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Gods and Monsters Spoilers for BtVS and AtS through Destiny -- Arethusa, 08:49:00 02/20/04 Fri

For millennia in the Buffyverse, the Powers That Be and the Senior Partners have been a part of the supernatural landscape. TPTB have been known for their hands-off but generally benevolent attitude towards humans and non-lethal demons. The Senior Partners also have been involved with humans and demons, but in a more merciless and evil way. The origin of both groups is shrouded in mystery. In The Harvest, Giles tells Buffy,îThis world is older than any of you know. Contrary to popular mythology, it did not begin as a paradise. For untold eons demons walked the Earth. They made it their home, their... their Hell. But in time they lost their purchase on this reality. The way was made for mortal animals, for, for man. All that remains of the old ones are vestiges, certain magicks, certain creaturesÖ..î(1) But who were the ìold ones,î who preceded mankind on this world? No one knew, until one of them left its otherworldly realm.

WOMAN (Jasmine)In the beginning, before the time of man, great beings walked the earth. Untold power emanated from all quartersóthe seeds of what would come to be known as good and evil. But the shadows stretched and became darkness, and the malevolent among us grew stronger. The earth became a demon realm. Those of us who had the will to resist left this place, but we remained ever-watchful.
You're a power that... was?
But then something new emerged from deep inside the earthóneither demon, nor God.
And it seemed, for a time, that through this new race, a balance might be restoredÖ.
We became little more than observers. I could no longer bear to just watch all the suffering. I had to find a way back.(2)

Jasmine does not disagree when Fred calls her a higher power or refers to her ìholy bodinessî in in Shiny Happy People. (3) She expects to be worshipped like a god, saying ìa temple would be nice. Something massive and awe-inspiring, yet warm and nurturing, celebrating the gentle pleasures of a peaceful, precious coexistence where violent behavó(Angel appears)ÖKill him! All of you, kill him now!î (4) She declares that of all the powers, sheís the only one who cares enough to directly intervene to improve human lives. (5) But she also says that she was ìforged in the inferno of creation,î not that she was a Creator herself.(6) She usurps the role of Creator, just as she usurped humansí free will.

The Powers That Be are not the only Old Ones. The Senior Partners, who run Wolfram & Hart among many other enterprises in many dimensions, have also been around since the beginning. Jasmine says the malevolent being in the beginning of the Buffyverse grew strong, and W&HÝs Holland Manners tells Angel, ìOur firm has always been here. In one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor.î(7 ) But can we believe a rogue Power and the lackey of a group of malevolent entities?

Who are the Old Ones? It may be that weíll never know who or what the Old Ones are. But we know that Jasmine has visited other worlds very long ago and ìKicked their evolution up a few ticksÖ.It was a trial run, an early experiment to work out the bugs, so to speak. I won't make that mistake again.î And we got a glimpse of Jasmineís real form as she fed, a tall shape with waving arms or tentacles. Rufus mentioned the resemblence of Jasmine to Cthulhu, a creature from H. P. Lovecraftís novel, ìThe Call of the Cthulhu,î also used in a series of Marvel comics.

ìCthulhu appears in various monstrous and demonic forms in early myths of the human race. Racial memory preserves Him as humanity's most basic nightmare. Cthulhu is the high priest of the Great Old Ones, unnatural alien beings who ruled the Earth before humanity formed, worshipped as gods by some misguided people. It is said that They will return, causing worldwide insanity and mindless violence before finally displacing humanity forever.î

W&H also holds clues to the origin of the Old Ones. Robots are mentioned several times this season, from Spikeís sexbot to the Rogerbot to Gunnís collection of robots. One of the most famous robots in movie history is Robbie the Robot from Forbidden Planet. In this movie, a group of Terrans land on a far-off planet with only two inhabitants, Dr. Morbius and his daughter. ìIn times long past, this planet was the home of a mighty, noble race of beings who called themselves the Krel. Ethically and technologically they were a million years ahead of humankind, for in unlocking the meaning of nature they had conquered even their baser selves, and when in the course of eons they had abolished sickness and insanity, crime and all injustice, they turned, still in high benevolence, upwards towards space. Then, having reached the heights, this all-but-divine race disappeared in a single night, and nothing was preserved above ground.,ì said Dr. Morbius.(9) The Krelís advanced technological knowledge is used to build a giant machine in the depths of their planet that will let them harness the power of the mind. But minds are tricky things, and conjure up nightmares as well as visions. The Krel are destroyed by their own demons, made physical by the machine.

And deep within the belly of the beastly W&H is a machine that is able to turn Lindseyís thoughts into reality, that Eve calls a fail-safe but could perhaps be a source of great power created by the Senior Powers to fuel the power needs of W&H.

So are the Powers gods and the Senior Partners demons, or are they just an alien race so greatly advanced technologically that they are mistaken for gods? We may never know, but it sure is fun trying to figure it out.

(1) http://www.buffyworld.com/buffy/season1/transcripts/02_tran.shtml


[> Re: Very insightful -- Vegeta, 09:15:21 02/20/04 Fri

[> [> Thanks! -- Arethusa, 15:56:47 02/20/04 Fri

[> Reminds Me of Vorlons & Shadows in Babylon 5 -- Claudia, 09:51:51 02/20/04 Fri

[> [> Interesting-I'll have to check that out. -- Arethusa, 15:58:01 02/20/04 Fri

[> Ia Cthulhu Fhtagn! -- Majin Gojira, 06:22:09 02/21/04 Sat

In the series Novels and comics, the connection to lovecraft is more overt.

IE: Referencing The Book of Eibon (a lovecraft text)

But Buffy is not the first show to do this. There are many shows, movies, books, etc. that reference Lovecraft's work directly. Including Ghostbusters (who, in the cartoon, fought Cthulhu himself), the X-Files (They visited Arkahm Mass.), Sherlok Holmes ("The Giant Rats of Sumatra"), Doctor Who ("The All Consuming Fire", Novel...which also featured Mycroft Holmes and Lord John Roxton ("The Lost World")), Alan Moores "League of Extrodinary Gentelemen" (Comic book. the Mi-Go, Randolph Carter and Deep Ones appear...along with a lot of other people, places and things from books set in/told around that time period), Doc Savage (several of his assistants apparantly appear in several lovecraft stories, and one of them is mentioned as working at Mysatonic U. in later works), Evil Dead (Not many Necronomicons in fiction are bound in human flesh, inked in human blood and summon 'demons'), Even Godzilla (in one of the Randomhouse novels, he visits the necropolis of the Elder Things, mentioned in one of my favorite lovecraft tales: "At the Mountains of Madness").

Just random tidbits of information.

[> [> I thought Sherlock Holmes predated Cthulhu? -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:15:36 02/21/04 Sat

At the very least, I'm pretty sure most of Lovecraft's stories were written in the 20th century, while I'm also pretty sure the Giant Rat reference was from back when Doyle wrote in the 19th.

[> [> [> I think Majin is talking about 20th century non-Doyle pastiches -- KdS, 12:50:09 02/21/04 Sat

There have been a huge number of post-Doyle Holmes stories right up to the present day, including a good number of crossovers with fantasy universes like Lovecraft. Doyle had Watson jokily hint at many never-published stories like "Giant Rat", and many of those hints have been expanded into stories by later writers.

[> [> [> [> What Kds said -- Majin Gojira, 19:36:47 02/21/04 Sat

Now...if they all have a link to Cthulhu...do they all exist in the same universe...:-)

Of course, I exclude the Kull series because, technically, IIRC, that actually is appart of the Cthulhu Mythos...

[> [> [> [> [> A problem with looking at crossover fandoms -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:51:17 02/21/04 Sat

A lot of them can be traced back to "St. Elsewhere", which means a lot of our favorite characters and events are all just part of some autistic kid's imagination. Of course, they're all part of someone else's imagination anyway . . . and suspension of disbelief is kicking in. What were we talking about?

P.S. I was aware that there were Holmes pastiches, it's just that, with Giant Rat of Sumatra, I naturally assumed the little reference in a canonical story was meant, since small references are the easiest way to crossover with copyrighted material.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well... -- Majin Gojira, 18:34:55 02/22/04 Sun

I was just thinking about limiting it to Cthulhu-related things...you really don't want me to link to the WNU...where such a thing is not a problem.

Of course, their article "Night of the TV Crossovers that Wouldn't Die", explains how almost everything is connected to X-Files...not just Millenium, but Law and Order, Fraiser, Murder, she wrote, Marshal Law, ER and a few others...it's bloody scary!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I once tried to do some reading on the Wold Newton universe -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:16:20 02/22/04 Sun

However, once Zorro's cousins and Dracula's "soul clones" started turning up every couple paragraphs, I realized I was in over my head.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'll play . . . "Law & Order" is *easy* . . . -- d'Herblay, 22:19:09 02/22/04 Sun

The only episode of The X-Files I ever made an appointment to watch was the one in which Baltimore Homicide Detective John Munch interrogated the Lone Gunman. Richard Belzer's Munch, then a regular on Homicide, now appearing on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, deserves a Campbellian chapter to himself as he's become quite the mythic archetype: he's made appearances on at least (in rough chronological order) Homicide, Law & Order, The X-Files, Law & Order: SVU, The Beat, and possibly (though I cannot swear to this) Law & Order: Criminal Intent. Homicide also had a cross-network link to Chicago Hope when an organ harvested from a victim on the first show was transplanted into a patient on the second; and the Homicide tv movie featured Ed Begley, Jr. recreating his role as Dr. Vincent Ehrlich from St. Elsewhere. More doctors from St. Elsewhere popped up on Scrubs last season, and the original show itself brought in Warren Coolidge from The White Shadow.

There are sure to be more connections through Munch; that's just off the top of my head.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> There's more, but excelent job!. -- Majin Gojira, 06:09:13 02/23/04 Mon

The Scrubs one is new, so it's not included on this 3 year old list:

The X-Files and Millennium: A character, writer Jose Chung, was featured on both of these shows. Furthermore, the final episode of Millennium's second season featured a scene in which a character finds the butt of a Morley cigarette, the brand of choice of The X-Files' Cigarette Smoking Man. Finally, a 1999 X-Files episode entitled Millennium provided a wrap-up for that now-defunct show.

The X-Files & Strange Luck: A short-lived Fox show called Strange Luck had the main character's brother work for the FBI where he knew a guy named "Fox," a link to The X-Files.

The X-Files & Homicide: Life on the Street: In a recent episode, "Unusual Suspects," Detective Muench arrests the X-Files computer nerds, the Lone Gunmen.

The X-Files & The Lone Gunmen: The Lone Gunmen is a spin-off from The X-Files.

Homicide: Life on the Street & Law and Order: These two series have had several crossover episodes.

Law and Order & Law and Order: Special Victims Unit: Law and Order: Special Victims Unit is a spin-off from Law and Order.

Picket Fences & Chicago Hope: These two shows crossed-over when a character from Picket Fences went to Chicago Hope.

Chicago Hope & Early Edition: Characters from these two programs interacted on an episode of Early Edition, when that show's hero, Gary Dobson, took a sick friend to Chicago Hope Hospital.

Early Edition & Martial Law: Special Investigator Sammo Law traveled from California to Chicago to track down a stolen Oriental artifact and found himself working alongside Gary Dobson in an episode of Early Edition.

Martial Law & Walker, Texas Ranger: There was a two-part episode in which Walker and Sammo Law team up (first in LA and then in Dallas) to take down a David Koresch-like megalomaniac whose efforts to launch a militia movement to overthrow the U.S. government have resulted in the deaths of several Texas Rangers and a female military intelligence officer in California.

Walker, Texas Ranger & Sons of Thunder: The short lived but entertaining spin-off of Walker, Texas Ranger is Sons of Thunder, in which two of Walker's former proteges set up their own private investigation agency.

Law and Order & Picket Fences: A heart was harvested from a shooting victim in Baltimore during an episode of Homicide: Life On the Street and rushed by helicopter to Chicago Hope Hospital where Dr. Jeffrey Geiger received it and rushed into surgery. Since Law & Order is definitely linked to Homicide: Life On the Street and Chicago Hope is definitely linked to Picket Fences, this makes a stronger case for linking these two shows.

The X-Files & Picket Fences: One of the shows did have at least one line referring to events on the other.

Homicide: Life on the Street & St. Elsewhere: In a recent episode of Homicide, actress Alfre Woodard reprised her St. Elsewhere role.

Homicide: Life on the Street & Simon and Simon: The Revolutionary War ancestors of Simon & Simon dealt with John Adams, who worked with George Washington in forging a new nation. Washington stopped into the building that now houses the Waterfront Bar in Baltimore in order to pee, and that provides the link to Homicide: Life On The Street.

Magnum P.I. & Simon and Simon: These shows crossed over frequently, bringing Hawaii detective Thomas Magnum into The Wold Newton Universe.

Murder She Wrote & Magnum P.I.: These shows crossed over.

Magnum P.I. & Hawaii 5-0: Hawaii 5-0 and Steve McGarrett were often mentioned on Magnum, P.I., thus bringing 5-0 into The Wold Newton Universe.

Magnum P.I. & Columbo & Kojak & The Streets of San Francisco: An episode of Magnum, P.I. featured TV cops Columbo, Kojak, and Detective Mike Stone (The Streets of San Francisco) attending a convention.

Simon and Simon & Whiz Kids: Simon and Simon crossed over with this short-lived TV series involving teenage computer hackers.

St. Elsewhere & The Bob Newhart Show: The neurotic character of Mr. Carlin (a regular on Bob Newhart) appeared on several episodes of St. Elsewhere as a patient. He made reference (though not by name) to Newhart's character, Dr. Robert Hartley.

The Bob Newhart Show & Murphy Brown: Carol Bondurant moved to Washington D.C. and worked for Murphy Brown as her secretary, proving to be the best secretary Murph ever had. Until Dr. Hartley came down to fetch her back, saying that Jerry was sorry for what he said. Trying to keep Carol there, Murphy engaged in a war of words with Bob.

