February 2003 posts

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Slayer vs. Counselor (Major BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Traveler, 19:20:58 02/18/03 Tue

It seems pretty obvious that Buffy is still struggling between her role as the Slayer and a counselor, but the Slayer almost won out. When she woke from her dream, her first instinct was to seek out the first slayer, not comfort the crying girl. This indirectly lead to her suicide, which Buffy could have prevented. Buffy only fought against the Slayer aspect of herself when she found out it was demonic. Even then, her response was "you are just guys." Knowing that these men created her with black magic, she still sees herself as above them, the chosen one. Not only has Buffy been embracing her Slayer self, but she is encouraging others to become slayers. She calls others weak multiple times for giving in to human emotions, such as fear, even going so far as to tell Spike that he was more useful when he was evil. In addition, Buffy tells Anya (and by extension Xander, Dawn, and Andrew) that she is useless because she is human and fearful. When Kennedy defends Willow, saying that she is more powerful than her, Buffy retorts that at least she uses her power, whereas Willow doesn't. Buffy is beginning to look uncomfortably like Amy, isn't she? It isn't about love or friendship. It's about power. Kennedy agreed with Buffy at first, lording her power as drill seargent over the potentials. However that soured when one of her charges comitted suicide and she found herself on the receiving end of Willow's far greater power. Thus, Buffy has been pushing all of her companions to become more slayer-like--powerful, but tainted with evil.

[> Re: Slayer vs. Counselor (Major BtVS 7.15 spoilers) -- Darby, 20:59:36 02/18/03 Tue

It struck me as odd and very non-supportive that Willow would laugh when Buffy suggested that Wood might appreciate her counselling skills in First Date - first, why would Willow even know how Buffy was doing at work, and second, why would a friend denigrate a friend's competence like that? This episode, I think that the point is, to the first instance, Willow is seeing firsthand that Buffy the Slayer's skills with the Protos suck (it's giving her insight into Buffy at work, on top of Buffy's stories and absenteeism), but the laughter is being used to direct attention to a critical shortcoming of Buffy's.

I've always felt that the closest description of a Buffyverse human soul is empathy, the ability to see things from another's perspective and act based upon that knowledge. It's a necessary feature of a good counselor, and it's at the root of much of perceived Evil. It seems like it's not one of Buffy's strengths, and lately even less so. She needs to be more selfless, or the First will continue to manipulate her down a path where the welfare of individuals will disappear under her perception of the general welfare.

[> [> Selfless or Self-ful? (Spoilers, Get it Done) -- Rahael, 05:39:56 02/19/03 Wed

She needs to be more selfless, or the First will continue to manipulate her down a path where the welfare of individuals will disappear under her perception of the general welfare.

My reading (literally, I haven't seen the show) is that Buffy has the opposite problem (though this disagreement is largely based on semantics). She has become too selfless. She's lost who she is, to her job. She's lost herself in her self sacrificial, serving mankind, forgetting about me, I'm the one who always has to make the hard decisions gig.

She assumes that everyone must have that. Be an army, not the scooby friends.

It's interesting that they titled Anya's ep 'Selfless'. Anya says to Xander (paraphrasing) "Buffy will try to kill me, she has a job to do and I have a job to do". Anya doesn't have an identity. She instead 'serves', even though the service is destructive.

Anya is freed, not by self sacrifice but the symbolic sacrifice of one part of her, represented by Halfrek, the vengeance demon. She is given her self-hood back, freed from the constraints of self-lessness.

I have a feeling that this is an important commentary on Buffy. Especially because the Buffy who appears in that ep is so chilling, and yet so tremulous and sad. She was heartbreaking as she set off to do her 'job', as heartbreaking to me as Anya was, tearing out the hearts of those men because it was her 'job'. In that episode, Buffy says 'I am the law'. She subsumes who she is to an abstract principle, personifying both the law (which can also be characterised as 'justice' and as 'vengeance') and also 'death'. As KdS said, where's her scythe, already?

My personal opinion is that Buffy will attain true empathy when she regains true selfhood. When she loses the hero trip. When she loses the self sacrifice gig. The downside of people who are ready to sacrifice themselves utterly is that they expect others to do the same, which I think we see in the latest ep.

What I thought was most significant of her 'self' sacrifice in The Gift was that she was explicitly doing it so that part of her self could live on. Perhaps its in the fullest expression of her self that she finds the most empathy with others. Dawn, who is made from her represents the world she saves. From herself, to the world.

All of this (Spoilers 7.15 and most seasons INTENSE SPECULATION with argument for future) Very long -- grum, 20:08:56 02/18/03 Tue

Before I begin to put together my thoughts on where Buffy is going and where it has been, allow me to explain a couple of things the are important to the way I view this series. I've been developing this basic outline of Buffy for almost two years now. As well as attempting to survey the complex set of symbols in which the show expounds its meaning. Mind you, I didn't write this over that period, this is a more or less quickly jotted off summary of what I see, so I hope it is of interest.

I approach the show as if it were a novel, one long connected thought that has a beginning, a middle, and an ending. It has a thematic wholeness, a cohesiveness that carries from the first episode through the most recent episode and will continue until the last episode airs. It is a singular artwork. I say this because, while it is true that each season has it's own themes and developments and single episodes can each be looked at and appreciated on their own, there is more involved than that. There is an over-riding thematic arc involved, something set forth in Welcome to the Hell Mouth that will be settled by the last episode. By this I mean more than the show stars SMG as a character called Buffy and therefore anything put forth under this rubric is obviously a continuing story. All television shows, at least dramas and sit-coms, have long standing continuing characters there is nothing new in this. Some have complex multi-season plot lines. Good ones tie the ending to the beginning and give some form of appropriate closure. But I have never seen a show as consistent as this one in its use of metaphor, theme, and signifiers. (Twin Peaks might have been heading in that direction but there were too few episodes for me to be comfortable stating it is so.) I wish to discuss the show as a single artwork. In doing so I approach from a film studies angle. While I have some familiarity of philosophical and psychological arguments and views, these mostly come via the study of film as objects of art and culture. By the way, I do not use the term art loosely. Art is to me a holy thing and I do not apply it to every human produced object that exists. It is not the method nor the means nor the materials that make an artwork, there must be a transcendent "meaning" involved. A complexity of thought behind the work and a singular unclouded vision moving it forward. It should show what is not sayable, what is not able to be summed up in a simple paragraph, it should be ambiguous yet decisive, it should be as complex as a symphony and as simple as haiku, it should contradict itself and contain multitudes. Buffy does that for me, and I suspect many of you as well.

You may be saying that is all very well and good but what's your point? My point is merely that I intend to address this show from first to last via this viewpoint. I ask for your indulgence and your help in this regard. I intend to try and put together an overview of what is being said in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and what it all means.
Many of you will probably disagree with some of the premises I am putting forward. Others of you have already touched on things I will, therefore, repeat. However I have yet to see the threads fully woven into whole cloth. Shadowkat's essays are wonderful, as are many of the postings I have read so far, but I believe the connections to the whole are sometimes missing or tenuous and that good ideas have been unjustly ignored or underdeveloped. So to begin, allow me to state my premises on the guiding metaphors of the show.

1) Buffy the Vampire Slayer is a show about awareness; by that I mean the show itself is "self aware" or at least it is becoming so throughout its run. Its about the journey, its about awakening the sleeping knowledge of whom one is. Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not only the title of the main character it is the title of the show and the show is its character. As Buffy the character grows in self awareness so does the show itself. This explains its increasing "wonkiness", it explains its self referential nature, as well as its outside references. The characters within the show are constantly being coded for us to read them with a proper perspective on their meaning within its structure. Xander is the heart of the show, Willow is the spirit, Giles is the mind and Buffy is the body of the show. We are willingly manipulated by this coding into viewing things the way the show and its characters do. The show is fated, the characters names control their destinies. This is also why the show uses prophecies and dreams in the way it does. It tells us things that will happen via foreshadowing the same way the characters learn by dreams and prophecies. However, the show always runs a little bit ahead of us, that is to say that we have the information but we can never be exactly sure how it will be used because meaning is multivalent in BtVS. Meaning is evasive because a stake is a phallus, teutonic guy is cowboy guy, and there are Watchers and there are watchers. This is a show that plays off the ambiguity of words and images to generate meaning. A name isn't just a name in this show, if Willow asks if someone has Chomsky for history, we have a reference outside the show to a real person named Chomsky who deals in the "hidden" history of the US. That name gives us an angle on how the show wishes to be viewed. Robin Wood isn't just an off handed reference to an obscure film critic, it is a crucial reference to the guiding principals of the show.

2) This is a feminist show, and more importantly it is a show about feminism. It isn't one of those soi-disant "strong" woman shows or "modern-independent" women shows that really speak to today's young woman about issues she cares about. This isn't Lifetime tv or Oprah or Sex in the City, this is a show about growing up as a woman in a world controlled by men. It's about the power of the gaze, of the word, of the phallus and who controls them.

It's about power. That's what we've been told. Power is not intrinsically good or evil, like a hammer, power can be used as a tool or a weapon. Everyone has power, this we have been shown many times. By this I don't necessarily mean super powers, but power of some sort or another. It may remain dormant within but it is there. Xander uses the power he has to enormous effect for the good, Warren used the power he could find for the bad. As we also have been shown the potential is there to do either, wield power for good or ill. So, it is the abuse of power that is evil.

What form would the abuse of power be on this show? Here I will make a slight leap, but I will come back and explain in a moment. This is a feminist show. That is one of its guiding philosophies. We know this although we often ignore the information. What is the abuse of power in a feminist context? The supression of women, the abuse of male power, the dominance of the patriarchal structure of society. How would this be manifested on this show? Or to put it another way what is the ultimate metaphorical form that male abuse of power could take?

Before I give my answer, allow me to supply some quotes to support what I am going to answer.
"Vagina Dentata: "Toothed vagina,"the classic symbol of men's fear of sex, expresseng the unconscious belief that a woman may eat or catrate her partner during intercourse....The reason is mouth symbolism, now recognized universally in myth and fantasy...The more patriarchal the society, the more fear seems to be aroused by the fantasy. Men of Malekula...were haunted by a yonic spirit called "that which draws us to It so that It may devour us." The Yanomamo said one of the first beings on earth was a woman whose vaguna became a toothed mouth and bit off her consorts penis. Chinese patriarchs said women's genitals were not only gateways to immortality but also "executioners of men." Moslem aphorisms said: "Three things are insatiable: the desert, the grave, and a woman's vulva."...Christian authorities of the Middle Ages taught that certain witches, with the help of the moon and magic spells, could grow fangs in their vaginas. They likened women's genitals to the "yawning" mouth of hell, though this was hardly original; the underworld gate had always been the yoni of Mother Hel....To Christian ascetics, Hell-mouth and the vagina drew upon the same ancient symbolism. Both were equated with the womb-symbol of the whale that swallowed Jonah; according to this "prophecy" the Hell-mouth swallowed Christ and kept him for three days."
---The Woman's Encyclopedia of Myths and Secrets

Okay that's all fine and good, god knows who the men of Malekula or the Yanomamo were but you matched some tropes of the show, are you sure there's a connection?

Don't fancy sticking my head in that.
But if something bites it off, that
will be a clue.

GILES (cont'd)
Try to be very specific. What is it,
exactly, you're afraid of?
Ho. Well. For starters? How about
the Hellmouth's getting all rumbly
again and now I know it's got teeth
and are those literal teeth 'cause I
don't know if I can handle it, and
what if I can handle it? Does that
mean I have to be a bigger, badder
badass than the source of all
badness? What if I have to give up
all this control stuff and go all
veiny and homicidal and what if ...

I could dig up some more quotes like Xander and Lissa's riff on the seal getting all excited on through the chopped off uber-arm, or tonight's talk of violation and being knocked up, but I will instead ask you to think of the main plots of the show. The Master needs the blood of the young heroine to rise, Angel being turned evil after sex, the Mayor eating a box of spiders then turning into a giant snake, Doc bleeding another youmg girl to open a portal to another world, and Warren drawing blood. These are images of sexual violation, of evil coming from sexual metaphor. There of course are hundreds of others in the show, my favorite being the evil arm in a box, but the point is this is a show about sex and violence. Not surprising I suppose Joss Whedon said as much, but what I am getting at is why.

Much discussion on the show is about whether or not they can fight The First, does it have a form? Can it be hurt? They don't know. Why don't they know? Because they can't name it. To fight The First they have to find its name. I believe it has one, I believe Buffy calls it daddy.

Buffy loves her father and he raped her. She feels that it is her fault. She thinks that if she loved him and he did that to her, it had to be her fault. She loves her father he must be worthy of that love so he must be a man worth loving, a good man. If he was a good man and he did that to her she must have wanted him to, and after he did he changed. He became a bad man. If he was good before he had sex with her and bad afterwards, she must have changed him. A good man was drawn to her and became a monster, a monster she created. Since she created him she must kill him, the monster that is, and if she does the man will be saved. Monsters are powerful to kill one you must be more powerful, mustn't you? If you can kill monsters you must be filled with power. That is a good feeling isn't it? To be filled with power like that? So relationships must be about wielding power, about wielding the phallus. Who controls the power the monster or the one that can slay or tame it? It's sort of a Juo-Jitsu maneuver of control, the monster may be stronger but by the proper techniques being applied the monster loses its abilities. Sure it's hard and painful but you have beaten the monster, tamed the beast. Of course you pay a price you die a little every time you fight it and during the act your body and consciousness are separated , don't think just react. If you think about what you're doing you will die.

Buffy knows that she is wrong about liking the power of slaying, she hates it, it's wrong. It affects her other relationships weak men are no match for her, they can't get near her, she's much to tough for that. Her person is scattered, her heart says one thing, her spirit another, and her mind yet a third. So she mostly relies on her body. It is with her body that she can slay the monster. If she just uses her physical skills she can keep her spirit strong, her mind sharp, and her heart pure. But the heart sometimes is sick. It seeks pain so it can feel. Her spirit is sometimes dark, it yearns to scream out and destroy the world for making her feel the way she does. So she relies on her mind to tell her that she must go on fighting, always fighting, fighting for always and forever, because if she lets down for just one moment, just an instant she'll lose.

To always be fighting, that is no way to live. To always be hard, to be ready to kill, you can't do that and live, I mean really live, enjoy life and all its riches. No, to do that you have to find a way out of the cycle of control. You have to balance love, passion, fear, vengeance, desire, and most of all power. It takes time and you need the right teacher. Unfortunately, as James Brown sang, this is a man's, man's, man's world and men control the information. So where does one find the right teacher? Buffy can't. But she can become one. Information generated via the patriarchal structure is tainted, it can only teach power to power. Women, within the system, teach submission or the use of sex to gain what you desire or being tougher, stronger, and smarter than men so you can take what you want. We need a way to masculinize the feminine and feminize the masculine.

I said Buffy can't find a teacher for this but she can teach it. Whom would she teach? Dawn. The slayer line must be prevented from being passed to Dawn. The First wants to make sure Buffy fails in this. It wants Dawn to become the next slayer. Why? Because being the slayer is being a hero but it is to be one that has already lost the battle. Being the slayer is, for lack of a better term good, having to be the slayer is horrible. There will always be slayers, we know this, so what can be done to stop Dawn from being one? The three men who created the slayer told Buffy that she is the last guardian of the Hellmouth. Buffy will stop Dawn from having to guard the Hellmouth. She must prevent the things that caused her to guard, to, in a sense, be the Hellmouth from happening to Dawn. The how and why and other speculation on the rest of the gang next time, assuming of course anyone is interested in hearing more.

Thanks for your time, I hope this is coherent, if not I will try to clarify and will provide textual support for most of my arguments. It's very difficult for me to narrow down my thoughts and since I haven't finished the archives I hope I haven't repeated to many things others had said if so please say so, and tell me what you think so far.

Two Different Types of Power (Buffy 7.15 Spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:17:29 02/18/03 Tue

A distinction is being made this season on BtVS between two different types of power. The first is the power that is gained by calling on someone else, getting someone else with power to do your will for you. The second is drawing power from within yourself to accomplish a goal.

The First Evil is a prime example of the first type of power. It is discorpreal; it can't actually do anything. Sure, it can appear in the forms of various dead people and use people's emotions against them, but it doesn't really have any power of its own. If it wants someone killed, it needs some Bringers or a Turok-Han to do it. It couldn't even grab the gun that Andrew brought it. Without people to do its will, the First is really nothing. Other types of this power have been used this season. The Watchers' Council couldn't really fight the First Evil. They need the Slayer for that, and without her help they were easily eliminated. Then, most recently in "Get It Done", the shamans who made the First Slayer also had this type of power. Buffy said it herself: "You're just guys". They couldn't use their magic to fight the demons; they needed a girl to be invested with a demonic power.

The second type of power is manifested various times. In "Lessons", Buffy tells Dawn that just having a stake doesn't give her power. You need to have the power within you. Likewise, the potential Slayers aren't waiting for someone else to give them power. They have it within them, they just can't bring it forth right now. In "Conversations with Dead People", Dawn tries to cast out the demon invading the house. At first she calls upon mystical powers, various gods, and the people that love her. But what finally forces the demon out is calling upon the strength within her. Then, in "Get It Done", Buffy doesn't let the demon energy enter her. She doesn't need it to be powerful. She breaks the chains and knocks the shamans away on her own accord.

