed.

Its sap whispers death in each drop.

See, there, at its dark-stained root,

The workman’s mark.

Tomorrow this tree shall fall,

Stuck dumb by unsilent axes.

But today, Child,

We shall rest in its shade.

Tomorrow we shall pass by in new, unshadowed light.
[> Re: OT - 8th Poem for Christmas -- Marie, 06:03:11 12/11/01 Tue

This is my favourite, so far. Thanks, Brian. But it made me feel a little despondent - can we have a happy one next?
[> I don't know quite why...but that poem makes me feel...guilty...;) -- Rufus, 02:23:20 12/12/01 Wed

Thank you again.
Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- The Last Jack, 07:35:25 12/11/01 Tue

I know that Angel and his father didn't have the kind of relationship where he would normally name his kid after him, but I think it would be kind of poetic. Sort of a way to honor his family (I don't think Liam's dad was a bad man, just a bad father) and at the same time remind him of what his purpose is (to atone for his sins, and protect the innocent from creatures like Angelus).

Hmm, wonder if we will finally learn what Angel's family name is?
[> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- Kimberly, 07:49:41 12/11/01 Tue

I was waiting for Angel to say "after his grandfather" or something. Since he didn't, it is less likely, but ME is obviously having fun with this storyline and giving the fans whiplash, so who knows?

I wonder when other watchers figured out that the bundle in Angel's arms wasn't little Connor? (I figured it out when he drove into the mind, but I missed the point of the whole Lorne/Angel interplay.)
[> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- vandalia, 08:06:28 12/11/01 Tue

Believe it or not, I figured it out as soon as he got into the car with the baby in his arms. If Angel loved that kid as much as he'd been playing (and if it'd been a real baby) he'd have put him in a carseat!
[> [> [> I noticed it when he ran out of the building -- Adrenfreak, 08:11:25 12/11/01 Tue

The baby wasn't crying! :)

Then I thought back to the humming line and the fact that their were cameras there... and it clicked. I didn't get the note being passed though.
[> [> [> [> Re: I noticed it when he ran out of the building -- Neaux, 11:43:50 12/11/01 Tue

I noticed it as soon as he said... He heard what Cordelia said... the ol' baby switch is pretty darn common..

of course i didnt know he had switched the baby with a bomb
[> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- GreatRewards, 08:38:12 12/11/01 Tue

I figured it out the second I read it in the wildfeed. :)
[> [> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- Kimberly, 08:46:41 12/11/01 Tue

OK, that's cheating. ;-)

The first time I watch an episode, I turn off my analyzer and watch. (Actually, I listen; it drives my husband nuts when he points out something on the screen and I say "Huh?") I don't catch a lot of the subtleties until the second, or later, viewing. Needless to say, I tape them all. But I can't enjoy a show if my brain's on full; so I do miss things like that. It does make later viewings fun though, seeing how they set everything up.
[> [> [> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- Marie, 09:00:27 12/11/01 Tue

It does make later viewings fun though, seeing how they set everything up.

One of the few things that make not being able to see S6 bearable, is the fact that I'll have all these printouts of this board's posts to read before I DO see them, so that I can see what they mean, if you see what I mean!

(And I don't actually think Liam's father was so bad - he was a man of his time, that's all.)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- Rufus, 15:06:05 12/11/01 Tue

Liams father was illequipped to handle a child/adult like his son. Liam would have been a handful, and because of his energy the father would have been hard pressed to make Liam into his own image. I do believe that he was physically and mentally abusive. But that doesn't mean that he didn't love his son. I think that much of their relationship was based upon miscommunication. Both not listening much to the other. It became a battle of wills that became a struggle for life for Liam. His father as crusty as he was thought he was doing the right thing....I certainly don't approve of his methods. It was a tragedy in motion watching the scene where Liam kills his father and finds out that with his death he was just as fettered by the man's low opinion as in life. The difference is in life the both of them had a chance to grow up and work out their problems, as a vampire Liam is frozen, killing the father only ensured he would stay that way.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed, Rufus... -- Marie, 02:13:07 12/12/01 Wed

...and when I said that Liam's father was a man of his time, I meant that he was a typical father of the eighteenth century. They didn't think of 'communication' as we accept the word today. A man ruled his house with an iron fist, and his word was law. Neither his wife nor his children would have any say in what happened to them. When a woman married, she became her husband's property and would have been surprised by any of her friends who argued against that. Very rarely would children have been allowed to marry for love, unless the loved one had something the father wanted - a 'middle-class' man like Liam's father would have wanted his son to work hard and build up whatever trade they were in, and marry to benefit the family name.

In the Ireland of that time, the Church ruled supreme, and Liam's father would have looked to his priest for guidance, if he looked for guidance at all. From the little we see of him on screen, I imagine he was a God-fearing man, and the anger he shows Liam is as much from disappointment as disgust.

Although they are both dead now, when I think about it,I myself would rather my parents had said they were angry with me than disappointed. Liam and his father were probably more alike in tempreament than they would have wanted to admit, so naturally they would clash. I think, if Darla had not come along at that time, Liam would have passed naturally through his roistering phase and gone back to beg his father's forgiveness. I also think his father, once cooled down, would have taken him back.

Only, along came Darla!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed up to a point Marie -- Rahael, 07:52:05 12/12/01 Wed

Yes, indeed, husbands and fathers were pre-eminent in authority, and it was recognised as such by society and the law. And women were regarded as property. But that application in life was far more complex than this, and far less bleak than you make it seem.

Many fathers regarded their duty as ruling with kindness. Much prescriptive literature stressed how one should win one's wife's approval and respect in order to command due authority. Nehemiah Wallington's father strove all his life to look after his puzzling, hostile and depressed son, who was liable to try and kill himself because he had sinful feelings for the servant girl. (His father married him off and gave him a business to run). When Nehemiah's young child died, his wife prayed and accepted the loss - her husband grew tormented, doubted God and spent hours agonizing over his loss, to his wife's great impatience. I have encountered numerous, and very touching anecdotes about the tenderness showed within families, communication and dialogue that occurred, (well, most families didn't have the distractions we have now - they could talk, pray, spend time together.)Much as I love Richardson's Clarissa, one only had to look at Fielding's satire Richardson's doom and gloom scenario in 'Tom Jones' to see that it was an exaggeration.

A good book is Amanda Vickery's 'The Squire's Daughter' which shows how loving some marriages were; how abusive others were. She also makes the astute observation that the 'darling daugther was patriarchy's achilles heel'.

Husbands, fathers, brothers were as loving in the past, as they are now. Others were as unloving and abusive as some are now.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, absolutely, Rah! -- Marie, 08:48:05 12/12/01 Wed

I couldn't agree more, and certainly never meant to state that ALL fathers were strict ogres! Only that, if Liam's father came across that way, it wasn't necessarily abuse, from his point of view, but discipline, and I saw him as, while hot-tempered enough to throw his son out, someone who might have been sorry the next day, and willing to accept Liam back into the family home, only, of course, Darla came along. Of course there were loving fathers then, as now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Parents throwing out their kids -- Kimberly, 09:01:17 12/12/01 Wed

As an example of another parent telling a child not to come back if they walk out the door: Joyce to Buffy in Becoming Part 2.

Although Liam's father apparently believed that any gentleness would undermine discipline, ANY parent can lose his/her temper and say things they don't mean. Bad for the parent, bad for the child, human nature. (I can't think of any personal examples, but it wouldn't surprise me if my son could.)
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heavenly father/Earthly father -- Rahael, 08:23:47 12/13/01 Thu

We completely agree then!

In my opinion the argument over Angel and his father is not so much regarding whether Liam was good/bad or his father was good/bad. Its about the complex and difficult relationships that children have with their parents. And Angel is now revisiting it because he has a son. Both shows have always had this as a recurring theme.

When Darla tells Angel that God *still* doesn't want him, but she does, I thought it was a crushing blow to Angel not because he is concerned with his heavenly father, but it got him where it hurts - his earthly father. Darla was reminding him of that choice he made so many hundreds of years ago in an alleyway.
[> [> [> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- Shaglio, 09:49:36 12/12/01 Wed

"I don't catch a lot of the subtleties until the second, or later, viewing."

That's how I am with the Simpsons. On the first viewing, I'm paying full attention to the plot so it's not until the second viewing that I catch all the suttle jokes in the background and such.
[> [> I didn't figure it out at all -- pagangodess, 19:59:47 12/11/01 Tue

When I watch the actual episode first time around I take of my 'think and disect the ep' cap. Just watch and enjoy. I must say I was quite surprised. A thought did enter my mind about the child seat, though, but it did not register. I guess I just take the story as it comes and let it unfold. There is always time to rewatch later with my 'think and disect' cap on.

Just babbling

[> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- purplegrrl, 14:11:05 12/11/01 Tue

When Angel named his son at the hospital, my first thought was that he named the baby after his father. Liam/Angel may not have had the best relationship with his father, but now that he has his own son I think Angel has a small window into his father's behavior towards him.
[> [> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- JBone, 06:54:18 12/12/01 Wed

LILAH: What kind of wussy name is Liam anyway?

When Lilah says this about Liam's name, she invokes the image of those who would have named Liam, his parents. So later, when Angel names Connor, I believed it to be his father's name. Or at the very least, his family name. Liam Connor sounds about right, doesn't it?
[> Re: Do you think Connor was named after his grandfather? -- pagangodess, 20:14:38 12/11/01 Tue

I just looked up the meaning to the name Connor. Guess what, there are more meanings to this name, than I thought possible. Here's some: high will or desire, and wolf lover. The latter through me for a loop especially because of that scene in 'Dad' where Angel turns and Connor stops crying and gazes lovingly at his fathers ridged/fanged face. And haven't vampires been compared to wolves in some older stories of this genre?

Just thought I'd share the info

Rat Question thats been nagging me for a WEEK... -- Adrenfreak, 08:09:38 12/11/01 Tue

Going ALL the way back to Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered, when Buffy was turned into a rat.

Amy turned Buffy into a rat, so we know that even back then, she was a powerful witch, which may well tie in with the Rack stuff... but I'm ignoring that for right now...

Amy and Giles had to cast two reversal spells, one to de-rat buffy, and one to de-love magnet Xander...

Giles saw every single bit of the de-ratting spell, and was there for the entirety of the words.

This just caught my eye a week ago, and I haven't been able to figure out since why HE didn't help Willow get Amy back.
[> Re: Rat Question thats been nagging me for a WEEK... -- maddog, 08:32:46 12/11/01 Tue

The answer could be simply that he forgot what the spell was...I mean, he was using Amy's spell books back then. It's entirely possible that he just forgot how to do it... course it's also possible he'd forgotten he'd know how they go through crisis after's possible that it just blended in with most of the rest.
[> [> Re: Rat Question thats been nagging me for a WEEK... -- Rob, 09:02:03 12/11/01 Tue

I've always thought the difficulty was brought about because Amy was the one who cast the spell on herself. They also said in Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered that only the witch who cast the spell can lift it off...That's why they needed Amy to reverse the love spell, even though she was under its affects also. And that's why it was so difficult to break the rat spell: because they obviously could not use the witch who cast the spell to break it. That could probably only be done by a witch of Willow's extreme power.

The Slayer's Journey -- Rattletrap, 09:21:16 12/11/01 Tue

In a discussion about 2 months ago, Masquerade suggested writing an analysis of the Hero's Journey as it applies to BtVS. Being a glutton for punishment, I volunteered to do it, but I had to back-burner it for a couple of months as I was taking Ph.D. exams at the time and that had a slightly higher priority. There will be two versions of this essay, the long one I'm posting here and a short one (~3-4 paragraphs for Masq's site) that I'll post as soon as I get it cut down. I would welcome all of your feedback before I finalize anything. Here goes:

The Slayer’s Journey: Buffy Summers and the Hero’s Life

Joseph Campbell’s 1949 book The Hero with a Thousand Faces identifies common strains in the mythology of all world religions and cultures. Campbell concludes that all are different and varied manifestations of one "monomyth," a universal story with roots in the universal human experience. One key component of Campbell’s analysis is the recurring hero’s journey that appears at the heart of most stories. The hero always passes through several phases in his quest; regular stages that Campbell identifies and defines. Modern writers such as Christopher Vogler, author of The Writer’s Journey, have recognized the value of Campbell’s scholarship in the creation of modern popular stories on film, in novels, and on the small screen that is our concern here. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is deeply resonant with its audience, in part because it is a modern retelling of the timeless journey of the Hero; a journey that parallels our own individual life journeys. At the same time, the monomyth is updated to reflect some of the realities of life in the postmodern world.

Campbell divides the Hero’s Journey into three phases: Separation, Initiation, and Return. I will borrow his terminology regularly during this essay, though I have also borrowed indiscriminately from Vogler’s book and other sources. In brief, the Hero is offered a call to adventure during the Separation phase, and, after several refusals, she accepts. The period of Initiation is the bulk of the story, in which the Hero faces a series of increasingly difficult challenges, both outer and inner. Finally the Hero experiences a literal or metaphorical death and resurrection and begins the long road back—this is the Return phase. Many scholars have noted that the heroine’s journey differs slightly from the hero’s. The female journey tends to be spiraling or cyclical, rather than linear or curving in one large, gradual circle as does the journey of the male protagonist. This generalization also holds true for Buffy. Each episode contains within itself a small hero’s journey, in miniature. Each season contains a longer adaptation of the journey. The entire series is its own journey, which will be the focus of this essay. Finally, each of the main characters struggles through her or his journey that intersects the larger story at many points along the way. Please bear in mind that the Hero’s Journey is not a hard and fast law of writing, but a form that generally appears, with an almost infinite number of variations. This analysis is open to other interpretations, most of which are not mutually exclusive.

