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February 2004

My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- Earl Allison, 06:48:35 01/29/04 Thu

This comes from a lower thread, where I'm not sure if my points are getting across or not. Hopefully, this will help.

Let me sum up;

Had Andrew and the Council taken the position that they created the problem, so they felt responsible for taking custody of Dana, I would have been fine with it. It would have been more in keeping with personal responsibilities, IMHO.

The problem was in the snipe that no one trusts Angel, because he works for/is Wolfram and Hart.

In other words, Angel's decision (regardless of reason or consequence) has made him untrustworthy, because he heads the LA branch of W&H, an evil organization.

Yet Buffy's decision to empower all Potentials, which resulted in Dana and Lord knows how many more like her, is being portrayed as an unequivocally good thing (regardless of reason or consequence). Buffy and the Council are the Good Guys here according to the portrayals last night. I am being asked to ignore Buffy's far more direct influence in Dana's rampage, the lack of action from Andrew's Slayers in apprehending Dana, and asked to consider Angel's behavior only. Coming from Andrew only made it worse, since I never respected the character before, and wasn't about to start now.

A few seasons ago, the Council was a Bad Thing. They mistreated Buffy, initiated the Cruciamentum, would have imprisoned or killed Baith (Buffy-in-Faith), and tried to get Buffy under their thumb during "Checkpoint."

Yet Buffy's council is happy to employ strongarm tactics by using Slayers as virtual mob-enforcers to carry out their edicts -- markedly similar to how the wetworks team came to take Faith in S3 and S4. But ANGEL is the bad, untrustworthy one, not Buffy, who in S7 became more like the Council than I think she acknowledged.

My problem is in, basically, the Pot tapping the Kettle on the shoulder and saying "by the way, you're black, you know."

Oh, and Dana is not and never was a monster. But that's for another time.

Take it and run.


[> Re: My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- Ultimate Fanboy, 07:39:51 01/29/04 Thu

Who's to say that Buffy and the Scoobs /didn't/ feel responsible for Dana and thus that's part of the reason why they collected her? I do not for one moment believe that Buffy would have intended it to be that the only reason they were collecting her was because Angel could not be trusted. Such would imply that had Angel not signed up with Wolfram & Hart, Buffy might have left Dana in Angel's care. I do not think this would be the case. I tend to look at it as the reasons why Dana was collected were because, first and foremost, she was a Slayer and belonged with other Slayers who could relate to her and, secondly, because they recognize they are responsible for her. In fact, don't you think that's largely why they're making the effort to go around the world and collect all the slayers? I think the implications with Angel is simple: they didn't trust them under Wolfram & Hart and rightly so. But as I've said, I do not think the fact that they no longer trust Angel explicity states they do not take full responsibility for Dana.

Also, I do not think it's fair to simply assume that Andrew had the twelve slayers at his command throughout his entire stay in Los Angelos. He could have left before them or they could have been in an entirely different part of the country at the time. Perhaps, even, all of the slayers who answer to Buffy are in Rome and it took them a while to get on the move and into LA? From what I garnered from the episode is that all of the Scoobies are around the world collecting slayers and Giles while training Andrew is collecting slayers in America. The only slayers Andrew and Giles would have immediate access to are the newest of recruits, who I cannot imagine as being battle-ready against Dana, herself, let alone Wolfram & Hart! So, Buffy could have dispatched twelve slayers to assist Andrew and he simply arrived there earlier because he was already in America.

Though I agree that Buffy made some crappy decisions in S7, I do not think it's fair to compare her with the Council. Buffy was at war, in the fullest sense of the word, with the First Evil, who was trying to destroy the entire Slayer Lineage and raise the Turo-Khan from the darkest pits of Hell. The Watchers' Coucil was on a permanent power trip free from sense who viewed the Slayer as a tool. Buffy saw the potentials as warriors, many of whom would meet their death at an early age like she accepted long ago. It's very much the difference between a hardened veteran of war leading a nation's army and a blue-blood prince of the upper-classes using his own people as expendable plastic soldiers.

Just my two pennies.

[> [> Dana is valuable -- King over the water, 09:37:27 01/29/04 Thu

Lets not forget that, due to her mental illness, Dana seems to have some (notice the word some) conscious access to memories that other slayer's can--literally-- only dream about. If she can be treated and helped, she might be able to provide lots of info that the Watcher's diaries only allude to.

Second point: Dana wasn't just in Angel's hands. She was in Wolfram & Hart's. They might be answering to Angel, but Angel trusts them so much that he's bloodtesting them weekly to make sure they're not eating humans. Are you really going to let W&H, and potentially the Senior Partners, have access to the--albeit rambling--memories of all the dead Slayers? And the weaknesses it might reveal?
Buffy's orders aren't just a mercy call. She's protecting herself and the Slayer Army she's creating.

As a caveat, Buffy and her Slayer Army can call themselves whatever they want--The Beatles, Josie and the Pussycats, The Watcher's Council--the fact is, the Watcher's Council of the Cruciamentum and Checkpoint is dead, blown up last year. Even if they call themselves Watcher's Whatever what they are is the Scooby Council.

And we're seeing something else. For 5 seasons, the opposition to evil Wolfram and Hart has been the Fang Gang. Now, the opposition are the Scoobs. We could potentially be seeing the set-up for the rest of Angel's run where we have to watch our heroes, The Fang Gang, face off against our heroes, The Scooby Gang. Where will we put our sympathies?

[> [> [> Re: Dana is valuable -- sarah, 05:37:29 02/01/04 Sun

I agree with you. Plus I am proud of the fact that as soon as Spike could leave W & H he did because he has worked with Buffy enough to know that no good can come from working with eveil and if the two gangs ever have to fight each other we know which side he will be on. Also W & H would have used Dana for their own reasons most likely to get rid of the slayers.

[> See my reply to Earl in the thread below, and... (Spoilers) -- CW, 07:47:52 01/29/04 Thu

It is very disturbing to think about what the mass promotion of potentials to slayers unleashed on the Earth. I have to disagree with Earl about Dana being a monster. She is, and is one very much on the order of what Angel and Spike had once been. Where as they lusted after blood, she lusts after peace of mind. To get it she indiscriminately slays, stakes and cuts off heads as her dreams tell her to. The fact it wasn't how her life should have turned out is not really even important any more. The real question is can she be cured short of putting her out of her misery? Locking her away somewhere would just be tormenting her in the same way even more.

What about all the rest of the 'bad' girls? Faith apparently was a decent enough person before she became a slayer, but she turned bad quickly enough even with people half way looking after her. What about the less the honest, less than caring girls who suddenly found themselves with all the physical power they'd ever dreamed of? It's as if Buffy created a new class of demon, no doubt one the slayers feel they have to deal with themselves. But, do they really have the sole right to do it?

[> [> New Class of Monster -- Irene, 08:22:10 01/29/04 Thu

If you think about it, that new class of monster was created when the Shadowmen began the Slayer line. I mean . . . judging from the actions of the WC's henchmen in episodes like "Consequences" and "Sanctuary", it's obvious that Faith wasn't the first rogue Slayer. How many other Slayers in the past had turned murderous? And how many other past Slayers had ended up insane like Dana?

[> [> [> New perspective on the WC -- Gyrus, 10:22:29 01/29/04 Thu

...judging from the actions of the WC's henchmen in episodes like "Consequences" and "Sanctuary", it's obvious that Faith wasn't the first rogue Slayer. How many other Slayers in the past had turned murderous? And how many other past Slayers had ended up insane like Dana?

Gives one a new perspective on the control-freakishness of the Council when it comes to Slayers. Buffy, at least, can sic 10 good Slayers on one bad one; the WC had only their normal, human selves. So maybe their insistence on having total control over the Slayer came partly from past experiences with Slayers who went bad, and the Council's desire to prevent that from happening again.

Not that this excuses the Council's often-deplorable behavior towards Slayers -- especially the Cruciamentum -- but it does put it in context.

[> [> Re: See my reply to Earl in the thread below, and... (Spoilers) -- skeeve, 10:21:33 01/29/04 Thu

Whether Dana is a monster depends on one's precise definition of monster.
More important than the precise definiton of a word is what to do about Dana.

Three things:
Keep her from hurting more people.
Keep her from being used to hurt more people.
Help her deal.

As noted elsewhere, Angel & Co. might have trouble with number 2.
The Slayers are probably better with number 3.

Helping her deal might include showing her pictures of her attacker, preferably of his autopsy.
If all else fails, a little graverobbing might be in order.
Dealing with the dreams is something for which having another Slayer around would be helpful.

[> [> [> Re: See my reply to Earl in the thread below, and... (Spoilers) -- DorianQ, 20:41:39 01/29/04 Thu

It depends on what resources that the new Council (that is what they are; the old Watcher's Council is as much gone as the Old Wolfram and Hart. They both may have all new employees, new leadership, and new policies, but I wouldn't trust either of them at this point) has in its power. Last time I checked, Dawn didn't turn into a trained psychologist and the last time EITHER Buffy or the Council tried to deal with an abnormal slayer (Faith) they ended up making the problem a lot worse than it was. And also think about Buffy's favorite method of problem solving as noted (off of the top of my head, there might be more references) in The Pack, Inca Mummy Girl, Killed by Death. I really don't think that more violence is what this woman needs. And don't forget Giles's method of dealing with possible evil (Ben and Spike).

Angel was the one who helped save Faith and probably is in the best position to help Dana as well. I think that W & H have competant and Good psychics and psychologists who could help Dana. Then she should be given a choice whether or not she wants to join up with the rest of the Slayers and the Council, like Faith did eventually.

But I do think Buffy was wrong to whisk Dana away at such a critical time when she would be best helped right where she was and use, and then raise the ire of Wolfram and Hart to get her. Even with an army of Slayers, I don't think they could survive a feud with them. Right now, Angel CAN take her, and if, as she thinks, Angel has gone evil and can't be trusted, then should be far more careful in matters dealing with them.

[> [> [> [> Not quite the same thing -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:06:28 01/29/04 Thu

With W&H, the Senior Partners are still at the top of the pyramid, there are plenty of employees left over from the evil regime, and their client base remains predominantly of immoral characters. With the new Watchers' Council, though, the only members left from the old Council are Buffy and Giles, and they were always the ones most likely to disagree with the Council's decisions.

Also, Giles killed Ben because to do otherwise would guarantee more people would die. He's not some guy who goes around willy-nilly offing people he deems evil. And, while I agree Buffy certainly isn't the best psychologist, she's got experience with the whole Slayer thing that Dana has. Besides, with the Scoobies' ranks expanded now, who's to say Buffy and Giles will even deal with Dana directly? Perhaps one of the new Slayers they've found is good at psychology, or perhaps they get Faith (who can sympathise with the psycho-Slayer thing) to do it.

[> [> [> [> Re: See my reply to Earl in the thread below, and... (Spoilers) -- skeeve, 09:18:11 01/30/04 Fri

The issue is not so much whether Buffy believes Angel but whether she is sure Angel is good and can have his will done.

Angel can't do much for Dana in person.
Angel looks too much like a man and Dana has major man issues.
Angel would have to rely on help.
Help might or might not help.

The other Slayers might be able to help her just by keeping her away from sharp objects and men until she calms down.
Being more durable than other humans, they wouldn't have to restrain her as much as would other humans.

Buffy might be in charge and capable of doing a real bad job of helping Dana, but Buffy also has this army of Slayers that is quite capable of telling her when she's doing a real bad job.

BTW was it made clear when Dana became a Slayer?
Is she evidence that potentials are still being called?

[> Organizations and individuals (Damage Spoilers) -- Ames, 08:40:32 01/29/04 Thu

I think AtS is starting to deal with the issue that individuals are not fully in control of organizations - an organization has its own existance and agenda independent of the individuals who make it up.

Buffy is right to suspect that W&H is not trustworthy, even if she still has confidence in Angel himself. But more than that, Buffy's organization of Slayers/Watchers is itself not fully under her control. We've seen before how the Council's agenda got kind of murky. It's happening again as the new organization takes on a life of its own. Buffy's organization may well clash with Angel's, even though the two of them remain close.

As long as Buffy and Angel were acting as individuals, or strong leaders of very small groups, they could take full responsibility for their actions. They were not corrupted by their own power because they could not distance themselves from the direct consequences of using it. But by the same token they were limited in what they could accomplish. Now they have extended the scope of their power by wielding it through larger organizations, but the insidious corruption has begun. They are no longer directly responsible for every action of their organizations, and they are distanced from the direct consequences of those actions. The agenda of the organization has begun to take control.

[> I'm with you, Earl... (Spoilers) -- HarryParachute, 10:31:38 01/29/04 Thu

...or maybe not. I perhaps go too far in condemning the action, but...

...I don't care how many times a learned man with an uppercrust British accent calls it "Brilliant" or how far you want to ride the sharing-feminine-power metaphor...activating demonic energy and preternatural strength in thousands of young people who are in that very awkward age between child and adult is an unfathomably dangerous move that can only end up in a lot of people getting hurt and killed. They're kids for chrissake, and frankly, I see little difference between that course of action and spontaneously slapping a machine gun into their hands.

I mean, really, did it even accomplish anything in "Chosen", save buying Spike the time to get the amulet up and running?


At any rate, I forgot how much it bugged me until I saw the trained-thugs of the next generation of the feminazi-youth movement step out of the shadows and mad-dog the Angel Patrol.

Looking at all of them, I can just imagine Andrew going door to door with an entourage and explaining to a newly activated Slayer's parents that, "NEWS FLASH! Your daughter's a Slayer of VampIRES. She belongs with us now".

Of course this is no doubt after she's broken her sibling's arms and put the kids who made fun of her at school in the hospital. Maybe they're glad to send their impressionable young child off to some sort of paramilitary secret cult across the ocean that's run by some old dude who used to work at a high-school and a college dropout.

At any rate, I'd give the By-Slayers-For-Slayers organization another few months before succumbing to internal strife. Buffy will find it's a bit harder to threaten, strong-arm, and bully her underlings into line when they're able to kick her ass if they've had enough of it...especially when the core group went through that when they weren't superpowered.

Of course, that's just if it were in any way a reality. I'm sure in the Whedonverse it'll be a fantastic success with lots of democratic world-saveage followed with ice-cream and pillowfights.

*rubs temples*

...Now I feel all icky.

[> [> You know what makes me feel icky? -- Pony, 10:51:02 01/29/04 Thu

The use of the word "feminazi" in a post full of Buffy-bashing.

But then I guess it is very threatening to have the status quo shaken. To trust that people would be able to use their own morality and the rules of society and not attack and intimidate those who are physiologically weaker? It would make one uneasy. Or, you know, a woman.

[> [> [> Interesting Reactions -- Irene, 11:04:52 01/29/04 Thu

It's interesting that fans have been wondering if the Fang Gang can withstand being corrupted by their employment at Wolfram & Hart - even when Spike has expressed such feelings. Yet, when Andrew revealed that Buffy harbored the same reservations about Angel & Co., her character is suddenly bashed.

Like I said - interesting.

[> [> [> [> Re: Interesting Reactions -- Ultimate Fanboy, 11:26:32 01/29/04 Thu

If we take the comics as canon, something must intervene and change the spell Willow cast, no?

[> [> [> [> [> Possible -- Irene, 15:10:14 01/29/04 Thu

It's possible that story has yet to be told. After all, the 21st century has only been in existence for . . . three or four years.

[> [> [> [> You know... -- Random, 17:29:24 01/30/04 Fri

...I've heard this implication of a "double standard" expressed by other posters -- Rina and Claudia spring to mind -- but perhaps it would behoove us to take into account that things aren't that simplistic

[> [> [> Yep, you caught me. -- HarryParachute, 11:20:52 01/29/04 Thu

Dagnabbit, I was SO hoping I could slowly start building a following to end Women's Sufferage over the next ten years. If only I not tipped my hand and shown showed more support to a strong independent woman like Miss Summers who insult their dead sisters-in-arms while still holding the shovel she buried them with.

...now look...

13 year old? Not. Kirshnamurti.

So if anyone wants to shake up a status quo, I'd prefer it's not twelve of them who can punch through walls and who take orders from a field commander who's a pathological liar, murderer, and inept trekkie.

