February 2003 posts

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Seeking Opinions from those who've watched AtS from the start -- Belladonna, 09:19:32 02/13/03 Thu

I've been watching Angel since the end of last season. I've really enjoyed it, and am curious to see how it began. But I'm not sure if it's worth it to buy the dvd. Would all of you who have watched the show since the beginning recommend that? Is the first season good enough to buy? I just get tense spending 50 bucks on something I've never seen, and don't know if I'll like. Any opinions? Comments? Suggestions? Thanks for your input!

[> Go for it! (well-known casting spoiler) -- Masq, 09:28:15 02/13/03 Thu

It's really helpful in getting you up to speed on what's going on now, the story behind Angel's search for redemption, behind Darla, behind Faith (really helpful for figuring out where Faith is now), behind Angel and Cordelia's relationship as friends. And it introduces Gunn and Lilah and Wolfram and Hart.

Also a highlight--crossovers with Spike, Buffy (twice), and Faith from BtVS.

If you hate springing for the DVD set, I'd be willing to make you a set of tapes off my brand-spankin' new DVD set. A lot cheaper, and will do the trick in terms of back story.

[> [> Re: Go for it! (well-known casting spoiler) -- Dochawk, 11:04:00 02/13/03 Thu

First off is there anyone who watched last night's Angel who doesn't know Faith is coming back? Was it possible?

Second, when did you buy a macromedia free DVD player? You can't make tapes of DVDs on normal players. Something about protecting copyrights (not that that issue should stop you). Just saving you the hassel(sp?) if you don't have the right equipment.

[> [> [> Well, I can always tape from my tapes -- Masq, 11:13:43 02/13/03 Thu

The quality isn't as good, but just for catching up on AtS (seasons 1-3) the result is the same.

Actually, I never tried taping from my DVDs yet. I assumed that anything that was on the television screen would be picked up by the vcr that's built into to the television. Maybe not, but worth an experiment.

[> [> [> [> My television set up, with the DVD and VCR, tapes DVDs fine. It shouldn't be a problem. -- Rob, 12:00:33 02/13/03 Thu

From what I heard that "can't tape DVDs thing" was a concept spread by the DVD makers so that people wouldn't. As far as I know, it should work. I made Buffy tapes for my cousin off my DVDs.

Obviously, you're not gonna go out and buy one just for this, but just so you know, the Samsung DVD/VCR combination also allows you to tape DVDs. Might just be something to think about for the future, just in case the taping DVDs on your system doesn't work.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: My television set up, with the DVD and VCR, tapes DVDs fine. It shouldn't be a problem. -- Dochawk, 13:45:44 02/13/03 Thu


There is something on all DVDs called Macrovision. It blocks the ability to copy the DVD. If you are able to make copies one of three things is happening:

1. You have a macrovision decoder on your DVD player. They are out there, but they are illegal to sell (but not own) in the United States. (ok, there is a question about their legality to sell, but no reputable dealer will sell them)

2. You have fraudulent DVDs that are copies made in a mill. They can be perfectly good DVDs, but copies have the macrovision removed.

3. Whomever you gave them to hasn't watched them and hasn't told you that they have problems.

Simply put, you can't copy DVDs to VHS without something being changed. And btw, just for completeness (not that it matters) giving them to someone is illegal.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Mr Audio/Video sez: Doc is correct, with the following caveats... -- OnM, 16:15:10 02/13/03 Thu

1. Not all DVD's have the Macrovision copy-protection on them, but the vast majority do.

2. Some VCR's will make the tape copy despite the Macrovision. The deal with Macrovision is that it depends on your TV being able to recover information from the video signal that has been deliberately altered without having a problem, while causing destabilization with a typical VCR. The occasional VCR isn't 'typical', and so will make a stable recording. It isn't price point or brand, BTW, it's mostly dumb luck as to the specifics of the circuitry.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't know much about the technical stuff, so... -- Rob, 16:39:14 02/13/03 Thu

I may have just lucked out with my VCR and TV setup in my bedroom. Although, I do know that my Samsung combo, which is set up in my living room, (and also my friend's DVD/VCR Samsung combo, too) was able to tape DVDs on 3 separate TVs I've tried so far. So buy one before someone reads this, reports it to Samsung, and they stop working! lol


[> [> Sheesh, Masq... -- PepTech, 11:53:14 02/13/03 Thu

Also a highlight--crossovers with Spike, Buffy (twice), and Faith from BtVS

Oz just gets *no* love. :-0

[> [> [> Oops! Forgot Oz and remembered Spike? My brain is screwy today! -- Bizarro Masq, 12:00:16 02/13/03 Thu

He was so taciturn. And laconic. And understated. I just forgot about him and his cross-bow wielding, van-driving action.

I swear my W/T shipper and W/K shipperness had nothing to do with it.

Always loved good old Oz!

[> [> [> [> Hmph. Serves him right for leaving. -- cjl (down with the Oz-love--but unforgiving of Seth), 12:06:09 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> That is so nice of you!! -- Belladonna, 13:02:56 02/13/03 Thu

Thanks Masq, for your input. And thank you so much for offering to tape it for me. That is awfully generous of you! As it stands, I think I'll buy it. I'm dying to see the Faith episodes, and the background to the show. Plus it'll give me something to do tomorrow night. (*sigh* hate valentine's day! ;)

[> Re: Seeking Opinions from those who've watched AtS from the start -- Dannyblue, 09:38:25 02/13/03 Thu

I loved the first season. With a few exceptions ("She") I liked every ep.

The major difference is that most of the eps were stand-alones. They were setting W&H up in the background, but most of the show focussed on Angel and Co. working cases, whether from a vision or from clients. There was no real story-arc. It was more of a Monster-of-the-Week kind of show. Which, despite the great arcs that followed, I sometimes miss.

Oh, and I love season 1 Wesley. And Doyle was a great character. Loved his accent and attitude.

[> Yes!! Yes!! oh, and...Yes!! -- Rob, 09:39:26 02/13/03 Thu

[> It's worth 50 bucks for these ten moments alone.... -- cjl, 09:49:38 02/13/03 Thu

1. Angel defenestrating the bad guy at the end of the pilot episode.

2. Spike's monologue at the beginning of "In the Dark."

3. Cordy channels her inner bitch. ("Rm w/a Vu")

4. An enchanted, touchy-feely Angel refusing to vamp out because he feels Cordy and Doyle "judge him." ("Sense and Sensitivity")

5. Buffy and a newly-human Angel enjoy their lost day. ("I Will Remember You")

6. Wes vs. Faith vs. Angel ("Five By Five")

7. The exorcism ("I've Got You Under My Skin")

8. After Angel destroys his entire family, Darla tells him his father has won. ("The Prodigal")

9. Angelus returns. Sort of. ("Eternity")

10. The Fang Gang absorbs the full implications of the world "Shanshu."

Someone else on this board could probably come with a completely different top ten. To be honest, I could come up with a BOTTOM ten, but I think the good here far outweighs the bad. Definitely worth the money. And it'll make Season 2 all the more tasty...

[> [> Have to toss in an eleventh moment here (Spoiler for those who haven't seen 1st season)) -- Rhys, 10:16:11 02/13/03 Thu

11. Doyle's sacrifice in "Hero."

[> [> Those would be my top ten -- s'kat, 13:45:50 02/13/03 Thu

[> Another option -- mordsith, 10:26:39 02/13/03 Thu

If you are hesitant to actually buy them, I know that you can rent the dvds. Netflix has them, if you rent through them. I can't say for sure, but I wouldn't be surprised if Blockbuster or other local dvd rental locations had them as well.

[> Re: Seeking Opinions from those who've watched AtS from the start -- s'kat, 12:56:17 02/13/03 Thu

I can understand your uncertainty. And I wasn't a big fan of Angel Season 1. But there are five episodes in that season that are truly wonderful. And this coming from someone who prefers the characters in Btvs.

1. In The Dark - with Spike, Angel, OZ and the Gem of Amara
2. Five by Five and Sanctuary - What happens to Faith and why. Brilliant two parter. One of the best in the whole series. And very dark.
3. I've Got you Under My Skin - this gives us insight to Wes and souls.
4. Room with A view - the best Cordelia episode ever.
Gives us some good Cordelia development.
5. To Shanshu in LA which explains the whole Shanshu thing.

If you can - try to get someone to lend you the episodes.
But those are worth watching.

[> Re: Seeking Opinions from those who've watched AtS from the start -- Chris, 13:41:58 02/13/03 Thu

I only came to Angel toward the end of the 2nd season. My Angel season 1 dvd's came on Tuesday and I am enjoying them immensely. Outside of the satisfying experience of finally seeing the stories (I have already the transcripts), the picture and sound quality are excellent. A well spend $45 (from Amazon) and worth every penny.

[> Rent it first, then decide -- Sofdog, 14:05:45 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> Very good advice, and also a bit of perspective -- OnM, 16:25:15 02/13/03 Thu

Only you can decide if $50 is too much to spend, but consider that 6 discs of material divided by $50 = approx. $8.00 per disc. That's way cheaper than most CD's!

And a CD is how long? 76 minutes maximum? And there's no picture? And no special features and other cool stuff?

(DVD's have come to make me realize how grossly overpriced most CD releases are.)


[> [> I worked at Blockbuster for a year, and they don't rent out large DVD box sets. -- Rob, 18:32:54 02/13/03 Thu

[> I'm buying it even though I have tapes. (if that helps) -- LadyStarlight, 16:04:57 02/13/03 Thu

[> Buy it! -- Cactus Watcher, 17:16:37 02/13/03 Thu

I've got mine. It's a different mood that the rest of the series. But, all of the issues that are being brought up this season are found back in season one. If you are planning on getting season 4 of Buffy, it's not really complete without "I will Remember You" and the two Faith episodes on Angel.

[> Okay...I bought it!! -- Belladonna, 19:57:24 02/13/03 Thu

Thanks everyone for your input! I went to the store just to see how much it was, and caved. I think I will be spending the weekend in the midst of an Angel marathon. Thanks to Masq for generously offering to tape them for me, and thanks to everyone for telling me their opinions. I'll let you know what I think of the first season after I watch them. Okay, off to watch the premiere! :)

[> [> Angel Odyssey Season 1 (part 2) -- Tchaikovsky, 05:54:20 02/14/03 Fri


1.12 Expecting

This episode was interesting inasmuch as it gave Cordelia some of the limelight, which to me currently seems to be the episodes which do best. I personally find Angel's character too enigmatic to take up the centre stage. He was conceived as a shadow to Buffy, and I wonder whether the pattern people have been mentioning recently in Angel, where they enjoy the minor characters' developments outside of Angel's immediate story, is somehow a consequence of a slight deficiency of him in the title role. Buffy, such a powerfully realised character, makes her series All About Her, while Angel's essential foil status allows other characters to be more interesting.

The specifics of this episode. Wesley and Angel as Laurel and Hardy in the initial scene I enjoyed, although even in only his third episode, I was starting to get tired of Wesley as amusing comic relief. His character needed to shed the superficiality.

Cordelia in this episode. First of all, it may just be me, but I notice a fairly strong resemblance between Charisma Carpenter and Michelle Trachtenberg. They have extremely similar facial expressions, and the cadences and intonations in their voices also often match up. I hadn't noticed this before, and I wonder if it is somewhat to do with Cordelia's new circumstances. In LA, she's the baby of the group, and has a habit of babbling on endearingly but aimlessly, somewhat like Dawn. It's the insecurity and seeking of validation in the characters that perhaps makes the resemblance more than a co-incidence.

I couldn't quite tell, (but assumed that someone had told Charisma) whether Cordelia was a virgin up until this episode. The dismay and denial when she wakes up, and the whole idea that she was somehow being punished for having sex, made me believe that it might have been. We've never been told specifically one way or the other whether she had sex in Sunnydale, although to me her lines in 'Out of Mind, Out of Sight' and her relationship with Xander suggest maybe not.

There was a lot of sneaking up in this episode- Angel to Cordelia to start with, then Angel to Wilson and finally Wesley to Angel. I take this as being more than a co-incidence, and actually hitting on the idea that turns in life can come very unexpectedly. Of course, the idea of becoming surprisedly pregnant after a one-night-stand (although it may have been more in real life), is not unusual- it's just that ME shrinks the timescale to heighten the sense of disorientation.

The lines from Cordelia and Wesley:
C: Oh God, I'm being punished
W: You're certainly not being punished
both showed Cordelia's vulnerability in the scene, and also, to me at least, were an obvious flashback to Giles' scene with Buffy at the end of 'Innocence'. Here, Wesley for the first time shows a slightly more rounded character.

And of course, the bit at the end where Cordelia pretends to have learnt all the wrong lessons ('Sex is bad. All men are evil') is a classic subversion. Instead of moralising some abstract rule, we instead get a beginning of trust between the three characters.

1.13 She

I was extremely disappointed with this episode overall. There were some 'look, this is funny' moments which didn't quite come off for me (Wesley's ridiculous dancing, the opening the coffee conceit). I did enjoy Angel's dislike of mobile phones, (I don't have one myself), and his knowledge of Manet and Baudelaire.

But my main criticisms were with the style and the plot. The style reminded me of a Star Trek episode. Suddenly invent another world with a nasty side and a wronged side, (the women with the bit in the neck extracted). Then show the women aren't whiter than white. Leave a beacon of authority, (Angel/Picard) to sort it out. The same vibe came from what they were wearing, and many of the sets.
I personally felt the plot was a trifle over-complex. There was a lot of showing without explaining. It reminded me of the Hitchcock line: 'Never confuse the audience. When they're confused, they can't emote'. I felt like this, and it's worth remembering that the majority of people only watch the episode once.

I thought the dialogue and characterisation was minimal and substandard, and that the idea of a patriarchy had been done better before on the two series.

