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"Teacher's Pet" Revisited -- Darby, 09:51:24 07/05/03 Sat

Gee, you'd never know that I'm a hugely unstructured, not-very-obsessive person, wouldja? But, even at the risk of having this sink into the black hole that is Weekend Voynak, I just gotta do it...

In the spirit of full disclosure, I have to admit that any episode with a "cool" biology teacher has already made serious points with me.

I also realize now, having read the script, that producer-writer Greenwalt was able to get Dr. Gregory and Giles' Citroen, both of which were to be introduced here, set up the previous week in Witch.

Some new additions to the show's style: this establishes a relationship between Buffy and a long list of classic "B" movie monsters/premises. This week, a combination of giant bug, "human" changeling, and the reproductive needs of ooglies. Yes, there are plot holes galore, but what would a "B" movie be without them? And at the end, I can actually explain several of them away.

Into the episode...

Xander's "Slayer saver / Rock God" daydream. Not enough is done with daydreams on tv, except for a handful of shows that specialize in them. BtVS handles them well.

Some interesting cuts from the script this time. One is a single line that would have made Dr. Gregory a little too cool before he is revealed to be cool, although the bit with Willow's prompting reveals him to be not the typical clueless Sunnydale High employee.

Also missing - an exchange between Xander and Blayne the dork, with Willow commentary, that establishes that our heroes can't always come up with the perfect quip, but can make even that work for them:

BLAYNE (to Xander, about "Cheryl"): Do you know what a woman like that wants? (Xander waits to hear) No, I guess you wouldn't.
XANDER (to a departing Blayne): Something really cutting! (to Willow) Sometimes I just go with the generic insult.
WILLOW: Why pay more for the brand name?

I listen to Dr. Gregory tell Buffy that she has "a first-rate mind and can think on your feet," and think, is this a standard pep-talk that is accidentally insightful with this one girl? Is that too cynical?

Perhaps the hardest plot hole to fill is the very non-modus operandi killing of Dr. Gregory, who is not a teenager or, one suspects, a virgin (hey, he's cool!), by this week's monster. Unless he's another mantis monster (more on that later)...

Buffy notices Angel's fork-wound in the Bronze. But if we didn't notice it when he gave her his jacket, it's barely in frame when they discuss it. This Bruce Seth Green guy will never last as a Buffy director...

I'd never noticed the resemblance between Musetta Vander and Jeri Ryan before.

Incidentally, the eggs-then-mating schtick is crustacean, not insect. But they probably needed that order for padding out the final Xander-in-peril sequence.

There are a few added lines, not in the original script, during the library exposition, to integrate the Master into the storyline and repeat some of the basic Hellmouth mythology for latecomers.

Homeless men sleeping in the park? A team of cops actually investigating a gruesome latenight murder outdoors? There is still some mythology left to tinker with here...

The Park sequence and fight with "Claw" are not as clear as most Buffy night shots, and no attempt is made to show Claw's fork and make it clear who he is.

We get the first indication of vampires' ability to smell things well beyond the human range.

Wow, in the seduction scene she looks a bit like Marg Helgenberger. This may explain why, even though (thank you, Internet Movie Database) she has been in a ton of movies and shows, I've only noticed her a couple of times - she actually is a bit of a changeling.

Why is Xander wearing all of those rings? Did he often wear big honkin' rings?

The basement is, again, too dark. If it weren't a pattern, I'd suspect that they were trying to hide the cheesy monster (what you can see of it is fairly well-done but the movement is going to be tough), but now I'm not so sure.

The Kali statue in Buffy's dream in Welcome to the Hellmouth is on Giles' desk in his library office. Along with a few things that, one hopes, students are supposed to have left behind.

The original script has Carlyle (on the phone, unheard) believing his mother came back as a dachshund, but Giles says Pekinese. Rewrite or lapse of memory?

The thing about bat sonar and "nervous system kablooey" is close to reality. Works in many moths. And katydids, which are mantis relatives. Unlikely in mantises, though, which rarely fly and aren't active at night.

You just knew one of those little white pickets in the fence was going into the bad vamp...

The rod-up-the-backside teacher at the end is the more typical tv model, but what can you do? They've got to miss the cool guy.

The cracking egg at the end is not a plothole, it's just a typical B movie ending, where a beat after "THE END" comes up, a question mark fades in with it.

Okay, here goes on the spackling. Miss French is what would now be called a Mantis Demon, but there is an important factoid about these insectoids: although driven to mate with the creatures they pretend to be (they take virgins in an ancient but meaningless ritual), they can only really procreate with their own very rare kind (such as Dr. Gregory, who was making do with nubile coeds, very quietly - bet you'll never watch that scene the same way again!), producing a small clutch of eggs that spend a long time impersonating appropriate small animals. Those egg critters from the science lab look like labrador retrievers by now. Although, if they were confined for long in that closet, there would be just one - I found that out the hard way with mantises in the lab. Even with lots of food and what seemed like a lot of space, my population went from hundreds of teeny-tiny guys to a handful of much bigger ones before I could set up to separate them.

Anyway, not that much this week to sacrifice to Voynak.

[> There's a better explanation -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:56:45 07/05/03 Sat

She bumped off Dr. Gregory just so she could take over his position, giving her access to many virgin students. This is also another trait of B-movies, where monsters that usually kill to feed will kill out of necessity (take Dracula snapping a coach drivers neck in "The Horror of Dracula" for example).

[> [> And why Dr. Gregory? -- Arethusa, 11:10:07 07/05/03 Sat

A. Because the insect supplier for Sunndale schools slipped in some deadly bugs with the formaldehyde pigs and frogs.

B. The Hellmouth "irradiated" an innocent praying mantis in the science lab.

C. The science lab was the classroom closest to the Hellmouth.

[> [> [> Well, maybe biology was the only thing she really knew much about -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:13:08 07/05/03 Sat

After all, she needed to pass herself off as a teacher, so she'd only take the place of one where she was at least familiar with the subject. Hence, if biology was the only subject she was really good at, she'd naturally choose to off Dr. Gregory.

[> [> [> [> Re: Well, maybe biology was the only thing she really knew much about -- Arethusa, 11:33:57 07/05/03 Sat

Sure. I was just speculating why she happened to picked Buffy's teacher.

One thing, though-you don't really have to know a lot about a subject to sub for a teacher in high school. The only classes I had any difficulty teaching when I subbed were basketball and German.

[> [> [> No, because it was easy to steal the identity of Ms. French, the old biology sub. -- Sophist, 11:19:45 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> Hmmm -- Arethusa, 13:31:58 07/05/03 Sat

For some reason I was thinking of the She-Mantis as a Hellmouth native, created by Hellmouth energies or evil-doers. But she could be in Sunnydale just to spawn at the Hellmouth, like the demon in AYW. So yes, she would pick out a position that would put her in peroximity to male virgins, and give her an excuse to invite them to her home. And this is not the only time we see Sunnydale's casual attitude towards staffing its schools. Ms French' credentials are about 50 years out of date. Willow is allowed to substitute teach computers by herself. Halfrek magically becomes a school counselor. The swim team coach tinkers with his students' genes. The librarian is suspiciously overqualified. Not to mention a career day visiter who tries to off one of the students, or Snyder.

[> [> [> [> [> The Catholic high school I attended -- dream, 13:29:37 07/07/03 Mon

wasn't much better. For example, a French/history teacher divorced his wife and married a student just a few months past graduation. He was "punished" by being demoted to - I'm not kidding - janitor my freshman year, then van driver my sophomore year, guidance counselor I believe junior year, and back to French teacher by senior year. We "took in" teachers who had been let go from other schools in the diocese for emotional problems. One of my teachers was a nun in her late eighties. I don't find the Sunnydale High approach to hiring ("we need people so badly, we'll take anyone who applies") to be that unrealistic...

[> [> But that doesn't cover the eggs in the closet.... -- Darby, 11:36:40 07/05/03 Sat

...Or the fact that the Buffyverse isn't up to its buns in mantis demons from all over.

[> [> [> Answer -- Charles Phipps, 14:42:34 07/05/03 Sat

Miss French was clearly heard to have been doing "something" unpleasant by the words of the near-mad student Xander was locked up with.

We can assume she had another virgin before these two.

As for why they weren't overun with those my guess is that

A:) They were exterminated.
B:) They will spend a good deal of time as actual mantises and have since moved on through Sunnydale, taking over human identities as they grow up
(possibly observing human behavior from yards for years)
C:) The Mayor or some other party took them

[> [> [> [> They were probably too small and inexperienced to survive for too long -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:25:52 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> or b1 -- anom, 20:53:44 07/07/03 Mon

They were still in the larval stage when the school was blown up. That or some other Hellmouth denizen ate them.

[> Re: "Teacher's Pet" Revisited -- Rob, 11:06:30 07/05/03 Sat

Buffy notices Angel's fork-wound in the Bronze. But if we didn't notice it when he gave her his jacket, it's barely in frame when they discuss it. This Bruce Seth Green guy will never last as a Buffy director...


The Kali statue in Buffy's dream in Welcome to the Hellmouth is on Giles' desk in his library office.

Cool! Didn't notice that!

And I dunno, I always just figured that Dr. Gregory was a virgin, and that they didn't really go into it, because it was more of a joke you'd have to find for youself in retrospect. You may not think of it as the ep's going on (as I didn't the first time), then later go over it in your head and think, "Wait a minute...." Hey, if he was a virgin, we might come up with a rather gross spackle to fit with yours, that his "insights" into Buffy were really just him trying to hit on her. And if she had just devirginized him then and there, he might have been safe. ;o)


[> Re: "Teacher's Pet" Revisited -- CW, 09:11:13 07/06/03 Sun

I especially like your point about it being a B-movie look alike. Once that it is settled, the fact that it's not great a Buffy doesn't rankle much. In fact, it's rather enjoyable as that genre goes.

When Q posted his/her weekly review earlier in the week I was thinking about replying, that this is one of the few episodes when the monster isn't strictly supernatural. I guess I don't care to argue that it's not a mantis demon, She does have the power to appear human. But, there are certainly creatures in nature that are able to camouflage their true nature from their prey. Camouflaging their true nature from potential mates is a bit odd, I'll admit.

