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Wolfram and Hart: A Treatise -- lunasea, 07:36:21 07/02/03 Wed

ME didn't completely throw out their play book when they created AtS. This season over on BtVS, Joss brought back the First Evil, a bad we saw first on "Amends." What is the source of evil in the Buffyverse? In order to figure that out, all one has to do is figure out what the theme of "Amends" was. The bads on BtVS are demonic representations of whatever is going on within the characters. ME doesn't just give us its version of classic horror movies, like witches, invisible girl, Frankenstein, Dracula, ghosts, swamp thing, werewolf, Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, etc. It adapts each of these stories not only to its universe, but to the theme of a particular episode.

Now that Angel controls Wolfram and Hart, it is a good time to examine just what this entity is. Not just its role in the plot and how it has been a thorn in Angel's side for several seasons, but more important to discovering what it is, its role in the theme which can be shown by looking at what episodes it appears in and why and even when it disappears. Editing is also key.

Just a warning this is realllllllly long. Season 1 is almost 10 pages alone. I will try to summarize the important point of each season in one post following the episode-by-episode exploration.

[> Episodes 1.01-1.15: the Power behind Power -- lunasea, 07:38:40 07/02/03 Wed

Season 1

The early episodes: The Power behind Power

First time we see a representative of Wolfram and Hart is in the season premier. Angel tries unsuccessfully to help his first helpless. Even though Tina is dead, Angel is going to go after the vampire that killed her, Russell. It is pretty much a vengeance gig at this point. Cut from that to Russell talking to a lawyer about Tina AND setting up Cordelia. The lawyer is helping to cover up Russell's crime. As the lawyer tells Russell "Wolfram & Hart is a full service law firm, Mr. Winters. It is our job - to see to it that our clients lives run more smoothly."

So who are Wolfram and Hart's clients? Russell is a rich, powerful "investment guy." Gunn puts their clientele best "Oh, I get it, I get it. You all can cater to the demon, cater to the dead man, but what about the black man!" (Blind Date) As much as Angel helps the helpless, Wolfram and Hart helps the not-so-helpless.

We get another glimpse of their clientele in "Home." Lorne says to Preston when looking over their Entertainment Division "I don't think you have to tell me what you represent here, young man. I know. Evil. Pure evil in theó Huh. Which is also apparently everyone I've always wanted to meet." Wolfram and Hart don't represent evil. As Holland tell Lindsey "It's not about good or evil - it's about who wields the most power." (Blind Date) (or at least what they consider to be power)

Back to "City of." We see Wolfram and Hart one more time. Doyle is patching up Angel and Cordy is worried about Russell coming after her. Cut to a board room. The lawyer is mixing legitimate business talk with talk about tracking down Angel. Lindsey actually tries to block and deter Angel, even threatening him. (It is quite amusing and I am laughing as I remember it, especially because I know what it coming up, one of the best send off lines ever.) The business card was a nice touch, like since Angel could do what he did, Lindsey is looking for new business. Russell tries to explain how things are done in LA and gets his send off. As Angel walks away, he puts the business card back in Lindsey's pocket. Lindsey's reaction to this is great. He just picks up his cell phone and says "Set up an interoffice meeting for 4:00. Seems we have a new player in town. - No, no, there is any need to disturb the senior partners with this. Not yet."

One more important edit. From this, we cut to Angel calling Buffy, but not being able to talk to her, yet. Angel's vengeance gig wasn't satisfying because as he put it "I killed a vampire. I didn't help anybody." Doyle shows him he did help Cordelia and Angel accepts his mission.

In "City Of" Russell is the obvious bad. He is representative of all the things that Angel will have to kill, those that prey on the helpless. Wolfram and Hart are set up as his foil. Hello, Angel Investigations. We help the helpless. If that is you, leave a message. No other statement shows the contrast between the two organizations better. The way that phones are used on this show are important. They aren't just plot devices or props.

Wolfram and Hart are missing from the next couple of episodes. There is no powerful creature for them to represent. In "Lonely Hearts" the demon hasn't mainstreamed yet. The importance of establishing contact will later be examined with Wolfram and Hart in "Untouched." This episode is much more personal than just using it for manipulation to gain power. Angel's lack of faith in himself, which is shown several ways in "In the Dark" doesn't have much of a contrast with Wolfram and Hart. Besides another sub-story would take away from Spike time. Spike makes the perfect foil for this episode.

In "I Fall to Pieces" Melissa does what she is supposed to when Dr. Ronald Meltzer starts to harass/stalk her. She files a report. The system should protect her now. They cannot, because Dr. Meltzer's lawyers are Wolfram and Hart. They file a restraining order against her, much like a trial lawyer will victimize a rape survivor. Melissa is helpless and needs Angel's help because the system cannot help her. It cannot help her because 1) Ronald is a freak that no jail could hold and 2) Wolfram and Hart helps him. Wolfram and Hart just get a mention in the episode. No lawyer actually shows up to undo Angel's hard work. It sets up their flavor a bit more: "They're the law firm that Johnny Cochran is too ethical to join."

Angel says " It's not about Melissa, it's about rage. This guy is too messed up to deal with a real woman and he can't stand that. So he creates a fantasy about a girl he barely knows. But eventually even she fails him. So he has to hurt her, because when he looks at her all he sees is how useless he is, how damaged..." This idea of creating a fantasy to deal with things runs throughout the episode. Angel won't charge clients because of this fantasy he has about a hero that has nothing to do with practical reality. Cordy's need for "certain - designer - things" is another fantasy. Angel's character development this episode is when it does become about Melissa for him and not just the fantasy of being a hero.

This ties to Wolfram and Hart. It never is about the clients with them. It is about power. The various lawyers all have their reasons, (we only really go into Lindsey and Lilah's is mentioned) but they are also all messed up and can't deal with life. They create this fantasy about how what they do actually makes things better for them. Holland is so screwed up that he tells Lindsey "And we wield a lot of it here, and you know what? I think the world is better for it." (Blind Date) This doesn't work and Lindsey eventually attaches to Darla and later leaves the firm. Lilah attaches to Wesley and who knows what would have happened to her. It was a small mention, but it fit with the theme wonderfully. Otherwise, why mention it at all?

No evil lawyers in "Room with a View." Later Gavin will be a pain when it comes to Angel and the Hyperion Hotel, but there is no play between helpless/powerful in this episode, so no need for Wolfram and Hart. "The past, she don't let go, does she?" will be revisited using Wolfram and Hart for an entire season and then some. The play will actually be how helpless are we over the past, or rather how not we are.

In "Sense and Sensitivity" an anger management guy that the police have to use because of, you guessed it, Wolfram and Hart, renders the police helpless so that Tony Papazian (aka Little Tony) can escape. The theme of power and being helpless really run throughout this episode, so Wolfram and Hart have to be a presence. "Sense and Sensitivity" is a lot like OMWF. Magick causes people who are normally closed to be open about their feelings. Hilarity then ensues.

Kate is helpless to find Little Tony, so she turns to that Champion of the Helpless, Angel. Little Tony, after he is caught, turns to Wolfram and Hart to help him escape. In "I Fall to Pieces" Wolfram and Hart victimize Melissa even more by filing a restraining order against her. They use similar tactics on Kate in "Sense and Sensitivity." This time Lee is the lawyer on deck. I really hate Lee. He's a slimy little toad.

Not sure if we get any indication that Little Tony is supernatural. Just your run of the mill gangster. Angel drops his guys pretty quickly, so no demons there. Wolfram and Hart cater to general power. They aren't prejudice against the mystically challenged. They will use their mystical resources to help their regular clients. However, they have no problem dropping him like a hot potato when "The senior partners feel that you have become a liability. We can't waste energy on you when there are more pressing issues at hand."

At the end of the episode, the spell wears off and people go back to being closed. The cut from Lee terminating the phone call and thus Wolfram and Hart's relationship with Little Tony is to everyone pulling a Xander from "The Pack" -- "did I say anything to you?" "I'm a little fuzzy myself." It ends with Kate's dad not playing along, but saying "Don't - don't say anything. You make an idiot out of yourself, embarrass me in front of the guys. You don't bring that up ever again. As far as I'm concerned - it didn't happen." and showing how hard this hits Kate.

"Bachelor Party" and IWRY also have no Wolfram and Hart. The Angel/Buffy saga and why he left her has nothing to do with power or the helpless. Wolfram and Hart go after Angel's view of the world, not his view of himself. This distinction is important. They are missing from "Hero" as well. "You never know your strength until you're tested" is not something Wolfram and Hart are about. No Wolfram and Hart in "Parting Gifts." Again not a theme they would be involved with.

We don't see them for quite a while. There really isn't a client and ME is busy cementing the new core group. What Angel faces in "Somnambulist" is nothing compared to what they have in store for him next season. "Expecting" and "She" are just lame. "I've Got You Under My Skin" is a beautiful sentiment. "I was just trying to hold my family together" and the darkness that threatens it will be really revisited at the end of the season as Vocah tries to destroy Angel's family. "The Prodigal" is revisited when Lindsey returns to his roots next season.

