February 2003 posts

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question about anyanka and vengence demons? -- ??????, 14:48:47 02/19/03 Wed

just wondering, you know that anya and halfrek are vengence demons, but what i want to know is what do they get out of vengence. do they get paid or rewarded some how (maybe through d'hoffryn?), i'm just curious.....

[> Wasn't there some comment about benefit plans a while back? -- BD23, 15:13:52 02/19/03 Wed

I can't tell you the ep, but I swear Anya had some comment about the payment options of being a vengeance demon. Aargh. Now I'll have to search it out.

[> [> Re: Wasn't there some comment about benefit plans a while back? -- KKC, 18:42:52 02/19/03 Wed

That would have been the 'Workers are the tools that shape society' comment that Anya made at the beginning of the episode 'Doublemeat Palace' in season six. She was comparing her life as a well-compensated demon to the lives of the Andrew, Warren, and Jonathan, who at the time wanted to amass wealth and power without the necessary preparation and labor. Just goes to show that you can be an evil demon and still have a work ethic. Just ask Christopher Walken. :)

-KKC, who wonders if Hollywood directors have some kind of supervillain speed dial feature on their phone, listing every creepy and off-kilter actor known to man.

[> Re: question about anyanka and vengence demons? -- Slainey, 16:54:03 02/19/03 Wed

All the way in the Wish it sounded like Anya's reward was the chaos she caused. Plus there's that whole living forever and wearing nice (if entrail covered) clothing.

[> Don't forget the Pleasure & Power she got! -- WickedBuffy, 19:47:17 02/19/03 Wed

S7 and sequel/spinoff? (MAJOR casting spoilers) -- DEN, 15:17:58 02/19/03 Wed

Am I losing it, or di I see the structure of a possibile sequel/sponoff emerging from the second half of s7. It would be based on using Sunnydale, and casa Summers, as the base for an advanced slayer training center. Faith is the Slayer; Dawn (and her newly acquired gifts in research) provides the brains; Andrew is the housekeeper and butt-monkey. Three or four at a time of the most promising slayers in waiting rotate through to hone their skills.

If s7 follows its own logic, the Hellmouth will be closed, and the danger in Sunnydale reduced to an acceptable point. Buffy and Giles become responsible for reconstituting the watcher/slayer network, with an occasional guest appearance. Whatever happens to the series next year, it's difficult to see AH, NB, or JM wanting to stay on. We know EC is leaving. All four can be given suitable sendoffs to clear the deck for the new team (Willow should be allowed to pursue grad study at Harvard indefinitely!)But if Rob is right, ED has signed with ME and might find a series like this one attractive. Andrew and Dawn are already working into their projected roles as Wiilow and Xander faade out. The crop of SiTs offers ample opportunity to screen prospects for talent, compatibility, and availability, as well as see whether one or two of the girls manages to develop an identity and a following (Amanda is a good prospect for a regular job.)Principal Wood might even remain as an adult figure/watcher substitute. Or that role could be recast: high school will be even more central to this series than to BtVS 1-3.

BtVS this ain't. It 's a teen show--"Scooby-Doo" without the dog, "Josie and the Pussycats" without the music. But it's still better than three fourths of its counterparts on UPN, and just the kind of low-risk concept to catch the eye of a newwork suit.A midseason replacement with a two year run seems wicked plausible. Or do I need my meds checked?

[> Never hurts to check those chem levels... -- BD23, 16:17:31 02/19/03 Wed

My favorite mix is Amanda as the Slayer, Dawn in Willow's role, Wood as the Watcher Figure w/ Willow making occasional visits for Witchy stuff. That grouping seems to have some chemistry. I would give them a chance.

SMG is out along with the rest of the Scoobies. I can't imagine the network would want to spin without JM given his popularity, but I don't really see a place for him w/out Buffy since the writers haven't allowed him to bond with any other characters this season.

I hope the core characters all end happy. I'm not in the mood for tragedy. Buffy/Spike/Giles/Anya can go off to England to rebuild a more female-friendly Council. Willow stays at school to give the necessary Wicca advice. Xander transfers with his work to a new town and Andrew opens a comic book store downtown. No death. No destruction. Everyone a happy.

[> [> Maybe *I'm* on drugs -- PepTech, 17:09:51 02/19/03 Wed

But anything involving Amanda is going to have me running screaming for the hills.

The only SiT that hasn't fully annoyed me yet is Chao-Ahn. Kennedy has the chance to grow on me. The rest are chum.

I *still* want to know how the SG is supposedly feeding all these girls.

[> [> Re: Never hurts to check those chem levels... -- Alison, 21:14:24 02/19/03 Wed

Spike could work out..after all, Wes never bonded with anyone...and he ended up on Angel.

*Reposted* Two Types of Power (Buffy 7.15 Spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:53:55 02/19/03 Wed

*I originally posted this on Tuesday night, but given the rapid archiving that was going on at the time, I hope it doesn't seem to hubristic to want to post it again, in hopes that it might get more response*

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

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

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

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

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

And, on an unrelated note, LOVED THE EPISODE!

[> Oh, um, is "hubristic" a real word? -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:02:31 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> If it isn't, it should be... :) *nt* -- Corwin of Amber, 22:29:17 02/19/03 Wed

[> [> Yep- and good post -- Tchaikovsky, 02:47:44 02/20/03 Thu

[> Re: *Reposted* Two Types of Power (Buffy 7.15 Spoilers) -- Traveler, 04:31:21 02/20/03 Thu

I agree that using the power of others seems to be morally ambigious so far this season, but I don't think that lets our heros off the hook. Buffy, Spike, and the potential slayers all derive their powers from demonic sources. Ironically, Dawn and Xander have more "self-power" than Buffy.

[> [> While their power is "rooted in darkness", to quote Dracula -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:56:37 02/20/03 Thu

The power is their own. Spike gets his strength from his demon side, but the demon isn't something other than him. He is just as much the demon as he is the soul. As for Buffy and the Potentials, their power also comes from dark sources. But it is their own self-power. Buffy can't stop being the Slayer. As Masq has pointed out on her site, there is no indication that Slayer powers can be removed; they can merely be dampened. The same goes for the Potential Slayers. The fact that their power, while dark, cannot be removed indicates it is self-power. After all, presumably the Potential Slayers have had Slayer potential since birth, and this includes Buffy. The power of the Slayer has been inside them all of this time; it's a part of them. Now, could power "rooted in darkness" be dangerous and have bad consequences? Sure thing. But since it is their own power, and not someone else's, I don't really think they have a "hook" to be let off of. The power belongs to them, and they couldn't get rid of it, even if they wanted to.

Come to think of it, all this talk about power being integral to the nature of Slayers and Potentials reminded me of Willow. As Giles said about her and magic, "It's not a hobby or addiction anymore. It's a part of you." Willow wanted to give up her magic, her power, but couldn't. It had gone beyond being something she tapped into, something powerful she used for her own ends. The magical energy became infused into her, to the point where Willow and the magic can't be seperated.

Which leads to the inevitable question: which is the true theme of this season? "Back to the beginning" or "It's all about power"?

[> Hmmm...perhaps, noncorporeal? -- Sophomorica, chewing on her dictionary, 08:49:40 02/20/03 Thu

Why no power of light? *late night ramble* -- Corwin of Amber, 22:42:05 02/19/03 Wed

Why does it seem that in the Buffyverse, ALL power is rooted in darkness? Invariably, all magic beyond that required to float a pencil calls upon dark forces. The only "white witch" we've seen is Tara, and look what it got her. Several times, the "balance" between good and evil has been mentioned, yet there doesn't seem to be much balance at all. There doesn't seem to be any Buffyverse equivalent of an angel to counter all the demons we've seen. The Powers That Be don't seem very powerful at all, and seem to be weasels anyways. Skip looks like something Buffy should put her sword through immediately. Heck, all the agents of the PTB seem to be demons with a conscience. The Slayers power is rooted in demonic magic. Buffy says that you can't fight evil with evil...but that seems to be the only way to in the Buffyverse, given that there doesn't seem to be any supernatural force of goodness and light at all.

[> Re: Why no power of light? *late night ramble* -- Quentin Collins, 00:14:17 02/20/03 Thu

I would suspect that Joss Whedon's atheistic views are perhaps one factor here. It may be that good in the Buffyverse did not truly emerge until human beings replaced the demons on the earth.

[> [> Re: Why no power of light? *late night ramble* -- Rhys, 05:29:40 02/20/03 Thu

There are probably several reasons why Joss Whedon doesn't draw on the power of good as a source of magic and power:

1) For the purpose of drama, God is a lousy part.

All right, yes--Glory was a god, and the actress and the writers managed to make the hellgod persona interesting. On the other hand, Glory was an insane, sadistic, vicious, manipulative trull who was willing to destroy a world to go back to a hell dimension she had been thrown out of in the first place. Definitely not a force for good.

A perfect being, though, is hard to depict as interesting. Perhaps that's because people can relate more to flawed beings than to perfect ones. Authors and playwrights and screenwriters have tried frequently to depict God, a god, or gods/goddesses...but the concept doesn't always translate well.

2) Some religions regard the depiction of a god or a religious figure as blasphemy.

Hinduism, for instance. A large group of Hindus rose up in arms when the god Krishna was depicted on a "Xena" episode in which Xena was fighting to save the life of her lover, Gabrielle. The Hindus felt that Krishna was being equated with the Greek and Roman gods (i.e., not real), that he was being treated irreverently (Xena summoned Krishna through a ritual, I believe) and that his teachings were being violated (the sacred writings of Hinduism speak out VERY strongly against homosexuality, so the Hindus felt that Krishna would never help Xena save the life of her lesbian lover).

Islam, too, presents a problem--one that came up in the filming of the 1977 movie "Mohammad, Messenger of God." According to Islamic law, believers are absolutely forbidden to look at "graven images" of the Deity or His prophet. This meant that the movie about Mohammad couldn't show Mohammad in a single scene. Moreover, tradition demands that Mohammad's seven wives, his daughters and his sons-in-law also be treated as sacred--which meant that these people couldn't appear in the movie either.

Orthodox Jews, too, cannot look upon "graven images" of the Deity they worship. And think of how the fundamentalist Christians in the Bible Belt would react if Joss Whedon stated that Jesus Christ was the source of all good magical power in the world.

See the problem? Existing religious beliefs, attitudes and traditions make it hard to depict any god as a source of good magic--and one thing Joss does NOT want to do is to alienate viewers.

3) Many viewers believe that ALL magic is dark/demonic in origin, and wouldn't accept being told that the PTB could be a source of benign magic because in their view, all magic is potentially dangerous or malevolent.

4) Most people are not eager to be "preached to."

This is the problem with depicting a benign and perfect god/goddess as the source of all goodness. Now, granted, there have been shows on TV before with angels as the main focus, but in those cases the focus was supposed to be the angel or angels, not a mortal woman who slays vampires, so any preaching might have been expected. With Buffy, though, some viewers might see this as preaching or proselytizing, and might resent its intrusion into an occult show. Others might see Joss as preaching a false belief and become angered that he would have the temerity to do so.

5) The mythos of the Buffyverse has never focused much on forces of good.

In the mythos of the Buffyverse, the world was never a paradise and started out as being a hell of demons. The demons were eventually kicked out by mortals. When the demons found a way to merge with human corpses, thus creating vampires, the humans found a way to merge a demon with a living human and create a Slayer. That is the way the whole series has gone--humans vs. demons, evil magic, monsters, etc. While it is stated that Slayers are warriors of good, the power of good doesn't seem to take a direct hand in things as a rule.

So, due to the rules of drama and fiction, the beliefs and traditions of various religions, a perception by some viewers that all magic is evil in origin, viewer reluctance to be preached to and the power of good's relative lack of direct action within the Buffyverse, it is unlikely that Joss would show the power of light on the series.

[> [> [> good points - also traditional authority figures don't tend to do well in the Buffyverse... -- zantique, 07:12:38 02/20/03 Thu

Cops, parents, school principals, Watchers Councils - are all either absent, ineffectual or killed off

and the way God is depicted in much of Western Christianity (and others) is primarily as authority figure

also since BtVS is basically a heroic epic - the hero needs to be the highest force of good - no room for God

[> [> [> Re: Why no power of light? *late night ramble* -- Corwin of Amber, 08:04:18 02/20/03 Thu

>1) For the purpose of drama, God is a lousy part.

Reluctant agreement...

>A perfect being, though, is hard to depict as interesting.

You don't HAVE to depict a PERFECT being, just one who isn't interested in ripping mortals heads off. Give him all the flaws you need to make him interesting.

>2) Some religions regard the depiction of a god or a religious figure as blasphemy.

So use a fictional deity...they do it with evil ones all the time.

>3) Many viewers believe that ALL magic is dark/demonic in origin, and wouldn't accept being told that the PTB could be a source of benign magic because in their view, all magic is potentially dangerous or malevolent.

A good point. And that may well be a natural law of the buffyverse. Look at Buffy's general refusal to use magic...I'm thinking of the scene in Restless where Tara holds out Tarot cards with the Scoobies depicted on them and Buffy replies, "Oh, I'll never use those..."

>4) Most people are not eager to be "preached to."

Complete agreement here.

>5) The mythos of the Buffyverse has never focused much on forces of good.

Which in my view makes the Buffyverse kind of unworkable. If evil/darkness has had so much power since the beginning, how the heck did good get started in the first place? Was there a sort of "fall from darkness" by one of the Dark Forces? The way the mythos seems constructed...that scene of the Turok-Han army was the earth in the beginning.

I do agree that depicting a traditional angel in the series would probably do more harm than good at this point. But then, they have no problem with depicting traditional vampires and demons. I'm just speculating on the structure of the Buffyverse.

[> [> [> [> about The First Rebel -- WickedBuffy, 10:47:11 02/20/03 Thu

"If evil/darkness has had so much power since the beginning, how the heck did good get started in the first place? Was there a sort of "fall from darkness" by one of the Dark Forces?"

My theory is it was some kind of reverse situation of the Christian story about how Satan came into being. ME says demons were first. Christianity says goodness was first. But an angel disagreed with God and was thrown out and that started the whole evil idea. In Buffyverse, evil was first - so perhaps some demon disagreed with the Head Evil and was cast out - and that's when "good" was started.

Good came from evil or evil came from good.

(Just my theory, in a nutshell based on ME stuff - I'm not as well-versed in other religions so that's the one I use for my idea. Are there other parallels in other belief systems that can be reversed to fit Buffyverse?)

ps just realized the breakoffs were related in some ways to POWER.

