February 2004 posts

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Cavemen or Astronauts? -- LeeAnn, 04:11:55 02/26/04 Thu

Cavemen or Astronauts?

Cavemen, definitely. Cause cavemen were smarter and more vicious. There has been an almost 20% decrease in brain size in the last 15 thousand years. It seems to have started about the time humans began to practice settled agriculture, began living in larger groups and developing civilizations. For that to happen people had to get along so there was selective pressure to retain certain juvenile traits in adults. Such as friendliness. Friendliness/fearlessness is apparently linked with reduced brain size. (Same thing happened when wolves became dogs and wild cats became domestic cats. Taming in both is associated with a decrease in brain size. Matt Ridley, Nature Via Nurture) So not only are cavemen more used to a non-technological environment, they are smarter and meaner than astronauts although they might not get along as well and have more trouble cooperating.


[> Smarter...dangerous word to use -- Kenny, 06:48:18 02/26/04 Thu

First of all, different people have different ideas as to what "smart" means. Is the ability to understand and manipulate symbols (including language and mathematics)? Is it the ability to make a decision quickly? Is it the ability to make a wide range of decisions, with the outcome of most of those decisions being positive?

Also, linking brain size to being "smart" is a bit of a fallacy. The structure of modern brains vs. the brains of our forerunners is more important that actual brain size. There are animals (elephants, sperm whales) with brains larger than humans. Does that mean they are smarter than humans? A recurring theme in evolution is the ability to do more with less. For example, before there was a protein world, there was probably an RNA world, where RNA did most of the things modern proteins can do. But the nucleic acids that make up RNA are much larger than the amino acids that make up proteins, meaning they require fewer organic resources. If mutation results in a structure that can perform equal to/better than the wildtype and takes fewer resources, it's going to be selected for.

[> [> Re: Smarter...dangerous word to use -- Evan, 07:20:07 02/26/04 Thu

Furthermore, at that awesome time in history when there were homo sapiens and Neanderthals alive, Neanderthals had bigger brains (like 60% bigger, I think, though I can't quite remember my anthro class that well anymore). However, few would call them "smarter", since the working theory as to why we survived and they didn't (based on recovered bones) is that homo sapiens developed tools to shoot their spears at the animals they wanted to kill, whereas Neanderthals never quite figured that out and always just went up to the animal and tried to attack them, often resulting in their death.

So, yeah, Kenny's right. It's not the size that counts, its how you use it. (Ooooh, bad joke, sorry).


[> [> [> But *why* are they fighting? -- Nirvana1, 07:40:31 02/27/04 Fri

First, why would a caveman and an astronaut decide to fight all of the sudden? Wouldn't the point where the astronaut decides to actually *fight* a caveman be the point where we realize that whatever we have learned over the years means nothing? Seriously, unless the caveman killed the astronaut's child, why would the highly "evolved" want to even fight the caveman especialy with no weapons?

[> [> [> [> Re: But *why* are they fighting? -- LeeAnn, 09:01:27 02/27/04 Fri

I think of it as like the Star Trek episode Arena where the Metrons put Kirk and the Gorn captain on an uninhabited planet and told them to fight with the loser being destroyed along with his starship.

[> The easy answer -- Gyrus, 07:31:39 02/26/04 Thu

The cavemen would probably have weapons for hunting or for protecting their cattle. (There's a theory that humans and cattle lived very closely at one time, with the cattle providing milk and blood for the humans and the humans providing protection - presumably with spears - for the cattle.) The astronauts would be lucky to have a wrench or a Phillips-head screwdriver. :)

[> [> Yeah, but... -- Darby, 13:51:12 02/26/04 Thu

The astronauts would win, because the cavemen would be really, really, really old.

Too bad neither Angel or Spike was around for CaveSlayer.

[> More relevant than it seems (unspoiled speculation) -- Ames, 08:45:58 02/26/04 Thu

I would have thought this was obvious, but maybe not to Angel fans who don't read a lot of SF.

This latest ep left us with a simple problem to be resolved, i.e. how to save Fred within the restrictions posited. As it happens, the issue of what you can do with a hole that goes all the way through the world has been *extensively* hashed out in the field of SF, and it's relevant to this problem. It's something an astronaut would immediately think of, but a caveman obviously wouldn't.

[> [> Quite possibly -- Gyrus, 09:35:34 02/26/04 Thu

This latest ep left us with a simple problem to be resolved, i.e. how to save Fred within the restrictions posited. As it happens, the issue of what you can do with a hole that goes all the way through the world has been *extensively* hashed out in the field of SF, and it's relevant to this problem. It's something an astronaut would immediately think of, but a caveman obviously wouldn't.

Are you talking about flying the sarcophagus from LA to NZ (a flight path that would go almost entirely over the ocean) and dropping it in the hole there, so that gravity will stop it right about when it reaches the surface in England? Could work.

What I'm not clear on is why flying the sarcophagus thousands of miles over people's heads will "infect" them when being in the same room with it hasn't harmed anyone but Fred.

[> [> [> As I understood it... -- Belladonna, 10:55:36 02/26/04 Thu

The reason that calling the demon back to the well would infect thousands of people is the demon is no longer in the sarcophagus. He has been released, in Fred. Therefore, if they call it back, the demon's essence-completely loose- comes flying across the world. As he doesn't want to be imprisoned again, he'd infect everyone in his path. Had the demon still been contained in the sarcophagus, there wouldn't have been a problem.

[> [> [> [> Re: As I understood it... -- Darby, 13:56:38 02/26/04 Thu

What I don't grasp is why they didn't immediately try to fly - or teleport - Fred to the Well. If there's no one between the critter and the hole, there's no infection, right-?

[> [> [> [> [> Wow, this discussion is cool -- Masq, 14:01:46 02/26/04 Thu

I didn't even see this. But then I don't pay detailed attention to what's being said or done in an episode until I watch it one sentence at a time for my ep analysis.

Lots to think about before next week.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: As I understood it... -- punkinpuss, 15:10:33 02/26/04 Thu

Well, they ran out of time it seemed. Also, putting Fred on a plane could've worsened her condition. Why risk that when they didn't know four hours ago that it might've helped? By the time Angel was presented with that information by the Guardian of the Well, he didn't have any time left to make a play anyway.

And considering none of them except Knox even knew that their jets could get to the Cotswolds in four hours, do they even know about teleportation? When have they ever shown that on AtS? Does Wes have witch/wizard types on staff or as consultants? You'd think they would, but none of the gang seem to be as well-versed in the company's resources as Knox is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: As I understood it... -- Rob, 08:52:15 02/29/04 Sun

The lack of time is what I loved so much about this episode. The decisions they made, and all their actions may have been done differently had they had time to think, but instead they have this race against the clock for a dire situation that only cropped up that very day. In a way, it was almost a single-episode answer to the 24-esque non-stop tension of the fourth season. In this case, the fact that this one day was compressed into 45 minutes made their situation seem even more constraining and unlikely to succeed.


[> Re: C or A? Spoilers for Hole in World. -- Age, 09:32:07 02/26/04 Thu

Both astronaut and caveman work together to save Fred, but to no avail. Modern technology and old fashioned physical violence are both employed, but both fail. Either way, death could not be stopped. If the cavemen do beat the astronauts, then the astronauts will still win: nests and reproduction and mortality. The cavemen will evolve into astronauts. Of course, it wouldn't be those particular astronauts who win; yet, what do the cavemen win but the opportunity to be part of the great biological machine of birth and death leading to the appearance of their adversary? In this sense both really lose: Angel and Spike represent the astronauts up in the jet and then the cavemen down in, well, the cave of the Well. Perhaps this is also one meaning suggested by Fred's assertion that the cavemen win?


[> [> Re: C or A? Spoilers for Hole in World. -- Pony, 09:42:35 02/26/04 Thu

Yet Fred herself represents both caveman and astronaut - she is an astrophysicist who lived in a cave. I saw Fred's comment at the end as a primal thing - the caveman is always going to be inside the astronaut: angry, superstitious and afraid.

[> [> [> Caveman or Astronaut? Spoilers for Hole in World. and Unspoiled Spec -- Arethusa, 10:24:37 02/26/04 Thu

Or, infinitely powerful being from another dimension or prehistoric Buffyverse man? We don't know who "won," but we know the Powers left the world before they all died out. Jasmine said that the less malevolent Old Ones left the world, and it is possible one of the malevolent Old Ones either created vampires and other demons, which as we know are all hybrids of earlier pureblood demons, or let demons into this 'verse who in turn created demons as we know them. And again we see Gunn's robots, which I take to be a hint of the existence of the Old Ones (in my gods and monsters post in archive 1).

Illyria is the Latin name of the Greek goddess of childbirth, daughter of Hera and Zeus, therefore granddaughter of Chaos, the maelstrom from which the world was created. In this case she causes Fred to give birth to her, just as Jasmine took Cordy's body and life to recreate herself. And she rests at a place Drogyn calls a place of madness-which calls to mind Lovecraft's At the Mountains of Madness, where the city of the Old Ones lies. The nests Fred and Wes clear out have crystals that gestate in a host body, like the Alien-y monster in Fredless (where we also see Fred's parents).

There's another mention of chaos-Mitchell Feigenbaum developed a fractal theory that demonstrated "the universal system of on-linear systems, which has make possible the systematic study of chaos." Evidently, a system repeats in an endless loop or descends to chaos. This is from the Wolfram Research site, which sells software for teaching and researching mathematics and physics. Also on the site is another familiar name-Escher. They state the Escher perspective is one of repeating patterns. Angel and AI are caught in a loop, endlessly repeating patterns that most of them have forgotten even exists.

But Angel might not be the only one repeating patterns. The Old Ones might be trying to return to this world to continue or finish their battles.

[> [> [> [> Re: Feigenbaum -- ScottS, 13:23:02 02/26/04 Thu

Is this the same Feigenbaum who discovered the transcendental number named after him?

[> [> [> [> [> Yes. -- Arethusa, 18:30:36 02/26/04 Thu

But so far fractals and transcendental numbers and chaos theory are all Greek to me. For instance, I just found out chaos theory is deterministic when I thought the opposite, and the "butterfly effect" was coined by Edward Lorenz.

The interesting thing to me is that Knox's speech to Gunn is very deterministic; not only was it prophesied that Ilyria would rise, but when the time came the sarcophagus evidently spirited itself outside of the Deepest Well. And in the meantime, Jasmine decided to be born, so she creates Connor, who fights Angel, who trades his life for W&H, so Gunn joins the firm and needs his implant and therefore brings in the sarcophagus, which infects Fred, which leads to Ilyria's birth. Chaos theory in action.

But what does this mean for Angel-and us? Determinism becomes meaningless when you realize that yes, everything does have a cause and effect, but that doesn't mean we don't have agency, that we can't control our lives. I think the point is that it doesn't matter whether the universe is deterministic or not, that we still have to act as if our choices have meaning, because they do! And just giving up because we don't have complete control is as wrong as trying to have complete control. We must live as if our choices have meaning because otherwise they won't.

[> [> [> [> [> [> sorry for errors-having trouble posting-Spoiler for HitW -- Arethusa, 18:33:36 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> [> Re: C or A? Spoilers for Hole in World. Good Point. -- Age, 10:24:41 02/26/04 Thu

I was focusing more on the mortality aspect of the episode, but I see the point you are making, that there can't be a fight between the two, because they aren't really separate.


[> [> [> [> Re: C = A? Cool. -- punkinpuss, 11:44:32 02/26/04 Thu

Good call. Also nice symmetry with Gunn's White Room fight with "himself" or Conduit!Gunn. And a parallel with the duality at the heart of it all -- the Angel/Angelus problem.

[> Did anyone else have a big censor BLEEP when Spike said 'Cavemen'? It was weird. -- Nino, 10:25:15 02/26/04 Thu

I only realized he said cavemen because it was brought up several times in the ep...but originally he said "Who would win in a fight (BLEEP) or astronauts?"


[> [> Re: Did anyone else have a big censor BLEEP when Spike said 'Cavemen'? It was weird. -- CW, 13:30:35 02/26/04 Thu

No, but it did happen to me several times during "You're Welcome" when Cordelia was talking, shortly after they collected her from the hospital.

[> [> Maybe it was... -- Gyrus, 13:55:52 02/26/04 Thu

Nope, I heard "cavemen" loud and clear. Perhaps the "beep" meant that:

-your local WB affiliate considers the word "cavemen" offensive, preferring "technologically-disadvantaged persons".

-your microwave popcorn was done.

-Artoo is ready to toss you your lightsaber the moment you give the signal.

-Spike occasionally speaks at a frequency that only you can hear.

-your smoke alarm thinks Spike's dialogue is poorly written.

-God was paging you.

[> [> [> lol..thanks...very helpful -- nino, 14:04:27 02/26/04 Thu

Question about Hole in the World (spoilers for this ep) -- B, 05:06:21 02/26/04 Thu

I missed something and I'm hoping someone can explain it to me. When Angel said to Spike, "hold my hand" did he hand him a weapon or something? I understood it was a technique they had used in fighting when they were both soulless but I couldn't see what he actually handed him. Thanks!


[> Re: Question about Hole in the World (spoilers for this ep) -- neaux, 05:10:55 02/26/04 Thu

it was a very thin wire that expanded so they could "clothesline" their opponents.

and it beheaded those nasties!

[> [> Re: Question about Hole in the World (spoilers for this ep) -- B, 07:59:47 02/26/04 Thu

Thanks, that explains it! My eyesight is not so good. LOL

[> Re: Question about Hole in the World (spoilers for this ep) -- luvthistle1, 10:37:23 02/26/04 Thu

It a fighting move that spike and angel use back in their vampire days. Angel gave Spike a piece of a wire, that is use as a weapon.

Possible continuity item with BtVS *Get it Done*? (*Spoilers* for current ep & NxWk Promo) -- OnM, 06:28:26 02/26/04 Thu

Just a quickie before I head off to work this AM:

It occurred to me that there is a certain thematic similarity between the sarcophagus in Hole in the World and the (granted, much smaller) wooden box used in the scene in Get in Done where the Shadowmen try to impart the "essence of the demon, its heart" to Buffy.

Since Buffy rejected this attempt, we never did get to see what would have happened to her if she had accepted the Shadowmen's 'gift' of power. Buffy rightly feared that the demonic heart, or soul, or essence or whatever it was would give her great strength, but leave her much less human. Would it have done so? As I said, we don't know.

Are we about to see what the result would have been with Buffy, only with Fred as the 'vessel'?

(Keep in mind that [if I follow the story line correctly so far] this is not a conventional demonic possession in the usual way that we see it in the Buffyverse-- the demon in question, Illyria, is supposedly 'dead', or at least as dead as this type of demon can get, and what was left in the sarcophagus was its 'essence'.)

Anyone else catch this?


[> Re: Possible continuity item with BtVS *Get it Done*? (*Spoilers* for current ep & NxWk Promo) -- kickin' shins, 06:48:05 02/26/04 Thu

Good idea! Bear in mind though, if I remember correctly, that Buffy's "gift" was offered during a vision-quest or an out of body experience. The three dudes didn't show up with a box and tell her to open it.
Whereas Fred's ascension took place as the result of a tangeable, physical vessel.

[> [> Close, but not quite. And a clarification. (Same spoilers as original post) -- OnM, 20:17:02 02/26/04 Thu

*** Buffy's "gift" was offered during a vision-quest or an out of body experience. The three dudes didn't show up with a box and tell her to open it. ***

Not quite. It wasn't an out-of-body experience or a vision-quest, Buffy was physically transported to another dimension or time, via a portal. (Or both-- ya got me!) Also, since the Shadowmen knocked her out, chained her to the cavern floor and released the demon essence with the specific idea of it 'merging' with her, it seems fair to make claim of a certain analogous quality to the two events. I would have to review the tape again to be certain, but I also recall the demon essence released by the Shadowmen first tried to enter Buffy's body through her mouth and/or nose, and in HitW Fred effectively 'inhales' Illyria's essence.

Perhaps my (ironically intended) use of the word 'gift' was confusing, and you are thinking of the BtVS S5 episode where, indeed, Buffy did have a vision-quest experience. If so, I apologize for the lack of clarity.

Admittedly a few seconds of footage and dialog (from the promo for next week's show) that imply that Illyria/Fred is a physically powerful, perhaps even god-like creature are not much to go on, but seeing that Buffy was already very strong as a Slayer before the Shadowmen offered her an 'upgrade', wouldn't it have been likely that this is the kind of abilities she might obtain?

A secondary theme that goes along with this is that all season long, I've been wondering whether or not certain characters are playing on the 'sides' that we assume they are. For example, are Eve and Lindsey on the side of evil, or are they really acting as some kind of double agents? Or if not Eve, at least Lindsey. The implication at the moment is that Illyria is (extremely?) evil, and is a parallel for Jasmine. Jasmine appeared benevolent at first, but turned out to serve a morally dubious cause at best interpretation. Will Illyria appear to be evil, but turn out to be ultimately benevolent, or at least (like Spike) attempt to work at becoming a warrior for good? Suppose that what W&H wants is an evil Illyria, and the AI gang ends up presenting them with the opposite?

