December 2000 posts

November 2000  

January 2001

In the post of the Soul the word I was waiting for finally was used honour(integrity). I was so bugged that I missed the details of the fight in the alley that I did a complete slowdown of the action. The vamp that was with Riley was beside the pimp she had no fight in her he had beaten her and it appeared that she had to be forced to be there. When the action started she ducked out of the way to the side and cowered in fear. She had no intent to do harm. When everyone else was dead she was noticed by Buffy. She was bruised up and was terrified. Buffy appeared to let her go which is what Buffy would normally would have done then after flashing to realize who the vamp was Buffy waited and threw the spear into the vamps back. Buffy acted without integrity she let her anger at Riley colour her judgement. If Buffy always had killed all vamps be there a danger or not I wouldn't have thought this way. Plus the motion of stabbing someone in the back is normally considered a cowardly act. Buffy has always had a strong sense of how much judgement to mete out this one was personal. To me going against her own inate honour code.
Why blubber about a demon? Because Buffy has always said she didn't do certain things because she knew it was wrong. Why expect Buffy to honour her word to a vampire such as Spike (who has frequently tried to kill her)if we also don't expect her to use her power as needed not to an excess.
Watching in slow motion I got to see just how wrong Buffy acted and Xander was right killing that vamp won't make her feel better. The creature I saw was a cowering beaten bruised terrified shell of a being. The act of spearing a hepless creature in the back showed a side of Buffy I hope she can deal with. If you have a code of honour you have to follow it all the time or no one will trust you.
To the people who will say she was a vamp she got what she deserved you have missed something. If you can say such a blanket statement about any being then why are Angel Spike ect. still here? An act of integrity of honour does not include the execution of a helpless demon or person because they exist. What I saw was a cowardly misuse of the power Buffy was given. I hope she has consequences for this act. As a slayer Buffy still has alot to learn.

I hope she has consequences for this act.

Yes. The dusting of the vamp hooker is less the issue than is Buffy's integrity. Buffy crossed a line when she speared the vamp a defenseless entity as you say whom she did not know for certain had killed anyone. She stabbed the vamp in the back no less. I think that Buffy will have to answer for the choice she made. In fact I will be quite disappointed if there are no consequences for her. I don't think that killing (demon or non-demon) without impunity is Buffy's raison d'Ítre.
"Talk about beating a dead horse.

What Buffy would usually do is Slay the Vampire.

But with hooker vamp she hestiated. Perhaps she ""felt sorry"" for the vamp perhaps she wanted not to slay out of anger - whatever.

Thankfully she came to her senses and slayed the vampire in the end. Had she not people would have died. They might have been strangers to Buffy or maybe even friends but regardless their lives have meaning.

If she had let hooker vamp go it would have remind me of Peter Parker (spiderman). He didn't stop a fleeing criminal even though he easily could have. Later that same criminal happened to kill his uncle."
I don't know what show you have watched but is it the same one where Buffy cuts off the chase when it becomes pointless? Buffy has a definate honour code and it doesn't include killing the harmless...or Spike would be in a jar on her dresser. The fact that she went against what her instincts would normally direct her to do should bother anyone. Crossing the line to abusing power can be a gradual thing. Buffy did the first step.
Talk about beating a dead horse.

I think that Into the Woods was less about Riley and Buffy spliting up than it was about showing Buffy's reaction to Riley's betrayal. I think killing the vamp hooker was the pivotal point of the episode and I think it will be the turning point for the season.

"I have said before the smallest act of vengeance can spiral out of control. When Xander asked her if that made her feel any better I went she's going down. There is no justification for Buffys last kill that I will buy. The excuse just a Vampire pisses me off. Some of the stuff I see I go insert name of minority or other so called worthless person for the word ""vampire"" and you may see where I going.
I'll tell you why the word Hooker got me going and why I'm ticked. What I'm telling you is true so I can't go into much detail.

Some years back I knew this guy who thought nothing more of carving up a hooker like you would carve a Christmas turkey. The girl he killed(the details sickened even me and I thought I had heard it all)was a street girl he picked up and dumped in garbage. Was the hooker his was having problems with his girlfriend. His solution was to act out his anger at the hooker because she was ""worthless"" she didn't count. He acted out his revenge on someone he felt people wouldn't care about.

When I saw ITW I found it an easy judgement until Masquerade asked a simple question. It's in the thread ""Buffy is a Killer"". That is why I came to the conclusion that I thought like a monster. The first step to genocide is deciding the people you kill are worthless. My beef with Buffy right now is that I think she better regain her honour. Slayers aren't just chosen they become....Buffy is a work in progress."
"I feel sorry that the girl died even if she was a hooker. I wish that vampire didn't kill her.

But she is dead. The vampire which took her body had to be slayed. Just like Gunn's sister had to be slayed. Just like every vampire has to be slayed.

I saw no vengence in Buffy when she slayed any of those vampires. She even told them to walk away from the fight.

I was quite concerned when Buffy was going to let that vampire go. I can only speculate on why she was going to. Perhaps it was so she wouldn't engage in a ""personal"" slay the whole slaying out of anger stuff but when I looked at the fight she almost felt sorry for the vampire. As there was some kind kinship between them as they were both ""used"" by Riley (or that is how she felt about Riley's actions).

But whatever personal reasons guided her decision to let the vamp go at first I am glad that she came to her senses and did her duty. She has no right to put innocents at risk for some personal hangup.

Buffy conducted herself professionally and with great maturity. Watch that scene again and you will see Buffy at her finest."
"At one point of this discussion it has been said that Buffy slayed ""without emotion"" and another it was said that she slayed with ""vengence in her heart"".

What I saw was a Vampire Slayer doing her duty. If anything she had pity for that hooker vamp. I feel that Buffy felt for the lack of a better discription a connection with the vamp. I saw no anger within Buffy at that point directed towards the vampire.

I am wondering if people could have handled that scene better had Buffy slayed with some angry statement. ""No one messes with my man"" (although I am sure Buffy would have thought of something more clever to say than that.)

It seems like people could handle that better than this whole ""Slayer's duty stuff"".

I think many people are totally misinterpreting the scene. Perhaps you wanted to see the vengence and the lack of it in Buffy's heart disappointed you (subconsciously of course)."
Perhaps what they should have done was Buffy and Hooker vamp should have formed an alliance. Get Anya in on it as she has experience in this type of stuff. Forget about demons and enact revenge on the true evil out there - MEN of course.
I'll go to the transcripts of Fool For Love and give you Spike on the numbers game...

How many of my kind you reckon you've done?...And we just keep coming. But you can kill a hundred a thousand a thousand thousand and the enemies of hell besides and all we need is for one of us-just one-sooner or later to have the thing we're all hoping for...One good day.

Giles told Buffy that dealing with this problem was a waste of the slayers efforts. So you're worried about one pathetic creature while the big and I mean big evil could kill on a big time scale. Buffy was wasting her talent and time on vengeance. There are too many vampires to kill them all even Spike was clear on that. The slayer is not the vampire exterminator. She simply can't kill vampires on that scale. She was meant to deal with Glory. You worry about one pathetic creature when Glory (who could possibly vaporize the city to get the key) is carrying out her plan. If the vampires were meant to be wiped off the planet Buffy would kill everyone she meets...she doesn't. You say it's great she killed the hooker but Angel and Spike are still way more a threat to mankind and they are still here. They are vampires and you say she has to kill all vampires I take that to mean no exceptions.
To think that the cowardly act of stabbing someone in the back is a fine mature moment then I only have one thing to scare the hell out of me.
Buffy has a duty...she isn't doing her job...she is wasting time on the small potatoes.

Buffy was wasting her talent and time on vengeance.

Didn't take much time. And again she wasn't looking for a fight at that moment. She told them to walk away.

And again not vengeance duty. I didn't see her acting out of vengeance at that moment. The only time I saw that was when she burned the house down although one can see that as removing a hazzard in that way protecting (albeit temporary) all those like Riley who might be attracted there.

two people with some commen sense!
You might be the Dark Prince or a hooker.

If you are a vampire Buffy will slay you.

Dracula was royality but that didn't stop Buffy from slaying him.

She has slayed many upper class vampires. And a quite a few middle class ones too.
"Jeez Rufus what a horrendous story! Are you involved in police work or was the guy some aquaintance? Brrr.....

Only future eps will tell if Aquitaine is correct but there have certainly been numerous past situations where a seeminly passing moment turns out to be very significant.

Buffy confesses to Giles in B vs.D that she has been 'hunting' not patrolling. The season so far seems to point towards Buffy getting in closer touch with her essential Slayer nature. We all know though that Buffy's anger when it occurs is a two-edged sword. She used it to dust the vamps in ITW in mere seconds but ended up commiting an act of very dubious honor in slaying the vamp hooker.

Just prior to writing this reply I had flashed on the dream sequence where Faith is standing before Buffy the knife still sticking out of her abdomen and asking Buffy ""Aren't you ever gonna take this out?""

A key difference in the scene when Buffy stabbed Faith on the rooftop was that in the instant after she did there appeared a look of shock horror and remorse on her face-- her raging anger disappeared in seconds when she realized that she had gone too far.

The look on her face after stabbing the vamp hooker was cold and emotionless. That pretty much says it all and it certainly can't be an accident or a throwaway moment the writers cooked up for a lark.

""The look on her face after stabbing the vamp hooker was cold and emotionless. That pretty much says it all and it certainly can't be an accident or a throwaway moment the writers cooked up for a lark.""

Again emotionaless. She wasn't acting out of revenge nor anger. Just doing her job as a Slayer.

She is finally becoming the Slayer we all knew she could be. She is maturing."
If she was acting out of revenge she would have not been emotionless. She wasn't acting out of revenge.

She is Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
To the first question Shhhhhhhhhh(not anymore but I still hang out in reputable places)to the second part of your question yes again. Told you I knew monsters that one happened to go the school with me. He was a brother of a friend and I always got the creeps around him. Years later I found out why. There were warning sighns with this one years before he got caught.
I went back to the ep. ITW and when I slowed it down got p/o that I missed the obvious. The fight was very fast so the background stuff was easy to miss.
ok here's my ten cents worth...was Buffy killing for duty (Righto. Passing by all the vamps chewing down on the local populace of innocents she goes to the Vamp No Tell Motel) It is specious to argue that the girl meant nothing to fact she had fine and imperative evidence that she did't kill...Riley looked fine to me ehen she was snacking on him but maybe because his shirt was off. This wasn't vamp patrol duty it was...personal. If Buffy should stake All vamps should we execute her for what Angel has done? My my what a tangle of illogic THAT is.LOL
Actually I do have this clause that if I don't understand it...chalk it up to magic.
New Clause:
This is the special insanity clause for slayers who find their boyfriends in a shirts off situtation. It gives the slayer a one time get out of jail free. Buffy just used hers.
This is a one time deal only for slayers so remember ladies we can't use it.

There is also the exception to the rule alot of people use with vampires. Thou shall not kill vampires you have dated or bought beer and spicey buffalo wings for. Vampires such as Angel and Spike fulfill the useful role as dance partners for Buffy. This makes them alive so stakes made of an alternative material from wood should be used. They also are rendered exempt oweing to the fact that Angel in LA goes shirtless and as Riley is gone Spike has cheerfuly taken over Rileys shirt free post.

"Rufus you kill me.

I think all your amendments or notwithstanding clauses to the Buffyverse Constitution make perfect sense:) My personal favorite is ""Vampires such as Angel and Spike fulfill the useful role as dance partners for Buffy"". Who knew Sunnydale was so Utilitarian? ROFL."
Buffy should slay Spike.

She is very wrong not to.
Oh where do we start.
I think that Casper the Friendly Ghost here is missing the point Rufus and Aquitaine. (love your posts btw girls)
You see Casper Buffy will not kill Spike. Spike has immunities in her mind whether she ackowledges them or not.
And I feel that you're also missing Joss Whedon's/the writer's message this season. (one of them anyways)
That being a vampire a demon whatnot does not make you evil. The potential for evil exists within all upright creatures and that does include humans as well.
To say that one is responsible (indirectly or not) for another's actions seems morally askew.
If you are to say that you might as well say that all Germans are responsible for the actions of the Nazis etc.
I'd like it very much if you watched this season again if you can (or have it taped?). There is more emphasis on demons and vampires as beings they are humanized I suppose you could say.
And I agree entirely with Rufus and Aquitaine again.

ps happy new year!

reina I love your post. But now I have to consider special clauses for ghosts. It should start with a pay raise for Phantom Dennis.
"If you are to say that you might as well say that all Germans are responsible for the actions of the Nazis etc.

Not today's Germans. I don't believe in the ""Sins of the fathers"" stuff. You can't blame people for something that happened before their time. To do so would be as racist as the Nazis were.

But for the Germans who did nothing at the time the answer is yes they were very responsible. Those from that time who are still alive they should be ashamed.

All that evil needs to prosper is for good people to do nothing.
how very righteous. and who decides whom is evil and who is not? Or perhaps ""what"" is a better word than ""who"".
Oh well. I for one am anticipating Mr. Whedon's twists and turns and can't wait for the next new episode!

Thanks Reina;)

Happy New Year to you too (and too everyone else out there)!
That being a vampire a demon whatnot does not make you evil.

Right. The fact that Spike is _evil_ is what makes him evil. He's a willful murderer and he would be again without the chip. He makes the vamphooker look like she should be in stained-glass. He may be developing squishysquidgy feelings for Buffy but that doesn't make him good it just makes him more selectively evil. This season may yet see Spike redeemed but for the present he's not and I agree with the ghost that Buffy should have staked him long ago. Spike has plagued her the past two seasons with his attempts at indirect evil to the point where it made no sense for her to keep him alive. In fact when he was gleefully recounting his killing of two Slayers in FFL _I_ wanted to reach through the screen and stake him. It made even less sense that Riley didn't stake him in the last episode; it would have been for the wrong reasons but for the purposes of the story it was ridiculus that Spike survived.

I don't think the vamphooker necessarily deserved to die though. That was a bad move on Buffy's part.
"I don't think we need to ""excute her"" but I will always blame Buffy for all the deaths that Angelus caused.

She had him at the mall. She could have slayed him there. But she couldn't bring herself to do it. So more people died including Miss Calendar."
"Can I ask you a question: Why are your posts always anonymous? I feel like I'm talking to a ghost.

""I don't think we need to ""execute her"" but I will always blame Buffy for all the deaths that Angelus caused.""

So in your mind Buffy would also be to blame for the death of the Wolfram and Hart lawyers (if they *are* in fact dead)... I think it is always dangerous to hold one person accountable for another person's (even a demon's) actions. Buffy's choice was ambiguous (at best) because:

1) Giles' said it was a waste of her Slayer time to go after an ambiguous evil. (BTW did anyone else think for a minute there that maybe Giles had indulged in some suck-fest when he was young - in his Ripper days)?

2) This vamp hooker may never have killed a single person. She may merely have sucked on them her entire vamp life. The point is Buffy didn't know one way or the other.

3) The torching the 'crib' was the same type of action as killing the vamp/tramp. An act of vengeance.

I hope other people have stuff to say about this because I think I have staked this topic to death in my own mind:)

"Yes indirectly she is responsible for the W & H lawyers.

Mind you I don't think she should lose any sleep on this.

Those lawyers got what they deserve.

I don't think Angel has ""gone too far"". Not yet.


There is NEVER EVER a 'duty' to kill. There are justifiable reasons to kill. When they occur people have the 'option' to kill not the 'duty'. The Slayer has been given the 'authority' to kill vampires but this is NOT the same thing as a 'mandate' to commit genocide of vampires. Anyone who would mandate the genocide of any sentient species has no moral authority. If we presume TPTB do have moral authority they could not have made such a mandate. Furthermore NO ONE is EVER morally responsible for the acts of another. If they actively support someone in doing an act of evil then they are a part of that act otherwise they are not. Buffy is NOT responsible for any acts committed by Dru etc.

Casper-Yes and if she had killed Angel all the individuals that he has saved in his quest for redemption would probably be dead. Individuals that the powers that be do not want dead.
Granted perhaps they could have found another being to do this. *shrugs*
But I must say that Buffy being a slayer and having supernatural abilities and whatnot does not give her the right to take all life. She is not technically connected to the powers that be and it is my opinion that she exists as the slayer to maintain balance not to disturb it.
Not all vampires and demons are evil and not all humans are good.
And as was previously stated ( I forget who by) she is a vampire Slayer. not an Exterminator.

Again not killing Slaying.

Vampires are parasites. And yes they should all be slayed whenever the opportunity presents itself.

Except that Vampire with a soul of course. But Angel even has told his friends that if he ever loses his soul again and becomes Angelus to slay him without hestitation.

I think that's partly what this episode was all about other than providing for the exit of Riley to also show Buffy's degeneration into a colder more primitive slayer. She is on a slippery slope to darkness right now. That's my theory anyway. We'll see if this pattern continues in Episode 11. If she's all back to normal slaying again in that episode then I guess I've read it all wrong.
"I thought Buffy handled that situation quite well. With a little help from her friend.

Perhaps she could have handled the situation a little better but give the girl a break. She was just coming off of the situation with her friend.


Changing the discusion a bit when Dawn finally finds out about herself do you think there will be a stuggle between Buffy and Glory for 'little sis.'? In some ways Dawn might feel a kinship with Glory.

If there will be any ""darkside struggle"" this season I believe that is where it will take place. Can Buffy pull Dawn away from the dark side? Or will Dawn go with Glory?

I am just waiting for this scene.

Buffy (to Dawn) Move away Dawn.

Dawn (to Buffy) You can't tell me what to do. You aren't my sister you even said so.

Glory (to Dawn) They aren't your family you have nothing in common with them. I am your family we are alike you and I.

Joyce (coming out of the shadow) Dawn Millicent (or whatever her middle name is) Summers you do what your sister tell you to.

Considering the amount of disinformation disguised as spoilery that has been circulating of late I got to wondering why it is that we seem to want to spoil ourselves so much with hearsay. Is it our insatiable need for knowledge? Is it that we have no concept of delayed gratification? Is it that the show is so addictive we can't help ourselves?

Signed 'one who wishes she didn't know now what she didn't know then':)
"I love spoilery! So many times I read what someone thinks is going to happen. ""I have it on good authority..."" and Joss will do the complete opposite or do it in a way that leaves us looking at each other with our mouths hanging open! I anxiously head for this web site every week to see what you all think about the last episode or what's on the grapevine. If I had one wish I'd like to be a fly on the wall when Joss is sketching out each episode."
Spoilers are information from people who know. Conjecture and personal opinions from those of us who have to wait to find out what's actually going to happen doesn't qualify as a spoiler. We can have fun guessing might happen but we don't know.
Conjecture and personal opinions from those of us who have to wait to find out what's actually going to happen doesn't qualify as a spoiler.

I agree. That's why I like posting on this board. We discuss 'possibilities' and it's great. I took a look-see at some other sites and boards over the holidays and what I read there kind of took all the fun out of the speculation. That's what I was referring to in my post. I was wondering to myself why I didn't leave well enough alone why I was compelled to find out more than I wanted to know.

At any rate I have scurried back to this board quite happily:) It's 'safe' here. LOL.
I love this board. It amazes me at the variety of things that people see in each eppisode that I missed but that isn't spoilery. And I'm glad. I enjoy being surprised and watching each eppisode knowing as little as possible. It's fun to fantisize about whan could happen but so many times it doesn't.
"*** ""Is it that the show is so addictive we can't help ourselves?"" ***

Question asked and answered Aquitaine. ;)

But 'tis such a fine madness...

"I'm afraid the affliction is chronic as well. Woe is me! LOL

I'd feel much better if the line ""much madness is divinest sense"" hadn't been composed by an agoraphobic recluse. "
Any show that can get me to replay tapes like they're the Zabuder tapes(not sure of the spelling of the guy)has me hooked.
Most of my family just shakes their heads but my husband watches to understand what I'm talking about.
It would be embarrassing to try and explain my obsession to them. Plus how could I enjoy repeated viewings of Spike and Buffy kissing if I had a husband looking over my shoulder? :)

As for being spoiled I must admit I enjoyed the show more when I wasn't spoiled. The shocking twists were always the best part of the show. Yet I feel helpless to stop now that I am spoiled. I can't explain it except to say I have no willpower.
"hmmm...a support group. In my case my husband says ""why are you laughing? Are you on the philosophical vampire board again?"" And then he shrugs and lets me be. I enjoy the show. My teenage kids love the show. My cat loves the show. And my darling has probably never seen it...he's always off in the depths of computer geekdom writing code...and his hours didn't allow for Buffy viewing...if it's in syn dication I'll just leave a TV on channel...he'll look up at the first funny dialog."
Well if the cat likes it no wonder Whedon is doing so well. My husband got me a VCR to tape the shows upstairs out of his way. He likes sports. If a show makes me think I stick around...
Remember a frosted flakes commercial where a 50ish guy was embarassed to admit he was addicted to the cereal? That's the way I was for a while; I admit it freely know. In theory it's a show I shouldn't want to watch (totaly wrong demographic) but the Buffy/Angel show is the best (and nearly the only series worth watching) on TV. I too watch them over and over. I can't wait till the DVD season 1 & 2 sets are released in the US. The Brits appear to already have them.
Don't get me started on the DVD sets! Ever since October or whenever they first announced that they would be released in the U.S. I was absolutely delighted that I could now own BtVS in pristine digital glory rather than mediocre off-cable VHS. So what does Fox do? They give the sharp end of Mr. Pointy to loyal U.S. fans just to suck up to the syndication $$$. Now *maybe* the DVD's will be released 'late next year'. (Snorts...)

(Legal notice to Fox-- that' just *my* humble opinion)

There have been rumors that Fox could take over the show from the WB I certainly hope not if that's how they treat their customers (you know us??)

End of rant. (Sorry-- it all stinks of pointless vengeance anyway. ;)
"To whoever broadcasts the show: ""Don't mess with it and don't let your censors mess with it. Let Joss do it."""
The last rumor I heard (I read it in a magazine possibly TV Guide) was that either ABC or CBS (I can't remember which one) was looking to take over BtVS. Of course that would probably ruin the show or lead to cancellation since BtVS doesn't pull a big enough market share for one of the Big Three Networks.
"If they're not taking it over in the first place to kill it. And doesn't Disney own ABC? Can we say ""Goodbye steamy sex scenes?"" (or insert other possible questionable content in place of sex.)

BTW-Don't you just know that it'd get placed opposite ""Angel?"" "
I have got to get me a DVD player. The extra info that you can get off a DVD is great. We bought a Laser disc player and it was a waste of money. Now we can't find discs ect.
But Tony the Tiger...LOL..I love it...we could do a public service anouncement with some of us in the shadows encouraging other addicts/enthusiasts to come forward.
Rufus try doing searches on the net for laserdisc retailers. There are places like Ken Cranes that have been liquidating LD stock for cheap cheap (like $5 - $10). Or you could try Ebay for people looking to sell laser titles who recently upgraded to DVD.

There are very few new titles being pressed but there is a decent used market. Laser is not quite as superb as DVD but it's pretty close. It was the video industry's reference standard until DVD came along and without it there would have been no DVD.

What was sad was that laser was killed off prematurely. Many A/V dealers foolishly told customers to hold off and not buy a player that DVD was 'just around the corner'. That corner was almost *three years* in turning but in the meantime laser player and disc sales fell like a rock falling into the grand canyon. Now there are people like you who have a good piece of technology but find it hard to get discs.

They are out there though and at least they are real bargains. Good luck!
Thanks for the info....
"Hello to all. This is my first time responding
to this board just a little nervous I guess you can all say I am *the virgin* ;) Be Gentle!!!

I have been reading this board for several months and have looked at others....this one by far is the best. OnM JoRus and so many guys kill me!!!

I have been hesitant to answer...I feel so inadequate...but I have learned so much. I finally just couldn't take it.

Back to the spoilery..this is why we are here to discuss our ""obsession"" with the Buffyverse and try to figure out where Joss is going to take us next. We have no idea..but it is so much fun to try. Sometimes we are right sometimes we are wrong!

Can't wait until next new eps...Oh the journey!!!!

Yes Murdock...but are you Canadian? My cat is....: )
JoRus take it easy on 'the Virgin'! LOL. Welcome Murdock. You certainly sound Canadian with all that apologising... Don't be afraid of us. We only bite in order to feed:)

BTW. How did my wonderful pseudo-pedantic subject line 'The Metaphysics of Spoilery' degenerate into 'Laserdiscs'? Shudder. Doesn't anyone have anything remotely philosophical to say about the nature of addiction or about our insatiable thirst to know about all things Buffy? Is that a rhetorical question?

Did anyone here say virgins...where...where???? And if they're Canadian? Do the little virgins have cats?????
I am looking forward to getting season 1 on DVD
although I may buy a DVD that plays any format and go to and order season 1-3.

One of the great pleasures of this board is to read what other people see in the episodes and go back and rewatch them with a new perception.

Considering the state of the current TV season Buffy and Angel reruns are just delightful.

I hail from USA and I'm a dog person but cats do like me even though I am very allergic to them.
We grant you a conditional pass as long as you frequently cry the superior nature of the cat.
I'm going to have to remember all my aka's alot better than I do. I've got the flu can't help a little identity confusion.
"Yes Yes I had a feeling that I would catch ""you know what"" from that Virgin thing. It's okay...I can handle it!!

Although I am not Canadian (I'm Tennessee born and bred)...I am a Cat Lover!! Grayfield my gray sexy fat cat;) and Rambo my mouseslayer who unfortunately met his match with something much bigger not too long ago..miss him"
Cat people rule with a quiet dignity. LOL....we love our neighbours to the south. After all that's where out favourite shows come from. We will actually resume picking apart our favourite show next week I can't wait. Now to see if you have the potential to be a honourary Canadian have you heard of Blackadder or Red Dwarf?
Blackadder: a 24 episode romp through History.
I wished they had tackled WW2
You have succesfully passed the test to become a honourary're right I wish they did do WW2. If you have cats you can apply for God status.
I had never heard of Blackadder until your post & Brian's. I couldn't see the connection to Canadians & Red Dwarf until I realized it was probobly about cats & Red Dwarf. I had thought the demographics of the shows was primarily teen girls but it appears to be Canadian women with cats. So I'm not in the demographics of the board either. Oh well.
Well there is an evolved cat on Red Dwarf...and you haven't heard of Blackadder???? poor soul. The fellow that does it is Rowan Atkinson who you may recogise as Mr. Bean I prefer Blackadder. The series have been shown on some PBS stations when they have a pledge thing going. But if you like cats we will love you anyway...dogs are nice too but my house is only so big and my husband says no more animals.
Actually I'm a dog person but I do get along with cat - though I have yet to figure out what they like about my leg. It's almost like they're trying to scratch their back but if that was it they would want a rougher surface.
The good news is that they like you enough to do that. They are marking their territory if they mark're part of it too. Any cat that marks you is laying the astronauts planting a flag on the looks like the applications for god are going to go on forever.
Well I feel stupid....I didn't know either. I had a guess but I'm sure glad I didn't post it.

Ya know us Tennesseans...we just got shoes and socks a couple of years ago!! ;)
We got family that's moving to Tennesse so you can only be okay...and the cat thing puts you over the top...don't you feel like a Canadian already?
Well maybe I'm not out of the demographics of the board afterall since I'me living in Tennessee these days.
AHHHHH the Canadians are taking over the board!!!
Just kidding I love you all! :) Hope you don't mind my little outburst :).
Just remember we are a Super Power or at least we really love our cats.
You have to be a Super Power. You guys see so much in each episode that I just totally miss.
"I must jump into the fray. I do have a cat but I didn't watch the Blackadder (sorry!). Does watching ""Due South"" count? I have been asked on more than one occasion if I am a Canadian-they said I had the accent. Go figure. I'm from the Panhandle of the state where people can keep up with five Bingo cards simultaneously but can't properly mark a ballot.

Regarding spoilery. I think it is like eating really hot/spicy food. It is burning your mouth and you are perspiring but you can't stop.
Definitely the pleasure/pain principle here. But there is such an advantage to not knowing. When Doyle died I was totally traumatized. I called my brother-in-law practically in tears and asked him to go on-line and see what the heck was going on. Even though it was a sad event it was more satisfying to experience it fresh. If I had known in advance my horror wouldn't have been so great and hey aren't we all are in it for the element of horror(among so many other things)."
Owning a cat is pretty much all it takes to get into the Canadian Demon Cat Worshippers circle.
I get told I have an American accent. I was brought up with Brits and Danish people.
I love fun period. I do go and get the early reviews and synopis of both programs. It never ruins it for me. I also read the last chapter first of a book....I'm sensing a personality flaw here. Welcome to Canada superscrounger!
"Personally it's the great writing and chin-dropping plot twists (not to mention the hunky actors) that keep me tuning in every week to BtVS and A:tS.

I've also never been so obsessed with a TV show as I am with these two shows. I've seen all the shows read nearly all the books (currently working on ""Spike & Dru: Pretty Maids in a Row"" by Christopher Golden) and probably have too many of the ""toys."" I have some friends who also watch but after I was chosen Fan of the Month on another board they decided ""we're not worthy."" :D

On obsession with BtVS and A:tS: Could it be we are looking for a hero in our lives - either someone to emulate or someone to rescue us?? Could it be that these two shows are the fairy tales for the modern age? (Originally fairy tales were more like behavior or morality stories that taught lessions to people. And they weren't relegated to just children.) They give us life lessons mixed with enough fantasy that we don't realize what we are being spoon fed until we've already sucked it down!"
purplegrrl you are so right about Buffy and Angel being a modern fairy tale. You can really take the show two ways. Strictly as entertainment or you can learn from it. I'm surprised at the amount of people are as addicted to the show as I am. Part of it for me is in Buffy the small pretty girl is the one solving the problems. I enjoy watching the guys react to the fact she can send them to the moon. With the last few seasons there have been alot of things to think about on both shows. So it seems that the shows have alot of people thinking. Everyone has the right to their opinion. I have enjoyed reading everyones posts so much. That means yours too.
Oh good. We somehow drifted back on topic:)

It does seem that the shows have a peculiar hold over viewers. I agree that it is the shows' consistent elaboration of a hybrid mythology and frank appraisal of personal empowerment and accountability that sets them apart; that and the writing the quality of which just takes my breath away. Of course the attractive (cough) actors and actresses greatly enhance the viewing pleasure as well...

I have so much more to say but the board has twarted my every attempt at communication since early this afternoon. The level of frustration this has caused me just goes to prove that the thrall of the Buffyverse is very powerful indeed!
Call it a new form of fuzzy logic...we talk about the subject end up with cats(that can never be wrong)province of origin. Then we are back to...what was it again?????
Oh yeah the week we seem to be getting a big troll story where Xander has to choose which woman to save from the big guy.
All I can say is no matter what he does he is screwed.
"Buffy as a life lesson hmm.

I've always loved fantasy and sci-fi. Not too many decades ago when I was an adolescent I noticed that the only girls/women in the stories and movies were put there as proof that the hero was heterosexual. They rarely added anything to the story except giving the hero and sidekick someone to rescue all the time. And it ticked me off. Look at Tolkein Terry Brooks Flash Gordon Superman Dr. Who... I could go on. Suffice it to say I love watching Buffy because the little girl in me has someone to cheer for. (and identify with. Honestly I don't look anything like Christopher Reeve.)

I'd like to add that Aquitaine scared the heck out of me with her wording of the first message in this thread. ""Did she find out something horrible?!!"" To quote Spike ""Please God No.""
I'd been checking out the spoiler sites and I think I'll take a break for a while because if something terrible is going to happen I don't want to know.
Isabel...I think the oh god the one Spike said right after he had a dream....It was more of a....oh for crying out loud is my life gonna get complicated...

And I love that the only people screaming on Buffy tends to be the men...see Spike with the demon snot monster from outer space...Wesley...Xander...the list goes on. I was sick of the fact that in most books that the woman screamed her guts out all the time. Usually I might add to the fact her guts were being sliced out. In the past the woman was killed very violently or was the love interest some guy had to save...what a pile of crap...most of the biggest guys I know have been more bark than bite. Did I say I love the fact such a tiny girl saves the day and her strongest friends are other girls(that doesn't count Wesley he's on another show now).
I winced during that scene with Spike. What he can take on any variety of earthtype demon and he's up for the kill. Show him one alien and he shrieks like a girl?
But we just discussed that the girls on this show don't shriek much. Make that Girly-man.
Poor Aquitaine! It must have been all that Y2.1K stuff. (Y2.001K? Ah what's a decimal between friends...)

purplegrrl having wrested the board back from the demon laserdisc cat invasion I shall now evoke my right (write?) to say something of genuine philosophical significance.

Well actually I'll just try to explain my obsession with BtVS. It isn't easy because there is clearly something beyond rationality involved.

Five years ago after several shows had aired I began to feel this compulsion to watch the show. The last time I remember a similar situation was with St. Elsewhere and before that with Hill Street Blues.

There were similarities for sure. A great ensemble cast the 'continuing episodic' story structures brilliant writing an edge and a willingness to take risks artistically that almost never occur on network television. But there was one difference.

St. Elsewhere and Hill Street were reality based shows. Buffy was purely fantasy. It even had a silly title that suggested it was a kids show. I tuned in because I had seen the movie and liked the concept and was sure they couldn't pull it off as a series.

What a shock. I tuned in expecting if I was lucky some good chuckles like the movie delivered. I got Shakespeare in a vampire motif.

Hey writers! You can't do a serious show about vampires! They've been done to death there is nothing left but cliches.

But there it is. 4 1/2 seasons later better than ever there are so many moments that live in my head with the intensity like remembering Christmas Day as a child-- the smell of the tree the snow outside-- a perfect moment in time.

I have a friend who is a great lover of classical music. Unfortunately from my perspective he cuts himself off from other musical pleasures because he considers other types of music 'insuffciently demanding'. In short bless his heart but he's an elitist snob.

I take little pointed jabs at him on occasion noting that both Shakespeare and the musicians of the classical age actually wrote the popular music or theater of the day for ordinary people to experience. He doesn't care much for this concept I suppose it makes what he feels to be special less so. His loss.

Is BtVS the Shakespeare of today? Too bad I won't be around in a few hundred years to say 'I told you so'.

Sincerely with all due obsession ;)

"St. Elsewhere & Hill St Blues loved them.

But first may I say make a guy a fellow Canadian and he gets uppity.

Back to Buffy. The first season was okay but by the end of Season 2 there was no going back. I liked the fact while this girl was growing up and screwing up she was also the slayer. She was great at the slaying but she still was insecure as a person. All the characters knew what it was like to be snubbed and not popular. By the Prom I was so happy that at least the ""kids"" had figured out what the parents passivley denied Buffy was the protector. My husband even watches because he finds it funny. It's been nice to see even Mr. Giles(who at the begining was a tad effete)grow into a better man.
The show has dealt with abuse neglect and fear of the unknown(growing up) while we watched the vampire romp. It's too bad alot of people can't get past the name."
Uppity moi? And after all those Bruce Cockburn references in my posts... ;)

That scene in 'The Prom' that you mention is one of my all time favorite moments from the entire series. I've probably seen it 6 or 7 times by now and I still weep when they hand her the little umbrella.

This is an example of a daring moment if you take into the subtext of the scene the fact that this sort of thing **NEVER** happens in the traditional superhero/comic book scenario. The convention is that the hero/ine must ALWAYS labor endlessly to do good without any recognition from the public as to the burdens that go with the enormous responsibility-- the whole classic BORING OVERDONE secret identity thang.

But here if only for one shining moment she realizes the recognition and gratitude of her peers (your comment about the adults being clueless is dead on). Hope arises out of despair (the loss of Angel who as you recall announced he was moving on).

And then the great music to finish off the ep.

Ah me...
"I tend to like a heavy dose of fantasy/sci-fi/unreality with my television viewing. Which means I watch alot of Sci-Fi channel and lots of syndicated shows (Xena Andromeda etc.) About the only ""reality"" show I watch with any regularity is ""Law & Order"" - another compelling ensemble show with great writing.

I started watching BtVS because it was a show about vampires (and maybe I knew it starred the guy from the Taster's Choice commercials!). Of course as we all know the show has become much more. And even though the movie was fun I think the TV show is much better.

As far as perfect moments go I have a number of favorite scenes:
When Angelus is torturing Giles and Spike roles up and tells him ""I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet.""
When Xander says he's tired of dating insects and getting the funny syphyllis and refuses to be everybody's butt monkey.
When Willow finds out that Oz is a werewolf and says she still would like to date him because she's ""not much fun to be around three days of the month either.""
When Angel becomes human and chides Buffy for not telling him about the taste sensation of chocolate and peanut butter.
When Spike goes to L.A. to get the magic ring from Angel and from a rooftop he does his version of the conversation between Angel and some girl Angel has helped.
And of course the prom and Buffy and Angel's dance.
The list goes on.

There are not many shows that continue to roll around in my brain long after I've seen the episodes like BtVS and A:tS do.

Keep up the great work Joss & Co.!"
You've got to remember that Shakespeare wrote for the bucks. Audiences of his day had choices like bear baiting and c--- fighting to go to rather than a play so the play better be entertaining.

Of course if Shakespeare were alive today he be writing for Spielberg or he'd be Spielberg.

Hmmm. Buffy as the TV Shakespearian Play. Works for me.
I got hooked on Buffy when I discovered just how smart and good the writing was.
Who are what are TPTB and how did they become what they are? Apparently they supremely powerful and knowing but neither omnipotent nor omniscient devoted to the cause of good. Are they a great council of great spirits? We can assume that at least some of them are not and never have been human. Some however may be human souls possibly refined by generations of re-incarnation. Is the slayer chosen from souls who have reached a certain level of development that it has the potential to be one of TPTB? Are the more promising slayers re-incarnated as slayers again so their souls can mature until they can become one of TPTB? Not the Kwisatz Haderach as someone mentioned in an earlier post but it would still be an impressive destiny for Buffy.

TPTB are a little too neutral and aloof for my taste. Frankly their presence (state?) creeps me out more than that of any demon.

Your point about reincarnation and soul-development is very interesting. I'll have to think about it some more before I comment on it.

The name TPTB implies that there is some kind of interference from on high. Are TPTB = to fate or are they something more proactive?
"I've always understood TPTB as the good counterparts to ""The One"" - the ultimate evil entity introduced in BTVS Season 3 I believe the episode in which it appeared was ""Amends.""

""The One"" was able to inflict only emotional and spiritual harm since it was not a corprael(sp?) being. Could it be that the powers that be act in much the same way except for the good?

Therefore they would not be idle watchers but simply unable to do much for the good."
"As Doyle said to Angel in City Of... ""They are more powerful than you or me"" (so more powerful than a couple of demon hybrids) ""and they just want to make things right."" This implies things are rather wrong and we know they call warriors of good (Angel Buffy) and seers (Doyle Cordelia) to help them but if they are anything like the Judeo-Christian God they are limited by human/demon free will--they cannot coerce warriors and slayers etc to do good they can only persuade them to. Plus they don't ""live in our reality"" so they must operate through channels like the Oracles or Doyle/Cordy.

"...but if they are anything like the Judeo-Christian God they are limited by human/demon free will--they cannot coerce warriors and slayers etc to do good they can only persuade them to.

I get the feeling that exactly what the ""Powers That Be"" are is being made-up as the show goes along. Previously they were simply some ""higher power"" which calls the Slayers and possibly brought Angel back from one of the hells. Now they have been given faces in the recently deceased Glitter Twins and the phrase ""Powers That Be"" actually seems to be their title now (the maggot-faced demon in ""To Shanshu in L.A."" calls them by that title).

I don't really know what the PTB are going to end up being. I really hope that the PTB and the demonic forces don't just end up being warring factions which use the earth as a battleground (what I refer to as ""pulling a Babylon 5""). In such a case neither side would be in the ""right"" or ""wrong."" They would simply be fighting for their own purposes and ends with little more than selfish motives.

As to the Judeo-Christian God being limited by free will I really don't know where you're getting that from. That concept is not part of classical Christianity. There has always been debate about the nature of free will in the face of divine sovereignty but very rarely do theologians take the easy way out by claiming that God is actually limited by our free will as if the Creator could be limited by His own creation."
I see the Buffyverse PTB not necessarily in the Judeo-Christian mode but definitely in something akin to the Boethian concept of God and predestination. That is there exists a supreme being that is all knowing and there exists free will which entities who live in a certain reality can choose to exercise BUT their choices are already predetermined (ie known to TPTB). It is only by a trick of the mind that entities (humans half-demons demons) actualise their free will. They must exercise this free will to move forward in the time-bound world they live in yet they are also bound to their destiny are prescribed by fate.

This system seems incredibly contradictory but in many ways explains how only FAITH can reconcile earthly free-will and other-worldly predestination.
"I have a basic problem in logic with the assumption/logic train that has led to the idea that Buffy is linked to the PTB and that her decisions are therefore good (although good is a perceptual/cultural issue in itself) and the name of my problem is Faith. If the PTB have ""gifted"" Buffy and other slayers with Slayerness and one of the gifts of slayerness is a infallible judgement in who should be slain...well I'm sure you see where I'm going with this. I wopuld like to think that Buffy is infallible but if it's a quality of being a just isn't so. Therefore she is fallible as Faith could be."
This internal guide I proposed would probably be a talent that would have to be dveloped just like her fighting skills are a talent that has to be developed. Furthermore she could choose to ignore it. Thus Faith may never have developed this skill and when she did hear it she may have ignored what it told her. Also this internal guide may only work for supernatural beings since that is where the Slayer's authority lies.
I don't think it was ever stated explicitly that the link would be infallible Buffy certainly isn't. But if you turn out to be right (on an historical basis) even 70% of the time you are beating the odds by chance and so you might learn to trust your instincts/feelings.

We'll never know for sure whether Joan of Arc was the messenger of God or just mentally unstable but her triumphs in battle in the face of overwhelming odds make it an engaging issue.
One question if predestination is a big thing with the PTBs why did it never occur to the Oracles that they could die?
... why did it never occur to the Oracles that they could die?

Good question. The Oracles were only 'messengers' of TPTB in human form - maybe they were always meant to be sacrificed (although the word sacrified attributes malevolent or at least ambiguous intentions to TPTB). Without predestination how do you explain the prophecies of Aberjian?
"Going the the Boethius explanation the Oracles could be ""surprised"" by meta-Providence even if they have seemingly complete information about our level of reality.

"the saying goes ""one girl in all the world with the power and skill to fight the vampires...blah blah"" so Buffy has the power and skill but not the knowledge or intelligence not the right to determine who needs slaying and act as judge and executioner. Only the power and skill to fight the vampires. When the powers gifted the slayers with the physical strength and quick healing abilities why didn't they gift the slayer with immortality or even a direct line to TPTB so the slayer could ask questions. Suddenly it seems the slayers are evolving out of the original design-to fight vampires-and now the slayer takes on all forms of evil."
and now the slayer TAKES ON all forms of evil.

An interesting choice of words! Buffy does take on all kinds of evil. And with no one but a currently off-form Giles and alienated friends (they don't even know they are being left out of her life yet!) how can Buffy keep from absorbing some of this evil? Who will watch out for Buffy now?

"Perhaps the correct question to ask would be""why did it never occur to the Oracles that they Would die?"" as in that day. Perhaps they were always aware that they Could die.
As for the prophecies of Aberjan they seem to speak of things that could be if certain events previous to the prophecy occur. Recall that when Lindsey was burning the scroll he remarked to Angel that Cordelia was doomed (as the scroll foretold) since only the words of Anatole could save her and he was destroying them and that Angel was in trouble also (I don't remember the exact words but it was something to that effect.) And Angel regains the scroll and tells the gasping now one handed Lindsey ""don't believe everything you read."""
Has anyone thought of the fact that TPTB and Senior Partners could in fact be one in the same and that good and evil are just pawns in some elaborate chess match? Both sides are evenly matched so it is possible that the same force is behind it all. Just something to think about :)
So what you are saying is that Angel chucked out the PTBs cause he doesn't want to play chess anymore? I kind of like that.
"I think Angel is getting tired of being played with eventually someone is going to have to make a move. I think that by locking Dru and Darla in with Holland Lindsey Lila and the rest he's basicly saying he's done playing let's move on. He wants to see who's behind the Special Projects Division. He wants the Senior Partners and the only way to get to them was over Hollands ""Dead Body"" Looks Like Angel got what he wanted."
I basically said more words though. With Angel you can't piss him off forever and expect he will fall into a convenient box. W&H made a big mistake...they think one vampire is the same as the other. They think that because they have power themselves that they are immune to justice. I'm enjoying Angel alot more now that the dribble over Darla phase is over. I did say why play with the staff go over their heads(he did take that quite literally)and talk to the boss. Angel is just taking the short-cut route. Beware because short cuts can end up taking longer than expected.
Sorry Rufus (sheepishly) I just got so exicted! It's only my 2nd post here.
That's okay it means we think alike. If you are about to do a nasty you don't want the people you care for watching and that is where Angel is at right now. I just don't like his methods...he's going to slip up. You can't serve the cause of justice by breaking the laws when they don't serve you. You risk becoming the very monsters you fight.
"*** ""You can't serve the cause of justice by breaking the laws when they don't serve you."" ***

Remind anyone of a certain Harry Callahan? I seem to recall that when Angel got in the police car and saw Kate sitting across from him his first (and only) word was 'Perfect!'.

Couldn't see if he was giving her the 'Eastwood Evil Eye' though. ;)"
"Believe it or not I wasn't a fan of Dirty Harry. But I did like it when Angel got in the car and saw Kate it was the ""oh now what"" perfect look. She surprised him.
Do you think she will regret letting him go now?
I like her character cause she reminds me of Gunn opposite sides of the same coin. They have the best intentions to protect humanity but have cut themselves off from others doing it. It's ironic to me that even though she considers him trouble...if she really knew what he was up to helping his friends...she may very well help him."
Just a random thought... sometimes Kate really reminds me of Buffy. Not the Buffy who 'dated' Angel but the one who spars with Spike. I think it's the pigheadedness. How bizarre that Angel/Kate share a similar dynamic (what do you want now?) as do Buffy/Spike...

Actually I think Kate is a great foil for Angel. Too bad she isn't around more.
I agree-- along with Giles Kate is another character who needs some more screen time. I also think you're right on about the dynamic-- it is a lot like the dance between Spike and Buffy.

My reference to 'Dirty Harry' Callahan was in relation to foreshadowing. There has been quite a bit of discussion on whether Angel is turning dark or whether there is something more complex going on whether he's trying to plan the chess game with W&H farther in advance of his actual moves.

Whether one liked the DH movies or not I remember they generated huge controversy when they were first out as to the bad example the Harry Callahan character set that he was more a ruthless vigilante than a cop.

The problem of course was that his proponents said that he had to 'do what needed doing' and if it was technically beyond the bounds of the law so what-- evil was vanquished and that's the important thing.

Sounds pretty familiar to me...
"Actually Dirty Harry was not a vigilante. Some real vigilantes found this out the hard way. His comment after dealing with them ""A man has got to know his limitations."""
Due to mounting evidence I have to question the mostly accepted fact that a vampire/demon can only be evil as he/she has no soul.
Season one was so simple. Vampires/demons were evil period. Made it so easy to contemplate genocide because they were a direct threat to human existance. One question I have is if vampires/demons were meant to be wiped off the face of the earth why have only ONE slayer?
As the seasons have progressed we got Angel vampire with a soul. That was easy he was good because of the presence of his soul. Then Mr Whedon started evolving the accepted facts. There were demons who were never evil and some demons chose to be good directly going against their nature. The best example being the Prio Motu demon known to be a demon bred to maim and massacre(got that bit from this site).
We have been shown that vampires can adhere to a set of rules that include not killing humans(vamp hookers)in an effort to escape detection.
Spike is evolving as a person and I don't know where it will end for him. He is in the camp of demon hunters now (even if it is just thrill killing).
If the human race can evolve their behavior why can't the vamps have a few members that evolve past their nature to kill? Is the notion that vampires can only be evil just be another form of prejudice?
As I can't say what a soul is for sure how can I judge beings that do not have one?
If the presence of a soul was the only indicator that a being is good why does humanity commit so many evil acts?

