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A Primer on Interpretation -- Sophist, 13:53:47 07/30/03 Wed

I threatened to post this before. I got bored at work and decided therefore to bore you all.

The legal system has spent hundreds of years developing a system of interpretation. It would be too much to say that there are ìrulesî of interpretation, but there certainly are ìprinciplesî commonly applied. Some of these principles may well be inconsistent with others; the application of all of them is hotly debated. Iím going to ride roughshod over nuances like this. What follows is The Law According to Sophist.

Issues of interpretation arise in 4 common cases: contracts, wills, statutes, and constitutions. There are some relatively minor differences in the principles applied to these different cases, stemming from the slightly different contexts in which they arise. It is fair for purposes of this essay to treat all 4 categories as using the same rules. Iím going to use statutory construction as my example because that most closely resembles the circumstances of BtVS interpretation.

The fundamental rule of statutory construction is the ìplain meaning ruleî. This rule requires that if a statute is unambiguous, the court enforce the ìplain meaningî of the words. As a matter of principle, we might doubt that words ever have a single ìplain meaningî. However, the rule works quite well in practice because most sections of a statute are rarely contested. The same is true of BtVS ñ we donít have heated debates over ìHi, Iím Buffyî.

Good enough, but all too often words donít have a ìplain meaningî. The interpretation of ambiguity is the fun stuff.

The first rule for interpreting ambiguity is deceptively simple: the courts must enforce ìthe intent of the Legislatureî. I first have to point out that this principle does not necessarily apply to interpreting a TV show. We have no societal obligation to constrain our interpretation in this way. We may choose to do so, but we are never required to do so. Those who support authorial intent will, however, find this fundamental legal principle both gratifying and supportive of their position.

If the intent of the Legislature is so damn important, then why are we wasting time in court instead of asking the Legislature what it meant? The answer is that the legislative intent must have been expressed at or before the time the statute was enacted. Under no circumstances, ever, does the Legislature get to tell a court what it meant. It follows as a matter of course that the statement of a single legislator is never admissible as evidence of intent of the legislature as a whole. The lessons for BtVS are obvious: once an episode appears, that is the ending date for the expression of authorial intent. Asking the writers about it after the fact is inadmissible; relying on the word of a single writer is inexcusable. Sic semper authorial intent.

Donít get too excited about this, though. This rule does not mean that subsequent events canít influence our interpretation of the intent at the time of passage. For example, a later statute related to the first one might shed light on the interpretation of the first. Similarly, a later episode might affect our interpretation of an earlier one. But direct questions and answers with the Legislature? Thatís verboten.

Assessing intent at the time of enactment gives rise to its own set of disputes. There are 2 ways to do it. Both schools look at the words of the statute, related statutes, and the ìreasonî (purpose) of the law, i.e., the nature of the problem the Legislature was trying to solve. The majority view is willing to go beyond these and also consider the legislative history: the debates in committee and on the floor and any amendments that were made to the original bill. If we were to apply this to BtVS, we would allow evidence of shooting scripts and debates among the writers. Hah! A victory for authorial intent.

Postmodernists might prefer the minority school, which rejects the use of debates. It limits the evidence to the actual language used, as interpreted by a reasonable person, in light of the problem to be solved. In BtVS terms, forget about writer interviews; what you see on screen is what you interpret. My sense of irony requires me to disclose that the biggest proponent of the minority school is Justice Scalia, easily the most conservative Justice in the last 70-80 years.

If we limit ourselves for the moment to the statutory language, we have to ask ìWhich language is relevant?î. The answer is that a particular passage can only be interpreted in light of the whole statute. You canít just isolate one passage and interpret it alone. In fact, you canít limit your consideration to just that statute ñ if there are any other related statutes, you have to interpret the disputed passage in light of them as well. The object is to give significance to every word or part, and to harmonize the parts in the context of the whole statute.

I find this last rule particularly relevant to many of the debates here. I frequently see posters (never me, of course) asserting an interpretation of one particular scene without any consideration of the rest of the episode or the show in general. This omission is particularly common when it comes to discussions of character. We all tend to argue like ñ gasp ñ lawyers: we pick out the one piece of evidence most favorable to us and assert it as a universal. Donít feel too guilty, though. The only people who violate this more often than lawyers and AtPOíers are Supreme Court Justices.

Thatís pretty much all there is to it. There are a few nuances, but they would be irrelevant to us. What I find most interesting about the legal system is that it uses authorial intent as its starting point, claims that itís controlling, and then proceeds to subvert that principle in very important ways. Notice, though, that it never dispenses with it entirely. Sounds kind of like my own position. Isnít that convenient?

[> Re: A Primer on Interpretation -- Darby, 14:44:30 07/30/03 Wed

One difference is the limited sources we have for understanding the development of the product - we have few records of the collaborative process, and the few we have are from participants telling us about it later. I'm not always comfortable with that, but no one's getting sentenced or fined based on it.

I find I have no problem with the creators telling us what they were doing, as long as I reserve the right to say that they didn't succeed in getting what they thought they were doing to the screen - I'm picky that way. But then, sometimes the courts wind up saying, "No, Guys, you haven't written what you intended to write here - you need to take another swipe at it."

It's interesting to think of the two creative processes - I probably am just as ignorant of the compromises made in the production of both, but somehow I feel more comfortable making assumptions and taking potshots at tv shows.

Does that make me a bad person?

[> [> Yes : ) (Just Kidding) -- Yellow Bear, 14:58:26 07/30/03 Wed

[> [> Not bad, just insufficiently cynical -- Sophist, 16:11:43 07/30/03 Wed

[> Re: A Primer on Interpretation -- Malandanza, 16:12:06 07/30/03 Wed

"If the intent of the Legislature is so damn important, then why are we wasting time in court instead of asking the Legislature what it meant? The answer is that the legislative intent must have been expressed at or before the time the statute was enacted. Under no circumstances, ever, does the Legislature get to tell a court what it meant. It follows as a matter of course that the statement of a single legislator is never admissible as evidence of intent of the legislature as a whole. The lessons for BtVS are obvious: once an episode appears, that is the ending date for the expression of authorial intent. Asking the writers about it after the fact is inadmissible; relying on the word of a single writer is inexcusable. Sic semper authorial intent."

First, let me say thanks for posting this -- your posts are (well, I would say always, but I know you hate absolutes...) frequently interesting. On the other hand, I wouldn't be responding if I agreed with everything you said...

I think authorial intent does have a purpose beyond the airing of the episode for a couple of reasons. First, the authors hide the episode as well as they can before it is aired, so their intent is difficult to discern until after the fact. However, I find even the DvD commentaries from season one to be relevant and, often, illuminating. Next, because BtVS is serialized, the author's intentions have an effect on future episodes. For example, maybe ME didn't do a particularly good job making it appear that Spike went to get a soul so he could be a better man for Buffy, but Season Seven would make even less sense if we ignored the authorial intent in Grave. Perhaps we could say that the authorial intent that Spike went to get a soul for Buffy is relevant for Season Seven (since the statements by the writers preceded Season Seven) but is irrelevant for Grave, but I think such a distinction in a series is troublesome at best -- effectively we would be saying that Spike went to Africa to get even with Buffy at the end of Season Six, but that he went to Africa to become a real boy prior to Season Seven, when, really, there was only one trip.

As for the single legislator analogy, I think that works better for the series (or season) as a whole rather than for an individual episode. Neither David Fury nor Marti Noxon should be the sole source of information for Season Six, but I don't think anyone is better equipped to tell us what a JE episode was supposed to have meant than JE. It might be equivalent to a legislator who creates a pet law, crafts the statute entirely on his own, does all the arguing before the house and senate, and has it passed without incident or comment. Perhaps in a court of law the statements of this single legislator could not be considered admissible, but I don't think there would any other legislator as qualified to state its intent as the author. So when JE tells us that Buffy/Parker was all about Angel, I'm inclined to agree -- unless and until I hear that Joss cut the scene where Buffy explicitly stated B/P was all bout Angel because it didn't represent his intent. In the absence of a dissenting view from other writers, I have no problem taking the author's word for an episode she wrote -- which makes more sense to me than taking a poll of the writers who weren't involved in authorship to determine what JE meant.

Of course, I also see the author as more than just the writer. I think the actors and directors have sufficient influence over how a scene plays out that they can be considered partners (albeit, very much the junior partners) in authorship.

[> [> I mostly agree with this -- Sophist, 18:32:14 07/30/03 Wed

Your example of the single legislator with a pet bill would work in the legal system: in practice, his/her comments would constitute the bulk of the legislative history. This actually happens more often than you might think -- even if it's not a "pet" bill, one legislator is generally charged with drafting a bill and seeing it through. In practice, then, the comments of that legislator dominate the record of legislative intent, just as the work of, to use your example, the work of JE dominates HLOD. But a court still will not consult that legislator after the fact.

Your example of Spike's intent could actually be handled within the legal system. Think of S7 as the Legislature passing a sequence of related statutes. As I said, these subsequent enactments can be used to show the intent of the first one.

Personally, I also listen to post-airing comments by the writers. I just treat them with even more caution than usual.

[> Excellent, Sophist. I'm primed. -- manwitch (really Justice Scalia), 16:21:00 07/30/03 Wed

I don't realy disagree with anything here. In fact, as a model, I like it a lot, even if you end up associating me with Scalia.

The analogy would be perfect if only laws were written in the form of modern poetry, or a Klee painting.

Its the whole connotative vs. denotative thing. I've gotten into a number of debates over the meaning of "Hi, I'm Buffy." Law must mean what it says, and interpretation attempts to find out what it in fact says. Art and literature can mean much more than what they say. Do you feel that has any impact on interpretation?

At any rate, I personally see interpretaion as a creative act, which I hope is enough to separate me from the honorable Justice.

[> [> Not as much as you might hope -- Sophist, 18:52:11 07/30/03 Wed

I personally see interpretaion as a creative act, which I hope is enough to separate me from the honorable Justice

I think he would agree. That's why he does not want courts to engage in interpretation, and wants to constrain their behavior when they're forced to. For this latter reason, he tends to apply the "plain meaning" rule much more often than others. Occasionally this results in surprisingly "liberal" interpretations.

Law must mean what it says, and interpretation attempts to find out what it in fact says. Art and literature can mean much more than what they say. Do you feel that has any impact on interpretation?

Your first sentence is basically right. After all, the Legislature can always draft a new statute if it doesn't like the way a court interprets the old one.

Constitutions raise a very different issue. They tend to use broad general phrases ("no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law") that can only be given meaning over time and practice. They can't be re-written the same way laws can.

Those who favor broad construction of the Constitution do so precisely because they believe Constitutions mean much more than they say. This results in an interpretive process closer to the arts, though more constrained by factors like precedent, history in general, and institutional limits. So the answer to your question is definitely Yes.

[> [> [> Art often has the same constraints in real-world practice -- Darby, 19:37:40 07/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> The creation of art does. I'm not sure the interpretation is quite so limited. -- Sophist, 20:11:36 07/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> Art and Constitutional thought -- Rahael, 06:12:26 07/31/03 Thu

Very interesting Sophist. Speaking from the early modern perspective, I would say that constitutions and laws say quite a lot about how communities imagine themselves, their sense of national identity and the discourse of power.

They are open to a great deal of interpretation, sparking off violent disagreements. Different conceptions of law and constitution can indeed give rise to great art. (I've recently seen Marlowe's Edward II and Shakespeare's Richard II at the Globe theatre).

Does the belief in divine right hold sway in early modern England? Or are there multiple interpretations as to where power lies between King and Subjects?

Clever, more astute monarchs (Say, James I&VI) understood this and used compromise and negotiation to enforce a peacable co-existence of two conflicting theories. Clumsier monarchs like his son bring civil war on their heads for not grasping the obvious - constitutions and laws are heavily dependent on interpretation and often function on necessary ambiguity.

Another example would be the ambiguity inherent in the black rubric - enabling moderates of various stripes in the Church to accept big changes.

I am fascinated by political language and communication in early modern England, which of course is heavily dependent on constitutional thought. Stop me before I start quoting from the Declaration of the New Model Army of 1647!

But I'll end by pointing out how well Shakespeare understood the contested nature of various constitutional theories - Richard is sacred, God's annointed deputy, and no rough rude sea could ever wash this away. And yet, his usurping successor will in turn become God's deputy, against whom it would be a sin to rebel. Marlowe also plays on this. Edward II doesn't understand how to balance the King's two bodies, the personal versus the eternal. He pays no attention to his duties, making the whole kingdom his private bedroom - he says that he only wants a nook or cranny to frolick with his Gaveston but this just underlines the imbalance. And Marlowe is pretty stark - when Edward indignantly asks whether any king was ever overruled as he was, Mortimer quickly retorts "Learn, then, to rule us better".

This is the reality of practise versus abstract thought - we often, in our daily lives live with great contradictions, without ever feeling uneasy. Occasionally, the touch paper may be lit and the whole situation explodes, but I think it is healthy to have multiple interpretations of text (whenever you have words, you have multiple interpretations because words do not have meaning just by themselves, but exist within a complex tapestry of meaning, dependent the words they are next to, and the different understood meanings that the readers can all have - cough, misogyny, cough!). It is also healthy to understand, I think that interpretations can be contradictory, adn still liveable, but also be warned that they can be faultlines in our imagined community.