Granted that I tend to latch onto 'minor' details and then spin sometimes odd speculations from them, but I have to believe that a writer as careful as Joss wouldn't have Fred recite a line where she claims that her 'superpower' is to 'hold on to who she is' unless that was a hint about something very important. (Sorry for paraphrasing, but that is the gist of it). If it isn't, then it's a very odd statement, don't you think?

If Spike can stand up to the demon in himself and bring it under control, then isn't it possible that Fred will reclaim control over Illyria? We may be assuming that Fred is 'gone' and what remains is all Illyria, but that may not be a valid assumption.


Not related to this particular line of thought, but to the one where a very clever person suggested that AI take the sarcophagus westward over the Pacific ocean to the other side of the 'Well' and thus avoid Illyria infecting millions of other people:

You could also follow the 'astronaut' idea by taking the sarcophagus (or Fred, I'm still not clear on this) straight up into space, wait for the Earth to turn under it/her, and then go straight back down to the Well.

Bet the cavemen wouldn't think of that one! Maybe W&H has their own handy spacecraft, too, not just jet aircraft!


[> [> [> Re: Close, but not quite. And a clarification. (Same spoilers as original post) -- Jane, 23:03:01 02/26/04 Thu

I think you're right that when the Demon essence was released by the Shadowmen it tried to enter Buffy via her nose and mouth, paralleling the way Illyria's essence entered Fred. I didn't remember the line about Fred's superpower being her ability to hold on to herself (too busy sniffling at the time) but it really does make me think that may be a way for Fred to regain control. Sure hope so. There is so much to think about in this episode, I am just trying to get my head around it all.
I too think that what we see on the surface may be misleading; I sure didn't figure on Knox being anything but an evilish nerdy type! So we may see a lot of our first impressions being turned upside down. What a wonderfully moving episode this is, full of juicy stuff to ponder.

What would you do for love? (Spoilers for current ep) -- neaux, 07:02:23 02/26/04 Thu

What would you do for love?

Fred has her Champions. All her men who will do whatever it takes to show their love for her.

Is it disturbing to see Lorne hit Eve? I was put off.. then realized he was doing this for Fred.
But now I can look at what Lorne did and see how it was just a progression of things to come in the episode. And that the violence gets heavier throughout the episode.

Every character does something outrageous it seems for Fred. Lorne hits Eve (which is breaking the ìyou never hit a womanî code). I forget the exact order of events.. but Gunn faces Gunn in a knock out rockem sockem fist fight. He really is beating himself up over Fred. More Violence.
What went from standard fare to extreme was when Wes shoots a co-worker for not working Fredís case. I found that scene sort of surreal. I was thinking it was some weird dream sequence then realized that this was the real deal. Wes just shot a dude in the leg! Ok ok. I can live with that.. its obvious that guy will live.

Angel and Spike fly across the globe and take on some baddies, decapitating a few in the process on their quest to save Fred. These guys were monsters.. beheadings are typical for monsters. The level of violence has increased yet again, but since its Angel and Spike fighting your normal creature-fare, its acceptable.

Finally we get the clincher, where Gunn realizes he set things in motion, causing Fredís current state of illness. What does he do? Knock out Nox and is ready to kill him. He raises a heavy object over his head ready to smash in Noxís face and pauses. Gunn thinks.. looks to see if anyone is around and then proceeds with the bashing. (while we donít know if Gunn killed Nox, for the time being Iíd say there is a big chance he didÖ Gunn has killed for Fred once before).

So as I relate MY rationale for the characterís actions.. and actually accept their violence as doing it for FRED and showing their love. Is it really all for love?


[> Disturbing (Spoilers for current ep 5x14) -- MissB, 07:34:54 02/26/04 Thu

All of the men seem out of control and lost. The scenes with Wesley shooting the co-worker and Gunn ready to bash Knox were particularly distressing. I wonder how far they will go "for love"?

[> [> Re: Disturbing (Spoilers for current ep) -- CW, 08:46:17 02/26/04 Thu

All of the men seem out of control and lost.

That really describes Fred as well, although in a different sense. Your assessment and the title "Whole in the World" go together to point toward where this season seems to be heading.

[> [> [> Pardon my dyslexia. That should read 'Hole... -- CW, 08:55:51 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> No you were correct - spoilers -- Ann, 10:12:47 02/26/04 Thu

That is part of the problem here. Nothing is whole. People have been split, lives have been split. Angel is not whole, Spike was divided in Damage into parts. W/hole is a metaphor for this whole season. Dana, Fred, Wes, Lorne's characters have been split because of the mind swipe. There is a hole in the whole. I think you named it well. The well is the visualization of the problem of season 5.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: No you were correct - spoilers -- Masq, 13:13:28 02/26/04 Thu

The well is the visualization of the problem of season 5.

Can you expand on this? I'm trying to get a handle on the metaphorical connection between the literal "hole" in the world and the mind-wipe. I'm only guessing that there is one, but I'm not sure what it is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No you were correct - spoilers -- Tymen, 13:24:17 02/26/04 Thu

Connor is the Hole in the World.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No you were correct - spoilers -- CW, 13:33:52 02/26/04 Thu

Or at least their missing memories of him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I mean, beyond that -- Masq, 13:34:07 02/26/04 Thu

I get literal "hole in the world" and "hole in everyone's memories". But what else do these two holes have in common besides being holes? One similarity does not a metaphor make.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I mean, beyond that -- CW, 13:38:09 02/26/04 Thu

Don't forget last week's lesson on analogy. ;o) Seriously who knew the hole in the word as there, except the guardian. Who knows Connor is missing except that secret's guardian?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Another possible similarity -- Masq, 13:46:10 02/26/04 Thu

Spike says something like, "You'd think we'd have noticed", about the literal hole. A similar reaction will come up with the gang when they find out about Connor. How could they have not noticed that something pivotal like that was missing?

That will be there question, of course. I am assuming we fans already have a good theory about why they haven't noticed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fred As A Femme Fatale -- Claudia, 15:43:27 02/26/04 Thu

This reminds me of someone's post on femme fatale and noir on ANGEL. I think it was Shadowkat's essay. It was an essay on how some of the female characters, including Fred, can act as a femme fatale for some of the male characters. Does anyone remember this?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wells symbology..... (spoils 5.14) -- Briar Rose (scatting), 15:07:15 02/26/04 Thu

Wells are symbols of many things:

Deep emotional feelings. The Font of Emotion. This relates to many of the things that Fred's disease brought to the forefront among the Fang Gang; violence in her name, love for her that would make Angel risk the lives of millions in her place. The tenderer side is Wesley risking his own health to be with her at the end.

The womb. Birth and rebirth: The Well of Life, The Source of Life, the cauldron if you will. Also symbolized by the chalice and the cave. Hades. We had both throughout the season thus far. Much fighting in caves and then the visit to the well. Did you notice the story started out in a cave? Speaking of reproduction and romance?

The eternal Universe, mainly pointing to life and death and the life after death that many faiths believe in. But more so, the enormous vacuum that "death" represents to the human psyche.

The Well of Knowledge: The place where we go to seek the answers from those who have lived before us. To not seek knowledge leaves one impotent in this world.
Dargon was the keeper of that knoweldge, and obviously Angel had dealt with him before. Angel seeks intellectual ammo, while Spike and Wes (and sometimes Gunn) seek physical ammo.

All of the symbology of "The Well" was present in this ep. Whole/Hole in the World points in many directions at once.

Certainly Connor and the Mind-Wipe come into play. But it's peripheral to the bigger picture. As Angel states, look at the bigger picture to Spike. There is a time when we all turn to a "Well" to find the answers we need.

It may be in our own emotional needs, or in the intellectual needs that will allow us to find an answer to a problem. Or it may be accepting our mortality when we find that we are most in danger of losing it.

I loved this ep - because the mythos was so wonderfully subtle, yet right there in plain view. It challenged each of us to decide WHICH "Well" we were most comfortable and familiar with.

I think that the "Hole" is going to be different for each of us. Some will see it as Angel's actions concerning Connor. Others will see it as heroics on the behalf of Fred. Others will see it as a metaphor for life and death. So many different variations on a theme.... It's all very wonderful!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No you were correct - spoilers -- Ann, 14:27:42 02/26/04 Thu

This may be rambling but I am at work.

I found this quote:

You can tear a poem apart to see what makes it tick.... You're back with the mystery of having been moved by words. The best craftsmanship always leaves holes and gaps... so that something that is not in the poem can creep, crawl, flash or thunder in. - Dylan Thomas

Black holes are baby universes. Any child born has this effect on its parent. Before the child there is only a hole of remembrance. Parents say that can't remember what it was like without the child. Black holes are where time and space come together to a single point as does the focus of a parent on its child.

The hole in Angel's gut, from the loss of his child, which is a very real hole to him, made real in his dreams. His mind swipe decision about Connor is the emotional hole, the unremembered Connor is the physical or rather the lack of the physical, and the hole in the world in the well (which looked not unlike a particle accelerator, atom colliders where they try to study the physics of these energies) represents the force of love of a child as all powerful and all focusing. Rah once spoke of the absence and the presence. The story itself was also changed by this absence and the presence of the absence. As was everyone in the story.

The post by anom the other day got me thinking in this event horizon-y kind of way. What exists, what is present and absent, what is changed forever by this presence or its lack. These are holes in the whole.

I hope that makes some sense.

[> [> Ummm, -- Hauptman, 08:58:12 02/26/04 Thu

I thought it was kind of cool when it was happening. But in retrospect I have some minor issues. But I can explain them away like a good thrall.

I thought it was outrageous that Wes would shoot the employee for not working Fred's case--but then I remembered that the employee was probably evil and bent on doing something evil or for an evil client. Besides, Angel has killed employees before.

I was shocked to see Lorne punch Eve in the face and threaten her (In a very effective I-want-to-kill-you-so-bad kind of way) but it's possible those runes protecting Eve might have affected him in some way [reaching, I know]. Plus, Angel and Spike were there and Lorne might have worried that the Soul Boys have lost their stomach for a vigarous disemboweling and time was a ticking. Hey, lost their stomach for disemboweling? Get it. Thanks folks, I'm here all week.

As for Gunn, that Knox bashing was all about himself, not Fred. He's a bad man.

[> [> [> I thought Lorne's musical restrictions were more interesting -- skeeve, 09:40:30 02/26/04 Thu

[> Re: What would you do for love? (Spoilers for current ep) -- Steve, 12:35:24 02/26/04 Thu

Yes, it all was for love.

Love isn't always this touchy feelly Harmark Moment kind of love.

It can get quite brutal at times.

And as to what people would do for love? Well I wouldn't underestimate what one would do for love. They would go all the way.

All people would kill for love given the right curcumstances. It's in our nature. It would be arrogant for us to deny it.

Those who really don't believe that they would kill for love have never been placed in an environment where such a decision is possible.

What would I do for love? Whatever it takes. Whatever it takes.

That's the beauty and the horror of being Human.

[> I feel what they all did was right in line (Spoilers for current ep) -- mack, 12:55:30 02/26/04 Thu

I am not surprised by their level of commitment and love for Fred. I am proud of their actions. They lost Cordy and loved her as much, the don't want it to happen again and have pulled out all the stops. Lorne's actions don't surprise me. He is an outcast in human society and Fred made him feel normal, good, when someone makes you feel that way it send your loyalty to the stratisfere.
What would I do for love? There are 4 people I love, my daughter, husband and mom and dad. I would to anything to save them, anything.

[> [> Re: I feel what they all did was right in line (Spoilers for current ep) -- Steve, 13:08:44 02/26/04 Thu

Worrying about what your actions will have on some impersonal "rest of the world" when your friend is in need is more an act of a machine than a human.

A human when placed in such a situation would do whatever it takes, the rest of the world be damned.

In the end while machines might crunch numbers, use logical equations, base the decision on which would be the larger number, the only "logic" humans use when it comes right down to it is love. And love doesn't rely on some numbers game.

You might find such a relevation horrifying It is. But at the same time however it's incredibly beautiful.

[> [> [> I think you're putting too much significance on love -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:20:07 02/26/04 Thu

There are plenty of people in the world who have given up someone or something they love to preserve themself, do what's right, or for a number of different goals. Love is not by nature the most powerful of human emotions. Greed, hate, duty, honor, guilt: all are equally powerful emotions which can drive people to do almost anything. Think of the movie "John Q": while that guy held a bunch of people at gun point to get his son a new heart, there are still plenty of people out there whose loved ones die from a lack of organ transplants, but most of them don't hold hospitals hostage over it.

Also, even if you won't accept that people will let someone they love die to accomplish another cause, then will you at least consider the idea that it's possible to love a group or abstract concept as much as a human being? That someone could have a great love for humanity in general, enough to override their concern for an individual they love?

[> [> [> [> Ummmm - that's part of Sociopathic thought, Finn. Not sure that I accept that..... -- Briar Rose (not flaming, just examining ME), 15:28:04 02/26/04 Thu

Of course, you are entitled to your opinion and I wouldn't say that you are "wrong", just that what you are outlining is rather Sociopathic, in that it is centered on a point of "I want to be right", especially in the case of love of an IDEA!

Love of an IDEA has led to some pretty scary historical actions. Then so has love of a person.... All love is based in Self-love/Id/Ego. So when one is determined to save that which they love "by any means", it is technically Sociopathic in either case.

But I think that in this instance, ME is showing us a little of ourselves in their symbolistic usage. (See "Well Symbology" by me above....) They are not being clear WHICH Well they are exploring. They are leaving it up to the viewer to decide which Well the viewer is most comfortable with.

[> [> [> [> [> No, my point is . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:04:19 02/27/04 Fri

That our emotions are what drive us to do things, and that love isn't automatically the most powerful (or though it can be). Please keep in mind that I view a desire to do good or guilt over doing bad to also be emotions. I don't see how this is socipathic. All I'm saying is that just because you love someone or something doesn't mean it overrules all of your other emotions and desires.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Ah! Okay, I see what you're getting at, I think.... -- Briar Rose, 19:26:08 02/27/04 Fri

Basic human concepts of ideals, whether they be good or bad or simply exist, are what many wuld choose to fight for or make choices based on.

It all depends on what one considers the epitomy of personal achievement? The love of one person. The love of mankind. The love of an idea or a belief.

I will say that the first definition, as I was understanding it, was making me think of the Holocaust above all else.

Sociopathology is based on the belief that only one's own happiness, needs and desires is worth anything, or doing anything about.

This could include acting for one's own gratification while saving someone else. But it's done for the good of the one who is acting, not for the good of the one being "saved."

I must admit, I saw a lot of Sociopathic behavior from Buffy in "The Gift" and most of season 7, and from Angel in "Home", as well as in his role at W&H. So I was wondering if it was also the way that other people saw those same decisions or if my personal beliefs were sort of left of center.

But I tend to believe that ME is letting the viewer do a lot of personal metanarration this season, and I am wondering if they will continue this or if they will force us watching to see their choice of which "Well" they are actually focusing on.....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, I think we still disagree on certain philosophies, but that's where the fun lies! -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:03:07 02/27/04 Fri

See, I believe everything that human beings do is done because we think it will make us happier. Pursuit of happiness is the one goal of all people. The urge to help someone is driven by the fact that, if we make someone feel better, we tend to feel better ourselves, and, if we hurt someone, we feel guilt over it. So, yeah, I think everything people do is for their own benefit. What distinguishes a sociopath is that the needs of others don't affect their feelings (assuming they actually have any). A sociopath can hurt someone without feeling guilt, while a normal person doesn't usually.

[> [> [> [> [> Well so let's not make it as abstract, then: -- mrsubjunctive, 09:54:37 02/27/04 Fri

You can save someone *you* love, or you can save thousands of people who are all loved, as much, by other people.

This thought maybe wouldn't hold much weight when you're in the actual situation, and I wouldn't necessarily have held it against Angel had he elected to save Fred. But inflicting pain and suffering on a few thousand people just because you don't know them personally, to save one person you do know personally, strikes me as ethically kinda sketchy.

And, call me crazy, but if we're to believe that Angel is a Champion and a Hero and so forth . . . I dunno, I kinda expect more from my heroes than that they knowingly cause lots of people to suffer when they could have prevented it. Particularly when their friends and loved ones have as marked a habit of returning from the dead as Angel's do.

[> [> [> Re: I feel what (Spoilers for Hole in World) -- Age, 22:04:33 02/27/04 Fri

Then what is the point of the Angel Team helping the helpless, these unknown others, in the first place? Surely the Angel Team should just let them suffer or die for fear that involvement in helping them might mean forfeiting their own lives and bring suffering to their own loved ones through their absence? But, aren't these 'others' already really part of one big family of beings? Isn't that the point? Where is the line that separates US from THEM except one that is created by thinking?

An act of compassion for those we do not know isn't the act of a machine that is calculating the best outcome, but the act of a human being who is using his thinking in service of his compassion. It is however hard to do given our immediate attachments and emotions.

The series shows that the venue isn't just our own back yard, but the world itelf:

Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh and cruel. That's why there's us. Champions. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world were as it should be, to show it what it can be.

The hole is through the whole world; there are are no sides.

