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Seriously Now... - Thoughts on *First Date* ... ( *** Spoilers 7.14 and vaguely for promo *** ) -- OnM, 20:45:53 02/17/03 Mon


Merrick: You do everything wrong.

Buffy: I'm sorry...

Merrick: No. Do it wrong.


You can't fight evil with evil. Believe me, I know.

............ Buffy Summers


Proportionately, I don't talk all that much with 'normal' people, for which there are several reasons. It isn't that
there is anything wrong with normal people, in fact, things wouldn't be normal without them, now would

Partly it gets down to how one defines the term 'normal'. Usual, common, ordinary, typical, standard,
customary, run-of-the mill, prevalent, traditional
is the way my word processor's thesaurus would define
synonyms for 'normal', and I suspect that those are the definitions that most people would offer up if asked. For
myself, there is a secondary consideration, in that in my working life I am involved in a technically oriented
profession, and so by the very nature of that business I am considered to be involved with abnormal things.

Technology is abnormal, you ask? Well, yes, pretty much. It's a strange creature-- some folks see it as
angelic, and some as demonic. Most 'normal' persons see it as a mixture of both, and even associate mystical
qualities to it. I certainly take the mixture-of-both view of it myself, even though dispassionate reason tells me it
is neither, it all depends on what use we make of it.

This is one reason that I found the following comment by jenoff (from his review of First Date) both
amusing and telling:

"I make my living writing manuals, so I have to take it as a sign of Andrew's innate goodness that he was
reading the microwave manual before using it. Note that the evil FE says not to read it.

I've been middling around for the last several days now trying to get a handle on what I think this episode was
about, and I think I'm finally sussing it out. I had originally planned to write about the relationship between
mysticism and technology in the Buffyverse, because one thing that was clearly evident to me since my very first
viewing of First Date was that increasingly this season is about Buffy being able to trust her instincts,
which is an area of the human mind that relies far more on the 'mystical' than the scientific, and in gaining an
acceptance/understanding of how the abnormal can become normal.

Some day, I have no doubt that scientists will be able to analyze and define the exact biochemical mechanism by
which the brain so successfully employs the principle of what is usually termed 'fuzzy logic' and melds it with
'intuition' and in doing so makes these great leaps into 'understanding' that defy tracing the back-path by
which they came into being. In the meantime, we can only wonder and accept that such leaps happen with
regularity, and that in a largely mystical universe such as the one Buffy Summers inhabits, such leaps are
potentially invested with great power. And it's all about power, now isn't it?

One thing we do know is that intuition typically emerges from a filtering process that is applied to a vast
collection of stored knowledge and experience, and by now our heroine has amassed quite a goodly variety of
both within herself. The key difference in this season is that Buffy seems far more willing to stand up and
defend her intuitions, to maintain that "I am seeing the big picture", as she emphatically
stated to Giles very early on in the show.

At the end of last season, Buffy and Giles effectively reconcile with one another regarding the issue of Giles'
leaving Sunnydale for the old country and thus forcing Buffy to take charge of her life, whether she felt ready to
do so or not. Buffy was very uspet at what she saw (at the time) as Giles abandonment of her, but seven or eight
months later she had come to realize that he had done the right thing, that she was stronger for the experience,
painful though it was. She also was able to translate this new understanding into a far better relationship with her
own 'child' (Dawn), realizing that the way to best help Dawn was to treat her as someone capable of making her
own decisions-- and mistakes-- and that growth on both their parts would result. It doesn't mean that occasional
guidance and assistance isn't necessary, it means that there is a big difference between being a counselor and a
role-model, and being a micromanager. (The latter type, naturally, appears to distribute power, but actually gives
up none, and usually still reserves the right to pin the blame for mistakes onto everyone else who got assigned the
nonexistant 'control').

How odd it is then that Giles, having found the courage to trust Buffy to make her own mistakes and learn from
them, is now regularly doubting her? While many BtVS episodes are framed largely in the point of view of a
single chartacter, this one offered a multitude of perspectives. Giles' perspective is the most baffling one, at least
to this viewer, but perhaps that is exactly the key element needed to make an intuitive leap, to gain
understanding. So here goes:

Giles isn't evil, he's just like a mushroom, picking up the taste of it when it gets nearby. And the taste of evil
is fear.

OK, maybe chalky fear.

In previous reviews, I posited that Giles is still under the post-traumatic-stress syndrome of witnessing the
destruction of the Watcher's Council. I think that this may have been the initial trigger effect that explains how
Giles got to where he is today, but it is no longer the maintaining reason for his odd behavior. I believe that the
First Evil has taken advantage of Giles' depressed mental state to prey upon him, not in the direct ghostly
manifestation way that it has shown to several others in the gang, but by entering his subconscious and 'pushing'
him into negative, defeatist attitudes. It would be easy-- Giles is already predisposed, and it's like the FE said to
Andrew, "You've started down a path-- you have to stay on it." (It's a lie, but somehow a compelling
one. Faith bought into it, didn't she? )

The results of this interference are making Giles ever more jittery as time moves on, even though to my
observations, the extended Scoobie group is pulling together more tightly and positively than ever under Buffy's
leadership. There are signs everywhere-- consider the following:

Buffy continues her ongoing display of self-confidence, revealed in ways both dramatic and subtle. One of the
things that I enjoyed the most about First Date is that it was chock-full of meaningful subtleties, often
cleverly hidden in with adroitly written humor. Right off the bat, as Giles confront Buffy in her room with the
concerns about de-chipping Spike, she makes a quip about wearing hoop earrings and 'lobes flying everywhere',
and so on. While it is inherently highly risky to build accurate metaphorical observations on the foundation of ear
apparel, I have to think I am on reasonably safe ground here by thinking that Buffy's lobe-statement is a clever
way to illustrate that she knows there is danger involved in some actions, but that the potential benefit outweighs
the risks. There is also an even more subtle reference to a time some seasons back when Buffy thought her
mother was upset with her for borrowing some earrings, which could be read as a case of her trying out the role
of mother, something she was unsure of at the time. (BTW, Joyce asked for the earrings back, and in that case
Buffy relented).

There is no such hesitation here. Buffy is certain that her choice regarding Spike is the correct one, and
she is standing firmly by it. I find it very revealing that, to my recollection, no one else among the Scoobies or the
protos vocalizes or even seriously hints at questioning Buffy's decision, only Giles does. Not even Xander?
Think about that.

Xander is trying to reconcile the hope that he and Anya might eventually get back together with the thought that,
realistically, it might never happen. He has decided to take a chance on a new woman that he meets at a
trade/business show of some kind and even refuses Willow's offer to check up on her background-- "Going in
blind", as he puts it. This is not the act of someone who has given up on the future, despite his miserable luck in
the past.

Anya pretends to be keeping an emotional distance from Xander, but the weak facade breaks down regularly.
She alternately jibes at him, then freaks out if there's a chance he could come to harm. Anya is still coasting, the
realization that she has always lived as if her self-worth was defined by what she does for a living or who she is
emotionally involved with still acting as a brake on her development as an individual. This makes her a wild card
in the ongoing Big Bad dramatics to come, but since there is little question that she would willingly turn evil
again, I am mostly waiting for something to happen that will provide the impetus for her to get together with
Xander again.

Spike represents one of the grandest defeats to date of the plans of the FE. Giles is certain that Buffy's feelings
for Spike are coloring her judgement, but the truth of the matter is that Buffy dealt a crushing blow to the FE by
giving Spike hope for redemption and then backing up that hope with rescuing him. Now, by de-chipping him,
she has removed the last barrier to that process. The FE must be enraged, and I suspect that this why it is now
pressing a new attack on the group. I think a number of fans may expect Spike to revert to his human killing
ways, even temporarily, as the season plays out, but I don't think so. I'm not even sure if the FE could 'trigger'
him again, I think it simply plans to kill him at the future time it will do the most good evil for its cause.

A non-metaphorical note--I am thoroughly enjoying James Marsters' work in making Spike more and more
William-like in William's positive ways, without losing the bit of edge that Spike brings to the mix. You can see
it there lurking just under the surface, even as Spike gradually becomes more 'civilized'. Like Buffy has been
doing for the last year, he is taking the two compartmentalized parts of himself and progressively seeing how
they can work with one another.

Willow has now reached some kind of turning point in her dealings with the memory of Tara, and is starting to
move on. She is pretty much a peripheral character in this episode, with the others playing off of her (much as
they do Anya), but it appears that not only is she now more comfortable around Kennedy, the two are even at the
holding-hands-under-the-table stage.

Dawn is also on the edge of things this time around, but what time she does have on screen is used well., and I
especially enjoyed the continuation of what I saw beginning in the last episode, which was a thawing in the
coldness that she had towards Andrew. After Andrew tries to help get some information that might assist in
defeating the First Evil, Dawn pointedly complements him on his bravery.

Speaking of which, considering the relatively short time Andrew has been living under the Summer's roof, his
ability to stand up to the FE in the way he did was an incredible achievement, considering that for most of the
time that we have known him, he was always pretty much of a coward. Also, I wonder how many other viewers
were thinking that a great big ol' honkin' clue was dropped (in a very subtle, non-honkin'manner) when Andrew
asks the FE the following:

"Are you made out of the evil impulses of humans? So, like, if everyone was unconscious at the same time,
would you fade away?

Anyone else immediately think War of the Worlds? Andrew even tends to confirm this when he uses the
word 'bacteria' a short while later. Could it really be that simple? If each of the Summers Gang could manage to
control their inner evil and/or divorce themselves of their fears, would the FE lose its ability to work against
them? Would it fade away? Is Buffy leading them up to the ability to do just that?

Suppose that what is really currently sustaining the FE is the Evil that collects around the Hellmouth, washing up
over Sunnydale like a-- well, you know. (And you know is surely nominated for one of the funniest lines of the
season, and a top ten contender for the entire series, sez I). Many fans have been speculating that Dawn will play
some pivotal role in the season endgame, possibly opening a dimensional door that most or all of the baddies will
find themselves pushed into and thus ejected from our Earthly plane. Or, Dawn may be the 'key' to sealing the
Hellmouth. Either action might so weaken the FE that it 'fades away'. When the FE said that it was 'done with
the mortal coil', are we misinterpreting that to mean that the FE itself was done with it, or did it mean
that it was done with us, mortal humans? Has the FE given up on corrupting humans because we either
just aren't evil enough for it, or because Buffy is a living, breathing messianic symbol for a trend that keeps
causing evil to lose it's purchase on humanity? (Fill in your preferred religious metaphor here). If so, is the plan
to first destroy humanity's mystical guardians (the Slayer line) and then humanity itself?

I mean, from the FE's perspective, the vast majority of demons are predisposed to evil.. If all of those pesky
humans get gone, it's pretty much got all Evil all the time, right? This fits in with the 'final battle' and 'choosing
sides' that Lyssa referenced while she was about to use Xander to open the Seal of Danzathar.

And now we have Robin Wood entering the fray. This episode answered a lot of questions regarding which side
Wood was allying himself with, and also made a very clever link to the events of Fool for Love. It was
such a trip to see how solid and righteous Wood was right up until the very last moment, dissing and dismissing
the First Evil in the same cool way that Buffy did back in Amends-- until it played the Spike card.
Suddenly, Wood no longer seems totally above corruption, despite his greater age and life experience. The FE
knew all too well exactly what raw nerve to pinch.

The possibility of corrupting Wood ties nicely into one of the themes that I have been thinking of that will play
out in the remaining episodes. Before the FE dropped the who-killed-your-mother virus into Wood's operating
system, the only person among the entire Summers Gang to be expressing any serious doubts as to Buffy's plans
was Giles. Now, Wood could begin to doubt Buffy-- he could feel, as Giles does, that Buffy carries a blindness
to Spike that makes him question the purity of her intentions. Up until now, Wood has only seen one side of
Buffy, and he lacks the benefit of long experience the rest of the Scoobies bring to the mix. The idea of a
corruptable Slayer may have never occurred to him, but now he could be swayed to think it possible. And if he
should happen to learn about Faith, and her fall from grace? Bad news.

Even if Giles questions Buffy's plans or motives, if he really is the same old Giles (and I think that he is) he will
always ultimately accept whatever Buffy wants to do. Giles knows that Buffy may work in mysterious ways, but
it's mighty damn hard to argue with a 6-0 record of apocalypse-averting. (In fact-- subtlety time again-- if Giles
is so afraid that Buffy will make a wrong decision, why does he say that "I want something better for you", 'you'
meaning Buffy, naturally. He's talking in a future tense, and a long future tense at that. This isn't a
Watcher trying to avert an apocalypse, it's a father trying to look out for what he sees as his daughter's best
long-term interests.

Wood has no such restraints. Even if he finds himself drawn to Buffy romantically, I doubt that it would be
enough to dissuade him from trying to dust Spike, overtly or covertly. And if that attempt happens, the FE could
find a vulnerable chink in the otherwise solid Joan of Arc armor wrapped around Casa Summers.

As I suspected when I wrote last week's review of The Killer in Me, First Date is the second
episode of a multi-part episode arc, and in fact looks to be continued futher in next week's episode, Get It
. If the promo is any clue (and naturally they usually are and aren't simultaneously) things will indeed
'get serious'. Now, the question to ponder is, will this happen because Buffy and her friends have lightened up,
or because they succumbed to Giles' fears and darkened down?

Before I go into the usual list of delightful minor tidbits, I want to gift some big-time kudos to Jane Espenson for
her wonderful work on this show, an episode that had everything classically Buffyesque perfectly placed and
paced. Even considered within the overall excellence of this current season, First Date stands out as

Now for the bits:

~~~ Regarding Xander's continuing demon-magnetism. Is it simply because X is a 'nice guy'? Are we
over-analyzing the whole thing? Is this just a case of nice guy drawing evil to him like a set of opposite magnetic
poles? You know, nice guys finish last, except in the Buffyverse, where they also end up dead?

~~~ Is Dawn becoming to Andrew what Buffy was to Spike, except for sensibly bypassing the whole sexual
attraction phase?

~~~ Was the shirt that Anya attempted to clean for Buffy the same shirt that Dawn accidentally spilled pizza
sauce on back in CwDP? (Dawn: "Hummm-- she'll think it's blood")

~~~ Giles' not getting axed by the bringer-- "I heard his shoes squeak". Keeping the subtleties theme alive-- a
literal example of little details being critical, even life and death?

~~~ Willow and Wood both laughing spontaneously at 'Buffy the guidance counselor', and poor Buffy looking
so surprised/sad afterward, especially in the resturant scene.

~~~ The new Chinese proto-Slayer and her lactose intolerance-- another metaphor for Giles being wrong on the
FE battle plan, or a hint of a way to defeat the FE? Again, is the solution something simple, even trivial, and no
one gets that? Is this a case of Lactose Foreshadowing? Whatever the case, it was still hilarious.

~~~ Willow tries to record the FE's 'voice' and fails, but does the FE inadvertently drop another clue as to a way
to defeat it, in that it tells Willow, Dawn and the SIT's "You hear what I want you to hear, and see what I
want you to see."
This sounds like a threat, and surely that was what the FE intended it as, but read the line
carefully and think about it. Doesn't this emphasize that the FE is largely smoke and mirrors?

~~~ And along those very same lines, consider: Why doesn't the FE just tell Andrew to take the gun and
shoot the SIT's? Why edge up gradually to the request? Does slow suggestion work better than outright
direction? And why doesn't the FE know where the gun is?

~~~ Why does the FE appear as Jonathan? One would think Andrew would be more frightened by a horrific,
scary demon or something. The guilt trip approach certainly didn't work very well.

~~~ Giles caught the axe at the last possible second much like Buffy caught the arrow in Help.

~~~ Wasn't the first Slayer that Spike killed a Chinese one? And now we have a Chinese proto-Slayer?

~~~ Two things that Leoff mentioned in his wildfeed summary for the episode that have me goin' 'huh!'-- In the
opening scene, the name 'Snyder' appears on a tombstone? (couldn't confirm this, but could be my tiny little 27"
TV and the mediocre cable signal I get). Also -- there are 21 different types of swords, knives, and axes hanging
in the hidden case at the school as Wood replaces the 22nd one. Does this mean something? Only persons with a
TTMQ of 11 or above should evaluate this last one, methinks.


See ya next week!


[> Thanks, OnM! Enjoyable and thought-provoking, as always! -- Dead Soul, 21:16:45 02/17/03 Mon

[> "The trouble with normal is... -- Vickie, 22:02:42 02/17/03 Mon

it always gets worse." (Bruce Cockburn, ca 1983)

Thanks, OnM. Thought provoking as always.

[> Re: Seriously Now... - Thoughts on *First Date* ... ( *** Spoilers 7.14 and vaguely for promo *** ) -- Malandanza, 22:24:44 02/17/03 Mon

"Spike represents one of the grandest defeats to date of the plans of the FE...I think it simply plans to kill him at the future time it will do the most good evil for its cause."

I don't think Spike represents a "Grand Defeat" -- I'd put Angel's escape, the death of the UberVamp and the escape of each potential above whatever plan the FE had for Spike. What exactly was it planning? To have Spike kill Buffy? Why? It doesn't want Buffy dead. To undermine the trust? Maybe -- but it's a minor role. The FE was willing to waste Spike to kill keep Andrew from talking so I don't think it had any big plans at the time. But I do think Spike's big role is still to come -- he will be the catalyst to corrupt Robin Wood. I don't think the FE cares whether Spike lives or dies as long as its ends are furthered.