1.14 I've Got You Under My Skin

I thought this was one of the best episodes of Angel I've seen thus far, and it made me feel much less depressed than during 'She' where I wondered whether I might give up on the series.

The episode's premise is dark and haunting. There's real pain in every character- the terribly dysfunctional family, the taunting of Angel and Wesley, and Cordelia's vision. Wesley's father issues were only hinted at, but I'm fascinated and eager to find out more about them. I felt like I was interested in the character of Wesley for the first time, (he's been extremely 1-dimensional so far).

There's plenty of characterisation and tidy thematic plot which would have made the episode excellent on its own. Cordelia's support for Angel about Doyle at the beginning. The intelligent if guessable mislead of the child, not the father, being possessed. And some really good performances by the minor characters.

But I was a little bit puzzled by something. Why does the episode begin with the apparently entirely irrelevant reference to Doyle? Was it just to highlight the beginning of a Cordelia/Wesley ship? And why does the episode end, instead of back at Angel's apartment, with Angel's conversation with Seth, and the three surviving members of the family hugging? It seems odd and untidy.

And then suddenly everything fitted into place, and I realised how stupid I was being. Of course! The family that Angel helps IS Angel Investigations. Just as manwitch contends below that Faith IS Buffy. And it all fits. Angel is asked his relationship to Cordelia in 'Expecting', and responds 'I'm family'. Here, we are shown that they really are. The four members of the family to date have been Angel, Doyle, Cordelia and Wesley. Angel, the head of the family, tries to keep them together. He is the embattled Father, Seth, trying to do his best. Doyle is the possessed child. And, of course, at the end of the episode, we see how the family of the exorcised child react to the loss of the boy, just as we see how Angel Investigations react to losing Doyle. Now, the only thing that the 'real' family have is each other. They have to struggle through, with just the Mother, Father and child. In the same way, so does Angel's group, with Angel as Father, Cordelia as Mother and Wesley as Child.

The tidiness of this correlation raises it from a beautiful dark, brooding meditation on your responsibility for children, personal actions and their consequences and how events can cleave even happy families, to a really excellent episode, up there with 'Hero' and 'City of' as my favourite so far.

1.15 The Prodigal

The mark of Tim Minear's genius is that without him having written any Buffy episodes, and with only three episodes of Angel penned, I already built myself up for a brilliant episode, just from seeing his name on the credits. I think that as a result of this, I wasn't as entirely knocked down by this episode as I may otherwise have been, but it still stayed in the tradition of great Minear efforts.

Let me start with a few unconnected thoughts:

-The cello. I've already mentioned how much I love the theme tune of Angel. Vickie, (I think), told me to look back at 'Amends' and notice the 'cello there in relation to Angel's suffering. Now I've realised that, Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf style, this is definitely true. Here in this episode, the 'cello is used in the flashback sequences. Clearly, the characteristics of the 'cello's sound are an audio shorthand for Angel. A very appropriate one.
-Darla. I have to say that, despite my knowledge that she returns later in the series' run, I was pleased to see her. She also seemed to be a much more interesting character than the ditzy schoolgirl from the first season of Buffy. There, she was just a reflection of Buffy. Ironically, she, the monster, was the thoughtless blonde, while Buffy, the apparent victim, was actually streetwise. Here it seems like Darla has been invested by Minear with some of the vampiric charisma and wisdom of Spike and Drusilla.
-Clearly the lines 'What we once were informs all that we have become. The same love will infect our hearts, even if they no longer beat. Simple death won't change that.'
are one of those powerful, universal comments which reflect back and forth through the seasons like a light on a glitterball. It's applicable to every character, and could have been uttered in most situations.
-Kate not doubting that Angel had not bitten her Father? A real sign of trust. In those first few seconds of grief, it is impossible to be objective. I personally would have imagined Kate believing it was Angel who killed her Father.
- There's a really wonderful piece of lighting work in this episode. The 1753 Ireland scenes are often exceedingly light. Of course, once Liam is a vampire, he will never see the light again. The deliberately light palette of the scene emphasises both literally and metaphorically Liam's descent into darkness

Clearly, though, the thematic centre of the episode is about fathers and their children. The episode title, 'The Prodigal', is an interesting one. There are layers of meaning. On one hand, the lack of the word 'son' allows both Angel and Kate to somehow fit the allusion of the son who loses all his money on gambling, and then comes back home. On the other, the lack of son makes one wonder whether we're exploring the parable or the word. The prodigality of the son in the parable is irrelevant, because the Father forgives, and loves each child equally, despite his failings. In real life, this is much less true. Liam's Father will never forgive Angel for being prodigal. Instead of welcoming him home after his revellings, he claims Liam is not a man but 'a terrible disappointment'. In Kate's case, the rejection is even more bitter. Her only failing is not being her own mother. Mr Lockley will never forgive Kate for the loss of his wife, something entirely beyond her control.

So in a sense, the episode is not really about Angel and Kate at all. Or if it is, it's about the consequences of a lack of forgiving in their fathers. In the episode, nothing is simply a demon. Kate's Father is killed by his own lack of trust in Angel, (which is itself a reflection of his lack of trust in Kate's judgement). Angel's Father is killed at least partly by his lack of forgiveness. Angel's vampire form comes only from a certain rashness and sense of adventure. It's the mistakes of the past which haunt the present.

At this point, I have to admit that despite some of the powerful sentiments, I still the miss the general cheery mawkishness of sections of Buffy. Cordelia and Wesley's tiring and often irrelevant repartee to me don't match up to the Scooby Gang's humour. There is a general lack of humour in this series. I can understand this, as Angel's journey is a dark one, but it just means that it sometimes lacks a certain balance. There is, consequently, a necessity of making every episode's plot, characterisation and theme hit dead on, because there's no shying away from the often breakneck pace of the plot development. This is a challenge which, in the best episodes, allows the themes even more power. In the ones where it seems slightly less perfect, there can be a feeling of boredom, for me at least.

1.16 The Ring

In this episode, we are given what is, on a surface level, a homage to the then recently released Gladiator. Because of the comments after 'Showtime', I did keep thinking 'Two men enter' one man leaves', but here that's really not the allusion. It's about the rather ancient and primal idea of a powerful patriarchy being able to make an underclass fight. Of course, there's a re-appropriation of the demon metaphor as a result of it. On Buffy, demons represent inner fears, and personal battles, (stop right now and read manwitch's essay, if you haven't already). Here, the demons seem merely to be slaves, who react to their captivity in varying ways. In a wink to the more pedantic fanatics of the Jossverse, this lack of cohesion is noted at the end as the gang realise they have just freed demons, rather than some suppressed Jewish tribe in Israel, (can I say that what they did, being like Moses, was Mosaic? Sorry.)

I was pleased to see the beginning of a development in Cordelia and Wesley's help to Angel. Instead of largely floundering about uselessly, there was a real purpose in their plans, even without the rallying influence of their leader. It reminded me of the Scooby Gang for the first time. Also, the interplay between the two, at times verging on affectionate, [in a Cordelia-Wesley way, not C/W, I hasten to add], was quite touching.

We see Lilah for the first time, and of course, having been somewhat spoiled about the developments in the next three seasons of the Odyssey, it's odd to look at Wesley and Lilah as they are at this stage. Very much opposite. In fact rather like Buffy and Spike in 'School Hard'.

My final thought may be a little discomfiting for fans of boxing. I'm not entirely sure how much to read into this, or not. But I did keep getting the feeling that subtle (and sometimes less subtle) hints were being dropped about pugilism in this episode. The title of the episode, 'The Ring', is surely a double entendre with the metal restraint and the arena where the demons fight. The number 21, rendered XXI, is both another suggestion of the allusion to 'Gladiator' (Roman Numerals), and also something else. Where is 21 important? Well, it's obviously to do with coming of age, but it also reminds me of Blackjack. 21 is the key number. But Blackjack is related to casinos and voyeuristic sleaze. There's the greed aspect to it. And then, the round things which keep the demons fighting. A reference to that round thing called money, anyone? The thing which keeps Mike Tyson fighting and biting when it's clear he should be sunning himself and going to a psychiatrist? There were too many references for me not to believe that there was a deliberate hint of a dangerous voyeurism in the money-motivated sport of boxing. And those shadowy Don King/Frank Warren like figures in the background.

Two sold episodes. Coming up soon is an episode called 'Five by Five'. Now who does that remind me of?

I'm fascinated by the debate going on further down the board in Darby's 'A Tale of Two Series' thread. Clearly, being where I am, coming towards the end of the first Season, I don't have the appropriate vision to discuss it in the terms in which it is being discussed. To make a few points on what I've seen so far.

-I have real problems with the portrayals of the characters. Angel is to me a fascinating character, but still doesn't work leading a series. His best episodes are where he's reacting to somebody else. I suppose in a sense, his characteristic desire to 'help the helpless' actually highlights what a reactionary character he is. He helps out in other people's stories, rather than having a thrusting, developing story of his own. Also, Wesley and Cordelia haven't quite found a consistent voice. I know when I hear Xander, Willow or Buffy that it is those characters. Cordelia seems to swing too wildly from insensitive, flighty girl to understanding, mature woman. I'm happy to understand that both are in her character, but I seem to be shown only one side on an episode by episode basis. Similarly, Wesley yoyos back and forth a little.
-The actual number of characters is not large enough for me. It doesn't work with three in the middle. I would like at least four, (and I realise I will soon get it). Although it allows minor characters to have their stories developed, (and I'm a big fan of Kate's story), it just makes it harder to make the dialogue zippy and funny at the same time.
- The show is also at least slightly based on an amalgam of the detective genre and the action show. While I enjoy ME periodically subverting this genre's cliches, I'm not interested in the genre in general, so when it slips back into stock episodes, I get a little bored.

However... 19 episodes into Buffy we were at 'Lie to Me', and the show was about to take off with episodes such as 'The Dark Age', 'Innocence' and 'Passion'. So I'm more than happy to give Angel some more time to develop.

To the reviews:

1.17 Eternity

This is the best attempt I've seen in Angel, (except perhaps Rm w/a Vu) of an episode which is fundamentally light hearted, but twists to a visceral sense of terror towards the end. I found Cordelia slightly too cringeworthily subservient in her scenes with the actor, but I really did enjoy David Boreanaz's acting, which is something I've rarely had cause to say before. He's wonderful as Angelus, for some reason. I think it might be the way he understands how to play a character void of emotions, with a really blank face.

Of course, the weekly theme of the episode was acting. Cordelia can't act, and really couldn't care less about her play. The fact that it's 'The Doll's House' has some significance to me at least. A play focussing on a house, with a claustrophobic woman playing the role of a contented housewife to her sexist, boring husband. I imagine we are supposed to contrast the actress, enclosed in her 'Raven' character, expected to do the obvious things, but deep down needing a sense of freedom. Of course, while Nora Helmer asserts her female individuality, in one of the first truly feminist plays ever, (Buffy maybe owes a little to Ibsen), the actress denies hers, preferring to sacrifice her entire life for the intangible ideal of fame).

1.18 Five by Five

The essential parallel running through this episode is again subtle and beautiful. On one hand we have Angel, realising through the involuntary return of his soul that he was wrong to kill, and that the pain he has visited upon Europe can never be fully atoned for. He goes on attempting to live as a normal vampire with Darla, but comes to the realisation that the only way to continue living is the painful path of acceptance and penance. In parallel, Faith is still in the middle of her uncontrolled rage at the cruel, loveless world. But Angel sees her soul in her, and knows that, in this universe at least, the soul is a guarantee of the possibility of redemption.

Angel in this episode has the most wonderfully understanding and beautiful role to play. To be attacked by a homicidal Slayer, to have your Girl Friday knocked out and your best friend (I suppose?) tortured to within an inch of his life, and yet to refuse to give up on the cause of the misery, is an achievement of emotional resonance which possibly, as Buffy contends sarcastically, is only possible from somebody who has had an experience of feeling apparently totally evil and coming back from it.

The final scene, crashing out the window, is probably the most powerful scene I had seen on Angel to date, (before 'Sanctuary' though!) The way Faith's fighting is destroyed, and her face melts in resignation, is again fabulous acting from Eliza Dushku. The way she asks to be killed, in a rather parallel way to the way Buffy asks not to be forgiven at the end of 'Dead Things' is really beautiful. In extraordinary lives, extraordinary wishes manifest themselves, and the usually best option, (staying alive, being forgiven by a friend), can seem the hardest. Also, the last scene was beautifully shot, pulling back on the final shot to see Faith and Angel, small Hitchcockian figures in a big, dangerous world, with only the beautiful, sonorous noise of the sky crying to disrupt her breakdown and his strength.

1.19 Sanctuary

It's funny- I've been spoiled on the Buffy plot for quite a while, and I really didn't see it affecting my enjoyment that much. f anything, the fact that in the UK and without Sky I have to wait a ridiculous length of time to see Season Seven, means that Voy has infinitely increased my enjoyment of the show, and that it is entirely necessary that I am a bit spoiled in order to be able to read anything on the board. But I'm not quite so sure after 'Sanctuary'.

As a result of discussions, I knew that Faith would end up in prison and I knew Buffy was in the episode from the title sequence. But there were a couple of moments that I really wasn't prepared for, and which, as a result of this, had as big an effect on me as anything I saw of Buffy Season Six. Wesley, despite his torture, trusting Angel to find the best way to deal with Faith. Angel's reaction to Faith revealing Riley to Angel. And of course the scenes generally between Angel, Faith and Buffy. Because I didn't know the specifics, they were more powerful, I think.

However, this is definitely the best episode of Angel yet, and not just from this subjective point of view. The writing really crackles, in the way that only a script with Joss can ever really do. There are some marvellous one-liners: (Wesley's 'One hundred and eighty!', Angel's 'For a taciturn guy, I have a big mouth'), but also some of the emotionally honest and painful scenes that the interactions between Cordelia, Wesley and Angel have largely been lacking.

