June 2003 posts

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Kind of O/T, but I need some opinions.... -- LadyStarlight, 15:08:37 06/20/03 Fri

So the Small Spawn (SS) is happily amusing himself and I think "gee, this would be a great time to watch Hush".

It's just at the part where the Gentlemen first appear, and SS looks at the screen and says "who's that?". Being the wonderful mother I am, I say "those are the Gentlemen. They're bad guys."

He looks again (with a mini-Spike head tilt) and says "no they're not. I love them."

So, my question is: how much should I reasonably save up for this kid's therapy bills??

(oh, and I cleared up a mini-S7 mystery. The abandoned vineyard that sprang up out of nowhere -- well, in Something Blue, Riley is talking about taking Buffy driving out past the vineyards! I was quite happy.)

[> Does he despise Barney? -- dub ;o), 15:37:06 06/20/03 Fri

I think ya got a healthy kid there.


[> No worries! -- Anneth, 15:52:35 06/20/03 Fri

I used to watch Disney's Sleeping Beauty just of Malificent's turn as a big honkin' dragon, and I turned out okay...

Hee. Rarr stomp, LS!

[> Children! They never think right! -- mamcu, 17:56:59 06/20/03 Fri

I could never convince my children that Mr. Rogers was their friend, that guns were bad, (if I'd had a girl I'm sure she'd have loved Barbie), etc., but later on, they did fall in love with Tolkien. Don't despair of their evil aberrations.

[> Don't worry, Ali thought they were very cool as well....... -- AurraSing, 18:09:26 06/20/03 Fri

Mind you,her fave part of the show was when their heads exploded.(and she had just turned 5 when the babysitter let her and Andy watch this episode!)

Your child is perfectly normal. I'd only be worried if he tries to glide around the room with one of those bizarre grins on...lol!

(Ermmmm....but just to be on the safe side,I'd be locking up the sharper cutlery for the next little while,'kay?)

[> Nothing to worry about at all LS -- O'Cailleagh, 18:40:15 06/20/03 Fri

My friend's boy, Connor (!) who is four, watches Buffy avidly, along with many other Superhero type things (Spiderman, X-Men, the Lynda Carter WonderWoman, and Supergirl the movie being particular favourites-don't be stealing his OmegaHedron, he gets really pissed!).
But then, now that I come to think of it, he does attempt to fly a lot, and use his other powers (which include his FireRain Power, MegaPunch and EyeLazers)...Thing is, he mainly does this while we're out shopping or otherwise in public. (I've told him that the government will take him away for tests if they see him doing it, but he doesn't seem to care)
He was also really disappointed that Spike didn't kill me....hmmmm, maybe it *is* a bad idea to let kids watch this kinda thing after all...


[> [> Starting to feel better about the whole thing... -- LadyStarlight, 19:25:29 06/20/03 Fri

after all, he was rooting for "Buppy" and "Army Guy" to beat the bad guys. ;)

[> As fot the Truly Evil Ones... -- Darby, 06:50:04 06/21/03 Sat

Now ours, who is truly Evil Demon Spawn, was absolutely terrified of the Gentlemen - put him off Buffy for a long time, and I still can spook him with the Mime Grin of Evil or the Hand Twist of Doom (actually, he claims to have grown out of that). Obviously, if he needs therapy, it won't be tv that put him there.

But Sara suspects that he'll put us in that quiet talky place before we get him there.

[> They love to be contrary. -- Arethusa, 16:39:10 06/21/03 Sat

My four year old boy loves to contradict me. He's also starting to lose interest in his security blanket. *Sniff* My little boy is growing up....

[> Yay for ME continuity and contrary spawn! -- Caroline, 21:35:09 06/22/03 Sun

Can't expect the spawn to have completely developed moral universe, can you?