(No footnotes! Sorry!)

[> [> [> [> Appendix -- Rahael, 06:16:17 07/31/03 Thu

Having written and posted that, I had a thought - perhaps those who are unwilling to recognise the ambiguities and contradictions are the ones who make it necessary that contradictory interpretations are forced into headlong conflict. Calling a community's bluff so to speak.

Still musing on this.

[> [> [> [> [> Very true -- Sophist, 07:55:20 07/31/03 Thu

Though that's not always a bad thing. Just for example, the Abolitionists were unwilling to accept the vague compromises that supported the evil of slavery. Their stance eventually led to a very substantial reinterpretation of the US Constitution.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Ok, I really need to modify what I just said -- Sophist, 08:59:43 07/31/03 Thu

Many Abolishonists accepted the prevailing interpretation that treated slavery as protected by the Constitution. That's why Garrison burned the Constitution.

Southern firebrands attacked from the opposite direction, demanding that slavery be recognized and enforced as a positive good, and the area available to slavery expanded. This forced moderates like Lincoln to explore interpretations which limited the vague language and provided minimum support for slavery.

During and after the Civil War, Constitutional interpretation changed even more to meet the demands of winning the war and securing a political settlement favorable to the Republican party. The moral benefits of the new way of thinking made it that much easier to adopt.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ok, I really need to modify what I just said -- Rahael, 09:30:02 07/31/03 Thu

I of course am completely clueless about American history, so will admit that these distinctions would have flown past me.

Of course I absolutely agree that change is often much needed, and reform of various social ills has often needed to confront many prevailing attitudes head on.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> An example more familiar to you -- Sophist, 10:08:13 07/31/03 Thu

would be the various compromises in the 39 Articles or the Book of Common Prayer. These, of course, papered over doctrinal differences until the issue was force by a demand for new interpretation.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: An example more familiar to you -- Rahael, 10:31:40 07/31/03 Thu

I must admit that I love the Book of Common Prayer (as someone once said, the best book ever written by committee?), and indeed count Elizabeth's via media as one of the triumphs of her reign.

She may not have had a truly Protestant church in the beginning, but the longevity of her reign did more to Protestantize England than anything else. The steady drip drip drip, and the huge leap in regular attendance of churches.

I would also say that Elizabeth held pretty firm about things like Church structure, frustrating the radicals, who slowly turned to inward issues. So 'edification', came to take on an inward building up of oneself. Also, the compromises allowed the radicals to coexist uneasily with conservatives in the same church for a long time.

(I am hugely influenced here by Diarmaid McCullough's authoritative biography of Cranmer, though. And I'm also biased because he gave the best lecture series I've ever attended. He had full lecture halls even in week 8, which is incredible.)

So the doctrinal fudges of Elizabeth's church just fits into the positive column of divergent views co-existing - I think that her long reign actually dealt with her early critics - however, it was a broad enough church (haha) to allow dissent to keep alive, adapt, and find new targets. I think the challenges to the Elizabethan settlement kept evolving.

Oh, and I just had thought I should tack on. I especially like viewing early modern political culture containing multiple viewpoints because it gives greater weight to dissenting ones, both religious and political, that they keep alive when many conservative historians would have you believe that England was an overwhelmingly conservative place, constitutionally speaking. Examining the literature of the period proves very much otherwise in my not very humble opinion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Did the ambiguity preserve stability or did force? -- Sophist, 11:00:56 07/31/03 Thu

I think a mix of both. The compromise created space for a broad middle, and force kept the extremes in line.

OTOH, both the Elizabethan Compromise and those regarding slavery in the US Constitutional Convention resulted in Civil War.

I see this as a fairly natural process. Much the same occurs in science. What once seems clear becomes first ambiguous and then the opening point for new understanding. I guess that makes me a natural revolutionary, albeit a couch-bound one.

We really have to fill this gap in your knowledge of US history. You would find the period from 1787 to 1860 absolutely fascinating.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agreed! -- Rahael, 11:12:36 07/31/03 Thu

And on the filling in of gaps of knowledge too.

I'm biased toward witty, inspiring accounts which take interesting slants into a society - any recs? I also like a well written narrative history.

I used to be prejudiced against military history until we started doing the battles of the Interregnum - my friend and I went off to attack our reading lists, and after reading for five hours we both sheepishly admitted that we had discovered hitherto undiscovered levels of bloodthirstiness.

So really, as long as it's well written, I'd like it - feel free to give me a reading list!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Happy to oblige -- Sophist, 12:40:21 07/31/03 Thu

But first I need to have some sense of how much you actually know about this period in US history.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Obliging now. -- Sophist, 18:29:43 07/31/03 Thu

Here's a list. I believe all are fairly easy and enjoyable to read. I just feel like I'm leaving out so much...

If you're serious, read them in the order listed.

1. Miracle at Philadelphia, Catherine Drinker Bowen (she also wrote The Lion and the Throne, which you may have read).

2. The Business of May Next, William L. Miller

3. American Politics in the Early Republic, James R. Sharp

4. American Aurora, Richard Rosenfeld

5. The Road to Disunion, William Freehling

6. All on Fire (biography of William L. Garrison), Henry Mayer.

7. The Life and Times of Congressman John Quincy Adams, Leonard Richards.

8. Lincoln, Douglas and Slavery, David Zarefsky

9. Collected speeches of Abraham Lincoln. There are many editions. You just need the ones from 1854 on.

10. The Presidency of Abraham Lincoln, Philip S. Paludan.

Hope you like them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm serious -- Rahael, 03:29:25 08/01/03 Fri

I don't know much about the period, but that's never stopped me usually. I like to plunge straight in. It's always pretty easy to find out 'what happened'. Finding out why is my favourite bit!

Don't know how fast I will be but I'll tell keep you updated!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Obliging now. -- Malandanza, 07:33:01 08/01/03 Fri

"Here's a list. I believe all are fairly easy and enjoyable to read. I just feel like I'm leaving out so much..."

And, if you're one of those people who believe that U.S. history doesn't end at the Mississippi River, you might want to try something by Marshall Trimble. Absolutely the most entertaining historian I've ever come across -- with a nice, folksy style and plenty of amusing anecdotes (with just the right mix of cynicism). Among other things, you can learn how the Texans lost the Civil War for the Confederacy in the New Mexico territory (what is now AZ and NM) -- and about the most famous Civil War battle in what is now Arizona, the Battle of Picacho Peak. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Adding it to my list!! -- Rahael, 04:15:35 08/02/03 Sat

Thanks to both of you.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> One more suggestion -- Sophist, 08:40:30 08/02/03 Sat

Before you begin the books I listed, read at least the opening to the Declaration of Independence (up to the phrase "let facts be submitted to a candid world")(quote from memory).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ok, will do! -- Rahael, 11:49:37 08/03/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> um, rah? (timidly raising hand) i could use *one* footnote -- anom, 14:07:37 07/31/03 Thu

What's the "black rubric"?

[> [> [> [> [> Good thing you asked -- Rahael, 03:26:51 08/01/03 Fri

I dashed that off quite carelessly, and should have clarified cos I really meant to say how Elizabeth handled the Black Rubric is significant for her Church Settlement, not the actual Black Rubric itself which is actually an example of the non-ambiguous, and therefore disruptive statement of one interpretation.

Okay, the ëBlack Rubricí was during Edward's reign, where there was a concerted push to protestantize England, and where Protestant radicals had the most influence.

Inserted into the Book of Common Prayer of 1552, it stated pretty baldly that kneeling to receive Communion did not mean that you were recognising the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. Catholics, and some conservative Protestants believed that there was the real presence of Christís body and blood in the wine and wafer of mass, and there was some mystical change that took place during the ritual.

Before 1552, Holy communion was administered with the words ìThe Body of Christ, given for you, preserve your body and soul unto everlasting lifeî. After 1552, it was administered with the words ìTake and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on him in your heart with thanksgivingî (Emphasis is my own).

(Itís interesting to note that early modern English church goers prior to the Reformation would only take Holy Communion twice a year, rather than every Sunday as is the practice now).

Luther himself believed in some form of the real presence ñ and so did Calvin, though he tended to emphasise the presence of Christ in the worshippers who were receiving communion.

It is Zwingli and his followers who had the most unambiguous stand ñ there was no real presence, and the ceremony was simply a commemoration, a memorial of Christís sacrifice.

The Black Rubric is interesting because it shows the influence of the Swiss reformers on Edwardís regime.

The disappearance of the Black Rubric under Elizabeth is therefore significant of the via media ñ she was going to allow many interpretations. Therefore, radicals could tell themselves they were involved in a memorial, and conservatives could recognise the real presence and all could worship in one church, next to each other.

Anyone interested in this fascinating issue should read Miri Rubinís Corpus Christi ñ The Eucharist in Late Medieval Culture which is a wide ranging and inspiring read about all sorts of issues, and tends to focus more on the medieval rather than the early modern. From my memory, I think it discusses all sorts of things, from the Wafer, to the issues of women and fasting. She writes very well too.

Which reminds me that I should really buy a copy of it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> thanks! & an interesting parallel in the jewish service -- anom, 18:56:28 08/03/03 Sun

"Before 1552, Holy communion was administered with the words 'The Body of Christ, given for you, preserve your body and soul unto everlasting life'. After 1552, it was administered with the words 'Take and eat this in remembrance that Christ died for you and feed on him in your heart with thanksgiving' (Emphasis is my own)."

Part of the musaf ("additional") section of morning Sabbath & holiday services commemorates--in fact, is meant to replace--the additional (i.e., besides the daily ones) animal sacrifices that were made on those days in the times when the Temple was standing. It starts by recalling that God commanded these sacrifices; then asks God to bring us back to the land of Israel, "& there we will make the sacrifices before Thee"; & then quotes the Torah verses prescribing the sacrifices for the specific day.

In more recent prayerbooks published for Conservative synagogues, the middle part is changed to reflect changes in sensibilities about animal sacrifice; it asks God to bring us back to the land of Israel, "where our fathers made the sacrifices before Thee." Orthodox prayerbooks, as far as I know, still have the earlier version; I think Reform services omit the musaf section entirely.

So it was interesting to see your comments on similar changes in a Protestant service.

[> [> [> Agenda driven interpretation -- sdev, 11:40:31 07/31/03 Thu

I think he would agree. That's why he does not want courts to engage in interpretation, and wants to constrain their behavior when they're forced to. For this latter reason, he tends to apply the "plain meaning" rule much more often than others. Occasionally this results in surprisingly "liberal" interpretations.

Justice Scalia is known as a strict constructionist. He takes the text at face value and does not believe the courts have the right/mandate to add their own creative interpretation. (I am leaving the Constitution out of this because arguably as an older, more static and difficult to change document a looser and more expansive interpretation might be slightly more justifiable even to Scalia.)

Other judges come at it from an agenda based viewpoint- whether left or right. Scalia leaves the agenda out, and this, as you point out, may result in left-leaning decisions surprising for such a right-leaning judge. That is why I and others on the left and right believe him to be an intellectual giant because his decisions are based on reasoning and not agenda. Also I have a certain element of respect for such against-his-own-interest intellectual honesty and his consistency. On the other hand, some people believe the agenda (social, political, whatever) is paramount or more important and should hold more sway. I do think that on some level that view undermines the concept of justice as a weighing of facts and analysis because it begins with preconceived notions, the underlying agenda.

I have the same problem with artist's comments post-creation. Artistic interpretation in writing and art has similar but slightly different problems. That the writer has an agenda when they create is perfectly acceptable and necessary. That is actually akin to the drafting of the legislation which is of course purposeful. A writer's words at or before the time of creation become almost the first criticism of the work itself. Does it measure up to what the writer wanted to create? They are unbiased in the sense of an external agenda. Even here, though, there is the problem of what the writer may believe they are putting in on the conscious level and what ends up in there on the unconscious level which may be an entirely different agenda, sometimes even undermine the stated agenda. I don't believe that a lot of subtext, metatexts were put in intentionally by the writers. I believe many are part of the unconscious working of the writer's mind.

But a writer's words, after the episode has aired, are much more likely to be driven by an agenda external to the work, much the same way broad judicial interpretation is driven by political or social agendas external to the laws. How? The art is done. Whatever the writer says now is spoken with the purpose of post-conceiving the work and directing the viewer toward a particular conclusion. That in and of itself is an agenda. What motivates that agenda can be many things Some examples:

-- Ratings, sales
-- Correcting perceived misinterpretations of the work of art
-- Placating offended groups
-- The next season and where it is going
-- Personal discomfort with messages given
-- Recoil at unconscious thoughts revealed
-- Reluctance to let the art have a life of it's own

Considering the media we are now using and the number of forums that exist to discuss BtVS and AI, I am particularly suspicious of post-production comments and their agendas. Never before has such a large quantity of feedback been available at such rapid speed. Also this relatively new phenomenon provides much more detailed information about viewer response to the work than ever before. This is not just ratings; it is detailed commentaries by impassioned viewers like ourselves. This enables the writer to get immediate viewer feedback and is conducive to the writer implementing an agenda by writer interviews which are just as widely and quickly disseminated back to the viewer. I can not disregard this inherent bias.

