December 2003 posts
-- Cactus Watcher, 08:57:44 12/17/03 Wed
Love Spike or hate him, he certainly made an impressive entrance
into the Buffyverse. If some of the details of his history, as
explained in this episode, turned out to be awry compared with
what we now accept about him, the fact is Joss intended to make
his future a lot shorter than we know as well. School Hard is
pretty much an audition for a long term job that Joss didn't think
I really think Dru was a terrific idea. A vampire who is at once
fragile and just as dangerous as the rest of them. An insane woman
who like Glory's victims a few seasons later sees things more
clearly than everyone else. A vampire without a soul in a genuinely
By the end of season one, I was wondering how the heck Joss was
going to get out of the box he'd put himself in by making the
'deputy' of the Master a child. Was he really going to have Buffy
beat up and stake a kid? Of course at that point in time there
was no reason 'to trust in Joss.' The vampires we'd seen in season
one weren't the type to upset the pecking order. So one that was
willing to upset the apple cart had to be one quite different
than we'd seen. It was good to get away from the hokey formality
of the Master's court. It was also fun that the vampire who does
it, not only upsets the plan to attack Buffy on one of those nights
when vampires are the strongest, but botches the job himself and
runs away. From the beginning Spike is clever, but also a bit
of an oaf.
We don't see Sheila again after she runs away. Maybe undeath made
her a little smarter.
We learn in this episode that there were other adults in town
who weren't brain dead and had some idea of what was really happening
in Sunnydale. I think this hint of a background of dishonesty
rather than ignorance helped make things more believable. Drifting
further away from the conventions of the movie was a very good
At the time I thought it might be fun to have seen what Xander
and Willow did to get Buffy's teachers out of the rooms before
Joyce got to see them. But, that's the stuff of sitcoms, and what
we saw was more worthwhile. It's still fun to think about it though.
It is a wonder that after a whole evening no one mentioned that
there was no sugar in the lemonade. Surely someone tried it. It's
also fun to note that when Spike hits the Sunnydale sign for the
first time in the series, the camera view is wide enough that
in the aftermath we can see the greenery around the sign is fake.
The sign gets hits and we can see it's undamaged parking lot all
around. ME sure got a lot of use of that little outside space
[> Sheila -- Pony, 10:49:59 12/17/03 Wed
You know, I've always thought that Justine from AtS resembled
Sheila. In my mind she's the sister that Justine was always trying
[> Dru -- Anneth, 12:25:40 12/17/03 Wed
I really think Dru was a terrific idea. A vampire who is at
once fragile and just as dangerous as the rest of them. An insane
woman who like Glory's victims a few seasons later sees things
more clearly than everyone else. A vampire without a soul in a
genuinely affectionate relationship.
Drusilla is interesting too in that she's yet another example
of an 'underestimated woman' - a Joss/BtVS specialty. Though her
full potential isn't realized until the end of the season, when
she kills Kendra, shadows of Drusilla's danger and evil are apparent
even in School Hard, as she demonstrates some measure of
control over Spike, an otherwise very powerful, very dangerous
vampire. The full extent of Dru's anger and insanity becomes apparent
during Becoming, and her strength in Bargaining,
but it's there all along. She may act like a wounded little
girl, but she's a powerful, dangerous woman.
Arguably, Buffy and Dru experience parallel developments over
the course of S2. Buffy begins S2 'not quite right in the head,'
still suffering from her Prophecy Girl death and ressurection.
She's a little off in her slaying and her relationships, and eventually
resolves her issues via the symbolic, cathartic act of grinding
the Master's bones to make her bread. Likewise, Dru enters the
Buffyverse in School Hard clearly ill.
To Be Continued... I'm off to see RotK!
[> Love in Season Two -- Darby, 07:29:48 12/18/03
Your comments about Spike and Dru made me think about the nature
of "love" in the Buffyverse, and that led me to take
another look at the season. I'd never realized how many different
flavors had been portrayed through that year.
Some Assembly Required - an obvious homage to Bride
of Frankenstein, it touches on just how much surface can be
seen past to love the person beneath? This idea will rise again
with Angelus, and then much later, with more sophistication, with
School Hard - The interesting question about Spike and
Dru, soulless but involved, is, "If it looks like love and
it sounds like love and they believe that it's love, is
it love, even if the lovers shouldn't have the capacity for it?"
Seems more a riff on the nature of some relationships than a shift
in the Buffyverse mythology - later episodes throw the Spike-Dru
love into question, especially Crush.
Inca Mummy Girl - A combination of that kick-you-in-the-gut
love-at-first-sight experience, plus a bit of a preview of the
sorts of Buffy-Angel choices ahead.
Reptile Boy - Cordelia, trying to quantify love, trying
for the love where one lover is just trying as hard as they can
to be what they think the other wants, whether it's true
to them or not. Love as Appearances.
Halloween - A continuation of Love as Appearance, as Buffy
experiments with giving Angel what she thinks he'd prefer. Also,
first installment of the Oz-Willow match, which will be the most
mature love relationship until Tara-Willow. And an interesting
contrast to Giles and Jenny, who have kind of a wacky, horror-version
updated screwball-comedy relationship for now.
Lie To Me - Another preview, as someone uses Buffy's feelings
against her. Asks how importance honesty and trust is in love.
The Dark Age - Yet another preview, as the specter of someone's
past impacts the current relationship. How does one react when
the person you have feelings for may not be who you thought they
What's My Line? - Lots of plots here - just about the first
full-on inspection of how "wrong" the Buffy-Angel love
is, and how difficult it is to get it to work on any kind of normal
level (at the ice rink). Oz and Willow continue that subtle dance
between two people that are interested but guarded, and the thrown-together-by-peril
relationship (it may be love eventually, but not at the start)
of Xander and Cordelia which will test her willingness to sacrifice
love, a test Buffy will face as well.
Ted - These wacky older folks and their quaint lovin' ways.
I never felt that Ted was nuts because he was a robot -
he just was a man who saw love (and lover) as possessions. A little
of this resurfaces in Angelus' attitude toward Buffy.
Bad Eggs - Except for the sex-and-responsibility foreshadowing,
this doesn't really have a love angle.
Surprise and Innocence - The lynchpin of the arc
- love, actions, and consequences.
Phases - Another look at basic urges, this time in someone
with no control at all over them. And the girl who loves the Oz
beneath the beast.
Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered - Love as obsession,
setting up the next episode. I can't help but feel that there
is a bit of a commentary on the fandom kind of love here.
Passion - Angelus' love may have faded, but his obsession
lives on and torments him, causing him to lash out (but not really
go for the most emotional damage). Does he still love her? And,
of course, the end of Giles-Jenny just when he seemed to be back
Killed by Death - Nope, got nothing much. Snippets of advancement
of the Scooby relationships.
I Only Have Eyes for You - A window into forbidden love,
horrible choices, and responsibility. Very obviously a window
into Buffy's guilt about Angel/Angelus.
Go Fish - Um, love of seafood-? Maybe there's a reason
why some episodes seem weak - even stand-alones work better when
they play with the arc theme.
Becoming - The culmination of the Buffy-Angel-Angelus love.
The sword-through-the-heart thing pretty much says it all.
Now, after having said all this, I have to admit that this is
one theme that you can see all over BtVS - pick a season at random,
and you can squeeze a love message out of many of the episodes.
But the resonance, the reflections of one episode on another,
I'm not sure is there until Season Four, which also touches on
the nature of love.
[> [> Love is a Many Spendored Thing -- CW, 13:02:15
Not saying anything you haven't thought of already, but to continue
the discussion... Surprise is a celebration of the most consuming
yet fulfilling, most passionately misty, moments of passion (what
love is in all the brochures, so to speak). Innocence is about
what happens when you confuse passion for love. And Passion is
about the very ugly side of passion.
Go Fish. Well, Cordelia does make something of a declaration of
love for Xander, when she thinks he's turned into one of the monsters.
I don't think I'd count Buffy's line about the 'boys' love of
their coach, though. ;o)
I see season four as a time of changes, new school, new friends
(if you can call Spike a friend at that point), new loves. Oz
leaving wasn't exactly planned, but I think it fits both the theme
of exploring the problems of love and the theme of life changes.
[> [> [> Surprise -- Claudia, 14:17:41 12/18/03
[Surprise is a celebration of the most consuming yet fulfilling,
most passionately misty, moments of passion (what love is in all
the brochures, so to speak).]
Isn't "Surprise" the episode in which Angel lost his
soul and abandoned Buffy in bed, after they had sex?
[> [> [> [> Re: Surprise -- CW, 21:23:43
Yes, but we didn't know that's what happened until Innocence,
the next epsiode. We only knew Angel was in some kind of distress.
Abandoning her wasn't exactly an issue either as in the last moment
of the episode Angel is desperately calling out Buffy's name.
It was in Innocence that Buffy wakes up, and not seeing Angel,
doesn't know what to think. This whole business was a postscript
to what was basically a conventionally romantic story.
It was soon clear in Innocence that Angel's problem was the result
of having sex with Buffy. Except for the timing nothing suggested
that in Surprise.
[> [> [> [> [> I take that last sentence back
-- CW, 22:12:11 12/18/03 Thu
Jenny's Uncle Enyos did warn her that Buffy and Angel had to be
kept apart in Surprise. He did not suggest that curse would be
undone, but rather implied that it would be an insult to their
family. But, it was no surprise (pun intended) that Angel's distress
had to do with what Enyos was talking about.
