January 2002 posts

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Speculation on Tara's nature...plus Athurian Legend... -- Mystery, 07:32:36 01/25/02 Fri

this was thought lodged in my head by Xander saying (to Willow) "So how long have you known your girlfriend is Tinkerbell?"

Tara has always had a very Otherworldly feel about her. Magik is as natural to her as breathing. She sees the world in auras. Do you think that her power is, rather than demon-based, fae-based? She's obviously human, as Spike's punch illustrated, but maybe the women in her family are descended from priestesses or druidesses.

If you would put Buffy into an Athurian sense, Buffy would be Arthur (obviously). Xander would be Percival. Cordy would be Kay. Faith is Mordred. Giles is Merlin. Willow actually would be Lancelot. Dawn would be Galahad (Arthur's heir). And Tara would be the Lady of the Lake. (Anya, Spike, Angel, and Oz are a little hard to characterize. Perhaps Angel as the Fisher King?)

As the sorceress it would imply that Tara has an otherworldly nature, like she has a blood-tie to the faery lands. Perhaps she has a faery godmother?

I dunno. Just a weird bunch of mind-fart tangents...

[> Re: Speculation on Tara's nature...plus Athurian Legend... -- Rob, 07:57:18 01/25/02 Fri

I am a huge Arthurian Legend buff, but I don't entirely agree with your choices for links between the characters. While they both follow the Joseph Campbell mold for the Hero's Journey, I don't think that the Buffy characters can be so easily identified with particular Arthurian characters. They are too multi-faceted to be so easily pigeonholed.

If I had to, though, I would have said that Buffy is Arthur. Faith is not Mordred, but Lancelot...a good friend of Buffy's who ends up betraying her, as Lance ended up betraying Arthur. Willow wouldn't be Lancelot, in my mind, but Morgan Le Fay, while Tara would be the Lady of the Lake, where I agree with you. I also agree with you on Giles as Merlin...Also, Merlin left Arthur when he became an adult, albeit because he was trapped by Nimue in a cave of ice; similarly, Giles has left Buffy at this stage of her development. Spike may be one of the petty kings Arthur thought, who ended up becoming a friend.

Angel is Guinevere...Just as Guin was Arthur's one true love that he could never truly have, because she loved another, Angel is Buffy's love, who she can never truly have because he is a vampire.

Now this may be a stretch, but I don't think Dawn is Galahad. I would save that position for Xander. Galahad was the noblest and bravest and purest of the knights; Xander is the purest of heart in the Scooby Gang, I believe. It's still early to say so, but Dawn has been doing some pretty rebellious things lately, not the least of which has been the stealing and standing up to Buffy. Could Dawn be Mordred? Time will tell...


[> Hero archetypes -- darrenK, 10:05:47 01/25/02 Fri

To whatever degree your arthurian character comparisons work, it's because the Buffy characters are hero archetypes who follow the molds laid out in time-honored mythic tradition.

But just because the characters loosely correspond to archetypes doesn't mean their destinies will.

In fact, I seriously doubt you can determine anything from them. The Buffy writers are too unpredictable for that. dK

[> [> I agree... -- Rob, 10:13:35 01/25/02 Fri

One of the brilliant aspects of "Buffy" is its ability to allude to mythic archetypes and characters, and yet subtly and surprisingly twist them in unexpected directions. That's what makes it so impossible to categorize Buffy as being symbolic of a particular legend or myth. Yes, the Campbellian influences are there, but the story does not slavishly follow them to the degree of, say, "Star Wars." The characters direct the plot, not the other way around, making them not only three-dimensional and multifaceted, but impossible to perfectly compare to characters from other fictions.


[> [> [> Re: I agree... -- Mystery, 11:59:40 01/25/02 Fri

I think the beauty of Joss's writing is that he does have the sterotypical heroes, defying the "normal" path. It looks like they learned from their archetypes. They always keep you guessing...

The reason why I chose Dawn as Galahad rather than Xander is mainly the whole "Heir" issue (Galahad was Arthur's chosen heir, right?). As the 'key' she is still pure and virtuous (holy). I also eventually see a scenario where she will ascend through her power as a Holy Relic, just as Galahad ascended through the rapture provided by the Grail.

I think of Xander as Percival because both characters were never very powerful by rank or virtue. Xander has no slayer strength or magic powers, Percival was not as highly ranked as say, Gawain or born of a magic being like Lancelot. Both characters are (relatively) normal warriors, fighting and winning with the strength in their heart. To me, Xander and Percival are the everyday folk who save the world not because they want power or have some grand destiny, but because they want to help people.

I'm also going to REALLY stick by my equation of Faith and Mordred. You actually help me by going with Angel as Gwen. Think about the parallels, Faith should be the rightful Slayer but she's overshadowed by Buffy. Even before she came to resent Buffy's continued spotlight, all she really wanted was Buffy to be her big sister. That denied, she was seduced by the Mayor (who combined with the Watcher's Council makes a better Mallory Morgan Le Fay, but if you're going by the Bradley twist, yes, Willow would be Morgan), and set at odds with Buffy. The two battle, Buffy guts Faith, but still loses Faith as the cure for Angel, has Angel drink her instead putting her into a coma in the bed beside Faith. Mordred, as the son of Arthur Pendragon is the proper heir to the throne. He is denied this, and turns against Arthur (at one point, in the White twist, kidnapped Gwen). Arthur and Mordred battle, Mordred is killed by a wound to the side, Arthur sustains a mortal wounding and after Excaliber is returned can he rest.

Willow is a poor choice for Lance. Best friend, yeah, but the rivalry is backwards. Maybe Bedivere (Um, I mangled the spelling...that guy who had to return Excaliber...)? He was supposed to give back Excaliber, but couldn't at first because he thought that England might need it, and thus unknowingly denied Arthur's rest. Finally, he had to let the sword go, so that Arthur can go to Avalon, where he sleeps waiting for when he could come back.
Equating the Slayer Power with Excaliber, we see how this is paralleled by Willow insisting that we still needed Buffy and brought her back, denying Buffy HER rest.

I'm probably off in some instances because my knowledge of Arthurian legend is from second hand sources (like "Once and Future King", "Excaliber: the Movie" and "Mists of Avalon"). and most of the firsthand stuff I read is a jumbled mess...

On the Hellmouth Opening, Slayer Blood, and the Spanish Inquisition -- Rob, 07:44:33 01/25/02 Fri

OK, once again, I disappear for days on end without telling you guys what happened! Well, once again, I had no internet at school this week, and the cable modem guy's not coming until Wednesday! I'm home for the weekend again, however, so I'll be on the next three days, and then two days of suffering, and then I'll be on again. Don't even get me started on the fact that, since I'm getting hooked up on Wednesday morning, I won't be able to watch "Buffy" on Tuesday night. I'll have to tape it at home and wait for the weekend. Grr aargh! I've never not watched a new "Buffy" the night it aired. Who needs school anyway?

Anyway, where was I?

Having just finished watching "Prophecy Girl," I am in an analytic mood. Seeing the Master rise and the Hellmouth open, etc, it got me thinking about "The Wish" and why it did not happen that way in Bizzarro!Sunnydale. In "Prophecy Girl," the Master rises and the Hellmouth opens, and they are definitely linked mystically, because, when the Master dies, the Hellmouth closes as well. Since we know that the Hellmouth can open again without the Master (as in "The Zeppo"), this leads me to assume that the Master has to have risen for a certain amount of time before the Hellmouth can stay open on its own, like in "The Gift," where the opening into the alternate hellgod dimension was a slow process that needed to be sustained by a slow draining of Dawn's blood.

Then I thought about "The Wish." What is the main difference between how the Master rose in each time? The answer is, of course, the Slayer. In Bizzarro!Sunnydale, the Master rose from the ritual in "The Harvest," wherein his vessel, Luke, drank the blood of numerous Sunnydale High students to gain the power to break free. And, as we see, in "The Wish," had the ritual been completed, the Master would have risen, but the Hellmouth would not have opened. Perhaps the key is Slayer blood. Yes, the Master could have risen in another way, but only with Slayer blood could he have the strength to open the Hellmouth as well. I think this is a fair assumption, because it also greatly strengthens the repeated references throughout the series' run that Slayer blood has very strong, mystical qualities...much stronger to a vamp than regular human blood. Even the Master, who was such an old, strong vampire, that he left bones as remains when he died, exclaims, "The Power!" upon drinking from Buffy. In "Graduation Day, Part Two," Angel drinks on Buffy to heal the poison that is killing him. We have heard numerous times from Spike that blood is the most important thing in life: perhaps the Slayer's power derives directly from her blood.

Ironically, the blood of the Slayer may not only give her great strength, but it also makes her a greater target, due to the power a vamp would attain by drinking it. For some vamps, it would just be a high, as it was with Spike. But others, like the Master, can utilize to their advantage to increase their own strength. It is very telling that, even with the scores of people killed in the alternate version of "The Harvest," all of their blood was not powerful enough to free the Master and open the Hellmouth, but the Slayer's blood was.

Now, some may argue that my theory is flawed, because it seemed that the Master was a cork in a bottle, and him leaving would open the Hellmouth. But I would argue that that situation had never happened before, and thus the "cork-in-the-bottle" theory was just that...a theory. Even if it was preordained, none of the Master's other prophecies from his texts and the Codex came to pass as he expected them to.

On Masq's site, she posits that, in "The Wish," the Master, once freed, lost him ambition, evidenced by him saying that he "grows weary of the hunt." This may tie in with my theory as well. Perhaps with Slayer blood, the Hellmouth opens immediately, but with the other blood, the Master needed to supply some extra strength himself to open the Hellmouth, but once freed, didn't want to exert the effort. Then, it's of course possible that the Master was just a whiny bastard, like most fans have agreed upon, or perhaps has a psychological syndrome (help me out, anyone who may know the name of such a disorder) where he has to make things unpleasant for himself, because he has become addicted to complaining. If things were working out right, he couldn't do so.

You may have noticed that, in my title, I referred to the Spanish Inquisition. What, you might ask, does that have to with my post? Well, really I just liked how it sounded. But there is a bit of a link...

Nobody expected the Hellmouth to remain closed when the Master rose sans Slayer blood...


Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition!


P.S. I'd like to make a formal apology for yet another Monty Python reference. It won't happen again.
Signed, Wally the Llama.

P.P.S. The person responsible for the above PS has just been sacked! Now, we'll go on with a great anaylsis of Buffyverse llamas...

P.P.P.S. The person responsible for sacking the person who wrote about the llamas has just been sacked...

And now for something completely different...

Spankings at the Castle Anthrax! Every Sperm is Sacred! Always Look at the Bright Side of Life!


By the way, if someone wants to respond about the actual theory in my post, don't let all the silliness, whackiness, and general hijinks at the end discourage you!

[> Tangential OT and DVD recommendation / suggestion -- Darby, 08:12:54 01/25/02 Fri

Only people in this kind of group will understand the beginning of this.

I bought the Buffy Season One DVD about a week ago. This is not so unusual, except that I didn't have a DVD player. I do now. Loved the Joss commentary track.

But I also picked up the Monty Python and the Holy Grail special edition, am just getting into the bonus tracks here. Michael Palin eating mud for take after take in a spot that wound up being out of frame, the one-legged stand-in for John Cleese's Black Knight, what may be the only ad-lib in the movie, and I've only had a chance to listen to the boys run on about maybe four scenes. And there are Gilliam production sketches and commentary on a separate commentary track by Gilliam and Jones and scripts and a follow the killer rabbit game and stuff I can't remember. I think it's safe to say that there are a lot of Python fans on the board so I figured I'd make the recommendation to anyone who doesn't have this yet (and it was cheap!).

And in that vein, here's hoping that subsequent Buffy DVDs add more "bells and whistles." Wouldn't we like to hear commentary from the writers on their episodes? What would it be like to lock the actors in a room and listen while they watch "Halloween" (or pick a good ensemble episode)? Would we listen to an audio track from one of the weekend Shakespeare readings at Joss' house?

If you had Joss' ear about this, what would you want on the rest of the DVDs?

Maybe we'll print the thread, tie it to a rock, and have Mercedes McNab lob it through his window.

Or build a giant wooden badger...

jail time -- nay, 09:26:41 01/25/02 Fri

I know Faith went to jail and stuff, but when could she get out? Is there good behavior credits to cut her stay so she could get out early?

I was just wondering what would happen if she returned to Sunnydale now. Any speculations?


[> She could be free anytime -- Hauptman, 10:56:01 01/25/02 Fri

I am delighted to that someone else has my favorite non-regular character in mind. I don't know, I just have a thing for raven haired girls with tourtured souls and super-powers. Everyone knows that I am gay, but if Faith ever sat on my lap in those leather pants...'course she usually does that just before doing something evil and intimate (i.e. torture Wesley).

Anyhow, she could be out at anytime. Any good lawyer (writer) could get her sprung. I am not even sure what she is charged with. The news report she saw when she was shacking up with Angel said that she was wanted for murder. Well, so was O.J.

The thing they would have to cover in the story line is why she would allow herself to get sprung. It might interupt her trip on the road to redemption. I would love it if she would move into the Hyperion with the rest of the A.I. gang. God, they would be the most powerful players in L.A. then. Holtz would be toast.

Reality: Eliza Dushcu is doing the hollywood thing and is not likely to show up anytime soon. But Willow is still around after American Pie and Pie part Deux, so...

[> [> Re: She could be free anytime -- nay, 13:43:28 01/25/02 Fri

Ohh hadn't concidered her employed at AI. That could be interesting. The dynamics of that situation could be very fun to play with. Where are the writers when you need them?