Angel Season 5 Speculation (Well Known Casting and Minear Interview Spoilers) -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:39:09 06/20/03 Fri

Here are the things I expect we will see:

1: Spike will come back in the same sort of way that Lilah did. The self-sacrafice sort of brought him to the attention of the PTB, so they select him to be their spokesman in convincing Angel and Co. to leave Wolfram & Hart. This would be both believable (if it can work for Lilah, it can work for Spike) and create some good conflict (Spike arguing with Angel to rejoin the good guys when he both a) doesn't like the poof, and b) isn't too fond of being under the PTB's authority in the first place).

2: We'll see more gadgetry. Tim Minear has said "Home" was designed to work as a Season 5 pilot, so I think there's significance in Wesley's use of that grappling hook device. I think we'll se more things like that, and some more advanced ones (we've got Fred in the high-tech science department, after all). One device I predict is a solar radiation generator for killing vampires.

3: At some point, Angel will save someone in a dark alley, as he's wont to do. Then he will try to help her sue her attacker. Fits in with both the W&H aspect and how this season is supposed to be so different from the previous four.

4: The first half of the season will be much like what people have been saying it will be: more standalone, more ensemble, and more of a light atmosphere. However, by the second half of the season, that will start to break down. ME's previous attempts to become more episodic haven't panned out so well (they tried it with the creation of "Angel" and Season 7 of "Buffy", and both eventually became incredibly serial). Also, we have Season 7 as evidence for what happens when ME tries to go lighter.

5: Some of Lorne's celebrity clients at W&H will include either Alyssa Milano, Holly Marie Combs, or Rose McGowan. It would just be such a surreal moment to have one of the actresses from "Charmed" appearing on "Angel" as themselves. Besides, it would be odd if we never saw Lorne with at least a few celebrity clientelle, and this sort of joke might be the sort of lighter thing ME's gearing towards.

6: The nature of reality will be an issue. After all, in "Home" we had the return of Lilah (who we can't be sure is truly resurrected or just a spirit taking corporeal form), a small set of books that can become any books you want, Lilah's self-regenerating contract, and the rewrite of Connor's history. All of these things really sort of bend reality a bit, and I think that'll be an important theme or motif for Season 5.

7: Action more in the style of the 60's era "Batman" TV show. Using "Home" as an example once again, we have Connor rigging a bunch of people with dynamite; while he threatens great violence, Angel is able to stop him and no lives are actually lost. There's also Wesley's fighting in the W&H building; the way he knocks stuffy looking, business suit clad men out just seems far less gritty and violent than most of his previous fight scenes. So, in summary, when I said "Batman" style, I meant villains who pose the threat of killing lots of people, but are almost always stopped by the good guys. And, when the good guys fight, the violence is clean, with no blood or real brutality.

8: This last one, I don't know where it came from. I can't back it up with writer interviews or the use of "Home" as a layout for the season. It's just a gut feeling: Angel will come face to face with either the Senior Partners or the Powers That Be (most likely through yet another mystical elevator).

Is there anything I don't have a theory on? Yes: Gunn. I have NO clue what ME is doing with him. While my predictions may turn out to be wrong with everything else, with Gunn I can't even predict. No matter what they do with him, it will be a surprise to me.

Well, that's it. Any other theories for Season 5 out there?

[> Re: Angel Season 5 Speculation (Well Known Casting and Minear Interview Spoilers) -- luvthistle1, 01:12:10 06/21/03 Sat

I love your theory, but Have a couple of my own. they are not as well constructed as your though.

....I agree with you on the Spike theory. I can see him taking over "AI, and possible helping Angel, while Angel working at W&H.

.....Fred will have a new love interest, possible "Knox", her guide from "Home" note: he played Holden, on Btvs. or Spike ( although I hope not)

.....we will see the return of a old foe. Re: Dru,Lindsay, Justine or Sahjhan. ( I rooting for Sahjhan from season 3)

....Someone beside Angel and Lilah will remember Connor.RE: an outsider like Groo,Justine or even *Spike ( I hope Cordy will awake from her coma, and ask for Connor)

....Connor will retain his memories ( if Jasmine is one of the PTB, that would mean, she was very powerful god. therefore, if her spell didn't work on Connor, how can we be sure W&H spell actually did. he might just be going along with it , like he did with Jasmine.