Separation and the Call to Adventure
(Season 1)

The opening moments of "Welcome to the Hellmouth" set the stage for the entire series. An establishing shot shows us Sunnydale High School after dark, and we are transported inside to find a young man and a young woman breaking and entering, ostensibly for a make-out session. While this sequence is, in many respects, a horror movie cliché, Joss Whedon turns it on its head almost immediately when the young woman, vampire Darla, devours the unnamed young man. This prologue foreshadows many of the elements that become commonplace in Buffy over the next several years—juxtaposition of ordinary with fantastic (e.g. high schools and vampires); repeated use of clichés from movies and television, but with some modification; and, perhaps most importantly, a role reversal with a dominant, female heroine.

Returning after the credits takes us to the World of Common Day (or the Ordinary World). This is Sunnydale High School during the daytime on a regular class day. This sequence serves several purposes. First, it introduces our dramatis personae—we meet most of the characters who will become allies and nemises over the next several years. The scene also establishes the basic geography of Sunnydale, a one Starbucks town roughly two hours on the freeway from LA’s shopping district, and gives us a glimpse of the social hierarchy that defines SHS. Also, several conversations during the first few scenes of "Welcome to the Hellmouth," give us the background on our heroine. Sixteen year-old Buffy Anne Summers, kicked out of Hemery High School in Los Angeles after burning down the gym. Whedon establishes Buffy as a damaged heroine from the outset—one who has traveled the hero’s road and returned ladened with cynicism and battle scars, and with no desire to set out along the road again.

The opening sequence in SHS also issues the first Call to Adventure. Buffy enters the library for the first time. The soundtrack subtly shifts, eliminating the background noise of the halls for the quiet silence of the library and cueing us in that this is special space, terrain on the edge of the Ordinary World. Buffy meets with Giles, who will function as her Mentor figure for most of her journey. In this instance Giles also functions as a herald, offering Buffy her first Call to Adventure. Our heroine, weighed down by her expulsion from one school and the loss of her friends and her social status, bluntly refuses. The discovery of the dead body later in the day prompts Buffy to return to the library, where Giles issues a second Call, which Buffy again refuses.

Despite Buffy’s persistent refusal to accept her destiny, forces beyond her control push her out on the road. The seemingly innocuous decision to go to a club that evening takes her to the Threshold of Adventure. She meets with another Herald figure in Angel, who appears only as a tall, dark, handsome stranger; but of whose character we know nothing. Buffy again refuses the call, but, in the time honored tradition of Heralds on the Hero’s road, Angel leaves her with a parting gift, a small silver cross necklace.

In The Writer’s Journey, Vogler notes that the transitional point on the Threshold is often a bar or watering hole of some type. Buffy is no exception. The dark, noisy, crowded world of the Bronze contrasts with the daylight world of classes at SHS. The conditions make it a perfect hunting ground for vampires, reinforcing the show’s juxtaposition of mundane and mythical elements. Here Buffy is given the call she can no longer refuse. Willow, one of Buffy’s very few friends at this point, is abducted while acting on Buffy’s advice to seize the moment, because life is short. Feelings of responsibility toward her friend finally force the reluctant Hero into her journey. Before the journey can begin, however, Buffy must confront another archetype along the road. She encounters Cordelia and the Cordettes outside the bathroom in the Bronze and is confronted with a decision: rescue Willow and sacrifice her social status or ignore her calling and embrace the normal life of a high school student. Cordelia, in this context, represents the Guardian of the Threshold, a figure that stands in the way of the Hero’s passage, but is not necessarily a malevolent figure.

Buffy successfully rescues Willow and stops the Harvest from occurring. This places her on the road of the Hero’s journey, but the stage of Separation is not yet complete. In keeping with the mythological tradition, the Hero must find allies and prepare for the journey before completely leaving the World of Common Day behind. The remainder of Season 1 consists of just such a process. The Scooby Gang first begins to function as a unit in episode 1.3, "The Witch." This episode also establishes the formula for the remainder of Season 1. A catalyst event, such as the discovery of a body at Sunnydale High (a staple of the series) pushes the gang into action, the gang goes to the library to do research, and based on the new knowledge gained confronts the baddie. While Season 1, like all Buffy seasons, had its big bad, the Master did not figure prominently in most of the episodes, and did not directly confront Buffy until the season’s final episode. This season focused more on the "High School is Hell" metaphor that defined the early years of the series and on the emerging relationships in the Scooby Gang.

The characters that appear in the Scooby Gang are also important archetypes in the Hero’s Journey, because sidekicks, too, serve an important function in literature, TV, and film. Like many Heroes, Buffy finds herself accompanied by people of a lower social status—Don Quixote’s companion Sancho Panza and Frodo’s servant Sam are both literary examples of this phenomenon. Buffy refuses to shun Willow and Xander despite their lower status in the SHS social structure, and they wind up as her most loyal supporters on the Hero’s path. Xander, especially, embodies a common archetype in literature—the Trickster. The Trickster usually appears as a comic sidekick, and often as a permanently immature boy who refuses to grow up. He represents the funny, playful side of the Hero and reminds us never to take any calling too seriously.

Angel, too, fulfills a specific function on the journey. His character appears sporadically through the early part of Season 1, usually warning of some impending doom and then vanishing back into the woodwork. In episode 1.7, "Angel," he is revealed to be a vampire, but one with a soul fighting on the side of good. Vampires are a common embodiment of a form that Campbell refers to as the Shapeshifter, an ambiguous character whose intentions are never entirely clear and may appear as either an ally, an enemy, or swing back and forth between the two. Angel’s human appearance, demonic nature, and gypsy-restored soul make him a near perfect embodiment of this archetype.

Cordelia, as I have already suggested, fulfills the role of Threshold Guardian, an obstacle that must be overcome before the Hero can set out on her path. On BtVS, Cordelia serves as the symbolic reminder of the life that Buffy has forsaken. Threshold Guardians are rarely enemies to be defeated; instead the Hero must often co-opt or assimilate them as part of the group. Buffy does just this. She saves Cordelia’s life several times during the first season, and by the end of that season, Cordelia can no longer deny Buffy’s ability. In the season’s penultimate episode, (1.11) "Out of Mind, Out of Sight," Cordelia is threatened by invisible girl Marcie and solicits Buffy’s protection. Her once adversarial character comes to a mutual toleration, if not respect for, the Scooby Gang.

By the end of Season 1, then, Buffy is ready to set out on her Hero’s Journey, to complete the process of separation and leave the World of Common Day. In the final episode of Season 1, "Prophecy Girl," Buffy makes a willing decision to accept her calling and face the Master, even knowing that it will mean her own death. Buffy’s death, in the larger scope of the series, is not the death and resurrection experience that the Hero must experience. In represents, instead, the crossing of the threshold and the willing acceptance of the Slayer’s calling and all of the risks and consequences contained therein. While Buffy regularly relapses and longs for the life of a normal girl, subsequent episodes suggest that she also never seriously considers abandoning the slayer’s journey.

(Seasons 2, 3, and 4)

In Campbell’s structure, most of the Hero’s Journey occurs within the phase known as Initiation. During this phase, the Hero faces a series of tests or ordeals, each usually more intense than the last, building toward one final crisis. Seasons 2 through 5 of Buffy carry our heroine on just such a journey. The early episodes of Season 2 appear to roughly mimic the pattern of Season 1, but serve increasingly to remind our characters of the darkness within each of them and the dangers of the Hero’s road. This season, perhaps more than any other, is emblematic of the Hero’s inward journey. "The Dark Age" shows us the Campbellian archetype of the Shadow. Rarely cast as a person, the Shadow instead embodies the ever present darkness within each of us. Giles, once the stable, reliable Mentor is revealed to be a one-time practitioner of the black arts. "What’s My Line" introduces Kendra, the Vampire slayer, called at the moment of Buffy’s death and serving as a subtle reminder of the dangers the journey poses to the Hero.

The second season takes its most severe turn with the "Surprise" / "Innocence" two-part episode. Angel, already a Shapeshifter, reverts to his evil nature after knowing a moment of true happiness during a night of sex with Buffy and begins terrorizing her and the Scooby Gang. In so doing, he becomes the homme fatale, a common archetype in literature and film. Campbell’s Hero often must face a lover that turns to an enemy (or vice versa) on the Journey. Angel’s turn to evil drives Buffy into a period of intense self-examination during the end of Season 2, culminating in the stirring metaphor of "I Only Have Eyes for You," during which she finally accepts what has happened and what she has to do to fix it. In that season’s finale, "Becoming" (2.21, 2.22), Buffy is driven away from home, expelled from school, and forced to send a resouled Angel to hell. The final shot of the episode shows her riding a bus out of Sunnydale for parts unknown, unable to stand the emotional strain of the journey.

Season 2, then, might be summarized as a period of internal focus. That season’s big bad originated from within the group and forced the Hero to draw on her deepest emotional reserves to survive the journey. The first several episodes of the following season explore Buffy’s attempts to make peace with her mother, her friends, and her past; all key components in the hero’s journey. Again, we are reminded of the Hero’s own internal darkness by the arrival of Faith, a character embodying the archetypes of Shadow and Shapeshifter, and showing us what direction Buffy might have gone with only a slightly different course of events. This continued inward journey is only a part of the larger movement through the Hero’s ever-expanding special world.

In keeping with Campbell’s form the next stage of the journey takes her toward a broader, more external focus, one that includes the entire town and the people she protects. In Season 3’s main story arc, Sunnydale’s immortal mayor, Richard Wilkins III, has built the town for demons to feed on in preparation for his own ascension. The Mayor embodies yet another common archetype. Campbell’s Hero must often face and defeat a powerful father-like figure. The Mutant Enemy writing staff especially emphasized this facet of the Mayor’s personality with his peculiarly gentle paternal relationship to Faith. It is doubly fitting, then, that the Mayor’s transformation into the demon Olvikan should cause him to become a giant snake, an ironically fitting phallic symbol that further emphasizes his status as the father figure.

Season 3 is also fairly unique among Buffy seasons in that it ends on a positive note with few unanswered questions, offering our group a brief respite before the next stage of their journey. Season 4 expands the Hero’s special world even farther. The narrow constraints of high school class and living at home give way to the more open intellectual and individual freedom of the college campus. This greater freedom also leaves the Scooby Gang more disoriented than they have ever been, each more isolated and weighed down with her or his individual problems and less focused on the journey at hand. The process of reorganization and redefinition midway through the story is integral to the journey.

That season’s big bad is not revealed until fairly late in the season. Ultimately, however, his story is only part of the ever expanding world view of the Hero. The main adversary for most of the season is the mysterious, government operated "Initiative," operating clandestinely from beneath one of the dorms. Activities in Sunnydale have moved beyond the concern of local authorities and attracted the attention of national ones. Frequently along the Hero’s Journey, a perceived threat turns out to be a competitor, but one that shares a common goal. Such is the case with the Initiative. Both the Initiative soldiers and the Scooby Gang share a common interest in demon hunting, but they differ wildly on methods and ultimate objectives. Buffy is able to work alongside the Initiative for a while, but finds her view of the calling remarkably different from theirs.

The Initiative produces the monstrous Adam that becomes the main antagonist of the season, but his plan is not fully revealed until episode 4.20, "The Yoko Factor." The Scooby Gang unites to defeat him in (4.21) "Primeval," and is forced to summon the power of the first slayer to do so. This act forces them to tap forces more powerful than anything they have used before, as each stage of the journey grows progressively more difficult.

Season 4 also ends on an unconventional note, but one critical for the journey. Vogler notes that the stage before the final ascent often entails a brief interlude, often the Hero and allies gathering around a campfire to share stories. Buffy and the Scooby Gang instead settle into a nice evening of movie-watching in the Summers living room, perhaps the modern-day equivalent of a campfire. The dreams they share reinforce their unity and set the stage for the final stage of the Initiation.

(Season 5)

After years of struggle, the Hero survives her ordeal and prepares to face one final, ultimate conflict, the climax of her journey. Before she can do that, however, she is given a reward, something powerful that offers some pay off for the struggle to this point and foreshadows greater rewards ahead should the journey be completed. Our heroine receives a new lease on life for the fifth season. The dream encounters with the first slayer during (4.22) "Restless," leave Buffy curious about the deeper source of her power and longing to explore the slayer’s true nature. That internal reward is paralleled by the external reward in the arrival of the slayer’s mystically created younger sister Dawn—literally the creation of a new life in the middle of the journey.

