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"First Date": The Super-Evil Review -- Honorificus (The Pervy Wood Fancier), 10:19:00 02/12/03 Wed

Mood: hormonal

Yes (oh, yes!), girls and boys, it's finally a Wood-centric episode, and with plenty of Giles to boot! Oh, that sounds good--the Giles 'n' Wood show. I'd tune in twice a day. Getting all deliciously fluttery in the tummy here. However, a demoness must not lose her focus, no matter how lovely the men. On with the review:

Fashion Statements
The Good
Buffy's first outfit: I approved of the whole thing, from the deep red shirt with the extremely flattering neckline to her earrings to her long ponytail. It all added up to one smooth look.

Wood. Ah, Wood! The suit was lovely, as usual, but: WOOD IN SHORT SLEEVES! WOOD IN A LEATHER JACKET!!! Somebody get me a spoon; I need to eat that man up.

Giles, just on principle.

Gotta love that Ar'n'by Demon ceremonial dress. Ashanti being less gaunt than your average denizen of the Buffyverse certainly didn't hurt, either.

Wonders never cease: Kennedy's white button-down was quite perfect.

Cho-Anh's red satiny robe over pajamas. Must get me a robe like that.

The Bad
Amanda remains one big fashion "don't".

Anya's sheepy pink cardigan. Bleah!

Xander's shirt, surpassed in badness only by

Xander shirtless. *Harf!*

Andrew's skinny, pasty chest. *Hurl!*

The Iffy
I wasn't sure what to make of Buffy's date gear. The black top didn't look bad, but I got a glimpse of something lacy hanging underneath her coat and over her pants. Is she doing that dress-over-jeans thing again?

Plot in a Nutshell
Buffy, lucky girl, gets a date with Wood, who turns out to be the son of a Slayer girl. Xander, unfortunate guy, gets a date with an R & B singer who turns out to be a demon intent on sacrificing him. The rest of the gang has a date with the First.

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
That vampiric hand should've dusted the second it became estranged from the rest of the body.

Body Count
One Bringer (beheaded)

One Ar'n'by Demon (again, beheaded)

A whole gang of vampires.

*Sigh* Isn't Giles lovely when he lectures?

Wood in casual clothes! Wood fighting! Wood sexy!

Xander getting perforated.

The First laying it on Andrew and terrorizing Willow's little spy group.

The sparing use of the Potentials.

I liked Giles' artwork. A little on the crude side, but it's got heart.

The First's brilliant little ploy with Wood. I'm all a-tingle at the thought of a Wood/Spike smackdown!

Wood didn't get shirtless.

Xander and Andrew did.

Andrew deciding to be good for real rather than just playing at it. He could've thinned out the crowd, at the very least.

Buffy's little Moment with Spike. Honey, you had Wood right there!

Burning Questions
The plan to kill the Potentials was lame. A gun, and worse yet, Andrew shooting it? Why not poison their lemonade? Or have Andrew summon something to kill 'em all? He is a demon wrangler, you know. Use his talents! What kind of an Evil Overlord is the First, anyway?

When will we get to see Wood shirtless?

The Immoral of the Story
Xander needs to enter a monastery.

Overall Rating
The Wood factor alone earns this episode a full pq/orange31 on the Non Sequitur Scale. Yummy!

[> Shiver Me Timbers! -- Medusa, 10:55:27 02/12/03 Wed

I want Buffy's camisole. Although I think she's channeling Stevie Nicks at times, what with the fluttering lace.

Wood has the loveliest eyes I've ever seen in a human. Out of a human, I've got a great collection sitting in a display cabinet in my dining cave.

Yeah! for curvy women. You never saw a demon diet, did you?

Androgeny Boy needs a first date of his own. I know a few demons who are flexible, in more than one sense.

The older the demon, the less poof!-y it is. The arm was soon blowin' in the wind, no doubt. (Spackle trollop!-Arethusa)

[> [> Re: Shiver Me Timbers! -- Utopia, 13:35:28 02/12/03 Wed

"You never saw a demon diet, did you?"

Except maybe Skeletor, I mean Anya. Yikes.

[> Don't hurt me (much)... -- ponygoyle, 11:20:12 02/12/03 Wed

...but I wasn't crazy about Wood's casual wear. The t-shirt made his neck and shoulders look odd. Obviously I'll need to see him shirtless to make sure everything is okay.

I had to agree with Spike, Buffy did look nice in her camisole ensemble. She looked toned rather than gaunt.

Poor Xander! Who says he isn't being targeted by the First? What an exquisite form of torture to have his shirtlessness compare unfavourably to both Spike (a given) and Andrew (pasty, yes, but make regular sit-ups part of his redemption program and the boy might be interesting)! That FE is eveeeel!

[> Make-up -- luna, 12:00:44 02/12/03 Wed

Deear She Who Must Be Imitated:

We all would benefit so much from your omnipotent words on the subject of makeup, esp. the S7 variations. We are nothing without your wisdom.

Your minion in training,


[> Re: "First Date": The Super-Evil Review -- Sophomorica, chewing on a cross, 12:11:45 02/12/03 Wed

Anya's sheepy pink cardigan. Bleah!

I liked it!

Wood didn't get shirtless.
Xander and Andrew did.

Hmmm...barely regards Andrew. Does anyone wonder if Andrew is still a virgin?

The First laying it on Andrew
Shame that Jonathon didn't exhibit that kind of confidence when he was alive...

[> Re: Xander -- Good eating? -- pr0ng the j01ner, 12:57:16 02/12/03 Wed

Your HighnessH:

One can't help but wonder if Xander might not be both moist and delicious. He looks good in a suit, true, but many edible beings have an attractive carapace or feathering, or other crunchy or gooey coating, which increases mealtime anticipation before the slavering and devouring. Methinks that the fleshiness we witnessed is indication of a fang rapture beyond legend.

I offer as evidence the Terran lobster, or the Hinnk, both worth the wait of removing a pesky outer layer. My Hinnk clippers are family heirlooms, famously retrieved from an ancestor's battle-demolished remains in the Amwaq dimension. I keep the corkscrew polished and sharp even in the non-skull months.

So I propose we eat him. Let us dispense with the blather about destiny and carpenters and "Every Man" -- EAT THE XANDER NOW!! I say it's every being for s/himself, and devil take the hindmost, unless you happen to fancy the hindmost. I'm a breast monster, myself.

[> [> Definitely good eating. -- Honorificus (The Gourmet, Not Gourmand), 22:30:30 02/12/03 Wed

Nice and fleshy, with lots of muscle built up through years of hard work at construction. Tenderize him a bit (where'd Olaf's hammer go, anyway?), then roast him on a spit over an open fire. I've got a lovely basting sauce that goes perfectly with fleshy human males. Serve with a couple of sides, like Yorkie pudding, Cats-in-a-Blanket, and Toothmeal rolls, and you've got yourself a feast.

[> Short Sleeves, yes, but my dear, that shirt was atrocious! -- Whipwoman, 15:44:18 02/12/03 Wed

I agree that shirtless Wood is the goal to which we must all aspire, and short-sleeved Wood might seem to be a step in the right direction but really, that yucky synthetic, ribbed, no-identifiable-colour-known-to-man-woman-or-demon number has to go!!

C'mere, Woody, I'll whip it right off your back....


[> [> The Fashion Goddess has spoken and declared the Shirt to be Good. -- Honorificus (Fashionista Par Excellence), 16:08:36 02/12/03 Wed

That is all.

I knew it!! (spoilers for "First Date") -- purplegrrl, 10:43:51 02/12/03 Wed

As soon as Principal Wood said that his mother had been a slayer I *knew* his mother was Nikki whom Spike killed in the 1970s. Then it was just a matter of time until Joss informed us and the characters.

Was the First Evil masquerading as Nikki telling the truth about Spike killing her? Yes. The worst evil is a little truth mixed in with all the lies.

I loved how Principal Wood was able to ignore the temptations of the First Evil -- until it offered to tell him who/what had killed his mother.

There isn't less angst this season, it's just spread around a little more evenly rather than being heaped on just a couple of characters. *Everyone* gets their daily dose of angst and gut-twisting weirdness.

[> Better yet: A little lie mixed in with all the truth -- V, 10:58:44 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> The lesson for today is . . . -- purplegrrl, 11:19:31 02/12/03 Wed

. . . don't talk to the big evil -- even if it promises you the world or offers to tell you who killed your mother.

[> [> [> er, wait - what was the little lie that was mixed in? -- WickedBuffy, 14:51:36 02/12/03 Wed

My two Darby-like Problems with FD -- Dochawk, 11:07:39 02/12/03 Wed

1. When did the FE become a hairstylist? Nikki died in the mid 70's, she was last seen with an afro. Why didn't she have one when the FE appeared as her? The FE gave her a modern hairstyle, why?

2. Did Giles just leave Robson there to die? And what happened to the dead Bringer? I can buy Giles reflexes, he has almost shown such abilities in the past (and unlike the other watchers has actually faced demons in the past), but Robson woke up where? How would he NOT have known that Giles survived. These story inconsistencies are becoming much more common this year.

[> Can I trademark those? -- Darby, 11:51:56 02/12/03 Wed

It was obvious that Giles' story, whatever it was, would have some sort of major hole in it.

Maybe Giles called the London equivalent of 911, went to remove the Bringer, missed the paramedics, then the Watchers blew up so he never visited Robson...

Sometimes I feel like I'm cramming a washcloth in the backflowing drain...

...on the Titanic...

[> [> You're both assuming that Giles told the truth. I reserve judgment for now. -- Sophist, 12:56:41 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> Either way, the story has problems - clues or inconsistency? -- Darby, 13:41:39 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> The Late Mssr. Robson Cheyne-Stokes (spoils S7) -- pr10n, 14:30:21 02/12/03 Wed

When last we saw the esteemed Robson, he was dying, gasping out his last words and pleading for the universe in the guise of Giles to "gather them."

ITEM: What famous evil entity uses the forms of dead people to mess with the minds of the living?

Who says Robson told the truth? Who says Robson was on the phone? Can The First dial down the middle? I think Giles still has a lot to do this season, and he's already proved that he and untruth are not strangers.

Wood and Angel (spoilers 7.14) -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:14:52 02/12/03 Wed

In "First Date", Wood talked about how he was a freelance vampire hunter, and that he got into it because his mother, a Slayer, was killed by a vampire. Comparisons have been made to Holtz, Gunn, and Justine from AtS, but did it give anyone else a flashback to Season 1 of Buffy?

In the episode "Angel", Angel saves Buffy from the Three (the first time he actually assisted her in battle). Later, back at her house, she asks him how he got into the whole helping fight vampires thing. He says that a vampire killed his parents, to which she replies "So this is a vengeance gig for you?" Granted, this is before it was revealed that Angel was a vampire, and we came to realize that the vampire who killed Angel's parents was Angelus himself. However, the wording of both scenes struck me as fairly similar, so I thought I'd bring it up.

[> Good point. -- Rahael, 16:32:47 02/12/03 Wed

Where the Hellmouth does Anya fit into all this? (little spoiler FirstDate) -- WickedBuffy (speculatin & some whining), 16:19:30 02/12/03 Wed

Anya Anya Anya

So Andrew wasn't supposed to shoot her, either. I guess she's not a SIT, but TF/Jonathon didn't exclude Giles or Xander from being shot like he did the other four. (Willow, Dawn, Buffy, Anya)

She hasn't been in a strong storyline for awhile, but is always around. Has she moved into the Summers house? Anya's always in alot of scenes, but nothing much about her in any scenes.

Is it foreshadowing? Why is Anya suddenly thrust up to the top of the Important People to Be Aive list with Willow, Buffy and Dawn? She never was before. Could she be in cahoots with The First? She seems like the least likely, but then again - that alone should cast suspicion on her. She can't be around just to do Buffys laundry.

Where could she fit in TF plan?

*I'm whining because 7minutes into last nights Buffy show, First Date, my cable company turned off the sound! It was torture - great picture, amazing facial reactions AND I HAD NO IDEA WHY. Not even trying captioning it worked. arghhhh. and, umm.... and I'm taking it out on Anya right now.

[> Here's a wild theory... -- cjl, 16:49:58 02/12/03 Wed

Anya still has her powers.

She doesn't KNOW she does--but she does.

This may be why D'Hoffryn (if it is D'Hoffryn who's playing Tony Soprano) went back and tried to kill her. Perhaps he didn't want her to realize her true strength. Perhaps Anya's power now stems from her own soul rather than D'Hoffryn's external influence. And now that I come to think of it, maybe that's where the power came from in the first place. Pimp Daddy D could be like the Wizard of Oz, a bit of a flim-flam artist: he has no ability to infuse a woman with the power of vengeance, but merely shapes the mind and skills of a woman already bent toward vengeance.

Anya is like a newborn calf, standing on two wobbly legs, unsure of her footing. In the past, she's always thrown herself into whatever role was available to her: the good wife, the vengeance demon, the devoted capitalist--pleasing others, but never deciding if what she was doing pleased herself. Now that she's been forced to drop all her other roles and has been brought back to the beginning, she might be able to find a new direction, a new way of channeling her energies, and she might suddenly find her power was there all along.

She's got a few loose ends (mostly with Xander) to tie up first--but maybe, towards the end, she might surprise us and herself.

[> [> A less wild theory. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:05:01 02/12/03 Wed

Andrew didn't really know the potential Slayers. He had much more contact with Anya, Willow, Dawn, and Buffy. The First Evil probably decided not to push it's luck. It probably thought: "Could I get him to wipe out a few of the Slayer's friends along with the potentials? Maybe. But asking him to do it increases the odds that he'll refuse. No. I'll just ask him to kill the potentials. They're the ones I really need out of the way at the moment, and Andrew doesn't know them as well, so the persuasion will be easier."

[> [> [> I thought for SURE -- WickedBuffy, 17:59:49 02/12/03 Wed

that after Andrew expressed his horror? disgust? of blood everywhere, The First would have suggested poisoning them. But a gun? And it's not even a machine gun - is Andrew such a crack shot he could get them all at once and drop them dead? I know The First is evil, but what's more important to it? getting the job done or some extra gore? (This follows my theory that The First's weakness is it's "ego", like what some cultures/religions/people believe is the worst part of humans.)