[> Episodes 1.16 -1.20: Things get more personal -- lunasea, 07:40:39 07/02/03 Wed

The Middle Episodes: Things get more personal

We get our next view of Wolfram and Hart in "The Ring." We've seen Lindsey and we've seen Lee. Now we get the next face for Wolfram and Hart, Lilah. Lilah, quite simply put, just drips with delicious juices. Lindsey is someone incredibly competent, but doesn't come off as particularly evil. Lee, as I said earlier, is just a slimy toad. Lilah is the Angelus of Wolfram and Hart. She is a major overachiever who is into style. She is the perfect face for this episode.

What an amusing spin to Angel's mission of helping the helpless. The demons that are forced to fight in the ring aren't what you would typically consider helpless. These are big hunking demons. There is also some not-so hunking demons in there. The way the system is rigged is that after 21 kills, a demon is freed. This system favors the strong demons and the weaker ones are killed. Thing is all of them are helpless against the system, until they unite. This episode is all about power, so of course Wolfram and Hart has to have a nice part.

Enter in Lilah and her offer to Angel. Lilah does so enjoy the fights. That is the kind of gal she is. She likes champagne. She likes being rich and acting it. Lilah has real flair. Angel has attracted her attention. Giving him a glass of champagne was such a nice touch. As Angel will later say, she always was such a closer. Thing is, she has met her match in Angel. You can't kid a kidder and you can't charm a charmer. Any interaction between these two is always yummy.

Lilah's offer basically boils down to "picking the battles you can win," which means looking the other way when it comes to Wolfram and Hart. Angel can still help the helpless, only not the ones that need it the most. Angel turns her down with as much flair as Lilah offered it and goes back to try and help the demons trapped in the ring. (a side note. This offer is not the same one made in "Home.")

This episode really sets up Wolfram and Harts antagonism with Angel. When Lilah's offer is rejected, when she goes back to the ring, she bets against Angel. Lindsey gave Angel his card in "City of" and when Angel rejects it, he places a call about a new player in town. Lee and Angel have no interaction. The episode opens with Cordy wondering why Wolfram and Hart isn't in Demons, Demons, Demons database. Up to this point, they have been more behind the scenes. This will all change in a couple of episodes.

Before the major Wolfram and Hart show down with Angel that the remaining episodes will become, we have a nice filler in the form of "Eternity." In "The Ring" we got the style that is Lilah. In "Eternity" we got to see the style that is/was Angelus. Again, the theme doesn't fit Wolfram and Hart, so they are absent.

Then comes "Five by Five." Wolfram and Hart plays two rolls in this episode. First, Angel tracks down a thug named Marquez. This thug is needed to testify in a case involving, you guessed it, Wolfram and Hart. Lindsey is the first lawyer on deck. We get to see Wolfram and Hart in action. He actually says "and I will be filing a grievance for this remark with the A.B.A this afternoon."

After he loses, the scene is great. First, Lindsey uses a headset, not a normal phone. Lindsey isn't a hands on sort-of guy. I love "I hate failure when there is no one else to blame it on." Toady Lee is the one that has "found the solution to our problem," but he doesn't have any "people skills" so he doesn't get to follow through. "If you behave I'll let you ride in the Limo." Go Lilah!!! We have all three Associates in this episode.

Marquez is the first representation of facing your demons. The next one is a bit more interesting. Angel has a new helpless to help. Her name is Faith and she is a Slayer. Lee's whacked idea is to hire Faith to kill Angel. Lilah approaches her and Lee does ride in the limo. Lindsey isn't to be seen.

But he is the one to offer their deal to her. It was his case that was blown. As much style as Lilah has, Lindsey is the wonder kid at Wolfram and Hart. Lilah and he work seamlessly together. Toady Lee gets his face smashed into a table repeatedly. He really doesn't have the people skills of Lilah and Lindsey. Lilah and Lindsey are both unfazed with how their colleague is treated.

Angel as a lawyer was funny, but Angel knows exactly where to go to find out what Faith is up to, Lindsey's office. Lindsey shows that he really is in control of his world. Angel tries to rile him, but he remains completely calm and in control of the situation. Just as Wolfram and Hart filed a restraining order against Melissa and earlier in the episode said they would be filing a grievance with the Bar against the state's attorney, Lindsey threatens Angel with charges of slander and breaking and entering. Angel resorts to threats, which still don't phase Lindsey. Instead Lindsey trumps him. You are one pissed off vampire, I'll raise you tons of security guards and the police. "So, - despite the fact that I'm sure it would make an entertaining evening watching you fight for your life, - not to mention the fortune I could make off the video - I do have a dinner." I have to admit, I love Lindsey. ME even remembered to undercut the exchange at the end. Goosebumply goodness all around.

In "Five by Five" Wolfram and Hart tries to use Faith against Angel. Angel sees through what she wants and reaches out to her. This naturally pisses Wolfram and Hart off. They are trying to use her. She has the potential to become the powerful that they help, but when she turns flips out, she actually becomes the helpless. As powerful as she is, her self image renders her helpless in a manner of speaking. In "Sanctuary," when she is now being helped by Angel, they have another problem to deal with.

We get another scene with the three Associates, though is starts out with Lilah and Lindsey. Lee, the moron who came up with the idea, comes up with the equally moronic idea to have her killed. All three are also present when they talk to the new assassin. It is always fun to watch Lilah in action, especially when it is with Lindsey.

When "The first assassin kills the second assassin - sent to kill the first assassin, - who didn't assassinate anyone until we hired - the second assassin to assassinate the first assassin," Lindsey takes control of the situation. Just like he handled Angel in the previous episode, he "moved this fight to our own turf." Wolfram and Hart relies on the system to take care of things. We have a Bigger Bad (since it really runs through multiple seasons, much like the Hellmouth) that will use ANY resource at its disposal.

Kate and Lindsey interacting is fun, too. Not quite Angel and Lilah, but they don't have quite the style and are much more pragmatic. Lindsey is a lot more subtle and Kate is a lot more blunt. That is the last we see of Wolfram and Hart we see in the episode. When Kate does have Angel arrested, it almost looks like Wolfram and Hart has finally won. They don't.

Everything up to this point has been Wolfram and Hart servicing their clients. In "Five by Five"/"Sanctuary" the powerful that Wolfram and Hart is servicing is itself. The helpless is Faith and through flashbacks Angel. The story of these two preternaturally physically powerful creatures being rendered helpless because of their self-image and the real power of compassion is made even more powerful by how ineffective the machinations of Wolfram and Hart were. Wolfram and Hart may be into power, but it is by not understanding true power that they are undone.

Wolfram and Hart don't really fit into "War Zone," except for one thing. David Nabbit is rich. He seems to be someone they would service. There is a big difference between David and the clients of Wolfram and Hart that we have seen: Russell, Ronald, Little Tony. David is a nice shy unassuming nerd, much like Willow used to be. He has power with his money, but he isn't into it and really doesn't exercise it. Even with his money, he is one of the helpless that Angel helps, not one of the not helpless that Wolfram and Hart do.

[> Episodes 1.21 & 1.22: Crossing the Threshold -- lunasea, 07:41:58 07/02/03 Wed

The finale: Crossing the threshold

This lack of Wolfram and Hart sets up two episodes in which they are key, especially Lindsey. When I have trouble figuring out just what the central theme of an episode is, I like to either look at the bad or some seemingly minor sub-story. The bad for "Blind Date, " Vanessa Brewer, is interesting. She is blind, except she can see movement. She sets up the horrific crime that is so bad that Lindsey wants out, killing some kids, but any assassin could do that. Why a blind one?

Of course, once Vanessa is caught and tried, Lindsey is her lawyer. Angel trips her up, by returning her sunglasses to her, but Lindsey is so phenomenal a lawyer that it ends up being a hung jury. We get a scene of Wolfram and Hart celebrating. Toady Lee and Lindsey are in the hall looking in as the higher ups talk with Vanessa. Lee is being slimy and Lindsey is invited in by Holland. As cool and collected as Lindsey is in earlier episodes, Vanessa really does unnerve Lindsey. He will later reek of fear as he explains things to Angel.

Wolfram and Hart has favorites. Why that is will give us some insight into it. Lindsey is that favorite son. Lee gets a bullet to the head. Not that I completely disagree with the choice. What Holland says to Lindsey shows a bit about why the firm is interested in Angel also.

First important thing:

Holland: "It's your age. You're a young man. You've hitched your wagon to our star. Oh, and it's a bright star. - But now you're starting to feel a little 'Is that all there is?"
Lindsey: "Sometimes you question things, but I mean it's no big..."
Holland: Yeah, I did a lot of crazy things when I was your age - searching and all. - Took me a while to realize how the world was put together and where I belonged in it. - And actually the world isn't that complicated. - It's designed for those who know how to use it."
Lindsey: "Yes, sir."
Holland: "Don't give me that 'yes, sir' crap. I want you to think about these things. - You're not going to be happy until you find your place in the scheme of things.