Season 5 also continues the Hero’s steadily expanding worldview. Season 2 dealt with internal demons, Season 3 with local ones, and Season 4 with national ones. The only thing larger could be a confrontation with a god. If Season 3 was embodied by conflict with a father figure, then Season 5’s big bad is the embodiment of a mother figure—a goddess known as Glory—created by Joss Whedon and his writers, but recalling the countless spoiled, arrogant, and evil goddesses of ancient mythology. Here Mutant Enemy places a curious twist on the traditional Hero’s Journey. Campbell’s Hero must always face a goddess or a maternal figure (one symbolic of the feminine aspect of Self, just as the father figure symbolizes the masculine aspect), but that figure traditionally appears fairly early in the journey. The father figure traditionally arrives much later, usually in connection with the Hero’s ultimate conflict. The reversal of roles in BtVS that has become the hallmark of the show continues even into the structure of the Hero’s journey. A woman is the great Hero; therefore a woman must also be the great enemy.

Midway through Season 5, our Hero faces another experience common on the Hero’s journey—the reversal of fortune. The early episodes show Buffy getting stronger as a slayer and more focused on her journey. Her mother struggles with, but apparently defeats a brain tumor. On the evening after her successful surgery, however, the conflicts long suppressed in Buffy’s relationship with Riley come to a head, culminating in Riley’s departure on a helicopter for demon fighting in the jungles of Central America. From that point, Buffy’s fortunes begin a downward spiral. Two months later, she discovers her mother’s lifeless body, dead from complications from the surgery. Buffy is forced to take on the duty of caring for an increasingly rebellious Dawn in addition to her already formidable slayer workload. What began as a new lease on life at the beginning of the season spirals out of control into an almost unbearable burden. Glory’s capture of Dawn at the end of (5.20) "Spiral" drives Buffy into a catatonic state.

Buffy is pulled out of her catatonia only by Willow’s intervention. This, too, is a common occurrence along the Journey. The Hero frequently finds himself inadequate to the task and must rely on the special skills of his allies to confront the final challenge. Buffy realizes that she, alone, simply cannot win; but with the aid of her "big gun" Willow, Xander’s skills as a construction worker and bowling virtuoso, and Spike’s fighting prowess they might have a chance. Ultimately, however, the Hero is still required to perform above and beyond.

The apocalyptic battle of (5.22) "The Gift" culminates with Buffy’s sacrificial death in Dawn’s place. The passage through death and resurrection/rebirth ushers in the final stage of the Hero’s journey, the Return. All Heroes experience some sort of death and resurrection—sometimes a literal death as in Buffy’s case, in others a journey to the land of the dead as Odysseus performed, in others an apparent death later revealed to be false (Frodo in Shelob’s lair), in still others a symbolic or metaphorical death.

(Season 6)

The Return stage of the Hero’s journey deals with the Hero’s reintegration into the Ordinary World. Buffy’s return embodies the common theme of the reluctant or refused return. In her death, she finds peace and fulfillment only to have that tragically destroyed by her forced return into the World of Common Day, a world in which the common day is so bright and violent it seems like hell. Campbell notes that heroes often become so accustomed to life on the journey that they do not smoothly reintegrate into their Ordinary World. This, so far, has been the theme of Season 6. It is instructive to note that the writers have not tried to come up with a bigger or badder antagonist, but rather an inconsequential group of stooges that slide in below the radar and annoy Buffy more than they threaten her. The real story of this season deals with Buffy’s reintegration into the Ordinary World—the assumption of the mundane tasks that characterize all of our lives, such as bill paying, home repair, and working—and finding the balance between those tasks and the special calling of the Hero.

Frequently, the Hero is required to return home and restore order or set things to right (Odysseus, Frodo, etc.). The slayer’s ordinary world in Season 6 is badly in need of such reordering with her long-time allies more alienated and alone than ever, each drowning in their own difficulties. We can safely assume Buffy will again rise to the occasion, but when and how remain to be seen.
[> Wonderful essay... -- Rob, 09:28:30 12/11/01 Tue

I had noticed the parallels to Campbell in "Buffy," but it's really cool to have them all written down like this in an essay form...and very well-written it is, too.


I'm gonna print this one out! :-)

[> [> Already did......;) -- Rufus, 14:55:13 12/11/01 Tue

Print it out.........:):):)
[> [> [> Impact of the Return -- Brian, 15:47:54 12/11/01 Tue

One of the results of the Hero's Return is to have an impact upon the status quo. Buffy's resurrection certainly qualifies. We've yet to see the full consequences of her return, but already there has been a shift in the personalities of the main characters. Buffy's "gift" will have a profound impact on all of them. I imagine that the rest of the season will deal with how each character struggles to redefine themselves, dealing with Buffy, a catalytic figure, while Buffy, at the same time, must deal with how her Hero's journey has changed her, her goals, and even her perception of what she is and what she has become.
[> Re: Bravo, trap. Thanks. -- mundusmundi, 09:48:29 12/11/01 Tue

[> Re: The Slayer's Journey -- maddog, 09:53:54 12/11/01 Tue

That was truley must have taken you forever to write that. A very well done piece, hopefully it's saved somewhere here for further review as the season comes along.

You also bring up a very interesting point in the end...suppose there is no big bad this season? At least, not in the way that we normally perceive one....could this be the ultimate in storytelling from Joss...making us believe one thing all along when in fact he has something completely different in store for us.
[> Re: The Slayer's Journey -- Rahael, 10:02:23 12/11/01 Tue

This is a pretty super essay....does it have to be cut down?

And by the way, can I say that just today the board's become alive again with deep philosophical goodness.....

Congratulations on getting through the PHD thing!
[> Re: The Slayer's Journey -- Cactus Watcher, 10:08:58 12/11/01 Tue

Good job 'trap.

My only quibble is with placing Xander in the roll of the Trickster. The Trickster in primitive folklore is a lot more than a comic side-kick. I don't believe for a minute this is anything you've dreamed up, so you may cheerfully pass along the criticism to those responsible. The Trickster is a being more in the mold of the Norse Loki, or the Native American mythic figures Coyote, Kokopeli and Spider Woman. The Trickster is a person or being which does not necessarily act for good or evil, but always is one that sets events in motion. He or she might be considered an agent of change or even chaos. The main characters of some of the classic picaresque novels of Spain are examples of Tricksters. They create trouble and there by create a story. But, Sancho Panza, for example, really is too passive a figure, and so is Xander. The Trickster can be funny, but doesn't have to be. In Buffy's world, Ethan is a Trickster, but a minor one. The Geek Trio hasn't been around long enough to be considered anything, but low rent villians. If anyone fits the long term role of Trickster it would have to be Spike. Although he is often passive, he does often start things he can't finish, and he is a major instrument of change in Buffy's life.
[> [> Re: The Slayer's Journey -- Rattletrap, 13:15:32 12/11/01 Tue

Good observation, CW, your point is well taken. Ethan had always struck me as the classic Trickster, but he isn't around much in the overall story. I hadn't thought of Spike in that role, but it does seem to fit.

My use of that term to describe Xander comes from Vogler's Writer's Journey, in which he applies it to both Coyote-type characters and to comic sidekicks. Comic sidekicks are, nonetheless, common archetypes, but are perhaps figures deserving of their own category. I may change that when I revise this essay.

thanx for your help

[> [> [> There is no reason -- Rufus, 14:58:57 12/11/01 Tue

That one character can have layers of archtypes in them. This allows them to evolve as the story progresses. Spike starts as a classic shadow villian and evolves to a trickster, who is responsible for changes to the hero.
[> [> [> Re: The Slayer's Journey -- skpe, 07:32:12 12/12/01 Wed

I agree with Rattletrap
Xander allwas struck me as the 'harlequin' of BTVS or the every day man used to counterpoint the more mythical properties of the others in the gang
[> [> Speaking of Kokopelli (totally OT) -- WW, 19:34:41 12/11/01 Tue

I have a nagging piece of useless information floating around in my brain that I know will never leave me alone until I figure out it's significance, and you've just given me another opportunity to put it out there as a question to the Buffyverse.

I've read a fair bit about the character of Kokopelli, most of it several years ago. Even if I've confused some of the stories, the image of the humpbacked fluteplayer appears more and more frequently in advertising and as a jewelry theme, so I'm sure that's who I'm thinking about.

A couple of years back I read two books by Robert Graves. His autobiographical look at WWI, Goodbye to All of That and The White Goddess. In one of them, and I think it was probably WG, he mentions a set of ornamental brass weights of African origin that he either owns or has seen, and says specifically that one of the weights is in the likeness of a consort of a mythical African queen, and he describes it as a "humpbacked fluteplayer." At the time, I tried frantically to uncover more information about this (apparently) African version of Kokopelli, with no luck whatsoever. I just found it fascinating that essentially the same character exists in two such different milieus (sp?). I mean, okay the trickster archetype is universal, but the conjunction of humpbacked and fluteplayer has got to be significant, don'tcha think?

Help me out, Existential Scoobies. Any ideas on where/how to follow up on this?

(Okay, so I do have way too much time on my hands, obviously...)

[> [> [> Re: Speaking of Kokopelli (totally OT) -- beekeepr, 22:19:52 12/11/01 Tue

I have just e'd a friend re African version of Kokopelli-she is a Piagetian developmentalist doing research on a Fullbright grant in Africa right now-if anybody can hunt down a parallel, she can. Will keep you posted.
[> [> [> [> Thank you! You're the best!! ;o) -- WW, 08:01:49 12/12/01 Wed

[> Well done. I'm impressed. -- LadyStarlight, 10:17:18 12/11/01 Tue

[> Please Take a Moment... -- Eric, 12:24:30 12/11/01 Tue bask in my admiration. Well done!

I'm somewhat curious on why you didn't mention the first Heroine's call in the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Its probably one of the few scenes Joss got more or less the way he preferred. Buffy's first Watcher, Merrick, confronts Buffy with her status as the Chosen One in the ill fated gym locker room ("the naked place").

Also, if you could, what do you make of Buffy's journeys into the underworld? In the context of confronting The Master ("Nice dress"), the LA underworld ("I'm Buffy. The Vampire Slayer. And you are?") touring The Initiative, and during its destruction.
[> [> Re: Please Take a Moment... -- Rattletrap, 13:23:05 12/11/01 Tue

I'm somewhat curious on why you didn't mention the first Heroine's call in the film Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

My honest answer is that I haven't seen the entire movie and didn't remember that sequence. The TV series doesn't follow from the movie except in a very general sense, so I don't feel too guilty about excluding it.

Also, if you could, what do you make of Buffy's journeys into the underworld? In the context of confronting The Master ("Nice dress"), the LA underworld ("I'm Buffy. The Vampire Slayer. And you are?") touring The Initiative, and during its destruction.

A good question. As I said in the essay, I think each individual season follows its own cycle--i.e. each one contains its own death/harrowing of hell/resurrection type sequence. The battle for the Initiative would be one such case. Buffy's death in "Prophecy Girl" fulfills that role in Season 1, but seems to me to take on an entirely different meaning in the overall arc of the series. The fact that this sequence repeats in slightly different ways during every season (even every episode) showcases the universality and the flexibility of the Hero's journey.

I hope this helps

[> Major Kaboomage, 'trap! -- Wisewoman, 18:38:47 12/11/01 Tue

I loved it. I'm so glad someone finally did the Campbell/Buffy thing, and definitively, as well!

And when can we start calling you Dr. Rattletrap?

[> [> Re: Major Kaboomage, 'trap! -- trap, 20:53:59 12/11/01 Tue

I'm flattered to have inspired a Kaboom :-)

Dr. Rattletrap is still a few years away at this point, but I've passed the halfway point so I'm feelin' good.
[> Re: Excellent trap - I will now go print a copy -- Dedalus, 07:56:45 12/12/01 Wed

Kudos for ATPoBtVS -- SK, 10:36:57 12/11/01 Tue

More exposure
[> hit the big time!! -- Masquerade, 10:52:02 12/11/01 Tue

[> and Bloody Awful Poet -- SK, 12:42:49 12/11/01 Tue

This essay is very popular.

BAPS here
Does the Watcher's Council know that Buffy is alive? -- RabidHarpy, 10:46:17 12/11/01 Tue

It's most likely that Giles has had some kind of contact with the Watcher's Council since Buffy's death, but I would suspect that he has not told them of Buffy's resurrection, (mainly because of the unorthodox circumstances involving Willow's spell and the rest of the SG, whom I would assume he would want to protect).

What sort of repercussions will their finding out entail? (Whatever they are, they would certainly make for an interesting episode or two!)

Is the Watcher's Council only concerned with the Slayer herself, or are they part of a larger association that keeps track of all supernatural creatures and phenomena? We have heard that there is some sort of "licensing" required to practice witchcraft, (when the WCo questioned Tara and Willow) - so obviously there are monitoring systems in place...


Could the "Big Bad" be the Watcher's Council and their handling of the SG in regard to Buffy's resurrection?
[> Re: Does the Watcher's Council know that Buffy is alive? -- Rob, 10:53:38 12/11/01 Tue

I think the more important question is whether the Watcher's Council ever knew that Buffy died. Remember, her death was kept secret from almost everyone, and the Buffybot was used in her place. Now, we know that the Watchers Council is capable of knowing the magic that occurs when one Slayer dies and the next is called, but since Buffy had already died, and another was already called...the question is, would they know, through whatever power they have, that Buffy is dead? Or does that only work when it is a Slayer whose death will continue the line, like Faith?