I don't think The First worries about luck or pushing. And having Andrew kill them with "the gun" might have continuity, but it certainly isn't as effective as other methods. Is The First trying to get rid of Andrew? I think there was a double trap involved in that whole plan - umm but what?

Naming those four WITH Anya still seems odd to me.

[> [> continuation of this theory... -- Mystery, 11:59:24 02/13/03 Thu

Then there's a crazier theory...

What if the First doesn't want Anya taken out because one of the wishes she made in her second stint is part of why the FE can manifest more powerfully now?

[> Re: Where the Hellmouth does Anya fit into all this? (little spoiler FirstDate) -- Caroline, 17:54:45 02/12/03 Wed

WickedBuffy, I'm so sorry about your audio plight last night - I have had Tuesday nights where I had to pull out the rabbit ear antenna to watch Buffy 'cos of the cable company so I have known a bit of you suffering.

As for Anya, I know it seems like she has not had much to do but I think that it is important to remember that Xander represents the Heart and his heart is broken after he walked out on the wedding. If you remember their interrogation of Andrew and his story about Anya ripping out a guy's heart and have him walk around and exist without it - that was about Anya. Not only does that tell you something about Xander's own wounded heart but it also tells you that about Buffy. It's not a coincidence that Buffy and Xander went on a date at the same time and that both of them tend to attract demons! I would speculate that Xander and Buffy will have to come to terms with their hearts and their heartbreak this season, and know the truth of what is in their hearts and what prevented them from following their love. Was it fear, being closed off, self-sabotage or something else? We saw Anya's jealousy in First Date as well as Spike's and I would speculate that there will be some resolution in both these situations later this season (but I don't think it will be happy ever after resolution!)

[> [> Thanks Caroline, for the empathy :> -- WickedBuffy, 18:06:54 02/12/03 Wed

[> What exactly are Anya's powers now? -- WickedPersistance, 18:13:40 02/12/03 Wed

All those theories sound like "maybe" - it just feels like it's more than that. She's much more than just a plot device for another character and she's rarely singled out and grouped with Willow, Buffy and Dawn.

I'm having a brain-erasure right now, but what specifically are Anya's current powers and why doesn't she know she has them? And would they be helpful fighting The First? And has Anya ever been in the same room as The First when it's in disguise? Direct confrontation? (Not at all saying she IS The First, just wondering on that point.)

[> [> As far as we know, she doesn't have any. -- cjl, 19:29:59 02/12/03 Wed

As far as we know...

[> [> [> umm, you theorized she did? -- WickedConfused, 19:37:57 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> How would a VD's powers manifest if they weren't directed toward vengeance? -- cjl, 19:50:34 02/12/03 Wed

Frankly, I have no idea.

I guess Anya would get her bitchin' teleportation ability back, but beyond that, who knows? It's uncharted territory out there.

[> [> [> [> [> like this? -- WickedBuffy, 20:01:27 02/12/03 Wed

teleportation and making wishes come true. ::evil glance::

I can see it know - after all this, in the last 12 seconds of the final episode Anya realizes she has her powers and ...

Buffy: "I wish the imbalance that let the First Evil rise up would be lovingly healed."


[> Re: Where the Hellmouth does Anya fit into all this? (BIG spoilers for FirstDate) -- Dead Soul, 00:58:32 02/13/03 Thu

It was my assumption that Jonathon/FE didn't say that Andrew didn't have to kill Giles and Xander because he was only talking about killing "the girls."

That's only IIRC. I haven't had a chance to rewatch the ep yet.

Although, since Andrew's been under house arrest, he's had just as much time to get attached to the SITs (and Dawn), if not more, than to Buffy, Willow and Anya.

So, I wasn't at all surprised that he wasn't any less reluctant to kill them as he would have been to kill the "important" girls/women. The FE ain't the master-manipulator it thinks it is.

Having said that, I do wish *someone* would. The whole SIT storyline has annoyed the ever-loving bejaysus outta me since day one. Glad it wasn't Andrew, though.

Dead (but always dressed for the ambiguity) Soul

p.s. Dumb question #843: What is The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen?

[> [> I believe it's a comic book written by Alan Moore -- Rahael, 06:02:32 02/13/03 Thu

His Promethea was a big influence on Primeval Buffy, according to David Fury.

[> [> [> Are the Scoobs the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? -- cjl, 07:47:38 02/13/03 Thu

Buffy = Mina Harker (vampire hunter--duh)
Xander = Invisible Man (see "Fear Itself")
Spike = Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (double duh)
Willow = Alan Quatermain (recovering drug addict)
Giles = Captain Nemo

[> [> [> [> Re: Are the Scoobs the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen? -- Rhys, 10:07:13 02/13/03 Thu

"Buffy = Mina Harker (vampire hunter--duh)
Xander = Invisible Man (see "Fear Itself")
Spike = Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (double duh)
Willow = Alan Quatermain (recovering drug addict)
Giles = Captain Nemo"

To which of the Extraordinary Gentlemen do Anya and Dawn (not to mention past Scoobies Oz and Tara and former love interest Angel) correspond?


[> [> [> [> [> No idea. I never said the comparison was perfect. -- cjl, 10:38:57 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe a better comparison (spoilers for League of Extraordinary Gentlemen) -- ponygirl, 11:59:55 02/13/03 Thu

Would be the sheer number of literary references in League -- surely enough to rival BtVS' pop cultural ones!

It's been a while since I've read the book and I haven't bought any of the new issues but wasn't there a big twist at the end of League -- that their employer was actually the big bad?

"Still?" Did she ever say she originally was? (First Date Spoiler) -- Sonia, 17:26:00 02/12/03 Wed

I'm just curious, Buffy asks Willow "Why does everyone think I'm still in love with Spike." As far as I know, that's as close she has ever came to announcing that she was in fact, in love with him at some point. It made me happy, anyway.

[> Sorry, opposite for me (spoilers) -- Scroll, 17:49:40 02/12/03 Wed

When I heard that, I cried "foul!" Do I think Buffy cares for Spike? Yes, very deeply. I think they're connected, that they understand each other almost on a spiritual level. Do I think they were ever really in love? Hell, no! Spike, maybe -- in a twisted vampire way. But Buffy was never in love with Spike when they were doing their thang last year.

Now, after I finished crying "foul", I sat back to think it over and asked myself why on earth Buffy would say this when she knew damn well last year that this was not true?

"Why does everyone think I'm still in love with Spike?" Is this a reflection of Buffy's true emotions? Yes and no. Yes in that she might be starting to fall in love with Spike and is denying it. Yes in that everybody projecting "love" at her makes her believe that her feelings for Spike are love. Buffy is pretty extreme with her emotions, especially with her lovers. She probably (IMHO) doesn't realise that there are other types of love besides romantic love (I'm speaking specifically regarding her lovers). Buffy feels something for Spike, that much is clear, but because in her mind Spike = lover, she can't even conceive that what she feels for him might be something other than romantic.

The "no" part of this equation is that I don't think Buffy was ever in love with Spike to begin with, so I don't think she could still be in love with him (since she never was in the first place). Sorry to belabor the point. I could be wrong. I'm hoping I'm right. Personally, I think Joss should let Spuffy die, already. Let them be friends; don't force them into another "love affair" just to end off with "and they all lived happily ever after."

[> [> I'm with you, Scroll -- WickedBuffy, 19:16:00 02/12/03 Wed

Buffy is just having a hard time adjusting from the reality that she can go from boinkmate to platonic close friend... and that it's perfectly ok to do that.

With Xander, she didn't have any romantic past and their relationship growth was pretty easy (from a Spike perspective). She's not confused about their relationship. They are close buddies.

But with Angel and even Riley - Buffy didn't really know how to just be friends. They'd already been intimate, she found it nearly impossible to adjust to a different kind of relationship after that.

By asking that question, to me just further underlined Buffys confusion about these kinds of relationships and also her need to get feedback from her peers about what they saw going on - and, was it ok?

I know lots of people who can't be friends with their exes, and just as many who easily can. Buffy seems to be caught in between right now, finding what her limits are. Her turmoil is evident, and she seems to be wanting feedback without anyone knowing directly that she doesn't know what's going on and how to do it. Slayer - gotta know everything or at least be able to handle anything. She's not finding this as easy as staking.

[> [> Re: Sorry, opposite for me (spoilers) -- Traveler, 19:33:23 02/12/03 Wed

Then again, in my opinion, she did seem to have feelings for Spike even when he was "evil." Yes, their relationship was twisted and unhealthy, but that doesn't mean love didn't exist. Certainly, it would be easier for her to admit any sort of love for him now that he has a soul.

[> Re: "Still?" Did she ever say she originally was? (First Date Spoiler) -- frisby, 17:54:10 02/12/03 Wed

my point exactly -- see at end of this forum, if not archived already. It made me happy too. She believes in him. He can be a good man. Redemption through love. wow

[> Re: "Still?" Did she ever say she originally was? (First Date Spoiler) -- Shiraz, 08:33:39 02/13/03 Thu

I caught that too.

And, no to the best of my recollection she never had said that she was in love with Spike. In fact, while they were sleeping together she used to emphatically declare that she hated him.

So, adding this to the subtle-as-a-brick moon eyes they've making towards each other we can determine that Buffy and Spike definitely have more than just "feelings" for each other (at least that's what my handy subtext calculator tells me).

-The following is a personal opinion of this situation:



Big Possible Angel Revelation (DVD S.1.22) -- David Frisby, 17:47:06 02/12/03 Wed

After watching episode 22 of season 1 of angel on the new dvd, I must ask (and wonder if others have already too): are the prophecies (from the scroll) about the beast pertinent to the beast of this season? Also, what about the beast that is to rise in 2003?

There was also some talk about how to defeat the beast?

Or am I just confused?

David Frisby

By the way, it's really great watching season one of Angel again. I'm more impressed this second time around.

[> I thought the same thing... -- Peggin, 23:02:51 02/12/03 Wed

Notice how nobody from W&H shows up at the ritual until after Vocah does the parts about the Beast rising?

I also noticed a couple of other things that might have been foreshadowing.

Like how Cordelia's reaction to being pregnant -- initially being horrified and then becoming protective as she formed some kind of bond with the demon spawn inside of her -- was almost exactly the same as what Darla went through when she was pregnant.

Like the part from The Prodigal, when Kate's dad tells Angel that he'll never understand why a father does the things he does until he has a child of his own.

Also, kind of a possible foreshadowing for the current events on BtVS, there was a line from Blind Date, when Holland told Lindsey that it's not about good or evil, it's about power.

It just makes me wonder -- do they plan out the major aspects of their arc that far in advance, or are they just incredibly good at picking things out of past episodes and using them to build new stories around?

Unspoiled speculation on the First (Spoilers thru F.D.) -- Kira, 19:36:45 02/12/03 Wed

I have a theory, and nobody may agree with me, but here goes:

I'm not convinced that the First can only take uncorporeal form. How do we know this is true? Giles, from his research, seems to think this is the case, but he could be mistaken (or misleading, if you suspect Giles).

Now, what if the First can also take corporeal form? Then wouldn't all the talk of uncorporealness (and appearances in this form) serve the purpose of leading the gang from suspecting someone already in their midst?

I strongly suspect Anya - as far as I can tell she's the only one not to have had an active part in fighting the First, instead she's pretty much just an observer. And the First would have to have a spy in their midst to know everything he/she knows.

Furthermore, Anya just makes sense as the First, since I think Xander is being set up for a fall (see Shadowkat's essays for more illumination on this - thank you Shadowkat for helping me to crystallize these suspicions in my mind).

So... thoughts? comments?

[> If that were the case. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:49:55 02/12/03 Wed

The First Evil would have killed Andrew itself to open the Seal of Danthalzar, or at least the pig.

[> Yes, but what about, then again... (Spoilers thru F.D.) -- WickedBuffy, 19:52:34 02/12/03 Wed

I don't think Anya is The First, but I am getting suspicious of her. (I voiced those concerns about her in an earlier thread "What in the Hellmouth is Anya..."

I just kept seeing proof that The First is incorporeal...uncorporeal? Giles research, it's written in that book, and in First Date when The First/Jonathon put his hand thru Andrews and said something specifically to the fact, "Look, in/uncorporeal, stupid". And then of course all the stuff where The First had to get some agent to help it (Uber, Bringers, etc). It just seems like an awful lot of extra work for it to do if it COULD be material. Then again, time is probably no big thing to The First.

But, it certainly would be a twist, eh? And prove how clever it is. But I think it kinda spoils all the metaphors and symbolism about evil and humans everyone has been talking about.

But I still have my eye on Anya as up to something, just not that she's The First!

Question about the episode title (mild spoilers) -- RichardX1, 20:02:11 02/12/03 Wed

What was the exact title of tonight's (2/12/2003) episode of Angel? Was it "Calvary" or "Cavalry"? I ask because those are two different words: "Cavalry" is a bunch of military guys on horses, while "Calvary" is the place where you nail the Son of God to a scaffolding until He dies.

According to Merriam-Webster, "calvary" (non-capitalized) can also mean "a period of extreme mental suffering". Now that meaning works for this episode, as does the misleading similarity in appearance to "cavalry".

[> Re: Question about the episode title (mild spoilers) -- Belladonna, 20:10:56 02/12/03 Wed

That's interesting. I checked in two places, and both list Calvary. Going into the episode, I thought it was Cavalry. That definitely affected how I watched the show. I thought something was going to show up and help them, so when Cordy had the vision about the spell, I totally bought it. I thought, "Oh, The Powers That Be are the cavalry." Then, when the truth was revealed, I looked at the title again, and realized I'd been had! I'm sure that's what they had in mind, those devious little tricksters!

[> [> Pssst! Not so mild spoilers in above post -- Belladonna, 20:13:55 02/12/03 Wed

First Impressions on Cavalry Ats. 4.12 (Spoilers!) -- s'kat, 20:10:07 02/12/03 Wed

Uhm...don't know what to post here. Discombobulated. I have officially given up on speculating about Angel the Series.
It boggles the mind. Yes you can make fun of me now. Masq and the posters who guessed Lilah was the dead duck were right, I was wrong. Just have no intuitive sense when it comes to Angel, go figure. Must be because the characters don't live inside me the way they do on Buffy. A personal thing. But there it is.

