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Willow's perfect bumper sticker! -- Kate, 10:42:48 07/22/03 Tue

Was driving along this morning and this is the bumper sticker I saw on the back of the car in front of me and it just "screamed" Willow to me. Had me laughing hysterically after I read it. (There may be slight paraphrasing as college ruined my short-term memory. lol)

"I'm sorry I haven't been to church (or in Willow's case, synagogue), I've been too busy practicing witchcraft and becoming a lesbian." hehehe...perfect, no?

[> Variations on the theme.. -- ZachsMind, 12:48:20 07/22/03 Tue

I'd like to see one for Buffy that read, "sorry I haven't been to class, but I've been too busy dusting meanies and saving the world."

Or perhaps Xander, "Sorry I haven't been to work, but I've been too busy keeping friends from killing each other and getting my eye gouged out by a priest."

Giles: "Sorry I haven't been back to England, but I've been too busy babysitting rank, arrogant, amateur mallrats and tolerating gothic hairgel pooftahs."

Anya: "Sorry I haven't been evil, but I've been too busy accumulating large sums of money and rolling around in it while singing book numbers and runaway pop hits!"

Spike: "Sorry I haven't been... oh, bugger this!"

[> [> I always wanted one that says: -- Anneth, 14:07:51 07/22/03 Tue

"Grr! Arg!"

[> [> [> with appropriate grrrraphics, of course -- mamcu, 07:41:12 07/23/03 Wed

You can have stickers made, of course. Just google and you'll find sites that sell the paper or that will make them for you--but you knew that.

[> [> [> [> Why, yes! Of course I did! Really! I'm an old hand at this custom-made bumper-sticker thing! -- Anneth, who's not lying. Really., 10:50:35 07/23/03 Wed

[> I have that one! and... -- Q, 14:37:09 07/22/03 Tue

I have a little sticker of Willow that I got out of some Buffy the Vampire Slayer lollipops I bought. I stuck the picture of Willow on the bumper sticker (they match perfect-- the Willow sticker is in front of a purple background, and my bumper sticker is purple-- you can hardly tell that the picture wasn't originally on the bumper sticker!), and stuck the bumper sticker on my car, and it is a beautiful thing!

[> [> That's so kewl...I love it!! :) -- Kate, 21:23:59 07/22/03 Tue

Little Miss Muffet... -- ZachsMind, 12:09:20 07/22/03 Tue

Please feel free to share your thoughts about the whole Little Miss Muffet thing in this thread, if you have any thoughts. Be they overexciteable or ambivalent, insulated or flame-retardant. It is my hope that while we may not get to the bottom of it once and for all, that we perhaps at least exhaust all possible avenues of discussion on this and cover every inch that hasn't yet been covered, provided that hasn't already been done elsewhere. If it has, please provide a link. =) For better or for worse, the following is my latest brainstorm on the topic.

Since season three, I've been trying to figure out where Joss got his "Little Miss Muffet" fascination. It shows up a few times in the series. Of course, on the surface it appears to be just like the Cheese Man in "Restless" (something that's there just for fun), I can't shake that there's a reason even if it's maybe unconscious, that Whedon chose that particular nursery rhyme over all others.

From "Nightmares" in season one.
XANDER: (to Willow) It could be a coincidence. Y'know, Wendell finds a spider's nest, and we all wig because he dreamt about spiders. So it may not be connected.

From "Graduation Part Two" in season three.
FAITH: Oh yeah. - Miles to go - Little Ms. Muffet counting down from 7-3-0.

From "The Real Me" in season five.
GUY: I know you. Curds and whey. I know what you are. You. Don't. Belong. Here.

From "Lessons" in season seven.
WILLOW: ...It's all connected.

While I'm not certain this is THE place, it certainly may be a clue leading to it. It's a speech given by Jim Shooter, who in the minds of some is second only to Stan Lee in the historical pantheon of Marvel Comics editors. I'm not personally a jawdropping fan of Shooter's, but I will admit the man knows how to tell a story. In his speech, Shooter describes what it takes to tell a story. He tried to condense the concept into the most integral and important parts, shearing away complexities like plot structure and five act formulas that college professors force into impressionable minds. Shooter gets to the nitty gritty: "What it was, what happened, how'd it come out," Shooter says. "Remember that. Forget this beginning, middle and end. Forget this Act I, Act II, Act III stuff. It doesn't mean anything." Then Shooter goes on to explain in some more detail what each means. "WAS" deals mostly with the status quo, and establishing the characters and the setting. "HAPPENED" focuses on changes, opportunities and obstacles that are overcom. "COME OUT" isn't so much an ending per se, as it is a description of the effect of that change. So Shooter's explaining more that just beginning middle and end, but how to describe a cycle of life in the form of storytelling.

So I'm reading along, nodding my head to this stuff. Interesting retread on stuff I know. A fresh outlook on how to write. That's nice. But then I come to this:

"Okay, how are you going to remember all of that stuff? I'll tell you what, it's all in a little poem called Little Miss Muffet. Little Miss Muffet sat on a tuffet, eating her curds and whey; along came a spider, who sat down beside her and scared poor Miss Muffet away. It's all there. It's a story.."

Introduce the characters (Little Miss Muffet)
Establish a status quo (Curds and Whey)
Introduce the disruption (Along Came A Spider)
Build suspense (Sat Down Beside Her)
Climax (Scared Poor Miss Muffet)
Resolution (Away)

Shooter used Ms Muffet as an example for storytelling in his seminar speech about writing. IF there was some way to prove that Whedon experienced Shooter's usage of Muffet prior to season three of Buffy, then maybe we would have found the impetus for Whedon's use of that nursery rhyme. Maybe it was an inside joke between him and some other writers. How he was turning Shooter's entire concept of storywriting on its ear.

Otherwise, I may just be huffing and puffing and blowing down a house of straw. I mean, sometimes a stake is just a stake, y'know? But still, it's fun to contemplate. =)

[> Oops! Forgot the link! LOL! -- ZachsMind, 12:17:07 07/22/03 Tue

Jim Shooter's "How to Write Comics"

Some quick and simple thoughts on 'Angel' -- Q, 19:45:25 07/22/03 Tue

Grade: A

With the only exception being "Prophecy Girl", this is the best episode of season one. This episode is huge for a couple of reasons, one-it sets up what is to be the pre-eminent arc for the next 3 seasons, and my personal favorite arc in the history of the show, the B/A relationship, and two-it is an amazing precursor to an entire television program: Ats.

I have only two complaints: score music and a little bit of continuity. As for continuity-most of it worked, and what didn't could usually be explained through lack of honesty for certain things characters said. One problem doesn't work for me: The relationship between the Master and Angel. The Master says things like "Angel-I miss him! He was the most ferocious beast I have ever seen" and "But to lose her to Angel! He was to sit at my right hand come the day!". These phrases do not jive with what we have seen later in the shows. When we see Master flashbacks on Angel, Angel and the Master feud every time they see each other, show each other no respect, and just generally hate each other. The Master acts like Angel is nothing to him, a phase for Darla, a "stallion". All I'm asking for in this little rant is a future episode on Angel featuring the Master, so we can see how their relationship went from where it was in "Darla" to where the Master felt it should be in "Angel". I hope the ME writers give us that soon!!!!

Other than that-I loved this episode. The low key lighting gave an exciting "noir" feel. The love scenes were the most romantic and sizzled with the most chemistry I have seen before or since. The final scene blew me away! Sophia Zelmani's "I'll Remember You" gave just the right amount of heartbreak to a scene that would be rife with it, as Buffy and Angel said goodbye in the first scene in the series that brings tears to my eyes (many would follow). The final image of Buffy permanently scarred on Angels heart will stay with me like the final images in great films like "El Norte" or great novels like "The Grapes of Wrath" or "Animal Farm". Final images are huge for me, and this paid off in spades, just like the aforementioned works.

With all of the high school horror metaphors going on, it seems they get more intense each week. Last weeks "pack" symbolism was depressing enough, adding in first love and first loss is just heart wrenching.

A classic

[> Re: Some quick and simple thougths on 'Angel' -- manwitch, 21:19:06 07/22/03 Tue

I might add Nightmares as another exception, if it was me (which it isn't), but I did like this when I rewatched it the other night. I don't think Darla quite has the stature I would like her to have, but the Buffy/Angel relationship is great as it develops. And we get a nice dose of Joyce, too.

In fairness, your complaints about inconsistencies with other eps regarding the Master/Angel relationship are really the fault of the other eps, rather than this one. They shoulda paid attention to what they already showed.

As for that final scene, the shot as Buffy pulls away and you have the dark back of angel on the right and Buffy in the light on the left as she pulls back from him and you see the cross hanging there in the space left by that low cut top... That is just a really nice image, and maybe the first time it really hits me that Buffy is staggeringly beautiful. And I don't just mean that in the "Oooo Sarah Michelle Gellar is so hot" way. There is something about Buffy, the way she's lit and framed, along with the whole makeup and art direction package, and of course, along with the depth of character portrayed, that to me makes this character one of the most beautiful people I've ever seen on film or tv. Its way beyond the looks, wonderful though they may be, of the actress herself.

I agree about final images in general, and I think that's something this series came to excel at. I've been watching these early episodes, trying to see when it first really mastered the art of the last couple of seconds and the cut to black. So many are so perfect. Bargaining part 2, Reptile Boy, Hush, Living Conditions, I was Made to Love You, Family, Lover's Walk, Gingerbread, Doomed. You can go on and on, with episodes that just crystallize all the emotion you've been made to feel throughout the episode into those final seconds and then cut to black and Executive Producer Joss Whedon. Those words have come to be synonymous for me with "Wow. Just wow."

And I think you're right. This is the first time they really hit it.

[> Agree whole-heartedly! -- Scroll, 21:32:23 07/22/03 Tue

"Angel" remains one of my personal favourites for exactly the reasons you list: 1) setting up the B/A arc; 2) setting up Angel: the Series. Plus, we get the gorgeous and talented Julie Benz as seductive Catholic schoolgirl Darla. We get our first glimpse at vampiric social hierarchy, at how the Master's "family" operates. The love and duty that goes hand in hand with punishment and betrayal. We get my other favourite Angel pairing, Angel/Darla.

As a bonus, we explore the house/family metaphor for the very first time. We see the framing of doorways/windows, with Angel on the outside, and his loved ones inside. "Angel" is a direct lead-in to "Pangs", to "Prodigal", to "Blood Money". To the Darla arcs of Seasons 2 and 3, to "A New World". To "Deep Down" and "Home", an episode that's caused severe emotional trauma to many posters on this board (myself included!) for the shocking way the family/home metaphor is finally(?) concluded.

The symbolism of Buffy's cross burning Angel, Darla's surface innocence hiding a feral viciousness hiding a sincere possessive/abiding love for her "darling boy", Willow's optimistic Buffy/anybody 'shipperiness, Angel's confession of his sins, the Master's tutoring of his Anointed One, Joyce's willful blindness, Friar Giles with a staff -- this is classic Buffy at its finest :)

Q, I have to admit, I've never really noticed the music. Or rather, I've never had any qualms with the music and tend to simply go with the flow when watching this ep. I agree the song at the Bronze fits the mood of the scene, slow and dark and melancholy, though I never really paid attention to the lyrics. What in particular do you not like about the score?

As for the Master -- I don't have any problems with this since our glimpse of Angelus and the Master in "Darla" was from 1760, shortly after Angelus' siring. By 1880, Angelus had clearly matured and grown as a vampire, becoming quite the legend in his own time. I'm sure the Master would've slowly come to accept him as Angelus' reputation grew. But I agree, I hope Season 5 will bring more flashbacks so we can see the Fanged Four again, with Granddaddy Master as well! It'll be fun! And bloody! No souls! Bad wigs! Julie Benz in a corset! Whee!

[> [> Just so you guys know... I wasn't complaining. -- Q, 23:56:11 07/22/03 Tue

I wasn't complaining that the difference in the Master/Angel relationship from "Darla" to "Angel" was a continuity error-- I know a lot could have happened between the two episodes.

I'm just saying that I would love to SEE what exactly happened. I really hope they show us some day.

As for the music... I felt most of season 1's scoring was a little light and formulaic. In season 2 the music started using "lietmotifs", so to speak, not just to symbolize characters, but also more for situations and emotion. The music seemed to get much more haunting, and at the same time beautiful. The music here didn't seem to do as much justice to the B/A relationship as the music at the end of season 2, and then again-- the "new" B/A theme at the end of season 3. The B/A theme that appeared at the end of season 2 is just amazing to me, and my favorite part about episodes like "forever" is not seeing Angel again, as much as hearing that theme again!

I love the Sophie Zelmani song played at the bronze, and find it significant that a very important B/A episode was titled "I will remember you" down the road.

[> [> [> Nice about the music. I agree completely. -- manwitch, 04:57:32 07/23/03 Wed

[> S1 Favorites Fast Forward: Welcome To The Hellmouth/The Harvest, Angel, Nightmares & Prophecy Girl -- Just George, 22:29:58 07/22/03 Tue

[> [> S1 Favourite: 'The Puppet Show' -- Liam, 01:33:27 07/23/03 Wed

While I agree with others that 'The Pack', 'Angel' and 'Prophecy Girl' are the best episodes in the season, another favourite of mine is 'The Puppet Show', which I love for the following reasons:

1. The beginning is nice, where we have the Scooby Gang interacting over something not slaying related. I loved the mocking of Giles, and the fact that he got his revenge when Snyder appeared.

2. The first appearance of the misanthropic Snyder, one of my favourite recurring characters.

3. Cordy singing in such a way that if she carried on, Whitney would have committed suicide. :)

4. The plot was wonderful, with Buffy and the dummy first believing that the other was the villain, and later all believing that once Morgan was dead the demon had moved on.

5. The Giles and Cordy interaction, with gems such as:
a. Him getting rid of her by using an old trick of Xander's by pretending that something was wrong with her hair.
b. Him trying to relax her by suggesting she imagine that the audience is in their underwear, grossing her out.

6. Buffy, after having held Morgan's brain, saying that she wouldn't stop washing her hands.

7. The fight with the demon, with Xander saving Giles's life, and the scene at the end when the curtain came up.

8. The very end, when Buffy, Willow and Xander are doing their dramatic monologue, which never fails to crack me up; as I see a Willow who gets stage fright and runs off, a Xander who forgets his lines, and a Buffy bored with the whole thing. :D

For all these reasons, it's one of my favourite episodes of the season, and a good episode to introduce people to 'Buffy'.

[> [> [> Agree -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:59:30 07/23/03 Wed

In the beginning of the episode, I was thinking that it would almost certainly be the dummy that did it, while also thinking to myself that, if it were a Season Six episode, it would almost certainly be Morgan who was the killer. As such, for a bit I was sitting there, enjoying the humorous bits, but a little bored since I was confident of the mystery's solution. Then Sid called Buffy a demon, and suddenly my ears perked up. The plot twist was such an inventive and unexpected one that I also must rank this episode among the best of Season 1 (though none will surpass "Prophecy Girl").

[> Agree--also -- mamcu, 07:31:15 07/23/03 Wed

Great comments--I totally agree about the quality. Angel also seems to me to be the first episode that really shows the depth of the whole series as it would come to be. Episodes like WtH, Pack, etc. are still a bit in the cute realm, and although some of them work well for comedy or even character study, dealing with deeper themes, like The Witch, they don't quite tap into the complexity of the characters, especially Buffy.

I also watched Halloween last night on FX, and the Janus image and the statement about the split in the self, the dark and the light, suddenly seemed to me to be one of the biggest themes throughout the whole series--and Angel is the first time we see this theme brought to the front so clearly, especially with Buffy.

[> [> Re: Agree--also -- Alison, 09:39:30 07/23/03 Wed

Agreed. Duality is a huge theme on Buffy, and while earlier episodes had flirted with the concept- shadow selves, evil Xander...Angel's battle with his vampire self brought the theme to center stage. Integration of the self isn't yet adressed, but it is Angel's greatest (and still on going) struggle.
Don't really have anything to add here, but good point.

[> The arc and some other thoughts -- Diana, 08:13:59 07/23/03 Wed

Do I need to tell anyone that I love this episode? The complexity of a vampire with a soul is, well there isn't a word that can describe how it makes this vampirephile feel. Just when I was starting to ask "Where are all the frigging vampires?" Greenwalt answers.

Joss doesn't like to name episodes after a character. Goddard wanted to name "Selfless" "Anya," but Joss vetoed that. In this episode we learn a lot more about Angel, but Buffy herself really shows what an angel she is. When she bares her neck for Angel, I fell in love with her all over again, just like I did when she felt for Willow at the water fountain.

What I want to contribute to this discussion is the arc that got us here. This is the first real arc that we see and by examining it we can see ME's MO. They have a story and they have to convey certain things to tell that story. Say they were telling the story of Little Red Ridding Hood. They need her to leave home with her basket of goodies. To travel through the woods. To meet the wolf, etc. ME has that story, but instead of her traveling through the woods they come up with a metaphor to convey this element. Instead of Little Red Ridding Hood traveling through the woods, she reads a book. That seems to have nothing to do with the story and is often referred to as a "Stand Alone Episode," but really it is important to the arc, the important arc, the emotional arc.

ME takes the story they want to tell, in this case Buffy falling for the wrong guy, and figures out what is required to tell this story. Then they make episodes out of those elements. What elements were required to tell this story? Greenwalt wrote this episode and starts really setting it up with "Teacher's Pet." Why Teacher's Pet? Who among us hasn't fantasized about a teacher? If you wanted to write an episode about how Buffy's feelings for Angel start with this sort of fantasy, what better way? The opening of "Angel" Buffy tells Willow "it's like the lights dim everywhere else." This corresponds with the fantasy aspect of this relationship.

I will say this once more. Season 1, Buffy/Angel is NOT a good or healthy thing. He is so the wrong guy for her. She knows next to nothing about him and creates this fantasy around him (which she writes about in her diary). He is in no place to have a relationship with anyone.

Next element is "Never Kill a Boy on the First Date." Looks are deceiving. Very important element to this story. It is also the flip side of Angel. They have a lot in common. "solitary, mysterious...He can brood for forty minutes straight." He likes to read. "He's sensitive, yet manly." Cordy hits on him, but he isn't interested (this is also the episode where Cordy's interest in Angel is started). I loved the pocket watch. Of course Xander is maxi-jealous. What they don't have in common is important: Owen is a regular guy and finds Buffy's world makes him feel "alive."

The show tends to advocate the Golden Means. Angel and Owen both represent extremes. The arc about Angel S1 could very well have been part of a larger arc that would have put Xander and Buffy together. That isn't what happened, so instead I will just look at the Angel arc, which is still part of the arc in which Buffy learns to accept her Calling which is part of the even larger 7 season story about female empowerment.

In NKABOTFD, we see a progression of Buffy finding Owen to be dreamy to realizing Owen isn't suitable for her. This happens in "Angel" from "Good dogs don't bite" to when she thinks he bites her mom. The entire part of the show that happens in the funeral home in NKABOTFD can be compared to Buffy in the library in "Angel."

Next element is we need to see why Angel isn't suitable for Buffy. Xander is so lets sort of vamp him without vamping him in "The Pack." Even Xander's embarrassment about what he did as a hyena "shoot me, stuff me, mount me," compares to Angel's guilt over his own feelings. Xander wants to pretend that nothing ever happened and Angel and Buffy try to forget about their feelings for each other.

I love when the series does that. There is a lot more to those episodes that lead up to "Angel," besides just setting up things and telling the story before they tell it. One thing ME does well is multitask.

I love the flow of this episode and could talk about it ad nausem. The theme of loyalty is particularly interesting. Angel's first words are "Good dogs don't bite." The Three have a slavish devotion to the Master. They give their lives when they think they have failed him. Angel thinks he has failed Buffy and isn't a good dog and wants "it finished." Darla is upset because Angel is no longer faithful to her or what she thinks he is. Darla's loyalty is to the Master and she obeys him. Buffy's friends show a high degree of loyalty when they tell her that Angel didn't bite Joyce. Xander's loyalty is clouded by his feelings for Buffy.

There is a lot of fun stuff with Darla that will be played on later. Darla says that she wants to be there when Angel finally explodes. That would be season 2 AtS and it wasn't pretty. Darla's relationship with the Master is even better in light of "Darla." It is a triangle that doesn't get discussed too much Master/Darla/Angel(us). Darla's plan to get Angel to go evil/kill Buffy has a lot of echo in Wolfram and Hart's plans.

Willow's line "If you care about somebody you care about them. You can't change that by..." has a lot of resonance with both season 2 and 3. This episode will have a lot of parallels with "Amends," where once again Angel wants to die.

Like any Greenwalt episode this is chock full of yummy layery goodness. I look forward to seeing those layers peeled away.

[> [> Strangely, I agree Angel is not the right guy -- Scroll, 23:58:09 07/24/03 Thu

While I think Buffy and Angel were exactly right for each other post-"When She Was Bad" and pre-"Surprise", I agree wtih you that Angel was entirely wrong for Season 1 Buffy. She didn't know him well enough, she was still searching to understand what it meant to be a Slayer and balancing a real life with her duties. She should've used more caution in dealing with a souled vampire, but she fell for him much like in a fantasy.