[> [> [> [> Hmmm. -- Sophist, 12:32:07 07/31/03 Thu

Justice Scalia is known as a strict constructionist. He takes the text at face value and does not believe the courts have the right/mandate to add their own creative interpretation.

There are problems with this assertion.

First, "strict constructionism" is itself a value judgment imposed on a text. It is not neutral; in your own words later on "it is driven by [a] political or social agenda external to the laws". All interpretive principles are necessarily external to the laws. We'd end up in infinite regress if every statute contained a passage on how to interpret it; each such passage would then require its own clause on how to interpret it, ad infinitum. There may be good reasons to adopt "strict construction" as a policy, but we can't lose sight of the inherent bias.

Second, the majority rule courts (and remember, Scalia's view is the minority view) would not agree that they are engaged in creative interpretation. To the contrary, they argue that they are more successful in enforcing legislative intent because they consult a wider range of evidence regarding that intent.

Third, Scalia's actual implementation of "strict constructionism" has led to a great deal of criticism from experts in statutory construction. This has reached the point of calling him intellectually dishonest. He takes phrases out of context and supports his arguments with misleading citations. This leads to suspicion of precisely the "agenda driven" jurisprudence that "strict constructionism" was designed to avoid.

But a writer's words, after the episode has aired, are much more likely to be driven by an agenda external to the work, much the same way broad judicial interpretation is driven by political or social agendas external to the laws.

While I agree generally with your skepticism regarding post hoc comments by the writers, I'm not sure I understand your reference to courts in this context. Given the analogy I made above, the writer stands in the shoes of the legislature, not the courts. We, the viewers, stand in the shoes of the courts.

[> [> [> [> [> some clarification -- sdev, 13:25:08 07/31/03 Thu

My words were:

"much the same way broad judicial interpretation is driven by political or social agendas external to the laws."

Broad judicial interpretation is not strict constructionism. It is its opposite. Broad judicial constructionism contains an agenda also known as policy, often falling under the rubric of the public welfare. Strict constructionism does not, or at least intends to be neutral, to the extent any interpretation of anything can totally exclude agendas. But broad construction does not even attempt to; its stated objectives are to include agendas and expand interpretation. The majority court would readily agree that their broad interpretation is meant to include policy considerations that the strict constructionists want to omit. This is not a comment on which I prefer. I see reasons for both in the judicial context.

While I agree generally with your skepticism regarding post hoc comments by the writers, I'm not sure I understand your reference to courts in this context. Given the analogy I made above, the writer stands in the shoes of the legislature, not the courts. We, the viewers, stand in the shoes of the courts.

I will explain. The writer stands in both places- legislator and courts at different points in time. In writing the work the writer is like the legislator with an explicit agenda. After the work is written and the writer is commenting, unless you somehow consider the writer's comments as part of the work, analogous to the legislation itself, the writer then stands as interpretor of his own work and as such stands in the shoes of the courts.

For illustrative example, is the legislator commenting in the media, a year after the legislation has passed into law, and when there are already cases pending before the courts that require the judiciary to interpret the legislation, the writer or are they now acting as the interpreter? (I don't even believe this is considered acceptable conduct or "done" for that very reason.) I believe we agree that legislative intent is never evaluated by the courts based on post-enactment legislative comments. I believe it is for that very reason- after the fact they are interpretations even if made by the authors.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: some clarification -- Sophist, 13:54:38 07/31/03 Thu

Broad judicial constructionism contains an agenda also known as policy, often falling under the rubric of the public welfare. Strict constructionism does not, or at least intends to be neutral

I agree that strict constructionism intends to be neutral. Where I disagree is that I don't believe it is. It simply imposes its policy preferences at a different level.

Although some politicians like to score political points by claiminig courts should "just enforce the law", that is what all courts believe they are doing at all times. In fact, most strict constructionists now concede that this principle involves policy preferences and justify it by the benefits of those preferences. To the extent policy considerations generate an "agenda", they do so for everyone who engages in interpretation, whether narrow or broad.

The writer stands in both places- legislator and courts at different points in time.

I see your point, but I think of the writer more as a legislator trying to influence a court rather than a court itself.

[> [> I have to admit... -- LittleBit, 07:05:20 07/31/03 Thu

I am curious regarding the different viewpoints of the "Hi, I'm Buffy" debates ;-)

[> [> [> "Who Are You?" was on FX this morning - "Intervention" locally this past weekend... -- Darby, 08:22:34 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Who Are We--Very vague spoilers for Home -- Arethusa, 09:42:35 07/31/03 Thu

And is Buffy Buffy because of her inherent Buffyness, or is she Buffy because she is treated as Buffy? After being treated like Buffy for a day or two in WAY, Faith "became" Buffy also. She progressed from mocking Buffy's dedication to good in front of the mirror to seemingly believing in it when she faced down the vamps in the church. And isn't Cleveland Buffy also Buffy?

This reminds me of the Out of Character debate. How do we know who someone really is, when we only see a part of them that we interpret through our own filters? Anything not directly contradictory to canon could be possible. This might be important when watching AtS next year. Due to the huge changes in Home, the Fang Gang is bound to exhibit very new behaviors that might seem contradictory to what we've seen so far.

[> [> [> Also, the First.... -- mamcu, 13:23:15 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> The "Hi I'm Buffy" argument.. -- ZachsMind, 07:23:05 08/01/03 Fri

She said "I'm Buffy. I'm new." Not "Hi I'm Buffy" when she introduced herself to Xander in "Welcome to the Hellmouth." Furthermore, when she introduced herself to Cordy, it was Cordy that said Hi. Buffy just said, "I'm buffy." When she talked directly to Willow for the first time without Cordy's interference, it was "Uh, Hi! Willow, right?" And Giles introduced himself and already knew Buffy's name.

In fact I can't find a single time during the run of the series when Buffy actually ever said the words "Hi I'm Buffy" in that order.

(well, someone said they wanted to see the Hi I'm Buffy argument. There it is.)

[> [> [> [> WttH and The Gift -- manwitch, 14:51:12 08/02/03 Sat

In Welcome to the Hellmouth, Willow asks Buffy if she wants her to move and Buffy says, "lets start again with 'Hi, I'm Buffy,' and then move on to me asking you for a favor."

The exact moment and line "Hi, I'm Buffy," is repeated again in the opening of The Gift.

[> Justice Scalia-OT -- sdev, 16:36:58 07/30/03 Wed

Justice Scalia, easily the most conservative Justice in the last 70-80 years.

And widely considered an intellectual giant by both sides.

[> [> Depends on who you ask. :) -- Sophist, 18:34:55 07/30/03 Wed

[> Oh No!!!!!!!!!!! -- Rufus, 17:21:59 07/30/03 Wed

We all tend to argue like ñ gasp ñ lawyers

Sohpist!!!!!! Take that back......snerk...;)

[> Legal interpretation vs. artistic interpretation, Jasmine and Caleb -- mamcu, 06:15:22 08/01/03 Fri

To go in a slightly different direction, it's interesting that legal interpretation has a goal that to me seems almost opposite to that of artistic interpretation. Both of the camps Sophist describes have as their ultimate goal the triumph of one interpretation over another, for the ultimate purpose of action. When the Supremes interpreted the Constitution as protecting the right to privacy for gays, that was not just an interesting idea--and one interpretation had to win out and all others had to be set aside.

Artistic interpretation, however, is not a zero-sum game. In fact, we could almost say that one of the goals of criticism and even more so of discussions like ours is to multiply the possible interpretations that a text can allow--and yes, setting some limits, esp. of context, is necessary, or all meaning is lost. But one of the great pleasures of art is the tensions among several possible interpretations, not the ultimate settling on one.

As an example, I think most viewers agreed that Jasmine, on Angel S4, was a much more intriguing and successful character than Caleb on Buffy S7. I believe that the reason for this is that Jasmine was so ambiguous, that most of us could see several conflicting interpretations of her, ranging from ultimate evil to misguided good. Caleb was simplistic--he was not ambiguous, not open to more than one interpretation, and thus boring.

I've always thought the urge to settle on one "right reading" was a mistaken mapping of the methods of science (and maybe law, I see now!) onto art. I know people, though, who attribute it to psychological tendencies. Another issue of interpretation, I guess.

[> [> Great point, but -- Sophist, 08:39:49 08/01/03 Fri

while it's true that in the legal system one side wins, that's not the case in the larger political arena. The most important aspect of democracy is that issues are never resolved with finality. The principle of majority rule means that the current minority can always continue to push its preferred interpretation in the hope of becoming a majority in the future (classic examples are the anti-slavery movement and the Civil Rights movement). In this larger context, multiple interpretations not only continue to circulate but serve an important social function.

Even in the judicial system, precedent can be overruled. In Brown v. Bd. of Education, the Court overruled Plessy v. Ferguson and, in essence, adopted the dissenting opinion of Justice Harlan in Plessy. So minority interpretations can and should persist even in what seems to be a winner take all system.

[> [> [> Agree, but -- mamcu, 19:43:52 08/01/03 Fri

Oh, really true. The other interpretations don't vanish. It's just that, still, legal interpretation has an outcome that is an action. And while that interpretation holds sway, that action is taken--as your example demonstrates, while Plessy was the accepted interpretation, the actions were all in accord with that, sadly. And then the other must be privileged for the actions to change, as in Brown. Hard to have both at once--but in artistic interpretation, which has no action, many interpretations may coexist in one reader/viewer's mind.

Of course, even in art, there's action. So different directors of Hamlet can present very different plays by settling on certain interpretations. Thus it must not just be artistic vs. legalistic, but interior vs exterior.

And now we're miles away from your starting place! Sorry!

[> [> [> [> Don't be sorry, it's a good point. -- Sophist, 20:13:23 08/01/03 Fri

Angel vs Olaf -- JBone, 20:10:12 07/30/03 Wed

You do well to flee, townspeople! I will pillage your lands and dwellings! I will burn your crops and make merry sport with your more attractive daughters! Ha ha ha! Mark my words! Ooh! Ale! I smell delicious ale!


I'll post the link for the Jenny v Ethan results as soon as I get it all put together. I should say, soon. But it was exciting, ah?

[> Tougher than it looks (well, for me, anyway) -- cjl, 20:42:34 07/30/03 Wed

Olaf was a lot of fun. Abraham Benrubi played him with such a sense of joie de vivre, of bonhomie, and...a lot of other French words...that you could almost overlook the whole 'eating babies' part. Now that's acting. On the other hand, if I didn't vote for Angel, he'd probably brood about it until the S5 premiere. And nobody wants that.

[> yesterday's results -- Jay, 20:48:50 07/30/03 Wed

pick here

[> [> MOLOJ declares victory and throws wild Mardi Gras anarchist parties in the streets!! Woo hoo! -- Rochefort, 21:28:35 07/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> MOLOJ, keep the momentum up! Now let's stop her murderer! 1 Vote separates! -- Rochefort, 21:33:19 07/30/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> (puts Rochefort in headlock) Quick! Vote for Angel, everyone! -- Honorificus (The Sublimely Inspirational One), 23:07:40 07/30/03 Wed

HAH! You fool, you allowed my Super-Snivelling Alter-Ego into your puny club. Didn't you realize that means you get me, too? I'm not about to let you and your do-gooders carry out your crusade! Yeah, sure, Angel's a do-gooder, too, but he's much more fashionable on his worst day than Olaf ever was, and besides, Angel's not the one who stood me up on Beltane 500 years ago. That ill-mannered troll is going DOWN!

[> [> [> [> [> Isn't "ill-mannered troll" a bit redundant? -- ApOpHiS, 00:15:28 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually, many of OBAFU's mini-trolls have *very* good manners. -- HonorH, 00:47:29 07/31/03 Thu

Well, most of the time. And you really, really don't want to get between them and their Spam, or buy them the wrong brand of root beer. Mostly, though, they're sweeties.

*pats Windham and Price*

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I can attest to this... -- LadyStarlight, 11:32:17 07/31/03 Thu

The two I adopted (Ruppert and Zxander) are just lovely. Ruppert did pitch a mini-fit about the unavailability of his favorite root beer, but he's accepting the situation and moving on. He seems to like Barq's best of all he's tried.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I disagree -- Finn Mac Cool, 23:00:32 07/31/03 Thu

I got no end of grief from Xandarr, Xanderr, and Xandder, and Zandor was quite rude as well. I'm not quite sure what all of those words meant, but, judging from how he said them, I'm guessing they're bad. But the worst had to be Zxander, who filled his super-soaker with 7-Up, sprayed me with it, then set a bunch of bees loose. *sigh* Course, I guess it's my fault for creating them in the first place.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Aww, but they're just playing, Finn! -- HonorH (giggling over Finn's misfortune), 23:15:35 07/31/03 Thu

And yep, it certainly is your fault. Never mess with the minis!