As can be probably be gathered, ME is leaning very heavily one way. Self-power is used by Buffy, Dawn, and the potential Slayers, all good guys or even heroes. Meanwhile, power through delegation is used by two morally ambigous sources (the WC and the shamans) and one thoroughly evil force (the First Evil). Relying on others to supply your power doesn't work because you can't always count on them. Andrew turns his back on the First, and its attempt to manipulate others don't always work. The Watchers' Council can't always have the Slayer there to protect them. And the shamans didn't count on Buffy resisting the demonic energies and fighting back at them. The Scooby Gang isn't people without power sending the strong ones off to fight evil. Each of them has their own power, their own gift. Each has self-power, it's just various self-powerful people banding together into one uber-powerful force.

Though, the one I'm not too sure of in this scenario is Willow. Is she like Rennaisance magicians, who were believed to get there power by calling on spirits to do their bidding? Or is she using her own, inner power to change the world? We know that, in opening the portal, she called on higher powers to open the portals, and that she drew power from Kennedy and Dawn (the most powerful people in the room). On the other hand, her eyes went all dark, and her hair was briefly black as well, so perhaps that wasn't the safest (but still the most needed) way. After all, Dark Willow got her power by draining magical books, Rack, and Giles. Her power wasn't that of herself, but that of others, even if the power was working through her body.

And, on an unrelated note, LOVED THE EPISODE!

[> Re: Two Different Types of Power (Buffy 7.15 Spoilers) -- astrid, 23:47:42 02/18/03 Tue

I think this idea is really interesting, but I can't figure out which way it goes.

The scene where Buffy is being circled by the demonic force is intercut with Spike, once again in possession of his demonic power, fighting the demon that was exchanged for her, and with Willow, barely in possession of herself, tapping the darkness within to open the portal.

Spike has power again, but which kind is it? Is it the kind that comes from within, or the kind that is assumed from someone else? My first impulse is to say that it's his own power reclaimed, because while the coat is a potent symbol for him, it's just a symbol. Whatever power he has now was there all along.

But then again, that's not the way it seems to work in the context of the show. What it feels like is a parallel to Willow's power. Sure, it comes from within, it's channeled and guided by the self, but ultimately the power that both Spike and Willow tap in the effort to save Buffy is power that is drawn from other, darker sources. Willow draws from the people around her, and Spike draws from the person he killed. When you line this up, which side do they stand on? Are they in the camp of the good, standing with Buffy, self-determined and strong? Or are they contaminating good impulses by accepting power from an unclean source?

There's such a strong contrast between the parallel powers of Willow and Spike, drawing from the dark to save someone they love, and Buffy, who turns down the darkness even though it might damn the world. And it seems like we're supposed to see that this is the right choice, that evil can't be fought with darkness and that Buffy is right to choose to reject the tainted power that Spike and Willow chose to accept.

But the thing is, Buffy's power comes from a place every bit as dark Spike's demon and Willow's blackness. We've seen that more strongly than ever, that her power is demonic in origin, that it comes from violation and death and fear. She rejected it this time - just like all the other times - but it's in her all the same. And it seems like Spike and Willow's acceptance of the darkness will have a price for them, but it also seems like Buffy's rejection will have a price for her. So what I'm wondering is, which way is the right one?

I can't help thinking that somebody is riding for a fall, but I can't figure out who. Is it right to embrace who you are despite the darkness and try to channel your power to good ends, or has Buffy been right (and thus learning nothing?) all along, and is it impossible to do good when you're tainted with darkness? Or is it the choice to accept or reject it that counts? And if so, which choice is right?

And does that make any sense at all...?

Is Power the only way? Musings on tonights episode (Spoilers 7.17 Btvs) -- shadowkat, 21:06:35 02/18/03 Tue

Didn't know where to post this since it will be long. Watching tonight's episode made me think of Buffy's dream in Restless and Fool for Love. I've cribbed a bit from both and my essay on Buffy's dream, hope you don't mind.

A few quotes:

From KingPin : Gambit, The Finale.

Miquel after much searching finally finds his brother Chato sitting in a warehouse, alone, bloody and morose. Opposite Chato hanging from the ceiling in chains is the man who raped and tortured Chato a week before. The man is barely alive, burned, beaten, tortured. Miquel asks Chato how he is.

Chato: I thought hurting him would make me feel better. But I don't feel better, Miquel. I don't feel better at all.


The First Slayer tackles Buffy in her dream at the beginning of tonight's episode, Get it Done. She pushes Buffy down the stairs before Buffy can reach a crying Chloe. The First is on top of Buffy in the same position it was in her Restless Dream and it states, "It's Not Enough."

Spike tells Buffy in Fool For Love as he demonstrates how he killed the slayer in 1977, that what killed this girl was a death wish. Sooner or later they all want it, he says, that look of peace, what it's like, the final release. You make Death day to day with your hands, a work of art, sooner or later you wonder what it's like yourself and when that happens, I'll be there and have myself one good day.

In Restless - Giles looks at the First Slayer and says - you never had a Watcher...and I know you. He sees her primal face.

In Restless - Buffy greets Riley and Adam (other guy) who sit opposite each other and Adam comments:

OTHER GUY: She's uncomfortable with certain concepts. It's understandable. Aggression is a natural human tendency. Though you and me come by it another way.(Shot of Buffy with the dark-haired creature behind her.)
BUFFY: We're not demons.
OTHER GUY: Is that a fact?

Then Buffy leaves the Initiative Building and enters the desert and Tara, who speaks for the First Slayer attempts to hand Buffy a tarot card symbolizing the hands, Buffy states the following: BUFFY: Why do you follow me?(The woman shakes her head.)
TARA: (offscreen) I don't.
BUFFY: Where are my friends?(Shot of the woman backing away from Buffy, still crouching down low.)
TARA: (offscreen) You're asking the wrong questions.

Tara for the First Slayer: "I have no speech. No name. I live in the action of death, the blood cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute ... alone."
(Shot of Buffy's hand, holding a bunch of Tarot-shaped cards. In the one on top we see a scene of Giles, Buffy, Willow, and Xander in Joyce's living room watching TV)
BUFFY: I am not alone
TARA: The Slayer does not walk in this world.
BUFFY: I walk. I talk. I shop, I sneeze. I'm gonna be a fireman when the floods roll back. There's trees in the desert since you moved out. Now give me back my friends.
FIRST SLAYER: No ... friends! Just the kill. We ... are ... alone!

The final image in Buffy's dream is Buffy on the floor, once again ignoring and rejecting the first slayer. The Slayer is trying to tell Buffy what she is. But Buffy pushes it aside, returning to her friends on the couch, and effectively breaking the slayer's spell over them all. Everything seems fine again. Or so we think. But is it? Now awake, Buffy goes upstairs and visits her Mom's den and looks at the naked mattress. In the voice over, we hear Tara say: "you think you know what you are...what's to come...you haven't even begun."


Do the ends justify the means? When you look into the abyss do you risk having it consume you? When we fight monsters do we risk becoming them ourselves?
What price power? Should we sell our souls or let others do so to fight monsters?
And if we do - do we not risk taking the monsters place?

In Tonight's episode Buffy is struggling with these questions. As are all the characters. Specifically these three who all have to access the demonic/dark side of their nature - in order to fight - because that's where their power lies. The question that ME is posing in this episode is the same question it posed in Buffy's Restless Dream and in Buffy vs. Dracula - the same temptation - Is this power the source of me? Does the power define us? Can we only fight through asking the dark side of our psyche?
And at what cost?

1. Spike - get's blasted by Anya then Buffy for not accessing his inner demon, for not fighting and being dangerous.

Spike: I got it for you - I thought it was what you wanted.
Buffy: I preferred you before when you were trying to kill me, you were dangerous then. I need you to be dangerous again.
Spike: That person is awfully close to coming out right now.

When Buffy steps through the portal and the primitive demon steps out knocking Spike through the ceiling, Spike realizes maybe Buffy is right. They need to get Buffy back and to do so they need the demon. So Spike goes to get his coat, he needs something.

Because nobody knows
That is how I nearly fell
Trading Clothes
and Ringing Pavlov's Bell
History shows
Like it was show and tell

Aimee Mann (Pavlov's Bell from Lost in Space album)

The coat makes him evil Spike in his head, so he puts it on like armor and defeats the demon as if he were the demon from Season 6 or 5.

Wood the bringer of the ends - it is Wood who brings into the house the secret of the slayer's origin, who brings into the house the temptation to become part demon, Wood - the BTVS version of ATS's SKip. Wood, I think, is a true follower of Machiavelli, he probably does believe the ends justify the means. Wood who also watches as Spike gets his mother's coat. The custom. Like a superhero's cape.

When he completes his battle with the demon, kills it, solo.
He lights up his first cigarette in quite a while and says now that's what I call a good fight, a good fight for the soul. (Somewhat snarkily.)

2. Willow - Willow like Spike fears accessing the power.
To do so means becoming dark. Because she must go to that dark place. Buffy chastises her for it.

But when Buffy gets sucked through the portal - Willow access her power, for the same reasons Spike does - to bring back and save Buffy. Both Spike and Willow have proven time and again that they will do anything for Buffy, even if it means accessing the dark side or the light as the case may be. (Examples: Becoming - Willow accessing dark forces to curse Angel with a soul, Spike betraying Angel and Dru. Bargaining - Willow bringing Buffy back to life. The Gift - Willow using her power to help Spike reach the tower to save Dawn. Willow going dark in Villains to remove the bullet from Buffy and to revenge both tara and Buffy's shooter. Spike getting a soul.)

So Willow goes there, but in order to do it, she must take power from Kennedy - her girlfriend and the Buffy standin (who seems to be a gay version of Buffy), and she hurts others. She opens the portal and succeeds in pulling Buffy out but at what cost? In fact Kennedy asks why she had to take power from her - and Willow says that's how her magic works - it requires her to take. It comes from a dark place inside her.

Question? Is Willow's dark magic the source of her? The source of her power? Does it define her? And for that matter does Spike's long leather duster define him as Wood believes? Is that the source of his power? Or is it just a costume? Is the trophy who Spike is? And does Wood's mother, the slayer Nikki's old chest and jacket define her?
Was that who she was?

3. Buffy - in the past she encounters a group of shaman who remind me a great deal of the Watcher's Council. They tell Buffy something that she's known for quite some time as have we all - that the First Slayer's power came from a demon. They empowered the First Slayer with a demon's heart.
Buffy being of the Slayer's line, of course already has some of this in her - but what they are offering is to put the rest.

Now this is very important to remember - the shaman tell Buffy that they have no knowledge only power. Only power.

Buffy realizes while chained that they did this to a poor girl, they forced some poor girl to become their weapon, placing demonic energy in her, because they had none and were to weak and cowardly to do it themselves. She refuses the power - she turns it down.

Reminds me a bit of Cordelia in a way - who accepts the demonic power. (Hmmm...maybe I was wrong maybe Cordelia and Buffy are the one's being paralleled here not Cordy and Spike?? ) At any rate Buffy is faced with the same choice Willow (her best friend) and Spike (her whatever you wish to call him) have been given. They make the sacrifice but it's not really that big for them - they made it long ago.
Buffy's choice is far greater - and she turns it down.

I won't become evil to fight evil. I won't be possessed by a demon to fight them. I won't become the monsters I face.

The shaman's question her decision by offering her the knowledge of what's to come - an endless army of vampires much like the one she fought in Showtime and BoTN.
Powerful vampires without any humanity in them. Vampires that vampires fear. Turok-Han - made of Stone.
They lie beneath the mouth of hell - the mouth that she is the guardian of and that lies underneath the high school.

Buffy wonders if she made the correct choice. Is power really all there is? Do the ends justify the means?
Should we become the monster to fight the monsters?

I keep thinking of Apocaplyspe Now Redux and Heart of Darkness of Colonel Kurtz - who insisted on fighting what he considered monsters by any means necessary until he became worse than the monsters he thought and his ends got lost. I wonder if Buffy is thinking the same.

Is Spike? Is Willow? Is Wood?

Who is the source of us? Power? Or are we more than that?
Can we fight violence without resorting to violence ourselves? Can we fight destruction without destroying things ourselves? Is it possible to fight a monster without becoming the monster?

I keep remembering what Chato says in the last scene from Kingpin tonight, bloody, bruised looking at the body of the man who tortured and raped him - the man he has sought vengeance against and tortured and raped himself:

I thought hurting him would make me feel better. But I don't feel better... I don't feel better at all.

And then I think of poor Buffy, isolated, alone in her bed, the covers pulled up around her, looking so small, remembering that vision of hordes of vampires lying below the earth. While I think of this....I wonder deep inside...
was Machiavelli right in some situations...the ends really do justify the means? And if this is so...where does that leave us? In hell?

Great episode, best since Selfless IMHO. I'll leave the nit-picking to the experts per usual.

Agree, disagree?

[> ugh, tons of typos again. sorry. must learn to proof first. -- s'kat, 21:17:41 02/18/03 Tue

I have a tendency to type words that sound like the words in my head.But aren't the same: ex: asking =accessing, fought=thought...ugh!! Must learn to proofread these posts.
Sorry about that.

Oh did anyone else see the metanarration on Inca Mummy Girl going on here? Big time. Forgot to mention it above.


[> [> You could link it to "Inca Mummy Girl". . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:24:42 02/18/03 Tue

But I saw it more as an homage to Andromeda, the princess from the Perseus myth. Though it is the more obvious comparison, what with the girl be chained to a rock so that a demonic force might take her, thus saving the civilisation. And, I'm assuming the sea serpent Poseidon sent to eat Andromeda was suppposed to be some sort of phallic thing, since it almost always is with female sacrafices, plus, well, it's a serpent. This would fit in with the violation (metaphorical rape) that would occur by forcing the demonic essence into Buffy.

[> [> [> Was it metaphorical? (Spoilers for "Get it Done") -- Darby, 12:08:09 02/19/03 Wed

When the demon essence was trying to access Buffy, the initial contact was though her head's orifices, but before long it was moving south - I thought the implication, and Buffy's accusation kind of confirms it, was that the rape was more than just imagery, that it was trying to empower her through her femaleness.

We have to remember that part of this season's theme is "female empowerment." I believe the whole key to defeating the First lies there somehow, but not through black demon uterine invasion.

[> Re: Is Power the only way? Musings on tonights episode (Spoilers 7.17 Btvs) -- Oyceter, 21:35:38 02/18/03 Tue

Great post!

My (unspoiled) spec is that Buffy will indeed have made the right choice, and that in the end, perhaps you can't fight power with power. Like she says in FD, you can't fight evil with evil. Two wrongs don't make a right for Buffy.

I definitely agree with you about Spike, Willow and Buffy all needing to learn more about their own power and how to control/use it. I think, though, Kennedy also had to figure that out too. In the beginning, she seems very happy about her position as SiT drill sargeant and is also very eager about pushing Willow to use her magic. Then, when Chloe commits suicide and the First reminds Kennedy of her own words, and when Willow goes black eyed and sucks power from Kennedy, Kennedy has a little more to think about. She seems brash at the beginning, perhaps because she hasn't truly experienced the cost of wielding power firsthand, but I think she might have sobered up a bit after this episode.

Anyway, my two cents.

Loved the thoughts about power and its importance to this entire season!

[> I think that one of the things that is really important is what is not being seen -- Kellyne, 22:17:30 02/18/03 Tue

In seasons 1-6 there was a mother figure, first Joyce and then Tara. Now the idea of creation is called into question. Going back to the roots of the first slayer is going to a time when man who found himself weak tried to do what was against his nature...(t)he(y) created and metaphorically raped the first slayer and every slayer there after by impregnating them with the demonic power without giving them the option to fight.
The first was just a girl so she could not fight against the chains,but Buffy, already powerful can pull the chains out and reject the further impregnation. She rejects further manipulation by a masculine force (such as the watchers) and by doing so... I think that she is creating another avenue for herself... in an essence becoming her own mother.

I think what is important is the idea that the first slayer was chained to the ground and violated with darkness.

it is now for her to create a new way a new method... knowing that violence begets violence Buffy is chosing another route... she just doesn't know what it is yet. Buffy could give birth to a new way... a way of light.

just my unorganized ramblings,

[> [> Pandora, greek and mothers -- s'kat, 22:33:25 02/18/03 Tue

In seasons 1-6 there was a mother figure, first Joyce and then Tara. Now the idea of creation is called into question. Going back to the roots of the first slayer is going to a time when man who found himself weak tried to do what was against his nature...(t)he(y) created and metaphorically raped the first slayer and every slayer there after by impregnating them with the demonic power without giving them the option to fight.
The first was just a girl so she could not fight against the chains,but Buffy, already powerful can pull the chains out and reject the further impregnation. She rejects further manipulation by a masculine force (such as the watchers) and by doing so... I think that she is creating another avenue for herself... in an essence becoming her own mother.

Interesting...I see this too. And it ties into the idea that Wood gives her his mother's bag.

Hmmm - two characters are given Nikki (Wood's mom) cast-offs to gain back power.

1. Buffy - Wood gives her his mother's legacy which sucks her into another dimension - replacing her with a demon that only Spike can fight - but not without Nikki's jacket.