St. Elsewhere & Cheers: In an episode of St. Elsewhere, several characters went to the bar where they interacted with Norm, Carla, and other Cheers regulars. On an episode Cheers, Sam directs characters to take an ailing patron to St. Elegius hospital.

Cheers & Wings: These shows crossed-over when Frasier and Lilith visited the Wings gang.

Cheers & Frasier: A spin-off series has to be in the same universe.

This all begs the question...what do these people watch on TV? Survivor?

O/T: "Smile Time" Redux--CJL turned into a puppet! -- cjl, 09:26:19 02/20/04 Fri

And no, I'm not joking, folks.

I just received a call from "Crank Yankers"; my conversation with "Special Ed" and his Cousin Bobby from a few weeks back will indeed be turned into one of their patented felt-puppet re-enactments. The playlet should be on Comedy Central some time in June.

I'm both amused, intrigued and horrified at the thought of myself in muppet form; even though they're omitting my name (and the name of the magazine) and the puppet won't look like me, it will SOUND like me. Anybody want me to order the DVD of the playlet? (If it's not too humiliating, I could show it at the July get-together...)


[> Wow - life imitating Joss!!! -- cougar, 19:44:38 02/22/04 Sun

Serious synchronicity always snaps me out of lurk mode.

I definately detect the spread of Evil. Dr. Phil is now a Muppet too! "Dr Feel" on Seseme Street.(helping Big Bird with his "Inner Egg"). I wonder if he sings about Self Esteem...

Don't be too hard on yourself when you debut, cause "It's not easy being green.."

[> How can you resist? -- Pony, 09:24:53 02/23/04 Mon

This is your shot at puppet immortality, you've got to get the dvd!

[> [> The heck with the DVD--I want the puppet. -- cjl, 13:17:54 02/23/04 Mon

If it's anywhere near as adorable as the Angel puppet, I can use it as my stand-in for tedious social obligations or if I'm overbooked. For instance, Puppet!cjl will sit at my desk at work when I'm in Chicago for the ATP fest. Puppet!cjl will sit in when my friend wants to talk about her upcoming wedding for hours on end. Puppet!cjl will listen attentively at family functions when my sister's father-in-law insists on creeping out the rest of the room.

It's my ticket to liberation, I tell ya.

[> [> [> oh, *really*... -- anom, 17:43:29 02/23/04 Mon

...and I see Puppet!cjl read my chapter in the fanfic! Was that a tedious social obligation, or were you just overbooked? What was the real you doing meanwhile, hmmm?

If you can't even teach that thing to sign your own posting name, it'll never fool anyone as an RL stand-in, adorable or not.

[> [> [> [> Now, now..... -- cjl, 13:50:49 02/24/04 Tue

Isn't that one of the most intriguing aspects of cyberspace (and your fanfic)? Who is "cjl"? Who is "puppet!cjl"? They aren't people or puppets--just alphanumeric characters translated into binary code and projected into the ether. One doesn't "represent" the other on the internet, because both represent an entirely different entity altogether.

In other words, I read your fanfic, anom, and enjoyed it, whatever the signature on the post.

Of course, you could ask--who is the "I" in this case?

(But do yourself a favor. Don't.)

[> [> [> [> [> well...yeah, but... -- anom, 23:07:01 02/24/04 Tue

...I thought it was funnier to take it as coming from your puppet stand-in. Er, your cybernetic puppet stand-in--wait, I mean the cyber-you's equally cybernetic puppet stand-in whose real version doesn't exist yet. Anyway, I'm glad at least one of you enjoyed my chat-per. And I hope the actual person who typed those words was one of them. But, OK...I'm not asking.

"Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Slayer A, 12:00:37 02/20/04 Fri

I have a question to ask all of you knowledgeable people here at AtP. It stems from the Angel episode which aired last week called Smile Time.

In this eppy Wes tells Angel to just "get over it" when Angel voices concerns about his curse and the happiness clause in regard to his attraction to Nina. I thought the notion of Angel just "getting over it", was appalling. How can he just get over it? It is a SPELL. Anyone who knows anything about the Buffyverse would imagine that in order for Angel to be free of the happiness clause, another spell would be needed to reverse the original spell. Angel's curse has been canon for eight years on both shows - how can the explanation of "just get over it" be plausible as a solution for Angel to move on? I feel he sure does need to move on, but how can the audience believe that after all this time, and all the plot lines devoted to this truth, that all Angel has to do is ìget overî the curse by simply willing it so? How can anyone who has faithfully followed canon of both shows take this as an explanation for Angel moving on?

What are your feelings? Can Angel just "get over it" or does the happiness clause of his curse need to be mystically removed?



[> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- celticross, 12:44:08 02/20/04 Fri

I don't think Wes is saying that the curse can simply go away via the power of positive thinking. What he's telling Angel to get over isn't the curse itself, but the habit Angel has developed of holding every woman around him at arm's length, for fear of what *might* happen. Which is, if you think about it, a pretty good metaphor for someone who's been badly burned by a previous relationship and is afraid to give new relationships a try.

[> [> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- buffyguy, 12:58:36 02/20/04 Fri

i completely agree...i also think wes was trying to tell him that not all women he dates are gonna end up with two little holes in their necks. Meaning, angel is not gonna revert to angelus everytime he orgasms. Only if he is truly happy and content with the person he is with. My personal belief is that the only person that is is Buffy. I really dont think that if cordy and angel did it that he would turn into angelus. Remember when he was with darla? he didnt go back to angelus then, did he?

[> [> Except that -- Dlgood, 13:38:40 02/20/04 Fri

Which is, if you think about it, a pretty good metaphor for someone who's been badly burned by a previous relationship and is afraid to give new relationships a try.

The curse just isn't some silly little hang-up to "Get Over". Nobody really knows what contitutes "perfect happiness", it only takes one moment, and the price is potentially rather staggeringly high.

There's a rather legitimate length he really does have to keep from people.

[> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- heywhynot, 12:59:23 02/20/04 Fri

The curse would need to be removed but as Wes pointed out on the show, the chances of Angel obtaining perfect hapiness again are pretty slim. What Angel had with Buffy back then was rare. Most of us are never that utterly happy and content in our lives. Sex alone doesn't trigger the clause in the curse, perfect happiness does. Angel can have relations and most certainly be in a relationship without turning into Angelus. To keep from dating out of fearing that Angelus might return is kinda silly. We was giving Angel a good kick in the rear. Personally, I don't Angel is capable of experiencing such perfect happiness again. He did not really know when he was with Buffy what would happen, what the affects would be. Since that will always be in the back of his mind now, he will ever have nagging troubles that prevent perfect happiness. His very brooding nature would keep him safe. Of course the brooding keeps him in a shell totally negating the chances of him developing a meaningful relationship.

[> [> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Claudia, 13:06:34 02/20/04 Fri

The only women Angel has ever achieved any feeling of pure happiness with was Buffy, and his mind, with Cordelia (along with reconciliation "with his family"). So far that is two women. Is there a chance that Nina would be that third woman? On the whole, the chance is slim. But if Angel is able to stumble into the feeling of pure happiness with two other females, well . . . maybe he has a good reason to be apprehensive.

[> [> [> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Slayer A, 13:33:26 02/20/04 Fri

Yes, that is my feeling as well. I think the chances are slim, but certainly there. I think it would be a pretty sad existance for Angel if he has to spend the rest of his unlife holding back his feelings out of fear. I would love for the "clause" to be removed mystically before the end of the series. I think it would be a fitting end for Mr. Broody. Of course, if Angel shanshus, that would be moot. (I hope)! Boy am I gonna miss this show!

Thank you all for your imput!

[> [> [> [> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Claudia, 13:55:06 02/20/04 Fri

"Angel thanks Gunn, but warns him that no matter how guilty he feels for his role in Fredís death, he canít hide in the hospital forever."

Frankly, I would prefer if a soulless Angel would choose to regain his soul, instead of resorting to such a quick and easy way out of his dilemma. It would make his actions more meaningful to me.

[> [> [> [> [> MAJOR SPOILERS ABOVE!!!!!!!!! -- Lunasea, 14:51:17 02/20/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: MAJOR FUTURE SPOILERS ABOVE!!!!!!!!! Be more careful Claudia!!!!!!!!!!!! -- RadiusRS, 20:40:36 02/22/04 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> What Are You Talking About??? What Spoilers??? -- Claudia, 12:30:47 02/23/04 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> re: the role a character had in ....... MAJOR future spoiler!!!!! -- oops! should have responded here, 14:43:22 02/23/04 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Look at the first line of your post in response to Slayer A -- RadiusRS, 19:07:28 02/23/04 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Claudia is taking the piss. "What Spoilers???" my ass. -- Will never ever read another post made under that name., 11:45:58 02/24/04 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> re: the role a character had in ....... MAJOR future spoiler!!!!! -- more spoiled than I want to be, 14:38:52 02/23/04 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> SPOILER??? -- Claudia, 14:24:16 02/24/04 Tue

"Frankly, I would prefer if a soulless Angel would choose to regain his soul, instead of resorting to such a quick and easy way out of his dilemma. It would make his actions more meaningful to me."

Again, how is the above statement - a spoiler? It's not a spoiler. It's my opinion. Unless you guys know something different. Frankly, I have no idea on what is going to happen to Angel by the finale.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: SPOILER??? -- Irritated Lurker, 16:53:29 02/24/04 Tue

Claudia, I'm not sure what you're playing at here but there is most definitely a HUGE spoiler in your initial response to Slayer A. There is a quote which looks like an episode description for an episode that CLEARLY airs after the one this Wednesday. I don't want to reprint the quote because I don't want to spoil anyone else. You need to go back and read that post (or all of them, if you can't figure out which one people are referring to) and figure out what went wrong. Perhaps you did not mean to include it, or you copied and pasted the wrong information. Whatever error you made, it spoiled me when I did not want to be and your attitude about being called to task for an egregious error is making it worse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Not that one, the one before that. Read it again. -- DorianQ, 16:53:51 02/24/04 Tue

The line in question from your post starts "Angel thanks Gunn..." Did you put that on by accident or something? For the love of god, be way more careful next time. I really didn't want to know anything about that episode until I saw it. I think the trailer showed me too much as it was.

[> [> [> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- heywhynot, 15:48:23 02/20/04 Fri

Really it was one woman. The dream of Awakening was mystical in nature, creating an imagined day of perfect happiness that seemed real to Angel. The Gang was back together, they saved the day, Conner loved his father & wanted to be a champion, Wes apologized, he & Cordelia finally admit they love one another, they start making love and then he thinks of Buffy (ANGEL: BuffyÖ oh godÖ no!). The magics kept building in Angel's head the idea of a great day leading to perfect happiness where any mental blocks Angel normally had where removed (ie worrying about being Angelus again, his past sins etc). Buffy was the only woman with whom he achieved true perfect happiness. Heck even in a mystical vivid dream it took him thinking of Buffy to reach the "perfect happiness" again. In a real encounter, Angel would worry about turning to Angelus again and thus not achieve perfect happiness.

Or heck maybe the dream wasn't what caused him to loose his soul. Wo Pang did as he said he could, remove a soul and put it in a jar. The dream was just Angel's brain trying to come to terms with what was happening, processing the strange sensations.

[> [> [> [> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Claudia, 16:19:16 02/20/04 Fri

"Buffy was the only woman with whom he achieved true perfect happiness. Heck even in a mystical vivid dream it took him thinking of Buffy to reach the "perfect happiness" again."

If that is what you think . . . okay.

[> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Graffiti, 15:55:35 02/20/04 Fri

I never thought his turning evil on the happiness clause made much sense. Pure happiness is not easy to come by. Having a relationship with Nina probably would not immediatly make him purely happy for many reasons.

a) His job. Lots of nasty things in the back of his mind.

b) Old relationships. Buffy and Cordelia certainly didn't end well, did they?

c) Buffy. Remember how that ended? He went Grr argh, killed people, etc. Not exactly good fun.

d) His life. Remember how he was always broody? He is for a reason. People forget that when they discuss the feminine persuasion.

[> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Raven_NightDragon, 17:17:17 02/20/04 Fri

Basicaly.... Angel should just do what most guys supposedly do... and think about baseball.

[> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- Athena, 14:52:45 02/21/04 Sat

When Angel got his 'happy' with Buffy, his life was a lot simpler, though not necessarily easy. He was relatively detached to everyone that didn't have to do with Buffy. Afterall, when people don't want much it's easier to please them. Even in Buffy season three, his life was much more complicated.

All things considered, I was more afraid of Angel getting a happy from baby Connor. I'm no parent, but some of my most wonder-filled moments have been because of my three little brothers. It must be even more powerful for someone like Angel, a father who thought he'd never have kids. From what I've seen, kids (not necessarily your own) can inspire a happiness that is hard to beat, even if the rest of the time they drive you insane.

[> [> Agreeing -- auroramama, 08:42:33 02/23/04 Mon

Since there's always something to be unhappy about somewhere, I think the requirement for perfect happiness is something that makes you think nothing else matters -- the whole world just falls away and you are, ahem, in the moment. Kids are very good at making that happen. When a baby gives you that first real smile, does anything else in the universe matter?

[> Re: "Get Over It" - Smile Time Spoilers -- pellenaka, 11:07:23 02/22/04 Sun

As others have already said, there's a big difference between S3 (Buffy)-Angel and the Angel other he got his soul back.
He knows that there is a curse and he didn't before. He won't be able to stop thinking about that.

As Ken said on Buffyguide.com:

Angel, under Jasmine's thrall, was extremely happy. He confided to Jasmine that he was worried about being so happy, that being so happy would cause him to lose his soul.

Although Jasmine didn't say this, it would have been interesting for her to have replied, "And that worry, it's what will keep your soul intact. As long as you have that worry you won't have perfect happiness, and you won't lose your soul."

