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Greetings (and research!) my 1st posting - please be kind to the de-lurked!! -- jenni (can't think of anything clever!), 14:54:47 02/06/03 Thu

Hello, and thank you for all the insights i've got from lurking your magic site!! I thought i was the only person with such grand buffy-mania!!

I don't have an opinion, and likely would be too embarrassed to post if i did - so i thought i'd do some pure research. Plus, i'm home sick, so if mom asks if i'm doing homework, i can look busy typing away!!

Someone offered a project, so i thought i'd actually research willow's magic career and that would give me a first posting that just deals with statistics and not philosophy. i like researching, and finding data that surpris4es you - an easy task thanks to atpobtvs!!!! I found out something i was surprised at - i don't have the numbers yet, but there is obviously something going on - i don't know what, i'll let older and wiser minds decide if this is importantt or not, maybe not, but maybe so, especially since i read this morning that a couple people i usually love to read were about fighting over the kiss, and its power or not...

Anyway, if you look thru the annals, you see that everyone - the scoobies, amy, vampires, willow herself, me!!! everyone but giles, i think - think that willow is a very powerful witch, with almost endless powers at one time - enough to destroy everything!!! But actually, she hasn't done much. Amy can do teleportation, but willow's only real magic seems to be telekenesis - 'moving a pencil' was once her only trick, until tara. After that, she gets confident to do more, but it invariably fails, unless she has help. She is excellent at removing others' spells, but hers always go loopy - like in 'tabula rasa.' Something tells me that she is not very powerful at all, except that people believe she is, so they grant her power - like what amy did to her in KIM. Amy thinks willow is greater than her, but actually amy imposes the spell on her and makes her curse herself, so that she assumes she is doing it herself. OK- one opinion - i think the kiss is symbolic, of something. i don't think willow was supposed to heal herself, because the solo witch act is what got her into trouble in the first place. and she is so convinced of her own unassalable power that she assumes she is doing it to herself - grand delusion and very egotistical, i think. she thinks she is so powerful that if there is a spell cursing her, she must have done it herself. She slaps amy, and rightly so, but then questions her experience, even tho she was right!! letting kennedy tell her, after the confession (of powerlessness??) that it's just an illusion, like a fairy tale, is matbe the beginning of willow losing the ego, and becoming real with herself and others. I don't think the kiss cured willow, i think the 'fairy tale' image and the kiss together made willow see that she is wearing a mask, like the beast in beuaty and the beast. Does a kiss save beast, or does the love of a person who sees his true nature under the mask save him? I think kennedy might be the anti-tara. tara was very ego-boosting to willow, and put up with some abuse. Kennedy is a take-no-***t person who won't let her lie to herself. part of me feels like tara got willow deep into the magic, and was the actual power of the two, and willow knows that she gained power from the relationship, which probly means that tara lost power...

Wow, that's more than i planned!! Sorry!! i guess i just train-of-thoughted a bit. Anyway, i just wanted to see if anyone else looks thru the annals and sees this - that willow is actually a pretty crappy witch. sorry to say crappy, but that's how i see it - she blunders horribly more often than she succeeds. Most of her success is moving things, and stopping others' spells - I am beginning to wonder if she actually had all that power, or if she was set up to try and fail by giles. She is all about 'me' until giles, and then he gives her magic that is sort of empathic, or empathetic!! Giles did know that xander was waiting for her at the temple. And it seems weird that someone who was going to kill everything including xander would not be able to even hurt xander alone. I think maybe giles knew that a little empathy would bring out the sweet willow, so he gave her power along with the empathy that would make her not use it. Maybe giles is the only one not fooled - he called her a rank amateur - she can take power from others, but doesn't know how to use it. i keep seeing amy teleport kennedy with a wave of the hand, yet willow had to hijack a truck to chase the boys. And remove the bricks of the jail. Either she ain't very good, or she was being slow on purpose cause she wanted to be stopped, or something.

Can someone verify my research, or explain why i am so so dead wrong!!!!???

[> Re: Greetings (and research!) my 1st posting - please be kind to the de-lurked!! -- JM, 15:34:31 02/06/03 Thu

Welcome to the best board on the 'Net. I'm only an irregular, but I can attest to that much.

I think that Willow may have a lot of power, but not a lot of control. Which is probably why she was so powerful working with Tara, because she has a lot of emotional control. Which Willow doesn't. Probably also why Kennedy was able to ground her. She also seems to have a lot of emotional control. Until Willow learns to control and channel her very powerful emotions (instead of just off or on) she won't be able to tap into her full potential.

[> Re: Greetings (and research!) my 1st posting - please be kind to the de-lurked!! -- Dochawk, 15:48:36 02/06/03 Thu

Willow performed a spell that brought a person back to life. And she was able to command the presence of a God, and was able to attack a God with magic, all of these were pretty powerful expressions of how great a magic Willow can weild, when put to the test.

[> Welcome, jenni (can't think of anything clever!) -- Tyreseus, 16:10:07 02/06/03 Thu

An astute and interesting observation re: Willow's primary gift being telekinesis.

A few other spells jump to mind... the first whammy, resouling Angel (Becoming, Part 2). In the summer between Season2/3 we are told that she did a glamour to cover a zit. We also hear of a failed spell, the attempt to contact the spirit world which knocked out power on her block. She makes some sort of protection spell/charm in Bad Girls.

In "I Only Have Eyes For You" the pre-witch Willow organizes the Mangus-Tripod to contain the poltergeist spirit.

In "Gingerbread" Willow comments that she can summon two of the elements.

Apparently, Willow's early years were spent on basic level spells. Dialogue from "Fear, Itself:"
Willow: "I've got the basics down : levitation, charms, glamours.
I just feel like I've plateaued wicca-wise."
Buffy: "What's the next level?"
Willow: "Transmutation, conjuring, bringing forth something from
nothing. Gets pretty close to the primal forces. A little scary."

I wonder if it was just a coincidence that she met Tara shortly after her comments in "Fear, Itself" or if you're right about the difference Tara made in Willow's magic use. Anyway, it seems that Season 4 was definately a turning point for Willow. She does have a lot more complex and successful spells after that (think of the barrier spell, another often-used favorite).

[> Greetings and welcome. -- Sophist, 16:33:24 02/06/03 Thu

Some interesting ideas. I think Doc and Tyreseus have made some good suggestions. I'd add that my own tabulation of her spells would contradict your assertion that:

After that, she gets confident to do more, but it invariably fails, unless she has help. She is excellent at removing others' spells, but hers always go loopy - like in 'tabula rasa.'

I don't have my list available right now. I'll post it tomorrow and we can compare -- I may very well have missed some.

[> [> Witchy Woman -- Sophist, 10:37:59 02/07/03 Fri

I had this all written out and got knocked offline just as I was about to post it. Let's hope it works this time.

I've kept track of Willow's spells, at least the ones we've actually seen. There have been mention of other spells, but I don't count anything unless we actually see it.

I've put the spells into 4 categories: successful and appropriate (meaning no evil motivation and generally helpful to the SG); successful but inappropriate; unsuccessful due to interference; unsuccessful. Here's my breakdown for S2-5 (there are no spells by Willow in S1):

1. Successful and appropriate: Passion; Doppelgangerland; Choices (2); The Zeppo; Hush; The I in Team; WAY (2); The Replacement; OomM; ItW; Triangle; Crush; Blood Ties; Spiral (2); WotW; The Gift (3). Total: 21.

2. Successful but inappropriate: Forever; Tough Love.

3. Unsuccessful due to interference: Fear Itself; Triangle; BvD (?).

4. Unsuccessful: Choices; Something Blue; BvD (?).

I left out Becoming 2 because there have always been doubts that Willow really performed that spell. I'm not sure how to categorize BvD because I've never been sure if the spell failed (lighting the fire at the beach) or if the storm was just Dracula's arrival.

By my count, we have 23 successful spells. Of the 5 that failed, 2 or 3 failed because of outside interference. Only 2 of the failed spells were significant in any way (Triangle and SB). I therefore see Willow as extremely successful in her magic use during those seasons.

Season 6 is harder to evaluate. For one thing, it's hard to count the separate spells in episodes like Smashed or TTG/Grave. In general, we can say that spells in Bargaining, Afterlife, and Wrecked were successful and at least arguably appropriate. The removal of the bullet in Villains also fits this category. Most of her other spells in S6 were successful but they were usually wildly inappropriate.

I see Willow's spells as succeding well over 80% of the time, probably 90%. I'd be interested in your tabulation.

[> Her power is immense! -- frisby, 18:56:20 02/06/03 Thu

Early in season 7 she bends reality to create two alternate universes; and along with Anya in season 3 she brings her alternate from another universe into ours; in season 6 (besides the resurrection, already mentioned), she (with a little help from Rack) dwells among the stars, even perhaps directing the courses of galaxies, and along the way creatng or invoking a terrible monster; she turns a rat (Amy) into a human; she creates force fields; she reads minds and uses telepathy; early in season 7 she attunes to the earth itself, or reads it; and as you say, lots of psychokinesis; -- I'm sure there's more.

Main point is that Anya may be correct calling her the most powerful wicca in the western hemisphere. So, I must contend that your premise is mistaken: welcome from the realm of lurking to that of delurking!

[> [> Re: - are you sure??? -- aquaman, the devil's advocate, it's a dirty job, but., 00:41:05 02/07/03 Fri

we are talking about magic.

I agree that willow is powerful, but i congratulate the young lady (young, i assume, since 'home from school') for pointing out that willow's ineptitude is attenuated by getting help.

Frisby offers lots of good examples, but they are "along with anya..."..."a little help from rack..."..."turns a rat , amy into a human..." (actually, she turned a human BACK into a human, which is a case of 'spell reversing', as also suggested is a strong point by jenni. she also gains the spell to de-rat her by, in a plausible deconstruction, by finally getting out of her ego and asking AMY for help - amy, the really powerful. She says 'reveal.' The meaning of 'reveal' indicates that SOMEONE is doing the revealing - either willow to herself, or amy to willow, or someone else to willow, six of one, half....

While were on the topic, pardon a rant: (why i apologize for avocacy for the devil -

Are we CERTAIN that willow brought buffy back?? Didn't the bikers smash the urn before the ritual was complete?? Didn't we wonder if maybe the bad spell did bring buffy back different? Actually, tara was not hip with the resurrection spell, at all, and we know that she was willing to subvert, as well as encourage, willow's magic. ANYONE, including those who returned angel,ie, could have done it. Tara could have done it, she was there. ooooh that would make the 'a rat' backwards idea really intense when considered that tara got so judgemental of the magic - was she guilt-ridden?? Come to think of it, SHE was the one who buffy went to for information about the ritual, and she had a fairly specific answer....

One last: in telepathy, is willow not being aided, like everyone has a walkie-talkie, not just willow-as-cell-tower?? And force fields, kind of telekinesis-in-reverse. I think willow's true power is convincing people that she is powerful. That's why the reversals work - she is a better flim-flammer than the absent spell-weaver. her friends trust her, is what i'm suggesting in a cynical way. So they KNOW the spell is gone, and it is. Problem is, a foe believed the charade, and decided to act in blind rage at the disparity of gifts and hard work - wait! I know this story - willow is able and amy is cain.

Come to think of it, are we certain that the whole willow-as-evil-freak episode(s) was not just a manifestation of the curse, which may have been in an early form as far back as amy's "gift", which was no picnik to willow, but yet she continued on...cursing herself, through magic, all of it, killing warren included, could be attributed, logically, to manifestations of amy's curse, whereby willow chooses her own curse, but the energy is supplied by amy, using willow-as-curse-induced-evil-conduit.

This would explain a significance in the line by amy where she laments her exclusion while oh-so-evil willow is forgiven. Do the friends somehow KNOW that willow was under a spell, and that amy was really evil, and that, rather than a vague prejudice, was what lead to forgiving willow and outing amy from the 'good' side of things? crayon-breaky willow simply would NOT destroy everything on earth for some vague 'stop the pain' notion - that sounds like a grieving person choosing their own form of a curse, to me. But the good is restored by xander's love - this sounds less hokey than 'xander's love defeated the evil.' Often, in life and buffyverse, the evil creates its own reality, amy sees the group as excluding her because she is excluding herself, and then retaliating to the not simply imagined, but CREATED exclusion!! Then she does the very things that she judges willow for - she specifically mentions the warren and the earth destroyer episodes, so i must ask - ultimate devil's advocacy, please forgive that it is so far below the "one last..." above, but it might just be forgivable!!!!!! - HOW DID SHE KNOW ABOUT THESE EVENTS??? noone told her, and i'm sure it wasn't in the sunnydale newspapers. noone but the inner circle knows what willow did to warren, right?? Isn't that how kennedy caught her, by seeing that she had too much information, more detail than a long-lost schoolchum should know?? Buffy is very literal at times...

is kennedy an allusion to the mtv news woman/vj??

[> [> [> Re: - are you sure??? (I guess not.) -- frisby, 06:35:32 02/07/03 Fri

I still think Willow's power is undebatably immense, but, when it comes to the role of Amy within the series as a whole, I admit I'm open to anything. The fact that "The Witch" was the first episode (besides the pilot) and that Amy has been lurking since, not to mention what she said (it's about power), and adding other comments made here at the forum lately, anything is possible. Amy (and/or her mother) might very well become or be made something none of us have anticipated.

As usual, wait and see. Good points thought!

[> Oh, for crying out loud; at least make the girl answer some questions before letting her in! -- Honorificus (The Gatekeeper Of Good Taste), 00:24:14 02/07/03 Fri

You there! Yes, the one with the anti-capitalization bias. Come here and answer some questions, and I'll tell you if you pass muster.

1) The most important thing about BtVS is:
a) the theological, philosophical, and sociological ramifications of each episode
b) Spike, 'cause like, he's so majorly hot!
c) the fight scenes
d) the fashions

2) When you sit down to watch each week, you watch because of:
a) things to discuss on ATP
b) Spike, 'cause like, he's so majorly hot!
c) Buffy hitting things
d) your morbid curiosity about who gets the shaft from the wardrobe department this week

3) When you discuss the show with your friends, you discuss:
a) Jungian archetypes in the behavior of vampires
b) Spike, 'cause like, he's so majorly hot!
c) how cool the fight choreography was and whether or not you could spot SMG's doubles
d) Dawn's hair, Buffy's pants, and why they keep putting Anya in those froofy blouses

4) The best thing about Buffy the character is:
a) the message of female empowerment contained in her very ironic appearance and name
b) Spike, 'cause like, he's so majorly hot!
c) she kicks ass!
d) occasionally, she's truly fashion-forward

5) The best male character on the show is:
a) Xander, the Everyman through whose eyes we see Buffy's world
b) Spike, 'cause like, he's so majorly hot!
c) whichever guy's most useful in kicking demon booty this week
d) Giles, who could float my boat all the way across the Pacific and back

6) The way I'd describe "Angel" as a series is:
a) a meditation on remorse, redemption, and the incongruences of living in a body that contains both a demon and a soul and craves human blood for sustenance, yet also craves human companionship
b) don't watch; no Spike
c) some fairly kewl action for the guys
d) a chance to perhaps see Angel in leather, Wesley at all, and Lilah's faboo wardrobe on the good side, and the risk of seeing what passes for fashion in the eyes of Cordelia and Fred on the bad

7) Overall, the way I'd describe the Jossverse to outsiders is:
a) a truly fascinating and unique way of addressing age-old philosophical quandaries in a fresh, new way
b) Spike is so, like, majorly hot!
c) a good, old-fashioned ass-kicking good time
d) fashion-forward at its best, a good example of what not to wear at its worst

There. Try to answer correctly, or I will have to send some minions out to make you into a ritual sacrifice to Voynak the Impeder.