As for Spike's redemption -- I'll believe he's progressing when I see him burn that coat of his -- the one he took as a trophy when he killed the Principal's mother.

"In previous reviews, I posited that Giles is still under the post-traumatic-stress syndrome of witnessing the destruction of the Watcher's Council. I think that this may have been the initial trigger effect that explains how Giles got to where he is today, but it is no longer the maintaining reason for his odd behavior. I believe that the First Evil has taken advantage of Giles' depressed mental state to prey upon him, not in the direct ghostly manifestation way that it has shown to several others in the gang, but by entering his subconscious and 'pushing' him into negative, defeatist attitudes. It would be easy -- Giles is already predisposed, and it's like the FE said to Andrew, "You've started down a path-- you have to stay on it." (It's a lie, but somehow a compelling one. Faith bought into it, didn't she? )"

Except that doesn't fit the FE's modus operandi at all. I think the destruction of the WC is sufficient -- remember that Giles has been raised with the Council from birth -- it is everything to him. Even when he was unemployed, he still functioned as a watcher (except for parts of S4 when he floundered aimlessly because the WC was no longer part of his life). The Council is gone and he doesn't know what to do. He doesn't need an evil Jiminy Cricket whispering in his subconscious.

And speaking of the Council, after Buffy and friends handle the current crisis, they're going to need to rebuild the WC -- someone has to find and train the potentials to keep something like this from happening again. A new council, with Buffy in charge, would be very interesting to me -- I can imagine ED taking over the franchise as Faith with occasional cameos of Buffy in Travers' old role. But a kinder WC -- one where the head watcher knows what it's like to be a slayer. One where the utilitarian principles are abandoned in favor of the every life matters view that Buffy has. The Scoobies would make good watchers -- they have first hand knowledge of working with a slayer. Each could take his own potential (Willow, would get Kennedy; Xander, Amanada; Anya, Molly, and so forth) -- Dawn could be in training as the next Watcher.

But how could Buffy put aside her slaying duties to run the council? We've been hearing about things being out of balance because Buffy is alive. What if the balance problem is not because she's alive, but because there are two slayers? An imbalance that has needed to be corrected for quite some time -- that was corrected when Buffy sacrificed herself, and that became out of balance again when Willow brought her back. Buffy could remain alive and correct the imbalance if she lost her slayer powers -- powers that ought to have been passed along back in Season One. In such a case, I don't think Buffy would have Angel's I'm-not-a-superhero-anymore issues. All she's ever wanted to be in normal, and with the burden of slaying finally lifted from her (as she becomes the first slayer to reach retirement) she'd be relieved. She'd have time to take up gardening, or sit back and gaze wonderingly at what a fine young woman Dawn has become, or (finally) get a good night's sleep. I'd like to see the series end with Buffy alive, content and able to lay down the burden she has so selflessly carried. With a nice paycheck (they blew of the WC, but not their bank accounts).

Of course, if they're planning on making Buffy movies, Buffy shouldn't be expecting to retire any time soon.

"Is Dawn becoming to Andrew what Buffy was to Spike, except for sensibly bypassing the whole sexual
attraction phase?"

I'd say more like Xander/Buffy or Xander/Willow (without the sexual attraction, again).

"Willow tries to record the FE's 'voice' and fails, but does the FE inadvertently drop another clue as to a way
to defeat it, in that it tells Willow, Dawn and the SIT's "You hear what I want you to hear, and see what I
want you to see." This sounds like a threat, and surely that was what the FE intended it as, but read the line
carefully and think about it. Doesn't this emphasize that the FE is largely smoke and mirrors?"

I agree about the smoke and mirrors -- the First cannot do anything except suggest, cajole and encourage. Buffy defeated the First by ignoring it -- now Andrew has done the same. The others -- Spike, Willow, Dawn and Principal Wood -- are all still hooked to one degree or another.

[> [> Re: Seriously Now... - Thoughts on *First Date* ... ( *** Spoilers 7.14 and vaguely for promo *** ) -- Dochawk, 10:00:55 02/18/03 Tue

As usual Mal we agree totally about Spike. "As for Spike's redemption -- I'll believe he's progressing when I see him burn that coat of his -- the one he took as a trophy when he killed the Principal's mother". That was a great observation.

And Buffy has already made clear that she will choose Spike over just about anything (altho I agree with both her decision to remove Spike's chip and her reasons for it). She is no longer logical or intuitive about him, but guided by her feelings. What importance Spike has in the coming battle hasn't been made clear, but my guess is she would give up everyone else for Spike. In my lonely opinion, this should be a big problem (well I guess I am not alone Giles feels this way too).

[> [> You're asking the impossible -- Peggin, 10:23:00 02/18/03 Tue

As for Spike's redemption -- I'll believe he's progressing when I see him burn that coat of his -- the one he took as a trophy when he killed the Principal's mother.

You're asking the impossible. How can Spike burn something he doesn't own anymore?

When Spike left Buffy's house in Seeing Red after his failed attack on her, he didn't take the coat with him. He hasn't worn it since. According to Steven DeKnight's interview with the Succubus Club last May, part of the reason Spike left without the coat was to show his state of mind. A lot of people (myself included) believe his leaving it behind was supposed to be symbolic of Spike leaving that part of his past behind him, and IMO that's just as good as burning it would be.

[> [> [> Re: You're asking the impossible (Spoilers) -- Dochawk, 10:43:39 02/18/03 Tue

Seems he is wearing it at a future episode. Buffy held onto it for him.

[> [> [> Re: You're asking the impossible - don't forget [spoiler] -- Walking Turtle, 11:02:25 02/18/03 Tue

Don't forget the *coat* came from Wood's Mother. Someone [I am sorry I forgot who] discussed earlier how Buffy's outfit on her date with Wood looked like the *coat*
Also I expect Wood will *remember* the coat any time Spike wears it

[> Re: Seriously Now... - Thoughts on *First Date* ... ( *** Spoilers 7.14 and vaguely for promo *** ) -- Caroline, 07:39:29 02/18/03 Tue

Great review OnM. I particularly agree with you on the signficance of Andrew's questioning of the FE - it's a huge clue that Andrew asks if the FE is a manifestation of the evil impulses of humans. My theory has been that the FE is a manifestation of the potential for evil we all have inside us and that the FE is powerless without corporeal beings to persuade and manipulate. My question is, where is the First Good? ME tends to give us oppositions that require some resolution. Is it like the Wizard of Oz where we realize that we had what we were looking for all along?

[> [> Actually, I couldn't tell whether... (FD and Calvary spoiler) -- Rob, 08:19:58 02/18/03 Tue

...Andrew's question about the FE was a hint, or an acknowledgment of some of the fan theories. Like when Lilah called Cordy "St. Cordelia." Or perhaps it's both.


[> Bookends -- tomfool, 08:27:06 02/18/03 Tue

OnM, thanks for the weekly summary of the state of the 'verse. I really like the fact that you sit back and process for the better part of the week before posting your reviews. It allows you to consider the ideas of others (e.g., jenoff) but filter it through your unique viewpoint. On the other hand, I'm always amazed at shadowkat's ability to instantly process a new episode and post an insightful analysis within hours. Both of your reviews form a set of weekly bookends that greatly enhance my enjoyment and understanding of the show.

Not much to add, since I agree with your take on just about everything. Yours is the best description I've read so far of Giles' current state of mind. One nagging question, though - you state, "... if he really is the same old Giles (and I think that he is) ..." Part of me agrees that he's the same, and just off his game, but I'm also sensing some parallels to the way Cordelia has been 'off' this season, and we know how that's turning out. I can't help but think that something similar may be in store for Giles. I know we haven't heard the full story of the escape from the bringer's attack.

Already looking forward to next week's installment.

[> Yay OnM! -- ponygirl, 09:07:04 02/18/03 Tue

I was so hoping you'd be able to get this in before the new episode! As always worth the wait, and I think your smoke and mirrors line is very important. Though for some reason it made me have a scary flashback to that classic Star Trek episode where an evil blob was playing on all the hatreds of the crew and the only way to get rid of it was to laugh at it until it went away. Scary. I wonder if the FE is all razzle dazzle or if there is Something pulling the strings and controlling the illusion.

I've come around to the there's nothing wrong with Giles except his own despair line of thinking, though I think there's something he's not telling Buffy, whether it's because he's under some kind of constraint or if he thinks it's for her own good, who can say? I think his argument with Buffy in FD was in some ways a continuation of the one in The Gift, something that never really was resolved between the two of them. Do the ends justify the means? The big picture vs. the personal one? Interesting stuff.

Divine Comedy Canto XVII -- Celebaelin, 22:37:58 02/17/03 Mon

Well, the thread's been archived, but for the sake of completeness, here's what Dante wrote. Make of it what you will.

Inferno: Canto XVII

"Behold the monster with the pointed tail, Who cleaves the hills, and breaketh walls and weapons, Behold him who infecteth all the world."

Thus unto me my Guide began to say, And beckoned him that he should come to shore, Near to the confine of the trodden marble;

And that uncleanly image of deceit Came up and thrust ashore its head and bust, But on the border did not drag its tail.

The face was as the face of a just man, Its semblance outwardly was so benign, And of a serpent all the trunk beside.

Two paws it had, hairy unto the armpits; The back, and breast, and both the sides it had Depicted o'er with nooses and with shields.

With colours more, groundwork or broidery Never in cloth did Tartars make nor Turks, Nor were such tissues by Arachne laid.

As sometimes wherries lie upon the shore, That part are in the water, part on land; And as among the guzzling Germans there,

The beaver plants himself to wage his war; So that vile monster lay upon the border, Which is of stone, and shutteth in the sand.

His tail was wholly quivering in the void, Contorting upwards the envenomed fork, That in the guise of scorpion armed its point.

The Guide said: "Now perforce must turn aside Our way a little, even to that beast Malevolent, that yonder coucheth him."

We therefore on the right side descended, And made ten steps upon the outer verge, Completely to avoid the sand and flame;

And after we are come to him, I see A little farther off upon the sand A people sitting near the hollow place.

Then said to me the Master: "So that full Experience of this round thou bear away, Now go and see what their condition is.

There let thy conversation be concise; Till thou returnest I will speak with him, That he concede to us his stalwart shoulders."

Thus farther still upon the outermost Head of that seventh circle all alone I went, where sat the melancholy folk.

Out of their eyes was gushing forth their woe; This way, that way, they helped them with their hands Now from the flames and now from the hot soil.

Not otherwise in summer do the dogs, Now with the foot, now with the muzzle, when By fleas, or flies, or gadflies, they are bitten.

When I had turned mine eyes upon the faces Of some, on whom the dolorous fire is falling, Not one of them I knew; but I perceived

That from the neck of each there hung a pouch, Which certain colour had, and certain blazon; And thereupon it seems their eyes are feeding.

And as I gazing round me come among them, Upon a yellow pouch I azure saw That had the face and posture of a lion.

Proceeding then the current of my sight, Another of them saw I, red as blood, Display a goose more white than butter is.

And one, who with an azure sow and gravid Emblazoned had his little pouch of white, Said unto me: "What dost thou in this moat?

Now get thee gone; and since thou'rt still alive, Know that a neighbour of mine, Vitaliano, Will have his seat here on my left-hand side.

A Paduan am I with these Florentines; Full many a time they thunder in mine ears, Exclaiming, 'Come the sovereign cavalier,

He who shall bring the satchel with three goats;'" Then twisted he his mouth, and forth he thrust His tongue, like to an ox that licks its nose.

And fearing lest my longer stay might vex Him who had warned me not to tarry long, Backward I turned me from those weary souls.

I found my Guide, who had already mounted Upon the back of that wild animal, And said to me: "Now be both strong and bold.

Now we descend by stairways such as these; Mount thou in front, for I will be midway, So that the tail may have no power to harm thee."

Such as he is who has so near the ague Of quartan that his nails are blue already, And trembles all, but looking at the shade;

Even such became I at those proffered words; But shame in me his menaces produced, Which maketh servant strong before good master.

I seated me upon those monstrous shoulders; I wished to say, and yet the voice came not As I believed, "Take heed that thou embrace me."

But he, who other times had rescued me In other peril, soon as I had mounted, Within his arms encircled and sustained me,

And said: "Now, Geryon, bestir thyself; The circles large, and the descent be little; Think of the novel burden which thou hast."

Even as the little vessel shoves from shore, Backward, still backward, so he thence withdrew; And when he wholly felt himself afloat,

There where his breast had been he turned his tail, And that extended like an eel he moved, And with his paws drew to himself the air.

A greater fear I do not think there was What time abandoned Phaeton the reins, Whereby the heavens, as still appears, were scorched;

Nor when the wretched Icarus his flanks Felt stripped of feathers by the melting wax, His father crying, "An ill way thou takest!"

Than was my own, when I perceived myself On all sides in the air, and saw extinguished The sight of everything but of the monster.

Onward he goeth, swimming slowly, slowly; Wheels and descends, but I perceive it only By wind upon my face and from below.

I heard already on the right the whirlpool Making a horrible crashing under us; Whence I thrust out my head with eyes cast downward.

Then was I still more fearful of the abyss; Because I fires beheld, and heard laments, Whereat I, trembling, all the closer cling.

I saw then, for before I had not seen it, The turning and descending, by great horrors That were approaching upon divers sides.

As falcon who has long been on the wing, Who, without seeing either lure or bird, Maketh the falconer say, "Ah me, thou stoopest,"

Descendeth weary, whence he started swiftly, Thorough a hundred circles, and alights Far from his master, sullen and disdainful;

Even thus did Geryon place us on the bottom, Close to the bases of the rough-hewn rock, And being disencumbered of our persons,

He sped away as arrow from the string.

Aquaman- I'd rather not post this but... -- Tchaikovsky, 04:20:04 02/18/03 Tue

Some of your allegations in response to my post in your now-archived thread are either mistaken or insidiously misunderstood for the sake of simplifying my post into gibberish.

1)You quote me as writing:
"I wonder whether the whole board isn't to you just some grand delusion going on inside your head."
The whole sentence, which you don't even bother putting ... in for omitting, was:
I have enjoyed parts of your posts- others I merely find impossible to follow- and at other times I wonder whether the whole board isn't to you just some grand delusion going on inside your head.

I was not saying that I believe this always, just that it sometimes passes through my mind, as it appear from d'Herblay's analysis of where at least 8 differently named posters were posting from that they were all you, (ie Sigmundi Freud, the empty jar, etc etc). It calls to mind Boke, who diseased the board with paranoia last year. If you are not he, then it is not your fault. It is just one of my (three!) alternating feelings.

2)'I am still not sure why I am not this to you entirely, as it seems, to me, quite unlikely that a grown-up, intelligent person would spent this much time here posting ideas that obviously imply a deep philosophical analysis of BtVS if he (I, that is ) didn't see the members of this board as human beings worth communicating with.'

Precisely because of Boke, and you posting under various pseudonyms

3)'PLEASE quit reading what I'm not writing!!!!!'
Well, that's a lesser sin than quoting someone else out of context, and in any case, having read every post in every thread involved, I do not believe I misinterpreted you.

4)'I never did EITHER of the two choices of interpretations in the above post by TCH. How the heck did you arrive at giving me a choice of having either intentionally set myself up as a victim, or am deliberately victimizing you, trying to break up bonds of friendship, etc. OH MY GOD!!!! '

The either is wrong. I wrote: "1) Somehow combined your First Evil argument with your comments about the medium, so that anyone explaining how posts can be made less hurtful seems to you to be partly attacking your, (largely unrelated), argument about Buffy)". This does not imply that you did it intentionally. I wondered whether you had, legitimately but confusedly, combined the two arguments in your head. Clearly not. Therefore, I did not claim you were doing one of the two things you cliam. One of the options was that you were good-intentioned but hard inadvertently annoyed people like Rufus by confusing an a priori dismissal of an argument with constructive criticism on how to post.

5)Your 'paraphrasing' of other people's arguments to your jellyjar post:
'2. I was asked if I realized that the whole theme/essence of BtVS was to physicalize abstract concepts of big baddies.'
Yes, but his wasn't threatening or dismissive by lunasea, it was just a point to extend the debate.
'3. Someone explained the communicative nature of this board, then asked me "why" I bothered.'
As WickedBuffy points out below, this is a mischaracterisation of what (s)he wrote.

6.Yikes!!! I said this is ANALOGOUS to the FE in BtVS, as well as to MY CONCEPTION of evil in RW. ANALOGOUS!!!! ISOMORPHIC!!!! SAME PATTERN!!!! METAPHORICALLY!!!!! Can I say it any other way to be clearer?????
I'm not sure that this emphatic writing style helps to make people consider that you're writing soberly. However, I understood this argument. It just seemed a useful way of suggesting that anyone who was dismissing your argument, (which they weren't) was accidentally committing something which in your perception was 'RL evil'. This is a point that can only lead to people thinking you are being critical of a board and a community which they value.

7)I am not offended at you, or taking it personally, but I am very very curious at how you went from what I wrote to thinking I might likely be some kind of agent provocateur, trying to tear down friendships and destroy a forum I take part in just for the sake of destruction. WoW!!! I really want to understand this. I am perplexed beyond my scope of comprehension. And that is an indictment of me, not you.