Forgetting how to smile (Spoilers Smile Time) -- Lunasea, 13:39:41 02/20/04 Fri

Amen, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 18:3)

When I got my memory back a few weeks ago, after the initial amazement and joy started to wear off, I got very angry and sad. Even looking at my 3 year old daughter became difficult. It just reminded me of what I lost, what was taken from me. Then I realized, I didnít lose anything because I still was that child. I had just forgotten how to smile. Watching my daughter doesnít make me angry or sad anymore. Instead it helps me remember how to smile.

ìSmile Timeî isnít just a popular childrenís television program in the Southern California market that airs from 7:00 to 7:30 AM. It is something Angel needs. He needs to take time to smile. He needs to remember how to smile. The program that teaches children that 2+2=4 and the difference between analogy and metaphor also teaches them about self-esteem. This is something that causes Angelís frown to deepen when hearing about because he has none.

Weíve seen flashbacks of what Liam was like. He was rather successful with the ladies. When Wesley is talking to Angel about how he should pursue a relationship with Nina because he would be a fool to throw away ìacceptable happiness,î Angel says that he isnít ìthat guy.î According to him, ìThat guy is charming and funny and emotionally useful.î That guy is Liam and Angel is no longer him because ìIím the guy in the dark corner with the blood habit and 200 years of psychic baggage.î

When Angel is puppetfied, it alters his ìstress response mechanismî or as Gunn says ìyou have the proportionate excitability of a puppet your size.î That excitability is not only for humorous effect, but it helps children relate to puppets because are very childlike. One of the things children have to learn is how to handle their emotions. Songs like ìSelf-Esteemî and ìCourage and Pluckî help children do this. Mister Rogers ended every episode with ìItís Such a Good Feeling.î He also dealt with negative feelings with songs like îWhat Do You Do?î

Angel doesnít just become a puppet. He becomes very juvenile. His explanation of what happens at the TV studio isnít exactly a report. It was more like what happens when you ask your kid what they did as school today. When Nina shows up, he not only hides under his desk, but when she asks him why he isnít looking at her, he says ìícause Iím under my desk.î The only thing missing from such an obvious answer was the ìduh.î Even though Spike and Angel spar verbally frequently, it doesnít come to blows without a good reason. This time Spikeís taunting does get under Angelís skin (or felt in this case) and not only does he lash out physically, but he resorts to biting. He even says ìShut upî to Harmony, a typical retort of a child to something he doesnít want to hear.

The demon puppets arenít mature either. Either they talk as if they were talking to children, such as when they are talking through Framkin or their victims, or they talk with potty-mouths. They are more kidsí idea of what adults are like than they are adults themselves. Their plan is revealed by Pollo, ìThe life force we are pulling out of these snot-nosed kids is 100% pure innocence dickwad! You have any idea the street value that carries down in hell...Damn right. Weíre going to be rich enough to build our own Hades.î

Instead of the kingdom of heaven belonging to the joy of children, their life force is going to build these demons their own hell. The children that are in stasis, neither dead nor quite living, have a fake Joker-like smile on their face. It was Pollo that experienced joy as he sucks the childrenís life force via the TV. The children do not. The smiles on their faces are hideous, not beautiful. It is not the smile Angel needs to learn. It is more like the smile that we see in ìWaiting in the Wings.î

Puppet!Angel tells Nina what happened to him, rather than let her be hurt because she thinks he just sees her as a charity case. He even admits to her, ìIt all sounds good, but thatís not how I feel.î She tells him, ìI know. Thatís what I like about you.î Her support gives him the strength to explore why he doesnít smile any more.

Iím not very good at any of this. Iíve spent so much time worrying about the past, the future, and my very complicated life, itís been a while since I looked up and really saw what was going on around me. Itís not my strong suit, you know. But Iím working on it. Iím paying better attention to....

They have to end such a dramatic scene with classic ME undercutting. The message is still there. It isnít losing the mission that is causing that frown. It is being so caught up in things that he doesnít enjoy things. He doesnít take the time to smell the roses. Heís trying though.

When Puppet!Angel goes after the demon puppets, he takes his Celtic sword representing his Celtic heritage and even Liam. The triangle that the Fang Gang forms as they go to face the puppets is Fred flanked by Gunn and Wesley with Angel carrying his Celtic sword in the lead. At this time, Fred/heart is the dominant force in Angel. He is getting a handle on his emotions.

At the end, his growth is shown by even though he is still a puppet, he asks Nina out for breakfast. When she asks him, ìWhat do puppets eat?î He doesnít get flustered. He manages to be charming, funny and emotionally useful. He finds a bit of that joy that defines a child and makes it so the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these. (Matthew 19:14)

Angel's path to redemption and destiny fulfillment tied to Wolfram and Hart (heavy, heavy spec) -- Mike, 06:51:09 02/21/04 Sat

Angel's path to redemption has been the intense, central theme throughout the series. Playing the role of Champion, having a mission, a purpose, being the good guy.His current place right now seems to be the more focused, confident hero - resuming the mindset of a Champion continuing his path to redemption. Though he has been a "puppet" at one point or another, Angel has done plenty as a Champion in the side of Good regardless. Even as a literal puppet in Smile Time, Angel was apparently more like the Angel we have come to know in previous seasons (in addition to being more open about his feelings in this ep). However, Wolfram and Hart continue to have him in their clutches as long as The Deal remains. But now from the way things seem to be unfolding, it is Angel's redemption and destiny that I want to speculate on.

Angel's path to redemption has had its share of steps. Dare I say those gypsies were Angel's first puppeteers, having him strung along like a "puppet" to suffer through his unlife for his past as Angelus. Angelus had pure evil, pure control over anything he did on the side of Evil. But Angel hasn't ever been fully independent from the strings since he was cursed with a soul. These phases have perhaps played out like they were meant to. First, on a missionless path, then as a guide for a few years, then later as a Champion, and now as a CEO. Of course, all being a CEO to preserve Connor's altered, better life.

How about thinking back first to when this "puppet" label really went into full force for Angel in the first place - when he finally answered his calling as a "Champion", after helping and looking after Buffy for a few years. Angel's calling as a Champion, from simple observation, came about for him to move forward in his path to redemption. Having a mission, helping the helpless, paying for his past. Things started to seem clearer, Angel would have officially redeemed himself by being a Champion, his destiny would have been fulfilled and he would have been rewarded by becoming human. Sure, obstacles to overcome, but a clearcut path. Right?

Now I have been thinking otherwise, considering how things have been playing out this season relating to theories on Angel's redemption and destiny. Pointing out what we have known from his history as Angelus and as Angel, and what may really be in store for him.

Throughout AtS, even earlier on Buffy, flashbacks have revealed the nature of Angelus in a nutshell. His taste for death, destruction, torment, pain; taking pleasure in every single one of his victims. Making an art out of his reign of terror, for instance, driving Drusilla insane, killing Holtz's family. With a soul, Angel had been suffering
for taking lives of strangers but none of them were people he really cared about. Angel hadn't suffered the way humans do when they lose people they love and care about.

After the breakup with Buffy (possibly first person he ever truly loved) and moving to LA, Angel would eventually grow to love and care for Cordelia, slowly the rest of The Fang Gang, and finally, Connor. For the first time, a family, and greater optimism for the future as Champion and Father. Angel's mission has led him thru some morally-conflicting situations thru the series, but the path to redemption still seemed hinged toward Angel being the Champion, fulfilling his destiny, defeating Wolfram and Hart, and everything could be alright in the end.

Here's the thing that I'm theorizing now and it is a
heartbreaking theory in terms of Angel's path to redemption and destiny. There have been specs that everyone in The Fang Gang will die by the end of the season, and Angel has already lost Cordelia (his reaction was sooo tearjerking), looks like he'll lose Fred next week, lost Doyle much earlier, and given up Connor to save him. This has become more common speculation at this point. That's part of the theory meaning the rest of Angel's redemption is to lose the people he has loved and cared about like humans do, suffer thru it, go on fighting till he becomes human. In this phase of redemption, suffering loss like a human. Meanwhile, Connor is living the normal, happy life as part of The Deal that Angel made to run Wolfram and Hart. Is Connor really living at all? Could Angel go on fighting?

And so the rest of the theory about the path Angel was meant to take to atone for his past could unfold like this,
and the Senior Partners have probably been essential all along in moving along and completing this path. Nevermind the agenda of the human lawyers to turn Angel evil, the SP are the ones with the real, secret plan for Angel. Why else
give him their LA branch, and it probably wasn't because he ended world peace. They knew Angel would only take it if it meant saving Connor. But was Connor saved in the end?

Think of the events that have happened since Angel became a Champion and first became aware of Wolfram and Hart:

It was Wolfram and Hart that had possession of the scrollmentioning the Shanshu which I now think they purposely manuevered Angel to see, thru Lindsey getting him past the vampire detectors in the firm. And Wesley, lending support to Angel, had said that there is a design and Angel is part of it. It was Wolfram and Hart that brought Darla back which led to The Trials that made Connor's birth possible, perhaps the Senior Partners were aware of Jasmine's plan and allowing her plan to run its course. Maybe the SP and Jasmine were in cohoots. It was Wolfram and Hart that spiked Angel's blood that led Connor to be taken to a Hell dimension and return a teenage warrior bent on killing his father. The design for Angel continues.

It would also be incredibly diabolical for the Senior Partners to allow Jasmine and The Beast to kill everyone in Wolfram and Hart, enable Jasmine to screw up Connor till he finally became lost and destructive, and then manuever Angel into making The Deal by first killing Connor to give him a new life, a life where he won't be lost and destructive. Yeah, that could definitely have thrown Angel off. Mind you if I'm right about this, thus far, then Angel's completion of redemption will really be the cliffhanger.

The most and worst suffering Angel could ever face now would be to completely lose Connor, being a Father would have to be the closest human emotion Angel's ever had
and losing him permanently woud be unbearable. I'll rehash what people already know first. We've seen torment and frustration(W&H compromise, losing Connor), disconnection (Angel from Fang Gang), and even death (Cordelia) this season so far. But insanity as has been speculated on some boards may be the next-to-last phase in the path to redemption. Wolfram and Hart had slowly been draining Angel away, and even if now he's back on track, I feel the very worst is yet to come. He's put up with the firm for Connor, but what if he had been duped. Angel having not changed Connor's life but having just killed him and the Senior Partners have only changed Angel's reality. People have said that the season finale could result in that outcome, but I don't believe Angel's path had been tied in with this yet. If that truly will be the finale, boy, Angel will return to the spot where he killed Connor and lose his mind completely- realizing that an act of desperation only further led to his son's death, by his own hand, and that nothing changed for Connor, only death.

If this complete's Angel's redemption, Wolfram and Hart taking full credit to complete his path and destiny, then
Angel may shanshu. Angel will become human perhaps right in front of his son's dead body. Tears fall from his eyes, his heart beating again quickly can't take it, and our Champion
will die having had the greatest suffering in his unlife. A suffering that could offically complete his redemption, fulfilling his destiny, running his course atoning for his evil past. A huge design laid out there for Angel, the path of redemption taken step by step for a few hundred years.
A destiny fulfilled, not a reward to live as a human, but
to have suffered every possible way a human suffers: torment, pain, guilt, isolation, insanity, loss, death.

If all this were to happen in the end, to complete Angel's
redemption and fulfilling destiny, then it was one helluva intriguing, hellish, rollercoaster, mindtripping journey we've been treated to through 1 of television's most interesting characters ever.


[> SPOILERS for "Smile Time" and promo for next week ABOVE -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:21:55 02/21/04 Sat

Prince of Lies (Season 3 & Why We Fight Spoilers) -- heywhynot, 14:12:58 02/21/04 Sat

The last couple of nights I have been watching the Angel Season 3 DVDs. I reached the finale and what does Conner call Angel before he sinks him to the bottom of the Pacific?
The Prince of Lies

Fast forward (to flashback) to season 5: Why We Fight
We see Angel sink to the bottom of the ocean to carry out a mission for the US government. And who does Angel encounter? The Prince of Lies.

Right now only thought about it at the "we are getting reminded about Conner in a subtle way level". Just an interesting observation at this point. Thought I would share for those of you that have thought about Why We Fight more than I have.


[> didn't notice that ---- cool. -- Seven, 09:47:06 02/22/04 Sun

Spoiler: Smile time: Analogy and Metaphor -- luvthistle1, 14:36:57 02/21/04 Sat

I love the slow walk with Angel and the fang gang. *cute*
But vamp muppet Angel is the best. I want a vamp muppet angel, who with me!

I thought it was an little creepy, when the muppet told the little boy that smile time was free, and he has to "touch it" touch it" and than started to moan. it sounded a little perverted.

Did angel give Spike a car, in order for Spike to kept quiet about him turning into a puppet? I mean he didn't want buffy to know, right?

Last season Wesley made a move on Fred, this year Fred made a move on Wes. Do you think she remember Wesley kissing her last season?

That guy in the lab seen to know a awful lot about Gunn. he tell Gunn he couldn't afford him, well Gunn should have fired him, than he couldn't afford Gunn's prices. I do not understand , if Angel and the fang gang are the one running the company, than that means everyone working there , are working for them. so, why didn't Gunn fired him, or at least tell Angel to fired him. so, the whole scene between Gunn and the lab guy tell us two things . that Gunn is afraid of being Gunn. he do not want to go back to being himself. he use to want to be smart, to impress Fred. he felt that he and her would have had a better relationship if he was more like Wes. Now, he is smart. he is more like Wes, yet he do not seem the least bit interest in Fred. he doesn't even notice her.

Didn't anyone notice that because Angel was a muppet, he was able to do thing he normally wouldn't do. he was able to ask Nina out, and .... he hugged "Fred". Angel do not like hugging and he never really hug anyone unless he was under a spell . he hug Willow once. Well , now this season he hugged Fred, and this might be the last time, we ever see him hug her.

I loved, the dog muppet wanting to do a song about the
difference between metaphor and analogy.

So what were the "Analogy" is this episode?
What were the "Metaphor "?