[> [> [> [> [> Tiamat Vs Marduk -- Cern, 11:56:55 02/20/03 Thu

In Sumerian myth, Tiamat, representing Chaos, gave birth to the Gods, including Marduk, representing order. Marduk eventually slew Tiamat and created the Earth from her corpse.

then you have the Titans aginst the Olympian Gods also.

just off the top of my head.

[> [> [> [> [> [> As well as. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:20:29 02/20/03 Thu

The Giants from Nordic mythology, who predated the gods and ruled for many years before the Aesir killed their leader (Ymir) and banished them to Jotnuheim.

Then there is Egyptian mythology, where the primordial world was covered in the chaotic waters of Nun, which was home to the Chaos Serpents.

Then there is an ancient Arabic story I once heard about how, before mankind was created, the Djinn reigned. However, with the rise of humanity, they were kicked off their high horse and were either killed, banished, or enslaved by mankind (notice how rarely Djinn in the "Arabian Nights" are truly free, rather they are often contained or enslaved by humans).

There is also a slightly similar Chinese myth about the universe originally being a little, orderless bundle until the Deity in question split it up (like how the demons originally ruling the earth were split off into demon dimensions, sorta).

There are also a number of American Aboriginal myths regarding the world beginning in a chaotic state, what with water covering the earth or there being no light for anyone to see by.

As a matter of fact, most religions and mythologies I've encountered rarely believe that good was the beginning of everything. The predominant belief seems to be that the world began in Chaos until a transformation occured. In fact, if you look at the book of Genesis, it mentions Yahweh existing, as well as a watery vastness he seperated to make room for the world. However, it doesn't mention where Yahweh came from, or where the watery vastness came from. So Yahweh may have risen from the water originally (although that is not the most popular belief currently).

So, ME saying that demons originally controlled the earth actually fits into the creation archetype of myths around the world.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you both! That was quite enlightening. :> -- WickedBuffy (love those creation tales!), 15:04:13 02/20/03 Thu

[> PTBs on Buffy? -- Gyrus, 07:50:21 02/20/03 Thu

Doesn't it seem odd that the Powers That Be are talked about all the time on ANGEL, but have never even been mentioned on BTVS? One gets the impression that the PTBs were invented by the ANGEL writers, but the BTVS writers would rather not have Buffy be answerable to that kind of higher authority, so they just ignore the PTB concept.

[> [> Different universes in BtVS & AtS (no spoilers) -- Robert, 08:12:12 02/20/03 Thu

>>> Doesn't it seem odd that the Powers That Be are talked about all the time on ANGEL, but have never even been mentioned on BTVS?

Not to me. It has been my argument for some time now that the universes are different between AtS and BtVS. From AtS' very beginning the universes began to drift apart. After the big move of BtVS from WB to UPN, the drift rate seemed to increase greatly.

>>> One gets the impression that the PTBs were invented by the ANGEL writers, but the BTVS writers would rather not have Buffy be answerable to that kind of higher authority, so they just ignore the PTB concept.

Since I am convinced that Joss Whedon is firmly in charge of both shows, I don't think this is the case. Rather, I believe that Joss intentionally created a different setting and universe for AtS, because he wanted it to be a different show, not merely a clone of BtVS.

The lack of Powers-That-Be in the BtVS universe is one piece of evidence in support of my theory. The nature of good and evil is also different, as are the character and behavior of the demons.

[> [> [> The PTB's are in Sunnydale, they've just always been more interested in Angel -- Masq, 09:43:52 02/20/03 Thu

Buffy was chosen by the magicks put into effect by the Shadowmen way back in the mists of time. She had the current incarnation of those men, the Watchers, to guide her. She had the certainty that comes with a sacred calling to constantly remind her of her duty, and if she forgot, she had Giles.

Buffy never really needed help from on high. Angel, on the other hand, has no birthright like Buffy does. He was an evil monster for a century and a half. And as a souled vampire, he had no one like Giles to guide him towards a better life.

So the Powers that Be, who knew they could leave Buffy to her own resources, set their sites on a vampire with a soul who needed some help to reach his full potential. They sent Whistler to him to bring him out of the alleyway in 1996 in "Becoming". They brought him back of hell after Buffy had to send him there in "Faith, Hope and Trick". It wasn't the First Evil. The First Evil took credit, but Angel was brought back for a purpose, to do Good. The PTB's sent the snow in "Amends" to tell Angel he had a purpose and that he should chose not to die.

Of course, the metaphors on BtVS and AtS are different. The moods of the shows, the energy. But the metaphysics of both shows is the same. I know, I wade around in this metaphysics up to my chin. They are in the same universe. They are two hours away by freeway. When characters make crossovers, they aren't entering an alterno-world.

[> [> [> [> Re: The PTB's are in Sunnydale, they've just always been more interested in Angel -- maddog, 10:09:38 02/20/03 Thu

Speaking of the watchers council...did anyone else see the parallel between her meeting with the Shadowmen and when the watcher's council came to "see if she was fit for the info on Glory". Because it seemed like they held the power...and then she turned the tables on them and told them what was what. She in essence took control from what was supposed to be her superiors.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: council of watchers (Spoilers for Get It Done and Fray) -- Robert, 11:50:48 02/20/03 Thu

>>> Speaking of the watchers council...did anyone else see the parallel between her meeting with the Shadowmen ...

If the text in the comic book Fray is accepted as canon, then the council of watchers evolved out of the original shamen who created the first slayer. Thus, Buffy turning the table of power on the shamen is a retelling of what she did in the episode Checkpoint.

After this latest episode of BtVS, I would find it very difficult to accept the argument that Fray isn't (or shouldn't be) a part of the BtVS canon. Get It Done corroborated (without any contradictions) several points made in (I believe) issue 2 of Fray.

[> [> [> [> Or... -- Darby, 10:59:59 02/20/03 Thu

Jane Espenson says in her commentary on "Rm w/ a Vu" that the universes have diverged more and more since the shows split.

Of course, this is all predicated on the Powers being what they say they are...

[> [> [> [> Re: The PTB's are in Sunnydale ... -- Robert, 12:59:31 02/20/03 Thu

This issue of same verses separate universes may be one of the aspects of BtVS and AtS which cannot be definitively answered just with the evidence we have. It helps my enjoyment of the shows if I consider them separate. I will attempt to support my position.

I agree with your argument that the nature of BtVS verses AtS is such that the Powers-That-Be are just not necessary in telling Buffy's story. And, I can accept that the PTB do exist in the BtVS universe, but have not yet been revealed or mentioned (in 6-1/2 seasons). However, I believe that to consider the BtVS and AtS shows as existing in the same universe will lead to questions which cannot reasonably be answered.

The obvious example ; Why haven't Buffy, or anyone else in the gang, mentioned the rain of fire or the blockage of the sun in Los Angeles? We have fairly conclusive evidence that the country knows about the blocked sun. This would be a huge factor relating to Buffy's current situation. It cannot be reasonably left unexplored.

More importantly, how can we reconcile to two separate oncoming armageddons?
(a) the First Evil destroying the slayer line and releasing the horde of turok-Han vampires,
(b) the demon, the destruction of Wolfram & Hart, the general slaughter of the population of LA.
Both events are way too big to be treated as separate incidents in the same universe, separated by a mere 100-200 miles, with never a mention of each other.

If, on the other hand, they are the same armageddon, this might be reconciled. But, can they be the same armageddon? It still doesn't answer the question of why Buffy seemingly takes no notice of such monumental events occuring nearby.

>>> When characters make crossovers, they aren't entering an alterno-world.

So true! However the divergence of the two universes didn't really become an issue until after BtVS moved from the WB to UPN. There haven't been any crossovers since then. As Rob pointed out to be a couple weeks ago, we apparently are going to have some very substantial crossovers in a few weeks. This would of course kill my argument here.

Frankly, even with the impending cessation of BtVS and, possibly, AtS, I am still surprised that the WB would agree to any crossing over. There would be no practical way to ensure the linked episodes in BtVS and AtS play at the proper times and in the proper order. It could end up being a mess, and it will certainly cause much discussion and argument about how all this can be reconciled.

>>> The First Evil took credit, but Angel was brought back for a purpose, to do Good.

I cannot agree with this, only because I don't believe we have been given any corroboration for such a position. I have no doubt that the First Evil is capable lying, and willing to do so for its own advantage. However, the First Evil is also quite capable to telling the literal truth, especially for its own advantage.

An argument might be made that the First Evil, by itself, is not capable of such as act as returning Angel from a hell dimension. I am willing to accept this. So far, we have never seen the First Evil do anything but talk other people or demons into doing the First Evil's bidding. The Bringers, or some other follower, might have performed the act.

You raise a very valid point about Angel doing good, since his return from the hell dimension. I would certainly doubt that the First Evil would return Angel for the good of humanity. However, we know the First Evil attempted to subvert Angel in Amends into killing Buffy (possible de-stabilizing the slayer line) or, barring that, killing himself. The second option might be thought of as a fail-safe auto-destruct scenario.

>>> The PTB's sent the snow in "Amends" to tell Angel he had a purpose and that he should chose not to die.

The second option was disrupted by a snow storm caused by the unnamed Powers-That-Be, or caused by the sudden absence of the First Evil, or simply by a random freak weather system. And yes, such freak weather events do happen, even in California. I've witnessed a couple. Angel could have been brought back to do evil, but ended up doing good instead. Even if the snow storm was a deliberate act, it need not have been the Powers-That-Be of AtS that caused it.

[> [> Powers That Be ...What? -- WickedBuffy, 12:10:35 02/20/03 Thu

[> Re: Why no power of light? *late night ramble* -- maddog, 09:01:15 02/20/03 Thu

I'm not quite sure what you mean by an equivalent of Angel. Angel's Buffy's equivalent on his show. They've both got demonic power in them. They're both the "champions" of their "worlds" (even if Sunnydale and LA aren't that far apart). This show is saying that the majority of the powerful is rooted in evil. But maybe that's a setup. Maybe it'll take what Joss's universe considers good power to win...I have NO clue what that is...but still....

[> R PTB's Good?? & Perhaps Good comes from within? -- cjc36, 09:26:29 02/20/03 Thu

"The Powers that Be...." Doesn't actually say anything about whether the "Powers" in question are really good or bad or some sort of bemused entity just out for kicks at us mortal-coil-types expense.


Maybe Joss's point in giving Buffy/The Slayers a 'demon' basis in power is that her human self must choose - us mortals have the good already in us (well, the potential for it, anyway). It is perhaps more poignant when one chooses to be good when there is actually no Goody-goody Principality backing us up.

Just a thought.

[> The Incredible Lightness of (Human) Being(s) -- WickedBuffy, 11:15:26 02/20/03 Thu

warning: speculation and my opinions based on watching the shows... (may have a spoiler for Lie To Me at the very very end)

Why no Power of Light? Maybe because it seems in human nature, we prefer to say we all have goodness in us.... but bad is over there. Separate. Which seems to follow the plot threads that seem to point to everyone being able to admit that good is in them, and evil is also - evil isn't a separate entity. It's all about your free will and the decisions you make. (Must mention Clem here - here's a nice, good demon. Why is he like that? To show us that sometimes what appears evil and even named evil - isn't. Don't stereotype evil?)

But ME has taken that idea and run with it. Made evil into separate entities like demons and monsters. It very clearly illustrates how we sometimes think evil is separate from us and that we fight it outside ourselves. But that good is already in us, we (majority of us) claim we have good in us.

If we claim it and recognize it, then we can really "fight" it with our decisions. Consciously. But we have to know ourselves first, and claim it. Some people have a harder challenge (Willow), others perhaps not so hard (Xander). Seems random. (No even getting into karma here, heh). And its is NOT simple or easy to describe. It's like trying to nail jello to the wall. (Look at all the posts just tryng to describe why we can't describe "evil". There's no unanymous result.)

umm, did I make sense there? (not evough java yet).

BtVS and Angel seem to be the same universe with some differences in philosophies. Or maybe the exact same universe, but the metaphors shown are illustrated in different ways, different forms.

BtVS seems to be at one end of the spectrum showing the balance (evil always visible, "good" higher beings nonexistant in the shows and Angel is less obtuse about it, actually showing the Powers That Be, etc. (And then there's Charmed, where is seems there is an exact balance! LOL)

I'm not sure what Angels message is (to me).

Buffys seems to be that there is a spectrum that good and evil runs along and it's colored by our own ideas and judgements as to where each act is on that spectrum. That there are no pure good guys and maybe no pure bad guys.

Power is not good or bad, it's what we do with it that catagorizes it. Power is just a tool. Like money is just a tool.

This is from "Lie to Me", right after she put roses on Fords grave.

"Buffy: I don't know what I'm supposed to say.
Giles: You needn't say anything.
Buffy: It'd be simpler if I could just hate him. I think he wanted me to. I think it made it easier for him to be the villain of the piece.
Really he was just scared.
Giles: Yes, I suppose he was.
Buffy: Nothing's ever simple anymore. I'm constantly trying to work it out. Who to love or hate. Who to trust. It's just, like, the more I know, the more confused I get.
Giles: I believe that's called growing up.
Buffy: I'd like to stop then, okay?
Giles: I know the feeling.
Buffy: Does it ever get easy?
Ford suddenly rises from his grave, a vampire just like he wanted, and attacks Buffy. She plunges a stake into his heart with no more effort than swatting a fly. He steps back and looks at the stake protruding from his chest. He looks back up and bursts into ashes.
Giles: You mean life?
Buffy: Yeah. Does it get easy?
Giles: What do you want me to say?
Buffy: (looks up at him) Lie to me.
Giles: (considers a moment) Yes, it's terribly simple.
They start walking out of the cemetery.
Giles: The good guys are always stalwart and true, the bad guys are easily distinguished by their pointy horns or black hats, and, uh, we always defeat them and save the day. No one ever dies, and everybody lives happily ever after.
Buffy: Liar."

Buffy Drinking Game? -- Indiff, 06:17:46 02/20/03 Thu

What's the best Buffy Drinking Game these days? I did a quick search on Yahoo, and what came up were primarily geared towards the early seasons of the show, and most of the "rules" just don't apply anymore. Any suggestions for what works best during season seven? Any cool "drinking" web sites out there? Anyone...?

[> This is the only one I have in my files. (spoilish?) -- WickedBuffy, 10:31:53 02/20/03 Thu

Maybe you could just update it or add more things that are relevant to Season 7 yourself - use it as a template. You can have all kind of fun with the SITs, FE, Buffy/Spike, etc. (or just update one of the others you found that looks the most promising!