I said earlier that Wolfram and Hart doesn't go directly to a person's self image. It goes to their view of the world and their place in it. It doesn't say "you are evil, come join us."

Holland talking to Lindsey cuts to Angel rather upset that Vanessa got off. He throws his phone against the wall. Again, it is more than just a prop. Angel is as hands on as he can be, but his effectiveness is limited (like banging your head against the wall) because "It's their system, and it's one that works" Holland was talking to Lindsey about finding his place in the world and Angel feels completely out of place in the legal world. He even briefly misses being Angelus, something that will come into play later when Holland shakes up his world view even more.

From this we go to Lindsey showing up at AI. Angel is still not happy with the legal world and Lindsey is his main opponent in court. As he tells Lindsey "Why don't we just save the lawyer talk?" He doesn't see Lindsey as someone helpless who needs his help. He is still the enemy, the powerful that allows other powerful to hurt his helpless. When Lindsey mentions the kids, Angel has a real helpless to help. Angel identified with Faith and reached out to her, thus saving her. That won't happen with Lindsey this season.

Angel enlists the help of Gunn in something that doesn't look like it has anything to do with the theme. The firm has shamans that detect when a vampire crosses the *threshold.* In this episode, Lindsey has some choices to make. He is on the threshold. When the alarms go off, the guards think it is because of the vampire that Gunn's crew has brought in. Even how Gunn taunts Wolfram and Hart fits with what is going on with Angel and Lindsey. A nice piece of writing that was both entertaining and foreshadowed Lindsey staying with Wolfram and Hart.

We get some more interaction between Lilah and Lindsey, showing why Lindsey is the favorite son and not Lilah at this stage in the game. Lilah has style and flair, but Lindsey really knows how to play the game. He plays it so well that Angel does get the disks they need. Lee continues to show how clueless he is and Lilah shows how accustomed to this world she is.

Then we see how Wolfram and Hart really works. Toady Lee's betrayal, which really isn't much, creates a messy carpet. If anything, Lindsey's actions impress Holland. We get another important speech from Holland, that says how Wolfram and Hart think.

Holland: "Lindsey, this is a delicate moment. - I nod to Phil behind me - and he's gonna put a bullet in your head."
Lindsey: "I-I didn't want to lie to you. I didn't - want to betray you. I just wanted out."
Holland: "Hm. Well, then you're in a crisis, son - crisis of faith. - Do you believe in love? - I'm not speaking romantically. - I'm talking about that sharp, clear sense of self a man gains - once he's truly found his place in the world. - It's no mean feat, since most men are cowards and just move with the crowd. Very few make their own destinies. They have the courage of their convictions, and they know how to behave in a crisis."
Lindsey: "Like now?"
Holland: "Like now. You have everything it takes to go all the way here - drive, ambition, - excellence - but you don't know where you belong. And until you do - I guess we both have some important questions to answer. - Now, my first one is - do I nod - to my friend behind me? - No, - I don't. Because I know you, and I know a little something about character. - I think what you actually need is a few days off to think about it. And I'm sure once you have - you're gonna do the right thing."
Lindsey: "I can - I can go."
Holland: "You can go. (Lindsey slowly gets up) Lindsey - I believe in you. - Look deep enough inside yourself - you'll find that love."

Love. Holland actually uses the word to describe that feeling. Makes my skin crawl. Angel better described it earlier when he was remember what it felt like to be Angelus. This feeling is important to understanding Wolfram and Hart. Power is great. There is nothing wrong with power. What really matters, though, is what is done with that power, what motivates someone. This will drive the Darla arc next season, so I will save it for then.

The flow of the fight with Vanessa is important, as is her particular talent. Currently Lindsey is immobilized by his own questions. He wants out, but he will move back to Wolfram and Hart. If he didn't move by returning the disks to Holland, he never would have gotten "hit." He moves to get the children out and Vanessa attacks him. Angel is the one that figures out how Vanessa "sees" and manages to distract her enough so that Lindsey can get to the children. He doesn't get them out though. He comforts them. After Angel manages to kill Vanessa with her own stick, then the children are safe.

What the children are is important as well. "Together the children have the power to see into the heart of things." "A holy triumvirate. As they mature, so does their power." The characters on Angel are all 20 somethings and not that mature. The show is about that maturation. Lindsey lacks the power to see into the heart of things. This is why he latches onto what Holland says. As Lindsey matures, he will find this power and will eventually leave Wolfram and Hart. This show foreshadows what will happen season 2.

Holland gives one more important speech at the end.

Holland: "Lindsey, - haven't you learned anything? No one has their own life. We're all part of something larger."
Lindsey: "Like Wolfram and Hart."
Holland: "I handpicked you when you were a sophomore at Hastings - not because you were smart - not because you were a poor kid who had to do better than anyone else - but because you had potential - potential for seeing things as they are. It's not about good or evil - it's about who wields the most power. And we wield a lot of it here, and you know what? I think the world is better for it."
Lindsey: "Look, I didn't come back..."
Holland: "Why did you come back? To return some disks? Take a moral stand? - I don't think so. You walked in that door and called me by my first name. - You never did that before. You wouldn't have had the nerve. - But you're different now. You stood up to us and won. - Do you know how many people have that much nerve? - I can count them on one hand. - I need people like that working for us."
Lindsey after a beat: "You're offering me my job back?'
Holland: "Oh, no. I'm offering you a new job. - A permanent one, with a thundering raise and ungodly benefits. In fact, I'm offering you this very office. I'm going upstairs. - What I'm offering you, Lindsey, is the world. Now I know you pretty well, and I'm betting that you're gonna take it."
Holland picks up the box with his stuff and walks towards the door.
Lindsey: "You may not know me as well as you think you do."
Holland: "As I've been trying to tell you, that's a decision that each person has to make for himself. - If you want it it's yours. If you don't - walk out this door. - I'm going upstairs now."

From this, we can really see how Wolfram and Hart thinks. They think this deeper understanding of the way things are has to do with who wields the most power. As anyone who understands Buffyverse canon knows can tell them, it isn't about power, but what you do with it. You find your place in the world with the Prayer of St. Francis, not with nerve.

The blindness of Vanessa is tied to movement. The blindness of the kids is tied to a deeper understanding. These two things form the battle that is Lindsey McDonald. The theme of movement and understanding are throughout the episode in many ways. Even the phone comes back into play as Lindsey picks it up in his new office.

One more episode to go for season 1 and it is a dozy. "To Shanshu in LA" (raise your hand if you are sick of hearing the word Shanshu on the board)

Angel finds out that Lindsey was made Jr. Partner. Vocah is raised by Wolfram and Hart. I have to admit that seeing lawyers in lawyer attire at raisings is funny. I amuse easily. The relationship of Wolfram and Hart to Vocah is not a client. He uses the word "us." Lindsey will also use the same word. That word is very important because of the theme of family that runs through the episode. Wolfram and Hart becomes Lindsey's family of sorts.

Holland is above Lindsey who is above Lilah, but Vocah gives orders to them all. The oracles refer to him as a warrior of the underworld and a lower being. She says that Vocah wants Angel weak. Vocah is in on the really big picture.

Angel spends the episode trying to protect and help his family. Lindsey takes the scroll and continues the raising when Angel interrupts it. As strong as Angel is in his commitment to Cordy/Wes, Lindsey's commitment to his new side is shown with the force he reads the scroll with. When Lindsey is rendered unconscious by the whirlwind that causes the raising, he is abandoned by his family.

After Angel kills Vocah, he still needs the scroll to help his family. Lindsey won't give it to him. As he puts it "I see that you are either the one with the power - or you're powerless." He has sided with Wolfram and Hart, because he sees them as power. Because of this, he loses his hand. Never really was a hands on sort of guy. Now when he actually takes action, he loses his, showing how not powerful he really is.

[> Season 1: The Purpose of Power -- lunasea, 07:43:12 07/02/03 Wed

The purpose of power

Wolfram and Hart, season 1 were a wonderful contrast to Angel's mission to help the helpless. Wolfram and Hart help the not helpless. Why? Because they are evil is too simple an answer for ME and this wonderful show. Holland specifically says it isn't about good and evil. It is about power.

Angel uses his power to help the helpless because he cares about them. Jane Espenson said the difference between the soul and the chip is the heart behind them. Angel has a really big heart, the heart that makes him a champion. Even when his is on his vengeance gig in "City Of" it isn't because something was done to him. It was because he cared so much for Tina and feels responsible. Doyle tries to get him to share his feelings and Angel's response is great. "Doyle, I don't want to share my feelings, I don't want to open up. I want to find Russell and I want to look him in the eye..Then I'm going to share my feelings." The PTBs know how to get to Angel, through his heart. Angel sees power as a vehicle that he can use.

