February 2004 posts

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Fred as anima--A14 spoilers -- MaeveRigan, 10:39:37 02/27/04 Fri

Wish I could say I came up with this myself, but no--check out Veggieburger's post at ASSB:

Cavemen 1, Astronauts 0


[> It's a great review -- Pony, 12:05:00 02/27/04 Fri

My inner 14 year old can't rejoice in as many of the swoonier moments as she does since I'm wondering if we're going to get a chance to deal with the problems of idealizing innocence that Fred as anima raises, but I do agree that for the guys their reactions to Fred's illness sees them simultaneously at their best and worst.

I also realized that Drogyn himself could be seen as another Pinocchio reference - problems with lying!

[> Re: Fred as anima--A14 spoilers -- Claudia, 12:22:21 02/27/04 Fri

Excellent essay on Fred. Couldn't have said it better myself.

[> [> Re: Fred as anima--A14 spoilers -- Felice, 14:13:01 02/28/04 Sat

"The scene shifts to Fred's lab where Knox gingerly approaches the fact that he knows Fred and Wes are an item. Fred's response is very telling ñ rather than matter-of-factly taking the lead and confirming this fact while letting Knox down easy, she almost backpedals and dances around it. I didn't get that Fred was uncomfortable but more that she was unconsciously unwilling to stop being desirable to Knox. I've said before that I think Fred plays with men, that she wants to be the object of attention to men, and this scene made me feel bad for Wes. I don't find Fred's interest in Wes genuine at all, and I think their relationship would have been short lived. (Instead, it was Fred who was short-lived. Hey, sorry, couldn't resist.). Fred treats men like whistlestops. Sorry, she does. Knox instead takes the lead and lets Fred off the hook, instead of vice versa. "

"Fred collapses from the effects of the mummy dust and the immediate gathering of the men around her bedside is an adolescent girl's fantasy. Oooooh, all these guys! And they're all about me!! I'm the center of attention! And Fred's dialogue reiterates that point My boys big strapping men handsome man saves me. I actually found this speech horribly condescending to the men. If Angel were lying there sick, surrounded by Buffy, Faith, Willow, Cordy and Eve, do you think he'd get away with My girls petite lovely women I haven't been surrounded by so many beautiful babes since I banged the ladies swim team?"

Very interesting look at Fred's character. It is possible that those five years in Pylea had developed a need to be the center of attention. I don't think that Cordelia was much of a threat for Fred - at least in S3 and S4, due to the fact that she had both Gunn and Wes as rivals for her hand. Gunn's devotion to her may have led him to kill Professor Siedel. This, combined with resentment that he had taken the choice from her hands, probably led Fred to distance herself from him and consider Wes for a possible substitution. The situation worsens when Gunn finally ended the relationship. Isn't it interesting that it is always the men who end up acknowledging the end of her relationships and not Fred, herself? I wonder why.

Before Fred could get cozy with Wes back in S4, Angelus let the cat out of the bag that the ex-Watcher had a torrid six-month affair with Lilah Morgan. It's possible that this must have been a slight blow to Fred's ego. I suspect that she could not deal with either Gunn or Wes showing interest in another woman - especially someone like Lilah. Is it any wonder that she tried (and unsuccessfully) her romance with Gunn in "Release"?

When we get to S5, Fred is obviously oblivious to Wes' interest in her and she has two new male figures to attract - namely Spike and Knox. Although it seems that she and Spike seem to get along like cats on a hot tin roof, I doubt very much that Fred would have tolerated having Buffy as a rival for Spike's affections. And so, she turned her attention to Knox. By mid-Season 5, I could not understand her sudden interest in Wes . . . until it hit me. "Lineage". In that episode, Wes shot his "father" nine times, because the latter threatened her life. That little act must have been a bolster to her ego. No wonder she became weary of Knox and attracted to Wes. And yet, as Veggie had pointed out, she not only seemed incapable of informing Knox that it was over between them, apparently, she could not stand the idea of him no longer finding her desirable.

I'm beginning to suspect that Fred may have paid the price for her desire to be the center of attention, among her friends. Perhaps Cordy was right to call her "Miss Scarlett O Wannabe" in "Spin the Bottle".

You Are My Sunshine (spoilers HitW) -- monsieurxander, 12:14:36 02/27/04 Fri

The choice of "You Are My Sunshine" as the song that Fred sings to Wes out of love, but ends up being the harbinger of her death, was genius. "You Are My Sunshine" is a generally misunderstood song; most people tend to think of it as a one-dimensional love ditty. The original lyrics prove that it is a bit deeper than that, exploring both love and loss. Definite symbolism for things being more complicated than they seem.

Plus, there's some stuff about Cajun food.

Written by former Louisiana State Governor Jimmie Davis and Charles Mitchell; Copyright 1940 and 1977 by Peer International Corporation. This song is one of two official songs for the State of Louisiana.

You Are My Sunshine
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away

The other nite, dear,
As I lay sleeping
I dreamed I held you in my arms.
When I awoke, dear,
I was mistaken
And I hung my head and cried.

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

I'll always love you
And make you happy
If you will only say the same
But if you leave me
To love another
You'll regret it all some day;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

You told me once, dear
You really loved me
And no one else could come between
But now you've left me
And love another
You have shattered all my dreams;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.

Louisiana my Louisiana
the place where I was borne.
White fields of cotton
-- green fields clover,
the best fishing
and long tall corn;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Crawfish gumbo and jambalaya
the biggest shrimp and sugar cane,
the finest oysters
and sweet strawberries
from Toledo Bend to New Orleans;

You are my sunshine,
My only sunshine.
You make me happy
When skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
How much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.


[> Re: You Are My Sunshine (spoilers HitW) -- MaeveRigan, 13:23:43 02/27/04 Fri

Yes, as your namesake Xander noted, it's basically "country music--the music of pain"! ;-)

[> [> Re: You Are My Sunshine (spoilers HitW) -- buffyguy, 21:03:39 02/27/04 Fri

and the one line that Fred said was "You make me happy". That is SOOO joss, isnt it? We all know happy leads to Despair and/or death. I loved that.

Change of Name Notification -- Old One, 15:34:23 02/27/04 Fri

Hi there, all you Existential Scoobies (those of you who remain), and a special hello to my friend d'Herblay, keeper of the ISPs. I want to make sure this change is all above-board and officially announced.

I was once known as dub. Before that, dub-dub, WW, and/or Wisewoman.

Now, I'm an Old One. (Actually, I always was.)

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.

Just remember that, okay? Death is not always my end.


[> Re: Change of Name Notification -- CW, 15:53:31 02/27/04 Fri

Oh, heck, compared to me you're still a spring chicken. I guess I managed to stay clear o' them thar demon wars. Guess I wasn't 'pure' enough for 'em. ;o)

[> [> Pure as the driven... -- Old One, 16:00:18 02/27/04 Fri

oh, wait...that's your hair!

Never mind.

[> Re: Change of Name Notification -- Masq, 16:03:10 02/27/04 Fri

But I've gotten so used to calling you 'dub'!

Cool new name.

Glad to see you're back on LJ, too!

[> O-O? -- OnM, 19:19:31 02/27/04 Fri

Hummm... have to go think too much about that.

[> OO! -- deeva, 21:37:07 02/27/04 Fri

It's still a cool name! See you around.

[> Enough time passes and your name shall be 'Legion'....;) -- Rufus, 22:31:03 02/27/04 Fri

[> A rose by any other name -- Sara, 11:33:12 02/28/04 Sat

is still pretty cool! Glad you're back and I love the new name!

Re The Little Princess -- Joandarques, 16:56:20 02/27/04 Fri

Excuse me for delurking. I hope this adds something. Sarah's father is "lost" because he doesn't remember who he is. This loss of memory is what initially puts Sarah in her difficult circumstances. The loss of a family member's memory, the father's, is what comes to my mind when I try to relate this to Fred's story. Perhaps Angel's induced amnesia has caused Fred's vulnerability?


[> this is what is interesting (spoiler for tv guide add -- not summary----the rest speculation) -- Seven, 17:30:33 02/27/04 Fri

* this is speculation, mind all *

An add for next week's Angel in TV Guide has a large close-up of Wes with Angel in the background. It says,

Fred's Dead.

Let the Blame begin.

Likely, Gunn's involvement will be revealed along with Knox's. So Wes will likely blame him initially. He may likely forgive Angel's (and Spike's?) decision to not save Fred. But that is a red herring. When Wes finds out about the mind-wipe, everyone will be pointing in Angel's direction as to who to blame. If their memories were intact, the decision to come to W&H may not have been made and all this nonsense wouldn't have happened.

This is how Angel will lose his companions. Wes will be the last to leave him, but he will hold the most contempt. So yes, the "memory of the father" is what is important.


[> one slight quibble -- radioreverie, 00:40:37 02/28/04 Sat

The "father with amnesia" thing was only present in the various Little Princess film adaptations.

In the book, he got sick and actually died.

[> [> Quibbling still further -- Pip, 01:20:17 02/28/04 Sat

The film wasn't actually changing things too much. In the book it was the father's friend Tom Carrisford who had the nervous breakdown (brain fever) with resultant hysterical ammnesia - which was why Sara wasn't taken care of immediately, but had to starve in an attic for months.

So ammnesia leading to major problems is still found in The Little Princess :-)

Spoilers- Dialogue betwen Spike and Angel Regarding C vs A -- Steve, 17:48:43 02/27/04 Fri

Since it was Spike who brought the whole thing up, I thought it would be useful to analyze the original argument between Spike and Angel.

Spike: It's bollocks, Angel. It's your brand of bollocks from first to last.

Angel: You can't ever see the big picture. You can't see any picture.

Spike: I am talking about something primal. Alright. Savagery. Brutal, animal instinct.

Angel: And that wins out every time with you. You know the human race has envolved, Spike.

Spike: Oh, into some namby pamby self-analyzing wankers who could never hope to overcome pure aggressors (Angel breaks in the end of Spike so I am not sure that I got this part correctly).

Angel: We're bigger. We're smarter. Plus there is thing called teamwork. Not to mention the superstitious terror of your "pure agressors".

Spike: You just want it to be the way you want it to be.

Angel: It's not about what I want.

Wesley: Sorry. Is there something we should all be discusing?

Angel: No.

Wesley: It just sounds a little serious.

Angel: It was mostly theoretical, we

Spike: we're just working out an . Look if cavemen and astronauts got into a fight who would win?

Wesley: Ah. You have been yelling for each other for forty minutes about this.

Wesley: Do the astronauts have weapons?

Spike and Angel at the same time: NO!

Review for Pinata (Nicky Brendon movie) -- Jay, 20:59:20 02/27/04 Fri

I just had the opportunity to watch most of "Pinata: Survivor Island", starring Nicholas Brendon, Jaime Pressly, and Garrett Wang (Ensign Harry Kim from Star Trek: Voyager). And although I wasn't able to watch the whole thing, I got to say, it doesn't live up to the low standards of a teenage slasher flick.

The presence of Pressly does add a bit of ass-tacular entertainment to the film, but no where near enough. She switches from short shorts to sweats way too soon. And the special effects are ass-tacularly (still have Pressly on my mind) bad. Everyone does look pretty in it, and you don't quite flat out cheer for the monster, so I guess that's something. But to make a slasher movie like this work for me, I need more skin from the actresses.

Nicky equips himself okay enough, but there is so much wrong with this movie you can't possibly praise a single performance in the midst of rampant crapiness. I gotta say, if Jaime Pressly isn't getting naked in a movie, she is miscast.


[> I'll just rewatch 'Psycho Beach Party' another dozen more times. That movie always cracks me up. -- Rob, 21:38:43 02/27/04 Fri

[> [> Can't argue with you... PBP is a much better movie -- Jay, 22:35:47 02/27/04 Fri

[> [> [> Same acronym as 'Posting Board Party.' Hmm. -- Old One, 14:21:22 02/28/04 Sat

Illaryia, Feigenbaum, and Fred.....spoilers for 'A Hole in the World' -- Rufus, 01:25:38 02/28/04 Sat

Feigenbaum the Master of Chaos isn't just a bunny that Fred holds for comfort but a real life fellow who I guess you could say has mastered Chaos theory. One thing to note is that Feigenbaum loved Goethe particularly the story "Faust". This year has had some Faustian elements where deals have been made and prices are beginning to become apparent. Angel made the first deal in "Home" when he went to Wolfram and Hart in exchange for happiness for Connor. Then the next deal was made by Gunn in exchange for the knowledge he craved. Have either man paid for what they got?

"Like the motions of dancing figures in a brilliantly lit ballroom into which you look from the dark night outside and from such a distance that the music is inaudible....Life may appear senseless to you." Feigenbaum was listening to Mahler and reading Goethe, immersing himself in their high Romantic attitudes.
Inevitably it was Goethe's Faust he most reveled in, soaking up its combination of the most passionate ideas about the world with the most intellectual. Without some Romantic inclinations, he surely would have would have dismissed a sensation like his confusion at the reservoir. After all, why shouldn't phenomena lose meaning as they are seen from greater distances?
Chaos, making a new science by James Gleick

We can see that all hell is breaking loose for the characters now but in all the excitement solutions exist. Each character still has choices to make, choices that may change how we see them from one moment to another.

Feigenbaum knew what he had, because geometric convergence meant that something in this equation was scaling, and he knew that scaling was important. All of renormalization theory depended upon it. In an apparently unruly system, scaling meant that some quality was being preserved while everything else changed. Some regularity lay beneath the turbulent surface of the equation. But where? Chaos by James Gleick

The last quote reminds me of the situation of Fred, now Illaryia. Is Fred, Illaryia or Illaryia, Fred? We see what happens with vampires when the demon infection creates a hybrid demon, and we have seen how a vessel created for a god can influence how that god interacts with others. So, Fred who was the numbers girl, the smart girl, yet the romantic girl who loved "A little Princess" worked with Theoretical Physics but brought to that her whimsical nature. If what we see as partially Fred just a shell or does what Fred once was bring something to the equation that may not be readily apparent. In the teaser for next week Illaryia says to Wesley "You will help me because I look like her". So, is it just a look or is there more? I don't think we can be entirely sure that Illaryia is alone in it's shell.


[> That's the question -- Old One, 14:18:55 02/28/04 Sat

If what we see as partially Fred just a shell or does what Fred once was bring something to the equation that may not be readily apparent.

Is Fred dead?

That's something I've been pondering. I think I need to sum up these thoughts and post them somewhere.


[> [> Re: That's the question -- Rufus, 23:25:10 02/28/04 Sat

In the book I mentioned the question was asked in regards to climate.."is there climate"..for what we know about death I guess that same question could apply.

As choices started the ball rolling from "Home" on I think that choices will continue to be important...

From "A Hole in the World"

DROGYN: This is a place of madness. I'll prepare the spell. Your choice.

Notice Drogyn gave Angel the choice just like in Home he was given a choice to join up with Wolfram and Hart. I found a site on "Faust" and a little statement struck me...

In a life that is Becoming, all is not always pleasant and rosy. The responsibility to create one's own values is sometimes accompanied by the pain which follows failure. The ability to choose does not mean that all decisions are correct. This, however, is the way the wheel turns. Becoming is in the turning itself, not in correct or incorrect decisions. Thoughts on Faust by Mark L. Dotson

Look at the choices that all the characters have made, just because some of them are wrong doesn't mean that they stop making them. The "wheel" never stops, even if there is a Hole in the World.

Origin of the Cavemen-Astronaut debate ....from Dark Worlds.com -- Rufus, 05:49:06 02/28/04 Sat

Dark Worlds

Side note: the "Caveman vs. Astronaut " argument was brought up during the ANGEL writers panel at last summer's Comic-Con in San Diego, California. In talking about what life in their office is like, the writers told the audience that they once spent an hour arguing over who would win in a fight, an astronaut or a caveman. This led to producer/writer David Fury and writer Stephen DeKnight arguing about the topic right there on stage.

- Review for DARKWORLDS.COM by Amy Berner.

To read the rest of the review hit the above link.

I replied to this review with this at our Spoiler Board...

Now this doesn't surprise me in the least. Being a veteran of many sibling battles over say, was that Crispin Glover playing Michael J. Fox's dad in "Back to the Future".........I said it was and my brother insisted (wrongly might I smugly add) he was not. I remember my step-son looking on, mouth opened and quiet. And to think the kid thought we ever, ever grow up. I say the Cavemen would win if they outnumber the astronauts by numbers and determination alone.........;)

Might I add thank you to Amy Berner.


[> Cool! -- Pony, 09:43:49 02/28/04 Sat

It's a far better topic than the eternal Journey vs. Foreigner debate that flares up in my office ever few weeks.