[> gunn & the doc; muppet courage (spoilers for "smile time") -- anom, 10:05:12 02/24/04 Tue

"That guy in the lab seen to know a awful lot about Gunn. he tell Gunn he couldn't afford him, well Gunn should have fired him, than he couldn't afford Gunn's prices. I do not understand , if Angel and the fang gang are the one running the company, than that means everyone working there , are working for them. so, why didn't Gunn fired him, or at least tell Angel to fired him."

I wouldn't assume the doctor is a W&H employee. I get the impression he's an independent contractor. When Eve first sent Gunn to him, she handed him a card--she didn't give him a room no. or a location in the W&H building to go to. Besides, if the doc worked there, wouldn't he be working for Fred? But she doesn't seem to know about him. And his mention of Gunn's insurance coverage also implies that he's an outside supplier. W&H may be his primary contract (probably not his only one, though; the guy getting the X-ray vision seemed to be a private client), which would explain his knowing offhand about what their employee health insurance covers.

"Didn't anyone notice that because Angel was a muppet, he was able to do thing he normally wouldn't do. he was able to ask Nina out, and .... he hugged 'Fred'."

And he was able to say, "I love you guys!"--also something he wouldn't normally do. Now that I think about it, to some extent, being a puppet may have freed Angel to express his feelings in something like the way being invisible freed Buffy in Gone. Yes, I know Wesley said it was the effect of the spell on his stress response, but I wanna draw an analogy between the metaphors!

In Angel's case, though, this emotional loosening up conflicts w/his embarrassment about his puppet form. For all his heroics (conveniently pointed out for us in the same scene), letting Nina see him as a puppet may have been the bravest thing Angel has ever done! Risking his life, even his soul, is so much easier...or maybe it's that that's the kind of brave he knows how to be. We saw in his early scene w/Wesley how hard it is for him to open up even under normal usual conditions. And when puppet!Angel comes to see Nina, the emotional risk he takes turns into the kind he's more familiar with when she literally tears the stuffing out of him. Now there's a metaphor for you!

Q: How is AtS Season 5 like South Park? -- Fleem, 17:26:27 02/21/04 Sat

Is it my imagination? I've only seen each episode once, but has any of you multiple re-watchers noticed if that glass wall in Angel's office gets smashed in EVERY ep this season?

I just gotta know.


[> Re: Q: How is W&H like Dr Suess's There's a wocket in my pocket? -- Ann, 07:17:31 02/22/04 Sun

I don't watch SouthPark but I was reading my children "There's a Wocket in my Pocket" by Dr. Suess the other night and I realized the character's house is amazingly like W&H. In the story, for those that don't know it, are creatures that live hidden all around the house. In bureaus, in closets, in clocks and under rugs. There is even a Gellar in the cellar. I decided that as we learn more about W&H, and what is stored away and what is revealed, it is a lot like this book. Angel is discovering, layer by layer, all of the hidden lives, souls, contracts, magics and spirits contained at/in W&H.

Represents his personal journey too! Layer by layer revealed!

I have returned! Super-Evil Reviews of "Lineage" and "Destiny." -- Honorificus (The Rare And Radiant One), 00:06:54 02/22/04 Sun

You may hold your applause. I have indeed returned to grace you all with my insights into literary symbolism, demon society, and fashion. This time around, we must consider the episodes "Lineage" and "Destiny." Spoilers, for those of you with the mental capacity of the average human, will abound. First, "Lineage":

Fashion Statements
The Good

Wesley was a picture. Did you see those colors and what they did for his eyes? I could have just eaten him up. In a good way, of course.

Gunn continues to look good in suits. He's choosing nummy ties. Still, it's a tad safe. Some brighter colors are needed--at his age and with his looks, he can handle them.

The Bad
Wyndam-Pryce Sr. The Watcher Academy must have an entire course on dressing like a fossil.

Fred's frankly wimpy outfit with its frankly wimpy colors. Pastels make me gag.

The ninja-bots. That's what a well-dressed cyborg is wearing nowadays? I think not. I, for one, know plenty of well-dressed cyborgs. Those ones looked like Goth Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Knox's jacket. Eugh. Who told him that thing would make him look cool?

The Iffy
Angel. *Yawn!* Speaking of someone who needs color in his life . . .

Plot in a Nutshell
Wesley's "father" drops by with a bunch of cyborgs in an attempt to make Angel even more boring than usual. This leads to all kinds of interesting developments, including an attempted patricide. Good times!

Demonic Quibbles & Comments
Not much except that Roger Wyndam-Pryce rather reminds me of my secondary sire. It was *fun* killing and devouring the old windbag, I'm telling you.

Body Count
Lots of cyborgs.

Possibly a few W&H extras.

Wesley's ego.

One ersatz Wyndam-Pryce.

HoYay! Factor
4.5 for Angel chewing out Wesley and Spike attempting to make friendly conversation with him. Frankly, not much, which is unfortunate.

Wesley with guns. That just never gets old.

Fred getting shot.

Lorne entertaining Roger Wyndam-Spyte. Of course, now I'm having strange mental images about Judi Dench. Hm.

Spike not caring about Eve in the elevator.

Wesley and dear ol' Dad tearing into each other. That's quality family television, I'm telling you.

Attempted patricide! Wesley emptied his gun into what he thought was his father. I can't tell you how hot I found that. Yummy!

Angel and Spike trying to make Wesley feel better. Aren't they just adorable?

The idiot weapons dealer at the beginning. That man just has no clue how to be intimidating.

Fred surviving. Bleh.

Wyndam-Pryce Sr. I just don't like him. He's an arrogant, emasculating, spiteful old bastard, and yet something about him still puts me off. Perhaps I'm just too fond of Wesley to appreciate the old man. It's a weakness of mine.

No real patricide. Boo. That would've been far more interesting than the cheat, IMHO.

Knox and his horrible leather jacket taking Fred home. Come on--she can't find him more attractive than Wesley, can she?

Burning Questions
Did anybody--anybody at all--think of contacting one Captain Riley Finn over this little incident?

Just how hard does Spike have to concentrate to affect things?

Why does Angel have to have that tiresome chivalrous streak? Couldn't Darla have beaten it out of him?

The Immoral of the Story
Never ask a vampire for advice on how to deal with your family unless you want far too much information.

Overall Rating
An interesting one. It featured Wesley more than Angel, which was definitely a plus, but they chickened out of real patricide. I guess that would leave it at one-fifteenth of a blue carrot with a sconce on the Non Sequitur Scale.

On to "Destiny," my beloved fiends!

Fashion Statements
The Good

Fred's hair was a picture. Someone's been listening to me urge a bit more body for the Thin Woman.

Gunn without the ever-present jacket. The man's looking good, I tell you. Can't they lose the shirt occasionally?

Eve's red dress. Looked nicely expensive and flattered her, and as I always say, you just can't get enough red on a girl.

Spike surrounding himself with a red Viper. That's class.

Angelus, especially mid-coitus. That man knew how to dress, I'm telling you. Must've been Darla's influence.

Drusilla in her Victorian undies. She looked so sweet!

Angel and Spike, bloody and battered. That look never goes out of style on a man.

Lindsey in tattoos and nothing else. *Sigh!*

The Bad
Harmony in that blue horror. Someone desperately needs to take her aside and teach her how the well-heeled vampiress should present herself.

Angel and Spike's looks have officially crossed the line from "tired" to "bad." Would someone please give their wardrobes a kick in the unvaryingly-black trousers?

Angelus' wig. Again I ask: is there a bad wig that hasn't attacked David Boreanaz's head?

Young William's sartorial choices. Did the CoW circa 1880 dress him?

Plot in a Nutshell
Spike goes corporeal in a mysterious flash of light, which then causes the universe to go wonky. As if that's not enough, Angel and Spike buy a line of hooey about a "Cup of Sorrows" and go off to beat each other up while revisiting old grievances over a cup of Mountain Dew. It all ends with a rather pleasant surprise.

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
To me, the symbols painted all over Eve's apartment and the man ensconced within it looked like protection runes. That would make sense if our lovebirds are trying to run under the Senior Partners' radar.

Body Count
Assorted Victorians.

William's ego.

HoYay! Factor
Off the charts. Angelus and William meet and immediately start steaming things up. Then Angel and Spike beat each other to bloody pulp. Nothing but fun there!

Angel and Spike beating the stuffing out of each other.

The revelation that Angel and Spike are driving the universe nuts.

Angel and Spike beating the crap out of each other.

Angelus and Spike meeting for the first time. Angelus' "deviant" comment. Yummy!

Angel and Spike beating the hell out of each other.

Gunn throttling Eve.

Angel and Spike beating the bejeezus out of each other.

Angelus teaching William the facts of unlife in his inimitable way.

Angel and Spike beating the unlife out of each other while ripping into each other about . . . well, just about everything.

Lindsey's surprise appearance. That's how you end an episode!

Harmony's outfit. Could they have gotten any wimpier? Yes, as a matter of fact--her hair.

No Wesley! No fair!

Nope. Can't get over the dearth of Wesley.

Burning Questions
Precisely what do Spike's Oedipal issues explain to Harmony?

Was it just me, or was Angelus seriously coming on to young William?

Was that a threesome he was trying to provoke at the end?

What are Eve and Lindsey up to?

Why did Spike have to shag Harmony first thing?


The Immoral of the Story
If you want to Shanshu, do the Dew.

Overall Rating
I liked so much about this one, but NO WESLEY! Therefore, the highest rating I can give it is a shiny tulip bulb divided by purple on the Non Sequitur Scale.

So there we have it. Are you wiser?


[> And spec from HonorH -- HonorH (the unspoiled one), 01:11:23 02/22/04 Sun

This may sound really stupid, since I'm a latecomer who's pretty much unspoiled, but my first thought was that Lindsey's not really working to destroy Angel--though that might be a delightful (from his pov) side effect--but rather, Linds is trying to bring down the Senior Partners themselves. And Angel's just a means to an end.


[> [> That's a great idea. -- Arethusa, 08:21:17 02/22/04 Sun

It just "feels" right, ya know? After all, a man who can manifest a sword can manifest a long pointy wooden stick. And Lindsey ended up in the loving arms of the Sr. Partners, not Angel. He could have gone after Angel any time, but it would take some serious planning to go after the Partners. Plus, it fits in with the scenario currently playing in the cineplex in my head.

Excellent analysis, you two. My new motto: More Wes!

[> [> [> Re: That's a great idea. -- Jane, 19:39:20 02/22/04 Sun

You just may be onto something. It sure would explain why Lindsey came back, 'cause I don't think he hates Angel enough to risk his own skin for simple revenge. No, our Lindsey is way too devious for that. Hmm, wonder what is happening in Senior Partner Land?
Oh, and, WELCOME BACK! We missed you both.

[> Yeah!! [applause given shamelessly] -- Ann, 06:58:29 02/22/04 Sun

[> No Wesley -- Masq, 07:17:40 02/22/04 Sun

I'm horribly out of the loop when it comes to off-camera news, but I believe the no Wesley aspect of "Destiny" was Alexis running off to get married.

Which we can forgive him for, considering his excellent taste in women.

[> Huzzah! -- Vyrus, 11:08:25 02/23/04 Mon

Welcome back, dearest Honorificus! It's been appallingly dull without you.

Wesley was a picture. Did you see those colors and what they did for his eyes? I could have just eaten him up. In a good way, of course.

Is there a bad way?

Gunn continues to look good in suits. He's choosing nummy ties.

If there is one thing I admire about human males, it is that many of them wear these "neckties" so they can hang themselves at a moment's notice. The females must resort to spiking themselves in the head with their shoes.

I, for one, know plenty of well-dressed cyborgs. Those ones looked like Goth Mutant Ninja Turtles.

As they say, "The anchovies on this pizza make me think about the pointlessness of existence, dude."

Wesley's "father" drops by with a bunch of cyborgs in an attempt to make Angel even more boring than usual. This leads to all kinds of interesting developments, including an attempted patricide. Good times!

I thought it made him seem a bit of a poseur, myself. Azorath knows, if all the humans start killing off their fathers, none of US will be able to do it with a straight face.

Wesley with guns. That just never gets old.

I concur. I should like him to find one that holds more bullets, however; I'm not sure nine makes enough of a statement.

Wyndam-Pryce Sr. I just don't like him. He's an arrogant, emasculating, spiteful old bastard, and yet something about him still puts me off.

You do have a way with words, my dear.

No real patricide. Boo. That would've been far more interesting than the cheat, IMHO.

Dare we hope that it was only an appetizer for the real thing?

Knox and his horrible leather jacket taking Fred home. Come on--she can't find him more attractive than Wesley, can she?

Perhaps she finds him nonthreatening, like a Backstreet Boys poster.

Why does Angel have to have that tiresome chivalrous streak? Couldn't Darla have beaten it out of him?

I'm sure she could have found a more creative way to extract it.

On to "Destiny," my beloved fiends!

Gunn without the ever-present jacket. The man's looking good, I tell you. Can't they lose the shirt occasionally?

I said the same about Cordelia for years, and it came to nought.

Eve's red dress. Looked nicely expensive and flattered her, and as I always say, you just can't get enough red on a girl.

Indeed. Now if she only had red horns and a tail...but I suppose that's only a matter of time.

Drusilla in her Victorian undies. She looked so sweet!

You know, when one has six feet of tongue, it can be rather difficult to get it all back into one's mouth. You are not helping matters.

Angelus' wig. Again I ask: is there a bad wig that hasn't attacked David Boreanaz's head?

I believe the Flying Death-Wig of Gozethar is still waiting its turn. That will be something to see.

Angel and Spike buy a line of hooey about a "Cup of Sorrows" and go off to beat each other up while revisiting old grievances over a cup of Mountain Dew.

Which they really should have guessed. What else would a Cup of Sorrows contain?

Why did Spike have to shag Harmony first thing?

Because his hair appointment wasn't until three o'clock, and he had to get it out of the way sometime.

So there we have it. Are you wiser?

I am enlightened beyond all reasonable expectation. Thank you!