OTOH, I think Buffy was perfect for Angel pretty much from the get-go! While I see the Lolita-like subtext being inserted in the B/A romance, I actually don't have a problem with it. And while Angel is older and more experienced in sex and relationships, I see him as innocent/inexperienced when it comes to emotions.

But I don't see Xander as being disloyal in this ep. I mean, later he does do things that go against Buffy because he sees things differently (which could be called disloyal ie the lie), but in "Angel" I see him as merely playing devil's advocate. Though he probably does mean everything he says! But his actions prove that he's firmly in Buffy's corner, IMO.

Totally agree about Darla. I love Darla :)

[> [> [> I wanna gush about Angel -- Diana, 09:31:26 07/25/03 Fri

Above I have to figure out how to put the complexity of this character, which I love to do, but now I just want to be irrational fan girl. Don't take anything below as serious analysis.

Angel and Buffy are so the right characters for each other, except in season 1. Because of their bizarre circumstances they can understand things about each other that no other character really gets. When Angel first sees Buffy he says tha what makes him fall in love with her is that she holds her heart out for everyone to see. Take that way back to Liam who was hurting on the inside, but buried that in wine, women and fistacuffs. Buffy is what Angel wants to be, what he is deep inside.

What makes this the right guy for Buffy is that only someone like that could understand her. Angel is the one that knows when something is wrong with Buffy and is able to help her. It is Angel's shoulder that she cries on at the end of "When She was Bad." Season 2 and 3 if Buffy talks about something, chances are it is because Angel got her to. That is why I liked them together. "Earshot" puts what their relationship could be best.

So fast forward to season 7 and the turgid supernatural soap opera that Angel/Buffy/Spike could be. Buffy already knows that Angel is a suitable partner and they are emotionally compatible. If anything, she knows he is so suitable that they are looking at "and they lived happily ever after." She isn't ready for that, so she isn't ready for him. It is like Angel has auditioned for the role of loving partner and got it, but the director decided that the part doesn't fit the play right now.

Put yourself in Buffy's position. Prior to "Chosen" Angel was always the one doing the leaving. Now he is acting different. When they kiss, there is no pulling away because Angel is afraid of the curse (I'm still convinced the curse is gone and he knows it). He is in this with her to the end shoulder to shoulder. Talk about some subtext there. This is subtext that Buffy isn't ready for.

Spike on the other hand isn't perfect for the role, so he is a suitable partner RIGHT NOW. It would be confusing for Buffy to have Angel around because how can she concentrate on Mr. Right Now, when Mr. Right is there. If would be confusing for Angel because she doesn't want to give him the brush off or shut the door on them forever. She just isn't ready for it yet. It would be confusing to Spike because, well it is Spike, but also because he knows that Angel is her ultimate choice.

Spike is the better choice for Buffy to work on her trust issues. That was the purpose of that relationship this season. It revisited Riley and the Replacement in a way. Buffy sees herself as two people and doesn't accept one herself so she doesn't trust that anyone else accepts all of her. She does believe that Angel does, because of his bizarre circumstances. With Spike, she doesn't believe he knows the real her and is only into the challenge. It was a nice resolution to this on her way to the formless.

I can't wait until they pay all this off hopefully next season on AtS.

[> short thought -- MsGiles, 09:24:38 07/23/03 Wed

Yeah, it's a nice lurky episode. Angel comes out of the shadows, but only a bit at a time. He sticks around, keeps doing the helping thing - a lo! gets a snog. Then his pesky ex turns up, and the secret is out. he's not just a *bit* older, he's a *lot* older. He has a violent past, previous girlfriends, links with the bad guys, he's a (gulp) vampire. He has a dangerous side to him. Maybe he's Bad News, Buffy. But nothing can stand in the way of true Lurve. And he is doing that helping thing, the thing that Xander isn't quite up to.

Glamorous Angel, with his exotic tattoo. Interesting the way he vamps up when he kisses Buffy. On one level, it shows that he can't keep his nature a secret from her, when he gets close. Walls, pretences, have to start coming down. He's avoided close contact up to now, but he chooses to stick around after the Three attack. Is he aware of Darla's presence, and that if he doesn't put the moves on Buffy soon it will be too late, too many cats will be out of bags?

On another level, this scene links vampirism with sex in a way BtVS tends to play down, although much vamp fiction (from Dracula to Anne Rice) plays it up (so to speak). Even Spike, sexgod of S6, doesn't play biting/sex games (although I noticed him giving Anya a sneaky nibble at one point). Maybe Angel just gets hungry, so close to a warm neck. Maybe.

[> Re: Some quick and simple thougths on 'Angel' -- Malandanza, 08:06:47 07/24/03 Thu

"This episode is huge for a couple of reasons, one-it sets up what is to be the pre-eminent arc for the next 3 seasons, and my personal favorite arc in the history of the show, the B/A relationship, and two-it is an amazing precursor to an entire television program: Ats."

I was annoyed by the Vampire/Slayer romance at the start of the series, but I was watching Buffy more for the horror and comedy than for the soap opera. It seemed a bit cliche -- the wrong guy, it can't possibly work but it does anyway once her friends get over their prejudice. Also the age difference bothered me -- not a 240 year old vampire dating a sixteen year old girl, but a guy who looked like he was college age dating a high school sophomore. These types of relationships do happen, and they aren't happy romances. They are exploitative relationships with serious power imbalances that almost invariably hurt the girl. At this stage, it seemed to me that ME viewed B/A like Willow viewed B/A, and that was a very bad message to send to the young viewers.

However, Season Two subverted the cliche and, without turning into an after school special, demonstrated (through the metaphor of Angelus) that just because that handsome older guy says he loves you, doesn't mean he has your best interests at heart (they repeated the lesson in Season Four with Parker, only this time with 97% less metaphor and with Buffy as, at least nominally, an adult). I was genuinely surprised when Buffy didn't save Angel at the last minute in B2; I had expected a fairy tale ending (modern fairy tale, I mean). So looking back on the early B/A scenes, I find them less offensive -- because I know where it is headed, and Willow isn't speaking with the voice of the writers, but with the voice of naivete. Plus, by Season Five, B/A had evolved into a deep and abiding friendship -- perhaps the most adult relationship on the show.

Other things I liked about this episode:

We see Angel as dangerous for the first time -- in his fight with Buffy, he projects actual menace. Our first glimpse of the potential Angelus.

Angel tells Buffy he hasn't fed on a living person since getting cursed. A nice bit of equivocation on his part.

Angel and Darla at Angel's apartment gives us a preview of the AtS relationship -- in particular, this scene recalls the bodice ripping adventure in the old convent.

Joyce as the "cool" mom -- she has a pretty good idea of what's going on between her daughter and a clearly older man, yet trusts Buffy to say goodnight and, presumably, not see him again without any words of admonition (not that Buffy would have listened to her mother).

SMG's acting -- you could watch the episode with the sound off and still know exactly what Buffy is feeling.

Finally, I'd like to thank Q for consistently starting off these threads.

[> [> At the time it was undecided how old Buffy was -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:17:06 07/24/03 Thu

From what I've heard, during Season 1, the odds were very great there would never be a second season, so, at least in their own heads, they pegged Buffy as a Senior. However, when a second season became feasible, they needed to reduce Buffy's age down to Sophomore level. So, when B/A began, it was an apparently college age guy and someone the writers were thinking of in their heads as a Senior, meaning she'd be college aged herself in almost no time. Perhaps that's why they changed the way they treated B/A come Season 2: Buffy suddenly became two years younger.

[> [> [> Huh, I didn't know that about Buffy's age -- good point! -- Scroll, 01:32:41 07/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> No, her age was mentioned, as was her being a sophomore -- Darby, 07:16:13 07/25/03 Fri

Don't have the exact spots, but both show up in the first season, which was all "in the can" by the time they started to air.

One mention was early, when Joyce says, (paraphrasing) "It's all end-of-the-world, life-and-death when you're a sixteen-year-old-girl!"

The sophomore reference may have been more oblique, possibly to Xander, Willow, or Cordelia (whose comment about "senior boys" in the first or second episode also makes it clear that they were not seniors).

[> [> [> [> The way I heard about it was . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:35:24 07/25/03 Fri

Someone said that in "I Robot, You Jane", when Moloch looked into Buffy's school file, parts of it seemed to say she was a Senior, and others that she was a Sophomore. The way I heard it was that, for the most part while filming Season 1, they were thinking of Buffy as a Senior, but it wasn't until near the end of shooting that they realized it would be impractical in case there was a second season (and, even though the 16 comment was made in "The Harvest", since the whole season was filmed before airing, there's no way of telling when in the production process that scene was filmed).

[> [> [> [> The Harvest: 'Everything is life or death when you're a 16 year old girl.' -- Sophist, 09:45:14 07/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: No, her age was mentioned, as was her being a sophomore -- Anneth, 14:49:33 07/25/03 Fri

I know this is sort of nitpicky, but if you freeze-frame on Buffy's school record in I Robot, you can see that her year is written as "senior."

[> [> [> [> [> You'll need to freeze-frame twice -- Q, 15:16:06 07/25/03 Fri

They show the shot of Buffy's file on the computer screen twice in IRYJ, and the information in the file is COMPLETELY different both times-- different birth dates and everything-- I have no idea why they would do that-- do they have no respect for our anal viewing habits?

[> [> [> [> [> [> check thrice -- tost, 23:00:22 07/25/03 Fri

In the space of a few seconds the computer shows three screens of Buffy information.

birth date.......10/24/80.........10/24/80...........05/06/79

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: check thrice -- Darby, 06:02:13 07/26/03 Sat

So obviously, in an era of VHS, no one thought it mattered what was put on the screen, and they certainly weren't tied to it - Buffy's birthday, according to the kinda sorta realtime Buffyverse seasons, is in January, which doesn't match up with any of these.

Keep in mind that this was also the episode where no one had a problem with the concept that Buffy could tail a car across town on foot and not be noticed until she got where they were going.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: check thrice -- tost, 09:11:36 07/26/03 Sat

I like to think of it as an example of the fluid nature of reality, combining the capricious cruelty of lowering Buffy's grade point average with Abby Hoffman's comment that "reality is silly putty." Later, as OnM points, out Buffy will do a little reality altering of her own. By extension so do we all.

As M.E. might more succinctly put "It's Magic."

[> [> [> [> Flutie, WttH: Buffy Summers. Sophomore. In script, on screen. -- Darby, 07:45:08 07/26/03 Sat

If the original had said, "Senior," I can see editing it out, but not getting the actor in months afterward (he was no longer under any contract, with his character dead) to loop a single word. There's also lots of evidence that they'll leave shooting script errors in there, even if they get corrected later.

[> [> Any experts on 18th century Irish culture? -- Q, 15:20:38 07/25/03 Fri

A lot of people have voiced concern over the age difference between Buffy and Angel.

I'm just curious if anyone knows-- would the taboo against "dating" a minor for a young twenty-something that we have in modern Western society have been the same in Ireland when Angel was growing up? Or would they have not looked down on this pairing as much? I don't know anything about it, but it is possible, that Angel's point of view on the matter was a little different because of his upbringing-- and how socializing was when he was "of age". Anybody know?

[> [> [> Re: Any experts on 18th century Irish culture? -- MaeveRigan, 20:27:50 07/25/03 Fri

Pre-vampire Angel at whatever age he was in 18th c. Ireland obviously cared little for social proprieties.

But even if he had cared, I think that's irrelevant for souled-vampire Angel in the 20th century. He's had plenty of time to become familiar with 20th century culture, and he's now trying to atone for his past evil deeds. He clearly has qualms about the romance building between himselfe & Buffy--not only because she's legally a minor, but more importantly because she's the Slayer and he's a vampire, even with a soul. That is the real heart of the matter and always will be, unless or untill things change.

[> [> [> [> Re: Any experts on 18th century Irish culture? -- Liam, 05:42:54 07/26/03 Sat

While I'm not an expert on the period, I've read a little about it. Liam, being the only son of a merchant, would have been expected to work in the business, so he could take over when his father died. In that period, there was no such thing as the 'teenage years' we know of today, people being expected to take on responsibilities, sometimes serious ones, at an age where most of us would be in high school or college. Liam was vamped into Angel in his twenties, a time when he would have been expected to be working in his father's business and probably married with a young family.

Of course, Liam was a drunken, whoring layabout, who shirked any kind of work, and whom girls didn't need to be told not to marry. For that reason, he would certainly have been socially shunned and a source of great embarassment to his family. By the standards of the time, he would certainly have been regarded as _very_ immature, more so than in our own period, because of his shunning of any kind of responsibility.

Cordelia vs Phantom Dennis -- JBone, 20:14:16 07/22/03 Tue

No, but while she's in here, she might as well get that thing done. You know that thing on her face. You know that thing.


yesterdays results

Keep posting comments here for now.

[> Oh please... -- LadyStarlight, 20:36:39 07/22/03 Tue

Cordy kicked Mama Dennis' butt, do you really think she'll have any trouble with the son?

[> The homefield advantage -- manwitch, 20:57:17 07/22/03 Tue

Cordy doesn't even have to kick dennis's butt. Phantom Dennis remembers what Cordy did for him and has no interest in messing with his roommate.

In fact, I feel pretty bad for anybody that goes up against Cordy in this particular venue, cuz Phantom Dennis will take care of 'em.

[> Didn't she have him totally whipped in, like, one episode? -- HonorH, 21:00:27 07/22/03 Tue

And he liked it that way. Thus, I'm going for Queen C, through to the next round!

[> Cordy -- Rochefort, 21:09:37 07/22/03 Tue

Cordy. Watch for her to hook up with Spike after she returns to the show and they get rid of Boreanaz. Won't that be cute?

[> Re: Cordelia vs Phantom Dennis -- ApOpHiS, 21:12:31 07/22/03 Tue

I vote for Cordy, not just for her ill-explained demon powers or because of our brief but torrid affair, but because, even without all of that, she could easily browbeat and shame Dennis into slinking off into the white light he's been ignoring for the last 50 years. Just because he's intangible doesn't mean he can't feel.

[> A tragic first round match up -- cjl, 21:17:39 07/22/03 Tue

This contest cannot and should not happen. manwitch is right--Dennis is completely devoted to Cordy, and to pit the two against each other in combat destroys one of the great platonic love stories of the Whedonverse. Of course, if there has to be a battle to the death, Cordy could obliterate Dennis with eight simple-but-devastating words: "I never loved you and I never will."

[> I suspect that Phantom Dennis . . . -- d'Herblay, 21:19:58 07/22/03 Tue

. . . will have to rely on a lot of phantom voters. So far, his support seems as insubstantial as he is.

[> Isn't Phantom Dennis already Cordywhipped?????? -- Rufus, 21:27:24 07/22/03 Tue

Of course I didn't see Dennis pack up his unmentionables and haunt someplace else.

[> Mine is the lonely (for now) vote for Phantom Dennis -- Dead (but with a well-scrubbed back) Soul, 21:49:59 07/22/03 Tue

Let's see where we are:

Cordy - suffering possible permanent vegitude after two seasons of hairdo humiliation

Phantom Dennis - scrubbing the back of the next young starlet who lucked into that gorgeous rent-controlled apartment.

He had the brains to steer clear of the turgid supernatural soap opera and just watch it from the periphery. Much more entertaining that way.

[> Sorry, Dennis, but we went over this... -- Rob, 22:54:09 07/22/03 Tue

...Cordy is the biggest bitch in Sunnydale. She ain't afraid of no ghosts. Before you'd be able to get in one blow, Cordy will have you sobbing and shaking in the corner as she plays the Evita soundtrack at top volume.


[> Poor Dennis -- KdS, 04:14:21 07/23/03 Wed

Dennis just walks away, unable to do anything to upset his eternal love object. Isn't anyone else sorry for him after S4? Even Connor gets a new family, poor Dennis is just left in that flat, forgotten and alone. Sniff.

[> Re: Cordelia vs Phantom Dennis -- MaeveRigan, 06:54:08 07/23/03 Wed

There's no contest here. Phantom Dennis concedes, he bows out, he yields the field. Cordelia is his queen--he adores her. No way he's going to fight her. Queen C graciously accepts his homage and takes this round without ever having to strike a blow at Dennis's incorporeal being.

[> No contest. (literally!) -- Anneth, 10:45:08 07/23/03 Wed

One whithering look from Queen C'll send this poltergeist screaming for the pearly gates, or wherever is furthest away from her. Of course, Cordy knows that she captures more arrested adolescents with honey than vinegar, so all she has to do is smile gently and bat her eyelashes in his general direction. Or possibly glow a little. Dennis will succumb to her charms and bow out gracefully, leaving Cordelia the winner by gentle, loving default.

[> And now...a real fight! -- Random, 11:08:21 07/23/03 Wed

After much in the way of long hard thought -- way too much, considering that I no longer have many warm yummy feelings for either of these two -- I hav decided to be bold, be trendily untrendy, and cast a vote for the Phantom. The purple spandex may not be an aesthetic wonder, but the imperialism hidden under a thin coat of modern colonial sensitivity means he is backed by powerful forces of evil. His condescension toward the indigenous people is made evident in his "let me save you" heroic persona, and I feel that...huh? What do you mean, it's a different Phantom? Which one are you talki....oh, him! Heh, Cordy would kick his insubstantial ass. Unfortunately, I already voted for the Phantom. Oh well, my vote's not gonna count for much in this contest.

Next Season's Angel. Scene 2: Cat's Don't Bathe. (by request from below) -- Rochefort, 22:24:23 07/22/03 Tue

Scene 2 (scene 1 is in Angel/Spike poster post below)

Shot opens on Wesley. He is in a full body cat suit with painted on whiskers and big fluffy feet. He is wearing his glasses and holding his tail. He looks very Zoobalee Zoo.

Wesley: Meow.

Director: (voice over) Don't SAY meow. You have to DO meow.

(Camara pans to reveal a crowded stage in the theater district of New York. Dancers are stretching their legs.)

Wesley: (looking frustrated. This has clearly been going on for some time.) MEOW!

Director: (sighs) Look, Whyndam-Price, we've already demoted you from Mr. Mestophelees to Cat #3. If you can't manage a real meow...

Wesley: No no, I'm sorry. I know I can do this. Please just give me a chance. Meow. Meow. See it's getting better. Meow.

(A female dancer walks by in spandex. Clearly nobody else is dressed in a cat suit.)

Dancer: Hey sweety, nice tail.

Wesley: (glancing at the dancer, he can't move his head that well) Didn't anyone tell them I'm RUGGED now!? (then in response to the director's heightened chagrin.) meow.

(Cut to Spike's apartment. It's very cool. He's moving around the apartment making dinner, on the phone with:)

Buffy: You brought him INSIDE!?

Spike: I had to, pet. I think he's got mites again. He's yanking out whole patches of his hair.

Buffy: But, Spike, (trying to not be too bugged by it) darling, after I'm done touring the country being free and finding myself and slaying vampires I'm going to LIVE in that apartment with you. And now it's going to have bugs.

Spike: I thought you'd want me to, doll. Plus, I feel bad. I took over his show. Maybe that has SOMEthing to do with the state he's in. I wouldn't think you'd want me to just LEAVE him out there with god knows what desiese. He was playing with Parker again.

Buffy: Oh gross.

(Angel comes walking into the kitchen. He opens the fridge and stares into it blankly.)

Angel: Who's on the phone?

Buffy: Well at least could you keep him out in the garage?

Spike: Love, it's an eighteenth story apartment there's no... (takes the butter away from Angel, but not before Angel takes a big bite out of it, wrapper and all). O.k., yeah I'll keep him in the garage. (Gives Angel a good kick)

(Angel howls)

Buffy: Is that him? Tell him I said hey.

Spike: Buffy says hey.

(Angel stops chewing his butter. He looks mournfully at Spike, his mouth full, a bit of wrapper sticking out.)

Spike: Will I see you in Detroit tonight, love? It's a play off game.

Buffy: I'llll be there. It's not far from Cleveland. Hockey is like ice-capades only... you with no shirt.

Spike: After the game, I can get us the whole rink baby. We can make love on the ice.

Buffy: (we can hear her crinkle her nose, but giggle). You're on the bottom. But you shouldn't talk that way in front of Angel. You know how he is.

(Spike clearly doesn't. He looks at Angel.)

(Angel who has been digging in his ear, looks at his finger which apparantly has mites on it. He stares intently at them, and then eats them.)

Spike: Yeah...right, I know how he is. (covering the receiver) XANDER! Give Angel a bath already.

(Xander walking in from the other room where he was watching t.v.)

Xander: Hey, I wanted to stake the guy a long time ago. Now he's human, and it's too late to stake him, but that's not my fault. YOU give him a bath.

Spike: I'm letting you stay in my apartment on my show.

Xander: Hey don't get all high and mighty. This is no Sunnydale, and the second Willow gets HER own show, I'm going there anyway. I mean there's nothing so great about being ....

Cordelia: (Off Screen) XANNNDER! Come make love to me!

Xander: being...

(Spike raises his eyebrows. Xander starts to go, but Spike grabs Angel by the collar and hands him to Xander. Xander holds his nose.)

Xander: Be right there, hon. Just gotta...wash Stink Guy.

Cordy: Oh you are NOT touching ME after you touch THAT thing.

Xander: (mumbling) Yeah well at least he doesn't have stretch marks from having an alien baby.

Cordy: WHAT did you say!? WHAT did you say!? Xander Harris if I wasn't TOTALLY in love with you again...