Since Dr. Gregory was the first and unfortunately arguably the last teacher at SHS to show any signs of actually being able to teach, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt on the pep talk. Personally when I was teaching, I smiled, nodded, and said hi to crappy students, and reserved pep talks for kids I actually thought could do a little better. I tried to be encouraging to the students who were doing just fine, but I never wasted a pep talk on one.

[> Re: "Teacher's Pet" Revisited -- Deacon, 14:32:14 07/06/03 Sun

All great points.
This was a good episode but it is one of my least favorite of season one. usually the episodes centered around Xanders character are excellant such as "the Pack", "the Zeppo" and "the replacement", and while there was no episode about xander in season 4 I liked the story arc that the did then. Xander struggled with adulthood far sooner than Buffy and Willow did.
One point that I noticed is how buffy displayed the stereotype and double standard when she was shocked and in disbelief when she found out that Xander was a virgin, when she herself was a virgin at that time.
I especially liked the rockstar/hero daydream of Xander.

I've also noticed a comparrison between this episode between this episode and "Inca Mummy Girl". In this one it is Willows feelings for Xander that is the subplot not Xanders fellings for Buffy. Xander again falls for a female that turns out to be a monster, and he had a really good connection with this one and she felt the same way as he did.

[> [> Re: "Teacher's Pet" Revisited -- Vickie, 17:08:51 07/06/03 Sun

"One point that I noticed is how buffy displayed the stereotype and double standard when she was shocked and in disbelief when she found out that Xander was a virgin, when she herself was a virgin at that time."

Was this a double standard? Something I (dimly) recall from my own adolescence, and according to what I read this is still true, is that "everybody" thinks that "everybody else is doing it." They aren't, but the "manly" image is to be experienced, and so that's what a friend assumes, at least publicly.

I thought this was a nice touch of Buffy being human. She doesn't have a clue about Xander's history yet (episode four), so she assumes the conventional attitude. Willow knows Xander well, and so knows he's "going to die."


[> Homeless guys -- shambleau, 09:24:33 07/07/03 Mon

Maybe they didn't sleep in the parks later, but Spike and Dru killed one on a bench in what was downtown Sunnydale, IIRC, and Dawn encountered a crazy one in The Real Me. How did they last so long, I wonder? Do you taste bad if you're an alcoholic?

[> [> well, 1 of them... -- anom, 20:59:30 07/07/03 Mon

"...Dawn encountered a crazy one in The Real Me. How did they last so long, I wonder?"

...yeah, that one--may not have been crazy until shortly before Dawn saw him. The people whose minds were disrupted by Glory weren't crazy or homeless until they had the bad luck to run across her.

[> Maternity and Sexuality -- Anneth, 13:20:20 07/07/03 Mon

I didn't want to let this ep slip by without comment, but I haven't had a lot of spare time lately. So here are a couple of thoughts:

Dr. Gregory's speech to Buffy, about how she's smart and quick on her feet, or something - reminds me in hindsight of Dr. Walsh's appraisals of Buffy's character in S4. Basically, that Buffy's smarter than she thinks/acts and has a lot of untapped potential.

Teacher's Pet is both a look at sexuality and a look at maternity. The praying mantis woman is, after all, a mother obeying a biological imperative to feed and protect her young. Granted, her maternity is (arguably) a perversion of the idea, as she actually preys upon innocents for the sake of birthing her young, but it is still an exploration of that theme. One can easily compare praying mantis woman's maternal instincts to Maggie Walsh's and contrast them to Joyce's. Whereas Maggie destroys to create, and acts out of a selfish desire to create in her 'image' (what she imagines, rather than what she sees when looking in the mirror) Joyce acts destructively only in reaction to negative stimuli, such as Spike attacking Buffy in School Hard. They all act destructively to protect and nurture their children, but Joyce does so in a far less selfish fasion than either praying mantis woman or Maggie.

In that respect, then, Teacher's Pet can be seen as an epilogue to the mother/child issues dealt with in the preceeding episode, Witch. TP obliquely reinforces Joyce's more positive maternity.

Also, Xander's romantic posturing in the Bronze, to the jockboy, is cute.

A problem I had with the episode, back when I first watched it (and upon rewatching) may be something that I misremember. But I recall that Willow seemed as surprised by Xander's virginity as Buffy. Since no clue had been given up to that point that Xander and Willow had ever been anything but the best of friends, nor that either had ever had any relationships before Buffy entered the picture, I automatically assumed that a) they hadn't ever dated anyone and b) therefore Willow would know that Xander was a virgin. (Though Xander does eventually lose his virginity in a "casual" encounter, at that early point, the possibility that he'd had casual sex seemed similarly unlikely.) Part of the reason I assumed Xander hadn't ever dated anyone was because of (what I perceived to be)his naive gesture in Witch, of giving Buffy an inscribed bracelet. I guess I was assuming that anyone who'd gotten to the point of sexual intercourse would be a little more sophisticated than that. (Again, this is merely my opinion of the gift-giving; I know people disagree.) I perceived the preceeding episodes to be expanding upon Xander's romantic naievete, so Willow's surprise at his virginity really jolted me out of the narrative. But reading the above posts, it appears that I'm mis-remembering the issue. I can't remember where the other Buffy-transcript site is, either, so can't check. (shrug) So, there you have it - apologies if I'm just making all this up!

One of the themes S1 explores in depth is sexual maturity. TP, Angel, and I Robot explore it explicitly, while other episodes (Witch, WttH, etc) only touch upon it briefly. But TP is the first BtVS ever to overtly explore sex and sexuality. The three sexuality episodes of S1 reveal that the episode's character-focus is very sexually immature. Thematically, then, TP becomes very important to the S1 pantheon because it explores this idea with Xander. Xander is revealed to be a creature of impulse with little eye towards implications. In TP, he attempts to take up with an older authority figure, which is totally socially unacceptable. This theme is revisited with his relationship with Cordy, then Willow, and then Anya. He takes up with Cordy, and stays with her, even though she initially keeps their relationship secret and acts as though she's ashamed of him. He then hooks up with Willow despite the fact that they're both in other relationships. He has post-slayage sex with Faith. He then dates and has sex with a man-eviscerating thousand-year-old vengance demon, wandering into a relationship as much because she expects it as anything else. His initial forays into Anya-territory were impulsive acts; he does't even seem to like her that much. He just wanted a date to prom. Romantically, his first thoughts are of himself.


Overall, I like but do not love, TP. It feels a little choppy to me. And cheesy. Also, considering the eye to detail that went into the rest of the show's run, I was always a little irked at not finding out what happened to those eggs. Maybe, a year later, Spike found them unhatched and hid them away to auction off on the black market? But I like and respect that TP lays some major character groundwork, and how it fits into the S1 themes of relationships and sexuality.

Slayer Synergy -- LittleBit, 14:26:09 07/05/03 Sat

There have appeared to be some connections within the Slayer line that I haven't seen discussed, at least not from this viewpoint. When the Slayer line is created, it is a temporally linear line. One Slayer, the Chosen One, carries the line at any one time. This remains the case until Buffy is drowned by the Master and resuscitated by Xander, which causes Kendra to be called. We learn, outside the show from interviews with Joss and the writers, that the line passes from a Slayer upon death, so only Kendra carried the ability to pass the line along. On Kendra's death, Faith is called.

In Primeval, Buffy is empowered by the Slayer lineage. The spell calls upon all Slayers, last to first, to lend power to Buffy in her fight against Adam, to help the Scoobies to join with her. This reinforces the temporally linear Slayer connection. But there also seems to be a connection between current Slayers as well. Faith at one point refers to "synchronized slaying" [Revelations] and she may be more accurate than either of them know. Interestingly enough, the connection seems to run through Buffy. When Buffy is at her best, both Slayers are strong. When Buffy is injured or emotionally battered, both Slayers seem to struggle more.

The Synchronized Slayer

Looking at Buffy and Kendra first, they are apparently evenly matched when they first meet. Buffy had been upset but when awakened by an attack she was right at the top of her game. However, while they are matched well in fighting ability, the degree to which they are matched is a more complicated issue. Kendra has repressed, through training, everything other than those skills which make her an effective huntress and slayer. Buffy and Kendra have a discussion about the role emotion, especially anger, plays in Buffy's effectiveness. Kendra does learn to use this when they are both fighting in the old church during Angel's rescue, but something else seems to be happening there as well. When they first start fighting, Kendra takes on Spike while Buffy battles with Patrice (from the Order of Taraka). Both do well, but not outstandingly. When they switch, however, Buffy is now facing Spike who is responsible for Angel's current situation. Her anger empowers her, and we also see Kendra feeling this. Both fight better once Buffy takes on Spike. Once Kendra faces the all-business, emotionless Patrice we initially see a return to Kendra's training, with superb fighting skill. But when Patrice tears Kendra's shirt, we see Kendra allow anger to add to her skills for the first time, and she surpasses and defeats Patrice. Yes, a single incident, but not an isolated one. On the other side, we see the opposite happen when Kendra returns. It always puzzled me that Drusilla was able to kill Kendra so easily, until I noticed what was happening at the same time with Buffy. She was confronting Angel, who was taunting Buffy about how she didn't seem to be fighting very effectively, and how easily duped she was. As Buffy was experiencing an emotional low, Kendra's resistance seemed to ebb as well, leaving her vulnerable to Drusilla.