"All good points. In addition other questions to which we don't have answers:
1. How many vampires have been cursed? (If there is 1 there can be and probably are more.)
2. How many other ways can a soul be given? (Only curses can give souls???)
3. Do in fact all people have souls no matter how big of a monster they are? (In AtS a boy was more of a monster than a demon who was himself a monster.)
4. Not only do TPTB designate 1 slayer at a time they pick a young girl. Very few adults would have the wisdom to use the extraordinary power (and presumably the corresponding authority to use it) of a slayer. Why do they invest it in a child who has not had the chance to develop physically intellectually or emotionally? The show has implied that Buffy is one of the more long-lived slayers. Yet it has said that she has not even begun to learn what she is. Why don't TPTB give a slayer a chance to learn more about what they are and what there enemies are before investing them with the duties of slayer? There appears to be no connection between TPTB and the Watchers. Did TPTB appoint some as yet undisclosed entity to guide the slayer? More likely: did TPTB endow the slayer with some extra internal voice that guides a slayer; and which among other things allows her to subconsciously sense which supernatural beings deserve to be spared (sort of a supernatural version of Spike's chip - although unlike Spike's chip it doesn't prevent her from acting just giving her information which she can ignore)? Such an internal guide would be valuable (essential?) for someone given the authority to act as policewoman judge jury and executioner. If this is true and if Buffy has developed it enough that it can be trusted and she acts accordingly then the darkness many of us see for her may not be there now and may be avoided in the future. One hint that there is such a guide and that it has considerable influence over Buffy is the episode where she tried to be a normal waitress and have nothing to do with slaying. She instead discovered and dealt with a serious supernatural threat and literally went into a hell to fight it. If this internal guide led her to problem she may not have even been running away when she left Sunnydale. If she has such an internal guide she probably is not consciously aware of it. Without such a guide she has a serious problem.

Nature ALWAYS creates aberrations from the norm. This is not restricted to people with 6 fingers etc. It also includes people who have no concept of right and wrong. In the proper environment they might possibly be able to refrain from acting as monsters but that is their true nature. Furthermore in the wrong environment normal people can be turned into monsters.

Since genetic aberrations are in all nature's beings it is to be presumed that they also apply to vampires. Some people will say ""But vampires aren't natural"". In the real world that is true but in the Buffyverse they are natural. So one must expect some aberrations that act as if they have a soul whether or not they actually have one. In addition we must expect that their environment has caused some vampires to behave properly even though they have desires to the contrary. The presence of a nearby slayer would certainly motivate such behavior - especially if they knew she would exercise discretion as to which vampires she dusted so that their appropriate behavior would be rewarded by allowing them to survive.

For good reasons we don't allow policemen to shoot anyone they find suspicious. We should expect the same from a supernatural policewoman. Historically in some extreme situations where one man was the sole legal authority available in an area he found it necessary to exercise extraordinary power. It was sometimes tolerated by others not because it was wise or desirable but because it was necessary. All to often however we re-learned the truth of the old saying ""Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely"". Someone who is under constant threat of death in battles can be tempted to dispense with the entire concept of justice and stop evaluating sentient beings (We of course have only met human beings; but we have imagined others: Narns Klingons etc.) for how they behave but for what they are. At this point some beings become THEM. Then it becomes possible to say THEY have no 'humanity' then that THEY have no rights and finally that the ends justify the means. Once someone reaches the point that they are ready to act accordingly. They have lost so much 'humanity' that they themselves become in their actions a THEM though such a person probably can longer see themselves well enough to realize it.

"Based on what we've seen in the seires I get the impression that the function of a soul is to make you feel bad when you do something wrong and make you feel good when you do something right. It's Buffy's soul that makes her evaluate her victims' stake-worthiness. As we have seen recently she is capable of mixed motivations.

Some humans evidently have a soul that is dysfunctional in some way like the little boy in AtS.

As for Spike the chip in his head performs one of those functions giving the illusion of a Soul. It does not perform the other function however. There is no positive reinforcement when Spike does something good and it is far from clear whether or not he feels anything when he does good.

None of this answers the question of ""non-evil"" demons. Presumably they have some mechanism that functions in place of a soul at least as far as their behavior is concerned. The Host of the Karaoke bar in AtS is a case in point. What drives him to help people? He's a demon so it's not a soul. Furthermore he doesn't seem to have any ulterior motive. Maybe he derives some psychic benefit from his readings? It's fairly clear he enjoys what he does. Hmmm....

On the matter of why TPTB always choose a young girl it seems to me that youth is more adaptable. A child has the ability to grow up with her powers where adults are by and large more brittle in terms of their personalities."
"Humanitas-- I tend to agree with you that the PTB would favor youth most adults would bring too many preconceptions including the most basic one that goes ""Vampires? There aren't any such things as vampires--- ahhhhgggh!"" (biting on neck commences-- Another 15 minute career as a Slayer!)

One interesting related question might be why is the Slayer always female? We know why Joss wrote the story the way he did but if you were the PTB and you wanted maximum demon-slayage to take place wouldn't a male be significantly more agressive?

(Perhaps that is the reason they don't-- the grey areas that BtVS and A;tS are getting into regarding 'good' demons without souls and 'evil' humans with them could show cause for a less agressive more thoughtful (female) warrior).

On the matter of Spike not getting positive reinforcement when he does something good that may be changing since he is certainly smart enough to know that Buffy is likely to despise him less if he does.

There is also the fact that Buffy spared Spike (and Drusilla for that matter) in *Becoming* as part of his agreement to help her stop Angelus. Could that event several years ago have planted the seeds in his mind that Buffy wasn't a typical Slayer who most likely would have dusted both him and Dru once Angelus had been stopped. A Slayer's duty right? Who would care if you lied to a demon and broke your word?

I hate to use a Trek analogy here (since they tend to be over-used) but the ""Only Nixon could go to China"" one fits in this instance.

That's all for now still pondering the soul/good/evil/prerequite thang. Going to scroll for a while now..."
Who would care if you lied to a demon and broke your word?

Perhaps we should blame Buffy for not doing so. After all look at all the people we know Dru has killed after that (and I am sure Spike as well).

What is more important? Keeping your word or saving lives?
What is more important? Keeping your word or saving lives?

I hesitate to answer your question. And my hesitation that scares me. What happens when morality and integrity are at war with each other?
This kind of dilemma is why I personally have such a great problem with those individuals who champion a single absolute full time morality usually 'handed down from above'.

The area of the country I live in is very conservative both politically and religiously and our local papers are filled with letters to the editor that proclaim that the answer to (whatever social ill) is just a Bible verse away.

Don't these people ever run into these intractible problems in their own lives or are they just living in constant self-delusion like the good folks of our mythical Sunnydale?

I don't know how to answer the question posed either but in balancing the costs and benefits honor and integrity have to weigh in pretty heavily.

Buffy can't stop all the evil in the world. The greater need at the moment was to stop Angelus and if a deal with Spike was necessary to do so once that deal was made it would be very dishonorable for her to renege demon or no. Spike did keep his part of the bargain after all.

"So it would be ""dishonorable.""

Buffy would save lives. She should have reneged.

Again what is more important. Some misguided sense of ""honor"" or saving lives."
"Not keeping one's word word can have very long unforseen consequnces. Maybe more people will die at another time because the allies you need will not join you because they don't trust you. The recognition of the importance of the truth has been one of the more serious fatalaties in modern society. The results are serious. We have a society where lawyers are everywhere and into everything. This year a VIP in legal trouble in a trial said said ""it depemds on what your definition of 'is' is"". Private and gobernment detectives of one sort or another running background checks on people or trying to trick them into breaking some law or cheating on their partner. Is there anyone who believes a government announcement? We sometimes temporarily accept it but we know full well that at any time we may turn on the news and discover it was a big lie. Lies and failing to keep one's word are like atermite infestation in a building. You don't see the effects for a while but one day you awaken to find the structure of your life or your society is unfit for habitation. Be careful what you promise but once made it is almost always better to keep one. Notice I said 'almost'. There may be circumstances where greater harm comes from keeping the promise but unless one can see the future one will never know which action will demand the highest price."
Honor is never misguided if you belive what you are doing is the right thing.

In a world were no one can trust another giving your word is a big deal. If you can't stand by your world than you are nothing.

She could have killed Spike and Drusilla but that would have been breaking her word and proving that she was no better than the demons she fought. And Spike kept his end of the bargin by helping her and then leaving. And look at the good Spike has ended up doing by helping Buffy.

Honor is a powerful tool that should be treated with the respect it deserves.
Having been in military Sanguinary sounds like a marine corp drill instructor I too believe in honor. From the days of King Authur to today a man has always been judged by his word. I am teaching my 3 sons this life skill also.
"If I must use trickery deceit lies to defeat evil so be it.

If you must deceive someone to save a life then that is ""the most honorable thing to do"".

For example if I knew my neighbor was harboring Jews and the Nazis knocked on my do to ask me if I knew of anyone harboring Jews I would LIE.

I guess that makes me without honor. So be it.

If Buffy slayed Spike and Dru after saying not to there would only be good consequences arising from that. There would be no Dru to give Angel the trouble she is now giving him.

Remember whenever you ""let a vampire go"" you are killing humans. Spike and Dru killed people after Buffy let them go. Weren't their lives worth anything?"
Fisrt my thanks to gds Sanguinary Aquitaine Rufus and Lyn for rather nicely paraphrasing my own thoughts on this.

Anonymous your actions as described in the Nazi/Jews situatuon are not dishonorable. I think however that you are commiting a logical error by assuming that truth-telling and lying are tied inexorably to honor/dishonor.

As I stated in my original post the difficulty in this lies in that you cannot always determine the future outcome of things so taking the 'honorable course' is not always clear and at times it cannot be determined at all.

In your example you are making certain presumptions namely: 1> Nazis are evil beings 2> The Jews in hiding are good people and so must be protected from evil people 3> Your neighbor is a good person for hiding them from evil people 4> Your interests are not motivated by personal gain but a desire to do the 'right thing' under the circumstances.

In the case of the above being all true your actions would be considered honorable by most people. Let me now use an example which I believe is closer to the situation with Buffy and Spike:

Two men come to your door state that they are the police. They are looking for a serial killer and have reason to believe that your next door neighbor is hiding their prime suspect. They give a description which in fact exactly matches that of a person you saw your neighbor talking to the other afternoon a man she claims is her nephew from out of state.

You do not know these men while they *look* like police and have police ID's you have known your neighbor for years and she has always seemed like a decent kind law-abiding individual.

So do you tell the police that you have seen the man or do you lie and say you have not? And which is the honorable course of action?

If the police are right your neighbor could be in grave danger despite her claim that the person is a relative. If the police are not who they seem your neighbor and the unknown person could be in danger.

How do you choose? The outcome is unpredictable and so your 'honor' depends entirely on future 'hindsight'.

The tricky thing about honour and integrity is that its 'results' or 'rewards' are never immediately apparent. Let's say that Buffy had killed Spike and Drusilla in B2. What would the Buffyverse look like today? Would Buffy have been able to bring down the Initiative and Adam? Would Angel have eventually turned Darla back into a vamp himself? And what would Buffy have had to cling to with the end of the world averted but with Angel and her sense of honour dead?
I don't believe that Spike had that much to do with the downfall of Adam. Buffy would have defeated him any way.

As for Angel W & H would have found another way to vamp Darla again. Albeit it wouldn't have been as poetic.

But still how about all the people that Spike and Dru killed afterwards. (Just because most of it has happened off camera doesn't make them any less relevant).

If Buffy would have slayed Spike and Dru after promising not to all those people would still be alive. And isn't that Buffy's job. To protect the innocent.

"By the way.

Buffy did break her word to Spike.

She said that if she ever saw Spike back in Sunnydale she would slay him on the spot (it's really touching the concern she has for the rest of the world. You can kill anyone you want as long as it isn't in Sunnydale California.)

And while we are at ""what ifs"" what if Spike had control of that ring that made you invincible? He almost did. Then what will we be saying about Buffy living up to her promise not to slay Spike and Dru? A missed opportunity with devestating consequences.

She should have slayed Dru and Spike then. And she should slay Spike now. For the moment he gets that chip out he will ""paint the town red""."
I don't believe that Spike had that much to do with the downfall of Adam. Buffy would have defeated him any way.

If Spike hadn't shown the Scooby Gang that their greatest vulnerability lay in not banding together I don't think they could have defeated Adam. Spike's own motives were self-serving but the outcome depended on his interference. And this season Buffy's life may be in his hands. I like to think that there is a reason why given all the chances she has had to kill him Buffy hasn't killed Spike.

If Buffy (ostensibly the force of good) doesn't keep her word how can she keep chaos at bay? Like Xander said in Restless societies have rules. Likewise people have to have rules to govern their behaviour. Because she wields great power Buffy needs to abide by rules more than anyone.

If Buffy killed every vampire she encoutered because of what they might have done she would never have time to fight the big fights the ones that impact the world as a whole. Buffy called herself a firemand in Restless. I take that to mean that she fights the fights as really needed not just because. To fight the ambiguous evil would take Buffy away from her true duty.
Buffy didn't exactly have much time to devote to Spike and Dru when she was fighting Angelous to the death. If Buffy doesn't stop Acathla the world gets sucked into Hell and all humans suffer eternal torment. She made a judgement call at the time and I think it was the right decision. She didn't have a lot of options at the time she could not fight all of them alone and thanks to Spike she didn't have to.

Saving the world makes strand bedfellows.

Ah what ifs are fun if they don't drive you crazy. If Buffy had slain Spike then who would have saved Giles Xander and Willow from the demon when they were recovering from the spell on the first slayer?
"gds raises some interesting points but I disagree with the assertion that an adult wouldn't have the wisdom to use the extraordinary power. Wisdom comes with time observation and experience and generally adults have the edge on all these since they've been around longer. TPTB invest these powers in a child because they can be molded and taught by a an authority figure who is always older and more experienced and educated in these things. I think it takes an influence other than the slayer's own judgement to use the power as intended. A young Slayer would take the guidance of an adult more readily than a newly formed adult Slayer would. They would tend to argue and reason and to not like to be told what to do by someone they would consider a peer especially later when they had developed more. Also even though the Slayer has powers her youthful energy level is a big plus. It is not a coincidence that Olympic level gymnasts are at their peak in their young years.

I'm intrigued by Buffy having a developed sense of who is kill worthy and who isn't. I have to ponder that more.

gds states that ""nature always creates aberrations from the norm."" Is this in the Buffyverse or in our world? In our world I believe monsters are made not born. In the Buffyverse I will accept otherwise.

When we become too lazy ""busy"" or uninterested to see those around us as individuals and thus lump them into convenient albeit inaccurate THEMS we are on a destructive course. It is too easy to lose sensitivity especially as gds mentions someone under the constant threat of death in battle. That is another reason Watchers are so essential. They introduce a balance to someone in the throes of battle and weighed with such responsibility that they get too focused on one part of their natures and lose their perspective.
How true is gds' final point; We are often blind when we look at ourselves ready to pull the mote from our neighbor's eye and unaware of the beam in our own."
"*** ""That is another reason Watchers are so essential. They introduce a balance to someone in the throes of battle and weighed with such responsibility that they get too focused on one part of their natures and lose their perspective."" ***

Very good point. In another thread it was mentioned how when Faith killed the Mayor's assistant Giles was looking to help her deal with this unfortunate accident while Faith was assuming that if she told the truth she would be punished and so lied and set Buffy up to take the fall. Certainly here the adult perspective was wiser than the youth perspective.

But then again there was Wesley...
Ah Wesley.

In dealing with humans there are few absolutes. But in general adults are wiser than youth. Also Wesley was an annoying person. This got in the way of people(the SG and the viewing audience) actually listening to him and hearing when he was right or had good ideas i.e. he was the one who reminded them that the Mayor's box o'spider snacks would have supernatural protection as well. Most of the time people just blew him off regardless of what he said. The world is full of Wesley types-annoying but not stupid. The rest of the world should give them more credit and cut them a little slack.
What about human-demon off spring. Doyle was one. Did Doyle have a soul? If humans have souls and demons don't do the off-spring instantly come with a soul or because their blood is demon they don't get a soul? I beleive that being human doesn't qualify you for a soul. Hitler Charles Manson and others-I believe-were born without souls. I believe in a human being a product of his environment up to a point but I also believe that your soul your innate gift of knowing good from evil is a gift from TPTB and not something you get just because you walk the earth in human form.
Good point from Lyn about Doyle.

If Human=Soul and Demon=No Soul than why does the soul always have to be good. A Soul is like a scale we use to weight the good and evil inside of us.

>=less than
<=greater than

Evil>Good= A Soul with less Evil should lean towards good but:
This would explain why some humans are able to commit evil acts. Because their evil impules overrule the good.

Most people would be on the good side or just about evenly blanced. A few people would be tiling slighty on the evil side while only one in a million would be complety evil or complety good.

The idea that demons might have their own brand of souls has been brought up. This could explain how cross-breeds like Doyle or like the budist-demon from Angel could be able to serve good. The good in their soul outweighted the evil alowing them to lean that way.
"Perhaps the ""soul"" resides in the ability of the mind's eye to see the mind's I. The stoics call this the apprehensive perception. Human's have this ability granted them but don't always exercise it. Pol Pot for example died not imagining that he had done anything wrong!

Meanwhile most demons live in the moment their consciousness does not rise past the moment. Those who do see it must still apprehend the choice. If they do their soul springs into being.

Meanwhile most demons live in the moment their consciousness does not rise past the moment. Those who do see it must still apprehend the choice. If they do their soul springs into being.

This is a very evocative idea. How would this theory apply to Angel whose soul was forced on him and to Spike whose choices and actions are informed (as far as we know) by a mechanical device? Does Spike's chip only give the illusion of a soul as someone else has pointed out or does it really give him an opportunity to live soulfully (albeit in a transitory manner)?

That's when the choice for Spike will have to truly be made. Unless Spike can decide to be good sans chip I will sit on the fence on what to do about him. But yes can the simple gesture of a good act cause a soul to being?
I'm thinking that it would make for better storytelling if we the viewers were to know the exact nature of or status of this chip in the near future. It is difficult to have an emotional investment in a character who may be artificially motivated. I want to see the real Spike whether good or evil not a facsimile. As to the chip being removed or malfunctioning you know I'm of the opinion that either the chip never existed or was removed in Out of my Mind.

BTW. There is a double entendre in the phrase 'out of my mind'. It can either refer to insanity OR to 'a figment of my imagination'. I just hope that no ploys such as 'it was all a dream/parallel universe' or 'let's go back in time and reset all the storylines' are used. I'm holding out for some heavy-duty creativity on the part of the writers in this respect.
We went over that on another board and as it's been done over and over again...who knows.
Alot of people mentioned the chip never being there and I have to say...what was the blinking light that Harmony saw when the Dr. was in Spikes brain. In FFL it was established that at least Dru had figured out Spikes true feelings for Buffy. So how do we go back?

"what was the blinking light that Harmony saw when the Dr. was in Spikes brain.

So we are basing our knowledge of the existence of Spike's chip on what a flaky and distracted Harmony saw? LOL. I don't know much about brain physiology but couldn't she have simply seen the brain stem nestled in brains? Her description is a little vague if you ask me;)

""Harmony: I can see the chip. It's nestled in there like a pretty little Easter egg with your brain all round it like that green plastic grassy stuff only this is more of a beige--""
Well...she got the bit about it being a sex organ. But with her new habit of smoking her sight may have been impaired....or LSD...bad moments inspiration...I know Harmony hasn't got all her pirates onboard but I thought she might notice a pretty blinking light...LOL...can we kill her???
LOL...can we kill her???

Horrors! And after all our talk about the sanctity of human life etc. I think we need to start a new thread about whether it is moral and just to kill off uninteresting/perennially stupid characters. LOL.

This has probably been mentioned before but the parallel only just came to me... The fictional town in which Passions takes place is called Harmony. So maybe Spike is actually in the parallel world of Harmony. You know the same way Wesley is in Virginia:)

By the way I dogpiled you over on the Cross and Stake where I'm Leora.
And yes I do have certain exceptions to the rules but if Harmony moves out of the crypt that's okay too. As for Passions LOL!!!
You're sick and twisted and I've said it before it is a fine character trait.
You're sick and twisted and I've said it before it is a fine character trait

You say the nicest things:)

BTW. I never got around to telling you how purrfectly funny your comparisons between cats and vampires were. OK I'm off to think of a good title for a new thread.
There is no definate good or evil. Why is a vampire bad for hunting humans? We are only meat to them. We kill many animals to feed our populations. We may not do it ourself but its inside us the ability to. The only arguement is they have some sort of enjoyment out of the kill and for mortals its a survival mechanism.
Blessed Be
Good point Dawn. And I think you got it right. It's the fact that they take pleasure from killing but don't people also hunt for pleasure?
The Cross And Stake? You're on another message board without me? (Sob...) And I thought we were friends. (sob sniffle sob)
Yes I was a selfish cur. I'm Leora over there. So I was outed as a girl pretty quick. I don't know the addr. but you can get to it through the link...we're at the spoiler board. This is my first home. I vent my spleen the most here.
"Superscrounger-- ""The rest of the world should give them more credit and cut them a little slack.""

Good point about Wesley not always being wrong but being ignored anyway.

I can really feel for this myself since in my own line of work I'm a fairly competent individual but I don't seem to be blessed with the looks or charm or charisma or whatever the hell it is that makes most average people pay attention to you as a result of which my job gets much harder and I sometimes lose customers to other businesses who I know for a fact are feeding them a line or worse but a line by a charismatic person.

*(Sighs...)* Yet another intractable problem...

Wesley's gotten better though. Maybe I should get my own mythical universe to improve in! ;)

Hm. Wesley *is* much maligned. No one seems to want to hear or believe the truths he speaks (a Cassandra syndrome?). Attractive packaging above all else seems to be the way to get ahead even in the Buffyverse. Wesley tries to get his message across but he is always tentative and never chooses the right medium in which to express his views. I loved how he tried to talk to Angel over tea! Too funny.

And speaking of Charisma... I was delighted when a friend of mine said I was a lot like Cordelia - until I found out that there is a huge 'I hate Cordelia' faction out there:( Although I have a wee bit more tact than Cordy does (that isn't very difficult LOL) I don't always package my opinions in an attractive or palatable manner and I'm thinking that soon I'll have to undergo surgery to remove the foot that is a semi-permanent fixture in my mouth.

But then who said life was fair? LOL.
"Aquitaine-- Glad it was you who made the pun on 'charisma'. As soon as I wrote it I had to resist the urge for wordplay rather mightily! ;)

*** ""I was delighted when a friend of mine said I was a lot like Cordelia - until I found out that there is a huge 'I hate Cordelia' faction out there."" ***

I know the feeling considering if you've followed my posts for a while now you know I am a fan of Riley (aside from a few lapses in the vamp-hooker association dept.) But I'd wager the number of I-hate-Riley's out there greatly exceeds the number of I-hate-Cordelia's by a substantial margin.

Go figure. ;)"
There is a reason for the Hate Cordy group envy.
People feel bad around the attractive folk...and don't tell me you're tall just don't know what it's like to go through life requiring a footstool to navigate in a kitchen.
And life isn't fair...
I too think envy is the reason they hate Cordelia so much. She gets to say everything she thinks AND look fabulous at the same time.

Alas although I am tall I am not drop-dead gorgeous just kind of generic looking. It is a terrible cross to bear:) Next time I feel down about it though I'll remind myself that at least I don't need a footstool in the kitchen. Meow!
What I lack in height I make up for in short people are scary LOL.
"I remembered the quote from Judge Judy(another short person with guts) Beauty fades Dumb is forever.....
There was a documentary on the CBC that was called ""Blue Eyed"" about this woman in the states that has done seminars regarding racism...I really enjoyed it. She was doing a seminar when a Cute Blonde made a couple of cute remarks and what she said to the girl I'll paraphrase the best I can. She basically made this girl face the fact that beauty fades. She went on to say that you can be cute and perky for only so long...say up to 45 then you are just an old broad. I thought so true. She also went on to say that baby type names like Deby Suzy Tammy ect. were an effort to control women.
What I'm saying is that sooner or later how we look won't matter that is when you'll be really glad you've used the smarts god gave you."
And yet Wesley is it because he's sort of an effeminate poofter? (He's just Brit) As Rufus says beauty isn't forever yet people envy Cordelia her looks a way it doesn't matter what someone looks like when you get to know them...the looks are transcended.
Now you can see why as soon as he died Spike remade himself(no new chest though). Spike has an inner poofter...and I think it almost got out when the demon snot monster from outer space jumped on him. At that moment Spike found a new octave range that he didn't remember he had.
I have to go on record that I wanted Wesley on Angel as soon as I knew there was a new series. He is Funny. I like someone that has some brains dart skills optional.
I know we are supposed to be profound here cough but I just *have* to out myself as someone who has been harbouring a secret crush on Wesley for a while now. It's something about the eyes; they've mesmerised me! He's just so darn *earnest*. And you've got to respect who is willing to say he screwed up. I was thrilled when Wes showed up in LA. When he roared in on his bike all leather and fallibility... I knew A:tS would be a success;)
Unfortunately as soon as I feel sorry for a guy I'm sunk....Wesley just needs a Canadian or two in his life...we'd understand what he was saying...and understand his need to do Pantomimes (therefore the urge to wear girls clothes) with old school chums.
Speaking of Cordelia...has anyone else noticed that her chest seems to have grown this season ala Brittney Spears? I was wondering if she was just wearing more revealing outfits... Or if it was a side effect of living in LA
We are known for being the board that picks apart every aspect of the show. We need new episodes. I again invoke my magic clause when it comes to Cordys chest. There is the water bra????

Yes I've seen alot of reference to this board actually the other night on the Cross & Stake I got outed as not only Rufus but as a cat. Alot of people thought I was a guy surprise! I can't believe anyone read the jokes I made up to bug my husband(he's a bit of a brooder). If you go to Yahoo this site is recommended.
Is Buffy Cross and Stake back on-line?? I've been trying to get back on that site for some time now (at least a month maybe two) but can't get there from here. IMO Cross and Stake has some of the best fan fiction - particularly the 5- or 6-part story about the Scooby Gang 20 years from now.
I've had no problems. You can get to it from Yahoo if the addr you use is not working.
Can anyone explain to me why Angel left Dru and Darla with all the lawyers? We all know that the whole bunch of them started this whole thing in the first place but what if Darla and Dru turn them all into Vamps? Is Angel going to go back and set the house on fire?!! What if he opens the door to a Darla and Dru army? Is it really wrong to let Vamps chow down on bad humans? If a rapist kills a pedifile does anyone care? Do two wrongs make a right? Darla and Dru kill the lawyers and Angel kills Darla and Dru so all's right with the world?
Two wrongs do not make right they constitute revenge. Revenge can spiral and get out of hand.
Yes Angel is a killer. We can joke about the room being full of lawyers but I feel his choice was wrong. As I didn't see any matches in his hands when he spoke to the gang I can only assume he locked the doors and washed his hands of the situation. He has gone off his path...will he find his way back?
I believe Angel was taking a calculated risk with Darla&Dru with the Senior Partners of Wolfram&Hart and with himself. Darla&Dru may go on a killing rampage or they may turn to him to reconstitute their little post-nuclear family. Wolfram and Hart may turn him evil or they may simply have misinterpreted Angel's unwillingness to let humans be killed.

The only people he has cut out of the game are the people he cares about (Wes Gunn and Cordy). Otherwise now all bets are off and the chips are going to fall where they may. IMO Angel simply made a huge gamble.
Kudos Aquitaine for your input that Angel removed from himself only the people that he cares about.

I don't believe however that your assumption of Angel's motive was correct.

I think that Angel is about to go all unethical... (use evil/bad methods to destroy true evil) and he doesn't want to have to deal with outrage on the part of his very own three stooges.

Personally... I hope he gets his butt whooped since I'm pissed over what he did to the lawyers.
his choice was wrong... he locked the doors and washed his hands of the situation.

I agree. In fact what is most troubling to me is that he took such a passive approach. If he truly believed that the lawyers deserved to die he should have killed them himself. These half-measures are more corrupting than had he murdered them himself -- they allow him to reject responsibility for their deaths.

I don't see locking the door as active participation -- even with the door wide open Dru and Darla would have been more than capable of preventing the lawyers from leaving. To me this was simply a final act of intimidation -- to make certain that the final moments of the members of W&H special projects were as filled with terror as possible (and he does intimidation so well!)
Malandanza: I thought of the story of Pilate and considered the moment when he washed his hands of Christ. He thought what happened after was not his concern not his fault. Evil comes in many forms. The evil I saw Angel commit was one of washing his hands ignoring his choice then he crossed the line completely and locked the doors.
Works for me.

My only problem is that he left Dru and Darla.

Should have burned the house down.
Wasn't Holland's wife in the room when Angel left? She's certainly a relative innocent.
I'm withholding my judgement on Angel's choice until I see the outcome. When the show ended no one was dead... yet. Based on what I know now I'm appalled that Angel walked away from the scene. I think we are supposed to be appalled at what he did. To what end was this scenario drawn up? I don't know but I am DYING to find out.
"Me too! Personally what appalls me is Joss's cruelty in letting us hang with ""You're Fired"" ringing in our ears for the holidays! ;)"
"Joss makes me crazy!! I thought Cordelia and Wesley and Even Gun were getting closer to Angel ""Don't be embaressed we're family."" Cordy says after all. To Shanshu in LA really brought the team together. Now they're all fired!!I try to anticipate Joss's next move until I get a headache!"
"The last we saw of Holland's wife she was lying in the entry hall leaking blood onto the nice beige carpet when she invited Angel into the house - not in the bomb shelter c-- wine cellar c-- lawyer massacre.

Is she dead or alive? It's possible that Angel helped her to the hospital on his way out of the house - just because we didn't see him do it or he didn't mention doing it doesn't mean he didn't do it. Or it's possible that she was too far gone or dead by the time Angel got back upstairs. Even in the state of mind Angel was in I don't think he would have let an innocent die if he could help it - even Holland's wife. She probably didn't really know how her husband made his money other than he was a lawyer with powerful and influential clients. She had the look of a ""trophy wife"" to me.
"Is Angel a killer? Yes. Is Angel a murderer (at least in the case of the lawyers)? That's debatable.

I do certainly believe that Angel is an active participant in the deaths of the Special Projects Division. His inaction makes him just as culpable as any action. However was it wrong for him to let Drusilla and Darla make the lawyers into oh-so-many happy meals? I would say no. Wolfram & Hart are practically above the law. In fact they believe that they are the law. No court of land is going to believe that the firm has been raising demonic forces out of hell to kill innocent people. However the firm has murdered too many people to be allowed to continue any further. I think that if I were in Angel's position I would have done the same thing. The bit of poetic justice of the lawyers being destroyed by the very forces they tried to control for their own purposes would be too rich to pass up.

However this does not acquit Angel of leaving the premises after he let Darla and Dru have their way. He should have stayed behind and killed both of them as soon as they left the building and also staked all the dead bodies inside just in case the dynamic duo decided to make themselves some playmates.

Does this make Angel a murderer? I don't think so. He was in effect executing those in the room but only because no court would be able to do so themselves. Does this place Angel above the law? Only in specific cases. Angel has the right to kill demons and other supernatural threats which the law of the land makes no provision for. He is the appointed warrior of the Powers That Be (who apparently have more authority than any human court) and as such has the right to execute justice within his ""realm "" if you will. Normally the evildoers at Wolfram & Hart would not fall under his jurisdiction but their meddling in things supernatural and their numerous murders committed through such means I believe places them into Angel's jurisdiction.

Angel is definitely a killer but I do not think that he is a murderer. He was executing justice within his realm of authority granted to him by a higher power. There was definitely some revenge mixed into it but in the end he was giving them what they justly deserved."
Have to agree (mostly) with spotjon here. I'm personally witholding judgement until the new shows begin again to see where the writers go with this. It seems very evident that they want to suggest that Angel has gone over the edge.

I don't want to take credit for this idea since I know it was posted previously by someone else but it's a very valid thought-- why the odd timing of the vision by Cordelia just as the AI team is driving down the boulevard trying to find Dru and Darla? Was it the intent of the PTB to distract Angel from D&D until the lawyer massacre took place?

Perhaps he was never intended to stop the massacre and he perceived this fact as he was standing at the doors and just let things occur as fated.
Was it the intent of the PTB to distract Angel from D&D until the lawyer massacre took place? Perhaps he was never intended to stop the massacre ... and just let things occur as fated.

I'll skip over the idea that TPTB might condone a massacre (I'm old fashioned and like my supreme powers to be unambiguously benevolent) and I'll just tackle the fate issue. I do believe Angel is back on track with his Scroll 'destiny' after walking away from the cellar because he has been way off base for the better part of the season -what with the Darla rising and all. I am still not clear on Cordelia's visions and whether they shed light on Angel's actions. At any rate Angel no longer seems to be marching to the beat of his seer but rather to some rhythm only he can hear.
Unambiguously benevolent supreme powers aren't the old-fashioned kind to my knowledge. (cf. the book of Job) The problem of theodicy goes back to the origin of dualism. At best the organizing principle must be taken as benign in order to justify reasoning about things at all. That's the view of my idol the original Cleanthes. To theistic existentialists like Kierkegaard this is too demanding of the infinite -- only faith true by virtue of the absurd succeeds in the face of being dead forever.

That said TPTB would be less than infinite if they distract Angel less than thoroughly. In which case their benign powers wouldn't be called in question. Unless they provided the distraction to give Angel a chance to not see what providence had already provided.

Death and destruction exist willy-nilly so they have to fit into the vast eternal plan regardless of any finite entity's desires.

Oh and while on this time-passes kick Happy New Year all!

"That makes a certain amount of sense. In ""To Shanshu in LA"" Wesley does refer to some obstacles in Angel's path on the road to redemption: ""He has to survive the coming darkness the apocalyptic battles a few plagues and some - uh several - not that many - fiends that will be unleashed."" Perhaps ""the coming darkness"" is Angel's own.
"Assuming the destruction of the locked-in lawyers Angel's decision to lock the door and walk away is a classic illustration of the ""dirty hands problem."" Wolfram and Hart are not only outside the law--much of their behavior is not even covered by law (eg raising demons!)That puts Angel in the position of operating in a state of anarchy. His situation resembles that of the generals responsible for taking down Hitler. Most of his worst crimes were not mentioned in international law. So how far was it legitimate to go in fighting him without running a risk of becoming like him? Much depends on the strength of an individual's conscience--his/her ""soul "" if you will. This is one of the hardest ethical questions and I look forward to seeing how Joss handles it. "
"does anyone remember when Spike told Angel and Buffy ""I may be loves bitch but at least I'm man enough to admit it"". He has already admitted to Riley that he has feelings for Buffy. That's when Riley staked him with plastic. I think Riley didn't really stake him because he knew he was leaving and he trusts that if Spike loves her he'll protect her while he's gone. I'd like to see the fight with Glory come down to using spike and Buffy I hope Willow can do the spell to get his soul back and we'll find out there never really was a chip! I always thought that in ""something blue"" Spike was never under a spell at all or maybe now he remembers how it was with Buffy during the ""Willow's magic gone wacky"" and he liked the was it felt to have someone love him and he wants that back."
If his character goes in the direction that I think it may he won't need a chip or a spell. Redemption doesn't require a soul to be complete.My question is why is Riley the only one that has figured out that Spike loves Buffy?
"Why is Riley the only one that has figured out that Spike loves Buffy?

He figured it out for the very same reason that his relationship with Buffy failed. That is to say that because he was always left out of the Scooby loop (even as early as Something Blue) he was able to see how far Spike had infiltrated the group.

But there is also another reason. It is incredible the lengths people will go to NOT to see something that lies right before them particularly if it concerns someone they love. Remember Spike's line about any ninny being able to see that Willow was hanging on by a thread? Any ninny could but her dearest friends made excuses for her and prevaricated.

Dracula said to Buffy something like ""You don't want to know/see the darkness within you"". People see what they want to see which is why marginalised individuals have trouble being recognised in this world and why the threat Spike poses is forever underestimated and why his motives are generally misunderstood.

The irony that only the newly-crazy people of Sunnydale could see that Dawn wasn't 'real' is quite fitting in this respect. The whole concept of perception (both the need for it and its inherent drawbacks) is definitely a prevalent theme this season. Up to this point I think we have only seen the tip of the Buffy-perception iceberg (insert Jaws music here;) "
"I have wondered if Riley ever forgot that Buffy told him that she was madly in love with and going to marry some guy named Spike in ""Something Blue."" We know she was under Willow's spell but did she ever mention that to Riley? She told him it was a joke at the end of the episode but do you ever wonder how the seeds of jealousy or insecurity get planted?

Once he found out that she actually knew someone named Spike did the Psych major in him ask 'Why did she pick that guy as the arbitrary name she pulled out of her subconscious as the fiance in her joke?' Perhaps he watched Spike a bit closer because of that not to mention that Spike was also ""Hostile 17"" who seemed to hang out with his girlfriend alot and she hadn't killed him.

Maybe he spotted the signs of Spike's love because his insecurity was looking for them. "
"I have wondered if Riley ever forgot that Buffy told him that she was madly in love with and going to marry some guy named Spike in ""Something Blue."" "
"I have wondered if Riley ever forgot that Buffy told him that she was madly in love with and going to marry some guy named Spike in Something Blue."" ""

Mmmm. I've wondered the same thing about Spike's thoughts about FaithasBuffy coming on to him. Seems like a lot of loose ends need to be tied up here:)

And speaking of perception again I watched parts of FFL today and I was surprised that I missed Spike/William's adamant ""I want you to SEE me"" (to Cecily) the first time around. Also the fact that Dru is able to seduce William because she says: ""I've seen you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength.
His vision. His glory. ... I see what you want.""

Spike still possesses qualities that those around him cannot see. And why is the word/name glory associated with him twice in FFL (""...there's death there's glory there's sod all else)? "
You bet Riley remembered Buffys comment about Spike. As for Faith in Buffy I think that Spike would have assumed that she was drunk and was out to torment him.
This story line will become more than comic relief. First the writers had to make us accept that Spike would have a reason to hang around. So hey!!neuter the guy!!! is it just me but LOL!!!. Then to make the character more sympathetic and make us believe his continued presense (in Buffys bedroom for instance) we got to see that in life he was....impotent...had no control over his direction. That is how Dru seduced him into darkness. The promise of being recognised for the greatness in himself was too much to pass up.
If Spike were still chasing Buffy around with murderous intent he would really look like a big ponce.
I first noticed that in trying to adapt to being neutered that Spike was still trying to be the big bad but common mugging? He got money for information. So his motives were selfish. FFL changed that. Spike changed evolved past his nature to kill to discover he could still feel compassion. If you will notice as of late when Spike has helped out the SG he hasn't submitted a bill. I think he is going to figure big time in Buffys life soon.
"That brings up the issue of how reality is affected by our perceptions of it. Certainly in relationships the participants' perceptions of each other affect the connection between them.

More than that though perception can affect the world at large especially in the Buffyverse. After all what is Dawn but a construct of people's perceptions? She certainly seems to have a ""self"" (possibly the product of the Key?) but all her history is mere perception. Perhaps this is ture of everyone and is only more apparent with Dawn because we know she is a construct."
I think Buffy's feeling for Spike changed directions when we weren't looking. When she threw the money at him in the alley and told him he was beneath her then he winds up on her porch patting her back while she cries about her mom. We never saw that whole deal did Buffy invite him in for hot cocoa and pour out her fears about being left alone if her mother dies or did she cry herself sick and Spike took her up and tucked her in bed?
We never saw that whole deal did Buffy invite him in for hot cocoa and pour out her fears about being left alone if her mother dies or did she cry herself sick and Spike took her up and tucked her in bed?

LOL. I vote for the latter. He seemed pretty comfortable there in Into the Woods after all.

You're right! We never SAW anything. We know Spike patted Buffy's back and we know at some point Buffy told him about her mother since he rubbed it in Riley's face in next day. God (and Joss:) only knows how we got from Mr Pointy A to Mr Pointy B. The plot thickens...

"The process of Spikes change has been one we have to speculate on. What did happen after FFL? How did Spike know where Buffy and the bite sized one had gone. Why tell Spike and ""forget"" Riley? Will Spike submit a bill to Buffy at some point one she didn't know he tabulated?"
"First off don't get me wrong I love Spike. And I'm thoroughly enjoying the ""Will they or won't they?"" question.

But we never do see what happens after he comforts Buffy on the porch. It could have happened that he tucked her into bed (or something) and she cried out all of her problems on his shoulder. (sigh);-)

What could also have happened was Buffy didn't say a word about her mother. They could have sat quietly in the moonlight sharing that connection (that scene shrieked connection) until Buffy excused herself and went in to bed.

Remember Spike used a blanket to protect himself from the sun to get in the house the next day. We've seen Spike outside of Buffy's house stalker-style on more than one occassion. Just because we haven't seen him in the daytime doesn't mean he couldn't be there under that blanket. (Either being concerned for Buffy or too disgusted with Harmony to spend another day with her in the crypt.) And there are serious bushes back there.
He could have seen Buffy and Dawn load Joyce into the car with the overnight case. Someone could have made some reference to hospital tests.
Spike could have figured it out from those clues easily.

Don't forget he also told Riley that Buffy was out buying him drinks the night before. Spike never mentioned that he MADE Buffy pay for the drinks or that she was picking his brains the whole evening. Deception is placing the plausible lies beside the odd truths.

I know it looks like I'm thinking way too much about this but this is what popped into my head the first time I saw 'Shadow'. (Dear God he's stalking her in the daytime now!) We may never know because Riley never called her on it. He never said Spike told him anything and I've not seen any indication that she's told Giles or anyone else one thing that Spike told her. Or even that she spent that night talking to Spike.

If Spike is simply up to his ol' tricks of using people's insecurities against them it is quite possible we are being played like violins (and gullible violins at that:) by Joss&Co. As viewers we see a blank or an apparent hole in the story and our imaginations (in this case weary of the presence of Riley in Buffy's life) immediately fill in missing information to suit our expectations regarding storyline progression and romance.

We see that Riley is on his way out so we happily paste Spike into the family album. Why does something that seemed impossible 6 months ago Spike as Buffy's love interest make perfect sense to us (well to me at least) today? LOL. Yes Spike has changed. What he has become I wouldn't venture to guess while he is still in stalker mode.
Who else has been around Spike this season to even notice his feelings? His scenes this season have been almost exclusively with Buffy and Riley. I'm sure when the Scooby Gang sees Buffy and Spike interacting together it will only be a matter of time before one of them notices. Unless Dru comes to Sunnydale and informs everybody all at once(including Buffy). Then watch the sparks fly...
I would love to see Dru and Darla show up in Sunnydale looking for Spike. With their reason for comming of course to kill the slayer.
I too would like to see the old family dynamics at play. Except while I do want to see Spike Dru Darla and Angel interact I think it would be detrimental to both A:tS and BtVS if there were to be too much crossover plotting. It would/will be nice to see what the three other vamps make of the changes in Spike. At the moment the setup is perfect for such a scenario:) Yea! The new year looks promising.
"Was anyone but me shocked at this turn of events? I knew there were rumors of Riley leaving but like this?? Why didn't Buffy pick up a rock and hit the helicopter?!! Will Buffy turn to spike now or will she blame him for Riley's leaving after he took her to find Riley at the suck fest? And what about Xander being in love with Anya? Can we have Anya killed off now so Xander will become a watcher / demon hunter and take revenge for Anya's death? I never realy liked Riley I always hoped he'd become ""darker"" and when he started digging the vamp chicks I thought he was on his way but now I really miss him!"
With her slayer strength if Buffy threw a stone at the helicopter I fear it would crash and burn. The relationship of Riley and Buffy may not be over. He could come back to resolve what had happened to them. Some relationships have exploded and the people split never to see each other again...but I think no it out even if it's months later. Who knows what Riley would be like after this latest mission...if he survives.
"Do you really think Riley would come back after thinking she let him walk out without so much as a ""please stay"". There's no way to get in touch with him even if she needed his help(army help) desperately to fight a tribe of demons. He already said ""I'll come running"" and walked out the door. How many times can a man slink back like apet dog I think his flying off was a final decision-a man has to have some pride!"
All I can't say is: Good Riddance!

I hope it takes a long long time for Riley and his new gang to quell the Belize demon-breeding fest. Frankly the only thing that ruined Riley's departure for me was the sudden-onset of Buffy's realisation of his importance in her life and the fact that Riley actually mentioned coming back and killing Spike for real if he were to 'try anything' with Buffy.

I don't dislike Riley because he is dull and uninteresting (which he is); I dislike him because his character never engaged me emotionally. So actually it would be more accurate for me to say that I don't care about Riley rather than I don't like him. I hope the Buffy writers chalk him up as an experiment gone wrong (LOL) and wipe him off the Buffyverse map altogether - or at least relegate him to the jungles of Belize indefinitely.
We can never second guess a persons actions when it comes to love and relationships. Buffy is a vampire slayer at that she is best. At relationships Buffy is still a real live girl and not very good at picking her men. She makes mistakes and has been known to run after men who have treated her badly. She may be a vampire slayer but she is no relationship slayer. As she gets more secure and more mature she will only get better at both aspects in her life. Buffy the relationship slayer??????
"I believe that the Riley storyline was WAY too long. ""Hush"" was Riley's finest moment. Riley should have been either a regular Scooby Dead or away or a vampire by the end of ""Out Of My Mind.""

My biggest problem with Riley is that you don't feel character development on the gut level that you did with Angel. By the end of season 3 Angel was an entirely different person (well... technically no.)

Um... I'm tired. if this is incoherent disregard it."
"A persons actions are determined by their perception of any given event. Riley may have been dull but not stupid. Spike has been his nemisis since before Riley knew of his existance. In Something Blue he was the fiance who was ""totally old"" then hostile 17 who Buffy gave refuge to. First Angel Dracula now Spike no wonder Riley got screwed up. I've enjoyed the pissing contest going on between the 2 characters in season 5. It didn't help when Buffy in Out of my Mind said ""if I wanted a boyfriend with superpowers I'd be dating Spike"". Riley was trying to get a little monster in the man because he wanted to conform with what he thought Buffy wanted. He is gone because he couldn't coexist with monsters encluding the one he perceives to be part of Buffy. It's too bad the only people talking about the relationship were Riley and Spike."
Really nice summation there Rufus. That's pretty much how I see it. Down with the evil Riley bashers!! ;) ;)
"If they took Riley out of basic for the special ops that turned into the initiative he had to be 19 or 20. Does anyone know how long he was soldier boy? Maybe he's a little immature for a real relationship with a someone with as many (I won't say problems) of dating a slayer. Seems to me Buffy may have been Rileys first steady girlfriend and he has a very immature idea about fireworks and daily pledges of devotion from a girlfriend who ""really loves"" him. Buffy said ""I've given you my heart my body my soul."" and Riley says ""I just don't feel it."" What the h*** does he want?"
Buffy had not given her heart or soul. What she says and what she did were two different things. Riley Is a mature man. Buffy was scarcely his first in-depth relationship. A person can only give for so long and not be reciprocated before something has to change. She couldn't or wouldn't give back. Xander was on the money when he told Buffy she was treating Riley as rebound guy. Too bad for her she saw it too late. Riley invested deeply in that relationship.He wanted to get back more than just the physical. Buffy did care for him. But she never let him in.
One thing I noticed the other day while re-watching Into the Woods and am just recalling now: Did anyone notice how during the conversation with Xander after dusting the brothel vamps Buffy is standing behind a mesh screen that suggests a prison and then again a 'prison' image appears at the end of the show when she goes into her home and sits dejectedly on the stairs and the table lamp light casts shadows thru the railing and creates bars on the wall?

Whether that was deliberate on the director/cinematographers part or accidental it struck me as very revealing of Buffy's emotional state.
You are right! And Spike also had the shadow from the Frost fence fall across his face when he was taking in the fact that Riley was going into the vamp brothel. Wonder if that means anything? It could mean that Spike and Buffy will find themselves in the closed space... together.

Lyn that's really a good point--particularly if it's considered in the light of everything that has happened in Riley's life during the past year. Bereft of his supporting structures much of his sense of who he is in tatters it's not so much that he wants too much from Buffy than that he can't feel what she's giving him.And Buffy for her part is running on empty during their final conversation/confrontation.
"Perhaps Riley *did* have some grandiose vision of what he thought a steady relationship should be (I think most of us can relate to that).