Again the full story, only came out when it was too late in Innocence.
And as far as the sleeping Buffy knew it had just been a beautiful
end to a bad evening.
[> [> Willow and Oz -- Claudia, 14:05:24 12/18/03
"Oz-Willow match, which will be the most mature love relationship
You really believed that the Oz/Willow was the most mature love
relationship on the show? I guess I find that hard to believe,
considering Willow's constant remarks about how cool she is, because
she's dating a musician.
[> [> [> Re: Willow and Oz -- Darby, 18:08:11
But the cool remarks were always about how others perceived her,
which has always been a sore point for her - and they were often
delivered ironically anyway. The glimpses we got into the actual
relationship showed a fairly balanced, respectful and affectionate
relationship. Maybe not the most mature relationship ever, but
which ones on the show compare?
[> [> [> [> Re: Willow and Oz -- Claudia, 08:00:43
I'm sorry, but I don't agree. I never saw Willow and Oz's relationship
as mature . . . even from Willow's perspective. I have this feeling
that even though she may have loved him, Willow viewed Oz was
a means to bolster not only other people's perception of her,
but her own self-perception, as well.
[> [> [> [> [> Agreeing with Claudia --
Malandanza, 20:33:24 12/19/03 Fri
"I'm sorry, but I don't agree. I never saw Willow and
Oz's relationship as mature . . . even from Willow's perspective.
I have this feeling that even though she may have loved him, Willow
viewed Oz was a means to bolster not only other people's perception
of her, but her own self-perception, as well."
If we look at just the scenes where Oz is talking to Willow, I'd
say that Willow/Oz was a pretty mature relationship. But that's
because Oz was mature. Look at the scenes with Willow and we get
a very different picture.
*Willow begins the relationship to make Xander jealous (and Oz
call her on it and doesn't hold a grudge that she was using him)
*She complains to Buffy that Oz is moving to slowly for her --
that she doesn't want to be the only girl in school who doesn't
have a "real" boyfriend
*secrets are sexy
*Lovers Walk and the aftermath where she flounces up to Oz making
googly eyes and is surprised when he doesn't immediately forgive
*All her "I have to prove my love" (by having sex with
him, because that's how mature people settle their issues) babble
*Still mooning after Xander even after she and Oz get back together,
as we saw when she fled in tears after realizing that Xander had
had sex with Faith
*Immature attitude towards sex (Xander tells her that if she's
"doing it" she ought to be able to say it -- always
a bad sign when Xander has to lecture someone on maturity)
*serious jealousy over Oz talking to Veruca -- when did Oz ever
react like that to Willow flirting with Xander?
*I'm not a nerd -- hello? dating a guitarist
*The "poor me" self-indul-athon of Something Blue
*The smile in the last scene with Oz when he stops her from describing
her new love affair with Tara -- a recognition of her power
The problem with Willow is that deep down, she's incredibly selfish.
She wants what makes her happy now and if other people get hurt,
a simple, half-hearted, hasty apology ought to suffice -- if they
really love her. She's not mature. Joyce and Giles were more mature
in Band Candy.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Remember, it's all relative...
-- Darby, 06:15:42 12/20/03 Sat
I wasn't saying that they had a terrifically mature relationship,
but what other BtVS couple beats them out? Buffy and Angel? Xander
and Anya? Giles and Jenny? Joyce and flower-sending guy?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreeing with Darby.
-- CW, 08:00:30 12/20/03 Sat
You have to keep in mind what else we were seeing. I think the
fact Willow and Oz got back together while Xander and Cordy fell
apart is an indication the relationship was more mature than perhaps
Willow's behavior indicated. Much of Mal's gripes about the relationship
are really gripes about Willow's personality instead. Willow's
relationship with Tara was about as mature as it gets. The fact
that Willow's personal failings all but destroyed it, is a different
On the immature side, don't forget Joyce and Ted, Mister he's-such-a-great-guy-so-damn-the-complications,
and Buffy and Riley, the rebound guy, a classic you-give-and-I'll-take
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No Maturity
-- Felicia, 11:33:16 12/20/03 Sat
"You have to keep in mind what else we were seeing. I think
the fact Willow and Oz got back together while Xander and Cordy
fell apart is an indication the relationship was more mature than
perhaps Willow's behavior indicated."
I hate to disagree, but I've never viewed Willow and Oz as a mature
couple. In fact, the most mature relationship I can recall was
that of Buffy and Spike, during the second half of Season 7. And
I don't know if I can call that relationship completely mature.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not arguing
your opinion of W & O one way or the other, -- CW, 12:58:28
But, in the latter part of season 7 there was no 'relationship'
between Buffy and Spike. They were friends who took comfort in
each others company and not much more, particularly from Buffy's
side. Friendships don't have all the headaches of relationships,
so they really don't count. Particularly since Spike, even now,
wishes it was more than that.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> alas,
it seems one must define realationship -- skeeve, 11:01:26
Even just describing it a bit would probably help.
I get the impression that some people are using a definition that
implies sex and others are using a definition that does not.
The broadest literal definition of relationship doesn't even require
animate objects: The relationship between a mountain and a foothill
is that the latter is near and smaller than the former.
That said, they would not be said to be having a relationship.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Agreeing
with Darby. -- Malandanza, 06:27:57 12/21/03 Sun
"You have to keep in mind what else we were seeing. I
think the fact Willow and Oz got back together while Xander and
Cordy fell apart is an indication the relationship was more mature
than perhaps Willow's behavior indicated."
Did Xander really behave that much more differently than Willow
post-Lovers Walk? I remember left messages and flowers as he desperately
tried to make amends with Cordelia. I think the difference was
that Oz was more mature than Cordelia, not that W/O was more mature
than X/C. Even then, I'm not sure if getting back together with
somone who clearly would rather be with someone else is really
a sign of maturity. If that were true, Spike would be the most
mature guy in the Buffyverse.
"Much of Mal's gripes about the relationship are really
gripes about Willow's personality instead. Willow's relationship
with Tara was about as mature as it gets. The fact that Willow's
personal failings all but destroyed it, is a different matter."
I have a hard time viewing a relationship as mature when one of
the partners has teh emotional maturity of a 12-year old. If you
want to say Oz or Tara is mature, I'll concede the point, but
not that W/T or W/O is a mature relationship -- even on the rather
generous Hellmouth curve. The fact that Willow was able to destroy
such promising relationships with such devoted partners argues
rather strongly against her maturity.
"On the immature side, don't forget Joyce and Ted, Mister
he's-such-a-great-guy-so-damn-the-complications, and Buffy and
Riley, the rebound guy, a classic you-give-and-I'll-take relationship."
Yeah, but Joyce was drugged, and Buffy had her epiphany in the
end, but Riley had already run away from the consequences of his
poor choices and insecurities. Plus Buffy had her own Iago doing
whatever he could to split them up -- there were no such outside
forces helping Willow destroy her relationships. As for "you-give-I'll-take'
-- what was W/O except just that?
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think
we understand what you are saying. -- CW, 07:06:53 12/21/03
But, it seems to me you are mixing the term mature relationship
with the term perfect relationship. Darby and I are saying there
can be mature relationships between imperfect people. Perfect
relationships would require perfect people.
Was Oz mature? Well, he was certainly calm. But, he was also a
bit lazy and irresponsible, hence having to retake his senior
year of high school despite having the opportunity to finish in
summer school. He didn't bother to tell Willow what he was doing
when he was away, or tell her that he was making progress. Then
he expected to come back and start up with Willow as if nothing
could have changed.
Was Tara mature? Well, she was certainly a sweet girl. She also
had a habit of running from all her problems. We all felt for
her when Willow was wiping her memory, but at the time we tended
to forget that Tara had used a spell on Willow in 'Family' to
keep her from seeing the truth as well.
As Darby said before, it's all relative. If you're working in
absolutes there can't be such a thing as a mature relationship
except in fairy tales.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> spells
-- skeeve, 11:16:45 12/23/03 Tue
My recollection is that Tara's spell was designed to work on the
senses and had it worked as intended it would have been fairly
harmless even had Tara had a demon nature to hide.
Since Tara didn't have a demon nature to hide, a spell that just
hid her demon nature wouldn't have done anything at all.
That might even have been the reason it was much more effective
Willow's spells messed with people's minds and would have been
nasty even had they worked as intended.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>
Re: spells -- dmw, 17:32:26 12/30/03 Tue
My recollection is that Tara's spell was designed to work
on the senses and had it worked as intended it would have been
fairly harmless even had Tara had a demon nature to hide.
Blinding people to a particular category would have to affect
the mind because such categories are mental constructs. There's
no way to change the eyes or other senses in such a way to eliminate
the possibility of perceiving a general concept like demons or
chairs for that matter. Optics is a beautiful science but it has
Willow's spells messed with people's minds and would have
been nasty even had they worked as intended.
For Tara yes, though it would have been great for Buffy to have
been able to lose her memories of Heaven.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [>
[> Re: spells -- skeeve, 07:26:59 01/02/04 Fri
Point made regarding senses vs. mind issue.
Presumably both Tara and Buffy would have forgotten their arguments
Supposing that Buffy's memories of "heaven" were real,
removing them wouldn't have been nice either.
I'm convinced neither that Bufy's memories of "heaven"
nor that Willow intended to remove them.
The former seems more likely than the latter.