2. Spike - has to get Nikki's jacket to fight the demon, reclaiming his power and being Mr. Big Bad demon fighter to do it.

Did Wood bring Pandora's box into the household? (Could this also relate to the Greek Dictionary Buffy sees in her dream - lots of Greek mythology in this episode.) Opening the box - seems to have brought three characters face to face with demonic power - Willow to hers - which required a sort of rape (from Anya and Kennedy), Spike to his - the tropy he stripped from Nikki after killing her, and Buffy to the Shamen who attempt to impregnate her with demonic energy - in effect killing/raping her with power.

The masculain force - represented by Wood in this episode not Giles? But Wood as Watcher - echoing the Shamen?

Has Buffy's choice to reject that sort of power - in a sense empowered her? She rejected male power - power provided by the Shamen.

[> [> [> Er, s'kat just a note about shaman -- Scroll, 23:00:00 02/18/03 Tue

From Merriam-Websters Online:

Main Entry: sha·man
Pronunciation: 'shä-m&n, 'shA- also sh&-'män
Function: noun
Inflected Form(s): plural shamans
Etymology: ultimately from Evenki (Tungusic language of Siberia) samAn
Date: 1698
1 : a priest or priestess who uses magic for the purpose of curing the sick, divining the hidden, and controlling events
2 : one who resembles a shaman; especially : HIGH PRIEST 3
- sha·man·ic /sh&-'ma-nik, -'mä-/ adjective

And from www.etymonline.com:

shaman - 1698, probably from Rus. shaman, from Tungus shaman "Buddhist monk," from Prakrit samaya-, from Skt. sramana-s "Buddhist ascetic."

So I don't think the "man" in "shaman" actually has anything to do with the masculine. I don't usually pluralise "shaman" even when I'm speaking of more than one because I always assumed it was like "sheep" -- one or many, it was the same word -- but I guess that's wrong.

If you've found a different etymological source for "Shaman" please let me know.

[> [> [> [> I think.... -- Kellyne, 23:10:42 02/18/03 Tue

That the context was more in the sense of HIStory ... meaning that the men had the power and there is a masculinizing of the words that in a sense removes the power and the authority from the feminine... it probably wouldn't be thought of that way if back in the 1600's or so male and female pronouns were introduced because gender was considered more important than number since then there has been a huge gendering of the English language and the word Shaman, intended to be or not (but since the casting of the shaman called for male I say intended) has a male inference.

just my thoughts,

[> [> [> [> [> Oh, I totally agree -- Scroll, 23:32:18 02/18/03 Tue

I'm not denying the fact that the slayer origin myth is clearly about male power subjugating a female for his purpose. And the shamans were all about being the Watcher's Council of pre-history.

I was just nitpicking on s'kat (which I really shouldn't do cuz her posts always blow me away) because I don't think you can argue that the etymology of the word "shaman" can be used to support the "male power subjugating a female for his purpose" reading.

But you could be right in that just the accidental fact that "shaman" has the word "man" in it makes our reading of "shaman" a subconsciously male one. The inference is there even if the etymology is not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> yippee, I am agreed with -- Kellyne, 23:40:36 02/18/03 Tue

This goes back to the post above... Kripke... by giving an object a particular name is the object then is identified by the name and takes on some of the properties of the name... in this case ShaMAN....

but if that is the case ... do I have the properties of water or warrior..... *part of the meaning of Kellyne... Warrior woman of the pond*

but then again I haven't taken Kripke, or heard the old man speak in years... *showing my age here*


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> hmm maybe we should use the name Buffy gave them - Shadowmen -- ponygirl, 09:09:31 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's what they're called in "Tales of the Slayer." -- Rob, 10:17:47 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet -- ponygirl, 11:47:24 02/19/03 Wed

I remembered the name from Tales too! I think it's an interesting choice, both with the shadow/darkness connotations and also with this whole idea of shadow plays. Who are the players in the drama - the puppets or the shadows they cast?

I noticed that during the shadow puppet scene, Buffy is up against a wall, barely casting any shadow at all in contrast to the long shadows of her friends. Also the shot of Xander striking a match is repeated almost exactly by Spike. Cool shot? Or are we to be reminded that light is necessary for shadows? Or in this episode on female empowerment was it a shoutout to male energies?

In any case the Slayer Origin Puppet Theatre is *so* on my birthday wish list!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Did anyone have a Plato flashback moment... -- Masq, 12:05:54 02/19/03 Wed

During the shadow-puppet theater?

As in the Allegory of the Cave from Plato's Republic?

Or maybe that was just me.... : )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Absolutely, Masq! Another metanarrative moment from your friends at ME.... -- cjl, 12:15:10 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> Going back to the Greek -- Kellyne, 23:03:37 02/18/03 Tue

I was trying so hard to think of a greek story where the female hero lived happily... but I couldn't get past Hellen, Agemennon's wife, and daughter (that he killed to have a good battle)... and frued's root of all evil Oedipus... and the more I think on that way the more that I get depressed... though there was the real life general Camille... but she was so minor...

any hope/help here?

[> [> [> [> Re: Going back to the Greek -- Shiraz, 09:13:28 02/19/03 Wed

Nobody lives happily in Greek stories, male or female. They were almost as bad as Joss.


[> [> [> [> [> Persephone! (with some future spec) -- Caroline, 09:28:21 02/19/03 Wed

I've always thought that Buffy's story mirrored that of Persephone (see a lot of my posts in archives). In S6, we see the stripping away of innocence, particularly sexual that Buffy underwent, with Spike as her Hades (I love Rah's term for Spike - dark sexuality). The resolution of this for Persephone was that she spent half the year with her lover/husband Hades and the other half above the ground with the rest of humanity. If ME continues to mirror the Eleusinian story, this could literally become true if Buffy, as the last guardian of the hellmouth, is somehow trapped within in. As for whether things end happily - Persephone was reportedly happy with Hades - but if you considered being the queen of hell an unhappy ending would depend on your perspective!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Persephone! (with some future spec) -- fresne, 16:32:00 02/19/03 Wed

Well, I'm always ready to go along with any Persephone theories. She keeps her beauty in a box. To be put on and removed.

Contemplating a transformative process for Buffy that follows Kore (literally maiden), Persephone who is taken into the earth against her will, Hecate sometimes associated with Persephone when she wears her dead crown.

I'll also mention Psyche as a happy Greek, if we want to continue with the First parallel to love done gone wrong. Her methods for completing impossible tasks might prove a useful guide to Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks, by the way -- Kellyne, 20:48:38 02/19/03 Wed

Has anyone seen Persephone (I know that she lurkes here a lot, I am not sure about her postiness)?

I am just thinking that there has to be someone who ended up happy...

there were also greek comedies (like in the clouds about Socrates) but I have never read them... why is it that we are alway forced to read the tragedies and so seldom the comedies in school...

Antigone another tragic greek figure...


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Persephone! (with S6 ref ) -- Angela, 04:28:12 02/20/03 Thu

Have you tried an archive search for Persephone, Kellyne? The other thing that sometimes works is to Google on your friend's name combined with Buffy. There's so many people in and out on certain days (well I'm just making excuses for my memory really.

Notes regarding the stories alluded to on the show last season the obvious ones were OMWF with Buffy in Demeter's role (Dawn=Persephone) and the figure that was on the temple that Willow raised, the demon Proserpina. The role that might fit on one level this season would be if Buffy in some way becomes the queen of the underworld but personally, I thought it was more last season's myth. I least I'm hopeful that's the case and it will be something different this year. Always enjoy the myth references. Thanks everyone.

[> Well, huh! (Spoilers 7.17 Btvs) -- fresne, 22:51:38 02/18/03 Tue

I'm not quite sure what to make of this episode yet, because this was an episode of mulling, but wow. First there was the earth, then the demons, then mortals. Shadows that like the First can't touch and then can.

The first Slayer chained to earth.

Earth that has teeth. That isn't always kind.

I can't get away from the Earth. That which came first. Before even the demons that were driven out. The source of some other kind of power. We've rejected the power of the Watchers, they got blown up. Their staffs are for the breaking.

And Spike putting on his costume. His hunting skin. Nikki's skin as her son watches. Understands. Doesn't. Puts on his demon mask. Willow puts on her demon eyes. Windows to her soul. This re-emphasis on Anya as a former demon. Powerful. Not. Prey.

The Earth. Waiting. Cold. Warm. Growing. Wood. Dying. Earth.

Damn. No conclusions. No ideas concrete, just damn.

[> [> What about the Chain? (Spoilers 7.17 Btvs) -- Scroll, 23:09:00 02/18/03 Tue

I can't get away from the Earth. That which came first. Before even the demons that were driven out. The source of some other kind of power. We've rejected the power of the Watchers, they got blown up. Their staffs are for the breaking.

The shadow-caster was a circle, or maybe a spiral. We saw a sequence of events in as history unfolded on Buffy's living room wall, but maybe we shouldn't see it as just linear.

First came the Earth. Then Demons. Then Man. Then the Girl. And then, the chain that bound the Girl to the Earth.

We've met the Earth, teeth and all. We've met the demons. We've met man in all his various incarnations. We've met the girls. But have we met the chain that ties the girl to the earth? Because if this was Season 5 and we were asked to believe that Buffy was tied to the earth, I would have said that Buffy's chain was Dawn. Her friends and Watcher. Her mother. Like Spike said: without these things, a Slayer has no real reason to fight and live.

But if Buffy's chain isn't malevolant or an evil thing, but actually something good (love, friendship, family) then what about Earth? Is Earth all about teeth and swallowing and evil bidets? Or is there connection and life and nature and healing, just as Willow had discovered in England under Giles' tutelage?

I don't know where I'm going with this. Just rambling...

[> [> [> Scroll , your rambling is getting close to major metaphysical/physics principles.*S* -- Briar, 02:32:07 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Thanks very much! Too bad I nearly failed physics in high school... -- Scroll, 11:07:20 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> "It's time to make the Hellmouth work for me." -- Arethusa, 06:48:51 02/19/03 Wed

Fresne, Scroll, I think you're right on. (Apologies if I'm being redundant. And confusing.) Remember the earth has teeth. Remember Willow bringing the flower out of the earth. Mother Gaia. Buffy had to reject the shamans' power, but there's a bigger, life-giving source of power. The earth itself. They will need to call on the planet's life force to swallow the demon hordes whole. D'you remember how the FE disappeared to Willow? It swallowed itself whole.

(But then, I'm always wrong.)

[> [> [> [> Re: "It's time to make the Hellmouth work for me." -- s'kat, 07:19:13 02/19/03 Wed

Uhm not always wrong...;-) (I've also made bad spec a time or two, it's only the spoiler trollops who are always right and well - that's because they're spoiler trollops. ;-) )

Fresne, Scroll, I think you're right on. (Apologies if I'm being redundant. And confusing.) Remember the earth has teeth. Remember Willow bringing the flower out of the earth. Mother Gaia. Buffy had to reject the shamans' power, but there's a bigger, life-giving source of power. The earth itself. They will need to call on the planet's life force to swallow the demon hordes whole. D'you remember how the FE disappeared to Willow? It swallowed itself whole.

I think you're right here. The FE always disappears almost by blinking out or swallowing itself. I wonder if that's a metaphor for how too much power makes on spontaneously combust? At any rate - I keep remembering Willow stating how the "EArth has teeth" and will swallow them all.
Perhaps the trick is to get it to swallow everything but them?

[> [> [> [> Re: "It's time to make the Hellmouth work for me." - Spoilers Get it Done, & Spec. -- Angelina, 08:39:02 02/19/03 Wed

Wow, that really makes sense! Especially since the shamans told Buffy that she was "the Hellmouth's last guardian". Perhaps the Earth is going to swallow the Hellmouth, chew it up and spit it out. Wowie. I like it. But if that happens, what about the demons, vampires and creatures of darkness? Does that mean, as in Frey, that all the demons, etc, shall be destroyed? If that is the case, what the hell will Faith do?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: "It's time to make the Hellmouth work for me." - Spoilers Get it Done, & Spec. -- Arethusa, 09:25:45 02/19/03 Wed

I should have put warnings on the message subject. Many apologies. I plead fuzzy-headedness and thinking I was making a wild guess. I haven't read Fray, just what people have written about it. Angelina, that's what I can't figure out-what would happen to all the good demons, vampires with souls, slayers, potentials, etc.

[> [> [> [> Re: "It's time to make the Hellmouth work for me." -- Caroline, 09:42:52 02/19/03 Wed

Yes! And, I also think this is about Buffy defining herself according to her own values and beliefs, not just what is imposed on her. Willow and Spike were prodded by Buffy to do the same thing but they are still hesitant - doing it for her and not for themselves. I think that both of them will have to work towards being in the battle at their full potential on their own terms. Buffy, Willow and Spike have to be grounded in their centers before they can successfully battle this demon. For me, that's how the earth imagery fits in.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: "It's time to make the Hellmouth work for me." -- BD23, 11:03:02 02/19/03 Wed

That makes sense to me. The episode struck me as an attempt for each character to face an integral piece of themselves. I suppose we all fear the truth of our creation and spend most of our lives learning to accept what exists within us. That doesn't always turn out pleasantly, but it is vital to a well-lived life.

[> [> Re: Well, huh! (Spoilers 7.17 Btvs) -- s'kat, 07:07:54 02/19/03 Wed

The first Slayer chained to earth.

Earth that has teeth. That isn't always kind.

I can't get away from the Earth. That which came first. Before even the demons that were driven out. The source of some other kind of power. We've rejected the power of the Watchers, they got blown up. Their staffs are for the breaking.

Hadn't thought of this. But you are right. It all links back to the earth. What lies within it. From the very beginning - the Master was both trapped by and sustained by the earth. Just as the Turok-Han vampire horde are both trapped by and sustained by the earth. Spike in Seasons 4-6, lives in a hole in the ground,, hides in the earth.
Yet we have Willow who grabs her power from the earth, as does Tara - who worships the power of the earth mother and sees the boundaries of that. Tara who got her power from her mother.

We have the mother thing going on a lot in this episode.
Wood passing on his "mother's" legacy and his own unresolved "Oedipal" feelings towards his mother who couldn't have been much older than Buffy when she died.
The earth as mother - both protector and devourer - like the ancient goddesses worshipped by Shadowmen (sorry for the less PC word, but PC annoys me...a hold over from my college and law school days I'm afraid).

We also have the father thing - with the Shadowmen who use their staffs to create the father impregnating the daughter as she is chained to the mother. The staffs representative of their phallic power - later represented by a pointy stick weilded by the slayer. IT is interesting that Buffy breaks the staffs and sees them as pointless except for carrying dark power she does not want.

I see Buffy swaying between her mother and father - hunting for a foothold...

Spike also appears to be swinging between two forces - William who despises violence and wants to be the good man and Spike who relishes in it and is a killer in his comic-book duster that calls to mind a different Shadow man.

And of course Willow, who like Spike, also swings -
between the dark witch with the black eyes linked to the powerful darkness of the earth and the curious scientist hunting knowledge.

And then there's Dawn - the child, who stands reading a language she can not read, starting the chant and translating it at the same time to send Buffy through the portal - portals are Dawn's power right? That's what Dawn was supposed to be bled to do? Open portals to dimensions?

Anya - who feels powerless, useless, and wonders why she's here and what the point is. She tries to take Xander's role but finds instead another one -as resource and to an extent grounder for Willow.

So far all we've seen of the Earth is it's teeth, but I keep remembering the flower Willow pulls up in Lessons and I'm waiting to see it's other side, the side that helped Spike regain his soul in Grave.

[> [> [> More huh-ing(Spoilers 7.17 Btvs) -- fresne, 15:33:14 02/19/03 Wed

Yes. Teeth and flowers and okay, so I was glancing through a book whose title isn't what you might think, Making Sex. It discusses the evolution in Western culture of gender perceptions. There was an odd belief, in I believe ancient Greece (so, which slayerette was studying Greek?), that, hmm...okay every time I try to explain this people get squicked, but well, a belief in the monstrous feminine. That, as most interestingly visualized in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive, the vagina can have teeth. Hellmouth. Giving birth to demons, but capable of devouring them at the same time. The mother before Nikki and Joyce and the First Slayer. Well, really the First Slayer, maiden, become the warrior, the crone. Chained to the earth. The earth in chains.

And the more I think about it, the more I am convinced that this is not a question of "more power."

A phrase that whenever I hear it I think of Tim the Toolman Taylor. In his case, as I think here, having more power will only result in overheating the engine.

There have been some fairly valid comparisons between Cordelia's choice to take on being a demon and Buffy's refusal to become more demon. And yet, I'm not sure the answer is for Buffy to become less herself. Once more she went on her journey into the underworld. And on this journey was given the answer, bigger, more guns, more strength, less humanity.

The answer here is not a Clauswitz-ish "Blood is the price of victory." arm-wrestling. The First doesn't have an arm. It isn't relying on those kinds of tactics. That kind of strategy.

Did anyone else think that the power the shadowmen sought to imbue (imbue like the zookeeper who sought to take on the power of the hyenas) Buffy resembled the stuff of First Evil. Loosing herself just seems wrong here. While Buffy, having seen the enemy now second guesses herself, I think that it's more a matter of using the power that you already have. Or doing something else entirely. Time to think outside the box.