Perhaps all Riley wanted to hear was those ""three little words"" and he would have been as happy as a clam to put up with all the other weirdness of a relationship with Buffy. (Think about how you would feel if you told someone you loved them and they never said those words to you - in some cases it's the words that count not the actions.)

I'm guessing that Riley is in his mid-twenties - 24 to 27. He's been in the military and to college (he would have to be *qualified* to be a grad student to maintain his cover under Maggie Walsh). Or possibly he got military training while he was an undergraduate.

I will miss Riley if for no other reason than he was unafraid to express his feelings of devotion to the woman he loved - something most of the other characters are unwilling or too afraid to do.
At least Xander isn't in that category anymore. One little curiosity is that in the script the speech was a bit different and I thought just a bit lame compared to the one that actually aired. Wonder if Mr. Brendan ad-libbed and they kept it or if there was a re-write prior to shooting.

That was a favorite moment for me in that ep. Looks like some of Anya's directness is rubbing off on her boyfriend. I also liked the way Anya was *almost* crying but not quite which I thought fit her better than just bursting into tears which is what I expected (and according to the script what she was supposed to do).
That was a favorite scene for me too. As much as I don't like Anya she has helped Zander turn into the man we all knew he was inside. Seeing himself thru her eyes has made him see what Willow and the rest of us have always seen in Zander a wonderfull loving smart brave guy.
You don't like Anya the human? I truly disliked the demon (what man wouldn't) but I like the human very much. She has 3 very valuable traits in large supply: loyalty honesty and courage. Excellant traits for a friend or a girl friend (though it would take enormous patience to be with her as much as Xander is). She is also entertaining. She cracks me up.
I guess it's not that I dislike Anya the human it's just that Zander has always been my favorite and maybe I dislike her for the same reasons Willow does no one is really good enough for Zander. Since she does make Zander happy and well loved I'll like her more and more.
Well Xander is my least favorite character and I only like him when he is with Anya (whom I prefer as a human and in a limited supporting role i.e. in small doses). I find it difficult to fathom why Willow would still have proprietary feelings about Xander. What's with the subtext? What does that mean about her sexual orientation?
"gds-- I have one minor quibble with your comment:

*** ""She has 3 very valuable traits in large supply: loyalty honesty and courage."" ***

Anya has always been honest in that she (to an even greater extent than Cordelia if that's possible) always speaks exactly what it on her mind. In a rudimentary form that certainly would qualify as honesty.

What I find interesting is that she has largely learned the other traits-- loyalty and courage-- from the scoobies in general and Xander in very specific.

Recall that during the Mayor's Ascention (Graduation Pt.2) she was going to bail (and in fact did) and strongly encouraged Xander to do likewise? From a demon perspective that would make perfect sense the world was almost certainly going to end so why shouldn't he save himself? She was totally baffled that Xander considered the fate of his friends more important than his own life.

I'm sure she was generally surprised to find Xander and his friends still alive afterward and the Mayor turned into snake barbeque. There is little question that this was a good time for her to re-evalute her perspective.

It's is also certainly true that without Xander's growing affection for her she would not be the person she is today since he is clearly her primary role-model for (good) human behavior."
There is no question that Xander is her humanizing influence. I don't know why she chose to devote herself to him but she has. Up to this point Xander is the only one to which she is loyal. The rest she accepts only because he does. She appears to have started to broaden her interest in humanity beyond Xander.
I saw Restless for the first time this week. And I have a few questions. Why is the first slayer showed as a demon or some kind of an evil thing(by killying the Scoobie's)?

Actually that was my only question. :) But it has been really bothering me. Isn't the slayer a good person? So why was she trying to kill the people who are fighting evil?

Ohh... another question!
Where did the dreams come from? The Powers That Be?

Also I hope that we find out about the other slayers and their watchers. How did the watchers get into this whole thing anyway?
"I think the First Slayer just makes a rough first impression. She's probably not meant to come across as scary just primitive and appropriately rough around the edges. She said in Buffy's dream ""no friends only kill"" or something to that effect so she probably thought of Buffy's friends only as traitors-in-waiting. Since she was co-habitating in Buffy's body the First had a primal self-defense reaction to the Scoobies and so tried to rub them out right then and there.
If it's a helpful reference point I think Faith had a lot more of the First Slayer in her than Buffy did at the start.
And PTB may have been behind the dream we may never know that for sure.
Just my impressions!
"I don't think PTB were behind the dreams at all I think the very thing that gives the slayers their strength and powers was behind the dreams. Maybe the ""first slayer"" thought that Buffy needed to get rid of her emotional ties to other people and concentrate on her job ""just kill"". Buffy actually forced the ""first slayer"" to see that being a slayer has changed. ""just kill"" was ok for Faith and also Kenya but Buffy has changed that. Evil isn't just black and white anymore and Buffy makes decisions about the grey areas. The ""cave woman"" slayer who was first given the powers by PTB knew her job and the slayers that have come after don't seem to have done much of anything except kill demons. Buffy wants to have a life too. The last four seasons have been about Buffy trying to have a life besides being a slayer."
"I do not believe that the PTB are responsible for Buffy's powers -- either directly or via another agency that owes its powers to them. The First Slayer seems to be a force in its own right. I have been thinking about how or why such a creature would exist...

The demon in ""AYNOHYEB"" gained its sustenance by feeding upon the suffering of its victims. Perhaps the First Slayer is a similar being -- drawing power from the deaths of vampires. We have seen that animosity exists between demons and the hybrid vampires (thus the surprise when the Initiave discovers vampires and demons working together -- and Angel has faced similar prejudice.) It is not such a great leap to suggest that a demonic presence has an interest in seeing the vampires die.

Of course Buffy has fought demons as well -- but this may not be her true mission -- rather a secondary mission imposed upon slayers by the Watchers who entered into the slaying business at a later date and seek to contol and manipulate the slayers for their own purposes.

The First Slayer's displeasure with Buffy's involvement with life could be because she is neglecting her duties ever minute she spends engaged in non-slaying activities."
What a great concept I really love the clean beautiful logic of that!

Perhaps for many millenia the Slayers were just that-- demons who fed on the energy of vampire deaths possibly as you noted resentful of the 'half-breed' status of vampires.

Somewhere along the line the 'First Watcher' noticed this creature and decided to capture/breed/adapt it and direct its actions as a general-purpose warrior against supernatural evil.

They may have done so by having it breed with humans hoping to produce more of them but found that the gene doesn't transfer well and/or some metaphyical aspect of the demon prevents having more than one of them alive until the prior one dies.

So there are now many (dozens? hundreds?) of women walking the Earth carrying the 'Slayer Metaphysical Gene' but only one can be activated at a time. The Watcher's Council now devotes itself to keeping track of these women and activating the one closest to the currently greatest need.

You could spin some really great stories off of a plotline based on this. Good goin' Mal!

The first time I remember TPTB is on AtS not BtVS. In fact I don't ever remember hearing TPTB on BtVS.
OMG. I think you are right... maybe the SP and TPTB are =
Was Faith ever actually sentenced? If memory serves she had an assortment of charges against her including two manslaughters multiple counts of battery (simple aggravated and vs. a police officer) etc.


Although we did not see the trial she must have been tried and convicted -- she was being held in a maximum security prison rather than a county facility pending trial. And apparently she was tried as an adult. How long she's in prison depends upon how much she confessed to -- she's likely in prison for murder (a young girl would not be sent to such a prison for simple battery.) It also depends on what reasons Faith gave for her crimes -- if it was a full disclosure (and she WAS in a repenting mood) a psychological evaluation might get her out early (she thought he was a VAMPIRE? Is she insane!) Also the lack of proper evidence from the incompetant Sunnydale Police could be grounds for a reversal on appeal.
It occurs to me that Faith's attorney could claim some possibly-potent mitigating factors. Namely she was underage at the time of each offense truly did have a horrible upbringing (from what we've seen) and--most importantly--she walked into a police station and confessed.

Methinks she might have gotten a relatively mild sentence.
Malandanza are you a lawyer?
If Faith had a trial did she ask Giles and Wesley to be her character witnesses? Would a watcher admit in a court of law that there is such a thing as a council? Or did Faith just remain mute and let them convict her on the evidence?
"For a LONG LONG time. Remember... Faith turned herself in as a redemptive process. She would not ask for mercy. Her plea would be guilty and none of the nasty little mitigating circumstances would come out. Result: One locked up ex-slayer. If she is to be freed it will almost certainly be by supernatural means and likely will be at least partially against her will.

Ohh! Ohh! possible plot twist! Faith freed by agent(s) of the ""powers that be"" to help kill/drive out of town Darla & Drusilla and reign in a ""darkened"" Angel?"
What evidence against Faith is there really?
I've always imagined that once Faith joined the Mayor's team any physical evidence would have been destroyed and that includes the stabing of the Geo prof. Actually wouldn't the police be looking for the person who stabbed Faith in the gut and threw her body off a building? (their point of view looking at the physical evidence).

Yes lets hit the cops up for not doing their job.Considering the evidence left from most of Faiths kills would fit in a jelly jar(can you get DNA from ashes?) the only killing Faith would be doing time for would be the mayors assistant. Add on some Assault w/bodily harm she would most likely be bumped up to adult court due to the nature of the crimes. The best defence for Faith would be the old mental incapacity bit. Throw in dismal childhood poss substance abuse and general violent behavior you could clean her up go in and say she understands the impact of her actions but consider her age and upbringing. I see her out by May sweeps.
"How long will Faith be in jail? I'm guessing until she has a good enough reason to break herself out. In ""Judgement"" she told Angel that she could get out if she wanted to. I'd call that foreshadowing...

With Angel making a possible slide back into darkness I think it's highly possible that Wes or Cordy would turn to Faith for help. L.A. could really use a good Slayer right now. Also I think that if Faith is truly on the road to redemption she'd see helping the man who put her on that road (aka Angel) as a good enough reason to end her incarceration.
Rufus-- don't forget that Faith killed the professor that the Mayor thought had damaging information on him. This case is actually the most troublesome one in Faith's history of darkness since her killing of the MA was accidental and the murder of the professor was very much *not*.

We don't know exactly what Faith confessed to so of course we shall wait to see what the writers come up with.

I like sn arnold's idea that she might resist being freed. If she has finally found some sort of peace with herself as a result of her confession (and punishment therefore) why risk that just to go back into the Slayer biz?

Must-see TV indeed! ;)
"I don't really see Cordy or Wesley going to Faith to get a slayer. They could just call Buffy or Giles. I can see Buffy showing up and saying ""If you won't kill them I will and don't get in the way or you're next."" I can't wait to see what happens when Spike finds out that Dru Darla and Angel are together without him I think he would love to cause trouble in LA."
OnM; My post was one of whimsy. Then I had a thought. Why are the Police and other authorities seemingly soooooo stupid. Part of it is Denial. People like to be comfortable. The thought that demons were not only internal but an actual flesh and blood fact would be too much for alot of people. This is why the battle against them is so secret. The authorities aren't stupid but want to remain comfortable safe from the unknown.
I've noticed that though out the last few threads one of the main points of disction was the lack of emotion on Buffy's face when she speared the last vampire.

If Buffy had felt something angry or relife or even sorrow we wouldn't be fighting so much. But the lack of emotion she showed over the death of the vampire that Riley let suck off of him is the reason we are so intruged by it.

Some spectualte that this means that Buffy will become evil. I don't think that is the real reason that is so disturbing. What we saw was a person kill with out feeling anything. Very few things can do that. And most of those are animals.

We belive that what seprates us from other life forms is our abilty to feel emotion when we kill. To see a human kill without emotion goes against everything we have been taught as children. Only monsters should be able to kill like that.

I belive that Buffy is becoming more and more like the First Slayer. She is drifting further away from her family and friends because they are too human to understand what she is becomeing. And she is becoming closer and closer to Spike because he understands what she is becoming.

"I believe that she was angry when she first realized who the vampire was. That was why she let the vampire go.

But as a Slayer letting a vampire go means she is responsible for all the deaths that the vampire causes after so her Slayer's duties kicked in.

So in the end she was slaying a vamp. Not Riley's vamp. She was slaying the vamp not because of what it did to Riley but because it is her duty to slay vampires. That she didn't do it out of anger or revenge is a good thing.

Would people have felt better if she had looked the Vamp in its eyes and said ""YOU BITCH"" as she stabbed it in the heart? That more than anything would have had people on this board crying ""Killer"""
"Here's how the scene is described in the shooting script for Into the Woods:

""The whole fight takes about eight seconds - and the only other creature left standing in the alley besides Buffy is the junkie vampire girl who bit Riley. The girl trembles wide-eyed before Buffy. Clearly messed up and harmless. Buffy hesitates. She can't kill this one. It stinks of pointless vengeance.

Buffy slumps spent and feeling no better for the raw display of power. A beat as the junkie girl realizes she's being spared. Then the girl takes off running down the alley.


As she hears the girl retreat. Buffy doesn't move... The moment plays out for an unusually long time... As long as it took Buffy to kill those vampires...

Then without warning Buffy hurtles her weapon toward the retreating vampire girl. WHOMP! She impales the junkie vamp girl. DUST. The double ended plank clatters to the ground...

Buffy just stands there - looking at the space where the vampire girl just was. Expressionless.""

You say that she didn't spear the vamp in the back out of revenge or anger... I'm thinking the jury is still out on this one. After all the script does say: ""It stinks of pointless vengeance."" "
The script proves that it WASN'T VENGEANCE!

She spared her at first when it was vengeance.

But she just couldn't let a vampire go. That would result in humans dying.

By the way is there a web page that you can find the shooting script at or do you have an inside friend?
I don't think the script 'proves' anything. I studied literature so I am a little bit anal about backing up my arguments with text:) Chalk it up to habit. Actually I think that once again the script leaves the door open to either possibility. The hesitation either means that 1) Buffy took the time to cool down before she did her job and killed the vamp OR that 2) she killed her out of anger. It is my personal belief that she acted out of a feeling of vengeance - but it could be possible that there were other greater forces at work. Maybe Buffy was merely acting on cues from these darker basic instincts that are continually being mentioned. These instincts do seem dark but they could have a 'higher' purpose.
ATPoBtVS Links and Webrings has a link to shooting scripts.
I'll say this at the begining I don't think Buffy is becoming evil. I believe she is in conflict with herself.
Buffy has killed without emotion before(Primevil)but she was doing what she was chosen for. Buffy has always broken off the chase if the danger had passed. She has shown mercy at all times. She has never killed because she was angry at someone else. She gave the vamps the chance to leave. They stayed attacked and died. The last vamp she recognised as the one chowing down on Rileys arm. Buffy didn't kill because the creature was a threat she killed out of misplaced rage.
Slayers have alot of power with that power it should be expected that it be used fairly. I questioned the kill because it went against what Buffy has always been. She was justice applied fairly as needed. That much power needs limits needs to be questioned needs quidance.
My other observations related to the fact we find killing acceptable no questions asked if we felt the person deserved it was a monster. The label vampire hooker wasn't enough for me to kill for killings sake. There are emotional feelings when we hear certain words killer monster vampire hooker demon some words make it easier for us to accept their death. I now question that any of these labels should mean an immediate death sentence.
Some have said vampires should die because they exist at all. If that is right then why are Angel and Spike still alive. Both have the potential to cause more destruction than a pathetic vampire hooker. Why was she more deserving of death than the other two? I say it may be because we understand Angel and Spike and the hooker was a stranger. It's harder to kill someone you know you like can have hope for.
What's a slayer do to? Hold interviews with all the vamps and decide who's not bad enough to stake? The only reason Angel hasn't been staked is because he has a soul and therefore not a demon. Angel has already established with Wesley and Cordelia that they should stake him if he turns bad again. Spike is supposed to be harmless with the chip in his head and he can be pretty usefull for information and such so let's not stake him until he gets the chip out and turns evil again. All other vamps are staked no questions asked. She is a vampire slayer if you suck blood from humans you get staked. Angel drinks from a plastic cup and Spike drinks from a novelty cup.
"Hmmmm...i have several thoughts here let me see if I can organize them a) Buffy's job/calling as a vampire slayer is rather more like knight errantry then police work: she tries and sentances and executes....b) she is either protecting her community or keeping the dark forces in balance or like a shaman communing with the psychical/spiritual/other dimensional world and threats for the tribe...c) there has been plenty of foreshadowing that Buffy's powers are something that is not at this time Restless Riley says ""Hi killer"" to her in Buffy's dream...and Adam who we saw as a demon military guy hybrid has Buffy say to him that she is not part demon that they are not the same... d) the Dracula saying youdon't know what you are yet is a repeat of what Tara/First Slayer say in short I think all these storylines may culminate with a bang this season in the 100th episode of the show...isn't the 100th this january...I KNOW it's this season."
"Adam who we saw as a demon military guy hybrid has Buffy say to him that she is not part demon that they are not the same...

He also responds with something along the lines of ""Aren't we"".

I think you're right. All the signs and portents indicate that we are about to learn something about the Nature of Being the Slayer and that that something my not be very pleasant. It will be interesting to see how the various characters react to this test of their humanity.

My original thought about spearing the vampire in the back after initially sparing her was extremely negative and would continue to be so unless she had a resaon other than what we were shown. In a response to another thread (Re: If a soul is not a prerequisite to be evil why is it a prerequisite to be Good?) I propose the possibility that TPTB have gifted her with an internal guide to help her fulfill her role. If that is the case this scene takes on a very different meaning. She first spares the vampire because personal biases might interfer with the voice of her internal guide on the vampire so she waits until that little voice can be clearly heard and it is that voice that says the vampire should be killed. Under this scenario what looks like a brutal abuse of power becomes a calm rational judgement. I would be very leery of anyone proclaiming they had some kind of 'divine insite' but it is appropriate for someone who has some kind of 'divine authority and power' as a slayer does.

"gds is making a very good point here and there is actually quite a bit of evidence to support the idea that Buffy may have some (subconscious) link to the PTB. Over the past five years there have been numerous cases where a link of this sort could explain otherwise puzzling decisions Buffy has made or strange events that have transpired.

Those not afraid of a *very* long post and rampant speculation of a highly debatable sort can migrate to several pages out in this board where I did a thread on ""Buffy as Messiah?""

Look for the words ""Kwisatz Haderach"" in the thread title. (I'm not kidding about the length).

Of course Buffy wouldn't have to be a messianic figure for the link idea to be valid which I think gds also pointed out in an earlier post."
"Yhere is another parallel to ""Kwisatz Haderach"". For Buffy ""You think you know... You haven't even begun"" sounds a lot like ""The sleeper must awaken"". "
Indeed it does. Do you think she will and is that what the season is about? At the end of last season Buffy got a small taste of the power that the Slayer could wield. In this year's season finale will she get a much larger sample? Would be an interesting bookend to the Dracula ep at season's beginning where he questions whether she understands the source of her power.
Yes I do think that it what this season is about. An episode where she at least begins to understand would be a great way to end the season.
"There were some things said in Restless that got me thinking.
In Willows dream Giles says ""It's all about subterfuge.""
In Xanders dream Anya says ""I think this is going to be a big year for vengeance.
In Buffys dream she says that. ""I am not alone."" and to the primal slayer ""You're not the source of me.

In the episode Pangs Giles said ""Vengeance is never sated Buffy hatred is a cycle. All he will do is Kill.

The Primal slayer says ""No friends Just the kill...We are alone.

All this got me to thinking that the rest of the season could depend on a small act of vengeance that spirals out of control causing the SG to be alienated from Buffy. Her internal battle will be control over the first one who truly is part of her like it or not."
"As Buffy left the bedroom towards the end of the episode Tara says ""Be back before dawn."" A slight foreshadowing of the coming of Buffy's ""sister.""

I also loved the way Spike became Mr. Show Boy. :-)"
I understand the Spike as watcher angle but what was the whole thing about him being a circus attraction or sideshow attraction? I don't get that. Is it because he's now something of a freak not really belonging in either the human or the vampire world?
"I noticed that Spike was only in the mens dreams. In Xanders I almost had the feeling that Xander was afraid that Spike would take his place in Buffy and Giles life. Giles ""Spike is like a son to me.)
He would be a freak to both sides because he hasn't chosen yet. The demons are pissed cause he is killing his own kind to get his jollies or protect the Slayer. Giles dream is the one where he does look like a freak. Spike sells information for money. Giles says that Buffy should have saked Spike...I ask what is stopping Giles from doing the honours? Or who?"
"I'm still new to this discussion so I've just finished reading all the old posts. On an earlier discussion of Spike someone pointed out that William recreated himself as Spike to completely change how he and the world thought of himself. If vampires are still the same people they were as humans minus the soul and conscience plus bloodthirst then isn't Spike still William putting on a ""Big bad"" show? "
The nature of vampires was pretty pat in the first season. A vampire was a human who was killed then a demon took over the body with recolections of the persons life.
In Dopelgangland Angel made reference to the vampire being pretty much what the person had been in life(that was in reference to evil vamp Willow being poss gay).
This season in Fool for Love with Spike recalling his life before being a vampire you have to wonder how much of the original person is there. There have been other moments when you could see glimpses of a person in a vamp most notable Spike offering to help Buffy in Becoming 2. He was motivated by self interest but what human hasn't acted in self interest?
I personally feel that something may be wrong here. My only answer is that perhaps the soul means Conscience + control over negative impulses. With the chip out Spike seems to be becoming more what would happen if the chip goes...I don't know.
But yes Spike is a big old fraud he is the creation of poncy William. William was rejected by a woman he loved and his peers. When he became a vampire it was out with the upper class git who was afraid of his own shadow and in with William the Bloody(reference to the fact that meant his poetry left out by William). Spike is all low class brawling bad ass. At times you will notice his accent becomes less East End and more upper class. Yes Spike is a creation. And until now was one nasty piece of work. I don't know what Mr Whedon is doing here and I can't wait to find out.
"With regard to ""soul"" I believe the answer cannot be held to language. Here's a representative paragraph from Aristotle's ""De Anima"":

""Now in the first place it is a mistake to say that the soul is a spatial magnitude. It is evident that Plato means the soul of the whole to be like the sort of soul which is called mind not like the sensitive or the desiderative soul for the movements of neither of these are circular. Now mind is one and continuous in the sense in which the process of thinking is so and thinking is identical with the thoughts which are its parts; these have a serial unity like that of number not a unity like that of a spatial magnitude. Hence mind cannot have that kind of unity either; mind is either without parts or is continuous in some other way than that which characterizes a spatial magnitude. How indeed if it were a spatial magnitude could mind possibly think? Will it think with any one indifferently of its parts? In this case the 'part' must be understood either in the sense of a spatial magnitude or in the sense of a point (if a point can be called a part of a spatial magnitude). If we accept the latter alternative the points being infinite in number obviously the mind can never exhaustively traverse them; if the former the mind must think the same thing over and over again indeed an infinite number of times (whereas it is manifestly possible to think a thing once only). If contact of any part whatsoever of itself with the object is all that is required why need mind move in a circle or indeed possess magnitude at all? On the other hand if contact with the whole circle is necessary what meaning can be given to the contact of the parts? Further how could what has no parts think what has parts or what has parts think what has none? We must identify the circle referred to with mind; for it is mind whose movement is thinking and it is the circle whose movement is revolution so that if thinking is a movement of revolution the circle which has this characteristic movement must be mind. ""

Circles go round and round like Glasgow on a Saturday night!

Spike has great insight into others because he hates so to look at himself - he's a vampire with the existential insight!

Spike sure can tell people about themselves but he forgets that he should maybe look at himself first. The character is changing becoming more human. That is why I question the soul and how we have been told it is gone in the vampires in the Buffyverse. Spike is making decisions based upon his emotions as a human. He now is listening to his heart more. Why? How can he do this if his soul is gone? And if Joss is going to give us more info on the soul and vampires how will it be different than before?
Thank you for the link I will enjoy reading it.
"This makes about the 4th or 5th time I have seen 'Restless' now and much of it remains pretty cryptic although the Xander part of the dream sequences seems to be the most realized at the moment. That sequence kind of set him up so that it was clear he would have to decide to actively determine the direction he wanted his life to go in and as we have seen recently he is apparently doing so. No more 'butt-monkey' indeed.

I think whatever part Giles will play this eason will start to show up soon he has been in the background pretty much so far. As to Buffy I am thinking that this season the 'big bad' may only appear to be Glory but actually it may be Buffy herself. Some very logical comments made by others here recently about Buffy looking for Spike to tell her things that Giles doesn't (perhaps out of that 'fatherly' concern) would resonate with the swing set scene. Perhaps Buffy will make a mistake (an act of vengeance?) and will head farther into the dark side or at least the amoral side represented by the First (no friends-- only destruction).

Willow's dream still has me puzzled watching the show again tonight makes me wonder if there wasn't some transference between her and Tara the 'fear of discovery' 'what is my real name' thing seemed to apply more to Tara than to Willow in season 5.

Still lots of great scenes and dialog in any event:

Willow writing the poem by Sappho on Tara's back-- never get tired of that. Masterpiece of lighting and editing.

""I'm going to be a fireman when the floods roll back""

Armin Shimerman doing a brilliant Brando.

""I'm getting a cramp""

Giles on stage singing.

Joyce reacting to ""The First Slayer tried to kill us in our dreams."" with ""Hot chocolate anyone?""

Maybe the primal part of Buffy will help her defeat Glory. Glory is older than the written word but so is the first slayer.
The line about the flood and the fireman bugs me...I think the flood as in the great flood the one with Noah....I think of Buffy....she is the fireman who puts (slays) out evil as it comes...not one big event but many small ones.
I think the act of vengeance may truly be one that is small and becomes more powerful because of deception...Buffy hasn't been as forthcoming with her friends..partly because of her mothers illness and partly because they have close relationships with others...this leads back to Spike being the only one there to tell her troubles to...Hot Chocolate anyone?
only if you've got those little marshmallows Rufus:)

I agree that according to Restless it seems that Giles' turn at bat is up.

I am dying to get in on this conversation more in depth but I don't have the episode on tape and it only airs here on Wednesday night so I'll refrain until then. You have all given me great food for thought going into the viewing though.
You make me see things in episodes that I didn't even think of-thank you!
"I think the dreams are a reflection of how the characters see themselves and each other rather than a prophecy. Giles sees Buffy as lacking discipline (and sees himself as pedantic and lecturing) Xander has a fascination with Willow and Tara and worries that he will not amount to anything Willow is concerned about what everyone ""really"" thinks about her relationship with Tara and Buffy feels unease about her boyfriend's connection with the big bad government. One very interesting part that I paid little attention to the first time around was when Willow was initially attacked by the First Slayer -- suddenly the First Slayer was gone and Buffy was in her place. Perhaps Willow is uncomfortable with the power deep inside of Buffy.

I think you are right about distinguishing between immoral and amoral acts -- it seems as though Buffy is headed in a primeval rather than evil direction. She has become predatory in a natural meaning of the word. Neither evil nor good she kills as animals do without remorse or malice. I think this frame of mind was most evident in the episode where Tara's relations came for her -- toward the end of the show Buffy casually snapped a demon's neck with her foot then turned to talk to her friends as though nothing had happened.

"The primal slayer is the part of herself Buffy is fighting. She said ""you're not a part of me"". But to me the primal part of Buffy is the part that will help her defeat Glory. Glory is older than the written word and so is the primal slayer. When Buffy can integrate the primal part of herself instead of running from it she will have the knowledge to defeat Glory.
The problem with accepting the primal part of herself is that it is the instinct that makes her want to isolate herself from her friends. Only kill. That may have worked thousands of years ago but not now. Buffy needs the power of the primal plus her connection with her friends to know who she is."
"When Buffy can integrate the primal part of herself instead of running from it she will have the knowledge to defeat Glory.

I agree. And remember what Spike said to her in FFL:
""After that I was obsessed. I mean to most vampires the SLAYER was this object of cold sweat and frightened whispers. But I never hid. Hell I sought her out. I mean if you're looking for fun there's DEATH there's GLORY and sod all else right? (shrugs) I was young.""

Spike's words (he gives equal value to the SLAYER DEATH and GLORY) resonate quite differently at this point. It seems clear he will be instrumental in the fight vs Glory and it seems to me that's how he'll end up (temporarily) dead.

Things that stood out for me (as funny or as relevant to this seasonís action) in Restless this time around:

1) Buffyís dismissal of the primal slayer was very reminiscent of her dismissal of Dracula - the ìenough is enoughî line vs the ìIím standing right hereî line. If Buffy can ëwillí these manifestations to stop doesnít that make her the prime suspect in originating or perpetuating them?

2) Loved the telegraphing of Riley's departure in the Xander bit about moving forward like a shark with much much fewer (Riley) fins! Too funny. I also found that watching Xander as etiquette-boy with his ìSociety has rulesî made better sense than watching nerd-Xander ever did.

3) It seems to me that Buffyís bedroom continues to be a focal point of sorts (therein lies the heart of a slayer and all I suppose).

4) Loved the groovy red curtains ¦ la Twin Peaks in the Willow sequence.

5) Gilesí ìI still think Buffy should have killed youî made me get paranoid all over again about Spikeís true motives.

6) Everyone calling Giles Rupert. His ëdateí even referred to him as Ripper. Maybe Giles is going to explore his own roots soon.

7) Spike making lemonade out of lemons (ie turning himself into a side show attraction). Now that we know he had the soul if not the talent of a poet his creativity makes complete sense:)

8) The fact that the primal slayer suddenly acquired (adamic?) language at the end of Buffyís dream was strange.

9) When the primal slayer spoke through Tara she said: ìyou are asking the wrong questionsî. That sounds a lot like what Spike was saying to Buffy in the alley behind the Bronze in FFL.

10) Buffy finally ëseeingí the truth about her friends and her life in the Tarot cardsÖ How does Tara factor into this equation?

"***""The fact that the primal slayer suddenly acquired (adamic?) language at the end of Buffyís dream was strange.""***

Just though I'd present my take on that scene-- When Buffy first confronts the Primal Slayer in the desert I think that the rapport between the two came in stages as Buffy gradually accepts that this strange being is the true elemental source of her supernatural powers.

At first the knowledge of who the First actually is is subconscious-- Buffy somehow knows without *knowing* at an intellectual level. No comunication takes place here the two size each other up as two animals would when meeting for the first time-- all instinct no reasoning.

As Buffy then accepts intellectually who the First is Tara begins to speak 'for her'.

Finally as acceptance becomes complete and Buffy fully understands who this creature/person(demon?) is a rapport of a sort of elemental telepathic nature takes hold. The First now speaks directly to Buffy but not with words-- Slayer to Slayer.

Of course I'm probably overanalyzing but then I do that...

Liked the Twin Peaks reference-- missed that.

Aquitaine suggest you start a seperate thread on the philosophical relevance of Buffy's bedroom. I had to stop and go huh?? after I read that not because you aren't absolutely right but because it was one of those 'It's so obvious how could I not have noticed before' things like when spotjon pointed out about all the evil fathers over the years in BtVS."
I'll go through some of your points:
1: I liked Buffys dismissal of the primal slayers insistance that she was to be only alone no friends just kill. Buffy may be mistaken when she says that the primal slayer was not part of her. Buffys best chance to survive will be her ability to recognise her position as sayer..then adapt her primative instincts with the part of her that needs to connect with humanity via friends and family.
2: Yup old Riley was toast. Xander talking about society having rules made me think NO one slayer or demon or person should have so much power that we don't question their motives constantly.
5: Could we have more Ripper please. Giles seemed to have spent alot of time with Spike since his dream. They had alot of down time to be able to watch Passions. I don't think Spike has any motives other than to obtain his heart desire. What is it about Spike that has made the SG accept him and even like him?
8: Could the aquired language of the primal slayer indicate that no matter how much Buffy denies her primal side it will be heard?
9: I say to Buffy question everything until you get the questions right.
10: I don't know where Tara figures into the mix she said in the dream she had been borrowed...I have to accept that for now.
I can only hope that the show is as well-written and involved as the theories and questions you all have put forward. Fascinating stuff!
"I was just wondering if anyone else noticed
how Buffy automatically looked to Spike for.......
reassurance? Odd I know but what else could
you call it as Spike was leading her to the room where Riley was having his ""suck job"" she
repeatedly looked back at him as if asking
is it okay? Is it okay to go on? It wasn't
just a typical which way do I go? laced with
her typical sarcasticness. Maybe it
was that she sensed that whatever Spike was going to show her wasn't the typical slay job.
From the moment she entered the hotel? she
looked worried and maybe just a little scared
about what she was going to find and she
looked to Spike to reassure her. Deep down
I think she trusts him because no matter what
hes done to her hes never really tried to deceive heís always let her know exactly
what he wants and has never tried to fool
into thinking hes on her side when hes not.

Which is maybe why I noticed an odd resonance
between the way she looked at Spike when she left
the hotel and how she looked and spoke to Riley
when they met up again. She felt betrayed. The whole gist of what she was saying was how
could you do this to me? How could you? I trusted you.
I feel that thats what she may have said to
Spike had she not been understandably preoccupied
with Rileys betrayal which it is even though
you can kinda understand why he did it and how
Buffy is to blame too. She also showed anger(with spike) about how come she let herself trust
him in the first place? Hes her enemy.
I don't know. But to me it seemed to show
that her relationship with Spike isn't as
simple as I hate you-I'd kill you given a reason.

Your observations are very astute and they have made me think of a few more points to add to your argument: Buffy gave Spike little argument when he insisted she go with him she let a vampire lead her into a vampire's nest(!) - totally unnatural she passively waited for him on the stairs while he roughed up a vampire who got in his face - trepidation kept her from going on without him and despite her sense of foreboding she didn't demand that Spike TELL her what was up. He wanted her to SEE Riley's betrayal with her own eyes and she LET HIM show her.

Spike's role does seem to be vacillating between that of a somewhat-ridiculous lovesick puppy and the deadly-serious one of spiritual guide. In the last few episodes he has effectively usurped Giles' role IMO. Buffy looks to him for guidance and for the 'truth'. For some reason she is willing to listen to the truth when he speaks it. Why?

Is Spike going to end up being related to Giles in some way as the swing-scene in Restless suggested? We have certainly seen that Spike/William was a virtual Giles clone. I wonder...
We don't know Williams last name.
Yes Buffy can accept things much better from Spike than anyone. She spoke to him about her mother something that you wouldn't expect from and enemy. I think Buffy does care for Spike she just doesn't know it. They are soldiers that have been on the different sides of a battle. Now that Spike loves Buffy the scenario is the enemy of my enemy is my enemy. How's that for confusion.
Giles may be Buffys watcher but his love for her can make him act as a parent at times a parent will shield you instead of telling you the truth.
"Buffy does seem to have some sort of trust with Spike. Even after catching him in her house twice now she didn't even threaten to have Willow do a spell to keep him out. I'm not sure she likes him but I too was struck by how she entered that very seamy looking building on blind faith just based on Spike's vague description of ""something"" he wanted to show her. I mean just because he can't hurt her doesn't mean he wasn't luring her into a trap where somebody else could ambush her. This is a measure of how their relationship has changed somewhat since ""Fool for Love"". I think Spike will continue to watch over her this season as she comes closer to her darker side as foreshadowed in ""Restless"". Not an official watcher just Spike hanging outside her house and following her wherever she goes. She may not even know he's helping her half the time like he took care of that demon in ""Family"" and she never even knew it. "
"... ""and she never even knew it"".

Yes. The list of things Buffy ""never even knew"" and doesn't want to know gets longer all the time. We still don't know for sure whether Buffy is currently being tricked into not seeing a certain reality so that an alternate reality can be superimposed on it (i.e. according to the theories that the monks(?) distracted her with Dracula hocus pocus that the presence of Dawn may be affecting the Buffyverse reality and even time itself and also based on the prophetic dream sequence and First-Slayer fallout from Restless) or whether she is temporarily under a spell that renders demons invisible (as in Family) Buffy has been fighting evils she can't see or which haven't even been described before (Glory for example ""predates language itself""). Her mother's tumour is a perfect metaphor for the latent threat of (un)wanted knowledge... Buffy tries but can fight the tumour using any of the knowledge she has currently accumulated. It seems that the relations in Buffy's world are being skewered by the threat of what MIGHT become known (about Buffy Dawn Glory the tumour Spike the forces of darkness).

Anyone out there wondering whether Dru's comment about the slayer ""being all around"" Spike might mean Spike literally becomes the/a slayer for a certain time as in some kind of switch or something. Does that sounds wacky? It's late so I'm doing a lot of speculating here. It just seems that radical change (going evil going human getting dead) seems imminent in the Buffyverse and right now the two best candidates for change are Buffy and/or Spike... "
"Spike has had the most change. I only think Buffy is aware of most of it. She has convesations with him in private...alot. The rest of the SG don't seem to notice. Because Spike knows what darkness is he may be the best man to help her come to terms with her own. What price will he pay for that...remember Dru said ""you taste like ashes""..."
"What price will (Spike) pay for that...remember Dru said you taste like ashes""...""

Oy. With all these opaque dream sequences possible disturbances in the space-time continuum and schizo-prophetic vampire visions I marvel at the writers keeping the storyline so clear and unambiguous;) LOL.

Yes. Dru's comment does seem to put Spike's life at stake... With this in mind I think Spike's own death-wish is getting stronger (or maybe entwined with Buffy's own). For example just think of how many times Spike has invoked the name of God this season and how many times he has been shown guffawing as he is being strangled backed into a corner - even staked. Spike said that it wasn't in Riley's NATURE to be demon-like (though it's not like THAT was news to anyone:)... but what is Spike's nature - or Buffy's for that matter?"
Oy is right...and would that be wood or plastic?
I find it ironic that while Buffy is becoming more in touch with her darkness Spike is accidentilly getting some light.

"What price will he pay for that...remember Dru said you taste like ashes""...""

Just because Dru says he tastes like ashes doesn't mean he going to get staked - literally or figuratively. Unless I missed something somewhere (I never saw the first 2 1/2 seasons) I was under the impression that Dru was just a mad rambling psycho not a seer or psychic. The crazed mutterings of the insane should not be taken for predictions about the future.
In Season 2 the episode School Hard Spike and Drusilla were introduced. Yes Dru is quite insane that was caused by Angelus before he sired her. What attracted him to her was her innocence purity and her clairvoyance(the sight). Dru is never literal but if she says you taste like ashes and you're a vampire I'd be worried. The reason Angelus messed with her mind was he was quite the sadist. He wanted her to suffer for an eternity. I think he will pay for those actions when he least expects it.
Rufus is right here. On numerious occasions Drusilla has told the future in her mad ramblings. She predicted Ethen Rayne in 'Halloween' the three assisins with her tarto (sp?) deck the loss of Angel's soul and other such stuff.

Also she seemed pritty luquid when she was fighting with Spike in FFL. Not just rambling but actualy making valid points and augerments.
"Touche! Now that you mention it I think I remember Darla saying to Angel something about Dru's abilities in either ""Fool For Love"" or ""Darla."" I have somewhat of a faulty memory but luckily I have you guys to refresh it for me :)"
"Yep. If Drusilla saw Spike as vacuum-food he should be afraid very afraid. LOL... This question about the accuracy of Dru's prophecies and the tarot opens the door for me to talk about one of Drusilla's lines in FFL which I feel may well be THE most portentous of all - if I could only figure out what it means:)

When Angelus and Spike are about to fight in the old mine she says excitedly ""the king of cups expects a picnic"" and then continues in an uncomprehending tone ""but this is not his birthday"". Here are some of my fearless interpretations of that seemingly innocuous line. And yes I do realise that Dru says this line in 1880 but I believe it foreshadows things that are going to happen in 2001.

In tarot the king of cups in its negative interpretation refers to the dishonest pursuit of power OR to a misuse of visions that can lead to loss and general anarchy. I am not certain if the king of cups refers to any one person in Dru's mind. I suppose it could refer to Angelus (OMG I wrote Angelus instead of Angel!) since Cordelia's off-target visions this season have caused him no end of trouble. Actually I can only think of two visions - the protector demon and the satan-worshipper guy in Reunion - but you get the picture. In a more literal sense maybe she was saying that Angel will have to watch out for Spike in the future. The reference to the birthday I think is foreshadowing events that will happen on Buffy's birthday.

I'm thinking though that the line most likely referred to the Buffyverse not A:tS. Isn't there supposed to be an episode coming up in which Tara does tarot readings? I wonder if we will see the king of cups card turns up. If it does turn up whose card will it be? Might Tara's 'visions' be misused? Thinking back to Tara's role in Restless might there be something to worry about there?

Of course the king of cups in its positive interpretation refers to a responsible dignified authority figure who gives sound advice. I'm thinking that this may refer to Giles (except now Spike is acting like Giles... LOL).

I know I am missing something here. Anyone else have any thoughts about this particular line?"
As Dru didn't indicate who the King of Cups is we have to condider both men. For Angelus it could have foretold the return of his soul only to decend to hell(not the one Buffy sent him too the one he makes himself). It wasn't his time yet.
For Spike (factor in the ashes bit here) it could mean Angelus would not turn Spike to ashes because it wasn't Spikes turn yet.
If you take the authority bit Spike could be in for a bumpy ride. Spike craves attention authority. He is going about it the wrong way. Through his increasing contact with Buffy he could be the authority figure who helps her the most...but at what price.
So I don't know what it means but someones turn just may be coming up.
I'm taking the time during xmas vacation to read some Buffy transcripts. Now I know I am reading too much into things but here's a bit from Something Blue that had be wondering at how everything falls into place on this show.

SPIKE (to Buffy):
You're inhuman.

Sighing powerless at the impasse Giles exits

... and finds Willow cross-legged on the floor a number of books spread out on the coffee table before her.

If those two don't kill each other
I might lend a hand.

When is Joss Whedon's B day> Or 100th episode?

With 12 left to go that makes the season finale number 100.
"Maybe ""King Of Cups"" might not be ment in the tarot sense but maybe in ""the lion the witch and the wardrobe"" way. There have been lots of refs to things to do with ""The lion the witch and the wardrobe"" in Restless. Maybe this is another ref to the book since there was a King in the book who played a major part in the outcome of the story in the book. "
A C.S. Lewis angle? Hmm. It's absolutely possible.
It doesn't sound that strange. He has been getting his jollies by killing his own kind lately. And since he's been jumping into fights to keep Buffy safe he could start getting interpreted that way.

You know about William's last name. I kinda figured he was more like Wesley so I leaned more that way. But from what I understand both Wes and Giles come from family lines of Watchers so either could be true. I did think it perfectly reasonable that if someone's sweet sensitive cousin or brother was killed by vampires they might've turned to the Watchers to get revenge.
From Websters dictionary:
Kill- to deprive of life syn Kill Slay Murder Assassinate Dispatch Execute shared meaning element:to deprive of life.

Slay- to kill violently wantonly or in great numbers. syn see kill.

Buffy may be considered a kiddie show but don't miss one fact Buffy is a killer. That is what she was called to do. She is the chosen one the one chosen to kill. When I talk about killer I'm not saying Buffy is a bad person because she performs her duty. I don't make excuses such as the targets are monsters. I look at her results. One thing is clear to me Buffy is a KILLER.
Rufus methinks you are being deliberately provocative here;) so I think I'll change the subject line seeing as it's xmas eve. Good will towards men and all that you know. LOL.

OK. So Buffy is a killer but up to this point her killing has benefitted humanity. We have seen what Sunnydale without Buffy would be like (thanks to Cordelia) - not a fun place to be we have seen what happens when Buffy goes on strike - unhappiness and chaos all around we can only imagine what the end of the world would have been like - again Buffy saved the day by killing the 'person' she loved the most... While not every slay seems significant in the scheme of things each one adds up to her making the world a better place - for others. For her the world of the others becomes less and less real with each passing day/slay. Her existence is about hyper-reality hyper-violence. Buffy can save the world but was powerless to truly help her mother and was powerless before the implosion of her relationship with Riley.

Buffy is a reluctant killer but a killer nonetheless. That is her calling. Yet Buffy often feels like Atlas that she has the weight of the world on her shoulders. To cite Ayn Rand what would happen if Atlas shrugged?
Seriously I find we do tap dance around the one fact that Buffy is a killer. So I looked it up and went a killer by a different name is a slayer. I think to realize how difficult the decisions that Buffy has had to make we have to buy the fact that she is a killer no matter how reluctant by trade. Death is her art. I also point out how Buffy doesn't kill on whim. If she killed every demon she encountered she would never sleep eat ect. She metes out judgement as required.
The last vamp she killed on ITW it was chilling to see her pause then do the javelin throw. The only reason I'm with her is that all the vamps were there to kill her the last girl included. Buffy paused to consider that this was the vamp she caught Riley with but that vamp was there to kill her.
To understand Buffy as a slayer we have to accept that she is a killer.
"Yes Buffy is a killer. That is un-questionably what she does.

And that's what draws us to her!

She has license to resolve the problem of Evil with a simple elegant solution - Mr. Pointy. We can all be forgiven for wishing that we could solve our problems so easily. Our uneasiness about Buffy's voilence stems from our discomfort with the darkness within ourselves. It is hard for us to admit that someone we like (and I think we do like Buffy) and want to root for uses means that are clearly (and rightly) unacceptable in normal society. So we fall into philosophical traps: eqiuvocation hair-splitting ""the end justifies the means "" etc.

The answer to this problem lies not in the show but in ourselves. "
"*** ""It is hard for us to admit that someone we like... and want to root for uses means that are clearly (and rightly) unacceptable in normal society. So we fall into philosophical traps: eqiuvocation hair-splitting ""the end justifies the means "" etc."" ***

Ah but this IS the point and I don't mean Mr. You are correct that morally the means are ""unacceptable"" but what happens when the alternative is your own extinction? In the Buffyverse some vamps just won't respond to a good talkin' to. In the real world people like Hitler the Khymer Rouge Idi Amin Saddam Hussein Pol Pot the Taliban and countless other mass murderers won't respond to reason either.

I consider myself to be basically a pacifist and certainly seek to avoid confrontation but if any of those f**kers listed above would come for me and/or my friends and family Mr. Pointy would be too good for them.

So while I agree with you philosophically Buffy is a hero to us because as a friend of mine once put it after a particularly ghastly mass murderer was sentenced to the gas chamber ""Some people need to be put out of our misery"".

He was a pacifist too and I would say he still is.

The sad thing is in our day to day real-world lives we have very little power to wipe out any serious evil. If nothing else we get to live through our fantasies whereby some hero or heroine gets to do it for us and even though it is just a fantasy it's comforting emotionally.

How can you kill something that is already dead?

Or I should say Undead.
"Stakes holy water etc... This is about Buffy. (Sorry my inner-imp couldn't resist.)

(To be extremely over-educated here the ancient Egyptians believed that if you eradicated every image of a person and their name after they were dead their very soul would be erased from the Underworld.) You did ask.
I do have one question are Demons dead?
Buffy does kill demons. Some demons have mated with humans and produced offspring. (Doyle for example.) Is this part of the ""has a soul/doesn't have a soul argument?""

It does seem to me that Spike isn't the only master manipulator.


"Talk about ""killing"" and ""slaying"" amongst yourselves I'm wrapping Christmas presents and contemplating ""Reunion"". Just wanted to say one thing...

Begin rant

You CAN kill so-called ""dead"" things in the Buffyverse and it DOES matter that you do because there's the ""dead"" that lies six feet under and rots and doesn't bug anyone and there's the no-heart-beating pointy bitey so-called ""dead"" who want to put you six feet under where you won't bother anyone.

Fallacious arguments based on the premise that ""vampires are dead"" therefore it's OK if Angel commits suicide/is dusted/therefore you're not really killing them really bug me.

The fallacy is called equivocation--changing the definition of a word in mid-argument. Anything that walks and talks and thinks thoughts and trembles at the sight of the slayer isn't ""dead"" in the sense of the word people try to use in these arguments. It doesn't make the ""it's wrong to kill sentient beings"" argument go away.

Buffy kills them because they kill humans without conscience or restraint. And if they don't she doesn't kill them. If she starts to kill creatures simply because they are ""demons"" regardless of their behavior we have to ask about her motives her ""darkness"" as people have put it. Do we have evidence she's doing this?