It seems strange to include memories of "heaven" in
even if those memories caused pain by constrast.
It's not even clear that removing those memories would have helped
Buffy in the manner suspected.
She might have retained her sensitivity to harshness and brightness
but forgotten the reason.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Lack
of honesty, among other things -- Malandanza, 14:14:00
"But, it seems to me you are mixing the term mature relationship
with the term perfect relationship. Darby and I are saying there
can be mature relationships between imperfect people. Perfect
relationships would require perfect people."
Certainly it is unlikely that a first relationship would approach
perfection (or a second, or third..) and imperfect people can
have mature relationships. But saying W/O was the most mature
relationship implies some level of maturity -- which I just didn't
see from Willow's side. She was with Oz for all the wrong reasons.
"Was Oz mature? Well, he was certainly calm. But, he was
also a bit lazy and irresponsible, hence having to retake his
senior year of high school despite having the opportunity to finish
in summer school. He didn't bother to tell Willow what he was
doing when he was away, or tell her that he was making progress.
Then he expected to come back and start up with Willow as if nothing
could have changed.
"Was Tara mature? Well, she was certainly a sweet girl. She
also had a habit of running from all her problems. We all felt
for her when Willow was wiping her memory, but at the time we
tended to forget that Tara had used a spell on Willow in 'Family'
to keep her from seeing the truth as well."
I think some of these complaints are more about whether Oz or
Tara was mature rather than whether or not they were mature strictly
in the context of the relationship with Willow. Now, it's possible
that Oz failed to stay close to Willow (consciously or not) --
college might have meant leaving her behind, which would make
it a relationship issue, but without any evidence, I'm inclined
to believe he failed because he's a slacker -- which is independent
of his relationship with Willow. Within the context of the relationship,
Oz was the mature partner. His attitude towards sex was mature
than Willow's I-want-a-real-boyfriend attitude. As for Oz's leaving,
I think he was rather preoccupied at the time. He'd betrayed Willow,
he'd killed a girl -- he couldn't control the wolf and was leaving
to protect her from himself. A less mature person would have stayed
with her in spite of the danger. He did not expect to pick up
where he left off -- he was encouraged to believe that he could
by his all-night chat with Willow on his return (during which
she failed to mention how she really felt, apparently). So we
see him "strangely motivated" the next day to better
himself -- enroll in classes. Whatever Willow said to him that
night gave him hope.
And Tara was more interested in preventing people from seeing
her as she wasn't -- Tara is a sweet girl, demon ancestry or no.
Of course it would have been better for her to be honest, but
after this one slip, did she falter again?
And this, I think, is the most important thing about Willow's
relationships -- for other people on the show, the relationships
are a maturing process -- they learn. Buffy learns from Angel,
Parker, and Riley. She grows (She regresses in Season Six,but
she'd been through a pretty extreme trauma). Tara in Season Six
is a much more mature person than Tara from early Season Five.
Oz searched the world for a cure that the Giles thought did not
exist -- and with unprecedented resolve and effort on his part,
he succeeded. Even Xander became more of an adult. What did Willow
learn? How was her behavior with Tara any better than with Oz?
Or her affair with Kennedy?
Willow's Misuse of Magic -
Power Hungry or Affection Starved? -- Claudia, 13:40:42
While perusing the Web, I came across an interesting essay about
Willow's misuse of magic on the show. The name of the essay is
called "Willow's Problem: It's Not About the Power"
and it is written by Bbovenguy -
http://nearheralways.com/essays/willowsproblem.php (sorry, but
I don't know how to establish a link)
What is your theory? Do you believe that Willow's problems with
magic has it roots in a thirst for power or a need for affection?
[> How to do a link -- Sheri, 14:42:18 12/18/03 Thu
I'm at work right now, so not much time to read the essay, although
I will later.
But here's how to do a link:
[a href="http://www.atpobtvs.com]CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT
PHILOSOPHY ON BUFFY AND ANGEL[/a]
just use < instead of [.
[> [> Second Attempt on Posting Willow Essay -- Claudia,
07:46:59 12/19/03 Fri
Thanks for the instructions, Sheri.
Again, here's the link to the essay on Willow's misuse of magic:
PROBLEM: IT'S NOT ABOUT THE POWER
[> [> [> Third Attempt on Posting Willow Essay
-- Claudia, 07:50:01 12/19/03 Fri
Okay, posting the link didn't work. I'll just have to post the
entire essay. Here it is:
Willow's Problem: It's Not About the Power
Much has been said this season about the "magic addiction"
story arc Willow has been going through. Much of what has been
said has been negative, with comments generally accusing the arc
of being unrealistic, badly written, out of character, and so
on. Many people believe that the "magic addiction" is
a plot device that was introduced as a last-minute substitute
for another, more interesting story that was being set up but
was mysteriously abandoned.
Unless Joss Whedon decides to write a tell-all behind-the-scenes
book someday, we will never know if this other story ever really
existed, or if it was really more interesting than the story we've
seen. It's easy to imagine that such a hypothetical story would
be more interesting, of course, because we don't have it in front
of us to answer the question one way or another. It is grass that
will always be greener because we can never get to the other side
of the fence.
Personally, I would like to challenge the notion that such a hypothetical
abandoned story ever existed. I believe that the magic addiction
story we're being told now is the one Joss Whedon always planned
to tell, and in fact it's the story he's been setting up for quite
Let's look at the facts:
1) The physical effects of Willow's magic
Most complaints I've seen point toward "Wrecked" as
the episode where the magic addiction story "suddenly"
replaced the hypothetical other story. All of a sudden, the complaints
say, Willow's problem ceases to be about her temptation by the
power of magic and starts being a thinly-disguised "After
School Special" on the subject of drug abuse.
I'll admit that "Wrecked" lays on the physical affectations
rather heavily, but it's not the first time Buffy has claimed
that magic has physical side-effects. As early as Season 2, Willow
said she felt something go through her when she re-cursed Angel,
and she would sometimes feel weak or faint after casting a spell.
When she started doing more powerful spells, she would get nosebleeds
Nor was "Wrecked" the first time Buffy suggested that
magic could have a euphoric effect. As early as "The Dark
Age," Giles claimed that summoning Eyghon produced "an
extraordinary high." In "Goodbye, Iowa," Willow
and Tara talk glowingly about the spells they had done the night
before. Tara confessed that she had been thinking about one of
them "all day." The physical effects of the spell the
girls did to contact the nether realms in "Who Are You"
are self- evident.
(Yes, I realize that Buffy was at this point using magic as a
way to get around the WB's limitations on the way the lesbian
relationship between Willow and Tara could be portrayed. However,
one interpretation of that period in the relationship - the one
I adhere to and wrote about in my fanfic series Reflections In
Transit - holds that the spells were in fact spells, and not just
sex in disguise. In this interpretation, it was the physical effects
of those spells which provided a sense of intimacy where the Willow/Tara
relationship could grow until Willow was willing to admit to herself
that she was gay.)
So when we see magic having a physical effect on Willow in "Wrecked,"
it could be said that what's shown is a bit over-the-top - but
it's not something we haven't seen before.
2) Why would Willow go to someone like Rack?
Another complaint about "Wrecked" is that it's out of
character for Willow - who had always used magic to accomplish
something in the past - to go to a "magic crack house"
and do spells with Rack just to get high. Why would Willow do
something like that?
Fortunately, we have Willow herself to explain it for us. At the
end of "Wrecked" she says, "It just, it took me
away from myself. I felt so... free." A few lines back in
that same scene, she asks, "If you could be plain old Willow,
or Super Willow? Who would you want to be?" The implication
here is that both her visits to Rack and her exploits as "Super
Willow" have the same effect - They take Willow away from
herself. That's an important thing to remember as we consider:
3) The psychological factors that drive Willow
Willow's dream in "Restless" sums up her greatest fear
and her biggest motivator. She's terrified that underneath it
all, she's still the same little nerd-girl whose mother dresses
her in clothes from the softer side of Sears. Her efforts to escape
her nerd- self started before she ever began practicing magic.
Oz was important to her not simply because they loved each other,
but also because Oz was a musician, and associating with a musician
made Willow feel "cool." In "Doomed" after
Percy called her a nerd, Willow's response was, "I haven't
been a nerd for a very long time. Hello, dating a musician!"
which was immediately followed by a crestfallen "Or... I
Magic made Willow feel special. It made her feel like more than
just the little nerd-girl. It made her feel confident enough for
her to tell Buffy "I'm not your sidekick!" in "Fear,
Itself." It made Willow feel like Super Willow. Again going
back to the end of "Wrecked," we find that Willow doesn't
even believe Tara would love her "plain old Willow"
The other factor that drives Willow is her craving for affection
and approval. What we've seen of her parents makes it pretty clear
that they ignore her most of the time. The one time we saw Willow's
mother, she couldn't remember the name of Willow's best friend
and hadn't realized that Willow had changed her hairstyle several
months earlier. The lack of attention helped create the little
nerd-girl in the first place, as young Willow tried to be perfect
so she could gain her parents' love.
4) Power-hungry, or affection-starved?
Many of the complaints I've seen about how Buffy supposedly abandoned
the original story of Willow's magic addiction claim that this
hypothetical story dealt with Willow being seduced by the power
of the dark magic she was channeling. Willow is power-hungry,
so this theory goes, and the dark powers were offering the power
There's only one problem with this theory, and that's the fact
that Willow isn't power-hungry. She has never been about power.