No, it's an indictment on me too, for being unclear. I hope that this explains it a little further.

I feel aggreived, because either what I wrote was SO unclear that you misunderstood me at least 6 times, or you are just trying to breed paranoia as part of some odd experiment in linguistics like Boke. I not Caroline and Wisewoman appeared to understand my arguments.

I could have done without posting this, as I was somewhat relieved to find the thread had dropped into the archives, but the repeated mischaracterisation of my points left me, I felt, with no choice. I am sorry if anyone feels this post is inappropriate or unclear. I hope this will be my last words on the subjects, particularly as I am ready to resume my Angel Odyssey tomorrow!

TCH- excited by the sheer craziness of 'Judgement'

[> Looking forward to the next installment -- Rahael, 04:47:56 02/18/03 Tue

of the Odyssey.

And TCH, I understand how these things get. I've been there several times. I think you've been incredibly clear, eloquent and patient.

[> [> Thanks, Rah -- Tchaikovsky, 05:54:31 02/18/03 Tue

Odd that at a time when I've enjoyed one particular thread more than possibly any other, (the poetry one), I've also felt so torn up and worried about the board because of another. Ah well. 'All things must pass.'


[> [> [> Re: Thanks, Rah -- Rahael, 06:09:17 02/18/03 Tue

Awwww, TCH. Believe me, the board has come through much worse, and I think it is coming through this pretty well, due in large part to people such as yourself. I hate that you're feeling so worried about this. Entirely selfish of course - it might affect your posting.

[> Five reaons why I love this board (and a snow report) -- Caroline, 06:56:18 02/18/03 Tue

TCH, I am just echoing Rah's sentiments here and I want to let you know how much I enjoy your posts - I am selfishly asking you to keep entertaining me! I also feel the need to affirm, once again, why this board adds to my life and why I gain such satisfaction from participating here.

1. I get to read stuff by some of the most insightful, witty, and intelligent people around. Some are so talented that they manage to post with several different personalities (I particularly enjoy HonorH and I wonder why my shadow has been so repressed that it cannot assert itself? Or maybe I am a well-integrated being...okay that is going WAY too far there!!).

2. We get to talk about everything from fashion to philosophy - the ridiculous to the sublime. (Although now I think that Honorificus will attack me because I equated fashion with ridiculous and she'll give me a spiel about fashion and symbolism, how it elucidates metaphors....HELP!)

3. As any community does we sometimes get into a pickle but we maintain level heads and come through the other side. We try to veer away from the paranoid and hysterical and come out the other side with a better understanding (did I just say Honorificus is not paranoid and hysterical???).

4. I think that the existential scooby chat is one of the funniest things ever invented - the rapid-fire wit, the wisdom and generosity, the absurdities and insight, the chocolate cake, the drunkeness and nekkidness and the peculiar fascination with breasts.... and I giving away too much information?. (Honorificus, I think you belong in chat!).

5. I get to talk about Buffy without ridicule or defensiveness. I think that it's likely that many of you have also experienced the condescending looks and the faint denigration of those unable to appreciate the buffyverse (and Angel). And the instant kinship you get when you meet someone who 'gets it'. Well, this board provides a wonderful space for people in the latter category who are starved of buffy-minded friends (as long as we survive being devoured by Honorificus if we displease her).

There's two feet of snow outside and more is falling - which accounts for my fabulous mood right now. Even the prospect of clearing my front path (again) and digging out my car out hold wonderful appeal in such a silent and pristine world. And there is a new Buffy tonight! Life really does not suck sometimes.

[> [> Don't worry, Caroline... -- The Second Evil, 18:24:04 02/18/03 Tue

...if Honorificus gives you too much trouble, let me know, and I'll kick her ass. After all, you're on my Mars-in-Leo List.

[> [> [> forgot to add my signature Bwahahahaha. -- The Second Evil but The First Forgetfulness., 19:42:33 02/18/03 Tue

[> sources of confusion (& i'm glad to have the chance to post this!) -- anom, 11:20:06 02/18/03 Tue

Once again, I spent considerable time on a post only to find it archived by the time I tried to send it. So I'm glad the thread is being taken up again--I was trying to decide whether to start a new thread on it myself.
= = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
To start with, I may end up confusing myself in this post, because I'll be responding to things in so many other posts.

I, like several other posters, have had some trouble following your arguments, Aquaman. Part of this is because you do, as you say, get somewhat academic at times. Certainly not the 1st time that's happened on this board; many posters are academics & have a tendency to fall back into the way they express themselves in the academic setting. But we don't all have academic backgrounds, & even those who do are from different disciplines & may not understand the vocabulary & concept-set of another. (For example, I found your use of "mystification," well, mystifying, along w/your use of what was to me an obscure meaning of "patient" (although the fact I'm a medical editor may have contributed to that!) & your verbing of words like "cognate" & "agent." I realize you defined at least some of these, but I didn't have time to read all the posts in the relevant threads &, like many others, may not have seen all the explanations of terms like these. On the other hand, I can easily be confused even by nonacademic language, esp. since we posters are from so many different places & write out of our own cultural contexts ("taking the piss"? "take the mick out"? the implications of being a Leo x 5? & why should a Canadian poster be expected to remember that a high proportion of us may not be back till Tuesday, not Monday, which is a U.S. holiday?). So, sure, there's some great intellectual capacity here, but it's helpful to express things in more popular language.

I did go back & read some of the posts in the thread that led to this one, incl. some of those you took exception to. They didn't seem as offensive, & certainly not intentionally so, to me as you took them to be. You also seem to focus more on arguing w/the few posters who responded w/things you didn't like than on discussing your ideas w/those who are interested in them, whether they agree or not, & sometimes to address only the parts of a post that bothered you, ignoring the (to me) more interesting parts that discussed what you've been talking about. I don't see the point of spending so much time on the negative aspects.

Also, please consider that the suspicion some posters expressed that you might be a troll was based on this board's previous experience w/trolls. The spate of posts, several of them provocative, under multiple names from the same address appeared to fit the pattern we'd seen before from actual trolls--well, actual virtual trolls--& some of us jumped to what I think is the understandable conclusion that it was happening again. In my experience, this conclusion based on that pattern has been correct far more often than not, although it turned out not to be in your case.

Another point of confusion for me in particular is that your post--the one I'm replying to [your reply to TCH's "I have problems with some of your arguments" in the original thread]--is posted under one of mine ["one thing before i go into the background"]. It says "In reply to: anom's message" at the top, but it doesn't seem to address what I said. Is this not where you meant to post it, or is the connection just flying over my head? (OK, maybe this just bothers me because my posts so seldom lead to subthreads, & I thought for once I'd started an extensive one, & then it doesn't even seem to have to do w/what I posted.)

I'm trying to stick w/phrasing all these things in terms of being my opinions; when it comes to most abstract topics, "You're wrong" really means "I disagree w/you." And the thing is, I don't think you're wrong, or even disagree, on the concept of the FE you're expressing...at least, to the extent I understand it. But then, I'm rather confused about it.

"I wanted to play the slayer and kick some philosophical ass because I KNOW I'm right about the FE, and I really want you all to eat crow about your a priori dismissal when you discover this to be true. Or, you can recant now, admit I am right about everything, and save the embarrassment."

Heehee! I'm taking this w/a grain of smirk. It reminds me (like so many things) of a button: "It's ok to disagree with me. However, once I explain where you're wrong, you're supposed to become enlightened and change your mind. Congratulating me on how smart I am is optional."

Oh, 1 more thing: It might help IF YOU DIDN'T SHOUT SO MUCH! All caps is harder to read, too. If you want to emphasize something, the FAQ (near the top of the discussion board page) tells how to put things in italics & boldface.

[> [> (just a small note) -- WickedWooWoo, 12:39:19 02/18/03 Tue

I was the one that mentioned being 5 times a Leo, sorry if it was confusing. It's an astrologists term that I don't understand either, except it's supposed to be a good thing.

All I know is that when an astrologer does a chart of where the planets and other things were in the sky when I was born (down to the minute), it comes up that 5 major planets were in "my" part of the sky, Leo.

They divide the sky like a pie with each piece representing one of the astrological signs. Like Virgo, Leo, Gemini, Scorpio etc. Since I was born on a day that makes me a Leo, the 5 things that were in my piece of pie (Leo) makes me five times a Leo.

That's all I know LOL! I hope I got it right in the description. I guess it doesn't happen regularly and means more stuff in an astrology-sense. I really am not sure what, though. I've tried looking it up a few times but never found anything specific.

Like everything else except my coffee, I take everything with a grain of salt. I don't live my life by my horoscope in todays paper, but I like to read it and see if it happens. Depending on my mood, I use the info as guidance, data, inspiration or nothing. But I do live in a place where it seems we have seven woo-woo people per square foot, so I do believe and I've been exposed to a very wide variety of genuine gifted people and genuine ungifted ones. :>

okok, now you ask "what is 'woo-woo;" it's slang for the kinds of otherwordly type things that the majority of people don't know about or maybe don't believe. Tarot readers, psychics, astrologers, spiritual guides, New Age shamans, soul retrievals, reiki, there are all kinds. Some are based in very old traditions and others are hybrids of something else.

"woo-woo" is just such a shorter term to lump it all together. Umm ....and it would have made my sentence way too long if I'd had to give a long example in the original sentence. I don't think it's just local slang because I've heard it elsewhere, too.

So, no big deal, just thought I'd try to explain about one of the terms you mentioned. I keep coming across slang in the posts and have a riot of a time trying to figure out what it means! ...and then I use it on my friends. ;>

[> [> [> But she's always a Leo to me... bwahahaha. -- The Second Evil, 18:48:57 02/18/03 Tue

My ex was a septuple virgo with capricorn rising. Imagine a textbook virgo (read: lectures you endlessly, nags a great deal, and perpetually discriminates*), with major overtones of anal retentive accountant qualities. Not to knock any accountants present, of course - just take all the worst minivan-driving, materialistic, must-do, should-do, mainstream, keep-up-with-the-Joneses elements of the accountant stereotype. Not that I have any issues about it. Oh, no. Not me. Not after suffering through that for so many years and squashing any and all virgo tendencies rather than let anyone think I related to a septuple virgo's hangups... Nope. NO ISSUES HERE.

* By "discriminate," don't think I mean that virgos are bigots. The planet Virgo, in whatever house it appears, usually carries a connotation of "discrimination," meaning choice - as in, to discriminate between two options. Virgo in the seventh house (of partners) could be interpreted as "will be quite choosy in picking a life-partner."
Basically, you could assume that being quintuple Leo means you're textbook case in terms of being Leo, but not necessarily. If your rising sign is Leo, as well as your sun sign, then yes, you're possibly closer to "textbook." Keeping in mind there are twelve houses, and ten planets; having five planets in Leo is a pretty high concentration but those other five planets could still potentially exert some strong pressure... it depends entirely on what houses they're in, what planets they are (in correlation to what houses), blah, blah, blah.

Statistically speaking, that many planets is unusual, unless you've met me. Xander is demon magnet. I am multiple-sun-sign magnet. With my ex having seven in his sun sign, and my current housemate having six in his sun sign... move in with me, and that should help me cut back on the sun sign action.

Send a picture of your car.


[> [> [> [> *10* planets? -- anom, 19:19:07 02/18/03 Tue

Oh...do they count the moon as a planet in astrology? Western astrology, that is?

[> [> [> [> [> Yup, that's right. -- Solitude1056, 19:28:46 02/18/03 Tue

The Moon is considered a "planet" - as is the Sun. Western astrology is geocentric, not heliocentric.

[> [> Echoing that. -- Rob, 12:46:09 02/18/03 Tue

"Oh, 1 more thing: It might help IF YOU DIDN'T SHOUT SO MUCH! All caps is harder to read, too. If you want to emphasize something, the FAQ (near the top of the discussion board page) tells how to put things in italics & boldface."

This in particular instantly turned me off to the writing. I try to overlook things like that, but there's part of me that gets instantly annoyed with the all-caps, unless it is done in excitement or elation and not to stress something. I'm not saying you meant to be rude, but it sometimes seems a little, for lack of a better word, condescending. The best way really is italics.

Here's an example: Using all caps, "I JUST GOT A JOB!" is okay. So is "This episode was GREAT."


Obviously, the latter two were a bit over-the-top as examples go. I'm just exaggerating for argument's sake.

Here's a little less over-the-top example:

"I think that Buffy is TRYING to get others TO NOT LIKE HER, and that MOST PEOPLE DON'T UNDERSTAND THAT."

(I don't agree with that, btw, just an example.)

That looks a lot nicer and more persuasive as:

"I think that Buffy is trying to get others to not like her, and that most people don't understand that."

The point is made, but with less chance of annoying someone.



[> Sounding in... -- Random, 16:29:04 02/18/03 Tue

As I think I've made clear, I've grown really fond of this board and its posters and -- as I imagine should be evident from my post -- I tend to be on the side of giving everybody a chance to be accepted. Yet I'm starting to feel more than a tad irked myself with the stir aquaman's created (and I don't get irked easily -- see my Meet the Posters post.) I'd much prefer to be writing about BtVS and AtS and philosophy, and find it rather unsettling that I feel compelled to continue posting on what is effective OT stuff. I cringed when I read aquaman's reply to you and cringed a little that I tried to offer support to him. Too much misplaced sympathy, I guess. Maybe next time, I won't be so quick off the starter's block.

But don't worry, my friend -- the board seems to be thriving nonetheless. In my twenty-nine years and many journeys around the mortal sphere, I have seen...oh, never mind. I can't do the wise man bit without resorting to quoting Greenwalt or something. Anyhoo, hang in there. See ya on the next poetry thread.

~Random, fresh from autobiographical excursions and lamenting the fact that tonight's BtVS is being deferred for a couple hours to show a stupid basketball game. That's what I get for moving back to North Carolina again.

Replies to archived posts (inc. people who didn't directly reply to me) -- Rahael, 04:35:57 02/18/03 Tue


"Personally? I tend to agree with Angel and Gunn, killing Seidel or throwing him in the dimension doesn't stop it.

It's no different than Angel's killing of his father or even when he staked Darla long ago. But if I was Fred and Wes? I'm not sure I could have seen that. Nor am I sure that Gunn's solution helped. It's a hard question with no clear answers. Part of the reason Supersymmetry remains one of my all time favorite episodes."

Ahh, SK, you put your finger on something that was at the back of my mind. It was Darla telling Angel that the moment he killed his father, his father had won, forever. I don't think Gunn's solution helped much either. But that's the nature of Angel at the moment. Everything the characters do makes everything a little bit worse.


He (my ex, not Sterne), of course, if you knew him, took the madness inducing methodology of reading the entire book in one sitting the night before he had to write a paper on it. I do believe he gibbered for several days following, although my/his reading Jane Eyre the night before the test is a much funnier story, both involving insane laughter (mine), literary paranoia (his) and a full moon, but I digress

LOLOL. Now I'm glad that I didn't do English literature because if I ever got desperate I just skimmed a couple of articles and wrote something. Though I did spend one delightful day sitting in a cafe and reading all of Shakespeare's and Marlow's history plays prior to doing a presentation on literature and history that evening.

Now I'm imagining how brain-imploding it would be to read Shandy in one night. Did his paper resemble the writing style? Because that always happens to me, so much so that I used to make myself read a chapter of Mansfield Park before I wrote essays, reasoning that Austen's was the style to be imitated.


I think one of the biggest dangers in human interaction is the concept that it should be easy. People aren't easy and therefore communication isn't. I haven't understood much of what's going around in this thread, so I won't comment on it directly.

My main reason for posting is just to tell you Rah, that I'm totally addicted to your posts and writing, and even if I'm too much of a coward to respond to them most of the time and I'm part of the 90%, I'm soaking up your words.

Thank you so much for that Sara! I have to say that its not difficult at all to imagine the real person behind your posts, (and that applies to Darby too!).


(don't tell anybody that...it'll destroy my reputation as a magisterial "scroll and open" type who only blesses a select few subject lines with my benevolent scrutiny and even more benevolent responses. That is my reputation, right?) And I'm truly gratified you (Rah) liked my Numfar post so much. It's the sort of praise that makes me keep posting, even when a post garners no replies. Plus the gratifying instances where I do receive a reply, as above. Of course, I've posted like crazy these last few days, so perhaps I should rediscover shame.

(Incidentally, Rah, where's d'Herb lately? He doesn't seem to be posting very often -- I've seen a couple on Angel, but not as many as I seem to remember him doing ages and ages past.)

No! don't rediscover shame!!! dH can attest to the fact that I kept muttering "Numfar" and laughing to myself for hours.

As for d'Herblay, he's very much around, he's just not posting for reasons that I don't understand myself (prods dH with stake a la Fred), though he does fly into a flurry of googling and book referencing every time he thinks of posting, to the point where the thread gets archived before he gets around to responding. It's very Shandyan. Or maybe Keatsian (Life is the rose's hope while yet unblown).

I'm glad you checked! I sure learned alot. And VERY happy to hear I didn't insult you!

About Gunn, though - I've been thinking about it, and thinking maybe you and I have a different POV about the same qualities? did that make sense? Because I like him and the things I have said about him (that were clarified) are qualities I hold with more esteem than the ones I gave of Wes.

