January 2002 posts

Previous January 2002 

More January 2002

Evil and relativity -- Apophis, 06:45:12 01/29/02 Tue

This is in response to someone (not necessarily here) questioning whether or not Spike is/was evil for feeding off of people, as vampires require blood and it's the same as humans eating cows. If this is the case, then such logic must be applied to all the other vampires on the show, not just the attractive naked ones. What's more, was Angelus evil for torturing people? For him, it's entertainment; it's like us watching TV. Was the Master evil for trying to free the Old Ones? It was his way of practicing religion. By this logic, Buffy is the one of the greatest villains the the world has ever known. She's a Nazi assassin, waiting in vampiric "nurseries" (graveyards) to slaughter infant bloodsuckers before they can draw their first unneeded breath.

[> Re: Evil and relativity -- Darby, 07:13:57 01/29/02 Tue

This is a point that the shows address over and over, but the "nudge-nudge, wink-wink" aspect is that the characters (and, by extension, the audience) accept certain moral absolutes by which "good" and "evil" are defined. I think that you could get many people to accept that the Crusades were evil, based on our modern perspective - so it's easy to condemn them, or Nazi Germany, or the Master, for the impact on innocents that their religious practices have.

Even the "people as food" aspect can be ignored, because people are the preferred food, but all sorts of other animals have been shown to be adequate substitutes. It's a choice issue, and harming other thinking creatures without qualm seems to be the issue. Buffy has often shown an intense interest in the motives of demons while deciding a course of action, but has a tacit acceptance of the intent of all vampires to harm humans without remorse. So she can kill them without question.

The morality has gotten much more relativistic on Angel, but the rules are different there, with no Slayer. A Champion is a different sort of critter.

[> survey says... EHHHHHNEAH! -- Solitude1056, 07:30:37 01/29/02 Tue

I would hardly classify the Nazis as "assassins" in the sense of "laying in wait." Perhaps the ninjas during the Samurai period in Japan's history, or the actual assassins, first trained during the later Crusades? Then again, any mention of Nazis, fascism, or terrorism, and I'm liable to begin flashing the infamous TROLL SLAYER symbol in the sky over ATPoBtVS... and sit back to wait for d'Herblay to show up and do his magic. ;-)

[> And that way lies moral relativism :) -- Earl Allison, 08:47:39 01/29/02 Tue

You are right insofar as applying logic consistently. Throwing around the word "Nazi" might get you in some trouble, though. I am guessing that you meant to conjure up a very negative image with the word, but be careful, it can backfire ...

However, the topic was answered far better by Darby, that BtVS has shown us that certain things are "bad," and others "good."

The problem is, anyone can justify anything using the above arguments you do -- so Faith didn't really do anything wrong, not just with killing the Deputy Mayor, but even with turning on the others.

'Tis a slippery slope, and that way lies madness :)

Take it and run.

[> [> Re: And that way lies moral relativism :) -- Apophis, 09:11:53 01/29/02 Tue

I promise I'll never use sarcasm (or the N-word) again. Seriously, I forgot about the N-word.

[> [> [> Sarcasm fine -- sorry if it seemed a flame -- Earl Allison, 10:11:20 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: Sarcasm fine -- sorry if it seemed a flame -- Apophis, 11:44:32 01/29/02 Tue

It's okay. I just didn't want people taking me seriously (at least in regards to that post).

[> Re: Evil and relativity -- robert, 10:44:51 01/29/02 Tue

I'm not sure I understand everything you wrote here, but I think you are saying that the vampire's point of view is as valid as that of Buffy (and the victims of said vampire). If true, then this invalidates your conclusion.

You claim that Buffy is the "greatest villain", an "assassin", a "Nazi", because she interferes with the vampires' religious rights (ie. killing and eating innocents). By you argument of relativism, the the innocents' point of view is just as valid however and they can take any necessary steps to protect their own interests.

Thus, we move from a system of ethics based upon right and wrong to one based upon personal self interest.

[> [> Re: Evil and relativity -- Apophis, 11:42:59 01/29/02 Tue

My point was that, no matter how you look at it, vampires killing people is wrong and that, whatever he may be now, Spike was evil (I'm pretty sure that's a run-on sentence). I was responding to various attempts on the internet to see things from the vampire's POV. Some people were claiming that, as vampires require blood to survive, them attacking humans was okay and similar to us eating cows. My overall point was that humans are thinking, feeling beings, not non-sentient beasts of burden, and that vampires are, at least in the Buffyverse, evil. To quote Superman: "There is a right and a wrong in the universe, and that distinction is not hard to make."

[> [> [> Ah, now I see ... -- Earl Allison, 11:54:40 01/29/02 Tue

Interesting, I got sorely pounded for this lately -- I agree with you, if a vampire can survive on other than HUMAN blood, opting to kill and feed on humans tends to add to their evilness (is this even a word?).

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: Evil and relativity -- Rufus, 15:26:28 01/29/02 Tue

Only a fool would think that a vampire preying upon humans, when they could live on animal blood or blood from a sac, isn't evil. Of course it's evil, we have a demon that bit a human before being forced from this reality and I think that there is this need to strike back at man because they blame humanity for losing their place here. Vampires can live off animal blood, they choose not to. And if you listen to Harmony talk to Angel in Disharmony you can see that there is a taste preference going on as well. But, killing to feed isn't necessary as the vamp hookers proved, so the fact that the vampire not only feeds from humans but are compelled to kill them needlessly proves the evil nature of the act.

[> Re: Evil and relativity -- Stranger, 15:18:15 01/29/02 Tue

>>What's more, was Angelus evil for torturing people? For him, it's entertainment; it's like us watching TV

Well there's ve been and there's still humans who enjoys torturing others or seeing people's tortured and killed for enjoyement's sake. Don't think they're good.
There's a difference between need and entairtainment as a legimitisation for hurting people, isn't there ?

>>Buffy is the one of the greatest villains the the world has ever known
Buffy doesn't kill for any other thing than protecting humans. She never killed demons or vampires who were harmless though supposedly "evil"

and no, moral relativism doesn't mean that everything's equal, and there's no notion of right and wrong anymore *shrugs*

[> Relativity is for wimps -- Shul, 16:25:21 01/29/02 Tue

The voting authority is asking for a 7 day ban on "relativity discussions".

All in favor say "Yes".
all opposed say "no"

All those who refuse to back either yes or no because they feel that the "yes" group has some valid points, but are worried about trampling on the civil rights of the "no" group, please post there abstaining opinions to the ATPoBtVS Forum for further peer review.

The secretary would like to apologize to the "No" community for writing (all opposed say "no") the ballot all in lower case letters and leaving off the period.
I assure you that this was just a mistake and in no way reflects any predjudice towards anyone in the "No" community or the enitre community as a whole.
As the voting authority is responsive to the needs of the "Yes" and the "No" community as well as any abstaining or "Other" communities, we have decided that all further ballots will be entirely capitalized and contain 2 periods after every word.

We of the voting authority would like to thank everyone for there questions, comments, and concerns. Because we care about YOU.

signed G.S. Weirser
President of the Voting Community

Wesley's DNA Article -- Rattletrap, 09:27:14 01/29/02 Tue

Just found this link over in the MBTV recap of last week's Angel episode. Believe it or not, it really works, and has the abstract for the article and everything!:


[> A nerdly response -- matching mole, 09:57:39 01/29/02 Tue

I had forgotten about this! I'm hoping that Wesley will let drop a few more comments that will provide some insight into demon biology and evolution.

Given the brevity of the abstract and the lack of any additional background information on my part I can only say that the idea seems reasonable. However the terminology is used in a rather confusing way.

A genome refers to the total complement of genetic material found in a particular organism. Hence the human genome project was designed to categorize all the genetic material found in human beings (or at least in the group of humans that was used as source material). All organisms that we know of have DNA as their genetic material and hence their genomes are composed of DNA. However if we were to discover life forms that lacked DNA but used some other molecule as the basis for inheritance I don't see any inherent problem in using the term genome to describe the sum of that other molecule. Hence demons could lack DNA but still have genomes.

However an organism/demon that has DNA could hardly be described as non-genomic. So Wesley's title has me a bit confused. However his abstract appears to abandon the idea of DNA altogether. What is not clear from the abstract is whether:

1) he is referring to the detection of hereditary molecules equivalent to DNA in demons that exist in clans (like Lorne) to identify a specific individual demon


2) he is simply referring to the detection of a particular type of demon (which could be unitary (only one exists) or multiple) through its particular biochemistry.

or perhaps both.

Both of these are going to require Wesley to go out and sample a lot of demon tissue to have the background information he needs for comparison to any forensic tissue he might have. This might make him a bit unpopular in the LA demon community. ("This guy came up and jabbed me with a needle while his friends held me down. Then they ran away.")

Maybe he has more ambitious plans than mere crime detection and wants to use this technique to study demon evolution and characterize demon clades.

OK, enough science nerd stuff.

[> Re: Wesley's DNA Article -- fresne, 10:42:02 01/29/02 Tue

Well, it could be a reference to non-physiological beings. i.e. A demon which possesses individuals and leaps from body to body, perhaps leaving a non-genomic (no body no genes) trace behind.

I wonder if the demon which inhabits vampires would qualify? Angel, champion of light, defender of the down trodden, guinea pig.

Imagining Wesley wanting just one more blood sample.

[> [> Re: Wesley's DNA Article -- matching mole, 10:50:59 01/29/02 Tue

Good point (and the idea of Angel donating blood is very amusingly ironic). Any type of demon that doesn't reproduce (is the only one of its kind) also might lack a genome (which is what the abstract appears to be hinting at now that I reread it).

[> Scientific Gobbledygook -- Darby, 11:11:25 01/29/02 Tue

What Wesley is "describing" is old news.

Before the polymerase chain reaction allowed analysis from a tiny bit of DNA, comparisons were done between proteins, a much easier process but not as useful in differentiating one individual from another. Demons should be made up of proteins or some comparable type of large complex molecules.

But Wesley is talking about identifying species, so using proteins would be fine (and much cheaper). A slime scraping can be analyzed quicker than a blood sample and can be used to tell what kind of demon they're dealing with.

That's what his peer reviewers would point out. It's okay, though - Wes is established as a fount of information but a fairly low-functioning critical thinker (Fred is the creative one), so this actually fits his character.

Demons that "jump" may exist in 2 distinct groups - those that pass on a physical contagion (vampires definitely seem to be in this group) and those who jump on some sort of psychic plane. The latter, unless they change the molecular physiology of the host, wouldn't be traceable with any of these techniques.

Sorry you asked yet?

[> So, my question is this... -- GreatRewards, 12:33:11 01/29/02 Tue

Did some viewer see the episode and go out and secure the domain name and put up the abstract as a joke? Or did the WB or Joss or someone associated with the show actually do it?

[> Uhhg, me hed hurt ... Iz dis gud? -- Shul, 16:09:46 01/29/02 Tue

Why do vampires "Sire"? And does that make them evil? -- Earl Allison, 10:08:20 01/29/02 Tue

Okay, simple (hah) question.

Vampires consume a (technically) finite resource, humans, right? Why create something that will compete with you for those same resources without specific purpose? Worse, why create something that has the very real potential to destroy you?

I mean, I can understand (but not accept) siring a vampire as a companion (as we have seen Darla and Drusilla both do) or a resource or assett of some kind (as Angelus did in turning Drusilla), but it seems that a lot of the vampires we've seen in BtVS were turned for little or no reason -- Jesse? Harmony? Sheila (from "School Hard")? Like I said, companionship, or "filling the ranks," as Harmony did in "The Real Me," is understandable, but so many vamps seem to just "be."

Simple question number two.

Does siring another vampire make the original vampire evil? I mean, even if we accept (I don't, but for the sake of argument ...) that vampires drink human blood because it was what they are MEANT to do, and isn't an intrinsically evil act, isn't killing someone merely to bring their soulless, demon-animated corpse back, a BAD thing? Surely it was intended to be evil when Angelus turned the mind-addled Drusilla, or when Angelus turned one of Buffy's classmates simply to administer a warning and then immolate herself in sunlight. Here I'm not even sure that love, or companionship, is an acceptable reason. Is it any different from kidnapping someone to "force" them to love you? I mean, you (as the vampire) are killing someone to make a companion -- one that likely wouldn't have stayed with you had they known what you are.

Thoughts? Comments? Criticisms?

Take it and run.

[> Re: Why do vampires "Sire"? And does that make them evil? -- maddog, 10:22:36 01/29/02 Tue

Well for one, I don't think they make a lot of vampires. A good majority of their victims end up dead, not vamped. And those that do tend to have a purpose. Jesse was definitely bait, but he was also part of the plan. Harmony ended up as a girlfriend for Spike...a connection back to the Scoobie group as she was part of the graduating class. The ones that tend to make multiple vampires tend to be people like the Master who want underlings to do their bidding.

Aren't vampires evil by default? Just because they're "meant" to do it doesn't make the act morally correct. Killing is bad...yes. :) Unless it's done for self defense it's punishable by law. I'm missing where vampires and killing is accepted.

[> [> Agreed on evil -- just got burned before so being cautious -- Earl Allison, 11:52:06 01/29/02 Tue

[> Re: Why do vampires "Sire"? An evolutionary answer -- matching mole, 10:28:45 01/29/02 Tue

If you make the assumption that siring is like asexual reproduction and that the demon in a vampire basically passes a copy of itself on to the new vampire then it makes perfect sense from the perspective of natural selection. Vamp demons with the inherent propensity to sire other vampires will make more copies of themselves than vamp demons who tend not to sire other vampires. Over time vampires that tend to sire will become predominant in the population. In this scenario the tendency of vampires to reproduce is part of their nature, just like feeding. If one is evil then they both are I guess.

As you mention there is a complication in that vampires are immortal and thus vampire progeny are going to be competing with their parents. However vampires are only potentially immortal and the evidence seems to be that very few of them are actually very long-lived due to a high rate of incidental mortality (at least in Sunnydale).

Even if most vampires do live a long time natural selection would still cause the tendency to sire to spread unless some sort of group mechanism opposed it. This could happen if vampires that sired very rarely recognized the threat that sire-happy vamps posed to them and killed them whenever they found them.

[> [> And furthermore... -- Darby, 10:59:06 01/29/02 Tue

The rate of reproduction in a species is a reflection of the survival prospects of the offspring - little bitty food critters have to make lots of baby critters to sustain a breeding population. Humans are slow, not very prolific breeders because we protect our offspring pretty well.

The vampires in Sunnydale are in a fairly unique situation survival-wise, and probably breed like bunnies (sorry, Anya) because of this. If Sunnydale isn't unique, then towns without Slayers would wind up with a helluva nightlife but little food for the population.

The implication has been that older vamps like Darla, Angel, Spike, and Drusilla have sired a small group of offspring in less threatening circumstances - it does reduce competition. The limiting factor there is probably keeping a low enough profile to prevent groups of dinner from organizing against them.

[> Re: Why do vampires "Sire"? And does that make them evil? -- Cecilia, 10:48:08 01/29/02 Tue

Vampires, at least in the mythology of Buffy, are evil because they lack a soul. The soul contains not only our essence but our conscience, empathy, etc.

Oftentimes, in the Buffyverse, I think when they say soul, they are really refering to the conscience and empathy of a human being, or perhaps only a part of our "essential selves" resides in our soul. We seem to see alot of vampires carrying on as a vampire version of their human selves (Harmony is a prime example). If vampires can retain some part of themselves, part of their essence, personality, etc then it stands to reason that they can also retain the very human need for companionship, the human instinct to procreate and so forth. If vampires were strictly evil they would just be cold, unfeeling automotons (sp?). Conversely, if humans were strictly good, there would be no anger, hatred, jealousy, etc. In all things there must be balance, humans are predominately disposed to being good, while vampires are predominately disposed to being evil but as we all know, humans can and are at times bad/evil. So doesn't it stand to reason that there is some good in vampires? This good may be perceived as weakness by vampires just as darker tendencies (jealousy,greed etc) are perceived as weakness in humans. Vampires are often refered to as animals (perhaps it makes it easier for the humans to slay them that way)but don't forget, man is also an animal.

Having said that, I agree that some vampires do seem to "just be", but let me ask you, how many "accidental" pregnancies occur each year? How many unwanted babies are born every day? I think the proliferation of "unnecessarily" turned vampires might just be a combination of the inherited human instinct for procreation and poor birth control.

Finally, lets not forget the most basic reason for vampires turning others--Plot Device.

[> [> Re: Why do vampires "Sire"? And does that make them evil? -- Rufus, 11:25:03 01/29/02 Tue

What Joss said about the soul.......

The Paley Festival, March 30, 2001

Audience Member: "I'd like to know what your definition of a soul is? And what distinguishes Angel from the other vampires, because it becomes clear from both Buffy and Angel that vampires have human emotions and human attachments. So is that a conscience? And then what separates vampires from humans if it is a conscience?"

JW: "Um, very little. (laugh) Essentially, souls are by their nature amorphous but to me it's really about what star you are guided by. Most people, we hope, are guided by, 'you should be good, you're good, you feel good.' And most demons are guided simply by the opposite star. They believe in evil, they believe in causing it, they like it. They believe it in the way that people believe in good. So they can love someone, they can attach to someone, they can actually want to do things that will make that person happy in the way they know they would. The way Spike has sort of become, an example is Spike obviously on Buffy, is getting more and more completely conflicted. But basically his natural bent is towards doing the wrong thing. His court's creating chaos where as in most humans, most humans, is the opposite, and that's really how I see it. I believe it's kind of like a spectrum, but they are setting their course by opposite directions. But they're all sort of somewhere in the middle."

I'm in the camp that believes that the vampire is just the person that once was infected with the soul of the original demon that created the vampire by biting a human(Season one The Harvest). The vampire is a hybrid, part demon part human, the parts need each other to survive...the demon supplies the extra strength, immortality, evil intent....the human the original body, and the mind(memories and personality). If the person was sick the demon infection can survive but if they were mentally ill that stays the same(Dru, Kralic from Helpless). I think the most telling reminder of the residual humanity is what Darla said to Angelus when he killed his father....From The Prodigal......

Cut to Angel's father nailing up his window from the inside.
Angel: "You're no different from the rest of them, - are you, father? (His father spins around and stares at him) Cowering in their houses - boarding up the windows - smearing that foul herb in the doorways. You'd think something evil - and vile - and monstrous - had taken to terrorizing this village -and everyone in it."
Dad: "Be gone, unclean thing! A demon can not enter a home where it's not welcome. He must be invited!"
Angel: "That's true. - But I was invited."
Angel looks to the doorway. His father turns and sees little Kathy slumped against the wall.
Dad: "Och!"
Angel: "She thought I returned to her - an angel."
Dad spins around and charges Angel with the hammer in his hand.
Dad: "Murderer!"
Angel easily pushes the attack aside, making his dad fall to the ground.
Angel: "Strange. - Somehow you seemed taller when I was alive."
Dad flattens himself up against the wall: "Lord, bind this demon now."
Angel: "To think I ever let such a tiny, trembling thing make me feel the way you did."
Dad crosses himself: "I pray ye, give me your protection, Father."
Angel: "You told me I wasn't a man. (Slowly stalks closer to his dad) You told me I was nothing. - and I believed you. You said I'd never amount to anything. (His dad stares at him with wide-open eyes) Well, you were wrong. (Angel morphs into vamp face) You see, father? - I have made something out of myself after all."
Angel puts a hand over his father's face and bites him. They slowly slide down the wall and out of the picture.
Darla: "This contest is ended, is it?"
Angel has his feet up on the table playing with his father's pipe. His family lies dead around him.
Angel: "Now I've won."
Darla: "You're sure?"
Angel puts his feet down and picks up a mug of ale: "Of course. I proved who had the power here."
Darla: "You think?"
Angel: "What?"
Darla: "You're victory over him took but moments."
Angel looks over at the body of his father and gets up: "Yes?"
Darla: "But his defeat of you will last life times."
Angel: "What are you talking about? He can't defeat me now."
Darla: "Nor can he ever approve of you - in this world or any other. - What we once were informs all that we have become. (Angel looks at his father's body) The same love will infect our hearts - even if they no longer beat. (Angel looks at his mother's and his sister's body) Simple death won't change that."
Angel: "Love? - Is this the work of love?"
Darla steps closer and smiles up at him: "Darling boy. - So young. Still so very young."

If the vampire wasn't what they once were then why would Angelus take such pains to "win" a silly pissing contest with his father? Why would his fathers words still sting so? Liam is Angelus is Angel the same as William is Spike....the only difference is the existance of the soul. If Angel didn't feel he killed his father he wouldn't be working to redeem himself. The vampire is a person that has been corrupted and acting in a way contrary to most of their normal selves. Who they were merges with the demon infection to add up to what they become but it's still the person, with all their insecurities and grudges, and loves.

[> [> [> In the beginning... -- Sophist, 12:53:49 01/29/02 Tue

The show took an essentialist view of the soul. If you had one, you were good (at least potentially). If not, you were evil. The only one who dissented from this was Xander; he couldn't see the difference (at least with Angel).

The story arc with Spike, though, strikes me as a giant step away from this. JW's interview suggests that Spike remains intrinsically evil and just does what he does for the sake of getting to Buffy. This is how Xander sees him in The Body (scene with the flowers). Through the end of S5, that view was still plausible.

Now, however, Spike obviously spent the summer helping the SG and, especially, taking care of Dawn. He had no possible motive for this since Buffy was gone and he didn't know about the plans for her resurrection. He persisted even though Xander and Giles seem to have continued to treat him poorly (at least, they did in OMWF, so I assume they did on other occasions).

This suggests that the chip (perhaps a metaphor for conscience or at least the restraining power of punishment) actually allows Spike to become good despite the lack of a soul. He cannot do evil, so he does good. By doing good, he learns to do good. Another way to put is that if the chip controls the demon, the residual human character can show through.

[> [> But turning someone, or "siring" them, is a pretty conscious act ... -- Earl Allison, 11:48:34 01/29/02 Tue

The problem is, unlike sex, which can be something that two people get swept up in, the vampire has to make a pretty conscious choice to let the dying human drink from them -- I just haven't seen enough of the VAMPIRE'S angle of letting someone drink from them to know if the analogy holds.

Plot Device = IITS, It's In The Script :)

I agree about the evil angle -- I threw that in because not too long ago when I said that vampires were generally evil, and feeding on humans (when they could opt for non-sentient prey) compounded that -- and I got severely trounced for it, that's why the qualifier.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: But turning someone, or "siring" them, is a pretty conscious act ... -- Cecilia, 12:37:04 01/29/02 Tue

While I do believe there is a strong equation to be made between sex and a vampire's drinking blood, I wasn't really equating casual sex and it's consequences with the seemingly haphazard siring of new vampires. I was trying to draw a comparison between a conscientious, informed choice to have a child (say-being married, having good finacial support, being emotionally mature, etc) and having a child without said considerations. In that regard, we can say that certain vampires make a good choice in who to turn for the purpose intended while others make poorer choices. I guess basically, smart vamps make smart choices and the dumb ones make dumb choices.

[> Re: Why do vampires "Sire"? And does that make them evil? -- Anneth, 11:00:53 01/29/02 Tue

I think vampires must have a sort of springtime Vampire-prom, and they spend the year siring prospective dates. After all, a typical vampire's life-span, especially in Sunnydale, is pretty short, so it seems like a practical plan to have a couple of backup dates set aside.