I can't believe Cordelia killed Lilah, my least favorite character just killed my favorite female character on Ats. Ugh. Be kind. You have no idea how many lines of this post I've deleted to prevent character bashing and childish ranting. ;-)

Enuff whining. To the stuff I'm good at:

Who is Angelus? Who is Cordelia? Who is Wesley? Who is Gunn? Who is Fred? Who is Connor? And who is Lorne?

These questions are important. And I don't think any of us have the answers or at least I don't.

1. Angel/Angelus

This was a metanarration on two episodes from Btvs history: The first is obvious - Passion, and the target in that was Giles - now it's Wesley. Complete with Angelus chasing Lilah through the hotel. Lilah pushing the cabinet at him just as Jenny (I really miss Jenny) pushes a filing cabinet at Angel in the school in Passion. Both women get it in the neck. Both women are attacked shortly after a failed spell attempt. Wonder if Lilah will come back and haunt Cordy the way Jenny came back in Amends and haunted Angel? (One can only hope). No - Angelus chasing of Lilah was incredibly similar to his chasing of Jenny in Season 2.

Second metanarration - Enemies, except with a twist. In Enemies S3 Btvs- Angel pretended to lose his soul to convince the Mayor and Faith he was working with them. His acting was so good - that Buffy got squicked. Buffy also acted in that episode, pretending to think Angel had lost his soul. Wes was furious that Giles had done it without telling him. In tonight's episode - Cordy and Angelus play a con on the gang. Cordy pretends to have a vision, pretends to give Angelus back his soul. Angelus cons Cordelia, cons everyone. Then leaves. And they fall for it, just like they did in Enemies. The question of course is - is Angelus privy to Cordelia? Does he know that she faked everyone out??

Also why was Angelus able to fool Lorne? The same reason Angel could fool the Mayor and Faith and Xander. Angel and Angelus are the same. The soul is just the conscience.
Lorne reads the personality not the conscience. He doesn't read soul's necessarily. If Angel can flip into Angelus, doing things like torturing Linwood, locking lawyers in a cellar, setting vamps on fire, sex with Darla, almost killing Wes...etc - then why can't Angelus pretend to do what Angel does? I think it is a split personality (TM Rufus). And split personalities are very very good at pretending to be the other one.

Oh - like the fact that Angelus is not enjoying the feeding frenzy - no blood. Everyone is killed. Life sucks. HEe Hee.

2. Cordelia

Is she evil? (Well, I've always thought so...but I seriously doubt the writers do, so I wouldn't worry too much.) Is this even our Cordelia? We know she isn't a sleeper. So it must be option one or two. I'm guessing two.
Not necessarily our Cordelia. She's been different ever since she returned. Reading her - almost killed Lorne and what Lorne knew exploded brains at W&H. Also isn't it interesting that the Beast and Cordy have ensured that everyone at W&H, including at all their field sites, etc are dead now?? Why is that? Is it because of the information they have on the Beast and Cordy - which they don't even know they had?

Let's rewind over everything we know about Cordy to date.
She went up to the heavy-side layer in Tomorrow because she believed she was being elevated to the next level, lord only knows why she thought this. Prior to this she had glowy powers and was able to heal people like Connor and get rid of all the parasites in the Hyperion (The Price).
And prior to that she had these horrible vision headaches and it was either accept Skip's offer to make her half demon with powerful skills or have her head explode from a migraine or be a sitcom queen. (Birthday.)

Now in Deep Down - we discover her whining about being bored in the heavy-side layer (sorry channeling Andrew Lloyd Webber's Cats). In Grounded - she's pissed at Angel for ignoring her cries. And Angel sees her all blissful in the heavy-side layer. In House Always Wins - she sees Angel lose his destiny - thinks he can hear her - but it appears to be a mislead. She interferes enough to make him save his friends - or does she just think she interferes and is he really doing it on his own? (Never made clear. I think it's the latter, personally.) And as a result - shows up sans memory in the middle of the hotel with a new hairdo.
When we reach Slouching Towards Bethlehem - Cordy is going nuts. No memory. Lorne reads her and he turns green and pale. The song she chooses for Lorne to read is "The Greatest Love of ALL" - the love of yourself. Not a favorite of Lorne's (or mine for that matter.) She takes off with Connor. In Spin the Bottle - she gets her memory back but what she remembers causes her to dash out again into the night with Connor. By the time we reach Apocalypse Nowish - Cordy remembers the Beast. But isn't sure what to make of it. And oh yes - she has a dream where she is sitting near Connor, he is acting like a lover, and on the TV set is Invasion of the Body Snatchers and she asks about pod people. We see her have a vision of the Beast erupt out of the earth. Then it does, just as Cordy and Connor arrive on that spot. It grabs Cordy's neck but doesn't kill her after exchanging a look with her. Cordy and Connor go home and Cordy offers herself sexually to Connor.

Fast forward to Habeas Corpus - we have Angel refusing to let Cordy come to W&H to save Connor. The evil little girl says the answer is amongst you. Everyone first assumes Connor than by the time we reach Long Days Journey - Angel.
It's on Cordy and Angel's watch that Manny is ripped apart. Cordy is the one throwing around the blame - yappity yap yap. And the BEast picks the site where Cordelia is currently residing, where she slept with Connor - to do his ritual. And Cordy relays the info that Angelus knows the Beast - convincing Wes and the Gang that they need to release Angel's soul. In Awakenings - Angel isn't so hot about this - doesn't want to do it. Until Cordy cleverly appeals to his ego - Angelus is so much smarter than you.
So on Cordy's word - he does it. In his dream - it's Cordy who comes up with the means of defeating the Beast.

In Soulless - Cordy offers herself to Angelus in exchange for info. Was she lying? I don't think so. Then Angel's soul disappears - gee wonder who took it? yep I bet Cordy.
Also remember Cordy is the only one in the bunch who recalls that Willow can curse Angel with a soul - she was there. Why doesn't she mention it?

In tonight's episode - it is Cordelia who convinces everyone Angel is back. Who comes up with the method to return his soul - almost getting Connor and Gunn killed.
And it is Cordelia who lets Angelus out of his cage and
it is Cordelia who stays behind with Lilah and kills Lilah in a way that makes it appear Angelus did.

Cordy is either evil or a plant. Take your pick.

Question is - who is everyone else?


PS: Great episode. Still bummed about Lilah. Eating crow for being wrong. See? Was completely unspoiled. My Othello theory was completely off. Cordy is apparently the Iago in this piece.

[> Re: First Impressions on Cavalry Ats. 4.12 (Spoilers!) -- Dannyblue, 20:23:38 02/12/03 Wed

They did mention the curse. Fred said something like the curse only works if the soul has "moved on" to another plane (heaven, hell, or whatever) not if it's trapped in a jar somewhere. The purpose of the jar seemed to be to protect Angel's soul. They said that only when the soul is released from the jar can you act upon it...rather that's returning it to Angel's body or destroying it. The jar's probably got all kinds of protections on it to keep anyone from attacking it magically. Unfortunately, it probably keeps "good" magic from effecting it too, since someone could use good magic to get to it for evil purposes.

[> Re: First Impressions on Cavalry Ats. 4.12 (Spoilers!) -- Ixchel, 20:59:01 02/12/03 Wed

Excellent recap, shadowkat. And sorry about Lilah (I'll miss her and I've only recently begun to like her).

I tend to agree on why Lorne couldn't read Angel/us.

As to Cordelia, how do we know she isn't a sleeper? (BTW, I like her, but you don't have to ;) She may be confused enough that she isn't noticing missing time (or whoever is pulling the strings is being more careful and subtle than the FE was with Spike, because her group is watching her more closely). And it wouldn't need to control her completely many times (killing Manjet, stealing Angel's soul, killing Lilah). It could be applying pressure in clever ways, pushing almost imperceptibly (toward sleeping with Connor and "convincing" Angel to let out Angelus). I believe she was lying in Soulless, but she could have been given a "push" here as well. As to Cordy not mentioning Willow, well this could be another "push", but also Fred mentions an Orb of Thessulah and then says it wouldn't work if the soul is still in this existence. Another reason I still think Cordelia is a sleeper is that she seemed genuinely surprised and scared when Angel turned on her. Couple this with her sad confusion that the "PTB" would fail them this way and I remain convinced.

Sorry again about Lilah, but if you're a Faith fan you do have something to look forward to.

Chanting, Faith - Faith - Faith

[> [> Well-known casting spoiler in above post...which was, btw, spoiled by the next ep's promo. -- Rob, 21:15:51 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> Sorry for not marking it. I guess I didn't because, well, the promo. -- Ixchel, 21:57:29 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Totally understandable. And I'm sure that promo spoiled the last person or so who didn't know! lol -- Rob, 22:13:41 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> those of us who lack promos -- Utopia, 22:38:53 02/12/03 Wed

Pout, we don't get the promos in Canada...Not that it came as a big shock, but I was trying to pretend that I wasn't spoiled. Fools paradise and all that.

[> [> Re: First Impressions on Cavalry Ats. 4.12 (Spoilers!) -- maddog, 07:30:14 02/13/03 Thu

A small comment as the recaps have been great but her "genuine" scared reaction could also have been an act. Hell, look at how Angelus does.

Wouldn't it be funny if the Beast was praying to some form of Cordy? :)

[> [> [> Re: First Impressions on Cavalry Ats. 4.12 (Spoilers!) -- Ixchel, 15:52:34 02/13/03 Thu

Yes, but an act for whom? Angelus? Why?

Hee-hee, Cordy as Glory? The connection has been made before. ;)


[> I think you might be on to something... (Ats. 4.12, BtVS "Sleeper" Spoilers & unspoiled spec) -- Rob, 21:11:01 02/12/03 Wed

"Wonder if Lilah will come back and haunt Cordy the way Jenny came back in Amends and haunted Angel? (One can only hope)."

I am totally unspoiled, but now that you said this, more as a joke I think, I am positive that this is going to happen. At the very least I think Lilah will reappear (don't know if she'll be haunting Cordy)...just like Jenny in Amends. Exactly like it. As the First Evil. Who, I am willing to bet 20 bajillion dollars on, is the Beast's boss.

Still don't know about who the heck or what the heck or why the heck Cordy is doing anything she's doing. But I think that this makes it quite clear that all this confusion about her character has been on purpose, as I have suspected since after she returned from her trip with Groo. I am more positive than ever that all of this was planned, and once we get the answers we so desperately need, she will make sense again. Is she a sleeper agent? Is she Cordy or an evil being? Is Cordy still up in that heaven dimension?

And I adore Lilah, too, but I am not unhappy she was killed by Cordy. Because, quite frankly, it was the biggest shock for me in the Buffyverse since that ax came swingin' at Giles' head. I was spoiled that Lilah would die. But I had heard that Wes was the one who did it. Which really confused me at the time. I didn't think it made sense. And now I'm glad to see that didn't happen. But I'm kind of glad for hearing that false spoiler, because it made this one all the more shocking.

Actually, rereading that I'm not going to say I'm not unhappy about Lilah dying. But I think that's the point. I wasn't exactly thrilled when Jenny died, but this episode just raised the bar for what's already been a stellar season of AtS. When I was first watching, I couldn't wait to post about Lilah calling her "St. Cordy." Now, I'm stunned that Saint Cordy is the one who killed her.

I give this ep 5 stars out of 5. IMO, as close to flawless an episode can be.


[> [> Re: I think you might be on to something... (Ats. 4.12, BtVS "Sleeper" Spoilers & unspoiled spec) -- Ixchel, 21:15:38 02/12/03 Wed

Rob, I believe the Beast's boss is the FE too. It's a persistent idea that won't go away.

Chanting, Faith - Faith - Faith!

[> [> [> I foresee four possibilities. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:26:18 02/12/03 Wed

Here are what I view as the four possible choices for the Beast's boss:

1) An evil force we have not yet been introduced to.

2) The Senior Partners (maybe they got tired of the human Wolfram & Hart being ineffectual, so they upgraded).

3) The First Evil (not sure about this though, as it would undermine events on Angel if they didn't tackle the actual force behind the cosmic evil).

4) The Powers That Be (something removed every record of the Beast in this dimension. Aside from Jonathan's "Superstar" spell and the monks' creation of Dawn, only the Powers That Be have done anything remotely similar, in "Birthday" (and the PTB did it to a larger extent, since the monks only had to alter the memories of people who would have met/know of Dawn, along with records of her existence, and Jonathan only had to affect the town of Sunnydale. In "Birthday" they made Cordelia a major TV star, which involves altering the memories of millions of people).

[> [> [> [> Re: I foresee four possibilities. . . -- Ixchel, 22:28:25 02/12/03 Wed


1) I suppose I feel it's getting late in the show to introduce something new (that hasn't been previously hinted at, etc.).

2) I hadn't considered this, very possible.

3) I see your point but, couldn't they? Couldn't the FE be waging a two front campaign? Also, wouldn't it by definition (at least according to its own propaganda) be behind any evil plottings?

4) I like this one, if only because I never thought the PTB seemed trustworthy. Maybe they/it are/is as tired of the endless balance as the FE is?

Weird thought, what if the FE and the PTB are one and the same? Playing some endless chess game against itself?


[> [> [> [> [> Re: I foresee four possibilities. . . -- Rob, 22:40:12 02/12/03 Wed

"Weird thought, what if the FE and the PTB are one and the same? Playing some endless chess game against itself?"

Philosophy brain overload! Must stop thinking about Buffy and AtS for a few hours and get some sleep before my head explodes! LOL.

Rob :o)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I foresee four possibilities. . . -- lunasea, 19:03:37 02/13/03 Thu

My bet is for the First. It has been playing with everyone that Buffy loves or loves Buffy. It can't leave Angel out of the mix. What if all this is just an elaborate part of Its bigger plan? Angel wasn't so easy to play last time so It has upped Its tactics.

We see LA as the center of this massive Apocalypse. Traditional ME undercutting would have it so that it isn't so massive and that it is actually leading to something truly massive.

What if the stealing of the soul is just to delay the resoulling, not prevent it? What if Cordelius has this master complex plan now in effect and Angel/us is just part of that?

It just gets better and better. Merge the shows and Cordelius makes more sense.

[> [> [> [> Re: I foresee four possibilities. . . -- Darby, 08:03:34 02/13/03 Thu

Climbing back up on my soapbox...