Everyone in this episode has their own individual motive, which is what Joss does really well. A similar thing could be said of 'Becoming', with Spike, Joyce and Snyder having excellent reasons for their aid or obstruction of Buffy. Here, Wesley has his own emotional decisions to make. Buffy still finds it impossible to handle the idea of an image of her, (Faith=Buffy), murdering and being forgiven. She cannot accept that Faith's actions could be her own, and therefore compensates by being entirely unemotional. It should be noted that Buffy has the right not to forgive Faith, and often people in the series' don't forgive for less reason, (cf 'The Prodigal'), but for Buffy, a Hero, not to forgive, requires more motives than simple vengeance. Her real reasons are her being afraid of Faith as a mirror to herself, and her desperation in once being victimised.

Angel continues to do a noble thing throughout the episode in aiding Faith's rehabilitation. The eventual message, for those not so hung up on the Buffy/Angel war of words at the end, is a very hopeful one. Even Faith, cared for by no-one except Buffy in her whole life, can be shown the path to redemption by someone willing and able to be truly empathetic. As the light falls on her face, we see Hope and a willingness to travel Angel's long road to healing.

I loved this episode's writing and acting, the directing and editing. It reminded me why I don't just like this Universe that Joss Whedon has created, but I love it. Fast-paced plot is interwoven effortlessly with snappy dialogue and logical, powerful emotional sentiments, as well as the action backing them up.

Ultimately, we see again how Buffy the character doesn't fit into Angel the series. Angel's line 'It wasn't about you. It was about saving a soul', is highly important. In BtVS, it IS all about Buffy. In Angel, she so far has come across as remarkably self-absorbed and uncaring, in both I Will Remember You and Sanctuary. It's believable and logical, and she does little wrong, but it emphasises how these shows are two different shows, and AtS is NOT a simple extension of BtVS.

Ultimately, despite being one of the best episodes I've seen on EITHER series, it still needed both characters from Buffy and Buffy-esque dialogue and intrigue from Joss Whedon to make this episode what it is. For this reason, I would claim that 'Sanctuary' is only a qualified triumph for the series. It will take an episode which I enjoy this much without a crossover before I will truly believe that Angel can fly.

Don't have that much to say about these three episodes, which seemed a slightly odd anti-climax to the 'Five by Five'/'Sanctuary' double for all but a few moments in 'To Shanshu in LA'.

1.20 War Zone

An interesting introduction to Gunn. There's a classic mislead in the pan-up on him at the end of the teaser: 'What you were expecting someone else?'. Of course, fighting demons in a dark, seedy back street, we expect Angel. And as there's no 'previously' section, the trick works all the better. It seems as if the scene will be invested with some special importance for Angel, and instead we don't see him at all.

Somewhere deep down, the episode is meditating on wealth. We have David Nabbit, the bloke with all the money, but no social skills. Angel, an average-ly well-off vampire with few social skills, and Gunn, a leader of men, with a very powerful relationship with his sister Alonna. We might be expected to see an obvious subversion here- that the person with the least monetary wealth has the greatest spiritual wealth. But it's not that simple or neat. Gunn loses her sister, and has only his unending war to keep him going. Angel's life is other- he still can't lead the life of a human, even with an average human's money. But even great amounts of money can't buy assuredness, with David Nabbit still feeling uncomfortable.

The triumvirate is an interesting parallel, and Gunn's subsequent hang-up, (at least affected) with white men plays interestingly off their superior wealth.

Otherwise, I was largely quite bored. Too much fighting which isn't really my interest, too many dark-lit apparently suspenseful scenes.

1.21 Blind Date

Here we see Angel again trying to help someone whom he sees some of himself in. Lindsey, despite Angel's help, is lured back to the dark side by money and fortune. In this, the essential darkness of this series is shown. In Buffy, it seems that people are essentially good, and a only a history of abuse or a strong will allows them to pervert the natural status quo. In Angel, the natural attraction of the 'pureness' of evil, its clarity, means that everyone must constantly struggle to understand and act on impulses which can be perceived as 'good'. but 'good' is so often hard. To a degree, that's what ME were going for in Season Six, and, due to the revolutionary moral philosophy that implied to the Buffyverse, it confused many people. Suddenly the status quo was fragile, and personal morality was edgier and less easy to understand. Angel's ethics invaded Sunnydale.

I enjoyed the performance of Christian Kane as Lindsey, and Holland Manners is also a really good character- with wisdom and a degree of insouciance which mostly covers, (and sometimes accentuates), his obvious power.

Angel's despairing speech about evil is interesting. Good can never win outright. It's an ongoing struggle.

1.22 To Shanshu in LA

Never understood all the 'Shanshu' debates on the board properly until now. I spent a proportion of this episode pondering just how, in the (I suppose imaginary), primal language, how 'death' also means 'life'. The yin and yang of life and death, of birth and re-birth, of crucifixion and resurrection, of martyrdom and the continuing world, is such an ultimate question.

Although, as a finale, this episode was better than many, it still wasn't invested quite with the zing of many Buffy finales. This is mostly due to the lack of a seasonal arc, which I can accept as part of the show's anthology feel, (for now at least). There were a few excellent Greenwaltian lines for Cordelia: I think he underestimates how much other writers have developed her sometimes, but he is still master of writing her occasional vacuousness and humour.

'Family' has been a crucially important word for the Season. It's there in 'Expecting'. It's there again in 'The Prodigal', and twice importantly in 'To Shanshu'. First, Angel exasperatedly tells the hospital ward he is family, as if it is obvious. Next, Cordelia drops it when she's encouraging Angel to drink his blood. Just as yabyumpan wrote earlier, the whole latter part of the season is about these three outcasts, outcasts from Sunnydale and from LA, forge their own family. It's a story repeatedly as powerfully in microcosm in Tara's 'Family' in Buffy's Season Five.

Enjoyed the last scene with Angel, Cordelia and Wesley immensely. It was nice to see how it alternated between funny, full of emotional depth, and with the revelation about Angel. A revelation which essentially gives strength to Angel's journey, and imbues the show with a kind of forward momentum, which, at times this season, I would argue it has been lacking.

The very last scene? I thought Joss wasn't a fan of cliffhangers. But if that isn't a cliffhanger, I don't know what is. Sneakily, however, I don't have to wait three months for the next season.

A few questions I've been holding onto:
-Does Faith have a surname?
-Why is the video containing 'The Prodigal', 'The Ring', 'Eternity' and 'Five by Five' an 18, when most of them are 15?
-How does Season One rank amongst followers of 'Angel' compared to the subsequent two seasons, (three if you're feeling talkative [should that be write-ative?])?

At the moment, I think that 'Angel' has had a potential throughout, (since the excellent 'City of'), which it hasn't really been able to capitalise on except in rare flashes, ('Hero', 'I've Got You Under My Skin'), or with the help of the Buffyverse's creations, ('Five by Five', 'Sanctuary'). I think this is partly due to an inconsistency in writing, and partly due to a lack of focus. However, I've managed to find some message in most episodes, which means it is at least engaging me on an intellectual as well as emotional level, which suggests that it IS a rare show on television. But I think for the moment, it has to do a lot more somersaults before it comes anywhere close to Buffy.


[> [> [> Re: Angel Odyssey Season 1 (part 2) -- Belladonna, 10:02:18 02/14/03 Fri

Thanks so much! I've already saved these, and will look at them as I watch the show. Of course after I watch each of these episodes, I'll be starved for some discussion and analysis, but everyone on this board is a bit beyond season 1. So this will definitely make the experience better for me. Thanks!

[> [> [> [> Don't forget to read my episode analyses -- Masq, 12:24:08 02/14/03 Fri

Just to get my run-down and explanation of the first season eps--but read them afterwards of course!


[> [> [> [> [> I wouldn't dream of it! :) -- Belladonna, 14:14:07 02/14/03 Fri

I definitely look forward to reading them...I *love* your Buffy analyses. *sigh* What would I do without this board? :)

[> Re: Seeking Opinions from those who've watched AtS from the start -- maddog, 11:30:10 02/14/03 Fri


While the show has gotten better over the years you really have to see how it all started. You get to see more of the Cordy from Sunnydale then the grown up woman she's become. And you get to see one of the coolest characters ever, Doyle. I think many of us were hoping for him to come back some day. He died of an apparent overdose a few months back....very sad. He was the one with the visions to begin with. And the show replaced him soon after with what we must have thought was a joke in Wesley(last seen wimpering for pain medication after the school blew up). It was quite the year...and most definitely worth the money...now I only wish I had the $45 to get it. :(

It's here! -- Masq, 11:22:15 02/12/03 Wed

Just thought I'd share with everybody that my Buffy S. 3 and Angel S. 1 DVD sets came in the mail today.

Of course I'm at work and can't watch them!

Not that I can concentrate on anything right now. Too much nerves waiting for tonight's Angelus: the Series.

You can go back to your regularly scheduled Buffy discussion now.

[> ROFL! "Angelus: the Series" -- Vickie, 11:39:55 02/12/03 Wed

Yes, we're definitely in fan-heaven here! So sad that February is such a short month. I think we should vote it a couple more weeks.

Sure August could give up a couple of days?

[> [> Then comes the hell... -- Masq, 12:00:55 02/12/03 Wed

WB, in its infinite wisdom, is only giving us two weeks of AtS this month. Last week and this week. Then zippo. Do they know what "sweeps month" means?

Is it March yet?

[> [> [> What? -- ponygirl, 12:08:02 02/12/03 Wed

There's no new Angel next week? Seriously?

I'm getting ready to scream.

[> [> [> [> Re: what? -- Masq, 12:11:35 02/12/03 Wed

Rufus can confirm this, but tvtome.com and yahoo! TV agree.

It's maddening, because the next episode after tonight's is when [well-known casting spoiler] comes back! I want my [well-known casting spoiler]!!!

[> [> [> [> [> Aaaaaaaaah! Unfreakinbelievable! -- ponygirl (I warned you I'd scream), 12:17:04 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> March is EVIL -- lunasea, 12:09:59 02/12/03 Wed

With March Madness, Angel will be pre-empted all over the place.

Then in April, it will probably be moved again. The spot after Dawson's Creek is actually valuable after College Basketball Season is over.

[> [> [> Thank goodness ANGEL isn't on next week. -- cjl, 12:13:51 02/12/03 Wed

February 19 is the finale of the Bachelorette, and ANGEL would get creamed (and I don't mean corn). For once, I agree with the WB: burn off the last two eps of Birds of Prey, and save the good stuff for when you'd get a more realistic appraisal of the show's performance.

[> [> [> [> Is that the reasoning? -- Masq, 12:24:11 02/12/03 Wed

For real?

[> [> [> [> [> I think so. The "Birds of Prey" burnoff is the give-away. -- cjl, 12:26:55 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> They couldn't have shown AtS re-runs? -- Masq (still whining), 12:51:53 02/12/03 Wed

I totally screwed up taping the first seven episodes of the season the first time around. Now I have them all on separate tapes. They need to show "Slouching" and "Supersymmetry" again.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey, I liked Birds of Prey! -- RichardX1, 19:26:07 02/12/03 Wed

Unfortunately, my holiday job at Toys R Us (MAY THEIR STOCKS BURN IN HELL!!!) kept me from seeing a good deal of it, especially the Lady Shiva episode (which I was so wanting to see!). So, any chance to get a little more BoP is okay in my book.

Besides, they had to spread out the last few Angel episodes of the season to wrap it up by May, right?

[> [> [> [> [> The priorities, preferences, and intelligence level of the American public never ceases to amaze me. -- Masq, 12:28:09 02/12/03 Wed

Why watch Bachelorette when they could be watching [well-known casting spoiler]???

[> [> [> [> [> [> Preaching to the choir, here, Masq. Preaching to the choir... -- cjl, 12:29:21 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, in that case... (well-known casting spoiler hint) -- Masq, 12:47:58 02/12/03 Wed

I'm off to go take my anti-anxiety medication and spend the next two weeks hugging my AtS Season 1 DVD set. At least I can see [well-known casting spoiler] there.

And Angelus in flash backs...

Oooh, and in Eternity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The gods mock us with their scheduling -- Katrina, 15:02:33 02/12/03 Wed

Just a note that I very much appreciate this board -- not only for the usual reason of intellectual stimulation, but also in practical matters like this. When I looked in the TV Guide for next week and AtS wasn't listed, I just about hyperventilated right here in the public library. I'm a little skittish about unidentified schedule changes after my city lost its UPN provider last fall, about a week before the Buffy season premiere. (We're relying on tapes mailed to us from Chicago; only up to "Him.") But I didn't panic, just checked in, and as usual, somebody had the scoop! I can tolerate the weeks of agonizing suspense, knowing it'll come back eventually...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I mock the gods with my monkey pants. Ha! -- ZachsMind, 10:05:31 02/14/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I kinda fear for your Angel DVD's...3 weeks is a long time, imagine the dent in the box...;) -- Rufus, 22:20:29 02/12/03 Wed

[> [> [> Re: Then comes the hell...the WB lied in Jan -- Silky, 06:40:38 02/13/03 Thu

The WB advertised in Jan that starting on Jan 15 we would see 6 new eps of Angel in a row - we got only 5. Rats!

Though it did seem like a logical place to leave us all hanging...

[> [> [> [> At least they let us know they'll be back in three weeks (trailer spoilers) -- Masq, 07:46:52 02/13/03 Thu

I half expected the end credits to be it, the way they do the week before a rerun, leaving mysterious if and when the show would be back.

But instead... a preview of my favorite!

Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith

[> [> [> [> [> Re: At least they let us know they'll be back in three weeks (trailer spoilers) -- Rob, 10:38:57 02/13/03 Thu

Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith

Just had to echo the feelings. ;o)

And what a great promo. I know they didn't show any real scenes but just those two magic words, "Faith returns" and that oh so sexy shot of ED was enough. I am praying that they do a spin-off starring Faith. Because I already love it, and it hasn't even been decided, let alone filmed, produced, or aired yet!