Yes. I may be odd, but still - there are qualities most my friends feel are more attractive than I do, and vice versa.

Really briefly, what did you think of Gunn when he shot the firethrower at Angelus? I want to compare your impression with mine.

Oh, I am glad that we've clarified! As for the flamethrower incident, I assume that this is an episode I have not yet seen (I'm in Britain). We should be catching up with you guys in the near future, so I'll get back to you when I see it!

V (Veronica) - Welcome to the board!

Valheru - I thought your Cat/Evil post was really interesting. It also seems to point the way to how the Slayer might both defeat the FE and integrate herself. Though don't ask me how! I'm completely at sea as far as Buffy S7 is concerned. What did you think about the spider imagery in Selfless? Where you know, Buffy herself had a very dark look, complete with kohled eyes and Willow was wearing a large black pedant that seemed to echo Anya's vengeancy power centre?

[> Spoilers for Supersymmetry and Selfless above -- Rahael, 04:40:24 02/18/03 Tue

[> I feel like buttah... :> -- WickedBuffy, 08:14:00 02/18/03 Tue

ayiii - we've clarified! :> ok, I forgot you were in Britain - sometimes it feels like posters live down the block. The incident is in Calgery. Let me know when you see it!

[> Buffy's eyes -- KdS, 12:09:15 02/18/03 Tue

Not sure here if this might be considered illegitimate criticism of an actresses appearance, but SMG's so thin at the moment that when they put her in black clothes, heavy eye make-up and hair drawn back so violently from her skull, I start looking for the scythe ;-) I'm convinced it's deliberate, especially in this ep and towards the end of S5

[> Reply to reply -- fresne, 15:40:20 02/18/03 Tue

Did his paper resemble the writing style?

Well, he had a preternatural, and extremely annoying, ability to read a book of an evening and then write a paper, take a test, whatever. The next day, whatever he wrote would be all chock full of personal voice, coherency, a point, etc. Have I mentioned just how annoying, we had all the same classes, this was?

However, Tristram was a bit of a large, if very amusing, pill to swallow. There was much muttering and blearyness of eye and a really good narrative evaluation, because as I've mentioned, at my university, no grades.

Eventually, it got to be a bit of a joke that if we were stalled for a paper, we'd write about Tristram Shandy because it was always good for a paper on anything. Got a paper on Joyce. Parallel with Tristram. Got a paper on the evolution of the book (great class), write about Tristram. Got a paper on typography, write about Tristram.

Because that always happens to me, so much so that I used to make myself read a chapter of Mansfield Park before I wrote essays, reasoning that Austen's was the style to be imitated.

Good thinking. One of professors compared Austen's style to a watercolor on a piece of ivory and who doesn't want that.

The place where my spongelike reading = style properties tends to show up is my speech. Last year while I was working on the Dante Buffy thing, it got to the point that I started talking in these weird metaphor statements. And then as the person gave me the deer in the headlights stare, I'd blink, brain whirring, translation, translation, translation, oh, I meant hand me the butter. Wait, that was a weird metaphor statement. Okay, scratch that. I speak the language of metaphor.

Darmok and Gilaad, arms wide open.

Really, my favorite episode of ST:NG. Although, during the whole linguistic discussion I had this incredible desire to recap the Next Gen episode about the rock people and the settlers who Data just could not convince to leave the planet through words. Communication is a tricky sticky wicket it would appear. And clearly, Gilsean pictograms are not the answer. They only cause terror and a fear of chubby hips. Plus, you quickly run out of the color red. Perhaps, Giles should be using more Shandian squiggles, blank and black pages, pointing hands.

Okay, all of a sudden I want an episode with strange inexplicable symbols just sort of there. Hovering typographer's hand pointing at empty space. Shot of cerulean sky. All street signs with backwards writing. One scene is entirely in sepia, except Buffy's socks, which are canary yellow. The return of the mole people in a special one night only dance review. Fosse. Fosse. Fosse. Why? Cause.

Okay, clearly my boss needs to get out of meetings, so he can answer my questions and I can stop soft shoeing and thinking dag durn clock, go faster and then make up for it by elongating during tonight's episode.

[> Just letting you know I got your reply... -- Random, 16:03:07 02/18/03 Tue

Thanks. Your gracious replies to some of my earlier posts were actually one of my major motivators to keep posting and get involved.

Try prodding d'H. again. Hard. Maybe with a sharp stake. At a non-vital organ, that is.

The BUFFYverse guide to dating (spoilers through end of S6) -- Gyrus, 07:31:29 02/18/03 Tue

(I've been told that this is a good place to post some of the goofy stuff that the demons in my head have been making me produce lately, so here goes:)


Whether you're a Slayer or just a Slayerette, your action-packed schedule can make finding the right guy
extra-challenging. This helpful guide to Buffyverse men will save you valuable time and prevent seasons and
seasons of wrenching romantic angst.

Type: Rich guys
Advantages: Incredible wealth
Disadvantages: Incredible wealth comes mainly from demon worship
Warning: To avoid pregnancy with demonic spawn, use a barrier method - like a door in the face.

Type: Jocks
Advantages: Nice pecs, abs, delts
Disadvantages: Self-absorbed; use words like "pecs", "abs", "delts"
Warning: Tend to end up gay, dead, or fish.

Type: Intellectuals
Advantages: Good conversation
Disadvantages: Purpose of good conversation is to get in your pants.
Warning: The mean ones will dump you, and the nice ones will be vampires by the third act.

Type: Nerds
Advantages: Handy technical skills
Disadvantages: Status as social outcast is surprisingly contagious
Warning: If they like robots or Timothy Dalton, run.

Type: Soldiers
Advantages: Physically fit; good at making the bed
Disadvantages: Overprotective, yet surprisingly needy; will criticize your choice of slaying garb
Warning: Olive drab and acronyms get old after a while.

Type: Vampires
Advantages: Disease-free; can help with your history homework
Disadvantages: Pigs' blood on the breath; vengeful ex-girlfriends a-plenty
Warning: This may be the best you can do.

[> LOL! -- ponygirl, 07:42:34 02/18/03 Tue

Very cute! You should do one for the men of Sunnydale listing the pros and cons of dating Slayers, ex-vengenance demons, Inca mummy girls, etc.

[> [> Re: LOL! -- Rhys, 08:38:49 02/18/03 Tue

And a dating guide for non-Slayer girls too--robots, frat boys who worship a giant phallus (er, snake), Internet demons, werewolves, witches...

[> Thanks for a great laugh first thing in my morning! :> -- WickedBuffy, 07:53:00 02/18/03 Tue

[> Re: The BUFFYverse guide to dating (spoilers through end of S6) -- leslie, 11:43:57 02/18/03 Tue

"Type: Vampires
Advantages: Disease-free; can help with your history homework
Disadvantages: Pigs' blood on the breath; vengeful ex-girlfriends a-plenty
Warning: This may be the best you can do."

You forgot on the "advantages" side, "Won't die of skin cancer on you," and for "disadvantages," "Won't take you out to the ballgame unless it's a night game."

[> Gyrus! Good buddy! Great to see you here! -- HonorH, 15:13:43 02/18/03 Tue

Folks, this is Gyrus, with whom I wrote Regression. He's also churned out some great fic all on his own, and he's one darn funny guy. Persuade him to stick around and enjoy an argument or three.

[> [> Aw, now I'm blushin'. :) -- Gyrus, 15:36:21 02/18/03 Tue

Thanks for the kind intro, Big H.

[> [> Welcome Gyrus! -- Masquerade, 15:37:48 02/18/03 Tue

From tucker on the BC&S board: How Giles recruited the SITs -- cjl, 08:37:21 02/18/03 Tue

I don't usually reproduce somebody else's comic material over here (tends to bruise my ego), but this was too good to resist:


[Knock, knock...]

Mr. Watson: Yes?

Giles: Er, hello. [Offers hand] My name is Rupert Giles.

Mr. Watson: New to the neighborhood?

Giles: What? No. I mean, yes. I mean--

Mr. Watson: You're not Miss Henry's new tenant?

Giles: No.

Mr. Watson: I'm not interested, then.

Giles: Not int--I don't mean to come off a bit strong, but it would seem the end is approaching at a rather rapid speed. Not really a "not interested" situation.

Mr. Watson: Look, pal. I've heard it before. Fat lady with bad hair was on my doorstep just last week trying to suck me into the fold, and I gotta say, All powerful being, or not, if Jesus can't find a better way to reach me than this, I'm just not interested.

Giles: Jesus... Right! Sorry, I believed I've confused you. I'm not from any church. I'm here for your daughter.

Mr. Watson: I see. She did say you were an older boy. Can't say I expected this, though. You know she isn't eighteen, right? Mature for her age or not, she's only fifteen.

Giles: Of course. It would be odd if she weren't.

Mr. Watson: Right... Her being an adult would be odd...

Giles: Quite. So is she here, then?

Mr. Watson: In her room. I... look. This isn't going to work. I can't allow it. I'm sorry. I don't even think I could pretend to keep a straight face while giving the "anything you do to her I'll do to you, no kissing on the first date, protect her virtue" speech to a man older than I am. In fact, to be quite honest, I'm a little creeped out right now, and also a little angry.

Giles: First date? I--no! I'm not here to date her. I'm sorry. Complete misunderstanding. Sorry. I'm sure she is interested... involved? With this older boy, but I assure you, that isn't me.

Mr. Watson: Oh... Oh! Of course not! How could I-I'm sorry...

Giles: No, I'm here to take her away with me. Completely innocent, I assure you. You see there is an ancient evil that has risen and is killing al these young girls, and in order to protect them I'm taking them with me to a small town in California. I've got a house full of girls you know. So she won't be alone. Don't want the First Evil, that's what they call it, this ancient thing--the First Evil, don't want it to kill your daughter, eh? Is she packed?

Mr. Watson: Riiight....

Giles: Pardon?

Mr. Watson: We had one a your type here a few years ago. He was more straightforward about it. No stories.

Giles: I'm sorry?

Mr. Watson: Perverts. Them just outta jail perverts. Gotta go door to door when you move somewhere, knock knock, hi I'm a pervert. I like to touch little kids. Right?

Giles: Excuse me? I am not a- a- Ah! (Removing glasses and leaning in) I'll have you know, sir. I am a watcher.

Mr. Watson: So you don't touch the little girls, you just like to look at 'em.

Giles: Exactly. No! That's not right.

Mr. Watson: I'm not gonna find you hanging out in my tree with binoculars, am I?

Giles: No, that would be Spike, but we keep him chained up, and--Now wait just one moment! I'm here to prevent an extremely powerful evil from ending the world. I am not a voyeur. I am not..."into" little girls. I--

Mr. Watson: Right. Could you excuse me just one moment? I think I left the oven on. And if a black and white car with lights on top pulls up, just ignore it, it's only a cab. I've got to go to the airport, OK?

[Cut to Giles driving down the street with a girl in the passenger seat.]

Annabelle: Did you have to tie my dad up?

Giles: I'm afraid it was rather unavoidable.


[Knock, knock....]

Chao-Ahn's Mother: {Yes?}

Giles: Right. Let's hope this goes better than the last one.

C-A M: Eh?

Giles: Sorry. Good evening. I'm not a pervert. I don't touch little girls. I take them on camping trips, but I don't touch them. That is, of course, beside the point, but we must be clear I don't touch them.

C-A M: {I don't sew on the weekend. I'm sorry. Come back tomorrow.}

Giles: Oh? Very kind of you to say. I thought it was rather absurd myself, not a little insulting. In any case, getting back to the point. There is a terrible evil that has risen from the bowels of hell, and is at this very moment targeting young women, such as your daughter Chao-Ahn. I, being one of the only surviving members of the council of watchers, am gathering them up, and taking them to California with me so that they may be protected by the slayer.

C-A M: {Chao-ahn does not sew on the weekend either. Come back tomorrow.}

Giles: Yes, that's right. Grave danger.

Mrs. Wong: {You don't listen.}

Giles: Why yes, thank you. [Steps inside]

C-A M: Ah! {What are you doing? Leave! Leave!}

Giles: Tea would be very nice. Not too hot though, if you please. Blistering weather this time of year, eh?

C-A M: {I am getting my husband. He will throw you out. You don't listen. Leave now, you strange man!}

Giles: Yes, yes of course. I'll wait right here. If you could tell her to pack light? And, er... do I remove my shoes?


It's a constantly evolving process...

[Knock, knock...]

Mr. Jones: Hello?

Giles: Oh my Lord! What's that?

Mr. Jones: Excuse me?

Giles: There! In your living room. Is that a skunk?

Mr. Jones: What! (Spins around to look)


Giles: [Sliding blackjack back into his coat pocket] So sorry. [Steps over prone Mr. Jones] Hello! Is there a Kennedy here? A Miss Kennedy?

[> Incredibly funny! -- pellenaka, 09:44:25 02/18/03 Tue

[> LMAO! Thanks for sharing that. -- s'kat, 10:23:49 02/18/03 Tue

Particularly for those of us who are too afraid of being spoiled to venture onto B C & S right now. ;-)

[> [> Yep--BC&S fun without that annoying taste of spoilers......... -- cjl, 10:51:19 02/18/03 Tue

[> Re: From tucker on the BC&S board: How Giles recruited the SITs -- Gyrus, 12:54:23 02/18/03 Tue

Chuckle-worthy. I particularly liked the bit with Chao-Ahn.

Ashanti (spoilers for 7.14) -- Clen, 11:57:26 02/18/03 Tue

anyone think Ashanti skunked the cameo that Britney Spears would have taken? seems likely to me. Ashanti is the flavor of the month in a fairly throwaway cameo, whereas BS has somewhat stumbled of late.

[> Re: Ashanti (spoilers for 7.14) -- OH MY!!!, 12:48:18 02/18/03 Tue

The visual that gave me is absolutely hilarious! How little clothes could she get away wearing? Could she work a little dance routine in, shaking her hair at Xander and grabbing herself as he hung up in the air above her?

::now pondering how it would have been if they'd casted The Dixie Chicks to play Andrew, Warren and Jonathon.::

Enrique Englasias as Angel? (I spelled that totally wrong!)
Those two women from Absolutely Fabulous as Drusciila and Darla?

Eminem as Spike? ::shuddering now, must go away::

[> Re: Ashanti (spoilers for 7.14) -- Gyrus, 13:12:07 02/18/03 Tue

I was under the impression that Britney had planned to play Warren's android girlfriend back in "I Was Made To Love You."

FOX exec: "So what if she can't act? Make her character a robot. It worked for Schwartzenegger."

[> [> LOL! but I heard she DID read for the part & wasn't good enough! ;> -- WickedBuffy, 13:38:09 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> Holy cow -- Gyrus, 13:59:14 02/18/03 Tue

Egads. Being told you don't act well enough to play April is like being told you're too ugly to play the Master.

[> [> Re: Ashanti (spoilers for 7.14) -- Clen, 14:08:31 02/18/03 Tue

but look at what a good job SMG did as a robot. BS would pale in comparison. even robots need good acting, I guess.

[> [> "Brittany, Vampire Slayer" (future noncasting spoiler) -- WickedCastingCouch, 14:19:08 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> take it back, TAKE IT BACK!! (covers eyes) -- Clen, 14:31:16 02/18/03 Tue

News from Wales -- Julia, 15:23:06 02/18/03 Tue

Hey all you beautiful thinkers:

I know it's been a while since you've seen a post from me here at the boards, but I'm still here: happy at my teaching job, reading and lurking, being generally impressed with the high level of thought expressed here as always, and occasionally chatting.

I bring the good and wonderful news that O'Cailleagh is not dead! He's just broke and hasn't got access to the internet. I'd written him in September, and being solidly part of the 21st century, he took months to write back. Today's mail brought a letter from him. He's well: setting up his massage business, still watching Buffy (they're on ep 4 or 5 season 7), happily received the OMWF soundtrack for his birthday, misses being able to chat and read the board, and sends his love to all of you.

I have his snail mail address, and I'm sure he'd be thrilled to hear from any of you. If you'd like to write him, drop me an 'e' and I'll send it to you. He does mention that he's unspoiled, so if you do write, careful of the spoilers!

Love to you all!

[> Good news! -- Wisewoman, 16:01:55 02/18/03 Tue

Nice to hear from both of you Julia. Thanks!

;o) dub

[> Thank Babalon!!!!!!!!!! -- VampRiley, 18:55:44 02/18/03 Tue

I've been worried for months!! Thanks for the news. Tell him I said "Hey".


In the Imortal words of BuffyBot... (Mild Spoilers for the Current Buffy) -- Wolfhowl3, 18:09:34 02/18/03 Tue

"It's Spike, and he's wearing his Coat!"

Everyone in Ontario must have heard me cheer when Spike pulled out his coat, and started to Kick that Demon's Ass.

Go Spike!

[> Re: In the Imortal words of BuffyBot... (Mild Spoilers for the Current Buffy) -- SugarTherapy, 19:12:22 02/18/03 Tue

When he left and said he had to get something, I turned to the friend I was watching it with and said "his jacket!" And then it turned out to be his jacket! That's two cases of me playing Buffy-psychic in as many episodes (last week it was the bidet lol)


[> Spike and Anya (spoilers for Get it Done) -- Tess, 19:52:11 02/18/03 Tue

It was great fun seeing Spike in his coat again, having fun and all that. I hadn't even realized how much he'd been holding back in fights until Buffy called him on it. The one thing I'm worried about now is that he'll get too comfortable with the demon and not be able to control the evil impulses. Same with Willow. It seems not only is it going to be about power, but also control of that power.

