July 2003 posts

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Just a quick question, please answer me -- Andrea, 20:39:26 07/26/03 Sat

i was just wandering why is it the in almost every Fanfiction i,ve been reading lately they say that Buffy's name is Elizabeth Anne Summers, i mean i know Anne is her middle Name and all, but did they actually said at soe point in the show something about Elizabeth?? at least before Storyteller 'cause im up to that point on the show.


btw on Angel i just gotta say i loe the last scene with the kiss and the burning cross and the music, it was a great ep.

[> Stinking. Irritating. Fanon. -- HonorH (OBAFU Headmistress), 22:28:21 07/26/03 Sat

No, Andrea, that's not canon; it's fanon, and stupid fanon at that. Buffy's name has always been Buffy on the show. No one has ever called her "Elizabeth." If it were her first name, one would think it would be on her gravestone, or even on her wedding invitations ("Something Blue"). As it was neither of those places, I must conclude that her mother simply named her "Buffy," and that's that.

Not irritated with you, btw; it's just that I've seen that so much, and there's not a shred of canon to back it up. It purely annoys.

[> [> Well, actually... -- Sheri, 14:17:04 07/27/03 Sun

Buffy is a fairly common nickname for Elizabeth... did a name search on Buffy on babynet.com's baby name finder and got:

A name that orginated as a pet fom of Elisabeth, probably from a child's attempt to pronounce Beth.

Does that mean that Buffy's given name is actually Elizabeth? I have no clue, but I can see why so many fanfic writers believe it to be the case.

I'm not sure if the wedding invitation or even the tombstone are sufficient evidence... it's a growing trend these days to use nicknames instead of full names, I've been to two weddings this year where nicknames (Becky instead of Rebecca and Jenny instead of Jennifer) have been used. As for tombstones... I'm presuming that the tombstone was either purchased or (more likely) magicked up by Willow... I doubt the Scoobs took the time to check Buffy's birth certificate for her real name, but rather just went ahead with the name that they knew her by.

[> [> [> Re: Well, actually... -- Kenny, 16:18:05 07/27/03 Sun

As for tombstones... I'm presuming that the tombstone was either purchased or (more likely) magicked up by Willow... I doubt the Scoobs took the time to check Buffy's birth certificate for her real name, but rather just went ahead with the name that they knew her by.

Don't you kind of think that Dawn would know her older sister's name was Elizabeth? Canonically, it seems more likely that her name is Buffy, not Elizabeth.

[> [> [> [> Agree with this. -- HonorH, 17:46:15 07/27/03 Sun

In any case, we've no evidence at all that her name was anything but Buffy. I think the real deal is that some fen can't deal with the idea of her name actually being Buffy, so they change it to the more dignified Elizabeth. That seems to me counter to Joss Whedon's intent, though--little girl with silly name saves the world.

[> [> [> [> Clarification -- Sheri, 21:54:45 07/27/03 Sun

Actually, what I meant by the tombstone comment is that I more picture the Scoobs (Dawn included) saying "But she's always been Buffy to us" "She want it to have the name she goes by every day." I personally put more stock in the names we use day to day and not what appears on our birth certificates; so if "Buffy" is a nickname, I don't really see how that deminishes the whole, as HonorH puts it, "little girl with silly name saves the world." For all intents and purposes, that's her name regardless of whether it's nick- or given. As far as bringing it up in fanfiction... it seems just a little pretentious to me and more of a lame way of filling up space in a story than anything else.

[> [> [> [> [> the scene w/the guardian would've gone differently -- anom, 22:43:43 07/27/03 Sun

The Guardian asks her name, & Buffy replies, "Buffy." The Guardian says, "No, really." Buffy shrugs, & the Guardian goes on w/her explanation.

Buffy doesn't say, "Well, it's really Elizabeth, but no one calls me that." If nowhere else, this is where any "official" name on her birth certificate would have been used.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Haven't we seen Buffy's school record on occasion? -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:52:40 07/28/03 Mon

As far as I know, they don't put people's nicknames in those.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Haven't we seen Buffy's school record on occasion? -- Kenny, 14:02:54 07/28/03 Mon

I'd say that's patchy. I think all the school records were shown before S3, at the beginning of which she received a middle name. Most school records would have a complete name, so if one wasn't present, we could just as easily assume that the program had a "common name" field, and that's what displayed on the screen. I thought about this one yesterday, but it didn't seem to hold much weight at the time, so I didn't mention it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> College, the initiative computer and principal Flutie -- Rook, 21:44:12 07/28/03 Mon

All of Buffy's college records that we see use Buffy (like when Spike and Tara are searching the dorm records.)

Also, the initiative computer calls her Buffy. I'd imagine a major government operation would be limited to using a person's real name rather than a nickname - and it definitely wasn't limiting itself to code names, because it used Riley's full name rather than "Lilac One".

The most telling use of official records though, is in the scene in WttH in Flutie's office.

Flutie is seated across from Buffy, and he's basically summarizing what he's just read in her records, and uses the name Buffy. He doesn't call her "Elizabeth" followed by her instructing him to use "Buffy", he just does it after looking at the record. And we know that this is the first time they've exchanged names, because of the "All the kids here are free to call me Bob." line. There was never any opportunity for Buffy to inform him of a nickname, and so the only place he could have gotten Buffy from was the cumulative record, whihc would have used her "real" name almost exclusively.

[> Wedding invitations in Something Blue -- fidhle, 08:01:40 07/28/03 Mon

In the episode Something Blue, Buffy and Spike, who are under a spell by Willow to cause them to get married, discuss their wedding invitations:

Buffy: Honey, we need to talk about the invitations. Now do you wannt be William the Bloody, or just Spike? 'Cause, either way, it's gonna look majorly weird.

Spike: Whereas the name Buffy gives it that touch of classic elegance.

Buffy: What's wrong with Buffy?

Giles: Huh...such a good question.

Spike: (Ignoring Giles) Well, it's a terrible name.

Buffy: My mother gave me that name.

Spike: Your mother, yeah, she's a genius.

Buffy: Don't you start on my mother.

From that sequence, it would seem that Buffy is the given name, not Elizabeth.

[> [> Script quote above is from Buffyworld.com transcript. -- fidhle, 08:59:54 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> Ok, I give in... Joyce was just nuts :) -- Sheri, 13:21:09 07/28/03 Mon

Moral Compass and JW (adult content) -- sdev(il), 23:49:16 07/26/03 Sat

I was very puzzled by the term Moral Compass and its use especially by some posters who often quoted JW with great effect to justify their interpretations of the characters of Spike and Angel. Moral compass, what could that mean? I remember asking but receiving no reply to this great mystery. Was it electronic or one of those old fashioned magnetic ones from old camping trips and wilderness studies. Was it still four directional or did it now just point up and down. Sometimes the way the term was being used I had the impression it could be used inside out, to turn a person's very being into something else. A compass that could remake the landscape turning wasteland into a tropical forest of musacea kind of thingee. Made the Scythe look downright ordinary!

I finally found an old JW interview in which he described in great detail the Moral Compass. The interview follows. The questions are being asked by Artemis (Ars).

Ars: I wonder if you could describe how you see the character of Angel?

JW: Well, I see his good and evil issues like a big old moral compass (editiorial note: this is the first known use of the term as applied to BtVS and AI).

Ars: What the heck is that? And which direction is good?

JW: I think of it as a banana...

Ars: Did I hear you correctly, did you say a banana?

JW: Yes, hear me out on this one. I'm sure you'll get it when I'm finished.

Ars: OK

JW: It's a banana- a big, long, hard, I mean strong banana. And the outside is evil and the inside is good. With the peel on, it still has all the attributes of an incredible banana but it is vile, evil. Have you ever tasted a banana peel? Then you know what I mean. But if you peel it and eat it it has all the same strengths for the good. Hmm, delicious. Getting hungry just thinking of it. Angel has the power to be this strong tasty banana when you peel him or the big evil virulent, banana no one would want to eat when he has his coat, I mean peel, on.

Ars: I think I am getting this. But what does this say about Spike? I have my suspicions.

JW: I'm sure you do. Spike is kind of a wimpy, tasteless, mushy banana. His moral compass is flaccid, I mean, placid. His inside isn't much different than his outside. Because of that I don't suggest peeling him. He just doesn't have the layers thing going. What you see is what you get. Therefore he cannot be trusted.

Ars: You mean weak in all ways. I get it. But what about the fact that he deliberately sought out, and endured great physical trials, and got his soul back.

JW: Soul, shmole. We are talking moral compass here, you know the big banana. Don't you get it? Angel has a soul too. His banana, I mean moral compass is so great they had to curse him to get the peel off but now no one can eat him.

End of Interview

[> Re: Moral Compass and JW (adult content) -- d'Horrible, 01:26:33 07/27/03 Sun

Everyone seems to assume that "moral compass" refers to one of those magnetic north-finder doojigers when instead it refers to one of those metal circle-drawing thingamajigs, and indeed as Angel can arc forward and backward on the moral plane, saving the world here, letting some lawyers die on the backswing, we can go around and around on this until I just want to take the pointy end of this "moral compass" and stick it in my eye.

But that's ok: I've got seventy-three more.

[> [> That's why mommy always says -- CW, 09:00:32 07/27/03 Sun

Never run with a moral compass in your hand.

Andrew was raised in a poor family that couldn't afford a moral compass. Which is why he is so compliant, and why he sat (admittedly tied up) in that chair so long this year, while everyone else was running around in circles.

[> Re: Moral Compass and JW (adult content) -- aliera, 06:42:33 07/27/03 Sun

Good lord, I never guessed....

[> Re: Moral Compass and JW (adult content) -- devilish, 08:54:25 07/27/03 Sun

I'll never look at a banana quite the same now. Is it Angel? Is it Spike? Well, that's one more food item on the list of foods that my minions won't be serving me anytime soon. Which is fine cause dining on sacrificial virgins? Not so good for the figure.

[> Spike and Donne (still adult content--just barely) -- mamcu, 17:08:34 07/27/03 Sun

Stiff twin bananas? That explains the poster!

[> EEEvil banana split -- MsGiles, 06:19:54 07/28/03 Mon

Does if the moral field vary slightly from year to year, like magnetic north does? This could explain all sorts of apparently inconsistent behaviour in people that own one, like Buffy, Xander and Willow. I believe that the magnetic field of the earth flips completely over every now and then, so eventually I expect we will be waking up to find that Wrong is the new Right. All the people previously categorised as Good will then be Bad, so perhaps there'll be a kind of moral amnesty while everyone readjusts history. Or maybe that has already happened.

It's possible to buy a moral compass at the Army and Navy stores. Unfortunately it just points to the fellow in charge, but it's OK for displacing blame in a crisis. Then there's the mortal compass, a depressing sort of gothic thing that points to the skull behind the flesh (or the churchyard behind the pub). More useful is the morel compass sold in health food shops for finding edible fungi.

I assumed Spike had an immoral compass originally, and had to get it converted. Immoral compasses point to Wily Bad, Lurky Bad, Big Obvious Bad or Bad Without Shirt.

I'm glad Joss cleared that up about bananas, I'd always wondered where they came in (ahem).

[> [> isn't that what happened to caleb? i mean, right before the rest of him had to -- anom, 10:56:49 07/28/03 Mon

I think you're right about the shifting of the moral field, MsGiles! That would explain a lot. And thanks for that entertaining list of compass types! I think there are a few others:

The morale compass, which lets you know what tack to take in a motivational talk (Xander in The Freshman & Spike in Touched used this kind)

The more-tell compass, much beloved by gossips for pointing toward the person who knows the juiciest rumors

The more-or-less compass, for when you don't need to know exactly the right direction....

The Moreau compass, which always points to an island where horrific experiments are performed to turn animals into humans (inscribed with the words "Are We Not Men?"--the compass, not the poor brutes subjected to these experiments)

The mural compass, which can help you find art, but only really large art on walls

The Merle compass, a demonic yet ineffectual instrument that you can intimidate into pointing in whatever direction you want

[> What the Hell? -- Rina, 11:03:00 07/28/03 Mon

What the hell is JW saying?

[> [> It's a parody -- Miss Edith, 18:39:16 07/28/03 Mon

I think. At least I'm fairly certain Joss never actually compared either guy to a banana :)

[> [> spoof -- sdev(il), 19:48:32 07/28/03 Mon

and not such a good one judging from your reaction.

We're Off to See the Wizard -- Diana, 09:25:13 07/27/03 Sun

Follow the yellow brick road
Follow the yellow brick road
Follow, follow, follow, follow
Follow the yellow brick road.
Follow the rainbow over the stream
Follow the fellow who follows a dream
Follow, follow, follow, follow
Follow the yellow brick road.

We're off to see the Wizard
The wonderful Wizard of Oz!
We hear he is a whiz of a Wiz
If ever a Wiz there was
If ever, oh, ever a Wiz there was
The Wizard of Oz is one because,
Because, because, because, because, because,
Because of the wonderful things he does!

The question is: What if never a Wiz there was? Modern mythology, such as Buffy and Angel, try to address this question. There is no yellow brick road to follow and there are no wonderful things he does. The Wizard is just a man behind the curtain. L. Frank Baum's masterpiece wouldn't still be shown every Thanksgiving (an aside, if you haven't heard/seen the version where Jewel plays Dorothy that was done as a benefit for the Children's Defense Fund, I highly recommend it. I'm listening to it as I type this up), if it was just the quest of some girl to get back home. What makes it resonate is the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and the Cowardly Lion and how they all work together with Dorothy (and your little dog, too) to find that what they all wanted and actually become more interested in helping each other than in their own desires.

They each want what we all want: to belong, a be smart, to feel and to not be afraid. Even the Wizard has his own desires, which are mirrored as evil in the Wicked Witch. Even though only two of them are human, they are all really us. Same thing with the cast of characters on Buffy and Angel. As Tim Minear said about Angel in a 2002 interview, "He's physically inhuman, but he's got a soul. He's already a guy. You do sort of take your own experience and graft it on. What does it represent that he has a past, or feels shame, or feels like he needs to atone for something? These are things that aren't exactly alien to us."

AtS has even gone as far as to have a mini-arc that pays homage to "The Wizard of Oz." The simple metaphors of the various horror monsters can be adequately dealt with in a single episode. The complexity of the Wizard of Oz takes a bit more. As usual they put their own spin on it, by bringing Lorne back home to face things. It is this complexity that the series is built on.

Heart-mind-spirit. Countless essays have been written about how this applies to Xander-Giles-Willow. "Restless" even went as far as to make it canon. As the series continued, other aspects of Buffy were represented with Spike, Anya and Dawn. For "Older and Farther Away," they even brought in a few more characters to give a complete picture of Buffy.

The series starts with a pretty innocent 16 year old and is about her maturation. With that maturation came an understanding of her power and what it was for. Since Buffy started out this way, so did the supporting characters for the most part. Buffy's home life isn't ideal and neither are any of the other characters. This helps gray them up, but this is nothing compared to the characters over on Angel.

When AtS opens, Angel isn't remotely innocent. They show was still finding its way, so supporting cast was Doyle and Cordy. Doyle was Angel's link to the PTBs and Cordy was his link to his humanity. If anything the chemistry between Glen Quinn and David Boreanaz made Doyle more of a link to Angel's humanity than Cordy. ME decides to revamp the show and Doyle makes a mythic exit. In enters Wesley and soon after Charles Gunn.

The supporting cast becomes Cordy-Wesley-Gunn. Cordy changes rather quickly when she is on Angel. She has to to fit the show and Angel. Angel is not some innocent 16 year old growing up. Not only is he a tad older than 16, but he isn't close to innocent. His horrid past has left deep scars. When Cordy was on Buffy, her chemistry with Xander was so good that the writers just had to put the two together. It is fitting that when she goes over to AtS, she plays the same role, but since Angel is different than Buffy, there is an important difference. Often Xander will play perspective guy and say things that Buffy doesn't want to hear. In some cases, he will voice things that Buffy cannot. Cordy also plays perspective girl, but more often she says things Angel wants to believe. She voices things that Angel cannot bring himself to.

Season 1 Angel is just trying to reestablish contact with humanity. Cordy is the dating fool this season. She is the one that passes out business cards and tries to make contacts. Just as Angel is trying to find his way in the world of humans, Cordy is trying to find her way outside the world she once knew. Cordy voices concern about things, mainly Angel, when Angel cannot. It is Cordy that realizes that Buffy would be upset about what Angel did in "Pangs." If you want to see what Angel's heart feels about something, things he cannot bring himself to voice, watch what Cordy says. She is used the same way that Xander is.

Doyle is killed (as Tim says "I killed Doyle, and I'd do it again." If a character dies, chances are s/he was killed by the Tim Reaper) and is split into Wesley and Gunn. Wesley gets Doyle's demon lore and Gunn gets his sense of mission. The comparisons between Wesley and Giles are pretty obvious. The differences are what is important. We get a bit of Giles' backstory in "The Dark Age," but the baggage that Giles has is nothing compared with the inferiority complex that Wesley suffers. This need to prove himself drives him every bit as much as it drives Angel.