Bloom flowers into fruit.

[> [> [> [> Maybe Buffy's reached her limit? (spoilers GID) -- Ixchel, 16:18:06 02/19/03 Wed

I suppose it's debatable (for now anyway) whether Buffy made the correct decision to refuse the additional power. And, I suppose, if the shadow puppets are still there (or were they destroyed?) she could change her mind later. But, maybe she knew (intuitively) that she had the maximum power she could sustain without loosing herself (ceasing to be "Buffy")? Perhaps, Willow (with support from Anya and anchoring from Xander?) and Spike (with the soul) are at that point as well? So, to use Xander's hammer analogy (Help), Buffy taking in additional power would be like holding the ending of the hammer (plenty of power, no control), as Willow has done with magic (S6) and Spike has done being a vampire (without the soul)? Also, this would mean that up until GID, Willow and Spike have been holding the hammer too close to the head (plenty of control, no power). If this applies, then Buffy made the correct decision, and Willow and Spike have now (hopefully) put aside their fear, and found the balance between power and control or are at least finding this balance?

Thinking outside the box is always good, they should put Anya on that. ;)


[> [> [> [> The Monstrous Vagina! -- Scroll, 18:17:45 02/19/03 Wed

okay every time I try to explain this people get squicked, but well, a belief in the monstrous feminine. That, as most interestingly visualized in Peter Jackson's Dead Alive, the vagina can have teeth. Hellmouth. Giving birth to demons, but capable of devouring them at the same time.

Oh, my God! Someone else who has heard of the monstrous vagina!

I vaguely remember reading a few stories in my mythology class in high school, a few "horror" myths about how a woman would seduce a man, he'd stick his penis in the usual place only to find the woman's vagina had teeth that would turn his, um, bits into littler bits!

It was a truly shocking tale, and I can't believe our teacher got away with us reading it! But it gave me a whole new perspective on those old myths :P Though I must admit, I can't remember if this particular story was an old myth, or a modern skew on the idea of origin myths...

[> [> [> [> Completely agree -- skat, 20:38:27 02/19/03 Wed

[> Very powerful, s'kat. A few thoughts of my own. -- HonorH, 23:58:24 02/18/03 Tue

Buffy reaches the pinnacle of her anger, fear, and frustration in this episode. She lashes out at those closest to her, trying to get them to do something, dammit, something! She herself decides to go for that "something" and cast herself into the portal to discover more about the Slayer line.

This, of course, leads to Willow and Spike accessing their own inner darkness to bring her back. Buffy, meanwhile, is faced with the darkness that spawned her--a girl, chained, being violated physically and spiritually. They gave her power, but only after taking her power away. Buffy refuses to either give up her power or take more--she breaks the chains and rejects the demon spirit, demanding instead knowledge. She makes Solomon's choice.

When Buffy gets back, she's far more subdued. She's repentant about her earlier attitude. Now that she's faced the choice, she can't ask others to make the one she refused. She can't ask them to become monsters when she herself won't.

Wood: Okay, he's certainly playing it cool. I think his offer of help to Buffy is genuine, and he's not holding the Spike thing against her. If anything, he's possibly thinking Spike's got her fooled. Things may be different once he realizes that Buffy knows Spike killed two Slayers (though there's no way Buffy could know Wood's mother was one of them). This is going to be one fantastic showdown, judging by the little snark-fest they had going on in the basement. Hot men fighting. Mmm.

[> [> Buffy's choice -- ponygirl, 09:54:32 02/19/03 Wed

I keep going back and forth on Buffy's decision. On the one hand the imagery of the Slayer creation was so negative, men with staffs, the chains, the sense of violation. We don't know if the First Slayer truly was a victim, she may have chosen her fate willingly, but the thousands of Slayers who lived and died after her were certainly never given a say in the matter. They are given power, but at the cost of their identities, they become living weapons. Will Buffy as the last guardian (though not the last Slayer) be the one to break the chains that bind the Slayers to their fates?

On the other hand there was an arrogance in Buffy, both with her speech to the others and to the shadowmen. The Greek book at the beginning made me nervous. Hubris, baby! It always gets you in the end. The shadowmen weren't offering knowledge, but at the same time when they tell Buffy she doesn't understand, she tells them she doesn't need to. The difference between watching and seeing is the gap between observing and comprehending. Was she rejecting the power because power without knowledge is useless (and the methods of obtaining it were questionable) or because Buffy is still desperately afraid of being something other than human?

[> [> [> Re: Buffy's choice -- maddog, 10:29:48 02/19/03 Wed

I've written a response that takes this a step further but it's buried so I'll have to link to it.


It discusses the fact that she refused and a similar situation on Angel.

[> A note about the jacket -- neaux, 04:16:32 02/19/03 Wed

I havent read all the responses, so someone probably has had the same thought as I, but didn't anyone else think of "HIM" with RJ's letterman jacket?

I think the jacket does NOT posess power, but I think it could because it was tied to one of the slayers. I think maybe we are supposed to think that it holds powers to get you're fight on.. Spike clearly needed it. And I think either HIM was forshadowing for this episode or a means to throw us the viewer a curve ball.

But I do believe you are right in that the notion of power is in his head. But I am very interested to see how this plays out.

[> Great post, shadowkat. A few thoughts... (spoilers GID) -- Ixchel, 04:59:46 02/19/03 Wed

Thoughts and/or questions...

Buffy pushes everyone because she is desperate (we see this as she is crying while digging Chloe's grave and she _hasn't_ forgotten Anabelle). And why is she alone? I think she didn't want anyone to see her weakness, if she shows weakness that will demoralize everyone further. She is especially pushing Willow and Spike. It's more subtle with Willow because that is sufficient, Willow looks guilty from the beginning of Buffy's speech, she _knows_ that her power is needed (also they exchange many meaningful looks). Spike believes he is acting in the correct way, being what Buffy wants, but she impresses on him that the killer is needed. I think his and Willow's exchange in the kitchen is very important, Spike understands now and is encouraging Willow to be at full strength.

Buffy pushes Willow and Spike, but then refuses to take more demonic power into herself. When she asks the shadowman if the way (to defeat the FE) is to become less human, I believe her unspoken addition could be "than I already am?" When she returns and is subdued and apologetic to Willow, Willow shows that she understands (as I believe Spike does).

During the spell, I find it very interesting that Willow took power from Kennedy and _Anya_. Xander is just as close as Anya, so why (visual symmetry aside)? Perhaps Kennedy has _potential_ power (making her a better choice than Xander), so maybe Anya has _residual_ power? Nothing she can use, but the residue of having been a vengeance demon for so long? Dawn has been pushed to the back of the room, wouldn't she contain more power than anyone else combined? Does Willow consciously or subconsciously decide not to access Dawn? Because of what happened in TTG (she has scared Dawn enough to last a long time), because she is afraid of what might be unleashed, because Dawn is the baby of the group (she knows Anya and Kennedy can take it)? Or was it simply because Dawn wasn't as close as the others?

As to where was Giles, I'm going to assume he was rounding up more potentials.

So much to love about this episode, all the meaningful looks between the main characters, insight into Buffy, Willow and Spike, Buffy and Dawn's cute sisterly interaction, Dawn stepping in for Giles (I do wish he had been there, though I hope Buffy will discuss all this with him on screen).


[> [> On Willow...(Spoilers for GID) -- s'kat, 06:48:59 02/19/03 Wed

During the spell, I find it very interesting that Willow took power from Kennedy and _Anya_. Xander is just as close as Anya, so why (visual symmetry aside)? Perhaps Kennedy has _potential_ power (making her a better choice than Xander), so maybe Anya has _residual_ power? Nothing she can use, but the residue of having been a vengeance demon for so long? Dawn has been pushed to the back of the room, wouldn't she contain more power than anyone else combined? Does Willow consciously or subconsciously decide not to access Dawn? Because of what happened in TTG (she has scared Dawn enough to last a long time), because she is afraid of what might be unleashed, because Dawn is the baby of the group (she knows Anya and Kennedy can take it)? Or was it simply because Dawn wasn't as close as the others?

I don't think Willow saw Dawn or Xander as having any power.
But it may also have been proximity. She didn't appear to have consciously intended to take power from them. In fact her whole spell casting reminded me a bit of Becoming - where she's hoping it will work and figures it will take a while - then all of a sudden the earth grabs her and through its fingers she grabs the two nearest to her to grab power.

Interesting - everyone in this episode has to link or uses a link to power outside themselves, whether that link is purely a psychological construct (the jacket of a killer and yes, Nikki was a killer, even if it may only have been of demons) or power from people or the power from the dark soul of the earth. Buffy is the only one who refuses the outside source, relying on her own power, yet at the end wonders if she was right in doing so.

[> [> [> Willow, Anya and "conduits" of power (spoilers GID) -- Ixchel, 09:47:26 02/19/03 Wed

shadowkat, you make a good point and I agree about Xander, but I can't imagine that Willow forgot that Dawn contains the Key still. After all, Willow did threaten to turn Dawn back into her energy form in TTG and it didn't seem an idle threat (she clearly, IMHO, believed she could). Maybe this could be why she wouldn't ever use Dawn, that it may "unmake" her? I also agree about the similarity to Becoming. This ties into something that occurred to me regarding "conduits" of power. If Willow can be perceived as a suitable (as Tara was and Amy is, to presumably a lesser degree) conduit of magic power (perhaps Becoming brought out this "ability" and opened the "door" that Giles spoke of), then, maybe, she can also be perceived as channeling this power to channel the power of others (taking what she needed as in GID, or, a better way, being given what she requires by a companion as with Tara)? This is not to imply that Willow isn't "powerful", presumably not everyone can both be a "conduit" of power and use it effectively. Another excellent point about "links", but isn't Buffy just refusing an additional "dose" of outside source, since in originally "receiving" her Slayer power she was "infused" with the demon essence?

Mystery, you make an interesting point about Anya and magic. Working from my idea about "conduits", perhaps Anya is as suitable a magic "conduit" and bolster as Tara (her spells with Willow seem to work well, though not always as planned). If so, this will make her even more crucial to the upcoming "battle" than her knowledge alone would. Leading back to your idea about D'Hoffryn, perhaps he recognizes this quality in possible "recruits", an ability to contain and control power? But, by enabling these women to become vengeance demons, he encourages them to take on power that warps and overwhelms their essential personality? I guess I don't see D'Hoffryn as in any way benign, but more as the controlling, cruel father, who loves only the obedient, subservient child. I don't expect you to agree, though. :)

I keep coming back to this idea of "conduits" and power. So if Buffy is a "conduit" for Slayer (demon-origin) power, Willow is for magic power, Spike is for vampire power, Anya is for magic/vengeance demon power and Dawn is the vessel of Key power, then maybe the idea is that even though these "dark powers" have shaped them, changed them, the powers are not the entirety of them. The sum of Buffy is _not_ Slayer power (or "darkness"), but rather her "Buffyness". That is her "true strength" (and the same applies to the others).

Again, fascinating ideas, shadowkat and Mystery.


[> [> [> [> Re: Willow, Anya and "conduits" of power (spoilers GID) MORE ON ANYA -- Mystery, 10:56:30 02/19/03 Wed

I just thought of something else with Anya. Maybe Anya is a Conduit for women's power. Maybe her wish casting employed her taking the potential of her wishers and using that to cast her spells, and the reason why her Wishverse happened was because of Cordelia's potential to be a higher being. Maybe Anya will be a means to connect everyone a la "Primeval."

D'Hoffryn probably is the cruel father, but there's a part of me that thinks there's certain favoritism he has towards Anya, dispite her rebelliousness...

[> [> [> Re: On Willow...(Spoilers for GID) -- maddog, 11:12:22 02/19/03 Wed

I don't think it was Willow's choice at that point. Like she says, it's not her at that point, the magic takes over. I think the magic detected the two strongest people in the room.

[> [> Re: Anya -- Mystery, 07:12:58 02/19/03 Wed

I think that a lot of people, including Anya herself, are forgetting that Aud casted some pretty impressive spells before being recruited to be a vengence demon. Considering that D'Hoffryn also grabbed Willow when her power was unrefined yet just beginning to be tapped, I believe that D'Hoffryn recruits those with incredible raw power. He shows them how to shape it, how to focus it. The power of the wish gave her a way of focusing her power.

Anya has some heavy duty power. She was able to create a whole new dimension when she was at her peak. The fact that D'Hoffryn is still trying to kill her indicates that she might be a major player still, that someone somewhere wants her out of the way (but with my pet theory that D'Hoffryn really cares about Anya in a fatherly way still stands, because the demons he's sending after her are kind of weak).

[> [> [> Re: Anya -- ponygirl, 08:09:04 02/19/03 Wed

My truly paranoid thought for the evening while watching GID was that of the two attempts we've seen on Anya's life they've both conveniently occurred when someone strong enough to defeat a demon was around. Not that she's left the house much. In any case it seems that D'Hoffryn is still a player in this drama as well.

[> [> [> Mystery, my response is above (I wasn't sure where to post it). -- Ixchel, 09:51:16 02/19/03 Wed

Chloe liked Winnie the Pooh (spoilers for Get it Done) -- Apophis, 21:19:00 02/18/03 Tue

I debated with myself whether or not to post this because A) It doesn't really contribute anything to anything and 2) It makes me sound kind of stupid, but I'm gonna do it anyway because if I don't say it, it's gonna stick in my head all night/day (and I really don't want to do my homework).
For some reason, Chloe's death in tonight's episode affected me more than any other death that I can recall in BtVS history. It bothered me a little and stuck in me for the rest of the show. The obvious response is "She was a SIT, who cares?" I tried to tell myself that, but it didn't work. I think the reason is that Chloe was presented as little more than a child, and not a happy one at that. The first time we see her in the episode, she's huddled in a corner crying. Next, she's getting chewed out by Kennedy (I really don't like her). Finally, we see her hanging from the ceiling, blue in the face and clad in her pajamas. Her only epitaph is "Chloe liked Winnie the Pooh" (I think that's the quote; I can't check because my roommate's here now, stinking of baby powder for some reason).
I think her death illustrates the true horror of a Slayer's existence: she's really just a girl, barely into puberty, torn from her life and thrown to the wolves (or worse yet, demons), and expected to do as much damage as possible before she is inevitably killed by something bigger than her. She is, as the Council was so fond of pointing out, a tool utilized by forces beyond her comprehension. I never really latched onto that on an emotional level until tonight. Maybe I'm getting soft in my old age (I turn 20 in about 11 hours), but I felt sad for a fictional character who really didn't get that much development. Maybe I just need more sleep. Am I crazy?

[> Not crazy (spoilers for Get it Done) -- Scroll, 21:44:41 02/18/03 Tue

The sight of Chloe hanging from the ceiling was definitely shocking but I think the Tigger line really brings it home how young Chloe really was. She seemed the youngest of all the potentials, and I found it terrible that Buffy couldn't even remember her name, or at least wasn't sure of it. In fact, now that I think about it, nobody called her by name until after she was dead. That's pretty harsh.

On a more positive note, happy birthday! I promise the 20s aren't as horrible as people make it out to be. At least, it hasn't been so bad for me so far. ;)

[> Re: Chloe liked Winnie the Pooh (spoilers for Get it Done) -- Kt, 22:02:48 02/18/03 Tue

First off happy birthday Apophis. And to back up what you said, I too was really disturbed by Chloe's death. First off, did anybody else notice how Choloe just disappeared a few weeks ago? She was nowhere to be seen on "Potential" or "First Date" even though she had been around since Vi and Rona first showed up. Anyway, more to the point, I think we were supposed to get the vibe that Chloe was the youngest of the SITs, or at least one of the youngest and she couldn't handle everything. I do think they kind of threw away the character; we never really got a sense of who Chloe was. Yet, here death really did affect me. The scene where they found her body was really upsetting to me, and Buffy's eulogy was even more disturbing. Speaking of character development, are we even going to learn the names of the dozen or so new SITs they've added to the cast? My guess is no. Don't get me wrong, I loved tonight's episode, but it left me REALLY disliking both Kennedy and, to an extent, Buffy. Buffy was way harsh on everyone in her little speech scene. In a few sentences she erased all of the help that Anya has provided the group with over the years. Granted, Anya is probably the least helpful person in the Scooby gang at the moment, but she's done more than her share when it comes down to it. Tonight's ep really reminded me why I haven't liked Buffy that much since the middle/end of season 5; she is oftentimes unwilling to allow people to help her, but then, she complains that she has to go it alone and that people don't understand the repsonsibilites she has. Yes, her life is hard, but she almost always ends up taking it out on the wrong people. That's why I never really jumped on the "I hate Dawn because she's whiny" bandwagon; Dawn may have been whiny, but Buffy's just as big a complainer. As for Kennedy, I really don't like her at all because first of all she's just a device, not a character; after the fall-out of the killing Tara debacle, the writers wanted to give Willow a new girlfriend, hence, Kennedy was born. Moreover, why is it that she gets to skip retreats in the desert, and act as the drill sergeant, and belittle Spike and Dawn? Is there really anything special about her aside from her attitude? Oh that's right, she's used a crossbow since she was 8. To quote Chris Farley "Whoop-dee-friggin-doo." And yet, I have a feeling that Kennedy is going to be one of the few SITs left standing at the end of this season. Oy. BTW, while I'm ranting I just wanted to mention something else. The part where Dawn went to check on Spike got me thinking. Has anybody else been really disappointed that throughout practically all of last season and this season, the writers have completely forgotten the Dawn/Spike relationship that made Season 5 oh so watchable? I mean, let's face it people, the show, as we know it, is probably coming to an end this season, and unless they end up on a spinoff together or something, the characters may not even have that much time together. MT and JM had, and probably still have, an onscreen chemistry and yet, they never even talk to one another anymore. I miss it. I honestly do.

