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Hyperion and hyperbole (Angel Odyssey 2.1-2.3) -- Tchaikovsky, 06:29:26 02/19/03 Wed

Actually, hopefully no hyperbole ensues. But I was thinking after 'Are You Now or Have You Ever Been?', (up there with 'Never Kill a Boy on the First Date' as most justifiably acronymable episode title), about the beginnings of Seasons.

Season One: Welcome to the Hellmouth/ The Harvest

It's fine, but Joss admits he doesn't know much about directing at this point. There's a lot of ground to cover and establishing to do.

Season Two: When She Was Bad/ Some Assembly Required

Moderate followed by mediocre. The climax of this season is my favourite, but it sure had a slow start.

Season Three: Anne/Dead Man's Party

Anne was a story that needed telling, but the separation between the largely irrelevant Scooby Gang story and the oddly sagging Buffy in LA story left it a little undercooked. I ought to say a word for Dead Man's Party, which has been on some people's Bottom 10 list, but in my opinion is classic Marti Noxon angst.

Season Four: The Freshman/Living Conditions

I love 'The Freshman', largely because it relates well to my life. 'Living Conditions' is perfectly fine but a little tedious.

Season Five: Buffy vs Dracula/Real Me

The first amusing but apart from Dracula's repetition of Tara's line, monumentally pointless. The second interesting but lacking a touch plotwise.

Season Six: Bargaining

Don't like second half of Bargaining; depressing, slow and unfunny.

Angel: Season One: City of.../Lonely Hearts

City of is a good premiere. Lonely Hearts had a few good moments, but suffered again from Furyitis.

And so we come to Judgement and AYNOHYEB, and I think to myself: truthfully, setting aside thoughts that Buffy is pretty much always superior, has there been a better Mutant Enemy first two in a Season? And, a tad reluctantly, I came to my conclusion.


I read Rob's 'Get it Done' review, and I'd like to be able to convey about the same level of excitement with these two, but don't have great faith in my ability. But then, we may be brothers, so perhaps it's in the genes. Here goes...

2.1 'Judgement'

Part of the reason this is one of my favourite season-openers is that, unlike virtually every season of Buffy, the groundwork for the premiere was done at the end of the previous Season. Because AI's 'Shanshu' episode was, while scary, not apocalyptic, there was no season arc winding up to breaking point. So at the end of Season One, with the (distinctly average) 'War Zone' and 'Blind Date', we are introduced properly to Gunn, Lindsay and Lilah. And then we are left with a Greenwaltian cliffhanger, (because Joss 'doesn't do cliffhangers'), of Darla in her cage.

As a result of this, seeing Gunn, Lindsay and Darla, having the introduction of Lorne, the street bum of Merle, AND the major plot of the episode isn't overload. And that's a pretty mean feat. Because this episode is packed to the rafters with moments where you think 'That's an interesting development!', and also with moments where you think: 'Only Greenwalt could have written something that quirky'. Let me expand a little.

Summer hiatus. In Buffy, after the very first episode, we always see a scene of what we expect first. Willow and Xander being bored in Season Two, slayage sans Buffy in Season Three, Slayage and course choosing in Season Four, nocturnal slayage in Season Five, Willow-orchestrated slayage in Season Six, Buffy as Mother Slayage in Season Seven. Pretty much all of them subvert the simple demon-killing of the show in one way or another, but also, all of them re-inforce the primary tenet. Now, if you will cf (how's that for an unexpected verb?!) the beginning of 'Judgement':

A disconcerting green-skinned red-eyed demon, who we have never seen before sings 'I Will Survive'. And there I am, just sitting ready for a big serious Angel redemption arc, and I crack up like Faith when the Mayor says those two words: 'Miniature Golf'. What on earth is going on? It must be a new season of Angel!

Obviously once we're through that, it reverts to a superb and familiar formula of balancing humour with pathos. There are a couple of trademark parallels. Angel of course IS the monster whom he slays in trying to protect the pregnant woman. That is why he is so torn up about it. He realises that he has been judgemental of himself. As Wesley expresses, how can you expect a demon to suddenly change its modus operandi, and become a guardian? And then he, like Angel and the viewer, realises that is exactly what Angel is trying to do.

But, like one of those odd mirages in a desert, or a Magic Eye picture, he is a significantly further away from his goal than he had once expected. The very fact that there is light at all, that obscure hope that he could become human, made the tunnel seem to be nearing its end. In reality, he has only just entered it.

Angel is made to learn a lot in this episode. His periodic meeting of vast numbers of different people in each case shows him some aspect of character that he wishes he had but doesn't. Gunn is the warrior he'd like to be, fighting to save his own, fighting as human in order to protect humans. Cordelia represents the empathetic side of humanity that Angel has problems finding in himself: Cordelia says that she will 'always be there for him'. (How glad I am that I didn't have to encounter mindless C/A 'shippers taking this as romantic when it is clearly platonic. I love this board). Anyway, Cordelia can say what Angel believes he cannot. He believes that as a broody vampire, he is deficient in empathy. He's not he just sets that upo for himself. Wesley represents how he believes he can never be clear-headed and logical, because of his need for blood. And of course, the demon itself represents all that Angel is ambiguous about in himself. Can he be a 'champion'? Is his redemption just about the crazy ancient law that his charge so despises? Or is it about something more human?

By the (apparent) end of the episode, he has realised something important. It's about saving who you can, one at a time, because it's the right thing to do. That's what Cordelia and Wesley have realised, even if Cordelia was somewhat reined in by the visions, and Wesley by his ex-Watcherness. I think it's one of those mulitple epiphany things. Angel learns it here, but he's going to have to re-learn it.

And Angel singing 'Mandy'? Wonderful. And admitting he likes it to Lorne? Priceless. The whole 'Caritas' idea is so wonderful, and I'm glad to hear that Lorne survives and becomes more important. I'm a sucker for good singers.

So that's the end of the review. Or is it? Well, actually no. Because, goodness, I was absolutely jaw-dropped again by the appearance of Faith, [probably the only person who will be this year ;)]. Eliza Dushku definitely wasn't in the opening credits. She just suddenly pops up. And I have to say that Angel and Faith's relationship is one of my favourite on either show, (with Buffy-Dawn, Buffy-Giles, Faith-The Mayor). They have such a deep understanding of each other. And the little scene clarifies and deepens Angel's journey so well. There's no great prize at the end of Faith's jail sentence. Just living. The hardest thing in this life. And this is what Angel needs to understand. The strangely ambivalent yet heartening 'We might', about redemption at the end of the show. This appearance is not a gimmick, but a wonderful ending to an excellent opener.

2.2 'Are You Now Or Have You Ever Been?'

My heart expands, 'tis grown a bulge in't

Could I enjoy Tim Minear's episodes any more? I think not. Every single episode he's written so far has been a blinder for me (that's 'Sense and Sensitivity', 'Heroes', 'Somnambulist', 'The Prodigal', 'Sanctuary'). And this one as well. Many intelligent themes, several good jokes, and extremely well plotted. Let me go through a few of my especial likes in this episode.

There were several reference, I felt. There are probably a lot more which I missed, and even these three are, (certainly in one case), more my own than a deliberate homage by Minear. But I was reminded of a few things.

Firstly, I was reminded of the Season Three episode 'Gingerbread'. In this episode, (which I believe is an really under-rated gem), we see how a little bit of evil playfulness can harness untold depths of paranoia and prejudice in perfectly normal people. Joyce, an apparently average Mother, ends up heading a mob of confused parents scared of the Otherness of witchcraft. Of course the real evil is in trying to break people down, and is developed by people's fears of things they don't understand. In the Angel episode, this same idea is played out. The infection of the hotel means that everyone's worst fears are suggested to them, to the point where, by acts of small deceit, they end up apparently killing an apparently innocent apparent man, (bonus pay for the word 'apparent' in that sentence).

Secondly, I was reminded of 'Lord of the Flies' where the thin veneer of civilisation is slowly nibbled away by the wildness of the surroundings and the scariness of the night and the lack of grown-ups. Here of course, there actually is no corporeal or intrinsic evil in the island at all, it's just the psychological insecurities of the boys. In the America of the 1950's, the same could be said, and hence the hotel becomes an apt metaphor for deeply paranoid and divisive times in America. Where Minear shows black people being turned away from the Hotel, and the sly reference to the McCarthy-ised writer with his disgraced actor friend, he both gives clever depth to the portrayal of 1950's America and shows that the hotel's haunting is merely a metaphor to the insecurity of living alone.

Thirdly, I was reminded of Stephen Poliakoff's 'Shooting the Past', a beautiful piece of drama by one of Britain's leading television dramatists. In it, Timothy Spall's character and his helper have to convince the man sent to close a photography collection down that there is a valid reason for the photos remaining together. They do so by piecing together the story of a young Jewish girl who feld the Holocaust, all contained in the extensive pictures they have. The story is exceptionally beguiling, and it is no simple happy ending that the photo collection is saved to tell of the 20th century, full of tragedy and pain and a little joy. But Cordelia and Wesley's piecings had that same effect- a tricksy narrative device to break the story slowly, and a testament to research and the power of vision.

Other points about this episode:
We get to see that the monsters aren't just living in LA, they're part of ordinary people. Part of the woman who dtole the money, part of the hotel staff, part of Angel. And this is the whole point of Angel picking the Hyperion as his new base- he IS the reborn formerly evil Hotel. Once he had a streak of unfettered hatred. Then he went through a phase which he perhaps hates even more, a phase of passivity and torment, where he made morally reprehensible decisions because he couldn't be bothered to fight, like leaving the Hyperion's residents to waste away. Now he feels purged, and wants to purge the Hotel as well.

There is a lack of the usual smash montage cuts in the entrance to the flashback scenes. This is because Minear and Semel want to show the immediacy of the experience of 1952 to the Angel of today, and was a smart, subtle move.

Genius episode. Makes me veer wildly towards Masq in claiming that Angel is becoming a most compelling character to me. As compelling as Buffy, Dawn and Giles to me personally, (but this is just my irrelevant opinion). Angel episodes at there best are as powerful as anything. Think 'Amends', 'Sanctuary', and this new one. Brilliant.

2.3 'First Impressions'

Now I wouldn't want ot throw away this ebullience too lighly, and I don't have anything angry to say about 'First Impressions', but it was just a perfectly average episode after two top-drawer ones.

Just a couple of notes. Angel's sequence at the beginning appears initially to be real, and then we see Darla, and we're still wondering, and then they dance, and then it becomes clear it was a dream beforehe wakes up. Completely unlike the end of 'Out of My Mind' for Spike at about the same time, where in the dream sequence we believe he is kissing Buffy all the way. Don't know whether this is just poor writing by debutant Shawn Ryan, or whether it has a deeper meaning.

Gunn is developed nicely here. I though J August Richards did a good job, although I don't have any 'involuntary empathy' for him. He isn't very similar to me, so for the moment I'm not that viscerally interested. Only on a passing cerebral level. The Gunn-Cordelia axis was amusing and somewhat powerful. It showed how Cordelia is beginning to harness her immense willpower and put it to good use.

I'm a little puzzled by the Denzel speech. OK, it was a bit funny, and led onto the funnier speech between our main Three, but isn't it a little careless to go introducing a black chracter and then immediately suggest he has a chip on his shoulder about the white majority? I realise that the Denzel incident was controversial, (and they made up by giving him the Oscar last year for a much inferior effort), but I just wonder whether they oculdn't have avoided a cliched writing of the first black regular in the Buffyverse. Maybe that's just me. No offence intended to anyone.

Darla- well that's the most intriguing part for me. I had yet another 'Wow' moment when it turned out she was really there with Angel, and not just in his dreams. Ah, the joys of being unspoiled.

OK, that's it for now. Probably not worth repeating how much I loved the first two, but I really did. Gives 'Angel' the springboard for a great Season.

TCH- thanking yabyumpan as always

[> Re: Hyperion and hyperbole (Angel Odyssey 2.1-2.3) -- Rahael, 06:49:40 02/19/03 Wed

I couldn't agree with you more!!

The moment that Lorne starts singing is one of those little moments for me too. And I love Are You Now. It's one of my favourite stand alone eps. Just incredible how Angel melts from 1950s to present, and how striking all the imagery is. The shot of the demon standing over his shoulder. The moment when Angel's walking through the decaying corridors of the Hyperion, is one rife with resonances - about him as a person, about memory and regret. The person held prisoner by paranoia all these years, in the attic, that's a commentary on Angel too, and the eventual reclamation of it.

If you look in the archives, I posted the transcript of the Tim Minear commentary on this ep - you might find it of interest.

Is the pregnant woman both a metaphor for Angel's attempt to start a new life, and a foreshadowing of Darla? I'm going to be rewatching these eps tonight, and maybe I'll have more comments later.

I also agree with you about Dead Man's Party. I thought it rang viscerally true.

[> [> Thanks for this -- Tchaikovsky, 10:09:00 02/19/03 Wed

Interesting transcript, belated thanks for writing it all out, (it takes hours, but I think I will consider it my moral duty to do OMWF when it comes out, if you don't first!).

Nice to see that a lot of what Minear was saying chimes in with my thoughts, and also that the fact I thought that it was an exceptionally well directed episode came from the (obviosuly thoughtful) writer as well as the director David Semel.


[> Defending this thread against the voynok demon -- Masq, 09:19:41 02/19/03 Wed

FYI to non North Americans and fellow North Americans:

Generally speaking, if you have a nice juicy post you've been working on that isn't related to the episodes showing this week in North America, it's best not to post in on Wednesday or Thursday morning. It is much more likely to be ignored and then quickly archived by the evil voynok demon.

It says nothing about the merits of your work, it's just one of the little realities of the board. ; )

[> [> Re: Defending this thread against the voynok demon -- Rob, 09:56:44 02/19/03 Wed

Yes, that's why I learned to time my annotation threads for Monday the latest or Thursday night the earliest, especially on weeks where BtVS and AtS are both airing.


[> [> Couple of points -- Tchaikovsky, 10:15:30 02/19/03 Wed

Main one is thanks for resurrecting this thread- it was odd to see it go into the archives after two hours!

I claim mitigating circumstances on this particular post because:

1) Originally I was going to post it on Monday evening, but I got tied up in the poetry thread and then Darby's wonderful thread, along with the various ruminations with Aquaman.

2) Usually it's alright to post on a morning after with something specifically non-episode related, I've found. Some of the new episode threads tend to get eaten, but a lot of Europeans and pre-empted North Americans are eager to stay away from the spoilers and read something else.