This connection continues with Faith. Faith was called at the end of Season 2, when Kendra was killed. We know that at some point between then and Faith, Hope and Trick Faith was unable to save her Watcher from Kakistos and barely escaped herself. While we didn't see Buffy much during that time, we do know that she was at one of her greatest emotional lows during that summer. When Faith shows up in Sunnydale, Buffy's emotional state is on an upswing, and her determination against Kakistos also helps empower Faith. Buffy and Faith may have had conflicts between them, but when they actually confront each other, Buffy is seen at her angriest (in both Revelations and in ), and we see that they are very evenly matched, with Faith's anger rising to meet Buffy's. Neither can get the upper hand. In GD2, Buffy does injure Faith, but Faith deprives Buffy of her goal. We also learn that Buffy and Faith are psychically connected when we see them share the prophetic dream, and Buffy learns from her how to defeat the Mayor. Most, if not all, of the confrontations between Buffy and Faith involved the both of them in highly emotional states, with anger driving them. They continued to be very evenly matched, and remained so all the way to the end. One difference though between them is that Faith allows her anger to overpower her rather than empower her, e.g. Who Are You?. It is possible that one significant difference between Kendra and Faith is that Faith had always been in touch with the emotional states that empower the Slayer, while Kendra was just learning, and also that Faith, like Buffy, was able to do most of her 'growing up' without the Watchers' Council training her. Viewed in this light, Buffy's emotional state may be considered as something like a 'psychic lodestone' that not only underlies the state of the connected Slayer, but helps to equalize them in the long term, with Kendra learning to feel and use her emotions, while Faith learns to master hers (a process we see continued while she is in prison).

Slayer Synergy

One of the things that happened with the Slayer line when Buffy was resuscitated is that it was turned from one that was strictly linear to one in which two Slayers were connected both temporally and spatially. In Chosen Buffy takes that to a much broader application, turning the Slayer connection orthogonally so that it was connected not only through time but space as well. I see the Slayer line stretching out through time, one after another; and then an 'accident' occurs that causes two Slayers to exist together, but the line remains 'single file'...Buffy is simply 'outside' it. The spell actually causes the Slayer line to spread across space at that given point in time. I am making the assumption that each of the New Slayers can perpetuate the Slayer line, so it now stretches across space and will continue through time no longer as a single line but as a parallel series of Slayer lines. Buffy had been able to feel the Potentials as they were in mortal peril, experiencing their deaths in her dreams. By using The Scythe as a focus, Willow was able to expand the Slayer power, activating the slayer potential all over the world, so that the Slayer was no longer an exclusively linear inheritance.

After the spell, we once again saw the connection of Buffy with all the Slayers that had been called after her. At the start of the battle, they are all doing well, but there's no really outstanding moments. However, once Buffy is injured and collapses, we see things begin to fall apart. Two of the New Slayers are killed. Faith is set upon by a group of Turok-han and passes The Scythe off to Rona as she goes down under them. We then see Buffy confronted by the FE, and her response is, as we might have expected, to become one brassed-off Slayer. Her anger not only empowers her to get up and fight, but we also see the New Slayers and Faith energized along with her. As Buffy rises, Faith throws off the Turok-han, the others redouble their efforts against the army. When all is finished, Willow notes that she can feel all the Slayers, all the connections.

As we were told in Lessons, it's all connected. It just seems to me that the Slayers may be mystically connected in more ways than one. Not only may they be psychically connected when in a dream state (as we have seen numerous times with Buffy, and have been told that the dreams are not an unusual aspect of the Slayer), but through their emotions and perhaps, as Willow has felt, through their very existence as Slayers.

While it could be said that what I propose as the emotional effect of Buffy on the other Slayers is merely a natural surge or swell in battle that typical of any conflict where one side rallies or gets the upper hand, I continue to find it interesting that the others begin to falter when Buffy is down, and rally when she does. Emotion plays not a small part in normal battle conditions, and I am intrigued by the degree to which the direction of the fight swings with Buffy's state.

Thoughts or comments welcome.

[> wow...you covered it so well I've got nothing to add, but...great post. -- Alison, 15:10:48 07/05/03 Sat

[> Going out on a tangent -- lakrids, 15:31:29 07/05/03 Sat

So perhaps should we consider a slayer, as a self aware part of a much bigger super entity, that encompasses all the slayers without bounds to the space / time structure. This could help to, explain why a slayer gets a vision. It's perhaps more like that she retrieve a memory, that she / the collective all ready have/has/had. The memory gets distorted, by the fact that slayer tries to grasp memory and concepts, that literally is above their understanding.
I think the creation of a multio of slayers, is a new step for the collective of slayer, to create a bigger parallel calculation power, in the now of the space time dimension. I will predict that this trend will accelerate with a expotinal function as the collective gets more and more control over their realities. Just look at the trend, first was there one slayer in the world, suddenly was there two slayer in the same time frame, and that has never happen before!. In a extremely short time frame after that, has the number of slayer explode, a very conserve estimate would be, that there are at least 50 slayer global, but the real number is probably much higher.

Yes, I do like "Childhood's end" by Arthur C. Clark :)

[> Absolutely brilliant, 'Bit! Hope you don't mind if I borrow some choice quotes for my site! ;o) -- Rob, 15:43:29 07/05/03 Sat

I had noticed this regarding "Chosen" and Buffy and Faith, but had never thought of it as an explanation for Kendra's death. Really, really great!


[> [> I'd be honored, o' minion mine -- LittleBit, 15:48:46 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> Why, thank you. -- Rob, tossing 'Bit a chocolate on his way out to the movies, 15:51:20 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> Separate note, but, a thought on Joyce... -- Rob, 15:50:16 07/05/03 Sat

I was watching "School Hard" and "Dead Man's Party" today, 2 eps where Joyce kicks some undead booty. And it got me to thinking, is it possible that Joyce was a Potential who was never called? While she obviously never gained Slayer powers, she has a great strength in her. Not sure how well this fits in this thread, but it's just something I noticed, and for whatever reason seemed like it might work here. Perhaps because Joyce's ability to fight can also be seen as paralleling Buffy's mood. Buffy's strength, in both of those eps, inspires Joyce, not just a strong maternal instinct, although that shouldn't be discounted either. And it would make sense that the Potential line would pass down from mother to daughter and not just be random (I assume after a certain age the Calling would expire).


[> [> [> I *like* that thought! -- HonorH, 17:30:19 07/05/03 Sat

Due to the Buffy/Dawn issue, I tend to doubt that Slayerhood has a genetic component (though I'd be really interested if Faith and Robin Wood procreated), but the idea that Joyce narrowly missed the calling herself when she was a teen is very intriguing.

Hey! Stop siccing plot bunnies on me, Rob! It's not fair!

[> [> [> [> Thanks. Not to pat myself on the back (too much hee hee) or anything, but... -- Rob, 20:14:44 07/05/03 Sat

...I really like it too. Just came to me, and I thought, that would be a really cool idea. And there's nothing in the text of the show that refutes it, in fact there's quite a bit that supports. Just like Amanda intrinsically being able to hold off the vamps, Joyce fearless hit Spike on the back of the head with the ax at the end of "School Hard." Also in DMP, she whacks quite a bunch of zombies with I believe it was a baseball bat. And it would be such an interesting added aspect to her character. And Joyce definitely is one of my favorites in the Buffyverse.


[> KABOOM! -- LadyStarlight, 16:05:37 07/05/03 Sat

Great post, Bit! (I knew you could.... ;) )

[> Wow, Bit! Great post ! -- O'Cailleagh, 16:35:15 07/05/03 Sat

Things are beginning to make more sense now!


[> Maybe this is a stupid question... -- Nino, 16:39:12 07/05/03 Sat

But I always wondered why Buffy retained her Slayer powers after "Prophecy Girl." Obviously, for the sake of the story she couldn't just loose them, but as far as mythology goes....if the Slayer power is an essence that passes from girl to girl, once Buffy died and Kendra was activated, wouldn't that essence have left Buffy for good? I don't know, just a thought.....and it always pisses me off (im sure im not the only one) when they kept saying in season 7 that Buffy's death would bring a new Slayer....and they never mention that 3 month or so period she had already died...

[> [> Not at all... -- LittleBit, 17:10:17 07/05/03 Sat

I've always thought that Buffy didn't lose her Slayer ability once Kendra was activated because once the potential is no longer merely potential but fully-realized Slayer ability, then de-activating either wasn't possible, or was a contingency never planned for, and therefore not covered in the original creation of the Slayer.

As for the group continuing to think that Buffy's death would bring a new Slayer, again I thought [spackle, spackle] that they didn't know her death wouldn't. We, the audience, were told she couldn't, but that was by Joss and outside the show. Within the show, I don't recall this ever being actually addressed. It is easy to imagine the Scooby Gang assuming the activation of another Slayer, without knowing who is was, especially given that Kendra became the Slayer without their knowledge. And while the Watchers' Council would certainly have known that another Slayer was never activiated, we have ample evidence that they never felt much need to pass information on to Giles or Buffy.

[> [> [> The problem with the Unknown Slayer theory... -- Valheru, 23:54:48 07/05/03 Sat

...is the Coven. If there was a Slayer--activated from Buffy's death in The Gift--then why didn't the Coven know about it? They were able to locate all the Potentials, so it doesn't make much sense that they'd be unable to locate fully-powered Slayers. And even if, by some mystical reason, the Coven weren't able to find this missing Slayer, shouldn't it be a priority with the Scoobies?

The whole Slayer lineage mythology in S7 was a mess. The only way I can see to fanwank it, plotwise, is to say that the Scoobies are very very stupid and the First is even dumber. They assume that Buffy still carries the line, either completely forgetting about the ramifications of her second death or simply not caring that there's a third Slayer out there. They don't even seem to care about Faith until Willow practically has Faith dropped in her lap. The First, meanwhile, despite all evidence to the contrary (and you'd think the First would know where the line runs), seems to think Buffy is the "fertile" Slayer. Again, the only way any of this makes any sense is if everyone is just wrong.

Although it would have been a funny finale had the First killed Buffy and all the Potentials, then be totally perplexed when nothing happened because it forgot about Faith.

[> [> [> [> I can answer your first question -- Sophist, 07:50:19 07/06/03 Sun

In fact, I have 2 answers:

If there was a Slayer--activated from Buffy's death in The Gift--then why didn't the Coven know about it?

1. The SG didn't know about the coven in Devon until after they resurrected Buffy (Giles first mentions it in Grave).

2. The coven may not have been looking for potentials/slayers after Buffy's death in The Gift, even assuming they knew of her death.