(Cordy follows Xander into the bathroom)

Buffy: What's going on? What's all the shouting?

Spike: Cordy is giving Angel a bath.

Buffy: Hm. Hey did you hear from Wesley? Willow says they demoted him. I hope he's doing o.k.

Cut to New York:

Wesley: (taking large leaping dance steps across the stage his tail flying behind him, and sounding like a kid firing a toy gun) Meow! Meow! meowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeowmeow! MEOw! Meow! MEOW!

Back to apartment:

Spike: Not that I'm not loving life here in L.A. like I've never loved life before but...

Buffy: I know. We're not together.

Spike: I just wish you were ... you know, a baked cookie.

(Suddenly a little box that has been sitting by the cookie jar that has a zig-zag door, bursts open to reveal the head of the weird green guy with horns.)

Weird green guy with horns: Wish!? Did someone say WISH!?

Spike: Oh ....b-looody ell.

Buffy: Spike!? SPIKE! (she screams) I'm... I'm...I'm a...

Spike: (in a panic) I'll be right there, baby. (He hangs up)

(Suddenly Stink Guy comes running out of the bathroom naked with patches of his own hair floating off him and bubble bath all over him. He trips over the couch and falls hard on his face. Then he runs out the door blindly.)

Xander: Hey!

Spike: Oh bugger.

Willow: (Walking in from the hall) WHAT was THAT?

Spike: Stink Gu-- Angel ran off. (swelling suspenseful music) And I've got to go to Cleveland. Buffy is a cookie.


[> Rochefort, you totally rock!! Stud muffin, you!! -- deeva, 23:21:38 07/22/03 Tue

LOL! Don't stop there! This is so freakin' hilarious. It's so good to see something like this after the weird twitchiness as of late.

[> rofl rofl rofl! -- MsGiles, 02:07:56 07/23/03 Wed

[> This is starting to be the first thing I look for in the mornings! -- Marie, 02:15:27 07/23/03 Wed

(And is that as sad as it sounds?) You know you have to do more, don't you? Don't you?


[> Can't...stop...laughing.... -- Alison, 04:04:05 07/23/03 Wed

[> All this giggling is destroying my surly work image! -- ponygirl, 08:34:40 07/23/03 Wed

[> Re: Next Season's Angel. Scene 2: Cat's Don't Bathe. (by request from below) -- Rina, 09:20:29 07/23/03 Wed

THIS...IS...HILARIOUS!! I loved it! You are going to post it on a fan fic site. Right?

[> Okay, this is completely hilarious! Please do more. -- pellenaka, 14:39:16 07/23/03 Wed

[> Scene 3: Peeeeeople. People Who Love Fish Sticks. -- Rochefort, 22:19:05 07/23/03 Wed

The Streets of L.A. Late Afternoon.

Angel suddenly runs onto the screen, naked and still carrying remenants of bubble bath. Fast "running" music plays. Angel trips and falls in some trash. The music stops. He is up and running again as the "running" music re-begins. He enters a more crowded pedestrian area. He is confused a moment and covers his face at the sunshine, then runs on. A boy with an ice cream cone pulls his mother's hand and points at Angel. The woman looks too disgusted to even cover her child's eyes and stands aghast. Angel reaches a stretch of grassy park. He runs into it and, getting confused, begins to make large looping circles in the park, running around trees and up and down the green. He sniffs a tree and pees on it. He giggles and starts peeing everywhere.

(Cut to: Spike's Apartment)

Cordelia: Wait. You're saying Lorne is a head in a box and he can grant any wish? When did this happen? How did this happen?

Xander: You were in a coma.

(Cordelia walks over to Lorne's box and picks it up and shakes it. Lorne smiles up at her.)

Lorne: Hi Cordy!

Spike: Can we get going!? My girlfriend is a cookie, probably some kid is ... eating chunks of her. We can hear about the weird green guy in the box another time.

Cordy: So Buffy's face has chocolate chips. It's had worse. (To Lorne) Oh my god, are you o.k.? What happened?

Lorne: It's a long story.

(Camara zooms in on Lorne, closer and closer as it cloudies and blurs...)

(A demon with a battle axe approaches Lorne and slices off his head. It falls on the ground with a thunk. The screen blurs again.)

(We see Spike in his kitchen. He puts Lorne's head in the box with the zig-zag door. He sets it by the cookie jar and then looks in the cabinet and pulls out wheeta-bix.)

Cordelia: (sarcastic) Woww. That is a really great story. So wait... how come you can grant wishes?

Lorne: (With a big smile) I just can. But only one a day, Cordy. So be careful how you use it.

Spike: (mumbling) Yeah or the stupid git will make your girlfriend a cookie. Can we GO people!?

Cordy: Kay, let's get this straight. Don't have a girlfriend. Not the one who's gay. I have Xander. I have a NORMAL love life.

(Camara on Xander who is digging in his own ear)

Xander: Can you catch mites from someone?

Cordy: Eeww, gross.

Willow: O.k., ignoring the "gay is not normal" comment, if Buffy is a cookie, we have to do something.

Cordy: Can't we just unwish it tomorrow?

Spike: (getting angry) We're all missing the point here! I love this woman! (passionate music begins to swell) We have a complicated adult relationship that doesn't require sex. I burnt myself into a little pile of ash for her, and I'd do it again, too. She could be cookie dough forever and it wouldn't change that ... she could be... she could rejoin the show played by a different actress ... even Heather Grahm. And I'd... still.... love her.

Xander: Don't you remember when you thought I was a fish, hon?

Cordy: Oh Xander! I love you! (she gives him a big hug and a kiss.) I'd love you if you were a fish STICK.

(Xander is pleased)

Willow: (in total sweet Willow way) Everybody's changin into lovable food but me.

Xander: O.k. then. We go to Cleveland.

Cordy: Right. I'll pack my bags.

Xander: I'll call the airport.

Willow: (To Spike) You'd love her if she was Heather Grahm?

Spike: Well. Maybe not then. But a lot of other actresses.

Willow: Barbara Streisand?

(Camara zooms in on Spike's face. He is thinking. We see Barbara Streisand in a long blue ball gown in a cemetary. A vampire pops out. She puts her hand to her chest, fingers spread and looks shocked or vaclempt. Then she starts doing flips and karate kicks)

Spike: (shakes his head) Well. Maybe not then.

Willow: (sweet pouty Willow) Doesn't sound like such a great amazing love to me.

Spike: (sighs) Fine. If Sarah Michelle Gellar quit, and they hired Barbara Streisand to be Buffy, then I'd quit too. And they'd hire Sean Connery to play Spike. Then... (smug) I'd still love her. Only I'd be him.

(Camara zooms in on Willow's head. We see Sean Connery in the Bronze dressed in a long black leather jacket with a red shirt on, only it has ruffles like he had at the Oscars. His head is colored in squiggly scribbles with a yellow magic marker and his cheek bones are hollowed with make up.)

Connery-Spike: (looking smoldering) Shumahs, Cahnt you shee I've got a shoul? Ahm drownin in you, Shummahs. Ahm drownin in ya.

Willow: hee hee. O.k., it's a great love.

Spike: Bloody right it is.

[> [> Memo re: Scene 3: I like your script, but if you could just make a few changes... -- Celebaelin, 02:10:52 07/24/03 Thu

A poll taken by the VP (Public Relations) suggests Lorne's head should be kept in an accordian case. Choice of colour and how much mention of this is made is of course entirely up to you.

It is critical in terms of sponsorship that we establish exactly what kind of cookie Buffy has become in this scene. There is heavy leaning towards chocolate chip obviously but the branding is equally important. Will get back to you.

Similarly re fish sticks. Surely a missed opportunity here? Is Cordy implying that she wouldn't mind if Xander became crumby or that she wants to see him battered? The fans will want to know. Particularly those on a certain pain in the posterior website.

Willow should make some cultural reference to her name. Tree or Chinese ceramic orientated alusions are preferred but after her time in England a cricket bat reference is also possible. Would like to suggest the substitution of the words 'foodstuffs', 'food items' or 'snack foods' and 'except'.

Streisand and Connery cameos have fallen through. This must be re-worked for Barbara Bush and Billy Connely.

[> [> [> the changes you requested. But the network is o.k. with the peeing? -- Rochefort, 10:12:39 07/24/03 Thu


(We see Spike in the kitchen, putting Lorne's head in a blue accordian case next to the cookie jar. Then getting the Wheetabix.)

note to editor: I envisioned the box as looking just like Jambi's from Pee Wee Herman. Can the accordian case still look like Jambi's box? Also, let me know about the cookie branding. There will obviously be more cookie-buffy.


Cordy: Oh Xander I love you! (she gives him a big kiss and hug) I'd love you even if you were a fish stick. A crumby battered greasy fish stick.


Willow: O.k., ignoring the "gay is not normal" remark, I am a Chinese ceramic tree.

Addition (hope this is o.k.):

Willow: Everybody is turning into lovable snack foods cept me.

note to editor: I know who Barbara Bush is and that is managable and a lot of fun. But who is Connely? Is he a baseball coach?

[> [> [> [> It never rains... -- Celebaelin, 03:10:26 07/25/03 Fri

As long as any verbal indication as to the nature of the box states that it is an accordian case it can look pretty much like anything you want.

Some good news, Amalgamated Muffin and Buscuit are showing a strong interest. Their product range is extensive and their pocket is pleasingly deep.

Xander needs a comeback re the fish sticks or the monocular rights activists will accuse the network of equating unilateral visual impairment with a lack of sense of humour.

Are fish stick metaphors in some form going to be a recurring theme? If so there are further commercial possibilities.

A suggestion.

I am a Chinese ceramic tree with bats in my belfry.

I am struck by the potential of the words 'comfort food' in the Willow idiom. This would be further indication of a greater distance between Xander and Willow. How do you feel on the matter?

Billy Connolly is a Scottish comedian who played John Brown to Dame Judy Dench's Queen Victoria in the Britfilm Mrs Brown. It will be a challenge to explain how Spike has grown a foot or so and aquired a Glaswegian accent but we're counting on you.



[> [> Connery-Spike is EVIIIILLLLL! hee hee!! Please, may I have more? -- deeva, I think I'm addicted to this now., 10:19:24 07/24/03 Thu

Journey -- Tchaikovsky, 05:49:08 07/23/03 Wed


To Kenny, Abby, KdS, yabyumpan and Rahael

This is the Night Mail, crossing the border
Bringing the cheque and the postal order

Hot day.
Slow burn.
Leave work.
Find train.
Distance run
Old song
Time now spent
Moving on.
Pass the workers
Hived like bees
Pass the plain
The waving trees.
Travel further
Moving on
Distance travelled
Old song.
Lose the platform
Status quo
Find the place
Where one can go
Now as we move on
Clicking and clacking
Inside the carriage
Posting and packing.
Passing through cultures
Flying like switches
Faster than fairies
Faster than witches.
Just like the land
That's flying on through
What may come next will
Fanfare the new.
Flares of new people
In imagination
New as the clocks on the
Waterloo station.
Finding the links that can
Hold us together.
Finding the capital's
Nicest of weather.
Cool like a lake
Accepting a diver
Or like a taxi-cab
Before a driver.
Expectations come
Hurtling by
Wiltshire and Hampshire
And Berkshire and sky.
Finally Surrey
The Oval still passes
Dreaming of Bradman
In nostlagia's glasses.
Forced excitement
Dropping away.
Slowly steadying
End of the day.
Here's the platform
New and wrong.
End of the day.
Old song.
New dream.
New city.
Old self.
Cool night.
Slow calm.
New friends.
Night balm.

Sweet Thames run softly, till I end my song

And so, as evening softens on the wall
I find myself again where dreams are made.
At least for in my head. The ebullient call,
Of London to its blurred inhabitants
That time is not for keeping coiled away
Seems never to affect me, for where they
Are hurried through their baguettes to their homes
I dawdle, dwindling evening to a pocket.
Here memories coexist, and coalesce
Until I see the contradiction, Lord's
With mouth of Space Age yet pavilion's style
So eighteenth-century, with stolid pride.
And Tate, assuredly modern, next to span
Uncertain bridge not sure of century's weight
For other side lives questioning St Paul's.
While ever knowing- never quite forgives.

The streets darken a little- Monet leaves
And something more Picassian takes the stage
The Barbican presents what it decides
While London shows us everything we know.
Half-eaten sandwiches, a taxi-cab,
The Thames, still sparkling, ever to connect-
Wordsworth, thou shouldst be living at this hour!
Like strains of half-forgotten antiphons
Without reply for now- and yet- Old songs.

Meandering like a needle through a cloth
I, less than sharp but full of new directions
Defect from Southern London's brooding style
To businessmen and universal bars.
Still leafy, thinks the wind, which passes through
Still incorporeal to do its bidding
I slump, observe, pretend I can't affect.
But soon I shall be curled inside a group
That modern webs have binded gossamer tight
And rage against the dying of the light.

In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo

'Am I in the right place?' 'Probably Tchai-
kovsky?' Relieved they find a smiling I
Laconic. All these people gathered in
And just for talking. Listening a sin?
I know the answer's no, St Paul's reminds
And so the small talk casually grinds.
Although we know each other's selves from selves
And posted dozens, scores, in twenties, twelves
Although each one of us might understand
A film of custard skin lies, as if pre-planned
An hour quick burns the distance right away
Until extinguished evening ends the day.

The table, circular, admits no King
A democratic, social kind of thing.
Each person sometimes mumbles in their way
Then lets the other dogs all have their day.
The food, Italian, bubbles with good grace
The water flows, wine sometimes in its place.
The conversation turns quite soon to stories
of mythic people- magic allegories
Through which the group can find the webs it weaves
The friendship made, and threatened and reprieved.
Little invective flows, a bubbling brook
Is easier to swim than overlook.
Electric light slows the impending dusk
The smell of caramel, and cars and musk
The ever-scented etheris-ed evening
Allows us all to follow where it's leading.
There's laughter, grace, articulate viveurs
Disgruntlement and loss, both howls and purrs
Strangely coherent to our very end
An aria that 144 could send
To sleep. And finally, as night grows long.
We move from our old table, show, and song.

Moon River, wider than a mile

So what of this life? This thing which may
Be flowing, to an estuary of some kind.
It's not a Mississippi. Whereever I'm going
Is some place else. Neither a Thames. Invested
With a history I half-understand. Losing
an ium from Italians, yet still full of
Pasta and hospitality.

How can we weave webs across the world if we
Are a river. Perhaps we are a maze. Or our life is.
One with no centre. Sometimes we are
Deceptively close to people. Other times
Lifetimes away. Our paths diverge, interplay
Distinct, confused, doubling back.
Eventually, one day, with the sound of the
Dreaded, haunted crickets- we find our exit- of
Relief and release and completion and pointlessness.

While we find people in our maze, spun together
By the maze's web itself, we should value it.
Repeat those old songs, complemented with new ones.
Hum ourselves to sleep, to life, to death.
For what is Weetabix and orange juice and
Suspicious cats if not a fabric, uncreosoted-
Yet real. A method of sharing a path that we must take
Alone. We can share power, we can share ourselves
But we must find our journey ourselves.
Not just a train, or a wander through a dream
Or a metaphor in a cafe. A life-dream
Whole. Through the slow burns of hot days
The cool of the evening's divers. And all of it.
Fragmented, nearly headless. Transitory.
Cliched. Repetitive. But ever new. Like
Rerolled dough with enough stretch for another
Mince Pie. Christmas and Summer. Life and Death.
Angels. Here's a place to start:


[> Lovely. Will reread -- KdS, 06:06:03 07/23/03 Wed

[> What an honour! -- Rahael, 07:24:19 07/23/03 Wed

[> You've got my vote for official board bard! Lovely stuff! -- ponygirl, 08:14:27 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> ...and your poetry will never be barred from the board! -- anom, 11:07:01 07/23/03 Wed

Well, that's not official till Masq says it, but I can't imagine she'd disagree.

I said it once before: now you know--do post your poems! (Hey, does that mean I can take any credit for the appearance of this one? Nah...you said earlier than that that you were gonna post it...well, I tried.)

[> [> [> You can take some credit :-) -- Tchaikovsky, 02:53:40 07/24/03 Thu

I was thinking about posting it elsewhere until your post.


[> That was amazing! -- WickedBuffy, 08:32:34 07/23/03 Wed

[> Beautiful, thank you :o) -- yabyumpan (&Pan), 08:39:33 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> LOL. I thought Pan might come round if I put him in! -- TCH, 08:56:23 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> [> PURRRRR, PURRRRR, SUGGLE SNUGGLE -- Pan ;o), 09:16:39 07/23/03 Wed

[> Wonderful, TCH -- Arethusa, 09:29:27 07/23/03 Wed

You make an amazing experience even richer with your luminous posts. (William would be so envious. ;))

[> Beautiful! And speaking of the Tate... -- Rob, 10:26:04 07/23/03 Wed

...am I the only one who thinks the sliding glass doors should be a bit more distinguishable from the wall around them? I had the most embarassing and physically painful experience of my vacation two years back when I walked into one of the walls, thinking it was an open door. Oof!


[> [> And you know what all the people around you were thinking -- Tchaikovsky, 02:52:24 07/24/03 Thu

"Bloody colonials"

Poor Rob! I have to say that I didn't have that experience. I had the greatest of times at the Matisse Picasso exhibition. I don't really know anything about visual art, but their paintings blew me away. In particular, there was a painting, (someone here will know it) painted by Picasso shortly after Matisse's death. It was a characteristic Matisse-ian painting- but with all the colour drained out of it, leaving only greys, blacks and the odd fleck of brown. It was a moving requiem form one great artist to another, and I spent ages thinking about death.

Then I went to the cafe and started complaining about the price of the cakes. You know, I should really get my abstract and practical minds to mesh a bit more- I might worry less about tiny things...

TCH- stream-of-consciousnessing

[> [> [> Re: And you know what all the people around you were thinking -- Rob, 09:29:13 07/24/03 Thu

"Bloody colonials"

LOL! Believe me, that was definitely on my mind, as I stumbled back from the wall with cartoon birds circling around my head and at least 8 people around me stopping dead in their tracks. My friend wouldn't even look me in the face, instead attempting a casual aloofness to project the notion that we had never met. Compassionate guy that he is, my protestations that, "Hey! I'm the one in incredible pain here!" didn't yield any response from him besides eye-rolling. Therefore, although I have a vague recollection of seeing some beautiful artwork in the two hours I spent at the Tate, I could not for the life of me tell you what I saw. It all seems to be dulled by the memory of throbbing pain and red-faced embarassment. Oh, wait, I do remember a sculpture of a human leg sticking out of a white wall. I hope!

And I dimly recall purchasing two blank journals. That, of course, is only because I have them at home.

I remember the Dali Universe exhibition (which, I believe, had just opened recently) at the County Hall Gallery with much greater clarity. I spent hours there, taking in all the bizarre yet strangely understandable juxtapositions of form and object. I particularly loved The Snail and the Angel sculpture. The entire structure of the gallery itself made me feel like I was inside a surrealist painting...Wonderful place. I bought an (overpriced) book in the gift shop.

Come to think of it, I went through both museums in a daze. Only one of them, however, was the good kind. ;o)


[> Loved it. flows so well esp part I (my fave) (NT) -- btvsk8, 15:03:46 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> Interesting -- Tchaikovsky, 02:45:58 07/24/03 Thu

Part Four is my favourite, because for me personally (and of course, authorial intent is highly over-rated) it's when I start being honest about two things. Firstly, the journey isn't just the train journey or the journey across London or even Buffy's journey, but my own. And secondly, the scheme of the first one is highly deliberate, in the second one I try to be Eliot, and in the third one the rhyming couplets are a little bit too binding.

Thanks, and thanks to everyone else- you're all too kind!


[> Epic event! Hey, so sorry I missed it :( -- MsGiles, 03:10:43 07/24/03 Thu

Lorne and alcohol -- meritaten, 01:51:06 07/23/03 Wed

I recently noticed as I watched the tapes of S4 that Lorne almost always has a drink in his hand. Perhaps the fact that I watched this season in just a couple of sitting made this more noticeable? Anyway, I was curious if others had noticed this and read anything from it? It is not as if Lorne has been depicted as an alcoholic (ie, with the associated behavioral issues), but it can't be accidental that he is (almost) always shown with a drink to his lips. Any ideas on what the authors are saying? I had previously thought that the alcohol was a part of his whole Caritos (sorry, can't remember the spelling) image, but now I am wondering.....

[> I think in one episode -- KdS, 04:17:31 07/23/03 Wed

They said that alcohol has no effect on him (forgot which ep, fairly early), so they must have been aware of the possible interpretations and wanted to step on them. Maybe he just likes the flavour.

[> [> Re: I think in one episode -- ponygirl, 08:21:08 07/23/03 Wed

I thought it very telling, if I'm not mistaken, that when Lorne found out the truth about Jasmine he took a drink. It supports the idea that he is getting something from alcohol. Comfort? Support for his self-image as the detached commentator on the proceedings?

[> [> [> I think that was the moment .... -- meritaten, 20:55:46 07/23/03 Wed

that I realized he always had a drink in his hand. THen I rewatched the tapes, and sure enough....

[> Re: Lorne and alcohol -- Diana, 05:15:31 07/23/03 Wed

Angel is modeled after a recovering alcoholic. In one scene, I really forget which episode, Lorne mentions that he wishes he could get drunk. Even though we tend to see Lorne with a drink in his hand, it doesn't seem to affect him. His Pylean biology, which puts his heart in his ass, doesn't allow him to get drunk.