3) In this case, it was the combination of the (justly) lengthy Darby thread with Shadowkat and Rob's new threads which were causing a pile-up. No new threads at all were staying up. This is extremely unusual.

Just putting a few notes in from my experience. Thanks again Masq


[> Yay! The journey continues! -- Rob, 10:15:15 02/19/03 Wed

I'm so glad Masq saved this from the archives. I would have completely missed it! And I completely agree with your reviews of all three episodes. I know exactly what you mean about the first few moments of the second season. Instantly, our expectations are defied and not only that, but we get a great episode. Isn't it strange how the second season instantly feels like a new, revitalized show? In many ways, "To Shanshu in LA" was really the season premiere for the second season rather than the finale of the first. And what a great understated cameo by Faith at the end of the episode. It was not only a surprise, but as you said, not a stunt. It really fit into the theme of the episode and was nice to have a brief update on where Faith is as a person right now. Also, I'm glad you're digging Darla. There's plenty more great stuff where that came from.

" read Rob's 'Get it Done' review, and I'd like to be able to convey about the same level of excitement with these two, but don't have great faith in my ability. But then, we may be brothers, so perhaps it's in the genes. Here goes...

LOL. You definitely conveyed the level of excitement you have for the eps. You're a really great writer. In fact, they made me remember why I was so ecstatic about the eps a few months ago when I first saw them. Can't wait till the odyssey continues!


[> Thanks Masq :o) and on with the show..... -- yabyumpan, 12:08:01 02/19/03 Wed

Glad you're loving the start of S2. It's actually my favorite season. It also seems to be the season on which people are divided the most. Not wanting to say too much about what's comming up, but I think how you view it depends on whether you want to watch the show because the Hero is, well, 'Heroic' and has a 'mission' or if you watch it to follow the journey of IMO, one of the most complex, facinating, imperfect, ambiguous and enigmatic characters in Whendonverse. For me it's the latter, it's about the character and his journey, where ever it takes him.

Pretty much agree with you reviews of the eps. AYKOHYEB is also TM's favorite episode.

For me, the last scene between Angel and Darla is really important in showing his aloneness and the weight he feels he carries. It makes the rest of the season and Angel's responses easier to understand IMO. I'll probably write more about this when you're further along in the season. Don't want to spoil you ;o)

[> [> Thoughts on AtS Season 2 (spoilery for all seasons--TCH don't read) -- Masq, 12:30:08 02/19/03 Wed


This was going to be a post on how Season 2 isn't my favorite season even though I like watching Angel's journey just like you and certainly don't need him to be heroic all the time.

But then I realized when it comes to "Angel" the series, I'm veering a little towards the "Rob". There are some episodes I don't really care for, but generally speaking, I love all the Seasons close to equally. They are each unique and reinvent the show while developing Angel's journey further from where it was before.

It seems the "Noir Angel" phase of Season 2 was necessary in order for Angel to truly understand his role as champion of the PTB's. It's not about making some grand gesture that will win him his humanity. He tries to make it that by going after the senior partners in "Reprise". It's not that simple, though. And when he doesn't get down into hell to kill them, he's so disillusioned he tries to lose his soul in Darla.

The irony of that moment is that from their union a child is created who IS human (at least I believe Connor's supposed to be human) and whose role, among other things, is to bring Angel closer to the humanity he's supposed to be helping. Angel has his epiphany in "Epiphany" that the smallest act of kindness is what it's all about, not grand gestures. That brings him back to the what the PTB's really want him for--that brings him back to being a champion. Then, when Connor is born, Angel finally has a real, concrete connection to humanity. He has a biological son who is human.

So he can remain a vampire, a supernatural champion, and be connected to the humanity he's trying to save through Connor and through his friends.

The events and epiphanies of Season 2 don't mean that Angel doesn't have a destiny, it just means he has to live that destiny without consciously reflecting on it. He can't deliberately set out to fulfill his destiny. He has to live his life and do his duty as a champion and face what is to come day to day.

[> [> [> Re: Thoughts on AtS Season 2 (spoilery for all seasons--TCH don't read) -- yabyumpan, 13:27:06 02/19/03 Wed

It seems the "Noir Angel" phase of Season 2 was necessary in order for Angel to truly understand his role as champion of the PTB's. It's not about making some grand gesture that will win him his humanity. He tries to make it that by going after the senior partners in "Reprise". It's not that simple, though. And when he doesn't get down into hell to kill them, he's so disillusioned he tries to lose his soul in Darla.

I agree that's part of what S2 is about, for me it's also about his sense of having to do it 'alone', of being 'alone', which I believe is why Darla had such a huge influence on him and why he needed to 'save' her.

From 'Darla'

Angel: "Look, she asked for my help. I can't turn my back."
Wesley: "No, you shouldn't. Not for one moment. You know better than anyone what she was."
Angel: "What we were. And I also know what she's going through. And unlike me, maybe she won't have to go through it alone."
Cordy: "You're not alone."

I think Cordy's both right and wrong with this. One of the many lessons he had to learn in S2 is that he's not alone, he doesn't have to be alone, friendships are important both in a personal sense but also for his journey towards redemption. In a sense though, he's always going to be alone. He's totally unique (ignoring you know who). How ever hard any of them try, no one can really understand what it's like to be around for 250 years, to have done the things he's done and care, to have a foot in both human and vampire worlds and not really belong in either. With Darla he thought he'd found someone who could truely understand all those things. Having people be sympathetic to your situation and to want to understand is wonderful, but to find someone who is truely in empathy with you, that's gold dust. That's why I think that the final scene between Angel and Darla in 'First Impressions' is so important in understanding what happens.

This was going to be a post on how Season 2 isn't my favorite season even though I like watching Angel's journey just like you and certainly don't need him to be heroic all the time.

It was probably an over-generalization but in my experience going around the boards, including this one, that does seem to be true. People seem to get very angry at him when he's not following 'the mission' and being a 'hero' to the point where some people stopped watching in S2 because they were so disgusted with him. Many people want their Heros to be 'Heroic' and 'perfect' and you're just not going to get that with Angel, and ain't that why we love him ;o)

quote from psyche

[> [> [> [> Re: Thoughts on AtS Season 2 (spoilery for all seasons--TCH don't read) -- Masq, 13:43:58 02/19/03 Wed

"Many people want their Heros to be 'Heroic' and 'perfect' and you're just not going to get that with Angel, and ain't that why we love him ;o)"

Do these same people watch "Buffy"? Granted, she never "goes evil" and seems to do the right thing most of the time, but she is often not particularly heroic, especially in her personal life.

Maybe it is, as Slain commented after "Awakening" that Buffy's hero role is more clearly defined because she is Chosen, she's a Slayer. She knows what her duty is, and she has a clearer idea what to do in most situations (even if her personal relationships are sometimes very screwed up).

Angel is in a more precarious, absurd position. He was called by the PTB's, but his "duty" isn't as clear. Often the PTBs don't communicate with him at all, he has to guess what they want. He tries to guess and sometimes he gets it right and sometimes he fails. His world is so much more gray. Humans are evil, demons are good, guesswork can go deadly wrong.

He wants his world and his destiny to be as clear as Buffy's, but it isn't. AND he has a demon inside him pushing him towards darkness in a much more tangible way than Buffy can claim.

If "Angel" fans want Angel to be stalwart like Buffy, they need to send him back to Sunnydale as a human being with a few super-powers (i.e., as Connor). Then Angel can be the Angel they want.

And we'll watch the more interesting morally ambiguous Angel in L.A.! : )

[> [> [> [> [> TCH glad you're feeling the love, don't read this either -- JM, 15:44:47 02/19/03 Wed

One of the reasons I find AtS so challenging is everything that S2 developed. In S1, Angel is much more classical hero. His choices, in the now, always work out. He is tortured and haunted, but it just underlines the tremendous nobility of his here and now. I never had a sense of dramatic sense that he would make the "wrong" choice. And after "Sanctuary," "War Zone," and TSiLA, I never worried that Wes, Gunn, or Cordy would either. They'd never be the Lindsey's and the Kates. (So sue me, foreshadowing goes over my head. And did again in "Judgement" and AYNoHYEB.)

S2 was the glorious refutation of that certainty. On AtS, no one, no matter how good, noble, strong, brave, or wise has a monopoloy on the truth. All of our heros have now made at least one horrifying mistake, often while trying their hardest to do the right thing. But they know too little, are all too flawed and human. And no reset button, or even glorious sacrifice is available to erase/redeem them. I just love this show.

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL. I'm sure it's a great thread! -- Tchaikovsky, 02:57:15 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Is this the first time somebody's been kicked out of his own thread?!? ;o) -- Rob, 07:42:55 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Only this sub-thread. And it's of course his free choice... -- Masq, 09:05:08 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You can bring anything back to self-determinism, can'tcha, Masq? ;o) -- Rob, 09:10:05 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I just don't want TCH to feel left out! (no Angel spoilers within) -- Masq, 09:48:42 02/20/03 Thu

He's doing us such a nice favor by getting us talking about all the old eps!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I know! -- Rob, 10:29:42 02/20/03 Thu

I can't wait till I get to do the Angel annotations! Btw, if I keep to my schedule, I should get there by around late November/early December. Then I can alternate eps. I was thinking of starting right away with Angel now, but especially in the first season, I think it would be easiest to do the crossover episodes annotations in the order that they aired.

So more Angel nostalgia to look forward too in the hopefully not too distant future!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oof! Should be "to look forward to". -- Rob, 10:31:10 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not if you take summer off like last year! -- Masq, 11:03:56 02/20/03 Thu

Of course, you know your life schedule better than I do. I have a tendency to take the summer off myself, but that's because I'm doing analyses with concurrent eps.

I just hope there'll be a few concurrent eps next year!

crossing fingers, toes, eyes

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not if you take summer off like last year! -- Rob, 12:09:32 02/20/03 Thu

Never gonna live down that summer off, am I? lol

Well, here's actually how I see it happening, I hope.

For March, April, and May, I'm going to be focusing on the Six Feet Under site, b/c the new season will be on those months, meaning I won't have as much time for Buffy. Plus, it will be a nice break from it, so I don't just keep going until I'm sick of it.

It should take me, then, June and July to finish the second season. And about August through early-to-mid November for the third season (if I keep up a proper pace. I would even say late October's a possibility, but I don't want to promise that this early), so then I should be up to BtVS S4/AtS S1 by November or early December the latest.

I've got my fingers crossed.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Good luck! Your site is a LOT of work -- Masq, 12:31:27 02/20/03 Thu

But much appreciated!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> awww TCH, we'll re-hash all the discussion again. Now turn on that VCR and get watching ;o) -- yabyumpan, 09:27:48 02/20/03 Thu

[> Behind the scenes of...(Angel Odyssey 2.4-2.5) -- Tchaikovsky, 14:51:37 02/20/03 Thu

I'm a little surprised that after being swallowed in two hours, this thread has subsequently gone on to be one of the longest-lived on the board, but as a result will write my next couple of reviews here.

But first, and skip this if you prefer, a little background on the reviewing experience for me.

In these days of electronic mail, I have found that my 5''x3'' envelopes are not going to any good use. In these illiberal days when I'm only allowed to write in black or blue, I have found little use for my pink highlighter pen. Until now. I meticulously remove one envelope from my pile and take my pen. I am only allowed one side of the envelope for one episode, (otherwise I'd bore everyone even more). I am not allowed to refer to any reference books while watching the episode. I am not allowed to rewind the episode at any point. I may not rewatch the episode until I have posted the review. I have restricted myself to reading one review only, that being the cityofangel one. This is because I usually disagree with the reviewer, and the review is often about things I'm not interested in. Were I to read Masq or Jenoff or someone, I'd end up stealing half their ideas, although I do rush to AtPo once I've finished.

So just so you know, this is an equivalent to something someone might post immediately after an episode, if they'd happenned to be taken pink notes on the back of an envelope. Just so you know.


2.4 'Untouched'

I was initially rather puzzled by this episode in my mind. I was thinking to myself, 'Mere's drawing parallels I don't get here'. I kept hearing lines that seemed given with more weight than appeared obvious. Then I got it.

I'd been going on the obvious parallel, not the important parallel. Of course, the surface parallel is that Bethany has a depth of power she cannot control which seems odd to other humans. And so Angel has a wealth of power which he (thinks he) has learnt to control. OK, not exactly earth-shattering. But why this overarching Darla arc? Sure it's giving the season a sense of propulsive intrigue, and is quite mysterious, but it wasn't fitting in for me. Then of course I realised- sexual, Oedipal parallels. Darla-Angel. Bethany and her Father. And the wildcard- Lilah and Holland- who makes one realise that though the problems in this episode are supernatural, the causes are almost all human.

The Angel/Darla scenes are some of the most disturbing sex scenes I think I've ever seen on Buffy or Angel. There's something violent but strangely magnificent about the consummation at the end of 'Smashed'. There's something obsessive but loving about the sex scene in 'Where the Wild Things Are'. But here in 'Untouched', Darla and Angel's scenes are really, really unpleasant. They're in vampire face, devouring each other like animals in a state of evil pleasure, implicitly plotting all the time their next victims. The link between food and sex is perhaps never more emphasised.

I wondered how I managed to get such a strong reaction to a couple of short scenes. I think it must have been excellent directing by Joss Whedon. There's not a lot there on paper, but it's nasty on screen. Couple of thoughts about this. In the familiar camaraderie scenes between Angel, Cordelia and Wesley, there seemed a little extra, almost intangible zing. I think this is good directing by Joss. Also, am I being amnesiac, or is this the first episode Joss has directed from someone else's script? I think he wrote all his Buffy directions.

The other reason why the Angel/Darla fantasies are so unpleasant is because of what they're linked to. Bethany, who is played with exceptional skill for an (I assume) one week actress. She had to show fragility, lack of trust, and a growth in strength, and did all three magnificently. This is one of the nastiest little stories that I've seen on the shows. I find Father's use of the word 'rabbit' truly terrifying, and actually jumped slightly from my seat when he appeared at the Hyperion, with the consequence of all the windows in the hotel smashing. Of course, Bethany's trust problems extend even further, as the one person she attempts to trust, Lilah, has her worst intentions at heart.