[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, and just curious, Masq... -- Rob, 10:41:27 02/13/03 Thu

...if they do indeed do a Faith spin-off, would you add the Faith show to your site or would it be too much of a burden to start the ATPo goodness on a whole new show? I know in the past you said you're getting burned out on it. But ya know, it's Faith!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oops. Trailer spoilers in above post too. -- Rob, 10:43:24 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [well-known casting spoiler] is my Goddess -- Masq, 11:39:17 02/13/03 Thu

I remember groaning in over-worked despair at the thought of a "Dawn" spin-off. I like her OK as a character, but the whole idea of such a spin off seemed just a watered-down version of BtVS without the Buffy spark.

I'm kind of burnt out on doing the website and the discussion board--so much work, so little time. I still get great joy out of it, don't get me wrong, it just takes up time that I could be spending on other things that give me joy.

So the thought of another Buffy spin-off made me feel tired. AtS is enough for me, for maybe another year or two. I could handle that.


They mentioned the idea of a Faith spin-off. All Eliza all the time. The bloom came back on my rose. Next to Angel, she is my favorite, favorite character and of course, there is the fact that I drool over her like I don't for broody-boy. ; )

A Faith spin-off? I have only one word for that....

Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith Faith

I'll be there, with my philosopher's cap on!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: [well-known casting spoiler] is my Goddess -- Rob, 11:49:37 02/13/03 Thu

"Next to Angel, she is my favorite, favorite character and of course, there is the fact that I drool over her like I don't for broody-boy. ; )"

You go, Masq! Me, too, btw. ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> My desire for a certain spinoff has now jumped a hundredfold..... -- cjl, 12:01:45 02/13/03 Thu

I'd love to see a Faith spinoff, and if it keeps Masq and this board on the internet, all the better. Honestly, where would I go to talk about ME's multilayered scripts if I didn't have you guys? (I'd have to hang out with the 'shippers on other sites. And I get bored easily.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, this site will be around... -- Masq, 13:27:00 02/13/03 Thu

As long as there are additions to the Buffyverse on tv (Oh, God... would the cartoon series be 'canon'??)

It's just, if it's a Faith spin-off, my heart will be in it, if it's a Dawn spin-off, I'll just do my grudging duty.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh, this site will be around... -- Rob, 15:04:35 02/13/03 Thu

"(Oh, God... would the cartoon series be 'canon'??)"

According to what I read, if it gets on the air, the plan is that it will be canon, with the stories worked into the continuity of the original series. Of course, it would have to be "alternate" canon, since Dawn will be there. So in a way it should be like taking a peek into the altered memories of the gang. Which could be cool.

To start off with, I was gonna say maybe the cartoon series will give you a break and not be philosophical enough to do on your site. But then again, there have been cartoons with depth, like "Batman Beyond" and I'm sure that's the type of thing Joss is aiming for.

Poor Masq. You sign up for a simple Buffy/AtS site, and you're sucked into also doing analyses for a possible Faith spin-off, a cartoon series (if you do it), the Giles spinoff if that happens, and who knows what else will be produced? For what it's worth, I hope you continue to do all of the Buffyverse shows, but if you have to stop eventually, I'm sure we'll understand. :o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> If I wasn't so anal... -- Masq, 15:29:42 02/13/03 Thu

I wouldn't feel this need to give a complete philosophical analysis of the Buffyverse, requiring me to pay attention to all canon shows.

But *alas* I'm one of those people who finishes what they start.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I can just see it--Masq's ultimate nightmare..... -- cjl, 16:01:23 02/13/03 Thu

Spike in a three-episode guest stint on the Dawn spinoff, and a full "Li'l Dawnie" episode of the BtVS cartoon. (If Spike and Dawn fans are as nice as we think we are, we should send Masq a bottle of scotch for just such an eventuality...)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, Masq's ultimate nightmare..... -- Masq, 16:15:37 02/13/03 Thu

Would be "Spike: the Series"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm hoping that, if (well-known-casting-spoiler) gets a spinoff. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:39:54 02/13/03 Thu

That Spike appears in either one episode or two so that he can be killed off appropriately. I don't dislike the character, but I don't really see him functioning well for more than a couple eps in any show outside of Buffy (and if Buffy continues, I'd want ME to reconsider whether they should keep Spike around for too much longer). After all, featuring a popular character from the show it spun-off of in 1-2 episodes worked for "Angel". If we ever get "Faith", a Spike appearance could help it get some attention from people who had previously only watched Buffy, but might consider changing their minds.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm hoping that, if (well-known-casting-spoiler) gets a spinoff. . . -- s'kat, 22:15:49 02/13/03 Thu

My guess - if they do a Faith spin-off is I probably won't make it past two or three episodes because it will be that type of TV drama I despise - the episodic anthology that follows one or two main characters as they save new characters each week. We only have two people in the main cast and each week a bunch of guest stars - basically like Miracles, Highway to Heaven, Touched by An Angel, Quantum Leap Formula. Very cheap to do - because only two salaries and guests actors aren't as expensive. Also very popular with most viewers because they don't have to commit to watching every week - hence the popularity of CSI, Law & Order etc. Whedon has been dying to do anthology/episodic for years. He wanted to do it with Angel The Series but WB/Fox wouldn't let him. He wanted to do Touched By The Equalizer. And it was also what he was going for with Firefly.

There is only one character in Btvs universe right now that works in this format well - and that is Faith as the fugitive slayer. And if they want it to fly on UPN whose new mantra is urban niche and multicultural ethnic - they need a multicultural cast - Wood. Perfect. You have a slayer. You have a reluctant Watcher. And everyone else?
Occasional guests. I used to think it would be Spike and Faith...but now? Not so sure. Wood actually fits the dynamic better. Would have preferred Spike and Faith b/c well Spike's my favorite. My ultimate nightmare is the Cordelia Sitcom. Or the Vampire Slayer Academy starring all the SIT's and Dawn with occasional guest appearances by the SG - groan. But Marti said they weren't interested in either option. And I wouldn't worry Masq - Marti said the same thing about Spike the Series - been there done that, not overly interested in doing the adventures of Buffy's Ex-Vampire Boyfriend. Hmm..what an odd phrasing that is. Maybe I remembered that wrong? Had to.

I seriously doubt I'll invest in an episodic show or watch one without Marsters... but who knows? I watch Angel and I watch Alias and Kingpin. I'm willing to give it a chance.
I am however afraid Marsters will disappear - and he's my favorite actor on TV right now along with Alexis Denisof on Angel. Now a Wes/Spike/Faith show - that would be cool.
Or how about Wes/Spike/Faith/Wood and some new character?
Nah. I bet it's just Faith and some guy either Wes, Wood or Spike. And I'd lay money on Wood right now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> regarding spin-offs -- s'kat, 13:43:27 02/13/03 Thu

More I think about it - I think doing anything with Faith is a good idea. Must say Faith is my all time favorite female character on the shows, next to possibly Willow/Lilah. Also I realized while watching First Date - that a Faith/Wood spin-off would work. And if no spin-off? Maybe they can bring her full time on Ats?

I miss Faith. She was in two of my favorite episodes of Ats ever: Sanctuary and Five by Five. And her chemistry with Angelus in Enemies was great. So was her chemistry as Buffy in Who Are You with Spike and Riley for that matter. Ahhh Faith.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ooh! Salivating here . . . -- HonorH (wiping up her drool), 16:08:38 02/13/03 Thu

If it's not clear from my Super-Evil Alter-Ego's latest review, I think Wood is the cat's pajamas. And if I've not made it clear before, Faith makes me want to take a walk on the Willow side. Having them together onscreen could just kill me, but I'm willing to take the chance.

Faith . . . Wood . . . yum!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hey! -- Masq, 16:18:41 02/13/03 Thu

If you want Faith, you're going to have to get in line behind those of us who already walk on the Willow side.

Or go have your Principal Wood quietly. Over there. In the corner.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, since I'm willing to overlook the whole "orientation" thing, -- HonorH, 20:26:45 02/13/03 Thu

I think it's obvious who loves her the most!

And why *can't* I have my Faith, and my Wood, too?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Orientation be damned! -- ponygirl, 07:15:07 02/14/03 Fri

I think the ultimate spin-off would be Faith, Wood and a vamped Lilah. Lots of angst, attitude, and slashy redemption!

A girl can dream...

Is anyone else getting a strange feeling? -- Deb, 12:44:37 02/13/03 Thu

That Buffy and Angel are slowly merging into one "show." Eventually both casts will be divided into Team Good and Team Evil. I got to wondering about this during an essay exam where I had to write a dialogue between two Interpersonal Communication theorists whom argued their uniquely narrow views; technique vs. instinct. Here's what I've come up with: (not including Buffy)

Good (light grey)
Team Technique
Principal Wood

Evil darkergrey
Team Instinct

Humm........... This doesn't quite seem evenly matched. Any suggestions?

[> Re: Is anyone else getting a strange feeling? -- lunasea, 13:07:02 02/13/03 Thu

Buffy is a creature of instinct. She just has really good instincts. Most of the characters on the shows are running on instincts. What separate them is what those instincts say.

One team would be the self-preservationists/evil and the other wouldn't factor themselves into the equation/good.

Self Preservationists (ego counts) would include:
Angelus (not Angel)
Gunn (can't give up his idea about Fred)
Wood (because of revenge angle. may switch teams)
Spike (mainly trying to preserve ego by helping others)
Connor (revenge angle with Angel. Could also switch teams)
The Beast


Less people, but quality, not quantity

Willow still has to pick a team. Andrew is leaning towards others

[> [> Re: Is anyone else getting a strange feeling? -- Pilgrim, 14:41:38 02/13/03 Thu

I'd say that Spike and Anya are self-constructionists, rather than self-preservationists, at the moment. Neither is quite sure who he/she is. But I agree both of them tend to consider their own needs first when deciding how to act. (I have hopes for our boy Spike, that he'll eventually learn to care for others, but I may be delusional there.) Willow, I think, does as good a job of caring for others as the others on "The Others" team (hmm, other much?). Andrew? You don't think he's still motivated primarily by self-interest? He really really needs forgiveness for murdering Jonathan--that seems to me his primary motive--and he needs some acceptance by the group (any group might do for him). Also, it's interesting isn't it how a person may be motivated by self-interest, yet still do good works and find a place on the white hat team.

[> [> [> Re: Is anyone else getting a strange feeling? -- Dannyblue, 20:42:30 02/13/03 Thu

I think Willow has often placed her own wants/needs/pains ahead of other people's, at least when it comes to the safety of others. Using magic is a great example. Even before she went evil with it, as far back as season 3, she was doing stuff people warned her not to do because it might be dangerous. No matter how often her spells went wonky, no matter who they hurt or embarrassed (as happened in "Something Blue") she kept on doing it.

Willow wanted to develop her magic so quickly because she wanted to be important to the group. Yeah, a computer expert/hacker is important. But how much more important is a witch in fighting against the forces of darkness? And, for the most part, she always justified using dangerous magic as "doing it for good" or "doing it to help the team". She wants so badly to save the day, she'll use dangerous means to do it.

philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- leslie, 14:00:37 02/13/03 Thu

I have been mulling over the identity of the First Evil. "First" implies that it is merely one, if the one at the head of the sequence, of many evils. So, of all the evils that are possible in the world--rape, pillage, murder, illegal U-turns, cheating on your SATs--which one came first?

One thing that has struck me is that over the seasons, the overriding theme of the series has shifted. It started out being about the burdens of being a superhero and the ethical choices that entails, and that theme is still there. However, beginning with the return of Angelus, it seems to me that the question that has come to dominate the show is the question of the relationship between love and evil, and Buffy herself has become oddly peripheral to this question--a catalyst, a role model, an observer, but she does not have to grapple with it in herself. She has not--so far (who knows what the future brings?)--had the temptation to become evil herself.

One thing that made me think of this, actually, was a comment at the Buffy conference about the fact that there were almost no papers focussed on Buffy, and the large majority were about Spike or Willow, and it's Spike and Willow, along with Anya and now even Andrew, who are dealing with the battle between love and evil in their personal journeys. How can love create a desire to be good in an evil being (and how does that being cope with the fact that once he's become "good," love turns out to be a far different beast than he had realized)? How does love create the circumstances, take advantage of inherent weaknesses, to cause a good person to become evil? How does love take the place of evil in a being removed from evil, and how does thwarted and betrayed love bring evil back? How does evil seduce a weak person under the guise of love? These questions of love and evil have, at times, almost swamped the agenda of the series to be about good and evil, and they're compelling because they're much more complex than a simple choice between exclusive qualities. How can love actually create evil?

So this makes me wonder: Is the First Evil perhaps love itself? The dark side of love. And this would be why it cannot be vanquished, because that would exterminate all love. You can't have the bright side without accepting the shadow it casts--at least not in a world with sunlight. In which case, it seems to me that the only way to "beat" the First is going to be an acceptance of the potential evil of love. (In this scenario, Anya would seem to be a central figure, as the professional representative of Evil Love.) The more I think about this, the more sense it makes in terms of what happened last season to inspire the First's vendetta this season. Buffy was brought back out of an excess of unthinking and selfish love. Willow tried to destroy the world out of loss of love, but also out of an oversensitivity to the pain of love. Xander saved the world out of an expression of platonic love, but he has refused to acknowledge his betrayal of sexual love. Buffy spent the entire season repudiating love. They have all identified these things as external circumstances that have destroyed or disrupted "real" love, but maybe what they need to understand is that love can create evil just by being love.

[> oh WOW -- WickedBuffy, 14:22:14 02/13/03 Thu

I absolutely loved everything you said and the way you said it. Bravo!!!