[> [> [> Re: She could be free anytime -- Rochefort, 13:51:13 01/25/02 Fri

I think she'd have to stay in Los Angel-land. That was what was so cool about that episode. Where Angel is like "My city. My rules." She can have a rebirth in Los Angel land. The moral universe is different. The hero, after all, killed hundreds. She killed too many people to cut it in Buffy-dale. Buffy would just have to kick her butt again. They worked it out pretty cool though where Buffy condemns her as she'd have to, but Angel is in the position to forgive.

[> [> [> [> Re: She could be free anytime -- Hauptman, 14:42:08 01/25/02 Fri

That is a fantastic point, Rochefort: Buffy could not forgive Faith, But Angel had to in a way.

[> [> [> [> [> YES, but... -- grifter, 15:11:44 01/25/02 Fri

...would he endanger his child by having her around? I don't think so...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: YES, but... -- Hauptman, 17:15:30 01/25/02 Fri

True, Faith could play kick the baby a la South Park, but it's not like the baby isn't already in danger at all times. And Cordy took the baby into a nest of decapitators and tried to fight while holding the baby. And he himself is a major danger to the baby--can you imagine what Angelus would do to it. And Fred, although she seems to have recovered from her five year stint in a backwards land where humans were the "other white meat", could have a post traumatic flash back. And the Host's family ate one of their children (it's unclear if the Host himself had a sibling plate).

This is not the safest group of people to leave a kid with.

Also, I think it would be great for Faith to have to take care of the kid at least once, to have someone totally helpless depending on her. I think she would wipe out an army for Conner if she bonded with him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> ...kicks the baby -- Rochefort, 21:10:39 01/25/02 Fri

Kick the baby. heh heh. man would that be funny. That can happen in the same series finale episode where Spike stakes Angel and we get his last brooding tortured look before the rest is dustness. Then before we get the final credits the camara pans to the baby carriage... we see the baby and we are thinking "well there's hope of new Angel-esque life" and then Faith runs up and....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You bastards! .............. ;-) -- Solitude1056, 07:16:14 01/26/02 Sat

Great, now you've got me thinking of a Buffyverse where Buffy dies every episode, at which point her friends look at the latest Big Bad and scream: "You bastard! You killed Buffy!" At which point their caterwauling mysteriously reanimates Buffy, who comes back to save the day... only to die at some point in the next episode.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That would be so cool!! I'm writing to Joss about it! -- Rochefort, 10:23:22 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Do kick the baby: kicking the baby's good...Okaaayy? :-) -- Nevermore, 08:10:07 01/27/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks! : ) -- Rochefort, 15:56:37 01/25/02 Fri

[> my bet -- Shul, 12:23:40 01/26/02 Sat

The wathcers might have enough influence to keep her in jail tell they want/need/trust her.

She made a comment on angel in season 2 (i think season 2), that she had to beat up a few women trying to make a rep for themselves. This would tend to discourage prison officials from letting her out.

Who knows what the prison system rules are in the buffyverse? could be anything really.

Note: if the actress playing faith (Dashku?) came back i think she would most likely appear on angel. She would fit in better with the angelverse.

Partitions be damned, I want a cookie! --- Qwarson Syntax

Sebastian -- Marc Blucas' exit, 09:51:37 01/25/02 Fri

i was hoping someone could answer this for me. its been buggin' me for quite a bit now.

what was the official explanation for writing out marc blucas' character on btvs? i was never a big riley fan, but was surprised when they wrote him out of the show in 'into the woods'.

did he leave because he wanted to pursue other opportunities (ala Seth Green) - or was he written out because so many fans disliked him? what was the offical word from mutant enemy?


- S

[> Apparently I'm also an idiot and mixed up the subject and author line..... -- Sebastian, 10:05:51 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> That's a relief...I thought you were the next incarnation of "Skip's Movie Date!" -- WW ;o), 10:45:01 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> [> I think you should use the name here, at work, and in your social life. -- Rochefort, 13:47:14 01/25/02 Fri

[> Re: Sebastian -- Anne, 12:40:02 01/25/02 Fri

I read an interview in which one of the writers said that they wrote Riley out because they felt that the Riley character, and his relationship with Buffy, were simply too normal and staid to provide interesting story developments -- let alone make him a plausible lifetime mate for the vampire slayer. In other words: the Buffy creative people basically agreed with Spike in "Into the Woods".

[> [> Thanks Anne! -- Sebastian, 13:26:22 01/25/02 Fri

Question: ....as Giles ....as Willow -- Rochefort, 09:57:44 01/25/02 Fri

How do the opening credits work? Why did Giles used to get "as Giles" and then Willow gets "as Willow." Is it some extra little bonus they get? I've wondered it since the beginning and I never thought to try asking you guys.

[> Re: Question: ....as Giles ....as Willow -- matching mole, 10:37:25 01/25/02 Fri

I have no idea if it has any real meaning in the Hollywoodverse (i.e. if they get paid extra or something). Based on what I have seen elsewhere it seems that someone who is listed on the end in that way (actor X as character Y) doesn't fit into the hierarchy of importance (or logical progression) that determines the credit order. If we look at the credits in season 1 the order is SMG, NB, AH, CC, ASH. The first four are clearly in order of the centrality and importance of their characters (with the order of Willow and Xander being arbitrary). Giles is a more important character than Cordelia but it is difficult to compare his importance to that of Willow and Xander because his role is so different. So he gets stuck at the end with the 'as' tag to indicate his specialness.

Other actors who have attained regular status have been added to the order pretty much on the basis of seniority. This would not be the case on all TV shows - a more typical situation would have been that David Boreanz would have had second billing by the start of season 3.

The interesting question is why AH has moved to 'as' position in the credits. I can think of two (non-mutually exclusive) explanations.

1) It is compensation for having been third (rather than second) for the previous 5 years.

2) It is recognition of the fact that Willow's importance to the overall story has been expanded this year relative to any other secondary character (with the possible exception of Spike).

What I would like someone to explain to me (totally OT with respect to BtVS) is the (mis)use of the term special guest star. I have seen this term used in made for television movies on more than one occasion. How can a movie have a regular and a guest cast? Also I know of a least one show in which an actor that appears virtually every week is listed as a 'special guest star'

[> [> They get to use the fancy soap? -- d'Herblay, 10:44:04 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> [> And the plastic comes off the good furniture? -- matching mole, 11:02:02 01/25/02 Fri

Extremely amusing. A witticism worthy of the Oscar Wilde Sketch itself. Although a little out of context. 'Your majesty is like the fancy soap that guests use. It was one of d'Herblay's.'

I have really got to stop.

[> The Hollywoodverse explanation -- Darby, 11:12:32 01/25/02 Fri

As I understand it, there's top billing, second billing, and then everybody else, but a "so-and-so as so-and-so" is a step above the everybody else. How that is used varies from endeavor to endeavor. Notice how many TV "names," now working on new shows as supporters, have it - there, it has probably been negotiated to recognize their stature / clout (I doubt that any extra money goes with it - billing is often used as a way to avoid extra pay). On some shows, it might truly reflect the heirarchy of the cast of characters. On Buffy?

I know that, once established, regular Buffy writers tend to get "rewarded" with producer credits (which may or may not come with financial perqs), so Mutant Enemy does pay attention to these types of things. How this relates to the "tail" of the credits I couldn't guess.

[> [> all makes sense. even the fancy soap. thanks! -- Rochefort, 13:35:45 01/25/02 Fri

Warning: Off-color joke! How many Scoobies does it take to help the Slayer screw in a light bulb? -- Rob, 10:06:34 01/25/02 Fri


One to do research about the lightbulb at the Magic Box, one to try to keep herself from using magic to screw in the lightbulb, one to worry about the financial obligations implied with the purchase and/or use of said lightbulb, one to try to steal the lightbulb, and one to screw the Slayer.

:-) :-) :-)


[> I Love IT!!! -- AurraSing, 10:10:26 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> LOL!!!!! -- Nina, 12:38:20 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> [> Hihihi...wicked humor, you have! ;) -- grifter, 15:07:19 01/25/02 Fri

[> My guess was: slayers don't screw in lightbulbs, they screw in crypts (these days, at least). -- Squonk, 19:13:42 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> Actually, meant to say the answer was : none (then see above) -- Squonk, 19:19:15 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> [> LOL! I like your answer too... -- Rob, 21:21:53 01/25/02 Fri

[> LOL. good laugh. : ) -- Rochefort, 11:35:09 01/26/02 Sat

[> ROFLMAO! Great joke! -- Susan, 16:24:49 01/26/02 Sat

Does Buffy have Key powers? And does anyone else want to see Dawn and Buffy's Key powers explored? -- Naomi, 10:12:04 01/25/02 Fri

I know the writers have stated that Dawn is no longer the Key but does anyone else think that later in the season we may see some exploration of Dawn being the Key. I mean I personally would find that a lot more interesting than Dawn doing a shoplifting storyline.

And I was also womdering if Dawn still has undiscovered Key powers would Buffy share them? Otherwise it would seem that the ending of The Gift was a pretty big plothole.

I understand that Buffy and Dawn were made sisters by the monks and therefore their blood has genetic similarities. But how does Buffy's blood have the metaphysical properties of the Key? If the writers don't explain this does that mean that Dawn is the real Key and Buffy does not share her powers but can sacrifice herself in the Keys place? Seems a bit unfair on Buffy. And I thought that there could only be one Key?

Anyway does anyone else hope that the idea of Dawn being the Key will be revisited?

[> Re: Dawn's Key powers? -- manwitch, 10:26:21 01/25/02 Fri

there is definitely some unanswered stuff. Like Why did the monks make Dawn a Klepto?

And Why did the monks think the Key should be preserved and protected rather than destroyed? The only answer we've had to that so far was from General Scarface, who said, "Because they were fools." Not really sufficient. Surely the key had some other purpose beyond what Glory wanted it for.

And what exactly does it mean that they made Dawn out of Buffy? Is this an Adam's Rib thing? Could there be a relationship between what Buffy is missing in S6 and Dawn?

And if Dawn's blood is "just like Buffy's," than is it Slayer Blood? With all its attendant properties?

[> [> Re: Dawn's Key powers? -- Mystery, 12:14:24 01/25/02 Fri

Something like the Key probably couldn't be destroyed. But at least as a child it can be hidden easier, and as a sister/daughter would be protected. Also maybe the Key SHOULDN'T be destroyed. It could be needed for something in the future/past?

I really think they need to revisit the Key storyline. I, personally am not satisfied with them having her say "It's not like anyone's coming after me. I'm not the key. Or if I am, I don't open anything any more. It's over. Remember?" She's supposed to be a dimensional key. That doesn't just go away. She just can't go to Glory's dimension again for a long time (at least until it cycles back and comes close to us).

[> [> [> Re: Dawn's Key powers? -- Naomi, 12:43:29 01/25/02 Fri

The Key could be destroyed as the Knights mission was to destroy the Key and prevent Glory opening up walls between the dimensions. The Monks made an active choice to preserve the Key leading me to believe that Dawn must have had some other purpose other than ending the world. Otherwise why bother? They must have thought the benefits the Key was capable of was worth the risk of the world ending. To take a calculated risk like that leads me to believe that Dawn is capable of doing great good and her story is not yet over.

[> [> [> [> Re: Dawn's Key powers? -- Anne, 14:24:05 01/25/02 Fri

Absolutely agree with your guys -- don't think they can just drop the Key thing, and actually I don't think that they will. I don't think it's an accident they're writing Dawn's character a bit darker -- it isn't just the klepto thing; she also fell for and then staked the vampire boyfriend in the Season 6 Halloween show, and then actually very effectively kicked the demon at the end of "Smashed" in the stomach. Nor can we forget that she used to (and who knows, maybe still does) have a crush on Spike. I definitely think they're going to do something more with Dawn and her dark side, as well as her inherent power -- she is supposed to be kind of a Buffy clone, and I suspect will wind up with some of her own, probably rather different, superpowers.

Darn. Unless she's the one that all the spoilers say is going to die this season . . .

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dawn's Key powers? Used for the world's good... -- Lijdrec, 18:52:07 01/25/02 Fri

The monks thought the Key could be used for some good. That it was important to the world (Buffyverse). The ultimate purpose of the Watcher's Council and the Slayer is to rid the world of the scourge of vampires and other demons. My guess is that the Key will be used to open another portal in an Apocalyptic battle against led by some Slayer to rid the world of that scourge. Armageddon come to Sunnydale? How old would Dawn be at that time?

[> [> Why Klepto? -- darrenK, 15:49:38 01/25/02 Fri

I can't address the other questions, but the klepto one is easy.

Dawn is made from Buffy and as shown in Becoming Part 1, Buffy used to steal as well. When Merrick, her original watcher, accosts her she says "Are you from the department store because I really didn't mean to steal that lipstick."

Not coincedently, Dawn says something similar in this year's Halloween episode, All The Way. When she proves that she's bad to her new vamp boyfriend by telling him that she "hasn't paid for lipstick, in like, ever."

The apple doesn't fall too very far from the tree.

[> [> [> Re: Why Klepto? -- Cecilia, 06:44:30 01/26/02 Sat

As far as Dawn stealing, I think the reasons are very simple. It's all based in her identity crisis. She is a shy, insecure, young girl (as a lot of teenagers are) and she has this added burden/element of having been created, through magical forces, from an ancient entity. I've always found her coming to terms with her being the key seemed a little too easy, over in one episode. In my opinion, when she steals, which only started after the revelation that she was the key, she is trying to affect the world around her, and each time she does this and it goes unnoticed (she doesn't get caught) it feeds the insecurity within her. It is an attempt to be noticed, to get attention but also, in a surreal kind of way, to see if her presence in the world is real. Imagine trying to wrap your mind around the fact that all your memories and the memories of you friends and loved ones are all fake. You did not exist before a certain time. Wouldn't you be wondering if you existed at all? I think this is why she steals (not just from stores which is implied, but from friends as well-Willow's shoes, Anya's earrings, etc), she is testing the boundaries, seeing if her actions make an impact.