[> Re: Why do vampires "Sire"? And does that make them evil? -- Annoying1, 17:00:17 01/29/02 Tue

Maybe newly created vampires are feeling that first rush of newfound power and near-invulnerability. They have no conscience and certainly no comprehension of effects of their actions to come in the near or distant future. Maybe they sire indiscriminately because they can. This may explain the proliferation of the lowest level of Buffy-fodder in Sunnydale. As the surviving vampires continue on, they start considering plans for their continued survival as it becomes clearer that there are threats to their existence. They make better choices regarding when and if to sire.

Attention New York City area posters! -- Rahael & d'Herblay, 11:18:59 01/29/02 Tue

Help! We are stuck in the city without television. If anyone would be kind enough to offer us a chance to see Buffy tonight, we would be utterly, utterly grateful.

Though of course, you'd have to put up with us coming round to see it! We promise very little philosophizing.

If you do not want to play host on such short notice, we would also appreciate the lending of a taped copy sometime in the future. To contact us, email Rah.

[> So, guys... any news on your NY rendevous? -- Masq, 11:21:01 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> Well, they're posting together...this can only be a good thing! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 12:01:43 01/29/02 Tue

[> Re: Attention New York City area posters! -- dochawk, 11:27:09 01/29/02 Tue

Not in New York, but I TiVO Buffy, so sending out a copy is no problem, if you need it. (I can't click on "email" at work).


[> what? Rahael is on my coast & no one told me!? ;-) -- Solitude1056, 11:37:24 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> So drop by and chat now and then...you learn all kinds of interesting things! ;o) -- dubdub, 11:59:21 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> Likewise, and I'm closer to NY than Sol is! -- OnM, 16:25:12 01/29/02 Tue

If by any chance you intend to travel through southeast PA, please e-mail me!


Hope some kind soul helps you out re: Buffy viewing.


[> Um, you need a television? -- mundusmundi, 13:07:37 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> No, we lost our TV antenna when WTC collapsed -- Sophie, 14:14:31 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> [> Thanks for clarifying. Was just wondering. -- mm, 14:24:17 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Your welcome. -- Sophie, 19:01:00 01/29/02 Tue

[> next best? -- anom, 13:55:50 01/29/02 Tue

I'll be out myself tonight, but I'm taping it. Be glad to lend you the tape, assuming it comes out OK.

I'll check the board later--if you don't find a host to watch it live with, the tape's available & I'm right here in NYC. We can email about it later.

Do you guys know each other off-board, or did this come up in chat?

[> [> I'm just going to come right out and say it... -- Wisewoman, 16:47:41 01/29/02 Tue

Rahael and d'Herblay are the first official ATPoBtVS posting-board-spawned friendship/romance, and an international one at that!

Actually I guess it was more a chat-room-nurtured friendship/romance, but you get the idea.

Personally I think it's great, but then I'm a hopeless romantic...


[> [> [> Yes, and still wanting details -- Masq, 18:20:02 01/29/02 Tue

So "BtVS" is over on the East Coast, let's have some lurid details of this NY rendevous!

[> [> May I just say......Awwwwwwww it's so sweet..................:):):):):):) -- Rufus, 21:39:12 01/29/02 Tue

[> [> [> Add a Welsh "Awwww!" to that! -- Marie, 03:47:23 01/30/02 Wed

Hope you guys had a lovely meeting!


[> [> need that tape? -- anom, 21:49:28 01/29/02 Tue

'Cause it came out fine. There's no mention on the board of whether you found a place to watch it, & nobody's in chat (hey, it's late here on the East Coast, but not out West!).

Let me know, we'll work it out if necessary.

[> Re: Attention New York City area posters! -- Sophie, 14:11:13 01/29/02 Tue

the lack of broadcast TV sucks. Gotta have cableTV. Surely somewhere in this great city, there is a bar/pub/dive with a TV that we can all get together, watch Buffy, and philosophize.

I won't be home tonight - neighborhood meeting thing, you know. But I will record Buffy with my VCR. I can record TV digital (mpeg-1), but not tonight.

[> [> Wish I could've helped...but I just read the message this morning. :-( -- Rob, 05:54:42 01/30/02 Wed

re:grace's message on Band Candy and Symmatry -- sarahieo, 14:15:11 01/29/02 Tue

You mentioned that Giles and Spike sounded similar in "Band Candy", well that does go along with "Tabula Rasa" where they puzzle themselves to be father-Giles- and son-Spike-. They do both seem to have some things in common, such as when Spike refers to a speech Buffy makes in finale of season 5, only Giles could have understood and appriciated the comment. They also have/had a rebellious period in their lives,Giles and his 'hate the world/black magic friends' & Spike and his relationship with Drusila. It does make me wonder if later on they might explore this issue.

Vampires -- agent156, 20:10:06 01/29/02 Tue

Some of the posts on here about vampires and evil have gotten me thinking about something. When someone is turned into a vampire they become part demon. This coupled with a loss of the soul, which seemingly encompasses the conscience, results in them being evil. And it has been shown that the vampire is shaped (at least to some degree) by how the person was before being turned. So if a vampire is an extension\perversion of the original person then it would seem likely that the evilness of the person would play a part in shaping the vampire as well. So would it be possible for a person to be so lacking in evil as to be able to resist the temptation to feed off people after having been made into a vampire? Or to atleast be able to resist to a limited extent (perhaps by only feeding off humans who were murders or other such low-lifes)?

This makes me think of another thing. Do demons have a conscience? Because we have seen that demons can be good, and some can even manage to integrate themselves into society. If they don't have a conscience and yet are capable of choosing to not be evil, then it would seem that a vampire, given enough time, should be capable of turning away from evil as well.

Any thoughts?

[> Re: Vampires -- MrDave, 20:34:31 01/29/02 Tue

So would it be possible for a person to be so lacking in evil as to be able to resist the temptation to feed off people after having been made into a vampire? Or to atleast be able to resist to a limited extent

Possible? Yes. Likely? No. The demon (according to JW) is "inclined" to evil, where the souled are "inclined" to good. It does not mean that the souled cannot commit evil, or that the unsouled cannot perform acts of kindness. But even those we consider "evil" (serial killers, mass murderers, bunny herders, whatever) have some redeeming qualities. Maybe they are kind to their elderly neighbors. Maybe they are dutiful children to their parents. But they are still evil.

The flipside of that is those that are "good" may have dark secrets. Maybe they beat their wife. Maybe they steal for the thrill. Maybe they poison their neighbors cats. If you don't know what evil they have committed does that make them less good?

Vampires are inclined to evil. But I am sure that if they liked someone, they might help their landlady take out her trash. I think they might obey traffic laws. They could even provide snacks for a twelve-step group. But the group might be one member short the next week.

Can someone be so good...so pure that they could overcome the urge? Possible, but likely not. They would just be more discreet about it.

"He was such a quiet neighbor. Even if he did mow his lawn at night. My husband Bob played poker over there on Friday nights! How could we have known that he was a vampire? He sort of kept to himself during the days, but we just thought he worked nights. I remember the girls talking about how he always bought at least 3 boxes of Girl Scout Cookies."

Interviewer: "Didn't you wonder about the missing neighbors? The cocktail parties where not all the guests left?"

Neighbor: "Well, these things happen in Sunnydale, but you just never think it is someone you know!"

[> [> Re: Vampires -- Sophie, 20:55:17 01/29/02 Tue

Ann Rice's "Interview with a Vampire" explores the issue of vampire autmatically becoming evil. Louie is vamped by Lestat and spends eternity exploring his qualms about killing humans for food versus suffering through drinking cold rat's blood.

[> [> Re: Vampires -- agent156, 20:58:58 01/29/02 Tue

It may not be likely but that does not mean that it could not ever happen. Or that it doesn't happen already. Vampires are capable of the gentler, nicer emotions such as love and friendship. And vampires don't need to kill people to live (which is basically where their evilness lies) as they can drink pig's or some other animal's blood. They just happen to enjoy being evil. But just because you enjoy something doesn't mean that you can't stop doing it. Vampires have shown themselves to be capable of change.

Perhaps Spike will end up being the first example of a truly good vampire if his chip ever dies out.

[> [> [> Not bloody likely -- sTalking Goat, 23:12:50 01/29/02 Tue

Previous evidence. The minute he thinks that his chip had burn out, he tries to bite a girl on the neck. Why? To get revenge on Buffy for spurning him. He may be protective of Dawn, he may actually love Buffy, but he's not good.

[> [> [> Re: Vampires -- Earl Allison, 02:32:31 01/30/02 Wed

Possible, but what about Drusilla? She was pious and good until Angelus drove her mad -- but she wasn't EVIL. Surely there should have been some glimmer of goodness, even through the insanity?

Angel reached Darla when she was resurrected -- made her accept her fate. Yet when Dru vamped her, the evil Darla was back with little hesitation aside from a fight with Dru.

It's just pretty black and while, and made more so by "Disharmony." Vampires revert to type eventually, unless some external influence (a gypsy curse, a government chip) FORCES them to do otherwise.

re: Spike

Perhaps, but like I said before, if I am to accept that Spike has CHANGED, he has to do the following:

His chip must be deactivated.

He must have the opportunity to feed on someone without any chance of being detected or caught by Buffy or any of the Scoobies; the perfect, undetectable crime.

And he must decide NOT to feed or kill.

I still believe, honestly, that while Spike might genuinely care for Buffy, Dawn, and even the other Scoobies, and that even without his chip he might not attack them, that he is still at heart a murderer, that without a soul, like Vamp Harmony, he'll revert to type if allowed to.


Just my $.02

Take it and run.

[> Re: Will and morality -- Anne, 05:35:54 01/30/02 Wed

(I posted some thoughts similar to those below about a week ago, but it was way down at the bottom of the board and the thoughts are relevant here so . . .)

The essence of morality is will and choice, not inclination or desire, and that is true for humans as well as for any other creature of whom it makes sense to speak of morality. Sin or evil becomes possible for individuals to the extent that they fail to control their inclinations and desires when those lead to evil acts; goodness resides in choosing the good regardless of any disposition one might have to the contrary. Anyone who thinks that becoming good consists in sitting around trying to will oneself not to have the nasty thoughts and feelings in the first place is headed for madness.

Even among humans, there are differences in the degree to which people's natural dispositions contain cravings towards violence, mayhem and cruelty. The people who crave those things most presumably have the highest likelihood of doing bad things. But, by the same token, they are the same ones who have the capability of becoming moral heroes if they can overcome those inclinations and still choose the good. Free will, by definition, implies the ability to choose good regardless of the strength of the temptation to evil. And what that means is, that if one believes in free will at all (possibly a big if), then one has to believe that it is at least possible, even if difficult and unusual, for a vampire to become good.

It should also be clear that "becoming good" can't mean, for either human or vampire, attaining some kind of constant state. Goodness is a matter of choosing, and the nasty thing about choice is that the necessity for it hits you over and over and over again without stopping as long as you are alive. There will, for every one of us, be fallings back, bad choices -- the trick is not to let these bad choices lead to more bad choices. But the good news is that making good choices is one of those things that practise makes easier.

Spike has been making choices mostly for the good for some time now, and he's getting more and more practise at it. His attempt to bite the woman in the alley was quite a ghastly backsliding, but I don't think it precludes the possibility of his making progress to a point where he wouldn't do that. Of course, as others note in the postings on this string, the real test will be what happens when the chip is disabled. I personally think that will happen quite soon, in a way somehow connected with Warren, who now knows about the chip and was awfully interested in what it does.

[> [> Re: Will and morality -- Sophist, 09:35:03 01/30/02 Wed

I chimed in when Anne posted something similar below, and couldn't help myself again. :) Anne, as usual, has said it very well, and I agree with her (it is a her, right?).

We all have a tendency to label *people* as good or bad. We should limit ourselves to labeling *actions* as good or bad. We can't really know if people are good or bad until we can tote up their life history of good or bad actions. And as long as the future remains unknown, there remains the potential that someone who has acted badly in the past will act for the good in the future. We can't assume an intrinsic quality of evil that somehow prevents it. At least we can't if we believe in free will.........

[> [> [> Re: Will and morality -- Anne, 12:21:59 01/30/02 Wed

"Her" is correct -- no gender cover-up

[> [> [> [> Thanks. I was agreeing with you so often I couldn't avoid the pronoun any more!! -- Sophist, 12:58:23 01/30/02 Wed

Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Grace, 21:21:16 01/29/02 Tue

Overall the episode was ok. C+

A few questions and comments:

What is up with Buffy staring into space time and again and seeming to loose track of time? Is she sinking into some form of depression? Or was she becoming zombie-like like the people who work with her? I wasn't sure about that part of the episode. Was the zombie-state separate from the grandma-killer? was it as Xander said a product of real life?

I loved Willow telling Amy off.

Didn't like Spike's new shirt (grey striped-thing). Call me a tradionalist, but I like him in the same old red shirt he always wears (or nothing, of course!).

I really didn't understand/like the scene where Buffy and Spike were "shagging" in the alley. First, very creepy how Spike was "doing all the work" and Buffy was staring out into space again. Indicative of very self-destructive behavior. This was the first time it seemed as if Buffy wasn't having sex WITH Spike but it was being done TO her. Not a good image and I couldn't help but be annoyed at Spike for doing it. He is suppose to LOVE her not take advantage of her in an alley during her break! I am not sure if this action was consistent with Spike's character. Spike should have noticed something was wrong with Buffy and done something other than F--- her. He has a soft side--I don't know if this was a good move on the part of the writers. Anyone disagree?

Anya and Xander: that wedding is sooo off. Plus, I agree with Anya: I would ditch a guy that corrected me as much as Xander does Anya.

Overall the story was lame, but I was glad to find out that the burgers didn't contain human meat. I mean, this has been done so many times!

As for scenes from next week's episode: Haven't we done this with Faith? Didn't she kill a human and go through the grief? Sounds like a lame story line--but I thought the same about the burger story and they surprised me. I hope next week is more than I expected too.

[> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- juliaabra, 22:04:45 01/29/02 Tue

in total agreement here. i too was disconcerted by buffy's staring into space although it reminded me of her hypnotic staring at the water in "flooded" so i was wondering if that was some kind of relapse to her post-resurrected self? i think that the writers were lax with the entire staff of dmp--what was up with the zomboid workers?? surely working fast food can be demoralizing but does it actually suck the life right out of you?

and then, although i liked the interaction between buffy and spike in the restaurant (though i always feel wierd when spike wears real clothes--remember "crush?" that brown leather?) because i love when spike is sweet in his evil way, the alleyway boink was lame. it seemed to foreshadow the end of this 'relationship.' if the only reason buffy is with spike is for good, life-affirming sex, and she certainly didn't seem to be into it tonight, then why would she continue to see him?

but it was good to see willow standing up for herself against amy, and it made me wonder about amy's possibility as the next big bad. this ep made me long for the days of a good big bad arc.

[> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Anneth, 22:04:47 01/29/02 Tue

I thought tonight's episode was *terrible*; it was dull to begin with, and depressing to end with. I, too, was glad to see Willow tell Amy off (finally - she can be so spineless that her name suits her character perfectly sometimes), and I found the Buffy/Spike interaction really disturbing. The first of their two scenes was good, and the second began well, with her whipping off her hat self-consciously upon seeing him. But then they're just "doing it" in an alley? What happened to the all-consuming passion that ignited upon the merest contact from just an *episode* ago?

And, what was with Dawn? Was it just me or was she acting disappointed in Buffy?

Grr. All in all, I think a C+ is generous. I'd give a C-, at most.

[> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- sTalking Goat, 22:40:10 01/29/02 Tue

That alley way sex thing was THE creepiest part of this whole episode for me, more so than that large phallic like object popping out of wig ladies head and spitting at people :/ , and biting Buffy in the shoulder over and over (what was up with that?)

The entire thing would have just been bad, if it wasn't so damn depressing, between Buffy continuing working in that Fast food place, Amy acting like a total asshole, signs Anya and Xander being so obviously over (I thought they would save the breakup for after the wedding actually)and willow being on the verge of falling off the wagon, I think this had to be the most depressing episode ever. The preview for next week had to be icing though. I'd really hope we wouldn't have to do the Faith thing again. Whats next Spike chaining Buffy to a wall and counselling her? And do they really think the Scoobies won't figure it out when my pops up with a stake wound with wood splinters? And when did Spike start shopping at Kenneth Cole? I'm going to bed.

[> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Hauptman, 22:43:26 01/29/02 Tue

Kenneth Cole. Ha! Was that Amy on the ground?!

[> [> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- sTalking Goat, 22:48:32 01/29/02 Tue

It looks that way on my tape. I watched it a couple times. But I could be wrong.

[> [> [> [> No........Spoilers for Dead Things...... -- Rufus, 00:19:08 01/30/02 Wed

It isn't Amy......think back to IWMTLY.....

[> [> [> [> Please explain "Kenneth Cole" comment for us Brits?! -- Marie (saying Ta, in advance!), 07:42:50 01/30/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Symbolism in Doublemeat Phallus (Spoilers) -- LeeAnn, 23:02:39 01/30/02 Wed

The big penis is symbolic of Spike's dick, of Buffy being paralyzed by her desire for sex with Spike, and being eaten alive by it. That's why she looked pretty paralyzed in the alley BEFORE the other penis popped up.

Notice gay Willow easily avoided the paralyzing effects of the Great Big Penis.

The whole show reminded me of the episode ANNE where demons suck people into an alternative dimension and work them till they are old and useless while making them wear ugly clothes. Or global capitalism. Or both. Except Buffy was able to save herself and a few other captives in ANNE. Poor revenant Buffy can't even save herself.

[> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Anneth, 22:49:39 01/29/02 Tue

"That alley way sex thing was THE creepiest part of this whole episode for me"

What really got me about it was Spike's huge relapse from Gone - I was *so* proud of him for kicking her out of his bed upon realizing that she was using him. I thought it boded extremely well for his development from selfish, self-absorbed "neutered vampire" to self-possessed, mature adult. Just a year ago, he would never have thrown her out for not being altogether there. To have him crawl back to her for a seedy alley-way tryst was just... amazingly disappointing. What were the writers thinking? (I didn't notice who penned this episode, but I've felt that the continutity and character-development has been spotty at best all season, what with the rotation of writers. I really miss JW's gentle touch.)

"...more so than that large phallic like object popping out of wig ladies head and spitting at people :/ , and biting Buffy in the shoulder over and over (what was up with that?)"

Yeah - the bad jokes come too easily.

[> [> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Anne, 05:52:07 01/30/02 Wed

Agreeing with some of the other posts here, I am not happy with the alleyway sex scene: apart from the taste issue, I found it bizarre and inexplicable character/plotwise. And I am someone who believes that the sex angle in the relationship so far has been extremely well played. Despite the fact that the sex depicted in "Smashed" was rough, to say the least, I thought it also somehow succeeded in conveying a much deeper piece of the relationship -- even, during the moments when their eyes locked, a kind of desperate tenderness. The alley scene conveyed absolutely nothing at all, not even much enjoyment on the animal level. I'm hoping this was just some kind of weird writing/directing/acting lapse, perhaps an uncharacteristic attempt to throw a sop to audience members who have been getting impatient to see what happens next sexually between Buffy and Spike. Otherwise, I'm totally at a loss to figure out what it could possibly mean.

[> [> [> [> [> Well Said!! -- Sophist, 08:54:37 01/30/02 Wed

[> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Dochawk, 23:40:47 01/29/02 Tue

I'd really hope we wouldn't have to do the Faith thing again

First off, you know that previews are always meant to mislead you. They are purposely provocative to get you to watch. Secondly, I think we all trust the writers to not redo a major story line. Third, you don't read spoilers do you?

[> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Hauptman, 22:40:41 01/29/02 Tue

I am not one to complain about Buffy, but I am with you here. I just thought the episode went nowhere, it was directionless. And it raised some disturbing issues for me, the largest of which being Buffy keeping mum about what happend to her co-workers. I mean, yeah, it would be hard to explain that a demon-granny ate the workers, but doens't she have some reponsibility to tel the families of the innocent victims what happened to them. I mean, there were still pieces of them in the resturant. But she was clearly willing to put the mayhem behinde her and keep working there. She has seen a lot of death in her time, but that seemed really cold. Showing Dawn the finger seemed a bit out of character, too.

The Willow/Amy scenes were actually good. Makes me wonder fi there will be a magic showdown before the end of the season. Amy will so get her ass kicked.

Overall, though, I was bored. Maybe that was the point. And as for the workers' Zombie like condition, I almost buy that it was a result of the work. I hate the idea of Buffy still working there. I have seen enough of the burger hut. I am ashamed to say that I wish Buff had gone ahead and blackmailed the company.

The alley shag was disgusting. Passionless rutting. I was on the fence before, but now I say dump this relationship.

[> [> [> Magic showdown ? -- sTalking Goat, 22:42:48 01/29/02 Tue

Amy vs. Willow you say. I guess someone doesn't watch the previews.

[> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Anneth, 22:54:14 01/29/02 Tue

"The alley shag was disgusting. Passionless rutting. I was on the fence before, but now I say dump this relationship."

I agree. I always felt that both B and S had more... self-respect than that. I hate what the alley scene indicated about their characters.

[> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- robert, 11:55:55 01/30/02 Wed

"And, what was with Dawn? Was it just me or was she acting disappointed in Buffy? "

Dawn was not showing disappointment, rather compassionate concern for Buffy, upon realization of Buffy's plight.

[> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- Liz, 00:49:40 01/30/02 Wed

At first I didn't like this episode but I'm having a bit of a change of heart. Buffy is spiraling downwards. And the show knows it. That's what cheers me--this is building to something. The show is entirely aware that she is losing her hold on life.

I thought the shag in the alley with Spike was quite interesting. But then I have no stake in this relationship--I'm more interested in seeing it head in a direction consistant with the characters. I'm not really rooting for one way or the other. But I didn't think the whole thing necessarily spoke ill of them. Buffy was obviously not into it, but she's really hurting. And I think that Spike might not know what else to do for her. Maybe it was healthier when he kicked her out because she wasn't really there, but that day he was dealing with a false cheeryness instead of a real despondency.

"I think you're seeing demons where there's just life." I'm not sure where they're headed with all that. Because I think the blank looks of the workers WAS actually not due to supernatural circumstances but due to the workplace itself. I personally would have scrapped the whole episode if not for the conversation between Buffy & Spike when he told her that this place would do things to her--it would kill her. I think that can be correct.

The thing is, what _Buffy_ used to do is take those situations where real life will do you in, stretch it way out of proportion and give it a supernatural reason. They used to be quite good at this. I haven't seen them do that much lately. The superantural and the real aren't blending like they used to. Now partly there's a reason for that: before, it was a frightening world but it all boiled down to demons and Buffy could kick their asses. Now it's a frightening world and Buffy can't just beat it up. I guess this is partly growing up and partly the depression she is sinking into. I just wonder how much the two are necessarily intertwined. I worry about where this is leading.

By the way, when she was running around the store shouting, "don't eat it, it's people" was that a direct duplication of Soilent Green? A friend said it seemed to be playing the same way, but he wasn't sure.

[> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- JBone, 05:21:58 01/30/02 Wed

I thought the shag in the alley with Spike was quite interesting.