Here's a story that may be helpful, even if it's a bit extreme; it is from the zen tradition:

Once, long ago in China, there was a monk who went out begging and was on his way back to the temple. On the way, some robbers held him up and took all his money, food, and clothes. Then they threw him on his back and tied his hands and feet to the ground with braided strands of the long grass that was growing in the fields. He stayed there, naked, for hours. Finally, the emperor passed with his servants, on their way to the temple. He was shocked to see a naked man near the highway and went up to him to ask what had happened. The monk explained. The emperor said, `Why haven't you just gotten up?' The monk said, 'Please untie the grass.' The emperor began to pull it up by the roots. 'Stop!' said the monk. `You mustn't pull it up. Please untie it.' At this the emperor realized that the naked man was a great monk, whose love extended even to the grass in the fields. So he accompanied him to the temple and took him for his own teacher.

[Note: the monk would be equivalent to Fred as victim, and the strands of grass equivalent to the unknown people that would be victimized by the transfer of the essence much as would be the strands if torn by the monk.]

[Christianity has its own story in the Good Samaritan who risks the possibility of robbery by stopping to help a stranger in distress.]

While this story presents an ideal with the monk having no familial attachments, it illustrates how there are human beings in the real world who, like this monk, strive through meditation in their daily lives to achieve a certain mastery of their minds in order to widen their love to include all; to make all those in the world personal.

I cannot disagree with you about the effect of the personal in our lives, nor argue against your passion, but how far do we extend the personal or familial? Where do we set that line or do we get rid of the line altogether? Because lines don't really exist. If everyone thinks of saving their 'own' at any cost, then your immediate family and friends WILL be on the receiving end of someone else's attempt to pass the buck on suffering. Not to mention that the absence of a line means we are all connected and what goes around certainly will come around as the contagion metaphor of the episode implies. When the astronauts see the earth from space they do not see the lines of an atlas. But, more importantly we here in the immediate see no lines either, the cave, so to speak, is of our own making. There is no other.

This is easy to say in the abstract and hard to practise in reality. Still, to use a medical example, we use the organs of those who have recently died to save the lives of others. We do not however go out and kill someone we don't know to harvest his or her organs to save our loved ones. If nothing else this episode asks us to consider how we would act.


[> [> [> [> Re: I feel what (Spoilers for Hole in World) -- Jane, 22:46:53 02/27/04 Fri

Thanks, Age. You make the point I wanted to in my earlier post, but you make it much more eloquently and logically.
Aren't we all our brothers keepers? By extension, that means we are all responsible for the well being of all people. That we may not see or know others personally does not absolve us of that responsibility. As you say, the astronaut's view from space sees no borders. Sometimes this can mean that choices for the greater good will impact negatively on the individual. I think how we act in our personal, local environment has always the possibility of farther reaching consequences.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I feel what (Spoilers Buffy S2; Angel S4,5 toHole in World) -- Age, 13:29:38 02/28/04 Sat

'Why We Fight' presents the culture of personal profit at any cost, reducing men to vampires that must be controlled and are deemed worthless enough that they can be used; 'Smile Time' hits home, literally and figuratively, how this culture affects our families and isn't confined to the business world; and 'Hole in the World' shows how we may, as Angel did to help Connor, contribute to such a culture of any cost due to our otherwise healthy and human attachments.

By coincidence last night, Space replayed the second season 'Buffy' episode of 'Lie to Me' which deals with the same basic theme through Ford trading the slayer and the vampire wannabees for a shot at saving himself from a fatal condition.


[> [> [> [> Re: I feel what (Spoilers for Hole in World) -- LittleBit, 19:37:16 02/28/04 Sat

I look at this photo montage of earth at night from space, and wonder "which of these lights would I want to have go out in order to save someone close?"

Earth Lights

Not an easy answer at all. I personally know a very small percentage, infinitesimal perhaps, of the entire population of the planet. I am close to even fewer of those, and care deeply for a tiny number. Where would I draw a 'circle' that says "anyone outside this circle does not require a moral decision in a life threatening situation?"

The series shows that the venue isn't just our own back yard, but the world itself

Precisely. Recently there was a fairly long discussion about "selfish love" and "agape love." Do we think first of ourselves, or first of others? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few...or the one? Or does the need of the one outweigh the needs of the few...or the many.? What are the circumstances that make the individual's needs more important than the needs of the many?

In "Hole in the World" Angel and Spike have an interesting debate early in the episode. We first see them arguing about Spike not ever seeing the 'big picture', that savagery and brute animal instinct always win out in his view while Angel argues that we have evolved, we're bigger, smarter, use teamwork and aren't ruled by superstitious terror. Spike accuses Angel of just wanting things his way, and Angel counters that it isn't about what he wants. Then we find that what appears to be a serious argument is a debate about who would win if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight. It's almost comical, a silly debate with no real answer if it's just looked at from the standpoint of that question. But what we actually heard was so far beyond the topic of the question that Wes thought there was a serious problem.

Who sees the big picture? Who opts for savagery and action? Who is willing to see the 'caveman' that remains in all of us? Who wants to deny that? To believe that because we have evolved, are smarter and bigger, we have become better? Who says that the answer isn't about what he wants? What happens as they stand over the Deeper Well? Drogyn tells Angel and Spike what the consequences will be if they try to pull Illyria back into the sarcophagus. Angel says, "No." Spike says, "That's madness." Drogyn goes to prepare the spell. Angel turns to follow Drogyn. "To hell with the world." It's Spike who stands, looking down into the well, imagining someone at the other end looking back at them. "Feels like we ought to have known." It's Angel who, in a moment of giving in to the thing he earlier said it wasn't about, what he wants, who decides that the world can go to hell as long as Fred is saved. It's Spike who is looking at a larger picture. But what is it that he really points out? There's a hole that goes all the way through the world that they knew nothing about. No one sees the big picture yet.

Is Angel really going to sacrifice "Entire citiesótens maybe hundreds of thousands", allowing them to die in agony just to save Fred? Is saving Fred worth that kind of choice? What part of the picture do they not know? What information is missing in making this choice? Fred vs. possibly hundreds of thousands of unknown people. In order to accomplish saving Fred they have to get the sarcophagus to the Deeper Well in the first place. That's what will draw Illyria back. Back from wherever she happens to be. Through whomever might be in the way. Those unknown others.

The real question here is the one at the start of your post: "Then what is the point of the Angel Team helping the helpless, these unknown others, in the first place?" I think it is because they don't necessarily make the same "them vs. us" distinctions that people who don't know what they do about the world does. Evil doesn't recognize geographical borders, or class distinctions, or any of the other lines that are drawn to separate people from one another. Yes, they do it because they get personal satisfaction from helping others. But they don't choose whom to help other than needing to be helped. I don't think anyone on the team would want to be saved at the expense of the mission. Certainly not at the expense of hundreds of thousands of others.

"This is easy to say in the abstract and hard to practise in reality. ... If nothing else this episode asks us to consider how we would act."

As we saw from the reactions of Angel and Spike, the way we would expect, or be expected to act, may not be what actually happens.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I feel what Quick Symbolic Look(Spoilers for Hole in World) -- Age, 01:20:09 03/01/04 Mon

What if someone declares that he or she will do anything to save his or her loved ones at the expense of countless unknown others, of which I am one. Does this not make me a potential victim, and wouldn't my response be , if I do not wish to be that victim, to secure my situation by at least controlling the potential threat or taking it out altogether? Doesn't this create a society of individuals who are at war with one another? Where is the opportunity for human bonds, for trust? Fellowship, as the allusion to Lord of the Rings through the New Zealand reference may imply. Doesn't this mean we all try to fortify ourselves against one another as if all we do is make war with each other like the Old Ones? Do we harden ourselves to one another as Fred is hardened and has her humanity hollowed out? Do we insulate ourselves from the potential threat of others by joining a corporation with the big resources capable of fighting off our enemies at any cost. Do we then become part of a machine, our humanity hollowed out, our skin hardened as if we were a doll or puppet, to be taken over by that machine in order to be safe? Isn't Fred now this season's ultimate puppet symbol, possessed by Illyria?

The Well represents the corporate Wolfram and Hart in that it is a hollowed out(in sense of centre/heart) place of refuge from the world inside the earth and reaches from one end of the world to the other( Angel reminds us that Wolfram and Hart is all over the world). The Old Ones are neither alive nor dead, but kept 'safe' in their sarcophaguses- hard insulation from the world. The only way that Fred can be saved, ie made safe again, is by Angel doing what Wolfram and Hart would do: prey on others by bringing the sarcophagus back to the Well, thus killing countless others and possibly have many mini versions of Illyria rise. If Angel does this then the symbolic equivalent is Illyria back in the Well 'safe' and Fred safe, insulated from the world at Wolfram and Hart. Thus Angel would have joined the culture at any cost of Wolfram and Hart to keep Fred safe.

Fred effectively dies in this episode (I do not know how much of Fred if any remains), but for the purposes of this episode it seems clear that she dies and Illyria takes over, human being having become object. Instead of the Angel Team having a live Fred, but at the expense of giving into the Wolfram and Hart culture, effectively becoming what they are fighting against, they let Fred die and she becomes the metaphor made manifest of what they are fighting against.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Quick Addition (Spoilers for Why We Fight, Hole in World) -- Age, 09:10:54 03/01/04 Mon

Does this then marry the astronaut and caveman images by having Wolfram and Hart the hole in the world, a cave into the earth, one which we surround ourselves with for protection, but then being the whole world is a ship flying through space(the world itself has been hollowed out to become one huge machine?) This would mean that the surface of the world would be, like the void of space, hostile territory(as light would be to a vampire outside the necrotempered glass protection) in which, if the cave dweller/astronaut/employee of Wolfram and Hart/part of system of profit at any cost ventures out has to wear a spacesuit for protection with a lifeline, completing the insulation and puppet imagery. Would the brutality of the caveman represent what is really hiding behind all the technology? It is technology in the service of profit at any cost.

Is this the meaning behind the name of Wolfram and Hart: that like animals such as sheep or deer we herd together into groups for safety, but those groups are actually wolf packs like the Nazi U-boats.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Quick Addition (Spoilers for S4,5 Why We Fight, Hole in World) -- Age, 11:38:54 03/01/04 Mon

Instead of the skin being the living breathing connection we have with the world and each other, it becomes the outer shell, the spacesuit housing that which has taken us over, the culture of profit at any cost for our safety that possesses us. Effectively we trade ourselves away for the illusion of feeling safe. Last year this was explored in terms of a religious cult; this year in terms of the corporate world.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Eliot (Spoilers for S4,5 Why We Fight, Hole in World) -- Age, 12:48:11 03/01/04 Mon

The Well is a graveyard; Wolfram and Hart is a graveyard of the walking Dead, Eliot's 'Hollow Men' and perhaps Conrad's Kurtz from 'Heart of Darkness' referenced in the Eliot poem. And Harmony, the uncaring, neutered vampire is our symbol. You don't kill us, we won't kill you and we'll all feel safe.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sorry One More...(Spoilers for Hole in World) -- Age, 17:02:34 03/02/04 Tue

The white room through its appearance in this episode perhaps helps to establish the symbolic equivalence of the Well with Wolfram and Hart as the hole in the world. Further, just as there is the choice between two Freds, one live at the expense of others, the other dead, to become the metaphor representing that against which the Angel Team are fighting, there are two Gunns, the human being who, in his choice to sacrifice himself for Fred is automatically working against the culture of profit at any cost to others, and the representation of Gunn's becoming a part in this brutal culture through the mirror image conduit.

Sorry to keep adding like this.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Sorry One More...(Spoilers for Hole in World) -- Lunasea, 05:26:58 03/03/04 Wed

When Gunn goes to see the Big Cat, he doesn't yet know his role in everything. He thinks he is above everything. The doctor said that if Gunn was losing his knowledge, it was what the Senior Partners wanted. He went behind their backs, out of their control, and got it made permanent. We know the Doctor wasn't doing this upgrade on their request, since he is doing it for Illyria. I have a feeling the Senior Partners will like her about as much as they did Jasmine.

The Conduit said the viewer determines its form. I don't think Gunn sees himself as "a part in this brutal culture." Instead he sees himself as the Big Cat who is beyond that culture and can go behind the Senior Partners back. The violence of Conduit!Gunn was to show how upset the Senior Partners are. This violence is made even more interesting because Gunn makes several references this season to how he misses this aspect of the job and now that is being used against him, just like his desire to help is used by Illyria's acolytes to bring her into the world.

What was the story Wes was reading to Fred? -- Ames, 08:51:38 02/26/04 Thu

Did anyone recognize it?


[> The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- Ann, 08:59:39 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> Re: The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- Arethusa, 10:29:30 02/26/04 Thu

In that story, a little girl consoles herself whe she is orphaned and impoverished by pretending she is a princess, and therefore is nobly able to endure suffering and deprevation. I imagine she often thought of the book in Pylea, which would make what happened to Cordy a very ironic event.

[> [> [> Re: The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- Claudia, 15:39:48 02/26/04 Thu

Why would he read this to a woman in her twenties?

[> [> [> [> Re: The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- Steve, 15:48:29 02/26/04 Thu

This is where artistic symbolism has license over reality.

Perhaps he wouldn't read her a child's book in reality, in that situation.

Though for many, the books they read as a child have the most meaning to them. So I don't see it out of the question that if she knew that she was dying and if that book had an important effect upon her as a child that she wouldn't want to hear that book read one last time.

But it's the symbolism that this book represents that is most important. As I have never read the book, I can't tell what the larger significance of this book is to what happened in the episode.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett -- Claudia, 15:50:59 02/26/04 Thu

I'm sorry, but scenes like this and an earlier one with Fred and Wesley fighting a demon have only confirmed my earlier belief that they are not really suited for each other. Not because they have nothing in common . . . because they are too similar and both had a bad habit of regarding each other in an idealized manner. Both, in my opinion, still harbor ideal illusions of love and are really unsuited for a long term romance.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Little Princess (Spoilers) -- Steve, 16:01:42 02/26/04 Thu

Well, she's dead now.

So I guess long term romance is out

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett (spoilers for Hole in the World) -- Antigone, 17:15:18 02/26/04 Thu

Correct me if I'm wrong but I think SHE requested he read that specific book to her. I for one understood her choice. There are many times in my life where I've felt lost, confused or just a bit sad or nostalgic and went dug out one of my old favorites books, be it something by the Comtesse de Segur or even an old fairy tale. I almost know the words by heart. It's familiar, it's safe, it's comforting, it's almost like a remedy against the harsh reality of the adult world out-there; it's like hugging an old doll, blankie or teddy bear, even as an adult (we've all done it I'm sure!!) The smell, the feeling, the words bring back happy, memories of a time where it was all soft and safe (like the madeleine Proust reminisces about). You can't really analyze it; it's just human. In the case of Fred, I can understand how she needed a break from the very painful reality that she was dying, from her very adult world as a "serious scientist" and go back to the memory of her pefectly safe childhood, in her perfectly safe room with her perfect parents reading that story to her. Wesley understood that right away; IMO, his heart was absolutely shining in that scene.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Exactly. Couldn't have said it better! -- OnM, who therefore won't make with the repeating thing, 20:27:37 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Beautifully put, Antigone... -- Jane, 22:10:50 02/26/04 Thu

besides, I love that story too, and I'm no kid.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Importance of Fred and Wesley's Love -- Charles Phipps, 01:06:21 02/27/04 Fri

Fred is essentially a person who knew Wesley was her intellectual as well as emotional equal. On some level I think that they were idealizing each other but on the other hand I believe a part of them also knew each other in a way that Gunn could never understand.

They all had their demons but Fred had her dark side that Wesley understood and also misery...

Pylea for Fred and the childhood locked in a basement for Wes

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A small digression. -- Arethusa, 07:12:52 02/27/04 Fri

I forgot--Wes was locked up in the cupboard under the stairs as a child, and locked up Justine in a closet as an adult.

This season Wes has been breaking away from his old pattern of undermining himself out of a desperate need for his father's approval-like Angel. Meanwhile, Gunn is enacting Angel's insecurity over his intelligence (Cordy uses this insecurity to get Angel to agree to release Angelus.) Lorne could be said to be Angel's feelings of alienation. Spike-masculinity issues? Maybe, maybe not.

Sorry, my brain's been doodling again.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Similarities -- Claudia, 10:25:51 02/27/04 Fri

I've asked this once and I'll ask this again. Why do people assume that the road to "perfect" love is a strong similarities between the two partners?

So what if both Wes and Fred are brainy, or share emotional similarities? What makes you think this is the receipe for perfect love?

I think this is a problem that the majority of people have in regard to romance. They make a lot of assumptions on what it takes to have a perfect romance or find a perfect love, including many similar traits in each partner . . . and these assumptions end up proving them wrong. Is it any wonder why there are so many divorces and failed marriages around? People have this false sense of what it takes to be a perfect couple.

One of the problems I've had with certain relationships in the Jossverse, is that the people involved seemed TOO ALIKE in personality. I'm talking about Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Riley, Willow/Oz, Willow/Tara, Xander/Cordelia and now Wesley/Fred. These couples, at least to me, seem the personification of idealized love, and the fans loved them. The problem I have with these couples . . . I find them boring and immature. The only times when they were interesting is when their relationships came crashing around them. But when they were together . . . a big fat YAWN!