[> Strange Visual (muahaha) -- Shul, 12:15:49 01/26/02 Sat

And does anyone else want to see Dawn and Buffy's Key powers explored?

does anyone else get a strange visual when reading that sentence?
Just me?

[> [> just you -- sTalking Goat, 22:46:40 01/26/02 Sat
just you

[> Buffy sacraficing herself for hers sister -- chuk_38( a confused version of), 01:45:58 01/27/02 Sun

i was under the impression that Buffy could sacrafice herself for Dawn for two reasons.

1/Dawn was made from buffy

2/ I think in the episode when dawn found out that she was the key, she and buffy ended up bleeding(i can't remember exactly how this happened). After this happened didn't they kinda share there blood, then buffy reassured her by saying something like ' this is summer's blood'. I can't remember exactly how it happened.

[> [> Re: Buffy sacraficing herself for hers sister -- Naomi, 05:51:00 01/27/02 Sun

I understand Dawn was made from Buffy and their blood shares genetic similarities. But I don't get how that makes Buffy have the power of the Key? Does that mean that Joyce had Key powers? I thought there could only be one Key and Dawn was special so I still don't understand how Buffy could substitude herself for the Key. And Buffy couldn't have become the Key just by mising Dawn's blood as otherwise whenever someone mixes blood with Dawn they become the Key. I thought the Key powers were special and not just about the blood anyway?

[> [> [> Re: Buffy sacraficing herself for hers sister -- MayaPapaya9, 16:22:56 01/28/02 Mon

::But I don't get how that makes Buffy have the power of the Key? Does that mean that Joyce had Key powers?::

(Sorry for the :: but I don't know how to make italics)

Did you ever think that maybe there ARE no special "Key Powers"? Maybe it's all about the blood, like Spike said, and the blood is what Buffy and Dawn have in common.

::I thought there could only be one Key and Dawn was special so I still don't understand how Buffy could substitude herself for the Key.::

Didn't we used to think there's only one slayer? Rules are made to be broken in the Buffyverse!

::I thought the Key powers were special and not just about the blood anyway?::

When did they ever say that The Key was used for anything except opening a door between dimensions? If it's her blood that opens it, then it stands to reason that other than special Key blood, Dawn's a normal girl. She won't have any other special powers. What other powers does a Key need? Besides, it's clearly stated by Spike and in Buffy's mind during her epiphany that all that matters is the blood.

couple of Spike questions -- abt, 10:50:00 01/25/02 Fri

(I'm only up to s6 ep6, All the Way, the Halloween ep.)

Why does Spike sometimes refer to himself in the third person? (Xander and Buffy do it occasionally, but not as much as Spike.)

More important question. Does Spike like himself?

[> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Rochefort, 13:43:32 01/25/02 Fri

Hmmm. We all go through a little bit of not liking ourselves during an identity crisis. All the stuff he had as a basis of liking himself went bye-bye. So I bet he has those dark moments still where he wonders what the hell he's good for.

Still I'd sort of like to see him pounding on Angel's chest screaming "KILL ME KILL ME! I'M EVIL I'M EVIL! I"M BAD! KILL ME! I'M BAD I'M BAD! KILL ME!"

But then he could stake Angel. The poof.

Hmmm... I was thinking he must like himself a bit to feel he deserves Buffy. But then... someone will say "He feels he deserves to have his ass kicked by Buffy" but I don't think that's really the case, despite what Marti Noxon and Buffy both think.

[> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- anne, 14:12:57 01/25/02 Fri

I think the phrase "identity crisis" in the above post hits the key point at this time in the story. However, one of the things I've always found attractive about Spike is that, in the midst of an incredibly emotionally constipated cast of characters, he has always (even at his worst) been completely comfortable with his own emotions and willing and able to express them. Given the identity crisis created first by the chip and then by falling in love with Buffy, I'm not sure that that's enough at this point in the story line for him to like himself all the time. But I think that his knowledge of, comfort with, and ability to express his own feelings probably gives him a better shot of liking himself than anyone else in the show.

And remember that line in one show, I think "Tough Love", where he says to Dawn, who is agonizing about her own not very pristine origins, "well, I'm not good, and I'm okay." Sounds pretty comfortable to me.

[> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Hauptman, 14:36:19 01/25/02 Fri

I respectfully disagree with you, Anne. While Spike has always been vocal about his feelings, the feelings themselves are conflicted.

in the good olds days Spike was a nerdy (did they have nerds during the Victorian era?) fellow who fancied himself a poet. He was mocked by all the upper-crust folks he associated with and didn't seem to have much luck with the ladies. He was dreadfully unhappy and had just been shot down in flames by a woman he loved when he was turned by Dru who seemed to be attracted to his inner torment in the psychic way of hers.

I think that Spike is fixated on how he is perceived by the world because of his geek status. That is why we often see him posing (as he did in Restless), and acting contrary to his stated purpose (as in OMWF when he sings "I hope that bitch dies!" followed immediately by a gentle "I'd better help her out."

Spike found purpose and power when he became a vampire but he is still searching for something. While he is looking for it, he tends to focus on women, slaying slayers, shagging Dru and, of course, the Summers women.

[> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Anne, 14:52:41 01/25/02 Fri

Actually, I think this issue ties into a piece of the BtVS mythology which I think is intrinsically confused -- namely the relationship between the living person who is turned into a vampire, and the vampire. Sometimes they seem to be saying that there is really no relationship: the person's soul flies off, a demon takes its place in the body and shares its memories, but not its character. On the other hand, "Fool for Love" as well as a few things in other shows seem to belie that. You are certainly right that "Fool for Love" suggests a strong relationship between living person and Vamp, and implies a much more shaky self-esteem status for Spike than I suggested in my original post. What I really like most about your post, though, is something that I guess I've seen for a while but never really focussed on adequately: Spike certainly seems to define himself in terms of his women, and would probably be better off if he didn't. Whether or not the writers eventually have Spike "wind up with" Buffy (whatever that might mean), it might be a good idea to have Spike have to go off and just define himself by himself for a bit.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Rochefort, 15:52:12 01/25/02 Fri

I agree with that! That was one of the great things about when Spike was Randy. It was the first time (and to me totally noticable) that he didn't focus on Buffy or Dru but on a father/son relationship and on his own personal quest. He was much less interested in Buffy as a reason for existence and more as a companion. I think that boded well for him.

I think your point about him having an emotional security that the others don't and his lines to Dawn are a big part of him but he is also (much like Faith) all about the show he presents to others as I can't remember the name of the poster who brought that up said... all goes together to make such a lovely character, don't it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Hauptman, 17:06:38 01/25/02 Fri

Interesting. You and Anne are getting to something here. The father/son relationship did seem to resonate the loudest when Spike was sans memory. I thought that Wiliam had just had a hard time with peers and ladies, but having read your posts, I now think that William had just not been loved his whole life. It would explain his poetry (though I can't remember the details of his actual writing at the moment) and his general "heart on my sleeve" condition. The father/son thing comes into play again when you think about his relationship with Angel, Darla and Dru. William seemed to be spending a lot of time trying to out-carnage Angel. And Angel didn't appreciate it. It strikes me as a son trying to live up to his father's expectation but going about it in a way that actually angers the father, like a son wanting to take a father's business in a new direction.

I will have to think about it a bit more, but I am curious about what you think. Another seed is during restless when Giles says that Spike was like a son to him, much to Spike's delight...and wasn't he dressed just like Randy as he swung happily back and forth with Giles?

Oh, I love deconstructing this show. Can Josh and the gang possibly be doing any of this on purpose or are we just too rabid?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> continued Spike's need of father -- Rochefort, 21:06:20 01/25/02 Fri

I think Joss is brilliant. And I think we're rabid. heh.

Yes, that dream seaquence on the swings I think is one of the happiest we've seen Spike. He comes up with a big word on his own I think and he looks to Giles for his approval and when he gets it he goes back to happily swinging. Trying to follow Giles's lead on the swinging. So I don't think the father/son thing with Giles and Spike is an accident. I like your comparison to the Angel/Spike relationship to and the constant out doing of Angel. In fact his teazing of Angel's poofiness is a lot like his teazing of Giles's Englishness. I feel this adds another bummer of a fact to Giles leaving the show. It might have been really interesting to see some subtle relationship things going on there. All though Giles has all ready been a dad to "absentee fathered" Buffy so Spike probably has to find his own.

And howbout this, try this one. I think there are a LOT of similarities between Faith and Spike in terms of their "evilness." They are both evil based a great deal on show boating and the LOOK of the evil and if there is any character trait consistent in Faith it's her need of a father and her desperate soaking up of every fatherlike gesture the Mayor gives her. Maybe there's something of the same in Spike.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: continued Spike's need of father -- sTalking Goat, 21:27:11 01/25/02 Fri

With the exception of the Mayor. Giles is the only father figure the show has ever had. Just look at the list of fathers. Buffy's is gone, Xander's is abusive, Willow's is absentee(he and her Mom live together, but I think the fact that we've never seen him shows how involved in her life he is, he didn't even show up to see her get burnt at the stake), Cordelia's is a welch, Oz (does he even have parents?), Tara's is a scumbag, Anya's (father-figure her former boss Dehofran ) won't even help her regain her power, Wesley's is not a nice guy and his former girlfriend's tried to sacrifice her for immortality.

I think Giles saw the whole Spike thing coming and decided, "I'm to bloody old for this" and skipped town.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: continued Spike's need of father -- Rochefort, 22:45:54 01/25/02 Fri

Good point. Being the only dad in town can be rough. I've thought that before. Nobody has a dad. : (

And when they do it'd be better if they didn't. Xander's dad punched his heart out.

I think the episode where Tara's family shows up is one of THE most realistic and wonderful episodes of Buffy ever. I think it represents the entire spirit of Buffy. Joss wrote that. I feel like...it'd be prying or something since he's still alive. I mean I'd ask the question about Dostoyevski... but it doesn't seem right to ask about Joss Whedon's family life.

Still, I think the father stuff is one of the reasons the show resonates so well with some people.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Anne, 05:22:43 01/26/02 Sat

With regard to the Giles/Spike relationship, one thing that struck me very forcibly in "Tabula Rasa" was the fact that Giles said Spike aroused in him feelings of familiarity and disappointment. This is an extremely interesting choice of words: nobody was ever disappointed in somebody unless they thought that the person basically had something good or positive in them in the first place. I can't help wondering whether this points towards some kind of further Giles/Spike development, and possibly father/son theme, development -- after all Giles will be back as an occasional this season.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- Rufus, 06:01:54 01/26/02 Sat

That could go back to season four when Giles asked Spike if he considered that the chip could be an opportunity to serve a higher purpose..at that point Spike was only interested in the cash he was counting but he has worked with the Scoobies so I think that unintentionally he has ended up fulfilling at least some of Giles hopes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- manwitch, 06:12:43 01/26/02 Sat

When Spike first gets the chip in his head, Giles goes to see him and says, "I wonder if you've considered that this might have happened for some higher purpose," or something to that effect. Spike just keeps talking and Giles never gets to continue the thought. So perhpas that is the seed of the "disappointment."

But I think the Giles/Spike relationship is less about Spike looking for a father and more about say, looking for your own father in your mate. Its from Buffy's perspective. From her perspective, Giles and Spike have an awful lot of good qualitites in common. The difference between them is that Spike is eligible as a romantic interest and Giles, her "real" father is not, cuz that would be incestuous.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Joss quote on Giles/Spike -- Anne, 12:44:38 01/26/02 Sat

Just a little more fuel for the file -- quote from Joss Whedon:

"Spike is what Giles used to be and Giles is what Spike refused to be."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Where did you get that quote from? -- Rufus, 18:52:59 01/26/02 Sat

I always saw a parallel between Giles and Spike once FFL aired. Giles was able to go back to being a Watcher because he wasn't too far gone to care....but Spike became a demon therefore the choice was removed. I have to wonder if the chip is an opportunity for Spike to make that choice to return to good again?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Where did you get that quote from? -- Anne, 04:52:10 01/27/02 Sun

The quote was from an Entertainment Weekly interview of Anthony Head and Marsters that I found on line. http://www.ew.com/ew/archive/0,1798,1%7C30010%7C0%7Cinterview+with+a+vampire,00.html

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you....:):):) -- Rufus, 01:48:29 01/28/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I wear the cheese -- Vickie, 16:54:14 01/28/02 Mon
it is not on my pizza.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: couple of Spike questions -- leslie, 12:36:50 01/27/02 Sun

This is something that I have wondered about in terms of the relationship between the human and the vampire it becomes--vampirism is presented here, as in many other vampire stories/legends/myths, as a kind of infection that is passed from a vampire to the human who is vampirzed--a spiritual infection, as it were. So, what does it mean for Spike's vampirism that he was vampirized by a raving loon? Did Drusilla's madness have any effect on the kind of vampire he became? (Unfortunately, we don't really have any other vampires made by Dru for comparative purposes.)

I also find it interesting that, although the assemblage of Darla, Angel, Dru, and Spike usually refer to themselves in familial terms, what they really conform to is a type of mystical initiatory society that is passed along in a cross-sex manner. Anthropologically, these types of societies tend to be either same-sex (you are initiated by someone of your own sex) or cross-sex (you are initiated by someone of the opposite sex). The pattern is even stronger when you add in the Master vampirizing Darla. So, either the line ends with Spike, or ...

Body Count Questions -- neaux, 11:15:14 01/25/02 Fri

after finally rewatching the first season on dvd, and seeing the last ep, I was wondering about body count questions..