So the key scene where these two plots link together. Angel in bed, aroused by Darla. Bethany coming in, attempting to coldly seduce him. This is all that Bethany understands. Angel has played the Father figure, and so now is her father. And all that can mean is that he wants to 'make love'. Of course, humanising the act makes Bethany uncomfortable, which is why she has the '18th Century' line. For her, it's a cold humanless act. She claims she is not the little innocent. The point is, she reall is still. Like Buffy at the end of 'Innocence', sex appears to have changed a lot, but actually love shows it may have changed little. If Bethany can learn to control her reactions, she may be able to be innocent again. But it's a hard road.

The same hard road as Angel, and for him it's getting harder. For this is the important parallel of 'Untouched'. Bethany, while physically touched and violated everywhere, is untouched by love and affection. Angel, while giving in to fantasies of lust and dark obsession, will find no real affection with Darla. Or will he? Certainly not healthy love. Darla is the consuming mother. She turned him, and she moulded him. He is both mother and lover, as Bethany's father is both father and lover. How does Bethany's hopeful conclusion impact on Angel's continuing?

You all know better than me, having seen the whole season. What I will say is this. Even before watching 'Dear Boy', I realised that there was a nasty slide going on for Angel, for several reasons. He tells Bethany to use her power, to control it. I believer, (some who have seen the episode more may care to disagree), that Angel expected and sanctioned Bethany to kill her father. That she doesn't shows inner strength which is quite unbelievable. Strength enough to say, you may live, but not near me. To pull the father up telekinetically a metre short of certain death.Bethany practices what Angel has taught her. That there just might be redemption. Not an easy ticket ot be bought from the corner shop. But a Faith-like, Angel-like struggle.

Ironically, Angel is having problems with the message he imparts. In this episode, it is manifestly clear that he is starting to be more compelled by Darla's influence than by the grounding Cordelia and Wesley, whom he snaps at. And Angel was ready to let the father die. To say in some situations there can be no redemption. And as he does this, he starts to allow himself to think that perhaps he is the father. The man who has committed such heinous crimes against a person, (Drusilla is his Bethany), that he should never be forgiven- never have a chance of redemption. And waiting, in the dark, in the dream self, the real self, is Darla. Interesting that a Joss directed episode begins with the 'villains' claiming that they like dreams, and that they tell you about other people. Just like Joss with his 'Restless'. Windows into peoples very minds.

Good script from Mere Smith- will look forward to more from her. Powerful story; well-directed by Joss. And the link between Darla-Angel and Father-Bethany give the episode a tidy structure. It was one of those moments like after 'I've Got You Under My Skin', where it all suddenly clicked.

So from a tightly structured success to a more untidy triumph:

2.5 'Dear Boy'

Not quite so easy to tidy this one up into neat little segments. All sorts of different things going on simultaneously. To the important stuff first:

-It's been naggin at my for a while now. Does David Boreanaz actually sing like that? Or is he singing that badly for the role? Someone must know. If it's the former, I can only say I'm glad 'Angel' haven't done a 'Once More, With Feeling'. Lorne is quite enough.

I'm starting to think I might have just figured Greenwalt out a touch. There's something about his episodes which I find a bit scattershot. Sometimes dead-on, sometimes mediocre. I think the thing is, he's ambitious and slightly weird as a writer. He doesn't have a tidy over-riding structure or theme like Joss Whedon or Tim Minear usually do. But he also has a certain creative freedom which they don't. This can result in 'I Fall To Pieces', 'She', and 'Reptile Boy', or again 'Homecoming', 'To Shanshu', and 'Judgement'. When his surreal ideas happen to work and meld, it's a bizarre joy to watch. When it fails, it's an over-complex confusing stew.

So what about this one. I'd say not on a par with 'Judgement', but a good episode. I would imagine mayn people to be big fans of this because of the Darla/Angel plot. For me, this was superb in the final few scenes, but had a strange Morse Code ish disjointedness up until that point, which is because Greenwalt was trying to interweave other plots which were not so interesting to me.

I love Kate Lockley as a character. She's one of my favourites. But she's not used for any thematic purpose in this episode. She's there as the Police Detective, and as the person who thinks he's gone bad, which contrasts Cordelia, Wesley and to an extent Gunn's stoic support. But we don't see more of her story, which is a disappointment.

It's a similar story with the A?-plot, (although it's really of B interest, but it's the plot-of-the-week story), about the man being cheated on. It's a great, typically ephemeral Greenwalt moment when Cordelia and Wesley look in shocked disbelief at the fact that he thinks she's being routinely abducted by aliens. Playing with the audience's suspension of disbelief. We're supposed to believe there is a rampant thriving demon community in LA, but that aliens are just ridiculous. And of course they are! But the story seems a little pointless to me.

Which leaves Darla. The 'Darla-trying-to-pretend-to-be-someone-else' seemed a touch odd to me. Does she really need to be this undercover to drive Angel to despair. The very learning that she's back confuses him plenty.

But, with beautiful execution and a surprising chemistry between Julie Benz and David Boreanaz, (whose acting is slowly improving, thank Joss), the final scenes are wonderful. They draw together the Church joke from earlier in the episode, which is a typical ME-ism (of the kind of 'Note to self. Religion freaky'), with Darla's 'God doesn't want you...but I still do' line. And the number of questions that this scene throws up about any number of things is staggering. Redemption, (Darla and Angel), new souls, (Darla and Angel), what it is to be human, (Darla and Angel), what it is to change (you get the idea), how good can corrupt and pervert evil, with Buffy, how spirituality is necessary but sometimes fleeting, and how these two people, connected for 250 years, ('Our love was eternal. Literally'), can ever begin to understand how to live apart. For this one, it's most specifically Angel's dilemma. Can he give up on Darla? Will he be lured back. Signs from this episode point, (for me at least), to him succumbing later in the season. Massive angst, a fall from grace, and major tension within the main players. Sounds like excellent fun.

A couple of notes:
-portrayal of Darla was much rounder than before- appreciated that they largely dumped the dimness she has in Season One Buffy and went for the mystical allure of 'The Prodigal'.
-Juliet Landau was brilliant in the few seconds she had in the episode. So few, but so great. More Dru please!, (Oooh, we have the 'Fool For Love' tie-in soom. Could be lucky!)
-The episode has overtones of resurrection for Darla, who comes back as different as Jesus did, but appears to be playing the same old games. Will she adjust and become more human?
- Greenwaltian moments. Cordelia being petted by Angel. Angel falling asleep in the middle of one of Wes' fascinating speeches. Gunn's criminal record. Moments of genius, but not fitted together like the master craftsmen Minear and Whedon. As I say- scattershot.

Thanks for reading. More rambly than usual.

TCH- throwing away his latest envelope

[> [> You can read this one LOL -- JM, 15:08:11 02/20/03 Thu

TCH -- These are some of my favorite threads. Keep us reminising. I'm just preserving the thread. Will be back later to comment. These are two of my many favorite episodes. Probably in the top twenty. (I have lots of favorites.) Agree with the Dear Boy scatter shot, but it has so many tremendous moments.

[> [> I'm all a-tingle! -- Masq, 15:50:30 02/20/03 Thu

I really like revisiting these episodes through unspoiled eyes. Makes me go, "Just wait until he gets to THIS part!"

You are unspoiled, right? I mean, you hang on this board. How can you not know a LOT of what happens to Angel in the next three years?

Just how unspoiled are you?

PS--Love all the vampDarla/Angel, vampDarla/Angelus, humanDarla/Angel moments on the show(s). One of my favorite pairings because they just have SO much history together. I think at various points, they play out every lover's archetype there is--in "Dear Boy" there's just a few: the mother/mentor, the jilted ex-wife, the mysterious but familiar woman, the evil temptress.

And there's so many more in other episodes.

[> [> [> Spoiled-ness -- Tchaikovsky, 16:17:41 02/20/03 Thu

Hmmmm. I wrote to someone else once that I wasn't too worried about being spoiled about broad, sweeping developments in the Whedonverse because it's the execution which I love. Like my possibly all time favourite scene, (I'm such a sadist), Giles in 'Passion'. You could know everything, but it wouldn't remotely prepare you.

Starting to wonder about this due to my immense joy at watching episodes without knowing the endings. Pretty much anything could happen. I'm afraid I do know the current characters who are alive, so I know that some people aren't dying any time soon. But there are big things I genuinely don't know. Does Kate survive and fade out of the series, or does she die? How does Angel deal with Darla? Is she got rid of? Does he kill her? Does she leave? Does she kill herself? No idea. People have been making comments along the lines of 'You'll not be complaining about the 1-Dness of Wesley for long!', and I have no idea what they mean.

I am spoiled for a couple of things that I kinda wish I wasn't. Almost inevitably, I know Connor is Angel's son. I have heard of a guy called Holtz, (because of Wood comparisons), but don't really understand anything about him. And there's the mysterious crossover at the end of 'Flooded', which Buffy doesn't talk about. I think that's about it.

Oh, and I watched 'Disharmony' when it aired in Britain. Seemed surface if funny. Didn't learn much.

Hope that clarifies a bit.


[> [> [> [> I'd avoid the Holtz/Wood comparisons, if possible -- Masq, 16:23:57 02/20/03 Thu

Because the ones I've read do give away plot details from Season 3 that you may not want to know.

But wow, you've managed to stay pretty darned unspoiled. This is gonna be fun!

[> [> [> [> [> That depends on what you mean by the "non-1-D"ness of Wesley -- Masq, 17:06:02 02/20/03 Thu

Because the 1-Dness TCH is complaining about is gone by the middle of Season 2, IMO.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Ack, that was supposed to go under Rob's spoiledness thread! -- Masq, 18:11:47 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually, you're right. (TCH--no specific spoilers, but you still might want to stay out) -- Rob, 19:23:11 02/20/03 Thu

I guess I meant that most people right now when they say, "You'll never believe about Wes..." are referring to the darkness of the mid-to-latter third season (particularly after Sleep Tight). I don't think there is a drastic change in Wes before that point, but just a natural evolution that takes place over the first and second year. Not to say that the darkness in S3/4 isn't natural, but that happened more quickly from the traumatic events. His loosening up and becoming less of a textbook Watcher/stuck-up Brit stereotype was a process that took longer than those that changed him to the man he is today.

Although, to be honest, I think even in Season 1, there were glimpses of Wes being more than one-dimensional, particularly in "I've Got You Under My Skin" and the few glimpses we got here and there of the more powerful Wes, like his getting the information out of the guy in "The Ring," and also in his reactions to Faith in Five By Five and Sanctuary. I don't think Wes was truly a complete cardboard figure since Buffy threw him to the curb in "Choices," and maybe even a little before that. He was definitely more cartoonish when he began, but I think he became a real person very fast. But I don't think there's an episode that you can pinpoint and say "Aha! Here's where he changed" from one-dimensional to three-dimensional the way you can pinpoint exactly where he started to change from three-dimensional to dark and 3-dimensional.

Am I making sense?

Oh, and did I mention that Wes is my favorite character on AtS, and AD, IMO, ties with JM for the best actor in the Buffyverse?


[> [> [> [> Re: Spoiled-ness -- Rob, 16:41:15 02/20/03 Thu

"People have been making comments along the lines of 'You'll not be complaining about the 1-Dness of Wesley for long!', and I have no idea what they mean."

Besides a few character advances, you'll really be waiting until mid-season 3 for what people are alluding to re: Wes.


[> [> Well-reasoned and well-rounded reviews, as usual. -- Rob, 15:50:50 02/20/03 Thu

Re: DB's singing voice. I don't want to spoil it for you, so let's just say that there will be an instance where we doesn't sing quite so badly. He's no great singer, but I think he's exaggerating here.


[> [> Untouched: It's all about violation. -- Arethusa, 23:53:05 02/20/03 Thu

There are three violations that occur in Untouched: Bethany's by her father, Angelus's and Darla's, and Angel and Bethany by Wolfram and Hart. Vampirsm is the perfect metaphor for the type of violation incest commits on a person.

The first violation is Darla's siring of Liam. She drains him of blood, personality and future. They feed off of each other and their victims to sustain their lives, coldly and callously using others to satisfy their sick needs. The feeding is very sexual, as their copulation shows. (That's why the debate on whether or not Spike could be a rapist is so silly. Every time he fed, he raped.) Finally they fed on the wrong victim. Angelus raised the skirt of a gypsy girl, draining her of blood at the thighs. And in revenge, he too is raped, when the gypsies force his soul back into him. From now on he will never know peace, never have a good night's sleep again.

The second violation is that of Bethany's by her father. He uses her like Angel and Darla use their victims, coldly and callously depriving her of personality/personhood, hope, emotions. He takes her life from her to sustain himself, leaving only an empty room with a made up bed. She can't even get relief in sleep; he invades her dreams like he invaded her bed. Incest victims often have insommnia and nightmares. The abuse never ends, because the dreams won't let it.

The last violation is that of Angel and Bethany by Wolfram and Hart. They have Darla invade his dreams, hoping to confuse him with desire and bloodlust and drive him to her arms again. Control a person's dreams and you control him, Darla says. And it works. They are less successful with Bethany, because she has Angel to help her overcome her fear-fueled dreams. He reminds her that she has the power to keep from ever being assaulted again. If she ccontrols it, she can even keep from hurting herself anymore. Finish it, Angel tells her. Use your unique power to finish the nightmares, and be free. (Not finish her father-that is losing herself in the pain. Angel knows that-he killed his own father, after all, and was never able to regain that power, or ease that pain.) Lilah told Bethany she sent rapists after he to make Bethany strong, but that is the type of lie molesters tell their victims-it's for your own good. And that is the type of lie well-meaning people tell incest survivors-suffering has made you stronger. It doesn't. Bethany goes to Angel's bed because that is the only way she knows how to relate to men. And she will never be innocent again. It is both the source of her weakness and her strength. Bethany doesn't need to be redeemed. She's done nothing wrong. She just needs to rest, and sleep without dreaming.

[> [> [> Excellent post -- Rahael, 00:57:45 02/21/03 Fri

[> [> [> Great points- missed that third parallel entirely -- Tchaikovsky, 01:02:30 02/21/03 Fri

[> [> God doesn't want you.... -- Rahael, 03:18:28 02/21/03 Fri

I am loving your reviews so much!! It's making me see how the current Angelic themes reach all the way back.

I loved that speech by Darla which ends by saying "God doesn't want you.....but I still do". That was a wonderful moment. Never has Angel's name been more poignant - the fallen Lucifer, trying to go back to heaven but realising he'll never get there.

When I watched S2 I didn't rate Angel as highly as I did Buffy, and I think it completely coloured the way I watched. This time around, I'm starting to notice its depth.