My take has been that the Powers are just one side of a massive demon war, with two sides jockeying to move in and take over at some key moment. Wolfram and Hart knew a big Change was coming, knew that Angelus figured in somehow, knew that it would be their chance, but were totally flummoxed when it actually came along by steps put in place by the Powers - Angel going dark, boffing Darla, making Connor, providing an entry point for the Beast, Cordy being infused with some demony power and dropped back into the mix to move things along and infect Lorne - all of these were events the W&H scryers missed completely or couldn't see the significance in, but they led to at least their own personal apocalypse.

All of this "Champion" stuff has always struck me as the sort of catchword ME would hate, but maybe not if it all turns out to be ironic.

And, if nothing else, it'll bring Skip back in as his interesting bad-ass self.

- Darby, holding onto his pet theories and squeezing the life out of them.

[> [> [> [> [> Agree with your take. My favorite so far. -- s'kat, 18:13:10 02/13/03 Thu

Although not sure what's going on with Lorne. Is he really infected? Or did Angelus just outwit him?

[> [> [> [> I so love Option #2 -- WickedCursed, 11:36:31 02/13/03 Thu

"2) The Senior Partners (maybe they got tired of the human Wolfram & Hart being ineffectual, so they upgraded)."

though it's probably not, in my dreams it WOULD be the answer. I always wanted more info about them, they were such an integral, yet mysterious, invisible, powerful force.

If they did want to start over, with some new plan, it would make sense to kill off all their employees and associates first. Otherwise some could band together, or even one, and have enough power to find the Senior Partners achilles heel. Kill those who know you best, first. Might as well not have to worry about that little aspect. And, they would probably have the power to destroy the upper echelon despite pacts and protections, etc that the usual Wolfram & Hart employee didn't have. oOoO and think of all the unemployment payments they avoided. ;>

But saving Lilah for awhile? Why? Unless Lilah was saved by a GOOD force. In her short time interacting with the AI's she gave them information. Wes would have never known book pages were missing, and all the speculations that grew from that. They wouldn't have known that the Wolfram & Hart entire employee base had been decimated, not just those in the building, but a complete erasure. And, in the end, they did finish off the last employee, Lilah. Was it totally a coincidence that Lilah was left alone with Cordy?

Mostly, it would be intriguing to see more direct interaction between the AI's and the Senior Partners. They've been such an important part of so many things and we are still in the dark abut them.

[> [> [> [> [> About Lilah -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:15:58 02/13/03 Thu

It's difficult to say. Maybe the Beast's thumb into Lilah's abdomen was just supposed to be his way of enjoying himself over a kill. Then Connor intervened and Lilah got away by using the escape hatch only she knew about. After that, I'm assuming the Beast simply couldn't find her.

As for the Senior Partners, I agree about being interested in them. We don't even know whether they're just the spirits of human evil or otherworldly beings. And here's some food for thought about them being behind the Beast: supposedly sources outside this dimension could find out about the Beast, yet the Senior Partners, who aren't relegated to our universe, told Wolfram & Hart to try to establish an alliance with it. Mayhaps they wanted W&H to not be ready for the Beast's attack. And whoever is pulling the Beast's strings obviously has something against Wolfram & Hart besides needing the White Room Girl's energy, otherwise the Beast wouldn't have sought out employees who weren't even in the building.

[> [> Re: I think you might be on to something... (Ats. 4.12, BtVS "Sleeper" Spoilers & unspoiled spec) -- skat, 21:35:57 02/12/03 Wed

Would agree on all of the above. I'll get over my pain at Lilah's death - since I think she will reappear, either as a Zombie or reanimated in some fashion, possibly even as the first. (I just wanted them to kill a more important character (that I wouldn't miss as much) like Fred or Gunn...or possibly Cordy, even though I was spoiled on something else on Cordy, not about the evil bit - something completely different which I'm starting to question- so figured that wouldn't happen. Now if they killed Fred or Gunn - that would shake things up royally. Lilah? Not so much. But I don't write these shows...aren't you glad? I'm worse than ME. ;-) end of stupid diversion) Back to Lilah coming back from the dead - coming back as the First is a definite possibility. IT is, after all, how Jenny came back in Amends. I also have a hunch the First Evil is behind this. Note to Angel and Wesley - next time you have a big apocalypse on hand - do yourself a favor? Check with the people in Sunnydale - see what's going on there! It could actually be helpful...(sigh)

OTOH - why did The Beast dig a hole in Lilah then leave her be? And is Lilah affected by the same security voodoo as her associates? Methinks Cordy will regret killing Lilah.
Wesley will definitely regret it. Wonder how he will deal?
Poor Wes is really paying for his mistakes, isn't he?
So for that matter is Cordy, I think.

[> [> [> Re: I think you might be on to something... (Ats. 4.12, BtVS "Sleeper" Spoilers & unspoiled spec) -- Rob, 21:50:26 02/12/03 Wed

"I just wanted them to kill a more important character (that I wouldn't miss as much) like Fred or Gunn..."

I do know what you mean. Funny, but at times, I like the peripheral, recurring, and less important characters on "Angel" more than the main ones. It's strange. I usually love the stories on "Angel," even when I'm not loving the characters. Opposite on "Buffy." I love the characters so much that even when I'm not loving a particular plot, I can overlook it. Totally not meaning to diss Angel, though. Like you said, it's personal preference and what story speaks to you. Although I am a big "Fred" fan, so I would prefer Gunn have been the one to die. He gets on my nerves to no end. For a while, I liked him. But he has this self-righteous chip on his shoulder and completely black-and-white view of things (you were my friend, you did something wrong, now you're not my friend and never will be again, so I'll sit here making snide remarks about you while everyone else tries to move on) that drives me up a wall.

On a separate note, on my like/dislike list of AtS characters:

Angel (like, although he was getting on my nerves a little after C/C--Angelus, btw, I LOVE)
Cordy (used to like, don't have a freakin' clue what to think of her now!)
Fred (love)
Gunn (used to like, but now annoys me to no end.)
Connor (like)
Wes (love)

Compare that with Buffy...

Buffy (love)
Willow (love)
Xander (love)
Giles (love)
Anya (love)
Spike (love)


[> [> [> [> Oops! Forgot Dawnie... -- Rob, 21:51:33 02/12/03 Wed

...who I also love.


[> [> [> [> I completely agree, Rob! -- Belladonna, 22:00:11 02/12/03 Wed

You took the words out of my mouth. That's the exact way I think about Buffy and Angel. And you have the same feelings toward the AtS characters as I have. I too am so irritated at Gunn's snippy attitude and complete inability to get over it. Granted, I'm at a disadvantage on Angel as I haven't seen the first 2 seasons, and therefore missed much character development. Oh well...I'll probably buy AtS season 1, watch it in one big marathon, and then I'll be a bit more knowledgeable.

[> [> [> [> I'm the opposite, but you knew that ;) -- Rahael, 03:14:36 02/13/03 Thu

What follows is a paean of praise for a show that I'm loving a whole lot, probably more than is healthy. Don't read if you are likely to get offended by praise for Angel without an equal, balanced praise for BtVS. I can't manufacture enthusiasm. I'm a very enthusiastic person and it tends to kind of bubble up and spill out here.

The only character in BtVS that I have any real connection to any more is Buffy.

I adore Anya. She makes most scenes for me. I like Dawn and Andrew. The others, I'm just neutral on, depends whether the ep is good or not. It's not that I dislike anyone, it's that they aren't capturing my enthusiasm.

I'm so not neutral on AtS. I loved Wes/Lilah. I empathize with Gunn, probably more than any other character than Buffy. The more he snarks, the sorrier I feel for him. Cordy has always been one of the characters that made me fall for the Buffyverse in the first place. I really like Amy Acker and what she makes of Fred. And then of course David Boreanaz - wow, he's really improved tons and tons. I'm really impressed with him, and I always liked Angel the character anyway. Lorne's a sweetie, and Connor's adorable!

And last season, I really went for Holtz and Sahjan (one of my favourite villains! Sahjan that is). And Justine annoyed me in all the right ways.

But then AtS has this real noir/mystery feel to it plus all the delicious Dumasian type plots. At this moment in time, it's hugely appealing to me.

[> [> [> [> [> Rah, we're like twins! -- Masq, 07:53:52 02/13/03 Thu

So much more compelled by AtS than BtVS right now. I'm riveted.

The only thing on BtVS that's really interesting me right now is the Willow/Kennedy 'ship, and that's hardly a priority for ME. The First Evil story line is kind of sagging right now. Sending Andrew after the SIT's with a gun? Surely the biggest evil ever has better resources than that!

Not much of an Anya fan, though. She's been annoying to me since the middle of season 4.

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL. Does this mean I'm a twin to the First Evil too? (Spoiler for aired S7 eps) -- Rahael, 08:37:43 02/13/03 Thu

Personally, I think our very own First Evil has a much stronger personality than the one on BtVS!

It's way too nebulous, too many shifting shapes, hard to hold on to anything.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Rahael = The First Evil's virtuous twin! -- Masq, 10:14:56 02/13/03 Thu

Unless you'd rather be my even-more-evil-than-the-First twin!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Bad! I wanna be bad! -- Rahael, 16:19:08 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: I think you might be on to something... (Ats. 4.12, BtVS "Sleeper" Spoilers & unspoiled spec) -- Miss Edith, 05:50:04 02/13/03 Thu

Angel: Sorry I find him either too goofy, or too miserable, but love Angelus.
Cordy: former favourite, haven't liked her since Birthday.
Fred: like
Wesley: love
Lilah: love
Conner: like
Gunn: dislike him now for pretty much the reasons you mentioned.
Kate: liked until she became whiny.
Lindsey: like
Lorne: like but IMO overrated. Everyone talks like he's the greatest character, don't see it personally.
Darla: like

Buffy: loved until The Gift. Felt for her in season 6 up until OAFA, now dislike her.
Xander: like, although disliked for a while in season 6.
Willow: liked but since the whole dark Willow thing not quite sure what to make of her.
Dawn: liked in season 5 but disliked her ever since. Find her a plot other than whining and shoplifting please!
Giles: love, but irritating me at the moment
Anya: love
Spike: loved but becoming too broody for my taste. I would have liked him to stay insane with switching personalities like in BY. We were promised he would be nothing liked Angel. This brooding, buffy whipped version bores me slightly.
Andrew: like
Tara: loved
Drusilla: Love
Faith: Love

And without getting into bashing I will just say I prefer Angel to Buffy at the moment by far. Buffy was my favourite until mid season 6 though.

[> [> [> [> Yep...we like the same characters -- s'kat, 07:10:23 02/13/03 Thu

Pretty much. But as people may or may not have guessed by now, I'm not fond of one character - who has been on both Btvs and Ats. Almost stopped watching Angel last year because of this character, certainly didn't bother taping Birthday and did stop watching Ats for a while in Season 2. The character has grown on me from time to time. A Room With A view is a wonderful episode and I really liked her in Billy as well as Spin The Bottle. But I truly struggled with the whole Pylea arc b/c of this one character. But because of my dislike of her, I rarely post on her, because I acknowledge she is other people's favorite and I have no interest in pushing their buttons. My brother and his girlfriend tell me they love her because she's a vain bitch and has big boobs. Go figure. I also have an online friend who adores her, I'll never understand why. But hey, I openly admit my dislike of this one character is completely emotional and personal and has to do with my own background and really is not worthy of discussion. So I try very very hard to refrain from negative posts on her. I actually wrote a really positive post on her this year...which was amazing. As I said, occasionally, I really like her - from time to time she actually grows on me.

Gunn? I actually don't dislike him. Always sort of liked him. But he's been written really poorly lately. They've appeared to have lost the character. He seemed more complex and interesting up to the point they threw him and Fred together...the episode Double or Nothing made little sense. And since that point, he's been relegated to "muscle", "Fred's lover" or sidekick status. I blame his relationship with Fred for this. He was more interesting before they were flung together.

I know Wes/Fred could never make it as a couple. (sigh) I'm not a shipper so much as a plotter (Tm Zachsmind) whereas the plotter wants the most conflict possible, the greatest angst and the most torment.(cheering) The shipper wants a happy ever after romance.(groan) I'm not watching these shows for happy ever after romance - and when they go there? I get really bored. Gunn and Fred? Bored me until this season, when the whole Professor Seidel thing happened then they began to get interesting. (Hence the difference between shippers and plotters...plotters want more story and angst.)

Fred? Now I really like Fred. The fact she's so thin doesn't bug me. But her character has the same problem as Gunn's - except far worse. She's written all over the place. She's super-smart, she can do practically anything, can fight, she's capable of murder, she wants to be protected, she's had a crush on or been attracted the three main guys in the show, she's becoming, hate to say it, a little Mary Sueish. I'm having troubles figuring out what they are doing with her. And I was resigned to the idea of her death - partly b/c I have no clue what they can do with this character. Lilah - a peripheral character made more sense to me and seemed to have more story potential than Fred did. So did Gwen for that matter. Very weird.

Angel? Love/hate relationship with him. Do prefer Boreanze when he is playing Angelus - I think the actor truly shines in that role. Looks less whipped or puppy-doggish.

Connor? Really like Connor for some reason. Find his character truly fascinating. My favorite next to Wes and Lilah, in some ways. And he has great interaction with Angel/Angelus.

Wes - favorite character on the show. Possibly second or third all time favorite on both shows. So many facets to his character - all of which make perfect sense. He's so conflicted. And his character interacts well and brings out new information on the other characters. Best written character on Ats in my humble opinion. (And yeah I know it may be a minority opinion, but there it is.)

Cordy - her character makes perfect sense to me actually.
But then I always thought she was somewhat evil. ;-)
(kidding! chill Cordyshippers)


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yep...we like the same characters -- Rob, 09:40:29 02/13/03 Thu

"Wes - favorite character on the show. Possibly second or third all time favorite on both shows. So many facets to his character - all of which make perfect sense. He's so conflicted. And his character interacts well and brings out new information on the other characters. Best written character on Ats in my humble opinion. (And yeah I know it may be a minority opinion, but there it is.)"

I agree completely. I can't get enough of Wes! From priggy Wes from Buffy Season 3 to present-day Wes, I am so fascinated by his character, and AD is such an amazing actor. I wish JM and he could have a scene together. I think it would be really cool on the whole for all the characters on "Buffy" to meet him again now. Perhaps in the season finale?