The Audio Visual Dept ate it big time in the last ep.. and it made me think.. has anyone kept count of the bodies.. er.. lets say for the first season.. and did that count rise season and season?

and do you count deaths if they turn into vampires later.. or only after they have been staked.. and do you count vampire deaths in the body count?

and no I'm not trying to get statistics to create a BTVS Drinking Game..

I'm just curious if the Television Stations had certain limitations on violence.. as in body count per season or episode.. and if that changed when BTVS changed networks from WB to UPN.

[> I don't have an answer but I do have an observation.... -- AurraSing, 12:22:07 01/25/02 Fri

This debate amongst tv watchers up here has been going on for a while but I've always found it odd that American networks are fine with gobs of violence but weak on sex,whereas our Canadian networks are cool with the hot stuff but have been known to edit violence.

Pretty interesting,eh?

(Ie SPACE seems to air Buffy completely intact but I wonder what F/X will do when it comes to airing the wilder stuff happening on season 6??)

[> [> Re: I don't have an answer but I do have an observation.... -- sTalking Goat, 20:41:09 01/25/02 Fri

F/X won't edit the sex. Buffy's not that bad. Ally McBeal had an entire epsiode where she makes out with another female character.On american television, same sex sexuality, no matter how innocent, is treated as R-rated content( between women is more acceptable than between men, by the way). Plus there's at least one other episode where we see a woman completely naked from behind.

F/X is a sister network of FOX after all, the people behind such atrocities as Temptation Island (the goal of this 'reality' show was for single people to seduce people in a comitted relationship) and Who wants to Marry a Millionare (exactly what it sounds like).

besides F/X is basic cable. On basic cable you can have a television episode where chracters use the word sh*t 200+ times in 30 minutes (South Park) and you can say f*ck if you bleep it or its slightly inaudible(South Park).

[> Re: Body Count Questions -- Darby, 12:30:48 01/25/02 Fri

Sometimes there are Standards and Practices limits - so many words of a certain strength, for instance - but I don't know that they count bodies. Violence is so less important than sex or language, don't ya know.

The Body Count is tracked in the expanded episode index at www.buffyguide.com (once in the episode list, click on the title). They also track down things like the music played in the episodes and trivia tidbits for people who are much too obsessed - not us, right? Right?

But they don't delve into the existential ramifications of the characters' actions (or Buffy's hair), though, so what good could they possibly be?

[> Re: Body Count Questions -- Raven_NightDragon, 12:36:02 01/25/02 Fri

I personally have never bothered counting all of this, but I do know that BuffyGuide.Com keeps track of the body counts in thier episode reviews, and they count people that turn into vampires as being dead, and count staked vampires as well. Go figure.

[> [> Re: Body Count Questions -- neaux, 12:43:26 01/25/02 Fri

wow... i learn something new everyday..

*runs to check out site

OT, fonts in internet windows -- vampire hunter D, 13:34:27 01/25/02 Fri

Recently, I downloaded a set of new fonts for my computer word precessing program (including the Tengwar alphabet). Now I'm trying to figure out how to use the same fonts in these discussion board windows and in my yahoo! email messages. I've tried cutting and pasting, but that never worked.

Now, I remember one of you doing something like this with Greek latters. Woever that was, please tell me how to do it.

I'd like to use this since I've discovered that my name looks really cool in this one script I've found.

[> Re: OT, fonts in internet windows -- d'Herblay, 14:05:15 01/25/02 Fri

The HTML code for changing the display font is <FONT FACE="font">message</FONT>

For example:

<FONT FACE="arial, helvetica">Do you like sans-serif fonts?</FONT>


Do you like sans-serif fonts?

Now what this does is use the fonts not on your computer but those on the computer of the person viewing the web page. This is why I added Helvetica to the list of target fonts, so that users of Macintoshes of a certain age would see the message in a sans-serif font. This means that we would not be able to appreciate your Tengwar alphabet unless we were to all download the fonts ourselves.

For more information, see here

What I want to know is if there's a way to post a message that cannot be responded to. (I'd like to get the last word once or twice . . . especially if I am going to live up to my duties as Troll Slayer.) I've been experimenting with ending my posts with </BODY> and </HTML>, but that doesn't seem to work.

[> [> Re: OT, fonts in internet windows -- mundusmundi, 15:12:45 01/25/02 Fri

What I want to know is if there's a way to post a message that cannot be responded to.

Kinda the Holy Grail of posting, isn't it? Lemme know your progress.

[> [> [> Re: OT, fonts in internet windows -- Traveler, 18:34:49 01/25/02 Fri

What I want to know is if there's a way to post a message that cannot be responded to.

Wouldn't work anyway. People would just start a new thread talking about your post.

[> [> [> [> You overestimate some of my posts! -- d'Herblay, 18:38:42 01/25/02 Fri

This one, for example.

Spoilers -- Anne, 14:26:59 01/25/02 Fri

I try to discipline myself not to look at spoilers, but every once in a while . . . anyway, there are apparently a lot of fairly well confirmed rumours that a major character will die this season. Anybody have any guesses about who it's most likely to be, and why? I'm not talking now about informed guesses -- NO INSIDE INFO! Just who people think it might make sense for the writers to kill off.

[> Re: Spoilers -- Wolfhowl3, 19:44:25 01/25/02 Fri

I hate to say it, but my guess would be Spike.


[> [> Re: BITE YOUR TONGUE!!! -- LeeAnn, 21:16:58 01/25/02 Fri

[> [> [> If we're voting, I vote for Angel. But I'd guess Tara. -- Rochefort, 11:32:37 01/26/02 Sat

[> Willow or Tara (spoileryish maybe) -- Shul, 12:12:19 01/26/02 Sat

Spike and Xander are safe, they both perform roles that cant be filled by others (from the point of view of the plot). Dawn safe for the same reason, she is a great motivational device (and i love her for it!). Anya is the audience and you cant kill the audience, at least not without introducing a new Bones. Cant kill buffy! CANT CANT CANT..... at least not again.

Willow or Tara are the obvious choices. 1st Tara.

Tara is being seen less and less these days, wich could be a sign she is going to be killed. She is also the least used character in the scoobies and she doesnt do anything that cant be done by others.

Willow has been getting a lot of play time while tara gets hardly any, wich might be a setup to reverse the roles and kill off willow giving more screen time to tara and less to willow (because she would at this point be dead). It would be easy to turn willow into the big bad by say.... turning her into a vampire. We have already seen this side of her so the audience would have a easier time accepting it plus the fact that it would free her up to use magic and get into a serious mojo battle with tara (her true love)!

Dat wood B coo!

Ohhh by the way
And i do mean forever

[> [> Re: Willow or Tara (spoileryish maybe) -- chuk_38, 01:38:28 01/27/02 Sun

that would TOTALLY rock.

a witch fight between willow and tara, oh but what about amy?

i would prefer to see tara win, what about you all?

[> [> [> Re: Willow or Tara (spoileryish maybe) -- SugarTherapy, 10:50:38 01/27/02 Sun

Why, yes, I'd love to see her win :) While Willow has more "power", Tara has more of a level head which gives her a big edge. Plus, I just love Tara this year.


[> [> [> [> Re: Willow or Tara (spoileryish maybe) -- Valhalla, 14:37:22 01/27/02 Sun

I agree - I always hated Tara before she started sticking up for herself in her relationship with Willow -- she was just barely there. It would be a great shame to kill her now that she's getting a decent personality.

My vote would be for Riley to get killed. He was too boring even to be called vanilla. But even if the rumors of a major character death are true, they can always be brought back ...

Classic Movie of the Week - February 25th 2002 -- OnM, 21:41:46 01/25/02 Fri


When heroes go down / They go down fast
So don't expect any time to / Equivocate the past

When heroes go down / They land in flame
So don't expect any slow and careful / Settling of blame

I heard you say / You look out for the feet of clay
That someone will be falling next
Without the chance / For last respects
You feel the disappointment

When heroes go down / Man or woman revealed
You can't expect any kind of mercy / On the battlefield

When heroes go down / Man or woman revealed
Do you show any kind of mercy / On the battlefield?

............ Suzanne Vega


Earlier this week, I read a post expressing some concern that the BtVS sixth season, so far doing rather well, could take a sudden turn for the worse. While I have no definitive proof, I suspect that this may be due to the influence of future-ep spoilers, some of which may be accurate and some of which may be complete hooey. Now, these kind of posts (downbeat-on-Buffy posts, not spoilery-posts ) are fairly rare on the ATPo board, since for the most part we seem to be a pretty upbeat bunch when the long-term future of the Buffyverse is the subject at hand.

All I can say in my personal response to those who are concerned, would be the suggestion to ask themselves, and in the most sincere, self-examining manner possible, Have you no faith in your heroes? Do you tune in each and every week expecting them to fail? OK, they do sometimes. But it's still the wrong impression to glean, or presumption to make. If there is no potential for failure, then there is no real meaning attached to success, is there?

Back last summer, there was a great deal of fan-engendered sturm and drang when some supposedly reliable spoilers predicted that Willow would be the one responsible for Buffys resurrection, and that she would employ magic as the means to that end. Within days, "everyone" was stating with supreme confidence that the "show was over", since the mere notion of returning Buffy magically was "intellectually bereft", and that "it was plotline impossible to achieve without losing all artistic integrity". Now, we are half-way through season six, and most of the (reasonable, logically supportable) complaints to date from persons unhappy with the show have little to do with it's "artistic integrity" and mostly address the fact that the darkness has been truly terrifying at times. Yeah, I agree with that, but it sure as the hellmouth ain't been "cheesy".

Thus, when the question of "integrity" comes up, I always tend to reply to it in the same way, which is to encourage viewers to avoid applying preconceptions to whatever you expect to see, and wait at least until the season is over before making any "final" analyses. I place it in my awareness that not every show will be jaw-droppingly brilliant, and to accept that with grace. It gets so easy to get used to fine wine and haute cuisine that you forget to also slowly and deliberately savor the simpler joys of a good cheesesteak and a Dr. Pepper. To continue slightly farther with the food analogy, it is also a given that the preparation of an elegant dining experience filled with layers of sensory delight is something that takes time, and care.

I know, the wait seems like forever sometimes, but it is the way things are, and the path defined by the previous five seasons in retrospect always shows that patience in walking that path is eventually rewarded. Just this week, as I watched the rebroadcast of Bargaining Pts. I & II I found myself profoundly affected emotionally when the scene with Buffy and Dawn up on the "devil's diving board" played itself out, even more so than when I saw it the first time. Why? Because some elements of the production that seemed just slightly odd to me now rang perfectly true with the benefit of the greater knowledge of what Buffy's state of mind must have been as this scene took place.

Again returning to the "spoilers" of last summer, I recall when some sites revealed that Buffy was going to end up at the top of the tower again, and apparently be considering suicide by jumping off of it. Many fans were (quite rightfully) appalled at this line of thinking, myself included. Buffy has had many difficult moments in her life, but has never given the slightest indication of having suicidal tendencies. Indeed, one of the whole points about the classic Fool for Love episode was that Spike was wrong when he presumed that Buffy, like all other Slayers, concealed a secret "death wish". It was such an improbable line of thought, that I dismissed the spoiler as just one more wacko speculation intended to trollishly stir the boiling pot of fan discordance.

Of course, it turned out to be true, leaving us to ask what horrific circumstances could possibly drive our noble heroine to seriously consider such an un-heroic deed? At the end of the original airing of Bargaining, it seemed reasonable to presume that it was the shock of being resurrected into a Sunnydale that appeared to be transformed into some hellish environment. Buffy's return to the land of the living was initiated by waking up in a sealed coffin, having to claw her way to the surface, turning to view her own name carved on the gravestone, walking into town ans witnessing a looted and burning Sunnydale, horrific demons apparently in charge, the incredibly violent destruction of an exact image of herself, and so on.

But of course, as we were to learn a few eps hence, the truth was revealed with it's far greater cruelty. Now, as I again looked into the eyes of a character for whom the words wretched, lonely, disconsolate and miserable don't even begin to sum up the totality of the pain involved, I realized that the swelling of the "epiphany theme" and the rising of the sun over the horizon were not crudely intended as a simple visual link to the time that the epiphany occurred, but as metaphors for the clarity of being and purpose that existed in that one perfect moment, and the ultimate horror that occurs when you have known the touch of God, and then are faced with trying to answer the question, Why has God cast me out? No, the true horror of that moment is not that Buffy considers suicide, the horror is that there is no answer to her question.

Who cares to go on living where there is no meaning, no reward for virtue, no justice for those innocents who suffer, a dark-bodied realm where things just happen...?

Said ultimate questions now frame the gateway into this week's Classic Movie, Mad Max, the first in director George Miller's trilogy of films about the Australian post-apocalyptic ex-policeman Max Rockatansky, who at the end of this particular beginning offers a similarly eroded countenance to what's left of the world as he knew it, and who also wanders aimlessly, subconsciously seeking answers to such a potent spiritual loss.

I make no attempt to conceal my admiration for Miller's work on these three films, which collectively chart a perfect example of the "hero's journey", and the redemption from spiritual apathy and despair Max finally achieves at the series' end. Persons who thoughtlessly dismiss these movies as merely additional examples of "macho action-adventure fluff" are completely missing the point, as do the equally many who express distain or dismissiveness of our beloved Buffy.

I'll start off by copping a crib from my own previous review of the middle episode, The Road Warrior, back in March of last year:

I cannot begin to state just how impressive this film is, and how much it mirrors BtVS in that on the surface it seems just another in a long series of "action/adventure" works, but beyond that surface, it brims to overflowing with a depth of meanings. I clearly remember, though it is more than a few years ago now (the film was made in 1981), walking out into the light of day after seeing it in the original theater release and thinking, as Keanu put it so succinctly, *Whoa!!*

Max is everyman, Max is a messiah. Max is an empty shell, Max is full of grace. Max, like Buffy, has an inner core of iron that may be bent or twisted, but will not break. In the end, he cannot live with emptiness and indifference, for despite his conviction that humanity is damaged beyond redemption, events prove to him otherwise.