And I have to wonder if Anya's compliants about human life vs demon, and Buffy's question on just how she useful will build into something larger. Maybe Anya has more power than she realizes, some knowledge the first evil doesn't want known. Afterall, its all suppose to be connected so D'Hoffryn's attempts to kill her are most likely ordered by the FE. And it doesn't make much sense that D'Hoffryn would try to kill her just because she quit, not after what he did to Halfrek.

[> [> Re: Spike and Anya (spoilers for Get it Done) -- sloan, 00:03:42 02/19/03 Wed

When Willow was opening the portal and she drew on Kennedy's lifeforce(?? whatever), didn't she throw both hands back? And wasn't swirly energy pouring into both hands, from her left--Kennedy's side and also from her right--the side Anya was standing on? I'll have to rewatch the episode to confirm this (or maybe someone with a better memory), but that's what I remember. I don't know what that means for Anya though...I just thought it was interesting in light of all the useless-ol-Anya talk.

(Spoilage) Buffy 7.15 is one of the most important episodes of the series! -- David Frisby, 18:23:01 02/18/03 Tue

Having just watched Buffy 7.15 I contend it is one of the most important episodes of the series. The demon of darkness was about to "violate" (meaning rape?) Buffy? Meaning "this" was the source of the slayer and her power? Did the shaman at the end of the ritual show Buffy more than the vision of the army of ubervamps? He enabled her to "know" something -- more than that vision? Spike's power being tied to his evil side to some degree? Willow's power tied to evil (drawing upon the life force of others) to some degree? As Buffy said, "one cannot defeat evil with evil" -- but -- maybe one can sublimate (Nietzsche's word) evil into a strength able to defeat evil? I think the entire series will turn on some of the insights hinted at in this episode (Kennedy's taking such a primary role hints at something or other, connected to Faith is my guess). The set-up between Principal Robin Wood and William the Bloody is going well -- we know something big will come of all that, whether tragic or not. The slayer chest of treasures!!! and more weapons not yet clearly articulated? Dawn is coming along so well -- hinting at who knows what great role yet in the final apocalypse. Maybe we'll have an army of slayers, drowning buffy and/or faith just long enough to call forth another before cpr brings them back? An army of ubervamps vs. an army of slayers? Leaving Willow and Anya and Xander and Dawn to do the "really big" spell of all time? And Buffy and Spike (and robin and giles) to play front and center? and faith? and angel?

The primary theme to all this? evil! A new theodicy for our time! Perhaps as simple as the sublimation of evil to good? (in Nietzsche's sense of course, perhaps as modified through Jung and Eliade and even Hesse)

This really is the greatest tv event ever -- and I think they ought to charge more for the commercials for the series finale than any stupid superbowl ever!

David Frisby (God I love this show! -- and this forum too cause where else might I get to say anything like this?)

My jaw. On the floor. (BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Rob, 18:25:16 02/18/03 Tue

Who says that BtVS's February sweeps ep are usually weak? So far, we've been treated to a good but flawed ep (Killer in Me), two great episode (Potential, FD), and now "Get It Done," which, IMHO, deserves a place alongside the all-time ME masterpieces. This season has been kicking serious, major, unbelievable ass. I can't tell you the number of times I've had to scrape my jaw off the floor this year. Although I loved season 6, that didn't happen once the full year. From the "It's all about power" line on FE/Buffy's part to now, I have been shocked more times than I can count this year. "Buffy," in its seventh season, is still vital, important, groundbreaking television.

I adored this episode to itty bitty bits. If that LotR-inspired, breathtaking final shot wasn't enough, we got the return of Spike's jacket (which Wood was there to witness!), we got the gang finally confronting Buffy about her drill seargant-esque behavior over the past few eps, which really erupted here, we FINALLY got confirmation that Slayer power does derive from demons, we got reassurance that bad-ass Spike isn't gone forever, we got Willow going magicky again, we got portals, we got some really cool effects (the shadow-play was especially impressive), we got a great episode-opening dream sequence the likes of which we haven't seen since "Hush," we got Andrew's board. We got the most satisfying episode since "Conversations With Dead People."

And oh my God what an impressive comeback for Doug Petrie. I loved BY, too, btw, but this one really cemented the fact that he can still write great episodes, dammit. Some people still haven't forgiven him for AYW, but hopefully this one will wash away the bad taste still in people's mouths from that one. This episode was a true work of art. Including the continued return of tragedy mixed with comedy that was more prevalent in the show's early years. Buffy's shocked expression to Chloe's body and the FE-as-Chloe and then her question as to what TTFN meant. But at the same time, it didn't make light of the scene. It was done with reverence, especially when they mentioned how Chloe loved Winnie the Pooh. It reminded me of Xander's funny/sad "I hate vampires. I'm gonna go out on a limb and say they're not good" line in "The Harvest." (The evil part of me, btw, was wondering, at the start, whether Chloe was crying during Buffy's dream because she hadn't been in the past three episodes.)

I don't know if everyone will agree with me, but this episode just worked for me. A glimpse into the Slayer mythology, a bunch of amazing, striking visual images, character insights, a heartstopping and extremely unexpected finale (was I the only one who thought it would end low-key, what with Buffy being back from the other dimension and all?)...I was floored by this episode.

Time to re-think my list of top 10 eps of all time. Or maybe finally expand it to 20. This season rocks.


[> Re: My jaw. On the floor. (BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Alison, 18:39:21 02/18/03 Tue

exactly..this episode was perfect from start to finish...absolutely riviting. And the acting was spot on. I'm astounded really.

[> [> For what it's worth, I loved this episode too. -- Traveler, 19:25:24 02/18/03 Tue

This episode wasn't very subtle, but it was very powerful. I think it is a major turning point in the season.

[> Doing some jaw-dropping of my own (spoilers) -- Scroll, 19:38:39 02/18/03 Tue

The First Slayer knocking Buffy down the stairs.

Seeing poor Chloe hanging from the ceiling.

Seeing the "Restless" desert again. Not shocking so much as making me sit up and say, hey...

Legion of UberVamps. I have to say, it wasn't what I was expecting. I thought the Shadow Man had revealed some deep mystery of the Slayer... Still, very shocking and in keeping with the tone of "fire, death, and darkness" over on Angel.

The FX of that demon spirit was way, way cool. Those Shadow Men were creepy and transcendent and funny. In fact, the entire desert sequence was excellent. I also loved the shadow story-telling. Very creepy how the shadows started to take on a life of their own. Nice touch and good example of metanarration (is that right term?) when Buffy tells the Shadow Men, "I don't think I'm really here, this is just a shadow, a simulation." Many levels in that one sentence alone, methinks.

Okay, I think OnM is not so insane with his theory about Dawn = Buffy & Faith because Buffy's "Get It Done" desert experience seemed to really draw from the Buffy/Faith dream sequence from "Graduation Day II". The overexposure, the way the light hit Buffy's face, the way the Shadow Man reached out to touch Buffy's cheek to impart knowledge.

I loved the little touches: the "Beware of the Dog" sign behind Spike during his fight with the demon, Spike throwing his head back and yelling with exuberance over the fight just like in "Doomed", the spiral on the cave floor that reminds me of Tara quoting Yeats' "things fall apart". In fact, lots of "Entropy" reminders with Anya/Spike table sex.

Okay, I'm off to watch this episode again! Love VCRs, love 'em!

[> [> and of course, the metanarration -- Solitude1056, 19:46:02 02/18/03 Tue

of "things come to a head around May..."

Sweeps week, anyone?

[> [> [> and Wood's comment's on his own cuteness -- luna (agreeing with him), 19:53:10 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> And Buffy's comment about his clothes! -- HonorH, 12:17:48 02/19/03 Wed

Unfortunately, it's made my Super-Evil Alter-Ego fairly smug, but hey, truth is truth.

[> [> [> And Willow's shout-out to ED's movie, "Bring It On!" -- Scroll, 20:27:12 02/18/03 Tue

I can just picture it: ESPN 2 cameras, pom-poms galore, and two squads up for the big title -- the Unversity of Evil's Ubies versus U of SunnyD's Power-Girls. All we need now are the Magic Fingers and a good hip-hop song. :P

[> [> [> [> That was the best! -- Rob, 21:30:30 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> Spirit fingers! Spirit fingers! ;-) -- A8, 17:56:55 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Oops! You're right, "Spirit Fingers!" not "Magic Fingers" -- Scroll, 18:20:11 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> and "we're ahead of schedule" - reference to AtS scheduling woes? -- ponygirl, 06:58:10 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> That's how I saw it. -- Rob, 08:49:22 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Quick question -- tomfool, 09:45:34 02/20/03 Thu

Completely agree on the metanarration. One other little point, though. Buffy says, "The hellmouth has begun its semi-annual percolation. It usually blows around May." Is she describing the ebb and flow of a typical season, with a faux big bad (e.g., Spike & Dru) that gets replaced by the real big bad and then concluding in the annual May apocalypse? My question is really just what she means by semi-annual?

[> [> Have to check out for the night, but I'll leave you with this... ( ***Spoilers 7.15*** ) -- OnM, 21:16:18 02/18/03 Tue

Saw the spiral on the cave floor, and the first thing that comes to my mind is:

Dark City

I just Googled "Fibonacci Spiral" and "Dark City" and found this link:


From this link, I found this text: (Italics mine)

01. VERTIGO (1958):

This is the other film that is deeply affecting, almost metaphysical in its effect. Only an established master of the medium such as Hitchcock could have made such a daring and tragic film with mainstream actors for a big Hollywood studio. The film opened to mixed reviews and public reaction. Frankly, I think at that time, people didn't really know what to make out of this unconventional crime drama cum dark romantic fantasy. Our hero, Scottie (James Stewart) is hardly a conventional hero, an acrophobic retired detective obsessed by a strange, beautiful and suicidal woman (Kim Novac) he is hired to tail. What follows after her apparent suicide is a complex psychological drama that is dreamily shot by Hitch and beautifully photographed (chiefly in San Francisco) by Robert Burks in Vista Vision. Right from the stirring main titles by Saul Bass (who also did SPARTACUS) to the eerie, menacing score by musical genius Bernard Herrmann, the film sucks the viewer into a labyrinth of unsettling and haunting situations. In fact, Herrmann tells the whole story of the film in his main title cue, combining dissonance, harmony in minor scales and a certain monotony and repetition that hint at the film's central themes of obsession, fear, longing and passion. Many consider this film to be the director's portrayal of his own fears and obsession, his masterpiece. There is such depth to the film that it is one of the most widely discussed and analyzed in film history. For instance, there is this Fibonacci spiral motif (an integral part of chaos theory) that runs throughout, hinting at attempts by the lead characters to bring some sort of an order to the chaotic events unfolding around them. Madeline is shown in multiple reflections and repetitions. Reputed playwright Maxwell Anderson was brought in to do a first draft of the script based on the French novel d'Entre les Morts (From Among the Dead, the working title for the film). Reportedly, Anderson's work was so incoherent - his title for the film was "Listen Darkling" - that Hitch got Samuel Taylor to do the job. Hitch created his vertigo effects for the audience by inventing a new technique - the camera pull back while at the same time zooming in. This film gets better and better with each viewing.


Off to sleep, perchance to think too much.


[> [> [> Yes! -- Rob, 21:29:25 02/18/03 Tue

[> [> [> Spirals -- Veronica, 10:16:00 02/19/03 Wed

Just to clarify for the non-mathematicians, a Fibonacci spiral is a very particular type of spiral. If you haven't seen the movie "Pi", you can get an introduction online: The Fibonacci Rectangles and Shell Spirals.

The spiral on the floor reminded me of a hypnosis spiral. It was highlighted so strongly by the camera angle.... The spiral could represent the desire of the Shadow Men for Buffy to be passive. But their position in the spiral calls into question their own attitudes and motives - perhaps they are the passive ones, and they wish Buffy to be passive. This fits with Buffy's view of them as too weak to do their own work, but of course not with their history as the creators of the slayers (a strange mix of passive and aggressive behavior).

On a side note, the elephant in the room that no one mentions: Why would they not choose a man to imbue with the power to fight demons?

I was also reminded, as the black smoke whirled around in the spiral circle then targeted Buffy, of a similar scene involving white smoke, a circle of people, and Angel. But I don't see clear parallels yet.


[> [> [> [> Spirals and "Back to the Beginning" -- cjl, 12:10:33 02/19/03 Wed

The Fibonacci spiral in the Shadowmen's temple is one the biggest clues so far about the underlying concepts behind S7 and how the series is going to end. Spirals usually connotate the cycles of life, with patterns repeating themselves, then resolving on a higher level.

Regarding BtVS, I believe ATP has had several threads pointing out that we've been running in three-year cycles, with Seasons 2 & 5 and Season 3 & 6 echoing each other thematically, and the main four characters combining their forces at the end of Seasons 1 and 4 on a higher level of spiritual ("Restless") and (in the case of "Primevil") physical integration. Now we roll around to S7, we get the third turn of the spiral, and we come back around to the beginning.

It's going to be Buffy, Xander, Willow and Giles again. But rather than combining their individual (limited) strengths to create the Uberbuffy, I think they'll use the Scooby Gestalt to finally realize themselves as fully developed individuals. (Of course, I could be wrong...)

[> [> [> [> Re: Spirals -- RichardX1, 16:21:11 02/19/03 Wed

>>On a side note, the elephant in the room that no one mentions: Why would they not choose a man to imbue with the power to fight demons?<<

Because they figure no one would have this done to them willingly (the Shadow Men could have empowered themselves), and it would be easier to subdue and restrain a "weak little girl"?

Besides, what heterosexual man wants to aid and abet the cornholing (near-literal or otherwise) of another guy?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Spirals--spoilers for "Species" -- Arethusa, 16:34:11 02/19/03 Wed

In the movie Species, scientists use alien DNA to clone a person. They decide to make it a girl, since a girl "would be more docile." (Mayhem and ugly death follows.) No doubt the Shadowmen thought a girl would be easier to control.

[> Re: My jaw. On the floor. (BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Cheryl, 19:46:03 02/18/03 Tue

Awesome episode (except for MIA Giles with no mention - which seemed even more obvious to me when Dawn (Dawn?!) was translating the Sumarian or whatever that was).

Okay, I have to admit that after Buffy's dream in the beginning I expected Chloe to be the one to bite the dust, but then was totally thrown when, during the SIT training scene, the camera stopped on Rona when something was being said about them dying (I have to rewatch cuz I don't remember exactly what was said - just remember thinking that Rona's the one who's going to die).

I'm so psyched to see what's going to happen between Spike and Wood. And the duster is back! Loved that little interchange between them at the school after he put the duster on.

Did anyone notice that Doug Petrie not only wrote this episode but also directed it? Has he directed any others? He did a wonderful job (on both counts). Except for the no mention on MIA Giles.

And was anyone taken aback when Xander started kind of opposing Buffy during her lecture? I understood what he was trying to do, but it still surprised me a little. Maybe that he would do it in front of everyone instead of talking to her about it privately.

So much happened this episode so I will defintely be rewatching a couple more times at least. And was it just me, or did there seem to be a ton of commercials - especially in the last half hour? Maybe I was just too impatient. :-)

[> [> He also directed As You Were and Flooded -- kristi, 20:38:09 02/18/03 Tue

But I think he'll be remembered for this. The first half was a little slow, enjoyable but mostly set-up, but as the teaser foreshadowed, the second half really got the adrenaline flowing. The shadow-casting had me spellbound, Spike's roaring was glorious, and I just about jumped out of my seat at the end. But as much as I loved seeing everyone get it done, I was even more relieved to see that ME had been thinking what I was thinking, e.g., Spike had been fighting like a "wimpire" and Kennedy and Wil had hit it off a tad too quickly. I'm still expecting the season-end payoff(s) but I do so love these little payoffs along the way.

[> Gotta agree with you, Rob -- Sarand, 19:51:56 02/18/03 Tue

Although I might have said the best episode since "Sleeper" but it's all a matter of opinion. Very exciting episode. And I really only had one question. How did Spike's coat end up in the school basement and how (and for how long) did he know it was there? Any thoughts?

[> [> Re: Gotta agree with you, Rob -- Cheryl, 20:03:23 02/18/03 Tue

And I really only had one question. How did Spike's coat end up in the school basement and how (and for how long) did he know it was there? Any thoughts?

My take on this (until proven otherwise), is that Buffy returned the duster when she discovered Spike was back and he was so disgusted with himself and what the duster represented, that he buried it in the school basement. Purely speculation, of course. But since we last saw the duster at Casa Summers and it suddenly appeared in the school basement, it works for me.

[> I had nothing (BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Jay, 20:31:22 02/18/03 Tue

Well, I'll let you be the judge of that. This gives us a lot to think on, and I can't believe they crammed it all into an hour.

I guess where my thoughts are initially, is Buffy's army. She has put one together before back in Graduation Day. Buffy is still General, but her officer corps has grown quite a bit. Back then Giles, Xander, and Angel were her main battle field commanders. With Oz captaining the archers and Willow her aide-de-camp.