And that is what Wes and Fred seemed to me in the past episodes . . . boring. There is nothing more boring than watching two introverts play at being in love.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Similarities--Spoilers for HitW -- Arethusa, 11:13:47 02/27/04 Fri

The first false assumption is that there's such a thing as perfect love, since there's no such thing as a perfect person. I also would not agree that all the couples you mention are alike, or personify idealized love.

Idealized love usually doesn't last long in relationships. You begin to see the other's flaws and a more balanced, realistic view of the person develops. Wes knew Fred long enough to know that she developed a tendency to retreat when she's frightened. He knows she had a somewhat immature view of relationships. ("It's not always about holding hands," he tells her.) But he loved her anyway. He loved the way her brilliant mind shot off onto tangents to the point of incomprehensibility sometimes. He loved the way she looked, and he liked the way he felt when she looked at him-"like you're the only one in the room." He loved her for her sweetness, her optimism, her vulnerability. And when he found out she was beginning to love him back, he came alive.

I wasn't bored at all by Fred and Wes, especially since we saw so little of them as a couple. And I think that it doesn't matter how alike or different a couple is if they respect and accept the differences between themselves as well as the similarites, which is actually harder.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Similarities--Spoilers for HitW -- Claudia, 12:38:19 02/27/04 Fri

Wesley still idealizes Fred. He still does.

If we were talking about late Season 4, I would agree that by then, Wes no longer idealized Fred (from "Players"):

Fred and Wesley are poring over a stack of books and papers, researching
Cordelia's pregnancy. Fred holds up a picture of a deformed creature
covered with spines.
That's supposed to be a kid?
An infant Gatbar demon. The spikes grow to full size in the
Ouch. Gross-factor aside, these pregnancies all seem to be
run-of-the-mill demon life-cycle stuff. Nothing mystical
about 'em.
She sighs and Wesley looks over.
They're just pictures, Fred.
It's the pictures in my mind that are getting me. I can't stop
thinking about Connor and Cordy, hiding up in that room,
imagining what they do up there it's like being stuck in a
really bad movie with those Clockwork Orange clampy
things on my eyeballs.
Why imagine? Reality's disturbing enough.
Connor's Angel's son. How did he and Cordy get all
They were probably as surprised as anyone. But they were
both lost lonely.
No matter how lonely I was, I would never
Things happen, Fred. When you're alienated from the
people who care about you you start to look other
Fred realizes he's not talking about Cordelia and Connor anymore.
We were fighting on opposite sides but it was the same
But you hated her. (beat) Didn't you?
It's not always about holding hands.

But this is a conversation that had its origins in a discussion on Cordelia and CONNOR. Have either Wes or Fred shown any signs that they have finally come to an understanding about his relationship with Lilah? No. Have their memories of this conversation been erased, due to the mindwipe? I don't know. But if it has, it would explain Wes' regressive attitude about Fred during Season 5. And yes, I do believe that his feelings regarding Fred have regressed this season. I'm not the first person who has commented upon this. Many did back in October and November, during the episodes "Life of the Party" and especially, "Lineage". I have not seen any signs that Wes has overcome this attitude about her. Nor has there been any explanation or hint on why Fred suddenly lost interest in Knox and became infatuated with Wesley.

If ME renews this relationship, I will be disappointed, because I'm getting tired of these cutesy romances between people who are ridiculously similar.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Similarities--Spoilers for HitW -- MaeveRigan, 20:41:45 02/28/04 Sat

Nor has there been any explanation or hint on why Fred suddenly lost interest in Knox

Does everything have to be spelled out and/or explicitly portrayed onscreen?

In fact there was at least an explanation of Fred's loss of interest in Knox. She told Wesley "I think he's worked here too long." Implication: At best, something about Knox just doesn't feel right. At worst--she's figured out that he's EVIL, but being Fred, she doesn't want to hurt his feelings.

Fred has always been somewhat attracted to Wesley. There was a time when it was a toss-up between him and Gunn. Gunn had the confidence to make his move; Wes did the British gentleman thing and let it go, but things might have gone differently. His interest in her never really ended--why else would Lilah have teased him about her?--but he knew her heart belonged to Gunn, or Knox, and thought he didn't have a chance--until recently.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Similarities -- Ann, 15:54:38 02/27/04 Fri

You write; "One of the problems I've had with certain relationships in the Jossverse, is that the people involved seemed TOO ALIKE in personality. I'm talking about Buffy/Angel, Buffy/Riley, Willow/Oz, Willow/Tara, Xander/Cordelia and now Wesley/Fred."

A way to see that their characters are not as similar as you describe is to compare the characters you put together without the other character. I mean Angel/Riley removing Buffy, Oz/Tara removing Willow, Zander/Wesley removing Cordelia. When you remove the linking character and compare the remaining characters, it reveals how different the characters and relationships are. For example, if you think that Buffy is like Angel, and Buffy is like Riley, then logically Angel should be like Riley. But Angel is nothing like Riley therefore each of them cannot be that alike. Or their loves that alike. Oz and Tara although quiet (only similarity I can think of right now) are nothing like each other. Zander and Wesley certainly are different men. When looked at in this way, it in fact shows that they are very different. Of course there are some similarites in all characters, but the true deeper parts of all of these characters and what motivates them, and why they fall in love are very diffent. Hence their loves are actually very different and the few similarites between them are the smaller perhaps smallest part of what brings them together. IMO

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Cupboard under the stairs? -- Gyrus, 11:33:01 02/27/04 Fri

I forgot--Wes was locked up in the cupboard under the stairs as a child

Didn't Harry Potter live in the cupboard under the stairs?

Is this some sort of theme in English stories, or is it just that a lot of English houses happen to have a closet right there?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yes. :) -- Arethusa, 11:49:17 02/27/04 Fri

I don't know if it's a theme in British stories. I've read many, many English children's books and I think it's usually attics (lol).

Harry was locked in the cupboard under the stairs for the first two or three books, then he graduated to being locked in a bedroom. Teenage Wes is a great deal like Percy Weasley in Spin the Bottle, and Spike calls him Percy one or two times, so I think the correlary in the later episodes might be deliberate. Rowlings published the first Harry Potter book in 1997, and Wes first appeared in 1999, but I don't remember any deliberate references re Wes and Harry Potter until StB.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Cupboard under the stairs? -- phoenix, 04:27:01 02/28/04 Sat

A lot of English houses, at least the older ones, do have a cupboard under the stairs. I've lived in a few...houses, not cupboards (-:

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Cupboard under the stairs in America -- Brian, 09:45:12 02/28/04 Sat

The house I grew up in had a full size closet under the back stairs that ran from the kitchen to an upstairs hallway.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Plus it's a great book - possible Fred/Sarah Crewe themes? -- Rahael, 05:20:59 02/27/04 Fri

I love it. Sarah Crewe shows courage, fortitude and compassion. I haven't seen A Hole in the World. So I can't say if there are any thematic resonances.

But Sarah keeps up the morale of her fellow orphans (I almost said inmates) by convincing them that they are special and loved. And a neighbouring Indian slowly makes her attic more beautiful, turning a punishment into a palace.

At the beginning of the story, Sarah is privileged and wealthy. Once her father goes missing, the head of the school ruthlessly takes away all the good things in her life and makes her a servant - is this resonant with Pylea for Fred? Her parents go missing and she's lost until she is rescued by Angel.

Though the Princess is more reminiscent of Cordy's entrance into Pylea, ironically contrasted with Fred's status as 'Cow'. Yet Sarah would argue that both Cordy and Fred are princesses. Though one is the 'princess' and one is the servant.

Of course, I love 'The Secret Garden' even more, but LP comes a close second.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Plus it's a great book - possible Fred/Sarah Crewe themes? -- MaeveRigan, 07:30:57 02/27/04 Fri

It is a great book, as is The Secret Garden. Another connection to Fred, and to AtS generally, is that it is about family, and about making your own family. Sarah Crewe, alone in a hostile world, makes her own family by drawing those around her to her side, through imagination, kindness, and courage.

Even if you don't know the book, didn't the description of the girl sound a lot like what Fred might have been as a child? I loved this scene--it brought me to tears.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm looking forward to seeing the ep! -- Rahael, 16:03:36 02/29/04 Sun

[> [> [> [> Have you seen the play/film Wit? -- dream, 14:08:30 02/27/04 Fri

The lead character, an extremely intelligent woman dying a slow and very painful death of cancer, can not bear to be read the Donne she loves. Her mentor reads to her instead from The Little Bunny ("A little allegory of the soul, isn't it?") When in great pain and filled with fear, you look for comfort. For people who grew up more in books than in life, children's books can be immensely comforting.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Have you seen the play/film Wit? -- Antigone, 14:44:46 02/27/04 Fri

I knew that Fred moment reminded me of something! I only saw the HBO movie, but I remember being particularly touched by that scene. Thanks for picking it up!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Have you seen the play/film Wit? -- pellenaka, 04:52:03 02/28/04 Sat

Jonathan Woodward (Knox/Holden) was in that movie.

Not that it has anything to do with the topic or anything...

The Wolf, Ram and Heart, Pylea and Fred speculation -- Kickin' Shins, 10:48:57 02/26/04 Thu

Greetings all-
Does anyone remember what context a sacrificial Wolf, Ram and a Heart played in the Pylea arc of the series?
I vaguely remember at some point someone mentions a sacrifice of a wolf, a ram and a heart. Or someone shows an icon of those three things...
Was Fred (at the time a savage genius living in a cave) somehow involved in those icons? Foreshadowing (ofcourse) Wolfram and Hart?
Well...benefit of the doubt, here I come.
Speculation of Fred's role as avatar, Wolfram and Hart, the senior powers disappearance and the demon god's re-birth.

Before the beginning of time, at the start of mankind's rise...post First Evil...likely prior to the summoning of the first slayer, two evil entities (warlocks, demons, demi-gods) sought a bargin with an old one. The old ones were dying. People were fighting against them. Hordes of demons had already fled this dimension and their powers were waning in light of mankind's sentience. Allow their evil union, their partnership to thrive for the duration of recorded time and they would set the dominos in place to grant the resurrection of an Old One. I forget it's name. Ilyria?
Sure, why not? We'll call it, "It".
** Well It makes the deal with Wolfram and Hart. Old One's have patience.
Assuming that. Has Fred been groomed this entire time to be vessel of this ascension?
** Fred was sucked away into Pylea. There was some sort of W&H presence there (mentioned above, but I can't remember what.)
** Fred was the first admirer of Jasmine to break from her thrall and allow everyone to see Jasmine's true face - all maggoty and gross.
At the time I had assumed the Powers-that-Be had sent Jasmine (a minor evil goddess) to eat a few people and rally them united against the army of vampires coming from the North. Could it have been a preemptive strike to unite the planet against the rise of an Old One instead?
After all Jasmine seems to share some of the Old One's qualities..what we know of It. Both are/were ferocious, but very charming.
** Fred of course crossed paths with eeeevil Knox, an "It" acolyte...sounds like a who's hot list for the Buffyverse. Let's turn our attention to Knox, the "It" acolyte of the Spring fashion season...heh...I digress.
** Wolfram and Hart's strange retreat from the LA area could illustrate that their part of the ancient pact is finished. Of course didn't they do the same thing when Jasmine blew into town?
** Do you think omniscient Cordy would have waited a few weeks to stop a God from rising instead of helping Angel sword fight Lyndsey? ;)

Hmmm...I feel like I'm reaching for something that just isn't there. The Jasmine prophecy seemed to make a bit more sense...
Dunno...any other speculations? Does anyone feel that following the season's predominately "monster of the week" format, this sudden arc-heavy episode feels a bit forced?


[> Re: The Wolf, Ram and Heart, Pylea and Fred speculation -- Vegeta, 11:20:41 02/26/04 Thu

The Wolf, Ram and Hart (male deer) were on the cover of the books that were read by Wes in Cordy's chambers at the castle. They then deduced that the priests could not be trusted...

[> [> Re: The Wolf, Ram and Heart, Pylea and Fred speculation (Spoilers End of Season 2) -- deathdeer, 11:48:22 02/26/04 Thu

If memory serves, there were 3 books, as mentioned, that the priests in Pylea used for there spells, lore, etc. On the cover of the books were the animals. Wes needed the books inorder to return from Pylea; however, each book only had 1/3 of the story/spell, and had to be placed in the correct order to break the code. The order was. . .

Wolf, Ram, Hart.

[> [> [> What then was the connection btwn WR&H and Pylea? What did we learn about WR&H from the books? -- Nino, 13:22:50 02/26/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> The Answer in my opinion -- Charles Phipps, 00:55:43 02/27/04 Fri

Wolfram and Hart is actually an interdimensional organization. They infiltrated the priests of Pylea just like they have no doubt infiltrated the authority figures of countless other worlds.

The organization exists to spread evil mindlessly (or perhaps Mindfully) across dozens of different dimensions for no other purpose than to increase the level of corruption across the universe.

They apparently target authority figures and leave the "grunt work" to other demons.

Angel's Comment (Spoilers for Hole in World) -- buffyguy, 11:43:11 02/26/04 Thu

i was surprised and i guess happy that angel said drogyn had 2 champions to choose from. It means that angel finally sees spike as an equal and not below him.


[> Re: Angel's Comment (Spoilers for Hole in World) -- heywhynot, 12:06:02 02/26/04 Thu

And that Angel once again saw himself as a Champion. We are seeing the result of Cordy's visit along with Angel's time as a puppet. So Angel is growing on two ends, his relationship with Spike and with his ownself.

[> [> The team work scares me. -- kisstara, 12:23:43 02/26/04 Thu

O.K. call me pessimistic but what if this Angel/Spike team attitude is just part of a caveman needs of cooperation for survival and to protect the cavewoman.

The behavior of all the men, Fred's heros, are surreal, weird, sudden and strange. It scares me.

What is the underlying issue of the Angel gang right now, is it that Fred is dead, Fred is now a demon (or a demon is Fred), or is it the behavior of the rest of the gang and how they got there?

[> [> [> Re: The team work scares me. -- Steve, 12:53:15 02/26/04 Thu

Nothing against astronauts. They have greatly improved our lives. They have allowed us to take a life that is supposed to be brutal and short like all other the animals in the jungle and instead have allowed us to challenge the Gods. (astronauts = focused intellect).

But we will be arrogant not to realize when it comes to raw naked survival, the cavemen will win on an head on fight every time (cavemen =brute, raw, uncontrolled savagery).

I hate to bring up the Original Star Trek as I know not all Angel fans are fans of that show as well. But the original Star Trek brought up many philosophical issues and I think kind of touched on this one. Kirk was once caught in one of those infamous "transporter" accidents and turned into what was termed a "good" and "evil" self.

The scary thing that was found out was that Kirk NEEDED his "evil" side. Without that side he couldn't make effective decisions, etc.

In the end, humans need to appreciate their "caveman" side just as much as their "autonaut" side. Even in this modern society there are times when the "caveman"

[> [> [> [> Re: The team work scares me. -- Steve, 12:56:36 02/26/04 Thu

(for some reason the whole post didn't get posted"

Nothing against astronauts. They have greatly improved our lives. They have allowed us to take a life that is supposed to be brutal and short like all other the animals in the jungle and instead have allowed us to challenge the Gods. (astronauts = focused intellect).

But we will be arrogant not to realize when it comes to raw naked survival, the cavemen will win on an head on fight everytime (cavemen =brute, raw, uncontrolled savagery and power).

I hate to bring up the Original Star Trek as I know not all Angel fans are fans of that show as well. But the orginal Star Trek brought up many philosophical issues and I think kind of touched on this one. Kirk was once caught in one of those infamous "transporter" accidents and turned into what was termed a "good" and "evil" self.

The scary thing that was found out was that Kirk NEEDED his "evil" side. Without that side he couldn't make effective decisions, etc.

In the end, humans need to appreciate their "caveman" side just as much as their "autonaut" side. Even in this modern society there are times when the "caveman" can succeed where the "astronaut" fails. But it isn't either-or. Master both and you have the best of the two worlds.

[> [> [> [> [> Star Trek and Context -- manwitch, 12:03:34 02/27/04 Fri

Star Trek explored this idea a number of times, but it didn't always come out on the side of the Caveman.

For example, when Kirk is put on a planet with a Giant Lizard Man and they are to fight to the death, the Gorn uses brute strength in the fight. Kirk uses physics and chemistry, creates weapons out of his environment and puts the big spank on the lizard.

On another occasion, that trusty transporter fails them again and Kirk, McCoy, Scottie and Uhura are swapped with a Kirk, McCoy, Scottie and Uhura from a barbarian dimension. Spock instantly recognizes the barbarians for what they are and puts them in the brig until he can figure out how to get his captain back. But Kirk, McCoy, Scottie and Uhura are able to put the big ruse on Barbarian Enterprise, and it takes a long time for Barbarian Spock to figure it out.

Once all is fixed, real spock says to real Kirk, "It was far easier for you as civilized men to behave as barbarians than it was for them, as barbarians, to behave like civilized men."