....Angel's return, will surprise W&H. Angel will find out the truth about "the tailsman, that was given to him by W&H.

.....Angel will have to face the "consequences" for the "mind wipe" spell.

....Lorne , or Fred will find out that something, or someone had taken over "Gunn"

...Wes will discover the truth about the event that happen in Home, when he research the reason Cordy was in a coma.

*I know Spike never met Connor, but he might have known about him and Considering that most spells do not affect vampires it would be an interesting concept if he was to bring up Connor.

[> [> Seeing through the Connor-blindness -- Valheru, 13:20:18 06/21/03 Sat

*I know Spike never met Connor, but he might have known about him and Considering that most spells do not affect vampires it would be an interesting concept if he was to bring up Connor.

I know this will sound like a horrible idea, but what if they brought back Adam? So far, he's the only one we've seen immune from a reality spell (Superstar). It might be kinda neat to bring him back for one episode, contrast his acceptance-of-definition with AI's struggles to find it, then have him give a little hint about Connor as he leaves/dies again. Then ME could have Spike investigate further, with some nice conflict as Angel tries to cover it all up.

[> [> [> If my theory pans out . . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:44:25 06/21/03 Sat

. . . and Spike is an emissary of the PTB, than he will probably see through the Connor spell. After all, I doubt that Wolfram & Hart has the power to pull the wool over their eyes, and, if they send Spike to bring Angel and Co. back to the light side, it would be useful for him to know all the facts.

Oh well, even if that's not true, we do know that Lilah knows the truth, so at least Angel will have someone to talk about it with.

[> [> [> [> Remember he could see through the Glory/Ben fuzz... -- KdS, 02:08:18 06/22/03 Sun

[> I'm back (Season 5 Spec) -- lunasea, 11:36:39 06/23/03 Mon

First thing we have to ask, is working for Shell oil a bad thing or is Greenpeace just a tad naive? That to me is going to be the focus of the series next season. AtS has been about the maturation of the characters. Angel's view on just what he does and why has gone through a wonderful evolution. The last incarnation was he is an example to show the world what it can be. What a truly beautiful, amazing, idealistic load of crap. Take Angel's Champion Speech from "Deep Down" (something was piled awfully deep in that episode, and it wasn't just the ocean) and compare it to what Lilah told him in "Home." It even has some of the exact same words. The question is was what Lilah said wrong. It isn't just about power, but what we do with it. Being a wonderful example who isn't part of the problem doesn't do a whole lot. Sometimes compromises are necessary.

Next season will be a wonderful exploration of this. So my predictions are based on this.

1. Spike will come back and try so hard to be good. (don't really care what form, though human is probably the best bet) He will be the one upset about Angel and company making all the compromises. He will serve the same function that Xander did. We can't have Buffy going around saying that she shouldn't be dating a vampire, so Xander does it.

But Xander is the one that almost marries a former vengeance demon. Spike will be the one that gets most corrupted. It could have to do with Drusilla or possibly Harmony, both who will probably appear next season (speculation, not spoiler)

Spike is supposed to be Angel's foil next year. The theme is going to be maturity vs immaturity, not good vs evil. Spike's character is so delicious because he is so immature. This doesn't just play out in his snarkiness, but more importantly his incredibly black and white view of the world. This will constrast wonderfully with Angel's more mature and compromising view, especially as he does learn the value of compromise.

These two characters will carry through a very important theme, the way to resist evil is to grow up. A childish view, such as Shell Oil is bad, will only lead to the dark side. Our only defense against real evil is compromise.

2. Lindsey. I want Lindsey. I need Lindsey. There needs to be an actual lawyer at the formerly evil law firm. Spike and Angel interaction is YAWN. Watching Lindsey and Angel work together with their history, THAT is interesting. Angel helped bring Lindsey to the light. Angel can't rise completely above everything. He will get a bit corrupted. It is part of being human. Either Lindsey will pull him back or keep him from going over too much.