[> [> Re: You should be careful what you ask for, honorificus: 'out of the mouths of babes...'(NT) -- aquaman, 00:50:46 02/07/03 Fri

[> [> "Voynak the Impeder", LOL! -- The First Evil (your hostess, and welcome jenni), 07:13:40 02/07/03 Fri

And word to the wise jenni--

Don't piss off a vampire named Angelus with any glowy new-ager glass spheres.

A sign of things to come? A "The Killer in Me" Review (7.13 spoilers) -- Valheru, 15:13:12 02/06/03 Thu

Two weeks ago, I went on a trip to Las Vegas. Fun, exciting, and much-neededly relaxing. So I come back home and am surprised to know myself thinking, "Why did I go on that stupid trip!?" 1 episode of Buffy, 2 episodes of Angel...and I didn't discuss them at all! I don't want to go back and do a full review of "Potential," but excuse me if I sneak some thoughts for it in here.

Funny aside: while wandering through downtown Vegas, I made a point to go to Fremont Street and find the exact place where Lorne made his scream-into-microphone distraction in "The House Always Wins." To my surprise, there were a trio of street performers who looked very much like the ones in that episode at that precise spot, while on the ground lay a small picture of a blue-skinned demon (okay, it was an advertisement for the Blue Man Group). Caught up in the maelstrom of synchronicity bordering on predestination, I gasped to my friends, "I'm in the Buffyverse!" They all gave me The Look, then walked along as I wondered whether I had gambled away my destiny as a, uh, fry cook, into a slot machine.

Much like "Beneath You," "Same Time, Same Place," "Selfless," and "Never Leave Me" before it, "The Killer in Me" was another valiant attempt at regaining the style of old-school BtVS, but like the others, falling short (though "Selfless" was damn close). IMO, BtVS is at its best when the characters, even Buffy, are allowed to act outside of the main arc. When everything occurs within a central plot, the Scoobies become basic reactionaries, like chess pieces who simply perform functions but have no purpose outside of the game. Ideally, Buffy, of course, follows the main arc, while the Scoobies keep Buffy from drowning within it. This allows Buffy to shine as the heroine of the central plot, while allowing Xander, Willow, Giles, etc. to be the heroes of their own plots. When everyone follows the same plot, as has been the case for the past 5 or so episodes (especially "BotN" and "Showtime"), not only do the Scoobies get their own personal storylines taken away from them, but it also diminishes the light by which we see Buffy's heroics.

The clearest example of this I can think of is "The Zeppo." By switching the usual A plots of Buffy's with the usual B plots of Xander's (even though Xander does have a Buffyesque experience), we can see how important it is to delineate between the two. Without the Scoobies' storylines going on in the background, Buffy's storylines become trite and overly melodramatic. We can even extrapolate a little: without Buffy's storyline in the foreground, Xander's constant research-snack runs and his Cordy-bickerings would get boring after a while. BtVS wouldn't be as great without the careful symbiosis of the primary and secondary storylines.

"BotN" and "Showtime" suffered because there was only an A plot. Sure, there were mini-plots abound, but none could be said to be B plots in a way that, for instance, Xander and Willow's affair in S3 was. Even "CwDP," good as it was, relegated usual B plots (Willow's grief for Tara, Dawn's grief for her mother, Buffy's psychoanalysis, Jonathan's epiphany) to mere lead-ins to the A plot of the First. "Sleeper" and "NLM" did it too, but at least they, and "CwDP," tried to separate the B plots from the A plot as much as possible without betraying the arc (and it helped that the plots were executed superbly). "BotN" and "Showtime" barely tried to be anything but 100% "Fight the First!" episodes.

And then comes "Potential." The execution was pretty poor, but it was trying to pull "The Zeppo" out once more. Like "The Zeppo," "Potential" relegated the A plot (Buffy, the Potential Gang, and Spike) to B-status, while a B plot (Dawn thinking she's an SiT) came to the fore. No, it didn't have the flair that Xander's Night of Weirdness had, but it was similar enough in concept (thus was wonderfully fitting that Xander be the Giver of Wisdom at the end).

So after 5 episodes of mostly-A-plotting, then one episode of A-B reversal, "The Killer in Me" took one more step toward the classic plotting style. While "Potential" purposefully reversed the focus, "TKiM" was more like "BB&B" in that it only shifted the focus to the jucier plot. All three plots--Willow's struggle with herself, Kennedy, and the memories of Warren and Tara; the search for answers about Spike's chip; and the mystery of Giles' head--were important. Because of the relative brevity of the usual A-plotted Buffy/Spike scenes, they can be seen as less primary than those in say, "Sleeper" or "Beneath You," thus on-par with the usual B-plots of Willow's and the Scoobies'.

Giving us three distinct plots allowed for more character inspection than tossing all the characters within the same plot. The three scenes with Giles, which all more or less were intended to focus upon Giles, were more satisfying than the previous hour or so of screen-time he's had all season. The same thing was true with Buffy and Spike, IMO; I got more insight into their characters from their brief scenes here than I did in all their overblown expositions of psychoanalysis they partook in "Sleeper" and "Never Leave Me" (reasoning behind this later). The main story, Willow's, while written a little forced and overblown like the aforementioned B/S scenes, was nonetheless welcome for doing something new with her character.

So I can see what ME was trying to accomplish, mechanically and structurally, with this episode. And I applaud the effort, since it is another step in a good direction. Unfortunately, they picked the wrong plots to use.

All three stories in this episode deserved to be the main plot, not to share with the others. Spike's chip has been a major plot point for 3 seasons. Giles' corporeality has been the most nagging question all year. Willow's non-Dark grief over Tara, her reconciliation (or whatever) of Warren's murder, her first post-Tara relationship, and her where-are-you-now reunion with Amy were all long-overdue followups to last season's finale. Putting these three stories together takes away from their importance, making them seem like throwaway stories to tie up loose plotthreads. And given the diversity of the plots, it makes each seem out of place. Why not deal with Spike's chip in "Sleeper," since it hasn't had any significance since then? Why not deal with Willow's Tara-grief in "STSP," since she hasn't been grieving since then anyway (except in "CwDP," but that was intentional grief, not every-moment-of-the-day grief that supposedly kept Willow from getting on with her life)?

I guess I'm saying that the timing is off. And there's no better example than Giles. Let me get this straight...Giles met the Harbinger's axe at the end of "Sleeper," appears to be alive in "Bring on the Night," two episodes later. So for two episodes, we have the question: "Is Giles alive?" Once returned, we get no explanation for why Giles is alive, so the question then becomes: "Is Giles really alive, or is he the First?" This lasts from "BotN" to "The Killer in Me," 3 episodes. So we spend five episodes (and no telling how many weeks) with one gigantic mystery up in the air...JUST TO GET ONE OUT-OF-CHARACTER JOKE OUT OF IT?!? (Albeit, still a funny joke) In fact, the issue only comes up on-screen for about 3 minutes. What was the point for all this waiting? Did Marti not think there was room to fit those 3 minutes (which didn't depend *at all* on the timing of any other event) in at any time previous? This whole thing would be like waiting five episodes after "Surpise" to give us "Innocence." Was this all an excercise in anti-climania?

Finally getting some of the characters away from the First/UberVamp/Potentials storyline and into their own individual plots again was like a breath of fresh air. "TKiM" reminded us that, yes, that reserved-yet-uber-powerful-witch character was still Willow Rosenberg. But besides that, I wasn't completely on board with her story. If Willow's grief over Tara and Warren were holding her back from moving forward, shouldn't we have seen Willow trying to move forward before this? It seemed like a tacked on idea, like, "Oh, by the way, Willow has been reserved since the end of 'Grave,' and now she will get over it." The only reservations we have seen in Willow are a fear of returning to her Dark persona and a fear of using her magic around the First. I don't remember any evidence that the loss of Tara was holding Willow back from anything. Yeah, it makes sense given the circumstances, but some hints could have helped, given that "Seeing Red" and "Grave" happened...8? months ago. 8 months is a long time to wait to suddenly spring an idea on an audience, sensical or not.

The thing that bothers me about this is that it appears that Willow's whole story was just an excuse to make Willow think, "This Kennedy chick might be a great new girlfriend." It was not Willow who ultimately resolved her problems, it was Kennedy who resolved them for her. The ending was all about Kennedy and how she was able to save Willow. In fact, now that I think about it, the whole post-Willow-into-Warren-kissage part of the story was in Kennedy's POV, not Willow's, which could explain why such an important episode to Willow seemed to me to be a little hollow.

This leads me into Kennedy...I don't like her. In "BotN," "Showtime," and "Potential," I thought she was okay, definitely the most interesting of all the Potentials. Her flirts with Willow were both cute and sexy. But "TKiM" made her into a mini-Faith, eager to get busy with anything remotely sexual and sensual. She blows off the Slayer vision quest just to spend time with Willow, which while similar to Buffy's exploits in S1, was perpetrated less innocently than Buffy did and with a panache eerily like Jenny Calendar's "seduction" of Giles. Then she somehow convinces Willow that it's a good idea to go to the Bronze and get Willow drunk, as though it's all an elaborate scam to pull the wool over Willow's eyes and get her in the sack. The first half of this episode makes Kennedy appear to be a sex-hungry vixen to make Faith, Spike, and Angelus proud. The second half, while an interesting reversal of the InnocentWillow and WildKennedy roles, only makes sense on Willow's part, since we know Willow is capable of both; in Kennedy's case, it seems fake, since all we've seen of Kennedy is the wild side. I dunno. I find it off-putting to create a character who embodies strikingly similar traits of Faith, Jenny, and Cordelia, then turn her into the second coming of Tara in order to make her look good to Willow. All that does is make Willow look incredulously gullible in a way she didn't even exhibit back in S1.

But again, I can overlook all that because they finally gave Willow something to do. Xander would be so envious.

The most encouraging part of "The Killer in Me" was the Buffy/Spike scenes. I thought their interactions in "Lessons" and "Beneath You" were appropriately deep and meaningful, full of all the necessary conflict to get them to a new level in their relationship and past the mess S6 had made of their lives. Unfortunately, the melodrama never left. Every B/S scene in "Sleeper," "Never Leave Me," "Bring on the Night," and "Showtime" explored the inner recesses of their relationship to an absurd degree. It was as though Buffy took her psychotherapy with Holden Webster and spent four episodes continuing it with Spike. Not to say that it all wasn't interesting, but it was too much at the exclusion of anything else. At least Buffy/Angel, as melodramatic as it was, allowed for whimsy, non-'ship-centric moments, and character evolution outside of each other. Since "Sleeper" (at the least), there has been too much Buffy/Spike in the Buffy and Spike interactions.

Urm, that didn't make a whole lot of sense. Let me sum up: Buffy and Spike, whenever they were on-screen together, only talked about the 'ship. Interesting, yes, but not very entertaining for two extremely entertaining characters. And what made it worse was that a lot of Buffy's scenes were concerning Spike, and almost all of Spike's scenes were concerning Buffy. Thus they seemed to be far more annoyingly self-absorbed than usual. And it's generally not a good idea to overplay a subplot with the two most action-oriented characters in the middle of a high-action storyarc; it jilts the action too much.

But, ah, what a relief "TKiM" was. Spike cracked some jokes. Buffy was playful again. They bantered a little. They had an action scene together. These weren't the best scenes they've ever had together, but they were refreshing. I'm all for a little psychoanalysis, but I prefer to see these characters outside of therapy. And apparently, so do the actors. Laryngitis and all, SMG ate up her performance, and James clearly enjoyed playing Spike for laughs again. I'm especially happy for Sarah, since it seems that, now that they're (hopefully) beyond all the issues that went in to create SadBuffy of S6, she can once more play a Buffy she's comfortable with. And that's extremely encouraging for the whole show.

As for the others, there isn't a whole lot to discuss. I will say that, perhaps because of the overall tone of the episode, I found Xander, Anya, Dawn, and Andrew to be more genuinely funny than the "we have to put some jokes in somewhere" approach to the characters of late. I hope these four actually get some real plots soon, especially Xander, since they all seem to be floundering. And maybe now that Willow has been to the Bronze and can report that, yes, there is still a world outside of the Summers' house, they can get a much-needed change of scenery. I'm almost leaning toward the Wood-as-Watcher idea just so the Scoobies can meet in the school and be somewhere new.

I'd give "The Killer in Me" 7 or 7.5 out of 10, grading on a curve for the season. Not as good as "Selfless," "CwDP," "Beneath You," or "Never Leave Me," but still pretty solid. Hopefully, it's a precursor for better things to come, in which case, it gets a 10 for pathfinding.

[> Great post, very sound criticisms and insightful comments -- Etrangere, 17:16:32 02/06/03 Thu

Except that I kinda like Kennedy, but then, I liked Faith.

[> I agree with Ete (no news there), and yet... -- Sophist, 18:24:22 02/06/03 Thu

I feel much better about the ep and the season than you seem to. I'm not sure I can put my finger on why or where. Maybe it's like dream (?) said in a now-archived post: every fault has a corresponding virtue. My cup is half full at the moment.

A few points:

If Willow's grief over Tara and Warren were holding her back from moving forward, shouldn't we have seen Willow trying to move forward before this?

I see this as a one-step-at-a-time problem. I don't see "TKiM" as really addressing Willow's behavior towards Warren. If it turns out in retrospect that I'm wrong about this, I'll eat a lot of crow. My sense, however, is that the only issue resolved here was Tara.

This seems logical to me. I see Willow as needing to move beyond Tara in order to be able to come to terms with what she did to Warren. I think that's still in the future, so the episode was less ambitious than you seem to suggest.

It was not Willow who ultimately resolved her problems, it was Kennedy who resolved them for her.

dream, Anneth, ponygirl, HH and others have pointed out that this is not the case. I agree with them -- Kennedy helped, but Willow solved the problem. Indeed, it was internal to her; she was the only one who could solve it.