(not my text)

* Make sure you have a list of all the key words so you know when to take a drink.
* You must have a minimum of 2 people to play. But the more people you can get the more fun the game will be.
* It really is best to play this game with prerecorded episodes. So you can pause, rewind, and check people are not cheating.
* Make sure you have the remote controls close to hand for the TV and/or Video/DVD player.
* Make sure everyone is comfortable before you start. A very big bowl of crisps are an optional extra.
Take 1 sip/shot if any of the following happens:
Buffy Kills a vampire
Xander makes a joke
Giles gives a long explanation to a simple question
The FE says something cryptic
Giles puts his glasses on
Giles takes his glasses off
The Scooby Gang get mad at one another.
A vampire bites someone
Willow says "Wow!"
Someone says "Hellmouth"
Someone says "Slayer"
Someone says "Sunnydale"
Someone says "Five by Five"
Someone kisses someone else
Xander falls down/over something
Something bad happens in the graveyard.
Anyone goes to the Bronze
Willow lies.
Buffy drives.
Someone performs a spell
Giles handles some books
Anya gives someone an insult
Dawn whines.
Buffy lies to anyone.
Giles drinks tea
Anyone mentins Tara.
Take 2 sips/shots if any of the following happens:
Giles gets knocked out
Giles stutters.
Giles beats someone up
Someones face morphs into a vamp face
Spikel kills something
Buffy kills something other than a vampire
If demons invade the Summers house.
Anyone other than Giles who speaks with an accent
Someone mentions Los Angeles
If The First Evil does the cool exit effect.
If Xander fixes something.
If Spike says the words bloody hell, bint, or bugger
If Faith says "five by five"
If Woods says "my mother"
If Buffy says "Bite me!"
Take a large gulp if any of the following happens:
If Willow says "Bored Now...."
If Xander says "we're friends"
If a SIT gets hurt.
A demon is identified by name
When someone other than Buffy stakes a vampire
When any of the Scooby Gang go on a date.
Ethan Rayne turns up
If Willow is at her laptop.
When someone is turned into a demon.
When someone calls Xander a demon magnet.
If Dawn pouts.
When any of the main cast members (past or present) get seriously injured (But they must survive!!)
Down a pint in 60 seconds if any of the following happens:
When any of the main cast members (past or present) die or get killed
Raise a class in respectful silence if any of the following happens:
When any of the main cast members (past or present) that have died get mentioned
Fall over in a dead faint if:
Anyone ever uses the bathroom.
Does laundry.

[> [> Well, it's time to add some! -- Darby, 12:52:45 02/20/03 Thu

Things we could add...

...Someone says "I get that."

...Someone says "_____y goodness."

...Spike tilts his head.

...Giles looks down while responding.

...Dawn purses her lips.

...Willow resists magic.

...Buffy says "Oak-high" (translation: "Okay.")

...Anya insults someone. Or mentions money.

...Someone changes clothes - worth more if remarked upon.

...The bathroom, or acts related to bathrooms, are mentioned.

...Someone walks somewhere at night. Unprotected.

...The pyramid in the graveyard appears.

...A proto-slayer appears who has no name. Or lines.

...Buffy looks depressed.

...Buffy looks pissed.

...Anya's hair changes.

...A tattoo is visible.

...Some sort of waste receptacle appears.

...Anything not strictly within the city limits is mentioned, not counting other dimensions. Wait, that never happens.

There have to be more, right-?

[> [> [> Re: Well, it's time to add some! -- WickedBuffy, 13:23:12 02/20/03 Thu

...A Scooby enters the Demon bar and is carded

...Dawn has a new hairdo

...Amanda says "geez!"

...someone is seen puchasing arrows for the crossbows

...someone vacuums or dusts

...Giles high-fives Spike

...a SIT hits on Xander

...Buffy goes to work at the school

...Willow keeps losing her internet connection and complains

...someone complains that Buffy has a bedroom all to herself

...Andrew and Dawn exchange glances or touch

... Buffy insults someone

...Willow sucks on her lip

...Robin Wood wears an off-the-rack suit

...Spikes hair goes into short ringlets again

...a flashback is of a good memory, not a bad one

[> [> [> [> A few more -- Random, 17:06:05 02/20/03 Thu

...take a shot:

if continuity goes all wonky (because of editing and/or writing)

if Buffy's breasts seem to change size between episodes

if Xander provides much-needed sarcasm
(take two shots: if Xander provides completely unnecessary sarcasm)

if Anya actually eats something

if Dawn repeats herself at least twice while screaming something

if Giles shows an emotion other than annoyance (S7 rule)

if Giles displays annoyance (S1-6 rule)

if Giles suddenly acquires the ability to speak/read yet another language

if Willow wears a shirt that doesn't look like HonorH is punishing her for her fashion sins

when (not if)Buffy makes her weekly der ubermensch speech (S7 rule)

if Spike uses gel

if Spike uses mousse

if Spike uses a combination of static electricity and the chaos theory

if a Scoobie refers to another Scoobie as his/her best friend...and then tries to kill/betray/ignore him/her.

if someone -- anyone -- actually gets a bruise after being hit with enough force to send them flying across the room. Take five if they actually suffer real internal damage. Drink yourself under the table if they're still suffering two episodes later. Give up and become an alcoholic if they they go see a plastic surgeon for complete cosmetic restoration of their crushed cheekbones/nose/pelvis.

Take two shots:

if continuity goes all wonky (as part of the plot)

if Angel talks to Buffy without declaring a love that borders on John Hinckley-type scary obsession

Ditto Spike (S6 and 7 rule)

if Giles discovers the answer to the latest problem in a book -- and it doesn't sound like he's reading a simplified Idiot's Guide to Solving This Exact Problem

if Buffy gets more than three hours of sleep a night without actually being unconscious

if a new and exciting villian doesn't have phallic undertones somewhere -- whether by shape, choice of weapon or personality.

if one of the Scoobies gets pregnant from unprotected sex

if you hear a realistic accent -- except New York, SoCal or England

if one of the Scoobies appears not to have showered at some point in the previous three hours

if someone notes the lingering sewer smell on Buffy's clothes/shoes/hair. Take three if that has any effect on the lust of the male characters involved.

if one of the females (especially Buffy) suffers any detrimental effects from running or fighting in heels

if Xander decides not to share every single private thought or emotion he has with everyone even when it makes him look like a jealous, asinine idiot with the morals of an alley cat and the profundity of Britney Spears.

and so on...

[> [> Angel Drinking Game -- AngelVSAngelus, 22:53:14 02/20/03 Thu

well, just a fragmented idea for one, anyway.
anytime a single episode goes by without someone saying the word Champion more than three times, drink the whoooooole damn bottle.

[> [> [> AvsA! I haven't seen you in a while! -- Masq, 04:49:49 02/21/03 Fri

I know some interesting upcoming AtS spoilers that might interest you personally, but since I only saw them by accident, I don't know a lot about them, but....

[> Re: Buffy Drinking Game? -- CW, 20:41:02 02/20/03 Thu

Hey, if you're just looking for an excuse to get drunk - take a shot every time Buffy grunts during a fight.

The BUFFY cartoon: Some insiders' opinions -- Gyrus, 07:13:20 02/20/03 Thu

Now that a Buffy cartoon is in the works, we asked some other animated characters what they thought about the idea. Here's what they had to say:

LISA SIMPSON: It'll be wonderful to have a strong female role model here in the cartoon world.
BART SIMPSON: And she kicks people in the face!
LISA: She kicks VAMPIRES in the face, Bart.
BART: Well, any face-kicking is better than none.

CARTMAN: She kills horrible creatures from the depths of Hell, right? Maybe she'll slay Kyle's mom.
KYLE: Shut up, fatass!

BEAVIS: I'm gonna go watch her kill vampires and just, like, look at her thingies the whole time.
BUTTHEAD: We're not on the air anymore, Beavis. You can't look at her thingies until she, like, comes out on DVD or something.
BEAVIS: Dammit!

BLOSSOM: Well, WE don't like it.
BUBBLES: Vampires are scary.
BUTTERCUP: Besides, this is our crime-fighting turf! And if she tries to muscle in on it, POW!

VELMA: The cartoon world already HAS a Scooby gang, thank you.

FRY: I think it's great. I know it sounds crazy, but I always wished I could meet Sarah Michelle Gellar. I felt like she was someone I could really talk to, you know, make a connection with. Like maybe we were meant for each other, but the cruelty of fate kept us apart.
LEELA: Well, her head is still alive in a jar at the Museum of Heavily-Merchandized Pop Icons.
FRY: Just the head?
LEELA: Mm-hmm.
Fry: Never mind.

BOBBY HILL: If I do my Buns of Steel workout every day, do you think Dawn would go out with me?

[> More seriously... -- KdS, 08:18:33 02/20/03 Thu

What interested me was that the concept drawings that were linked to on the board a couple of weeks back included a sketch of a prepubescent Dawn. Does this mean that the Animated Series was intended to be in post-B Vs D retroactive continuity?

[> [> Re: More seriously... -- LadyStarlight, 08:53:48 02/20/03 Thu

I remember a post a while back (forget if it was here or converseBuffyverse, sorry) that contained a quote from Joss to the effect of "I wasn't finished with high school. The cartoon series will go back and tell the tales we didn't get to yet." (complete & total paraphrase here.)

[> [> Yup. -- Rob, 09:05:19 02/20/03 Thu

It was supposed to be the high school years as the gang now would remember them, meaning Dawn would be there. Do you know if there's no chance of it happening now or there've just been problems? Because that would have been so cool.


Some thoughts on GiD (maybe spoilers) -- LadyStarlight, 07:39:56 02/20/03 Thu

After GiD, hubby brought up an interesting point. To wit,
Was that what she was shown, or is that what's going to happen?

Not trusting my memory, I just rewatched the last 5 minutes of GiD, and realized he could be right. The shaman dude never says anything like "This is what's going to happen", or "You know, this might happen", or anything like that. Unless, of course, that happened off screen.

Was the shadow man trying to talk Buffy into accepting the power? And could part of the reason that Buffy turned it down was a subconcious reaction to S6's fun & games with Spike? That she didn't want to go through the 'I came back wrong' crap again? Think about it: portal, choice.... A nice little parallel, if nothing else.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

About the ES coding stuff. In the immortal words of Andrew, "This funnel cake is kicking my ass!" Sigh. I'm working on it, I really am.

[> One Entrance One Exit.. mass hysteria? -- neaux, 08:27:48 02/20/03 Thu

I was under the impression that the turokmillions was what was coming.

Yet, if the turokmillions are allready here and are underneath, then I wonder about how they are coming here?

Is the seal/portal in the basement of the school the only Entrance to the above ground?
If so then I would expect it wouldnt be that hard to take them out. It might take a long long long time, but think about it.. if you have 16 or so SITs that can snaps some necks they can just block the entrance and start a snappin.

[> Re: Some thoughts on GiD (maybe spoilers) -- maddog, 08:29:41 02/20/03 Thu

I think the Shadowman was showing her what she was going to face. IE...this is why I wanted to give you more power. What I took as what we saw was that those are the First's minions waiting in the Hellmouth for the party to begin. Which leads to the whole "it's not enough" theory brought on by the first slayer. 30 people can't handle that and Buffy knows it. The question then becomes...how the hell do you beat all that with the few that you have...even if they were all trained slayers with the strength included they'd be outnumbered in the thousands at best. But I have faith in Joss's creativity...let the good times role. :)

[> [> Two Words (Really good Speculation) -- neaux, 08:38:40 02/20/03 Thu

Permanent Daylight.

If Angel can do permanent Midnight, why not have permanent Daylight to wipe all the vampies..

but going with the speculation, that means Spike would bite the big one.. and since I'm a fan of Spike..

maybe I should change this idea to a Sea of Holy Water??

[> [> [> Two More Words (Really good Speculation) -- Darby, 08:43:18 02/20/03 Thu

Or have Willow finally perfect the portable sunlight spell she's been working on forever and drop it "down the well."

[> [> [> [> My Idea (Speculation) -- S. S., 09:15:57 02/20/03 Thu

Why not give the Turok souls?

Then they would get as confused with their souls as Angel and Spike were when they first got their souls, the Turok would start to fight each other, and wipe each other out.

Buffy and Spike could go to Lurky in Africa and get the souls.


S. S.

[> [> [> [> [> Ye Gods!!! -- Random, 16:24:57 02/20/03 Thu

So we'll have an entire army of vampires running around, begging for Buffy for attention/forgiveness/solicitude/a one night stand, and occasionally getting all weepy because they regret the killing innocents/tormenting innocents/having sex with Buffy/trying to rape Buffy? I can just imagine it now: an army of Turok-hans in group therapy, doing encounter sessions in some sweat lodge out in the woods and reading good poems...or, worse, writing bad ones. Plus they'll want to do strange things with their hair and fall into a fit of existential angst when they realize they're bald. Then they'll go crazy and start killing people again and we'll be treated to a new Sarah McLachlan song for each one as Buffy is forced to kill them. I doubt Sarah would be willing to write that many heart-tugging scores and lyrics. So: No! no! a billion times, Nein! I imagine Buffy would just as soon face them all in a mass slaughter. I know I would.

[> [> [> [> Re: Two More Words (Really good Speculation) -- Mystery, 09:21:34 02/20/03 Thu

OR OR OR! Andrew can get an idea from watching "Blade 2" and suggest that Willow create UV-bombs that anyone can use.

Awwww...Andrew trying to emulate Blade..."You do not know who you're messing with!!!" *UV Bomb flash* "Heh, that was cool!" Maybe because I'm a fellow geek, but I really like the kid. He's annoying, but to me that's kind of endearing...:-)

[> [> [> [> [> Would there be "Blade" movies in the Buffyverse? -- Darby, 10:55:28 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> There are Marvel Comics in the Buffyverse...so there's probably Marvel Movies... -- Mystery, 11:04:41 02/20/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> speaking of Blade's weapons... -- Cern, 11:30:38 02/20/03 Thu

does silver have an effect on Buffyverse vamps as well as Bladeverse Vamps? because i always thought since the first Blade that a silver nitrate/garlic tear gas canister rifle would be cool. you know, like they use to disperse riots.

maybe they could make something with sawdust and holy water for the BV?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: speaking of Blade's weapons... -- Mystery, 12:36:02 02/20/03 Thu

I don't remember seeing anything that shows that Wheldonverse vamps are vulnerable to silver. Maybe it was mentioned in the episode where we found out that Oz is a werewolf.