So what is the context of the struggle between the astronauts and the caveman? Our evolution does count for something. Our culture counts for something. The experience of the astronaut includes the experience of the caveman. But the caveman knows nothing of the astronaut. I'm not sure its a given that when confronted with brute animal force that our culture is a total waste.

The belief that of course the caveman would win is the voice of despair, I think. Its the argument Spike is making. Angel is arguing the other side. Angel is clinging to a hope that we can be better, that the path we have traveled is not for nothing.

I don't know where they are going, but my hope is for some form of integration. I don't think we help ourselves by denying that we spring from cavemen, but we also don't help ourselves by denying that we are astronauts.

By the way, since vampires don't breath, are very strong, and live forever, I think they would be very valuable to the space program. If Spike is looking for someplace to go to get away from W&H, he should seriously consider contacting the folks at NASA.

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's a little tough to avoid sunshine in space. -- Sophist, 18:40:47 02/27/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Three words: necrotempered space capsule. -- cjl, 19:22:13 02/27/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: necrotempered space capsule. Spoilers S4,5 to Hole in World -- Age, 19:49:18 02/28/04 Sat

One way of looking at it is the necrotempered space capsule is Wolfram and Hart in which the 'astronauts' join the culture of profit at any cost in order to insulate themselves from the world, from the suffering of the world which they happily transfer to someone else, but become part of a system, a machine, much as the astronaut is tethered (another puppet image)to air support within a suit. Insulation from the world, from others, so that both may be used.

The astronaut image is complex as it is through the bigger view of the world that we gain perspective, a view perhaps that symbolizes a perspective Angel might gain through a 'trip' in the belly of the beast, this submarine, this tin can floating high above the world.

But if Angel is an astronaut, he doesn't represent the bigger view as quite clearly he doesn't see the big picture; he doesn't even see what is happening around him, as his latest lack of vision shows in Fred's and Wes's relationship. He's the astronaut who is part of the system of insulation (isolation, just as he's isolated himself due to his secret profit regarding Connor) through profit at any cost; albeit this is not something he believes in himself and it's something he's been trying to change.


[> [> [> [> Re: The team work scares me. -- Antigone, 16:15:09 02/26/04 Thu

"The scary thing that was found out was that Kirk NEEDED his "evil" side. Without that side he couldn't make effective decisions, etc."

You remind me of a book by Italo Calvino that I absolutely love and re-read whenever I can. It encompasses a lot of the themes dear to Joss. I'm sorry I don't know the title in English (I tried finding it on Amazon, but no luck): In French it's called "Le Vicomte Pourfendu." I highly recommend it to all of you. Not only is is a great philosophical little story but it's hilarious. The story in a nutshell is about this knight (MÈdard de Terralba if you can believe I remember the name!!) who goes to war and is literally sliced in half by a Turkish warrior. His right half comes back to his castle and is accepted by the population as their returned ruler. His other half is "left for dead" and slowly brought back to life by a peasant. What becomes clear is that the first half is evil. He lies, cheats, kills, tortures,... The other half, who comes back to the village later, turns out to be his "good side," pure, innocent and kind. Of course the reader at that point is rooting for the good half, hoping he will "win." However, it becomes apparent that it's not that simple and that both sides are actually "wrong." The evil side is obviously too evil and the good side is, amazingly, "too good." He gives out all his money, gets taken advantage of; he's an idealist, a dreamer who never does anything constructive, etc. In the end, the village's doctor makes up this contraption so that the two sides can duel against each other on their horses. [Don't read further if you don't want to be spoiled for the book]. Of course, none can win and they both get injured and the doctor puts them back together and he marries the woman he loves. Morality: absolute good, like absolute evil, is not a good idea, especially in a ruler or a heroe. Balance is necessary in all of us, the trick is not to let either side win.

I'm sure there are tons of Angel parallels to draw here. I have found myself going back to this book many times over the seasons. Just an an example, when watching the submarine episode (sorry I'm blanking out on the title): By siring Lawson, Angel made a hard decision, compromised with evil; but it was the only reasonable thing to do to accomplish his mission. Do a little evil for the greater good. Every person, however good, has a dark side and they have to embrace it to control it rather than reject it. Extremes are never good.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The team work scares me. -- Steve, 09:52:37 02/27/04 Fri

I wonder if the writers of Star Trek ever read that book.

Thank you for sharing that story with us.

As much as we might abhor our "evil" side the fact is that we need it just as much as we need the good.

I think that was Spike's point about the cavemen. For all our sophistication, for all of our learning and for all our achievement, we still need that savage caveman within us. We ignore that fact at our own risk.

[> [> [> [> [> [> and maybe that's what the question is really about -- anom, 17:25:00 02/28/04 Sat

Who'll win the battle inside each of us--our inner astronaut or our inner caveman? Can we accept both & find the balance?

Just had this image of caveman = id, astronaut = superego. I kinda like it!

[> [> [> [> Astronauts are Cavemen -- Lunasea, 07:18:27 02/27/04 Fri

Take an astronaut and put him in a situation where his very survival is threatened and he will revert back to caveman to survive. An astronaut is capable of picking up a club and whacking his neighbor every bit as much as a caveman is. It is the idea that we have evolved beyond something that puts the astronaut at a disadvantage. In a survival situation, it is amazing how that part of us can still be awoken. An astronaut is not a typical person. They have to be in peak physical condition in order to handle the stresses of space and re-entry better. Not sure how many g's a typical caveman could handle. We aren't just talking about 90 lb geeks.

We will have to see how that debate plays out in solving this arc.

[> [> [> [> [> Not quite -- Gyrus, 11:26:46 02/27/04 Fri

Take an astronaut and put him in a situation where his very survival is threatened and he will revert back to caveman to survive. An astronaut is capable of picking up a club and whacking his neighbor every bit as much as a caveman is.

And yet astronauts' survival depends on doing the exact opposite of that. For them, surviving an emergency is all about keeping a cool head and doing what they have been trained to do. To react out of untrained instinct would mean death. In effect, astronauts have to have the "caveman" trained out of them in order to do what they do.

[> [> [> Quote from Fury (Thematic spoilers) -- Darby, 13:10:19 02/26/04 Thu

In one of the reports from the recent "Wolfram & Hart" charity auction, David Fury told folks that for this season, the love story arc is Angel and Spike. I think last night we saw a significant step in that relationship - it ISN'T time for them to annoy other people, but to work out their problems like a good couple.

[> Re: Angel's Comment (Spoilers for Hole in World) -- Vickie, 14:54:26 02/26/04 Thu

Spike has also improved his attitude. When Angel got down over their prospects for success, Spike said "you won't lose her." I was surprised that he was comforting and reassuring Angel, instead of razzing him. It is typical of Spike to put aside his posturing when something truly touches him, like Joyce's death, like Fred's peril. I was just surprised it would trump his attitude towards Angel.

Of course, as Angel said, "I[we] lost Cordy."

the bridge and Illyria (spoilers for hole in the world) -- jay, 15:09:59 02/26/04 Thu

Two unconnected thoughts, here.
Am I stating the obvious, or did that whole bridge sequence at the Well seem to be a direct reference to the Lord of the Rings? Especially Spike's comment about a bloke somewhere around New Zealand standing on a bridge just like this looking back at us...

Then, what about the name 'Illyria'? I kept thinking of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night..."What country is this?" "Illyria, Lady."


[> Re: Illyria (spoilers for hole in the world) -- Pip, 01:52:04 02/27/04 Fri

In Twelfth Night the focus is on a male/female twin pair who can't be told apart from each other. At the beginning of the play, one of the pair believes that the other is dead.

It's Sebastian, who appears second in the play, who thinks his twin is definitely dead. Viola, who was the first appearing of the twins, knows her brother may still be alive. Neither of the twins appears onstage at the same time as the other until the very last act of the play - when finally they are seen and can be seen as themselves, both alive.

To quote from that scene:

Orsino: One face, one voice, one habit and two persons; A natural perspective that is, and is not!

I haven't seen A Hole In The World yet, being in the UK, but using the name 'Illyria' suggests to me that Twelfth Night and its pair of like yet unlike twins may be relevant.

[> [> Re: Illyria (spoilers for hole in the world) -- luvthistle1, 03:27:34 02/28/04 Sat

...So, maybe there is hope for Fred, and people only believe she is dead because that the old one took over her body, but suppose they get rid of the old one, Fred might be able to come back, because she said her power was to not let them take her. so she might still be holding on somewhere inside of Illyria.

[> [> [> Illyria and ancient Albania -- MissB, 12:03:33 02/28/04 Sat

Don't know if this has any bearing on the story that is about to unfold, but very interesting nonetheless :


[> The Bridge Scene and The Gift (spoilers for hole in the world) -- Laney, 05:12:52 02/27/04 Fri

The scene at the bridge reminded me of the Gift.
One sacrifice too many for Spike, was he seriously think of jumping and be done with it? Only to reappear someplace else. Angel weeping.
My favourite scene of the episode.

Another take on AtS 5.14 (Spoilers up to and for 5.14, minor unspoiled spec) -- Doodlebug, 16:48:50 02/26/04 Thu

Let me preface this post with the obligatory 'First time poster, long time lurker' disclaimer. I have thoroughly enjoyed the many posts on this board and appreciate how they have deepened my love for BtVS and AtS. I have never posted before because I have always felt that my knowledge on these subjects was murky and that I had nothing else to add to the mix. Leave it to a Joss episode to delurk me. I just couldn't resist adding my two cents to this episode. I also appreciate all comments and feedback. I love other points of view! So here goes my sketchy take on last night's episode.
I have been thinking about last night's episode a lot since I watched it. Rarely does Angel as a series make me bawl like a baby. Not like Buffy used to do on a fairly regular basis. It has something to do with growing up and what we do to get there. Buffy had an emotional core to it, that, despite my love for Angel and the gang, this series seems to lack. Until last night and I discovered that the heart had been there all along in the form of a tiny Texan. (Let me add that more than a heart, Cordelia added the "connection" to the world that Angel sorely needed and that more than the "heart" of the group I always saw her as more of the "spirit", if I may hijack a Buffy analogy.) Fred had never been my favorite character. She seemed too much a token female in the land of the Alpha male. But I have discovered since last night that I did care very much for her. As did the "boys". There were a few lines last night that got me to thinking about AtS and what it means to grow up and make the grey decisions. The first was Lorne. Fighting for the girl. Telling Eve that Angel and Spike wouldn't have a chance to kill her. The man who promotes peace threatening violence on behalf of Fred, who over a sinful amount of Chinese food once told him that she thought that everyone would want to be green, particularly, his shade. Acceptance, that's what Fred offered every character on this show. She accepted every one of the characters for who they were, and made them feel loved for qualities they sometimes didn't even realize they had. The scientist whose heart is bigger than her brain.
The second was when Fred said he loved splotchy faced girls and he replied that it was his curse. But I couldn't help but feel that his curse is that he loves the right women at the wrong times. His heart is the hole that Fred has filled. But just as they are beginning, it ends. His heart is not whole. And I have feeling that it might never be. It has been swallowed by the hole in the world. Fred later says that she walks with heroes. She still doesn't realize that she is one of them. It is easy for her to see the heroic qualities in all of her ìboysî, but she is merely walking with them. What she doesn't see is that they all walk with her. She became their heart, making them whole. She made Spike feel like he was someone worth saving, a hero in his own right, when he felt like someone who deserved to go to Hell. She provided balance for Angel when Cordelia could no longer supply that. She believed in all of her heroes.
But the one line that stuck with me was when Spike said that there was a hole in the world, and that we should have known. We should have known. Because we've all felt that way at some point in our lives. That we are not whole, we are not complete. At some point we have felt that we have a hole through our core. That something is missing. That our world is not full, but empty, right through the ìheartî. We see the literal ìholeî with Spike and Angel. Angel, above all, should have known. He hasn't been whole since Connor. Someone else alluded to when Fred was opening him up and stared through his ìholeî. The place where Connor should have been and wasn't. The place that the ìFang Gangî's memories were, but aren't. It is important to note that the hole goes right through the ìheartî of the world. Spike stares through the hole and contemplates about what, or who is on the other side. I, too, have wondered what is on the other side. When you feel empty, you can't see the end. You can't see what is on the other side of that emptiness. Spike right now can't see what's on the other side of his journey. He has just begun to stare into the abyss. But it's also hopeful. He can imagine that there is someone else on the other side, on the same journey, staring back at him wondering the same thing. I believe that it is Angel on the other side. He has been through this part of the journey, but now he has begun another one, and it looks just as dark and empty on his side. I imagine sometime this season that they will meet in the middle.
Gunn, on the other hand has walked into the white room and found himself. And he kicks his ass. White Room Gunn tells him that they all ready own his soul. And in the end, when he realizes the truth of it, he reacts by murdering Knox. He doesn't hate Knox at that moment. He hates himself. He's killing himself. At that moment, he is the hole. He is the direct result of Angel's mind wipe. The Fang Gang is now fractured. Not whole. And they should have known. But they didn't because of what Angel has done to them. And now they must suffer the consequences. One ìhole in the worldî has cause a bigger hole, which in turn will cause a bigger hole. And they will not end this season whole because of it. This episode has big implications for the end of this season. Somehow I am also reminded of another hole in the world. The hole that Dawn opened when Glory wanted to return to her own dimension. And we all know how that ended. Buffy closed that hole with her love for her sister. Sacrifice. I don't know that this doesn't have implications for this season's finale as well. But I am finally excited to see where it is going. Conviction without mercy is a dangerous thing. Angel has finally found his conviction. I hope that he will also find mercy again.


[> Very nice post, but the spoilers are for 5.15, not 5.14 -- Dead Soul, 19:45:54 02/26/04 Thu

[> Thank you for those thoughts . Very much agree (Spoilers 5.15)5 -- Artemis, 21:41:24 02/26/04 Thu

Like you Angel made me cry for the first time. And I agree
I never felt that emotional core like I felt for Buffy. Yet I really felt it last night. Fred was a character that I had always thought was just "ok". But this season, with each new episode, I have liked her more and more. Joss can really write a character in a way that makes you love them.

[> Slight spoiler from the teaser for next weeks ep in inviso text -- Rufus, 02:01:03 02/27/04 Fri

Regarding Gunn and Knox...If you get next weeks preview it's clear that Gunn doesn't kill Knox. It sure did look like he did, but he couldn't.

What strikes me with this episode is how Fred is shown before coming to LA, needing Feigenbaum (her bunny Master of Chaos) for the trip. She ends up in an alternate dimension for 5 years and then in the lab at Wolfram and Hart. Her daddy said if she met an Angel he'd eat the dogs...well she met Angel and the poor man has a funeral to arrange. Fred regresses as she realizes she is going to die. Instead of having Wesley continue to research she asks if that book can call up any book, any book. For part of the time left to her, Wesley reads a childrens story to her....A little Princess the story of Sara Crewe. I think it is the movement from the adult to the child that brings home what Fred means to the group. Her silly ways, her stories, her optimism. When Wes reads the passage from the book we all know Fred is going to die and all he can offer is this small comfort. Welcome to the board

A View on 'A Hole in the World' -- Claudia, 15:48:11 02/26/04 Thu

This was a very interesting episode that replayed the same issue from various BtVS AtS episodes like ìChoicesî, ìThe Giftî, and ìSleep Tightî ñ choice for the need of the few - or the many. And it was a choice that Angel had to make . . . whether to save Fred from death and the growing influences of a demon that had infected her body, or to ensure that the world would remain safe. Angel chose the world over his friend. And judging from the reactions on the forums, not many agree with his choice.

I'm not going to condemn Angel's choice. I believe that he had made the right choice . . . just as Buffy had made the right choice in ìThe Giftî. It does not really matter if the needs of the many are more important than the needs of the few, or vice versa. What matters is that each person had to make the choice that was more important to the heart. For Buffy, Dawn was more important to her; and for Angel, sparing the world from destruction. Perhaps being a champion is more important to Angel. However, if the choice had been between . . . say, Connor and the world, I suspect that Angel would have chosen Connor.

Once Wes finds out about Angel's decision, I think that many would find his reaction interesting. The potential for irony is very strong, in regard to Wes. After all, we are talking about the ìKing of Tough Choicesî, here. This is the same man who was it that felt it was more important to prevent Mayor Wilkins from getting his hands on the Book of Ascension, than saving Willow's life, who was willing to risk the lives of rebellious Pyleans for a successful revolution, and who risked his friendship with Angel and the others to prevent said vampire from killing his infant son, because of a prophecy. Considering his past history, one can only wonder how he will react upon learning of Angel's willingness to sacrifice the life of a woman he loves ñ namely Fred.

And speaking of Fred, what about her choices? One has to admit that many of her choices have led her to this point ñ a slow death and demonic possession. Fred chose to leave her home in San Antonio to attend college in Southern California ñ a decision that put her in the path of Professor Siedel. Her curiosity caused her to open a book that led her to five years of bondage in Pylea. After being rescued by Angel Investigations, she made the decision not to follow her parents back to Texas and bind her fate with those of a souled vampire and his companions. Who, in turn, led her to employment with Wolfram and Hart Law Offices . . . and her death by the end of this episode. One question ñ did Fred open the sarcophagus without doing any research on it, first? I must have missed the scene. If so, this only proves to me that Fred never really had a healthy respect for the spiritual and the supernatural, despite her five years in Pylea and three years with Angel Investigations. She has always had a tendency to treat anything supernatural as a science experiment. And in doing so, she may have paid the price for her attitude.