Without spoiling, I'll be vague and say that the unhealthy mother/son relationship between Darla and Angel is resolved, in an oblique way in S3.

I'm going to go home and watch these eps tonight, so I hope the thread stays alive for me to add more comments.

[> [> [> Wow- I'm so dense! -- Tchaikovsky, 04:04:35 02/21/03 Fri

Of course! God doesn't want his fallen Angel! How on earth did I miss that? Just reminds me how great this board is, with Arethusa's comments above. We are more than the sum of our parts.

TCH- wondering whether to finish his posts with

There's a cool web of language winds us in

[> [> [> I just have to ask Rahael this, so TCH don't read (S. 3 AtS spoilers) -- Masq, 04:47:19 02/21/03 Fri


Would you say the unhealthy mother-son relationship between Darla and Angel gets resolved when they have their own child together, thereby cementing their relationship as "husband and wife" (or, at least, ex-husband and ex-wife)?

[> [> [> [> Re: I just have to ask Rahael this ( S2&3 spoilers) -- Rahael, 05:12:09 02/21/03 Fri

Mostly I was thinking of Darla's attitude to Connor.

She recognises that she's going to harm him. Once Connor leaves her body, she thinks that all her feelings of love will leave with him, and she'll never be able to feel that again (wow, that was such a moving idea). Her decision means that she *chooses* not to revisit the relationship which she had with Angel.

Also, she and Angel face up to their past within this process. Angel gets over his obsession with her, learns to care for her in a healthy way.

Also, (this is inspired by the Oedipal Spike thread), Angel in S1 of Buffy has to kill Darla, kill the bad mother in order to move on to Buffy, her blonde, good counterpart.

In S3 Angel, Darla has to die *again* so that her son Connor may live and grow, and yet again this is explicitly connected to the idea of possessing a soul. And adolescent Connor is instantly drawn to blonde, (good or evil??) Cordelia. There are lots of lingering glances at Cordelia's very maternal looking breasts. So does Cordy finally contain within herself the paradox of the Buffy/Darla opposition? Both the bad mother and the good champion? Of course this may be me overthinking it.

The intriguing addendum to all of this is, that when Connor grows up he plunges straight into a relationship which has an echo of Darla/Angel.

I have more thoughts, which I'll try and make more coherent for later.

Plus, I'm waiting for KdS to start a thread about last evenings viewing so I can tack on my thoughts!

[> [> [> [> [> Adding to that... (S3 spoilers) -- Rob, 07:33:11 02/21/03 Fri

You could also say that once Darla enters the final stages of pregnancy and she is most affected by her baby's soul that her fear and sadness, that Angel becomes a parental figure towards her. She is confused and scared, and he is there to console and talk to her. In many ways, for a short time, she became his child in "Lullaby."


[> [> [> [> [> If Anyone looks like Darla, -- Masq, 09:16:20 02/21/03 Fri

It's not Cordelia, it's Connor himself.

Don't you just want to say sometimes, "Get that hair out of your face, kid!"

But I get your point about Connor being sexually attracted to a mother figure, just like Daddy used to do.

THE BUFFYVERSE GUIDE TO DATING, PART DEUX (Spoilers for BTVS thru S6, ANGEL thru "Rain of Fire") -- Gyrus, 07:39:10 02/19/03 Wed


Guys, whether you're on the Hellmouth or in demon-infested L.A., looking for Miss Right is like searching for a needle in a kerosene-soaked, flaming haystack while naked. To make things a bit easier, consult this helpful guide to the women of the Buffyverse.

Type: Popular girls
Advantages: Look good on your arm
Disadvantages: Probably ashamed of you
Warning: How much do you really want to know about shoes?

Type: Nerdettes
Advantages: All the technical skills of nerds, plus cute button noses
Disadvantages: Tech-speak when calm, incoherent babbling when nervous
Warning: Will choose a street punk or a musician if you don't act quickly.

Type: Witches
Advantages: Cool spells; intriguing bisexual vibe
Disadvantages: Stinky herbs; bisexual vibe may actually be homosexual vibe
Warning: Piss her off, and you might as well buy yourself a Habitrail.

Type: Vampires
Advantages: Pretty on the outside
Disadvantages: Chilly on the inside
Warning: Necking not recommended.

Type: Seers
Advantages: Helpful visions
Disadvantages: Visions never include lottery numbers
Warning: May boff your unnatural offspring when you're not looking - or when you are.

Type: Vengeance demons
Advantages: Can teleport to the store when you run out of pretzels
Disadvantages: Veininess; may disembowel your friends
Warning: Do you really need a warning?

Type: Slayers
Advantages: Nice legs; won't keep making you move the couch
Disadvantages: Bad hours; tend to come home covered in demon goo
Warning: Hard on the windows, the ego, and the lower back.

[> Preserving this thread -- Masq, 09:12:36 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> Thanks! -- Gyrus, 09:32:45 02/19/03 Wed

[> Have I told you that you rock? -- HonorH, 10:22:03 02/19/03 Wed

Seriously funny stuff, G-man. Feel free to contribute to the seriously serious threads, too.

[> Fabulous! -- ponygirl, 12:34:41 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Delightful! -- Brian, 13:28:07 02/19/03 Wed

He's Bad, He's Back, and He's Back In Black -and I love him! -- Spike Lover, 09:40:44 02/19/03 Wed

Ok, he's not really bad, but maybe Spike will get to have some better lines soon.

I was joyful about the ep. A few minor questions: How did the coat end up at the school basement? He left it at Buffy's house. Why would they need to open a portal to get Buffy back? Couldn't she get back on her own when the Shamen were done?

Now for the good stuff. Apparently it is time to rehash some of those old controversial issues from a new point of view...

Now we know WHY Buffy is attracted to dark men and why Riley was never going to work. It is not a case of opposites; it is a case of similar hearts.

She raves at the group for being weak. They are not so good at fighting their fears as she. They are having difficulty walking the line- they are repressing/avoiding their dark sides for fear of the reprecussions.

As Wesley has learned by embracing the dark side (-pun intended), you can become stronger, more powerful. Buffy sometimes is like the sea, at times, her 'power' tide is high and in, sometimes, it is out (the human, regretful side). When she chews everyone out, she seems to be at high tide. High tide girl does not want sensitive William. She wants bad ass Spike, rough sex, walls shaking-floors collapsing foreplay. (Heck, I want that too.)

Come to think of it, it is pretty inconceivable that Spike would not kill the demon that was trying to take out Anya. He pulled - a Xander. Run away and live another day. (Anya too is grasping at something to hold on to. At what point will she make her own stand and be counted?)

The Kennedy/Willow thing was interesting. Kennedy not really understanding what true power is, not understanding what it is like to be a bystander, not know what it is like to be weak.

Rape issues. Rape issues. Willow basically 'takes' Anya and Kennedy's power/energy without their consent (or even a warning).

When Buffy is challenging Spike at the house, and Spike says, you don't know how close you are to getting 'bad' Spike, he meant it. When a woman challenges a man in that sort of way, don't be surprised if he rises to the occasion. It goes back to power in relationships/ power in sex/ you get my drift.

Then you have...
The coat and Buffy's 'violate' line references, imo, our old friend "Seeing Red".

Let's see. The shamen are going to violate a girl with the spirit of a demon. In Seeing Red, a demon is sort of trying to violate Buffy (at low tide). (If he had violated her, would her power have been increased? NOt likely, as the whole situation was screwed up.) It is a bad analogy/comparison because of the MANY extenuating circumstances that occur last season.

Can Buffy increase her power by infusing the spirit of a demon inside her? Will the Spirit of Spike need to be infused in Buffy, leaving William as separate and free from vampirism? (Probably not, but see where I am going?) Can those shamen's sticks be taped back together?
(Sticks- another symbol?) (She definately broke Spike's stick in Seeing Red.)

Do the potentials need to be infused with the spirit of a demon to activate their slayerdom?

Also, what if what all these characters want- is not what they need. (B goes to seek knowledge, but what they say she needs is power.)

[> Time to put up or shut up -- BD23, 09:59:29 02/19/03 Wed

If Spike gets his sarcasm back, I'm all for the duster. Could live without the cigarettes though.

I guess I understand where you're coming from but I'm not sure that the balance of power really got tripped. I still feel that the characters are too unsure. BTVS has lacked strong leadership/reasoning skills. It's a sad comment that DAWN is the brains in the operation (although kudos to the character for finding a purpose). They need purpose before they'll figure out how to use their power.

[> [> Re: Time to put up or shut up -- Spike Lover, 10:03:25 02/19/03 Wed

"but I'm not sure that the balance of power really got tripped."

Not certain what you mean by this, but agree with all else that you said.

[> [> [> Not sure I do either = ) -- BD23, 11:16:34 02/19/03 Wed

For some explanation, the post above was all about upsetting or changing the balance of power. Since each of the characters remained rather isolated at the end, I doubt that the group power structure was even effected by the events. That said, I do think each individual faced a power crisis that will have to be resolved. I just don't think it effected the group structure as much as it needs to in order to result in a cohesive group.

[> [> [> [> Military training methods (spoilers for lastest Buffaloneousness) -- fresne, 12:06:28 02/19/03 Wed

Which gets at something my housemate and I were discussing.

In the episode, Kennedy et al seem to be using the methodologies used by military organizations to train young (traditionally male) recruits.

It's a methodology that's described very interestingly from the inside by T.E. Lawrence in The Mint, since he is very acutely aware of what it is they are trying to do and yet he is affected by it nevertheless. However, you don't really need to read up on Foucault, the rise of the permanent military, etc. to know that drill sergeants call recruits maggots. We all watch movies.

Trick is the latest studies show that that those time tested strip you down/build you up methodologies don't function in the same way with female recruits because (may the Nature vs. Nurture debates begin) women as a generalized group don't form social connections in quite the same way as men.

Of course, this is all very vague from my perspective, since I'm not the child of several generations of Coast Guard as my housemate is, and am therefore not so up on this kind of thing.

However, it does make me wonder if this isn't at the heart of the difficulties in "forging" Buffy's all girl, all Slayer army. Calling them maggot and making them do 20 won't work as well as movies would have Kennedy think.

Time for a new methodology. A new case study.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Military training methods (spoilers for lastest Buffaloneousness) -- DEN, 15:57:56 02/19/03 Wed

I've often compared the current s7 situation to a fighter squadron that has taken a beating and now has to absorb a lot of green replacements. The surviving old hands, Willow, Xander, Spike, are shaky. The SiTs, though, are individual fighters who must learn to work together AND on their own--they're not part of a disciplined mass. And that's why Kennedy's close order drill approach was so wrong-footed. She should go to her local Blockbusters and rent the Errol Flynn version of "Dawn Patrol," or try John Wayne's "Flying Leathernecks" if she wants to learn something about rebuilding morale in a shot-up air unit.

[> Yay? -- cjl, 11:39:35 02/19/03 Wed

Don't get me wrong. I loved seeing badass, nothin'-better-than-a-good-scrap, arse-kicking Spike in GID. But there are certain aspects of the new/old Spike that give me the willies....

1. The leather duster. This is the symbol of Spike as Fighter, the fists and fangs member of Angelus' team, the sartorial equivalent of Warren's orbs. But we can't forget that Spike stripped it off the body of the Slayer he'd just killed, like Willow stripping off Warren's skin. (And just in case we did forget, Wood is RIGHT THERE to remind us.) Donning the duster is Spike's way of re-connecting with his power, but it reminds the audience of the darkness of that power. Spike has his old swagger back, but I worry that he might slip back into old habits. (Like cigarette smoking.)

2. It's All About Buffy. Dammit, doesn't Spike have any will of his own? The last time Doug Petrie wrote and directed an episode ("As You Were"), Buffy told Spike she couldn't continue their affair because she was using him. She said she couldn't love him because he was an amoral, brutal thing and didn't have a soul. Well, Spikey--love's bitch that he is--went out and remolded himself in the image of what he thought was Buffy's dream man. And what happens? It's STILL not enough. Buffy calls him a "wimpire." She wants the old Spike back, and our boy William dutifully complies. Buffy says Spike's new soul will enable him to choose to be good. But he's not choosing anything if he keeps following around Buffy like a puppydog. And if he doesn't know how to choose, he might still be manipulated into doing evil....

So, yay to rough-and-tumble Spike, and yay to Snarky Spike, but I'll have an I'm-not-so-sure-about-this chaser with that shot of whiskey...

[> [> Here, here. I'll raise my glass to that. -- BD23, 11:45:26 02/19/03 Wed

Those are very close to my exact sentiments. Is there really a future for this character or will he always be the tag-along?

[> [> Re: Yay? -- ponygirl, 12:09:09 02/19/03 Wed

It's a sad fact that the things that look the coolest-- like kicking ass, wearing cool jackets, smoking, that navel-piercing that I kind of regret-- are not always the healthiest.

The thing that really gave me the wiggins was Spike's increasing isolation from the gang. He says himself that he's making himself scarce as much as possible. He's never around when the decisions are being made, and even when he is he's rarely in the same shot with other people. Anya's mad at him, so's Buffy, the others seem largely indifferent even when he's being thrown through ceilings. This doesn't bode well for the inevitable showdown with Wood, who seems to have been swiftly welcomed into the gang.

Oddly enough the most hopeful sign to me was not the return to leather, but Spike getting thrown through the ceiling. Good ol' house metaphor! It was the reverse of Smashed, this time Spike is ascending but he's quite on his own. Let the Spike Sacrificial Deathwatch commence!

[> [> [> Ponygirl, you've said it all! -- dream, 12:21:31 02/19/03 Wed

Though I am still hoping Spike survives the season. Don't forget the eventual movies - you know Joss wants them! He can't kill off Spike - at least not for good. Here's hoping for an *attempted* sacrificial death.

Anyone else think Willow could reach out to Spike more effectively than anyone else? Would be very excited to see a scene between the two of them. Of course, Dawn would be able to help, too.

[> [> [> Too pessimistic? -- Dariel, 20:27:34 02/19/03 Wed

I don't think Spike is so isolated. In fact, in the past two eps, his interactions with the group have been increasing. Okay, no one's hugged him, but when have they ever! Spike has been in on the discussions and action (during last week's discussion about the taping of the FE, plus helping to save Xander). This week, he went drinking with Anya (or tried to) and collaborated with the gang on getting Buffy back.

The gang may not love him, but I don't see them giving him up to Wood. He's saved all of their lives multiple times--What's Wood ever done for them?

I sometimes worry that they're going to kill off/sacrifice Spike too. However, I can't see ME doing something so unoriginal. I fully expect them to surprise me!