There is another interesting difference between Angel-Wesley and Buffy-Giles. Buffy will assert herself when necessary, but the relationship of Buffy-Giles is Slayer-Watcher. Even as late as season 5 she wants him in this capacity. Angel is the boss who hired Wesley. Angel nurtures Wesley's confidence. It is fun to watch Cordy and Wesley bicker. Season 1, these two are equals, with each thinking they are better, but Angel is still the one in control. He tries to get them to get along.

Gunn's dysfunction is started right off the bat. He has a bit of Spike in him. He loves the fight and anything dangerous. His personal feelings get in the way of the mission. If he had accepted Angel's help at first, would Alana have been vamped? Gunn is officially all about the mission, but Angel knows better. He gets Gunn to help in "Blind Date" by telling him it will be extremely dangerous.

His evolution has been extremely interesting and mirrors Angel's own commitment to good. At first it was just about protecting his neighborhood, as Angel just wanted to not be that monster any more. Then after he lost Alana, he wanted to make up for that, just like Angel wanted to make Amends. Then Angel realizes that the smallest act of kindness is the most important thing in the world and Gunn realizes that his crew isn't what is important, the people who believe in the mission are. Gunn is starting to realize that there is more to him than just muscle. Angel has just be handed Wolfram and Hart. I have a feeling that Angel is about to learn that there are more ways to help the helpless than pounding demons.

Season 2 sees a massive shakeup in the relations of the characters. Angel goes over to the dark side and fires Cordy-Wesley-Gunn. He loses his heart, rationality and even his sense of mission. Instead it becomes about revenge. The three of them try to continue without Angel, but no part of us exits without the totality of us. When Angel comes back, he puts Wesley in charge. After that bout of extreme irrationality, which culminates in him wanting to lose his soul, he puts his mind back in control. Not a bad idea. Heart is the hardest to win back over. In his absence, mind and spirit have been bonding and this bonding makes Angel stronger.

This season also sees the addition of 2 new characters. Just as Doyle was split into two, now it is Cordy's turn. First new character is The Host. It is Angel's heart that enables him to read others and himself. That is why the heart plays perspective guy/gal on both shows. Angel reveals his deepest feelings by talking with Lorne. Lorne tells him things that he already knows, they are just painful to admit.

The other character introduced is one of my favorites, Winifred Burkle. Cordy was a good representation of heart when Angel wanted to just reconnect with humanity. Angel's heart has been severely damaged and it takes an equally damaged character to really show what he it is going through. Being trapped on Pylea for years was a good parallel to Angel being Angelus and what that did to his heart. Fred comes back and hides in her room. Angel's heart really doesn't want to come out.

Season 3, Cordy, being relieved of having to represent Angel's heart, now becomes his Spike or shadow-self. The parallels between Cordy-Darla-Lilah are every bit as strong as the Season 2 parallels between Angel-Lindsey-Kate. Angel's shadow is a lot more complicated than Buffy's because of his dual nature. He has an alter-ego in the form of Angelus. That isn't his shadow, so much as just Id-boy. Cordy has to mirror all his baggage that he gets because of that. She does this incredibly well s4 as Jasmine.

Wesley's relationship with the group shows how rational Angel is being. Season 3, after bad things happen to Connor, Angel tries to kill him. From this point on, Angel isn't the most rational thing on the planet. His feelings for his son totally color everything he does. It is Angel's mind that saves him from the ocean depths. Angel's rationality comes back after he patches things up with Wesley, but it is too late.

As Angel accepts himself more, it makes sense for a romantic relationship with Cordy to develop (even if it doesn't go with S2 of BtVS). It also makes sense for Cordy to reject him in favor of Groo at first and then to reject Groo. Groo is non-evil demonic Angel (Groo is a demon as well). He is a very interesting character. When Angel still rejects his evil side, Cordy rejects him for Groo.

Fred has warmed up more and was the focal point of the turgid supernatural soap opera. Intellect and mission got along rather well earlier, but throw heart into the mixture and things get messed up. As Fred is starting her relationship with Gunn, Angel is mixing feelings for his son with his commitment to the mission. Intellect has no place in this. Angel needs to find a way to get all three together.

What makes Buffy and Angel mythic isn't the redemption or even the main character. It is the scope of the shows that are illustrated with the supporting cast. The scarecrow, tin man and cowardly lion has been replaced by Giles-Willow-Xander and Wesley-Gunn-Fred. Here's to hoping that Buffy reruns will be shown on Thanksgiving for years to come.

That is just some quick thoughts that will hopefully jump start discussion about the cast of Angel. What do you think?

[> Re: We're Off to See the Wizard -- VampRiley, 18:48:51 07/27/03 Sun

I liked it. Very informative. Something I definetly wouldn't have thought of. For some reason, I have this feeling of there being some connection between Connor-Lilah-Jasmine. I don't have a clue why. You got any ideas?


[> [> Ideas :-) -- Diana, 06:40:35 07/28/03 Mon

When I get into Wolfram and Hart Season 3, I will go more into Lilah. Season 1 for "The Ring" I refered to her as the Angelus of Wolfram and Hart. She is actually the Darla. She is totally into the view. Lindsey's issues matched up better with Angelus.

Season 3, Wolfram and Hart become bit players who aren't aware of what is going on around them. They lose sight of the big picture. With Connor, they are more interested in dissecting him and finding out what things mean than in the goals they had Season 2.

Jasmine doesn't just interpret the signs. She makes the signs. She isn't curious about Connor. She uses him. Jasmine isn't concerned about meaning. She takes away meaning and replaces it with herself.

Jasmine/Cordelia and Lilah contrast most directly season 4 with their interaction of Angelus. Jasmine tricks Angelus into thinking he has escaped. After he has escaped, she has the one thing he wants (or rather doesn't want) and is able to control him. Lilah offers to let Angelus out. When he does get out, he chases her (and Angelus can unnerve Lilah. He does it rather well as Angel Season 2).

Prior to the desouling is another contrast. One of my favorite early season memories is when Angel tells Lilah that he smells Wesley all over her. Lilah is following young Connor around and Angel warns her to stay away from him. Cordy well, yuck, even typing about it invokes the memories, so we will leave that out. We all know about what Cordy did with young Oedipus.

Lilah contrasts wonderfully with Angelus. Angelus is a schemer, but only when the scheme is fun. When it ceases to be, he will send the world to hell and give up his goal. Lilah is Id girl all grown up. She is also a schemer, but she is willing to do things in order to obtain her goal. She will help Angel get Gavin off his back for her greater good. She is willing to do her own research. She has no problems following orders from the Senior Partners, even if that means Angel gets to live.

But Jasmine has been revealed to be planner extraorinaire. No one in the history of the Buffyverse has executed such an elaborate plan. Jasmine is also willing to do things in order to obtain her goal of world peace. As much as Lilah is the Id all grown up, Jasmine is the Super-ego.

Caught in the middle of this is Connor. Connor is Angel's innocent self. Even up to his death, there was still a sense of innocence about him. Connor wants to be loved, but is innocent of what this is. When it is offered to him, he can't recognize or believe it. It is too good to be true. It must be a lie.

Connor is what Angel believes he is buried under everything. Rather what Angel thinks Connor is is what he thinks he is. Angel has no idea how damaged Connor really is until the end. The only way to save Connor is to wipe him out of existance. Angel has to do the same thing with his own ego.

So the three relate as id-ego-super ego. When Angelus was running around, there was no need for another representation of Id, so bye-bye Lilah. Under Jasmine's paradise, Id is removed, so still no Lilah. She comes back to offer Charlie the keys to the Chocolate Factory. Her lines tend to be all about desire, all the way back to season 1. The relationship of Lilah to Connor and Cordy/Jasmine to Connor show Angel's own relationship of these things.

All this stuff about the Super Ego actually matches up with Angel's shadow. The shadow is more than just the "bad" parts of us. As Angel's ego focuses on one thing, whether that be Father or Champion, everything else is pushed to the shadow. (As Angel is playing Father S2, Cordy is becoming a demon in order to be a Champion) The best illustration of this is Connor's amazing monologue in "Peace Out." That speech was dissected as it applies to Connor. What about Angel?

Angel thinks the world seriously sucks. He tells Bug Priest that his world needs him. Everything Angel does is based on this. What if it doesn't? Angel had to turn what Jasmine did into something evil, because World Peace just isn't possible. Innocent Connor at least thinks that Jasmine's lies are better. "Peace Out" is a bit more complicated than Free Will=good. Angel doesn't even have this desire that Jasmine and young Connor does. That is why Angel can't be the one to kill her. Only someone that valued what she offered could (Cordy or Connor).

This desire beats the crap out of Angel. I am getting tangential here, but if anyone wants me to continue, let me know.

[> Re: We're Off to See the Wizard -- luvthistle1, 04:16:25 07/28/03 Mon

You made some valid points....I often wonder "who was the man behind the curtain? or will the "wizard" be reveal in season 5 of Angel. I also notice that the finale of Angel was called "home" ..as in no place like...

[> [> The Man Behind the Curtain -- Diana, 06:55:04 07/28/03 Mon

The man behind the curtain, which we think can give us everything and ends up having no real power, is Ego. Angel is so concerned about working on being human. All he has to do is realize that he already is.

The lesson of The Wizard of Oz is that "there's no place like home." AtS uses Angel's home as a symbolic representation of him (I can't wait to see what his penthouse will look like. I want a HUGE bed in it). In The Wizard of Oz each character finds out that they already possess what they desire. They are given some symbolic representation of that, just like ME's standard MO is solve the psychological problem and then show some metaphor to represent this.

[> [> [> Re: The Man Behind the Curtain -- luvthistle1, 00:06:55 07/29/03 Tue

ooh, great . one of the things Angel now have "desire". He oh, and "ah" at the big screen t.v in home ( although he wasn't brought off by it.) it was obvious that he desire it. Wesley said in "shansu in L.A",that what made humans different from vampires was " desire", our wants, and needs,ect.

[> I hope to respond later, but for now just have to tell you how GREAT that post was! -- Rob, 09:55:04 07/28/03 Mon

[> How Weird -- Diana, 13:44:39 07/28/03 Mon

My summer project is a fan fiction that is currently at over 100 pages about Buffy and Angel. I went back and analyzed it from the perspective that I spoke about in this thread and even without doing it on purpose, Fred-Gunn-Wesley all fell into the roles I talk about. Their relationships with and concerns about Buffy just naturally fell into how those various parts of Angel would feel and the conflict wonderfully illustrated the conflict going on in him about her.

I wondered if any have noticed the same thing happening with their own writing. Perhaps that is why fan fiction that neglects the supporting cast comes off as weak. It isn't just that an important character is missing, but what is going on with the main character cannot be fully addressed without all the supporting cast.

Another thought is that when the supporting member becomes the focus of the episode, such as "The Replacement", the main character assumes the role of the supporting player. For example, in the mentioned episode, Xander becomes the main character and the focus on Buffy that episode is her heart. Same thing happens in "The Zeppo." I'm sure others can come up with other examples.

O/T Someone was looking for Lord Byron's vampire story? -- WickedBuffy, 12:41:58 07/27/03 Sun

A month or so ago, someone had posted about "Fragment of a Novel, a vampire piece purportively by George Gordon aka Lord Byron.

I've found it and can fwd it to you (email) if you still want it. Just let me know somehow. :)

[> Wasn't me, but would love to have it! -- mamcu, 17:05:21 07/27/03 Sun

I have seen it, but long ago. I'd love to see it.

There was also a movie that involved Byron, but not this book--also Mary Shelley, I think, and the writing of Vampyr. Has all this already been discussed? If not, it's going to be good to have it during the future Melees, so if you know the title, please remind me. Made in the 80's, I think.

[> [> 'Gothic' Ken Russell 1986 -- sdev, 20:46:49 07/27/03 Sun

[> [> [> Re: 'Gothic' Ken Russell 1986--See it before the Melees! -- mamcu, 07:44:59 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> I remember seeing that movie & being very confused. -- WickedBuffy (maybe I saw a later, badly, edited version), 10:11:06 07/28/03 Mon

[> Wasn't me either but sounds interesting. -- deeva, 17:58:50 07/27/03 Sun

[> WickedPurveyor if you could send it my way that would be great thank you! -- pr10n, 18:14:52 07/27/03 Sun

[> ayup to you all (and lol pr10n). I'll send it tomorrow. Anyone else want it, let me know. :> -- WickedBuffy, 19:02:26 07/27/03 Sun

By the Power of Grey Skull... -- Sheri, 13:55:20 07/27/03 Sun

Ok, please keep in mind that I'm still formulating this theory, but I just wanted to get it down here before I forget what I was thinking about and blah blah blah get on with it and quit waisting all the bandwidth, you say?

Ok, I know a lot of people have questioned the wisdom behind activating not just the potential Slayers fighting by Buffy and Faith's side, but also ALL the potential Slayers in the world. Lots of good arguments as to why this wasn't such a hot idea.

So I got to wondering... were ONLY the girls who had been identified as potential Slayers the ones in danger of being gutted by the First's minions? My interpretation of Buffy's intentions for activating the potentials was not only so that they could win the imediate battle, but also so that they wouldn't be living in fear of being killed by eye ball-less henchmen every which way they turn. I have trouble believing that the First was waiting around for the WC to identify potentials, and not doing its own leg work to find out who its future enemies would be.

Ok, so we know that the First cannot be destroyed, right? The battle between good and evil will go on and on and blah blah blah, so I think the activation of ALL the potentials was really the only option in making sure that girls in danger of being murdered would be able to defend themselves.

[> Autobots! Transform....and roll out!!! -- Rochefort, 00:48:44 07/28/03 Mon

Mayor Wilkins vs Lindsey -- JBone, 20:03:14 07/27/03 Sun

The key to Wolfram & Heart, don't let them make you play their game. You gotta make them play yours.


re-vote results

The first round is half over. The Tiebreaker Council for the next two weeks will be d'Herblay, Masq, and Dub. In close contests, the Council emails me who they voted for in case there is a tie. The first round has been predictably without need of it so far, but you never know. I'd really like to recruit some volunteers for the coming weeks. But I'd like those who have served in the first round to be there in the final rounds. So if you're voting everyday anyway, why not have your vote count more? If you can't check in to see if it's close, just email me when you vote. My mailbox can handle it.

I meant to have learned a new software thingy this weekend, but summer life got in the way in the way it thankfully can. No sunburn this time. At least of the peeling kind. But I'm going to further test the patience of the Board overlords by asking you to continue posting comments here or email them to me.

[> Ah, Lindsey of the blue eyes and Angelic UST-- -- HonorH, 20:13:06 07/27/03 Sun

Sorry, sweetie, but my vote goes with the Mayor. He just had that something, y'know? What was it? Oh, yeah: immortality, invulnerability, and a heck of a civic plan!

[> [> Wilkins III! -- Rochefort, 22:02:57 07/27/03 Sun

The Mayor was not only one of the best acted roles on BTVS, but also one of their best metaphors as evil. Mayor Wilkins puts on his pasta-eating-napkin and eats up Lyndsey like a big black beatle.

[> [> [> Ooh! New mini-troll! -- HonorH, 22:41:23 07/27/03 Sun

C'mere, little Lyndsey! Who's a sweet little mini-troll? Aww, lookit those big blue eyes--come with me to OBAFU, Lyndsey. We'll feed you all the Spam and root beer your little heart desires!

[> Re: Mayor Wilkins vs Lindsey -- ApOpHiS, 23:16:29 07/27/03 Sun

Now, I like Lindsey, I really do. He's a great character. Nobody loves the Evil Hand more than me. However, nobody loves the Mayor more than me, either. He's my leader, my friend, and my biological father. He's taught me that evil is no excuse for impoliteness, nor for poor hygiene. He's immortal, indesctructible, turns into a giant serpent, and is a helluva miniture golf player. Mr. MacDonald gets disbarred while Richard Wilkins, III, begins his 600th term in office.

[> Matter of principle -- KdS, 02:31:36 07/28/03 Mon

Yeah, Wilins was cool. But compared to certain other Buffy villains, he still had that faint "He's evil because he's evil" thing that stopped him from being a fully-realised character. Have to vote for Lindsey here.

[> Re: Mayor Wilkins vs Lindsey -- cjl, 07:04:03 07/28/03 Mon

As much as I admire Harry Groener's performance as Mayor Wilkins, I'm going to shock everyone here and vote for Lindsey. While Tricky Dick's Delusions of Demonhood were, by their very nature, a dead end on BtVS, Lindsey's character still has a lot of room to grow on ANGEL, and I devoutly hope Joss backs up the Brinks truck to get Christian Kane and the Evil Hand back in action. (If we're lucky, they'll let him sing...)