I also wanted to touch upon a few other points about this episode:

*the Wesley/Fred romance ñ there's an old saying that states if you do not have anything nice to say about something or someone, say nothing at all. Considering my opinionated nature, I will say something about these two. Watching them share a kiss following their victory over a demon, I am reminded of the early stages of Buffy and Riley's romance in mid-Season 4. You remember the scene ñ the one in which Buffy had vision of her and Riley making love, while they're fighting demons. This scene also led me to conclude that watching a 30-something man and a 20-something woman act like teenagers in love seemed very sad.

*Eve hiding from the Senior Partners? I bet that she is wondering what kind of situation her love for Lindsey had brought her.

*Fred upchucking blood over Wes ñ is this some kind of metaphor or sign that more tragedy awaits Wes? A tragedy that will tie in to Fred? Will Mutant Enemy prove me right that Wes' feelings for her might prove to be a detriment to him?

*Angel and Spike ñ these two are fast becoming quite the screen team. I had enjoyed watching our favorite vamps' relationship progress from polite antagonism to mutual grief over Angel's decision. Does this mean that Spike is officially an employee of Wolfram & Hart? Too bad. Anyway, I really enjoyed his ìhole-in-the-worldî speech. Very poignant.


[> Re: A View on 'A Hole in the World' (spoilers) -- Antigone, 16:45:24 02/26/04 Thu

I don't quite agree with your post (I do agree with your comments about Wes though; overall I think they all had to make their "tough choices" this year; Lorne, Gunn. Will indeed be interesting to see how this develops; if it will bring the A team closer or further apart; I also agree with your Angel/Spike comments--I love these two as a team of heroes, esp. as written by Joss!). I'll just respond to a couple of points if you don't mind:

"And speaking of Fred, what about her choices? One has to admit that many of her choices have led her to this point ñ a slow death and demonic possession."

It's true she made her choice to work with Angel and knew the dangers. I think it was the brave choice (chosing the dangerous, unknown life of a supernatural PI in LA over the comfortable, familiar, loving life at home with her parents). And I think not matter how conscious her choice was, she's only human: in front of a grueling, slow, painful, unfair death, most of us would cry and despair, no matter whether we "brought it onto ourselves" or not. Most heroes don't die heroic deaths (BTW, cuddoes to Joss for showing what "real death"--or at least what I think real death-- looks like; it's painful and horrible and most people are not ready to leave). I don't look at someone with lung cancer and say: they brought it onto themselves, too bad, they just had to quit smoking (I'm sure that's not what you meant BTW, but I'm just using this as an extreme illustration, to make my point). We all make our choices, good or bad, but noone deserves to die young and in pain. That's why I still feel Fred's death was unfair, even if I know she chose to be there. Those two feelings are not incompatible.

About your questions re: Fred opening the sarcophacus: It's not very clear why she touched it. It seemed to me (and anyone correct me if I missed something) that she was under some kind of spell or thrall. I don't think she knew her touching that crystal-looking protuberance on the box would open it; she even said a second before that they needed to do some research before opening the carcophagus. So my guess: it was part of Knox's "spell."

"the Wesley/Fred romance ñ This scene also led me to conclude that watching a 30-something man and a 20-something woman act like teenagers in love seemed very sad."
I know you don't like them as a couple but I myself find them quite compelling (and I was a bit sceptic at first--sort of "been there, done that"). Every couple is different but, in the first few days, when everything is new and exciting and you can't keep your hands off each other even in appropriate situations, it is not uncommon for a couple to act like "two teenagers in love." That's absolutely real for most couples (not all of course, it depends on your personnality--but I think it fits Wes and Fred's personnalities) and I like that Joss shows it the way it is. Love can be cheesy and sirupy in real life. I'm 30, my fiance is 40 and we absolutely act like silly teenagers in love!

[> [> Do You Remember 'Players'? -- Claudia, 10:17:09 02/27/04 Fri

Do you remember "Players"? Do you remember the conversation between Wesley and Fred in that episode? Fred was expressing her disgust over the Connor/Cordelia affair. Wes tried to get her to understand what would lead those two to have an affair . . . and the conversation eventually drifted toward Wes' affair with Lilah. Not only could Fred not understand Wes' lack of disgust at Connor and Cordelia, she could not understand how he could have gotten involved with Lilah in the first place. And that is how the conversation (and scene) ended . . . with Fred at a loss at Wes' attitude. I cannot say what was going through Wes' head, but judging from the look on his face and his eventual silence, I got the impression that he realized Fred would never really understand "the real him".

Recalling that this conversation began on the topic of Cordelia and CONNOR, I cannot help but wonder if both Wes and Fred lost their memories of this little discussion. I also cannot help but wonder if they would have ever gotten involved in the first place, due to the mindwipe.

By the way, if you like the idea of adults playing "teenagers in love", fine. But I don't. I find it cheesy and rather immature. Give me a romance or relationship with a bit more maturity, along with complexity to it.

Can Astronauts beat a Caveman? We'll soon find out (A Hole in the World Spoilers) -- Sgamer82, 19:39:46 02/26/04 Thu

I thought the whole Caveman vs. Astronaut argument in "A Hole in the World" to be somewhat foreshadowy since the Angel gang (modern day fighters) is about to face off against Illryia (cavewoman demon). They're about to, after a fashion, live the very argument they were having all episode.

Let's hope Spike, Lorne, and Accounts Receivable are wrong this time.


[> Re: Can Astronauts beat a Caveman? We'll soon find out (A Hole in the World Spoilers) -- Rufus, 02:30:21 02/27/04 Fri

If Illyria is a thing beyond the concept in time it sounds like the cavemen are the humans.

[> [> Re: Can Astronauts beat a Caveman? We'll soon find out (A Hole in the World Spoilers) -- MaeveRigan, 07:12:00 02/27/04 Fri

Fred was a cave[woman] once upon a time in Pylea. "Cavemen win"? I'm hoping (beyond reason) that Fred will return to us.

OTOH, Illyria has been in a cave (the "Deeper Well" or "Hole in the World") until now, so maybe she (and the Old Ones) are the "cave men"...but they're not men, so that doesn't seem right.

I'm going with Fred. 'Cause I love her, and love conquers all.

Did I mention that I liked this episode even more than "Smile Time"?

Knoxious!!! -- LeeAnn, 21:11:10 02/26/04 Thu

Of course Knox, nox, was evil and Fred was harmed by a noxious gas, a Knoxious gas.

Noxious from the Latin noxa meaning harm and nocEre to harm and the Greek nex meaning violent death and nekros meaning dead body.

Noxious: physically harmful or destructive to living beings or constituting a harmful influence on mind or behavior : morally corrupting.

And the MoG have been morally corrupted and Illyria is living in Fred's dead body and those ME writers are just as clever as hell. So when they named Knox they knew!


[> And... another Knox reference -- Ann, 06:01:26 02/27/04 Fri

just to be silly but not:

another Dr. Suess reference. In "Fox in Socks", Mr Knox, a creature of undeterminable species (like our Knox), is in a box. He talks to a fox with blue socks. Then Slow Joe Crow sews him in a box. But he doesn't like that game. So he then has to eat blue goo but he won't do it. (Choices, choices.) He is much too slow so they choose anther game. Then there is a tweedle beetle battle at the end that he watches. Disgusted he forces the fox with the blue socks into the bottle ending the battle. The game is done and he had a lot of fun. Mr. Knox walks away thinking he is the winner. But on the last page Mr. Fox is back.

Angel was sewn in a box by Connor. But Angel was not pleased with that game so he put him a a mindswipe bottle of sorts. Thinking this might end the battle of Connor's suffering, but it didn't at least for Angel. Blue socks and glue reminds me of the blue fairy and now new-Fred/Illyria. I realize this is silly but there are some parallels. Children's literature is playing a role in this season. It may refer to an innocence lost and the needing of rediscovery like Wes and Fred share reading for comfort. Reminding Angel of his losses and the need to fill the holes. He too needs comforting.

BTW there is an online copy of The Little Princess at http://www.pagebypagebooks.com/Frances_Hodgson_Burnett/A_Little_Princess/

[> Re: Knoxious!!! -- 110v3w1110w, 08:59:43 02/27/04 Fri

also those of us who have at one time played any of the ultima games will know that nox means poison and if leeann is who i think she is i can't belive she didn't give me any credit in her post

[> [> I give what's his face credit!! -- LeeAnn, 09:24:32 02/27/04 Fri

110v3w1110w/Ang3lu5 pointed out to me that Knox, nox, means poison.

This was on the irc channel #news_garden on the undernet.

Come chat with us.

It's mostly politics and current events but we also discuss the Buffyverse.

[> Not to mention -- KdS, 03:23:25 02/28/04 Sat

John Knox, who was also something of a fanatic and had some issues with women...

And this is the third time Jonathan Woodward has played a deep-dyed villain hiding behind the mask of a charming rogue (always an ME preoccupation). Better watch out or he'll get typecast.

A question and a continuity note (Hole spoilers) -- Cheryl, 21:23:40 02/26/04 Thu

This was an amazing episode, one that I'm still digesting and rewatching.

One glaring question I have - how did Spike and Angel get in Lindsey's apartment? He never invited them. Does this imply he's dead - or is he part demon? How else could they have entered?

Regarding continuity - did anyone else notice that the song Eve sang for Lorne was the same one Lindsey sang in Dead End:

". . . pretty as a picture, she is like a golden ring."


[> Prehaps a stupid answer -- CW, 05:11:24 02/27/04 Fri

I think the key is the mystic energy that keeps vampires out in the first place. There's a chance with Lindsey's mystical cloaking runes he was never recognized by what ever keeps track as living there, so no known presence no known protection. For Eve it's more a place to hide than where she lives, (earlier she was 'just visiting') so no vamp protection for her. Does that make any sense?

[> [> Re: Prehaps a stupid answer -- Cheryl, 07:07:59 02/27/04 Fri

I think the key is the mystic energy that keeps vampires out in the first place. There's a chance with Lindsey's mystical cloaking runes he was never recognized by what ever keeps track as living there, so no known presence no known protection. For Eve it's more a place to hide than where she lives, (earlier she was 'just visiting') so no vamp protection for her. Does that make any sense?

I can live with that explanation, thanks. :-)

[> [> Simpler than that, actually -- OnM, 07:56:42 02/27/04 Fri

In BtVS 7.20 ('Touched')- When Buffy is staying in the abandoned house, Spike is able to walk right in. If the owner is 'gone' (has abandoned the property), apparently the mystical barrier is no longer present. Spike even comments on this:

(From the shooting script)

KNOCK, KNOCK. Someone at the front door. Buffy doesn't react.

Another KNOCK. Then the SOUND of the door CREAKING open...

And FOOTSTEPS approaching. The footsteps stop.

A VOICE (O.S.): There you are.

Slowly, Buffy turns and sees, in the doorway: Spike. She looks at him blankly. As he strides in, full of energy.

Do you realize I could just walk in
here, no invite needed? This town
really is theirs now, isn't it?
He and Buffy exchange a look.


[> [> [> Re: Simpler than that, actually -- CW, 11:36:35 02/27/04 Fri

Right, there has to be a gone-and-ain't-comin'-back clause besides a death clause. I was trying to give ME an out, just in case they wanted to bring Lindsey back again, soon. ;o)

[> [> [> [> Re: Simpler than that, actually -- LittleBit, 13:49:14 02/27/04 Fri

Hmm...could that also help to explain Angel being able to get into Kate's apartment in "Epiphany"? She had, in essence, already 'vacated' by intention and unconsciousness, even if she hadn't actually died yet?

Just a thought.

[> [> [> [> [> Egad! The mystery is solved! -- OnM, 19:23:12 02/27/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: Simpler than that, actually -- Jane, 22:33:52 02/27/04 Fri

Does that mean that if you give your month's notice to your landlord you are open to vampire visitors? ;)

[> Another simple answer -- Old One, 15:41:53 02/27/04 Fri

Angel and Spike were accompanied by Lorne. Lorne just stepped inside and then invited them to come on in.

[> [> Doesn't it have to be someone who actually lives in the house? -- KdS, 03:25:38 02/28/04 Sat

Not necessarily the householder but some kind of resident (Gunn couldn't invite Angel into the would-be rapist's flat in Untouched)

Spoilery Speculation - Hole in the Wprld -- tam, 21:23:46 02/26/04 Thu

Maybe Fred won't have to stay dead. Spike and Angel are in the Cotswolds, correct? Maybe they can visit Giles and his witch coven for a spell. And maybe we can see ASH again!


[> Re: Spoilery Speculation - Hole in the Wprld -- luvthistle1, 15:50:17 02/27/04 Fri

...or drop in one Willow, and she can perform the spell she use to bring Buffy back, on Fred. Fred did not die a natural death, so the spell should work.

Why Can't I Stay.....spoilers for Angel 'A Hole in the World' -- Rufus, 00:31:19 02/27/04 Fri

Fred: Daddy, I love you like pancakes, but I'm gettin the hell outta here.

Mom: Language

Dad: She should say it - that's where she's goin - Hell A.

Fred: It's Los Angeles - the City of Angels, remember?

Dad: And if you meet one Angel there I'll eat the dogs - bunch of junkies and spoilt movie actors, that's who you're gonna meet.

Fred: In the Graduate physics program at UCLA?


Fred: I know I'm forgetting something....Oh Feingenbaum, can't make the trip without Feigenbaum!

Mom: He doesn't look quite up to it.

Fred: Hush. He's the Master of Chaos, he'll love LA all my junkie movie actor friends.


Fred: I'm gonna study mom, I'm gonna learn every damn thing they know up there and then figure out some stuff they don't - and I'll be careful. I'll even be dull, boring - cross my heart.

First thing I thought of when Fred said her last words was the Buffy Season 6 Once More With Feeling song, Wish I Could Stay. For all the pain that living can offer people continue to wish to stay to see what happens next. If life is meaningless, absurd, chaotic, then why is there such a desire to stay? Even Darla wanted to stay after over 400 years, and Fred had lived only a fraction of that. If we take the term hell and put it to what is going on in Angel, Fred's father is indeed right calling it Hell. A. So, why stay?

Wish I Could Stay (Tara & Giles)

I'm under your spell
God, how can this be?
Playing with my memory
You know I've been through hell
Willow, don't you see?
There'll be nothing left of me
You made me believe

GILES (overlaps with Tara's last word)
Believe me, I don't wanna go

And it'll grieve me, cuz I love you so
But we both know

(Giles' and Tara's following verses overlap)
Wish I could say
The right words
To lead you through this land
Wish I could play the father
And take you by the hand

Wish I could trust just that it was just this once
But I must do what I must
I can't adjust to this disgust
We're done and I just

Wish I could stay
Wish I could stay
Wish I could stay
Wish I could stay

As depressing as Joss can make the world seem he also shows us the opposite being true sometimes right at the same time as the most painful events for the characters in the show. Bitter with the sweet, no that's "The roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet." by Aristotle. Then what is life but one big day at school? Because the characters are living beings, some human, or part human, we see that personality makes for diversity in thought and action. Fred is someone who wanted knowledge and was willing to come to LA to get it. She was going to study, learn things the hard way (with her mind some may think hard is an overstatement). But Fred is a person, one who has strengths and faults just as each character in Angel. It's the interactions the characters have that produce the lives they are living, bringing me back to that nasty Pavayne from early this year........Hellbound

PAVAYNE: Parlor tricks. To amuse... like your blood.
Oh, yes. Nothing here without the will. Your voice... your body...

SPIKE: Quite a bit, mate. Reality bends to desire. That was it, right? That's why I could touch Fred, write your name in the glass. All I had to do was want it bad enough. And guess what I want to do now, you prissy son of a bitch!

Wait, getting ahead of myself now. I'm here to talk about death, the permanent type of death that seems to elude characters such as Spike and Angel. Is is the idea of death that makes life something worth sticking around for, or is it the longing to see what happens next? Finish that story, no matter how it ends. Fred started the episode alive, ready to make a go of it with Wes, just starting a new chapter in her life. Knox in his perverted way used Illyara to keep Fred for himself, worship the girl so make her into the god. Kinda like if he can't have her, nobody else can. And that path to hell is paved with good intentions...bringing me to the Gunn who was making with the Gilbert and Sullivan before getting smacked in the face by himself, teaching him that nothing comes without a price and all that Gilbert and Sullivan wasn't cheap. Only the Devil makes deals and the Senior Partners aren't the Devil.