The C vs. A thing reminds me of an ongoing ponder my brother and I have about what transferable skills we'd actually have if we were transported to the Middle Ages. The astronauts might have a ton of knowledge but they usually depend on some basics being taken care of - they can calculate velocity but can they make fire without any tools?

Self-esteem is for everyone (Angel Odyssey 5.13) -- Tchaikovsky, 06:26:12 02/28/04 Sat

Hello everyone.

Sing along to the theme of the Season. It's not about Angel's inability, it's about his own lack of self-worth. This all boils down to some poor past decisions, the paranoia of working at Wolfram and Hart, and Spike playing an alternative route to the prize. These two episodes don't quite keep up the monumental run that has been building since 5.6 (but then, with no fewer than seven episodes in a row being marvellous, it's churlish to complain), but they do hit on a few interesting points about the journey of the Season. The first one does it little too sincerely, and the second one- well, the second one is one of those episodes that suffers for me when I have to think about reviewing it. It's darned wonderful, and great fun, and it's hard to write about, but that doesn't mean it's failed. It means it's been an enjoyable hour rather than a mind-stretching heart-breaking one.

One of Season Five's great strengths so far has been its balance. It's managed to balance Angel, Wesley, Spike, Fred, Gunn, Lorne and Harmony perfectly, (and in that order, relievingly), it's popped from gentle but not pointless comedy in 'Harm's Way' to wrenching emotion in 'You're Welcome' to cryptic riddle-time glee in 'Soul Purpose'. Angst in 'Damage' and 'Tale', and families in 'Lineage' and 'Destiny'. It's actually had the most diverse yet coherent range of episodes of any Season of Angel I remember, after Season Four's delicious but joined up, and thus consistent yet similar, melodrama. Depending on the final eight episodes, it has the ability to be the finest Season of Angel to date, and even if the end is not what it should (a resolution of the Angel-Connor storyline, Gunn's playing with reality and Spike's motivations used as parallels), it will still be up there with Season Two. I went into Wolfram and Hart desperately wary of workplace dramas, and I've been convinced. I mean, they gave me a pen...

5.13- 'Why We Fight'

One of those episodes that I imagine had the writers (possibly the males more than the females?) rubbing their hand together in glee and remembering being young. Who doesn't love a Second World War yarn? Well, I have certain issues with it. As a stock genre used often due to the intensity of human drama, the immediacy of death and the necessity of comradeship in unlikely people, the Second World War has been plumbed as a background on so many different occasions that episodes like these immediately encourage comparisons. Is it like U571? It is better than Das Boot, or The Hunt for Red October?

What Angel does manage to do interestingly is to explore the mythology of its universe when it collides with real life events. We get the old-style Initiative acquiring vampires as super-men of war- the people who can do what no-on else can. Their marshalling of said monsters seems to have been particularly haphazard- reflecting the conclusion come to at the end of Buffy's fourth Season about the magic of the super-natural, not to be controlled by a gun on a glass desk.

We're given a possible entry into the Second World War, when Spike mentions Angel's 'patriotic phase'. This is a clever mislead by the writers, a piece of Spiek sarcasm that cuts both ways. We wonder whether Spiek is snarling at his bravery, when in fact he's ironically lauding him while Angel is actually just as brutal and disconnected as he'd be shown to be in the Hyperion a decade later. Angel ensoulled but pre-Whistler continues to be a fascinating character to me- thinking of 'Orpheus' and his latent desire to do good eroded by a glut of self-pity and confusion. Now we're in the same space again, and the comparison works nicely- now Angel again desires Good, but cannot connect with it. And where before it was partly his 'leopard with stripes' status, him being the two-way outcast, neither vampiric nor human, now, to an extent, it is the precise opposite- the fact that Spike is in the position as him, and may, he fears, be handling the situation better.

The submarine setting of the episode works well for the kind of claustrophobic brooding that Angel feels through the first half of the twentieth century. It's dark, subdued and inescapable. Where his months under the Seas after 'Tomorrow' enabled him, due to moments of grace in his life, to understand his calling more clearly (climaxing in the beautiful 'We live as if the world were what it could be' speech), here without Connor, Cordelia and Family, his submersion is just another form of death. Notice that at the end of the episode, both Lawson and Spike are forced back to the surface by Angel, accepting a baptism of new life, reborn through him to fight on, even if evilly. Angel offers himself no such baptism, instead staying below in his marine basement, brooding about the weight ofhis soul, an ample ballast.

How do the specifics of the episode re-inforce the central Angelic theme? Why, thusly:

-In the olden days, the gang played a lot of Jenga. The plot points built up in ever more dizzying ways, until someone had to pull one slab out which would make the whole tower fall down and let the past make no sense. Connor is the pulled out block, never to be replaced on top of the pile...

-Lawson is not a simple substitute in this episode for Connor, although that's one of the twists. Here he is commanding a 'Firefly' like assortment of officers (there's a certain fatalism in this vessel's voyage that suggests a macabre metanarration on the end of the space show), with a young Tom Cruise face that longs to be moulded into all sorts of comparisons. Of course, he's Angel, the man who, since life was sucked out of him (Lawson's by Angel himself, Angel's by Darla, and then Buffy, Darla, Wesley, Holtz, Connor, himself etc), can find no deeper reason to live. Back in the war, the polsihed, elaborate protocol of order and command would have been perfect for Lawson as vampire, would have shaped his life a little. The irony is that the human Lawson was never attracted to such order, only drawn into the conflict for the greater good, after seeing the atrocities carried out by the Germans).

-[Incidentally, the rather coy, vague suggestion that he's seen 'pictures' of what the Germans are doing seems a little playful by ME. It deosn't make sense that he could have seen anything other than pictures of general warfare, as a non-conscript. But whatever.]

-I enjoyed both Nostroyev and the Prince of Lies. There's a real humour in calling a character by a name which seems so overblown. It reflects on how difficult it is for Angel to become an embodiment of Champion or Hero. This wizened Camden Toy seems bathetic to his name, , and is eventually rather easily dusted.

-Spike's off the cuff 'Heil Hitler' to Angel is worth a moment's more consideration than Spike himself probably gave it. Angel here a souled vampire, working against his conscience to commit the wrongs he does. In some ways, this makes them all the more painful, and reminds us of the true atrocity of Hitler's actions, working as he was as a human being.

-Angel sires Lawson entirely for the purposes of his self-centred plan, and then dusts him to let him out of the nihilism that his life has become. The end of Lawson's life is Connor's, and the fate that Spike barely avoided halfway through 'Just Rewards'. Lawson was hoping to find Angel able to explain away his hurt, but Angel has a father has never been able to do that- to Spike or to Connor (more than partially). Angel's relationship with Lawson is a failure from start to end, with only a scant consolation in allowing him to finally do the right thing after death. It must be hoped that it does not prefigure a similarly hefty tragedy of Angel's with Spike- whose arc seems promising for further redemption, or for Connor.

The writers used a 'wouldn't this be cool' premise, and turned it into a half thought through meditation on mission, right, and the emptiness of being undead. Not half bad, yet still the weakest episode in months. That's the standard Mutant Enemy set themselves.

'Smile Time' a comin'...



[> Self-esteem is for everyone ctd (Angel Odyssey 5.14) -- Tchaikovsky, 07:00:34 02/28/04 Sat

5.14- 'Smile Time'

You can tell this is a Joss Whedon invented story, even though he didn't teleplay it, because it has his trademark subversion in it just before the second act break. The apparently simple puppet episode which turns out to be a little more complicated gets its second airing. Back in The Puppet Show, we thought Sid was Nightmare on Elm Street evil, but he turned out to be just a demon-hunter, like Buffy. This time through, we assume the puppets have moral neutrality, but in fact it's the puppets working their own alibi thorugh a much more life-like simulacram of life Samsor Framkin. And the obligatory aka David Fury raises some really fun metanarrative questions that I can't refuse to play with.

The most surface and obvious one to the plot is that Angel is a puppet, just like the puppets who control the show. It turns out the end that the un-likeable Jim Henson moptops are actually the ones with the power. This is the lesson that Angel most learn; he might see himself as a puppet this Season, but he can actually short-circuit the people who are apparently working from within. As Masq noted, Angel is not a puppet with strings, as we might expect for the parallel. He has total freedom to move, he's just a little smaller and cuddlier. In reality, it is only really his perception that makes him a puppet.

The more out on a limb meta-narratives. Joss' own (possible) game with David Fury: he thinks he's got the power to fiddle with Joss' characters and make them say what Joss was not intending, but eventually Joss sweeps in, picks up the characters he invented, and tells a story that shows that Fury's renegade opinions are just fodder for his own playful plotting.

And the classic, particularly considering how soon before concellation the show was made, and how soon after it aired- David Fury merely summarises ME in general, who think they're making one thing, but through some sub-conscious broadcast trickery (promotions, advertising, the fact that the 'Grrr, Argh' monster now says that he's Alyssa Milano, and please tune in to 'Charmed') the networks eventually get what they want, the real puppeteers.

And use you own power of puppetry to sort these dummies:

-A subtheme in this episode is about perception- what we want to show and what we end up showing: how our logical rationality is a puppet to our emotions. Witness Wesley. He tells Angel about Nina, but can't resist shouting- so jealous is he of Angel's opportunity, as opposed to Fred's apparent disinterest in him. By the end of the episode, Knox having been dismissed as a rival, Wesley is almost telling himself the opposite, that he can't be sure Fred would welcome his advances, to the point where Fred has to do all the initiation herself. Twisty uncatchable emotions.

-Who is a puppet in this episode? Angel. Wesley. Nina, puppet to the bizarre lunar cycle and the strnage quirks of a certain CEO. Also, of course, Gunn, as he's beginning to realise, is being made a puppet of by someone mysterious and connected to the big black Panther. His memories weren't permanent, and they're starting to fade. He needs a re-boost to get him back to where he was. And when he starts relying on knowledge that he didn't at first possess to understand exactly who he is, that's when it gets dangerous. Using the knowledge as a useful tool is one thing, but feeling like you're losing your identity with each bylaw starts making the viewer wonder about the less-healthy motivations of Gunn. Of course, this has been brewing since he was clearly paralleled with Lorne's sleep-deprivation in 'Life of the Party'. Gunn shouldn't have to be a puppet, and being fed some ridiculous distortion abotu how he used to be 'ignorant street muscle' is no use either. Gunn has always been a good, charismatic warrior, and an able leader with great powers of logic. That he should hold so much self-worth in so small a thing as legalese is the real danger sign.
And a few things more expandonable to wrap up the review:

The allusion to 'Flowers for Algernon' was really interesting. In the book, a moron is given drugs that raise his intelligence momentarily to that of a genius, before lowering it back again. The moral and personal consequences are dealt with neatly, along with a lovely parallel of him to a lab-mouse called Algernon. Gunn's predicament is not so over-lapping: it may be the mataphor he sees rather than what is actually going on. Gunn has been imbued with knowledge, not intelligence, and the slipping away shouldn't be compared.

-The Season One Buffy feel doesn't just come from 'The Puppet Show'. There's also a really gothic 'Nightmares' feeling about 'Smile Time' itself. I half expected to see Xander's clown gazing down at me. This early referencing of the show in its infancy plays nicely with the childishness theme.

-There were more than a few 'Squee!' moments in this episode, unrelatable to erudite criticism, but meriting a mention nevertheless. Nina as 'beautiful, engaging, occasionally hirsute'. The puppet who could only speak through his gazoo being called 'Horatio Hornblower' [magnificent]. 'Edutainment'. Angel's nose coming off and his hug of Fred. 'The difference between analogy and metaphor'. Swearing puppets. The money shot on Angel with his sword. Just a marvellous collection of sillinesses.

And a few things more expandonable to wrap up the review:

-The most delicious line about the 'Smile Time' show: they were last in the ratings last year, so they had a revamp and made a deal with the devil, and now they're number one.' Joss' thoughts on his Season Five concessions perhaps, although he has neither let the overhaul hurt the show nor picked up the ratings so violently.

-Fred's killing of Horatio Hornblower (how could she?) is a lovely, utterly stupid reversal of 'Lineage'. Fred ignores the threat of the big purple bird [?] until Wesley is in trouble, and then crazed-ly shoots it dead, just as Wesley did his father's robot. Edlund has a brilliant way of undercutting the serious moments of a season while making a point himself. Remember Lorne's 'It's not about Right, it's not about Wrong, it's about Party', in his previous episode.

-And so we end on Fred and Wesley, finally the less deceived. Learning that they shouldn't be puppets. The repetition of the word dislodges somnething in the dusty library of my brain:

Whistler: So what are we, helpless? Puppets? No. The big moments are
gonna come. You can't help that. It's what you do afterwards that
counts. That's when you find out who you are.

Stoke up the fires for the end of the Season.


[> [> Thank you! -- Masq, 08:07:36 02/28/04 Sat

I've been waiting for someone to dare to analyze David Fury's appearance on the show. He is ultimately a puppet of Joss despite his own vocal opinions about thing?

Now, you must analyze the deeper meanings of Fury's apperance as the Mustard Man in "OMWF" and the goat-sacrificer in "Reprise"!

[> [> [> Facetious analysis (sp A2, B6.7) -- Tchaikovsky, 05:26:11 02/29/04 Sun

He is ultimately a puppet of Joss despite his own vocal opinions about thing?

Well, that's certainly an interpretation that bumbled into my head while watching the episode, although whether David Fury himself wouldn't have seen that potential message is a big question.

If we go along the same route, then we could see David Fury telling his own, seemingly irrelevant little story in the 'Mustard Man' section in 'Once More, With Feeling', but Joss, the ultimate storyteller, spins away and makes even this little joke into a necessary plot point (Buffy now knows that everyone is singing, not just the gang.)

In 'Reprise', David Fury embodies the chaos which comes from the impending 75 year review. But once again he's just a lackey, sacrificing goats without really understanding the reason. Joss, through Minear, is the person to discuss real evil in the show, by coming up with the mind-blowingly brilliant idea of the Elevator Ride to the Home Office, only for that to be earth.

Treat these with the amount of sincerity with which they were written ;-)


[> [> [> [> I ask because I wonder... -- masq, 08:34:04 02/29/04 Sun

Why Fury keeps popping up in episodes. Joss only appeared once, in heavy costume and make-up, Marti Noxon once. But Fury? Three times so far. Does he have acting aspirations? Is he like these actors who use their position to get behind the camera and get directing experience? (which DB did this year, but is a long-standing tradition in the Star Trek franchise)

[> [> [> [> [> This I do know -- Tchaikovsky, 08:50:20 02/29/04 Sun

David Fury was orignially an actor, and moved into writing almost by mistake:

The saying goes, ìWhat shapes us makes usî and in the case of David Fury, healthy doses of comedy and horror helped to make this man. Born in Denton, Texas but raised in Old Bethpage, New York, David was heavily influenced from an early age by these two genres. He cites Dark Shadows and Monty Python as two particularly beloved sources of inspiration. Always interested in the performing arts, David headed to Manhattan to pursue acting and stand-up comedy after graduating from high school. On stage, he appeared in productions of The Fantastiks, Godspell, and Cabaret. But he created the best of both worlds (performing and comedy) for himself when he co-founded the comedy troupe, Brain Trust at the Manhattan Punch Line Theater. The troupe allowed David to hone his performance skills as well as help shape his developing career. Reflecting on his experience with Trust, David relates, ìThe most satisfying thing about working in the comedy business is being around a bunch of funny people and creating something that is funny and meaningful at the same time.î He adds, ìA lot of what we did was improvisation. It wound up turning me into a writer. I hadnít intended to be a writer but when we started doing sketches, I needed to write something for me and the others to act in so I started writing sketches.î It was a talent that indeed surprised him. ìI started to see ëWow, this is something else I can do that is a lot of fun.í More importantly, I loved being able to do it.î It was a skill that complemented his love of live performance. ìWhat being in front of an audience did for me was being able to have instant gratification and being able to hone [the act] on a nightly basis. Being able to change it, alter it and find different nuances and just have a good time with people I enjoy being around.î

More of this very interesting interview here. It does explain several of Fury's motivations.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Thanks! -- Masq, 10:53:22 02/29/04 Sun

[> [> Gunn and self-esteem (Angel Odyssey 5.14) -- Rufus, 20:31:38 02/28/04 Sat

In Smile Time, Gunn's worst fears about who he is are exploited to make him decide to go for the Brain upgrade. In Flowers for Algernon the character may have become a genius but somewhere in all that knowledge his heart was stifled. Gunn became an uber-lawyer but he had lost some interest in the life around him content to hit the books to make the deals. From "Smile Time"

GUNN: Something's wrong with the implant you gave me.