[> [> Re: Chloe liked Winnie the Pooh (spoilers for Get it Done) -- Tess, 22:20:36 02/18/03 Tue

I figured out the opening was a dream sequence before the first slayer ever attacked based on past dreams of Buffy's. The thing that struck me is that in the past Buffy's dreams always equaled maxi-wigged. Yet, she didn't even pause to consider this one. If she had maybe she would have taken a moment to have a private conversation with Chloe, and she might have been able to save the girl.

Also, I was shocked by Kennedy's drill tactics and really expected Buffy to admonish her. Yet Buffy watched in silent approval. If Giles had done that to her at anytime ever, Buffy would have quit the council a lot sooner than she did. In fact, do you remember what she said to Professor Walsh about 'A human being in pain doesn't have anything to do with your job.' (Not sure about the exact quote.)

It's becoming more and more apparent that if Buffy is going to win she's going to have to rediscover the person she was prior to seven years of holding the fate of the world in her hands.

[> Happy Birthday, Apophis.*S* -- Briar, 02:17:28 02/19/03 Wed

So much to ponder -questions/comments(spoilers Get It Done) -- Belladonna, 21:20:20 02/18/03 Tue

First of all, I must say what an excellent episode this was! So much to love...

Andrew's "this funnel cake's kicking my ass." I laughed out loud.
Willow's attempts to cover in front of Wood, ending with, "so much cooler than Snyder." :)
Spike and Anya - any scene with those two makes me laugh.
The abrupt shift from Dawn being cute teasing Buffy, to her shock and horror at finding Chloe.
The return of badass Spike - Yes!!
The return of witchy Willow - Woo Hoo!

But, there are several things I'm confused about. Where was Giles? Since when is Andrew the brains? (eek!) On that note, since when can Dawn quickly translate ancient Sumerian? I've always gotten the impression from Giles and Wesley (on Angel) that translating is a bit of a challenge. I guess they needed to give her something to do.

The meatier questions, and more confusing are regarding the sources of our two strongest characters' power. What is the story with Willow's magic? Everytime I think I've figured it out, I get proven wrong. Last season, it was a power she got from without, like a drug. Which was bad. Then this season, she seems to learn how to use power that's within herself and connected to the earth. Which was good. So where does tonight's magic fit in? I just don't understand her statement re: sucking the life out of Kennedy, "that's how it works. That's how I work." (or something like that) Is that how it works? To pull the power from anyone around her? Does she have any power? Or is she more like a strong conductor, able to take other people's power and focus it? I *thought* the power was hers, but now I'm not so sure. Anyone have any insights?

As for the power of the slayer. I was surprised to find out that her power is demonic in origin. How does this fit in with the Powers That Be, over there on Angel? Is she simply a soldier created by man? I'm definitely going to have to watch this episode (plus several others) before I come to any conclusions. And even then, I may not come to any. I will say that this was one of the best episodes to date. I can't wait to see where all this goes!

[> Re: So much to ponder -questions/comments(spoilers Get It Done) -- Malathustra, 21:35:47 02/18/03 Tue

This Willow-drawing-power thing is new, but has shown up elsewhere in the season. Remember the closing scene of an earlier episode where Buffy joined Willow on the bed and gave her some of her... whatever? I assume that was power. It helped regenerate Willow and accelerate her healing through natural means, right?

[> Re: So much to ponder -questions/comments(spoilers Get It Done) -- Tess, 22:03:39 02/18/03 Tue

It's been hinted at that the Slayer's power is rooted in darkness. Drucula mentioned this. I'm not sure if it was ever suggested by anyone else, and I would have to rewatch certain shows but I seem to remember even Buffy mentioning it, such as when she'd crawl out of bed to go hunting.

On a side note, how awesome did Robin Woods look with those throwing stars?

Also, didn't it seem a little suspicious that the FE knew what Buffy had said about some of the potentials dying? Last week the FE wasn't aware that Andrew was wired and that the gang was trying to tape him. The only one who heard what Buffy said was the principle. How could the FE have known what she said, unless he's acting as the eyes and ears of the FE? I know there's a lot of Principle Woods love going around, but I just don't trust the man.

[> [> Scary Speculation on the Eyes and Ears of the First. -- Harry Parachute, 22:34:17 02/18/03 Tue

Last week the FE wasn't aware that Andrew was wired and that the gang was trying to tape him. The only one who heard what Buffy said was the principle. How could the FE have known what she said, unless he's acting as the eyes and ears of the FE?

Keep in mind, Buffy has died. The FE can take her form. When an FE takes a form, it knows the person pretty much inside and out.

So what happens when it takes the form of someone who died but is now walking among the living again? Could it be that the link between the person and the FE remains?

In that case, Buffy herself unwittingly plays the role of the spy.

...of course, that theory might get a little dicey when you try to retcon it with the telepathic planning back in "Showtime". Or not. Maybe the First can't get in touch with what the dead think/thought internally, but can hook into the complete history of their other five senses. Searle can kiss Kripke stupid-fresh.

I have a fever. My keyboard? Many little water balloons. Look at the kitty.

[> [> [> Kripke? -- Kellyne, 23:34:55 02/18/03 Tue

So what about Naming and Necessity or the author who can't get on a plane unless a car is set up for him to take him to the airport?

sorry I am lost here, but I am probably just not getting it because the chip in my brain is not working...

[> [> Re: So much to ponder -questions/comments(spoilers Get It Done) -- Malathustra, 04:34:12 02/19/03 Wed

That was hardly the first time Buffy has said that some of the girls would die. I didn't go back and check, but did she say it when Eve was the FE? Seems like something FE!Eve would have latched onto to make the girls freak out. Maybe the FE has superhearing powers like a vampire? Whatever reason, this speculation (on my part, too!) reminds me of one of my favorite moments from the Angel Season 1 DVD set -- where Jane Espenson is commenting on "Rm w/a Vu" and says that sometimes it's okay for the writers to be a little inconsistent because the fans always clear it up for them! I thought that was a very telling moment in the commentary!

In a sense, they rely on the fans (particularly, people on boards like this) to do their dirty work!

[> Re: So much to ponder -questions/comments(spoilers Get It Done) -- sloan, 00:46:22 02/19/03 Wed

What about Anya and Willow's discussion about physics and magic? How does that tie into the nature of Willow's magic? Actually, these are real questions because I can't remember how it was all explained...

[> WILLOW powers -- kurisu, 01:06:37 02/19/03 Wed

>>>Willow's magic? Everytime I think I've figured it out, I get proven wrong. Last season, it was a power she got from without, like a drug. Which was bad. Then this season, she seems to learn how to use power that's within herself and connected to the earth. Which was good. So where does tonight's magic fit in? I just don't understand her statement re: sucking the life out of Kennedy, "that's how it works. That's how I work." (or something like that) Is that how it works? To pull the power from anyone around her? Does she have any power? Or is she more like a strong conductor, able to take other people's power and focus it? I *thought* the power was hers, but now I'm not so sure. Anyone have any insights?

My view on Willow is that she herself, has Natural Power (like everyone else on the show--thats why mostly anyone can cast a spell or two--but Will is unique in that she's able to connect to higher levels of power, keep that power in her and use it, etc)...

Furthermore, Will's natural power only gets her so far before it hits it's limit, thus thats where her "tapping" other sources of energy/power begins.

We see this TAPPING when she goes Dark Willow and she runs out of her own Natural Power (which was purely based on her emotions) she seekss other sources of power from rack, giles etc. So basically Willow is a good HOST a CONTAINER of many kinds of energy---MAJICKS.. she like a MOJO BAG.

When big spells are cast like the PORTAL OPENING one we saw tonight (usually they all require major loads of energy)
Willow taps into other sources of energy: people, animals, deities, the planet, gods, you name it... In the Portal Spell tonight, it seemed like she was ASKING for some higher being to open the portal for her.. Then Will said "screw this latin sh*t, I'll do it myself" so she needs more power thus tap near by ppl w/ power...... then puff of smoke the portal is open.

Also, sometimes that energy is DARK and sometimes its not, all depends on where shes tapping it from.

>>>As for the power of the slayer. I was surprised to find out that her power is demonic in origin. How does this fit in with the Powers That Be, over there on Angel? Is she simply a soldier created by man?

The PTB... I never felt like Buffy was ever part of all that higher dimensions and higher powers etc yada yada, get visions and mind numbing headaches thang... That always seemed to be in a differnt jurisdiction and IMO pretty below the Slayer's line of work... B's always been about stopping BIG BADs (hell Gods and what not) not really about her sitting down and waiting for the phone to ring for her next case. The baddies come to her and then they get their asses kicked....

Buffy yes IS indeed a Champion like Angel. But I never felt like the PTB had/has any power or hold on her...

On a side topic: Why did Will choose Kennedy? Was it just cuz she was closer then say Xander? Or cuz she's a Potential? I didnt catch the other person she started tapping energy from, was it Anya or Dawny? (I need to re watch it) Or did she tap everyone in the room...??

[> [> Actually.... Spoilers for Get it Done. -- Briar Rose (loving this season!), 02:15:36 02/19/03 Wed

I saw Willow reach out to Anya, and I then I could have sworn it was DAWN on the other side - so I was really confused when Kennedy turned out to be the other source.*L

It would have made more sense for it to be Dawn, IMO. To use the ex-deamon and The Key would have given Willow much more inate POWER Sources to draw on than Anya and Kennedy, because even though Anya might have residual Power from her time and contact with the Higher Realms, Kennedy is only a wanna be Slayer at this point. She has no actual mystical power of her own. She has yet to be "Chosen" and may not be at all in the now nearly confirmed Buffy-verse/Fray cannon. (However, they did give a sneaky out for a spin-off, because they specified Buffy as the last defender of "The Hellmouth", which is normally taken as Sunnydale's Hellmouth, but we know there are others at different times that are more active...)

The only thing "new" we saw as far as Willow's power is that she still isn't practicing what the Coven taught her. She needs to start working these BIG magicks outside or at least in some place where she has access to natural materials to draw energy from. She's right, "It's how I do it..." But it is still not within the all important balanced methodology that true, controlled magick requires. (Not that that surprises me, since ME seems to have a love/hate relationship to magick in general.*S*)

It also doesn't surprise me that the Slayer Power is forged from "dark" magick... As I said above: ME and magick is always about misconceptions, and my only continual hot spot within the Joss-verse et al.~s~ But I have great hope that for ONCE in the entire series, finally in Season 7, we just might be getting to the one concept of metaphysical philosophy that tends to blow the average Christian Inundated and Indoctrinated Populace's minds... There IS no such thing as All Good/All Bad. The Entire Universe is nothing but energy. And to go even further: There is nothing but NEUTRAL energy. That energy has to be focused in intention to "become" anything other than Neutral.

Why is the Chosen One always a female? -- Michael, 03:58:50 02/19/03 Wed

I may have missed something early on, but I started wondering last night after the episode about the way The Three treated Buffy. They had her chained to rocks and insisting she accept the demonic power. In other words, they were going to "violate" her as they did the First Slayer.
This raises all sorts of gender empowerment, patriarchal domination issues.
But more than anything, I want to know why they chose a female and not a male? I know why Joss created Buffy as a female because he was doing a number on the old horror movies, but could there be another reason?
What is there about the female that makes her a candidate for Slayerhood? And why are all the major Bad Guys males? Tear away the veil of ignorance. Help me understand!
Trees good. Fire bad.

[> The major Bad Guys are all male?? -- grifter, 05:17:21 02/19/03 Wed

What about Drusilla? Faith? Glory? Willow? Darla and Lilah on the other show?

As for why a female sacrifice: The ancient Watchers needed someone to sacrifice to the demon(s). They chose a girl because most sacrifices where female, and they probably thought a female was easier to control once she had inherited the demonic power. They where some big, studly macho-shamen.

[> [> Re: The major Bad Guys are all male?? -- seven, 05:35:52 02/19/03 Wed

Just to note
michael said BIG bads--besides Glory (whose other identity was male) none of these characters were the baddest of the bad for their respective seasons. Dru--Spike/Angel--Faith--The Mayor--Willow---Warren---Darla--Can't go there--haven't watched old episodes---but you see what i mean---The only truly bad girls were subservient to males
Buffy--the only girl to take power is the only girl to be the big Good---
So girls who allow to be controlled go bad one way or the other, but girls who take control are in the right.

Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- Majin Gojira, 05:36:17 02/19/03 Wed

Did she have the right to chastize the group for putting the load all on her. Was her "Wakeup call" good or bad for the group as a whole? Opinions?

[> I have mixed feelings -- Peggin, 06:27:26 02/19/03 Wed

I think Buffy was right that most of the rest of the group isn't pulling their own weight. I thought this was perfectly symbolized by the fact that, even when it came to a relatively simple task like digging Chloe's grave, nobody else picked up a shovel and helped out. If this is supposed to be an army, why is the general doing the grunt work?

On the other hand, I think she was have been a little too brutal in the way she said it. For example, with Willow, up until now, every time Willow has expressed reluctance to do a spell, Buffy has been the supportive best friend who said, "if you're not ready, we'll find another way". I think the reversal was a little sudden. Of course, a lot of that I think is understandable based on her frustration over the whole situation. The First didn't kill Chloe, it may have talked her into it, but Chloe took her own life. How is Buffy supposed to protect these girls from agents of The First when she can't even protect them from themselves? Still, I think Buffy should have brought up her frustrations a while ago rather than just all in one sudden outburst.

[> [> Re: I have mixed feelings -- Rhys, 07:51:20 02/19/03 Wed

"How is Buffy supposed to protect these girls from agents of The First when she can't even protect them from themselves?"

That's just it. I don't think she IS supposed to protect these girls. Buffy cannot fight their battles for the SITs, however much she wants to protect them. Yes, they are in danger from the FE, but I think Buffy's job is to teach them to protect themselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually, so that they can fight and win victories on their own.

By the way, why was Chloe's grave being dug by Buffy? Why wasn't her body sent home to her family, so that they could bury her as they saw fit?

[> [> Necessary for morale -- Malandanza, 08:24:26 02/19/03 Wed

"I think Buffy was right that most of the rest of the group isn't pulling their own weight. I thought this was perfectly symbolized by the fact that, even when it came to a relatively simple task like digging Chloe's grave, nobody else picked up a shovel and helped out. If this is supposed to be an army, why is the general doing the grunt work?...On the other hand, I think she was have been a little too brutal in the way she said it"

I think the speech was needed, brutal as it was. The Potentials were utterly demoralized by Chloe's death, filled with exactly the kind of doubts the First can exploit. Why is Andrew alive and Chloe dead? Because Andrew's faith in Buffy is stronger than his fear of the First. The Potentials, at the start of Buffy's "everybody sucks but me" speech, would have followed Chloe's path -- now they will fight.

My problem with the speech was less about the things Buffy said and more about her friend's reactions. Is Buffy the general? Then why so much insubordination? Kennedy, Spike and Xander all openly defied her in front of the troops. Xander claimed that they were just waiting for orders, subtly shifting the blame for the current malaise to Buffy, but even in this season we've seen him obey only the orders he agreed with. Think of Selfless: General Buffy heads off to slay Anyanka. Corporal Harris runs ahead to warn the enemy. Second Lieutenant Rosenberg calls up enemy General D'Hoffyrn, explains what's happening, and asks if, as a personal favor to her, he would intervene. The Scoobies can't have it both ways -- either they are also responsible for the decision making or they should follow Buffy (questioning her when alone, perhaps, but not in front of a group of scared girls).

I don't think Buffy was being too harsh -- she was trying to save the lives of these girls in spite of themselves. I wouldn't have minded seeing Buffy grab Kennedy, drag her outside and have her dig the next grave, for the potential who dies because she helped destroy morale at a crucial point because she thought Willow wasn't getting enough credit. Then maybe busting her back to private for insubordination and sticking her on KP duty with Andrew.

[> [> [> Re: Necessary for morale -- Miss Edith, 11:24:42 02/19/03 Wed

Kennedy's martial arts drill was what I found lame. She simply barked out random combinations of moves with no instructions as to direction, or what hand or foot to use. Where was Giles? Either he or Buffy should have handled training, not uppity Kennedy. Just because she is dating Willow doesn't mean she can appoint herself leader. That girls attitude infuriates me. Calling a 15 year old girl a maggot is just cruel and vile. When Buffy ordered the slayers in training upstairs Kennedy gets to stay why exactly? Does liplocking with a scooby give you living room privilges? She needs to stop pulling rank. She seemed to really enjoy being mean to Chloe, she comes across as a conceited sadist to me.