When Buffy called her the strongest member of the group in "The
Gift," Willow shied away from the claim. Yes, she does have
a history of taking charge in the midst of crisis (as in "Halloween,"
"The Dark Age," and "The Weight of the World"),
but she has never tried to keep control after the crisis has passed.
Willow's craving is for affection and attention, not for power.
Consider Willow's actions during the summer after "The Gift."
Willow was unanimously made "the boss of the group."
Xander even made her a little sign that said "Boss Of Us."
What did she do? Did she try to use her spells to make herself
a bigger and better monster-fighter than Buffy ever was? Did she
ever perfect the Ball Of Sunshine spell? Did she try to convince
anyone that they didn't need to worry about Buffy because she
was more powerful? No. Instead, she concentrated her energies
on trying to bring Buffy back. Buffy, who had seen the real Willow
beneath the softer-side-of-Sears clothing. Buffy, who had given
her affection and attention when no one else did. That's what
Willow wanted back.
Consider Willow's argument with Giles in "Flooded."
Much is made of this scene, because many consider Willow's boasting
and threatening at the end of it to be a sign of how power-hungry
she is. But what does Willow really want out of the conversation?
Again, she tells us herself. "I thought you'd be impressed
or something," she tells Giles, and then later says, "I
brought Buffy back into this world, and maybe the word you should
be looking for is congratulations." She was expecting affection
from Giles, a father- figure, and instead she got a reprimand.
That's what touched off her anger, not a lust to be more powerful.
Lastly, consider the two forgetting spells. They both happened
in situations where Willow's actions had caused love to be withdrawn
from her. In the case of the first spell, it was the argument
she was having with Tara. In the case of the second spell, it
was the first spell (in Tara's case) and the fact that Buffy was
upset over being pulled from heaven. Willow wasn't trying to control
Tara. She wasn't trying to control Buffy. If she was, she would
probably have cast a spell similar to Warren's Cerebral Dampener.
Instead, she was trying to remove the memories that were blocking
the love she craved. It's still inexcusable, but it's a very different
act from what we would expect of someone who was power-hungry.
5) Where will it end?
Supposedly, this hypothetical story that is said to have been
abandoned in "Wrecked" was to end with Willow becoming
the Big Bad, or at least turning into "Dark Willow"
as her lust for power tempted her into the shadows. The only problem
with that ending is that it's out of touch with who Willow is
and who Willow has always been. Evil needs an agenda, whether
it's to suck the world into Hell or open the dimensions in order
to go home or avoid the responsibility of the adult world. Willow's
agenda has always been to seek approval and affection. Big Bads
don't get either of those things.
Magic power is a poor substitute for the love of people like Buffy
and Tara. That's what we saw in "Wrecked." What did
she do with all the power she possessed? She took Tara's clothes,
animated them and then curled up in the lap of her creation. It
was quite literally a hollow substitute for the person whose love
she really wanted. What did she do later, when she couldn't handle
Dawn's talk of how Tara was getting on with her life? She sought
out Rack, who could take her away from herself and the emptiness
she felt. But embracing the magical power in that way only leads
to destruction, as we soon saw.
The logical outcome for this storyline is for Willow to discover
that she doesn't need magic to be special or lovable. That's the
path she has been on since "Wrecked." It's not going
to be easy. There will be temptations from fellow addicts like
Amy, or from people acting as co-dependent enablers, like Xander
and Anya. In the end, though, I believe Willow will triumph and
once again find the love she wants. Joss Whedon is a brilliant
writer, but he still follows the rules of classical narrative.
Now that he's taken Willow down to the depths, he must bring her
back to the heights again. Now that she has asked "Can I
be loved without magic?" he must show her that she can.
(Plus there's the rather mundane but still significant fact that
Alyson Hannigan is now the second-biggest "name" in
the cast, and Joss Whedon is not about to do something stupid
like turn her character evil and then get rid of her.)
This is the path Willow is on. It's the path she has always been
on. Willow has grown and evolved dramatically over the years,
but she hasn't changed. She is still Willow. She will continue
to be Willow, on this path and the paths to come.
NOTE: Joss Whedon, UPN, Mutant Enemy, and a lot of people who
aren't Kaz or the authors archived here own Buffy the Vampire
Slayer, Angel the Series, Willow Rosenberg and the rest of the
cast. All other books/TV shows/movies/products/songs are owned
by their respective owners. There is no profit made from this
[> I pretty much agreed with the essay -- MsGiles, 13:29:50
I hadn't come across this other theory, that really it was all
about power. I didn't think that was how it came across. In S6,
it's Warren who's much more obviously about power, manipulating
his friends into increasingly more stomach-turning crimes, manipulating
his ex-girlfriend, and ultimately attempting to kill Buffy because
she made him look small.
I did think there's another aspect to Willow's need for acceptance
and affection though, and the key to that is in her relationship
with Giles. She's torn between her need to be accepted by her
friends and her peergroup (hence the importance to her of the
relationship with Oz) and her desire to please authority, to succeed
within a structure. She is highly motivated to do well at school
and at college, and she extends this motivation to her relationship
with Giles. He represents that world, the world of structure and
academia, and she really does want to do well in his eyes. I think
it's partly because Giles isn't interested, he's preoccupied with
Buffy, that Willow feels she isn't getting enough approval and
starts experimenting elsewhere.
Her need to please authority may well come from her parents. I
think if Giles could have left Buffy alone a bit in S6, when she
needed not to be pressured, and concentrated on mentoring Willow,
things might have gone a lot better. Giles was Slayer-fixated.
Willow initially saw Tara as someone weaker than her, who needed
support. After the big breakup, when Tara showed she had an independant
mind and the determination to act, Willow had a lot more respect
for Tara, and I think if she had lived Tara was well on the way
to replacing Giles as Willow's mentor.
[> [> This is bbovenguy? Huh. -- Kansas,
15:54:48 12/19/03 Fri
Pretty good essay... it's hard to believe this is the same guy
who wrote that unforgivably stupid essay, "Ten ways that
Charmed is Better than Buffy." (Don't have a link available,
but I think it can be found at www.buffy.nu.)
For those not in the know, bbovenguy (aka Robert Black) became
one of the harshest critics of BtVS and ME after the death of
Tara, and pretty much repudiated every positive thing he'd ever
said about Joss et al. Too bad; looks like he once had a decent
head on his shoulders.
[> [> [> Re: This is bbovenguy? Huh. -- Felicia,
11:29:59 12/20/03 Sat
I had no idea that bbovenguy was the same Robert Black who wrote
that idiotic essay on how CHARMED was superior to BUFFY. Talk
[> I assume that this was written during S6 -- KdS,
09:08:45 12/21/03 Sun
I think the mistake is to assume that the desires for power and
for love are mutually exclusive. Had the "seduction by power"
plot been done, I doubt that we'd have seen the same Willow as
Big Bad that we actually did. Rather, I suspect that we'd have
seen a similar demonstration of the compatibility of the two desires
that we saw with Jamsine in AtS4.
[> Re: Willow's Misuse of Magic - Power Hungry or Affection
Starved? -- skeeve, 09:28:51 12/22/03 Mon
One thing is clear: Willow was never power-hungry per se.
When there was something she wanted to do she did it.
The it was never to rule other people, although she frequently
showed a lack of respect for others and sometimes for their autonomy.
The former showed up before she learned magic, when she was breaking
into other people's files.
The latter when she used magic to edit other people's memories
without asking them.
My recollection is that she didn't use magic just to feel magic
going through her until she had deratted Amy.
Amy was a real bad influence on her.
Until that point, the notion that Willow was addicted to magic
didn't make a lot of sense.
The cure wasn't the wisest thing either.
Most of Willow's action would be hard to ascribe to affection-starvation.
Xander and Oz acted in much the same way, but I think that their
actions should not be ascribed to affection-starvation.
[> [> Re: Willow's Misuse of Magic - Power Hungry or
Affection Starved? -- Claudia, 07:53:18 12/24/03 Wed
"Until that point, the notion that Willow was addicted to
magic didn't make a lot of sense. The cure wasn't the wisest thing
Actually, it did - in a way. Magic was one method that Willow
may have used to build her own self-esteem and attract the high
regard from others like Buffy and Giles. Just as she used her
relationship Oz and knowledge of computers, back in high school
and her first year of college. And the more competent she became
in her use of power, the more she grew to depend upon it to solve
the problems in her life.
As for the cure - you're right. The Scoobies' solution of going
cold turkey was far from wise. They thought thay by giving up
on magic, Willow would be "cured". When you think about
it, society seems to believe that this same method is the best
course to cure any addiction, instead of dealing with an individual's
reasons for becoming an addict in the first place.
[> [> [> Re: Willow's Misuse of Magic - Power Hungry
or Affection Starved? -- skeeve, 13:52:07 12/26/03 Fri
The problem with the cure wasn't that it wouldn't work, it did.
One problem with the cure was that it cut the Scoobies off from
an important resource.
That they managed to work around it for a while was a matter of
Another was that it involved destroying some of Dawn's stuff.
Even klepto-Dawn didn't go around destroying stuff.
My recollection is that the magic that required standard props
wasn't magic that fed her addiction.
The props were used at least partly to help with control.
I think the following rules would have done quite well for Willow:
Don't have anyone use magic on you without another Scooby's permission.
Absent an emergency, don't use magic without telling another Scooby
about it first.