Yeah, and who hasn't some kind of sex act impersonally performed on them in an alley?

[> [> [> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- B, 05:31:35 01/30/02 Wed

I agree, who here had a parttime job as a teenager and never fooled around during their break in the alley, parking lot, freezer, etc?????

[> [> [> [> NOT AN ALLEY! -- Valkyrie, 08:05:43 01/30/02 Wed

Everyone keeps commenting on sex in the alley, but it doesn't look like an alley to me. There's paneling on the wall and a poster about "Teamwork." (A little sight gag.) It also occurs to me that in the second part of a Double Meat double shift, one might not have the energy for enthusiastic sex.

[> [> [> [> [> Guess again. That IS the dumpster in the foreground. -- CW, 09:33:08 01/30/02 Wed

It's not a poster, but a bulletin board. I've seen have notices for employees for posted outside the backdoor at real restaurants and fast food places...

[> Hey, I liked the Double Meat! -- Val, 01:06:49 01/30/02 Wed

I don't know what you guys are talking about, as a former fast-food employee, I thought tonight's episode was totally brilliant. From the bizarre training video, to the weird/stoned employees, to the petty degradation this was pretty accurate, except for the whole demon-granny thing. Was I the only one that was kinda freaked out by her? Or did I just see Alien at an impressionable age? I also think there is something definitely creepy about fast food with all its mystery meats which the episode definitely tapped into. Plus Double Meat Palace must get some bonus points for the Soilent Green reference.

As to Buffy staring into space...hello she's working in fast food, how is she suppposed to look, intellectually stimulated?

I too found the alley way scene a little weird, and frankly sleazy.

All in all it was a funny stand alone episode which we rarely see these days. Reminds me of the cheesier, B grade horror movie eps of seasons past.

[> Don't any of you eat in fast food restaurants? -- change, 04:04:45 01/30/02 Wed

A few questions and comments:

What is up with Buffy staring into space time and again and seeming to loose track of time? Is she sinking into some form of depression? Or was she becoming zombie-like like the people who work with her? I wasn't sure about that part of the episode. Was the zombie-state separate from the grandma-killer? was it as Xander said a product of real life?

Are Val and I the only people here who eat in fast food restaurants? Haven't you noticed how the check out people are zombie like? You have to repeat everything to them 2 or 3 times and then they get it wrong anyway. They are constantly making mistakes on the cash register that require a manager to fix, and it blows their mind if you give them some pennies to round up to the next nickel. I don't know what it is about manning a cash register (utter boredom maybe) but anyone who does it goes brain dead.

The episode could have been a little more subtle about things, but I think the spoofing of cashiers was good, and Dawn's disappointment in seeing her sister become one is right on the mark for a 15 year old.

I didn't like the penis thing coming out of wig ladies head though. I don't think there was any message in it, just the costume people running on auto pilot.

The back alley boink symbolized the emptiness of the Buffy/Spike relationship and the empty life that Buffy is heading towards if she doesn't get her life together.

Despite what you nay sayers above may think, I think the Xander/Anya wedding is still on. The episode is just showing the 2nd thoughts that always happen a few weeks before the wedding.

The Willow/Amy part of the episode was the one that I really didn't like. Has anyone noticed that Amy's character is completely inconsistent with the way she was before she was a rat? I mean, what was suppose to have happenned to her while she was a rat that she became a sleasy addict? Why would Dawn give Amy permission to come in after all the crap she's done. If nothing else, she should have called Willow down to see Amy at the front door and let Willow decide. Willow's whole drug/magic addiction thing has been handled badly this season.

[> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- neaux, 04:56:58 01/30/02 Wed

I do think this episode wasnt the greatest.. but it did have its moments..

and YES THE ALLEY scene was creepy but soooo extremely relevant. anyway these are my thoughts:

If you look at this episode as one BIG horror movie... then yes.. all these real life scenarios.. are very mosterous..

1. Fast Food Joint. The horror of what's in the food.

2. Anya's "Bitch Friend". For Xander.. this is a real monster (in both senses) Yes there is the physical appearance of the monster.. but even worse... she is Anya's "Bitch Friend". If you don't know who the Bitch Friend is.. then you obviously are not a guy.. and you might be one and not know it. The bitch friend is your girlfriend/fiance/wife's close friend that does nothing but try to point out flaws in a relationship. They never focus on the positive and dwell on the negative. This is a real person that does exist and every guy knows it. For Xander its a big problem because he never had to worry about Anya having close friends..

3. Amy- A friend that turns on you. The horror of someone you think you know.. but dont.

4. The Worst- Your Friends or Family Showing up at your Job. The look of the scooby gang on the other end of the counter was priceless!!

I'm sure there are more but its too early in the morning for me to think. =P

[> Maybe it was TOO good... (spoilers continue) -- Darby, 05:42:01 01/30/02 Wed

...but it seems to have appealed to a very small slice of the audience - those with fast-food-worker experience. I think that the alley scene was of a piece with that - Buffy still zombied while Spike tried to "snap" her out of it (and got a bit of gratification in for himself - sex-as-masturbation).

The rest of us just have fast food eater experience, and as horror goes, this one was pretty effective - freaked my wife out more than any episode I can remember.

It didn't have any flow, though - I think that there were so many pertinent concepts and images that the writers (obviously experienced on the grill line) wanted to get in that they just jammed them everywhere. Buffy episodes are rarely this unrelenting, and variation in tone and scene helps build tension. The Xander-Anya-Halfrek subplot was entertaining but not a relief from the frantic, stressed-out tone of the rest.

From a plotting standpoint, it became clear when Buffy stated they were dealing with an extensive chain of restaurants that the people-thing was a no-go - her "jurisdiction" doesn't extend far enough. If the chain had started in Sunnydale...no, it would be too complicated.

Now that her boss is an actual person - and an experienced actress, I recognize her from The West Wing - I guess the fast-food experience will continue for awhile. This could be good - nothing sent me off to college faster than working in a furniture factory (where you could see the same zombification).

[> The alley scene ... -- verdantheart, 07:40:07 01/30/02 Wed

I can't say I "liked" the scene in the alley, but I didn't think that it was out of character or that it didn't make sense.

Spike may have stood up to invisiBuffy, but remember how hard it is for him to say no to her. He wants more than the sex, but the sex is awfully good ... More importantly, however, look at the difference between the two situations. Buffy was in control, ascendant when invisible. Here she is as completely downtrodden as we've seen her. How it must torment Spike to see her that way. The alley action is an extension of their previous conversation in a way. Here's how I see it:

Buffy is reaching out for feeling, for life, an escape from the dullness that she has been trapped into--therefore the sex. She's trying to make herself feel better (or feel at all). Spike "gave in" because he can't stand seeing Buffy that way--how can he stand up to her when she's so stomped? He wants to make her feel better in any way he can. It's clearly desperation on both sides.

But, obviously, it's not satisfactory (as written all over Buffy's face). It's not what Buffy really needs. It's interesting that we aren't shown Spike's expression. I doubt that it's a happy experience for him, either.

I found the scene significant, but sad, very sad.

[> [> Re: The alley scene ... -- Kimberly, 08:20:38 01/30/02 Wed

The discussion of why Spike is going along with Buffy in the alley/manager's office brings to mind something he said in Into the Wood (from Psyche's transcripts):

SPIKE to Riley: (quietly) Sometimes I envy you so much it chokes me. (They exchange a look) And sometimes I think I got the better deal. (sighs) To be that close to her and not have her. To be all alone even when you're holding her. Feeling her, feeling her beneath you. Surrounding you. The scent ... (louder) No, you got the better deal.

It's not what he wants, but it may be what he'll settle for. At least for now.

[> [> [> Kimberly, I keep thinking the same thing! -- CW, 08:42:25 01/30/02 Wed

[> [> Re: The alley scene ... -- Kerri, 10:33:58 01/30/02 Wed

"Spike "gave in" because he can't stand seeing Buffy that way--how can he stand up to her when she's so stomped? He wants to make her feel better in any way he can. It's clearly desperation on both sides."

Spike cares about Buffy and he wants to help her, but come on-he isn't a knight in shinning armor, he never will be, and would we ever want him to be. Yes, he's there for Buffy, but he's also in it for himself. Like Kimberly said, he wants the sex, for him its better than nothing. He wasn't sleeping with Buffy because he didn't know how else to help her. He did it because he wanted to for himself.

Spike claims to know Buffy, and all evidence shows us he does. If this is true then he must know what he's doing is hurting Buffy. He recognizes that in their first scene, telling Buffy this place will kill her. Well the sex scene wasn't that different, Buffy got nothing from it but self-loathing, and eventually it willl kill her in the same way working at DmP would. Now don't get me wrong, I *don't* think sex with Spike is bad, in fact it seems like a necessary road, but in this episode it wasn't about enjoyment and self-discovery. Buffy was just so depressed and lost that she had sex with Spike, because that's all she believes herself to be worth.

This may in the end turn out to be a beneficial relationship for Buffy, but right now she's drowning. She can't get herself out of it, and the kind of help she needs, she's not getting what she needs from Spike. Again, Buffy is totally alone. Spike may teach her a lesson, but he certainly isn't making it any easier to learn.

[> [> Re: The alley scene ...What came before? -- LeeAnn, 23:34:14 01/30/02 Wed

"Obviously, it's not satisfactory (as written all over Buffy's face)"

How could alley sex on a break be satisfactory to anyone? If only the scene had been a little longer and we could have seen what led up to it and what followed. I refuse to believe that Buffy went to the alley, dropped her pants and called Spike over.

[> Re: Spoilers for Jan 29th episode--Beware-spoilers for next week too. -- maddog, 08:34:28 01/30/02 Wed

ok, first off, how can you not defend Xander. Anya's learning to be a regular human being who doesn't say EVERYTHING that comes to her mind. So Xander reminds her that certain things aren't polite...that's not exactly horrible. He's teaching her to be more civilized...less demon. It's not like he's correcting her grammar. :)

As for the Buffy/Faith parallel. True, similar situation, but different viewpoint. Buffy's not like Faith. She's going to take this much harder. She won't deny the feelings like Faith eventually did. So it's definitely an interesting area to explore.

[> Re: collateral damage -- *spoilers* from trailer for next week -- Anne, 11:01:35 01/30/02 Wed

I initially had the same reaction you did to the "slaughter of the innocent" topic from the trailer for next week -- for Pete's sake, haven't we already done this?

Upon reflection, however, I decided quite differently. Look: post September 11th, it seems to me that the issue of "collateral damage" takes on an enormously present significance that the earlier Faith episode by no means fully addressed. If there is such a thing as just war; if we should give cops guns; if it is right for there to be people who protect the complacent, non-violent lives of the rest of us with violence, how do we cope with the inevitable conclusion that sometimes innocent bystanders will die? And not only how do we as a society deal with it, but more gut-wrenchingly: how do the people who pull the trigger deal with it?

The Faith episode was largely able to cop out on this issue because, at the time the killing happened, the audience had caught on (unlike the unaccountably dense characters) that Faith was a baddie. So, okay: baddie kills an innocent; baddie refuses to take responsibility; everything in order, big deal, no moral dilemma.

What we have yet to see is the issues, moral, emotional, and practical, that arise when a goodie kills an innocent, which unfortunately is a (distressingly relevant) real-world problem.

When I first saw the trailer I was hoping they'd find some way to slip out of it -- the person killed was really a demon, or even if human really a bad guy who would have killed others, or it was all a dream, or some damn thing. Now my fears are the opposite: what if they decide to cop out again and let us avoid the "collateral damage" problem one more time? Among other things, it will take some awfully slippy, clever plotting to keep Buffy out of prison if it turns out she really did kill an innocent. However, by and large Joss & Co. are a lot smarter at this stuff than I am, so here's hoping. If they do it right, I think it could be one of the most terrific episodes ever.

[> [> Re: collateral damage -- *spoilers* from trailer for next week -- Cecilia, 11:17:50 01/30/02 Wed

Now that I've caught up on the content of the promo for next weeks episode, I think it's fairly obvious that Buffy didn't kill anyone. Firstly, the trio frame Buffy for murder, secondly, the victim is Warren's former girlfriend (talk about killing 2 birds with one stone-get rid of the slayer and the ex in one fell swoop). That being said, the real meat of the episode, so to speak, is not going to be did she or didn't she, it's going to be what believing that she killed someone will do to Buffy. That is what I'm looking forward to seeing and hopefully this will be the beginning of her starting to deal with her life, her resurrection, Spike,Willow,etc.

[> [> [> Note: Post above contains spoiler for "Dead Things" *not* in promo -- Dyna, 08:12:31 01/31/02 Thu

[> [> Re: collateral damage -- *spoilers* from trailer for next week -- robert, 12:07:38 01/30/02 Wed

"The Faith episode was largely able to cop out on this issue because, at the time the killing happened, the audience had caught on (unlike the unaccountably dense characters) that Faith was a baddie. So, okay: baddie kills an innocent; baddie refuses to take responsibility; everything in order, big deal, no moral dilemma."

Let us also not forget that the Mayor's assistant was not an innocent. Rather, he was not a legitimate target, because Faith and Buffy did not know yet that his hands were dirty.

[> [> We "accept" collateral damage -- Sophist, 12:40:09 01/30/02 Wed

from the police because we believe they are engaged in a worthwhile task with good intentions (see the double intent post elsewhere on this board; not that I necessarily accept that doctrine entirely). The problem for Buffy is that we, the audience, can see the context necessary to accept the idea of collateral damage inflicted by a slayer, but the authorities cannot. Buffy is therefore in the impossible position of risking her freedom or even her life if she discloses just the deed without the context.

BTW, everyone sees the analogy to Faith, but this issue affected Buffy twice before in different ways. Once in Ted and once in Becoming II (how did she ever explain resisting arrest (twice!!) and assaulting a police office?). In both cases, the show ducked the really hard questions.

[> [> [> Re: We "accept" collateral damage -- Sebastian, 13:48:05 01/30/02 Wed

>BTW, everyone sees the analogy to Faith, but this issue
> affected Buffy twice before in different ways.
>Once in Ted and once in Becoming II (how did she ever
> explain resisting arrest (twice!!) and assaulting a
> police office?). In both cases, the show ducked the
> really hard questions.

one answer: 'the police in sunnydale are deeply stupid. '- principal snyder, 'becoming part ii'

i'm sure that buffy's actions in 'becoming' were probably explained 'offscreen'.

for example: if buffy had been questioned by the police and had to make a court appearance regarding both the attacks on the scoobs and kendra's murder, i'm sure it *could* have been said that buffy was a *witness* to both murder (kendra) and assault (the scoobs), not to mention she learned that a beloved faculty member (giles) had been kidnapped by unknown assailants.

to be accused of these horrendous acts after bearing witness to them (yes-yes, we know she was actually fighting angel and then doing the famous 'slow-mo' run to the rescue - but bear with me) she was overcome and distraught and fled the scene.

regarding ted--well, not only could he make a mean batch of cookies, but he was robot AND had four DEAD wives in his basement. So i'm sure it was easy for buffy to say she used self-defense against a multiple murderer.

just my thoughts.

- S

[> [> [> [> Easy outs -- Sophist, 14:40:03 01/30/02 Wed

At the moment of Ted's "death", neither Buffy nor we knew that he was a robot. The police somewhat skeptically accepted her self-defense explanation, but it never went any further because the plot let her off the hook.

Her arrest for murder in Becoming II would have been cleared up easily as soon as Xander regained consciousness. That doesn't get her off the resisting arrest charge, though. You're supposed to go along with an arrest even if you're innocent. They might have let that go (I doubt it), but she _hit_ a cop. That's a big no-no. It's hard to believe the mayor wouldn't have used it against her, but we never heard about it again.

[> [> [> Observation re:faith & ted -- Cecilia, 08:56:13 01/31/02 Thu

In regards to "Ted", I seem to recall Giles saying something along the lines of "an unfortunate occurance that does sometimes happen" or something like that. I took that to mean that the council does expect a certain level of collateral damage. Maybe he was just trying to be comforting.

In regards to Faith, something has always bothered me. Wesley reported to the council that fact that Faith killed someone, the council then tried to kidnapped her, to "rehabilitate her". That makes no sense to me. If you assume that normally there really is only one slayer, then why would the council imprison the one that they have. Logically, if you look at it from the councils point of view (and it is pretty cold) it makes more sense for them to kill off a renegade and dangerous slayer to make room for the new one. They did address this when the council came after Faith after she awoke from her coma, so maybe Giles and Wesley only told Buffy that the council would rehabilitate Faith so as not to upset her further.

[> [> Re: collateral damage -- *spoilers* from trailer for next week -- Rufus, 02:35:01 01/31/02 Thu

Upon reflection, however, I decided quite differently. Look: post September 11th, it seems to me that the issue of "collateral damage" takes on an enormously present significance that the earlier Faith episode by no means fully addressed. If there is such a thing as just war; if we should give cops guns; if it is right for there to be people who protect the complacent, non-violent lives of the rest of us with violence, how do we cope with the inevitable conclusion that sometimes innocent bystanders will die? And not only how do we as a society deal with it, but more gut-wrenchingly: how do the people who pull the trigger deal with it?

Can you ever really understand how it feels to kill someone? On this show it seems easy for Buffy because what she kills isn't "real" is "evil" is a "demon"....but she kills all the same.

I'm glad they will revisit something that was glossed over the first time. Buffy was insulated by the fact it was Faith that accidentally killed a person. I always wondered what would happen if it was Buffy herself that killed or thought she killed an innocent. The CoW have resources to handle such a situation, meaning that it's happened before. But just cause it's happened before doesn't mean it should be considered "part of the job". I will be interested in seeing how they treat the subject next week.

Amy (SPOILERY) -- Earl Allison, 02:24:16 01/30/02 Wed

Okay, aside from "Doublemeat Palace" being a mediocre first or second season episode idea (IMHO), what's up with Amy?

When we met her in "The Witch," we find her the victim of her mother's witchcraft -- no sign of the vicious woman she will become yet ...

Next we see her in "Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered." Sure, she's playing with magic, and in a not-nice way, but in the same spirit of things as someone like Willow -- wrong, but in a puppy-like way, as opposed to a nasty, amoral way. Heck, she's even nervous about a simple love spell at this point, even though we see her being capable of changing people into rats -- and she never once uses this to attack anyone when NOT under the love spell.

Finally, we see her as a relevant character in "Gingerbread," where she turns herself into a rat. Still no sign of the manipulative witch (in every sense of the word, not just the literal) she becomes in S6. Scared and very much about to die, she lashes out -- whether she meant to change the mob, or herself, I cannot say, but again, she's still portrayed largely as a harmless witch like Willow, just more powerful.

Now we hit Season Six, and Amy's been retconned into seeing Rack from as late as Season Three (since he knows her by name, and she admits to having been there before -- and possibly being Rack's favorite before Willow). Where did this come from, aside from IITS (It's In The Script)? Usually we see little hints that, seasons later, come to fruition -- did anyone see this with Amy? I mean, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, but this seemed way out of left field ...

Okay, so Amy takes Willow for a walk on the wild side of magic, something that, again, seemed drastically out of character for what we knew of Amy. I grant you, we didn't know much, but this?

Then, last night on "DP," she maliciously (IMHO) tempts Willow with more magic. To what ends, I can't fathom. Maybe it's a Plot Point, but given Amy's uber-beyach (that's as close as I'll get on this board) behavior, who knows. Interesting, her throwing her years as a rat in Willow's face, although someone should remind her that she did it to herself, and at least Willow kept her from being cat-food. Maybe Amy's doing all this as payback for being in a cage for three years -- but even if she is, that doesn't explain the Rack incidents.

I don't know, it just seems like Amy is becoming a really nasty person because the script called for it as opposed to the gradual progression we got with Faith, or even with black-magic Willow.

Is it me? Thoughts?

Take it and run.

[> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- Rufus, 03:20:26 01/30/02 Wed

Maybe we just didn't know Amy well enough to see her true character and perhaps the spell in "Gingerbread" reflected her true "ratty" self.

[> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- Earl Allison, 05:00:44 01/30/02 Wed

I can accept some of it, certainly. But the Rack angle is, frankly, a bit much to swallow, IMHO. Amy was powerful, yes, but there was never any indication that she was suffering from the drunkenness/withdrawal symptoms we later saw in both her and Willow later.

You have a point, to be fair, but it still feels tacked on to me.


Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- sTalking Goat, 05:38:59 01/30/02 Wed

I hink the comment about her Willow mot being able to change her back is supposed to make us believe Amy is resentfull for having to spend so many years as a rat. But there are so many things wrong with this.

1. Amy had no memory (conscious anyway...) of being a rat for all those years. She came back and said she had to get to graduation.

2. She doesn't really seem to resent it. She back for her cage after all.

3. There aren't any visible after-effects. I mean she hasn't developed and affinity for small dark spaces or anything.

4. She did it to herself, she must have known there was no way to chagne herself back. And expecting Willow would find the answer immediately was expecting a bit too much.

The whole Amy thing does feel tacked on. Just to serve an a plot requirement, which is not something I would expect from BtVS. Maybe they'll clearify this later.

[> [> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- maddog, 07:35:20 01/30/02 Wed

Yeah but notice Amy's addiction tends to be far less massive. She's not as strong as Willow. So it's a possibility we just never noticed.

[> [> [> About that rat spell... spoilers, speculation, and a strange parallel -- Solitude1056, 10:34:24 01/31/02 Thu

Amy was powerful, yes, but there was never any indication that she was suffering from the drunkenness/withdrawal symptoms we later saw in both her and Willow later.

I went back to Gingerbread, and this is the spell Amy uses:

"Alright. You wanna fry a witch? I'll give you a witch! Goddess Hecate, work thy will! Before thee let the unclean thing crawl!"

This puzzled me when I first saw it, and again when I saw it as a repeat - why would she designate herself as the unclean thing (other than considering a rat to be "unclean," which is gross propaganda by rat-hating folks). The impression I got when she spoke was that she was intending to strike out at the MOO'ers, and was surprised that the only thought she had was to save herself.

When we first met Amy, her mother was possessing her body through some vicious magicks. At the conclusion, Amy was living with her father and (apparently) without interest in magick, but by the time of BBB, Xander had figured out that Amy had begun using magick towards for selfish purposes, if small ones. Amy also demonstrated at several points during the episode that she was capable of much stronger magick than she'd revealed previously. She doesn't show up again until Gingerbread, when she, Willow, and that goth-kid are shown doing a working together, which indicates that Amy's interest in magick had continued to grow. Combine this with Amy's interest in only saving herself, I'm not surprised that Amy would return with several issues finally brought out. One, she had to have had a mentor (as Willow had Jenny/Giles), and Rack could easily have been it. Two, she's in magick purely for her own ends, much as her mother had been.

Which brings me to the issue of a strange parallel. Am I the only one who notices that now Willow is sitting directly between two women - in terms of magickal extremes - and both those women lost their mothers at some point during their high school years, and were then raised by their fathers? Amy's mother used magick selfishly, and Amy in turn has come to see this as acceptable. Tara's mother, we assume (based on Tara's few comments) was equally powerful but essentially good, and thus Tara has learned to believe that magick can be used for good purposes but only when absolutely necessary.

