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Quick thought (question?) regarding Angel and Spike ( slight spoilers for end of s.6) -- Purple Tulip, 06:21:44 07/03/02 Wed

I watched "Surprise" for like the millionth time yesterday, but I missed the part when Jenny tells Angel how far away he'll have to go to get rid of the box. I'm pretty sure that she told him that he would have to go as far away as Africa.

Ok, so here's my thought- Angel almost leaves for Africa, leaving Buffy behind, but then stays and ends up losing his soul. Spike goes to Africa, leaves Buffy behind, and gains a soul. The two cases almost seem to be in reverse of one another, as Angel's intentions are nothing but good, and he still loses out. We are made to think that Spike's intentions are bad, that he goes to Africa in order to come back and hurt Buffy- and he ends up getting the soul, thus ending up better than Angel, and less capable of hurting Buffy. I just have to wonder if this will foreshadow exactly what Spike will come back as.

Any ideas???

[> Re: Good pt. - My respect for Joss & Co. continues to grow -- Brian, 07:02:38 07/03/02 Wed

[> The way I remember it...... -- Caroline, 07:06:27 07/03/02 Wed

Jenny doesn't tell Angel to go to a specific location. Angel is the one who suggests taking it to Asia and trekking to Nepal. I think looking for foreshadowing here would really be reaching.

[> [> You're right -- Sophist, 08:16:15 07/03/02 Wed

Also, remember that at this point Spike had appeared in just 5 episodes prior to Surprise. The original plan was to dust him; they kept him because they liked JM and his interaction with JL. They certainly had not planned out S6 at that stage, so could hardly have "foreshadowed" the soul restoration at that point.

In fact, I think it's important to distinguish true cases of "foreshadowing" (e.g., Buffy's dream in GD -- "counting down from 7-3-0") from instances in which the writers, after the fact, drew on previous episodes for plot lines, characterization, etc.

[> [> [> Re: You're right -- Purple Tulip, 08:29:20 07/03/02 Wed

Ok, well that is why I said that I wasn't sure if he had talked about going to Africa. I just thought that if he had in fact mentioned Africa as a destination, then that would have been an interesting coincidence. And I didn't mean that they would have foreshadowed Spike's soul resteration back in season two when they didn't even know they were keeping him around yet. Rather, I think that they would have gone back to season two when Angel lost his soul to try and parallel or contrast the new "vampire with a soul" storyline of season seven. I didn't mean that they were forshadowing souled-up Spike with Angel's situation, but like you said, "drawing on previous episodes for plot lines, characterization, etc." But if no Africa was mentioned in "Surprise", then perhaps I really am "reaching" as someone stated. Just trying to stretch my brain muscles!

[> Re: Quick thought (question?) regarding Angel and Spike ( slight spoilers for end of s.6) -- Darby, 08:49:29 07/03/02 Wed

I did kind of go "Ooooo" when, after turning, Angelus told Spike, when discussing Buffy, "You have to love her to kill her."

[> [> Re: Quick thought (question?) regarding Angel and Spike ( slight spoilers for end of s.6) -- shadowkat, 09:23:55 07/03/02 Wed

Except in this case, apparently loving Buffy hurt Spike
more than the other way around. Actually come to think of
it loving Buffy drove Angelus insane to the extent he
wanted to suck the world into hell. Drove Spike crazy to the extent that he ended up in Africa hunting a soul.

Apparently loving this "girl" has a greater effect on the vampires who love her than on Buffy. Hmmm - there's something, instead of staking vamps, Buffy should just get them to fall in love with her? Gives whole new meaning to the words : "Make love not war?" ;-)

PS: Agree with Sophist - need to be careful with foreshadowing from Season 1-3. I think the writers draw on the material there, but I also think that they changed their mind regarding story direction, etc midway through
season 3. It explains some of the inconsistencies btw 1- 2
and 3-6 on Btvs. And 1-2 Btvs and 1-3 Ats. That and fans
have better memories for certain plotpoints and images than the poor writers do.

[> [> That's a very interesting point... -- Caroline, 11:30:18 07/03/02 Wed

I always thought that the fascination that Spike had for slayers would lead to him to love Buffy after she got so difficult to kill (okay, I didn't start thinking it until the end of season 2 when he helped her save the world and my views were seriously questioned when Spike only appeared in one episode of S3). He tried to kill her for a lot of season 2 and it didn't work. That obsession and depth of feeling had to turn into something else. We saw in Fool for Love just how Spike feels about slayers, the depth of understanding he has about their actions and motivations. I think Spike fell for Buffy after he realized that she was so hard to kill. If he couldn't kill her, he had to love her.

[> [> [> Re: That's a very interesting point... -- Dochawk, 11:37:46 07/03/02 Wed

I agree with your thesis about Spike's obsession with slayers turning from killing her to loving her. But, I will disagree with you on two points:

1. That he helped her save the world at the end of season 2. He did nothing of the sort, he used Buffy to help get Dru. When Dru was unconsious and Angel had Buffy by swordpoint, he walked by and didn't give a damn "He's gonna kill her, oh well". Spike cared only for Dru, nothing for the little hamburgers walking around.

2. I think we are all bamboozeled by Spike's charm and forget that he really knows little about slayers. He killed two (quite by accident I would guess). And made alot of stuff up. Especially the stuff about slayers and "death wish". He uses his supposed information to manipulate. Little of what he spouts as truth should be considered as such.

[> [> [> [> Re: That's a very interesting point... -- Caroline, 12:37:27 07/03/02 Wed

To answer your points in turn:

1. In B2, Spike gives Buffy his 'happy meals with legs' speech. In that speech, he states that he wants to save the world. Of course, he wants to save the world for an evil purpose - he wants to eat people and watch soccer games - but that may be a little less evil than destrying the whole world. He also takes Angel out - that scene where he rises from his wheelchair - and he also takes Dru out too when she wants to help Angel let Acathla do his thing. As for Spike's departure with Dru, yes, he was all about saving Dru. So what? He still kept his deal with Buffy, kept Giles alive long enough for the scoobs to save him and got Drusilla out of the way. As for Spike leaving Buffy and Angel fighting, here's what the shooting script says:

As Angel approaches Buffy, sword in hand.

God, he's going to kill her. . .

After a moment of intense worry, he shrugs, takes off.

He leaves with Dru. Not exactly a night in shining armor but no-one is making a case for Spike being a hero in S2. He was being pragmatic. For him, it was all about Dru and happy meals and if that meant helping the good guys save the world, so be it.

2. I am not bamboozled by Spike's charm. I like the character but not any more than any of the other characters. And I think that he knows an incredible amount about slayers and that he has a great deal of psychological insight. That stuff about the death wish is spot on, as was much of his other insights in Fool for Love. We see the fruition of that insight in the Gift. And it is also part of the message of the primal slayer. He also had enough insight to know that Willow was hanging by a thread after Oz left, that she would seek vengeance for Glory doing the mind-suck on Tara after Willow's best friend Buffy thought she'd convinced Willow it was too dangerous. Neither of these was information used for manipulative purposes but rather for helpful ones. He also had enough insight into the weaknesses of the various scoobs that he nearly succeeded in breaking them up in the Yoko Factor. So I agree with you that in some cases he uses information for manipulative purposes - but the fact that this gambit nearly worked and had the scoobs at loggerheads with each other showed that he did know a few things.

As for 'accidently' killing 2 slayers - it didn't appear to be that way for me in Fool for Love. Spike likes to put himself in situations where the outcomes is not a foregone conclusion (didn't he say something like that to Angel?) so that he can feel the thrill of being in a dangerous situation. The Boxer Rebellion slayer was distracted by something outside and Spike got her but the New York slayer seemed like a fair kill - one moment she is over Spike then the lights go out and the next thing you know, Spike is above her and snapping her neck. Doesn't seem accidental to me.

[> [> [> [> [> Those are very interesting points... -- aliera, 15:08:17 07/03/02 Wed

True fence sitter that I am, I just wanted to say that I liked both your post's. Dochawk's made me laugh for the first time today and Caroline's made me say "right." There were some funny looks because I'm at the office and no one was apparently talking to me at the time...oh well.

Although, Caroline's response is much closer to my own views, I can't tell you how much I appreciate Dohawks and other's views on Spike.

Spike himself has said that he can only take the slayer on a "good day", of course it only takes one. I'm still foggy on the Spike leaving bit. I don't know where he thought he was going if the world was ending.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Those are very interesting points... -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:28:45 07/03/02 Wed

Acathla was the end of the world because everyone with a human soul would be plunged into eternal torment. Spike and Drusilla didn't have souls, so the end of the world wasn't a threat. If the world turned into a hell dimension, that doesn't stop Spike from keeping Dru away from Angelus.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Those are very interesting points...thanks -- aliera, 18:47:33 07/03/02 Wed

I haven't rewatched it in a while. Other than odd tapes from seasons 1-3, season 6 is all I have on tape. Probably should rewatch it. Good summertime fare. I have to admit to a fondness for Spike as he was in those days too. And some of his lines...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> No. -- Sophist, 18:55:30 07/03/02 Wed

Here's the quote from Giles:

Giles: Well, the, uh, (puts on his glasses) the Demon Universe exists in a dimension separate from our own. (sits on the table) With one breath, Acathla will create a vortex, a-a kind of, um... whirlpool that will pull everything on Earth into that dimension, where any non-demon life will suffer horrible and... eternal torment.

And even if Acathla pulled in only souled creatures, would the vampires really want to spend eternity eating rats and pigeons? Wouldn't unlife get kind of boring without Man U and Leicester Bloody Square?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No...so? -- aliera, 21:31:25 07/03/02 Wed

so...back to the question then?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: No...so? -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:40:45 07/03/02 Wed

Oh, soulless creatures would be sucked in, too. They just wouldn't be tormented. Only people with souls suffer in hell dimensions. I was under the impression that if a vampire entered hell, they would cast aside their human body and become pure demon, so no need for blood. And, what's to stop Spike from creating a demon soccer team. The fact that he left with Dru instead of stopping Angel had to do with a)the fact that he wants Drusilla back, b)he didn't care a lot about whether the world ended or not, and c)by leaving the two of them alone, he can be certain that either Buffy or Angel, two of the people he hates most, will die.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm kind of skeptical -- Sophist, 07:47:32 07/04/02 Thu

of changing explanations, every one of which somehow results in Spike being evilly motivated.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm kind of skeptical -- aliera, 08:02:32 07/04/02 Thu

So he simply didn't care about the end of the world compared to getting Dru away. Happy fourth by the way and to those reading this in other places may your day be happy also :- )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Leicester Square and Man U -- Rahael, 05:05:48 07/04/02 Thu

I guess it's really not fair on Spike to blame him for such uninspired and boring choices. It's the writer's fault (was it Joss? incredible)

Leicester Square (which is 10 mins from where I work) is noisy, crowded with tourists who don't know where they are going and dirty. Man United is of course the football team supported by people who don't live in Manchester, and who prefer to follow the fortunes of a mega rich team to that of their struggling local side (sorry, no offence - just repeating the popular criticism - I couldn't care less either way).

My point is that they are majory uncool choices. There are cooler places in London; Man U is the most non-credible team for a non Mancunian to support, simply because it's so predictable.

Perhaps I'm missing something (was William from Manchester? maybe he likes his London hotspots skanky?).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Leicester Square and Man U -- Cleanthes, 07:45:57 07/04/02 Thu

"Leicester Square (which is 10 mins from where I work) is noisy, crowded with tourists who don't know where they are going and dirty."

I'm pretty sure that Spike is referring to Leicester square because of these words in the song, "It's a Long, Long Way to Tipperary":

It's a long way to Tipperary
To the sweetest girl I know.
Goodbye Piccadilly,
Farewell Leicester Square,


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Beat me to it! -- ponygirl, 07:51:42 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Great War and Modern Memory -- Cleanthes, 08:15:34 07/04/02 Thu

Anyone read the book "The Great War and Modern Memory" by Paul Fussell?

Long Way to Tipperary is remembered as a WWI song. ME has made Spike's human history, inter alia, as a trope of that old Victorian way of looking at things. For Spike, then, WWI must have really destroyed the world.

They used to kick footballs at the enemy during that war, as I recall from the book. I dunno if that has anything to do with Manchester United, but, maybe --- at least it signifies the connection between football and Leicester Square and the real world as opposed to the hell-dimension of Acathla or of the Great War.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The Great War and Modern Memory -- ponygirl, 09:19:56 07/04/02 Thu

I haven't read the book, Cleanthes, but I remember reading about the time when British and German troops held an Xmas day truce and played football against each other. Sort of an affirmation about the simple things in life cutting through all the politics and ideals. I can also see how the lyrics about an Irishman longing for home might apply to Angel. I also find it pretty funny that the song was written by a Jack Judge, and of course the whole sitaution in Becoming was started by Spike and Dru assembling the Judge.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: William the Bloody Awful Poet -- leslie, 09:39:42 07/04/02 Thu

"I also find it pretty funny that the song was written by a Jack Judge, and of course the whole sitaution in Becoming was started by Spike and Dru assembling the Judge."

I really sometimes wonder whether there is someone at ME with a really abstruse and esoteric sense of humorous connections when it comes to Spike. Someone recently sent me a newspaper article about a Victorian poet (Scottish, as it happens, not English, and working class, not genteel, but still, wait for it....) named William McGonigle, renowned as the worst poet in the English language ... yes, a real William, the Bloody Awful Poet. And who was his greatest promoter in the modern era? Why .... SPIKE MILLIGAN!

Then again, this may simply belong in the "you know you have Buffyitis when..." thread.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: William the Bloody Awful Poet -- ponygirl, 09:57:43 07/04/02 Thu

That is too funny! Just when I want to say, as Sophist does a couple threads down, "you've thought way too much about this", I start thinking I haven't thought enough. It may all be completely random, but it does warm the cockles of my obsessed little heart to imagine that these obscure references are thrown in as a reward for our tireless over- analysis!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Bad poetry -- Rahael, 10:06:12 07/04/02 Thu

The worst lines of poetry ever written (professionally) is supposed to be from Alfred Austin, Poet Laureate's poem on the illness of the future Edward VII

"Along the electric wire the message came:
He is not better; he is much the same"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Bad poetry -- leslie, 17:21:52 07/04/02 Thu

That may be the worst single couplet, but I believe McGonagall (I misspelled it first time round) holds the record for worst total body of work. Samples:

"The Bull is a Mighty Beast,
But the Cow is much Forlorner,
standing there in a field,
with a Leg at every Corner."

"The Tay, the Tay, the Silvery Tay,
flows from Perth to Dundee every day."

"Beautiful railway bridge of the Silvery Tay!
With your numerous arches and pillars in so grand array
And your central girders, which seem to the eye
To be almost towering to the sky."

And finally:

"He was paid for his work just once, for a Sunlight Soap commercial that read,

You can use it with great pleasure and ease
Without wasting any elbow grease
And when washing the most dirty clothes
The sweat will not be running from your nose."

Critical commentary: "His appalling use of meter and rhyme and his unshakable self-belief have endeared him to the hearts of thousands of fans all over the world," Rolfe said.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> not only bad but confusing -- anom, 21:10:30 07/04/02 Thu

"The Bull is a Mighty Beast,
But the Cow is much Forlorner,
standing there in a field,
with a Leg at every Corner."

Every Corner of the Cow...or of the field (& shouldn't that be Field?)? @>)

OK...gotta finish packing now!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL -- Rahael, 03:01:33 07/05/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Still sticking with my Spike is William Ernest Henley theory -- d'Herblay, 13:16:47 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> you probably already know this d'H but gave me a chuckle -- ponygirl, 09:40:43 07/05/02 Fri

Did a quick Google on your boy Henley and found:

Cicely Herbert & W.E. Henley
In Hospital
Two Poem Sequences 100 Years Apart
1992. 70 pages. ISBN 0 904872 19 X. 5.95.

This pair of poem sequences, both called In Hospital, were written a hundred years apart and show the continuity of a tradition which flourished in the creation of the National Health Service.
Part 1 of the book contains the twentieth century sequence, a new work by Cicely Herbert. Part II is the nineteenth century poet W. E. Henley's In Hospital.

Cicely Herbert a Barrow Poet and founder member of Poems on the Underground, spent three months in University College Hospital, London. after a serious road accident in Camden Town in 1987. While in hospital, she was 'visited' by the Victorian poet W. E. Henley.

William Ernest Henley (1849-1903) wrote his In Hospital after spending twenty months in the Old Edinburgh Infirmary under the care of Joseph Lister.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ROFLMAO -- Thanks, ponygirl!! -- redcat, d'H's buddy in Henley fandom, 09:54:54 07/05/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LMAO! Oh I love that -- shadowkat, 15:25:11 07/04/02 Thu

"Someone recently sent me a newspaper article about a Victorian poet (Scottish, as it happens, not English, and working class, not genteel, but still, wait for it....) named William McGonigle, renowned as the worst poet in the English language ... yes, a real William, the Bloody Awful Poet. And who was his greatest promoter in the modern era? Why .... SPIKE MILLIGAN!"

Oh that's wonderful - I do wonder if we have someone at Me, possibly Petrie? Or Joss? Who is having fun. We know Joss
went to England for schooling...would be like him to get back at those horrible teachers over there by this little dig.