[> [> [> [> [> In addition, the coven may not have known about the SG until Giles returned to England. -- Sophist, 07:54:21 07/06/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> And Yet.... -- Nino, 10:41:14 07/06/03 Sun

ME made the Scoobs say things that were in complete contradiction to interviews from writers...I recall a Marti interview in particular that SPECIFCIALLY says that Faith carries the Slayer line, that is why no new Slayer was called after "The Gift." (Raise your hand if you thought Justine from "Angel" was a new Slayer for a while) So it seems that once Buffy rose from the dead, the writers just ignored this huge piece of the puzzle and made the Scoobs assume that Buffy still carried the Slayer lineage, barely even recognizing Faith's role in it all....it just seemed SOOOOO sloppy...but then again, how much of season 7 DIDN'T feel sloppy?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And Yet.... -- Yellow Bear, 19:58:02 07/06/03 Sun

Maybe I'm nuts but I assumed that when Buffy returned from the grave in S6 that she basically started a whole new slayer line. That this was the disruption in the line mentioned in 'Showtime'

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And Yet.... -- lynx, 00:46:31 07/07/03 Mon

huh. you could be right! giles did say the disruption was not because she died but, in an odd way, because she lived.

[> [> [> [> [> Still doesn't explain why this never came up in S7 -- Valheru, 11:27:46 07/06/03 Sun

I can understand that the question wasn't addressed in S6. Except for the pre-Bargaining summer, it's not like the Scoobies needed a Slayer badly enough to go looking for one. And even then, it fits their Buffy-centric M.O. to not concern themselves with another Slayer anyway. After all, they didn't search for Kendra's replacement, Faith had to come to Sunnydale to get on their radar (which is rather strange, considering that Giles was looking for Buffy for three months, getting reports of girls fighting vampires in Oakland and such, yet not hearing anything about Faith either in his search or from the Watcher's Council, but I digress).

But once the Scoobies figure out that the First is trying to eliminate the Slayer line, why wouldn't this come up? If they are under the assumption that Buffy still carries the lineage, then this should have been one of the first things they think to check out. What did they tell the Potentials who didn't know how the Slayer power worked?

GILES: "One Slayer dies, another is called. Buffy died a few years ago and Kendra was called, but Xander brought Buffy back so there were two Slayers. Drusilla killed Kendra and Faith was called. See?"

POTENTIAL: "But I thought Buffy died twice?"

GILES: "Um..."

What would Giles say? "The second time didn't count, I don't know why, but it does now," or does he say, "There's a third Slayer out there." Doesn't a lightbulb go off in someone's head at this point? "Hey! THREE Slayers is better than TWO!" (then again, no one seemed to think "TWO Slayers is better than ONE!" until Faith arrived). Then they get on the horn to the Coven and ask the nice witches to find the third Slayer. No third Slayer, then Buffy doesn't carry the line.

It doesn't make sense. They spend six or so episodes acting as though Faith doesn't even exist, then when Faith arrives and practically hits them over the head with the question of the Slayer line, they just ignore it. It's the idiot plot: the characters act contrary to logic because the writer says so.

[> [> [> [> It was only mentioned once, that I recall -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:02:19 07/06/03 Sun

In "Potential", when Buffy is telling the potential slayers that her death might set one of them off. Other than that, there was no indication that Buffy's death would cause a new Slayer to be called (in fact, they specifically mentioned Faith having to die for that to happen in "Never Leave Me"). So, why did Buffy tell the potentials that her death would cause a new Slayer to be called? Dramatic purposes. Buffy was trying to impress on them how urgent the situation was and how any one of them might have to be the next Slayer, and going into details about Faith and how the Slayer dynamic works now takes away from the speech's impact, so she bent the truth a little (this is also supported by the fact that, in "Showtime", the potentials seem only vaguely aware of rumors about a second Slayer, rumors they quickly discount).

Now, you mention the First thinking Buffy was the fertile Slayer. I don't think this is true. The First did appear unwilling to kill Buffy (see "Showtime" or "Empty Places"), but that's not because it thought she would set off another Slayer (notice that it hired someone to kill Faith, which would cause a new Slayer to be called). The First was willing to kill the fertile Slayer, taking the chance that one of Buffy's potentials might be called, in order to stop her from joining the good fight. So, why did the First Evil not want Buffy killed? The Scythe. It knew about the prophecy that said, "It is not for thee; it is for her alone to weild". Clearly both the First and Caleb wanted the Scythe (either to destroy or to use for themselves), but they went about it in different ways. Caleb tried to get it out with brute force, but the First knew that wouldn't work, so it instead tried to use Buffy in order to free the Scythe (hopefully letting a few potentials die in the process), which it then hoped to take possession of.

[> [> [> [> [> Not true...in "Chosen" The First said, "None of these girls will know true power until your dead..." -- Nino, 12:27:26 07/06/03 Sun

[> Great post, but does it carry cross series -- lunasea, 17:15:44 07/05/03 Sat

What episodes would line up with "Salvage," "Release" and "Orpheus"? How about "Five-by-Five" and "Sanctuary"?

Faith is at a pretty low point in "Orpheus," but this wouldn't match up with "Lies My Parents Told Me." She is at another major low point in "Five-by-Five," but Buffy isn't in "New Moon Rising."

Still a great theory though.

[> [> Re: Great post, but does it carry cross series -- LittleBit, 17:55:38 07/05/03 Sat

I'd have to look more closely at the episodes and the timelines (which is admittedy the more difficult to work out) to answer this with true assurance, but I think a case can be made for this. Consider that 5X5 happens at some point between Who Are You? and New Moon Rising back to back episodes in which Buffy is not in control in her usual manner, Faith reflects this lack of control as well. In Sanctuary when Buffy finds the strength of character to protect Faith against the Watchers' Council, Faith also finds the strength to turn herself in.

If the episodes match up in the timelines, then in First Date and Salvage both Buffy and Faith are working out how to relate to an authority figure (Wood, Wes) whose allegiance in relation her is uncertain, but in the end both decide to trust him. In Storyteller, Buffy goes to the Seal to close it, Faith has a major confrontation with Angel. In both cases the success is achieved by use of deception: Buffy letting Andrew believe she'd kill him to close the seal, Faith using the drug to contaminate Angel's blood with her own when she appears to be vamped. With Lies My Parents Told Me and Orpheus, again the major question here is what events might be considered concurrent? If Buffy's realization that Giles is merely delaying her and her confrontations with both Wood and Giles happen toward the end of the "dream" then her anger may help to empower Faith's wakening.

Just some ideas. As I said, I'd need to do more research to feel confident about the timings, other than in Sanctuary.

[> [> [> Re: Nice work, LB - you got the little grey cells working! -- Brian, 19:38:14 07/05/03 Sat

[> [> [> Ooh, more on this... -- Rob, 23:34:49 07/05/03 Sat

I actually posted earlier in the year about how one of the reasons I thought that the Slayer line might be weak was not that Buffy had lived, but because of the disconnected state both active Slayers were living in, Faith remaining in jail, safe and sound from the world and herself, and Buffy shutting down emotionally. Not sure how well it syncs up, but Buffy's most active "General"-type leadership did happen around the same time Faith first took the role of leader at A:I, putting Connor in his place, assigning tasks, etc. Another example, how Buffy's arrival at the Scythe occured at precisely the same moment Faith did arguably the most adult, leadershipy thing of her life, realizing there was a bomb and telling everyone to get down before jumping as far out of the way as she could herself. Both of their arcs did take similar turns this year, as you outlined, and more or less each happened at the same time. And the Scythe did feel like it belonged to each of them.


[> Re: Slayer Synergy Spoiler (speculation for Ats) -- deacon, 22:16:29 07/05/03 Sat

Great posts, really puts things in order. Good explantion about the connections between the slayers. One thing that I am wondering about is if the new slayer line is going to be delt with on Ats, or another spin-off, and how would they do it. I am expecting the Btvs storyline to be explored more on Ats. With spike being a regular cast member (or so I've heard), and with SMG agreeing to do some guest apperances.
I am a little unclear about what exactly happened with the spell in chosen. How many slayers are there now, was it just the potetial who were with Buffy and the 3 they showed or was it a boost for all female power.

[> [> Re: Slayer Synergy Spoiler (speculation for Ats & spoiler for Fray) -- LittleBit, 22:42:56 07/05/03 Sat

It's my impression that all girls, everywhere, with the potential to be Slayers had the Slayer abilities awakened. How many is pretty much anyone's guess. Given that we are told in "Fray" that the demoms were banished in the 21st century, my personal guess is 'an adequate number' to accomplish this.

As to the BtVS story line being continued on AtS, (again just my opinion) it seems likely that the events will be known and possibly discussed, especially if there are any guest appearances, but that, even with the addition of the WKCS, the story line that will be continued is Angel's, not Buffy's.

[> [> [> Still, who else thinks. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:04:56 07/06/03 Sun

. . . that some of Wolfram & Hart's clients will be recently activated Slayers?

[> [> [> [> I doubt most recently-activated Slayers would be able to afford W&H. -- Rob, 14:07:44 07/06/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Now that they're under new management . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:20:45 07/06/03 Sun

. . . they might start doing pro-bono work.

[> [> [> [> I think it is more likely that -- lunasea, 08:40:19 07/07/03 Mon

Angel will help find the Slayers in LA and send them onto wherever Slayer-high is going to be, possibly Cleveland. He may have to come up against a few not-so-good Slayers who are using their power a la Faith. He may even come up against a few who are good and are after his clients. The last option seems the most promising.

A group of new Slayers taking up the role of AI will 1) get some more females on the show, and 2) set up a "foe" for Angel with plenty of conflict, not to mention for Wesley. I'm sure plenty would like to see WKCS head such a group, though that seems a bit too obvious to me

(total speculation. I am as pure as new fallen snow)

[> one more example from the battle in "chosen"? -- anom, 09:44:22 07/06/03 Sun

OK, I couldn't find it quickly enough in my not-thoroughly-labeled S7 tapes, but it seems to me that the battle also takes an upswing right after Kennedy tosses the Scythe to Buffy.

Bit, great analysis! We've had this idea in bits (ahem) & pieces, but never applied to the "big picture" like this.