Scoobies should be told about emergency magic ASAP.
I think that these rules would have handled Willow's moral problem
as well as her addiction problem.
Probably Willow's addiction problem could have been nipped in
the bud if the moral problem had been dealt with as such.
Willow hadn't been using too much magic.
At the time, it wasn't even clear that that was possible.
Willow was using magic immorally.
She was messing with minds on purpose.
She was being reckless with lives.
Once upon a time, my Dad was driving to my brother's house in
He had been given directions that included staying on Montana
until it turned into Alabama.
We got there anyway.
On being informed that Montana does not turn into Alabama, my
brother said "Yes, it does, in a round about sorta way."
How many Apocalypses has Angel
stopped or been in? -- hellboy, 13:48:24 12/18/03 Thu
So Far Buffy has been in eight and stopped.. Angel has seen at
least 3 of them.
[> Re: How many Apocalypses has Angel stopped or been in?
(Vague spoilers for this whole season) -- leslie, 14:17:35
You know, this is something that has been bothering me. Angel
has been very dismissive of Spike's importance in averting the
last apocalypse in Sunnydale (oh, he just helped Buffy, who did
all the hard work), but when has Angel been central in
averting an apocalypse, as opposed to just helping Buffy, who
did all the hard work? The only one I can think of is the one
going on in the background in The Zeppo, where he appears
to be the central figure. Otherwise, he brought on one
apocalypse (Acathla) as Angelus, and he ended the obscuration
of the sun last season, but again as Angelus. The one time he
died as a result of an apocalypse was the Acathla one, and that
was because (at the risk of sounding childish), he started
it. Spike and Buffy, in contrast, both gave up their lives
so that others wouldn't die. This is not to belittle his less
apocalyptic helping of people in need, where it seems the balance
is in his favor as opposed to Spike or even Buffy, who was more
in the business of averting evil before it struck, while Angel
helps people who are in need at that particular moment. Nonetheless,
it seems to me that Angel is in a little bit of denial about the
magnitude of what Spike did.
[> [> Re: How many Apocalypses has Angel stopped or been
in? (Vague spoilers for this whole season) -- Claudia, 14:30:04
"Otherwise, he brought on one apocalypse (Acathla) as Angelus,
and he ended the obscuration of the sun last season, but again
as Angelus. The one time he died as a result of an apocalypse
was the Acathla one, and that was because (at the risk of sounding
childish), he started it."
Mind you, I love Spike, but he did help Adam in the latter's attempt
to start an apocalypse in BtVS Season 4. After Adam had backstabbed
him (not literally), Spike immediately switched sides and fought
the demons, and saved the other Scoobies' lives.
[> [> [> Was Adam's really an apocalypse? -- Pony,
15:48:06 12/18/03 Thu
It just seemed like Adam wanted to kill a lot of people and demons
and have a really big army. Not that that isn't, you know, a bad
thing but was it world-endy?
[> [> [> [> Re: Was Adam's really an apocalypse?
-- DorianQ, 19:03:15 12/18/03 Thu
If that wasn't an apocalypse, would the First's plan to unleash
its army across the globe be cosidered an apocalypse either? Or
either of the Master's? Not disagreeing with you all, but the
comment definitely made me think. How would all these apocalypsish
events on Buffy and Angel really be classified?
[> [> [> [> [> Re: Was Adam's really an apocalypse?
-- LittleBit, 19:41:04 12/18/03 Thu
Well, I recently posted on this here.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Good show. -- Vapthorne, 21:53:13
I've just started checking out this board, and came across the
post. Well done on the analyst work. I cannot sum up the issue
any better, but as a casual observation, it seems that the term
'apocalypse' in the Buffyverse is quite frankly an exaggeration
of the situation. Not to say the situation was bad, but hardly
the end of the world.
[> [> [> [> [> Hmm, what is an apocalypse?
-- Pony, 19:43:32 12/18/03 Thu
We do need some parameters here. Now personally I think to qualify
as an apocalypse there has to be some sort of world-destruction
element, plus points for working in some sort of hell dimension
to reference the origins of the word.. Acathla sucking everyone
to hell would be the perfect example - the world may be left standing
at the end but all the people would be in hell. The Judge was
also a potential apocalypse since his stated objective was to
kill every person in the world, the hell element unfortunately
was missing so it might be on the edge apocalypse-wise. Adam didn't
really have such articulated goals beyond the big army. The Mayor
certainly seemed to be looking to eat most of Sunnydale but was
he looking to take it beyond the city limits?
The Master's even trickier to call. In season 1 he wants to open
the Hellmouth, which might be an automatic apocalypse qualification,
but when we see him in The Wish his goals seem more modest - get
his factory running and maybe sell a few franchises. Interestingly
Giles in this episode could be seen as actually causing an apocalypse
since he destroyed his entire alternate dimension.
Glory's apocalypse was a side issue to her but it certainly would
have had world-ending potential - plus the hellgod element.
The First stated from the outset of s7 that it was looking to
end the universe completely. Somehow its method of achieving this
involved a really big army, but stated world-ending goal along
with opening of the Hellmouth qualifies it as apocalyptic in my
Then we have Willow who was looking to end everything and those
demons from The Zeppo. Plus there was Doomed in s4, I believe
those demons were looking for some Hellmouth-opening world-destroying
Ok, so by my total there's 6 definite apocalypse-averting instances,
with about 2 iffy, potentially apocalyptic but not quite there
yet and a couple that were just big death and destruction situations.
Still very impressive.
[> [> Re: How many Apocalypses has Angel stopped or been
in? (Vague spoilers for this whole season) -- heywhynot, 15:54:54
Angel did bring Jasmine's rule to an end. Plus he did stop those
demons who were taking advantage of the physics student.
Angel saving the world less than Buffy, to me, it has more to
do with the function of the two shows. Buffy was initially about
a woman who is the super-powered, saving the day which means grand
battles. Angel is about redemption which is the day-to-day. It
is about saving individuals & helping them out & in doing so saving
one's self. Buffy was about a super-hero. Angel is a show about
a hero. Spike being on Buffy went out in that sort of fashion.
Really Angel was only on BtVS for less than 2 seasons (the 1st
was half a season, a good chunk of the 2nd he was Angelus, and
then the third). Spike had the chip in him a good chunk of season
4 onward (3 + seasons). Spike had more time on the super-hero
The big grand gesture of Spikes was great but it is only the beginning.
Can he help people who need help day in and day out? That is his
Angel was great at the day to day but lost the hope that fuels
such a drive. Grand gestures like saving the world can restore
such hope. Angel in stopping Jasmine, ended world peace & protected
free will. All he gets to see is the evil that people can choose
to do with their free will.
It is interesting in the end, Buffy creates a situation in the
world where she can be a hero and not a super-hero.
[> [> [> Re: How many Apocalypses has Angel stopped
or been in? (Vague spoilers for this whole season) -- leslie,
18:02:11 12/18/03 Thu
Yeah, I'm not sure that stopping Jasmine counts as averting an
apocalpse. To me, apocalypse encompasses the death of all living
things in one big bang--a horde of super-vampires taking over
the world, the world being sucked into a demon dimension, the
dissolution of the boundaries between all worlds--and averting
one means stopping the eruption. I'm not sure I would even call
stopping the Mayor a full-blown apocalypse--maybe just a local
one. I would call the loss of the sun more apocalyptic than losing
free will. Who are the 4 Horsemen of the Apocalypse? War, Famine,
Disease, and Really Bad Weather and Other Natural Disasters. Most
of the Buffyverse apocalypsi seem to fall in the war category,
although I suppose vampirism can be seen as a kind of disease
as well. But anyway, I do think that Spike, as the one wearing
the amulet, was the one who averted the last apocalypse, not Buffy--not
that any of them knew that that was how it would work out. Angel's
heroism, as I said, is on the much more individual, local, day-to-day
level than these big, sweeping disasters. And I dunno, but it
seems to me that there is an opportunity for some kind of statement
here that is not being stated--Angel seems pettily jealous of
Spike's grand self-sacrifice, when it's the slog of keeping going
on the small heroics that's really hard. That's one of the reasons
Spike is so pissed off about being brought back--he has to now
keep on being good, can't just go out in a burst of flame and
be over and done with it. And it's also the issue that Angel is
dealing with--just having to keep on going is wearing him down,
and I think the reason he's jealous of Spike is even more than
his dislike of Spike personally--he envies that Spike had even
a chance of being over and done with and going out in style, and
he's pettily pleased that Spike has to come back and put up with
the world again.
[> [> [> [> Angel: Buffy's words (from the Gift)
(vague spoilers) and how it relates to American Football --
heywhynot, 12:11:18 12/21/03 Sun
leslie I fully agree with what you are saying. It reminds me of
Buffy's final words to Dawn in the "Gift": "You
have to be strong. Dawn, the hardest thing in this world is to
live in it. Be brave. Live. For me."
Angel is in some ways like an offensive lineman in American football.
He does the little things without much accolade. Spike is like
a Wide Reciever. He scored his nice flashy touchdown at the end
of the half that puts his team up but the game is not over yet.
As a WR he still needs to do the little things in the 2nd half
to help his team win. Angel helps the helpless, he doesn't go
for the glory. He got the amulet it seems by making a pact with
W&H, delivered it to Buffy and though he was willing to wear
it into battle he deferred to his QB (Buffy) on what should be
done with it.