DOCTOR: Well, I doubt that, Gunn, isn't it? But let's take a look. Ah. The imprint is fading. Don't blink. Your neural path modification has almost completely reverted.

GUNN: I'm losing it. The law, the languages, the strategy.

DOCTOR: Oh, acute "Flowers for Algernon" syndrome. It must be sheer torture.

GUNN: Well, fix it! Put it back.

DOCTOR: Well, no offense, counselor, but your insurance plan wouldn't cover what I charge to wash my hands.
You were given that upgrade 'cause the senior partners wanted you to have it, and if you're, uh, losing it, well, they wanted that, too.

GUNN: Why would they do that?

DOCTOR: You never know with them.

GUNN: I can't lose this. This power, these skills, they've, they've changed me, given me...

DOCTOR: Meaning? And to have it taken away, it's... heartbreaking. Though I do think Cliff Robertson captured the poignance of it more elegantly.

GUNN: I'm not going back to who I was.

DOCTOR: Well, maybe, maybe not. See, I, uh... always have a few things going on the side. Currently, I have a lot of capital sunk into a shipment that's being held up at customs.

GUNN: Drugs?

DOCTOR: Goodness, no. I make my own drugs. No, just an ancient curio, a collectible I hope to turn a profit on. If I was to give you the permanent upgrade, I'd say that, uh, you'd be more than able to cut through all of my red-tape problems.

GUNN: I don't make deals with people like you.

DOCTOR: And believe me, Charles, I don't make deals with people like you. Not the person you really are, the ignorant street muscle...the high-school dropout... I would, however, love to make a deal with Charles Gunn, Attorney at Law.

The Doctor has a little of the Iago in him but Gunn could only be exploited if his self-esteem was lacking. Deals, making the deal. Gunn accepts a deal from the Partners, he then proceeds to make deals for the Partners. The hook for Gunn was the brain enhancement. He had so little faith in the mind he had that he wanted knowledge the easy way. What he does as an attorney reflects how removed from who he was he has become. Lost in thoughts of the deals the contracts is compassion, heart...who Gunn really is. Funny how the character in the book and Gunn share the same name. Notice how sometimes Spike has referred to Gunn as Charlie. As Gunn started to lose his Partners given marbles he began to look more like the Charlie from "Flowers". In "A Hole in the World" an uncomfortable truth is found out.......

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: I already do.

Gunn thought he had gained now he knows he has only lost. Deals are for devils specially when the cost is so great. The Partners have what they want and Gunn no longer has anything to offer, his life is forfeit as he no longer has one independant of them.

[> [> a couple of minor things -- anom, 10:48:52 02/29/04 Sun

I keep hoping I'll have time later to go into more depth, but usually when I hope that, it doesn't happen. So for now, at least, I'll post some quick reactions--including, it turns out, a short rant that I somehow did find the time for.

"And the classic, particularly considering how soon before concellation the show was made, and how soon after it aired...."

Notice the poster on the inside of Framkin's door? There's only time for a glimpse as Gunn & Lorne come into his office, but it's a poster for Smile Time. At the top it says: "New Season!" (There's a line below that, but I couldn't read it on multiple replayings--if anyone else can make it out, please let us know what it says!) The decision to cancel the show may not have been made till after the episode was filmed, but the question had probably already been discussed. Was the poster meant as a subliminal hint to the network? "Give us a 'New Season'!"

"The puppet who could only speak through his gazoo being called 'Horatio Hornblower' [magnificent]."

Actually, it was "Ratio Hornblower," which I like even better! A little math lesson for the kids watching Smile Time, and a fantastic pun, especially when they take his last name so literally! I also like what they did w/the character itself: the brains of the operation (perfecting the spell that will allow the puppets to "take out their entire demographic") who communicates only in monotone toots that the others nevertheless understand perfectly...but also the muscle (little edutainment lesson for Gunn there?) who nearly kills Wesley in a surreally hilarious fight. Until Fred, Ratio's counterpart in the brains department, fulfills Wes's description of her in Lineage as "my muscle."


And some of the demon puppets seem to actually care about it! Groofus & [rant]the only female puppet, who's also the only one not given a name--this on a show where women are supposed to have something in the range of equal power, even if it's not about female empowerment the way Buffy was! grrr...well, I'm gonna call her Daisy, for her pigtail clips & the design on her shirt, so there![/rant] Daisy gasp when Polo says, "Screw edutainment!" Another nice touch. I wonder if the demons' puppet forms are influencing them.

[> [> [> Much agreeance -- Tchaikovsky, 03:05:15 03/01/04 Mon

I knew they were riffing off Horatio Hornblower from the CS Forester series of novels about the rapidly promoted naval officer- presumably since the idea of a puppet being so powerful in battle was foreshadowed by the name. That they got in a maths pun as well is truly inspired, (almost worthy of pun fu herself, in fact).

Agre with the female puppets. Maybe women just aren't easy to make into puppets- too strong and individual? OK, I'm stretching.

Didn't see the poster, must watch more carefully.


[> [> [> Actually, I think that's a direct reference to Season 5 -- Masq, 16:38:51 03/01/04 Mon

Notice the poster on the inside of Framkin's door? There's only time for a glimpse as Gunn & Lorne come into his office, but it's a poster for Smile Time. At the top it says: "New Season!" (There's a line below that, but I couldn't read it on multiple replayings--if anyone else can make it out, please let us know what it says!) The decision to cancel the show may not have been made till after the episode was filmed, but the question had probably already been discussed. Was the poster meant as a subliminal hint to the network? "Give us a 'New Season'!"

In the episode, Gregor Framkin makes a deal with some demons to get his show, which has low ratings, up to number one. As a result, he gets a new season of his show.

Likewise, Joss had to make a deal with some demons (the WB), and change the format of his show, 'Angel' in many radical ways in order to get the WB to agree to the new season.

I think the subtext of this episode was clear. This whole season has been about making deals with the devil.

[> [> Re: Self-esteem is for everyone ctd (Angel Odyssey 5.14) -- s'kat, 16:01:58 02/29/04 Sun

His [Gunn]memories weren't permanent, and they're starting to fade. He needs a re-boost to get him back to where he was.

Is this another metaphor for the mindwipe and how it works? Whenever they focus on the past and get too close to Connor, it fades?

I'm wondering if the lying metaphors this season are similarly directed. Angel is the puppet whose "nose" comes off. Why? Because Angel is *literally* lying to his friends every single day about why they are there and Connor.

So could David Fury's Gregor Framkin (not Samosor Framkin, although that's pretty funny since Samsor was the other half of the name of the guy who turns into a cockroach in Kafka's Metamphorsis), be another metaphor for Angel and how his deal with the devil has made him a puppet to his employees, out of his depth so to speak? (Nice metanarration on Whedon who may feel out of his depth occassionally with his fellow writers...LOL!)

sk (delurking momentarily - got disconnected in the midst of posting this once already..ugh!)

[> [> [> Thanks for delurking -- Tchaikovsky, 03:09:31 03/01/04 Mon

Always a joy to read your posts, and sorry you lost one.

I think the cockroach man was in my subconscious which is why I substituted; it fits in rather nicely with Angel's story, particularly Samsor's supposed lack of loss of human logic in his cockroach role.

And I hadn't seen the Pinnochio link, although I really should have considering Lorne asks if there's a Geppetto in the house. In 'Sole Porpoise' [shoot me], Spike became a real boy through the Blue Fairy, worried no longer about his nose growing. Now we get Angel's nose: not made human, but instead disconnected entirely- 'cutting off his nose despite his face' perhaps? The mindwipe? Connor?

Juicy metaphorical goodness. Or should that be analagous? I need more Smile Time!


[> [> [> [> Can't wait for you to see the next episode... (no spoilers) -- Rob, 20:31:29 03/01/04 Mon

...because I am itching to respond to some of the things you wrote in this post, as they relate to the next one. But I'll just have to sit on my hands for now and wait. Remind me to comment on the next Odyssey post. ;o)


[> Lawson - existentialist, nihilist, or something else? -- Masq, 08:01:43 02/28/04 Sat

Lawson the vampire comes back, desperately searching for some higher meaning to what happened to him - being vamped to save the sub and its passengers, which he understands, isn't quite enough.

Does the desperate desire for meaning, despite everything "tasting like ashes" point to nihilism, which is more an embrace of destruction in light of the belief that there is no higher meaning to be found? Likewise, existentialism is an attempt to embrace life despite the belief that there is no higher meaning to be found.

Did Connor want higher meaning in that sporting goods store when he threatened the death of Cordelia, himself, and all those other people? Or was he embracing destruction?

Lawson, Angel says, wanted a reason. Wanted meaning. He wasn't really prepared to live without it.

[> [> In FFL, Dru told Spike he tasted like ashes...... -- Rufus, 20:14:59 02/28/04 Sat

From Buffy 5.8: Fool for Love

Dru: I have to find my pleasures, Spike. You taste like ashes.

From Angel 5.13: Why we Fight

LAWSON: We all need a reason to live, even if we're already dead. Mom, apple pie, the stars and stripes, That was good enough for me till I met you. Then I had this whole creature-of-the-night thing going for me, the joy of destruction and death , and I embraced it. I did all the terrible things a monster does, murdered women and children, tortured fathers and husbands just to hear 'em scream, and through it all... I felt nothing. 60 years of blood drying in my throat like ashes. So what do you think? Is it me, chief? Or does everyone you sired feel this way?

It's all about the blood and for some vampires I guess their existance or that of others will register like ashes if something is missing. All that remains after you die or your life ceases to have meaing are so much ashes.

[> [> [> Nihilism on the existentialist spectrum -- Tchaikovsky, 05:33:45 02/29/04 Sun

Ashes seem to be symbolic of a life equivalent to death. Hence, 'Dust to dust'. There's something subversive of the Christian mythos in vampires turning to dust once they're staked- it's as if this second death has more propriety, is more natural and fits in better with the scheme of things. And of course in the case of Spike in 'Fool For Love', his falling in love with Buffy stood for death. He had fallen in love with what he believed was a creed of Death: Buffy as the embodiment, in Spike's unreliable narration, of a death wish. His love for Buffy, which eventually turned out to be redemptive and healing, started out as a kind of existentialist angst, not so different from Lawson's in his desperate nihilistic feeds.

Is it over-simplifying to claim that a nihilist is just an existentialist who's had a bad week, much as a hedonist could be argued to be an existentialist who's had a good one?


Real short, but in reference to 'Why We Fight'... -- Seven, 07:07:08 02/28/04 Sat

Many posters made reference to The Prince of Lies being what Conner called Angel in "Tomorrow" but I just remembered that the other Vampire present was "The Destroyer," the same thing that Conner was referred to before he came back in "The Price." I'll have to rewatch this episode again to see if there are any more parallels present in the ep. Remember, "The Destroyer" died at Angel's hands first, and then when the Prince of Lies became unruly later, Angel put a stop to him as well. Could this be a telling of things to come?


[> sorry, but... -- anom, 18:11:00 02/28/04 Sat

...the other vampire was named "Nostroyev," according to the closed captions. Even without them, it didn't sound like "Destroyer" to me. In fact, at first I thought that was the name of the other vamp (the one who was really the Prince of Lies), because he looked kind of like Nosferatu & the name sounded kind of similar.

[> [> Re: sorry, but... -- Seven, 23:36:49 02/28/04 Sat

Must have been the way I heard it when Spike said it. I was more interested in the Prince of Lies. At the time, I thought it was hilarious. Mainly because the two (or so I thought) had such classic names, it was somewhat ironic for the show.

Question about Fred(spoilers for 5.15) -- Jean, 10:41:48 02/28/04 Sat

I thought Fred intially went to L.A. to study history..it was only after meeting Prof. Whats-his-face(His name alludes me at the moment) But in Hole in the World she says she is going to UCLA graduate physics class. Or something to that affect. Am I misunderstanding something or is this on error on the writers part


[> I agree -- Deacon, 12:01:34 02/28/04 Sat

I belive your right, I recall that fred first majored in history, I think it is a mistake on the writters part.

[> [> Re: I agree -- Invisible Green, 12:51:51 02/28/04 Sat

No, it was physics. Hence her sciency-ness.

[> [> [> Re: I agree -- Deacon, 13:36:37 02/28/04 Sat

I think that originally she was majored in history untill she met that profferor, then she transfered to physics like jean said. I am not positive, it was in the episode supersymetry last season. I don't have that episode so I can't be certain.

[> [> [> [> I found my Proof!!!Yay Me!!! -- Jean, 14:01:30 02/28/04 Sat

FRED: Thank you. At least I remembered the uniform.

GUNN: All these people here to see you?

FRED: I'm just a minor speaker. (sees the agenda posted outside the auditorium) Oh, God! I'm between Ed Witten and Brian Greene? (no reaction from Angel or Gunn) Think Nomar Garciaparra and Sammy Sosa.

ANGEL: Fred skipped the minors and went straight to the show.

FRED: This can't be right. Somebody must've made a mistake.

GUNN: Listen up, all that stuff about particles and... stuff, It's gonna blow 'em away. Nothing to worry about.

FRED: Well, what if my theory's wrong? (sees someone she knows) Professor Seidel!

PROFESSOR SEIDEL: Winifred. (to accompanying blonde) Laurie, I'll meet you back at the lab. (Laurie leaves. to Fred) There you are. It's been, what, two years, or so.

FRED: Yeah, heavy on the or so. Wow. It is great to see you. Are you, gonna be in there?

PROFESSOR SEIDEL: I'm introducing you. I had to arm-wrestle the chair of the department for the honor.


PROFESSOR SEIDEL: Winifred, you have done some great work. You don't have anything to worry about.

(Gunn clears throat to get her attention.)

FRED: Oh, these are my friends. Charles and Angel.

GUNN: (shakes hand) Hey.

ANGEL: (shakes hand) Hello.

FRED: I was gonna be a history major, and then I took Professor Seidel's physics class, and, well...

PROFESSOR SEIDEL: Winifred's a natural. By the end of the semester, she was taking on W.I.M.P.s.

GUNN: You should see her now: killer left hook.

FRED: W.I.M.P.s are Weakly Interactive Massive Particles.

GUNN: Oh, yeah, uh... (nervous laugh) Just kidding.

[> [> [> [> [> Perhaps, when Fred left Texas, she was already planning on a Physics minor -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:23:14 02/28/04 Sat

Could be she wanted to do both, but obviously one had to be the major over the other.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps, when Fred left Texas, she was already planning on a Physics minor -- Rook, 17:06:17 02/28/04 Sat

My Fanwank of this:

Fred was probably intelligent enough to be taking college classes during HS, and she intends to be a History Major. Seidel is guest lecturing at whatever college is closest to Fred's hometown in Texas during the either the summer before or after Fred's senior year in HS. She takes the class, and decides to follow Seidel back to LA to be in his program.

Anyhow, it's definitely a continuity error, just for the fact that it requires this much fanwanking to clear up.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps, when Fred left Texas, she was already planning on a Physics minor -- InvisibleGreen, 19:34:51 02/28/04 Sat

Maybe she was gonna be history for undergrad, but then switched to physics, and continued to study physics in grad school. Maybe she went to UCLA cuz Professor Seidel got a better school there, and before he was teaching at a local colege in Fred's town.

[> Re: Question about Fred(spoilers for 5.15) -- Rufus, 22:52:57 02/28/04 Sat

FRED'S DAD: And if you meet one angel there, I'll eat the dogs. A bunch of junkies and spoiled movie actors, that's who you're gonna meet.

FRED: In the graduate physics program at UCLA?

Who says she didn't major in physics and study history as well?

[> [> What Rufus says is more likely. -- CW, 07:54:12 02/29/04 Sun

Professors aren't rooted in stone. Seidel could have been teaching in Texas when Fred was an undergraduate, even as a 'visiting professor' for just a term or two. Fred could have been in history, taken Seidel's course and decided to change then. It would not be at all unusual for her to want to study under him again in California when she wanted to became a grad student.

Nor is it terribly unusual to major in one subject as an undergraudate and be in something else in grad school. I did it, and so did my grad school advisor.

[> [> [> Re: What Rufus says is more likely. -- Claudia, 12:27:11 03/01/04 Mon

I thought that Fred had only been in college for a short period, when she was sucked into Pylea.

anybody know what that book was (slight spoiler 5x15) -- Deacon, 11:00:10 02/28/04 Sat

"she was such a little girl that someone did not like to see such a look on her face. I would have been a old look for a child of 12, and Sarah Crew was only 7. The fact was that she was always dreaming and thinking odd things. And could not remember herself any time that she was not thinking things about grown up people, and the world they belonged too. She felt as though she had lived a long long time."