[> [> [> [> Re: Too pessimistic? (well known casting spoiler) -- Tyreseus, 20:48:24 02/19/03 Wed

I don't think Spike is so isolated. In fact, in the past two eps, his interactions with the group have been increasing. Okay, no one's hugged him, but when have they ever! Spike has been in on the discussions and action (during last week's discussion about the taping of the FE, plus helping to save Xander). This week, he went drinking with Anya (or tried to) and collaborated with the gang on getting Buffy back.

And he's making that human connection a hell of a lot faster than that other souled vamp did. He didn't need an ambassador from the PTB (Whistler/Doyle) to tell him to get out there and do it. Of course, he's got Buffy.

My theory is that he's still somewhat in shock from getting the soul. I don't think he's really and truly coped with the things he did as the Big Bad. He's still coasting on Buffy's belief in him, although true redeption takes longer and more pain.

From Sanctuary:
Faith: "God, it hurts. I hate that it hurts like this."
Angel: "Oh well, it's supposed to hurt. All that pain, all that suffering you caused is coming back on you. Feel it! Deal with it! Then maybe you've got a shot at being free."

So far, Spike's been insane, drunk, tortured, drunk, and had a few heart-to-hearts with Buffy. I see Wood as being a major player in Spike's eventual road to redemption. He has to start apologizing for what he did, and Wood (with their machismo rivalry over Buffy) is going to be damn difficult to apologize to. I hope it's on the same level as Faith's trying to set things right with Buffy in Sanctuary.

Maybe Faith can sponsor a vampire now. I wonder who Spike will get to sponsor to continue the trend? Kennedy? Andrew? Connor (wouldn't that be fun - yeah, your dad's a poofter, but he's a good poofter)?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Too pessimistic? (well known casting spoiler) -- ponygirl, 07:07:12 02/20/03 Thu

Hmm, do you think Wood would accept an apology? Or even listen to one if Spike was offering? Wood's really the wild card in this, we don't know what kind of a man he is and the few clues we've had kind of cancel each other out. Nice guy, snappy dresser, ignores the First mostly, but then he also concealed his identity from Buffy, manipulated her, and hid Jonathon's body. I think he's in the process of sussing Buffy and her gang out, trying to decide what he's going to do. Does he serve vengenance or the greater good?

[> [> Am I the only one? -- Traveler, 22:26:03 02/19/03 Wed

It seemed to me that Spike's battle lust was rather forced. Maybe I'm just misinterpreting something in JM's facial expression, but I thought he was trying to convince himself as much as anything. As a result, I'm still not convinced that we've seen the return of the old badass Spike.

[> [> [> It was forced -- Spike Lover, 10:54:03 02/20/03 Thu

But all the characters were. Willow was forced. Spike was forced. Buffy was nearly forced.

I think Spike is really struggling right now. As he was last year. It is the mixed messages from Buffy that do it. Last year, it was: You are evil and disgusting, and I want your love and your body. But you mean nothing to me.

Now it is: You can be a good man. If you work hard enough, I can forgive you and possibly love you. Wait, you are a wimp. Your weakness disgusts me. I want you back the way you were.

It must be hard to date a bi-polar. It reminds me of an old song: Should I stay or should I go.

There is a line in it that says, "First day is fine, the Next is black."

I don't think Spike knows what she wants and he is sick of trying. Perhaps the question is why does Spike want to go out drinking? Is it because of the inevitable doom that is coming? I don't think so. Is it that he is ashamed of his past 'evil' acts as a vampire? Maybe some, but not all. Is it that he continues to feel disconnected to who he is now. He has to be good, moral, because that is what Buffy wants, but what is his true behavior. He reminds me of someone on their best behavior. That is why he does not say anything snarky. It is not 'appropriate' for someone with a moral core.

I don't know, just some thoughts and observations.

[> [> [> [> Re: It was forced -- afterlife, 11:55:54 02/20/03 Thu

Perhaps the question is why does Spike want to go out drinking? Is it because of the inevitable doom that is coming? I don't think so. Is it that he is ashamed of his past 'evil' acts as a vampire? Maybe some, but not all. Is it that he continues to feel disconnected to who he is now. He has to be good, moral, because that is what Buffy wants, but what is his true behavior. He reminds me of someone on their best behavior. That is why he does not say anything snarky. It is not 'appropriate' for someone with a moral core.

Actually, Spike pretty much says why he goes drinking in the first conversation with Anya:

ANYA: "I swear, if Buffy rooms or boards one more of the potential girls, I'm gonna call a... I'm gonna call a health inspector."

SPIKE: "I like my plan better. Get up, get out, get drunk. Repeat as needed. It's just more elegant."

[> [> [> [> He was trying on an old identity and an old coat. -- WickedBuffy, 12:31:14 02/20/03 Thu

It seems like Spike doesn't know who he is now. Identity crisis. He's no longer as he was when he originally had a soul - a hopeless romantic considered a wimp and a bad poet by his peers. He's gone through too much in too long. He has a soul now, but it was not as much an much inner-directed decision as is was to please someone else, for what he thought she wanted.

Now, because he was trying to mold himself into somebody Buffy would love, and it didn't work - he seems to not know who he is. He's not the simpering poet, he's not the Big Bad vampire, he's not Buffys guy.

So, it looks like he's trying on his old identity, presoul, when he relished fighting and loved it. It looked forced to me, too. Because he's not that, anymore, either.

It seems like everyone on the show through the years, has gone thru a "Who Am I" confusing phase, "where do I fit in" .... except Spike. Until now. (Can you think of a major character who hasn't?)

Maybe that comes with a soul, though, too? (Anya is a big question mark to me on that one, though.)

[> [> Choice -- Spike Lover, 11:07:12 02/20/03 Thu

1) "Spike has his old swagger back, but I worry that he might slip back into old habits. (Like cigarette smoking.)"

On the one hand, I think that this is a writer's method of getting the old Spike back into the writing without disrupting the story line.

Choice: The thing about Sleeper was that Spike seemed to have returned to bad habits, but in truth, he had not made that choice. The interesting thing about vampire mythology is that vamps supposedly are creatures who must feed on human blood. It is their nature. Spike is rare in that he would exercise a new choice and choose not to feed (due to the chip). He could have continually knocked off the human blood banks. Even after he realizes he can bite Buffy, he chooses not to.

Ok, now I have forgotten what my point was.

2) Doing what Buffy says. Well, when you love, you tend to bend to the other's will or what you perceive the other's will is. It does not necessarily make you weak. It might make you terribly strong. The only way for him not to be interested in what Buffy wants is for him to become indifferent to her.

Never mind.

Got to go.

Embracing the darker powers -- BD23, 09:46:21 02/19/03 Wed

I agree that the episode was about embracing the true source of power, but I was a little disappointed in the reasoning and response. For one thing, despite last season, Buffy still seems unaware of how her actions will be interpreted. She never interceded when Kennedy was cruel to Chloe and she still insults Spike despite her knowledge that he will do ANYTHING to please her. I'm disappointed that she's still so clueless.

As for Spike and Willow, they both did what needed to be done, but I worry that this won't bode well for Spike. Willow is too entrenched on the side of good to lose much ground but Spike is still blown about by the wind. Since the writer have yet to provide him with ANY friend or confidante, he is still up for grabs and the FIRST is offering free advice lately. Spike will always need support and he'll go with whoever offers it. That may not be the best character trait, but I know a lot of real people with the same flaw.

S7 and "The Buffy Formula" ("Get It Done" Spoilers and Speculation) -- J, 09:57:13 02/19/03 Wed

Is anyone else beginning to think that the First Evil is not the Big Bad of this season?

Those of you who are familiar with The Buffy Formula know that Seasons 2, 3, 4, and 6 of BtVS followed a recognizable pattern for seasonal story arcs. When "Lessons" aired, there was much ta-do about the fact that ME had apparently revealed the BB in the first episode of the season, something they didn't even do in S5. However, the rumblings subsided when ME actually identified the shapeshifting entity from "Lessons" as the FE. Given the pronouncements from Joss that this season wwas supposed to be going "Back to the Beginning", it made sense that the FE would end up being the BB.

I accepted this as well, but after the final scene of "Get It Done," I've developed a gnaw in my gut about it. That homage to "The Two Towers" was pretty scary, but it was also a bit of a letdown in a way, primarily because I can't identify any metaphor behind it. An army of Turok-Han swarming over the world seems purely genre to me, and doesn't have the kind of emotional and metaphoric resonance that, say, the Mayor had. Plus, ME has revealed the master plan of the "BB" a little early, haven't they? Even in S5, we didn't understand exactly what Glory was planning to do until "Spiral," the third-to-last episode of the season.

In short, I'm starting to believe that the FE is a mislead. In fact, I've even got a wacky theory about who the real Big Bad of the season is. Of course, it's a wacky theory I came up with this morning in the shower, but it would provide an cohesive explanation for almost all of the information we've go up to this point, and it really does go "back to the beginning."

[> Re: S7 and "The Buffy Formula" (already aired ep spoilers) -- Rob, 10:06:46 02/19/03 Wed

"I accepted this as well, but after the final scene of "Get It Done," I've developed a gnaw in my gut about it. That homage to "The Two Towers" was pretty scary, but it was also a bit of a letdown in a way, primarily because I can't identify any metaphor behind it. An army of Turok-Han swarming over the world seems purely genre to me, and doesn't have the kind of emotional and metaphoric resonance that, say, the Mayor had. Plus, ME has revealed the master plan of the "BB" a little early, haven't they? Even in S5, we didn't understand exactly what Glory was planning to do until "Spiral," the third-to-last episode of the season."

I disagree, because I think it was time we really saw what a threat the FE could be. By this point, a lot of people were questioning if any harm at all could really come from the FE. It can't touch anything and has up until now worked through smoke and mirrors, besides the raising of that one Turok-han. And I thought that was a great red herring that the Turok-han was killed. At the time I thought, "That was it?" But then that in FD we saw that Turok-Han arm, and I thought, "Could there be more?" And now we know for sure. Sure, one Turok-Han could eventually be killed. But how can they stand up against a huge army of them, each just as hard to kill as the first one. Just that single one took Buffy a long time to kill. At the start of the season, I was afraid of the FE, but I started to lose a bit of that. Now I'm scared again. Since we have really only seen the FE from the heroes' perspective, and never by itself, planning, like Glory or the Mayor or any of the other Big Bads, it was high-time IMO to see its plan. I like when the show defies formula. I liked how the season 4 finale took place after the climax of the story. And I like how this year, the stakes are being raised higher than ever before, and earlier than ever before. That army of Turok-Han raised some great epic stirrings of awe within me. Not only was it not a let down for me, but it was one of my favorite moments in the show's history. I am so stoked for the coming battle...and the upcoming break before the last bunch of episodes is going to kill me, I swear.


[> [> Re: S7 and "The Buffy Formula" (already aired ep spoilers) -- J, 13:01:59 02/19/03 Wed

Oh, don't get me wrong -- the Turok-han army is unquestionably scary, as is the FE!

What I mean is that I'm having trouble tying the 'scariness' of the FE to the show's central metaphor of personal female empowerment, particularly in light of our new knowledge that the FE's plan is (apparently) to release the Turok-han army. That doesn't have the touch of devious megalomania that I expect from a Big Bad -- there's no 'plan', there's just overwhelming brutal force. Contrast this with the actions of the Beast on AtS, where there is clearly a big diabolical plan in the works.

[> [> [> But think about this. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:20:25 02/19/03 Wed

Almost every Big Bad on BtVS has had one goal: destroy humanity. How they go about it varies, but that is always what's at the end of the agenda. So, it's not really about what the Big Bad is trying to release, but about how they go about it.

Also, I agree there didn't seem to be much metaphorical about the Turok-Han army (except possibly the sheer vastness of evil that there is in the world), but I expect differently will be done once they arrive (or start to arrive).

[> [> Of course, it will take a LOT of blood (still spoilers) -- Vickie, 14:57:10 02/19/03 Wed

It took all of Jonathan's blood and some of Spike's to get the first TH out. Either there's another ritual, or there's going to be a LOT of blood.

[> Care to share your (presumably unspoiled) speculations? I'm definitely curious -- dream, 12:37:17 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> Re: Care to share your (presumably unspoiled) speculations? I'm definitely curious -- J, 13:24:53 02/19/03 Wed

Unspoiled, unless you count watching AtS and knowing about the Well-Known Casting Spoiler(tm) as being spoiled!

Rest assured, I'll share it once it's fully formed. I'm trying to marshall all the evidence I can for this one. Mind you, I'd be shocked if I'm actually right, seeing as how my theory is wacky in the extreme, but it's really fun to think about!

When you can't "Get it done" (spoilers) -- lunasea, 10:17:40 02/19/03 Wed

Wanted to get my ideas down before I read what others had to say. The title really bugged me last night, even before the episode aired. I knew that I heard it before and it was important, but I couldn't place it. I don't know if anyone pointed this out yet or not. In writing this essay, I figured it out.

There is one thing I learned in college that has stuck with me more than anything, when you are damned if you do and damned if you don't, you can do whatever the hell you want. The question then becomes what do you want. That is where our mettle is truly decided. When there is no way to win, what do you do? Not when you still have a shred of hope left and even though the odds are against you, you stand up and fight. When all hope is gone and no matter what you do, you will loose, what do you do? Truth is revealed in pain. Our character is revealed when we have no hope.

Buffy told Giles in "First Date" that you cannot fight evil by doing evil. That is exactly from where the physical power of our two heroes comes. Angel was vamped and cursed, both evil things. The Slayer's original power comes from the heart of a demon and was forced on a girl chained up. Unspeakable evil was done to these two characters. Angelus wasn't cursed to protect people. He was cursed to make him suffer. It was an evil action, even if eventually he did turn good.

However, is that really the source of our heroes' power? AtS and BtVS are more than stories about superheroes fighting demons. AtS is about Angel's struggle to become human again. I think it was rather fitting for Connor to result from the same action that causes Angel to have his epiphany. Not being able to have children is one of the big differences between vampires and humans. Angel's epiphany made him more human, thus able to conceive a child. That experience did not reach Darla, so even though Darla could be the vessel for that child, she was unable to give birth to it.

Since Angel isn't fully human yet, Connor isn't quite normal. Connor is the cross between someone sired and a human child. His emotional state reflects this even more than his physical abilities. The more I think about this character, the more I like him. Now I am actually hoping the kid gets through this season. Sleeping with Evil Cordy will probably provide the experience necessary for his epiphany, just like sleeping with his sire provided the necessary experience for Angel.