[> [> [> Re: Two Words (Really good Speculation) -- maddog, 09:21:37 02/20/03 Thu

That brings up another point that I'd been worried about. This is a series finale for all intents and purposes. And it's a final battle with evil. Like Buffy said, not everyone will get out alive. The question then becomes, who would they kill off? And maybe the more important question, who will get killed off and how pissed will I be if they do. I mean, the SIT's...whatever...and while Andrew's been quirky and kinda funny that wouldn't bother me as much...but main characters? I'm not sure I could handle it emotionally if any of them croaked. I even like Wood enough to be sad if he got caught in the crossfire. Why do I have a feeling the finale's going to be extremely bittersweet.

[> [> [> [> Re: Two Words (Really good Speculation) -- SugarTherapy, 11:03:04 02/20/03 Thu

I'm half-conviced that the Scoobies won't win this one. That the show is gonna end with the battle they just couldn't win, and they're all gonna bite it.

Sugar - trying to be optimistic, really...

[> What lies beneath.(spoiler for GID) -- AurraSing, 09:46:18 02/20/03 Thu

Perhaps it's not so much about fighting all the Turok-Han but how to permanently seal the Hellmouth,since Buffy was referred to as "The last guardian of the Hellmouth" within that episode and *not* as the last Slayer.

Is Buffy's legacy going to be ensuring that the Hellmouth can never be opened again? If so,how does she go about doing this because I don't think it's possible to take the FE's minions all on,no matter how well the SITs are trained. I think it's going to be more than the brute power of the Slayer that will win the day this time-think Willow and the untapped power of the Dawn...........

[> [> Re: What lies beneath.(spoiler for GID) -- LadyStarlight, 15:19:58 02/20/03 Thu

I thought their choice of words was deliberate too. Unless, since the Slayer line now runs through Faith (as far as we know), Buffy's been relabled as a Guardian, and not "The Slayer"?

Can't you just see some poor PTB file clerk grumbling about changing classifications in mid-stream? Think of the cross-referencing! Oh, the horror.... ;)

[> I was wondering that, too GiD (maybe spoilers) -- WickedBuffy, 10:14:07 02/20/03 Thu

I put up a post last night - asked two questions - but it was already in the Archives this morning with no responses. ::sob:: (If anyone wants to answer the other question, it's on the first page of Archives, about 2/3 way down.) :>

The one was along the same lines as what you were asking, LadyStarlight. (I rewatched that scene a few times, too.)

When the Shadowman put his hand to the side of Buffy's head for a few moments, Buffy looked fairly neutral to whatever was gong on in her mind, almost peaceful (imo). She certainly didn't look horrified, frightened or even slightly constipated. Then in the last scene, after Willow asks her what had happened - the cut to all those very scary demons teeming underground seemed to infer that THAT was what Buffy had seen. Or did I imagine that jump? Did ME just stop us from hearing what Buffy had heard and nonchalantly shown us deleted scenes from "Fellowship of the Rings"? Because if someone had put that video in my head, I wouldn't have been able to keep a calm face.

[> [> Re: I was wondering that, too GiD (maybe spoilers) -- maddog, 10:49:16 02/20/03 Thu

I suggest you go rewatch that. She wasn't peaceful at all. That was shock. That was an "Oh " look. Just take a look at her eyes. By then she'd already made her decision. I definitely think she saw the hellmouth full of demons. They just waited til the end to show us for shock value.

[> [> [> rewatched it, froze it, watched again... -- WickedBuffy, 11:53:56 02/20/03 Thu

I love My Tivo.

From my point of view:

At the most, she barely changed expression from the instant before he put his hand on her head to it cut away to the Summers house. The next shot of her, back in the living room, she looks like she's thinking really hard, pondering.

Honestly, I've seen as much on her face when she was asked a question in a college class.

Her eyes barely went directly left-right (or right-left, have to recheck that). I wish I could remember where my NLP books were - I'd love to look up what that interprets to.

(Anyone have a background in NeuroLinguistic Programming to offer?)

Then again, it might be SMGs new acting technique. Or, Buffy is so hardened by all the events that have taken place, she only has two expressions left. Angry and ummm blank. };>

[> [> Previously Released Spoiler within (if that makes *any* sense) -- LadyStarlight, 15:15:21 02/20/03 Thu

...the cut to all those very scary demons teeming underground...

I watched this part of the tape veeerrryyy closely, as one of the spoilers I remembered reading was "Sunnydale in ruins, as an army of Turok-Hans marches across the ruins" (or words to that effect).

Now, was the change to (apparantly) underground cheaper to do than razing Sunnydale? Does one set of razed ruins look like another, making Joss think we wouldn't recognize S'dale? Or is the potential threat scarier than seeing everything neatly laid out for us?

[> Maybe she was shown a lie. -- WickedDoubter, 12:36:39 02/20/03 Thu

[> An Odyssey of a Post that started out trying to reply -- honest! (spoilers up to "Get It Done") -- Random, 16:00:02 02/20/03 Thu

The information was introduced as a literal response to a rhetorical challenge, after all (damn those maddeningly literal-minded shaman types): "Tell me something I don't know." So the shadowman replies, "As you wish"

What Buffy is shown is an army. Which -- if it weren't for the fact that an army of Turok-han is a terrifying concept -- should be a comfort to the Scoobies and SiTs. Buffy declared that they have just become an army in BOTN. In GID, we are treated to a reiteration of the military paradigm -- not only with the training of the SiTs, but with Buffy's lecture to the gang. The essential problem with armies is the fact that they are only truly effective against other armies. And even then, they can be stymied by an opposing army with a different fighting style -- traditional marching rank-on-rank versus guerrilla warfare being the most obvious example. Once an army occupies a civilian space, it must transform into a police force or occupation force to be effective.
Nobody seemed to be asking the obvious question on the show: how dangerous is the First, really? It has killed some SiTs -- tragic. All but wiped out the Watcher's Council -- a little less tragic, but, you know, not necessarily something to do the dance of joy about. It has had some tormenty fun with the Scoobies. Driven Spike to kill a dozen people. Almost drove Angel to kill himself. Drove Andrew to murder his best friend. Raised an uber-vamp that kicked Buffy's ass twice -- before losing his own head. And it hasn't even bothered summoning up another one. Hell, it displayed borderline incompetence in its travails while trying to summon the first one. As body counts go, it's not impressive. Previous Big Bads probably wouldn't have even bothered the snicker. Well, actually, Angelus and the Mayor might have, but that's because they were just naturally cheerful fellows. The other big bads even had full-blown apocalypses (apocali?) planned. The First hasn't even made a move for the Hellmouth, much less brought forth some ancient evil/demon/temple/ to unleash death and destruction on all mankind. So what was the point of the "army?" I suspect Buffy was beginning to wonder about that herself in GID. Her unexpected tongue-lashing seemed, in a large part, directed at the futility of their little games and work-outs and planning. I would even hazard the guess that she was more pissed at herself and her own ineffectuality than the rest of the room -- which led directly to her outburst (a natural psychological response.) They've made the point clear time and again: we don't know how to fight the First. They can kill a few minions, save a few teenaged girls, but how do you fight an enemy whose plan of attack seems inscrutable? They've divined the "kill off the Slayer line" part, sure. And the destroy the forces for good once and for all part too. But these are merely prongs of a larger offensive, and I'm betting that the Scoobies sense that. I'm also betting that they were fully aware that they didn't even have solid confirmation that the FE could bring about some grand apocalypse...until now. The shadowmen as much as confirm that Buffy can't win in her current state -- Buffy, the defeater of ancient hell-lovin' vampires, fairly young hell-lovin' vampires, a psychotic politician on the fast track to Demonhood with a capital 'D', a cyborg with a Napoleon complex and the personality of Mr. Spock, a honest-to-god Hellgoddess with a bitch-on for random and senseless destruction, and the most powerful Wicca in the Western Hemisphere with a skin problem and all the rage of a former computer-geek who's lost both the werewolf she lost her virginity to and the lesbian who introduced her to Gay Pride and endless repetitions of the quip, 'Gay now!' Their insistence on giving Buffy power pretty much confirms that the FE has one helluva ace up its non-corporeal sleeve (well, not in all its incarnations -- Dru's dress lacked sleeves. I'm sure HonorH had something snarky to say about that.) And we're shown a definite ace high straight flush with the oversized gaggle of uber-vamps.
So this is a source of hope, of sorts. A physical enemy can be fought. Perhaps not successfully, but at least you can go out swinging and actually hitting something. Buffy may be terrified, but at least she has --as when she discovered what the Ascension was, or what Adam's plan was, or what Glory wanted to do -- an idea of what she's actually facing. Now her "army" actually means something...not necessarily something that'll last for more than fifteen seconds, but something nevertheless.
The episode went out of its way, incidentally, to emphasize that the only other sort of power the Scoobies have -- Willow's magic -- was operating blind. How do you strike out at a mystical enemy with magic if you don't even know where to hit? Especially if you're not even certain about the physics of your enemy. I have a feeling that we haven't heard the last of the "magic/physics" equation, and we'll eventually discover the principles underlying the FE's very existence.
Keep in mind that we don't know what kind of power the Shadowmen were offering. Physical power? Perhaps -- though it better be more along the lines of 'shooting nuke rays from your eyes' than 'Charles Atlas transforms you from a 110 lb superheroine to a 110 pound superheroine on steroids' sort of physicality. It seems more likely, though, that the power was of a mystical, magical type -- Wicca-ing her up in the spirit of "Primeval." It makes perfect sense, actually, since in "Primeval," she invoked the essence of the First Slayer and suddenly became a near-deified creature.

This is all just random thoughts, really. I suspect, like most people here, that eventually the conflict will focus on something other than physical conflict. The "last guardian" line, of course, could mean that Buffy will fail. It could also mean, of course, that she'll negate its existence and, in some sort of temporal thingie, she'll negate the existence of, and need for, the entire Slayer line. Eh, she'll probably do a "The Wish" and unmake the history of the Slayers. Doubtful, though. No spin-off potential there.

(Okay, I know I sort of wandered far afield in this reply, so I might as well add on this nagging question: why on earth are a trio of shadowmen who have apparently been around since before the first slayer dressed up as the Three Wisemen? and, if they're speaking another language that Buffy can understand through "majicks," why do they bother speaking in what is apparently a variation of Bantu or Swahili? Both are relatively modern languages and so either the shadowmen would be speaking some ancient language or they'd just speak in English.)

BtVS: A season in 3 acts -- lunasea, 09:37:52 02/20/03 Thu

I tend to diagram the heck out of the seasons to see how they are constructed (my main purpose in analyzing the show is to see how it is written, so I can apply this to my own writing). I thought maybe the board would find this interesting. It is just a sketch.

One of the pluses of AtS is that a season is basically 3 acts. Act 1 sets up the problem/Angel's craving. Act 2 is why he can't solve that problem/get the craving met. Act 3 is transcending that and solving the problem/getting the craving met, but not in the expected manner.

BtVS is a bit more complicated than that, but it too is written in 3 acts. This season it is rather obvious, so I went back and looked at previous seasons and where the acts breaks would be.

Season 7
Act 1: Everything up to and including CwDP (episode 7.07)
Act 2: End of CwDP to end of Get it Done (episode 7.15)
Act 3: Everything after this point.

It is following the arc of "Angel." Joss said he was going back to the beginning. Buffy is going through the same emotions Angel had in that episode (he was coming to terms with what he is/being more than a vampire and Buffy is coming to terms with what she is/being more than Slayer) An episode is actually written in 4 parts. The First part of "Angel" is the ackward relationship that Buffy and Angel are forming because he wants to help her and ends with him revealing that he is a vampire. The Second part is from there to when Buffy find Angel with her Mom. The Third part is from there to the beginning of the scene in the Bronze. It even ends with "Let's get it done!" The fourth part is the rest. Shove the second and third parts together and you get Act 2 for this season.

Season 6
Act 1: End of Tabula Rasa (episode 6.07) Giles leaves and Spuffy gets going
Act 2: Up to end of As You Were (episode 6.14): New Improved Riley helps Buffy find herself and Spuffy is kaput.
Act 3: The rest

Season 5
Act 1: Up to end of Fool for Love (episode 5.07)
Act 2: Up to Crush (episode 5.14)
Act 3: The rest

Season 4:
Act 1: Up to beginning of The Initiative (episode 4.07)
Act 2: Up to end of I in Team (episode 4.13)
Act 3: The rest

Season 3:
Act 1: Up to end of Lover's Walk (episode 3.08)
Act 2: Up to end of Consequences (episode 3.14)
Act 3: The rest

Season 2:
Act 1: End of Reptile Boy (episode 2.05)
Act 2: End of Surprise (episode 2.13)
Act 3: Rest

Any comments? Would you put the breaks elsewhere?

[> Nice analysis -- tomfool, 10:00:40 02/20/03 Thu

Nice breakdown. Subconsiously, I always think of a season as a two-parter. I'll have to think a little more about the specific break points (2 v.3), but agree with the concept.

This relates to a subthread in Rob's review below about some metanarration in GiD on the schedule and structure for each season. I just asked the following question below.

Buffy says, "The hellmouth has begun its semi-annual percolation. It usually blows around May." Is she describing the ebb and flow of a typical season, with a faux big bad (e.g., Spike & Dru) that gets replaced by the real big bad and then concluding in the annual May apocalypse?

Is ME describing a two-part structure to a BtVS season?

[> more like corners, perhaps -- xanthe, 14:47:13 02/20/03 Thu

I agree with your identification of the critical dramatic moments for the seasons, but whereas on Angel an act break definitely seems like an end followed immediately by a beginning (ex. Reprise and Epiphany), the act breaks on BtVS feel like the story has simply turned a corner. Lover's Walk is an important episode, but it really didn't mark an end of a story and the beginning of the next for me. Sure, it was a terribly critical moment for every romantic relationship on BtVS, but it didn't change the course of the season, it only sent it on a slightly different path. The Initiative and Fool for Love are important episodes to the audience because we learn so much about what has been happening on the flipside of many stories, but they don't affect the characters nearly as much. Buffy doesn't learn of the Initiative, she only has a frustrating encounter with some commandoes who she doesn't realize she knows. Spike tells us his story and thanks to the writers, he is helpless to keep from us, the viewers, the truth of his less-than-badass beginnings, but Buffy only hears what he wants her to: slayers give up because they want to die. It was definitely a serious development for her character, but nothing ended and began because of it.