But "TKiM" made her into a mini-Faith, eager to get busy with anything remotely sexual and sensual.

Again, others have given her behavior a more positive interpretation, and I'm liking those rose-colored glasses.

I actually thought BoTN and Showtime were pretty good for between-sweeps eps -- compare them to Gone and DmP and they don't look so bad. Compare them to ItW or Bad Eggs and they look damn good. I see TKiM as a promising start to February.

Literary archetypes (AtS spoilers through "Soulless") -- Katrina, 15:32:33 02/06/03 Thu

Favorite new line: "There should be a play."

As a lit nerd, I thought it was interesting that Angelus made use of two famous literary archetypes in his psychological gameplaying last night, likening the Angel/Connor/Cordelia triangle to the story of Oedipus, and calling Charles and Fred "Othello and Desdemona" (leaving Wes, of course, to be Iago, even though it's Angelus who's behaving more like Iago at the moment, sowing seeds of mistrust.) Perhaps it's just a coincidence, but these seem to be the two threads of the current season that fans most want to see either resolved or just gotten rid of. I've read a lot of "enough!" about Gunn/Fred/Wes and plenty of "ewww" over Cordelia/Connor; not necessarily here, by the way. The fact that the incestuous connotations of C/C were openly mentioned gives me some hope that ME knows what they're doing here, since they're aware of the obvious reaction to it.

Both of these literary archetypes focus on the misuse of information. The classic Oedipus story, like Connor's, contains a prophecy gone wrong, in a very similar way. Oedipus' father got a prophecy that the son would kill the father; Wes found a prophecy that the father would kill the son. In both cases, they took action attempting to change the future, but the consequences of their attempts actually caused the trouble they'd have later. The difference is that Oedipus' father's actions actually caused the prophecy to come true. The prophecy about Connor was supposedly rigged and not a true prophecy after all, but Wes's actions, playing into Holtz's hands, helped to cause the estrangement and hostility between father and son which could easily still lead to either killing the other. (All speculation on my part). In the case of Othello, Iago pretends to have information about the present, rather than the future, but the fact that Othello believes his false information to be true precipitates the tragedy that will follow.

I don't think that ME are getting all metafictional on us, but considering that research, information, and prophecy are such major parts of the AI arsenal, the use of these archetypes does reinforce that they ought to consider the source with whatever mystic information they get. Since both Lorne and Cordelia are sources of mystical information for them, we might wonder where exactly they're getting their signals from. And of course, putting these allusions in the mouth of Angelus also can reinforce our mistrusting him as a source of information: which could put in doubt pretty much everything he revealed about the Beast and the sorceresses and, well, anything.

I'm also giving ME the benefit of the doubt that they're not just mentioning these archetypes to tell the audience "See! It's symbolism!" about storylines that haven't been terribly popular. It does seem that some parallel is being drawn between the two triangles and the idea of characters being manipulated by seemingly plausible information. I don't have any conclusions about this: I guess we'll see where the upcoming episodes take us...

[> Great post! -- Rahael, 15:39:41 02/06/03 Thu

I was thinking about prophecies gone wrong and son killing father and father killing son ironic counterpoints earlier today.

I think that this is significant.

You might want to check out archive 1 here - posts and threads are getting archived very fast. I'd like to get some of your thoughts on the Sun-King refs.

[> Great post - one correction. -- s'kat, 15:59:04 02/06/03 Thu

Great post.

Slight correction.

"Othello and Desdemona...except Desdemona wasn't really in love with the other guy."

The other guy (Wes) is Cassius.

Iago is Othello's friend - who provides him the info that Des is doing the nasty with Cassius, when she really isn't. Infruriated - Othello kills Des, by strangulation.

Angelus is clearly Iago here.

And this could very well be foreshadowing for Fred's death.
Des dies at Othello's hands, but it is Iago who really kills her.

People have been enamored of the villainous Iago throughout literary history,b/c he is so hard to capture, punish or reveal. Shakespeare had to twist stuff around to do it.
Agatha Christie in her masterpiece Curtain creates such a fiendishly clever Iago that the hero has to become a murderer to destroy him. And Petrie, Noxon, Whedon, and Fury made Spike Iagoish in Yoko Factor - Spike as Iago is so clever and so adept, that the writers end up letting the character write them into a corner and have to come up with a way through the Iago character to get themselves out.

Iago. The best and most manipulative villain. Why? Because he convinces others to do his deads and manages to manipulate others into doing themselves in.

Angelus plays Iago to a T in Soulless - using Gunn and Fred to screw up Wes. Then using Wes to reveal Cordelia and Connor's relationship. Iago at his finest. Spike was a tad more subtle in Yoko Factor. But then Angelus never cared much for subtlety. Also two totally different purposes on the writers parts.

[> [> I agree -- Rufus, 16:23:34 02/06/03 Thu

ME uses literary archetypes as well as movie and pop culture to make points. That means that it's not out of line for Angelus to be Iago and Angel the father in Oedipus. I like how we get each part of the vampire participating in each triangle....Angel in a direct way in that his son is after what is the "closest thing to a mother he has had", and Angelus, an Iago type figure who throws out distortions of the truth to everyone and waits for the whole thing to go boom.

[> [> Hmmmm. That sounds like... -- Wisewoman, 17:05:21 02/06/03 Thu

The First! Reading your post on Iago suddenly made me think that this is sort of the role that The First is playing on Buffy right now...manipulating people into doing his evil will, or trying to make them despondent and depressed.

It truly is a masterpiece of archetypal characterization. (Iago, that is, not The First, although he/she/it's pretty good too.)

;o) dub

[> [> [> Re: Hmmmm. That sounds like...Spoilers Bs7, As4 to present. -- Age, 18:38:10 02/06/03 Thu

Not only this, but Angelus himself is, like the First Evil, untouchable in the sense that to destroy him physically would be to kill Angel as well. Also, aren't we seeing a sophisticated version of the uber-vamp? While the 'Chaka Khan' on BTVS is the vamp that vamps fear, Angelus is the figurative uber-vamp that most vamps admire (and fear, I would think.)

It's been great to read all the postings on the board regarding parallels between the two series. I used to look for them on an arc and weekly basis when the two shows aired at the same time, but now that their schedules are so far apart I haven't.


[> [> Re: Great post - one correction. -- Dannyblue, 18:59:53 02/06/03 Thu

Yes, Spike was a lot more subtle. He had to be, because no-one knew what he was trying to do. If they had, I don't think the Scoobs would've fallen for his act. Not that the things he said wouldn't have hit close to home, but they would have brushed 'em aside as "just something Spike said to get a rise out of me."

Angelus didn't have to be subtle because the FG knew exactly what he was trying to do...and it still worked. They kept telling themselves, "Angelus is just messing with us." But it didn't matter. No matter how on their guard they were, he still had the desired effect. And all it took was the truth...with his own personal twist added, of course.

[> [> Heaven help you if you just spoiled me... -- Jay, 21:21:14 02/07/03 Fri

about a certain character in this post. I don't even want confirmation or denial. I just want really still quiet. And, NO SPOILERS!

[> Second time around -- tomfool, 06:05:09 02/07/03 Fri

This is the second spin around the Buffyverse for the Othello reference and in both cases Joss's fingerprints are all over it. Earshot was where it was first introduced.

Buffy is sitting in English class, and the teacher/class are discussing the play. Buffy is using her new-found psychic powers to steal the ideas from both another student and the teacher herself to impress the teacher:

Jealousy, clearly, is the tool that Iago used to undo Othello. But what's his motivation? What reason does Iago give for destroying his superior officer?

Under the end of Ms. Murray's speech, we hear:
"Cassio has my place...Twixt my sheets he's done my office..."

BUFFY (working it out):
Well, he was passed over for promotion, Cassio was picked instead... and people were saying Othello slept with his wife.

Later ...
Buffy listens intently as she speaks, translating the teacher's thoughts into her words...

Well, he sort of admits to himself that his motives are... spurious, he just does things because he enjoys them... sort of... Well it's almost like he's not a person, like he's a force of nature - the dark half of Othello himself, Othello's fear and rage sort of... embodied...


Yes, and doesn't that also explain Othello's readiness to believe Iago? Within seconds he turns on Desdemona, belies that she's unfaithful. And we're all like that; we all have little internal Iagos telling us our husbands or our girlfriends or whatever don't really love us. We can never see what's in their hearts. We doubt. We worry.

Buffy's smiles fades, as she's reminded of another part of her life.

Most of us don't go to as extreme measures as Othello, thank goodness..."

In this context, the reference is to Enemies, where Buffy and Angel were Othello and Desdemona to Faith's Iago. Faith had been trying to plant seeds of doubt in Buffy about Angel's love. Even though Buffy knew better, she couldn't help buying into Faith's trickery just a bit.

Interesting that in the commentary for this episode, Jane Espenson tells how the scene originally was a generic throwaway just to have Buffy go through the academic cheating routine. But Joss wanted it to work on another level and eventually came up with the brilliant tie-in that made it to screen. Under Joss's control, there are no such things as throw-away scenes. Anybody want to speculate on where the Angelus dialogue in 'Soulless' came from?

There ought to be a play.

[> Re: Literary archetypes (AtS spoilers through "Soulless") -- slain, 10:26:14 02/07/03 Fri

Another great episode of AtS, no doubt, and one I particularly liked because it seemed to be using a device I always enjoy; stepping outside itself in a sense, and seeing the events objectively and commenting on them. Almost looking at the show from a fan's perspective. There's a word for this (and, no, it's not metanarration) which I've forgotten.

As I was listening to Angelus, I thought a lot of the things he was saying sounded very familiar. I realised where I'd heard them before; here! Like Andrew in BtVS, he's a character who's not part of the family, and who can makes comments about the events. With Andrew that mostly means highlighting the unreal film or comic book elements of the Scoobies' life. With Angelus, it's more to do with the characters themselves. The parallels he made, but also the criticisms, reminded me of the kind of things fans talk about; things which, as they delve into the motivations and weaknesses of the characters, aren't necessarily things the characters themselves would want to hear. But unlike the First Evil, whose shots seem relatively random, he has real insight into the characters. Like we do, hopefully.

[> More on Oedipus, Ats follows it much closer than we think -- s'kat, 10:43:58 02/07/03 Fri

The classic Oedipus story, like Connor's, contains a prophecy gone wrong, in a very similar way. Oedipus' father got a prophecy that the son would kill the father; Wes found a prophecy that the father would kill the son. In both cases, they took action attempting to change the future, but the consequences of their attempts actually caused the trouble they'd have later. The difference is that Oedipus' father's actions actually caused the prophecy to come true. The prophecy about Connor was supposedly rigged and not a true prophecy after all, but Wes's actions, playing into Holtz's hands, helped to cause the estrangement and hostility between father and son which could easily still lead to either killing the other. (All speculation on my part).

Been a while since I read the Oedipus plays. But the tragedy as I recall it is Oedipus does not know his father - he is removed from his parents because of the prophecy that he might kill his father. ( a la Moses - who is hidden to keep from being killed b/c of a prophecy and Jesus who is similarly hidden - big theme) Anyways, he comes back years later as an enemy of the man who is really his father, he was raised by his father's enemies. So when he returns he kills Dad and marries Mom, not realizing it is "Mom" he is marrying. When he discovers what he has done, he blinds himself, horrified at the cost. (I don't remember the rest of it, maybe someone else does? I tend to get these plays confused: Electra, Achemmenon...)

If this is an apt synopsis of that plot - then, Connor really has followed the Oedipal arc. He is kidnapped by a well-meaning Uncle to keep Dad from killing him. Dad's hated nemesis takes Connor far away and raises him to hate Dad. Connor returns to kill his biological Dad, believes the hated nemesis is his real Dad, and falls for the surrogate "Mom" Cordy. Yep - Oedipus from the beginning - which means they probably knew about Connor and Cordelia from the beginning as well. In order to parallel the play - that had to happen. Question is - will Connor kill Angelus or vice versa? Or not at all?

[> [> Oedipus, Indiana Jones and Othello -- Caroline, 13:31:40 02/07/03 Fri

I'd like to add a mention in this thread for Indiana Jones - not only did Angel's dream follow a rather Indiana-like plot but I also seem to remember that Indiana had father issues which were explored in the last movie (although time has faded that particular memory). I like the way ME makes their metaphors accessible in different types of ways.

As for the comparison of the characters with their mythological equivalents, I don't think that ME is trying to come up with a direct equalisation of character to mythic archetype. I think what they are trying to do is emphasize the psychological equivalence. In the Oedipus story, it doesn't really matter that Oedipus did not know his father and Connor does, what really matters are the psychlogical dynamics. The young boy caught in the Oedipal triangle is in competition with his father and one of those things they are competing for is mother. But more importantly than that, the child is trying to define an identity in relationship to both parents. I see Connor doing this and in the process he will learn the boundaries that one should not transgress and learn that his identity, while shaped by interaction with parental figures, does not mean that he has to become one and possess the other - he becomes himself. He is a product of his parents but his own unique person with his own potency, not the potency or identity of his father.

As for the Othello reference, in my opinion, it is really an exploration of envy and jealousy. Iago is an agent of envy - he resents Othello - his rank, position and his wife. He stirs Othello to envy and jealousy by casting aspersions on Desdemona's fidelity. Othello feels jealous of Cassio, fearing that Cassio will supplant him in his wife's affections. Othello is also envious of Desdemona - he loves her so much that he is prepared to kill her rather than see her with another. Angelus is playing the Iago role and even though he is not being subtle about it, he succeeds specutacularly. The first reason is that Cassio/Wes really does love Desdemona/Fred and the second is that Othello/Gunn is playing the jealousy of Wes and envy towards Fred to the hilt. The consequence of that is that he loses sight of Fred herself. He begins fighting over her as a possession and even goes so far as to forget her and injure her in a jealous bout with Wes. I see here the same compulsive tragedy that occurs in Othello - that Gunn will not be able to wake up to himself, he will push Fred away and it will all end in a rather tragic way.

[> [> [> Re: Othello -- slain, 14:22:19 02/07/03 Fri

I'm not a fan of 'Othello', as the message of the play seems very outdated, it being that you can't take the jungle out of the black man, and that all it takes is some European subtlty to turn him back into a savage. But I think, in a modern setting, it does work; Wes isn't Cassio (he isn't an innocent victim), nor is he Iago. I think both characters are more like Othello, so in this way the story is more about how all men can be consumed by jealousy to the point where it damages or destroys their relationships. Another way it differs is that Desdemona, Fred, is a real character, rather than an ideal. She can choose, and indeed has already chosen Gunn; but I think (and this seems likely to me) she can choose neither of them.