If it does belong in the Buffyitis thread, I join you there.
No wait there already. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And as for Man U -- Sophist, 07:52:06 07/04/02 Thu

it's kind of like rooting for Brazil or the Yankees or the Lakers. There's this fascination with teams that always win. Kind of like with snakes.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Actually it's a song... Argh, the attack of the 50 foot pedant! -- ponygirl, 07:48:31 07/04/02 Thu

Can't offer an opinion on Manchester United (is that the team with the cute players?), but the Leicester Sq line is actually a quote from It's A Long Way to Tipperary.

Why I know this I have no idea, but I did have an Irish grandfather. I've cut and pasted the chorus:

It's a long way to Tipperary,
It's a long way to go,
It's a long way to Tipperary,
To the sweetest girl I know!
Goodbye Piccadilly! Farewell Leicester Square!
It's a long, long way to Tipperary,
But my heart's right there!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> aahhhhhhh!! -- Rahael, 09:06:07 07/04/02 Thu

Ok, now I get it. Still don't get Man U though!

Thanks everyone, for correcting me!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: aahhhhhhh!! -- leslie, 09:43:52 07/04/02 Thu

I think the Man U reference is Man U because that's the one English football team that Americans might actually have heard of. Otherwise, there would have to be a lot of expository writing stuck in there in which Spike stops his spiel to explain to the dumb American chick that the British play a different *kind* of football, you see, the *proper* kind, and then spins off into explaining the history of *his* particular team and why *they* are superior to all the others..... and by that time, Giles would be dead, Acathla awakened, and, well, good-bye Leicester bloody Square.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Buffy probably still doesn't. I thought they were a rock band -- shadowkat, 15:30:36 07/04/02 Thu

Something tells me that she had no idea who Manchester United was. I didn't. Up until joining this board, ie. very recently - I thought it was the rock band Manchester United, yes there is one. Found it on Amazon.

Feeling very silly, now that I know it's a football team.
Yep not up on sports. Can't imagine Buffy being up on them.
Where would she find the time?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Um . . .'kat. Hate to mention this, but . . . -- Off-kilter, 02:08:41 07/05/02 Fri

Buffy was, like, a cheerleader-type, ya know?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Um . . .'kat. Hate to mention this, but . . . -- shadowkat, 07:26:21 07/05/02 Fri

Doesn't mean she'd know anything about an English football
(rugby team). American yes. English? Unlikely. I knew
cheerleaders in high school and college. They didn't follow much outside of American sports. Other people did though.
Could be wrong...but from her discussions with Giles, I always got the feeling that Buffy didn't pay much attention to stuff outside US.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ACK! Not rugby, soccer (known to the rest of the world as football). -- Sophist, 08:03:39 07/05/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Um . . .'kat. Hate to mention this, but . . . -- Purple Tulip, 08:40:18 07/05/02 Fri

I don't think that it's really fair to generalize about people just because they may be into a certian sport or a certain music group or something. Buffy really hasn't spoken too much about any other worldly affairs because she really haven't had that many dealings with them. She hasn't had to travel to any foreign lands to stop any evil so that's probably why there hasn't been much mention. Doesn't mean she's just another blonde bimbo cheerleader (and sidenote: she hasn't been a cheerleader in years, nor does she even act remotely like she would be at all interested in being one again. Now if we were talking about Cordelia not knowing anything outside of America, I think that would be a little more fitting.) As for Buffy, she's more knowledgable about what is going on in other dimensions- so if the demons and vampires ever had a soccer team in hell dimension x, you better believe that she'd be all over it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ack...sports and cheerleading pc... -- shadowkat, 17:09:19 07/05/02 Fri

"She hasn't had to travel to any foreign lands to stop any evil so that's probably why there hasn't been much mention. Doesn't mean she's just another blonde bimbo cheerleader (and sidenote: she hasn't been a cheerleader in years, nor does she even act remotely like she would be at all interested in being one again. Now if we were talking about Cordelia not knowing anything outside of America, I think that would be a little more fitting.) As for Buffy, she's more knowledgable about what is going on in other dimensions- so if the demons and vampires ever had a soccer team in hell dimension x, you better believe that she'd be all over it."

Ack...knew I shouldn't have said anything. PC about sports has never been my thing. Okay, have no clue what Buffy would be into. But from her discussions with Xander who mentions sports and Buff's lack of interest and her lack of interest in the Swim Team and the Basketball team, I naturally assumed she was like me, and not a sports fan.
She liked cheerleading - but more from the physical point of view.

Never saw her as blond bimbo. Very street smart. Just not great with the academics, neither was I at that age.
But boy does she test well, super envious of that!

Cordy? Is a different story. Won't go there, because not crazy about the character and I know others love her, and my personal dislike of her really brings zip to the discussion. (See trying not to Bash Characters here!!)

Oh sorry about messing up on the soccer/rugby reference.
I know it's football. Leaving the sports to the experts.

Manchester United is a band you know. I found it. A bad
very unknown band...so the football reference is no doubt accurate. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Defence of Man U -- Caesar Augustus, 16:14:45 07/04/02 Thu

Manchester United have only become a rich, extremely successful team in the last 7-8 years or so. Chances are Spike supported them long before that (like myself), where it would be much like supporting Chelsea or any other team. That's what makes it a cool choice.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Matt Busby and George Best may disagree with you........ -- Rahael, 08:06:45 07/05/02 Fri

It's always been a very glamourous team.

Manchester United were already world famous at the time of the tragic Munich Plane crash of 1958.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: As for Eric Rush, Gary Lineker, John Barnes ... -- Caesar Augustus, 14:06:54 07/05/02 Fri

True that before 1990 Manchester United had spells of success, they were certainly not the MOST successful team. That would have to be Liverpool. Sadly. Anyway, Man U are the "Red Devils". This a brilliant ironic foreshadowing of Seeing Red where Spike is led to lose his devilhood/demonhood. Bah, I'm trying ...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Man U -- wina, 15:35:12 07/05/02 Fri

bad choice! Man City much more in character

[> [> [> [> Re: That's a very interesting point... -- Purple Tulip, 13:09:32 07/03/02 Wed

2. I think we are all bamboozeled by Spike's charm and forget that he really knows little about slayers. He killed two (quite by accident I would guess). And made alot of stuff up. Especially the stuff about slayers and "death wish". He uses his supposed information to manipulate. Little of what he spouts as truth should be considered as such.

I really don't think that is quite fair. Ok, I do agree with you that a lot of people (myself included) are seriously swayed by Spike and his persona. But for me, it's not his "charm", it's his lovesick puppy-dog act and his attempt at being a bad-ass---I find it quite cute, though not ignoring the fact that he is still a killer and vampire.

However, let me get to the point that I disagreed with you on--- I really don't think that Spike killed either of the slayers by "accident". If you watched "Fool for Love", it showed the murder of the two other slayers and they were hard-fought battles. Like many vampires, he saught out the slayer, looking for that one good fight, relishing the vicotry over his greatest rival. This is one of the things that brought him to Sunnydale- he came to seek out the new slayer and challenge her to a battle like he had with the other two (and perhaps their were other slayers that he had fought, though just failed to kill). In a way, this makes him more of a wicked demon that Angelus ever was, and I think that it goes to show that he really does understand slayers-on a mental level, as well as a physical one, as he must have been able to anticipate their moves so that he could always be one-up and eventually be the victorious party. Where Buffy is concerned, I think that it would be unwise to say that Spike doesn't understand her. On the contrary, when she came back, one of the reasons that she turned to him over anyone else, was because he knew what she needed, he just let her be and didn't expect anything from her- this is something that a vampire without a soul could see but that her closest friends and family couldn't. Coincidence? I really don't think so. He knew just how to be what she needed, whether it was a quiet confidant or a shagging partner- though the latter makes him appear to be Buffy's own personal wipping-boy.

On the idea of killing and loving a slayer: "To kill this girl you have to love her," Angelus once advised Spike, and how true that is. Angel's love led to the biggest heartbreak of her life, and Spike's love led to near- insanity. Though neither physically killing her, both did the job mentally, emotionally, etc., as Buffy even told Spike in the end of "As You Were", 'it's killing me', in reference to their "relationship". Spike's all consuming love for her was not unlike his previous all-consuming hatred. Both were damaging, dangerous, and frustrating. Spike's hatred for her evolved into what he believed to be love because he only knows how to do things on two extremes: love and hate, pleasure and pain, loyalty and vengeance, and he often blurs the line between the two polar emotions. He couldn't kill her the old-fashioned way, thought he did give it a valiant effort, so subconsciously he decided to try the only other things he knew- the exact opposite of hate which happened to be love. "To kill this girl you have to love her." Spike's a lot smarter than people give him credit for, and I hope that more of that will come out next season.

[> [> "You have to love her to kill her" How would he know?!! -- Off-kilter, 01:54:30 07/05/02 Fri

Angelus has never killed a slayer. Spike killed two. Why take advice from Angelus after seeing that he never tried to kill a Slayer before Buffy (avoided them as a matter of fact) and wasn't successful in his attempts with her death either?

I'd take advice like that with a HUGE amount of salt.

[> [> [> Because Angelus is talking about Buffy, not Slayers in general -- Masq, 11:25:50 07/05/02 Fri

He knows Buffy inside and out, having loved her for longer than three years at the point he says this. It's all about Buffy.

[> [> [> [> Ooh, and -- Masq, 11:27:52 07/05/02 Fri

The thing he knows about buffy is her weakness is her friends and her love. She can fight monsters who hate her, she doesn't fight those she loves or who love her worth a beans. The secret to defeating Buffy is not to be her enemy as Spike was at that point, but to become her friend and her lover. "You have to work from the inside." Buffy lowers her guard, and zzzap.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ooh, and -- Rufus, 19:16:05 07/05/02 Fri

Remember Angelus wasn't just talking about killing in a dead body sense but in the murder of one's spirit and corruption of their ability to love. Angelus wanted to kill the love he felt for Buffy more than the woman herself. He sees love as the one thing he needs to control to keep strong, in loving Buffy he may have felt castrated.

[> [> [> [> [> [> And we see how well it worked too. -- Off-kilter, not convinced, 08:00:03 07/06/02 Sat

Still not impressed with Angelus. According to most of you guys (can't name names, not a AtS watcher, don't keep up) Angel is NOT Angelus. Angelus might have been trying to come up with a plan to kill/break Buffy and thought he had a the perfect one. But seeing how the whole thing worked out, he was either wrong in his hypothesis or flawed in his execution.

What characters say is not cannon. Just because the Mayor told Angel and Buffy their love was doomed didn't make it so. Just because Spike says that passionate love can't ever be transformed into friendship doesn't mean it can't happen. And just because ANGELUS says the way to destroy Buffy is to love her doesn't make it true either.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And we see how well it worked too. -- Purple Tulip, 23:37:04 07/06/02 Sat

It might not make it true, necessarily, but her past relationships have made it out to be a plausible explination. Every man who has ever loved her has left her, broken her heart, lied to her, hurt her (physically, mentally, emotionally, etc.), and these things have slowly killed her. Maybe not in the conventional way, as I stated before, but each man has succeeded in breaking her down piece by piece. This doesn't mean that because Angelus stated it then it's true, it's just the way that it worked out. As Angelus, he could look back on the feelings that Angel had for her and know that as his former demon self, his actions were breaking her heart, making her feel as if she were dying. He could tell that his most powerful weapon against her was the memory of Angel's love and the sight of what he now was- a demon wearing her boyfriend's face. So he went with that and figured that that was the best way to get her- to make the hurt last longer and fuel her fire and rage longer. And so this is the advice that he gave to Spike- to kill this girl you have to love her. It doesn't mean he was all wise and true, just that he found the best way to hurt her. It's very similar to the Mayor's speech in "Choices" and Spike's "Love isn't brains children..." speech in "Loverswalk"- it's just a demon's way of trying to find their opponent's weak spot; to make them flustered and perform worse. While it is insightful and seemingly smart and knowledgable, it's really nothing more than defense strategy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And we see how well it worked too. -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:12:22 07/07/02 Sun

Angelus was an idiot.

He had two great occasions to kill Buffy (in Innocence when she didn't know he was evil, and in Passions when he snuck into her room while she slept) but did neither. He was too wrapt up in his little mind games to realize that letting Buffy live meant letting the only person in Sunnydale who posed a serious threat to him live.

Actually, a combination of Angel's and Spike's methods would have been best. She must love you, leaving her vulnerable, but you must be willing to attack her when the opportunity arises.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And we see how well it worked too. -- Rufus, 22:47:27 07/07/02 Sun

Angelus was an idiot.

I don't think Angelus is an idiot as much as someone with "issues" who has the power to manipulate situations for his entertainment.....it wasn't about killing Buffy but getting total control over her...of course then becoming bored then killing her....only to repeat the sequence of events with the next victim that sets him off. Angelus hates love and purity, all the things that go with human happiness..he will destroy them to make himself feel in control of everything around him. This trait has followed the vampire to his soulled state where he tends to think power will mould things to fit what he wants....Angels trials all about giving up the pride that causes him to sabotage his life. He isn't as much an idiot as he is passionate about what he wants, doing what it takes to get it...even redemption.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And we see how well it worked too. -- Finn Mac Cool, 07:49:07 07/08/02 Mon

Fine, I'll accept that. As Spike said in Passions: "This new Angel isn't playing with a full sack."

However, toying playfully with the only person who can kill you ain't so smart.

Robert vs Joey, part 7 -- VampRiley, 08:17:22 07/03/02 Wed


Mister Christoph held Joey against the right side of the door in the classroom. The red headed girl runs up to them. Mister Christoph grabs her and holds her to his face. "He's nothing like us. Nothing!" He threw her backwards to his left and she hit the blackboard. Joey looked up to Christoph and ran away. The red head screamed for him not to leave her alone again. Joey left the school. He turned back and turned around again and kept running.


Joey was running on the streets of a major city. It was a busy night, especially for the middle of the night. He ran up and down the roads trying not to run into people or get run over by cars. He turned right at the corner and ran into something. He looked up from the ground and saw a woman with shoulder length brown hair. "Hi. You okay?" It was the same woman from the house with Robert.

"Yeah. I'm fine." He brushed his hands against his jeans and stood up.

She bent down and picked up his bat. "Here. Think you dropped this." She handed it to him.

"Thanks." He grabbed the handle with his left hand and let it fall to his side.

"You should be more careful with that."

Joey looked at the bat and absorbed it into his hand with a metallic ringing.

"You okay?" she said looking at the child.


"Yeah." She nodded her head slightly.

"I'm ah...I'm okay."

"You don't look it. Ya' sure?"

"I'm sure."

"All right. But you do look hungry."

Joey's stomach grumbled loudly. He furrowed his brow and looked down. "I guess I am."

"Care to join me?" He eyed her waringly. "I promise I won't bite. You're the one who does that, remember?"

He paused for half a moment. "All right."

She smiled. "Good. We can go to my place. It's just around the corner." Joey looked at her. Then, he slowly started walking with her.


The woman and Joey turned the corner and went down some steps that led to a door beneath the road. The woman grabbed the knob on the right and the door swung to the left.

Joey followed her in and was taken aback as he looked around him. Season 1 Giles would've been very happy here. It looked like something taken from and english mansion. He stepped into the foyer and closed the door behind him. On the right of the door was a small table. Above it was an oval shaped mirror. The entire floor was made of wood paneling. There was a rectangular shaped, dark grey colored, rug with weird looking designs made with gold, black, red and blue string. He walked further in and the room opened up. On the opposite wall was a bookcase filled with books. In the left and right walls were large openings that led to other rooms. On the right was a dark brown table with no chairs. There were red flowers stting in a basket in the center of the table. On the left side of that room was another opening. He could see part of a dark red cabinet. The brown haired woman entered through those rooms and disappeared.

On the left of him was a dark brown, grandfather clock facing the bookcase. Coming out of the left was, ending right before the opening, was another bookcase. On the other side of the opening was another bookcase that met up with the one in front of him. On the left was an open hallway with another rug like the one in the foyer, only larger. There was a staircase that led up that was perpendicular to the front of the house. As he looked further, he could see a stone fireplace. There was no fire lit. There were frames on the mantel, but he couldn't see who was in them. There were red bricks in front of the fireplace in the floor. A poker, a brush and a dust bin sat in the holder on the left. They were all black and had long "stems" with gold colored handles.

Just before the far right corner of the room he was in was a small table with a mirror above it. Before that was the back of a three-seater couch that was facing Joey. On the other side of the couch were two chairs. The back of the one on the left faced the far left corner and the right one's back faced the far right corner. Underneath those three pieces was a different rug. This one had the left and right edges deliberetily left frayed. And there was no TV in sight.

Joey came around the right side of the couch and looked down and to his left. He saw a dark brown coffe table between the chairs and the couch. As he continued walking to the bookcase, he looked to his right and saw from the top of his head down to just above his nose reflected in the mirror. He walked up to the bookcase and looked at the side of one of the books. There was writing. He furrowed his brow and looked at the others.

The brown haired woman came back in with two clear glasses with a red liquid in them. She walked towards him. Joey turned around and saw her. "Something on your mind?" He turned around.