If Amy had returned otherwise unharmed, slightly interested in magick, and otherwise non-bitchy, I wouldn't've been surprised... but the possibility of her selfishness existed, subtly, prior to her ratness. I'm curious to see whether the situation has been tweaked (and retroactively re-written) in order to create a Tara/Amy parallel, much as the Troika was created as a Scooby parallel.

[> [> [> [> Re: About that rat spell... spoilers, speculation, and a strange parallel -- Rattletrap, 14:15:12 02/01/02 Fri

Great analysis Sol! I'd picked up on most of those pieces (Amy's selfish use of magic, etc.) but I had missed the mother connection and hadn't been able to put them together quite right.

good work


[> [> [> [> The Cage (and speculation on the addictive nature of magic) -- Malandanza, 20:01:23 02/02/02 Sat

"If Amy had returned otherwise unharmed, slightly interested in magick, and otherwise non-bitchy, I wouldn't've been surprised... but the possibility of her selfishness existed, subtly, prior to her ratness."

I agree that Amy's transformation was dramatic, but not implausible. We have seen a striking change in Willow as well -- the young woman who defied Giles in Season Six is markedly different from deferential Season Two Willow. Of course, her change occurred over a greater period of time (and a much greater period of subjective time) but this, too, is reasonable.

Continuing with the Magic as Drugs analogy: few things change a person's personality as quickly as drugs. Willow started off slowly, working her way through minor substances (cloves, alcohol, the soft drugs) so we didn't see a dramatic change. Amy started with the harder stuff -- straight from her mother's personal stash. Assuming magic is addictive.

Most posts have focused magic as a psychologically addictive substance -- an addiction to power, perhaps, or to the adrenaline rush. However, it does seem as though some types of spells (particularly ritual magic) have a physically addictive side to them as well -- as Giles mentioned in The Dark Age. Summoning Eyghon was an incredible high for him and his friends.

In my chats with Cygnus, we have debated the nature of magic in the Buffyverse back and forth and during the course of these discussion I have come to the conclusion that there are two types of magic: natural magic and ritual magic. When Tara or Willow casts an impromptu spell, she is using the former type of magic -- non-addictive and subject to depletion (because the power comes from within). The very limited form of magic that Tara practices. Other people on BtVS and AtS have used magic (Jonathan, Andrew, Xander, Angelus, Anya, Giles, those W&H goat sacrificers, etc.) but they do not possess the ability to cast spells extemporaneously. They need preparation and the power does not come from within -- it comes from without. Which begs the question, who is providing the power and why?

Using the Eyghon example again, we find that Eyghon did get something out of the deal -- he got access to the world. And that's all that any demon really wants. So ritual magic is easy -- so easy that even mangled Latin or broken rituals still work. And it feels good -- so that the users will want to do it again. When I was a child, some friends of mine and I got together one dark and stormy night and tried to have a seance -- we scared ourselves badly enough that we never tried again. But imagine if magic were real, and during our attempt we had all felt the most amazing sensations of our young lives -- wouldn't we have tried again? Add a little withdrawal to make it more difficult to walk away and maybe drug addiction isn't such a bad analogy after all.

I also don't have a problem with Amy tempting Willow back to the dark side. Again, using the addiction analogy, I have known people who have tried to walk away from drugs, staying clean and sober for extended periods of time, only to have all their efforts go for naught when their old friends show up and pressure them to join them for one last celebration. There is a perverseness in the human spirit that makes a person who has fallen off the straight and narrow resent someone who has crawled back on. The reformed person is an affront to them and by tempting him back, they prove that the reformer is no better than they are.

Finally, the cage: Am I the only one who is disturbed by Amy wanting her old cage? Willow has made Amy her enemy -- and Amy must know that a witch of Willow's callibre must have been able to de-rat her long before Willow actually did so. If Amy really is angry at Willow (possibly influenced by Rack) what better way to demonstrate to Willow the importance of magic than to inflict a little poetic justice upon her -- and leave Willow the rat in a cage for a few years.

[> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- change, 04:25:21 01/30/02 Wed

I agree with you completely about Amy. ME has completely changed Amy's character just to drive the plot in a particular direction, and this is a terrible thing to do on a show like BtVS that emphasizes character development. The other thing about Amy is that they haven't accounted for the effect of 2+ years of being a rat. I mean, that has to have some sort of an effect, and it would have given them a way to explain some of Amy's behaviour. However, not only haven't they covered that, but ME has written Amy to suggest that her character was like this before she was a rat.

The Willow addiction theme has been handled very badly.

[> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- Andy, 05:56:15 01/30/02 Wed

I also agree about Amy. We might not have had much to go on with her character, but what they've done with her this season just doesn't feel right with what we did know of her.

Although to be honest, and I admit this is probably just me since plenty of other people seem to be having a great time with this season, I've also had this criticism of pretty much all the characters all season. It just seems like a lot of the subplots that have been ongoing this season have been developed plot first-character second and it's a jarring contrast to past seasons of the show. I think it mostly stems from an impression I've had that because the chosen theme is for the characters to "grow up", they've been forcefully jerked into a degree of immaturity that I've never associated with them (well, except maybe the first season). But maybe it's just me :)


[> [> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- DEN, 06:08:57 01/30/02 Wed

It's not just you, Andy. I've had some sympathy for the "Willow addiction" metaphor, but have lost most of it because the presentation is straight from high school. Amy/Willow in "Doublemeat is the best--or worst--example. Willow is a junior in college, 21 or near it. In my experience, "older young adults" deal with addiction/dependancy problems in very different patterns from those ME is now giving Willow. The result is a story line unconvincing on two levels, because it takes characters out of character.

[> [> [> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- Valhalla, 11:16:57 01/30/02 Wed

Maybe I was just trying to make sense out of the nonsensical, but I though Amy was behaving so badly out because Willow's no longer part of her 'club.' Amy seems pretty alone - most of her high school friends are dead or have moved on -- Willow's about all she has. And she probably feels as if Willow's recovery is sort of a slap in the face (ok, from a very self-centered place). I think this happens kind of a lot when someone tries to conquer an addiction - the people with whom someone in recovery formerly indulged in alcohol, drugs, etc., are resentful and may even try to sabotage the recovering person's efforts.

[> [> [> Re: Amy & Willow (SPOILERY) -- Liz, 12:40:49 01/30/02 Wed

"Because the chosen theme is for the characters to "grow up", they've been forcefully jerked into a degree of immaturity that I've never associated with them"

I have to agree with that. Or, the way I've been seeing it, the characters are not exactly acting immature in an extremely out-of-character way, but the whole show is treating them with a kind of impatience. Their problems are expressed not as heartfelt situations but as idiotic behavior on their part.

Amy... I don't know what's up with Amy. I can believe that Amy is being a bitch, or at least totally inconsiderate. It's mildly consistant with her attitude in "BBB", although less so in "Gingerbread." And I think that her comment to Willow about being a rat for so long wasn't entirely resentment but partly just the first thing she could think of to lash out at Willow.

Here's the actual problem with Amy: the drug metaphor is being extended to her with no real grounds. If ALL magic is like a drug, then what's up with Tara? Tara was responsible and magic was, to her, about growth and self-expression. Now I can see it with Willow--she got too power-mad, and it was also a way to hide from who she thought she was. (I've been slowly rewatching 4th season with a friend, and I was struck in "Pangs" how she was cheerily talking about spells that work better with a human ear in the mix.) The metaphor is quite clumsy but I can see it working for the most part. But why is it a drug for Amy? Why is it the same metaphor for her? Why does it work exactly the same way? If it's the magic itself, why is Tara OK? That's the problem with this metaphor. And they're playing it WAY too hard. If Willow is going to start using magic responsibly in order to be a powerful ally again, how are they going to take back everything they said about magic? And even if she isn't, how can they ever have Tara back on the show? Or is she simply not going to come back--that seems like a cheap solution. Just cut out the parts of the story that aren't working.

[> [> [> [> Re: Amy & Willow (SPOILERY) -- JBone, 21:13:42 01/30/02 Wed

In my pot smoking days, my pot smoking friends always did smoke more than I did. It always made me very tired. I had one friend who swears it makes him horny as hell. Other people it relaxes and "evens them out." Basically, the same "drug" does different things to different people.

So what I'm saying is that Amy's use and reaction to dark magic is different than Willow's. Maybe this addiction story line is finally getting interesting.

[> [> [> [> Tara (SPOILERY) -- Slayrunt, 21:51:58 01/30/02 Wed


I'm not trying to defend the drug metaphor being forced, but you asked about Tara and I do have an idea about that.

In Tabula Rasa, when the gang woke up with no memories. Willow has no knowledge of magic and showed no desire about or interest in magic, but Tara realized that they were in a "real magic shop".

Tara seemed to know that magic was real and seems very interested in it.

From past ep's Tara has always been interested in magic for magic's sake. It seems that Willow is interested in magic for the power and perhaps Amy is as well.

If that is the case then to Willow and Amy magic is a tool for a purpose (power) and can be over done, but to Tara magic is a way of life and she apparently has no drug problem with magic.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Tara (SPOILERY) -- Rufus, 02:17:01 01/31/02 Thu

I don't see magic as Willow's addiction but the rush of power she gets from doing something others can't. Being a geek type she felt looked over, ignored, then she found there was one thing she could do that made people sit up and take notice. She failed to see that her friends love her magic or not. Tara is someone that has a respect for her craft and knows that there is a price to be paid for using magic to make things easier for yourself instead of helping others....something she has warned Willow about. As long as magic is a posative force to be used to help others it isn't a problem, when it gets twisted and used for personal gain you get bit in the ass for it. I would like to see Willow finally get it...realize that we are meant to do some things in our lives the hard way with no short cuts.

[> [> [> [> Re: Amy & Willow (SPOILERY) -- Cecilia, 08:01:24 01/31/02 Thu

While I will agree, the whole metaphor was presented in a very heavy handed manner (sort of like an afterschool special), this is how I see it.

Replace magic with alcohol. Tara is a social drinker, Willow began as a social drinker but came to rely upon the alcohol too much. Amy, while still a social drinker, is beginning to have or secretly has a reliance on the alcohol. Therefore, Willow's abstinence is very threatening for her.

Again, not really presented in a way that wasn't "look at me, look at me, I'm addicted", but taken down to the bare bones, an effective metaphor. Magic, like alcohol, can be addictive sure, but magic, again like alcohol, is not bad or evil in and of itself, it's what you do with it/use it for (ie. power tripping, avoiding life, etc).

[> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- Cecilia, 06:28:31 01/30/02 Wed

I'm not sure if I'm using the proper term here, but isn't Amy's behaviour in DP classic "co-dependant" behaviour? Like the drinking buddy who's friend goes on the wagon saying "One little drink isn't going to hurt"? Now, granted, aside from the fun fantasy night at the Bronze and the trip to Rack's, we've never seen Amy and Willow really hanging out and being buddys but it does seem to fit into the whole "magic as drugs" metaphor the show's been working with. Myself, I don't particularly like the way it's been handled so far, but will reserve final judgement until season's end.

Another thought on Amy which plays right into the whole metaphor they're using, what about cycles of abuse. Yes Amy was victimized by her mother's withcraft but, not unlike children of substance abusers, has come to the same addictive/abusive behaviour herself. Along those lines, it's not really far fetched. It's just that Amy is a minor, peripheral (sp?) character who is just too undeveloped for us to have anything invested in her behaviour or misbehaviour.

I think this, unlike the story arc of Joyce's illness and death, was not a long ago planned (and therefore well thought out) idea. That does not mean that the idea is without merit, but that the execution of the idea is lacking. From someone who has for years watched, on and off, soap opera format shows, I know that badly excuted/formed ideas can be resurrected at the 11th hour. Maybe something good will come out of it all.

As I said, waiting for end of season for final judgement.

[> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) - I totally agree about amy being a believable fellow addict.... -- yuri, 23:58:42 01/30/02 Wed

(I just hate it _and_ love it when people say my point before I do!) I'm sure in addition to wanting her binging buddy back, Amy resents Willow for having the strength to quit (obviously, her life's not too great and fulfilling) and probably also for having the supportive relationships that she does. Amy has neither a Buffy or Tara to care about her, or even a Dawn or someone that trusts her that she could let down.

[> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- maddog, 07:12:42 01/30/02 Wed

But remember, we never dealt much with Amy before. She had a whole off screen life. We never knew how much magic she was dabling in before she ratted herself. I mean, didn't her eyes go all wacky when she ratted herself to begin with? She also tempted Willow in her first post rat episode. Remember Willow didn't want to go out at first until Amy peer pressured her into it. So right there you can see that she's not totally trustworthy. And of course Willow being in the bad, Post Tara mood she was up for anything and was easily taken in by both Amy and Rack.

[> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) -- Valhalla, 18:47:44 01/31/02 Thu

To extend the abuse metaphor with Amy, didn't she grow up with her mother abusing magic around the house? She can't have learned very good magic-related habits.

[> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) Which episodes did.... -- bugman, 10:47:38 01/30/02 Wed

Which episode did Willow unknowingly de-rat Amy for only a moment? I think it was in season 4, but can't remember.

I don't think they've mentioned this in S6, but it could add to Amy's resentment of Willow.

Thanks in advance.

[> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) Which episodes did.... -- tost, 10:58:28 01/30/02 Wed

something blue ep 4.09

[> [> [> Re: Amy (SPOILERY) Something Blue -- Dochawk, 12:11:13 01/30/02 Wed

Something I always wondered about that episode. What if Amy hadn't immediately reratted. What if Amy was still human at the end of the episode when Willow undoes the spell. Would Willow still do it, causing Amy to be reratted? What a conundrum for her, Giles blind, Spike and Buffy getting married or turning Amy back into a rat.

I'm a little concerned... -- Darby, 05:49:53 01/30/02 Wed

Maybe it was the vertical stripes of the uniform, but SMG looked unhealthily thin in Doublemeat Palace.

I know that she says that she isn't anorexic, and maybe she believes that, but it's hard to argue with the results. She has stated that her shape just "thinned out," that she's lost "baby fat" since the show started, which could be possible, if she had actually been 15 when BtVS began; she was past 20 when this "maturation" began, which makes it unlikely to be a metabolism thing (and as I'm sure many of us know, the typical swing is up the weight scale, not down). It's starting to look dangerous.

And let's hear it for Amber Benson - "I'm shaped like a normal person, deal with it!" (That's not an actual quote, but that seems to be her attitude) We need more actresses with this much confidence (did you see her in the Rocky Horror special?).

[> Re: I'm a little concerned... -- CW, 06:18:14 01/30/02 Wed

SMG was sexier looking when she was heavier, no question about it. I think she actually looked thinner (and worse) a couple of seasons ago. The baggy uniform doesn't help her looks, but then it's not supposed to. I'm sure both she and the producers are worried she'll start looking like her real mother, who is fairly plump and plain. But, SMG really should put on a few pounds.

[> Re: I'm a little concerned... -- Rachel, 06:36:29 01/30/02 Wed

Does she do her own stunts? How could someone so small jump around and kick things for hours at a time? Or maybe it was precisely that action that lost her weight.

Let's have a show of hands (spoilers for DMP) -- Cactus Watcher, 06:02:08 01/30/02 Wed

How many of you think DMP last night was your all time favorite Buffy episode? ... Hmm, thought so.

How many of you know funnier stories about fast food places? ... Hmm, thought so.

How many of you think this morning that Jane Espenson is the best Buffy writer? ... Hmm, thought so.

How many of you are more interested in Rahael & d'Herblay than in Buffy & Spike, this morning? ... Hmm, thought so.

As a fan of really bad movies, I have to say DMP was bad in an endearing way, not in a hateful way. I like the bit about dehydrated pickles in white industrial buckets.

[> Re: The good news.... -- mundusmundi, 06:21:22 01/30/02 Wed

is they've appeared to hit creative rock bottom; nowhere to go but up.

How many of you are more interested in Rahael & d'Herblay than in Buffy & Spike, this morning?

R/d'H shippers unite! ;)

[> [> R/d'H ship -- Rufus, 11:21:01 01/30/02 Wed

Wonderful ship who could argue that? Tell Herb we will waive the "shirtless" prerequisite of the male portion of our new favorite ship. I don't think Spike could stand the competition.....;)

[> Re: Let's have a show of hands (spoilers for DMP) -- ponygirl, 06:24:34 01/30/02 Wed

I don't know, having spent a summer or two in a fast food chain(let's just say I don't eat at Arby's anymore)I spent most of last night having semi-hysterical flashbacks. I think they were trying for the bad movie analogy-- the very deliberate arrivals of the "meat" timed with discussions of employee disappearances, one could see Soylent Green coming a mile away and I was pretty giggly when it did. I think there were also some valid points made about our whole growing up arc. Buffy, the nerds, Willow, all want things fast. Adulthood is about slowing down, looking to the long term. And how does a hero deal with the mundanity of real life? How about a show of hands for those who haven't thought they were meant for better than their job? Or haven't tried to numb themselves to get through the day or thought their co-workers insane?

[> [> Re: Let's have a show of hands (spoilers for DMP) -- RichardX1, 20:21:29 01/30/02 Wed

Never thought about it in that way. I looked at that last scene and thought, "Don't forget: You're here forever."

And that's part of a problem I've observed with the media. It seems to be promoting a very unencouraging image of adulthood, one where adulthood is endless work with no meaningfull rewards (and don't give me any crap about a family--children are implied to be a punishment for having sex). Of course, that's probably because mature-thinking adults don't consume product as much as irresponsible youth (watch the real PTBs yank this post in half a second now that I've revealed their plot).

>>I think there were also some valid points made about our whole growing up arc. Buffy, the nerds, Willow, all want things fast. Adulthood is about slowing down, looking to the long term.<<

Nowadays, even adults want things fast. Show of hands for people who got upset because their Internet provider took longer than 30 seconds to connect? The world is all about faster, quicker, now now NOW!!!

Maybe Thoreau and the Amish had the right idea all along...

[> Re: Let's have a show of hands (spoilers for DMP) -- Mystery, 06:41:11 01/30/02 Wed

I was also a big fan of the Halfrek bit. Between his reaction to that and the fact that he thought he ate people, Xander was absolutely precious. I also like Willow saving Buffy and killing the demon WITHOUT magic. My brother was distraught at the image of the lesbian chopping off the phallic-looking appendage and then throwing it into the grinder though. Willow showed a lot of growth this episode, continuing her determination not to use magic, admitting to buffy what Amy did, and going back to Science gal.

Also a few cute little hint-y lines were thrown in there:

Xander talking about how he couldn't believe Jonathan was evil and then commenting "cool" when told of the Vulcan women calendar. Adds fuel to my hope that Jonathan will be the "male friend" Xander keeps mentioning he so desperately needs.

Also anyone catch the line from Anya "Halfrek was considered to be a great beauty."
Remember Spike's poem, "My heart expands/t'is grown a bulge in it/inspired by your beauty, effulgent"

Oh, I do hope that they run the Cecily became Halfrek storyline. I don't know why but I'm such a big fan of that possiblity.

The more I watch this season, the more I think of it as a "return to the beginning" kind of thing. Buffy is learning to adapt to adulthood (complete with job and teenage child), Xander learning to deal with women (as opposed to girls), Willow learning to accept her strength. Dawn is starting to echo high school Buffy more and more, while Buffy herself takes on Joyce role. I rather enjoy it, especially when I watch the FX reruns beforehand. It really shows their growth to put them in echoing situations.

But yeah, Season 6 is not overly impressive, but anything they do will be anti-climactic after last season. kind of like how season 4 was anti-climactic after season 3. BUT they did build up perfectly to season 5. Who knows what they're building up to for season 7?

[> I PURPOSELY did not watch DMP for no reason other than "didn't wanna" ... how scary is that? -- Liq, 11:46:49 01/30/02 Wed

[> [> Of course, that doesn't mean I didn't download it this morning *cough* -- Liq, 11:56:39 01/30/02 Wed

[> [> [> Whew! You had us worried! ;o) -- CW, 12:03:00 01/30/02 Wed

[> Hey, I like Jane Espenson! -- Liz, 13:11:28 01/30/02 Wed

But maybe that's just because I'm a Giles fan. I swear, that woman must have a crush on Giles.

But generally, she is one of my favorite writers. She's usually pretty good with the humor aspect of the show. I did like the visit from Anya's friend.

I do have to admit that this wasn't a stellar show. I had heard she was the writer for this one and I was looking forward to a turnaround in the season, but I didn't get it.

It's funny, but I seem to be considering everything up until the musical to be one season, and everything after it to be another. Sometimes I include "smashed" in the first section. I was still being blow away and impressed during the first 6 episodes (this is partly due to being impressed that they managed to bring her back to life and not have it be stupid). And of course I was blown away by episode 7, that goes without saying. And I was enthralled by the writing in "Smashed." Yet after that it seems to have all collapsed--I can't figure out why this is. Though I think they might just be in a lull--they are obviously planting some seeds in here for future mayhem.

Still, I worry that the show has lost its magical subtlety. Buffy was always a show about harsh realities, yet it expressed them in a way that was creative and even humorous, yet still powerful. It's still got a bit of that humorous edge, but it's no longer very subtle. Buffy never played like one of those warning Afterschool Specials, but right now it is. The whole thing with Willow, while we can cheer for the character herself in her battle and while we can sort of see where it came from, it's not playing like a _Buffy_ story. It's playing like an Afterschool Special. Some of the artistry is gone. I'm still going to watch it for the story and the characters, because I really want to see where it's going and what's going to be said.

But I'm watching for _what_ is said, no longer sitting back and drinking in the way it is said. There are some old episodes where even on the 3rd or 4th viewing, I'm still gaping at the screen, blown away. There are some bits of season 6 that are impressive, but at least the past three episodes have not been.

Then again--that's only three episodes. I may be worrying prematurely. It might finish with a bang with only a handful of bad episodes in the middle. I think the fact that they're in the middle of such a long stretch is part of the problem.

Still, I really do tend to like Jane Espenson's work, so if having her on board doesn't make an episode good, that doesn't bode well.

[> [> Re: Hey, I like Jane Espenson! -- Rattletrap, 14:47:37 01/30/02 Wed

I think your point about eps 1-7 being one season and 8-12 (except 9) being another is interesting. It seems to me that this is fairly typical for Buffy seasons--most hit a little slump right around December/January and recover during February for a bang-up finish during May. Season 2 might be a classic example--showing "Bad Eggs," often considered the worst moment of the series, right before the "Surprise"/"Innocence" duo, often considered one of the best. This seems to be a function of the season-long story arcs that are characteristic of the series, not really a reflection on any particular writer.

IMO this season began stronger than any other I can think of, except maybe S3. The midseason is awkward and off-kilter, but no worse than usual. If the previews for next week are in any way reflective of the episode, it shows signs of picking up fast.

[> [> [> Can someone explain to me why "Bad Eggs" is so terrible? -- JBone, 21:37:06 01/30/02 Wed

It's never been on the bottom of my lists for a season like for season 2, "Ted" or "School Hard." Two very non-impressive episodes.

[> [> [> [> Re: Can someone explain to me why "Bad Eggs" is so terrible? -- Rattletrap, 07:43:49 01/31/02 Thu

I actually haven't seen it, but I included it in my post because it seems to be synonymous with "worst episode ever" for many Buffy fans. Your suggestion of "Ted" proves my point just as well, because it aired right around the same time as "Bad Eggs," in the traditionally weak middle-of-the-season period.