Boy or Girl, at that age they're angst-ridden hormone bombs who don't even know who they are yet, much less fully-formed individuals or intellectuals who apply metaphysics and philosophical or ethical hermenuetics to a television show.

So call me crazy, or worse a misogynist, but I think at least a G.E.D. should be required before you make the important decision of pursuing a career in killing sentient creatures with your bare hands.

Thank you vvvvery much.

[> [> [> [> Kinda missed my point but you got to bash Buffy again! So win-win! -- Pony, 11:32:26 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Giving and Sharing! It's S7 all over again! -- HarryParachute, 11:38:23 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Absolutly no offense at all, but ... -- V Omega, 20:56:26 01/29/04 Thu

... your response sounded that you missed his point. I think what he was trying to say is that it was dangerous to randomly turn hundreds of adolescents (men OR women) into killing machines. As a metaphor for sharing power among fellow sisters, it was beautiful, but as a practical reality, it's horrifying. Buffy had to reform the patriarchal Council just to try and keep tabs of them and judging from this episode, she's even had to turn to less reputable sources (Angel) to handle her field operations and then hope that the threat of physical force is enough to get them to turn slayers over to her. Buffy is at least partly responsible for the deaths that occured in this episode. That has nothing to to with her being a woman or not. Had Angel, Xander, or Giles done that, the descision made in Chosen would still be just as wrong.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Absolutly no offense at all, but ... -- Dariel, 21:27:03 01/29/04 Thu

I doubt that Pony missed the point. It's just not a very good point. In Chosen, the First was about to send its supercharged vampires (and who knows what else) out to overrun the planet. Empowering the potential slayers wasn't some kind of whim (hey, cool, it's girl power!), but a last ditch effort to stop the First and its minions. No one said it was the perfect solution; just the best one at hand.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Absolutly no offense at all, but... -- DorianQ, 16:58:10 01/30/04 Fri

I guess it just struck me as causing way more problems than it solved, even the immediate one. The army definitly helped out keeping the Neanderthals off of Spike until the amulet was activated, but I could see one of Willow's barrier spells doing the same thing just as well. I think in one of the Season Five episodes, she even devised a spell that could release pure sunlight from a candle or something like that. I guess I'm just saying that there were other options left open to them and they did still have some time on their side. Buffy had just finished off the First's lead fighter and had received a very powerful new waepon to use. Buffy then decided that they should got the drop on them and in doing so, may have jumpped the gun to her own detriment. I know I'm playing Monday morning quaterback here, but the plan was really rushed and almost failed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But what if Buffy's forces had been wiped out at the Hellmouth? -- LonesomeSundown, 06:34:32 01/31/04 Sat

If the spell had not been cast, the FE would have won. Once the spell was cast there would be multiple slayers in every generation to carry on the good fight. Seems to me that the choice was a good one given that victory was not assured.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> A few disagreements -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:02:33 01/31/04 Sat

First, no one knew what the amulet might do; it was an X-Factor, and it's not good to base your entire plan upon an X-Factor.

Second, Willow said she was trying to create a sunlight spell in Season 5, but we never actually got to see it developed. Given that such a spell was never turned up or mentioned for two and a half years afterwards, I think we can assume Willow was simply unable to actually make the spell.

Third, part of this argument revolves around two factors we can only guess at: first, how many of the new Slayers are actively fighting evil; second, how many of them are using their power for selfish or evil purposes. I, personally, am working under the assumption that people are, by and large, good. As such, while I don't think all of the new Slayers will choose to become warriors for good (maybe as few as 10-20% will take this path), I think that the number which chooses to use their power to hurt others will be far smaller. Of course, this is all reliant upon a world view in which human beings tend to be good more often than not, which I realize not everyone agrees on.

[> [> Teenage girls, eh -- Pip, 11:19:54 01/29/04 Thu

Yeah, you're right. Give teenage girls energy and strength is just like slapping a machine gun into their hands. They should be sent back into the kitchen, where they'll only have access to lots of razor sharp knives ;-)

Yup, those new Slayers will get lots of their relatives and friends hurt and killed. Teenagers should not be allowed access to machine guns. Unless, of course, they're in the armed forces - which is the closest mundane thing to Buffy's new Slayer army.

I believe that the armed forces hand over machine guns to teenage girls all the time. They find that the overwhelming majority of the girls are remarkably responsible. ;-)

[> [> [> Re: Teenage girls, eh -- Ultimate Fanboy, 11:32:50 01/29/04 Thu

Except the Armed Forces doesn't express-mail machine guns to thousands of girls across the world indiscriminately.

There was probably a reason why TPB took up the task of /choosing/ -which- potential became the slayer and I suspect that reason is for sad, but inevitable cases like Dana. I'm sure when the slayer is /chosen/, the best is /chosen/.

[> [> [> [> Like Faith? -- Arethusa, 11:46:59 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Like Faith? -- Ultimate Fanboy, 12:03:18 01/29/04 Thu

Faith does nothing for the point of opposition.

Don't get me wrong. I do not agree with the ``dissenters`` who chide Buffy and her actions and motivations as revealed both by the previous seasons and in this episode. However, I do not think the Armed Forces/Slayer Line analogy is applicable.

But to directly address Faith and her wayward ways, one could argue that the reason Faith was /chosen/ as compared to those like Dana is for her present state. Of course, that's assuming there's a predestination aspect to the nature of the Buffyverse or, at the very least, a predictable factor to an inividual's life.

I don't think for one moment that The Powers That Be are as idiotic as most would make them out to be. I believe there's a logical reason as to why the Chosen Ones were /chosen/. I think there's a reason why Buffy was chosen and those reasons must lie in her character and her soul which could let the PTB glimpse into what a person can do and what a person could handle. Undoubtedly, we see people in our own lives who are amazingly strong and we admire them. Think what information on a person TPB could garnish with even m ore intimiate knowledge coupled with divination? The reason the last guardian of the Hellmouth was so powerful and so great was because she /was/ Buffy Summers.

Likewise, the same could be said of Faith, who despite her confusion and trip down the dark side, had a part of her character which made her suited to be a great champion. If not, she would never have been redeemed.

Just me two pennies.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Like Faith? -- Arethusa, 12:25:08 01/29/04 Thu

we don't know if TPTB Chose anyone. For all we know, it's an automatic process created by the Shadowmen. Also, is Faith a great champion? She has't really had the chance to become one yet, although that could easily change-or not. Don't her evil actions also say something about her character? I'm beginning to hate the word "Champion." They are all just people,, heroic and cowardly, strong and weak, self-sacrificing and selfish. Evil and Good are concepts, not people.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Evil Faith = win for good guys -- Athena, 17:37:37 01/29/04 Thu

It could be argued that if not for Faith turning evil the Scoobies and the Fang Gang might not be alive today. After all, she accidently slipped the Mayor's plan to Buffy and Angel. Later on, she brought out the Mayor's human weakness, which in turn allowed Buffy to lead him to into a trap.

I don't know how good the PTB are at predicting the future, but isn't it a possibility that they might have picked her for these reasons?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Evil Faith = win for good guys -- Arethusa, 17:58:46 01/29/04 Thu

I'm not sure the PTB are omnipotent, or that they even picked Faith at all, as I stated before. Jasmine wasn't omnipotent, or she would have eliminated Fred at the beginning.

If they had picked Faith in the expectation that she would inadvertantly help save the world, that meant they also expected her to kill the scientist, poison Angel, and batter or kill several others in LA.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Evil Faith = win for good guys -- Ultimate Fanboy, 18:03:08 01/29/04 Thu

Divination does not necessitate omnipotence nor omniscience. Perhaps they have powers or resources to powers similar to Lorne? It's all speculation, indeed, but I'm just keeping an open mind. I do not think it's any more productive to try to understand a storyline by inferring certain ideas and concepts than it is to simply be open to every possibility.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Evil Faith = win for good guys -- Arethusa, 18:55:11 01/29/04 Thu

Athena's suggestion was that TPTB were omniscent enough to be able to predict that Faith's actions would help save the world. My response was that TPTB didn't choose the slayer, as far as we know. The only slayer we actually saw chosen by someone/thing is the first slayer, and she was picked by the Shadowmen, not TPTB.

However, if appearences are deceiving and TPTB does indeed pick the slayer and knew what Faith was going to do, they also knew she would commit murder, assault, and poisoning. That implies TPTB condoned these acts, and are willing to let some die to save others.

Any analysis is possible, but I prefer to eliminate the least likely possibilities to more deeply examine the more likely possibilities.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Evil Faith = win for good guys -- Ultimate Fanboy, 00:44:24 01/30/04 Fri

How do you figure TPB have nothing to do with the selection of the Slayer?

If she's a force working under TPB, one would assume they have control over his lineage, no?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah, that's the question. -- Arethusa, 08:11:52 01/30/04 Fri

Is the slayer working under TPTB? Angel certainly was, but I don't think we can say for sure that Buffy is. IIRC, they never contacted her directly or intervened with slayers in any way, although I could be wrong.

Which reminds me of another question: Are TPTB divinities at all, or simply very powerful supernatural creatures? Do you remember a Star Trek episode where aliens set themselves up as the Greek Gods until their believers abandoned them?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Jossverse's type of god? -- Athena, 11:39:19 01/31/04 Sat

( ^_^ I remember that Star Trek episode. I was about five, if not younger when I first saw it. )

Maybe in Jossverse the western idea of god as an all powerful, all knowing being simply doesn't exist. Fanboy's mention of the gods and ancient Greece is an apt one. The Olympians were more like higher beings than fitting in with the notion of god that most of us grow up with. Not one of them was all knowing, powerful or seeing, even the creators of the universe Uranus and Gaia (Mother Earth) where unable to control all of their descendants.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ...I mean Arethusa's mention of the Greek gods. (N/T) -- Athena, 11:50:09 01/31/04 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Evil Faith = win for good guys -- Ultimate Fanboy, 18:05:54 01/29/04 Thu

Divination does not necessitate omnipotence nor omniscience. Perhaps they have powers or resources to powers similar to Lorne? It's all speculation, indeed, but I'm just keeping an open mind. I do not think it's any more productive to try to understand a storyline by inferring certain ideas and concepts than it is to simply be open to every possibility.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Jasmine -- Athena, 18:41:16 01/29/04 Thu

I agree with you, Arethusa, but keep in mind that Jasmine was able to put a bunch of things in motion with a very good idea of how they'd turn out. She is also evidence that there may be other Powers believe that "the ends justifies the means."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> PTB? -- Irene, 10:15:57 01/30/04 Fri

Many keep stating that the PTB are responsible for maintaining the Slayer. Didn't "Get It Done" and Andrew in this latest episode establish that the Shadowmen's magic was responsible for creating and continuing the Slayer line?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> They've done this sort of thing before -- Athena, 11:14:14 01/31/04 Sat

I understand and believe that as well, but the Shadowmen are long dead while their magic continues to work. Unless the magic has some self-sustained intelligence to it, it would seem that after a Slayer died that it would pick the next Slayer at random.

Let's assume Jasmine was telling the truth when she said that she organized for the debt that was owed to Darla in "The Trial" by the birth of Connor. If that is true, then is it unreasonable to think that on occasion another Power might organize for a particular girl to be Called?

Maybe Faith isn't someone the PTB picked. I can accept that, but for the most part it seems like they are up sittting on clouds. I think that if they interfere in a way that would be relatively subtle that they probably would. They did this with when Cordelia got Doyle's visions; after all, the Oracles mentioned something about them supplying Angel with another link to them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: They've done this sort of thing before -- sarah, 06:07:20 02/01/04 Sun

Qustion? Isn't Angel now cut off from the powers that be? Cab he ever get back to them if he wants too? Some choices that he made he he ever go back to being the Angel with a soul to do good after joining W & H? Remember Spike told them flat out that W & H was evil and got out of there as soon as he could. Who was the person that Wes. tried to burn their contract with W & H and if her contract can'y be burned can theirs not be burned also, and did they know of this before they agreed to the deal?

[> [> [> [> Re: Teenage girls, eh -- Irene, 15:13:26 01/29/04 Thu

[There was probably a reason why TPB took up the task of /choosing/ -which- potential became the slayer and I suspect that reason is for sad, but inevitable cases like Dana. I'm sure when the slayer is /chosen/, the best is /chosen/.]

TPTB had nothing to do with the Slayer line. The Shadowmen were the ones who created it. It was their magic that randomly chose which girls would become Slayers.

And wasn't it the Shadowmen's magic that insure only one Slayer would be chosen at a time? The question is . . . did they create that system for balance? Or to assume tight control over a Slayer?

[> [> [> [> [> Or because they only had the resources to create one -- Doug, 15:52:04 01/29/04 Thu

Caged demon essences aren't exactly available at every corner drugstore. The spell created a new form of being, it didn't limit something that was already there (this got shown in "Get it Done"). They may not have been able to cast it more than once. From my understanding all the potentials shared bloodline descent from the first slayer, and so carried the ability to carry the essence, so their weren't thousands of available hosts 7000 years ago.

The real question we should be asking is how the demon essence expanded from one slayer, to two slayers, to a thousand slayers. It's strength must be growing proportional to the available hosts. Am I the only one who's scared of the thought of a demonic essence, confined for millenia in the bodies of young girls, empowering their flesh to battle it's own kind, suddenly finding itself with it's power increasing that much? Some people have problems with the possible consequences of Willow's spell that have got nothing to do with gender politics.

[> [> [> Re: Teenage girls, eh -- Irene, 12:31:19 01/29/04 Thu

"Yeah, you're right. Give teenage girls energy and strength is just like slapping a machine gun into their hands. They should be sent back into the kitchen, where they'll only have access to lots of razor sharp knives ;-)"

How do we know that all of the new Slayers are teenagers?

And would you really trust a psychotic Slayer in the hands of Wolfram & Hart . . . even in an office headed by a souled vampire?

And to be quite frank - the old Watcher's Council, headed by adults - weren't that hot, either.

[> [> [> [> Re: Teenage girls, eh -- Pip, 14:26:58 01/29/04 Thu

How do we know that all of the new Slayers are teenagers?

Strictly, we don't. But both the Potentials and the girls in the 'Slayer rush' scene in Chosen looked teenage, ranging from just teenage to nearly twenty (Kennedy, who was worried that she was 'too old'.) The Chinese Slayer that Spike killed in FFL also looked like a teenager. The only Slayer we've seen who wasn't a teenager (apart from Buffy) was Nikki Wood, and we have no information on how long she had been a Slayer when she died. Personally, I think she could well have had Robin when she was already a Slayer - Buffy took summers off more than once [grin], so a few months maternity leave was probably survivable. [bigger grin]

Since Spike attributed Buffy's survival to the family and friends that connected her to life, it's plausible that Robin actually helped Nikki live longer than was usual for a Slayer.

And would you really trust a psychotic Slayer in the hands of Wolfram & Hart . . . even in an office headed by a souled vampire?

I wouldn't trust anyone in the hands of Wolfram and Hart. And I think the old Watcher's Council were probably best blown up - they'd reached the point of causing more harm than good.

Incidentally, I normally use the ;-) sign to convey that I'm being sarcastic/ironic. Is a different convention used on this board? My comments in the post above seem to have been taken at face value, which was not my intention.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Teenage girls, eh -- Irene, 10:43:06 01/30/04 Fri

[Strictly, we don't. But both the Potentials and the girls in the 'Slayer rush' scene in Chosen looked teenage, ranging from just teenage to nearly twenty (Kennedy, who was worried that she was 'too old'.) The Chinese Slayer that Spike killed in FFL also looked like a teenager. The only Slayer we've seen who wasn't a teenager (apart from Buffy) was Nikki Wood, and we have no information on how long she had been a Slayer when she died.]

But this is what I'm talking about. We don't know for certain that all of the Slayers are teenagers or that all of the past Slayers were teenagers.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Why is it important whether or not all the Slayers are teenagers? -- Pip, 14:25:22 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> not just teenagers, apparently -- celticross, 21:03:36 01/29/04 Thu

Dana is about 25, judging from the timeframe given in the episode, which says her family was killed 15 years ago, when she was 10.