What are your thoughts on this: If everything has two sides, then does that mean there is a First Good/Love someplace? Wouldn't they have had to come into existence at the same time? It's been stated over and over again that The First Evil was before everything, the bang, etc. Wouldn't the two sides have to have been in existence simultaneously for the other to exist?

I just never hear about The First Not-Evil or whatever. The First Evil is probably what all other evils sprang from. Logic with that reason would point to it's exact counterpart co-existing in a similar manner. Have they ever really mentioned that?

Again, loved what you wrote even down to Anya being more of a key player.

[> [> Re: oh WOW -- leslie, 14:36:28 02/13/03 Thu

The First Evil seems to inhabit an alternate or parallel reality--which would be why it's incorporeal in this reality--so I wonder whether the First Not-Evil, or the First Love, is in the reality where Buffy was when she was dead--when she was at peace and knew that she was loved.

[> [> [> Re: oh WOW WOW -- frisby, 15:55:20 02/13/03 Thu

the first evil as the dark side of love --- wow

recent cosmology enters on dark matter and dark energy -- perhaps a connection?

I'm still stuck back with season 3 amends, and whether the first evil brought angel back from centuries of hell, or the powers that be, or Buffy's love

and surely joss is going to connect Buffy and angel with regard to the big bads of the seasons?

Cordelia and dark love?

interesting food for thought

[> [> [> [> Re: sonances -- Celebaelin, 16:58:32 02/13/03 Thu

Hmmm Nasty Love, Bad Love, Tough Love, Naughty Love.

On the whole I think I prefer Rock!

Here's they playlist from Van Halen's first album (the imaginatively entitled Van Halen)


There are lots of resonances within the track titles which are mainly about(!) Spike. This in itself isn't that surprising bearing in mind the target audience of the rock genre (uh uh uh uh nobody uses the G word) but it really is so close that I wonder if there may not be some contribution over and above the teenage arrogance theme.

Initially however I was just thinking about one track -

Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love

I heard the news baby
All about your disease
Yeah, you may have all you want baby
But I've got something you need
Oh yeah

Ain't talkin' 'bout love
But love is rotten to the core
Don't talk about love
Just like I told you before
Yeah before

You know you're semi good-lookin'
And on the streets again
Ooh yeah you think you're really cookin' baby
You better find yourself a friend
A friend

Don't talk about love
But love is rotten to the core
Ain't gonna talk about love
Just like I told you before
Before before before before before

Ain't talkin' 'bout love
But there's a ride on to the core (?!?)
Ain't talkin' 'bout love
Just like I told you before

I've been to the edge
I'm there, I stood and looked down (?!?)
You know I lost a lot of friends there baby
I've got no time to mess around
Hmmm so if you only got to be boy baby (!)
Yeah gotta gotta be baby
Mmmm gotta gotta be baby
Hey gotta gotta be baby

Ain't talkin' 'bout love
But love is ridin' to the core
Ain't talkin' 'bout love
Just like I told you before
Before before before
Ain't talkin' 'bout love
Don't wanna talk about love
Don't even talk about love
Ain't gonna talk about love
Ooh no ooh no

Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey
Hey hey hey

Edward Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth (1975)

Check it out man, this could be the start of something big!

My connection is playing up - this may result in a double post (at least!).

[> [> [> [> [> Actually it was '78, how on earth did I misread that? -- Celebaelin, 17:25:14 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Re: oh WOW WOW -- maddog, 10:34:15 02/14/03 Fri

I always made the assumption that it was the Powers and that when the First realized this it decided to thwart that move(knowing that he just may make it to whatever is about to happen) by trying to convince him it brought him back to pay for his past actions.

[> Is First Evil = dark love??? Interesting -- shadowkat, 14:35:45 02/13/03 Thu

Is the First Evil perhaps love itself? The dark side of love. And this would be why it cannot be vanquished, because that would exterminate all love. You can't have the bright side without accepting the shadow it casts--at least not in a world with sunlight. In which case, it seems to me that the only way to "beat" the First is going to be an acceptance of the potential evil of love.

Whoa. Interesting. I've been speculating with people that the First Evil is the absence of love. That the one thing the FE doesn't understand is love. That is how Buffy defeated it in Amends with Angel - she appealed to Angel out of love and it was Angel's love of Buffy that kept him from killing her.

But wait, let's flip that over for a minute. Angel says in Amends - "It's not the monster in me that needs killing, it's the man, the man who desires to take comfort in you."
And the First in Amends takes the form of Jenny - who was the love of Giles life and whom Angelus killed. It tries to seduce Angel into taking Buffy - and the dream they share is a passionate one filled with love-making.

So is the First dark love? Dark love - is well love for one's own sake. Love for one's own pleasure. What Buffy and Spike shared last year - taking without giving, consuming, until it's burned out. Anyanka represents dark love - you scorn me - I avenge you. She entered the scene actually not long after the First Evil made it's first appearance.
Hmmm...Amends. Lover's Walk. The Wish. All sort of follow each other in Season 3 don't they? In Lover's Walk - Spike discusses dark love - love that flows through the blood not the brain, that drives you crazy enough to torture someone or cast a love spell. It's desire. Buffy and Angel realize they aren't friends, they've never been friends - they've only been lover's in that episode and that type of physical love leads only to disaster. This is demonstrated over and over again - with the reminder of Angel losing his soul and pretending to betray Buffy with Faith in Enemies. And then in Graduation Day when Buffy takes out Faith and herself to save Angel's life. Back to Anyanka - who comes on the scene because of the dark desire between Willow and Xander that almost destroys their friendship and the relationships they have with Cordy and OZ. Actually does destroy Cordy and Xander. Anyanka is summoned by Cordy's rage - dark love.
Narcissistic love. Spike's attack on Buffy in SR also is typical of this type of love. As is most of Willow's actions in S6.

Let's compare this to the other type of love, the love that causes Spike to get a soul, the love that causes Buffy to give her life for her sister, the love that causes Willow to risk everything to save Tara's mind, and the love that causes Xander to propose to Anya and Anya to save Xander's life in the Gift. Loving someone - wanting them to be happy - wanting what is best for them - as opposed to desiring what is best for you.

I don't think FE is just dark love. It is ALL evil. Evil in all things I think. In Love. In what motivates us. In who we are. He twists what we consider good. Twists what we are.
Spike's love for Buffy in the Gift gets horribly twisted in S6 until he hurts the one thing he cares for most in the entire world - causing him to get a soul. Willow's love for Tara gets horribly twisted until she finds herself wracked with vengeance when Tara is ripped from her. Giles' love for x/w/b gets horribly twisted with what he feels is
holding them all back. Buffy too --- gets twisted. She couldn't love last season --you can't when you hate yourself.

So maybe the FE is the antithesis of love? Hate? Twisted love? Desire? I don't know. But it's interesting to contemplate.

[> [> Re: Is First Evil = dark love??? Interesting -- leslie, 14:53:16 02/13/03 Thu

"I don't think FE is just dark love. It is ALL evil. Evil in all things I think."

This may depend on your conception of how evil evolves. Does it start as a single, undifferentiated evil that gradually develops specialties and subcategories, or is there one kind of evil that spawns other evils? I'm working from the second premise, you're working from the first (or the First). The problem I see is that the first conception writes the series into a corner--there is no way that Buffy could even quell or disable that First, much less eliminate it. It would require such a radical rewriting of the entire worldview of the Buffyverse as to negate its existence--it would be the equivalent of the Dallas "It Was All A Dream" cop-out. The Buffyverse is based on the premise that there is always evil to fight, that it can never be completely eliminated, but that it's worth fighting the fight anyway to give good the chance to thrive, to make a difference. However, if I am right, then it is possible to "beat" the First through enlightenment, understanding the source of evil, and thereby becoming better able to fight all the evils out there.

[> [> [> Now I'm agreeing with you all while confusing myself -- WickedBuffy, 15:40:52 02/13/03 Thu

I was thinking all they can do in Buffyverse is balance things out. Remember, The First got the opportunity it did because something was out of whack. The whole season seems to be about the characters coming to terms, recognizing and accepting they have inner dichotomies, one person made of seemingly contradictory qualities. (for example, Buffy and Spike shag. Buffy sees it as bad and Spike sees it as good. Who is right?)

It makes sense to me that it is two sides of the same coin. But what about those areas that aren't as objective? A kind of love that is considered evil in Ohio might be considered as not evil in Denmark. Where do those areas fit into this scheme, since it depends solely on whoever gets to be the judge.

I'm rambling ::whap:: basically, sometimes Dark Love is also Not Dark Love. Is that the final acceptance that needs to be made? This is so intriguing and yet so confusing to me as dealt with within the Buffyverse. Ying? Yang?

[> [> [> [> Actually I think you make more sense than we did -- s'kat, 17:17:48 02/13/03 Thu

I think we're overthinking it. Gee, me over think something? Not a stretch.

No I think you're simpler approach is probably where ME is heading:

I was thinking all they can do in Buffyverse is balance things out. Remember, The First got the opportunity it did because something was out of whack. The whole season seems to be about the characters coming to terms, recognizing and accepting they have inner dichotomies, one person made of seemingly contradictory qualities. (for example, Buffy and Spike shag. Buffy sees it as bad and Spike sees it as good. Who is right?)

I think it's just basically coming to terms with the evil in yourself and not going there?

Question is can ME pull whatever it is trying to pull off with the FE without confusing the audience and themselves?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Actually I think you make more sense than we did -- Arethusa, 17:38:31 02/13/03 Thu

I've thought of the First Evil as Despair. That seems to be its modus operandi, and it is the opposite of hope, which is what the Higher Powers provide.

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL. I just watched "Anne" tonight. Did you? Or do gmta? -- Sophist, 20:32:13 02/13/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Nope. -- Arethusa, 05:28:14 02/14/03 Fri

And-what is "gmta"? Great Minds Think Alike? And how do you "do" it?

Arethusa, just a little bit confused.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Nope. -- Sophist, 09:01:58 02/14/03 Fri

Here's the passage from Anne that caught my attention:

Ken: What is Hell but the total absence of hope? The substance, the tactile proof of despair.

JW wrote this ep and this phrase struck me while watching, causing me to think about the nature of the FE. Then I got on the Board and read your post, which used almost identical words. Spooky.

Must be that your mind thinks like JW.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yep. -- Arethusa, 09:14:26 02/14/03 Fri

Yes, I think I might, since both of us are angry existentialist atheists. So why can't I ever figure out what's going to happen next on either show??

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Isn't that part of the irony of existentialism? -- Sophist, 09:31:41 02/15/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Actually I think you make more sense than we did -- ponygirl, 08:34:37 02/14/03 Fri

Funny that you mention Despair. I was reminded while reading leslie's post of the Endless from Neil Gaiman's Sandman comics. They were sort of the personification of concepts that are intrinsic to living things. But in many ways what they were not was more important than what they were -- Death defined life, Dream reality, Destiny gave meaning to free will and Destruction was always necessary for creation.

I see the FE in the same way. Evil is necessary to give meaning to good, love and hate bound each other in the extremes of emotion -- take away one and I think everything comes tumbling down. I think the FE is not looking to win this fight but to end it completely.

[> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- lunasea, 17:35:26 02/13/03 Thu

Buffy herself has become oddly peripheral to this question--a catalyst, a role model, an observer, but she does not have to grapple with it in herself. She has not--so far (who knows what the future brings?)--had the temptation to become evil herself.

I disagree. She has had the temptation, but she just dips her foot in the pool of evil and it disgusts her. She played with Faith in "Bad Girls." When she killed Faith out of revenge, she was shaken up so much that Faith escaped. Her playing in the dark with Spike was killing her inside.

She has had the temptation. She is just too much to circumb to it. That is why she is a hero, not like you or me.

You would have to define what love is before you can talk about "dark side of love." What commonality is there between regular, light love and dark side of love? How can you call them both love? What is love?

[> [> what love is -- frisby, 03:49:15 02/14/03 Fri

almost all of the great historical philosophers had important things to say on what love is -- i particularly like this one Francis Bacon (paraphrasing):

love is to the world of human nature as gravity is to the world of nature

(that is, love makes the world go round)

(and we must never forget that philosophy itself (the love of wisdom) is in the end also a species of love)

(last, with regard to the dark side of love, consider that for Nietzsche philosophy is the love of wisdom but its dark side is the will to power)

[> [> [> Re: what love is -- lunasea, 05:10:30 02/14/03 Fri

I ask the question because when people start saying there is a dark side to love, I wonder what they are defining love as. For me things like obsession and codependancy are not love. Control is not love. Violence is not love. Love is the light side and those are the dark side of SOMETHING ELSE.

Such as wisdom for wisdoms sake is one side of a coin and using it for power is another. I tend not to apply love to inanimate objects. When we start to apply words to a broad spectrum of things, they loose their meaning.

We tend to apply the word love to many things. I want to know what is the commonality that unifies all those things.

[> [> [> [> where's my reply? -- frisby, 13:19:49 02/14/03 Fri

I posted a thoughtful reply but it's not here! Boy is that frustrating. I should have kept a copy. I can't get myself to try to replicate it. There was a lot about love.

Woe is me.

Live and learn.

[> [> [> [> [> aww, frisby. I know how it feels. ::hug:: -- WickedBuffy, 15:13:06 02/14/03 Fri

[> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- leslie, 09:41:01 02/14/03 Fri

"She has had the temptation. She is just too much to circumb to it. That is why she is a hero, not like you or me."

No, the temptation has been presented to her, and she has always refused it as soon as she has realized what it is. Buffy and evil = non-mixy things. (So what does this mean about driving cars?) As opposed to Willow, who refused the offer to become a vengeance demon but has succumbed to almost every other temptation that has come her way because she thinks that she is good and well-intentioned and therefore wouldn't be tempted by evil; Anya, who was a professional tempter-into-evil, encouraging women who were in the heat of anger to take things much further than they would have had they had time to think about it; or Spike, who insisted he was evil even when he wasn't.