I thought Buffy's "everybody sucks but me" speech whilst hardly tactful, did make a lot of valid points. Spike and Willow did have more to offer, and they were both holding back. Buffy was trying to kick them into shape. She did go about it all wrong but she is trying her best. She had to be suffering major guilt at not following up on her dream. What was lacking was a scene of Buffy sobbing when burying Chloe. It would have helped demonstrate that her anger comes from fear and guilt. I didn't agree with what she said to Anya at all though. She did invite Anya to stay. And from what I've seen Anya is doing what she can, including cleaning Buffy's clothes.

I don't blame Buffy for being annoyed with the burden she is carrying mind you. It wouldn't have killed Kennedy to give Buffy a hand with dumping the body, especially after the abusive comments she made to Chloe. I'm not sure how the other girls weren't being useful though. As far as I could see they were doing everything they were instructed to do. I didn't take Buffy's speech on face value as I know she is not the only one doing anything, and she is not carrying everyone else. Her anger wasn't aimed at Chloe I felt. Buffy can relate to feeling suicide after all. I felt her anger was all about Buffy herself and feeling out of control, she behaves in a similiar manner in WSWB. Buffy was never cut out to be a guidance counseller, sensitivity was never her strong point, and she is trying her best. Motivational speeches just aren't her thing. There's no time for insecurites and whining so I felt the harsh speech was necesssery. Giving Chloe a nice eulogy would have romantised her death too much. I wonder why it didn't occur to Buffy that Chloe's family might want the body back though? Do none of the young girls have parents? Surely the coroners office should have been involved?

The only real problem I had with Buffy was her refusing to take on the additional power. She is expecting the slayers in training to die for the cause, and Willow and Spike to access their dark side. Yet she can't take one for the team so to speak? Even Cordy in Angel became half demon to help with the mission. Buffy should be risking darkness herself if she is encouraging Willow her best friend to go off the wagon. The other major thing I disagreed with was Buffy not taking the time to talk to Chloe after hacing a specific dream of her sobbing.

[> [> [> [> Re: Necessary for morale -- Shiraz, 14:24:05 02/19/03 Wed

Thank you, Miss Edith

You very neatly summed up everything I was trying to say in my post above.

[> [> [> Re: Necessary for morale -- crgn, 13:57:29 02/19/03 Wed

(I tried posting this earlier but the msg disappeared in the middle of posting)

But as Buffy said to Wood, they're not (an army of) recruits, they're Chosen. They can't be whipped into shape using militaristic motivational methods of degradation and shame. Who/what is served by allowing Kennedy to assume the role of old-fashioned drill sergeant, showing off her power and control over the other SITs in front of the mighty general? Kennedy's ego, that's all. This isn't a military army, but a gathering of SITs, preparing each to immediately take up the banner at the focal point of the Hellmouth as individual slayers are defeated and the slayer's power is passed to the next in line. No one knows how that power gets passed, or who the next one will be. Kennedy needed to learn that it's not all sexy fun and games, but she also needs to understand that Buffy's immediate successor may just as easily be the last girl who walked through the door (or the one Giles is still searching for), rather than Kennedy believing herself heir apparent.

Buffy also needs to remember all this and stop feeling sorry for herself that she's the solitary lonely power. She spoke long ago about there not being stories of the Slayer and her group of friends - but it's not for their lack of trying or desire to do their part. It's simply not their role (yet) to be The Slayer. To borrow a phrase from another modern fantasy, "There can be only one."

That's probably enough rambling for now.

[> [> [> Yeah, morale is really soaring now. (spoilers 7.15) -- Traveler, 17:14:37 02/19/03 Wed

First of all, Buffy could have saved Chloe if she had followed up on her dream. Yet, she puts the blame on everybody but herself. I nearly cheered when Anya suggested that they just leave Buffy in the other dimension. If the scooby gang is really so useless, why does Buffy rely on them again and again?

But, forget the hypocracy. Let's look at the effects that Buffy's actions have had on the rest of the gang this episode. When Buffy left the proto slayers to slay a vamp, they left the experience feeling good about themselves and their mission. At the end of 7.15 most of the scooby gang is in disarray. Willow nearly went evil again. Did anybody else notice that her hair was starting to turn black before she was pulled from the circle? Spike is trying to reclaim his pre-souled identity, which is a far cry from Buffy's "he can be a good man" speech to Giles. Kennedy and Willow are probably breaking up. Everybody is either angry and/or resentful, including Xander, who is normally one of Buffy's most ardent supporters. And all of this for what? Buffy rejects the offer of power that was given to her, and the information she gains only serves to dishearten her.

"The Scoobies can't have it both ways -- either they are also responsible for the decision making or they should follow Buffy."

The same holds true for Buffy. Does she want initiative or obediance? Besides which, Buffy is not a general and these are not her troops. She has no military or tactical training, just her own beliefs about the way things should be done. As Buffy herself points out, these girls are not military recruits but 15 year old children who have no other choice. And the scooby gang are not Buffy's lieutenants but her friends. These people have stood behind her for years, not because they had to, but because they cared about her. Buffy is losing sight of that fact, which does more harm to her cause than any uber-vamp.

[> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, morale is really soaring now. (spoilers 7.15) -- Miss Edith, 10:13:19 02/20/03 Thu

If the gang were to give in to despair it would be easier for the First to pick them off one by one. Buffy was trying to give the others a wake up call telling them stay strong, only idiots kill themselves. If Chloe was mourned then it might have encouraged others to take the easy way out, thinking of the incentive of eveyone crying about what a special person they were. Buffy quite rightly refused to do that. In her place I would have quietly seen that Chloe's body was returned to her family, not had a service to mourn her when they needed to stay focused, and were in the middle of a deadly war. Don't forget Chloe died because she was willing to sit for hours with the First using her own anxieties against her. If she didn't think to go to one of the other girls for help then she was an idiot.

Buufy did make a mistake not following up on her dream. I imagine Buffy was blaming herself for not checking up on Chloe and her anger was coming from a defensive position. But as it was known that the First would take human form to manipulate them ultimately Chloe is responsible for the choice she made, not Buffy. To survive they need to keep it together and stay strong. That is what Buffy is trying to ensure they do. However Buffy should have spoken up when Chloe was called a maggot. Kennedy seems to geuninely believe she is better than everyone else (possibly because of her background?) and she was out of line. Giles would not have stood for such bullying I feel. But Buffy is young and inexperienced and she is trying her best. She clearly feels an enormous burden as the leader. She is trying to prepare the young girls to be vigilent so she doesn't have any more suicides to face. Buffy isn't a grief counciller and I think we're expecting to much if we are unhappy that she didn't deal with Chloe's death in the correct way. I didn't think Buffy was particularly tactful, and yes she did screw up somewhat. But she is trying, and I can see where she is coming from in trying to motivate the others.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, morale is really soaring now. (spoilers 7.15) -- Traveler, 13:02:14 02/20/03 Thu

"But Buffy is young and inexperienced and she is trying her best."

So are the rest of them. In fact, Buffy is older and more experienced than most of the potentials, some of whom never even picked up a stake before coming to Sunnydale.

Also, imagine telling a suicidal person that they are weak and pathetic for even thinking of comitting suicide. Do you think that will make them less suicidal? No, Buffy is definitely not a grief counselor. Ironic, considering that she is supposedly working as school counselor.

Finally, nobody comitts suicide because they think it is trendy. Sometimes people attempt to comitt suicide as a cry for help, but generally if they actually go through with it, it's because they feel there's no other way. Sure, Chloe's suicide had a negative effect on the potentials, but I seriously doubt even one of them was thinking, "wow look at all the attention Chloe's getting. Maybe I should comitt suicide too!" Furthermore, Chloe is clearly a victim in all this. Yes, she chose to listen to the FE, but then so have many others including Buffy, Spike, and Wood. The fact that so many people on this board eagerly blame the victim really appalls me.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, morale is really soaring now. (spoilers 7.15) -- Miss Edith, 15:12:38 02/20/03 Thu

No people don't commit suicide because it's trendy. But I would argue that young impressionable teenagers can be influenced by their peers. When a girl committed suicide in my school a big deal was made about it, with special assembly's etc and people who never even knew her were sobbing. You could practically see people thinking "if only I did the same people would pay attention to me". By not romanticising Chloe's death Buffy was actually doing the other girls a favour.

Showing anger isn't necesserily the correct response, but then I have never argued that Buffy should be working as a school counseler. She is so quick to relate other people's problems to her own life that it clearly is not her calling. The show acknowledges this with Wood and Willow laughing at Buffy thinking she is helpful to the students. We are constantly given hints that Buffy is too self-involved to be an effective counseler. Therefore I don't expect her to handle situations such as Chloe's suicide perfectly. But I could see where she was coming from and I do think she had the right idea. You say a sucidal person wouldn't be talked out of suicide by being told it's a stupid idea. True. But none of the girls were suicidal, Buffy was simply trying to boost moral and keep them strong. Chloe was a victim yes. But to look at your examples, I would say that Wood is to blame for listening to the First just as much as Chloe is for choosing to take her own life. I don't remember Buffy listening to the First? And Spike was under hypnotic control so it's not the same as Chloe choosing to stay in a room with the First knowing it could not physically hurt her, but would manipulate her. Being a victim of the First doesn't change the fact that Chloe was an idiot for taking her own life.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, morale is really soaring now. (spoilers 7.15) -- Miss Edith, 15:45:11 02/20/03 Thu

I just wanted to add that the portrayel of Buffy is consistent. In season 2 a young boy committed suicide in IOHEFY and Buffy is cold and unforgiving towards him partly because of her own issues. And Xander comments that killing yourself is pretty much the dumbest thing you can do. So sorry if I appear shocked but I just don't get all the outrage at Buffy calling Chloe an idiot and telling the other girls if they're in a rush to be the next dead body just think of Chloe. Buffy was trying to help them after all. It wasn't as though she enjoyed burying her second young teenage girl. Buffy has been fighting to protect them. The fact that Chloe's death was self-inflicted must have felt like a kick in the teeth.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, morale is really soaring now. (spoilers 7.15) -- Traveler, 16:05:07 02/20/03 Thu

I'm not arguing that Buffy didn't try to do what she thought was right, nor that her portrayal is inconsistant. Rather, I just think that whatever her intentions, she ended up doing more harm than good. Rather than questioning her own methods as a result of Chloe's suicide, she puts the blame on everybody else. She could have gone to her friends and said "what am I doing something wrong?" Instead, she gets all her "troops" together and says "look at what you are doing wrong." Nevermind that earlier in the same episode we see that everybody is doing the best they can to help out. No, this speech wasn't about boosting morale. It was about dominating others. "Do things my way or you're useless."

[> Re: Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- Gyrus, 08:39:01 02/19/03 Wed

Buffy is dealing with a group of people who have a lot of growing to do and no time to do it. Spike needs to learn to balance his demon and his soul; Willow needs to find the limits of her control over her magic; all the potentials need to learn, not only to fight, but to deal with the stress of their situation. And here's 22-year-old Buffy having to worry about them all.

That said, Buffy was still too hard on everyone. The potentials can't be blamed for their failure to do anything constructive because they haven't been given anything constructive to do, other than training. Willow's fear of losing control is a very rational one. And neither we nor Spike know what could happen if he really lets himself go.

One thing Buffy was right about -- Chloe was an idiot. Not only didn't she have to kill herself, but she didn't have to sit there alone listening to the First. She could have gone right downstairs and told the others, which might not have made the First go away, but at least she could have gotten some emotional support to counteract the First's mind games. So I don't blame Buffy for being angry about Chloe's suicide.

(Of course, this is an error that Buffy herself has made time and time again -- always trying to go it alone when she should be asking for help. Maybe, if Buffy won't learn from her own mistakes, she will learn from Chloe's.)

[> [> Re: Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- Miss Edith, 10:32:22 02/19/03 Wed

What I want to know is how no one noticed the bathroom being tied up for so long. Buffy is providing for so many people she has practically turned her home into a halfway house. I would have thought the young girls would be constantly banging on the bathroom door needing the loo. All that training would cause them to gulp down water. Not to mention being sweaty and needing to shower. Why did none of them get suspicious about the bathroom being occupied for so long?

[> [> [> Re: Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- Gyrus, 11:16:33 02/19/03 Wed

"The needs of the many are outweighed by the needs of the plot."

-- Mr. Spock, had he been a TV producer

[> [> Re: Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- SugarTherapy, 14:14:56 02/19/03 Wed

Well, here's what I'm wondering: In what form did the First appear to Chloe? Logically, it'd have to be someone she'd listen to, someone she'd maybe even trust. She might not have *known* it was the first. There is one person who the girls should trust, whose form the First could take, and the girls might not know. Buffy. As far as we know, the Potentials don't know that Buffy has died. If Chloe thought she was talking to Buffy, and the First as Buffy was talking about how pointless it all is and how they're going to lose... it'd really have an affect on the girl. That could motivate her to just off herself. If she thinks that their all-powerful leader believes they're all going to die, she'd be likely to do something drastic. Get out now in a less painful way than being ripped apart by a demon.


[> [> [> Re: Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- Gyrus, 14:52:44 02/19/03 Wed

That's a very good thought.

I can just imagine what "Buffy" would say to her: "No one else has the heart to tell you, but you're obviously the weakest one here. If you become the Slayer, everyone else will pay the price. Are you really going to take that chance, of letting them all down because you got the job and couldn't hack it? Of course you aren't. I know you'll do the right thing."

[> [> [> [> The First Evil Detection Device (tm) -- Veronica, 17:12:23 02/19/03 Wed

I yell at my screen every time a group scene begins...
Start every conversation with everyone shaking hands. Or a high-five. Or any physical contact at all! Everyone has the world's most effective The First Evil Detection Device (tm) at their fingertips (literally!) and we still spend time wondering if one of them is a corpse???


[> [> [> [> [> agree! agree! -- WickedTouchMe First, 20:32:32 02/19/03 Wed

I agree - by now it should just be automatic that you poke everyone you see! (I was relieved Buffy had a shovel to throw down soI didn't have to fret about her status )

Instead, everyone seems to be folding up inside of themselves physically and emotionally.

[> [> [> Excellent point -- Tchaikovsky, 04:45:33 02/20/03 Thu

As Chloe presumably would have no idea that Buffy had died, she would assume that it must be the real Buffy, and not attempt to check that it was corporeal. And if your inspirational general is down on you, telling you you can't survive, how on earth to you summon the inner strength to go on?


[> Re: Do you feel Buffy's Chastizement was truely justified? -- SugarTherapy, 11:06:36 02/19/03 Wed

I think she was justified in the points she was making, but the way she made some of them was a little too harsh. I'd elaborate, but the bell just rang! yikes!


[> No. -- Tamara, 10:38:34 02/20/03 Thu

Buffy is not carrying everyone at all. In the last episode Giles was telling Buffy off because she was going on dates. Not even once have we been shown the younger slayers being told to do something and then leaving Buffy to take care of it. They have been doing everything she asks them do. She was showing her new boyfriend around the house instead of helping Kennedy train the potential slayers. Also Buffy has no right to bury girls in the back yard like dogs. What was it she ranted about to Faith and Spike when they dumped bodys. "Thats all this is to you isnt it. Just another body". All she cares about now is the end result not the people that get trampled down on the way. I'm not surprised Chloe killed herself instead of sharing a house with Buffy and Kennedy. Buffy has been telling the girls for weeks they are going to die and she was frighened enough in Prophecy Girl in their place "Im 16 and I dont want to die". She has become like the Buffy from The Wish. And Buffy asked Spike and Anya to stay so its rude to suddenly start complaining about them being freeloaders. And Kennedy blew off a vision quest to hit on Willow so where does she get off acting like the leader there to get the others motivated.

Language Barriers/Subtitles and Voice -- neaux, 05:55:27 02/19/03 Wed

Language Barriers/Subtitles and Voice

These are just some observations. Please someone add some insite to my ramblings.

The opening scene last night focused on language books and tranlations. We have a more worldly Buffy now and this scene is important to show the problem with communication and language barriers.

Tonite was the third episode (I believe) this season to air subtitles. Selfless, First Date and Get it Done. If there was more I apologize my brain must be rusty.
We learn of Anya's past in Selfless and her foreigness. There is the use of subtitles for the audience's benefit.
First Date we meet the Chinese SIT and Giles horrible attempt at communicating through drawing. Again subtitles are used, but in this instance we learn what the SIT is saying while the rest of the gang does not.
Tonite in Get it Done, subtitles are again used for our benefit.This time It seems Buffy actually understands what the shadowmen are saying.

I would like to say that Get it Done was about Buffy only listening to what she wants to listen to. She bitched at the whole gang and wouldnt listen to Anya, Xander or Spike. Although she understands the shadowmen, she doesn t want to listen to the full story. She doesnt accept their power. So Buffy is calling the shots, Buffy is making orders.. she isnt really listening at all is she?

It is also peculiar that She is able to understand the shadowmen and yet she cannot decipher TTFN (ta ta for now). This shows she only listens to what she thinks is important. She really doesnt listen to the SITs. Chloe/theFirst even throws Buffy's words back at her, specifically emphasizing how she feels about the SITs.

Speaking of the above scene.. The first's recorder of Buffy's voice.. hmm does that tie into Andrew/Willow's wire/recording of the first? Why is there such an emphasis on voice?