[> [> [> [> Great. Now I have Jeriatric Slayer's in my mind... -- Majin Gojira, 08:07:29 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> I'm not. -- Arethusa, 12:16:36 01/29/04 Thu

All the slayers have been kids. No doubt, some of them have been bad people, but the power did't make them bad. Your extreme generalizations don't help your case,. Teenagers have held jobs, had children, been responsible or learned responsibility, fought in armies, even led them-including at least one teenage girl.

How many girls and women have been groped, hit, demeaned, insulted, injured, murdered just because they were't physically strong enough to fight back? Millions more than have abused their strength, I'll bet. Lethal power is available to millions of girls now, in the form of knives and guns. How many of them hurt or kill their siblings or others? Do you think that every boy who can kill with his hands should be hobbled-after all, they might break their siblings' limbs or kill too.

Regarding Buffy, you're overlooking the simple fact that she shared her power with these women. They are free to live their own lives if they want, never using their strength for anything more than opening a pickle jar. What they've really been given is the power of choice-the choice to not be a victim, not be weak, not be unable to protect themselves and others.

I just can't understand this. Would people feel the same way if the Potentials had become as strong as men and no stronger? Are men so very afraid of victimization that the idea of the other sex being much, much stronger than them makes them angry? If so, they now know what it's like to be a woman.

[> [> [> You said that much better than I did, thanks. -- Pony, 12:21:52 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> Thanks to you, too. -- Arethusa, 13:53:20 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- Ultimate Fanboy, 12:38:34 01/29/04 Thu

I support Buffy and her actions wholeheartedly and I'm entirely on her side in this regard. I see nothing wrong with her choices as relayed to us by this episode, however, I do think you're reading too much into another poster's statements in which he makes a valid point about responsibility and the ethics of creating superhumanly powered teens.

I know I and I'm sure this applies to everyone else could care less about the sex of the Slayer in this regard. The point would stand just as firmly if Slayers were male because the sex of the beings do not enter into the equation. Male or female, I can see the worry that some might have about giving such awesome pretenatural strength, agility, and reflex to adolescents who are prone to bouts of emotional instability. We have children in our nation who engage in excepionally illegal activities, who are sent to jail at a startling rate, and who die because of their lives of violence. Any one of them could be a slayer. How you can make such a worrisome issue into implications of sexism is beyod me.

[> [> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- Arethusa, 13:43:51 01/29/04 Thu

"Feminatzi." That's why I think part of the argument in question was affected by gender ideas/biases. You might not be old enough to remember, but I can remember many men in the late 60s and 70s saying that women shouldn't be allowed to work outside the home or serve in the military because menstruation made them emotionally unstable. Why, if a woman became president she could set off a nuclear warhead when she got PMS! So that argument hasn't been one of my favorites. If you deny power to a group because it might be abused by a few, no one would have power. Which might make the demon world happy, but not the rest of the population.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- Ultimate Fanboy, 18:34:33 01/29/04 Thu

I may not be old enough to remember? I was not even conceived of yet during those eras. :)

I was a raised by a strong woman and had always had a strong feminine presence in my life. Indeed, I could identify more with women than I could men due to my own inate character which is eerily echoed by Joss' own childhood and his own fascination with powerful women. If I were to quote Joss, himself, I could even apply it to myself when speaking of his childhood and the origins of his fascination with strong women:

"A lot of people thought I girl, but I was cool with it. I was... quite tiny and was just the guy no one took into account much. And that one, the person you might look at and dismiss, is going to be the person who saves the world."

This is where his love for Buffy comes from and it's where mine comes from as well as my fascination with Xena, Callisto, Gabrielle, and other such media icons!

In any matter, despite that odd tangent, I can certainly see the validity of the hesitation some of these individuals are expressing and these reservations, in my mind, have absolutely positively nothing to do with sex. Being an individual who is coming out of his awkward teenage years and finally becoming comfortable with the mantle of adulthood, I can tell you that though I would trust myself and others like me with such great power, there are a plethora of my peers that I would shudder to think of them possessing such amazing powers---girl or not.

Sure, there are many adolescents who, like Buffy, could share that burden and use it well. There are adolescents such as myself who had to learn to become an adult real quick because they had a family to keep together and a sick ssingle-mother to look after and there are some who simply possess an innate character compass and inner strength. Likewise, though, there are many of those, perhaps arguably especially in my generation, who lack such a strong character and self-realized ethos. Luckily, these teenagers are not given slayer powers in real life... they can simply buy guns.

Also, if I am wrong, I'm sure the poster who originally used the phrase will correct me, but I do not think he meant to utilize the term "feminazi" as a commentary on their sex so much as their actions. It wasn't the fact that they were young girls who were forcing older men to do what they wanted, but that they were, indeed, forcing others to do what they wanted with the threat of their brute strength. Of course, I am of the camp that this was a wonderful strategic move and one certainly necessary, but I am simply trying to diffuse an awesome conversation of unnecessary sexist implications and accusations.

[> [> [> [> [> [> 95% agreeing with you -- Maura, 18:57:31 01/29/04 Thu

I think you stated very well the concerns that I'd have about all those people with superpowers. I agree that the potential problem with Slayer/normal-human power inequality (looked at in a fairly literal light) is not about sex (at least not primarily).

I might only add that I think you and Arethusa are coming at this issue out of pretty different discourses. She's remembering a lot of deep-seated societal sexism she's encountered (directly or indirectly). You apparently haven't encountered quite the same cultural context, being younger and maybe being male as well (as I gather you are). That might well make her more sensitive to overtones of sexism that still occur in these discussions. And it's probably not a bad thing at all to be sensitive to those overtones.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- Arethusa, 21:20:36 01/29/04 Thu

Sex and power are irrevocably intertwined, since sex (gender) has been used as a reason to dole out or withhold power from half of the human race for millenia. Gender is power-the power elite always has been mostly masculine, based on the greater physical strength of men. Power divorced from gender is a very recent phenomenon, historically speaking.

I have no doubt that some slayers will be dangerous to the general populace, just as some gun owners will be dangerous to the general populace. But I cannot say that no young person should be given great power because some might abuse it. The Buffyverse depends on powerful young people to protect it, from witches to watchers to slayers. Some of them will go bad, as Giles and Willow and Faith did. They recovered, as Dana might recover, and are leading the good fight.

It is disingenious to say a word containing femi- is not about women and -natzi is not insulting.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- Ultimate Fanboy, 01:01:08 01/30/04 Fri

Indeed, I am far removed from the cultural view that many of you are, but if anything, I would think the generations who worked for equity would be happy about that.

I know that a lot of individuals, male or female, my age have a hard time understanding socio-political issues regarding sexism and racism because many of us are not as directly affected by them as your generations and those preceeding. I, like many of my generation, grew up not only learning, but whole-heartedly believing that all individuals are equal regardless of sex or race and so from our perspective, I do admit it's hard to understand the issue and where the individual is coming from. I did not work for the world which you have created, I simply enjoy its fruits, but like I said, I think that's a good thing.

In regards to the term again, I do not mean that it is not relevant to women or could be used offensively. However, I do not think that he meant it that way. I believe his use of the word in context of his post would point to it being rather benign without any sexist connotations. In other words, I thought it was meant to be analogous to "thug", but then again, the word might have more meaning than I understand.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- Arethusa, 08:04:48 01/30/04 Fri

I don't deserve any credit for any elimination of sexism. I haven't done anything but say what I think and feel. Sexism might be less overt than it used to be, but it's still alive and well, like racism. I'm glad your generation is less infused with it than mine.

I'm most concerned about the misuse of power in families. I once asked a criminal lawyer why men (and women!) get such very light sentences for abusing their children. He said that there's just too many of them to put them all in jail for a longer time. It's not over yet.

[> [> [> [> [> Metaphor Spoilers Damage; AtS 5; Buffy: Chosen, S6-7. -- Age, 19:55:40 01/29/04 Thu

I think the metaphorical aspect of slayer power is being overlooked also. As already mentioned, Buffy gave this new generation of young women the choice to be strong(and thereby wield power), or, more like it, the show as social reflection displayed the change in culture that affluence, education AND hard fought battles by women over the last century brought about. When Willow in 'Chosen' says that they changed the world, this change is not literal, but figurative, pertaining to our culture.

Neither slayers nor vampires exist in real life(sorry couldn't resist stating the obvious). There isn't now (and Whedon deliberately set 'Buffy' in the present day) a generation of women who will discover that they have superhuman strength, but there is actually a generation of young women that has grown up in a culture that does not deny them the chance to become strong either physically or emotionally(they no longer have to be weak dumb blonds who scream and faint). The slayer strength is simply an exageration and focus on what has been denied to women culturally, a denial symbolized by there having been only one slayer per generation. To be powerful for a woman (and again we are speaking within a certain culture)would be as if she were demonized, as was literally the first slayer. Willow's spell, a metaphor for a change in culture, transformed this demonization: women having strength isn't wrong anymore.(Because a bunch of men deemed it so(one slayer chosen) sometime in the past is simply another way of saying that a certain culture decided to treat men one way and women another. Note here that the other metaphor attached to the slayer, that of dealing with emotions, ie vampires, demons as emotions that take on a life of their own, is restricted therefore also, as a male culture does not give importance to what is judged to be feminine, leading to the hellmouth as symbol of repression of problem, emotion rather than dealing with it.)

As for power, it, like anything else, has its problems: season seven of 'Buffy' didn't happen before season six nearly saw the most powerful woman in the world destroy it. Joss Whedon made it quite clear that simply having power doesn't lead to a fairy tale world where all is well, but then isn't that what season five of 'Angel' is reiterating for us. Quite clearly simply having power isn't enough. The plot of 'Damage' shows this in the actions and reactions respectively of Dana's captor and Dana herself. (Although I might add that Dana's situation is a metaphorical reiteration of the isolation of women in a male culture; the shackling of women's ideas about their place in society and the torturing of their sense of self by a male culture, with Dana's reaction being not one of wanting power, but wanting not to be made (to think herself, ie culture) weak (ie just wants to be herself) as the constant references to the syringes imply and allude to perhaps the third season 'Buffy' episode where she was drugged. Even the male doctor's keeping Dana drugged(and therefore not truly helping her in order to write his book) reinforces the theme of women being kept down by a male authority. )

The point is, women now do enjoy a great deal more power in our society than they used to. The question is what do they do with it? And, yes, this is a universal question. What equally do men do with power? But, do women shy away from the use of power, and not, as Andrew and the slayers did in 'Damage,' be an authority based on wielding power, because quite frankly that would be naive. (It would be equally naive to think that effort isn't required to use power, rather than be ruled by it, but this brings in the other aspect of the choice to be strong: emotional strength.) If power exists then it's going to affect you one way or another. You have to take it into consideration. In other words, if you have two good arms, then you don't shy away from using them.

Which brings me to another point. Are we to read the amputation of Spike's forearms as a symbolic emasculation? Certainly Spike has been rendered powerless by drugs (metaphor for internalization of culture?); but Dana's desire isn't to have power over Spike, but to have power over herself by eliminating the threat of someone else attempting to have power over her. The answer to the question lies in the type of culture of course: if indeed males gain a sense of power through the subjugation of women then a powerful woman's action would probably lead to the perception of emasculation on the part of the males.

Anyway, whether we like it or not, teenage boys AND now girls discover that they do indeed have a degree of power: the world, to paraphrase Willow again, has been changed. Are we to see the Scoobies' roaming the world, seeking out fictional slayers, in a literal sense as the creation of a new army of inexperienced super teenagers, taking orders from a new young leader; or, more figuratively as a new generation of young adults taking responsibility for the effects of the change in our culture, helping to guide those who have never had power before in our culture (and isn't this what Dana was meant to symbolize in the extreme?), with the final confrontation of Andrew and the slayers in 'Damage' as a symbolic representation of the new generation of women choosing to be strong. I think the answer is the latter, but is not confined to it. Whedon wouldn't give up the chance to use a budding organization as that begun by the Scoobies to study its strengths and weaknesses, nor could the Scoobies be somehow immune to human foibles simply because they may be tied to a more feminist culture. If nothing else in both series, we have learned that the complexity of our lives requires constant work; there are no easy answers, no seemingly easy solutions like the one attached to becoming the CEO of Wolfram and Hart.

(As further evidence of a metaphorical reading, in 'Damage' Dana is first presented physically as if she were possessed by a demon, resembling somewhat Regan as possessed in 'The Exorcist.' In fact Spike mistakes the case as possession. But we learn that Dana is not possessed, not a demon, but an innocent victim. I would suggest that the possession motif is meant to represent what powerful women used to be judged as, and that an actual exorcism, not of a demon, but of culture, is being attempted by Dana herself.)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Metaphor Spoilers Damage; AtS 5; Buffy: Chosen, S6-7. -- Dariel, 21:10:55 01/29/04 Thu

Thanks for an enlightening post! Being rather literal-minded, I must rely on others to suss out the metaphors of the Buffyverse. I haven't seen your name in a long time, but I always enjoyed your wonderful posts.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Great post! [and good to see you back here] -- LittleBit, 21:12:55 01/29/04 Thu

I've felt that the metaphor of the shows has been getting lost in the detail of looking at the choices and events as things that could happen here, in this world, instead of seeing the symbolism.

Your post here has spelled out a number of things I have thought about in rather vague terms. Thank you for expressing them so well.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Seconding what Bit said-- and likewise, great to see you back, Age! -- OnM, 06:25:11 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Interesting metaphorical analysis! Some additional thoughts. -- shadowkat, 21:20:56 01/29/04 Thu

Coming out of lurkerdom to say hi. I missed you, Age.
Glad to see you're still out there.

Are we to see the Scoobies' roaming the world, seeking out fictional slayers, in a literal sense as the creation of a new army of inexperienced super teenagers, taking orders from a new young leader; or, more figuratively as a new generation of young adults taking responsibility for the effects of the change in our culture, helping to guide those who have never had power before in our culture (and isn't this what Dana was meant to symbolize in the extreme?), with the final confrontation of Andrew and the slayers in 'Damage' as a symbolic representation of the new generation of women choosing to be strong.

To take this analysis a step further - because you've just made me realize something I'd missed. Excuse the rambling - it's a bit of a brainstorm, so may not be as coherent as your post above.

In the confrontation scene - Angel is standing surrounded by men in combat uniforms, there are no women present. Fred took off in the ambulance with Spike. Note in Conviction, no women with Hauser's unit. So here's Angel, ordering the people around him -"I want armed men surrounding her at all times." Up pops Andrew, who is in some ways effeminate in his mannerisms. Girlish. Unlike Angel who is the polar opposite, very male and a solid unbreakable wall. Andrew is someone Angel can easily brush aside. But Andrew confronts him. When Angel challengs him, 12 girls step out. Why 12?
To match the same number of men surrounding Angel. Angel has 12 men in combat gear with guns. Andrew has 12 girls without combat gear nor guns. Remember Buffy never used guns. The image is reminiscent of the Initiative. Angel as Riley with his military troops. Buffy with the Scooby Gang.
Angel uses Buffy as his ace - implying, ex-girlfriend, she trusts me - in a way Angel always had a fatherly/protector relationship with Buffy, Buffy in some ways, from possibly Angel's perspective gave sway to his opinion. In Five By Five, Sanctuary - Buffy leaves town her tail between her legs. That episode was also about a rogue slayer. Now, Andrew looks Angel in the eye and states:"My orders came from Buffy. None of these girls slept with you..."
Interesting choice of words. When Wes - who in some ways metaphorically parallels Andrew (both had sissy/effeminate manners, both were looked at with distrust, both study to be watchers), asks Angel if he's just going to let them take her... Angel nods. Letting them go and place Dana in a matching black van to Angel's own.

Interesting. The last time I saw vans and this switch, was Lilah taking Billy, a misogynst demon from Angel and putting him in a van. She represented W&H. Now the wheels have turned. Angel has the power. And we are hit over the head with it again and again in this episode. Angel's power at W&H is very similar to Prof Walsh's at the Initiative.
He has technology. He can pinpoint a target with a satellite and take it out. Gunn mentions that they can launch a tactical assault. When they get Dana, five people, men, shoot her with tranq darts.