To me Angel doesn't need to believe in the prophecy but needs
a spark, hope to revive the Angel from Epiphany. He needs to find
the pleasure/joy in the game.
Sorry for the ramble, watching football as you probably can tell.
[> [> There was that time bubble -- Ray, 17:27:36
He stopped it from freezing things forever.
[> [> Spike "TRIED" to stop Glory.... --
ladyhelix, 18:29:24 12/18/03 Thu
... but I guess that didn't count, because DOC stabbed him and
threw him off the tower. Points for intent?
[> [> [> He also... -- Rob, 20:37:58 12/18/03
...helped Buffy stop the apocalypse in Becoming II. Even though
he was doing it for selfish reasons and ditched her at the last
minute, carrying Dru off. He still did help up to a point.
[> [> [> [> is love selfish? -- Ray, 03:16:33
because that was his motive.
[> [> [> [> [> It is when... -- Rob, 07:26:41
...you leave a fight that you could stay to finish (Dru was unconscious,
and was not going anywhere), knowing that it will very likely
doom the entire world to destruction. Also, let's not forget that
he had just cut off the flow of blood to his love's brain. ;o)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It is when... --
Dlgood, 12:27:46 12/19/03 Fri
you leave a fight that you could stay to finish (Dru was unconscious,
and was not going anywhere), knowing that it will very likely
doom the entire world to destruction
The end of Becoming is set up perfectly to compare and contrast
what love is to both Buffy and Spike, and how Buffy (and her love
for Angel) is deep and selfless, whereas Spike (and his love for
Drusilla) is shallow, selfish, and possessive.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It is when...
-- goose, 10:24:48 12/20/03 Sat
I don't know...I mean if the roles were reversed and Buffy had
Angelus covered, and it was Dru backing Spike into a corner, about
to kill him, I don't exactly see Buffy going out of her way to
I don't think that it had to do with showing the different kinds
of love, but it had to do with contrasting "good vs. evil"
characters with Spike not caring about the fate of the world,
and Buffy wanting to save the world.
Also, I think that Spike loved Dru very deeply.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It is when...
-- Dlgood, 21:34:58 12/20/03 Sat
I mean if the roles were reversed and Buffy had Angelus covered,
and it was Dru backing Spike into a corner, about to kill him,
I don't exactly see Buffy going out of her way to help Spike.
Of course not. She would have gone out of her way to save the
The point, however, is a bit larger. Buffy doesn't just love Angel
- she also loves what he loves and what he stands for. They are
people who fight on the "good side" because they both
want to help people. And it's something that has drawn them together.
And that depth and selflessness contributes to her ability to
choose her love for the world, and the requirements of her duty,
over her desire to possess Angel.
I think that Spike loved Dru very deeply.
I think Spike loves her intensely, but not deeply.
Spike does not love what Drusilla loves, and does not love what
she stands for. He chooses to knock her unconscious and steal
her away because he wishes to maintain possession over her.
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It
is when... -- LittleBit, 21:51:41 12/20/03 Sat
I think that to make the comparison valid, not only would Buffy
have to have Angel subdued while Drusilla had Spike backed into
a corner, but it would have to be Drusilla's actions that would
suck the world into a hell dimension. That would truly reverse
their roles. And in that case, yes, I do think Buffy would have
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> unreasonable
love -- sdev, 00:47:08 12/22/03 Mon
Buffy doesn't just love Angel - she also loves what he loves
and what he stands for. They are people who fight on the "good
side" because they both want to help people. And it's something
that has drawn them together.
I think that analysis is not applicable at that point in time
and when they initially fell in love. Angel doesn't begin to fight
on the good side till the S2. In Prophecy Girl Xander can barely
drag him to go save Buffy. Till the middle of S2 Angel is fighting
alongside Buffy but the strength of his committment is not clear
to me as yet. He appears to be mainly interested in protecting
her. And by the middle of S2 he has reverted to evil Angelus.
He begins to fight the good fight again in mid-S3 when he regains
his strength and mental capacity after the primal effects of the
The Angel you are describing is really the Angel of his own series,
after the break up. That is the Angel who begins to fight the
good fight to help others.
I don't think Buffy fell in love with Angel because he was fighting
the good fight or had her beliefs. I think she fell in love with
him in some way despite herself and her values. Sometimes love
transcends judgements and just is.
[> [> [> Re: Spike "TRIED" to stop Glory....
-- leslie, 13:07:09 12/19/03 Fri
I don't think this is really the issue--who gets the most brownie
points for intent, and does an impure intent give you the brownies
or not--at least what I was getting at was the difference between
a make-or-break, all-or-nothing apocalypse aversion and the daily
grind of helping one individual at a time. The thing about apocalypses
is that they're over in a relatively quick time, and you've either
averted them or you haven't. It requires an enormous but concentrated
burst of energy. When the next apocalpse comes along, it's a new
playing field. This is the kind of thing Buffy tended to face,
and which Spike participated in. Then there is the ongoing slog
of helping individuals, which is what Angel and AI do. It requires
fewer of the sprints, more like a marathon, and more often than
not, there's the same small set of forces behind all the problems
Angel has to solve: Wolfram & Hart and/or the Senior Partners,
and the Powers That Be (and we're still not sure whether these
are separate entities anyway). Hell, even in Pylea there was the
implication that Wolfram & Hart were active as the power behind
the monks. Angel is getting worn down in the doing-good marathon,
and I think one of the things that finally got Buffy down was
that her apocalypses were turning into a marathon. Just how long
can a champion keep going? This is why Slayers never die in bed
of old age. The thing is, Angel keeps going on about apocalypses
in his snipings at Spike, and it seems to me that what he should
be talking about is the long haul.
[> Apocalypso (really vague AtS S5 spoilers) -- fresne,
16:47:01 12/19/03 Fri
Well, hmmmÉmy housemate and I discussed this right after
the episode with that statement aired.
S1 BtVS (0) Participated in the thwarting of the Master,
but really, the crucial roles in closing the Hellmouth were Xander
S2 BtVS (0)He was the apocalypse. He even took Ugly Smurf
shopping, although I certainly donÕt blame him. Ugly Smurf
needed a new shirt.
S3 BtVS (1)There was the Zeppo apocalypse. Although,
the Mayor would have sucked for the town of Sunnydale, I donÕt
count it as an apocalypse.
S1 AtS ? I donÕt remember there being an apocalypse.
S2 AtS ? I donÕt remember there being an apocalypse.
S3 AtS ? I donÕt remember there being an apocalypse.
S4 AtS (2) Sun blotted out, humans get cold, eaten and die
averted by a Angel set to Evil. Jasmine goes on a binge
and eats everyone, okay maybe not, but weÕre all brain
dead love and joy zombies averted by an Angel at the normal setting.
So, IÕd say 3 apocalypses, 2 in the past year.
WhatÕs interesting to me about the statement is what it
says about AngelÕs mind set. Angel perceives himself as
someone who has saved the world from certain doom multiple times
and yetÉhere he is. Having to fight for a freaking cup
of torment. What next, weaving his own crown of thorns.
ItÕs interesting because Angel, the series, has never been
about thwarting impersonal Apocalypses. Vast waves that crash
and cry to wrack and ruin. ThatÕs BuffyÕs shtick*.
ThereÕs that prophecy, but thatÕs someday. In the
now, building a new family. Fighting the good fight. Those little
victories that make life worthwhile. Reaching itÕs height
with his epiphany, AngelÕs focus has been on saving the
individual. Save one life to save the world entire. Helping the
A lens of focus that has tightened and tightened, until now that
hopeless is him.
Echoing and standing on distant shore.
Everything that he builds, keeps getting stripped away. The fight
just gets more and more, remote. Seems to mean less. Wear a hearty
mask of Angel is A Okay and fine while destiny lies and his sonÕs
name is unknown. And round and round.
Feeling like he saved the world and all he got was this lousy
lawfirm, which comes with a free topping of damnation. And a soul,
which is cursed, but it comes with love. But that love is also
lost. And I hear Homer Simpson whimper, ÒCan I go now.Ó
Personally, I think Jasmine was the apocalypse and now W&H is
just messing with AngelÕs head. Shanshu refers to getting
a job and paying taxes. Taxes. Death. Mortality. Same dif.
Well, maybe not. But when youÕre reward for ÒsavingÓ
the world is forms and faxes and profit and margins and loss,
how do you feel? When you sacrifice beloved Isaac (to go back
to the beginning of the season metaphors) and youÕre stuck
with Jacob, who just seems to go la la la la, while youÕre
devouring loss? When hands on, becomes behind a plate of glass
Saving the world. Keeping a white board of saved souls. A world
of choice, but no mercy.
And yet he chases the cup, but the Tower is locked. The High Priestess
in the past. The Empress is gone. It is not the birthday of either
the King or the Knight of Cups. Midwinter. The Sun. The Moon.
Longest night. Shortest day. The end of the World. Justice. mercy.
Note: IÕm defining Apocalypse (Why do I get to define Apocalypse,
itÕs my post) as a when, if I lived in this world, IÕd
be dead or a hollow shell of a me. Have I mentioned narcissist
in the last five seconds?
S1 BtVS (1) Master, old ones come back to earth.
S2 BtVS (2) Judge all humans judged and destroyed.
Angelus reap the hell dimension whirlwind.