Very few people saw the original Mad Max back in 1979 when it first opened in a small handful of theaters; I know that I hadn't even heard of it, let alone seen it. Made in the land-down-under on a shoestring budget, it became almost a "prequel" when, following the far more substantial success of The Road Warrior two years later in 1981, it began to show up on VHS and occasionally on cable TV. While The Road Warrior opened with a mock "newsreel footage" segment that briefly explained the post-apoc nature of the setting, and some clips from Mad Max that just as briefly laid out the basis for Max's emotional and spiritual desolation, Warrior didn't delve too deeply on the cause, because it wasn't really important to the story now taking place. It was enough to know that Max was "a burned-out, shell of a man" who wandered the equally barren landscape trying to forget that he ever once had a semblence of a "normal" life.

Indeed, unlike most sequels, all three of the films share some common elements, but otherwise are extremely different in tone. While it could simply be ascribed to the avilability of a much heftier production budget with each successive (and more financially successful) film, it isn't that either. While very little actual time seperates the events of MM I, II and III, Miller presents us with three very different protagionists, in three very different environments.

In Mad Max, which opens with the on-screen caption "Just a few years from now...", there is no pointed reference to a holocaust of any variety, nuclear or otherwise. There are a few very glancing allusions to some manner of economic difficulty (the word "rations" springs up once during a radio broadcast, and the police station that Max and his fellow "bronze" report to is run-down and shabby (to put it kindly), but very little else. Most of the time the officers spend is in the pursuit of the violent road-running gangs that routinely terrorize the remaining "normal" populace. In a clear homage to scores of traditional American movie Westerns, a gaggle of motorcycle-riding thugs thunders into town to avenge the death of one of their members, recently killed while attempting to evade capture and arrest by Max and the other officers in his locale. The leader of the gang, "Toecutter", is one of those charismatic madmen who are somehow infinitely compelling to watch despite clear objective evidence that not even the faintest glimmer of morality or human decency remains lodged within their soul.

Toecutter is grooming a new, young addition to the gang, "Johnny the Boy", a man in his very late teens or early 20Ős who apparently has the requisite insanity but lacks a way to focus it in the properly destructive manner. At first seeing the need to deal with the gang as just another "day in the life" of routine policework, the fight becomes personal when Max's good friend and fellow officer "Goose" becomes a victim of Toecutters' penchant for ultraviolence. Since the police are hampered by the need to enforce laws that the criminals gleefully evade with the help of shady attorneys and a town full of witnesses too terrified to testify, Max becomes convinced that continuing the fight is useless. He resigns from the force, takes his wife and baby away from the town and up into what he hopes are greener pastures, hoping at least for a momentary idyll.

But there is no escape from what seems to be painful destiny. In a theme common to all three films, and voiced openly by the big bad of episode II, the "Lord Humoungous", You can run, but you can't hide. The gang trails him, and not surprisingly, serious heart-and-soulache follows. Devastated by the eventual turn of events, and what Max sees as his failure to contain or prevent them, he heads out into "the wasteland", spiritually numb, relentlessly driving on the endless road away from his shattered reality.

Keeping in mind that Miller had no advance promise of making what became the second volume in the trilogy, the ending of Mad Max was very daring, and supremely ironic. Max defeats the gang, eventually killing all of them in his rage for vengeance, but in our understandable glee at finally seeing justice done, we also simultaneously realize that it's a pyhrric victory. There is no reason to mourn the demise of the murderers, but there is also no returning the murdered to life again. The failure is not Max's, it is ours as the society that allowed the cancer to spread unchecked until only the death of the organism it fed on kills it as well.

At some yet-to-be-determined time in the future, I will complete my review of the filmic Max-verse with my thoughts on Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, but exercising this "out-of-order" modality actually tends to fit the way this saga came to the public's attention. Of the three, I would tend to classify Mad Max as an example of a somewhat more existential, "stripped-bare" process of storytelling. The Road Warrior is the perfectly distilled "essence" of the "death and rebirth" portion of the hero's journey, and in my view is the "purest" story cinematically. Thunderdome then brings the journey to a satisfying completion with its own particular answer to the question of "now that you have been born again, what will you do with the rest of your life?"

Gee, where have we heard that one before?

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technical Mad Facts:

Mad Max is available on DVD, and for the first time is presented in the North American market with the original Australian language soundtrack restored, and I highly recommend this version. The film was released in 1979, and running time is 1 hour and 34 minutes. The original theatrical aspect ratio is 2.35:1, and both this version and a cropped pan'n'scan (1.33:1) version are provided on the DVD. The disc also contains the older American English dubbed soundtrack, and numerous special features, including a commentary track by several of the production crew, including cinematographer David Eggby, production designer/art director Jon Dowding, and special effects chief Chris Murray. Editing was by Cliff Hayes and Tony Paterson. The screenplay was by James McCausland and director George Miller. The musical score was by Brian May. The soundtrack was remastered into Dolby Digital 5.1 for the new DVD release. The film itself was digitally remastered, then given an anamorphic video transfer to the DVD, and looks absolutely spectacular compared to previous releases that I have seen.

Cast overview:

Mel Gibson .... Max
Joanne Samuel .... Jessie
Hugh Keays-Byrne .... Toecutter
Steve Bisley .... Jim Goose
Tim Burns .... Johnny the Boy
Roger Ward .... Fifi Macaffee
Lisa Aldenhoven .... Nurse
David Bracks .... Mudguts
Bertrand Cadart .... Clunk
David Cameron .... Barry
Robina Chaffey .... Singer at Sugartown Nightclub
Stephen Clark .... Sarse
Mathew Constantine .... Toddler
Jerry Day .... Ziggy
Reg Evans .... Station Master


You betcha, da Miscellanous is here!

( Nota bene: Last week's misc. section was on the long side, what with all the technical whatzis, so to balance things out, this one will be on the short side. )

In the works at the moment are some (hopefully cool) "special events" for the 1st Anniversary Edition of CMotW, since as always I try to keep things fresh and interesting here. I won't go into too much detail until next week, but as always, I will be interested in reading your feedback. Since I did speak of it previously, I can reveal that the February 1st 2002 column (Ta-dahh!!) will be devoted to my review of Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, which as you all know is currently playing and still raking in the crowds. Is it a new "classic for the ages" as some have claimed, or as "just OK" as some others have posited? Stay tuned, and I'll chip in my own critical 3 cents.


From the sublime to the ridiculous, check out a couple new DVD releases due out in February:

Groundhog Day (technically late in January, on the 29th)

Klute (a classic-fer-shure starring Jane Fonda and Donald Sutherland - February 5th)

Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (it does have it's moments, *snark* - February 26th)


Want to keep up to date on all (or at least many) things DVD-ish? One good place to go is:



The Question of the Week:

Critic Roger Ebert, in reviewing the third part of the Mad Max trilogy, stated that it has been very rare in his experience whereby a sequel is actually better than the original film that spawned it. He felt that Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome was superior to The Road Warriior, which in turn was superior to Mad Max, the film I just reviewed this week.

Can you cite some examples of films that you've seen where you felt this to be the case? What made them better, in your opinion?

That's all for now, my friends. Please post'em if you got'em, and see you next week.

Take care!


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - February 25th 2002 -- WW, 22:16:28 01/25/02 Fri

The major example that comes to my mind immediately is Terminator 2: Judgement Day. (I'm a little concerned about the posited #3, but trying to keep an open mind.)

I think the second installment was better written, better directed, and better shot, with better effects than the first--and of course it did have a much bigger budget to work with.

Alien is a classic, but I prefer Aliens because Ripley is much less a victim in the sequel. Also, bigger budget, flashier effects, but Geiger's original Alien concept was brilliant to begin with.

I don't really agree with Ebert on the MM trilogy, mainly because each film stands on its own merits--they're so different that I don't think they can be arranged in a hierarchy.

The SO has piped up with the opinion that The Godfather Part II surpassed the original--not my cup of tea, I'm afraid.


[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - February 25th 2002 -- Brian, 01:57:19 01/26/02 Sat

Bride of Frankenstein is better than Frankenstein.

[> [> To each his own. -- Cactus Watcher, 07:42:58 01/26/02 Sat

I agree with Mad Max, and Aliens, but in general not with most of the examples listed so far, including Beyond the Thunderdome. For example, I like Godfather II, but for me there is very little character development once Di Niro's part is over, and it's a little dull from then on. I feel the same way about the last 30 minutes of Godfather II that most people do about Godfather III.

[> [> [> Re: To each his own. -- Rufus, 18:49:21 01/26/02 Sat

I agree with Aliens, didn't much care for Mad Max, and didn't watch The Godfather. I did read the book by Puzo but couldn't get interested in the movie.

[> [> [> [> Re: To each his own. -- juliaabra, 03:13:37 01/28/02 Mon

newbie/lurker here fascinated by your analysis of bargaining 1& 2. i responded in much the same way as you described and was moved by the re-viewing of buffy's re-entry in light of our current knowledge of her expulsion (perhaps propulsion is a better term) from heaven. and as for classic movie sequels: i think that "the empire strikes back' is actually a far deeper and more complex film than "star wars."

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - February 25th 2002 -- matching mole, 06:45:13 01/26/02 Sat

I can think of four examples, although in a couple of cases my impression my have been affected by the order in which I saw the films (i.e. I actually saw the sequel first).

I thought the second of the 'Thin Man' movies (don't remember the title) was the best of the lot. The witty and alcohol heavy relationship of Nick and Nora had really gelled and hadn't had time to get stale.

Adams Family Values is superior to the original Adams Family film mainly due to the marvellous work by Joan Cusack and Christina Ricci.

The third of the original Planet of the Apes movies (Escape from...?) was the best (the one where two of the apes go back in time to contemporary earth).

I thought The Empire Strikes Back was vastly superior to the original Star Wars (or whatever its new name is)

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - February 25th 2002 -- LadyStarlight, 10:07:57 01/26/02 Sat

Don't have a sequel, but I think that Mad Max contains one of the most heartbreaking scenes I've ever seen in a movie. It's when his wife and son are running from the bad guys, and his son's shoe falls off. Nothing else is shown, just that tiny shoe bouncing down the highway, but I'm tearing up just thinking about it.

[> Re: "Where things just happen:" CMTW and "The Gift", and -- DEN, 11:52:04 01/26/02 Sat

A typically and predictably stimulating analysis, which encourages me to offer this pawn to k4 idea. I too watched the reun of "Bargaining" with the insight of hindsight. And your point about the consequences of randomness led me here: in "The Gift," the Scoobies actually succeed in their s5 objective as previously established. They defeat and destroy Ben/Glory before Glory can open the Hellmouth. Dawn's blood is shed, and the season's denouement triggered, by Doc. But Doc has been killed by Xander and Spike--and not merely "left for dead," the plot hole of so many adventure movies. Doc has had a sword thrust through his vitals. Spike, by no means inexperienced on that subject, believes him dead. There is no evidence he is immortal, self-resurrecting, or anything similar; no reason to guard against his appearance.

So Buffy's death is caused by a random factor, a wild card dealt by TPTB--or more prosaically. ME's writers. It makes good theater. It highlights the position that the cosmos is not fair. I believe as well it contributes strongly to both Giles's despair, discussed so well in a thread below; and Willow's determination to reverse the event. But could there be other, wider implications? or am I simply on a wrong track?

[> Not a sequel exactly -- Vickie, 14:33:46 01/26/02 Sat

But I always thought Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back superior to Star Wars: A New Hope.

I agree that Aliens has lots to recommend it over Alien.

And we all know that odd-numbered Star Trek movies are doomed (even those of us who kindof like some of the even-numbered ones).

[> [> You're right -- Isabel, 22:01:56 01/26/02 Sat

I'd forgotten Star Trek. 'Wrath of Khan' is way better than ST:the Movie. Avoid the odd ones, definitely.

And I always thought the 'Return of the Pink Panther' was much funnier than the 'Pink Panther'. Maybe it's because I saw it first. And does that count as a sequel?

[> [> [> Re: You're right -- Rufus, 00:48:52 01/27/02 Sun

Wrath of Khan is my favorite out of the Star Trek movies.

[> Does 3rd being better than 2nd count? -- Shaglio, 06:49:02 01/27/02 Sun

Because I've always considered "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" to be much better than "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom." I didn't care for the other characters in Temple that much. The little Chinese kid, Short Round?, got on my nerves and I felt it was an attempt to "cutsie" up the movie for younger audiences (although ripping out someone's heart sort of negates that, but anyway...) and the ditzy blond chick, Carly?, was very irritating. Now if I had to choose whether I enjoyed Crusade better than "Raiders of the Lost Arc," well that's a tough one. I'd have to go with Crusade slightly over Raiders because it had two of my all-time favortie male actors in it: Harrison Ford and Sean Connery.

P.S. Go Patriots!!!

[> [> Oh yeah. -- Isabel, 13:53:29 01/27/02 Sun

I also think Temple of Doom is the worst of the Indy movies. I didn't think it was the cute little kid or the future Mrs. Spielberg that ruined the movie. I think it was the cheering children during the battle scene that ruined it for me. (Like they know he's come to rescue them.) Plus, I don't like bugs or gross out games. I have to fast forward through certain scenes.

Good news about the Patriots. A friend of mine is not speaking to me because I called with 2 minutes left in the 4th quarter and she had to leave the TV to hang up on me. She doesn't have the presence of mind to let the machine get it or get a cordless phone. She also thinks I'm too obsessive of a Buffy fan since I refuse to answer the phone during Buffy or Angel. Go figure. ;)

[> DeathStalker II -- Vickie, 09:26:19 01/28/02 Mon

This is not everyone's cup of tea. Definitely in the silly range. But I'll go a long way for a dumb line like

Princess (in graveyard at night): This isn't adventure. This is just damn scary!