She handed him the glass in her left hand. He took it in his right. "Yeah." He pointed to the books behind him with his thumb. "The writing on the books. It doesn't look like anything human I'm familiar with."

"The host is asleep. You can't read anything if the host is asleep, remember?"

He looked off to his right and down. Realization hit him. "I forgot."

She motioned with her left hand to the seats. "Dinner will be ready in a bit." Joey sat in the one closest to them while the brown haired woman sat in the other one.

"Who are you?"

"I'm Rachel." Joey shook his head and took a sip. "So, you're irresponsibility, huh? I've heard about you."

"I prefer the term 'fun'."

Rachel chuckled and took a sip from her drink. "But you're one of the two main concepts. 'Fun' and 'Responsibility'. The powerful ones."

"Not if I have to say anything about it."


"I want him dead."


"Yes." He took another sip. "Dead."


"He's such a tight ass about things. We've been fighting for a really long time. If he was more like me than we probably would have gotten along great."

"I'm sure he feels the same way about you."

"He does."

"And you believe you can win?"

"I do."

"You're the two most powerful concepts. You two creep into every facet of the host's life. You've got the same powers. You both know everything the host knows. You're too evenly matched. How can you hope to beat him?"

"First off, I don't plan to beat him. I plan to kill him. Secondly, we express our powers differently. And that's how I'll do it."

"But you haven't done it yet." she stated rather than asked.

With a pissed off expression, "No." He took a sip and looked at nothing with his head turned down to the coffe table. He was about to say something when the door opened.

A man about 6 feet tall came in and shut the door behind him. He had dark brown hair and dark brown eyes. He was dressed in black shoes, baggy black leather pants, an untucked, black silk shirt and a light blue trentch coat. As he walked up to them, Joey and Rachel stood up. "What are you doing here?!" she said rounding the coffee table and meeting him on the other side of the couch.

"What? I'm not allowed?"

"No. Not yet."

"Excuse me." They looked at Joey. "What are you talking about?"

Realizing he was there, "Joey? This is Derrick."



"Now, what are you talking about he isn't supposed to be here yet?"

"Oh, it's nothing." said Rachel.

"Nothing? It's very important why I'm here."

She looked at him like she wanted him to not say anything else. She mouthed "Not yet.".

He smiled at her. "She didn't tell you, ..." He turned his head from her to Joey. "...did she?"

"Tell me what?"

She turned to him. "Nothing." She looked at Derrick. "It's not important."

"I'd say it's very important."

"Well, if I should know, then I want to know."

Derrick looked at Rachel. "Come on. It'll be fun."

"No, it won't. It'll be painfull."


Rachel looked at Joey and realized she forgot again he was there. "No, I didn't mean painfull, I just meant..."

"You said painful. I wanna know what you mean right now."

"She doesn't want to tell you. Not just yet. She's afrad how you or the host would react."

"And just how would we react?" Derrick snapped his fingers. Joey blinked several times and looked to his right and down. He looked at Derrick, raised his left hand and a blast of lime-green energy shot at him. He flew back into the foyer. Joey walked over to where Rachel was standing and looked at her. "Who are you? What are you?"


"Yes, you. I'm surprised I didn't notice it before. You're not a part of the host nor are you memories. You don't belong here. Now, what are you doing here?" Joey noticed something and turned. Derrick was standing right behind him. Joey had to really look up to see his face. Joey began to rise in the air. He was surprised.

"You're right we aren't part of the host. You could call us aliens, but that wouldn't be appropriate."

"And just would be appropriate?" he said angrily.

"Us? Why we're family."

"Family?" he said disbelievingly.

"It's true, Joey" said Rachel gently

"Too bad the host won't know. Doesn't work the other way around, does it son?"

Joey glasses faded away and lime green anergy shot from his eyes and hit Derrick. Joey dropped to the ground.

"You just gonna stand there?"

"You deserved that."

"I deserved it?!"

"After way you've treated the host during his whole existence. You and your girlfriend."

"Us?! If memory serves me correctly, and it always does, you and your ex also had a hand in this as well. So, don't make us out to be the bad guys. You're just as responsible as we are, as is the rest of our species."


"Us? We're not the ones who treated the host like crap."

"HEY!!!!!!" Derrick and Rachel looked at the kid. "Now, I want some answers now or I'm gonna just start blasting in any direction."

"We don't have any for you." said Derrick.

"No?" Joey hands started glowing lime green. Derrick snapped his fingers and the energy disappeared.

Derrick stood up and walked towards him. "You're just a concept. We are gods." He smiled. "Your threats are just pathetic." Joey looked at Derrick with hatred in his eyes.

Rachel stood between them. "Leave him alone." Derrick looked at Rachel, then to Joey and back to Rachel. He smiled and took a step back.

"Joey? It might be best if you left." Joey, his glasses back, looked at her, then Derrick. He walked between them while watching Derrick. He turned his head to keep looking at Derrick as he passed. He backed towards the door and left.

"You really are a bastard." Derrick just smiled.


Joey walked down a very wide flight of stairs with a metal railing down the center. He stopped at the yellow line and this futuristic subway train pulled up. The doors opened and he stepped inside. He sat on a seat on his right.


He walked up a flight of stairs back onto the streets. He looked and saw vehicles of various shapes and sizes flying up above. He put his thumb and index finger in his mouth and whistled. A yellow and black taxi floated down and stopped in the air in front of him close to the ground. He pulled the handle up with his right and opened it. He stepped inside and the taxi flew away.


Inside the cab, Joey looked out at the city as the cab flew high in the air. The cab stopped at the top of the one tall buildings. The only thing on the roof was a rectangular shape structure with a door.

"You sure you want to get out here?"

He opened the door and stepped out onto the ledge. He closed the door and the cab flew away. He turned around and sat on the ledge. His legs hung over the edge. "Why are you here?"

Rachel walked up behind him. "You alright?"

"Leave me alone."

"Look, I didn't mean to..."

He turned to look at her. "You think I have hurt feelings or something?" Rachel just looked at him. He turned back around. "My feelings aren't hurt. That's not what I'm worried about."

"Then what?"

"The host."

"The host?"

"Yeah. You guys arn't gonna tell the host what you're doing, are you?"

"We will. Just not yet."

"Those aren't even you real names, are they?"

She waked up to him. "No, they aren't."

"You plan on telling me anything else about what you're doing?"


"Then leave me alone."

Rachel disappeared with a flash. Joey looked out over the city.

To be continued...


Spike's Chip (mild S6 spoilers; S7 speculation in last paragraph) -- J, 13:06:28 07/03/02 Wed

Reading some of the other threads, I had a thought about Spike's chip. The ATPoBtVS page on the chip states that it "works by producing a painful debilitating shock that thwarts the initiation and completion of aggressive voluntary actions aimed at non-demon life." My question is this -- are we ever *told* that's how Spike's chip works in the series? Or have we just assumed that's how it works based upon Spike's reactions when he attacks living humans?

The reason I ask is this -- what if the chip, instead of producing an actual physical jolt, merely causes Spike to *believe* that he's receiving a physical jolt? Under this theory, Spike is aware on on an unconscious level that when he attacks Buffy that he's attacking something that isn't *quite* a 'living human' anymore (since Buffy's been dead), thus rendering the chip's message nonfunctional. If this is the case, then the whole 'Buffy came back wrong' plotline (even with the silly 'cellular level' resolution), makes a hell of a lot more sense to me-since Buffy didn't really 'come back wrong', and Spike's chip didn't suddenly start malfunctioning. However, what it may do is throw the whole thrust of Spike's changes into chaos, making it even more likely that the Spike we see in S7 will be a completely different character than the one we've seen since S2.


[> It's my understanding that there are no pain nerves in the brain, so -- Sophist, 13:41:06 07/03/02 Wed

the chip would have to create the sensation of pain by triggering those areas of the brain responsive to pain signals from the body. That, in essence, is what I understand your alternative to be.

It's not clear that this would lead to the consequences you describe, though. Spike's beliefs about a person don't appear to be relevant. He did not realize he could hit demons for some time, and when he hit Tara he didn't know if she was human or demon. In both cases, his subconscious expectations could not be the controlling factor.

Darby or mole, please correct me if I'm wrong on the physiology.

[> [> Re: It's my understanding that there are no pain nerves in the brain, so -- J, 14:05:45 07/03/02 Wed

That's not exactly what I meant (although I wasn't as clear as possible, I'm sure). What I meant is the pain Spike feels would be purely psychological rather than physical-- the chip doesn't trigger anything neurological at all, instead it just creates the ongoing impression in Spike's mind that if he hits a human, he will feel pain.

I agree that Spike's beliefs about a being aren't relevant, and you raise an excellent point about 'Family'. However, when Spike hit Tara, he did so with the understanding that whether or not he felt pain would determine what Tara was. I'm not sure that's ever happened again on the series (with the possible exception of Buffy). Spike had encountered Tara before, and as pointed out in another thread, he's extremely perceptive. Moreover, he's still got vampire senses. I'm confident he knew Tara wasn't a demon before he hit her--he only hit her to prove that fact to everyone else.

[> [> [> Isn't that giving him a lot of credit? -- Off- kilter, 01:00:32 07/05/02 Fri

After all, if he knew that Tara was in fact human without needing to hit her, why did he do it? He said, "I don't care." And probably meant it. Kind of got the idea that he did it out of curiosity.

[> [> [> [> Re: Isn't that giving him a lot of credit? -- shadowkat, 07:16:02 07/05/02 Fri

I agree. But i think there were two reasons.

1. Curiousity
2. Annoyance with the debate when there was a simple answer.

"Why don't we make this simple?" I think he says, too lazy to lift the actual dialogue from Psyche.

I also think, he was conflicted as far back as Family.
In the episode, he initially goes to the magic box, to get a good seat, to see Buffy die. But he can't, when he sees she's in danger, with a growl of annoyance, possibly at himself, he helps her. Then when she doesn't thank him or even acknowledge his help, he wonders why am I bothering? He comes into the magic box, tells them who the monsters are, they barely acknowledge him. He's curious about Tara's family and why they are doing what they are, he also seems a tad annoyed, as is Anya, with the whole: Demons are evil,
disgusting things debate. Don't blame them. And both Anya and Spike are probably looking at Tara thinking, Witch, yes.
Demon? HArdly.

So I think his reasons for hitting her were a tad more complex.

Also - I think the writers found his presence there to be a nice way of proving Tara isn't a demon to all concerned and had to look for some sort of motivation to get him to do it, or the audience would go, huh? Did a pretty good job,
we went huh? But also seem to have found all sorts of interesting motivations. And it made him more interesting to me. Actually my interest in Spike perked up after that episode. I thought...okay where is Joss heading with this?
Joss wrote and directed Family.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Isn't that giving him a lot of credit? -- J, 09:21:52 07/05/02 Fri


Mr. Maclay looks angry.

DONNY: Daaad. You -- you gonna let 'em just... (stomps forward) Tara, if you don't get in that car, I swear by god I will beat you down.
XANDER: And I swear by your full and manly beard, you're gonna break something trying. (Donny looks cowed)
BETH: Well. I hope you'll all be happy hanging out with a disgusting demon.

The same shot of the whole Scooby gang spread out in a row. Anya, farthest back, raises her hand.
ANYA: E-excuse me. What kind?
BETH: What?
ANYA: What kind of demon is she? There's a lot of different kinds. Some are very, very evil. And some have been considered to be useful members of society. (Smiles proudly. Xander turns to smile back at her.)
BETH: Well, I-I ... what does it matter?
MR. MACLAY: Evil is evil.
ANYA: Well, let's just narrow it down. (Xander nods)
SPIKE: Ohhh. (looks around) Why don't I make this simple.

Spike walks forward and taps Tara on the shoulder. When she turns, he punches her in the face.

Both Tara and Spike reel backwards in pain. Tara grabs her nose, Spike his head.

SPIKE: Oww!!
WILLOW: (angry) Hey! (suddenly realizing) Hey...
TARA: (both hands over her face) He hit my nose!
WILLOW: And it hurt! Uh, him, I mean.

Tara looks at her in surprise.

BUFFY: (to Mr. Maclay) And that only works on humans. (Willow smiles)
SPIKE: There's no demon in there. That's just a family legend, am I right? (Mr. Maclay looks angry) Just a bit of spin to keep the ladies in line. (smirks) Oh, you're a piece of work. I like you.
TARA: (softly, to Willow) I'm not a demon.
WILLOW: (smiling) You're not a demon.
TARA: He hurt my nose.
SPIKE: (still rubbing his forehead) Yeah, you're welcome. (Stalks off)

Based on the above, I don't think that my explanation is necessarily inconsistent with yours, SK. Spike's always impatient with any sort of wishy-washy behavior (cf. Pangs), and based on his statements after the fact, Spike at least had a very strong suspicion (if not a belief) that Tara wasn't a demon. I can see why you identified this as a bit of a turning point for Spike, actually -- this might be the first time he 'takes a bullet' for the SG and doesn't get something out of it himself! Admittedly, getting a headache and getting tortured by a hellgod aren't quite the same thing, but at this point he's still working out the import of the dream he had two eps earlier in 'Out of My Mind.'

So anyway, I don't think I'm giving him too much credit here, although I could be persuaded otherwise.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually agree -- shadowkat, 16:59:44 07/05/02 Fri

"Based on the above, I don't think that my explanation is necessarily inconsistent with yours, SK. Spike's always impatient with any sort of wishy-washy behavior (cf. Pangs), and based on his statements after the fact, Spike at least had a very strong suspicion (if not a belief) that Tara wasn't a demon. I can see why you identified this as a bit of a turning point for Spike, actually -- this might be the first time he 'takes a bullet' for the SG and doesn't get something out of it himself! Admittedly, getting a headache and getting tortured by a hellgod aren't quite the same thing, but at this point he's still working out the import of the dream he had two eps earlier in 'Out of My Mind.'

So anyway, I don't think I'm giving him too much credit here, although I could be persuaded otherwise."

Actually I don't think you are either. Sorry offkilter, have
to go with J on this one. The trouble with Spike is he is an amazingly complex character. Not evil incarnate, not
good, not grey...so we debate him endlessly.

What he reminds me of is those street toughs and bullies I knew in school, who eventually grew up and realized destruction wasn't all it was cracked up to be.

In Family, he seems to realize she's not a demon, just as Anya does on a subconscious level. Both deal with the situation from a selfish angle. McLay's have just insulted them and their kind horribly. Anya's like - "hey not all demons are like that!" (she's with xander remember, and feeling a tad insecure) Spike's like - this is an annoying little debate and I'm tired of self-righteous humans insulting us, let's put an end to it (he has a thing for Buffy and McLay just asked how can you consider being with a horrible demon, had to bug him). Going back to Family - I see Whedon's trademark touch, every character developed, the whole story arc advanced, and foreshadowing for future seasons, along with myth metaphor and realistic metaphor.
One of my favorite episodes. Also the Tara development is really quite amazing - I was shocked they decided to give us that much information on her. Never did for OZ or for that matter Cordy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Devil's Advocate strikes again. -- Off-kilter, 07:49:09 07/06/02 Sat

I think he did for a variety of reasons myself. The only thing I doubt is that he was 100% sure Tara was human and took it "on the chin"--or in the head--just to get Tara off the hook. Wanted to point out what the "but he's evil!" people were going to say and beat them to the punch.

Just stirring up trouble.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Devil's Advocate strikes again. -- shadowkat, 08:55:52 07/06/02 Sat

" The only thing I doubt is that he was 100% sure Tara was human and took it "on the chin"--or in the head--just to get Tara off the hook. "

Oh, I'd agree with that. Seriously doubt he was 100% sure.
Actually I think he was partly curious.

Re Spike - the only thing I'm on the fence with is the
whole evil bit. Mostly b/c the writers have successfully managed to confuse me on this. No soul = pure evil argument...just seems sort of lame and it's not real consistent in their writing across both shows - hence all the debates regarding it on the boards. I'm pretty sure they only did that in Season 2 to push that great, "you sleep with a guy and becomes evil incarnate" metaphor. Then of course they got stuck with it and have had to work around the whole thing ever since.

Am curious to see where they take Spike now he has a soul.
No one on the boards seems to really know. (None of spec's
I've read ring true to me and all future fanfics have him
human or chipless.) Makes me all that more eager.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Vampirism -- Rahael, 09:21:40 07/06/02 Sat

This is what I'd always thought Vampires were (and thus different from demons). Vampires, technically are dead. And this extends from a physical deadness to a emotional and moral deadness.

There is no essential quality 'evilness' that inhabits a human/inhuman/demon/vampire being that suffuses his blood and bone and tissue. There are only the choices that we all make, and the responsibilities that we all bear.

The idea and theme of deadness as a quality inherent in being a Vampire is brought to the fore again in Spike's song. It's a theme I prefer because it is so much more poetic and moving and understandable than the good/evil debate.

To be alive is the hardest thing in the world for Spike and other Vampires. They are condemned to stalk the shadows. That's why demons are a whole different kettle of fish - that's why Lorne's range of choices are that much broader.