[> [> speaking of the calling of slayers...(spoilers for AtS "Dad") -- JBone, 11:19:13 12/11/01 Tue

who was that girl that Holtz was recruiting? The setting of the scene in the cemetery and fighting the vampire seems to suggest slayer, but isn't that "impossible"? I'm wondering if she wasn't a slayer canidate, but never called.
[> [> [> I was wondering the same thing. -- CW, 11:40:49 12/11/01 Tue

[> [> [> Re: speaking of the calling of slayers...(spoilers for AtS "Dad") -- Kimberly, 11:44:17 12/11/01 Tue

It certainly appeared that they are setting up a Watcher/Slayer relationship between the two. The next set of questions: Does Holtz know about the Slayer? Does Holtz know that Angel is in love with a Slayer? If the answer to both of those questions is "Yes", it sets up new meanings to the phrase "No Mercy" in Holtz's actions. Forcing Angel to fight a slayer, even an "unofficial" one, would be horribly cruel if Holtz is aware of that and if that's what he's setting up.
[> [> [> [> She was NOT a Slayer *Spoliers for AtS: "Dad"* -- AngelVsAngelus, 21:39:14 12/11/01 Tue

Holtz had been looking through the obituaries for a vampire caused death, in order to find someone who'd lost someone to a vampire and would thus be willing to join his crusade against one. He found her. That woman was stalking vamps at night because her twin sister was bitten by one, and Holtz was using that fact to steer her to helping him. THere was a parralel between that scene and the calling of a Slayer, but the woman was NOT one.
[> [> [> [> [> Reasons why she is not a Slayer -- Masquerade, 12:27:50 12/13/01 Thu

From my site:

Is Justine Cooper a Slayer? No--at least, not a Slayer with a capital "S". She is a woman who hunts and kills vampires, but it is unlikely that Buffy's second death called another Slayer. In addition, Justine is too old (mid-twenties) to be a newly-called Slayer, and drunk or not, a PTB-called Slayer would have done a lot better against Holtz in a fight.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Reasons why she is not a Slayer -- JBone, 20:58:36 12/13/01 Thu

But could she have been a slayer "candidate"? There seems to be this theory that the Watchers Council monitors many "potential" slayers, and even trains them. So if they never get "called", what happens to them?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: She was NOT a Slayer *Spoliers for AtS: "Dad"* -- Kimberly, 08:42:33 12/14/01 Fri

I've been fighting tonsillitis and migraines this week, so I'm not very coherent. In other words, I phrased badly.

My point isn't that she's a Slayer; she's obviously not. However, if Holtz is aware of Angel's relationship with Buffy (a Slayer), he could be setting up a situation which would be very cruel to Angel. He could be forcing Angel to fight someone very similar to a Slayer, which he would expect would hurt Angel. And (in his mind), if he does his job right, he gets the bonus of killing Angel.

Sorry for the bad wording; my brain's just barely starting to function again.
[> [> [> about Holtz and the girl(spoilers for AtS "Dad") -- cortney, 22:32:27 12/11/01 Tue

I agree, the scene suggested a slayer and watcher type relationship. My impression was that the girl was similar to Holtz - she has the potential to be a vampire hunter or whatever he is.
Can anyone clarify Holtz's role for me? Are there (or were there) other people who chase(d) vampires like he seemed to?
[> [> Re: Does the Watcher's Council know that Buffy is alive? -- Kimberly, 12:25:22 12/11/01 Tue

Giles implies that he informed the Council about Buffy's death in Flooded, although he doesn't specifically state it. He does say that the first thing he did on returning to England was to report to the Council: the wording he used made me think it was a long session.

Nothing's been said as to whether or not they've been informed of her resurrection. I would guess "Yes", especially with Giles back in England, but there's no evidence one way or the other.
[> Re: Does the Watcher's Council know that Buffy is alive? -- Eric, 12:00:51 12/11/01 Tue

I'm not sure the Watcher's Council is kept up to date on anything. And when you think about it, there are good reasons for this. They tend to be too far removed from the action, are rarely privy to real time information, and subscribe to hoary tradition over common sense. Ostensibly they're guardians of Good but they've also shown a capacity for dirty tricks. Any organization that sponsors men that do "wet work" is potentially very sinister indeed. In spite of these men The Slayer is their oldest and only true agent against supernatural threats. Accordingly, they've chosen by long tradition to monopolize every Slayer and her potential successors. This paternalistic control was often exercised heavily and without embarassment. Until recently. But what is the Council without its Slayer? The agents that abducted Buffy (in Faith's body) broadly hinted that its a troubled organization. Ideally it would drive on with other concerns. They still retain control of all Buffy's successors. Time could smooth away all troubles. Or not. Perhaps The Slayer should be brought back into the fold. If she's still willful, her successor will be more...malleable.
[> Re: Does the Watcher's Council know that Buffy is alive? -- maddog, 07:44:28 12/12/01 Wed

It's entirely possible that they found out already because they kept tabs in Sunnydale...I mean, remember when Faith was supposed to be in a coma, never to awake...when she did wake up the nurse reported back to the Watcher's Council. That liscense for magic thing seems kinda odd...though I can see your point that they could be in big trouble if there was one and it was found that they used it inappropriately.
[> [> Re: Does the Watcher's Council know that Buffy is alive? -- anom, 20:51:23 12/16/01 Sun

"It's entirely possible that they found out already because they kept tabs in Sunnydale...I mean, remember when Faith was supposed to be in a coma, never to awake...when she did wake up the nurse reported back to the Watcher's Council."

But they probably knew she was in the coma because Giles or Wesley reported it to them, & then they had the nurse watch her. If Giles was in on the plan to keep Buffy's death a secret, he wouldn't have told the Council. Did they have other means of knowing what was going on w/the Slayer who had effectively marginalized them? I'd say that's an open question. After all, they were the ones who had the info that Glory was a god, so they knew something of what was going on beforehand. If they did have someone besides Giles keeping tabs on that situation, they might have found out (if that someone was in a position to see what was happening). Then they might have been in on the Buffybot plan too. But then again, we don't know if anyone in the Buffyverse knows that Buffy's death wouldn't have led to the calling of another Slayer. We know because Joss hath said it, but within the Buffyverse it's an unprecedented situation. Giles & the SG--&, if they know of Buffy's death, the Council--may still be expecting a new Slayer to turn up, since it seems the new one isn't always located right away.
[> Why is FAITH still alive?? -Some Basic Slayer Questions... -- Darby, 11:38:11 12/12/01 Wed

Quite reasonable questions, but they lead to the reasonable assumptions that if a) the Slayer is the primary agent for the WC (is that abbreviation accidental for a British organization?) and b) the WC has no compunction about killing perceived threats, then they would have had Faith "put down" and activated the next Slayer a while ago.

More questions arise:
- Do they know where all of the successive Slayers are at any given moment? If a replacement gets too old, do they get "passed over" in succession?
- Do they have the ability to "extract" the Slayer essence from an individual and pass it on without killing them? If not, why would they ever consider imprisoning a rogue Slayer and tying the essence up indefinitely?
[> [> Re: Why is FAITH still alive?? -Some Basic Slayer Questions... -- tornado, 14:14:03 12/12/01 Wed

Perhaps it would be bad mojo for the WC to kill the active slayer. Biting the hand that feeds them.
[> [> Re: Why is FAITH still alive?? -Some Basic Slayer Questions... -- Eric, 14:46:09 12/12/01 Wed

More questions arise:
- Do they know where all of the successive Slayers are at any given moment? Apparently there are certain signs that point out potential Slayers. The Council acts on these by detailing Watchers to monitor them. Ideally, the Watcher contacts the family and is allowed to train the potential from an early age. But the system isn't perfect. Buffy wasn't identified until the moment she was chosen and had virtually no training.

If a replacement gets too old, do they get "passed over" in succession? From the tone of the series Slayers don't generally get old. But see Marie's post "The End" below. :)

- Do they have the ability to "extract" the Slayer essence from an individual and pass it on without killing them? If not, why would they ever consider imprisoning a rogue Slayer and tying the essence up indefinitely? I Don't know but the men sent to fetch Faith didn't display a concern for her well being.
[> [> [> Re: Why is FAITH still alive?? -Some Basic Slayer Questions... -- anom, 20:33:31 12/16/01 Sun

"If a replacement gets too old, do they get 'passed over' in succession? From the tone of the series Slayers don't generally get old."

I think Darby meant if a potential Slayer gets too old--i.e., if the current Slayer succeeds in staying alive until a potential replacement is too old to be called, does someone "further down the list" get the call once the active Slayer is killed, skipping the older one? I don't think the series has answered this, but it makes sense that it would happen that way.

"Do they have the ability to 'extract' the Slayer essence from an individual and pass it on without killing them?"

It's not the Council that calls the new Slayer. They apparently don't even know how it happens; they just find her once she's been called.
Fictionary Corner Update -- Liq, 11:10:42 12/11/01 Tue

Rattletrap and Rob's incredible new essays have been added to Fictionary Corner. The graphics page is still not up to par (sorry... busy, busy, busy) so you can access all essays, stories and poetry Here.

For those of you who still have stories, etc. that are not yet posted, please do not give up hope! I am getting to each and every one of them!

Cheers! Liq
[> Re: Fictionary Corner Update -- Rob, 11:16:31 12/11/01 Tue

Wow, thanks! I'm so flattered that you posted my humble little essay at the Fictionary Corner! *blushes* :)

[> [> Re: Fictionary Corner Update -- Cactus Watcher, 11:34:38 12/11/01 Tue

If that was a 'little' essay, what happens when you really get interested in a topic? Hope to see another one soon. ;o)
[> [> [> Re: Fictionary Corner Update -- Rob, 11:37:53 12/11/01 Tue

LOL! Thanks. :)

[> Re: Fictionary Corner Update -- Rattletrap, 13:44:06 12/11/01 Tue

Thanx Liq, like Rob, I'm honored to be included.

The Magic of the Internet.. (Questions about Angel/buffy eps) -- Neaux, 11:56:44 12/11/01 Tue

Ok.. AFter watching Angel last night and their internet research/reliability...

I have noticed this to be quite the trend in Buffy and Angel.. with Xander and Anya buying magic items on EBAY, Willow.. the techie.. now using magic to access the internet..

and last night Fred... being the MACintosh Master of the INternet..

as well as the DATA and RECORDS clerk at the Home office.. somehow Wired to all DATA and REcords of the company...

my question is... other than nasty robots, do you think that the writers might be heading to a confrontation with a possible Techno Meanie?
[> Re: The Magic of the Internet.. (Questions about Angel/buffy eps) -- Rob, 12:08:47 12/11/01 Tue

Well, they have faced a "techno-meany" before, in a way. In the first season episode, "I Robot, You Jane," a demon was set free onto the internet, when an incantation from a book he was trapped in was scanned into a computer. He started out by becoming an e-mail buddy of Willow's, and eventually wreaked all sorts of havoc.

[> [> Re: The Magic of the Internet.. (Questions about Angel/buffy eps) -- Neaux, 12:30:54 12/11/01 Tue

good point.. i remembered that episode after I wrote this..

but it would be interesting for the writers to go that route again.. but with the villian having a physical form as well..

where he/she/it uses technology as POWER and not as just a tool..

and hope the end result isnt like the movie "BRAINSCAN"
[> [> [> Adam was kind of technological... -- MayaPapaya9, 17:23:07 12/11/01 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: Adam was kind of technological... -- skp, 06:57:19 12/12/01 Wed

and dont forget Joyces boyfrend Ted
[> Sorry, but I don't thinkthe Technocracy exists in the Whedonverse -- vampire hunter D, 13:48:49 12/12/01 Wed

[> [> That would be more like Virtual Adept. Jenny Callendar, anyone ? :) -- Stranger, 01:21:01 12/13/01 Thu

Willow and Denial -- vampire hunter D, 12:03:27 12/11/01 Tue

Has anyone noticed how Willow seems to take each loss by denying that it's permanent? When Oz left, she was sure he would be back soon. Until; he sent for his stuff (see Something Blue). Tara leaves, and Willow was talking about it in the Magic Shop as them needing some time apart (I don't remember the exact quote). Sounds like she thinks they were going to get back together soon. Hell, even when her best friend died, she refused to believe it was permanent. This time, she took matters into her own hands to see to it that it wasn't.

thoughts. comments.
[> Don't forget her troubles with Xander along the same lines. -- CW, 12:11:03 12/11/01 Tue

Cetainly, something for Willow to discuss in the next session with her shrink! ;o)
[> Re: Willow and Denial -- Moose, 15:09:32 12/11/01 Tue

She said the same thing when Buffy left at the end of Season 2, expecting her to be back soon.

Willow may be more denial-girl than Buffy, actually. Buffy tends to get around to doing what needs doing. Willow wants things to be different, and in some cases seeks to make it different using magic.

They both suffer for it. Buffy's denial tends to delay the problem and the problem gets worse (Angelus--death of Kendra, Faith--poisoned Angel, Riley--leaves, etc.). Willow's denial after the bad happens prolongs her suffering and keeps her rooted in selfishness.

You know now that I think about it, does Willow ever stop herself? It seems there is always someone else, some outside force that is needed for Willow to regain stability again.