BtVS always seems to end and begin its stories exactly where you'd expect: on season finales and premiers. For me, Angel has made a practice of building up storylines at the beginning of a season, wrapping them up and moving on quickly to the next step in midseason and then having another discrete story again at the end. These stories are naturally a continuation, but represent major blocks that feel complete by themselves.

The I In Team (no, not the episode, the concept) -- SugarTherapy, 10:58:05 02/20/03 Thu

I was watching OMWF yesterday, and during "I've Got A Theory" it occurred to me that the gang has lost sight of something: they're better as a team. It's been shown time and time again that Buffy is stronger with her friends (If it wasn't for Xander, she'd be dead. If they hadn't banded together, they never would have defeated Adam, etc.)

In season 6, the group spread apart and everyone went downhill. Buffy didn't connect with the gang, and it led her into an abusive relationship fueled by her self-loathing. Willow let her magick take her away from everything, putting a wedge between herself and everyone else. Then, her recovery did pretty much the same thing. Xander and Anya got so wrapped up in their wedding plans that they stopped doing what they do best - being brutally honest. In the end, it cost them their relationship. Giles went to England, taking the much-needed father figure from this group of young adults still trying to learn the ways of the world. Dawn felt alone, and started her little deliquency habits, trying to get someone -- anyone's -- attention so she could start feeling like someone cared she was there. They all went their own ways, and their lives all were the worse for it.

This year, there's still a space there. "What can't we face if we're together" has been replaced by "Everyone sucks but me." The group isn't gelled like they have been in the past, and it could spell the end of them. Instead of working with the group, Buffy is trying to lead it, and the gang is expecting that. Nobody is trying to work together anymore, they're all either taking orders or doing nothing. And I know she's the Slayer, but she's still only 22. I think she really could've used Giles during the events of Tuesday's episode, but he was nowhere to be found. The strength of the Scoobies has always been them supporting each other and working together. If they don't learn to do that again, I don't think they stand a chance of defeating the First.

Sorry if this was craptastic, but I'm in school right now and it doesn't lend well to intelligent thought :)


[> Re: The I In Team (no, not the episode, the concept) -- WickedBuffy, 11:30:57 02/20/03 Thu

I agree - they seem less like friends who work as a team and more like a "leader and followers" group - with little emotional ties, as if the history they have with each other consists only of fighting, not all the other great stuff they did together. Even though they are older, they don't have to lose that - though it seems they did.

Andrew now reminds me most of how the Scoobies used to be.

Lately, I've mistaken Buffy for early Riley. ;>

[> Acting alone vs. working together (Spoilers from S4 through present) -- Gyrus, 11:40:47 02/20/03 Thu

IMO, the fragmentation of the core group is a trend that began back in S5. "Primeval" in S4 was really the pinnacle of Scooby cooperation, with everyone putting aside their squabbles and reaffirming their friendships before the final showdown. In S5, however, the appearance of Dawn drove a wedge between Buffy and her friends; suddenly, Dawn was Buffy's first priority, especially after Joyce's death. In her "anti-St. Crispin's Day speech" at the end of S5, Buffy chose Dawn over all else -- not just her friends, but the entire world. Then she chose death.

The gap widened in S6 with Buffy's ongoing depression and her resentment towards her friends from bringing her back. The others, too, were all wrapped up in their own problems -- Xander and Anya with their wedding and breakup, Giles with his decision to leave, Willow and Tara with Willow's magic problems, Spike with his obsession with Buffy, and Dawn with being a lonely 15-year-old. So feeble was this fragmented group that they were only barely a match for the Trio (which also broke up). By the end, the Scoobs were fighting one of their own.

Now, in S7, we have a group that is nothing like what it used to be. Instead of a half-dozen Scoobies, we've got Potentials galore, Robin Wood, and Andrew, any of whom may or may not prove to be trustworthy in the long run. Not to mention that Spike and Willow are now more unpredictable than ever, and even Giles' presence can't be counted on. The most reliable people in the bunch are the powerless ones -- Xander (who nonetheless acted against Buffy in "Selfless" and argued with her publicly this week) and Dawn (who may not fully trust Buffy after what Joyce told her in CwDP).

I guess my point is that the the importance of working together hasn't been a central theme on BTVS for a long time. Which, I suppose, is what one should expect from a show with a title character.

Could there be such thing as a Slayer dynasty? -- neaux, 12:15:34 02/20/03 Thu

Could there be such thing as a Slayer dynasty?

How do YOU define dynasty??

Assuming Wood is the real deal (while he might not be one with the power) what if he has a little power in him?
Lets say In his spare time, he spreads his seed and has a baby girl. Could that potentially bring forth a new slayer years from now, therefore continuing an actual family line?

or does the word "chosen" make this a moot point.

[> Is there Slayer DNA? or is it in the spirit? -- WickedBuffy, 12:42:38 02/20/03 Thu

I forget ... is Wood the only offspring of a Slayer? Did any other slayers have children?Did they verify that or not? I know they usually died young, but women had children at younger ages in the past.

Also, was Wood born before or after his mom was chosen? If after, then maybe it is a possiblity he has something special in him. If before, though, I kind of doubt it.

[> [> Re: Is there Slayer DNA? or is it in the spirit? -- Gyrus, 13:09:15 02/20/03 Thu

Buffy read a lot of Slayer history back in S5 but told Wood that she'd never heard of any other Slayers having children, so I'm betting that he is the only Slayer offspring in recent history (that the Watchers know about, at least).

With regard to whether Wood was born before or after his mother's being Chosen, "before" seems like the most logical choice. I imagine an active Slayer who's 8 months pregnant would attract opportunistic vamps like flies.

[> [> [> lol! good point on the vampfleas point :> -- WickedBuffy, 13:42:09 02/20/03 Thu

[> I don't think so -- Gyrus, 12:58:44 02/20/03 Thu

We've never been given any reason to believe that Slayerhood is a heritable trait. Slayers come from all over the world, from every race and country, so if there are "Slayer genes" out there, they are VERY widely dispersed and only rarely manifested (especially since the vast majority of females who express these genes never get a chance to reproduce).

Besides, I don't think the folks at ME would make Slayerdom so aristocratic. They'd probably prefer it to be an awesome responsibility that is thrust suddenly upon ordinary, unsuspecting girls.

[> What about Dawn? -- HonorH, 13:37:47 02/20/03 Thu

Dawn and Buffy share the same DNA. One would think that if anyone would be a Potential, it would be Dawn. However, unless we're under a total mislead, she's not. I kinda think that puts a monkey wrench in the whole "Slayer dynasty" possibility.

[> [> well think of the names.. -- neaux, 13:45:34 02/20/03 Thu

The Wood Dynasty and the Summers Dynasty

kinda catchy though eh??

[> Do two Slayers make a Dynasty or just a Couple? };> -- WickedBuffy, 13:52:43 02/20/03 Thu

[> Re: Could there be such thing as a Slayer dynasty? -- xanthe, 14:00:46 02/20/03 Thu

I really doubt that one or more than one slayer dynasties would be possible in the sense that the girls who become slayers are related by blood. The premise that slayers have short, violent lives makes it unlikely that any such line, if begun, would flourish. This is of course side-stepping the question of whether slayer abilities would be heriditary. Again, I'd have to say no. Slayer calling may be decided based on some innate qualities like mental and physical agility that are then enhanced by the onset of slayerness, but it seems pretty unlikely that this is a genetic trait.

But the question of whether or not slayers might have families is an interesting one (to me, at least.) As much as the idea makes me squirm, it is entirely possible that the women who become slayers might have already been married and/or be mothers before they are called. The marriageable age of women has gone up, but this is a pretty recent historical development. A woman in the middle ages could have been married as early as 12 or 13. Think of the angst that would cause...woman abandons husband and children to go and fight demons...if she wasn't condemned as a witch in the process. Didn't the show at one point make a big deal about how Buffy was an exception to the Watchers Council's usual practice of finding and training potiental slayers? Maybe it was the movie... The recent developments with the various unknown potientials on BtVS has further undermined the Council's claims about their near-spotless record of locating slayers. But if we assume that they were fairly accurate through the ages at finding slayers well before they were called, would potiential slayers have been disuaded from entering into traditional relationships that would lead to husbands and babies? Or would their desire to maintain the slayer's "secret identity" have permitted a limited number of slayers to engage in normal social interactions? Given number of times that it has been emphasized that Buffy's strong ties to family and friends are so unusual, it does seem unlikely that a slayer might ever have had children with Council approval. But it's not impossible that a slayer might have had children before coming under Council control or even after.

I think I'm talking myself in circles here (and I'm getting dizzy), but I don't think that slayers having children would have been common, but I don't think that Wood is necessarily the such product. (We'll never know, will we.) The likehood of a slayer line being based on a direct blood link is small.

[> [> Slayer families aka Demon buffets -- WickedBuffy, 14:18:35 02/20/03 Thu

It would be a wise survival trait that Slayers don't run in families - instead they are spread out all over the world, randomly, no one or thing seems to know who it will be or even why.

It would be easier for demons to pinpoint Slayers for killing if Slayers were in family groups. Being scattered apart and unnconnected works well.

[> [> [> which leads to the question... -- xanthe, 14:44:30 02/20/03 Thu

How *does* the First know how to find potiential slayers? How does - did - the Watchers Council find them? D'you think they used that locater spell that the coven used? Or is this just one of those details that bores Joss, so he hasn't given it any thought.

Important Questions We Aren't Asking. Silly Us. Spoilers and Spec 7.15 -- Angelina, 12:26:25 02/20/03 Thu

You are the "last guardian of the Hellmouth". OK, does anyone remember the Shadowmen specifically saying Buffy was THE Slayer? I don't. I remember them saying she was the last guardian of the Hellmouth. OK, next question, We have the Hellmouth, under what used to be the School Library. Is this the "portal" that the Turok's came from? The portal that Spike bled on, that Jonathan died on? Is the seal and the portal the Hellmouth? I am quite sure they are two separate things right? OK, now Buffy dies in Season One, Prophecy Girl. She comes back - she is not supposed to come back, but she does, cause this slayer has buddies. What now? What do TPTB do with this brave little girl, who has all this power? Another slayer has already been called (Kendra), and we cannot have TWO slayers, so, we'll make Buffy the Guardian of the Hellmouth. Since the (or one of) the Hellmouths is in Sunnydale, and Buffy is in Sunnydale, hey, we have a built in Guardian. However, once the Hellmouth is closed, there will be no further use of the Guardian. This year is all about Back to the Beginning - Welcome to the Hellmouth. If Buffy is the last guardian of the Hellmouth, and not the Slayer (well know casting spoiler being The actual Slayer) then, there are two jobs to be done here. One, close the Hellmouth for good, and FINALLY release Buffy to lead a normal life, and Two, close the portal, thus averting the UberVamp Army. I may be totally off base here, and missed a HUGE plot development, but the Slayer does NOT have to be the one to close the Hellmouth, however, The Slayer is needed to defeat The First Evil. I can bet that the end episode is gonna be the biggest battle between good and evil since The Stand. Help Here Please?

[> Maybe it's a blood thing (Spoilers and Spec 7.15) -- Slay bells, 12:59:22 02/20/03 Thu

Just thinking...Maybe it's a blood thing again. The Master used Buffy's blood to escape from the bottle neck of the hellmouth, maybe Buffy's blood will close the hellmouth for good??

[> [> or even Dawns? (Spoilers and Spec 7.15) -- WickedBuffy, 13:36:14 02/20/03 Thu

[> Re: Important Questions We Aren't Asking. Silly Us. Spoilers and Spec 7.15 -- Cactus Watcher, 16:25:03 02/20/03 Thu

My guess is that Buffy will seal the hellmouth and deal with the First herself (I think I know how), but the rest of the gang is going to have a hell of a fight to stay alive, while Buffy is 'off' doing her thing.

[> [> You are such a tease! -- Rahael, 02:59:04 02/21/03 Fri

Want to give me some hints about how you think she will deal with the first?

[> [> [> Re: You are such a tease! -- CW, 05:33:47 02/21/03 Fri

Since that's the most important thing I believe I understand, no. It would be tougher to figure out for you folks in Britain. But, the essential facts have been there since before this season started. If I understand correctly, the beginning of the season is being shown there. All the important clues have been emphasized since the begining of this season.

I'd much rather whet everybody's interest, than spoil anyone, even those who don't care. If worse comes to worse I know you'll find out the truth within hours of when everybody in North America does. After it's shown here, I think you'll find it easy to join in when the discussion starts. Joss wouldn't dare disappoint you in the end! ;o)

[> [> [> [> Re: CW - How sure R U JW won't disappoint us? - PLEASE tell me more! -- Angelina, 07:41:34 02/21/03 Fri

I'll give you my email address???????

[> [> [> [> CW - One more thing.... -- Angelina, 07:45:54 02/21/03 Fri

Does anything I said in my above post make any sense to you? How far off base am I? Thanks!

[> [> [> [> [> See my latest reply to you in the Darkness and the Duster thread. -- CW, 07:58:49 02/21/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: See my latest reply to you in the Darkness and the Duster thread. -- Angelina, 08:39:48 02/21/03 Fri

Thanks, I think?????
You are right - I gotta flesh it out for myself. Whew, this is exhausting.

[> [> [> [> Spoilsport ;) -- Rahael, 09:06:47 02/21/03 Fri

Now you know I'll be searching for those clues in the coming weeks!

[> [> [> [> [> Upcoming repeats (scheduling spoilers only, are those even spoilers?) -- ponygirl, 09:53:22 02/21/03 Fri

My theories are all in that crucial "completely incoherent" stage so I won't venture to guess at what CW is so cruelly hinting at. However I do think it interesting that the repeats being shown after next week's new ep. are Selfless, Him and CwDP. Aside from being a bit of a DrewG fest I have to wonder if there are some clues from these early episodes that we need to pay closer attention to. At the very least it's going to remind us of CwDP's time/date stamp. Ponder ponder.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I pay especial attention to your future spec Ponygirl -- Rahael, 10:33:19 02/21/03 Fri

Since you were among the first (that I noticed) to correctly predict that Cordy was seriously off, perhaps evil by analysing a current ep (I think you looked at seating arrangements!).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks -- ponygirl, 11:23:23 02/21/03 Fri

Though I realize I've suspected *every* character on AtS and BtVS of being secretly evil at one point or another so I guess the percentages were bound to pay off.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Orient Express moment.....(Spoilers for the Christie story and Soulless) -- Rahael, 11:47:17 02/21/03 Fri

After we watched 'Soulless', dH pointed out that they could all have stolen the soul, you know like the Orient Express.