BtVS shows that the quality of otherness is not singular in nature, but multi-faceted and can be experienced in many ways.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Vampirism,well spoken -- wina, 16:01:27 07/06/02 Sat

with you on that one

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Vampirism -- Rufus, 05:38:20 07/07/02 Sun

To be alive is the hardest thing in the world for Spike and other Vampires. They are condemned to stalk the shadows. That's why demons are a whole different kettle of fish - that's why Lorne's range of choices are that much broader.

I just had to throw in a quote from Joss......

Quote from Season One DVD interview with Joss

Joss: I've always been interested in vampires, I think because of the isolation they feel. They're in the world but not of it. As a child I always felt that way, and Buffy deals with that kind of alienation.

I remember that quote from quite awhile ago and it sticks with me. Consider that the vampire is a creature with emotional limitations that you just don't see in demons such at Lorne. I think that does stem from the fact that vampires are the result of a curse that isolates them from participating in the world they were once a part of. The killing the vampires indulge in are a result of this alienation from the humanity/soul that made them a part of the world, now cursed they are forced to prey upon what they once were....you can equate their violent acting out with what happens with youth that have become isolated from the world, striking out in rebellion. That last demon to leave this reality that created the vampire must have been some pissed off.

[> Re: Spike's Chip (mild S6 spoilers; S7 speculation in last paragraph) -- Maxwell, 15:46:34 07/03/02 Wed

I have always thought that the functioning of the chip has been inconsistent. In "The Yoko Factor", Spike pointed a gun a Zander and reacted as if in pain even though the gun was in fact a fake. Spike believed the gun was real as so believed that he was going to harm or kill a human. In this instance the Chip reacted according to Spikes perceptions and beliefs.
In "Smashed" Spike saw buffy engaged in battle with two human looking creatures and jumped in. These two turned out to be actual humans. Spike believe that he was attacking demons of some kind but the chip reacted to the reality of the situation despite what Spike believed.
Latter in that same episode Spike attacks Buffy believing that she is human and believing that he is going to hurt her and yet nothing. This seems to contradict what we learned in "The Yoko Factor"

[> My opinion -- Caesar Augustus, 16:52:46 07/03/02 Wed

My personal opinion has always been based on Spike's beliefs. This is because the chip is neurological. Clearly, it's the thought of hurting a human that causes him the pain. So the question is whether the chip then uses its own methods for deciding on whether something is a human or not, or whether it uses Spike's thought for that as well.

For me, the fact that the chip is non-mystical but Initiative-made would indicate that it knows nothing about souls or anything on a spiritual level. If it used its own methods for choosing, they would all be practical tests (such as heartbeat, or pulse, or some combination of factors like that) that Buffy would pass when she's returned. On the other hand, if it were based on Spike's thoughts, he knows she's died and is acting like a "dead thing" on her return, so to him she's not human. The key to some apparent contradictions would be to think of it as based on Spike's subconscious beliefs, but even this is not foolproof.

[> [> Re: My opinion -- Finn Mac Cool, 18:14:06 07/03/02 Wed

Actually, it's a little of both. It obviously has some sort of sensor to detect if something's human (witness Buffy and the muggers in Smashed). However, it combines that by reading Spike's intention to cause harm (Yoko Factor). I don't know why everyone is so confused on this.

[> [> [> Re: My opinion -- Cydney, 05:18:42 07/04/02 Thu

Except remember - Spike didn't know about the chip when he first went to kill Buffy in the dorm (right after escaping from the Initiative) and tried to bite Willow instead - and couldn't "perform." His perceptions couldn't have been involved because he didn't know yet about the chip and what it would do to him.

More inconsistent writing? Joss or someone admitted that Spike shouldn't have been able to fight his way out of the Initiative because of the chip - that the writers goofed...

[> [> [> [> Re: My opinion -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:17:40 07/04/02 Thu

What does it matter about perceptions? Chip detected a human, read Spike's intention to harm it, and sent out an electrical shock to deter him. Why should it matter if Spike thinks the chip is there?

Also, Spike primarily fought the loose demons and not soldiers.

[> [> [> Re: My opinion -- Caesar Augustus, 16:28:53 07/04/02 Thu

Don't quite see how that would resolve the Buffy issue. She would clearly pass any Intiative-designed test, like pulse, breathing, human brain/heart, or whatever - but on the other hand, Spike who's talked about magic having consequences and how if they brought her back wrong, he'd have forced them to keep her, and has also witnessed Buffy's deadness, clearly has it in the back of his mind (unconscious) that she is different.

[> [> [> [> Re: My opinion -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:47:22 07/04/02 Thu

It was mentioned several times in Season 4 that the Initiative used protein trackers to identify/locate certain types of demons (I'm thinking this protein tracking relies on detecting pheromones, but I'm not sure). Quite probably, the chip came with one of these, and it was designed to pick up whatever sort of "protein marker" humans have. Tara said the change was purely on a molecular level. Well, proteins/pheromones are on a molecular level, so that's why it threw the chip off track.

[> [> [> [> [> I can only answer with another skeptical hmmmm ..... -- Caesar Augustus, 02:13:10 07/05/02 Fri

I'd love to see you stay alive if you weren't producing human proteins. If Buffy isn't, she sure as well would be dead, not 'normal' as Tara calls it. What it means is that the molecules used to make her up are different to the molecules that already made her up before she died. Why this should matter is simply braindead, since a person is made up of completely different molecules about every six months. I'd like to add a rider to Joss's 'I suck at math' of 'I suck at science in general'.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I can on -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:36:03 07/07/02 Sun

Granted, scientifically, a human can't live without producing human proteings. But:


[> [> [> Re: My opinion -- Darby, 20:04:26 07/05/02 Fri

The problem has always been that what the chip is "supposed" to do requires magic, but it originated with government scientists who didn't believe in magic. By ME's own constraints, the chip needs to be technological, but its only possible way of analyzing potential victims from inside a demon skull is to use the demon's perceptions. We've seen several instances where demons fail to recognize humans not because they can't, but because they weren't paying attention - Willow as Vamp Willow, Buffy as the Buffybot, etc. In every case they seem to be able to when they bring their senses to bear, or at least have a better idea. It only makes sense to prevent a demon from hurting things that the demon perceives as humans (and only requires a certain pattern of response in the brain to activate), even if the perception hasn't percolated up to the conscious levels of the brain (the muggers, Tara) yet.

And you're right, Sophist, no pain receptors in the brain itself, but lots of pain processors to be activated.

[> [> Intent and the chip..... -- Rufus, 20:32:02 07/04/02 Thu

Spike spoke about the chip in the alleyway in FFL, he had been "testing" it and came to a few conclusions....From Fool for Love season five......

Lesson the second: ask the right questions. You want to know how I beat 'em?

Buffy releases him and steps back.

The question isn't "How'd I win?". The question is "Why'd they lose?".

What's the difference?

Spike lunges at her, the pool cue aimed at her throat. Spike stops it inches from her skin. Buffy never even flinches.

There's a big difference, love.

Buffy kicks the cue from his hands.

How'd you kill the second one?

Hmm? A bit like this.

He sends a series of punches at her but Buffy easily ducks them all.

That didn't hurt?

I knew I couldn't touch you. If there's no intent to hurt you, then that chip they shoved up my brain never activates. If, on the other hand...

Spike's face changes and he lunges at her but he's brought up short by a crippling brain seizure.

See, now that hurt.

Yeah? This hurt too?

Then there was Dru in "Crush" she had her own take on the chip.....

From Crush..

DRUSILLA: No little tinker-toy could ever stop you from flowing.

SPIKE: (whispers) Yeah.


SPIKE: (shakes his head, removes his hand from her) But the pain ... love, you don't understand, it's ... it's searing. It's, um, blinding.

She puts her hand on the top of his head and pulls it down toward her.

DRUSILLA: All in your head. I can see it. Little bit of ... plastic, spiderwebbing out nasty blue shocks. (moves her fingers across his head imitating a spider) And every one is a lie. (Spike keeps his head bent) Electricity lies, Spike. It tells you you're not a bad dog, but you are.

Is Spike pain based upon the reality of the tiny tinker-toy in his brain, or is it something more?

The Initiative season four....

Walsh: I'm not interested in guess work, gentlemen. Call me old-fashioned. I like results. This report reads like a child's riddle book. Agent Finn, tell me something good. My implant?

Riley : The implant works. Hostile 17 can't harm any living creature, In any way, without intense neurological pain. We'll bag it.

Walsh : Yes, you will. Dismissed.

Professor Walsh is dead and her research may be in a file box somewhere...but how she made the chip and exactly what it does we don't know....Warren did get a little peek at it in Smashed.....

SPIKE: Help me out here, Spock, I don't speak loser. (gives papers back)

WARREN: Okay, right, um ... your chip works fine, yeah.

SPIKE: (frowns) There's gotta be something wrong-

WARREN: No, no, listen. I don't know what that thing does ... I'd like to... (leans closer)

SPIKE: (leans back) Hey.

WARREN: But whatever it is, it works fine. There's no deterioration of the signal, it still is coming through on a steady pulse. Which it's supposed to.

Spike stands up, gets in Warren's face, towers over him on the platform, very menacing.

SPIKE: If you're lying to me-

WARREN: No! It's all right here. I, I mean, it is. It's really not that hard to figure out, if you just... (sees Spike frowning) What?

So, the people that had the smarts to figure the chip out are dead...and all we can do is guess at exactly what the chip does, why, and for how long.

[> [> [> Re: Intent and the chip..... -- J, 07:00:20 07/05/02 Fri

Rufus - Thanks for putting that all together! You and Maxwell are right, there's a lot of inconsistency there. Do you think that the fact that Spike's been souled-up will allow ME to duck this problem, or will they be forced to deal with it in S7?

[> [> [> [> No..... -- Rufus, 21:15:17 07/05/02 Fri

My opinion is that they left the chip the way it is for a reason...what they will do I don't know.

[> [> [> [> [> Question... can the chip be re-programmed? Like by the watchers? -- shygirl, 08:01:58 07/09/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: Intent and the chip..... -- aliera, 09:19:07 07/05/02 Fri

Exactly, and he seems to feel late this season that it was actually doing even more.

[> [> [> It's rather simple from a plot point.... -- Lijdrec, 22:56:29 07/05/02 Fri

They left the chip in to bring back either Andrew and/or Jonathan. Most likely, it will be revealed that Warren figured out the chip and told his 'lover', Andrew. He will reveal the workings of the chip to someone. Perhaps Spike, but my guess is that it will be the Big Bad, someone who will seek to control Spike.

[> [> [> [> Interesting spec here -- Yarrow, 06:48:23 07/06/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Verrry interesting! -- ponygirl, 08:23:18 07/08/02 Mon

When Spike went to Warren I kept thinking that it was a monumentally bad idea to let a computer genius with a bent towards evil examine the inner workings of his head. Of course no one knew Warren was eveeel then. I kept expecting this to come back up again. So yes I think it would be interesting to see exactly what the chip could make Spike do.

Thin & Crispy vs. Thick & Chewy or ME vs. the Posters -- Copper, 15:57:17 07/03/02 Wed

I've been watching Buffy since the movie came out. I liked the movie because the hero was a girl who kicked ass. I am a big fan of action/adventure movies and TV shows. When I was little, I wanted to be Zorro. Anyway, that is why I initially watched Buffy the series: for the action. But I also liked the well-written dialog and the humor that was generally present in each episode. I think Shakespeare has had such a long literary life because he knew that the audience wanted good dialog, action, and a little (or a lot of) humor, in even the most tragic of dramas. And that is why I got hooked on Buffy.

I thought I was alone as a middle-aged adult who liked the show, but discovered at a conference that a colleague my age also loved the show. Then last fall, I decided to see if there was an interesting on-line discussion board and discovered this site. I have to say I am amazed and impressed at the essays produced by some of the posters. In most cases, I would never have drawn the conclusions they drew, but I can see, after reading the essays, how they could have arrived at those ideas.

I would not have drawn those conclusions because I tend not to look for multiple meanings in TV shows, novels, poetry, etc. As Robert Frost said when asked about someone's analysis of one of his poems (and I am quoting very loosely here), "It is just a poem about the woods. There is no deeper meaning there."

As a scientist (and I had a scientific way of looking at life from at least age 3), I have never been much interested in spirituality, philosophy, or metaphysics; and post- modernism makes me gag. To paraphrase Douglas Adams, the earth wasn't created for us (we are just a puddle of water) and we have no grander purpose for being here than does any other animal species. Our main "purpose" is to reproduce and/or make sure that our or our kin's offspring survive to reproduce. This is not as simple or simplistic as it might seem.

Anyway, the major point of this post is this: Over and over this past year, posters have made intriguing analyses of the episodes and fascinating speculation on where the show was going; on how the characters would develop. In virtually every case, this turned out to be incorrect in major or minor ways. Looking back at previous episodes seems to indicate a pattern, but we posters seem unable to correctly suss out where the ME writers plan to take the story.

I think the reason for this is that ME is writing what I call "thin & crispy" shows: tasty and crackling, but lacking in depth. However, the Posters want ME to be writing "thick & chewy" shows: shows full of substance and depth. When they don't get those shows, they create them with their essays. So, in a way, this website allows Buffy fans to get 2 shows for their time investment. The show that ME writes, and the show many of the Posters wish they would write.

[> LOL. You may well be right. -- Sophist, 16:12:03 07/03/02 Wed

A number of ways to describe this mutual activity spring to mind. I forbear.

[> [> "I forbear." Please don't. Treat us to your musings on us posters & our mutual crusty goodness.... - - redcat, 16:26:39 07/03/02 Wed

[> [> Yeah go Soph go! -- julia, 22:06:51 07/03/02 Wed

[> [> [> Yes, yes. do do do. -- yuri, 09:48:54 07/04/02 Thu

[> Re: Thin & Crispy vs. Thick & Chewy or ME vs. the Posters -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:58:02 07/04/02 Thu

Actually, there's a big difference between finding depth in the show in hindsight rather than predicting it. Predictions about where the show is going usually don't work because there are an almost unlimited number of possibilities. For instance, if someone read half of War and Peace, do you think they'd be able to predict what would happen later in the course of the book. As other people have said, hindsight is 20/20, so it's easiest to find depth when looking at what has happened before than trying to guess what is to come. After all, wasn't a message given to the audience in season 5 "You think you know who you are, why you're here. You haven't even begun."

[> DVD commentaries -- Rahael, 10:20:54 07/04/02 Thu

With the unfair benefit of DVDs and commentaries for Seasons 1-4, I have to say that the writers do deliberately add depth.

Secondly, depth is always added unconciously to narratives. As Joss said in his excellent Onion AV interview, he, like the viewers is a slave to the narrative of BtVS. And he wasn't joking. He takes his Buffy seriously. Did the Body not have depth? How could a show which tackles sadness and pain, and otherness not have depth? It taps into the writers own experiences. It taps into ours. It makes us laugh and cry. That, to me, instantly adds a depth which is hard to quantify.

Shakespeare wrote his plays for entertainment too. He didn't see himself, as Milton, did as a great artistic seer for England. He didn't have a conception of the artist as genius. He didn't even keep a master copy of his plays. Everything we have now is taken from people who did transcripts while watching the play (hence the many numerous versions, and the great trouble scholars have trying to decide if something had just been misheard by the person doing a transcript.) Sir Philip Sidney saw himself as pretty important. He wrote learned treatises, and referenced Plato - is he more significant, and does he have more depth than Shakespeare? No. He is interesting purely because he participated in Elizabethan court intrigue and died on the battlefield

Just listen to Joss in his commentary on 'Innocence'. He says he sees what he does as an artistic endeavour. He cares deeply about every little detail.

It's an entirely false dichotomy to assign depth/meaning to artistic products on the basis of whether the writer meant them to live on as great works. You only have to look at all the pompous bad literature which was meant to be significant, and has now fallen by the wayside. And if you look at the history of popular culture, you'll see that the entertainment of the masses had as important a meaning as the reading material of high culture.

So I guess what I'm saying is, if it's popular and meaningful and it resonates it's important and it has depth. If Buffy looks intelligent, sounds intelligent and provokes this much thought, it has depth. If something waddles and quacks, I'm prepared to call it a duck.

The most important distinction is, is what we see as meaningful about an episode what the writers intended? Now, that's a whole different ball game.

[> [> Great Comments! -- DickBD, 14:47:56 07/04/02 Thu

I think we need someone like Copper to occasionally take us by the collar and shake us. A reality check is always occasionally needed. When I hear talk of symbolism, I wonder whether the red, for example, was really intended to represent something from ancient mythology or just looked good on Anya. But it was worth thinking about. In any case, I come down on the side that the show definitely has a depth to it. It is not an illusion. But thanks for the reality check!

[> [> Thank you Rah. My thoughts exactly! -- shadowkat, 15:20:18 07/04/02 Thu

Rah's right. All you have to do is study the myths and literature of our culture. Charles Dickens released his stories as serials - at the time they were considered little more than pop soap operas, yet they have resonated through the years gaining meaning as each viewer or reader interacts with them.

My brother, a conceptual artist, once told me that it's not
the creation itself that is important but how we interact with it. As a writer, I am less interested in what I intended to convey then in what others see and discover from my words - sometimes giving them far greater meaning than I consciously intended. Words are one of many ways that we can communicate with each other - share thoughts - ideas - dreams - nightmares and hopes. If you have been lurking or posting on this board for very long you will have noticed that our discussions have gone from the truly mundane to the truly insightful, which is which is up to you to decide.