[> Preserving this thread for Bit's benefit...she'll thank me later, even if she hates me now -- Random, 12:52:22 07/06/03 Sun

[> Excellent! I like your reasoning. -- mamcu, 16:35:47 07/06/03 Sun

Reactions to the sex in WTWTA obscure its theme -- shambleau, 19:01:31 07/05/03 Sat

I've noticed several posts lately about the sex scenes in WTWTA, all negative. One said that the only real, non-bland sex B/R had was under the influence of the spell. They weren't capable of it on their own. Another that the sex presaged the dysfunctioal nature of their relationship. Several others were of the commonly posted opinion that the sex was a turn-off. This all got me to thinking about the ep again and what it had to say about the characters.

But first, I've mentioned before how interesting I found the reaction to that episode. The disgust and dislike of sex that one level of the ep dealt with was echoed by most of the viewers, who were as repulsed by the sex as the repressed Mrs. Holt herself. I wonder if ME tapped into a vein there? Most people would not want to see sex between older people. It grosses them out. Does this disgust have only to do with age or does it somehow release an underlying ambivalence about the sexual act in the viewers? Does the same thing apply when actors seem uncomfortable with the sex or when a character is widely disliked?

Sex is a powerful force and even people who consider themselves sexual free thinkers may have more issues than they think. There's a reason why there are so many taboos about it and why it's so easy for entire societies to surround it with prohibitions.

I've got no answer to this, by the way. It just seems that there's something primal about the dislike of the sex scenes, above and beyond the stated reasons. IMO, natch. And, just as Buffy and Riley are so blinded by the sex that they don't see anything outside of it, most viewers seem to have been so blinded by the sex that they don't see, or at least don't care, about the message of the ep itself.

I haven't checked the archives, so I don't know if anybody did an analysis of the Sleeping Beauty symbolism of the thorny vines growing around the room where Buffy and Riley were screwing. They were supposed to echo that story, yes? In the fairytale, the vines symbolized the repressed fears/social taboos surrounding Beauty's sexuality, which kept her unconscious of her own erotic nature. Once the prince cut through them and awakened her with a kiss, she joined the adult and erotic world, although under the tutelage of a husband, of course. Anne Rice did an explicit S/M take on that awakening under her pseudonym.

In WTWTA, however, the vines don't surround virginal, unawakened innocence. They surround full-blown sensuality and sexuality. It's as if the vines grew back after the prince awakened Sleeping Beauty and trapped them again. The house had absorbed the repression of Mrs. Holt and the terrorized, disturbed children whose awakening sexuality she warped them into suppressing. And now there was a new erotic awakening taking place.

Buffy and Riley were now in the stage of all-encompassing sexual infatuation that Xander and Anya had just passed through. Their energy was being absorbed by the house, as the scene with the students getting off on touching the wall showed. I don't find it a stretch that Buffy, with her connection to the supernatural, was the one to set this off. I'm sure there'd been sex there before. It was a frathouse now, after all. But, it's implied that Buffy and Riley have been doing this for a while, with each act further activating the house and its spirits.

At the party, the sexual energy is everywhere, and releases the corresponding repressive forces, which coil psychically around Buffy and Riley, imprisoning them in their room. The repression manifests itself in various people at the party and then explodes orgasmically into a magical earthquake. The inhibitions then literalize themselves into the much-maligned vines (for their cheesiness). It takes the couple who are moving beyond the stage of mutual sexual absorption into true couplehood to break through the vines.

So, is this inverse fairytale really all about Xander and Anya? That it's not fundamentally about the evils of prudery? Is the analogy that, for couples, sexual obsession is a stage that must be cut through in the same way as sexual innocence? If so, the vines then become a personification of Xander's fear of committment and Anya's fear that sex is what powers the relationship. Both fears keep them focused only on The Sex and Buffy and Riley trapped in the room are a symbol of that focus. When Xander and Anya work on their problems as a team, helping each other overcome their fears, they cut through the vines easily.

This take seems more likely to me than that the episode had anything deep to say about Buffy and Riley or was just about the trite notion that sexual inhibition leads to a warped erotic life. I'm now going to check the archives, where I will no doubt find that this has all been brought out. Still, for me, if not for any readers, it was worth it to think it through. At least I will have come up with it independently.

It still begs the question of why there was such an adverse reaction to the ep though. Riley hatred, lack of chemistry between SMG/MB, a cliched villain not much different than Caleb, maybe some confusion about the underlying message explain some of it, but not the vehemence. Personally, I salute the audacity of a show where the heroine spends the entire episode having sex. Has any show done that before? Ever? Well, okay, "Debby Does Dallas" and a million others. But, not in a drama!

[> If your theory is correct, we would expect to see -- Sophist, 19:29:37 07/05/03 Sat

that after WTWTA, Xander no longer fears commitment and Anya no longer believes that sex alone fuels their relationship. JMHO, but I don't think that's an accurate description of either character at any time in the series.

I'm sure that the lesson of WTWTA is for Buffy. I just don't know what it is. More accurately, the obvious lessons are ones I'd hope were not intended, and I'm not sure which obscure ones might have been intended.

[> [> Re: If your theory is correct, we would expect to see -- shambleau, 23:32:07 07/05/03 Sat

I don't think my theory requires them to have conquered their fears any more than Xander's epiphany in The Zeppo requires him to have left his other insecurities behind. They made a breakthrough in their relationship, but it was only a beginning. Still, we're just half a season away from Xander declaring to Anya how much she means to him in Into The Woods. The one-note sex jokes about Anya don't disappear, but they do decrease after this and are replaced by jokes about greed and inappropriate responses. By The Replacement, which is only about six or seven episodes later, albeit in a new season, Xander has his own place and they are far more solidly entrenched as a couple. The whole relationship seems on a trend to a firmer, broader footing after WTWTA to me. If Buffy can spend a season depressed, and Giles a season in mid-life crisis, it doesn't seem odd to me that it takes a while for Xander's and Anya's realization that they're about more than the sex to concretely manifest itself.

[> Riley sex! -- LeeAnn, 01:57:52 07/06/03 Sun

I've considered why I find Riley!Sex so repellent because my objection to WTWTA is a primal, instinctive revulsion. Except for the fact that many other people react similarly to Riley!Sex I would think it was just me. I know one reason for my reaction is that my gaydar buzzes at Riley (perhaps MB is gay, perhaps not. Just don't tell me he can't be because he's married, if he is, cause that doesn't mean he's not gay.) Only a few gay actors can put the necessary emotion into a love scene with woman. My reaction to Riley is pretty much the same as to Rock Hudson. Or DB. Or Nathan Frillion. They all seem gay/asexual to me and putting them in a love scene with a woman kinda squicks me out. I mean, really, did anyone EVER feel that MB was able to portray desire for Buffy?

A second reason is that I never find big bland jocks sexy. That might be because all the men in my family are that same physical type and maybe I have a subliminal, biological incest taboo causing me to reject men that look like that.

But these are personal reason. They don't explain why most people found love scenes with Riley so ick. Again, personally, I reacted the same to love scenes with DB and that ship is certainly popular with a lot of people, though by Season 3 a lot of people started feeling the ick as well.

[> [> very stupid post, but I... can't... stop -- MagicBone, 18:20:37 07/06/03 Sun

You forget JM in your list of actors that seemed gay/asexual. He's obviously belongs in scenes with men. Would a straight man allow that to happen to his hair? Time and time again? Hell no.

[> [> [> Re: very stupid post, but I... can't... stop -- LeeAnn, 19:04:18 07/06/03 Sun

Well if JM is gay he's among the minority of gay actors who can project heterosexual passion on screen.

Maybe he is. I could list various indicators that he might be...kissing guys, knowing Rupert Everett, being buddies with James Leary when before Buffy Leary's resume seemed to consist of mostly drag performances (judging the first website listing I saw of his credits), not kissing a girl for 9 months despite what must have been enormous opportunities (con Q&A). But with JM I don't give a damn. Gay. Straight. Bi. Who cares? He's a great actor, a sweetiepie and a doll. He made me believe Spike felt love and lust for Buffy which DB and MB never did. I love watching him. That's the point. He can ACT differently that he really is.

[> [> [> [> Re: very stupid post, but I... can't... stop -- O'Cailleagh, 07:46:05 07/07/03 Mon

JM isn't gay. Believe me.
As to MB, my gaydar doesn't go off when I see him, and since I'm a gay man, I think my gaydar is a little more reliable!


[> Great post! -- Rahael, 09:48:22 07/06/03 Sun

[> Thanks for this post! As one of the few WTWTA proponents here... -- Rob, 10:31:23 07/06/03 Sun

...and one who also, at one time or another, pointed out the Sleeping Beauty parallels to people, but without as much of an in-depth analysis as you have. I'm a big fairy tale fan, and actually had recently taken a college class on Children's Literature, which analyzed fairy tales from a pyschological perspective. So when the ep originally aired, I thought it was fantastic. In fact, I wasn't do much on-line fanship at the time, so I didn't even know how many people didn't like the ep until at least a year later. Me, I always liked the Buffy/Riley sex scenes in the episode. In fact, I like the whole episode. The directing, IMO, was terrific. I especially like how the discordant music given off by Xander's ice cream truck was creepy and foreboding. And the camera zooming out farther and farther out from the bed until it became a white speck in all the blackness was a brilliant shot, IMO. Also thought the "orgasm wall" was a hoot. And I loved how we got to see Anya act so bravely for one of the first times on the show, charging up the stairs, refusing to let the house keep her away from Xander, even when she gets a spiky thorn through her hand.


[> [> Re: Thanks for this post! As one of the few WTWTA proponents here... -- yabyumpan, 12:12:08 07/06/03 Sun

I also liked the episode. I never had a problem with Buffy and Riley as a couple, so maybe that's part of it. It's also though, that I welcomed an episode which, for me, was about the power of sexual energy and addressed the deep fear it can cause in people, especially, untamed female sexual energy. I would have hated it if I thought it was just Buffy and Riley's unbound lust that had caused the magic vines to grow and take over the house, if it had been a 'sex is bad' metaphore; but the fact that it was their sexuality that awakened the fear and disgust of Mrs Holt and the pain of the children abused by her because of their sexual awakenings, left me feeling more than happy with the episode. I saw the vines as representing the damage caused by sexual repression and fear. I think as a metaphore it was quite heavy handed and I can understand not liking the ep because of that but I saw it as being pretty positive about sexual energy and I'm grateful for that.
In someways, for me, the key scene is right at the end when Willow says something to Buffy anf Riley about how terrible it must have been to lose control like that. The look that passes between Buffy and Riley is wonderful - embarressed yes, but you can tell that in no way was it terrible.