S3 BtVS (1) Zeppo Evil squid, hell dimension, general
S4 BtVS (2) Doomed What the Hellmouth? Again! Adam
All humans and demons are eventually used as drones in AdamÕs
ever increasing army.
S5 BtVS (1) Glory/universe tear
S6 BtVS (0) What exponentially breeding demons that you
just know the government wanted to use for their own devious purposes
donÕt count? How about bikerÕs from hell? Raving
geeks? Oh, fine!
S7 BtVS (1) The First tries to tip the balance, which somehow
will destroy the universe. IÕm a little unclear. Thwarted
in a big group effort.
[> Well in the Christian Apocalypse... -- RadiusRS,
02:41:28 12/23/03 Tue
...there is much death, destruction, and damnation, but the world
is still here and, after the final battle, better than it ever
was and ever will be. So I think that the End of the World scenarios,
the monsters rampaging scenarios, the changes to the nature of
the reality scenarios, and the damnation or destruction of human
life scenarios all count as apocalypsi.
Russell T Davies - what a
sweetie! -- Pony, 11:27:52 12/19/03 Fri
Saw this link on the ASSB board: http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/doctorwho/features/tdavies.shtml
Russell T Davies talks about his new Dr. Who and gives a great
shout out to BtVS:
Buffy spawned a host of fantasy shows that appealed to young
women as much as men. What else is there to learn from Buffy apart
from Strong Female Roles Good?
Good Writing Good. That's the most important thing in that wonderful
show. It showed the whole world, and an entire, sprawling industry,
that writing monsters and demons and end-of-the-world isn't hack-work,
it can challenge the best.
Joss Whedon raised the bar for every writer - not just genre/niche
writers, but every single one of us. What a man! I shook his hand
once, did you know?
[> Whoa! Nice one. And I've been dying to ask... --
dub ;o), 20:27:50 12/19/03 Fri
Pony, are you Ponygirl? Did I miss the transition? Or are you,
Pony, someone different, in which case, my bad, and hey, Welcome
[> [> Me is she and she is me -- Pony(girl), 22:41:21
Lazy typing and I'm trying to distance my posting name from the
fetish. I've been seeing one too many semi-mainstream references
to ponyboys/girls and believe me they ain't talking about The
Outsiders or even peppy cowgirls. Not that there's anything wrong
with that but not really my thing.
[> [> [> Gotcha...glad it's still you! -- dub
;o), 11:08:21 12/20/03 Sat
[> One possible problem -- Darby, 06:12:02 12/20/03
He invoked Buffy in another interview, where he talked about his
incarnation of Dr Who involving kick-ass female characters,
unlike the there-to-be-saved damsels of the earlier versions.
If he really sees the Doctor's previous female sidekicks as damsels,
can he really be that familiar with the characters and history?
It may not bode well...
[> [> Re: One possible problem -- Rahael, 15:14:00
The thing is, Russell T Davies is one of my favourite UK writers.
He did Queer as Folk, and, more recently, the excellent "Second
I don't have any of the sense of the Doctor Who shows (well before
my time, though I did watch repeats and read some of the books)
and so can't comment on any misapprehensions he might have - but
he has a great track record.
[> [> Shorthand for non-fans -- KdS, 04:35:11
There were, indeed, some very powerful, courageous, and practical
female companions in earlier Who (especially Sarah Jane Smith,
Leela and Romana during the Tom Baker period and Ace in the final
seasons), but there were also some horrible damsels (Peri and
Mel anyone?). And over here in the UK, one of the first things
that Who brings to mind to non-fan writers is screaming women
being chased by monsters. So I'm pretty sure that Davies was trying
to reassure a mainstream reading audience, while trusting fans
to understand that he was simplifying things a bit.
[> ASH to be Doctor? -- O'Cailleagh, 19:04:07 12/23/03
Apparently not...maybe I should rethink that subject heading thing...anyhoo...Anthony
Head has been asked about doing it but said he probably won't
since he'd just spent 7 years on one cult show and didn't want
to step into another just yet. He was very flattered though.
My perfect choice for the role (aside from myself, although I've
already got the scarf *and* live near a TARDIS!) would be Richard
Hmmm...seem to have gone off the point...how unlike me.
Altogether now, Wooo-ooo-oooo, Woo-ooo-ooo, Woo-ooo-ooo-ooo-ooo,
Dum-diddle-um, Dum-diddle-um, Woo-ooo-ooo, etc
Age-Old Board Tradition -- Sheri, 11:32:33 12/19/03 Fri
I've decided to stop posting here. I can't seem to open my mouth
without hurting somebody. So I've decided to stop while I'm behind.
[> Re: Following Age-Old Board Tradition -- CW, 12:53:03
Follow that other age-old tradition, and think about it for awhile
and then keep posting. Usually bruised feelings heal on both sides.
[> Actually, that tradition... -- Random, 13:52:26
...is merely an unrecognizable corruption of the original. A short
When the Board was founded in the year of our Lord 1602, in the
shire of Yahoo, Masquerade's great to the 12th power grandmother,
Illusionia the Deep Thinker laid down the house rules for how
it was to operate. It was a fairly simple list:
1) Playest thou nicely lest the beast of yon Devil d'Horrible
devour thee whole and memes thee.
2) Be thou a paragon of thy Lord's grace, and pray to thy Lord
whenever possible (Random: The Lord referred to is unclear,
but certain documents suggest that it was Rob's great(x11) uncle,
Belfrey the Batty, who was known for demanding worship from all
living beings, especially goats. Traces of this ancestry can be
seen even today, where his descendant, Rob the Cheerleader, worships
all living things...especially goats.)
3) Even as ye do unto the least of these my brethren, ye do also
unto me (Random: Which, in the year 1602, wasn't nearly as
dirty as it sounds today.)
4) Thou shalt not bring Campbell into any thread without first
offering up abjectest apologies for thy unforgivable thread hi-jack
5) Shut up about Campbell, Dedalus the III. Just hush, dammit!
6) Thou canst not churn butter except in a literal sense;
7) Steppeth thou outside when thou desirest to smoke that foul
tobacco so that the fumes might not disturbeth Solitude 904
This last one is the source of confusion. These rules held well,
even when Papyrus, Scroll's great (x 8) aunt insisted on churning
butter philosophically rather than literally (and wouldn't shut
up about her other favorite shows, such as Cleopatra 1919) But
in 1714, Agatha Kegger the Not-So-Bright, one of Masq's less-illustrious
ancestors, decided to amend the rule to say, "Leavest thou
my sight when thou art on fire." Apparently, Cactus Watcher
(yep, the same one as today...god, he's old!) kept setting his
moustache on fire with his pipe, and ran around screaming for
water. Which disturbed Agatha no end. The final straw came when
Agatha was at a Bay (Lake Huron Bay, which was as far west as
they'd made it at the time) Area GLBA party where she was making
good friends with Cotton Mather and had almost converted him to
tolerance when she was called away by an urgently-couriered message
warning her that CW was about to set the Board on fire. So she
implemented the rule and that's where the real problems began.
In 1753, TCH's ancestor, Bach (no, not JSB, just one of the lesser-known
cousins)came onto the Board and started writing his analysis of
the latest Angel and the startling plot twist of the previous
week wherein Angel had been bitten by a blonde named Darla and
transformed into a creature of the night. He waxed eloquent, he
waned even more eloquently, and finally, in a fit of exuberance,
cried out, "Damn, I'm on fire tonight!" The aging Agatha
Kegger -- her mind almost gone, her duties on the Board long since
passed to her daughter Charlotte Peek-a-Boo the Think-Dammit-Think!,
and granddaughter Tea Party the Philologist -- overheard this
and immediately threw Bach out..umm..back. She then claimed that
"Our traditions requirest that he leavest the Board when
things are hot." She then promptly expired, allowing Bach...ummm...back
Now it gets complicated. The rule was still in effect until somebody
got around to changing it. One evening in the fall of 1878, the
Board was cold. A brutal winter was on its way, and somebody
(don't worry, Ponygirl, your ancestor Platypusgirl's secret is
safe with me) forgot to gather the wood for the fire. So Honorificus
(yep, the same one -- she doesn't age) and OnM the Third went
out to chop down a tree. Unfortunately, due to their extreme laziness,
they just decided to chop down a section of the fence. They brought
it in and tossed it into the fireplace. At that moment, Rob's
ancestor Eugene the Confirmed Bachelor recognized the wood. "That's
a fence post!" he shouted. "No posts! I spent months
building that fence!" Everyone ignored him, as usual, until,
in a fit of inspiration, he grabbed the wood and set his sleeve
on fire. With a commanding voice rarely heard on the Board before
or since, he noted that he was now on fire, and by Board rules,
had to leave. He promptly raced out, post in hand, and replaced
it in the fenceline.
After that, "no posts" became something of a mocking,
but affectionate name for Eugene, and it became a habit for anyone
who needed to step out for a cigarette to say, "I'm gonna
stop the post from burning. Be back in a few." Gradually,
that phrase transformed into, "I'm gonna stop posting. Be
back in a few." And finally, it was shortened to "Gonna
stop posting," thought the "be back in a few" was
So there you have it. The origins of the tradition. You shouldn't
take it literally, and certainly shouldn't stop posting because
Agatha Kegger was a little daft. Hope you've learned something
[> [> I KNEW it!! -- LittleBit, 13:59:27 12/19/03
It was Rob's great-great-ever-so-great ancestor who was responsible
for the first flaming post!