Same thing with Wolfram and Hart, but they question is what are they using it for? Evil? What is that? What is important to Holland and Lindsey? Holland calls it "Love" it is so important. "that sharp, clear sense of self a man gains - once he's truly found his place in the world. - It's no mean feat, since most men are cowards and just move with the crowd. Very few make their own destinies. They have the courage of their convictions, and they know how to behave in a crisis." (Blind Date) Peace of mind. It is all any of us really want. We have all these nagging questions and conflicting desires. Holland's manner (sorry I couldn't resist) really shows how much peace of mind he has found.

Holland believes "we are all part of something larger." He believes when we understand this, when we can see things as they are, we can find our place in that and find that sort of clarity. He is right. The children in "Blind Date" can see into the heart of the matter and their power increases as they mature. They are a wonderful metaphor for the human condition. What fights this is as Holland says just *moving* with the crowd and not standing by their convictions, symbolized by Vanessa Brewer.

The hard part is figuring out what those convictions are. In "Blind Date" Lindsey tries to help and protect the children. The idea of killing kids is so horrific to him that he goes to Angel for help. Lindsey actually does have a conscience. He also remembers as a child of 7 figuring out "Either you got stepped on or you got to stepping and I swore to myself that I was not going to be the guy standing there with the stupid grin on my face - while my life got dribbled out..."

"The world is designed for those who know how to use it" Holland tells Lindsey. It is designed for the steppers, like that makes the stepping somehow OK. That is the way the world works, so you have to play along. That is the game after all. Where do you belong? Are you a stepper or someone who gets stepped on? Lindsey buys into this world view and becomes one of the steppers.

Contrast that with Angel. In "Consequences" Angel gives his view of the world to Faith. "Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right. And they make mistakes. And they fall down. You know, but they keep caring. Keep trying. If you can trust us, Faith, this can all change. You don't have to disappear into the darkness."

Wolfram and Hart realize how powerful Angel is. As Holland tells Lindsey "You stood up to us and won. - Do you know how many people have that much nerve? - I can count them on one hand. - I need people like that working for us." Angel is one of those people. They value the strength of his convictions. They just want to change what those convictions are. How they want those convictions changed shows what the Senior Partners are after. Why was Darla brought back? How will that bring Angel to Wolfram and Hart and tear him from the PTBs? That will be answered Season 2.

[> Thread preservation -- d'Herblay, 16:54:31 07/02/03 Wed

[> Interesting, intriguing, and a little fearful prayer to dread Voynak -- fresne, 17:04:18 07/02/03 Wed

Voynak is hungry! Flee for your lives! -- HonorH (packing Honorificus' clothes), 09:17:18 07/02/03 Wed

It's devouring posts at a phenomenal rate! JBone, where are you? Did Voynak get you while it was snarfing down your contest? Talk to me!

Aaah! Here it comes!

My Prada shoes!

No time to look back! Run, H, run! Even demons aren't safe!

[> But we've sacrificed so many posts to him already! When will his hunger be sated?!? -- Rob, looking up to the sky, bellowing, "WHY, GOD, WHY?!?", 09:22:08 07/02/03 Wed

[> Just leave me behind! Save yourselves! -- ponygirl, stumbling over a pesky tree root, 09:25:55 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> never! we're all in this together! we all make it...or none of us does! are you with me? -- anom, 18:45:25 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> You can not escape. You nor your little pony either! Fleeing is Futile. -- Master Katin le Posts, 19:16:01 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> master *k*atin? sure you're starting w/the right consonant there? -- anom, 22:21:28 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> *C* would have been too easy. -- Ed A. Bull, 22:47:25 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> "c"? *not* the consonant i was thinking about.... -- anom, 07:20:13 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> ::quietly putting anom and a "b" in locked bathroom with the Andrew-cam:: -- A. Temmup, 11:33:12 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> i believe this is *yours,* not-so-gentle viewer (voy-er? voyeur?) -- anom, holding "b" w/tweezers from medicine cabinet..., 17:00:01 07/03/03 Thu

...through splintered bathroom door

Huh. 1st time I ever had to continue the "name" field in the message! Voy is not only hungry but arbitrary...& apparently prurient [holding smashed Andrew-cam in other hand...no tweezers necessary].

Now where was I? Oh yeah--back to the fleeing!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> voy....now.....eying....fleeing anom....mmmMm....for next.....random.......mastiCation... -- Indie Justin, 20:42:13 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ha! you've fallen into my trap! -- anom, 22:00:27 07/03/03 Thu

Every time you answer me...YOU KEEP THIS THREAD UP THAT MUCH LONGER!!!! Bwahahahahaaaaa!!!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You'll choke on my alter-ego...don't say you haven't been warned! -- The First Naughty, 22:50:03 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> So what exactly are the First Naughty's powers? -- Rob, 09:09:09 07/04/03 Fri

[> Where's a Slayer when you need one?! -- Valheru (being like a man...and hiding), 09:29:13 07/02/03 Wed

[> Quick, someone toss me a lumpy message on redemption to slow Voynak down! -- Rendyl, holding out for a Hero, gender nonspecified, 09:46:27 07/02/03 Wed

[> Suggestion? Write incredibly long posts...it chokes on them;-) -- s'kat, 10:48:40 07/02/03 Wed

See KdS's posting thread below...

although that does not explain how the Book Melee got archived as fast as it did. I'd say it was me that it didn't like to eat - but it swallowed Finn's jacket thread pretty fast and has swallowed other threads KdS has responded to.

Voy...who can understand it? (shrug)

[> VOY CRAVES VIRGIN PROSE. NEEDS SACRIFICIAL LAMBIC TO SATE LITERARY LUST. -- thus speaks the High Vriestess of Voy, 13:44:54 07/02/03 Wed

pitiful pedantic peasants!

Voy craves virgin ideas. simple, rich posts written in the smallest of bits.

Voy chokes on eight syllable words when a tasty three letter word would suffice! Voy gags when forced to feed on ancient, rotting vocabulary. hates dusty tome quotes of long dead writers. feeding Voy the words of others gives Voy gas.




Voy punishes and destroys. Voy bleeds.

So spaketh The Voy through it's Most Loyal Vriestess.

[> If I could...just...move...my...arm.... -- O'Cailleagh, 14:49:05 07/02/03 Wed

[> (Ironic) Thread Preservation -- d'Herblay, 17:55:25 07/02/03 Wed

[> Perhaps Voy is "in heat". Are there any Voyettes nearby? -- Jane Goodall, 20:30:19 07/02/03 Wed

[> Hide your babies and your beadwork! -- Plin, trying to be helpful, 23:54:34 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> Help us, O Mighty First! Hear our piteous pleas! -- mamcu, 09:35:30 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> The First is in Arizona. Watching opening weekend movies apparently. -- deeva, 10:25:14 07/03/03 Thu

[> VOY doesn't seem to eat threads about itself. We may have found its ach. heel. -- WickedDetective (Hi VOY! Gee, you look nice today VOY), 11:38:18 07/03/03 Thu

Judging Sarah -- Rina, 10:20:22 07/02/03 Wed

I'm not condoning SMG's "bitchy" or "selfish" behavior, anymore than I'm criticizing it. But from reading these past posts, it is apparent that because she is a celebrity, she is not allowed to harbor negative traits - something that every human being on this earth possesses. Even I can be "bitchy", as some people in this forum will agree.

[> Well said- if Buffy can be so flawed yet so lovable, who are we to begrudge Sarah a few faults? -- Alison, 10:24:17 07/02/03 Wed

[> Re: Judging Sarah -- Buffy fan, 10:43:09 07/02/03 Wed

Just briefly delurking to say if Sarah wasn't a beautiful talented blonde with a perfect figure, no one would be giving her all this shit.

[> [> Not true.... -- s'kat, 10:55:51 07/02/03 Wed

Can we say Martha * cough* Stewart??

David*cough cough* Caruso??

Or how about Shannon *cough cough* Dougherty?

Or Roseanne *cough* Barr???

Truth is - if you are aggressive, ballsy, and have lots of drive and occassionally step on toes with your cocky over-confidence - people want to take you down a step. They call it the Tall Poppy Syndrom over-seas I believe.

Being pretty, blond has zip to do it. Successful? Quite a bit. Although that may be in the eye of the beholder...personally I don't see having the role of Daphne in Scooby Doo Too and a role in the next comedy by the folks who did Not Another Teen Comedy as that sucessful, yet it is far more successful than approximately 65% of actors, so probably is pretty dang successful - hence the Tall Poppy Syndrom. Curious to see what happens in ten years?