[> Much agree-age! -- ponygirl, 11:44:55 07/06/03 Sun

Any doubts I had about this episode really being about Xander and Anya's relationship were erased with the line "we'll get through this" as they fight their way through the vines. As you say very well, it's about a couple moving past the sexual in their relationship. Once sex gets put into perspective as a component rather than an all-consuming force they're able to break the spell.

I'm probably one of the few who liked this episode. It's never going to be a fave but it seemed like a good solid effort with more than a few stand-out moments.

[> Re: Reactions to the sex in WTWTA obscure its theme -- Miss Edith, 14:13:24 07/06/03 Sun

I think that episode is slightly underrated. I personally didn't think it was that bad, it does have the rep of being one of the worst Buffy episodes which is unfair IMO. It wasn't an episode I liked that much I suppose, but parts were good. Xander and Anya were definately the highlights for me. I chuckled over their arguments in the ice cream van about not getting enough sex, Spike trying to rob Anya of money and then the two of them bonding, the gang finding Giles singing, W/T together discussing the pony incident, Willow telling the ghosts to get over it. I just tend to skip the B/R sex parts, so I miss a huge chunk of the episode. The directer seemed to be trying a little to hard to make it erotic, and I just didn't feel the chemistry there.

[> The Buffy/Riley Sex Tape (have you seen it?) -- neaux, 18:26:45 07/06/03 Sun

its funny that I just finished watching "The I in Team" and was going to post about the infamous Buffy/Riley Sex tape.. when I saw this post.

So it fits perfectly to add to this thread. Well since The I in Team is the First time that Buffy and Riley "do it" and Professor Walsh is watching them and recording them. I really want to know.. what happened to this SEX TAPE?

Am I dying to see it?? Is the world dying to see it? Well what I want to know is... does anyone have any theories as to what happened to this tape? If anyone has a copy, I 'm sure Spike does.

But dont give me any it-went-down-with-the initiative crap, I know that Prof. Walsh made a copy. She would have had to make a copy to use it against Riley since he was going A-wall.

anyway.. lemme hear them.

[> [> It's probably on the internet somewhere.. -- LeeAnn, 19:15:17 07/06/03 Sun

[> [> [> Yep. Found it. -- shambleau, 09:13:43 07/07/03 Mon

It's on a military site that you need clearance for. I'm not at liberty to tell you how I got that, but trust me.
Buffy's wide-eyed "Wow! It's not just corn that grows big in Iowa" is revelatory and helps explain why she chose Riley in TYF. And Riley? More inventive than you might think. Or he's had gymnastic training.

[> [> [> [> LOL!! -- LeeAnn, 10:24:51 07/07/03 Mon

Casting Question for Angel S5 -- meritaten, 00:57:52 07/06/03 Sun

I finally got to see all of Buffy S7 and Angel S4, and have been reading through the posts here. I caught a reference to Cordy leaving Angel next season - is this true? I think what I actually read was that she wanted to "move on to other things". Please note I am only asking for casting spoilers- not plot spoilers! Thanks!!

[> Re: Casting Question for Angel S5 -- Wizard, 02:34:42 07/06/03 Sun

CC is no longer a regular. That doesn't mean we won't ever see her again, just that we won't be seeing her in every episode (or even a lot). Remember she is a new mother, and will want to spend time with her new son. We will hopefully- HOPEFULLY- be seing her sometime in mid-season or near the end of the season, but these are just my wishes, not actual facts.

[> [> Re: Casting Question for Angel S5 (slightly OT) -- Rendyl, 09:48:42 07/07/03 Mon

Grin. It never fails to amaze me that no one ever considers taking the baby along. When my daughter was born I had to go back to work. (she was a preemie and the hospital bills were eating us alive) I wore her to work in a baby sling. Many people did not even realize she was there. One guy thought my "sash" was some weird fashion on campus.

My husband kept her in the early mornings (I had staff meetings a few times a week then) and dropped her off with me on his way to work. To be honest I did have an extremely flexible schedule (with the exception of staff meetings and emergencies I set my own hours) but if CC hired someone to help out while she was filming she could do the same thing.


[> Re: Casting Question for Angel S5 -- yabyumpan, 07:03:04 07/06/03 Sun

Actually, JW felt that Cordy's story had come to an end .


The fact that she quickly got herself a starring role in another project pretty much squashes the 'wanting to stay at home with baby' rumour

From Variety.com

Carpenter nails 'Date'
Thesp to play single girl looking for perfect b.f.

Charisma Carpenter ("Angel," "Buffy the Vampire Slayer") has nabbed the title role in the ABC Family telepic "See Jane Date," based on the book by Melissa Senate.

Also on board for the project, which goes before cameras Friday in Montreal, are "Charmed" star Holly Marie Combs and Linda Dano.

TV helmer Bob Berlinger is directing the pic, penned by Sheila Lawrence.

Story concerns a single girl living in Gotham who tries to impress her high school nemesis (Combs) by inventing the perfect boyfriend as her date to an impending wedding. To fill the bill, she embarks on an amusing string of blind dates.

Among those who have signed on to appear as potential suitors are Zachary Levi, Antonio Sabato Jr., Geoff Stults and Evan Marriott.

"See Jane Date" will be produced by von Zerneck/Sertner Films. Frank von Zerneck and Robert M. Sertner are executive producers, with Randy Sutter serving as producer.

Pic, slated to air in August, is the third and final installment in the cabler's summer movie series. "This Time Around" and "Lucky 7" are skedded to bow June 22 and July 20, respectively.

[> [> Re: Casting Question for Angel S5 -- meritaten, 16:16:50 07/06/03 Sun

Thanks for the responses.

Is anyone else dispointed that Cordy ended up evil? I wanted to see the real Cordy again. I'm not sure how Evil Cordy fulfills the story arc Joss referred to in the first article? I mean, how much of this was planned, and how much was written in to explain her obvious pregnancy?

Mostly, I'm just bummed to be basically losing her.

[> [> Big difference, though. -- HonorH, 16:18:42 07/06/03 Sun

Starring in a one-shot made-for-TV movie is far different from being a regular on a weekly series. Much less of a time commitment. CC is probably trying to keep her career going even as she lightens her own load.

Spike's interaction with the scoobies -- Miss Edith, 16:15:53 07/06/03 Sun

First off an apology. I know there are a lot of people who are sick to death of talking about Spike, or think it's all pretty much been said. But well on another board I frequent someone mentioned this quote from a member of BAPS, and I thought it was interesting. If people don't want to get into Spike they can always skip this post *shrug* This quote to me just really summed up my feelings;

"the biggest mistake Buffy and the scoobs made, was treating Spike like a vampire, but expecting him to act like a man-and then blowing it off when he acted like a man, and acting shocked and horrified when he acted like a vampire".

Now in IWMTLY for example, the scoobies are horrified at the way Spike tried to express love for Buffy. Giles tells Spike to get lost, "We are not your friends" and the whole gang basically freeze him out. Why was there no concern about Spike returning with a pack of minions to kill them all? He associated with Harmony on occasion, he had her wrapped around his little finger. As a master vampire with minions in the past, he could have used his rep to cause some damage. Hell Drusilla had in the previous episode tried to get Spike to join back up with her. Were the scoobies not basically poking a caged animal with sticks, and forgetting there may come a time when the animal is freed from the cage?

In A Yoko Factor Spike is scheming with Adam to kill them all, it is shrugged off easily enough. The chip never made Spike completely safe, yet the gang continued treating him like a soulless monster, but no longer saw him as even a tiny threat. He did become like the wacky neighbour to them almost, and they did seem surprised when he reminded them all that he was still a vampire. As early as WAY Giles and Xander ask Spike for help with Faith, frustrated he reminds them that he hates them all, and still wants to be be evil! Both Giles and Xander are shocked at this, Xander even comments "We're dumb". Yet IMO it's a mistake they keep on making.

Spike had knowledge of Dawn's origins, why did no one mention that it might be a good idea to stake him, in case he let slip to Glory that Dawn was the key? After IWMTLY a lot of fans were speculating that Spike could do just that, yet it never occured to Buffy until Intervention?

Spike was babysitting Dawn, yet Xander insists he never forgot Spike murdered half of Europe (in that case why not keep him away from Dawn?) Is that not a perfect example of Xander using Spike as part of the team whilst Buffy was away, but still treating him as evil. Is it not hypocritical to buddy around with Spike, and pretend to see him as a man? Spike seemed to think there was some type of bond being formed, he is near tears when reminding Xander, "I worked beside you all summer". He joins the party in OAFA, Buffy expecting him to act like a man is furious when he jokes about eating Richard, yet all along she treated Spike as a vampire, horrified that he was even attempting to associate with her friends.

In SR Buffy states she could never trust Spike, yet when he does act like the monster she always claimed he was, they are muturally shocked and horrifed. Buffy is near tears, some have speculated the attack went on for so long because Buffy did trust Spike to stop, she couldn't get her head around why he wouldn't. Yet this is a person that she has called an evil, disgusting thing in the past. Is she not treating Spike as a vampire, but expecting a certain standard of behaviour from him still, and being surprised when he does comfirm the low opinion that she has of him?

I'm not sure exactly what I'm trying to say here (like that's anything new lol), I just thought it might be interesting to discuss. What do people think about Spike's relationship with the scoobies? I'm thinking seasons 4-6, specifically during the period in which Spike loved Buffy, and was trying to be helpful. How did they see and treat Spike in your opinion, and does this match with the expectations they had of Spike on occasion?

[> Crap. Please be gracious enough to ignore all the typos! -- Miss Edith, 16:20:24 07/06/03 Sun

Thank you:)

[> Enjoyable post! That quote sums it up for me, too. -- WickedBuffy, 21:23:22 07/06/03 Sun

You're right, that comment from the other boards really does point out the push-pull between Spike and the Scoobies. Your points brought up that aspect of the group relationship I hadn't thought about.