[> [> [> [> [> Honorificus, Olaf is a TROLL! Trolls are EVIL!! Angel is GOOD. Whassa matta wit you? -- Rochefort, 00:18:21 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> also.... ow. -- Rochefort, 00:20:04 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> Uh, Rochefort? Before you celebrate, think about Jenny's probable 2nd round opponent... -- cjl, 06:44:49 07/31/03 Thu

We pledge our allegiance to MOLOJ (and whatever the heck it stands for), but my allegiance to Alyson Hannigan goes back to My Stepmother is an Alien. Too much Willow-love here to register the politically expedient vote. Sorry, Roche--if that means I have to abdicate my current chairmanship, then Willow is my Wallis Simpson.

[> [> [> [> pf, nah. Who could vote against Willow? Besides, Willow is in MOLOJ. -- Rochefort, 09:06:02 07/31/03 Thu

... and MOLOJ has become more than a single issue group these days anyway.

[> Re: Angel vs Olaf -- Anneth, 21:13:05 07/30/03 Wed

This is the unfairest matchup ever! I love Olaf, but Angel would so beat him senseless. Olaf comes in hammer a-swingin' but Angel casually sidesteps him and brings his hand down on the back of Olaf's neck in a judo-chop reminiscent of Austin Powers. Olaf goes down, and goes down hard. Angel victorious.

[> [> Maybe Olaf should have eaten baby Conner.... -- Rochefort, 21:31:58 07/30/03 Wed

Olaf! Olaf! Olaf! Kubiak from Parker Lewis, only green! I agree with cjl about the joi vivre. Angel wouldn't have any joi vivre if it was injected in his butt cheek with a big syringe.

[> [> [> Don't.Even.Go.There, buddy -- The First Evil, 09:32:39 07/31/03 Thu

I have other hench-men besides Caleb you know. Some of them even have eyes.

[> [> [> [> You can't blow up MOLOJ like you did the Council.... -- Rochefort, 09:39:34 07/31/03 Thu

We're anarchist. We don't even have a headquarters. Anyway, bring it on!!! I'm mad at you for tons of stuff!

(cjl, the first evil hates me. If you hadn't let Buffy go in the desert she could have protected me. :(

[> [> [> [> [> Anarchists trying to go after the First Evil? -- The First Evil, 10:07:08 07/31/03 Thu

It reminds me of the opening scene of "Touched"!

Blah, blah, bibbity blah. "We're arguing about how to argue!"

Besides, Buffy would save babies from Trolls. And stop people who try to sic Trolls on helpless, defenseless babies.

[> [> [> [> [> uh, rochefort? moloj may be decentralized... -- anom, 10:41:43 07/31/03 Thu

...but the board isn't. And the First Evil exercises absolute power over it! If there's anyone you seriously don't want to take on, it's her! "Bring it on"? She could bring it off...line. Or just delete every single one of your posts.

I think you better back off. Like, now.

[> [> [> [> [> [> ha ha, just kidding. niiiice connor. have a bottle. -- Rochefort, 13:55:50 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> But you know, the First Evil only appears to major players. I'm really in it. -- Rochefort, 14:00:31 07/31/03 Thu

[> Angel. -- HonorH, 21:53:34 07/30/03 Wed

Sure, Olaf was fun, but he was only beating Buffy as long as she was in a post-breakup funk. Angel coulda taken him, and Angelus *really* coulda taken him.

[> [> With all the Slash references lately, my mind just went to a really bad place -- Diana (who begs that there be no slash talk tonight), 15:02:55 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> . . . and you just dragged my mind there, too. Thanksabunch! -- HonorH (gagging), 22:29:52 07/31/03 Thu

[> Re: Angel vs Olaf -- ApOpHiS, 22:59:02 07/30/03 Wed

I don't care if he was retconned into a god, no troll can take the King of Pain. Olaf is basically a big, angry monster; Angel wastes a big, angry monster every other episode, often before the beginning credits. Olaf will go the way of Drew Barrymore in Scream and Angel will go back to doing what he does best: hating himself.

[> [> And remember: Angel's not just the King of Pain-- -- HonorH, 23:02:28 07/30/03 Wed

He's "Mr. Billowy-Coat King of Pain." Riley's best. Line. Ever!

[> [> That's Billowy Coat King of Pain, to you Mister -- Diana, 15:04:18 07/31/03 Thu

[> Let's go Olaf supporters! Do it for Jenny! Stop Angel!! We're only three votes down!! -- Rochefort, 00:22:48 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> If I may respectfully submit my point of view... -- Random, 07:55:49 07/31/03 Thu

I've accumulated several punjabs (who knew that they were hyperdimensional?!?) and done some serious thinking...we want Angel to win! How else is Jenny going to gain the justice so long denied if she doesn't get a crack at Angel herself? In fact, we should be doing everything humanly/demonically possible to help Angel move into the final four so Jenny can pimp-slap him herself!

[> [> [> um... yeah! That's exactly why I voted for Angel! That's it, uh huh -- ponygirl, 08:04:57 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Sometimes I wish MOLOJ wasn't anarchist. I'd be like MUTINY!! -- Rochefort, 09:15:02 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> Jenny likes Angel. It is Angelus she has a problem with -- Diana, 15:07:49 07/31/03 Thu

And since it was her dying wish that he be resouled, I would think that the MOLOJ would be totally supportive of him.

Besides, doesn't everyone want to see the big Angel-Buffy showdown? Think she'll fight dirty and try to remove the curse? Then when he is in the throes of agony as he loses his soul, YET AGAIN, she will have the decided advantage.

[> Re: Angel vs Olaf -- btvsk8, 04:31:57 07/31/03 Thu

Two words- enchanted hammer. That thing helped bring Glory down. Angel wouldn't stand a chance!

[> [> Re: Angel vs Olaf -- Malandanza, 08:49:45 07/31/03 Thu

"Two words- enchanted hammer. That thing helped bring Glory down. Angel wouldn't stand a chance!"

Assuming Olaf can keep a grip on the handle this time -- last time around Buffy just slapped it right out of his hand. I imagine Angel will be able to do the same -- and we've seen how "handy" Angel can be when wielding a hammer (right, Lindsey?)

No, poor Olaf is going to end up as fish bait, and the next time the Broody One heads off for one of his retreats... well, there's a trolling joke in there somewhere but I can't quite get to it.

[> Re: Angel vs Olaf -- Celebaelin, 06:14:09 07/31/03 Thu

This one will be a real bruiser of a fight, far closer that the rankings imply. Both combatants can really soak up the damage and whilst Olaf may have the advantage in what he's handing out Angel has a knack of not being where you thought he was when you started to make your strike - dodgy geezer.

Angel will have to use cuning to work Olaf into a position where he can hit him with something really big, maybe a garbage truck or perhaps an armoured peronnel carrier. But that's not impossible right? Insane troll logic bites the dust, Angel edges this one at the close (possibly with some help from the National Guard).

[> Re: Angel vs Olaf -- MaeveRigan, 10:49:14 07/31/03 Thu

Is anyone betting on Olaf? Because he obviously hasn't got a chance. While he's laughing at Angel for being a "tiny man," Angel puts on his game-face, takes away the big hammer, and tosses Olaf-glad-and-big in a dumpster. Sometimes vengeance never ends--Anyanka gets extra credit for her career-launching transmogrification.

Why I'm leaving the board (till tomorrow morning).... -- Rochefort, 21:42:37 07/30/03 Wed

Random ate ... like three jellies. And me? Zero. And I'M always the one who says "Let's have a Jelly in the mix."

[> What's a "jelly?" -- ApOpHiS, 00:14:09 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> Re: What's a "jelly?" -- Celebaelin, 05:40:15 07/31/03 Thu

In the UK jelly would be what you call Jell-o

OR There is a drugs sub-culture reference to a variety of oral pharmaceutical that you can melt down and inject (yuk, desperate or what?). I don't know what it is or does but I'm assuming it's a narcotic. VERY bad for you apparently, I'm guessing but I imagine the gelatin or whatever the base is would re-solidify in the bloodstream, quite apart from the affects of the drug itself. Jellies are a big problem in Scotland apparently.

Then there's the US jelly of the now famous peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. What we in the UK would call jam.

That's the kind of jam that you spread on bread not the kind that is an outrageous fluke.

That's the kind of fluke that is a bizarre accident not the kind that is an ovine hepatic parasite.

That's the kind of bizarre that is, oh I give up, at least this one is only a homophone (unless your diction is very precise).

English huh? Itís got the largest vocabulary of any known language and we still find it necessary to double-up on the meanings of words.


[> [> [> Temazepam -- KdS, 05:53:38 07/31/03 Thu

As memorialised in the Black Grape song "Tremazzi Party". Sleeping pill, used to be dispensed as capsules filled with liquid. Then people started sucking out the liquid and injecting it, so the makers replaced the liquid with jelly. Then people started melting the capsules and injecting that. Gel solidifies in the blood vessel, blocked blood vessel, sometimes loss of limbs. Ick.

[> [> [> Re: What's a "jelly?" -- skpe, 06:43:00 07/31/03 Thu

I always thought a 'jelly' referred to a jelly doughnut,(skpe off to get one now)

[> [> [> [> well, if you're already talking about doughnuts... -- anom, 09:19:37 07/31/03 Thu

"I always thought a 'jelly' referred to a jelly doughnut...."

...then it's clear that's what "jelly" means. But Rochefort neglected to provide that context, which led to the confusion. In the scene he quoted, you can see the box of doughnuts on the table, even though they're not mentioned in the script. I'm sure he saw them in his mind's eye, but for some reason that doesn't show up on the screen....

[> [> [> Re: What's a "jelly?" -- Arethusa, 09:26:24 07/31/03 Thu

A jellie is also a cheap brightly colored plastic sandal.

[> [> [> Then there is the Beyonce/Destiny's Child definition.. -- Caroline (thinkin' you're not ready for this!), 13:16:47 07/31/03 Thu

that jelly is your bottom/butt/ass/arse/booty/groove thang etc. See their song 'Bootylicious' and excerpt of which is printed below:

You gotta do much better
If you gone
Dance with me tonight
You gotta work your jelly
If you gone
Dance with me tonight
Read my lips carefully
If you like what you see
Move, groove, prove
You can hang with me
By the looks I got you
Shook up and scared of me
Hook up your seatbelt,
It's time for takeoff

I don't think you
Ready for this jelly
I don't think you
Ready for this jelly
I don't think you
Ready for this
'Cause my body too
Bootylicious for ya babe

[> [> [> [> Ooo, kind of an icky visual, eh Caro? -- Anneth, 14:06:04 07/31/03 Thu

From where the sun stands, I will eat no more jelly anythings forever.

[> [> [> [> [> There's even *more* icky visuals from Bootylicious -- Caroline, 14:44:52 07/31/03 Thu

and yes, 'break you off' does mean that.

I'm about to break you off
H-town goin hard
Lead my hips,
Slap my thighs
Swing my hair,
Square my eyes
Lookin' hot,
Smellin' good
Groovin' like
I'm from the hood
Look over my shoulder,
I blow you a kiss
Can you handle,
Handle this

Move your body
Up and down
Make your booty
Touch the ground
I can't help but
Wonder why
Is my vibe too
Vibealacious for you,

I shake my jelly
At every chance
When I whip
With my hips you
Slip into a trance
I'm hoping you can
Handle all this jelly
That I have
Now let's cut a rug
While we scat some jazz

[> Buffy had three! -- ZachsMind, 06:07:37 07/31/03 Thu

"Hey! I may be a cold-blooded jelly doughnut, but my timing is impeccable." (where's that one from?)

From The Zeppo, Season Three:
WILLOW: Where are you going?
GILES: Um, to try and contact the Spirit Guides. They exist out of time, but have knowledge of the future. I have no idea if they will respond to my efforts, but I have to try. All we know is that the fate of the entire world rests on it. Did you eat all the jellies?
BUFFY: (innocently) Did you want a jelly?
GILES: (petulantly) I always have a jelly. I'm always the one that says 'let's have a jelly in the mix.'
WILLOW: We're sorry. (tattles quickly) Buffy had three!
GILES: No matter...

[> [> That quote's from... -- Marie, 07:03:33 07/31/03 Thu

Beauty and the Beasts:

Giles: Our task now is to determine what sort of killer we *are* dealing with. Clearly, we're looking for a depraved, sadistic animal.

Oz(comes in): Present.

Willow smiles, jumps up and goes over to him, pushing Giles aside in her eagerness to reach him.

Oz: Hey, I may be a cold-blooded jelly doughnut, but my timing is impeccable.

Willow (touches him with both hands, smiling): But you aren't! I-i-it's-it's a kill-in-the-day monster! A hundred percent for sure.

Oz (very relieved): Okay. (smiles)


(And why is it that when I read anything with Oz in it, I have to say "Awwww..."?!)


[> [> [> Oz Rocks. Datz why. =) -nt -- ZachsMind, 11:19:43 07/31/03 Thu

[> Hey! That's so inaccurate.... -- Random, 07:48:25 07/31/03 Thu

I had one. d'H had four. Rob had seven! I warned him that he s-o-o-o did not need the sugar rush over and above the stimulation from the dry-cleaning chemicals that have accumulated on his cheerleading outfit. Sigh...I'll never look at the human pyramid quite the same way again....