But to say that any art, whether it be a book by a popular novelist, or a painting by a street artist, is mundane and has no deep meaning or value beyond just pure enjoyment is like saying that the earth is flat and the universe definite, that a leaf does not give life to millions of organisms and just because we can't see bacteria it does not exist. This could be a bad analogy. It is a hot day in NYC on July 4...and I must be off. Just my thoughts and as Earl often says: Take it and run.

Again thanks Rah - beautiful as always and spot on!

[> [> [> Here lies one whose name was writ in water -- Rahael, 05:34:08 07/05/02 Fri

Thanks Shadowkat!

The most interesting thing about Charles Dickens is that he was a star in his own lifetime. Not for him the harsh reception shown to poor old Keats ("Get back to the apothecary, Mr Keats" said one nasty critic). He was a celebrity, and his works acclaimed while he was alive.

By this time, the idea that the Writer/Artist was a person of cultural significance was firmly rooted. Keats himself thought that despite lacklustre reviews of his work, he belonged in the list of great English poets. (and he was right!).

I always found the Shakespeare quote on Keats' gravestone 'Here lies one whose name was writ in water' very moving.

There's a great Yeats/Keats linkup in 'Sailing to Byzantium' - Yeats takes Keats' nightingale, the bird's song which transported Keats on the 'viewless wings of poesy' away from the forest of human cares and woes - and fashions the artificial golden bird. The poet, singing for the emperor, his patron.

In fact in 'Sailing to Byzantium' you can find a link also to Philip Sidneys' 'Defence of Poesy', where he uses Plato to defend the significance of the poet/artist. The artificial, golden world created by art shows the true, Platonic, world. And is far better than the natural bird, which will die. The Poet's name may be 'writ in water', fading away into ripples of time. But his work, being artificial will live on as long as this 'black ink' still shines, and men can read.

So there you are: Shakespeare to Keats to Yeats to Hans Christian Anderson to Philip Sidney to Shakespeare again.

Unfortunately I recognise my limits (perhaps even BtVS') and cannot find a single Buffy link!

[> [> [> [> And now I understand 'Sailing to Sarantium', thanks Rah :) -- Ete, fan of GG Kay, 13:28:57 07/05/02 Fri

[> [> Re: DVD commentaries -- Copper, 15:29:54 07/04/02 Thu

Actually, I think you and I agree on this if what you are saying is that Shakespeare is superior to more pretentious literature. Joss evidently is a great fan of Shakespeare and I think most of the shows demonstrate that, as I mentioned in my initial post. But as you also pointed out, Shakespeare wrote for the masses. He wasn't trying to bury deeper meaning in his plays.

This does not mean that the plays/shows do not resonate with us. But that is quite different from burying multiple layers of meaning behind symbolism. I do not think ME writers, for the most part, consciously do that. At least, not any more than do advertisers for a particular product. Perhaps there is a board somewhere where posters find deeper meaning in the use of blue and white in skin cleanser ads.

[> [> [> Re: DVD commentaries -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:11:02 07/04/02 Thu

Actually, I've read interviews with the creators of various forms of art and literature. Most of them (at least, the good ones) don't frequently use symbolism and mythic archetypes intentionally. Tolkien claimed there was no symbolism in The Lord of the Rings, even though that is definately not true from the perspective of almost all readers who bother to think of the question. Mark Twain wrote at the beginning of Huckleberry Finn: "Anyone trying to find a theme in this story will be fined. Anyone trying to find a moral in it will be jailed. Anyone trying to find a plot in it will be shot." However, all three are definitely present.

Joss Whedon and the other Mutant Enemy writers work in the same way. They probably don't INTEND a lot of symbolism and links to psychology and sociology, but it works itself in despite that. The only difference between them and the writers I mentioned above is that they've got the whole modern, self-awareness thing, so they can recognize when deeper meanings crept in unintentionally. Example: the episode Anne (the opener to Season 3) featured some Marxist symbols in Buffy leading the humans (the proverbial peasant class) against the demon factory operators (proverbial ruling class). Joss Whedon said that the Marxist symbols were unintentional, but that he was very pleased with their presence afterwards.

[> [> [> [> Agree...as a writer myself -- shadowkat, 20:03:49 07/04/02 Thu

Yes - I've written things outside of Buffy. Short stories.
Poems. A novel. One short story was even published in college many years ago.

I remember in all of those fiction classes I took, sitting in a circle, having people read my work. In those critique sessions, the author is not allowed to talk, you just listen. And I'll tell you this - did they find meaning in my work? Yes. Was it what I intended sometimes yes, sometimes no. Was it fascinating? Did it add to the work?

James Joyce said after writing Dubliners and Ulysess that he didn't like explaining what he meant, he was more interested in what others derived from it. The collective unconscious fascinated him.

I have to agree. I just heard back from one of the readers of the novel I finished writing - she asked me a whole slew of questions. What did you intend by this? What was meant here? Was this what you meant? And you want to know something? Her interpretation of what I wrote was far more interesting than what I consciously intended. I write instinctively, from my gut, more than head...it's how I connect to the world and derive meaning from it. If it entertains, so much the better, but that is not my sole purpose.

Mark Twain, was a humorist who made fun of his audience and himself, refusing to take either too seriously - I love him, because I often take myself way too seriously ;-)
So I think what he meant by "Anyone trying to find a theme in this story will be fined. Anyone trying to find a moral in it will be jailed. Anyone trying to find a plot in it will be shot" is pretty much what Finn says:"They probably don't INTEND a lot of symbolism and links to psychology and sociology, but it works itself in despite that."

The power of language, of images, of others thoughts on our minds can be astounding.

[> [> [> [> [> Joyce -- Rahael, 06:13:50 07/05/02 Fri

Love Joyce.

Love this story even more: Joyce toward the end of Ulysses found his eyesight failing to the point where he had to dictate to someone who wrote it all down. At one point, in reply to someone knocking on the door, Joyce paused to say "come in". When he had the person read back what had been written in, he realised that 'Come in' had also been transcribed. But he stopped it being taken out - and it's there in Ulysses. Don't ask me where. I read the novel before I read the biography, and the mind baulks at rereading the tome just to find the legendery "come in"

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL! Completely understand -- shadowkat, 07:03:02 07/05/02 Fri

Having read Ulysesses twice, taken two classes on it, and
writing my undergraduate thesis on it - I well understand.
Not sure I can ever read it again. The book requires the patience of a saint. It's wonderful. But it is also written in stream of consciousness prose that would give writers like Burroughs, Garcia-Marquez, Faulkner...all a run for their money. But if you love poetry - it is beautiful. It's also the best way to read it - like a very long poem.

I vaguely remember that story. Loved it. I think we tracked down where in class, but it escapes me. Another favorite is the story that he had nuns who didn't know English type it up for him. Joyce was a dirt poor writer who made little to no money when he was alive and like Keats didn't get much recognition until much later.

As an old creative writing prof once told me: Don't write for fame and fortune, you won't get it. But if you have something to say - something to share and a drive to share it - go right ahead, it's why the rest of us do.
Words that keep me going. ;-)

[> [> [> [> Re: DVD commentaries -- Copper, 00:04:53 07/05/02 Fri

Actually, I believe I stated in an earlier post a few weeks ago that I thought the writers were affected by the unconscious/subconscious. In particular, that unconscious/subconscious drives concerning sexuality, reproduction, and fertility affected the way in which they wrote the relationship of Buffy and Spike.

Certainly, if other posters can see the effects of mythology and sociopolitics on the story line, there is no reason that the more powerful biological urges should not be present also.

Still, there is nothing wrong with thin and crispy. If you want to hunt for deeper meaning, that is fine. I enjoy reading many of those posts, particularly those of Shadowkat. But thin and crispy can also be perfectly satisfying. It is not always necessary, or even appropriate, to search for deeper meaning.

[> [> [> [> [> Hmmmm thin and crispy....you're making me hungry...dammit!! -- Rufus, 01:24:40 07/05/02 Fri

Sometimes it is in the search for the deeper meaning that we end up where we were meant to be, back to the beginning and can appreciate where we started in a new way.

I tend to pick things apart then I get to the point of what I think about something and why.....and I can be wrong lots of the time....sometimes I'm right..sometimes...;)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: DVD commentaries -- Arethusa, 06:37:16 07/05/02 Fri

People search for deeper meaning because they want and need to, not because it's "necessary " or "appropriate." Whether the meaning actually exists is almost besides the point. BtVS is the common language we use to discuss whatever is important to us-justice, morality, sex, friendship, fate, God, whatever. This board lets us conduct conversations with like-minded people that range from the ridiculous to the sublime, and that is a wonderful thing-rare, and worth having. Where Buffy is shallow we spackle in the depth, and where it is deep, we plung our minds into the heady intellectual malestrom of discussion, argument and debate. Hamlet used a silly play to work on the conscience of his king-we use a tv show about a pretty vampire killer to examine ours.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Nicely put, Arethusa! -- ponygirl, 08:07:20 07/05/02 Fri

I hate to say it but I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable joining a board whose sole purpose was discussing philosophy, religion, morality and politics without a pop culture shield. I fear I'm a bit too much a product of the ironic, distancing mindset to argue too passionately about the things dear to my heart. Buffy provides a handy lens to allow me to both focus and magnify my own ideas. And as you say it gives all of us, from so many different backgrounds, a common point of reference, a base from which to build all of these wonderful analytical constructions. I'd say that whatever the writers' stated intentions none could fail to be happy with that result!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Very well said!! I celebrate the maelstrom and giggle at the many joys of magick spackle! -- redcat, 09:09:29 07/05/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Quote of the Week material in here, Masq -- d'Herblay, 14:55:38 07/05/02 Fri

[> [> [> I see no contradiction -- Rahael, 16:55:23 07/04/02 Thu

In writing for the masses and writing meaningfully!

I never mean to say that Shakespeare did not use symbolism or meaning - just look at all his wonderful metaphors and similes. Look at how inventive he was with language, how playful, what power he gave it. Here is someone who took entertaining the masses seriously.

As a matter of fact, I love Milton too. One needs a good healthy dose of grandiose thinking now and then.

I'm not here to say that the cheeseman meant something. But when David Petrie talks about the Alice in Wonderland, Buffy's baptism by water/resonance with PG, and lesbian imagery/subtexts in one single ep of BtVS, I'm not about to tell him that he doesn't mean to use symbols and meanings.

Finally, in Shakespeare's plays, we can see the complex and sophisticated thought that ordinary people had recourse to - showing a liveliness of political/constitutional thought that historians often play down.

All 16/17th century literature uses lots of symbols and metaphors - just look at metaphysical poetry. It's some of the most metaphor driven, abtruse symbol laden literary work around.

[> [> [> [> Well said, Rah! -- redcat, 09:51:14 07/05/02 Fri

"Finally, in Shakespeare's plays, we can see the complex and sophisticated thought that
ordinary people had recourse to - showing a liveliness of political/constitutional thought that
historians often play down."

Rah, thank you for making this point!! The argument that the complexity of "popular" works
somehow just slips by the popular audience for which it is intended is fundamentally an elitist
position, which assumes that "average" audience members cannot possibly be sophisticated
enough to "read" the texts in multiply-layered ways. This has been particularly true of
historians of Elizabethan England, especially those working prior to the post-modernist
revolutions in historiography. New interpretations of the period indicate a much more textured
flow of information, ideas and intellectual rigor across a wide band of social classes.

I'm reminded by this conversation with Copper of listening to a young Maori scholar, a first year
grad student, giving her first paper at an academic conference. She was analyzing a body of
literature written by Maori, Samoan, Tahitian and Hawaiian women, using Foucault's notions of
power as her primary analytical lens. She was clearly unhappy with the analysis, but also
stuck in her frame. When we spoke afterwards, she expressed her extreme distress with her
work, and particularly with her use of "the master." I asked her who had taught her the most in
her own life about the complex ways in which power moved through, in and across peoples'
lives. She immediately said it had been her Maori great- grandmother, grandmother, aunts,
mother and sisters, women who had survived all the multiple oppressions and gifts of lives
lived under a racist colonialist system and a Native patriarchal one. I asked her if she could
put Foucault's concepts into her grandmother's voice and she immediately made that
necessary leap between theory and praxis, because she had witnessed the wisdom that the
elite philosopher could only describe worked out in the lives of her family and told through the
stories that women tell other women everyday.

I want to be very clear here. I'm not arguing that all audience members of popular literature,
film, television and other "mass" culture productions are inherently wise, perceptive, analytical
and intelligent. I *am* arguing that 1) being a member of a mass audience doesn't make you
inherently ignorant, unperceptive, non-analytical and stupid; 2) being a writer or creator of
mass cultural productions doesn't make you inherently un- meaning-full, and 3) being an elite
and recognized writer of works of enduring cultural value doesn't mean that what you write
has to be written for only a limited and elite audience, nor does it mean that what you write is
necessarily more "meaningful" or "true" than what other folks who are not elite and recognized
cultural producers know and say everyday in their lives and in their stories. We celebrate the
fact that great writers are able to say what they know so well and I, for one, am grateful for the
relative permanence and accessibility of the medium through which they said it, writing. But I
sometimes mourn for all the wise, complex, muliply-layered stories told over kitchen fires and
wash tubs that I will never hear.

[> [> [> [> [> Tea soaked cake and constitutional matters -- Rahael, 06:19:23 07/06/02 Sat

and I'm reminded of Proust's grandmother, and his childhood, and how he goes back to those memories and narratives to give shape to his life. Sometimes the greatest literature in the world is the little things. That tea-soaked cake. No wonder Proust was accused of being facile and shallow! How could meaning lie in ordinary mundane life?

And going back to Ulysses - the epic story of Western civilisation is all about one ordinary day. The most memorable scene for me will always be Bloom preparing his breakfast.

This is why I liked the Buffy-taking-out the trash scenes! It's not the big moments that often define our lives. Its all that time we sit around waiting for them to happen.

And agree with you about popular culture. For me Shakespeare's history plays hold the key to the puzzle of the 1630s/40s.

Exactly why did ordinary Englishmen care so much for the constitution? how did middle class men in London like the Levellers become so au fait with current thought? How did men like Ireton and Rainsborough feel entitled to discuss the constitution? I'm not saying SHakepeare taught them this! But he demonstrated, in his plays, that the audience would understand the matters of state. And Elizabeth found this threatening. Somewhere around the 1590s or so, the Monarchy banned the discussion of Constitutional Matters by the public. You can probably explain why Shakespeare stopped with the English history plays and moved on to the Roman/Ancient history ones. Much safer for your political skin!!!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tea soaked cake and constitutional matters -- LittleBit, 07:13:35 07/06/02 Sat

"No wonder Proust was accused of being facile and shallow! How could meaning lie in ordinary mundane life?"

I love this Rah!! How indeed? One hopes there is meaning in ordinary mundane life for far more of us live such lives than live the lives of the heroes. I, for one, enjoy catching reflections of my life in literarure as much as being shown glimpses of a life I'll never lead.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Tea soaked cake and constitutional matters -- Rahael, 09:36:32 07/06/02 Sat

It is this very quality, LB, that determines which writers/poets make it on my very favourite lists:


WHEN the Present has latched its postern behind my tremulous stay,
And the May month flaps its glad green leaves like wings,
Delicate-filmed as new-spun silk, will the neighbours say,
"He was a man who used to notice such things"?

If it be in the dusk when, like an eyelid's soundless blink,
The dewfall-hawk comes crossing the shades to alight
Upon the wind-warped upland thorn, a gazer may think,
"To him this must have been a familiar sight."

If I pass during some nocturnal blackness, mothy and warm,
When the hedgehog travels furtively over the lawn,
One may say, "He strove that such innocent creatures should come to no harm,
But he could do little for them; and now he is gone."

If, when hearing that I have been stilled at last, they stand at the door,
Watching the full-starred heavens that winter sees,
Will this thought rise on those who will meet my face no more,
"He was one who had an eye for such mysteries"?

And will any say when my bell of quittance is heard in the gloom,
And a crossing breeze cuts a pause in its outrollings,
Till they rise again, as they were a new bell's boom,
"He hears it not now, but used to notice such things"?

Thomas Hardy

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wonderful, Rah, just wonderful! -- LittleBit, 23:16:52 07/06/02 Sat

[> [> [> From Pepsi to donuts, a brief meandering -- fresne, 10:08:08 07/05/02 Fri

Hmmm.and my immediate thought here was to ponder the significance of the use of blue and white in skin cleanser ads.

And I'm reminded of a totally OT incident back when I was a college student/grocery clerk. We were stacking Pepsi cans for a floor display. The cans, per the latest "whatever" push, were decorated with abstract little squiggles. Funny thing was, when you stacked the 6-packs so that the logos all faced the same direction (as one does in a floor display) the little squiggles meshed perfectly to spell out sex. Nothing in your face mind you. Really only consciously noticeable when you spend an hour or so stacking the things. But once you see it, well, it provoked a lot of jocular commentary.

I'm also reminded of an amusing afternoon that I spent in an Advertising class looking for genitalia (male and female, we didn't discriminate) in liquor adds. It's amazing what they can do with a little ice and, um, fluid.