They DID go back and forth as to treating Spike as a man or a vampire.

Do you think happened with Angel, too? It was as if Spike had to earn his way into the scoobs, but Angel had a free pass in because of Buffys feelings about him.

Was Angel less confusing to them? How much did Buffys emotions affect the group as to how they saw certain demons - was she the deciding factor? Or was it just that Spike was more complicated than Angel, which created confusion about his status as man or as demon.

Or did the Scoobies do that to Angel, also, and I just don't see it?

[> [> All romantic partners get a free pass in -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:37:38 07/06/03 Sun

Thing is, the Scoobies see themselves as a group of friends who all happen to fight demons, rather than as a group of demon fighters. As such, just because someone's useful in the fighting department doesn't get them in. You get in by being friends with or dating another Scooby. Spike was neither, so they didn't really like to include him. They only let him be part of the group when they were really desperate for help (namely the fight against Glory and the summer when there was no Slayer).

[> [> First Impressions are lasting ... -- Earl Allison, 05:42:57 07/07/03 Mon

I think Angel was treated differently because the SHOW was different. Angel was seen as the exception to the rule, the vampire with a soul that didn't try to kill them. We learned a lot about Angel's atrocities as Angelus in flashback, or after Angel loses his soul in S2, all after we the viewers and the Scoobies have already met Angel and seen him either assist them, or at least generally stay out of their way. Then the idea of a soul, that vampires were twisted perversions of their human selves, and evil in general got altered well after we were introduced to Angel and what he did or did not represent -- and not always for the better, either, IMHO.

With the notable exception of Xander, no one is at all concerned with Angel until he reverts to Angelus in S2, and when he returns as Angel in S3, we DO see hesitance and concern. Maybe not as much as we should have seen (after Angelus' rise in S2, I would personally have a very hard time trusting Angel, with my back in a fight OR as a part of the group), but there was some concern, and this was with someone who had saved their lives ("Invisible Girl," for one) and fought alongside them.

I also agree that befriending one of the core characters did seem to give dubious characters a "pass," but I think it got worse in S7, where some could argue (not all, but I think the case can be made) that Buffy's blind-spot with Spike was somewhat maddening.

Spike shows up as an obvious villain in S2, trying to kill the Slayer and anyone else he can manage to catch. Even his "good deed"at the close of S2 is more one of self-preservation and protecting Drusilla. As late as early- to mid-S5, Spike is still evil, working grudgingly with the Scoobies more out of self-preservation than anything else, ready and willing to betray them should an opportunity arise (as it did, at least twice).

As for why the Scoobies treated him as they did -- I really can't answer it. The smart play would have been to stake him in S4 after he pretty much admitted to betraying them to Adam, and if not then, CERTAINLY by "Out of My Mind" in S5, but because ME wanted him as a new regular, they couldn't do that.

IMHO, that was the start of a major decline in the series, the characters behaving like idiots to further plot points and arcs. If ME wanted Spike kept around, they had to do so in a way that didn't compromise the characters or the series.

To me, they didn't do that.

I think a lot came down to Angel being originally introduced (and the group) as a hero, and Spike as a villain.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: First Impressions are lasting ... -- Miss Edith, 06:57:48 07/07/03 Mon

I would agree with that. Angel was introduced to them as a souled vampire trying to make amends. Therefore when he lost his soul people like Willow could justify it as it wasn't really Angel in his right mind. In season 3 though I did feel Xander and Giles did not make the distinction that Buffy and Willow did. Giles reminds Buffy that "Angel tortured me".

I always wondered about why ME had Buffy constantly telling everyone Spike has a soul now, it did get annoyingly repetitious. I wondered if perhaps ME hadn't expected the outrage that the AR generared. I believe James Marsters said it was based on a female writers experience, when she forced herself on her ex boyfriend. Genders were switched for B/S and it caused real problems. When Angel killed Jenny, Joss made it clear that he was in vampire face at the time, specifically so that people would accept Angel again in season 3.

I saw Spike in SR as having made a very human mistake. He was in his human face the entire time as well. I wondered if ME were regretting that, and Buffy was used to constantly remind the audience that Spike was now different, and could we please see him as good now. His name wasn't changed back to William from what I heard because Fox needed the recognisable Spike name to sell merchendise. Suddenly changing the name of one of the most popular characters would not have been a good name, commercially speaking. I have my suspicions about just who wanted to see Spike reunited with the duster as well. ME seemed pretty much finished with it after Spike took off in SR leaving the duster behind. As it was taken from a past victim it does serve as a constant horrible reminder of what Spike was. I wonder at the wisdom of suggesting Spike cannot feel complete without an item of clothing scavenged from the woman he killed?

The problem with OFMM was we had Spike proving he wanted to get the chip out. He used Harmony to cause trouble and threaten a mans life. ThereforeI wasn't surprised when Buffy seemed prepared to stake him. By having the dream sequence it raised the question of why Buffy hadn't considered staking Spike (other than James having a contract lol). It did stand out I agree.

[> [> [> [> Re: First Impressions are lasting ... -- Alison, 10:39:33 07/07/03 Mon

I think, in OFMM, Buffy couldn't stake Spike because angry as she was, he was essentially defenseless- it was wrong from a human stand point and from a warrior's. Spike could still cause a great deal of trouble with out the ability to harm humans, but Buffy couldn't have killed a manipulative person who caused her a great deal of trouble, or a human advisary, any more than she could kill Spike.

[> [> [> [> [> The Duster -- Rina, 10:48:13 07/07/03 Mon

It's interesting that so many have complained about Spike retaining the duster. In contrast, I've recently read an essay in which the writer had contrasting thoughts about that duster.

[> [> Angel had to and did prove himself -- lunasea, 11:01:27 07/07/03 Mon

Do you think happened with Angel, too? It was as if Spike had to earn his way into the scoobs, but Angel had a free pass in because of Buffys feelings about him.

Angel helped before they even knew he was a vampire. That was Angel's function in life. He didn't feed because he didn't want to. There was no leash jammed in his head keeping him from doing things. He did it himself. The Scoobies never heard his little speech in "Angel."

When Angel comes back from Hell, this issue is dealt with in "Revelations." Xander never trusts Angel, but he trusts Buffy. For the record, Cordy doesn't. Angel saved Willow from a horrible flamey death, so she sort of likes him again.

When Angel feeds on Buffy, the Scoobies are quick to show their disapproval. When Xander thinks that Angel got fleshy with Faith and lost his soul, they don't give him the benefit of the doubt. These are just the only two instances I can think of on BtVS. Xander still has problems with his "good bruise."

But over on Angel, every time Angel remotely slips up, Cordy is ready to jump to conclusions. Gunn will stake him if necessary, and they all go out to kill him in "Calvary." Angel has to constantly prove himself by not messing up. Angel doesn't get a free pass. He just doesn't screw up like Spike does.

[> I dunno...retconning is one thing, writing a Choose Your Own Adventure is quite another -- Random, 23:31:39 07/06/03 Sun

"If you want Spike to be a monster, go to page 112. If you want him to get on a motorcycle and race off to Africa cause the Scoobies never gave him a fair shake, go to 94. If you want Spike to be the victim and Buffy to be the villain, turn the page."

[> [> Are you sure...? -- LittleBite, 23:54:56 07/06/03 Sun

Your shooting script must be different from mine. Those page numbers don't match up.

[> [> Re: I dunno...retconning is one thing, writing a Choose Your Own Adventure is quite another -- LadyStarlight, 09:23:05 07/07/03 Mon

"If you want Spike and the current MarySue/GaryStu/reader stand-in to have lots and lots of hot, sweaty monkey-sex, turn to page 127."

(do I get points for resisting the oh-so-obvious double entendre? ;) )

[> [> Heh heh. -- Snarky!Rob, 10:53:18 07/07/03 Mon

favorite scenes of Buffy -- Deacon, 16:54:29 07/06/03 Sun

These are my favorite scenes from each season.

Season 1: Buffy as a vampire in "nightmares".
When they made her a vampire the were still able to make her a very pretty vampire. And it lead to a great quote of Xander and Willow's.
Willow: Personal question, when buffy was a vampire you
weren't still attracted to her were you.
Xander:Thats really bent, I mean she was grotesque.
Willow:Still dug her
Xander: I'm sick I need help.

Season 2: Buffy dancing with Xander in "when she was bad"
This scene was deep in sexual energy and emotional pain, Xander was hurt because he loved her and she did not feel the same way and she was acting as though he meant nothing to him, she was just using him to prove a point. She hurt Willow by showing that she could have him if she wanted and Willow can't.

Season 3: When it starts to snow in "Amends".
Angel: Am I a thing worth saving, am I a righteous man,
the world wants me gone.
Buffy; What about me. I love you so much and I tried to make you go away. I killed you and it did't help. And I hate it. I hate that it is so hard and you can hurt me so much. I know everything that you did because you did it to me. I wish that I wish you dead but I don't. I can't.

Season 4: Faith in front of the mirror in Buffy's body in "who are you"
That was a great episode ED did a great job playing Buffy, SMG did not do as good of a job but it would have been hard to peg down how Faith would act after all that happened. For example originally faith would not have been that mean to Tara but after all that has happened she changed alot.

Season 5: Last scene of the gift.
This is my favorite scene of the entire series or any series or any movie. There is so much that could be written about this.
I think that the ending of this season was better than any other season. This season had a great build up dropping clues along the way about what was going to happen. They hinted the ending at the end of S3 with Faith's quote "little miss muffet counting down to 730" ,two years or 730 days untill buffy was going to die. I think the reason S5 flowed so much better that S7 was because the writters had the same ending wiether or not the show was going to continue. Were as season 7 they were not sure if the show ending, if there was going to be spin-off right away or which characters were going to Ats.

Season 6: Buffy and Dawn crawling out of the Grave in "grave part 2"
With this scene the season came full circle, buffy crawls out of the grave, but this time it is daylight, she is not alone and she is filled with hope.