Angel is an incredibly perceptive guy. He couldn't do the things he does as Angelus if he wasn't. This season, with Angelus in a cage, we saw that Angel wasn't as clueless about what was going on around him as we thought.

Lorne represents this trait of Angel. Angel tends to only use it when he falls off the wagon when he becomes Angelus. I believe that is why we always see Lorne drinking. The interesting question becomes why doesn't Angel exhibit this trait when he is souled. I believe that Lorne can't get drunk is important to answering this. I also believe that season 5 Angel will exhibit this trait more.

[> [> Re: Lorne and alcohol -- meritaten, 21:10:26 07/23/03 Wed

"Lorne represents this trait of Angel. Angel tends to only use it when he falls off the wagon when he becomes Angelus. I believe that is why we always see Lorne drinking. The interesting question becomes why doesn't Angel exhibit this trait when he is souled. I believe that Lorne can't get drunk is important to answering this. I also believe that season 5 Angel will exhibit this trait more."

Interesting, but I'm not sure that I really understand what you mean. Could you explain this thought a little more? I'm a bit fuzzy on what exactly you mean by "this trait".

It seems that we got a look at everyone's dark side this season - except for Lorne (unless you count his being fooled into that evil job in Vegas). I guess I was wondering if this was was pointing to a darkness within him.

[> [> [> Interesting note -- Finn Mac Cool, 22:46:35 07/23/03 Wed

The only people who didn't commit murder or act as accomplices to murder this season were the demons: Angel and Lorne. To quote Wesley:

"Who ever thought the humans would be the most corruptible?"

[> [> [> [> Re: Interesting note -- meritaten, 22:50:52 07/23/03 Wed

Hmmm... hadn't thoguht of it that way.

Refresh my memory, who did Wes kill? I can think of lots of dark acts, but can't recall any dead bodies (other than vamps and demons).

[> [> [> [> [> I think Finn is referring to Seidel -- Scroll, 00:07:47 07/24/03 Thu

Wesley aided and abetted Fred in her vengeance kick against Seidel. So even though Wesley didn't actually kill Seidel, his actions led to Fred trying to kill Seidel, which then led to Gunn actually killing Seidel. Does that make sense?

And I like the idea that Lorne's drinking is a nod to the 'Angel as recovering drunk' metaphor. I just don't know how consistent the parallels are, though. Anyone remember if Lorne ever drinks anything while Angel is gone and Angelus is running around? Cuz if the metaphor/parallel holds true then Lorne should only be drinking when Angel is ensouled. That make sense? It's 3 am and I'm not sure what I'm talking about anymore!

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I think Finn is referring to Seidel -- meritaten, 02:03:28 07/24/03 Thu

thanks. I'd forgotten Wes was in on that.

I'll have to watch the tapes again to see if Lorne is drinking while Angelus is around.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Or, if you look at it this way: -- Finn Mac Cool, 11:54:05 07/24/03 Thu

The only character on the show in Season 4 who never killed anyone or was a party to killing anyone was Lorne, the only one who actually looks like a demon.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> true -- meritaten, 16:07:34 07/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Interestingly, enough... -- LittleBit, 09:00:08 07/26/03 Sat

Lorne has a glass in his hand immediately following the return of Angelus when they are all in the office watching Wes put the soul in the safe. The only other time he has a glass of anything in his hand while Angelus is there is when Fred gives him what appears to be iced tea after Angelus knocked him out.

[> [> [> [> But then again..... -- meritaten, 23:01:25 07/23/03 Wed

Angel's dark side - ie, Angelus - is something we've always been aware of. And, Angelus did make an appearance and certainly added some bodies to his count. Interestingly, Angelus seemed to be used to bring into the open (to the others within the show) the dark deeds of Angel's team. (Forgive me if I got that wrong, that episode had badly garbled sound on my tape, and I can't hear worth a damn to begin with. I had to guess at most of the dialogue.) Did he have anything to say about Lorne? While I think your idea that Lorne and Angel may be intentionally treated in opposition to humans is interesting, I'm not entirely convinced that is the only reason Lorne's dark side wasn't shown. Besides, Conner and Cordy are both part-demon, and they killed.

[> [> Re: Lorne and alcohol--Spoilers for Home. -- Arethusa, 08:15:47 07/24/03 Thu

I don't understand. Are you saying Lorne personifies Angel's perceptiveness? When we see Lorne with a drink, that means Angel is being perceptive, but we can't see it because only Angelus is being portrayed as perceptive? Or when we see Lorne with a drink we are supposed to remember that Angel is really perceptive, he just doesn't seem to be? Perhaps you could list the times Lorne held a drink when Angel was being perceptive but not seeming to be perceptive. And how can Angelus be perceptive and Angel not be, when they are the same person? (And is ME sending the message that only evil people or drunks can be perceptive?)

Do you think Angel will be more perceptive next year? Why? How will this fit in with the inevitable moral conflicts within W&H?

[> [> [> Clarification as requested -- Diana, 09:43:58 07/24/03 Thu

In order to be able to seduce or hurt someone, you have to be perceptive. Spike is seen as Mr. Perspective Guy (and this isn't a slam on him, so save the flames), but to me what is important is that as Angel's foil, why Spike is perceptive and why Angel doesn't seem to be.

Recently I have begun to explore the various voices of the characters and how the writers use the secondary and tertiary characters not only to move the plot along, but to show what is going on inside of Angel. This was done exceedingly well in "Calvary" and "Sacrifice." We have heart-mind-spirit shown by Fred-Wes-Gunn, but they aren't the only other characters. Lorne is a player now, too.


Lorne's character's job is to read others. Angel CAN do this. We saw him do is exceedingly well as Angelus this season. Why doesn't he? When someone drinks, he loses his inhibitions. It is these inhibitions (which we can discuss) that keep Angel from reading others. Lorne represents this ability of Angel to read others that Angel is unable to access because of his inhibitions. Lorne doesn't have those inhibitions because of the drink in his hand.

When Lorne says something, Angel is saying that somewhere deep inside. He doesn't want to admit it or he doesn't even realize it for whatever reason, but it is something he realizes on some level. He can't access that because he is afraid of falling off the wagon. I tried to illustrate this when I explained why I think he is so silent.

An interesting thing about "Home" is when Lorne is in the limo, he is talking about drinking. Angel has to lose his inhibitions in order to go in the first place. Whenever Angel has something really hard to face, Lorne brings up drinking. He'll talk to his bar tender or take a drink himself. Lorne uses alcohol to relax, which shows us that Angel needs to relax in order to see something.

But alcohol doesn't just relax us. It makes us drunk. Think back to "Eternity." Angel relaxed, good. Angel drunk/high, seriously bad. Angel has figured out a lot and is a lot more relaxed. I can see this creating a false sense of security that WKCS is needed to balance. It will be this false sense of security that Angel gets by losing his inhibitions that will lead to whatever corruption he has to momentarily circumb to.

Just as Angelus became overconfident in his perceptions S2 of BtVS and that led to his downfall, I see a similar thing happening S5 of AtS. Fine line between tipsy and drunk. There is a reason Angel is so scared of it.

As for Lorne's dark side, closest thing we have really seen of that is his cowardice S2 with the Pylean arc. Next season, as Angel's perception misleads him, I would say that Lorne will face something similar. "I know what you represent, evil...which happens to be just about everyone I ever wanted to meet."

Just what I see. Hopefully when I go more into how the various characters mirror Angel and why they are so different from Buffy's mirrors, this will all make more sense.

[> [> [> [> Very interesting stuff, Diana! -- Scroll, 10:05:39 07/24/03 Thu

I never considered it like that before, Lorne being a shadow-self of Angel via his drinking and dulling of his perception and "wit" :) Much to think on...

[> [> [> [> [> ditto -- meritaten, 16:30:07 07/24/03 Thu

I can't wait to rewatch this season with this in mind.

[> [> [> [> Re: Clarification as requested -- Arethusa, 20:18:25 07/24/03 Thu

What are Angel's inhibitions, and why do they keep him from reading others? Why would Angel need inhibitions to keep himself from reading others-being perceptive?

[> [> [> [> [> Hmm, not sure I can answer but I'll try -- Scroll, 21:53:05 07/24/03 Thu

What are Angel's inhibitions, and why do they keep him from reading others? Why would Angel need inhibitions to keep himself from reading others-being perceptive?

I think we can safely say that Angel is definitely more inhibited than Angelus. I'm not sure what it is exactly that holds Angel back; I think it's a combination of being a vampire among humans, being a vampire burdened with a soul and still feeling guilt, being unable to break away from the emotions and sheer weight of his history that comes from having a soul. Angelus is free in ways Angel can never be: free to have fun, free to go with his passions, free to be cruel and psychologically manipulative. Angel clearly does notice things -- he knew all along that Fred and Gunn had killed Seidel, though we the audience assumed until "Calvary" that he was totally ignorant of this crime. But really, Angel perceived their guilt, the reason for it, and even the actual murderer (Gunn). But because of his soul, he never really examines the facts and tiny details he picks up. He's too caught up in "life" and being friends with these humans around him to string everything together in an instant, the way Angelus can.

In the same way, Angel should have noticed the fact that Cordelia was not Cordelia, that she was behaving in strange ways that "disorientation/depression from leaving a higher plane" really didn't explain. But he was so bound up in his emotions, love and guilt and anger, that he couldn't see the trap being laid right in front of him. Of course, Angelus didn't see it all either, but he had a few more clues than Angel did.

Okay, now here's where I get kinda confusing. I think that the part of Angel that is still Angelus had already figured out Gunn killing Seidel way back in "Supersymmetry". I think Angel probably even consciously knew (not just subconsciously) that Gunn had killed Seidel. But Angel keeps himself separate enough from that cold, analytical, soulless part of him (Angelus) that he won't "acknowledge" Gunn's actions to himself. In that way, I think Angel is "less perceptive". I don't know if this makes much sense, sorry! I know I'm not explaining it well. I guess this comes down to Rob's (or was it Rufus'?) idea that Angel really does have a split personality. An idea I don't normally subscribe to, but one which I think helps explain Angel's ability to "consciously know" these hard, cold, horrible thoughts (like that his friend is capable of murder) but still not "acknowledge" them.

After his soul is restored, Angel retains a little of that Angelus distance that allows him to finally put together all the pieces -- leading to him to finger Evil!Cordelia as the power manipulating them all. Angel needed that detachment Angelus brings, to step away from the mess of emotions that comes part and parcel with the soul, in order to see things clearly at last.

Whew! Okay, I have no idea if this is what Diana is talking about. I could be completely off base from what she's trying to say. I didn't even talk anything about drinking and/or losing inhibitions. This was just something I thought of this minute and wanted to try to make sense in my own head. Did it come through to you? Let me know, cuz I think I'm completely lost myself!

[> [> [> [> [> [> I agree. -- Arethusa, 07:36:57 07/25/03 Fri

You make a lot of sense! I agree that Angel won't let himself think about the negative behavior he sees in his friends, any more than he will fully acknowledge the evil he's done. Therefore he seems to have developed a split personality, since he has so thoroughly distanced himself from his evil deeds.

What I don't understand is the correlation Diana makes between being perceptive and being evil. Angel knows that the only way he'll become Angelus is by having a moment of bliss. Thinking bad or negative thoughts about others won't make him evil unless Angel himself is such a rotten person that he will emotionally eviscerate his friends if he acknowledges to hiimself that they do bad things. Diana has said before that Angel has a very strong (positive) moral compass, so I don't see why he would worry about losing his inhibitions as Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Angel's inhibitions -- Diana, 10:27:59 07/25/03 Fri

I'm trying to figure out how to put what I see as key to this interesting character. I feel they gave us the Angelus arc in order to show us this trait. I will admit up front that I'm sure there is a heck of lot of projection going on in my analyses of Angel. If I didn't identify with him so strongly, he wouldn't captivate me like he does. Still feel free to tell me I'm full of shit :-)

For me, the key to Angel/us was given in "Release."

I know how it feels-forced to be someone you're not. Hurts to the bone. You try to bury the pain, but you can't get the hole deep enough, can you? No matter how much you dig, it's still there. Broken shards stabbing every time you breathe, cutting you up inside. You know, there's only one way to make the pain stop. Hurt someone else.

That is probably where the title came from. The line could just as easily have been there's only one way to release the pain.

So we have Liam/Angel/us who is this creature in intense pain. As human, Liam buries that pain with wine, women and fistacuffs. As a soulless vampire, he deals with it by "hurt[ing] someone else." That really shows well in the vamping of Drusilla. As a soulled vampire, his conscience won't let him do this. Instead he learns that there is another way to stop the pain, reach out to others.

But we have seen Angel lash out. He is really good at yelling at Buffy and pushing her buttons. The perception that allows him to understand and help her lets him also hurt her. He does this by calling her a brat in "Graduation Day Part 1." He knows just how to cut her in "Sanctuary." That isn't even going into the whole Angelus stuff from s2 of BtVS.

That is just Buffy. Angel tried to kill Wesley season 3. Even though intellectually he knew that Wes didn't mean to hurt anyone and was only doing what he thought best, Angel was hurting to the bone and lashed out rather violently. Can you imagine how scared Angel was this season of hurting either his son or Cordy? While on Wes' boat and still hallucinating, he tells Connor-hallucination that he should have killed him.

If Angel isn't perceptive, he can't use that perception to hurt people. There is another side also. With great power comes great responsibility. The ability to read others is a great power. Angel knew what was going on with Gunn/Fred/Wesley. What could he do about this? His friends are hurting and he can't do anything about it. That causes him even more pain. Just as Buffy tried to turn a blind eye to the world's pain season 6 and hated having power, Angel is in a similar boat.

That is perception of others. Because he has a soul, he doesn't want to hurt them and doesn't want to see them hurting, so he tries to bury his perception. That is where a lot of his inhibitions come from.

Then there is himself. Lorne is introduced the season that is all about Angel's epiphany. The Pylean Arc, which takes Lorne home so that he has to deal with his past, is what allows Angel to face the pure form of his demon. Angel's lack of perception seems to be most glaring when it comes to himself. Honestly is sucks to be self-perceptive. You know why you hurt, but there isn't a whole lot you can do about it. It is like looking up at some huge mountain. Self-perception says, "There is a mountain in front of you." It still doesn't say how to climb it and climbing it is a real bitch.

Without a soul, Angel has no desire to really climb that mountain. He lives totally in the moment. He is Id boy. Id boy knows he is Id boy and loves every moment of it. Put back the soul and knowing you are Id boy sucks. Why would you want to see that? You don't want to be Id boy. I dealt with this more in the Angel as Frat Boy part of my random thoughts thread.

In "Orpheus" Angelus taunts Angel by saying "Always so concerned with the human condition. (throws Angel down the alley) It's no big mystery, man. They suffer, they die. That's what they're there for." Angelus (and Spike's) perception is not complete because he doesn't understand somethings. There is more to the human condition than what Angelus says, but he can't see that. What Angel is trying to do with Faith is that something more. That something more is what causes Angel's inhibitions when it comes to being able to read people, act or speak.

Angel wants to help people. Even though his perception both of himself and of others would allow him to do this better, it is a double edged sword, one he is reluctant to pick up.

Hope that made some modicum of sense.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I understand what you're getting at, and agree. -- Arethusa, 11:01:11 07/25/03 Fri

That's why your earlier statements about Angel's strong moral compass and big, pure heart confused me. If Angel was chosen by TPTB because of his Champion heart, he wouldn't be the sort of person who has to constantly guard himself from doing and saying bad things-at least that is my interpretation. YMMV.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> More to us than our heart, though -- Diana, 11:21:39 07/25/03 Fri

I tried to explain this in Angel as Frat Boy.

His strong moral compass lets him know what is right and makes him feel bad when he does bad things. It isn't the only thing though. He is still Id boy on some level. Angelus is just Id boy. Angel is Id boy and Champion Heart. It is the conflict of these that drives the story. It is the conflict of these that causes him to constantly guard himself both from being hurt and from hurting others.

Angel CURRENTLY is the sort of person that has to constantly guard himself. As the series progresses, he has to guard himself less and less. That to me is what the series is about. The PTBs have been shaping him into something based on his Champion's heart. They are helping him overcome Id boy. Instead of lashing out, he reaches out. It really is a beautiful story.

Just how I see it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> random thoughts that came as I read these posts... -- meritaten, 00:27:26 07/26/03 Sat

As I have been readings these posts, two things have occurred to me. I'm basically throwing them out before thinking them through, but...

1. What to do with information when you are dysfunctional...? I've seen two approaches (not saying there aren't more, but this has been my experience). You either use the information to hurt people or you go into denial. Yes, my own family's dysfunctional patterns are what I'm basing this on. My mother would use whatever she knew to hurt the people around her when they displeased her (actions she learned from her alcoholic father, I assume). My father pretended nothing was happening - about the original information and about my mother's actions. Perhaps Angel and Angelus operate on these two extremes?

2. Previous excesses might lead to later repression? Knowing that you have the tendency (or potential?) to act in an extreme fashion might cause one to try to bury or deny those things that might be taken to an extreme in order not to make the same mistakes again. I know this isn't well expressed. For those who are DS9 fans, this reminds me of an episode that explained why Whorf was so repressed despite his being a Klingon. As a child, living amoung humans, he made a mistake. He was playing football, or some other contact sport, and got absorbed in the game, forgetting that he was stronger and less easily broken than his human friends. There was an accident and his friend was killed. Whorf had barely felt the impact, but this impact had killed his friend. THe lesson he learned from that was that he must always be careful, because the slightest miscalculation on his part could cause severe damage to others. Perhaps Angel is aware of how much hurt he can inflict when he acknowledges information? If he is afraid of hurting with this knowledge, perhaps he choses to deny its existence?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Excellent points, very much agree -- Scroll, 06:35:06 07/26/03 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree too; good post.. -- Arethusa, 07:14:13 07/26/03 Sat

I think you're very right on how Angel handles the problems of others. Angel tries to ignore them, perhaps hoping they'll just go away. Just as Willow always tried to run away from or smooth over painful discussions, such as in Selfless when Buffy reminded Xander she had to kill Angel. Angelus, of course, is an SOB who uses his ammunition when it can hurt the most.

And yes, Angel is still a vampire, with the bloodlust and violent tendencies, including aggressiveness. And since his father's weapon of choice appeared to be his words, Angel often does the same.

I wanted to point out to Diana that her view of Angel as good-hearted to the point of being favored by the gods, contradicted her statement that Angel consistantly had to repress his agressive and cruel side. Angel is both.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree too; good post.. -- Diana, 10:22:25 07/26/03 Sat

I wanted to point out to Diana that her view of Angel as good-hearted to the point of being favored by the gods, contradicted her statement that Angel consistantly had to repress his agressive and cruel side. Angel is both.

I have never denied Angel's Id side. Angel's heart is huge, just like Buffy's, which is WHY he hurts so much. If Angel didn't have champion heart, to the point where the PTB are interested in him, he wouldn't worry so much about hurting others and he wouldn't be hurt by the pain that surrounds him. Buffy and Angel's love (and I mean in general, not just for each other) is brighter than the fire. Not so with Wesley, Giles etc. It is this that makes them into heros. Just because I talk about his heart a lot doesn't mean that I don't see the rest of him.

One of my first posts here was about this sacred heart. I have compared his path to that of a Bodhisattva. If he didn't have a darker side, he wouldn't be on the path. He would be there. And I wouldn't say he "Constantly" has to repress this side. As the show progresses, he has to supress it less and less because he is replacing the need to lash out with the desire to reach out. Angel is a bit more than just two sides in conflict.

At least the Angel I see is.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Last post on this-I promise!. -- Arethusa, 12:21:30 07/26/03 Sat

Angel is an anti-hero. That is canon, from both Whedon and Greenwalt.

At the 18th Paley TV Festival,Whedon said ..."we came up with the idea of redemption, of alcoholism as a metaphor. As sort of a period in your life where instead of coming up in the world as Buffy is, you're sort of in the world and you realize that you've done a bunch of incredibly stupid things in it. Once we realized we had that metaphor to work with then we knew we had an actual show to go around this charismatic character." (From cityofangel.com)

Angel's a guy who's thoroughly messed up his life, and now is trying to set things right. Yes, he's a hero, but so are the others at AI and the Scoobies. Really, I think the only thing we disagree on is what constitutes a hero. I think they are regular people who do extraordinary things, and I think you see them as extraordinary people doing extraordinary things. Marvel versus DC, as shadowkat pointed out, and that's just personal preference.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's where Angel STARTED -- Diana, 13:19:29 07/26/03 Sat

But as they have written an entire series around him, there had to be a bit more than just redemption to him. Once they got him to his Epiphany, just like they realized with "Innocence" what they really had, they realized they could take Angel to some really amazing places.

I like Angel because after you realize that you can never make up for things, then what? What happens when you can't make Amends? Angel was a monster and he doesn't know how to be anything else. The story has become about learning what it means to be human. In some ways because he can't take things for granted, he has become the Uber-human.

I like the story. Redemption was just the tiniest part of it. As Manwitch said, once they took him to his own show, he became the top dog and things happened, to me amazing things.