"You would have to define what love is before you can talk about "dark side of love." What commonality is there between regular, light love and dark side of love? How can you call them both love? What is love?"

What I am talking about is the desire to be loved by specific people--not a generalized agape, but the need to be loved by parents, siblings, lovers. The existence, the possibility of this love makes people want it, need it. Feeling this way about someone makes you want the feeling to be returned, and it makes people do things that they think will cause the feeling to be returned. However, doing things just to encourage someone to love you ignores the moral dimension of the acts themselves--witness Spike, who would do anything to get Dru to love him, and would do anything to get Buffy to love him, a collection of acts that are a totally mixed bag of evil (resurrecting the Judge, chaining up Buffy to make her love him) and good (preventing the Acathla apocalypse, getting a soul).

The thing is that love just wants love. It doesn't care about what you have to do to get it--"Love makes you do the wacky." Sounds cute, huh? What happens when Acathla is awakened? "Wackiness ensues."

What I am proposing is that the thing about "dark" and "light" sides of love is a false dichotomy. Love feels good, but as a quantity or an impetus to action, it is value-neutral. Any good it does, any evil it does, is incidental to the love itself (and remember, I am talking about personal love, not agape). Love is just love.

[> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- lunasea, 10:11:36 02/14/03 Fri

No, the temptation has been presented to her, and she has always refused it as soon as she has realized what it is.

She knew what was going on in Bad Girls and she still went ahead after her baptism. She went pretty deep into Spuffy, even after she realized what was going on. It often takes her a while to untangle herself from the dark. She did manage to kill Faith. I would say that wasn't refusing anything.

What I am talking about is the desire to be loved by specific people-

That is defining the term with the term. Are you talking about approval and acceptance? Are you talking about warm fuzzies? I wouldn't call any of this love. I think too many things get lumped in with love, that the word has pretty much become meaningless.

We were watching one of my husband's co-workers kids. This kid was craving attention. We are wired for that. We also crave physical touch and affection. Again, we are wired for that. Approval is another big one.

I have no disagreement that the above wiring is pretty neutral. I just won't use the word love to describe that.

Actually sounds like you are saying love is just another desire. Actually for me love is the absence of desire. When we get rid of all the cravings and all desire, that is what is left. Love isn't about want. It is about do. When Buffy is going to jump in The Gift, it isn't because she wants to. It is because she has to. Love comes from a place beyond desire. Desire often gets dumped on love, but that isn't love.

[> [> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- Caroline, 10:33:30 02/14/03 Fri

You don't really present any evidence to support your argument that Buffy has ever given into the temptation of evil. I would not call her actions with Faith evil. In fact, Faith was Buffy's foil in S3, showing us the potential of Buffy's shadow but Buffy never became the shadow. I have watched S3 many times and do not remember Buffy killing Faith. I remember an attempt on Faith's life by Buffy AFTER Faith poisoned Angel - the cause of this was to restore Angel's health. Again, not unqualified evil. As for Buffy's relationship in S6 with Spike - I would not call that evil either - misguided, sad, even foolish but not evil. She used him - morally reprehensible, not evil. As for being involved with a vampire - we have Tara's words indicating that it was not evil to be involved with Spike - 'he has done good and he loves you'. I don't see the evil.

There are many different types of love. leslie has used the 2 of the Greek terms for different types of love, distinguishing between agape and phileo - agape being the divine, compassionate, impersonal love and phileo being the personal affection type of love. Agape is the love that knows no desire and in fact transcends it, whereas phileo and other types of love definitely want a return of love. You may not think of non-agape type love as love but in the English language, you will find that love is used to describe more personal types of love where approval and return of regard is required. I understand the need for more terms to more finely distinguish the different types of love but we don't have them in English.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- WickedBuffy, 11:46:48 02/14/03 Fri

Reading all these thought-provoking posts you all have been writing has filled my head with questions I didn't exactly have before. Here's what's going on:

Because there are so many kinds of love, then there is no opposite to love? Love is not a dichotomy? Is there a specific opposite to every single different "kind" of love? Instead of One Big Coin there's a vault full of loose change?

My knee-jerk reaction to the question "What's the opposite of Love is "Hate". Then, I change it to "Evil". Now your posts make me consider there is no opposite.

Is Love a gradual spectrum of examples going from light to not-light? It seems so subjective for the individual, the judgement is made by each persons reality. Can it only be described by actions? Does it need to include feelings, too? Is it only an action? Is it only a feeling?

Is Love in the Buffyverse exactly the same as it is here? It seems like it to me. But how did I come to that decision if I can't even define it?

And does Evil have an opposite? Here we have a very definite, though untouchable, presence that the gang is fighting with as if it were another being. Yet there is so little talk of The First Good existing - or something else as apparent as The First Evil. Yet it talks of balance and its goal of wiping out everything.. The First Evil can't be totally destroyed because there is a little of it in everyone, and that could very well mean the death of everyone.

If so - (if you've followed me this far ) - The First Evil can completely destroy Buffyverse by letting itself be destroyed?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- Celebaelin, 00:36:49 02/15/03 Sat

IMO (in deference to the perhaps more appropriate cyberhead faction) all our loves involve passion, be it for Slipknot, Sharon Stone, Fish and Chips, BtVS or our soulmate - we humans have a need to be passionate.

If you agree then perhaps the opposite of love is indifference or maybe dispassion (if such a word can be said to exist!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes, I can see how can fit -- WickedBuffy, 10:46:11 02/15/03 Sat

"I love you" I hate you" those are both emotions, feelings. Whereas "I don't care" or the silence of indifference (in the true sense) would be a no emotion. (Or as close to no emotion humans can come to.)

now I have that Really Rosie song in my head:

"... and Pierre said......'I don't care!!"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> btw, I really didn't drink any beer before I wrote that Subject line. -- WickedFireBad!, 11:03:17 02/15/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Evil = Morally Reprehensible !!!!!! -- Dan The Man, 13:18:00 02/14/03 Fri

"morally reprehensible, not evil"
huh? I'm not sure where you are coming from with that statement. I view the concept of evil differently and webster's dictionary seems to agree with me.

This is the dictionary entry for the word evil on http://www.webster.com

Main Entry: 1evil
Pronunciation: 'E-v&l, British often and US also 'E-(")vil
Function: adjective
Inflected Form(s): evil·er or evil·ler; evil·est or evil·lest
Etymology: Middle English, from Old English yfel; akin to Old High German ubil evil
Date: before 12th century
1 a : morally reprehensible : SINFUL, WICKED b : arising from actual or imputed bad character or conduct
2 a archaic : INFERIOR b : causing discomfort or repulsion : OFFENSIVE c : DISAGREEABLE
3 a : causing harm : PERNICIOUS b : marked by misfortune : UNLUCKY
- evil adverb, archaic
- evil·ly /-(l)E/ adverb
- evil·ness /-n&s/ noun

Evil is all about morality.
Buffy has definitely done evil things as has every other character in Buffyverse.

Dan The Man

[> [> [> [> [> [> I agree -- lunasea, 13:37:42 02/14/03 Fri

Buffy tried to kill Faith out of revenge every bit as much as to save Angel. If saving Angel was her only goal, when she actually slid the knife in her belly, it wouldn't have freaked her out. The moment sobered her up and Faith took that chance to escape.

Also, Buffy pursued Faith to LA to get revenge for switching bodies. Luckily for her, Angel wouldn't let her do this, but he did call her on it.

Buffy tends towards the irrational when it comes to Faith.

Buffy has done evil things, but her reaction to them tends to put her back into the good camp quickly, which is why I would call her good/hero.

[> [> [> [> [> [> You mean you think there is no difference between... -- Caroline, 14:59:27 02/14/03 Fri

a big bad evil and a basically good person doing something morally ambiguous or reprehensible? To clarify, I said that while Buffy was tempted by her shadow she didn't do the big bad power trip. That means evil in the sense of an evil malicious force (see www.dictionary.com) - ie a big bad in the buffyverse. Buffy has never been one of those. Her treatment of Faith in S3 or Spike in S6 were not what I would have like and fell short of what I expect of Buffy but there are circumstances that make the situation rather ambiguous and not clear cut. But that does not make her an evil malicious force in the way the Master or the Mayor or other of the big bads have been. I was distinguishing between the morally reprehensible action of an otherwise good person and the thorough evil of someone whose moral compass is completely aimed towards evil. Since JW has made comments about good and bad being a spectrum and the moral compasses of different individuals geared to different parts of the spectrum, I think that what I wrote was in line with how evil is defined in the buffyverse.

The Buffyverse if filled with these gradations of evil and asks rather important questions about them. As of First Date, Buffy has come to the view that you don't beat evil by doing evil - so she would see her actions towards Faith as bad. But that still did not make her an evil force.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- lunasea, 13:39:10 02/14/03 Fri

I understand the need for more terms to more finely distinguish the different types of love but we don't have them in English.

Sure we do, we just don't use them. The Judge didn't say that Spike and Dru reeked of love. They had "affection and jealousy." We want to legitimize other feelings and often try to lump them together with love. I try to keep them separate. If someone can't tell me what affection has in common with agape, I won't call them both love. If affection is what they have in common, then call it that.

When it came to Faith, Buffy tended toward the irrational. She came to LA looking for revenge. Luckily Angel wouldn't let her take it. She tried to kill her for revenge every bit as much as to cure Angel. When she plunged that knife into Faith's belly, that was giving into temptation. That is why she freaked out after she did it. If it was just objective desire to help Angel, it wouldn't have flipped her out and Faith wouldn't have escaped.

I find it interesting that love has variations, but evil is only the black. Morally reprehensible is evil. Grey has evil in it. Buffy gives in, but always finds her way back. That is what makes her a hero.

She's a lot like Angel in this respect.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- Caroline, 13:46:53 02/15/03 Sat

I think you need to distinguish between action and agency. A person may commit a morally ambiguous or reprehensible act and not be evil (e.g. Buffy's actions towards Faith) or a person may in fact be an agent of for force for evil (the mayor, Glory, Adam). The difference here is agency. Buffy pulls back from being an agent of evil, whereas Glory, the Mayor, etc do not. According to JW's idea of a moral compass, the orientation of the big bads I mentioned is towards evil, thus they are called evil in the Jossverse.

Would I use these labels in real life? Hell no. I'm still grappling with the definitions in RL.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> strength of characters -- lunasea, 15:58:52 02/15/03 Sat

According to JW's idea of a moral compass, the orientation of the big bads I mentioned is towards evil, thus they are called evil in the Jossverse.

Actually when I evaluate the characters' strength, I try to do so using their moral compass. Soulless vampires are oriented towards evil. The more evil, like Angelus and Dru, they are, the stronger and more integrity they have. Immoral weanies do good for whatever reason.

Angel is in a weird place because he is a vampire with a human soul. He is the ultimate grey (actually all the colors of the rainbow), but he does find his way back to good, even with the incredibly strong impulse he has to do evil. His actions tend to place his compass in the good camp. Since that is his orientation and since he can overcome his evil urges, he is one of the strongest characters in the Buffyverse.

Straight evil or straight good don't have these urges to overcome. Strong is fighting. If they don't have to fight, how strong are they. Evil tends not to have urges to do good, so how strong is it?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: philosophical speculation on the nature of the First Evil -- WickedBuffy, 16:07:30 02/14/03 Fri

I was intently reading Caroline's post and her mention of The Mayor as an example of "thorough evil of someone whose moral compass is completely aimed towards evil" was intriguing me.

Then lunasea's comment "I find it interesting that love has variations, but evil is only the black" tied right in.

Buffy is mentioned as giving in to evil, but then finding her way back. I was wondering at what point do the scales tip you into being evil or getting the title of Evil, or if there was a limit to the number of times you can dip into evil and come back.

The Mayor is described as an Evil, but he also did things that would be considered "good" in another person. He was loyal to his wife, and felt sadness she had to die while he got to stay young. (well, that was my take on his story). He also really liked Faith. He cared about her in little ways, finding a knife that pleased her, fussing about how much better she looked with her hair out of her eyes, talking about the importance of family. Yet he's pretty much categorized as Evil. (I'm not sticking up for the Mayor, just using him as an example for this).

Did that mean he wasn't actually all evil? or an Evil? There is a percentage of Evil you need to be to be a Big Bad Evil? Is it about intention, too? Was Faith close to being an Evil? What's the closest Buffy's been to that line in the sand? Has Buffy been evil? or did she just lose her way? (double standards here)

I agree that evil has variations in it like love does, then. But where is the crossing-over line? And how many times can you cross it before you are named one or the other. Or change labels from one pronoun to the other?

I can think of examples of Love in life, and in the Buffyverse, but I can't really define it exactly. Same with Evil - lots of examples, can't define it. And sometimes the examples of both are in the same character. And sometimes, what was love for one, was evil for another.

When Buffy stabbed Faith, she was doing it for the good of Angel but the bad for Faith. (Plus, Buffy had been very clear about the evil of taking the life of a human, as she told Faith herself.)

How many times does a hero get to cross the line before they aren't as much of a hero? Indefinitely? What about all the demons and vamps and other bad things Faith had killed before she even got to Sunnydale, for the Good side? How many bad deeds did she have to do before she started being considered bad? Was she ever considered evil? Was she a hero pre-Sunnydale? and was unheroized during her stay there?

ayii my head hurts!

[> [> [> [> [> [> The problem with labels -- lunasea, 16:41:45 02/14/03 Fri

You pretty much put your finger on the problem with labels, like good and evil. When I look at such labels, I see what is the purpose of using them. Typically the only real relevance such things have for me is when the allow me to explore how I should behave. Rather than label Buffy good and Faith evil, I would rather say, this is an action I should do/is skillful and this is one I shouldn't do/unskillful.