Aside: I have actually been pretty unimpressed w/ the quality of the early S2 episodes as I'm watching them for the first time in syndication. It seems to be kind of a mediocre season redeemed by 4 or 5 truly brilliant episodes in the second half. "School Hard" was one I enjoyed, however.

[> [> [> [> Hey, don't go dissing "School Hard!" I love that ep! -- Rob, 11:56:50 02/01/02 Fri

[> [> The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (spoilers) -- Talia, 19:09:18 01/30/02 Wed

I thoroughly agree with your point that there have been two seasons, although I would file Tabula Rasa with the good season. Mostly, I'm just disappointed with Wrecked and Doublemeat Palace and not exactly thrilled with Gone. Granted, I can find little bits that I loved in all of those (the Really Cheap Fight Scene in Gone, finally giving screen time to Xander and Anya in Doublemeat, just about anything with Spike, especially nekkid Spike at the beginning of Wrecked). A substandard episode of Buffy is still probably one of the best shows on TV that week. But it's not the genius we know and love! I saw the "she'll think the burgers are Soylent Green-y but they really won't be" twist a mile off, although the old lady was a surprise. I think the problem, at least for me, is that these past few episodes have just felt like space fillers in between November and February sweeps. Everybody is in a holding pattern at the moment. Life is like that all too often, but it's not good entertainment.

I couldn't agree more that the Willow arc has turned into an afterschool special. At the season beginning, Willow's arc was looking exciting. Many people were anticipating dark Willow, possibly even Wilow in leather. Then the story somehow took a nosedive into an in-your-face drug allegory. I wish someone would tell ME that we could have gotten the magic/drug connection without being hit over the head with it. I saw this video in 9th grade health class already; can we return to Buffy soon?

Has anyone else noticed that even-numbered seasons tend to spawn clunker episodes? Season Two gave us Bad Eggs and Killled by Death. Season Four had Beer Bad and a general lack of quality (Hush, Restless, and several other season 4 shows were astounding, but overall it didn't measure up.) Now we have Doublemeat Palace. But do not lose hope! Season 2 over came certain unfortunate episodes to deliver true marvels. February is nearly upon us, and things ought to pick up. Besides, Doublemeat may just be a necessary counterbalance to the greatness that was OMWF. (Apologies to anyone who liked Doublemeat. I didn't. I didn't loathe it, but it didn't make me go Ooooh! either. But you're entitled to an opinion too.)

One final point: Watching the fast food scenes made me enormously glad that I'm a vegetarian. Ugggh. How did I eat that stuff back when I was an omnivore? Next time Buffy needs to find a natural foods store or a candy shop or at least a classy restaurant to work in, for the stomachs of all of us.

[> [> [> Re: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (spoilers) -- Malandanza, 22:34:34 01/31/02 Thu

"I couldn't agree more that the Willow arc has turned into an afterschool special. At the season beginning, Willow's arc was looking exciting. Many people were anticipating dark Willow, possibly even Wilow in leather. Then the story somehow took a nosedive into an in-your-face drug allegory. I wish someone would tell ME that we could have gotten the magic/drug connection without being hit over the head with it. I saw this video in 9th grade health class already; can we return to Buffy soon?"

I agree that DMP was one of the disappointing episodes -- a bit like Triangle -- over-the-top humor that turned out not to be that humorous. But the purpose was probably to break up the angst -- after all, the coming attractions showed further bad times ahead for Buffy.

One thing I did like with the Willow story (and I agree that it has been too much like a morality play so far) was Willow's (hypocritical) speech to Amy at the end -- she talked about how hard it was for her to overcome her problem and how much more difficult Amy's attempt to help had made things. Compare Willow's situation with Amy to Buffy's situation with Willow -- how much harder did Willow make Buffy's post-heaven adjustment in Tabula Rasa? Willow's solution is remove Amy from her life -- she's fortunate that Saint Buffy is more understanding.

[> Hey, I like Jane Espenson! -- Liz, 13:14:22 01/30/02 Wed

But maybe that's just because I'm a Giles fan. I swear, that woman must have a crush on Giles.

But generally, she is one of my favorite writers. She's usually pretty good with the humor aspect of the show. I did like the visit from Anya's friend.

I do have to admit that this wasn't a stellar show. I had heard she was the writer for this one and I was looking forward to a turnaround in the season, but I didn't get it.

It's funny, but I seem to be considering everything up until the musical to be one season, and everything after it to be another. Sometimes I include "smashed" in the first section. I was still being blow away and impressed during the first 6 episodes (this is partly due to being impressed that they managed to bring her back to life and not have it be stupid). And of course I was blown away by episode 7, that goes without saying. And I was enthralled by the writing in "Smashed." Yet after that it seems to have all collapsed--I can't figure out why this is. Though I think they might just be in a lull--they are obviously planting some seeds in here for future mayhem.

Still, I worry that the show has lost its magical subtlety. Buffy was always a show about harsh realities, yet it expressed them in a way that was creative and even humorous, yet still powerful. It's still got a bit of that humorous edge, but it's no longer very subtle. Buffy never played like one of those warning Afterschool Specials, but right now it is. The whole thing with Willow, while we can cheer for the character herself in her battle and while we can sort of see where it came from, it's not playing like a _Buffy_ story. It's playing like an Afterschool Special. Some of the artistry is gone. I'm still going to watch it for the story and the characters, because I really want to see where it's going and what's going to be said.

But I'm watching for _what_ is said, no longer sitting back and drinking in the way it is said. There are some old episodes where even on the 3rd or 4th viewing, I'm still gaping at the screen, blown away. There are some bits of season 6 that are impressive, but at least the past three episodes have not been.

Then again--that's only three episodes. I may be worrying prematurely. It might finish with a bang with only a handful of bad episodes in the middle. I think the fact that they're in the middle of such a long stretch is part of the problem.

Still, I really do tend to like Jane Espenson's work, so if having her on board doesn't make an episode good, that doesn't bode well.

[> DM - worst episode in ages -- dream of the consortium, 10:00:46 01/31/02 Thu

Dull. Predictable. Not one really witty line. Some plotholes. Complete failure to progress serious plotlines -which would be okay is the episode itself was great. But it just wasn't enjoyable.

I've generally enjoyed this season. Although I'm with pretty much everyone on the overkill of the Willow storyline, I still retain hope that it can be salvaged. The Buffy/Spike S/M sexual storyline has been interesting to me. I loved the Buffy was in heaven thing, and I'm optimistic about the possibilities for the "Buffy came back wrong" storyline. The Xander/Anya wedding has potential.

But DMP was a complete dud.

[> Uh....I actually liked that episode. -- Goji3, 14:22:17 01/31/02 Thu

I too am a B-Movie man. And, I liked this episode, it was lighter than anything we've seen in a while. It was mostly, what i loviningly call, "Turn off your Brain" fun. Though it made major movements for the characters that you needed your brain for, the plot of the episode was simple (even with the enjoyable twist-ending).

Infact, in the wake of episodes I wouldn't watch again, I'm glad to see this one. Simple Fun on the surface, but enough deep stuff to be analized (and the fun stuff keeps you awake for the deep stuff :p)

Anyone here enjoy Doublemeat Palace? -- Rob, 06:13:13 01/30/02 Wed

I don't know, you guys...it seems like I've really been disagreeing with the majority here for the past few episodes running. No, I'm not one of those people who needs to find the good in every episode. Believe me, I can tell a "Bad Eggs" or a "I Robot, You Jane" from a "Restless," a "Hush," or a "Becoming." When I see flaws, I own up to that. But the fact is I really enjoyed last night's episode. Some have mentioned that the jumps in tone were disconcerting. I enjoyed them. In fact, I think that's what "Buffy"'s been lacking most this year. With most episodes, it seems like that there was a sharper delineation between comedy (i.e. "Life Serial") and seriousness ("After Life," "Wrecked"). That is not to say that the "dramatic" episodes didn't have any of the show's signature funny throwaway lines, but the overall tone of most episodes this year has either been one or the other, with the notable exceptions of "Tabula Rasa" and "Once More, With Feeling." In previous years, however, there was a plethora of comedy/drama episodes. The previously-mentioned "Hush" comes to mind, as does "Band Candy" (with its dark undercurrent of infant death). Joss himself has said that the show is (badly paraprashing here!) a juggling act of comedy, drama, satire, horror, etc etc. It has been a long time since an episode has done all to the extent of "Doublemeat Palace," and perhaps the tepid reception is a result of people not being as used to it anymore.

Personally, I was thrilled by the episode. Finally, we had a substantial amount of Xander/Anya screen time, and returned to their wedding story arc! Finally, they mentioned the "came back wrong" arc again...no, not resolved yet, but Buffy actually confronting it (and telling Spike her stance on it) was great. Finally, Willow confronted Amy! For me, there were a lot of "finally!"s in this episode, the most of which being that the gang, as I predicted a few episodes back, is being to assemble into a family once again. The whole gang visiting Buffy at her job was a great scene that displayed that.

As far as the actual plot of the episode, it may have been a tad bit disposable, but I thought it was entertaining nonetheless. For me, at least, the contents of the secret ingredient were a surprise...and the old lady/serpent, while cheesy, was still some good campy fun. And how much did I love Willow saving Buffy without the use of her magic?!? Too much! I liked that they didn't have Buffy take the easy way out and blackmail the Doublemeat Palace with her knowledge of their secret. No, she wants to work. Very in character! I also, by the way, loved the reference to "Anne"! And, while I've never worked at a fast food restaurant, I found the parody very enjoyable. In fact, just having worked retail, I can relate a great deal to the training video, the mindless lack of variety, and the quasi-happy face the workers must put on.

To sum up: Doublemeat Palace...me likey!

Although, for a more substantial meal, it seems like next week's episode, "Dead Things," at least from my impressions from the preview, will be a bit deeper. Anyway, I'm happy with the way the second half of the season is starting off. Hopefully it'll only get better from here.


[> Re: I'm with you (NT) -- manwitch, 06:24:51 01/30/02 Wed

[> Re: Double likey! -- ponygirl, 06:27:45 01/30/02 Wed

[> Spike in DMP (spoilery?) -- Mystery, 06:46:46 01/30/02 Wed

I also LOVED Spike telling Buffy she didn't belong there and when she argued that she needed the money his "I can get money" which really meant "Let me take care of you and Dawn." Just WAY too cute!!!

[> [> Re: Spike (and Giles?) in DMP (spoilery?) -- Valhalla, 10:35:36 01/30/02 Wed

Yes - and couldn't help noticing that she let Giles help her out when previously in dire financial straits. Maybe she's afraid Spike's wealth will derive from dead kittens...

[> [> [> Re: Spike (and Giles?) in DMP (spoilery?) -- Mystery, 13:08:46 01/30/02 Wed

Hehe, the kittens. I brought that up to my brother last night, and he got a mental image of Spike with a roomful of kittens going "See I got all the money you need, baby!"

[> [> [> Oh Jeeze, now I'm gonna get nightmares........ -- Rufus, 02:23:44 01/31/02 Thu

I like to stay in denial land when it comes to kitty poker and tasty kitty snacks.....so I'd like to think Spike would do the honorable thing an evil guy would do and become a "Cat burgler"........;)

[> [> [> [> Now I've got a picture in my head.... -- Isabel, 17:45:37 01/31/02 Thu

Of Spike sitting in front of someone's cat door with a bag of kitty treats calling "Here Kitty, Kitty..."

(Remember he can't go in to get them without an invitation.)

[> [> Re: Spike in DMP (spoilery?) -- lolagem, 10:27:43 02/01/02 Fri

CUTE??? ohmahgawd!! i hit rewind and watched that scene a few times. i thought that was Spike at his most compelling. I would have gone in a heartbeat, but what competent woman working the counter wouldn't want some gorgeous, caring guy offering to take her away from all that? of course, everyone knows how i feel about Spike by now.

[> Re: Anyone here enjoy Doublemeat Palace? -- Rattletrap, 06:53:16 01/30/02 Wed

Interesting point, Rob. I agree with your assessment that this episode was an attempt to begin tying up some of the loose plot ends that have been left throughtout this season. Much like "Gone," I think this episode is setting up some things to come. I found the small subplots more interesting, and probably ultimately more important, than the main MotW story about the fast food restaurant. That said, I lauged until it hurt at the training video, it was just a deadly accurate satire of the McDonald's training process that I (and I'm sure many others on this board) had to subject myself to for one summer. Anyone who's ever worked fast food, I'm sure, will find Buffy's experiences at DMP painfully familiar.

[> [> Re: Anyone here enjoy Doublemeat Palace? -- Wolfhowl3, 07:05:58 01/30/02 Wed

The Training video was giving me flashbacks from my own time at McDonalds and Harvey's. Very Scary!


[> [> I liked it, Spoilers -- fresne, 07:31:47 01/30/02 Wed

Put me in the "liked it" camp.

It was a fun little episode. Perhaps getting some of the funnier bits was not so much a question of working fast food, but low incomes jobs, hmmm...in my late teens/20s. Well, okay, then. Hopefully, it takes Buffy less time to break free. And/learn to type/temp.

In many ways it was a setup episode. Everyone saying and doing these significant, in 6 episodes I'm going to realize that they set me up and say D'oh, things.

Not just the big plot loops, Amy/Willow, Anya/Halfrek, Buffy/Spike, but the one liners.

Dawn's comment about Buffy not getting to do something with her life. Especially coming after the FX run of LW, where the world lay before Buffy. Actually, for Dawn it was a nice moment of sisterly connection, because Dawn saw outside her teenage self. Hopefully, Dawn volunteers to get a job herself.

And the S/B sex scene. Why does everyone keep saying alley. Looked like her manager's office to me. There was a poster on the wall behind them. Thus, if I may say, it was I hate my job, I hate my manager sex. Not sure what I want to make of it.

Ask me in 6 episodes.

[> [> [> Re: I liked it, Spoilers -- Valhalla, 10:48:48 01/30/02 Wed

I liked it. Not the best or deepest or most sharply satirical episode, but it was amusing. Of course, maybe I liked it because I couldn't help thinking 'Thank GOD my fast food days are so very far in the past.'

I liked the end too. Ok, so the replacement manager was too eager and company-womanish, but I think this is an opportunity for Buffy to get back to herself a little more. Sure it's a crappy job, but when I did the same crappy job I did try to do a good job, even while hating every moment about it (speaking of hell - I worked at an Arby's for a summer, and the AC was broken more than it worked). So if Buffy takes this admittedly icky opportunity to do a good job, she'll be more back on her original track. So many previous storylines have centered around how oppressive being the Slayer is for her, but she always goes out in the end and does the right thing and does it as well as she can.

On a different tack -- it seems like Willow, with all her computer-related talents, or at least her braininess, could be helping out a little in the money area also.

[> Re: Anyone here enjoy Doublemeat Palace? (Spoilers) -- Kimberly, 07:20:53 01/30/02 Wed

One of the problems is that this was a enjoyable, but not spectacular, hour of TV. ME has spoiled Buffy fans; we are no longer willing to accept anything less than spectacular.

That said, although this was not one of the great episodes of Buffy, it advanced most of the season's plotlines, and was, again not spectacular, but pleasant.

(Start of rant) Several people have mentioned how disappointed they are that Buffy is staying with a fast-food job. Although I agree that, if she is going to survive for any length of time (comment on her expected life-span as a Slayer), she needs to get something better than "Do you want fries with that?", the fact that she was willing to accept a job, any job, no matter how stultifying, indicates a maturing. When you have responsibilities, there comes a time when how good a fit the job is is much less important than the fact of a paycheck coming in regularly. (This from a woman who spent nine years in a Hell-Job. It took time to figure out a better alternative, it took time to retrain for the better alternative, and I still had bills to pay.) I cheered when Buffy asked that she not be fired any more. Now, she needs to figure out a less painful way to bring in income, but her priorities are straight. (End of rant.)

The whole thing with Spike: I'll have to rewatch it, but it seemed almost daydreamlike to me. Did it actually happen? (Certainly the kind of thing you might daydream in an ultra-boring job when you get an "itch".)

Anya and Xander: Right on. At some point in every couple's march to the altar, the other person's flaws get magnified, to the point that you wonder whether or not you should stop the march. (14 years of marriage, but I still remember some of my reservations.)

I'm still having problems with how they're handling the whole Willow/magic thing. And, in my book, Willow is coping awfully well. Then again, I've never been able to break a compulsive behavior, so I may be projecting.

Nice to see Dawn as Buffy's sister rather than damsel in distress. And her dismay at Buffy's current employment (and the possibility of her having to support Buffy) were wonderful. Exactly what I'd expect of a teenager.

Not an episode I'll rewatch regularly, but not dreadful, either.

[> Loved it's grim humour; give me more grim humor ! -- Stranger, 07:54:28 01/30/02 Wed

[> I was on the edge of my seat the whole time... -- VampRiley, 12:24:31 01/30/02 Wed

My favorite spot was when Buffy was watching the video, you hear the sounds of the cows being slaughtered and you you see Buffy's reaction. I loved it.

I've missed wise-cracking Buffy.


[> Ditto here -- Traveler, 18:57:13 01/30/02 Wed

Wish I could add to what others have said, but you all stole my thoughts ^.^

[> Phew! Glad I wasn't the only one...I agree about the darkness of the humor (loved it!) -- Rob, 10:06:25 01/31/02 Thu

[> Phew! Glad I wasn't the only one...I agree about the darkness of the humor (loved it!) -- Rob, 10:07:59 01/31/02 Thu

[> Re: Anyone here enjoy Doublemeat Palace? -- Humanitas, 16:05:30 01/31/02 Thu

I liked the episode too, but it just wasn't brilliant. It definitely had its moments, notably the ones you mentioned and the whole "Soylent Green" reference. But it was certainly not Grade-A Buffy (read: I never got emotionally involved with the story). Neither was it Grade-D (like "Bad Eggs"), either. As Buffy eps go, it was clearly second-rate.

But that's ok. Second-rate Buffy is still better than first-rate anything else.

Breakin' in the Back Alley (could get spoilery) -- manwitch, 06:21:56 01/30/02 Wed

Everyone seems really upset about the "alley" sequence. I too was disturbed by it, but I'm sure it was in the way the writers wanted me to be disturbed by it. What it immediately recalled to mind for me was Glory's question to Dawn about "Name me one person who can take it here." Doesn't Glory say that everybody is just drinking, shooting up, shooting each other or just plain screwing their brains out to get the world out of their minds? Or something to that effect?

When you think about there sexual relationship, everytime has been somewhat disfunctional, hasn't it? Have they had a loving sexual encounter yet? I don't know. I mean, you could argue that they all were. Or you could argue that they all weren't. Or somewhere in between.

I thought the episode was great. It continues the shows anti institutional anti corporate pro small business debate by giving us the somewhat ambiguous environment of the "franchise." It will be interesting to see how it plays out, especially now that there seems to be a real character in charge. The reference to her time in LA was no doubt also to remind us of the role/existence of labor portrayed in that episode. Too bad she doesn't still have the hammer and sickle.

I thought several of the S6 episodes seemed unfocussed and fractured. But I watched them all again over the weekend and didn't feel that way any more. I think within a few weeks, this episode also will fall into place. Yet another thing I love about this wonderful show.

[> Re: Breakin' in the Back Alley (could get spoilery) -- DEN, 08:02:19 01/30/02 Wed

The problems were that the story drove the characters; the pace was so slow it killed the story line; and the metaphors were anvilly. I respect the posters who say the "Doublemeat Experience" is a shoutout to their own pasts. Nevertheless, doing a riff on corporate America through the medium of a fast-food chain is so obvious, such an easy shot, that it must be sharply executed to be anything but a bore. Instead "Doublemeat" telegraphs every satirical punch it throws.

The penis monster (or monster penis)that spits paralyzing fluid is another anvil from Hell. Willow's "missed me!" line is clever, but another anvil. There seems no reason to go into the cutting-off and grinding-up aspects--except to suggest the "Gay Willow" story line has been about a positive choice, rather than the mind-set suggested in that vignette.

That penis-head seems to give Buffy a better ya-ya by biting her than Spike managed against whatever wall they used may be foreshadowing. It may be a function of SMG's "orgasm face," which suggests pain rather than ecstasy much in the manner of a porn starlet. Or it may just be BAD EDITING--which would put it in sync with the rest of the ep.

[> [> Re: Breakin' in the Back Alley (could get spoilery) -- robert, 11:13:27 01/30/02 Wed

"It may be a function of SMG's "orgasm face," which suggests pain rather than ecstasy much in the manner of a porn starlet."

Are you sure it isn't pain? I see Buffy's relationship with Spike as being one of pain.

[> [> [> Re: Breakin' in the Back Alley (could get spoilery) -- Andy, 06:02:26 01/31/02 Thu

It didn't look like pain to me. It didn't look like anything. I agree with what others have said: it was simply lifeless and that's what really made it sad (and, hell, Spike didn't even notice). She got involved in this relationship because she wanted to feel something and now it seems like even that stimulation isn't working.


[> [> Re: Breakin' in the Back Alley (could get spoilery) -- yez, 13:00:37 01/30/02 Wed

DEN wrote: "The problems were that the story drove the characters; the pace was so slow it killed the story line; and the metaphors were anvilly.... ... The penis monster (or monster penis)that spits paralyzing fluid is another anvil from Hell. Willow's "missed me!" line is clever, but another anvil. ... ... SMG's "orgasm face," which suggests pain rather than ecstasy much in the manner of a porn starlet. Or it may just be BAD EDITING--which would put it in sync with the rest of the ep."

I agree that the joke was heavy-handed and drove the characters -- it seemed more like an SNL skit than a BtVS ep. to me. I got a few chuckles out of it, but it seemed too not based in the reality of the show or who Buffy is for me to take it very seriously. The excuses for putting that character at DmP were pretty thin (Need. Money. Fast.). As if Buffy would put on that get up before checking at every other hire-you-on-the-spot joint in town (e.g., real restaurants), or even asking her dad for some cash.

Willow versus the Penis Monster is an interesting read that didn't occur to me (and one I'd have happily lived without, to tell you the truth -- ew).

I was wondering about that scene with the face. Leaves you wondering how it was written because pretty much all the information we get for understanding it comes from Buffy's face. I suspect SMG was supposed to have a look of paranoia-tinged pleasure, but instead, delivered something more akin to shame- or desperation-tinged... well, maybe just shame-tinged desperation, actually.


[> [> [> Re: Breakin' in the Back Alley (could get spoilery) -- Apophis, 14:03:00 01/30/02 Wed

The scene just plain made me sad.

[> [> [> [> y'know, I felt the same way... -- yuri, 00:38:52 01/31/02 Thu

I don't know how much her facial inflections really implied this - I haven't watched it again - but to me the sex scene just seemed so lifeless. (life, doublemeaning, ha.) Buff seemed _bored_, and this makes me so sad because the B&S sex was supposed to be her release, her passion finally rerearing its head. What's gonna bring it out now? And I agree with whoever said that it seemed really really demeaning and whatnot for Spike after his grasping the reigns in Gone -- agreed, she's doing something more noble than cowardly, and I think he does recognise that, but he's just being, like, her little pickup during her coffee break. He's still lurking around, conforming to her timetables. And I don't understand the phallic monster. If anyone has some good insight in to this, I wanna hear, because I don't see why we should see sperm as paralyzing right now in the story. I mean in general (though the feminism of Buffy is debated) I can understand showing buffy battling a symbol of masculine power, but to do it at this time in the series seems odd to me.