So Angel has joined the "corporate beast". A little girl used to be the conduit, now we have a male cat. And the little girl may be an evil manipulator. In the beginning of the episode - Angel is with his team and Gunn is telling him they might want to be careful with EVE, she may have more power than they realize. She may not be so easily taken out. That's when Harmony barges in to tell them about
Dana - the demon possession. They don't take Harm seriously at first and talk over her, finally she gets through. Fred is also barely listened to in this episode - the main strategists are Wes, Gunn, Lorne, and Angel. Andrew doesn't even use Fred's name - she's relegated to young skinny attractive female.

In the hospital - it is a female technician who screws up the meds. She gives the male manic-depressive thorazin and the female psychotic lithium. The male falls to the ground holding his arms in a fetal state. The female blasts the door in. The male doctor and his assistants try to take her out. She escapes and every victim without exception is a man. She attacks them only after they try to touch her.

1. Doctor - stretchs out syringe. She pulls off grate to go after him
2.Male Technician - in the hospital - reaches out to touch her, she swings chopping off his head
3. Male supermarket clerk - reaches out to touch her shoulder. She snaps his shoulder.
4. Male Cop holds a gun on her - she swings the knife
5. Doc worker stretches out a hand and touches her shoulder, she attacks him
6. Spike uses his hands to fight her and speaks with his hands holding them in front of him like weapons
7. Andrew uses a trang gun with his hands
8. In the flashes - Walter uses his hands to torture her, so she often just sees the hands, not the face, just the hands.
9. Angel uses his hands to throw Dana off Spike and she makes fists with hers to attack him, he holds her with his hands while his men tranq her.

(The slayer is known as the hand. The closed fist and open hand. Andrew's army has no weapons but their hands. Andrew himself is covered with weapons.)

Note, Dana does not attack any of these people, until they touch her or confront her in some way with their hands.

Makes sense she'd chop off the hands. Are they an image of emasculation - chopping them off? Or a symbol of power?
The closed fist, the open hand?

When the episode ends, the two vampires consider themselves and their victims and ask if Dana is redeemable. I think the question being asked is are they? The parallel here is interesting as well - Dana is turned into a monster by three groups: Walter (a man who gains power by torturing young girls - a reference to the demon Spike yells at when he first encounters Dana, ironic since of the two Spike is closer to that monster than Dana is.), The Doctor (who gains power by tranquilizing and studying the girl - sort of like W&H and the male watcher council with Buffy in Helpless), and Buffy & Willow (who do the opposite, they empower and make Dana far worse, far more dangerous, by sharing power, not lording over or using it to hurt - they both set her free/make her no longer weak, and give her the ability to become monsterous.) But as Spike states, he and Angel were also victims once - their deaths are engineered by women. Who both kill them and empower them, turning them into monsters. Darla and Dru respectively do to Angel and Spike somewhat the same things Walter/Dr/Buffy-Willow combined due to Dana. In both cases - it's women passing on the power, sharing it. How the power is used...that's another story.

Not sure if this adds anything to your analysis. Thanks again for posting. I missed reading your posts.



[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Awaking from a nightmare.... -- Rufus, 01:48:49 01/30/04 Fri

I see a progression through the episode where Dana starts as someone waking from a drug induced dream to wander through a wasteland to the end where her sisters find her and take her to a safe place. Her dreams of being a slayer mix with her memories of torture and she feels powerless and afraid acting out towards any male who threatens her in any way. Spike doesn't help this when he morphs into game face bringing the dreams and memories together in a confusing soup of reactions and emotions. When Angel holds her to be put down or to sleep he can only offer the same future that doctor did, the difference being Angel wouldn't write a book about it. The Doctor didn't offer a cure he offered an existance where things would never have changed. Angel tells Dana she is strong and at that last moment before a dart hits she understands that she is not just a girl in a basement to be messed with, she is in fact strong. If she had been left with Angel he would have resorted to what he would think would work and doomed Dana to a continuing hell. Instead, Andrew has brought her sisters to her to take her home. Someplace safe. Dana went with them because Angel didn't deserve the job of helping someone when he had so many problems himself to work through. Dana is taken from the wasteland where Angel is the head of and evil stronghold to a place where some healing may begin.

Now anyone saying that I must be nuts to think Dana can be saved should look at either favorite vampire and think the same of them. Neither Dana/Slayer or Angel, Spike/started as a monster and what happens now will depend how they end.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Insightful readings, Sk & Rufus! -- MaeveRigan, 08:00:03 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmm, a quibble here - consider Connor/Dru -- s'kat, 09:10:51 01/30/04 Fri

Now anyone saying that I must be nuts to think Dana can be saved should look at either favorite vampire and think the same of them. Neither Dana/Slayer or Angel, Spike/started as a monster and what happens now will depend how they end.

Ah, but you are comparing Dana to the wrong people here regarding saving. Spike and Angel aren't crazy. Someone did not systematically torture, drug and then empower them.

A far better comparison is two people you haven't mentioned and the series' writers have stated can't be redeemed or at least they haven't tried to:

1. Drusilla. Who is insane. She like Dana was systematically tortured by someone a lot like Walter Kindel.
This monster killed her family, killed her friends, then took her, raped and tortured her, then finally turned her into a monster to do the same to others. Dru - like Dana - is cursed with visions of future and past. She may not be a slayer, but she became a vampire. Drusilla is Dana's dark sister. If Dru got a soul? Do you think she'd have the chance that Spike, Angel or even Darla did?

2. Connor - likewise, Connor was taken and tortured by a man claiming to be his father, to a demon dimension as a baby. He was trained to kill without thinking or caring.
He came back and attempted to fit into the new world, but
his surrogate father returned and tricked him into believing his real father was a monster again. He tries again. This time the surrogate mother manipulates him and he helps bring forth a child, who he watchs give the great life to everyone but with a deadly price. Everyone but him.
By the time he has to kill the child, he's psychologically tramautized. He begins to see every man as the representation of his two fathers - Holtz/Angel who removed his family. Every family as being broken. He goes insane and wants to blow up a sporting goods store. Become the destroyer. The only way Angel can see of helping Connor is to wipe the slate clean, thus Angel takes W&H's bargain.

Dana is a comment on Connor and Drusilla. Angel's children.
So, the question you might want to be asking is not whether Spike and Angel can be redeemed - that's closer to Faith, but whether Connor and Drusilla could ever be redeemed?

Is it possible to redeem someone who is insane? In our world, Dana wouldn't go to prison for her crimes nor would she be executed - Spike and Angel and Faith would. She would be placed in a mental institution. Because she lacks the capacity to know the difference between right and wrong.
She is "insane". So the question is *not* whether she can be redeemed, so much as whether they can cure her so she can be able to some day reclaim her life. Is she a rabid
animal, who has lost all ability to be cured? Or someone who just had the wrong treatment?

It's an interesting question. How do you deal with the person who kills because they are insane?

Angel could help Faith, he was also to some extent able to help the woman in Untouched and Darla and even Spike, that's saving souls. But Connor, Dru, Dana, even Fred were tough cases for him. How do you handle insanity? And Angel himself admits to Spike - that they are the wrong people to try and help her - they are vampires, she's a slayer - everything in her tells her to kill them. She doesn't have the mental capacity to understand that they are now good or can be good vampires (heck some audience members don't completely understand this ;-) ). Placing her in a soulled vampire's care - is like placing her in the Doctor's or
a regretful Walter Kindel's. While it's a nice romantic fantasy that someone like Angel or Spike (monsters who'd done at one time the same crimes the human monster Kindel did) can help Dana, redeeming themselves in the process, it's not very realistic. How could Dana ever look at someone like Angel or Spike and not see nightmare images?
Any more than Connor could ever really look at Angel, after what Holtz did to him, and not see nightmare images?
Or Drusilla, for that matter?

There are some people we *ourselves* do not have the capacity to help - that does not mean they cannot be helped.
Nor does that mean they can be. What it means is we aren't the ones to do it. Someone else however is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm, a quibble here - consider Connor/Dru -- Rufus, 14:06:28 01/30/04 Fri

In watching the show I had to wonder just how insane Dana would be if she wasn't on constant Thorazine instead of getting some real therapy. My feeling is that Rabinaw was drugging the patient and keeping her in a state of limbo where she only had nightmares she couldn't fully undersand. Dr. Rabinaw wasn't interested in his patient getting well as much as he was interested in a top ten best seller at her expense.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hmmm, a quibble here - consider Connor/Dru -- Ann, 14:55:24 01/30/04 Fri

Every one has used Dana in some way. The doctor's abuse might have been the worst as he should have known better. Again it goes to ability and resources (psychological and otherwise). His treatment of her bothered me the most. He was the one person who was supposed to be helping her but kept her drugged. When a person is so vulnurable and their abuse continues, I think this is the greatest evil. I have issues with therapists (the/rapists) using their patients for their own gain. Whether it be for the reason Dana's doctor did, or for personal advancement and personal psychological healing, doctors have an obligation not to use their patients for their own gain.

Walter, not to be excused, probably couldn't help himself as he had issues. I can only assumed he learned that behavior somewhere! Vampires don't generally have a choice in their behavior. The doctor manipulated an innocent girl for his financial gain and for publications and for an increase in his reputation. Yuck!

I hope that Dana's handling, and that is what it will have to be, will not be continued by the new "leaders" in such a manipulative way. When someone is so vulnerable, so childlike in their fear, yet underneath has the strength to go on and take back the night, which Dana did, there is hope.

I feel the same about hope for Connor.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree - some more thoughts -- s'kat, 15:33:51 01/30/04 Fri

In watching the show I had to wonder just how insane Dana would be if she wasn't on constant Thorazine instead of getting some real therapy. My feeling is that Rabinaw was drugging the patient and keeping her in a state of limbo where she only had nightmares she couldn't fully undersand. Dr. Rabinaw wasn't interested in his patient getting well as much as he was interested in a top ten best seller at her expense.

I'd agree. (See my post in the thread about River/Dana - where I discuss different types of insanity for more details on this.)

I think what we see with Dana is the MPD (multiple personality disorder or disassociation) which is better treated with therapy as opposed to chemicals. Seems that she went into a catatonic state - sort of like asylum world Buffy in Normal Again, when she came out of it - they drugged her. Dr. Rabinawa makes the mistake lots of people do when attempting to treat insanity brought on by traumatic experiences - drugs. The problem isn't a chemical imbalance - it's the patient's inability to handle a horrible event.

Ironically enough - I think Spike may have actually helped Dana more by becoming her victim, than he or anyone else would have if they'd simply caught her and drugged her. Actually they helped each other in a very odd way. Spike by both pursuing Dana, vamping out, and finally, albeit involuntarily, having her turn the tables on him and turn him into her victim - provided her with the means to re-experience the trauma and take control over it. In counseling MPD patients, therapists will often set up a safe scenerio where the patient mentally re-experiences the trauma, except this round they mentally confront the torturer/abuser and take control. That's literally what happened in Damage. Through Spike -each one of Dana's personalities (the child, Nikki, the Chinese slayer, Dana herself) confronted her tormentor and turned the tables on him, by literally removing his hands - she not only demonstrated to him what he'd done to her, but she metaphorically and literally removed his ability to continue to do it. She ended the loop in her mind of her torturer continuing to touch her, over and over and over again. Likewise - the therapy - forced Spike to re-experience first hand what he did without thinking to his victims as a demon. It made him realize what that statment he makes to Buffy way back in fool for love means...and the consequences of the resulting trauma. Made him feel what happened to Nikki and Chinese Slayer. Feel it more than just guilt. (This episode reminds me a great deal of The Sonmabulist in S1 where Angel is forced to relive his crimes through a vampire who is recreating them and forced to deal head on with the monster he created - Damage is a slightly different take on this theme, just as Untouched was.) By doing this both Spike and Dana are released from the eternal loop...Spike is Dana's substitute for Walter Kindel. I think, and I could be wrong here, Giles may have a far easier time treating Dana than
Rabinawa or anyone else did, b/c she's confronted the thing that split her apart and made her insane. Now, perhaps the healing can begin.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Yeah, but most people can't butcher the entire asylum staff -- Doug, 16:59:01 01/30/04 Fri

When you are dealing with someone with that level of power containment and protection of others kinda take precedence. (same reasoning as why Buffy didn't let every vamp she met wander free and unrestrained, how many people are you willing to let die?) Let's face it; the doctor,though he may have been trying to write a book, would have done the same things even if he wasn't. Her therapy might have required her to be able to mutilate some random man, but trhe doctor had a duty to make sure that she couldn't hurt anyone. I don't know, maybe if the doctor had got some nice thick steel manacles and chained her to a wall then that would have been better, but I doubt it. More likely she would have torn through her own wrists trying to get free. Given the doctor had neither souled vamps or slayers working there as orderlies his options were extremly limited.

I honestly don't like the thought of doping someone up like that,actually to speak with absolute candor I loath the thought of it, but it was entirely likely that after the catatonia she'd been trapped in the nightmares for long enough that she was too dangerous to let her get free. To be perfectly honest this has been discussed on this board before: Is Buffy right to kill vampires based on the fact that they will harm the human population despite the chance that one might repent?. As I recall the consensus was that Buffy was justified; that, as distateful as many of us find the idea of vigilantism and the thought of killing something that has even a small likelihood of turning it's existence around and doing good, there weren't alot of other options. Did I miss a debate or 2 where this was contradicted? If so I apologize.

If not then I wonder: Exactly how many human lives are worth Dana's sanity? 5? 10? 100? 1? If to cure her Giles has to let her loose to maim and possibly kill one person, who may very well not possess Spike's vampiric nature and acompanying resilience and healing abilities, should he let her loose? Should the doctor have let her loose on the justification that murdering people might help her? I say no to both, but you're free to say yes (after all, slayers are better and more important than us mere mortals right?). Angel has facilities that could contain Dana without drugs, we are to believe that Buffy has somehow gained such facilities herself in the last 6 months (unlikely, but I'll play along). The doctor did not have such facilities, but he was asked to deal with something he wasn't supposed to have to deal with, and until she escaped no one was volunteering to take over.

In terms of general treatment I agree with you, but as I've had pointed out to me before; where the supernatural comes into things the normal rules just don't work.

I'm really sorry about the sarcasm but I've been on edge recently.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree, Great points made. -- DorianQ, 18:31:56 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, but most people can't butcher the entire asylum staff -- s'kat, 19:06:59 01/30/04 Fri

Oh don't misunderstand me, I think you'd have to use some type of drug to keep Dana contained. She's superstrong and as Angel found out, more than ready to tear him apart, regardless of what he said.

But you are forgetting something about Giles and the SG - they do have resources. Caleb didn't blow up everything, just the headquarters. Robeson was still alive and so is Wes' father Roger. Which leads me to believe there may have been others out there that Caleb didn't get. Also, remember Helpless (S3 BTVS)? In that episode Giles uses a drug that makes Buffy weak, it removes her superstrength and slayer powers. A far more effective drug than thorazine and possibly one that W&H nor the normal doctors have on hand.

While killing Dana makes sense if you can't contain her, they can contain her. And her actions? Not completely under her control. They weren't her choice. She was insane at the time. This is similar to triggered Spike last year - whom Buffy chose not to kill, even though he was incredibly dangerous. Why? She could contain him and it wasn't his choice. Same with Andrew - who she chose not to kill - why? Because he could and was willing to change. Same with Willow, an incredibly dangerous person - why? They found a way to pull her out of it.

Contrast this with the vampires rising from the grave. They don't have a moral compass. They aren't living creatures.
They are connected to evil. Their goal in life is to kill.
Yes, there are a few anomalies like Harmony. But most of them? Kill humans. Spread their plague. Make more. I can see why Buffy slayed them. The show is admittedly making this question a little murkier than it did before, but it is very different to let a vampire live and to let a girl who is traumatized live, particularly when you can give the girl the correct drug to weaken her strength and treat the illness. There's no cure for vampirism. It's not the same thing.

You didn't come across that sarcastic. So no worries.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Murkier and Murkier and the compass keeps spinning....;) -- Rufus, 01:21:11 01/31/04 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Not to worry Doug. -- Rufus, 01:19:58 01/31/04 Sat

I honestly don't like the thought of doping someone up like that,actually to speak with absolute candor I loath the thought of it, but it was entirely likely that after the catatonia she'd been trapped in the nightmares for long enough that she was too dangerous to let her get free.