Very intriguing take on "Get it Done" (spoilers 7.15, natch) -- HonorH, 15:04:19 02/20/03 Thu

This is taken from a blog, and is therefore not mine:


Rachelena ( lenadances ) wrote,
@ 2003 - 02 - 19 11:57:00

"Aggression is a natural human tendency. Though you and me come by it another way."

"We're not demons."

"Is that a fact?"

--Adam and Buffy, "Restless"

They chained her to the ground. They chained her to the ground. It's a horrible image, but not really surprising; the girls are chosen, not volunteers, even now.

I was summarizing the "creation of the Slayer" process for Token and he gave me a look. "If they were going to put all this power in someone, why did they use a girl?" "Well," I said, "maybe they didn't think it would work. Maybe they figured if something went wrong and she died, it was just a girl, after all..."

It occurred to me later that maybe they chose a girl for another reason. The Slayers, after all, have always been chosen to die horribly at the hands of the demons they fight. They're expendable, disposable, there will always be another one. We've always gotten that vibe off of the Council and now we see why; it has always been that way. The Slayer is a human sacrifice to stave off the horrors of the night.

There has always been something horrible in the Council of Watchers, even when it was, apparently, just the Three Wise Guys. They are the far end of awful practicality, the men who make decisions for the good of all but don't bother asking for permission. They hold themselves apart from questions of emotion and morality; this is for the Greater Good, after all, and who can question that?

They created the Slayer, but what happened to the girl? We saw her later, in Restless ; the girl is gone, shedding name and language and company. Solitary creature of death. She must have had a name, but I doubt that the first Watchers would have bothered to remember it.

There is a glorious symbolism in Buffy breaking those chains and using them to beat the Wise Guys; an old wrong is being righted. Whether or not there will be Slayers after Buffy (and Faith) is not the question here. Buffy has always fought evil, but more, she has always had to fight to be in control of the power instead of the other way around.

If you think about it, Buffy's main battles with her own power came after she broke ties with the Council. She had to face, on her own, what she could become as seen through Faith. She has had to define herself as the Slayer, not a killer. She has wrestled with her power: its origins, its demands, and its limitations. This season she finally seems to have a handle on it, finally grown into it. The problem is no longer how to handle it herself but how to pass it on.

Buffy conquering her power is twinned to her conquering of the Council (although, granted, she kicked the Council's ass back in Season 5 and their destruction by other hands is just sort of a coda); the power, like the original Wise Guys, doesn't ask first. It just goes. On the up side, like the Slayer, it doesn't listen to the Council on who it picks, it has its own ideas. Hence, Buffy.

"I have no speech. No name. I live in the action of death. The blood-cry, the penetrating wound. I am destruction. Absolute. Alone."

--The First Slayer, "Restless"

It's been said by many people over the years that what's different about Buffy is that she has more ties to the world than most Slayers. The argument has been made that the Slayer's isolation is an intentional thing; in many cases, it probably was. In many other cases, though, it was probably a reaction to the lifestyle: when your raison d'etre is death, you're going to have a problem dealing with people who have a life that's about... life. Even if your watcher whole-heartedly approves of their involvement, even if your friends and family number in the small civilian population that knows and admits that there are demons and vampires and magic out there, you're still different. You pull away.

Buffy has tried to pull away, a lot. This thing has almost swallowed her a number of times and every time her friends have pulled her back. (They even un-did her sacrificial suicide. These are some hard-core pals.) They're well aware that she pulls away when she goes into "Slayer mode" and they try to compensate for it. I think, in the end, that what is saving Buffy is not so much that she *has* friends and family... but that she has *these* friends. It takes some serious talent for friendship, there.

And damn, look what this dedication has cost them. Xander nearly gets killed on a regular basis because he keeps coming back for more, but he still sticks by Buffy. Willow pushed so hard to become helpful that she fell into the dark side; she's still fighting with that and trying to find her balance, but in spite of the danger she's still trying to help. She's still there for Buffy. And this isn't even counting the lovers they've lost because of this cause, or the friends. The human cost is very high.

Very interesting that Anya said she wasn't Buffy's friend. It's true; since the time a few years back when I was complaining about Anya and Tara not having a real role because they didn't have a connection to Buffy that wasn't through someone else, Tara cemented her connection to Buffy but Anya never did. There's something there between Anya and Buffy, but it's not friendship; if anything, it's the occasional feeling that they're the only two people in the room that *get* that really cynical, ancient feeling. Angel got it; Spike got it; Anya gets it. I think that's why Anya stays around as much as it's why Buffy lets her stay.

There is a reason that Buffy deals with souled vampires and ex-demons; they *know*. They understand the dark part, they've walked in the shadow-world and they have a bitter cynicism in them that Buffy understands. I think that Buffy keeps Anya and Spike around because she needs that sort of balance in her friendship: she needs her human friends to understand the human part of her, to keep her in the light, but she also needs someone who understands the dark part, the demon part of her.

If she didn't have Anya and Spike around, I think, Buffy would get too frustrated with Xander and Dawn and would isolate herself more and more. (Willow is a special case in this; she knows just how bad she can be but she wants, desperately, to believe that she will be good, that it will turn out all right. In this way I think she's more Buffy's twin than her human balance; she's just a few years behind Buffy in dealing with it.) Buffy needs both of her sides understood to keep from pulling away from all of them. She needs Anya and Spike as much as she needs Xander, Dawn and Willow. She might not be able to articulate *why*, but she's always known that she needed it. I think that's why she kept Spike around, back in Season 4 when it would have made so much more sense to kill him; she had just lost Angel and Anya was not really a part of the group yet, and some instinct made her keep Spike there for balance.

Part human, part demon.

[> fablous Post -- Dochawk, 15:19:19 02/20/03 Thu

I'm going to have to think about this for awhile. its making me more sympathetic to Buffy though (not that I wasn't already very sympathetic towards her).

[> Re: Very intriguing take on "Get it Done" (spoilers 7.15, natch) -- Sofdog, 15:38:24 02/20/03 Thu

This is a well-written critique. I disagree with her point about the nature of the Slayer's isolation. Heroes are always alone, no matter how many allies they have. Buffy is isolated because she's the only one *obligated* fight evil. While the others were off cheering at ballgames, playing in a band and studying Buffy was out patrolling. Sure, her friends joined her sometimes, but Buffy had to go out and slay *every* night.

That kind of lifestyle is what causes her to isolate herself. She has grown accustomed to the loneliness and accepted it as a point of fact. Add to that, as stated above, Buffy's struggle to understand her nature as the Slayer. Her friends are of no use here. Spike has some insight, but it's largely supposition. He didn't hang out with Slayers, he just killed a couple. The Watchers have a few tricks in their archives, but they mainly concern themselves with the function of the Slayer. How can her powers best serve their plans for the Greater Good.

I disagree with the statement that the Slayer is expendable. The Watchers regard the Slayer as expendable. That doesn't make it true, it's just their vantage. Slayers matter to their families and friends. Willow & Co. were so grief stricken they resurrected Buffy; Principal Wood loved his mother so much he's still looking to avenge her inevitable death. The fact that the Slayer is replaceable is a technicality, not a value judgment.

The life of an individual counts for more than just the labors we perform. This was the heart of the conflict between Buffy and the First Slayer in "Restless." Buffy contends, and rightly so, that she does more than just deal death to demons. She is a part of the world at large, participating in the same mundane tasks that make up the bulk of human living. "I walk, I talk, I shop, I sneeze." Any individual's legacy is more than the work they did from day to day. It's the value they had, the effect they had through simple interaction with other people.

I take the "Tales of the Slayer" graphic novel as canon, at least the stories penned by Joss Whedon. In the opening story we see how it is that the First Slayer becomes isolated. It isn't by choice. She's shunned, turned away by the people she protects. It's a shame, but it's no reason for her successors to conform to her example.

The shaman did what they could with what they knew. They fought fire with fire. Now it's time for Buffy to find a new way. How on earth can you truly defeat essential evil by using its power? The Fellowship couldn't defeat the Dark Lord by using his power against him without becoming him themselves. Same dilemma here.

[> anyone else reading "truth"? -- anom, 23:00:39 02/20/03 Thu

"I was summarizing the 'creation of the Slayer' process for Token and he gave me a look. 'If they were going to put all this power in someone, why did they use a girl?' 'Well,' I said, 'maybe they didn't think it would work. Maybe they figured if something went wrong and she died, it was just a girl, after all...'"

Marvel Comics' series on the suppressed history behind Captain America, that is. The quote above reminds me of its premise. You didn't think they gave an untested superstrength serum to blond, blue-eyed Steve Rogers, did you? "Truth" tells the story of the "expendable" black soldiers the army used as guinea pigs to develop the serum. Frankly, I'm not that impressed w/how the series is being done (characters too broadly written, caricaturish art, implausible occurrences), but the principle is the same. All too close to real life, too--think of the Tuskegee experiment.

Buffy and Spike on two levels (spoilers from 7.15, 7.14, misc. from S1-7) -- Clen, 15:49:55 02/20/03 Thu

I personally am happy Spike got some rocks back, that makes the encounter with Wood more interesting. I thought Spike was being too delicate, and at least now he won't put up with people making fun of him (Giles called him a berk in 7.14, Anya called him Scooter in 7.15) On the other hand, what Buffy did makes her really no better than the First -- goad him, trigger him, whatever. As we saw, Buffy got her power from demons. In a roundabout way, so did Spike, Angel too. Small wonder she likes guys with dark sides. Like Spike says in S5, she likes a little monster in her man.

What we see in Buffy (amongst other things) is what happens when humans get gifted with power (see a previous thread of mine on the relationship between man and monster in the Big Bads of the seasons). Buffy, Spike and Angel (amongst others) were people gifted with evil power before the series even started, and all we see is the fallout, wherein they become two sides of that power: the human side and most often the decent and good side, and the practical and aggressive and evil side. The man and the monster. But since the show starts after they got their power, man and monster are hopelessly intertwined. There is no chance to explore them as man by themselves, save through flashbacks, which are only reflections intended to showcase the present anyways.
SMG has two sides, visible from the show title: Buffy, and the Slayer.
DB: Angel and Angelus.
JM: I'll call his sides Spike and the Big Bad.

Out of these three, the one that does not belong is DB. DB's two sides do not coexist, one will always bury the other. Buffy and Slayer coexist (willingly or not), and Spike and Big Bad coexist (willingly or not).
One reason I think the SMG and JM roles get along so well is that their two sides connect with each other. Their dual personalities are often in turmoil with each other, and when that happens, Buffy and Spike do not get along. Buffy has only recently come to grips with her Slayer side, becoming briefly badass after dying at the hands of the Master, then retreating from it after killing Angel at the end of S2, asking Giles to help her explore her Slayer side at the end of S4, getting the Buffy side lost in darkness in S6, and now her potential for manipulation to "mobilize the troops" in S7 is the Slayer side off of Buffy's chain. Spike's struggles are similarly well documented.
The Buffy side responded well to the Spike side in Intervention, and the Slayer side successfully lobbies for Big Bad in Spiral. In S6, the Slayer took from Spike what she needed, until Buffy sufficiently reasserted herself to express her horror, whereupon Big Bad reasserted itself over Spike, then over Buffy, in Seeing Red. There are of course dozens of other instances of these two people's two sides interacting, but you get my drift.

7.14 and 7.15 works so well with these two because the two sides were in balance, and were able to connect with the other's. Buffy says to Spike in 7.14 that she is not ready for him to not be in her life yet, and in 7.15 the Slayer tells Big Bad she needs him to fight for her. It ties in to the seemingly no-sweat decision to have the chip taken out. Of course, speeding by the decision was on one level a joke for the audience (they knew we would want to talk about it for ages, just as they knew we would want to figure out principal Wood), but when you look at the decision from the idea of the two sides, there is another possibility. It was a no-brainer for Buffy the Vampire Slayer because her two sides both got something out of it. Buffy said in 7.14 to Giles that she knows he can be a good man, if we let him, and keeping him imprisoned like that is wrong. The Slayer is well aware now that the First Evil has no problems with using human agents, and removing the chip frees Big Bad up to help the Scoobies wherever needed. After removing the chip, Buffy made a plea to Spike at the end of 7.14, and the Slayer made her own plea to Big Bad in 7.15. Her two sides were in agreement, and made contact with his two sides. But will his two sides be in agreement? Maybe, he says in 7.15 that that fight was good for the soul. It remains to be seen whether Spike and Big Bad can continue to coexist and Buffy and Slayer can continue to coexist. A good test will be what happens between him and her when there is no action afoot (which might or might not happen as S7 draws to a fevered pitch).

I'm sure I have more thoughts on this, but that's all that's coming off the top of my head right now. Any thoughts?

[> Interesting (Re: Buffy and Spike on two levels (spoilers from 7.15, 7.14, misc. from S1-7)) -- Random, 17:18:50 02/20/03 Thu

Fascinating. It seemed self-evident only after I read your post. Balance, of course, is an overriding theme this season, and many posters here (myself included, to an extent) posit that it'll all come down to individual issues -- the innate balance of good and evil, love and hate, war and peace, et cetera, within us all. And it does seem as though the already-complex relationship between Buffy and Spike has taken on another dimension for precisely the reason you state.

(I'd write more, but I really, really need to go fix dinner. I'll mull it over and see what others have to say later.)

~Random, off for some quick-n-easy cuisine. Maybe dry cereal.

Things I loved in GiD (gratuitous fangirlishness ahead; proceed with caution) -- HonorH (all fangirlish), 15:57:55 02/20/03 Thu

Had enough of the Serious Issues, fun as they are. I desperately need to get out some of the "SQUEE!" this ep left me with. Kindly bear with me while I borrow Rob's pom-poms:

1. The return of Slayer dreams! They're just cool, y'know, and this one had the fabulous surprise of the First Slayer.

2. Anya and Spike together. These two just delight me. Spike's "It's my bone!" may just be the line of the ep.

3. The metanarration about the Hellmouth's "semiannual percolation" and "It usually blows around May." That's just fun.

4. Buffy misunderstanding Wood's request to see where she works and being all awkward and Buffyish. It's fun to see that side of her, especially in an ep in which she's so Slayerish otherwise.

5. Andrew's oven mitts and housewifely demand to know where Buffy's been. And the Big Board!

6. Willow being all babblicious and Willowy about the training, not to mention the shoutout to that great Eliza Dushku/Clare Kramer/Chris Beck opus, "Bring it On."

