January 2002 posts

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Spike's Soul -- Maddy, 02:31:03 01/12/02 Sat

Has anyone ever considered why the scoobies haven't tried to restore Spike's soul? They obviously had the ability, is it that they thought the chip was enough?

[> Re: Spike's Soul -- pagangodess, 04:36:11 01/12/02 Sat

They probably could, but Spike never asked for it, so it wouldn't be ethical.

Besides, Spike with soul restored = tormented Spike.
If hey did that, Spike would have to go away and brood for a good fifty years. And I like Spike where he is.


[> [> Not ethical? That's pretty funny. -- Erik, 21:03:08 01/14/02 Mon

[> Re: Spike's Soul -- change, 04:39:27 01/12/02 Sat

I don't think they can. Willow needed an orb of Thessela to perform the curse on Angel. I think the orb was destroyed or used up by the curse, and they don't have another one.

Besides, it would be bad for the show if they restored Spike's soul. As he is now, he is ambigious: Is he an evil creature being controlled by the chip, or has he been reformed? What happens when the chip fails? Give him a soul and you take that away from the character.

[> Re: Spike's Soul -- Gwyn, 05:24:56 01/12/02 Sat

Spike despised Angel..he wouldn't want to be a vampire with a soul. He wouldn't ask the Scoobies to do him any favours he didn't absoulutely have to, he'd choke first. And they would not be motivated to offer to do it. Willow is staying away from magic, Xandar can't stand him even now, Buffy wants to stay away from him,and Tara is not around much. Dawn likes him as he is. Spike is the kind of guy that likes to do stuff "his way". He doesn't want their help to find his pathway to wherever he hopes to end up. The only thing that might make him ask is if he thought it would guarantee him Buffy's love.

[> [> But you might expect it to come up. -- Darby, 08:23:26 01/12/02 Sat

I mostly agree with Gwyn, but several of the points made are in a state of flux on the show, so you would expect at some point the subject would be brought up and discussed. It would be a non-actiony kind of subject, but I'd certainly be interested in hearing the characters discuss it.

I agree that it would be unethical without Spike's consent, and Spike's attitude toward William would keep him from agreeing, but that might lead him to wondering how much the chip brings an older, more experienced and confident William to the surface, and how much difference a human soul makes. I think we've been shown that William's personality subjugates more of the vampire demon within than is the norm.

[> [> [> Re: Where would they get it? -- LeeAnn, 09:34:42 01/13/02 Sun

Where is William's soul if it's not in Spike? In heaven? Would they have to pull it out of heaven to put it back into him? If being pulled out of heaven was what made Angel and now Buffy so mopey, would the same thing happen to Spike.

[> [> [> [> That begs the question... -- Darby, 14:15:41 01/13/02 Sun

Where did Angel's come from? And have we been assuming that the soul Angel has is Liam's? What if the spell just picks up a soul from somewhere and inserts it? Would Spike with a human soul, any human soul, be much more "William" than he is now?

Gee, seen that way, it's not all that different from Spike's chip. A bit more sophisticated, a bit less "black and white" in the choices it influences, but still...

At least the spheres are easy to find. Everybody caught the "paperweight" connection between the shopkeeper and Jenny, then later Giles -?

[> [> [> [> [> To answer some of your questions LeeAnn... -- AngelVSAngelus, 01:13:21 01/14/02 Mon

Angel wasn't mopey because he missed the blissful afterlife. In fact, he doesn't remember where he was in death at all. His mopeyness derived from the pangs of a guilty conscience, for all of the things that the soulless Angelus had done to others. Having the memory of terrorizing and murdering countless and caring was an unbearable thing for the Broody One.

The "soul" that exists inside of Spike right now is not a human soul, the human soul of William, but a demon "soul", the ethereal, infectious essence of demon that animates a human corpse and makes vampires what they are.

[> It's a curse, not a gift -- Stranger, 09:22:54 01/12/02 Sat

Why would they want to do it ?

The gypsies did it to Angel as a vengeance. You can't forget that it's a curse, a real painful curse. A vampire with a soul is something like an abomination, something neither fully vampire, neither fully human.

It took a century for Angel to assume all this guilt and starts acting toward redemption, and it's not that easy...

They tried to give Angel back his soul because they knew him before like that. They were aiming at reaching back the first state in which he was when they met him.

Plus, I doubt they *can* do it. I think Willow was able to do it in Becoming because of an intervention from the PTB

[> [> Re: It's a curse, not a gift -- zargon, 17:00:55 01/13/02 Sun

Stranger says "Plus, I doubt they *can* do it. I think Willow was able to do it in Becoming because of an intervention from the PTB."

I agree. I think that Angel was given his soul back, both by the gypsies and by Willow because TPTB wanted it to happen. Remember in "I Will Remember You", the oracles explain that Angel is a warrior for good. To me, this means, TPTB specifically selected him. Since he is a vampire, in order for him to be on the side of good and not the side of evil, TPTB would have needed to restore his soul. So his becoming a vampire, meeting the gypsies and getting his soul restored, and becoming a warrior for good was all pre-ordained. This idea is further emphasized in "To Shanshu in LA": the prophecy speaks of "the vampire with a soul", NOT "a vampire with a soul". Wesley: "Ah, the vampire with a soul, once he fulfills his destiny, will Shanshu. Become human. - It's his reward."

[> [> Re: It's a curse, not a gift -- witchCat, 19:24:43 01/13/02 Sun

I think Willow now wields enough power to be able to restore a vampire's soul without intervention, likely even to be able to create a new curse that does not include the 'moment of perfect happiness' clause saddled on Angel, if so inclined. But it would probably be devastating to Spike if he were cursed with his human soul and forced to consider his murderous past, as he does not appear to have been inclined to be a killer as a human. And it mess with AtS prophecies; though we all know you have to be careful interpreting those.

re.god music- quite shallow -- zooey, 05:39:43 01/12/02 Sat

I haven't posted for a while, due to the sudden piling up of work and me developing a sense of responsibility towards it... I have been watching buffy obsessively again and again along with my new appointed soundtrack to season 6, PJ Harvey's stories from the sea stories from the city. I reccommend this highly, its all started to merge in my mind. listen to it, makes you think of buffy! skip track 1 though.

[> Re: Bring Back The Bronze -- Rachel, 06:23:41 01/12/02 Sat

Liking PJ Harvey... I miss the live bands at The Bronze from the high school years. The first gig from "Dingoes Ate My Babies" was on FX a couple nights ago. And "Cibo Mondo" (not sure if that's right) before that. The kids had good taste in music.

[> [> They certainly did. And I think it's Cibo Matto. -- Dichotomy, 12:51:47
01/12/02 Sat

[> [> Cibo Matto Rules! -- AngelVSAngelus, 01:06:59 01/14/02 Mon

Just thought I'd throw that in there. Check out some stuff from one of their members in collaboration with Dan the Automator Maknamura and David Auburn (lead of Blur) under the guise of an animated band, Gorillaz.

When are the new episodes going to start airing? -- pagangodess, 05:48:31 01/12/02 Sat

I realize that 'Gone' was just a short escape from rerun hell. When are we going to see some new eps.?


[> January 29th. -- Rufus, 05:51:31 01/12/02 Sat

The Mirror and the Vampire -- Nevermore, 06:12:45 01/12/02 Sat

What are people's thoughts on this myth? Does anyone know how old it is - and have theories on why a vamp should have no reflection. And as a result of vamps being unable to look at themselves - there must be a barber of the undead somewhere very well off financially! -Maybe its recognition of the self - or a complex self hatred equals no self recognition or something neural going on somewhere - erm yes. maybe i should stick to humor...

[> Re: The Mirror and the Vampire -- change, 06:58:04 01/12/02 Sat

Mirrors used to be made with silver, and silver was thought to be a magical metal. Besides not casting a vampire's reflection, silver would burn them if they touched it, silver bullets would kill werewolves, and, in "A New Man", we find out that a silver knife can kill a Fyarl demon.

Of course mirrors are not made with silver anymore, so vampires should cast reflections in modern mirrors....

[> [> Re: The Mirror and the Vampire -- Brian, 07:10:08 01/12/02 Sat

I seem to recall that it was Bram Stoker in Dracula who created that myth about no reflection.

[> Speaking of Vampire myths... -- Sophie, 08:01:37 01/12/02 Sat

If you recall, Dracula (and other vampires?) could not drink wine. I always took this to mean, no alcohol for vampires at all. But Spike has been drinking scotch or whatever for many episodes now without any noticeable ill effect.

Maybe our resident vampire experts can explain this. Thanks.

[> [> Re: Speaking of Vampire myths... -- vampire hunter D, 12:44:15 01/12/02 Sat

In most vampire literature, a vampire cannot eat or drink anything but blood. Even drinking another fluid, like wine, will make the vampire violently ill. So, by that standard, Spike should not be able to drink bourbon or beer, and definitely not be eating wings or onion blossoms.

[> [> Re: Speaking of Vampire myths... -- Rattletrap, 14:18:01 01/12/02 Sat

"If you recall, Dracula (and other vampires?) could not drink wine. I always took this to mean, no alcohol for vampires at all. But Spike has been drinking scotch or whatever for many episodes now without any noticeable ill effect."

I suspect the problem is less with alcohol than with wine specifically. In Christian theology, wine is traditionally associated with the blood of Christ and is an integral part of the eucharist/communion ceremony. Both classic vampire novels (e.g. Stoker) and the Eastern European revenant legends on which they are based make pretty heavy use of religious themes, and it would not be surprising if even non-sanctified wine is a bit too holy for vampires. After all, for a demonic creature of the night, drinking the blood of Christ could hardly have positive results.

hope this helps,


[> [> [> Re: Speaking of Vampire myths... -- Sophie, 17:07:20 01/12/02 Sat

You could turn that around - the Catholics believe that the wine, after adding holy water and being blessed, becomes the blood of Christ - not just a representation. Thus the Catholic church picked up a pagan tradition. The Catholics also eat the flesh, blessed communion bread, of Christ's body. Sound like vampires to me.
Ooh, I hear the bible-thumpers coming - better go run and hide -

[> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of Vampire myths... -- Rattletrap, 20:24:49 01/12/02 Sat

"You could turn that around - the Catholics believe that the wine, after adding holy water and being blessed, becomes the blood of Christ - not just a representation. Thus the Catholic church picked up a pagan tradition. The Catholics also eat the flesh, blessed communion bread, of Christ's body. Sound like vampires to me"

In a sense, this was the point I was trying to make. In the revenant legends in Eastern Europe, vampires' consumption of blood (and on occasion flesh) is essentially a mockery of the mass. Their very existence is a sort of death and resurrection without new life which is, in itself, a mockery of Christ's death and resurrection. The similarity to the mass and the eucharist is far from accidental. The Roman church has borrowed many things from paganism over the years, you correctly point out, and even more survive in the syncretic Catholicism of the peasantry--Vampire legends are an example of this.

More interesting, to me, is the fact that these aspects of the story survive more or less intact into the present day, but divorced from their original context.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of Vampire myths... -- Yellowork, 08:32:12 01/13/02 Sun

Dr. Eamonn Hughes (of Queen's University Belfast) contends that Stoker was responsible for the idea that a vampire casts no reflection in a mirror. Seeing Stoker in the wider context of Irish Revival Period Prose, Hughes sees a connection with the 'cracked lookingglass of a servant' offered by Stephen Dedalus in "Ulysses" as a metaphor for Irish art.

The mirror represents nineteenth century classic realism; novels which claim to represent the real world as much as they possibly can, and are therefore willing to expend time and energy on lengthy descriptions in order to "solidify" the world of the text. But a 'cracked' mirror can offer an at best distorted image of the source.

The vampire represents all those things which are part of the real world, and an important part at that, but which are not reflected in realist novels; class, race and gender being some examples. He can kill you, and worse; but rely on Dickens or Jane Austen for your education, and you are never going to know what has hit you when he comes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Reminds me.... -- Rahael, 05:33:18 01/14/02 Mon

of Oscar Wilde's (another Irishman!) aphorism in Dorian Gray that society's dislike of realism was the rage of Caliban on seeing itself in the mirror. Which was no doubt at the back of your mind re your above post.
Personally, I don't think James Joyce gets mentioned enough on this board, lol!

Totally agree that realistic or fantastical, all literature is 'artifice', one neither more real than the other. Buffy teaches me more about emotional risk than most (if not all) contemporary British Literature.

[> Re: The Mirror and the Vampire -- Darby, 08:14:47 01/12/02 Sat

There are a couple of sites on the 'Net that address this-

http://www.vampyres.com/content/iwav/content/vampmirrors.html says that Bram Stoker was the first one to use the idea, but the connection between mirrors and souls is old.

http://users.aol.com/lirielmc/private/miravamp.htm makes a similar point - no soul, no reflection.

http://www.geocities.com/TelevisionCity/Studio/1830/soul.html discusses Buffy, Anne Rice, and Stoker - there's some interesting reading here, but if it held up within the Buffyverse, then Angel would have a reflection. Does anybody here think that Angel was modeled on Lestat? I know there was a reference in that neighborhood in School Hard.

http://www.angelfire.com/biz4/vampyreresearch/faq.html is interesting because it's supposed to be about real vampires (Point 19 addresses mirrors). Not mythologically useful, but one of those things you run across in web searches that makes you go "Hmmmmmm..."

http://www.slipups.com/items/902.html has a discussion generated by a shooting error in Angel where we get to see his reflection. The silver issue comes up, sort of: one response addresses the sliver (sic) "in the vampire" and its interaction with the silvered backing of mirrors. It's interesting how, on a site dedicated to TV slip-ups, almost no one seems very willing to say, "They screwed up! It shouldn't have been there!"

The consensus seems to be the lack of soul is the important aspect. Not on Buffy, but elsewhere.

And my take on the "wine issue" isn't that they can't drink alcohol, but that they prefer their reds a bit darker and thicker...and it set up that great Dracula line with the pregnant pause...

A web search on vampires and alcohol did turn up a site discussing physical ailments that mimic vampirism (such as excessively high UV sensitivity) that also exhibit high sensitivity to alcohol, but mostly I got some very disturbing sites devoted to blood-drinking humans. Those Lie To Me wannabes have some dark parallels out there...

[> [> Thanks for looking up that information for us -- Sophie, 10:55:27 01/12/02 Sat

Cellar Full of Noise (BtVS fiction) -- matching mole, 06:54:01 01/12/02 Sat

Here's the next installment. There's a lot more going on in this one (50% longer) than the others so pointing out anything that seems awkward or confusing would be appreciated

Note that I have not yet seen 'Gone' and have tried to remain relatively unspoiled. I started this series just after the airing of Wrecked and Smashed and will keep it there for the sake of consistency. Any parallels to or deviations from canon as determined by Gone are purely accidental.

Cellar Full of Noise
Shadows at the Bottom of the Sea Part IV

For mid-week the Bronze was doing pretty good business. A dark-clad young woman warbled mournfully on the stage while her band put out a wall of trendy sounding noise. A few patrons were dancing slowly but mostly they sat with their drinks and did their best to look bored while waiting for the main act of the evening.
Buffy, Willow, and Xander made their way through the crowd. Xander's face was grim, Willow's was haggard, and Buffy was sporting a shiner the size of Balthazar. Not a happy group of Scoobies, not at all.
"Where's Spike? Didn't you say that Spike was going to be here?" Xander's voice lacked its usual flippancy.
"That's what he said." Buffy stood on tip toe trying to look through the crowd. "I told him it was important. Matter of great importance. My very words." She glanced at Xander and grimaced. "Sorry. Misplaced flippancy."
Xander frowned. "I've never used the words Spike and reliability in the same sentence. Do we have to sit around here waiting? Let's get out there and find her"
"Give him a few minutes." Buffy grabbed a chair at an empty table. "He's our only lead right now. No one else seems to know who this chick might be. Maybe Spike's run up against her sometime in the last century."
"Think she could be another rogue slayer, Buffy? You know, like Faith."
"I asked Giles about that when I phoned, Will. Just like we thought, no other Slayers. Slayer or no, she's completely round the bend. And not in a normal, bad-home-life, Faith-type insanity. She walked up to me in the street and told me to stop killing demons. Said I was reducing diversity and encouraging contamination or something like that."
"Wow. Very confrontational. And kind of old fashioned. Evil doesn't normally operate in that way any more. More of a sneak around at night, infiltrate your dreams, exploit your weaknesses, alienate your loved ones and break your spirit type approach. That's the new modern evil." Willow sniffled. "What did you say to her?"
"What's your problem? That's what I said to her. Then there was punches and flying through windows and knees to the mid-section."
"Excuse me?" Xander raised a hand. "Abducted fiancée. Unknown danger. No more talk. Time to take action."
"Hello Buffy. Hello Xander." A tall, slender woman walked up to their table, a drink in one hand and a cigarette in the other. "Any luck?"
"No." Xander turned to the newcomer. "We're waiting for a vampire to help us for some reason."
"Well I have some information that might be of use to you." The woman turned to Willow. "I'm Petula by the way. You must be Willow."
"I figured. That you were Petula. Ms. Snod, I mean. Not that I was Willow. Which I am. But I already know that, being me."
"Easy Will." Buffy put a hand on Willow's shoulder. "Don't go all high school on me."
"Yeah, easy Will. Ms. Snod said she had some information. About Anya."
"Exactly. And please don't call me Ms. Snod. As you might well imagine I've never much cared for the family moniker. It sounds dreadful and makes me feel quite ancient. Petula will do just fine. Fortunately, I'm sure your friend is quite unharmed. The woman who absconded with the lovely Anyanka appears to be quite solicitous for demon welfare." Petula sipped at her drink and glanced at Buffy. "In marked contrast to her attitude towards Slayers. And the rest of us. Yes I think that your friend is safer with Ms. Swinton than out on the street."
"But Anya's not a demon anymore. She's all human."
"Indeed? I wonder what Ms. Swinton will make of that."