[> also 2 other biggies.. -- neaux, 06:15:33 02/19/03 Wed

Just thought of this as well,

Dawn becomes great at reading Sumarian.. its translating for her into english.

Willow says "Screw it!" to the Latin Language and speaks in English to open the gate.

Why is there a force on the English language?

[> [> Re: also 2 other biggies.. -- Seven, 06:22:45 02/19/03 Wed

I think that this is a major point.

I think it translates (no pun intended) into another theme.

That being the fact that where something comes from
i.e.--a language comes from a certain place
--doesn't matter--wha matters is the focus--the emotion--the direction--Really the focus (can't think of a better word) of the power--especially in the case of Dawn and Willow--they realize or are told that the language--or how it was originally -- doesn't matter--its what the inner power is doing now at this moment--

I think this relates to the theme of everyone's power being demonic or "evil" in origin--that doesn't matter---what they do with it NOW does.

[> Trying to save this thread! -- Masq, 10:43:29 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> thanks M! -- neaux, 11:00:25 02/19/03 Wed

[> Also Communication (spoilers) -- Scroll, 11:03:10 02/19/03 Wed

I keep remembering Buffy's gift to Dawn in "Lessons", a cell phone. Dawn rightly calls her cell phone a weapon. But Buffy keeps dropping hers ("Conversations With Dead People") or leaving it behind ("First Date"). The cell phones were Buffy's idea but she's not really making much use of them, is she? She's not connected. She is not communicating. She's not listening to the cries of the people around her. If the Dawn's shadow-caster book kept telling Buffy that it's not enough to watch, that she must see, then perhaps we can extend that to it's not enough to hear people's words -- she must also hear what they're saying.

[> [> watch/see ... hear/listen (spoilers) -- WickedBuffy, 20:05:14 02/19/03 Wed

.. reminds me of her mom (as ghost) telling Buffy to "wake up!" which can also mean "pay attention - listen".

And the references to watch vs see. and also hear vs listen.

She watches, but doesn't see? Hears but isn't listening?

[> [> [> and another thing (WickedBuffy says to herself) -- WickedBuffy, 20:26:10 02/19/03 Wed

How many deaths have there been from people listening to FE? I haven't added them up, but havent more humans died as a result of listening to the FE than the UberVamp killed?

Recently, among the Scoobies and closely orbiting characters, humans are killing other humans. More than the FE's minion(s) have killed. (I'm not counting offscreen deaths like anonymous S.I.T.s, but those closer to the Slayer.)

It seems clear just to not listen to the FE. Yet they all stand enthralled, like they did last night listening to Chloe/FE. Or they argue back, like Andrew did.

But when Spike was tied up in the caves being taunted by the FE in different forms - Spike stopped listening. He just kept mumbling to himself, over and over, that Buffy would come. When Spike wouldn't listen, the FE got angry (my interpretation, but it was not happy about it at all). FE doesn't like it when people won't listen or engage with it. Yet why do they still do that?

It's like they are arguing with themselves. ;>

[> More on Language, but a new thought on humor -- Tyreseus, 20:30:01 02/19/03 Wed

It is also peculiar that She is able to understand the shadowmen and yet she cannot decipher TTFN (ta ta for now)

After "First Date" I had a bad feeling about the tone of the rest of the season. Giles' end of episode speech pretty much said "stop making jokes!" Buffy took that to heart.

Was anyone else bothered by the fact that Buffy not only didn't find humor in anything, but that she just didn't get it at all?

When Xander was cracking jokes, it felt odd and uncomfortable. When she gave Woods the grand tour, she didn't even smile at Willow's awkward explanation for the cadet training.

Which leads me to wonder... in seasons 1-6, laughing and cracking jokes in the face of death has always been one of the ways the scooby gang has dealt with the emotional baggage that builds up in their lives. When the laughing and the sacrasm and the jokes about Xander dating demons dry up, that's when we're in for either 1) insanely emotional melodrama or 2) secrets, lies and cover-ups.

Which brings me back to language. Language influences and is influenced by perception. Take the famous example that eskimo lanugages (Inuit) have numerous words that we pretty much cover with "snow" or "ice" plus a few adjectives. Many philosopher have probed into the bizarre relation between language, action and perception.

The English language is so muddied with connotations and denotation that even two people from the same region with similar upbringings can be confused in interaction. For example, I remember a humorous exchange between my ex-roommate and I after I had returned home rather early after a night out at a local gay bar. When asked why I was home, I replied that the bar was packed with bears, which are not my thing. I was using the gay slang term for larger, hairy men. My roommate, however, first pictured actual bears (which didn't make logical sense) then assumed that I meant fans of the American Football team, The Bears. As she began to ask me questions about the game they were showing at the bar, I was bewildered and we both ended up laughing over our confusion.

As SITs from across the world are pulled into the Summers house, language becomes even more of a challenge. How do you communicate to a 14 year girl speaking Arabic who has never seen a vamp before that all vampires are bad, but Spike (a vampire) is not? How do you further explain that Spike could be very bad if The First decides to sing the Golden Oldies? It leads to very black and white thinking, as grey is harder to explain when you have a language barrier.

Language allows us to be subtle, find nuance, and explore the gray areas. Without it, you're just playing survival of the fittest when Buffy pantomimes "stake" and Xander sees... well, you get the idea.

I'm sure there's a lot more to this topic in the archives for "Hush" and probably "Once More With Feeling" (where the problem became too much communication). But I like your thinking process. Good catch at all the references to language.

Interesting also, that the watcher who was trained in dozens of human and demon languages was missing from the episode. While Dawn struggled with the Sumerian (ever wonder if Sumerian-Summers has a hidden connection?), Giles would have polished of the book in a night and still had time to cross reference his Chinese-American dictionary for the phrase "lactose intolerant."

Okay, my 2¢.


[> [> thank you for this great response! -- neaux, 04:06:39 02/20/03 Thu

thoughts on Get it Done (spoilers) -- Seven, 06:08:35 02/19/03 Wed

Just some things i picked up on or had thoughts about:

Buffy as General vs. Buffy as protector

I am studying to become a teacher and this paralleled perfectly with some things i'm learning about. A teacher must choose his/her role as either disciplinarian/Authoritarian or as friend and equal. Buffy had to choose which role to play when everyone was morning Chloe's death. She chose that of General/Disciplinarian. In my opinion, this was a mistake, but one that many would make. I, myself wondered how she would handle it while she was shoveling--probably what she was contemplating as well.

The deciding factor was likely what she said at one point which i thought was genious on Doug Petrie's part.

"The First is making me use my power to bury you."

This has to be upsetting and disapointing. the logical response is to use the disciplinarian side of her role.

However, this brings about an interesting point. Buffy has always won because she let her emotions fuel her decisions. But more accuratley, her ideal, or optimistic emotions--the emotions that let her believe that this COULD be done

The emotions fueling this decision (of disciplinarian) were pesimistic and reminiscent of GIles in the earlier seasons. the voice of reason.

Later, Buffy seems to make the wrong choice deciding to go without more demonic power, but ultimatly, she is being herself and optimistic. She was thinking ideally, that she can win without going bad. This was her realization

Unfortunatly, it was a realization that may have cost her Spike and possibly Willow.

Willow has not used HER power--she stole it. Spike, while i admit it was great to see him all badass again, is giving in to the demon. We see this as a good thing because he's more capable, but is it better?

This episode more than any demonstrates that all power is just power. It can be wielded for good and evil. Angel is supposedly "evil" power being used for good, and now we know that Buffy is too. Willow and Spike now need to realize that becoming more powerful is not becoming more evil, it is learing how to utilize that power for good.

Ultimatly, Buffy did come out of this episode with knowledge--Knowledge about her power and about the army of demons awaiting. It may have cost her Spike and Willow. But that is the point, isn't it. The price. the Exhange of power--like the demon for Buffy. What is the price of victory--this has been linked to every season. There is an exchange for winning.---

One more note---The shaman never called or acknowledged Buffy as the slayer---She said "im the slayer"-- But they only said "we know who you are." Implying that maybe she didn't. They called her the last gaurdian of the hellmouth--not the slayer---She is the guardian--not the slayer

OK--my minds going numb--any thoughts? Disagreements?

[> Last guardian (well-known spin-off spoiler and 7.15 spoilers) -- Masq, 09:15:40 02/19/03 Wed

"They called her the last gaurdian of the hellmouth--not the slayer---She is the guardian--not the slayer"

I'm glad you said this. When the Shadowman called her the "last guardian of the hellmouth" I was a little worried. Does that mean she is the last slayer until Fray? Does that mean there won't be a spin-off with Faith for sure, or that if there is, Faith won't live in Sunnydale?

Actually, I'm still worried. : )

[> [> Re: Last guardian Speculation (some spoilers) -- Mystery, 10:50:29 02/19/03 Wed

Well, in Fray, they said that the last slayer and mystical allies closed the Hellmouth. She's probably the last guardian of the Hellmouth because they're gonna permanently close that passage between demon realm and Earth.

[> [> [> Re: Dontcha think? (some spoilers) -- PepTech, 11:14:53 02/19/03 Wed

She's probably the last guardian of the Hellmouth because they're gonna permanently close that passage between demon realm and Earth.

That's what immediately came to my mind, too. Not that the Hellmouth would be unguarded, but that it wouldn't need to be any more.

Random thoughts - how are they feeding all these people? Why aren't neighbors or someone wondering about the bootcamp in the backyard? Did this look like the same backyard from Seeing Red/Killer In Me to you? Wouldn't the news of the sun being gone in LA have percolated up to Sunnydale yet? And finally, did I miss some throwaway line explaining Giles' absence, or did they just ignore it?

OK, one more - sorry if this is a bit cold - but TVGuide's blurb said the gang suffered a "grievous" loss; was anyone else a little, oh, I dunno, *disappointed* that it turned out to be "just" Chloe? On the one hand, Chloe has been nonexistent and/or annoying (which says a lot, considering the competition with all the annoying SITs), and on the other, "grievous" had me set up for dead Anya or something of that magnitude.

I guess we'll see... things tend to come to a head in May. :)

[> [> [> Re: Last guardian Speculation (some spoilers) -- maddog, 12:01:59 02/19/03 Wed

while that would be great, wouldn't that kill the possible Faith spinoff?

[> [> [> [> That's my exact worry... (spin-off spoilery spec) -- Masq, 12:10:34 02/19/03 Wed

What would Faith defend, if not the Hellmouth?

Now I know demons run rampant in L.A., and all over the world for that matter, and Slayers live places other than the Hellmouth and have plenty to do. But I figured the spin-off would have Faith in Sunnydale.

What fun is that if it becomes just another 'burb?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: That's my exact worry... (spin-off spoilery spec) -- Seven, 12:44:42 02/19/03 Wed

This is the new direction

Faith probably won't have the scooby gang to pal around with--i see her as a loner---traveling from place to place

Like Kane in Kung Fu

As for a supporting cast?

Dawn?---Faith could e protecting her--Buffy's last wish to Faith before she sacrifices herself

Xander?--Along for the ride--and he doesn't trust Faith

Spike?--not bloody likely

One of the Protos?--Kennedy or one of the others, but doesn't really fit.

Wood?--probably the best bet---i'm sure that his involvement could be explained

My opinion?---Faith, Dawn, and Wood. Ya got the family thing and also a small group to travel with

But the question remains---Where do their meetings take place? I'd say magic. Somehow they can be brought together or maybe...actually i don't know....crap. this could suck.

[> [> [> [> [> [> spin off location spec -- dream, 12:56:59 02/19/03 Wed

Without a doubt, any spin-off with Faith and Wood needs to be in NYC. Think about the demonic possibilities!

I can't see Dawn and Faith together, but maybe I lack vision. Anya, maybe? And I would definitely want to see Adnrew follow them there - against their will, of course.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> spin off location/characters spec -- Masq, 13:12:57 02/19/03 Wed

I could see the virtue of either a traveling series (always thought the Slayer should try to help people outside of one local area!) or a new location (New York may be too Angel/Los Angeles like, though. The big city metaphor is already being used).

Lots of rumors Wood would join Faith in the new series.

Gawd, I hope we don't see Anya or Dawn or Andrew, except maybe as occasional guest stars. They each annoy me.

And Buffy won't sacrifice herself. That's my unspoiled guess. First, she's died twice already. *Yawn*. Second, SMG could do returning guest spots.

My hope is that there WILL be new spin-off, whatever it's like.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> it was archived, I guess... But my spec last night was close to all yours' -- Briar Rose, 14:56:31 02/19/03 Wed

ME did a wonderful little bit of giving themselves an out.

While it appears that the Joss-verse's "Fray" is now cannon for BtVS (The first Slayer since the 21st Century because 'the Hellmouth was closed') there is still a niggle that can be exploited to prepare for a spin off and another Slayer/Slayer type.....

When thinking in terms of Buffy-verse "The Hellmouth" means Sunnydale. However - we are also told through Gile's research and various remarks made throughout the series that "The Hellmouth" has multiple openings that move around from place to place, and only a certain few exist permanently.

So the Shamans stating "You are the last Guardian of the Hellmouth" doesn't negate Buffy being the true Slayer (I still say that Faith was probably "stripped" of the actual TRUE Slayer mantel after her coallition with the Mayor) nor that Buffy IS the last Slayer to Guard the Sunnydale Hellmouth.

They are speaking to her in HER reality (which is actually the viewers' reality as well...) "You are the last Guardian of the [this Sunnydale located] Hellmouth..." They very carefully never mention that there is only ONE Hellmouth and that Buffy is the last Guardian between the other realms and the earth - period, ever! In Buffy-verse, we know that there isn't just one Hellmouth. But we consider Sunnydale to house the most recently active one and the others are peripheral to the story.

But what about the OTHER 'Hellmouths' that aren't necessarily called 'Hellmouths' as in the Boca del Infierno? ME left it open to use as a springboard for any spin off. So did Fray. They don't mention Buffy by name (not yet anyway) but they do allude to the Slayer in the 21st century that closes the Hellmouth. It's extremely ambiguous. Which "Hellmouth" and "Which Slayer?"

Darkness and the Duster -- Rufus, 06:21:56 02/19/03 Wed

Tonight we saw power in three forms, all rooted in darkness. Buffy has known since Dracula told her, that her power was rooted in darkness.....he considered them kindred. Any idea that she was less than human was enough to freak Buffy, her reaction to Spike chip not working proof enough. Tonight Buffy said she was the only one who used her power...Anya called it the "The everyone sucks but me speech." In the beginning the First Slayer came to Buffy in her dream.....she said "It's not enough." So, enough what?

It's all about power, who has it and who uses it. Buffy is the only one using her power.......Willow is the "Wicca who won'ta", Spike is a "Wimpire" both rejecting their power because they either are afraid of it or have lost their taste for it. Willow has good reason to fear her power, it almost destroyed the world...but it's leaving her on the useless side in the battle. Spike has lost his taste for violence...it just doesn't do the same thing for him anymore...or is he just so worried about letting it out that he keeps second guessing himself?

The death of Chloe starts a chain reaction where the three characters have to choose to use or reject their power. Willow finally uses her power and Kennedy finds out that power isn't always sexy or fun, sometimes it just hurts. Buffy and Spike have to choose the dark nature of their power, Buffy to get more of it, Spike to again use it at all.

Buffy jumped into a portal created by the shadow puppets (not muppets)....she ends up at the beginning, with the men who created the First Slayer.


We know who you are.

And we know why you're here.

We've been waiting.

We have been here since the beginning.

Now, we are almost at the end.

You are the hellmouth's last guardian.

We cannot give you knowledge. Only Power.

We are at the beginning

The source of your strength

The well of the slayer's power

This is why we brought you here

Herein lies your truest strength

The energy of the demon. Its spirit

Its Heart

It must become one with you.

This will make you ready for the fight.

This is how it was then. How it must be now.

The same time Buffy is confronted and chained up by the Shamens, Spike is confronting his past in the form of the Duster he took from Robin Wood's mother. In putting on the black Duster, the persona of the Big Bad enabled Spike to refind the part of himself that likes a spot of violence. He took the darkness and made it work for him, his soul now a guide on how far to take the use of his demonic power. While Spike covers himself with the black coat, Buffy has a black dust swirling around her, and she rejects it as not being the way. She is presented with the power rooted in darkness....the energy of the demon....spirit...heart of the demon, and she can't accept being less than human. Two characters accept their power rooted in darkness and the other rejects it. But what Buffy and the others forget is that if everything is connected then why can't power rooted in darkness be used for the forces of light.....you know like what the Monks wanted for the Key before they went and made it all Dawny....;)

[> embuing Spirit -- Masq, 07:02:45 02/19/03 Wed

"The same time Buffy is confronted and chained up by the Shamens, Spike is confronting his past in the form of the Duster he took from Robin Wood's mother. In putting on the black Duster, the persona of the Big Bad enabled Spike to refind the part of himself that likes a spot of violence. He took the darkness and made it work for him, his soul now a guide on how far to take the use of his demonic power. "

I saw it a bit differently. Yes, he was getting back in touch with that part of himself that killed the slayers, that demon part of himself, but he was also taking on the Spirit of the Slayer.

When Buffy is in the prehistoric alterno-world, she sees how the first Slayer was made. In the metaphysical mindset of those who created the first slayer, they weren't putting some demon soul or ghost into her. That is a much more Western concept.