3. Fred will be a major character. They have done a lot with Wes' trip to the dark side and his return already. They really made Fred into an interesting character and she is the only major player that is female. She will get a lot of screen time as she wrestles with them ending world peace. Fred will also have to deal with a question all scientists do, is there such a thing as morallly neutral? This will tie into the whole maturity theme, for it is rather immature to think that you can stay Switzerland. Even Switzerland isn't Switzerland any more.

4. Gunn. His maturation took him out of the neighborhood as he realized what his homies were like. Now he will go back in some capacity and the question will be if he is mature enough to handle it. Gunn seems to be rather idealistic still and we will see how this corrupts him.

5. I agree on all the gadgets. We need lots of gadgets and I would like to see Angel go actually undercover again. It was something they dropped. What is the line between reality and going undercover. They started it over on BtVS with "Enemies" and slammed into it headfirst with the second episode that they didn't finish shooting with Kate. It would be interesting for them to re-examine that, as the whole gang is going into the belly of the beast. One of them pretends to give in to evil in order to find out what is going on, but it isn't so much pretending after a while. Wes would be especially suited to this role.

6. Lilah will be redeemed, but still have to stay in hell. It would be like resouling Angel at the last minute. Angelus probably wouldn't have had such a tough time in Hell. Corrupt Lilah probably isn't having a tough time either. Should Wes manage to resoul her so to speak, it will be harder on her. Should everyone be saved? What is the price?

7. They will manage to carry the monster of the week (or couple of weeks) because the theme will be compromise and how it leads to corruption. Each week they will face some sort of compromise. Then when we put them all together, we will see how corrupted they are and what prevents this (namely maturity).

8. If there is going to be a Charmed one, we need Shannan Doherty. She and SMG are buds. Speaking of Shannan, I caught her new show on Sci Fi. The set ups are a bit weak, but the premise is good and it has potential.

[> [> Re: I'm back (Season 5 Spec) -- Alison, 19:47:25 06/23/03 Mon

hmmm..not sure about your "Angel-Spike forecast"...while I can honestly say I have no idea what they are going to do with Spike...as of Chosen, Angel was proving to be somewhat immature ( "oh my god are you 12?")( though he was certainly not immature in his actions in Home), whereas Spike showed how much he had matured (okay, the Angel picture wasn't the height of maturity, but his overall reaction was)...their interaction will likely be far more complex than " Angel good, Spike bad" or vice versa. Each is a complex character, they have a centuries worth of history together, and are very similar- ME can explore their relationship a million ways, and I doubt they'll take a simple, unambiguous path.

[> [> [> I still think Spike as anti-Lilah would work well -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:59:18 06/23/03 Mon

Lilah arguing totally for Wolfram & Hart, Spike arguing totally against, and the former-AI gang caught in the middle, having to choose between the two.

In response to lunasea: I hardly think calling Angel's goals in Season 4 to be "bullshit" fair. What's wrong with trying to set a good example?

[> [> [> [> Re: I still think Spike as anti-Lilah would work well -- Alison, 06:51:58 06/24/03 Tue

nah- I'd rather see some Spike-Lilah bonding. They mirror each other, but he's further along the path to redemption than she is...he could provide some, erm, guidiance? Obviously, his feelings for Buffy will need to be explored, and with little chance of SMG showing up this season, his reaction to W/L could provide the audience with some answers.

[> [> [> [> [> Again supporting my theory -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:11:45 06/24/03 Tue

If Spike was sent back as a messenger of the PTB, then he would have to stay in Los Angeles with the former-AI gang. If Spike was truly resurrected, he's almost certainly seek out Buffy; the only way to keep him in LA is to give him a very compelling reason, and the PTB forcing him to stay or else they send him back to the afterlife is a pretty darn good reason.

Also, it would create conflict for Spike, since he would be telling Angel to join the PTB's side, when he's not that sure he himself belives in it.