As for what is a hero, if everyone was a hero than the world wouldn't be so screwed up. Giles is the Man behind Blue Eyes, not Buffy. A hero is someone with that heart where circumstances bring out that heart. For whatever reason (in Buddhism we say they have dust in their eyes) not everyone has it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Excellent points and I don't have to add anything :-) -- Diana, 10:13:25 07/26/03 Sat

[> Re: Lorne and alcohol -- Ann, 13:02:13 07/23/03 Wed

I just thought it was part of his persona as a "brat packy - Sinatra styled lounge singer". The Frank Sinatra, Sammy Davis, and Dean Martin stylings that always included a drink and a cigarette.

[> [> Re: Lorne and alcohol -- meritaten, 21:02:24 07/23/03 Wed

That is what I thought at first, but then I got to wondering... Not saying that is does have meaning, but I got to thinking about it and wanted to hear what others thought. Thanks for your input.

[> [> Yes, I agree. -- Arethusa, 07:33:18 07/24/03 Thu

I can imagine Lorne being sucked through the portal in Pylea, ending up on our garish planet terrified and lost, than hearing a strange noise that he has only heard before in his imagination. Irrisistably drawn to the exotic sounds, he wanders into the shadowy doorway of a martini lounge, where he immediately and for all time falls in love with the twinkling lights, smokey air, and, most of all, the lounge singer in a shiny jacket singing "Feelings." Or maybe "Mandy."

Having a glass in hand might be like a child's blankie, there for comfort rather than warmth. It helps him maintain the new image of himself that gives him so much happiness.

[> [> [> Re: Lorne and lighting and makeup -- Ann, 19:46:11 07/24/03 Thu

The atmosphere around Lorne always seems to be lit differently even when he is not on stage in Vegas. I don't know if they use different lighting around him specifically or if it is the wardrobe or makeup, more "reflective" perhaps, but he is decidedly better lit than the other characters. The drink adds to that "bright, shiny" persona in that it also reflects the light. This all contrasts nicely with the fact that he is a demon.

Fwd: Essay: Domestic Penetration -- ponygirl, 12:26:41 07/23/03 Wed

I'm very excited! The lovely Scroll found this amazing essay the other day and now its author, Thamiris, has very kindly allowed me to repost it here.

While a large part of the essay concerns shows with which I have little or no familiarity I think its ideas can be discussed with regard to any number of programs - especially AtS with its domestic issues and use of space. Plus it's really fun! Enjoy:

Domestic Penetration: Queering the Home in Highlander, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, The Sentinel, and Smallville

by Thamiris

There's something undeniably penetrative when one man invites another into his home, when one man invites himself in. Mi casa es su casa, Methos says as Duncan enters his house uninvited, a come-on so queer that the set designer's forced to display naked statuesque tits complete with erect nipples beside Duncan's head in a laughably impotent reminder of canonical heterosexuality. In case savvy viewers missed the queer nature of this invitation issued at first meeting, in the same episode, five-thousand-year-old Methos offers Duncan (his) head, assuring him that only through this sacrifice will Duncan be powerful enough to stop the baddie. That original entry into Methos' home marks the start of a beautiful friendship.

Stepping into a guy's house--or his loft, basement, or mansion--reconfigures male relationships, binding the men like gay Crazy Glue by placing them in a locus where normative gender boundaries break down, pushing the limits of what it means to be a man. Inside the domestic sphere, men can play with traditional definitions of masculinity, sometimes appropriating stereotypical female roles to produce in this hidden interior behavior that's flirty, subversive and queer as a drag queen's red leather corset. A house is a body, as Freud suggests: it's the place that keeps it, the place that mimics its open and closed boundaries. When Duncan enters Methos' house, he's performing an action that immediately creates a high degree of intimacy between them, confirmed by Methos' offer of a beer: they're now co-joined in such a way that the secretive Methos doesn't even deny his identity. He wants Duncan there, has left his door open to be entered, even lounges by his bed waiting for the penetration.

As I'll argue below, this entry into the home joins the characters in a tight relationship not unlike marriage, turning them into metaphorical lovers, with the tenor of the relationship then changing, becoming warmer and decidedly queer. In particular, this acceptance into the domestic space shakes up the views of the more conventionally masculine character, the one with the more rigid view of male behavior, generally the one whose life has been posited on aggression: the Horseman, the vampire, the cop, the magnate.

While Spike and Xander always trade quips on BtVS, when Spike moves into Xander's basement in Hush their dialogue becomes highly suggestive:

Spike: Don't see why I have to be tied up.
Xander: It's just while I'm sleeping.
Spike: Like I'd bite you anyway.
Xander: Oh, you would.
Spike: Not bloody likely.
Xander: I happen to be very biteable, pal. I'm moist and delicious.
Spike: All right, yeah, fine. You're a nummy treat.
Xander: And don't you forget it.

Houses are like bodies, so entering them without permission is an invasion, a point that vampire lore itself highlights, where the invitation to enter a residence is an implicit invitation to be penetrated by vampiric teeth. Locks function as a kind of meta-chastity belt, and when opened lead to a confusion of conventional sexual barriers. Part of this confusion comes from the conspicuous reconfiguration of standard gender roles, the reappropriation of normative domestic vocabulary. In the above example from BtVS, Spike's presence in Xander's basement triggers a conversation that appropriates the language of the kitchen, relying on food metaphors for its erotic power. To eat is suddenly infused with a new, sexier dimension; it's no longer just Mom and Dad with a knife and fork at the dinner table.

Moreover, the element of violence always implicit in the vampire bite is replaced with an insistence on taste and flavor, emphasizing Xander's appeal as a biteable subject, one that Spike would enjoy in an unconventional way. That Spike is bound and in Xander's home upends the usual power dynamic between vampire and man, too, while adding a little kink because of the intimate connection of bed (Xander) and bondage (Spike). Spike, in fact, eventually both acknowledges his domestication and rebels against it in Doomed, trying to stake himself as a form of escape, telling Willow and Xander that I'm beyond pathetic. Stuck in this basement washing skivvies for a blighter I wouldn't have bothered to bite a few months ago.

Spike's insertion into the role of unappreciated wife is arguably a crucial step in his recuperation into the heroic fold: while many fans might not appreciate his emasculation, a de-butched Spike increases his acceptance by the Scoobies, and therefore his usefulness in the business of world-saving, rather than world-ending. Even after he gets his own crypt, traces of his domestication linger as he measures a crypt rather than simply taking it as he would've seasons earlier; in addition to the chip in his head, his adventures in domesticity, his new uncomfortable role of submissive housekeeper, have reconfigured his approach to the world.

This disruption of domestic paradigms is also found in another slash classic, The Sentinel. The morning after Blair moves into Jim's loft in The Debt we see him in the kitchen making Jim breakfast, the table set for their meal. Butch cop Jim is obviously uncomfortable as Blair queers their relationship by stepping into the traditional wife role, but his discomfort only highlights the scene's queer implications:

Blair: Come and get it! Eggs are almost done, scrambled firm just the way you like them, right? Good morning. Have a seat, man.

Jim: If you think this little courtship ritual here is going to change my mind about throwing your butt out of here...

Jim views Blair's actions as a type of seduction, a courtship ritual, and I think it's the situation that encourages such a reading; outside the domestic sphere Jim would more likely label this scene, following the implications of the episode title, as a "bribe" to ensure that Jim feels "indebted" to Blair, and thus less likely to kick him out, not as a sexual come-on. The ensuing conversation not only plays up the underlying equation of food and self, as we saw in the BtVS example, but also offers an explanation for the scene's queer allure.

Blair points out that for the moment at least, I'm all yours, to which Jim responds, tongue-in-cheek, Well, that's a very generous offer, but I think you'd be a little...in over your head. The double entendre is unmistakable--and as subsequent episodes prove, quite successful in pacifying Jim, since they remain friends and roommates to the end--while Blair goes on to outline the reason behind his successful technique, talking textually about domination and submission between groups of men:

Blair: You know, Jim, a couple years ago I did an extensive study on tribal warriors who share remarkably similar behavioral patterns to American street gangs.

Jim: You know, these days with a comment like that people could lose their jobs.

Blair: Jim, this has nothing to do with race, man. This is about dominance and submission of subgroups. As a matter of fact, a colleague of mine predicted the outcome of a key U.S Senate vote last year based on this same model. It's simple really once you think about it. In all male-dominated, power-based subgroups, antagonistic action by one group is usually met with equal to or greater antagonistic action by another.

Jim: Meaning what?

Blair: Meaning that now that the Deuces think that the 357s killed Antoine, they're going to have to retaliate. Their code of honors will demand it. So escalation is inevitable.

Instead of dealing with Jim in an antagonistic fashion, Blair cleverly--or at least from habit--inserts himself into a non-threatening, "female" mode. And while this discomfits Jim, it's less threatening and arguably more intriguing to him than Blair in a more conventional masculine role; ironically, it's the very inversion of gender roles that makes their unconventional relationship palatable to Jim, the queerness of it, and there are few venues more conducive to this inversion than the domestic setting. Blair allows Jim to think that he has the power when in fact he's able to control the situation by appearing submissive, some convoluted gender play that would make Chaucer's Wife of Bath proud. The Sentinel's popularity is therefore contingent not only on the physical appeal of the two lead actors but on the show's constant return to the home as the destabilizing locus of conventional gender relations.

As Blair points out, the conventional power dynamic between men is based on aggression, and his implicit suggestion to revise that dynamic, to mix and match dominance and submission, plays out in the Methos/Duncan relation. On Highlander, the domestic intimacy increases radically from that in Methos to what we see in Till Death, an episode that centers on the subject of love and marriage. Methos, who has just lost his apartment, offers to help out Duncan with a little play-acting to reconcile a feuding couple, all on the apparent condition that Duncan give up the barge--this in a domestic scene so queer it seems parodic. Duncan makes Methos tea, asking, Milk?, then, Sugar? before producing a plate of biscuits for Methos' consumption. Throughout the scene Duncan flirts outrageously, smirking and playing coy the way you'd expect from a stereotypical wife who wants something from her husband and therefore relies on the old adage that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach.

Methos finally agrees to help out Duncan, Is it really that important to you? When Duncan admits that it is, Methos says, Okay. I do this for you...And you give me the barge. While the condition seems counteractive to the implied reason for acquiescence--Methos' feelings for Duncan--the episode's conclusion confirms that the first reason is the real one since Methos tells Duncan that he doesn't really want the barge. This flirtatious behavior is permissible between two sword-swingin' men because of the safety afforded by the domestic space; in here, away from others' prying eyes, anything can happen. Methos can call Duncan "darling," as he does at the end of the agreeing scene, because they're literally safe here to try on different sexual roles, which means poaching on queer territory to the delight of fangrrls everywhere.

And in case viewers miss the equation of the sparring lovers Gina and Robert with Duncan and Methos, there are several additional visual parallels beyond the pouty behavior shared by Gina and Duncan, most notably the doubled shattering of a Ming vase. Gina breaks the first one in a fit of pique at her husband, and when Duncan buys another to replace it, Methos causes it to break by throwing the barge keys to Duncan as he's unpacking the vase. Robert calls Gina a brat, and the term applies equally to both Duncan and Methos here: free in Duncan's barge, especially once its ownership becomes questionable, thereby further complicating the issue of power within the domestic sphere. Without clear lines determining sex roles, the men are free to experiment, and experiment they do, all originating from that first, penetrative moment when Duncan walks into Methos' home.

The penetrative subtext of the domestic space recurs in that mecca of queerness, Smallville. From the outset, Clark goes repeatedly and without explicit invitation to Lex's home, a fact that Lex never challenges but instead seems to accept and even welcome, despite his insistence on protocol with others. Before I explore this, however, consider the gesture in the Smallville pilot that provokes Clark's penetration of Lex's domestic space (and, yes, I liked writing that--whoo!), which seems borrowed from Blair Sandburg's Guide to Queer Courtship Rituals: Lex sends an extravagant gift, complete with a note addressed to Dear Clark, to thank his pretty boy for the rescue, a gesture sufficiently provocative that it sends Clark's dad into the paternal version of homosexual panic, insisting that the refusal and how the feelings it generates are normal, and by implication that Lex and his flashy gift are not.

Clark goes to Lex's only after it's been determined that he's not normal, either, a fact he further demonstrates by shoving his arm into the thresher, prompting his father's confession that Clark's actually an alien. So, armed with his otherness, Clark goes to Luthor Manor, bypassing the security system, and illicitly entering the mansion, an illicitness that emerges in Clark's first conversation with Lex on the inside:

Clark: I, uh, buzzed, but no one answered.

Lex: How'd you get through the gate?

Clark: I kinda squeezed through the bars. If this is a bad time...

Lex: Oh, no, no. I think Heike has sufficiently kicked my ass for the day.

That Lex welcomes this penetration is clear in his refusal to challenge Clark's presence in his house, not simple letting him in but breaking off his fencing lesson and, in a telling and eroticized gesture, taking Clark deeper into his home, up to the second floor, where the phallic symbols go wild: the foil becomes a bottle of Ty Nant which Lex can't resist sucking (off), while a bowl of fruit sits suggestively in the background. Additionally, as he towels off, Lex offers Clark some deeply personal information about himself, including his feelings about being bald, rubbing his head the entire time. Lex even stops Clark from leaving by calling out a question to him as he retreats, then segues into the gayest declaration since Sappho put stylus to vellum: After the accident, when my heart stopped. It was the most exhilarating two minutes of my life. I flew over Smallville, and for the first time, I didn't see a dead end. I saw a new beginning. Thanks to you I have a second chance. We have a future, Clark. And I don't want anything to stand in the way of our friendship.

Compare this easy acceptance of Clark's entry into his private sphere despite their single meeting, with Lex's reaction to Bob Rickman in Hug, where every sentence from the former is delivered with an armload of sarcasm:

Lex: How did you get in here ?

Rickman: Oh, your guard at the front gate let me through. He's a great guy.

Lex: I didn't realize we had a meeting on the books.

Rickman: We don't. I come with an olive branch. I just want to let you know you can call off your lawyers. I am dropping the Kent farm as a proposed site.

Lex: What's the matter? Losing your touch?

Rickman: No, I've just decided that Smallville really isn't worth the hassle.

Lex: Oh.

Rickman: Least I know where I'm not wanted.

Lex: Okay, then. Thanks for stopping by.

Not only, then, does Lex accept Clark's constant, casual entries into his home, but allows himself to be placed within a variety of unfamiliar roles, including outlaw hero with Kyle Tippett in Hug and the other half of a married couple with an adopted son in Ryan. In the latter case, it's not simply the presence of the boy Ryan in Lex's mansion that inserts both Lex and Clark into co-parenting roles; their behavior mimics that of concerned guardians as they leave Ryan wrapped in a blanket by a roaring fire to discuss his welfare in hushed voices outside the room. They have a tiff over Lex's concern about harboring a(nother) fugitive, and when Clark goes to leave, Lex grabs his arm. Despite Clark's tension, he allows this, doesn't shake Lex off, and as Lex gives in to Clark's demand, the result is an intimate moment, where a gesture's potential violence becomes eroticized, a sign of Lex's need and not his anger.

Like the homes in HL, BtVS, and TS, Lex's home in Smallville also serves not only as a symbolic extension of the body, but as a locus for gender play, play that results in a temporary stay of his rush down the merry path of True Evil. Without Clark, Lex becomes like his father, as we all know, but Clark's success, even if impermanent, occurs because he encourages Lex into positions beyond the simple, stereotype of the aggressive male.

Because of its association with femininity, to be sexually or morally submissive is usually coded in Western culture as a position of weakness: to be pussy, to be queer. Spike certainly views it that way, calling Xander a "bloody poof" when he's the one worried about his own sexual status. But, whatever their feelings about it, the men's interaction in the domestic sphere ultimately humanizes them, so that in the world of genre television submission gains a new power, an ability to shift paradigms and reconfigure behavior without ruining the subject, and instead improving it. During the Horsemen arc Duncan will save Methos from the guilt he denies he has; Blair will save Jim from being overwhelmed by his body; Xander will help Spike grow up ('cos let's face: a bad boy's really hot, but there's a reason the term's not a bad man); and Clark will help Lex hook up with his inner moral compass.

Submission never looked so good.

[> AtS and living spce -- ponygirl, 12:31:14 07/23/03 Wed

Here's a bit of the reply I sent to Thamiris' original essay regarding Ats:

It's interesting that while Fred, a woman, and Lorne, who reads as gay, move into Angel's home without hesitation. Gunn on the other hand is not shown to be living at the hotel until his relationship with Fred is well established, even then the move seems not to occur until Angel's summer long absence. Wesley's living situation was never given much attention until he began his dark, and sexually active, arc this past season when his apartment became the setting for many important scenes. One could see him as attempting to set up a rival space, just as he was setting himself up as a rival demon-fighter, though since Angel lived in a hotel and Wes in a one bedroom apartment feelings of inadequacy are to be expected.

[> [> Good point about Wesley -- Scroll, 18:10:39 07/23/03 Wed

As Season 4 progressed, I could see what the writers were trying to do with the Hyperion hotel. The hotel is Angel's domain, his home and workplace. At the end of "Tomorrow", only Fred was left in the hotel. Gunn moved in with her. Connor eventually returned, and then they were three. But Cordelia was gone, ascended to a higher plane; Lorne was gone, called by the glamour of Las Vegas; Groo was gone, Angel was gone, and Wesley of course had already left/been kicked out, having betrayed the gang in "Sleep Tight".

As the season went on, everyone slowly moved back in to the hotel. Angel first, then Lorne. Cordelia and Connor were brought into the fold. When Angelus put Faith in a coma, she was brought back to the hotel to possibly die in one of the Hyperion's beds. While Gunn did break up with Fred, we're never told explicitly that he moved out again. Then of course Jasmine appeared, and the Fang Gang opened the hotel to her worshippers. The place was overflowing with people.

After she is defeated, the hotel is empty again. Fred says, "The garden's empty." Lilah pops up with her incredible offer, and the gang decides to sleep on the decision. And Wesley says, "I should be getting home." And leaves. And I breathed a sigh of satisfaction, knowing that this line was key.

Probably not a big plot point to most people, but I liked the fact that Wesley, although he has reconciled with the Fang Gang for the most part, still maintains his own space. He can't go back to the way things were; he can't pretend to be Angel's younger brother/surrogate son. He's separate from them, and can no longer share a home. I liked that very much :)

[> [> [> The office building -- ponygirl, 06:41:09 07/24/03 Thu

Hmm, thinking about that hotel. The new W&H office seems to be the anti-Hyperion - full of light, full of people. It's as though after all the contraction of the past season, where everything was so contained at the hotel the outside world began to exist only as some sort of nightmare that the characters would reluctantly venture into. Then in Home it all burst open with the skylights and the escalators. Is it the real world though?

[> After some reflection, a warning: the above essay is somewhat naughty and very slashy! -- ponygirl, 13:56:26 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> Slashy fun! Thanks pg, I really *was* getting around to it! -- Scroll, who needs to email TBQ re: Wes & Gay Stereotypes, 14:54:44 07/23/03 Wed

[> Ah, the good old days of Methos/Duncan! -- HonorH, 14:13:45 07/23/03 Wed

I love "Till Death," and the scene the essayist quotes is one of my favorites in part because of all the eyelash-batting Duncan does while buttering up Methos--not to mention Methos' knowing grin during it all. And let's not forget that the following season, Methos just appears one day, lounging on Duncan's bed, having entered without even notifying Mac he was in town.

Actually, come to think of it, the first time we see Methos in fourth season (shortly after he'd been introduced), he shows up at a house Duncan's repairing. That episode, "Chivalry," also gives us the luverly nose-painting scene, as well as another incredibly slashy swordfight (no pun intended). Ahh, HL, the fandom that first made me think slashy thoughts as regards two males! I was already into Xena, so slashy female-ness was in the bag.

But I'm sorry: I will never, never see Spike/Xander. Sometimes, hate is just hate, and with those boys, it's just hate. At least, IMHO.

[> [> I love 'Till Death'! I love all the Methos episodes : ) -- Scroll, 18:23:03 07/23/03 Wed

Good point about "Chivalry". Nothing says 'intimacy' and 'trust' than building and decorating a home together -- even if it wasn't exactly Duncan and Methos' house. And that swordfight was slashy, pun intended! But I think "courtship rituals" is a key term that applies very much to the Duncan/Methos relationship, even if you don't apply slash lenses to the show. Methos is all about "wooing" Duncan through intrigue and mystery, Duncan is all about "domesticating" the old man. They "champion" each other's causes, protect one another, and feel deeply betrayed with the arrival of Cassandra and Kronos, the "old lover(s)" to whom they have a former attachment. They get jealous, talk at cross-purposes, but eventually reconcile though their friendship is never exactly the same.

Can you tell I love this show? And their relationship? Hee!

Methos and MacLeod remind me very much of Wesley and Angel, Lex and Clark, and Blair and Jim. Not Spike and Xander though; I agree with you, HonorH. While both characters can give off slashy/queer vibes (Xander unconsciously, Spike probably not-so-unconsciously), I see their antagonism as pure and simple hatred. Or at least distrust. Even at their most friendly, these two were never friends, never really respected each other, and at any rate, always had their attentions focused on the fairer sex!