End rant"

We know that this season Buffy is going to come to terms with what she does. To believe that she would have any problems with slaying you have to believe that all beings have value. I believe that all beings demon or human have a value. Buffys job is to protect the balance. If all demons were just evil the PTBs would have accomodated to help wipe them out. There has to be more of a purpose for the existance of demons or Buffy would slay them all. Buffy only slays demons that upset the balance of good and evil by commiting murder. I also believe that in the Buffyverse that not only humans can be noble and sacrifice but demons can do the same. BVS shows me that to prejudge any being can have tragic results. Buffy is human and there are emotional consequences of her calling. I do not call Buffy a killer because I feel she has done a bad thing. To believe that demons were other than targets we have to consider that they might have as much right to exist as anyone in the Buffyverse.

Oh and I didn't mean to pick on anyone or sound pissed off. I wasn't. I realize my post came across a bit rant-y. Hope everyone has a happy holiday!!
Masquerade asked a question I'll shorten it:
Has Buffy killed a creature just because it is a we have evidence of this.

I didn't like when Buffy staked the last vamp in the back...I reluctantly didn't question the kill cause the vamp was with the others and the others meant to kill her. To me intent to kill was there...but was it with the last vamp? I went to the shooting script to get an idea what the last vamp was doing there. In the script the head vamp is a pimp and the last vamp is called the Junkie girl vamp...The junkie vamp girl has been beaten...looks really out of it.
When Buffy pauses after killing all the other vamps she sees not only the girl that had been in the room with Riley she saw a junkie vamp...clearly messed up and harmless. Buffy hesitates...She can't kill this one...It stinks of pointless vengeance....then Buffy with no emotion throws the stake in the vamps back. After considering the information I now had I went Buffy just crossed the line and joined the monsters. I was so freaked about Riley being with a vamp hooker that I discounted the girls right to exist now I'm feeling pretty much like a monster myself. Buffy killed the last vamp out of revenge...period. Buffy just got introduced to her darkness. The line Buffy has crossed is a fine one. Joss got it past me not by the fact that the girl was a demon but the fact she was a hooker. Hookers are considered expendable in our society. So much so that noone bats an eye if one is murdered it was the risk of the job. That girl was there under duress she wouldn't have been there if she hadn't been beaten.
By killing that girl Buffy risks becoming the very monster she has been chosen to protect mankind from. If I don't point out that what Buffy did was wrong I am the bigger monster..

That she slayed the last one WITHOUT emotion is a good thing. She didn't slay out of vengence not out of revenge nor out of malice.

IT WASN'T PERSONAL. It was Buffy's duty.

Had that vampire escaped a human would have died because of it. Maybe several humans. Maybe more.
I disagree. It would have been okay if Buffy had just killed her in the heat of battle or killed her as soon as she saw her. That's what she usually does in her role as the Slayer. However instead of killing her she stopped when she recognised her let her run and then staked her. It's not that there was no emotion in what she did. It's that she did it in a very cold way. You could see in her face that she was losing a bit of her humanity in the process.
That girl was there under duress.

That girl is dead. A vampire killed her.
I don't think she went to far.

The vampire was hooker. She had just lost her pimp and her place of operation. So what was she going to do? Maybe she could find another pimp but I think it is more likely that she would just start feeding off humans. She needed to be staked. And revenge probly played a part in it too. But if you had just found the man/woman you trusted more than anything in the world cheating on you with the thing you loath most in the world and you were given a chance to get even wouldn't you? Because I can say without a doubt that I would a staked her and never looked back. And maybe that makes me a monster in your eyes maybe it makes me evil from your point of view. But it's the truth and that's all I can say.
Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster

The quote I found on this site and will be IMHO part the the storyline for Buffy this year.
When I first saw BVS it was cut and dry you have a monster/demon it can only be evil/bad kill it. I thought cute show but gave me nothing to think about.
Then Mr. Whendon introduced the ambiguity of evil to the show. At first we only had to know a being was a demon/monster to incite us to want it dead. Then we saw changes to the Buffyverse. Angel had a soul some demons not only were never evil but were warriors for good Spike got that chip in. You may say Spike? He can't kill humans. Oh yes he can...indirectly by getting someone to do the dirty work for him no mess no headache...for now he has chosen not to.
Buffy is a slayer she was chosen. She has a free pass to kill demons. I say only the ones that require killing. Mr. Whedon is a very clever guy. He has used labels demon/monster/hooker ect. to make us feel it is okay to kill. We only have to look at history to see where killing someone because of labels has taken us. Now Mr. Whedon is telling at least me that we should look beyond ignorance and consider carefully before an action is taken.
Buffy may be the slayer but she has always shown mercy and has let beings she considered harmless escape. This past killing was personal and to me an abuse of her power.
I see some people don't like the label Killer and are uncomfortable with it. I hope all of us are uncomfortable with the concept of killing a being because their label. If we don't question killing and accept it with no questions we risk becoming the monsters we wish didn't exist.
"The time when Buffy was most open to the charge of ""monster"" was what she did to Faith.

But even that I think was justified because Faith was the one who shot Angel with the poison.

Still I would have liked to see more angst from Buffy over all that. You would have thought the statement ""you killed me Buf."" would have had more of an effect on her.

But that was almost two seasons ago. As for lately I see little that Buffy has to be sorry about.

She shouldn't give a micro-second of thought about Slaying. Slaying monsters is her calling. It's what she must do. And it really isn't any thing to get all worked up about. At least not from the perspective of ""all those monsters poor monsters I hurt the monsters"".

Keep on Slaying Slayer."
Well said!

You asked me if in my eyes you would be a monster for your thoughts. My answer is No.
You may wonder why I question killing so much. My reason is that I only question...I don't have answers and I value what everyone on this board has to say. I learn every time I read a post. I have just made a observation that I think Mr. Whedon uses labels to make us accept killing on a grand scale.
Would I kill a hooker because my man betrayed me with one no. It is the fault of the man the hooker only offered a service that was paid for.
Would I be angry enough to want the hooker dead I don't know.
The fact that you answered the post I made shows me you aren't a monster because you at least pondered what I said. I have met monsters the people kind. A monster wouldn't give killing a second thought.
To talk about killing is one thing to do it another. I value life and question killing...I always ask why?
Buffy was slaying a vampire.

It really is as simple as that.

I was reading this set of posts and thought two things oh ok that it is in my nature to try an argument for the underdog ( partially because I believe in my heart that to not question our own actions and beliefs is to foster some very unhealthy actions and beliefs) and that I wondered about what Giles (aka the Ripper in his former evil Giles time) had to say about the bloodsucking for money exchange...that often no one was harmed. (the fact that I find the idea queasy personally is naught to this) and that if as Giles says that some vamps feed off the willing in a blood/sex/money exchange...if those vamps don't kill...if that is how they feed...then they are not something I feel personally good about killing. Buffy was on a vengeance high not slaying in my opinion. She did give most of the vamps a chance though. All but one.
Slayer or Killer - our debate is moot IMO. It is Buffy's own definition of herself that is going to matter in the end... when she is sitting alone on the stairs or sleeping alone in her bed or patrolling alone at night. For how long can she continue to integrate slaying into her life and into her identity before that life and that identity change irrevocably?

Buffy killed the vampire hooker and Riley killed Sandy after allowing her to bite him. When love goes awry there is carnage to those around them.
"The issue of whether Buffy is becoming more of a cold-blooded 'killer' or remains a duly-appointed and entirely-justified 'slayer' has generated quite a bit of debate on this board (see the 'The Look on Spike's Face' thread for example) and I thought that the topic warranted its own thread. It is my opinion that the writers are making Buffy's actions seem more and more ambiguous as the season progresses. Is she acting on positive or negative instincts? Is she drawing on the darkness within her to survive and save lives by killing demons or is she beginning to lash out at the world around her in a morally-questionable manner? As we can see from this message board there are two schools of thought on this matter.

For my part I feel that now that her mother is ""out of the woods"" she will penetrate deeper and deeper 'into the woods' and have numerous choices to make. Can Buffy continue to harness the darkness within herself to make good rational choices or will she be tainted or corrupted by not-yet-clearly-defined forces of darkness? That is my question to you. "
I have harped on about killing for a long time. Alot say cause it's demons it's okay. But that was never what I was talking about. I was talking about the messy deliberate act of killing. I know I can't kill and have never been put in the position of having to kill to save a life. I just know I don't care the flavour of the being killed I only know it would be a horrible job for anyone. Take that Buffy will have to kill everyday to survive and save others you have to wonder can you get so into the mechanics of killing that you lose sight of yourself you cease to be in favor of the kill. That would exclude friends and family from your life and leave you truly alone.
I think that Buffy will have to choose between being only a killer for the rest of her life or taking a chance to still feel potential loss and keep her friends and family close to her.
This is where Spike fellow killer may come into play here. Spike knows what Buffy will lose and may help with the help of the others in her life her retain her humanity.
"Yes I have been feeling that Buffy is going to find that her obviously supernatural based power is not ""good"" but darker...although not necessarily evil. I note myself that Buffy has a lot of vampire like powers but no drawbacks (lack of social acceptance blooddrinking pile of ash etc). As a side note I too have been the exten t that I went back and read old scripts...what if there is no chip? Are there any other vamps running about chipped? Nooo...Spike got out of there early. What if it's all smoke and mirroers Mr Whedon style? LOL Or a psychosomatic chip??"

Are there any other vamps running about chipped? Nooo...Spike got out of there early. What if it's all smoke and mirrors Mr Whedon style? LOL Or a psychosomatic chip??

That's a simply splendid thought! I'm so glad I'm not the only one who thinks that while Spike may have a chip on his shoulder he does NOT have one in his head. LOL.
Spike's an odd vampire. He's more human than Angel because he doesn't even have a soul. Or does he?
Who has Buffy killed?
And understand my question is WHO has Buffy killed?

Beth...Correct me if I'm wrong...I get the feeling that because who or what Buffy has killed as a slayer that it doesn't count..blow it impact here. Just because the beings Buffy have killed may have deserved it doesn't mean that killing them has had no impact on Buffy herself. Killing is dark stuff there is a whole comandment:Thou shall not kill. Unlike the US. constitution there have been no amendments to the basic comandments. To me no excuse or reason should ever make it easy to kill. Buffy has killed for righteous reasons but she has still killed. You can't ignore the cumulative effects of that much darkness. If killing were that easy none of us would be here. Someone would get p/o at you and you'd be gone. Killing is hard final messy dark. Buffy has had over 4 years of darkness...I wonder what is she thinking? Does she care anymore? I know I would if that were my job. I'd worry more about those who didn't.
"Buffy slays monsters. She doesn't kill people.

The closest she has come to that has been when she attacked her mother's boyfriend (but then we find out that he was a robot but she didn't know that) and when she nearly killed Faith.

Oh and I guess you might also include when she allowed her former boyfriend to die at the hands of the vampires but ""allow"" might be too strong of a word for that. Can't save everyone. As much as one can and should try.

All those things happened a few years back. Then was when you should have worried about her ""going dark"" (especially with that Faith thing).

Lately she has been very responsible. She has even taken on added responsibility with protecting her ""sister"" and the burden that has fallen on her with her mother's illness. All of which she handled better than one might have expected.

Her one big mistake this year was taking Riley for granted. That mistake will cost her. But then again no one is perfect.

We have seen her mature greatly as a slayer and a human being. I find it odd to pick this juncture to criticize her and worry about her ""turning to the dark side"".

Angel on the other hand watch out. This is the first time we have seen him ""turn dark"". That is turn dark with a soul not as ""Angulus"". (Although that story about him in the 1950's kind of foreshadowed it)."
"We have seen her mature greatly as a slayer and a human being. I find it odd to pick this juncture to criticize her and worry about her turning to the dark side"".""

Oh dear. I do hope we can critique Buffy without criticising her. I honestly don't know how I would react if put in a position similar to hers; my inadequate gauge is the only gauge I can use when discussing her motivation unfortunately. I agree that Buffy has taken on more and more responsibility and has matured as a result. BUT how much can one girl take? That's the question.

As for worrying about her turning to the dark side the topic is brought out in virtually ever episode. Dracula Giles Spike Xander - all have discussed Buffy's art of death her hunting and the rush she seems to get from it and how she may be using her Slayer job to avoid facing certain things (like not really loving Riley for example).

No more than Buffy I don't think that we can avoid the darkness issue.

"Don't want to avoid the ""darkness issue"". I find it quite interesting.

And with Buffy as with all of us it's always there and a concern that always must be watched.

It's just that my position now is that Buffy is clearly on the right side of ""the line"". That could change in a heartbeat of course. Burning that house could be seen as a little ""over the top"" but I am willing to cut her a little slack on that one.

Xander kept her from going ""too deep over the edge"". Again I can think of many other times when she has been much much more at risk of going ""over the edge"" than this. Season Three comes to mind especially how she almost killed Faith.

Quite frankly I was disappointed that we didn't see more consequences for Buffy on the whole ""dark side"" arena from that incident. To be that was the closest she has ever come to ""going dark"" and a compelling argument can be made that when she nearly killed Faith she ""went too far""."
"I am not trying to ""avoid the darkness"" issue either. I thought I was embracing it.

I just agree with Kim. No signs of Buffy ""going dark"" yet

Contrast what we have seen from Buffy and what we have seen with Angel. Each week we have seen Angel do things that are increasingly questionable. So much so that his friends have been quite concerned. And when they tried to perform an ""intervention"" he fired them.

Buffy on the other hand has had to deal with some pretty big bad stuff. But instead of acting out as she could have she has remained quite balanced. Too much so Riley at least thought.

Buffy's closest ""walk with the dark side"" was what happened with Faith. Faith has always been a bad influence on her.

Even in the last episode she kept her anger in check. When the vampires confronted her she told them to ""just walk away"". And when she saw herself about to slay out of malice she checked herself."
When did Buffy check herself from slaying out of malice in the last episode? When she let the vamp trull run and thenm staked her? Actually I support Buffy on that one.
So do I.

I was really afraid that she was going to let that vampire go.

And whenever you let a vampire escape humans will die.
When did Buffy check herself from slaying out of malice in the last episode? When she let the vamp trull run and thenm staked her? Actually I support Buffy on that one.

That is exactly the point. She was doing what she had to do to protect others.

I don't know why people are calling her a Killer. She is a Slayer. She slays Vampires. And forgive me for being so politically incorrect by stating that slaying vampires is a very good thing.

She has nothing to feel sorry about.

"By the way since we are talking about the moral implications of the word kill and the the word murder let me just point out that in many ways the word Murder is a much broader commandment.

For it doesn't only mean to kill out of personal reasons.

Malice can be seen as a form of ""mental murder""

Here are tweleve ways one can ""Murder""

How many ways is murder committed?
We may be said to murder another twelve ways. (1) With the hand; as Joab killed Abner and Amass. 'He smote him in the fifth rib and shed out his bowels.' 2 Sam 20: 10. (2) With the mind. Malice is mental murder. 'Whosoever hates his brother is a murderer.' 1 John 3: 15. To malign another and wish evil against him in the heart is murdering him. (3) With the tongue by speaking to the prejudice of another and causing him to be put to death. Thus the Jews killed the Lord of life when they inveighed against him and accused him falsely to Pilate. John 18: 30. (4) With the pen. Thus David killed Uriah by writing to Joab to 'set Uriah in the forefront of the battle.' 2 Sam 11:15. Though the Ammonites' sword cut off Uriah yet David's pen was the cause of his death; and therefore the Lord tells David by the prophet Nathan 'Thou hast killed Uriah.' 2 Sam 12: 9. (5) By plotting another's death. Thus though Jezebel did not lay her own hands upon Naboth yet because she contrived his death and caused two false witnesses to swear against him and bring him within the compass of treason she was the murderer. 1 Kings 21: 9 10. (6) By putting poison into cups. Thus the wife of Commodes the emperor killed her husband by poisoning the wine which he drank. So many kill little children by medicines that cause their death. (7) By witchcraft and sorcery - which were forbidden under the law. 'There shall not be found among you an enchanter or a witch or a consulter with familiar spirits.' Deut 18: 10 11. (8) By having an intention to kill another; as Herod under a pretence of worshipping Christ would have killed him. Matt 2: 8 13. So when Saul made David go against the Philistines he designed that the Philistine should have killed him. 'Saul said Let not mine hand be upon him but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.' I Sam 18: 17. Here was intentional murder and it was in God's account as bad as actual murder. (g) By consenting to another's death; as Saul to the death of Stephen. 'I also was standing by and consenting unto his death.' Acts 22: 20. He that gives consent is accessory to the murder. (10) By not hindering the death of another when in our power. Pilate knew Christ was innocent. 'I find no fault in him ' he said but did not hinder his death; therefore he was guilty. Washing his hands in water could not wash away the guilt of Christ's blood. (11) By unmercifullness. By taking away that which is necessary for the support of life; as to take away the tools or utensils by which a man gets his living. 'No man shall take the upper or the nether millstone to pledge for he taketh a man's life.' Deut 24: 6. Or by not helping him when he is ready to perish. You may be the death of another as well by not relieving him as by offering him violence. If thou dost not feed him that is starving thou killest him. How many are thus guilty of the breach of this commandment! (12) By not executing the law upon capital offenders. A felon having committed six murders the judge may be said to be guilty of five of them because he did not execute the felon for his first offence.

(Sorry for all those Bible quotes. That isn't usually me but since you presented a Biblical argument by bringing up a commandment from the Jewish and Christian Bible I felt that in this case it's appropriate.)

In fact since Buffy has the power to stop these creatures from killing humans if refuses to use those powers if she doesn't slay if she doesn't do everything in her power to stop them in a moral sense she can be seen as guilty of ""murder""

Just like Angel might be seen as guilty (again morally) for the lawyers deaths. Just like many blame Buffy for the deaths that Angelus caused.

So you see the commandment you cite is the VERY REASON Buffy must slay.

Again the commandment has been mistranslated. Below is another article that attempts to explain that.

"Giles was of the opinion that maybe Buffy should be concentrating her efforts on a ""less ambiguous evil"". In short that she should slay demons who were preying on innocent victims not on willing participants such as Riley. And these vamps as Giles and Anya explained it don't kill humans only feed on them.

Buffy's response to Giles' suggestion was unequivocal: I kill vampires; therefore I will seek them out and kill them. It was a supreme moment of self-justification and egoism. Imagine. She actually had the power to act on the ""I want to kill the slut"" reaction almost any woman would have if she found that her boyfriend was cheating on her. IMO she was acting purely on her emotions not out of any direct concern for humanity at large.

And while Buffy was out settling the score with the brothel vamp group how many innocents died at the hand of OTHER active vamps in town? If I were Buffy the fact that I couldn't be everywhere at once that I couldn't save everyone would drive me crazy (Gary Dobson on the show Early Edition had a similar quandary). Still it is her job to figure out where the greatest evil lies: in the gang of vamps who run the brothel her boyfriend went to or in the ubiquitous but ambiguous evil that is Glory or in the garden-variety vamps and demons running around Sunnydale.

Yes. Buffy must kill. But the choice of what to kill also devolves to her and sometimes only she can make the black or white choices that will balance out the grey world. Sometimes her choices are more human than they are superhuman."
"And while Buffy was out settling the score with the brothel vamp group how many innocents died at the hand of OTHER active vamps in town? If I were Buffy the fact that I couldn't be everywhere at once that I couldn't save everyone would drive me crazy (Gary Dobson on the show Early Edition had a similar quandary).

How many innocents died at the hand of active vamps in town while she was in the hospital with her mom? Or dies when she is studying for an exam or when she is hanging out with her friends?

Such is the plight of the hero. You do what you can. Can't save them all.

But there is a difference between that and having a vampire ready for the slay (like Angelus in the shopping mail) and then letting them go.

Again you can't save them all but if you are knowingly in a position to save people by slaying but refuse to for some reason (that vamp used to be my boy/girl friend) then you are responsible.

Gunn didn't hestitate to kill the vampire that his sister became for he knew that it wasn't his sister and also that if he showed ""mercy"" to it he would be responsible for all the death's it caused afterwards. Just as if he killed those people himself

If Buffy follows the commandment ""do not murder"" she must make every effort to slay the monsters she comes against.

By the way. Angel is responsible for the deaths of the store clerks. He was in a position to Slay Darla (practically the same situation Buffy was in with Angelus) but hestitated.

Also he should have waited outside for Dru and Darla after they feasted on the lawyers (must have not been much of a feast as lawyers are for the most part bloodless and the blood they do have is as cold as ice).

Darla and Dru will kill again. And Angel just walked away. Perhaps he should have burned the house down."
"And while Buffy was out settling the score with the brothel vamp group how many innocents died at the hand of OTHER active vamps in town? If I were Buffy the fact that I couldn't be everywhere at once that I couldn't save everyone would drive me crazy (Gary Dobson on the show Early Edition had a similar quandary).

I was thinking about this. If the situation had been that Buffy was about to go off and settle ""the score with the brothel vamp "" and someone comes rushing in and said that there was a bunch of Vampires attacking the Sunnydale old folks home (does Sunnydale have an old folks home?) but then Buffy says sorry I am too busy. Got to go off to enact revenge against the brothel vamps then you would have a case.

As it was what Buffy did wasn't preventing her from responding to any more immediate evil that she knew of."
"This just came to me as well.

Contrast Angel again. He was ""called"" to another situation but decided to go off in his own pursuits.

Again Buffy for the pressure she was under acted better than might have been expected. Burning the house might have been questionable but everything else was reasonable.

"I don't think the point is that Buffy shouldn't Slay demons. It is her duty her Calling. I think the point is that she cannot be unchanged in the performance of her duty.

The more you do something the easier it becomes. (Mentally as well as physically.) In the Buffyverse good and evil are shown in varying shades of grey. I think the point is that she may be finding it easier to ""kill/slay"" than deal in a nonviolent fashion.

"I think Buffy handled the situation with her mother's sickness quite well in a non-violent way.

I thought she would have gone off picking a fight with every demon she could find (thus neglecting what she needed to do with her family). BUT SHE DIDN'T.

That she didn't ""go postal"" shows how much she has grown. Had this happened a few seasons back I believe she would have behaved quite differently (she would have acted like Faith).

And you can't deal with monsters in a ""non-violent way"". You must Slay them.

The season is half over. She still could ""freak out"". But I don't see any signs of that yet. None at all."
"Beth...Correct me if I'm wrong...I get the feeling that because who or what Buffy has killed as a slayer that it doesn't count..blow it impact here. Just because the beings Buffy have killed may have deserved it doesn't mean that killing them has had no impact on Buffy herself. Killing is dark stuff there is a whole comandment:Thou shall not kill.

They were monsters. She slayed them. She was protecting humanity. Can't be more nuturing than that. And as to that commandment you mentioned it's been mistranslated.

It's Thou shall not commit murder.

And as you read if you went to the link above there is a world of difference. "
"I have seen the they are monsters number to explain people who kill. Monsters makes it easier to explain why someone kills because killing makes people uncomfortable. So if the killer is a ""monster"" we feel better it wasn't one of us it was a monster. When a police officer shoots someone on the job even though it may be a righteous kill they still are offered counselling. What has Buffy gotten? She's done it almost every night over the years. I take out the words murder monster demon and insert killing because that's what Buffy does she kills and if you just say they deserve it you miss something. Buffys power is ""rooted in darkness"". I think it would have to be to make her an effective killer. But all that death has a price.Buffy has to slay no doubt about it but if you lose sight of the fact she is killing you won't notice the fact that she is always saying she didn't chose her job and never gets time off. What I see in Buffy now is Burnout. Killing is hard Buffy doesn't like the fact she has to kill but she has no choice. But I still wonder how does she feel?"
"I agree that Buffy is growing/changing. I do rather question whether or not the arguments of Christianity hold much sway with The Freshmen"" Buffy is asked if she has accepted Jesus as her personal savior and she says So I think her dilemma is only mildly religious and more a practical does she cope with the stress? We've had numerous foreshadowings of her finding out more of her origins and they're not pretty. Dracula tells Buffy she doesn't know what she is. I don't think she's coming unraveled at the seams...I think what she is doing now is dealing with the pain of losing love relationships etc...she just stuffed aside feeling to deal with later and perhaps later has come. Of course I also disagree Buffy mistreated Riley. "
I don't believe Buffy is Christian.

So the do not kill (actually it's do not murder its been mistranslated) commandment would hold no sway with her anyway.

Besides no one has yet to answer for me WHO has Buffy killed. All the things she has slayed have been monsters.
"Paraphrased:"" Buffy isn't Christian so the do not kill/murder commandment would hold no sway with her(anyway.'

You don't have to be a Christian to hold to this ethic. All the great religions of the world hold this same belief just as they all have the Golden Rule only worded differently. You don't have to be religious in the conventional sense to follow this precept either. Buffy does reverence life and eschew murder. "
I feel that Buffy has acted more or less responsibly (except in the case of Riley).

I have seen her far more out of control than this. What she did to Faith comes to mind.

I don't know why people are accusing her of going dark now. There was more of a worry of that in season 3.

Actually she has matured quite a bit.
"Buffy tried to kill Faith to save Angel; Faith who had poisoned Angel in the first place; Faith who had tried to turn Angel to Angelus; and Faith
who had tried to steal Angel's love from Buffy to satisfy her own needs.

Riley was wrong to pursue the blood rush high of getting bitten by vamps. He was looking to connect with Buffy in some Angel Dracula cool guys of the dark way. But when he and Buffy made love how could he not see just how much she loved him how much she gave of herself to him?
Riley was blinded by his own insecurities and his own addiction to the blood rush.

But Buffy was wrong to push him out of her life when he needed her most. She should have told him about Dawn tried to make him feel included in her life. She got into a pattern of putting life into compartments. Today I will worry about my mother. Tomorrow I will work on the Dawn problem. The next day I will focus on Riley.
In between times I will slay vampires. Life doesn't work that way.

She lost Riley on lots of levels. But who knows maybe he'll be back ""a sadder a wiser man.""

...when he and Buffy made love how could he not see just how much she loved him.

If someone gives physically but withholds emotionally how can the other person feel loved? Especially when the other person Is giving emotionally.

I think Buffy is the one who is sadder and hopefully wiser.
Yes here I am again going for the low blow....but I was thinking as I watched Buffy crack the nice doctor's ribs when he gives her the good news in Into the Woods that maybe Buffy likes men with supernatural ability cause she can't break 'em. Perhaps she held back plenty with Riley because taking him to the ER with embarassing marks to broken ribs would get old. Now the vamps could take it the sheer physical demands...what did Faith say to Spike?
"hmmm... something about 'being able' to ride him until the cows come home or some such colourful metaphor as I recall.

And Spike still doesn't know - I think - that it wasn't his 'beloved' Buffy who purred those ummmm romantic words to him at The Bronze. Who knows. Without the added stimulation of FaithasBuffy's over-the-top come-on which was also formulated as an outright challenge to his masculinity maybe Spike never would have come to realise the truth of what Dru could already see in him and 'all around him' 2 years ago. Mainly that the all-important word in the sentence 'I want to kill Buffy' is WANT.

Makes you wonder what's going to happen if/when Faith comes to visit. Buffy is still holding a grudge re: Faith sleeping with Riley. And things were NEVER the same after Faith 'came' between them:) Might jealousy rear its ugly head again?

What you say about Buffy's strength is true. Buffy always has to hold back something about her true nature and her strengths/weaknesses - whether physical strength psychic pain or hopes and fears about the future. The list of 'somethings' she is withholding is growing longer everyday. Spike sees through all her defenses and pretenses as she herself conceded in Lover's Walk AND Buffy doesn't understand why he understands her. I think that part of the reason she hasn't killed him to this day is that she feels that he hold the 'key' to unlocking something important about her. But that last statement has tangent written all over it so I'll regress back to the original topic...

I don't remember which episode it was in which Buffy said to Spike something like: ""I despise you immensely/passionately"".

It was a strange line then but now like many things in the Buffyverse it makes perfect sense:) I just hope it takes a long long time for these two to 'ride' the thin line between love and hate."
Many months back I started a thread on whether Faith's path to redemption was initiated when she attempted to betray Buffy by sleeping with Riley but of course things didn't turn out as she planned.

The recent turn of events re: Spike throw out another Faith related turnaround-- as you point out above the seemingly inconsequential (other than for the humor) meeting between Faith-in-Buffy and Spike may have triggered the seeds of the changes we are seeing in him now.

As to what happens when/if Faith meets up with Buffy again (please please please!!) Buffy may have cooled enough to give a little more thought and less physicality to the encounter.

Or as I pondered in another thread just recently what if Buffy has turned darker and Faith tries to pull her out of it? Experience is a great teacher since it allows you to recognize a mistake when you make it again...

Some really thoughtful posts Aquitaine keep 'em coming!
"OnM you mention ""the seemingly inconsequential"" in Buffy... Of course that is the underlying morality of Buffy that NO action is without consequence. It is part of the reason BtVS is darker more disturbing than is Angel. Angel's storylines evolve on a grand cosmic cataclysmic scale; Buffy's storylines also deal with grand scale cosmic issues but does so on a squirm in your seat personal manner so that a careless bit of flirting can change the course of history.

btw - thanks for voicing your appreciation for my posts. I've never posted here before but I am finding that most every post I read is 'thoughtful' or at least thought provoking!
That's more passion than she has ever shown for Riley. Spike is in Buffys mind but I don't think she realizes the fact yet. She hasn't deinvited him and if she hates him that much why not?
The bit with Faith and Spike at the Bronze wouldn't have done much more than hurt Spikes ego he still hadn't come to terms with his feelings for Buffy. He would just wonder what she was drinking to say something so unlike her.
No Dru cut him loose for a reason she realized his true feelings for Buffy before he did. That Dru she may be a nutbar but she is practical.
Out of any of the men Buffy has gone out with her and Spike have the most in common. She loved Angel but I think that sometimes you can't go back.
If the writers are careful they will make me believe that Buffy and Spike could actually work.
"The bit with Faith and Spike at the Bronze wouldn't have done much more than hurt Spike's ego

But weren't we shown in Fool For Love that his hurt human ego could be the explanation for his whole vamp persona... In fact isn't Spike's capacity to feel 'hurt' the characteristic that distinguishes him the most sets him apart as a vamp? In my mind at least I like to think that the Faith/Spike conversation was seminal in some way. The tidy symmetry works for me:)

I agree with you about Spike being the only thing for which Buffy feels/shows unrestrained passion/feeling. Granted she cuts loose with Spike because she does not perceive him as a real threat (or as a real suitor). She plays with him like a toy and uses him for information etc. when its convenient for her. But in truth she really uses him as a touchstone to get her bearings and some perspective on herself. At the moment Spike still falls under the label 'bad' in her mind but her actions and reactions of late tell a different story.

In the end he might be the biggest threat she has ever faced (if he psyches her out with more 'death is your art' speeches etc - he has already shown how well he can manipulate her entourage for example no violence required) or her (and his) saving grace. It's not Romeo and Juliet but maybe it'll be a more interesting more mature exploration of feelings.

One more thing ... clearly Buffy loved Angel but as Spike himself noted B&A will never be friends. Rufus you wrote that Spike and Buffy have more in common and they do: sarcastic sense of humour mock-careless fighting style a certain aesthetic sense. Moreover in the last year circumstances have made it so Spike and Buffy have become... friends of sorts. That's why I think S&B have a chance to make a go of it. Friendship and self-knowledge are where its at.

Spike may inhabit the fringes of her life right now but I'll wager ""he'll slip in and have himself a real nice day""... eventually.

When Spike encountered Faith(in Buffy)he didn't expect the conversation he got. She raised a potential scenario then figuatively dropped him on his a**. Spike took no chances with Buffy then but it did hurt.
In FFL we know that he has a thing for her but he doesn't realize the nature of his affection he just knows he wants something. Buffy has no clue what is going on she is there for an answer to her fears of losing. What you get is one big mess. Yes they at one level are talking about her function as a slayer but that is where Buffy stays. We get to see what happened in the past when William was brave enough to declare his love for Cecily and was shot down. His grief lead to his death. With Buffy he is still showing major attitude going on about how he will be the one there to kill her if she gets distracted. Only we know he doesn't mean it. His need to be the big bad confident man gets in the way of him saying how he feels.
When he takes a chance and attempts intimacy Buffy gets confused as hell and drops him and makes him relive the biggest moment of failure in his life. When he goes looking for Buffy with a shotgun he never intended to kill her it wasn't about revenge. He wanted to see her again. Bad attention is better than none at all. He then gets the shock of his undead life he isn't the only one to feel grief and helplessness. This is where the vampire takes a back seat and William takes control...he shows compassion an act he hasn't done in years. Where they take this I don't know. It makes the demons more interesting.
Spike has said a fellow has to try...lets see if he gets it right this time.
"In Lover's Walk when Angel and Buffy are trapped in the magic shop with Spike awaiting the attacking vampires Spike says something to the effect that he is having fun and Buffy says ""I violently dislike you."" An interesting thing to say especially since she said dislike instead of hate :)

" I violently dislike you."" An interesting thing to say especially since she said dislike instead of hate :)""

Thank you for providing the exact quote Lynn. And yes I gather the choice of words is significant... I'm still not sure HOW it is significant but I'm sure it is:) Like in Into the Woods when Spike is in Buffy's bedroom and she says to him (and again I quote from memory - I'm too lazy to look it up): ""You do realise that every time you come here like this you risk all of your parts"". Little does she know that his 'heart' is the biggest 'part' he has at pardon the pun stake.

As for how my mind works Rufus perhaps my little grey cells are being manipulated by a ""cute little government chip"". But to get back to the subject at hand sort of is it possible that the reason Buffy automatically threatens Spike with violence every single time she meets up with him is that she needs to make sure she controls the encounter and has the upper hand? At this point the tactic is a joke. Spike is turned on by the fact that she has the upper hand in some ways and he is happy as long as he is getting some kind of response from her. Her threats of violence are just another form of (aggressive) interaction and they are so automatic that they have become a running joke.

I don't know whether Buffy's taste in men is informed by her supernatural strength. I think she has yet to define her 'tastes' for herself. Her exploration of her slayer 'roots' will probably help in this respect though.
That is the last wild card the chip. They are going to have to deal with that sometime.What does a demon do if he finds out he can kill again? If the chip stops working does he tell? If he is not going to kill humans anymore I would rather it be a choice for Spike not something forced on him. If he starts killing again anything with Buffy would be off.
Ahh the chip. Being a vampire Spike has an urge to kill and no soul to make him feel the difference between right and wrong. His first instinct if the chip was removed would be to have a big ol' massacre. But would he? He can treat people as people and not merely happy meals on legs in a way other vamps do not and his chipped time has merely strengthed this. Perhaps between the memories of his compassionate human nature and his current emotional ties to people he can climb to the (figurative) light soul or no soul. Remember not all demons are evil.

I honestly don't think the writers would be half as sappy as I am but it's fun to speculate.
"Yes. How quickly we jump on the sap wagon:) We are suckers for the sweetness I suppose. It's human nature to want to forward the development ""emotional ties"". Maybe the thing that had kept Buffy from dying (her ties to the world as Spike pointed out) is also what will 'make' Spike human-by-association. Call it the ugly-duckling syndrome.

As for Spike getting the chip removed and going for the jugular of humans again - apart from putting a damper on any potential Buffy/Spike romance:) - it leads right to a dead end for storytelling. I mean how long can Spike hang around Sunnydale challenge the Slayer and NOT get killed. It would be absurd. So while the insertion of the chip into Spike's head first served as a bit of a gimmick to keep him on the show and dust-free it is now the means to a different end.

Finally a couple of times this season after Spike underwent brain surgery he has made a point of showing Buffy and others exactly how the chip works (the most notable occasion of course being in FFL). But what if as I suggested elsewhere the chip WAS removed during that operation? That would be my absolutely favorite course of action. However if the chip is still in there - which it probably is I'll wager - the storyline is bound to get nice and messy. "
I find it hard that after all Spike has gone through that he would just go back to wanting to kill Buffy. I like how on both shows we have seen the demons evolve into having personalities the ability to choose good over evil and the ability to love. In Buffy we saw the change as she became more adept at being a slayer. At first Giles just pointed and she slayed now he said he may not have told her about the suck job place. I still think with Spike you could see another demon choose to go against desire and instinct to kill and choose good. What would the other vampires see that as?
LOL. Messy emotionally I think more than anything else. Spike has passed the point of no return re: fraternising with his own kind. He is a traitor in their eyes. How could he revert to feeding on the hands (arms or neck) that feed him and sustain him emotionally? It's a classic Catch-22 situation and you've gotta love it:)
"Remember the Thanksgiving ep where Spike first came the SG for help. When they offered him gravy saying it might have blood in it...then he says ""you know what has blood in it? Blood""
LOL I just can't forget it.

I'd say he's more than a traitor he's a Vampire Slayer who happens to be a vampire. I say he sets up shop in the Summers Basement. Helps out (he likes moms you know)Joyce chases the bite sized one around and of course brings the slayer her slippers and can you tell it's Christmas?"
"Takes me back to Spike calling Angel an ""Uncle Tom"" in School Hard. Guess we'll find out if he ever gets dechipped if Spike's the real traitor or just playing all the Scoobies to keep his chest in tact."
"Guess we'll find out if he ever gets dechipped if Spike's the real traitor or just playing all the Scoobies to keep his chest intact.

I was wondering about that too until I saw Spike sitting in his crypt clearly expecting Riley's visit. He probably didn't figure on getting staked but he hung around waiting for the shoe to drop. And he didn't even bother to come up with a lie when Riley asked about his feelings for Buffy. IMO Spike is totally besotted.

But there is that little speech he gave Harmony after failing to be able to kill Buffy post-op. His ""this has to end!"" could be interpreted either as a decision to build a master plan of action against Buffy or as evidence of his giving in to his latent feelings for her.

Yikes all this talk about romance and redemption is going to my head... 'tis indeed the season! Hohoho.
Antigone c'est moi. LOL. Talk about Freudian slips...

Speaking of names... Anyone know how many times Buffy has called Spike William since he came to Sunnydale? I was just wondering because she called him William that time she caught him doing the stalker routine outside her house... Hmmm.
I was wondering who that new person was??LOL...
William...does Buffy see the William in Spike...and now that she knows him better and told him about her mom just sees him differently. The trauma of Riley at the moment will make it that Spike shall have to tread softly for a bit. I heard Spoilers that what is now a joke with unrequited love can turn a bit more dark???one never knows.
But yes every time Buffy calls Spike William it's like she's saying I know who you really are and not who you're trying to be.
I find it hard that after all Spike has gone through that he would just go back to wanting to kill Buffy.

Believe it.

Spike is a vampire. That is what vampires do.

It's their nature.
It's their nature was a nice brief explanation of why Buffy should kill when she was 15 but Buffy has matured and her understanding of vampires has as well. I don't think it's a mistake that we have been shown how ambiguous evil can be. In Angel a demon(Judgement)who was known to be a savage warrior rejected his nature and changed sides. The demon chose good over evil his desire to be a better being over his nature. We now know not all demons are evil in nature. All these new developments contradict what we were told about demons in the Buffyverse in the first few seasons. I think this has to do with the characters and the series maturing.
To get Buffy to kill she had to feel there was no other alternative. Therefore we get all demons are evil....kill them...we'll all feel better and be safe. Then enter Angel the vampire with a soul. By Doppelgangland Angel lets it slip that a vampire is pretty much what they were as a mortal sans conscience also with a new desire to kill.
Angel admits that he has a bigger fight with the man in himself than with Angelus.
I have a theory that Angel=Liam + Angelus. Angel is the merging of the two personalities with the mortal conscience in more control. So Angel can remember everything that Angelus did.
Now to Spike. We know as of FFL that everything we know about Spike is a fabrication. The trauma of rejection caused him to be weak enough to be turned. Spike results from William wanting to forget how weak and worthless he felt. We now get a glory seeker who doesn't just kill he has to kill slayers. Then he meets Buffy. I feel she reminds him of his romantic ideal. So he wants to kill her but he also is attracted to her. They would have ultimately fought to the death except he helped her in Becoming 2. He had selfish reasons but he didn't want the world to end.
Season 4 Spike is back Dru has rejected why stay in Sunnydale? The Gem of Amara..but it's now dust. Enter the Initiative...our boy is neutered. He goes to the SG for help and fights on both sides ending up back with the SG.
Season 5 (Out of my Mind) poor bugger almost gets the chip out almost then we get the dream sequence.
In FFL we get to know the William in Spike timid abhors violence of any kind lovesick poet.
We see that Spike is made up to make William feel like he has stones.
When Buffy rejects him he is tempted to kill her and doesn't he comforts her. Now he is openly helping her and only her.
In ITW he finds out about Riley and trys to get rid of him and gets a plastic stake to the heart for his troubles. So what will happen now. It may sound like a soap opera but Spike can never go back to being the big bad like he was before. What is in his nature now? Sure he'd like to kill but I don't at this time think it will be Buffy for any reason. But Spike can choose to reject his nature to kill but will he?
We now know that demons can change their nature so it is too simple to say they kill cause they alway have.
As far back as the second season we were introduced to Whistler the DEMON who was trying to keep good and evil in balance...who stated directly that the whole Buffyverse isn't black and white. Buffy isn't entirely good...that's simplistic. Come to think of it I'm not entirely good either..: )I agree that what she is doing for a raison de etre isn't easy or kind. Buffy herself is supernatural...I'm smallish and female and I don't believe I can toss 200 pound persons across a room through a wall for example.
Way to go another smallish woman on the board:)
"Angel knows that to defeat W & H he is going to have to get dark and dirty. The reason he fired his employees is to protect them (both physically and morally). He can't have them in the way as he does what he has to do.

W & H has no idea what they have unleashed.

They have sowed the wind now they will reap the whirlwind!

This whole situation reminds me of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. He was a pacifist but when faced with Adoph Hitler and presented with the opportunity to stop him Bonhoeffer was willing to forfeit his own soul to protect others against the great evil of Hitler.

Angel is willing to give up his chance of being human his chance at redeption to save the world from the evil of Wolfram and Hart. No greater sacrifice could anyone make."

Great comparison.

Bonhoeffer believed that killing was wrong and felt that by helping to kill Hitler he might quite possibly be condemned to Hell. But to stop the greater evil of Hitler he was willing to do evil himself and suffer the consequences for the sake of those he would protect by stopping Hitler.

Angel knows that to do what he has to do to stop W & H he will have to go to the dark side most likely giving up all hope for redemption.

His firing of his friends was the ultimate act of compassion. He didn't want them in any way associated with the evil he must do. He wanted to keep their souls clean of this.

"I don't know if any of you are fans of the Original Star Trek Series but this discussion reminds me a lot of the episode The Savage Curtain.

What's the difference between the villian and the hero? To find out a mysterious alien pits a group of bad guys against Spock Kirk Abe Lincoln and a vulcan spiritual leader.

I find the Lincoln character very interesting. Please consider this quote.

"" ""One matter further gentlemen."" continues Lincoln. ""We fight on their level -- with trickery brutality -- finality. We match their evil."" (The screen flashes to a view of the rock being absorbing the unfolding drama) Kirk looks at the figure of Lincoln questioningly. ""I know James. I was reputed to be a gentle man. But I was commander-in-chief during the four bloodiest years of my country's history. I gave orders that sent --- a hundred thousand men to their death -- at the hands of their brothers."" Lincoln pauses for a moment lost in thought - then continues. ""*sigh* There's no honorable way to kill - no gentle way to destroy. There's nothing good in war except its ending. And *sigh again* you're fighting for the lives of your crew.""

So Angel is doing what he has to do. MATCH EVIL WITH EVIL. The reason that he fired his friends as stated by others was the most noble thing he could have done. It showed his love for them and his desire to protect them. Not primarily in a physical sense but a spiritual one. He is protecting their souls from the evil he must do."
Simply put.

They are the only thing that stands in the way of him and the darkness.

But he needs the darkness to defeat Wolfram and Hart.

They can't go where Angel must. And they can't stand in his way from going there either.
Right to the point.
Use evil to attract evil.
Angel is sick of dealing with the staff he wants the real power to come out and play.
"There was an interesting contrast in ""Into the Woods"" between the Buffy-Riley relationship and the Xander-Anya relationship.

Riley has always struck me as pathologically normal but now we learns he has been cheating on Buffy with vampire-junkie-whores. It's incredibly sordid. He tries to justify what he did but it sounds very self-serving. He knew that Buffy was going through some heavy stuff with her mother having brain surgery. Buffy is better off without him.

Anya is a former demoness who often acts very strange. Given her background she is highly ""abnormal."" However she and Xander are very much in love with each other and at the end of the episode they are more of a couple than ever.

I myself would much rather be a member of the Addams Family than the Cleaver family on ""Leave It To Beaver!""

Abnormally Yours "
I agree that the I nto the Woods episode had great parallels between Buff/Riley and Xander/Anya...and that Xander's determination to be a more complete person (or non butt monkey)had him and Anya in a much healthier relationship...Buffy and Riley's relationship has been on the rocks for a long time and Riley certainly wasn't honest with her despite what Xander says to Buffy...Does he discuss his inadequacies? Does he say to her he doesn't think she loves him? Nooooo.....
"I have to wonder. Yes Riley cheated on Buffy and there are consequences for that. Joe Normal has some flaws and isn't nearly as dependable as Buffy thought. I find it wierd that Riley cheating may be perceived as worse than the thousands of people that died by Anyas actions when she was a demon.
We're ready to toast this guy for a mistake...what do we do with Anya who killed countless innocent people. Remember she did kill cheating we place less importance because they may have ""deserved"" it?
We need a reality check here."
Anya has never suffered the consequences of who she was and what she used to do at the hands of the gang. They were standoffish with her in season 3 never quite liked her in season 4 but have tolerated her anyway because Xander was dating her.

But that's the strangest non-consequence of all. Xander who loathed Angel long before Jenny Calendar died and loathed him not to just because Buffy loved him but because he was a vampire and used to kill hundreds is dating an ex-demon who tortured maimed and killed in her demon persona for a thousand years and all he ever does is nervously joke about it.

Everyone together: What's up with that?
Angel was still a vampire and able to kill if needed. Anya is a human and though she could kill she no longer has the power to inflict the same damage as before. That is mainly the difference.

Also Xander had the biggest crush on Buffy and since she was only interested in Angel it caused Xander to point out all of Angel's flaws in order to try get Buffy to get rid of Angel. With Anya there is no one who want's to unslurp her place as Xander's girlfriend and therefore no one really goes out of their way to point out Anya's demon past.

And Oz was a werewolf that was generaly accepted by the group. Just becuase he hadn't killed anyone didn't mean that he didn't have the potential to do so. And yet they didn't go out of their way to point that out because he was human. Xander also did go a bit hard on Oz when they did first find out that he was a werewolf. But after a while he laid off.

With Anya being human there isn't a lot that Buffy can do to her. If Buffy starts killing any human that did or does terrible things she would lose one the things which has let her surive longer the other Slayers her morals.

She had been able to draw the line at killing helpless beings such as humans no matter how evil they are. Because the PTB seem to make sure those that do evil with a soul get their just deserts in the end.

If Willow's pain was the catalyst of how one becomes a Vengence Demon they what happened to Anya must have been really bad. I assume that she was betrayed hurt discarded by someone whom she thought really loved her. In a moment of weakness she gave up her humanity to do vengence to try to sooth calm and mend her broken heart.
But once she was a demon she had no choice but to follow the path of destruction. When Giles broke her power base she becasme human again. That is why she is so awkward in dealing with people. She barely understands her own humanity. Of course she went through a long transition to accept whast she has returned to being.

Like Angel we need to forgive her for her acts as a demon.
Brian how do you define forgiveness? I find it means alot of different things to different people.
Two issues here:

Angel is two persons in one body - Angel and Angelus. Anya was a vengence demon named Anyka(?) now she is just a human girl. It has been often stated that it is the demon Angelus who is the killer and Angel is/has the soul that repents his deeds. He is on a path towards forgiveness
(becoming finally human again). He repents his actions as Angelus. But Angel still has the potential to become evil again. Yet we still like him. We still want him to succeed and finally put the demon Angelus to rest dust eternity.

Anya is no longer a demon and doesn't appear to be capable of becoming one again. Therefore if the audience can empathize with Angel and forgive his crimes when he was the demon Angelus shouldn't we be able to forgive Anya for when she was a vengence demon and killed lots of people and hope that she becomes more human (more in touch with her humanity in time?)

I found myself cheering when Darla and Drusilla had a blood-tasting on lawyers. It all boiled down to questions of making choices.

The two vampires have no choice about being blood-drinking monsters. It's what they are. Blaming them for it would be like blaming mosquitoes for blood-drinking.

Those lawyers had a choice. They chose to do what they did. They had few qualms about killing innocent people for their own advantage. They were murderers.