Season 7: Willow going to Tara's grave in "help"
I love how this scene started with Willow and Xander casually walking through what looks like a park, then we gradually see that it is a graveyard, then willow walks to the grave kneels and traces Tara name tenderly and then they cut away so we can use our imagination to guess what she says.

I would like to know what other peoples favorite scenes are.

[> Oh boy do I disagree... -- Nino, 18:52:21 07/06/03 Sun

One of the reasons that "Who Are You?" makes my top 10 list is SMG's brilliant performance as Faith...I believe she hit the role dead on, ED couldn't have done better herself. I'd like to know what the general consensus is of this...especially since I think that ED's performace was mediocre at best. Wasn't anyone else blown away by SMG and her delivery of "Because it's wrong" in three seperate scenes with three different emotions fueling the phrase? Maybe it was just me...

[> [> I'm on the ED did better train, myself... -- AngelVSAngelus, 20:31:03 07/06/03 Sun

I felt like Gellar was playing the scenario, but not the character, properly, if that makes any sense at all. I do appreciate the example that you give, of her delivery of that line multiple times. Its just that her mannerisms that surround those times do not resemble Faith to me.
On the other hand, ED as Buffy didn't have much to do in the episode beyond be in worried in captivity or convincing the others who she was, but her convincing Giles and the others that she was Buffy displayed several staple Buffy characteristics and stood in stark contrast to EDs work as Faith.

[> [> [> smg had more to do in another way -- anom, 21:44:42 07/06/03 Sun

ED just had to play Buffy. SMG had to play Faith pretending to be Buffy.

[> [> [> They were both excellent -- Valheru, 23:00:26 07/06/03 Sun

It's a testament to both actress' abilities that this discussion even comes up as often as it does. Both did an incredible job, but in different ways. Eliza played Buffy perfectly, down to the vocal inflections, facial expressions, and body language. Her's was a work of technical brilliance. Sarah, on the other hand, had the much harder role, Faith-pretending-to-be-Buffy. Technically, she nails Faith, but she falters a little on the -pretending-to-be-Buffy part. But where she fails on the minutae, she makes up for in conveyance--Sarah was able to capture the emotional center of the episode better than I ever imagined.

It's like judging an Olympic diving competition. Eliza made a perfect dive, but it was low on difficulty so it doesn't quite deserve a 10. Sarah made an almost-perfect dive, but it was the highest difficulty so the score is high. They both get 9.9's.

Strangely enough, even though I didn't think much of his acting abilities back then, I think one of the best character-as-another-character performances was David Boreanaz's in Enemies. He played Angelus perfectly, but let Angel show through enough in little split-second moments that you can notice the difference if you look close enough. He plays it as though Angel is doing the world's greatest Angelus impersonation, which is exactly the point. IMO, it had all the technical perfection of Eliza's Buffy and a nice amount of the difficulty of Sarah's Faith-as-Buffy. The only thing he didn't do was convey emotion, but then he wasn't supposed to (Angelus, after all). Then again, it's probably not that hard for an actor to do a character switch between two characters he's already played.

If you really want to talk difficulty, take a look at Doppelgangland. Aly has to do two switches: Willow-as-VampWillow and VampWillow-as-Willow. Again, both characters were hers originally, so it's probably not as hard to nail as what Sarah and Eliza did in Who Are You? but Alyson had to play both the villain and the hero of the same episode, which can't be easy.

So apparently, not only can't I decide who did a better job in WAY, Sarah or Eliza, but I have to add David and Aly to the mix as well. So either I'm on to something that no one else is aware of, or I have no business getting into discussions about acting. If you've read this far, I'm sorry to inform you that I came to no conclusion whatsoever and you've just wasted precious few moments of your life. This is what happens when you think too hard when you post: your thoughts get in the way of your brain! Oh, and I didn't even mention how brilliant the cat from Dead Man's Party was at playing DeadCat-as-MissKittyFantastico-as-PokerCat...

[> [> [> [> Two more performances to add -- lunasea, 06:36:01 07/07/03 Mon

Over on AtS: David Boreanaz for "Eternity" and "Calvary." In "Eternity" he didn't play Angel doing his best Angelus impression. He had to play Angel actually thinking he was Angelus. This heightened Angelus was different from any other Angelus we saw. In "Calvary" he got to play Angelus pretending to be Angel. Again, a heightened Angel that was a caricature of the real Angel. For both these performances it would have been really easy for him to slip into the pure form of the character, but as he did with "Enemies," the performance maintained the proper frame of reference through the whole thing.

IMO, that is a bit more difficult than just playing another known character. Actors channel other actors for roles all the time (think Ewan McGregor channeling Sir Alec Guiness). This doesn't make it not praise worthy, though. Going so far as to imitate each other's fighting style (which to me would be harder than just acting like another character) was what made "Who Are You," so amazing.

On the same note, I would put Nick Brendon in this category as well for "The Replacement." His brother only appeared in scenes where they needed both of them in the shot. Nick did an amazing job with Weak and Strong Xander.

[> [> [> [> Oh my God! That was the same cat actor!?! Brilliant! -- shambleau, 09:00:24 07/07/03 Mon

And the De Niro like willingness to change weight for a role should get kudos too. He was already skinny when he was dead, but to shrink to kitten-size is amazing!

[> [> [> [> I agree. They were both great. -- Rob, 11:43:10 07/07/03 Mon

There were some flashes in both performances where for a moement, I truly felt like, "Oh my God, that IS Buffy" or "Oh my God, that IS Faith," not just in how they sounded but how they looked. But they weren't just mimicking the faces or voices of each other; these were each full-bodied performances. I was very impressed, and continue to be each time I see the episode.


[> [> Re: Oh boy do I disagree... -- tam, 20:45:01 07/06/03 Sun

SMG as Faith sitting in the tub looking at her new legs -- I loved it. SMG as Faith looking in the mirror, opening her mouth, checking out her new teeth, saying "Buffy", "Buffy" -- I loved it. ED as Buffy saying to Giles "Can't you be just all intuitive?" -- I loved it. ED as Buffy "What's a stevedore?" -- I loved it.

I think they both did a great job.

[> [> Re: Oh boy do I disagree... -- Deacon, 08:57:08 07/07/03 Mon

I rewatched the episode and I agree that SMG did a excellant job but she did not give a good potrayal of Faith but as Anom said SMG had to play Faith pretending to be buffy, and in the last scene right before they switched back when Faith was no longer pretending to be Buffy she hit the character dead on.
One scene of faith that I like was in Consequences when Faith is pretending to go to Angel for help, you can tell that she is not being honest, she is a good actor who was playing bad acting.

[> Re: favorite scenes of Buffy -- manwitch, 17:22:34 07/07/03 Mon

I like your choices. There are so many scenes to choose from.

For me, my favorite scene in Season 1 is in Prophecy Girl when Buffy holds her hand out to the Annointed One and says, "Its ok, I know who you are." Its just such a beautiful moment on so many levels as she goes to meet her destiny, comforts her executioner, and overcomes the prophecy all in one line.

My favorite scene in Season 2 is probably Giles and Buffy in the car at the end of Innocence. I think Buffy plays hurt really well. the pain of having disappointed someone. And Giles response to her is just beautiful, and exquisitely delivered.

"The coming months are going to be hard. I expect on all of us. But if its guilt you want, Buffy, I'm not your man."

I love this show for giving the characters time to pause like that, to take the time needed to say what they have to say.

In Season 3, my favorite scene is far and away the climactic ending to The Wish. There can't be but one or two more heroic acts in the whole series than what Wishverse Giles does at the end of that episode. But to see the dramatization of the devastation to them all if Buffy were to have rejected her Sunnydale committments, if she had been a loner out for herself instead of who she was, was quite powerful.

My favorite scene in Season 4 is easy. Restless.

I concur with your selection for Season 5. But you really can't go wrong selecting almost anything from Season 5. I also loved the whacked out sequence in No Place Like Home and the tension around Dawn in that episode. But the end of Intervention is beautiful. And the moment Spike puts his shotgun down and sits with Buffy in Fool for Love, and the camera just lingers on them for such a long time. And when Buffy tells Dawn about Joyce in The Body. Season 5 is really something.

Season 6? The end of Tabula Rasa for me. On first watching, it was like the end of the Scoobie Gang, and that really affected me. And to think of Buffy losing heaven not once, but twice, when her memory came back. Just devastating. But then to see the desperate hope in her embrace with Spike, well, its an emotional little episode, all the more powerful because its at the end of a silly and fun little farce. I also love Entropy, except for the doofuses. But the whole sequence where Anya attempts to get a wish out of people is really well done.

Season 7, well, its hard not to like the last scene. But CwDP is the best episode of that season. I especially liked the sequence with Dawn. But then, I like Dawn.

[> [> Nice ones -- ponygirl, 10:01:17 07/08/03 Tue

[> Re: favorite scenes of Buffy -- Rina, 10:28:42 07/08/03 Tue

Season 1: Buffy returning from the dead to kill the Master in "Prophecy Girl"

Season 2: Xander walking along the corridors of Sunnydale High, to the tune of "Got the Love", after Amy had cast the love spell in "Bewitched, Bothered and Bewildered".

Season 3: Spike leaving Sunnydale in his DeSoto, singing "My Way" in "Lover's Walk".

Season 4: Buffy and Spike reacting with disgust after Willow's spell break in "Something Blue".

Season 5: Buffy's jump off Glory's tower in "The Gift".

Season 6: Xander confronting Dark Willow in "Grave".

Season 7: Buffy rescues Spike from the FE's cave in "Showtime".

[> Re: favorite scenes of Buffy -- Deacon, 14:48:48 07/08/03 Tue

These are some great choices, Manwitch and Rina. Thanks for your input.
One scene that was mentioned that got me thinking was Giles speach to buffy at the end of innocence. Considering how supportive Giles was with Buffy regarding Angel. And in season 7 Giles was very adament about wanting Buffy to kill spike. There is one scene in particular, In Graduation Day Part 1, when buffy quits the council because they want her to concetrate on stopping the Mayor when she says "it's about watching my lover die" when she does't consider that her lover killed Giles's lover and tortured him.

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