7. Wood: "Remind me not to make her *crabby*." I loved how he said that.

8. Spike and Wood's pissing contest. Hoo, Mama! *fanning self*

9. Dawn being all adorable and Watcher-in-Training. I love her. Have I mentioned I love her?

10. Dawn and Buffy's cute little conversation, ranging from the smell of Gradma's closet to Dawn's homework. Sweet, sisterly moment--

11. --which comes to a crashing halt as the door swings open to reveal Chloe's suicide. Amazing, shocking cut, and wonderful direction and acting throughout the ensuing scene.

12. Buffy burying Chloe. Her face and body language as she does so don't just tell a story; they tell a whole freakin' three-volume novel.

13. Dawn again being all adorable and Watcherly with the Emergency Box. They've been slowly building on Dawn's intelligence and knack for research all season, and this scene is the payoff.

14. The Shadow Play! So very amazing.

15. The Willow/Anya/Dawn conversation in the kitchen about how to get Buffy back. Loved Dawn's "Are you helping?" to Anya, which, of course, led to Anya helping in a very "The Gift" kind of way. That girl just needs a bit of a prod sometimes.

16. Spike getting his Badass back on. The fight with the demon, complete with thrash guitar musical backing, was just fun to watch, no matter what the issues surrounding it might be.

17. The last scene with Willow and Buffy. Buffy's vulnerability and self-doubt, Willow's comforting and oh-so-gentle reproof--it reminds me of why I love these two so much.

[> Right on board the Dawn love train -- Dochawk, 16:27:10 02/20/03 Thu

The Dawn-Buffy scenes were the highlight of the epi as far as I was concerned (and this is from someone who is fanatical about the slayer mythology).

Loved the technical work on the shadowmen mobile. Best special effects we have seen on Buffy in a long time

[> [> Before this train gets as crowded as a British Rail one.. -- Tchaikovsky, 17:02:47 02/20/03 Thu

I'd like to join please. One of my favourite characters, and I can't wait to see her in action in Season Seven, where she sounds like she's been getting all grown-upish. Cool!!

TCH- who always enjoys a good squee

[> [> [> I love our little Dawnie! -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:20:06 02/20/03 Thu

She is my favorite character of the season. She's alternately been frightening, supremely funny, and touching. Her dialouge with Buffy has been some of the best the season has had (and, excluding dialouge told through song, is better than anything in Season Six). I'm sometimes compelled to shout "Dawnie! Dawnie! You're the girl!" Yeah, I'm deeply enthralled. Any ideas how I should go about stalking a fictional character?

[> [> This Brit has just gotten to see "Him" and was really frightened -- Helen, 01:46:23 02/21/03 Fri

Was anyone else very very disturbed by Dawnie's appearance in this episode? Like, how hot she's suddenly become - infintely hotter than Buffy or even dare I say it, Anya? The hair alone - poor Xander!
When I saw her little dance with RJ, I was thinking its Faith! its Faith! It totally mirrored the beginning of Faith Hope and Trick where the gang watches her dancing with that vamp.

So nice to discuss the superficial elements from time to time, as they are what keeps me watching.

[> You can borrow my pom-poms, but promise not to get them dirty! (mild spoiler for next week's promo) -- Rob, 19:42:15 02/20/03 Thu

I agree with everything you said, but here are the ones I'd specifically like to comment on:

"The return of Slayer dreams! They're just cool, y'know, and this one had the fabulous surprise of the First Slayer.

Yowzers, do I agree! Crying Chloe reminded me of the girl in "Hush," and the First Slayer was just cool. It was a great, short, shocking cameo, much like Joyce's in CwDP. I kind of wish they didn't show that clip in the promo so it would have been a total suprise.

"And the Big Board!"

All hail the Big Board and the wonder that is Andrew! I am chomping at the bit for next week's Andrew-centric ep!!!

"Dawn being all adorable and Watcher-in-Training. I love her. Have I mentioned I love her?"

Yes, you have. But it never hurts to say it again and again. Sometimes I don't feel enough Dawn-love from fans. Well, I'm here to add my voice to yours, in praise of Dawn!

"Buffy burying Chloe. Her face and body language as she does so don't just tell a story; they tell a whole freakin' three-volume novel."

Absolutely wonderful, powerful scene that didn't need any words. SMG truly nailed this scene, as she did the entire ep.

"The Shadow Play! So very amazing."

That may have been my all-time favorite scene in the show's run thus far. It was so creepy and beautiful at the same time. It was also very...not sure what word to use...elegantly(?) filmed and directed.

"Spike getting his Badass back on. The fight with the demon, complete with thrash guitar musical backing, was just fun to watch, no matter what the issues surrounding it might be."

Oh, yeah, and I'd like to add to that how perfectly the cuts between Buffy's fight with the Shadowmen and Spike's fight were done. All in all, this was a brilliantly directed, written, acted, and edited ep, IMO.

And how about that last shot? I wonder if it cost more than the combined effects for most other eps cost. However much it cost, it looked amazing. I love how this show mixes the epic with the mundane. This week, the Slayer origin story and an army teeming with millions of Turok-Han. Next week, Andrew with a video camera. It's also a testament to this show that I'm no less excited about the next episode, which looks like it's going to be a smaller type of story. Did I mention I love this show?!?


[> Agree -- s'kat, 21:38:36 02/20/03 Thu

Sometimes we forget to just sit back and be entertained.
Why I tape it. I can be entertained on 2nd watching if not the first.

For the record, agree on all your points. Found this episode one of the most entertaining to date.

My favorite fangirl parts:

1. The Spike/Anya scenes - the one in the alley and the one in the basement - great. Loved Anya's line "wimpire"
and her whole trying to hit on Spike and failing miserably.
LOL! Also Spike's "You're like a dog with a bone"
And " It's my bone!" This ranks up there with S/A in the much malinged Where The Wild Things Are, and in Entropy.
It also shows how these two characters who caught the writers by surprise have developed and grown over the years.

2. The Dawn scenes - I'm really beginning to love Dawn again. She's beginning to come into her own. Thank god.
And I love her interactions with Andrew and with Buffy.

3. Wood and Spike scenes - now these two have chemistry.

4. Spike's scene in the school getting the jacket and fighting the demon intercut with Buffy and the demonic energy intercut with Willow and accessing the energy.

5. The shadow play.

6. The fight with the demon after Buffy is whisked away and how if defeats everyone.

7. I guess I'm the only one who enjoyed the Buffy chastises her friends scene? I did. I liked the interaction between Buffy and the prinicipal SG: Spike, Willow, Anya, Xander and Dawn and how they reacted. I rank it up there with a similar argument in Selfless.

I hate when potential gets wasted (kinda o/t) -- Yu Yu Hakusho, 17:39:52 02/20/03 Thu

Just watched the series finale of Birds of Prey. I've been disappointed with the series since the pilot, but I will give them this, they ended the show fairly well. Great finale battle, good choice of music (t.a.t.u), and cool costumes. I just wish the show would have been better. Cheesy vilians, groan worthy dialouge, and the same scenes played over and over again (oh no, Huntress is going over the edge again! i hope oracle can talk her down from her rage with the same damn speech she used last week) made me lose interest in the show after the 3rd episode I'm not suprised it didn't get picked up for a full season.

I just wish they creators/producers/whatever would have stayed true to the basis of the comic book. And I am not talking about the Huntress/Black Canary arguement. I'm talking about the sense of fun, adventrue, and excitement that makes the comic book so popular. I, and many comic geeks like me, read Birds of Prey because it shows a lighter side of superheroes; characters having fun bringing down the bad guys, and not taking themselves or the situations they are in to seriously. Batman is where we have dark, brooding characters who walk a fine line, not birds of prey. The show should have lightened up on the angst factor, and explored the more enjoyable side of being superhuman.

[> Just to give you an example -- Yu Yu Hakusho, 17:59:01 02/20/03 Thu

For those of you who don't read Birds of Prey, let me give you an example of the humor of the series:

While watching a news broadcast, Black Canary recognizes an old flame (read glorified one-night stand) as one of a group of criminals fleeing from the scene of a robbery. He and the others are masked, so how does she recoginize him? Is it an exposed tatto, a distinctive accent, or some kind of unique weapon he carries? Nope, she recoginzes his well sculped, muscular butt!!

[> But I like being reminded why the Whedonverse is still ten times better than anything else... -- Solitude1056, 19:03:09 02/20/03 Thu

I watched about twenty minutes, interspersed, of the first hour of Birds of Prey last night. Not a normal thing for me, but I was really bored. And gee whilickers, now I remember why I think Joss is god, why I don't watch any other "network" television shows. To give you a small taste of what I did NOT enjoy:

"Gee, you're the first boyfriend in here." ["Here" being my Super Secret Crime Fighting Laboratory that's a ripoff of Star Trek, including the little blinking lights and various computer/tv screens.]
[Insert gushy looks, just in case you didn't know the two are dating from the "girlfriend" comment.]
"That's right!"
"Well, if only I'd known my girlfriend was actually a---"

And that's where I changed the channel back to 101 Ways To Get Booted From Las Vegas For Bad Gambling Tricks. I couldn't handle anymore of the exposition fairy - this is supposed to be the season ender, people, I'd expect this sort of "you're my boyfriend!" crap to be wasted airspace unless one or both of the conversation participants have amnesia a la Saint Cordy - and besides, I didn't want to suffer through the sentence heading where I suspected it was, which would be something along the lines of:

"---my girlfriend was actually a crime syndicate boss named Catgirl, but now that you've gone straight and are fighting crime, I can retire with the city in your good hands. Say, what is that pesky daughter of ours doing now? Boy, she is a spunky one, now that she's finished junior olympics gymnastic team and is following in her parents' footsteps..."


So anyway, hence the considerably less complaining post-BtVS broadcast, because now I have been reminded of just how much I have to be grateful for... Even when Buffy's bad, she's still twenty times better than the rest of the bunch.

[> [> BUT... -- grifter, 03:21:10 02/21/03 Fri

...one episode had one of my favorite lines ever:
Oracle and Huntress stand around a baby they have just found. Huntress, not really comfortable with babies, pokes it with a pencil. Oracle says: "Don´t poke the baby!"
Go on! Say it out aloud! It´ll make you laugh, I swear!

As Yu Yu has said, there was a lot of potential in this series, the actors where allright, the special effects where cool, but stories and dialogues just sucked so badly...

[> I rejoice when a Potential gets wasted... -- CaptainPugwash, 04:16:23 02/21/03 Fri

[> [> That's how I read that the first time, too! LOL -- CW, 05:48:48 02/21/03 Fri

Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Game of Go spoilers up to Get it Done -- Rufus, 18:03:20 02/20/03 Thu

One of the more popular spoiler speculators out there (William the Poet from The Stakehouse) mentioned that a good way to explain the behavior of the characters in both Buffy and Angel with the game of Go. I'd never heard of the game so I did a little bit of researching on it.....


At first glance, the board may appear to be square, but it is not. The standard size is roughly 16 1/2 in. by 18 in. It is always slightly longer than it is wide, just enough to prevent perfect symmetry. Thus when a game is finished and the black and white stones almost cover the board, the round stones butt together, reflecting the nature of the game: two players use their respective stones to compete for territory on the surface of the board, staking out areas that they want to own, while the opponent tries to push and squeeze those areas in order to gain more territory for himself.

The white stones invade a black-bordered area; the black stones creep in under the edge of a white-bordered area; and vice versa. Having jostled and poked and intruded, the stones at game's end touch one another's edges, illustrating the battles won and lost, forming a map of the contest of two minds.

The Go board begins bare, like an empty canvas. The game begins to take form after 30 to 50 moves, when the board resembles an artist's pencil study prior to beginning a painting. When a game is finished, after 200 to 250 moves, the lines and groups of black and white form a record of two players' plans and ideas. One of the old names for Go translates as "hand conversation," and in fact a game is really a series of discussions and arguments about the choice of moves.

On both shows the storylines have been confusing as there seems to be no definate pattern to what the characters are doing....until you think of the game of Go. On Buffy, we have the First Evil, a powerful enemy, but this enemy has limitations that have only been recently altered enough to make the First attempt to change the order of things. Remember the Yeats poem Second Coming....think of the fact that Yeats thought of history as being a cyclical thing and that there comes a time when events happen that reverse the order of the world. Yeats may have been referring to a cycle of history that starts with Christ and ends with a rough beast Slouching Towards Bethlehem. On Buffy and Angel, I see that the beginning of the world as Buffy knows it started with the arrival of man and the expulsion of the Old Ones who were here first......what we have now is a game of Go...the First Evil and mankind. The game is confusing for a reason....every time someone makes a move a myriad of possible outcomes are possible. The First didn't just go away it just prepared to make the next move.

We are seeing a competition for territory that could end the world, but if the players of the game are paying attention they will begin to see that the game isn't as simple as being the one with the biggest gun, but a game where the person who is able to manipulate circumstances enough may force the other side to give up, or battle and lose. Instead of obvious battles to the death we see a series of things happening. The First tries to enlist followers any way it can, if it can't get someone to follow they try to convince the person to take themselves out of the game....the First has taken a hostage (Spike) all in an attempt to manuver into the best position to win. As the First can make moves so has Buffy.....she has taken a hostage (Andrew)....taken back a game piece (Spike)...and she has recuited new participants. Instead of thinking about what Buffy or the First does in terms of any one thing they do it would be better to pay attention to that big picture. I find the reference to the "Big Board" was a hint of how Buffy should be thinking....Andrew threw out an idea that could be more useful than simply training fighters with nothing to hit, and expecting the Wicca who won'ta to save the day. Buffy said that there is no "Big Board" and Andrew then pulled out a Big Board....it was played for laughs but if I were Buffy I'd concentrate my energy on looking at the Big Board to see what possible advantages she may have that she couldn't see when she was only reacting to things as they happened. I'd also make sure that all the people on the team are actually on the team. So far Buffy has done much of what the First wanted by thinking of the battle as one of raw power battling to a win instead of realizing that physical and magical power can get results but the outcome may not have the expected benefits.

I'll leave Buffy for a bit and go to Angel.....we now know that Cordy isn't all that meets the eye and we also know there is a Beast loose in LA....but what does all this mean? As in Buffy we see the forces of darkness or evil attempting to reverse the order of the world as we know it. They have made some moves that may mean more than initially thought. Lets go back to the Ra-Tet....the group of totems that seem to function in a balancing way. They were murdered by the Beast, who used parts of each to bring on the Rain of Fire.....but is that all the Ra-tet is about? I go back to season three and the conversation between Angel and who we finally knew was Meseket the most evil of her "family". .....

We see Sahjhan cutting off one warrior's head then turn to engage another armored warrior in a scraggly forest.