[> S/X, or is it X/S-ive? -- MsGiles, 03:28:52 07/25/03 Fri

I like the essay! Although I would think that Spike's domestic leanings go right back to his arrival in Sunnydale, when he fixes up the factory to look a bit more modern. As early as S2, in Becoming2, he shows a touching care for the decor:
You have your way with him, you'll never get to destroy the world. And I don't fancy spending the next month trying to get librarian out of the carpet. There are other ways.
So it's not inconceivable that Spike would spend a month scrubbing the carpet in the mansion (grumbling under his breath), following one of Angelus' messier kills.

Perhaps his time with Xander accentuates this domestic quality. I never felt any chemistry between the two either, but the subtext in the exchange quoted is undeniable. Xander is horrified at the thought of being bitten by Spike, even though, in Spike's chipped state, the bite would have to be consensual. So does he fear that he might consent, put to the test? He's also upset, illogically, by the implication that Spike might *not* want to bite him. Like Willow, alarmed as much by the newly-chipped Spike's inability to bite her as by his attempt, he assumes that rejection by Spike would be confirmation of his fear that he is fundamentally unattractive.

I think there's a specific vampire subtext in this sequence, as opposed to the others quoted in the essay. Vampires have their own symbolic baggage, rooted in the Victorian gothic fiction that used horror themes to present sexual content that was unacceptable in mainstream literature in an undisguised form. I happen to have been re-reading 'Dracula' for the melee (nice when things mesh), and the commentary to my copy points out the strong homoerotic tension in Dracula's interactions with Harker in the castle. Three female vampires attack Harker in an overt sexual manner: as they move in to bite, big D calls them off. 'He is mine!' The unspoken implication then is that Dracula is after Harker, both sexually and to feed, and that fuels the extreme fear which leads Harker to risk death by throwing himself out of a window (out of Dracula's castle, incidentally, which the Count has insisted he visit and stay in, even though he's only an estate agent with property the vampire wants to buy). It was an era in which, with the trial of Oscar Wilde, homosexuality had become both high profile and socially condemned: the crime 'that dare not speak its name'.

The situation in Dracula's castle is reversed in Xander's basement - Spike has been rendered defenceless by the chip. Does Spike try to kill himself because subconsciously he fears he will be sexually possessed by Xander, in his helpless state (since Xander seems to be exploiting him every other way) and effectively become his wife? A neat punishment for a vicious, manipulative vampire, one might think. Perhaps, as well as mixing his dominance with submissiveness to make him an acceptable team member, this is a symbolic 'payment' for his Big Badness, a payment that Spike has to make before we can accept him as reformed, or at least reforming.

In addition (parodies notwithstanding) I do think there is an ambivalence to the vampire bite as a sexual metaphor. Although there is the fanged penetration, there is also the sucking. It is in a sense both male and female, both penetrative and engulfing. So I think there is always at least a cross-gender subtext where vampires are involved, as both male and female vampires will penetrate and, um, suck. When the vampire/victim are same sex, then add homoerotic to that mix.

[> [> Re: S/X, or is it X/S-ive? -- ponygirl, 08:22:44 07/25/03 Fri

I agree with you and HonorH and Scroll that Xander and Spike have a purely antagonistic relationship. I think it is interesting though in terms of dominance. It seems that the more domestic role is seen as the submissive one. I always liked how Xander easily slipped into Odd Couple mode living with Spike, even in s7 he was complaining about towels left on the floor. Contrast this to the father/teenage son vibe Spike had living with Giles - in the bathroom all the time and eating all the food - despite the occasional odd choice of words from Giles: "lick me to death," "I'd like to take a shower - alone". ;)

[> [> Re: S/X, or is it X/S-ive? -- Elenphant, 01:35:40 07/26/03 Sat

One might also include the time Spike spent with Giles after escaping from the Initiative. In Hush, he tidies the books right before Xander starts to pummel him. Spike keeps his blood in the fridge in a mug labeled 'Kiss the Librarian,' obviously given to Giles by someone else (perhaps the Scoobies?), since it doesn't seem the type of thing Giles would buy for himself. Also he gets chained to the bathtub while Buffy feeds him from a straw. Giles hands him off to Xander so that he can take a shower - I wonder where he put Spike when he had to do other stuff in the bathroom. There is also the scene where Spike interrupts Giles when he's singing in the privacy of his living room - he watches Giles sing and has an amused look on his face when Giles tries to compose himself. Spike tells him that for a watcher, he might spare a look towards the door once in a while. Note Giles didn't even tell the Scoobies about his playing and singing; they found out by accident when they went to the expresso pump (and note each of their reactions - Willow thinks he's sexy even though she has officially come out, and Xander looks a bit dazed).


OT: Goodbye for now... -- shadowkat, 13:49:59 07/23/03 Wed

I've decided to leave the ATPO board for awhile. I don't know if or when I'll come back. The reason isn't overly complicated and not meant to be a slamn against anyone in particular. When doing something is no longer fun and just stressful and brings out a part of myself I don't particularly like? It is time to stop doing it.

I had planned to just stop posting and disappear. Since I don't like goodbye posts, they seem self-indulgent and ways to get attention to me. (That said this probably seems hypocritical to some.) This post isn't meant to be that.
I'm just want to let the people I've grown close to and have come to highly respect on this board know that I'm going - that's all. As I expect they would let me know if they decided to go. Since I don't have all their email addresses I've decided to do it this way. Sorry for taking up board space to do it.

So this is my last visit to the board for the time being. I'm saying goodbye to some of the posters I've gotten to know over the past two years. If I don't return here, perhaps we'll meet in another venue, perhaps a corner in Istanbul? Who knows?

At any rate, I've really enjoyed your posts, and appreciate your responses to mine and support you've given me over the last two years. I'm sorry I can no longer participate in the Book Melee or the Buffy discussions, but am certain you'll have fun without me, and in a few weeks will probably not even miss me that much. ;-)

Anyways,thank you very much and goodbye for now.

With warm regards,


[> Awwww, SK -- Rahael, 13:57:47 07/23/03 Wed

You know that deciding to leave here and then changing your mind is the very definition of a regular poster!!

Don't. Go.

Otherwise I'll have to come over all sentimental and gushy and that's really not a good thing!!

[> [> What she said. -- Rob, already missing you immensely, 14:35:58 07/23/03 Wed

[> Oh dear -- ponygirl, 14:03:47 07/23/03 Wed

I really hope this is just a temporary break, I hate to think of you not being around.

Take care, and email me ok?

[> Just wanted to let you know how much I've enjoyed your posts -- Alison, 14:09:20 07/23/03 Wed

I've gotten the sense of late that you seem rather, I don't know, burn out, when it comes to Buffy, and the board. So while I understand your discision to leave, I want to thank you for your wonderful posts. Over the time I've been here your post's have always made me look far deeper into Buffy than I ever would have. You're an inspiration to me as a writer. Best of luck.

[> you'll be missed... -- Anneth, 14:28:41 07/23/03 Wed

I'm terribly sorry to see you go. I've looked forward to and loved your insightful essays for as long as you've been posting here. Good luck.


[> Re: OT: Goodbye for now... -- Masquerade, 14:35:49 07/23/03 Wed


I just wanted to say I support your choice to post where you feel comfortable and where you have fun. I hope that you will come back soon, and find ATPo once again a place where you can do that.

[> Parting is such sweet and bitter and sorrow -- fresne, 14:48:09 07/23/03 Wed

I have always very much enjoyed your posts. Thank you.

Here is hoping that you walkabout awhile and return refreshed and reenergized. And if, not, then indeed round the Golden Horn to best wishes and future meetings.

[> Looking forward to your return! -- Sara, the optimist, 14:53:26 07/23/03 Wed

Hi sk -
I hope you enjoy your board vacation and come back soon! I know that we all need a change at times, but I hope this won't stop you from coming to the NY meet. If you feel like chatting drop me a line. I hope things go well with your writing and job hunt - we're rooting for you!

- Sara

[> [> Seconding the optimism -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:21:07 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> [> Thirding it, but only because first and second were already taken. :-) -- OnM, 05:31:18 07/24/03 Thu

Come back soon, 'kat. We'll certainly miss you.

Very best wishes,


[> Sorry to see you go -- Sarand, 15:06:34 07/23/03 Wed

Although I've been mostly lurking for the last several months, when I do come on the board, I look for your posts. I know that you always add something -- insight, humor -- to the discussion. But I think I understand your desire to take a break, at the least. Even lurking has not been particularly enjoyable lately. I hope you return at some point. If, however, you do find another place where you feel more comfortable, I would appreciate hearing about it, if you are so inclined.

[> Nice to meet you... -- Yellow Bear, 15:13:22 07/23/03 Wed

In my short time here, I've always found your posts to intelligent, insightful & in good humor (even when I disagreed). Hope you won't stay away but if it is becoming stressful then it's right to stop coming by.

[> We may be losing the best right now -- Seven, 15:14:55 07/23/03 Wed


I've enjoyed your posts since i found this board 9 months ago.

you're posts made me think deeper and further than anyone else's.

For that i thak you.


[> Thank you -- sdev, 15:26:07 07/23/03 Wed

I have really enjoyed reading your posts including many older ones from the archives. You have added significantly to my understanding and enjoyment. I hope you decide to return.

Because of the reasons you gave for leaving, I did want to add one thing regarding something you said about being very emotional and how that affected you. I know I don't know you personally so I am sorry for being presumptuous. I do think emotions are a great source of power and don't feel you need to apologize for being an emotional person. Without that part of you, your writing would not have the range and depth it does.

Thanks for how nice you've been to me. And you'll miss Dracula.

[> I'm sorry to see you go, s'kat! Please email me... -- Scroll, 15:26:12 07/23/03 Wed

[> So very sorry to see you go -- MaeveRigan, 16:49:37 07/23/03 Wed

I always greet your posts with interest and am never disappointed. Your reasons are your reasons, but please know that you will be missed. In significant ways, ATPo won't be the same without Shadowkat

[> Re: OT: Goodbye for now... -- Arethusa, 16:50:59 07/23/03 Wed

I don't have e-mail yet. Dammit.

It's odd, I feel selfishly angry. You provide the exposition; you're the Mind for this UberBuffy site. You're our (female) Giles. Don''t go away forever. We will need posters who can discuss Angel intelligently.

[> Wuh? -- Celebaelin, 16:52:07 07/23/03 Wed

You'll be greatly missed SK. I guess everone needs a break for one reason or another from time to time. There's absolutely no snark intended when I say I hope you come back better than ever, soon.


[> But I'm still going to stuff the ballot box in your honor. -- WickedBuffy (please email when you the have time), 18:04:27 07/23/03 Wed

[> Very sorry to see you go. Hope you come back soon. -- curious, 20:34:53 07/23/03 Wed

[> you can go...if you really have to... -- anom, 00:29:50 07/24/03 Thu

...but only if you quit putting yourself down like that! And I don't have to like that you're going! Which I don't. Wish you wouldn't, but if that's how you feel, I hope you'll be back soon! Meanwhile, we'll save a place for you....

I'm sorry you're not enjoying the board lately. It's gonna be strange not to have you posting here--you're such a presence on this board. I'm glad to be one of the lucky ones who gets to see you at local board meets! You better still come to those, you know! And we will too miss you!

[> [> But, but... -- Darby, 07:16:26 07/24/03 Thu

This sort of feels like talking to someone who has already left the room, but I had to add that we have no choice but to keep your spot open, because only you can occupy it.

And to add to the chorus that you can't evade our face-to-face meetings so easily. We know where you live...no, wait a minute, we don't know that...anyway, our NY group is even more insidious than the Board, and will not easily be repelled!

[> <needy voice> -- Tchauikovsky, 01:41:32 07/24/03 Thu

You'll be missed shadowkat. I hope you come back after a little while- it will be a great joy to see one of those multi-part posts. How will you resist Voy's reaction to Angel Season Five?

In any case, go placidly amid the noise and the haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.



[> 'No-one asks for their life to change, Not really. But it does' -- MsGiles, 02:32:54 07/24/03 Thu

'The big moments are gonna come..'
Please keep the collected musings site, it's great.
Come back if things turn that way
What can I say?
'So long and thanks for all the fish'

[> bye shadowcat -- frisby, 06:12:53 07/24/03 Thu

bye shadowcat. i also seem to have next to nothing to say now that the series has ended (now that the 'church' of buffy has begun). i also enjoyed many of your posts. things do change, and again come round. love life. find joy.

[> Thank you for everything -- dream, 07:34:50 07/24/03 Thu

I've had the same feelings about the board. The show is over; it's time to move on. Inevitably, the arguments are going to start repeating themselves. (And, well, there are two particular posters who pretty much ruined the experience for me before the show ended. I would try to avoid their posts, but it was difficult.) Now, I only check in to look at Rob's annotation threads. It's too bad - I've really come to be deeply fond of some of the people here. But these sorts of communities do have a built-in expiration date. That said, shadowcat, I've learned so much from you. My enjoyment of this show has been greatly enhanced by reading your essays. Thank you for the work you've put into your writing here. It has been deeply appreciated.

[> Re: OT: Goodbye for now... -- JCC, 07:44:04 07/24/03 Thu

SK, I'm sorry that sometimes it comes to this on the board, but that's the price we pay for having so many people with such strong opinions. I can only hope you come back once this storm has died down. It's an emotional time for fans right now with the end of Buffy and the fears over big changes to Angel next season, but we'll all miss you here. Come back soon.

[> Hey SK, will you do me a favor? -- Sophist, 08:01:02 07/24/03 Thu

Let me preface the request by saying that I know the feeling. I never get nearly as angry at other people as I do at myself. Odd, isn't it? I'm more willing to move on past the most obnoxious behavior of others, but I flog and punish (heh) myself over much less.

"Do you want me to tell you that you acted rashly? You did and I can." Yeah, you made a mistake. But it was pretty minor and under provocation (deliberate in one case, innocent in another). But you have proved on more than one occasion that you are deserving of my support.

So my favor is this: re-watch IOHEFY. Then we can talk.

[> Re: OT: Goodbye for now... -- Yoda, 08:08:29 07/24/03 Thu

S'kat, I remember reading your posts first at the BC&S and then here. I am a big fan of your essays and will miss your presence here but hope to see you at some of the other boards. Every once in a while I see you post at the Angel Soul Board and hope you continue to show up there. I will definitely keep an eye out for your posts.

[> Very sorry to hear this -- KdS, 09:37:44 07/24/03 Thu

If it is permanent, all my best wishes for the future. You've been responsible for some of the best long essays I've seen on this board (and better than some essays on the show by professional critics).

[> For now . . . -- tomfool, 10:23:23 07/24/03 Thu

I hope that your away status is just 'for now'. Your posts are one of the things that has made the show so much fun for me and helped seal my addiction when I discovered it at the beginning of S6. I think my first post (infrequent as they are) was in response to one of your essays.

I think that you're experiencing the same thing that so many others are. Now that the show that has brought so many people together is gone, is there a reason to continue talking about it? I've noticed that some of my favorite reviewers around the net haven't posted their reviews of Chosen yet. I think it's a procrastination born of not wanting to admit that it's over. (Or maybe they just haven't mastered the Onm style of the never-ending review.)

Bottom line is it's an emotional period as people adjust to the new reality. With a new season of Angel coming, I hope that your break refreshes your spirit and you'll grace us with your insights once again.

Best of luck in the job situation and I hope that the fall season finds you tucked in nicely in a spiritually fulfilling, high-paying, world-saving gig. (Or at least something that pays the bills.)

'Hope that make some sense.' ;-)

[> So..why are you leaving? -- O'Cailleagh, 17:29:00 07/24/03 Thu

I checked through the archives and all I can find is that you lost your temper and acted a little rashly, and then owned up and apologised.
Well, I can forgive the emotional outburst, you know, since you're not a Vulcan, and judging by the list of posts befroe this one, so does everyone else.
You're one of the most provocative posters here S'kat, and that's one of the reasons you're so well-loved here. Don't leave over a few weeks of bickering, it'll die down soon. Unless, of course, all the sensible people go and leave the not-so-sensible to argue.
Really, S'kat, reconsider this, or at least come back in a week or two to see if you feel any better.


[> [> Thank you for all the responses and hopefully some explaination -- s'kat (still taking a break), 20:18:16 07/24/03 Thu

I really do appreciate your warm responses. Especially dream and Sarand who really did understand. Read their posts, they hit the nail on the head more or less.

I honestly did not mean this to become a production number. (I should have just retreated quietly...oh, well too late for that now. ;-))

So, I'll try to explain. This is not meant as a slamn against Masq or the board. It's really important to me that people understand that. I don't want anyone leaving b/c I'm leaving for a while. I don't want this to lead to censorship or a feeling that you can't speak your mind. I can't express enough how much I'm against that.

I truly appreciate Masq and her hard work. I honour her stance against censorship. I honour her decision not to delete posts. S/he's one of the few moderators out there who does allow people to speak their mind and the board has always been stronger for it. Those are amongst the reasons I've stayed on this board for two years, in fact during May 2002 - June 2003, Atpo really was the only board I posted on. I am proud to be in it's archives and have my name at the top of the board. I am not, repeat, not leaving b/c of anything Masq has done. S/he is one of the reasons I've stayed as long as I have. I've also stayed as long as I have because of all of you who responded to my post above and emailed me and have kindly responded to my essays. To receive such kind responses has kept me going during many a dark day, let me tell you.

I'm just taking a sabbatical from Atpo for a while. Or as a friend of mine put it: "strategically repositioning myself to stay sane." This has as much to do with things going on in my own life as on the board. As many of you may or may not know - I left a very bad employment situation in Nov 2002 and am hunting a job. So the job interview/hunt rollercoaster ride is beginning to get to me a bit.

I have a couple of confessions to make which may or may not shed a little light on this - one: As some of you may have guessed - I am an insane Spike fan.;-) Spike is the reason I watched Btvs in S6-S7. Willow being a close second. (I loved the other characters too, of course. But Spike became my obsession. Something about this character hit my inner core. ) Spike is my favorite all time character. I honestly feel for him and his journey. And I see him as completely fictional and metaphorical. In a sense he represents my archetype, my shadow-self. But I've felt ashamed to come out and state this, afraid people will disregard my posts b/c of it and am tired of feeling that way. Tired of constantly defending the character and myself through the character. I know he has faults. All the characters do. And I understand that some people hate him - there are a few characters I hate (Wood and Andrew) who I've tried to refrain from posting on, b/c I know there are people who love them dearly and I honor that - we all come at things differently.

two: I also am an overly emotional person at times. I do a good job of keeping it in - but at times it just gets the better of me, particularly when under stress. And looking for a job is well very stressful for me. My frustration quota is at a 10+++ - so it takes very very little to push my buttons right now. And I've almost written some very nasty posts - usually as a response to those buttons. And those buttons by and large have to do with Spike.

The turning point for me - was when I...how to put this without people taking it the wrong way...I wanted to hurt people. I just felt overwhelmed with the sense of being unable to control anything, resentment, anger, frustration.. and realized, wait you can control something! Turn off the computer. Stop posting.
Leave. That is a far more positive reponse than posting in anger or trying to bash others or flames - since all that does is make things worse. I'm a pacifist for a reason - I honestly believe in kharma and in the fact that when you hurt someone else you inevitably hurt yourself 200 times more. So when the inclination arises in me - I put a stop to it, which is to retreat, to pull away. Leave the situation for a while. (Don't know if that makes sense.)

I'm also just burnt out on all the Btvs posts. I didn't enjoy S7 as much as some people did and am also dealing with that disappointment/let-down. And the bitching and moaning about Spike moving to Angel...was more than I could handle. I know I know it sounds silly...and that's one of the reasons I thought it might be good to leave.

Anyways, I really appreciate the support and all. Please please don't take this decision personally. It's just something I have to do right now. I want to leave while I still have your respect and my dignity intact. Before I become trollish. That's all. I didn't mean to upset anyone.

Come October? Who knows...I may be back and rareing to go.
Possibly even before. Maybe even in two weeks. I just need some time is all.

Again, my apologies for making this into an overly self-indulgent production number. It really wasn't my intent.

Hope that made a lick of sense.



[> [> [> It makes an entire popsicle of licks! :> namaste -- WickedBuffy (you're a great role model, too!), 09:40:20 07/25/03 Fri

[> [> [> Thanks for that -- Masq, 09:42:15 07/25/03 Fri

I didn't take this personally at all, in case you were wondering. I was not aware of everything that was going on, but mutual board friends filled me in on the missing details, and I completely understand your reasons.

I'll leave a candle in the window for you.

[> Hate to see you go -- mamcu, 08:45:49 07/25/03 Fri


You've been one of the brightest lights on the board. I think it was one of your posts that first attracted me to this board, and I will truly miss you. Hope all goes well--


Free speech and social responsibility -- Masquerade, 15:02:00 07/23/03 Wed

Things have been a bit angsty lately on this board and across the Buffydom internet. With the end of BtVS and the changes on AtS, emotions have been running high. People are understandably upset, sad, hopeful, excited, nervous, and this board has felt all of that.

The ATPo board has been around for three years now, and in that time it has come to have a reputation as a place where people can engage in intelligent and civil conversation about Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, and many other topics. I don't want that to end. And I certainly don't want to see valued posters leaving the board because they can no longer get that here*.

One of the things that has characterized this board is the freedom posters have to say what's on their minds and in their hearts about the show(s), its themes, and its characters. As moderator, I don't enjoy nor do I believe in censoring or deleting posts because they don't reflect a certain "party line", or because they have an adult level of discussion (or vocabulary). As a result, threads on this board can go many interesting places. They can also sometimes get heated and unpleasant.