Just curious about what book that quote is from. I don't recognize it myself, does anyone know.


[> I believe its the Little Princess -- Charles Phipps, 11:56:41 02/28/04 Sat

Its a book about a British soldier's daughter who pretends to be a princess while he suffers from Amnesia and she's reduced to a maidservant's life

[> [> Thanks -- Deacon, 13:39:42 02/28/04 Sat

re quibble -- joandarques, 13:01:55 02/28/04 Sat

Thanks for the clarification

Death (Spoilers for everything up to and including Angel 5.15) -- Old One, 18:37:07 02/28/04 Sat

In its very concept, BtVS (and, by extension, AtS) is all about death. Any series that pits its protagonist against vampires must necessarily focus on death, the dead, and the undead. ME has treated us to 12 seasons of a massive essay in eschatology.

In every generation there is a Chosen One. She alone will stand against the vampires, the demons and the forces of darkness. She is the Slayer.

Buffyís title and role is Slayer or Vampire Slayer. Buffy herself is all about death. Sheís a death-dealer and her purpose is to kill things.

Vampires, of course, have already died and are now undead. Demons may not have life exactly as we know it, but they seem to be alive. And "the forces of darkness?" Some of them, like the First, probably canít be killed. They can only be ìstood against.î Their minions get to die instead.

Bear with me here, because Iím going to be talking about death for a while and I have at least a slight familiarity with the subject.

One of the first things we learn about death in BtVS is that itís not necessarily the end. Jesse dies, for example, but carries on briefly as a vampire before heís dusted. (Dusting may be equivalent to dying but, as we learn years later, dusting isnít necessarily the end, either.)

Buffy displays a fairly nonchalant attitude toward the idea of her own death early in the first season:

Buffy: Well, my philosophy, do you wanna hear my philosophy?

Willow: Yeah, I do!

Buffy: Life is short.

Willow: Life is short!

Buffy: Not original, I'll grant you, but it's true. You know? Why waste time being all shy and worrying about some guy, and if he's gonna laugh at you. Seize the moment, 'cause tomorrow you might be dead.

Sheís just ìwhistling passed the graveyard.î One all-too-short first season later, sheís more honest about death:

Giles: ...it's very plain! Tomorrow night Buffy will face the Master, and she will die.


Buffy: So that's it, huh? I remember the drill. One Slayer dies, next
one's called! Wonder who she is. (to Giles) Will you train her? Or will
they send someone else?

Giles: Buffy, I...

Buffy: They say how he's gonna kill me? Do you think it'll hurt?


Angel: I know this is hard.

Buffy: What do you know about this? You're never gonna die!

Angel: You think I want anything to happen to you? Do you think I could stand it? We just gotta figure out a way...

Buffy: I already did. I quit, remember? Pay attention!

Giles: Buffy, if the Master rises...

Buffy: (yanks the cross from her neck) I don't care! (calms down) I don't care. Giles, I'm sixteen years old. I don't wanna die.

Buffy is clearly afraid to die, and at only 16 she feels sheís too young to die. It's unfair. In spite of that, she has a change of heart about facing the Master and does die, albeit briefly, as a result. If it has any effect on her at all, this first death makes her stronger, more determined to take up her unique challenge as the Slayer. A few years later she willingly dies again, sacrificing herself to save Dawn, with very different results.

I want to briefly list the various types of death that weíve seen in the two series.

First and foremost, we start out with a selection of vampire characters (e.g. Angel, Darla, Luke, the Master), who are already dead, but still with us.

Human beings are frequently killed and sired by vampires. Most of them (e.g. Jesse) enjoy a brief period as one of the undead and then are dusted, usually gone for good.

Then we have the phenomena of repeated deaths and returns:

Buffy dies twice, in Prophecy Girl, and The Gift, and returns to life twice. Score: 2

Liam dies and becomes Angelus the vampire. Angelus might be said to ìdieî when Angel is created by the gypsy curse, but Angelus returns in Innocence then, as Angel, is sent to Hell in Becoming II. Angel returns during the next season. Angelus is deliberately revived in Season 4 of AtS and then Willow must ìkillî him yet again to allow Angel to return. Technically, though, Angel has only really died once, as Liam. Score: 1+

Spike dies as William, and returns as a vampire. He is willingly immolated in Chosen, returns as an incorporeal spirit in AtS and then is mystically restored to existence as a corporeal vampire. Score: 2

Darla wins the Death lottery though: she originally dies as a diseased human and is vamped by The Master, then dusted in the first season of BtVS. Wolfram and Hart bring her back to life as a human being, but sheís dying anyway, so Drusilla vamps her. She ends up dusting herself in order to bring Connor into the world. Score: 4

Characters other than vampires have experienced a single death and return: Lorne was beheaded in Pylea, but apparently it was nothing permanent; Lilah was killed by The Beast and then beheaded by Wesley but returned (all too briefly) to fulfill her W&H contract; Gunn was killed and revived by Electric Girl Gwen; and Connor was perhaps killed by Angel and then revived to live a perfect life by W&H (although the jury is still out on whether Angel actually had to kill Connor to invoke the memory-wipe).

Some characters have had a brush or two with death but have never died: Xander, Willow, Giles, Wesley, and Dawn.

Then we have what I call the ìgenuineî deaths, where someone (usually human) is killed once and stays dead (as far as we know at this point). Genuine death has occurred with Jenny, Doyle, Joyce, Tara, and Anya. All of these characters died very differently. Jenny died in fear, terrified of Angelus, but she died instantaneously. Doyle died a horrible death that appeared painful. Joyce never knew what hit her and felt no pain. Tara had time for a couple of last words, but they didnít indicate that she felt any pain or knew what was happening. Anya was probably scared spitless while fighting the Bringers, but she didnít see the blow that killed her and she, too, died instantly. These deaths are the ones that I feel have been written most poignantly (along with Buffyís second death) up to now.

More recently Cordelia died off-screen without waking from a prolonged coma, and I have to assume that this, too, is a genuine death and we will not see Cordy again.

With apologies to Einstein, I want to know Jossís thoughts...the rest are details.

What is ME telling us about death with all these variations on the theme?
1. Death is not necessarily the end of anything.
2. To die and return without a soul is evil.
3. Being brought back to life as a human being is not necessarily better than staying dead.

Okay, but is death itself evil? This requires a brief segue into what is probably TMI.

Last weekend I spent time with a co-worker who had been with me in the hospital emergency ward immediately following a cerebral aneurysm, as well as for the next few days, up until I had brain surgery. (This happened a couple of years ago.) Iíve had no memory of those three or four days, but my friend recounted some of the things I said during that time, and jogged my memory.

The main physical symptoms that something was seriously wrong were that I collapsed into unconsciousness, and then came to with an excruciating pain in the front left side of my head. I suffered with migraines for years, and this was an order of magnitude worse than the worst migraine imaginable. Damn, it hurt. Fortunately, I was unconscious for a good part of the next few days. I was heavily sedated in an attempt to keep the bleeding under control until the desired neurosurgeon could return from a conference he was attending in the U.S. On a few occasions, apparently, I was allowed to ìawakenî in order to talk to visitors, and to sign consent forms for surgical rocedures.

In one of these waking periods I informed my co-worker of exactly what was wrong with me, that a CT scan had revealed three cerebral aneurysms and that one had burst and caused a subarachnoid hemorrhage, and that I would be having surgery to clip the aneurysms, with a 40% chance of survival. She became quite upset on hearing this, and I reassured her that it was better to take the 40% chance of surviving, because I was probably sure to die if I didnít have the surgery. I said that I was content with whatever happened, and that she was not to be upset or grieve if I did die.

When my friend related this to me, I instantly remembered how I felt during that conversation. I was content to die. I equated dying with the soothing, black, painless, nothingness that I experienced between waking bouts of excruciating pain. I figured if that was living, Iíd take dying in a heartbeat.

I survived, and this is what I learned: death is not evil; suffering is evil.

So back to the Jossverse.

In the Jossverse death is frequently not the end but in our reality there is only one sort of death, and you donít come back from it. The parallels to Realverse deaths in the Jossverse are the ìgenuineî deaths. The grief that was suffered over the deaths of Jenny, Joyce, and Tara, for example, illustrates the Realverse reaction to death. Death itself is not the evil, but the fear, grief, and suffering it causes.

So what is the message? Certainly not that death should be feared, because we are offered different ways to return from it. In addition weíre shown examples of self-sacrifice, where death is seen as the appropriate choice (Doyle and Buffy). Buffy's second death was one from which she had no desire to return. And in several instances we are shown deaths that are quick and painless.

Perhaps itís all been leading up to the most recent death weíve had to witness, a prolonged, horrific death accompanied by fear, grief, and pain, which results nonetheless in a ìreturn.î

Rufus speculates elsewhere on this board that some vestige of Fred might remain within the ìshellî that now holds Illyria. That is always a possibility in the Jossverse, but I think that Winifred Burkle died a genuine death, the kind you donít come back from. And it was preceded by the true evils of unbearable pain, fear, and grief. Fred suffered horribly before and as she died. Everyone tried to save her from dying, but no one could relieve her living torment for even a second. Taking into account all weíve learned about the different types of death and the various sorts of characters that have experienced them over the years, why was this most horrible of deaths visited upon poor Fred?

What message are we to take from this?

And how, and when, are we to mourn her? For, instantaneously, here is ìFredî standing before us, good as new if a littleÖblue.

Something is very, very wrong here, not because Fred has died, but because we have been cheated of the impact of her "genuine" death and we should not have been. This does not bode well at all for the cruelly foreshortened future of Angel and his comrades.

Because death isnít evil. Deliberately shooting someone in the kneecap, whatever the reason, is.


[> Re: Wesley's speculation (Spoilers for everything up to and including Angel 5.15) -- Rufus, 22:49:02 02/28/04 Sat

From "A Hole in the World"...

WESLEY: No. 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 its way back into the world. That's speculation. Either way, she dies.

In the teaser for next week Illyria says You will help me because I look like her. I remember that Glory was pretty cocky about her power until the personalities proceeded to bleed into each other. With Illyria it will be closer to vampirism where the body is taken over, but we will have to see if it is indeed just a shell that Illyria inhabits.

WESLEY: She was such a little girl that one did not expect to see such a look on her small face. It would have been an old look for a child of twelve, and Sara Crewe was only seven. The fact was, however, that she was always dreaming and thinking odd things and could not herself remember any time when she had not been thinking things about grown-up people and the world they belonged to. She felt as if she had lived a long, long time.

What will Illyria dream of in it's new shell?

[> [> Oh yeah, a clue or what? (Spoilers for everything up to and including Angel 5.15) -- Rufus, 23:04:07 02/28/04 Sat

From Soul Purpose...

EVE: Fair enough. The senior partners are very interested in this. (remember that little runic rock) I don't know what it is, to be honest, and I get the sense that they don't, either. But they must suspect it's powerful because they're chomping at the bit to learn whatever they can.

I wondered about that little stone cause with all the runic symbols around Lindsey you'd think Eve would have an idea what that thing meant til we got to "A Hole in the World".......

EVE: No, they can't help you. I mean it. If you're talking about a sarcophagus 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 human kind. They were all driven out of this dimension.

EVE: The ones that were still alive. But long before that, they were killing each other all the time, and they don't die the way we do. Wesley may not know it, but his source books can conjure 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.

I wonder if that little rock will figure somehow later now that Wesley knows that he can get all the information from his toy that he didn't know he should be looking for.

[> [> [> That's interesting -- Old One, 14:19:21 02/29/04 Sun

I'm glad you reminded me of the rock fragment with hieroglyphics.

The other thing is in relation to your post below about the choices the characters make. It appeared that Drogyn was giving Angel and Spike the choice to save Fred by causing the death of possibly thousands of people. That was a bad choice, on the surface, but by saving Fred they would prevent Illyria from returning. For all we know Illyria might want to destroy the world. That'd be an order of magnitude worse than killing the people on the way from LA to England. What I'm saying is, they may have actually doomed more people by letting Fred die.



[> [> [> [> True, but we can only make choices with the knowledge we have at the time (spoilers for S5 to 5.15) -- Pip, 14:49:53 02/29/04 Sun

Otherwise you're arguing a decision on what you imagine might be a consequence, rather on what actually is a consequence. Nobody knows yet whether Illyria wants to destroy the world. Spike and Angel did know that saving Fred would kill lots of people.

It's equally possible that if Fred had lived, her work at Wolfram and Hart could have doomed even larger numbers of people to die. Remember all those plagues the lab was creating in Conviction ? And the satellite that could be used as a death-ray in Soul Purpose?

If we could see into the future and know all the possible consequences of each action, we'd never need to make any decisions at all. The path that we should take would likely be obvious. And life would be boring, and (IMO), rather pointless. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Good points -- Old One, 15:18:19 02/29/04 Sun

I guess my speculation was based on Drogyn's and Knox's references to Illyria as one of the Old One's who "warred as we would breathe," and had to be interred because death was not always their end. Granted, Illyria was warring with other Old One's rather than humans, but we do know that her very nature is to engage in warfare, which leads to massive loss of life.

But you are correct in that it makes no sense to make a decision based on what might be a consequence as opposed to what you know will be a consequence.

[> [> [> [> [> [> A question about Hole in the World -- Pip, 15:57:16 02/29/04 Sun

Do we know why Illyria engaged in constant warfare? [I haven't seen the episode yet, so that's a serious question]

I'm just wondering two things. One, why she should also be described as beloved , and two, why series 5 has included a specific reference to World War 2; a long, nasty, all inclusive war in which one side could justifiably claim that the consequences of not fighting were morally far worse than the consequences of fighting.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A question about Hole in the World -- Old One, 15:20:21 03/01/04 Mon

I don't believe we've been told explicitly why the Old Ones warred constantly, other than that they were full demons, which probably shows up somehow in behaviour.

And I don't know why Illyria was referred to as beloved except that just about anyone can manage an acolyte or two, so someone as powerful as an Old One probably had a lot of admirers. This begs the question of whether the admirers were other Old Ones, or human beings who only learned of Illyria long after it was interred in the Deep Well.

[> About Dawn... -- Athena, 22:14:21 03/03/04 Wed

When it comes to Dawn, she was shaped from the Key. The Key in its purely energy form was destroyed as a result of the creation of Dawn. This could mean that a side of Dawn has indeed died, depending on how one defines death.

This week's postcard campaign targets -- Masquerade, 19:07:36 02/28/04 Sat

From www.savingangel.org

This week's postcard targets are:

Kevin Levy, Senior Vice-President, Schedule & Acquisitions
United Paramount Network
11800 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90025


Tribune Broadcasting Company

Patrick J. Mullen, President
Tribune Broadcasting Company
Ste. 1800, 435 N. Michigan Ave.
Chicago, Illinois 60611

We chose Mr. Levy as a postcard recipient because we believe UPN is still a potential buyer for the show.

**We chose Mr. Mullen because we also understand that various WB affiliates would like to keep ANGEL on the air and have asked for fans to show their support. In addition, Tribune Broadcasting Company holds a 22% stake in the WB Network making it second largest shareholder, behind Time Warner's 66% share and ahead of the 11% held by WB network executives.**

Send as many cards as possible to both targets until March 8, when we'll post the name of the next target.

Having TWO names up here means TWICE the amount of cards, not half the amount to each. I know you can do it, you guys ROCK. It's VERY important to send cards to UPN AND to Tribune.

===Masq's note:

Send two post cards, one to each target expressing your desire for a 6th season. Not a hard thing to do. And get your friends to do the same. There have been news reports (see the URLs at the top of the board) that the WB affiliates are not happy with the decision of their PTB's. WB is not out of the running as a potential place for season 6.


[> Re: This week's postcard campaign targets -- Jane, 21:54:14 02/28/04 Sat

Gonna get mine out tomorrow. Hope everyone does the same.(One of my coworkers is an Angel fan too, so I'm going to get her to send cards as well.)Come on everybody, mail those cards!!

[> Unhappy WB affiliates=very good news in the near future, I hope! -- Rob (filling out two postcards as we speak), 22:15:19 02/28/04 Sat

[> [> Also, next week is the final Sweeps week.. -- Jane, 22:29:03 02/28/04 Sat

So it is really important to get the ratings up. Savingangel.org has a message about this. I know that the networks don't look at Canadian numbers, so I think it's important for us up here to write to the WB affiliates that are on our cable systems,to let them know we Canadians are watching too.