Do I think that Pepsi and 50 or so liquor companies intended to imply certain things about drinking their beverages. Well, yes, actually I do. Just as I'm fairly certain that blue and white are chosen to imply clarity and coolness (blue recedes, while red pimples jump out) in skin cleanser ads.

None of which has much to do with Buffy's light and flakey butter croissant like nature - I skipped breakfast which I now see was a mistake - except that advertising may not be the best example of people not considering the metaphor, symbol, the big shiny meaning of it all.

Or is Buffy more like a bagel. Dense, chewy, lightly toasted (personal preference), perhaps with some Asagio cheese or garlic baked on, packed with not at all fattening cream cheese, yet always including a hole at the center.

Which causes me to segue to something about fearing crullers and taming donuts or some such stuff and I don't feeling going to that metaphor today. At least not before breakfast.

[> [> [> [> Re: From Pepsi to donuts, a brief meandering -- kfury, 11:36:23 07/06/02 Sat

In short: "Respect the krewler, and tame the donut."

I know, it's still funny.

[> [> [> [> 'Sex' sells, a further meandering -- Isabel, 14:33:43 07/07/02 Sun

Of course it's on purpose. I took a Mass Media class in college and we spent 2 weeks on advertising. It's been 10 years and I still can't look at ads without analysing what the intended audience was supposed to perceive. (And usually on a subconscious level.) Chanel No. 5, anyone? We had lots of fun with those black and white Calvin Klein ads. Plus, it takes a truly warped mind to be able to take a subtly altered photograph of a plate of fried clams and get consumers to think of sex.

And I know Xander was talking about respecting krullers and taming donuts in OMwF, but where does that come from outside of Buffy?

[> [> [> [> [> Re: 'Sex' sells, a further meandering -- Tymen, 15:54:37 07/07/02 Sun

It's a reference to the movie Magnolia, something Tom Cruise's character said. And is totally appropriate to the sex sells theme.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you! -- Isabel, 16:02:11 07/07/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Thank you! -- Tymen, 16:17:16 07/07/02 Sun

It was my pleasure.

It's just another moment that proves Xander still thinks constantly about sex.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: 'Sex' sells, a further meandering -- anom, 22:19:03 07/07/02 Sun

There was a book that came out in the '70s called Subliminal Seduction that covered exactly that--how subtle sexual images & verbal implications were used to sell products.

Speaking of Calvin Klein ads, whenever I heard the tag line "Escape...from Calvin Klein," I wanted to say, "I'd like to, but he's saturated the airways with these ads!"

[> Re: Thin & Crispy vs. Thick & Chewy or ME vs. the Posters -- Copper, 12:27:49 07/05/02 Fri

Whether or not we think that ME intentionally writes thin and crispy or thick and chewy shows, I think we all agree that reading and discussing the shows and the analyses posted on this board is an enjoyable way to spend a few hours.

To modify my original statement in this thread:
We get at least 2 shows for our time investment. The one ME airs on Tuesdays, and the one(s)we "air" on this board.

Excerpt from "Dawn, Pandora and the Key" (Part II of III) - - cjl, 23:20:59 07/03/02 Wed

II. Is Dawn Still the Key?

This might have been a point of contention at some point, but since that UPN promo calling Dawn "the Key to the fate of the universe," I think I can safely answer: Duh.

But that's not all...

I think Dawn's "Key-ness" has been working at full power over the course of the last two seasons--NOT just during "The Gift"--and nobody realizes it.

Let's go back to the beginning of Dawn's stay in Sunnydale. It was obvious from the first moment she walked down the street that her unique nature wasn't masked, dampened, or nullified in any way during her everyday life as an American Teenager. You just had to be in the right state of mind to see it. That street crazy near the Magic Box took one look at her and knew she didn't belong; and all during Season 5, a variety of mentally altered townspeople, kitty cats and snake demons took notice of the Key-ness that was hiding in plain sight. The capper, of course, was at the end of "Tough Love," when Crazy!Tara glanced over at Dawn and was awestruck by the magnificent nimbus of green energy surrounding her.

The inevitable question: if Dawn's Key-ness is and has always been part of her, and not just during bloodletting and ritual sacrifice, why hasn't it affected reality during Season 5 and 6?

Well, who says it hasn't?

Think back to "Blood Ties." Dawnie has discovered her true nature, run away from home, and eventually makes her way to Sunnydale Hospital. She strikes up a conversation with Cute!Intern Ben, who takes her into his confidence, and gives her a much-needed shoulder to cry on. Then, she lets it slip that she's the Key, and you witness a rare natural phenomenon: Ben has a cow right on the spot. He yells at her to get out of there as fast as possible, warns her that Glory is coming--then TURNS INTO Glory before our eyes. Fortunately, Buffy and the Gang bail Dawn out of trouble, and the sisters hug and make up.

Right after that episode, I was mostly wondering about the logistics of the transformation, how do Ben and Glory co- exist in our dimension, what is the nature of their relationship, etc., etc. I also wondered why Dawn couldn't remember the moment of transformation itself. But after awhile, I started to ponder another peculiar aspect of the hospital scene--the fact that Ben turned into Glory just when the object of her quest was sitting right in front of her [him/them]. What a weird coincidence.

But is it a coincidence? It happens again in "Spiral." (In fact, it happens TWICE in "Spiral," but I'll discount the first instance as Truck Impact Disorientation.) Ben has been invited through Willow's impromptu magic force field to treat Giles in the abandoned gas station. He goes through a momentary crisis of conscience regarding Dawn, then remembers his Hippocratic Oath and tends to his patient. Things seem to go swimmingly until, in Dawn's presence, he freaks out again, and presto--Glorificus ascendant. Dawn taken. Knights dead. Buffy has her coma.

Once is coincidence, twice is suspicious, three times is a pattern. Look what happens to Ben and Glory in "Weight of the World." Dawn is constantly in their presence, and they COMPLETELY LOSE CONTROL of the transformation. Dragging Dawn through the back streets of Sunnydale, Ben turns into Glory and back and back again and back AGAIN, all within a matter of seconds. When Glory asks the mystically inclined amongst her minions what the hell is going on, they sort of shrug and give a vague answer about how "this is price you pay for these magicks." (Sounds like your local doctor when he doesn't know what's causing that hacking cough, but doesn't want to admit it.) Eventually, though, I think Glory catches on. Note that Glory gives her minions the task of preparing Dawn for the ritual. She never stays near Dawn for anything more than a few seconds during "The Gift," and she pretty much maintains control of her body for the entire episode--until Buffy beats the living crud out of it.

If we accept the premise that Dawn is responsible for these unscheduled transformations, we have to expand our previous conception of the Key. In the standard definition, the Key shatters dimensional barriers under specific conditions at a prescribed moment in time; in our expanded definition, the sustained presence of the Key also dissolves artificially imposed mystical barriers--any time, anywhere.

All right, let's assume that Season 5 was a hotbed of raging Key-ness. But what about this season? There's no schizoid Bitch Goddesses, no Dr. Jekyll and Sister Hyde transformations (mmm...Martine Beswicke); did Dawn completely shoot her mystical wad during "The Gift" and she's now Normal Teen until the next bloodletting? Again, I don't think so. This season's Key activity is much tougher to detect, and I'll admit I can't justify my theory with examples as blindingly clear as Ben and Glory's identity crisis. But I'm convinced Dawn's powers are still humming along at full throttle--and this is where Shadowkat comes in.

A few weeks ago, Shadowkat wrote a fantastic post about Buffy and her Inner Child. Shadowkat postulated that Dawn's erratic and increasingly immature behavior this season reflects BUFFY'S raging internal conflicts just as much as it does Dawn's considerable anxieties and frustrations. I won't be able to summarize Shadowkat's analysis well enough to do it justice, so I'll take the easy way, and crib from her website. This is her description of the "Inner Child" concept in action during "Older and Far Away":

"Older and Far Away" deals with Dawn's frustration at constantly being left alone. She feels that no one cares for her. Older and Far Away also refers to Buffy - who feels older and far away from her loved ones; the episode is after all dealing with Buffy's 21st birthday, the day that you leave childhood behind. Older and Far Away is a line from the last page of J.G. Ballard's novel EMPIRE OF THE SUN about a boy who lost his family in pre-world war II Shanghai and is not reunited with them until years after the war. By the time he is, he is so changed by his experiences and they by theirs, that they are all both older and far away. What an apt description of how Buffy feels. Here is this child screaming at her from a distance - pay attention to me! Stay with me! But Buffy can't hear the child - she is distracted. And it's not just Buffy that's ignoring Dawn - its her friends - the impromptu family at the beginning of Bargaining Part I: Spike, Xander, Willow and Tara - all of whom follow Buffy up to her room after they discover she may have had something to do with them being locked in the house. This is what Dawn says in reply to Xander, Tara and Willow's comments.

DAWN: God! I didn't do anything! I wish I had. (Buffy frowning) I'm glad you're trapped. (very angrily) How else can I get anybody to spend any time with me?
BUFFY: Dawn. If you want us to spend time with you--
DAWN: I don't. Get out. Get out. Get out!

They all leave her bedroom except Buffy. But they feel the rage. Rage that can barely be contained any longer as is represented by the demon lurking in the walls. The demon oddly enough is brought into the house by Buffy and is released by a spell that they are using to get out of the house. Instead of getting out, they've released the demon (Buffy's rage). And the rage attacks the people Buffy is the most furious at with its sword. So it's not Dawn's rage that was brought into the house, or Dawn's rage that is released, it's the adult, BUFFY'S [my emphasis added]. Dawn's rage is what keeps them inside. Dawn's rage is expressed through the wish and the jewelry that she is constantly stealing from Anya.

It is at the end of Older and Far Away that Buffy finally acknowledges Dawn's needs. She agrees to stay behind with her child self, letting everyone else exit. Oh--notice who leaves last and holds open the door. What Spike does in the last scene is very interesting, particularly if he is the metaphor for Buffy's shadow self. He throws the door open when Buffy asks if he thinks they can get out. He waits until everyone is gone, exchanges a look with adult Buffy and Dawn and then exits. Almost as if the shadow self has given its blessing. Death has exited the building - leaving the innocent child and adult together. Honoring Buffy's decision to acknowledge her child. And Buffy closes the door on him and with a smile goes back to Dawn.

If Dawn is indeed Buffy's inner child, the innocent, the light - then perhaps Dawn may be the key to Buffy's rediscovery of herself? The part she lost when she died? Maybe if Buffy can reintegrate the shadow self and Dawn, she can feel whole and strong again? Or is something else going on here? If Dawn and Buffy are part of each other, more than sisters, more than mother and child, than what happens if Dawn is killed? Does the part the monks took from Buffy go back into Buffy? What is Dawn's role? Or is Dawn becoming a separate entity, a portion of Buffy but also separate from her?
___________________________________________________________< BR>
I think Shadowkat meant for the Inner Child metaphor to be exactly that--a metaphor. Except for a hint in the last paragraph, she doesn't seem to believe there is an actual psychic connection between Buffy and Dawn, wherein Buffy's "lost" self gains expression. But when it comes to the world of BtVS, is that really such a huge leap in logic? Since the monks cast the living energy of the Key into a mold created from the blood of the Slayer, is it so hard to believe that Dawn might be attuned to Buffy in a way that goes beyond sisterhood, beyond the connection of mother and child?

I know, I'm pushing it here, but bear with me. Suppose, instead of Dawn slowly separating from Buffy as the series progresses, the connection between the two women is intensifying? Suppose Dawn's Key-ness is breaking down the barrier between herself and Buffy, forging an emotional symbiosis? Wouldn't that (at least partially) explain why Dawn seemed to go off the edge this season, and why Buffy had so much trouble regaining her emotional balance?

Let's take things one step further. The triad Shadowkat described in reference to Buffy, Dawn and Spike--would-be adult, inner child, and shadow self--was, in one way or another, the working pattern with ALL of the Scoobies this year. In fact, it seems as if their well-hidden Shadow Selves and Inner Children erupted into their conscious minds like explosions from a psychic volcano. Xander's suppressed rage and trauma from years of parental abuse scuttled his wedding; Willow's deep-seated resentments sent her into a death spiral; and Spike, once a Demon and Proud of It, has been confronted by his Inner William, and it's mentally ripping him to shreds. The only character in town (Giles left the building early) who seemed to be immune was Tara. Why? Because she already resolved most of her inner conflicts (see "Family") and was the most serene and well- balanced character in the cast. (Which means, of course, that her story was finished and she had to die.)

It might just be possible that Dawn's continued presence on this plane of existence is affecting EVERYONE, knocking down the Scoobies' mental barriers before they were ready to confront the horrors behind them. (Perhaps the Buffy/Dawn tradeoff at the end of "The Gift" wasn't a perfect substitution, and we're seeing the residual effects.) This theory works on a metaphorical level as well. With Joyce singing in the Choir Invisible and Giles departing for the Mother Country, the parent/child dynamic of the Scooby Gang has been flipped on its head. In the new configuration, Dawn is the baby, and each of the Scoobs has been thrust into a quasi-parental role. Dawn's presence has, in effect, prematurely pushed them into adulthood, and this season has made it abundantly clear that NONE of them were ready for it.

So, once again, if we accept this premise, we have to further broaden our perspective on the Key. If Dawn's Key- ness can destroy psychological as well as mystical barriers, then her powers go well beyond conventional magic (at least as shown in BtVS) and can work their way down into the core of our humanity.

And that brings us back to the beginning.

III. What is Key-ness?

At the beginning of Part I of this post, I wrote a little pseudo-Biblical folk tale about the origins of the Key and how it came to be passed down from the Powers that Be to mankind. I described the essence of the Key as the Emerald Fire, equivalent to the fire Prometheus brought down from the heavens to jump start human civilization. The Emerald Fire, though, is far more than just a tool to give Mankind dominance over the beasts of the fields. It is the very essence of the Powers that Be themselves, the starstuff (thank you, Carl Sagan) that formed What Is out of eternal chaos and binds together the living creatures of the universe.

Yes, Star Wars fans, you can call it the Force. But even George Lucas' concept doesn't quite go far enough. The Emerald Fire burns within all the living creatures of creation, and its presence within each individual carries with it the knowledge that all other creatures possess the same fire and equal value under the eyes of God (or the Powers that Be). From six years of BtVS and rolling Joss Whedon's definition around in our heads, we all know what to call this particular quality...

So, right here/right now, let's end at least one debate on this board:

Dawn, technically speaking, doesn't have "a soul."

Dawn IS "Soul."

IV. Where Do We Go from Here?

I've explained my opinions regarding Dawn's true nature about as elaborately as I can without doing a doctoral thesis. But I've neglected one critical aspect of Dawn-- mainly, that she's a 16 year-old girl living in the state of California. As of this posting, she has no idea of her origins, she has no clue as to how far her powers extend, and--like her Big Sister--she's completely clueless as to her Destiny (one I believe they will share).

Dawn's journey has just started. Like Buffy, as she goes through adolescence, she's going to learn more about her powers, what they can do, how to control them, and perhaps their Ultimate Purpose. The particulars of Dawn's education, who might be her teachers, and that Ultimate Purpose will be covered in Part III (and hopefully, the conclusion) of this post.

[> Dawn, Endgame and Destiny of the Key (Part III of III) -- cjl, 23:28:13 07/03/02 Wed

[> Dawn and the Destiny of the Key (Part III of IV) -- cjl, 23:50:32 07/03/02 Wed

1. The Circle Game

In "Grave," Buffy Summers, overprotective sister and surrogate mom, finally submitted to the inevitable and gave "little" Dawn her first taste of battling evil hand-to-hand and side-by-side. Handing Dawn the sword completed the cycle started in "Welcome to the Hellmouth." In the first season, Buffy and the rest of the kids were the rookies in stomping evil, shepherded by their wise and infinitely cool librarian, aided by their favorite teacher (Jenny Calendar) and nurtured by their group surrogate mom, Joyce. Six years later, Joyce and Jenny are dead, and Giles has permanently relocated to England to let the kids take charge of their own lives. (He loves them dearly, but his job as mentor
is complete.) The task now falls to the Scoobs to train the next generation of super-powered teenager in Sunnydale. In one way or another, they are all Dawn's surrogate parents, and each of them will contribute to her education, the development of her abilities, and her preparation for the End of Days we know lies ahead...

Of course, as Season 7 begins, nobody in the gang has any idea that Dawn is anything other than a normal teenager. Ever since Glory went down in "The Gift," they've presumed that the Key is permanently inactive, and Dawn--at best-- will be a female Xander, a Scooby by inclination and
determination, with no special powers of her own. Part II of this post (see above) already detailed how everybody has missed the raging Key-ness of the past two seasons. When Dawn's Key-related abilities finally manifest themselves in plain sight, Buffy and the gang will realize they have a hot potato on their hands. Dawn's training as a 21st century warrior babe will no longer be a simple bonding exercise between sisters--it'll be a necessity. And when the dark forces gather in Sunnydale for the end-of-series blowout, it'll be a matter of survival.