This is where we have to remember as an internet community that freedom to say what we want comes with responsibility. Make that responsibilities, plural:

* You have a right to your opinion, but other people have a right to theirs. You cannot expect people not to disagree with you from time to time. If you don't like what they have to say, you don't have to reply. If you do reply, remember that

· emotions are good things, we all have them, but if you are posting while you are upset or angry, you are more likely to say things that will hurt others.

· personal attacks on the poster are not arguments. Nor is insulting people who share a particular point of view. Address the points they make, not the person who makes them.

· the internet, by its very nature, is a place where words can get easily misunderstood. We don't have the short-cuts we use in everday life to get our full meaning across (body language that lets people know we are joking or saying something tongue-in-cheek). Consider the effect what you say may have on other posters before you press "approve". There's more than one reason we have a "modify and approve message" page before we finish posting. : )

· refrain from posting under pseudonyms as a rule. Sometimes we do this in a light-hearted way with no intention of deceiving others, but people have used unknown pseudonyms as a way of "getting away with" ill-tempered arguments they would not ordinarily post under their recognized posting names. (BTW, I'm not referring here to the well-known aliases we all love and use, like "Masq" or "The First Evil", but only to the attempt to hide one's identity with unknown psuedonyms).

· do what you can to make ATPo a place where we all come to enjoy discussions together. This has been a home community for many fans on the net. Let's continue to make it that.



*Just reiterating here that I support the choice of posters who wish to leave for whatever reason. I don't want them to leave, and for the few that recently have, I personally will miss them and hope they will return to the board when they are ready.

[> Re: Free speech and social responsibility -- Yellow Bear, 15:20:49 07/23/03 Wed

I'm very surprised to read the above. I'm realtively new here (a month or so) and have found this board to be unfailingly polite in that time, certainly compared to a few others I've seen.

Just wanted to state that if anything I've said has been upsetting to others that it was certainly not my intent in any way. Hope the board continues to be as thoughtful & smart as I have seen it over this last month

[> Thank you for being a voice of reason, Masq -- Scroll, 15:24:46 07/23/03 Wed

I haven't been around lately, not even lurking, so it's only the past couple of days that I've noticed the tension that's sprung up on the board. While it's certainly understandable that emotions are running high, I'm very sorry to hear about posters leaving. I totally get their need for a break (permanent or not), but I'll miss them all! And hope they will one day come back...

For everyone else planning to stay, I hope we'll be able to take deep breaths, understand that we're all emotional, reactive, mouse-clicking-happy posters who sometimes say things we later deeply regret -- because I'm sure none of us enjoy hurting other people's feelings, or enjoy baiting even posters we don't get along with. I hope we'll let by-gones be by-gones, and start fresh.

[> Great, Masq. As Scroll said.. -- Random, 15:31:58 07/23/03 Wed

Thanks for being the voice of reason. Tensions get high, but the one thing that has kept me coming back to the board with great consistency (besides the extremely high level of thought) is the fact that this is apparently one of the few boards where differences of opinion are not only tolerated but encouraged. Free speech is a wonderful thing, and attacking others for engaging in it harms everyone. I love this board and look forward to all the wonderful posts that have enriched my Buffy experience. The malaise and tension of the post-Buffy era summer will hopefully be dispelled when Angel returns and we can all go back to debating the profound and silly.

[> [> Beautifully and expertly worded, Masq. Thank you. -- Rob, 15:33:10 07/23/03 Wed

[> [> [> Oops! Responded in the wrong place. Still, you guys get the point. ;o) -- Rob, RobAndMurder, and The Cheerleadery One, 15:34:38 07/23/03 Wed

[> Re: Free speech and social responsibility -- Yellow Bear, 15:56:14 07/23/03 Wed

Wow, I need to read more of the board because I haven't really picked up on all this tension (the misogyny thread, certainly) in my occasional fly-bys.

[> [> Don't worry about it : ) -- Scroll, 17:09:54 07/23/03 Wed

I too was in (relative) ignorance these past few weeks. Hey, why ruin your enjoyment of the board if you don't have to, right? Heh, says the girl who's feeling all out-of-the-loopy!

[> [> [> I've been on the board a lot recently and haven't noticed anything -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:31:49 07/23/03 Wed

At least, none more than is usual. Maybe the knowledge that we won't have a new episode coming up to resolve or at least distract us from our arguments is changing our impression of hostility levels.

[> Thank you, Masq. Very well said. -- LittleBit, 16:02:58 07/23/03 Wed

[> I've found forming underground organizations an effective alternative to dramatic gestures or anger -- Rochefort, 17:37:28 07/23/03 Wed

Why would anyone want to stop coming to the board just because a few posters piss them off? Just quietly don't read those posters. Why would you want to miss the joys of J-Bone's Road to the Apocolypse or Honor H's super evil review or MOLOJ's rescue of the scoobies? Of if you WANT to be pissy, J-bone INVITES pissiness in his battle comments. This is not a "by invitation" board so anybody who stumbles upon it can post. That means you probably won't like most of the people posting. Such is the internet. If you find your ire being raised, selective reading might be advised.

[> Huh? -- Jay, 20:14:48 07/23/03 Wed

If what you're referring to has anything to do with my wise-ass shenanigans (where in the world did that word come from?), I apologize and I'm working diligently to get my stuff off the board and back into it's own realm.

If not, never mind.

It's possible my shenanigans have influenced someone to say things in other threads, but I don't know what to say about that. I've encouraged a no holds barred flippant attitude in my stuff, so I may be partly responsible. I may have to put this to a vote...

Seriously, while I don't worry about insulting anyone, doesn't mean I want them to be.

[> [> That would be a 'not'! -- d'Herblay, 20:43:41 07/23/03 Wed

Your contest is definitely not irresponsible or uncivil or anything of the sort, Jay. In fact, I think it might be the one thing that keeps us sane.

[> [> [> Here Hear! Road to Apocalypse is sanity inducing!! -- Rochefort, 22:20:30 07/23/03 Wed

[> I'd like to add a few things -- Cactus Watcher, 10:04:47 07/24/03 Thu

I haven't 'gone' anywhere, but lately I haven't felt much like posting either. I hate to say it, but self restrait has pretty much failed here in the last few weeks. Let's be honest. Buffy aside, these aren't the best of times for a lot of people. There is a tenseness that transends anything that we're talking about here. The economy here in the US is bad and we know there have been posters having trouble finding jobs. We also know that there are posters with family in the military, who have very immediate and serious worries.

We never know what the people reading our posts are going through, any more than we know everything going through the minds of the people whose posts we read.

We've had too many posters lately saying they were leaving lately. And unfortunately many of us have a good idea why they've been leaving. It's time to show a little restraint.

Please, think twice about engaging the same people over and over on the same topic, when the conversation has gotten ugly. Please, think twice about dragging back to the main board the contentious topic of one of those huge threads that had hung around for days. Please, do bring back to the main board the topics of threads that never got a fair chance. Please, think twice about chiming in on contentious threads when someone else has already all, but made the exact point you wanted to make already. Please, think twice about using contentious threads as a substitute for the chat room. Let the contentious threads develop, mature and fade away like any others. But, don't insist on making them last forever.

I don't like avoiding reading certain peoples' posts, but frankly, for my own sanity I've had to do that lately. If you are having personal problems, get help somewhere. Even ask for help here, if there's no place else to turn. Please, don't take personal problems out on the rest of the board. Other peple have problems, too.

Masq has put in so much time for our enjoyment and enlightenment. I feel very sorry for her that things lately have been going badly on the board. She's given us a lot. Let's not ruin what she's built up.

[> [> Wise advice. -- Arethusa, 10:45:15 07/24/03 Thu

It's become difficult lately to restrain my angry reactions to some posts, especially the ones telling posters with opinions like mine to not participate in certain discussions. I'm trying very hard to stick to discussing themes in the show, but I'm losing the battle. A break sounds like a good idea.

[> [> Thank you, CW -- and my own little story -- Scroll, 10:46:14 07/24/03 Thu

You're right that we've lost some of our self-restraint. I'm not talking self-censorship, but just that voice in our head that says, "Um, you sure you want to post that? You're gonna get people all riled up, over nothing really that important, and you are gonna have to deal with the fall-out." (And I do think there's a difference between self-restraint and self-censorship.)

I too have been avoiding the board lately, much as I love all you guys, just cuz I can't handle the headache of getting involved with those really long, contentious threads in which nothing gets resolved.

A couple of months ago, I got into a (relatively small) argument with a couple of people for a post I thought was perfectly reasonable. One poster came close to accusing me of lying to cover up my true intentions (which I took offense to at the time). I wrote a civil response in return, but one that pointedly asked why this poster was pretty much attacking me (so it seemed). But after posting it, I realised that all I was doing was furthering the argument, so I asked Masq to delete my post. (Thank you so much, Masq!) Now, I realise not everyone is as cautious as I am, one could truthfully say I was being overly cautious, and that I should've been direct and resolved the arugment.

But I realised that this poster was having personal problems and so I am quite willing to forgive and forget. Even though we still don't see eye-to-eye on things having to do with Buffy, I don't want to cause more dissension on the board if it's within me to let it go.

Anyway, that's my story. Not everybody will agree with me, I'm sure, but that's what I did and I'm glad of it. I'm hoping to return to the board more frequently and will do my best to engage everyone in a calm, friendly, and appropriate manner :)

[> [> how about this? -- anom, 23:55:42 07/24/03 Thu

Write out your ideal reply to the kind of post you're tempted to have a knee-jerk response to. Make it well-reasoned, restrained, objective, temperate; address the issues, not the other poster, or address the fact that the poster hasn't done so. Cite Masq's admirable words on free speech & social responsibility. You can make your post generic, because the underlying impulses tend to be the same, independent of the specific issue that brings them out; then you can adapt it to whatever issue comes up. Write it now, or sometime when you're not caught up in the heat of the moment. Then when you read one of those posts that get your hackles up--paste & post instead of responding in kind! It'll make you look all wise & above the fray. I even think reading it before posting might help ground us & keep us from going off in a way we'd regret later. And it may even get the other poster to respond more calmly, or at least realize how their post looks compared to yours.

How's that sound? I know it won't work for all of us (there's no 1 thing that ever does), but it might for some of us.

[> [> [> It sounds like a very inspired & positive idea! -- Wickedbuffy, 09:44:13 07/25/03 Fri

[> Still advocating selective reading -- mamcu, 09:39:53 07/25/03 Fri

I really appreciate what Masq has said, and hope that everyone reads it and takes it to heart. But often you can tell a good bit about a post either by the topic or the poster or the nature of the thread. Then don't read the ones that you know will upset you.

I have received negative messages mainly when I knew what I posted would be controversial, and when I saw the extent of the controversy, I dropped the topic--but I quickly learned not to read certain responses.

It's sort of like having free caller ID--and using it.

[> [> I second that and motion we all adjourn to the hot tub.. -- ZachsMind, 14:17:07 07/25/03 Fri

Mamcu is a voice of common sense amongst all these delightful and intelligent and thought provoking minds which inadvertently have gotten their panties in a bunch. I say we all unwind over drinks, bury all hatchets on pumpkin heads, pummel swords into saunas, and generally lighten up over all.

Lord knows I've ticked off my fair share of people in my time. Last I checked I STILL couldn't post at the Cross & Stake under my own name, and I can't even remember who or why I ticked off anybody in there. Might've had something to do with Spike being topless too much. I dunno. My opinions about Spike's hairless chest (puh-LEEZ do we HAVE to see that again?) are infamous. I think some Spike fans with ties to the mafia have put a price on my head. Do I let this get me down? Do I let this bother me? NO! I just don't watch The Sopranos cuz it makes me jumpy.

[> [> i agree--that's my usual approach -- anom, 15:55:45 07/25/03 Fri

Then again, that's why I don't a very clear idea of how the problems that have caused all this fuss originated....

O/T Buffy made it to 'The Weakest Link' -- Diana, 15:18:07 07/23/03 Wed

The host just dismissed someone by calling her "Buffy the Question Slayer."

I love when that happens.

Angel promo poster (well-known casting spoiler) -- pellenaka, 15:37:06 07/23/03 Wed

The poster and the article contains spoilers for a rather well-known new cast member.


It's almost like a movie poster. And it has a rather...erotic look.

[> re erotic:I just noticed the 'A touch of Sunnydale' tag -- MsGiles, 07:02:24 07/24/03 Thu

Catching up on S7, the Scythe -- Celebaelin, 17:56:42 07/23/03 Wed

I couldn't help noticing the scythe references when they first appeared on the board and I've been looking forward to getting the full story.

I can now reveal, thanks to Marie, that the said implement is not in fact a scythe at all. No, in fact, despite all claims to the contrary what we have here is a Bardiche (albeit with a spike on the butt end of the handle). The Bardiche in its' non-Buffyverse military function was intended as a dual function flintlock/musket rest and short(ish) poleaxe. The blade shape of the Bardiche (or indeed any polearm) does not usually extend further down the shaft beyond the fenestration formed by the second point of attachment. The unusual spiking on this extended area of the axe blade somewhat resembles the hooks placed on certain forms of Voulge-Guisarme or Lochaber Axe but these weapons lack the fenestrated blade form, it would certainly be more usual to have an 'unhorsing hook' on the reverse side of the main axe blade, though possibly in addition to a backward pointing spike on the main blade. The weapon is short handled even for a Bardiche (although possibly not for a Bardiche meant for SMG) but original simple weapon form was already intended for a several methods of utilisation eg punching with the blade with one hand in the fenestration, swinging like an axe, clubbing like a staff. The hooks and the spike extend its' versatility (if you're quick enough).

On balance I'm gonna stick my neck out and call it a Bardiche-Guisarme.


PS The longest laugh out loud I got out of any BtVS was in Him when Buffy was about to fire a rocket launcher into Wood's office and Spike runs up out of nowhere and tackles her and...pure silent movie magic, slapstick with a capital SLA.

Wood vs Holtz -- JBone, 20:35:25 07/23/03 Wed

You might soon enough. When I put my son's body into the ground, I had to open the coffin just to know that he really was in there. You also may discover that a child's coffin, Mr. Wyndam-Price, weighs nothing.


yesterdays results

Hopefully this is the last time I ask you to post comments here. But please, post them here.

[> Re: Wood vs Holtz -- Caira, 23:31:56 07/23/03 Wed

Okay, two guys with major vengeance issues against certain souled vampires. Good for them! But while one of them committed assisted suicide in the process of putting them into practice, the other chickened out after his life got seriously threatened. This coward, this sellout must not be allowed to go on! Down with Principal Wimp! ;o)

[> Ooh, tough one! -- HonorH, 23:54:29 07/23/03 Wed

Do I go with the hotness, or do I go with the one I think would actually win?

Yes, I think Holtz would win if he and Wood went head-to-head. Holtz's crusade against Angel was longer-lasting and far more devastating than Wood's against Spike. Holtz even survived Quar-toth. He didn't die until he wanted to. So yeah, I'm going with Holtz, the good man who allowed himself to be damned by his own bitterness.

But Wood's prettier.

[> AKA Style vs. Substance -- ApOpHiS, 01:00:30 07/24/03 Thu

As a wise man once said (it was probably Sun Tzu, but I heard it from the Kingpin in a Daredevil comic), "You must always be willing to go further than your enemy." Holtz is simply a harder bastard than Wood. Holtz tracked his foe through time, geography, and culture shock. Holtz sacrificed his faith, his soul, his body, his youth, and his life in order to spite one man (yes, and Darla, but he didn't get much time with her). Wood took one physical/verbal smackdown and slunk away with his metaphorical tale betwixt his legs. While Holtz sacrificed everything for his hatred, Wood got taken down by mommy issues. Age and brutality takes youth and pop psychology in my book.

[> [> Not being a wise MAN, I vote for the pretty one......;):):):):) -- Rufus, 01:29:04 07/24/03 Thu

And since Mr. Rufus has a profile I'll vote for the pretty one twice....because I can. Oh, and I'll bet this Sun Tzu would have voted for Cordy for the same reason I'm voting for Wood.....cause if alive he'd like the pretty one too.

[> Has to be Holtz -- KdS, 04:15:09 07/24/03 Thu

Anyone dumb enough to take on a vampire in single combat is doomed.

[> Woodman has heart -- MaeveRigan, 06:42:41 07/24/03 Thu

The similarities between Holtz and Wood are on the surface--their vengeance vendettas. Their fighting skills are probably more or less even, too, but Holtz's heart is long gone, empty or turned to stone. Wood's is warm and beating. He doesn't give up. He turns his crusade from the bitterly personal to embrace the world. And that's why Wood will win.

[> This is evil, JBone... -- JCC, 06:58:16 07/24/03 Thu

I hate both these guys. Holtz, for what he did to Connor (my favorite "Angel" character).
And Wood, for being Wood.

So, I had to vote for Holtz. Thinking back to all Wood's annoying, stuck-up speeches throughout S7, I had no choice.

[> Fantastic Match-up -- cjl, 07:11:12 07/24/03 Thu

At first glance, you'd have to give Holtz the vote because of his pure, fanatical devotion to vengeance, to the point of--and even beyond--death. But for all of Holtz's brilliant strategizing, how did things turn out for both characters? Holtz is despised by everyone who remembers him, including the son he supposedly loved; "Principal Wimp," abandoning vengeance, winds up with Faith. The Woodman comes out on top. (Unless Faith explicity tells him otherwise.) Nevertheless, I'm voting for Holtz, because he was such a fantastic villain and because of Keith Szarabajka's utterly cool voice. (It's a purely academic exercise, anyway; Buffy will wipe out the winner in the next round.....)

[> Pretty son of a vampire slayer or -- Anneth, 09:11:11 07/24/03 Thu

really pissed-off hairy guy? I was gonna vote for Holtz, no contest, til I remembered that Wood has one thing going for him that Holtz doesn't - Faith. And no one messes with her boyfriend. Wood and Faith tag-team Holtz and march off, carrying that big-ass belt-thing. Holtz, a shuddering mass of bruises, opens a portal to another dimension and disappears through it, never to be seen again. Wood victorious.

[> Wood in honor of.. -- sdev, 16:41:01 07/24/03 Thu

his mother and mothers everywhere.

A few thoughts -- Rahael, 03:55:56 07/24/03 Thu

Things seem to have gotten stressful of late. Arguments seem to flare up, tempers have been lost, and relatively mild preferences seem to have hardened into intractable positions. I was thinking about all of this on the way to work this morning.

Maybe it was the fact that I was listening to Al Green, but I just started remembering all the reasons I have to be grateful to AtP. This is a note of appreciation.

Firstly, this is such a wonderful, addictive place to come hear other people's thoughts about the shows, about serious philosophical and ethical issues, about different perspectives on everything from fashion to politics to deeply personal things. It's provocative, engaging, touching.

I'm grateful to have been introduced to some really good friends, even if I've never met them. I feel my life would be impoverished without having known you all.

You have shown an amazing tolerance for my eccentricities, my moments of weakness, my ability to completely lose perspective, and have shamelessly encouraged me to new heights of over-analysis of the like I'd thought I'd never reach!

So many of you have been the supportive hand on my elbow, even if it's been invisible, at times of real pain, that it's impossible to name all of you. Even if you didn't realise you were helping me personally at all, simply posting to the board. Even if I have never responded to you.

But I think I'd like to mention at least some of you, whom perhaps I haven't thanked enough. I'd like to thank Masq, and not attach the usual rider of 'for creating this great forum'. I'd like to thank Masq for the fact that her intelligence, sense of humour and general good-human beingness for helping us be the forum that we are. I would like to be more like her, but I have only succeeded in emulating her obsession with Connor. Plus she's one of the coolest people alive.

I'd like to thank posters like Sophist, Caroline, Manwitch, Darby, Malandanza, Mole and Mundus, Age, Ponygirl, Fresne, SK, Anom, DarrenK, OnM, CJL, Dedalus, Scroll, Etrangere, CW, Random, LB, Lady Starlight, Rufus - many many more. Walking through your minds has been such a pleasure. So much sharp intelligence, humanity, lol moments, so much warmth and sincerity. Just when I get complacent about all of you, you'll completely astound me with a post.

I'd like to thank Arethusa and Aliera, and Redcat for being such extraordinary people it's been my honour to know you. You guys have made me feel, in a way that few do, that my attempt to claw a space for me in the world, to rejoin the human race was not only successful, but that there were others who understood what it meant. I'd like to thank Dubdub because she was one who first made me feel welcome here, and who helped me get together with d'H and supported us when there was quite a bit of bother about the two of us getting together! (How can one ever sufficiently thank someone for that?)

I'd like to say how lucky I feel in my AtPO friends here in England. Yesterday, I went home hugging TCH's poem, the one shining gleaming thing I had. All of you, Yabby, KdS, Abby, TCH, you write so well! You guys are so sane, intelligent and supportive and disagree so kindly with me sometimes, and agree so eloquently at others. Plus KdS and Yabby are such amusing, good company. We'll have to invent reasons to meet up after the ME shows end!