Speaking of which...I don't hate Cordy, but what's kind of funny is that had this being evil revelation been made in the first season of "Buffy," it wouldn't have been a surprise! lol


[> [> Re: I think you might be on to something... (Ats. 4.12, BtVS "Sleeper" Spoilers & unspoiled spec) -- Belladonna, 21:54:37 02/12/03 Wed

I feel so vindicated!! The second Angelus said the Beast doesn't have minions, he *is* the minion, I screamed - It's the First! Then I thought I was being silly, and hoping too much (how cool would it be if they were all fighting the same Big Bad?). Now I come to this board, and see that a bunch of you thought that too! Considering you guys know a *lot* more about AtS than I (just started watching it at the end of last season), and considering you guys are quite a bit smarter and more insightful than I...I'm definitely feeling pleased with myself. :)

[> [> You can figure that, but unless I'm hallucinating... -- Solitude1056, 06:15:29 02/13/03 Thu

Wasn't the murder weapon a little familiar?

At the very least I think Lilah will reappear (don't know if she'll be haunting Cordy)...just like Jenny in Amends. Exactly like it. As the First Evil. Who, I am willing to bet 20 bajillion dollars on, is the Beast's boss.

This might be so, except that early in the episode we saw the Beast give his Boss a knife, "forged from his own" bones or hands, I can't remember. Bizarre twisted-iron looking thing, very impractical - and I'm almost positive that's what Cordy uses to get Lilah in the neck. Hence, Cordy either is the BigBoss and is running around with partial amnesia, is the BigBoss and is fully aware of it, or is just controlled by the BigBoss.

Bummer, too, cause I was really grooving on Lilah. "No God, no Powers that Be, NO ONE is going to come save us!" Why bother killing the one person who's saying exactly what's going on (and inciting despair thanks to it)? Or perhaps Cordy/BigBoss had to kill Lilah because Lilah was speaking the secret to beating this thing, ie, relying solely on ones' self? (Not to mention the idea of whether the soul-restoration spell would work being ridiculed by Lilah: "Deus ex machina!")

Dunno. But, yay me, I was right to suspect Cordy. That's one small consolation, I suppose.

[> [> [> Re: You can figure that, but unless I'm hallucinating... -- Angela, 11:00:56 02/13/03 Thu

Since Lilah was our truth teller... she herself said that the Beast (and I guess the Beast's master) was seeking out every single employee of W&H, even those out on "sick days." She would have been the last. Still don't understand why though. I agree with the other thing she said, "Why knock out the bad guys?" One of my many questions too.

[> Re: First Impressions on Cavalry Ats. 4.12 (Spoilers!) -- CW, 21:59:07 02/12/03 Wed

I think what blinded you was thinking Angel was necessarily going to do the killing. That was why I asked the question about the trailer when you were making your predictions. It seemed to me from the way things were going, leading up to this episode that either Angelus would kill Cordelia, or that Cordelia was going to kill someone. Cordy was acting far too suspiciously all season. As I wrote the other day, since there was no explanation of what was going on with Cordelia, I was sure fairly early in the ep she wouldn't die. I just didn't guess ahead of time who she was going to kill.

[> A chess game. (Spoilers for past eps of BtVS) -- Dannyblue, 06:28:05 02/13/03 Thu

I happen to think the First has nothing to do with what's going on on AtS. Of course, I try never to be certain about anything on AtS because they love to surprise me...and I love being surprised.

However, someone said something that was very interesting. And got me thinking.

The Powers have always said their goal isn't to eradicate evil, but to maintain the balance on the side of good. They've never really played for the win. Instead, when evil makes a move, they make a counter-move.

Then, in "Conversations With Dead People" on BtVS, the First (as Cassie) said it was tired of being part of maintaining the balance. Tired of "the game". It wanted to win.

Is it possible the Powers and the First are two sides of the same coin? That their purpose was to play a cosmic chess game, Good vs. Evil, neither side winning but maintaining an eternal tie. Until the evil side of the board decided it was tired of the tie. It now wants the victory.

So, if the First and the Powers are connected, and the Powers suddenly find that their eternal opponent has changed the rules, what do the Powers do to keep from losing?

And, more importantly, after centuries of being happy locked in a tie, do the Powers even know how to play to win?

Cordy and the Soul restoring ritual: a theory (AtS 4.12 - Calvary spoilers) -- Rohar, 20:32:41 02/12/03 Wed

Hmmm .... After the events in Calvary, I have a possible theory about Cordy and her change to evil after the false ritual to restore Angel's soul, compared to her overall before Calvary, seeming to be on generally on the side of good up until the soul restoring ritual. Might be completely barking up the wrong tree, but here goes ..... Is it possible that since Cordy returned from her sojourn up on a higher plane, a bit like Angel/Angelus there is an demonic entity (not a vamp, just some kind of demon) inside as well Cordy as well as Cordy herself and the two have been struggling for control of Cordy? and that as well as allowing the evil entity the chance to free Angelus from the cage, instead of restoring Angel's soul, Cordy lost her soul in some way, allowing the evil entity to assume complete control ? Am I on to something, or not ? Let me know what you think


[> Re: Cordy and the Soul restoring ritual: a theory (AtS 4.12 - Calvary spoilers) -- Belladonna, 20:46:26 02/12/03 Wed

If that were true, wouldn't good Cordy be aware of the struggle? Then, maybe say, "Uh, guys? Something evil is inside me, and I don't know how long I can control it?" It's possible, though. I can't figure it out. If she was evil since she came back, then maybe sleeping with Connor was deliberate - in order to divide the ranks. If she was evil since came back, though, then why did she get so shocked and upset when Angel revealed that he knew about her and Connor? I think she has been evil or partly evil for awhile. After she manipulated Angel into allowing Angelus out, I knew she was shady. Plus, she has to be all evil, since the beast gave her the knife she used on Lilah. I don't know...I just can't figure it out! I guess I'll just have to wait the bleeping 3 weeks to find out.

[> [> Re: Cordy and the Soul restoring ritual: a theory (AtS 4.12 - Calvary spoilers) -- Rohar, 21:06:10 02/12/03 Wed

Hmmm ..... I see what you're saying ... I agree that Cordy has definitely been partly evil .... but, in my mind there have been enough moments when Cordy has been good for there to still be some of the goody Cordy in her, struggling against the evil entity in her, or perhaps something trying to control her externally .... being concerned about Angel's feelings when she and Connor had sex for example (or at least, in her own mind seeming to be, even if when face to face to him she hasn't been particularly compassionate or sympathetic), sharing Angel's concern's about bringing Angelus back, and particularly when she told Angelus that he was a disease and a nothing that definitely sounded like the good Cordy was still in here .... as to why she hasn't been aware .... well, a powerful enough evil force might be capable to somehow hide itself in her, and somehow dull her senses into not noticing it's taking over .... although I do see that she could just be being very subtly completely evil as well too.


[> [> [> Re: Cordy and the Soul restoring ritual: a theory (AtS 4.12 - Calvary spoilers) -- Belladonna, 21:37:08 02/12/03 Wed

But she didn't share Angel's concern about bringing Angelus back. If you watch the scene, she very clearly manipulates him into changing his mind. "Angel, you're absolutely right. Angelus is too dangerous. He's so much smarter than you, there's no way we could control him." I hadn't suspected Cordy for a second until that scene. As for the disease thing...definitely possible that was good Cordy. But it doesn't appear that Angelus realizes Cordy (or part of her) is evil, nor does it appear she wants him to. Perhaps she was acting, just like Angelus was acting like Angel.
In response to her apparent guilt and regret about sleeping with Connor, hmmmm...not so sure about that. But then again, when did we see her alone and guilty. Outside of the "Oh, god" statement she made in response to Angel revealing his knowledge of the affair, when have we seen that? (That isn't a rhetorical question; it's possible there have been moments that I can't remember) All I remember is her showing Connor that she regretted it, and regretted hurting Angel. If she was evil and slept with Connor to purposely set father and son against each other, than acting like she regretted it would definitely make sense. Simply sleeping with Connor would only make Angel angry - Connor would be on cloud nine. Acting as if you immediately regretted it serves to make Connor as angry at his father as Angel is towards him. Does that make sense? Or am I rambling incoherently? :)
I don't know...I won't be completely shocked if it turns out that good Cordy was just being controlled/evil part of the time. But I certainly won't be shocked if it turns out she's been evil since her return, and that the *real* Cordy is still in the higher plane. If she has been in the higher plane, watching all this, the whole time, I imagine she's royally peeved that not one of her friends could tell that wasn't the real Cordy. I can't wait to find out, though!

[> [> Re: Cordy and the Soul restoring ritual: a theory (AtS 4.12 - Calvary spoilers) -- maddog, 09:14:07 02/13/03 Thu

It would make the most sense that she's been evil since she got back...someone down below posted a nice list of events that just sorta happened and we all took notice but never pinned on Cordy because while it would fit in with this new theory, back then it didn't make sense...this coming right up to when Wolfram and Hart's little spirit guide told them the answer was among them. The first obviously was Connor (though I personally never believed it) but was quickly moved to Angel when the Beast called him by name and Cordy with her perfect timing has the vision of them together. Now if we'd been suspicious of Cordy(and I know many of you were), then the tables could have been turned then...but I was dumb...I went along with it because Angel being the unknowing culprit was a cool surprise for me. The last straw for me should have been the perfect timing of her vision for the ritual...but I held on to the theory that she'd been a high supernatural being...not capable of badness. So when she stabbed Lila my jaw hit the floor ... and then it all made sense. Kinda like watching the end of The Usual Suspects for the first time. When the detective starts seeing all the names that were used in the interview on his wall. I, not all that intuitive I guess, went nuts that I hadn't seen it coming. So the question remains...how exactly will Faith play into not only stopping the Beast, Angelus...and now Cordy? Too many questions...and 3 weeks to mull over them...talk about a screwy February sweeps for AtS.

[> [> [> ^ Spoilers for "Usual Suspects" above ^ -- Scroll, 09:41:56 02/13/03 Thu

At least, I think there are spoilers! I averted my eyes as soon as you started talking about the movie. I just bought the video and I want to be surprised, damnit! No spoilers! :)

The Long March up the Hill (Spoilers for "Calvary") -- cjl, 20:43:05 02/12/03 Wed

OK, the first and main question that crossed my mind when I finished the episode (and after I picked my jaw off the floor) was: what's with the title? If I remember my New Testament correctly (and this isn't a given, because there wasn't a lot of New Testament study in Hebrew School), Calvary is the hillside outside Jerusalem where the Romans crucified Jesus. This is a major allusion to throw around on a show about a vampire, especially since said vampire is currently without a soul and hardly doing the Lord's work, if you know what I mean.

So, let's run the possibilities down. If Los Angeles is Calvary, representing a world filled with sin to be redeemed by the self-sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who in our cast is carrying the cross up to the hill to make the sacrifice?

At first glance, the obvious choice is Angel.

Given the choice between letting the Beast rampage through the streets of L.A. and surrendering his immortal soul, Angel made the sacrifice and agreed to the ritual. Angelus seems to back up this supposition when he's heading out the door of the Hyperion: "I'm going to save the world," he says, doing his best Angel impression (with just a touch of snark added). In this scenario, Cordelia is Judas, who is somehow aligned with the dark powers, but perhaps unwittingly serves some greater plan of the Power that Be. It's a heck of a stretch, but Cordelia's entire Season 3&4 plotline is a heck of a stretch.

But there's another possibility, an even weirder one.

What if the sacrificial lamb is Cordelia herself?

One of my favorite short stories/essays by the famed Argentinian fabulist Jorge Luis Borges is "The Three Versions of Judas." Borges postulated a sect of heresiarchs who studied the legacy of Judas Iscariot and concluded that Judas himself was the Christ. In order for the sacrifice to cleanse mankind's sins to mean anything, Judas was willing to take on the scorn of God and spend an eternity in the lower reaches of Hell, his name cursed by the lips of those he wished to save.

Is this the deal Cordy had to agree to? In order to save the world, she had to become the Betrayer, the agent who would deprive the world of its savior, and allow the devil to run free? This theory is a nine on the "way out there" scale, but it's a interesting bone to chew on. (Sophmorica! Down! That was a metaphor!)

More tidbits:

-- My favorite scene in the whole show was when Angelus went outside, and found that the world was already a living Hell. The Beast took all the fun out of it for him! Once again, it shows the similarity between Angel and Angelus. If Angel saved the world, but had to keep it a secret from everyone at A.I., his head would explode. He needs the approbation, the mantle of champion. Similarly, Angelus needs to strike fear into the hearts of men, and be acknowledged as the most terrifying vampire to walk the Earth. How can you reclaim your rep if you're just one of thousands of undead things tearing up the streets? No wonder he goes back to the Hyperion. The people there give him some RESPECT....

-- Lorne isn't exactly coming out of this episode suspicion free, either. He couldn't tell Angelus was faking? Is he in on this? Was Evil!Cordy messing with his head, or is it possible that something IS in there with Angel(us)?

-- Gunn finally broke it off. Good for him. He gave up the one thing he loved in the world and saved his soul.

-- This is the section of the post where I weep uncontrollably for about five minutes over the loss of uberbitch Lilah Morgan. Take a break, have some coffee, read a magazine, or do some grieving of your own...


Okay, I'm back.

-- Angel(us) mangles Burt Bacharach! But more than that, he's telling us what he going to do next episode (lyrics from "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on my Head," music and lyrics by Burt Bacharach and Hal David):

Well, I did me some talking to the sun
And I said I didn't like the way he got things done
Sleeping on the job, so
Raindrops keep fallin' on my head
They keep fallin'...

-- Three weeks to Faith. Good thing we've got two all-new BUFFYs in between, otherwise I'd go insane.

[> Re: The Long March up the Hill (Spoilers for "Calvary") -- Belladonna, 21:05:55 02/12/03 Wed

But is calvary a reference to where Jesus died, or are they referring to the other meaning, "a period of extreme mental suffering?" I'm not sure, myself. I'm leaning towards the second meaning, though. It sure seems as if there's a whole lot of mental suffering on the part of every character in the show (not to mention the terrorized citizens of LA). And isn't Joss a well known Athiest? I could definitely be wrong, but I seem to recall reading about that somewhere. Plus, I've never seen any mention of real life religions in the Buffyverse, outside of the few Jewish references toward Willow. Granted, I haven't seen Angel seasons 1, 2, and part of 3, so it's possible there have been religious references then. There's an argument to be made for both meanings...Perhaps it'll be more clear in hindsight, after the next few eps air?