[> Re: Mayor Wilkins vs Lindsey -- MaeveRigan, 07:30:19 07/28/03 Mon

While the odds for this match sort of depend on whether it takes place before or after Wilkins ascends to giant-snake-hood, I'm still putting my bet on Lindsey, who may be ambivalent, but who's also backed up by the entire resources of W&H--nothing to sneeze at. And even if a giant, demonic snake sneezed at W&H, I'm sure they have a plan for that.

[> Re: Mayor Wilkins vs Lindsey -- Anneth, 10:34:37 07/28/03 Mon

Anyone or -thing that can a) eat Snyder in a single gulp and b) not suffer so much as mild indigestion afterwards gets my vote. Sure, Wilkins was a giant snake-demon-thingee at the time, but, as a wise old man once said, "details, details." If it hadn't been for them interferin' kids, he'd be a giant snake-demon-thingee yet. Wilkins victorious.

ATPoBtVS, and Rochefort Gets a Part in Bat Boy!!! Woo Hoo! -- Rochefort, 22:13:08 07/27/03 Sun

So who's gonna marry Kerry now, Rob!? Yep, for all who were following, my auditions were today. They lasted much of the day, and they cast the play this evening. I'm Sheriff Reynolds!! I've been high all day. Had I not gotten a part, I was going to just pound nails in boards for the play. I would have been thrilled to have landed a small role or a role in the chorus, but Sheriff Reynolds is a really good part, and I get a gun and lots of time on stage and solo singing, and I'm in most of the big fun production numbers. I come 5th on the billing on a cast of 16. PLUS!! I GET TO BE IN BAT BOY!!! My favorite play!! Thanks Rob! I can without a single possible doubt say I wouldn't be going to rehearsals for a play anytime soon if you hadn't posted that fateful post.


[> Congratulations Rochefort! -- deeva, 22:40:47 07/27/03 Sun

It seems like just yesterday that you were waxing on about the beauty of Kerry. But it sure did get creepy when I found out you had never seen her, just heard her! ;o) Watch out Kerry! Here comes the sheriff!

[> [> Thanks, Deeva!! -- Rochefort, 22:59:24 07/27/03 Sun

And thanks for asking for another chapter of Next Season's Angel. It's coming if you still want it. I have ideas. Including Spike in a hockey helmet. Just got distracted by practice and grading end of semester papers and what not. Sorry I came across as creepy. Creepy people can be ammusing when they're far away from you on a Buffy board though. :) And would anyone reallllllly creepy get cast as Sheriff Reynolds, the singing dancing law-man with a good Christian heart?

[> [> [> Of course I'm still going to demand another chappie!!! -- deeva, 09:26:11 07/28/03 Mon

That stuff is just really hilarious! No worries about the length of time, though, you know sooner is always better than later. Just saying. And as for the creepy, it was/is highly amusing because I know that you are far, far away. hee hee

[> [> I, on the other hand, MET Kerry (for real!) and was the one to tell Roche her first name. -- Rob (who so kicks Roche's ass in the Kerry dept.), 13:36:31 07/28/03 Mon

[> Oh my God, that is so great! A REAL part! Congrats! -- Rob, Roche's Bat-Boy sire, 22:56:48 07/27/03 Sun

Oooh, major solos in "Christian Charity" and in the finale...and some other small sung parts here and there too...Great work! And you get to sing, "Call me, I've got stun guns and a chain," which is probably the coolest part.


P.S. Kerry wants me to tell you to stop calling her. She's not interested. We're engaged, and very happy...so why don't you do something productive like stalk Madonna or something? ;o)

[> [> Stop calling your poodle 'Kerry.' It's creepy. -- Rochefort, 23:07:23 07/27/03 Sun

Anyway, I can't believe you'd even go so far as to IMAGINE that your dog is my future wife. What a betrayal! You were my SIRE man! My SIRE!

Thanks for appreciating my achievement Rob. I wanted to be in that play soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo bad. And the director seems really cool. We're not doing the hat switching multiple parts thing cause he wanted to have more people in it cause he said that would be more fun socially. (also makes my part bigger. relatively. heh). He also said that he doesn't want to play it safe or cutesy. He said if we don't want to cause a stir in the town and have everyone talking about it we should get out now. Our animal sex scene for instance isn't going to have stuffed animals. It's going to have bumping and grinding in skimpy vegas outfits. (gasp!)


[> [> [> Dream on, Sheriff. Dream on. -- Mr. Kerry, 08:46:23 07/28/03 Mon

No stuffed animals?!? I'd feel gypped! Heheh...nixing the multiple parts thing is understandable. On off-Broadway, they basically did that because it was such a small theatre. Just a little too bad that it'll lose a little bit of the comedy there. But definitely, more people with parts is better!

I hope that since your director wants jaws to drop that no skimping can be expected on the blood and gore...On off-Broadway, there was some gushy blood. I'd expect nothing less from your production. ;o)


[> And congrats from me! (Though I have absolutely no idea what 'Bat Boy' is!) -- Marie, 03:11:37 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> Re: I have absolutely no idea what 'Bat Boy' is! -- mamcu, 07:17:34 07/28/03 Mon

I didn't know either so googled for this:


[> [> [> Thanks for this, mamcu! And it looks like something I'd enjoy... -- Marie, 07:45:21 07/28/03 Mon

...though I don't suppose it's likely to come to Theatr Gwynedd, somehow!


[> [> [> [> Get the CD!! Best score for a musical...ever! -- Rob, 08:48:47 07/28/03 Mon

Click here...you won't be sorry!


[> Congratulations! And echoing Marie... ? -- aliera, 04:58:18 07/28/03 Mon

What's the play about?

[> Congratulations -- that's great! -- LadyStarlight, 06:29:58 07/28/03 Mon

[> Congratulations--wish we could see it! -- mamcu, 07:29:23 07/28/03 Mon

Actually, maybe some of us can. When/where?

[> Congrats! When is this happening? -- ponygirl, 08:24:46 07/28/03 Mon

[> Congratulations Smoochies from me :-) -- Diana, 08:30:54 07/28/03 Mon

but does this mean that you will be too busy to come to chat :-(

Kerry is a very lucky woman.

[> [> Thanks everyone!! (and answers to questions) -- Rochefort, 11:35:37 07/28/03 Mon

Thanks so much for all the congratulations! I've been walking around all day pretending to draw my guns and hooking my thumbs in my belt and stuff.

Bat Boy is about a small Virginia town where a boy turns up who has fangs, sucks blood (a la Angel), and sings songs. He's taken in by a family who tries to teach him to be civilized a la My Fair Lady. The town is of course afraid of the Bat Boy and the Sheriff has to deal with that, and then of course Bat Boy falls in love, but not with the Sheriff. The music robs from the styles of everything from Music Man to Phantom of the Opera, to the Lion King and Rent. And it's a comedy and there's a parental advisory due to blood and animal sex amongst other things.

I didn't think there was anyone on the board from Michigan; that's where it's playing. If anyone IS close to Michigan, the shows are in October and November. But if you want to see it in YOUR town (with an inferior Sherriff Reynolds), the link that Rob gave above has a list of all of the showings across the country.


Question for Diana re Angel's tattoo -- Celebaelin, 03:24:40 07/28/03 Mon

I couldn't find your posts on Angel's tattoo in the archives but following your lead I checked the Book of Kells and found the depictions of the four evangelists. I'm assuming that Angels tattoo is the depiction of St. Mark (top right in the link below)

Four Evangelists, Book of Kells

I can't be certain 'cos I still haven't got a clear look at the tattoo itself.

If this is the case I'm guessing you know that the symbolism of the lion for St. Mark is a constant but interestingly in the Book of Durrow (folio 19) the lion has no angels' wings.


[> Want to see Angel's tattoo? Go to... -- Marie, 07:50:10 07/28/03 Mon




[> Posted link below -- Diana, 08:42:55 07/28/03 Mon

I also went on and on and on about the tetramorph. I think people are missing the point of that tattoo when they go off on the stuff about the Griffon.

St. Mark's Gospel is EXACTLY what Joss is saying about Buffy. You have this Messiah/girl with power, that humanity rejects. The story of Buffy, who episode after episode fights the forces of darkness, compares well with the Gospel of Mark which goes into Jesus's ministry in a vivid style where one incident directly follows directly upon each other. The term Gospel even comes from Mark 1:1.

Joss proclaims the good news that is Buffy. Buffy empowering Angel to be a Christ-like figure himself in "Amends" really foreshadows what happens in "Chosen."

Spoiler 4 Angel season 5: losing humanity -- luvthistle1, 04:01:46 07/28/03 Mon

I read the sides, and the spoilers, for the first epsiode of season 5
of "Angel", so if you haven't and do not want to be spoiled. turn back




*At the end of the first Ep Angel shoots "Hauser"(the special ops guy)with the shotgun killing him .which can't be good . There was no immediate threat. the kids were all safely away, and Hauser wasn't carrying a "stake"

My question is:.. isn't Hauser, suppose to be "Human"? Angel once said he do not believe in killing "human', because they have the chance to be "redeem". so, if Angel killed Hauser in the first episode, doesn't that means the character of Angel is walking dangerously close to the "darkside" and could be in danger of losing his humanity?

Note:he lost Connor and Cordy. the two people that he loved and who most tied him to humanity.

fill free to email me.

The Tragedy of Buffy, Slayer of Sunnydale -- KdS, 06:43:42 07/28/03 Mon

Experimentally posted on my livejournal, and sufficiently popular to transfer over here. Hope you enjoy it.


PROLOGUE, a demon
BUFFY, a Slayer
SPIKE, a Vampire in love with the Slayer
WILLOW, a Witch in denial
DAWN, Sister to the Slayer

The action takes place over one night in the town of Sunnydale, between the events of the canon episodes "Normal Again" and "Entropy"


(We see a figure seated at a Renaissance writing desk, shadowed in the light of a single candle. It turns to us, and we see that its face is a foully decayed, undead caricature of the famous Droeshout engraving. This is PROLOGUE, a demon)

Good readers all, I pray you to draw near
Your dire PROLOGUE doth summon you to hear
A tragedy, where each shall play his part
Until the end shall break your mortal heart
Plots have I laid, and fell designs begun
With WELLS, the lech'rous MEERS, and faintheart LEVINSON
But they know not, although I ne'er can lie
And all are doomed to die (Evil laughter)

I.1 (A graveyard, enter THREE VAMPIRES)

When shall we three meet again?
(Enter BUFFY, unseen by them)
In thunder, lightning, or in
(BUFFY stakes him)
...unh... (dusts)
Foul monsters of the darkest pit of Hell
Prepare to meet your well-deserved doom!
(They fight. BUFFY stakes a second VAMPIRE. Enter SPIKE, who stakes the last)
Thou seest my heart doth guide my warlike arm
For all thy bed is barred unto my shaft.
B: Ill stars did rule that night wherein we joined
I thank thee for thy aid, yet never may
My heart thy demon love requite
S: I fear
That 'tis the truth, and yet... What means this verse?
For though our speech be ever finely wrought
In iambs ne'er did Slayer rail till now
B: And why do words of antick sort and style
Proceed from tongue and throat with scarce a strain?
This is some spell, of virtue fierce and strong
I must unto the witch
S: I'll come along (Exeunt)

I.2 (Enter a CLOWN)

O indeed I must win her back, for without her I become the worthless drunken knave that I feared to be with her. Thou, good ale bottle, shall personate my love. Indeed, thou art bitter and cold, although she always feared things that hop. It is wondrous strange that she is as hard as you now, when once she was so soft. Hold, why do I speak in such base wordplay? And from whence comes this Giles's grand-dad speech? This is some revenge of Anya's! I must find her. Yet will I speak to Willow first, for in truth I do not wish for Anya to see me in this sad plight, if it be not her doing. (Exit)

II.1 (The Magic Box, enter BUFFY, SPIKE, WILLOW, DAWN, and the CLOWN)

For sure this is a spell, and I do fear
That you must find some other versed in Art
For magic now to me is like unto
Free cocaine base unto some gutter trull
Should I attempt th'erasure of this curse
Some worse curse I would bring, through poor restraint
S: Indeed this is a very paltry witch
Who fears for her own state when friends are cursed
Cl: Silence, fiend!
I still did not in meter speak until I met
With thee, ill-omened creature of the night
This is some prank of thy design
S: Oh please!
D: Wherefore this brawl? This is a merry sport
In English class next day I will delight
In this new pretty state, and I will awe
The slack-brained teachers that ne'er can freestyle
In antick verse
B: Remember, good my sib
The musick that did seem a merry sport
And that did end in flames of blazing Hell
S: And well we know whose dabbling brought that forth
W: Peace! We still may find what demon vile
Or mortal's spell has made us versify
Within these books. Let us research, though sure
We have no cause to fear too greatly yet
S: In prose did thou soliloquise?
Cl: Indeed.
S: Then we have cause.
B: Thou fear'st?
S: Indeed I do
For all of us do speak in verse well scanned
Alone, the boy did speak in prose, of puns
Well filled, which means the clown is he, whose jokes
Though gross and poor, do leaven pain and fear
High verse and no mere prose, in mouths of all
A dark suggestion makes. We are entrapped
Within a tragic play, and hence are doomed
To wash the final scene with our heart's blood
Or dust, in my superior blessed case
Cl: How knowest thee of such obscure facts?
I still do feel that this our painful state
Is brought by thy rash act
S: To calm thy fears
And stop the black calumnies thou dost speak
I must admit, when I was but a man
Great verse and drama did I study much
Though all my work availed me but for naught
And when my Dru did make me as I am
I cast off books, and turned to rougher sport
D: Thou wert a man of books? Spike was a geek!
W: Though I do hold that state in higher praise
Than thou dost give, the jest is passing fair
S: If you do spread that jest, all fear my fangs!
B: Thou canst not bite, and threaten not my friends!
We must unmask the author of our plight (Exeunt)

II. 2 (A basement. Enter WARREN, ANDREW, and JONATHAN, much in ale)
Now is the Slayer doomed. The fine demon Andrew did summon hath bound her in a tragic tale that must end by her death.
A: Neither Luthor nor great Doom could have created such a fine plan!
J: Yet is it true, her friends must also die?
Wa: The devil take her friends, they are a paltry crew of triflers. Now shall the name of Meers be remembered by all creatures of darkness, that I, a human, did kill the Slayer who none of them durst touch.
A: And Wells! And Levinson!
J: (aside) I hoped not to be remembered for such sport as this.
Wa: Yet one thing I do still hope, that I may know her 'ere she dies. To have such a proud warrior upon her knees before me, her sharp tongue upon my sharper sword... Gentles all, I give you the "Lay of the Vampire Layer"!

(Sings) Thou hast known a deal of dick
Thou hast lived too long a time
Thou hast known a deal of dick, Buffy
But thou knowst not mine!