Girl: "They were all about torture and death. You can relate. Well, they caused a lot of trouble. Don't get me wrong. I like trouble. But I hate chaos. So we changed 'em."

Angel: "You made them immaterial."

Girl: "Smart boy."

We see Sahjhan attack another warrior, but their weapons go right through the other without causing any kind of damamge.

The Ra-tet were about balance and they had the power to take players out of the game who threatened the overall balance of the world as we know it......if I were the First Evil I'd take this group out because they have the power to neutralize players who threaten the balance. Mesektet may have been an evil thing but she also had limits as to how far things could progress.....she liked trouble the kind that Wolfram and Hart could produce but detested chaos of the type the Beast and Sahjhan could create. Oh and you may want to ask why the last act of Mesektet was to help Wes and those with him in the White Room.

Now there is Angelus to contend with.....he isn't a team player, no matter which team and I'd not fancy having him in the game cause he couldn't be counted upon. And whatever is up with Cordy is more than her just being evil but we will have to see how she factors into the overall game.

Back to Buffy......we have the First who is non-corporeal can't interfere in reality......and on Angel we have the five totems gone I can only wonder what reason besides the permanent darkness the First may have had in mind when it had the totems taken out. We have seen more action from the powers of darkness than we seemed to have from the forces of light......so where are they?

For now I urge patience for those who are frustrated about what and why things will happen the way they will. We have not seen enough moves for the big picture to become more clear on the "big board". With each move made we have the chance to determine what the pattern of moves suggests....but remember for every move there are many possible outcomes, and an obvious "win" for the moment for either side may not be the move that wins the overall battle between darkness and light.

[> Re: Buffy the Vampire Slayer and the Game of Go spoilers up to Get it Done -- minasrevenge, 23:51:00 02/20/03 Thu

Read this over at the "other" board too. Great job! I looked up "Go" too after the WtP post but certainly was not able to understand or put it all together the way you managed. It helps a lot in understanding where the season is going and why.

[> Interesting post (Spoilers GID) -- s'kat, 07:48:54 02/21/03 Fri

Instead of obvious battles to the death we see a series of things happening. The First tries to enlist followers any way it can, if it can't get someone to follow they try to convince the person to take themselves out of the game....the First has taken a hostage (Spike) all in an attempt to manuver into the best position to win. As the First can make moves so has Buffy.....she has taken a hostage (Andrew)....taken back a game piece (Spike)...and she has recuited new participants. Instead of thinking about what Buffy or the First does in terms of any one thing they do it would be better to pay attention to that big picture. I find the reference to the "Big Board" was a hint of how Buffy should be thinking....Andrew threw out an idea that could be more useful than simply training fighters with nothing to hit, and expecting the Wicca who won'ta to save the day. Buffy said that there is no "Big Board" and Andrew then pulled out a Big Board....it was played for laughs but if I were Buffy I'd concentrate my energy on looking at the Big Board to see what possible advantages she may have that she couldn't see when she was only reacting to things as they happened.

I remember talking to a friend once about the difference between macro - big picture/forest and micro - details/trees/small picture.

The micro person can't see the forest for the trees. They are too busy focusing on each small problem as it arises. And in most cases they are unconscious that they are doing it. The big picture overwhelms them. Emotions get in the way.

The macro person isn't focusing on the trees, they are focusing on the world view - they are more interested in how it all ends. The forest. And tend not to pay much attention to the small details.

Let's look at what's happened so far:

1. Anyanka goes from vengeance demon to human again and rejoins the SG - this piece flips over to Buffy.

2. Spike - starts in FE's custody, jumps to Buffy, back to FE, now back to Buffy but weakened, then strengthened.
FE still feels it has a hold on him. Spike reminds me of the chess gambit - where you sacrifice a piece with the view it will turn your way at a later point. I've seen this done in tons of games - I'll let you have that piece, since it may end up working better for me later. Actually numerous chess games and Othello games have been won on this gambit alone. Spike may very well be the key to winning the game - depending on what the pieces around him do and what his actions set off. The domino effect so to speak.

3. Andrew - same thing as Spike - FE sacrificed Andrew in the view it could help him with Spike or vice versa later.
Of course it hasn't paid off for the FE yet - actually Andrew has paid off more for Buffy's team, providing info.
Also unlike the other SG - Andrew is a gameplayer - big video game geek - hence his idea for the Big Board. He may end up being the brains of the operation - since his mind is in neutral and not slanted one way or the other.

4. Wood - FE has a foothold here. Wood may be the piece that flips the Spike card or Buffy. Wood right now is leaning towards FE...even if not aware of it. Sort of taking Anyanka's place. Could go either way. What Wood decides to do next could literally push the game into either direction in a major way. This guy is Principal of Hellmouth High for a reason - he's a wild card who can really change the play. (Neutral as far as sides go at the moment. Which makes him potentially dangerous to both sides.
FE knows this. Buffy doesn't. So FE has the advantage.)

5. Giles - another wild card, who could flip things towards the FE due to his current world view. The mind is out of wack here. That's why Andrew is the "brains of the operation"

Think about it - our two (Wood/Giles) minds keep focusing on the Rah Rah Power and not on strategy. They are both operating on an emotional level. Giles from a base of fear. Wood from a base of vengeance. Kill vamps. Get more power. etc. They aren't paying attention to the FE's manipulations and maneuvres (sp?) as much as say Andrew is. Andrew actually appears to be seeing this more, possibly because Andrew is neutral in the emotion department. The emotionally neutral characters appear to be seeing the bigger picture.

6. Xander - is taken to open the seal but not by FE by a minion who would like to be with the FE. The FE hasn't confronted Xander at any point. Doesn't even appear to register Xander's presence. Xander is clearly in FE's view in Buffy's hand no matter what?

7. Willow - the FE keeps attempting to take her out of the game. Just as it may have attempted to take Angelus?
Willow is too much of a wildcard and not a good team player.
DarkWillow may go wonky on it. So FE first tries to get her to knock herself off, then attempts to get her to see her power as damaging or even turn her into Warren, possibly through Amy?

8. The SIT's - pawns. The more the FE takes out and hence converts to its side as pieces it can pretend to be, the better.

9. Dawn - the character whose power is in neutral but may be the ace. FE tries to prevent Joyce from getting to dawn or may in fact be Joyce?? Something tells me it's the former.

10. Buffy....the fight may very well be over her soul and how she uses power. Which is why FE keeps maneuvering her and Spike closer together and is manipulating Wood through his emotions.

Don't know, but fun to guess, isn't it? (Which is why I remain unspoiled...takes away my fun. ;-) )

[> Re: Thanks, Rufus. -- aliera, 10:32:14 02/21/03 Fri

Humanity: Get It Done and HOW she lives. (spoilers S7 through GD) -- pellenaka, 08:27:56 02/21/03 Fri

I was really mad at this episode. This helped me get a little more respect for Get It Done.


Duskfire posted this at the Watcher's Diary:

Ask yourself what makes you human. Is it your actions? Your thoughts? Your feelings? While you ponder...

Meet Buffy, The Vampire Slayer.

Been through everything a person with the most fertile imagination could put on paper. She's been killed, sacrificed her own life, been assaulted immeasurable times. She carries the weight of the world on her narrow shoulders. She's loved, and lost. Been used, and abused. Wanted some of it, asked for a fair amount of it, didn't have the years in her favor to understand what she was getting herself into; what she was doing to her 'self'. Fell in love with a Vampire with a soul, paid a hefty price. Fell in love with a soulless monster, thought she was to blame. Thought she was a demon, friend told her no. The Slayer, to her dismay, discovered she was just human. Then she starts to understand something. She can't put it into words, doesn't even know she's learning something invaluable... and as of now, it hasn't changed her in a tangible, obvious way, but it's creeping in... slowly, steadily...

Meet The First.

It's older than anything that exists. Older than the written or spoken word. It's THE thing that created all badness that exists. It's been asleep for millions of years, never needed to interfere with humanity directly. Then, this little blonde thing was chosen; and moved to Sunnydale USA, and after the Slayer's first year on the hellmouth, an eye of the First, opens. It feels a shift, a small, but distinct ripple. Yet, it again closes its eye, but makes note to keep tabs. Four years later, its eye pops open again. But the Slayer is gone, so it smirks, and goes back to sleep. Three months later, BOTH eyes pop open... and it lies in wait, tapping its feet in rhythm with the Slayer's choices. Its never had to pay attention before, but she's got its attention now; and the spotlight is forever fixed.

Meet the Witch.

She's fair and true-hearted. Shy and unassuming. But inside this child is wonderful power. She dabbles; it's a hobby. Loves, and loses. She learns more; it's a gift. Loves again, rediscovers her 'self'. Takes too much, takes advantage of her gift; it's a disease. Loses her love, gets it back, then loses harshly; her lover, and her self. She goes mad, driven by grief and rage. She attempts to end everything, but love stops her cold. She's nurtured and cared for. Educated and offered wisdom. She returns home, and now, she's afraid of what she owns. That fear runs her life.

Meet the Vampire.

He was a bad guy. Wasn't always, but since the vamping, it's been a mosaic of blood, flesh and bones. After a few years on the hellmouth, he falls for the Chosen Ingénue. There's something about her that grabs him. It's not her body, her eyes, her quick whit that draws him near; it's her humanity. He can feel it, see it; he yearns for it; even though neither of them have the slightest clue of its power. The Slayer tells him she could never trust him enough to love him. He attacks, fails. Goes in search of a soul, wins it.

Then, all hell breaks loose.

Meet Buffy, The Vampire Slayer and Friends, Season 7.

It starts almost immediately. The First is here, and the end is coming, fast. Everyone has been stripped of their ideals. They may not know it yet, but it's already happened. Everyone has changed, whether they worked at it and evolved, or were sacrificed to growth gone wrong; everyone is different. They cower behind their "what if's" and "what not's"; they don't know what to do, or say, where to go or who to call.

The Watcher and the Demon consult with Bijoxi's eye. It says "The Slayer is to blame, and the First is taking advantage." The Watcher and the Demon assume it means because The Slayer lives. They have no idea how wrong they are.

The Slayer tells the Watcher "doing evil to fight evil doesn't justify anything at all." The Slayer says to the Witch "Why does everyone think I'm still in love with the Vampire?" The Slayer tells the Vampire, "I'm not ready for you to not be here."

And then, one night, a potential slayer kills herself. "The First is responsible" someone offers. "No. Chloe was an idiot" the Slayer proclaims. "The First is laughing at us, while all of you sit around and wait to be butchered and buried... I'm the Slayer and I've been carrying you. Rides over." The crowd rumbles, "arrogant little...". But the Slayer is right; and she has no idea quite yet, how right she is. But it's creeping in... slowly, steadily...

She turns to the Vampire with a soul and says "you were a better fighter then." He's afraid. She's already told the Witch, "it's okay, we'll find another way." But the Slayer knows what she needs to win this war. She's already told them; but she doesn't even realize what she meant when she uttered the words. "To rip out the heart of Evil", she said. What does a heart do? It feeds the body. What does evil feed on? Fear. What is missing in the face of true fear? Love. Self worth. Humanity.

The Slayer is beginning to know. It's been a steady, slow journey, but she's closer now than she's ever been. Still, she falls back on old habits... after all, they die hard. Times a wastin'... the First is gaining ground, and nothing on the side of the Slayer has really changed. Enter, the shadow box, which offers up a portal. The Slayer jumps through said portal; if it scares her, she needs to face it... tear out the heart that feeds the body.

The men that created the First Slayer, violated a girl with the essence of demons to fight the good fight. The Slayer is offered this power. They try to force it upon her, chain her to the earth like the first slayer back in the beginning. The drumming begins, the spirits are unleashed. The girl looks on in fear, she doesn't want to be less human, it's what she's struggled with since the beginning. The spirit enters her, but she shouts it out, fights it away.

Back in the home dimension, the Vampire is digging through boxes, and finds his desire. He stands, and slips on his metaphor. The Witch, sits in the circle, fights off her fears and demands the portal be opened.

Back in the portal, This girl says "No." She refuses the "power she'll need" say the men, to fight the evil. She thinks she understands why she says no, even proclaims it to them "I can't fight this, I know this now. You violated her because you're weak, pathetic. You don't understand, you have nothing to show me." Back home, the Slayer tells the Witch "I didn't take the power they offered me; I think I've made a mistake." The Witch says "It's okay... we'll find another way." But the Slayer sits in silence. She doesn't know why yet... but it's because no mistakes have been made... the "what if's" are losing their hold...

Now, the knowledge needs to resonate, become real. The Slayer, the Witch, and the Vampire have all found their answers. We were shown them in metaphor. Now, they need to 'understand' what they've done. That their answers, have already been found... and they're now getting it done, more now, than ever before.

Cower and hide, and the body grows stronger.

Rip out the heart, and the body dies.

The episode was called, "Get It Done".

It is now, done; all they have to do, is see.

And we... have indeed, come back to the beginning.


Here's how I see it:

The Vampire and The Witch didn't lose ANY of their humanity. And The Slayer didn't ask them to. That was not what we were shown or told. What they did was discover their BALANCE. They don't know it yet... but they'll understand it soon enough.

The Vampire doesn't need to be less of a MAN to be a powerful, skilled, and dangerous fighter. The Witch, doesn't need to be less of a WOMAN to be a powerful, focused Wicca.

The First said: it's all about power; and it is. But what it didn't say, was what about the power... it's the BALANCE of power.

Bijoxi's eye told us: The Slayer caused it, the first took advantage. This Slayer is being HUMANE. She is learning from her HEART, from her humanity. She trusted that this Vampire could be a good man, even before he had a soul... she fell in love with him because of it. THAT is what has altered the Slayer line... Her HUMANITY. NOT because she died, NOT because she lives; but because of HOW she lives.

They will soon learn, and understand, that the power they have inside of them can corrupt if it is used in a way that serves evil, selfish reasons. But if it is used for the greater good, from a place of love, that POWER makes you MORE human, MORE powerful.

It's a beautiful thing their showing us this season... truly, overwhelming. And I feel blessed to be a part of it.

[> Very interresting. Great post. -- Ete, 08:54:52 02/21/03 Fri

[> Re: Humanity: Get It Done and HOW she lives. (spoilers S7 through GD) and Spec -- Arethusa, 09:21:51 02/21/03 Fri

She has become Buffy the Vampire Redeemer, twice snatching away unredeemable evil from the First Evil. How will that help her defeat it? Will she use its own weapons against it, infecting it with her hope and sending it into despair and defeat?

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