I don't think she will be out patrolling next week with a gang of Slayers, I do think that in an atmosphere where she can begin to sort out who she is without Thorazine and someone with a top ten on their mind she just may have a chance of getting better. I'd rather see her with people with the power to control her tempered with the compassion to care about her unlike the treatment she has gotten so far. How many dead people is Dana worth? I don't know I'd have to go count up the bodies for Spike and Angel first. It's easy to sympathize with Angel and Spike because we don't see them killing innocent people in the here and now but is there a parallel between the killing of innocents by the insane or someone who is possessed by a demon and has no soul to help them understand the difference between right and wrong?

I'm not worried about the sarcasm I like the hard questions and they are easier to deal with when we are talking about the metaphorical as opposed to the real life in the flesh present now that would immediately change our perspective.

Oh if I've missed you joining the board welcome....:):):)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you for a fascinating post. Gives me lots to think about. -- Jane, 22:18:40 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Metaphor Spoilers Damage; AtS 5; Buffy: Chosen, S6-7. -- Rufus, 01:36:26 01/30/04 Fri

Are we to read the amputation of Spike's forearms as a symbolic emasculation?

To Dana the power of the hand harms, tortures, restrains. If you watch the end of the show and the confrontation with Angel, Dana begins to subtly change as she realizes she has power. When speaking with Spike she can only act towards him like she would her torturer and murderer of her family, and Spike's own words doesn't much change her attitude. She not only sees Spike through the eyes of the child who was tortured but the Slayers that Spike killed. Earlier in the show when Spike assumes that Dana is a demon he shows his own demon face bringing forth Dana's Slayer instincts. She can only see Spike in the worst way and he inadvertantly reinforces this talking about the Slayers he killed. Angel is the one to say he is there to help Dana, that she is strong. Is Dana still a monster like Spike saw her? Or is Spike wrong and the potential for the girl who was a victim will heal with other of her kind around to help?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Words Spoiler 'Damage' -- Age, 18:37:46 01/30/04 Fri

That's the problem with words, they tend to create a permanent identity when all is flux: is Dana a monster or are her acts monstrous? Still, throughout both series Whedon has made it clear that the attitude change signified by the death metaphor, losing a human soul and gaining a demon one, is so drastic that much effort, and the intervention of others, is required to change it. But, of course, Dana still has her human 'soul.' Her horrendous experiences will stay with her for the rest of her life. How she assimilates them will depend on what help she receives. How will she direct her anger? How will she reconnect with others?


[> [> [> [> [> [> excellent post, age. -- lynx, 01:42:07 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> All excellent posts!! -- Ann, 04:27:19 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Metaphor Spoilers Damage; AtS 5; Buffy: Chosen, S6-7. -- Rahael, 07:19:30 01/30/04 Fri

Hey! Age!

I have problems with this ep (not about slayer power - I agree with you absolutely re metaphors).

I have problems with the characterization of Dana (I'm going by other people's reactions here, both negative and positive). Yours so far is the interpretation I find most easeful, and meaningful and non distressing.

Thanks for that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Victims -- Arethusa, 08:42:00 01/30/04 Fri

Dana is raw power, like the First Slayer, like W&H, her humanity stripped away, as perhaps AI's humanity is being stripped away. She draws lines down her face like the FS, battle paint, the dreams and nightmares of past slayers churning through her head. But Buffy's in there too. Dana's memories of her parents' love and her visions of slayers' love and sacrifices might help her recover. As you say, power isn't enough.

Dana is also the embodiment of Angel's self-image, that of a victim; hence the conversation between Angel and Spike at the end of the episode. We were victims too, once upon a time, they say. When Spike is victimized he is finally able to feel and understand the larger consequences of his evil deeds. (As Andrew was forced to feel his crime by Buffy, which is no doubt why he led the slayers and not someone who was more than 85% manly.) Because Spike is able to acknowledge his crimes, Angel is able to share his guilt and regret, and perhaps put it in perspective, something they can't do with anyone else for fear of being thought callous.

Misuse of power-using and refusing it-created an endless chain of victims. Under the surface, as always, is Connor, kidnapped and abused by a madman who had been victimized himself by Angel, who had been victimizedby Darla, who had been victimized by society and used by the Master, who probably also had been an innocent human being at one time. If anyone needs to know why they should be concerned with the welfare of all mankind, surely the ever-ending chain of victimization should point out why.

Wonderful post, Age. Thanks.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> 'never-ending chain' not 'ever-ending' -- Arethusa, 08:43:18 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Victims -- Irene, 12:19:05 01/30/04 Fri

"Dana is raw power, like the First Slayer, like W&H, her humanity stripped away, as perhaps AI's humanity is being stripped away."

I don't know if this is a fair comparison of Dana and the First Slayer. None of us really know what the First Slayer was like as a character.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> First Slayer -- Arethusa, 12:31:29 01/30/04 Fri

Based on what we've seen of the First Slayer, I think that the infusion of demon power overcame or subjegated her humanity. She's the hunt, the kill. She seems isolated and wild, and does not or cannot speak for herself. (There are may excellent posts in the archives that discuss the first slayer.) I'd quote Restless and Intervention, but I have to run!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: First Slayer -- Irene, 13:03:25 01/30/04 Fri

"Based on what we've seen of the First Slayer, I think that the infusion of demon power overcame or subjegated her humanity. She's the hunt, the kill. She seems isolated and wild, and does not or cannot speak for herself."

I still find it difficult to accept this, due to the fact that we are viewing the First Slayer from Buffy's eyes. What we saw in "Restless" was Buffy's view of whom the First Slayer was. Until ME gives us the opportunity to view the First Slayer from her eyes, I don't think I can accept any opinion of what she was like.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fair enough. -- Arethusa, 13:44:28 01/30/04 Fri

It's very true that we can learn more about people from seeing many points of view, but remember that we also have the slayer's on words about herself in the two episodes I mentioned. Also, people's views of themselves can be as distorted as others' views of them, as Skip said to Cordy. (Not that I trust Skip, the rotter.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Joss's opening story to 'Tales of the Slayers' (comic strip, not prose) sheds light on the FS -- KdS, 04:10:29 01/31/04 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Victims Spoilers 'Damage'; 'Soul Purpose'; AtS S4; Buffy S4,7. -- Age, 16:59:08 01/30/04 Fri

Yes, I got the same impression, very much the first slayer, all the raw aggressive energy that little good girls never were supposed to have but of course always did; (the way her lines were spoken at times also reminded me of the first slayer: not being weak replacing the first slayer's no friends.)

The chain of victimization is one of the reasons why Whedon concentrates so much on the need to grow up, for there to be adults to look after the next generation. To grow up, to work at remaining human rather than staying as perpetual teenagers like the vampires is necessary because adult-children instead of seeking to give to the next generation of children will, in their childish perceived role as permanent dependents, expect to be nurtured by the next generation, with the parasitic nourishment symbolized obviously in life's blood to vampire. To quote seventh season 'Buffy': it's all connected.

Yes, I was thinking the same thing about Dana and Angel. It can't be just a coincidence that last week Angel had to be rescued from his nightmares, waking up from/to them with a renewed sense of his own condition, and in this week we have a young woman waking up from/to her nightmares, especially we are given the impression that Angel is thinking that coming to Wolfram and Hart was a mistake. Still, like Dana he's not out of the woods yet: he still felt that he could bring her to Wolfram and Hart for treatment(?!) And, it may be that Dana's path away from Wolfram and Hart and towards a family of sisters is an indication of where Angel should be proceeding, seeing as the members of the Fang Gang no longer seem to be family, but co-workers. Still, what would be the cost? What of Connor?

An intriguing contrast at the end of the episode is made between Spike who is carted off to Wolfram and Hart to have limbs reassembled, with a mention of cadavres(obvious symbol of death) by Fred; and Dana who is taken to the slayers to further her healing process. In a strictly physical sense Wolfram and Hart can put people back together, but what about the person herself? Note: this reiterates the meaning behind the juxtaposition of Angel's statement about doubt in coming to Wolfram and Hart with Gunn's positive outlook:


Look, I know our move to Wolfram and Hart hasn't
been all flowers and candy, but we've been able to
do some serious good while we're here: lives saved,
disasters averted, with all our fingers and souls
still attached. End of the day, I'm thinking we made
the right choice.

[Cut to Angel]


Maybe we made a mistake coming here.


Well, at least all their fingers still attached...uh, re-attached when necessary.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Regarding attachments (Spoilers 'Damage', Dead EndAtS S2). -- s'kat, 18:54:03 01/30/04 Fri

An intriguing contrast at the end of the episode is made between Spike who is carted off to Wolfram and Hart to have limbs reassembled, with a mention of cadavres(obvious symbol of death) by Fred; and Dana who is taken to the slayers to further her healing process. In a strictly physical sense Wolfram and Hart can put people back together, but what about the person herself?

This reminds me of what happened with another character, Lindsey in Season 2. Angel chops off Lindsey's hand while fighting over the reanimation of whatever is in the box in To Shanshue in La. Later after putting up with a fake hand and getting it shattered by Angel, W&H finally give Lindsey a new hand courtesy of dark demonic shamans and well a body part dept. The hand is telling Lindsey to kill. But not to kill others - it wants Lindsey to kill the human being that W&H is keeping alive in order to supply body parts. Discovering what W&H is doing is the final straw - Lindsey decides to cut his ties with W&H and leaves town using the hand to get W&H to let him go. The hand instead of turning Lindsey evil in this episode, or turning him into a puppet, sets him free. But W&H was the group that reattached it.

Same thing with Spike - W&H re-attaches Spike's hands. But Spike stares down at them wondering if there's hope for the rest of him, for his soul. He also seems to come to an odd epiphany about being a victim by becoming one himself, again.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Victims Spoilers 'Damage'; 'Soul Purpose'; AtS S4; Buffy S4,7. -- Rufus, 01:29:19 01/31/04 Sat

Still, like Dana he's not out of the woods yet: he still felt that he could bring her to Wolfram and Hart for treatment(?!)

I think that Angel figures that as long as he is at Wolfram and Hart he is in control.....but as we saw in the beginning of the episode if he can't fire Eve is he really in control? I that question is troubling him...even more so at the end when Andrew tells him that he's fooling himself. His problem is the mindwipe of his friends and how to quit someplace that has interesting severance packages...;)

I'd say the time to question where the hell you're hanging your hat is when an employee says...

Knox: Hey, no. We've contained more plagues than we've ever designed. I'm not all about destruction here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Victims & power -- Rahael, 03:19:28 01/31/04 Sat

I agree with you Arethusa, but it only tells one little part of the story, at least in the world that I see. Victims may create victims, but sometimes it's just the 'powerful', creating victim, after victim, after victim after victim.

These victims don't necessarily *ever* hurt other people.

I've known many people who have been tortured. Not ONE of them has ever hurt anyone else. In any way. They withdraw into themselves. they become broken. And yet, they still remain capable of great depths of sensitivity, humanity and generosity.

More so than many people who have been 'victimised'. Focusing only on the desperate and sad takes our gaze form those who can distance themselves from hte pain and destruction they cause. Who themselves never suffer. Who never are called to account.

These 'victims' remain great human beings, doing great things, and *yet* that doesn' stop injustice in the world.

I have seen comments about how those who are trespassed against should not trespass against others. I agree. But no one points out that the vast majority of people who are damaged would not ever do it to anyone else. Because they know how terrible it is. I think these are the most sane, most powerful people around, and sometimes I feel sad that I have to say it so constantly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree, good point. (Spoilers Firefly Objects in Space) -- s'kat, 08:54:38 01/31/04 Sat

But no one points out that the vast majority of people who are damaged would not ever do it to anyone else. Because they know how terrible it is. I think these are the most sane, most powerful people around, and sometimes I feel sad that I have to say it so constantly.

This is a very good point and you're right is not emphasized enough. We have a tendency to make generalizations about why people do the things they do.
Oh - they did this because they were abused. Forgetting that 85% of those who are abused, tortured or victimized do not engage in acts of torture themselves - they become a well-adjusted human beings who work to help others. Most of the people I've known in my life who have had horrendous experiences went on to do wonderful things and did not use being a victim as an excuse to become monsterous themselves.

This leads me to believe the 10%, or whatever small percentage we wish to give, who do use the horrible torture, rape, etc they endured to excuse monsterous acts of their own - have something else going on. The torture etc may have just opened up that tendency in them or they may have done it anyway.

Then there's the torturers, rapists, abusers, murderers out there who really were never abused. John Steinbeck does a very good job of exploring someone like this in his book East of Eden. Whedon actually explores it in Objects in Space with the character of Early. In Movies? I've seen it done twice with Owen Wilson in the Minus Man, and Michael Rooker in Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer. Not all serial killers and torturers and murderers were abused or victimized. The reasons why some human beings prey on other human beings is something I'm not sure we can begin to understand. We keep trying...but for every generalization or rational we pinpoint - someone finds an exception.

What is it that turns one person into a killer and another into someone who helps others (I want to say saint, but don't like the religious connotation). Why do William and Liam become two of the worst vamps in history - legends, while Harmony has barely killed a soul. Why did Faith kill people, while Buffy saved them? And should that have been taken into consideration when Buffy shared her power with faceless unknown girls? I don't know. Whedon in his commentary on Objects in Space - explores this through River and Early - two people who lack something in their human makeup, yet...River remains good while Early enjoys inflicting pain.

It's such a tough thing to figure out. But I think the reason we have stories like Objects in Space or the episodes in BTVS and ATS is we desire to, because maybe then, we can find a way of preventing these acts of violence against each other - if only, if only we can understand the reason or cause of them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree, good point. (Spoilers Firefly Objects in Space) -- Arethusa, 09:29:30 01/31/04 Sat

This is something I'm almost to close to to discuss.

I never forget those who suffered for years yet didn't let it twist or crush them. How could I-I'm one of them. Yet it feels very prentetious to talk about why I turned out okay, graduated from college, kept my sanity and sense of humor and even love of humanity (at least in the abstract!). Others didn't-they became addicts, prostitutes, just messed up people who contiue to hurt themselves and hurt others. I know a lot of people who followed that path.

Is it something inside of me? Am I special, different? I don't really think so. But I became stronger and a better person, more compassionate and understanding, and have a fairly successful life. (Do you see why I don't talk about this, lol?) Am I just lucky? That's pretty ironic if true.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Destructive/self destructive people -- Rahael, 11:22:15 01/31/04 Sat

I've seen many of those people, and yes, they've had troubled lives/pasts. I don't put them on the level of those people who've willingly and terrifyingly wrecked the lives of countless people.

I can see that I'm not that different from those who might be destructive/ or self-destructive to the people around me. We all have that capacity, in small ways. When I was young, I truanted from school every day. As often as I could. I could see very clearly that I could just throw my life away, and cause immense pain and sadness to the people who cared about me. Something extra kept me going - the love of the people around me. I feel sad for those who don't have the gifts that I got. That is why I feel fortunate. But the welter of poverty and sadness and pain some live is, I would argue qualitatively different from people who commit what I consider to be geniunely evil acts, with forethought and cold purpose.

I can see that this could be a controversial view though, especially if one has had to live with those who carelessly and clumsily go around life causing hurt (I've had to walk away from troubled friends who in the end, cost me too much).

I can see the effect of trauma in little ways in the people around me. But I can see the great beauty as well as the scars. It's one of the things I get misty eyed about nearly every day. It's what gave me hope to go on. It's the ultimate redemption story - rising above humiliation and degredation to grasp one's humanity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Destructive/self destructive people -- Arethusa, 12:30:19 01/31/04 Sat

Yes, the people who destroy others for personal gain are on a different level. I don't think that's controversial at all; they know better and do it anyway. Half the people I talk to don't think it's a big deal, so what if people use others to get what they want? That's just incomprehensible to me. It's sickening to see my nation (amoung others, of course) worship and emulate the rich and powerful, many (if not most) who made their fortune by squeezing the life blood of the populace. They're the real vampires.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Destructive/self destructive people -- sdev, 13:40:15 01/31/04 Sat

I think the age of the abuse victim is very significant in terms of what kind of person they may later become. The younger the worse off they may be.