[> [> [> Re: Also, next week is the final Sweeps week.. -- Save Angel, 13:18:01 02/29/04 Sun

While the folks at SavingAngel.org are doing great work, I think you meant Save Angel.org having the note about how critical the next March 3 ratings are.

Whatever you can do, do it now, to get more people to watch the next show. We'll be posting downloadable fliers which fans can print and put up in their own towns, so people off-line can know about it too.

[> [> [> [> Thanks for stopping by! -- Masquerade, 15:23:39 02/29/04 Sun

The folks on this board are doing everything they can to keep Angel alive!

Thanks for your efforts!

[> [> [> [> Oops, sorry. Credit where credit is due. -- Jane, 18:11:51 02/29/04 Sun

[> My hunch on what's going on here and why it's working -- shadowkat (delurking for masq), 07:54:33 02/29/04 Sun

According to an article on whedonesque the post-card campaign is working - why? The affialiates - the local stations in each viewing area that carry WB's content are
pushing the Save ANGEL Campaign on their internet websites.

I have a hunch that I know what's going on. We have a PTB-content provider (WB)that's busy hunting viewer patterns and wants to form a schedule that fits a pattern to pull in the most viewers as possible, but we have affliates (the vendors who pick up the content the WB sends and distribute it to the viewers via television, either by cable, antenna signal (who has those anymore? most urban areas won't support them), or satellite) who don't pick up all the PTB's (WB)shows and can choose which ones to interrupt for ballgames, basketball games, news events, which to exchange with other PTB shows. We also have affialates who based on their subscribers and viewers can choose which PTB's to broadcast.

So it's all very well and good for WB to decide - wait we want to be the hip, young family-oriented network - ditch Angel, it doesn't fit our model and it's in its fifth season any way, keep the old foggies who are family shows and use them to launch new programming that is similar.
Charmed can be used to launch Dark Shadows, which is basically Charmed with vampires (in WB's head), plus has that OC element. Smallville can be used to launch Lost in Space. Gilmore Girls - One Tree Hill. Seventh Heaven builds Everwood. And build more hip situation comedies and reality shows which are similar to the other networks, but geared towards a younger hipper demo. (That's what's in Jordan Levin's head.) Unfortunately for Levin, he has to deal with the fact that this is *not* an exact science - affialates don't have to carry *all* his shows. Statellites or Direct TV doesn't have to pick up his signal. People are paying for television now - which means they want a little more control and since networks like HBO and Showtime are giving it to them, along with Tivo...they are being just a tad less like the audiences in the old model that Levin is *still* going by. In the old model - this worked. In the new model - XYZ viewer programs their TIVO box to pick up these shows, regardless of when they air, and can watch them whenever they want to.

In the new model - a subscriber can call their cable provider and say - I'm cutting my cable this year because you're not providing the shows I want. In the old model, we didn't pay for the shows - so it didn't matter if we called and complained. In the new model, we do pay for the shows (or at least 85% of us do, I do) and we can cancel our 49, 54, 67 dollar a month subscription to XYZ provider, who has a contract with each network to provide that network to its viewers. This is something Disney/ABC discovered in 2000, when Time Warner Cable considered dropping their contract. Disney/ABC wanted more money and more channels on Time Warner Cable - for about two weeks viewers in NY Area with cable didn't get ABC and wrote angry letters to Time Warner threatening to discontinue cable if ABC's contract wasn't renewed b/c they wanted their Nightly NEws with Peter Jennings, and General Hosptial, etc...ABC won because of the customers.

So...how do you think Time Warner Cable, DtV, Dish, Comcast, etc will feel if they get people sending them post-cards stating -"if Angel isn't renewed? I'm discontinuing my cable subscription - just letting you know. Reason? It's the only show I enjoy right now and I'm sick of reality shows." Sort of puts a crimp in WB's desire to reach as many viewers as possible, if the cable company is losing viewers do to cancellation of a tv series. Of course, what are you going to do if you are the affliate or cable company? Stop broadcasting WB?
Can't do that - what about the other viewers? What you can do is encourage the Save Angel campaign and let your content provider know that your customers are dissatisfied and they better do something to correct it or this will come up during contract renegotiation time.


[> [> Interesting... thanks! -- Masq, 08:23:20 02/29/04 Sun

I'm not really hip to the television industry and how it works, so that was very enlightening. People talk a lot about ratings and advertising revenue in discussions like the one's we're having around the cancellation of "Angel", when that's just one facet of a very large, complex business. In the age of pay-cable TV, it's not all about ratings and advertising anymore, is it?

I know it's probably very low-brow of me that the only thing I actually watch my cable for is to get decent reception of "Angel", thereby missing out on all those other cable offerings out there. But I really have become a DVD enthusiast, and I catch up on other shows (Smallville, Alias, Queer as Folk, CSI, etc) years after they've "aired" by watching DVDs.

That's another way television is changing, isn't it? Just because I don't tune into a show while it's "on the air" (an old-fashioned term, if there ever was one), doesn't mean I don't watch it and pay money to watch it.

[> [> [> I think its high-brow -- manwitch, 12:01:22 02/29/04 Sun

When I moved from Boston to Podunk Connecticut, the only channels we received through the airwaves were GBH 2 and PAX, and neither came in very well. This was right at the start of Buffy Season 5, so even though my wife warned me that she's a cable TV addict, we felt we had to do it. I had already invested too much in Buffy, refusing to work late on Tuesdays or accept out of town work trips when a new ep was being broadcast. I just had to have it. It was literally the only reason why we paid $42 dollars a month for cable.

So I totally understand. It seems more low-brow to get cable just for the heck of it and watch everything. I mean, we're willing to pay some money per episode, right? That shows you have discriminating taste and a sense of value.

At least, that's what I'm gonna hold to, since I do pretty much the same thing you do on this score.

[> [> That makes a lot of sense...and also really renews my optimism in the 'Save Angel' campaign.. -- Rob, 08:34:53 02/29/04 Sun

...because at the very least these postcards are doing something, if only just letting The WB know how very dissatisfed their viewers are with the decision. For the first time, I don't only hope Angel will be renewed, but feel it's an actual possibility, however likely or not.


[> [> Your hunch seems to be on the money -- MissB, 08:51:06 02/29/04 Sun

These affiliates feature the same article with links to save Angel sites. I really hope the petition-signing and postcard-sending work. TV without a Joss Whedon show is just not worth watching.

Denver: http://wb2.trb.com/entertainment/wbnetwork/stv-angel-pkgnews.special

Houston: http://khwbtv.trb.com/entertainment/wbnetwork/stv-angel-pkgnews.special

New York: http://wb11.trb.com/entertainment/wbnetwork/stv-angel-pkgnews.special

[> [> [> Yes, everyone, please don't just sit back...Send out those postcards!! They can make a difference!! -- Rob, 08:54:07 02/29/04 Sun

[> [> [> at least one of the sites in above post has *future* spoilers for the show -- anom, 11:10:51 02/29/04 Sun

The WB affiliate site listed above for New York has spoilers for future events on Angel, starting w/the 2nd item under "Angel bits, 2/19/04." That's 5 PageDowns from the top on my screen. Up to there it's safe (incl. the 1st item for that date), but I got spoiled for something I did not want to know. I'm hoping the source doesn't know for sure, & I'm trying to treat it that way.

I didn't check the other sites, but anyone not wanting to be spoiled should approach them w/caution.

[> [> [> [> Apologies for not giving a spoiler warning - hadn't noticed -- MissB, 11:13:22 02/29/04 Sun

[> [> [> Re: Affilate Database News Reports -- Wilhelm Wolf, 18:16:01 02/29/04 Sun

Did anybody else see that the websites were pretty much the same thing...
Just the Affilate Logo changed...

I eventually found it on my local affilate page.
Kinda Hidden though.

They pushed the question of the week more...
Astronauts or Cavemen?


[> [> About the WB and the affiliates -- abt, 09:38:28 03/01/04 Mon

I just read this at whedonesque

It seems the retiring WB president's duties have been split.

Jordan Levin got advertising sales, Kids' WB!, standards and practice and research

And Garth Ancier got network distribution, which includes affiliate relations and The WB 100+ Station Group

So it seems maybe we should target Ancier as well as the affiliates.

This letter in Tvguide today
shows we are being heard and it's the squeaky wheel that gets the grease.

As well as these addresses

Here are the addresses for the WB and UPN affiliates

Angel didn't get renewed until May last year. We have to keep up the pressure.

[> [> [> Now there's a novel idea! -- Masq, 11:25:24 03/01/04 Mon

Let's just pay upfront for a new season of 'Angel'. Pour money at whichever network is willing to host the show. I'd pay some lump some of money per episode just to see it on the air. If the money pouring into saveangel.org and savingangel.org are any indication, so would lots of other people.

[> [> [> [> Except we'd probably still get commercials. Thus, the advantage of a direct-to-DVD plan. -- OnM, 19:58:50 03/01/04 Mon

Or else send money to PBS. They need it whether Angel gets renewed or not!


[> [> [> [> [> I'd be willing to put up with commercials to get 'Angel' -- Masq, 09:53:09 03/02/04 Tue

And boy, is that saying *a lot*. I loathe commercials.

[> [> [> [> [> [> What's so bad about commercials? -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:36:33 03/02/04 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What's so bad about commercials? -- DorianQ, 03:04:21 03/03/04 Wed

Mostly because most are nothing more than bad sales pitches, although some are very witty, like the volkswagon ones. A lot of animosity comes from the fact that they are really starting to exert a larger hold on the whole entertainment industry. Shows are designed to be shorter than they used to be, there's more pressure on Hollywood to put out shorter films so they can fit more commercials, not previews, COMMERCIALS before the movie. Like I said, some of them are pretty good and almost play like short films. But it's the principle of it that bugs me. For an example that hits closer to home, the grr agrh monster has turned to cllaing himself Alyssa Milano and trying to get us to watch One Tree Hill.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's about it -- Masq, 09:57:23 03/03/04 Wed

There once was a time when we had half the commercials we get today, and there were some venues (like the movies) where you didn't see them at all.

I'm sick to death of getting thud, thud, thudded over the head day in and day out everywhere I go with people trying to get my money.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Why I'll never be in a focus group... -- LittleBit, 17:34:04 03/03/04 Wed

Commercials never seem to have the effect the advertiser intends. Or at least a fair majority of the newer ones don't. I find myself reconsidering the use of products or services I already purchase because I see a commercial for them and can't help but think, "So, what you're saying is that total morons buy this?" Which is somehow not what I think they intended.

For me, a commercial has one and only one function...let me know a product is available. When it can't even explain what the product does (I'm supposed to ask my doctor if a new drug that I have absolutely no clue about is for me?) or in some cases what the product is (Black Rocket, anyone?) I certainly can't and won't be bothered to do the research for them.

Sigh. They're never going to have me in an opinion group, are they?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Well, then, you should be in a focus group; otherwise, how will they learn? -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:59:42 03/03/04 Wed

Also, I do find most commercials ineffective, but that's mostly because I just end up spacing during them and coming to full consciousness when they're over.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's what the fast forward button is for! -- Masq, 15:10:02 03/04/04 Thu

Which is why commercials at the movies piss me off. Grrrr.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, uhh, they're *Evil*, for starters! (This time w/o evil dropped tag) -- OnM (asking for deletion of the previous version), 16:17:58 03/03/04 Wed


Imagine going into a great museum, and on each and every painting, sculpture, whathaveyou is a day-glo sticker proclaiming "Eat at Joes!"

You visit the museum again a year later, and not only are there several stickers hanging on each display piece, but a large plaque is now residing in the lower right corner of every painting that proclaims "Property of Nueve Museum de Advertisnuggen".

A year later, the entrance to the museum and the entire lobby area is filled with flashing electronic signs and monitor screens bombarding you with dozens of advertisments every minute. When you get inside the museum proper, there is no longer any actual art, only advertisements about where you can buy some art. And so the cancer has slowly but inexorably taken over the body.

Yes, some ads are inventive and even clever. And if aliens with a genocidal bent ever invade the Earth, nuclear weapons might be handy to have around. But it's important to keep some perspective-- just how many of them are enough for day-to-day, practical purposes?

Ever have to remove some spyware from your PC? Stay tuned-- spyware for your TV is surely not far in the future!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't think your analogy works -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:47:22 03/03/04 Wed

With your museum scenario, you end up having to look at the ads while looking at the displays. With commercials, you take a brief break from the show to watch them (or not, muting and leaving the room briefly are available options). If you adjusted your analogy so that you had to see the big neon ads when going from one display to the next, that would fit. Now, those little things that come up in a corner of a screen, THOSE I hate. They are just so distracting and invasive. Standard commercials, on the other hand, can only be accused with making breaks during the show, which is far from unquestionably evil (ever heard of a bathroom break?)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You are both right and wrong about this -- OnM, 21:51:26 03/03/04 Wed

You are right in that my analogy of the ads plastered on the museum artworks does not exactly correlate to the sequential arrangement of art, then ad, then art, then ad for TV. The main thrust of my post was to outline that the advertising industry seems to be trending towards the idea that the art is no longer necessary, or soon will (or should) be. It's almost like they are thinking, "Why do we have to put up with all these TV shows (newspaper articles, whatever) getting in the way of our advertising? Realizing that they can't 'take over' all at once, they are gradually desensitizing the viewing/reading public little by little.

For example, you mention that you hate the 'bugs' that show up in the corner of the screen. Me too, and I hate them worse than the commercials, but when I complain about them to many people, I get these puzzled looks-- "Huh? They bother you? I just ignore them!"

Exactly. People get desensitized, and they start to ignore them So, the ante has to be upped, the dose increased. Now, we get little animated banners that unfurl across the bottom of the screen right after a commercial break, blocking off the view of that part of the screen. Or, as one poster already pointed out, the Grrr, Arrggh monster can't even do his thing now-- there has to be a voiceover plugging another show during that few seconds!

I used the word cancer deliberately, because most 'successful' cancers (from the cancer's 'viewpoint', of course) work very, very slowly. They don't kill someone suddenly; they eat away at them slowly and often imperceptably, until a time comes when a cure is impossible.

It's the 'trend' I was trying to get at, far more so than any specific steps along the way.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You are both right and wrong about this -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:46:39 03/04/04 Thu

Now, don't get me wrong: I wish there were fewer commercials and that shows got more content into their timeslot. However, the only feasible alternative to commercials at the time is paying a hundred dollars per channel. Considering my viewing tastes involve one or two shows from several channels (CBS, NBC, FOX, WB, FX, TNT, and Cartoon Network on a regular basis, plus many other channels that happen to show movies I like), having commercials seems like the preferable method of paying for TV. Putting up with a few ads vs. paying several hundred dollars a year is a pretty uneven fight.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, uhh, they're *Evil*, for starters! (This time w/o evil dropped tag) -- Sorry, can't delete, 15:18:20 03/04/04 Thu

If I erase the original post, I erase its entire sub-thread. ; )

[> Also, post your dissatisfaction at The WB 'Angel' feedback board... -- Rob, 13:39:16 02/29/04 Sun

Although this is obviously not as effective as the postcards, it couldn't hurt to clog up their messageboards with notes on how angered you are about Angel's cancellation.



[> [> But be nice! -- Masq, 14:00:46 02/29/04 Sun

WB remains a possibility for season 6. Let them know (politely) you aren't happy with it ending at season 5.

[> [> Just posted. Come on everybody! -- Matlack73, 14:17:16 02/29/04 Sun

Rob, you rock! I just posted. I've been starting to feel better about our chances of saving Angel in the last couple of days. I think we're going to do it.

[> [> [> Cool! Still haven't had time to write a response myself, but I'm doing it later today. -- Rob, 14:33:15 02/29/04 Sun

[> The E Online poll -- abt, 02:34:52 03/01/04 Mon

At E!Online as part of that 'save our show' poll, as well as voting, you can also send a e-mail explaining why you think Angel should be saved. Please e-mail as well, that way they will know there really are lots of Angel fans, and not just a few fans voting a lot of times.


Saving Angel is getting closer to the target for the guerilla billboards.

Who is Gunn? (spoilers 5.14) -- Tyreseus, 19:39:30 02/28/04 Sat

I'm driving myself crazy trying to decide if the white room scene was a clever misdirect (like Giles' "death" in BtVS season 7) or an important plot point to note.

Gunn appears in the White Room. The place is deserted.

(calling out)
Hello? Here kitty, kitty. Look, I know there's someone in here, and it ain't just me. I'm not goin' anywere 'til ya,
(someone punches him in the face, knocking him to the ground; Gunn looks up at him)
Well, whaddaya know? It is just me.