[> [> Very true. And everyone had to spend over 7 hours in chat... -- Rob, 08:20:20 07/31/03 Thu

...trying to get bits of me out of the carpet. The seventh jelly was the final straw...The intensity of the sugar rush was so all-consuming by that point that KABLAM...I exploded! Word to the wise: Do not attempt to mix my natural cheeriness with sugary snacks and chemicals. I'm highly combustible.


[> A contrary notion - is funny always funny? -- Darby, 10:20:44 07/31/03 Thu

I hope no one accuses me of having no sense of humor, but I'm a bit troubled by threads that make light of the recent board dramas. I think I understand the intent, and am reading no snark into them, but I find myself wondering if it isn't being done at the expense of folks who, for whatever reasons, might be feeling a bit responsible for the tense current nature here. While I'm fairly certain that shadowkat would smile at this particular thread, for instance, I'm not completely certain and would hate for her to think folks were making fun of her in her absence.

Am I completely out of line on this? I kinda hate to start another series focussed on internal board issues, but I'm also kinda hating biting my virtual tongue on what feel like legitimate questions.

[> [> Arguably funny isn't ever funny -- Celebaelin, 11:39:51 07/31/03 Thu

Whilst I don't visit chat so I don't really know what toes may have been stepped on here (or indeed there) the basis for virtually all comedy is suffering of some sort. The laughter is virtually exclusively defensive ie I'm glad that didn't happen to me. When you laugh you may not feel that at the time but on deeper examination what exactly is the joke? Comedians are often depressives for this very reason, the people who could most use cheering up are most often the victims. We laugh at ignorance, pain and general misfortune because the object of the joke is 'other'.

Even wit and repartee are funny because of their exclusive quality. It's the sort of thought that makes you think you may never laugh again, but you will, and the best way as far as I can see it is not to be overly analytical.

At root though Giles' (I like to think self-mocking) whining about not getting a jelly (jam doughnut) is funny because the listener likes to think that s/he would not be so unobservant as to miss out on their favourite donut having requested it in the first place. The other factor in this is the sheer absurdity of being worried about the ramifications of jelly availability in the sight of such dire circumstances.

It's funny.



[> [> [> If that were true, nothing would be funny -- Darby, 13:18:24 07/31/03 Thu

Buffy and Riley's Romance -- Rina, 15:45:36 07/31/03 Thu

Whenever I come across a topic or article about Buffy's romance with Riley Finn, I've noticed that many people tend to be general in their reason why they believed the relationship failed. They either state that Riley was too dull or perfect; or that he could not deal with Buffy being stronger than he, once he lost the extra strength given to him by Maggie Walsh. And they also never failed to add how much they hated his character.

I, for one, never hated Riley. Well, that isn't completely true. The only time I have ever disliked Riley was during his last appearance on the show in Season 6's "As You Were". Other than that, I've always liked Riley. I found him to be a nice and charming young man, with a disarming wit. Did he seem one-dimensional to me? On the contrary, I found him to be also interesting - to the point that I found myself rooting for him to break away from black-and-white mindset of the Initiative and the military, in general during the second half of Season 4. It was a great disappointment to me when he decided to return to the Army at the end of "Into the Woods".

Do I believe that Buffy and Riley could have made it as a couple? No. But my reasons are different that most of the show's fans. I believe that Riley could have adjusted to having a girlfriend stronger than him. With or without Professor Walsh's drugs, Riley was an effective demon hunter. He was a hell of a lot better at it than Xander, Willow and Giles. Nor did I buy the excuse that he was simply too one-dimensional for Buffy.

I believed that Buffy and Riley failed as a couple was because; a) quite frankly, they were too much alike and yet, too different, especially in their thinking; and b) because of reason a, they lacked the ability to communicate with each other. This trait was more than hinted in at least two episodes of Season 4. Remember "Hush"? When Buffy finally learned that Riley was part of the Initiative and when Riley learned that Buffy was also a demon/vampire hunter? When they finally confronted each other at the end of the episode, instead of talking, they sat across from each other - in silence. That silence continued in the beginning of "Doomed".

Both Buffy and Riley were, in a way, too alike. Both seemed like the silent and stoic heroic type. Yet, they were also too different. Buffy's more ambiguous view on morality seemed like the polar opposite to Riley's black-and-white morality. Despite being betrayed by Maggie Walsh and disappointed by the Army and the Initiative, Riley was never able to free himself from this mindset. Even worse, Riley seemed to focus his life around some external force or individual - whether it was the Army, the Initiatve & Maggie Walsh, or Buffy. Unlike Angel and Spike (who also shared this disturbing trait), he never learned to rise above this problem.

But it was inability to communicate with each other that really doomed the Buffy/Riley relationship. When Buffy had accused him of being unable to deal with physically weaker than her, Riley dismissed the accusation. Well, he did admit to having a problem with it for a while. But his biggest concern was that Buffy tend to shut him out. And he was right. She did. But Riley was also at fault. If Buffy was guilty of shutting him out, he was guilty of not bringing up the problem in the first place - until it was too late.

[> I have to agree. -- HonorH, 16:08:08 07/31/03 Thu

Too, there was the problem of the fact that Buffy might have liked the idea of Riley more than she liked the reality. Oh, certainly, she was fond of him, affectionate, caring, and yes, she even needed him--but part of her was still wrapped up in her hopeless, dramatic romance with Angel. That part felt that she was "settling" for Riley. It couldn't identify what she felt for Riley with what she felt for Angel. So she never let him in completely. She never allowed herself to really fall in love with him.

And Riley never confronted her about it. He could have at any time. He could have asked her point-blank if she loved him, had he really wanted to hear the answer, and they could've gone from there. By the time he did confront her, it was too late. He ended up running back to what was comfortable for him--the Army. Incidentally, I don't think that was a terrible choice for him. It wasn't the Initiative any longer, and from what we saw, it was only going after proven threats. So I don't blame him for heading back. I do, however, blame him for not having the courage to face Buffy.

In short, neither of them had the courage to do what was needed to make the relationship work.

[> [> Devil's advocate -- CW, 17:34:20 07/31/03 Thu

Have to stick up for Riley here. Buffy had, in fact, told him straight to his face in all seriousness, that she loved him, when he was questioning whether or not Angel was still first in her heart. I have no doubt she believed what she said. But, she was saying one thing and behaving in another way. Six months later, Riley had a better notion of what she really felt about him than she did.

And he did confront her about not letting him in before the big blow up. Quote Riley "When you feel like letting me in let, me know." But, at the moment Buffy thought it was about her keeping secrets about Dawn for everyone's good. She may not have known what he was geting at, but there was no question in his mind.

Otherwise I agree mostly with HonorH's first paragraoh. I also have to give Buffy the benefit of the doubt and say that if Riley had been the one, she would have let him in without prompting. She had no idea she was literally slamming doors in Riley's face. If she'd made an effort in this area the problems most likely would have surfaced in other ways, for example in accusations that he was jealous of her strength which was at least partly true.

[> [> [> When did Buffy tell Riley she loved him? -- HonorH, 19:35:47 07/31/03 Thu

Because I can't find it anywhere. She says lots of sweet things to him, but I can't think of a single instance of her telling Riley that she loved him. Like in "Out of My Mind," when she's trying to get him to come to the hospital, she tells him she *needs* him--not that she loves him. Can you quote me chapter and verse on her actually saying the words?

The thing I'm saying is that Riley doesn't appear to have actually sat down with Buffy and said, "Look, this is how I feel about our relationship; am I wrong?" That was his fault. Buffy's fault was not confronting her own emotions, or really looking at what she was doing to Riley. But then, Buffy never *was* the most introspective of girls.

[> [> [> [> She tells Angel she loves Riley but she doesn't tell Riley -- Caroline, 19:50:38 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> True, but the *way* she says it... -- Scroll, 20:07:16 07/31/03 Thu

Considering Buffy tells Angel that she loves Riley, trusts Riley, in the middle of a terrific blow-up over Faith of all people, I'm not exactly crediting her declaration with a lot of weight.

I'm sure Buffy did care for Riley quite a lot. She probably loved him. Might have even been in love with him. But I don't think she herself ever believed that she was in love with him. Does that make sense? I agree with HonorH that she was so caught up in how she felt/had felt about Angel that anything different wouldn't have registered as love in her mind.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: She tells Angel she loves Riley but she doesn't tell Riley -- JM, 20:36:40 07/31/03 Thu

And that says a lot. Frankly, I think they could have made it. I'm one of the few people that loved Riley most of the time he was on, and even was glad for him that he found Sam.

Yeah, she was rebounding, and she felt differently, less intensely than he did. But he provided her a level of comfort, that though it may not have burned like her love for Angel, is still very rare and valuable in her life. Buffy is not comfortable around a lot of people, and I for one saw that ease in her first few minutes reuniting with him S6. He was fun, easy, familiar. It could have worked. If only Buffy had had a little more time to get over Angel, if only she hadn't been protecting Dawn, if only she hadn't been so worried about her mother. . . if only Riley hadn't have been having a nearly psychotic melt down.

In the end, that's really what killed any chance of them. And I thought that was the point of "As You Were." That no matter what other hurdles of timing and not mutual intensity they were dealing with it was Riley's problems that were the most serious and insurmountable. Yes, he loved her more idealistically than she did him. But it didn't change the fact that there was a hole inside of him that no other could ever fill. He'd given up a lot for Buffy and her cause, but he'd had far more ripped from entirely unwilling. He'd lost job, country, structure, mentor, moral structure, and most importantly vocation. He was entirely adrift, in a manner he had no capacity to articulate. His need for Buffy to need him wasn't so much about her aloofness or his physical weakness, it was this enormous gaping emotional wound inside of him that he wanted to apply her like a gauze-pad to. And even if he could have been her number one priority, it wouldn't, in the end, have been enough.

Those vamps showed what he needed. To be vitally important. Where your lack means their possible death. Not the way an independent life partner is, but the way a fellow soldier in a fox hole is. Riley couldn't articulate this, and Buffy couldn't provide it. Too bad, they had much capacity to make each other happy. But it wasn't meant to be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: She tells Angel she loves Riley but she doesn't tell Riley -- jane, 20:47:56 07/31/03 Thu

Very perceptive,JM. I agree,time and circumstances were against them. Also, I think neither Riley or Buffy were great at communicating their innermost feelings about the relationship. I liked Riley, and was happy to see him with Sam.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: She tells Angel she loves Riley but she doesn't tell Riley -- Bless You, 21:42:29 07/31/03 Thu

I always felt alone being happy for him. And I'm sure Sam was more than a little glad to shake the dust from her feet. It's a lot of work being on your best behavior in the land of the exes. I've been there.

[> [> [> [> I couldn't find it either -- sdev, 20:15:00 07/31/03 Thu

I thought the closest she came was in Into the Woods when she said "I've given you my heart, body and soul."

Is that the same as saying "I love you?" I'm not sure myself but I think it is close. Now that I think about it this heart business sounds familiar.

[> [> [> [> [> Looks like my mind was just extrapolating -- CW, 22:14:53 07/31/03 Thu

Again I think, it was Buffy's belief that she had given him "heart body and soul." But, she hadn't, and as he says at the time, he didn't feel that she had. As the argument developed there was an awkward moment Buffy as much as says that she's given him as much as she can, and that if he needed something more...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Looks like my mind was just extrapolating -- Rufus, 22:49:16 07/31/03 Thu

Both Riley and Buffy made mistakes in the relationship. This doesn't make either person bad or totally to blame, what it does do is illustrate just how hard it is to get the right combination of the person we hunger for and the person we feel we should be with. For Buffy and Riley it wasn't right for whatever reason, but it doesn't make me want to blame either party. Things happen. For what it's worth I don't think Buffy has found the right one yet...and that doesn't mean that she hasn't been with him yet, it just means that for her the time isn't right, that and her being in the baking process.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I very much agree -- CW, 05:23:10 08/01/03 Fri

I was just trying to say that it probably wasn't a situation that talking it out would have changed much. As you're saying it wasn't the right combination. Buffy felt what she felt and Riley felt what he felt. In the end it was hard on both of them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought we were on the same page......go figure...;) -- Rufus, 15:55:23 08/01/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> can't look it up now, but... -- anom, 13:13:48 08/01/03 Fri

...I think it's after Angel comes back to Sunnydale & has the fight w/Riley that Buffy talks to Riley & he says something like, "I'm so crazy about you I can't think straight," & she says something like, "I know. Me too."

I'm quoting from memory, so these are probably not the exact words (maybe someone w/more time can check the lines), & neither of them actually says "I love you," but "I'm crazy about you" is pretty close. Matter of interpretation, I suppose.

[> [> [> [> [> [> She says "Tell me about it." Which is nicely ambiguous. -- Sophist, 14:00:36 08/01/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> oh...yeah, that's about as literally noncommital as you can get! -- anom, 14:15:02 08/01/03 Fri

[> [> Agreeing with you -- LadyStarlight, 20:34:45 07/31/03 Thu

You've just made the whole Buffy/Riley relationship snap into focus for me. It makes perfect sense now!