The magic shop was dark and quiet. Not a surprising condition given the evening hour and the kidnapped proprietor. The key clicked in the latch as it turned, sounding loud and distinct in the silence.
"Shh." Tara put her hand on Dawn's arm as the teen opened the door.
"Who's going to hear us? Mice?" Dawn stepped into the shop and flipped on the light. "There's nobody here, Tara. Which is why we're here. Because they're somewhere else. Having fun."
"They're out looking for Anya. I don't think that's fun. She could be hurt or something."
"It's still better to do something. Better than sitting at home."
"They still could have been here. Looking up spells or demons or something."
"It was a human that took Anya. Not a demon. A girl. About your age I think Buffy said. Not someone that you're going to find in one of these books. And Buffy's trying to keep Willow away from magic right now."
"She is?" Tara smiled for a second. "Why? I mean, I think that's probably not a bad idea but I didn't know that Buffy...."
A crash from the basement interrupted any answer that might have been forthcoming.
"What was that? How should I know?" Both of them spoke at once.
The sound of flapping feet sounded on the steps interspersed with a scittering noise. Howard the ghoul burst into the room in hot pursuit of something small and quick.
"Omigod it is a mouse!" Dawn screamed.
"No it's only the mummy hand." Tara felt her hand being crushed in Dawn's surprisingly strong grip.
Howard came to a sudden halt. "Who's there?"
"You must be H-Howard." Tara pulled her hand free from Dawn's and stepped forward.
"You know Mr. Pale and Puffy? Whoops. No offense. O.K.?" Dawn winced.
"None taken. I am Howard. You must be friends of Miss Summers."
"You mean Buffy, right? I'm Dawn. Buffy's sister."
"That you, little bit?" The voice came from the basement.
"Get me outta here! And watch out for that blasted ghoul."

"Her name is Jane Swinton. Apparently she works for some sort of organization that strives to protect demons rather than kill them. Very forward thinking. Or insane. Depending on the demon."
"And she wants to kill humans? In order to protect the demons?"
"No Xander, I don't think that is necessarily part of her plan. Probably only humans she perceives as being a threat to her charges. Like Buffy."
"Great. All I need is People for the Ethical Treatment of Demons on my case. How did she get to be so strong? She's not god-strong like, in as strong as a hell god, but she's definitely pushing the upper limit of Slayer-strong, as in if she was any stronger I'd be enjoying the company of the Sunnydale Hospital staff right now."
"Yes her powers are rather impressive. And, no, I don't have any ideas about where they came from. My source of information did not divulge that."
Willow lifted her eyes from a lengthy contemplation of her drink. "Where did you dig up this stuff? I couldn't find jack on the net." She glanced nervously at Buffy. "I let my fingers do the walking."
"I came by my information on Ms. Swinton from a most reliable source." Petula finished the last of her drink and took a drag on her cigarette, looking quite pleased with herself. "I had a little chat with the Old One earlier in the evening. Or perhaps, to be strictly accurate, it had a chat with me. Still I was able to hold my own, get it to talk a bit. Like to see Quentin bloody Travers match that. Conversing with the transdimensional. The old girl's still got it."
"The Old One? You mean the big tentacley thing right? Like we were talking about in the shop before the Buffster made her grand entrance."
"A sort of walking aquarium that looks all wrong? I ran into something like that last night."
"Yeah, I figured as much. From what Anya was saying before you made your grand entrance and what Petula, here and your buddy Howard added we kind of got the big picture. This Old One is kind of a big deal. Did it happen to say anything about where this Jane might have Anya stashed, Ms. Sn… Petula?"
"No, but you can ask it yourself."
"You know where it is?" Buffy stood up. "The last time I saw it, it had just eaten someone. I wouldn't want it to get in the habit."
"It's over at the other side of the club." Petula indicated vaguely with the ember of her dying cigarette. "Although it might as well be on the other side of the world for all you could stop it from doing what it wants to do."
"Let's go." Buffy turned to Willow. "Do you feel up to a little legitimate use of magic? I don't think I can fight this thing on my own."
"I'm not sure that's a good idea." Willow looked up at the Slayer. "Do you really think I should?"
"I don't think it will make the slightest difference what either of you do. If I thought you could make it mad I'd try and stop you. Most likely it will find you amusing. Better you find out for yourselves." Petula looked sadly at her empty glass.
"I think lets get moving. Xander, you and Petula stay back and get ready to clear the room if necessary. You're with me Will."
The Old One had a booth. The booth was near the stage, just off to the side of the dance floor. Its head reached the rafters yet the seat held it comfortably. The somber young woman and her band had finished and the main act of the evening was starting into the first number. The guitars were dense and the singer sounded like Kurt Cobain with a cold. Apparently being sick hadn't lightened his mood any.
"Ah, the Slayer!" The Old One waved a particular large crinoid at them. And her youthful companions. And a female Watcher. The evening shows promise."
"Hardly." Petula shuddered slightly. "A watcher." Her nose wrinkled in horror.
Buffy stopped in front the Old One, dwarfed by his bulk. She reached into her bag and pulled out a short, stout axe. "Look buddy, I don't want any trouble. You wouldn't think it to look at me but I've got all the trouble I need right now. So why don't you take your sorcerer-eating ways and head out of town."
"I must confess that in some ways Sunnydale has been a little bit of a disappointment. The locals don't taste nearly as good as that necromancer. I had this fellow with pink hair for lunch. Tasted terrible. My appetite is gone. Completely ruined. And this music? But we can do something about that."
The Old One swiveled an eye towards the stage. The lights went out and the music stopped. There was an explosion and the smell of the sea.
"Oh, I feel really bad all of a sudden." Willow dropped to her knees and was quietly ill on the floor.
The lights came up and a different band was playing music with driving bass line and choppy guitar. Their were wearing plastic clothing and had hats that looked like flowerpots. The keyboardist was singing.
"And he wore a hat, and he had a job, and he brought home the bacon, so that no one knew…"
"O.K. Mr. Old One, you just crossed the line. Messing about with reality in my favourite club. This stops right now and you tell me where that demon lover is hiding Anya."
"You don't like this band? Let's try another." The Old One gestured again. "Something English perhaps, in honour of the lady."
A woman with blonde hair and a ravaged beauty stepped out of the darkness. She started singing, in a voice that oozed a lifetime of smoking and alcohol.
"The morning sun touched lightly on the eyes of Lucy Jordan, in a white suburban bedroom in a white suburban town…"
"I thought I told you to stop." Buffy raised her axe. "Didn't your mommy ever teach you to play nice with the mortals"
"Buffy, I don't this is a good idea."
Buffy was already moving before Willow finished speaking. In one fluid motion she hurled the axe full force at the Old One. It rebounded off the creature and came to earth far across the club amidst cries of distress and astonishment. Buffy leapt at the Old One and grabbed a tentacle.
"So you wish to dance? Then we must change the music again."
Now a racially mixed group of young men in dark suits were bouncing about the stage with frenetic energy.
"Mirror in the bathroom, please talk free, door is locked just you and me. Can I take you to a restaurant that's got glass tables so you can look at yourself while you are eating?"
The Old One whirled Buffy around the Bronze, scattering patrons in their wake. For some reason no one seemed too alarmed.

[> Cellar Full of Noise (2) -- matching mole, 06:57:08 01/12/02 Sat

"Will you please release my ear, Miss? It's quite painful."
"I'm sorry if this huts but I'm not going to let go of your ear until you explain why you've got Spike chained down here in the cellar."
"He was gonna bloody eat me, that's why. Blasted ghouls."
"Is that true? Were you going to eat Spikey? Gross. Twist his ear again, Tara."
"Calm down, everybody. Do you have a key to this lock, Howard?" Tara pulled the ghoul in front of Spike. The vampire had a large shackle around his neck that was attached to the floor. "And where did you get all this stuff?"
"It's mine. And the key's in his pocket."
"Why do you have a big chain like this?" Dawn asked Spike. He winked at her in response, provoking a blush.
"O.K. Give it up." Tara gave the ear a little twist. Howard winced and she winced as well.
"Please don't release him, Miss. I shudder to think what will happen to Miss Summers if this thing is allowed to continue roaming about loose."
"Buffy? But Spike wouldn't hurt her. He loves her." Tara loosened her grip.
"Unless he's been playing a very clever game for a very long time."
"Love? This creature does not have the ability to love."
"Like a ghoul's exactly Mr. Bleedin' Romance."
"But somehow he has bewitched Miss Summers."
What do you mean?" Dawn looked at Spike in confusion.
"You'll keep your trap shut if you know what's good for you."
"I mean that under his bestial influence…"
"Look who's talkin'."
"…Miss Summers has come to feel some sort of attraction to the vampire."
Dawn and Tara burst out laughing.
"Is it really so improbable?" Spike eventually interrupted them in a hurt tone.
"S-Sorry, Spike but I haven't felt quite so good in a month. Look, Howard, we all know that Spike has this thing for Buffy. But she would never feel the same way towards him. Right Dawnie?"
"I am quite certain. The scent was quite distinct."
"Ask him what's he goin' around smellin' the Slayer for. His intentions are no purer than mine. And can we get this chain off me anytime soon?"
"Hey, good question. The first one that is. How come you're so interested in my sister's boyfriends? Or lack thereof. Sounds fishy to me. Doesn't it sound fishy, Tara?"
"Please give up the key, Howard. Then we can all discuss this matter on an equal footing. And I can let go of your ear. I really don't like hurting you."
The ghoul whimpered slightly and pulled out the key. "I beseech you not to release him."
"Beseech away bucko." Tara tossed the key to Dawn who bent down to the manacle around Spike's neck.
"Boy this is a really big chain." Dawn fumbled with the key. "Where do you get things like this, Spike?"
"Find 'em lyin' about. No one else is using 'em." The key turned in the lock and Spike pulled the chain from his neck. "That's more like it. Now what are we going to do with pasty boy here?"

"I really think you should intervene here, Will." Xander pulled his ashen-faced friend to her feet. A large number of tables and chairs had been knocked over but otherwise the club seemed undamaged. The Old One was dancing vigorously with Buffy but patrons still stood around the margins of the dance floor. A new band was onstage featuring a spiky-haired young woman singing about some girl named Christine who was both purple and a turtle.
"You know, I don't feel quite as alarmed about all this as you might think. So I think that I should be worried about that because it means that this Old One dude has put some sort of calming spell on us. Like hypnotizing chickens. And then I…"
"Hypnotizing what?" Willow spoke for the first time since becoming ill.
"Chickens. A domestic bird derived from the Asian Red Jungle Fowl. Is that some sort of American sport?" Petula had somehow obtained another drink, a particularly large one comprised of liquids of several different colors.
"What? No, it's just some sort of stupid expression. Can't you do some sort of spell Willow? Nothing else is going to stop that thing."
"Quite right. Nothing at all." Petula stared at the monster and the Slayer out on the dance floor. It sounded like she was going to say something more. A long minutes silence stretched into another as she looked on with glassy eyes. Eventually Willow spoke.
"I don't know if I should, Xander. I promised Buffy I would quit cold turkey. No more magic."
"Well somebody's got to do something. Big starfish monsters can't be allowed to waltz into clubs and just, you know, waltz around. Changing the band every few minutes. And from the look of these acts I'm sure time travel is involved. The evolution of contemporary music is probably being affected right now. We could wake up tomorrow and the Backstreet Boys might actually be cool."
"I'm not sure I can. That thing out there is really strong. You saw what it did to me. And it wasn't even trying to hurt me. It was just doing something to the stage."
"Look. I don't know how powerful that thing is. I don't know what it can do. I do know that it has our friend out there." Xander turned to survey the dance floor again. "And it is making her do some really bizarre dance moves. But most importantly it is the only source of information about the location of the woman I love, who at this moment lies in god knows what mortal danger. Whew. I think I may have finally worked myself up enough to get over the hypnotized chicken thing so you are going to do some magic on that beastie right now!"
"And if I don't." Willow pouted but her heart didn't seem in it.
"Just do it Will."
"O.K." Willow wiped her brow and raised her hands slightly. "Strongylocentrotus Synpleisomorphy." A shimmer shot through the air. It made Xander's stomach hurt. Then the shimmer hit Buffy and the Old One and the whole world wrenched itself inside out and back again.
"Wow." Xander gazed around him in amazement. "Holy 'I'm very impressed' Batgirl."
The Bronze was transformed, decorated in bright colors and bizarrely shaped furniture. The smell of incense wafted through the air. A tall, incredibly thin man in dark sunglasses was on the stage which was somehow now wider than the room. He was reciting poetry.
"The cheap seats where murder breeds, somebody is out of breath. Sleep is a luxury they don't need, a sneak preview of death. Belladonna is your flower, manslaughter your meat. Spend a year in a couple of hours, on the edge of Beasley Street."
"Boring!" The Old One and Buffy stopped in mid-gyration, the Slayer dangling and flailing helplessly from a tentacle. "Who changed the band? No one can dance to this." It tossed Buffy into the air and the universe underwent another gut-wrenching flip flop.
"Heard the neighbor slam his car door! Don't he realize, this is respectable street?" A new band was on stage again blasting out energetic pop. Willow was being sick again.
"I haven't had a Zombie as good as this since the sixties." Petula had a third and even larger drink in her hand.

"Ow." Spike put his hand to his nose. "That bleedin' hurt."
"Tara." Dawn put her hand hand on Spike's shoulder. "You hit Spike."
"Damn straight, I did." A momentary flash of pain crossed her face. "He was going to hurt Howard."
"Howard was going to eat him!"
"We don't know that. And I don't care who was going to do what to who. Or whom, as the case may be. Buffy left me in charge of you. I'm going to extrapolate that to include the magic shop and Howard. And Spike. No one's going to get hurt." Tara slapped the length of pipe she was carrying onto her palm for emphasis.
"Great. Now the Slayer's given me a sitter." Spike stood up, careful to stay well away from both Tara and Howard. "Well you can just screw that. I'm out of here."
"H-hold it right there." Tara stepped in front of the stairs. "I know I'm quiet and shy and mostly nobody paid attention to me. Pays attention to me. 'Specially now that I'm not a Scooby any more." She paused for a second and rapped the pipe firmly against the wooden steps. "Well I'm getting kind of sick of it. If I'm going to burn my bridges I might as well go all the way. It sounds like some weird stuff is going on with Buffy. Stuff that might involve W-willow. So I want to know about it. I probably shouldn't. I-it's probably not good for me. But I want to know. And you're going to tell me. O.K.?"

Willow muttered something under breath. A bolt of pure blackness shot from her eyes and slammed into the Old One. She collapsed in a heap. A sound like electronics screaming filled the air.
"Hey. No fair changing the band again!"
"If you're not careful you may actually make him angry." Petula sat down rather suddenly beside Xander who was leaning over the unconscious Willow.
The sound was coming from an electric violin. It was in the hands of a man dressed in a white coat and tails whose head was wreathed in bandages. He was singing 'Dead Man's Curve.'
"At last," slurred Petula, "a song I recognize."
The Old One dropped Buffy to the floor. "I'm getting a little tired of this." It waved a tentacle vaguely in the direction of Willow and the others.
"You're tired of this?" Buffy picked up a table and slammed in down on the side of the Old One. To everyone's surprise it actually seemed to notice the blow.
"That's it!" The Old One made a motion that could have been described as stamping its foot if it had actually had a foot to stamp. The flip flops the universe had made on several previous occasions seemed like mere ripples compared to the tidal wave that followed. Everything moved very suddenly in a direction that hadn't been there a second earlier and then jumped back to the place it had been before. Or, more accurately, to almost the place it had been before but not quite.
Xander picked himself up off the floor. "Did you ever think you'd seen it all?" It was not immediately apparent who he was talking to. "In Sunnydale that's a very foolish thought to have."
A man in an outsize suit was onstage. Half singing, half speaking he proclaimed. "Have you ever asked yourself 'How did I get here?' Have you ever said to yourself 'This is not my beautiful house. This is not my beautiful wife.'"
The stage was almost the only part of the Bronze remaining.

[> [> Cellar Full of Noise (3) -- matching mole, 07:00:46 01/12/02 Sat

"Ow! You're hurting my ears," said Dawn.
"Bloody hell! That smarts," said Spike who was holding his hands tightly over Dawn's ears. His eyes were closed and his brow wrinkled in pain.
"I think you're applying a little too much pressure. Beside I think I got the picture. And it's not a pretty one. You and Buffy. In an abandoned house. At the Bronze, etc., etc. Making out and punching each other and having sex. And straight people think we're sick? You can uncover her ears."
"This is appalling." Howard looked as shocked as someone whose face resembles a caricature made of marshmallow can look.
"Yeah well you eat dead people. After all the blood's been drained out them."
"Boys, let's not get into this again. Spike weren't you supposed to go and meet Buffy?"
"Yeah, at the Bronze. This little adventure put it right out of my head."
"I will not allow this creature to further sully Miss Summers."
"K-kind of an old fashioned creature of the night aren't you? Fine let's all go to the Bronze. That's the only way I can keep you guys out of trouble. And it seems like a safe enough place to take Dawn."
"We're going to the Bronze? Cool. I can tell my friends tomorrow about the bands."