[> [> [> [> [> Sometimes a Cigar is Just a Cigar -- manwitch, 09:54:52 01/31/02 Thu

It could just have been a freaky monster. I know some have equated it in some way with Spike because it bit her neck. But why did it come out of the head of a wierd old lady who liked cherry pie? Why did it spray at and miss Willow? (obvious answer? But then it doesn't equate with Spike) Why did Willow chop its dick head off and leave it wriggling next to Buffy for her to stab as though it were a vampire? None of that holds up to what we've seen. Perhaps its symbolic foreshadowing.

Some answers might seem obvious. But I don't think its clear yet what that was telling us.

As far as the anvils of anti-corporatism, I disagree there. What's clear is that a new and ambiguous space has been set up: the Franchise. Is it Corporate or is it Small Business. It went from being run by a freaky man to being run by a reasonably normal woman. Buffy, while being willing to bring down the "whole corporation" is nevertheless not above working and does not expect to get money for nothing (or blackmail). So I think they've established a new space in which things will be explored and developed and I don't think its clear what the show's or the character's ultimate stance on that will be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah.......sure................ -- Rufus, 21:18:52 01/31/02 Thu

I was told that the creature was supposed to look like a lamprey

lamáprey (lmpr)
n. pl. lamápreys
Any of various primitive elongated freshwater or anadromous fishes of the family Petromyzontidae, characteristically having a jawless sucking mouth with rasping teeth. Also called lamper eel.

I kinda thought it looked like a circumcised lamprey.....buy what do I know?????;):):):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah.......sure................ -- Kimberly, 06:56:59 02/01/02 Fri

I'm metaphor-challenged; I usually have to be reminded that snakes are phallic symbols. But as soon as I saw the "lamprey", even I said "That's a phallus coming out of the sweet little old lady's head." That thing isn't a cigar.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Worse even......... -- Rufus, 14:48:48 02/01/02 Fri

I kept thinking of a line Xander said in Season four......"nothing can defeat the penis".....all this while Willow is smooshing the "Lamprey"(it's in the Shooting Script) into the meat grinder....I had a bit of the giggles with that one...:):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Worse even......... -- Kimberly, 05:52:23 02/02/02 Sat

You've now given me the giggles. What episode? I don't remember that line, and I most certainly oughta.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That quote is from "Beer Bad" -- Dyna, 09:42:13 02/02/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And many thought that was a lousy ep.......I sure remembered Xanders line....:):):) -- Rufus, 16:16:20 02/02/02 Sat

Fast Food Orders? -- neaux, 06:57:16 01/30/02 Wed

Why did buffy pick a fast food job really?

and why is she sticking around? Seriously. She said she needed money and fast. and needed a no hassle interview.

She could have easily acquired a J-O-B at a department store... clothing store person.. fragrance counter.. something of that nature.. its no nonsense.. and still really easy to acquire a job there.. They are always hiring too. and she seems to have good fashion sense. I think Dawn would enjoy the benefits of the clothes "hook up" anyway.

and for the record... I always order a #1 no matter where I go for fast food. Its a lot easier for the people behind the counter. =D

[> Re: Fast Food Orders? -- maddog, 07:23:08 01/30/02 Wed

It was the only place that probably didn't ask for references....seeing as she has no tecnical ones and she's never held a job before.

[> Re: Fast Food Orders? -- CW, 08:16:29 01/30/02 Wed

I wondered why she didn't try for a job as a waitress in a real restaurant. She make more in tips, and not have to eat special ingredient EVERY day. She's done the job before. Surely she could get a job at the OK Cafe of Sunnydale (with a nod and a wink toward the fans of the book To Kill a Mockingbird).

I almost never order the meal deals, and I often suffer the blank stares, "What was that"s and long waits.

[> Re: Fast Food Orders? -- Deeva, 09:05:22 01/30/02 Wed

Have you ever applied at a big department store? The interview process is not difficult but it is a process. HR looks at your resume, then calls you to set up and interview. They interview you to see if you seem ok, check out your references and what not . Then they have the manager of that department interview you. Sometimes they hire you on the spot or they call you a few days later. Takes about a week. For fast food chains the process isn't as complicated. Not saying one place is better than the other, just more red tape. Gee, can you tell I've been through it before?

[> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? Fast Food Reality -- Brian, 10:19:34 01/30/02 Wed

I don't know what fast food employees make in California, but in Kentucky, at best, it's 6 bucks an hour. 240 bucks a week. 960 a month before taxes, etc. And Buffy has to cloth, feed, pay lights, phone, heat, water, mortgage per month. Just not possible in my book!

[> [> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? Fast Food Reality -- Deeva, 14:26:55 01/30/02 Wed

It's roughly the same. But I'm sure that Buffy is seeing this as a start.

[> [> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? Fast Food Reality -- Rattletrap, 14:57:22 01/30/02 Wed

It's probably about the same in California, but $960/month is still better than $0/month which seemed to be the alternative. As Deeva pointed out, these places hire fast and always have vacancies, so it isn't really an awful quick fix solution--except that the people are listless and dull, the work is greasy and dull, the managers are psycho and dull. . . ooops, sorry, old memories rearing their ugly heads . . . *'trap goes back into repression mode*

[> [> [> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? Fast Food Reality -- Brian, 19:42:30 01/30/02 Wed

I have a feeling I wasn't clear. If you are only making 960 before taxes, and taxes etc usually take about 25 %, you discover that you can't pay the phone bill, the light bill, the mortgage, the food for the table, clothes, books, etc. every month. You have to make decisions about what gets paid first, etc. Eventually there is an entropy effect happening here.

If Buffy is going to deal with the "real world" and "grow up", she needs to get some professional help to focus her many skills, and start a job that lands some big bucks.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? Fast Food Reality -- yuri, 01:06:44 01/31/02 Thu

I think it's (intentionally) obvious. Who really thinks that one person's fast-food chain firstyear salary can pay for a nice-ass house and two (if you count Willow) dependents? It's ludicrous. Absolutely no way. Buffy thinks that she's being realistic in taking the job, being logical and facing the real world, but really I think that she's hiding from the truth if she thinks that job will help or make much difference. Maybe I've just taken too many high school english classes, but her misconception about how to solve the employee-disappearance problem could parallel her misconception about how to solve her economic issues. Though I think she was painted as being very responsible and get-a-grippy at the end. Which makes me skeptical about the get-a-grippy-ness of the writers, if they really are gonna let doublemeat be the answer to Buffy's financial woes. So I guess I'm unsure it was intentionally obvious. I hope so. But I didn't _dislike_ the ep, in any case.

[> Re: Fast Food Orders? -- robert, 11:44:41 01/30/02 Wed

I think you are missing the point and maybe a little compassion. Buffy doesn't get a better job, because she doesn't know how to get a better job. I have personally seen otherwise intelligent educated individuals who just simply do not know how to hunt for a job. How many college graduates are holding down crap jobs? I had a family member who suffered just this problem. The public schools do not teach this most important skill (or if they do now, they surely did not when I was subjected to twelve loathsome years of torture and debasement).

We know that Buffy is intelligent and educated. However, she has also been emotionally disabled ever since her "resurrection". Job hunting is a difficult and emotionally arduous process. If her mother was still alive (or her father was still a caring parent), then Buffy would have had someone to guide her through this process. A lot of kids get their first job through their parents, thus easing them into employment.

In a way, I find this charming. Xander (with little real education and seemingly few prospects) has successfully wound his way through various crap jobs before landing a suitable position in construction. In this way, he is more capable and self reliant than Buffy. Yet ... the world would be toast several times over without Buffy.

[> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? -- neaux, 14:50:35 01/30/02 Wed

I agree that job hunting is an important skill not taught very well in the educational system..

but the job she chose is (I think) comparable to a grocery bagger position or retail mall job. which most kids with a high school education (or not) can land without proper job hunting skills or their parents help.

I just figured she would pick a mall job over the dreaded fast food experience.

and I also hope that getting this fast food position does not deter her from applying for other jobs as well.. she should still be on the hunt for a better job.. ^_^

[> [> [> Re: Fast Food Orders? -- robert, 11:40:22 01/31/02 Thu

"but the job she chose is (I think) comparable to a grocery bagger position or retail mall job. which most kids with a high school education (or not) can land without proper job hunting skills or their parents help."

I absolutely agree with you, yet the crap food joints still have plenty of employees. Why? I believe that people are mentally trapped. They cannot see themselves working at better jobs. It is tough to move outside of one's own comfort zone (whatever that zone might be).

It took a specific decision and difficult action on my part to return to college at the age of 42, with the goal of moving my comfort zone to a better place.

Buffy knows that she can flip burgers. Unfortunately, too many people (and life in general) have successfully convinced Buffy that she can't do anything else. Dawn is beginning to see (with horror and compassion) the bleak future Buffy has. I believe that ultimately ME will have Dawn helping or saving Buffy, before the season closes.

Chips and season four -- Nevermore, 07:01:45 01/30/02 Wed

Just been reading some of the posts regarding Spike and his chip implant. After the end of season 4 would it be possible that some of the other demons/vamps imprisoned in the initiative with chips survived the melee? (Is it clear whether many of them got chips?) If so there's a possibility that there are other Spike-like Hellmouth creatures in torment out there. Any views?

[> Re: Chips and season four -- maddog, 07:16:43 01/30/02 Wed

Weren't many, if not most, of them killed during the next to last episode of the season when they have to kill Adam too?

[> [> Re: Chips and season four -- Nevermore, 07:22:04 01/30/02 Wed

Ah - but in tv there always seem to be the ones that got away :-) Maybe I'll watch that ep again more closely sometime.

[> [> [> Re: Chips and season four -- Mystery, 09:39:07 01/31/02 Thu

I could have sworn I heard that the chip was still in experimental stages and Spike was the first (and possibly only) guinea pig. I'm not too sure. I'll start scouring season 4 transcripts!

Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- Darby, 07:27:42 01/30/02 Wed

Buffy ran away to...

a) Los Angeles. It seemed like LA when she was there, and Chantarelle / Lily / Anne has appeared in Angel. She said it was LA in Doublemeat Palace.

b) Chicago. Her mother referred to "running away to Chicago," and I've seen it come up in discussions and synopses on the 'Net.

c) Metropolis. Sets up interesting plots for the animated series - hey, otherwise it's a crossover with Special Unit Two (which I actually like, but still...).

[> Re: Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- Cecilia, 07:49:13 01/30/02 Wed

I don't recall there ever being any discussion of where she went when she ran away. Of course, in hindsight (it being 20/20 and all) L.A. makes sense. Big city, familiar to her and the continuity was done well as Anne(aka Chantarelle) seemed to done with running away from life/problems at the end of the episode, so it makes sense that she would build a life in L.A.

One question though, did anybody else hear Buffy say "Last summer", in response to Dawn's question of when did she waitress? Maybe I'm just hearing things (been known to happen) and she did say it kinda fast.

[> Re: Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- Cecilia, 07:50:59 01/30/02 Wed

I don't recall there ever being any discussion of where she went when she ran away. Of course, in hindsight (it being 20/20 and all) L.A. makes sense. Big city, familiar to her and the continuity was done well as Anne(aka Chantarelle) seemed to done with running away from life/problems at the end of the episode, so it makes sense that she would build a life in L.A.

One question though, did anybody else hear Buffy say "Last summer", in response to Dawn's question of when did she waitress? Maybe I'm just hearing things (been known to happen) and she did say it kinda fast.

[> [> Sorry for the double post-glitch (NT) -- Cecilia, 08:25:27 01/30/02 Wed

[> Re: Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- CW, 08:25:22 01/30/02 Wed

I was pretty sure it was LA when it all first aired. I think the Chicago business was just hyperbole that a few people took seriously. Just shows - Don't believe everything you read on the web. :oP

[> [> Re: Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- B, 10:27:11 01/30/02 Wed

I always thought it was LA, and I think she said "that summer."

But why didn't Dawn know about it???????

[> [> [> Re: Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- Cecilia, 11:06:34 01/30/02 Wed

You're right, she did say "that summer" (she said it so fast and it was easier to hear when you know what to listen for). As for Dawn, she would be aware that Buffy ran away but I don't think the specifics were ever talked about. If I remember correctly, Joyce didn't seem to want to know any specifics, she was more interested in fixing her relationship with Buffy.

[> Re: Question for the trivia-minded: where the Hellmouth was Buffy? -- Eric, 21:48:56 01/30/02 Wed

In the scene where Chantarelle and Buffy walk down the street and Chantarelle invites her to a rave, a newspaper machine selling the LA Times can be seen in the back ground.

Please Spoil Me!!! -- Cecilia, 09:33:09 01/30/02 Wed

I didn't see the promo for next weeks show, what happened in it?

[> Re: Please Spoil Me!!! -- Deeva, 10:02:37 01/30/02 Wed

Dead Things
60 min.
Spike (James Marsters) attacks Buffy---despite the chip in his head that is supposed to defuse his violence. Then, the Slayer's framed for murder by nerdy nemeses Andrew, Warren and Jonathan. Katrina: Amelinda Embry. Warren: Adam Busch. Andrew: Tom Lenk. Jonathan: Danny Strong. Tara: Amber Benson. Willow: Alyson Hannigan. Anya: Emma Caulfield. Xander: Nicholas Brendon. Dawn: Michelle Trachtenberg. Buffy: Sarah Michelle Gellar.

That's just according to TV Guide. I'm trying to do this next part at work so I don't have the copy in front of me. Just of the top 'o me head.

Dreamy shot of Buffy outside somewhere and she kills a girl, Katrina Warren's gf. Buffy is in shock over this, kneeling or standing over Katrina's body. Somebody (I don't remember!) pulls Buffy away from the body and says that they have to leave before somebody sees them. Shot of Buffy saying "Ihave to tell the police." Scenes of Spike in Vamp face in an alley with Buffy telling her that she just can't and he won't let her throw away her life for one mistake. That all the good that she does out weighs that. Buffy and Spike fight over this.

That's all I can recall. Maybe someone else can plug in the holes or perhaps find the teaser online.

[> [> Thank-you, much appreciated -- Cecilia, 10:17:59 01/30/02 Wed

New Character Post for Jenny Calendar -- Liq, 09:35:40 01/30/02 Wed

We have a new writer in our midst! Vertigo, where are you?
Please take the time to read the newest character post.

Jenny Calendar by Vertigo.

A few thoughts about Fast food, teamwork and forever-forever -- Stranger, 09:59:51 01/30/02 Wed

It's funny, you work into a Fast Food for the same reasons you eat in one : it doesn't take much time to get in, and you can leave quickly. Or you're supposed to.

Ouch, wrong answer, you get into a job to be... part of the team ?

Because this is it, growing up means making decision for your life that will last forever.

That's what makes Xander uncomfortable about his wedding.

Willow fears having to do without magic (and everything went so fast with magic) forever

And Buffy, offcourse, gonna be stuck with stupid jobs.


What about the team then ?

The Scooby Gang seemed to be back to good in Gone, but in DmP everyone's late to the meeting Buffy called. Oho, bad foreshadowing.

Halfreck questions also the validity of the Anya & Xander team : doesn't Xander belittle Anya ?

As for Buffy, she's learning to do teamwork, doesn't she ?

So, if those are the themes of DoubleMeat Palace, what do you think they mean ?

Magic has become either a drug or just plain evil -- fontinau, 12:12:46 01/30/02 Wed

Hi. I don't normally post here, but I was wondering whether anyone else was getting annoyed with the way magic is being portrayed on Buffy these days.

First of all, if Willow's "withdrawal" symptoms (drinking lots of water, playing with the straws, highlighting every line in her book) are any indication, then magic isn't just LIKE a drug anyomre, it IS a drug.

Second, the show is beginning to imply that magic of any kind is bad. The only character on the show who still regularily does magic (Amy) is suddenly becoming a minor villain. This is ridiculous, since there was basically no premise for her being evil in the first three seasons. She did cause some trouble in BBB from season 2, but that was because Xander was blackmailing her. The only context for Amy's amoral behavior this season (introducing Willow to Rack, putting "peer pressure" on Willow to start doing magic again) is that she uses magic.

While forcing Amy into the role of a "bad" witch, the show has also conveniently put "good" witch Tara out of the picture. In short, it feels like the writers are throwing out five seasons where magic could be used for good or for evil, and making it inherently evil (and for some reason, a "drug"). Not only is this incredibly narrow-minded, it also makes the magic aspect of the show a lot less interesting.

[> Re: Magic has become either a drug or just plain evil -- yez, 12:25:23 01/30/02 Wed

Hi. Don't normally post here, either, but was lurking today, and was having similar thoughts this morning.

I agree it should be made clearer that there's nothing wrong with magic per se, but that, like alcohol use vs. abuse or alcoholism, Willow can't handle the magic, she can't use it responsibly, for whatever reason.

Otherwise, as you say, it's a wholesale indictment of magic, and that seems to go against how they've handled it in the past, with messages that witches aren't evil, that magic can be used for good and to fight evil, etc.

I think they're treading a fine line right now. They may have followed an interesting idea down too far, drawing too tight a parallel between magic and physically-addictive chemicals for their own good.

To me, it would've been more interesting to have a deeper exploration of why Willow can't handle magic -- which I think is her craving for power or just something that sets her apart. That was alluded to only briefly, then dropped. I think a lot of it is about esteem issues, and what seems like a very strong need she has to please people and a fear of any aggressive parts of herself. She's been the good girl for too long -- she doesn't know how not to be. (I think this partly explains why she couldn't handle Tara being mad at her and pulled that stupid stunt. Both stupid stunts.)

I can only hope that the show is wending its way to a deeper exploration of this.


[> [> Re: Magic has become either a drug or just plain evil -- MrDave, 21:46:08 01/30/02 Wed

I will interject here...Magic is neither good, evil, an addiction or a drug. Magic used responsibly is a tool like any other.

Giles has used magic to COUNTER evil forces employing magic. He has used magic and trances to illuminate and explore mysteries, or to revel hidden dangers.

Willow has done these things too. As has Tara. But "used responsibly" with magic has always been portrayed as "in tune with nature" or "with balance". Willow has actually poo-pooed this philosophy. She practically threatened Giles when he tried to warn her about it.

Willow has been using magic for everything. Where is the balance in that? She flaunts her mastery over nature. She has altered harmless little spells to make them big and flashy...just for the thrill!

Power is ALWAYS portrayed as evil in the Buffyverse. The Mayor, Principal Snyder, the Council, The Initiative. All agents of POWER...and all of 'em hooked on it like a crack addict.

Willow has dabbled once too many times in the big ju-ju magic powerplant. And now she's feeling the withdrawal. Amy has ALWAYS dipped a little deep into that same source and she's never really demonstrated any desire to be responsible with magic (She learned from her Mom, and look what her Mom did).

I really feel like Willow might be able to get back to the benign balance that is Wicca (as personified by Tara). Oz did it with his personal beast but could not master the external forces that aggravated his beast. Willow might be able to work on a "only with adult supervision" basis and maintain her composure and sense of perspective.

However, I agree the writers are ham-handing this. They have spread too many thin plot threads over the entire season, where if they had limited these story arcs to 4-6 eps each and then concentrated some development...the audience might have had a better feel of growth by the end of the season. As it is, I feel like I might die of old age before the characters grow up.

[> I couldn't agree more -- vampire hunter D, 12:53:00 01/30/02 Wed

Not only is this plotlineannoying, but it is just plain stupid.

The writers in one fell swoop managed to: write a boring storyline, destroy the believability of the show's mythology, and ruin 3 seasons of development of Willow's character (and by ruin I mean not only have they made her uninteresting now, but now I can't even go back and watch old episodes and enjoy them anymore).

I tink it's clear what the problem is. Joss quit taking part in the creative process. And the other writers are too stupid to handle a show like this on their own. Hell, it's toothe point where we are seeing more and more episodes that look like lame fanfics some teenager posted on the net. Maybe it will get better now that feb sweeps are here, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

[> Re: Magic has become either a drug or just plain evil -- Kerri, 13:33:36 01/30/02 Wed

I agree, I've been very unhappy with the all too ovious drug metaphor. I liked the original use of drugs to represent the temptation of power, and hopefully that hasn't been dropped. Marti mentioned magic in that context in her interview with Wanda, so I'm optimistic. Hopefully, when we see some more of Tara that will put the magic issue into perspective. I'm going to stay positive, the plot line can definately be salvaged. The writers went out of their way to parallel Buffy and Spike with Willow and magic, so maybe they will both lead to a lesson of acceptance and balance instead of the heavy heanded drug metaphor.

[> [> Well Giles when using magic is usually calling on Demons... -- Charlemagne20, 21:28:11 01/30/02 Wed

The basic idea isn't that magic is good or evil can be used but magic is a powerful force whose power is usually held by awesomely evil or amoral entities who can be bartered with.

I've never actually seen magic used for good in the show to be honest

[> [> [> We must be watching different shows... -- Solitude1056, 06:34:35 01/31/02 Thu

Because I'd classify Tara's "finding spell" as beneficial, just as much as Willow's "de-sucking spell" was clearly beneficial - both to Tara, and to Buffy's fight against Glory. And those are just two of the latest... but I agree that the magic/drug metaphor is ham-handed. This last episode, I caught myself at one point ready to turn the tv off, grumpy at the fact that I was feeling beaten over the head with this damn metaphor, and it turned me off completely to the whole episode. Just enough is enough already... the most interesting thing in the episode for me was the visit from Anya's friend (and her ensuing doubt-placement in Anya) and Dawn's sudden lack of any apparent hostility (except for that mentioned by Amy).

I'm hoping that Tara's re-introduction into the group plotline will be a thwack of reality back onto track. Tara, after all, never said Willow shouldn't do magic - simply that it shouldn't be the first option in a situation. Perhaps Tara's balanced approach will be a reminder or catalyst to make Willow realize that this isn't an all-or-nothing situation... but simply one of growing up, taking responsibility, and acknowledging that magic - like just about anything else - should be used in moderation. I'm thinking of the standard college lesson when we pick a drug of choice, usually alcohol, and use it way too much. A backlash at some point causes some kids to say, "woah, never again!" when in fact the real lesson is to learn how to use it in moderation, and not as a crutch in order to deal with everything.

wrapping up a couple of thoughts/threads about DmP -- Anneth, 12:34:34 01/30/02 Wed

After sleeping on DmP, and reading all of this morning's posts, I've had a couple of ideas about the episode that I wanted to toss out. Sorry if they're not in a particularly coherent or logical order; I've had a *lot* of caffine this morning...

From what I've gathered from the atpobtvs page, the overall theme of the series is love - the love between friends, family, lovers; love of life; love of humanity, etc. And this season's theme is growing up. So, upon reconsidering DmP, and trying to relate the two themes, (and understand why I found the episode so dispiriting), here's what I've come up with - sometimes, becoming an adult involves making decisions that can humble and even degrade us in our own eyes and in the eyes of those we love, even if we're doing what we're doing out of love. The interactions between Buffy and Dawn and Buffy and Spike seemed to illustrate that. I can't get over the feeling that Dawn was honestly disappointed that Buffy's going to be flipping burders for the indeterminate future, even though Buffy's doing it because she loves Dawn and wants to be able to continue supporting her. And it also seems that Spike gives into temptation again, leading to the alley scene, because he loves B and wants to remain a part of her life - even if he can only do so via sketchy alleyway trysts. (I continue to think that that's a relapse for him; he really had seemed to be maturing away from that all season long, especially in OMWF and Gone.) He humbled himself enormously to her, himself, and the audience (I believe) in that one little scene.