Gunn: Hello? Here kitty kitty! Look I know there's someone in here and it ain't just me. I'm not going anywhere- (an arm reaches out and punches Gunn) - Well, what do you know...it is just me.
Conduit: You don't want to be here.
Gunn: I never want to be here - what happened to the Cat?
Conduit: The physical form of the Conduit is determined by the viewer.
Gunn: So, I'm lookin at me because what, we're gonna play a mirror game? Get our mime on?
Conduit: You are failing.
Gunn: I'm not the issue here.
Conduit: I believe that you think that.
Gunn: You can't let this happen to Fred.
Conduit: This is the part were I need to be clear. I am not your friend! I am not your flunky! I AM your conduit to the Senior Partners, and they are tired of your insolence. Oh yeah........they are NOT here for your convenience.
Gunn: I didn't come for a favor - we can make a deal.
Conduit: Deals are for the Devil.
Gunn: You want someone else? A life for hers? You'll get it - you can have mine.
Conduit: [laughs] I already do. (he proceeds to beat Gunn)

We start with a sarcophacus, end up in a Deeper Well all for the girl who said the same type of words in Pylea to Angel.

Fred: Handsome man saves me.
Angel: That's how it works.

But Angel hasn't been saving much the past while. He has been piling up the losses. Connor, Cordy, Fred...I guess a man can't save you when he can't save himself. Angel does try, as do his friends. In a battle between Astronauts and Cavemen, who is the Caveman? Petty arguements aside, one has to wonder what Angel is up against, how he will continue to fight, even as he loses as he goes. But we are talking Fred so Angel can wait. Think of what Lorne said to Eve......

Lorne: Well, nothing's written in stone...lately.

Let's talk Eve for just a teensy bit..

Eve: No they can't help you. I mean it. If you're talking about a sarcophacus that doesn't match anything in our records, there's nothing that's not in our records, except what came before......The Old Ones.

Angel: The original Demons, before humankind, they were all driven out of this dimension.

Eve: The ones that were still alive, but long beore that they were killing each other all the time and, and they don't die the way we do. Wesley may not know it, but his source books can conure up ANYTHING, not just our own stock. Tell him to look for the texts that are forgotten, the oldest scrolls. You need to find the Deeper Well.

Wesley finds out the info needed to search for a cure for Fred...

Wes: It's called Illyria, a great Monarch and Warrior or the Demon Age. Murdered by rivals and left adrift in the Deeper Well.
Angel: Which is what?
Wes: A burial ground, a resting place of all the remaining Old Ones.
Gunn: Cept, this one ain't restin.
Wes: I don't think this is merely an infection. Freds skin is hardening like a shell. I think she's being hollowed out so this thing can use her to gestate - to claw it's way back into the world. That's speculation, either way she dies.

The rest of the other characters time is spent trying to save Fred, Wes grants her wish to go home. While the others worry or battle, he sits by her, never leaving her, always loving her. We're back to life, why we stay and why we fight to remain in a place that can alternate between heaven and hell. Fred wants to stay, be with her friends, be with Wes. It's all over before she wanted, just as she was experiencing a great happiness.

Fred: Why did we go there? Why did we think we could beat it? It's evil Wesley...it's bigger than anything.
Wes: I don't believe that.
Fred: (backs against the beds headboard) Ahh! That was him...you won't leave now...we're so close.
Wes: I will never leave you.
Fred: That was bad, it's better now...you won't leave me.
Wes: I won't
Fred: My boys........I walk with heroes, think about that.
Wes: You are one.
Fred: A Superhero, that this is my power....to not let them take me...not me.
Wes: That's right.
Fred: That's right. (takes Wesley's hand and places it over her heart) He's with me.


Fred: Will you kiss me? (they kiss) Would you have loved me?
Wes: I've loved you, since I've known you, no, that's not....I think maybe even before.
Fred: I'm so sorry.
Wes: No, no, no.
(Fred coughs, face ashen, strength all but gone)
Fred: I need you to talk to my parents. They have to know I wasn't scared. That it was quick. That I wasn't scared...Oh god.
Wes: You have to fight, you don't have to talk, just concentrate on fighting, just hold on.
Fred: I'm not scared.I'm not scared.....I'm not scared...Please Wesley....Why can't I stay? (Fred breathes one last breath, and dies)

Fred wanted to stay. House of Pain, House of evil, but for Fred she walked with heroes and knew that they would win if they just stayed. Now she is gone and left is a shell. There is a hole in the world but Fred goes on I hope it's with the company of The Master of Chaos, Feigenbaum.


[> A few Transcribed sections from 'A Hole in the World' -- Rufus, 01:33:01 02/27/04 Fri

Wesley telling the gang what they are up against......

Wes: It's called Illyria, a great Monarch, and Warrior of the Demon Age. Murdered by rivals and left adrift in the Deeper Well.

Angel: Which is what?

Wes: A burial ground. A resting place of all the remaining Old Ones.

Gunn: 'cept this one ain't restin.

Wes: I don't think this is merely an infection, Fred's skin is hardening like a shell. I think she's being hollowed out so this thing can use her to gestate, to claw it's way back into the world. That's speculation, either way she dies.

Fred leaves the bed to go to the lab..

Fred: I am not the damsel in distress. I am not some case. I have to work this. I've lived in a cave for 5 years, in a world where they killed my kind like cattle. I am not going to be cut down by some monster flu. I am better than that. What a wonder.......how very scared I am.

Fred: This is a house of death (Wolfram and Hart) - that can call up any book you need?

Wes: Every one.

Fred: Then bring it...take me home.

Fred: Everythings so bright and hollow....Cavemen win...of course the Cavemen win.

Spike and Angel at the Deeper Well with the Guardian Drogyn

Drogyn: The Old Ones were demons pure, and they warred as we would breathe - endlessly. The greater ones were interred - for death was not always their end. Illyria was feared and beloved as few are. It was laid to rest in the very depths of the well - until it disappeared a month ago.

Spike: Someone took it from under your nose a month ago and you didn't miss it til now? That makes you quite the crap jailer, now, doesn't it.....also a statement.

Drogyn: Your friend likes to talk.

Angel: So much, he's even right sometimes. The man I remember couldn't be stolen from so easily.

Drogyn: The tomb was not stolen, it disappeared. I believe it was predestined to as part of Illyria's escape plan. And as for my not noticing.....Well, my charges are not few..... [we see that the Deeper Well has many residents]

Spike: Bloody Hell.

Angel: How far does this go down?

Drogyn: All the way - all the way through the earth.
Angel: So, the coffin disappeared, teleported, but it was brought to us.

Drogyn: Illyria was a great power - so great that after millions of years dead, somewhere on this earth it still has acolytes.

Gunn and Knox at the lab...

Knox: There's only a few of us now. I came to LA because I knew that's where it's kingdom had been. It was supposed to teleport back to the base of it's power, but the continents drifted - which they do. I had others help me get it here, but then it got stuck in - would you believe it - customs. But you took care of that. You signed the order to bring it into the lab so you could get another brain boost. It's like I said - I'm just one small part of a great machine.

Gunn: Angel's gonna save her.

Knox: What he's fighting against is older than the concept of time. I couldn't stop it. There's nothing left to do now but wait. Wait and try to figure out exactly what you want to tell your .......ahhhh [Gunn hits Knox with a metal container]

Back at the Well......

Drogyn: It's been freed? The demon's essence?

Spike: Yeah, its been freed - why do you think we're here? And what's your favorite colour? What's your favorite song? Who's the goalkeeper for Manchester United? And how many fingers am I holding up? [censors missed that one again] You want to kill me - try. I don't have time for your quirks.

Drogyn: The power to draw back Illyria lies in there. It requires a Champion who has travelled from where it lies to where it belongs.

Angel: You've got two of those right here.

Drogyn: But I didn't know it was free. If we bring the sarcophacus back to the Well it will draw Illyria out of your friend - and into every single person between here and there. It will become the mystical equivilant of airborne. It will claw into every soul in its path to keep from being trapped entire. Tens maybe hundreds of thousands will die in agony - if you save her.

Angel: No

Spike: That's madness.

Drogyn: This is a place of madness. I'll prepare the spell - YOUR choice.

Angel: To hell with the world.

Season 3 DOES matter (spoilers Hole in the World) -- Lunasea, 06:23:18 02/27/04 Fri

As wonderful as season 4 was, it was but a transition to an even deeper story, much like season 4 on BtVS was. Seasons 1-3 on BtVS was the story of Buffy Anne Summers growing up. Season 4 was the transition from this to a more spiritual/transcendent story about heart-spirit-mind of seasons 5-7. LittleBit wrote about how the Bads evolve on the show. This is driven by this change in the direction of the story in the later seasons. As we get to more universal/collective evil, demons are no longer adequate. We get Adam as transition, a hybrid demon/human/cyborg. To follow that we get a God, a Scooby and the First. We aren't just dealing with the shadow any more.

The same thing happens on Angel. Season 1-3 are about Angel's version of growing up, which because of his past means dealing with his own shadow, both Angelus and the issues that informed him. This sets up something more universal/collective. The transition is done through a season that revolves around the importance of free will. It is choice that allows us to rise above our nature or does it? I'm not talking about the personal shadows we all have, but the collective unconscious.

Season 3, Connor is taken through a rip in the fabric of reality to the worst hell dimension imaginable. The events that follow do not give the characters time to deal with anything. The time from when Connor is taken to when Angel is dumped in the ocean is only days. Wesley's betrayal is never dealt with. Even Fred, the kindest character in the Buffyverse, says what he did was wrong. Lilah says it the harshest, but she is right. The lowest level of hell is for traitors. Lying is a sin in the Buffyverse because it is a form of betrayal. The family that the Buffyverse believes in is attacked and weakened by this. I like St. Augustine's definition of sin as turning our back on God. If God is replaced by love and family in the Buffyverse, the betrayal of Wesley where he didn't share his findings with the gang is a sin.

Season 4, the Beast rises from the same spot that Connor was born. That birth was another betrayal that was never revisited. Cordy was upset with Angel lying to her about sleeping with Darla, but the events that followed didn't allow for this to be addressed. We see something coming up from the ground, unconscious to conscious, but this is deceiving. The unconscious wasn't made conscious. Instead, the Beast blocks out the sun and turns everything to darkness.

The mindwipe of ìHomeî will not allow for these betrayals to be revisited. They revolve around Connor. That does not mean that the concept of betrayal itself cannot be revisited. We are no longer dealing with the events of season 3 directly. We are no longer dealing with the personal shadow. Instead we are dealing with evil itself, the collective unconscious. Season 3, things are repressed and the conscious is made unconscious. Angel is even sent to a watery grave, where things happen beneath the surface. Season 4 gives the necessary psychic energy/libido to make these things conscious. The mindwipe makes it so these specific events cannot be dealt with.

There is another obstacle to the story, Angel is a hero. Just like Buffy could only go so dark season 6, there are lines Angel cannot cross. Angelus crossing them is not the same thing. Dark!Angel from season 2 and 3 is tempered by him going after the bad guys. He didn't actually kill anyone from Wolfram and Hart and didn't cross the line that Dark!Willow did. In order to fully explore evil and betrayal that line has to be crossed. It can be, but not by Angel.

Season 3, the traitor was Wesley. Now he is in the spot that he put Angel in. His betrayal results in Connor being taken out of this world through a hole. This season, Gunn's betrayal results in Fred's death because Illyria comes into this world through a hole. The guardian of that hole cannot lie. He does not like questions. Connor and Fred are lost because of lies and secrets. Season 5 revisits the themes of season 3 without revisiting the exact events.

In her last moments, Fred calls out for Feigenbaum, the creator of the Butterfly Effect, for comfort, but he cannot save her. In the Buffyverse, the idea of chaos is comforting. It allows for things not to be inevitable and for someone to kick over the board and start over. Even Jasmine's plans were undone. We aren't dealing with Jasmine though. Jasmine's love for humanity acted as a sort of control on her. It did limit what she would do. Illyria has no such restrictions. We are dealing with primal forces that predate even the Senior Partner.

When Billy touched someone, he had no control over whether this affected him. After a point, he had no control at all. Gunn had Fred knock him out before he reached this point. There are forces inside of us, good and evil, and we have no control of that. That is our collective unconscious, devil and angel. We have limited control over how we act, but our very nature is determined by things that our out of our control.

No longer are we dealing with prophecies that are open to interpretation. No longer are we dealing with the scheming of Sahijan, Jasmine or the Senior Partners. Now we are dealing with something that can warp time itself. With control of time comes control. Knox knew that Angel wouldn't save Fred. This isn't based on Angel's character, who wouldn't sacrifice thousands to save Fred. He hesitated a minute and was too late. This isn't based on blind faith in his goddess. He actually knew because Illyria knew. This isn't something that was foretold that is vague. This is knowing. This changes everything and kicks the story up a few levels.

The personal shadow of Angel, represented by Lindsey and Spike has been dealt with in Lindsey's case and made peace with in Spike's. Now the story deals with the collective unconscious and the theme of betrayal that so many events of season 3 and 4 illustrated, but cannot be dealt with because of the mindwipe. Season 3 does matter. It is the suppression of the events of season 3 and sending things to the unconscious that sets up the chain of events that leads to these things gaining enough energy season 4 to come back to the surface season 5.

So everyone take out those season 3 DVDs. They do matter.


[> Re: Season 3 DOES matter (spoilers Hole in the World) -- Claudia, 12:27:38 02/27/04 Fri

I agree with Lunasea. Season 3 DOES MATTER. And perhaps . . . maybe even Season 2. I mean, isn't that where it all started?

This is Illyria, lady. Some comments on Shakespeare's Illyria [spoilers for Hole in the World] -- Pip, 06:29:36 02/27/04 Fri

This is Illyria, lady

Jay's comments made me think about the choice of 'Illyria' for the demon's name. Usual disclaimer - I haven't seen A Hole in the World yet, being in the UK, so I'm working on other people's comments. Apologies if any of this is wildly off.

The very first lines in the play Twelfth Night are:

Orsino: If music be the food of love, play on;
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken and so die.
That strain again! It had a dying fall:

Viola, the sister part of the brother/sister twins, arrives at Illyria by a shipwreck. She promptly disguises herself as a boy [transvestitism in Elizabethan theatre is a profitable subject for PhD theses :-)] She seeks employment at the Duke's court:

Viola: ... for I can sing
And speak to him in many sorts of music.

So the very first connection with Illyria in the play is with music. Illyria is the complete opposite of Pylea. Pylea knows nothing about music. Illyria is full of music. People sing all the way through Twelfth Night - and they fight to keep the right to sing and party. This is the play that contains the line:

Sir Toby: Dost thou think, because thou art virtuous, there shall be no more cakes and ale?

The second connection that Illyria has is one that Ann will like. Illyria is connected with death, followed by rebirth. At the start of the play we have shipwrecks, loss, and a young woman (Olivia) in mourning at the death of her brother. By the end of the play everyone is getting married. Illyria is about the journey from mourning to starting life again. In fact, one of the sub themes of the play is 'get over it.' Olivia is seen by everyone as mourning too much and too long.

Feste: Good madonna, why mournest thou?
Olivia: Good fool, for my brother's death.
Feste: I think his soul is in hell, madonna.
Olivia: I know his soul is in heaven, fool.
Feste: The more fool madonna, to mourn for your brother's soul being in heaven. Take away the fool, gentlemen.

Get over it, indeed.

I've already commented on the theme of like yet unlike twins, in my reply to Jay (Re: Illyria). To repeat briefly, there is a focus in Twelfth Night on a twin pair who can't be told apart from each other. At the beginning of the play, one of the pair believes that the other is dead. Neither of the twins appears onstage at the same time as the other until the very last act of the play - when finally they are seen and can be seen as themselves, both alive.

These twins can't be told apart - yet, since one is male and one is female, they are fundamentally different.

Will the demon Illyria prove to be evil? I note that in the transcript that Rufus provided, Illyria is described as both feared and beloved . Illyria in Twelfth Night has its dark side, with the character Antonio being in danger of execution; with the killjoy steward Malvolio, who would end all song, and who ends the play vowing revenge on those who have made him look a fool. But most of the audience wouldn't end the play associating 'Illyria' with evil.

Joss Whedon knows Shakespeare. He knows Shakespeare very well. And Illyria at the end of Twelfth Night is shown to be a place where rebirth happens. Where you move from loss and mourning to life, and love, and song. Where even if the song is sad - you end the play singing.

When I was and a little tiny boy,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
A foolish thing was but a toy,
For the rain it raineth every day.


A great while ago the world begun,
With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
But that's all one, our play is done,
And we'll strive to please you every day.


[> Re: This is Illyria, lady. Some comments on Shakespeare's Illyria [ spoilers for Hole in the World] -- phoenix, 04:06:43 02/28/04 Sat

Very good points. Being in the UK I haven't seen the episode either, but I was also struck by the choice of Illyria as the demon's name. Twelfth Night is one of my favorite Shakespeare plays, precisely because of all the themes you have mentioned.

I don't really have much to add, except that Twelfth Night, the twelfth night after Christmas, used to be a well celebrated festival in Britain, which is no longer observed in recent years, as far as I know. It was the one night of the year when the normal social order could be turned on its head with impunity. In the great houses during medieval times a Lord of Misrule was elected to direct proceedings. He was usually a fairly lowly servant, but was given control over everyone for the night. Riotous and chaotic games were played, many to do with identity. For instance, up until about a hundred and fifty years ago a special Twelfth Night cake used to be baked containing tokens, each symbolizing a different character. People would have to play the character whose token they found in their slice, for the entire night. So the doctor could well end up spending the night as a 'woman of negotiable affections', and the serving boy could be a lord. This was the night when no one and nothing was as it appeared. Just as in the play, which I seem to remember was originally commissioned to be performed on Twelfth Night, hence the title. Of course, the next day everyone returned to their normal roles for another year.