[> [> But the second definition... (spoilers) -- Scroll, 21:36:20 02/12/03 Wed

But the second definition ("a period of extreme mental suffering") is derived directly from Jesus being crucified on Calvary. If we had never had the crucifixion, the word "calvary" with a lower 'c' wouldn't even be in our dictionary.

But I think both definitions apply. Ever since the premiere episode of Angel, Joss has made direct parallels between Angel and a Christ figure. He's a redemptive force in the world. He's all about saving souls. He's about sacrifice and forgiveness. Not that Angel doesn't stray from this model, but clearly there's a Jesus motif in there somewhere. The premiere episode even had Angel resisting Wolfram & Hart's temptations, a la Jesus in the desert resisting Satan. It's all pretty interesting, I definitely recommend watching Seasons 1-3.

[> [> [> Anther definition -- yabyumpan, 22:50:32 02/12/03 Wed

According to Websters, Calvary also means 'Skull'
which would tie in with the soul returning ritual.

(Cal"va*ry) n. [L. calvaria a bare skull, fr. calva the scalp without hair. fr. calvus bald; cf. F. calvaire.]

[> [> [> [> Ooh, I almost missed that! Good brain, yabyumpan! -- RichardX1, 09:00:54 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> Joss' beliefs -- RichardX1, 08:50:00 02/13/03 Thu

>>And isn't Joss a well known Athiest?<<

He's a successful SF/Fantasy/Horror writer (or conceptualist, or whatever). That and a little observation of the SF/Fantasy community should make his "religious" beliefs obvious.

[> [> [> Is that a fair generalization? -- Darby, 09:18:18 02/13/03 Thu

I'm not saying that I don't believe that it might be true, but it seems an awfully sweeping statement.

[> [> [> [> Is there a rule that atheists can't use religious symbolism? -- cjl, 09:29:21 02/13/03 Thu

I think Joss has said in interviews that, even if he doesn't believe in the "Sky Bully," he finds himself drawn to the very Christian themes of sin and redemption, self-sacrifice and transcendence. Joss' interpretations of these themes might be different from someone who is religious, but he has just as much right to explore them as any other writer, atheist or no.

[> [> [> [> [> Not at all! -- Belladonna, 10:37:51 02/13/03 Thu

I certainly didn't mean to imply that I thought because Joss is an atheist, that automatically precludes the idea of "calvary" referring to the location where Jesus died. I realize it sure sounded like that's what I was saying! My bad.
I just seem to recall hearing Joss say he hates going near any specific ideas of God, or Jesus as being the divine powers ruling the world. That's why in Buffy, there's hardly any mention of it, and on Ats there is only the vague Powers That Be. That doesn't have anything to do (in my mind) with more general allusions to sin, redemption, sacrifice used in the show.
My point was, considering there isn't a great self-sacrifice *in this episode* then perhaps the title doesn't refer to the location that Christ sacrificed his life, but rather, refers to a period of mental suffering (which I think we can all agree applies to the episode).

[> [> [> [> [> [> The sacrifices in "Calvary" (and this arc in general) -- cjl, 10:55:49 02/13/03 Thu

Perhaps you're right, Belladonna, but the theme of sacrifice, especially self-sacrifice, runs through the entire episode, this arc, and the entire series. From the most banal to the most dramatic:

1. Gunn sacrifices his relationship with Fred to (metaphorically) save his soul.

2. The FG offer up the skull of the Soul Eater on the altar of black magic as a way to restore Angel's soul.

3. Cordy sacrifices Lilah (VERY ritualistic, with the Beast's knife and all) to whatever power is possessing her.

4. Angel has voluntarily surrendered to Angelus in order to save the world.

5. And (this is only my guess) Cordy may have sacrificed herself to the PTB in order to prevent the apocalypse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not at all!--Spoilers for Calvary -- Arethusa, 10:59:26 02/13/03 Thu

I found a little on Calvary. Most references just say Jesus died there, and nothing else is known. But this site explains why the skull is important.



Where is Calvary? The site is also likely linked with Herod the Great's vast building program, which demanded great quantities of large cut stones. His builders naturally chose to quarry the big stones as near the city as possible, where limestone was plentiful. In one of their quarries, however, they came upon flawed stone, so they simply cut around it and left it. The quarry, just outside the city gates, began to be used for burials. During the reign of Herod Antipas, Herod the Great's successor, the section of flawed stone, which looked like a skull, became a place for execution. A permanent upright was probably fixed onto the top of the rocky outcropping, and the condemned were forced to carry the crossbeam to the place. Here Jesus was crucified.

The Hyperion could be said to be like Calvary. Abandoned in the fifties while the city continued to grow around it, it has become a place of death (many bit players, Lilah) and, in a way, a place where the dead lives: Angel. As well, it has become a place of great suffering, with a few small exceptions. Angel sacrificed his life, hopefully temporarily, so that AI could use Angelus to kill the beast.

In Deep Down, Angel's hallucination includes what might be seen as a last supper, surrounded by both his friends and betrayers. This season he has been making a long, slow walk towards Calvary, carrying the burden of his dual nature (human/supernatural with a mission to carry out). And at Calvary he "died," until he can be resurrected to save others.

Eh, others can probably do better with the metaphor.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh! And I forgot--Spoilers for Calvary -- Arethusa, 11:06:43 02/13/03 Thu

There was an eclipse during the crucifixion of Jesus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Another facet illuminated. I love this board. -- cjl, 11:13:50 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, Arethusa, that was great! Breaking it down: -- cjl, 11:10:53 02/13/03 Thu

"During the reign of Herod Antipas, Herod the Great's successor, the section of flawed stone, which looked like a skull, became a place for execution. A permanent upright was probably fixed onto the top of the rocky outcropping, and the condemned were forced to carry the crossbeam to the place. Here Jesus was crucified."

Didn't know about the skull-shaped outcropping (the down side of a Hebrew school religious education), and that explains why they made such a fuss about removing the excess flesh from the Soul Eater's head.

"The Hyperion could be said to be like Calvary. Abandoned in the fifties while the city continued to grow around it, it has become a place of death (many bit players, Lilah) and, in a way, a place where the dead lives: Angel. As well, it has become a place of great suffering, with a few small exceptions. Angel sacrificed his life, hopefully temporarily, so that AI could use Angelus to kill the beast.

Angel has sacrificed himself TWICE in the Hyperion. He died a martyr's "death" in "Are You Now or Have you Ever Been" and sacrificed his soul in "Awakening." L.A., in the wake of the Beast, has also become like Calvary, a place of death waiting for redemption.

"In Deep Down, Angel's hallucination includes what might be seen as a last supper, surrounded by both his friends and betrayers. This season he has been making a long, slow walk towards Calvary, carrying the burden of his dual nature (human/supernatural with a mission to carry out). And at Calvary he "died," until he can be resurrected to save others."

Agree completely. But, as I've said in others places in this thread, Angel may not have been the only FG member to make an enormous sacrifice...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Okay, Okay...you got me... -- Belladonna, 11:19:04 02/13/03 Thu

Wow, that does make a lot of sense. I think you've convinced me! Excellent analysis Arethusa and cjl. The title most likely is making use of *all* the meanings of the word.

[> [> [> [> Re: Is that a fair generalization? -- maddog, 11:52:26 02/13/03 Thu

Agreed...you can enjoy, write, and be a good storyteller of sci-fi/fantasy and still have religious beliefs. There's no rule against it. Because to the religious person it would be about the entertainment value and nothing else.

[> [> [> There are plenty of religious people... -- Scroll, 09:25:20 02/13/03 Thu

...who like sci-fi/fantasy/horror. I like "Buffy" with all its monster/horror trappings and I'm a Christian. I know for a fact there are others on this board. Yes, Joss is an atheist, he's told us in interviews. Just saying, liking science fiction does not automatically equal atheist.

[> [> [> What does that have to do with anything? (OT) -- Peggin, 09:38:56 02/13/03 Thu

I have no idea what you're basing your sweeping generalization on, but it's completely unsupportable. My circle of friends includes a number of SF/Fantasy/Horror writers, and they come from all walks of faith. A couple are atheists, but nowhere near the majority. There are also quite a number of devout Christians (one of whom is a priest) and Jews (one of whom is a Rabbi). And that's just in the circle of a couple of dozen writers that I know personally.

[> [> [> Re: Joss' beliefs -- Belladonna, 10:28:24 02/13/03 Thu

Wow...I at first didn't know to what you were alluding, until reading the responses. I've never heard a stereotype of SF/fantasy/horror fans are all atheists. What do you base that assumption on?

[> [> [> [> Re: Joss' beliefs -- MaeveRigan, 11:18:44 02/13/03 Thu

"What do you base that assumption on?"

God knows! ;-) Not only do many religious people read and watch scifi/fantasy (remember when Buffy was "Theologian of the Year"? That actually was not a joke, even though it appeared in a religious satire magazine/website), several also write or have written it [gasp!]. I shall now "out" some well-known religious sci-fi/fantasy authors:

J.R.R. Tolkien--Christian
C.S. Lewis--Christian
Connie Willis--Christian
Orson Scott Card--Mormon
Mary Doria Russell--Jewish
Stephen F. Lawhead--Christian
Patrician Kenneally Morrison--Celtic Pagan

Doubtless there are more.

[> Re: The Long March up the Hill (Spoilers for "Calvary") -- Zero, 04:23:52 02/13/03 Thu

> Lorne isn't exactly coming out of this episode suspicion free, either. He couldn't tell Angelus was faking? Is he in on this? Was Evil!Cordy messing with his head, or is it possible that something IS in there with Angel(us)?

Well the idea that I came up with was: Given the ending it seems unlikely Cordy was really trying to do a spell to restore Angel's soul. So what did the spell really do? I reckon it was a sort of "soul disguise" which would change Angelus' aura and make it appear that he had a soul when Lorne read him.

[> Cool review, cjl! -- ponygirl, 08:19:20 02/13/03 Thu

Not sure what's up with evil!Cordy. So far the actions we can link to evil!Cordy seem to be: sleeping with Connor, killing Manny, convincing Angel to give up his soul, stealing said soul, letting him out of the cage, killing Lilah. Also she probably killed the priestesses. If it is an ends justify the means situation there's a lot of justifying to be done.

Her stabbing of Lilah in the neck [sob] just screams Holtz redux. Now why go to all that trouble to set Angelus loose and then set him up? Does she want Angelus as an ally or for Connor to kill him? And why in either case? Could the sacrifice you predict actually be Connor's to make?

Three weeks, huh?

[> [> Thanks, PG. As for what's going on with our crew... -- cjl, 09:20:59 02/13/03 Thu

I still have the odd, nagging feeling that the Powers that Be are responsible for Evil!Cordy. It seems incredible that the main force for good in the universe would allow, even encourage such devastation, but maybe they felt it was necessary in order to avert the upcoming apocalypse.

Remember, in Angel's world, sometimes good/evil and chaos/order don't line up as neatly as we expect. The little girl who was the conduit for Wolfram and Hart was evil, but she was also an agent of Order. Perhaps the PTB, in order to prevent the universe from falling into chaos are forced to maneuver events in a manner we humans see as "evil."

The PTB work in mysterious ways?

[> [> [> The PtBs -- Katrina, 09:59:02 02/13/03 Thu

I too am wondering what's up with the Powers that Be. We've seen them send out a message to save one teenager who's messing with occult forces and about to summon a demon that'll kill her, just for one example out of many. On some occasions their information has been about major mystical problems, but just as often it's a "one sparrow falls" thing they're sending AI out on. So now we have carnage filling the streets of L.A., the freakin' sun is blotted out, the soul of their so-called major Champion is lost, and they don't seem to care? Of course, if Cordelia is taken as the major conduit, there is clearly a jam-up there, now that she's gone evil. But shouldn't they be sending visions to somebody to help the situation?

But then, the world of AtS has always seemed greyer to me than the world of BtVS, and I guess I see the reigning higher powers as liable to grey as well.

And as long as we're talking religious symbolism, that wound on Lilah's side that wouldn't heal clearly echoed the stigmata, although I don't have any idea what to make of it.

[> [> [> [> The Stigmata of Lilah Morgan -- cjl, 10:29:20 02/13/03 Thu

Yes, that's right. In an episode filled with sacrifice and Christ imagery, isn't it ironic that Lilah--the non-believer-- is the most obvious and straightforward example of the sacrificial Lamb?

[> [> [> The PtBs -- Katrina, 09:59:02 02/13/03 Thu

I too am wondering what's up with the Powers that Be. We've seen them send out a message to save one teenager who's messing with occult forces and about to summon a demon that'll kill her, just for one example out of many. On some occasions their information has been about major mystical problems, but just as often it's a "one sparrow falls" thing they're sending AI out on. So now we have carnage filling the streets of L.A., the freakin' sun is blotted out, the soul of their so-called major Champion is lost, and they don't seem to care? Of course, if Cordelia is taken as the major conduit, there is clearly a jam-up there, now that she's gone evil. But shouldn't they be sending visions to somebody to help the situation?

But then, the world of AtS has always seemed greyer to me than the world of BtVS, and I guess I see the reigning higher powers as liable to grey as well.

And as long as we're talking religious symbolism, that wound on Lilah's side that wouldn't heal clearly echoed the stigmata, although I don't have any idea what to make of it.

[> [> [> Re: Thanks, PG. As for what's going on with our crew... -- ponygirl, 10:29:32 02/13/03 Thu

I wonder if Angel really knows who he has been working for all these years. Maybe the PTB's main agenda is not good but balance. When Lilah was describing the destruction of W&H I kept flashing back to the end of CoW with its offices and agents around the world taken out. Were W&H and CoW mirrors of each other - the loss of one requiring the removal of the other? Since the FE has said that it is sick of maintaining the balance could the PTB also be seeking to change the rules of the game? Or are they as you suggest seeking to maintain balance by any means necessary? Whatever happens I think Angel has a pretty good case for turning his back on the PTB when this is over. At what point does he stop being an agent for good and end up just another sock puppet in their big theatre? Free will, baby! Something all these prophecies and divine interventions tend to undermine.