[> [> [> [> Re: Othello -- Caroline, 18:26:08 02/07/03 Fri

I tend to see Othello less in terms of racial stereotypes than in terms of psychological dynamics. In that sense, I don't see the themes as outdated. I'll expand a little more on my earlier post. Psychologically, Iago succeeds because he can prey on weaknesses. As was shown in the Yoko Factor, where Spike tried Iago-like tactics to divide the SG to allow Adam to succeed, openness, honesty and communication can overcome these types of manipulations. But when we are ignorant of the psychological undercurrents of what is going on, our weaknesses, particularly when played on by a master manipulator, lead us in an inevitable, compulsive and usually tragic end (that's what I take away from Othello). Fred, Wes and Gunn do not have that type of openness, honesty and communcation happening despite the fact that they work together. And yes, Wes is not entirely innocent here (which fits in with my original point about there not being direct equivalence between the characters on the show and the archetypes the writers are using). He makes a move on Fred and it seemed to me that she reciprocated. Her lack of openness in thanking Wes for saving her, Gunn's envy of Fred and jealousy of Wes and Wes' own desires are on a collision course here. Unless someone starts practising a little self-awareness and openness and honesty, I don't see a lot of hope for a peaceful resolution and I agree with you that it's likely she'll end up with neither of them. Unlike Desdemona who is an innocent, one-dimensional victim, Fred is complicit in this triangle now and I think that it could well end in tragedy. But that's just my speculation.

Tangled Web - the Ramifications of The Hex (speculation which is only spoilery if I'm right) -- ZachsMind, 20:36:21 02/06/03 Thu

Okay. I'm just following the plot threads and tying them together which is how I come up with this stuff. I could be completely wrong. However, IF I'M RIGHT this is major spoilage and so I gotta warn ya if you don't wanna be spoiled then don't read any further. But hey, if you keep reading, there's a very good chance that I'm wrong so if you keep reading, and then save this post, you can make fun of me at the end of the season when future episodes prove me wrong.

Is this reverse engineering or has M.E. been planning this all along? I've looked at this latest episode, and plugged it into what I know about the past seven seasons and either this is major reverse engineering, or Whedon's a steely-eyed missile man. Amy indicated to Kennedy that Willow "gave in to evil." Amy gave that as a legitimate reason to put a hex on Willow. However, it's very possible this goes back further than that.

In the season six episode Doublemeat Palace Amy went to Willow's house in order to get her cage. At least, that was the excuse she used. Amy heard that Willow was trying to quit magic. While there Amy supercharged Willow with a surge of magic one last time, using the word Potestas which is the Latin word for "power." And y'know. It's all about power.

"It's a gift. It's magic ... and it didn't come from you. It came from me. Completely legal. Enjoy."

I thought maybe that was when Amy did it to Willow. She didn't only supercharge her briefly. I thought that was the moment Amy put her little penance malediction on her. However, it wasn't until after that event, that Willow wrote Amy out of her life.

"Amy. If you really are my friend you better stay away from me. And if you really aren't you *better* stay away from me."

That would be sufficient motive one would think, for Amy putting a hex on Willow. They had been partying before, but Willow was shutting Amy out. Maybe Amy did the hex afterwards, somewhere privately. If that's the case, I'd say this is reverse engineering. Something the writers came up with after the fact to explain away all the craziness that's been happening to Willow since. However, if they establish that when Amy supercharged Willow that was when she hexed her, then it indicates the writers have been planning this all along. Perhaps since the third season episode "Gingerbread." Perhaps since the third episode of the first season: "The Witch."

Think about it. Amy's life sucks. Her Mom's gone, so Amy only has a screwed up Dad. She missed graduating from high school. She spent three years as a rat. She's all screwed up in the head herself. Her concepts of good and evil are all kufflooey. She's not into evil. She's not into hate. Now she's all about power.

Amy has been a peripheral character revolving around the Scoobies since near the very beginning. The only sporadically occurring character that's been around longer than Amy, is Jonathan. Amy's storyline is scant but prevalent. When we first meet her, she's actually her mother Catherine. Her mom switched bodies with Amy because Catherine believed she could live Amy's life better than Amy could. The scoobies saved Amy from that fate, and Amy's mother's soul was left trapped in a cheerleading trophy ever since. Or at least until the school blew up in season three. That was the last time we saw the little statue. It was near the Sunnydale yearbook in the last shot of Graduation Day Part Two.

Amy showed up again before the school blew up. She helped Xander with a love spell that went awry. Her next noticeable appearance was in "Gingerbread" when she turned herself into a rat in order to avoid being burned at the stake. Now granted, one would think if she had the power to save herself she might have used her magic to get them all out, but Amy's always had a bit of a selfish streak in her.

So now she's a rat. And for about three years she remains that way. Only appearing once in season four when Willow accidently brought her back briefly and didn't notice it. Then when Tara left Willow, she then realized she could turn Amy into a person again. Amy seemed thankful, and she claimed she didn't remember much about being a rat. What if AMy transferred the blame for putting herself into the rat cage onto Willow, blaming Willow for her own plight. Seeing Willow graduate from high school and be successful in college, when Amy was trapped in a cage that whole time. If Amy blames Willow for that, she'd have reason to hate her.

However, when Kennedy accused Amy of hating Willow, she reacted quite curiously. She said "this isn't about hate. It's about POWER." Potestas! The same thing The First Evil said to Spike in the first episode of season seven.

"You still don't get it. It's not about right, not about wrong.. It's about Power."

We know that the hex is the reason why Willow turned into Warren. It's plausible that the hex is the reason why Willow's powers have been acting strangely all this time. What's been bugging me though is how could The First get into Willow and shoot out of her like that. If The First had that kinda power, it coulda destroyed the world several times over by now, but apparently that's not what The First wants.

And if you were The First Evil, isn't that what you'd want? I mean if you're THE FORCE against all that's good and you embrace death where good forces embrace life, wouldn't you just wanna destroy everything? Or would you want to make everyone think that someone you don't like almost destroyed the world? Doesn't that sound kinda.. familiar?

I don't think The First Evil is what we think it is. I think it could be Amy.

Wait. Before you think I've gone off the deep end. The first time we saw The First Evil was in Amends, and the very next episode, Amy got ratted in Gingerbread. The First Evil doesn't come back until after Smashed in season six. Hasn't anyone else wondered why The First didn't make a move since it first tried to take on Angel & Buffy back in season three? This would explain it.

[> Good theory. Very good theory. -- Rob, 20:44:52 02/06/03 Thu

The connections between the First's appearances and Amy's disappearances and vice versa are very interesting. Not sure if I think Amy is the First, but there might definitely be a connection there. And if she is, I will bow down to your superior speculationy skills!


[> [> I don't mean literally... -- ZachsMind, 21:19:18 02/06/03 Thu

I don't mean Amy's literally The First. I mean to suggest Amy is the "puppeteer" that causes The First's illusions to occur. We learned in "Amends" that the Bringers were allegedly chanting or doing some kinda incantation which made The First appear. The First is supposedly powerful but it's noncorporeal. It can't actually do anything. It just tempts and suggests others into doing things for it.

It appears to be an illusion that is controlled by some sentience. The Bringers have got to be controlled by somebody. There's gonna have to be a leader that Buffy eventually gets to whack on. Amy is in my mind the lead contender in that role.

Might sound far fetched now, but I've done some similar speculation about Angel and I think I know who's pulling whose strings there as well. So in a few weeks I predict it won't sound all that far fetched at all.

[> [> [> About the first -- Tess, 21:58:03 02/06/03 Thu

Didn't Giles once say that The First might have the power to have brought Angel back from the hell dimension he'd been trapped in? If that's true, it must have some power other than just taking on the form of dead people to taunt the living.

Your theory about Amy is interesting and her 'It's about power' caught me right away. I think we haven't seen the last of Amy yet.

[> [> [> [> We don't know what brought back Angel.. -- ZachsMind, 22:10:58 02/06/03 Thu

Giles' supposition was only a guess. It's never been properly explained what brought Angel back, but it is possible that The First had a hand in it. It is perhaps the prime suspect. What or who else would know how to do it, or have had the power to pull it off?

However, IF Amy's the puppeteer behind The First, it's not clear how Amy could have known how to bring Angel back. To explain that one, the ME guys will definitely have to do a little reverse engineering. And it appears the writers are in the process of tying up all the loose ends. Angel's unexplained return in season three is definitely a big loose end.

[> [> [> [> [> Portals Galoretals -- oboemaboe, 23:08:11 02/06/03 Thu

"What or who else would know how to do it, or have had the power to pull it off?"

Do what? Open a portal and push someone through it?

Let's see, Angelus using Acathla, Angel using the Kleynach's ring, Ken, Doc, Willow, Glory's co-gods, D'Hoffryn, the Kathy-type-demons, Sahjahn, Connor, the Oden Tal, Fred, Wesley, Prof. Seidel, Cordelia, the Beast.

Why is Angel's return from one of the many hell dimensions any more miraculous than all this other portal hopping?

[> [> [> [> [> [> ME's one homa'ge to "true love conquers all".... -- Briar Rose, 01:21:16 02/07/03 Fri

What brought Angel back to Earth? Well, maybe I'm simple minded but it looked pretty obvious to me....

Buffy's tears and then doing the most divine of all human actions; forgiving herself and Angel/Angelus and letting go with love in removing the Claddaugh ring all the while her love being spilled all over the spot where Angel then appears seems to be rather obvious as to WHAT brought Angel back, IMO. Love's power funneled through TPsTB.

It was one of the few times that ME has ever literally allowed the idea that Love will always win over Evil to be a part of the mythology. It has come up a few times in ways not quite so obvious:

Xander and the Yellow Crayon Speech (The second most obvious)

Spike with "Because she believes in me..."

Buffy feeding herself to Angel after trying to kill Faith to do so, which is the side of Love that many run from, the "I would do anything for you...." part of love that makes you do things that you are against at any other time for anyone else or any other reason.


"The Gift" and "Family" as a whole.

However this was one of maybe two times that it has been a literal representation of Love being powerful enough to move Heaven and Earth. Giles did not know about what Buffy did just before Angel came back when he was speculating. BUFFY didn't even know that Angel came back right then and there because she'd left by the time nude!Angel landed in the spot. But the Claddaugh was there and then Angel was. (And I believe he picks up the ring/looks at it when he lands???? Or was I filling that part in mentally?*L)

[> [> [> Some very nice sherlocking. Now, the wait. -- yez, 05:08:40 02/07/03 Fri

[> Pay No Attention to the Man Behind the Curtain -- cjl, 08:23:40 02/07/03 Fri

This is an interesting idea, ZM, and even though I'm not convinced Amy is the Jossverse's equivalent of the Borg Queen, I'm willing to keep an eye out for suspicious rat-like goings-on--and maybe check to see if Catherine's statue pops up in the background somewhere. (I've always believed Joss would bring back Catherine the Great. In my first post ever on ATP, I thought she might have been the dark power behind Willow's rampage, but I was proven wrong. Or [dramatic music] WAS I?)

Still, since we're throwing out theories here about Oz-like puppet masters ("Oz" as in L. Frank Baum, not Seth Green), how's this for a suspect: Andrew! Everyone on the board has always found it strange that Andrew has absolutely no background or identity other than "Tucker's brother." But are we even sure of that? In a season where no one and nothing is what it seems, who's to say Andrew's status as Jossverse non-entity isn't the literal truth--that is, he's a fiction, a wolf in nerd's clothing, dismissed as harmless (a "mushroom") by Buffy and Scoobs, but actually containing within him a boundless power capable of destroying the universe.

Sounds a little like Dawn. Now that I come to think if it, sounds a LOT like Dawn.

In an odd sort of way, it makes sense. Suppose the mastermind behind the Troika wasn't Warren--suppose it was Andrew, staying behind the scenes and manipulating both Warren and Jonathan into torturing the Scoobs rather than going for the big money, supercool gadgets, and chicks, chicks, chicks. And why did Andrew and Jonathan come back from Mexico, anyway? Did the First Evil really need poor Jonathan's blood to activate the seal? Some poor schnook in Sunnydale (read: Spike) would serve just as well. It makes no sense, unless Evil Mastermind Andrew was determined to get back to the center of action and oversee the Great Plan.

Of course, this theory falls apart when you remember Spike attacking Andrew at the prompting of the First Evil, and all the times FE/Warren was nattering to Andrew about becoming a demi-god and such. But, like with Amy, I'm keeping an eye on the little weasel. The boy just ain't right...

[> [> If you want to be completely paranoid... -- ponygirl, 12:26:23 02/07/03 Fri

Consider that we only hear Xander's relay of Robson's phone conversation in TKIM. Robson could have said anything, "I have Giles' decapitated head here in my living room could someone come pick it up?" or "We've discovered the First can go corporeal at will and btw Giles never sent me a get well card." or perhaps "Hey Xander, it's your mystical, possibly evil, overlord. Can you get everyone out of the house for a few hours? I heard this great story about Giles that you can use..."

[> [> [> LOL -- yez, 12:47:21 02/07/03 Fri

Problem with Willow -- Miss Edith, 06:02:31 02/07/03 Fri

She still seems to think that Warren deserved to be killed. Does anyone deserve to be tortured and flayed alive? She is still playing God and judging others. I just find it interesting that Willow was worrying in TKIM about becoming a killer. She is already a killer. Warren is hated because he killed Tara. Not to justify his actions but his aim was to shoot Buffy and as Willow tried to kill her Buffy too is it not a case of throwing stones in glass houses?

I am just surprised because I thought Willow did feel remorse at killing Warren, and causing his family unnecessery suffering. After all they will spend the rest of their lifes wondering what happened to their son. I do think Willow is better than Warren, but I wouldn't expect Willow to think that and put herself too highly on the moral scale. She jokes about killing Anya, said a victim of hers got what he deserved. Not exactly what I was expecting to see this season. What do others think about the presentation of Willow at the moment?

[> Spoilers for The Killer In Me in above post -- Miss Edith, 06:04:58 02/07/03 Fri

[> Re: Problem with Willow (SPOILERS for The Killer in Me) -- Robert, 08:30:06 02/07/03 Fri

>>> What do others think about the presentation of Willow at the moment?

I think you missed the point of the episode. The episode was not about Willow killing Warren or Warren killing Tara. It was about Willow's feelings of guilt for letting Tara go. Without the shooting scripts, I must write from memory. Near the end of the episode, Willow expressed grief that she had killed Tara -- in other words, killed her memory and devotion of Tara. Her kiss of Kennedy represented the "killing" of her memory and devotion of Tara.

Willow was not upset about becoming a killer. She knows that she is already a killer, and almost a mass murderer. She has to illusions about that. What upset her was the thought of becoming Tara's killer, of killing the last connection she held with Tara.

>>> What do others think about the presentation of Willow at the moment?

If by "at the moment" you mean this episode, I thought it was touching and beautiful.