Angel himself had to make a choice. Would he try to save the lives of those lawyers at the risk of his own undead existence? Did they deserve his help? He protects the innocent and those lawyers were guilty. They would have had no qualms about killing him. In the final episode of the first season Lindsey was going to allow Cordelia to die insane.

I cheered for Angel's choice. If I had been in his place I would probably have done the same thing. He had a choice of protecting or not-protecting those lawyers and took it. He didn't kill them himself he just allowed them to die. There isn't a big difference on this but it is enough to keep Angel from crossing the line into active killing.

I am curious as to where the arc-story is going now. It appears they have killed off some of their most interesting villains.
I see 2 very different (but not actually contradictory) higher power interpretations about Angel's refusal to act.

1. There was a strong hint that the Powers That Be (TPTB) did not want him to interfere. He was sent on a seemingly trivial mission at the moment he was trying to prevent Darla from going bad. Perhaps TPTB realized that if they gave the team of W&H enough rope they would hang themselves. When Angel saw who was to die that night he may have concluded that this was why TPTB did not want him to interfere.
The problem with this is not the death of the lawyers - they in essence killed themselves while attempting to kill others. The problem is killing the ëinnocent bystandersí or in military jargon ëcollateral damageí.

2. The Senior Partners (SP) had this in mind all along. It seems evident that Holland was not one of the SP merely a high-ranking minion. The SP were willing to sacrifice their minions as part of making Angel dark. They would of course not have informed their minions of this part of the plan

Both possibilities could be true as the mysterious powerful forces of TPTB and the supposedly equally powerful SP engage in plot and counter-plot.

As for firing Cordelia etc. it could be a result of him going dark but I suspect it was not. It could be part of an undisclosed stratagem or it could be simply to protect them from a counter-strike by the SP in revenge for the lawyers. This wouldnít make much sense if possibility #2 above is correct but when have power mad beings cared about making sense when justifying their actions.

> Perhaps TPTB realized that if they gave
> the team of W&H enough rope they would hang
> themselves. When Angel saw who was to die that
> night he may have concluded that this was why
> TPTB did not want him to interfere.

I think it's more likely that the Powers that Be knew that Angel's involvement with Darla presented him with a lot of chances to make choices like the one he did make tempting but morally ambiguous.

I think the powers would prefer him to do jobs in which he remains solely on the lighter side so that he is less likely to become troublesome when they want him to act as a warrior for good.

In other words Angel is more useful when he isn't bothered with personal issues and strong temptations to make morally ambiguous decisions that would lead him to the dark side.
i really hope that they don't get kill off Dru & Darla i love them! i think they could take Angel Darla seems stronger than most vampires( did u see that fight with Angel after she woke up?!)and Dru has her many psychic powers ( do they work on other vamps?).
"You can't blame Dru and Darla.

They are beyond blame.

It's their nature.

The lawyers got what they deserve. The only thing Angel did that was wrong was that he let Dru and Darla get away afterwards.

They will kill more people. He should have waited outside until they were finished.

What happened to those lawyers reminds me of a fable.

It seems that a scorpion wanted to cross a river but scorpions can't swim. He saw a fox nearby and asked the fox for a ride across the river but the fox refused. ""You would sting me and I would die "" said the fox.

""But you will be carrying me across the river and if I sting you then I would also drown and die "" reasoned the scorpion.

The fox was convinced. The scorpion jumped on his nose and the fox began swimming across the river. Halfway across however the scorpion stung the fox on his nose. As the fox began losing strength and slipping beneath the river's surface he cried out to the scorpion ""Now we will both die! Why did you sting me? ""

He answered: ""Because I am a scorpion and that's my nature. You knew that before you agreed to carry me across. ""
What will Cordelia Wesley and Gunn do now that they are unemployed? Will they continue to do God's work (or the Powers that Be's work at any rate) or will they ignore Cordelia's visions and devote themselves to pestering Angel? Is it possible that they will continue the agency without Angel? -- and who will be the boss (I see a conflict brewing between Gunn and Wesley -- with Wesley losing of course)?
Which is why Cordelia should be in charge. She's not as dumb as she looks she's good at motivating people to do things (albeit not always with sugar) and besides she's the one with the direct line to the PTB's.
I agree with Nancy. Cordy is the one with the visions so she would be the one directing Wesley and Gunn. However I also see the three amigo's pestering Angel endlessly until he either yells at them again or relents and allows them to help.

I doubt Angel will give in.. I can see he has a plan or something in line. He's stubborn and when he makes a decision he usually sticks with it though thick and thin.
It seems obvious to me that Cordy will take charge. She has seniority; she has the link to PTB; she has the most direct contacts with vampires and Slayers and all that. She's also the bossiest.

Wesley and Gunn will still peck and peck at each other over who's in SECOND though.

Among chickens this squabble between second and third is the most bitter.

I think their best bet is to set up shop at Cordys place. I think the guys will help her out. I feel for Wesley. He took a chance on Angel and now must feel very hurt. Gunn may think he owes Cordy one and that alone would keep him in the game. I think they do owe themselves one big pity party then get on with it.
Did anyone catch the look on Spike's face when Buffy ran away from the squat/vamp brothel after catching Riley. He didn't looked pleased he actually looked like he felt bad for her. I think the old Spike would have been very pleased with himself that his plan was working out. That look however further shows that Spike is really developing empathy even compassion (at least for Buffy if no one else. He has not developed it enough to keep him from playing his old tricks but something is developing.
The guy blew it...but call that a temporary setback now he will lay She seems to have a short memory when it comes to Spike and cuts him slack where she's hard with the others. But if she deinvites him well it would be time to suck up.
and it states that Spike realizes what he's done to Buffy and that she doesn't like him even remotely more than before. I kinda felt bad for him after reading that. I didn't expect him to be thanked by Buffy after all what he did hurt her but I think she could see he wasn't gloating about it. I just hope Spike isn't the one she takes all her anger out on. I notice Riley was taken off the hook completely for his actions(which were far worse than Spikes). I mean even Spike was disgusted by what Riley was doing and he's a vampire himself!
But yes I agree Spike is developing empathy at least for Buffy. Unfortunately he still isn't thinking things out before acting.
"I think at this point Spike is trying to remember how to be human. He tells Buffy about Riley's night time adventures because he believes it's the right thing to do. He's actually trying to be her friend (or something!)

Let's face it if Willow or Xander had been the ones to catch Riley in the act they would have told Buffy to. They just may have spent more time agonizing over it first.

The problem is Spike hasn't tried to do the good/right/human thing for over 120 years and he's forgotten that people don't necessarily reward the person who tells them something bad about someone they love.

I think poor Spike was actually expecting a pat on the back from Buffy for his revelations and instead it turns out that she's only hurt and angry at his first attempt to be human.

Anyway I like it. I think it will be interesting to watch Spike's character develop from this point. I'm also curious as to how Buffy will treat him the next time they meet will she still be in ""blame Spike"" mode?"
I noticed no one in the script made Riley responsible for the vamp ho's he was choosing to see...and the you made me do this excuse was LAME...he's got this behavioral addiction to hookers now and it's her fault?
"I agree. I think he's yearning to be more human.. when Riley asked him if he really thought he had a chance with her he replied ""No I don't. Fella's gotta try.. gotta do what he can."" That was after he felt bad after showing Buffy the vampire and Riley. So that shows he does care. And he won't deny it either. He's going to keep loving Buffy and helping her for a long time unless something happens.. like someone comes back... Drusilla. Need I say more?"
> ...and the you made me do this excuse was
> LAME...he's got this behavioral addiction to
> hookers now and it's her fault?

Why must there be any fault for anything? For whatever reason Riley had an emotional need that was going unfulfilled by Buffy and Buffy didn't or couldn't deal with it. Paying vampires to suck his blood did something to ease whatever pain he was feeling.

Frankly while I see that as a definite sign that he was suffering from severe emotional problems I hesitate to classify it as something that (1) is obviously morally wrong or (2) obviously a betrayal of Buffy.

He wasn't having sex with them he wasn't kissing them he wasn't sharing anything on an emotional level. He didn't take the side of evil against Buffy.

Buffy as usual reacted in an extremely self-centred manner. Instead of seeing Riley's actions as a sign of emotional pain and trying to do something to help ease his pain she saw it only in terms of herself.

And in her fight with Riley when Riley told him what she needed from him she basically told him that this is how I am this is all that you get. Nothing sounds more like a kiss-off than that.

A relationship is about recognising the other person's needs and doing one's best to fulfill them. Riley needed Buffy to take him into her confidence to confide in him to depend on him even if she didn't always need him to actually solve her problems. When he tried to tell her that she basically told him to screw off.
I agree. There is an unfortunate tendency for people to assign BLAME when something they don't like happens. Something can be questionable dangerous unwise or otherwise undesirable wihtout being WRONG and wihtout a justification for punishement by someone though by their very nature such acts may inflict their own punishment. I.e. if you do something dangerous you may get hurt just because it's dangerous but that doesn't mean someone should punish you for doing it.
">...I hesitate to classify it as something that
> 1) is obviously morally wrong or
> 2) obviously a betrayal of Buffy.

If we judge Riley by his own moral standards what he has been doing is wrong. Remember his reaction when he found out Willow and Oz had been dating (surprise that Willow was in to ""dangerous guys"")? Although Riley sneaks out of bed to find his satisfaction elsewhere I agree that this was not a sexual or emotional betrayal -- Riley could have just as easily been found in a crack house. But his self-destructive behavior is not a victimless crime -- all of his friends suffer with him (and imagine what his mother would think!)

Furthermore Buffy is the injured party yet Riley acted as though this were all her fault (he blames her for ignoring him and does give her an ultimatum.) Perhaps with time they could have restored the lost trust in their relationship -- as it was Buffy (with Xander's prompting) did try to stop him within his own arbitrary timeframe.

A side note -- I thought it curious that Buffy spared the one vampire she had seen with Riley. I think she recognized that by staking the vamp she would be killing out of anger rather than justice or self-defense and so refrained. "
- Buffy is the injured party yet Riley acted as though this were all her fault heÝblames her for ignoring him and does give her an ultimatum.)

Riley does NOT say it is her fault. He says it is HIS fault. He is EXPLAINING to her not BLAMING her. It is Buffy who thinks heís blaming her (guilty conscience?)
He does NOT giver her an ultimatum (which is a threat to do something unpleasant to someone if they donët meet some demand) just a statement of fact. He has already made a decision to leave he is offering her a chance to change his mind. He is giving information she acts as if it is an attack.

- I thought it curious that Buffy spared the one vampire she had seen with Riley

Buffy didnít spare her she speared the vampire in the back.

"I was afraid that Buffy was going to let ""her"" go. I was glad to see her wise up.

Whenever you ""spare"" any vampire you are condemning someone else to death. As the vampire you ""spare"" WILL (not may) kill humans in the future.

Let's look at the record.

Buffy Spares Angulus. Angulus kills many humans (we never know for sure how many but of course we all remember Miss Callendar).

Angel spares Darla (on the rooftop). A few hours later ""she"" kills some clothing shop employees.

Buffy should slay Spike before he finds some way to rid himself of that chip and start killing again.

Mercy shouldn't play any roll in killing Vampires. There should be no such thing only necessity."
"Is this like saying it wasn't an emotional and physical betrayal for Riley to ""play with others"" because all he got was something SOME people don't classify as sexual? Is this the Lewinsky defense? LOL"
"> Is this like saying it wasn't an emotional and
> physical betrayal for Riley to ""play with
> others"" because all he got was something SOME
> people don't classify as sexual? Is this the
> Lewinsky defense?

(Not that I want to get into this but if my pal had told me he was having sex with his intern and then it turned out he never actually had intercourse with her I would have called him a liar.)

It certainly didn't seem to me that Riley was getting sexual pleasure from this activity. He was engaging in an activity that artificially temporarily eased his emotional and mental pain. It was an activity that few if any normal people would think of as being sexually arousing or sexually satisfying. It seemed more like drug use which is extremely self-destructive but not a betrayal of Buffy."
"How can you say that he wasn't getting any sexual pleasure when he's gasping ""harder harder"" to the vamp? I am SO tired of people blaming everyone else for their mistakes-couldn't he just be a man and take responsibility? I guess in today's environment of ""it's not my fault my mother/father/sibling/significant other/Satan/the moon made me do it"" I shouldn't have been suprized by Riley's attitude. I just thought he was a more honorable kind of guy than that."
"> How can you say that he wasn't getting any
> sexual pleasure when he's gasping ""harder
> harder"" to the vamp?

I don't consider that conclusive proof that it was sexual. Whatever kind of feeling he was getting was better when it was harder.

> I am SO tired of people blaming everyone else
> for their mistakes-

Yes this is a perennially fashionable attitude. The point is why should anyone take the blame. I believe that Riley's ""mistake"" was an error in judgment but it was not a serious moral failure of any kind. Under those circumstances I don't see why anyone has to take the blame for it.

> couldn't he just be a man and take
> responsibility?

Who's saying he's not taking responsibility. The fact is that he did it because he was getting something from it that Buffy wasn't giving him. Just because he says ""It's all my fault"" doesn't change the fact that Buffy _still_ isn't giving him what he needs from her.

> I guess in today's environment of ""it's not my
> fault my mother/father/sibling/significant
> other/Satan/the moon made me do it"" I shouldn't
> have been suprized by Riley's attitude.

What do you want from Riley? ""I'm an idiot I'm a pervert I'm a bad man I grovel at your feet""? It's irrelevant to the circumstances. The situation has been discovered and Buffy is pissed. So where does one go from there? From Riley's point of view there's still something he needs that Buffy isn't giving him. He tells her and she blows it off. If she isn't willing to recognise that then what's the point of trying to be in a relationship with her?

> I just thought he was a more honorable kind of
> guy than that.

What does honour have to do with it? People have needs. It is the duty of the person with whom one has an intimate relationship to try to fulfill those needs. Buffy was unwilling or unable to recognise the existence of a problem and the importance of this to Riley. He found temporary solace with the hire-a-vamps. What he did was risky and dangerous but not morally wrong."
"You make some good points but it still remains that instead of telling Buffy what he wanted Riley chose to vent his feelings elsewhere. That was his doing not hers.

Sure she was standoffish she kept him at a distance and he was afraid to tell her what he wanted because of that. But she did not make him do anything. He reacted out of his own insecurities and fears to her cold behavior.

There is responsibility here for how each individual reacts to the situation they are in. Both of them reacted poorly but they can't ""blame"" each other for how they chose to respond."
> I thought it curious that Buffy spared the one
> vampire she had seen with Riley.

I think you missed something. She wasn't spared. After Buffy let the vampire start running she tossed that stick like a spear and got her in the back while she was running away. It was a disturbing scene. It's interesting that if she had killed that vampire right away it would have seemed routine but the way she did it seemed very cold-blooded.
and combining that with the fact that they're re-airing Restless next Tuesday instead of showing an episode from this season I'm wondering if that spear-throwing wasn't an act of foreshadowing Buffy turning into a more primitive type slayer getting in touch with her darker side. Boy was that a big run-on sentence... :)
I agree about Buffy 'going primitive'. The reruns they choose to air are not chosen randomly. Like that last 'in the back' torpedo-slay the reruns are premeditated and fatalistic...

And aren't they airing Out of my Mind the week after? Maybe if we watch THAT episode closely we will see the doctor insert an additional emotion chip into Spike's brain (like Data's on TNG). Or maybe the doctor actually REMOVED the chip... now THAT would be an interesting twist. Spike as a vampire with irreversible brain damage that makes him act more human...

(Sorry accidently hit enter before finished typing)

I believe why Buffy let her go at first was because she was angry at the Vampire.

But as she left she did what she had to do as the Slayer.

I believe someone else on this board once mentioned a story about a warrior who didn't kill someone who spit at him because he didn't kill when he was angry as then it would be personal and he would consider it an act of murder.

So Buffy didn't slay the Vamp while she was looking at it's face because if she had it would have been personal but as the Vamp was running away it would be more like killing any other Vampire.

That is a good point.

Buffy didn't want to slay out of revenge.

The way she slayed wasn't savage. Actually it showed a lot of maturity and self control.

The reason that Buffy didn't slay Riley's vamp at first was because if she killed the vamp out of revenge or anger that would be wrong.

When the vamp turned away then she was performing her Slayer duties.

I hope Ryuei isn't upset that I repost his story of a month ago. I think it clarifies why Buffy acted the way she did. I want to thank Ryuei for originally posting the story.


Ali spares the Infidel
Monday 27-Nov-00 15:53:01

This reminds me of a story I heard concerning Ali the cousin of Mohammad (if there are any Muslims out there please correct me if I garble this story). Anyway Ali was in battle against the foes of Islam and was about to dispatch an infidel who then spit in Ali's face. Ali abruptly allowed the man to get up and go on his way. The infidel could not understand this and asked why Ali was letting him go. Ali replied that he was going to kill him as his duty for the Jihad (righteous warfare) but when he was spat upon he realized that he would then be killing the infidel for personal reasons and that would be a sin against Allah and humanity. So at that point he had no choice but to refrain from killing...


Although the 'not slaying in anger/vengeance' angle is very compelling I am not altogether convinced that Buffy was being altruistic by staking the vamp-trollop as she was running away. Buffy is usually shown actively fighting vamp who are fighting back; she fights them and then kills them. This seemed more like a sacrifice or an execution. Besides the vamp was terrified of her and never 'insulted' Buffy directly...
IMO only Buffy's hurt feelings and hurt pride guided the missile she threw and if I interpret Xander's subsequent reaction correctly he thought the same thing. In short I don't think Buffy was acting in a spiritual way at all.
"..vamp was terrified of her and never 'insulted' Buffy directly.""

Buffy was still upset at her for sucking Riley's blood. Slaying her at that moment would have been ""personal"".

But she still needed to slay the vampire. For when you don't people die.

So when she finally slayed ""it"" it wasn't because she was a vampire. Not because of what she did to Riley.

First time would have been personal. Second time purely business."
"So when she finally slayed ""it"" it wasn't because she was a vampire. Not because of what she did to Riley.

Typed that wrong. So when she finally slayed ""it"" it WAS because she was a vampire not out of any personal animosity over the whole sucking her boyfriend's blood thing."
I was intrigued by the warrior story but I don't believe that her allowing the vampire to run was out of a warrior code. I simply think she was stunned to see her and froze. The trollop vampiress took off and Buffy unfroze and finished her off like she did the others. She was in total anger mode when confronted by the vampire gang. I think she was doing her job but I also think she was feeling vengeful and was coldly satisfied by the culmination of that particular confrontation.
"IMO only Buffy's hurt feelings and hurt pride guided the missile she threw.

I saw that as just doing her duty. I just cringed when I thought she was just going to let that vampire go for ""personal reasons."" That is just the way people die in Sunnyville.

Angelus comes to mind.

Just because Buffy doesn't know the victim doesn't mean the victim deserves to die. And who to say that some day after an act of mercy on Buffy's part sparing some vampire for some inane reason that vampire won't kill one of Buffy's friends (or at least an aquaintance).

For that matter why hasn't Buffy slayed Harmony yet? She has had her chances."
Just because Buffy doesn't know the victim doesn't mean the victim deserves to die. And who to say that some day after an act of mercy on Buffy's part sparing some vampire for some inane reason that vampire won't kill one of Buffy's friends (or at least an aquaintance).

Kind of reminds me of what happened to Peter Parker's (spiderman) uncle.

No when you have an opportunity to slay a vampire you take it. Otherwise someone dies.
">I think the old Spike would have been very pleased with himself that his plan was working out.

Like the look he had on his face last season after he did Adam's bidding and planted the seeds of disention in the Scoobie Gang. Most notably the look he had after telling Willow and Tara that he heard the others saying that they were just going through a phase after he saw Tara stroking Willow's hair. He made quite a transformation in less than a whole season. Either his brain is clouded by his feelings for Buffy or he's actually making mature progress in his interactions with humans. Well a little progress but not bad for an ""evil"" demon."
we only came here because we care about you friend. You need help. (smiles then leaves)

Ill gotten gain. Spike wanted Buffy and was ready to do anything to get her. He couldn't resist turning the knife before he left Riley. What he didn't count on was how hurt Buffy would be then regret set in. Spike wanted to hurt Riley and ended up hurting the one he loves and ultimately himself.
"THEN regret set in (my capitalisation)

OK. So something whether it be the chip in his brain or his love for Buffy is short circuiting Spike's demon-hood. I for one am uncharacteristically curious to find out exactly how and why Spike is 'evolving'. Up until Fool For Love I had been wondering if his Buffy-love was a ploy a dream an aberration of some writer's imagination a 'fill-in-your-sceptical-jadded-suspicion-of-choice'. But FFL and now Into the Woods have made this storyline credible. Did I just write that? I suppose I should say that the last few episodes have legitimised Spike's feelings in my mind and to my chagrin they are taking up a great deal of room!

Spike is also taking up a lot of 'room' (mostly in Buffy's house and bed-room!) these days despite the fact that he is only in one or two scenes in some episodes. Nevertheless watching his evolution remains more riveting than suffering through Buffy's perpetual ""what-a-burden-it-is-to-be-the-slayer"" angst.

I don't know where exactly the writers/producers are taking Spike's character. I find myself asking question upon question: Has he always been 'more human' than other vamps? Does the fact that he was 'good' and/or 'artistic' in his human life affect his chances for some kind of demon redemption or better his chances at being Buffy's 'long-haul' guy? Is this chip building up some kind of human-core within him? Can a soulless demon merit the love of a 'super-human'? And why do I care so much about a vampire's feeling anyway?

Which brings me to my main point: the (further)change in Spike's behaviour in Into the Woods. The change in Drusilla is discussed in another thread but I found a distinct change in Spike's demeanor in Into the Woods.

First while he is lurking and smoking outside Buffy's house he does not appear as stalker-like threatening or dare I say cute as he did earlier on this season; rather he seems forlorn (something in the back of my mind is still warning me that maybe just maybe I am being sucked - pun intended - into believing Spike is becoming more human. Wesley's paranoia is contagious; what can I say!).

Second the look on his face when he sees Riley go into the vamp-brothel is one of pure bafflement not satisfaction.

Third his behaviour in Buffy's bedroom is decidedly non-threatening. Anyone notice how far he was standing from the bed and how his face remained in the shadows? He looked tentative and... un-Spike-like.

Fourth he is all business at the vamp-brothel. He makes just the one sarcastic (rueful?) comment to Riley once Buffy leaves the room. Otherwise he remains (appropriately?) solemn.

Fifth he clearly regrets hurting Buffy by 'telling her what she needs to know'. (Just an aside here: Thank God Spike and now Xander are telling it like it is about Buffy flying a close to the dark side because she is slipping into that hermetic solipsistic world of the self-righteous and holier-than-thou).

Sixth his reaction to being staked by Riley is peculiar in the extreme: he psychoanalyses his attacker and shares his drink with him.

Seventh and most compelling point IMO Spike's accent after being staked flattens out. Actually it is neutral during most of his scenes but particularly so in the scene with Riley. His English takes on a more generic tone striking some middle ground between the poker-up-the-derriËre upper-class London accent we heard in Fool for Love and the North-London lower-class Sid Vicious accent we know so well. Granted the pain from the staking is affecting him and the general anti-jocularity of the situation does not lend itself to the crass sarcasm he usually dishes out but when has THAT ever stopped him. Also knowing how James Marsters uses the accent to define Spike well...
I guess I'll finish off with an ellipsis because this storyline has me speculating ad nauseam about 'what the crypt' is going on in Sunnydale. The suspense is like a wee little pleasurable ache:) Like Riley I'm sure I'll come back for more.

The change in Spike had to take place over a long period of time to make it believable. William is in there and William can regret.
Or why would he have gone back to the crypt to wait for Riley.
But a guys got to try. I feel where Riley ran from his problems Spike will actually stick around and try to fix his. You have to learn something in over a hundred years(between the murders). This is why I feel fixing up Spike and Buffy wouldn't be out of line. Hello...they're both killers...they understand how the other feels...and to those who think Spike and Dru fit I say crap...How do you have a relationship with someone who is insane and you can't share your feelings with. I don't know what they will do. It could be the unrequited love bit. But to me these two characters click...evil and all.
Buffy is not a killer.

She is a Slayer. You might think that the distinction is a fine one but it's there none the less.
I make no distinction about how or why they get the results. When someone causes a death even for righteous reasons they are a killer.
> Buffy is not a killer.

> She is a Slayer. You might think that the
> distinction is a fine one but it's there none
> the less.

To me it's a distinction without a difference. It may be necessary killing it may be justified killing but it is nevertheless killing of sentient beings many of them at least partly human and the longer Buffy is the slayer (i.e. the longer she lives) the more her emotional and mental health will be detrimentally affected by the nightly killing. What happened to Faith suddenly when she killed Alan will happen to Buffy slowly.
What happened to Faith suddenly when she killed Alan will happen to Buffy slowly.

What disturbs me most about Buffy is that she exhibits no evidence of any remorse for attempting to murder Faith. There has been time for her to consider her actions -- especially when Faith returned. I agree that daily slayings should erode a person's soul no matter how good they are but Buffy seems to regret only the demons that got away.
Buffy doesn't kill for pleasure. The things she slays (she doesn't kill people) are monsters. What she does she does to protect others and for self preservation.

She is more like a hunter.

As a hero and protector the slaying aspect comes from a nuturing source were as in killers it comes from a destructive source.

"Buffy doesn't kill for pleasure.

There is evidence that Buffy derives some sort of pleasure from her slaying -- going all the way back to when Faith first came to Sunnydale. I think it was in ""Bad Girls"" that after an intense battle Faith says: ""Tell me you didn't get off on that"" and Buffy responds: ""It didn't suck."" In ""Buffy vs Dracula"" we see Buffy slipping into bed with Riley after a good kill.

It is not necessarily sexual pleasure that I am speaking of (although it certainly was for Faith) -- but Buffy clearly enjoys her battles -- she spends much of her time playing with her prey instead of merely following Giles' ""stake and move on"" mantra (and almost got killed for it this season.) There is definately some job satisfaction."
"I'm glad you noticed the same thing about Giles. In Restless when Giles has his dream he says to the primal slayer ""you don't know you didn't have a watcher"" I'm not sure on the exact quote. But this made me think that we know can see why watchers may have come about in the first place. I think watchers were guardians to the slayers to keep them on task. Now I feel Giles may have more of a storyline. My question to you is why would a slayer need a guardian?"
I would think the most likely reason why a Slayer would need a Watcher/guardian would be to keep her from going dark with the mental stress of killing on a regular basis.

The First lived 'entirely in the moment of the kill-- there is only destruction'. Giles' comment about her not having a Watcher could be a statement of sadness that the soul of the First existed only in this manner. If I recall correctly the First was about to kill Giles in his dream when he made that statement.

If one remembers back to when Faith accidently killed the Mayor's assistant Giles was only concerned with helping Faith even after she lied to him and falsely implicated Buffy. Things went downhill form there of course but as Watcher he recognized that Faith had crossed a line and needed help not punishment.
Thank you I think you're right. Now I have to wonder will Giles being more of a father figure help or hinder his role as a watcher? He has alluded to the fact in FFL that the Watchers may not have written down the specifics of a slayers death because it was too difficult. A maybe stupid question is how many watchers are they and how is one chosen?
"I don't know if any of you are fans of the Original Star Trek Series but this discussion reminds me a lot of the episode The Savage Curtain.

What's the difference between the villian and the hero? To find out a mysterious alien pits a group of bad guys against Spock Kirk Abe Lincoln and a vulcan spiritual leader.

In the end Kirk and Spock survives and prevails (of course) but the alien is still confused.

""You are the survivors."" it states flatly. ""The others have run off. It would seem that evil retreats when forcibly confronted. However. You have failed to demonstrate to me any other difference between your philosophies. Your good and your evil use the same methods. Achieve the same results. Do you have an explanation?""

""You established the methods and the goals!"" Kirk exclaims pointing at the being.

""For you to use as you chose."" answers the creature.

Kirk demands ""What did you offer the others if they won?""

""What they wanted most. Power.""

Kirk lowers his head and explains ""You offered me -- the lives of my crew.""

""I perceive."" comprehends the being ""You have won their lives.""

So getting back to Buffy it isn't the joy of killing that propels her but the need to protect. And that makes all the the difference."
"These two characters click for me too. I don't know if she understands him(yet) but he definitely understands her from her being ""self-involved"" to her need for a little ""monster in her man"". Even back in season 3 Buffy was saying she could never fool herself ""or Spike for some reason"". He's always had a good handle on her even when he hated her. And I also like the fact that Spike is not gonna give up even though he doesn't think he has a chance. That kind of persistence can pay off who knows. It would be a novel thing for Buffy to have a guy who didn't leave her. "
"> but he definitely understands her from her
> being ""self-involved"" to her need for a little
> ""monster in her man"".

I'm not sure that this ""monster in her man"" thing is an innate part of Buffy's character. She's still young and possibly in her (not uncommon) ""bad boy"" phase. If she lives long enough she might grow out of it."
"I actually do not think the ""monster in her man"" thing is something that she will grow out of. I think that she needs something in her companion to correspond to the monster/Slayer within her. Otherwise it would not be a good match. She needs someone who knows what she is dealing with because they are dealing with it as well."
"I too have found myself speculating on where all this is going to go. I'll be very disappointed if they only use this crush to set up an even bigger hatred of Buffy when Spike gets the chip out. You know now she's not just my enemy but the girl who rejected me so I'm really going to try and kill her now... That would be so...easy and unsatisfying(at least to me). I hope the writers can think of a more creative way to play with this situation. And this is the second episode where some on this board have noticed a change in Spike's voice the other one being Listening to Fear. It was more serious flatter more dignified IMO. I think Spike is too often used as comic relief and his voice is usually very Cockney and sarcastic. You wonder sometimes if the writers have forgotten he does some great dramatic work when he gets the chance. I'm hoping the change in voice means they're finally going to let him be a little more masculine(yay to Spike getting to push the other vamp around in the whorehouse)and not just the comic relief ninny who keeps breaking into Buffy's house and stammering like a schoolboy around her.

And I do believe that Spike is becoming more human--I can't tell whether it's the love or the chip or both. But I've thought ever since that moment outside Buffy's porch in that moment when he asked her ""what's wrong?"" I thought that was William talking not Spike. Even the way he cocked his head when he asked if there was anything he could do reminded me of the William I had seen earlier in the episode. I think in that moment something came alive again in Spike. Now we'll see what will come of this change.."
Spike started as a big bad. To him big bad was just killing. To me that made the character boring boring boring. After Restless I considered what would change my feelings about that...I did a post quite awhile back on what I thought they could do with his character and in FFL I saw they took the chance. With Angel you got a vamp that was a dead loss in life selfish and cruel. So I thought to get over that make William someone who was a good person. Now you are seeing a more grey area with vampires.
Now they made Spike interesting. In FFL he could have blown Buffy away for rejecting him he may have had a headache but he was going to do it then he stopped. He did one thing we weren't used to vampires doing he saw how much pain Buffy was in and forgot about his ego. Now this guy is sunk for sure. He now has something to gain(her love if he is lucky) and something to lose(her if she is killed). I think that puts the guy firmly in the demon killing camp. He may not care about the others but god help the demon who tries to hurt Buffy.
I think if Dru attempted to get Spike back she would end up dead. Now I just want to sit back and watch what they do with the storyline. Remember Buffy and the SG don't know Spike is in love only Riley does and he's gone.
awesome post Aquitaine. And yes I have a teeny bit to add...Spike's face as he watches Riley enter the vamp no tell motel is one of a man who cannot believe Riley goes out for burgers when there is steak at home.
Apparently even vampires have lows that they won't sink to...the disgust on Spike's face was priceless.
Would Spike say...Can I have your steak since you seem to prefer burgers....? You crack me up...
You did mean 'stake' not 'steak'. Right? LOL.

Maybe I need to explain myself here - I forget to do that sometimes. I assume everyone's mind is as twisted as mine:) I'm more of a literary type than a philosopher so please bear with me here. One could say that the whole Riley staking Spike scene is frought with psychosocial implications i.e the stake as phallic symbol the staking itself as a mock-penetration/rape/dominance act the drink sharing as homosocial desire. They are two men fighting over the steak/stake at home. I mean correct me if I'm wrong but basically they are fighting over which one of them gets to get screwed over by Buffy... Don't even get me started on penis envy and gender roles here...

You still crack me up...
Other than the obvious...sometimes a cigar is just a cigar ehehe yes it was an interesting scene...and I too laughed at your line that they were fighting over who got screwed over by Buffy.
"Okay there are a few things I'd like to comment on from last night's episodes.

1) A plastic stake through the heart won't kill a vampire? Why not? Does a stake *have* to be made of wood to dust a vamp? I find it a little unbelievable to think that a big pointy plastic stake won't kill a vamp but a number 2 pencil will.

2) So there *are* vampires who suck on people without the intention of killing them. Do these vamps deserve to meet the sharp end of Mr. Pointy?

3) Interesting additions to the vampire-personhood debate. Darla asks Drusilla why she brought her back this way. I'm thinking this means that Darla is still the ""same person"" as she was before in that there is continuity between human Darla and vampire Darla. They are the same person except that part of her soul has been removed (the ""conscience"" if you will) and a demon has been added. If she were pure demon now would she be regretting her current vampire status? Granted it didn't last for long before she started turning LA residents into walking happy meals but for a short time she regretted her state. Perhaps there is still a teensy little bit of a conscience left in there somewhere?

4) Just an observation - after Cordelia's migraine vision on the road Angel did a quick U-turn leaving tire tracks on the road. Did anybody else notice that there were already a number of tire tracks on the road? It looks like they filmed that scene a couple of times.

5) Now that the top brass of Wolfram & Hart have become last night's leftovers what will happen to their plans they had set in motion? Vamping Darla was a part of their plans but what were they using it for? They seem to have had a complex plan for... something (killing Angel? taking over the world? tune in next week!).

6) So Angel just let them die huh? I kind of saw it coming (although I didn't really think it would happen) but this probably isn't helping his status with the Powers That Be. Not only did he allow the slaughter of not-so-innocents but he didn't stick around to help suicidal-maniac guy. The PTBs are going to be ticked that Angel's not following orders. Will they still give him his humanity back after what he's done or will he need to redeem himself *again*?

7) I think that Darla will either let Lindsey live or turn him into a vampire (at his request?). No one else has a chance of surviving but eating Lindsey just wouldn't be as fun as the others if he doesn't have any fear of death. If Lindsey were to be vamped he would finally have the power that he's been grasping for all of his life. No one could ever walk over him again."
On the wood: It metaphysics not physics. It doesn't matter how pointy it is. Metal plastic pointyness doesn't kill vampires. The substance an object is made of is what's important. The mystical properties of a table leg or a tree limb being WOOD and being shoved through the heart are the magical ingredients for turning vamps to dust.
I guess I just ever don't remember anybody on the show saying that only a wooden stake will kill a vampire (although a metal sword through the neck works just as well). Is there an episode where they discussed this? Now that I think of it I guess I never have seen a vamp dusted on the show with anything but a wooden stake sunlight or decapitation. Oh well.
I don't remember wood being ever discussed but in almost all traditions it has to be a wooden stake.
Also decapitation works because I think it would be sort of hard being a vampire without a head. :)
...Buffy picks up a microphone holder and menaces Luke.

He just sneers at her and tells her metal doesn't hurt vampires.
I think that if you removed the heart from a vampire (Ripped the entire kit-and-kabodle out) that the vampire should go poof. It seems that the only safe way to make sure that something is dead is to take off it's head. Remove the brain and the body can't function.

As for the wooden-stake thing it has been sugested by people that vampires are allergic to wood. Or it may be that wood like silver in traitional myths is a tool of good and it destroys the unnatural such as vampires.

I have to agree it's got to be made out of wood or some sort of religous artifact. We have seen Buffy kill a vamp with just holy water once.

On the plus side it doesn't seem to matter what shape the wood is in. Ugly painted unicorns work just a well as stakes in a moment of panic!
"Yes wood is the traditional vampire staking material. Has something to do with the power that people believed the wood possessed. Sometimes according to folklore only certain woods (such as ash rowan) could be used to kill a vampire. This tradition basically became part of the ""rules of killing a vampire"" after Bram Stoker wrote Dracula.

Yeah there were extra tire tracks on the road. I thought that was kind of amusing. ;)

I hope Darla turned Lindsey into a vampire. He was trying so hard not to let it show but he was nothing but a lovestruck puppy when it came to Darla. I think Lindsey would be willing to be her boy toy.

Some of my thoughts on last night's episodes:
Buffy - Realizes Too Late What She Had All Along
Xander - Steps Up to Being a Man and Tells It Like It Is
Riley - Hurting So Bad Needs Danger to Make It Hurt Less
Spike - Still Love's Bitch
Angel - Raging Vengence With Dark Side Showing
Lindsey - Vampire Groupie
Holland - Be Careful What You Wish For
Kate - Reasonable Girl"
"Vampire groupie most definitely. He likes those vamp femmes. But in the wine cellar I think he saw an opportunity he has longed for since ""Blind Date"" last season at the least.

Lindsey wants to lose his soul. I think it's like a ball and chain to him weighing down his drive to the top of the heap. In order to become a ""winner"" in his winners/losers world view he has to lose that thing which he believes makes the losers losers."
How can this guy lose his soul...even Darla said there was nothing in there...maybe it fled when he passed the bar.
"> A plastic stake through the heart won't kill a
> vampire? Why not? Does a stake *have* to be
> made of wood to dust a vamp? I find it a little
> unbelievable to think that a big pointy
> plastic stake won't kill a vamp but a number 2
> pencil will.

This is a basic rule of vampire mythology. Only a _wooden_ stake through the heart will immobilize/kill/dust a vampire. Vampires are immortal and invulnerable (to a degree really it seems like super-self-healing power) due to supernatural causes. This immortality and invulnerability can be countered by the supernatural qualities that exist in wood but not in other substances.

> Now that the top brass of Wolfram & Hart have
> become last night's leftovers

Not the top brass just the special projects division. Holland has referred several times to the ""senior partners "" who presumably are topper brass than he is.

> 6) So Angel just let them die huh?

He _probably_ let them die. I wouldn't assume something we haven't actually seen. Remember when it seemed that he bit and killed Kate.

> 7) I think that Darla will either let Lindsey
> live or turn him into a vampire

From the point of view of dramatic mechanics there was no reason to go through all that stuff with Lindsey if he was going to be killed off-screen."
"From the point of view of dramatic mechanics there was no reason to go through all that stuff with Lindsey if he was going to be killed off-screen.

Lindsey will surely be back probably as a vamp but maybe they'll take the delightful suggestion of having him be Darla's Renfield.

What about Lilah? There's less ""dramagic mechanics"" but Druscilla DID comment on her nice skin. In another episode there's commentary on the ""waste"" of beautiful beings. She has a shot at becoming a vamp I think.

"> What about Lilah? There's less ""dramagic
> mechanics"" but Druscilla DID comment on her
> nice skin. In another episode there's
> commentary on the ""waste"" of beautiful beings.
> She has a shot at becoming a vamp I think.

I agree.

Anyway the general point is that I think it's unlikely that Lindsey's dead not because of what happened but because of how it was portrayed. I think Roger Ebert has a rule about the law of conservation of characters in a movie. A similar law of conservation applies to most drama. For example there is no such thing as an irrelevant closeup. I think Joss tries to break this rule somewhat with occasional deaths of major characters e.g. Jenny Calendar and Maggie Walsh. However Jenny's story arc was fairly complete at the point she died. With Prof. Walsh's death I did have more of a feeling that it came slightly early."
>5) Now that the top brass of Wolfram & Hart >have become last night's leftovers what will >happen to their plans they had set in motion? >Vamping Darla was a part of their plans but >what were they using it for? They seem to have >had a complex plan for... something (killing >Angel? taking over the world? tune in next >week!).

I'm not so sure that Wolfram & Heart want to kill Angel. They certainly had plenty of opportunities. When the shocked him with those tasers they had ample time to stake him. When Angel swung into Lindsey's office the guards easily could have staked him if they wanted him dead. Holland even said to Angel that they don't want him dead just yet.

I wonder what they could possibly want from him. If they don't want him dead yet then what DO they want him for?
I think W&H wanted Angel to lose his humanity and turn to the dark side. In that way they've won (for now). I don't think being eaten by vampires was part of their plan though.

Yes junior promotions are in the air at W&H...I loved it when Angel locked the door on Darla and Dru playing with the lawyers like cats...W&H thought they ciould handle OLD vamps get them to do their bidding and I think a lonely Dru was malleable...but Darla Angel and Dru together in the same place is asking for it...How did the lawyers think this would end? lol

1: Wood it's tradition.

2: Stake em...It's no vicimless crime here as some of the vamps only pretend to play by the rules...people can accidentally die...being stupid doesn't mean we can just shrug our shoulders and walk away.

3: Darla was in a transition from her human recolections and the demon within reasserting itself.

4: Right but picky.

5: Come on there are alot more senior partner where they came from (hell that is) I feel some lucky juniors are up for a battlefield promotion.

6: The show would be over if Angel didn't smarten up.

7: Lindsay should be a vamp...he has the stones and lack of remorse that Angelus had...making him possible Darla candy. He'd just get an office without a view. Nothing in this humanity...Darla will like that.
"3: Darla was in a transition from her human recolections and the demon within reasserting itself.

Maybe. I've been wondering if Joss is moving the ontology of vampires from pure demon at heart to a more continuous nature between human and demon. He can always use the excuse ""that's only what the Watcher's Council thinks is the truth.""

""4: Right but picky.""


""5: Come on there are alot more senior partner where they came from (hell that is) I feel some lucky juniors are up for a battlefield promotion.""

I guess. I didn't really pay attention to who all was invited. The impression I got was that all of the top people in the firm were there and probably only they knew all of the details of the ""plans.""

""7: Lindsay should be a vamp...he has the stones and lack of remorse that Angelus had...making him possible Darla candy. He'd just get an office without a view. Nothing in this humanity...Darla will like that.""

Definitely. I really hope we see vampLindsey in the next episode or two. It's too bad that vampires can't grow back severed limbs though."
I'd rather see Darla keep him as her Renfield :)
"Holland stated that the party was made up of his personal group.They'll not just be promoting junior partners they'll be replacing an entire department.

In an earlier episode Holland stated regarding Angel ""We don't want him dead we want him dark."" Since they haven't killed him when they've had the opportunity they obviously feel that though they couldn't control Angelus they could possibly use his talents if their plans fit in with Angelus' desires. "
There's also the possibility of getting a dark souled Angel. W&H would believe someone with a soul could be dark (since they are). Of course I don't know if a souled Angel is any more controllable than a soulless Angelus. They're both strong-willed personalities.
Im just wondering if Spike will come to an Angel episope. Darla Drusilla and Angel are practily back together all they need is Spike and the whole gang will be back together. I think it would be cool to see the four as friends again. It'd be especially cool to see more of Spike. Also i think Buffy should give Spike a break i mean the guy is obviously in love with her and he's been so nice to her too... something he usualy isnt with his girls.
"I don't see Angel as being ""practically back together"" with Dru & Darla at this point. His allowing the wine tasting massacre was not in support of Dru & Darla but against W&H. And regarding Spike's relationships with women: Harmony was a convenience and never an affair of the heart. Spike is as a matter of fact very ""nice"" to the females he cares about. He fills the parameters of the relationship he is in. A couple of seasons ago when he returned to Sunnydale after losing Dru he regained his resolve to win her back. "" I'll find her and I'll torture her until she loves me again."" (paraphrased). That was their relationship. With Buffy the dynamics are different because obviously the personalities (and the fact one is a demon and the other a human) are different. Spike will no doubt see Drusilla again in a crossover episode but I don't see the four being a gang again. "
"Yes I agree. They may not have killed all of the lawyers... or maybe they did. But what about Linsey? I think that Darla would either keep him alive or make him a vampire. Like she said he wasn't fearful at all. Even when she opened her mouth to bite him. Why is that? Does he acually love her? Or maybe he has nothing much to live for.. he said that he cared but he ""just didn't mind"". I think maybe Angel has gotten a little grrr-y on this but he usually does something so idiotic and stupid out of the blue for a good reason. Joss Whedon always keeps us at bay and guessing then rips it apart making you think it's the end then smoothly tapes it back together. I think this may be a huge turn in Angel history like how he became Angelus again. Maybe he's seen Dru and Darla together again and wants his girls back? He's been obsessing over Darla and can't even kill her. Who knows... frankly I love it! It may be heart-wrenching and horrible like when he fired Wes Gunn and Cordy but it shakes things up and makes them interesting. Maybe... it'll turn into a crossover... Drusilla visting Spike? Ooh. I'm up for some spice with Spike... confustion! Hah1"
I agree that Lindsay isn't dead meat at least not like the rest of W&H...Perhaps Dru and Darla will get a corner office at W&H now with a vamp Lindsey...and I think a definite crossover with Buffy is in the air got a lot of threads loose...You think Wesley and Cordelia wo n't whine to Giles/Buffy that Angel's gone round the bend and that Dru and Darla are loose??
While Iím not condoning what Angel did Iím not condemning him for it either. Wolfram and Hart are not innocents they know the evil they are doing and yet they donít care. I think this was Angelís way of letting Darla and Dru think they may have a chance to turn him back into Angelus when all he wants to do is to stab them in the back (literally) Fireing Cordy Wes and Gunn was his way of protecting his loved ones. Perhaps with Riley out of the way Buffy will go to LA to help Angel with his Vamp problems?
"Could Angel's ""new"" darkness be because he is so angry with himself for not being able to dust Darla when he had the chance on rooftop? That combined with his anger with Wolfram & Hart for vamping Darla in the first place?

Obviously Angel still has some sort of feelings for Darla and Drusilla even though most of his interaction with them was as Angelus. This must make for a pretty big moral quandry - to stake or not to stake that is the question. Here are two ""women"" that he has feelings for (Okay more S&M feelings than fuzzy-bunny feelings!) and yet Angel knows he should destroy them because they are evil.

I think Angel is unknowingly playing right into Wolfram & Hart's plan. Despite the fact that Holland et al. may or may not be around to see their plan into fruition they set it up perfectly. Their plan was not to kill Angel or turn him into Angelus but to make him stop fighting as a Warrior for Good. To fill him with self-doubt self-loathing guilt shame etc. that Angel becomes ineffectual as a force for good. It is a much more subtle plan than just doing away with Angel. This way Angel is destroyed from the inside out - he destroys himself either figuratively or literally."
"This episode reminded me of ""Lie to Me"" (where Buffy abandoned Ford to Spike and his gang -- also in a bomb shelter) and AYNOHYEB. I thought it was a very good episode and I did not anticipate the ending at all.

I agree that the W&H agenda is proceeding in spite of the priciples having become vampire food -- they want Angel dark not merely a return of Angelus.

The fate of the lawyers seems to touch upon a recurring theme of Hubris -- the lawyers thought they could play with dark powers and emerge unscathed -- Holland did not even take any particular precautions to protect his house from supernatural intrusions. Angel and his crew were similarly guilty of overweening pride at the start of the season as was Buffy when she got staked by a run-of-the-mill vamp.

I was also pleased to see Angel reject his role as Destiny Boy. I see his firing of of his friends as symbolic of this rejection -- theirs are the voices of the powers that be. He's been the focus of a prophecy before (as Whistler noted) and is now taking a path different than the one laid down for him by the ancient texts. It remains to be seen if he is inadvertantly fulfilling his destiny by trying to avoid it (like the old Greek tragedies.)

Ironically Angel is likely to be more of a threat to W&H as a vigillante unafraid to break the rules than he was as a moping saint."
Malandanza nice reference to Greek tragedies. I hadn't thought of that angle to Angel's destiny.

And yes Wolfram & Hart (especially Holland) had the big hubris happening. In that sense it was fitting that Darla and Drusilla turned on them.
I agree that Angel probably plays into W&H's grand plan.

W&H have the prophecy scroll after all. They have had time to study all the nuances. Staking Angel may have untoward consequences that only W&H know about. Something in the prophecy may show W&H the best course of action to follow regarding Angel.

Could this be Angel accomplishing 2 things at once-getting rid of W&H and lulling D&D into a false sense of security? He's been visiting Faith in prison-what a great way for her to return.
I've been wondering myself if this is the part of the season's story arc that brings about Faith's return as a Slayer. Certainly Faith wouldn't have the emotional attachment Angel has for Dru and Darla. Plus two against two is better odds for sure.