IMHO, don't bother with movies I or III.

Ok, let's do pairings -- Hauptman, 00:35:59 01/26/02 Sat

I think it's pretty clear that Angel is going to end up with Cordy.

Buffy and Spike..Nah!

I think Spike will end up with Dru again.

Willow and Tara? Nope, I think Willow and Warren might be the next big thing.

Riley...perfect for Anya. He loves to take orders and she loves to give them.

Xander and Tara...now there is a match.

Gunn, Wesley and Fred? I would have to give it to Wesley, he has the most in common with Fred.

Gunn and Faith? YES!

I think I will leave Dawn out of this, though you have to wonder how long Conner will stay a baby.

Yes, it all seems terribly incesty, but have you watched that dredful "Friends" show?

Oh, and a cup of tea for Giles.

[> Re: Ok, let's do pairings -- Anne, 05:31:06 01/26/02 Sat

Pretty interesting you don't have a pair-up for Buffy. Does she wind up alone, or with an as-yet-unwritten character? And if the latter, could you give us a character description of the person whom you think Buffy should wind up with?

[> [> Re: Ok, let's do pairings -- Hauptman, 21:56:57 01/26/02 Sat

Anne, you would have to point out the great gapping hole in my pairings list. I have to say I dunno. Despite the fact that I listed Angel with Cordy, I think...I hope that Angel and Buffy will go off together in the end. I can't see how it will happen, but that is my little dream. In the meantime, I think she will snog about.

[> Re: Ok, let's do pairings -- Cactus Watcher, 08:03:39 01/26/02 Sat

Unfortuntely, pairing often have to do with ratings. Apparently, one of the best ways to kill the ratings of a successful show is to let main characters of opposite sexes have happy relationships. Weddings are good for a one time boost in ratings. Marriages and other relatively stable relationships are horrible for lasting ratings. So you can pretty well bet that the soap opera nonsense will continue, and that neither Buffy-Spike nor Angel-Cordelia will work out unless the respective shows are about to die anyway.

[> [> Re: Ok, let's do pairings -- Rochefort, 10:20:46 01/26/02 Sat

That's why the Buffy/Spike ers know that something has to happen soon to seriously mess them up so that we can delay the happy ending till the end of season seven. But here's my pairings.

Cordelia/Xander It'll just happen in a closet one day.

Anya/Charlie Chaplin Xander was arbitrary in the first place. I think it will be pretty funny, she's all yelling at him and going "When are we going to get married!? blah blah blah!" and he just hands her a flower and does a cute little shrug.

Angel/d.n.a. clone of Angel. They'll just both sit there in their dark coats and hair that stands straight up and brood. Kiss a bit. Brood some more. It's the only way he can avoid perfect happiness.

Spike/ his horse Artair. They travel through the swamps of despair on a quest of redemption. He meets Faith there looking muddy and mopey but wrestling an aligator. They take a ride on a big white dog. And then they have violent sex on the dog in the middle of a nose dive. I really want things to work out for those kids.

Dawn/ the angel Raphael

Willow/ Tara I wouldn't have thought so but for how Tara stood up to her of late. Otherwise it was a Willow dominated sort of thing.

Oz/ Varuka Having lost Willow he goes on a quest to bring her back from the dead cause the wolf sex was really good and she WAS pretty hot. Now she's a zombie with her neck torn out but all the animal sexuality is still there.

Jonathon/ Jenny Calender Ditto on the back from the dead and Jonathon has put up with a lot of crap the whole damn series. I want him to have her.

Giles/ Jenny Calender I know. But I also want HIM to have her. Maybe they can all work something out. But how can it be a happy ending without Giles and Miss Calender together? With or without Jonathon!

That leaves the cup of tea by itself... : ( But no worries. I'm hooking it up with Riley.

Buffy/ Billy Joel.

[> [> [> LOL! -- sTalking Goat, 11:19:49 01/26/02 Sat

Faith / Lorne - and you thought he was gay...

[> [> [> *g* Ok what kind of stuff did you get into and can I have some? ;o) -- Deeva, 12:51:52 01/26/02 Sat

[> Thou art insaneth -- Shul, 11:58:28 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> ...but to be more of a realist. -- Rochefort, 13:46:22 01/26/02 Sat

I was thinking that eventually Riley would find that the tea cup didn't "need" him enough and wasn't tortured enough over their relationship. So he hooks up with the Angels.

They could all move back to Iowa, and Riley wears that cowboy outfit and walks around on the farm going "I get to be the cowboy."

If he wants he can dress the Angels up in cowboy outfits too. I think it would please Riley, and ensure the Angels never got happy. Xander could visit and see the Angels and go "Hey there buckaroos!"

Of course... this leaves the cup of tea alone. : ( Oh! I think the person most likely to be happy with the tea cup would be Dru. Wow, would that be a hot sex scene.

We could introduce them like "Dru...I would like you to meet.... something effulgint."

[> [> [> Re: ...but to be more of a realist. -- Milady, 14:03:47 01/26/02 Sat

Would tea be effulgent enough for Dru? She seems more like a triple mocha extra whip don't forget the cherry on top type of vampire-girl. Anyway, I thought I read in the National Police Gazette that Dru had hooked up with Bon Jovus, the Two Headed God of Excess and they were whooping it up in the Baltic beach resort of Kzterpcka.

So, in its anguish at not being effulgent enough for Dru, the Fool for Love, er, cup of tea, hooks up with the Angels, who drink it cold and without sugar, bitter like their souls, and thus put it out of its misery.

Buffy/Billy Joel--definitely. After all, do we not all have a face that we hide away for ever? They'd make a great team. Vampires that got away from Buffy would quickly sucumb to Billy's emotional rendition of the Piano Man.

[> [> [> [> good point. Billy Joel just sent me this... -- Rochefort, 14:45:37 01/26/02 Sat

Billy's ode to Buffy (She's Always a Woman):

She can kill with her smile, she can wound with her eyes...
she can ruin poor Faith, drop her down from the skies...
she can kill with a crossbow, or wound with a stake...
She can blow up the mayor...when he's a big snake...
So that all that I fear ... is pre-empted t.v...
Blame it all on Angelus, she's always a woman to meeee...

Ohhhh.... she can take what she wants....
but she's cooler than Faith....
and she's always real niiiiiiiiice.

Ohhhhhhh... but sometimes it gets touuugh...
sometimes she doesn't win....
she's all ready died twiiiiice.

She is freaquently kind...she is suddenly wise...
And what keeps her alive is her family ties...
And she'll come up on Vamps, when they're lustily eatin...
Put a stake in their heart, and leave em all bleadin...
And she never gets bored, even dated Riley...
Blame it on season four cause she's always a woman to meee.

[> [> [> [> [> ROFLMAASTC -- Vickie, 14:53:53 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> I fear you are getting quite carried away! You'd better take 4 Musketeers and Call Dumas in the AM! -- Milady, the Duquessa des Esseintes, 15:53:13 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> nah. Nice name, by the way. -- Comte de Rochefort, 16:35:12 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you! Obscure French Lit is always Fun! -- The Duquessa des Esseintes, 21:13:55 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> truly ROFL-causing! -- Solitude1056, 16:37:06 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> though I do find cups of tea very efulgent. -- Rochefort, 14:53:38 01/26/02 Sat

psyche's site -- yabyumpan, 11:21:05 01/26/02 Sat

Hi, can anyone tell me the addy for Psyche's site, the one i have takes me somewhere different now.

[> http://www.studiesinwords.de/ -- VampRiley, 12:06:38 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> Thank you soo very much -- nay, 13:48:04 01/26/02 Sat

I lost the first one and then the second link I had didn't work anymore soo thank you ever soo much. I'm hoping to DL sound sound files when they get back up and running.:)


[> [> Re: Thank You :-) -- yabyumpan, 14:01:59 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> Help! -- Marie, 06:04:01 01/28/02 Mon

I can't get into this - my machine just freezes at 72%. Can anyone tell me what's wrong (and remember I'm computer-illiterate, so words of one syllable would be appreciated!)?


[> [> [> [> We use Netscape, where I work, by the way, if that makes a difference. -- Marie, 06:06:16 01/28/02 Mon

Vamp Buffy -- dochawk, 14:55:45 01/26/02 Sat

One of the areas I have always wanted to hear speculation on , what would happen if Buffy (or another slayer, which is done in one of the stories in "Tales of the Slayers" although we never get to meet slayer-vamp) was vamped. Would her powers become additive? Would she lose her slayer abilities? How would her calling as a slayer affect her evilness as a vamp (or is her calling embedded in her soul and she would lose it when vamped?). Could she be redeemed (would she need to be if she gets chipped before she feeds on a human)?

I assume she would be a supervamp. Given how powerful ordinary mortals as Liam and Darla become, she would be starting from a much greater plane. Dru was able to keep her psychic power, I think its likely Buffy would be able to keep her mystical energy. Her power should be greater than every demon she has faced (since she has defeated them all, although with help).

[> Re: Vamp Buffy -- zombie, 16:33:22 01/26/02 Sat

she would be closer and more powerful than the master was. She would most likely a vampire god nearly unkillable.

[> Re: Slayer-Turned-Vampire -- MrDave, 21:34:22 01/26/02 Sat

I idly thought that Empata (the Incan Mummy Girl) was a sort of slayer-turned-vampire (STV). She was "chosen". She had to die to save others.

But a STV would call a new slayer (the STV has to die to become a vampire) and there may be some good reasons not to put a new slayer against a STV (Hense the need to use the seal rather than just staking her).

I have a lot of questions about an STV...

What would a slayer without a soul be?

If a slayer's powers are rooted in darkness would they compound or compete with the demon that makes her a vampire?

Would the energy in her blood (which can heal dying vampires and is a powerful aphrodisiac) be vital enough to sustain her without blood?

or would it mean she could never draw enough vitality from the blood of other humans?

Its an interesting concept, and I am sure that in the thousands of slayers in history that it has happened at LEAST once.

[> [> maybe its not possible -- Stalking Goat, 22:26:20 01/26/02 Sat

Think about it. As a vamp, I 'd want someone to watch my back. Who better than a former slayer.But look at the evidence at hand. Of the two Slayers that Spike has killed he drank the first but not the second, and the one Dru killed she didn't drink at all. In fact she slit her throat, deliberately let all that sweet blood run all over the floor. Why? If its so full of undead vitamins?

Dracula was the only vamp really interested in having pint of the ole Slayer blood (Angel doesn't count), but Dracula wasn't a normal vamp.

So maybe Slayer blood has some kind of wierd side effects. Maybe some of that Slayer desire-to-protect-life seeps over or something. Maybe why Spike decides not to touch the stuff again.

[> [> [> Re: maybe its not possible -- dochawk, 00:58:32 01/27/02 Sun

Except that the Master drank slayer blood and gained strength from it. It seems to be superblood (it was equivilant to the many humans that were to be drunk during the harvest).

[> [> [> That IS weird -- MayaPapaya9, 14:21:21 01/27/02 Sun

Now that I think about it, why in the world didn't Spike do something productive like vamping his two dead slayers rather than leaving them to rot? To think, this SuperSlayerVampire would look up to Spike as her sire. Seems like a good deal. Maybe the reason why he didn't will come up later.

[> [> [> [> Re: That IS weird -- Isabel, 16:47:10 01/28/02 Mon

Remember Darla wasn't happy about being revamped by Dru last year? What if the two dead slayers were annoyed that they were turned? They'd be annoyed at him. And him alone.

There is no indication that a sire has any true power over a childe (or whatever you call them.) So there's nothing to stop a pissed off vamped slayer from using their life training and added vamp abilities to make his dusty death lasting and imaginative.

[> [> [> [> Re: That IS weird -- Eric, 17:45:08 01/28/02 Mon

Well don't forget, Spike's Slayer slaying was pretty much wrapped around his own egotism. Also, what would Drusilla have said if he brought home a Slayer vamp as his companion?

[> Re: Vamp Buffy -- Darby, 22:31:03 01/26/02 Sat

Just from a practical standpoint, if I was "designing" a vampire slayer essence (and who, exactly, did this?), I think I would include an immunity to vamping. It would keep your creation from literally coming back to bite you.

On the other hand, Buffy has retained her slayer abilities through a brief and then long-duration death, so if she could be vamped, you'd assume they would remain.

From suggestions through several episodes that her power and vampires' power derive from the same or a similar source (question - if a large chunk is taken out of the vamp population, would that add to the Slayer's power, subtract from it, or have no effect?), it seems like you'd get an additive effect. Just to confuse things, in the past when Buffy was bitten, the first step toward vamping, with the Master, Angel, and Dracula, she emerged feeling stronger (although there was little subsequent evidence that she held on to that increased power). What's up with that?

I gotta admit that I side with Xander - there was something a little bit hot about Buffy as a vamp. I'm curious what a vamp Faith would look like.

[> [> Re: Vamp Buffy -- MrDave, 20:29:26 01/27/02 Sun

I can remember someone somewhere (I really can't remember where) saying that the Slayer's abilities mirror those of the vampires she fights.

Why can't she transform into a "beastial" Slayer? On AtS Angel has alluded that the beastial form is stronger but tougher to control (witness the beast realeased in Pylea).

I realize that little things that are by-products of the vampire being undead (like not needing to breathe) are not really counted as powers. But I wonder if a Slayer were to drink blood from a vampire if it wouldn't have some sort of aternate effect.

It IS interesting that Spike and Dru (who have both tasted slayer blood--Dru got it from Spike in FFL) have foregone any further doses of it.