The worst problems come from within. Of the triad Buffy/Xander/Willow, Willow seems to be the one that has the most difficulty in dealing with her personal failures. Perhaps because she is so used to succeeding so easily in school, computer hacking, magic etc... She expects things to be easy and when they're not, the world comes crashing down.

I don't think Buffy expects anything to be easy but perseveres because that's what others expect of her. And Xander seems almost surprised when he actually succeeds at something--work, dating, killing undead jocks... Willow is never surprised at success, but she definitely hates failure.

Remember Willow's mom? It was interesting that Willow says something to the effect of--I do everything right and this one problem (practising witchcraft) is what you notice? Willow seemed starved for attention, over-compensating by trying to be the perfect daughter, which ironically doesn't get her noticed until she "fails."

Witchcraft got Willow noticed. It has become part of her identity and she succeeds at it like anything else she sets her mind to. But the power has merely expanded the problem. Now when she fails she fails big-time. And then denial girl is back, a lesson from her mother she should forget.

Sorry if I rambled on, but hey if you can't here, then where? :-)
[> [> Re: Willow and Denial -- MayaPapaya9, 17:27:01 12/11/01 Tue

Don't worry, it's never real rambling here! Rambling is what you get on other boards..."OMG Spike is so cute and he might even be cuter than Angel but then again Spike is blond and that makes him cuter but then Angel dresses better so maybe he's cuter..."

I love this board!
Anthony Stewart Head to voice Doctor Who! -- The Last Jack, 18:44:23 12/11/01 Tue

Just read off of that Tony will be playing the Doctor on a new series of Doctor Who stories on the BBC radio (huh, didn't know people still did that). Its supposed to air sometime in February, and he joins a cast that include a few of the previous Doctors. Man, now I wish even more that I was British. Wonder if they will make a cd available for us "bloody colonialists."
[> Re: Anthony Stewart Head to voice Doctor Who! -- gds, 21:27:56 12/11/01 Tue

After he finishes with Giles, it would be great if he took over the revived Dr. Who series. I am one of the foolish optimists who still hope that one of the revival attempts will succeed.
[> Re: Anthony Stewart Head to voice Doctor Who! (well, actually...) -- narm00, 22:58:54 12/11/01 Tue

Actually, it's not the case.

ASH isn't appearing in a radio show, he's appearing in a series of audio plays, linked by a common setting and villain (which /won't/ be broadcast on radio, but are only available on CD. Which the Merkins /can/ get. Tthe company that's doing this has been doing DW audio plays for the past few years).

He's not appearing as the Doctor; he's appearing as the main villain against three of the Doctors. The character has been made immortal, so he faces a different Doctor in each time period.

The plays all have Excelis in the title (Excelis Dawns, Excelis Rising, Excelis Decays). Check out (the Big Finish website) for more details.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled philosophy discussions.

While watching "Hush" tonight, did anyone else notice... -- Wisewoman, 18:46:50 12/11/01 Tue much Professor Walsh looks like Riley? I can't believe I never picked up on it before. In the very beginning, in Buffy's dream, she turns to her and says something like, "Don't be afraid. You're perfectly safe," with her arms crossed over her chest and her expression makes her look exactly like Riley.

Please tell me I'm not hallucinating this!

[> While watching "Hush" tonight, did anyone else notice... -- darrenK, 07:13:23 12/12/01 Wed

No, I saw it and I think it's intentional. It reinforces the mother/son relationship and the gotta choose between Mom and girlfriend subplot later in the season.

While we're talking about Hush...

Joss said that Once More with Feeling (OMWF) is the other side of Hush, the silent episode to go with the singing episode. And I didn't realize to what extent the plotlines opened in Hush are closed in OMWF.

It has to be the best plotted show in TV history. dK
[> [> Re: While watching "Hush" tonight, did anyone else notice... -- fresne, 13:03:13 12/12/01 Wed

Well, don't leave me hanging. Details. Explication.
[> [> Re: While watching "Hush" tonight, did anyone else-- MORE, plz! -- squireboy, 11:44:25 12/13/01 Thu

"Joss said that Once More with Feeling (OMWF) is the other side of Hush, the silent episode to go with the singing episode. And I didn't realize to what extent the plotlines opened in Hush are closed in OMWF."

I got chills reading this -- can you elaborate, more of what Joss said, more of your analysis, if you please?

"It has to be the best plotted show in TV history. dK"

I can't argue with that, in spite of my occasional unhappinesses with this or that.

[> [> [> Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- Shaglio, 12:45:24 12/13/01 Thu

I can think of 3 off the top of my head:

1) In Hush, Willow and Tara link together to move the soda machine which starts out their relationship (they didn't really KNOW each other, Tara was just visiting Willow to do spells together). In OMWF, the wheels come off their relationship when Tara finds out about the forget spell.

2) In Hush, Olivia comes to visit Giles which shows us that he has a life waiting for him back in England. In OMWF, Giles decides it's time to go back to England and resume his life once and for all.

3) In Hush, Xander kisses Anya for the first time after he thought Spike bit her thereby expressing his love for her. In OMWF they express their reluctance to get married. (this is a stretch. when I started out writing this I thought OMWF was when they told everyone they were getting married, but I realized I was wrong).
[> [> [> [> Re: Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- Shaglio, 12:50:45 12/13/01 Thu

And a 4th one:

4) In Hush, Spike has the maniquin head of Buffy and Buffy later catches him on her front lawn supposedly just passing by despite the 2 dozen cigarette butts by the tree. Both of these things lead to the start of this whole crazt B/S relationship. In OMWF, Buffy and Spike exchange their first kiss.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- Tirtzah, 13:47:52 12/13/01 Thu

"4) In Hush, Spike has the maniquin head of Buffy and Buffy later catches him on her front lawn supposedly just passing by despite the 2 dozen cigarette butts by the tree. Both of these things lead to the start of this whole crazt B/S relationship. In OMWF, Buffy and Spike exchange their first kiss."

Actually that stuff with Spike doesn't happen till season 5 ("Hush" being a season 4 episode) the episode you're reffering to being "No Place Like Home." Though the point about the kiss could be another thing because "Hush" has the first kiss between Buffy and Riley and OMWF has Buffy and Spike's first kiss (not counting those in Something Blue, Intervention or Spike's dreams...).

"It has to be the best plotted show in TV history."

Well second best, next to Babylon 5. On American television anyway. ;)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- Shaglio, 05:51:57 12/14/01 Fri

"Actually that stuff with Spike doesn't happen till season 5"

I knew something didn't sound right there. I knew I saw the Spike stuff Tuesday night, but it must have been on the FX rerun I saw earlier in the evening.
[> [> [> [> Re: Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- squireboy, 14:56:32 12/13/01 Thu

Thanks, I appreciate you giving it a go -- that helps me to get the old gummy machinery going -- clearly I have to go watch OMWF for the Xth time in this context, having recently watched Hush twice.

Your #1) I absolutely agree with.
#2) I'm not on board here. Too thin. Olivia is English, but she could just as easily have been living in LA. Or New York. Or Paducah, KY. Too stretchy at the Hush end not to mention Giles had already made the decision to go back to England before.
#3) Anya and Xander were already having sex like crazed weasels before Hush. You could argue that Xander proves his love to a doubting Anya in "saving" her from Spike, but then as you say, the OMWF end is still kinda iffy.

Let me go give OMWF another view and see if I can do my part to spring any links. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- Shaglio, 06:03:54 12/14/01 Fri

"#3) Anya and Xander were already having sex like crazed weasels before Hush. You could argue that Xander proves his love to a doubting Anya in "saving" her from Spike, but then as you say, the OMWF end is still kinda iffy."

This is more of a personnal oppinion. I feel that any two people can have sex together, but a kiss is the ultimate way to prove one's love. Take prostitutes - people pay hooker to have meaningless sex with them, but nobody pays a hooker to kiss them.

I know there are people who have a different view of this subject matter. I know poeple who go to parties and make out with every person in sight, but will only have sex with that one special person. I, however, am not one of those people.

In Hush, I'm pretty sure (though as usual I'm relying solely on my poor memory) that Xander and Anya share their first on-screen kiss. There is no way of knowing whether they were kissing each other before, during, or after their prior sexual escapades.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Closed Plotlines from Hush to OMWF -- anom, 21:07:06 12/16/01 Sun

"In Hush, I'm pretty sure (though as usual I'm relying solely on my poor memory) that Xander and Anya share their first on-screen kiss. There is no way of knowing whether they were kissing each other before, during, or after their prior sexual escapades."

Can't remember the ep title, but it was considerably before Hush. Anya shows up in Xander's basement room with a message from his mom to add fabric softener to the wash & a, erm, proposition that they have sexual intercourse (so she can get over him). She drops her dress to the floor (watch those juice boxes, Xander!), which proves effective persuasion indeed. They're kissing when the washer buzzes. She pulls her mouth partly off his to mumble "Fabric softener."
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, that's what I get for relying on my faulty memory -- Shaglio, 05:28:27 12/17/01 Mon

So I guess there are many holes in my closed plotlines theory. Well, technically it wasn't MY theory. I was just expanding on someone else's idea. Yeah, so blame him instead. ;)
[> [> Let me try a different interpretation of Joss' statement. (SPOILERS) -- A8, 18:28:25 12/13/01 Thu

Both 'Hush' and 'OMWF' are about communication. For one reason or another, the various characters are unable or unwilling to express their feelings, bare their souls, or admit to certain truths. In both 'Hush' and 'OMWF', truths are revealed due to intervention from an outside event. The event is what Hitchcock used to call the "Maguffin." It is the device that gets the characters to do what they do to drive the plot forward.

In 'Hush' the outside force is The Gentlemen and in 'OMWF' it is the demon Sweet. Before The Gentlemen show up, Buffy can't tell Riley how she really feels about him and vice versa because they have to lie about their true identities. Anya is upset with Xander because he won't sit down and tell her how he really feels about her. We get our first exposure to Tara, who appears to be very shy, with much difficulty expressing herself verbally. All the dialogue, even the incidental stuff, pertains to the inadequacies of verbal communication(how it actually gets in the way of communication). Buffy confides in Willow that when she and Riley attempt to speak to each other it becomes a 'babblefest.' Riley tells Forest how frustrating it is not to be able to tell Buffy the truth about his real vocation. Willow complains that her Wicca group is all talk and no action ('Blah, blah, blah Gaia...'). Olivia greets Giles almost instantly with an 'enough smalltalk.' Even Spike chimes in with a mocking 'Xander, we never talk anymore...').

When speech is stripped away, real communication begins. Buffy and Riley kiss for the first time and discover each other's true identity. Anya realizes that Xander really loves her. Tara is able to communicate who she really is to Willow and, in the process, enables Willow to focus her powers to do something greater than just float a pencil. When speech is returned, Buffy and Riley, poised to have a real heart-to-heart, are rendered speechless.

In 'OMWF,' it isn't until Sweet infects the Sunnydale populace with the inescapable urge to sing what is on its mind, that the dirty truths become known. Xander and Anya discover each other's doubts and fears about their upcoming nuptials. Tara discovers Willow's manipulation and makes the realization through song that they may have to part. Giles makes the decision to leave Buffy on her own. Spike confesses to Buffy that it is 'make or break' time (and in 'Smashed' this literally comes true). And finally, Buffy reveals to the others the secret she has been keeping and the reason why she has been so detached since returning from the grave.

Brilliant. Bloody brilliant. 'Hush' and 'OMWF' are essentially two sides of the same coin. One deals with communication where the usual means have been stolen. The other deals with it in the exagerrated style of an opera imposed on the Jossverse inhabitants.

[> [> [> de-lurking to say:bloody brilliant post A8! (NT) -- ponygirl, 20:23:22 12/13/01 Thu

[> [> [> [> Thanks for the comment. -- A8, 21:54:37 12/13/01 Thu

[> [> [> As I said in chat, A8, you really nailed this one - awesome! nt -- squireboy, 10:51:18 12/14/01 Fri

[> [> [> Sometimes you want to say something, but somebody else has said it better. -- Simon A., 13:32:20 12/14/01 Fri

Good job.
[> [> [> A8, Thanks -- darrenK, 18:24:02 12/15/01 Sat


I'm not sure anyone's reading this thread anymore. In fact, I stopped reading before I realized how much response it was getting.

It appears that--being in a hurry--I dropped the ball on explaining my comment. But you certainly did it for me.

Hush and OMWF aren't just two sides of the same coin because the opposing facts match up, e.g. In Hush, magic brings Tara and Willow together, in OMWF it tears them apart, it's the themes that match up.

In Hush, Xander doesn starting having sex with Anya, and I doubt that's their first kiss, instead he resolves the ambiguity of their relationship and proves his love to Anya. From Hush to OMWF Xander and Anya love each other purely and seemingly without reservation. But in OMWF, those ambiguities come back.

There's more, but I'm thinking that this thread is about to drop into the archive and I've recently had a bigger thought, about Season 6 being the successor to season 4. Maybe that deserves it's own thread...dK
Baby gifts Angel should get -- LadyStarlight, 20:45:55 12/11/01 Tue

While chatting tonight, anom and I came up with a list of gifts we think Angel needs.