2. Dawn's Powers

So what phenomenal abilities--that is, other than opening the gates of Pandemonium and destroying the universe--will Joss impart on our junior league heroine? Assuming that Dawn's plotline will avoid the puzzlement that was Cordelia's demonization in Angel Season 3, and she won't pull paranormal abilities out of her butt depending on the situation, Joss can play it one of two ways: the superhero tradition or the horror movie tradition.

A. The Superhero Tradition. And in this case, when I say "superhero" tradition, I'm specifically talking about the X- Men. In a previous post, I already made the comparison between Dawn and the perky young Kitty Pryde, who can walk through walls and disrupt electronic equipment by phasing through the machinery. Perhaps Dawn, as a living borderland
between dimensions, will be able to phase in and out of our reality at will, effectively duplicating Kitty's power. Or maybe she'll be able to open passageways to other dimensions for a split-second, creating "wormholes" to instantaneously pop her from place to place, a la Nightcrawler. (Yes, the latter would duplicate Anya's nifty teleportation power--but given the finale I have in mind, Dawn might need it more than Anya.)

B. The Horror Tradition. This is something that's been rumored since before MT walked onto the sound stage two years ago, and I'm surprised nobody's brought it up since. I saw an actual press release in TV Guide saying Dawn was going to be able to channel the spirits of the dead, but
that power hasn't materialized--yet. I found it interesting that Dawn, with no previous experience in magic, was able to resurrect Joyce on the very first try. (Hey, it took "the most powerful witch in the Western Hemisphere" two shots to re-soul Angel.) The other big hint in this direction was the flash of white light when Dawn touched Tara's body in
"Villains." (Just there for dramatic effect? Maybe, but I don't think so. When is anything in BtVS there "just for dramatic effect"?) Fits in very well with the rumors of Tara as a spirit guide in Season 7, and it also puts an eerie new spin on the final scene of "The Body." Buffy tells Dawn Joyce isn't in there anymore; Dawn reaches out to touch her
mother, and whispers, "Where did she go?" Is it possible that, somewhere inside Dawn, there's an answer to that eternal question?

3. Dramatis Personae

More on this later. Now let's sort out the various groupings of the Season 7 cast of characters and show how they'll influence Dawn's life and her nifty new abilities. (Note: the following assumes that Season 7 is the last with SMG.)

A. The Scooby Gang

In "Primevil," the gang literally combined forces to create an "Uber-Buffy," an amalgamation of Spirit (Willow), Heart (Xander), Mind (Giles), and the Hand to wield their power (Buffy). Although they've been developed as three- dimensional characters beyond their defining attributes, these strengths will be their collective gift to Dawn in her path to adulthood.

Through Xander, Dawn will connect to ordinary humanity, their hopes and dreams, their flaws and frailties and their determination to make a better world despite the apparent hopelessness of their condition; Willow, battered by her turn to the dark side, the loss of Tara, and the emotional toll of her years of self-loathing, will nevertheless inspire Dawn with her quest to rediscover the best in herself and others; and Buffy--well, what teenage girl could have a better role model of female empowerment than Buffy? In Season 7, Buffy will no longer be the listless, unfocused poster child for abusive relationships. She'll be the quip- slinging, ass-kicking guardian of the people we came to know and love, and little sister will eat it all up with whipped cream...

So far so good. But one member of our cast isn't cooperating. If Giles returns to England to chase down the ghosts of the British Empire, who's going to educate Dawn about the big picture? Who's going to be Dawn's Watcher?
I think we already know the answer to that one. Spike, whether he returns as Randy, Rocco, William, Spilliam(!) or whatever alphabet soup you want to call him, will reclaim his role as Dawn's mentor in Season 7. In Season 5, Spike had some of his best moments as the street-wise confidante who introduced Dawn to the complexities of the demon world
when Buffy wanted to wrap her in a cocoon. Granted, in season 7, Spike will be going through yet another hellish period of adjustment breaking in his newly-acquired soul. But he'll be desperately needed as a corrective to Buffy's moral stodginess (she is the hero, you know) and the influence of another organization of supposed do-gooders who will rear their ugly heads--mainly...

B. The Watchers' Council

Yes, IMO, the boys in tweed will be back. And this time, they'll be after Dawn. (In fact, I believe part of the reason they came to the U.S. in "Checkpoint" was to investigate the Key.)

Am I joining the parade of posters who have nominated the Council as the Big Bads of Season 7? Not exactly. As usual, the Council will have its own agenda, and their goals won't necessarily coincide with Buffy's. But I think they'll shift their tactics this time, and go with something approaching-- no, I'm not kidding--the truth. Why? Because in a season whose main themes are re-integration and redemption, the Council may be more desperate for redemption than Spike, Willow or anyone else in the cast.

A little background to back up that last statement: in Part I of this post, I wondered how Glory could have read about a sacrificial ritual for the Key if the Key had been a ball of energy for a couple of thousand years. I theorized that the original custodians of the Key, the shamans who created the Slayer, must have tried to use the Key in
exactly the same way:
Imagine that the Shaman and his descendants slowly evolved into the rudiments of what we now know as the Watchers Council. I find it highly unlikely that the Council, even in its formative stages, could resist using a weapon like the Key against the demons plaguing mankind. So--since we're still talking about Early Man here--they must have shaped the Key into an animal sacrifice and offered it up to the Gods in exchange for power against the Enemy. Naturally, the attempt ended in disaster. The fabric of time and space was badly damaged and only the strongest of the mystics among the ur-Council could prevent the dimensional barriers from shattering completely. The end result? A bleeding wound in the time/space continuum...

The first hellmouth.

I admit, a lot of this is pure speculation, but it fits, doesn't it? Through the ages, there must have been more attempts, equally disastrous, creating more of those interdimensional anomalies that Buffy and Star Trek love so much. I'm guessing a schism developed in the Council around 1100 A.D. (the founding of the Order of Dagon), and a
renegade faction took off with the Key to the eastern part of the Roman Empire, hoping to keep it safe from further tampering. The Council, to its frustration, lost track of their renegades and the Key, but rumors spread around Constantinople about a mystical ball of energy with
apocalyptic power. With the blessing of the Church, a legion of holy warriors set out to find the Key and destroy it. This ancient sect scoured the Earth for centuries, until their quest finally ended in late 2001--when Glory wiped out the last of the Knights of Byzantium ("Spiral"/"Weight of the World").
To cover their massive screw-ups (and to prevent new recruits from deserting in droves), the rulers of the Council eliminated reference to their custody of the Key in all but a few, closely-guarded texts and have been waiting over 800 years for the chance to correct their mistakes and close the openings to other dimensions once and for all.

[Is this the only explanation? No, but I think it fits best with the history of the Key given in Season 5. Wanderess (thank you, wherever you are) gave an excellent counter- argument when she suggested that the monks simply altered the body of literature about the Key to include the
ritual when they altered reality. But implicit in her argument is an entire body of literature about the Key! If there was no cover-up, why did Giles practically have to draw blood from a stone to find any information? Giles' diary (read aloud by Dawn in "Blood Ties") said "the
Key is not directly described in any known literature"-and yet, our least favorite Skank Goddess found the ritual. Are we expected to believe that Glory and her scabby minions had the resources and the Council didn't? Heck, when someone first mentioned the Key to Giles, I half-expected him to nervously clean his glasses, pull out his "Watcher's Big Book of Eschatological Phenomena," and flip to the index:
"Ah, here we are. `Key, The'--pp. 62-81. See also `Byzantium, Knights of.'" But he didn't.]

So, probably near the start of Season 7, the Council (perhaps lead by Quentin Travers) will contact Buffy and Dawn, and they'll lay out the grand scenario (omitting certain embarrassing facts): the End of Days is a comin', the demons skulking on the other side of the Hellmouth want to re-take the Earth, and there's only one force that can keep them out and seal the Hellmouth forever--Dawn. They'll explain that, thousands of years ago, the Key was the force instrumental in sweeping the demons from the Earth in the first place, and Dawn is the living avatar of that force. With their usual subtlety, the Council will then order Dawn to pack her bags and report to CoW protective custody, while Quentin and his boys figure out exactly how to use her to prevent the Apocalypse.

Buffy, as she did during "Checkpoint," will tell them to stuff it. In all the time she's known the Council, she's trusted exactly one of their employees (and even his record isn't perfect), and she's not going to trust them now. She'll tell them to send Giles back with any pertinent
research and leave the protection to the Slayer. Unlike Season 5, however, Quentin (or whoever is running the Council) may not take no for an answer. With redemption and ultimate triumph in sight, they may try to grab her, especially if the Forces of Darkness make a play of their

C. Big and Little Bads

Like many others, I'm expecting a demonic assault on Sunnydale during Season 7, as predicted in Joss' comic book series, Fray. Old foes (Drusilla, Dracula, Catherine Madison, maybe even the Master or the Anointed One), and an army of bad ass vamps will descend on the dale and strain Buffy and the gang's resources to the limit. At some point during the season, one of these creatures will sidle up to Dawn and hint that the Council's tale of the Key as the Avatar of the PTB is a crock. Dawn has been an instrument of Chaos since her arrival, a focal point for bloody battles between forces dedicated to "good," and the Key that
opened the floodgates to inter-dimensional catastrophe.

Dawn will freak. But Buffy will eventually calm her down, telling her that even if what the creature said was true, she's no longer a shiny ball of light to be manipulated by one side or another. Dawn is a human being with a mind, heart, and spirit of her own, and she's the one who has to choose what she does with her powers and her life. As if on cue, Giles will pop in for his end-of-series appearance and inform the gang that both sides of the conflict have been feeding them a line about Dawn. He'll detail the Council's history of failures and blast away the doubts that the forces of Evil planted in her head. With Sunnydale
burning all around them, Giles will lay out a daring, unbelievably dangerous plan to save the world-if Dawn is willing to go through with it.

Part IV coming right up!W

[> Dawn, the Key, the Endgame of BtVS (Part IV of IV) -- cjl, 23:54:19 07/03/02 Wed

So much Dawn-alicious goodness that the board couldn't hold it. I had to break Part III into two separate posts.

Continuing on:

If Season 7 is the end, I think I already know where Joss is going to go. He's hinted at it in Fray, and the set-up with Dawn as an interdimensional Key is practically a red neon sign flashing at the audience: Buffy, Dawn (and probably Spike) will go into the Hellmouth so Dawn can seal it once and for all.

This is not necessarily a masterstroke of deduction on my part. Joss (and I do mean Joss--he wrote the episodes I'm about to mention) has invoked the Underworld Journey at crucial points in Buffy history as a means of symbolizing a character's transformation. When Angel was sent to Hell at the end of Becoming II, it marked the end of his 100 years as a relatively passive player in the fight against evil; when he came back for Season 3, he was halfway out the door to L.A. and his destined role as a champion. (It just took Buffy and Angel most of the season to recognize the inevitable.) Similarly, when Buffy descended to the Dimension of Unpaid Labor in "Anne," she came out with a renewed appreciation for her special destiny and headed back to Sunnydale to rejoin the gang.

There are also mythological precedents alluded to during the series that point to this ending--the death and resurrection of Christ, Iris and Osiris in Egyptian mythology, and the journeys into Hades scattered all over Greek myth. But, even though Joss and his crew love the Classics, the Summers girls are going into the Hellmouth because of Joss' passion for a specific modern American mythology:

Joss wants to do X-Men #108.

For those of you out there who have never picked up a comic book, I'll try to make this as painless as possible. In Uncanny X-Men #108, our heroes were faced with an apocalyptic crisis very similar to Buffy Seasons 2 and 3: The lunatic ruler of an intergalactic empire, in a bid for ultimate power (well, he is a comic book villain) unleashed a long-dormant mystical artifact called the M'Kraan Crystal, which threatened to consume the universe. Phoenix, the only member of the team powerful enough to withstand the raging forces inside the crystal, had to shut it down and restore the galaxy to its original astrological alignment. What I found interesting about the finale was HOW Phoenix repaired the crystal's damage: she telepathically linked up with her friends outside the crystal, and used their familial bond as a template to rebuild the universe. The harmony and love shared by her teammates became the harmony of the spheres. (As a 15 year-old, I thought it was really cool.)

This is how I see X-Men #108 translated into Buffy Season 7: Giles will send Buffy and Dawn into the Hellmouth, armed with a mystic ritual designed to seal it from the inside. Defending his Ladies Fair to the last, Spike will pull an Orpheus and barrel in after them. Outside the interdimensional rift, Giles will link up with Willow and Xander and use the remaining traces of the group mind from "Primevil" to keep in telepathic contact with Buffy. Naturally, once inside the Hellmouth, Buffy and Spike are going to settle their outstanding issues once and for all. Buffy will undoubtedly confront the Big Bad in his or her (or its) lair and finally get the full story of the origins of the Slayer (a story she might not necessarily want to hear). Spike, on the other hand, might get the offer of his dreams: if he comes back to the side of Evil, he'll get the full employment package--no chip, no soul, and an Evil Buffy ruling the Earth at his side. After all his attempts during Season 6 to bring Buffy over to the dark side, Spike will finally get the opportunity to re-create Buffy in his image. Of course, he'll turn it down. Major special effects-laden ass-kicking will ensue.

And after all the ass-kicking is finished, Dawn, Spike and Buffy will join hands, each perfectly complementing the other, balancing the other, and they'll finish the job started seven year ago. Dawn will reach out through Buffy, through the link with Giles and the others, and she'll see how the individual strengths and all-too-human flaws of her friends and the group harmony within the Gang can be applied to the larger model of the universe. (Seal the Hellmouth? Yes. Wipe out all the demons and vampires already on Earth? No. For every Master or Dracula or Glory, you have Spike, and Angel, and Anya. It's her job to restore the balance, not tip it to one side or the other.)

To emphasize and wrap up the S7 themes of re-integration and reconciliation, there will be an unexpected side effect to the ritual: rather than combine into a single mind like the end of Season 4, each of the Scoobies will retain their individuality, but touch the minds of everyone else in the group. Xander will get personally acquainted with Spike's demon, and find that Spike's monster is chillingly similar to his own; Willow will finally see the love she inspires in her friends, erasing the self-doubts and self-loathing she's carried all these years; Spike will feel the terror and hatred he inspired, and catch a tantalizing reminder of what it means to be human; Giles will finally surrender to his paternal instincts and acknowledge to himself that these are his "children." And Buffy? She'll be connected to the mystical forces all around her, and she'll know...she is the Slayer. She's not a normal girl and she never will be. She'll be happy--and that will be the end of her story. Whether she disappears into the void or simply goes on a Slayer World Tour to clean up the rest of the evil demons on Earth, all her questions will have been answered.

And Dawn? Well, once SMG goes on to her full-time movie career, it's probably Michelle's show. Buffy and Spike might not be around, but Willow and Xander and a whole new cast of regulars will be there to guide her on the next leg of her journey. When that happens, I'll probably start a new series of posts--but this one has finally reached the end. Thanks for indulging me for 14 pages of Dawn-centric material over the past two or three months. I realize a large number of posters couldn't stand Dawn at all for most of Season 6, but the possibilities of the Key fascinated me, and I hope I've conveyed at least some of that fascination in my ramblings.

As always, I invite you to comment extensively.

[> [> cutprint! don't have time to respond. keeping thread alive! -- shadowkat, 07:51:17 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> **REELING** wow....gotta reread that like 10 times... -- Lyonors, 09:09:22 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> Great Post. Ties everything together. Keep thread alive! -- darrenK, 09:23:16 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> Wonderful cjl...a keeper! -- aliera, 10:14:31 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> An extraordinary and thought-provoking effort! Much to munch on here... Thanks!! -- redcat, 13:30:49 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> Whoa, I think my brain just exploded. But in a good way. :) -- Isabel, 21:33:36 07/04/02 Thu

[> [> Absolutely fabulous! Thanks for the brainy and entertaining work.. -- julia, 23:42:00 07/04/02 Thu

[> A shocking theory about Dawn that didn't make the final version... -- cjl, 10:03:29 07/05/02 Fri

Mainly because (1) the idea wasn't mine, and (2) it didn't really stand up to analysis. Nevertheless, since I want to get a discussion rolling on this thread, I thought I'd throw it out to the board as a tasty snack...

When I was talking to shadowkat about Part II, specifically the section about Dawn's presence thrusting the Gang into adulthood before they were ready, she had one of those amazing "tipping point" moments (you know, when you've accumulated so much information you reach a new level of understanding), and she blurted out...

"Do you think Dawn killed Joyce?"

Whoa. Head rush.

It fit together in a typically sadistic, Joss Whedon-esque way. The newly-created Dawn was chock-full of ambient mystical radiation, and she was spending an awful lot of time around the house with Joyce. The doctor did ask whether Joyce had been exposed to "energy fields." We all assumed microwave towers and electrical power lines, but still...


So I tested out the theory on the BC&S board. One-third of the posters shrieked "Oh my GOD!" and scuttled back, whimpering and in shock, to their little corner of cyberspace. The other two-thirds took the shot in stride, but didn't think the theory held up:

1) There's no indication that the Key's mystical energy is toxic. The Monks guarded it for centuries, and they seemed to be holding up fine. Besides, Joss simply wouldn't turn Dawn into a walking glowball o' death. Too sadistic even for him.