As they saw it, they were embueing the girl with the Spirit of the Demon--it's abilities, its power, it's strength. And yes, some of its darkness as well. The Slayer must always fight to use the Spirit of the Demon inside her for good.

Likewise, when Spike puts on Nikki's coat, he embues himself with the Spirit of the Slayer--her power, her strength, and her goodness. He will use that power to kill demons and help get Buffy back.

[> [> or a dog off his leash? -- ponygirl, 08:27:06 02/19/03 Wed

I have some doubts about Spike's return to the Coat. Why did he need the costume to regain access to a part of himself? It's like "Him" reversed, instead of the coat changing how people see a person, Spike's coat changed how he saw himself. And his motivations were once again all about Buffy. His words to her in the living room about doing what she wanted seem to say that he still isn't his own man. The muzzle may be off (and I loved that Beware of the Dog sign in the alley!) but he's still love's bitch.

That being said I also kind of agree with your points-- like Willow's and Buffy's decisions, the choice Spike made seems to be extremely complex in its implications.

[> [> [> Re: -- Angela, 05:06:31 02/20/03 Thu

>>> "That being said I also kind of agree with your points-- like Willow's and Buffy's decisions, the choice Spike made seems to be extremely complex in its implications."

The cigarette was another clue to this, I believe. That end scene in general doesn't imply that he has found the level that Rufus and Masq saw. Not yet. I believe he will but I think we're anticipating.

[> [> [> [> About the cigarette -- dream, 10:57:26 02/20/03 Thu

Can't help but think it's funny that the cigarette is beign used (and I agree that it is) as a sign of moral ambiguity. First off, I can't understand how anyone could live in Sunnydale WITHOUT smoking. Dear god, the stress. (Former smoker here.) But of course, smoking is bad for you, and self-destructiveness is a bad thing, so I can see why Willow isn't shown lighting up after a bad magic episode. But smoking won't kill Spike, of course. So where's the harm? It could be (and I think is meant to be) part of a bad-boy persona, of course, but it could also be seen as a more individualized approach to morality. Just because smoking is socially frowned upon doesn't mean it's immoral for *Spike* to smoke - he's not going to try to be "nice," he's going to try to be good.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: About the cigarette -- aliera, 05:25:26 02/21/03 Fri

...it's funny I don't believe that I was really thinking of anything more complicated than the bar scene when Spike appeared to triggered by the cigarette pack. Thanks for expanding on that dream. Also, my admiration. Smoking is an area where my brain hasn't conquered my body yet, so I have great respect for those who have done better. Just one other stray thought. Spike doesn't breathe so there's always another layer of amusement/? in watching him smoke. He seemed to really enjoy the violence. He also let the demon beat him up a bit I thought, maybe prolonging the fight or working himself up? Dunno. I'm glad he's back though. Guilty Pleasure. I missed him. Hopefully he's back to begin the next step in things, I believe he is. I also believe whether it was right or wrong to do so Buffy catalyzed this and that in the long run it will be a good thing. Or maybe that's my hopes talking!

[> [> Transforming the symbolic nature of the Duster -- Rufus, 14:11:04 02/19/03 Wed

I saw it a bit differently. Yes, he was getting back in touch with that part of himself that killed the slayers, that demon part of himself, but he was also taking on the Spirit of the Slayer.

I agree.....and if Spike takes on the Spirit of the Slayer then we have a transformation of the symbolic meaning of the Black Duster. When Spike killed Nikki his intent was that of destruction for the sake of adding to his legend, the coat becoming a representation of his strength and power over good. He got strength from the Duster because it was a permanent reminder of the moment he felt the most strong because he had won. Now we have a different situation..Spike no longer gets the same feeling about the killing that came so naturally before, and became a Wimpire. It is a Slayer who told him to express his darkness more, a Slayer who he got a soul for. When he goes to get the coat he does it, not for praise but this time because he wants in on the good fight. The coat may have come off the back of a past victim, but Spike is no longer "that" demon. I also feel that as he took the life of a Slayer, he owes Slayers the most of all. In wearing that coat he also brings the memory of Nikki to the battle....he may never be able to bring her back to life, never be able to make up for what he took, but in giving back he is honouring Nikki's memory, bringing the symbol of the fallen Slayer into battle.

As they saw it, they were embueing the girl with the Spirit of the Demon--it's abilities, its power, it's strength. And yes, some of its darkness as well. The Slayer must always fight to use the Spirit of the Demon inside her for good.

Put a little darkness in a person and what do you get? I think it depends upon the person. We have people in the real world who have to do things that we would consider dark.....anyone in the Armed Forces, Police Departments...anyone who protects and sometimes is forced to kill. For Buffy, darkness only means that she is less human and that is the one thing she values most of all. To take on the darkness is for Buffy to lose some of herself. At the end of Get it Done, Buffy has decided that she just may have made a mistake....has she? Is Darkness exactly the same as evil?

[> [> The idiocy that's called Buffy (spoilers for the whole series, including last night's ep) -- VampRiley, 18:14:26 02/19/03 Wed

Throughout the years, Buffy has gone through this cycle that she seems to never be able to learn from, which gives her a handicap.

When we first saw her, Buffy was just an ordinary, school girl. Then, she's introduced to her first vamp. We see in the cemetary that she's freaked and having a little trouble. So, where does she draw strength from? Her slayer abilities.

When she learns that her death is prophecised, she freaks. All this time, she's been drawing strength from her slayer abilities and now, those abilities can't protect her from that. After Xander does CPR, she feel better, stronger. Here, she' drawing strength not from her muscles, but her will.

Things settle down some and we have the whole season 2 things and Angelus and Buffy are fighting with swords. She may be good, but Angelus gets the upper hand. She's scared that her slayer abilities aren't helping her. Angelus' mistake was taking too long to try to kill her, but she quickly turns around and uses her internal strength.

Season 3 comes and her powers are temporarily knocked out. Beyond being a slayer, she doesn't know how to live her life. She's insecure that what made her special was "being" the slayer. She has no idea how to live her life. She knows what's out there and it scares her tremendously. In the fight with Kralik, she finds her true power and wins.

In season 4, when Jonathan does the augmentation spell, we find that she's like a humble student who should have no business slaying when Jonathan is around. She acts like a meek, girly girl. Throughout the ep, she slowly "rediscovers" her real strength.

In season 5, Dawn and Glory show up. When her mum is sick, Buffy's relience on her powers (which have only been increased by her desire to understand her powers and go farther with them) makes her break down when she's washing the dishes all the more sad. With her mum's death, she feels greater pressure on her to carry the others. When Ben shifts to Glory and she beats the others out of the way and kidnapps Dawn, she regresses into herself. She tells Willow that she was glad, if even for a short amount of time, that it might be over. That she was glad. She's tired of fighting. This is from developing her powers, but not her drive to continue fighting. Someone with powers is one thing. But, for her to be refered to as a hero is laughable. But, more importantly, is insulting to those who are heros. Those who actually have the intelligence and the drive to be real heros, not pseudochampions who think that just because they have power and fight for good, automatically places them in the hero column. She comes back to reality, finding her strength again, with help from Willow, to save Dawn and the rest of reality.

During season 6, she relied on Giles to do what she should have been doing. After he left, she started getting to know her internal strength.

Now, we have season 7. Here, we have the Buffy we are all familiar with. The witty, quip throwing slayer who pummles on demons. So, after she goes to the men who created the first slayer, she learns that she can't find any knew knowledge. The only thing she can get is power. When she says, "This isn't the way.", it would seem that she's finally learned something about strength that doesn't come from super powers.

I know I can't fight this. I know that now. But, you guys? You're just men.

[She rips her chains from their anchors]

Just the men who did this. To her. Whoever that girl was before she was the first slayer.

[The men watcher her as she talked]

You don't understand.

No, you odn't understand! You violated that girl! Made her kill for you because you're weak. You're pathetic and you obviously have nothing to show me.

[She fights them in what she believes to be a righteous fight. Then, after breaking the staff, she's shown a vision of a cavern full of Turok-Hans.]

Buffy has always had a problem of not looking at the bigger picture, especially from all the relevant sides. This happened with the Watcher's Council and The Initiative. We learn in Conversations with Dead People, that Buffy not only has a superiority complex from being the slayer, but her inferiority complex is also a part of her. It's this inferiority complex which also acts as a Buffer for her to continue reliying on her slayer powers, instead of finding her true strength. She's always been a rebel against authoritative figures. This is seen in all the times she has used force, or at least the threat of force, to get what she's wanted from Giles through the years. She may have grown somewhat past the reliance of external power, but she still fails again in her inability to see that self-empowerment isn't always enough.

Based on their dialogue, the men that created the first slayer are well aware of the events with the first, the potentials, the hellmouth. Most likely, they know where Buffy has come to. She knows that drive is just as important when battling evil as super powers is, especially when dealing witht he supernatural. They did say that they had no knowledge to give her. Only power. They said it was so she could be ready for they fight. But, she' unable to realize the situation that the men are in. She doesn't realize they know what's going on. Or the rsponsibility they feel for being a part of the overall good. All they could give her was power. They couldn't teach her about internal strength. She already has it. The only other power that they could give was external. But, Buffy didn't want to add anymore to her inferiority complex than she already has. And now, she questioning that decision.

Throughout the years, Buffy has been shown to be the hero. One with high ideals. This is also seen in her "humans should always be restrained while demons should be killed, unless they're a threat to humanity" speciest view of slaying, especially in her "we do not kill humans" mantra (what happened with Deputy Mayor Allen Finch, what to do about Warren after he shot Tara, etc.). It's good to know that she has grown up, saw her world the way it is, and has moved beyond that. She was so protective of Dawn, the one she viewed as the part of herself that the "men" of the Council took away from her by showing her what she was. And it's this automatic disdain for male, authoritative figures that made her assume that the creators of the slayer line had nothing they could offer her. That they were useless. Hopefully, she will be able to finally realize how she should act in her world.


[> Re: Darkness and the Duster -- Cactus Watcher, 07:13:45 02/19/03 Wed

I think I've figured out how the season is going to end, and to be honest it sort of spoiled this episode for me. I'm seeing everything everyone else saw in it, but I keep thinking, 'I already knew that,' even during the scenes with the three shamans which I couldn't have imagined before. The pattern is set and it's all there except the the fine details of how we get from here to the end. I guess I'm saying this here because among us Rufus is the one of least afraid of spoilers. Just as in Season 5 when I knew by this point, that Buffy had to die in the last episode of that year, I don't want that which I think is going to happen to happen. I guess avoiding spoilers is a way of not facing up to the inevitable, just as I believe indulging in them wrecks the fun of being surprised.

At any rate, back on topic, might I suggest, that there were four people who faced the darkness and the power that goes with it. Chloe was the other one. We don't know what was going through Chloe's mind. We don't know what pushed her over the edge. But, we do know what she was facing. She also had the choice of choosing darkness. She wasn't murdered. She used what power she had to kill herself. The contrast is that the other three made their choices about power and darkenss to preserve life. I don't think that the effects of the three choices are all known yet, and I'm not sure that all of the choices made last night are permanent.

[> [> You have? Tell me!! -- Rahael, 07:22:03 02/19/03 Wed

Hey, the fun of being surprised palls a little when you might have to wait for an additional year after everyone here to see it. Or wait a couple of months before you can discuss it here.

Anyway, I'd love to hear your spec.

[> [> [> Re: You have? Tell me!! - And Me, please! -- Marie, 07:41:50 02/19/03 Wed

I love to see if people get it right! And as long as you label your message subject as containing speculatory spoilers, so people who don't want to know don't read it!


[> [> [> Re: You have? Tell me!! (no future spoilers, but some serious hints) -- CW, 07:47:28 02/19/03 Wed

Sorry, but if I do that I'll break my code of honor as a nontrollop and a meanie! ;o)

Seriously if you want to spoil yourself, and don't say I didn't warn you, I''ll give some hints below.

Think of the theme Joss proclaimed for the season(especially, you Rahael, since you didn't actually get to see the ep last night). Think of the danger the gang faces now, and the one Buffy has always faced in Sunnydale. Think about what really has to be done about it. Think about the power everyone has been mentioning here and on the show. Think about who Buffy is a why she is special. All that doesn't sound like much of a hint perhaps, but putting it together it gives a structure and that's what story arcs are all about.

[> [> [> [> hmmmmm, mysterious -- Rahael, 08:16:59 02/19/03 Wed

I kind of see what you are suggesting. I think. Does it involve The Hellmouth, 'from beneath you it devours', and some hopefully satisfactory way of putting a full stop to all this?

[> [> [> [> [> Pure guesswork above -- Rahael, 08:19:14 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Serious hint warning again -- CW, 08:39:09 02/19/03 Wed

The 'from benath you it devours' line is just a way of telling us, "hey, this is important"
The theme of the year is "Back to the begining," which was emphasized in last night's ep.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I seriously need more than this.......PLEASE...Serious hint warning again -- Angelina, 10:14:53 02/20/03 Thu

CW - PLEASE - You have to give me more that that!!!!!!
Come on....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I seriously need more than this.......PLEASE...Serious hint warning again -- CW, 16:35:11 02/20/03 Thu

Angelina - After reading your post above, I can tell you've just about got it. If I tell you anymore you won't have the fun of figuring it out for yourself. And yes, you're doing fine.

Beisdes I could be dead wrong!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> CW you have the makings of a Trollop.....;) -- Rufus, 02:06:44 02/21/03 Fri

[> Re: Darkness and the Duster -- Caroline, 08:31:45 02/19/03 Wed

I think you make some excellent points here. I thought that when Spike went to get the duster, he still showed that he was love's bitch, or more properly, Buffy's bitch. He was connecting with his William side and when Buffy did not like it, he changed to please her. That coat not only represents the power of the slayer he took it from, it also represents the persona that he developed to kill slayers - the coat was a prize. If the slayer power is demon in origin, then Spike was reclaiming his inner demon but with an orientation toward moral behaviour that is guided by his soul and conscience. Now, what I would like to see is Spike defining himself based on his own values, not those of the woman he loves and did everything for - that will be the final step for him, I think, in terms of the integration of his personality.

[> [> Finale Spoilers - Crossover Spoilers Too- Darkness and the Duster -- Angelina, 09:47:32 02/20/03 Thu

You are so right Caroline. Spike does need to be his own man - AND that is precisely the reason that Buffy and Spike will have to part ways at the end of the show. Most us know about the "big crossover" for the last episode, but now I don't think that is going to make a difference in who Buffy chooses at series end. It won't be "crossover boy" and it won't be Spike, even though I am convinced that Buffy is deeply in love with Spike and will tell him so at the end. But, it is going to be Spike who turns Buffy down! Spike will head out of Sunnydale to "find himself". As corny as that may be, it is going to happen. Spike and Buffy will not be and neither will Buffy and Angel. Sigh. I always thought that Buffy would be the one to make "the choice" between Spike and Angel. I felt she would choose Spike, because she will finally realize that Spike did change and he changed FOR Buffy - to be with the woman he loves. I also felt that Buffy would see that Angel NEVER really chose Buffy at all. He did what he thought was best for everyone BUT Buffy. I never bought into his leaving Sunnydale cause it was best for Buffy (he did it to get his own show). Also, Buffy is NEVER gonna forgive Angel for Cordy. Not Ever. Doesn't matter what happened with Spike. So in the end, Buffy will choose Spike, but Spike will have to pass. For now.

[> [> [> Re: Finale Spoilers - Crossover Spoilers Too- Darkness and the Duster -- Pilgrim, 10:35:28 02/20/03 Thu

Sounds good. But lately I've been wondering if the epiphany Spike most needs, in order to become his own man, is to discover that he can love without being consumed by love or by his lover. I wonder if the scariest journey Spike could take would be to stay put and try to change the way he relates to Buffy. Instead of being the dog who performs tricks to gain her attention and approval, he takes the risk to assert that the pathetic creature he thinks he is is worth loving. That doesn't mean I think Spike and Buffy will end up in bed together. I don't think they will. I also don't think Buffy actually loves Spike, yet, or is ready to love him. But I hope before the season ends Spike will say No to Buffy about something important (preferably forcefully with much melodramatic violence and tears), and that he'll discover that his head doesn't explode, Buffy doesn't disappear or stake him, and that their relationship has a new foundation--mutual respect. This assumes that Spike is capable of such change, and I'm not sure that he is. He's been love's bitch for so long, we're talking more than a hundred years, that it may not be possible for him--in which case maybe we'll get to see him self-destruct in some entertaining way, poor boy.

[> [> [> [> Darkness and Buffys PJs -- WickedBuffy, 13:01:10 02/20/03 Thu

It's the first time I've seen Buffy in black pj's. I wonder if her choice of clothing to change into symbolizes anything (duh, probably, this is ME).

Spike donned his black coat, Buffy slips into some black clothing, too.

Buffys fight scene with the Shadowmen cuts to Spike battling the muddy Demon back to Buffy fighting back to Spike.

[> Well, since you ask -- Traveler, 17:54:32 02/19/03 Wed

"But what Buffy and the others forget is that if everything is connected then why can't power rooted in darkness be used for the forces of light"

Evil begets evil? The ends don't justify the means?

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