[> [> [> [> Re: Thanks, PG. As for what's going on with our crew... -- Darby, 10:49:25 02/13/03 Thu

Sometimes "good" and "evil" are a combination of matched needs and perceptions. AI might have been taking out the Powers' enemies / competitors, been steered toward the most "evil" ones and maybe assumed evil intent in those that didn't have it.

Isn't that what we spent the better part of a season watching Holtz do? Was Holtz supposed to be a reflection of Angel?

[> From the writer, Mere Smith, about the title -- Calvin, 11:25:38 02/13/03 Thu

From Mere Smith, posted at the Bronze: Thu Feb 13 06:41:10 2003

" the name of the ep is "Calvary", as in "a great ordeal", i.e., the reveal of you-know-who via the death of the you-know-who-else. however, there's a strong undercurrent of the idea of "cavalry", too, this all-too-human yearning to be swooped in and saved when things are at their very worst... which, naturally, in the Jossverse means they're going to get more worse ( ? ) than you ever thought possible. anyway, i liked
the double meaning."

Just thought you might like to know. Great review.


ps - She also confirmed that "St. Cordelia and Watchtower were my Bronzer shoutouts". Hi-larious. As if we didn't already know, the writers really *do* listen to the fans.

[> [> "Calvary/Cavalry" and the Last Temptation of Christ -- cjl, 11:35:14 02/13/03 Thu

Wow. Belladonna, you were right too...and even the people who thought the ep was named "Cavalry" were right! (Who says ME doesn't aim to please?)

And this brings up yet ANOTHER allusion: In the "Last Temptation of Christ," Jesus has a vision on the cross that he's spared from the crucifixion--i.e., the cavalry comes in and saves him. But, living his life around Jerusalem and standing by helplessly when the Romans mercilessly squash the Jewish uprising of 67 a.d., he realizes his place was on the cross and giving up his mortal existence to save the souls of mankind.

Perhaps, as with Angel-to-Angelus, some sacrifices were meant to be, were necessary for the greater good of the world.

[> [> [> Re: "Calvary/Cavalry" and the Last Temptation of Christ -- Belladonna, 11:57:28 02/13/03 Thu

Yeah! We're all right! I guess that just comes with the territory, what with us all being geniuses. ;)

Giles & Cantonese language -- spoilery question -- tam, 20:54:39 02/12/03 Wed

did anyone else find it odd that giles (able to speak and read 5 languages - or something) doesn't know cantonese?

[> Odd? -- Cactus Watcher, 21:37:09 02/12/03 Wed

No lie, I passed graduate level courses or reading tests in six languages, not counting English. I don't know any east Asian languages at all. I know mostly slavic languages, Giles mostly knows dead languages from the Mediterranean region. (He did take a stab at German for der Kindestod) I'd guess even his Mandarin is mostly smoke and mirrors as well. Like Giles I have both experience and personal resources that allow me to read many many languages with massive difficulty, but doesn't mean I really know them all.

[> Re: Giles & Cantonese language -- spoilery question -- Malathustra, 22:11:36 02/12/03 Wed

What I did find odd, though, was that he kept pretending to understand her when he obviously didn't. All of those fake translations... what is up with that? Why not just admit that you can't understand her?

[> [> Re: Giles & Cantonese language -- spoilery question -- grum, 22:41:31 02/12/03 Wed

I think the answer might be Giles wears the cheese it does not wear him.

[> [> [> Ah! -- Tchaikovsky, 04:12:34 02/13/03 Thu

And of course, Chao-Ahn's reaction is a metanarration on the whole cheese man concept itself! While the Scooby Gang are defined by the cheese man- the thing that holds them together which has a powerful effect and yet is intangible and indefinable, Chao-Ahn is 'lactose intolerant'. This represents her inability, (both through language and through obstructions of her own), to allow herself to become part of the group, to let the cheese man become as much a part of her psyche as it is to Xander, Willow, Giles and Buffy.

Stop laughing.


[> [> [> [> Re: Ah! -- Dead Soul, 05:11:12 02/13/03 Thu

Stop laughing.

Sorry, can't.

[> [> Re: Giles & Cantonese language -- spoilery question -- Peggin, 23:24:22 02/12/03 Wed

I do think that was weird -- that, and his whole, "we don't have time for joking around or romance" attitude. Of course, they do need to be serious about trying to keep The First from destroying the universe, but when were they ever *not* serious about it? It's not like they've been pretending The First isn't a threat. Buffy has been training the Potential Slayers; she's been honest about the fact that some of them may die and she's been trying to teach them how to stay alive. The whole gang has been trying to research The First (they don't have any information, but that's because there is none, not because anyone has been goofing off).

What are they supposed to do, just sit around and be somber, waiting until The First decides to make its move? That's stupid. IMO, if the only way to keep the world going is to give up friendship, laughter and love, then what they hell are they trying to save the world for, anyway? There's no reason they can't be serious and still have time for all the things that make life worth living. I was very disappointed in Giles for his whole "you're having too much fun" attitude. To paraphrase what Buffy said in The Prom, if there's a chance the world is going to end tomorrow, then they deserve to have a little fun tonight.

[> [> [> Are we seeing a return of Giles the Watcher? -- Valheru, 02:06:24 02/13/03 Thu

Giles hasn't acted this way in a long time. Over the years, he has learned to begrudgingly accept the Scoobies' needs to maintain normal lives amidst the constant chaos of the Hellmouth. Not that Giles ever said, "Sure, blow off the apocalypse so you can go to the Bronze," but as everyone grew older and more responsible, he trusted their judgment. After all, he spent most of S4 & S5 feeling alienated because they were making the right choices (most of the time) without his guidance. He left in "Bargaining" because he was no longer needed, not only because Buffy was dead but because he felt the other Scoobies were handling the Hellmouth capably. Then he left in "Tabula Rasa" because he thought he was holding them back.

But now we see a different Giles. Or rather a familiar Giles, the Giles of Season 1. He's singularly focused upon the Hellmouthiness. The humor of his character is of the "stiff old guy gets knocked down a peg" variety. He is hardly relating to the Scoobies as people at all. Put Tony Head in a tweed suit and he's the same "You have a destiny, Buffy!" guy he was in S1 & early-S2. The guy has reverted.

It's really no wonder. The destruction of the Watcher's Council would be enough to cause Giles to fall back on the old habits. Add to that the threat of the First, a dozen young mini-Slayers around him all the time, and the "no hugs" policy the Scoobies are giving him...I'd say it's a testament to Rupert's integrity that he hasn't reverted to his Ripper persona. The pressure recently has been upon him to be the Watcher, just as it has been for Buffy to be the Slayer, Willow to be the Witch, and Xander to be the Doughnut Boy/Grunt Soldier.

I just wish (Anya...) that we'd see Giles be Giles for once. "FD" allowed the Scoobies to be themselves, but the Watcher had to stay behind and keep the fort. We don't have a whole lot of ASH episodes left, ME, so don't squander him as Exposition Guy again.

Lilah (spoilers) -- nite walker, 21:08:56 02/12/03 Wed

first of all, the previews promoting this episode showed the main characters (cordy, gunn, wes, fred, and connor) as the voice was booming "and by the end of the episode, someone will die" which was a total sham. that sucks, i was hoping it was one of the other fellas. there's a lot to work with surrounding lilah - should've kept her around.

hope joss doesn't bring lilah back as a zombie. that would just be plain dumb...that's all i have to say about that.

[> Re: Lilah (spoilers) -- Alison, 08:16:38 02/13/03 Thu

I knew they would kill her.. was sure of it when she showed up outside Angelus' cage..but I really hoped the wouldn't. Lilah was an amazing character, with a wealth of potential..and I loved her relationship with Wes. I had hoped they would parallel her redemption with Spike's (which they had a basis for, with the parallels between the breakups in AYW and Long Days Journey)....they had better make the death of such an amazing character worth it in angst.

Response to the whole Willow/Buffy thing as of late (Spoilers KIM and that future cast thing) -- grum, 21:23:05 02/12/03 Wed

Sorry I'm late but it looks like you have a swell little shindig going here and I hoped that I could contribute. Seriously, I wish I had found this site a long time before now since I see a lot of people with an interest in analysis of a great work of popular art. I've lurked for a while to get a feel for the board but hope to get my feet wet, very wet. (So forgive me if I repeat what others may have said previously but the archives are large and my time is finite.)
I believe you're on the right path with Kennedy being a place holder for Buffy, but it should be emphasized differently. Tara dies because of Buffy. Warren is trying to kill Buffy and he kills Tara instead. To Willow this isn't fair and she blames both Warren and Buffy for this "accident", so she seeks pay back. It's the side-kick thing that bothers her, just as it did as far back as Fear Itself, Buffy is the hero of the piece while Willow must remain second string. She loves Buffy, and even more importantly, Xander so she saves Buffy's life in the hospital then takes Buffy and Xander with her to kill Warren. She wants them to witness her usurption of the hero's role. She is smarter and more powerful than Buffy so why shouldn't she be the hero? I believe she becomes annoyed with Buffy when she goes on her whole "You can't do that. It's wrong." type spiel. After all isn't this exactly what Buffy did when Angel was almost killed and Buffy went all payback on Faith? Didn't Buffy risk the entire fate of Sunnydale for Angel? Buffy wanted Faith dead and Willow supported her. When it came to Willows turn Buffy developed perspective. It isn't fun to be the side-kick. You don't get the breaks the hero does. Your girl dies.
This is a similar dynamic to Xander's walk out on Anya. He leaves her at the altar because he still loves the slayer. But I'll leave more of this for a different post, if anyone's interested.
Oh yeah, a couple more thoughts. Amy's power speech isn't so much directed at Kennedy but at us. She complains about Willow in much the same terms Willow does about Buffy. Why can't she get in the game, heck she isn't even Jonathan, it isn't about magic its about power. Willow has power over us, we forgive her, Amy not so much. Honestly, what bothered us more; Amy dosing Willow whilst she attempted recovery or Willow almost destroying Buffyworld? Whom did we forgive and why? Isn't that power, and doesn't Willow wield it? I believe there is a loosening of the walls as the Buffyverse starts to collapse in its final explosion of pain, violence, love, and glory. If we listen the characters are starting to speak to us directly much more frequently, just listen to the nasty caged guy on Ats for some more truth talkin'.
Finally don't ignore the names. Kennedy evokes the concept of courage (as in Profiles in...) just the thing the wizard might give the cowardly lion, the witch or the Willow who is spirit shorn. (I wonder what one would give someone who has lost his heart? A little faith perhaps?)
I hope to get to some of these ideas and others later if people are interested, I have a Buffyverse full of theories, but then again don't we all.

[> Good post!! (And welcome. Post more) -- Rahael, 03:57:30 02/13/03 Thu

[> Re: Response to the whole Willow/Buffy thing as of late (Spoilers KIM and that future cast thing) -- Sophist, 09:06:01 02/13/03 Thu

Interesting thoughts. Glad you decided to de-lurk.

A few preliminary thoughts:

Tara dies because of Buffy. Warren is trying to kill Buffy and he kills Tara instead. To Willow this isn't fair and she blames both Warren and Buffy for this "accident", so she seeks pay back.

I can't agree with your last sentence. The very fact that Willow delayed her pursuit of Warren to remove the bullet from Buffy indicates to me that she did not blame Buffy. Willow didn't actually turn on Buffy until Buffy tried to prevent her from going after Andrew and Jonathan.

She wants them to witness her usurption of the hero's role. She is smarter and more powerful than Buffy so why shouldn't she be the hero?

Isn't it simpler to conclude that she expected Buffy and Xander to help her find Warren and thought she might need their help? Again, she didn't turn against Buffy or anyone else until after this.

Didn't Buffy risk the entire fate of Sunnydale for Angel? Buffy wanted Faith dead and Willow supported her. When it came to Willows turn Buffy developed perspective. It isn't fun to be the side-kick. You don't get the breaks the hero does. Your girl dies.

The parallel doesn't quite work. Buffy went "payback" on Faith before Angel died. She didn't "risk the fate of Sunnydale" until after she failed to bring in Faith, so the risk and the payback are separate and distinct. Besides, there's a real difference between risking the fate of the town simply by not being there, and deliberately ending the entire world.

Willow has power over us, we forgive her, Amy not so much. Honestly, what bothered us more; Amy dosing Willow whilst she attempted recovery or Willow almost destroying Buffyworld? Whom did we forgive and why?

I don't see Willow as having any power over us, the viewers. And I don't see either one as "forgiven" (past tense). I do see Willow as seeking forgiveness and trying to redeem herself, but Amy doing no such thing. That's an important difference to me.

Kennedy evokes the concept of courage (as in Profiles in...)

It evokes that in me too. But I suspect those with different political inclinations might read a very different meaning into the name.

A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- HonorH, 00:18:40 02/12/03 Wed

My German pen pal, Tanja, let me know two very interesting things:

1. The German word for "wood" is "holz", and the pronunciation is the same as "Holtz".

2. In BY, when Lola-in-Frankfurt is running from the Bringers, the lyrics to the techno music underlying the scene are, "From beneath you, it devours," in German. In other words, someone at ME speaks the language.

So: we have Wood ("Holz") now with a grudge against a vampire with a soul, possibly being driven by something very evil. Recycle much, ME?

[> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- Rufus, 05:06:13 02/12/03 Wed

Holtz and Wood.....they do share some similarities, both lost family members to vampires, both were demon fighters. But wait a second. Holtz was a demon fighter before his family was killed, he was also a creepy cult type leader before they died as well, one that didn't seem to consider the fact that his family could be used against him. Wood was 4 years old when his mother, a Slayer, was murdered by Spike. Wood was raised by his mothers Watcher and has become a demon fighter. He admits he did go overboard in his 20's in an attempt to find the killer of his mother. He seems to be "cult" free. I think where the similarity between the men will be most evident will be in what either did or will do in an attempt to exact vengeance or "justice"....we know what Holtz did, but will Wood go the same distance that Holtz did to get the other guy?

[> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- Peggin, 05:19:48 02/12/03 Wed

So: we have Wood ("Holz") now with a grudge against a vampire with a soul, possibly being driven by something very evil. Recycle much, ME?