The conduit has taken the form of Gunn and is standing in front of him, frowning.

You don't want to be here.

I never want to be here. What happened to the cat?

The physical form of the conduit is determined by the viewer.

So, I'm looking at me because, what? We gonna play a mirror game? Get our mime on?

They circle each other.

You are failing.

I'm not the issue here.

I believe that you think that.

You can't let this happen to Fred.

This is the part where I need to be clear.
(punches Gunn hard in the chest, sending him across the room)
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.

I didn't come for a favor.
(gets to his feet)
We can make a deal.

Deals are for the devil.

You want someone else, a life for hers, you'll get it. You can have mine.

I already do.

The conduit grabs Gunn by the lapels and punches him in the face repeatedly.
(Transcribe from buffyworld.com - bold mine)

So who came out of the white room? We have no strong evidence to tell us that it's the "real" Gunn walking among the AI gang. I could make a case for the scene between Gunn and Knox revealing that we've still got the real deal, but what if the reactions in that scene were just the Conduit being pissed off that another W&H employee pulled the wool over the eyes of the Senior Partners and that their 'puppet' Gunn helped facilitate it?

And all the talk about Illyria and the twins of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night seem important in the Gunn/Conduit equation, too. Perhaps a parallel storyline to a demon that looks like Fred with Gunn's replacement by an identical twin?

What was Gunn failing at in the Senior Partners' view? The term "insolence" puts me in mind of an empoyer/employee relationship - and the final lines remind me of Lilah's binding agreement to serve past death.

If we believe that the Senior Partners aren't involved in Fred's possession, then why aren't they more eager to lend a hand in stopping it? It seems that season 4 set the precedent that they don't exactly support rival apocalypses from other super-powers. We know the SPs aren't all-knowing (or at least they don't share all that knowldege with their employees at times - i.e. the season 4 apocalypse).

Unrelated thought: If ME hadn't given Andrew the line a few episodes ago that no one from the Buffy gang trusts the AI Gang anymore, do you think Angel and Spike might have tried asking for help from Giles or any U.K. based slayer army? Hell, they could have easily arranged to get the Buffster up from Rome in about the time it took them to travel across the pond - even with super-fast jets.


[> True but Jasmine was a power that be...or ex-one -- Charles Phipps, 20:36:56 02/28/04 Sat

Her Apocolypse may have been "good winning" and thus anti-ethical to the Senior partners while Ilyeria is entirely in accordance with their plans

[> Wowza...I didn't even think of that! Awesome catch! -- Nino, 21:39:59 02/28/04 Sat

[> Re: Who is Gunn? (spoilers 5.14) -- Corwin of Amber, 22:34:28 02/28/04 Sat

if "the physical form of the conduit is determined by the viewer" why would the others perceive the conduit as Gunn?

Or...hmm. Maybe they WOULD. Ick. Talk about a split in the ranks...

Another good question is where the heck the big kitty disapeared to when Lindsey and Eve worked their mojo?

[> [> Quick Conduit Question -- darrenK, 06:01:13 02/29/04 Sun

What exactly is the difference between the Conduit and Link-To-The-Senior-Partners, aka Eve (or whoever the link happens to be).

Does Eve talk to the Senior Partners through the Conduit? And, if she does, what's so special about being able to if Gunn can just waltz up there and do it himself?

It leaves me a little confused.

[> [> [> Re: Quick Conduit Question -- Corwin of Amber, 06:40:13 02/29/04 Sun

I don't believe Eve had any special link to the Senior Partners, she just told AI that as part of Lindsey's fiendish plan. In the previous season, all close contact with the SP was through the little girl in the White Room.

[> [> [> [> Re: Quick Conduit Question (spoilers Hole in the World) -- heywhynot, 10:45:38 02/29/04 Sun

I think Eve was the liaison. She still uses we and our regarding WH in the latest episode. Eve is a very mysterious character still. As shown by her knowledge of the Deeper Well and what exactly the Source Books are capable of demonstrates in my mind that she is highly knowledgeable of the inner working of WH. She betrayed the Senior Partners it appears because she loved Lindsey. How was she able to hide in plain sight? Is she as young as she seems?

To me Eve was the liaison to insure WH's LA branch was run like a business and that there was a smooth transition. It was more day to day help. The conduit is a direct connection to the Senior Partners for bigger picture/problems. Basically the Senior Partners are too busy to get their hands dirty w/ the daily details of running a branch office, hence the need for a liaison.

[> I think a better question would be... -- toothy, 07:22:26 02/29/04 Sun

Who does Gunn think he is?

...and the answer, is not much.

Gunn saw his upgrade slip away. It had become so much a part of him that he was willing to do what ever it took to get that power back. Without it, he felt there wasn't enough of him to fight the good fight. He's being played once again, and I think the senior partners expected more from him.

When we look back to last year, it was Gunn who told Fred (after finding out from Skip they were meer pawns in a larger game), it's time we knocked over the table and changed the game. That was the attitude the senior partners noticed when they made him a conduit. For Gunn to survive, he needs to knock over that table again.

btw..this is my first post here. It's a great site and a cool board

[> My guess -- CW, 07:41:40 02/29/04 Sun

The key is the phrase "You are failing." Notice the conduit didn't say, "You have failed." The beating in the white room was a warning. Gunn knows more about what's going on with his personal deal with the senior partners than we do. He knows what he gave up. He now knows what the stakes are. It was Gunn not a substitute who went after Knox, as far as I can tell.

[> Spoilers 5.15 in this thread -- TCH, 08:00:30 02/29/04 Sun

[> [> Oops, I got confused. Sorry gang, spoilers for 5.15! -- Tyreseus, 11:36:10 03/02/04 Tue

[> The opposing piece (spoilers for Hole in the World) -- darrenK, 10:00:50 02/29/04 Sun

My interpretation (take it or leave it):

There is only one Gunn.

When Gunn saw the panther in the White Room last year, he saw what the Senior Partners were offering him...power. Now, when he goes to the White Room, he sees himself post-power, the mean, buttoned-up, ruthless man he's become.

He is now the fruition of what was offered. Something stronger than what Gunn should be. He doesn't see the panther; he is the panther.

When Gunn confronts Knox, he's presented with the customs bill, the symbol of the ruthless panther Gunn that the Senior Partners have created, the guy who can make things happen with his mind. And Gunn's reaction? The pre-panther "guy who thinks with his fists" reasserts himself and does what the Muscle used to do: he ,presumably, slays Knox

What we're seeing is the battle between TPB and the Senior Partners writ small, taking place not in America or LA or even Wolfram and Hart's offices, but, in Gunn's skull.

Which Gunn will win out? The man of human instincts who can kill with his fists? Or the creature of cold mental equipment who can kill with a phone call or a lawyer's brief?

For that we must stay tuned.

[> [> Interesting point -- Arethusa, 12:53:21 02/29/04 Sun

"What we're seeing is the battle between TPB and the Senior Partners writ small, taking place not in America or LA or even Wolfram and Hart's offices, but, in Gunn's skull."

That is very interesting. Not only is there the larger battle between chaos and order, with mankind a pawn in the middle, but there is also the battle inside every person, between the destructive things his fears and insecurities tell him, and what he knows in his heart is right, that which connects him with the rest of mankind.

[> [> Re: The opposing piece (spoilers for Hole in the World) -- Kitt, 12:19:21 03/03/04 Wed

" Which Gunn will win out? The man of human instincts who can kill with his fists? Or the creature of cold mental equipment who can kill with a phone call or a lawyer's brief?"

The Caveman or the Astronaut?


[> Re: Who is Gunn? (spoilers 5.14) -- anom, 11:59:42 02/29/04 Sun

"I could make a case for the scene between Gunn and Knox revealing that we've still got the real deal, but what if the reactions in that scene were just the Conduit being pissed off that another W&H employee pulled the wool over the eyes of the Senior Partners and that their 'puppet' Gunn helped facilitate it?"

In that case, I doubt the Conduit would've waited for Knox to reveal Gunn's role in getting hold of the sarcophagus to go after him. Even if it would, in order to get as much info as possible, it wouldn't have reacted w/such rage, & certainly not w/such guilt & hurt. The Conduit doesn't seem to care about Fred; it never speaks her name & doesn't even respond to Gunn's mention of her, only to his statement that it couldn't let this happen (there he goes being insolent again). More likely it would have shown Knox the same kind of scorn it expressed toward Gunn when he beat him up in the White Room. And there'd have been none of the conflict we saw on his face before he struck that last blow against Knox.

"The term 'insolence' puts me in mind of an empoyer/employee relationship...."

Sounds more like a master/servant relationship to me. I think it refers to Gunn's going behind the SPs' backs to get the permanent upgrade. The doc told him the fading of the imprint was what the SPs wanted to happen, but the 2 of them bypassed that, an act of insolence in the eyes of the SPs. If that's the case, they already knew what Gunn did & had no need of confirmation from Knox.

"If we believe that the Senior Partners aren't involved in Fred's possession, then why aren't they more eager to lend a hand in stopping it?"

Good question. This one I don't have an answer for.

OT: BAH!!!!! My first day of university today!! -- angel's nibblet, 11:24:35 02/29/04 Sun

Help :-|!

Yes, attention seeker over here, mememememe!


[> accepting applications for attention -- manwitch, 12:35:34 02/29/04 Sun

First day of university? How wonderful. Congratulations. Some of the best experiences of your life are on the way. I remember my first day at Indiana University, Bloomington. But I was living on campus, in a campus town. So there was a whole cast of characters to meet. I was lucky though. I didn't have roommates. So no demon roommate stories for me. I had a number of other first days at university/college following. Probably the most memorable was Berklee in Boston. Man, I just wanted to turn around and leave. But there I had a demon roommate.

Why is this your first day and not last september or next september?

Are you Canadian? Or English? I had a Canadian girlfriend that always talked about going to "university." Americans talk about going to college. Whether or not its a university.

Are you living on campus? Or are you a commuting student? Or are you at home, and maybe this is your first day at Phoenix University?

What kind of help do you require? I wouldn't say I did poorly in math and science, just that I kind of ignored them. But English, History, Music? Just send me the test questions in advance and I'll send you the answers.

Remember, you'll be ok if you stick together. That's Buffy's lesson, anyway.

Its possible that you could be exposed to lots of alcohol, lots of pot, lots of sex, and a lot of new people that could become very important in your life. Try to have fun anyways.

Academics are easy. University is really about self-governance. Don't do all-nighters. Do the work after the class when its assigned, not before the class for which it is due. And most importantly of all, and I mean this, don't ever take incompletes. Just don't do it. Turn in what you have when the due date hits and be done with it. There are people who think its ok to take incompletes. Don't be influenced by them on this subject.

And finally, remember what my mom, a college professor for 40 years always used to say. "You're not there to learn anything. You're there to get credentials."

Wow, glad I could help. And to think I had all that wisdom bottled up inside.

This is a great day for you. Hope it goes well.

[> [> Re: accepting applications for attention -- Abby, 13:47:44 02/29/04 Sun

"Don't do all-nighters. Do the work after the class when its assigned, not before the class for which it is due"

Sorry, I just found that foreign concept amusing :)
Rah knows what I mean!

ps- Advice? Read the articles before you read the set text/chapters. They tend to summarise the main themes.

[> [> [> Lol yes -- Rahael, 15:39:33 02/29/04 Sun

I'm not convinced I ever learnt that lesson!

[> [> If you don't do all-nighters now... -- Sara, 19:20:32 02/29/04 Sun

when you're young and energetic, when will you do them? And what college experience is complete without at least one good story of reading the book the night before the paper was due, and typing it two hours before class met? I knew someone who spent a night at a diner with unlimited coffee refills reading War and Peace - he was in a very interesting place the next day at class. My formula for paper length was ((required # of pages)/2) + 2 - it worked for me, but clearly I was a very poor student and should not be listened to on any of these points. (and needless to say, I hope Graffiti doesn't read this - he's good enough at developing his own bad habits, certainly doesn't need any help from me!)

Have a wonderful time at school! It should be a fabulous experience both socially and intellectually - plus if you're lucky you'll learn some great card cames!

[> [> Re: accepting applications for attention -- angel's nibblet, 22:30:03 02/29/04 Sun

Are you Canadian? Or English? I had a Canadian girlfriend that always talked about going to "university." Americans talk about going to college. Whether or not its a university.

Hehe, neither, I am from New Zealand! Here when you say 'college' ppl assume your just being snooty, as this is a more fancy term for High School that some schools use to sound more prestigious, or is used for Catholic schools. Kinda silly, really.

This is also why my first day is in March, coz its the tail end of our summer, and same happens with regular schools, our years run from february-december.
It's almost always Uni or University here.

What kind of help do you require? I wouldn't say I did poorly in math and science, just that I kind of ignored them. But English, History, Music? Just send me the test questions in advance and I'll send you the answers.

Hmmm, I'm not sure how the US system works, but I'm not taking any sciences or math subjects, last years stats was enough for a lifetime ;-)

Are you living on campus? Or are you a commuting student? Or are you at home, and maybe this is your first day at Phoenix University?

Lol, still living at the Hotel Mum 'n Dad! I'm going to Auckland Uni so this is only half an hour from where I live so moving out of home is perhaps a few years away yet ;-).

[> [> [> New Zealand? Hey cool! -- manwitch, 08:04:31 03/01/04 Mon

I'm talking to someone who was thanked at last night's Oscars. I guess I'm really somebody now.

[> [> [> [> Re: New Zealand? Hey cool! -- angel's nibblet, 22:11:28 03/01/04 Mon

Aaaaaah, I could go on about my LOTR connections, the friend of my mother who knows Philippa Boyens, my friend's Tae Kwan Do teacher who did stunts for Aragorn, the close family friend who got to have lunch with Sir Ian McKellen, my crazy friends who trekked down for the prem and got many an autograph and pic with hobbitses...

But I won't ;-)

I just feel special I got a vague mention in an Oscar speech by accident of birth :-P

[> [> [> on living at home during college--um, university -- anom, 10:26:34 03/01/04 Mon

"Lol, still living at the Hotel Mum 'n Dad!"

That's what I did--saved dorm fees! But I found it tended to keep me separate from my on-campus schoolmates (a word that sounds weird applied to college). The thing was, after classes, once I was home, any campus event I went to involved having to get there instead of already being there. That doesn't really convey it--I just mean there was a definite "going someplace" feeling associated w/it, a certain inertia that had to be overcome, even though it was only about a 15-minute drive. Plus another family member might need the car that night (I didn't have my own)! Anyway, I wasn't aware of this effect of off-campus living till it was established & harder to overcome. If you make the effort from the beginning, maybe it'll be less of a problem for you.

[> mazel tov, nib!!! i bet you're off to a great start! -- anom, 15:24:56 02/29/04 Sun

And come into chat & tell us all about it...before you get too loaded down w/homework!

What's the school schedule like in New Zealand? We start in Sept. in the US, so I guess starting in the fall is the same. Do you get a break over your summer, starting in December? What are the other major breaks (we get Thanksgiving, Xmas, & Easter; the last 2 are secularized to "winter" & "spring" vacation)? See, I'm getting you thinking ahead to your first break already. Meanwhile, do good work & have fun & let us know how it's going!

[> Best of luck, Nibblet.. -- Jane, 17:35:11 02/29/04 Sun

I admire those who seek knowledge in strange places. Don't worry about Morningstar - Midnight and I will make sure she has plenty of exercise!

[> [> Re: Best of luck, Nibblet.. -- angel's nibblet, 22:16:21 02/29/04 Sun

Oh there is a loverly park right next to uni where there are many hobbity trees with big roots that I can occasionally let Morningstar loose in when I have lectures :-P

[> [> [> Re: Best of luck, Nibblet.. -- Jane, 22:46:20 02/29/04 Sun

Oh, good! Tell her to watch out for all those Oscar holding hobbits. Way to go LOTR!

[> First assignment - -- Darby, 10:08:00 03/01/04 Mon

This is based on stuff I learned in education classes, and was pissed I hadn't known when I was a student - I do this exercise with my students just to get them thinking about compatibilities and setting themselves up to succeed. (Part 2 is proprietary so I can't have in on the 'net)

It finally allowed me to figure out why my organic chemistry exams were much harder than the classes - the professor and I had the same learning styles, but the damned teaching assistants who wrote his exams had a very different one...