The air was thick and moist. But instead of the smell of cigarette smoke it was redolent with the odor of decaying vegetation and the sea. The dance floor was covered in sand and a thick forest of gigantic ferns and horsetails cut the bar off from view. The far side of the club was gone, replaced by a beach of ivory sand that extended off to an unnaturally green sea in the distance. A few tables and chairs were scattered across the landscape. Even fewer of them still had patrons in them.
On stage a dark-haired, intense looking man was singing. "There are always hidden silences. Waiting behind the chair. They come out when the coast is clear."
"You're on my turf now Slayer." The Old One had all five eyes trained on Buffy as she got to her feet. "No more magical/musical interference from your friends. The stage is set to change bands with no outside influence. We can dance the night away."
"That's supposed to impress me." Buffy slammed a fist into the side of the Old One with the predictable result that nothing happened except that she fell flat on her back.
"So you still want to fight. I've never actually fought anyone before. Could be interesting. Just a minute." A couple of tentacles were wriggled and the universe gave a tiny hiccup. The Old One looked vaguely smaller and a lot less like an Escher drawing. "I've transferred over ninety nine percent of my essence to other dimensions. Should be a reasonably fair contest."
Buffy sighed. "You know I don't really want to fight you. Actually I'm lying because I really want to kick your butt for all that dancing crap. But what I want more than that is to get back to Sunnydale and find Anya. So can we just shake hands, er, appendages?"
"Is the Slayer a coward?" The Old One waved several crinoids in what had to be interpreted as an insulting gesture. "No trip home unless you fight."
"If that's the way it's gotta be." Buffy dove at the Old One and knocked him over.
The singer had been joined by a young woman with a very high voice. They were intoning 'No self control' over and over again.
"I think this is the Paleozoic." Xander jumped. Willow's voice came from directly behind him.
"What's that dear?" Petula was leaning against the trunk of a giant horsetail. Willow was standing up but just barely.
"The Paleozoic. That's were we are. The Carboniferous era to be more precise. I think."
Buffy was straddling the Old One and repeatedly pummeling him. The man on stage was singing alone again. "You know I hate to hurt you, I hate to see your pain. But I don't know how to stop, no I don't know how to stop."
"Where am I going to get another drink?" Petula kicked at the her spilled Zombie, the liquid rapidly vanishing into the sand.

The four of them moved quickly through the streets of Sunnydale. Howard was loping ahead. Several vampires had spotted them and faded back into the darkness once they got a good look at the ghoul.
"How did he get you chained up Spikey? He didn't seem very tough."
"Ghouls are nasty customers, little bit. You don't want to underestimate 'em."
"But Tara was able to pull him around by the ear."
"That's cause she's still alive. And a girl. That ghoul's got a soft spot for the ladies. He could chew through the wall of my crypt but he'd never harm a hair on the head of the fair sex."
"I think that's kind of sweet." Dawn winked at Tara.
"What happened to all that women's lib stuff? Equal violence all 'round?"
"Would you hit me if you could, Spike?" Tara spoke softly so that Dawn, who was a step ahead, wouldn't hear.
"I did once, didn't I?"
"No I mean for real, to hurt me. Seriously."
"What do you think?" Spike looked at her for a minute. "And, don't think that I'm not grateful but what were you guys doing in the magic shop at this hour?"
"Well Dawn wanted to do a little research. For a school project. And I had a few things that I left there. And I didn't want to run into…"
"Into Anya. Don't blame you. Ever since that girl went all capitalist she's been intolerable. Always wanting me to pay for things."
"No. I meant, I was going to say W-willow."
"Oh, you and her on the outs? Nobody ever tells me bleeding anything. Was it the magic?"
Tara nodded mutely.

The tables had turned. The Old One had several tentacles wrapped around the Slayer's limbs and she was rapidly becoming immobilized.
"I think we'd better help her."
"Xander I don't think I have another spell left in me."
"We could throw rocks." Petula picked up a likely candidate missile. "Or, if you youngsters hadn't been so eager to do combat with a transdimensional being of almost limitless power we could be back at that delightful nightclub sipping daiquiris."
"Well then I guess it's hero time. Otherwise I'll never get Anya back. And then I'll never have to worry about the wedding. Still I want to get Anya back. Even though that means there will be a wedding." As if to stop talking Xander ran forward and slammed into the Old One.
And was almost leisurely batted away for his trouble. He landed face first in the sand.
"I think I'm getting the hang of this combat thing. Don't you Slayer? I can really see why you enjoy it. Victory is so much more satisfying when you have to work for it. And you have the time to really savour your enemy's defeat. I never even noticed my enemies before. I wonder if I had any." Xander's abortive assault had allowed Buffy to get one leg free which she was using to kick one of the starfish arms. The Old One twisted it out of her reach. It pulled her over towards a tidepool, high on the beach and plunged her head into the water.
A new band was starting up, playing very loud and very fast. The singer had rotten teeth. "I wanna be…anarchy."
"Yes." The Old One's high voice almost crackled. "This is very satisfactory."
Then it was knocked over, for only the second time in its eons of existence.
"Hey nobody told me it was going to be oldies night. I'd 'uv showed up sooner." Spike delivered several savage kicks to the side of the Old One. Buffy climbed to her feet.
"Spike how the hell did you get to the Paleozoic?" Xander lifted himself up from where he was lying only a few feet away.
"Just walked through the bleedin' door you moron." A stray tentacle knocked the blonde vampire off his feet. Buffy dove on top of the Old One once again.
The Carboniferous landscape was fading away and the familiar accoutrements of the Bronze were returning. Yet another band was on stage, fronted by a rather large woman. She was singing "I might like you better, if we slept together" over and over.
"Hey pet they're playin' our song." Spike brought a table down on the Old One's head.
"Shut up." Buffy punched Spike in the stomach.
"A random shift in allegiance. How confusingly delightful." The Old One plucked the largest table fragment from amongst his arms and threw it at Spike.
"Don't hurt him." Buffy kicked the Old One as high and hard as she ever kicked anything. The behemoth briefly left the ground before crashing to the floor.
"You're the only one who gets to do that then love?"
"Hurt me."
Buffy turned towards the vampire, fists clenched.
"Watch out for the Old One," Willow cried out. It was upright again and looking twice as big as before. Buffy shifted her gaze from Spike to the creature
The large woman on stage had been replaced by a woman with long braids and a strange voice which sang, "I never used to mind that I was all alone. Me myself and I is all I've ever known. That's where I'm coming from. My lucky number's one."
Quick as a whip a tentacle grasped the Slayer around the waist and lifted her over the starfish head. The great maw opened.
And the Old One toppled for the third time, courtesy of a torrent of bowling balls conjured up by Willow who was holding herself up on a railing. Spike yanked Buffy loose from the Old One's grasp as it hit the ground.
"The rearrangement suits, I must confess. Number one was dull and number two is best. I want to stay with you. My lucky number's two." Buffy pulled her arm free from Spike's grasp and glared at him as the song continued.
"I'm glad I didn't eat her. I think the whole sex and violence thing is starting up again. I just can't get enough of it." The Old One upright and in full transdimensional form again.
"You hear that, pet. We're entertainment."
"I'm not anything with you. Except disgusted."
A wild-eyed woman appeared on stage.
"I really hope this is the final number of the night," Xander said as he made his way back over to Willow and Petula. There's only so much retro I can take."
The woman sang "Frederick, name of care. Fast asleep in a room somewhere. Guardian angels up above, shed your light on the one I love."
Buffy said, "Who's Frederick?"
Spike kissed her, she kissed back and Xander was violently ill on Petula's shoes.
"This is no good at all. It feels all warm and tingly. Makes my tentacles itch." The Old One started scratching itself. "Well it's off to bed for me. And I think you'll find that ghoul should be able to sniff out your missing ex-vengeance demon quite easily." It headed for the door, stopping to add, "Do try to do something a little more interesting than this tomorrow."
"The ghoul, of course." Petula looked at the mess on her shoes with distaste. "Why didn't I think of that? Must be off my game."
Buffy and Spike only had eyes for each other. Xander was trying to look only at the floor. Willow was looking at Tara who appeared from the confused crowd at the other side of the bar. Dawn was staring at a cute boy near the door and had missed the whole thing. Tara was alternating looking at Willow, at Spike and Buffy, and at Howard who was sobbing beside her.
Despite Xander's stated desire to the contrary it appeared that another band was taking the stage. With synthesizers softly sequencing in the background a young man sang, "We're afraid to call it love, let's call it swimming."

[> [> [> The CFON Music Challenge -- matching mole, 07:12:19 01/12/02 Sat

As you probably noticed if you got through to the end I indulged myself by allowing the Old One to stage a mini-Woodstock of acts from the punk/new wave era (already demonstrated to be a favourite of it in previous installments). A total of 14 acts appear in the story (not counting the first two - the ones that were supposed to be there - which I just made up). How many of them can you identify based on the lyrics and my descriptions? I'm afraid that those of you in ranging in age from your mid-thirties to early forties will have a bit of an advantage over the rest.

Post your guesses, email them to me, or just keep them to yourself. I'll post the answers sometime on Monday.

[> [> [> [> Re: The CFON Music Challenge -- LadyStarlight, 08:54:45 01/12/02 Sat

The "I wanna be...anarchy" has to be Sid Vicious and the Sex Pistols. Right? Right? Do I get a gold star for the first guess?

[> [> [> [> Re: The CFON Music Challenge -- Dichotomy, 12:49:16 01/12/02 Sat

I think I know some of them, and they are (not in order of appearance):

Marianne Faithful (not sure but basing guess on physical and voice description)
The English Beat Talking Heads Alanis Morrisette (don't know a lot of her stuff, but guessing based on braids and weird voice)
Romeo Void (or some name like that)
The Sex Pistols

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The CFON Music Challenge -- squireboy, 20:04:13 01/12/02 Sat

I can only get a few, but here are the ones I have:

Devo, Marianne Faithful, the English Beat, -- , XTC, Nash the Slash, Talking Heads, -- (aargh I know this one), --, -- (aargh I know this one too), Sex Pistols, after that I'm stuck :)


[> [> [> [> [> [> The Answers -- matching mole, 06:24:03 01/14/02 Mon

This was a tough and idiosyncratic list.

Devo - 'Mongoloid' - an early song, much more guitar-oriented than later material

Marianne Faithful - 'The Ballad of Lucy Jordan' - later formed part of the soundtrack for 'Thelma and Louise'

English Beat - 'Mirror in the Bathroom' - probably the dancingest song ever in my opinion.

Siouxsie and the Banshees - 'Christine'

John Cooper Clarke - 'Beasley Street' - One of the most obscure choices. The 'Bob Dylan of punk' who usually performed with no backing band. This song is an amazing description of urban decay - five minutes of continuous, non- repeating lyrics.

XTC - 'Respectable Street'

Nash the Slash - 'Dead Man's Curve' - Toronto-based multi-instrumentalist. A gift to squireboy.

Talking Heads - 'Once in a Lifetime' - the least obscure song

Peter Gabriel - 'No Self Control' - from his third and greatest album. Kate Bush does backing vocals.

Sex Pistols - 'Anarchy in the UK'

Romeo Void - 'Never Say Never'

Lene Lovich - 'Lucky Number'

Patti Smith Group - 'Frederick' For my money one of the most beautiful love songs ever.

Martha and the Muffins - 'Swimming' Another Toronto based band. Probably the most obscure song.

[> [> [> Re: Cellar Full of Noise (3) -- LadyStarlight, 08:53:05 01/12/02 Sat

My goodness. Music, a distressed ghoul and a dash of romance. What more could you ask for? Can't wait for the next installment.

[> [> [> Did I miss any installments? -- Isabel, 13:32:27 01/13/02 Sun

When did Anya get kidnapped by Jane Swinton? I thought we first saw her in "11 short stories about Sunnydale," which ended with the little interview with Spike. Didn't "Rock and Roll High School" end with Anya talking to Petula Snod, Xander and Howard in the Magic Box?

(Can you tell I like these stories?) ;)

[> [> [> [> Re: Did I miss any installments? -- matching mole, 06:06:02 01/14/02 Mon

No you haven't (necessarily). There have been 4 - The one in the cemetary, the one told by Xander you described above (in which Buffy and Jane Swinton (not yet named) crash into the shop at the end, the eleven short stories about Sunnydale, and the current one. The kidnapping of Anya happens 'off screen' right after the end of the installment you described.


[> [> [> [> [> Thanks. I am relieved. :) -- Isabel, 13:35:25 01/14/02 Mon

[> Re: Well done, mole! ;o) -- WW, 17:41:37 01/12/02 Sat

ATS s3 episode6 "Billy", my theory. -- abt, 08:13:14 01/12/02 Sat

Hello! I'm in the UK, but I've seen a few episodes ahead, up to 'All the Way', and 'Billy'. Please don't spoil me.

This post is about 'Angel' s3 ep6 'Billy', and what I think is going on.

I don't buy Angel's theory that he doesn't have the rage inside him anymore, and that's why he's immune. I think he's deluding himself.

I have another theory. This rage is stated to be specifically men's rage against women. Therefore I think this is about reproduction.

Wesley actually says to Fred "You think you can do anything you please because you're connected to life, because you bleed, is that it?"

Angel the vampire does not require a woman in order to reproduce, hence no rage. (I wonder what would have happened if he'd known about Darla at this stage? No, don't tell me!)

The previous ep was about Fred's parents, the insect demon parents, and how everyone thought of parents in general. This ep was IMO at least partly about men/women, reproduction and control. The next ep I am going to see is called Offspring, so I'm guessing there's a theme here. Billy feels like part of the same theme as Darla's pregnancy.

That's just my theory, and it might be totally wrong, but I still think it's a good theory. What do you think? No spoilers please.

[> Re: ATS s3 episode6 "Billy", my theory. -- Serena, 16:56:01 01/12/02 Sat

That's interesting. I hadn't thought of this season of Angel being all about family relationships but now that you say it makes a lot of sense. In a way Season Two was all about Angel getting to the point where he could commit to his "Angel Investigations" family and now this season is looking at what family means.

soulless vampire, redemption, technical question -- abt, 08:30:50 01/12/02 Sat

When a human becomes a vampire, the soul goes somewhere else. I'm going to call it limbo for convenience.This theory is full of assumptions, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Assumption 1: The decision of the ensouled human to become a vampire and therefore unleash a demon on the world is a sinful decision. Therefore when the soul leaves for limbo, it goes off with that blot on its record.

Assumption 2: Unless the soul gets redeemed, it stays blotted. Angel isn't just atoning for what Angelus did without a soul, he's atoning for ensouled Liam's decision to unleash that monster Angelus in the first place. That's the mark on his soul. Angel is now in possession of his soul, and that gives him the opportunity to redeem it.

Assumption 3: A vampire is a demon. Assuming there's nothing there that can be redeemed (big assumption, I know!), is it possible that if a vampire for whatever reasons did good things, it would be able to redeem its soul without actually being in possession of it at the time?i.e when dusted, the vampire would be gone. But the soul in limbo could be redeemed. Possible? No spoilers past 'All the Way' please.

[> Re: soulless vampire, redemption, technical question -- Darby, 09:02:53 01/12/02 Sat

The big problem here is the starting assumption. Is there a blot on the Sep 11 rescue crews for deciding to go into the building? It was, in retrospect, suicide. Or the other victims for going to work that morning, a better analogy for your proposal?

Becoming a vampire, with rare exceptions, is not a choice, it is something that is done to a victim. To impose responsibility on the victim and consign them to Limbo would not set up a Jossverse - his basic attitude seems to be about "paying for sins," in general terms at least, but the sins have to be actively chosen.

And, I think we're being shown that a demon can be redeemed, at least from a human perspective. As someone recently posted, from a vampire perspective, Spike is a psychopath, turning completely away from the normal urges of his kind - that's how Angel is regarded as well. But, typical of the Jossverse, redemption never ends unless you stop striving - it's always going to be a matter of "what have you done lately?"

[> [> Re: soulless vampire, redemption, technical question -- abt, 09:25:42 01/12/02 Sat

Darby wrote:-
"The big problem here is the starting assumption. Is there a blot on the Sep 11 rescue crews for deciding to go into the building? It was, in retrospect, suicide. Or the other victims for going to work that morning, a better analogy for your proposal?"

How could there be a blot on anyone's soul for attempting to save a life, or for going to work in an everyday office?

I'm talking about the choice to become a vampire, to choose to become a soulless killing machine.

Darby also said:-
"Becoming a vampire, with rare exceptions, is not a choice, it is something that is done to a victim."

No, being killed by a vamp is done to a victim. Choosing to drink from the vamp and be turned is a choice, although you may be a victim first eg Drusilla was stalked by Angel, but she had to drink from him to become a vamp. He had to drive her insane before she would consent.

[> [> [> I still don't agree... -- Darby, 10:35:08 01/12/02 Sat

The 2nd part of "turning" still, for the most part, wouldn't be a choice because the victim is dying and not much for making choices (see William's taking), and, seen in the same scene, there's no reason why they would even know why they were doing it. I might think in those circumstances that it was a way to keep from dying (an antidote), which it sort of is. The vamp isn't asking the vic to consent to demon invasion, are they?