I cannot dissimulate. I am pretty transparent here. I sometimes discomfit myself with that. But let me tell you, that during my time at ATP, I've become a better person. Even during board quarrels that made me feel like I was being torn inside (mostly by myself), I've later recognised the truths it made me face about myself. Such has been the generosity here, I have been able to look at my faults with a degree of newly found patience and kindness toward myself. It is no lie that I have overcome significant mental barriers in my mind as a result of realisations I have gained here. Roundabout last Christmas, I was hit so hard by an epiphany that I sobbed for 2 hours, (thank god the office was empty!), in a way that I hadn't cried since the time I was 16 years old, read a George Herbert poem and realised for the first time that I was no monster, just ill and needed healing.

I'd like to thank to have a special separate thank you for OnM. I'd like to say thank you to Wicked Buffy.

Sometimes I feel being so open here is a mistake. That I leave myself open to things I shouldn't. That I'm silly to get so affected, positively and negatively by such an inexplicable phenomenon. But I can say now that it has literally transformed my life. You guys may have saved it. You certainly changed my world.

Now, let's revive the Meme debate! Yeah!

[> Wow- incredibly healing. Thank you -- Tchaikovsky, 04:02:38 07/24/03 Thu

[> So, this means that we're all weapons of mass instruction? Gee.. -- OnM, 05:26:31 07/24/03 Thu

We like you too! Always did.


To paraphrase some geezer musicians I'm fond of:

And in the end
The art you take
Is equal to the art
You make

[> I'd like to say thankyou to you, Rahael -- MsGiles, 05:41:55 07/24/03 Thu

As a relative newbie, you made me feel welcome to the board first off, and that really meant a lot. It's meant I've felt OK to hang about, occasionally put my two penn'orth in, and not as if I'm on the other side of some big glass plate (nose pressed against). There's so much great stuff here, funny and serious, and your posts are always thoughtful, perceptive, spreading calm when it's choppy. Thanks!

[> [> Oh good!! Pleased to hear that -- Rahael, 12:17:53 07/24/03 Thu

[> Re: A few thoughts -- Darby, 06:10:07 07/24/03 Thu

This is a fun and rewarding community to commune with, but has gotten a bit hot in these hazy days. This is a wonderful injection of spiritual air conditioning. Very nicely stated, as always.

Maybe I will post that Season 7 Buffy-Spike conjecture I've been thinking about after all...in the current atmosphere, the idea of initiating threads in certain topics has started to feel trollish, but I hate the feeling that I have to avoid something that could be interesting and that I want considered intelligent feedback on.

[> Thanks Rah -- Masq, 07:30:45 07/24/03 Thu

For the kind words and for the very personal spin you put on them. I'll have you know, though, I try to be more like you--intelligent, immensely learned, and much more open about my opinions and experiences. I tend to keep to the shadows even on my own board.

I'm so glad I have you and the other ATPoers as my friends. It's really enriched my life to have this here, which is why, despite the occassional frustration with this board, I still maintain it.

So now. New topics. Anyone?

[> Re: A few thoughts -- ponygirl, 07:45:52 07/24/03 Thu

Coming to this board has made me understand the nature of community, that it is particpatory, that no matter how much I would like to stand on the sidelines and make comments I am a part of it, and that anything worth caring about requires effort. All of the people here have contributed to this community and they have made it a wonderful place. A place worth hanging on to and working for. I am sure whatever happens that won't change.

As for new topics, my new goal is to gay up the board. Woo hoo let's all hop on the innuendo train!

[> Thanks to you. -- Arethusa, 07:54:15 07/24/03 Thu

The more I feel the less I can say, so now I am especially incoherent!

Anything I gave to you, you gave back tenfold. Thanks, from one explorer in an uncharted wilderness to another.

Everywhere I go now I wonder if there is a fellow ATPOer somewhere nearby. Istanbul is around every corner, and everyone I meet could unknowingly be my friend. Thanks to you all, for showing me the world isn't such a terrible place after all.

[> What's a 'meme'? [evil grin] -- LittleBit [happily reaching for the tissues], 10:41:12 07/24/03 Thu

[> Re: thank you, Rah. -- aliera, 20:15:17 07/24/03 Thu

In my smallest voice. I didn't expect to be mentioned here for I feel that situation is quite in reverse.

I have received more than I ever gave, here, but also with you.

Regarding all the rest, I either have too many words or too few, so will only say that I think the other posters, especially pony girl, already said it better than I can.

[> [> I too have nothing to say that would add, only sincere thanks -- Scroll, 21:36:01 07/24/03 Thu

oh no! I had a Harry Potter BtVS crossover dream -- MsGiles, 03:56:21 07/24/03 Thu

I dreamed Dumbledore, with pointy hat, was telling me off for illegally summoning demons with an Orb of Thesulah (I know, I know, but this was a dream, OK?) The Orb was small, blue and plastic, and had been left lying around in the staffroom (all modern, cheap, scuffed, rundown) where it had been being used to travel back in time to update blanks in the school diary. The demons (which I seemed to be addicted to summoning) were clearly Monsters from the Id, so I think there might have been a bit of Forbidden Planet crossover as well. Can OBAFU get me for crossover dreaming and subconscious canon violations?

[> On a somehwat related note -- ponygirl, 07:55:04 07/24/03 Thu

A friend forwarded me this list of lines from the new Harry Potter book that when taken out of context could have naughtier meanings...


[> [> hee hee! (muffled snickering) -- MsGiles, 02:04:11 07/25/03 Fri

[> Re: oh no! I had a Harry Potter BtVS crossover dream -- jdp, 20:30:42 07/24/03 Thu

absolutely awesome dream!!!! HP and BtVS, could it get any better?

The Watchers & The Guardians (Execs/Viewers and Show Creators?) -- heywhynot, 08:26:36 07/24/03 Thu

In trying to defend Season 7 because I really enjoyed it, I ended with a paragraph that a few people enjoyed revolving around the fact season 7 was not just about power within the show but regarding the show. I likened us viewers to the Watchers. A few people enjoyed it & I have thought about it somemore.

So I will place my ideas out there to be discussed, because well I am a biochemist and others say things so much better than I and all of you come up with some pretty inspired ideas that I can only hope to match.

Watcher's Council: TV execs
Watchers: Us the viewers
Guardians: Joss & Gang
Slayer(s): The show(s) & eventually us?

Remember it has been about power. I included what I stated before (typos and all).

"To think of it the rules that many shows follow were openly mocked and turned on their head by BtVS. Who is to say that a plot point must be obviously concluded? The rules of TV. Why do we want them to be? Because those are the rules of good TV we are told. Why does every single build-up on a TV show must have a major pay-off? Because that is what we are taught are the rules of TV. Why does do words by a dead character have to pay off big on BtVS? Because that are the rules we have established in our minds regarding the show.

Season 7 was about power on so many levels including with regards to the show. The power to determine how the show ended was not in our hands, nor was it ever really in our hands. Our powers were to watch or not, to praise, critique, complain but in the end only Joss really had the power of creation regarding Buffy. Each of us has the power to create our own Buffy's in our heads, but the Buffy we all collectively watched was under his power. This season I think especially had the creators having fun playing around with the watchers (us). In a manner of speaking we have always been the Watcher's Council trying to dictate what a Slayer should be and act. Think about the whole Giles not touching anything, the BE, "Joyce's" words, etc. we all jumped around with our theories but in the end what was to come of it all lay in the hands of ME not ours. We were constantly reminded this season of this fact, we did not have the power. But in the end what happened? The story of Buffy did not end. It was left open ended. The limits placed upon us as watchers were let go. The watcher's council was destroyed like in the show. We were empowered to take Buffy's character were we wanted."

[> I really like this. -- Sophist, 08:36:40 07/24/03 Thu

[> 'Official' sanction for your theory -- MaeveRigan, 11:47:20 07/24/03 Thu

If I recall correctly, someone asked Joss what "watchers" should do with their Buffy fixation now that the series had ended. His reply: "Write fan-fiction." There you go--the creator's blessing to "take the character[s] where [you want]."

IMHO, the OBAFU limits still apply, but that's just me, putting in a plug for the commendable work of HonorH and her crew.

[> Re: The Watchers & The Guardians (Execs/Viewers and Show Creators?) -- Rina, 14:37:38 07/24/03 Thu

I love the way your mind works.

Comestibles -- Anneth, 10:53:01 07/24/03 Thu

Seeing as the subject of food and food-as-a-metaphor has popped up a lot recently, both in chat and on the board, it might be useful to give food the attention it deserves by devoting an entire thread to it.

So here's the eternal question: if Buffy is cookie-dough, what is everyone else?

Diana and I spent at least a quarter of a minute debating who is like cheesecake; she argues that Buffy is more cheesecake-like than cookie-dough-like, while I maintain that of every character, Riley has the most in common with that particular delectable. (Italian-style cheesecake, with a gooey middle, to be exact.) He's firm on the outside, but has the soul of a poet (well, sorta) when it comes to the woman he loves. Only his 'poetry' is more 'cheesy' and heartfelt than firm and well-thought-out - thus, he has a gooey center. Also, he's a solid guy; one slice of him leaves the consumer feeling contentedly full for hours. Whereas some of the more diminutive of the characters might have more in common with, say, a lettuce leaf, Riley is a nummy caloric treat. Ergo, Riley is cheesecake.

Lilah, of course, is a tall, cool drink of water.

[> Re: Comestibles -- btvsk8, 14:15:13 07/24/03 Thu

Ooh, nice topic!

Well Giles is obviously a Jaffa Cake (see http://www.boilsandblindingtorment.com/jaffacakes.htm)

Xander- this one was easy- bread (brown). He is the staple food of the scoobs, wholesome and comforting.

Willow- mmm, I'm having problems with this one. What can capture her sweet wholesomeness as well as her power?

Spike- adaptable, snarky and too much for some. I think he's (ironically) Garlic.

Andrew is an ice lolly.

Dawn? A pancake.

Riley- a twinkie (no substance)

brain now not functioning- over to you....

[> [> Willow is easy- Chocolate! -- Egak, 22:58:28 07/24/03 Thu

[> Heh, Anneth, great topic. Wonder what HonorH thinks about Wood. -- Random, 14:20:19 07/24/03 Thu

[> Cheesecake, cheesecake, CHEESECAKE!!!! -- Diana, 15:09:30 07/24/03 Thu

EVERYONE is cheesecake, yummy doctor prescribed cheesecake. Yes, my doctor actually prescribed cheesecake to me. So did my dietician. I am underweight and I need the calories and protein. Just like I need my fix of Buffy. It helps put/keep weight on me and gives me just what I need. I want to devour every character and am strickly MEterosexual.

There are all sorts of cheesecakes. For a nice list see:

Cheesecake Factory

There is something for every character in that list.

I'm really not much of a cookie person (except for my Refrainment biscuits), so it has to be CHEESECAKE!!!!

[> Willow -- jdp, 20:32:43 07/24/03 Thu

So Willow would be an Everlasting Gobstopper(?) Not the movie ones, but the real life candy ones. Why? Well she has so many sweet and colorful layers, but when you get to the middle, she is a little tart!!! Tee hee, I love Willow!

[> Angel-cake? -- MsGiles, 02:37:33 07/25/03 Fri

no, seriously, I'll try Anya. She's snarky, with some underlying bitterness there. Overly sticky on the surface, though, practically gluey, the way she sticks to Xander, and to the Magic Box. Some spiky bits to watch out for as Dawn found out. I would think perhaps some kind of exotic cocktail, with a top layer of sweet Midori or Benedictine, over a base of gin and angostura bitters, stuck through with cocktail sticks bearing crystallised fruit and pickled gherkins.

Much the sort of thing Andrew would drink, really

[> Willow is a prawn Korma -- Celebaelin, 04:10:01 07/25/03 Fri

With a stack of popadoms THIS high and about a dozen different relishes. And a side salad with honey and mustard dressing.

Or Tiramasu.

Or both.

And for starters mmmmm toasted garlic bread with melted stilton and carrot and coriander soup with ground ginger and cumin.

I'm staying with ground ginger but there's some doubt in my mind that this should be small slivers of pickled stem ginger.


[> [> Scooby menus (a work in progress) -- Celebaelin, 07:37:39 07/25/03 Fri


Chili Nachos

12 oz. fillet steak with all the usual stuff (and as many trips to the salad bar as you want)

First Banana Split - Banana with blackcurrant ice cream, butterscotch sauce and whipped cream sprinkled with space dust.


Pitta bread and humus

Venison Wellingtonesque - Fillet of venison stuffed with fois gras, raspberries and blackberries and baked in flakey pastry. Served with leeks braised in salted butter, haricot vert and either croquette potatoes or fries.

Peach Melba

[> [> [> all available in Helens Kitchen? -- MsGiles, 08:28:29 07/25/03 Fri

[> Spike -- Alison, 08:49:22 07/25/03 Fri

Would be orange juice- with the pulp. Sweet, yet tangy, refreshing, and lots of texture.
And Angel...might be asparagus. Not quite sure why, except that I like both, and he seems like the asparagus type.

[> Wes & Faith -- Anneth, 14:36:10 07/25/03 Fri

Wes is St. Louis Gooey Buttercake, with raspberry compote. St. Louis Gooey Buttercake is a thick, triangularish concoction of croissants that have been ripped to shreds, soaked overnight in butter, and then pressed back together to make something with the density of a scone. Wes, much like St. Louis Gooey Buttercake, began as something flakey and insubstantial, and evolved (after great physical discomfort) into something much more substantial and filling. The raspberry compote, of course, is the metaphorical representation of his yummy stubble.

Faith is devil's food cake - dark, alluring, and sinful. You'll more than enjoy delicious devil's food cake Faith tonight, but wake up regretting the indulgence tomorrow morning.

A companion piece to Season 5: Spike's Dream -- Brian, 12:03:02 07/24/03 Thu

Since Voy ate the original in less than 10 minutes, I am going to try to repost this.


In my dark world, I have a dream.
A dream of a blonde girl.
She is all that I can see, for darkness is all round.
I live in darkness: I am the darkness.
She is the only light.
She dances, and her motion sparks beams of light into the darkness,
Into me.

Each beam seems to tell an ancient story:
A story of tooth and fang,
The dark lady of my lost eternity.
Blood pounding in the chase,
Cruel laugh and cruel hunger,
Blood pouring from the hunt.
I howl my madness in the midnight air.
I howl in triumph, but I taste only despair.
I am lost in the darkness; I am the darkness.

She moves towards me, touching me
And where she touches, my lips, my eyes, my face, my neck, my chest
I feel cool comfort,
Soft energy that is a caress across my soul.
My soul in the darkness: I am the darkness.

I reach for her in the darkness,
But she slides through my fingers like quicksilver.
She smiles at her conquest,
And if I could bow, I would.
If I could hope, I would.
But my salvation is past,
And I must reap only the reward of darkness: I am the darkness.

If I could see my face,
I would imagine my smile,
My dark smile made bright
By the comfort of my sacrifice,
My surrender to the darkness; I am the darkness.

But my dark dream of the blonde girl abruptly ends,
And I wake to screaming, blinding whiteness,
And an old friend.

[> Re: Taking a note from Rob -- Brian, 14:06:41 07/24/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Avast, Voynak Demon, and spare the child of sweated imagination -- Brian, 14:14:14 07/24/03 Thu

[> That was lovely, Brian. -- LadyStarlight, 15:05:09 07/24/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Thanks, LS. I'm glad you liked it. -- Brian, 16:15:44 07/24/03 Thu

[> Beautiful poetry, Brian -- LittleBit, 17:38:59 07/24/03 Thu

[> [> Re: Thanks LB. Much appreciated. -- Brian, 21:40:09 07/24/03 Thu

[> Oh, I like that one -- Rufus, 22:50:58 07/24/03 Thu

[> nice poem! -- MsGiles, 03:33:14 07/25/03 Fri

[> [> Re: Thank you! -- Brian, 05:29:31 07/25/03 Fri

[> Very nice! I'm keeping this one. -- Dariel, 13:51:44 07/25/03 Fri

I have a dream.... (season 5 unspoiled speculation, only well-known casting spoiler) -- Masq, 13:42:18 07/24/03 Thu

(With apologies to MLK)

And in that dream, season 5 goes a little bit like this:

(caveat: this is not my ideal season 5. It is constrained by what ME left us with)

The gang has been settling into the (allegedly) abandoned offices of Wolfram and Hart over the summer when by some inexplicable metaphysical whats-a-majig that not even Masquerade can explain, Spike returns from the realms of the hereafter.

But instead of becoming a thorn in the side of the A.I. gang, or even mail-room boy, he and Angel start to bond over Buffy-lossage ("I don't want to date either of you lame pointy-bitey... guys! But I wouldn't mind a nice oil-wrestling match!" -Buffy, "Chosen") and bad-guy butt kicking. In fact, they spend so much time together that Angel becomes estranged from the gang (so what else is new), forcing the gang, who are busy balancing evil-fighting against the temptations of having too many goodies, to stage an intervention with him in an attempt to discover the source of his out-of-character behavior.

Meanwhile, out in fandom land, the new friendship of Angel and Spike has Angel-fans and Spike-fans (and those odd creatures, fansofboth VWAS) holding hands with each other in long human chains and singing Kumbaya-ya. All is well on the internet boards.

The gang discover that Angel and Spike have bonded not only over the end of their Buffy rivalry (well, not exactly, they enjoy having little tiffs: "She'll come back to me", "No, she'll come back to me") and their delight in kicking demon butt, but their mutual soul-having. The gang's intervention reveals that Spike needs a vampire-with-a-soul-buddy to help him in his continuing quest for his new identity. And Angel has latched onto grand-childe Spike to fill the void left over the loss of his son.

"Since when do you have a son?"

At this point, Angel fills them in on the true events of Seasons 3 and 4. The gang is skeptical until Wesley realizes that this story fills in the gaping plot-holes in his life (spackle, spackle), like why he has an inexplicable sense of hostility towards and detachment from the gang, most especially Angel. And why he would EVER have gotten together with Lilah, hotness notwithstanding.

This February-sweeps revelation is followed by a brief return of Angel's aforementioned son in a stand-alone episode in which nothing is resolved. Then there's this whole big season-ending arc with some Big Bad or other, and somehow it can only be defeated by a knock-down brawl which strangely resembles the promised Spike-Angel-BigBad oil wrestling match.

Meanwhile, back in fandom land, the peace and tranquility and happiness of the fans has lead to a huge boost in the ratings, leading to renewal for a sixth season, which features, among other things, a big arc in which my little baby boo-boo returns with a much better disposition and a better hair-cut and a renewed need to kick demon booty. First though, he gives his dad a kick in the arse for old time's sake and for forcing him to live yet another lie.

Oh yeah, and Season 5 is also full of interesting twists and turns for the intrepid A.I gang: Wesley, Gunn, Fred, and Lorne. But that's a spooculation for another day.

Oh, and by the way... I am totally unspoiled for S. 5 (mostly 'coz I'm still waiting to wake up and find out the season 4 finale was all just a really weird dream I had) except for the obvious WKCS. So mark real spoilers please!

[> A beautiful dream! -- ponygirl, 14:03:46 07/24/03 Thu

And with oils!

Ooh! And Wesley journeys to hell to try to bring back Lilah. He finds her there and they have the sex of the damned. Of course in true Orpheus fashion Wes messes up and Lilah has to stay behind, a fate she accepts with a shrug, a smile and a "nice try, Wes."

[> [> Is there oil involved in that, too? -- Masq, 14:08:07 07/24/03 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Lilah & Spike -- Brian, 14:26:22 07/24/03 Thu

Lilah, realizing that Spike has a soul, too, tries to corrupt him to the dark side, and there will be lots of hot oil action, carnage, and general fun throughout the season.
Of course, Lilah's plan backfires, and...Season 6

[> LMAO! -- Caroline, 18:04:40 07/24/03 Thu

Love, love, love this. Kudos and a glass of red to Masq!

[> [> Re: LMAO! -- Caroline, 18:06:13 07/24/03 Thu

Love, love, love this. Kudos and a glass of red to Masq!!!

[> My only nagging question from all this... -- Rook, 10:51:22 07/25/03 Fri

Why does everyone seem to hate Connor's hair? IMO Connor's hair is second only to Oz. And really, it's much metter than that sticky straight up stuff his dad has.

[> [> I never disliked Connor's hair -- Masq, 12:11:52 07/25/03 Fri

The actor, IMO, looks much better with long hair than short. But other people have expressed dislike with it, so I threw that in for humor's sake.

It did bug me how his hair was always in his face, though. I think that's a maternal instinct thing. "Get your hair out of your face, young man!"

[> [> [> Re: I never disliked Connor's hair -- aliera, 19:06:07 07/25/03 Fri

A mark of your true affection... just teasing!

It does catch my attention though since the guys I know are really into the short look. Not only does it set Connor apart a statement of differentness, no time or concern for the hair dresser; but, it (for me) heightened the almost Madonna like quality of his bone structure and facial features.

Teens I know remarked on his lack of style in clothes too. Enough like to fit the times (not dated) but enough out of sync that there was a Stranger in a Strange Land effect. I'm not a good judge here so maybe that's just a personal take from another viewer. Dunno.

[> Another nagging question -- Dariel, 13:48:44 07/25/03 Fri

Where will we get our snarkage quota, if not from Angel and Spike?

[> [> I for one, never cared for snark -- Masq, 15:52:59 07/25/03 Fri

I like attitude with some teeth: Gunn, Connor, Cordelia.

Of course, if Lilah's around at all, there will be garden-variety snark.

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