Finally some good Whedon-related news re: the "Firefly" movie... -- Rob, 07:03:46 02/22/04 Sun

I just read this at http://www.fireflymovie.com:

"Our movie is looking more and more likely by the day. Universal has added 'Serenity' to the coming soon section of their site [after the page loads, click on "coming soon"). Also I checked for the domain www.serenitymovie.com (yes I was trying to buy it up), and lo an behold it's already owned by Universal Studios!"

So the movie is definitely looking likely, particularly since an official website is now bought by the company that's going to be releasing the movie (if it's made), and they announced the movie title on their official site. I'm very, very happy...I know it isn't completely 100% definite yet, but this is very good news.



[> Cool! It's high time for some good news. -- Maura, 14:59:31 02/22/04 Sun

My impression of the emtional arc (mild spoiler Smile Time) -- Lunasea, 12:14:31 02/22/04 Sun

The thing that attracts me most to the Buffyverse is that the shows are not written around a cool Slaying challenge. Instead they are written from the emotional arc. From that arc, they come up with a plot that will give the characters the necessary epiphanies and will show the audience what they need to understand about the characters. This is important with Angel. He has 200+ years of backstory, which isnít quite as simple as we are led to believe on BtVS. That backstory is used to show us how Angel has changed, from both unsouled Angelus and post-soul/pre-Buffy Angel to what he is still becoming.

What is he becoming? Much of the series has focused on Angel becoming this Grand Champion of Good. The thing Iím asking myself now, is that the means or the end? This season has focused on Angelís mission and whether he believed in it or not. Does he have ìConvictionî Has he lost mercy? One of the important questions to ask is did he learn ìThe Cautionary Tale of Numero Cincoî? What did we learn from it?

In a letter to the net-community, Joss said, ìas I focused on Fred and her position on the team I realized that she is in the center of it in a way.î A season that is about heart is going to have Fred at the center of the team, even if it isnít deliberate or she doesnít have adequate screen time. So far the season has focused on Angelís lack of heart in the mission. That was deftly dealt with in ìYouíre Welcome,î when Cordelia gets to come back to get her guy on track. Angel once again has the fire he had prior to Spike showing up.

In ìSmile Timeî we see that he still isnít happy though. We also see why. It isnít about the mission. Even if he has the belief that he can make a difference in the world, Wesley was right. It isnít enough to sustain him. That is the Cautionary Tale that Angel needed to learn and didnít until he became puppet!emotion!Angel and was forced to deal with his own feelings because they were exaggerated.

In between these two episodes is the stand alone ìWhy We Fight,î which adds no real plot points to the arc. It is, however, an incredibly important transition from the Angel that once again believes in the mission in ìYouíre Welcomeî to the Angel that has a permanent frown in ìSmile Time.î Angel doesnít change in this episode or really learn anything. Instead it shows a difference between 1943 Angel and 2004 Angel, a difference that will be important in explaining why he still has a permanent frown even though he believes he can do good at Wolfram and Hart.

Now that this episode is in context with those surrounding it, we can go back and look at it. The Prince of Lies (what Connor refers to Angel as in ìTomorrowî) and Nostroyev are aspects of Angel that he has to learn to overcome once he is resouled. First Angel dusts Nostroyev, just like he canít do whatever it takes to maintain the whirlwind with Darla. He finally accepts that he canít be that vampire and comes to America.

The Prince is just pure vampiric bloodlust. There is not the malevolence or bravado we have seen with other vampires. He lives longer than Nostroyev, but he too has to be dusted when he is a threat to a human. In 1943 Angel is still on human blood. He gets it from a blood bank, but in AYKOHYEB we see that he is still living on human blood. It isnít until later when Whistler shows him how to get butcher blood that Angel starts living on pigís blood. In ìAngelî it is human blood that is in his fridge though. Angel takes up the mission in order to deal with his blood lust. Doyle explain in ìCity Ofî that if Angel doesnít become attached to the people he is saving, he will start to see them as snacks again. What will one matter against all those he saved? This is an issue that Angel has to deal with. One that he has risen above. In TCToNC we see him embarrassed that he can detect blood, not craving it.

Angel has weights tied to his feet and is forced into this mission, just like he is forced into a soul. He needs the crew to get him back to the surface (which is a metaphor for the conscious/ego state). He isnít interested in the mission, unlike Lawson, who is not only interested in the mission, but the well being of his crew. When Angel vamps him, this is taken away from him. He tries to be dedicated to evil, like a vampire has a drive to do. This is their ìmission.î This isnít enough for him. Blood dries like ashes in his mouth. Why this is is up for debate, metaphysically. Does he have a partial soul because Angel was souled when he was sired?

That isnít what is important. What is important is that even though Lawson is looking for a mission, that isnít what he needs and what he needs he cannot get. A mission can only sustain someone for so long. What it takes is what the series has been pushing from Day 1, namely connection with other humans. That is why Believe-in-mission-Angel is still frowning. He doesnít have that connection because he is so wrapped up in ìthe past, the future and my incredibly complicated life.î Those connections happen now. Feelings are things that happen present tense. Puppet!Angel is made of felt, not feel.

So now we have an Angel who realizes the mission is important, but so are other things. How that will play into the rest of the season should be interesting. If Angel has realized this, Wesley should soon. Wesley needs this lesson as much as Angel does. Iím sure I will have more to say about that later this week. The big pictures use Angel and Wesley as means, but they are still ends unto themselves, people who can only be sustained as people. If the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the one, what value does that one have?

I return: Under threat of caning (spoilers for my life circa 2003) -- darrenK, 14:10:44 02/22/04 Sun

Hey People-Who-Might-Possibly-Remember-Me,

I ran into Anom at Forbidden Planet the other day.

There was no small amount of admonishment directed at my nearly one year of non-postage. I gave the usual set of excuses about the job that I've had this last year which allows me no internet time (at noon they say things to me like, "Can you rewrite this 30 page report and have it back to me before 2pm?"), the embarrassment I felt at having not posted in so long and, lastly, the amount of time I'm spending outside of work on some personal writing projects.

Anom was not up to hearing these excuses and beat me mercilessly with a walking stick, carried, I believe, only for purpose of doing violence.

All the signs were in alignment, Anom said...the cancellation of the last Buffyverse show, Angel's use as a werewolf's chewtoy, the vertical integration of all media..."it's time for all prodigal posters to return to the board."

So, here I am. I'm not entirely sure how I can help. I mean I'm against vertical integration (though I'm fine with horizontal integration providing it take place in the privacy of one's own home.) I'm just not sure how to keep a show on the air if the network that's broadcasting it doesn't get the proceeds from the sale of the DVDs.

My own feeling is that Joss Whedon should either start a DVD club or a cable network.

The DVD club would work like this. We would pay Mutant Enemy a certain, undoubtedly high, monthly fee and they would send us one or more DVD(s) with a couple of juicy advertising-free hours of Demon carnage and the blood of the innocent. I'm even willing to endure some advertising or sponsorship providing that the level of suspense between act-breaks be high.

The cable network would probably be costlier and harder to get going as there would be all those awful transmission and which-cable-companies-would-carry-it type of issues.

But, if you guys hear of anything like that starting up, let me know. I've got all sorts of good ideas for programming, like "Seer Eye for the Vampire Guy" and a reality show based solely on the doings inside Joss Whedon's infamous piano. (I'm convinced it's possessed by the minor Etruscan God, Ludicius, known to scholars as " Ludicius, the Burper of Minstrels".

For those of you wondering about my excuses, especially the one where I claim to be working on "my own writing," well I've been slaving, believe it or not, on a novel. Over the course of the last 11 months, I've written over 300 pages. Most of these are very sad and anguished mind-dump first draft pages and, of course, back on August 11, 2003, I started the whole thing over and abandoned a plot point that had to do with the very last all-you-can-eat buffet in Las Vegas (truthfully, everyone should get in shape for the Apocalypse anyway, if you're going to be judged, shouldn't you look your best?) but still it's a novel I'm working on/obsessed with.

It doesn't have one of those fancy "high-concepts" that you sometimes get. It's not about two blow-dried motorcycle cops who are best friends, nor about two pastel suit wearing narcotics cops who are best friends, nor about two sloppy New York City cops who are best friends. It's not even about mass murder or a trip to Thailand which goes horribly wrong.

Instead, it's what happens to a 20-something physics fan when she tries to mix love, LSD, small bands, Ecstasy and superstring theory on the streets of brownstone-belt Brooklyn. I can say with no small amount of pride that it finally answers the question of what Elvis would look like as a one-armed zombie. (And no, there will be no previews as dead celebrity cameos are what's going sell the book). The Superstring stuff is dated and I'm almost positive that the only "Black Hole" she really knows about is her love life, but, hey, she's giving life a go and that's more than some people.

Each of its chapters is named for a song by a band from Brooklyn. And such totally great, relatively unknown bands as Palomar, The Mendoza Line, Cindy Wheeler (now of the Caulfield Sisters), A.M Radio ( for legal reasons now called Icewater Scandel), and Scout are represented.

So, that's my return. I hope to come back a little more frequently, especially to indulge in some collective mourning. I certainly have missed the give-and-take and the group appreciation for good dialogue and bizarre, yet somehow plausible, plot points.

I want to give a special shout-out to old friends Rahael and d'Herblay, as I saw that their names are still all over the board. (I hope you guys didn't feel that I abandoned you so much as just couldn't go the Internet that much anymore.)

And thanks to Masq for keeping this thing going. I was touched to see that my name is still on the "Meet the Poster's" list. I felt like Steve Martin in The Jerk shouting "I'm somebody!" when he sees his name in the phonebook.

Satisfied, Anom? You're not going to hit me again, are you? Anom?...



[> Hey dK! -- Masq, 14:22:57 02/22/04 Sun

Nice to see you! (thanks, anom, the payment's in the mail) Nice to hear what you're up to. (original fic writers rock!)

This board will be here even if there's no Joss shows on the tube.


We are not down for the count yet. I have personally sold my soul to the good folks who are working overtime to find Angel and company a new home.

Everyone can join in the campaign by donating money for supportive advertisements or sending in post cards to Joss, UPN, television critics and anyone else who has some power in tinsel town.

The addresses and other info are in the links at the top of the board.

your Save Angel! pimp

[> [> Thanks, Masq. I'm exploring the links now. -- darrenK, 14:37:24 02/22/04 Sun

[> Warning: Post above contains Mutant Enemy related pleasures and infotainment -- darrenK, 14:30:19 02/22/04 Sun

Also full of lots of solipcistic belly gazing, but can you have one without the other?

OK, point taken, you can; but, c'mon Seer Eye for the Vampire Guy? That's got to be worth your time....

dK (not shamed one bit)

[> [> Isn't that "edu-tainment"? -- Masq, 14:51:35 02/22/04 Sun

Which I know nothing about, hence why they chase me off college campuses whenever I'm seen on one.

[> Wheee! -- d'Herblay, 14:46:05 02/22/04 Sun

I can't wait to read the book . . . though two blow-dried Brooklyn narcotics cops who explore string theory, their mutual friendship, and small-club rock & roll while chasing down an LSD-dealing one-armed zombie Elvis would be an excellent plot.

I understand that you don't do the internet that much anymore, but should, in the future, you return to it, know that you'll always have a home here. Or wherever we are then.

[> [> You seem unusually chipper today, d'Herb -- Masq, 14:50:22 02/22/04 Sun

Could it be.... a recent visitor??

[> [> Re: Wheee!: Thanks for the gracious welcome -- darrenK, 19:45:31 02/22/04 Sun


Your plot summary/suggestion/amalgamation sounds better than the one for the actual book! Maybe I can have it as a subplot? Or at least have the Elvis Zombie deal drugs? It's better than him trying to sing, not with that dead tongue and rotted vocal chords (Life as a zombie is tough).

I've set a self-deadline of August to have a fully worked-through, from beginning-to-end, draft. This probably will mean not much Internet time, but I'll stop by when I can and I hope that at some point you and Rah' will find your way back to Brooklyn. Perhaps we can have a Board gathering here? We'll see.

Over the summer, I should actually have real, completed chapters that I'd love to send out for comments and feedback.Or, maybe, I'll just post them somewhere? Anyway, at that point, I'd be very grateful for your feedback.

Lets stay in touch.


[> so. i bring a long-lost poster back to the fold... -- anom, 18:49:32 02/22/04 Sun

...& this is how I'm repaid? With accusations of beatings (how many violent vegetarians do you know? that stick is for self-defense! um, I mean, because of my bad knee!) & intimations of payments from someone self-labeled as a pimp? Did you even think about what that might imply, Masq? So much for my reputation....

(darren, I warned you NOT TO TELL ANYONE about that! Don't you remember what I said I'd do to you if you did?! You come crawling to me, begging for my support before you dare to show your face back on this board, & now--) err, um, hey, everyone! Wasn't that a great example of darren's...fiction? Yeah, that's the ticket! So, uh, that gives you an idea how good his novel's going to be! Right? Heh...(watch yourself, dK!).

[> [> Re: so. i bring a long-lost poster back to the fold... -- darrenK, 20:05:01 02/22/04 Sun


I think that the whole episode only enhances and adds mystery to your reputation.

The "cover" is appreciated.


[> Good to see ya, dK! -- Rob, 20:08:18 02/22/04 Sun

[> [> Thanks, Rob. Since last I've been here I've become a big firefly fan. -- darrenK, 03:21:17 02/23/04 Mon

If you know any good fansites send me (or post) the URLs.



[> [> [> Good to see you back, dK! -- LadyStarlight, 05:10:13 02/23/04 Mon

I think everyone should become big Firefly fans -- make Fox regret cancelling it. Bitter? Um, maybe.

[> [> [> [> Thanks, LadyStarlight. I'm going to try and stick around this time... -- darrenK, 18:14:51 02/23/04 Mon

[> [> [> Some good "Firefly" links... -- Rob, 14:32:31 02/23/04 Mon

fireflyfans.net--The most comprehensive Firefly site I've found on-line. Just about the only things it's missing are episode transcripts, which you can find at...

Whoa. Good Myth. A Firefly Resource Site--Although this is a relatively small site, it has a nice lexicon of technology and phrases from the show, as well as fully detailed transcripts for almost every episode (the last few are supposed to be coming soon). The most fun part of the transcripts is they have English translations of the Mandarin, which alone makes this site worth a look.