[> Isn't that what Buffy vs Dracula was about? -- Cactus Watcher, 07:50:39 01/27/02 Sun

Wasn't Dracula fairly certain that she'd make a very powerful vampire?... Of course, he was also fairly certainly she wouldn't kick his rear end back to Transylvania. ;o)

[> Re: Vamping a Slayer - Been done! Been fought! -- Lijdrec, 20:36:18 01/27/02 Sun

Sorry guys, but a Slayer has been made a Vampire in the Buffy Comix - Dark Horse Buffy #35-38. I imagine that it was the same Slayer-Vampire from the story in "Tales of the Slayers" (my copy hasn't come from TFAW yet). And guess who won that fight....

[> [> I've gotten the impression... -- Darby, 11:41:11 01/28/02 Mon

...that the comics are outside of the actual TV Buffyverse, since Joss has said in interviews that he isn't really involved in them. Or the books.

[> [> [> Re: I've gotten the impression... -- MrDave, 16:23:16 01/28/02 Mon

Not to sound like a total fanboy, but the comics aren't generally considered "canon". That is to say, that the series will never refer to them, nor will their continuity affect the BtVS or AtS shows.

But you KNOW Joss has some approval...even if it is just to read the scripts prior to publication. And I do know he wrote Fray.

However...For purposes of speculation (which this thread fall into nicely) it works for me. I've not read ANY of the comics (no good comics places around me that can guarantee regular delivery of good titles like Buffy or Tales or Fray). So I am somewhat in the dark as to the story range they cover.

Who wrote Crash and Wrecked? -- Rochefort, 16:37:50 01/26/02 Sat

[> Do you mean Smashed & Wrecked? -- Deeva, 18:39:18 01/26/02 Sat

According to Psyche's site, Drew Z. Greenberg wrote Smashed and Marti Noxon wrote Wrecked.

[> [> I KNEW IT! -- Rochefort, 19:51:03 01/26/02 Sat

It's all a matter of personal taste but Marti Noxon eeeegghhhhhggaggghh.

[> [> [> ...and yes, smashed. -- Rochefort, 19:52:21 01/26/02 Sat

[> [> [> In defense of Marti Noxon -- darrenK, 21:30:23 01/26/02 Sat

Wrecked wasn't a good episode.

But my problems with it, which quite a few people seem to share, have nothing to do with the script, which is what Marti Noxon wrote.

The writers are pretty open about their process and apparently what happens is that Joss plots the season and assigns the different episodes. The whole group of writers "breaks" [plots] each episode and then the individual writer scripts it.

That means that Marti Noxon is only individually responsible for the dialogue, the small actions, etc.

She's not solely responsible for, say, ruining the magic as a drug metaphor. That would be the whole group of writer's fault.

I'd also like to say that she's written almost as many Buffy episodes as Joss has. Besides Joss, she's the longest serving writer/producer on the show, which means she's responsible for quite a bit of what most of us love about Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

She's also written episodes like The Wish, Consequences, The Prom and Bargaining I, which I thought was a great episode.

And if she wrote Spike's Gile's-life-passing-before-his eyes joke--"Cup o'tea, Cup o'tea, almost got shagged, Cup o'tea"--then she's a great writer.

You try and write a joke like that. It's NOT EASY.

Also, how can you slam a woman that sings like an angel?


[> [> [> [> Re: In defense of Marti Noxon -- Deeva, 21:58:25 01/26/02 Sat

"Cup o'tea, Cup o'tea, almost got shagged, Cup o'tea"

Oh, how I love that line. Got a good gigle out of it. The interaction between ASH and JM is wonderful. I miss that.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: In defense of Marti Noxon -- Rob, 22:11:19 01/26/02 Sat

I personally happen to be a huge fan of Marti Noxon, particularly because she wrote one of my favorite all-time episodes, "I Only Have Eyes For You." She has a great command of dialogue and really understands the characters. I look forward to Marti-penned episodes. I may be in the minority here, but I think she's a brilliant writer.


[> [> [> [> [> [> I like 'em all! If I had to choose had to chose then it'd be Joss cause it's his. -- Deeva, 22:25:21 01/26/02 Sat

And I figure, didn't he have a say on who would be part of the group of writers? He had to have picked her or any of them for a good reason. I don't think that he would have a sucky writer on staff, especially a person that has been on board for so long.

[> [> [> [> [> Marti Noxon and David Greenwalt -- JBone, 22:39:44 01/26/02 Sat

I'm getting so damn suspicious of anyone on Spike's side. Do you like the interaction between ASH and JM just because JM is in the mix, or does it not even matter. Could it be JM and a blender, or JM and a gutter strut? If it could be JM and a Mexican poncho (which I got a great deal on), I'll take it at that value and not give JM any credit other than anything he did on Andromeda. Which was pretty good.

Besides, Marti signed my copy of "The Body" with vampire fangs, so she's okay in my book. One final thing, Marti is running BtVS, and David Greenwalt is running AtS. Joss Whedon is overseeing both, but he is running neither. I like how everyone is giving props to ME, but I still believe David Greenwalt deserves more credit.

Or maybe I'm off track and need to come to America? Turn on the heart light. What is this stupid damn movie I'm watching? What is a Jazz Man?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spikaholics -- Anne, 06:13:13 01/27/02 Sun

Well, you've obviously taken a bit of a scunner agin' JM in reaction to overzealous fans, and I'm afraid this posting isn't going to make you feel any better -- just remember that there are some rational JM fans out there (possibly not including me) and you oughtn't to ignore all of them. But there are some substantive points to be made with regard to Marsters' acting ability and your sarcastic remarks above about JM and a blender etc.

Briefly, yeah, there is in truth some subset of JM fans who would indeed think an interaction between Marsters and a blender was interesting. But it isn't just that we're all besotted with his cheekbones or whatever. It's partially because he is a generous actor; his acting is such that it tends to raise the quality of the performances around him, rather than compete with or outshine them. But also, he has a capacity to project feeling, and especially passion, in a way that thoroughly recreates it in the viewer (well, some of us, anyway). Frankly, before Spike developed a passion for her I never found Buffy all that attractive. But after a few scenes of Spike expressing how he felt about her, I started seeing her through his eyes, his ferocious tenderness, his hopeless longing. Now I find her very appealing.

At the risk of causing apoplexy:I found a quote from a fan on the Bloody Awful Poet Society site that absolutely confirms your blender/Mexican poncho suspicions, but also pretty well expresses the point I'm trying to make above:

"If they told James Marsters that his new love interest was a cement block, he would have chemistry with the cement block. We would all be Spike/Cement Block shippers, and there would be a S/CB fic list, and whenever JM looked at the block just so, we would all post things like, "Whoa, Cement Block looked hot tonight."

PS. Don't need a poncho, but do you ever see any Guatemalan scarves around? I can't find one anywhere.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike -- Rochefort, 11:04:21 01/27/02 Sun

Yeah, someone in a review said about Buffy being invisible with Spike that it proved once and for all that he could have chemistry with air.

Try to say his lines LIKE he said them (I can't) or try to say them in a different but as effective way. I can't even put up my two fingers like he did in Hush and have it not look lame. I mean really, try saying "Out...for...a...walk." "bitch." without feeling stupid. And he did it with black nail polish on!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike -- Rufus, 19:30:12 01/27/02 Sun

Maybe Nike will come out with a Special Edition **Air Spike** line of socks......;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Can't beat those cement blocks!! Hahahaha thanks for that! -- MayaPapaya9, 14:14:14 01/27/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> Some 'splaining to do. -- Deeva, 10:04:49 01/27/02 Sun

Why so suspicious? I like Spike. Nothing wrong with it. I like JM, too. I'm not a rabid fan. Give me time though!

I like ASH and JM cause I felt that it was an effortless scene, that there was a camaderie that Giles and Spike would never admit to but it's there none the less. But hey, what do I know. That scene could've taken them forever to get, or not.

[> [> [> [> You have the emotional maturity of a blueberry scone. -- Rochefort, 01:17:47 01/27/02 Sun

She wrote "cup of tea?" Hmmm...you're right. That was a brilliant line. Sure even the worstest of the worst buffy writers is still better than anyone on anyone else's show. I also really liked the Prom episode.

[> [> [> [> Re: In defense of Marti Noxon -- Anne, 05:23:05 01/27/02 Sun

Okay, just to be different -- I not only love Marti Noxon, I loved Wrecked. To me, not only was the dialogue between Buffy and Spike at the beginning absolutely fantastic -- and really quite funny -- but the show as a whole was far and away the most genuinely scary thing I've seen on BtVS. And the deepening and darkening of Willow's character is delicious -- something I've kind of hoped for ever since Vamp Willow.

The only thing I don't like about Noxon: she says the weirdest damn things in interviews. Sometimes she seems to view Buffy as some kind of white-bread teeny angst show. I mean, hello, is having somebody to go the mall with really the litmus test for a successful relationship for Buffy?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: In defense of Marti Noxon -- Lunarchickk, 12:20:08 01/29/02 Tue

*FYI: Wrecked and The Wish spoilers below.*

Thank you! I can't take reading interviews with Marti either (yet I'm drawn to them like moth to flame... spoiler-free addict that I am...) because she always says *something* that drives me batty. I'm glad it's not just me. (And your comment about "mall as litmus test" make me giggle.) I think it's her way of misdirecting things, stirring up trouble. :)

However, even though she is the Queen of Pain, I generally like her stuff. (But only if I'm in the mood to deal with *the pain*!) I love the moment in Wrecked when Willow falls apart, then Buffy goes back to her. It's heartwrenching. Like the whole last scene in the Wishverse, with the music over it. Heartbreaking but good.

[> [> [> [> Re: In defense of Marti Noxon -- Cactus Watcher, 07:35:26 01/27/02 Sun

There was a time when I was pretty unhappy with Marti Noxon, especially after Bad Eggs, but she's proven she writes very well consistantly. (Unfortunately, I can't say the same for Jane Espenson, who does some of the show's best stuff when she's on her game, and really is appalling bad, when she's not.). Particularly since New Moon Rising, I've looked forward to seeing Marti Noxon's episodes. Since the word is that she exercises much day to day control over BtVS with Joss in a more executive roll these days, we owe her some gratitude IMO. The series hasn't exactly fallen apart after all.

[> [> [> [> [> It's the way she see's relationships... -- Rochefort, 11:00:08 01/27/02 Sun

For me, I do think some of her lines are a bit less un-subtle than some of the other writers, but mostly it's what Anne said. But I actually feel it's not just in the interviews but that her episodes actually take a turn in that direction especially in terms of the relationships. Not just teeny-angsty though but kind of a little more twisted than other Buffy episodes. And not twisted in a way that we can all relate, but twisted in a way that makes me go "ick, gross." The episode where Riley left was like that, prostitutes and ultimatums and having Xander tell us the ultimatum was good and the fact that Buffy wasn't tortured was bad and having Riley say "Hit me! Hit me!" as if seriously the problem in the relationship was that Buffy wouldn't hit him and that the "reason" he needed her to give him to stay was that somehow one of them needed to physically or emotionally have the crap beat out of them. Dracula was like that (all though I loved how easily the mythology of Dracula was worked into the show, totally cool), and Spike and Buffy are like that when she's writing them, and so was New Moon Rising. I know it's what she said in an interview and so maybe I wouldn't have it stuck in my head when I watch her episodes but it's that whole "I like bad boys" thing. Riley says "Never thought Willow was the type to like bad boys" Spike says "She likes her men dark" and suddenly we get a sort of violent Oz who doesn't act like Oz used to act and who only becomes a wolf because of Willow. The site of her makes him get hairy. And a Spike who flaunts his ability for violence as his basic sexual quality. And as Anne said about teen-angsty, she said in an interview, "I think girls that age usually go for the bad boys." I think Buffy herself also takes a turn for the icky, but I can't put my finger on it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I disagree...Returning to IOHEFY... -- Rob, 06:09:40 01/28/02 Mon

...that episode uses a brilliant central metaphor of the scorned lover, and then turns it on its head in a most unexpected way. The final scene between the possessed Buffy and Angel is among the dramatic high points of the show's run. Very few shows have had such heartbreakingly honest confrontations between two major characters. The scene was gutwrenching and beautiful. Yes, it had a message (violence bad, love pretty)...but its message perfectly tied into the Buffy mythology.

I'm basically a fan of all of Marti's work, except for "Bad Eggs," which was just...I don't know where that came from! But "Wrecked"...yeah, I enjoyed that too. I would admit concession that it was a tad heavyhanded, but I still liked it immensely. Marti knows these characters. Willow's breakdown at the end was one of the best-acted scenes in the show's run.


[> [> [> [> She wrote The Wish?? -- MayaPapaya9, 13:59:40 01/27/02 Sun

Wow, I have a whole new respect for this woman...The Wish is one of those Buffy ep's that really left me with my jaw dropped and at some points, I actually started yelling at the television set.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: She wrote The Wish?? -- squireboy, 11:57:02 01/28/02 Mon

Yup, while the Joss eps are the ones that really blow my doors off for the most part, The Wish is my all-time favourite. So, while I may not be entirely happy with Marti's leadership of BtVS, I have no complaints about her writing. I've really liked a lot of her eps.


Buffy the hero -- Liz, 22:19:12 01/26/02 Sat

OnM (who by the way I find terribly interesting if you're reading this) asked a question in the most recent Movie of the Week. Do we have no faith in our heroes? Do we tune in each week expecting them to fail?

I found this to be an interesting angle on some things I've been thinking lately. Although a little clarification:

We call Buffy a hero sometimes because she is on a hero's path, in a Joseph Campbell-like way (although not exactly). But she's not commonly referred to as a hero in the Buffyworld. Sometimes they say she's a superhero, but that's more a shortnote way of summing up her powers than a comment on her duties. Everyone usually treats Buffy like a person. And even if she is a hero, that doesn't necessarily make her _my_ hero. It makes a difference.