There is a difference between "recycling" and drawing parallels. The writers did this deliberately because they expected the more observant of their viewers to see the similarities between the two characters, and they wanted to let us know it was deliberate. It's the same thing they did with Spike and Angel. We already knew that Spike's human name was "William"; it was no accident that Angel's human name turned out to be "Liam" (which is Irish for William). In both cases, two characters have different versions of the same name because we are expected to compare the two characters, to compare their actions and their motivations. It's Joss's way of saying that he knows there are similarities between the two characters, and the similarities are there for a reason.

[> [> Oh, I'm not criticizing. -- HonorH, 08:45:34 02/12/03 Wed

Had it not been for the fortunate coincidence of my German friend, I wouldn't even have known how far the parallel went. Truth is, Joss has always recycled when it suits him, and overwhelmingly, he makes it work. I'm very intrigued as to how far the Holtz/Wood parallel will go--and I really hope Wood's vendetta ends better than Holtz's did.

[> O/T But, speaking of linguistics (spoilers, 7.14) -- CW, 06:03:23 02/12/03 Wed

Deeva going to scream when she finds out she missed a new episode with a potential slayer who speaks Cantonese.

What is it with ME and Chinese this year?

[> [> Re: O/T But, speaking of linguistics (spoilers, 7.14) -- Wisewoman, 08:33:20 02/12/03 Wed

I'm seeing signs that they're trying to respond to concerns about the "Whitebread Buffyverse." We've been 'round and 'round on this a number of times, and even if no one from ME knows this board exists, I'm sure it's come up as a hot topic on other boards that they do frequent.

The other indication is the recent prevalence of interracial dating, started by Gunn and Fred. Just last night we had Buffy and Wood, Xander and Lissa, and Willow and Kennedy. Hell, even Greenwalt over on Miracles made Paul Kallan's first romantic encounter of the series interracial. IMO they've taken the right approach by simply working these relationships into the scripts without comment. Kinda the way the Mandarin on Firefly was just there, without there being any big-deal explanation about it.

If only the Realverse were so accepting...*sigh*

;o) dub

[> [> Re: new slayer, new year...Of course the new proto-slayer is Chinese... -- aquaman, 17:08:52 02/12/03 Wed

You are all aware, I assume, that Chinese New Year was the 1st, just 4 days prior to the Chinese slayer-to-be's first appearance.....

Had she made her debut in September, no doubt she would have been Jewish.

[> [> [> Unfortunately, her Chinese sucks! (spoilers) -- Scroll, 18:31:02 02/12/03 Wed

I hate to say this, but doesn't Joss have any Chinese actors over in California who actually know how to speak Chinese?

Okay, that's not fair. I don't speak Mandarin myself so maybe she just has a really strong accent (from another dialect) when she speaks Mandarin, and that's what makes her tones sound off. I dunno. Her Mandarin just sounds really strange to me.

But why on earth would a girl from Shanghai be speaking Cantonese? Shouldn't her other language be Shanghainese? Canton is nowhere near Shanghai!

[> [> [> [> Re: Unfortunately, her Chinese sucks! (spoilers) -- aquaman, 20:25:29 02/12/03 Wed

First, I'd really like to know how you know her tones are off if you don't speak the language (intuition, friend, prodigy???)

Giles said she spoke Cantonese, not Mandarin. Shanghai is about midway between Canton and Beijing, so six of one, half a dozen of the other. Shanghainese is not considered as 'high class' as Mandarin or Cantonese, so any Chinese who speaks either would do so, or risk appearing 'provincial.'

And I guarantee you there are no shortages of Chinese-speaking actors in California!!!

[> [> [> [> [> Sorry, I shouldn't have made that judgement -- Scroll, 21:16:15 02/12/03 Wed

Chinese isn't really one language the way English is one language, even though we all have accents (Canadian, American, Australian, English). I speak Cantonese, which is a Chinese 'dialect' or language, but I can't understand Mandarin, another Chinese dialect/language. Once you know one dialect, it's easier to pick up another; it's not as tough as learning an entirely different language. But Mandarin-only speakers can't understand Cantonese-only speakers, and vice versa.

My grandmother speaks Toisanese/Toy-san (I don't know how to spell it in English), which is kind of a dialect of Cantonese. I'm actually starting to think the girl was speaking Cantonese, but with a really strong dialectical accent. My grandmother's Toisan is sometimes so strong that my Cantonese speaking friends can't understand her at all. But Toisan is still a form of Cantonese. So I admit I was too quick to judge the girl's Chinese. It's not bad Chinese, just a *really* strong accent that I couldn't understand. (She's not speaking Mandarin at all, which I at first assumed it was.)

Having said all that, I'm still not sure if her tones are right. It could be that her dialect is just that way, kinda like how Eve's southern accent makes everything nasal. I dunno. I've never considered myself snobbish about accents -- my Cantonese is extremely rudimentary and my accent is terrible -- but this girl's accent really grated my nerves. I do know what "good" and "proper" Cantonese sounds like. Remember the Chinese slayer from "Fool For Love"? (Ooh, hey, another tie-in! Plus Wood's mom! Cool!) Anyway, that girl's Cantonese is what I consider "normal" Cantonese. But I will grant that dialects are just as valid as "proper" accents. -smack- That was me smacking myself for being a snob :p

[> [> [> [> [> Giles says she *also* speaks Cantonese -- Scroll, 21:24:49 02/12/03 Wed

Not that she doesn't speak Mandarin. The girl speaks both. Which is why I wondered, if they were going to make her speak two languages, why it was Mandarin and Cantonese. If she was from Shanghai, it would make more sense for her to speak Mandarin (official language) and Shanghainese (her hometown dialect). If she's not from Canton or Hong Kong, there's very little call to speak Cantonese.

Shanghainese is not considered as 'high class' as Mandarin or Cantonese, so any Chinese who speaks either would do so, or risk appearing 'provincial.' Actually, you've actually got it the other way around. Cantonese is very much a 'slang' or lower class dialect. Mandarin and Shanghainese are more upper class. So I'm still confused, unless they wanted to show how provincial and out-of-place the Chinese girl was. Maybe?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Giles says she *also* speaks Cantonese -- Aquaman, noting the existence of Taiwan, 05:26:52 02/13/03 Thu

Isn't Cantonese the language of Taiwan? This is what I was thinking when I said Cantonese was higher class - that it is the official language of an entire nation. I may be wrong, about Taiwan and classiness. I am admittedly bereft of Chinese knowledge, except the writing system, which I know because I speak/write Japanese. I also speak Thai, and would know immediately if a poor Thai speaker mangled the tones - that's why I wanted to know what your situation was!! Not many Westerners would notice tones at all, much less tones that were off key, as it were! Thanks for the exchange!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Giles says she *also* speaks Cantonese -- Oyceter (longtime lurker), 10:15:05 02/13/03 Thu

Hi, usually don't delurk at all, but saw the thing on Taiwan... I'm from Taiwan. The official language is Mandarin, probably decided back when the Nationalist Party took over in the 1930s (?), but a large number of people in Taiwan speak Taiwanese/Hakka. It's a southern dialect, like Cantonese, but definitely entirely different. My mom is Cantonese, but she can't do Taiwanese at all.

Anyway, back to the new SiT... I don't know Cantonese at all, but I do know Mandarin, and she at no point was speaking it. Sounded a lot like the Cantonese in Hong Kong, but not too sure on this one at all. I was speculating about this with my boyfriend after the episode on why she was in Shanghai at all. I'm guessing she may not be from Hong Kong, if she doesn't know English at all, although it still is entirely possible. Maybe she's from Guangdong and somehow landed in Shanghai because business is booming in China? ;).

Also, my boyfriend (who's not Asian while I am) was concerned that portraying her as an entirely non-English speaking person while kind of making fun of her Asianness in lactose intolerance and the like was a sort of thing people might find offensive. I personally don't, and see her inclusion along with Principal Wood, the 70s Slayer, Kennedy, etc. as attempts by ME to make Buffy more racially diverse, but I was wondering what other people here thought.

And just want to say... really enjoy reading the board! Thanks for everyone's great posts!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Welcome Oyceter! -- Scroll, 10:29:07 02/13/03 Thu

Glad you delurked to post this... Sounded a lot like the Cantonese in Hong Kong I thought this too for a minute, but I'm still not sure. I think I'm going to stick with my theory that she has a strong dialectical accent. She *did* sound a little like an HK Cantonese speaker, in that she was quite loud and direct. Maybe I'm stereotyping but I find the Cantonese Chinese from HK to be louder than the Cantonese speakers born in North America. But yeah, this potential Slayer was definitely not from Hong Kong, and I can't figure out why a Shanghai girl would speak Cantonese.

I wasn't offended by the lactose intolerant thing. It was actually quite funny! I was born over here so I was raised on dairy, but many of my Chinese friends hate milk. I'm with you on the multi-cultural thing. I like it :)

[> [> Re: O/T But, speaking of linguistics (spoilers, 7.14) -- grum, 22:54:15 02/12/03 Wed

I would imagine that the Chinese potential is yet another link to Spike's slayer killing past. That Chinese slayer he took out during the Boxer rebellion also had a strong mother connection, albeit it was shown in only one line but it was her only line that he reported or remembered when talking to Buffy.

[> [> [> I thought so too (Spoilers, First Date and Fool For Love) -- Rahael, 06:32:34 02/13/03 Thu

It felt like they really added maternal overtones to FFL in First Date. The Chinese Slayer that Spike killed asked him to give a message to her mother, and Spike says he can't understand what she's saying.

Then he walks out, his hands covered in her blood, and makes love to his Vamp Mother. And he licks his hands like her blood is a kind of aphrodisiac.

Now, we find out that Nikki was a mother. That her son was nearby.

Add this to Leslie's points below, and there's a really strong theme being built up, I believe.

[> [> [> [> Yes, indeed. Keep watching ;-) -- Tchaikovsky- doing a Rufus, 07:13:18 02/13/03 Thu

[> More Fun with Words!! (spoilers, 7.14) -- Wisewoman, 08:38:18 02/12/03 Wed

I posted this on the Spoiler Trollop board last week and unintentionally started a mini-'shipper war, so let's not go there with this, 'kay? Just think of it as something kinda...speculatively amusing.

Spike is a vampire.
Vampires are killed by stakes.
Stakes are made of wood.
Wood will kill Spike.

;o) dub

[> [> Re: More Fun with Words!! (spoilers, 7.14) -- CW, 09:59:38 02/12/03 Wed

It does look bad for the bleached one doesn't it? ;o)

[> [> Re: More Fun with Words!! (spoilers, 7.14) -- purplegrrl, 11:10:59 02/12/03 Wed

I, too, was thinking that the principal's name was an interesting coincidence -- knowing what we now know.


[> [> [> Re: More Fun with Words!! (spoilers, 7.14) -- leslie, 11:29:07 02/12/03 Wed

And here I was thinking that the "Snyder" tombstone was a reminder of the sticky ends traditional amongst Sunnydale High principals.... if we see "Flutie" in the cemetery in upcoming weeks, I'm not going to think much of Wood's chances. Snyder was devoured from above, Flutie devoured sort of on the level, and Wood's sitting right over the Hellmouth, getting ready to devour from beneath.

[> [> [> [> Re: More Fun with Words!! (spoilers, 7.14) -- dub ;o), 13:12:07 02/12/03 Wed

Ah yes, the Bidet of Evil that is the Hellmouth!!!

[> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- maddog, 09:15:13 02/12/03 Wed

Maybe so, but I have a feeling the outcome will be totally different. He's not diabolical like Holtz. He didn't conjure up demons to go after Spike. I'm doubting he' screw with someone that Spike loves just to get back at him. He's single minded....kill the vamp that killed his mother. And in the end I don't think he'll do that either. Partially because storyline dictates they need both Spike and Wood when it comes down to the end. And partially because the circumstances were different. Angelus killed random family for pleasure. Spike killed in the act of defense from a Slayer who's job it was to kill him. Different motives.

[> [> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- HonorH, 16:14:19 02/12/03 Wed

I have to disagree with your reading of the Spike/Slayer fight scene in FFL. Spike wasn't defending himself; he was attacking the whole time. It was his idea of a good time to be fighting her and to kill her. Yes, it was her job to kill him. But in that fight, he was the predator, and she was the prey.

[> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- masio, 12:23:23 02/12/03 Wed

Anyone notice his first name is Robin?

So Robin Wood is his full name.

A la Robin Hood.

I don' t see any obvious connections, but i bet there are some--I personally don't know enough about the Robin Hood mythology so this could actually just be a joke with the writers.

what do you guys think?

[> [> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- purplegrrl, 12:48:51 02/12/03 Wed

Duly noticed.

Yeah, I thought of Robin Hood, too.

Who knows if it has any connections to anything. Joss/ME has been known to do things for their own amusement and/or the viewers frustration. Could be interesting coincidence. Could be a fascination with the Robin Hood legend. (Although I don't remember anything in the legend that would have any connection to a high-school principal/free-lance slayer -- other than the fighting evil part.) Could just be "fun with names" type of game. Could be the latest red herring meant to focus us on niggling details while ignoring big plot points.


[> [> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- Darby, 13:46:56 02/12/03 Wed

Someone mentioned back when he was introduced that a reviewer (maybe), I think online, was named Robin Wood, and it might be aimed at them.

[> [> [> Re: A very intriguing linguistic note on "Wood" (spoilers, 7.14) -- grum, 23:11:28 02/12/03 Wed

Robin Wood is a wonderful film critic from Canada whose work should be read by all those interested in an in depth analysis/cultural critique of films from a leftist perspective. He identifies himself, or used to in any case, as a Marxist/feminist/homosexual critic and wrote several books including one on Hitchcock and one on the films from the Vietnam war through Reagan. He was a contributor to Film Comment magazine and an editor for Cineaste.
I amuse myself with the thought that Robin W(H)ood is going to end up with Anya. They got the whole vengeance thing going and it would be funny for Aud (meaning riches, more or less) to end up with former Beverly Hills boy who left the money(?) to go to the Hellmouth bidet.

[> For an in-depth linguistic study of "Robin Wood," check new thread above -- You'll love it, trust me, 20:40:23 02/12/03 Wed

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