"Here, read and sign this contract and initial here that you've been told all of this information..."

[> [> [> [> try this... -- abt, 11:06:19 01/12/02 Sat

Let's take a vampire, that has killed a bunch of humans.

If that vampire stopped killing, and then went around doing good things, could they redeem their soul, even though they aren't actually in possession of said soul?

[> [> [> [> [> See, that's the point... -- Darby, 11:50:48 01/12/02 Sat

...there's nothing to redeem. The soul is lost - it isn't in a holding pattern waiting to come back. And there's nothing about becoming a vampire that requires specific redemption. Angel's soul didn't come back due to redemption.

And remember, the vampire has a soul, a demon soul - anything redemptive to the lost human soul has the opposite effect on the demon soul. The point I was trying to make is that redemption is in the eye of the beholder - I think you're making this an issue of absolutes, which don't exist in the Jossverse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: See, that's the point... -- Rufus, 14:52:14 01/12/02 Sat

Giles: The books tell the last demon to leave this reality fed off a human, mixed their blood. He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul. He bit another, and another, and so they walk the Earth, feeding... Killing some, mixing their blood with others to make more of their kind. Waiting for the animals to die out, and the old ones to return.

"He was a human form possessed, infected by the demon's soul." In the the Buffyverse the vampire is a result of a possession, and infection. The personality and memories are still there...what is the mind is still what the person once was....still is, only with the supplement of the demon infection keeping them "alive". Everything the vampire does is based upon the person's mind, directed by a new desire and preference for evil. What always gets me is the vampires range of behavior, based upon the human that is part of the demon. You have a hybrid with the potentialities of both demon and human. That leads me to believe that even thought the demon is predisposed to evil, under the right circumstances or conditions what could happen. We get to see that with Angel, with the return of his soul, he eventually stopped killing people. He still wasn't the nicest guys, but after many years he finally started on the road to redemption, only with a detour here and there. Then we have the situation with Spike. The old nature or nurture bit is being tested. Being stopped from what he normally does, he is starting to change. Giles thought that he could serve a higher purpose, hopefull thinking from a Watcher.Redemption.....I don't think that it's something based upon the state of your soul as much as a conscious choice paired with action. I believe that the coversion of the Prio Motu demon in ATS makes me pause enough to at least wonder if any other demon is capable of such change to their nature.

The Wedding (Spoilers & Speculation) -- Darby, 08:51:24 01/12/02 Sat

From some spoilers, we know that the Anya & Xander wedding is coming up. From Gone, we know that Anya's old demon boss D'Hoffryn might be coming. We know that Anyanka was good at her job (and as of Dopplegangland, hadn't been replaced), and we know from her troll-ex that Anya the human was a vindictive scorned woman in extremis.

I think we've been shown that, beyond normal apprehensions, Xander really loves Anya and wants to get married, but we also know that on Buffy, nothing ever goes smoothly.

I'm expecting the wedding ep to be an old-fashioned slamming-door bedroom comedy, with D'Hoffryn manipulating events to indicate Xander backing out and to piss Anya off, so that he can offer her vengeance and her old job back. It would be a new genre for the writers to deal with, and does anyone doubt their ability to handle it?

Anybody else with some guesses as to how this could play out? Who could show up to make Anya (established so far as not easily threatened) jealous? How could the Scoobies be twisted to help? Even if I'm way off, maybe as a group we can come up with an interesting alternative ep.

[> Re: The Wedding (SPOILERS!) -- Apophis, 09:08:05 01/12/02 Sat

According to aintitcool.com, Xander's oft mentioned family will be in attendance. It also says that the various demons (also in attendance) will come to fear his father.

Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered -- vampire hunter D, 13:12:26 01/12/02 Sat

Anyone know when this episode will air again? I was just looking at eh air schedule, and it's not listed where it should be. Any idea what he deal is?

[> I'm wondering the same thing! -- Dyna, 13:38:58 01/12/02 Sat

I taped this when it reran the first time on FX, but there were blackouts during the broadcast, so I really want to retape.

[> It Could Be On UPN -- Rachel, 16:56:33 01/12/02 Sat

In the last go-round on FX, I noticed that several episodes (Buffy vs. Dracula, Hush, Weight of the World, The Gift) were not aired on FX. They ended up being repeats on UPN. Maybe there's a non-competition clause between the two networks. I, too, am trying to do a better job at taping BtVS the second time around...I hope Bewitched shows up on UPN.

[> [> It's running on Valetine's Day -- Liz, 13:32:24 01/13/02 Sun

"BBB" is running on Valentine's day (Which is sort of appropriate). They just plucked it up and stuck it back in out of order. Otherwise all of the episodes are there.

"Kill, kill, kill them all. You know you want to." How angry is Buffy? -- bookworm, 21:18:01 01/12/02 Sat

Buffy makes the social worker think she's going nuts in "Gone." Watching the episode again, I wondered how much those words and that scene reflected Buffy's own subconscious. There's so much underlying anger and aggression in her actions in this episode. Sure, she's having fun, but under it she's seething and about to boil over. How hard has it been for her to keep from lashing out at Zander and Willow for ripping her out of heaven, at Dawn for existing and making her worry about money and school, at Giles and Angel and Riley for leaving her, at Spike for daring to love her and making her enjoy sex and destroying her image of herself as a good little Slayer who kills vampires? Buffy's problem is that she's a hero. Can't kill humans. That's WRONG. That's like Faith. She's a vampire slayer. She can't hurt or yell at her sister or her friends. They had a good reason and they love her, after all. She's angry and can't let it out, so she's been numbing the feelings and suffering her life until she can go back to heaven. Spike's been able to get through to her, but that makes her feel the anger too, which she doesn't want to feel. So now she's lashing out at him because he's the only one she can hurt, not being human, and because she's ferociously angry at him for making her feel anything at all. Now that she's awake she's also turning the anger on herself, punishing herself and Spike by chopping off the hair he likes and which reminds her of having sex with him. The wrath of Dawn is being turned on her because she "let it (the accident) happen." Willow was "drowning" and she didn't see it. Willow's addiction is her fault too now, because she didn't fix it. At heart, I think Buffy's been so angry she could kill the whole world, at the same time she knows she has to protect the whole world. What a powerful conflict she has. No wonder she tosses Spike into walls.

[> Re: "Kill, kill, kill them all. You know you want to." How angry is Buffy? -- MaeveRigan, 03:11:46 01/13/02 Sun

This was my interpretation, too. The "all work and no play makes [Doris] a dull girl" was, as many have pointed out, a "Shining" allusion, but it certainly applies to Buffy as well. InvisiBuffy's attitude and "what does it matter?" behavior reminded me a lot of Faith. People I've talked to say, "Oh, but she's having fun." Too much meanness in the fun--Buffy *is* angry. Everything she does while invisible involves troubling someone else (social worker, fashion victim, meter-cop) or entertaining herself and ignoring someone else's feelings (Anya & Xander, Spike, Dawn).

[> [> Anger Management -- Spike Lover, 19:37:35 01/13/02 Sun

I think you are right. I don't think Doris wanted to kill people. Her world seemed to be under control until Buffy walked in. I don't think the thought had ever occurred to her to kill people. (She had the strangest look on her face when the cup said that.)

I think Buff might have been overreacting. I mean, Doris was just going to recommend probation, not take Dawn away.

Nevermind. Anyway, so how can Buffy handle her anger positively? From your description above of how she feels responsible for everyone else's bad choices, she is beginning to remind me of one of those women that "do to much" (you see the self-help books in the bookstore)

When she was brought back from the dead, perhaps the healthiest thing would have been to have a scream fest at Willow for bringing her back from Heaven. Bottling it up was not good. It might have even put the brakes on Willow's magic use. Instead, she ends up singing about it, as you know, reverting to guilt-games that females and families so often play. Does that qualify as passive aggression? There are times when I wish women could be like men and just be able to fist fight in a parking lot when they are mad. AFterward, they usually go back in the bar and have a drink. There is not enough decorum in that for women to do it. No, we have to hold grudges and back stab each other.

Still, if Joss were willing, I would love to see Buffy beat the hell out of Willow in the street or the kitchen.- (Ok, my own aggression is showing now.)

I've thought Buff needed prozac for a while now, but maybe she could use some therapy too. That could get expensive...

But, on the other hand, if she does get on prozac, in all likelihood it would kill her sex drive... On second thought, Spike and us viewers do not want Buffy on meds. (We want to see Spike naked some more!)

[> [> [> Re: Anger Management -- Rahael, 05:21:18 01/14/02 Mon

In my opinion, dealing with unresolved issues by hitting other people *is* bottling up your emotions.

Violence is not a healthy emotional reaction in most situations. Seeing as Buffy is superhuman strong, her beating up on Willow would be 'domestic violence' in a way that the Spike/Buffy scenes in Wrecked never were. For Buffy to use her strength to intimidate and bully weaker human beings - well, that just destroys the integrity of the character.

Moreover, it seems to me far from clear that Buffy is 'depressed'. I toyed with the idea that she might be suffering Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but her behaviour is not consistent with this condition. Certainly, the writers are achieving resonances with feelings of isolation and depression that human beings often feel, but it seems to me that they are commenting on the human condition in general, through Buffy, rather than saying: Here is Clinically-depressed! Buffy.

In which case, I don't think prozac is suitable. It's a serious drug for a common, but very serious mental condition. It is not a cure all, nor a 'happy pill'.

a couple of observations -- Spike Lover, 17:44:01 01/12/02 Sat

1) I was just watching the season 1 ep with the Mummy from South America. Guess who she nearly kisses and tries to kill? Jonathan!

2) I have a theory why Buff and the SG are not "seeing" this season or in Gone. Is it because they are entering adulthood at last, and in general, adults in SunnyD, "don't see"? (Except for Giles, the teenagers were the ones to see.) I suppose if this is the case, Dawn will continue to see what the adults around her "just don't see".

3) What is the significance that Buffy and the gang never knew the school play was attacked?

[> Re: a couple of observations -- JBone, 17:55:21 01/12/02 Sat

2. My theory is that the reason that they, as you say, are not "seeing" this season, is that they refuse to recognize what they once where. Or some BS like that.

1. Saw it, knew it.

3. I have no earthly idea.

[> Flying Monkeys -- Darby, 18:04:31 01/12/02 Sat

From responses, everybody seems to know about the play and the flying monkeys, but no one seems to know (until told) who was responsible for them.

Think about Andrew's brother - except for the SG, nobody knew about the devil dogs, who never got to actually attack the prom. You'd think Andrew would make a point of that.

[> Re: a couple of observations -- Rattletrap, 20:29:00 01/12/02 Sat

"What is the significance that Buffy and the gang never knew the school play was attacked?"

Perhaps it is a subtle reminder about life in Sunnydale: Demon attacks and strange occurences are so common that one particular one doesn't really stand out, and flying monkeys at the play would probably qualify as a moderately slow day. It may also have happened before Buffy moved to Sunnydale.

just specualtion, my $.02


The Significance of "Everything" ! -- Gwyn, 22:07:55 01/12/02 Sat

I've been set thinking by the wonderful nitpicking over the story that occurs on so many boards. Threads along the lines of the lighter, the pictures on Spike's fridge, my favourite one is the Rocco reference in Forever. I know it is there for a reason, even if I can't see it. Some nitpicking leads to quick answers, like the reference to Godfrey Cambridge in Xandar's exclamation in Gone. Some of them do not, or only in retrospect, when the story moves on and the significance of the event or phrase being picked over becomes clear. Buffy is littered with those moments, as is all myth. In Myth, nothing is coincidental or redundant. The inconsequential, the brief appearance, is there for a reason. The reader or viewer of the hero's journey cannot overlook anything in case the point of the story is lost. Nor can the hero. The hero is beset, like the reader, by the need to make sense of it all if he or she is to meet destiny and live the life that is promised. Meeting that destiny is the reason for being called to the journey in the first place. Troubles and the possibility of death and failure dog that journey and "missing" what help might be met along the way can be fatal and disastrous and lead to the loss of love or happiness. Unfortunately for the hero, or in our case the heroine, guideposts do not always come in the form of clearly marked signposts and convenient Guides. Or, sometimes like Giles, they leave or outlive their usefulness.

Buffy's journey is a mythic one and so, if she misses something she can fail. She can lose her chance at the most important quest of all, the discovery of how to live her life. If she finds out how to do this after her resurrection she will go on to do even greater deeds as a slayer than she has ever done, and to find love. Everything in the story, everything around her is connected, it is the nature of life, as well as myth. Up until Gone she could not connect to most of it. Now she knows she wants to live. How has she started to cross this threshold back to wanting to live? Spike. He is the vessel for her to make the journey back. This is something she only partly knows. She feels alive with him. That is about the sum total of her self knowledge at the moment. The knowledge of the how and why of it is not something she has a full account of . Often in myths, particularly those that have to do with finding a lover, the other half of the hero's self, the hero has to accomplish a series of tasks to win the girl. Often against an opposing parental force, like the father King of a princess, for example. There are obstacles to be overcome. The obstacles are invariably symbols for psychological truths about the hero and the things that make us human. And sometimes it is some small thing that enables the hero to save himself and win his love. And sometimes the important facts or symbols are overlooked or misused and the hero loses his prize. All of this applies to Buffy.

Think of Buffy, in her relationship with Spike as wandering through a mythic Labyrinth, a psychological one. She is emotional chaos, at war with herself, wandering in a labyrinth of conflicting feelings, with her heart at war with the more rational part of her that tells her Spike bad, other choice good. The question is how can she get out of this and either accept or reject Spike one way or the other? Part of the answer is that she has to reject Heaven. If you look at it in mythic terms, and not theological ones, heaven is only one location among many. Even the great religions do not downplay the importance of the earthly part of the journey as Buffy has been doing by yearning for Heaven. It is also why the gods in Greek mythology find heaven just as problematic as Earth, they get into endless trouble there as well. Buffy is out of balance because she yearns for it. Heaven, like Hell, and well, the Earthly realm, are all equal when it comes to the journey of the mythic hero. Living and dying is just about location in the end. That's why heroes on mythic journeys can cross over, and do so, back and forth to get what they need or to do what they have to rescue people or go on quests

Now, Buffy was not ripped out of heaven by choice, the world came a calling as Joseph Campbell would put it, but heroes have to deal, that's their job, their destiny. Buffy in Gone, has begun to pick up the bundle she dropped. And picking up the lighter was significant too. She wants the fire back and so she held on to a tiny symbol for it. And it is very important that it is Spike's lighter. She has to hold on to him if she is going to keep crossing the threshold that separates her from the world she has come back to. Flawed as he is, he is a powerful restorative force for her, and she gets that, he makes her feel alive. Without him she will have no other source for this, at least not at this point, in her journey through the psychological labyrinth of angst, pain and indecision. Without him she would have been a walking corpse since her resurrection.

Yeh, Spike's fiery and problematic to be around. He is lust, free and easy with the rules, a fringe dweller when it comes to the moral certainties of life, and he is in constant flux himself on his own journey. He is disconcerting, changeable when it comes to self-control, and held in check by the chip. But he can deal with all the chaos around him and even thrives on it. Spike loves life, which is a startling characteristic in a vampire. He loves life, and he loves being in love, even though it is agony for him a lot of the time, and he loves Buffy with a passion that he would die for. And we have been told by Spike that, while he might live on the wild side, he likes life and the world just the way it is. He distinguishes himself from Angelus's desire to destroy the world in those terms. He does not feel Buffy should hide from it. He pulls her up with one of his zingers when she says she is happy to be free of life while invisible. He zings back that being free of life is called being dead. Right now he is a rock that Buffy needs to hold onto, and in turn, she is one he needs to cling to as well, for fear he may drown in his own chaos and darkness.

I've said in other posts that I think they are both halves of who we are. But I think I would take it further than that and say they are soul mates because of this. Right now they are in a struggle for dominance. Buffy taking the lighter, her beginning to want a part of him with her, may be about recognizing she needs what he has to offer. If they are to be reborn as a couple, Buffy will have to stop deceiving herself. Holding on to a small piece of him like that is a symbol for, if you like, a small controllable step of recognition. It is a pity he took it back actually, it would have been a source of meditation and thought for her. It was already that in the flashback. Turning it over in her hands on other occasions might have led her to think deeply about what she is doing in her relationship with him, something she cannot do when he is around yet because he causes such emotional turmoil in her. When Buffy was invisible and joking around, she temporarily regressed to childhood, Spike, as an adult, saw that and threw her out of the crypt to get her act together. I'm not sure if it was on this Board or the Cross and Stake one but someone said that he was her first adult romantic relationship, and I think that poster was right. This is not to say that she and he always act in an adult fashion together but they are at the beginning and they have stuff to work through.

As with all myth, you never get to the end of the journey, not even, as Buffy found out, when the journey is interrupted by death. The hero can only end the journey by renouncing his or her participation when they feel their heroic days are over. It happens. I've always wondered why JW set up the fact that the Slayer lineage now goes through Faith. I think, at some point, Buffy will get her wish because of this out. Faith is in jail so she can redeem herself. Often in myth, after the final Great Battle, the hero gets to retire, and others take up the fight against the darkness. Buffy is different from other slayers, because of her ties to life in the past and, I believe, she will re-establish those ties as she continues to remake Slayer lore and the Buffyverse. I think she will have her final great battle, something amazing that no other Slayer has done before her, and may not again. At that point, I think she will get to lay down her mantle of the chosen one, and that she will do so freely. If she and Spike are to make it, it will not be until then. I hope he hangs on to that lighter. I think she might want to have it back then.