[> [> Re: I have to agree. -- shambleau, 15:46:54 08/01/03 Fri

I would add one more reason why Buffy never fully let Riley in - Angel's betrayal. Yes, it was really Angelus doing the emotional demolition job on Buffy in Innocence, but it felt like Angel to her, I'm sure, whatever she thought intellectually. She never opened herself fully in romantic relationships after that.

I thought it was very telling that the first time she slept with Riley, she immediately looked over when she woke up to see if he was still there. After Angel and Parker, it was understandable, but it indicates a wariness and a caution that don't go well with giving yourself over to someone heart and soul.

Actually, after the multiple betrayals she suffered over the years, including the more general ones of her father and Giles (the temporary betrayal of Helpless, the felt betrayal of his leaving in S6 and, of course, the Spike plot), I'm not sure she can ever be as trusting of anyone as she was with Angel. That may affect her ability to love fully for the rest of her life.

[> [> [> or at least... -- anom, 22:57:55 08/02/03 Sat

"...I'm not sure she can ever be as trusting of anyone as she was with Angel. That may affect her ability to love fully for the rest of her life."

...until she's finished baking.

[> [> [> Yeah, but should the Psychology 105 TA be punished for all that? -- Celebaelin, 16:10:51 08/01/03 Fri

[> Re: Buffy and Riley's Romance -- Rendyl, 16:11:12 07/31/03 Thu

If you haven't already found it OnM's character essay on Riley is over Existensial Scoobies. I thought it was very well done and one of the few Riley pieces to try and be fair to the character.

Of course it is OnM so pour a coke and prop your feet up before starting the read.

Ren ;)

[> [> OnM - Riley Character Essay -- Rina, 16:32:46 07/31/03 Thu

[If you haven't already found it OnM's character essay on Riley is over Existensial Scoobies. I thought it was very well done and one of the few Riley pieces to try and be fair to the character.

Of course it is OnM so pour a coke and prop your feet up before starting the read.]

I would like to read it. Do you know where I can find the link?

[> [> [> Re: OnM - Riley Character Essay -- Yellow Bear, 09:34:43 08/03/03 Sun

Excellent Essay. I would disagree with some of the analysis of S5 but it's a very minor point.

Especially liked the point about how sometimes the some of the audience just doesn't like the story being told and it has nothing to do with 'sloopy storytelling' or 'the creators not doing their jobs'. A valid point that is too often lost in these sort of situations.

[> [> [> Re: OnM - Riley Character Essay -- CW, 16:54:26 07/31/03 Thu

Click on Existential Scoobies on the mian page, here. When you get there click on charcters. Then click on Riley.

[> [> [> [> Re: OnM - Riley Character Essay -- Rina, 09:56:52 08/01/03 Fri

Oh, it's that essay! I believe I've already read it. Thanks for the suggestion, anyway.

[> [> [> Look -- Random, 17:19:21 07/31/03 Thu


[> [> [> [> Or not...what the hell did Voy do to my HTML?!? Oh well...just follow CW's directions -- Random, 17:23:31 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> You needed a space between the "a" and the "href" -- d'Herblay, 16:23:25 08/02/03 Sat

[> Re: Buffy and Riley's Romance -- Celebaelin, 04:03:40 08/01/03 Fri

But his biggest concern was that Buffy tend to shut him out. And he was right. She did. But Riley was also at fault. If Buffy was guilty of shutting him out, he was guilty of not bringing up the problem in the first place - until it was too late.

That's hardly fair. If Riley had accused Buffy of shutting him out earlier then it only would have lead to finger pointing of the '(You) Riley, Mr. secret initiative guy can hardly talk'. It seemed to me that Buffy was walking all over Riley because he was at heart a nice guy trying to do the right thing. Happens.

When they finally confronted each other at the end of the episode, instead of talking, they sat across from each other - in silence. That silence continued in the beginning of "Doomed".

Well, they'd both been lying to each other hadn't they. At the very least by lies of omission, and they count don't they? From Buffy's MO if Riley had been a bit more dangerous it might have worked out but by the time she'd had it pointed out to her that he was a threat to her emotionally he'd already decided that he was going, hardhearted, possibly into that dark night. Maybe that's why she felt motivated to chase after him (or maybe this is OOC and it's JW messing with our heads again, who can say?).

As it happens I don't think Buffy and Riley could have worked out happily. Riley is the Buffyverse equivalent of Mr Dependable - that's his problem, I mean, where's the excitement in that? This doesn't mean I don't like Riley, far from it but I can't help thinking "Yeah, but why date a secret agent when you can have a Vampire?


I'm now going to go and read OnM's analysis of Riley.

[> [> Buffy, Dracula and Riley -- Celebaelin, 07:48:23 08/01/03 Fri

Having now read this an idea occurs to me. OnM points out that Dracula notices the scar left by Angelís feeding off Buffy so it seems logical, bearing in mind how intimate they are, that Riley will have noticed this too. With this in mind I would suggest that Buffy vs Dracula is an allegory for Rileyís fears about Buffy still loving Angel, the Vampire clichÈs, and ëSunnydale Castleí reflect Rileyís relative naivete about vampires.

The doubt that Dracula is finally dead is not only a gag about the Hammer Horror history of Dracula returning to undeath after apparently being dispatched at the end of every film but also a reference to Rileyís belief that Buffy doesnít love him. He thinks she still loves Angel. At this point is he right? Not opening that can of worms thank you very much, you decide. If he does think this it might go ësomeí way to explaining why he lets a vampire feed from him.

From the archived discussion of OnMís analysis

To summarise several thoughtful posts here ëthe Vampire Hooker incident was about revengeí, well maybe, but that acknowledges that Riley was hurt by it even though it happened before they met. Perhaps it was more of an attempt to understand the allure of vampires rather than the wanting just to make them harmless (or kill them).

[> [> [> [> Re: How we got trapped by Vampire Hookers from the pen of Joss.......... -- Rufus, 21:28:18 07/13/01 Fri

The whole vamp bordello was actually closer to a shooting gallery where the hypes go to fix. Riley had his shirt off but there has never been any indication that there was more than the high of the bit involved with the transaction between hooker and john. Even Giles said it was an ambiguous situation. Riley had become a "drug addict", his sex life with Buffy had always been fine. The fact that he knew that she didn't love him made him feel empty enough to look for something to fill the emptiness he felt. What he did was stupid but it wasn't motivated by sex.


[> [> [> [> [> Well, yeah, I see your point, but... -- Masq, 15:22:29 07/15/01 Sun

Would he have let a boy vamp bite him to get his "high"?


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Well, yeah, I see your point, but... -- Rufus, 18:03:56 07/15/01 Sun

I think it's an innate gender bias to do with wanting to stay on top. He also wanted that feeling of being needed, not by a man but by a woman. I do wonder,what would happen if there were no available women vamps if Riley could still enjoy the high of the bite given by a man?


[> Re: Buffy and Riley's Romance -- jane, 10:37:26 08/01/03 Fri

Just read OnM's very wonderful analysis of Riley. I have always thought the perception of Riley as a cardboard character was unfair, and this analysis reinforces my opinion. I am so impressed by OnM's essays. One thing that kind of jumped out at me was the Adam/Riley,Eve/Buffy analogy, and a quote that seems to me to foreshadow the whole Jasmine/Angel arc on AtS. To paraphrase: God presents his creations with a test; the choice between paradise and lack of will, or free will and the terrible and wonderful responsibility that freedom brings. Wow..need more coffee now.

[> Closure on the relationship -- sdev, 09:00:28 08/04/03 Mon

Season 7 gave some closure to the Buffy Riley relationship. Riley paid Buffy the ultimate compliment, I think, coming from a soldier. He ordered the soldiers under his command to assist her with anything she wanted, no questions asked (removing Spike's chip). He demonstrated an unprecedented level of trust for her judgment and growth in his ability to see the grey in the demon world. And he knew she had been sleeping with Spike from Season 6. Quite remarkable.

[> [> Re: Closure on the relationship -- Rina, 10:31:42 08/04/03 Mon

I have to agree with you on that point. It's a credit to Riley that he was willing to give Buffy the choice on whether to have Spike's chip removed or not. It would be interesting if Riley made a guest appearance on ANGEL and the subject came up between him and Spike.

The Going Odds.. (contains spec & spoilage for Angel season five) -- ZachsMind, 21:36:52 07/31/03 Thu

Okay so let's argue the odds of which actors/characters from the Buffy tv series are gonna make an appearance in Angel season five:

James Marsters/Spike
As of this writing, the odds are even money. It's been announced and confirmed by both the network and the production company, as well as Mr. Marsters himself. No brainer.

Mercedes McNabb / Harmony
Even money. Harm is like, so very back.

Sarah Michelle Gellar/Buffy Anne Summers
SMG wants to do movies. She wants to step beyond the confines of being typecast as Buffy. But let's face it, from Harvard Man to Scooby Doo, she's not batting a good average on the silver screen. Fifty fifty chance for a one episode appearance during Sweeps. ...But don't hold your breath.

Anthony Stewart Head / Rupert "Ripper" Giles
Wants to be in England as much as possible to be with his family. Has reportedly been involved in an Antonio Banderas production as well as other performances. Was little more than a recurring character on BtVS for three seasons and I give a twenty percent chance of ASHid rain.

Alyson Hannigan / Willow Rosenberg
This one's tricky. She's got a big movie. Perhaps of all our Scoobies, this actress has the most, dare I call it, potential? She's recently mentioned an interest in doing a sitcom, so she's not adverse to doing TV. She wants a regular gig. However, she doesn't seem to wanna make that gig playing Willow. After seven years straight, she apparenlty wants a break, but her fiance is Alexis Denisof and they both admitted in interviews that they enjoyed being together during one episode last season on Angel, in which the writers solidified that when it comes to Angel's slippery soul, Willow is the predominant authority on the planet. She's resouled him twice which is I think two times more than anyone living. So if Angelus ever does show again, it would make little sense if the writers DON'T bring Alyson Hannigan aboard briefly. So I'm predicting rather high probability (about 75%) that Alyson Hannigan will make at least one appearance on Angel in season five.

Nicholas Brendon / Xander Harris
His pilot for the tv series The Pool at Maddy Breakers fell through. He's got a couple other irons in the fire but nothing very noteworthy yet, so it looks like he'll be available. The problem is, would the writers on Angel come up with a workable plot that involved Xander? Believe it or not, I don't think so. There's also already a lot of testosterone on that show. Xander simply doesn't fit, so the odds aren't very good. I'd give it twenty percent.

Eliza Dushku / Faith
Probably not this season. I'd be very surprised. With Tru Calling on FOX and Angel on the WB, the odds that either network will be cool with Dushku working for another network even in a special guest capacity are not good. It was very difficult to get the WB & UPN to both okay Angel's appearance at the end of Buffy. The writers will probably say Faith voluntarily turned herself back in to the police and is back in prison. I'm saying no chance.

Danny Strong / Jonathan
Zero odds which is disappointing. I mean sure yeah Andrew killed him and left is body rotting on the seal for an episode or two before Wood got around to burying him in a shallow grave near oil rigs. It's kinda difficult to write a character who dies like that back into things, but this is the WhedonVerse. Joyce came back and she died of very natural causes. Anything's possible.

Anyone out there have any guesses they wanna share? For the talent listed above or your own favorites?

[> Ooooh, an "Oddsmaker" thread. I likes me those. My own opinions: -- cjl, 22:56:52 07/31/03 Thu

JAMES MARSTERS (Spike): He's a REGULAR for S5. The "sides" are already up. He's ON THE SET, fer crissakes. It would take an act of God to stop him from actually appearing on our screens this fall. A sucker bet. (ODDS: 1-10)

MERCEDES McNAB (Harmony): Not a regular, but see above for near certitude. Only question with Mercedes--how many eps? Right now, she's scheduled for six, but Angel staff and fans (myself included) have a soft spot in the head for ditzy Harm, and she could be in for as much as half a season. (Odds: 1-5.)