What does it mean to be human? That seems to be the question fundamental to both shows. In the Buffyverse, the soul is central to this question. In "Angel" Angel tells us what that is. "No conscience, no remorse. It's an easy way to live. You have no idea what it is like to have done the things I've done and...to care." That is the core of Angel's character, he cares. David Boreanaz plays the underlying vulnerability of Angel incredibly well. He is much more than dark, mysterious, broody man.

In Pinocchio, the Blue Fairy tells Pinocchio what he has to do to become human, be "brave, truthful, and unselfish." His conscience will help him do this. In that story, the conscience is a plot device to tell him what is right and what is wrong. By doing what is right, Pinocchio will become worthy of being made into a real boy. Why does Pinocchio want to be made real? Because Gepetto, a good man, wants a real child to love. From that desire alone, Pinocchio is made into an wooden boy, an animated puppet. It is that desire, that love for Geppetto, that drives the story.

What causes Pinocchio to become human? He gives his life to save Gepetto. Why does he do this? Does his "conscience" tell him to? Does he do it to be worthy? Does he do it to be "brave, truthful, and unselfish?" Nope. He does it because he loves Gepetto. He does it because he cares. He is "brave, truthful, and unselfish" because he cares.

Cordy, queen of the obvious, calls Angel Pinocchio in "To Shanshu in LA." Just like Pinocchio, Angel missed what it was to be human. His first go around as Liam, he spent a decent amount of time on Pleasure Island and it got him into serious trouble. Now everywhere he looks around, Gepetto is about to go under and he has to do something.

Gepetto appears in the form of a tiny baby in China and a beautiful blond high school student. He is a former rich stuck-up superficial snob. He is a beautiful blond police detective. He is an unconfident former Watcher. He is a beautiful blond former vampire who cannot deal with her own humanity. He is a frightened girl who got trapped in another dimension. He is an ungrateful, spiteful son. He is tons of people that cry in the dark and need a hero.

Does Angel have to rescue Gepetto? At one point, he wanted to go under himself. He lost all hope and all he wanted was "it finished." This is the turning point for Angel and it happens in the episode that bears his name. Darla has made it so Buffy is now hunting Angel. Either he kills her or he will be killed. Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. He can't win this one. When he finally sees Buffy again he tells her, "Let's get it done!" Buffy is now in the same position in the episode titled "Get it Done." (going back to the beginning)

In "Angel," Darla offers Angel a way to be free. She wants him to be a demon again. She thinks that what drives him is his vamp nature. If he would just stop fighting this, he would find peace. When Angel comes across Buffy at The Bronze, she says he is worse than an animal. For a while she sees Angel as something inhuman. So does Angel. He wants it over, but not over in the same manner Darla does. He wants to die. In that moment, Buffy sees what powers Angel. It isn't his vamp nature. It is his soul, his humanity, his ability to care. She does something incredible to show him this, she unarms herself and offers him her neck. She shows him that he is something more than a vampire.

That is what Buffy will need. In "Get it Done," the Shadowmen offered Buffy a way to become stronger to beat the First. They want her to accept the heart of the demon that made the First Slayer. They think that what drives the Slayer is this demon heart. If she would accept losing her humanity, she would become stronger. When she doesn't accept this, the head Shadowman shows her what the First is amassing. She believes that she can not defeat this.

What comes next? Who will bare his neck to Buffy so that she can see that the Slayer is much more than that demon heart? How will Buffy learn what truly powers her? Seems she forgot what the Spirit Guide told her. Buffy is now in a damned if you do, damned if you don't situation. We will see what she is truly made of now. Not what the Slayer is. We will see what Buffy Anne Summers is made of.

[> what this might mean for spike -- Seven, 11:27:49 02/19/03 Wed

I like the Pinnochio analogy

i see a lot of this in Spike as well---Though i know you were getting at the fact that anyone can be this character---

Spike was made almost-human when he got his chip--
He wasn't the vamp with a soul but he definetly wasn't a vamp or a man. He was the animated puppet. Now he has the soul and the wood is flesh (no chip)

Here's where i see a problem. I doubt ME will do this---they'll probably make Spike die as a hero or something---But did anyone else get a sinking feeling when Spike and Wood had a pissing contest in the basement?

Wood, in reference to his newly acquired soul, asks Spike, "How's that working out for you?" What exactly is the answer? We all assume that b/c Angel has a soul and is good that Spike will be that way too.

Here's a theory---Spike is obviously "Buffy's bitch" as someone posted, but will this last? Maybe when Spike realizes that Buffy is not the be all and end all, (As Angel has realized now more or less) he (Spike) will not choose the same path.

Angel did years (centuries?) of literal soul searching before he found the path of good. Maybe upon thinking about it, Spike will choose the other way. William saw no other way out. After being hurt by a girl who he finally realized will never care for him the way he wants, William succumbed to darkness and buried his noble past under death and destruction.

What will he choose this time around?

[> Re: When you can't "Get it done" (spoilers) -- BD23, 11:40:51 02/19/03 Wed

Interesting. I'd picked up on the 'Buffy needs to face herself' but not taken it so far as the need to address her own humanity. It makes sense to me. I've often seen Buffy as the least human of the people/things that she holds close (vampires, demons included). (I would, however, still like to send her to a 7 Habits of Highly Effective People conference. Maybe that's what Giles should give her for her birthday...)

Our Bodies, Our (Demon) Selves (Spoilers for "Calvary" and "Get It Done") -- cjl, 10:27:52 02/19/03 Wed

Many posters below have remarked how Buffy's encounter with the Shadowmen in "Get It Done" is similar to Cordelia's major encounter with Skip in "Birthday" (AtS S3).

I think comparing Buffy and Cordy's choices is interesting, because even though Cordy's seems to have been the more "selfless" action, it may have had negative repercussions far beyond anyone could have imagined--including Cordy herself. Meanwhile, Buffy's choice, while seemingly foolish, may in fact, have been the best for all concerned.

Cordy first. When Skip presented Cordelia with the choice between life as a sitcom superstar (essentially turning her into Rebecca, the actress she worshipped in S1's "Eternity"), and Angel's Gal Friday, Cordy goes the noble route and instantly chooses the visions and the demonic power necessary to wield them. On the face of it, it seems as if Cordy transcended her Sunnydale origins as shallow bitca and became a selfless (huh--there's that word again) champion for righteousness. Hugs and puppies all around.

But is that how things turned out? Let's face it, Cordelia was never the same after "Birthday," and now, after the startling events of "Calvary," we're wondering if the deal she made with Skip on that fateful day was on the up-and-up. Did Skip tell her the whole truth about the consequences of being infused with a demon spirit? Did Cordelia, operating from an exaggerated sense of her own importance, sell her soul in exchange for power? Has she allowed herself to be used by the forces of darkness, or--even more disturbing in these circumstances--the Powers that Be for some unfathomable purpose?

If Cordelia has been duped, I can hardly blame her for that choice. It's tragedy (there should be Greeks!), not foolishness. Skip is (supposedly) an employee of the (supposedly) great force for good in the Whedonverse, who supply her with those nifty visions that help Angel help the helpless. Why shouldn't she trust him? (When you hear the voice from On High, and the Lord's messenger appears before you, you don't normally scratch your chin and mutter, "Gee, I don't know about this...") It's only when you compare Cordelia's encounter to Buffy's that the horror of Cordy's situation becomes apparent.

Buffy's encounter with the Shadowmen is Cordy's encounter with Skip, stripped down to its ugly essence. The Shadowmen chain Buffy to the Earth, and attempt to infuse her with the black-as-night essence of a demon. Unlike Cordy, Buffy has always distrusted her powers to a certain degree, and the Shadowmen--as the primary Agents of that power--get a healthy dose of that distrust. When the Shadowmen make a "generous" offer to give Buffy the power to fight the First, Buffy is not grateful, confused, frightened or awed--she is OUTRAGED. She sees the ritual as nothing less than rape, a violation of the body of the First Slayer at the beginning of history, a violation which has been metaphorically repeated as each Slayer has been called--until now. Buffy breaks the chain, breaks the cycle, determined to find a new way.

Buffy, as she has done throughout the series, has asserted control over her own body, her own destiny. She doesn't see how she can defeat the First Evil, but her determination to maintain Free Will is so powerful that any other choice would have been a violation of the character. It was an enormously powerful statement of "female empowerment," exactly what Joss was promising at the start of the season.

Meanwhile...sigh. Poor Cordy. She made her choice, perhaps without all the facts, but her choice, nonetheless. Instead of a player with Free Will, she's a pawn of Great Forces, whose ultimate role is beyond our current comprehension, or even her own.

JMO. Further opinions?

[> Re: Our Bodies, Our (Demon) Selves (Spoilers for "Calvary" and "Get It Done") -- ponygirl, 11:15:53 02/19/03 Wed

Great post, cjl! I think you summed it up beautifully. Buffy is going against the established order, redefining the job as Wood puts it, but until she comes up with a new structure to replace the ones she's tumbling I think there's going to be a lot of doubt on her part and on the part of the Scoobies. While I agree with her rejection of the Shadow Men I'm concerned with how she did it. Everything has become oppositional (granted they attacked her first)-- the Shadowmen, the Council, is there nothing else she can take from them other than anger and fearful visions?

[> Re: Our Bodies, Our (Demon) Selves (Spoilers for "Calvary" and "Get It Done") -- maddog, 11:32:04 02/19/03 Wed

Well said...thanks for saying what I said, but much more eloquently(sp?). I'm just wondering if anyone on Angel will figure it out in time to save poor Cordy.

[> Re: Our Bodies, Our (Demon) Selves (Spoilers for "Calvary" and "Get It Done") -- Darby, 12:32:29 02/19/03 Wed

If Bufy has broken that chain, are we moving toward a situation where the Slayer Power becomes less unpredictable? Will the next Slayer be a willing volunteer, or from a pool of accepting protos, chosen by a council of Slayerettes?

Will Buffy herself end the Line, at least as it has been known?

[> Cordy's choice (Spoilers for "Birthday"-"Calvary") -- Masq, 13:00:04 02/19/03 Wed

I went to Psyche and pulled out the exchange between Skip and Cordelia. It's pretty darned vague, but Skip does warn her there could be unpredicatable reprecussions:

Cordy: "I'll take it."

Skip: "You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming - part demon. (Cordy looks down) The process isn't easy. It'll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again."

Cordy looks over at Angel (who appears to be frozen in time), then back at Skip.

Cordy: "So - demonize me already."

Nevertheless as an (alleged) agent of the PTB's, Skip is pleased when she choses to become part demon. Perhaps the PTB's themselves couldn't predict what might come out of Cordelia being part demon.

I remember being disappointed after "Birthday" that Cordelia didn't start having immediate bad reprecussions. Of course, with ME, things happen over the course of seasons, not episodes. It will be interesting to see if the current Cordy weirdness is the result of her being part demon.

[> [> Re: Cordy's choice (Spoilers for "Birthday"-"Calvary") -- cjl, 13:14:12 02/19/03 Wed

Skip: You may wanna think about that. The only way *you* get to keep the visions is by becoming - part demon. (Cordy looks down) The process isn't easy. It'll make your vision pain feel like a stroll through candyland. And even after the pain subsides the effects of the transition will be numerous and unpredictable. You may never be able to lead a human life again.

[Cordy looks over at Angel (who appears to be frozen in time), then back at Skip.]

Cordy: So - demonize me already.

And what exactly did Cordelia think the consequences would be? Did she ever think that she might wind up like Angel--sharing her body with a demonic presence with an agenda all its own? Did Skip mention this possibility?

No, as I recall, Cordy was looking around for a tail (or maybe horns), the way Buffy was during "Earshot." Cordy, as befitting her character, looked at the process of transformation on a superficial, purely physical level. She never considered the truly horrific possibilities until it was too late.

Still, as I said earlier, Skip should have told her the whole truth (if he knew it). As of now, I consider the events of "Birthday" to be a particularly nasty "Bait and Switch" operation......

[> Choices & Violations ? (Spoilers up to Btvs7.15 & Ats 4.12) -- s'kat, 13:33:10 02/19/03 Wed

Up until last night's episode, I'd been making the mistake of paralleling Cordy and Spike in my head - two characters being manipulated by an outside force, which they may still very well be. But last night made me realize there was another possible more important theme being paralleled in both series.

Choice and Power and Violation

Has Cordelia really chosen her power? Doyle more or less forced his power on her when he kissed her in HERO as a parting gift. Cordy had no choice in the matter and could not pass it on.

However - as time passes she is given two opportunities to rid herself of it:
1. Pylea - Groo is willing to take it instead. Cordelia refuses, she wishes to maintain her place in AI and continue to help Angel even if the visions are killing her.
2. Birthday - Skip offers to take it from her or imbue her with the ability to handle it, make her part demon. Otherwise he states it will kill her. She doesn't know if the part-demon part gives her more power at that point, just that it will make it possible for her to handle the visions without having her head explode.

Later Skip returns again - in Tomorrow - informing Cordy that while it is her "choice", it is time she was elevated, she passed on the tests, she can be a higher being now.
More power. Cordy gets to choose between meeting Angel
or being a higher being - she chooses the higher being, she believes this is the selfless choice.

The only choice in all this that was forced on Cordelia per se was the initial kiss. A sexual kiss between Cordelia and Doyle before he sacrificed himself.

Buffy - did Buffy choose to be the slayer and get the power?
No. She was selected. She chooses to use the power for good - which is a choice as is demonstrated by Faith who chose not to. Buffy chooses to go through the portal to the shadow world of the past and commune with the Shadow Men.
She does NOT however choose to be imbued with more power.
She came into that world seeking knowledge - all they can give her is power. When she refuses - they chain her to a wall and attempt to force it on her a la the Watcher's Council in both Helpless and Checkpoint. (In both those episodes the Watchers forced or attempted to force their will on Buffy and in both cases, Buffy rejected them. Oddly enough in one, Helpless, they take away her power and in the other Checkpoint they are threatened by it.) Buffy fights them off and rejects the power of the demon - choosing just the knowledge - any that they may have, they give her a nightmare vision.