[> Re: The Significance of "Everything" --Spike is Life -- manwitch, 08:49:21
01/13/02 Sun

Nice. I think you are right. But I don't think it is a "refection of Heaven" that matters, so much as an "embracing of life." Spike is Life. The full range. Pain, violence, love. Spike loves the world and loves life, not in the way that a worry wart going to the hospital hoping to squeeze out a few more days clings to life, but in the way that an "extreme" person loves it, loves the experience, even if it kills them.

Buffy has to accept that, which means accepting Spike. I don't think it matters that they have a nice romance and lots of dates. What matters is that she see it. I noticed in Fool for Love, Spike (William) says to Cecily, "All I ask is that you see me..." and then she cuts him off with "I do see you. You're beneath me." That's where Buffy is, or was. All she needs to do is really see him, and she's free. Whether or not the dating works out is another story.

[> Re: The Significance of "Everything" ! -- Theorist, 09:55:03 01/13/02 Sun

Reading this post (and others) got me thinking about archetypes in myth, and that led me to wonder when archetypes become cliches. That caused me to de-lurk long enough to speculate about the options for B/S.

Option No. 1. Fulfill the cliches. Vampires are evil; sex (especially for women) is bad; Buffy must be punished for her wanton behavior.

Option No. 2. Break the cliches completely. B/S stay together, but with lots of Sturm und Drang. This seems to be Gwyn's choice, and I personally hope it does go this way.

Option No. 3. End the relationship in a bittersweet way that allows all of us to argue whether the relationship was good or bad, whether Spike was (could have been) redeemed, etc.

Despite my personal preference for Option 2, I'm betting on No. 3.

Could it be this simple or... (Spoilerish) -- Maddy, 23:28:11 01/12/02 Sat

is this an oversimplification. Over on Cross and Stake, someone posted this theory of Buffy's Wrongness:

"What's wrong:

Human beings have finite life spans; they are born, and then they die. Since Buffy was born, then died, and then was resurrected, she is no longer strictly human -- even if all other ways she is no different from who and what she was before she died.

It's the very fact that she was resurrected -- and that fact alone -- which causes Spike's chip to read her as something other than human, and allow Spike to hit her."

The author was someone named Scott, but it got me to thinking that maybe her problem is not all mystical (no soul, fallen angel, etc.) maybe it's the technology of spike's chip. Any thoughts?

[> Remembering something frm the past.... -- AurraSing, 07:15:29 01/13/02 Sun

Both Riley's friend Forrest and Harmony have both stated (Forrest in "The Initiative" and Harmony in "Out of My Mind") that Spike "can't hurt a living thing".

I can see Forrest using the phrase because of course he would have been instructed on how the chip works,but there must be a reason why the same phrasing was used twice by two different characters.

Buffy's change is puzzling but I don't understand why the chip would all of a sudden think of her as "not a living thing".Weird.And since the chip reacted to something as mild as hitting Tara,it can't just be over the fact that Buffy is really hard to kill,can it?

[> [> general use of the symbol -- manwitch, 08:37:13 01/13/02 Sun

Normally, when a spiritual incarnation dies and is resurrected, the resurrected form is a higher order of being. they are beyond human.

Well known examples might include Jesus, Gandalf, and Ripley.

Frequently, as in the case of Ripley, they assimilate the power that they vanquished with their sacrifice.

Joss is good at flipping things on their end, but I don't think Buffy's resurrection can simiply be her as regular buffy again. That's too pedestrian. And clearly she ain't regular buffy.

[> [> [> Buffy's resurrection -- ponygirl, 12:39:25 01/13/02 Sun

hmm, I keep coming back to the two big instruments of Buffy's resurrection: the urn of Osiris and the blood of the fawn. Reaching back into murky art history memories, Osiris was the Egyptian god of the underworld. He started out as a king who was murdered and dismembered. His wife and son found all the parts of his body except his genitalia and he was brought back to life, though not exactly as a living being, instead he became king of the underworld. As from manwitch's examples and other myths, resurrections never seem to bring the person back exactly as they were. They may be a higher form of life, but usually something is left behind, in any case the resurrectee is set apart from regular life. Which still doesn't answer what is wrong with Buffy.

Willow's killing of the fawn was a symbol of the loss of Willow's own innocence, but it also reminded me of the non-Disney version of Snow White, where the hunter sent to kill Snowy instead kills a deer and brings the heart back to the Queen. Buffy's heart/soul/whatever is what seems to be missing from her life. In Intervention her guide told her that she was in danger of losing her ability to love only if she turned away from love, perhaps in Spike Buffy is seeking her heart through his love for her. How this ties in with the chip and how or if Buffy's missing pieces can ever be restored I leave to wiser minds than mine.

[> [> [> [> Re: Buffy's resurrection -- leslie, 19:07:12 01/13/02 Sun

Just tangentially, in Celtic mythology deer in general are often guides to the Otherworld--usually someone is out hunting, starts chasing a deer, and finds himself Somewhere Else Entirely. (And naturally wackiness ensues. Sometime whack-iness ensues, too.) Good examples: the beginnig of the first branch of the Mabinogi (Welsh), and nearly half of the stories of Finn MacCool (Irish). In fact, one of Finn's sons is half-deer (Oisin, "little deer/fawn"), because his mother was in deer-form when she gave birth.

Part of the connection is simply that wandering into the Otherworld happens when one is in the dangerous realm of the forest, but, for instance, people don't wind up the Otherworld while hunting boar, or bear. It's the deer that guides them.

[> [> Re: Remembering something frm the past.... -- maddog, 11:17:39 01/14/02 Mon

I wouldn't use Forrest and Harmony as good resources though...Harmoney for all intents and purposes was a ditz. And Forrest was just another guy working for the government. They were only told what their superiors wanted them to know. So I'll bet the Initiative crew(Forrest, Riley, etc) didn't know the full extent of the chip.

[> A few thoughts ... (SPOILERY SPECULATION) -- Earl Allison, 08:52:59 01/13/02 Sun

Well, here are the major theories I've seen bandied about:

Buffy is an immortal now, no longer "among the living," much as Spike is. It explains the chip (she's not human) and why it would be "the worst thing possible," since Buffy won't ever die -- except perhaps out of violence.

Buffy is a devil/angel -- more or less than human.

Buffy came back, but without a soul. Soulless, the chip doesn't register her as human, and it's why she's so "lifeless" in general -- her HEAD knows right from wrong, but she lacks the emotional conviction due to no soul. Also makes her more like Spike.

Buffy came back as the Slayer only -- Buffy Summers is largely gone. Again, not human.

Lastly, and largely disproven, was Buffy coming back as a vampire.

That's all I can recall.

Love your comments, though -- she's just out of the normal cycles of life and death -- although I have to agree that Joss isn't likely to let it be this easy.

Take it and run.

[> A really simple idea (spoilerish) -- Raccoon, 09:10:11 01/13/02 Sun

I don't think that theory quite holds. Buffy's death and resurrection has happened once before, but Spike's chip still reacted when he tried to hit her during S4 and S5. Granted she wasn't magically resurrected through a dark and secret spell, but she was dead long enough for a new slayer to be called and returned feeling "stronger".

I'm wondering whether Spike's inability to hurt her might actually have to do with his feelings for Buffy. Yes, he did hit her, but was it with the *intent* to maim or kill? The purpose of the chip is, after all, to prevent him "hurting living things", and his love for Buffy might somehow keep the chip from going off. (Boy, this theory would really drive home the S/M aspects of the relationship, wouldn't it?)

I guess I'm thinking along these lines because I'm not sure how I feel about Buffy coming back "wrong", and the idea that she's to be immortal really does seem wrong in my eyes.

[> [> In other words... (Possibly spoilery) -- Isabel, 14:44:19 01/13/02 Sun

What you're saying is you think Buffy is possibly as human as she ever was. (As in NOT immortal, vampire, demon, angel, etc.) The chip still works to prevent Spike from Harming any living thing. The only change is in Spike's psyche where he loves Buffy so much he'd never want to harm her, even if he's hitting her? (or spanking or scratching or biting her?) ;)

If Spike could care about other people, would the chip stop working for them too? In the end, the chip could end up only stopping him from hurting people whose lives he doesn't give a damn about. The people he cares about he doesn't want to hurt at all.

That's an interesting concept, if it's what you were aiming at and I'm not misunderstanding you. Powerful too, could end good, could end bad. Let's not forget Othello never stopped loving Desdemona.

OT: On the Shakespeare note, I've heard people comment that Buffy and Angel had the quinessential Romeo and Juliet type romance. A Starcrossed Lovers, Forbidden love, "My only love sprang from my only hate" type of deal. I've wondered for a while if ME has decided to take a shot at Othello. (The renowned foreign warrior, who marries a prominent local girl (who loves him as much as he does her) and helps lead her city's battles against their enemies. He is then tricked into believing she doesn't love him, by someone from her city he had trusted, and in a fit of insane jealousy kills her.) Naw, can't see Spike doing that! (Smell the burning sarcasm.) ;)

[> [> [> Yes, that is what I was aiming at -- Raccoon, 14:53:14 01/13/02 Sun

Only you said it much better:) The Othello parallel is intriguing. Much food for thought here, but alas no time for posting... Please take Isabel's thoughts and run, people!

[> Re: Could it be this simple or... (Spoilerish) -- Gwyn, 15:11:49 01/13/02 Sun
I'm reposting my theory on what's *wrong* from a post I put at the Cross and Stake, I think it was foreshadowed in Forever...

I think if she comes back "normal" there is still room for the chip to malfunction in her case. Or not so much malfuncition as not recognise her as human in the *normal* sense. I mean, what is *normal* anyway. Like the concept of soul, normal is in play here. Being resurrected isn't *normal* at least not in my universe. Buffy is a hero on a hero's journey and her resurrection is as much mythic as anything else. Her coming back *normal* would signify that she is still faced with the very human challenges of being a human hero having to reconnect with the world after the epiphany and crucible-like self-sacrifice in the Gift. But you come back changed from that, this is why Buffy is having trouble reconnecting.

And that change might be a tad physical as well. When Dawn is trying to resurrect Joyce she and Spike go to Doc to get some stuff for the mojo. Doc whips off a strand of Dawn's hair, looks at it, and says that the family has good DNA which increases the chance of the resurrection working.

Ergo, the Summer's women, due to their DNA, are good candidates for resurrection spells. This could be foreshadowing the chances of Buffy coming back normal. But maybe there are slight variations to the DNA in her return. I don't know enough about genetics to take this further. I guess too much cell change and Buffy could have come back a frog! But maybe, and itty bitty change, would stop the chip working on her. But, in the end, it doesn't matter. We don't need scientific explanations. We need dramatic ones. Buffy coming back normal would allow the plot to move forward. Allow her to recognise that the journey she is on is still a very human one, and that she has to reconnect with the world as all of us do, by finding reasons to live. Having the chip not working in her case allows Spike to move on to. He and she can never have a meaningful relationship while she can beat the crap out of him. Once he can hit her, then he has the choice not to, and I think the will choose not to as the story progresses. If his love for her is to manifest itself in ways that matter he will need to find other ways to express his anger. He is trying to do that now. How many times has he asked to talk to her since the Musical. He is trying to communicate with her in non-violent ways, it is Buffy who is mostly using violence as a way of communicating. Spike participated in that in Smashed and Wrecked but Gone was all about him trying to talk.

If the revelation of normality is what happens, then it would be about Buffy having to see her feelings for Spike as *real*. "I know this isn't real, I just wanna feel" is what she sings in the musical, but if you are normal, then feelings are real, no matter who you have them for. Bad news for Buffy, because she will have to deal, good news for Spike because she will have to deal, and this is something he s been asking for since Crush, when she uninvited him. He said:
SPIKE: No, it's not that easy. We have something, Buffy. (Buffy is walking up the stairs to the front door of her house. Spike follows) It's not pretty, but it's real, and there's nothing either one of us can do about it.

He said it is *real* something she has been denying ever since then. If she finds out she is *normal* in Dead Things then it blows the illusion that "whispering in a dead man's ear" means you can stop facing what is real in your life. Spike might finally get his wish, that she will have to look into her heart.

[> [> Honestly, I just thought the "good DNA" remark was just Doc -- Chew-lean has a love/hate relationship w/ season 6, 22:36:05 01/13/02 Sun

acting senile - Probably to coax Dawn into using a bad spell for resurrection. He worshipped the Beast, therefore chaos and suffering. He wanted her to bring an imperfect abomination of Joyce to life.

I've always thought that Spike's chip is just a microchip that interprets the sensory signals send and his brain's signals. If his vampire-enhanced senses detect non-human scents, images, blah, blah, his chip will not intercede. The Initiative never had any "metaphysical" sensors, just chemical and whatnot, so I'm guessing the microchip probably couldn't be programmed to interpret them.

Of course, the chip is imbedded right in his brain, so maybe it is just interpreting Spike's processed sensory information that has labelled something NON-human.

Anyone for a chat? -- NightRepair, 05:57:06 01/13/02 Sun

Vampires and Demon Blood -- Gustavo, 06:02:21 01/13/02 Sun

Hi, first post here.

I'll go right to the point:Did you notice the during the Pylean Adventure (Through the looking glass) Fred distracted AngelBeast with blood from the guards.Those guards were demons, since humans were slaves, and I don't think she was keeping animal blood at home, so I wonder if Vampires can FEED on demon blood.

My theory is that they can in Pylea, where Methaphysics goes differently.

Forgive my lack of expressiveness, I'm not the communicative kind really.

Any comments.


Rufus can you email me? -- Shiver, 08:37:26 01/13/02 Sun

Quick question. Thanks!


Did anybody even notice... the homage to Midnight Cowboy? -- Solitude1056, 08:55:32 01/13/02 Sun

In a famous scene in Midnight Cowboy, Dustin Hoffman was supposed to walk across the street. The cameras are rolling, and at the last minute - as he steps onto the crosswalk - a taxi pulls up in front of him. Without missing a beat, Dustin yells at the cabbie in a thick new yawk accent, "I'm walking heah!" and keeps right on going. They left it in the movie.

Just wondering if anyone else noticed this quick passing homage when Buffy's kicking the can down the empty street. ;-)

[> Re: Did anybody even notice... the homage to Midnight Cowboy? -- Cactus Watcher, 11:19:36 01/13/02 Sun

What was the point of all the baby boomer references? Is it just David Fury's age showing? I didn't catch the reference to "Ratso Rizzo" until you mentioned it, Sol. I haven't seen that movie since the days when it was new. Is Buffy a 1960's movie fan in her spare time? Would the average construction worker Xander's age have even heard of Godfrey Cambridge? How many people Buffy's age have seen Senor Winces, "s'all right" act? Maybe, it's a nod to old coot viewers like me, but it seems strange.

[> [> I was thinking the same thing... -- Darby, 11:48:30 01/13/02 Sun

...But the "I'm walkin' here!" was already a New Yawkism, used to establish the MC character. If you've spent time in the NE US (where's Fury from?), you don't have to have seen Midnight Cowboy for it to become part of your absorbed vocabulary.

You'd think at least some of the writers or actors would have registered a "Huh?" at the references you mention, CW. It's obvious SMG didn't get the "'S'alright!" reference, which should be delivered in a deep, rough voice - for those of you non-codgers out there, Senor Wences, who died sometime recently, had a head (a face, really) in a box. At times he'd hold it up, open it, say to the face "'S'alright?" and the face would respond in that voice. Much hilarity ensued (guess you had to be there), especially when the box was closed, a la The Puppet Show. But this was a guy who made a whole career out of painting a face on his hand and making it talk...

And Godfrey Cambridge...nah, never mind, but you might have seen him on an old Dick Van Dyke Show. He was quite the comedian in his day.

[> [> [> I missed the Godfrey Cambridge reference -- squireboy, 12:45:54 01/13/02 Sun

or rather, it didn't mean anything to me. I looked him up on google, but why was it significant that Xander use his name? Did GC have a routine about making unwanted advances or something?


[> [> [> [> Re: I missed the Godfrey Cambridge reference -- LoriAnn, 13:47:52 01/13/02 Sun

The reference to Godfrey Cambridge had to do, probably, with a role he played in a movie, "The Watermelon Man." In the movie, which I've never seen, he, an African-American, turned white. I remember one of the jokes he told on some variety show: He goes to meet his wife in the lobby of a fancy hotel for a diner party, and she's stark naked except for a string of pearls around her neck. When he asks her why she's unclothed, she says some fashion guru said you could never go wrong wearing basic black and pearls. That may or may not be a good example, but Cambridge was very funny.

About Senor Wences, yes, he made a living drawing a face on his hand. I saw his act often, over a long period of time, and he always did the same act, minor variations only, and I laughed every single time.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I missed the Godfrey Cambridge reference -- Cactus Watcher, 14:26:54 01/13/02 Sun

Mostly he did gentle, racially-based humor, at a time when the topic was very sensitive. As far as relating to the scene, I seem to remember he told a number of jokes about embarassing moments. But what comedian doesn't?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I missed the Godfrey Cambridge reference -- Gwyn, 15:24:14 01/13/02 Sun

I think the point of the Godfrey Cambridge reference, referring to the Watermelon Man movie, is a point about Spike. In Watermelon Man, as a white, the character was racist. When he turns black he has to deal with getting accepted in a whole new milieu and his views of the world are called into question and changed. This is also what has happened to Spike. From viewing humans as Happy Meals on Legs he has been drawn into the human world as a participant through his love for Buffy. But Spike has not found acceptance there yet. The irony of Xandar making the remark is great...the outcome of the movie is that Godfrey Cambridge's character finds acceptance as a black. Xandar, the character who rejects Spike the most, may be foreshadowing Spike's ultimate acceptance by the Scoobies!