But the person who seems the most humbled is Buffy herself - I have any number of complaints about the empisode as a whole, but I certainly apppreciated and empathized with the almost crushing sadness in her eyes at the episode's end, when the manager pointed at her "5 years" button. That might be one of the toughest things about growing up - realizing that sometimes you really do have no choice but to do something otherwise totally inimical to your nature. I can only just begin to imagine what such a future would seem like to someone as vital as Buffy. If she felt like she was "sleepwalking through [her] life's endeavor" in OMWF about slaying, imagine how she's going to feel about her job in a few episodes.

So I think that those who have noted that she really has hit rock-bottom in this episode and can only go up have a good point; I hope her asendency starts soon, though.

On a slightly different topic, wouldn't it be cool if she bullied the Watcher's Council into giving her some sort of compensable job? She and Willow could team up and create an internet Slayer database, with a nice helpful search engine, so that all of their experience could be combined with all the information from all those musty old books, and make life much easier for everyone. Plus, she's not *techinically* the Slayer anymore, right? So she's killing demons and vampires out of the goodness of her heart, so shouldn't the Council reimburse her for it? Which is not to say that I don't see the value, plot-wise, for her to have a dead-end job for a while - I guess it's just my selfish desire for her to be doing something more stimulating.

[> Re: wrapping up a couple of thoughts/threads about DmP -- Dee, 12:48:26 01/30/02 Wed

I really liked your post, and you summed up alot of what I have been thinking. I watched the episode again, and I don't know if Dawn is disappointed in Buffy or sad for her. And the tryst with Spike in the alley makes perfect sense to me-he came to her (earlier in the episode) and offered to help her with money for her so she wouldn't have to take a job that would in his words, "kill her" because she was. "better than that". Then she sees him later (in the episode). She's realizing how dead-end this job is, and suddenly there is the one person who has been able to understand/reach her since she came back. I would have been more suprized if there hadn't been a scene like that. I think that Spike being there for Buffy, and Buffy letting Spike offer whatever comfort he could was a very tender scene.

[> Please do not apply logic.... (spoilers) -- Darby, 13:22:37 01/30/02 Wed

There is only one active Slayer (Faith sure isn't). How have other Slayers supported themselves? Not with regular jobs, surely.

Did Giles' pay include Slayer support? If so, combine that with Buffy's getting his job back with retroactive pay (and the fact that he has become family) and you can tell why she would accept his financial help. And why she should look for a Council paycheck, with no more strings than before.

It seems like the only reason why no one has suggested this (and why would none of the characters have come up with this when Anya essentially suggested it? They were all at Buffy's showdown with the Council) is that such a solution does not fit the season arc, Buffy as EveryWoman.

On top of that, why isn't Willow paying room and board, as she would have been at UC Sunnydale?

And what about all of the artifacts discovered through the course of the series? Remember all the loot around the Gem of Amara? Don't you think that digging around the Master's lair would turn up some interesting trinkets?

None of these solutions service the current plot.

[> Slayerxploitation!! -- yez, 13:56:38 01/30/02 Wed

I had never thought about it this way before... Why *doesn't* the Council give slayers some kind of stipend, especially if they pay watchers? Is it some kind of child labor exploitation, with the assumption that slayers' families will support them while they slay, and they'll be killed in the line of duty before they become adults and need other sources of income? Or before they figure out that they should be getting some kind of compensation, too?

I think this is just another example of management making rules that make things cozy for them while the workers get screwed out of their fair share!

What about the slayer 401(k)?!

It also hadn't ocurred to me that there'll be another slayer in the mix, now. That could hurt Buffy's case for getting compensation...

As Darby said, I think it's true that logic doesn't really apply here. Yeah, it's been bothering me for a while that there's no indication Willow is paying rent -- she definitely should be. Also, I can't remember any indication that Buffy's father is helping support Dawn, at least, which he should be, too (assuming he was also implanted with the memories of her being his daughter, which would be logical).

Anneth, the way you characterized this experience for Buffy sounds better that the way it was executed, IMHO. In actuality, this business of Buffy having to find work is going to get old really quick, I think.


[> Buffy can sell dead demons -- skeeve, 12:48:11 01/31/02 Thu

Maybe even vampire dust.

Anya would certainly let her sell them on consignment.

Probably Anya would even give advice on how to package them for maximum sale value.

[> [> I can picture it now... -- VampRiley, 15:45:49 01/31/02 Thu


Night time.

A shot of a girl with slightly less than shoulder length, dyed blonde hair from behind, wearing an all Black outfit.

As she walked by several headstones, a small, Black duffle bag was being held loosely in her left hand. A cricket chirpped twice as the wind slowly flowed by. The tips of her hair lightly brushed against the supple skin of her neck. Even the scars of two puncture marks, like from a very large needle and what looks like maybe a scar tissue from possibly human or human-like teeth are not immune to warm feel of the night air as it also moved the tree branches.

As the young woman hears the leaves moving back and forth, she takes in a deep, very audible (to regular human ears, at least) breath in through her nose. She opens her very soft, pink lips slightly and let the warm air move out through her mouth. Feeling the warmth of the night, reminding her of when she was in another place. Another dimension. A place where she felt finished...and complete. She imagined herself in another place. Completely unaware of the figure in the shadows watching her.


It was a cold, winter night. A log cabin. The view is of a roaring fire in a fireplace coming out of the left wall of a room. The door behind the shot. Across from the door is a desk with a chair and a few books, papers and a pen and pencil sitting there. Around the desk, on the wall were several pictures hanging.

The desk is directly in front of a window. Outside, the snow fall is seen to still be going. There is already what looks like maybe seven or eight inches of snow on the ground. And not wet snow. Just soft, non-slushy snow as it travels to the ground at a slow speed.

Across from the fire is an unlocked, but not opened, steamer trunk. It was sitting at the foot of a bed. On the bed was a thick down comfertor. One of those reversable ones: Navy Blue on one side and Light Blue on the other. Only the Navy Blue side was facing up.

There was a nightstand on both sides of the bed. On the side closest to the window, there's a jar of Cookie Dough Fudge Mint Chip that sat on a small, off-White colored plate with the handle of a metal spoon sticking out, the lid behind the container. The ice cream was on the right side of a jar of peanut butter. The lid sitting between the jar and the bed. Sticking out of the jar were two half eaten Kit Kat sticks, still stuck together from when it was first made.

Underneath the covers, giggling, from voices that sound like they came from a man and a woman, could be heard.

A close up shot of Buffy's face. She's laying on her left side. He nose nuzzling and tickling the pale chest of the man who she is with, making him giggle. Their feet and lower calfs entangled with each other. Both of them caressing the skin of the other person in a loving, and very senual manner as they moved. Buffy cooed in pleasure and from being able to relax. Without having to worry about saving the world or any innocent life. The comfertor snugged the two in bed.


It bothered her deeply that she wasn't there, but there was nothing she could do about that. She steeled herself and continued on her patrol.

As she walked further into the cemetery, a vamp jumped out from behind the stone wall of a crypt, his malefic game face on, growling.

Instantly, the vamp was shocked. Buffy took two steps and jumped, wrapping her stong and well toned legs around the demon's neck in a scissor hold. She bent backward and flipped the guy forward, then rolled forward and got to her feet. As she turned around, she pulled Mr. Pointy out from the left sleeve of her Black leather jacket with her right hand, the pointed end on the same side as her smallest finger. As the vampire charged at her, she spun to her right while moving forward towards her opponent. She turned her hand towards herself, her body spinning 270 degrees and pushed the stake into the heart of the bloodsucker within a second.

The vampire looked at her, in shock again, as he turned to dust. With a loud, determined sigh, she went over to her bag and knelt down beside it. Opening it up, she pulled out a small plastic object and went back over to the remains of the demon. She knelt down again and hit the switch to the on position. The sound of the motor coming from the Dustbuster as she moved it along the ground was the only thing she could hear at the moment. After getting all that she could with the littlest amount of dirt and other things laying on the ground, she swtiched it off and went back to her bag again. She opened it up and made a sigh, full of depression as she looked at her Doublemeat Palace uniform. The god awful hat sitting on top of the rest of her uniform.

Resigning herself to the enevitable, she stuck the mini-vacuum in her bag and zipped it closed. She was working the graveyard shift, which included working for customers for a few hours, then cleaning up and having to wait around for the first shift to show up.

So she stood up and walked to her own personal Hell wihin a Hell.


[> [> They gotta taste better than Kittens....;) -- Rufus, 22:17:05 01/31/02 Thu

What Season 6 is missing -- darrenK, 13:11:52 01/30/02 Wed

It has been a strange season. There have been some episodes that I've really liked, e.g. Tabula Rosa, Life Serial, Afterlife; a true cinematic masterpiece i.e. Once More With Feeling; and some true lame ass crap, i.e. Smashed and Wrecked.

But what this season lacks is a sense of URGENCY, a sense that Buffy really has to save the friggin world.

And, at least in the latter half of each season there's a Big Bad to really kick things into high gear.

Last year, not only did we have the season long opponant, Glory,, we also had the season long question of who, and/or what is Dawn. Friend?Foe? Sister? Key?

This year, the only thing we have is the slight possibility that Buffy isn't human, which has been so drawn out that I barely care anymore and Willow's sad weird transformation into a Magic Crack Whore (a storyline that's has ceased to be the world's most compelling)

So where's the tension? Where's the "Oh my god?"

I know that 5 episodes from now, I'll probably be climbing the walls with anticipation at the season wrap-up, but right now the plot feels slack.

And, as I watch the news that Joss is producing yet another new series, meaning that next year he will helm 5, I'm scared that he will never again write/direct more than one episode of Buffy per season and will have no time to give us stuff like Restless, OMWF, Hush, etc.

I wonder if next year really will be the last year? I was hoping not. dK

[> Re: What Season 6 is missing -- yez, 13:23:51 01/30/02 Wed

Urgency, yes.

I also think the show is missing the wonderful interplay between the Scoobies as a group. That chemistry has been fractured by having characters off in scenes by themselves or only in small groupings, and it's weakened the show.

Enough's enough. I could bear the emotional disconnect between the characters while I felt like it might be integral to the story (e.g., Buffy's paradise lost secret and Willow's magic monkey), but it's going on too long, and, as you say, it's boring.


[> [> Re: What Season 6 is missing -- Anneth, 14:27:48 01/30/02 Wed

"What Season 6 is missing...Urgency"

You summed up in one word what's been bothering me since OMWF - Buffy the Musical (giggle - I *love* calling it that!) pretty much resolved what little urgency existed once B returned from the dead. And it created a replacement in the B/S kiss... but then the series seemed to lose its focus again. I think you hit the nail on the head by noting that the fractured group-interaction has done more than its fair share in contributing to that loss of urgency. That, and the mediocre plotlines that have been beaten to a bloody pulp by now.

Anyway, to sum up, I agree. And I want wise-cracking Buffy back, too! I was so happy to have her for even a little while in Gone, even if she was being naughty.

[> [> Re: What Season 6 is missing -- MayaPapaya9, 19:26:18 01/30/02 Wed

So true...when was the last time we saw Buffy, Willow and Xander go out by themselves and kick some demon butt. And I really hate how the writers are completely neglecting the "Buffy's not human" thing. I mean, god, that is huge. Why aren't they dealing with it.

And ALSO...is it just me or has the "we killed an innocent, oh no" been done already (TWICE)? Why are they redoing old storylines for us?

If it's Joss that is missing from this season, then I'm really, really sad because he has five million projects going on now and his workload's only going to increase by next year. I wanted Buffy to be the show that went out with a bang.

[> [> [> Creative People are Happy When They're Busy (spoilers through S6) -- Vickie, 12:33:52 01/31/02 Thu

At least, that's generally been my observation. And Joss is a self-confessed control freak. So, if he thought that BTVS was being ruined by his team, he'd step in and straighten them out (I believe). Trust in Joss and Co.

I think that the writers are dealing with the "Buffy's wrong" issue at the pace that she is. She's still avoiding it. I think that any of us, ripped out of heaven after a traumatic year of loss and danger, having to fight our way out of a coffin and seeing our own name on the headstone(a personal terror going back to Season 1), and being thrust into a confusing, hell-like Earth existence, might take more than a couple of months to recover something resembling normal function. She came back in October. It's the end of January. It took me more than four months to get back to "normal" after my own mother's death--one that had been coming for four years (and I was twice Buffy's age).

It's also been my experience that when ME repeats a motif, they know that they are doing it. Buffy thought she killed a human (Ted) and suffered tremendously for it before discovering he was a robot. IMHO, she probably worried over her control afterwards, we just didn't see it.

I remembered Ted immediately when Faith killed the mayor's assistant. Buffy's reaction told me that she had thought about Ted more than we realized. She knew how she'd feel, and expected Faith to feel the same. Faith did, but was too invested in being cool to admit it (for something like a year and a half).

Katrina's death, if that's what happens, will illuminate another side to this issue. I have faith (not Faith).

Just my $.02

[> Still formulating my own thoughts...but on the whole agreed. -- mundusmundi, 13:31:21 01/30/02 Wed

[> Re: What Season 6 is missing -- Goji3, 13:30:33 02/01/02 Fri

I think that lacking the urgency is....Intentional, as strange as it may sound. This is more about the aftermath now than the actual climax (Much like a favorite movie of mine that no-one here would have seen "Gamera 3: Revenge of Iris"). College is a very important and hecktic time in ones life (as far as I've gathered), afterwards...there is a sense of "What Now?", which is being portrayed well in the show now as characters slowly peace their lives back together. Buffy from death, Xander into Marrage, Willow from the majic/power addiction.

It's intentioanlly like this. kooky, ain't it?

EW article with Marti Noxon (S6 Spoilers) -- Laurie, 13:14:55 01/30/02 Wed


[> there's an interesting article there too -- squireboy, 14:13:52 01/30/02 Wed

by Jeff Jensen.

He raises some good questions and puts words to some of the doubts that some viewers not drugged on the nekkid!Spike "arc" have been expressing.


[> [> Are you sure the article isn't at - -- Darby, 15:05:06 01/30/02 Wed


The other address took me to the 2nd page of the Marti interview.

It is interesting. Looks like they do a weekly Buffy review. Jensen's not as good as Ken Tucker, though.

chat tonite? -- vampire hunter D, 13:49:02 01/30/02 Wed

say, around 8:30 EST (5or6:30 PST)?

man, can you tell I'm an addict or what?

Why the double standard? -- Kerri, 14:00:44 01/30/02 Wed

In Flooded Anya suggests that Buffy charge for slaying and saving the world. All the Scoobies, especially Buffy, think this idea is ludicrous. So, then why is it ok for Angel to make money for fighting evil. Even before Provider Angel Investigations has been a source of income.

So why the drastic difference in morality? Is it just about needing to serve the plot? I doubt it. Then why would Buffy clearly state that making money from saving people is wrong, if the writers have Angel doing the same thing? Is this a comment on Buffy and Angel or on the worlds they live in? Any thoughts?

[> Re: Why the double standard? -- yez, 14:16:54 01/30/02 Wed

I don't know if it's a difference in morality as opposed to mentality, IMHO. Buffy proactively seeks out and destroys vampires, demons, etc., and comes to people's rescue. This, if we're to believe the mythology, is her duty -- at least she believes it is. On the other hand, Angel has no such duty. He's just opened an investigation agency which specializes in paranormal cases, as he has some experience in that field. He'll take cases for hire. Even though, as he demonstrated, probably can't help but help, regardless of the client's ability to pay.

Buffy and the Scoobies could certainly do the same thing -- though people in Sunnydale seem to be heavy into the denial.

I guess it's just a different business model, so to speak.

The real question, I think, as someone raised on another thread, is why the Council doesn't compensate slayers for their work. They compensate watchers.


[> [> The Watchers' Council -- Kerri, 14:45:30 01/30/02 Wed

The real question, I think, as someone raised on another thread, is why the Council doesn't compensate slayers for their work. They compensate watchers.

I don't think that this has ever been a problem before, because the slayer seems to live under the care of her watcher (as Kendra did) because she has always been a child. Buffy might feel that being paid by the council would but them under their control, however, I think she could probably spin it so that she would remain in control like she was in Checkpoint. Would Buffy feel that being paid makes her less noble or less of a hero? I don't know if she thinks of herself as a hero to begin with.

It wouldn't hurt the council to pay Buffy. If anything it would help them because they have a more effective slayer. Can Buffy be out patrolling while she's working the nightshirt at her new job? No. I'm not sure if there is a reason the council doesn't pay Buffy other than the writers want her to have to struggle with money issues.

[> [> [> Re: The Watchers' Council -- MrDave, 21:12:22 01/30/02 Wed

Angel Investigations, Inc. is a collection of individuals who choose to fight Evil. That makes their services an option.

Buffy, and Co. is an an appointed entity that perform a public service. Not by choice, but by destiny do they do their work (well, in Buffy's case...the SG help her because they are her friends).

I agree that the Coucil probably could pay the Slayer. But why would they? She has already passed along the "Slayerness" to another. And "there is only one" means the Coucil recognizes the "official" Slayer as Faith. Buffy, on the other hand, is a freelance Slayer. All the power and experience and training, but no support from the WC.

Looking at this from the Council's POV means that Buffy is working a Slayer triple shift (after Kendra and Faith...for free, no less) until Faith is free and clear. Giles has dropped out of his Watcher duties (and is likely off the payroll by now...or on a consultant's fee) and the Scoobs aren't even in the Council's equasion.

Besides, do you think that Buffy would get a check with no strings attached?

I really see Buffy as missing out on the job-quotient. She could do groundskeeping in a cemetary (who knows them better? and lifting a 50lb bag of fertilizer? No prob!). She could do construction (with another crew besides Xander's...he could recommend her) or even security work (she tested well in Law Enforcement in HS. And she can handle the danger element.).

But, I have to say, Fast food makes a good place to start building good work habits. Buffy needs that. Lord knows, no-one questions the slacker work ethic in Fast Food. So if Buffy were to die for another three months and then suddenly show back up...she'd likely be re-hired. Until she can learn to balance life with her duty, its probably a good place to start.

Many places want to see a few months of job experience before they hire you. A good recommendation from the manager never hurts either. And, frankly, now that the DMP holds fewer mysteries for Buffy, she will be able to settle in and do the job easier. If she can just get past "the levity that robs the company of time".

I say: Job good - Council bad.

[> [> [> [> Re: The Watchers' Council -- Mystery, 06:32:08 01/31/02 Thu

I never did understand why Buffy doesn't become a cop. the Sunnydale cops know about at least the results of the Hellmouth (it was mentioned alot in season 3). You would think that Buffy joining and taking over the night/cemetary/sewer beat would work. And they can give her a tough guy, I'm-focused-like-Riley-with-a-bad-boy-quality- like-Spike partner and she'd be all set! Then they can eventually give her her own department specializing in the supernatural and they can turn REALLY cross between Scooby-Do and X-Files. They could end "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer" and become "Sunnydale Special Unit" or something...

Hm...got a bit carried away. :-D

[> [> [> Fun with typos -- Kurt Hills, 00:54:16 01/31/02 Thu

* No Disrespect Intended *

> Can Buffy be out patrolling while she's working the nightshirt at her new job?

Is "working the nightshirt" a potential new thread?

[smiles tentatively]

Back to the lurk for you, mister!

[> [> [> [> Sure, stop lurking just long enough to make fun of poor little me ;) -- KErri, 14:47:43 01/31/02 Thu

[> [> Re: Why the double standard? -- VampRiley, 14:48:43 01/30/02 Wed

The real question, I think, as someone raised on another thread, is why the Council doesn't compensate slayers for their work. They compensate watchers.

Probably has something to do with thinking of Slayers as just weapons, not actual people.


[> [> [> Re: Why the double standard? -- leslie, 16:11:58 01/30/02 Wed

It strikes me that there are several reasons why the Council doesn't pay slayers--yes, these girls are usually dead before reaching maturity, and Buffy probably does not want to be in their debt (though I'd like to know where Giles got the money to get her out of that first major financial hole earlier this season--he doesn't appear to have a private income), but I think the real reason is that the Council really seem to be sexist opportunists. As Buffy increasingly realizes, it's the slayer who has the power and who does the dirty work. Why does she need a Watcher at all? The First Slayer doesn't seem to have one. The Council's basic premise for existence seems to be that girls with superpowers are very dangerous and need a grown-up (male or female, but a quasi-parent in any case) to decide what the slayer does with her powers. Notice how all the non-Giles Watchers are extremely authoritarian with their slayers? Don't do anything off your own bat! Always check in with your Watcher after you've found something out, and the Watcher will decide what to do about it. Don't think! God forbid a girl should think! Of course it would never occur to these people to put Buffy on the payroll.

[> [> [> [> Re: Why the double standard? -- Susan, 18:04:41 01/30/02 Wed

I think that there are plenty of reasons that could exist as to why she doesn't get paid. But I wish the show would illustrate those reasons. To not even address it seems ridiculous.

[> [> [> [> Re: Why the double standard? -- Talia, 19:26:19 01/30/02 Wed

"...but I think the real reason is that the Council really seem to be sexist opportunists."

I smell a conspiracy theory!

Watcher's Council: as far as we know, all white and British. mostly male. often old. power is based in having a lot of resources.

Slayers: entirely female. can be any race and any socioeconomic background. young. their power is based in their bodies. all they need is a pointy piece of wood or something sharp enough to remove a head, sometimes not even that much.

British imperialist pigs!

I've exaggerated for humor's sake, but sexism/racism/classism/general pompousness could certainly be a factor in the poor treatment of slayers. The slayers' generally short lifespan is probably a bigger concern, but blaming the patriarchy is much more fun.

[> [> [> [> [> Merrick was American. -- Erik, 19:44:54 01/30/02 Wed

[> [> The Council paying... -- darrenK, 19:46:34 01/30/02 Wed

To be honest, that Council not paying her thing really irks me since Buffy's need for money is so central to this season.

You'd think the writers would at least address the problem. If I ask the question shouldn't they? Too weird.

Not only that, but just last season Buffy "negotiated" just compensation for Giles from the council delegation. Does Buffy not share in that? Does she not get a training budget? What about a travel budget if she needs to head out of town to kick some demon ass?

What about just paying her living expenses so she can continue fighting evil without worrying about whether or not the citizens of Sunnydale "want fries with that?"

It annoys me because if the Watchers were a real organization in our world then this wouldn't be an issue.

A lot of people cried Deus Ex Machina when Giles handed Buffy that check at the end of Life Serial. I thought the exact opposite. She's the one that got Quentin to pay Giles 2 years of salary retroactively. He owed Buffy the money.


[> [> Re: Why the double standard? -- maddog, 07:58:05 01/31/02 Thu

I'd have to disagree on the Angel part. He's a champion...he's there because TPTB want him there. They could have left him in hell. Instead he works to help people, and they figured the best way to disguise that was to have the detective agency.