Finally, Lilah and Spike bonding isn't out of the question. What they do after hours of trying to sway people to the dark/light side is their own business, and we do have previous examples of people being drawn to their exact opposite.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Spike as Doyle (spoilers for Chosen ) -- s'kat, 23:41:32 06/24/03 Tue

I actually see a great deal of merit in your theory Finn. Having rewatched the Doyle episodes in S1 Ats, I think they may be considering Spike as a Doyle-like or Whistler type character. The character who serves as a snarky cattle prod to Angel. The anti-Lilah if you will. And Doyle really was the anti-Lilah/anti-Lindsey character.

Doyle did. He often annoyed Angel in a good-natured way.
And Boreanze does very well when he has someone to play off of, DB is a great straight man. Doyle would prod Angel to get involved with people. Would question Angel about his views. Would question him about what he's doing. Bug him.

Lilah actually does this as well and was introduced mid-S1 for this reason...it took ME a while to find a good femme fatale to push at Angel, they used Lindsey for a while.
On the other side was Kate, but she was more love interest.
And it was before Lilah really entered the scene. Shame Elizabeth Rohm couldn't stay - would have loved to see that dynamic play out.

At any rate, after Doyle had to be killed off, they never really found a good replacement. Wes - doesn't really work, since Angel and Wes don't have a common denominator - Wes isn't and has never been a demon. Wes also tends to look
up to Angel a bit, doesn't really question him that much.
And the writers decided Wes worked better as a "best friend" or parallel character. Fred - also doesn't work,
too much gal-friday, sidekick. Same with Gunn - who they also tried here. Lorne - definitely tried, but didn't quite play the way they hoped. Reason is that none of these guys really really knew Angelus. Doyle did. Doyle also knew more about the Buffy dynamic. But most important? Doyle was a different personality than Angel - he was social, attractive but had troubles with the ladies, shorter than Angel, vulnerable, self-deprecating, didn't see himself as a hero (ie. the reluctant hero), always had money problems,
and was driving Angel nuts with them. He was in many ways Angel's opposite - so the humor was often how those two opposing personalities played off each other. I see Spike filling this role. Being a Doyle.

And if you've seen Hero and how Doyle died, which by the way is a lot like the way Spike died...you'll see an interesting symmetry to it. Doyle died by shutting off a power source that killed anything human - it cleansed the world of humanity but perserved demons. Spike dies by setting off with the power of his soul an amulet that cleanses the area of demons. Beautiful.

If I was ME, I'd bring Spike back as a Doyle - a nice character to poke at Angel's conscience, make him question things and irritate him in the process - setting up all sorts of humorous and quippy scenarios.

Also fills the one gap they have at the moment - the comic sidekick, concience - which we often see in noir films.

[> [> [> [> Re: I still think Spike as anti-Lilah would work well -- lunasea, 14:52:53 06/24/03 Tue

I didn't call it bullshit. I called it idealistic crap.

Compare what Angel says in Deep Down:
Nothing in the world is the way it ought to be. - It's harsh, and cruel. - But that's why there's us. Champions. It doesn't matter where we come from, what we've done or suffered, or even if we make a difference. We live as though the world was what it should be, to show it what it can be.

How many times did the audience bristle as he said the "c" word all season? It is this speech that is the genesis of the idealism that makes us cringe.

Here is what Lilah says in "Home":
Nothing in this world is the way it ought to be. It's harsh, and it's cruel, but that's why there's you, Angel. You live as if the world were as it should be. With all this, you can make it that way. People don't need an unyielding champion. They need a man who knows the value of compromise and how to beat the system from inside the belly of the beast.

Which is a more realistic way of looking at things?

I'm a mother. Part of my job is to set an example for my children. Notice I said PART. Angel is trying so hard to find motivation to do what he knows is right. His epiphany about the smallest act of kindness wasn't enough to reach his son. As Lilah says, the people don't need an unyeilding champion, one that say kicks his son out of the house. They need one that knows the value of compromise, which is what ultimately does save Connor.

It will be an interesting season. As the show was pitched, people who used to protest Shell oil for Greenpeace are now working at Shell. Is this a bad thing? In the Buffverse, things are rarely so black and white.