And for the most up-to-date information on the (very likely) upcoming Firefly film, I recommend fireflymovie.com.

Hope this helps!


[> Yay! -- Rahael, 07:43:29 02/23/04 Mon

Good to see you here again!

It's so cool re your writing projects. I'd love to see drafts when you are ready to let other people see them. (Only this time you'd better send it to my yahoo account rather than my crappy AOL one).

Goodness, I'd love to come down to New York again. This year seems unlikely cuz of unrelated pressures on my holiday leave but I'm thinking seriously about a New Yorkish detour next year! All things being equal.

[> [> Re: Yay! -- darrenK, 18:11:29 02/23/04 Mon


It's nice to be back and to get such a warm welcome.

I just wish there were two or three new Joss Whedon shows to look forward to posting about. Joss Whedon movies will, I'm sure, be good; but they won't have that long building of character, mythology and story. It'll be harder to figure out what to say about a 2 hour movie when you're used to having 22 hours worth of material to talk about.

Speaking of drafts. I'm certainly going to draft you to read drafts just as soon as I can read through one without embarrassment. I'm thinking summer. I can post them to the web if your e-mail isn't working.

If not New York, then some other city. A gathering is much in order. Definitely one involving gin and tonics, lots of coffee and, maybe, some tiny mince pies.

More later.


"Harm's Way": The Super-Evil Review -- Honorificus (The Exciting and Exanimate One), 22:22:04 02/22/04 Sun

After viewing this episode, I must simply ask: why must I be stuck with the horrible task of reviewing the fashion statements contained herein? I perform my blood sacrifices, I buy only the finest shoes, I donate minions to evil causes--in short, I do everything that a good demoness should do, and yet I still get this onerous duty laid upon me. Such is my life.

Fashion Statements
The Good

Wesley's plum button-down. Suits him perfectly.

Angel got color! And red, even. I'm so happy I could burst. Best not, though--last time, it took forever to get the stains out of the carpet.

I adore Sahrvin formalwear. It's so colorful and flowing. I dated a Sahrvin once--well, okay, he was a male concubine given to me by his matriarch, but still, he was terribly sweet, and I felt rather bad that I was obliged to sacrifice him at the end of our time together. But I digress.

Tamica! How I wish she'd stuck around. Gorgeous outfit from shirt to shoes, flattering, good colors, and accented with tasteful jewelry, good hair, and great makeup.

The Bad
Pink! Pink on Harmony! And not a subtle, soft-rose, Dawn-type pink--this was Legally Blonde pink on steroids. With a fluffy nightmare of a coat. Even my Super-Wimpy Alter-Ego would have turned her nose up at it. And what, pray tell, was with the pedal-pushers? They've been out of fashion since 1990 and they are not, repeat, not coming back! By my hindquarters, they'd better not be coming back! This is not what any woman in her right mind--or with any mind--should be wearing to the office. Particularly that fluffy cleavage-bearing confection she got into at the beginning. There was no end to the bad.

Speaking of non-office-wear, Fred. Are they purposely looking for outfits to make Amy Acker look even skinnier than she normally is? That skirt she was wearing bordered on the mini, and paired with a butt-ugly, poofy-sleeved, mint-colored blouse conspired to cover up any curves the poor girl possesses.

I'm distinctly un-fond of Vanji formalwear. No color, no flair, no nothing.

Plot in a Nutshell
Harmony has no life, for which we're supposed to feel sorry for her. To make matters worse, she wakes up with a corpse in her bed and must use both her brain cells to compute that she's being railroaded before Angel relieves her of her Miss Clairol-ized head.

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
Gunn has a horrible accent when he speaks Vanji. I'm surprised they didn't kill him on sight for it.

As for the Sahrvin-Vanji feud, well, they exaggerated a few details. For instance, for the last hundred years, the feud has largely taken place via an ongoing game of "Battleship: Multiverse" (available at Dibbuk's Gaming Outlet, situated in the City of Dis between the Shrine to Danzalthar and Banes & Ignoble Booksellers).

Body Count
One cute demon-rights activist.

One well-dressed vampiress.

Hmm. Well, Fred getting cold-cocked and Tamica's outfit. Otherwise, just not much.

The nausea-inducing video intro. Anybody else feel like heaving?

Harmony's clothing. *whimper*

Fred's clothing. *snivel*

No blood sacrifice. How very disappointing.

Burning Questions
Could Angel get any grumpier?

Does Harmony own any clothes that aren't in some evil pastel color?

Why the hell does W&H not just invest in shatterproof glass for its conference rooms and be done with it?

Did anybody buy Spike's line about why he's not headed for his Slayer sweetie?

The Immoral of the Story
Whenever you feel unappreciated, just think about how many people would like to kill you. Always cheers me right up.

Overall Rating
The fashion sins send this one's rating right down the crapper. The rating is orange kipper on a dry bagel--and no higher--on the Non Sequitur Scale.


[> LOL. (spitting dry bagel on the screen,sorry bout that) -- Jane, 22:34:01 02/22/04 Sun

[> *LOL* -- phoenix, 03:35:26 02/23/04 Mon

[> Tells you what I know about fashion -- The First Evil, 07:00:53 02/23/04 Mon

I thought you might actually like Harmony's outfits. But maybe I was basing my assessment on the amount of skin shown. Harmony must continue to do those desk crunches. Get fit while you sit!

[> [> I am now imaging Angel and Harmony bonding while doing Pilates, Spike watching -- DemAnn, 07:27:58 02/23/04 Mon

[> [> Well, that's part of the problem. -- Honorificus (The Well-Heeled And Worshipful One), 09:54:10 02/23/04 Mon

Amount of skin shown, I mean. That first dress might have been marginally acceptable for a garden party, but not at work. A nice charcoal-colored slim skirt (knee-length or better) and a figure-hugging angora sweater in a deep shade of blue would be both sexy and acceptable office wear. Or spice it up with bright colors and accessories, but please! keep the skin to a minimum.

[> [> [> So you're thinking what... Lilah Morgan? -- The First Evil, 11:59:50 02/23/04 Mon

That works for me!

[> Re: "Harm's Way": The Super-Evil Review -- Vyrus, 14:51:12 02/24/04 Tue

I dated a Sahrvin once--well, okay, he was a male concubine given to me by his matriarch, but still, he was terribly sweet, and I felt rather bad that I was obliged to sacrifice him at the end of our time together.

And then there's always the dilemma -- do you bury him in a cardboard box in the backyard, or just flush him?

As for the Sahrvin-Vanji feud, well, they exaggerated a few details. For instance, for the last hundred years, the feud has largely taken place via an ongoing game of "Battleship: Multiverse" (available at Dibbuk's Gaming Outlet, situated in the City of Dis between the Shrine to Danzalthar and Banes & Ignoble Booksellers).

I can't stand that game. Spending a full minute calling out eighteen sets of multidimensional coordinates only to have your opponent say "Miss" is not my idea of fun. (Unless, of course, he's saying, "Miss, would you get my friend another M'Fashnik-blood martini?")

Did anybody buy Spike's line about why he's not headed for his Slayer sweetie?

No. I think he's merely embarassed that his tongue is still yellow from the Mountain Dew.

[> [> Why, hello, Vyrus! Pedicures this week? -- Honorificus (The Twinkle-Toed One), 17:50:12 02/24/04 Tue

Just dying to check out that new salon next to the Cthlthu Cafe.

Regarding my male concubine:
And then there's always the dilemma -- do you bury him in a cardboard box in the backyard, or just flush him?

Actually, I like to dry 'em. My minions make the most wonderful arts projects out of discarded concubines.

Battleship: Multiverse:
I can't stand that game. Spending a full minute calling out eighteen sets of multidimensional coordinates only to have your opponent say "Miss" is not my idea of fun. (Unless, of course, he's saying, "Miss, would you get my friend another M'Fashnik-blood martini?")

You're not kidding. That jerk of an Archduke once challenged me to a game while we were dating. After two days, I slaughtered his minions, gave him back his Drokken pelt, blood jewels, and kept boys, and walked out on him. My mistake--he wouldn't stop calling after that until Bathelda the Ogress yanked both his horns off. They dated for nearly three years.

Did anybody buy Spike's line about why he's not headed for his Slayer sweetie?

No. I think he's merely embarassed that his tongue is still yellow from the Mountain Dew.

Well, I for one find yellow tongues rather sexy, so I don't see what the Slayer's problem would be. Rum creatures, these humans.

[> [> [> Well, the wife HAS been complaining about the gouge-marks in the floor. -- Vyrus, 10:33:28 02/25/04 Wed

Actually, I like to dry 'em. My minions make the most wonderful arts projects out of discarded concubines.

Clever! As one of our more sinister demonic colleagues puts it, "It's a good thing."

Rum creatures, these humans.

You know, after I read that, I squeezed four humans dry trying to get rum out of them before I realized that it was just an expression. Is my face red! (Of course, it's red all the time, but you get the idea.)

OT: More puppets in the news -- tomfool, 08:16:07 02/23/04 Mon

Just noticed this item about the Jim Henson Companyís Muppet division being purchased by Disney. And it wasnít long ago (last month?) that Comcast was trying to buy Disney. What does this have to do with anything? Well, two things ñ media consolidation and specifically how this may affect one of many ME fans other favorite entertainments, Farscape, which is a JHC property.

As the article excerpts below state, Farscape isnít part of the deal, with JHC retaining rights. As most know, Farscape is currently filming a four-part mini-series to conclude the S4 cliffhanger that resulted when Sci-Fi channel abruptly pulled the plug on the expected S5. As far as I know, the distribution mechanism for that mini-series has not been announced, i.e., we donít know where it will air ñ broadcast, cable, movie theaters, etc. Iím just wondering if this partnership with Disney, which has extensive distribution channels, could actually help Farscape be viewed by more people. With a strategic partnership with JHC, will Disney be motivated to help JHC promote its other properties? Does anyone with a greater understanding of corporate entertainment have any insights about how this may hurt/help Farscape?

Also, in the bigger picture, the ongoing consolidation of major media is pretty frightening. Seems like there are fewer and fewer truly independent creative forces operating. If things keep going, we may end up with only one ultra mega entertainment company. Then this gets taken over by the government due to the decline of ëmorally acceptableí programming and we end up with a Ministry of Entertainment, dishing out only nice, clean entertainment for the whole family. Hey, it could happen!

Sorry, just demented ramblings on a Monday morning.

ìCourtesy of The Walt Disney Company
February 17, 2004

The Walt Disney Company and The Jim Henson Company today announced that they have entered into an agreement under which Disney will acquire the beloved Muppets and Bear in the Big Blue House properties from Henson. . . .

Disney, which owns broadcast and cable networks reaching over 120 million households worldwide, operates or licenses theme parks on three continents, and offers home video and consumer products worldwide, is planning to re-launch the Muppets with new TV specials and series. . . .

The Jim Henson Company, which was purchased by the Henson family in July 2003 from the German media company EM.TV, will retain all other assets of the company including Jim Henson's Creature Shop and ownership and rights to all other characters and entertainment properties in The Jim Henson Company's extensive film and television library, including Fraggle Rock, Farscape, Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Storyteller, The Hoobs, and various other properties. The Jim Henson Company will also actively pursue partnerships and other strategic arrangements to exploit these and other existing and new properties and to build their value over the long term.î


[> Why bother with the government? -- Masq, 09:08:36 02/23/04 Mon

There are plenty of media monopoly moguls who dish out bland uncreative unchallenging entertainment. Who says the government has to be involved before it truly gets scary?

[> I don't know much about this, but I know the savefarscape.com people seem to be happy about it. -- Rob, 09:29:42 02/23/04 Mon

A Hole in the World (no spoilers and barely even speculation) -- Lunasea, 13:36:48 02/23/04 Mon

So I can't resist. I'm a bad, bad girl. At least I didn't go looking for spoilers to confirm this idea. I can have a cookie for that at least, right?

I love titles. Watching the fabric of reality ripped in "Sleep Tight" along with Lorne's words to Angel in "Forgiving" got me thinking about this week's episode. I'm thinking it is time for Angel to deal with his feelings of guilt about Connor being taken to Hell and the role he played in everything. Angel's guilt isn't from what he did in "Home," but that he had to do it at all. I'm sure there are those who wish he was a better father to Connor season 4, but his guilt stems from what happened season 3. Season 3 is what made "Home" necessary, not season 4.

Dana is not in the same boat, because she had a few good years with a loving family to at least build a foundation. Angel didn't realize how damaged Connor was when he came back because he still saw Holtz as a good man and believed him when he said, "I will take good care of him, as though he were my own son. He'll never even know you existed." We know that the last part was a lie, because Connor was raised to know about Angel and calls him "Dad" upon returning. We later learn that the first part is also a lie, unless he was going to tie his own son to a tree and leave him there for days. Poor Connor had no childhood. Not only was abused, but he didn't have any sort of foundation of love for Angel to be able to reach him. He had nothing. Once Jasmine took his pain, he was empty. Angel fears that he is an empty shell, but Connor really was one.

Eve brings up these feelings in "Conviction" when she says that Connor is better off not remembering Angel. That is what Holtz said he wanted. Are the Senior Partners doing the same thing with his son that Holtz did? Angel was going to let Holtz take Connor to spare his life. Holtz wrapped his hand around his tiny baby neck, just like Angel slit Connor's. Gunn trusts the Big Cat in the White Room. Angel doesn't.

Angel is hit hard by Connor's kidnapping. When they find out that Wesley had noble motives, everyone tries to get Angel to calm down. Lorne knows the real reason Angel is lashing out so violently is because the person he is really angry at and needs to forgive is himself. Lorne gives him some good advice, " Maybe the way to start forgiving yourself is by starting to forgive him." Him is Wesley. One effect of the mindwipe is that Angel can't really talk to Wesley and work this out.