J: (aside) God have mercy! By sweet Katrina's soul, I am compact with a monster who knows no law of God nor man! (Exeunt singing)

III.1 (The back room of the Magic Box. Enter BUFFY and SPIKE)

I fear I must away, to save thy life
B: What does this mean? For all thy lack of soul
My sister and myself thou oft hast saved
S: In tragic mode this spell doth have us trapped
And tragedy, I fear, doth mark my love
Remember Greg'ry Peck and beauteous Mistress Jones
In that wild tale we saw on DVD?
How love and hate did flame, each raising each to height
Until with leaden balls each tore the others flesh
In union more perfect than life could bear
Were not this spell in force, our love might end
In my free-falling dust and thy heart's blood
I know thou longst for peace, and for myself
To die by thy sweet hand would be no pain
B: I would not find that peace. Dost thou not know?
I sought not death upon that fatal peak
I thought of naught but life, the world's and my dear sib's
And for that gift, 'tis sure my death was blessed
To seek for death, I fear, is grievous sin
And would consign me to some darker spot
S: Yet I am truly damned, and thou must know
That pain and sweet delight are not for us opposed
In Hell we may yet meet, and burning flame
May kindle sweeter flames and endless joy
B: Why this is just the morbid stuff I would expect
From one who seeks to pull me 'neath the waves
I see within LJs how black-lipped Goths
Do write such dismal stuff in foolish dreams
And think grim Death a perfect gentle knight
And kiss his skull, and lewdly use his bones
But I have seen the truth that such trash hides
And known the end of mother, friends and self
To know the dark is wise, but to believe
That dark alone is truth and light a lie
Is foolery, for sentimental brats
That true pain ne'er has laid its hand upon
E'en were I sure that joy again would wrap
Me in a cloud of comfort and of peace
I could not leave my sister and my friends
To face the dark without my strong right arm
S: Then let me leave, for I must be thy doom
B: What if my doom is lack of thy bold aid?
What if I die with none to guard my back?
If we are doomed, our doom will come for sure
And flight will not prevent its sure and deadly aim
If thou wouldst be a man and not a beast
Then fight for life with me and seek not death
(Alarum. Enter WILLOW)
The base knave Meers, and both his mountebanks
Approach us here with conjured demon force
B: Then arm for battle! Spike, art thou with me?
S: With all my heart, for life and love of thee(Exeunt)

III.2 (A street. Enter WARREN, ANDREW and JONATHAN mounted before an ARMY OF DEMONS)

The bitch shall die!
A: As Doomsday fierce and bold
Did smash the Last of Krypton in his pomp!
(Exeunt WARREN, ANDREW and ARMY. JONATHAN tarries)
My lazy evil fast begins to burn
My soul with fire like unto a Hell
And yet like Hell nothing does it consume
I joined with them for sport! O God forgive me!
My sleep is filled with dark presentiments
Of future punishment for bitter crimes
For fair Katrina raped and foully slain
And Slayer tortur-ed to feed Meer's lust
Once at the prom I crowned her Protector
And her sweet smile did warm my lonely nights
When I did steal her powers, like a saint
With stern yet loving warning she forgave
And thus do I repay her kindnesses
Like false Mollari compact with the dark
Or Turlough plotting death for kindly Doc
Yet like both these, I still may yet repent
But yet I fear that Meers may work my death
Though I am base, I may yet save my saint
Foul Meers I shall unto the Gang betray
If so I may and still preserve my life
For I do fear that I am yet unsaved
O Lord preserve my soul, but if I die
Consent that Meers may also come to fry (Exit)

III.3 (The street before the Magic Box. Enter from the right BUFFY, SPIKE, WILLOW, DAWN and the CLOWN in arms, and from the left WARREN, ANDREW, JONATHAN and their ARMY likewise)
Meers, if your Art did place us in this coil
Know that the laws of drama you invoked
Decree your death as equal price for mine
Therefore, surrender. Though your many crimes
Deserve the highest penalty of law
Know that, if you submit yourself in peace
To human law, all vengeance I do quit
For human blood I hate and fear to spill
Wa: Thy prattle, slut, doth bore me near to death
As for my life, I hold it but a toy
To end thy life, though my life be the price
Will bring me fame to last a thousand years (All commence to do battle)
Oh spirits, let the name of Wells
Be famed as Octopus, or Servalan! (The CLOWN knocks him senseless with a single blow. As ANDREW falls, the DEMONS dissipate. WARREN and BUFFY fight, and WARREN falls.)
Strike true, and end my foul designs. For I
Did drive thee from thy wits, did rape my love
And break her head with bloody shattered glass
And make thee take the blame, with matchless zeal,
Upon thy spotless head. All this and more
I did with joy, and if thou letst me live
Will do again. Dispatch! (Buffy moves to stab him with her sword, but hesitates and pulls her blow. As she hesitates, Warren strikes a low blow with a hidden dagger than would have killed her as she finished him)
You bastard! You wanted us to die together? You think that's romantic as well?
XANDER: Hey, no more verse! And I'm not the CLOWN any more! I've got my name back!
W: That's all it took to break the spell! Of course!
B: What?
W: Don't you see? We were in a tragedy. Tragedies happen because people do dumb stuff over vengeance and honour. You did something right!
(There is a clap of thunder. PROLOGUE appears in a cloud of smoke and dust.)
Though you have broke my spell, I am not weak
Prepare to meet your doom, quail and look meek!
B: Uh, Will? Any special way to kill this?
S: You sod! You made me show I had a bloody classical education! And your extemporisation's lousy! (He hurls himself at PROLOGUE and tears him limb from limb)
Well, that works...
A: (Recovering consciousness) Q'THAGUN Q'THAG Q'THAG!
(Three winged demons appear from the sky, grab the dazed TRIO and fly away)
Shut him up, next time, someone.
X: Is this over now!
B: More or less. Happy ending. Doesn't that make it a comedy?
S: (wolfishly) They end in marriage.
(Spike and Buffy yell at each other as we FADE TO BLACK)


A/N: Conceived during a particularly unfortunate performance of Shakespeare's Richard III at the Globe Theatre. III.1 inspired by certain particularly doom-ridden Spuffy fics, which shall remain nameless to avoid singling individuals out. Warren's song inspired by the Bloodhound Gang's Ballad of Chasey Lain.

[> ROFL! , throwing oranges -- MsGiles, 07:38:29 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> Ditto! (Except for the oranges part - I'll throw petunias, instead - they're lighter!) -- Marie, 08:01:11 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> I'll throw roses! Bravo! -- ponygirl, 08:19:09 07/28/03 Mon

[> Most excellent, sweet sir! -- mamcu, 10:36:16 07/28/03 Mon

[> A bold and saucy jest, my liege! -- clj, 10:54:57 07/28/03 Mon

Methinks those geeks are passing strange (Doctor)...

[> Brilliant! -- HonorH, 11:44:34 07/28/03 Mon

KdS, you have to post this at a fanfic archive somewhere. It's too bloody fantastic to not have the audience it deserves. Bravo!

[> An instant ATPo classic! -- Masq, 11:52:23 07/28/03 Mon

This has to go in ES....

[> [> LadyStarlight already asked me -- KdS, 15:32:47 07/28/03 Mon

I told her no, but now I come to think of it, it might as well go on there. Do you or Lady Starlight want the original document with the tags?

[> [> [> Lady S is doing her job! -- Masq, 16:25:32 07/28/03 Mon

When she asks first. Send it on to her, and if you want to be nice and html it, I'm sure she'd kiss you. Virtually speaking, of course. ; )

[> [> [> [> Re: Lady S is doing her job! -- The Sidereal Coder, 06:39:32 07/29/03 Tue

(waves at KdS) psst, over here!

If you could send it in Word format with the tags in it, I think that would be easiest to deal with. If not, send what you've got and I'll work it out. Remember, HTML tags say "I lurve you!" ;)

[> a tragedy most comic, o good sir... -- anom, 20:22:58 07/28/03 Mon

Whose antics, being in antick style expressed
Do all the more into comic relief
Its modern themes throw. Bravo KdS!

[> [> Nice one, anom -- KdS, 02:09:09 07/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> thanks, kds--coming from you, that really means a lot! -- anom, 13:25:16 07/29/03 Tue

Even for such a brief little effort (mine, that is). I hope you'll post more in this vein, so to speak, once in awhile, in among your equally well-done serious posts.

And yours deserves a little more detailed praise. It hangs together so well, the way you melded the show with, well...older literary traditions, & it has admirable internal consistency. And not just internal--as far as I could tell, it could actually have fit into the show's timeline where you set it. This could have happened! I loved reading about things like DVDs ("Greg'ry Peck"--haha!) & cocaine in iambic pentameter! And that you made the prologue itself a demon, & Xander the clown! (No, that's not a slam against him--just felt I had to say that in the current climate >sigh<. But it was a welcome break from that climate!)

Have you ever read Poul Anderson's A Mid-Summer Tempest? It takes place in a Shakespearean universe: the events in Shakespeare's plays really happened; he's not the Bard, he's the Historian! And the characters speak in iambic pentameter. Your Tragedy reminds me of it.

[> Shakespeare would be so proud. Bravo! -- jane, 20:33:30 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> Re: Thou art a poet and a wit! Bravo! -- Brian, 10:51:52 07/29/03 Tue

What's my motivation? a reaction to Shadowkat's Season 7 Critique -- ZachsMind, 12:19:23 07/28/03 Mon

The following is intended as a positive compliment, constructive criticism of a criticism, a series of perhaps disconnected reactions to the words of another respected colleague in the area of BtVS analysis, and a public invitation for others to share their point of view. There is no intent to malign or harass, and such maliciousness should not be inferred. And frankly I'm upset that I feel I have to preface this diatribe as such, but someone threw eggshells on the board not too long ago, and I'm just trying to politely react to that.

"...the characters were being forced to serve the story as opposed to the story serving or naturally arising from the characters..."

This is one of Shadowkat's better essays. I so admire Shadowkat's work. Even and especially when I disagree with her. I mean, she says this as if it's a bad thing. That the characters were serving the story when she appears to believe the opposite should be the case, and that can't be further from the truth.

The fact is, this is true from beginning to end. Characters serve the story. They are pawns in a shell game between the imaginations of the writer and the reader. It's prestidigitation of the mind. The trick is, the writer is supposed to trick the reader (or viewer or what have you) into believing the characters have free will, when in actuality the writer dictates their fates. It is there, perhaps, that the Mutant Enemy writers failed us. However make no mistake, the characters are intended to serve the story. When the story serves the characters, that's when you get little to no plot furtherence at all. I mean, left to their own devices, Willow would read a book, Buffy would go shopping, Xander would find an arcade and Giles would move back to England. The characters don't write the story. They are tools that the writers use to tell the story.

So where did the writers fail us? Or did they? Both seasons six and seven of Buffy the Vampire Slayer were fighting an uphill battle. There was a lot happening behind the scenes that we don't know about, but the show must go on. The story had not quite been completed. We'll never know everything that was happening behind the scenes which led to what we saw on the screen. However, we got what we got and I dunno about anyone else but I loved it. Warts and all. To be fair, Shadowkat does her best to uncover those answers, but truly we'll never know the whole behind the scenes story, and perhaps that is for the best.

Of course that won't stop me from reading (and writing my share) of criticism and essays about the series in the years to come. I hope the Kat keeps at it too. Her breakdown of serial versus episodic television is spot on. I do however have some reservations for her frustration over times when a character seems to look up at the writers and ask "what's my motivation again?" I'm reminded of a story (perhaps an apocryphal urban legend) from behind the scenes in Hitchcock's "The Birds." The lead actress' name was Tippi Hedren, and near the end of the film there's a point where the script requires she go up these stairs to her certain doom. She turned to Hitch and asked him why she would actually walk up these stairs towards the darkened second floor when her character was perfectly safe where she was. Hitch responded, "because it's in the script."

"But what's my motivation?" she asked. Hitch told her it was her salary. I do understand the frustration we as viewers sometimes have when the only valid reason for (say for example) Xander standing there like a knob is because the script requires he get his eye gouged out and in order to accomplish the closeup shot on that, the makeup artists need Nick Brendon right over there and that Firefly guy playing the priest has to stand over here and the lighting has to be just so and when we get to that point in the final episode it appears flawed and faked cuz, well, it is. It all is. It's quite frankly amazing that they ever accomplished the pilot. To have done seven seasons of this series is nothing short of a miracle.

So shall we forgive them their little faults, the writers of one of the greatest television series known to man? We can argue that perhaps M.E. should have stopped at season three, where pretty much everybody agrees the series was at a particular peak. However, the story had not been completed. There were still tales left to be told. I enjoy the following four years, even though some hated the college episodes and some hated Glory and some thought the Troika were lame villains and some felt season seven started with a bang and ended with a whimper. I love all of it. Even those moments when Buffy metaphorically walked up (or literally down) a flight of stairs to certain doom, when the alternative wasn't as bad as one might think. In the final analysis, that is ultimately what made Buffy who she was. The archetype of Buffy for Whedon was that sweet innocent girl in the horror films persecuted by evil. He gave that girl the means to fight back, so she didn't have to keep on running. Is it logical? Is her motivation sound? Who cares? It was entertaining.

Buffy would walk into that dark alley. Not just because she had to, but because she could, when no one else would.

And where Buffy goes, so goes my nation. =)

[> Synergy -- Darby, 13:08:04 07/28/03 Mon

There is a level of storytelling that puts neither plot, message, or characters at the forefront at the expense of the others. Of all the many shows on television, the very best tend to blend all synergistically, and I assume we're all here because we put Mutant Enemy's products up as examples of tv at its best.

But to be good storytelling, there has to be telling (or showing, in this visual medium), and there should be a consistency (even if it's a consistent inconsistency, as in David Lynch). If the characters seems to be behaving contrary to their established natures, the explanation should be fairly obvious (think the first few episodes of Season 4). And in good storytelling with well fleshed-out characters, one has to work to set the cast into the plot. This was the weakest season for that integration, especially since many plot points relied upon the characters (like Buffy's strategies or Willow's magic use) to drive them, and they often had to slip out of character to do it. Was it still great television? Mostly. Was it up to their best work? I don't think so.

The season's emotional arcs, a hallmark of the series (so you could say the show is set up for the story to serve the characters, but that isn't completely fair), were weakly delivered. How did Buffy get from emotionally from episode Lessons to Chosen? There wasn't much difference, although the path between involved changes, but her emotional state along the way was spotty and her character inconsistent. The same could be said for Willow. Dawn, Giles, and Xander were nonentities in terms of emotional arc. Anya's was truncated. Who had them? Spike and Andrew?

The best Hitchcock films included actors who could hold onto a consistent character while being driven by a plot (Hitch expected the actors to be able to do their jobs - that's why he hired the best). He told his story while they told theirs (and guess which side won out if their was a disagreement?) - that's why the movies are great. TV's pretty different, though, and in ME productions the actors are used to doing what they're told, delivering what's on the page and trusting the writers.

[> Ah Zach...you wicked poster...trying to tempt me back ;-) -- s'kat (delurking), 15:15:36 07/28/03 Mon

Just delurking briefly to let you know I've been enjoying your posts, Zachsmind. (well not just yours.) (Not sure what all this egg-shell business is about - all the boards right now are a tad contentious...outside of maybe one, due to the phenomen of dog days of summer...and for me, the phenomen of not having steady employment. The combo of the two turns me into the writing version of the Hulk. I keep having Bruce Banner moments, so I've had to restrict myself and my reading lately.) So am very glad you enjoyed my critique;-). Worked very hard to make it fair and even, not overly emotional or ranty. (For the corrected most up to date version visit my site.) Appologies if this post is somewhat, well, looking back over it, very rambly...lots of stuff rambling around the brain from your post.

I've seen many many reviews of Chosen and Season 7 now, so many that it's begun to make me realize that it is close to impossible for anything to be seen precisely the same way by any two or more people. While we may agree with another or portions of what one another states, we will always differ on some thing - sometimes aggressively and sometimes demurely depending on how emotionally invested we are in the ideals that something represents. Heck, I've read so many critiques both positive and negative on this dang season now, that I'm no longer sure what I think about it any more. It's beginning to be less about my impressions of the season and more about my impressions of the ability of the reviewer to persuasively critique or praise it. Leaving me feeling, as Jimmy Stewart states in Shop Around The Corner, somewhat psychologically confused.

I think this is true about more than just tv shows or Btvs by the way. It's also true of posts. While one post may make me see red and become DarkWillow all veiney with the vengeance, it may make another person thoughtful and generate lots of cool ideas. Same with characters and storylines, I think. For instance - way below there's mention of the television character Diane Chambers from Cheers. I have friends who hated this character and preferred Kristie Alley, while others loved Diane and hated Kristie Alley. I, myself, was somewhat neutral. Although something tells me that if I met Diane Chambers in real life, I would be hard pressed not to go all Carla on her and threw a beer in her face. This is not to say, I didn't like the character, I did. Absolutely fascinating...particularly considering how the writers dared to develop her. I often find flawed characters more interesting and more real. Less Mary Sueish
as it were. Fascinating character - Diane Chambers, partly b/c she is so incredibly flawed and the writers truly punish her for those flaws. Same with the Seinfield characters - wicked characters who we enjoyed laughing at. I know some people who hated them and can't understand how anyone liked them.

I wish I understood why a post that makes me want to throw rotten eggs, makes someone else all bright and cheery and want to throw roses. Just as I wish I understood why what you seem to have enjoyed about Chosen, others did not. See I'm getting back on topic - just give me time. ;-)

How is it possible for us to see the same thing so differently? For instance I really don't like Andrew, a friend of mine loves Andrew. I disliked Storyteller, still do, my friend loves it. He can't understand why I dislike Andrew and Storyteller so much and I can't understand why he loves them. Luckily it's one of the few things about Btvs that we split on. We've tried to figure out why...but I think it's beyond us. We just perceive the character through the veil of our senses, experience, and own makeup

I've been enjoying lots of little posts on ATP this week, most notably an interesting (although somewhat over my head) discussion on intent, morality, existentialism, Kant and Nietzche by the wonderful manwitch, Random, Caroline,
and Sophist. Reading these posts - gave a horrid dream about
the meaning of mens rea in rape cases. Yep my punishement for coming to the board at 3 am in the morning. Also somewhat bewildered about the meaning of teleological - it does not appear in my dictionary, dang it. Anyone know what it means?