[> [> [> [> It was a play on "In the name of God..." -- Darby, 14:08:13 01/13/02 Sun

[> [> I will just bring up the Rolling Stones song again here -- Spike Lover, 19:14:19 01/13/02 Sun

Not Fade Away

A 60's British Band, a song that came out in the 60's. A song about wanting real love, that WON'T FADE AWAY.

Oh well, I will just try to quote it again.
"I'm going to tell you how it's going to be.
You're going to give your love to me.
Love that lasts more than one day.
Where love is love and not fade away.

My love is bigger than a cadillac
I drive it X and you drive it back.
Your love for me has got to be real
For you to know just how I feel.


Okay, it seems to be the perfect song to describe Spike's attitude to Buffy overall and particularly when he kicks her out of the crib/pt

[> [> How to guess the director's age in one easy step -- Solitude1056, 19:57:17 01/13/02 Sun

This is a frequent observation on my housemate's part, being somewhat older than me and well-versed in several decades of music & pop culture. He remarked a while back (and I've been paying attention since) that most directors, when choosing music, tend to throw in at least one song that was popular in "their day." Hence movies like Bring It On, an otherwise entertaining little ditty that was chock full o' punk hits from the late 70's. I don't know if it's a conscious choice on the part of most directors, or just an attempt to use music that - for the director - is equated with a certain mood, that evokes particular feelings... and what evokes more memories in us than the music we heard when most impressionable? Guessing by Fury's appearance in OMwF, I'd think he's probably in his mid to late forties - that puts his high school years at the tail end of the sixties, to early seventies at best. That'd put Midnight Cowboy right in his alley, and Senor What's-his-face as a childhood/adolescent memory, if I'm remembering the dating right.

What would be most interesting, if anyone is that obsessed & knows their multi-decade pop culture well enough, is to correlate the particular writer's pop culture references in a script to that writer's generation. (As a footnote, I agree about the "s'all right" reference going over SMG's head, since she did deliver in a high-pitched voice rather than the appropriate low growl - I didn't even realize that's what she was referencing until the second time I watched the episode.)

[> [> [> Re: How to guess the director's age in one easy step -- Rufus, 23:53:10 01/13/02 Sun

To add to the age thing the quote "Betcha by Golly Wow" is a song from the Sylistics from 1972.

[> [> [> [> Ah-hah. I was wondering about that... -- Solitude1056, 01:20:47 01/14/02 Mon

It definitely stood out - and not in a good way, but a jarring not-quite-natural way. I know Willow says some zany stuff (as do they all), but it seemed a bit forced. Well, if we're going on the assumption that Fury's doing the usual stunt of pop-culture-referencing his own generation, then it makes sense. I still think the rest of the crew could've cleaned up behind him and come up with something better.

[> [> [> [> [> Lyrics to Betcha by Golly Wow -- Rufus, 05:17:20 01/14/02 Mon

I love that song here are the lyrics....

Betcha By Golly Wow ( The Stylistics )

There's a spark of magic in your eyes
Candyland appears each time you smile
Never thought that fairy tales came true
But they come true when I'm near you
You're a genie in disguise
Full of wonder and surprise

And betcha by golly, wow
You're the one that I've been waiting for forever
And ever will my love for you keep growin' strong
Keep growin' strong

If I could I'd catch a falling star
To shine on you so I'll know where you are
Order rainbows in your favorite shade
To show I love you, thinking of you
Write your name across the sky
Anything you ask I'll try

'Cause betcha by golly, wow
You're the one that I've been waiting for forever
And ever will my love for you keep growin' strong
Keep growin' strong


Betcha by golly, wow
You're the one that I've been waiting for forever
And ever will my love for you keep growin' strong
Keep growin' strong

Betcha by golly, wow
You're the one that I've been waiting for forever
And ever will my love for you keep growin' strong
Keep growin' strong
Betcha by golly, wow

Philosophical differences in Angel's and Spike's souls -- manwitch, 10:35:56 01/13/02 Sun

I think Angel and Spike are examinations of different philosophies of morality and the soul.

Angel makes me think of Kant and Spike of Nietzsche.

Angel requires a soul in order to behave morally, just as for Kant moral action required and presupposed a neutral agent free to behave morally or immorally. Kant phrased this in grammatical terms, that an action presupposed the actor., a verb/predicate presupposed a noun/subject.

With Kant, as with Angel, action is morally value-less. What gives the action moral value is the intent of the actor. It is Angel's "good will", his intent to do good, to help, to respect people as ends and not as means that allows him to engage in moral conduct. His soul's pursuit should not be "happiness," but "virtue" - the worthiness to be happy.

To Kant, happiness was not in and of itself good. Happiness required a "good will" to counterbalance the feelings of pride, power, etc. that happiness could produce. Plus it was clear to Kant that many non-virtuous people were happy and many unhappy people were virtuous. In addition, perfect happiness seemed to Kant unattainable. So Kant concluded that in order for moral behavior in the pursuit of virtue (worthiness of being happy) to be worthwhile, 1) an a priori God must exist, a power capable of redistributing happiness in accordance with virtue, and 2) an immortal soul capable of continuing this unattainable pursuit must exist.

So we see Angel, imbued with an immortal soul, that strives continually towards not happiness, which his soul in the world can never attain, but towards virtue, towards a worthiness of happiness that at sometime may be rewarded with according happiness from the Powers that Be, which for Angel might be a return of his humanity, a return to the Enlightenment world of rational men respecting each other through respect for general law and principle, a Kantian world from which Angelus had harshly separated himself.

Soul-less, without his presupposed noun/subject, Angelus is devoid of humanity and incapable of kind, humane or moral behavior.

Not so with Spike. Spike is also a Vampire, and so we may also assume that like Angel, he has no soul. But unlike Angel, the soul is not a condition of specific behavior for Spike. Spike is a man of feeling and action. He makes his own rules, his own values. He is the Nietzschean Ubervampire.

Spike requires no hidden actor (noun/subject) to give moral value to his actions (verb/predicate), just as Nietzsche denied the existence of Kant's presupposed neutral agent. For Nietzsche, the actor is simply an invention of the mind, a trick brought about by rules of grammer that require a predicate have a subject.

In a way, I see Angel as a noun and Spike as a verb.

I'm sure that Spike as Ubervampire has been dealt with before. He clearly destroys "life-enhancing illusions," including his own, and has the will and courage to continue on anyways. He is the embodiment of the master morality, expressing his own feelings, manifesting his own values, creating his own rules. He is bound neither by the rules of the living nor by the rules of Vampires. From the first moment we see him, Spike barges in on "the annoying one" and does it his own way.

But what strikes me is that Spike is NOT devoid of humanity. Whereas the Judge (in Innocence) says to Angel, "there's no humanity in there," the Judge's first words to Spike (in Surprise) are "You stink of humanity." Spike loves Drusilla. Spike conspires with Buffy to save the world at the end of Season 2, under the influence of neither soul nor chip. He returns to Sunnydale in Season 3, again without soul or chip, admits to being "love's bitch" and then leaves of his own volition, not interested in killing willow, Xander, angel or Buffy. He just leaves, singing "I did it my way."

He simply manifests his own values. Spike's humanity comes from the embracing of the entire range of human experience (including pain and violence as well as love and sex), not from adherence to an external set of limiting concepts.

The show, I think, very deliberately makes this clear over and over again, even after the chip is implanted. Spike can accept the pain of the chip for his purposes. He is able to punch Tara in the face or Buffy in her stab wound. He accepts the pain that comes after. The chip doesn't prevent him from it. When, however, he elects not to shoot Buffy with a shotgun at the end of Fool for Love, it is compassion, not the chip that stops him. And now in season 6, the chip isn't a limitation at all on his behavior towards Buffy. But he loves her anyway.

It's interesting that the chip does nothing whatever to keep Spike from hurting people's feelings or causing emotional distress or pain. It acts only on his physical behavior, on his body.

I think the chip is threatening to give Spike a "modern" soul. The chip is the "art of correct training" that Foucault talks about in Discipline and Punish, a book which is essentially an elaboration of Nietzsche's Geneaology of Morals. Foucault and Nietzsche claim that modern methods of punishment, training and control are creating an impoverished "modern soul." It's a soul that acts upon the body, to limit and constrain its experience, a soul that extends into our very selves the tyrannical powers that dominate us. We watch ourselves so that "the police" don't have to. We internalize their control of us.

According to Foucault, the powers that create this modern soul manifest themselves in the prison, in school, in the military, in timetables, in bureaucrats, in the keeping of records and the tabulating of knowledge. In the Initiative, basically. When leaving these environments, one takes the identity these records have created and internalizes them. You take this version of yourself with you, just as Spike takes the Initiative's chip with him.

I think that's what the chip is, and therefore I think it can give Spike a soul. But it wouldn't be an improvement. Its not a soul that would help him act morally, like Angel's soul is. It's a soul that would reduce him and keep him under thumb and destroy his creative power. As Nietzsche says, "Be careful lest in casting out your demons you cast out the best thing that's in you."

I don't think Buffy is in love with chip-Spike, she's in love with Spike. There is nothing high or noble about chip-Spike. He avoids pain like any other person would. But Spike himself IS high and noble. He overcomes rules, he overcomes values, he overcomes definitions, he overcomes pain and loss, he overcomes himself. Sometimes he may be frightening, but he is rarely small and petty. He immerses himself in the passions of life and of the world. That is what makes him admirable. The chip threatens to destroy all that.

While Angel's struggle is to keep and maintain his soul, Spike's struggle is to avoid or overcome a soul that is being imposed upon him.

In a way, over the timeline of the show, I think Buffy's own soul quest is reflected in these struggles.

[> Re: Philosophical differences in Angel's and Spike's souls -- fresne, 17:50:26 01/14/02 Mon

This is one of those instance where I wish my reading of, well, philosophy were a little better grounded, as opposed to a hodge podge.

Thus, perhaps, instead of having a cacophony of reactions to something this interesting, I would have a coherent argument. But there it is and since I'm not minded to do anything about it, I must continue like so.

I think I understand what you mean by, "Spike himself IS high and noble," although I might argue a bit with word choice. High and noble tend to evoke connotations of "good" for me and Spike is not good. Virtuous and pure Galahad is noble. Angel when ensouled is frequently noble, in a Kantian seek virtue sort of way.

What I think that you are saying is that Spike rather than being "small and petty," frequently makes the grand choices and doesn't let himself get caught up in emotional games. He lives according to his own ethics. Lays his emotional cards on the table. They are quixotic/inhuman ethics. Quixotic emotions/inhuman. But they are his.

However, I'm not entirely sure just how rebellious his behavior is pre-chip. Yes, he kills the Annoying One. Yes, hunts Slayers, etc. But this behavior strikes me as a case of anti-scripting. Here is the "script." This is what my childhood/mentors/yoda say I should do. I am now going to do the opposite. Because Spike was done living by societies rules. However, he's behaving that way because he want something - love and respect. Since this rebelliousness wins him what he wants, I'm uncertain just how much uber-vamp credit to give him.

It occurs to me that perhaps we make too much of the chip. Yes, it conditions Spike's behavior. However, it isn't the first limitation within the series to do so. Long before the chip, back in S2 there was a wheel chair.

Consider it. Here is Spike. For 90+ years he roamed the world with this dark goddess, Drucilla. No Darla. No Angel. Just he and his lady love. Every act of violence and of rebellion was positively reinforced by Drucilla and his peers. He created this persona of the big bad, willing to take on any and all comers. He isn't afraid of the Slayer. He is the slayer of Slayers.

Then comes life with its falling pianos. (How very Wiley Coyote)

Sure first Buffy kicks his kiester about town. But if he's cranky, there's plenty of other people to kill. And seriously, killing that parent in School Hard was kinda crankily petty.

Then it happens. He's stuck in a wheelchair. Practically defenseless. Can't go out and feed on his own. Rather than being Drucilla's equal, she must take care of him. And then Angelus shows up and Drucilla isn't Spike's Drucilla anymore. And there's Angelus rubbing Spike's face in all that he has lost.

What an incredibly humiliating and transformative experience. Where the Spike of School Hard couldn't wait a day to attack Buffy, the Spike of Becoming waits weeks, biding his time until the right moment to strike at his enemy. And where mid-season Spike was willing to let the world die via Blue Smurf, by Becoming Spike articulates why he likes the world. Yes, the chip is restrictive, but really it's just another kind of handicap.

So, I guess what I'm trying to wrap my brain around is that on one hand we have Foucault and Nietzsche going on about methodologies of "minting" people and behaviors. And on the other, I can't get past the conviction that existing in life shapes you. Forces you to grow up.

And as an aside, for a really interesting description of the process of taking people apart and putting them back together as cogs in a greater whole, read The Mint by T.E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), who for reason's of his own desperately wanted to become a cog.

S2 Spike was not a rebel in a void. He seized the world by the tail and Drucilla smiled. Ironically, the experience of sitting in a wheelchair, of having a chip shoved up his head, has freed Spike to be a true rebel. Time to throw out the scripts and just live your life. Want to ally with the good guys. Help save the world from a giant rock. Okay, do it. Love the Slayer - well then love her. She isn't ready to face her own feelings. Call her on it. Even if it could cost you what you desire.

[> [> Whoo! This is *luscious* -- just the way I like Spike. -- dsf, 20:13:57 01/16/02 Wed

chat? -- vampire hunter D, 17:19:59 01/13/02 Sun

Buffy Cartoon & Giles spin-off - any information? -- Liz, 17:45:18 01/13/02 Sun

I just wondered if anyone knew anything about the two potential spin-offs of Buffy. All information I can find about the cartoon says that it should start sometime around this February, but all of that information is from last spring. If it were really starting in a month I would think there would be some announcement. Does anyone know anything about it?

I also ran across something that implied that the Giles show would only air after Buffy had ended. Which actually might make a lot of sense--that way there's not parallel character development. Anyone have any clues at all?

More Tricksterism -- leslie, 18:58:00 01/13/02 Sun

I'd like to amplify some comments on Tricksters, having had the chance to exhume a couple of articles I read years ago in a folklore seminar on this very topic. Barbara Babcock-Abrahams, in "A Tolerated Margin of Mess: The Trickser and his Tales Reconsidered" (Journal of the Folklore Institute, vol. 11, 1974, pp. 147-186), ends her essay saying that "Trickster, 'the foolish one'--the negation offering possibility--stands in immediate relation to the center in all its ambiguity." She also offers a checklist of Tricky characteristics:

"In almost all cases, and to a greater or lesser degree, tricksters
1. exhibit an independence from and an ignoring of temporal and spatial boundaries;
2. tend to inhabit crossroads, open public places (especially the marketplace), doorways, and thresholds. In one way or another they are usually situated between the social cosmos and the other world or chaos;
3. are frequently involved in scatological or coprophagous episodes which may be creative, destructive, or simply amusing;
4. may, similarly, in their deeds and character, partake of the attributes of the Trickster-Transformer-Culture hero;
5. frequently exhibit some mental and/or physical abnormality, especially exgaggerated sexual characteristics;
6. have an enormous libido without procreative outcome;
7. have an ability to disperse and to disguise themselves and a tendency to be multiform and ambiguous, single or multiple;
8. often have a two-fold physical nature and/or a "double" and are associated with mirrors. Most noticeably, the trickster tends to be of uncertain sexual status;
9. follow the "principle of motley" in dress;
10. are often indeterminant (in physical stature) and my be portrayed as both young and old, or perpetually aged;
11. exhibit a human/animal dualism and may appear in a human form with animal characteristics or vice versa
12. are generally amoral and asocial--aggressive, vindictive, vain, defiant of authority, etc.
13. despite their endless propensity to copulate, find their most abiding form of relationship with the feminine in a mother or grandmother bond;
14. in keeping with their creative/destructive dualism, tricksters tend to be ambiguously situated between life and death, and good and evil, as is summed up in the combined black and white symbolism frequently associated with them;
15. are often ascribed to to roles (i.e., other than tricky behavior) in which an individual normally has privileged freedom from some of the demands of the social code;
16. in all their behavior, tend to express a concommitant breakdown of the distinction between reality and reflection." (pp. 159-160).

Some of these characteristics are spot on for Spike, some not so close. Many of them also are extremely relevent to vampires in general, while you can use them to make an argument for Buffy herself, let alone Willow, as a trickster.

A similar but not identical "trickster inventory" is offered by David M. Abrams & Brian Sutton-Smith, "The development of the Trickster in Children's Narrative," Journal of American Folklore vol. 90 (1977), pp. 29-47.

1. A small creature compared to adversaries.
2. Both animal and human characteristics.
3. Some physical abnormality/exaggerated sexual features
4. Bodily changes (shape, sex, size)

5. Peripheral pattern of residence

6. Oral behavior (in the Freudian sense)
7. Narcissism
8. Violation of taboo
9. Apparent ignorance of effects of immoral behavior
10. Lack of care for others
11. Individualism
12. Clumsiness
13. Superpowers/magic feats
14. Trickery
15. Performance of good deeds
16. Dualistic character

17. Humorous
18. Exaggerated expressions
19. Pretense
20. Playful competitiveness
21. Adventurous curiosity
22. Reverse behavior
23. Fearless daring
24. Constructive play
25. Sparkling vitality
26. Variable behavior
27. Impulsive, regressive behavior

28. Humiliation of the trickster
29. Humiliation of the villain

I could go on about this for hours, but I think I'll leave you with those thoughts.