Those two words skillful and unskillful take off some of the judgment attached to them.

The next thing to evaluate is someone a good role model/someone of integrity. For that you do have to look at the consistency of their actions. As long as they are inconsistent, as a whole that person is not a good role model. That doesn't mean they are evil or bad, just not someone that would be skillful to pattern myself after or hang with. I prefer not to go all the way to actually condemning someone as evil.

Buffy does tend to be pretty consistent. Even in those unskillful acts, her reaction shows her to be a person of integrity. Angel is getting more consistent. When someone like Willow takes a turn to the dark side, it takes a while before they build up actions so that they are viewed to be a person of integrity again.

Where is the line? That line is different for each person and in response to each person. That is why there is no universal standard.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> "Labels are for jellyjars, not people" -- WickedBuffy, 17:07:26 02/14/03 Fri

I fully understand what you are saying about labels. (I think, don't smack me if I'm off!))

It reminds me of dealing with children (or anyone for that matter)... it's much healthier to say "you did a bad thing!" instead of "you are bad!" You don't label the person, you define the action. Compartmentalizing someone as bad (or dangerous or thoughtless) is a deadend. But commenting the action allows for change, for learning, it's open-ended.

Maybe that's a small difference in the Buffyverse? The actual name of this latest entity *is* The First Evil. Not, "It That Does Evil Things". It is an absolute. I don't know if we truly have absolutes in our universe like that.

And once Buffyverse characters start referring to someone or something as "the big bad" in their conversations, then that is what is is. They make the judgment, label it and that's pretty much it. It's never "The Creature Who Calls Himself Master Who Does Bad Things". It's a Big Bad. Evil. Must destroy. So, while we have so many different variations of Love and Evil, etc, here, maybe there are less variations in Buffyverse. It really does appear to be one or the other in some cases.

So, would calling Buffy a hero be a label? or is it Buffy does heroic things. The first might be a difficult title to fulfill 24/7. The second allows for her mistakes and dips into doing evil things.

Buffy does more heroic than everyone else, I admit. And the others do heroic things, too. Maybe it's a matter of which universe you are looking from?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Labels are for jellyjars, not people" NOR THE FE!! -- the empty jar, of course, 02:15:38 02/15/03 Sat

Things become less confusing, concerning evil and love, if you forgo the nominalization and cognate love as an intransitive verb, and evil as a transitive verb.
Even in the Buffyverse, yes...
The first evil ***is*** not absolute, nor is he an 'entity,' in the nominal sense of that word. Nor is he a he, for that matter. Or an 'it.' That's why 'it' ain't called 'it that does evil things.'

Before I go on, let me say that I certainly would never mock anyone, or criticize. I ask this question seriously, and in jest, but certainly not to make fun:

Why do you (and I, if I'm not vigilant) assume that 'the first evil' is a nominal phrase? I realize that we all sense the nature of evil as being an act, or event, not a state or an entity. But the pull towards those nouns is so gravitous, is it not? I think the first evil ***is*** indeed a verbal phenomenon - not 'it that does evil things,' which still tries to attribute the act to an entity!! Rather, ***does evil*** or ***doing evil***.

Consider a girl, who kicks some vampire ass:

I do not parse the syntax of 'the first evil' like 'the first girl' or 'the first ass.' It is grammatical in English to use the definitive phrase structure to denote verbs!! Hence, when Buffy lands several kicks in a row, but one was enough, we say, "'the first kick' was the killing blow," for example. That is how I parse the syntax of "the first evil." The first evil that was ever done.

You are saying, 'but the first evil act was done ages ago, and he is still around...' That's what I said, too, until I corrected myself - verbal event-frames have no inherent or necessary temporal discreetness. It is a prejudice that compels us to assume a solid-state entity performing instantaneous acts in every abstract proposition we encounter. We have this grand image of ourselves as the agents of transformation, the nouns that do transitive operations on patients. And we project.

And yet, we are part of a living biosphere that we say is 'evolving.' Who, then, is 'it that does evolving things?' And when was 'the first evolve' finished, and the second begun? What was 'the first life??!!'

The nature of the first life is ***does/doing evolving***. Still doing, showing no signs of stopping any time soon.

The nature of 'the first evil' is ***does/doing evil***. Still doing, showing no signs of stopping........

Please note the lack of patient, or direct object, in 'doing evil.' I am proposing that not only is there no nominal agent of the first evil, there is also no patient. Semantically, a 'transitive' verb seems to imply SOMETHING being transformed. Seems. But, again, what object is being transformed by evolution?? Is the entire biosphere the agent which transforms itself patiently? Did you grow yourself as a teenager, as a fetus? Did you personality yourself, or develop a personality, or was there an event which seemed to be oriented around a certain experiencing of actuality called "you" by me and "I" by you, the nature of which was ***doing personality***?? There is no agent or patient, only ***doing transitivity***.

Note that 'the first' explicitly cannot become corporeal, nor can actually "do" anything, but through the agency of another. Any evil act done by any entity anywhere at any time is only discreet from the narrow viewpoint of corporeal, mortal entities. We see, intuitively, that "evil begets evil," that the chain of evil links seems endless and mutually causal. But he who is the victim so often seems to become he who commits the crime. Likewise, we victimize criminals and call it 'justice,' the balancing of the scales. But what is really balanced? Only prevention truly resists evil, but the randomness of evil seems to prevent prevention much better than prevention prevents evil It always starts up again, the pump always gets primed. But it's not a pump, it's a siphon hose. This is because, in the big picture, the first evil never ended; there is no causality, only continuance; the true nature of the act cannot yet be ascertained, as it is 'in progress;' likewise, the true effects of the act have not yet manifest. (Prime=First; the hose=earth, people; evil=the flow)

That said, in the narrow view of mortals, I am compelled by semantics to ignore the syntactic nominalization of these concepts and assert, unequivocally, that entities cannot BE evil, they can only do evil acts. The statement that evil is "morally reprehensible" is not a definition, it is a propositional synonym. It does nothing to clarify the nature of evil, it only gives us another label for a phenomenon we are only aware exists, it seems, because we indeed have labels for it. If we labeled it, it MUST exist...mustn't it??

At this point, St. John of the cross, or Buffy, speaking about becoming the slayer, might say, "When one lets go of all the earthly illusions of labels and nominalizations and causes and discreet personalities that transform their environment through their urges and power, and is empty of all this falseness that is all we know, then one will be in that nothingness that is everything and eternal; and as you pass thru this dark night of the soul, though you are no longer the agent of an urge and an act, you are quite animate - for you are movement by 'the prime mover,' not as a patient, but sharing fully in the omnipotent non-agency of 'the first cause.'"

When Buffy was getting drunk with the wanna-be intellectual boys-will-be-cavemen, in the midst of the quotation-fest, one of them began to quote Thomas Aquinas. They all stopped him - "No, don't bring Aquinas to this table!!" Why?

Poor Thomas. So misunderstood. When Aristotle spoke of 'the prime mover,' he really did, it seems, conceive of a discreet motion-event as the agent of a transition that ended, apparently, when the next agency took control. His 'first' was a "preceding." That is, the prime mover came before the other movers in time. But Aquinas, it seems, when he spoke of 'the first cause,' was thinking of a "procession;" That is, God is like the 'first sergeant' in an army - all orders to the men, though carried through the mouths of the ranks, are just the proceedings of the orders first given by the first sergeant. Think of Aquinas' God, and the first evil, not as 'prime' as in 'before all others,' but like a 'prime number' - indivisible, except by itself, and one. If one divides it, it remains unchanged. If it divides itself, it becomes one.

"I am the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last." - JC

"I am the first and the continuance, the sergeant and the soldier, the source and the power." - BtVS, in theory.

"I am the cause and the effect, the numerator and the denominator, the crime and the punishment." FE, in practice.

Actually, I am, admittedly, the de-nominator. I think that was my point. No - My point was labels. I don't want to be THE DENOMINATOR, forever and ever, the essence of my being!!! I will denominate myself!!...no...I will...no...no will...no I...-----***doing denomination***-(damn, it's dark in here...)...Primed...hose...good jelly...yum yum...transforming...becoming...orosboros...oh sh**!...eating!!!???

Is the jelly becoming me, then eating more of itself? Or am I di-gesting the jelly, transforming it into heat and feces? or is the vine denominating the feces, hereby moving that grapes be the candidate chosen for jellying? or, alas, is the feces the cause of all this illusion, priming the food siphon hose who plants the seeds and chooses the fruit and cooks the jelly and labels the jar, as though it was always full of jelly, and always will be, when really it was just feces in disguise, on one stage of its journey towards becoming feces again??

But I'll say it again -- yum...good jelly....(sound effect like Homer Simpson eating should be imagined here...)

At this point, a discussion of love seems in bad taste. Another time...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Labels are for jellyjars, not people" NOR THE FE!! (quite lengthy for me) -- Celebaelin, 05:41:59 02/15/03 Sat

Excuse parenthetical clauses (and my parentheses).

***does/doing evil*** with no patient has no meaning, evil means evil acts (as you say laterly in your post) and they cannot be performed in isolation. Well, I say not anyway, the notion of self-inflicted evil is, loosely, an oxymoron as evil is incomprehensible by its' nature (and also by definition undesirable and cannot therefore be self inflicted by a healthy ie non-schizophrenic, mind. See also later). Evil requires a victim/patient/passive participant and that necessarily demands that evil is a relative term, so the First Evil could equally accurately be construed to mean 'the first among evils' as well as its' (claimed) true derivation as resulting from actually being the first perpetrator of evil chronologically.

I still favour the idea of the FE as the Serpent, if you like, in the Garden of Paradise (no, not that serpent silly) ie as temptor, but not participant in, the act of original sin, virtual incorporiality so to speak. That was an act of conceptual evil that betrays the modus operandi of the FE, engendering an act of evil in another. The victims are 'everybody else' - Adam, Eve, God and all the Angels and the chosen method is seeking to undo the work of the creator by eradicating innocence with the intention of instigating an unstoppable slide into evil and depravity.

In a vaguely similar way the Babylonian creation myth has the victims of the first evil act of temptation being the children of Apsu and Tiamat (luckily amongst the children are the first gods of the primordial universe, so the kids win - Spoilers for the Babylonian creation myth!)

Apsu says to Tiamat

"Their ways are verily loathsome to me.
By day I find no relief, nor repose at night.
I will destroy, I will wreck their ways,
That quiet may be restored. Let us have rest!"

However in fact the first evil deed per se is performed by one of the young gods who slays Apsu (overpowers him, ties him up and murders him, Tiamat is then out to avenge her husband but is in her turn slain by Marduk).

I wasn't actually consciously aware that I was 'borrowing' from Babylonian mythology when I wrote my previous piece on the FE but I had skimmed the source book before so I probably soaked that 'petite factette' (hmmm) up somehow and re-interpreted it for the FE.

As regards the victim becoming the perpetrator, the method of behavior of the victim is dictated not only by environment and experience but also by pragmatism and, to a certain extent, rationalised or un-rationalised acceptance of the obvious notion that, unavoidably, in human interactions there is a winner (evil) and a loser (victim). Acts of pure love arguably do not fall within this definition of human interaction (! - "Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter."), or maybe they do but true love is selfless (there's a Bible quote about what love isn't, hang on...can't find it, but it's something like l. is not selfish, is not proud, is not quick to anger etc. RATS, this would be so much more convincing if I could be bothered to find either the quote or the reference, maybe someone will help me out this one time hmmm?). Meanwhile, back at the thrust of the argument...In society we humans have tried to produce increasingly equitable ways of winning and loosing (barter, trade, various specialisations of work and therefore interdependence) but greed, or arrogance, or both are never far away and the battle for control of ones' own life in the face of these instincts continues.

You raise an interesting point in that even a rational being cannot BE evil but may merely perform acts of evil as a matter of will. On the other hand why would a rational creature WANT to perform acts of evil? Perhaps the confuscation of the act with the achievement of the goals of the act is to blame, and perhaps not. Why would a thinking, rational human being WANT to become murder incarnate or whatever twisted concept resides in the diseased mind of a serial killer? It's a convincing argument for a universal plea of 'not guilty by reason of insanity' IMO but let's not get side-tracked in a "One Flew Over the Cuckoos' Nest" type direction.

And now it seems you're just being both abstruse and obscure in the hope of being thought inscrutable. Having said that I felt obliged to check out 'Poor Thomas'

"Human law is only virtue of its' accordance with right reason, and by this means it is clear that it flows from Eternal law. In so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an Unjust law; and in such a case, it is no law at all, but rather an assertion of violence."

St. Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274) Summa theologica

Give that man a grant, preferably a huge one. Couldn't find your quote though.

And now with the scatological introspection, sheesh, can we skip that for once (that's two "And"s tsk tsk).

Hurry on back now (if you enjoy being unjustifiably insulted and abused).

Kissy kissy


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Is this the quote you were wanting? -- WickedBuffy, 10:38:06 02/15/03 Sat

1 Corinthians vs 4-13 Revised Standard Version Bible

For Love is patient and kind; love is not jealous or boastful;
[5] it is not arrogant or rude. Love does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;
[6] it does not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the right.
[7] Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
[8] Love never ends; as for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away.
[9] For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect;
[10] but when the perfect comes, the imperfect will pass away.
[11] When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; when I became a man, I gave up childish ways.
[12] For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood.
[13] So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Is this the quote you were wanting? -- Angela, 11:28:58 02/15/03 Sat

God it was the quote I was wanting without even knowing that I wanted it.