Armour-plated snugli (for those fights at naptime)
Miniature throwing axe
Stuffed Ghora demon
Monster mobile for the crib

Anything we've forgotten?
[> That old photograph of his mother Darla -- Rufus, 22:06:32 12/11/01 Tue

I'm sure they can have an image made from the photo in that book..
[> [> Re: That old photograph of his mother Darla -- SugarTherapy, 16:14:38 12/13/01 Thu

I think he should draw it. He could draw her holding Connor or something. It'd be sweet.

[> Re: Baby gifts Angel should get -- Slayrunt, 22:39:45 12/11/01 Tue

Don't forget the baby vampire teeth, so he can look just like Dad.
[> [> Re: Baby gifts Angel should get -- CW, 06:39:36 12/12/01 Wed

Speaking of looking like Dad, how about a baby size black duster, black T-shirts and black diapers? One of the T-shirts can read "I'm with Soul Man!"
[> Re: Baby gifts Angel should get -- Neaux, 12:31:53 12/12/01 Wed

I guess the cameras in the hotel act as Baby Monitors..
Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- MayaPapaya9, 22:02:38 12/11/01 Tue

Side note: I'm so happy I finally saw Hush! I missed it the first time around and then I missed it on summer reruns too. It was worth the wait!

Okay I need ideas on the six best Buffy eps cause my mom said I can't buy any more tapes from Blockbuster and I only have only blank six-hour tape left. So which six eps should I tape? Thanks!
[> Only six? . . . tough question . . . -- d'Herblay, 22:47:58 12/11/01 Tue

. . . and one which I will avoid by making an alternate suggestion. Blockbuster marks up blank tapes to some stratospheric price. Are they still charging something like $2.95 for a T-120? Instead go to Target or that local franchise of the Hellmouth calling itself "Wal-Mart" and look for the specials. I've been able to get 8 T-160s at Target for about 14 dollars . . . that's 64 episodes. Instead of paying 50 cents per hour you'd be paying about 20. Then come back here and ask me what my favorite 64 episodes are. That's a number I can winnow my list down to.
[> [> Re: Great minds think alike, with one exception... -- OnM, 11:14:12 12/12/01 Wed

...which is that at the EP (6 hr) speed the picture quality sucks!

But taking d'Herb's excellent advice in consideration, at SP (2 hour) speed, with 8 tapes in the 120 min. length, that's 16 epps.

I think Fuji is now making a T-130 tape, and so if you cut out all the commercials, you could fit 3 eps on per tape at SP speed, or 24 epps.

So, many possibilities for the budget minded!

Oh, favorite eps? OK...

1 & 2 (tie) Becoming Pt.2 & Fool for Love. Major, and perfectly set up paradigm shifts in the Buffyverse. I doubt these two will ever be outdone.

3 & 4 (I see these as bookended eps, one should always play after the other) The Body & Forever. The latter is still one of the most cinematic eps of the entire oeuvre, which contrasts perfectly with the more cinema-verite 'The Body'.

5 Restless. Still scratching my cerebellum over this one. Good thing it's itchy!

6 Once More with Feeling. This should have been stupid and self-absorbed. It was brilliant and evocative-- 'fortune favors the brave'.

I'll need to get a hold of a list of all the previous eps and then I could make some additional suggestions for the remaining 18!
[> [> [> Re: Great minds think alike, with one exception... -- CW, 14:30:53 12/12/01 Wed

Some VCRs have a third recording speed, LP. If you have it use it. I've been putting three eps on a 120 tape for years. The quality is pretty good, and it doesn't deteriorate like EP recordings sometimes do.

My favorite eps? Everybody's choices I've read here are all good ones!
[> [> [> Re: Great minds think alike, with another 18 exceptions . . . -- d'Herblay, 19:47:11 12/12/01 Wed

As the point of Miss Papaya's request was economical, I was encouraging her to sacrifice quality for quantity, much as she, with one T-120 in hand, asked for our favorite six episodes, not our two favorites. I mean I could have suggested that she get a TiVo, and maybe satelite cable, and I think there are stand-alone DVD burners retailing for $999.99, and I'm not sure if she'd need Dazzle or some equivalent so she can remove the commercials properly in iMovie. But considering her mother won't allow her to buy one more lousy T-120, I don't think that those suggestions would have been too helpful.

Anyway, at the risk of losing my place on change's list of must-memorize posters, I must confess that the lower quality of EP recordings has never been that noticible to my untrained eye. Of course, I also liked my tape of Quadrophrenia, recorded off of FM radio on cheap c-60s, better than the Mobile Sound gold-plated CD version I have now. Anyway, I think that it is time for me to join in the fun and reveal my six favorite episodes of all time! In chronological order:

"Out of Mind, Out of Sight."
"Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered."
"Becoming, Part Two."
"Blood Ties."

What can I say? I'm old-school, homes. Of course, my primary criterion may not be emotional impact or metaphorical significance, but instead Cordelia's outfits.
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Wolfhowl3, 22:56:28 12/11/01 Tue

Okay, my Vote to the Top 6 Buffy.

6. Amends
5. Passion
4. Graduation (Part 1 and 2)
3. Once More With Feeling
2. Hush
1. Restless
[> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- skpe, 06:49:10 12/12/01 Wed

6. Ted
5. Graduation (Part 1 and 2)
4. Passion
3. Hush
2. Once More With Feeling
1. The Body
[> [> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- darrenK, 07:05:39 12/12/01 Wed

2.The Body
1.Once More with Feeling
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Vonnie, 07:35:45 12/12/01 Wed

You've got to be kidding. Only six episodes? Oy, the pain.

6. Lover's Walk
5. Becoming I & II
4. The Wish
3. Restless
2. Once More with Feeling
1. Fool For Love
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- LadyStarlight, 07:43:28 12/12/01 Wed

Hmmm, let's see.

6. Smashed
5. Earshot
4. Band Candy
3. Something Blue
2. Hush
1. Once More With Feeling
[> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Rob, 08:20:27 12/12/01 Wed

6. Doppelgangland
5. School Hard
4. I Only Have Eyes for You
3. Hush
2. The Body
1. Once More, With Feeling

[> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Brian, 08:23:53 12/12/01 Wed

6. Fear, Itself - Giles with a chainsaw
5. Something Blue - B/S smoochies
4. Hush - Who knew silence could be so funny or so deadly
3. Dopelgangland - Two Willows and lots of leather
2. Amends - Christmas Miracle
1. Once More with Feeling - Wow! Singing and Dancing
[> [> [> Re: "Hush" (Spoilers) -- RabidHarpy, 09:07:21 12/12/01 Wed

"4. Hush - Who knew silence could be so funny or so deadly"

They just re-ran "Hush" last night, and I must say this episode, despite it's very creepy and disturbing "Big Bads", had some terribly funny moments - especially:

-Xander and Spike arguing in the basement
-Giles' overhead presentation with those wacky, bleeding stick figures and the "chubby Buffy"
-Xander beating Spike for supposedly "draining" Anya

We also had major plot developments:

-an actual romantic liason between Giles and a friend from England (finally, proof of a "real life", and ties to his home!)
-Xander finally "expressing" his true feelings for Anya
-the introduction of Tara, and her and Willow's first joint use of magic
-Buffy and Riley's first kiss, and the confrontation where they each discover the other is a "superhero" of sorts

I found it interesting that the "Gentlemen" in this episode originated from a fairy tale - the "make-believe" written word/world becoming real, rather than the usual "big bads" who's written accounts follow proof of their existence.

Each of the characters in this episode also experienced an awakening to the "real" world:

-proof of Giles having a "real" relationship
-proof of Xander's feelings for Anya
-proof of Spike's "chippiness" and harmlessness
-proof of the existence of other true wicca's and validation of their "real" craft (Willow/Tara)
-proof of their being more than meets the eye between Buffy and Riley, and proof of their involvement in "heroic", albeit strange, activities
-proof of the equal importance of both the spoken and written word

and finally...

-yet more proof that Joss and the gang are "friggin' geniuses"!!!

I thoroughly enjoyed this re-run! :)
[> [> [> [> Ugh! Please excuse the pitiful spelling...! -- RH, 09:08:54 12/12/01 Wed

[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- maddog, 08:31:00 12/12/01 Wed

In no particular order:

Welcome to the Hellmouth
The Gift
Once More with Feeling
The Becoming Part 2
Graduation Day Part 2

I guess I'm pretty predictable...the first show, three of the season finales, and the two gimmick episodes. :)
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Rendyl, 09:09:40 12/12/01 Wed

I didn't think this was a hard one till I sat down to do it. I tried my faves from each season thinking it would help narrow down (it did not), and left out season one since I have not seen any of those. Keep in mind these are my personal favorites, rather than the ones that might be the best done.

Season 2 - Halloween - Xander - (I know, I know, Becoming, Innocence, Passion, I am weird)

Season 3 - Helpless - An awesome episode - (Although Homecoming should get a special mention as one of those 'guilty pleasures' OnM is always going on about.)

Season 4 - This Years Girl/Who Are You - Let's rip apart Faith's soul and mess with Buffy's life.

Season 5 - Fool For Love -Every moment of Spike -
- Blood Ties - Dawn (MT) gets to chew a little scenery.

Season 6 - Tabula Rasa - Spike in a bow tie - (need I say more?)

[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- maddog, 09:37:22 12/12/01 Wed

ok, the votes for the top 6 so far go as follows:
Once More with Feeling - 8 votes
Hush - 7 votes
Graduation Day(1&2), Restless and The Body - 3 votes
7 tied at 2 votes
29 tied at 1 vote

This means two things...first, we have a wide variety of episodes that people like(though OMWF and Hush seem to be common favorites). Secondly, there can't be a top 6 without more votes because of those 7 episodes tied at 2 more people need to respond. :)
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- squireboy, 11:31:50 12/12/01 Wed

Here are my picks -- as has been mentioned here, I would try to negotiate more videotapes, but then I'm also the sort of person who bought the dvds from Australia before I had a dvd player. :) I also tried to be a bit representative of the different seasons, whereas if I were going on pure best episodes, I would probably weigh more heavily to Seasons 2 and 3, the seasons I consider to be the high-water mark of the series with a few notable exceptions.

1. The Wish

2. Lover's Walk

3. Passion

4. Prophecy Girl

5. Hush

6. Fool For Love

[> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Sebastian, 11:36:47 12/12/01 Wed

6. This Year's Girl
5. Bad Girls
4. Dopplegangland
3. Once More, With Feeling
2. Forever
1. The Body

- Sebastian
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- JLP, 12:25:15 12/12/01 Wed

Several of my favorites are everyone else's, but a couple of others I was surprised not to see on other people's lists.

--Fool for Love
--Who are You
--The Gift
--Once More with Feeling

"Innocence" for me is the moment where the series began to reach its full potential, mining its premise more deeply and achieving an emotional and allegorial power that is really unmatched in genre TV. Except by later episodes of the same show.
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Shaglio, 12:56:34 12/12/01 Wed

Here we go:

6) Once More, With Feeling - enjoyed it though I don't care for musicals
5) Tabula Rasa - funny to watch them react without any idea who they are
4) Earshot - lots of funny moments with everyone's thoughts and Buffy's "counseling" Jonathan was tear-jerking
3) Dopplegangland - like Brian said, 2 Willows and lots of leather
2) Hush - scary yet comical (Xander mistaking Willow's suggestion that the Gentlemen want hearts and everyone mistaking Buffy's motioning to stake the Gentlemen)
1) Restless - just unbelievable and chock full of philosophical goodness. Plus Xander's discusion about Willow and Tara "doing spells"
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Juliette, 14:37:58 12/12/01 Wed

Lover's Walk
Fool For Love
Once More, With Feeling
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- mundusmundi, 15:20:29 12/12/01 Wed

Note that I'm counting two-part episodes as one, thereby cheating, just because I can....

1. Becoming
2. Surprise/Innocence
3. The Zeppo
4. Once More, with Feeling
5. Bargaining
6. I Only Have Eyes for You
[> [> I love the Zeppo! -- squireboy, 17:23:45 12/12/01 Wed

The question I have to ask: Is there a better run of 9 consecutive episodes on any network series, *ever*, than the run from Lover's Walk to Dopplegangland? (Only Gingerbread in that run, IMO, is even a little bit iffy. The rest is the ME gang at the top of their powers)

In fact, after a bit of a bumpy start to the season, from Band Candy on, I'd argue that the remainder of the season is astonishingly consistently high-calibre television.

[> [> [> Re: I love the Third Season! -- d'Herblay, 19:58:27 12/12/01 Wed

Well, I might argue for the first two seasons of Homicide as a greater run, but this would be the wrong forum. And as I just named "Homecoming" one of my 6 all-time favorites, I might start your run a little earlier. And "Gingerbread" at the time really encapsulated the wonder of Buffy for me, with its message of tolerance and idiosyncracy, so I might extend it a little further. It is the episode I think the WB should have run when they pulled "Earshot" after Columbine. But you are right, in my opinion, the Third Season is astonishingly good. Even episodes that I was left a little cold by at the time, "Choices" and "Enemies," have become integral to my vision of the show. This is one of the reasons I have given up my relentless, narrow-minded Second Season advocacy for a relentless, narrow-minded Third Season advocacy. Whereas in Season Two, we got stinkers like "Bad Eggs" and "Go Fish" during the pivotal end-game, in Season Three they got the only two real stinkers, "Dead Man's Party" and "Beauty and the Beasts," out of the way early.