In seeing Dana it was obvious to me that the possibility of choice was just not there. I can in no way blame her for her weakness. She never had a chance to make choices. She appeared practically programmed for destruction in the throes of her delusions.

That in no way denigrates or overlooks the accomplishments of those heroic individuals who have struggled and overcome their pasts. But one must start from a place of cognition. I do believe there is a middle group who makes choices in both directions, but Dana was outside of that group.

Honestly I have no idea what the difference is between a Dana and the people you are describing who get to make choices. Not to avoid the concept of personal responsibility, but in the far gone cases such as Dana genetics becomes a strong likelihood, some type of predisposition to psychosis. Sometimes mental ilness is as real and unavoidable as diabetes or leukemia.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Destructive/self destructive people -- Jane, 16:25:58 01/31/04 Sat

What is it that allows one person to rise above horrendous tragedy and remain a functioning human being, while another crumbles under similar pressures? I find this a fascinating subject, one to which I have no answer. I often suspect that there is some genetic marker for coping. In my work with the critically ill, I see some families come apart under the pressure, while others become stronger and more closely knit. What enables some to grow through pain and trauma must be a combination of many factors, one of which I think is an innate ability to deal effectively with stress. I'm no expert, but years of working in an Intensive Care Unit have put me in a position to make a somewhat educated guess.
This is a very interesting discussion. Thanks to all for it. To bring it back to Dana, I think her chances of healing are much better under the care of the Watchers/Slayers than it would be at W&H. Surrounding her with men in black armed to the teeth would only feed her disconnect and paranoia, since she relates to men as the instruments of her torture. I would hope that the new Watchers would have access to people such as the Devon Coven who could help her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Excellent post, Age. Welcome back--we've missed you. -- cjl, 11:23:41 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> Re: I'm not. -- phoenix, 12:44:09 01/29/04 Thu

*Stands up and cheers* I'm glad you said that Arethusa.

[> [> [> [> Thank you. -- Arethusa, 13:46:09 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> Cheering along with you. Well said, Arethusa. -- Jane, 14:53:09 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> [> I agree completely and wholeheartedly. -- Plin, 04:58:29 01/30/04 Fri

[> [> [> If Buffy were really about equality... -- Seven, 13:02:42 01/30/04 Fri

She would have had another idea. For the reasons of the show (being figuratively about, to coin a phrase, "girl power,") Joss had Buffy empower many, many girls. But wouldn't a better solution have been to empower all people? Let's forget about the limitations of Willow's power. I have seen here on the board a gender war brewing. I am not going to get wrapped up in it. (yeah, right) But seriously, if Willow was able to do what she did, it is concievable that with time, she could figure out how to empower all people with the slayer power. Then everyone would be on an equal footing. Since emotions seem to be so high right now, I imagine that many of the male posters are saying, "Yeah, how 'bout that?" And that some of the female posters are thinking, "No, it's about female empowerment."


The point is we are getting caught up in an argument that is inconsequential. The argument should not be whether what was done was wrong or right or feminist or not, the fact is Buffy did this as last ditch effort to fight the first. If there were thousands of ubervamps running around, we would be better off with thousands of slayers.The problem is, there are no thousands of ubervamps. There likely aren't any. So now the world is left with a small percentage of the population being gifted with super-powers who have no "Calling" , no "Duty" . There are hundreds of girls to fight the forces of darkness, Why should every girl have to? Won't many of them jsut say screw this and rob a liquer store? Won't some become "Vigalantes" in the city (a la Spike/Angel/Batman/Buffy)

Was buffy justified in empowering these girls? Yes

Did it also cause a problem? Yes.

Is Buffy dealing with that problem? Yes.

Was angel justified in taking over W&H? Yes

Did this cause problems? Yes

IS Angel dealing with those problems? Yes at least he is starting to (eve)

i think the fact that this whole deal was brought up is a testament to ME. Buffy's choice has consequences just like Angel's does. The parralell is amazing and great.

Angel -- the series is about living with the choices one has made. This season is a clear testament to that. Buffy's decision is a parralell to that and was used briliantly.

Can we just drop the gender fued?


[> [> [> [> Re: If Buffy were really about equality... -- Irene, 13:22:16 01/30/04 Fri

"She would have had another idea. For the reasons of the show (being figuratively about, to coin a phrase, "girl power,") Joss had Buffy empower many, many girls. But wouldn't a better solution have been to empower all people?"

The spell only worked for those who were born as Potential Slayers.

"Was angel justified in taking over W&H? Yes"

I don't think so. I'm still horrified by his actions in "Home".

[> [> [> [> [> Re: If Buffy were really about equality... -- Seven, 15:30:36 01/30/04 Fri

I realize that the spell only worked for potentials who were all girls. I was stating that given time, the spell could be reworked to include everyone. Also, isn't what Buffy did the same thing that the Shadowmen did? Putting a demon spirit into an unwanting/unknowing girl/s?

Also, I didn't say that Angel's decision was the right one, only that it was justified considering the situation. Many people, it seems, have been disgusted by Buffy's decision as well.

What seems like a good idea or even is a good idea can (sometime) later come back to haunt you.

That is what the show is about

[> [> [> [> [> [> Spell -- Irene, 15:51:20 01/30/04 Fri

"Also, isn't what Buffy did the same thing that the Shadowmen did? Putting a demon spirit into an unwanting/unknowing girl/s?"

I don't think so. I believe that what Buffy and Willow did was activated the demon spirit that was already laying dormant in the girls. Remember - all Slayers are basically born as Potentials.

[> [> [> [> for equality...Spoilers: Angel and Buffy to present. -- Age, 18:22:28 01/31/04 Sat

I disagree to some extent.

Firstly, I think that giving all the potentials the ability to choose to be strong, reflecting a cultural change, is meant to be interpreted as giving women equality with men. It's that slayer power is an exagerated metaphor for the strength that women have always possessed but were denied in a male dominated culture, just as the vampire metaphor is a dramatic exageration representing arrested development. It's a matter of focus, with both series being set precisely in the present to reflect the cultural change that our society has undergone due to the women's movement, a movement symbolized at the beginning of 'Buffy' by the single mum and daughter moving to the suburbs. I think that this focus on women means that we are to assume that men already have the cultural permission to be strong; hence, the exagerated strength of the slayer highlighting for women that which men already enjoy.

Secondly, as slayers are supernatural metaphors, I think we have to ascribe to their being only women a certain symbolic significance: with only one slayer chosen each generation, one could say that she has represented the empowered feminine in both women AND men that was marginalized in a male dominated society. Giving all the potentials the ability to be strong is a metaphor for the recent more universal empowerment of the feminine in our society: equality works both ways, allowing the traditionally masculine in women and the feminine in men. However, that doesn't mean that everyone can be strong, the episode 'Potential' made this clear. But, the spell in 'Chosen' was meant to symbolize the removal of the culture disallowing those women who want and can be strong from doing so.

Thirdly, I think we have to see the new slayers in an evolving manner. Buffy changed the rules. This means that the rules can be changed even more in later generations with the influence of the new slayers. What if Willow's spell fades or gets altered in later years as the number of vampires and demons diminishes? What if the thematic movement is towards a symbol of equality between the sexes as the slayers and demons fade out(assuming of course that the demons and vampires represent those who have given into the more traditionally male cultured approach to relationships, ie that of power)? Or, what if the symbol of equality is the introduction of male slayers as females allowed to embrace power in fact do so, resulting in more becoming as if demons or vampires?

Fourthly, given the metaphorical nature of both series, in the likelihood that a slayer does not embrace her duty, and uses her strength for a self centred and harmful purpose, the metaphor would also change: she would become a demon or a vampire. She would necessarily, as the metaphor structure of the shows demands, lose her human 'soul' and get a demon one, assuming that the selfish act is not just a mistake, but signifies a more fundamental attitude change.

Fifthly, what if the super strength of the new slayers has another metaphorical meaning. We have only just emerged from a male dominated culture. What if the age of the new slayers symbolizes the youth of the new culture, with many aspects of the old culture still in place. What if the super strength of the new slayers is meant to represent what women making their way in the world feel they have to be to overcome some of the boundaries that may still be in place?

Sixthly, I think your posting like others I have read recently highlights the problem that we face in analyzing these series: how much of this can we take literally and how much do we fall back on metaphor? I don't think Whedon and his writers would want us to limit ourselves to one or the other as I don't think they do; rather, they try as much as possible to use both. In this light I think your comment about Buffy's decision to make all the potentials slayers is well worth merit. Metaphorically, this is about the empowered feminine, but it's possible that Whedon anticipated an objection to having just women gain super strength, and so he had it done literally as a last ditch effort by Buffy. That's it's literal excuse, and allows both the metaphorical reading and the literal opportunity to study themes of responsibility, organizations, consequences as your comment about the parallel to Angel suggests.

Seventhly, as a male poster I welcome the focus on women having strength because it highlights for me how I may equally embrace in myself the traditionally feminine which had been previously disallowed and in fact denigrated.


[> [> [> [> [> One simply cannot take a hard-SF approach to this -- KdS, 03:41:26 02/01/04 Sun

Because if one attempts to analyse the mass mobilisation (and I use that word deliberately) in Chosen in terms of its likely social and political results in a world identical to our own, the consequences would disrupt society in ways far more significant than just conferring superpowers on a few violent lunatics. I think most of them were already suggested at the time of Chosen and in fanfic since, but one has to wonder about the reactions of governments; the very high probability that Slayers in more lawless and unstable societies, or in countries at war, would feel impelled to use their powers for purposes going well beyond dealing with mystical threats; the reactions of religious bodies to mystically superpowered women; the probable increased visibility of the supernatural to society...

[> [> [> [> [> [> I actually doubt there would be a great deal of change -- Finn Mac Cool, 08:04:09 02/01/04 Sun

Why? Because there are still, and have always been, thousands of more demons, vampires, and witches in the Buffyverse then there are Slayers. Yes, governments could employ Slayers as assassins, for example, but before they might have used demons or vampires for that task, instead. The Buffyverse has always had a great deal of supernatural talent to draw on; the only difference the new Slayers will make is that, unlike most of the demons in the Buffyverse, they fight on the side of good. So, while Slayers may make a big dent on the supernatural community, I don't see the relation to the "normal" world being greatly altered.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: for equality...Spoilers: Angel and Buffy to present. -- Rufus, 04:36:22 02/01/04 Sun

Thirdly, I think we have to see the new slayers in an evolving manner. Buffy changed the rules. This means that the rules can be changed even more in later generations with the influence of the new slayers.

I've always seen Chosen as new beginning instead of an end. That cookie dough speech that pissed off so many shippers kinda makes some sense. Buffy, even at the age of 22 is still cookie dough, nowhere near being done or maturing. We could take that to the Slayers themselves, as a shared power they are in fact cookie dough...we just don't know how they get to be 'done' or if somehow they end up burnt.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: for equality...Spoilers: Angel and Buffy to present. -- punkinpuss, 13:17:24 02/01/04 Sun

Great post!

ME walks a very fine line in balancing metaphor with narrative, one that gets smudged every time we presume to categorize their intentions in a strictly literal way.

[> Responsible (Damage Spoilers) -- heywhynot, 12:59:30 01/29/04 Thu

To me the Scooby Gang has taken responsibility for removing the limits placed upon the potentials around the world. They are actively seeking potentials and seemingly training them. They are going to take Dana in. Had Angel and gang not been part of WH, then I can see Dana staying in their care as Angel has shown in the past the ability to help a troubled slayer. Heck the Fang Gang might be part of the extended New Watcher's Council if it wasn't for the fact they are working for the Senior Partners. Choices after all do have consequences.

The Fang Gang though did choose to work in the belly of the best. To make change from within. That is a process that has just started. They have not remade WH over. Why give WH a psychotic slayer? WH is not to be trusted. Angel does not trust the senior partners, why should Buffy? Angel works for the Senior Partners.

And just how responsible should Buffy and gang be? The potentials were being limited by a spell that only allowed one slayer to be chosen at a time. Each had the potential for more, but was limited. Buffy opened the doors, gave each girl a full choice on who they were going to be. Isn't that what Angel fought for in the end of last season? To insure that each person in the world was not limited, to be free? Access to their full potential and shape it the way they wanted? Does that mean Angel is responsible for all the bad done in the world since? Angel fought Jasmine to save humanity's free will to well commit "evil". She may of killed a few people which raised the stakes but Angel made it clear he was going to protect free will.

Angel reopened the doors that had closed by Jasmine & prevented others from closing. Buffy opened doors that had been artificially locked by a group of three men so they could keep their super-warrior under their control. Allowing choice means both good and bad can come. Do you have hope that more good will come of it and any bad you can overcome? Or do you despair about that bad? To me a hero sides with hope. Angel and Buffy sided with hope & are dealing with the bad. Angel just seems to be stuck dwelling now on the bad and has lost sight of hope. Which is another reason not to trust him with a psychotic slayer.

[> [> Very good points. I agree. -- Jane, 15:04:07 01/29/04 Thu

[> [> Re: Responsible (Damage Spoilers) -- Ultimate Fanboy, 18:38:41 01/29/04 Thu

Well said!

[> Re: My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- punkinpuss, 17:34:20 01/29/04 Thu

Yet Buffy's decision to empower all Potentials, which resulted in Dana and Lord knows how many more like her, is being portrayed as an unequivocally good thing (regardless of reason or consequence). Buffy and the Council are the Good Guys here according to the portrayals last night. I am being asked to ignore Buffy's far more direct influence in Dana's rampage, the lack of action from Andrew's Slayers in apprehending Dana, and asked to consider Angel's behavior only. Coming from Andrew only made it worse, since I never respected the character before, and wasn't about to start now.

Funny, but I thought one of the main points of the episode was that Buffy's activation of all slayers was NOT an unequivocally good thing, as if such a thing is possible. IIRC one of the scenes in Chosen was of an abused girl stopping a punch during a beating. That would suggest that ME certainly thought of that potential for harm, even if Buffy didn't.

I don't think ME is asking you to dismiss Buffy's responsibility in Dana's fate at all. Nor to look only at Angel's actions. But Buffy's inadequacy in finding and protecting Dana is meant to comment on Angel's situation. Like Buffy, Angel does mean well, but can't always control the outcome of his actions no matter how good his intentions are. That's the problem, as it is in RL. You can't always foresee every turn of events. That's part of growing up as I imagine Buffy is learning now, that her actions can have dire consequences for others.

All you can do sometimes is take the responsibility to follow up and try to fix things or make them better. Buffy does that by taking responsibility for Dana. Whether she trusted Angel or not, she should've done that because she was responsible for making Dana worse. It would've been far more irresponsible to leave her fate to other people IMO.

As for the slayers coming in late to the game, you might want to consider that Andrew was never sent in alone. If they weren't sure they could trust Angel and the Fang Gang at W&H, it would make sense to send in the non-threatening and pretty expendable Andrew rather than a Slayer. Also, if you don't trust W&H, why tip your hand and let them know you've got a team of slayers in town looking for Dana? For all Giles knew, they could've been walking into a trap.

Sending Andrew in makes sense because he's an idiot. He's not there to help W&H. He's there to see what W&H are up to and tip off the slayers when Dana is found.

There are plenty of troubling things about Buffy's decision to activate the slayers. She doesn't tell Angel what she did, the one vampire left in the world she might wanna keep around? Huh? Who would make a better target for an unwitting and untrained slayer than the high-profile vampire about town? That's pretty dumb and irresponsible of her. And it's not like she hasn't talked to him since the events of Chosen. She just forgot to mention that some more tiny superstrong girls might try to stake him?

Another question is how did they find all these other slayers but miss Dana? Their slayer-finding mojo doesn't work on the mentally insane or emotionally disturbed?