[> [> Well said -- Sophist, 09:17:43 02/07/03 Fri

[> [> Re: Problem with Willow (SPOILERS for The Killer in Me) -- Miss Edith, 09:45:28 02/07/03 Fri

I know the episode focused on Willow's grief over Tara. My point was that surely her priority should be her actions in season 6? When Willow almost ended the world I assumed the consequences would be followed through. A lot of viewers were upset at the time because they felt Willow's character had been ruined, and her only option in the new season would be to see her rocking in a strightjacket overcome with remorse.

I am just surprised at the way the writers choose to play it this season. In STSP Willow's focus when returning was on herself and being lonely. And in TKIM her focus is on the loss of Tara, and Warren having got what he deserved. I just don't know how much genuine remorse I have seen so far. I haven't seen much emotion over what she did to Dawn, or her torture and skinning of Warren for instance. Has she been shown to apologise to the scoobies and talk about what she did? I just can't help feeling that there is a redemption arc that is being totally wasted. Yes it's nice that Willow is able to move on with a new partner, but her actions in season 6 still need addressing. Wasn't the point of her staying in England simply to learn to control her magic, rather than address her behaviour?

[> [> [> Re: Problem with Willow (SPOILERS for The Killer in Me) -- Arethusa, 10:21:47 02/07/03 Fri

In STSP, Willow was so afraid of being rejected by her friends for what she had done that she literally disappeared. That demonstrates much more fear and remorse than focusing on herself or being lonely. Remember this conversation in Lessons?

WILLOW: Will they always be afraid of me?
GILES: Maybe. Can you handle it?
WILLOW: I deserve a lot worse. (they stop walking) I killed people, Giles.
GILES: I've not forgotten.
WILLOW: When you brought me here, I thought it was to kill me. Or to lock me in some mystical dungeon for all eternity, or ... with the torture. (frowns) Instead, you ... go all Dumbledore on me. (Giles smiling a little) I'm learning about magic, all about energy and Gaia and root systems...
GILES: Do you want to be punished?
WILLOW: (softly) I wanna be Willow.
GILES: You are. In the end, we all are who we are ... no matter how much we may appear to have changed.

I agree with Robert re Tara and Warren; Willow's issue this episode was her inability to accept the pain of letting Tara go. That Willow was able to do so is a tremendous leap for her; remember, most of her worst actions resulted from trying to avoid emotional pain.

We're accustomed to tv shows that have a character make terrible mistakes, abase themselves and apologize profusely, and then have everything go back to normal. ME does something different, and much more difficult, which requires the patience of the viewers. They show that redemption and forgiveness are a very slow process, and the way a person shows how they change in real life is in the changed way they live their lives. It's not as showy dramatically, but it is truer and, to me at least, more interesting. ME has done a good job of showing the awkwardness of Willow's position, the ambivilance of others' reactions to her, and best of all, the constant and deep-seated love and affection the others have for Willlow, even after her darkest hour.

[> [> [> [> quote by psyche above -- Arethusa, 10:26:26 02/07/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Well said also -- slain, 11:02:21 02/07/03 Fri

Viewers on the whole, at least here, have shown a lot of patience regarding Spike, even though he hasn't shown any particular remorse as such, the attempted rape aside. Why not? Well, because as shadowkat has said many times, the show is about growth, not redemption. The importance issue is how has Spike grown, and with the redemption/soul thing is a metaphor for this, not how much he's grovelling on the floor begging his dead victims for forgiveness.

The same can be said of Willow; the entire killing of Warren and the Dark Willow episode is an allegory of how we deal with death, not about how we deal with having killed someone. They did that already, remember, with Faith. TKIM continues the allegory in a more literal way, focusing on how we move on from great loss, and the point in the grieving process where we can forgive ourselves for wanting to do so. To bring it down to the level of "Willow was bad, now she must be consumed with guilt" does the show a disservice, in exactly the same way as bringing Spike's journey down to the level of "Spike was bad, now he must be consumed with guilt or get staked" would do.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well said also -- Miss Edith, 11:42:23 02/07/03 Fri

You say the story arc should not be reduced to "Willow was bad, now she must be consumed with guilt". Ordinarily I would agree. But Willow did try to kill her friends, and was involved in torture. I just wish ME hadn't taken her character to such extremes. From what I have heard Alyson Hannigan has said a lot of fans have given her negative feedback this year, and no longer like Willow much. Having a regular character attempt to destroy the world, and then not follow the redemtion arc through is to me a mistake.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: redemption or not -- Robert, 13:45:18 02/07/03 Fri

>>> Having a regular character attempt to destroy the world, and then not follow the redemtion arc through is to me a mistake.

I do not view this season as you do. I do believe that we are seeing Willow on a path of healing and redemption. I am not sure what it is your are missing. What do you wish of Willow? Willow could have been turned over to authorities (the coven in England for instance). She could have been outright killed. Her friends could reject her. She could fall on her knees and sob on their feet.

I think part of our disconnect is that I do not view season 6 Willow as so much a murderer and criminal. I see season 6 as a metaphor for Willow (who was the strength and the rock of the gang up until then) becoming seriously ill, and is now on the mend, but is not yet completely well.

Willow is still responsible for her actions. She is responsible for depriving Warren of his life (whatever that means in the context of the BtVS universe), and it will take a lot to atone for having done so. Maybe by season's end, we will see that atonement. I don't however believe that incarceration or rejection or sobbing on her knees fits well within the metaphor which Mutant Enemy is giving us.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I don't remember when she tried to kill them, except for the Apocalypse -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:53:00 02/07/03 Fri

She never once tried to kill any of the Scoobies (except possibly Giles, but he didn't die at any rate, and it's possible Willow knew that), except for her attempt to destroy the world. And there forgiveness is easier because her intentions were genuinally good. She thought she was doing the world a favor.

I also have one reason why I'm not seeing redemption being quite as neccesary: while Willow did try to destroy the world, she backed down. No one had the force to stop her, least of all Xander. She did start to cause the Apocalypse, but stopped the process of her own free will. While Xander convinced her to do so, she chose to accept what he was saying. Due to this, I consider the slate clean when it comes to the Apocalypse.

Now, she does bear responsibility for killing Warren and Rack, as well as attempting to kill Jonathan and Andrew. And I don't think she's forgetting that. In fact, when Lessons first aired, a few people were actually miffed that Willow was sorrowful over the evil she had done, but wasn't showing any grief over Tara.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> How about... -- Malandanza, 14:12:31 02/07/03 Fri

Well, there was the attempt to smash the police car Xander, Buffy, Andrew and Jonathan were in (remember Jonathan asking if Willow knew Buffy and Xander were in there?)

Also, Dawn at Rack's magic crack house -- threatening to turn someone back into a ball of energy counts as a death threat in my book. Willow says explicitly that she's willing to kill any of her friends that get in her way (I'm not sure how Dawn was in her way...)

The fight at the magic box, she tries to kill Buffy and chokes Anya (who's "chanting her heart out")

She sends a slow moving fireball after Xander, Dawn, Jonathan and Andrew to get Buffy away from her.

She tries to kill Giles and ends up draining him of his magic and leaving him for dead.

She pauses in her world destruction to send magic root monsters after Buffy (with her very cool remark that "the earth wants you back") and blasted Xander with her evil magic.

And I disagree that she thought she was doing the world a favor by ending it -- that was just self-pity on a monstrous scale.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Attempted murder of 6 billion people -- Doug, 15:21:10 02/07/03 Fri

Personally I don't care particularly much about Warren, but I happen to care quite alot about the planet. Trying to destroy all life on the planet is I think the closest thing to an unforgivable sin. Every hope, every dream, every love on the planet snuffed out because of her loss is not Just.

I won't shed many tears for Warren, the Bastard killed Tara. He should have gotten a quick end, not torture, but the result is the same. But purging an entire planet of life for Willow's emotional satisfaction? Why does no oe else seem to care about this?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> As I said above. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:27:31 02/07/03 Fri

Because Willow stopped freely. She did intend to destroy the world, she started to destroy the world, and there was no way Xander could force her not to destroy the world. So why didn't she destroy the world? Because Xander's proclamation of unconditional love reached her. If they had found a spell to stop Willow or drained her powers as she was trying to cause the Apocalypse, then I would agree with you. But they didn't. Willow voluntarily backed out of this most heinous act, so I find it difficult to judge her on it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: As I said above. . . -- Malandanza, 19:57:55 02/07/03 Fri

In Wild at Heart, Willow comes close to cursing Veruca and Oz, but backs down of her own accord at the last minute and breaks the spell. This is not what happened in Season Six. It's more like a hostage situation, where an emotionally distraught gunman is threatening to kill every one in the room, then kill himself, but is talked out of his madness by a mediator. But for Xander, Willow would have destroyed the world. I'm not sure it rises to the level of attempted murder, since she was totally out of control at the time and her desire to end the world was really just an extension of her own desire to die, a death wish that she wanted to share with the rest of creation. I'd say not guilty by reason of insanity for attempted murder of 6 billion people, but to claim that Xander had no part in averting the end of the world is a bit like saying the hostage negotiators are superfluous -- just give the madmen enough time and they'll come around.

However, she was not out of control when she hunted down Warren, then sought out Andrew and Jonathan. Giles' dosing her with "good" magic is what drove her over the edge.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Using your comparison to hostage takers. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:06:04 02/07/03 Fri

I'm not sure if I'd want to give them attempted murder charges (though making big threats to kill people and waving a firearm around are still felony charges, I think). At any rate, when they're brought to trial, they would almost certainly be given a lighter sentence than a hostage taker who had to be subdued by force. I agree, Xander was crucial to stopping Willow. But he did it by appealing to her a better nature, and her better nature won out.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Using your comparison to hostage takers. . . -- Miss Edith, 06:00:07 02/08/03 Sat

A hostage taker who threatened to take lives and had the means to do so would be up on an attempted murder charge surely? Willow did terrorise a lot of people. She made individual attempts on all her friends lifes.

Her attempts to kill Dawn for her whininess were only prevented by Buffy. Willow also loved facing down Buffy and gloating about the power she had. She was only throwing Buffy around the room at first, but I believe she would have gone through with killing Buffy based on her state of mind. Not to mention bouncing Giles of the ceiling for his interference. And when she send the fireball after Andrew and Jonathon she specifically states anyone who is helping them is dead. I think she was aware that Dawn and Xander were with them? And of course Anya was attacked and the magic box destroyed.

And trying to bring about the apocalypse was a shockingly evil act. Xander appealed to her humanity and managed to get through to her in the end, but that to me does not negate the fact that she was willing to go through with her plans. She raised the temple and was good to go, she certaintly wasn't looking for someone to talk her out of it. She tried to torture Xander into shutting up. You seem to think that because Willow wasn't overcome by force her crimes are of a lesser nature, that is where I disagree. I don't think that the way she was stopped takes away her guilt.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think there is less guilt in that area than if she hadn't stopped willingly. -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:29:12 02/08/03 Sat

I agree that she's guilty of trying to kill Andrew and Jonathan, and that she tried to kill Buffy and Xander as well in the truck sequence (had totally forgotten about that), though I'm not sure whether she meant her Key comment seriously. But the fact is I'm not denying she is guilty of attempted murder of her friends.

However, take Riley in "Goodbye, Iowa" for example. He seemed perfectly willing to shoot that woman, even though he wasn't sure if he'd have a corpse or an enraged vampire on his hands. But Buffy spoke to him and got him to not go through with it. And I have yet to see anyone accusing Riley of attempted murder. Now, one could argue that the cases are different, since Riley was going through drug withdrawl and it's possible he wouldn't have shot her even if Buffy wasn't there. But Willow was going through a metaphorical drug high, and it is up for an unresolvable debate whether Riley would have shot that woman if Buffy hadn't intervened.

Also, I'm not terribly familiar with the law. But, if a hostage taker threatens to kill a bunch of people and has the means to, but is talked down by a mediator, I wouldn't WANT him to have attempted murder charges. I'm not sure whether or not the law dictates that he would, but if it says he gets the attempted murder rap, then it's a law that I disagree with.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Nice job Finn. You'll make a good lawyer. That's intended as a compliment. -- Sophist, 10:09:15 02/08/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I think there is less guilt in that area than if she hadn't stopped willingly. -- Miss Edith, 10:10:49 02/08/03 Sat

I think the difference is that Riley was unaware of the drugs in his system, and was genuinely unsure whether the woman was a vampire or not. He was cracking up, not attempting to cause pain. The difference to me is that Willow took the magic into her system for a specific purpose. She knew that it would cause her to lose control, that was why she wanted it. Therefore she is responsible for everything that she did whilst under the influence IMO.

As for Dawn I think Willow did mean to kill her. She backed her up to the corner of the room and was telling Dawn exactly what she thought of her. Suggested to me that she would have gone through with it, hence being brutally honest about her irritation with Dawn. It was Buffy that interupted them when Willow was planning to turn Dawn back "Maybe thats why you're crying all the time Dawnie because you don't belong here...it's time to go back to being a little energy ball" etc.

I would say if someone was planning to kill hostages, whether or not he was talked out of it in the end, I would still want him to face attempted murder charges. JMHO.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The longest journey....(Spoilers to KIM) -- Sophist, 08:37:43 02/08/03 Sat

Having a regular character attempt to destroy the world, and then not follow the redemtion arc through is to me a mistake

I'm not sure why you reach this conclusion. As I see it, Willow had 3 issues, at least, coming into this season: whether her friends still cared for her after her behavior in S6; her love for Tara; her actual behavior itself (Warren most of all, but lots else besides). So far, ME has addressed the first issue in STSP and the second in KIM. They are moving one step at a time, letting the arc develop slowly.

This strikes me as exactly the right sequence and pacing for the arc you want. Willow must have her friends in order for her to move beyond her current state; this has been a consistent message throughout the history of the show. She then needs to set aside a special place in her heart for Tara, but not allow that love to freeze her further development. These steps are essential precursors to the toughest part of her journey. That lies ahead.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The longest journey....(Spoilers to KIM) -- DEN, 15:49:52 02/08/03 Sat

An impressive argument, convincing even to me, who favors "finessing" the end-of-the-world stuff for reasons discussed elsewhere. I appreciate as well the relative economy with which ME is handling the stages--it would be so easy to slip into extended bathos. You must be a helluva lawyer in the Realverse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL. Thanks. -- Sophist, 17:21:53 02/08/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well said also -- Freki, 16:43:29 02/07/03 Fri

In Sleeper, when Buffy accused Spike of killing again, he said he could barely stand to live with what he'd done and certainly wouldn't be adding to the body count. I can't think of precise lines for Willow, but I certainly thought that she felt guilty and remorseful when she was talking with Giles in England. I don't need to hear either of them repeating over and over again how sorry they are, I can see that in their actions.