There are two (teensy) problems with this though:

1. Is Faith stable enough at this point to do Slayage without Psychosis?

2. How do the writers spring her from jail? No one's ever stated just how long she's supposed to be in for but it wouldn't be just a few months with the crimes she committed. Maybe it could be a work-release program!
I would love to see her get out of jail and help Angel. Maybe she would have to break out of prison to get to him. I would be willing to suspend my disbelief however they choose to write it just to see her in action again. I love Faith!
Knowing the Jossian tendency towards irony wouldn't it be a hoot if Buffy turns dark and (gasp!) *Faith tries to save her*?

Oh my.
"I think it's a longshot but I'd like to see Faith return as well. A possibility: since Angel has given up on redemption (""alphabetizing his sins "" as Cordelia put it) he has no right to ask Faith to do penance for her crimes. We know Angel has read Sartre -- he's probably read ""The Flies"" and could envision himself in the role of Orestes with Faith by his side as Electra. It would be a simple matter for Angel and Faith to break her out...

but I doubt it will happen. :(

"I disagree that Angel has ""given up on redemption"". I think it will take more than seeing Darla revamped and the two girls reuniting to push him over The Line of no return. I believe it has done just the opposite. In the past he has told his people to stay behind while he handled something on his own. It was usually something he regarded as hitting him very personally. I think the firing may be to get them out of harms way.He is coldly resolute. Wolfram and Hart are the ones who crossed the Darla line and they will pay. This is a personal mission and he will handle it himself his way.

I think he also gets annoyed by the gang sometimes and he just wants to deal with this situation without advice lecturing or having to worry about others' safety. I submit he might be willing to put his redemption at risk to carry out this personal vendetta but I don't believe he has given up on it. From a strictly pragmatic point of view the series would lose its edge without the hope that Angel would finally emerge from the tunnel into the light and have a life back again. "
"We have been shown differing forms of evil and speculated on what a soul is. If you equate the soul as ""conscience and control of actions"" I ask this. I won't go into the Dec. 19 ep but there is something going on with Buffy.
This is a young girl who used to only worry what to do on a Friday night enter the Watcher now she is the slayer who now has to kill every night.I know alot of people think because she is killing for a good purpose but think for one minute. What does a person become after they've killed so much it becomes like a factory...yes I think Buffy is a killing machine now. In Restless the primal slayer said ""no friends..only kill"". What happens to ones soul when they have only one purpose in life?
Buffy is still pushing away humanity because she is afraid of someone getting hurt what are the consequences of the self induced isolation?
Killing is getting to be just a little easy for our girl now...she is now scarier and more dangerous than the monsters she kills. Tell me anyone where does the soul come into this mix and what will happen to it?
"I suppose I would agree with what has already been discussed. If a person has a soul in the buffyverse then redemption is possible. I would not say that Buffy has isolated herself to an extreme point yet. In fact that little talk she had with Spike about how he killed the slayers reminds her of the fact she needs her connection to the world to survive longer.
I would not say she is anywhere near the type of destructiveness that Faith had. I do agree that being connected to the first slayer has awakened something inside her. Since she has admitted to Giles to going out in the middle of the night to hunt.
I would say that Buffy has changed a lot since the first season but I see it more as a change from being a girl to becoming a woman. That is why she thinks of more things than just what to do on Friday night. If she ever thought she was ""all that"" then that Mr. Pointy being plunged into her abdomen shook her to reality. "
"I think at some point all the killing will start to affect Buffy. Even if she is killing evil beings for the cause of Good that much death and destruction will take a toll on her at some point. Even if she has her friends around her and she embraces her ""inner Slayer."" Buffy is usually very matter-of-fact about her slaying (telling Maggie Walsh and Riley about her ""kills"") but this could change.

With a number of things coming to a head in her life - her relationship with Riley the Glory/Dawn connection and her mother's illness - is Buffy headed for a breakdown?

Dracula claimed he saw darkness in Buffy. I don't think this has as much to do with any evil in Buffy's soul as it does with the fact that she has killed at least one being a night for the last 4-1/2 years (roughly speaking). This would put a darkness in her soul no matter how good the cause is.

I'd like to see Buffy falter a little. Question what she is doing and why. Really examine the darkness within her. This could happen very easily after a breakup with Riley. Is she pushing people away? Especially if her friends are part of the reason (or in one instance *the* reason) she has lived as long as she has? Is she really sure she wants to be ""Super Slayer""? Can she defeat Glory? Or is her job merely to protect Dawn and that will bring about Glory's defeat?

Perhaps Buffy could be haunted? I know been done to death. But Joss & Co. could put a new twist on it.

Self-induced isolation can lead to bitterness arrogance ego mania and a host of other self-destructive traits."
It's interesting that people are saying that Buffy is losing her soul and at the same time there's a thread concerned with Angel losing his humanity (are we translating 'soul' here?).

The OUT OF THE WOODS episode and the latest Angel episode are raising alot of philosophical questions. First...not only is Buffy pushing Riley away (initially) but she is pushing the Scooby gang away slowly as well. See how she turned on Xander when he had wanted to talk to her about her relationship with Riley 'imploding'? She did not want to let him in...

Also when is the last time she and Willow had a heart to heart...they are truly drifting apart as well.

Has anyone explored Dawn's possible influence on Buffy? Is it possible that Dawn's presence in Buffy's life will be her redemption?

Another thing is the increasing efforts by the writers to introduce more uncertainty into the 'Basic Evil' nature of vamps and/or demons. I found that scene where Buffy stakes the fleeing vamp/hooker while she was running away-- after apparently granting her mercy-- to be as disturbing as when Riley staked vampSandy after consensually allowing her to bite him.

(Significant credit goes to the actress for making me feel that considering she was one of the least appealing vamp women I ever recall seeing on the show-- the look of sheer terror on her face with Buf pointing death in her direction. It was so sad and pathetic.)

Also the scene between Spike and Riley where Spike isn't even trying to hide his feelings regarding Buffy.

Finally the parallel with Angel and his turning his back on the W&H people in the wine cellar. Perhaps the next stage of 'growth' (?) for our heroes is to have the real world (Joyce's illness the unambiguous human evil of W&H) rubbed in their faces. It certainly makes the demon/bad human/good concept grayer than ever compared to earlier seasons.
"I have to agree that Joss is definately making the lines between demon/bad human/good a lot less distinct.

I also think we've had lots of hints that when Buffy does eventually learn about the true nature of the Slayer she'll find that she is part demon.

Last season Buffy said she wasn't a monster and Adam replied ""aren't you?"". Giles encounters the first Slayer (who looks a lot like a demon) and says something along the lines of ""You don't know you never had a Watcher."" This season Dracula sees darkness in Buffy and Spike tells her that every Slayer has a death wish (is that akin to a dark side?)

I think its possible that the Slayer powers come from a demon that inhabits a human body. However unlike vampires Slayers get to keep their soul and don't need to drink blood. (Also they can tan!)

What came first the Slayer or the Watcher? Probably the Slayer. I'm guessing that for a few hundred years the Slayers were primal hunting machines. Did they only kill vampires and demons or did they get rid of anyone in their path?

After years of chaos a group of people got together and decided to harness the powers of the Slayer and train these dangers killers hence the Watchers Council was born.

Anyway that's just my theory. Joss is blurring the lines between good and bad so that he can eventually reveal to Buffy that she isn't so different from the things that she kills."
"The only problem with the slayer = part demon theory is that if Spike's chip really is a ""human/demon detector"" which was argued when he hit Tara and it hurt him he would not feel pain attacking Buffy.

Not a fool proof argument against slayer = part demon but some evidence against it."
"Perhaps if Buffy is part demon but a demon that was able to keep its soul that's enough to cause Spike pain when he tries to hurt her. Her demon side would only add ""special powers"" such as physical strength while her human characteristics would remain intact. Therefore she'd be too human for Spike to hurt.

We haven't seen a whole lot of examples of Spike trying to hit human/demon hybrids while he has the chip in his brain.

Personally I'm still waiting for the crossover ep. where he goes to L.A. to beat up Angel only to discover he can't hurt Angel without getting a blinding headache all because of Angel's soul.

We have no idea what the chip uses to determine if someone is human (heartbeat soul body temperature?) It could be anything."
What I really liked about the scene between Riley and Spike was that they bonded over a drink. Notice that Riley didn't even wipe the bottle before he drank. No matter what their differences they shared that wonderful moment of male understanding: Women can't live with them can't kill them sure as hell can't understand them!
I found that scene where Buffy stakes the fleeing vamp/hooker while she was running away-- after apparently granting her mercy-- to be as disturbing as when Riley staked vampSandy after consensually allowing her to bite him

I agree. I am more concerned with Buffy's darkness than Angel's. Angel is aware of his darkness. Buffy is not even though it has been pointed out to her. Fortunately she is aware that there may be darkness even though she doesn't feel it. She is also lucky to have someone like Xander who cares enough about her to stand up to her when she's going too far yet support her when she's needs help.
"I suspect that the physiology of vampires in the Buffyverse is being invented on the fly. I have some interesting comparisons in other sources.

In Fred Saberhagen's series of novels spun off from ""Dracula "" vampires don't have blood pressure and are thus impotent. This didn't seem to affect Angel when he was being intimate with Buffy. Nor does it affect Spike and Harmony. In an early episode Angel told Buffy that he couldn't father children.

The best book I've ever read on folklore vampires was ""Vampires Burial and Death"" by Paul Barber. He gives translations of historical records of ""real"" vampires written by individuals who could be trusted to give accurate accounts so far as they understood what happened. Barber explains their observations in terms of forensic pathology. This book is loaded with yummy but unutterably loathsome details of how corpses decay! In connection with vampiric sexual activity the accounts often describe male vampires as having ""wild signs "" a euphemism for erections. Barber explains this as being due to bloating due to gas build-up due to decay.

Sanguisugary matters can get complex."
Oh mind has just gone to test pattern...can't we chalk it up to magic?
Lol Rufus...yes this is the Buffyverse and I've always supposed all vamp tales to be on the fly anyway...but then I do wonder a bit what would happen if a RH pos vamp ate a Rh neg ought to destroy all the vamps blood supply that is not RH neg...: )

I doubt if vampires would by bothered by blood-type incompatibility with human blood-sources. It is given in the Buffyverse (and most other vampire mythologies) that vamps can feed off of animals whose blood would be incompatible with human blood.
"The physiology of blood-drinking monsters can't be done ""tastefully "" though Dracula and Lestat both seem to ""aestheticize"" the feeding experience."
So know that not having a pulse in the Buffyverse does not affect your sex life.

But does you hair grow? What about your fingernails? I've read that one of the signs that a corpse may be a vampire is that the fingernails grow after death. And yes I do know that your fingernails do not grow it's just the skin pulling away from the nails.

I reason that vampires may not burn in artifical lighitng is that certain colours are missing out of the specturm. So could a sun-light kill a vampire since it shares almost all of the charcteristics with natural sunlight?

And finnaly what would happen if you preformed an autopsy on a vampire? Would it contiune to 'live' until you removed the heart or would the draining of the blood cause it to shivle up?

Thoughts to make you think.

I'm stickin with the magic theory....cause I'm not about to hold a vamp down while you get out the scalpel...;)
I think if Angel is really upset on Darla being re vamped(thanks to Drusilla)he should find Willow and get the curse he killed Jenny Calendar over in Passion. And find a way for Willow to curse Darla before she kills many people and has to sulk over the way Angel did!
Why not just curse every vampire? :)
It's probably too expensive... Darla could be a special case. I was thinking about the ensouled vampire prophecy the other day -- imagine the irony if the prophecy was about Darla.
i was thinking the same thing

This has been said before but I'll note it here. The reason I imagine that Willow has not souled vamps all over the place has to do with the fact that she wasn't really the one who gave Angel back his soul in the first place. You remember that during the ritual something took her over. Some other force helped her complete the ritual and gave her strength but I think it also gave her power. She may still have a lot of power as a wicca but I'm beginning to think the PTB's made a special effort in Angel's case because they had something in mind for him. We can't assume all souled vamps would be anything more than a little guilty or really messed up psychologically or perhaps just normal non-heroic folks who drink blood and avoid day light.
"Besides now that Darla is a vampire again who says she *wants* to go back to being even semi-human (vampire with a soul)?

I think she will go back to her bad ole vampire ways with a special emphasis on giving Angel the ""extra-special torture."" Darla's acceptance of her impending death came very late. I think this will cause her to behave towards Angel as Angel/Angelus behaved towards Buffy in ""Passion"" and other episodes. She's been inside Angel's head and she knows what will give him the most torture. And with Drusilla by her side (who has a certain jones for Angel too)?? Look out L.A.!!"
Fun fun fun! I'm ready!!
"I think that whole we were together for 150 years is going to stick in Darlas craw big time.She will bring a new special twist to the term ""had enough"".
Angel was a greedy vamp Darla and Dru were his now he has a soul and his playmates are back and they want the old boy back in pieces if need be."
"Oh yeah!!!

From the promos Darla and Dru are going to give all new meaning to the phrase ""The bitch is back.""

Can't hardly wait!"
Looked in the dictionary for redeem.
2 things stood out Redeem: make good a promise by preforming. 2. to free from the bondage of sin.

There is no prerequisite of a soul included in the dictionary I used. Angel is in the process of redemption by preforming selfless acts and protecting human. He has a soul so it's easier to see that he will someday accomplish his goal.
With Spike it's a little bit different. He has made no promise to preform any act for redemption or shown any interest in such. He has however ceased killing humans(reluctantly)and has become a help to the SG. I consider him at a fork in the road he's going to have to choose to either sit on the fence hoping the chip will fall out then resume killing. Then again something that is yet to happen will make him pick a side and finally journey tword redemption. My question is this even if both characters preform acts of redemption who can judge if they are worthy and how?
My understanding of vampires is that they kill because that is what they do. They enjoy it. It is in their nature. The only reason Spike doesn't kill is because of the chip. He even tried to get it removed without any success twice from Adam and the Doc.
The punishment for all vampires is Hell. We do not know of any vampire heaven. There is something about the soul in the Buffyverse that contributes to a being first wanting to be redeemed and then the power to do so. Vampires do not have this ability because they are souless. Perhaps the chip that is in Spike is like the Doximol that Angel took. Maybe it gives the mere illusion of him caring about people. Spike does care about Buffy more now than he did before the Chip. And he doesn't like it. This is why when he has the dream about him and Buffy making out to him it is a nightmare.
Now one issue that hasn't been discussed in the BuffyVerse is where do humans go when they die? Are there different Hells for demons and humans? I know that Angel told Darla there were several Hells and that he had been to one. Plus another thing I have thought of is when a person becomes a vampire the human soul leaves the body and the demon takes over. The human soul is in some sort of limbo state. But what happens to the human soul when a vampire gets staked? Perhaps it then leaves limbo and goes on to wherever Joss wants them to go. Could William the Bloody go in Heaven when Spike finally meets his end? Perhaps Liam would have gone to Hell for being a lazy drunkard and user of women. But since he became a vampire his soul went to the ether and was returned later by the gypies. Now the human soul has the chance to redeem itself while being in a vampire body. It could turn out that the best thing to happen to Liam from an eternal perspective is to become a vampire so that he could later be saved.
That's reasonable but there's always the possibility that Liam would have grown up at some point over the next 20 years redeeming his soul WITHOUT the endless guilt and suffering caused by his deeds as a vampire. Isn't that the whole reason that Buffy does her thing? So that humans can choose to do what they will for good or evil without becoming blood-sucking soulless (for the most part) bad guys?

I'm not sure that this is entirely true. I believe looking at it from a behaviorist perspective that they kill because there are benefits to be gained (blood feeling of power perhaps picking the victim's pocket) without the unhappy pangs of conscience. I don't think they kill because they like it. I think they kill because it benefits them (although i will admit that one benefit is probably that they like it) Sorry if i'm being nitpicky here - these are very intriguing topics.

I think that Spike can redeem himself in the sense that he now has a built-in conscience which prevents him from going back to his former ways. But is that really a lot different from Angel who is prevented from his evilness by endless guilt? And it's true that Angel is not actively seeking to get rid of his guilt (in fact he's in the opposite direction) But i think that that is also caused by the guilt of what he would do in that state. I think they are both redeemable and it will be interesting to see if Spike ever chooses NOT to have the chip removed (although i think he has a long way to go before that happens)
"You wrote:

""I'm not sure that this is entirely true. I believe looking at it from a behaviorist perspective that they kill because there are benefits to be gained (blood feeling of power perhaps picking the victim's pocket) without the unhappy pangs of conscience. I don't think they kill because they like it. I think they kill because it benefits them (although i will admit that one benefit is probably that they like it) Sorry if i'm being nitpicky here - these are very intriguing topics.""

I have to disagree with you. Vampires can survive off of other animals' blood just as well as human blood (Angel was alive from a rat a week and a vamp could go for cows or whatnot). Basically vampires are like humans--they could feed of any animal. It is the demon that drives them to feed off humans. I mean any human could kill someone to eat them for sustenance for a feeling of power and for financial gain. But the vast majority do not do so. Vampires must have something more than your behavioural reason to kill.

Tim W."
I don't think the vampires are aware of why they continue to feed off of humans. You can chalk it up to a sadist wanting to experience the thrill of causing the most pain possible. I think part of it is envy and the need for connection with the humanity they have lost. They also don't have to kill to why bother? Sure you have this evil demon that just kills. Not good enough for me. Alot of the vampires seem to have an intact very human ego. But now they are monsters. No one can appreciate their power so they show people over and over unfortunately that usually includes killing or turning the victim. There is a quandry here the victim can also become a companion. I think vampires just get too impressed with their new power and couple that with no conscience they kill on impulse. A vampire is a very immature being in BVS and that need to show off power but no one left to appreciate must leave them lonely and frustrated. You turn someone they now have the power you do and can't appreciate it. Becomes and endless quest for recognition.
One of the definitions is to free from the bondage of sin. I understand the process of potentially working for redemption but how do you become free from the bondage of sin? We can't remove either characters sin. We can't forgive them for their sins as we are not the persons they have sinned against. So how much do they have to do when is it enough and are they only truly rid of the sin by being granted and afterlife?
"I think that is the whole point of religion the believe in a being or power higher or more powerful than yourself. Because they are omniscient they can accept your redemption and forgive your sins.

It is interesting that in the Buffyverse beings must *earn* their redemption. Similar to the ""Xena-verse"" in that respect. Christian tradition says all you have to do is ask for that forgiveness (from the depths of your being) and you will be.

Is there no power in the Buffyverse that grants forgiveness therefore you must earn it? Unfortunately this brings us back to the question When have you done enough redemption? Is there a cosmic scale someplace that weighs your actions and you are redeemed when the good outweighs the bad??

I think I'm rambling. %-)"
In the Christian view a person is forgiven because of what Jesus Christ did on the cross. He paid for the sins of others because he himself was a sinless sacrifice. So a person has to ask forgiveness but that forgiveness is based upon their belief in what Christ did.
Now you make a great point in bringing up how much redemption has to be paid. I suppose in the case of Angel he has to avert the Apocalypse. LoL. I suppose most of us won't get that type of opportunity. The powers have at least in the Buffyverse drawn a line that must be crossed to receive forgiveness.
I would also agree with you that there are no forgiving higher beings powers that be etc. It seems like if a person does something wrong they must make amends by some sort of works. Vampires and bad demons go to some sort of Hell. Like I said before Joss doesn't talk about where bad people go ( like w and h ).
So then was Darla redeemed in the end?
Maybe the point is that they have to forgive themselves. Angel would not forgive himself for what he's done unless he made up for it while Darla just had to choose to die in the way she was originally supposed to. Getting forgiveness from others can be much easier than forgiving yourself.
"Angel has tortured and murdered countless innocent people. It would be simple to say ""Well Angel that's over forgive yourself"". There has to be justice for the people who are too dead to speak for themselves. Angel owes humanity............BIG's not my place to forgive him it's up to the victims.He does show remorse and that is a start. But I can't forget all the potential that he wiped out on a whim. That goes for Spike too. Darla came to a point of accepting her fate redeemed don't think so shows no remorse twords victims. Now she's vamped again."
well assuming that vampires go to Hell once they're staked etc is interesting (at least to me at the moment hehe).
I mean who is to say that they're not already in the mind set? In their own psychological hell?
Angel(pre-vampy) and Angelus were aggressive men who felt that the world owed them possibly...that they could take what they wanted screw the consequences. Now Angel is cleaning up other baddies' damage stopping evil whatever beings from doing things he would have done and hating himself the whole time.
Spike wanted to be loved no matter what the cost. well be careful what you wish for spikey. Spike had 150 or so years with Drusilla which was certainly passion-filled...
But spike (it seems) was constantly trying to earn Dru's love. A love she didn't have to give.
And now Buffy. he's attracted to her despite his best efforts.
So in essence his psychological hell would probably be to have love dangled in front of his face but to never really receive it.
the unattainable quest for love ending in rejection possibly humiliation over and over again.
"I was re-watching ""It's a Wonderful Life"" over the weekend. In light of the discussions on redemption in this thread I thought it was interesting that Frank Capra (or whoever wrote the original story) would make Clarence the Angel *earn* his wings eventhough he was already in Heaven. Is this also a form of redemption? What would have happened to Clarence if he *hadn't* made George Bailey see the light? (OK a little off topic!)

In the Christian religion there is a history of working for redemption (good works or making amends) or paying for it (buying indulgences). This in spite of the teaching that if you believe Jesus died for your sins and you ask forgiveness based on that belief you will be forgiven - no strings. There must be something in the human psyche that has trouble dealing with this concept the complete washing away of sins. I guess because we *are* human we are unable to forgive a person as readily. There is all the baggage attached to ""sin"" by both the sinner and the victim - guilt remorse anger etc.

Making amends also plays a part in the 12-step program of Alcoholics Anonymous. Not only must the alcoholic say that they are sorry for the hurt they have caused others they must make amends for it. A form of redemption. But sometimes asking directly for forgiveness is impossible (for example killing someone in a DWI accident). The alcoholic cannot ask the victim for forgiveness he can only change his ways and make amends (perhaps by joining Mothers Against Drunk Driving).

Angel is in a similar position (in fact Joss has likened vampirism to drug addiction). He cannot ask forgiveness from the vast majority of his victims. Therefore he must work to make amends must work for his redemption. (There is some evidence in some of the BtVS-based novels particularly ""The Gatehouse Trilogy"" by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder that at least some of Angel's victims have forgiven him. Unfortunately these are sort of a universe within a universe and this forgiveness has not really been evidenced in the TV series.)

All of this brings us back to the same question - when is the scale balanced when have the good works made up for evil deeds? As a vampire even with a soul the Christian avenue of asking a higher entity/God for forgiveness is unavailable to Angel. He was ""called"" (for lack of a better word) by the Powers That Be to be a warrior for good. They have recognized his efforts and appreciate them - in fact they were willing to let him remain human in I Will Remember You. It was Angel who wanted to continue to fight for good. Perhaps Angel will be redeemed when he has learned to forgive himself when he has reached a balance within himself."
Angel can't redeem himself by himself. Redemption is larger than any individual's personal power. Good and evil and the laws that govern them are physical laws of nature not just rules someone created to induce guilt and make life difficult.
There is another Christian belief about redemption besides merely asking for forgiveness and recieving it without strings attached. It is that after our very best efforts at changing our hearts repenting and making amends that we still fall short. The redemption Jesus gave us through his death takes up the slack that space between imperfect beings and God. We are then redeemed. It is freely given but our actions determine our final destination. Angel is trying to make amends for his past by his battles (complete with physical emotional and mental suffering). When he has done all he can(both through situations he finds and through Cordy's visions) and averts the Final Apocalypse could not some sort of grace reach out and bridge the still existing gulf created by the people he couldn't ask forgiveness from? I ask the same question as purplegrrl. When the scale is balanced when have the good works made up for the evil deeds? Do TPTB offer some sort of grace or a hand to bridge that gulf?

I think Angel will only be able to forgive himself when he attains the light at the end of the tunnel. When he sees that his efforts have been accepted and he has attained his mortality. His burden will then be lifted. Till then I see him as perpetual brooding guy.
"I have been reading this board for a while but never written anything. But it occurs to me as I read this discussion that maybe your missing something. Here is just another thought to add to the mix.

It seems to me that ""Vampires"" are not ""evil"" because they kill and feed from a lesser(weaker) life form. They are ""evil "" in the Christian sense because they have willfully chosen immortality in a carnal world over the risk of death and that there may not be something beyond death. They are also ""evil"" in a Christian sense because they attempt to draw converts to their side. Vampires are satan's henchmen in a ""Paradise Lost "" sense. They have rebelled against heaven.

As for redemption Angel is a representative of the Calvinist theory(I think it was Calvin) that through good acts redemption can be purchased. But in a Catholic sense he would only need to ask...

Also I don't think anything can be redeemed without a soul from the Chrsitian perspective although I am not a complete authority on this. It seems to me that humans are given souls and that makes them special. It allows them the option to chose between good and evil. Something without a soul has no choice only instinct and a vampire feeds instinctually. Objects and animals without souls do not go to heaven because without a soul they simly die and cease to be. When the vampire was human it made the choice.

okay I rambled long enough. "
"Here are a couple of quotes from ""The Vampire Book: The Encyclopedia of the Undead"" by J. Gordon Melton concerning why vampires are evil:

""In Christian lands to the common wisdom concerning life and blood theological reflection added a special importance to blood. The blood of Christ in the form of the red wine of the Eucharist became the most sacred of objects. So holy had the wine become that during the Middle Ages a great controversy arose over allowing the laity to have the cup. Because of possible carelessness with the wine the Roman Catholic Church denied the cup a practice which added more fuel to the fire of the Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century. ...
In the light of the sacredness of Christ's blood the vampire at least in its European appearances took on added significance. The vampire drank blood in direct defiance of the biblical command [in Genesis ""But you must not eat the flesh with the life which is the blood still in it""]. It defiled the holy and stole that which was reserved for God alone.""

And from a discussion on modern ""real"" vampires:
""There is a distinction between those who draw pleasure from killing people or from the drawing of blood (Jack the Ripper?) and those vampiric types who derive pleasure from its consumption.""

In folklore vampires were evil because they were horrific. After the widespread introduction of Christianity vampires were evil because they were considered in opposition to God and Christ. In fact one of the early Church's conversion methods was to use the threat of becoming a vampire to gain followers - in areas where people *believed* (based mostly on superstitions) there was a real possibility of them returning from the grave as a vampire the Church told these people that they *would* return as vampires unless they converted to Christianity.

Traditional folklore-based vampires didn't want to become vampires. Sometimes good people became vampires after their death because they had violated certain taboos. I think this is another area where Bram Stoker changed what it was to be a vampire - Dracula made his victims *desire/want* to share his dark immortality."
Vampires are evil from a Christian or non-Christian point of view because they selfishly take life from humans to sustain themselves. It is the rare vampire who lives off of rats or other creatures. These are abberations like a vampire with a soul.

When you say they have willingly chosen immortality in a carnal world are you referring to the choice to become a vampire or to remain one after Becoming? Most did not choose to be Made. After they Become they choose to remain because of their feeling of increased power and lack of conscience. Only once in any genre have I seen a vampire stake themself because they didn't want to be one.(It was in Fright Night I or II).
Vampires choose to deal in human death and they do it vengefully and with pleasure. They are evil.
(Just a note: The Calvinist Belief is one of Elect and Pre-ordination.)
Ok this might be totally crazy but I have been thinking about how Glory showed up at about the same time as the first slayer was mentioned well how about this:
What if Glory is a slayer that was turned into a vampire? We don't know whether that vampire would be 'normal' or not but I'm betting that she would be a lot stronger. And especially if she is really old probably older then the master was.
Am I crazy or has anybody else thought about this?
One problem with your idea though. Glory has been seen in sunlight. If she was a vampire she would have been toast. And there was the reflection in the dressing-room mirrors. So nope.
Extreamly unlikely if not impossible.

I thought I saw this post before.... oh well.
yeah but since we don't know what kind of vampire a slayer wuld be.

Glory is a ball of confusion to me which prolly means I'm not looking at it right...what ARE we to make of a creature so old it has no name or at least nobody who can pronounce it anymore...and she's worrying about vreaking a nail? Loved the passion she's got for Manolo B. shoes though......

I think she's not that creature and she's supposed to help kill it $.02
I have thought about what a slayer would be like as a vampire. I think she would be awesome from an evil point of view. In fact I wish they would have done it your way instead of leaving us in the dark. Thanks for the idea. :-)
Who do you vote for??
The Initiative - we are the government so we make the rules as we go. Make demons into government robots. The power comes from the fact noone knows about us. Now that we're gone the leftovers have changed costume and are still doing pretty much what we want while the funds last.

Glory - older than the written word will vaporize the planet to get what I want. As for killing people who cares cause she really doesn't.

My personal vote is the Initiative(government) because as humans they should know better.
I agree with you. The Initiative captured demons and I'm willing to bet that they captured innocent demons the kind that just want to get on with their life. And they were even willing to take in regular humans as well. eg Forest wanted to take Willow in when they captured Spike at her dorm room.

Glory seems to just want to get home where ever that is. And I have yet to see any evidence that that is a bad thing. Maybe it might destroy the world like you suggest or let some nasty from her dimention/world like others have sugested.

But she hasn't gone out of her way to damage to hurt any one or thing for the sake of hurting them. She had to get rid of the psyco-energy that was making her crazy and she hit the monk to get information.

She could have just killed everyone in the magic shop and taken what she wanted but she didn't. She was even willing to pay for it. I think that she see humans as ants. They are there but you don't really care about them unless you need something from them or they are bugging you.

So like I said before the Initiative was more evil in my eyes.
"anyone with the possibility to be good will always be the most evil. those who don't have a choice who are predatory by nature are rather neutral neither bad nor good. they may do bad things that we see as evil. but they are not evil. however those who could do good but choose to be evil are evil.

that's why wolfram and hart and the iniative were probably the most evil things that have been around... until recently there was a pretty clear line drawn concerning those who had a choice between good and evil and those who could only choose to be evil... the two series seem to be blurring that line more and more... so hopefully we'll get to see if even those things without ""souls"" still have a choice... if they do then that makes the picture muddier.

however.... the evilest thing that could ever ever appear on buffy would be:

buffy summers turning to the dark side...

i only pray that this happens someday (it never will) it'd be the most exciting thing to ever happen on the show!"
"I think that the Initiative was doing a lot of good in Sunnydale. I mean most of the demons and vampires were bad. They killed a lot of soldiers in the Initiative because they let themselves be caught so they can be a trojan horse as Buffy figured out. I am not sure we can know for sure if there were demons that were noble.
Also think of it from this point of view. The Powers that Be Are Is are the ones that call the Slayer. So there is something intrinsically valuable when humans are concerned. Why is it not wrong to dust a vamp? It is because the Powers have decided that killing people is wrong. Thus the Slayer is called in the first place. Now Buffy does not just kill vampires but all kinds of bad demons and she is not reprimanded for doing this. It is her calling from the Powers. I figure that Glory is one of those in some sort of way. We have not been told exactly what she is because there are no records since she is ""Old Evil"".
I would say that if we are to choose who is more evil we have to first ask the question of value. If I kill an ant I will not go to jail but if I kill another person then I will. The reason is that people are more important than ants just as they are more important than demons. "
What makes some members of humanity more valuble than all the demons? Does that include the demons who were never or ever be evil.? I understand Buffy only deals with evil of the demon kind but I have noticed that the humans had alot of demons beat in the evil department. I feel that value can only be placed on an individual basis be the being human or demon.
My point was that the Powers have already made that decision. Buffy Angel Cordelia Wesley Gunn and the Scoobies all have destroyed demons and vampires. I think the thrust of the show is that this is acceptable because the Powers have decided which beings have more value. Remember that Angel has not killed human beings such as Wolfram and Hart and everyone was concerned when Faith accidently killed a lacky for the Mayor who was evil. If the Powers judged Wolfram and Hart or any other evil humans to be worthy of death I bet Angel and Buffy would do so.
I was refering only to demons who are good. I feel therefore they to me have a value similar to humans. The only reason you can't get arrested for killing a vampire is there is no evidence left. Actually Angel and Lindsey had a conversation regarding that. With other demons they hide the bodies and good old human denial about the existance of demons takes care of the rest.
To me evil in human form is every bit as bad as demon evil but I guess there is only a licence to kill demons on the show. :)
"To me evil in human form is every bit as bad as demon evil but I guess there is only a licence to kill demons on the show. :)

I agree that human evil is as bad or maybe worse than demon evil. We *know* that humans have souls in the Buffyverse and can be redeemed. Demons and redemption are less clear.

The human legal system is recognized as having authority over humans - explicitly in the case of Faith. Because the human legal system fails to take cognizance of demons a more natural law system applies to demons. As the old Gene Autry song has it ""the only law is Right""...

The ""license"" to kill demons has restrictions though -- in `Family` the gang immediately inquires into what kind of demon Tara supposedly is.

Demons are like insects -- spare the butterflies and the ladybugs but step on the roaches and swat the mosquitoes. :-)

"I think everything boils down to self-defense. Buffy and Angel kill demons who have or will kill humans. Demons who don't pose this danger they don't kill

- Buffy is letting Spike live
- Angel felt enormous guilt for killing the protector demon in the season opener
- The gang inquired into what kind of demon Tara supposedly was before judging her
- Cordelia came to understand AI's ""mission"" wasn't to kill demons but to actually save the ones who weren't a threat to humanity (Hero)

True they don't kill evil humans and they say they don't kill them because they have souls and are redeemable but I suppose if pushed one or more of our heroes would agree with capital punishment which says it is acceptable for the state to sometimes kill humans who have killed.
The Initiative takes the cake for evil....they're like 21st century nazis eager to experiment on kill etc etc the demons/vamps and students tra la...but it's certaibnly possible that Glory can do more dasmage
Why would it be wrong for the Initiative to kill or chip vampires and demons? Is it wrong for buffy to Kill them? If we say that is her job then why is it ok for Gunn and the scoobies to kill Vampires and other demons? I do agree that from what we have seen so far Glory is pretty rough. She hits Buffy like no one I have seen before. Glory is bad news.
"Can it be argued that good and evil are relative terms rather than absolutes?

What is *evil* may be subjective based on cultural or other (stereotype?) bias. Consider in the Buffyverse: There are two organized groups that fight evil albeit with different strategies and but similar goals. One is a secret Government-funded organization (the Initiative) that hunts and generally kills evil beings (also known as ""hostile subterrestrials"") through its agents the highly trained commandos. The other is a secret privately funded organization (the Watchers Council) that hunts and generally kills evil beings (vampires demons etc.) through its agent the Slayer.

Is the Initiative ""evil"" because it conducts research on hostile subterrestrials and attempts to use the information to create a better soldier? (This concept is a mainstay of several recent science fiction movies such as ""Solo "" ""Soldier "" and ""Universal Soldier."") Granted their experiments reek of Dr. Frankenstein and playing God. But if their experiments had been successful isn't it possible that battlefield casualties would be reduced at least for ""our"" side? Some of their experiments were successful - Riley Graham et al.'s enhanced strength; the chip in Spike's head. Is the Initiative evil because their Adam experiment failed? (Was the Adam experiment the goal of the Initiative or was it Maggie Walsh's secret project? Or did the experiment just go wrong?) Or is the Initiative evil because we have been conditioned to think that secret Government projects/experiments are evil?

Is the Watchers Council ""good"" because they collected information on the types and activities of various vampires demons etc. and use this information to fight them keep them from taking over this world? This information is only available to a select few and even then it may be on a ""need to know"" basis. They also ""test"" (experiment on?) the Slayer by using a chemical trigger to take away her powers and then force her to fight some really bad vampire. Also reeks of playing God. Does this test really make a better Slayer? Yes and no: you'll kill off the less effective Slayers but you'll probably make the survivors very angry (Buffy is case in point). Why is this ""good"" just because the intentions behind the action are good? I think the Watchers Council had the best of intentions when it was originally formed. But over the years they have realized the power they wield not only over the Slayer but also potential Slayers and the Watchers. This power has made them forgetful of their true purpose.

Is Glory evil? We assume so because that is what we have been lead to believe - drives people crazy kills monks fights the Slayer searches for the Key is ""the thing that cannot be named."" Do we really have enough evidence to make this judgement? The products of her actions have been ""evil"" but she herself may not be evil. Perhaps she is a ""good"" being although mentally unstable. Can her actions be explained as the rantings of an emotionally/mentally disturbed being? (Some of this links back to the discussions of the Lovecraft universe elsewhere on this board.) Could she be a neutral being who doesn't realize/understand her powers in this dimension or the effect those powers or perhaps just her presence has on the humans in this dimension? If Glory is some Big Evil wouldn't she want/need more followers than just the subservient Dreg? The Big Evil always (nearly always?) wants the Big Power. If Glory is evil does she just not know how to consolidate her power in this dimension? I would think it would be pretty much the same no matter where you were - enslave everyone and have your own way. Other than making a snake do her bidding Glory has not really tried to take over this dimension. Her actions can be explained as an inability to cope with what is going on in her head (off her meds?) a lack of understanding of this dimension (initially not knowing how strong she is) or a single-minded pursuit of something she really wants (she *wants* the Key).

Yes I am playing devils advocate here. Just the frame of mind I'm in this afternoon."
"It would be interesting to have a show on how the watchers council started. I would guess that the first slayer did not have a watcher. She just did what she did by instinct. It would seem to be that the Watchers Council is a man made organization that has come together to help the slayer be more effective.
Therefore I have trouble labeling the W C as good and the Initiative as bad since both are human institutions. If the Initiative was to harness demon power to save American lives then I would not be very upset about it. Of course we now know that this power was uncontrolable.
It reminds me of the Atom bomb in WW2. It was tragic that we had to use the bomb but it truly did save American lives because the Emperor of Japan would not surrender and the bomb ended the war.
I think I am like you in that I realize we don't have enough info on Glory. She was called an ""Old Evil"" so we have to go with that for the meantime. "
I have always disliked the Initiative so you should take what follows with a grain of salt.

I do not belive that it was right for the Initiative to try to create a super-soldier. They were operating under the motto 'The ends support the means'.

I have never agree with that statement. It sugestes that as long as the results are good you can do whatever you feel nessicary to produce them. With this attiude we could support all sorts of atrocties as long as they produced some thing good for us. I realize that the atomic bomb stopped the war but that doesn't make it right or excesuble. Especial since even though we know the damage and destrustion that it can cause we still keep nucluar warheads. Once was enough.

The Initiative may have been destoying 'bad' demons but I suspect that they just didn't kill the evil ones. What about those demons who just lived in Sunnydale but didn't go out of their way to kill or toment other creatures? I'm sure a number of innocents were captured among the guilty. And the expermatations is just cruel and sick no matter who or what it is being preformed on. Being a different species or genus does not mean we have the right to take parts from assorted creaturs and stick them together to create some sort of demented 'Mr. Potato Head'.

I once debated against another girl about why it was wrong for American soldiers to have killed children and babies in Vietnam. She explained that the children would have grown up and if the war had contintued would have killed more soldiers.

With that sort of attitue you could go into a school shoot the entire class and justify it by saying that one of them would have been a murder or a rapist.

I realize that this has degenerated into a rant. Sorry if anyone is offened but that's the way I feel.

"I agree with you. My brother told me of this saying he got in the army""kill them all let god sort them out"".
Remember that the Initiative is not the army but a project sponsered by the army. It was Prof.Walsh who came up with the idea of collecting demon parts and using them to graft to a human that could be controlled and used as a weapon. One little flaw...Mr.Bits(term used in Yoko Factor)was no longer human and had a plan of his own. Both humans and demons to him were flawed and he wanted to create more beings in his image. The main objective of Prof. Walsh was on a need to know basis. Soldiers such as Riley had the best intentions and thought they were helping to preserve societies quality of life.The Initiative showed how even with the best plans and intentions you can't always quarantee a good outcome. It was also showed what happens when good people lose touch with humanity. Ultimately the Initiative project was scrapped and the records expunged. When you can't take responsibility for your actions pretend they never happened. "
"My brother told me of this saying he got in the army""kill them all let god sort them out"".

In a war situation hestition causes death.

Soliders on the battlefield can not hestitate. They must act or be destroyed themselves.

Steps are taken to minimize civilian losses. But when the battle gets going they are as inevitable as they are unfortunate.

Point is - don't go to war unless it is very important. Because when you do it isn't pretty.

But when you do go to war you must be willing to do what it takes. It's ruthless it's cruel it's war.

Sorry I can't sugarcoat it for you."
"Sanguinary your points are well taken. I don't think that the Initiative's original intention was evil but as we all know power corrupts. It isn't even likely that Maggie Walsh's experiment started out as evil but soon she became personally involved and then ego steps in and takes over. (Submitted for your approval-- the line uttered by (La Femme) Nikita at the beginning of every show: ""Their ends are just but their means are ruthless. If I don't play by their rules I die."" -- pretty much sums it up.)

*****I once debated against another girl about why it was wrong for American soldiers to have killed children and babies in Vietnam. She explained that the children would have grown up and if the war had contintued would have killed more soldiers.

With that sort of attitue you could go into a school shoot the entire class and justify it by saying that one of them would have been a murder or a rapist.*****

The person who argued that the children would grow up and then kill more soldiers is a classic logical fallacy. It's similar to the argument that the anti-abortion people use as an example when they say abortion could kill the next Beethoven. They are right but the fallacy is that it could also kill the next Hitler. Since you don't know in advance which it will be the argument is moot and therefore neither supports nor derails their issue.

If the Initiative KNEW for a FACT that the demons were a threat to humanity then a self defense issue could be argued. I doubt they knew for certain whether all of the demons they captured fell into that category they just assumed. They were also perfectly willing to experiment on Oz even after they new he was mostly human a scenario that pushed Riley to further question whether he was supporting the right side in this fight.

Demons are obviously a threat to humans.

Therefore they must be fought.

You can bet demons (if they were real of course) aren't sitting around trying to decide when they shouldn't kill humans.

The initiative has been as careful as possible not to infinge upon the rights and safety of the citizens of Sundydale.

Whenever you are at war you have to fight it without mercy. That is why it should always be a last resort. But once it is engaged in whether it is with another country or in this fictional sense demons it must be fought totally. Destroy as much as your enemy as possible. Do whatever it takes. It isn't pretty. But sometimes it is necessary.

I like the Initiative. Most people couldn't handle the fact that demons exist. That is why it needs to be secret. The initiative tries to limit the human deaths as much as possible. And unlike Buffy (and now Angel) they don't sacrifice strangers just because they can't slay someone they used to date.

"La Femme Nikita is a great example.

They have to be as ruthless as they are because too much is at stake. Literally thousands of lives (with nuclear and biological terrorists).

Nikita once asked Madeline how she could be so ruthless. Her response:

""Because the other side is ruthless. If we're not stronger then they win and we lose.""

Another one of my favorite scenes was when Nikita challenged the existance of section One. Here is the interchange.

Nikita: You support butchers who kill their own people by the thousands. You sponsor terrorism on every single continent. We're supposed to be fighting these people not helping them.

Adrian: Bravo Nikita.

Ops: Get her out of here.

Nikita: She stays.

Ops: I don't have to justify anything to you.

Nikita: Today you do. Section's on trial. Defend it.

Ops: Yes we scratch Hussein's back and he scratches ours because the alternative is chaos. We've run sims thousands of them. Based on the assessments of brilliant people who devote their lives to this without Hussein the groups he sponsors would splinter and multiply like viruses. They'd be starved for funds and would use extreme measures to obtain them. Whatever restraints exist on their behavior now would vanish. Without Hussein the country disintegrates in months. In a year adjoining countries follow and the entire region by year four. By year six a nuclear incident takes place in the middle east.By year eight three more detonations occur throughout the world. Two million dead indirectly. Twenty-million indirectly. In year ten a man-made plague ravages through Europe spreads to India and China. Estimated casualties fifty-million people.

Nikita: But you can't be certain any of that will happen.

Ops: No but its our job to make certain that it doesn't. Human nature hasn't changed Nikita. The dark ages were a thousands years of chaos war famine and disease. You think that won't happen again because we have computers and jet planes and cellular phones? Think again.

Adrian: How convenient that your sims and surveys justify you need for power. There's another side to this coin Nikita. Assume Saddam Hussein stays in power. By year three he's become so dependent on Section he'll have no choice but to follow orders. He invades the two adjoining countries and holds them. By year six Hussein is irrelevant. The political structure can survive without him. By year ten Section controls six percent of the worlds population and nine percent of its strategic resources. After gets worse.

Nikita: Operations. Is that what it's about? Controlling the world?

Ops: We will control whatever we have to. To prevent the dark ages from descending again on the human race.

Adrian: Choose carefully Nikita. There will never be a moment like this again in your lifetime.

Nikita: Michael any words of wisdom?

Michael: What have you seen with your own eyes?

Madeline: Yes. Are the crimes we've committed worse that the crimes we've prevented? And the people we've brought down is the world a better place without them?

Nikita: Yes it is.

Madeline: Then you have your answer.

Adrian: Nikita keep your mind on the broader perspective.

Nikita: Adrian it's not as simple as you make it sound.


My point is if you hate the initiative consider the alternative. If you think they are ruthless consider the demons they protect us against.

Organizations like the intiative and Section One are the only thing that stands between us and chaos. Because of them we can sleep soundly at night.

The intiative does more good than harm. Sure they have made their share of mistakes but then again so has Buffy.

95 percent of the time they do what is right. And they try to do what is right all the time.

They know there is a threat to innocent people. They just can't stand by and do nothing.

Sound familiar?
When I read that I joust thought of ""Helpless""
That's exactly what Giles and The Watchers Council did. They drugged her and forced her to fight Kreilik(?). Do we consider them evil? The Council? Possibly but they are only doing what they have been doing for hundreds of years. Giles? Don't really see him as the evil type.
Anyway I never realized that connection.

Also I never thought of The Initiative as evil. They are doing their job the best they can. We can't blame the whole project for Maggie Walsh's mistakes can we?
I really liked your points purplegrrl.
I was refering to what purplegrrl said that The Initiative took away the slayers power by chemical means and sent her to fight a really mean vampire.
(Why won't it let me quote someone?)

Both the Initiative and the Watchers Council have done evil things and for the same reason. They thought the greater good and only how they personally defined it justified anything.
Only God can play God because only God has enough power not to muck up what he/she does. The Initiative project and the Watchers council walked on the side of evil for the same reason the people they played god with had no knowledge of what was being done to them and gave no consent. The Initiative soldiers and Riley were experimented on and fed drugs without their informed consent that folks is evil. Walsh and the others in the know thought what they wanted to gain in power justified anything. Anyone that could do what Walsh and her cronies did to other humans are evil. They don't care how many die to get what they want they are motivated by greed.
Don't ever confuse the Initiative project as anything other than a greedy search for power.
The Watchers Council was lucky that they only had their collective asses kicked out of Sunnydale. How can you justify the torture of a young girl in an effort to have a better slayer? This is also an example of the subject having no informed consent. Big evil here again. The slayer is already tested daily and her continued survival is proof that she has passed any test.
Now enter Glory country. She needs the key as a solution for her problems whatever they are. She is an example of a being having lots of power but no conscience about how it is applied and no one as of yet showing her any consequences. Glory wants the key and will kill any living being to get it. All of us if need be. She is evil but doesn't see why that would matter cause it doesn't to her.
Everyone in all the scenarios are motivated by one thing greedy self interest. The Initiative and the Watchers Council lie to everyone and themselves to get what they want. Glorys evil is motivated by greed as she wants what she wants who cares how she gets the job done.
All the beings here are evil for the same reason and no excuse better soldiers slayers getting home change it one way or the other. One note as of yet no one has escaped consequences Glory just hasn't had her turn.
"During WWII we bombed cities. We wiped them off the map. We killed women children little babies.

Not only in Germany but also in occupied France. Bombs don't (or I should say didn't as today we have smart bombs but they still are no guarantee) discriminate.

Do I say what we did was wrong? It was necessary. We did what it took to win and thank God for that.

We even sacrificed some of our own. In Britain they had broken the secret German code. They learned about an air attack on a British village but had they alerted the village to the threat the Germans would have known that the code had been broken.