[> [> Okay, now... -- dub ;o), 14:06:48 12/19/03
THAT was worthy of applause.
[> [> [> I'm sorry -- sheri, 14:27:10 12/19/03
I was expecting you to be able to read my mind. And I got snappish
with you because I had expected you to automatically see the same
thing that I was seeing and that was unfair to you. We don't always
see the same things.
You don't have to reply or anything. I'm doing very poorly with
my resolution to never post again. I lasted, what? Two hours?
Ack. It's just pathetic. (but it's random's fault for making me
laugh, gosh darnit!)
[> [> [> [> You've got mail -- dub
;o), 17:16:40 12/19/03 Fri
I don't know if the e-mail addy I have for you is current, though,
so I've put in a link to mine, if you don't get it and want to
know what it said...
Did that make any sense?
[> [> Dammit! -- me., 14:19:12 12/19/03 Fri
Y'know, you make it very difficult for me to spend a couple weeks
pouting and holding up "martyr" signs when you make
me laugh like that.
But really, I'm just way too edgey and feeling doubtful about
myself to post for a while.
I need to keep myself AWAY from message posting buttons, people
blocking buttons, friend deleting buttons, and rant updating and
updating again and re-updating buttons.
The longest I've ever been angry is three days. Day one I'm angry
at the other person. And days two and three I'm angry with myself
for being angry with them in the first place cause then I end
up spending two days that I'd rather spend being friends, begging
for their forgiveness.
[> [> [> [> Re: don't click if harsh language bugs
you -- CW, 17:07:08 12/19/03 Fri
Think of what Buffy would do.
Did you sleep with the undead?
Did you send your significant other to hell with a kiss and a
Did you agree to marry evil Spike?
Did you try hitting on the guy who was sharing a life with a super-evil
goddess from a hell dimension?
So, you didn't do anything that bad, did you? People do things
they're not proud of sometimes. I seem to recall someone saying
we forgive people because they need it. First, you need to forgive
yourself. So please come back when you feel better.
And what Random said is a lie. I gave up pipe smoking long before
[> [> [> [> [> You're making this very difficult.
-- me., 18:56:34 12/19/03 Fri
I'm making the "goodbye cruel
world board, goodbye,
goodbye" speech! I think it says somewhere in the board manifesto
that we each need to make this speech at least once. Quit with
the making me laugh!
Umm... does this mean I'm going to have to sleep with a skinny
undead guy now?
[> [> [> [> [> Wait!!!! gotta look at those
questions...... -- Rufus, 05:37:13 12/22/03 Mon
Did you sleep with the undead?
Nope, but sometimes I look like the undead...that count?
Did you send your significant other to hell with a kiss and a
Hmmmmm Hell is where the heart is????
Did you agree to marry evil Spike?
Nope, already married to a computer geek, that's evil enough
Did you try hitting on the guy who was sharing a life with a super-evil
goddess from a hell dimension?
That's easy......no...cause I am the First Virtue and would
never ever do anything bad or in any way wrong....:):):):):):):):):):):):)
[> [> [> [> [> [> Okay.... check Sheri and
Rufus off the evil list ;o) -- Cactus Watcher, 06:47:27
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm just getting
over the shock of even being considered for an Evil List....;)
-- Rufus, nice Canadian, 22:24:17 12/22/03 Mon
[> [> Re: Actually, that tradition... -- Masq, 14:21:51
Oh, to bloody hell with history. Let's just break out the beer
and toast to a happy holiday for all and to the health and quick
return of absent friends after they take a well-deserved board
[> [> [> Here! Here! And bravo Random! -- Pony
the girlish, 22:49:08 12/19/03 Fri
[> [> Oh my goodness, that was amusing. -- Gyrus,
14:58:08 12/19/03 Fri
[> [> Hey, you never mentioned me, me, me!!!!!!!!!sniffle
....;( -- Rufus, 17:11:22 12/19/03 Fri
That's it now I'm off to mope and put a feminine twist to a revenge
[> [> [> You and your 9 lives! -- LittleBit, 18:12:43
Which one are you on now?
[> [> [> let's make that a conspiracy! he didn't mention
me either! -- anom, 17:19:52 12/20/03 Sat
C'mon, Rufus! Let's ambush him in chat! We'll lie in wait, & when
he comes in...um, just what did you have in mind, anyway? 'Cause
[> [> [> [> Well... -- Random, 21:01:40
I'm truly sorry. I just figured that I'd not embarrass you two
by exposing the tawdry and unsavory nature of the involvement
of your ancestors with the Board. I mean, The Original Rufus (that
was actually her name, for some odd reason)was involved in the
1637 Affair d'Turnip, the attempt to spoil the entire Board about
King Louis the XIVth guest-starring role as a man-eating edible
root on the 1638 season finale of BtVS. Not to mention her penchant
for writing dirty slash limericks about Spike ("There once
was a momma's boy vamp/ Who loved both his sire and his gramp/Between
Angel and Dru/He had plenty to do/ And that's why the man
was a tramp.) See? Unsavory stuff. Or anom's ancestor, Just-Plain-Weird,
who punned herself to death in a particularly ugly incident involving
a knight on a dog, several punning variations of the word 'sphinx'
and over twenty simultaneous untranslatable Yiddish puns.
So I was thinking only of ya'll. Really.
[> [> [> [> [> I thought Just-Plain-Weird was
male. -- Honorificus (The Prettier-Than-Legolas One), 21:43:08
I'm seldom wrong about these things. However, as I never did check
under his kilt (or was it a skirt?), I suppose there's a remote
possibility that I was mistaken in this--and only this--matter.
Of course, anom's family is rather strange.
And kindly do not remind me of The Original Rufus' limericks.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh dear...you may be right...
-- Random, 21:59:57 12/20/03 Sat
That would explain hir habit of caber tossing. Not that that was
even close to as weird as most of hir activities, but he/she always
kept one hand holding the kilt down. Which meant he/she kept dropping
the log on hir foot. Quite disturbing.
[> [> [> [> [> [> Historical aside (aren't
they all) -- CW, 22:00:36 12/20/03 Sat
Original Rufus was quite famous in her day, and not just for those
limericks. She was the inventor of the game croquet, although
it took some convincing to get her to call them mallets instead
of Canadian Clubs. That is also where the original meaning of
the term 'spoil' sport came from.
Just-Plain-Weird was always excited about starting up a Ren-festival.
We kept telling her "Just-Plain, the Renaissance has been
over for years. No one wants to listen to that music. Even the
golden-oldies minstrels don't play that stuff any more!"
[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heheh...and **GROAN**
!!!! -- Random, 22:58:37 12/20/03 Sat
[> [> [> [> [> [> it can be kind of hard
to tell in my family... -- anom, 16:00:58 12/21/03 Sun
...so the confusion is understandable. Remember, my own gender
remained unknown to most on this board until fairly recently,
& I'm still androgynous in the context of your alter ego's faculty
at OBAFU. (No comment necessary, we know you think she's clueless--but
who didn't check Just-Plain-Weird's sex when she had the chance?)
In light of all this (or perhaps of a burning fence post), it's
interesting that Random seems to think all of each present-day
posters had the same gender as their ATPosting descendants. Ran,
we are still talking about the human posters & our ancestors,
not our demon alter egos, so if that were true, none of us would
be here posting, or setting posts on fire, or announcing board
"Of course, anom's family is rather strange."
Why, thank you!
[> [> Giggling, picking self up off the floor, giggling
again -- jane, 17:39:06 12/19/03 Fri
That was funny! Never knew the Board predated the computer age
- now I understand where all those demonic alter egos hail from.
I'm still waiting for mine to emerge.
Seriously, though, please don't go too far away Sheri - we'd miss
[> [> [> The original board operated on an abacus
system. -- Honorificus (The Divine And Un-Aging One), 00:22:42
Very complicated, especially for those poor, pathetic creatures
with only two arms. Personally, I liked it. This computer stuff
only encourages the riff-raff.
[> [> Huh? Kegger? Did someone say kegger?? Where?
-- Evil Clone, 20:18:04 12/19/03 Fri
[> [> [> Chat. Where else? -- The First Naughty
Virtue, 20:24:22 12/19/03 Fri
[> [> So what you're saying is-- -- HonorH, 00:19:27
It's all Honorificus' fault. I *knew* it!
[> [> Knew I didn't know the whole story -- mamcu
:-D, 06:44:41 12/20/03 Sat
[> wha'? when? where? -- anom-the-clueless, 18:15:13
Once again I have no idea what led to this. All I remember
is 1 post that had to do w/private vs. regular chat. Sheri, I
can't remember ever reading a post of yours that seemed hurtful--to
anyone. Maybe it was in one of those threads I avoid because they
look contentious? All I know is, I don't want to see you leave
the board! So I'm glad to see you're apparently wavering already...c'mon!
Soften your resolve! Stand lax! Lose that backbone! Go all spaghetti-spine
& keep posting!
[> [> Re: wha'? when? where? -- sheri, 17:27:31
I'm feeling very stressed right now, and when I'm stressed, I
tend to be very anxious in regards to how I'm treating people.
So I tend to worry too much about other people's feelings and
not enough about my stress levels... until I'm so spazzy that
I'm convinced that I'm not being very nice at all... and so then
I get grouchy about my failure to be very nice and I end up biting
people's heads off... and then I feel guilty and I start making
promises about leaving forever and ever.
I hope that got you caught up?
| More December 2003