It's a long time since I read up on the subject, and there is an awful lot more to it than I can remember off hand; but that is the basic idea, and from what I can tell may tie in to the discussion somewhere.

Apologies for any inaccuracies caused by my faulty memory (-:

[> Re: This is Illyria, lady. Some comments on Shakespeare's Illyria [ spoilers for Hole in the World] -- MissB, 23:27:30 02/28/04 Sat

Illyria was known to Shakespeare and his contemporaries as an actual region off the coast of the Adriatic Sea in what is today Albania.

Illyrians were fierce warriors and pirates who made a living off Greek and Roman merchant vessels.

Also, an Illyrian tribe was known to be matriarchal with the women having great political (queen, head of tribe, etc.), social, and sexual freedom - something the Greeks found quite shocking.

The winner of C vs A -- skeeve, 07:48:34 02/27/04 Fri

Given caveman vs. astronaut and nothing else, the astronaut wins.
The winner is the one who lives the longest without air in the universe.

Supposing there is a spaceship around, the astronaut still wins.
If the spaceship is close enough, he might even live to fight another day.

Supposing they are in the spaceship, the astronaut wins because he has help and probably better weapons.

Putting them on a planet other than earth is pretty much the same as putting them on a spaceship.

On earth, if they are together for a reason related to the astronaut's profession,
the astronaut is likely to have help.

If they are in a boxing match, the caveman wins.
The issue is whether the ref can stop the fight during the lifetime of the astronaut.


[> Re: The winner of C vs A -- Dlgood, 08:44:41 02/27/04 Fri

If they are in a boxing match, the caveman wins.

On what grounds? This is where the analogy of Caveman vs. Astronaut is rather flawed. Because the modern human is bigger, stronger, faster, healthier, and more athletic than the prehistoric forbear.

And in the case of US Astronauts, highly trained in several forms of unarmed combat.

As boxing matches go, the Greatest Fighters of All Time, are generally considered to be Sugar Ray Robinson and Mohammed Ali - stylistically "astronauts" relative to their Cavemen-like foes, Jake LaMotta and Joe Frazier.

What made the caveman viable and competetive relative to other animals was never physical prowess, or even any sort of "primal passion" but rather inventiveness and the ability to learn to use resource to improve their reach. The same thing that makes the moder astronaut powerful. The Astronaut is the Caveman, with a few extra milennia to perfect and refine the techniques.

To the extent that "Civilization" is some sort of enervating force, it's also something that can be shed a la The Call of the Wild when circumstances require.

[> Re: The winner of C vs A -- Steve, 09:08:12 02/27/04 Fri

Spike said that they would be going at it one on one. No weapons. And I assume they would be on Earth or somewhere with air like Earth.

In that situation, cavemen win.

[> Re: The winner of C vs A -- steve, 09:20:51 02/27/04 Fri

What Spike was saying (he was the one who started this) was that sure we might have evolved scientifically and culturally and all of that, but don't put TOO MUCH importance into that.

If some astronauts got trapped with some cavemen the astronauts would get their butts kicked. None of their intellect, knowledge, or sophistification would help them out in that case. On a straight one on one face to face fight, cavemen win hands down.

I think that this is clearly correct and finding "outs" such as the astronaut having lasers and such doesn't distract from Spike's point.

Nothing against science, the evolution of civilization, ther advancement of human achievement and all that. That's great. But still there are times when brute, savage strength wins the day.

We might want to deny that, but that is just our arrogance. Don't underestimate the barbarian, the savage, the caveman, as for all of our technology, human advancement, etc, they still could come in and destroy us by brute force if we let all that scientific and human achevements turn us into wimps.

Not saying to abandon our astronaut side. We just should learn to appreciate our caveman side as well.

[> [> Myth of the Caveman -- Dlgood, 10:14:56 02/27/04 Fri

If some astronauts got trapped with some cavemen the astronauts would get their butts kicked. None of their intellect, knowledge, or sophistification would help them out in that case. On a straight one on one face to face fight, cavemen win hands down.

Of course, what would help the astronaut is all that modern nutrition and health care, and a few milennia of natural selection.

Because the modern human is bigger, faster, healthier, and more athletic than that caveman. And, oh yes, physically stronger as well. And no less capable of savagery or brutality - as too many episodes of BtVS and AtS have already shown.

And if the astronaut happens to know Tae Kwon Do or Jujitsu (most are trained in several forms of unarmed combat) heaven help the caveman.

The Caveman is just a caveman. The Astronaut is versatile enough to be both Caveman And Astronaut. And in the case of anyone who can qualify to be an Astronaut in the US Space Program, is as well or better prepared to survive in the wild as the caveman is. With access to the same sets of tools.

[> [> [> But consider... -- Nirvana 1, 17:06:05 02/27/04 Fri

that many of the astronauts are just scientists and not purely fit. Plus, how would they be healthier? Or at least why would that be important? In the past, didn't the cave people lack such diseases that we live with today?

And, heck, I know that he wouldn't be considered an astronaut, but weren't they considering sending one of the Backstreet Boys to space? I mean, we can't rely entirely upon the space programs judgment (it may have been Russia, but Spike and Angel never specified which country).

[> [> [> [> Re: But consider... -- Dlgood, 21:41:42 02/27/04 Fri

Plus, how would they be healthier? Or at least why would that be important?

Let's put it this way - would you take a 35 year old caveman versus a 35 year old astronaut? You'd take the astronaut, because a 35 year old caveman would be toothless and decrepit. They didn't have fluoride or immunization. They wouldn't last very long in a fight.

The actual caveman didn't go out and pick fights with bigger animals. They subsisted by doing a lot of running and hiding. By killing at range. By using the same sorts of tactics their descendents mastered.

In the past, didn't the cave people lack such diseases that we live with today?

The diseases we face today certainly aren't necessarily the same as the ones the cavepeople face now. Pathogen's have mutated, but both our immune systems, and the pathogens are stronger now than they were then. Witness the interaction between Native Americans and European Colonists. Europe's diseases tended to shred the indigenous populations far more than the reverse. Of course, it helped that the more "civilized" European colonists tended to be more ruthless than the "savages" they interacted with.

[> [> [> [> [> Cavemen were the top predator... -- LeeAnn, 23:18:54 02/27/04 Fri

Let's put it this way - would you take a 35 year old caveman versus a 35 year old astronaut? You'd take the astronaut, because a 35 year old caveman would be toothless and decrepit. They didn't have fluoride or immunization. They wouldn't last very long in a fight.

Except you wouldn't have a 35 year old caveman. Their life expectancy was 28-32 (Cannibals and Kings by Marvin Harris). They would more likely be 18-25. It would be like Mohammed Ali fighting a middle-aged man. And they would all be healthy and fit. Or they would have been dead. A group of cavemen would be like a pack of wolves or a lion pride. They would likely be younger and fitter than any group of astronauts. They would be as big as a well-nourished American astronaut and a lot faster and probably healthier, never having been exposed to the junk food and pollution that the healthiest astronaut has. And they wouldn't have tooth decay because they had no sweets to make their teeth decay.

The actual caveman didn't go out and pick fights with bigger animals. They subsisted by doing a lot of running and hiding. By killing at range. By using the same sorts of tactics their descendents mastered.

But they did. They hunted in packs, killed mammoths with just stone tipped spears and then butchered and ate them. They were the top predator. They hunted and killed things that no other animal could. We could no more stand against them than someone's lap dog could stand against a wolf pack and even a band of aging (compared to cavemen) astronauts would be hard pressed to try.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Cavemen were the top predator... -- Finn Mac Cool, 07:41:57 02/28/04 Sat

They'd be strong by caveman standards, but not necessarily by modern man standards. There is something to be said for evolution and humans becoming more able then their predecessors. Height, at least, I'm pretty sure is different now then it was then. Ancient people were much shorter than most folks nowadays. It's thoroughly possible that human muscles and other abilities have advanced since then. Yes, current people don't use their muscles or physical abilities as much, but that's a recent development; there were many of millenia between cavemen and now where it was still survival of the fittest, only with evolution in play to gradually make them physically superior. Now, if it was a fight between ancient Greek or medieval warriors, then I think the astronauts may have their asses handed to them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No, they were as big as we are... -- LeeAnn, 12:38:27 02/28/04 Sat

When I say cavemen I am thinking Cro-Magnum man. They lived in caves and rock shelters and made the cave paintings we are all so familiar with. They focused on hunting and animals but it was Cro-Magnum who began to domesticate plants and animals. After about 20-10k years ago they gave way to what we call "modern man."

Cro-Magnums were big. People did not get to be that big again until the affluent societies of the 20th Century. People in agricultural societies generally were not as well-nourished as our hunting ancestors. A diet of grains and vegetables with a little meat did not allow people to attain the maximum height they can develop on a protein rich diet. Cro-Magnum man was a great hunter and wiped out a lot of species, destroyed ecosystems until they were forced to turn to settled agriculture because there wasn't enough game left to support them. (A Brain for All Seasons: Human Evolution and Abrupt Climate Change)

So they were big, smart and capable.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Probably not -- Darby, 13:27:04 02/28/04 Sat

You're talking about assumptions based on a small group of fossils - you couldn't make reliable measures of a few leftovers from our centuries.

The life expectancy data doesn't mean that people got old faster, either - it mostly means that few babies survived.

We're also talking about a species that accomplishes most of its physical tasks in groups, especially things like hunting. Given groups, and some notice, one might expect the astronauts to develop a more sophisticated strategy of engagement that might give them the advantage. Modern humans aren't smarter individually, but we have a much longer line of ancestors to draw our knowledge from.

We might be able to better anticipate from primitive warring tactics could be than the cavemen could anticipate our adaptations. Physically, what differences there are should favor the cavemen; culturally, what differences there are should favor astronauts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> One data point: astronaut vs. Neanderthal -- d'Herblay, 15:24:43 02/28/04 Sat


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Are you imlpying that consiparcy theorists are Neanderthals? :) -- Tyreseus, 18:23:41 02/28/04 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I believe Lee Ann is right about size -- Sophist, 21:02:20 02/28/04 Sat

It's pretty standard to say the Cro Magnon men were at least as tall as if not taller than today's Americans.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Description is based on 5 specimens from 1 location -- Darby, 13:51:23 02/29/04 Sun

There have been subsequent specimens (but not many), but I'm having trouble getting descriptions.

This is pretty typical of anthropology /paleontology, and they sort of have to do it, but how typical do you think a handful of modern specimens, dug up a few thousand years from now, will represent us?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Is that all? -- Sophist, 15:40:41 02/29/04 Sun

Well, it sure does end up passing for truth. Here are some sites for general interest and on that point:





This site refers to over 100 known skeletons:


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Some of these are probably better references than what I found... -- Darby, 05:46:08 03/01/04 Mon

...But I would wager that, whatever the measurements on the subsequent discoveries, the "book" description comes from that first small group.

The last site you listed, notes for an anthropology course, is pretty interesting. It probably has way better sources than mine.

That's what I get for doing a search when I need to be out the door...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Theoretical vs. Practical -- LeeAnn, 22:29:10 02/28/04 Sat

Modern humans aren't smarter individually, but we have a much longer line of ancestors to draw our knowledge from.

We might have more theoretical knowledge but I don't know how practical it is. One Survivor I watched they asked the contestants to start a fire without a match or lighter. They tried really hard with the spinning stick but none of them ever managed to get a flame. Theoretically we know how to start a fire. Practically, we don't.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> So it's basic fighting instinct versus acquired education, really -- Pip, 14:01:31 02/29/04 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> More myths -- Darby, 06:02:27 02/28/04 Sat

It seems likely that early Homo sapiens would be stronger than modern ones, but there really is no compelling reason to go either way on this.

But "stronger" pathogens?? The only reason that pathogens went mostly one way during colonization is that a whole crop evolved in the Western World, due to the rise of cities and trade routes. Large populations at-close-quarters, connected to each other, were a crucible for new strains that couldn't arise where such conditions didn't exist. The pathogens weren't (and aren't) "stronger," a terribly Lamarckian phrase anyway, but just different and more widespread - and adapted to the chemistry of Europeans, who themselves had been selected for resistance (not immunity, which is something different).

There's a fascinating story here also about evolution and the rise of "childhood diseases," but I suspect it's way too far off-topic.

[> Where are they? -- LeeAnn, 09:31:49 02/27/04 Fri

I think of it as like the Star Trek episode Arena where the Metrons put Kirk and the Gorn captain on an uninhabited planet and told them to fight with the loser being destroyed along with his starship. Remember, Kirk made gunpowder.

Someone put cavemen and astronauts on a planet and made them fight.

In my mind anyway.

[> [> Re: Where are they? -- Steve, 09:35:54 02/27/04 Fri

I think more like a cage or somewhere similar where there is no place to run or hide.

Where the only option is to fight.

Think of it as Thunderdome (Mad Max) BUT without the weapons.

Two men enter one man leaves.

[> Have the astronauts been in space recently? -- Doug, 13:16:43 03/01/04 Mon

Because while they are up there they tend to lose muscle density even if they work out extensively, and they tend to have trouble walking when they get home. I've also heard about lose of bone density as well; but unfortunately since I'm susposed to be working I can't check right now.

Angelus and Angel's Redemption (no spoilers) -- Patric Lewis, 09:25:59 02/27/04 Fri

I've got a question concerning Angel's redemption.
Here I go:
The Shanshu Prophecy tells that Angel will finally get his redemption and become human again.
But why does he have to get a redemption?
Because of what Angelus did!
But Angelus is the demon inside Angel. When Angel turns into Angelus, Angel disappears. That's what they've been saying for a long time now. In Season 4, Angel kept telling everybody that he did not want to turn into Angelus again, coz he (Angel) wouldn't be there to help them.
So my question is: why does Angel have to pay for Angelus's crime?
Every time that a character was possessed by a demon - e.g. Cordelia - it is not her or his fault. When Cordelia was possessed by Jasmine, Angel and co. thought that it wasn't Cordelia anymore. That is why Angel finally decided to kill her. And when Cordelia told Wesley that she was sorry for Lilah, he answered that he knows that Cordy was not responsible for what she did. So Cordy did not have to get any redemption! So why does Angel have to?

The only characters who need redemption in the Buffyverse are, I think, only Willow and Faith, because they were still themselves, when they committed crimes!

What do you think? I'm sure someone'll get an explanation for this, but I must say that the scenarists must have taken a wrong path in the development of Angel's character. I've got the impression that this story of redemption has become a goof.


[> Re: Angelus and Angel's Redemption (no spoilers) -- Evan, 10:34:38 02/27/04 Fri

In "Earshot" Xander makes a telling comment, something like "Come on, who HASN'T idly thought about killing everybody at school?". If Xander were a vampire, he probably would. Everything that Angelus does comes from Angel. The demon that's inside a vampire doesn't have "control" over that person. All it does is bring all of the would-be idle evil thoughts that that person has to the surface and removes the conscience which normally stops that person from acting on them. Yeah, Angel isn't responsible in the sense that a demon has removed his conscience and amplified a certain aspect of his personality. But everything he ever did as Angelus, everybody he ever killed, everybody he ever tortured to the point of insanity - those were still HIS ideas, which HE carried out. As Angel, he has all of these memories of himself doing these things, through his own free will, because he wanted to. So that's why he feels he needs redemption.

Although, as he says in his epiphany, he's not doing good for redemption anymore. He's doing it for its own sake (although, of course, he would still LOVE to become human again, even if he doesn't look at it necessarily as a reward).

[> [> Angel's Free Will -- Patrick Lewis, 18:48:39 02/27/04 Fri

I agree with you, but in this case everybody needs redemption. I know this is a Christian concept, but do you really think that AtS is that religious? That would mean that his redemption would be getting his demon out of him. That's a pretty manichean idea.
Everyone has their evil side - you know the whole concept of "evil is inside and not outside".
Well, nobody can't get rid of that evil side. You just quoted Xander, who recognized that everyone had already had the idea of "killing everybody at school". You can't take that from you. The only way is to accept it and live with it. Angel would thus needs redemption because he has these kinds of thoughts in him? That means that everybody needs redemption. Actually, Wesley would need redemption more than him!
Angel's redemption would still be a fake redemption, because he would get rid of the demon inside him, but he would still carry the thoughts of "killing everybody at school" since he will be human. I still don't think Angel needs redemption. Yes, he has these nasty thoughts, but they are realized by someone else. Are you responsible when someone does what you tell him/her to do? I'm one of those who think that everyone is responsible for their own acts as long as they have free will. And it is clear that when Angel is Angelus, he does not have his free will anymore. So I think that what Angel really needs is exorcism, meaning getting his demon alter ego out of him, but not his evil thoughts.
Basically, Angel does not have to earn his "humanization." He is the good guy who has never done anything wrong except having these really bad ideas, but who deliberately does good. I rather think that the Powers that Be owes this "humanization" to him! And it has nothing to do with redemption. But maybe they want to use it as a vampire because he is immortal and stronger. That would mean that Angel is just a puppet of the PtB! But maybe I'm going too far ;)

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