Incidentally, Wakdjunkaga has a detatchable penis that he sends off to have adventures of its own on many occasions. It invariably gets stuck in something and has to be rescued. Eventually, it is nibbled down to manageable proportions (it's enormous to begin with) when he gets it stuck in a hole in a tree that is inhabited by chipmunks. ("A scatological incident that is simply amusing.")

[> Re: More Tricksterism -- Conor MacManus, 13:42:47 01/14/02 Mon

Hi. I wrote the Spike as Jungian archetype, and i'm stoked it got that kind of response. I wrote my thesis on manifestations of the trickster in the literature of the vietnam war and the crux of my argument was that in an ordered society, trickster brings chaos and disorder. However, in a disordered society, trickster (being a creature of opposites) will begin to create an order unto themselves. This is what i see occurring with Spike. What are your thoughts on that.

I really like the 2nd trickster checklist, even a little more than the first.

[> [> Re: More Tricksterism -- dsf, 20:08:57 01/16/02 Wed

Is association with the element of fire not as universal as I vaguely supposed? Because I've been thinking about Spike and fire since Lovers' Walk, where he appears to be unusually resistant to sunlight-kindled flame, and fire has been his friend many times since then. I thought of that as a trickster attribute, but perhaps it's only that fire itself is a trickster, and what's notable about Spike is his attraction to light of all kinds (and the fact that he keeps surviving encounters with it that would incinerate other vampires.)

Dawn Sharon

Vampire Pornography? -- Spike Lover, 19:41:25 01/13/02 Sun

What is the strict definition of pornography?

A vampire is watching a slasher/horror movie, and it gives him a physical reaction (hunger) (and possibly more). Are we to interpret that little scene as Spike "indulging" himself?

When I saw it I kind of laughed, wondering if that is the sense Joss or Fury was trying to get across.

[> StmttaBtVS Award Nominee -- Shul, 21:14:27 01/13/02 Sun

I nominate you for the "Spending too much time thinking about Buffy the Vampire Slayer" Award.

signed SHUL

[> Re: Vampire Pornography? -- Traveler, 06:33:48 01/14/02 Mon

I got the impression that Spike was actually kind of bored by the movie he was watching.

[> [> I figured his reaction was psychological... -- Isabel, 13:56:57 01/14/02 Mon

Like ours would be when Burger King, etc. commercials come on when we're watching a movie. It tends to make people salivate and snack. (I hate Burger King and those commercials still effect me.)

[> [> [> I agree, like Pavlov's dog -- Lilac, 14:27:47 01/14/02 Mon

ooh, blood and gore, I must be hungry

*Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- OnM, 20:40:50 01/13/02 Sun


Results not typical. Sheryl exercised and ate a reduced calorie diet including Subway's low fat sandwiches.

............ 'small print' from a Subway ad that aired during the current ep.


The large print giveth and the small print taketh away.

............ Tom Waits, from his song Step Right Up


Initially, as the events of Gone unfolded before my winter-hiatused, re-run-weary eyes, I had significant trouble trying to shake the feeling that not much is really happening here, which was disappointing to say the least. In fact, I was kind of shocked, since I have stated before, and quite truthfully, that I try to start each and every episode with the mindset that 'I'm along for the ride', and I will mentally adapt to whatever storytelling modus operandi the writers choose, be it wild and manic crazy action, or laid back exposition. Heck, my last review even postulated a mythical 'My Dinner with Andre' ultra-talky scenario that I thought would be interesting, unlikely though it be to ever really happen.

Determined to see if the feeling persisted through additional viewings, I switched channels to watch Fox's 24 for the next hour (great show, BTW-- free plug for it, if you haven't already tuned in) and then rewound the tape for another shot at recovering my normally Buffylicious experience. (Note to my fellow 'philes-- I do recommed gaining at least an hour's distance from the original airing, possibly more, before re-viewings of same. The analytical aspects of your brain will work better if you do so, like a palate-cleansing between samplings of fine wine. At least, it works better for yours truly).

Much to my relief, the episode did get better after a second viewing. I suppose that having gotten acclimated to the high intensity level of the season's first 10 episodes-- which on a 1 to 10 scale were always between 7 and 10-- I was somehow expecting more of the same, instead of the much more easy-going, calm-after-the-storm kind of eppie this turned out to be. Another contributing factor to my prior expectations was undoubtably my foreknowledge that the script had been penned by David Fury, who previously presented us with far more emotionally catacylsmic shows such as Helpless, Choices, Fear Itself, Primeval, Crush and Bargaining Pt. 2.

Nothing much seems to happen in this episode, although upon closer examination that turns out to not be so, but this is very clearly a transitional episode, and how well it integrates into the season as a whole remains to be seen. So, for now, I'll present the items that I liked and disliked, and then see if I need to revise any opinions after more of the season has unfurled.

As briefly alluded to above, in my review of Wrecked I set up an imaginary conversation capsule between Buffy and Spike that outlined the 'sensible' actions Buffy and Willow would need to take if they were real people inhabiting the real universe. In this particular projection, Buffy would stop seeing Spike, or at least not have sexual relations with him ever again, and Willow would resign the use of magic the same way an alcoholic resigns any intimate contact with booze. In the realverse as pertains to Buffy, this would make sense because Buffy would not be a superhuman/natural being charged with repeatedly saving the world from the forces of darkness. The only genuinely valid issues at hand would be the saving of herself from potentially serious future emotional damage, and meeting her obligations as a responsible adult re: her sister and friends. As to a realverse Willow, we know from long practical experience that there is no such thing as an alcoholic who can shed his or her addictive behavior and turn back into 'just a social drinker'. (Any individual who really does so was not a true addict in the first place, and instead is simply someone who on rare occasions has inadvertantly over-indulged).

In the case of a fictional drama such as BtVS, this would make for a boring story at worst, or yet another tedious rendering of the perils of addiction that either preaches to the converted, or falls on deaf ears. More importantly, both Buffy and Willow exist in unconventional circumstances relative to even the imaginary nature of the Buffyverse. Willow may be able to eschew the use of magical forces in terms of the mundane, as she successfully did in Gone, but sooner or later some bigger badder will need to be definitively dealt with and there will be either no sign of Buffy, or Buffy will be out of action. Willow will have to choose between saving her own, or someone else's life, and use of her magical abilities will be the only way to do so. Having her say, 'Sorry, no can do, big-timey magic addict on-the-wagon you know!' while the bodies pile up is not a viable option.

No, the unquestionably rocky path that Willow is currently traveling will be even harder than she thinks, as long as she continues to make a committment to being an evil-fighter. Just as Buffy has had to deal for the last five years with trying to balance the good and bad aspects of her calling, Willow will need to do the same, now that she has had a chance to gain supernatural powers herself. There is no going back, Willow has to deal or leave, and it won't be easy, and I find it very hard to believe that Willow would seriously consider abandoning her chosen course through life.

Buffy, initially retreating into fear/isolation after her first sexual encounter with Spike, has apparently realized that sitting alone in her room surrounded by crosses and garlic bunches won't hack it either. Even in a world without supernatural evils to battle, there are still the mundane matters of human existance to ferret out solutions to, such as dealing with the child welfare authorities, gaining some form of regular employment, and assisting her friends in dealing with their own particular difficulties.

I was very pleased with having the 'old' Willow return to us in this ep, the one we admired for her intelligence and resourcefulness. It's still too soon for Willow to appreciate the value of her 'ordinary' self, but at least there were clear signs present that she may eventually regain her original balance and perspective, and if very lucky, a sense that those inherent traits can be augmented by the judicious use of her supernatural abilities, not replaced by them. I loved the cool logic and physical legwork she employs to track down the geek chorus and discover their nefarious (?) plans, then goes one step further in contibuting actively (and very assurededly) to the final 'battle' between the geeks and Buffy. Recalling that time when she responded to Xander and his comment that 'smart chicks are so hot', it would be nice if Willow applied that same understanding to herself.

Leaving the Buffy and Willow specifics aside for a moment, and returning to the general theme/concept of the episode, I must state that I had a certain degree of trepidation with having the series do another invisibility schtick, since not only has this theme been pretty much driven into the ground throughout the history of the science-fiction and fantasy genre, but of course was also covered before on BtVS.Fortunately, writer Fury has aptly used his not-inconsiderable skills to avoid the application of cliches, and so once again, BtVS presents a metaphor that works without insulting the audience. Nonetheless, when I was watching the original telecast, I kept getting the odd feeling that something was missing from a direction standpoint (Fury also directed the episode, along with writing it). Other than SMG and Marsters, most of the other actors seemed to be essentially 'walking through' their parts, and not connecting with the viewing audience in the manner that they normally do (and do extremely well). Even Michelle Trachenberg showed some slight evidence of this 'disconnection', which is extremely unusual for her. Susan Ruttan, whom many viewers will recall from her fine work on L.A. Law years back, was an opportunity wasted, both in terms of the quality of acting she is capable of and the writing quality presented to her character. I'll go into this in a bit more detail a little later, it's really my single biggest gripe of the episode and Fury's only significant creative mis-step, in my opinion.

Another item I initially thought was a directional/acting mis-step was the way SMG was voicing Buffy during the time that she was in invisibility mode, until I suddenly realized that I had heard that particular vocal inflection before-- when Buffy was 'Joan the Vampire Slayer' during her memory loss in Tabula Rasa. This new, Invisible-Buffy incarnation was similarly perky and happy and carefree, enamored of her supernatural gifts, and equally happy to employ them in play as well as in work. This realization then paved the way for understanding how Buffy could suddenly go from fear-o-Spike to fellati-o-Spike in less than a day's time, a scenario which had originally baffled me as to the realism of Buffy's quick-change motivations. Even though Spike alluded to the reason for Buffy's motivation after the highly amusing encounter with Xander crashing the consummational activities, I guess it just partly slipped by me at the time. I clearly saw the 'play' aspect of the invisibilty motif, but didn't grab onto the subtext about how she saw it as making the world invisible to her, thus freeing her of 'responsibility'. This was truly clever, and from a layered-writing standpoint, represents a high point of Fury's work on this episode.

Moving over to the dark side of the dynamic, Spike is once again dealing with the thrill of having Buffy for a lover, only to feel subsequent dismay that he only 'has' her physically. As he did with the Buffybot, what first seems to satisfy his needs turns out to be only surface satisfaction, and he realizes that the reality is what he needs, not the illusion. Buffy, who seems perfectly happy to have sex with him as long as 'no one can see her' is not the Buffy he wants. Leaving aside for the moment the perfectly valid question of S/B being a route that should be traveled at all, whether or not Buffy can give Spike 'what he wants' will of course depend entirely on whether or not she is willing to make herself emotionally vulnerable for a lover again.

It so happens that Buffy has very good reasons for not making herself vulnerable in this fashion. Her first lover, Angel, turned evil after she 'let him in', and her second lover, Parker, treated her even more shabbily by dumping her after one single lovemaking session, without even the mitigating excuse of being under a gypsy curse. An interesting parallel I've noted this season is how geekmeister Warren exhibits the same amoral behavior patterns as Parker. While the geek trio as a group is looking ever less likely to become the season's big bad, I am starting to think that Warren does have the capacity to become one. His total lack of concern and empathy for any of his fellow humans, even his so-called 'partners', is genuinely chilling. When Jonathan stands up to him, refusing to go along with the Warren's plan to simply let Buffy die, I instinctively knew Warren gave in too easily, that he never intended to try to save the Slayer, but just didn't feel like bothering to argue the point. Warren treats everyone as existing solely to serve his needs, and also as equally disposable when those needs aren't being met. There has been a steady progression in his abhorrent behavior with first April, his robotic 'perfect' girlfriend, then Katrina, his human girlfriend, and now with pretty much anyone, regardless of relationship.

One question comes up in terms of events later on in the season if indeed Warren becomes a serious threat to the world, which is how will Buffy deal with him? In one of the show's references to comic book worlds, Andrew brings up the issue of Superman and Lex Luthor. In this particular mythology, Superman always hauled the human evildoers off to the human authorities, meaning they went to jail (much as with what happened to Faith in the Buffyverse). Suppose Warren doesn't give her that option? Will Buffy kill a human if that is the only way to prevent greater harm? Last season, this issue rose with Ben/Glory. Buffy stopped her destruction of Glory when Ben, the human half of the symbiosis, reappeared. Giles commented, just before ending Ben's life, that Buffy is 'a hero' because of this compassion, but Buffy is also on her own now, Giles isn't there to give her the out, protect her honor in a manner of speaking. The tough choice might come down to rest on Buffy's shoulders alone. Making this choice even more difficult, is that I sense that Buffy doesn't take Warren as being a very serious threat at this point in time, an attitude that may come back to cause her regrets. I personally think it is just a matter of time before Warren crosses the line and kills a human, he shows every evidence that he would not only let it happen, but wouldn't shed any tears over the loss.

Returning now to the ongoing debate about 'what's wrong with Buffy', there were still more cluesdropped in Gone that tend to further the 'immortality' variant. First, assuming that the items made invisible by the overload-firing of the invisibility ray would deteriorate at the same approximate rate, Buffy should have been fading away long before the time she was 'revisiblized'. Granted that the rate of decay could be different for the different objects, and so provide the writers an 'out' for this line of logic, it remains a curious question. Another two rather pointed references occur, however, and I doubt they were just coincidental. One, is where Spike asserts that 'being immortal is no excuse' for getting out of shape, 'especially when it comes to killing things'. Spike just may be playing on his increasingly unconvincing 'evil nature', but the phrase could apply equally to Buffy. If the immortality arc actually comes to pass, I suspect that Buffy will be extremely unhappy about the idea of a deathless existence on earth, and then be inclined towards eternal mopiness and dis-action because of it. I think that the end of this years' series will be about Buffy accepting the new nature of her being, and moving forward, rather than retreating in despair and portraying such a willingness to accept death passively, if not actively. This would fit Joss's stated Year 6 theme of Oh, grow up. At the end of this week's episode, Buffy appears to have made some small headway in this general direction, but she also is certainly assuming that someday she will die, and perhaps effect a return to the bliss she was 'torn out of'. The thought of never attaining the 'heaven' she left could easily cause a substantial setback.

The other note comes when the geeks are arguing about killing Buffy, and Andrew and Jonathan use Superman as an analogy. Superman is an interesting choice, in that in terms of immortality, he seems a closer analogy to Buffy's state of being than say, Mayor Wilkins. Wilkins was unaging after a certain point, and apparently felt nothing if physical harm came to his body. It is clearly evident that despite what Buffy states as having her 'feelings being shut down', she just as clearly feels both physical pleasure and pain. This is closer to the vampire model of immortality, except that she has no demon sharing her body and mind, and still has a soul. Superman came to Earth as a baby, and apparently grew normally into manhood, except for his 'invulnerability', which was not without some limitations. He was still essentially 'human', however, and subject to many human emotional frailties. I won't count this remaining possibility as a 'gimme', but I'll throw it out anyway, and see if anyone has any alternate interpretations. Although it is always a risk to over-analyse what could very well be a completely innocent wardrobe choice, I believe that the animal on the shirt Buffy wears early on in the episode is a black leopard. This conjures a reference to the movie Cat People, wherein you may recall that the ancient leopard-people were a type of god-creature that was essentially immortal, but could only mate with their own kind, or else reverted to animal form, and had to kill a human to become human again. In the movie, cat-woman Irina resigns herself to stay in animal form rather than kill, while her brother/potential lover accepts that human death must result if he wishes to be human. Is this a parallel to the situation with Buffy and Spike? Now to my one big gripe, as promised earlier. When The Body aired, there was some serious comments made by more medically knowledgeable fans that the EMT's would not have behaved in the way they did, such as by leaving Buffy alone with the body to go on to another call, or 'calling the death' instead of having an actual doctor do so. While I agree in principle that they are probably correct, I allowed it to not bother me because I understood that it made the scene more effective overall, with Buffy left to herself in shock and disbelief.

In Gone, although it admittedly made for some very humorous scenes, I have problems with the writing of the role of the social worker who during a five-minute-long visit to the Summer's home, makes a few quick observations and comes to certain conclusions. From our perspective behind the fourth wall, it is easy to see that Buffy is getting a raw deal, but to all external evidence, the social worker's position is completely understandable. Real social workers, especially in the child-protection field, try very hard to work with families to keep things together, but that's simply not always possible. Rather than show the character as a one-dimensional bully figure, it would have been more honest and challenging to show her as caring but concerned, not petty and confrontational. What was written and screened was a cheap shot, in my opinion, and Fury could have, and should have, done much better. Considering the commonplace occurance of moral ambiguity throughout the entire run of the show, how much better would it have been to show the social worker as a positive force, leaving Buffy with the dilemma of proving her point without trashing another well-meaning person.and invoking another cliche. OK, wrapping up now, I noticed some nice little throwouts to the regular fans-- the reference, without additional explanation, to 'Marcie', the invisible girl of the first season. Also, the wall clock behind Dawn when Buffy is doing the magic clean-up in the morning shows a time of 7:30. I thought the 'to witches, candles are like bongs joke was hilarious, especially the goofy/forlorn look on Willow's face after Buffy says this. (How does Alyson do that, anyway??) It's obvious that Dawn is going to have some major air time in the weeks to come, there was 'setup' written all over the place in this ep, especially with the subtle hint dropped by her appearing home very much not 'right after' school. Where was she, and doing what? Wandering the streets? Shoplifting? Hanging out with rowdy friends? Patrolling?