(Ugh, I'm hopeless, truly hopeless...I write this lengthy goodbye, and less than four days later I'm responding to someone. Which means I'm reading the board when I swore I'd go cold turkey! I think the only way I can stay completely away is if I sold my computer and well that's impossible since I need the pesky thing to find a job, or stay off the internet - also impossible b/c I need to check those pesky job emails...ugggh!! So here I am doing what I swore I wouldn't do for a while and responding to a post, b/c well, it had my name in it and it was good and funny and a wonderful example of how one should in my oh so humble and unexpert opinion criticize someone. Ugh! So you all can blame Zachsmind for bringing me albeit briefly out of hiding again - the evil thing. ;-) (joking - we really really need emoticons on this board, methinks) )

Anyways end of stupid tangent and back to my point - I honestly think the brilliance and at times frustration of really really good tv shows, is their ambiguous nature. Same with movies and books and interesting paintings. How many scholars have written lengthy discourses trying to figure out James Joyce's Ulysess or Shakespear's Hamlet or Faulkner's Sound and Fury? How many try to figure out the far more upfront and unambiguous works of say John Grisham or Stephen King? If we wanted to be preached to or told what to think - we would watch something else. But we don't, well not all of us, at any rate. We like the ability to project our own values on to something else or draw from that art medium what we need to.

But getting back to the topic at hand...I oddly enough agree with many of your points as I oddly enough agreed
with your take on Earl Allison's critique below. I think you have a good handle on what Whedon intended, whether it is what came across on screen, is open to debate. (Just as whether or not some of us enjoyed or liked it or were even entertained by it. Some of Whedon's proposed themes, to be honest, disturb me a little when I concentrate on them too long for what I'm talking about see the link at the bottom.) In short, I'm left muddled myself. I honestly can't tell you which view of S7 is the correct one. Is it OnM's? Mine? Cjl's? Sophist's?
Yours? Caroline's? Or the review I've included a link to below? I do believe every single view of the season is valid, whether or not Whedon intended that view. And Whedon himself - has been somewhat contradictory regarding his own intentions regarding the season - he reminds me a bit of Joyce, David Lynch, and Faulkner in this way, almost prefering the audience to work it out for themselves. Oh some themes are pretty clear and everyone agrees on - ie. the whole female empowerment by scythe/Willow concept. What we disagree on is how all these themes were presented and some of the morally ambiguous themes beneath the surface.
We also all appear to disagree on how to define terms such as intent, masculain and feminine, existentialism, determinism, and empowerment, which makes things even more muddled and reminds me an awful lot of the argument about memes, which I still can't figure out.

Okay, okay, back to your topic, thanks for bearing with me - It's been a while since I looked at that particular critique you're quoting...so my views regarding parts of it may have changed somewhat. Not sure.

Regarding characters serving the story? I agree they should serve the story, but by the same token the story should come naturally from them. No this does not mean what story the character wants to tell - ie, Xander wants to go to the ice cream store and gets a date with the girl at the counter (wait they sort of did that in First Date? Well you know what I mean). What I mean - is that character should not be twisted out of wack in order to serve some agenda of the writer. ME attempted to avoid doing this, I believe, by introducing the character of Andrew. (They could have pushed Xander off the cliff and had him kill Jonathan but that would have been completely out of character, just as it would be for Giles to turn all evil suddenly - although some of us desperately wanted that. Kudos to the writers for resisting the urge - must have been tough.) They wanted to do a redemption story - but needed another male in it - sort of two women and two men to redeem. A man/woman dies, a man/woman lives = nice balance. Got two gals - check. But need two guys...dang! Enter Andrew. (Course it's not ME's
fault that I really disliked the actor playing Andrew...nor do I suspect they care - since so many other people did.)
Unfortunately - certain off-stage things may have happened to cause a bit of a truncation of the dual female redemption storyline (one's we'll never know about...but I have a hunch Hannigan and Caulfield may not have been available at a certain point and they had to work around them. So as a result, the two guys got most of the story - which uhm sort of put a damper on the whole equal time male/female thing. )Regardless - I think where the story suffered was the female redemption side of the coin. Anya...just seemed out of character to me since Selfless, as if she'd been regressed. So did Giles. Those where the two I had the most difficulty with. You may not have. I honestly don't understand that...but hey, I don't understand a lot of things right now. So there you go. ;-)

Anyways, I enjoyed your take on my essay Zachsmind. Missed you when you were gone. Glad to see you posting again.
And for what it's worth, I think you did a good job of responding to some of the issues it raised. As did Darby in response to you.

For your next assignment, should you choose to take it:


It's a review of Chosen by a woman who saw the episode somewhat more negatively than you did. Do I agree with her?
Not sure. She's very persuasive. But...well, I like some other takes better, including my own original take way way back when the episode first aired. The thing of it is?
I'm no longer sure which take is the one I saw on the screen.

Thanks again for your comments Zach...taking off again, to look at those pesky job emails. With any luck I'll find something to apply to. ;-)


[> [> Teleology: The use of design or purpose as an explanation of natural phenomena. -- Sophist, 16:28:49 07/28/03 Mon

For example, if we find a watch, we deduce it was built for the purpose of marking time. If we find a person, we deduce it was built for the purpose of [insert your own preferred purpose here].

This argument is commonly used to deny evolution in favor of divine creation.

[> [> [> Thanks! -- sk, 16:37:39 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> Opinions are orifices. Everybody has some. =) -- ZachsMind, 18:11:58 07/28/03 Mon

The opinion read at http://www.stakeme.com/episodes/episode_722.html was intriguing and understandable, but I also felt it like the old adage about a glass being half empty or half full. One can choose to see all the negativity or one can choose to enjoy it. The episode, and indeed the entire series, is not adversely affected one way or another. It exists whether an individual finds it good or not, and will theoretically live on forever in syndication and in dvd a few years from now.

Good to see you delurking briefly Shadowkat. I've had to do the job hunt thing, and may have to do so again soon. It's too soon to tell. When I was job hunting I found this place to be one of those places I could go in between emails and job sites. A welcome respite for when I've done about all I could bare to do at the moment and just needed a break. So as long as you do that other more important stuff first, if you have time afterwards to come visit with us, I hope to speak for all when I say you're always welcome. Just get what you need to get done done, go be cookie dough, and when you're cookies come on back. We're not gettin' any older (well alright we are but I was ..it was a thang.)

As for Andrew... well I'll save that for a main post.

[> [> [> Thanks, Zachs... -- s'kat, 20:41:11 07/28/03 Mon

Appreciate the welcome. Thanks.

Stupid job hunt. ;-)

PS: Agree on the review. I actually liked your take both on B/S and on the season much better.

[> [> Oh, THAT review.... -- Rufus, 18:32:10 07/28/03 Mon

Burning Up

I have a problem with that review (which on the whole was okay) and it is the fact that this person seems to only see things through one character, which is Spike. Forgotten is the fact that he has been a villian for many years, instead we get people who seem to think that redemption (not talking Christian type redemption but the process of becoming whole) should not be painful because Spike has suffered enough. The other problem I have is that the reviewer sees Chosen as a total end to the story when it is just the end of the series. Chosen was a paradigm shift where the old rules (there can be only one slayer) have been changed and we don't know yet what the result of those changes will be. I'm not saying that Chosen was perfect or that season seven was perfect, but I'm happy with the results. I think the final redemption of Spike was wonderful and I always expected that he would die. The guy had already lived long past a normal lifespan so I can't say that he died to young (well unless you count the first time). I use the quote from Marie Louise VonFranz a lot because it sums up how I feel about Angel and Buffy the Vampire Slayers as shows..

"By our interactions with each other we redeem us all." MLVF.

By our interactions we change those around us and when it goes well we redeem each other. Thing is we don't know exactly which action or what series of actions do the trick. To condemn a character for one action and ignoring all the other actions they do keeps us in emotional hold, something both shows never do. As in life things change and people do shitty or wonderful things.

Buffy does not have our sympathy at the end of the series; he does. It's a terribly poignant moment when he realizes that her last-minute "I love you" was spoken not to him, but to his already fading memory; gratitude for the vampire that loved her enough to die for her. This is, the series suggests, what woman wants, what she "deserves."

That's not a conclusion I agree with. Again, ask my husband - a really swell guy who I don't require to die for me. And I, like most people, like it a bit better that way.

I disagree that only Spike has our sympathy at the end, unless of course the only character you are interested in is Spike. I feel the message at the end was that being a hero isn't limited to gender or how "good" a person has been. Spike died because he felt he had something he had to do, had to see through to the end just as Buffy did before she jumped off the platform in The Gift in season five.

Everyone can be a hero and the power that a hero uses is something that everyone can share increasing the power exponentially with ones ability to share instead of keeping it for one alone. Buffy the Vampire as a series is over but the character of Buffy lives on. Now she has a chance to do more than spend her nights protecting the world...seems like the job can now be done in shifts...;)

Now tell me exactly where it was required or when Buffy asked for Spike to sacrifice himself?

[> [> [> It's an odd review, agree and disagree...but not how you think -- s'kat, 20:23:20 07/28/03 Mon

It's an odd review, parts of which really bugged me. So thanks for the response. But I didn't get the impression the only character the writer was interested was in Spike, actually I got the impression the writer was less than thrilled Spike got that much attention at the expense of the other characters.

What bugged me about the review - was something that's bugged me for quite some time, which is the character of Buffy...when I saw the episode, first time, I saw a girl who had finally seen past good and evil into the light, she had experienced something trasencendent in that hellmouth when she gripped Spike's hand, and they had what felt to me a communion of souls. When she said I love you - she spoke as to a fellow soul ....Spike when he says no, you don't but thanks for saying it - was more or less acknowledging that while she cared for him, it was not the type of romantic love that would leave her grief-stricken when he died. I did not see Buffy as choosing Spike to carry the amulet instead of Angel, b/c she wanted Angel to live and Spike to die (ie. Spike was more disposable as many online fans seem to view it and it is this view that I find incredibly squicky and disturbing and the reason I can't quite deal with the concept of Buffy falling into Angel's arms any time soon.) But so many others seem to see this.
Regardless of ship. And it disturbs me. It disturbs me that the heroine would exploit someone, ie. use them to further her own ends. If that is the case and/or the intent of the writer (not saying I think it is) then I really can't watch the show or post on it or even allow my website to stay up a moment longer. The idea of exploiting others to reach your own ends makes me cringe. That is not a hero, that is a villain, someone evil - someone like the First Evil who did attempt to exploit and use others to meet it's own ends. And that I think is the biggest arguement against this writer or anyone's else's belief that Buffy was behind Spike's sacrifice, or Anya's or Amandas, or Chao-Ann's or
anyone elses. That was the FE's modius operandi, not Buffy's.

When we revisit that scene in Chosen:

Buffy goes up to Spike (shocked by what is happening to him) and asks him to stop. "You've done enough." She says.
Pleading with him. Faith is meanwhile trying to get her to leave - but Buffy refuses, trying to get Spike to.

He refuses to stop. She argues with him about it.
And he insists she leave.

Their last scene - and it's been interpreted many ways on the boards and by the actors - seemed to me, to be a meeting of souls. A love that while not romantic in the
Romeo and Juliet, Anthony and Cleopatra view, was in a way in the more classic, metaphorical folkloric sense. Understanding. Seeing and completely accepting another person for all that are and all that they have become.
And letting them go. Buffy finally was able to let him go.
Let him find his peace.

I don't think of that as exploitation.

Same with Amanda, Chao-Ann, Anya - yes, it might have felt more equal if we'd had some men die *cough*WoodAndrew*cough*
but would it have mattered? Buffy didn't choose their deaths. They did. They walked in with eyes wide.

Granted it might have helped if we had a little mourning on screen, but whose to say they didn't mourn? As Sol suggests in hir wonderful essay above - Daesin - or the moments that take place off-stage mean the character is constantly developing and are just as important, even if we never see them. Why do you think BTVS out of all the tv shows and books out has the most fanfiction? Because just as much happens off screen as happens on...and a good portion (not all, but a good portion) of those fics are all about filling in the gaps, figuring out what happened off screen.

I disagree that the writer made it all about Spike - if that was the case, I would have been able to dismiss it out of hand. We have to watch, I think, assuming that just because a writer or poster is a bit obsessed with one character - that all their comments are just about that character. That's not to say some don't. I've been on quite a few boards that do. (Have left some of those boards...very annoying after a while. )But I got the feeling this author really wasn't. IF anything she seemed upset that so much of the focus was on him - when she would have preferred it be on some of the other characters. If he was all she cared for, she probably would have liked Chosen better, I think. Although I can't really speak for her - so you could very well be right in your interpretation and I could be wrong. ;-)

I do however agree...that her take that Buffy used Spike and Anya to further her own ends is not what Whedon was going for. Nor what I saw on screen. While I can certainly see how she may have seen that on screen or interpreted it that way. I don't see it. If I did? I would be throwing out my S7 Btvs tapes right about now. Personally, I think I prefer Zachsmind and my original non-critical positive take on the episode, way back in May. It really is an issue of picking the glass half-full or half-empty. We either decide to see all the negative and we can choose to view things that way if we so wish - or the positive. Right now...I'm thinking I'd much prefer to view positive.

Thanks for the response. Was curious to know what others thought of it. It seems to be making the rounds on the net.

[> [> [> Re: Oh, THAT review.... -- btvsk8, 04:14:12 07/29/03 Tue

I personally found the reviewer's interpretation of the empowerment montage scene very surprising. Sometimes I think people take what happens on screen too literally. To me (and I realise this is a personal interpretation) it seems obvious that the message was not meant to be that all non-slayers i.e. women in our world are weak and oppressed (though many are- oppressed I mean), rather that we all can be slayers (for slayers read strong empowered women).

This was just one example of where the message had been chosen to be interpreted in a glass-half-full kind of a way. I tend to watch the show looking for the positive, not only because I'm a fan, but also because when it comes to the message the writers are trying to portray (particularly when things get very metaphory) the positive message rather than the disturbing one is surely the most likely intention.

anyone agree/disagree/think I should be burned at the stake?

[> EM Forster: Characters vs Story -- dmw, 08:04:27 07/29/03 Tue

Writing isn't as simple as characters being forced to serve a predetermined story. There is a balance between character and plot that cannot be swayed too far in either direction without destroying the story. E.M. Forster spoke eloquently on this topic in his lectures that are published as the classic Aspects of the Novel. In particular, I like this quote:

They [the characters] have numerous parallels with people like ourselves, they try to live their own lives and are consequently often engaged in treason against the main scheme of the book. They "run away," they "get out of hand": they are creations inside a creation, and often inharmonious towards it; if they are given complete freedom they kick the book to pieces, and if they are kept too sternly in line, they revenge themselves by dying, and destroy it by intestinal decay.

Unfortunately, in seasons 6-7 the characters were kept too sternly in line with the plot without regard for their inner natures as shown in earlier seasons of Buffy, so they did accomplish their revenge by dying and rotted away the whole story as a consequence.

Buffy's issues -- Darby, 12:32:15 07/28/03 Mon

Warning! Contains Spike-related materials! Can lead to snarkiness and bad feelings, Enter at Own Risk!

It isn't really about Spike, though - am I allowed to make an assertion like that?

Anyway, I've been perplexed about the Buffy-Spike relationship of Season 7, and I've got some ideas to toss out.

First, we know that Buffy has some grave doubts about herself, especially her humanity. I think that she so feared losing more of it through the season that she felt she had to distance herself from the Slayers-in-Training - she felt too much, but feared, as usual, that she didn't feel enough. She pushed her friends and Dawn away as the season progressed. No big revelation there.

But not Spike. Why not Spike?

Buffy has had bad luck with the men in her life - her Dad, Angel, Parker, Riley, Giles, had all left her, and for each she was perfectly okay to accept a lot of the blame on herself. The dream of Hank in Nightmares, Angel becoming Angelus and then being sent to Hell, then not returning but not being able to stay, her post-PoopyHead period, the follow-up to Into the Woods, her inability to fully engage the world which she saw as part of why Giles left, all showed that she connected her own flawed character (by her perception) to the failure in these relationships. It has led, more and more over time, to a compulsion to hide what she sees as similar flaws from everybody - that has come out in several ways, most obviously her concealment of her fling with Spike, but also the closing up through Season 7.

She never trusted Spike's feelings for her, partly because she refuses to see herself as lovable (and if someone does love her, they don't truly know her), partly because Spike's unsouled nature makes it easy to believe that true love is not something he is capable of. But she is drawn to him, someone who is more of a kindred spirit than anyone else around, and she comes to trust him and feel deeply for him, even though she denies it. When he attacks her in Seeing Red, there is a confirmation to what she has been saying - what they have can not be love. But her reaction to the attack is not what it seems many viewers expect - she does not react like the victim, and her trust of Spike has changed but not disappeared. Without quite articulating it precisely (although she comes close in Conversations with Dead People), she obviously feels some responsibility for his actions. She feels that their affair involved her descending to some level of depravity with Spike, letting out an ugliness that frightened her but Spike seemed to accept, but he was an ugly depraved thing anyway, of course he accepted that side of her. He expected reciprocity in the bathroom, and he may have had valid reasons to ignore her protests. What their relationship has taught her is that, maybe he can't be trusted, but at this point in her life, she also hasn't learned to truly trust herself.

And then he leaves. Like every man (but Xander, but there's a whole 'nother essay there) has left her.