[> Also: -- Abby, 13:10:24 03/01/04 Mon

Don't do the 'two pages set text, two voy posts' system of reading I'm currently entangled with.........not much Descartes gets done, although I am up to speed on 5.15 :)

[> Good luck -- TCH, 02:48:30 03/02/04 Tue

jasmine -- Jenny's Love, 13:33:24 02/29/04 Sun

Does everyone believe that Joss had Jasmine's appearance planned from season 1 of Angel? Frankly, I have trouble grasping that in "Reprise", when Angel and Darla have sex, that it was planned out even then that that particular event was a part of the eventual plan. Was bringing Darla back, then, all part of it? I guess what I have trouble with is exactly how much was thought out and when-at what stages in the series were certain details planned or was it all very rough right up until season 4?

Also, I am a bit behind on my season 4 viewing, but can we say that Cordelia, between returning from the higher plane and having no memory, and having Jasmine awaken inside her did not interact with her friends as her genuine self at all between the end of season 3 and when she awoke from the coma. On that note, could we not say that Jasmine's true self is seen in her gestation period inside Cordelia as she controlled Cordy's actions and words? I mean, Cordelia as seen in 'Cavalry' through 'Inside Out' IS Jasmine as we knew her, correct? (not to mention the voice that fills Angelus' head?) And what purpose would having Angelus around have for Jasmine, if she wants so badly to help humanity?


[> Re: jasmine -- Evan, 22:29:07 02/29/04 Sun

Man, who knows with Joss? It's possible that he knew about Jasmine (or, at least had some rough story idea) starting in season 3 of Buffy! I mean, I presume it was Jasmine who brought Angel back from hell (by the way, shouldn't 200 years in hell have hurt Angel's memory of his past just a little bit?) and also who made it snow in Amends. She needed Angel alive so he could father her father.

As for the other stuff, I wouldn't really call Cordelia a good indication of Jasmine's "true self". Her actions as Cordelia were all either of the "trick these people into believing I'm actually Cordlia" form, or of the "I'm willing to do anything, no matter how evil, in order to be born" form. Jasmine is a utilitarian when it comes to her ethical reasoning. A few people getting eaten is worth it if far more will be saved. That's why she needed (and was willing to cause) Angel to be Angelus. Mainly because she knew Angel, the champion, was likely to figure out what was going on and foil her scheme. But also as a sort of Yoko factor, with Angel stirring the group up. It was to Jasmine's advantage to have the group working below its full potential.

'Destiny', 'Harm's Way', 'Soul Purpose' and 'You're Welcome' -- KdS, 14:30:46 02/29/04 Sun

Well, today I saw Destiny, Harm's Way, Soul Purpose and You're Welcome, Damage being held over for later as peripheral to the Lindsey subplot covered by the episodes. The four were in general a very good run, but taking the episodes as a whole, there are significant problems of plot in the Lindsey story. The mood and pacing of the episodes is perfectly good, with Lindsey and Eve blatantly using Spike to work on Angel's existing feelings of loss of confidence in his own strength and moral righteousness, until he finds it again with some help from Cordleia. Unfortunately, it is the characterisation and motivations of Lindsey himself which are hard to explain. It demands huge quantities of fanwank to explain how the Lindsey we saw in S1-2 - improvisational in his style of action rather than a deep planner, morally conflicted about his role at Wolfram & Hart and finally disgusted by them, naive to the point of being manipulated by Holland with great ease in his Darla plan - should become the character we saw in this run of episodes - manipulative, methodical, convinced that Angel somehow stole the role that he deserved, and apparently capable of suborning established W&H employees to treachery with ease. This is wild speculation, but I can't help thinking that both character and motivation would make far more sense for the restrained, patient and manipulative Lilah, returned from Hell and seeking her rightful place as head of W & H, and that maybe the plot was hastily transferred to Lindsey with inadequate reworking after Stephanie Romanov refused to participate.

On Destiny:

When the first spoilers were circulated regarding this episode, there was concern from some quarters that it would reignite the Angel vs. Spike fan wars that had marred the summer. Certainly, Angel's and Spike's arguments in their confrontations strongly mirror certain fan positions. But the episode avoids these hazards by portraying the whole debate as puerile, a distraction from the serious business. Now I wouldn't characterise the Angel vs. Spike debates as wholly puerile (it would be hypocritical of me to do so, since I was partisan for one side), because the question of which souled vamp one favoured after BtVS7 spoke to genuine disagreements about loyalty to individuals versus abstract ideals, the importance to be placed on explicit contrition and atonement in judging a person's rehabilitation, and the whole question of souled vamp moral responsibility for unsouled acts. But the episode recognised the debates while making a clear effort to defuse them, and that worked for me.

The past scenes continued the intermittent AtS trope of downgrading Buffy's emotional importance to our souled vamps, suggesting that the Spuffy relationship, as well as all its other complexities, may have had a good deal to do with the Angel(us)/Spike/Dru relationship. And the intense sexual overtones in the opening scene between William and Angelus, even before Angelus has sex with Dru, make the near-universal fanon assumption of a sexual relationship between the two men as unambiguously canonical as anything could short of an overt sex scene. It is also intriguing that Spike's furious accusations to Angel, that Angelus wished to degrade William because William was better than he was, could apply equally well to certain negative interpretations of Spike's S6 attitude to Buffy at times. I've found myself surprisingly enthralled by the Angel/Spike relationship this season - in different episodes, different scenes and sometimes even in the same scene their relationship can seem like parent/child, like rivalrous brothers, or bitter ex-lovers. Of course, for vampires all those things bleed into each other, which adds to the complexity.

Briefer notes:

Why does Spike react with such horror and violence when the possessed Harmony bites him as they have sex? It's been implied in the past that for many vamps mutual munching is a near-integral part of the sex act.

All the possessed people appear to be expressing feelings that are entirely their own, released from whatever inhibitions and illusions they have. Therefore, if Eve knew what would happen, it would be a rather risky plan, given that Gunn did make his suspicion of her blatant, and such a direct accusation might stimulate further thought in him and others.

The mobile phone conversation between Spike and Angel, as well as one of the funniest moments of the ep, is the most significant ME recognition so far of mobile communication as an integral part of life.

On Harm's Way:

Firstly, anything I can say about the opening corporate video would pale into insiginficance compared with Plin's masterful dissection of it on her LiveJournal at the time that the episode first aired, so I direct anyone interested to it and say "I agree".

In many ways, this episode is something of a hybrid of The Zeppo with the excellent Babylon 5 episode A View From the Gallery, showing a particularly unflattering view of Angel. We've seen in earlier seasons how unreasonable, inconsiderate and abrasive he can be when working with people who he actually likes, so one shouldn't be surprised that from Harmony's point of view he is the manager from Hell - incommunicative and unapproachable, but viciously unforgiving of any failure to meet his wishes. The only one of the regulars who comes out of this well is Fred, who gets to show off the acceptance of others that would be pointed out in a later ep. The episode unquestionably walks a tightrope regarding the Jossverse view of demons - certainly Harmony is very humanised here, but it is blatantly clear that her reaction even when she believes she has killed a man is purely fear from her own skin rather than any guilt. One wonders whether Eli's fate would have been the same if he had been human, although given what happened to Hauser I wouldn't rule it out or claim a double standard. The parodic elements of the battle between Harmony and Tamika as a reflection of the previous episode are amusing without being excessively stretched.


The running joke of the dog growling at Harmony, which conjures up all sorts of traditions about animals' sensitivity to the supernatural.

Harmony's panicked "Oh God, oh God, oh God" when she believes the tester is about to approach her. A Jossverse vampire calling on God, especially after the renewed stress on Angelus's taste for blasphemy the previous episode?

Spike's explanation of why he hasn't gone after Buffy simply doesn't convince me, and my own preferred fanwank is that he meant it in Chosen when he said she didn't love him (in the way he wanted).

On Soul Purpose:

Angel's hallucinations are very interesting. Unlike Restless, say, where most things have meaning, a lot of this seems pure surrealism for the sake of it - I haven't seen any really convincing explanations for the pearl necklace and the car number plate, for instance. One wonders if the nature of Angel's hallucinations was deliberately planned by Eve and Lindsey as part of their campaign to demoralise him, or if they were simply an expression of his own fears. In the original Superman story that inspired the episode, the increasing darkness of Superman's hallucinations is explained in terms of his subconscious mind warning him that something is badly wrong, but this doesn't seem to be the case here. In some respects, the hallucinations seem to speak to the fears of old-school Angel fans over the summer that the show would be taken over by an idealised Spike, and this is just what we see, especially in Angel's opening nightmare of a revamped Destiny. Was this meant to be the first attack by the parasite, or was it simply a nightmare?

Lindsey's approaches to Spike are also highly intriguing. One of the unsolved puzzles of this sub-plot is why Lindsey feels the need to tip his hand by blatantly impersonating Doyle, especially since he never met the man in life. Pure malice seems inadequate, and one would predict that the openess of it would awaken Angel's fury rather than depressing him, as actually occurred. There is further intense slashiness in Spike's repeated suggestions that Lindsey is trying to pick him up. Lindsey does seem to be overacting severely in the stripclub scene, but I'd prefer to think that this was specifically conceived as overenthusiasm on the character's part than a failing in Kane's. Spike is set up as not merely an imitation but a parody of S1 Angel - while Angel's driving force was to help his clients spiritually as well as physically, Spike merely saves lives as a chore, treating those people with contempt once they are safe.

I'm surprised by the consensus of opinion on the board and LJ that Wes and Gunn are meant to be evil in the scene where they visit Spike and try to return to W&H. As I saw it, the scene showed the purist vs. pragmatic argument very well, with both sides given a fair hearing.

On You're Welcome:

I hate to say it, but after the reaction of most other fans I was disappointed by this episode. The scenes between Cordelia and Angel where they speculate on what might have been if she hadn't "ascended", and her final confession of love, were the most convincing romantic C/A scenes ever, freed from the forcedness of S3. However, Cordy's total faith in the PTB, and her complete lack of any real trauma from the Jasmine episode, simply didn't convince me. I have considerable sympathy for DLGood's complaint that Cordelia was too perfect, too all-conquering, too exactly what we would want her to be, and I doubt his theory that she was the real W&H failsafe. Given the fact that CC was only available for one ep, and allegedly demanded script approval and rejected a first draft as not positive enough, one can see the reasoning. Rah noted certain similarities in grooming, staging and music to Awakening, and suggested that the Cordy seen here, even if from the PTB, might have been in some way filtered through Angel's idealised memories of her, and that is one interpretation. Combined with the aforementioned difficulties in Lindsey's characterisation, I don't regard this as a vintage ep.


The opening scene before Cordy revives is superb, as our attention is once again drawn to the other characters' lack of knowledge of what Angel got from joining W&H, and what they lost.

Cordelia apologising to Wes for Lilah's death was genuinely moving, even if it raises further questions about what people remember. Certain other people would do well to learn from her example ;-P

The set in the scene where Lindsey and Eve are snuggling in the porch chair looked very like the Hyperion to me (compare the "moonbathing" scene with Darla in Untouched), to the point where I wondered if Lindsey's desire to take on Angel's past trappings had led him to just that place.

Corresponding to Lindsey's overacting in the strip joint in Soul Purpose, his fake vision is ridiculously inadequate for those who've seen the real thing.

Spike's attack of rage at the video game machine was quite hilarious.

Excuse me, but why the hell is Lorne "The Unclean"? Oh yeah, he can be useful, but is that all he's considered to be as a person? That phrase has some pretty powerful associations, and I'm more than a little irritated that it was brought up so casually and with no one questioning it.


[> Re: 'Destiny', 'Harm's Way', 'Soul Purpose' and 'You're Welcome' -- Rahael, 15:34:52 02/29/04 Sun

Thanks for doing such a thorough review!

I think your point about Lindsay/Lilah is pretty striking. I hadn't thought about it before, but the puzzle that is Linsdsay makes more sense this way. I liked the older version of Lindsay, a favourite character of mine. I'm disappointed by his latest incarnation, he seems kind of annoying and insubstantial. Plus, he doesn't look nearly as sharp as he used to.

(Though of course, I now think of him as 'Ricky'!!)

On second viewinig of You're Welcome, I still like it a lot. Both in meta terms (the final farewell to a great character) and in terms of Angel. I still think we see a version of Cordy that is tinged with love - just as the version of Darla we see in Inside Out. They both say they come from the same place, as well. Inside Out Darla and You're Welcome Cordy appear to be refined versions of their character, but I can accept that because they come back from the grave, messengers from the beyond. And because I don't think that the dead live, even on BtVS and AtS (Unless they are vamped or brought back by some means!!) I think these two women came from the hearts of Connor and Angel respectively. Kind of the way Dead Lilah speaks to Wes before he chops her head off.

Anyway, it was nice to wash clean the vision of evil, no fashion sense Cordy from the brain.

I think Spike making excuses for not going rushing to Buffy is pretty sweet, and a more touching moment of self-doubt for him.

I liked Destiny more on second viewing. Loved Angelus' line - "Do you think that makes me some kind of deviant?"

Broody annoyed Angel and chipper but bratty Spike make a great slashy couple. Angel makes a terrible boss - Harmony comes out pretty tolerant and touchingly willing to please. but then she always is desparate for approval.

[> [> Who's Ricky? -- KdS, 01:45:36 03/01/04 Mon

Have you seen CK in something else, or did he remind you of someone?

[> [> [> Think Fan-vid -- Rahael, 06:32:30 03/01/04 Mon

[> Good reviews; a few thoughts -- Tchaikovsky, 08:06:15 03/01/04 Mon

An administrative question to you and Rahael first: since rah is going away, and has in any case seen 5.13 and 5.14, would it be more sensible if I sent the video to you? If so, e-mail me your address, or otherwise I'll send it to Rahael as usual.

Unfortunately, it is the characterisation and motivations of Lindsey himself which are hard to explain.

Well, it may just be my relative lack of interest in logic and continuity, but having seen up to 'Smile Time', and knowing virtually nothing about Lindsey's motivations, the reason for his return, to what degree he was acting as Vision Guy (were those visions fake? a manipulation by him?), and certainly the nonsensical Doyle pseudonym, I have a feeling that there must be some major piece of information about Lindsey that might clarify his bemusing actions. Joss has left things dangling in the past, (like, say, the first half of Season Seven), but this would be his biggest oversight to date if he fails to address it.

I've found myself surprisingly enthralled by the Angel/Spike relationship this season - in different episodes, different scenes and sometimes even in the same scene their relationship can seem like parent/child, like rivalrous brothers, or bitter ex-lovers

Me too. At times it has taken on the inherited archetype feel of Angel and Darla through the second and third Seasons. They have been different things to each other at different times- and the idea of vamping has extreme undertones of incest- being a metpahorically (and arguably literal) sexual act, and yet also conceiving a new unlife.

Unlike Restless, say, where most things have meaning, a lot of this seems pure surrealism for the sake of it - I haven't seen any really convincing explanations for the pearl necklace and the car number plate, for instance.

Also agree here, and that took the edge off the episode a little for me.

I'm surprised by the consensus of opinion on the board and LJ that Wes and Gunn are meant to be evil in the scene where they visit Spike and try to return to W&H. As I saw it, the scene showed the purist vs. pragmatic argument very well, with both sides given a fair hearing.

I personally think, as I've mentioned before, that this was a fairly blatant parallel of Gunn and Wesley to Lilah and Lindsey in early Season Two, as this was a very past-referencing episode. This may be why people took the scene as shady- they're played as slightly shifty and groundless to correspond with Spike's faux Angel Season 1 heroism.

[> [> Send them to Rah -- KdS, 12:33:56 03/01/04 Mon

I don't think my video can handle NTSC, so there wouldn't be much point.

Why Wes is not a sociopath, but Wes/Fred would still be wrong. -- KdS, 15:25:55 02/29/04 Sun

I see that that Wes-as-sociopath essay has been brought up twice on the board recently, so here's my take on the issue.

Firstly, Wes is definitely not sociopathic. If anything, his problems come from inappropriate fits of morality. Wes can seem amoral occasionally because his morality is very focused on utilitarian ends - a product of his Council background. Moreover, he tends at times to do the most morally grey thing possible to prove his moral machismo, which is probably inevitable given his inability to satisfy his father and need to "prove" himself virtually all the time.

However, I do believe that Wesley has a highly twisted attitude to sexuality and women, probably because of a very traditional British education. As I see it, Wesley really does believe, especially in his more depressive periods, that sex is essentially evil and dirty. It is probable that he was punished for exploring his sexuality solo or with others as a teenager. It is possible, although I'm nowhere near as sure, that he may have engaged in some kind of homoerotic experimentation as a teenager, which is notoriously common at British singel-sex boarding schools, and that this also ended very badly, either because his partner exploited or betrayed him, or because he was again found out and punished.