[> [> [> It's successful if you consider the fact that she wanted the parts -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:33:11 07/02/03 Wed

There's more to being successful than being in big, Oscar caliber movies. A big sign of success is the ability to choose which movies you want to be in and which you don't. According to what I've heard, Sarah enjoyed playing the role of Daphne, as well as working with her husband, so I don't think she's taking a part in it because she can't find anything else.

[> [> [> [> Re: It's successful if you consider the fact that she wanted the parts -- s'kat, 12:36:05 07/02/03 Wed

Yep, there is more than being in Oscar calibrated roles.
But it's also good to be in movies that will lead you to better parts. Reese Witherspoon, Jennifer Annisten, Angelina Jolie, Jennifer Lopez, and Kate Hudson and Kirsten Dunst are examples of role savvy actresses. Jennifer Love
Hewitt, Neve Campbell and Courteny Cox are examples of non-role savvy actresses. To their credit - it is really hard to tell what will be a great role and a lackluster one from a script. Actors don't have much control over films. The bright ones go for directors not just scripts - with a good savvy director, you're golden.

According to Shivers magazine and some other interviews last year - SMG did not choose the part, FPJr. did and talked her into it. Her first response - was - that's a cartoon. He talked her into it b/c he wanted to spend more time together. She agreed and enjoyed more than expected.
But was upset by the bad reviews. FPjr. told her it was for the kids not the reviewers.

If she can make a career out of it and move into better parts, it will be good. If she gets stuck - than SMG could have the same wonderful career as Neve Campbell and Sandra Dee, and Troy Donahue, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Rob Lowe, Molly Ringwald, Ally
Sheedy, - as opposed to the careers of Kristen Dunst,
Reese Witherspoon, Kate Hudson, and Christina Ricci.
The difficulty in Hollywood - is you don't get to choose your roles - you choose the roles offered to you. Or that look like possibilities. It's not all that different than hunting a job or interviewing for one, the only difference is you have an intermediary or agent negotiating for you.

SMG looks like she's following in Neve Campbell and Jennifer Love Hewitt's footsteps.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: It's successful if you consider the fact that she wanted the parts -- shambleau, 13:24:05 07/02/03 Wed

It's possible that her film career won't be that distinguished, but the acting opportunities she's been given on BtVS are so far beyond what most actresses get in movies that she's already had a great run.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Would completely agree with that. -- s'kat, 18:34:07 07/02/03 Wed

To name just a few:

The Body
Once More with Feeling
Weight of The World
Dead Things
Seeing Red
Tabula Rasa
The PRom
Who Are You
Prophecy Girl
I Will Always Remember You
Something Blue

Yep, she has had to do farce, slapstick, singing, dancing, tears, laughter, surreal, silent movie, angst, pretend to be another actress in her own body...and pulled it all off brilliantly and all by the ripe old age of 26.

Lucky chit. ;-)

Have to admit, SMG has done a marvelous job over the years.
If she hadn't would ANY of us be still watching the show??
Shame she never got an EMMY for it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Would completely agree with that. -- manwitch, 19:05:15 07/02/03 Wed

its funny, cuz while her movies aren't that great, Buffy is spectacular. I loved Intervention, the distincion between Buffybot and Buffy. The same distinction in Bargaining. Of all the characters in the show that died, I confess I grieved more for Buffybot than any other. I thought there was a lot to explore there.

But Who Are You is brilliant. It is just plain as day that its Eliza Dushku in Buffy's body. That's pretty impressive. Eliza, who I also love, doesn't do near so good a job as making us think she's Sarah.

But in terms of sheer acting power, the two minutes of Prophecy Girl in which Buffy learns that she's gonna die is unrivaled in the series. The only moment that to me even compares is when Dawn cuts herself.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> OT: Actually, re: "Who Are You" I would argue the opposite. -- Doug, 19:34:14 07/02/03 Wed

Eliza didn't get a lot of interaction with the other characters in that episoide but when it came down to tone and body language she *was* Buffy. Sarah was...playing someone with all of Faith's character traits.

This isn't intended as a dig against Sarah, this is just my opinion on that episode.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Would completely agree with that. -- s'kat, 20:27:29 07/02/03 Wed

its funny, cuz while her movies aren't that great, Buffy is spectacular. I loved Intervention, the distincion between Buffybot and Buffy. The same distinction in Bargaining. Of all the characters in the show that died, I confess I grieved more for Buffybot than any other. I thought there was a lot to explore there.

Every time I get in a bitchy anti-SMG or anti-Buffy mood, I think back to Intervention and Bargaining and the Buffybot.
I LOVED the Buffybot. I also grieved more for her...than I thought possible. Gellar's acting of that role shows range and comic timing - and is made even more evident by the comparison to other robots such as John Ritter's Ted, George HErtzeberg's Adam, and April. The Buffbot ruled.

SMG proved her ability with that dual role in both Intervention and Bargaining. Hard to pull of, I'd think.

Truth is - she's gotten some bad movie roles. And I can't completely fault her for this, and whenever I do, I'm glad people slap me on the wrist for my stupidity - getting a good ANY good movie role in that industry is like finding
a gold coin in a haystack. There's a reason so many good, well-established actors have flown back to tv and the stage in recent years - both male and female. Look at what's in the cinemaplex? How many really good 20 something female roles can you name off the top of your head this year?
How many critically acclaimed ones? Heck MArsters whose a man and in his 40s and attractive - is being very picky, he gets sent scripts, but after BTVS, he's picky about the roles. See he knows that the actor doesn't make the movie, the director/script does. So good actors try to pick movies based on directors (hard to do, since this changes or isn't always available info when they get hired) and on scripts (also tough since many scripts get re-written numerous times afte the actor is hired.) An actor might fall in love with a role in a script - only to see it gutted after they signed on.

The trades are filled with stories of actors stuck in roles they hadn't bargained on and trying to save face after the movie hits theaters.

You're lucky to get a good role. Roles like Buffy the Vampire Slayer for writer/directors/producers like Whedon
come once in a blue moon.

That said, I don't blame Gellar for calling it quits.
She was working 20 hour days, five days a week. Rarely saw her husband. Didn't have a life. HAd to deal with tabloids
and press. Also the creator of the show tells her after she films the first episode of S7 that this is *his* last season regardless of what she decides. Whedon told Sarah, he wasn't doing another season of Buffy, that he was burnt out on the show and the character he'd created (according to BOTH Whedon and Gellar's interviews.) Also after LEssons she didn't really see him again until the last four episodes or possibly Chosen. That's a lot to deal with.

I don't envy her. I don't envy Hollywood celebrities or actors. The money? Sure. The fame? Nope.

I give SMG a great deal of credit for making it as far as she has in a tough industry at such a young age. I don't envy her the next ten years though - this industry isn't nice to aging starlets. And the competition is fierce for so little choice in roles.

Her best parts in films were probably her earliest ones:
Jakes Women (which was a play)
Cruel Intentions
I Know What You Did Last Summer
Scream 2

She hasn't really done a good movie role since. What she needs is another villain - something to break typecasting.
Gellar plays villains very very well. The First Evil was at it's best when Gellar played it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah, the Buffybot... -- Alison, 20:33:25 07/02/03 Wed

I still haven't forgiven the Scoobies for leaving her to die at the hands of those demons. SMG did a perfect job playing her, and she was a wonderful contrast to Buffy- and a continuation of the duality theme. Sniff. She deserved a better send off.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ME TOO! I'm so sad for the Buffy Bot! I can't believe she came to such a cruel end. -- Rochefort, 21:33:30 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Don't forget the various "Restless" Buffys! -- shambleau, 09:13:09 07/03/03 Thu

I loved how each Scoob's dream had a slightly different Buffy and I adored them all. SMG was fabulous as Flapper!Buffy, as enigmatic sandbox sister/goddess and as innocent-for-the-slaughter daughter figure.

I'm a sucker for Wishverse!Buffy, too. Cleveland's answer to Lara Croft was a beautiful creation and the hardened Buffy we saw there had its echoes in Generalissima Buffy, in the Buffy who'd kill Anya, and in S6's alienated Slayer.

[> [> [> [> She also sought out the role in "Romantic Comedy," as far as I heard. -- Rob, 12:36:21 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> Re: Not true.... -- Rina, 07:55:56 07/03/03 Thu

You're judging what her career will turn out, because of her next two movies?

[> [> [> [> Actually on all of them -- s'kat, 12:54:36 07/03/03 Thu

She's done over six movies and all of them rank between C and B in both critical and box office quality. ED, Seth Green, Marc Blucas, and Hannigan have better resumes right now - movie wise.

HEre's SMG's list.