Redemption is such a slippery term to define if you're not talking in religious terms. I guess I tend to see redemption as being achieved through growth, through recognizing that they have done evil and taking steps to make sure that they don't repeat those actions. Just feeling remorse for their actions is no guarantee that they wouldn't repeat them. Andrew is sorry for killing Jonathan, but I don't have a great deal of confidence that he couldn't be manipulated into doing the same thing again. Willow went evil and killed Warren because she wasn't able to deal with Tara's death. After facing that and accepting it in KIM, I don't think Willow would react the same way again.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Well said also (intolerance and externally imposed cathartic process) -- Celebaelin, 16:59:06 02/07/03 Fri

Contrary to the overriding theme of the show.

Questioning the connection to reality of the Buffyverse.


I wonder if you believe that a woman with Willow's past history (specifically I mean a lesbian murderess@) would be allowed to forgive herself and move on by her peers in England. The idea of her metaphorically shrugging her shoulders and progressing back into the land of the living by engaging in another relationship (or being allowed to do so) seems, well, UNREALISTIC to me.

I've been (ahem) 'enamoured' of Willow like, forever (boy was I barking up the wrong tree), but it seems to me that virtually every decision she made for herself ended in disaster EXCEPT the initial choice of entering a loving relationship with Tara, and even that fell prey to magical subversion and arcane power play - the synergy of the couple being shown in the fact that Tara brought Willow back from that brink, at least temporarily. But to allow her to forget Tara? I find it difficult to believe.

Oh, but not in a bad way (?sheesh?)

@ I write murderess because 'a lesbian murderer' sounds like a man who murders lesbians and I still refuse to believe that that is a fitting description of Willow, although it seems that others with considerably more (ie any) writing influence would disagree.

[> [> [> [> Re: Bravo for this thought (SPOILERS for The Killer in Me) -- pr10n, 11:07:29 02/07/03 Fri


Xander said last year (I paraphrase) that backsliding is part of recovery, and how strong must Willow be to, um, frontslide into any relationship. To even TRY to love again is a remarkably courageous act.

I don't think Kennedy is Rebound Girl -- if anyone played that role, it was Amy last year, before Tara died. Tara's death is substantial; Tara's break up "was for no good reason." Willow is really working hard at not running away or dissolving into fetal goo.

I think that forgiveness, and especially forgiving oneself, is the main theme for the Scoobs this year. Everyone has issues... Can we rest now?

Assuming that a fiery apocalypse doesn't end all Scooby-dom, we may see some real grown-ups, some real heroes, by the end of the season. Not "t.v." grown-ups or heroes: that seems too easy, and I want to believe that Joss won't crack.

[> [> [> [> Completely agree -- s'kat, 12:25:44 02/07/03 Fri

We're accustomed to tv shows that have a character make terrible mistakes, abase themselves and apologize profusely, and then have everything go back to normal. ME does something different, and much more difficult, which requires the patience of the viewers. They show that redemption and forgiveness are a very slow process, and the way a person shows how they change in real life is in the changed way they live their lives. It's not as showy dramatically, but it is truer and, to me at least, more interesting. ME has done a good job of showing the awkwardness of Willow's position, the ambivilance of others' reactions to her, and best of all, the constant and deep-seated love and affection the others have for Willlow, even after her darkest hour.

Very true. I think this is far more realistic. Forgiveness, redemption, whatever term you wish to give it in life is less showy and often more gradual and anti-climatic than it is on drama. And usually it isn't others forgiveness we require so much as our own - which ME shows very well through the characters of Willow, Spike, Angel, Cordelia, Buffy, Xander, Anya, and Giles...they as we often tend to be, are the worst judges of themselves as well as their own worst enemies.

[> [> [> [> Re: Problem with Willow (SPOILERS for The Killer in Me) -- Malandanza, 13:56:08 02/07/03 Fri

"We're accustomed to tv shows that have a character make terrible mistakes, abase themselves and apologize profusely, and then have everything go back to normal."

I agree with you about ME in general, but with Willow it seems that ME is making everything go back to normal after brief (and ambiguous) periods of remorse. I think there is general agreement that this episode was not about Willow feeling remorse for torturing and murdering Warren, but about Willow being able to move on after Tara's death. Willow shouldn't have blamed herself for Tara's death and shouldn't live in the past, mourning her lost love, so from that standpoint, it was a positive step forward. On the other hand, I don't think that Willow has ever shown genuine remorse for killing Warren. STSP was Willow feeling remorse for trying to kill Xander, Buffy and Dawn (or fear that her friends would not accept her again), but I didn't see any remorse for trying to Anya or Andrew. Maybe the Gnarl was a manifestation of Willow's subconscious desire to be punished for flaying Warren. In each of these cases, Willow went back to normal rather quickly -- no self-flagellation, no extended periods of brooding or soul searching, no attempts to make amends -- not even cookies for the injured parties.

I don't believe that ME intends for Willow to get off so lightly, however. We've had the "isn't anyone going to blame Willow" and "you are responsible" lines from earlier in the season that I can't believe were just throwaway lines. We have the continued presence of Andrew (with whom Willow has had very little interaction since his capture -- I think she has been intentionally avoiding him) as a reminder of her past deeds. We have Amy with her penance spell. I think we're going to see Willow's story progressing more like Angel's -- no matter how hard Angel tries to have a normal life, his past crimes continue to plague him, intruding just when he thinks his life is working out perfectly. In the current season, Cordelia knows about Angelus' past, she understands that Angel isn't fully responsible for Angelus' deeds, she realizes that Angel has worked hard to make amends -- and, yet, she was ultimately unable to forget the past.

I think the same will be true for Willow -- everything seems like it's back to normal. Her life appears to be working out splendidly. Now it's time for Kennedy to find out the truth about Warren and Willow. Willow didn't just kill him -- she hunted him down, tied him up, tortured him and flayed him alive. She tried to kill every one of the Scoobies (including Andrew and Giles) and tried to destroy the world. I have a feling that Kennedy's reaction when the full truth comes out will be much like Cordelia's when she realized just how much Angelus had enjoyed his escapades -- she will recoil in horror. Willow can say the magic made me do it just as Angel can say Angelus did it, but saying she's not responsible doesn't make the unease go away.

I think Willow has a great deal more growth ahead of her. It isn't just about accepting responsibilty for her actions or admitting that her brutal murder/torture of Warren was wrong, it's also about accepting that her relationship with her friends has changed forever.

[> [> [> [> [> Very good points, and I agree. -- Arethusa, 14:41:42 02/07/03 Fri

She can go on, but she can't go back to what she once was. She'll have to live with the repercussions of her actions all her life (in a fiction-y way, of course).

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I Too Agree--Excellent Points -- aethernodus, 19:16:27 02/07/03 Fri

I'm especially taken with your comparison between Willow and Angel--I'd been thinking the same thing myself.

I noticed in particular that the Willow/Kennedy connection is similar to the Buffy/Angel romance. Setting aside notions of chemistry, plausibility of the attraction, lack of a build for romance, whether it's intended to be transitory or permanent, etc. Kennedy is acting in this somewhat like a younger Buffy. She's idealistic about romance (references Gone with the Wind and Moulin Rouge), persistent (remember Buffy's determination in pursuing the bookish Owen--with whom she had nothing in common), and most importantly, compassionate. (I think that younger Buffy's idealism and compassion were key ingredients for the Buffy/Angel romance--and Kennedy's ever-present "spunk" is supposed to remind us of Buffy).

As for Willow, she's now hexed (like Angel is cursed), has a "sinful" past and turns into a monster with the first kiss (like Angel with Buffy).

Your speculation about Kennedy's anticipated inability to cope with the full horror of Willow's past is interesting--it would be very effective storytelling.

[> [> [> When did Willow express . . . . -- acesgirl, 10:38:11 02/07/03 Fri

that Warren had "gotten what he deserved" in TKIM? Did I miss that part?

[> [> [> [> Re: When did Willow express . . . . -- Miss Edith, 10:45:45 02/07/03 Fri

No she never said that as such. But IMO there was a general feeling of Warren having got what he deserved. I think Willow said something like there was a reason for her killing him? It just seemed a little off. Willow is the last person who should be judging others, and playing God with people's lifes. Just seems inappropriate to me personally.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: When did Willow express . . . . -- DEN, 22:34:58 02/07/03 Fri

The real problem with "Willow and the 6 billion" is the difficulty--I'm willing to say the impossibility--of taking the concept seriously. It was introduced in the last half-hour of a story arc widely considered so over the top that it became ridiculous, in a season ME itself seems anxious to forget. Addressing it in contexts like punishment and forgiveness is, IMO, like trying to prove Jack didn't really kill the giant when he cut down the beanstalk. It gets just plain silly in a hurry (no personal slurs of other posters intended here). Even the Dark Phoenix analogy doesn't apply. In short, I believe Willow's behavior in s6 offers ample fodder for moral judgments without moving into prosecuting her for attempeted Gaiacide.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Great phrase: "attempted Gaiacide". LOL. -- Sophist, 08:26:04 02/08/03 Sat

[> [> Or was it ? -- Etrangere, 18:39:57 02/08/03 Sat

"I think you missed the point of the episode. The episode was not about Willow killing Warren or Warren killing Tara. It was about Willow's feelings of guilt for letting Tara go. Without the shooting scripts, I must write from memory. Near the end of the episode, Willow expressed grief that she had killed Tara -- in other words, killed her memory and devotion of Tara. Her kiss of Kennedy represented the "killing" of her memory and devotion of Tara."

Willow killed Warren, threatened her friends and attempted to destroy the world because she had lost Tara. If Tara was dead, what was anything worth ? If Tara was dead who had any right to live ? This is nihilism, not only vengeance, but autodestruction as well ("I'm not going back")
Willow was wrong. Tara's death didn't mean that nothing anymore was worth living. Living still, loving still, doesn't mean she betrays Tara's memory.
Thus it's all tied up.
Forgiving herself for kissing Kennedy, forgiving herself for going on living, going on growing up (s6 was also about being "chilled" in a stage) is also understand what was wrong with what she did. She sees herself as a killer, as Warren. She's Warren. Don't tell me this is not meaningful, even if she doesn't ponder about what she made Warren loose. Warren had warned her that if she killed him she would become like him, and he was right.
It's all connected.
She is Willow and she is Warren.
But life goes on, and through forgiving herself for forgetting Tara she learns at last the lesson of S6 : that the world is beautiful, that life is sacred and that nothing is worth making it end, for yourself or for others.

[> Re: Problem with Willow -- 110v3w1110w, 10:21:31 02/08/03 Sat

i think he deserved to be killed and i don't think willow should feel guilty at all about killing him

[> [> Re: Problem with Willow -- Miss Edith, 10:33:05 02/08/03 Sat

You don't think she should feel guilt at torturing another human being and skinning him alive? You think Willow had the right to play God and decide who lives or dies?

[> Re: Problem with Willow -- Dochawk, 11:46:38 02/08/03 Sat

" She still seems to think that Warren deserved to be killed. Does anyone deserve to be tortured and flayed alive? She is still playing God and judging others"


I agree with the first statement about Willow, but I think you are drawing the wrong conclusions. Willow certainly believes Warren should have been killed, as do I, as I think does the State of California (I am sure our noted barrister, Sophist will correct me, but Warren killed Tara during a crime where he intended to kill Buffy, constituting Murder with special circumstances, which in California allows the prosecutors to seek the death penalty - so there is no problem with Willow thinking Warren deserved death for his actions). But, I think she is incredibly guilt-ridden about being the agent of Warren's death and the means by which it was accomplished. We have seen that in Lessons, STSP and KiM. She does not want to be a killer, she can't get away from the fact that she was.

As for "attempted murder" of her friends. They forgive her. They are the agents of her forgiveness, we don't really have a say in the matter. I think even Andrew would forgive her her attempts on him (Andrew has his own guilt which he hasn't dealt well with yet).

As a Jewish Wiccan she does have a problem because only the person sinned against can offer forgiveness, so murder is the only crime that can't be forgiven. During the final scene at the house, I think not only was it Willow begging for forgiveness for killing Tara, it was Warren (and in a way ME?)

[> [> Hmmm. The first ME = Miss Edith, the second one = Mutant Enemy -- Dochawk, 11:50:52 02/08/03 Sat

I also meant to add that "still playing God", I think she has a right to judge Warren, she has no right in American Society to seek vengeance for it. But, having an opinion isn't playing God and as I said before, she is suffering significantly for her guilt. No question she has more to pay and she will be a changed person, but she recognizes she is all too human.

[> [> You are correct on the law Doc -- Sophist, 13:30:30 02/08/03 Sat

[> [> [> Re: But as we say in the South - He needed killin' -- Desperado, 14:26:45 02/08/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Re: But as we say in the South - He needed killin' -- Miss Edith, 14:59:36 02/08/03 Sat

Well perhaps the difference depends on how your culture looks at killing? The death penalty has been outlawed in England for a very long time, and I personally agree with that decision. Therefore I cannot see Willow as justified, no matter how much it could be argued that Warren deserved what he got. Perhaps American viewers see Warren being put to death slightly differently because it is considered more acceptable to kill criminals?

[> [> [> [> [> We don't have the death penalty either -- Scroll, 15:39:05 02/08/03 Sat

We don't have the death penalty in Canada either, so I agree with you, Miss Edith. Furthermore, while Willow's decision to kill Warren is understandable to me, I can't see it as justifiable. Even if California has the death penalty, Willow has no right to be judge, jury, and executioner.

To get back to the original topic, I agree with most of the posters that there's no need to see Willow wallowing in remorse and begging for forgiveness from Warren. I'm willing to wait until the end of the season for Willow to finally come to grips with what she did to Warren, because I don't think "Killer in Me" was even meant to address this issue. This episode was really about Willow's guilt over Tara (just as "Same Time, Same Place" was about Willow's guilt over her friends). So I think we're going to see Willow address Warren some time soon. At least, that's my hope.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: But as we say in the South - He needed killin' -- DEN, 15:40:11 02/08/03 Sat

I think that's right, Miss Edith. In some parts of the country. we damn near pay bounties on the Warrens, and replace any ammunition expended in their removal. It might help if our British friends remember that we have to keep in line not only our native criminals, but the scum of four other continents as well. We've learned the hard way that "stone dead has no fellow, " and rehabilitation is one of those nice left-wing myths that might occasionally work in a perfect world. The way it looks, give Britain a few more years of current patterns of criminal behavior and you'll be lend-leasing hangmen from us and begging the recipe for a Texas cocktail. Or you might decide just to turn your country over to the bad guys. It will be your choice; good luck.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Institutionalisation (and a side salad with magic dressing, and croutons) -- Celebaelin, 18:07:59 02/08/03 Sat

Absolutely not. Though "state sponsored murder" has been re-reviewed by Parliament many times (a debate is held every 5 years I think, or is it 10) public opinion is reflected in the margin by which the vote against re-institution of the death penalty is always victorious. The British people do not want the death penalty.