Eve taunts Angel in "Lineage" about this, "You don't trust Wesley, do you? I mean, I can see that. He did turn Connor over to your sworn enemy." Angel makes the standard denials, but he really hasn't forgiven Wesley at this point. That doesn't come until the end of the episode. "They're wrong. You do what you have to do to protect the people around you. To do what you know is right, regardless of the cost. You know, I never really understood that. You're the guy who makes all the hard decisions, even if you have to make 'em alone." The hardest decision that Wesley ever made was to take Connor. He did what he had to protect both Connor's life and Angel's sanity by keeping the father from killing the son. He had to make this decision all alone. He didn't turn Connor over to his sworn enemy. He was trying to take him away himself. That is why Justine slit his throat, again, like Angel has to do to save Connor.

So now that Angel has forgiven Wesley, what Lorne said would be the first step to forgiving himself, it is time for Angel to revisit Connor having to go down that hole that was ripped in the world. I'm not sure how ME will do this, but since it is Joss writing it, it will be dramatic and it will be painful, but it will also be beautiful.

Link to my reviews of "Damage" and "You're Welcome" -- HonorH, 22:42:06 02/23/04 Mon

Yes, mine. H puts in her two cents (with interest), but these are really mine. Pretty amazing eps--I'm a happy, if thoughtful, girl:


The transformation of Gunn, Identity, Xanderness, and the "Sell out" *essay* -- Charles Phipps, 22:47:02 02/23/04 Mon

Charles Gunn is a figure that is somewhat of a twist on the 'tough guy' black man that has been a predominate image in popular culture. Effectively the street guy/gang member whose poverty is an assumption and whose violent tendencies are mixed with a perhaps purer masculinity. The twist is of course the fact that this is the image Charles Gunn chooses to adopt as his role in life rather than actually WHO Charles is.

When we first meet Charles in "War Zone" he is effectively a metaphor for the black struggle against gentrification with vampires simply being real estate developers. We take it for granted he hates the upper crust (and arguably white enemy)....the fact excalibrated by the fact the white elite are actually sucking the blood of his neighborhood in a literal fashion.

Gunn's trouble with being the "muscle" is probably primarily rooted in the fact that Gunn was in his previous gang was not the muscle. He was the brains and the lorekeeper, the person who knew how to defeat vampires and also came up with the plans. In effect he held the position of Angel and Wesley. The chance to inflict more damage on the enemy and save more lives, his higher calling brought him forward.

Ever since the beginning though he has butted heads with both Wesley and Angel because of some simple facts that are inescapable. Beyond the race/culture etc issues is the fundamental problem that Angel and Wesley are better than him at the destruction of evil. Angel is a vampire and has the muscle and lots more besides along with being a genius from his 200 years of experience. Wesley by the time of which Gunn joins is a man with experience and skill enough to be as an effective demon hunter as Gunn mixed with his Watcher's training.

Gunn has become part of a more elite squadron but instead of being the big fish, he's arguably not even needed in the organization. He certainly makes things easier and has no doubt saved their lives on occasion but he's a supplement rather than a leader, which his self image is based on. Gunn views himself as intelligent, capable, charismatic, attractive to women, and a badass demon hunter. This is all true but its a hard act to follow the people he associates with.

Hence his competition with Wesley over Fred was incredibly important, it symbolized his asserting his masculinity over another aspect of the pecking order. The fact he failed is something that was probably the most soul-crushing aspect of his journey of self-discovery. Worse Wesley had already more or less dumped Fred for Lilah, a member of the ranks of evil. With the addition of Conner, Gunn's self esteem is pretty fairly low by the time of Wolfram and Hart with his essential belief being he was the "Zeppo" of the organization.

Wolfram and Hart's strategy with Gunn in my mind DIDN'T NEED to alter anything in Gunn's head. This isn't however just about becoming the 'smart guy'. In a very real way Gunn suddenly became aware of not just how much he lost as a leader but he is probably the first of Angel Investigations to be honestly tempted by what Wolfram and Hart offers its REGULAR employees. The stroking of the ego, the sudden fact he can do things the others in Angel Investigations cannot (the fact they are not trained lawyers while he is), and the chance to do his 'duties' as a hero are only part of it....

It's also the money, the power, the prestige, and the fact he's being looked at as a member of society that once looked down upon him.

Gunn is also in Joss' world exploring the concept of becoming a 'sell out' or those figures whom in popular culture are black men who have somehow betrayed their 'roots' to become figures of the establishment that oppresses them. It's fairly blatant, much like Gunn's early appearences but one can hardly blame Gunn for being tempted. He is getting a real taste for how the 'other half lives'

and I don't think people should underestimate the power of such.


[> Re: The transformation of Gunn, Identity, Xanderness, and the "Sell out" *essay* -- Kickin' Shins, 06:45:35 02/24/04 Tue

You make great points. But you have to remember that Gunn is not a "trained lawyer". He's the result of a mojo implant that's already shown signs of failure. He's now the result of an even shadier, more eeeevil mojo implant. It's all downhill for him from here.
I've really enjoyed Gunn over the past seasons. The idea of a kick butt gang dusting vamps in LA's urban wasteland really intrigued me. Meeting their leader and seeing his nobility and his compassion when he had to stake his sister, rather than succumb to vampirism himself, proved how, early on, Gunn was motivated by his desires and his strength.
Gunn was indeed the lore keeper of his clan. He was their leader, and subsequently dissed big time by his fellow buddies when he returned later on in the season as being a sell out, etc.
But Gunn viewed his step up as a means to fight the greater good. But, what if his former gang bangers were right all along?
What if Gunn was indeed tired of living on the streets. What if Gunn wanted to move into the hotel and get some cool kick butt weapons and take the burden of giving orders off of his shoulders. What if Gunn had given up when he staked his sister...
And following that. I think Gunn got bored and realized how he missed it all. I think it's not so much nobility that fuels Gunn, but vanity.
Gunn revels in that bling-bling. Tossing out the legal mumbo-jumbo and paring four on the green with demons and evil doers.
I wanted so much more for Gunn...but in retrospect, my wishes for his character (embracing the black panther as a totem of black power and ferocity -- eventually leading Angel's elite special ops forces -- eventually succumbing to that power and that ferocity) seem too blatant. I don't think it was power or leadership that EVER drove Gunn's motivations. It was vanity.
He was the leader witht he demure hot chick for a sister.
"Hey, Gunn...your sis is so hot."
"You better step off..."
Notice he dusts her when she's finally hotter than he is. In a way him killing that guy for Fred represented the same thing. He didn't want his shy, demure girlfriend to dirty her hands with murder. He didn't want his spoiled lil sis again.
But Gwen enters the scene. She's a pleather wearing cat burglar with a mansion, jewelry, anything a guy would want. And Gunn's eyes are opened to what's out there.
I was wrong before. It was never about the fighting or the skills. It's about his presence and how people perceive him. He doesn't care to be the "leader"...he cares to be the counsel.
The black panter isn't the king of the great cats. That's the lions burden. The black panther is the sleek, mysterious hunter. That's Gunn's gift.

[> [> Re: The transformation of Gunn, Identity, Xanderness, and the "Sell out" *essay* -- Claudia, 12:31:34 02/24/04 Tue

Do you feel that the show has ever really shown Gunn's reasons for abandoning his gang for Angel & Co. back in Seasons 2/3? For some odd reason, I never could understand his reasons. I wonder why he thought it was necessary.

[> [> [> I think Gunn wasn't sure his gang was doing any good -- Charles Phipps, 13:16:35 02/24/04 Tue

Let's face it, Gunn's gang was about to be eradicated by the gang of vampires before Angel's squad showed up and saved the day. Furthermore Gunn could tell they knew more than his guys did about the Underworld.

I figure with his sister's death that Gunn felt his own group was amateurs in a very large field that thought they were big league (The Initiative vs. the Slayer for example).

He thus joined Angel for a few missions and frankly was unimpressed for the most part but probably also wasn't losing anybody either and growing attached to people (do you think Gunn's gang had a high turnover rate? I think it did)

So after several missions he had grown comfortable with their near 100% success rate and 0% fatality rate. It wasn't a game to Gunn but a war and for once it appeared if he wasn't "winning" the war then at least he was reducing causalties and inflicting more damage.

It might have just been a 'walk about' at the start to clear his head and get some space but became something more permanent.

[> [> [> [> Re: I think Gunn wasn't sure his gang was doing any good -- Kendra, 16:35:32 02/24/04 Tue

Also if I remember correctly Cordelia insisted that Angel pay Gunn for his services.

[> [> [> [> [> Gunn was living like a homeless man, it would be a major relief -- Charles Phipps, 20:26:52 02/24/04 Tue

Let's not forget Gunn didn't have a job or apparently any way to support himself save perhaps gifts from the thankful he protected them (not exactly the best way to sustain oneself)

Being a professional demon hunter was a major step up. Again the economic status seems a major point for Gunn's corruption, especially if they can lie their way out for him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> What Are You Saying? -- Rose, 12:28:03 02/25/04 Wed

"Being a professional demon hunter was a major step up. Again the economic status seems a major point for Gunn's corruption, especially if they can lie their way out for him."

Why is that a problem for Gunn? Are you trying to say that he should not have harbored ambitions for himself? Even Angel Investigation accepted money for their services. Why shouldn't Gunn?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Gunn being a professional isn't bad, but it opens doors -- Charles Phipps, 13:39:13 02/25/04 Wed

But his mission "just for the cause" was arguably purer because it lacked the taint of desire to it. As long as Gunn is enriching himself and he believes he is benefitting the world, there's no reason to resist Wolfram and Hart

Look at what happened to Knox

"I cure more than I kill"

[> [> [> [> Getting into slightly risky territory here... -- KdS, 23:42:50 02/24/04 Tue

But I have a feeling as well that after his sister's death, and later that of George due to what he felt to be his failure, he was sick of the burden of leadership and was happy not to feel so responsible for the people he was working with. Of course, when that relief wore off he started feeling undervalued again, but for a while I think it was a factor.

[> Response to Gunn Essay -- Rose, 12:24:12 02/25/04 Wed

I have a few things to say about your post:

"Beyond the race/culture etc issues is the fundamental problem that Angel and Wesley are better than him at the destruction of evil. Angel is a vampire and has the muscle and lots more besides along with being a genius from his 200 years of experience. Wesley by the time of which Gunn joins is a man with experience and skill enough to be as an effective demon hunter as Gunn mixed with his Watcher's training."

I have to disagree with this statement. Granted, as a 247 year-old vampire around late S1, Angel had more experienced than Gunn at fighting demons and other vampires, but Wesley DID NOT. Wes' real experience as a demon hunter began when he became Buffy and Faith's Watcher slightly over a year before he and Angel first met Gunn. Around that time, Gunn was already an experienced demon hunter, something he had been doing on the streets of L.A., since a boy. And despite his "brains", Wesley's record in regard to interpreting prophecies and etc., have been sketchy. Remember the "father will kill the son" prophecy? The one in which both Gunn and Fred were able to figure out was a fake? And to be honest, I have seen Angel use his brain just about as much as Gunn.

"Gunn views himself as intelligent, capable, charismatic, attractive to women, and a badass demon hunter. This is all true but its a hard act to follow the people he associates with."

Excuse me for asking, but are you suggesting that despite some of his qualities, Gunn is INFERIOR to the other members of the Fang Gang? Or are you hinting that Gunn, along with his friends, consider him inferior? If they all do - they are in error.

For some reason, Gunn has an inferior complex about his place in the Fang Gang. Even worse, Angel, Wes and even Fred seem to believe that he is nothing more than the "muscle". They seemed determined to maintain this illusion. My question is - why?

"Hence his competition with Wesley over Fred was incredibly important, it symbolized his asserting his masculinity over another aspect of the pecking order. The fact he failed is something that was probably the most soul-crushing aspect of his journey of self-discovery. Worse Wesley had already more or less dumped Fred for Lilah, a member of the ranks of evil."

It seems to me that you have reduced Gunn and Fred's relationship to an attempt on his part to assert masculine superiority over Wesley. Which seems rather odd, considering that Gunn had always genuinely loved Fred. He still does.

Also, are you suggesting that the destruction of Gunn and Fred's relationship was mainly his fault? Yes, he had a bad habit of idealizing Fred - a fault that Wesley shared in spades. And yes, he made a big mistake in killing Professor Siedel to spare Fred the trauma of becoming a murderer. He took the choice out of her hands. However, Fred did not help matters in her vengeful quest to pay back Siedel. She also made a big mistake in recruiting Wes to help her - not realizing that Wes would do anything to win her favor and win her from Gunn. It is apparent that by idealizing each other, both Fred and Gunn had failed to understand each other.

Your statement about Wesley dumping Fred for Lilah? It's false. Sorry, but Wes never had the opportunity to "dump" Fred. One, it was Fred who had aggressively pursued Gunn, not the other way around. Come to think of it, Fred was also the aggressor in her romances with both Knox and Wes. After the Connor kidnapping, a depressed Wes eventually drifted into an affair with Lilah. After the incidents of "Supersymmestry", Fred began to distance herself from Gunn, and Wes dumped Lilah in "Habeas Corpus". However, it was Gunn, who eventually dumped Fred (I forgot which episode) and she turned to Wes . . . until she found out about his affair with Lilah. Fred tried to renew her romance with Gunn in "Release". But Gunn, who was tempted, eventually refused her advances. Please view the S4 episodes again.

I wish that I could say that I had enjoyed your post, but I cannot. I have this odd feeling that not only were you trying to point out that Gunn had an inferiority complex . . . he also had every right to feel this way. This is a view I find hard to accept.

[> [> I think its beyond question Gunn has an inferiority complex -- Charles Phipps, 17:49:19 02/25/04 Wed

[I wish that I could say that I had enjoyed your post, but I cannot. I have this odd feeling that not only were you trying to point out that Gunn had an inferiority complex . . . he also had every right to feel this way. This is a view I find hard to accept.]

First of all I disagree Gunn has more experience than Wesley. While its true Gunn started off better than Wesley, the fact remains Wesley for better or worse was trained as a Watcher and thus have access to lore and means of killing the enemy while Gunn...has rather courageously not.