[> Re: Why the double standard? -- Liz, 19:39:14 01/30/02 Wed

Angel wasn't really interested in making money at first--it was Cordelia who pushed that in the first season. He went along with it largely to humor her but he eventually saw the reality of it. He's running a business now. Although he will still take the time to rescue people in the visions, and he's not going to demand money from them.

Buffy _could_ set herself up as a private detective. But I can't see her having the energy or knowledge to do that right now. She doesn't even have the energy to search for a job that's not fast food. She might be able to come up with something that makes her slayer abilities pay off, but right now I haven't even seen her do slaying recently.

Angel happened to think of something that worked for him. And he had Doyle and Cordelia to shape it for him (at first he was just randomly killing vampires). Buffy isn't doing that, and not because she's female but because she's not up to it right now. And she doesn't have the knowledge that Angel has.

The Watcher's council might compensate her, but I don't know why they would. They don't really like her much. They pretty much had to do what she said in "Checkpoint" because they realized that Glory could destroy the whole world, and they needed her. I don't think that she could go to them and demand money without submitting to their terms.

Still, as some people have pointed out, she could give it a shot. Why not address it? Well, I think that's because she's just not up to it. She might not have even thought of it. Maybe she'll come up with her own creative idea later on. Right now she's just grabbing the first available job, and we'll just have to see how close it comes to destroying her.

[> [> Does the Watcher's Council even know she's alive? -- Mystery, 06:42:38 01/31/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Does the Watcher's Council even know she's alive? -- Cecilia, 08:29:12 01/31/02 Thu

The council, along with the rest of the world, didn't even know that she died.

[> [> [> [> Re: Does the Watcher's Council even know she's alive? -- skeeve, 12:26:02 01/31/02 Thu

Given her gravestone and probable funeral, it's likely that someone other than the scoobies knew that she died.

[> [> [> [> [> The reason no one knew (Spoilery) -- Cecilia, 13:50:41 01/31/02 Thu

That threw me too at first but then I realized that Buffy's grave was in the woods. Remember how far Willow, Xander,Tara and Anya had to go to get back?

[> [> Why Buffy isn't setting up a detective agency.... -- Kerri, 14:52:56 01/31/02 Thu

Buffy isn't doing that, and not because she's female but because she's not up to it right now. And she doesn't have the knowledge that Angel has

It's not because she's not up to it, it's because she thinks its wrong.

[> Slayers are slave labor if the Council doesn't help provide for them -- yez, 08:34:41 01/31/02 Thu

While I agree the Council currently has good reason not to pay Buffy in particular, I don't agree that they have good reason not to pay slayers in general.

It seems logical that a foundation built up around an alleged duty/responsibility to help guide the power of the slayers in a mission to protect humanity from demons, and one which has taken it upon itself to provide some stipend to its watchers, should and would do the same for the slayers. If they pay watchers only, not slayers, then slayers are slave labor.

I think it's pretty cut and dried that way, too, since even though a slayer might be born into the lineage or with the power or whatever it is, slayer power/instinct can remain latent indefinitely until awakened by the Council, as witnessed by Buffy.

Because the Council prevents modern slayers from having "normal" lives by indoctrinating them in alleged duty, etc., AND because the indoctrination also includes convincing slayers that they are under the authority of watchers and the Watchers Council, AND because watchers receive some sort of, at least, subsistence stipend, I think it's the *moral responsibility* of the Council to provide a similar stipend to slayers.

To be clear, I'm not talking about pay in the traditional sense here -- no bonuses for exceeding monthly kill quotas, no performance raises, etc. I'm just talking about a subsistence stipend that would enable, as others have said, the slayer to concentrate on the mission without getting distracted or bogged down in everyday money concerns.

In general, as I said. If that were the case, it would be plausible that the Council would have long ago severed ties with Buffy due to her insubordination. HOWEVER, with Faith being in jail, and watcher and slayer duty being what it is, I actually think that the Council would need more reason that what Buffy's done so far to cut off financial support. She's still getting the job done, and she's doing a better job than many a slayer before her.

That said, I do agree with those who've argued that accepting money from the Council -- and therefore becoming their employee -- might not be something Buffy would want to do. She has good reason to think that she wouldn't be able to work under their conditions, as witnessed by past interactions.

Anyway, I'm with others -- the show should address the question of why the Council doesn't provide for slayers somehow. It's valid, especially with current storylines.

I'm not sure about the white male authority vs. young female subservience read. It's compelling, but we do know that there are female watchers (the former watcher who posed as Faith's watcher; and also Faith's first watcher, right?), and it's possible that there are watchers "of color" that we're not aware of. Sunnydale doesn't exactly cover the color wheel in its student population, forget about major characters...


[> [> Re: Slayers are slave labor if the Council doesn't help provide for them -- Cecilia, 08:42:06 01/31/02 Thu

Is the Watcher's Council really so different than the majority of the corporate business world? Disposable workers, numbers instead of names, that sort of thing.

The council doesn't seem to realize that an experienced slayer is a valuable asset much the same as big business doesn't seem to realize that experienced workers are an asset. Having worked in a few places where I'm low on the totem pole I've seen that the ones at the top of the pyramid don't really get that the real support and success comes from those of us at the bottom.

Must be the air up there.

[> Re: Why the double standard? -- robert, 11:44:56 01/31/02 Thu

"So why the drastic difference in morality? "

Different show, different standards.

[> Re: Why the double standard? -- skeeve, 12:37:36 01/31/02 Thu

Apparently, most Slayers are raised by the WC from childhood. Presumably the WC provided for such Slayers, though in Kendra's case she only had one shirt. My recollection is that she also had pants. We don't know what the norm was with the other Slayers. We do know that the WC isn't happy with Buffy at the moment.

Does anyone know how well women's boxing pays?

Whatever happened to Mr. Pointy?

[> [> How about figure skating? -- dochawk, 16:54:50 01/31/02 Thu

We already know that she trained as a figure skater when she was younger. Think of all the jumps and twists she can do. She'd be a sureshot Olympic Gold Medalist in women's freeskating and then the ice tours then Hollywood, She'd be rich. where she could hire a certain brooding detective.

or she could go into real estate in sunnydale. "Your home is gauranteed to remain demon free for one year after you buy it, or I will personally come and kill the demon"

[> [> [> Re: How about figure skating? -- skeeve, 07:53:24 02/01/02 Fri

Figure skating would take her out of Sunnydale too much.

She would need a license to actually sell real estate.

Theoretically selling insurance would also.

Both licenses require more schooling.

If the legal system wouldn't admit that demons exist, it might give her a pass on the license requirement and hit her with a blue sky law.

Supposing the legal system didn't stop her, she might end up having to renege on a contract instead of killing someone she didn't want to kill.

She could insist that fights occur in Sunnydale.

What to do when Glory comes back? -- skeeve, 14:37:19 01/30/02 Wed

Glory will be back. Giles forgot the Watcher's Council's research: Glory was imprisoned in the body of a human male. Killing said body destroyed the prison.

Buffy, keep Olaf's hammer handy. The uber-Buffy spell used to defeat Adam wouldn't hurt either.

Has Buffy had to save the world a lot more often than her predecessors?

[> Re: What to do when Glory comes back? -- MrDave, 20:47:16 01/30/02 Wed

Didn't the leader of the Knights of Byzantium say that killing the host (Ben) was to kill Glory? If it was as simple as killing Ben to free Glory wouldn't her minions (the ugly ones) have killed him long ago?

Ben was weak, thats why he didn't kill himself to spare the world from Glory's evil. But he's dead so she's dead. Sort of an interesting contrast to the Girls-Good/Boys-Bad slant of the show. Glory/Ben was obviously Girl-Strong (but Bad)/Boy-Weak (but Good). No...Glory is long gone. Which leaves the interesting conundrum...what is the Key good for now?

[> [> Answer from Spiral -- Rufus, 21:10:46 01/30/02 Wed

From the Psyche Transcripts.....Spiral season 5...

BUFFY: A demon dimension. I know. She ruled with two other hellgods, right?

GREGOR: Along with the beast they were a triumvirate of suffering and despair. Ruling with equal vengeance. But the beast's power grew beyond even what they could conceive. As did her lust for pain and misery. They looked upon her, what she had become ... and trembled.
BUFFY: (nervously) A god afraid?

GREGOR: Such was her power. They feared she would attempt to seize their dimension for herself, and decided to strike first. A great battle erupted. In the end, they stood victorious over the beast ... barely. She was cast out. Banished to this lower plane of existence, forced to live and eventually die trapped within the body of a mortal ... a newborn male, created as her prison. That is the beast's ... only weakness.

BUFFY: Kill the man ... and the god dies.

GREGOR: Unfortunately, the identity of the human vessel has never been discovered.

That's why Giles did away with Ben, he felt the risk was too great to allow him to live. Glory isn't coming back, the prison is dead and Glory with it/him.

[> [> [> Another thought on Glory (potential spoilers) -- NonHostileSeventeen, 08:18:00 01/31/02 Thu

Just a thought here, but I'm not so sure Glory is gone for good. Yes she needs a human host. Could this host be Willow perchance? My line of thinking here is that Willow absorbed part of Glory when she was restoring Tara. I believe this could possibly explain her irrational behavior this season. The other thing that leads me to that Glory isn't done is the episode where Buffy finds her mother dead. After she vomits, she goes back to clean it up with a paper towel. If you go back and look, a large G on appears on the paper towel. I could be grasping at straws here, but you never know.....

[> [> [> Re: Answer from Spiral -- skeeve, 09:09:58 01/31/02 Thu

Gregor: She was cast out. Banished to this lower plane of existence, forced to live and eventually die trapped within the body of a mortal ... a newborn male, created as her prison. That is the beast's ... only weakness.

I sit corrected, probably. As with a lot of stuff on Buffy, one wonders how any human could possibly know. It seems to me that her enemies were frightened enough to kill her if they could. They could certainly have killed Ben.

BTW where is Dawn going to school? Is she in high school yet?

Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" -- bookworm, 18:17:07 01/30/02 Wed

Speculate for a moment that there's no Anya in Xander's life and that Buffy ends up kicking Spike to the curb. When Buffy starts counting out the men who have left her -- Dad, Angel, Scott, Parker, Riley, Giles, maybe Spike -- then who hasn't? Who's the guy who's always been there, knows about and helps her in her slayage, is impressed and turned on by her super strength, and is totally supportive and unafraid to tell her the straight, unvarnished truth? Who's the guy who's probably still in love with her? Xander. Buffy likes kinky sex? Check. Xander's been initiated into kink by Anya (Yes, we've enjoyed spanking!") She's never been attracted to him that way. She's always seen him as the goofball/brother/guy friend she's as comfortable with as a girlfriend. But maybe she's ready to take another look. Xander has grown into an awfully confident, attractive man. Of the three high school buddies, Xander is the one who's grown into his skin while Buffy and Willow are floundering like dying fish on a beach. Who says friendship can't turn into passion? I like Buffy with Spike, but if they ever wanted to tell Xander/Buffy, I'd be there for it.

[> Re: Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" (now with spoilers!) -- Darby, 20:36:10 01/30/02 Wed

I posted recently that the rumored Scooby death this season could be vamping, and someone suggested vamping Xander.

But what do you get if you vamp Xander?


Same insight, same nerve, same ability to tell the truth even when he knows it'll bite him back. Add some demon and shake, and how different from Spike would he be? That's why vamping Xander would be redundant. But human Xander is nowhere near trouble enough for Buffy at present. I would suspect, too, that Xander presently would know that Buffy isn't really his ideal mate - good for a flameout fling (which he wouldn't turn down if he was unattached), but too volatile for longterm to work.

Buffy seems a long way from realizing what she needs is pretty different from what she wants. When she does, she may realize that Xander is "the one that got away."

[> Re: Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" -- Sarah, 21:05:08 01/30/02 Wed

I really only lurk at this board, but I just had to reply to this one. I am totally against a B/X pairing. My primary reason is that I've always seen a sort of power of three thing going on here. I think it's crucial for that balance of power to stay. In Season 3, I felt just as strongly that W/X should not happen for the same reason. It just feels like it would off balance the core group.

Reason 2, Spike would have to leave the show. There's no way JM could stick around if B/X happened. There's simply too much chemistry between him and SMG. It would be way too distracting for B/X to be believable with Spike still around. And on that same chemistry note, I've really never seen it between NB and SMG. I just can't think it would be too enthralling for anyone.

And finally, Buffy hasn't ever shown any attraction to Xander, and I just have issues with the idea that because he's been a loyal friend, he should be "rewarded" with Buffy-love. I just feel like that shortchanges both characters. And I always think of that scene in "Life Serial" when I think of B/X. Xander tells Buffy that that's "her job" when the demons attack the construction site. He seems very anxious to separate his own life from that. I don't think he ever would be 100% comfortable with her slayerness, not if he had to live with it 24/7. JMO, but I think the possibility for B/X came and went in Season 1.

[> [> Re: Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" -- Rufus, 21:17:17 01/30/02 Wed

And I always think of that scene in "Life Serial" when I think of B/X. Xander tells Buffy that that's "her job" when the demons attack the construction site. He seems very anxious to separate his own life from that. I don't think he ever would be 100% comfortable with her slayerness, not if he had to live with it 24/7. JMO, but I think the possibility for B/X came and went in Season 1.

I have to agree, Xander wants to keep his daytime life and SG activities seperate, going out with Buffy would threaten that. I also find that I can't forget how much Willow loved him and I feel Buffy wouldn't want to hurt Willow(I know gay now) by going out with him.

[> [> Good observations, Sarah. You should post here more often. -- Rattletrap, 07:53:45 01/31/02 Thu

[> I'm intrigued, and would like to hear more of a Xander-spefic, non-Spike theory. -- JBone, 22:08:39 01/30/02 Wed

[> Re: Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" -- Night Repair, 01:49:17 01/31/02 Thu

Also - I may be wrong, but as I see it, Xander is the only, long time constant male figure in Buffy's life (Season 6 hasn't started in Australia yet, but I believe Giles has gone).

If they got together, and then (eventually) they broke up, or Xander left, or turned evil, etc. then that would mean that he too would had left her in some way (be it mentally, physically or spiritually). I just don't think she needs that!
Season 6 starts here in 5 days - finally all your posts I've reading will start to make sense!!!

[> Re: Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" -- Cactus Watcher, 06:11:07 01/31/02 Thu

There seems to have been a very strong commitment from day one on the show that Xander and Buffy could never get together. The underlying idea, unfortunately, seems to be that Xander was never and would never be 'cool' enough for someone like Buffy. There is a large portion of the general TV audience that gets restless with its TV remotes if the beautiful heroine isn't involved with the most dashing and handsome guy (or certainly vice versa with the guy being the hero). As shallow as this is, it's a fact of life in the entertainment business. You give the most people what they want or settle for a small audience.

I thought at the end of season one that perhaps the sadness if this kind of behavior would become a lasting theme of the show (ie. Buffy would always be madly in love with someone like Angel, she never could realistically have; Xander would always be the guy she should see as her true hero, but never would see that way; Xander would never see how much Willow loved him; and Buffy, for fear of making matters worse, would never help Willow out by letting Xander know what she knew about Willow's love.) After all, even Joss admits that Angel had only been planned as a short term character. Unfortunately, Buffy and Angel was just too valuable a thing to mess up, Xander or no Xander. It was only a more valuable second TV show that got them apart. Once the show started down the well worn path of the prettiest girl is always with the most handsome guy, Xander and Buffy literally would never work.

[> Re: Could Xander ever be Buffy's "long-haul guy?" -- maddog, 07:05:55 01/31/02 Thu

She'd have to take a good long hard look. Xander is like a brother right now. I just don't see any hint of attraction. It would either have to be a story that took a few months of new episodes to set up or it wouldn't work.

[> B/X would be SO wrong -- Sophist, 08:40:21 01/31/02 Thu

IMHO, Xander is frequently narrow minded, judgmental, and self-righteous (for especially unattractive moments, remember Becoming I, Dead Man's Party, and every moment with Spike). He's had 3 different episodes to find himself (the Zeppo, BvD, and the one with Toth which I've forgotten the name of in the midst of this self-righteous rant). Despite these, he hasn't really developed much. Yes, he's more responsible in the sense of holding down a job, but his "Jonathan" half still shows through all too often. Xander is average; Buffy can do much better.

[> [> Re: B/X would be SO wrong -- maddog, 10:58:52 01/31/02 Thu

and as you point that out what occurs to me is that he's always been overprotective of her...at first it was because he liked her...but now it seems very big brotherly...which is why it probably wouldn't work overall.

[> [> Re: B/X No. Please no -- Valkyrie, 12:44:12 01/31/02 Thu

My thoughts exactly, Emotionally Xander hasn't progressed much past high school. Contrast his treatment of Buffy with Spike's, immmediately after the resurrection. His first thought is "Buffy likes pizza" and then he's sure the ol' Buffster will be back to normal in a week. Oddly enough, when I first saw the frozen museum guard, I thought of Xander, seeing him as frozen in old ways of thinking and reacting. In fact, the first time we hear the season theme of "Grow Up" expressed by a charcter, it's applied to Xander by Anya.

[> [> [> "I've gone right past you, big brother" -- Helen, 05:22:01 02/01/02 Fri

Remember Restless? Buffy has had experiences which would make it impossible for her to be with regular guy Xander, even if he did witness most of them.

[> [> [> "I've gone right past you, big brother" -- Helen, 05:58:11 02/01/02 Fri

Remember Restless? Buffy has had experiences which would make it impossible for her to be with regular guy Xander, even if he did witness most of them.

[> [> I'm glad I'm not alone... -- Isabel, 05:52:14 02/01/02 Fri

(I tried posting this last night, but I couldn't connect to the board and send it.)

Don't get me wrong, I love Xander. But, I agree that he and Buffy are not suited for each other. They're friends. They have a brother/sister love, great. I don't see sparks between them.

Plus, to get them together, ME would have to end Xander and Anya's engagement. That would have to be handled delicately, or you'd have legions of fans furious about scumbag Xander dumping Anya for Buffy. (Let's face it, Anya had no interest in any other man on the planet. The kiss with Giles was during the amnesia.)

And then there's the last thing, which I hesitate to bring up, but no one else did. It was the first thing I thought of.

Xander, for all his construction experience, could not survive 10 minutes of "Demolishing a Building" with Buffy. Have you ever heard of the essay about why Superman and Lois Lane could never have sex? I think it's called "Man of Steel, Woman of Tissue Paper." Get the picture? Buffy could snap his back in one distracted moment.

Yes, Xander has had sex with a slayer before. I think it's a given that Faith was sexually active before she became the Slayer. She's had time to learn that her living sex toys tire and break easily. She's used to it. She may not think it's weird.

Yes, Buffy has had sex with normal guys. She also lied to Riley about how strong she really was. (And that was when he was still super-strong Initiative Guy.) And half of her sex partners were males she didn't have to worry about accidentally killing. "When did the building fall down?" was not a phrase uttered by someone who was thinking logically about her actions for the previous eight hours. (And if Spike could barely keep up with her....)

[> [> [> alls i knows is... -- JBone, 17:24:18 02/01/02 Fri

once there is an idea that something is impossible on the show, ME finds a way to make something believable, if not expected. So keep talking about how wrong and impossible it is, and you'll see it soon enough. A lot of Spike discussions went that way, and still do as a matter of fact.

I would hate to see the Xander/Anya thing kicked to the curb, because I think Anya is da bomb. There outta be more gorgeous women totally devoted to their "average" men.

[> There's just one major problem with the scenario -- Solitude1056, 10:48:53 01/31/02 Thu

Would Xander still be interested in Buffy?

Given his relationship with Anya (even post-Anya), I'd have to say I doubt it. There are certain basic things about Anya that he loves, and those qualities don't seem to show up in Buffy - stability, judgementalness, even a bit of playfulness. And Anya's judgemental, but I think hers balances Xander's very nicely - they're judgemental about different things, and they're both stubborn enough to stick to it... so the compromise element is much stronger in their relationship and hence their relationship itself is much stronger (than the other Scooby relationships).

While Buffy might decide at some point that Xander is "the guy for her," I'd have serious doubts about Xander agreeing with her, at this point. She's just not his type anymore, even if she may always be his fantasy. I'm suddenly reminded of Much Ado About Nothing, where Beatrice turns down the Prince's proposal, telling him, "Unless your father has another son? I'm afraid your Grace is too expensive for everyday use." I'm paraphrasing, but hopefully you get the idea. ;-)

Doublemeat "Lifer" (observations on DMP) -- MrDave, 21:23:25 01/30/02 Wed

It just occured to me that "Manny" the Manager with his 10 year pin didn't make it to the end of the episode. Yet we find a new manager with a 5 year pin ending the episode.

A death signals a call to a replacement. Just like the Slayers.

5 years (seasons) is Buffy's "lifer" pin for Slayage.

Just an observation.

[> Re: Doublemeat "Lifer" (observations on DMP) -- CW, 06:29:33 01/31/02 Thu

Actually six years slayage counting Hemery High. But, Buffy gets the five-year-badge for service at the Sunnydale office. Yes, like you, I don't think the references to 'five' and 'lifer' were accidents. But I sincerely hope the ten was. I see in the newspaper that NBC is trying to renew that dead horse "Friends" for a 9th season. There is a time to give up and move on, and I don't want Buffy to blither off into absurdity to keep making money for people with no interest in what the show has been.

[> Re: Doublemeat "Lifer" (observations on DMP) -- maddog, 06:46:33 01/31/02 Thu

Makes sense though...you don't just hire anyone to be a manager. They probably brought in a capable person from one of the many DMP's all over CA. But a good observation overall. :)

The delight of uncertainty -- matching mole, 14:11:51 01/30/02 Wed

I must say that this is almost as much fun as actually watching the show. I have three days to go before watching DMP and do not wish to be heavily spoiled (i.e. badly enough to catch botulism). So I don't read any new messages unless I'm fairly sure that they don't contain any detailed information. I don't mind a little bit of spoiling (I have a tough digestive system) so I read the titles of all your posts. It's like trying to figure out what is inside a box by shaking it. The strong and contradictory opinions hinted at in your titles make the uncertainty all the more interesting. Thanks for the entertainment.

Of course the downside is that if I wasn't coming to this board I wouldn't be so impatient about the four day delay here in the great corn desert.

[> Re: The delight of uncertainty -- d'Herblay, 15:57:02 01/31/02 Thu

I have taken several spoiler-free sabbaticals from this board in the past, most notably during the week after most of the country watched "Bargaining." The worst thing about skipping the board is going back to read the archives and finding yourself mentioned (favorably, of course) in others' posts.

Luckily, none of that is going on during my current sabbatical, right?

[> [> mentioning d'Herblay -- matching mole, 21:25:32 01/31/02 Thu

"The worst thing about skipping the board is going back to read the archives and finding yourself mentioned (favorably, of course) in others' posts.

Luckily, none of that is going on during my current sabbatical, right?"

Hard for me to say as I've only read a handful of the posts since Tuesday. Surprisingly enough, you weren't featured in Nevermore's fan fiction that I looked at this morning.

I haven't said anything about you since suggesting you should be in the Oscar Wilde sketch. I'll save all further compliments until your return.

[> [> [> Other than some brief discussion about your love life? -- Sheri, 12:28:50 02/01/02 Fri

Current board | More January 2002