Lastly, although these new Slayer developments are so rich in storytelling potential, the fact that it is not a show about Buffy means that we won't get to see those arcs played out. It's about Angel and there's not much point in whining about it since it's logistically impossible to tell a Buffy story without Buffy. Which is sad because there's obviously some life left in the old girl yet. ;-)

[> [> Re: My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- sdev, 18:05:50 01/29/04 Thu

I agree with this. I also think the Potential empowerment is meant to comment on Angel and Spike's multiple hero situation. Who's in charge and how do you control loose cannons? In theory the more fighters for good with superpowers the better. In practice, not so simple.

[> [> Re: My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- Jane, 18:14:09 01/29/04 Thu

You make some very good points here. I wonder if the reason Dana wasn't found sooner is because she was kept sedated on very strong psych drugs? Perhaps that put her below the radar, so to speak? Also, since the Scooby gang is still actively searching for new slayers,maybe they were aware of a slayer in L.A., just hadn't located her yet.
Do we know for sure Angel didn't know about the slayer mojo? I haven't rewatched the episode, but did he figure out Dana was a Slayer before or after Andrew arrived? Must check. I agree, Andrew is perfect smokescreen material.

[> [> Mostly agree with your thoughts, but one small comment. -- OnM, 06:50:27 01/30/04 Fri

*** As for the slayers coming in late to the game, you might want to consider that Andrew was never sent in alone. If they weren't sure they could trust Angel and the Fang Gang at W&H, it would make sense to send in the non-threatening and pretty expendable Andrew rather than a Slayer. Also, if you don't trust W&H, why tip your hand and let them know you've got a team of slayers in town looking for Dana? For all Giles knew, they could've been walking into a trap.

Sending Andrew in makes sense because he's an idiot. He's not there to help W&H. He's there to see what W&H are up to and tip off the slayers when Dana is found. ***

This was my exact take on the sitch also-- and considering the way that Giles treated Andrew in the latter eps of Buffy S7, it's perfectly in keeping with his 'style'.

However, I don't think that Andrew is an idiot, although this gets into the Inspector Closeau (sp?) syndrome whereby you're never sure whether the Inspector is one incredibly lucky dimwit, or just playing the role of one to put people off the track. What Andrew appears to be, however, is harmless, unthreatening. He's such an obvious geek that Giles (and Buffy) would understand that none of the Fang Gang would suspect him of ulterior motives or subterfuge. (Note that at the very end, Spike comments that 'there may be hope for [him] after all', because he 'double-crossed' W&H.)

I too believe that the Slayers were there all along, just waiting in the wings, and I didn't see Andrew as their 'leader' so much as a co-ordinator standing in for Giles and/or Buffy.

[> [> [> Re: Hope for the ponce yet -- punkinpuss, 08:51:56 01/30/04 Fri

Agree, Andrew is more complicated than the cardboard stooge that he's made out to be in the fandom. He plays the geek naif so well, but underneath it is a good degree of intelligence. It's his pretensions that make him look idiotic (82% more manly!), but that's why the double-cross was so effective coming from him.

I can't see how any other Scooby could've taken his place, it would've required an entirely different story. Tom Lenk did a marvelous job.

[> [> [> [> Have to disagree -- CW, 09:13:30 01/30/04 Fri

Andrew has repeatedly proven himself to have no inner moral standards. Putting him in this postition even as a coordinator just doesn't make sense. He really hasn't proven himself to be reliable enough even to be a front for one of the slayers running things from the shadows. It looks like a case of ME wanting to have a visit from a familar face and having to shoe-horn the character into the Angel plot line. You can make excuses for jumps in character development. You can ascribe the character of Andrew with all kinds of virtues he's never shown. But, it just doesn't work according to what we've actually seen of him.

None of this has anything to do with Tom Lenk's portrayal which has been consistant. He did do a good job with the matieral as punkinpuss says.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Have to disagree -- punkinpuss, 13:11:56 01/30/04 Fri

"Andrew has repeatedly proven himself to have no inner moral standards.",

Then why didn't Buffy just kill him at the end of Storyteller? Or send him packing? Was Storyteller completely pointless?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Have to disagree -- Irene, 14:05:48 01/30/04 Fri

You can also ask if Andrew's actions in "First Date" were also pointless.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well -- CW, 17:34:54 01/30/04 Fri

There is a difference between recognizing someone is a hopeless, spineless loser and deciding they shouldn't live. ;o) If Buffy had let Andrew go he'd have been easy pickings for the First Evil's influence again. Much stronger people than Andrew were being controled by the FE during season 7.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hopeless, spineless loser? Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. -- OnM, 20:12:29 01/30/04 Fri

Collected this little scene for ya'all to peruse:

Andrew: Okay. (probing) Say, do you have any weaknesses I should know about, if I'm gonna work
for you? Like kryptonite or allergies...?

Jonathan/First: What are you asking?

(Andrew is toying dangerously with the gun-bag now, trying to be super-casual.)

Andrew: Oh, nothing. Are you made out of the evil impulses of humans? So, like, if everyone was
unconscious at the same time, you would fade away?

(Jonathan/FE stares at him...)

J/FE: You're asking a lot of questions.

Andrew: Well, yes. Because I'm evil and I want to do the best I can at that. So I want to know stuff.
Like, when do we kill Buffy?

J/FE: Are you wearing a wire?


Where Willow, Kennedy, Amanda and Dawn are sitting at a table in front of listening equipment. Willow has on
headphones and frowns, concentrating.

Suddenly, Willow jumps and rips the headphones off.

Kennedy: What's going on?

Willow: The First. It screamed... (then) I think it knows about the wire.

Amanda: Poor Andrew. He must be scared.

*** [Going back to the FE/Andrew confrontation] ***

J/FE: This is what you did to him. Took away everything that he was and left him like this. You started
down a road with that action. You have to keep going.

(Andrew stares at Jonathan... steeling himself. He makes a decision. A big hero moment. Low and calm and
measured: )

Andrew: (steely) Stop looking like Jonathan. You're not him. You're The First and you're trying to get
me to shoot innocent girls. But I won't do it. I'm good now and after the fight is over I'm going to pay for killing

J/FE: You're gonna pay for more than that. Know why? Because the biggest, baddest, first evil in the
world is angry with you.

*** (Later on) ***


Willow, Kennedy, Amanda, Dawn and the pale huddled Andrew are briefing Anya and Spike and Giles on what
just happened with The First.

Spike: You tried to record the ultimate evil? Why? In a complex effort to royally piss it off?

Kennedy: Guess we succeeded pretty good, huh?

Andrew: Oh, god. I never should've gone in wired. Redemption is hard.

Giles:: Back to Spike's question. Why did you try to record it?

Willow: To study it, see if we could figure something out from what it was saying. Because, guys, we've
gotta face it, we know nothing about The First.

Anya: Well, now we know not to record it. So that's something.

Spike: Why'd it appear to... (can't think of name) ...this one, then? Thought it was s'posed to be pulling
my strings.

(Dawn is finished removing the wire. Andrew rubs his chest.)

Andrew: It said it wasn't time for you yet.

(As Spike absorbs that non-comforting news, the girls exchange looks -- they know this means Spike could be a
danger to them.

Andrew: I'm frightened and my chest hurts where the tape was.

Dawn: It's okay, Andrew. You did good. You stood up to it, that's really amazing.


So there is that last line to consider. Do we trust Dawn's opinion? Remember that Dawn detested Andrew when she first met him, but gradually started to treat him better as time went on.

And, he may not have fought very well in the last battle in Chosen but he did show up of his own free will. He even admitted that he expected to die. That does take a certain degree of non-spinelessness, don't you think?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hopeless, spineless loser? Maybe, maybe not. Time will tell. -- punkinpuss, 20:49:15 01/30/04 Fri

CW, you seem to have written off Andrew inspite of what happened in S7 eps beginning with Storyteller.

What did you think the point of Storyteller was, if not to show that there was a redeemable human being in Andrew? If he'd failed Buffy's test, they would've kept him tied to a chair for the rest of the season, but he proved himself worthy of helping.

Lots of people make terrible mistakes when they're young. It's when we can face up to our mistakes and learn from them that we begin to develop our a sense of morality, a code of ethics for life that's grounded in personal experience and not just the hypothetical. Andrew may sound like an idiot a lot of the time, but his actions post-Storyteller show that he's actually working at becoming a better man, if not 82% more so.

As OnM points out, he risked his life by sticking around for the final battle. While his chances for survival outside of Sunnydale might not have been a whole lot better, they were better than putting himself in the thick of the fighting. Now, months later, he's still no Viggo Mortensen battle stud, but ya gotta give him credit for continuing to go out on those mean streets with so few skills and so much more to lose.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ' Joxer the Mighty / He's very tidy... ' ;-) -- OnM, 14:45:32 01/31/04 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Have to disagree -- Ultimate Fanboy, 19:43:44 01/30/04 Fri

Wouldn't you be assuming that none of the characters have changed since the series ended? We have had quite a long time and character arcs have taken less than the time we have had to make great changes to their lives.

I think we were given a glimpse into what's happening in the Buffyverse according to the Scoob's, but nothing more than that. A lot of what we analyze in this regard is simple grasping at straws and I don't think it's entirely fair to ME or the character of Andrew to simply judge in such an ill-informed manner. The truth is simple: we don't know what's happened in the Buffyverse to the Scoobs in the past seven or eight months.

[> [> Re: My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- Irene, 13:50:54 01/30/04 Fri

"Another question is how did they find all these other slayers but miss Dana? Their slayer-finding mojo doesn't work on the mentally insane or emotionally disturbed?"

It just happened. Or it could be that the Scoobies are still tracking down new Slayers. After all, the Watchers Council didn't know about Buffy until after she was called.

[> Re: My problem with the near-end to 'Damage' (Spoilers) -- Athena, 18:32:06 01/29/04 Thu

The old Watchers Council incredibly detached from the Slayer. Except for the Slayer's own personal Watcher, they rarely helped her. I'm not saying she should've had them all trailing after her at all times, but they're are plenty of things they could've done, if only by phone. I doubt that

The few times that they did get involved was either to reassert their power of the Slayer or to prevent an Apocolypse on the horizon. They trained Potentials, a noble act, but if they were able to afford Special Ops and a fancy building. Why not support the Slayer a little more? It seems as if they liked their power, and saying that it was needed in the fight against evil was their own self-dillusion.

Now the motivation behind the new Watchers is a bit different. They are taking responsibility for what they had to do. It isn't comparible to the Shadowmen because as far as we know one of Shadowmen could have volunteered to be infused with the demon essence; meanwhile, the Scoobies could only see two options:

1) Don't magically Call the Potentials; therefore, these girls would have little to no chance of surviving Bringer assasins. (...as well as the First Evil getting its Apocolypse.)
2) Call the Potentials. (Keep in mind they didn't know the true power of Spike's amulet.)

Xander and Anya - cursed to oblivion? -- Celebaelin, 14:57:16 01/29/04 Thu

Surely not. But according to this site NB and EC are not going to be big after Buffy. I'm pretty sure that most readers will regard this as at least unfair and possibly beyond comprehension. NB in particular is particularly talented IMO and doesn't deserve this rather depressing write up.

If there's any news that the authors of this piece aren't aware of I'd appreciate it. It would be a great loss if life imitated art and played a cruel trick on the 'mere mortal' couple of the Buffyverse. Maybe they should have a 'reconciliation' on another show.

I can hear the critics now (picture does the wobbly thing)...NB 'lacks depth' and EC 'rabbits on'... And to think that it's the Buffy fans who are generally accused of living in a fantasy world, please!


[> Re: Xander and Anya - cursed to oblivion? -- Glenn66, 23:11:38 01/29/04 Thu

I think that Emma Caufield has sooo much going for her, she's really HOT, she can play funny, sad, evil, etc. I think if she can get into a well written Romantic Comedy (as a lead or as supporting actress) she can really get alot of attention.

In general I'm not into those Slasher type Horror movies, and it seems that EC and NB seem to be in those movies currently. Alyson Hannigan was luckly (but totally worthy) to get into a Comedy like American Pie, as those roles are remembered better than Horror roles (IMHO)

A theory about Army of slayers vs. Demons/Vamps/Evil? -- angel, 17:36:25 01/29/04 Thu

Even with the growing slayer army from hundreds to thousands per generation there still alot of evil out there. Vampires numbers grow really fast plus there are thousands of evil demon breeds out there. From what we seen there are incredible powerful beings that can kill a slayer with ease. My opinion is that the new slayer even things out a bit. Plus most new slayers old or really would be probably easiest to target for evil. Also it made alot more problems than it solved.


[> Re: A theory about Army of slayers vs. Demons/Vamps/Evil? -- Glenn66, 21:46:54 01/29/04 Thu

I think the difference would be that with only one (or two) slayers only the worst (or worst at the hellmouth) would have to deal with a Slayer. Now with an Army of Slayers there would be more areas they could "Police" or could take on lesser profile Big-Bads.

Musing on themes (spoilers through 5.11) -- Tyreseus, 18:22:33 01/29/04 Thu

Wow! Last night's episode had me up all night thinking about the myriad thematic discussions we've had on this board before. At one point, I literally walked around my living room chanting "head, heart, spirit, hand..."

No particular order to my thoughts just yet, but wanted to get some discussion going today. I apologize if anything has been brought up elsewehere, but I haven't really seen anyone hit on these ideas in what I've read so far of today's postings.

Head, Heart, Spirit, Hand

Perhaps it was the way Dana kept repeating the phrase "heart and head" that really made me take notice of this one. I know this set of symbols came into their own from the conjoining spell at the end of BtVS season 4, but I'm wondering how they plan to use it effectively on Ats.

For instance - Spike has journeyed from the "hand" (warrior, strength, fighter, action) to the "spirit" (magic, soul - and all that implies, i.e. purpose, conscience, etc.) and back to "hand." Only in this episode, he finds his hands removed and he's once again forced to confront his spiritual journey.

But his real weaknesses (symbolically and practically) are the head and heart. How much of his current hang-ups come from his refusal to think things through or cope with his feelings for Buffy in light of his new life?

But what about Angel? I see him surrounding himself almost entirely by the symbols of head and spirit. He solves problems through reason (Gunn), magic (Lorne's psychics), strategy/research (Wes) or science (Fred). He's nearly lost his own "hands" since Gunn has left that camp and he's involved more than ever in "non-engage" methods.

Reality versus Perception

I deliberately switched from "Fantasy" to "Perception" because it seems to me that the word applies better in many cases.

Dana's mixed up visions and memories parallel reality in "Damage." Last week, Angel's dreams parallel the growing inter- and intra-personal problems. Two weeks ago, Harmony had to prove reality over the perception that she was guilty of murder. See, if you take percetion into account versus just fantasy, it goes all the way through this season (including the ever-important Connor memory-wipe).

For some reason I can't pinpoint clearly, I think of this theme most during the final scene between Angel and Spike. Spike admits that he never really looked at his victims, it was all about the rush, the crunch. Angel says he couldn't stop looking at his victims, delighting in the evil. In a way, both are continuing that pattern in their role as heroes. Angel started his path to champion by taking that same focus on his victims and turning it to reconnecting with humanity. Spike isn't reconnecting with humanity, he's just focused on the violence and rush of saving another anonymous helpless soul. Spike never philosophically considered the nature of evil, nor is he doing it now for the nature of good. Angel has tied his soul up into knots over his struggle with the nature of good and evil (and the hated "gray area.")

Leftover thoughts

Laughed out loud at the Andrew/Spike reunion. Just a shame that Andrew didn't suggest a good spot for an onion blossom.

When Andrew revealed that Buffy & co. don't trust Angel anymore, it felt like a slap in the face. How Angel can ignore that kind of rude awakening, I don't know, but I hope it continues into next week's episode and the "special guest" who's finally coming back.

Andrew did seem more grown up at the end of the episode. Backed by a dozen slayers or not, it took a lot of guts to stand up to Angel like that. I wonder if he can really be trusted not to let Spike's cat out of the bag to Buffy. Never thought he could keep a secret before. Still, he's matured in subtle ways if you look beyond the hyper-geek rambling. Would old Andrew have taken that shot at a psycho-slayer (even if he missed)? Would the old Andrew have been capable of tracking Spike beyond the door to Wolfram and Hart, much less into the industrial district of L.A.?