It's much harder to get a handle on her command structure now. Giles wasn't even in this episode, and Xander seems to have been demoted. The scoobs are additionally sportin some Wood, and she even calls Andrew the brains(?). Maybe I should slow down.

Willow is obviously Buffy's preferred alternate battlefield commander. What I mean is, if the war is to be fought on more than one front, Buffy would rather give Willow some resources and just turn that front over to her and trust Willow with it. But Willow has been exhibiting some McClellan. She been afraid to take on the fight.

Giles, Xander, and Anya seem to be taking on think tank status. Note to self: Xander and think tank are probably not good ideas. Back to the point, they seem to be becoming a joint chiefs of staff organization. Making war plans and contingencies, offering opposing arguments, advising the Chairman (Buffy), but also following orders. I feel they should be having these conversations in private though. I could change my mind in an instant on the standing of anyone of these three in any future episode.

Wood and Spike seem to be becoming Buffy's star Colonels. Like JEB Stuart. She has direct authority over them, (I think), but they have a long leash to take their own course of action. They also seem to be on a collision course with each other. What's better for the enlisted man, an ensoulled vampire or the son of a Slayer?

Buffy's new cracker jack aides-de-camp appear to be Kennedy and (somewhat surprisingly, at least to me), Dawn. I figured one of the proto-Slayers would rise above the rest, and we've been given significant clues that it would be Kennedy. I like the promotion of Dawn. Okay, the "get me a knife" commands don't inspire a lot of confidence, but the way Dawn came through with the research and translation was a nice continuation from Potential, and Buffy recognizes it with responsibility. Kennedy seems to be both Buffy and Willow's aid-de-camp initially. She's running Buffy's boot camp for her, but standing up for Willow, even to Buffy, every chance she gets. Until Willow sucks the life out of her. She's probably solidly back in Buffy's proto-slayer camp from now on. Which I'm probably wrong about.

Andrew is labeled both the brains and a hostage (or guestage). In the hierarchy of Buffy's command, I've no doubt that Andrew is at the bottom of the bottom. But his presence all but screams otherwise. I, apparently like Buffy, am confused to Andrew's status. Under Siege reference, maybe.

The proto-slayers as a whole seem to be the infantry. The 101st Airborne. The grunts in the foxhole. Who simultaneously curse and praise their General. They are chosen for the front lines, but hopefully not fated to it.

It'll be interesting how all this shakes out after [well known casting spoiler] hits town. Is [well known casting spoiler] a rival general, a mercenary, a General on equal footing with Buffy, or will [well known casting spoiler] take over in the end?

[> Got to agree, too (NT) -- John, 20:43:03 02/18/03 Tue

[> Rob, when you're right, you're right! --- And you're right. -- OnM, 20:53:02 02/18/03 Tue

Ardently seconding your 'This season rocks'.

Could Season 7 turn out to even surpass the brilliance of any season that has gone before?

Methinks it could happen, yes me does.


[> There was one very important point. (BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Sang, 21:02:04 02/18/03 Tue

Shadowman calle Buffy 'the last guardian of the hellmouth'. This means, either 'there will be no slayer after Buffy (and Faith)' or 'there will be no Hellmouth after Buffy' Maybe both.. Either way, this is the first time ME hints that this season will be the last of BTVS.

[> [> Re: There was one very important point. (BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- maddog, 07:58:10 02/19/03 Wed

I was thinking along those lines too. Because if Buffy's the last guardian of the hellmouth then where does Faith come in? My only conclusion is that maybe the hellmouth moves. Cause why would they start a new series with Faith if there was no hellmouth?

[> On second viewing, here are some things I noticed... (7.14-15, well-known casting spoiler) -- Rob, 21:25:41 02/18/03 Tue

**Just earlier this week, someone posted (sorry I forget who) that Buffy is the only character who has not been truly tempted by the dark side. Now, she truly has been. And she turned it down, even if that darkness is what could have helped save them all. Was turning it down the right decision? If she hadn't, clearly, the cost would be her humanity. People have been wondering whether the Slayer side would overcome Buffy this year. I would assume that this indicates "no," but there's still a bunch of episodes to go, of course.

**I find it interesting that the Shadowmen also seem to acknowledge Buffy as the "real" Slayer, by calling her (and not Faith) the "last guardian of the Hellmouth."

**Also, we basically have confirmation now that "Fray" is canon. The Slayer creation story of the comic book matches up to the show.

**When Buffy first starts yelling at the gang, Willow looks, for a short time, mad at Buffy. It is only when Kennedy yells back at Buffy that Willow defends Buffy.

**The huge number of times power was mentioned in this episode. In this episode, two of the major characters (Willow, Spike) reclaimed their power. One (Buffy) rejected it. One (Anya) used her knowledge of her former power to help out with the spell.

**I forget to mention this last time, but I really don't like Kennedy. I'm really sorry, but I found her attitude particularly abrasive in this episode. The way she called Chloe "maggot". Who died and made her boss? The way she dissed Spike, because he wasn't "trained" like she had been. Methinks we might do well to watch out for her being overcome with the love of her own powers than even Buffy.

**Adding to my Willow-and-Kennedy-have-no-chemistry argument, after Kennedy is hurt by the demon, Willow says nothing and doesn't rush to help her. Dawn asks her what's wrong.

**Once again, Xander is the one to stand up to Buffy, and to remind her that they are her friends. The heart of the Scooby Gang reigns supreme!

**Wood kept that bag for sentimental reasons, but was he withholding items from the Slayers after his mother that they desperately needed? I think the capacity for corruption is already there in him. He is blinded by his need for vengance for his mother.

**OnM is right. I definitely see the Wood/Buffy dynamic as being very Oedipal in nature. Even more so now that he gives these items of his mother's to Buffy.

**Did you notice how Wood told Buffy to say "Thank you, Principal Wood"? Only last episode someone asked for the very same response from him. And he gave it willingly.

**How brilliantly written this episode was. Not only was it jam-packed with information, but unlike BotN (which I loved regardless) and Showtime (which I still enjoyed), it didn't feel like an information overload, or like too much was going on. The pacing was perfect. It started off slow but steady, and built into a stunning climax.

**The direction and editing was wonderful, particularly the cuts between Spike and Buffy's separate battles.

**The shapes of the trees in the desert were eerily similar to some of the shadows on the Summers' walls.

**Is there any significance that the dictionary Buffy picked off the floor in her dream was Greek?

**This is the first time we've seen Spike smoke since the sixth season.

**Was Willow's draining of Kennedy's (and Anya's) energy meant to be a (more mild) rape metaphor parallel to the "demon sand" in the alternate dimension?

What a dense episode!


[> [> Agree Rob...see my post above on the power thing -- s'kat, 22:10:43 02/18/03 Tue

Agree with you on the episode. Not rating it...because I hate rating things. But my favorite since maybe Selfless
and CwDP. It moved so many character arcs forward.

I actually addressed some of these points in more depth in my post above but...

**Just earlier this week, someone posted (sorry I forget who) that Buffy is the only character who has not been truly tempted by the dark side. Now, she truly has been. And she turned it down, even if that darkness is what could have helped save them all. Was turning it down the right decision? If she hadn't, clearly, the cost would be her humanity. People have been wondering whether the Slayer side would overcome Buffy this year. I would assume that this indicates "no," but there's still a bunch of episodes to go, of course.

I think this year - Buffy repeatedly gets tempted to go this route - the whole ends justify the means approach but keeps resisting. This is her latest. But she's struggling over it as we see in this episode. And it is in a sense Buffy who pushes Willow and Spike to reclaim their power, although something tells me it's the incorporation of both sides that will win the day or maybe the other/non-demonic side?

**I find it interesting that the Shadowmen also seem to acknowledge Buffy as the "real" Slayer, by calling her (and not Faith) the "last guardian of the Hellmouth."

The Shadowman or shamen really only have "power" not "knowledge" - which means they only know she is because she jumped through the portal. Not sure why this is important but I think the fact they had no knowledge and only power will come up again.

**The huge number of times power was mentioned in this episode. In this episode, two of the major characters (Willow, Spike) reclaimed their power. One (Buffy) rejected it. One (Anya) used her knowledge of her former power to help out with the spell.

See my post above.

**Wood kept that bag for sentimental reasons, but was he withholding items from the Slayers after his mother that they desperately needed? I think the capacity for corruption is already there in him. He is blinded by his need for vengance for his mother.

I think Wood is all about his mother - he joined the fight for her and he came to Buffy's house to see the vamp who killed her. And he only stayed until Spike left and followed him. Did not assist in the demon catching or in bringing Buffy back either. Wood's wrestling with some serious inner demons here. Question is - will he see past the old Spike or will Wood become another Holtz? Will Wood give in to his inner monster?

**Is there any significance that the dictionary Buffy picked off the floor in her dream was Greek?

I think so - see Finn Macool's response to my above thread about Andromeda being sacrificed to the demon with her hands chained to the cliff. Also a metanarration on Inca Mummy Girl who is sacrificed to protect her people. Same for Buffy, same for First Slayer. Oh and another metanarration on Restless - Anya's comment in the classroom in Willow's dream: "It's a greek tragedy". Or it could mean - it's all greek to me.

Good posts all.


[> [> Re: On second viewing, here are some things I noticed... (7.14-15, well-known casting spoiler) -- maddog, 08:11:22 02/19/03 Wed

See I saw Buffy's rejection in a different light and actually had it parallel an episode of Angel(though don't ask me the title because I'm sure I don't know). It seemed to me that Buffy's rejection of the power wasn't about the dark side as much as it was "becoming more demon". Giving up more humanity to the demon. And while I understand her decision I find it interesting that the Slayer of all people would refuse the demon while....and let's go back to Angel when Cordy could no longer handle her visions and was given the option of becoming demon to handle them, Cordy thinks not twice, before saying that the powers, the ones that help the group in their quest, were too important to give up and so she became demon...she didn't know the consequences, she just didn't care.

That brings me back to Buffy. A Slayer...not willing to take on more power to do what she was chosen to do and possibly end the threat of The First....to possibly end the need for slayers...and a mere mortal(Cordy), willing to take on anything...and it could have been horrible, to keep what powers she had to just continue fighting the good fight. Food for thought...yes?

[> [> [> It's not Buffy's failure, it's the difference between the BtVS and AtS world views -- KdS, 09:50:08 02/19/03 Wed

Haven't seen the episode yet, but from what I've read I think that you're forgetting the growing gap between the BtVS and AtS mythology. In AtS there are whole groups of morally upright demons who are just people with odd hues. In BtVS demons are evil. There was a slight drop in that in S6, especially in Hell's Bells, but Selfless reasserted that while the likes of D'Hoffryn and Hally may have charm, they're still all about death and torture. Clem's an attractive guy, but what do we really know about what he gets up to when the Slayer isn't around (still think he was The Doctor)

Cordelia was stepping into the unknown, but she had some positive examples. She had Lorne and Cousin Landok and Doyle and Groo and all the other regular-guy demons that she's met to show that half-demon status didn't necessarily mean giving up the person she was at the core. The impression I got was that Buffy was in a situation where if she accepted demonisation she might have been a useful weapon, but she would be a monster. Full stop. Everything that made her the person she was would be dead and she'd probably have to be disposed of like a rabid dog as soon as the peril was over.

Cordelia didn't know the consequences, and took a calculated risk. Buffy had a clear idea of what the consequences would be and decided that they were something that nothing could justify. I think that both of them took the morally correct decision.

[> [> [> [> Not quite -- maddog, 10:34:43 02/19/03 Wed

There may be more "harmless" demons in AtS, but that's because they only show us the harmless side of them. In Buffy we see mostly bad...doesn't mean they aren't bad in AtS. For example Lorn...Lorn's great...but when we met those in his reality, they were monsters...they treated humans as "cows". Sorry, not the greatest of role models. Lorne and Groo were exceptions to the rule...not the standard. For the most part we've seen evil demons. So I have to disagree here and say Cordy saw what she could become and took that chance because it would help The Cause. Because she felt the responsibility and took it head on. Now, facing a similar situation, knowing that it could be the only way to save the world Buffy declines. She chose "finding another way" over taking on more responsibility....and most likely more pain...to further The Cause. I still say Cordy made the more selfless decision...though as I type this it gives me a possible theory as to what's going on now in Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> Nature vs culture -- KdS, 13:07:24 02/19/03 Wed

I wouldn't say that. The Pylea arc ended with the AI crew trying to institute a multicultural society in Pylea, not to off all the demons (although that would have been difficult). I don't disagree about the nastiness of the Pylean culture, just that it was presented more in the way you would expect a violently racist human culture to be presented, not in a manner implying absolute Evil.

[> [> What About... (7.14-15, well-known casting spoiler) -- WalkingGhost, 10:18:33 02/19/03 Wed

My impression of the shadow men trying to imbue her with the power of the demon was because she was not the real slayer. The First Slayer was an ordinary girl who was chained to the earth and made one with the demon. The First Slayer telling buffy "It's not enough" and Buffy's replies to the Shadow Men telling them she was powerful and had the strength.... All this leads me to think that because she was no longer THE Slayer, the shadow men had to make her THE slayer for her to be able to defeat the coming fight with the First Evil. Even though she still had the slayer strengths, she was considered an oridnary girl because she is no longer the slayer whose death would call another into being.

I could just be rambling, too...

[> [> Aw, Rob, I can't stand to see you not like a character! -- HonorH (now a Kennedy defender), 18:08:37 02/19/03 Wed

Let me do a little Kennedy-defending here and see if I can make it better:

1) "Who died and made her boss?" you ask? My guess is, Buffy gave her the job. Buffy needs someone to be in charge of the day-to-day Slayer training. Kennedy's the oldest and the best-trained, so she's the logical choice.

2) Yes, she did come off as being too into the whole Drill Sergeant thing, but she also gets taken down a peg by the First. That should make her re-think her training methods. They may work fine for Army recruits, but not so fine for teenage girls.

3) Dawn was the closest to Kennedy. Willow was somewhere across the room, having been thrown into the wall. She couldn't see that Kennedy was bleeding. You'll note that it *was* Willow who patched her up.

4) Kennedy also gets a reality check re: Willow and her pursuit thereof. She finds out in a hard way that this is *not* a safe woman she's set her sights on. I liked that she didn't immediately say either, "It's okay," or, "This is too freaky for me." She and Willow have their conversation, then give it some time and space. I like that.

Right now, Kennedy's in the awkward position of being older and more experienced than the rest of the Potentials, but younger and less experienced than the Scoobies (okay, older than Dawn, but still less experienced). She's finding her place. Give her a change, Rob--I know you can do it!

[> [> [> I'm trying. I really am, and I'll continue to... -- Rob, 20:40:38 02/19/03 Wed

...especially after your impassioned plea. The thing is she is the first ever Buffy character that I instantly disliked. I can't even think of a single character I've disliked or been annoyed with. I loved even the characters others found annoying at times, like Anya and Dawn and Andrew. I've loved them all the way through. But I don't know, the way Kennedy snapped at Spike that he hadn't trained, and how she told Buffy that she wasn't the most powerful one in the room, I just wanted to smack her. I kind of wish Buffy had. I think the thing that bothers me is that she hasn't be around all this time. She's new. Who's she to yell at Buffy, or Spike for that matter? She's not the Slayer. She's a potential, and I don't think she gets yet that she does not yet have Slayer power.

Okay, that was mean. I'm trying, I'm trying. I will focus all possible energy I can muster into finding the good in Kennedy. I promise! It's a bitch having to tear my cheerleader outfit off every time she talks, quickly put it back on when she stops, then rip it off again when she talks. It will be a lot better for me to like her. Don't worry. I probably will eventually. I don't have a very good track record for not liking ANYTHING on Buffy. ;o)


[> [> [> [> Re: I'm trying. I really am, and I'll continue to... -- HonorH, 23:43:28 02/19/03 Wed

Who's she to yell at Buffy, or Spike for that matter? She's not the Slayer. She's a potential, and I don't think she gets yet that she does not yet have Slayer power.

Funny--I almost think this is exactly what I like about her. It shows she's human and, I think, totally debunks the Mary Sue label some people have been trying to stick on her.

Furthermore, well, somebody had to yell at Buffy in that scene. Somebody had to provide the resistance. Willow wasn't. Xander was talking sense, as is his wont this season, but he wasn't calling her on being too harsh. Buffy might have been right in what she said, but her methods will remain highly debatable. I like that Kennedy's not so 1) used to Buffy, or 2) cowed by the Slayer that she's willing to stand up to her. It's a good thing and may be important later.

And with Spike? Well, quite frankly, what Kennedy's seen of Spike hasn't been all that impressive. She's never seen Dangerous!Spike--she's just seen BuffyBackup!Spike, who occasionally gets his hinder kicked. I don't think she'll be talking back to him now, but frankly? I like that she did. Again, she's not so in awe of The Vampire that she's not willing to tell it like she sees it.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm trying. I really am, and I'll continue to... -- Rob, 07:38:13 02/20/03 Thu

I guess in a way I'm faulting her for things she may not be able to help. I get annoyed at her for not being in awe of the Slayer, Spike, Tara, etc. but then again, she wasn't around back then. Part of me understands that. The larger, more evil part keeps screaming, "Shut up and stay in your place, newbie!"