CHARISMA CARPENTER (Cordelia Chase): Wouldn't you love to be a fly on the wall during these negotiations? Joss says he wants Charisma back for six eps near the end of the season. On the other hand, Charisma can't be happy that she was dumped from her steady gig for seven years then asked to come back and "finish up" her character arc. Ow-itch. Will she quietly take the money, report to the set and say a sad farewell to Queen C, or will she make Joss squirm like an eel? Hard to tell. I think she'll do it for the fans, but I could easily be wrong. (Odds: 3-1)

STEPHANIE ROMANOV (Lilah Morgan): Joss wants her back. The fans want her back. (She's magic every time she's on screen with Boreanaz or Denisof.) The only person who might not want Lilah back is Romanov herself. Let's see if she can squeeze the dead-but-still-delectable Miss Morgan into her schedule. If her new series bites the dust early, no problem. If not, then we might have to live without her. Again. (Odds: 7-1)

VINCENT KARTHEISER (Connor): Unless the kid is busy with wall-to-wall movie projects (not completely out of the question), he's coming back for one more episode with Dear Old Dad. I don't think they're going to reverse the memory wipe, though--it's probably going to be one of those situations where Angel meets Connor again in L.A., and he's forced to consider what he had to surrender for the good of the world. (Odds: even money)

JULIET LANDAU (Drusilla): Speaking of odds, I will bet you cash money that Joss and Mutant Enemy are in fevered negotiations to bring Drusilla in for at least a two-episode arc during Angel S5. With both Spike and Angel now on the same show, Drusilla's appearance is almost MANDATORY. Let's see if they can pry Juliet loose from other commitments. (Odds: 3-1)

JULIE BENZ (Darla): Yes, Darla's dead. Dust. But when has that ever stopped her? She's been in at least one episode in every season of Angel thus far, and I can't see Julie Benz breaking her streak now. Joss, Bell and DeKnight love Julie and will bring her in for at least one episode--somehow. (Odds: 5-2)

SARAH MICHELLE GELLAR (Buffy Anne Summers): I'm more optimistic than ZM on this one. Scooby Doo Two might be out during Spring 2004 sweeps, and SMG and the WB could do some mutually beneficial cross-promotion--Sarah appears on Angel, "sponsored by" her new flick. If that doesn't come off, there's still a chance that her vaunted professionalism and her strong self-identification with Buffy will overcome any lingering disputes with Joss and bring her back to lay the B/S/A triangle to rest once and for all. My guess: two eps during spring sweeps. (Odds: 3-1)

ANTHONY STEWART HEAD (Rupert "Ripper" Giles): Totally with ZM on this one. It was rumored that Joss had ASH slated for two or three eps during Angel S5, but that early hope is fading for Giles fans. (Odds: 5-1)

ALYSON HANNIGAN (Willow Rosenberg): Agreed, this one is tricky. Depends on what she's offered and what she wants to do after the American Pie hoopla is over. Does she do a play? A sitcom pilot? Plan the wedding to Alexis? Joss would love to have her back in any way, shape, or form, so look for him to make it happen for at least one episode during S5. Again, though, it depends on her schedule. (Odds: 4-1)

NICHOLAS BRENDON (Xander Harris): Sadly, no. Nic has already come out on record saying there's no room for Xander at the Hyperion, or wherever Angel and his crew set up shop in S5. (And he didn't seem too happy about it. Can you blame him?) Unless both Brendon and Whedon are blowing smoke up our collective rear ends, looks like Nic is on his own. We are Zeppo-less. (Odds: 25-1)

TOM LENK (Andrew): Possible, but Amy Acker and Jonathan Woodward (Holden Webster/Knox) occupy the nerd slot on Angel, and Andrew would be superfluous. I think he's even less of a fit than Xander, but ME loves Tom Lenk and might find a way to bring him in. (Odds: 25-1)

Probably out of the running: Emma Caufield (Anya), Michelle Trachtenberg (Dawn), Eliza Dushku (Faith), D.B. Woodside (Wood), Iyari Limon (Kennedy), Danny Strong (Jonathan), Adam Busch (Warren)

[> [> Casting spoilers and ANGEL S5 speculation above. -- cjl, 22:58:47 07/31/03 Thu

[> [> Questions (Casting Spoilers with those Angel S5 Specs) -- heywhynot, 07:31:25 08/01/03 Fri

I was wondering why you believe Iyari Limon wouldn't be coming on Angel? I would think Kennedy would have a 50/50 chance of showing up if Willow showed up in Los Angeles. Is the actress too busy and locked up?

In terms of SMG I do believe interviews have stated that she would be open to it though it might not be this year. Feb sweeps would be great but I wouldn't wager much on that.

What new series is Stephanie Romanov going to be in?

And lets not forget Stephanie Thompson (never on a Buffyverse show) will also be a playing a recurring character on Angel this coming season as well as Angel's administrative assistant.

[> [> [> Yes, it would make more sense.... -- cjl, 08:03:36 08/01/03 Fri

...for Kennedy to come with Willow to L.A. Bring in witch and get a Slayer as a gift with purchase. But she didn't escort Willow to L.A. the last time, and I found that telling, especially when you consider that Willow supposedly felt more secure with Kennedy around. If Joss and the crew do bring in a Slayer in Angel S5, I get the feeling it won't be Kennedy. Just a hunch.

Stephanie Romanov is filming The Final Cut with Robin Williams, and I've heard she's co-starring in a new TV series. The name of the project escapes me at the moment. (Anybody else want to chime in here?)

[> [> [> [> I agree... -- Rob, 08:42:54 08/01/03 Fri

And of course this is just my own subjective opinion (but one others seem to have had as well), but, whether Iyari Limon is a good actress or not (I'd say not, but that's just me), she did not have great chemistry with Alyson Hannigan. And even if ME does like her (I don't know either way), I get the feeling that they weren't falling-off-their-chairs thrilled with how W/K worked out. This is just my interpretation from the tone of different interviews. There is always gushiness where Tom Lenk is concerned, but a bit of defensiveness and reservedness re: Iyari, which leads me to believe that they wouldn't want to keep her in future ME productions. Of course, this could just be projecting my own dislike of her onto ME, and interpreting their words thusly.


[> [> [> She's the wildcard... (potential casting spoilage) -- ZachsMind, 08:53:55 08/01/03 Fri

Anything's possible with regards to Kennedy. The character, (and Limon the actress playing her) has as much going for her as against. The odds are grey here. It's not a longshot but it's far from a sure thing. We simply don't know enough. Would the actress be interested? Is Mutant Enemy even considering it? The answer is a gigantic shrug.

All reports indicate she didn't go over well with many fans. She appeared late in the game and doesn't have much of a following. I happened to enjoy the actress, but the character of Kennedy left much to be desired on many levels. Limon was fighting an uphill battle. Let's face it, no one can replace Amber Benson in the hearts of the audience, even if we're supposed to believe Kennedy could replace Tara in Willow's heart. With all the other characters that are dancing around for special appearances on Angel, Kennedy's just not high on the radar screens. Kennedy is for all intents and purposes, Willow's equivalent to Buffy's Riley.

If Willow shows up, it's not going to be an opportunity to further her romantic thread with Kennedy. It's still Angel's gig. I remember when Michael Dorn (who played Lt. Worf on Star Trek Next Generation) went from STNG to DS9 in the Star Trek franchise, he left STNG with his character Worf having a relationship with Deanna Troi. That didn't carry over into DS9 much. In fact he married a character on DS9 before that series was over. Then they killed off his wife before DS9's finale, leaving Worf a widower for subsequent movies. So having a relationship with Willow is no certainty that Kennedy's gonna tagalong. Willow could simply explain in exposition that she and Kennedy had a falling out and therefore flirting with Fred is completely acceptable behavior. *rolls eyes*

However, here's where things get weird. Of all the S.I.T.s that were featured last season, Kennedy's the one who would best fit in Angel's world. Think about it a minute. She's gritty. She's an upstart. She's able to hold her own in a fight and doesn't easily back down from anyone. She is in some ways Buffy season three all over again, and in other ways she's different, more mature, more spoiled and more headstrong. And Angel the Series desperately needs more estrogen. Personally I don't think Harm & Eve is gonna be enough, and Fred's adorable but can't push the estrogen line in the show all by herself. We need a lady who can scrap with the best of 'em. I think a Kennedy, sans Willow, would have a fire in her belly that'd make things really interesting for Angel and company. However, the writers would have to flesh out her character more. They may simply not want to devote time to making it work, cuz it would take time and it would take work.

Keep in mind this is still going to be Angel the Series. Not Vampire Slayer: the Next Generation. =)

[> [> [> [> Re: She's the wildcard... (potential casting spoilage) -- heywhynot, 11:02:38 08/01/03 Fri

See for me, I liked Kennedy so my opinion is biased that way and liked her with Willow. In terms of when Willow last appeared on Angel, I don't think Kennedy and Willow were in a place that would justify Kennedy going with her. Based on the last three episodes of BtVS though I think they would be in that sort of relationship. Plus the fact the pairing was the only couple to make it out of the series (well unless you count the potential pairing of Wood and Faith which I would love to see explored) leads me to believe that the relationship won't end off camera with some filler line. Though I can see Willow mentioning Kennedy is off finding potentials or training them or dealing with the latest end of the world threat in Cleveland. Whatever does happen, Kennedy will not be a major player on Angel if she does show up. Just enough of one to develop her relationship with Willow further and her character in the context of moving along Angel's storyline.

[> [> Regarding Darla-- (no spoilers except the WKCS) -- HonorH, 23:01:07 08/01/03 Fri

I think the best way to bring her over would be via flashback. Think about it--Angel and Spike sharing space *has* to lead to flashback territory, particularly if Dru showed up as well. Or maybe my Highlander training is brainwashing me. But I personally would pay good money to see more Great Moments in Fanged History.

[> [> [> Re: Regarding Darla-- (no spoilers except the WKCS) -- Tyreseus, 13:58:21 08/02/03 Sat

My thought exaclty, HonorH. One of my favorite scenes was in the flashbacks of "Fool For Love" with the fearsome foursome in China.

I really hope we do get some more screen time of the old gang in their prime. Maybe we could even get a special appearance from The Master.

[> [> [> [> I'd pay to see Spike's first meeting with the Master! -- HonorH, 14:08:01 08/02/03 Sat

Funny thing--IMHO, the Master was fairly dull the first time around, but his reappearances ("The Wish," "Darla," "Lessons") have been great. Had to love Angelus' first meeting with Ol' Bat Face.

[> Re: The Going Odds.. (contains spec & spoilage for Angel season five) -- Rina, 10:18:25 08/01/03 Fri

"Sarah Michelle Gellar/Buffy Anne Summers
SMG wants to do movies. She wants to step beyond the confines of being typecast as Buffy. But let's face it, from Harvard Man to Scooby Doo, she's not batting a good average on the silver screen. Fifty fifty chance for a one episode appearanceduring Sweeps. ...But don't hold your breath."

If you're going to judge her by "Scooby Doo", you're doing SMG a great injustice. She had already managed to make a name for herself before "BUFFY" on daytime soaps. And she even managed to win an Emmy. "Scooby Doo" or not, the movie was a big box office hit and considering SMG's ambition and talent, she might have a chance to make it. I think you're allowing your feelings toward her decision to leave BUFFY to control your opinions.

[> [> Re: SMG's career -- ApOpHiS, 13:35:35 08/01/03 Fri

A great injustice? Maybe, and maybe not. Yes, she won an Emmy. For a soap opera. Several years ago. If you ask most people about her, they'll probably know her as Buffy or from Scooby Doo. Scooby Doo was a commercial success (I think), but the law of diminishing returns will kick in with the sequel. What about the rest of her resume? There was that witch movie where she had red hair (Remember that? Obviously, neither do I.); there was Harvard Man, which I think went directly to video (or at least wasn't widely released); she was a victim in IKWYDLS. Am I missing anything?

[> [> [> Yep, you forgot what I consider her best movie... -- Alison, 14:34:16 08/01/03 Fri

Cruel Intentions. It may not have been a huge hit, but it has a following. I personally loved it, and SMG was fabulous.

[> [> [> [> Hey now... -- Nino, 15:43:46 08/02/03 Sat

Yes, "Cruel Intentions" was fabulous, one of my favorites. And let's not dismiss "Harvard Man." SMG was great in it, and the film was well received by critics as far as I've read...and shouldn't we be applauding SMG for taking on a quality film, albeit small and seen by few, after complaining about her role in blockbusters that have no chance of furthering her career as a serious actress?

[> [> [> "Simply Irresistable" was the "witch movie".*S* -- Briar Rose, 23:36:34 08/05/03 Tue

[> You forgot Seth Green -- Diana, 13:50:46 08/01/03 Fri

Joss had wanted to bring Oz back for the final season of Buffy to wrap Oz/Willow's story up better. Seth said that he would have loved to do it. They could still do that story on the OTHER Buffy show. I really hope they do. Oz fits Angel's story so well any way.

OZ, OZ, OZ (join me in the chant) OZ, OZ, OZ

[> [> Well if both Whedon & Green want it, what's stopping them? -- ZachsMind, 12:42:57 08/02/03 Sat

Oz fits Angel's story so well any way.

I agree. Green needs to get over himself, dump this illusion about how a movie career in Austin Powers sequels is somehow better than a steady gig, and accept paychecks as a regular on Angel. I remember seeing him in an episode of Angel season one with Doyle and Cordy. Oz just looked natural in Angel's world. Even with the changes, he still would.

Or even better, Oz the Series. Not to be confused with that prison thing on cable. Seth Green stars as a werewolf dude in search of the diminishing fifth chord.

In the teaser of the first episode, we see the crater. We get this big crane shot of what used to be Sunnydale. Now we hear wind blowing and maybe the sound of a distant bird. The wake of devastation left behind at the end of Buffy season seven. The crane pans over to the edge of the crater, and the buckled paved road that starts at that edge. The camera then looks off into the distance, where we see dust and smoke in the hazy wavy heat of a hot summer day. Out of that dust we see a beat up Volkswagon van driving through the desert on that road. It stops at the edge of the crater, because that's where the road stops. The driver side door opens. In a melodramatic reveal, out comes Seth Green as Oz. He looks about. He walks slowly and casually to the edge of the crater. Looks down in the crater. Looks up at the sky. Looks around. Silence.

OZ: "Huh."

Fast black. Open credits.