Good to finally get some hints at what our BtVS gang is up to, even if it's more teasing than anything else. Missed out on not getting a read on Faith and her role in the new Council. Is she still Second-Slayer-In-Command? Oh, I hope that whatever Powers That Finance Mutant Enemy have in mind, it ends with a full-length feature film with the Slayer Army facing off against a murky Wolfram & Hart force.

Anyway, that's my brain spew for today. It's nice to finally have an episode that inspired me to so much contemplation and thought again. Most of this season has seemed a little less than spectacular in that regard (possibly excepting "Hellbound").


[> Re: Musing on themes (spoilers through 5.11) -- Glenn66, 21:56:43 01/29/04 Thu

Id assume that Giles would put Andrew (and Zander, and Dawn when she is old enough) thru some form of Watcher Basic Training. That, and fighting and Surviving the final battle at Sunnydale would tend to mature Andrew a bit.

Loved the Andrew and Spike scenes, I suspect that there is a ton of "Spike/Andrew ship" fiction being written all over the place :D

Spike and Dana (spoilers for Damaged) -- Vash the Stampede, 08:30:23 01/30/04 Fri

After the initial shock wore off after seeing that Spike was Dana's tormentor, I quickly realized that Dana's memories were simply mixed up with those of past slayers. There is no way soulless Spike would have ever done that to her. Why? Because it's not his style. He was (and still pretty much is)all about instant gratification. He got his pleasure or high from fighting, from killing people in the heat of battle. That is not to say he wouldn't have killed a whole family for a snack or kicks, but to go to the extremes that Dana's kidnapper did? Uh uh, that is Angelus's territory, not Spike's.

Great episode though. I even liked Andrew up until the end. I mean, I am all for revenge of the nerds fantasies come to life, but he acted way to smug, and came off as too much of a poser (which I know was the point, but it still bugged me). I wish Angel would have just bopped him one for good measure


[> Re: Spike and Dana (spoilers for Damaged) -- Mighty Mouse, 08:36:59 01/30/04 Fri

I think Angel would have if not for the hurtful Buffy comment. That was indeed a stake to the heart - "No one trusts you anymore" sheesh. It was cool to see all those Slayers come out, and the sudden tremor of "Oh crud" that you could see fly through Angel, Wesley (and even the Strike team who reached for their weapons), etc. Angel could probably take on one or two Slayers (if they're inexperienced and non-psychotic), but Twelve? No chance probably. Awesome episode, I think it's right up there with "Destiny."

Um, the 'nifty spell' -- Hauptman, 10:53:56 01/30/04 Fri

I was just wondering about the "New" council and how it differs from the old, and from Wolfram and Hart. And I wondered if Willow is capable of removing slayerness as well as bestowing it. That would be major. As a group, the new slayer's council has unprecedented power in Buffy, Willow and the army of Hot Slayers (are all the slayers on Atkins). My question is a little vague, but it goes like this: Are potential slayers still being born? I was under the impression that they were on the verge of being wiped out by the end of BTVS' run. Now they have strike forces and are gathering on every continent. What's up. I missed the first 20 minutes, so maybe that was covered. And if a slayer is killed, what happens? The power goes where? I'm just wondering about the old rules.

Oh, and to answer someones question below, as far as I remember, Faith was the first rogue slayer. I am fairly sure that Giles said that she was "unprecedented", but, then again, it has been demonstrated several times that the council did not exactly share everything with ol' Ripper.


[> Re: Um, the 'nifty spell' -- Rob, 11:38:04 01/30/04 Fri

Are potential slayers still being born? I was under the impression that they were on the verge of being wiped out by the end of BTVS' run.

Yes, Potentials are still being born, but the younger ones won't become Slayers until they reach adolescence. The fact that there are so many Potentials being awakened over the world now points to the futility of the First's plan.

And if a slayer is killed, what happens? The power goes where? I'm just wondering about the old rules.

Since Willow's spell completely broke the chain of succession for the Slayers and released the power to every single Potential, now every time a Potential reaches the age that she is eligible to become a Slayer, she becomes a Slayer, without an earlier Slayer needing to die for the power to pass to her. The Watchers used to have us believe that the power of the Slayer was something that could only be in one person at a time, which was challenged by the appearance of Kendra and then Faith. Now we know that what passes wasn't the physical power itself. That power was within each Potential from the beginning. What the death of a Slayer did was activate this latent power. So I doubt that the power after a Slayer dies now needs to go anywhere.


[> [> That is slightly misleading.. -- ZachsMind, 12:36:44 01/30/04 Fri

For those that were dubbed 'potentials' prior to the 'nifty' spell, they had within them whatever it was the Slayer Force was anticipating. They had the tendency to attract the power of the slayer which the average person does not have. However, although there was a dormant potential within every Potential, they still needed the Slayer Force in order to become a Slayer. Willow's spell removed the restriction that the Force could only inhabit one human vessel at a time. That's all. That black itchy stuff which tried to crawl into Buffy when she met the Shadowmen? that still exists. It's just not tangible any longer, and not in any way limited to conventional physical forces.

We do not yet know what it is that sets someone like Kennedy apart from any other woman who is not slated as a potential. We don't even know if the Watcher's really understood what they were looking for. Whedon's been purposefully vague about all that.

[> Regarding The 'new' Watcher's Council -- ZachsMind, 11:52:56 01/30/04 Fri

The 'new' Watcher's Council consists of Watchers who, like Giles, were on assignment away from the council HQ at the time The First Evil had it destroyed. We do not know for certain who is in charge. We're led to believe that Quentin Travers did not survive past the episode "Never Leave Me" in season seven. We've been given indications that both Rupert Giles and Wesley's father Roger Wyndam-Price are both instrumental in this new incarnation of the Council. However, in the case of Giles the information has been sketchy hearsay from Andrew, and in the case of Roger the information was from a robot disguised as him and therefore not very valid information. However, it was enough to convince Wesley, so we can assume his father is still instrumental in the Council's daily activities on some uncertain level.

We do not know for certain who is in charge. One would think Giles would be most qualified, having been THE Watcher of The Slayer who turned chosen into choice. However there's admittedly bad blood there so I doubt Giles would be in Quentin Travers' shoes. We do know however that Giles is now tutoring Andrew, though perhaps not to the extent Andrew indicated since he tends to exagerrate everything. We know Giles is involved in the Council's strategy, and has his share of leverage within the organization. We just don't know how much yet.

The rest of the Council would comprise of field agents who were out on assignment and most certainly returned to England once word of the destruction of the HQ reached them. They've had time to regroup and rebuild, and mobilize. I'd say The First set the Council back with the destruction of the HQ, but there were enough resources for them to live again. Probably not the first time something like this happened. The Watchers have been around almost as long as the line of Slayers. So, ultimately, the new Council probably has a slightly more modern and sleek attitude now, may not even have a permanent base of operations since that makes them a standing target. Other than that they're probably not all that different from what they've always been.

[> [> New Watcher's Council -- Irene, 14:46:39 01/30/04 Fri

"The 'new' Watcher's Council consists of Watchers who, like Giles, were on assignment away from the council HQ at the time The First Evil had it destroyed. We do not know for certain who is in charge. We're led to believe that Quentin Travers did not survive past the episode "Never Leave Me" in season seven. We've been given indications that both Rupert Giles and Wesley's father Roger Wyndam-Price are both instrumental in this new incarnation of the Council. However, in the case of Giles the information has been sketchy hearsay from Andrew, and in the case of Roger the information was from a robot disguised as him and therefore not very valid information. However, it was enough to convince Wesley, so we can assume his father is still instrumental in the Council's daily activities on some uncertain level."

The series has NEVER indicated that some of the old Watchers - other than Giles - are part of the new WC. Nor do we know for a fact that the real Roger Wyndham-Price was instrumental in the creation of the new Council. You're making a very big assumption, based on the words of the phony Roger.

[> [> It's possible there might be two 'Watcher's Council' s [spoilers up to 'Damage'] -- Pip, 15:35:46 01/30/04 Fri

[Disclaimer - I'm in the UK so I've only read spoilers on Damage, and haven't actually seen the episode yet]

If we take the phoney Roger Wyndham-Pryce as telling something of the truth (as evil people do all the time), then there is a 'Watcher's Council' which consists of retired watchers ('Roger' describes them as the 'remaining former Watchers'). This may be the group that is running the cyborg ninja's - Wesley in Lineage states that the ninja's are attacking evil groups.

If it is the retired watchers running the cyborg ninja's, that suggests they don't have a Slayer army. If they did, they wouldn't need the ninjas.

The info from Damage suggests that Rupert Giles has set up a new 'Watcher's Council'. This council uses the Scooby Gang as its new cadre. There may or may not be other active Watchers in the new council - the events of Season 7 suggested that Giles still had at least one supporter amongst his former colleagues. This 'Watcher's Council' seems successful at finding the new Slayers. It also seems to have access to some of the old Council's funds. It doesn't sound like the same organisation the fake Roger was talking about.

It depends on whether the Roger Wyndham-Pryce cyborg was telling the truth or not. If it was, there are probably two groups, which may or may not be rivals. One is the old style council. The other is the new Scooby council.

From the point of view of the AI team, what counts is that neither group trusts AI in the slightest. AI've gone to work for Wolfram & Hart and both groups (if there are two groups) are assuming that they've sold out.

[> [> [> Re: It's possible there might be two 'Watcher's Council' s [spoilers up to 'Damage'] -- Irene, 15:46:00 01/30/04 Fri

"the events of Season 7 suggested that Giles still had at least one supporter amongst his former colleagues."

Are you referring to the guy from "Never Leave Me"? Who was injured by a Bringer?

I have a feeling that you might need to watch "Damage" again. Even though Giles is training Andrew, the latter stated that he was receiving his orders from Buffy (of course, Andrew could be lying). And can you really see the Scoobies - especially Buffy - taking orders from a new group of Watchers? I don't.

And has it been established that the cyborgs from "Lineage" are being controlled by a new Watcher's Council? When the show establishes that as a fact - I will accept that Wes' dad is part of a new group of Watchers.

[> [> [> It's Entirely possible -- Doug, 15:53:44 01/30/04 Fri

Particularly given the mutual animosity between Buffy and many of the Watchers.

[> Regarding Willow's newfound powers... -- ZachsMind, 12:22:05 01/30/04 Fri

We know very little about how Willow's enactment of the 'nifty' spell has changed her. We know that the cosmetic changes were temporary. However, even after Sunnydale cratered, we know Willow was reporting an ability to sense the awakening of Potentials as Slayers the world over. This eventually caused our Scooby Gang to expand their efforts. I found it interesting that Buffy was attending school in Italy, perhaps not far from Vatican City. I would imagine the roman catholic church has its own equivalent of 'watchers' or 'guardians' and although in semi-retirement I'm sure Buffy's keeping herself busy. The rest of the gang are scattered throughout the world, doing among other things what Andrew did in the latest episode of Angel; tracking down and retrieving as many Slayers as possible.

Willow however is now in a most unique position. I'm thinking she's the new Guardian. She watches the Watchers. It can be said she reforged the scythe weapon, using it as a focal point for reconfiguring how the Slayer power functions. Willow is the new beginning of a group of women who.. well...

From the episode "End of Days":

GUARDIAN: We forged [the scythe] in secrecy and kept it hidden from the Shadow Men who-
BUFFY: Yeah, met those guys. Didn't really care too much for 'em.
GUARDIAN: Ah, yes. Then you know. And they became the Watchers and the Watchers watched the Slayers... but we were watching them.

Willow is the new Guardian. So technically, she and Giles are more at odds with each other than ever before. It's not that the Watcher's Council is evil. The Shadow Men were not evil. They were well intentioned, I guess. However, any one force alone is either corrupted or otherwise ineffectual. Together, the Slayers, Guardians and Watchers perform a sort of checks and balances among one another, preventing one another in some ways and helping in others, so that eventually, in theory, the good gets done and the bad gets forgotten. At least in theory. And it's been like this in one form or another since the beginning.

[> [> Re: Regarding Willow's newfound powers... -- Ultimate Fanboy, 19:15:40 01/30/04 Fri

But what was the role of the Guardians and how did they effect the Slayers' life?

I don't think we know enough of the Guradians.

[> Re: Um, the 'nifty spell' -- heywhynot, 08:34:02 02/01/04 Sun

To me it seems the demon essence triggered the activation of the latent ability of a potential to become the Slayer, it was the catalyst. The First Slayer was chosen by the Shadowmen to be the one to receive the demon essence probably based on a potential they saw in her. The Shadowmen it appears put a restriction through magic such that the demon essence could only trigger one girl at a time. In fairness to the Shadowmen, maybe that is all they were capable or knew about. They had one demon essence & thought it could only "power" one girl. I think they saw the abilities of the Slayer arising solely from the demon. The fact "they" offered Buffy more power through the demon essence seems to support this. I personally don't think it would of worked. The abilities of the Slayer come from within and the outside push brings them out. If Buffy had accepted the demon essence, I think she would of been just as strong in terms of physical ability but would of been well more demonic and less herself.

One slayer dies, another is then activated. Of course back in the day, CPR was not known about & the Watcher's being so stuck in tradition couldn't quite get the meaning of Buffy & Kendra (then Faith) coexisting at the sametime. Buffy did not loose her abilities following her death upon Kendra's activation. Add that to the fact potentials have a latent connection to past slayers even if they were not called & we were told magics work within the natural laws of the universe, and I think it is a good bet to view the demon essence as a catalyst.

Willow's spell it seems removed the restriction of the Shadowmen and allowed all girls with the potential to have full access to their abilities. When a Slayer dies, nothing happens save she dies. There is no power to go anywhere, just like when way in the future Jerry Rice dies, his abilities as a wide receiver don't go anywhere.

To me the white haired Willow seemed to indicate that she was going along with the natural order of things in activating all the potentials. When we had Dark Willow, the point was made was she using magics that ran counter to the natural tendency of the universe. Given the spell was a catalyst in theory the reverse reaction is possible. Activating the potentials though was like pushing a rock down a hill, easy. Rerestricting the Slayers, would be like pushing the rock back up the hill, possible but very difficult.

In terms of the Slayers being well toned, given their ability to recover from wounds and how much they seemed to eat, I would go with that fact they have great natural metabolic rates (not to mention probably them going through a training regiment).

What does the Shanshu mean? Spoilers to 5x11. -- abt, 09:59:05 01/31/04 Sat

What does the Shanshu mean? It's a reward of humanity, but what does it mean?

I think initially it has been presented as meaning redemption, forgiveness.

After seeing Soul Purpose with Angel's vision of Spike becoming a "real boy", I think the Shanshu also means free will.

In Lineage Robo-Roger-Wyndham-Pryce said of Angel, "He's a puppet. He always has been. To the Powers That Be, to Wolfram & Hart. Now he's ours."

In this light, the Shanshu isn't so much about becoming a "real boy", as it is about no longer being a puppet.


[> Shanshu means both 'death' and 'life' -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:15:31 01/31/04 Sat

Or, using Wesley's interpretation, it means "live until you die", which can't happen unless you're actually alive/human.

Now, as for what it means to Angel, while it does mean redemption, I think it also means conection. A problem Angel has always had is that he doesn't relate well to others. By becoming human, and thus attached to humanity, he'll be able to stop isolating himself.

[> maybe the best way to put it... -- anom, 23:54:35 01/31/04 Sat

...is "become mortal," i.e., capable of dying, i.e., alive. I don't think it's been presented as meaning redemption so much as as a way to show the redemption has already been achieved.

I wouldn't take robo-Roger's word for it that Angel has always been a puppet. He wasn't exactly a reliable source, either to Angel & co. or to us. Having free will doesn't mean you can't be manipulated. One of the things you can decide w/your free will is whether you need to act in spite of possibly not having adequate information, a position that all of us are put in at one time (or many!) or another, & that can leave you open to manipulation by someone who withholds info or supplies false info. The decision to seek more info or risk taking action without it, & to deal w/the consequences, is still yours.

In fact, I'd say free will is a prerequisite to earning redemption, not only in terms of avoiding or risking manipulation but of questioning assumptions & ingrained habits of thinking (is that crazed killer possessed, or an insane Slayer?). After all, if your mind is bound by habit, how free is your will?

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