1. I know what you did last summer (supporting role)
2. Scream 2 (small bit part)
3. Cruel Intentions (huge role and probably best part critically)
4. Simply Irresistable (panned and bombed at box office)
5. Harvard Man (bomb at box office, (1 wk tops), difficult to find on video, critically mixed - C movie, and not a really stand out role)
6. Scooby Doo (panned critically, did well at box office - but the stars were Mathew Lillard and cji dog, not Daphne, which SMG played. SMG didn't sell Scooby Doo - the cartoon sold Scooby Doo. So no one would base box office on her name.)
7. Scooby Doo II (same here - assuming it does well...)
8. Romantic Comedy (by the team that did the spoof Not Another Teen Movie which was panned)

Compare to American Pie (considered now by many critics a classic teen comedy and hit many best of lists when it came out. Hannigan made the IT list in Entertainment Weekly b/c of doing American Wedding - the final in the triology) My Stepmother Was An Alien (also well-known and one of Hannigan's earlier roles)

Compare to the Austin Powers Movies, Italian Job, which Seth Green did.

Compare to True Lies, This Boy's Life, Bring it On!,
Wrong Turn, Lost Souls, and other roles by Dusku

You are only as good as your last movie and people in the industry look at box office, the role and how it affected box office, and how that role could translate into another role. Getting type-cast is really easy and right now, Gellar is in a lot of danger of being typecast.

[> [> [> [> [> Not necessarily disagree'in -- fresne, 13:53:48 07/03/03 Thu

Just gotta say, I loved Simply Irresistible.

It's Water for Chocolate, only happy. And that ballroom. With clouds. And the magic crab.

Okay, so it's More Two Gentlemen of Verona than it is say Mid Summer Night Dreamery. But um, yeah. Glances around. Silence. Sound of crickets. yeah.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Not necessarily disagree'in -- s'kat, 14:03:36 07/03/03 Thu

I liked it too, much much better movie than either Scream 2 or Scooby Doo.

But the box office audiences and critics? Despised it.

Unfortunately, my taste and the general mainstream public's
are seldom the same. Hence the reason I'm not the head of a major studio, I guess. ;-)

(Actually the same is true for TV, Btvs and Ats - my favorite shows are wayyy below the top ratings getters.
Btvs never got more than a 4.9 in ratings. To put this in perspective? Firefly was cancelled on Fox for ratings of 5.0 and higher.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm with you on Simply Irresistible. One of my favorites as well -- Brian, 03:06:09 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> Another vote -- tomfool, 09:40:34 07/04/03 Fri

I liked this one too. I had never seen Buffy at the time and was only vaguely aware that SMG was that girl on BtVS. I thought she did a fine job in the role. It was all very charming in an undemanding sort of way. Hey, and magic crabs.

[> [> Re: Judging Sarah -- manwitch, 17:24:15 07/02/03 Wed

Also if she wasn't the star of a show that sparks thousands of internet discussion threads with millions of words posted about female empowerment, feminism, and overcoming patriarchy.

Who isn't difficult to work with? Obviously there are people who are especially difficult. Maybe she's one of them. But in Buffy she comes off like a really gorgeous and wonderful girl that I should date.

Since the chances of my having to deal with her in the workplace are relatively slim, I'm just thankful we got this show. I feel bad that she makes poor choices with movies. I wish she would go for supporting roles in indies and demonstrate that she's the real deal.

But she's already made her mark. Who really cares about the other roles Leonard Nimoy played, you know?

[> [> [> Sarah's best movie -- manwitch, 17:32:57 07/02/03 Wed

Speaking of which, I saw a movie that arguably includes Sarah Michelle Gellar's best performance in a movie. Its called "She's All That" and also stars Rachel Leigh Cook, who has the body of a waif and a rack like a moose in october.

But, and here's spoilers for the end if you haven't seen it, in the big ending where the bad dude is bragging to everybody in the men's room that he's gonna score with Laney, and the pudgy friend comes out of the stall, well here's the thing. That boy had been in there through the whole scene. So you can figure what he's been doin'. And then he comes running out and immediatley runs out into the prom to Anna Paquin and puts his hand on the table, right near the food, and then the next time we see him he's got dear Anna's hand in his as he battles through the crowd. But the dude never washed his hands.

Talk about a plothole. That freaked me out for the whole rest of the movie.

Sarah really has to make better choices.

[> [> [> Re: Judging Sarah -- Rendyl, 18:20:46 07/02/03 Wed

***Who really cares about the other roles Leonard Nimoy played, you know?***

You had to ask. (grin) In 1991 Nimoy gave what (IMO) was his best performance in 'Never Forget'. I remember thinking at the time that it would be awful to have suffered and survived the concentration camps just to turn around and have people claiming it was all fake. It is a good movie and he is very good in it.

Ren - who still loves Mr Spock, but knows Nimoy can stretch -

[> [> [> Heh...I bet Nimoy cares...typecasting must be a frustrating thing in a 40 year career -- Random, 19:00:37 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> A small anecdote -- Sophist, 08:32:22 07/03/03 Thu

I recently hooked my parents on Buffy. They have now watched through S4 and just started S5 (thanks to Doc). About a week ago, I was talking to my father about it and he said "SMG really is Buffy. I can't imagine anyone else in that role." I agree.

[> What's in a slur? A slur against any other person... -- skyMatrix, 12:45:18 07/02/03 Wed

(It should be obvious, but I will nonetheless state that this is not at all a rebuttal to you, Rina, but more a "to whom it may concern.")

I'm just gonna say this. Everytime I read someone who says how SMG, a woman with some amount of power and autonomy, is a bitch due to what they know of her apparent negative or pushy behavior, I just hope that person is able to recognize the same negative behavior in a male actor of similar or greater stature, and call that actor a bitch too. Yes, the original meaning of the word suggests "female," but the thing that makes me uncomfortable about the constant levying of the "bitch" charge against women like SMG suggests to me that a man would not be attacked for doing the same things. After all, men are supposed to have power and autonomy, so if they are pushy or hateful to get it done, well what can you do, boys will be boys, etc. Recognizing the impossibility of fighting the tendency to call certain women bitches, I would instead suggest that we call men the same thing when they do the same thing. That's just my own personal, peculiar way of trying to knock down the double standard, the semantics might bear some working on.

I now conclude my sudden return to both the board and my beloved feminist soapbox. ;)

[> [> Re: For something completely different - Try SMG in Harvard Man -- Lilly of the Valley, 06:30:53 07/03/03 Thu

[> I thought her best work was that old commercial with Oz.. -- WickedBuffy (when they were about 5 yrs old), 11:40:27 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> I may be alone in this, but I really liked Cruel Intentions. And I thought Sarah was great. -- Alison..prepared to be mocked for her Cruel Intentions love, 13:47:45 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: I may be alone in this, but I really liked Cruel Intentions. And I thought Sarah was great. -- O'Cailleagh, 14:29:31 07/03/03 Thu

I also enjoyed Cruel Intentions, Sarah played a wonderful bitca (maybe she wouldn't have been so bad as Cordy after all), and Ryan Phillipe was great too. And so was Pacey-from-Dawson's-Creek! ;-)


[> [> [> [> Nope, not alone... -- Kate, 14:49:45 07/03/03 Thu

I love this movie!! I was so excited when I heard it was coming out b/c "Dangerous Liaisons" is still one of my favorite movies of all time to this day. So a teen, modern version?...So cool!

And I thought it totally delivered. I mean it is definitely a little more trashy (in a very good way) than either of its predecessors or the original text (it was a book, right?), but I thought there were some outstanding performances, SMG's being the best. I had just started watching "Buffy" when the movie came out and wasn't all that involved in the show yet. But when I saw SMG in this movie, I was blown out of the water by her performance.

What I love about her as an actress is no matter the role or movie (great or not), she always gives 110% and a great performance.

[> [> [> [> [> Me, too. May not be "art" but I've seen it over 20 times. Can't say that about any art film! -- Rob, 14:53:04 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> "we deliberate on exactly which scene of the movie Rob has really watched over 20 times" -- ** Coniunctio **, 11:36:08 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'll never tell! ;o) -- Rob, channeling the girl from that bad Michael Douglas movie, 11:58:21 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> um, Rob, why are you flashing us your boxers? -- Aplodontia Rufa, 12:44:19 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Guess I'm easy. What can I say? -- Rob the Impure, 15:31:42 07/04/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> I loved it too! Mmmm Ryan Phillipe -- Miss Edith, 14:58:05 07/04/03 Fri

I have it on DVD! And I have the CD lol. I thought Sarah played a great bitca agreed, and the acting and the script seemed fine to me. I saw it when it came out in the cinema, and me and my friend had a good laugh over Pacey having gone blonde.

[> [> [> [> [> Me too. I love the movie way too much. Besides "that scene"... -- Rob, 15:30:42 07/04/03 Fri

...the evil and twisted expression on SMG's face when Selma Blair whispers in her ear about what Ryan Phillipe "did" to her, that switches to calm concern is worth the price of the movie alone. She has great comic timing in this film. Her expression when Selma (sorry can't remember the character names at the moment--I swear, I've seen it over 20 times!) suggests they have a slumber party alone always cracks me up.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Me too. I love the movie way too much. Besides "that scene"... -- Alison, 19:40:03 07/04/03 Fri

me too! that and the secret society dance...always gives me the giggles.