Treason is still a capital crime in time of war, and curiously so technically is witchcraft I think (if you believe in that sort of thing) - clearly an oversight by some legislator who doesn't know, as we all do, the Buffyverse concept of magic always having repercussions (?for the mage?) dependent on his/her subversion of the laws of cause and effect.

It seems the Buffyverse itself redresses an imbalance caused by magic in a kind of Newtonian action and reaction manner, by extension even the most trivial of magics must have unforseen (minor) consequences unless the purpose of the use of magical energy is to negate existing magical effects which apparantly is its' own balance. It might be said that there is a price to pay for the selfish use of magic, and you may not have the coin. So, is the mage powerful in his/her use of enchantment/illusion etc. or is (s)he, on the contrary, powerless because of, exempli gratia, a personal inadequacy in control, direction or diversion of the predicted but uncharacterised consequences of spellcasting, id est the arcane kickback, to accept the much vaunted metaphor and use drug addiction terminology.

OK I lied about the croutons.

A new theory to poke holes into (spoilers through Soulless) -- Darby, 08:13:35 02/07/03 Fri

We are suspecting some sort of Beastie helper among the AI group, based upon the Beast seeming to know what they are doing and where they're going.

I think there's been a sort of red herring in that Cordy and Angel are suspected from Manny's death, but they just were drugged. We know the Beast can teleport (Gwen's experience in the oil fields and the fight at Connor's), so once he knew where Manny was (a safe that only Gwen could open), he just needed the "guards" to not hear him through the bounds of the panic room. And it may have been just Angel who could hear, only Angel's blood that had to be spiked (and that they would have brought from AI) - Cordy might have nodded off from lack of conversation and knowledge that she wasn't really a guard anyway. From the oil fields scene, it seems unlikely that Gwen is the mole (and if she is, the fact that she was wholly absent from Soulless is not playing fair with the clues). She also shouldn't be able to break into a non-electronic safe. Maybe.

So who is playing both sides? It isn't Connor - we've seen his interactions with the Beast when no one else was there, and they're not chums. It isn't Angel, although Angelus is a suspect. It's probably not Fred or Gunn, since there's no hint of a connection. It could be Cordy, but she'd have to be unaware of it. Wes? Too many other betrayal instances there, and no real control access.

I'm voting for Lorne. I think that when Lorne tapped into Cordy's head, he made a link to the Beast that, once drained, was not enough to explode his head but was enough to hold a puppet-like link to Rocky (can you imagine the Beast fight scenes with the Rocky theme playing?). He's always around but moving to the periphery of the action, unaccounted for in a lot of scenes (I need to rewatch to see at what points the office was accessible for someone to get into the safe). I also need to see how Angelus' singing might fit into the scenario that he was passing messages to Lorne - but how'd he know Lorne was the mole? Did Lorne and Angelus get any quality time together?

Without going back over the last few eps, I can't support this hypothesis in the way that I'd like, and I suspect people may be able to topple it. Well, obsessive Lorne-lovers who always know where he is and what he's doing-?

[> Hmmm... How 'bout a combo? -- yez, 09:34:42 02/07/03 Fri

I found it odd that Lorne didn't supply any info from that singing. I also found it odd that Angel's soul got put in a safe that Angellus would presumably know the combination to -- he seems to know everything else Angel knows. So, yeah, I'd say it's possible that for whatever reason Angellus could convince/brainwash Lorne, through the singing, to remove the soul from the safe. And if Fred and Gunn had gone off for a moment when Cordy, Wes and Connor went to check out the priestesses, then Lorne would've had the chance.

Also, Lorne, being quite the coward, may have taken the soul as some kind of leverage in case Angel were to escape and try to kill him. But that seems unlikely.

The thievery put me in mind of Spandexia (or whatever electric girl's name is) -- she takes things that could be valuable, it's what she does (reminiscent of Spike's "Evil, remember?").

On the other hand, if the FE could use the whole sleeper/trigger thing to override Spike's soul (and theoretically, his chip), then it's possible that Angel could have the same thing going on; maybe his blood wasn't "spiked" at all. So maybe Angel/Angelus did kill Hawaiian shirt guy (why would "Rocky" have to "override the system" if he were just teleporting right in?), and then maybe he had Lorne take Angel's soul?


[> Re: Be very afraid... -- pr10n, 12:09:35 02/07/03 Fri

...was not enough to explode his head but was enough to hold a puppet-like link to Rocky (can you imagine the Beast fight scenes with the Rocky theme playing?)...

I can imagine Joss-as-Numfar-as-Bullwinkle:

"Hey Rocky! Nothing up my sleeve... "


[> [> pr10n, I think he meant Sylvester Stallone "Rocky," not Jay Ward "Rocky" -- cjl, 13:03:28 02/07/03 Fri

[> [> [> Yeah, but that theme on the scenes would be a hoot... -- Darby, 13:05:08 02/07/03 Fri

[> [> [> I swear I knew, I swear it was a joke -- may a cow punch me if I lie -- pr10n, 14:07:32 02/07/03 Fri

Random thought... -- Alison, 12:07:42 02/07/03 Fri

On Angel and sexual repression....
Angel was raised by a puritanical father, and told sex was wrong...and ends up being the guy who "can't get any-EVER"...and loses the woman loves because he had sex with her and because of the consquences, they can't again.
and Connor, who mirrors Angel in so many ways, ends up not being able to get any either for years, living in a hell demenision, and loses the woman he loves because he sleeps with her...
And then theres Angelus, who is so overtly sexual..everything he says is some form of innuendo....
i guess this all ties back into MEs message (whether they mean for it to seem that way or not) that sex= badness....

[> Re: Random thought... -- Tess, 13:54:36 02/07/03 Fri

""Connor, who mirrors Angel in so many ways, ends up not being able to get any either for years, living in a hell demenision, and loses the woman he loves because he sleeps with her...""

I agree with the majority of your message except for the part about Conner. Yes, he's been raised in a hell dimension where we assume there were no human females, but even if he had been raised in LA I wouldn't count a 16/18 year old kid as unable to get any for years. More like just now getting to the age where getting some is becoming an issue. And he didn't lose Cordy because he slept with her. His love for Cordy was a lost cause from the beginning because Cordy was using him for some as to yet be revealed reason. I think if you put Conner smack dab into the middle of the SITs in Sunnydale the kid would have so many chances he'd forget about Cordy in a heartbeat.

[> [> Re: OT - just flashing on Buffy's reaction to meeting Connor -- Brian, 15:18:31 02/07/03 Fri

You're who?
You're what?
And Your mom is who?
How? What? How?
Three excellent questions

[> [> [> Re: even more OT -- Alison, 15:36:03 02/07/03 Fri

Well, its always been a pet theory of mine that both Connor and Dawn are made of Buffy and Angel and are siblings of a sort....
but then i like the idea that dawn is made of buffy and faith...

[> [> [> [> Re: even more more OT -- Masq (with tongue firmly in cheek), 22:50:35 02/07/03 Fri

If Dawn and Connor are siblings, it's step-brother and step-sister. 'cause, you know, there's always that Connor-Dawn bonding thing over "Mom" and Dad.

Or worse, driving their "parents" crazy by running off together and eloping.

I love Buffy re-runs!!!!! -- Purple Tulip, 14:23:23 02/07/03 Fri

I love to watch old Buffy eps on fx and find little things that are almost like foreshadowing for what was to come, and some things which really are foreshadowing. Well, last night I was watching the first ep of season 4 when Buffy is first at college, and at one point, Buffy says something regarding her mother and how much her books were going to cost her, "I hope it's a funny anuerism," and I just thought that was kind of odd because her mother would actually die from a brain aneurism the next season. And later on, Xander says to Buffy, "Ok, once more with even less feeling," which can go along with the the title to the season six musical ep, "Once More With Feeling."

This isn't really anything significant, but I just thought that I'd share those random findings with you all. Has anyone else noticed things in old episodes that seem to foreshadow later events? (With the exception of "Restless," which is one huge foreshadow for the next three seasons)

[> At some point in Season 1 -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:37:40 02/07/03 Fri

Xander uses the phrase "I'd rather have a railroad spike driven through my head." Next season, we get Spike.

Also, upon rewatching Graduation Day I, I noticed that one of the books the Scooby Gang was researching out of said "The Beast shall walk upon the Earth and darkness will follow. The several races of man will be as one in their terror and destruction." The first line drew my attention, because, well, people who watch "Angel" know.

[> In "Halloween"... -- Rob, 15:01:09 02/07/03 Fri

...Buffy tells Willow about stealing the Watcher Diaries "That would be wrong" in the exact same tone of voice Faith uses in "Who Are You" when she's staring in the mirror, practicing being Buffy.


[> Probably not deliberate... -- KdS, 15:09:36 02/07/03 Fri

But Cordelia's speech about the nobility of suffering at the beginning of When She Was Bad is absolutely hilarious with the hindsight of her AtS development.

[> Re: I love Buffy re-runs!!!!! -- Alvin, 16:40:35 02/07/03 Fri

In "I Only Have Eyes for You" Xander suggests blowing up the school.

[> [> Re: I love Buffy re-runs!!!!! -- CW, 17:43:08 02/07/03 Fri

Willow comes very close to suggesting the same thing at the end of The Harvest:

"Maybe you could blow something up. They're really strict about that."

[> [> Re: I love Buffy re-runs!!!!! -- Valheru, 00:48:34 02/08/03 Sat

Not only does that foreshadow "Graduation Day," but it also foreshadows "The Zeppo." And it also puts me in mind of Xander's other great school-destruction moment in "Earshot," because he predicts that episode's villain without knowing it: "See, I've been saying for years that the lunch lady's gonna do us all in with that Mulligan Stew." Not a particularly important portent, but I always get a kick out of it.

Who is your favorite villain? -- Purple Tulip, 14:26:36 02/07/03 Fri

I was just wondering who everyone's fave villain has been throughout the seven seasons of Buffy and the four seasons of Angel. We can judge based on the most evil, the most comedic, the most terrifying, whatever.

I would say that the Mayor has been my faveorite villian because I find him amusing and almost likeable. Faith and Glory would be close second and third. I haven't seen enough Angel to have a fave there, but I might have to say Angelus for that one.

So what does everyone think????

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- Anneth, 14:50:21 02/07/03 Fri

Monster of the Week villians
1) Sweet! (best dressed)
2) the Gentlemen (freaking creepy)

Big Bads
1) Mayor! He had his own brand of creepy - genial, yet evil.

Little Bads
1) Snyder

Internal Big Bads
1) Faith
2) Spike and Dru
3) okay - the above is actually sort of a tie. Perhaps I should label them:
1) faith
A) Spike and Dru

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- leslie, 14:50:54 02/07/03 Fri

Three-way tie between Mayor Wilkins, Spike, and Ethan Rayne.

[> [> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- Brian, 15:01:10 02/07/03 Fri

The Mayor and The Gentlemen - What can I say? I like my villians creepy!

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- Apophis, 15:32:32 02/07/03 Fri

My favorites are the Mayor, the Master, and Ethan Rayne. The Mayor was an incredibly well-rounded (and believably nuts) character. The Master, for all his faults, had vision, and you've gotta respect that. Plus, he looked cool. Ethan Rayne is just plain fun. He's the mean, Loki-style trickster.
I really like the Beast on Angel, but I'm reserving judgment until his arc is done.

[> My top three -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:45:50 02/07/03 Fri

1) Spike

2) Faith

3) Warren

Spike and Faith take the lead because they have something a lot of villains don't have. The best explanation I have is something written by a movie reviewer at StompTokyo.com: he said that the reason he and others enjoyed Godzilla movies was because they liked to pretend they were in the Godzilla suit, vicariously destroying a city. The same principle applies to Spike and Faith. Through them a person can vicariously do a variety of things they would never do in real life due to morality.

As for Warren . . . he's creepy. Downright frightening. His best moments are in Gone, Dead Things, Seeing Red, Villains, and the First Evil imitation in Conversations With Dead People (that combination of silence, body posture, and eyes was mucho creepy).

[> [> I´m with Finn on this -- grifter, 02:45:49 02/08/03 Sat

Although I´d put it
1) Warren (+ nerdy minions)
2) Faith
3) Spike

Sweet gets honorable mention for "Best Suit Ever" and Holtz gets a "Life´s Work" Oscar (his influence is still feeled half a season after his death).

[> [> [> Life's work Oscar to Holtz? (spoiler 7x11) -- Mencius, 08:56:05 02/08/03 Sat

While I admit that Holtz has a profound influence that can still be felt halfway through season four, I do not think that he has won the life's work Oscar yet. Glory's actions led to Buffy's death. The repercussions of this could defiantly still be felt halfway through season six. If we stretch things a bit then they can still be felt in the alteration of the mystic forces surrounding the slayer line. I would also propose that any influence that Holtz has on the character of Conner is less then that which Glory had on Dawn. Soulless Angel is even more deserving of the Oscar, for so many reasons. However, in my opinion the Life's work Oscar cannot but go to.................Mayer Richard Wilkins the Third, not only did he contribute greatly to the corruption of Faith, but most importantly he built Sunnydale, and where would we be without Sunnydale?

[> [> [> [> Yeah, but... -- grifter, 16:40:56 02/08/03 Sat

...the question was "Who is your favorite villain?" and I like Holtz better then the pepole you mentioned. ;)

[> My choices -- Cactus Watcher, 17:58:16 02/07/03 Fri

On BtVS - The Mayor; nothing like family values and pure evil.

On Angel - Lilah; a great femme fatale. Always a little bit vulnerable, always a lot treacherous.

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- Valheru, 18:17:33 02/07/03 Fri

My favorite Big Bad is Angelus. Or Mayor Wilkins. I can never decide. I'll watch S2 and think, "No one can top Angelus!" but then I watch S3 and think, "But the Mayor's just so darn EVIL!" Each worked brilliantly. The Mayor is definitely the most amusing, however.

As for the little Big Bads, I'm torn between Spike'n'Dru of Season 2 and Faith of Season 3. However, when you take Spike out of the context of his little-Big-Badness of Season 2 and look at his villainy throughout the series, he easily tops Faith. IMO, Spike in "School Hard," "Lover's Walk," and "Fool For Love" are some of the best single episode performances of a Big Bad. I'd guess if I had to categorize it, Faith is the best little Big Bad over a sustained arc, while Spike is the best in single appearances (and for full villainous effect, you have to include Dru with Spike in S2).

One of the most brilliant ways in which BtVS uses the villains is how seamlessly the Big Bads and little Big Bads fit into the single episodes, season arcs, and metaphors. A downside is that such integration makes it very difficult to distinguish "the best," but that's what makes the show so interesting. I could argue with myself for hours over the merits of Spike vs. Angelus vs. the Mayor, etc. and I'd be no closer to an answer.