[> [> [> oh man -- Nino, 15:35:44 08/02/03 Sat

Could that be any more perfect? I don't think so...and there is a spin-off I never thought about...but it would be oh-so-good...Oz on the road...being all zen-like...controlling his inner beast...sure he's been gone for a while...but he could easily be brought back...plus his semi-star power might attract some new blood to the WB...or UPN...Someone call Joss quick...I wanna see this show ASAP!

[> [> [> [> Misfits of Sunnydale? -- Corwin of Amber, 19:13:47 08/02/03 Sat

Oz stands looking over the smoking hole that was Sunnydale. Xander walks up beside him.

XANDER: "Hey, Oz."

OZ: "Hey, Xander."

They look around in silence.

OZ: "Cleveland?"

XANDER: "Why not? But we should go pick up Andrew...Last I saw him, he was trying to thumb it to Mexico..."

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Misfits of Sunnydale? -- ZachsMind, 23:28:37 08/02/03 Sat

OZ: (beat of silence) Andrew?

XANDER: (nods) Tucker's brother.

OZ: (nods. beat) Let's not.

XANDER: (shrugs) Okay.

(they turn. They walk back to the van.)

OZ: So, rough housing were ya?

XANDER: What? Me? Oh the crater's not my fault serious man I was an innocent bystander.

OZ: No I meant the patch.

(they get to the van. Oz on driver's side. Xander on passenger side. They open the doors at about the same time.)

XANDER: OH! (gets it) OH! Rough housing. Poke an eye out. I get it!

(Oz smiles as the two of them climb into the van. Oz starts the van.)

XANDER: No actually I've been smoking and I wanted to quit so somebody said "wear a patch" and then I said.

OZ: Z man?


OZ: You don't wanna say. If you don't wanna say hey that's alright.

XANDER: I wanna say.

OZ: Well then you know me and pretense?

XANDER: I was reaching for the joke wasn't I?

OZ: You pulled a muscle, reaching.

XANDER: (laughs nervously) Well the truth just isn't funny.

OZ: Try me.

(Camera cuts to high crane shot of van driving away from the crater, with voice over)

XANDER: (v.o.) It's kinda a long story what happened to me. To the town. To everything.

OZ: (v.o.) Dude we got a long drive to Cleveland.

XANDER: (v.o.) Yeah but I may still have stuff to say when we get to Cleveland-

(Cut to back inside the cab of the van. We're looking in from the driver's side, so Oz is closer in the shot. Xander is framed behind him and a bit to our left on the screen. He's positioned so that his torso and head are aimed toward Oz, and Oz is looking out at the street as he's driving)

OZ: Willow and Tara they okay?

XANDER: -so we may need to keep driving past Cleveland for me to tell ya-

OZ: Start with Willow and Tara are they okay?

XANDER: Doesn't Willow write you?

OZ: You're stallin'.

XANDER: I just don't know what Willow's said maybe I should start-

OZ: Nothin. She's said nothin'.

XANDER: (nodding) Oh. Okay. Nothin'. I can start there... (looks out to the street)

OZ: (uncomfortable pause) Cuz y'know it's not like I leave a forwarding address.

XANDER: Right. Yeah. Right.

OZ: I been outta pocket.

XANDER: And how's that been for you?

OZ: Okay. Up and down. Off and on.

XANDER: Cuz y'know it hasn't exactly been a bed of roses since you left. You know?

OZ: I know.

XANDER: I mean I coulda used your help!

OZ: Had I been there would you still have your eye?

XANDER: Maybe! (uncomfortable silence) Okay probably not but it still woulda been nice to have you around.

OZ: I had business.

XANDER: Hairy business?

(Oz looks at one of his hands. Then looks back at the road.)

XANDER: Cuz y'know we coulda handled it!

OZ: We were doin' bang up before I left, locking me up in the library three days a month. That's no way to live.

XANDER: (looks back in the back of the van) Yeah like this is?

OZ: Is what? (glances back over his shoulder)

(Camera cuts to show us Xander's p.o.v. The back of the van has seen better days. Looks like Oz lives back there. His entire life is back there, along with some band equiptment and a mattress and stuff thrown all over the place.)

XANDER: (v.o.) I mean hell have you ever hulked out back there?

OZ: (v.o.) If I ever did I woulda been able to escape. This van can't hold me.

XANDER: (v.o.) You still do that?

(camera cuts back to show us the two of them. This time through the windshield. We can see the back of the van behind them.)

OZ: What?

XANDER: Hulk out.

OZ: The Hulk was green and mostly hairless.

XANDER: And you're hairy and mostly harmful. Same diff.

OZ: Yeah well not in awhile. I mean I have it under control.

XANDER: Do you?

OZ: Yeah.

XANDER: Like the last time you were here? Willow's first year of college?

OZ: When I learned about Tara?


OZ: Dude had you been in my shoes you woulda hulked out.

XANDER: You're probably right there.

OZ: I mean the love of my.. My best friend. I went out there to Tibet for her. To get the cure so I could come back here.. And then..

XANDER: Gay now.

OZ: What you too?

XANDER: NO! I mean that's ..that's what she says. "Hello. Gay now!" At first I tried to tell myself she was saying that cuz she was trying to convince herself.

OZ: You think?

XANDER: That maybe she'd cast a spell on herself to cheer herself up after you left and it backfired.

OZ: But that wasn't it?

XANDER: Well come to think of it it still could be, I mean most of her spells went wonky back in those days.

OZ: But not anymore?

XANDER: No you'd be proud of her. When she's not trying to destroy the world, she's very good at magic.

OZ: Destroy the world?

XANDER: (looking out at the road and begins to see something he recognizes) Like I said man you think your little hairy problem's a problem? Give me a break.

OZ: Yeah, in light of seeing a crater where my alma mater used to be.

(camera cuts briefly to show us that Andrew's on the side of the road with his thumb out)

XANDER: You sure ya don't wanna pick up Andrew?

OZ: (already slowing the van down and parking it on the side of the road) He was a weasel wasn't he?

XANDER: Still is.

OZ: But now he's family?

XANDER: Him and a whole bunch of jailbait babes who can put us over our knees and spank us.

OZ: Sounds like fun.

XANDER: (slaps Oz on shoulder) You got a lot of catchin' up to do, bro.

(camera cuts to show the side panel door swing open. Andrew standing outside. Xander & Oz framed inside the van.)

XANDER: I thought you said you were thumbing to Mexico.


OZ: This road goes east and west man.

ANDREW: Do I know you?

XANDER: Oz. Andrew. Andrew. Oz.

OZ: Hey.


XANDER: (grabs Andrew by the scruff of the shirt) Get in.

(Camera cuts to behind van as it drives off. Camera pans to side of road where we see a bruised and bloodied Andrew unconscious, insinuating that whomever Xander & Oz just picked up, it isn't Andrew.)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Misfits of Sunnydale? -- Corwin of Amber, 12:35:38 08/03/03 Sun

Is it bad that I find this more compelling than the ending of BTVS?


The Ozmobile is trundling down the highway, and apparently has been for a while, since the sun is beginning to set, and Xander is driving now, with Oz riding shotgun and Andrew in the back. They're somewhere in the Arizona dessert now.

OZ: You sure you're ok to drive...you know, after?

XANDER: Yeah. Done a few times...after.

OZ: So where's your wheels?

XANDER: I imagine the devil himself is tooling around in my car, right now.

They drive several miles in silence. Then Andrew pokes his head up front.

ANDREW: Are we there yet?

Xander and Oz ignore this, and continue to drive in silence. Until the Ozmobile starts sputtering...like it's running out of gas. Xander looks at the gas gauge...which reads half full.

OZ: Uh....

Xander taps the gauge with his finger, and the needle immediately drops below the big white "E".

OZ: I really thought I fixed that.

Xander pulls the van over to the side of the road, just as the sun drops below the horizon.

Andrew pokes his head up front.

ANDREW: Are we there yet?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Why isn't this show in production yet....???? -- Nino, 13:17:55 08/03/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> This is great! Next scene soon, please. -- jane, 20:08:48 08/03/03 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Misfits of Sunnydale, cont -- Corwin of Amber, 20:41:15 08/03/03 Sun

(Since ZachsMind seems to have dropped the ball, i'm inserting this short scene.)

Xander hops out of the van and stares at the receding sun with unwarranted intensity, as if he could stop it with the gaze of a one-eyed man. Then he spins around, and stares intently at a FULL MOON rising.

XANDER: (raving) Bad karma. That's what it is. In a past life, I kicked little puppies and ate kittens with glee. I tore tags off mattresses, stole candy from trick-or-treaters, and didn't rewind tapes before returning them to the video store.

From off screen, we hear Andrew rustling in the back of the van.

ANDREW: Hey! Heres a guitar! Can you teach me to play guitar, cause like, that'd be cool and everything.

Guitar strings are plucked. Badly.

XANDER: Or maybe I didn't make it to the bus after all.

Oz gets out of the van, wincing at the noise his guitar is making. He approaches Xander cautiously.

OZ: Xand-man, I told you, it's all right. I don't wolf out at the sight of a full moon anymore.


OZ: Yeah. I've done mediation, and taken some herbs and well, mushrooms, and I've really gotten in touch with my inner wolfiness. I don't wolf out unless I want to.

XANDER: Never?

OZ: Well...I suppose if something made me really mad, it'd happen...but you know me...almost nothing makes me that angry.

XANDER: Well, good man. Sorry I doubted you. It's just that getting my arm gnawed off too, would be a real bummer after the eye.

OZ: I get that. It's ok.

During this exchange, Andrew has been continuing to "play" Oz's guitar. It's terrible. And now he begins to "sing." Quick cuts to scenes of small dessert animals fleeing in terror. Cut to Oz, giving his best stoneface.

OZ: (with feeling) What the hell is he doing to my guitar?


OZ: Is he playing it with his TEETH? What, does he think he's Jimi Hendrix now? HEY YOU! TUCKER'S BROTHER! DROP THE GUITAR!

Oz starts getting veiny and hairy.

XANDER: Oz...calm down man. It's just...Andrew you know. He's a spaz. Actually, he's not that different from how I was in high school.

Oz sprouts a muzzle, and his tee shirt starts to shred, as his muscles swell.

XANDER: Crap. Well...

Xander SLAPS Oz across the face, and Oz immediately reverts back to fully human.

OZ: Thanks, man.

XANDER: Anytime.

[> [> [> [> [> This stuff is great, guys.... -- cjl, 08:59:17 08/04/03 Mon

And what a relief.

I kept having flashes of Willow facing down a telekinetic Courtney Cox, Dean-Paul Martin flirting with Buffy, and Xander trying to stomp on a 7" tall black man....

[> [> [> [> [> [> & it's not spoilery, so no need to pass it up! -- anom, 16:50:08 08/04/03 Mon

At least the "Misfits" posts aren't. Yeah, I dropped my guard a little & took a chance.

But I don't get the reference(s?) in this: "I kept having flashes of Willow facing down a telekinetic Courtney Cox, Dean-Paul Martin flirting with Buffy, and Xander trying to stomp on a 7" tall black man...." Doesn't sound familiar, but it seems like it should.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: & it's not spoilery, so no need to pass it up! -- Corwin of Amber, 17:31:16 08/04/03 Mon

"Misfits of Science" was a bad 80's superhero/sitcom that lasted maybe...8 episodes? Somewhere around 1985. It was bad enough to be amusing, if you know what I mean. And yes, it did inspire the title "Misfits of Sunnydale". But nothing else.

I'm fresh out of ideas, so I'm waiting for Zach to run a touchdown with it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> thanks--i think i vaguely remember about that show -- anom, 19:17:52 08/04/03 Mon

"About" it more than remembering the show itself, but the title does bring it back, a little. I don't think I watched it, or not much. Either it was on opposite something I did watch, or I had some other activity the night it was on, back in those days before VCRs--or at least before I had one.

Could you help the unspoiled w/some info about this thread? Are there other parts of it that are safe to read? I'm so tempted....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: thanks--i think i vaguely remember about that show -- Corwin of Amber, 07:21:30 08/05/03 Tue

There are no spoilers in this thread...although I'd much doubt you'd care about "Misfits of Science" enough, if you were spoiled. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> the whole thread? -- anom, 07:55:11 08/05/03 Tue

"There are no spoilers in this thread..."

The 1st few posts are labeled as having casting spoilers, & I don't want to know those beyond the WKCS. HonorH labeled her post as not having any spoilers besides that one. That subthread looks like it might be safe, but most of the posts above it seem to have spoilers, & some of the ones below it. I got spoiled last season for some things I wish I hadn't known, & there've been things all along I was glad I didn't know ahead of time, so I'm trying to play it safe.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: the whole thread? -- Corwin of Amber, 10:09:51 08/05/03 Tue

If you've kept completely spoiler free, the upper reaches of the thread would contain casting spoilers for the coming season of Angel. The Seth Green section of the thread is spoiler safe.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> thanks, corwin -- anom, 23:44:15 08/05/03 Tue

It was worth checking those parts out! & maybe I'll check the archives for the rest once S5's under way...aw, man, do I have to wait till it's over? (not really asking, btw)

Current board | August 2003