Angel/Angelus - Angelus never chooses his soul - this is something that is forced on him by women - gypsies. In the Gypsy Curse in 1898 by the old Romanian woman gypsey after he rapes and murders he granddaughter. In the curse used by Willow in Becoming. He doesn't want it - as he demonstrates by killing Jenny in Passion while she attempts to imbue him with a soul. Smashing the orb that is supposed to assist in this. Angelus does not want to be violated in this way and does consider it a violation. The soul that enters Angelus is white but smokey just like the demon soul the Shadowmen try to force into Buffy.

In Awakenings - Angel is given a choice. Give up your soul for a brief period so we can obtain knowledge. He doesn't give it up for power - he gives it up for knowledge. According to Cordy - Angelus knows more about the Beast than Angel does. They need knowledge. So he allows himself to be violated by the shaman (or is this a Shadowman too?
Getting lost on the PC terminology which is usually why I ignore it.) Loses his soul. And becomes Angelus.

The time he lost his soul before was accidental - not unlike Cordy who gets' Doyle's vision with a kiss. Buffy did not intend to take Angel's soul any more than Doyle intended to necessarily give Cordy his gift.

Spike - Spike unlike Angelus, does choose to have his vampire body imbued with a soul. He fights for this soul.
It is NOT forced on him in any way. In some respects Spike's journey and fight for a soul is similar to Cordelia's journey in Birthday. And both choose the gift out of love for another - in Cordy's case - Angel and in Spike's case - Buffy. Cordy's choice seems from the outset to be positive, Spike's is a painful one, burning him, driving him nutty and does not appear positive at first yet gradually may turn so, while Cordy's seems to be gradually turning negative.

Willow - Willow also has chosen to be imbued with power - from the text. She like Spike goes after it. She chooses it.
It is not forced on her - like it is forced on Buffy.
But neither is it offered to her like Cordelia - nor has she necessarily journeyed far for it or fought trials like Spike. Willow pulls her power from knowledge. She finds it from knowledge. (Though you could say Spike does the same when he hunted the legend.)

Seems to me that each of these characters choices depend on their individual desire for either knowledge or power.

Soul (Human) = knowledge and potentially power (although the vampire seems to be weakened by it)

Soul (demon)= power and potentially knowledge (although the human seems less interested in sharing it or does it with evil intent.)

The dualities interest me.
Can we have power without the knowledge to wield it?
Does that only result in chaos? And what good is knowledge with no power? Is it better to integrate the dark power of the demon with the light knowledge of the human soul?
Don't know. May be confusing the issue and everyone else as well.


A Theory on Cordy -- maddog, 10:37:41 02/19/03 Wed

Don't shoot the reader, ie me, if this concept has been brought up but I haven't had a chance to read the board every day.

I'm typing away defending the decision Cordy made and comparing it to the decision Buffy didn't make in last night's episode and it hit me....the decision Cordy made. She's part demon...she chose to be part demon. Could this be her link to whoever's controlling the beast? Could this have either turned her evil or split her personality so it's controling the demon side of her. I can't believe it took me a whole week to remember she's part demon. Hmm, talk about a courageous decision coming back and biting you in the ass. :)

[> See my post directly below. ("Great minds warp along the same curve") -- cjl, 10:51:54 02/19/03 Wed

[> Re: A Theory on Cordy -- BD23, 11:30:49 02/19/03 Wed

Personally, I think she just doesn't like Lilah (JK). I'm wondering if we haven't had the REAL Cordy all season--certainly explain the yucky Connor incident. Anyway, I also haven't been to the board in a while, so I may be repeating a weeks old concept.

Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? -- Majin Gojira, 10:45:46 02/19/03 Wed

We've only seen a little of Kennedy, I've noticed several character traits that Proto-Evil Faith had.

1. Arrogance - Both Early Faith and Kennedy were/are arrogant. they had power, they knew it, and they loved it. Kennedy recieved a backlash for it this week in Chloe's death, Faith had Allan Finch. If Kennedy does not change because of what happened, expect a Faith-like Fall.

2. Dominance - Both want to be controling/dominant. in relationships and in other things. Notice the forceful/direct nature of Kennedy's approaches to Willow. And we all know about Faith and Sex.

These are the major two that I've noticed, and they seem to be some of their more defining traits at that point in time. Doubtless I missed a few, if anyone wants to add or comment, feel free.

[> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? -- seven, 11:06:56 02/19/03 Wed

I see where you're going with this.

Kennedy is so gunn-ho about being a good guy and a fighter that she isn't going to see the darkness when it creeps upon her. I definatly see traitor potential brewing.

[> [> Let's see, ME is going to make Willow's lesbian lover a traitor? -- Dochawk, 21:01:56 02/19/03 Wed

That is one story line that just aint going to happen. In some ways sad that they can't do it, but Kennedy can't become a traitor and really can't go bad as long as she is Willow's companion. Did the "evil lesbian thing", got people who ME care's about too upset, not gonna do it again. And the point of the quotes was, I don't think it was the evil lesbian thing, nor do most people who watch the show, but some people did and that was enough for ME.

[> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? -- Gyrus, 11:09:34 02/19/03 Wed

I've had this very same thought about the similarities between Kennedy and Faith. However, Kennedy has one important trait that Faith lacked -- the capacity for trust. To trust requires the belief that at least some people are trustworthy, and Faith's downfall was that she never believed that (at least until "Who Are You"). Faith justified her own bad behavior by believing that, deep down, everyone else was as bad as she was. In fact, much of her struggle with Buffy in S3 had to do with Faith's need to bring Buffy down to her level, to prove to herself that Buffy's nobility and selflessness were just a facade. Kennedy, on the other hand, seems to believe that Willow, at least, is genuinely good, so it doesn't seem like she has those issues.

[> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? -- Mystery, 11:11:02 02/19/03 Wed

I've always thought that Kennedy was Faith only from money. She doesn't have any of Faith's street-smarts/attitude. Kennedy actually reminds me of the girls I met in college who thought they were tough because they're from Long Island and went into the city once a month (I'm from inner city Boston). They had a lot of bravado and arrogance, but turns out there were never in a real fight ever. Then ME went and confirmed that Kennedy had a home with wings and a summer home in the Hamptons.

But yeah, Kennedy is much like Faith, only with rich parents.

BTW, just in case anyone wants to know what kind of a geek I am...I am convinced that Faith is from Dorchester (a section of Boston), more accurately around the Fields Corner area. The reason I think this is because, she mentions South Boston specifically, which would make you think she's from there, BUT she also talks about a quarry. I think that she's referring to the Quincy Quarry, which was well known for kids jumping off the high rock into the water and getting swept off by the currents. They drained the quarry about 5 years ago, but it would have given Faith a chance to leap off it. Fields Corner is sort of a halfway point between Southie (what Bostonians call South Boston) and the Quincy Quarries. Plus, the neighborhood fits with Faith's personality.

Yeah, I thought WAAAAAAY too much about that...if anyone's interested: http://www.mbta.com/traveling_t/schedules_subway_redline.as
Field's Corner is one of the stops on the redline...

[> [> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? -- BD23, 11:22:10 02/19/03 Wed

Maybe S3 is too much a faint memory, but I don't see the tie-in. I'll look for it, though. Kennedy certainly has arrogance, but Faith's arrogance hid an internal neediness that seems absent in Kennedy.

[> [> [> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? -- Miss Edith, 11:32:34 02/19/03 Wed

Faith was played by an excellent actress. I could always see the vunerabilites of the character underneath her defensive attitude. Whereas Kennedy just seems to be arrogant and not give much thought to others so we don't see much to connect with. The way she gets off on dictating the Slayers in training was a little bit scary. I could see Kennedy becoming evil, but I doubt the storyline could be pulled off with anything like the interest that I had in Faith's journey. Kennedy comes across as a playground bully, and gives me nothing to latch on too. I could sympathise with Fatih in episodes like Revelations when she was insecure about her place in the gang. Her tough attitude was clearly a facade. I get the impression from Kennedy that she really does think that highly of herself.

[> [> [> [> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0?(Spoilers and well known casting spoiler) -- Jaques Regnier, 12:12:34 02/19/03 Wed

Dealing with the trust issues. Other than Will who does she trust? Buffy, not really. Only herself and after Willow sucked her lifeforce in GID well I saw some fear and lack of trust at the end. Heres hoping The coming of faith will show a definite comparison.

[> [> [> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0?--I don't think so. -- Arethusa, 16:08:26 02/19/03 Wed

I agree. Faith had a drunken neglectful mother and no father we know of. Kennedy has the self-seteem and confidence of someone who has been brought up by loving, attentive parents. Kennedy is capable of giving-Faith knew only how to take.

[> [> [> [> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0?--I don't think so. -- WickedBuffy, 21:32:30 02/19/03 Wed

Count me in on that feeling, too. Kennedy seems eager and idealistic, and as you said, she came from a very different background and seems to be capable of giving. (not that her background was the only reason for that, it's innate, too.)

Kennedy is young and rash. But it's the rash of the young. (no ointment needed). She works hard and in her training since she was young experienced fighting and probably some physical pain. That isn't completely new to her. But magic *is* new to her, all she has is her fairytale ideas about it. When she finally saw Willows magic, and felt it on an intense level, it shook her up. Because it was new and very different than what she expected. I think she's just on a learning curve. She does appear to have courage and so far, self-determination. But not thebrickwall of emotional defenses that Faith has/had or the relationship hangups.

She's probably a Leo. Faith is probably a Scor ...... OOPS! }:>

[> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? (Spoilers Buffy up to 7.15, Angel s1) -- grifter, 11:22:47 02/19/03 Wed

Could Willow be Kennedy´s Angel?

Faith is attracted to Angel´s dark side, just like Kennedy was turned on just a little bit by "Evil Willow". After "Get it Done" she recognized that it "wasn´t cool, it just hurt".
Angel tried to show Faith where her abuse of power will ultimately lead her in season 3. He suceeded, about a year later in Angel season 1. I think Willow has shown Kennedy exactly that in "Get it Done".

When Kennedy first arrived people started complaining that she was "little Miss Perfect" ("Mary Sue" is the term?). Well, wasn´t that exactly what Faith appeared to be when she first arrived? Stealing the show from Buffy, being everybody´s darling. Of course, in that very episode we saw that she was, in fact, not perfect, just like we have witnessed with Kennedy.

Besides that, Faith and Kennedy kinda look alike. "Tough but hot kick-ass brunette".

[> [> Re: Is Kennedy Faith 2.0? (Spoilers Buffy up to 7.15, Angel s1) -- Mystery, 11:56:33 02/19/03 Wed

Actually, I kind of think Kennedy looks a little more like Jenny Calendar. :-)

[> I see more Buffy than Faith in Kennedy (spoilers) -- Scroll, 12:36:57 02/19/03 Wed

Faith is more overtly sexual than Kennedy. I would even go so far as to say Kennedy's pushiness in regards to Willow to be more similar to early Buffy's pushiness with Angel.

Kennedy's drill-sergeant routine is more Buffy's style than Faith's. Kennedy has been taking her cue from Buffy. She trusts Buffy to be The Slayer, the one with the knowledge and experience. But when Buffy attacks Willow, Kennedy defends her new girlfriend.

OTOH, I do see Kennedy's enjoyment of power -- I won't say she craves power or loves it -- is similar to early Faith's. They just thought their powers were neat. Something fun to be used. They were naive and underestimated the responsibility that came with power. They didn't understand the drawbacks. After Finch, Faith went on to become evil. But after Willow sucked her dry, I think Kennedy is going to take a step back and really consider whether power is all that it's cracked up to be. After all, Kennedy herself said Willow was the most powerful one in their group -- and look what Willow did to her. No, I think Kennedy has learned something from "Get It Done" and will be toning down her attitude in the future.

[> [> Re: I see more Buffy than Faith in Kennedy (spoilers) -- DEN, 13:19:35 02/19/03 Wed

Kennedy was shaken by her experience, and Willow's matter-of-fact "it's what I do," to a point where I would not be surprised to see the 'ship cool or terminate.

[> [> [> All this is convincing me of the truth of my own belief -- KdS, 13:33:17 02/19/03 Wed

Willow doesn't need some pampered little upper-class girl who likes flirting with the Dark Side. She needs a real woman who knows what it's really like to succumb to your inner darkness and painfully claw your way out of it. Hint.

[> [> [> [> Stop it, KdS. You've got me drooling here.... (well-known slashfic/casting spoiler above) -- cjl, 13:47:35 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> I don't read slash/fic but Faith/Willow is drool worthy -- Dochawk, 21:04:12 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Which one? -- Shiraz, 13:48:53 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> We really do read the same slashfic, KdS! -- Masq, 13:57:18 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> I'd rather see some Faith/Gwen action myself...mmmm...Leather.... -- Majin Gojira, 14:44:48 02/19/03 Wed

"Get it Done": The Super-Evil Review -- Honorificus (The Pervy Wood AND Spike Fancier), 12:14:00 02/19/03 Wed

Mood: perky! Ooh, so much evilness this week. So much toothsome, gruesome evilness, along with a good dollop of emotional bloodletting. Plus, Wood. Robin, Robin, you and I simply must have a long weekend sometime very soon!

On to the review!

Fashion Statements
The Good

Loved all the pajamas, of course. Must bug Insignificant Alter-Ego into buying me more.

Buffy's right; Wood is one snappy dresser. And a cool and sexy vampire killer. Too bad about those prejudices, but the clothes more than make up for it.

Wood in casual clothes again. Now, can we please dispense with the shirt?

Dawn's "D" t-shirt. Beautiful color on her (brought out her eyes), and it really showed off her figure.

Kennedy again makes a correct fashion choice: that dark burgundy was absolutely perfect. She should wear it all the time. Loved the pants, too.

Spike, back in his leather duster. 'Bout time!

The Bad
Vi's clothes continue to appall. Matching bright orange and obnoxious pink only compounds the fashion tragedy.

Workout gear does nothing for me, particularly when it's on scrawny teenage bodies.

Willow's shirt was loathsome. About the only positive thing that can be said for it is that the color was good for Willow. Other than that, nothing.

Anya's sweater set was one even my Super-Prissy Alter-Ego's maternal unit would have turned her nose up at.

Strongly disapproved of all the denim jackets.

Buffy's entire ensemble. The denim jacket, the weird tiered skirt, and the boots all shouted either, "Thanks for the Country Music Award!" or, "Welcome to the '80s!" to me. Possibly both.

The Iffy
No iffy this week. We were stuck on either "bad" or "good".

Plot in a Nutshell
Wood gets introduced to the gang, leading to a pissing contest with Spike that was frankly yummy. The herd gets thinned a bit when one of the Potentials offs herself. This leads to more Buffy speechifying and then hurling herself headlong into a portal. This leads to Spike and Willow getting down with their dark sides to bring her back. A good time was had by all!