For Rob, re. eye-gouging (gen. s7 spoilers) -- Anneth, cursing the Eeeevil that is Voy, 17:34:38 07/02/03 Wed

In DMP, Pat acts as a sort of personification of the "emotional safe distance" between Buffy and those who love her. Upon Buffy's return to Sunnydale, both Joyce and the Scoobies experience the conflicting emotions of joy and relief that she's returned safely, and anger and resentment that she left in the first place. They all hold Buffy at a sort of emotional arm's length in order to keep their emotional reactions to her return under control. Pat, with her superficial, glib commentary, represents that emotional distance. Upon killing Pat and thus ending the threat that she represents (both as Zombie Queen and emotional personification), Joyce and the Scoobs are able to reconnect with Buffy, to regard her not with their eyes but with their hearts. They can begin to see her on the "new wavelength" you mention.

In STSP, Willow is so terrified of not being accepted back into the fold that she actually renders herself invisible. The Gnarl is another physical manifestation of that fear - what spectacular timing that a skin-eating demon should terrorize Sunnydale on the exact day that Willow returns! Even though they learn of the Gnarl and its eating habits, as well as Willow's return and invisibility, before Buffy gouges the creature's eye(s?) out, Willow doesn't reappear until Buffy has defeated it. Like Pat, the Gnarl is the physical manifestation of the emotional distance between the Scoobies; by blinding it (and thereby defeating it), the Willow is reunited with her friends both physically and emotionally. They can literally see each other on the same plane again, whereas this metaphore was merely hinted at in DMP.

Xander's eye-gouging in DG, however, doesn't immediatly signal an emotional reconnection between the Scoobs, as it had in DMP and STSP. I think, though, that the same lesson is there, only in a more extended fashion. ME simply doesn't resolve the emotional-distance conflict as quickly ni the final S7 arc as it had previously. The immediate effect of Xander's casualty is a physical and emotional break between Buffy and the Scoobies. But I think it doesn't do the final five episodes of S7 justice to think of them as individual episodes; the themes that are explored are stretched out over all five, more like chapters in a book than five individual short stories. By End of Days, the Scoobies have reconnected with Buffy, which ultimately leads to their "victory" (however you wish to think of it) in Chosen.

Or, to put it another way, Xander's eye-gouging was the catalyst, arguably, that sent the SiTs and the Scoobies off the deep-end and got Buffy out of the house. Once out, she reconnects emotionally with Spike, while everyone else reconnects emotionally with - well, whoever. Buffy's time with Spike allows her to go retrieve the scythe, rescue the SiTs, and walk back into her house like she owns the place. Once back inside, she is able to reconnect with everyone else - Giles, Faith, the Scoobies, even the SiTs. She then slays Caleb and intuits the plan that will defeat the FE - which is, in a way, a emotional connecting with all potential slayers. Buffy is finally able to walk away from her pedestal, not because it's been taken away, but because everyone else is elevated to her stature. (well, not literally!) And this all occured because of Xander's eye-gouge. Arguably, anyway...

The main difference between DG and STSP/DMP is that in the earlier two, it's the physical bad guy who must be blinded in order to allow Buffy and the Scoobies to reconnect emotionally. In DG, one of the Scoobies who must suffer this. But I believe that there's an argument to be made that the ultimate Big Bad in S7 was the emotional distance between Buffy and the others; it's the thing that the FE worked so hard to exploit, after all. In a sense, then, that makes the Scoobies themselves the bad guys. So the fact that one of them must lose an eye in order for the gang to "see" each other again isn't too unreasonable.

Anyway, I hope that this theory isn't too ridiculous. There are a couple of other eye-gougings that you might want to work into this theme, Rob; I believe during S4. (Which works in favor of my theory, actually, being as Scooby-divisiveness was such a major issue in that episode. Actually, check out Doomed - it's kind of a 'S7 in a nutshell,' at least superficially.)

[> Great theory! I love it. -- Rob, 17:39:59 07/02/03 Wed

I never noticed how many eye-gougings have happened on the show before until it happened to Xander and I reviewed earlier eps! If you'd like to expand your theory on to any eye-gougings from other eps, I'd love to hear it...and on "Doomed". I can always save them for notes for future eps.


[> [> Also... -- Rob, 17:43:11 07/02/03 Wed

...I hadn't realized how important the loss of Xander's eye was to the events in the last 4 episodes, but when you look at it that way, you really can see it as the catalyst for a great deal of what ended up happening.


[> [> [> Re: And doesn't The Master gouge out a minion's eye in season one? -- Lilly of the Valley, 19:25:43 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Oh, yes..."You have something in your eye!" -- Rob, 14:42:52 07/04/03 Fri

[> Dead Man's Party Annotation Thread...Continued -- Rob, 18:02:15 07/02/03 Wed

Got more notes? Please respond!


[> [> Re: Dead Man's Party Annotation Thread...Continued -- ponygirl, 19:57:03 07/02/03 Wed

Here ya go, Rob!

Willow: I think that went very well. Don't you think that went very

Cordelia: He didn't try to slit our throats or anything. (nods) That's

Willow: Hey, did you do that little half-smile thing?

Buffy: (sighs) Look, I'm not trying to snare Scott Hope. I just want to
get my life back, you know, do normal stuff.

Willow: Like date?

The pressure on Buffy seems to be about her dating "normal" non-threatening boys. Does Buffy wonder if her friends really want her to be normal?

The Bronze. "The Background" by Third Eye Blind begins to play as the
camera approaches the door. Cut inside. The camera pans past several
couples dancing slowly to the music. It comes to rest on Buffy and
Angel. They hold each other close and look deeply into each other's eyes
as they slowly dance.

Angel is wearing a white shirt in this scene, a sure sign that there's going to be blood. Black just hides the stains too wellÖ

At a nearby table Oz, Willow, Cordelia and Xander watch them dance.
Their faces are devoid of any expression.

Are they sitting in judgment? They watch without approval or disapproval, but they're still in Buffy's dream, perhaps reflecting Buffy's fears that her friends will reject her for her relationship with Angel. Or possibly Buffy's deeply hidden anger about her friends' role in her killing of Angel. Anger that never surfaces until Selfless.

Cordelia: What was the last thing that guy danced to, K.C. and the
Sunshine Band?

Here's some info from the Official KC and the Sunshine Band Homepage:

KC And The Sunshine Band is one of the most recognizable names from the disco craze of the '70s. KC, otherwise known as Harry Wayne Casey garnered a total of nine Grammy nominations, winning three of them, including two for his work on the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, and an American Music Award as well.

KC's records literally sold millions (75 million to be exact) keeping him on a winning streak that lasted well into the eighties. KC became a one-man hit factory for South Florida's T.K. Records, helping several artists scale the charts with material he composed.

KC shares a distinction with The Beatles as the first artist to have four #1 singles in the span of one year: "Boogie Shoes", "Rock Your Baby", "Get Down Tonight", and "That's The Way (I Like It)". Notwithstanding, KC's other hits like "(Shake, Shake, Shake), Shake Your Booty" and "I'm Your Boogie Man" still stand as milestones of the disco age.

The vampire's appearance references the vampire in WttH that Buffy was able to identify by his out of date clothing.

Faith: Can I borrow that?

In Dirty Girls Faith's return is also marked by her taking a stake from Buffy to finish off a vampire. Here in this first appearance it sets up Faith as someone who is taking Buffy's status - her weapon - from her.

Kakistos: Mr. Trick, talk to me.

Mr. Trick's name literally suggests that he is a trickster figure. However his role as someone who works for others, first Kakistos and later the Mayor, seem to make him more of a Puck figure, someone who spreads mischief rather than true change. Mr. Trick works most definitely within the system, he doesn't challenge authority, but rather seeks to use it in his own self-interest. Trick strikes me as the personification of pure capitalism, order and technology are useful for personal gain, any sort of ideology beyond self-interest is unnecessary.

Joyce: (faces her daughter) Look, I-I know you didn't choose this, I
know it chose you. (takes a breath) I have tried to march in the 'Slayer
Pride' parade, but... (suddenly very solemn) I don't want you to die.

Another suggestion of the Slayer as a metaphor for a gay teen. Joyce's reaction also emphasizes why Buffy cannot share Faith's lighter approach to slaying - Buffy is very much aware of how her actions hurt those she cares about.

Faith: Wow. Think you can take me?

Ooh, the beginning of the Buffy/Faith slashy subtext! Faith's words echo Buffy's more than slightly sexual challenge to Angel in WSWB.

Faith: You (punch) can't (punch) touch (punch) me!

Faith's pose and actions here will be repeated in WAY and by Buffy in DT. One suspects that the things that she insists can't touch her are actually her own fears and self-loathing.