So they did nothing. And many civilians who could have otherwise been saved died. But many more people were saved by the British having the use of the German code.

In essence the British ""played God"" but it was necessary to fight the evil of Hitler."

Help me rid the world of the most annoying and pathetic character on BTVS... heck maybe even on TV.

Grr argh
Noooo!! Me like Riley! Riley good he just have issues. Me go now...
"Hee hee OnM!! : D

You know it's amazing that one character can be dissed for being annoying (Riley Finn) while another character in a parallel universe with a similar background is venerated as an icon (Clark Kent/Superman):
1. Both grew up on a farm in the Midwest (Riley in Iowa Clark in Kansas)
2. Both have a secret identity (Riley is Initiative Guy Clark is Superman)
3. Both come to the big city to fight evil
4. Both fall in love with a woman who doesn't know about their secret life at least initially

Okay this is a very simplistic comparison. I guess I just get tired of the Riley bashing. (Unfortunately most of it boils down to ""he's not Angel."" To which my response is Duh! : ) ) If we're going to bash anybody for not being Angel it should be Parker. I personally think he should be skewered and put over a fire on slow roast! (Which is not to say I haven't known his kind in real life.)

I say let Riley stay on until he resolves his Buffy-doesn't-love-me-because-I'm-not-a-broody-vampire issues."
OK new theory. Riley's blues and his flirting-with-vamp-suckers sends him over the edge and he goes evil and joins up with Glory to cause trouble for Dawn and Buffy.

Nah not Riley...

Besides it's been done. And done.

Or is there a fresh twist on an old plot twist?
I speak for the people who have been watching BtVs since season 1(or possibly just lil-crazy-ole'-me)
Angel was Buffy's first love. And yes in real life that doesn't neccesserily mean that it's gonna work out or that it was true love but the romantic in me wishes that nobody's heart had to be broken(or at least if it was then to teach you that this is the right person for you and that your first love is your true love and that in the end everything will work out(at least on TV).
Anyway I had been thinking about the Clark Kent/Riley connection. And it does seem like a big coincidence. Was he supposed to be like a Superman figure on the show? Did they just get tired of Riley bashing?
Actually I never thought about the comparison but certainly it does resonate a bit. We all know Joss and Co. were/are heavily influenced by comic books so Riley could have been patterned on CK. (I'm particularly thinking of the 'Lois & Clark' TV series version a bit more modern adaptation than the Superman books I read in the 60's).

Of course the twist is that Superman/CK loved Lois Lane who was an 'ordinary' woman while in BtVS Buffy is the superhero and Riley is in the Lois Lane role.

* * * * * * * * * * *

Irrelevent/irreverent side note.. what happens when the Vamps finally discover Kevlar? I was just being my usual puckish self about the stake-proof vest but right after I posted it I thought hey! Wait a minute!!
OnM Kevlar can be great for bullets but for sharp pointy things sometimes it lacks you'd be pretty safe with wood. Unless you get a splinter and it gets infected. Also the vest should be replaced after any encounter and there is a pesky thing with expiry dates.
Riley IS Clark Kent...not Superman...: )Should Riley become a vamp they will discover kevlar vests (the vamps)...and be harder to kill....
Ever heard of a head shot?? :)
A Kevlar vest is a lousy defense against a sword stroke to the neck. Or a grenade tossed into your crypt/clubhouse.
"I wonder if a grenade is ""supposed"" to work against vamps...this reminds me of Roger Rabbit when Roger pulls his hand out of the handcuff to help steady the hacksaw sawing the cuff off...and the detective says ""have you always been able to get the cuff off? and Roger says "" only when it's funnier"""
Monty Python and the Holy Grail comes to mind.
Adam said that demons were not very good with technology. Perhaps that is why they don't use it. I have often thought why is it that a bunch of vampires don't take a few machine guns and go after the slayer. I mean usually they are underground in close proximity which would make shooting her easier. Why didn't Spike think of taking Harmony with him when he took the gun to blow Buffy's head off? Vampires and demons just don't think about such things.
The reason Spike didn't take Harmony to kill Buffy way it was never about killing at all. What we saw was a man all puffed up and feeling sorry for himself cause he got rejected. He made the mistake of thinking that if he made a pass she would accept(pretty stupid). He went over because Buffy is all he can think of and any reason to see her is reason enough for him.
"Yes Rufus I agree...Spike went because he IS "" love's bitch"". How is he supposed to be in love with Harmony? She's got all the wit of a silly dumb pretty relies on her looks small town girl...but there's ample evidence that Buffy is smart (ok her SAT's)Poor Harmony is painful to talk to I imagine. And Spike is actually clever (the wit) if not smart...but he's smart emotionally. Spike always notices everyone's emotional's what he does to while away a long unlife when his soaps aren't on."
JoRus if you took note of the accent tried in FFL William would have had the geld to go to a good school. I think he was a bit of a bookworm myself. I Something Blue he also was able to negotiate a book of magic the right way up(explain practise to Harmony starting with the book actually opening thing). Both he and Buffy would have been from similar income brackets. If he weren't evil dead ect. he would probobly give up the poetry thing to write for night time soaps. At least then he could fix who would get the girl. ;)
I agree JoRus. Have any of you guys talked to someone so dull and stupid as Harmony? It gets old fast. I think he really wants something more than some sex toy that he dreads talking to. He is very emotional... like JoRus said he can tell someone's emotional state when everyone else can't. For example after Oz left Willow was hurt. Everyone else thought she was getting better but Spike saw and pointed out that she was really hanging by a thread.
"Past season Buffy fans had to be open minded about all the changes that occurred in the show. We had to be understanding and keep our feelings bottled up about those alterations we did not like. Personally I did not mind Angel leaving was kind of excided about having an other ""cool"" show to watch on Tuesday nights. Loosing Oz was a hard one making Will ""an alternative lifestyle girl"" did not really make up for it. Tara was irritating to me cause of the ""secret"" thing which by the way got way to much build up and that's all (she would be much cooler with REAL power no matter if it is good or bad). Anyway the library Giles Xander Riley etc. You all know what I am talking about. And now season V we have Dawn. Hello isn't it enough? How many new things we get dropped at us?
The point I am trying to make is that I like BTVS because the history that surrounds around every character in the show the 'bonding' and interactions between them. Why drop so many new stuff at us so quickly why not explore characters that are kind of new (Tara)?
All I am trying to say is I am loosing interest.
It feels at times like they have way too many cast members while Angel has a severe lack. I hope Dawn isn't a staple for the coming seasons after 5. Spike's antics are too funny most times. Anya is more then just Xander's girlfriend. They play her up to the same angle as Cordelia. I have a fondness of Anya - she's a riot. Although in the bid to make her also seem uneasy with being mortal again they make her seem so completely new to human concepts. A thousand years is a long time yes but she's been socialing with scorned women all that time to get their wishes. Well enough digressing for now
One thing that makes BtVS stand out is it's integrity. It has always been about growing up. I think that folks who are distressed at the amount of change that has taken place on the show are losing sight of the fact that change is what happens when you are passing through the years 15-24.

Things that you think will go on forever...a particular group of friends a school a job....fade into the past and are replaced by new stuff. The realization that this is true can be very distressing at the time.

I am full of admiration for the writers and of course Joss for remaining true to the central concept of the show. By allowing Buffy to change as do we all in our 20's they are choosing truth at the risk of losing a portion of the audience that mainly wants to be reassured that the show will always be the same.


Real life is about change too and the show must adapt to that as well. Seth Green's (Oz) career took off and that was well-deserved and he chose to leave the show which was his right. The show adapted to that nothing they could do about Seth's decision once it was made. Willow wasn't simply going to sit around pining for Oz for the remainder of the show's run. She moved on too.
"Dear Baz you said ""By allowing Buffy to change as do we all in our 20's they are choosing truth at the risk of losing a portion of the audience that mainly wants to be reassured that the show will always be the same."" - I welcome changes uderstand the concept of growing up and adjustments just season IV and V we have a lot of new things thrown at us. Some story lines should be more developed before we move on to new ones. Fans are teased by having a great character Dracula introduced in ep 1 and not seeing it untill now. Why scoobies are changing - the good guys - when we get to know and like them couldn't Joss play that game with the bad guys?
"Joss *is* ""playing that game with the bad guys."" Case in point is Spike. Not only is he no longer the Big Bad because of the chip in his head but he's starting to have fuzzy feelings for the Slayer. And this was the guy who helped Drusilla reconstruct the Judge!!

Dracula is too much of a stereotype almost a stock character to have him grow and change in the Buffyverse. (In my opinion the Dracula episode was an homage to Dracula/vampire movies.) And I think having a storyline where Dracula stayed in Sunnydale and became/did ??? would have detracted from the main story/stories. Such a storyline might have become really campy."
Dracula is a stereotype but excuse me I am a girl and he's sexy...
Oh yeah! Studly vampires are what peaked my interest in the genre (Frank Langella and George Hamilton).
">>>>I welcome changes understand the concept of growing up and adjustments just season IV and V we have a lot of new things thrown at us.<<<<<

I think that's exactly the point...when you go to college you DO have a lot of new things thrown at you! I thought that The Freshman was just about the best portrayal I've ever seen on the screen of the loneliness disorientation and intimidation that afflict some freshmen. The other themes were similarly apt: new boyfriend old high school gang drifting apart discovering a larger world (college Initiative) discovering that there are a lot of folks out there who are not clearly either the Good Guys or the Bad Guys...and so forth.


I agree with you there. A lot of things were suggested over the last season and a half that would have been fun to explore. You can't do it all....I think that the way Joss et al pick and choose is by asking: does this story line serve the central theme of the Hero's Journey/growing up.


That's exactly my point: it's only in mediocre fiction that the ""bad guys"" change while the ""good guys"" always stay the same.



Sorry I managed to delete your quotes which is why my message was interspersed with <<<<<<>>>>>>. Those were supposed to be specific parts of your previous message. I think my points are still intelligible.

Yeah Joss should stick to the same formula episode after episode season after season until it becomes stale and then as a last ditch effort try to liven it up with some weddings and delivery room scenes.

Once the offspring (preferable multiples) are birthed they can have a whole season of cute baby vampires witches werewolves etc. running around. Then Xander can win the lottery and he and Anya become annoying rich people. And then the whole series can be rewritten to center on a former marginal character Jonathan who will then get his own breakfast cereal.

Oo and then Tara and Willow following their commitment ceremony will encounter and adopt as their own a demon who looks like an old man but who is really an infant demon who ages backwards getting physically younger over time.

That would be ...

... strangely familiar.

> she would be much cooler with REAL power no
> matter if it is good or bad

You mean besides being a powerful witch?
Hehe Mazumdar that was hilarious.

But anyway I'm liking the new season. Having a bazillion characters is a nice contrast with Angel which has relatively few recurring characters.

And the Dracula episode was a fun comic relief type episode. It obviously didn't take itself too seriously and it would be dumb if it was part of this season's story.

One thing that does bug me a bit about this season though is that I care way more about Spike's little side-story than about the whole Dawn thing (the Dawn thing is still cool though).

That is all.


I agree. i think that because Spike has been on the show for a long time we care more about what happens to him.
And even though most people Are curious about the Dawn thing it really doesn't fit into any old story lines and there was really no foreshadowing of it.

Umm they've been foreshadowing Dawn since Graduation Day part 2 ... see the dream sequence between buffy and faith for the proof ...
We went from the Scooby gang to having Anya Tara Riley Spike and Dawn added to the series. Now it seems like every episode someone is getting left out and usually it's one of the core characters(Giles Xander Willow). We're not seeing much of the old camaraderie among the gang. This may be the reason Riley is being written off. Personally I would have gotten rid of Tara as well since I don't think she adds anything special to the show. Also they haven't yet connected Glory to the SG in any meaningful way. There has to be real interaction there for the Scoobies (and us) to be scared by her. However I like this season so far but then I'm a real big Spike fan. But I understand your frustration..
"Hello Baz:

So you say: ""Öaudience that mainly wants to be reassured that the show will always be the same."" - I don't want the same show want an interesting show. See what happened to ""Friends""? I don't want that. Call me old fashioned but I love familiarity. The good thing about familiarity is that it can be easily stirred up example the Spike situation fans either love it or hate it. I am sure you read the posts the discussions are heated some people say yes give me more of lover boy Spiky and on the other half hates it (a vampire would never behave like that). I am very understanding so Buffy graduated from HS moved on etc. I welcomed the changes new surroundings and new characters. Tara is lovely but how can I say if I like her or not if I don't know the character? I don't want everything about Tara to be spilled out in one episode but I want some clues here and there. All I see is her being sweet on Will. Tara is a part of the group I want her to interact more I know that is coming give it one or two episodes but still I want to form an opinion on Tara. If Tara would die in the next episode would you care? I am not sure if I would. (jade: I would have gotten rid of Tara (Ö) since I don't think she adds anything special to the show.) Riley is new but we did get to know him. Most of the fans would celebrate his death.

""Only in mediocre fiction that the ""bad guys"" change while the ""good guys"" always stay the same."" Again I was talking about the number of changes we came across within a season and a half. I love watching Buff because the show is not average. It is well written and just excellent but I still have the right to speak my mind and criticize it if I don't like it. I will watch it and enjoy the story lines I am fond of but I don't have to like it just because it is Buffy. OK going back to the subject. ""Couldn't Joss play that game with the bad guys?"" That was kind of a touch of my irony. Sorry.
I am not crazy about Glory - the main bad girl - and this is why:

1. She is a bimbo
2. Her and the slayer/gang don't interact enough (jade: hey haven't yet connected Glory to the SG in any meaningful way. There has to be real interaction there for the Scoobies (and us) to be scared by her.)
3. Her evil should be explored behind her ability to make security guards go crazy
4. I want to see more magic
5. She is kind of too powerful the whole too old to be named thing
6. She does not respect the slayer
7. I want her to drop the pretty face and go old and scary ;)

That's all I can think of for now.
Aha one more I want Faith back.

PS. Dear Muzumar you sarcastic being love ya. "
I really disagree with you there.

>1. She is a bimbo<

Yeah I am a bit annoyed by that but I think that it's interesting to have a charcter that is more interested in herself than the Slayer. It's rather funny to watch.

>2. Her and the slayer/gang don't interact enough (jade: hey haven't yet connected Glory to the SG in any meaningful way. There has to be real interaction there for the Scoobies (and us) to be scared by her.)>

She hasn't had a reason to interact with them yet. Maybe once she finds out that Dawn is the Key she will care a bit. But for now she doesn't really care all that much about Buffy. Buffy is just an little pain.

<3. Her evil should be explored behind her ability to make security guards go crazy>

I agree with that one but she hasn't done that much yet like I said before. I don't think that she is really all that evil in one sense. She doesn't see to be cruel for the point of being cruel like Angelus. She's more into not careing about lowly humans to go out of her way to kill or maim them. She didn't kill the guard after she gave him whatever was making her go crazy she just got rid of it and forgot him.

<4. I want to see more magic.>

Sure magics fun and all that and nice to see. But Glory just did a spell and it didn't work. When one thing doesn't work for you it's best to try something new.

<5. She is kind of too powerful the whole too old to be named thing.>

I like it actual. Everything they've fought has had a weak spot that could be identified immedialy though books or computers (Adam's inabality to understand magic the Judge's lack of knowledge pertaining to new technology Angelus' soul ect.) And with all the other bad guys Buffy could at least hold her own. And here come's someone who is stonger older faster and just a little bit smarter.

<6. She does not respect the slayer.>

And why should she? It's nice to see a bad guy who doesn't quake with fear at the mention of the Slayer. Heck she got embaresed that she was forced to fight one. And let me ask you this; if you were immortal stong and beautiful as well as smart why would you have respect for someone who's ass you could kick in less than five seconds if you tried. Do you go around respecting ants? No you ignore them or if you are feeling particular vengful you step on them.

<7. I want her to drop the pretty face and go old and scary ;)>

Ah but scary is easy to fight. The uglyer or grosser the bad guy the easyer it is to convince yourself that they are bad. But if they don't look anything at all like what they should it confuses the hell out of you enemies.

As you can tell I'm liking Glory. Not only does she have a warped sense of humor she's also one of the coolest bad guys I've ever seen. She's got a goal and she couldn't give a care about the Slayer. Older than the written work stonger than the Slayer psycotic as Drusilla she's got it all. And I can't wait to see how her charcter advances.
I agree with you I'm loving Glory and I think the best bit about her is that she's most probably been a distraction whilst they develop Ben. Ben knows Buffy's family and is slowly getting to know her friends so that once Glory and he learn the truth about Dawn things could get ugly fast ... so yeah there's still a lot to come from this season and man am I looking forward to it ... just have to avoid spoilers a little while longer ...
"Watching ""Buffy vs. Dracula"" again last night in light of the more recent episodes brought some enlightenment (at least to me!) concerning Riley.

BvsD is definately the episode where Riley takes the first step in his downward spiral into darkness and dangerous and kinky behavior. Finding out about ""tall dark and broody"" Angel last season bothered Riley. But not nearly as much as Buffy's attraction to Dracula bothered him. Unable to chalk it up to Dracula's power to enthrall Buffy Riley saw it as Buffy's attraction to a creature very much like Angel and very unlike Riley. When Riley compared himself to these two vampires he found himself lacking - at least in his own mind.

Perhaps being a psychology grad student made him overthink the whole situation. But even when he confronted Buffy about it he was unable to get answers and reassurances that were satisfactory to him.

When Riley lost his super-strength due to the removal of the chip in his chest he no longer believed he was good enough for Buffy. He could no longer help her in her fight against evil. Riley may have even felt that this relegated him to a position only slightly above Xander in the Scooby Gang and Buffy's affections.

Although unarticulated since BvsD obviously Buffy's attraction to brooding immortals has weighed heavily on Riley's mind. This is evidenced by his hanging out in The Alibi. Until this point Riley would never have considered going into The Alibi except to kick some vampire/demon/evil butt or to squeeze/beat information out of Willy. Now he goes in there to have a drink?? Surely there are other bars in Sunnydale better suited for an Iowa farm boy/college student/Initiative guy to hang out in. No Riley goes to The Alibi precisely because it is dangerous for him to go there. At first it may not even be a conscience thought but he *wants* to be turned into a vampire. Somewhere in his thinking he has come to the conclusion that this is the only way that Buffy can truely love him. Unwilling to accept this about himself at first Riley initially rejects Sandy the Vampire's overtures. But then he returns to the bar and takes her up on her offer. However somewhere in the middle of you-drink-my-blood-I-drink-yours Riley comes to his senses at least momentarily or is unable to go through with it for whatever reason and stakes Sandy.

But having come this close to becoming a vampire doesn't really bring Riley out of his depression about his relationship with Buffy. And seems to only lessen his need to become that what he thinks is desirable to Buffy a vampire. We have seen him acting as a walking vampire snack - although only letting them feed from his arm rather than his neck. (Personally with this type of risky behavior I think Riley has been lucky he hasn't run into some vampire that says to heck with this snack nonsense and drains him.)

Riley has gotten some relief from his depression by staying in touch with and helping the Initiative-leftovers. Graham would like for Riley to return to his former duties. But truely rejoining the Initiative is not an option for Riley at least not currently. Riley has seen too much and knows too much for him to be really comfortable as a military guy who only does as he is told. And without his enhanced abilities Riley isn't sure what he has to offer anymore.

Riley is unsure of where he fits in the world anymore. As a man previously defined by his job he is lost without it. But he is also uncomfortable/leery about rejoining the Initiative despite an offer being made. He is also lost without Buffy. He loves her deeply and believes they could have a good life together. But Buffy's unwillingness or inability to say the three little words that he wants to hear is making him crazy. Riley sees this as more evidence that everything about himself is wrong. He realizes that change needs to happen but is going about it in an overly dramatic manner - going out alone to kill a nest of vampires trying to become vamped himself claiming not to be ""research guy"" and then taking it upon himself to do research (chemical analysis) and contacting the Initiative.

And Buffy's inability to confide in him about her mother's illness is undermining what little self-confidence Riley has left. From Riley's point of view Buffy is shutting him out of her life - he wants to be there for her but she cannot see this or accept it. This is especially hurtful to him when he sees some of the others offer comfort to Buffy and family.

Of course Riley's conclusions were not based solely on the twisted workings of his own mind. There is evidence that Buffy's feelings for him are less or at least different than Riley's feelings for her. As others have noted Buffy has never said ""I love you"" to Riley. This omission on her part has preyed on his mind making him less than rational on the subject of their relationship. Witness his confession to Xander. Although Xander can sympathize he also knows that Buffy cares for Riley more and on a different level than she does for Xander. (On the other hand how many times did Buffy tell Angel that she loved him? I can only think of a handful. And the first time wasn't until ""Surprise."")

All in all I think this makes Riley a more interesting character. In the beginning he seemed almost too good to be true - and not liked by a lot of fans who thought he was usurping Angel's place in Buffy's affections. Now Riley is being forced to grow beyond and re-think what he always thought was his place in the world. Unfortunately Riley has no one he can really talk to about everything that is bothering him (his surrogate mother Maggie Walsh is dead; he real mother wouldn't understand the situation; and he is not close to or comfortable enough with the Scoobies or Giles to talk to them) forcing him to work this out on his own. However this may not be the best course of action. Left to his own devices Riley could get himself killed or vamped.

"I think your analysis is good and insightful and I hope Riley continues down the dark path but not in a Faith way. In his own angsty flirt-with-vampy/death way.

However I DO think Buffy was under Drac's thrall. She thought he was attractive granted but she was not going to put up with his vampire crap she didn't want to. And she would never have let his attractiveness allow her to put up with his vampire crap.

I don't think Buffy has a ""vampire"" thing like Riley seems to believe she does. I think she had an ""Angel"" thing that allowed her to put up with Angel's vampy side but I don't think she thinks much of Spike as a man or a vamp nor Drac."
"I agree that Buffy was under thrall to Dracula however momentary. Obviously when Dracula's attempts at enthrallment went counter to Buffy's basic nature she was able to throw it off.

Yes the ""Buffy only likes broody vampire types"" is definately in Riley's mind. Buffy was already pretty much in love with Angel when she found out he was a vampire. If Buffy had known Angel was a vampire there would probably have been attraction/affection/friendship but not love as we have seen it - assuming Buffy didn't dust Angel simply because he was a vampire."

Ooops slipped. I think where Riley started to truly have doubts was in the Yoko Factor when Xander filled him in on Angels curse. Buffy only told Riley what she thought he needed to know. When he met Angel in the flesh in an alley he assumed Angel was bad based upon what Xander told him about the curse. When they all collided at Buffys dorm room it was very clear Riley was very jealous. So now he bases everything on the premise that Buffy only likes her men dark.
I watched the Yoko Factor last night and I noticed that when Buffy returns to her room after talking to Angel in the hall Riley is just totally prepared to be dumped like this week's trash. In fact he's rather shocked when he ISN'T dumped.

Either he's an insecure person (which I don't think he is given his confidence as an Initiative Officer) or he's highly insecure about women he's in love with or he's highly insecure about Buffy and Angel.

His Angel issues might be an outgrowth about a basic jealousy in him when it comes to women. Somehow I don't see this either. I think it's also possible it's just the woman who is the Slayer that makes him insecure. Part of him doesn't feel good enough for her and never has even before he lost his own powers.
I'm doubting more and more that Dracula was really Dracula or even a vampire at all.

His attributes were very different from any other vampire we've seen and his appearance was accompanied by several other illusions or modifications of reality (as with super-Jonathan and Dawn).

And when Buffy tasted his blood she had visions of the First Slayer. None of that seems to make sense to me if he was really a vampire.

There was something peculiar overall about that episode. I'm looking for further developments that would explain what really was going on.
"I agree with you completely. There is an ""unreal feel"" to this episode starting with Buffy getting out of bed and going on the Hunt. It seemed dream-like in its swiftness and in the abrupt scene changes. Later there is the sudden storm that Willow protests wasn't her doing. Was it really the arrival of Dracula? Does he have the ability to control the weather?

What really happens in the end when Dracula remains mist rather than getting staked again by Buffy. Does she just leave with the attitude of
""that'll show 'em?""

Other things that bothered me were the castle in Sunnydale the Drac Babes (just comic relief?) What happened to them? Why do Buffy and gang just leave knowing there are three more potentially dangerous vamps in the house.

Was this all some mind game set up for Buffy to ask Giles to resume being her Watcher?

"Umm that ep was weird(a little on the lame side) but i don't think it was really meant to be all that deep aside from setting up Buffy's new self-discovery quest in an hour show. I might be wrong but i think the story of Dracula attributes sudden storms to his arrival. As for the loose ends of the castle and ""the 3 sisters"" no time i guess. Dracula's extra powers/gypsy tricks kept up with the story. So why did he come claw back to life and then give up after being staked again if he could play the game all day? Probably to keep with the cliche and make Buffy seem bad. I don't care what the implications of coming back after being staked meant. He is GONE.

" Well we all know that all those things about Dracula came from the Bram Stoker version. The question is why were they dropped into the Buffy universe without a reasonable explanation?

If what you say is true then I would have to conclude that for a show that's excellent mostly because of the care that's taken with the writing the dialogue the plotting ""Buffy vs. Dracula"" was a shockingly sloppy episode.

For now I will give Whedon and associates the benefit of the doubt that they weren't that sloppy and that there will be forthcoming explanations for:

(1) Why Dracula was so different from other Buffy vampires as far as his powers and his influence on the weather etc. Saying that that's what he was like in the Stoker story isn't good enough. This isn't Bram Stoker's Buffy.

(2) Why and how the physical reality of Sunnydale suddenly changed. There was a castle where there wasn't before. Is is still there?

(3) Why after Buffy realized that Dracula couldn't be killed by staking that she didn't try to find another way to destroy him.

(4) Where Dracula went afterwards and whether he'll try to get to Buffy some other way. There's no evidence that he really is gone. We don't even know that he left Sunnydale at all.

(5) Why the characters behaved so differently than they usually do.

(6) Why the two characters who claimed to have actually met Dracula in the past didn't come face-to-face with him.

(7) Why Dracula's thrall over Buffy seemed to be on and off.

(8) Why when Buffy tasted Dracula's blood she saw visions of the first slayer.

(9) What happened to the three sisters and why didn't Buffy try to go after them?

If you can think of any more please pitch in."
"I love how we tangent in the middle of a thread. ;-)

I'm thinking that having Dracula come to Sunnydale was somewhat of a spoof on the part of Joss & Co. Sort of like a one-off in the comic book realm.

1. BuffyDracula followed the StokerDracula pretty closely (influencing the weather changing shape etc.). StokerDracula is the archtype for what we think we know about vampires. Stoker took some of this information from folklore and invented other information. For example the inability to see vampires in a mirror was not noted before Stoker but is considered de rigueur for vampires since. I think Joss was playing with this archtype.

2. Who says the castle (or castle-like mansion) wasn't there before (or did I miss something)? Angel lived in an abandoned mansion. There could have been more than one in town.

3. There wasn't evough time left in the episode? ;-) This may be an homage to the Hammer vampire films where no matter how Dracula was killed he always seemed to return.

4. Is Dracula gone? Probably not. There is some ambiguity at the end of Stoker's novel as to whether or not Dracula is really dead. Joss is just continuing that ambiguity.

5. Not sure who exactly acted differently except those under thrall to either Dracula or the ""three sisters"" (Buffy Xander and Giles).

6. Dracula is supposed to be fairly circumspect in his activities. And he wasn't there to take over the Hellmouth just Buffy. It's a safe guess that Spike was bragging/exaggerating/lying to build his own reputation as the Big Bad. Besides I just can't picture Dracula owing Spike money.

7. Since Buffy is a strong personality Dracula could only achieve temporary or momentary enthrallment of her. Either because of her basic personality or because she is the Slayer Buffy was able to resist Dracula. Unlike poor ""butt-monkey"" Xander.

8. Buffy saw visions of the first Slayer because that is what Dracula *wanted* her to see. Dracula is supposed to be very powerful in the mind-games department. The fact that he could enthrall Buffy at all shows that.

9. Possibly the ""three sisters"" or brides of Dracula were an illusion. If I remember Stoker correctly there is no mention of them after Dracula moves to England. They are part of Dracula's seduction of his victims. Dracula is very adept at seducing females but has less so with men - except to enthrall them into being his minion (Renfield Xander). So he uses the three sisters to seduce men. When Stoker wrote his novel (Victorian England) it was a very sexual book (something else that Stoker added to the Dracula/vampire legend - the sexy vampire). It also makes Stoker's novel sort of oddly premonitient of the Playboy channel! ;-)

Since Stoker writers have added and subtracted from the Dracula/vampire legend to suit their own ideas. Look at the Hammer films Anne Rice's vampires Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's St. Germain character and Joss's own vampires to name a few.

Yes I think Dracula was really a vampire. However a vampire outside the normal Buffyverse vampire. Possibly Joss's homage to the archtype. I didn't think that the BuffyDracula was particularly horrifying except in his ability to easily control people.

I took this as a fun episode that jump-started Buffy's search for Slayer self-enlightenment and provided some fleshing out/layering of some of the other characters (Xander's refusal to be the butt-monkey any longer)."
"What I liked about BvD was how everyone treated the one true celebrity in the vampire world. Most got all caught up in the excitement. Even Giles was eventually swayed by the Dracubabes or as he termed it ""loathsome creatures"". The episode was fun who cares if Dracula was real or a dream. Giles finally got some women attention and Xander is no longer a ""butt monkey""."
" This is all plausible but do you have any actual evidence that this is what's going on? In a series that is generally so carefully written I find it hard to believe that this episode is supposed to be taken aside and all its inconsistencies disregarded.

> Who says the castle (or castle-like mansion)
> wasn't there before (or did I miss something)?

(from memory)

(Giles and Riley approach a stairway leading to the entrace of a huge stone castle.)

Riley: You know I've lived in Sunnydale for a couple of years now and you know what I never noticed before?

Giles: A castle?

Riley: A big honkin' castle.

> This may be an homage to the Hammer vampire
> films where no matter how Dracula was killed he
> always seemed to return.

That might explain why Dracula isn't killed. but it doesn't explain Buffy's and Giles's failure to follow up.

> There is some ambiguity at the end of Stoker's
> novel as to whether or not Dracula is really
> dead. Joss is just continuing that ambiguity.

I have read the novel a couple of times and I didn't pick up on this ambiguity. But if you think it's a plausible interpretation I'll accept it as such.

> Dracula is supposed to be fairly circumspect in
> his activities.

Well Stoker's Dracula moved to London in order to set up a new base of operations a densely populated metropolis full of walking Happy Meals. Sure he concentrated on Lucy and Mina but they weren't the final purpose of his activities. And in fact it turned out he picked on the wrong helpless damsels.

> Buffy saw visions of the first Slayer because
> that is what Dracula *wanted* her to see.
> Dracula is supposed to be very powerful in the
> mind-games department.

Again this is a possibility but I don't have any reason to think it's any more likely than any other possibility. Particularly because it obviously didn't work the way Dracula intended it.

> If I remember Stoker correctly there is no
> mention of them after Dracula moves to England.

They weren't with Dracula in England but when everyone went back to Transylvania for the final sequence the three sisters were definitely there trying to taunt Mina out of the protective circle drawn by Prof. Van Helsing. And Van Helsing did eventually destroy them in their coffins in an explicit scene in the book.

I agree with the analysis of the novel that pins the real horror on repressed Victorian sexuality particularly the fear of the sexual desires of women but that explains Bram Stoker's novel not ""Buffy vs. Dracula."""
Part of the reason that Dracula was there could be he was interested in the acquisition of power. He probobly thought that if she remained under his thrall he could use her as a weapon. Alot of this series is about the loss or gain of power. Buffy slayer powers Riley super powers Willow wicca power. The initiative project was the collection of demons to use as a military weapon. The more power Buffy gets the more attracted the darker beings are to her. We are often reminded that power used for the wrong reason no matter how kindly intentioned backfires every time. I think Dracula would have gotten off on having the slayer on his arm. This guy is all about image. In trying to show her her dark side it back fired reminding her what she is here for the elimination of evil power.
The more power Buffy gets the more attracted the darker beings are to her.

Rufus & purplegrrl-- very nice analyses. I figured that the B.vs.D ep was pretty much just the writers playing around with the Stoker vampire traditions and also setting Buffy off on her quest to find her Slayer ancestry. It appears others see the same basic things. I liked the ep better on 2nd viewing caught more of the humor that time around.

I really like your sentence above though-- especially in view of how at the same time 'darker beings' are being attrated to Buffy Riley seems to be pushing/being pushed away from her.

So when is Anne Rice gonna guest star on the show? They've mentioned her name twice now over the last five years. Maybe Season 6 will feature Buffy vs. Lestat. ;)
I assumed the Buffy/Drac episode had to do with the film coming out...the Dracula one Wes Craven did...prolly a com mercial link there eh? And that it was a sendup a joke and an object lesson in the Buffyverse...Whedon had to use the traditional Dracula elements and then he used the traditional Buffy elements...sort of like a humorous crossover between Buffy and tradutional horror vamps movies.
... the key!

at the end of this episode we are introduced to dawn. there are quite a few moments during the episode that remind you that buffy is alone:

"... the key!

at the end of this episode we are introduced to dawn. there are quite a few moments during the episode that remind you that buffy and joyce are alone:

1. buffy and her mom at the beginning her mom exclaiming how alone she's going to be in the house with buffy going back to live in the dorm.

2. when willow and tara are over joyce tells them how lonely she is.

this entire episode is draped in ""superstar""'s clothes... it is obvious from the aesthetics and the behaviours of everyone in the show that reality is being manipulated... the monks need a distraction so everyone is focused on the external world rather than the internal world of their minds... of course they are going to use the most famous and stereotypical conception of a vampire! since it is just a distraction dracula is not going to be filled with all the ideosynchrocies of a normal individual.

so this is all ""half real."" and what is reality anyway as long as they are thinking and feeling it?

of course joss and co get to have a little fun with horror movie stereotypes and some camp humor... what a better distortion of reality can one get than that!?! ;)
"I would be disappointed if Dracula's visit were merely part of the manipulated reality. I wanted her to be having a real encounter with the real Count.

The things he had to tell her about her nature were very intense and important and not especially relevant to the whole ""key protection"" mission which requires a mother-instinct fierceness not the ""darkness"" Drac spoke of."
Let me restate: to introduce Dawn the monks induce a distortion in entelechy. So Dracula wandered into Sunnydale as an Eleatic Stranger?

Looking at the show as a child looks then the 'fantastic-er' the fantasy the more really real the fairy tale.

A key only _potentially_ opens a door. But Dawn became a realized potentiality. To make such a change at one framing of reality another change at a different framing of reality would pull the viewer's eye (as well as Buffy's) toward this other fictional frame that of Dracula who is REALLY unreal ~ an Eleatic stranger.

I really like this concept Heather.


"Cleanthes-- I'm not familiar with these terms could you please elaborate:

""Entelechy"" and ""Eleatic Stranger""


heather g-- I really like your idea whether it's true or not it's very reasonable and would tend to explain the overall strange feeling this ep carried.

Perhaps it is possible that the meeting with Drac was already going to happen and the monks just took advantage of it to act as a distraction while the Dawn scenario was set up. So instead of creating the whole thing they just put a little spin on it.

I'm with Nancy. I would be disappointed if Dracula was merely a reality-bending trick of a bunch of monks.

OnM here are some definitions from the dictionary (although I'm not sure they completely clarify the concepts):

entelechy -
1. the actualization of form-giving cause as contrasted with potential existence
2. a hypothetical agency not demonstrable by scientific methods that in some vitalist doctrines is considered an inherent regulating and directing force in the development and functioning of an organism

Eleatic -
of or relating to a school of Greek philosopphers founded by Parmenides and developed by Zeno and marked by belief in the unity of being and the unreality of motion or change

You know all of this could be Joss just leading us down the garden path. There may be nothing deeper than Hey we're doing a show about vampires let's throw Dracula into the mix.

; )

I just love philosophy dictionary definitions that are more obscure than the word they are trying to define. : )

First thanks to purplegrrl for the denotative definitions. I agree with Masquerade that these definitions obscure as much as they explain! They are a starting point though.

{Preliminary caveat: I watch Buffy for entertainment. I write on the internet for entertainment. I'm making these comments for entertainment purposes. I recognize that Dawn might have been tacked onto the end of BvD entirely as an afterthought and not because her intrusion relates to the preceeding episode. Such a possibility is however less entertaining to me personally than the alternative. If it's all ad hoc then little intelligible discussion can occur. In which case 'eh'.}

This comment is a longer but probably not simpler explanation of what my earlier post outlined. In order to flesh out the meanings I intended I had to provide a mini-encyclopedia of the context. I attempt a simpler explanation in a direct reply to Masquerade elsewhere in this thread.

I'll provide the connotative definitions to the two esoteric expressions I used. On a personal note I truly appreciate the wonderful philosophical site that Masquerade has here. (I can get away with kindly-intended sucking-up during the holiday season can't I? :-) )

I thought of the Key as a potential. For Aristotle a realized potential was an 'entelechy' a term he coined. Aristotle not alone among philosophers tackled the ""one and many"" question aka the question of universals. He disputed Plato's idea of infinite eternal forms prefering instead only potential infinities.

A homely example: For Plato a ewe has lambs in order to quest after the perfect form ""sheep"". For Aristotle a ewe has lambs (rather than say crocodiles) because the ewe carries the potential of ""sheep"" as part of what it means to be a ""ewe"". Each lamb is an entelechy of the ewe's potential offspring. Aristotle meant this way of thinking to eliminate mystical realms of perfect forms but of course mysticism cannot be denied so soon enough Vitalists imagined a place of Potent Potentialities.

For ""Entelechy"" in Aristotle other than as the vital principle see:

Anyways I'm interpreting Heather's concept as saying that Dawn became an actual human from a potential through a disruption in the working of entelechy taking that word as meaning the way that potential things normally become real at least in the Buffyverse. Which would mean that while Dawn's case is similar to Johnathon's in `Superstar` there are important differences - notably that the Key or the potential potentiality existed previously in the case of Dawn and maybe in some great and important cosmological manner.

Turning to my Eleatic Stranger Dracula fills the role with regard to [Vampire] that the Stranger fills with regard to [Eleatic]. The Eleatic Stranger is a character in two of Plato's dialogues *Sophist* and *Statesman*. Plato when he discussed epistemology basically commented upon the positions of Parmenides who was the Eleatic Famous-Person... The Eleatics as purplegrrl's definition puts it made unity of being a centerpiece of their philosophy. This made it difficult to account for false beliefs and non-being. How can the All include the Nothing? So Plato invented a non-being the ""Eleatic Stranger"" to explain to Socrates the complexities of falsehood.

In Plato Socrates is almost always the wisest character. Only the Eleatic Stranger and one other character {Diotima - alas not pertinent here} manage to lecture to Socrates successfully in all the dialogues. Even then the Eleatic Stranger can be and many including me say should be taken as a grand ironic joke. He's mysterious and wise and godlike but he exists to test Socrates' theories without overthrowing them.

The Eleatics denied that thinking and being were different. So who the heck is the Stranger? By inventing him Plato could avoid putting words in Parmenides' mouth AND make the point that a non-being could be shown as a thinking entity in mostly successful argument with the great Socrates! By extension then an 'Eleatic Stranger' is an non-being example of a being.

OUR Socrates is BUFFY. She easily handles vampires but she doesn't do so well with the Vampire that comes out of the alteration of the rules of being and non-being namely Dracula. If the monks altered the way that potentiality becomes reality in order to ""invent"" Dawn then they might have consciously (as Heather suggests) or even inadvertantly opened up the commensurate ""half real"" (Heather's term) kind of critter that Dracula or the Eleatic Stranger are.

It would make sense that this ""half real"" vampire stranger would draw his attributes from a parallel world to the Joss-cosmos namely the pre-existing vampire lore of Stoker and the Hollywood movies made from Stoker's book."
Is there Plato for Dummies?
Could you comment on the importance of transforming the Key(potential)into the form of and adolescent female? Where are they going with this?
"I dunno about a ""for dummies"" book but there is a `Plato *for beginners*` book. I don't have that volume but I have several other in the series and find them great. The books are about 150 pages long with excellent cartoons interspersed. I'm fond of Donald Palmer so I have Sartre Kierkegaard & Structualism & Poststructufalism *for beginners*.

Why should the key be actualized as an adolescent female? So far it has illustrated how family ties form even in a Slayer's household. This makes good TV as long as the actors are up to the task and I'm finding Michelle T doing a good job. Of course if that was all Dawn could as well be Joyce's recently orphaned neice that she decided to adopt.

Instead I'm sure I'm not alone in hoping that something about what the key opens or the nature of how the key functions made the kid-sister choice the best. If the monks had actualized the key as a 'key' of brass that Buffy could keep in her pocket then that would seem much safer.

I can only speculate but well what if the key were to Becoming? We know that Slayers are called and in that way change from ordinary girl into superhero. We also know that this season will confront Buffy with challenges over her slayer nature. If the key unlocked the secret of Slayer calling and other superpower becoming then Glory would want that glory.

At the same time Becoming is metaphorically best realized by Adolescent. [stop me before I apostrophe again!]

Apostrophe all you want please! This is great stuff. I'm still working throught the Plato etc. but always glad to learn something new.

Keep it coming! (or Becoming...)
"Yeah if you could flesh that out in layman's English (as far as possible) it might be worth sticking up on my website as an alternate interpretation of the ""BvD"" episode!"
">Yeah if you could flesh that out in layman's English (as far as possible) it might be worth sticking up on my website as an alternate interpretation of the ""BvD"" episode!

Okay here's my best shot such as I'm able.

The monks had custody of an incorporeal [key]. Dawn is human the dying monk declared. In order to create her out of ""nothing"" some fundamental rules of nature about how incorporeal things become tangible had to be altared or twisted. ""My children"" as a concept in the minds of childless-but-fertile people cannot become flesh. *Examples* of this concept are possible of course. But Dawn is a flesh-and-blood incorporeal thing made corporeal!

As we have seen with magic elsewhere on BtVS such changes have effects beyond the intended. Perhaps the monks themselves introduced Dracula to distract everyone into looking at the external world or perhaps the introduction of Dawn to the internal world opened up an opportunity for the ""half real"" Dracula to also be actualized in the Buffyverse.
Either way the especially peculiar features of the episode could be explained by the wackiness that ensues from the engenderment of Dawn."

Thank you for hurting my brain (in a good way).
I have to put this in a way I understand since I don't have any background in Plato ect.
To protect the key the monks have to do a spell quick. The episode No Place like Home establishes the hurry they were in. In BvD at the end of the episode there seems to be a momentary shift in time where Buffy first sees Dawn asks why she is there then quickly accepts that Dawn has always been her sister. The BvD episode appears to take place over a number of days. So I have a time frame problem with the Eleatic Stranger concept unless there is a reason for there to be the appearance of time passed.
Could it be that the spell is cast and certain things have to pass for the potential(the key)to be placed with Buffy. Could the Eleatic Stranger have been a safeguard a test of the suitability of the slayer to protect the key. Dracula was promising eternal life and power which Buffy refused. If she had gone for it would the key have arrived to a now corrupted place? Was Dracula a test of the suitability of the slayer to be the guardian of the Key?
If so is he the only test?
Dawn before she was Dawn was a key to *something*. We don't know when the monks first detected the imminence of the threat to this key. They we in a big hurry toward the end but may have had time to make preparations on a contingency basis much earlier. I don't think the timing argument necessarily cuts for or against the idea of Drac as an Eleatic Stranger.

Presumably the PTB (or some cosmological structure more powerful still) guard the way potential things become actual! That's a pretty important aspect of existence! I like the idea of Dracula as a test to Buffy's suitability to guard the key. The Monks would not necessarily have known of this test -- it might automatically be invoked by virtue of the manipulation of potential potentiality the way skill at falling down is tested by heavy drinking on a hilltop.

We don't yet know what Dawn's key-ishness DOES. Now that I've spent all this thought I now hope she is a key to entelechy determinations generally. That would tie this all up in a neat loop.

I don't think Drac is the only test though. I think Buffy's ability to rise above herself and see Dawn through Dawn's eyes was another test.

"Why I came to the conclusions I did about the Eleatic Stranger was a statement the monk said to Buffy in No Place like home.
""We knew the slayer would protect""
How would he have been so sure of that fact given that Faith could have been the slayer. I don't think this guy would have gone on blind faith alone. I think he would make sure. Even though Christ was the son of God he was tested by Satan(poss Eleatic Stranger). If the key is that important I don't think the monks would have just assumed that the slayer would protect Dawn just because she thought Dawn was her sister. Dracula could have been the test to assure this slayer could not be tempted by a darker power. For me this is the only way the Eleatic Stranger would make sense for me."
"Good point about that line ""We knew the Slayer would protect"". The monks must have known something about *this* slayer.

On the other hand they may have known that the process of corporeal-ating Dawn involved a test of suitability for the Slayer without necessarily knowing what the test would consist of. It won't be fatal to the theory that Drac was an Eleatic Stranger if we discover in a later episode that the monks knew nothing about him.

PS: Cleanthes thanks for the book suggestion.
Heather - Right on! Your idea is great! I assume the monks could not have know what form this distraction would take. Perhaps in the creating of Dawn the mystic energy tapped into Buffy's thoughts and transformed her desire for the hunt into a classic battle with Dracula.
That would explain much of the actions of all the characters in the show as they were touched by this residual energy from Buffy.

Just a side note: I really enjoyed the over the top music in BvsD. It reminded me of all those great Universal horror movies of the 30's.
Wow I've never thought about that but it really does make sense.

Heather you took the words right out of my mouth! I agree with you 100%
2 things that Dracula said to Buffy:
No you're different kindred.
I have searched the world over for you. I have yearned for you. For a creature whose darkness rivals my own.

Rival: one that equals another esp. in desired qualities. match peer Or Compeditor.

Kindred: of like nature or character.

It may seem that Riley and Dracula are attracted to Buffy for the same reasons. She is like in both their natures. Unfortunately Riley has begun to think of her as being more dark in nature. In his human form he is a compeditor but if he changes he feels that with a dark nature he would be a match. It almost looks like he feels the only competition for Buffy are the dark in natured (bumpy in forehead) guys. He also competes with Buffy cause deep down he's threatened by her power. I say Riley get out of town before you become so much kitty litter.
The current situation with Buffyís mother and Angelís experience in *The Trial* makes this
thought experiment on Buffyverse morality interesting I think:

*Setup*: The surgery has failed Joyce is going to die any day now there is no other means
available to save her. Buffy finds out about ëThe Trialí and decides she will risk it in an attempt
to save her mother.

*Presumptions*: 1 > Buffy enters the test as blind as Angel did that is she has no
preconceptions and no knowledge of Angelís experience with it. 2 > It is reasonable to presume
the trials will be specifically adapted for each individual who takes the tests so Buffy tests may be
similar but will not be the same as Angelís. 3 > The PTBís /Jeeves /whoever runs the show calls
all the shots and all sales are final just as in Angelís experience.

*What happens*: Buffy passes the first two tests. The final test is the same in essence as
Angelís-- Buffy must sacrifice a life to save her mother but hereís the twist--

Jeeves explains that while it is normally the situation that the trial-taker sacrifice her life to save
the other in this case a variation is called for since it ëwould be inappropriate for a child to
sacrifice herself for a parentí. Buffy suddenly finds herself released from the chains holding her
above a hellish-looking lake of fire and is standing to the side with Jeeves. She hears a horrific
scream and looks over to see--

*Faith* in her place dangling above the pit-- bewildered and obviously terrified.

ìI believeî says Jeeves ìyou attempted to rid the world of this murderess before and were not
successful. You now have the opportunity to remedy that and in the bargain your mother will
live. Just give the word.î

Buffy pauses thinks... finally refuses. Jeeves then says very calmly ìIf you do not accept this
charity on our part then *both you and your mother will die*. Decide now please.î

*Your thoughts*: What will Buffy do and what will be the final outcome of the Trial?

I say she's toasted cheese OnM. Seriously there is no way Buffy would let someone even Faith die for her or her mother. Nothing in what I have seen of the character indicates that she would do a selfish act.
I agree. In every situation where Buffy has had to make a tough moral choise her decision has always been based on doing the right thing.