[> My two answers: -- HonorH, 18:23:01 02/07/03 Fri

For BtVS: The Mayor. No contest, even. He was absolutely ingenious, not to mention brilliantly played by Harry Groener. Amusing, yes, but completely freak-worthy, and his relationship with Faith was both deeply touching and deeply disturbing.

For AtS: Holland Manners. I like my villains smooth, and he had it in spades. Follow that up with Lilah, who has taken the femme fatale to new heights.

[> Re: Who is your favorite villian? -- Sophie, 18:54:20 02/07/03 Fri


I adored Sweet because of his savoir-faire and I adored The Mayor because of his savoir-vivre.

Honorary Mentions:

Angelus, Faith, Warren, and Willow.

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- Slainey, 20:01:19 02/07/03 Fri

I'm going to be quite contrary. Just because I can.
Adam would have been a great villian. He was so different from what they fought before. He was unresearchable.
Unfortunately the execution was a little off. Like all good Buffy villians their best moments are when you see the humanity leak out. We should have seen more of the human half of Adam.
One of my favoriest MotW is Olaf, the Troll.

[> Top Two -- Lumina, 20:51:22 02/07/03 Fri

The Mayor: the cleverest and most original (and arguably the most hilarious) of the BtVS Big Bads. Love that perpetual cheerfulness and undaunted optimism.

Season Two Spike: because he's so damn funny, and because I like my villains best when they're a little vulnerable. The early Spike is humanized by his love for Dru, just as the Mayor is humanized by the endearing genuineness of the unexpected fatherly affection he develops for Faith.

Honorary mentions to Drusilla, Angelus, Faith and Ethan Rayne.

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- Mencius, 21:35:25 02/07/03 Fri

Drusilla is my favourite. She was very creepy and even more insane, yet was humanized by her love for Spike and oddly enough her insanity.

Faith would be my close second, because her fall was done so well. I can understand and sympathise with every choice she made on her decent into evil.

[> Re: Who is your faveorite villian? -- BEV, 07:56:37 02/08/03 Sat

1.) I have to give Mayor Wilkins dittoes.

2.) Spike in the episode "In the Dark" AtS.

3.) Warren Meares...I truly hate the guy, which is how I know he is an effective fiction (no offense Adam Busch but if I saw you in a dark alley at night I'd punch first, and ask questions later)

4.) Angelus in Passions.

5.) Glory, cause let's face everyone likes villians with shapely breasts and scanty wardrobes.

[> Favorite villains (former and present good guys included) -- cjl, 10:17:34 02/08/03 Sat

That's what's so great about Buffy characters--they can switch from Evil Incarnate to puppy dog nice and back in the space of a few episodes. So, taking that into consideration:

Recurring villains/Big Bads:

1. Angelus - Aw, come on. Is there anyone else? His grace and style in neck snapping and artfully decorated crime scenes, not to mention his uncanny ability to find just the right word to tear your heart out (when he isn't doing it manually) is unmatched in Buffy history. "Soul-less" just confirms his majesty. And that smirk is classic.

2. Ethan Rayne - He's a barrel of laughs every time he pops up, and his uncanny ability to burrow underneath Giles' skin makes him indispensible to the series. It's also great to see a Buffy villain who's a pragmatist (read: utter coward), and not ashamed of it. I loved it when he got caught doing the standard "supervillain gloat" in "A New Man"--and then, when he pretended to poison Giles' drink in the bar? Priceless. I want him back for a final bow.

3. The Mayor/Faith - Sorry, can't have one without the other. Strangely enough, I wasn't really interested in them as separate bad guys during S3; it was their creepy father/daughter relationship that got to me. Faith, on her own, got to me in a big way more on Angel (5x5/Sanctuary) than on Buffy...

Monsters of the Week:

1. The Gentlemen (the Revenge of German Expressionist cinema)
2. Holden Webster (most charming one-shot villain ever)
3. Sweet (love the man's style)
4. VampWillow (Alyson Hannigan in leather)
5. Olaf the Troll (Abraham Benrubi, yeah!)

How much blood exactly? -- KdS, 15:05:35 02/07/03 Fri

Given the return of Angelus and the debate over Willow, I wondered just how many human beings our heroes have killed over the years. Buffy's human body count is on the atpo site, but here are my counts for the others. This includes both actual hands-on killings and deaths through deliberate inaction, but not deaths which couldn't have been reasonably foreseen, however negligent you may consider the characters.

Angel (with soul)
Pete (Beauty and the Beasts) - admittedly Pete didn't look human at the time and Angel was only just back from Hell and not at his sanest
Dr. Meltzer (I Fall to Pieces)
Smith (Sanctuary) - fell a long way from the chopper and didn't look alive after he landed
Possibly the Romanian guys in the alley in the 5 By 5 flashback
Vanessa (Blind Date)
The Hyperion staff and residents (AYNOHYEB)
An uncertain number of unspecified undesirables during his attempt to reform the Fanged Four before the Boxer Rebellion (Darla)
Holland and a number of other W&H lawyers (Reprise)
The security guards who he and Lindsay appeared to leave unconscious in the burning transplant warehouse (Dead End)
The W&H psychic (That Vision Thing) - if he was human
A number of W&H commandoes and outlaw bikers (Dad)

Warren (Villains)
Rack (Two To Go) - if he was human

Ben (The Gift)

Dr. Meltzer (I Fall To Pieces)

Veruca (Wild at Heart)

Dr. Meltzer (I Fall to Pieces)

Fred, Wes and Gunn
All contributed to Seidel (Supersymmetry). Some people have speculated that Gunn killed people during his street-gang period, but that's pure (and arguably racist) speculation.

Characters so far untouched by human blood:

Xander (Some will hold him responsible for the people Sweet killed in OMWF, but I don't think he would have summoned Sweet if he had any inkling people might die. My personal theory in Xander's defence runs thus: just before Dawn was kidnapped, Tara told her that the singing was caused by a demon, but "not a scary one". I don't think Tara would have told Dawn a comforting lie if it would put her in danger, so I suspect that there was a book in the Magic Box that described Sweet but whitewashed his actions, through ignorance or malice. I suspect that Xander used the book to summon Sweet, and that the rest of them were encouraged by it not to be sure about the connection between Sweet and the deaths until the minion arrived to announce that Dawn was a hostage. That's my story and I'm sticking to it. ;-)

Riley - may well have killed people during his orthodox Special Forces career, but nothing on screen

Anya (while human) - surprisingly, unless you hold her responsible for VampWillow's killings in Doppelgangland





Additions/corrections welcome.

[> Sorry, spoilers to date above -- KdS, 15:06:41 02/07/03 Fri

[> Re: How much blood exactly? -- Apophis, 15:26:14 02/07/03 Fri

I don't remember exactly, but I don't think Vanessa the Blind Assassin got killed. Also, I'm not sure that Dr. Meltzer counted as human, but then again, I missed that episode.
On a side note, I completely agree about the Gunn speculation. Judging from all the fallout from his recent killing of Prof. Seidel, I don't think he's ever had previous experience with human killing. He seemed pretty dedicated to saving humans when we first met him. He also had a knack for bringing people under his banner and didn't appear to have any rivals who would cause him to participate in human on human violence.

[> [> Also... -- Apophis, 15:29:26 02/07/03 Fri

I'm not sure about the rules on killing werewolves. Sure, they're human most of the time, but at the point you kill them, they're blood-thirsty monsters. I guess it's different if you know them as people, though. As for Veruca, she seemed pretty accepting of her violent side; I'd count her as more monster than (wo)man, especially under the circumstances of her death.

[> [> Vanessa & Meltzer -- KdS, 15:31:44 02/07/03 Fri

I just checked on Psyche's Transcripts and Angel shoved Vanessa's swordstick right through her. I think she died ;-)

And Meltzer was definitely human - just learned some serious mojo somewhere.

Xander's Women -- Purple Tulip, 16:59:46 02/07/03 Fri

Is Xander drawn to pushy, forthright women? I'm watching "Harsh Light of Day" right now, the one where Anya offers herself to Xander after they're only had one date and don't really know each other. It made me think of Xander's past involvements: Cordelia, Faith and Anya, and I started to see a similarity among them. Cordelia was extremely forthright and always said what was on her mind, even if it was mean or harsh. Though they didn't have sex, she was bold with him at times. Faith, while she wasn't his girlfriend, was his first sexual encounter, and she certianly didn't hold back. She was extremely bold and made no attempt to hide the fact that she wanted him, though to be fair she probably would have done it with anyone at that point (after the slaying that is). Anya was also very bold and always said what was on her mind. She could be seen as a combination of both Cordelia and Faith, posessing aspects of both their personalities: the forthright of Cordelia and the sexual advancement and prowess of Faith. Perhaps Xander's perfect woman? Whatever the case is, he seems to like his women bold.

Anyone agree? Disagree? Other thoughts???

[> Re: Xander's Women -- Apophis, 17:30:47 02/07/03 Fri

I don't remember if it was here or elsewhere (probably here, and I'm sorry to whoever said it for not remembering), but someone said that Xander was attracted to women who could defend themselves if he ever turned into his father. If Xander ever became a drunken brute, such a woman wouldn't be cowed by him (like his mother is; she's passive agressive and hides in alcohol) and might even kick his ass if he tried anything.

[> Xander's women are aggressive and demanding sexually "Now satisfy me", 'nuff said? -- Ihinnar3, 18:24:23 02/07/03 Fri

Thoughts, opinions, questions, speculation, and a plea (spoilers for Killer in Me and Soulless) -- Jay, 22:59:35 02/07/03 Fri

I was in one of those media markets that preempted Buffy for basketball, and the Mavs didn't even win. It aired Wednesday night here, immediately following AtS on another network. Since then, I've been plowing through the archives, and posting board to get caught up with what was being said about the episodes. It would go a lot quicker if some bastard at work wouldn't have installed some kind of internet screener that blocks out the board. But, I think I'm just about caught up.

This is the second episode of Buffy this year that has the dreaded preempting for me, (the other being Sleeper), and I've been initially ambivalent about both of them. I don't "not like" the episodes, and I think I'll blame my hesitance to embrace the episodes on the extra 26 hour delay. But there is always good stuff, and there has been a mountain of posts to sift through. Many brilliant as usual (you brilliant types, pat yourselves on the back). I only have a few thoughts to add.

I believe I saw someone else point this out, but it bears repeating. While Buffy and Spike were stumbling around in the remains of the Initiative, Riley and the soldiers that showed up at the end are NOT Initiative. That organization, and those most directly responsible for it's inception and operation are out of business. Riley and others who survived the Initiative are probably still involved with the government and/or military. Agent Finn himself is now involved in Special OPS, and it's not a large leap to believe the soldiers we saw are of the same vein. If they were Initiative, they would have just taken Hostile 17 for themselves.

I, like most have you, have been wondering, what the hell is up with Giles? Okay, now we know he is at the least corporeal, if not human Giles and uninjured. Now I am thinking that he is depressed. Clinically? I don't know. There are many others who frequent the board that would have a better idea about that than I do. It just seems like the destruction of the Watcher's Council and the enormity of facing the First Evil have sent Giles to a dark place. Sort of like me, around my birthday.

Willow and Kennedy? I don't know. Initially, I was happy for Willow, but this episode seemed to suck the life out of it. To me anyway. More fizzle than sizzle, jizzle. But, it just may be at the awkward stage, so I'll give it another couple chances.

Angel's Soulless on the other hand, had me riveted. It seemed to speak to my twisted psyche perfectly for the night. I know that you can't base a television series around an evil serial killer and his wacky adventures, but dammit, I love it when Angelus pokes his head up. Last week, I theorized that Angelus would be able to bully and trick Angel's "brother" Wes. Now, with all the clues dropped that this is precisely what will happen, I'm wondering if Wes might get it right this time. You know, actually doing the right thing, when it needs doing most. I'm still wondering whether anything in Angel's fantasy of a perfect day might still be true.

One of the things that I've come to appreciate about both BtVS and AtS is that they'll introduce a mystery, give no immediate explanation, and move on. As a rabid viewer, I can be patient. Very patient. But when the time comes to address the mystery, I want at the least, an attempt at answers. First, the big mysteries.

Angel is returned from hell. By who or what and for what reason? And can he really Shanshu? There is another vampire with a soul, now. (Please don't make this whole post about that one line, start your own.)

Connor is born to two vampires. How is this even possible? I don't even know all the questions for this one.

The Beast. What, why, how, and why now?

And the smaller mysteries, I'll concentrate on two. First, who killed Manny at Gwen's apartment? We are led to believe that there are four suspects: Angel, Cordy, Gwen and Gunn. It's always possible someone outside of these four could have done it, but I haven't recognized any clues to that presented on screen yet. Next, who steals Angel's soul? Everyone is a suspect. The suspects in common with Manny's murder are Angel, Cordy and Gunn. Gwen may be one, but we haven't seen a hint that she was in both places, yet. Can we rule Angel/Angelus out? He seems to be THE prime suspect in Manny's murder, but unlikely in the theft of the soul. If you're want to believe that these crimes are connected as I am, then this leaves Cordy and Gunn. Understand that I'm not saying no one else could have committed these acts, but that I'm trying to connect them with what we've seen on screen.

Neither Cordy nor Gunn have anything that would strongly resemble anything like a motive or capability, just opportunity, which Angel/Angelus and Gwen seem to lack. It would help if they could have narrowed down the time that the soul could have been stolen, but I can understand not showing your hand so that not everyone knows what happens on the show before it does happen on the show. If I was in that room though, right after they discovered the soul stolen, I'd have everyone who'd been in the hotel, sing for Lorne, and unless he finds something, make him the likely perp. He has been flying under the radar lately... Maybe I need to re-watch Angel's hallucinations in Deep Down.

As I mentioned before, I love it when Angelus takes front stage, center. He's more quotable than a soulless Spike. And he really isn't in a cage. Not in his head anyway. About Angelus's and Cordy's "deal" - I don't believe Angel expected to collect. At least not initially. I believe he more than suspected that Cordelia wouldn't deliver, but didn't care anyway. I think he expected that the information he gave up would be fruitless, (and didn't care if it wasn't), and wanted to get some kind of dialogue going with her at some level. More than likely, and this is total spec, Angelus wanted to get rid of some of the fang gang to facilitate his soul being stolen.

Oh, I almost forgot another mystery that was dropped immediately, who left behind the talisman behind in Lessons? I think we got our first real suspect in Amy.

One last thing, can you spell out what episode you're referring to at least once, before you start confusing the hell out of me with abbreviations? When I say spell out, I mean spell out the title of the episode and on what series. Seven seasons of one show and four of the other makes for a ton of abbreviations.

There outta be a play.

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