That aside, I think that Buffy might just be a hero of mine. I'm not sure if this is so and I'm not quite sure why. But she's always had a certain humor. A certain sense of perspective. A kind of clarity. Buffy has no learned helplessness. She looks at a situation and she tries to handle it.

She's lost some of that this season. She's suffering. She's going through something dark. And I think she'll come out of it. Maybe that's partly because I have faith in my hero. That seems the wrong way to say it, but partially it's true. I believe that Buffy will not self-destruct. She will come to a point where she no longer despairs. But I'm not positive that she'll get back the things that I admired.

Giles called her a true hero when she didn't kill Ben. We've spent quite a long while debating that and whether it was right to kill Ben and whether Buffy _should_ have killed Ben. Maybe she should have. Maybe it was irresponsible to leave him alive. But while leaving Ben alive doesn't necessarily make her a true hero, it might just make her my hero.

Today and yesterday I watched the last 16 episodes of Babylon-5. A friend wanted to see them and we own them (housemate is a fanatic and all that). I have to admit that B-5 uses the medium of TV as well if not better than Buffy. All five seasons were planned in advance, making for excellent foreshadowing and prophecy and some great character development. B-5 is an epic story. A Joseph-Campbell-like mythological story. It reminded me greatly of the Arthurian legends.

B-5 is a military story. It's a story of countries and planets, generals and politicians. Kings, really. Leaders. Great people doing great things and changing the world (or universe). Most heros are like that.

Buffy is not. In Buffy the heros are the outcasts and losers. I know that's not quite so true after they get out of high school, but a certain element remains. They never try to rule. They never try to say, "the world is wrong so let me take over and fix it." On both Buffy and Angel, the same point is driven home: you can't eradicate all evil. You can't ever _win_ the war. They generally don't even think of it as a war. They take each situation as it comes and try to help.

I read somewhere that the mythology of Buffy is based partly in westerns. I know I read that because it never would have occured to me. But I see it: the lone gunslinger comes in and cleans up the town. And like an old western, the town is isolated. The greater civilized world doesn't believe in vampires and demons, so it may as well not exist. In fact Buffy frequently has the solution (if she can't or won't kill the person) of running people out of town. You could say that's irresponsible because these people are just loose in the rest of the world, but that is not really taken into account in this western-style structure.

Ethan Rayne is pretty dangerous. But she lets him live because he's human, and she isn't going to kill humans. She runs him out of town, and that's good enough. She was content to do the same with Ben/Glory. Stay away from me and mine, let the door hit you in the ass on the way out of town and that's good enough. Irresponsible? Maybe. But I think what was mostly achieved by Glory's death was the fact that Glory was _not_ successfully run out of town. She would have been back.

Maybe it's irresponsible for Buffy to not think of the greater civilized world. Only maybe it isn't. What keeps me sympathetic to Buffy, what keeps me from secretly wishing for her downfall as described in that Suzanne Vega song, is her refusal to try to correct everything. She doesn't try to solve all the problems everywhere. She doesn't try to clean up the world, fix it all, win the war. She takes a stand on the things immediatly around her. The battle is not abstract to her. She continues to look. She continues to take a good look at each situation as it comes and to not sacrifice her common sense or her heart. She does not abstract the war. She doesn't look at everything from a distance and try to rule it all. She looks at what is immediatly around her.

At this point in the story, I don't know what's going to happen next (yes, that is the mantra of Buffy fandom: I don't know what's going to happen next). But I am concerned about what "Growing Up" means to the Buffyverse. One recent post said that grown-ups have to do hard things. Maybe that's so. I look at this season and yes, I am losing some faith in my writers. In some ways, Buffy was not a ruler because she had no opportunity to be one. She was the loser and outcast and teenager. She just fought as well as she possibly could, given how little personal power she had. As the gang grow up, they lose that status of loser. Xander is the most grown up and he has settled himself nicely into a confident life. Now I don't necessarily need the gang to be losers and outcasts (although it still has a kind of charm to it for me, being someone who will probably never have a normal life), but I worry about what growing up will do.

Campbell's last stage is the Return, where the hero comes back and shares with the greater society what the hero learned. Some people are comparing the current arc to a reluctant return, something Campbell describes. It fits rather well, at least in some ways. But what does a successful return mean? If she's going to come through all this despair to some place totally new, if being the Slayer is going to mean something even stranger than it meant before, if she is no longer going to be an outcast but is going to have a place in society, then where is it all going to lead? (Buffy mantra: I have no idea what's going to happen next, yeah, I know, I know, I should just shut up.)

What I worry is that Buffy will be the kind of hero that I don't entirely like. The leader, the savior, the king. The one who can _really_ fix things, who can change the world.

Although considering how the show looked at the Initiative and the Watcher's council and pretty much any authoritarian structure, I probably shouldn't worry.

But I do anyways.

In fact probably this whole message could be summed up as thus: "AAIIIIIIGH TOO MANY RERUNS GIVE ME NEW EPISODES I HAVE TO KNOW WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN NEXT!"

So, erm, these were the actual relevant things to spark discussion: Buffy-as-Western, implying in its very structure different rules for what solves the problem (running people out of town is good enough). And the idea that Buffy works with common sense, is informal and uses context for everything, and doesn't try to make blanket rules and solve all the world's problems and WIN. It's winning that seems to be the most dangerous and seductive idea. Or winning in the abstract. Buffy doesn't seem to think in those terms, and I really like that.

[> Re: Buffy the hero -- Rufus, 23:39:52 01/26/02 Sat

Being a hero doesn't mean that you will automatically win any popularity contests. Buffy and the SG may have started as outcasts and losers, but that was in a high school setting. Things change and after Graduation the most popular in a small setting may find that their glory days are over in the larger real world. BTVS has been all about growing up, the dangers and the joys. Vampires are the worst case scenario in a world that allows people to become isolated. Buffy and the SG are an example of people who do the best and become better because of their isolation. As a hero Buffy is going through the worst phase I have seen so far....not caring for anything...going through the motions of life...yearning for the fire that used to keep her motivated. Her return will be all about getting back that spark of life that kept her going through the worst of times. As the show is stretched out over a long year with a couple of breaks of rerun hell, we can almost feel the hopelessness that the SG sometimes feels before they finally get down to the business of winning the battle they walked into at the beginning of the year. By the time that we get to seasons end our frustration easily can match that of the SG.

[> Re: Buffy the hero -- Sophist, 08:34:33 01/27/02 Sun

Have you ever read Camus's book, The Myth of Sisyphus? Sisyphus (sorry if I'm telling you what you already know) was punished in Greek mythology by having to roll a large stone up a hill. Just as he got to the top, the stone would escape his grip and roll down the hill. He'd then have to start over.

Many of the themes on the show remind me of that book. It's an existentialist novel which justifies living as, well, just living. Your description of Buffy as fighting just the narrow battles also made me think of that view of life. If that is JW's view, I think your hero will remain as she is.

[> [> Re: Buffy the hero -- Humanitas, 19:23:04 01/27/02 Sun

Maybe I'm naieve, but I still have faith, both in my hero and in my writers. I agree about Buffy being the kind of hero that is more concerned with the situation than the Big Picture. It makes her a more comprehensible hero, if you will. Most of the Big Picture heroes are in positions that most of us will never be in: positions of power, wealth, influence, etc. Most of us are just folks trying to get by. I think that the reason that Buffy resonates so strongly is that she is just trying to get by. It so happens that she saves the world, but most of the time the Big Picture is a distraction from what's really important to Buffy: keeping her little corner of the world safe. And really, that's what most of us are trying to do, isn't it? Take care of ourselves, our families, and our friends, in one way or another?

I have no idea what will happen next, being blissfully spoiler-free, but I think that even if Buffy does manage her Return with an Elixer, even if she does become someone who can Make A Difference, it will still be in a very personal way, rather than in a Leading the Revolution sort of way. That's what the show has always been about. Being the Slayer, and having a life.

[> [> [> In agreement -- Vickie, 10:49:48 01/28/02 Mon

Buffy, the returning hero, has the boon of knowing what you might be missing (heaven) and being able to live in the world with that knowledge.

Of course, she's still working on the second part.

[> [> [> Re: Buffy the hero -- maddog, 10:54:05 01/29/02 Tue

Trust me, as someone who isn't spoiler free...we don't know much more about this whole thing than you do. :)

[> [> Re: Buffy the hero -- Rufus, 01:46:15 01/28/02 Mon

I agree, and I saw lots of that book in Angel around the Epiphany stage. Evil is never going to go away so the best Buffy can do is deal with it as it's encountered. Every once in a while she gets to pause and enjoy living before going back to the task.

[> Re: Buffy the hero -- maddog, 10:47:29 01/29/02 Tue

That was a great post...and the only thing I have to add to it is that if this really is the Return portion then maybe it's split up...maybe it'll run through next year(when the show is rumored to be ending)...thus completing the journey.

Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- Hauptman, 22:23:12 01/26/02 Sat

I just want to go on the record here and say that there is no way there will be a bloody wedding on this show. I think it will serve the powers that be, namely Joss and Ms. Noxon, entirely too well if A and X split up but keep her as the owner of the Magic box, which is Slayer Central these days. Okay, maybe they will have them marry and then divorce, but they aren't staying together folks. I want bets. Who says they will marry; who says they will marry and split and who says there will be a sharp snap of breaking relationship in the still of the night long before the wedding. I take the latter option. Judges?

[> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- Darby, 22:35:35 01/26/02 Sat

I vote for an actual wedding with subsequent problems - it just seems a continuation of the normal (or as close as a BtVS gets) relationship of Xander and Anya, and it continues the different tracks that the various characters have been set on.

And it's hard to come up with a scenario where the totally failed relationship doesn't get Xander pummeled into goo by a giant Nazi clown.

[> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- Rochefort, 01:22:12 01/27/02 Sun

I think Anya and Xander are going to have a BIG snag somewhere in the not too distant future...

but those kids are going to end up together. They aren't going to take Xander into another relationship, there's nothing left to play it for. There's far far more to play out to see all the continued intimacy and commitment issues and even Anya wanting a child. Nah, they'll get messed up, but stay together. That's my guess.

[> [> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- Anne, 05:08:34 01/27/02 Sun

I agree, either no wedding or big snag right after. To me (and I know I'm going to get some disagreement, but...) Anya is far and away the least developed character on the show at this point. She's four monotonous chords: greed, bunny phobia, saying exactly what she thinks, and having the hots for Xander. They either have to get rid of her entirely, or have her go through some kind of passage that gingers up the character a bit. Passing peacefully into marriage doesn't fit this description.

[> [> [> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- maddog, 10:12:23 01/29/02 Tue

Yeah but if you do that you lose a lot of the comic relief that she brought to the show once Charisma left. The blatant, I say what I want person can sometimes be the only humor in some very intense Buffy episodes. I doubt they'll end up finishing the wedding, though I kinda hope they do. I'd rather see a fighting couple than Xander alone again. Anya's part of his ego...she reaffirms him. I'd hate to see him lose that.

[> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- OnM, 10:05:50 01/27/02 Sun

I vote for the wedding taking place, with trouble before and after. Since the theme of the season is supposed to be 'Oh, grow up', it makes sense to me that part of accepting the responsibilities of adulthood is working to make relationships work out, staying with them even if things get difficult at times. I think this is why Willow and Tara will eventually get back together, and why Xander and Anya will stay together.

I expect some serious bumps, though, no question.

[> [> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- manwitch, 14:36:38 01/27/02 Sun

Plus, as a setting for great hilarity and heavy drama, the wedding (think who Anya is going to invite!) is without rival. Too good to pass up, bumps or no bumps.

[> [> [> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- Deeva, 19:25:19 01/27/02 Sun

The wedding, in some form or the other, will happen with major demon, cold feet of a groom & drunk relatives holding it up. Wackiness ensues. Couple is still together.

[> [> [> [> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- sarahieo, 14:26:17 01/29/02 Tue

But when will they show this episode? I wonder if it will be the finale for this season-probable name?Cold Feet?- which would be nice considerng of the past 5 seasons, only one,4 "Restless", had a relativly calm ending. I think maybe there'll be a crossover,well maybe not, but if Cordy could come over and Angel too, it would get the whole Original Scoobies back for a reunion. That probably won't go. I still can't wait to see D'Hoffryn and Xander's parents at the wedding!

[> [> I'm with him, saves me the time of typing our the same response..;) -- Rufus, 19:20:53 01/27/02 Sun

[> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation -- Simon A., 19:39:47 01/28/02 Mon

It has occured to me that this season seems to be missing the all important love triangle. In the beginning there was the Willow-Xander-Buffy triangle of unrequitedness. then there was the dual triplet of Cordelia-xander-willow-Oz. (okay, a quadrilateral) Later we had the rather nice and subtle Oz-Willow-Tara triangle. It seems to me that the wedding could be derailed by some other love interest for xander. It seems to me that he is on the edge of cold feet already. If somebody who didn't have a former life as a revenge deamon showed an interest in him he would probably stray.

The question is who? I don't think that any of the current cast is realy suitable. I guess that they could use a victim of the week, but one of the strengths of this show is the way that they gradually introduce characters to the show,(witness the introduction of Oz and Tara) and they haven't been introducing any female characters.

[> Re: Anya/Xander Wedding Speculation (spoilers for Doublemeat Palace) -- Mystery, 06:55:13 01/30/02 Wed

This is looking like Anya might be the one with cold-feet, especially with her evil sorority siste...I mean fellow vengance demon giving her man advice. (Not a knock on sororities. I'm in one. Their whole conversation just reminded me of a discussion I had with a sister over my current beau...I finally remembered that my sister had a worse track record with relationships and thus not much room to talk) Hopefully Anya will realize that Halfrek has only known evil men for the past few centuries, and remember that she herself wasn't too knowledgable when it came to men.

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