I also believe that the Season Three dialogue thingy is the best of all the dialogue thingies ever.
[> [> [> [> Re: I love the Third Season! Much Agreeage! With a downnote, too... -- squireboy, 20:33:55 12/12/01 Wed

Absolutely, dH, with you 100 percent on the relentless, narrow-minded Third Season advocacy. First season has a few great eps and the magic of being new, Second season has numerous great eps, and for overall poignancy, awesome eps like Surprise/Innocence, Passion, Becoming 1&2 may be among the best individually, but for me, S3 for overall quality is the runaway leader, and why? (S4 has a few highpoints and looks like a golden age compared to S5, jury still out on S6, but not looking like threatening ...)

But why is Season Three the runaway leader for overall quality?

Angel, I would argue.

Not Angel, the ep, that was in Season 1. Not Angel the character, he appears in a major role in all three seasons.

Angel, the series. Explain? Season 3 was the last season before Angel was spunoff, with a big transplantation of creative talent from BtVS and a huge division of Joss' time, energy, creativity, etc. Certainly, new opportunities for creative talent opened up because of Angel, but some of those opportunities would have occurred at BtVS instead if AtS didn't exist. Season 4 starts with a fair amount of promise and an interesting premise and just runs out of steam.

Not that I don't love both AtS and BtVS, I hasten to add, just that I think Season 3 is the high-water mark for Buffy, and the spin-off, in my view, appears to be a big part of why.

But maybe this is another discussion/thread entirely.

[> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- yabyunmpan, 17:24:21 12/12/01 Wed

Only six, MayaPapaya9 you are truely evil(but only in a josswhedonian way). ok, this is just up to S5 as we've got to wait at least another month to get S6 in blighty.
no particular order:
Band Candy
Something Blue
Fool For Love
[> [> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- matching mole, 18:16:33 12/12/01 Wed

After perusing lists of all the episodes and thinking about it I'd have to go along with squireboy in general about the enormously high overall quality of much of BtVS season three. I'd disagree with him on specifics (Gingerbread is a favourite of mine as are Anne and The Prom from earlier in the season).

My six are (not in order of preference)

The Witch
Living Conditions

both masterful mixes of the mysterious and the mundane


simply because it has it all

The Zeppo

an almost arbitrary choice, the best of the funny Xander episodes and perhaps the best individual episode from season 3.

The Body
Once More With Feeling

experiments in form that transcend their gimicks
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- Aquitaine, 18:41:23 12/12/01 Wed

I debated for a long time before bumping "Becoming 2" off my list of all-time faves... but while I loved that epi, it now seems, more than ever, to be a thing of the past.

OK. Here are my picks:

6) Passion - Oh, the messiness of human relations! Oh, the ambiguity!

5) Intervention - What could have been a nightmare episode turned out to reveal more about and to Buffy than the entire 5th season.

4) Pangs - Asks the fundamental questions: 'Who' are we fighting and 'why' are we fighting them?

3) Buffy vs Dracula - A deft metafictional exploration of the mystique behind the most famous vampire of all.

2) FFL - It's all been said before...

1) Restless - The episode that never gets old and made us all paranoid:)

[> Okay here's what I came up with -- MayaPapaya9, 21:07:20 12/12/01 Wed

Thanks everyone!!!! I know it was really limiting, only six eps, and this is really only a temporary solution because eventually all the DVD's will come out and of course I'll be blowing my meager allowance on them, but anyways. Here are the final six:

-Hush (I only saw this two days ago for the first time but it's definetely one of the best eps I've ever seen...scary!)
-Lover's Walk (Spike!! Hurt! Betrayal! Spike! "You'll never be friends..."! Frank Sinatra! It doesn't get any better than this!)
-Once More With Feeling (When is the soundtrack coming out by the way? Even though I downloaded everything off Morpheus, my CD burner isn't working and I want it in CD form.)
-Earshot (kind of like the definitive "High school is Hell" ep, something I can relate to at this point in life)
-Restless (boggles my mind and I love Buffy's final confrontation with the 1st Slayer in the desert.)
-The Wish (The end, where they all die in the alternate universe, makes me cry every time...)

Okay the reason that I'm missing classics like Becoming and Surprise and Grad. Day is because I already have those on my other six or seven tapes of FX reruns. So yeah, thanks for helping me arrive at this conclusion everyone! And I'll maybe go without buying any new clothes for a couple months and use the money to buy cheap tapes from Wal Mart as was someone's excellent suggestion, so hopefully this doesn't have to be the end!
[> [> Good luck, Maya! I like your choices ... -- squireboy, 11:06:53 12/13/01 Thu

but it is hard to go wrong with all the good advice/choices that were offered here.

*goes off to watch a bunch of them again*

Hehe, that Johnathan *grins*

[> [> Re: Okay here's what I came up with -- maddog, 16:17:28 12/13/01 Thu

Final tally:

Once More With Feelings 17
Hush 13
Becoming(1&2) 9
The Body 8
Fool For Love 8
Dopplegangland 7
Restless 7
Innocence 6
Passion 5
Earshot 4
Something Blue 4
(5 tied at) 3
(14 tied at) 2
(15 tied at) 1

and imagine those episodes in total aren't even half the total
[> Aww, heck! -- Marie, 03:55:54 12/13/01 Thu

It's just impossible to choose only 6! I'd gotten to 5 before Season 3! And they are -

Welcome to the Hellmouth - purely for nostalgia, 'cos watching this ep now, and knowing what's to come, gives me goosebumps.

School Hard - Introduction of Spike and Dru. I need say no more.

Innocence - for SMG's acting when she realises Angel has become Angelus, and lots of other bits, such as Angelus threatening Willow, etc.

Passion - the killing of Jenny Calendar, and especially the scene at the end, where Giles 'phones and Angelus is smiling through the window as the girls weep. (Shiver!)

Becoming 2 - Angel is back and Buffy sends him to hell!

Well, with only one more to choose, I had to go for Hush, of course - the Gentlemen and their minions... oooh, double shiver!

But I protest, ' cos there are so many more! And I haven't even seen S6!!!

[> Couldn't quite do it... -- Darby, 09:58:27 12/13/01 Thu

Sorry, six was just too few , I couldn't get it under...

10. Doppelgangland. A cornerstone of the Buffyverse.
9. Who Are You? Warning - Actors at work.
8. Something Blue. Spike & Buffy. "Well, nobody really likes him..."
7. Earshot. Love getting insight into the inner Scooby.
6. A New Man. Got a soft spot for Giles' one-liners.
5. Nightmares. More character insight (seeing a trend here).
4. Hush. The archetype BtVS episode.
3. Restless. Another "insight" episode.
2. Once More With Feeling. Amazing genre integration.
1. The Body - true horror. "Mommy -?" still gets to me...

Yeah, yeah, I could have just listed the top 6, but from 10 down to 5 there's just not that much difference. I'm happy to have distilled it down from the 20 I started with.

I would like to give honorable mention to Superstar, the Star Trek - The Next Generation homage (classic - you spend the first half of the ep saying "What the Hell is going on??") and funny credits episode...
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- grifter, 14:10:59 12/13/01 Thu

Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered
The Body
The Gift
Once More With Feeling
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- bible belt, 17:37:20 12/13/01 Thu

The first three seasons are all blended nicely together in my mind. I only saw them for the first time in reruns on FX. When they started showing two eps a night I really got a Buffy overdose. It was a nice overdose. Since the first three seasons are like one ep for me I had to do some work for this post, and between running outside to have a cigarette (I can’t smoke in the house) and coming back to the computer to find an ep title, I’ve had plenty to do while the vcr is recording tonight’s two eps on FX. I don’t watch much of anything but Buffy anymore, well there’s still South Park, but that’s about it. Could the networks give us something like Buffy more than once a decade or so?

Enough of that bull, here’s my list:

Fear Itself because Oz went to the Halloween party as God in case they got turned into their costumes again and because of my affinity with Xander, I would have went as some super secret agent too not being clever enough to think of God.

Faith, Hope and Trick because of the way Giles drew Buffy out by pretending to need information for an Acathla spell.

The Freshman, it is the first Buffy ep I ever saw and I was fighting a little self-doubt of my own at the time.

Hush and Restless because life is mostly surreal to me.

The Body because of Anya, I just love her.
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- A8, 17:58:03 12/13/01 Thu

Here's my chime in:

1) Restless-brings the concept of dreamtime, bigtime into the Jossverse.

2) The Body-nothing so heartwrenching or poignant as Anya's plaintive 'and no one will explain to my WHY!' Gets to me every time.

3) Once More With Feeling (with the 8 extra minutes, of course)-Especially Tara's number at the point where she turns and sings 'now I'm bathed in light...' and Buffy's sad 'try-ing be like other girls, to fit in in this glittering world.'

4) Becoming Pt1 and 2 (so I cheat here a bit)-especially Angel's backstory with Whistler and the scene where Buffy slays her first vamp.

5) Bad Girls-'Want, take, have.' Faith's credo in a nutshell.

6) A tie (and I cheat again) between Triangle (more laughs per minute than any other ep IMO), Band Candy (once again, a chuckler, especially Buffy going wild behind the wheel of Joyce's car with terrified Willow as passenger), and Tabula Rasa (can't forget the look on B's face when she says 'I don't know...but it was cooool!')

[> my favorites (just 6) -- Shul, 23:06:39 12/13/01 Thu

JUST 6! Arghhh!
Ok, here it goes.
note: 1 better then 6

1. Once more with feeling (amazing!)
2. Smashed (you guessed it, i'm a b/s'er)
3. Body (a completely unique episode)
4. Restless "im going to be a fireman when the floods roll back"
5. The Gift (the dialouge between buff and glory puts this episode on the charts)
6. Who are you? (fabulous acting)

Arghhh: I agonized over this for 3 hours. Choosing only 6 episodes, among all the many-many spectacular buffy episodes was quite a challenge.
[> My CD rewriter works -- pagangodess, 06:18:31 12/14/01 Fri

If you like I can make and mail you the CD of OMWF. You'll just have to pay for shipping, which wouldn't be a lot. Let me know.
[> Re: Poll: 6 favorite Buffy episodes -- maddog, 08:13:45 12/14/01 Fri

ok, supposing people don't keep going on this I have(as usual) the updated stats(though I know you've already made your decisions I think it's cool to see just how popular the episodes are).

OMWF - 19
Hush - 14
The Body - 11
Restless - 10
Becoming(1&2) - 9
Fool For Love - 8
now for the rest of case you care
Dopplegangland - 7
Innocence - 6
Passion - 5
4 tied at - 4
5 tied at - 3
15 tied at - 2
14 tied at - 1

yeah, I'm bored...go figure. :)
Zen and the Art of Spike -- vandalia, 23:41:52 12/11/01 Tue

I saw this post at and justhad to put it here. I've also directed the author here.

many people have used spike's lack of remorse over his past deeds as evidence that he has not changed and is not capable of changing. however, i wonder if joss is not incorporating some buddhist beliefs into the buffyworld.

one of the greatest sources of suffering, according to the Buddha, is "belief in a single, continuous,unchanging, personality, and the attempt to hold on to it." this attempt to deny, or hold on to, spike's past character is a behavior that the scoobies, buffy, and even spike himself, have all indulged in, over and over again. this belief in the static nature of a person is simply denial of change, or even the *possibilty* of change. perhaps it is even a way to deny time, and thusly death?

this idea that spike must wallow in the tragedy of his past actions in order to grow as a person is an extremely western belief most strongly practiced by american pyschotherapists. but the buddhist take on pyschotherapy is quite different. to quote Chogyam Trungpa:

" once you begin to deal with a person's whole case history, trying to make it relevant to the present, the person begins to feel that he has no escape, that his situation is hopeless, because he cannot undo his past. He feels trapped by his past with no way out. this kind of treatment is extremely unskilled. It is destructive because it hinders involvement with the creative aspect of what is happening now, what is here, right now."

in order for spike to become a better person, perhaps it is *not* necessary for him to realize and atone for his past. maybe if he dwelled too long on how *bad* he had been, he would be incapable of allowing himself to be *good* now. and wasn't this somewhat addressed in TR. who's entire episode was based on what would a person be if all memory of past experiences was wiped away? not only did spike have no memory of what he had been, and therefore felt no obligation to continue down that road, but the scoobies had no pre-conceived idea of who he was either, and therefore easily accepted him as one of them, even as a blood relation.

perhaps what is pivotal to spike, in terms of him " redeeming" himself ( sounds like a coupon, i know) is for the scoobies, his only peers, to let go of his previous personality and simply accept him as a person who is changing. this is heading a bit towards the other thread i started, about spike and his case of looking glass self, so i'll rap it up now.

sorry for the rambling. i was just reading something by gerald rosen and was struck by these ideas in relation to spike.

thanks for listening!


the vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
[> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- Traveler, 00:41:10 12/12/01 Wed

Very interesting ideas. However, I would argue that Spike has to at least admit (at least to himself) that what he did was wrong, otherwise I don't see how we can claim that any kind of redemption has taken place. This could be done in a number of subtle ways, but I think that it is important if we are to believe that he has really changed. (I.e., while one should avoid wallowing in the past, it is still important to acknowledge one's mistakes in order to learn from them)