I'm closing my review with some idle (yeah, right!) speculation. I believe that by season's end, if Buffy does give in to attempting a longer-term intimate relationship with Spike, that Spike will have the chip removed from his head, at Buffy's request, or at least consider doing so. I think that Buffy will consider this the only genuine proof of his professed desire to 'be with her' and also accept her as what she is, the protector of humanity and the destroyer of evil. He will have to have the chip removed, but not give in to his desires to kill humans, or the relationship is over, as may very well be his un-life. This has a desirable resonance to it, since if Spike is sincere in his professed love for Buffy, then he must understand that he can never kill a human again, or it will represent an irreparable betrayal to her. This also rings true with Willow's situation, whereby she would like to deal with the potential addiction of magic by eschewing it completely, but she cannot. The painful, difficult choice is the only one that works. Buffy must make the painful, difficult choice to trust that Spike will not betray her, and risk the emotional damage if he does. All things are then in balance, even if that balance is on a knife edge. This is the Earthly realm of the Buffyverse dimension, and all things are hard, and bright... and sharp.

Aren't they, Mr. Pointy?


It's e-ffective, it's de-fective. It gives you an erection, it wins the election. Step right up...

............ Tom Waits, redux


[> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- Rufus, 01:21:35 01/14/02 Mon

I was very pleased with having the 'old' Willow return to us in this ep, the one we admired for her intelligence and resourcefulness. It's still too soon for Willow to appreciate the value of her 'ordinary' self, but at least there were clear signs present that she may eventually regain her original balance and perspective, and if very lucky, a sense that those inherent traits can be augmented by the judicious use of her supernatural abilities, not replaced by them.

I believe that Willow can achieve a balance of power over pride. The problem isn't the magic, but what Willow used the magic to do. She wanted to erase the geek she once was and used the power of magic to delude herself into thinking abusing power was the way to go. Willow didn't have a problem until she invited in the Darkest magic last season and again this season. The Willow from earlier seasons was a compassionate introspective person who was more than met the eyes, but in the teenage world that was seen as a detriments instead of a plus. I'm not saying that looks doesn't get attention, I'm saying that Willow wanted to be noticed just like Buffy. What she will eventually learn(I hope) is that looks and popularity are highly overrated as Judge Judy said "beauty fades, dumb is forever"(only an approx. quote). What is considered successful and appealing in our teens changes when the reality of the adult world teaches us about responsibility and the fact that it's not all about us. As long as Willow has used the power that was a natural gift for the betterment of those around her she was fine, as soon as it became for personal gain say, revenge, she got into trouble.

Wonderful review as ever OnM.

[> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- Marie, 03:51:43 01/14/02 Mon

OnM, bravo!

You've put into words the very thoughts about Willow's "addiction" that I've been having as I've read, over the past months, all the posts on this subject.

I haven't actually seen the episodes, but just from reading the afore-mentioned posts, my thoughts were "But how can Willow totally give up using magic and stay in the Scooby Gang, without going totally insane? What happens when, some future Tuesday, there's no-one there but her to save Dawn from the impending evil? She's going to have to 'fall off the wagon', isn't she? And what will the Gang say then? 'Oh, don't worry about it, Will. You can use magic when it's convenient for saving our lives, but never any other time, or else!'"

In my humble opinion, Willow will have to learn, not to not use magic, but how to control her use of it (only you said it better!).

On another issue - Buffy killing humans. Maybe this is where Spike-as-Watcher will come in. Is this how he will be taking over from Giles, do you think? If the chip problem is overcome at some point, I mean.


[> [> Re:Solution to "What to do with Spike?" -- LeeAnn, 04:29:19 01/14/02 Mon

"On another issue - Buffy killing humans. Maybe this is where Spike-as-Watcher will come in. Is this how he will be taking over from Giles, do you think? If the chip problem is overcome at some point, I mean" .. Marie

I like that solution to the "what to do with Spike?" question. It would allow Spike to keep on growing and changing while still being part of the action. And his present vulnerability to humans makes me uneasy since he can't even defend himself. Right now Spike is as much prey to any human who wants to kill him as human used to be to him. That might be something for BtVS to explore.

[> [> [> Re:Solution to "What to do with Spike?" -- Andy, 06:49:18 01/14/02 Mon

Yeah, I think the chip has to come out eventually in order for Spike to convincingly grow as a character. For all that I've seen some people differentiate Spike from the other characters, I think the "grow up" theme of the season applies every bit as much to Spike, who I still can't help but see as a basically adolescent figure, as it does to any of the Scoobies. Being able to take responsibility for his actions without the threat of getting a headache would be the surest sign of Spike growing up to me.


[> Chips ahoy -- spoilery speculation -- verdantheart, 07:00:24 01/14/02 Mon

Most illuminating review, as always, OnM!

I see the chip coming out -- it seems inevitable that this test must occur -- but I don't see it coming about by Buffy's (or Spike's) choice. I think it will be involuntary (especially for Spike). In fact, that would be a most ironic and satisfying turn of events given Spike's original desperation to get it out. Just my opinion, I may well be wrong.

[> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- Rattletrap, 07:28:00 01/14/02 Mon

An exceptionally good review this week, OnM.

I think your prediction about the future of Spike's chip is probably correct. Since our big bad for this season will, very possibly, be human, it may be necessary for him to have the chip out by the time of the finale for that reason as well.

Regarding the Child Welfare worker: your criticism that she is cast as a bit of a bully and makes some judgments based on fairly superficial information is basically valid. In some respects, sadly, it is also not far from reality (I say this based on a brief stint I did as a sercretary for Human Services/Child Welfare in my state). Most Child Welfare workers in our state (and I understand in most others) carry a caseload that would require 90-100 work hours every week to cover even somewhat adequately. Because nobody realy wants to work this much week-in and week-out, they often cut corners and make fairly superficial snap-judgments (which are often later reversed by the courts). In addition, many people who begin their careers as genuinely caring and compassionate people become extremly jaded, cynical, and burned out within only a few months of starting their job. A high-stress job that requires its incumbent to interact daily with one of the darkest sides of humanity is not conducive to maintaining high morale or fostering sympathy and understanding. All this said, then, I found David Fury's portrayal of the Child Welfare worker relatively sympathetic and favorable.

*just my $.02*


P.S. Love the Tom Waits references.

[> [> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- Solitude1056, 08:11:46 01/14/02 Mon

A high-stress job that requires its incumbent to interact daily with one of the darkest sides of humanity is not conducive to maintaining high morale or fostering sympathy and understanding. All this said, then, I found David Fury's portrayal of the Child Welfare worker relatively sympathetic and favorable.

After seeing the episode a second time, I agree. My only quibble might be that the SW didn't offer Buffy any handouts or mention a counseling program that would help Buffy learn better parenting skills, but then again, helpful authority figures have never been a Joss trademark. (Although my housemate's observation would be that maybe it's time that there be a helpful authority figure other than Giles, since that could introduce a new type of dynamic in the process of growing up.) That said, I agree that the SW's emphasis that her sole priority is helping Dawn showed her as a caring and compassionate character. Buffy's reaction was ultimately childish, since the SW's repeated affirmations that she acts only in Dawn's interest meant - to me - that it would've been feasible for Buffy to go to the woman's office and suggest that they try again, and ask what she could do to be a better parent. Of course, such an action on Buffy's part would require a certain level of maturity, and I suppose the point was that Buffy's not there... yet.

But as always, OnM gives me plenty to think about while I wait for new episodes!

[> [> [> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- robert, 10:43:52 01/14/02 Mon

"That said, I agree that the SW's emphasis that her sole priority is helping Dawn showed her as a caring and compassionate character. "

I do not buy into this.

"What's best for the child" is the party line, but one only has to follow the news to know that this isn't always true.

Notice that the social worker did not even talk to Dawn. At sixteen, Dawn's opinions should at least carry enough weight to be heard. Additionally, the social worker spoke only for a couple minutes with Buffy, before pronouncing a sentence of probation.

There is no way that Buffy and Dawn could survive the intense scrutiny of probation. My conclusion is that the social worker had condemmed the family with only a cursory observation and a snap judgement. I saw no evidence that anything Buffy could say or do would sway her opinion. Removing her from the issue at least gives Buffy and Dawn a chance to start the process again.

Some have stated that Buffy was too harsh with the social worker. What I see is a lazy, uncaring, judgemental civil servant with the authority to destroy families and lives. What can be more evil? As a one time civil servant, I was honored with the opportunity to observe the worst that civil service has to offer.

[> [> [> [> Depends on where Joss is going with the "oh grow up" theme -- Solitude1056, 11:12:24 01/14/02 Mon

Yes, you're right - SW sometimes make snap judgements based on heavy caseloads and being burnt. Taking it from the SW's point of view, Dawn appears at the door with a tail-end statement about car accidents, her arm's in a sling, and she's clearly disinterested in listening to anything her sister says. The house, meanwhile, presents a chaotic environment - and Buffy's not helping the situation much with her scatterbrained running commentary. The SW is bound to be suspicious, and combined with the school's reports about Dawn's slipping grades and frequent absences, it doesn't bode well.

Much of my familiarity with the situation is due to the fact that a good friend of mine had custody of her own younger sister after their mother died. Until my friend was 18, the two had lived with their father, but at 18, my friend moved back to the family-owned house where her mother had grown up. A year later, her younger sister (at age 15) opted to come live with her rather than stay with their father. My friend dealt with the constant SW supervision, and yes, their house was chaotic and her sister's grades slipped at points as the two of them adjusted. Probation - and the parenting skills classes - were a constant in their lives.

However, my understanding of the SW system is that it's often far more disruptive to remove a child from an otherwise loving (if chaotic and undisciplined) environment to a foster home where there may be discipline but there's potentially little love. It's cheaper - both emotionally and fiancially - to simply teach the new guardian the parenting skills required to do a better job, and no one expects a 20-yr old with dubious income stability to know, right off the bat, how to parent properly. Hell, new parents take five years - if not the rest of their lives - learning by mistake and error how to be a "good parent."

I didn't see the SW expecting miracles, nor did I see her taking Dawn away without further discussion. What she did made perfect sense, to me, as an adult: she gave Buffy a major wake-up call. Get things in order, or you'll lose Dawn. Buffy's behavior, the house, and her nervous immaturity about dress, schedule, and friends all added up to someone who needs to be reminded that parenting isn't something that takes care of itself, it's work. The SW's last words, about Dawn being her first priority, and her gentle but stern reminder that Dawn should also be Buffy's first priority, seemed to me to be a well-balanced way to present the SW as compassionate, if perhaps overworked, in a TV script that doesn't always have the time to go into every single detail about mundane issues.

[> [> [> [> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- Rufus, 11:34:28 01/14/02 Mon

I find that the SW acted fairly and didn't become vindictive enough to pull Dawn out of the house without further investigaton. Seems a judgement based upon only a few minutes of screentime is being made by both the Social Worker in regards to Buffy, and us, with the Social Worker, who we know nothing of and was written as perhaps a throwaway character. If the Worker was lazy she could have done a few things that proved that like ignoring the situation entirely, just checking the boxes and leaving, or spent even less time and just sent the authorities in to snatch Dawn. She kinda went the mid ground and went back and put in paperwork to keep Buffy under investigation. That proved to me that she at least did consider the welfare of Dawn.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- DEN, 14:10:59 01/14/02 Mon

The relatively understanding treatment the SW is getting on this thread, and the board generally, gave me an idea. For the first time on the series, an "adult," "establishment" authority figure may have been unsympathetic, but was NOT set up beyond reasonable challenge as being clueless, incompetent, or malevolent. Even posters critical of the SW's procedures or her attitude usually concede the rightness of her insisting on Dawn's welfare as predominant. And even firm defenders of Dawn's "family" agree there are shortcomings in how she's currently being "parented." It's quite a shift, IMO, from the days when only the Scoobies knew the full score--part. perhaps, of "oh,grow up?" Comments?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: *Results Not Typical* - My Thoughts on *Gone* ( ***Spoilers*** ) -- Rufus, 15:52:18 01/14/02 Mon

Growing up happens when you begin to understand the world past the gates of High School or college. Buffy took for granted that as her home always looked just so, that it was an easy job to run a home and work at the same time. We always saw Joyce through Buffys point of view. It's no mistake as Buffy grew older that Joyce became more sympathetic.

[> [> [> This is even more fascinating than I expected... ;) -- OnM, 20:53:24 01/14/02 Mon

Alas, it is late and I wish I had the time to respond in some more detail, but fear not (or fear plenty, if need be), for I shall return tomorrow night and try to expand a bit on Fury's writing and direction of the Child Welfare worker, and why I think he missed the boat.

*** That said, I agree that the SW's emphasis that her sole priority is helping Dawn showed her as a caring and compassionate character. ***

See, that's what I love about this place! I was sure that this was the one single area that folks would mostly agree with my assessment, and there turns out to be lots of discussion and different opinions. Ya just never know...


[> I very much agree... -- Cactus Watch, 11:36:06 01/14/02 Mon

with your assessment of the episode. I mildly disliked it on the first viewing, but thought it was better the second time I watched. That generally means the episode was well put together, but there were a lot of points that could have used smoothing out. I think Fury is an average writer, neither good nor particularly bad. But, allowing him to make his debut as a director on this episode was a mistake. It was just too ambitious a project for someone with his experience, and it showed repeatedly. He didn't know enough and didn't have enough time to make it as good as I'm sure he wanted it. Like, you OnM, I felt there were real problems with the way actors were taking direction. During the first time I watched it, I was particularly annoyed with the way SMG was coming off when she was invisible. First off she sounded exactly as if she were being recorded in a sound room, and not on the set. SMG is generally a master of portraying emotion, and it seemed to me that many times during the invisible scenes the voice was flat where it should have been emotional and vice-versa (ie. she was getting very little direction). I kept thinking, boy they recorded this in a hurry, and I wonder what show SMG was guest starting on that she couldn't be there so that it couldn't be don't right. It was during the second viewing I really noticed the amount of dramatic camera work had been done. Some of it worked and some didn't. But, clearly the whole ep suffered by trying time consuming experiments to make the invisible scenes have some life to them. The invisible scenes are extremely dull without the camera work, there literally is nothing going on that can be seen. In summery the ep. was a noble experiment, but not a particularly successful one for a Buffy. Had it been on another show with lower standards it might have been a relative 'classic.'

[> [> Re: I very much agree... -- maddog, 12:27:31 01/14/02 Mon

But wouldn't you rather have Fury do a light hearted episode like this then one as emotionally charged as the previous two?

[> [> [> First, do it well. Then worry about whether it's serious or funny. :o) -- CW, 15:01:43 01/14/02 Mon

As I said before, I do like it more after seeing it again. But, it's not well made. I'm not criticizing Fury's story or the concept, just his direction of the production.

Believe me, it would have been better if they'd had the time to do it right. Just like that garbled sentence in the middle of my post that you replied to would have been better if I wasn't dyslexic. ;o)

[> Re: Awesome as Always, OnM -- Dedalus, 15:47:50 01/14/02 Mon

[> What, no comments on the leopard shirt and 'cat-people'? ... ;) -- OnM, 21:06:34 01/14/02 Mon

You guys are slipping! Where's all the wardrobe analysts??


[> [> What, no expanded discussion of the social worker? -- Vickie, 13:45:49 01/16/02 Wed


[> [> [> Sorry! I do plan, but sometimes plans go awry! -- OnM, 20:38:56 01/16/02 Wed

I did start a paragraph or two, but got sidetracked. I'll give it a shot sometime tomorrow if I can, OK?

Thanks for asking!


[> [> [> [> I'm looking forward to it -- Vickie, 11:38:11 01/17/02 Thu

whenever you get around to it.

can someone help me with a question? -- felhar, 21:25:28 01/13/02 Sun

On amazon.com they have the whole first season on dvd for sale. I want to buy it because I am a true buffy fan. I have watched It since the very first season. I have them all recorded on vhs, but I would like to get them all together on dvd, Do you think they will also come out with the other seasons on dvd as sets also? I don't want to get the first season and not be able to get the others.thanks!!!You can email me if someone knows or just write back.

[> Re: can someone help me with a question? -- Slayrunt, 21:34:01 01/13/02 Sun

the word is that season 2 should be released on dvd by june 02 and the original plan was to release the seasons every 6 months or so. don't know if they are sticking to that but we can guess that since season 1 is out and season 2 will be that the others will follow at some future time.

Maybe others here have more info, I hope this helps.

[> [> Re: can someone help me with a question? -- Rob, 22:22:36 01/13/02 Sun

You can pretty much assume that all seasons will be coming out eventually. Fox, which is releasing Buffy, also released sets of X-Files and Simpsons. They're planning to release every season of those shows, so I don't know why they wouldn't for "Buffy." Word is almost set that the second season will be out in June, and the third by next Christmas.


My analysis of "Gone" is up -- Masquerade, 22:16:47 01/13/02 Sun

[> Brava! Excellent, as usual, Masq! -- Rob, 22:20:42 01/13/02 Sun

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