But thanks...your post really put things in perspective for me. I hadn't thought about it from Kennedy's side. That may be the key to getting me to like her. I'll update on my opinion of her by the next ep.


[> I loved it, but I didn't like it...details inside! -- Valheru, 22:57:01 02/18/03 Tue

Awesome, awesome, awesome, if for no other reason than to see the triumphant return of Spike and the foreboding return of Dark Willow.

A lot of things really clicked in this episode, in a way that none of the other arc-centric episodes have. For one thing, it was actually an episode instead of an hour-long segment of a larger story. The almost self-contained structure of the episode forced Petrie to condense unwieldly ideas into compact, powerful statements. For example, eariler in the season, Spike's return might have been the central story of a plodding three-episode arc; here it is an in-your-face assault of gripping imagery and tight characterization, all while being a secondary plot. Same thing with Willow's roaring return to power and Wood's funny-but-intense integration into the Scooby Gang--stories that might otherwise have floundered on their own instead find strength in numbers.

By far, the most memorable scene of the night was Spike (and that's saying something, what with Dark Willow popping up, dead Chloe hanging down, Buffy vs. the Slayer-source, the dance of the Shadowcasters, and the Potential training session). I've been screaming at him for weeks now to reclaim his duster, but only because the jackets he's been wearing make him look normal; one of the most stand-out features of Angel and Spike has always been their cool fashion sense. Well, apparently the point was that he seemed normal, to accentuate his feelings of weakness and reluctance. Almost everything about Spike, from the moment he walked out of the Summers' door, was incredible (even the music was inspiring). I say "almost" because, well, I expected him to go out and tear that demon a new hole, but the demon got in a few good licks which was kinda deflating (sorta reminded me of "Earshot," when I expected Angel to start wailing on the demon, but it was a rather evenly matched fight that appeared to last all night).

Kudos to the special-effects team. The Shadowcasters were spectacular. I know that effects can't be all that great on a television budget, but I was beginning to think they were slacking off. Glad to see I was wrong. Also, good job Doug Petrie for thinking up such a visually impressive idea in the first place.

So why didn't I like "Get it Done?" Buffy herself. Buffy's entire presence in this episode did nothing but suck energy, and she was too much of an asshead and callous, even for MilitantBuffy. Her "motivational" speech would have been too callous for Kendra even. "Chloe was an idiot?" That's harsh, Buffster. You just buried the girl. How would Buffy have liked it had Angel come to her at Joyce's funeral and said, "Joyce was annoying," or "Good thing Joyce is dead or you might never have grown up?" I understand that Buffy was not intending to disrespect Chloe but instead use her as an object lesson to keep the other Potentials alive, but then maybe we shouldn't see Buffy digging the grave or have a scene in between the two?

That leads into the rest of the motivational speech, which was similarly cruel to everyone. Again, I understand Buffy's need to get things moving, to shock these people out of their fear. Heck, I've been wanting someone to do that for a while now. But does Buffy have such little respect for Xander, Willow, Dawn, Anya, and Spike to basically call them useless cowards in front of the Potentials? I'm shocked that Xander didn't explode, especially when Buffy dressed-down Anya. Besides, I seem to remember a certain ex-vengeance demon seeking out a certain Eye just 3 episodes ago. I seem to remember Dawn rescuing Amanda and doing research on the First 2 episodes ago. I seem to remember the First nearly turning Willow Dark from the inside the last time Willow attempted a spell. I seem to remember Spike training the Potentials whenever his head wasn't exploding from a failing chip. The Scoobies aren't acting as useless as Buffy seems to think they are. And I also seem to remember a certain Slayer going out on a date last episode. If anyone has been blowing off the Big Bad recently, it's Buffy.

Whatever happened to the Scooby Gang that talked to each other? If Buffy wanted Willow to get tough again, why didn't she just ask Willow? "Hey, Will, we really need you now. I need my big gun again." If she wanted Xander, Dawn, and Anya to get crackin' with ideas, can't she just ask if they have any ideas? While Buffy, as Buffy Summers, is being her good old self (or close enough), Buffy, as the Slayer, is acting like she did in "WSWB."

And yeah, she had good reason to get Spike going again, but did she have to spit in his face to do it? She couldn't have, I dunno...just led him into a fight with a vampire gang? Insulting Spike, for whatever reason, is just plain cruel at this juncture. Since when has Buffy become "ends justify the means" girl, anyway? Such a philosophy drove her away from Angel in "Enemies," and she knew about the plan. Spike was rightfully pissed at her.

The speech scene was enough to make me want to toss my TV out the window. Buffy was acting obscenely out-of-character for plot purposes. Here's a hint, people: if you can't write the characters in-character and make the plot work, then the plot doesn't work. Especially on this show, which is supposedly all about character.

Then the central plot of the episode, Buffy learning the Slayer origin, was contrieved, bloated, and way-coincidental. Just how lucky was it that the Slayer Emergency Kit was in Wood's possession all these years, so it could turn up at the exact moment when the Slayer needs it? And isn't it strange that such a bag can somehow disappear from the consciousness of Giles and the Watcher's Council, people who can remember millennia-old demons, after only 30 years? I mean, what else aren't these people keeping track of, if they can't remember to look for the one thing that is passed from Slayer to Slayer?

Don't get me wrong now--I thought the origin stuff was awesome. But as the season progresses toward the probable series finale, I'm getting more and more worried about how the writers "manage the clock." Buffy being raped by the demon-essence took way too much time, as did all the shots of the Shadow Men beating their staffs. I know the plot was important, but that doesn't mean it had to be so long. It was really the only part of the episode that dragged, which is unfortunate because it was the part that needed the most bang for its buck.

And though it wasn't as glaring here because of the intensity of the episode, it still appears as though the writers are having trouble balancing the drama and comedy. Last episode, "First Date," Jane Espenson was able to integrate the jokes into the plot, but had a hard time finding any drama. Douglas Petrie in "Get it Done" was able to mesh the drama with the plot, but the jokes seemed tacked on. They're getting closer to the distinct BtVS dramedy, but are still a few adjustments away. It just goes to show how much of S1-5 had Joss's personal touch.

Otherwise, everything was great! =) Really, I'd give it a 6 or 7 (grading on a Buffyverse scale, though). Had Petrie not turned Buffy into a jerk for 5-10 minutes, it'd be an 8 or higher.

Bonus points:

-After the First Slayer and Buffy fall down the stairs, they are almost exactly in the same poses as in "Restless" when Buffy thinks she's awake and the First Slayer ineffectually stabs her.

-Look closely (it's hard because of the funky lighting) and you can see Dark Willow's hair turn from black to red when Xander pulls her from the circle, just as it did the last time Xander grabbed Dark Willow in "Grave."

-As Scroll pointed out, Spike's "berserker yell" in the fight is exactly the same thing he did when he found out he could fight demons in "Doomed."

-If Spike somehow survives until the end of the series (whenever that may be), then would this be the first time someone recognizably "good" has ever smoked a cigarette and lived (relatively speaking)?

-The Sumerian/French discussion Dawn and Buffy have echoes Buffy and Xander in "Primeval."

-"Herein lies your strength. The energy of the demon. It's spirit. It's heart." Echoes of the Uber-Buffy of "Primeval?" Notice that the "mind" of the demon is not mentioned.

-What happened to Andrew? Did the funnel cake win? He disappears for the rest of the episode, even though Buffy gathers everyone for the speech, a demon crashes through the house, and Willow starts tossing magic around again. They must lock him in the closet or something (insert your own interpretation here).

-And speaking of Andrew, his black duster should still be at the Summers' house, since the last we saw of it, Anya was stomping on it in Dawn's room in "Never Leave Me."

[> [> Can't agree about one thing (spoilers) -- Scroll, 23:24:16 02/18/03 Tue

The speech scene was enough to make me want to toss my TV out the window. Buffy was acting obscenely out-of-character for plot purposes. Here's a hint, people: if you can't write the characters in-character and make the plot work, then the plot doesn't work. Especially on this show, which is supposedly all about character.

See, the thing is, I don't think Buffy was acting out-of-character. Or rather, I recognise that the Buffy of two years ago, heck even 6 months ago, would never have said those things about Willow, Anya, Chloe, etc. And I think that's the point. Buffy has changed in just these past few months. She's hardened. And I don't even think it's been a quick change that came from the past few months, but something that's been in her for years and has only begun to manifest this season.

And I think Buffy's extreme Slayerness and bootcamp mentality is central to the plot and her overall characterisation. Joss is playing Buffy's Counsellor side against her Slayer side, and her Slayer side is winning nearly every time. Buffy has lost a great deal of her ability to empathise, it seems. I've seen flashes here and there, but as more potentials show up, the harder it seems for Buffy to really connect. Hence the point made in "First Date" that Buffy had left her cell phone behind. She's not connected.

Be patient, I'm sure we'll see how it all plays out...

[> [> [> Ah, but I do agree -- Valheru, 01:40:17 02/19/03 Wed

After seeing "GID" again, I think you're right. To me, the Buffy we've seen since the end of "BotN" is rather OOC. Not really OOC, but more...distorted-character. I just don't understand the change she has made, from her perspective. I know what the writers are doing--trying to emphasize the "back against the wall, no hope" threat of the First. But if you're Buffy, what makes the First a bigger threat in Season 7 than Dark Willow presented in Season 6, Glory in Season 5, the Mayor in Season 3, or the Master in Season 1? Each Big Bad represents the Toughest Battle Buffy Will Ever Face, until the next season rolls around and there is (usually) something tougher waiting.

Take the Master. From what all Buffy knows in S1, the Master is the epitome of Big Badness. His less-powerful-than-he minions have nearly killed her on several occasions. He has killed her in her nightmares. There's a written-in-stone prophecy that says he will kill her in reality. If you're S1 Buffy, isn't that as bad as it comes?

I guess what I'm asking is, why haven't we seen this side of Buffy before? What changed in her that she is so much harder now? Did Joyce's death, Buffy's sacrifice and rebirth, and the struggles of S6 combine to--as she was afraid of in "Intervention"--turn Buffy to stone when the new Big Bad appeared? Or is it something else?

From a dramatic standpoint, it's a huge gamble by Joss if it is indeed an intentional change. I don't empathize with Buffy anymore. I'm getting almost no grasp of her emotional state whatsoever. Hell, I'm finding it easier to empathize with Angel (ANGEL!) than I am with Buffy right now. And it's not just Buffy--Xander, Anya, Giles, and Spike (at least, until tonight) aren't stirring very many emotions either. Willow has been better of late, but for three or so episodes before "TKiM," I didn't get her, either. Pretty much the only characters generating anything consistenly are Andrew, Dawn, and Kennedy.

It's all catching me so off guard. For the majority of 6 seasons, I was sucked into every single emotion these characters even hinted at feeling. I can't watch more than two episodes a night or else I'm an emotional wreck. But Season 7 is leaving me cold. Sure, it's very intellectualy stimulating, but so is PBS.

Joss probably does have a plan for all this. I'm 70% sure. But getting there is so hard. I hate to see Buffy acting so cold. I hate to see the Scoobies so lost. I don't watch this show for Dawn or Andrew or Kennedy or even Spike. I watch for Buffy, Xander, Willow, and Giles. And when they're all so broken as they are now, it's not entertaining.

[> [> [> [> Not broken... Growing up. -- Briar Rose, 01:53:25 02/19/03 Wed

Buffy is showing signs of extreme STRESS. For the first time in her life she's not just protecting people she cares about - she's having to prepare them to protect themselves "in case" she can't.

It's the classic struggle any parental figure has to face. As Giles sang in OMWF, "Wish I could slay your deamons, but now that time has passed... Wish I could stay. But I'm standing in the way."

Buffy has moved fully (kicking and screaming) into the stage that was begun with Joyce's death and having to try and raise Dawn. But now she has so many PS's and too little time to be all touchy feely before they will be facing the most important fight of their life. And I really think that what the whole "it isn't enough" line was alluding to is that BUFFY isn['t going to be enough by herself. It will take a TRIBE, each working their own powers, to finally defeat this Evil.

I LOVED this ep! In fact I have loved every ep this season except "Him."*L I am watching a young woman and her young friends grow up in astounding ways in such a short time that i actually started to cry when Buffy did the "militia monolog" and they all started to come to grips with what it meant one by one.

Sometimes we don't get what we need out of others until we tell them what we need. Sometimes we have to use shock to truly get the message through. As Willow said, Twinkies and Kisses are good..." But Buffy had already tried that route again and again and it wasn't working. It wasn't forceful enough to get across the immediate danger. Buffy did just that - and it's about time someone did besides Giles. Giles really isn't a PEER, nor is he the one that everyone accepts as the Chosen One and therefore the one who will have to marshall the forces and fight the final fight. Buffy is.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ah, but I do agree -- Rook, 03:27:31 02/19/03 Wed

We have seen this side of Buffy before, more than once:

The Yoko Factor:

BUFFY: (raising her voice) No! No, you said you wanted to go. So let's go! All of us. We'll walk into that cave with you two attacking me and the funny drunk drooling on my shoe! Hey! Hey, maybe that's the secret way of killing Adam?!

XANDER: Buffy . . .

BUFFY: (hurt and angry) Is that it? Is that how you can help? (a beat) You're not answering me! How can you possibly help?

BUFFY: (somberly) So . . . I guess I'm starting to understand why there's no ancient prophecy about a Chosen One . . and her friends.

BUFFY: If I need help, I'll go to someone I can count on.

The Gift:

Giles: "I imagine you hate me right now. ... I love Dawn."
Buffy: "I know."
Giles: "But I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means saying and doing what other people can't... they shouldn't have to."
Buffy: "You try and hurt her, and you know I'll stop you."
Giles: "I know."

Buffy: "Remember: The ritual starts, we all die; and I'll kill anyone who comes near Dawn."


Buffy: I mean, I can beat up the demons, until the cows come home. And then, I can beat up the cows. But I'm not sure I like what it's doing to me.

Buffy: Maybe being the perfect Slayer means being too hard to love at all. I already feel like I can hardly say the words.

Oh, and pretty much the entire episode of WSWB.

This part of Buffy's personality has always been there...it's been seen here and there and it's "coming out" the way it is now has been foreshadowed for a long time.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ah, but I do agree -- Miss Edith, 07:49:37 02/19/03 Wed

What disturbed me was Buffy choosing to bury two of the girls (Amanda and now Chloe) in unmarked graves. Do they not have family's to notify? Did Giles just kidnap them? I also had a problem with Kennedy in this episode (mind you that's nothing new, I've never warmed to the character and in Willow's place I would have considered taking out a restraining order). Kennedy's name calling struck me as vicious and counter productive. Not to get too O/T but at school I was hopeless at sports and being constantly belittled does not give you the confidence you need.

As for Buffy's speech I didn't agree with it, but I do understand that she is just confused and trying to be a competent leader. And seeing herself as the leader there to whip the troops into line is consistent with her character. As she herself admits she does have a superiority complex and considers herself special because she saves the world as part of her destiny, unlike her friends who can't be as effective as they fight by choice, not with the powers that Buffy has. So it's not surprising that she can come across as overbearing with people that she perceives as weaker than herself.

The lesson from Intervention was that Buffy is full of love and the episode was an opportunity for Buffy to provide the vunerable girls with comfort and moral support. Making unfeeling remarks about their dead friend was IMO cold. Buffy had the dream warning her Chloe was at breaking point, and she sees Kennedy humiliate Chloe. The right thing to do would be for Buffy to step in and learn Chloe's name (she didn't know it right?) and show compassion. That was what was needed. Also I believe in the army it's considered bad form to undermine your equal's authority in front of people of a lower rank. If Buffy had a problem with her friends the respectful choice would have been to confront them in private. Anya has regularly been going into the demon world to get vital info at great risk to herself after all and Buffy wasn't that clear about what exactly she expected the others to do. I think she was simply frustrated. IMO Sarah isn't being given the chance the show Buffy as conflicted so she is coming across as harder than the writers may have intended.

Buffy is putting on a front. We know this isn't the real Buffy as in previous episodes she holds Spike's hand and comforts him when he cries. Now she is making fun of him for being weak and whining, we can see she is simply playing the role of the tough leader. Not to mention in DT Buffy is horrified at Spike's attitude towards Katrina "that's all this is to you. Another body". When Buffy was in high school Giles treated Buffy with respect and he got results. The Watcher's council were shown to be in the wrong when they tried to dictate to an independent Buffy. Putting down the troops until they break just isn't all that effective. Mind you I thought Buffy's biggest mistake was not tearing into her friends, but in not practicing what she preaches, and refusing to access her own dark power. She should consider leading by example when berating Spike and Willow. But Kennedy had no right to speak to anyone in the way that she did. And seeing her draping herself all over Willow irritated the hell out of me. Personal space Kennedy. Look into it. I can cut Buffy some slack because she's feeling overwhelmed at the moment. But Kennedy is just a maggot lol. She's the same age as the other 15 year olds as far as I'm aware, and she has no business putting herself in the role of drill sargent and being proud of herself for calling some weaker a maggot. What a nasty little bully. Basically I can see where Buffy is coming from, but she needs to find a more effective way. Perhaps she should considering looking to Giles for an example? And Kennedy just needs to go far far away. Her arrogant attitude really grates.