But then he's back, but seems to have gone mad - is this a result of her rejection of him? Did he so see the attack as business-as-usual that her stopping him was that traumatic? Is this her fault, or can they at least share the blame? She needs to know how much to blame herself, she needs him lucid.

Through Beneath You, when Coherent Spike does come around, she reacts with distance and distrust - the Spike she knows appears to be at least partly back, but she now knows what he's capable of and wants to give no mixed signals.

And then the big revelation - he has a soul now. He's traumatized, as expected, but no longer expects her to love him, he understands why she doesn't.

But, very importantly, even knowing all that he knows about her, even having the human touch of a recovered soul, he still loves and accepts her. A line here, a line there, he reveals that he knows how she used him previously, how he understands. There is no accusation in it, and although Buffy initially reacts defensively. Eventually she just listens.

Spike, because "he has a soul now" (and this is why that becomes a mantra for her), has become trustworthy, not as a romantic lover but just as someone who knows Buffy's darkest aspects and still accepts and loves her. He's no longer drawing her into the darkness, but into the light (does this connect to the amulet?).

Through Season Seven, Spike becomes Buffy's humanity, her true tie to this world, her real motivation to stave off another Apocalypse (early in the season he replaces Dawn in the role). He is the one piece of the puzzle that she comes to feel is absolutely necessary. He should, I think, have become her sounding board (boy, that might have explained some of her S7 strategies!), but he at least became her anchor. She was right that Spike was essential to beating the First, but it wasn't the use of the amulet that won out, it was Buffy's acceptance that she didn't have to fight the fight alone - it was no accident that during her epiphany she was with Spike. How this all fits into the function of the amulet, if it does at all, I couldn't say.

Did she love him in the end? I would tend to accept Spike's assessment, and Buffy's that she wasn't ready to give that part of herself up yet. But she needed him, absolutely and desperately, and I think he knew that as well, and that was enough.

[> Re: Buffy's issues -- ZachsMind, 14:10:14 07/28/03 Mon

To further clarify Spike's motivations, or perhaps muddy the waters depending on your point of view, Spike also realized that while he did love Buffy, what he had also been doing as the unsouled Spike was repeating a complex behavior modification that has been with him since before he was turned.

I cite Fool for Love, Crush, As You Were and Lies My Parents Told Me.

"Well, that's bloody funny coming from you! No more games? That's all you've ever done is play me. You keep playing with rules you make up as you like. You know what I am. You've always known. You come to me all the same."

Spike had a history of bad dealings with women, from his mum, to Cecily, through Dru and Harm, on up to Buffy. There were differences, but ultimately it was a cycle he found himself trapped within. When he got his soul, he was able to look back and see that while he did love Buffy on some strange level, it wasn't the same quite as what he felt for her when his soul was returned. He had also been infatuated and obsessed with her. Much as he had been obsessed with Cecily a couple centuries before, before his turning. He was in the same rut he had been at the point Dru changed his existence. He was trapped in a cycle. Having a soul changed that. He knew he could never have Buffy in that way, but there was still the glimmer of hope, and there was also the irrepressible knowledge that despite everything in their past, souled Spike respected her. He sincerely cared for her well-being. He wanted to fight the good fight and go down taking as many baddies with him as possible.

And that's what he did. So through Buffy and his own soul, he found a love for life, a love for death, and a result in redemption. He broke the cycle.

[> [> Hope this doesn't get flamey -- Diana, 14:37:40 07/28/03 Mon

In the Season 4 commentary on Spike, the say that Spike was bitter towards women and took this out on Harmony. I don't want to debate that, but let's just take it as a given for this essay. I have said that the difference between Angelus and Angel is that Angelus lashes out because of the pain and Angel can't, so he has to reach out. Liam just buried the pain in wine, women and fighting.

Let's take that to Spike. William/Spike has certain feelings for women. As human he deals with them by elevating certain ones, Cecily and Mum. This balances out the negative feelings his Victorian society has towards them. He removes the two women out of the realm of women and brings them to the realm of Madonna.

When vamped he still has these feelings. Spike is still bitter towards women. He shows little patience for Dru. He reminds me of the man that abuses his wife and then apologizes afterwards. "The bird is dead Dru" was a very well done scene.

When Dru leaves him again, he takes out his feelings on Harmony. Unlike Dru, Harmony just annoys Spike. In OOMM, Spike finds a way out of this, fall in love with Buffy. Spike cannot even take Harmony to the realm of Madonna, but he can with Buffy, though it isn't normal Madonna land, but vamp Madonna land.

In SR he finds that she isn't going to go, so he has to go to her. He goes to get his soul. After he gets it, he still has all these feelings about women, but he has to find a new way of dealing with them. He has to take Buffy off of the pedistle and see her as a human being.

Does he do this? Buffy you're the one? Not sure how much he has grown. After LMPT Mom is still on a pedistle, too. This will probably be dealt with more next season. With him on Angel's show there is no way he can have a relationship with Buffy.

[> [> [> Re: Hope this doesn't get flamey -- Rina, 15:05:30 07/28/03 Mon

[With him on Angel's show there is no way he can have a relationship with Buffy.]

Is this the point of the whole topic?

[> [> [> [> You are obviously determined to make it flamey -- KdS, 15:31:09 07/28/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> If that one sentence bothers you... -- Dariel, 19:35:25 07/28/03 Mon

Why not just ignore it? No, it doesn't really follow from the rest of the post--so what? Just think of it as Diana's personal mantra.

[> [> [> 'You're the one...' -- Dariel, 19:27:25 07/28/03 Mon

Spike wasn't talking about his love for Buffy here--he was expressing his confidence in her. Which is why Buffy responds somewhat unhappily "I don't want to be the 'one'."

On his mother, well, I tend to agree that he still has issues there.

[> Re: Buffy's issues -- CW, 18:22:30 07/28/03 Mon

I think it would be fair to say that as far back as before OMWF Spike was Buffy's tie to the world. At first he was the only person in the world she would trust with the secret that she was not trapped in hell after death. At that point she began trusting him in all sorts of ways she did not admit to the others, because she was afraid of what the others would say. This is echoed in the way that Buffy becomes his link to the world in the 7th season when she become the image he focused on when resisting the First Evil.

It would be best to say that the disaster between her and Spike in Seeing Red, led to a realization by both of them, that their relationship had hit a dead end. While a certain amount of mutual respect was possible between them, real trust and even friendship were not possible. The ensouling could not change Buffy's fundamental lack of romantic love for him. But, as he became more human, and less the creature of the night, she did come to love him as a friend, one as close as Xander and Willow had been to her before.

Spike realized before and at the time of his death that Buffy was never going to love him the way he loved her. But, think she did prove adquately that her trust in him and friendship for him was complete.

[> [> Re: Buffy's issues -- ECH, 19:44:50 07/28/03 Mon

I am sorry, I have to disagree, B/S in season 7 came off as a stunted romance not a deep friendship. I mean Buffy told Angel that he was in her heart and they cuddled together for 2 nights with the final night left up in the air if it was sex or just cuddeling again. Suffice it to say there is no way in hell I could see her acting this way with Xander or Willow and I don't think she was just being nice to him. I don't think Buffy knew what she really wanted from Spike, but in no way would I call what they had in season 7 just a friendship.

Here is a great essay on this topic on Chosen and B/S in season 7.


[> [> [> Re: Buffy's issues -- CW, 20:23:13 07/28/03 Mon

Calling it a stunted romance is fair from Spike's side. But, it never was a romance from her point of view. That's the whole point of season six. Perhaps she never would have curled up beside Xander. I won't argue that. But, the kind of love she was looking for from Spike was more like that of a brother than of a lover. And there was absolutely nothing stunted about it. He was not her brother so the best I can do to describe it is call it a deep trusting friendship. Platonic love is too cold a term and just doesn't cover it.

[> [> [> Deep or Stunted? -- WickedBuffy, 16:51:23 07/29/03 Tue

It always seemed to me as if Buffy's friendships with Xander and Willow were very easy, natural, they didn't have to really "work" at it. Then later, when Buffys slayer status was revealed, they smoothy (fairly) took that in stride with the already solid friendship.

Spike was more complicated - besides not being a human schoolmate, he was trying to kill her. Building a friendship with all that negative history behind it would be rocky. Not easy like X and W.

When Xander had a crush on Buffy, it played out pretty much like it would in real life. Very normal and comfortable because that situation has been modeled for years by peers, tv, reading, media etc.

But having a vampire have a crush on you - there are no AfterSchool specials for that situation. All completely new and confusing territory. Nothing to read to see how others handled it. Add in Buffy's in inherant confusion about relationships as a whole.

Buffy kept having to put more thought into Spike, especially when he became less one-dimensional, not just another of the many demons out to kill her. He seesawed between doing good things and doing bad. Then he started leaning more to the "better" actions. That really through her off. I think Buffy always craved stability.

To me, B and S in S7 was a very complicated version of an old and common situation. Boy loves girl. Girl isn't completely sure what her feelings are. It's about romance and about friendship and about that very difficult to see line that sometimes separates the two kinds of relationships.

Buffy seesawed trying to figure out which it was for her. Tried hating him, tried loving him aka sex, tried being friends. It was a continual search for her to understand how she felt about him, which side of the line it fell on, and how to show it. She did keep at it. Meanwhile, Spike waited. Sometimes patiently, sometimes not.

My interpretation of the final moments between them is that Buffy loved him deeply as a friend, was still abit confused about how that worked, and didn't want to lose him. Really, who wants to lose a friend you've been through so much with, understands you better than you do yourself, and who loves you just as you are? You blurt out "I love you" and mean it with every cell of your body.

Maybe if they had both been able to go on to a S8, it could have turned into romantic/partner love. Maybe not. Buffy hadn't gotten to a place yet where she knew what that could be yet. Her cookie dough speech reflected that. Spike was already baked and waiting in the cookiejar.

I don't feel anything was stunted, though. But maybe I'm mmisunderstanding the definition. It seemed everything continued to flow naturally. Action... reaction.. so on.

[> Preserving -- Masq, 15:29:01 07/29/03 Tue

Season 7 BtVS & Giles' Dream in 'Restless' -- Rina, 13:30:09 07/28/03 Mon

I found this interesting essay about Giles' dream in the Season 4 episode, "Restless" and how it pertains to his role in Season 7:


So, who's going to start up the 'Frankenstein' Book Melee? -- Rob, on his way out the door, 13:55:08 07/28/03 Mon

[> A few quick thoughts... -- ponygirl, 15:45:45 07/28/03 Mon

... since I have to dash soon too. But in no particular order:

- The introduction of my copy of the book noted the portrayal of women in the book. There's Victor's mother who has little choice in marrying a friend of her father. Elizabeth who is taken from the family who raised her to be presented almost literally as a gift to Victor. She asks Victor several times if he wants to released from their unspoken promise, he never returns the favour. He even refuses to tell her his secret until after they are married. Justine too is taken from her home to be a servant. And finally the Creature's intended mate is destroyed when Victor suddenly realizes that she may want a say in her fate. Victor had come very close to creating a female who would have been stronger than human men, it may have been a factor in his decision.

- While Mary Shelley wanted us to be aware of the position of women in her society, I'm not sure she was as aware of the ideas of class that are present in her novel. All of the major characters and most of the minor have their noble and/or suitably distinguished backgrounds carefully noted. Elizabeth may have lived with peasants but she was the orphaned daughter of a nobleman. The Creature did not take shelter on the farm of an ordinary peasant family but with that of a formerly wealthy merchant family. Poverty it seems can happen to anyone but a good family ensures that your voice will be heard.

- It is a fear of death I think that really motivates Victor. The action really starts with the death of his mother, Victor's brother William is carrying an image of his mother when he is killed. Victor ignores nature, he ignores the natural order of things and seeks to create life. Of course the result is nothing but death.

- It's been years since I read this book but I do notice that my sympathies have changed. I still have no sympathy for Victor, who is not only selfish and arrogant but was also voted "most likely to faint and lapse into a fever at times of crisis" in his high school yearbook, but I was surprised that most of my pity for the Creature was gone as well. He was greatly wronged, but when he kills William he makes a conscious choice and I think becomes morally responsible for his actions.

Hopefully I'll have more later!

[> [> I've already posted this, comparing Victor to a certain BtVS figure -- KdS, 16:07:27 07/28/03 Mon

But it's interesting, as Victor is usurping the feminine role of creating life, how much his vices (panickiness, shallow judging by appearance, indecisiveness, cowardice, tendency to fall ill at the slightest provocation) are those stereotypically considered feminine.

[> A woman's contribution to mythology -- Diana, 16:25:44 07/28/03 Mon

Frankenstein is different from previous Horror monsters in that it is caused by creating life. In the previous male written stories, a life was taken/warped to create the monster. Frankenstein's Monster takes the feminine power of creation and a female's fears about this creative power we have was given form. I don't think that a male could have come up with this.

What will our children become? How much control do we have over our creations/children? These issues are addressed by Ms. Shelley's Classic.

[> [> Re: A woman's contribution to mythology -- Rendyl, 22:05:22 07/28/03 Mon

Considering that Mary became pregnant again less than two months after the death of her first child I wonder how much grieving she was able to do. I don't know what the attitudes were in her time but even now there is a (usually unspoken) attitude that a miscarriage or death of a newborn or preemie is somehow not as painful as the death of an older child. It is hard to grieve when no one else wants to take notice of the loss. It is also difficult to get past the 'what did I do wrong' or 'what did I not do I should have' that comes with the death of a child.

I agree with her using it to address childbirth issues but I also wonder how much of it came out of her guilt over events in her life.

Did she see a small part of herself in the monster? Did she blame herself for the deaths of her children and her sister? (I am not sure when Percy's wife committed suicide so I don't know if that was a factor or not) Did she wonder if her life (much of which was lived shunned by society) was worth the sacrifice of her mother's death? Did she wonder if God was punishing her for her choices?

(That last is far out speculation. While many see 'Frankenstein' as a morality tale along the 'don't usurp God' line I am not sure she was religious in that way)

Of course the snark in me likes to think that while she considered Percy to be brilliant, etc maybe she was not so sure he would be a good father. I wonder if some of her fears about him show up in Victor.


[> A note from Sara -- Darby, 06:04:29 07/29/03 Tue

Sara wants to keep this thread up long enough to finish the book.

With Graffiti's impending bar mitzvah (August 9 - I figure Sara's decompression around the 11th may be a Krakatoa-sized event) and her mom's hospitalization, she's getting a bit behind.

And she feels responsible to contribute. But for the moment, she's delegated that to me, and it's been 25 years since I read the book.

But I bought the DVD of Young Frankenstein recently. Does that count?

[> [> it is one of my Hubby's favorite movies -- Diana, 06:27:31 07/29/03 Tue

Also, since this story has been adapted so many ways, I think it might be interesting to compare these adaptations. For example, this is one story that was done on BtVS. How did Mary Shelley's (a female) differ from Ty King's? What elements did he pick out of the story to use for his? Same thing with Mel Brooks. What elements from Frankenstein are missing from Young Frankenstein?

Just how I've been looking at things lately.

Existentialism, Mini Lecture #23, Revisited -- Solitude1056, 14:27:56 07/28/03 Mon

I was recently notified that there has been some confusion about existentialism, its definition, and its application in the the Buffyverse. So I'm back, and as a general starting point I'm going to have everyone do a little refresher course. This is a mildly revised post from about two years ago, but apparently it's still applicable.

This essay has been written to entertain those masochistic members of our ranks who wanted to know about Epistomology and Phenomenology. Suckers. I mean, uh, oh ye enlightened and inquiring minds. Yeah. That's what I meant.

Ok, let's see. First, if you read this & say, "Hey, that's not the [insert fancy philosophical style] that I know and love!" then it's okay. There's several different branches of it since to each philosopher hir own. I studied Heidegger and Kierkegaard the most; I studied Sartre only at gun-point (Being & Nothingness was my cure for insomnia in college). I know a bit o' Husserl but didn't like him as much. To jump right into it - and I'll try to tie it into the Buffyverse as much as possible - let's start with existentialism, which can be expressed simply as "existence preceeds essence."

In the Buffyverse, each person is born, grows up, and along the way develops into him- or herself. Some say essence preceeds existence. The soul has to be there for the existence to begin. In the Buffyverse, though, there's an awful lot of existence preceeding essence, though. Well, for starters, you have to define "essence." Soul? Personality? Spark o' life? Dawn's faux memories may be an existence that preceeds her essence (energy), or they may be simply providing the appearance of continuity when in fact her existence began with the Monks, and only afterwards (in the past few months) has she developed an 'essence.' All philosophical rantings and meanderings aside, the bottom line of existentialism (or at least one of them) is that you start out with a clean slate, and what you do determines who you are. Your existence defines your essence.