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
Loved the reference to Almighty Grothnar. A vengeance demon of Anya's era would certainly know his legend. For those of you who don't, allow me to enlighten you:

Grothnar kept herds of pigs near Babylon. One day, a neighboring herdsman, Ipthar, stole Grothnar's prize sow. Grothnar confronted his neighbor, asking for the return of his sow. Ipthar protested his innocence, saying the wolves must have dragged off the sow, but Grothnar knew better. He called upon the powers of darkness, and that night, the wolves came out of the hills and tore Ipthar and his entire family to pieces inside their house. The dark gods were so impressed that they elevated Grothnar to demonhood, and a few centuries later, after ruthlessly working his way down the Lowerarchy, Grothnar raised D'Hoffryn to demonhood and mentored him until D'Hoffryn finally murdered him in a glorious display of treachery. Isn't that an inspiring story?

Body Count
One mewling Potential

One hurking big demon

Wood vs. Spike. I had to take a blood bath to cool down after each one of their encounters. Please, I want more!

Kennedy playing sergeant major. I'd love her job, too, except for the sweatsuits.

Chloe hanging from the ceiling. Reminds me of the decorations at my last party.

Buffy ripping into everyone, especially Spike. Just satisfying, you know?

Willow going all black-eyed and sucking the life from her new girl-toy. Yes!

Spike getting his Bad on again. Just fun to watch. Loved the demon fight, with the leather coat and the vamp face and the attitude and the cigarette afterward. Ye unholy gods, I've missed the boy!

Wood fighting. Sexy!

The final scene of the Turok-han army. Really reminds me of the last party I threw.

Andrew. Please, please, somebody kill him!

More Buffy speechifying. Somebody tell the girl: less talk, more action, better clothes.

Can't decide if Buffy turning down the demon energy is good or bad. I mean, on one side, I'd love to see her become Super-Bad Buffy. On the other, turning down the energy might just get her killed, and there's no bad there.

Burning Questions
Where the hell was Giles? Not picking up more Potentials, I hope.

Why did Wood go back to the school?

How did the leather duster get from Buffy's house in "Seeing Red" to the basement of the school?

Is anybody in Sunnydale Getting Any? Spike turns Anya down, Kennedy sends Willow packing--where's the sex this season?

The Immoral of the Story
Knowledge isn't power. Power is power.

Overall Rating
This was a good 'un. I'll give it a full p/q over deep red on the Non Sequitur Scale. Only Giles could've improved it.

[> Re: "Get it Done": The Super-Evil Review -- Vyrus, 12:27:33 02/19/03 Wed

>Vi's clothes continue to appall. Matching bright orange and obnoxious pink only compounds the fashion tragedy.

It is indeed fortunate that vampires are attracted to bright colors.

>The dark gods were so impressed that they elevated Grothnar to demonhood, and a few centuries later, after ruthlessly working his way down the Lowerarchy, Grothnar raised D'Hoffryn to demonhood and mentored him until D'Hoffryn finally murdered him in a glorious display of treachery. Isn't that an inspiring story?

Sniff...it's just like me and my dad...

>Wood vs. Spike. I had to take a blood bath to cool down after each one of their encounters.

You really ought to cut down. Why do you think the Master had such skin problems?

>The final scene of the Turok-han army. Really reminds me of the last party I threw.

As I recall, one of them ripped my head off while I was tapping the keg. Thank Hell you had all that packing tape.

>Knowledge isn't power. Power is power.

Yes, but I can never remember where the money and the women fit in.

[> [> Re: "Get it Done": The Super-Evil Review -- Honorificus (The Hostess With The Mostest), 13:39:53 02/19/03 Wed

>Vi's clothes continue to appall. Matching bright orange and obnoxious pink only compounds the fashion tragedy.

It is indeed fortunate that vampires are attracted to bright colors.

Would that it were so. Unfortunately, that's just an old succubi's tale. However, she does make herself a moving target for the Bringers. Even *they* could see that getup.

>The dark gods were so impressed that they elevated Grothnar to demonhood, and a few centuries later, after ruthlessly working his way down the Lowerarchy, Grothnar raised D'Hoffryn to demonhood and mentored him until D'Hoffryn finally murdered him in a glorious display of treachery. Isn't that an inspiring story?

Sniff...it's just like me and my dad...

Yeah, I kinda miss the old demon lord. What hell did you put him in, anyway?

>Wood vs. Spike. I had to take a blood bath to cool down after each one of their encounters.

You really ought to cut down. Why do you think the Master had such skin problems?

I know, I know, but I couldn't help it. Maybe continued exposure will lessen the impact. Hm. Must go watch their scenes again.

>The final scene of the Turok-han army. Really reminds me of the last party I threw.

As I recall, one of them ripped my head off while I was tapping the keg. Thank Hell you had all that packing tape.

Hee! That was quite the soiree, wasn't it? Good thing we can laugh about it now--well, at least, I can laugh about it now. Come now, you've got to admit the spontaneous game of "volley-head" that erupted was quite fun, especially with your headless body scrambling around, trying to retrieve your head. Sophomorica was in stitches. Took me two days to get all those knots untied.

>Knowledge isn't power. Power is power.

Yes, but I can never remember where the money and the women fit in.

Anywhere you can fit them, my dear fiend, anywhere you can fit them.

[> [> [> Re: "Get it Done": The Super-Evil Review -- Vyrus (the Guestest with the Bestest), 14:46:48 02/19/03 Wed

Yeah, I kinda miss the old demon lord. What hell did you put him in, anyway?

You know those little bottles that Starbucks Frappucinos come in? Sixty-three of those.

I learned my lesson there: Promises to beat someone to a bloody pulp shouldn't be meant literally.

>As I recall, one of them ripped my head off while I was tapping the keg. Thank Hell you had all that packing tape.

Hee! That was quite the soiree, wasn't it? Good thing we can laugh about it now--well, at least, I can laugh about it now.

I might laugh about it too, if my vocal cords were all still attached properly and my laughter didn't consistently attract libidinous male Howler demons.

Come now, you've got to admit the spontaneous game of "volley-head" that erupted was quite fun, especially with your headless body scrambling around, trying to retrieve your head.

Which I might never have managed if my head hadn't bitten Orgoth the Putrid's wrist and held on until I came for it. It took a gallon of Listerine to get THAT taste out of my mouth.

I had a wonderful time, nonetheless. Your hors d'oeuvres are the squirmiest I've ever had, and your friend Ghidrina is a wonderful conversationalist -- especially the left and middle heads.

[> Fashion flashback -- ponygoyle, 12:41:47 02/19/03 Wed

Wasn't it thoughtful of the First to appear, not as Chloe in cute pjs, but with that t-shirt that we all loved so well? One last taste of fashion horror to send Chloe off to the grave. The First shows no fashion mercy even in death!

[> Re: "Get it Done": The Super-Evil Review -- not neaux, 12:50:49 02/19/03 Wed

Hey.. nothing to say about Andrew's Kitchen mitts??

[> Humbly Seeking Enlightenment -- Whipwoman, 13:03:41 02/19/03 Wed

Well, not really. Just a question--was it my reception or was that shirt Wood had on in Buffy's office pink? MMMMmmmm, yummy.


[> Answers to burning questions. -- Saguaro Stalker, 13:10:06 02/19/03 Wed

Where the hell was Giles? Not picking up more Potentials, I hope.- Actually, I think he was at the local Home Depot finding out how to do-it-yourself the Summer's basement into Sunnydale's largest and highest capacity 'powder' room. Too many potentials getting are picked off on the hike to the gas station.

Why did Wood go back to the school? - He wanted to borrow Spike's jacket? He left his favorite earring in Buffy's office? I could suggest something else, but one bathroom joke a week is enough.

How did the leather duster get from Buffy's house in "Seeing Red" to the basement of the school? Someone kipnapped it to use in a diabolic sacrifice to raise a jacket from hell for the next Turok-Han.

Is anybody in Sunnydale Getting Any? Spike turns Anya down, Kennedy sends Willow packing--where's the sex this season?
- I think that's the First's evil plan, to drive all the sex out of Sunnydale. Which is why Cordy went nuts in L.A. and why the demon flew up Buffy's skirt in ancient-Swahili-land. There's just not enough space in the the rest of the Buffyverse to contain all that energy.

[> [> Re: Answers to burning questions. -- luna, 18:27:50 02/19/03 Wed

Someone kipnapped it to use in a diabolic sacrifice to raise a jacket from hell for the next Turok-Han.

Already had one in Him (though guy wearing it didn't LOOK like a Turok-Han at the time).

[> "Get it Done": The Evil Interior Design Review -- Pushy Queen of Slut Town, 19:34:53 02/19/03 Wed

Honorificus, you've stuck the heart again! Fantastic review. So sorry I missed your review last week. My alter ego has devised a new torture for me. He's actually paying someone called a "personal trainer" to inflict massive amounts of pain on us four nights a week. Normally, I enjoy torture, but its rare that I'm on the receiving end of the fun. Grr. Just let me get my hands on that musclebound meathead.

Minor point to add to the Demonic quibbles. The essense and heart of the demon should have been, from my experience, not so much misty snake and more like smoky centipede. It crawls through the air with a million fanged arms that lock on to you like a bulldog's bite. What kind of wimpy lesser demon did they extract that essense from? Probably just someone's minion.

And did anyone else think that the "demon" that entered into Sunnydale wasn't a demon at all, but rather a fictional Oruk-Hai from that wretched "Lord of the Rings" movie?

Now on the the decor.

The cave of the shadow men. The spiraling floor pattern and rhythmic tribal drums were very Tim Burton/Danny Elfman. Just add a tuba and the effect would have been complete. Always wanted to theme a room in my own cave like that, complete with slayer girl chained to the floor. It was minimalist without that annoying white and metallic scuplture.

The dimension beyond the Seal of Danzathar. So many Turak-han heaving and feeling the lust of war. Catch me, I may swoon. Why bother with the fancier devices of torture and composition when so much sheer chaos is simmering just below the boiling point.

The Summers home. As usual. Why, I'll bet that the Carpenter even repairs the nifty new hole between levels. It would be a lot more interesting if they left it open and installed a fireman's pole for quick access. Then the wanna-be-slayers could take turns shouting "to the batcave, Vi!" and sliding down the pole.

Also, showing Buffy's cursed taste in lair flair once again, she cut down the most interesting piece of furniture ever found in the Summers home. Why, I decorate all my best dungeon cells with the dangling corpse of suicide victim.

** Since I was unavailable last week, I do want to add that Principal Wood's bathroom was positively atrocious. How would anyone be able to reguritate their young in a room so clean and... blue? Even by Buffy standards (the lowest of the low) the room was unappealing and just screamed "B-A-C-H-E-L-O-R"

The Iffy
The Summers back yard. On one hand, it's very green and filled with wanna-be-army-brats. On the other hand, it has two unmarked fresh graves. Buffy's speechifying gave me hope that she might actually get more slayerettes to off themselves and populate that backyard with the dead. I fail to understand, however, why she buried the bodies at all? Was it to rot the meat faster? With so very many mouths to feed in that house off Xander and Buffy's combined salaries, they surely wouldn't let that much meat go to waste.

Sex and Pain
I retract what I said earlier about Kennedy being almost do-able. If she was turned off by a little life-force sucking, than she's too sqeamish for my taste.

Hopefully Spike's soul-colonic demon killing will restore his libido. Then he and Anya can revisit that interesting discussion on bones.

Somebody, please, sleep with someone else. I'm willing to take anything here. Let Andrew get boinked by the Chinese slayerette (just think of all the weeping that could cause - she believes she's a mail-order bride, he realizes she's not Warren...). And when I say sleep with someone, not in that cuddly puppy slayers piled on top of each other way. Someone was recently going off about how they missed the puppy cuddling of old BtVS days. Well, you've got your dog-piles in the pound. Happy now?

The aforementioned dimension beyond the Seal of Danzathar. Now, that's what I'm talking about. It's orgy time.

We, the Pushy Queen of Slut Town, Heir to Reign of Anal Beads and Whipping Cream (means something else entirely in my dimension), do hereby declare Spike's Duster an inter-dimensional heirloom and historic aphrodisiac. Ripped from the back of a dead slayer and posessing more mojo than that twerp Austin Powers could ever dream of, we hereby recognize it as a symbol for pain, violence and sex in all colonized dimensions which do homage to us.

[> [> As usual, PQ, you hit the heart and rip it right out. -- Honorificus (The Sweet, Yet Not Sticky One), 20:14:42 02/19/03 Wed

So much evilness in your review! Among the highlights:

I, too, want a room like the shadowmen's, complete with a girl chained to the floor. Or a very well-built man, whichever. Must speak with my interior decorater about that.

Also, showing Buffy's cursed taste in lair flair once again, she cut down the most interesting piece of furniture ever found in the Summers home.

I know! The girl simply has no sense of style. Besides, if she really was wanting to impress upon the other girls what would happen if they listen to the First, one would think that would've been quite the object lesson.

As for the burial, most modern humans have this odd prejudice against cannibalism. Considering how frequently they kill each other off, one would think it's rather a wasteful eccentricity. Ah, well. Leaves more for the rest of us.

I retract what I said earlier about Kennedy being almost do-able. If she was turned off by a little life-force sucking, than she's too sqeamish for my taste.

Again, I'm completely with you. I, for one, won't countenance a lover who won't let me do at least a little brain-sucking. These silly humans just don't know what they're missing.

Somebody needs to have sex fast in Sunnydale. All that hormonal energy is only feeding the Hellmouth and leading up to the destruction of the Earth, which I don't want. The destruction of humanity is just fine (though that would deprive one of some fine snacks and slaves), but Earth could be made livable were it returned to its chaotic state. Those were the good old days.

Thank you, darling. I do hope your alter-ego decides to give up on his New Year's Resolution and ditch the meathead.

[> I ask, and she giveth. Truly Honorificus is good to her minions -- Helen, 00:57:22 02/20/03 Thu

Your super nice alter ego told me not to grovel to you, but she is tainted with humanity and not to be listened to.

[> LOL @ 'really showed off her figure' -- CaptainPugwash, 07:55:35 02/20/03 Thu

Thank whoever that yer a woman (?); the male equivalent of that would been lots of drooling noises...

Yeah yeah - spare me the lecture etc. However, if I shouldn't be lusting after MT, then don't make her wear a baby tee and tight fitting black trousers?!

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