Buffy: You know, come to think of it, I-I don't think I've given a fair
chance to... Buster Keaton. I... I like what I've seen of him so far.
I... I think it might be time to see a little more.

A very similar conversation - substituting "coffee" for Buster Keaton - will take place between Buffy and Ben in IWMTLY, another dead before it got started flirtation.

Faith: (finishes packing) You don't know me. You don't know what I've
been through. I'll take care of this, all right? (heads for the door)

An echo of Buffy's statement last episode in DMP. Both she and Faith are keeping all their pain inside, not allowing others to see it. Are they in danger of turning their pain into something precious, something that separates them from the rest of the world?

Trick: If we don't do something, the Master could get killed.

He considers that for a moment, and decides that wouldn't be such a bad

Trick: Well, our prayers are with him.

Trick really is the most modern and practical of vampires. His lines seem to reference Spike's exit line in B2, but unlike Spike or Kakistos, Trick has completely sublimated his passions into perfect business sense. Buffy and Faith may be trying in this episode to contain their emotions, but Trick has mastered it - he displays nothing beyond self-preservation. The irony of his name is that the trick he plays is on his employer.

Willow: Giles, I know you don't like me playing with mystical forces,
but I can really help with this binding spell.

Another example of Willow as a person who needs to do something when faced with a problem, she sees Buffy's pain and wants to help in the only way she can - by doing a spell. It's a good quality but it could be a foreshadowing of Willow's eventual desire to find solutions through magic.

A moment later a bright beam of light illuminates the ring on the floor.
It gets more and more intense, and the ring begins to vibrate, clinking
madly against the marble. Suddenly the room is awash with a blindingly
bright white light emanating from a dimensional portal opening above the
ring. A body falls through and hits the stone floor hard. The light
fades as the portal closes, and a naked man is left lying there. He is
unsteady as he tries to get up, but he is too weak to do more than lift
his face. It is Angel, looking very dazed. His breathing is shallow and
labored, and he shivers violently as he looks up at the room around him.

Very ominous choice of music here - it's the same that was used when Angel lost his soul at the end of Surprise.

[> [> [> Oops! These annotations are for Faith Hope & Trick! -- ponygirl, confused and sleepy, 20:04:50 07/02/03 Wed

[> Oops! I meant...Faith Hope and Trick Annotations Continued -- Rob, 18:05:28 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> You did that on purpose! Errr . . . I mean "Thread Preservation" -- d'Herblay, 18:10:02 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> Are you implying that I posted twice to keep the thread on the board longer? I'm insulted! -- Rob, who can also be ironic ;o), 18:14:12 07/02/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Okay, okay, NOW I am! ;o) -- Rob, 23:38:00 07/02/03 Wed

[> Evil eye -- ponygirl, 18:31:54 07/02/03 Wed

Interesting points Anneth! I think it's significant too that Evil!Pat's power is to freeze people in their place, something I think the Scoobies want to do in this episode. They want to pretend nothing has changed, that they can go back to their old state and relationships.

[> Another theory on eye-gouging -- KdS, 02:14:28 07/03/03 Thu

Considering that Joss and quite a few other writers are comic fans:

When the psychiatrist and moral crusader Frederic Wertham launched his campaign against comics in the fifties, a big part of his attack on the gratuitous violence element was what he saw as comics' excessive and particularly repulsive portrayal of "injury to the eye". He actually kept a list of every single scene in which someone got blinded or poked in the eye or threatened with eye damage, however peripheral it was to the actual plot.

Neil Gaiman suggested in an interview in The Sandman Companion that comics do have a special fascination with eye injury because of the symbolism in a totally visual medium. JW has talked quite a buit about TV as a visual medium, and attacked dialogue-dominated "radio with pictures".

Or it could be because it's, you know, especially gross.

[> An even better ridiculous theory on One-Eyed Willie -- neaux, 05:23:38 07/03/03 Thu

I posted waaaay back when the episode HELP premiered that the initial plot was ludicris. A bunch of high school boys acting as pirates, chasing wealth and well Old Coins like doubloons.

In chat I said HELP was totally referencing The Goonies and One Eyed Willie.

Well.. could we say this episode and all the other episodes in season 7 were foreshadowing Xander's ultimate Disfigurement?

I believe so.

[> [> Re: An even better ridiculous theory on One-Eyed Willie -- Corwin of Amber, 06:33:14 07/03/03 Thu

We COULD say that...but I still think it's reaching. Given the treatment it got, I have this picture of the writers sitting at a conference, unable to think of anything good.

UNKNOWN WRITER: "Hey! Let's poke Xander's eye out! We haven't had a use for him for like, 3 seasons anyway!"

WRITERS: "Yes! Lets!"

Actually, a scenario like that explains a lot of puzzling things about the season.

UNKNOWN WRITER: "Hey! Let's have Giles and Anya go visit a big floating eyeball!"

WRITERS: "And then drop it completely!" *evil cackling*

[> [> [> I don't think it's reaching. 2 big eye references... -- Rob, 08:08:56 07/03/03 Thu

...the same season Xander loses one? Nah. I don't buy that they're not connected in some way. Giles and Anya visited the Eye of Beljoxa to gain enlightenment, just as the loss of Xander's eye eventually ends up leading them to find. The removal of Gnarl's eyes likewise reveals a truth to them, in that case, Willow.

And I actually loved the way they handled the loss of Xander's eye. That one scene with Buffy, Willow, and Xander was one of the best ones ever on the show, and also, there's the fact that it is arguably the straw that broke the camel's back in getting Buffy kicked out in Empty Places, which in turn led her to the Scythe and got her to have that conversation with Spike, which helped her a great deal. Xander may not have had as much screentime as we'd like, but I loved the way his eye was...um...handled. (or a less gross way of phrasing that heh heh)


[> [> [> [> "Do you thumb my eye at me, sir?" "I do thumb your eye at you, sir!" -- Anneth, possibly a little too happy about the long weekend, 08:31:31 07/03/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Heh heh! Speaking of the Bard and Eyes... [ATTN: Bard-philes!] -- Rob, 09:56:54 07/03/03 Thu

...I haven't read "King Lear" in years. I was wondering if this eye symbolism could in any way be applied to the de-eying of [was it York?]. I don't remember the specifics, but this would be an interesting literary reference addition to the notes. I could just check my Complete Works myself when I get home, but if anyone has any analytical goodness about this, lay it on me! ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> enormous squishy frontal Lear-lobes -- Anneth, 12:43:22 07/03/03 Thu

My former college roommate, who has about half of everything Shakespear wrote memorized, has this to say about the eye-gouging in Lear:

Err... I think it just lets Gloucester be a foil to Lear, since Gloucester
loses his sight but not his insight, and the opposite for Mr. Lear. Also,
suffering making you a better person; yeah.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> So bingo! -- Tchaikovsky, 03:39:40 07/04/03 Fri

Xander is Buffy's side-kick in Season Seven, as always- but also the person who sees- the analogy of the hammer to Willow, Dawn's 'Potential', the speech in 'Dirty Girls'. While Buffy has lost her insight- the balance that will allow her to win the final battle, which she finally gets back in 'Chosen', so Xander has all of his. Like Gloucester, this ends up being a bad thing physically. The one who sees loses his eyes. Of course, the cruel women are using Gloucester as little more than a plaything in Lear, while it appears that Xander is specifically targetted by Caleb, so the analogy breaks down a little here. But Xander as foil to the insight-challenged Buffy with Gloucester foil to insight challenged Lear seems to fit in.


[> [> [> [> ::pondering what Xander would look like with the Eye of -- WickedBuffy "representing the other side of the brain", 11:57:05 07/03/03 Thu

Biloxi surgically placed into the empty socket::

anyone see The Ren & Stimpy Show? When Ren's one eyeball pops out? Exactly like that.

Which would look great in the comic books! Then Xander would have a super power, too. He wouldn't know the future, only state the past and the "now" in incredibly confusing, vague terms - but with great authority and grossnessicity. Plus, he'd be a good look out during stealth raids since 6 or 7 or the little eyeballs could be watching behind them also. (Yes, the Visine bill woud be astronomical. And hopefully the B.E. has at least 20/20 vision because contacts for all those corneas would break the budget completely.)

Perhaps that was what the writers intended for us to conclude.

[> [> [> [> Re: I don't think it's reaching. 2 big eye references... -- Corwin of Amber, 12:59:46 07/03/03 Thu

IF they planned it out, IF Beljoxa's Eye and the "Xander see's things" weren't just pulled out of some writers rear end, they failed to follow through. (To my satisfaction, Rob says.) The Beljoxa's eye plot point WAS NOT MENTIONED AGAIN. For all intents and purposes, it meant nothing. Xander didn't need to lose an eye in order to throw a wrench in the works for an episode, all he had to do was stand up to Buffy's way of doing things.
Basically, it just comes down to my main issue with S7, that they neglected the core of the show in order to focus on a lot of extraneus characters and events that had no follow through.

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