2) If she did kill Joyce, shouldn't the mystical radiation be working on the rest of the cast? OK, let's assume Buffy is too Slayer-tough to be affected, or has a special immunity due to their special bond. But what about Willow (living in the Summers house)? Xander? Her friends in school, like Janice? Shouldn't they be dropping like flies by now?

Still, an interesting idea to consider. Before I lost confidence, I was thinking it could be a pivotal plot point in Season 7. The Big Bad could use the information as a way to destroy Dawn and Buffy without laying a finger on them.

What do you guys think? Is there any way to make it work and avoid the pifalls above?

[> [> Re: A shocking theory about Dawn that didn't make the final version... -- LittleBit, 10:37:17 07/05/02 Fri

What if the mystical energy had an effect on Joyce's tumor which is abnormal tissue? If none of the others who were around the key when it was pure energy had a like tumor, then none of them would be affected. The same could hold for the Scoobies. Just a suggestion.

[> [> cancer and consequences -- redcat, 11:22:12 07/05/02 Fri

I've thought from the first moment Joyce got sick that Key energy and its re-creation as Dawn
was somehow involved. Because of my experience with how cancer and malignant tumors
work, however, I do not need to fit this theory into an "all or nothing" framework (i.e., why isn't
Janice dead yet? sort of questions). Cancer works in its own mysterious ways. Not everyone
exposed to certain low levels of radiation, or even high levels of cigarette smoke, will develop
tumors. Members of the same family react differently to similar stressors. Joyce may well
have had the beginnings of cancer (a small "seed" tumor lying dormant but pre-existent to
Dawn's introduction), or she may have been more susceptible to developing a tumor, or - and
here's a real shocker of a theory - her death may well be the "consequence" of the monk's
magic in creating Dawn as a vehicle for the Key. I expect major rocket-launcher missiles
coming my way and am already ducking, while feebly whimpering, "But it does make some
kind of metaphoric sense, eh?"

And as for the tumor itself, my own interpretation is that it is not Dawn's physical presence that
caused it, but the very act of the monk's playing around with mystical energy inside Joyce's
brain when they inserted memories of Dawn there that either caused a pre-existent seed tumor
to rapidly grow and metastasize, or caused a tumor to develop. See paragraph above for why
this is not a problem for Buffy or anyone else in town.

[> [> [> Yes...that's what I was thinking -- shadowkat, 16:37:41 07/05/02 Fri

Had similar thoughts - and you expressed them very well.

What hit me is in the episode, I think it's either Shadow or Listening to Fear, the Doc asks Buffy if her mother has been exposed to any types of energy sources? Like power lines, etc. Buffy is struggling with the question. Then Dawn appears and asks if they figured out what caused it.

Also in The Real Me - when the mother has to go in the first time for the tumor and Dawn coincidentally is first introduced - Joyce says to Dawn, "Who are You?" Than
faints, and they take her in.

Why doesn't she effect the others? Well redcat puts it very well. I had a grandfather who had three brain tumors, all cancerous. He survived, but was feeble minded. And eventually a year later died of pneumonia. He never smoked or did anything we could see that caused it. The tumors
are weird things - they affect the mind. Alter it. Change it. In some ways - Spike's chip reminds me of a brain tumor. (but that's a separate topic)

Think of Joyce. Up until Becoming Part II - she had successufully ignored or repressed the weirdness of Sunnydale. Then she deals with it. Sort of. Then the monks fiddle with her brain. The main difference btw Joyce and the rest of the Gang, is they never resisted the supernatural, they accepted it. Joyce's brain exploded with the knowledge and dealt with it in season's 1 & 2 by suppressing it. Imagine if you will what it would be like to have someone implant memories of a child in your head?
This is a lot more complex than memories of a friend's sister, or a slayer's sister, or your own sister. Different relationship. Also if Joyce did have a seed of a tumor there already, that energy may have excerberated it.
Or after her tumor is gone - perhaps the exposure to energy made things worse?

I just find the throw-away images with Dawn all year long in Season 5 concerning Joyce interesting. Whether Joss was just playing mind-games with us, chooses to pursue this, or never intended this to be seen - is anyone's guess. It all depends on what his over-arcing theme is and how ME means for Dawn to fit into the whole Buffyverse. Questions I don't know the answers to, but am having loads of fun, speculating on. ;- )

[> [> [> Re: cancer and consequences -- Wizardman, 17:05:18 07/05/02 Fri

So the monks may be indirectly responsible for Joyce's death? Actually, that theory works very well. We have been bludgeoned by the fact that magic always has a consequence. The consequences may range from minor discomfort/tiredness to nosebleeds to possibly death. Major mojo was used to not only incarnate the Key into human form, but to impose her onto reality. One of the things that I didn't like about S5 was the amount of information that we didn't get- like, how long did the monks have the Key? How did the Knights know of it? Did the Council know of it? Could Glory's brothers be stupid enough to send her to the world with the Key if they knew or had any choice? I hope that we get more info this season about the backstory of the Key. Anyway... the interesting questions are: did the monks know that something like this might happen? If they did, did they care?

[> [> [> [> Re: cancer and consequences -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:19:58 07/10/02 Wed

I got the theory that the Key isn't in just this world, but that a version of it is in every world. They are trying to connect to be one big ball of energy, but this would involve breaking down the dimensional doorways, thus ending all universes in existence.

[> [> [> Or ... -- Caesar Augustus, 19:58:24 07/05/02 Fri

I think one of the important things about Joyce's death is that it wasn't caused by anyone. Remember Xander trying to blame someone, eventually taking it out on the wall. Thematically, the power of the episode The Body is undermined if we try make the Monks or Dawn a scapegoat. Season 5 is all about life itself, and a fundamental part of real life is that, well, shit happens. No-one causes it. It just happens.

[> [> [> [> Taking the time to agree with Caesar here....:) -- Rufus, 21:11:23 07/05/02 Fri

It was just her time, the natural order of things, not everyone lives to an old age.

[> [> Re: The shocking theory, and other nasty thoughts - - Veritas, 08:40:56 07/07/02 Sun

Actually, this makes sense on a metaphorical level. Cancer occures when a group of cells don't stop dividing - they are, in effect, "unbound", having the barrier to their growth removed. It could be that Joyce's tumour had its development accelerated or encouraged by Dawn's binding- breaking powers.

Poor lass. Her sister's a clinically depressed Slayer, her former role model went crazy abd tried to destroy the world, her mum's dead, her father's run off, she lives on a Hellmouth, all her friends were perfectly willing to kill her at the end of S5, she nearly started an apocalypse and got Earth's last line of supernatural defence killed... and now it looks like the poor girl might be a walking carcinogen on top of it all.

Another nasty thought - if Dawn is a weakener of magical bindings, then what about the binding on herself, the one that keeps the Key energy in human form? Isn't binding the Key into human form a bit like putting metal-eating acid into a metal jar? Can we expect the monks' spell to start weakening in S7? What about other magical bindings - like Angel's curse, or the invitation rule for vampires? Might they start being weakened as well if the Key-ness starts leaking out of the human shape it's been put in?

[> one small thing after reading pt II -- yuri, 23:50:16 07/05/02 Fri

Wouldn't that (at least partially) explain why Dawn seemed to go off the edge this season, and why Buffy had so much trouble regaining her emotional balance?

Yes!! And then it would make even MORE sense that Buffy's final moment of the season (epiphany, catharsis, whatever you want to call it) involved her realizing she wants to teach dawn and make her whole and happy.

Can't wait to read the rest, till later!

[> [> Re:small thing after reading -- wina, 16:59:14 07/06/02 Sat

thanks cjl, really enjoyed reading your posts. some of your ideas remind me of Pullman. in fact while reading 'his dark materials' trilogy i kept comparing the it to btvs,mainly when explaining, to other people, why I liked them both.

[> A small puzzling thing about Glory and the ritual - - Veritas, 08:43:56 07/07/02 Sun

Suppose, instead of making the Key human, the monks had made it into a rock or something. How would Glory's ritual have got the energy out of it then? You can't exactly bleed a rock.

Okay, I'm being very pedantic and should get out more, but I was rewatching S5 and this thought occured to me.

[> [> Dawn, the Key and Free Will -- cjl, 07:21:55 07/08/02 Mon

No, it's not pedantic, it's a legitimate question, and an important one when considering the creation of Dawn. When I set out to write these posts, I wondered about this too. Why would the monks mold the Key into human form? Didn't they know about the possible risks? What advantage would be gained if the Key were human?

The only possible answer I could think of was that the Monks wanted to give the Key free will to make its own decisions. As a glowing ball of energy, The Key could be manipulated by anyone, good or evil, who could gain access to its power. But as a human being, it--no, SHE--is attuned to the cycle of life, she has a stake (no pun intended) in the future of humanity, she has friends and family to cherish and protect. Dawn has the capacity to love, and although there's a risk she might open the gates of chaos, she could also do amazing and wonderful things in defense of her loved ones. I think we'll some of those amazing things in S7.

Let's look at it from another angle. A lot of posters recently have referred to vampirism as a "frozen" state. A typical vampire, although he lives forever and looks really swell doing it, is trapped in his emotional state at the time of vamping, and loses the capacity to grow emotionally. He is a case of perpetual arrested development, and in many ways, a psyche unable to grow inevitably turns inward, and develops a narcissistic streak a continent wide, endlessly indulging in favorite passions without regard for others.

(This is not just the case with vampires. Anya was the same way, until she was trapped in human form and forced to grow up.)

And you could also say it's the same for the Key. As a ball of glowing energy, frozen forever in its pure, inert state, its greatest potential remained untapped. The monks took a huge risk turning it into Dawn, but in the end, when Dawn and her powers reach maturity, I think they'll eventually look like geniuses....

[> [> [> Re: Dawn, the Key and Free Will -- Finn Mac Cool, 07:39:40 07/08/02 Mon

The monks put the Key into the form of Dawn so that Buffy would do absolutely anything to protect it (if the Key were anything but her little sister, I don't think Buffy would have had the determination to finally take out Glory).

I don't think the Key HAS to bleed in order to use it. The question is removing some of its energy to be placed on a portal. If it were a rock, some of it would probably be scraped of. If it were a ball o' energy, get a little beam of light to shoot out of it. I'm thinking a sample of the Key's essence is all that's needed. For a human that's blood, but it can be other things for other objects it might have been turned into.

[> [> [> [> Agree, but... -- cjl, 07:47:59 07/08/02 Mon

Let's face it: putting the Key in human form does wonders for Buffy's motivation, but it sucks in terms of practicality. Wouldn't a rock, or a tea cozy, or a stylish pair of pumps be a lot easier to protect than a hormone bomb of a teenager?

There's a deeper reason for the creation of Dawn than Buffy's motivations for guarding her.

[> [> [> [> [> Perhaps it was always meant to be human -- Rahael, 07:53:31 07/08/02 Mon

Glory just didn't realise this.

Why would she? she thinks humans are fragile, ephemeral, miserable little worms who live their lives waiting to die. Why would the key be made into a human?

And yet, it was the only thing it could ever be, because it had to bleed, to break.

It's only after Ben let's slip, that she realises, what the key is, and what implications it has for the ceremony.

There's a story (I don't know how true it is, being no expert) that during the Japanese tea ceremony, the most precious plates would be dropped, because they could be remended, more beautiful than ever. BtVS so often uses that symbol of breaking as a necessary condition to greater strength.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Perhaps it was always meant to be human -- cjl, 08:03:24 07/08/02 Mon

"There's a story (I don't know how true it is, being no expert) that during the Japanese tea ceremony, the most precious plates would be dropped, because they could be remended, more beautiful than ever. BtVS so often uses that symbol of breaking as a necessary condition to greater strength."

I find this idea very appealing. The fragility of humanity is what drives us to our greatest triumphs. Another interesting take on Dawn's creation....

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Agree, but... -- Finn Mac Cool, 07:54:47 07/08/02 Mon

Chances are the monks being, well, monks, weren't too familiar with how rebellious teenagers can be.

Also, if it wasn't in human form, the Scoobies might have decided to destroy it in order to stop Glory from getting it. Destroying the Key appears to be something the monks are loathe to do. Perhaps Dawn's Keyness still has potential for good.

[> [> [> Great posts, cjl! Wonderful speculation ... -- Exegy, 08:00:29 07/08/02 Mon

I'm sorry that it has taken me so long to respond to your posts ... I've been very active. I haven't had time to really look at the board. Fortunately, your paper caught my eye today, and I must say that I am very impressed. You make some astute observations and some fresh, insightful predictions.

I agree that Dawn will be a MAJOR player in Season 7. Her character will undergo some radical developments, and I won't be surprised if she does factor into the opening/closing of the Hellmouth. I also won't be surprised if the CoW makes a reappearance (although I don't think that Dawn will be their only target ... I don't think that their potential history with the Key is as extensive as you postulate). On a character level, Dawn's relationships with Buffy, Spike, and the Scoobies will probably feature the most dynamic interactions of the season. I expect the unit of Dawn, Buffy, and Spike to become rather more pronounced (not to say that this will be a happy family unit--I expect some rough waters ahead). I don't know that all three of them will enter into the Hellmouth, however. I honestly expect Buffy alone to make that sacrifice, offering herself to seal Hell's portal, with her friends giving her up to fate ... Spike wanting to follow her into the darkness but choosing to move beyond that single Love Object, choosing to stay with Dawn as her future Watcher. Or perhaps the writers pull the rug out from under us and sacrifice Dawn (and perhaps Spike with her), but then they give up MT's series ... unless that show takes place in a slightly different reality. Not sure how this will all work out ... depends a lot on the actors' willingness to continue the series, I suppose.

I disagree with the assumption that Dawn "caused" Joyce's illness. There may be a positive correlation there, with Dawn's presence associated with increased levels of "disturbance," and it may be that someone attempts to manipulate Dawn with knowledge of such a correlation. But I highly doubt that the writers will conclude that Dawn was the true cause of her mother's death. On the metaphorical level, Dawn may feel that she is to blame, but in reality no one is to blame for a natural phanomenon that has no satisfying explanation. Joyce died, and her death demonstrates just how easy and unexpected death can be. How void.... I think that if the writers offer Dawn as "explanation," then they lose one of the most powerful messages their show has ever made. Sure, have Dawn perhaps believe her culpability (in a bit of psychological manipulation), but do not say that her doubts have true foundation. This approach works best with the metaphorical model, I believe.

Once again, great posts, cjl. I wish I had the time and ambition to churn those out now!

[> [> [> [> Thanks, Exegy...of course, you realize, "churn" isn't exactly the right word... -- cjl, 08:30:48 07/08/02 Mon

It was more like "grind."

I didn't have the time or the energy to finish, but as usual with these posts, the damn thing wouldn't leave me alone until I DID finish.

As for the CoW, yeah, I'm probably way off there, but it all fit together so nicely. I suppose no one on this board is immune to spackling when the cause is just...

[> [> [> Another metaphysical speculation -- Veritas, 09:44:39 07/09/02 Tue

It makes a lot of sense that "will" would be an important part of the reason. Perhaps if the Key was just a rock, an object to be used, then Glory could simply have stuck her hand in and sucked the energy out of it. But a human Key would need to be killed, turned into an object, before it could be used by Glory - and that taps into Finn Mac Cool's point about how a human being is the one thing that Buffy and the Scoobs would protect above all else. Making the Key an agent makes it harder to use.

Does this make any sense?

[> [> [> [> The great leap of faith by the Monks... -- cjl, 10:27:42 07/09/02 Tue

Was turning the Key from a "passive" to an "active" force, with its own free will.

Yours is the first post I've seen to propose that turning the Key into a human being actually makes it HARDER to use the Key's power for evil purposes. After agonizing over all the bleeding and dying with the ritual at the end of S5, I think it's nice to remind ourselves that if the monks hadn't created Dawn, Glory might have destroyed the multiverse 20 seconds into the season...

[> cjl - Would you be interested in joining our fic group, if not as a writer, as a 'Key' consultant? -- OnM, 07:41:11 07/08/02 Mon

I'll need a good bit more time to really go over this, and I apologize for not getting to your work here earlier, but I have to say that this is one of the most brilliant Dawn/Key analyses I've ever read.

If I get a chance (big if, I know-- schedule's really full at the moment, but I'll try), I'd like to make some further comment on your work, but on the short response side, I think this is all very logical, reasonable and insightful.

Great work, a first rate job! You're definitely on the fast- track to becoming a full-fledged ATPo Evil if you keep this up!


P.S.-- BTW, where's Part I at currently?

[> [> I'd love to sign on as a Key consultant! And as for Part I... -- cjl, 07:55:35 07/08/02 Mon

It's in my private files, where I'm giving it a rest. I've posted it twice before (originally, and when I first posted Part II), and when I did parts III and IV, I thought everybody had already absorbed the information in Part I and the board was good and sick and tired of it. If you like, I'd be glad to e-mail it to you.

[> [> Why'm I not in this fic group? *sniff* -- Caesar Augustus, 15:22:39 07/09/02 Tue

[> [> [> Maybe because you can't write for shit, Augustus. - - Caesar Augustus, 15:23:51 07/09/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Oh, yeah. Good point, Augustus. -- Caesar Augustus, 15:25:14 07/09/02 Tue

[> Before this disappears into the Archives...thanks for the input, everyone. -- cjl, 07:34:36 07/10/02 Wed

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