For our knowledge is imperfect and our prophecy is imperfect

Perfect! ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Is this the quote you were wanting? -- Celebaelin, 05:50:11 02/16/03 Sun

Absolutely, yes. I'm more familiar with the King James version but since I couldn't place the quote anyway familiarity it seems is also a relative term. Many thanks.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Are you a figment of my imagination or am I one of yours? -- Wickedwha?, 11:35:03 02/15/03 Sat

"Things become less confusing, concerning evil and love, if you forgo the nominalization and cognate love as an intransitive verb, and evil as a transitive verb. " and on and on

umm ::blank look:: that wasn't less confusing to me. Er, "Me that transists".

Help me here. Are you suggesting Joss and the writers were grammatically and philosophically incorrect in naming the "character" "The First Evil"? If it's not definable, why does "it" refer to itself as if it is? If evil just "is", ::nonfloat non-float:: then where does the momentum to send it a specific direction come from? Are you saying it's neither the cause or the effect?

In order to communicate with each other, we struggle to create definitions and even labels to help share our experiences and ourselves with others. Since we aren't antlike in our group communicating, unfortunately, we attempt collectivity through language, gestures, movement.

When it works, great, when it doesn't ... kablooie. Many of us seem to have the drive to try to avoid the kablooie by reaching some kind of mutual understanding of what the other individual wants to "share" communicate.

In an attempt to (choose your favorite) 1. control our universe 2. make sense of our universe we define and label and name and make symbols to try to not just communicate with others, but also to ourselves. Understanding.

Why did ME call it (using the term "it" loosely here, since it's shorter than what you said but you know what I mean, I hope) umm ... where was I? OH uh huh Why didn't ME name it "The Evil", instead of "The First Evil"? How does it tie in with "The First Slayer" character?

I see this Board as an attempt to communicate and define our experiences to each other about these shows and OT even. We *want* to communicate or we wouldn't post here. It must have some value for us. We argue ideas and theories and interpretations and also battle semantics. ::nursing nasty head wound after being blind-sided earlier this week::

Looking at us thru your post ... Why?

::narrowly avoiding the hose dripping with jelly and handing you some toast:: :>

::doh:: mmMMmm

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Labels are for jellyjars, not people" NOR THE FE!! -- Caroline, 14:54:33 02/15/03 Sat

Foregoing love as a transitive verb:

That really depends on the type of love. There is personal love that is expressed from subject to object that does not make sense without a subject and object - for example storge or parental affection and sexual affection. The only type of love that I can think of that would be intransitive is agape - it's a state of being in love, it has not object, it is just a state of desireless love.

I'm with you on the first evil not even being an entity. My take on the FE is that it is a metaphor for the potential for evil that we contain within us - it is a manifestation in the buffyverse of the shadow, of anima and animus and in my opinion has something to do with the lessons to be learned by Buffy this season. The big bad that she has confronted each season has something to do with the challenges that she has faced at each stage in her journey.

Because evil is not separate from our own psychological dynamics, we are its agents. The non-corporeal nature of the FE is a metaphor for the promptings of the 'evil' part of the unconscious within each of us to have our desires. The devil within must persuade the ego by any means at its disposal to have its will done. Anything that cannot be persuaded is an enemy.

Whether we are talking about Wood or Spike responding to the promptings of the first evil or the ego responding to the shadow, we are seeing something being transformed. The process of development of the personality or the Self can come under the agency of the Self - at least that is what psychoanalytic literature tells us. There is certainly a difference between growing oneself physically from fetus to adulthood and growing a more serene nature through meditation or resolving a complex from childhood or growing one's knowledge of literature of one's knowledge of ethics - all of which I would argue 'grow' your personality.

As such, the first evil is then the first evil within each of us. In so many of the creation myths, the original act of evil results from separation and differentiation from uroboric bliss. Whether it is Adam and Eve separating from Yahweh by seeking knowledge or the children of Greek, Babylonian or Roman Gods seeking to overthrow their parents, separation from the womb is the first act of temptation that destroys undifferentiated bliss and ushers in harsh duality. This is precisely the duality and oppositions that we then try to unify in our lives, and which, if one follows the logic of manwitch's essay on the 7 chakras, Buffy will transcend this season.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "Labels are for jellyjars, not people" NOR THE FE!! -- lunasea, 15:30:26 02/15/03 Sat

You realize you are talking about a show that designs demons and big bads by taking abstract concepts and turning them into physical forms? That is part of the fun, turning the physical forms back to the abstract concepts and dissecting the heck out of them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Buffy as hero -- lunasea, 13:59:17 02/15/03 Sat

Buffy does more heroic than everyone else, I admit. And the others do heroic things, too. Maybe it's a matter of which universe you are looking from?

I think when it comes to Buffy being a hero, it is about consistency of actions. She couldn't kill Ben. That is what makes her a hero. She can't do bad things without being repulsed. Giles can. He can do what is necessary as Ripper and come back to being the Giles we all love. That is why she is a hero and Giles isn't.

Even when Buffy makes mistakes, she is upset by them. When she tries to kill Faith, she is completely repulsed by it. Giles would have had no problem. When she thinks she has killed an innocent, it gives her nightmares. Playing with Spike in the dark was killing her.

How many other characters are like this in the Buffyverse?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Tara? Anya now?<- she developed -- WickedBuffy, 14:33:08 02/15/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara? Anya now?<- she developed -- lunasea, 15:48:10 02/15/03 Sat

Tara wasn't a character so much as a caricature. They tried to give her some depth with her family problems, but she was one of the most one-dimensional characters the show had. Warren had more depth. She was a nice character, but that was about it.

Anya still needs a face. Once she gets one, she will go back to grey. For now she is clear. Ms. Cellophane should be her name.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Totally agree with you about Tara. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. :) -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:30:46 02/16/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> Yes it is... -- Celebaelin, 00:19:45 02/15/03 Sat

as long as the feeling doesn't disappear when the desire is fulfilled. In a way that is the purest (most primitive, instinctual) love and the fact that it doesn't ebb away in the post-orgasmic afterglow makes the emotion even more joyful and the experience even more profoundly beautiful.

Two New Weaknesses for the First Evil ("First Date" Spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:29:27 02/13/03 Thu

We already knew the First Evil had some limitations (it can't directly do anything itself, and couldn't appear as anyone who hasn't died), but "First Date" revealed two new weaknesses/limitations of our Big Bad:

1) It's ability to know things is limited. While it seems to know a lot (enough to imitate a variety of people, even seemingly unimportant ones who have been dead for years), it doesn't know everything. It didn't know that Andrew had told Willow about the First's plan, nor did it know he was wearing a wire until it inferred so from Andrew's behavior. This is a somewhat comforting thought.

2) It doesn't seem to be immune to emotion. When it went to creep out the Scoobies at the tape recorder, it honestly seemed to be enraged. Many times, succumbing to their rage or other emotions has been the downfall of previous villains, so I count this as a weakness.

Also, perhaps recording the First's voice is important. After all, in many superstitions, words have power. Control the First's words, maybe you control the First.

[> Cool, Mac Finn -- WickedBuffy, 15:50:41 02/13/03 Thu

Nice points! I love reading what other people think about The First Evil.

"2) It doesn't seem to be immune to emotion."

I completely agree with you. My theory is The First Evils weakness is its ego. (Is that saying egos are bad? Some philosophies say so.) But, anyway - The First seems to boast alot. It's quite full of itself. I think it overlooks some important things because of it. (One instance I can remember right off is when it was gloating to Buffy that Angel would be dead at sunrise, sending Buffy off to go save him.) I know an air of superiority can be a great psychological weapon, but if The First starts totally believing it's own press releases - and speeches it gives people, it might leave a way in that it doesn't even notice. imho

[> [> I'm sorta reminded of a fanfic I tried to write a couple weeks back. -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:15:14 02/13/03 Thu

I never got very far in it, but there was one scene that I really liked. It had the First Evil doing just what you said: displaying an enormous ego. It goes on for several sentences about how there is no doubt it will win, how it's beyond human understanding, how its power can crush the Scooby Gang like a bug. To which Buffy replies: "Oh yeah? Hit me." The First Evil, being shown as unable to directly hurt Buffy in any way, shuts up. Then Buffy calmly walks through it as though it weren't there and leaves the room. The fanfic itself just kinda fizzled out, but I really wanted to share this scene I had in my head.

[> [> [> well, part of that kinda happened in the most recent ep... (minor spoiler for it) -- anom, 19:34:57 02/13/03 Thu

"Then Buffy calmly walks through it as though it weren't there and leaves the room."

...except it was Wood doing the walking through.

[> Limitations ("First Date" Spoilers) -- Darby, 05:49:49 02/14/03 Fri

It seems to know only what its dead folks did when they died, plus whatever its agents can pick up, limited by their perceptions. What exactly it was perceiving when it discovered Andrew's duplicity muddies the water, though.

Wonky Time in the Buffyverse ("First Date" Spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:17:51 02/13/03 Thu

In the most recent Buffy episode, "First Date", Xander said that it was the anniversary of his almost-marriage to Anya. This got me to thinking:

We know from Tara's gravestone in "Help" that she died on May 7th.

The majority of "Seeing Red" took place in the day immediately before that.

"Entropy" took place during the two days previous to "Seeing Red".

"Entropy" took place during the week after Buffy tried to kill her friends in "Normal Again" (lets say it was a full seven days between the two episodes for simplicity's sake).

"Normal Again" covered the span of two days. We were also told in that episode that Anya had left two days ago (presumably the day after the almost-wedding).

Which leads us to "Hell's Bells" taking place exactly one year before Xander's date with the Ashanti demon in "First Date". Counting backwards from Tara's death on May 7th, both "Hell's Bells" and "First Date" must take place on April 23rd (give or take a few days depending on some assumptions I had to make for time between "Entropy" and "Normal Again", as well as time between "Hell's Bells" and "Normal Again").

Now, for fans as obsessive as we are, we must realize that this doesn't ring quite right. The time that's taken place between episodes in Season Seven isn't as precise as it was in Season Six. Never the less, we know it was either November or December in "Bring on the Night"* This means that "First Date", only four episodes later, had to have four months take place in between. Given that Spike's dechipped state was a surprise to Giles in "First Date", we can assume that "Killer in Me" occurred only a few days before. Thus BotN - "Showtime" - "Potential" - KiM must have covered four months. Given the dynamics of the episodes, this seems a little unlikely (I doubt either "Showtime" or "Potential" took place more than a week after the previous episode).

Granted, Joss being bad at math is nothing new. But I just felt an unbearable urge to get this out.

P.S. How said is it that I did all of this from memory?

*It is uncertain which month it was. If we count up to it from "Conversations With Dead People" (which was dated at November 12th) "Bring on the Night" should take place in November. However Buffy says "I can't believe it's December" during the episode (though some have theorized that Buffy's comment was meant to be sarcastic about Christmas decorations starting earlier).

[> Finn, sweetie--what else is new? -- HonorH, 17:41:05 02/13/03 Thu

One also notes that the town of Sunnydale grows and shrinks according to the needs of the writers. And then there's the fact that for some reason, Wood couldn't park next to the restaurant he took Buffy to, but they had to park elsewhere and walk to it via Dark Alley. Wonder how many of that restaurant's clientele end up being eaten for dinner rather than eating dinner?

Survey says: don't look too close.

[> [> Just hoping this doesn't interfere with Angel crossovers (spoilers through Angel 4.12) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:24:38 02/13/03 Thu

After all, the past six episodes of Angel have taken place over about a week, and it doesn't show much signs of changing for the next episode. If this trend continues, well, one must wonder how much time passed early in the season, if they have crossovers with Buffy.

But then, if Joss can't even keep Spike's age straight, the amount of math employed here is almost definitely beyond him. Well, at least in one arena I can go to the Master and say "I'm better than you are! I'm better than you are!"

[> [> Re: Finn, sweetie--what else is new? -- Jodee, 22:18:27 02/13/03 Thu

I'll agree with the whole town-shrinking/growing bit, at times it seems as large as NYC, and at others only a few blocks. And speaking of the restaurant thing... has anyone thought about the fact that maybe, just maybe, the chance of getting attacked in a spooky dark alley was all part of Woods' plan? It sure makes a hell of an ice breaker, and also makes his story a whole lot easier to swallow. My question is this... if Woods said he was raised (or taken in, as he put it) by his mother's watcher, how come he had such a hard time finding the vamp (Spike) who killed his mom. Giles certainly had no problem finding info in his beloved books about William the Bloody when Buffy first encounters him. He was infamous for bagging two slayers. So shouldn't Ms. Woods' watcher have known who she was fighting? You would think that if her watcher was doing his job even half right, there would have been some info, whether before or after, regarding who she was fighting, and who killed her. Oh and as a mind-quirk... what did Ms. Woods do? Take off nine or so months from being a slayer so she could have a kid? I seriously doubt she was dusting vamps at 8 months. Just a thought.

[> [> [> Re: Finn, sweetie--what else is new? -- ahira, 22:24:01 02/13/03 Thu

If it was info from the watcher's diaries, then her watcher would have even been the one to write about who killed her. So, yeah, I would say her watcher should have been able to tell him.

[> [> [> [> Two theories -- Finn Mac Cool, 04:40:17 02/14/03 Fri

First, the Watcher didn't tell him because he didn't want to put notions of pursuing a vampire he couldn't possibly win against into Wood's head (or possibly that whole thing Giles mentioned about the Watcher finding it too painful to revisit the details of the Slayer's death).

Second, in "School Hard", it looked like most Watchers' records referred to Spike by his original name: William the Bloody. Wood might not have heard that the vampire who killed his mother was also called Spike.

[> [> [> Spec on this says-- -- HonorH, 22:30:13 02/13/03 Thu

Wood's mother could have had him before she became the Slayer. If she had him at 15 or 16, she could've been Called shortly after he was born, then died at 19 or 20.

[> Yeah, but Hells Bells aired on 5 Mar 2002, so in that sense it's close enough -- Sophist, 20:27:43 02/13/03 Thu

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