If this should happen however, it would turn Buffy mythology on its head. After all, vampires have the polar opposite morality from humans. Spike deciding that it was wrong to kill humans would be like a human deciding that it is evil to refrain from killing others, should the opportunity arise. The only examples of this I can think of are religious fantatics and people who are seriously unbalanced.
[> [> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- Rufus, 02:20:49 12/12/01 Wed

If Vampire and human behavior is on a spectrum between good and evil then it makes sense that there will be anomolies on both sides. For a vampire to decide that good was the way to go, it would be the same as a person deciding that killing was "nifty, lets kill lots"....we know that the soul may predispose the souled to prefer good, but it's only a preference. Many souled people can give the monsters a run for their money. So the soul may predispose the souled and unsouled to a preference on the spectrum, but they do both start around the mid point, so, my opinion is that with the right conditions either could decide to ignore the soul or lack thereof and choose a different spot on the spectrum. If a soul was the thing that made all those in the Buffyverse good then how do we explain all the evil that does happen?
I do agree that Spike has to come to a point where he no longer wants to kill because he understands why it is wrong, not just stops to keep Buffy happy. If that happens he could be one of the people that instead of remorse causing paralizing guilt, it causes him to act for good.
[> [> [> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- maddog, 09:08:10 12/12/01 Wed

So what your saying is that we could have a "good" vampire if they were the human equivalent of a psychopath?
[> [> [> [> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- Rufus, 15:17:56 12/12/01 Wed

No, I'm saying that like humans can become psychopaths and not have feelings the reverse may be possible.
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- maddog, 09:31:22 12/13/01 Thu

um, that's what I must have misunderstood. A dictionary definition of a psychopath is, "A person with an antisocial personality disorder, manifested in aggressive, perverted, criminal, or amoral behavior without empathy or remorse." All those things against human society rules. So what if a vampire did everything against vampire society rules...won't kill, nice to everyone, a general all around nice person.
[> [> [> [> [> [> So sorry MD(I made you a doctor) mistake.............:):):):) -- Rufus, 16:18:30 12/13/01 Thu

[> [> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- nay, 10:12:41 12/12/01 Wed

<< However, I would argue that Spike has to at least admit (at least to himself) that what he did was wrong, otherwise I don't see how we can claim that any kind of redemption has taken place. >>

Sorry for jumping in here. I'm kinda new to the 'Buffy' experience and this forum so please forgive if I step on some toes.

I just wanted to point out that Spike did admit and acknowledged to Buffy in 'The Gift' (I think) that he knows he's a monster. So for me he recognized what he was/is and knows no matter what he does *now* will change what he did in the past. I don't want to go down the sad brooding typed hero again. Been there done, that move on. I think redemption is slow coming for him, but very possible. You all have made great points.

Thanks for the great disscussions here. You all are making me think. :) I'll be lurking here more often.

[> [> [> You know, that's a good point... -- Traveler, 15:41:14 12/12/01 Wed

Why does Spike repeatedly refer to himself as being a monster and later as dirt. I get the feeling that he really meant what he was saying both times, implying that he considers himself unworthy of Buffy. Also, when he says, "a man can change," it implies that he is trying to become someone who IS worthy of Buffy. The word choice here is important. He isn't just becoming someone who Buffy could love; he is becoming someone WORTHY of Buffy's love. The fact that he recognizes his vampire instincts as a flaw and tries to subvert them shows us at least some remorse and even atonement...
[> rambling is allowed here -- verdantheart, 05:52:11 12/12/01 Wed

Thanks for sharing!
[> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- Dedalus, 07:55:12 12/12/01 Wed

Interesting, vandalia. I'm doing something on Buffy and Eastern philosophy, but I had never quite thought of Spike in that way before.
[> Gotta love someone who quotes Lewis Carroll! :-) -- Rob, 08:23:03 12/12/01 Wed

[> [> Agreed, Rob! I'm reading Alice in Wonderland right now! -- MayaPapaya9, 15:40:20 12/12/01 Wed

[> [> [> Wonderful! That is something I do at least once a year, since I was little. I love that book! -- Rob, 09:25:02 12/13/01 Thu

[> He doesn't have to wallow, but HAS he changed? -- Earl Allison, 09:27:56 12/12/01 Wed

I understand your points (very well made, by the way), but there is one issue that, until I see it resolved personally, makes me think Spike is still generally evil.

If Spike were given the opportunity to kill someone, someone outside the Scoobies, with a GUARANTEE that he would NEVER be caught, what would he do?

Given his reactions in "Smashed," no matter how delayed, I think he would kill. What does he do when he thinks the chip is broken? He attempts to feed. Maybe he would have stopped, maybe he wouldn't have, but for all his supposed changes, he attempts in some fashion to revert to type, and to kill. He's been suffering for almost two years with this chip, and I'm not so sure that most of his "change" is because of his love for Buffy, not for what is right or wrong.

Maybe Spike doesn't have to wail and gnash his teeth and beat his breast in despair over his past sins, but he's shown absolutely NO remorse that I can see. Hell, he's never even apologized to any of the Scoobies, if I recall. Maybe he isn't sorry, and maybe he doesn't have to be, but he's still done some unsettling things -- personally, I think he was only half-joking when he asked Buffy if she wanted him to wipe them out.

Like I said, cynical as I am, until I see Spike get a perfect opportunity to kill and feed, and see him pass it, his change is minor at best.

Take it and run.
[> [> That remorse thing... -- CaptainPugwash, 11:12:59 12/12/01 Wed

I think most people want Spike to recognise that his past actions were wrong. Nothing more, nothing less.

A few people seem to be falling in the trap of using 'something worse than bad to justify bad'. I don't want to Spike to wallow in paralytic guilt; I just want him to stop being indifferent to human life.

Cue all the vegetarianism\vampire nonsense...

Most animals rights arguments are pretty inconsistent. I used to be a vegetarian, but there was no moral aspect to it (health, economics, environment etc).

In the end I just accepted that it was a them vs us situation, and that it was absurd to suggest that 'they' should take precedence over 'us' in most situations.

Even if you eliminated all traces of animals from your diet, clothing, cosmetics products etc., you would not change the basic paradigm that humans exist at the expense of other animals. Humans exist at the expense of other humans for goodness' sake. The only way that you could stop having any negative effect on those around you would be to kill yourself. Dead people don't consume...

Once you accept that, then humans eating animals, humans keeping animals as pets, humans protecting animals that humans perceive to be endangered or valuable, and every other daft human activity regarding animals ceases to become a concern. Humans do what humans can; there is no moral element. End of story.

This is why vampires do what they do. Vampires need blood; this blood can come from any source, but vampires prefer humans and kill them because they *can*. Spike makes the vampire case very well, and Buffy makes the case for humans with the pointy end of a stake...

This is war.

However, Spike is currently deciding whose side he wants to be on. Does he revert back to human- killing vampire and risk being staked by Buffy, or does he become vampire-killing vampire and end up staking Buffy? It's his choice, but we won't really know what he's decided until/if the chip is removed.

If Spike decides to join 'our' side, then he HAS to concede that killing 'us' is wrong and WAS wrong. Is that really to much to ask?

Name me one person on this board who thinks that Spike should spend the rest of his existence wallowing in guilt? I don't think you can, and therefore its a lousy basis for an argument...
[> [> [> Re: That remorse thing... -- Humanitas, 12:53:44 12/12/01 Wed

This is a bit tricky, so bear with me...

I'm not certain that I think that Spike needs to concede that killing humans was wrong. At the time, he was, what shall we call it? Unreconstructed? I'm having trouble finding the word, but in any case he was in a position where from his perspective, humans were food, just like for most of us animals are food. I don't think he needs to regret that fate put him higher on the food chain. Since no practical good can come of it, why waste time regreting that he is what he is? By the way, this is very in character for Spike. I can't remeber his comment in "Pangs," but it ammounted to "Your people killed their people. It happened. Get over it."

Having said that, I do think that he needs to concede that killing humans is wrong now. You are quite correct in saying that if he wants to be a good guy, he has to start thinking like one.
[> Re: Zen and the Art of Spike -- Moose, 11:01:45 12/12/01 Wed

Great post.

I'm not sure whether the redemptionists want Spike to show remorse for what he has done as a benchmark of change (more for the viewer than Spike) or whether they believe it is necessary for the process of redemption. It is a small but important distinction. We may want to see remorse only to confirm that Spike really has changed, or we may want him to show remorse so that we can see he is changing.

I would probably fall into the "sign of change" category. I don't think Spike needs to feel remorse to change. He is changed already by his love for Buffy.

Angel feels remorse, guilt for what he has done. But did it change him? The guilt became more than he could bear and he wanted to lose his soul and turned against his friends! Guilt doesn't work. It's destructive. While people want those that commit crimes to feel guilty and be punished, in the end guilt inhibits change.

Love on the other hand is far more powerful in effecting real change. Look at Angel with his son. His love for him will not only prevent the despair, but allows him to atone by bringing life into the world and protecting it.

Love or guilt--give me love any day. Spike isn't guilt's bitch and I don't want him to be.

Just my $0.02 cents.
The end -- Marie, 06:04:51 12/12/01 Wed

Somewhere in LA…

He stood in the centre of the dark street, and looked up at the heavens. As he stared, the clouds rolled away from the bright moon, but the light he was suddenly bathed in wasn't the pale glow of moonlight, it was a strange, soft, iridescent green, and he held up his arms in wonder.

"Is this… Shanshu?" he said, hesitantly.

The voice that answered from the darkness wasn't one he recognised.

"You have served us well, my son. Go, now, and live your human life in peace."

As the lights faded, he stood in the silence and heard the beat of his heart.


Sunnydale, two days later…

Looking up at the house, he smiled to himself as he felt his heartbeat accelerate. At last, he thought, at last. It was a Norman Rockwell house, white picket fence and all, and he climbed the three steps to the porch and knocked on the door.

It seemed an age before anyone answered, but finally the door opened. A girl stood there, looking at him questioningly. "Yes?" she said.

"Er, Buffy?" he asked.

"Oh, are you-"

"Yes. Is she here?"

"Sure," she said and, holding the door wide, beckoned him in. "Through there," she said, pointing at a door to the left of the narrow hallway. Smiling at him, she grabbed a coat from a hall closet. "See you later," she called out, and left.

He looked at the door. My love, he thought, and closed his eyes. It's been so long. Stretching out a hand, he pushed the door open.

There were two people in the room, and the one crouching turned and looked up as the door opened. When he saw who it was, Spike stood and walked towards him. Shoving a half-empty bowl at Angel, he growled "About bleedin' time you got 'ere. What kept you?" As Angel opened his mouth to reply, he added "Oh, never mind! She's all yours. I'm off!"

As he watched the blond vampire walk out, he heard a mumbled sound and turned to look at the room's other occupant. She sat in an easy chair, her white hair thin and straggly, and looked at nothing with once-lovely eyes rheumy and faded.

"Buffy?" Angel whispered, and stared as her toothless mouth mumbled his name.

The end.
[> Re: The end -- Duo, 07:24:58 12/12/01 Wed

Dude, no.
[> Re: The end -- GreatRewards, 07:32:09 12/12/01 Wed

LOL! Awesome! I could even hear the romantic music swelling as Angel pushes open the door... then SCRAAATTCCHHHHH (sound of needle being pulled across album) as Spike says "About bleedin' time..."

Ha ha ha ha ha!! Priceless!
[> [> Re: The end -- Brian, 07:44:41 12/12/01 Wed

Neat stuff, Marie, but we need a lot of fantasy, right this very minute...
[> [> [> Re: Swell plot twist :-) -- Dedalus, 08:56:30 12/12/01 Wed

[> I shall never write again ... -- Liq, 08:51:45 12/12/01 Wed

For nothing I could possibly create would ever match your brilliance and ingenuity.
[> Did you hear that? -- Deeva, 08:58:31 12/12/01 Wed

That was the sound of my lower jaw smacking my keyboard! Short & to the point. Ouch.
[> Re: The end -- skeve, 09:24:06 12/12/01 Wed

Forunately, the designs of TPTB would seem to eliminate that scenario. Angel is supposed to get his humanity after he and Buffy are involved as warriors for good in some really big deal. The toothless Buffy didn't seem to be much of a warrior. Also, slayer brains are able to heal even after coma- inducing trauma.

Assuming that her mind keeps working well and her own body doesn't, do you suppose her friends might let her borrow a healthy one once in a while?
[> Oooh, me likey! -- Rob, 09:49:04 12/12/01 Wed

[> Question: Who's the girl? -- vampire hunter D, 14:04:57 12/12/01 Wed

[> [> Thanks, all of you! -- Marie, 01:43:22 12/13/01 Thu

Heh! I was feeling eeeevil when I wrote it (actually, rattled it off in five minutes would be a more accurate description!), and I know it has major plotholes, but, heck, maybe Shanshu transported him forward in time!

(And I originally wrote Buffy three-chinned and dribbly, so she got off lightly!).

As for the girl, vhD, the original line was "See you later, Gramps!", but I took it out 'cos of the too-big clue...

Glad you liked it.


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