He's had to work from trial and error.

No doubt Gunn did feel strongly about Fred or who he thought Fred was, when in truth I honestly do question if he knew Fred at all. Freds been insane before lets not forget.

His inferiority complex is in my mind the root though of circumstances beyond his control and in some respects I believe that Gunn (wrongly) feels more in control than he's ever felt before when just the opposite is occurring.

The essay is not to put down Gunn but talk about why he feels this way.

Certainly I never understood why Xander felt the way he did when he's an extremely successful demon hunter, intelligent, and heroic...yet not a day went by without self-deprication.

The Fang Gang's Alternate Universe - Speculation -- Claudia, 12:34:47 02/24/04 Tue

Does anyone ever wonder what would have happened to Angel, Spike, Wes, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Connor and Harmony, if Angel had never accepted Wolfram & Hart's deal to run the L.A. Branch?

I didn't include Cordelia, because I felt that her fate would have remained the same.


[> Re: The Fang Gang's Alternate Universe - Speculation -- Casino, 19:18:16 02/24/04 Tue

Harmony would have still been working at W&H.
Connor would have been dead, in all likelihood by his own doing.
Lorne would have probably gone back to Las Vegas, hard to say.
Spike would have died fighting The First along with everybody else in Sunnydale.
Gunn and Fred would have had some kind of reconciliation and they'd have been together again (maybe).
It's hard to say if Wes would have stuck around. With no visions, there wouldn't be any reason (or little oppourtunity) to stick to the "mission", and all the friction between Angel and he would still be there, maybe worse if Connor died, including his angst of Fred. I guess a lot of it would have to do with who Fred would have ended up choosing.
And Angel, he'd probably might have staked himself if he hadn't taken W&H's offer. Sure, Jasmine was defeated, but the aftermath was still not to happy. Connor would have killed himself or Angel would have been forced to kill/contain him. Buffy would have died, and he would have known that they could've/might've used his help. Cordy would still have died from her coma, The Powers would still have given Cordy a shot at helping him, but who knows how that would affect Angel. I'd like to opt for the positive "He continues on helping the helpless" outcome over the "My life sucks hard (no pun intended)" outcome.
Of course, this is all just speculation based on where everything was heading negatively before the end of the season. W&H really did seem to solve a lot of Angel's problems. Out of the frying pan and into the belly of the beast, I guess.

Looking at Gunn -- Lunasea, 16:17:01 02/24/04 Tue

In order to write the character essay on Fred and the turgid supernatural soap opera that revolved around her with Gunn and Wesley, I needed to go back and look at these characters that are so important to her. I will admit that the gross mischaracterizations of Gunn and Wesley that are devouring the board are more than a bit annoying.

Gunn has been mischaracterized as muscle. This statement originally comes from "Fredless," when Fred is explaining to her parents how each member of Angel Investigations fills a role. She calls Cordy "heart." Cordy heart? Do I have to list the derisive things she said about Fred prior to this? This isn't "Restless." It isn't Joss or Greenwalt or Mere Smith saying these are their roles. This is Fred's perception of things. The important part of her statement isn't the role of the characters, but that Fred sees things so delineated that she doesn't fit into the team. If anything it will be Fred that is the heart of the team, not Cordy. Cordy represents Angel's heart that went from Selfish Liam to hero, but Angel's story is more going from Angelus to Angel and the girl who was abused for 5 years on Pylea is a more fitting representation of this. I need to go more into the relationship of Cordy and Fred, but I'm getting sidetracked. It does relate to Gunn, but it would work better as a separate essay about Cordelia.

This essay is about Gunn. Gunn isn't muscle. He is spirit or mission. That designation doesn't mean he had the mission from the beginning or that he firmly has it now. It means that is what his story revolves around and his relationship to other characters often has to do with this. To say that this vampire fighter always had the mission and fought for the "right" reasons totally sucks the heart out of his story. It would suck the heart out of any of the character's stories. They have all been battered in their own way, just like Angel's experiences as Angelus have scarred him. They have all lost their ways temporarily and found them again. When push comes to shove, they will shove back for what is right. That is what makes them all heroes.

In many ways Gunn got the story that Spike couldn't because he was unsouled. Gunn made the transition from someone who fought because he loved the fight to someone who fought for the right reasons. His story starts out with him trying to protect his neighborhood, his own. In doing this he not only finds purpose, but a rush. Can we fight monsters without becoming one? Can we fight as much as Gunn did without not only being desensitized to violence, but getting off on it? Since Gunn has been integrated into Angel Investigations, this is explored through Rondell and Gio in "That Gang of Mine." To see Gunn enjoying the brutality that Gio demonstrated would have been character assassination. That's the point. Gunn is the same character who enjoyed throwing a vampire into Wolfram and Hart. He is the one that even as late as season 5 says it feels good to get his hands dirty. He was on his way to becoming Gio.

Why fight? It is the question central to the series and each character answers it from his or her own perspective. Wesley, as mind, looks at the hard decisions that must be made. Fred, as heart, looks at how the fight hurts us emotionally. Lorne, as empathy, looks at the consequences to those that don't want to fight in traditional/violent ways. Gunn, as mission, looks at the fight itself.

He starts out protecting his own neighborhood. I was convinced that the Big Cat was going to get him to do something for that neighborhood, but that would be a regression in his character. His circle of concern has been broadened, first to include other neighborhoods/races, then to include demons. In doing this, things have become less personal to Gunn. Because of this, he is susceptible to the corruption of Wolfram and Hart. The mission has become more theoretical to him. The thing that is real in his life is him. He defines himself by that theoretical mission and will do anything to protect his relationship with it.

In doing this, he is no longer a person. He is now Charles Gunn, Attorney at Law. He only exists in relationship to the mission/fight. It is a danger that soldiers face. We depersonalize the enemy in order to be able to kill him, but in that fight, we start to see ourselves as a weapon, a means, and become depersonalized ourselves. One way to prevent this is what Lawson does, form attachments to your crew. That helps us maintain our humanity so that we don't become monsters because we have to fight monsters. We have seen the camaraderie that existed on the sub. This is contrasted with the men that approach Angel who have become monsters. Gunn's fate will rest in how well he did this. Is he friends with Angel or are they just soldiers, weapons, means fighting on the same side?

There is more to Gunn than this, but this is the bulk of his story. His relationship with Fred was an important part of this story. I will move onto that later.


[> Looking at Wesley -- Lunasea, 18:18:55 02/24/04 Tue

I briefly did Gunn. Now it is Wesleyís turn. I said that Wesleyís character looks at the hard decisions we must make when we fight. It is easy to focus on Wesleyís backstory of emotional abuse from his father as his story, but that is just what sets up why he is damaged, like Pylea sets up why Fred is. If you focus on this, you miss the actual story. The abuse that Wesley suffers and the subsequent effect it has on his self-esteem makes those hard decisions that much harder.

Wesley is not Giles. As mind on BtVS, Giles story revolves around dealing with ìRipper,î a more ruthless side of him. We have seen Wesley develop a more ruthless side, but those tough decisions he makes still affect him. This is shown beautifully in ìLoyaltyî when all the stress Wesley has been under about the Father will kill the Son finally causes him to crack in a fit of hysterical laughter. Ripper is a natural part of Giles. The ruthlessness of Wesley comes from his Watcher training as well as having his throat slit and nearly being killed by Angel. This distinction between the two men is important. Wesley is not a mini-Giles.

Like Giles, Wesley is exposition man. Not only when it comes to whatever demonic challenge they face, but often in terms of what Angel is going through. Angel talks to Cordy about things, but it is Wesley that lets the audience know what is going on with Angel. From it is important for Angel to want things back in Season 1 to more recently the importance of the work being personal, it is Wesley that clearly states things that arenít so much how the characters view things, but what is really going on.

Wesleyís role as exposition man also makes him big picture man. His job is to see the big picture. While Angel is working on the smallest acts of kindness, Wesley still has to be concerned with the prophecies that talk about the grand plan. Because of this, he is denied the small picture. He even gives up his relationship with Lilah because of the big picture. He chooses a side and she isnít on it. Contrast this with Gunn, who if Wesley had made him choose between Fred and working at AI, Gunn would have chosen Fred.

Gunn and Wesley contrast not just in their battle for Fred, but in which picture they were allowed to look at. When Wesley looks at Fred, he sees the big picture. She is everything good in life that is worth fighting for. Gunn sees her as ìhot mama.î Wesley is scared to approach Fred because he is worried about their overall relationship. Gunn has no problem taking Fred out to breakfast and paling around with her, thus building a relationship before they even go out.

This burden of the big picture is hard on Wesley. He may appear ruthless, but he isnít. He just has to make the tough decisions. On Pylea he has to be willing to send men to their death. Season 3, he has to figure out what to do about the prophecy. In terms of the big picture, he believes the Scroll of Aberjian. He believes Angel has an important role to play in the apocalypse. His job is to make sure that Angel can do this. He takes Connor for Angelís well being. It may be hard for Angel to lose his son, but as Lorne points out ìif Sahjan and that lady lawyer had pulled off their feeding plan, youíd have Connorís blood on your hands.î What would infanticide have done to Angel?

This season, Wesley is wondering why he is at Wolfram and Hart. In ìHomeî Angel accompanies everyone not to see what Wolfram and Hart have to offer, but to keep them safe. Angel ends up taking the offer and now Wesley is there to keep Angel safe. Wesley stays with Angel rather than seek out the new Watcherís Council. Wesleyís role is to make the tough decisions, such as killing his father in order to save Fred, to keep the gang safe. He looks out for Fred. He looks out for Angel. It has been Wesley, along with Fred, that is sent after solutions this season. They find Lorneís sleep and the nest egg.

Fred is what Wesley needs. She is someone even smarter than he is that he can talk about the big decisions with, so he isnít alone. We know from Buffy what a burden that can be. She is also something that gives him a smaller picture to fight for. Her heart balances out his mind. She says it is ok and even logical to listen to our emotions. They are what makes us human and disavowing them will allow us to turn into monsters. She doesnít allow her emotions to override the big picture. Instead she is the character that tries to balance the two.

And for this reason, every male is attracted to her and even loves her in their own way, especially Wesley.

[> [> Nice essay. Disagree on Fred/Gunn -- KdS, 23:55:07 02/24/04 Tue

I wouldn't describe Fred and Gunn's relationship as solely driven by sex on his part (although I'm probably oversimplifying your opinion).

A lot of people were annoyed by what they saw as the juvenile elements of the F/G relationship in Season Three. I think that those elements are quite meaningful, because both of these people have effectively had no adolescence thanks to poverty and violence on Gunn's part and academic focus/Pylea on Fred's. I think they're definitely portrayed as using the relationship as a way of having the normal teen romance they didn't get at the usual time. Of course, things fail in Supersymmetry because of their over-idealised view of each other. I don't think Gunn would have been unhappy with the relationship after Supersymmetry if the main attraction for him had been Fred's sexual charms.

[> [> [> I don't think so either -- Lunasea, 06:08:48 02/25/04 Wed

I was just using the line to illustrate that Gunn saw her more concretely than Wesley did. I have lots to say about Fred/Gunn and really none of it is sexual. The nice part about stick-figure Fred is she can't be about the T&A that drive some relationships. She is an incredibly beautiful woman, but she is lacking in the jiggly department. It was a very sweet relationship that developed naturally from their friendship. When do we get to see that in the Buffyverse? Her "hotness" comes from his feelings, not the other way around.

I think things fell apart after "Supersymmetry" because they have different coping mechanisms and those weren't compatible. Fred has a tendancy to retreat and Gunn took this personally. I will go into this in further detail later. I like the triangle between Wesley/Fred/Gunn and what it said about each character.

Questions -- Ender, 01:17:09 02/25/04 Wed

Wouldn't it have been funny if Joss was the guy in the Ratio costume (purple puppet)?
Who was the guy with the towel over his head in Smile Time?
What was the relationship between the nest egg and the puppets?
Did Angel's walk into the Don't room remind you of "Being John Malkovich" and isn't that a funny coincidence considering how much that movie was about puppets?

Bonus Question: Does Lorne have a soul?


[> The Questions above are about Smile Time. I can't answer them because I haven't seen it. SPOILERS! -- Pip, 02:56:10 02/25/04 Wed

[> answers -- Seven, 05:46:55 02/25/04 Wed


never explained--likely just a more scary version of the "don't" sign.

The nest egg was kind of their power source. Think of "Lessons." "There's always a talisman." It was like thier talisman

Now that you mention it, it was kind of like BJM and it is funny. As we all know, though, nothing is really coincidence in the Jossverse.

Well, we all know he has soul, but does he have A soul? The metaphysics of this are left up in the air. IF there was to be a 6th season, I'm sure ME would get into it considering how well it could parallel Spike and Angel's journey, but alas, we may never know. i would assume that he does but only because of his explanations during the end of season two. He was different than the rest of his tribe. He could not be like them and (obviously) he cannot be just like a human. Sound familiar? (or as Fred would say, Ring anything?)
Yes, it is all similar or relates to Angel so put me in the
Yea column for the L-man to have a soul.

Hope this helps.


[> Re: Questions -- not a morning person, 06:04:26 02/25/04 Wed

***Who was the guy with the towel over his head in Smile Time?***

David Fury - he was also "Framkin".

[> Re: Questions -- pellenaka, 13:26:17 02/25/04 Wed

Wouldn't it have been funny if Joss was the guy in the Ratio costume (purple puppet)?

Is it would.

Who was the guy with the towel over his head in Smile Time?

Gregor Framkin.

What was the relationship between the nest egg and the puppets?

They were lovers.

Did Angel's walk into the Don't room remind you of "Being John Malkovich" and isn't that a funny coincidence considering how much that movie was about puppets?

It instantly reminded me of that movie and my sister also pointed out the meaning of puppets in both movies. (Polo controlling Framkin=people controlling John Malkovich + more)

Bonus Question: Does Lorne have a soul?

I have no idea.

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