[> [> [> [> [> This post shouldn't be here. -- Miss Edith, 07:56:30 02/19/03 Wed

I have no idea how my post ended up here? I posted it under the above post asking if Buffy's speech was justified. It has been posted twice in two different threads. I'm not sure how that happened?

[> [> [> [> Re: Ah, but I do agree -- maddog, 08:44:56 02/19/03 Wed

I think it's the total lack of knowledge of what The First is capable of. Every season they've been able to gather at least some intel on "The Big Bad". I think her lack of knowledge leads to a fear of hopelessness that she doesn't want the others to see. If she puts on the strong, kick butt face then no one can see that she's scared beyond belief. And the only thing she knows how to do at this point is to go gung ho...kick ass...and hope in the end everyone will understand why.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ah, but I do agree -- Veronica, 16:43:26 02/19/03 Wed

Don't forget, too, that this is the first time she's had a bunch of failures in a row that resulted in the deaths of the people she was trying to protect. The fact that Chloe *took her OWN life* must have been what put Buffy over the edge.


[> [> [> Re: Can't agree about one thing (spoilers) -- maddog, 08:28:52 02/19/03 Wed

I completely agree and I think the turning point came when she gave the first "we're an army, leave if you don't want in" speech. Her tone changed...her demeanor changed...I've never seen Buffy like that...when she said, "they want a fight...oh, we'll give em one"(paraphrased of course) it gave me chills...cause it's the first time in a long time that she's acted like the fight against evil was more than just a job.

[> [> Re: I loved it, but I didn't like it...details inside! -- Cactus Watcher, 06:01:27 02/19/03 Wed

I don't think you're giving Buffy enough credit. Don't say to yourself Buffy was acting badly after Chloe's death. Ask yourself why she said precisely what she did.

The girls aren't there for a quilting bee. Something is trying to kill every last one of them. Buffy is trying to keep them alive, however she can. It was important for the survivors to understand that Chloe didn't die because Kennedy yelled at her, and made her do push ups. Chloe died because she gave in to what they all must struggle with, the fear of the First. Buffy has been trying to tell them all along that some of them weren't going to survive, but if they stick together some will survive and the world will be saved. Chloe chose to 'go it alone.' She gave in to despair. Not only did she let the others down by removing what strength she had from the group, the mannner of her death could very well have shattered the morale of the group. It could have left them all thinking too much about how hard it was to do what they were facing, and too little about how necessary it was. Buffy was right to say Chloe was an idiot. She has learned that being a leader sometimes means saying things the blunt, harsh way, so that everyone understands you mean business. Buffy has grown up.

[> [> [> Motivation doesn't excuse action -- Valheru, 12:37:22 02/19/03 Wed

No, I completely understand why Buffy said what she said. She needed to shock the Potentials into action, just as she needed to instill in them confidence in "Showtime." I would have been disappointed in Buffy if she hadn't tried to get the Potentials going. It's not the why I have a problem with, it's the how.

There was simply no excuse for Buffy to directly insult Chloe. She could have made the exact same argument to the Potentials without calling her "an idiot." Something like, "Do you guys want to be dead, too? Then wake up!" Chloe was an innocent girl who cracked under pressure when facing the world's greatest evil; if Chloe's an idiot, then so is every other Scooby who has at one time or another succumbed to the wills of lesser evils. If Xander had been killed while working for Dracula, would anyone appreciate it if Buffy had called him an idiot at the wake?

Everyone makes mistakes, and some of those mistakes lead to death. We can learn from those fatal mistakes without losing respect for the dead. I thought Buffy knew that, being the great follow-your-heart Slayer and all, but I guess she has lost the capacity.

[> [> [> [> Re: Motivation doesn't excuse action -- CW, 13:31:04 02/19/03 Wed

We have a valid disagreement. I don't think that it was the time or the place for letting the girls work throught their grief or for worrying about insulting the dearly departed, even if it had been Xander. I think, as Giles was trying to say last episode, there isn't time for a lot things like the niceties anymore. But, I do understand your positon as well.

[> [> [> [> [> But Our Buffy has never been very articulate in polite platitudes in the past either.... -- Briar Rose, 14:11:22 02/19/03 Wed

I understand the way that it came of to some people was just plain cold, heartless and rude. I agree that it was one of the more cutting of all we've heard from Buffy so far (but then again, it's not when you read some of the posts above with quotes from past seasons.*L)

But Buffy is NOT by any means a master orator when it comes to relating life or death concepts. Buffy has never been an exceptionally articulate person. She says what she means in the most direct and simple way possible. Always has and always will. Except for a wicked sense of pop culture humor and innuendo, she is plain spoken. That's a good thing in this world of professional victims and sugar coated PCness, IMO.

Buffy said what she meant. She just cried and buried the weak link. Thats what Chloe was - the weak link. And Buffy knows that there are TONS of weak links in her "army" and that she can't carry all of them.

So instead of making a speech as one of the wonderfully eurodite and intellectual posters on ATPOBtVS would - she speaks as BUFFY always has: Direct. To the point. From her true feelings and emotions.

Paraphrasing: "Chloe was an idiot. Don't be an idiot. I can't spend my time burying weak people while trying to fight the fight to save earth and life as we know it."

Buffy didn't flesh out the between the lines for them, she assumed they could make the connection: Chloe "gave in" to fear and the FE's lies even though EVERYONE knows by now that the FE is all about lies and how it works those lies. So Chloe was an idiot. Don't be an idiot.

Works for me.*L

[> [> [> [> Re: Motivation doesn't excuse action -- Robert, 18:46:53 02/19/03 Wed

>>> There was simply no excuse for Buffy to directly insult Chloe.

Buffy did not directly insult Cloe. Cloe was dead. Therefore, she could not be directly insulted. However, she could be used as an example to others, with the hope of preventing any more needless deaths.

>>> If Xander had been killed while working for Dracula, would anyone appreciate it if Buffy had called him an idiot at the wake?

Your example does parallel the current situation. Xander was drafted by Dracula against his will. He was in no position to help himself or to ask for help from the others. Cloe, on the other hand, could have and should have screamed for help when the First Evil began its work on her. Cloe should have asked for help earlier when fear began to dominate her thinking. The First Evil did not kill Cloe. Cloe's fears led her to kill herself.

>>> We can learn from those fatal mistakes without losing respect for the dead.

I think you may have been watching something different than I was. Buffy was respecting the dead when she was burying Cloe's body. She was respecting the living when she gave her critical speach to group in her living room.

>>> I thought Buffy knew that, being the great follow-your-heart Slayer and all, but I guess she has lost the capacity.

The theme of the episode as Buffy expressed early on is that she is afraid of losing some of the girls. This is not an expression of heartlessness. If tough love is required, it isn't any less an expression of love.

[> [> [> [> [> I agree with you 110%. -- Rob, 09:07:42 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> Regarding the Buffster -- s'kat, 08:11:24 02/19/03 Wed

Have to say I agree with Cactus Watcher on this one.
But then I also don't consider Field Marshal Von Buffy entirely out of character - Buffy has always had that bitchy side.

Tripping through the series...

1. Buffy's speech as to why she shouldn't be the slayer and refusal to be in both Harvest and Prophecy Girl

2. When She was Bad

3. The Gift - "not exactly the St. Crispin's Day Speech is it"
She tells them they'll all probably die and if anyone touches Dawn, she'll kill them herself.

4. Graduation Day Part II - again Field Marshall Von Buffy.
Telling everyone they need to get their act together.

5. Yoko Factor - none of you guys can help me speech, you're all weak

6. Season 6 Buffy in OMWF and other segments.

Buffy can be a royal bitch when she wants to be - it's part of what I like about her. And she has been pushed this year to be a bit colder at times. The poor thing has been through a great deal and fear can make us all sound pretty harsh. Also...Chloe had given up. Buffy's speech to the gang reminded me a little of Dead Man's Party and Yoko Factor and The Gift. She's done it before, she'll do it again. She's not a saint afterall. What I liked was the contrasts shown - we see her struggle between counselor and slayer. From the scenes in the school - to the training in her backyard. Also the speech scene - contrasted with the scene in her bedroom with Willow at the end. Truth is?
Buffy is both. But she's hunting for a way to integrate them, just as Willow and Spike are attempting to integrate.

[> [> [> This, this is my problem with the last two and a half seasons -- KdS, 09:39:27 02/19/03 Wed

Because having seen the first five eps of the season now, I was thinking that this is exactly what Buffy's going through at the moment. Thing is in war films, whether pro or anti we always see it from the grunts' point of view - the upper ranks are portrayed as monsters if it's pacifistic, or just as distant ciphers if it's broadly pro war, or pro-war in the right extreme circumstances.

What we've been seeing in S5-7 from The Body on is how somebody gets to be the person who gives the orders and has the responsibility of sending people to possibly die. Or rather, that's what ME have been trying to do. Ever since The Body, and I really feel that it was Joyce's death and not Buffy's death and resurrection that was the real turning point, ME have been trying to portray Buffy as a person keeping a death grip on her own emotion because of what she fears will happen if she lets it out (and she may actually be right - so much of modern pop psychology is for people who have the time and life stability to indulge in lengthy self-examination, and the one thing that it's scared of admitting is that there are things that many people really don't come back from). The apparent depression of S6 was really purposelessness (hideous, but can't think of anything better). She's really still just as wounded underneath in S7, but the difference is that she found, in Dawn, and in her friends, a reason to carry on dealing with it.

The problem is that if you're creating a story about such a desperately tightly-wound character you can only really do it in prose with first-person or very internal and omniscient third-person narration, or in drama with an actor of truly incredible ability. And SMG is well above average as an actor, but she's no Erich von Stroheim (sorry to anyone who hasn't seen La Grande Illusion). I'm desperately trying not to say anything that would be considered actor-bashing, but she failed horribly in the final scene of Beneath You, and IMHO it's only the discussion of so many perceptive people here that really helped me understand what's going on with her through S6. I'm not blaming her, it's just that ME are trying to do something that would scare any actor. Then again, an ordinary young woman thrust into a situation requiring superhuman powers that would scare anyone? Maybe there's some particularly nasty ME metanarration going on.

[> [> [> [> On this we agree -- s'kat, 12:46:16 02/19/03 Wed

The problem is that if you're creating a story about such a desperately tightly-wound character you can only really do it in prose with first-person or very internal and omniscient third-person narration, or in drama with an actor of truly incredible ability. And SMG is well above average as an actor, but she's no Erich von Stroheim (sorry to anyone who hasn't seen La Grande Illusion). I'm desperately trying not to say anything that would be considered actor-bashing, but she failed horribly in the final scene of Beneath You, and IMHO it's only the discussion of so many perceptive people here that really helped me understand what's going on with her through S6. I'm not blaming her, it's just that ME are trying to do something that would scare any actor. Then again, an ordinary young woman thrust into a situation requiring superhuman powers that would scare anyone? Maybe there's some particularly nasty ME metanarration going on.

Very very few actresses have the ability to convey this.
I actually thought the 30 something actress in La Femme
Nikita came pretty close. But she misstepped on occassion and the script was nowhere as good.
The actresses who have accomplished this are Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice, Jessica Lange in Francis, Sissy Spacek,
Dame Judith Dench, Joanne Woodward. It takes years to get there and for a 20 something actress - it's expecting a lot.
No - she hasn't quite come through. Occassionally yes.
In Normal Again. In last night's episode. At the end of Showtime. But I agree for as many times as she nails it, there are many she doesn't. Lots of fans had no clue what she was feeling in Villains or Beneath You. That's a misstep.

This said - we have to realize that performances on TV aren't necessarily the same as film or even on stage. They take so many takes, then grab whichever has best lighting.
They don't get unlimited takes and there isn't really any rehearsal time unlike film and theatre. I remember listening to Whedon's commentary on The Body - and that commentary gave me a great deal of respect for SMG's talent. She had to do a very difficult group of scenes over and over and over again and nailed it each time. I respect that.

I think what the writers have been attempting to do this year and last is incredibly ambitious. (I have a hunch I know where they are going with this). And incredibly difficult to pull off - with all the components they have available to them. I'd be surprised if they or their actors don't make a few missteps from time to time.

[> [> [> Re: Regarding the Buffster -- Valheru, 13:39:15 02/19/03 Wed

But SK, these were all isolated incidents of personal integrity or degradation, not sustained personalities. They showed Buffy rising or falling to the occasion, not Buffy's general personality.

"WSWB," Buffy was clearly out-of-character because that was the whole idea, to show Buffy 'when she was bad.'

In "The Gift," even though Buffy was being very Slayer-ish, she was still giving her friends the respect they deserved. She was attacking their arguments, not their selves. She could have chastised Willow for working on a spell to save Tara rather than a spell to stop Glory, but she didn't because she respected Willow's decision. She could have called Giles names, as she did Anya and Spike in "GiD," but she didn't.

Buffy wasn't hard in "GD2," she was decisive. She certainly didn't tell Xander and Angel to leave or that they were useless when they argued over "Key guy capacity." She didn't bark orders at anyone.

In "The Yoko Factor," the whole point was that the Scoobies were having a fight. They were all acting strangely. Is it normal that Giles becomes a funny drunk? He's done it 3 times in 6 years. And I certainly wouldn't like it if Giles stayed drunk for half a season.

And in S6, we were given ample explanation for Buffy's behavior even before she did exhibited it. It was a series of natural reactions. And while I think we have been given an explanation for why Buffy would be hard with the Potentials, her bitchiness toward the Scoobies was horribly established. If Buffy thinks Anya, Spike, and Willow have been useless, she needs to get her head examined.

[> [> [> [> You Gotta Have Heart -- cjl, 14:16:53 02/19/03 Wed

You gotta have heart
All you really need is heart
When the odds are sayin'
You'll never win
That's when a grin
Should start.

You gotta have hope
Mustn't sit around and mope
Nothin's half as better as it may appear
Wait'll next year
And hope.

When your luck is battin' zero
Get your chin up off the floor.
Mister you can be a hero
You can open any door,
There's nothin' to it,
But to do it

You've gotta have heart
Miles 'n' miles 'n' miles of heart,
Oh, it's fine to be a genius of course,
But keep that old horse before the cart,
First you've gotta have heart.

"Heart" -- from Damn Yankees

Geez, here I go again. I'm on a musical kick this year.

If Xander has any purpose other than repairing those damn windows for the length of the season, it's got to be his traditional role as the heart of the Scoobies. I've seen a lot of posts today about how Buffy may have had good reason for her post-mortem speech, and just as many objecting to it. But both camps (mostly) agreed on one point: it didn't have heart. Buffy had no consideration for the feelings of the people whom she depends on, and who depend on her. Somebody has to remind Buffy of the bond of friendship, of love, a bond that has given the Scoobies an incomparable advantage in most of the previous scraps with a big, honking evil. Who're you gonna call?

Paging Alexander Lavelle Harris.

Why has Xander been so muted this season? Why hasn't he gotten in Buffy's face (as in Revelations) and unloaded? The problem is, all of the Scoobies--Willow, Xander, Giles, all of them--are unsure about their abilities after S6. Willow doesn't think she has the spirit, the force of will, to wield her magicks without succumbing to the dark side; Giles' prodigious intellect has bumped into one dead end after another, and it's affecting his judgment; and Xander's own failure of heart in "Hell's Bells" has almost literally forced him into the woodwork. They've all got to clear away their doubts and fears and tap into the strengths that served them so well in Seasons 1-5.

Xander, as the non-powered Scoob, has both the easiest path back and the furthest to go. He's got no supernatural abilities to consider, just a gnawing self-doubt and guilt over how he hurt the woman he loved. (Yeah, that's all.) If he somehow manages to come to terms with what happened with Anya, he might be back to our favorite Zeppo before too long, and maybe he could inspire the others.

Couldn't hurt.

[> Yeah, another mind-blowing episode. *Yawn!* -- HonorH, 00:03:44 02/19/03 Wed

It's becoming routine this season. Could be a serious problem--if they keep this up, Joss' finale could very well kill off his entire fan base. Maybe we should boycott.

Aw, heck. I love to live dangerously.

[> [> will Honorificus be making her customary contribution to the reviews? -- Helen, 02:32:53 02/19/03 Wed

A minion grovels before her, humbly begging for her luminous opinions on the sartorial aspects of the ep.

[> [> [> Can anyone stop her? -- HonorH, 10:16:23 02/19/03 Wed

And don't grovel, woman! It's undignified, and you'll give her a bigger head than she's already got.

[> do not think LOTR and think SPAWN -- neaux, 04:20:07 02/19/03 Wed

I do believe it was the movie SPAWN that first brought this idea of millions of underworld minions.

oh.. and while I like tonite's episode, I did not like SPAWN.

[> [> Come on neaux -- Etrangere, 05:49:23 02/19/03 Wed

The movie was one of the worst I've ever seen.
But the animated serie, Spawn ? How can you ever do better than that ?

[> [> [> the animated series is totally different -- neaux, 08:15:33 02/19/03 Wed

what i've seen of the animated series was 20 times better than the movie. the only good that came from the movie Spawn was the soundtrack.

[> [> Re: do not think LOTR and think SPAWN -- Rob, 07:35:07 02/19/03 Wed

That's interesting. I don't know "Spawn," but even if that is where the idea first came from, it has been utilized in LotR quite a few times, especially with the backwards camera sweep of the CGI armies.


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