There is some evidence, I would say, that Wesley's conflicted attitude to sex leads him to dichotomise women as either goddesses who he would defile, or harlots trying to defile him. The most overt evidence of this is the unique way in which his possession by Billy Blim is expressed as an obsessive fear of being seduced and manipulated by women. This might be seen as an external infliction, but when he is under Jasmine's thrall after Fred escapes from it he again suddenly sees Fred, highly implausibly, as a femme fatale seeking to seduce and corrupt men.

Furthermore, it is implied in the early episodes of Season Two that he is having a good deal of casual sex (not explicitly shown, as at this point AtS was largely implying that the characters' sex lives were happening off-screen). However, the opening of Judgement with him flirting with a crowd of admiring women in a bar, and the "bleached blonde" incident in Untouched support this. There are a number of reasons that a man confident and attractive enough to shag his way through the bar scene would be incapable of making an explicit romantic approach to a woman who he genuinely knows and loves (as in early S3), but a severe virgin/whore complex is the most likely. It is possible that part of the reason why his relationship with Virginia worked, albeit briefly, was that he initially encountered her as a damsel, but her lengthy and lurid sexual past meant that she had enough characteristics of the two poles for him to relate to her as a person. (Although his unusually happy and well-balanced emotional state at the time was probably also involved).

And then, of course, comes Lilah, who he starts off seeing as the ultimate harlot who he can use as a repository for all his problems and issues at a very dark time. And because she's so evil, it doesn't matter if she gets hurt. Unfortunately, once he realises that they are feeling things for each other, he starts feeling the need to redeem her, because if he didn't it would mean that he was just using an evil person for sex, and he's Not That Sort of Person. And of course, things get even worse, because she has absolutely no interest in being redeemed (your choice whether that makes her a monster or a LaVeyan heroine who does what she wants and takes the consequences without complaint) and things just keep getting more and more painful until he dumps her. Until she comes back at least partially for him, even if part's just self-preservation, and gets messily killed as a result.

But even if he has absolutely no memory of his relationship with Lilah, Wes/Fred would never work unless he gets some serious improvement in self-awareness, because he sees her as such a pure goddess and not as a "cute", girlish woman who nevertheless happens to really enjoy sex. And he would suffer a severe cognitive dissonance and not react well when she started making it clear that she wanted to have a lot of sex.


[> Coincidentally -- Rahael, 16:00:37 02/29/04 Sun

I have just been browing friendsfriends, and came across someone commenting on Wesley's attitude to women, and in particular to Fred, in exactly those temrms, and quoting his background.

[> Re: Why Wes is not a sociopath, but Wes/Fred would still be wrong. -- Old One, 17:47:47 02/29/04 Sun

I think you've explained the problem I was having with Wes and Fred as a couple, brief as it was. Wes was behaving like an acolyte, as if he were afraid to raise his voice above an adoring whisper in the presence of his goddess. That sort of attitude doesn't lead naturally to a satisfying romp in the hay, and we know that's what Fred enjoys.

With Lilah he allowed himself initially at least to be dark and macho and demanding. Significantly, it's probable that their most memorable sexual encounter was when Lilah dressed as Fred--best of both worlds for Wes.

[> [> I think you severely overestimate Wesley's problems -- Charles Phipps, 18:46:58 02/29/04 Sun

Wesley is a man that was abused as a child and it is highly likely that it is from his father that he fears he inherited a disturbing hatred of women that is in fact not his own (at no point has he expressed this even with Faith - he in fact is AFRAID of becoming like his father)

Wesley admittedly was socially awkward and presumably sexually but frankly he had a fairly good relationship with the Wizard-Mobster's daughter before he joined with Lilah.

Lilah he genuinely loved and knew as a person, it was not his attempts to redeem her that was because of self-justification but because of affection for her. He needed comfort and his friends were shunning him....she needed someone whom she could trust.

His relationship with Fred is at times based on the fact they are both brainiacs and the fact that they are innocents yet who have dark sides.

He no longer idealizes her by the time he's helping her against the Professor and vice versa. He is aware of who Fred is and she is aware of who exactly he is in my mind. It is the person he loves.

As for the homosexual experimentation I think he is more likely asexual and withdrawn (his thoughts regarding Cordellia) than involved in that sort of activity. Boarding schools as an attendee of them usually manage their own form of resolution to this sort of thing by time puberty becomes intolerable

But there are many many many more than just this

[> [> [> Re: I think you severely overestimate Wesley's problems -- Claudia, 09:13:38 03/01/04 Mon

"He no longer idealizes her by the time he's helping her against the Professor and vice versa."

Actually, this is not true. Wes was willing to help Fred in "Supersymmestry", because I think he saw a chance to win Fred's favor and help break up her relationship with Gunn.

Yet, if you would notice in both "Lineage" and "A Hole in the World", he had returned to idealizing her. I'm wondering if the mindwipe had anything to do with this.

[> [> [> What I think Fred/Wesley's relationship is based on -- Lunasea, 10:22:05 03/01/04 Mon

is seeing each other as people. It isn't necessarily based on them being smart. Being smart is an important part because they can understand each other when they talk, but it is also important because each of them only saw each other as a brain. When they started being able to see themselves as whole people, they saw each other that way. In typical Joss fashion, this transition was shown a line or a look, but it is there.

It is easy for Fred to see Gunn as a buddy because he isn't a brain, so she can't pigeon hole their relationship that way. It was something completely new and different for her. With Wesley, the high level of maturity it demonstrates is because he isn't looking for someone, so much as at. She really sees Wesley for the first time as he is doing the spell to reveal Lindsey, in essence revealed by it himself.

It is a beautiful relationship that evolved from a deep friendship. As something actually healthy, it is hard to see it in context of the Buffyverse, but redemption is possible. The girl that was abused in Pylea and retreats to caves when scared and the boy that was abused by his father and retreats to grey when alone can grow up and find happiness with each other.

Well...that would be if it was RL and not the Buffyverse.

[> [> [> [> Re: What I think Fred/Wesley's relationship is based on -- Claudia, 10:46:18 03/01/04 Mon

I'm afraid I will have to disagree. I do not see anything mature about Wes and Fred's feelings for each other. From what I've seen in "Lineage" and "A Hole in the World", Wes still idealizes Fred (which suprised me, considering that he seemed to have recovered from this unhealthy view after his conversation with her back in S4's "Players"). As for Fred - I really don't know what to make of her. She seemed to have a habit of labeling every man she has been involved with, from Angel to Wes. Maybe the writer of the "Fred as Anima" post was right - that she likes being the center of male attention. Hence her words, as she was surrounded by all of the guys: ìMy boys ñ big strapping men ñ handsome man saves meî. This does not sound like it would come from the mouth of woman involved in a healthy and mature relationship. By the way, Fred first expressed interest in Wes in "Harm's Way", not "You're Welcome". The thing is, we were never told why she suddenly became interested in him. Has it anything to do with him shooting RogerBot nine times, perhaps?

[> [> [> [> [> The basis of Fred's attitudes to men...? -- Abby, 12:22:11 03/01/04 Mon

From reading the transcript (UK here...my downloading is only up to Smile Time), that in her time of distress Fred says ìMy boys ñ big strapping men ñ handsome man saves meî shows that her Pylean experiences set the blueprint for her relations with men. Even though she has developed as a person, and superficially progressed past this reliance on a saviour (with examples such as her taking the revenge against her Prof. into her own hands), Pylea is the blueprint and to it she returns.

Before coming to LA we can assume she was relatively inexperienced with men, since science geeks tend not to be the most advanced in terms of social interactions and dating in high school. Similarly, it would be safe to say that this trend continued in university, with her devotion to the lab taking priority over all except the most basic dating: certainly not any serious relationships that would have formed her first patterns- since it is usually the first experiences that form the pattern of future interactions.

After years on Pylea, trying her hardest to escape throught her own abilities and efforts, she would have been waiting for a saviour, a champion. And that's precisely what Angel turned up to be: the mythical knight in shining armour to whisk her off to safety. To Fred, this proved that the fairytales were true: that no matter how hard the maiden herself tries, or what she does, eventually it will be the knight who saves her and not herself.

Now, obviously she has progressed and illustrated how she is a more forceful character capable of looking after herself, but that blueprint remains. In her first experiences of male attention, she was the damsel, he the rescuer, and so it makes sense that she would revert to that pattern in the end. Awaiting her champions to save her because her own efforts just aren't enough.

Fairytales and romance novels all proclaim this mode of male/female relations (although I can't see Fred devouring Mills&Boon in between textbooks), and since she seemed to slip into a child-like state in the cave I can picture Fred in Pylea slipping ino fantasies of being rescued. Perhaps this also contributes to the way she relates in the individual relationships. Many people have commented on how they tend to be based on the adorer/adored pattern, with Gunn, Wes and Knox worshipping her for her damsel-like qualities. Even though she was frustrated with that (Gunn/ Siegel incident) the roles were maintained. Whatever her progression as an individual, she has yet to translate that into progressing the roles of her relationships. Looking at Wes and Gunn, they are 'rescuer' character types- protecting and adoring, and so Fred has yet to really experience a relationship that has challanged this pattern. Perhaps if she had been more involved with Wes prior to/during his darker phase this fantasy vision of her rescuing men could have been dented.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The basis of Fred's attitudes to men...? -- Claudia, 12:29:33 03/01/04 Mon

I don't think that a relationship with Wes would have helped, considering his own attitude toward her. Perhaps there could have been someone else . . .

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The basis of Fred's attitudes to men...? -- Abby, 12:38:43 03/01/04 Mon

I think you're probably right regarding Wes since whatever she saw in his change in character, he would still have treated her in a way that affirmed the pattern on his part.

What is it she's projecting that makes the men treat/view her like this? Her own belief that that's how it works/should work in the end?
What is it in the men that makes them need to treat her in such a way? Their own need for a damsel to recue and redeem themselves to?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The basis of Fred's attitudes to men...? -- Gyrus, 13:26:53 03/01/04 Mon

What is it in the men that makes them need to treat her in such a way? Their own need for a damsel to recue and redeem themselves to?

Um, have you SEEN Fred? She's adorable!

Seriously, Fred projects a vulnerability that I think triggers a protective response in men (and maybe women, too, especially the motherly types). There are 2 elements to this:

1. She frequently seems unsure of herself, as suggested by her frequently-rambling speech, her body posture, etc.

2. She's short and skinny and cute as a button.

[> [> [> [> [> OK, really needing some examples here -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:23:10 03/01/04 Mon

You cite some episodes showing Wes idealizing Fred, however you don't say what in the episode indicates that. I lack the funds to keep tapes of every episode and can't remember every little bit of every one, so mentioning specific parts of the episode that you see as idealization on Wesley's part would be very helpful in me either agreeing or arguing with you.

P.S. It could be that Fred categorized men because she was a science type. As she showed in Pylea, she likes things to make orderly sense, and so categorizing people could fit very easily into her nature.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Examples -- Claudia, 15:08:31 03/01/04 Mon

Honestly, there are only two episodes I can think of -"Lineage" and the most recent one - "A Hole in the World". In fact, both have glaring examples - Wes failing to give Fred a gun to defend herself, his shooting of RogerBot after the latter threatened Fred, the manner in which he treated her romantically (with chaste kisses), reading "The Little Princess" to her and his reaction to an employee's lack of concern toward Fred.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Another Example -- Rook, 21:33:10 03/01/04 Mon

This is from Joss's commentary from the deleted scene from WitW on the season 3 DVDs:

"The question did come up: 'Why is he a dork in his own fantasy?' But in my mind it was that she was this perfect thing and that he was not worthy of her, but at the end of the day it didn't, uh, didn't track"

So there's some support for this POV from Joss at least.

[> [> [> [> [> Point to a mature relationship, please -- auroramama, 10:37:23 03/03/04 Wed

Naturally if you assume that each character is acting from their most immature motives, that their shallowest throwaway lines and jokes describe their deepest feelings, and that they never learn a thing from one season to the next, you won't see anything mature about anyone's behavior.

What I really need some examples of are fictional relationships that meet your criteria for health and maturity. I doubt that there's an example that couldn't be torn to shreds in seconds using the assumptions in the first paragraph. My own extremely happy marriage certainly could be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Point to a mature relationship, please -- Claudia, 11:00:49 03/03/04 Wed

Do you mean from any of the Mutant Enemy shows? Or anything shown in another TV series, movie or novel?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Point to a mature relationship, please -- auroramama, 17:34:31 03/03/04 Wed

ME would be nice because we'd be sure of a common frame of reference. But we might get lucky with another TV series or a novel.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: What I think Fred/Wesley's relationship is based on -- skeeve, 09:37:17 03/05/04 Fri

"The thing is, we were never told why she suddenly became interested in him. Has it anything to do with him shooting RogerBot nine times, perhaps?"

As Xander explained to Anya, guns do have that effect on women.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What I think Fred/Wesley's relationship is based on -- Claudia, 16:01:43 03/05/04 Fri

"As Xander explained to Anya, guns do have that effect on women."

If you're right, then perhaps it's just as well that Wes and Fred's romance didn't last very long.

[> Re: Why Wes is not a sociopath, but Wes/Fred would still be wrong. -- Widget, 21:33:05 03/07/04 Sun

Huh? Who thinks Wes is a sociopath?

Perhaps he would be if his character didn't exist in comic-book, sci-fi, geek kind of reality with monsters and evil and hard decisions needing to be made...

He is a much a sociopath as Wolverine is.

Killing the bad guys doesn't make one a sociopath in the kind of realities characters like that run around in. In our real world, sure...but not in Buffyverse (or the Marvelverse).

Even the Punisher 'probably' isn't a sociopath...unless you take him out of the Marvelverse and put him in our own.

My analysis of 'A Hole in the World' is up -- Masquerade, 22:09:36 02/29/04 Sun

Oscar who? Blue hair is the new red carpet fashion of choice.


[> It's not there....it goes to 'You're Welcome' (top of page) -- Barbalurina, 01:39:02 03/01/04 Mon

Have I missed something? I took it down to the bottom of the page, and the analyses end with "Smile Time."

[> [> Sometimes people have problems with their browser going to a cached copy -- KdS, 01:47:22 03/01/04 Mon

It's there for me. Try deleting anything under atpobtvs from your history file, and then access it.

[> Questions on 'A Hole in the World' -- MissB, 05:47:11 03/01/04 Mon

Thanks for another wonderful analysis. I have a couple of comments/queries that I hope you or someone else could address.

The sarcophagus is impenetrable to lasers and imaging beams.
This is based on the say-so of Knox. In light of the role he played, does anyone believe he actually ran the scans, test, etc.?

Knox: Fred has always been a little distrustful of her mild-mannered lab head
Not distrustful enough. Wasn't it in "Why We Fight" Fred said she had to work late redoing Knox's work because he, "really dropped the ball on this one"?

Was I the only one confused by Fred taking Knox at his word in AHitW?

[> [> Re: Questions on 'A Hole in the World' -- Masq, 11:04:09 03/01/04 Mon

Was I the only one confused by Fred taking Knox at his word in AHitW?

Nope. I think Knox made one of the comments about the sarcophagus' impenetrability, and someone else made another comment about it.

As for Fred defending Knox, she was quite into that earlier in the season. Especially when Wesley made jealous disparaging comments about Knox. But at the same time, Fred wasn't just defending Knox to Wesley, she was continually reassuring herself that Knox was OK. Like part of her always doubted it.

[> [> [> there's a difference... -- anom, 12:51:42 03/01/04 Mon

...btwn. "dropping the ball" & deliberately lying about lab findings. This episode does make me wonder, though, whether whatever Knox dropped the ball on before had anything to do w/the plot to bring Illyria back.

[> [> [> [> Re: there's a difference... -- MissB, 04:55:13 03/02/04 Tue

Point taken anom, there is a difference. But IMO sloppy work on at least one occasion means that subsequent tasks should be closely supervised and/or double-checked.

It's not just Angel having a rough time of it in the corporate world - Fred wasn't doing too well managing her staff and department either.

[> Thanks -- DickBD, 12:37:56 03/02/04 Tue

I must confess that I was disappointed in this episode. Perhaps I expected too much, knowing that Joss was doing the whole enchilada this time and after the really great "Smile Time" last week. Your analysis has helped me see more quality story than I perceived at first glance (and didn't re-view it, since I was mildly unhappy with it).

[> [> Re: Thanks -- Masq, 13:51:44 03/02/04 Tue

I always like episodes better after I do my analysis. I think there are a few exceptions where I liked it less, but once you find hidden depths in what struck you as total lame shallowness, your opinion goes up.

Of course, my analyses wouldn't be half of what they are without some great posters finding those depths for me!

Current board | March 2004