Buffy can't stake Spike since she knows he's helpless even if she knows in her heart that if he got the chip out of his head he would return to being a ruthless killer. No matter what Faith's crimes have been Buffy would not sacrifice her for her own gain.
Which sort of raises the question why was Buffy willing to sacrifice Faith to save Angel??

I guess we can presume that after Angel had drunk Faith's blood that they would have rushed her to the hospital as Angel did with Buffy.

Buffy would be extremely tempted to let Faith die. She may not be completely convinced that Faith is trying to atone for her crimes. Would she do it let Faith die?? That would be the cliff-hanger ending to the season finale. (Sorry I don't have a solid answer as to what Buffy would do if faced with that situation.)

But if Buffy died who would protect Dawn?

If we assume that Faith could hear what Jeeves was telling Buffy would Faith be willing to die as her only act of selflessness?
"You raise a good point. Perhaps Buffy was blinded by her love for Angel even though they had broken up at that point in time or she really thought of Faith as equal in evilness to the Mayor and that to sacrifice her to save Angel was the greater good. By this point in time Buffy knew that the Major was going to become a real demon and the whole town was in danger. However I always thought that Buffy was glad that she hadn't killed Faith
become a ""killer "" even though there is no textual evidence to support that view."
Don't forget Faith tried to kill Angel with poison and the reason Buffy went after Faith was because the only antidote was a slayer's blood. This meant only Buffy or Faith could cure Angel. It could be argued that giving Faith's blood to Angel was not only poetic justice but literal justice. Her threat (we don't know if she was bluffing) to kill the sargent in the Initiative would have been harder to justify (especially to the authorities).
"Okay maybe Buffy wouldn't let Faith die on the show because that would just seem wrong to Western society with our ""don't kill innocent people no matter what"" rule.

But would it really be the right thing to do? If Faith dies one criminal (maybe reformed maybe not) dies. If Buffy and her mom die Sunnydale is without a slayer and the world is much worse off.

Maybe the best thing would be if they all died. With Faith dead a new Slayer would appear hopefully one without emotional baggage and the world would be happy good.


"Faith would be toast.

Buffy would think of her mom first (and then regret Faith's death later).

Sorry Faith family comes first.

(and Buffy never really liked Faith to begin with).

I picture it like this a teary eyed Buffy looking at a frightened Faith (everyone thinking that she is going to say no) and Buffy mouthing ""I'm sorry"" Then Faith drops and you hear a scream. Then Buffy wakes up (making everyone think it was only a dream) but who is at her side? A well Joyce and little sis. Buffy seems upset and is crying.

"Giles might be there and the others.

""I am worried about Buffy"" her Mom might say to Giles. He replies ""She hasn't stopped crying since she returned from Los Angeles and she won't tell us what happened.""

""You seem better Joyce""

""yes the Doctor sees no sign of the tumor. He calls it a miracle"".

Outside Buffy's window is the lone figure of Angel. He looks like he is going to cry. He turns his back and walks away."
As an idle excercise for those of you who play Vampire: the Masquerade here is my impression of how some Joss's leading vampires embody some of the vampires who appear in White Wolf's World of Darkness:

Order of Aurelius: Sabbat Pack
The Master: Elder Nosferatu Antitribu
Darla: Toreador Antitribu
Angel: Toreador or possibly Malkavian Anarch
Drusilla: Malkavian Anarch
Spike: Brujah Anarch
Harmony: Caitiff Anarch

Did some quick reading and came up with:

Order of Aurelius- Sabbat Pack
Master- Nosferatu
Darla- Toreador
Angel- Ventrue I can't believe Toreador have you heard this guy sing????
Angelus- Malkavian
Harmony- Caitiff tempted to stick Darla in this bunch too.
Spike- Toreador (poet likes creature comforts)claims to be Anarch. Now with chip it is now more clear his Toreador leanings.
Forgot Dru. I lean twords Tremere with her.
Let me preface this by saying that your guess is as good as mine but here is my rational for Angel/Angelus and Drusilla:

I would pick Toreador for Angel because he actually is a good sketch artist he is constantly reading Proust and other literature and when he was Angelus he tried to make his killings artistic. He told this to Spike and if you recall what he did to Giles with Jenny's body or the way in which he went about tormenting Drusilla it is a good example of a Toreador Antitribu at work in my mind. On the other hand Angelus's megalomonia and desire to destroy the world is also a good example of a Malkavian Antitribu.

As for Drusilla when she first appeared in season two she was crazy as a loon. Definately psychotic. But it appeares that even before her accident in Prague she was given to strange insights cryptic sayings and an off-kilter look at reality. That is why I would say Malkavian. On the other hand she doesn't have the discipline or even the occult skills of the Tremere. Even her ability to dominate others which she used on Kendra and then Giles is a Malkavian power (or at least it was in V:tM first edition).

I think you may be right about Spike. He likes to come off as a Brujah with the dress and attitude but underneath he has the heart of a Toreador.
I based my opinions of a brief reading of clan characeristics. So IMHO here goes....
Angelus: Definately Malkavian his need for power and games put him with them. His so called artistic kills are nothing more than an excuse to keep from admitting he's a serial killer. He has a definate pattern based upon coveting a characteristic in humanity he can't feel or have.
He goes after people pref. women who he would normally love or women that epitomize goodness and purity. If he can't have or control them he kills them.
Angel: However with Angel he would make a very good Ventrue. He still has power and control issues but with a conscience can use them constructively. Who says that a Ventrue can't have artistic leanings? Remember it's Angel Investigations not Chase or Whyndm Pryce. Ventrue would give Angel purpose giving that they tend to be rulers deal with humans protect the masquerade. All this would give Angel the challange he needs.
Dru: My feelings on her are this Angel had to break her before turning her because she would have been a more powerful vampire than him. But some enterprising Tremere could harness her power for their use.
> Angelus: Definately Malkavian his need for
> power and games put him with them.

But the Malkavians are the ones who are outwordly deranged with possible mysterious insights. It makes much more sense to put Drusilla with Malkavians. Angelus while sadistic is outwardly rational and in control. You can understand what he's saying. He doesn't rant and rave. He doesn't gibber and drool. That's what you would expect of a Malkavian.

> His so called artistic kills are nothing
> more than an excuse to keep from admitting he's
> a serial killer.

Which might put him square in the Toreador clan. Toreadors are not artistic but have a pretense to art. Toreadors like hanging about with artists and such but it is the case that vampires cannot truly be great creators. In fact when Toreadors try to turn a great artist in order to preserve his or her art usually they succeed in destroying his creative abilities.

> He has a definate pattern based upon coveting a
> characteristic in humanity he can't feel or
> have. He goes after people pref. women who he
> would normally love or women that epitomize
> goodness and purity. If he can't have or
> control them he kills them.

All this might be true of a vampire from any clan. This stuff isn't distinguishing.

> Angel: However with Angel he would make a
> very good Ventrue. He still has power and
> control issues but with a conscience can use
> them constructively.

This isn't what Ventrue are about. Remember Ventrue are still vampires; they're not vampires with human souls. They are still just as vicious and self-centered as any other vampire. It's just that they make it their business to preserve the Masquerade.

> Who says that a Ventrue can't have artistic
> leanings?

No one. But remember no vampire can be a true creator. They can only excel in methods of destruction. For example in the case of Tzimisce torture and body modification.

> Remember it's Angel Investigations not Chase or
> Whyndm Pryce. Ventrue would give Angel purpose
> giving that they tend to be rulers deal
> with humans protect the masquerade. All this
> would give Angel the challange he needs.

A vampire of any clan can rise to leadership level amongst his or her fellows. Being in charge of a private detective agency doesn't make it more likely that you're going to be Ventrue. In fact such a position would probably be too lowly for a Ventrue. Being a junior associate in a big glamourous law firm like Wolfram & Hart would be more to a Ventrue's taste. Ventrue are part of the system the big system; they don't aspire to be big fish in little ponds.

> Dru: My feelings on her are this Angel had
> to break her before turning her because she
> would have been a more powerful vampire than
> him.

I think it's likely that Drusilla was already quite unbalanced before she met Angel. He just drove her to the limit.

> But some enterprising Tremere could harness her
> power for their use.

Anyone could conceivably harness her power for their use. Tremere are students of a very specific type of black sorcery. Drusilla wouldn't necessarily be of any more use to Tremere than to any other clan.
I can see what you mean if you stick closely to the rules of the masquerade. Still think Angel would be a great Ventrue.That has to be one complicated game.
Buffy has asked Giles to become watcher again but there has been no mention of the watchers council. What the heck is their role now? Do they act in human interest or self interest? Why have they been dumped from the story line?
Don't think they've been 'dumped' just back burnered whilst J& Co. develop other plotlines.

This spoiler may not be accurate but back before the season began there was a rumor that Buffy & Giles might be making a trip to England. There was no other related info given.

In view of Buf asking Giles to be her Watcher again that seems like a possibility. A trip to the 'mother country' might be in order if Giles wanted to attempt reinstatment to the Council.

Recall he got booted out for taking Buffy's side against the Council in *Helpless*.
OnM: At the end of BvsD Buffy specifically asked Giles to become her watcher again. There has been no indication to if the Watcher Council has to be notified or give it's blessing as she had told them to sod off. Your example of Helpless comes to mind when I ask who are they who gave them the authority over demon hunters and are they only in England. When they came to get Faith they didn't seem to be the most organised lot of peopl. Therefore I don't trust them as for going to England if I were Buffy I'd want a meeting in public in America. Did I mention I don't trust them?
I'm still not clear on how they trained Giles or how well they keep him informed on what they do.

Let's not forget that cherries are a slang reference to virginity:

""You think you know. What's to come what you areÖ You haven't even begun."""
How could the virgin thing be applied to Buffy since in the relations with men she hasn't been one for awhile?
Obviously I missed something with the whole >cherries< thing.

As for the Watchers Council: If the rumor of Giles & Buffy going to England is true I wouldn't expect it to happen before the May sweeps.

I think the Watchers Council is like any other bureaucracy - very hung up on their own self-importance. They also have a dilemma. The Council has disowned Giles but they can't really disown Buffy because she is *the* Slayer. They can't really replace her until she dies. You notice there have been no attempts to install a new slayer on the Hellmouth. (Yes I realize this raises the question again as to who has to die - Buffy or Faith - before a new slayer is called but I'm ignoring that conundrum for this discussion.) Even though the Council has no official control over Buffy they realize that she is doing the job she has been chosen and trained to do and doing it well. They have no real choice but to allow Buffy to continue as the Slayer. About their only option would be to kill Buffy. But then they would have one ""extremely brassed-off"" ex-Watcher on their hands who is likely to do everything in his power to expose the Council to the harsh light of day.

The Council's narrow-minded attitudes are evidenced in their actions against Angel. Everything is black and white no grey areas. To them vampire=evil. It doesn't make a difference that said vampire has a soul and is doing more to help and protect the innocent of the world than they are. Only when they are soundly beaten and sent home with their tails between their legs do they capitulate."
> You notice there have been no attempts to
> install a new slayer on the Hellmouth. (Yes I
> realize this raises the question again as to
> who has to die - Buffy or Faith - before a new
> slayer is called but I'm ignoring that
> conundrum for this discussion.)

The council's special team seemed almost eager to off Faith. I guessed that this would have been an attempt to trigger another calling so that the council could again have a slayer under their aegis.

I'm guessing that the council is very scared. They are the one group that knows more about the supernatural threat to the world than anyone else. And here they are left without the one thing that has been their principal tool for centuries in their war against demonkind.
I agree that the Council seems to be running scared.

But in my opinion the Council needs to come into the 20th/21st century. They are still playing the game by a set of archaic rules. They may even have to re-think how the game is played! If Giles does go back to the home office then he can give them a lecture similar to the one Buffy gave the first Slayer.
What does the council stand to lose if they no longer have control over the slayer?
They could lose everything. Or at least everything that they think is important - power position knowledge. What they don't realize (or maybe they do on some level) is that they have already lost this. They no longer have complete power over the Slayer. They are no longer in a position to dictate the Slayer's or her Watcher's actions. And they are in the dark about all of the evil that has been fought in the last 2+ years - Giles certainly wouldn't have been making reports back to the Council if they've kicked him off the team.

This may be the Council's dilemma. They're not sure what their role is in the big battle against all things evil if they don't have control over the Slayer. But it is a situation that they created themselves. Buffy may be the first American slayer that has been called in decades. As a modern American girl she is less tied to tradition and more likely to rebel against it. The Council needs to be more flexible in dealing with its Slayers now and in the future.

I have a feeling that the attitude portrayed by the Council is rooted in something in Joss's past (English boarding school??).
I think this is giving too little credit to the council. Granted the council has made some very strange choices lately and they seem in some ways to have gone over the edge.

While it is true that the council is in a state of crisis I think it's unfair to characterize them as a bunch of naive Oxford dons who have never been out in the world. They have been around for a long time and have dealt with slayers and watchers from a variety of cultures.

The council knows more than any other humans about the demonic threat. They know about the history of the vampires and the slayers. It does seem that they are under a period of stress which might be causing them to panic. But then they are the ones with just enough information to cause them to panic.

I believe the Watchers' Council sees itself as having taken the responsibility of leading the forces of good on earth in a war against demonkind. Their role has been as a general to their army of one the slayer.

Perhaps they have been too focused on this relationship and therefore aren't sure how to proceed without the slayer taking direction from them. But I don't think it's fair to conclude that they don't know what's going on.
"Maybe I should have clarified myself. I didn't mean ""English boarding school"" in the ""naive Oxford dons"" sense. But rather in the we-are-the-power/we-have-the-knowledge/tied-to-traditon/flexibility-and-change-is-bad sense. I think they like being able to control the Slayer at least to some extent. Buffy has upset that apple cart.

>>Perhaps they have been too focused on this relationship and therefore aren't sure how to proceed without the slayer taking direction from them. <<

I think is the root of the situation.

And it's entirely possible that the Council does know what's going on. No evidence of knowledge is not the same thing as lack of knowledge."
If the council is so powerful why hasn't some smart Vampires try to get to the slayer and wipe them out? Could the council have some under the table deal with demons which may be threatened by an indepedant slayer and watcher. I'd also like to know by whose authority the council acts and where do they get the money to do the things they do. There have been hints by the hit team sent to get Faith that higher ups in the council expects orders to be followed with no question.
> I'd also like to know by whose authority the
> council acts

That's something a lot of us have wondered. We don't know who set up the Watchers' Council or how long it's been operating. We don't know why it is that they seem to know which is the next slayer to be called.

But for that matter by whose authority does Buffy act? She told the Initiative that they were playing on her turf. But we know by what authority the Initiative acts -- the U.S. government has sovereign power within the territory of the United States which presumably includes Sunnydale Calif. What was Buffy's source of authority?

It was the Watchers' Council that informed her of her powers and duties as a slayer. Without Merrick and Giles it seems Buffy might never have taken up her duties.
">>But for that matter by whose authority does Buffy act? She told the Initiative that they were playing on her turf. ... What was Buffy's source of authority?<<

Despite her misgivings in the past and a few aborted attempts to quit Buffy considers Sunnydale ""her"" town. *She* was the one who was called to fight alone against all the things that go bump in the night. And until they proved otherwise (or not) she figured the soldier boys could take their tazer guns and go home.

Originally Buffy was acting on the authority of the Watcher's Council. But since she no longer recognizes their authority over her she is her own authority.
"> Originally Buffy was acting on the authority of
> the Watcher's Council. But since she no longer
> recognizes their authority over her she is her
> own authority.

Apparently. But if one asks under what authority the council acts such as the previous commenter did then the implied question is under what authority that the society as a whole or ""Buffy"" fans as a group may recognise as a valid authority.

If that's a fair question then I think it's also fair to ask the same question about Buffy. Our current notions of authority generally require that they originate with some kind of power that is recognised by a large number of people for example the consent of the governed.

Under such a definition the proposition ""Buffy acts under her own authority "" is an invalid proposition because by any definition I can think of in our social and political system Buffy isn't a recognised authority. Most people don't even know about the slayer so how can she wield any kind of legitimate authority?"
She operates under the Divine Right of Slayers of course.
"Additional/different thoughts on Slayer authority:

I'm assuming at some time in the past someone made a conscious decision to band together consoidate knowledge and organize the fight against evil. Thus we have the Council.

As we've seen in BtVS the Slayer has been around since before civilization. Did the First Slayer have a Watcher? Perhaps the Watchers Council was organized to gather information about demons and other evil things and to assist the Slayer in her fight against them. Gradually over the centuries the Council became more bureaucratic and forgot who was the real power - the Slayer. It would be very easy for a group of grown men and women to usurp authority from a single teenage girl. A girl who until she is called/chosen is naive about the fight against evil. A girl who is not expected to live beyond her 25th birthday. Because the Council is ongoing not forced to start from scratch every few years when a new Slayer is called they began to see themselves as the real authority. Kind of like a big government machine - no matter how the players change the basic operations don't change and the people who perform those jobs believe that everything would fall apart if their jobs ended. (I'm making a generalization here - no need for political discussions!)

Yes Buffy has benefited from the knowledge supplied by the Council and Giles. And this knowledge has allowed her to live longer. But that whole ritual of taking away her powers and forcing her to fight a truly nasty vampire could be viewed as nothing more than a power play and a mind game to keep Slayers in line to lead them to believe that the Council is the true authority in this war. But as has been mentioned/alluded to in BtVS Buffy is on the front lines of this war and the Council is merely trying to direct the battlefield. Granted professional soldiers would not necessarily use their own initiative on the battlefield but the Slayer is alone out there. Until Buffy not even the Watcher accompanied the Slayer on her nightly patrols and battles - at least not on a regular basis.

The Powers That Be embued the Slayer with the supernatural powers that enable her to fight and win over all manner of evil. Would this not give her all the authority she needs - even if she doesn't know by whose authority she operates? To draw a religious parallel (and I apologize in advance if I am misquoting) when Jesus was asked by whose authority he did things didn't he say by the authority of his Father in Heaven? Throughout the centuries kings and queens have declared that their right to rule came from God or some other higher power (rule of divine right).

This has gotten a little off track. In the end Buffy is her own authority - whether she is fully conscious of it or not. And she asserted this authority by refusing to be answerable any longer to the Watchers Council. (I'm not saying that Buffy is some sort of messiah or queen to be followed unquestioningly. I'm just using these as parallel examples.)

Buffy may not be a recognized authority in our social and political system but the Buffyverse is a subset of our universe or is a parallel. Many of the same rules apply but not all. But the Watchers Council (a secret society if you will) is not a known and recognized authority either. They too do their work unknown to the mass of humanity. Besides even in our universe a ""recognized authority"" is not always recognized by everyone as an authority.

"I think it's the slayers knowledge of what's out there and her knowledge about how to fight it that gives her authority. She is endowed with her power by the PTB's but ""the divine right of..."" is always a iffy place to go because divinely endowed or not slayers are also humans with free will. Faith put herself above others in ""Consequences"" when she clearly had zip to stand on. Buffy recognizes that she isn't infallible and that she that ""might doesn't make right"". She also demands respect when it isn't given to her and that's good too."
"Just to clarify: I'm wasn't saying that ""divine right"" or even divine-embued powers make Buffy infallible. (A quick run-through of the history of European kings and queens tells us that despite ""the rule of divine right "" a ruler may be ignorant self-absorbed evil arrogant foolish cruel etc.) Just that this is the *source* of her authority. Buffy earns (and demands) respect by her actions which adds to her authority."
purplegrrl: Have to agree with you. Buffy has authority because she takes responsibility for it. The use of power has consequences and to me the council over time has lost sight of that fact. The reason Buffy has authority is that she takes it consequences and all.
"After watching last seasons ep. ""Restless"" I contemplated Season 5 and how to shake it up. The character of Reilly hadn't worked with alot of people so who would make a better compaion for Buffy and why. I found my answer in a character that I liked the least...Spike. I came to the conculusion that the type of character Spike evolves into would be because of who he was before he died. My main premise wuld be that everything Spike is as a vampire up to now is based on lies. Here's a character profile pre-death and after I contemplated.
William? Single/w male poss only child late 20's early 30's upper class high IQ well educated strong sense of right and wrong due to income poss writer socially inept shy poss virgin romantic but has never had a real relationship with a female loving relationship with dominant mother distant poss absent father has had trauma involving romantic interest.
Upon death doesn't return and kill family but leaves and reinvents self(fake accent and social background). Requires challange and limelight takes up killing slayers to this end. Comes to Sunnyvale meets Buffy who has similarities to past romantic ideal. Is no longer interested in killing slayer but winning her admiration. After capture and chip implant slowly rejects company of demons if favor of human company. Still with need for approval kills demons. Becomes truly the big bad to the vampires because they become new target. I am going somewhere with this and I'm not telling. I do have a speculation to a change in vampire history."
"I didn't add the episodes that made me come to the conclusions I did in my first post.
1. Spike shows he can go against his own kind in School Hard by killing the annointed one.
2. Spike shows that he interacts well with mother figures in Becoming pt.2.
3. Angels start of a comment about the vampires original personality in Doppelgangland.
4. Spikes quest to become a real person who could move about in daylight in Harsh llight of day.
5. Spike reaches out for help to humans in Pangs.
6. Poss buried feelings for Buffy in Something Blue.
7. Helping Giles (even if for money) in A new Man.
8. Flip flop from friend to foe to friend in The Yoko Factor and Primevil.
9. His appearance as a poser poss. son figure poss watcher in Xander and Giles dream. And a comment of Reilly to Buffy in her dream "" If thats the way you want it your on your own.""
All this and more made me think the Reilly character hasn't worked as well as expected the Spike character is well accepted what do you do?
You change what is expected as the norm for vampire behavior it's Mr. Whedons story he can do what he wants. You have to make the Spike sympathetic and the viewers want him to change. Another ep in Angel gave me one premise on poss. how this could be done. In I've got you under my skin a small boy was able to take control over the demon in him. I know the kid was evil but why couldn't a vampire who was a good person eventually take control over the demon part of him or herself? I felt that the rules regarding vampire behavior was too rigid so why no change the rules. I came up with this long before season 5 started. You have a vampire cursed with a soul(Angel) why not have a vampire through will and work regain his? Any comments?"
As for point 9 my contention is that it is not necessary to change the rules. The rules that most people who post here seem to believe have never been proven.
1. The vampires we have seen are supposedly an infinitesimally small percentage of the world's vampire population. Far too small to make any firm empirical argument supporting them.
2. Those we have seen have not always been involved in violence.
3. Many of those we have seen in violence were in the act of defending themselves and we haven't seen any action that justified their being attacked. There of course may be actions we have not been shown that do justify it - and as Buffy supporters we like to believe that such reasons do exist.
3. The philosophy to support the 'all vampires are evil' attitude came first from the Watcher's propaganda and then the attitude of the Initiative. We have learned not to trust either of these.
4. What we do know of vampires and demons is incomplete. Jumping to conclusions that we actually know what the rules are at this point in time is like the fable of the blind men and
the elephant where one thought it was a rope another thought it was a wall etc.
5. Incidentally there have been references of the scorpion fable as told by Chakotay to Capt. Janeway in reference to the Borg as justification that there are no acceptable vampires (except Angel). Even in the Star Trek series this proved not to be true in several cases when they looked at individuals rather then the collective as a whole. As usual generalities can provide a useful rule of thumb; but in no way can they be construed as proof that any specific individual will behave in a specific way. Vampires are sentient beings and do have the power to control their behavior if they so choose. We can accept based on current evidence that vampires do have a propensity for violence that does not mean they all indulge in it.
7. Vampires other than Angel have been seen using
substitutes for living humans (e.g.. blood bank supplies). Some may do it as a way of life rather than just an occasional snack.

gds: Liked your points about the Watchers Council. The only way Buffy knew about the vampires was through Giles(via council)or novels or myth which all could have inaccuracies or downright lies. How benign a presence is the watchers council? And how would it benefit them to keep everyone in the dark about the poss. that not all vampires are evil? Why I like where the story line is going now is that now we have to deal with some vampires as individuals instead of the blanket they're evil...stake em. I feel the writers in the show in the earlier seasons had written themselves into a corner and by making all the characters neither all good or evil gives them more room for character development.
"The inevitable comparison will be made between William(Spike)& Liam(Angel). It has always escaped me why so many people feel Buffy must be with Angel to be happy. Who you fall for at 16 can change greatly as you get older. My main problem with Angel is that before he died he was a drunken whoring brawling waste of space. When he became a vampire he became the worst of sadists. When he couldn't get his way he was willing to destroy the world. But no one seemed to be able to let Buffy move on and hated any man she was fond of. Now that Spike may or may not be a romantic interest being a vampire one is tempted to say ""here we go again"". I think it was very smart to point out that William as a man was the polar opposite to Liam. Does anyone have any feelings about if a relationship with Spike will be any different than one with Angel?"
"> The vampires we have seen are supposedly an
> infinitesimally small percentage of the world's
> vampire population. Far too small to make any
> firm empirical argument supporting them.

Infinitesimally small? Given the nature of ecological circumstances I would have guessed that we must have seen most of the vampires in the world.

Vampires are predators who prey on humans. For the proper ecological balance the number of predators must be much smaller than the available food supply. Otherwise there's a risk that vampires are going to ""overfish"" and run out of food.

In addition part of what allows vampires to thrive is that most people don't believe they exist. If there were so many vampires there would be a risk of losing that advantage.

Actually I've always thought that there are far too many vampires than could logically be supported in an ecosystem.

Buffy has been killing at least one nearly every night for the past five years. Perhaps it's just because the Hellmouth attracts them to Sunnydale. I would be surprised to find that every city has so many vampires."
Good point Mazumdar. In the game Vampire: The Masquerade it is a rule of thumb that more than 1 vampire per 100 000 people is an overpopulation of vampires. Then they need to start fighting for territory - which I imagine would amount to a handful of nightclubs because where else are they going to hang out until the wee hours looking for food? That is one thing by the way that is way off in Buffy. She and the Scooby's shouldn't be prowling graveyards looking for vampires they should be club crawling or going to raves. That's where the vampires themselves will be prowling during their waking hours.
Is what you are saying taking into consideration that human blood is the only food source? Given both Angel and Spike spend more money at the butchers that alone would alow for a larger population of vampires in the city. Also even though most vampires seem to have contempt for humans they do stupid things the keep some sort of connection with people of their former state.
The mention of the character(a male vampire hunter)Holt on Angel and the government involvement on Buffy the slayer is not the only person in the demon hunting proffesion. Would it also make sense that vampires would do some self governing to keep their secret and prevent human panic.
"The 1:100 000 ration takes into account noticeability more than resource allocation I think. I'm not the one who designed the game. However even in the game it is said that most cities have an overpopulation anyway - thus providing some of the tensions on which the game thrives.

In the game vampires can get sustenance from animals or stored blood but it does not assuage their craving for the ""real thing."" THis has come up on Angel recently as well.

In the game the vampires do have their own codes and methods of self-policing to keep their population low and their existence secret. This is why the game is called Vampire: The Masquerade. One group is made up of seven (now six) clans of vampires and calls itself the Camarilla. Each Camarilla dominated city has a ""Prince"" (male or female) who may or may not be the final authority. The Prince decides who does or does not get to sire settles territorial disputes and enforces the masquerade among other things. The Prince alone has the authority to banish a vampire or even call a blood hunt against them. Under (or sometimes over) the Prince are a council of elders called the Primogen. The Prince usually has a ""Sheriff"" as well who is basically the Prince's enforcer. There is also a group called the Harpies who are the court gossips. Their opinions can make or break the reputation of the other vampires. This is on the city level. On the world level the Camarilla clan representatives meet in conclaves and these conclaves have appointed a Justicar for each clan. The Justicar is responsible for enforcing the rules (aka The Traditions) and looking out for clan interests on a transnational level. The Justicar has assistants who are called Archons. Needless to say there is much intrigue and infighting at all levels.

The other major sect is called the Sabbat. They are a loosely organized cult which uses titles from the Catholic Church. Thus the lead Sabbat vampire in a city would be the Bishop or Archbishop. The head of a pack would be a Priest. The Sabbat also try to stay incognito but they are more likely to flaunt their vampire natures no longer think of themselves as human in any way and behave more like the vampires in Buffy. "
I can only assume that the last post may have been poss. Ryuei. Never heard of V:TM.The clan structure does give vamps with different inclinations somewhere to fit in. In BVS I can only think that the different orders serve the same functions as clans. What do these clans do when you have 2 vampires Angel and Spike that could upset the balance and rules of vampire society?
The other post was mine. I was trying to address it to you and I accidently put your name into the Name slot by mistake. Anyway as to your question: In the game there is a quasi-mystical state called Golconda whereby a vampire can achieve some kind of redemption even restore their lost humanity. Angel actually is a good portrayal of the path to Golconda as laid out in the game. No one in either the Camarilla or the Sabbat would be particularly upset by the quest for Goloconda in and of itself unless said vampire started hunting their own kind. They would immediately be marked for death at that point. A blood hunt would be called.

In the case of Spike there are a group of technomages in the game who could and would put such a chip in a vampire. That would incur the wrath of all vampires and pretty soon the eldest and most powerful vampires would be gunning for the mages who did it. In addition the clan of vampire sorcerors called the Tremere would find a way to counteract such a chip fairly quickly. Hmm it would make an interesting scenario to use in the game though. Oh and again if the other found out about Spike turing on his own kind a blood hunt would be called very quickly.
Where I am going with the change in Spike is this. Angel can be ignored by the vampire community because as he has a soul they may no longer consider him one of their own. His killing of other vampires can be written off to the soul making him do it. If Spike becomes a killer of his own kind without a soul not just as sport but in league with the slayer that makes him a concern. The chip may have started a process of awareness but his own buried personality may finish the process off. What do you eventually get is more vampires choosing good over evil. You may truly get a faction of vampires that over time develop a conscience. Vampires that to live amongst humans eliminate their evil counterparts. How would that change the food chain?
"This infighting between totally predatory vampires and vampires who are trying to redeem themselves is kind of what happens in Vampire: the Masquerade. The Camarilla vampires tend to cling to their humanity (not that this necessarily makes them ""good"") whereas the Sabbat actively embrace being vampires and have even developed alternate ethical systems with values that reflect their inhuman natures and instincts. In the game the two factions fight a secret war (kind of like a mafia turf war) for control of American and European cities. Otuside the cities there are not enough people to sustain any sizeable vampire population and the werewolves tend to hunt them down anyway. Outside Europe and America are other stranger things like the Asian Kuei-jin who tend to keep the Euro-vampires out.

That is another thing that would make the Darla Angel Drusilla Spike story different in the World of Darkness. They never would have gotten out of China alive. The ancient Chinese undead the Kuei-jin would have made short work of them. But this is Joss's mythos and so they were able to get in and out without too much trouble it would seem.
Perhaps the Kuei-jin had their hands full with the Boxer Rebellion?

Would the Chinese Slayer killed by Spike have fought the Kuei-jin? I'm unfamiliar with them except maybe from Hong Kong movies.

If we are going to try to inject a note of reality/logic here in the jossverse...let's try wondering why these vamps can suck dry somebody in about ten seconds lol. There isn't really all that much blood in a human being (in fact if what you gave at the bloodbank was spread out on your bathroom floor you'd be calling 911)but the idea that draining could be so fast is ridiculous and soley for the drama of it.All they could get without a major artery (which sprays folk) is a the bloodbank vamps are possible
Rufus needless to state here I agree with your suppositions as I've been groping along the same path.Your statements are beautifully articulated and dispassionate. : )
JoRus.Please elaborate on your gropings. I'm facinated to get new ideas.
"Listening to Fear had as a menace a creature from outer space that looked like a cross between a human and a cicada. This reminded me of the Lovecraftian echoes in ""Buffy"" and ""Angel."" This will be a fairly long post.

H.P. Lovecraft (1890-1937) had a very strange worldview but others have noted the similarities to the Buffyverse. In HPL's stories the universe is utterly indifferent to human life and full of horrors and dangers that you might go mad through even thinking about. The Buffyverse is full of horrors the protagonists don't know about but they can be fought and knowing about them will help fight them. (Thus all the library research.) There are no benign entities in HPL's universe while the Buffyverse had the Powers That Be. Another difference is that most of HPL's horrors were science-fictional while the Buffyverse has a ""real"" supernatural.

HPL had a strong streak of xenophobia. In his stories being the Alien was the most horrible fate possible. In the Buffyverse some of the monsters are quite heroic. Angel is the most prominent but there are others. Many of the monsters just want to get on with their lives as best they can and don't want to hurt anybody.

HPL's protagonists are generally as neurotic as he was while the characters on ""Buffy"" and ""Angel"" are no more neurotic than people in the real world in this crazy epoch. Another difference is that the categories of ""normal vs. abnormal"" are of no importance to the denizens of the Buffyverse even the humans. In the inimitable purple prose of one story HPL used the expression ""sleeping abnormalities"" for the monsters as if merely being abnormal was a bad thing. On ""Buffy"" and ""Angel "" the only really ""normal"" character is Riley and he doesn't fit in with the others very well. The Scoobies have no trouble accepting each other's individualities and quirks. They had no problem with Willow dating werewolf Oz though Riley did when he heard of it. On a mundane level they had no trouble accepting Willow and Tara's relationship though it came as a surprise. Nobody seems to be bothered by Anya's status as a former demoness though she was worried about what the Initiative would do to her if they knew. This all seems to reflect the real-world changes of the past few decades. As a kid in the 1950s I can remember watching ""Leave It To Beaver "" each episode of which had a Moral Lesson generally: CONFORM OR DIE! It seems that today conformity is no longer valued much by anybody. (I'm getting off the subject!)

HPL was in many ways a bad writer but he was certainly an ""interesting"" one. He expressed a unique worldview. Does anybody know if Joss has ever admitted to having been influenced by H.P. Lovecraft?

This post is about literary influence as much as philosophy but it seems that a ""worldview"" is inherently of philosophical interest."
A bad writer!!! Are you crazy?

I love H.P. Lovecraft. His use of horror combined with intersting charcters makes for some of the best reading I have ever done. I have read two antholiges of his work and there were stories in there that made me think for weeks on end. I agree that most of his charcter weren't normal and some of them were far from sane but there is nothing wrong with that.

And you point out the the gang is really upset by the weird quirks that they all have. Most close friends don't get upset. But you must admit there are things that you and your friends do that would cause other people to become upset or confused. Everyone has their own world view and what is normal to you may be strange or freakish to me.

Conformity was an impotant thing in past decades. Heck it's still being praciticed where I live. But I am one of the few people in the town where I live that goes out of their way to be outside the box. Conformity is not a good thing to me. People have tried to force me to conform to the world view that is held and time and time again they have failed. But I can't be the same. I don't agree with the idea that everyone should behave a specific way (eg. all teenages must want to drive drink alchol smoke cigerects hate adults refrain from saying what they think around their peers etc.) And for that I may be an outcast and an outside but it's better than being a drone molded in the shape and form my (and your) generation dictates.

Don't mind my insanity I'm not that dangerous. Yet.

I wrote that HPL was ""in many ways a bad writer."" His prose is overwritten with too many adjectives. I once read ALL of his stories one after the other and found them repetative in many ways. His characters are limited. He had virtually no female characters at all thus ignoring half of the human race. Lovecraft was a unique individual with a unique worldview which is what makes his stories INTERESTING. This can't be said of most writers of ANY time. I must also point out that I felt it worthwhile to read ALL of his stories which isn't true of most authors. But HPL definitely had his flaws as a writer.

You appear to be considerably younger than I am and I must point out that in my own experience the pressure to conform has lessened considerably over the decades. For example if Willow and Tara had had their relationship in the 1950s they would have had to be very secretive about it. Otherwise they might have wound up in a psych ward if not in jail. I'll admit there is still pressure to conform but it isn't what it used to be. Currently it seems that in Hollywood Lesbianism is bordering on trendy.

On ""Buffy"" Xander is dating a former demoness Willow used to date a werewolf and Buffy herself used to be involved with a vampire. In all three cases the other Scoobies came to accept it. This is NOT pressure to conform. I can't picture anybody on ""Leave It To Beaver"" doing anything like this though it would have livened up their lives considerably. (I suspect that demonesses werewolves and vampires would have better taste than to be romantically involved with any of those twits in the Cleaver family!)"
Allright I agree that I may have come off as a pushy self-center idiot. My apoligies.

But I still enjoy H.P. Lovecrafts work more than most of the stuff that is being released in the today. I agree that it may not be the best stuff ever written (he's no Shakespear) but there is somthing about his work that I find especialy fun and fascnating to read. I like his writing becuse of the charcter. And yes there isn't much for represtentation of the female gender but it can be hard to write something you're not. Most writers write mainly from their genders view. Anyone who can write equaly good from both is talented and must have an understanding of both genders equaly. Lovecraft never struck me as the kind of man who ever got alone with others well especial female.

I see him being somewhat like William (Spike as a human). His view of the world being different from the worlds view. I myself find it hard to mesh with many people my age in social situations. What I find funny they find twisted. What they find fun I find offputting. So it just depends on the way you see the world around you. I find myself in a world where magic could be real if you just could belive strongly enough in it.

Kinda like diving head first into an empty pool. No one in their right mind would do it. But it's still tempting just to find out if you could.

At least to me.

If my ramblings have lost or offended you I apoligize and will try to stick to the topic. And yes for the record my logical thinking is screwed up beyond words.


Don't be too hard on Bob R. As I suspected even before I read his response to you he was commenting on technical aspects of Lovecraft's writing rather than the worth of the stories themselves. These are two very different things.

I have read very little of Lovecraft myself over the years so I am not in a position to accurately comment on his work either way. However I know from personal experience that when I have re-read some of the novels or short stories of those writers that I really loved when I was in my teens I found the stories still interesting but suddenly lacking in other regards usually the technical aspects Bob R was discussing.

The stories didn't change I did. What is important to realize is that if the story speaks to you at *any* time in your life if it has meaning or experience that you identify with or it stirs your imagination that is a good thing.

Enjoy your non-conformity while you have it just do it gently. It gets harder and harder to do as the years pass on by. One day you too may be an old fart whose limits of eccentricity are defined by an obsession with some TV show that most of your friends think is something for kids to watch.

'Course whadda they know? Still (albeit slightly) non-conforming...

Point well made!
"In his stories being Alien was the most horrible fate imaginable. In the Buffyverse... many of the monsters just want to get on with their lives as best they can

Lovecraft had his share of Buffyverse-type demons. Consider the Old Ones from ""The Mountains of Madness"" -- they were revived from a state of suspended animation to discover that their civilization had vanished. They head back to their place of sanctuary in a state of confusion only to be slain by the very creatures that destroyed their civilization.

I have also felt sorry for Wilbur Whately (""The Dunwich Horror"") and ""The Outsider"" is a classic example of the misunderstood monster."
"There have been quite a few Buffy creatures that have stricken me as vaguely Lovecraft. That baby-eating sewer serpent the Go Fish boys the Hellmouth demon the Inca Mummy Girl the thing that impregnated Cordelia the wall-sticking thrall demon and others have all had themes that were similar to various Lovecraft stories.

This season though is really heavy with the HPL elements. The snot-monster from outer-space is one and so are the implications that Glory is older than language and her near-insurmountable strength. Glory could easily be a selfish Elder God or she could even be Nyarlathotep's spoiled kid. The strong presence of insanity in relation to the supernatural is also a Lovecraft staple. The whole ""secret portal of unspecified importance"" is very HPL too. This makes me wonder if Dawn is actually the _Silver_ Key."
"Xayide-- this sounds really interesting. I've read very little Lovecraft can you give just a few details on:

""Glory could... even be Nyarlathotep's spoiled kid.""

Certainly. Nyarlathotep is one of the Great Old Ones and seems to be the only one who intentionally interacts with humans and appears to do so merely as a whim. He's part Trickster part unspeakably-evil-chaos-being. In _The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath_ it was revealed that one of Nyarlathotep's apparent duties is reigning in the hedonistic Gods of Earth when they're doing something mischevious. Glory's implied relationship to Ben reminds me a lot of that. I could see her as being Nyarlathotep's daughter (assuming he would actually reproduce) because not only is she so spoiled and so important she's also manipulative and has a weird little sense of humor. ^_-
"Hey thanks for the info. This is one of those things that would be really cool when you are listening to Joss do a commentary track on a DVD and Glory would pop on screen for the first time?

Joss: ""Oh yeah Glory. There's this character from Lovecraft Nyarlathotep? She's like his daughter sort of.""

That is of course if we all manage to live long enough to ever get the DVD's but I won't go into that bitca just right this moment.

Cool! Please donate more Lovecraft refs if you see 'em."
"I too would love more about Lovecraft and his philosophical underpinings; well as they pertain to BtVS - there's only so much time and then there's the need to remain on-topic.

Did Lovecraft find inspiration in Wittgenstein? (or vice versa - Ludwig Wittgenstein was only a year older than Lovecraft) I'm thinking Glory's real ""name"" could be ineffable in a Wittgensteinian way and that such would appeal to Lovecraft."
Algernon Blackwood had a major influence on Lovecraft. His stroies touch on the same themes -- unspeakable evil secret cults ancient creatures that pre-date mankind and creature from other dimensions. Lovecraft's stories are better however.
"Ben is ""cleaning up"" after Glory. Of course Glory is making people go nuts - Ben said our mental unit is filled up and we are forced to release them - about the guy who got killed in the woods later. (Ben brother working in a hospital CLEANING UP after the evil sis)

And here is my theory:

Glory causes people go insane - sucking their brains out - she enjoys hurting them and of course she is getting something out of it maybe energy?

Glory needs the Key/Dawn insane people see through Dawn but does she know they see the key? She does not follow or care after she ""feeds"" of them she is not around them.

The monster that was called by Ben went after insane people - now question did it go after all psychos or only once made crazy by and other monster (clean up the mess)- and after Buffy's mom - coincident? If the monster went after Glory's mental cases it seems like Joyce's tumor is supernatural. Like crazy people made by Glory Joyce also saw through Dawn - you are just a shadow - and more to it she even remembered that and asked Buffy about it when she was stable.

Ben is ""semi"" good. Calling the monster and cleaning up the mess instead of getting rid of the evil sister. Or if the ""family"" thing stands in a way of it why doesn't he inform Buffy about Glory? Let the slayer solve the problem cause it will be solved sooner or later.

Glory - Crazy people - hospital - Ben brother - sick Joyce - Buffy - Dawn
It is all connected.
And it makes sense to me.
Anyone comment?
"Forgot - Joyce's doctor seems ""fishy"" no evidence yet but something is wrong with him. There was a scene when Joyce was pressing the buttons for the nurse and said something like this is not connected (wasn't pay attention very much but there was something) or the doctor wanted to keep Joyce in a hospital for two days before the operation (time the monster was around) understood the doctor is concerned about patients health but in a real life hospital beds are expensive and either the operation is done right away or the patient does not occupy the bad for two days."
"Here's what I can see happening. It's been revealed that Ben is some kind of henchman to Glory. But he also seems unahappy with ""cleaning up Glory's mess."" So maybe Ben will turn out to be good turning on Glory and joining Buffy's side.

Maybe Buffy will dump Riley for Ben making Ben the third screwed up demon-related boyfriend that Buffy's been with. :)

Spikelslt I honestly don't think Ben knows Buffy is the slayer. I think if he did there would be some sort of confrontation. So I don't think he even knows who Buffy is. That's why he was curious what the mental guy was saying to Dawn. By the way this is my first post here and I really like this board....
"Ok...The queller demon has been summoned for centuries to ""quell"" madness. Ben is the summoner of said demon and has been summoning it for his ""whole damn life."" So it looks to me like Glory has been searching for the key for a long time drivin' people nuts in the process.
The madness eventually disappears altogether because Glory has limited time on Earth (hence the ""tick tock"" thing)-- and cause of the demon. "
I don't think Ben quite knows that Buffy is the slayer either. And if he knows Glory as intimately as say a brother or relative He probably knows that a typical slayer has no chance against Glory. She seems to be trapped here. I could see her being exiled along with Ben. The deamon-priest guy Dreg treats him with respect so he has some authority or power (as well as eternalness) probably not super-strength (unless that was part of the human act). I read some need to keep his and Glory's presence unknown to Humanity. He doesn't strike me as good. His solution to the mess Glory is creating is to have those people murdered. Could it be the humane thing to do? Right now i don't think so. Back to Glory and him Ben seem to want to destroy Glory only resent her.
1. I find it odd that if Ben had no kindness in him that he would work in a hospital.
2. As the people that became insane were able to see the key (Dawn) was it his way to hide her?
"It's possible that Ben is trying to hide Dawn by quelling the mental patients.

But it's also possible that he doesn't know/realize that the crazies made by Glory are able to see past Dawn's human veneer. The mental patients only mention Dawn not being real when they directly encounter her - this is not a random rant they all do. I don't remember Ben being close enough to hear one of these rants.

It is possible that Ben knows what Glory is looking for but is so tired of cleaning up after her excesses that he is ignoring what little evidence he may have that Dawn is the Key that Glory is looking for.

I'm not sure we have quite enough evidence to proclaim Ben good or evil. Perhaps he is like Whistler - a good demon. Perhaps he is like Angel - a former evil creature who now does good by choice.

Perhaps Glory was ""born"" into a family of good demons but she has mental problems. Instead of sending her to the local demon mental hospital her family kept her at home and dealt with her themselves. Ben has had to clean up Glory's messes for as long as he can remember. What we have seen may be Glory's most excessive behavior to date. Ben is clearly tired of being designated ""clean-up"" and possibly believes she needs more controls placed on her behavior."
pg-- great thought! You know how hard it is to get a good health plan here in the human dimension can you imagine what it would be like on the demon side??

Why did Wolfram and Hart bring Dru in to vamp Darla?

I think it has to do with the fact that Angel is now (ironically) Darla's sire (Angel vamped Dru Dru vamped Darla). This must fit into W&H's plan somehow.

And I think this Jeeves guy is related to the PTB. He seems to have a lot in common with the ones we saw in a seperate reality reached by a portal...not having much emotion. Perhaps he'll be a recurring character. If he can normally bring back life can he make Angel human again? Hmmm!

Couldn't Buffy bring her mom to this Jeeves guy to get her cured? Just get Angel to bring her in. He already knows how to get through the tests. In fact Buffy could do it herself...she could kick that monster's ass and the cross thing would be pretty easy for her. :)

Which brings up another this test thing only for vampires or does it change depending on who goes through it?
She probably could except that Buffy doesn't know about the test and Angel doesn't know about Joyce's troubles so he'd have no reason to tell her.

I'm pretty sure that the second and third tests would be tailored to the individual.

What I wonder is if since Angel passed the tests but didn't get the reward does he have an IOU from Jeeves in case anyone else he knows dies? Or did they revoke that when he busted up the lobby? ^_-
"Who says that was Wolfram and Hart's plan?

I thought their plan was to have Angel save Darla's soul - giving him that ""moment of perfect happiness"" which will turn him into Angelus.

I think this was Lindsey's doing solely. And boy is he going to be in trouble with Wolfram and Hart when they find out how he messed up their plans."
I think the fact that W&H brought in Dru just shows their arrogance. They have no idea what they're up against with vamps Dru and Darla. How long will it be before W&H is begging Angel to stake his former girlfriends?
hmm...if jeeves is in fact related to the PTB then i don't think he would be able to turn Angel human again. why? because Angel had been human TWICE already. he was originally a human then turned into a vamp--BUT--that samurai-ish looking monster turned him into a human again. sure the oracles turned him into a vamp again but i'm sure the PTB knows that... so yeah jeeves might not be able to turn Angel human again. besides the prophecies that Wesley translated from the scroll said that it would be a while before Angel would be granted humanity again--and that's only if he survives all that crap he's going to go through.

i wonder how long that portal and test have been around...i mean jeeves did imply that he had a predecessor...

this is totally out of the blue but i think darla's voice is *really* sexy... ^_^' i just had to put that in. and oh while i'm at it lol anyone else found christian kane's stubbly chin cute? heehee! ^_^' okies leaving now. lol oh WAIT--i also must add that ben the man-nurse has a nicely sculpted bod.....okay my post went from Angel and his undeadness to actor's hotness... ^_^'
I think Darla somehow alternates between being really hot and being not-so-hot. But you're right she does have a damn sexy voice. :)

By the way she was in the first season of Roswell too (another great show that everybody should watch). Unfortunately she got burned to bits by evil alien hungers.

Current board | January 2001