Going backwards to Kierkegaard and forwards to Sartre, existentialism contains strong notes of absurdism, too. The element of the absurd can be summarized as: when all choices are equal and there is no set path, then stating that "this is the way such-and-such is done because that's the way it's always been done" is absurd. That "always been done" clause is false, since there's not been any "always been done" by you, the creature that only recently came into existence and even more recently developed an essence that even allowed you to process your existence. Etc, etc. (Yes, philosophers love this stuff. You guys just panting in total excitement yet? Wait til I get to the part about aesthetics and seduction vs. pornography in artistic settings... oh, wait, different precis. Oops. Ahem.)

Alrighty now. So now you've gotten your ten-cent two-cup version of existentialism, let's move to the even less scholarly version of epistomology. (And they said pop philosophy was dead. Panicmongers!) Heidegger's definition of epistomology is "how we know, what we know." Small diversion here: Heidegger did not agree with Cartesian philosophy. Existing "outside of the world" wasn't Heidegger's intent; his point was that to truly experience and understand the world, you had to be part of it.

Epistomology tends to run hand-in-hand with Phenomenology, and phenomenology is the study of, well, things. Yeah, things. Heidegger's biggest focus was on "everydayness," that usual, mundane being-in-the-world. Again in direct opposition to Descartes, Heidegger posited that since we are of-the-world-and-in-it, to determine how we know what we know, we have to either study how we interact with things (and go even crazier than we are now), or we just set aside the question of "does this exist?" and ask, "what is the experience - ie, the existential interaction with this thing?"

In that sense, Heideggarian phenomenology is what we're doing as the audience of the Buffyverse. In a writer's mind, we're practicing suspended disbelief. In a philosopher's mind, we're setting aside the question of existence in order to study our direct interaction with the stimuli, which are the plots, characters, and motivations. According to Heidegger, "phenomenology should make manifest what is hidden in ordinary, everyday experience." And whew, Joss has got plenty that's hidden in everyday ordinary interactions between his characters. And from those, we intuit certain conclusions, which we then turn around and discuss at length - it's the discussions of "what did you see that I didn't?" which constitute the phenomenology (study of things) of this board, and of the Buffyverse. And it's the meta-discussions of "how did you then draw your conclusions?" which constitute the epistomology (study of our knowledge about things) of this board, and the Buffyverse.

And if you're really interested suddenly, or just want to freshen up with less scatterbrained explanations, I highly recommend The Basic Problems of Phenomenology, by Martin Heidegger. I have a copy but no, you can't borrow it, I'm considering framing it. Otherwise you'd be able to see all the dirty jokes I scribbled in the margins during class. And FYI, Being And Time is not nearly as scary as some people make it out to be. (Usually they're confusing it with Sartre's Being And Nothingness, which really is very scary - and badly written, too. Heidegger's much better organized.)

If you want a good overview to the absurdism of existentialism, and the strange overlapping dialectical arguments, read my favorite anthology of Soren Kierkegaard. It was compiled & translated by two Kierkegaardian scholars, called The Laughter Is On My Side. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll feel all gooey inside. On the other hand, you could really burn your braincells and go read the ultimate post-modern existentialist text... Zippy the Pinhead. I'm not making this up. Enlightenment is in the spin cycle.

Frankly, most of philosophy is a type of cosmology - "how do we fit into this universe, why are we here?" and beyond that, "does this universe even exist, and how do I know I exist?" This division is the basis of most Cartesian and Cartesian-influence philosophies, such as solipism where the argument is that I'm asleep and dreaming every single one of those rotten spoilers, and their authors! None of you exist! You're all a figment of my imagination, and damn, my imagination sucks! Ahem, ack. *polite cough* Okay.

The cosmology of the existential viewpoint is that we enter the world and become who-we-are, by interacting with a world filled with natural ("Natural") and cultural ("Manufactured") tools, most of which we didn't make, but we can use and adapt to, and also adapt to us. I'm convinced that Heidegger spent his free time building footstools and handy time-savers for kitchen cabinets. Very concrete, hands-on; truly an emphasis on the physical, the tangible. What do things do, how do they work, what happens when I use them? Heidegger even spent time talking about things like "obtrusiveness," when a tool breaks. That's after you've gotten over the habit of trying to use the tool (like flicking the lightswitch even though the bulb's been burnt out for two weeks), and now it's just taking up space. It's obtrusive, hanging out in the corner of your study, watching you, leering at you, thinking its little broken-tool thoughts of glee at your discomfort about its broken-ness... ahem. Anyway! You get the idea.

One of the reasons I enjoy the existential perspective is that it lacks a lot of the dualistic thinking in western philosophy ever since Plato came up with that damn list. Grrrrr against Plato - or whomever it was, I'm pretty sure it was Plato, but feel free to correct me while I open my mouth to change feet, again. *grin*

Getting back to my point (which is buried in here somewhere), the idea is not to approach the "Me Versus The World (or God)" but to just set that aside. Instead of a separation - be it visual, mental, emotional, physical, or spiritual - our senses and minds tell us we're part of the world, so go with it. We stub our toe, that's an experience, now what does this toe-stubbing tell us about large rocks buried in garden paths? And what can we learn from what we've gathered? We're not designating The Rock as a "something else" and ourselves as "the opposite," but instead we are all - the rock, the garden, the path, us, our companions - Dasein, which can best be translated as "the being." This isn't the Cartesian separatist idea, that Dasein is a thing that "be"s - if that makes sense - but that Dasein is.

Okay, so I give you credit and a gold star if you can process that without scrunching your forehead up and contemplating printing this out to burn me in effigy for such insanity and hair-splitting. Wait, it is hair-splitting. But it's the basis of the existentialist view: that who-we-are, is what-we-are. We aren't things that also are, we are things. Don't know if that helps, but hey, nothing wrong with a little confusion. Call it a little extra protein, kinda like swallowing bugs when you're riding a bike in July. Hah! How's that for a visual?

But to put this non-polarized notion into the Buffyverse, let's see... Feel free to jump in here if you can come up with something better. I'm no biggie poster or philosopher, but I've played one on Voy Forums for three years now. Bwahahaha. First, Joss (I suspect) doesn't play nice with the traditional polarized viewpoint, although his original black & white, good & bad stories were acknowledgement that his predominantly western audience is used to this type of dichotomy, and that we are used to the expectation that conflict occurs where the good & the bad meet.

What Joss has been doing has been to draw, slowly and surely, to the center point where the majority of the characters are in the center, and even those potentially qualifiable as "bad" are more just another "middle" character with non-aligning motivations (ie, Glory wants to go home, but she has to kill Dawn to do it, and while Buffy doesn't care if Glory goes home, she does care how Glory does it, hence conflict). If the conflict is because Glory is bad and Buffy is good, well, that's one. But if it's because of the older, and far better storytelling line, that both characters are, well, themselves, and they want conflicting things - that's way better IMO than their conflict being based predominantly on external polarizing judgements of "good" and "bad."

And alternately, we could polarize ourselves into "the show" and "the audience," but instead we have been treating the story, and the characters, as things - dasein - that we are experiencing directly. And therefore, if we treat the show and its moving parts as Dasein, then we are implicitly granting those Dasein an existence independent of our interactions with it. If that doesn't make sense, think of how many times we've seen steps B, C, and E, and were expected to just "figure out" that step D occured when the camera wasn't on that character.

That's giving the character the power of being a Dasein, in that it's doing and interacting in ways and events that we don't witness directly, which means that we're required to re-assess each time we interact with that particular aspect. This prevents the static no-character-development of some stories, and it's also helped along by our willingness to existentially participate in the story, by studying what the events/dasein indicate, relating those dasein to each other, and then studying what conclusions we've drawn from them.

Definition of terms: the audience/writer exchange is an interaction, not a dialectic. Technically, dialectic is a type of debate where you follow a movement of thesis, antithesis, and thereby reach a synthesis, which becomes your next thesis, against which you place another antithesis, ad nauseum. We'd be going into the dialectic if the writers were positing statements, and we sought to prove the statements not by proving them, but by positing the opposite and then proving the negation, which in turn proves the positive, and the summation of both creates the synthesis. That's all a fancy way to say that theologians (who tend to use dialectic more than anyone else) just can't argue a straight line if their lives depended on it.

The amusing footnote is that I usually tell people my degree is "logical dialectic," since the real degree ("20th century european theology with a concentration in feminist existentialism") usually makes most coworkers blink in uncomprehending disbelief. On the other hand, I work with mostly programmers and engineers, and I don't think most of them could logic their way out of a paperbag. It's just a different way of processing information, and fortunately for me, the Buffyverse is logical... it just doesn't use the same basic assumptions as we do. (Like, "magic works, demons exist, and Hell Gods do their shopping at Hot Topic and Mister Rags.")

Getting back to the idea of existentialism, I really think Joss may be an unwitting agent for existentialism. Sheesh, he even includes the Heideggarian angst that results from isolation from the experiential world. We've got Angel, whose existence as a new vamp defined him, until he had the time to develop an essence based on his experiences as a vamp. And we've got Buffy, whose role as Slayer was her existence for quite some time before she developed an essence that includes both her pre-Slayer self as well as her Slayer self.

I suppose there's always the question of, "what if you began with an essence, but your existence changed radically? How much is new, of you and to you, because your existence (and thus your interaction with all around you) has shifted so dramatically?" In this case, is it "essence (original persona) preceeds existence (new way of doing)"? Or does the new existence effectively null the previous essence, thus revealing that previous essence as illusory, and rendering the person open to creating a new essence based on the new existence - thus illustrating that existence does preceed essence? And why are we travelling at this speed, and what are we doing in this handbasket?

I mean, I suppose that in pre-Slayer days, Buffy would'nt have been the first to beat up what she couldn't solve; with the Slayer part, now, that's usually her first response. Her existence has shaped her essence to the point where we're dealing with almost an entirely different person. For that matter, this is metaphorical for all battles humanity faces as each person grows up, and grows into themselves.

[> Great to see you, Sol! -- Masq, 15:59:49 07/28/03 Mon

Forgive my lack of comment, my brain is taking a break from all things philosophical.

; )

[> Can I just say....I love your lectures???..;) -- Rufus, 16:25:21 07/28/03 Mon

[> Bloody well about time we saw some fresh, logical dialectic here! -- OnM, 19:21:13 07/28/03 Mon

Liked the handbasket, too. It fits my week so far.


[> Thanks, Sol...great essay! -- s'kat, 20:45:50 07/28/03 Mon

Her existence has shaped her essence to the point where we're dealing with almost an entirely different person. For that matter, this is metaphorical for all battles humanity faces as each person grows up, and grows into themselves.

In a nutshell you explained why I became obsessed with Btvs in Season 6. Thank you. Been puzzeling over that for a while now. It's b/c I was undergoing this very same thing.
Still am.

You also did a wonderful job of giving me a clear overview of existentialism. The best I've seen online. Thanks.

[> Board Good -- Celebaelin, 06:06:44 07/29/03 Tue

A great pleasure to read such a thought provoking post.

And from the file marked weird co-incidences Beer Bad has just been on the TV and the resonances are exceeding strange. By means of the theme of inherent primal desires the nature of the inner man is again put under scrutiny.

Having last night drifted into a Monday drinking session the passage from a discussion of St. Thomas Aquinas and the theological dialectic to "Where girl go?" is not unfamiliar to me. The entertainment began moderately well with an attempt to define ontology. As it happens a fairly inadequate attempt more closely related to Voltaire's assertion that 'If God did not exist it would be necessary to invent him' than any actual learned ontological treatise. This progressed through 'if existentialism is then ontology should be' and by the end of the evening had resulted in the formation of that most vexing of philosophical questions 'Where did I put my shopping?' Such things happen when you bump into an old friend. Curiously the previous day in that very watering hole I had touched on ontogenesis in the embryological sense in a short conversation regarding developmental biology and the reasons why clones will never be anything other than genetically identical to the parent organism.

I guess the problem with defining ontology is that nobody really knows what it means. Is the presence of essence guaranteed by the very fact of self examination or is the later defined biological view of the development of the pre-parturition animal a more fitting use of the term? I should be more exact I guess, by the biological definition parturition itself is not required, embryos that develop externally to the mother are also exhibiting the process. The more usual terminology for this process would be 'embryology' in any event.

Anyway, after a short interlude mainly consisting of sleep then came Beer Bad as I say and Willow's "I tell you men haven't changed since the dawn of time." Now, in my current frame of mind that is seemingly a denial of essence whereas in its' original context I think it was meant as a more straightforward and pedestrian insult to men as a gender, motivated at least in part by Oz's as yet unexplained fascination with Verruca (?possible mini-troll?). I became as submerged and involved in the episode as I have ever been, enjoying it far more on the second viewing, probably because of the RL context it was placed in. As an indication of how high a compliment I consider that to be I will say that the wonderful Caveslayer lines still had me rolling around on the floor (well, chuckling merrily) the second time and my heart was filled with joy once more at the immortal words "Want people, where people go?"

A wonderful re-run matched in quality by your re-posting of the above, I'm very glad I got to read it the second time around.


[> Tabula Rasa -- Diana, 06:55:39 07/29/03 Tue

But in the Buffyverse, doesn't a show like "Tabula Rasa" show that we aren't competely rasa? Even when the slate was wiped clean, the characters fell into some sort of core that they were, especially Buffy who was so Rasa she didn't even have a name. Even before Buffy found out she had super powers, her love for her sister and her natural ability to lead came through.

Is Angel becoming human or is he already human and just has to realize it? Buffy fears that she is losing her ability to love, when really her love has always been greater than the fire. The potential of the Potentials has to be unlocked, not created.

There is an existentialist bent to the shows, but essentialism isn't completely missing either. Both Riley tells Buffy and Giles tells Willow that there is some essense that events and what we do cannot touch. No human in the Buffyverse is irredeemable because of the human soul. Existentialism presents the journey, but essentialism gives the characters hope.

I would say that the position of the Buffyverse is that we have potential and that potential is realized by our experiences. The potential has to be there first on one hand, but if it wasn't for the experiences, the potential won't be realized. It takes the Sycthe spell or being Called to unlock this.

Is that existentialist, essentialist or a mix of the two?

[> Also wanted to add -- Diana, 07:39:32 07/29/03 Tue

I mean, I suppose that in pre-Slayer days, Buffy would'nt have been the first to beat up what she couldn't solve; with the Slayer part, now, that's usually her first response. Her existence has shaped her essence to the point where we're dealing with almost an entirely different person. For that matter, this is metaphorical for all battles humanity faces as each person grows up, and grows into themselves.

But who is Buffy (or any of us for that matter)? Is it how we solve problems, such as you give in the above example? In order to answer the essentialist versus existentalist debate, there has to be a "me." Such a debate negates the concept of Dasein (or in Buddhism we used Vidya). That to me is where existentialism starts to collapse on itself.

In order to be who-we-are is what-we-are there has to be a we. Show me that concept. At what point in time are you talking about? Show me a descrete enough amount of time that you are actually something concrete. We have trouble figuring out who/what we are because that illusion is that there is a "we." All thought built on "we" is firm logic built on a foundation of quicksand.

I'll just stick with the Buddhist concept of emptiness and the three marks of existance: anitya (impermanence), duhkha (unsatisfactoriness) and anatman (insubstantiality)

And Joss readily admits he is "an angry atheist existentialist."

[> Just wanted to say... -- deeva, 08:39:56 07/29/03 Tue

it's always a good thing when you post an essay or essay-type thing. I always learn something new or I'm given something to think over for the rest of the day, sometimes week.

[> [> I know I haven't done it in awhile... -- Solitude1056, 13:25:51 07/29/03 Tue

And all those posts in the first half of the board are a good reason why. Way I see it, I come here to read things that make my head swim, not things that make my head hurt.

Perhaps later this week I'll do that essay on postmodernism that I've been meaning to do for about two years now...

[> [> [> Looking forward to that, Sol! -- Rahael, 15:03:54 07/29/03 Tue

[> Re: Existentialism, Mini Lecture #23, Revisited -- Caroline, 14:18:21 07/29/03 Tue

Thanks for this Sol, it's much appreciated. Despite my criticisms of existentialism in another thread, I don't want to give anyone the impression that I dislike this strand of philosophy. I don't. I think that existentialism has much to offer concerning ethics, the trials of existence etc. Many of us have had experiences of angst or having been inauthentic to oneself (I'm using these terms in their very specific philosophical sense, not the popular sense). Existentialism gives us a way of accessing, intepreting, giving name to all sorts of experiences.

I have a particular interest in psychology, and one of my sub-interests is in the origin of behaviour. Most philosophies which deal with why people behave the way they do end up in helpless teleologies by defining behaviour by its goal. I've discussed this before in Rina's thread on intention and I won't repeat those points here. But I have a particular problem with existentialism in terms of determining causality of behaviour. Basically, there is none. Like behaviourism (think Skinnerian stimulus-response type stuff), existentialism sees the individual as an empty box, it tells us nothing about the agent or how the agent experiences, learns, self-knows and self-creates. So for those of us trying to assess the motivations for behaviour in a non-circular way, existentialism is not very useful. Like behaviourism, I think that there is implicit in existentialism of some kind of mechanism within the agent which learns etc. We just don't get the sense of what it is.

Heidegger is actually one of my favourite existentialists and many of his ideas have been brought into psychology by existentialist psychologists such as Binswanger. He defines dasein as being-in-the world in a very active sense. It's the potential for being and therefore the possibility for authenticity and inauthenticity of the individual. We are totally and completely responsible for ourselves we are agent that choose and that is inseparable from being, we have no intrinsic nature. But here I have a conceptual problem with existentialism. Even in a state of 'being-fallen' (an inauthentic state), we are choosing to remain in that state. If so, how can what we choose to be actually be inauthentic? Everything we do is by definition authentic. If being-in-the-world is self-chosen, then the expression 'inauthentic being' has no referent, it's a contradiction in terms. And since we have no intrinsic nature, our being is just this principle of self-choosing, then we are identical to what we do, how we behave, how we present ourselves in the world, to our consciousness, etc.

Needless to say, that doesn't work for me. I can (and have) spackled in more determinate origins for the origins of behaviour that satisfy me enough to be able to use the more interesting explorations of the human condition that existentialism provides. But I still think that the basic tenets are compromised.

[> [> See, this is why ignorance is bliss. -- Arethusa, 14:55:48 07/29/03 Tue

In my ignorance I can call myself an existentialist because I don't use the philosophy to explain behavior; I use it to process data and make decisions. Operating system versus hard drive. (Thereby exposing ignorance in two fields.) I vaugely know why I do things, a combination of who my parents are/were and my interactions with them, as well as my interactions with the greater world. But when it comes to deciding how I want to live and who I want to try to be, it's very comforting to feel justified rejecting social and parental influences. (And that's what I sometimes think philosopy and religion exist merely so we can find a way to live with ourselves.)

[> [> [> Re: See, this is why ignorance is bliss. -- Caroline, 06:54:14 07/30/03 Wed

You have just shown why sometimes we are our own best philosophers. Very well said.

[> [> [> [> Thank you. -- Arethusa, 07:36:29 07/30/03 Wed

[> Re: Existentialism, Mini Lecture #23, Revisited -- Vickie, 16:21:36 07/29/03 Tue

Thanks, Sol! Good to see you here. And so very very good to see some content, instead of our interminable squabbles over our squabbles. I couldn't possibly comment on the philosophy, but I can on the prose:

Call it a little extra protein, kinda like swallowing bugs when you're riding a bike in July. Hah! How's that for a visual?

Um, visual? I'm choking over here. ROFL!!!

[> Preserving this thread -- Masq, 04:44:27 07/30/03 Wed

[> Fantastic stuff -- Tchaikovsky, 05:12:35 07/30/03 Wed

After my brief flirtation with Wittgenstein at the end of last year, I'm back to the position where philosophy leads me quickly off on tangents. My essence is vanilla and my existence is a David Cronenberg film. But what can you do? Brilliantly written in any case- calling to mind that old Monty Python philosophers song...


[> [> Re: Fantastic stuff--O/T -- Arethusa, 06:57:35 07/30/03 Wed

Oh, vanilla is wonderful, so fragrant and evocative. I've known girls who wore it as perfume because it made guys think of baking cookies.... Sorry about the Cronenberg thing, though.;)

[> [> For your edification (extraordinarily silly and demeaning to Sol's thread) -- Tchaikovsky, 07:25:53 07/30/03 Wed

Emmanuel Kant was a real pissant who was very rarely stable.
Heidegger, Heidegger was a boozy beggar who could think you under the table.
David Hume could out consume good old Freidrick Hegel.
And Wittgenstein was a beery swine who was just as sloshed as Schlegel.
There's nothing Nietzsche couldn't teach about the raising of the wrist.
Socrates himself was permanently pissed.
John Stewart Mill, of his own free will on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.
Plato they say could stick it away - half a crate of whiskey every day.
Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle and Hobbes was fond of his dram
And Rene Descartes was a drunken fart: I drink, therefore I am.
Yes, Socrates himself is particularly missed:
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.


[> [> [> One of my best friends in college always hummed this before exams... -- Solitude1056, 07:41:13 07/30/03 Wed

She always aced the exams, too, so there may be something there... ;-)

[> [> [> Yay Python!! -- Rob, 07:45:16 07/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> They're all cricketers Bruce -- Celebaelin, 09:58:31 07/30/03 Wed

I always heard this as

David Hume could out-consume Hobson and 'Banks' and Hegel

Presumably this Hobson

and this 'Banks'

Bancks, William. 1688 Sir Robert Rede's Lecturer (Philosophy) Cambridge University

(Nothing more to see with any link here)

Maybe, at a push, even this Bancks

And, even if I am getting a bit nit-picky for someone working from memory

Aristotle, Aristotle was a bugger for the bottle, Hobbes was fond of his dram
And Rene Descartes was a drunken old fart: I drink, therefore I am.
Though Socrates himself is particularly missed:

So as not to come over as too self satisfied I should say that for a number of years I went around declaring in a loud voice that Lichtenstein was a beery swine. I now realise of course that the philosophical bent of of a small land area in the Pyranees is probably not what was intended and I am only slightly comforted by the existence of a pop artist of that name.

Lichtenstein Foundation


[> [> [> [> Lichtenstein is in the Alps (between Switzerland and Austria) -- Celebaelin, 10:13:41 07/30/03 Wed

Why was it Andrew and not Jonathan? -- ZachsMind, 18:22:45 07/28/03 Mon

I enjoyed Andrew for what the character was, as I try to appreciate whatever scraps the PtB & M.E. threw our way. However, the character who DESERVED Andrew's place was Jonathan. When they killed the character off, I could understand from a cerebral point of view that this was perhaps seen as fitting by the writers, and also perhaps hoped to be a surprise to the audience. That a character (though minor he may have been) who had been with the series since the beginning would be killed off. Maybe by doing that they were hoping to insinuate to us that they were taking off the kid gloves and anything could happen.

Blah blah. All it did was tick me off. The ONE guy of the Troika would was remotely redeemable, and they just kill him off. What a disappointment.

I dunno if they simply couldn't get Danny Strong to work a semi-regular role into his hectic schedule, or if someone on the production crew thought Strong couldn't handle it.. The character Jonathan has been with the series since the unaired pilot, and then there was that young female mummy episode where he almost died. Jonathan was there when Buffy got the third degree after her return from L.A. Buffy talked Jonathan out of killing himself. It was Jonathan who presented Buffy with the Senior Prom Award of Class Protector. He'd been a victim of egg parasites and Oz took a bullet for him in the cafeteria. Jonathan once stole Buffy's powers (but he gave'm back) and he was the reluctant third of the Troika. I think the guy deserved to finally be unofficially inducted into the Scooby hall of fame. He'd put in his time.

I don't know who Strong dissed to have gotten himself killed so soon in the last season, but I for one was sorely disappointed, and that may/could have affected my appreciation of Andrew, and Tom Lenk's performance, cuz I kept thinking Jonathan should be the one there trying to fit in. It's what he always wanted. So I ask you, why do you think it was Andrew who survived to go on the road of redemption and not die, when Jonathan was all the more worthy of being given that chance?

[> Re: Why was it Andrew and not Jonathan? -- RJA, 18:32:51 07/28/03 Mon

According to Tom Lenck (I think), the reason why it was Andrew and not Jonathan was that DS wasnt available for the commitment. He could only do a few appearances compared to TL.

Originally, the plan was for Jonathan to kill Andrew, but schedules didnt work out.

And to be honest, if it was Jonathan that had killed Andrew, after Earshot, after Superstar, after Grave, I would just assume he was irredeemable. If he hadnt got an idea of what was right or wrong after all that, he never would.

[> [> Well maybe... -- ZachsMind, 18:52:40 07/28/03 Mon

Maybe they coulda kept it like it was with Andrew being prodded by Warren/First and Jonathan oblivious but in his own small way redemptive, talking about how he wishes he knew what the other alumni of the school were doing now, and Andrew tells Jonathan that nobody cares, and Jonathan shrugs and says that doesn't matter. That he's not hung up with the negative vibes anymore. And then Andrew looks over at Warren/First, and they decide to turn on Jonathan.

But instead of Jonathan just standing there like a putz and letting himself be slaughtered, Jonathan coulda grabbed Andrew's hands and the two would have struggled over the seal with the knife. They could have corny melodramatic music playing in the background and Warren/First is standing there rooting them on, not really caring which one actually wins just that he wants to see blood.

Then we get a shot of the two guys squirming with the knife and the knife moves off camera and it's near their guts and then they both react to the blade going into flesh and they both look at each other and then Andrew loses feeling in his legs and falls slowly and clumsily out of the shot and on the seal, and Jonathan's standing there holding the knife, horrified.

But okay, if Strong couldn't commit then that's life.

[> [> [> Re: Well maybe... -- RJA, 18:56:47 07/28/03 Mon

Well, sure, if it happened that way, then fair enough. But if the original plan was to have Jonathan in Andrew's place I would have very little sympathy for him. But an accident and remorse I could be happy with.

But yeh, it was apparently just availability.

[> [> [> [> My ideal tv spinoff... -- ZachsMind, 22:04:54 07/28/03 Mon

I wanna see "No Really You Think?" The Series starring Nicholas Brendon (Xander), Danny Strong (Jonathan), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn) and Elizabeth Allen (Amy). With recurring roles or guest star spots by any Buffy or Angel series alumnus who wanted to make an appearance. If only wishes were horses.

[> [> [> [> [> Tee-hee -- dream, 11:55:32 07/29/03 Tue

My Buffy dream-series? Giles in England, as a ghost-hunter (the premise for Ripper). But he has a link to the nether-world through GhostTara. She talks to him, tells him things (of course, most of what she offers him helps more in terms of Giles' development than just in terms of that week's ghostly trouble.) Ethan Rayne shows up regularly as a general nuisance. Willow shows up occasionally - she can't bring herself to stay all the time because 1) she's too busy running the new Council of Helpers and 2) she finds it too traumatic that Giles can see Tara, and she can't. Olivia can make some appearances as an on-again, off-again love interest, though I would like a competing love interest as well, one from the magical world, rather than the regular world. Jenny Calendar will haunt Giles sometimes. He'll need at least one other person as a regular, someone who will serve as a foil. I wouldn't mind Spike in this role, because the possibilities of the Spike/Giles relationship always seemed immense to me - after all, Spike is Giles turned inside out - the geek turned tough who never turned back. But I think after all that has gone on, Spike might be a bit overpowering in a show with Giles, so we'll need a new character. (I would have wanted Anya, but of course, that - sniff - is no longer possible). Once a season, we'll need a Slayer, and I vote for Vi.

Um, I'm getting a little lost in this fantasy...time to stop.

[> [> [> [> [> [> This would be a great show. -- Sophist, 12:53:25 07/29/03 Tue

[> [> [> But that wouldn't have been enough to set up the storyline -- KdS, 02:29:32 07/29/03 Tue

Jonathan kills Andrew in self-defence? Who cares? The same idea was one of Andrew's lying flashbacks in Stroyteller, to make himself feel better about killing Jonathan. As other people in the topic say, if Jonathan had played that role it would have been another regression for him.

[> [> [> [> 'J kills A in self-defence? Who cares?' -- ZachsMind, 08:09:08 07/29/03 Tue

J kills A. A's blood falls on the seal instead of J's. A, being a bit taller and less anemic than J, triggers the opening of the seal. J freaks out and runs as fast as his little legs carry him. Insert really amusing yet suspenseful chase scene. ...Of course, come to think of it, J would probably have just gotten eaten by the UberVamp at that point, and then none of the Troika woulda survived. I guess things turned out for the best.

[> Re: Why was it Andrew and not Jonathan? -- Cheryl, 19:24:03 07/28/03 Mon

I thought I'd read somewhere (I thought here), and what made sense to me, was that Jonathon had completed his journey but Andrew hadn't.

It's not like they killed off Jonathon and we never saw him again, so I don't think it was an availability issue. I don't know what DS has been up to, other than a small bit in Seabiscuit (and boy was I surprised when I saw him in it!), but I do know the actor and the character were personal favorites of Jane Espenson's and I can't just see ME killing him off just for the sake of killing him off.

[> [> OT: Remember, Seabiscuit was directed by Gary Ross, the writer/director of Pleasantville.... -- cjl, 12:06:01 07/30/03 Wed

So it's natural that Ross would bring back DS (who played the Juke Box Kid in Pleasantville) as one of the jockeys.

I'd say Danny has a potentially sweet deal as a featured player in Ross' movies--except Ross only seems to make movies once every five years...

[> Because Jonathan had less of a distance to go. -- HonorH, 19:35:00 07/28/03 Mon

Jonathan died doing what he believed was right. He wanted to make up to Buffy what he'd done the previous year. He also *got* it--that having been picked on in high school didn't matter. He'd stopped being bitter and just wanted to help those people. Jonathan, in short, had already acheived a sort of redemption.

Andrew, OTOH, did have a long way to go. He needed to be dragged back to reality and to the understanding that the world isn't just a big game of D&D (even if in Sunnydale, it did resemble it at times). Now, I loved Andrew and Tom Lenk's performance, so I'm operating on my own biases, but I really enjoyed watching as the layers slowly fell away and Andrew was finally able to find something like his own redemption. By the end, he was a real boy, not Warren's bitch or the First's puppet.

[> Not trying to be flamey . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 00:04:41 07/29/03 Tue

But I found Andrew much more enjoyable than Jonathan. I don't dislike Jonathan, but I don't like him either. I guess I just never really GOT him. He seems to have this big appeal for everyone that I just don't get. Why does everyone seem to like him so much? For me, he's like Lenny and Carl on "The Simpsons": he's just there. Doesn't take much away from the story and doesn't add much to it; he's just there. Andrew, on the other hand, was funny. Not so much in Season Six, but Season Seven was big into self-reference, and a character who's totally delusional about reality and fantasy provided great qualities of humor. Could Jonathan have been used in the same way? Maybe. But, frankly, I don't think his perceptions of reality were quite screwed up enough to bring it to Andrew's level.

Of course, it could just be I don't like Danny Strong's acting. A distinct possibility.

[> [> The deuce you say! -- ZachsMind, 08:51:58 07/29/03 Tue

"Of course, it could just be I don't like Danny Strong's acting. A distinct possibility."

Them's fightin' words, youngun!

BUFFY: Great. Thanks. Anybody else want to weigh in here? How about you by the dip?
JONATHAN: No, thanks. I'm good.

Actually I'm beginning to think of Jonathan metaphorically as the Bob Dole of the BuffyVerse. He put in his time and did a lot of things behind the scenes over the years, and when his time came to get the brass ring, things just didn't go his way. Not that I'm saying Bob Dole got sacrificed on the republican altar of Ubervampism.. Actually maybe this metaphor doesn't work too well.

Perhaps diehards who are really into the series, or were with it from the beginning, would see Jonathan in a way different from someone who has a more objective point of view. It's like he's a fellow passenger whom you got a glimpse of a few times and didn't pay much attention, but then after awhile when that same face keeps standing out in the crowd, you realize that even though you took him for granted and he didn't really make any splash, he's been a fellow passenger all this time. It's like he's on the same team you're on. Naturally you'd cheer for him when he's up and urge him on when he's down. However, an objective viewer who finds Jonathan brought to his attention late in the game and wasn't sharing the virtual journey would not care so much. They'd see the surface. He's one third of a bad guy team, big deal.. and not a very good bad guy at that I mean how can you be a bad guy when you're heart's just not into being bad?

Still, to say Danny Strong is not a good actor? I can't wrap my mind around that one. I'd like to see the allegedly greatest film actors of today (Hanks, Cruise, Travolta) do as much with as little. It takes a special breed of talent to be given one line and leave a memorable imprint.

JONATHAN: That's my cue to leave.

[> [> [> Agreed! -- Rob, 23:33:36 07/29/03 Tue

[> Roles and humour -- pellenaka, 05:35:27 07/29/03 Tue

I'm not sure that it was because of availability issue as I remember several interviews in which Tom Lenk tells about how they read through the CWDP script and Danny Strong ignored the 'actions'. After-wards he said something (paraphrasing): This is great, it's so open for us to come back!" and TL told him to read it one more time.
Also, Andrew provided much of the funny in S7 and kinda took over Xander's role as funny-guy. And I'm not sure that Jonathan took have done the same thing, like Finn Mac Cool said, Andrew's delusions, in a seasons where the situation is so serious all of the time, made him oblivious to said serious things. Jonathan would have reacted a whole bunch differently as he, already in S6, was 'growing up'.
He didn't thrust Warren who left him to take the trash in Seeing Red and wouldn't have killed Andrew - he was shocked a lot by the incident with Katrina.

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