Another interesting area they could explore with Gunn is the way that Civil Rights were approached. There were those groups that were unyeilding and idealistic. Then there were those groups that took things to the courts and the ballot box. Which one brought about change?

[> [> [> [> [> Different Interpretations -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:21:46 06/24/03 Tue

I'm getting the sense that we're just seeing the shows differently:

You see living according to ideals as the incorrect choice, and that the more mature course of action is to learn to compromise your ideals in order to achieve some effectiveness in the world.

I've seen the message of the shows differently. To me, they seem to endorse the viewpoint that ideals do matter. They acknowledge that the world can be hard and cruel, and that sometimes ideals seem out of place, but that ideals are still worth living by.

Perhaps the best example is how they treat the killing of human beings. Even when the person is vile and unrepentent, like Warren or Holland Manners, it isn't seen as acceptable to kill them. When Willow killed Warren, or when Angel let the W&H lawyers die, they were shown to be in the wrong, no matter how evil their victims were. If it were considered OK in the Buffyverse to kill human villains, Angel would have killed Lilah long before Cordelia got the chance. They choose the ideal (the sanctity of human life) over compromise (killing people in order to remove murderers from the world).

As for your denouncement of Angel's speech in "Deep Down", I think it serves as the opposite of Jasmine. Angel acknowledged the world to be a harsh place, but took comfort in living according to his values. Jasmine, on the other hand, made the world shiny and happy, but violated the value of free will; she compromised an ideal in order to help the world. Angel dethroned Jasmine and ended her mystical happiness in order to stop the world's free will from being taken away. And, in the conflict between the two, ME certainly came down on Angel's side. For example, the Beast's slaughters, the rain of fire, the release of Angelus, and Jasmine's use of humans as a food supply really didn't advance the story at all beyond making Jasmine unsympathetic. It was a very clear attempt to show her as a villain, obviously to show they weren't advocating her plan of world happiness at the expense of free will. And, given that Jasmine's plans were the mirror image of Angel's "Deep Down" speech, and that ME came down against Jasmine, it seems pretty logical to say ME supported the view Angel expressed in the season premiere.

As for the use of the word "Champion": many people have had negative reactions to it, and you took that as an anti-idealism attempt. However, I never had that reaction. Granted, I'm not overly fond of the term, but that's more because the writers seem uncertain whether or not it's an offical or unofficial title. At times, perhaps it seemed a little cocky, as well, but I never had problems with the concept. And, one must also ask: did ME intend so many people to "bristle" at the use of the word "Champion", or were they trying to use it as shorthand for a good, noble person, and just misjudge how people would react to it? Given the examples I gave above regarding ideals over compromise, I'd say they were not trying to use "Champion" as a denouncemeant of idealism.

Note: I'm not saying this reflects my personal views of the world, or how it will work out in Season 5 (if it's like a brand new show, it might have a brand new moral/philosophical stance). But, I've always interpreted the ME message as being that, however hard it might be, if you can't hold onto your ideals in a hard, cruel world, you've got nothing to hold on to. You can have your own interpretation, but I really can't see any evidence that ME supports your view of compromising with evil.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Not so black and white -- lunasea, 11:29:59 06/25/03 Wed

Perhaps the best example is how they treat the killing of human beings.

What about the killing of Faith to save Angel? This season, Angel was going to kill a human being, Cordy. This is where compromising our ideals comes into play. Just killing humans because they are evil is wrong. I am a strong opponent to Capital Punishment and favor incarceration instead. However, as much as a pacifist as I am, I am married to a member of the armed services and realize that there is a such thing as a just war. That is called compromising my ideals. Compromise doesn't mean to give up. It takes a lot for me to believe something is a just war. Iraq and perhaps even Afghanistan didn't fit that.

What about Buffy dying to save Dawn? As she tells the Potentials, rule number 1 of being a Slayer is "Don't die." She seemed to violate that. Often compromising our ideals means choosing one ideal over another. Our ideals conflict with each other.

I am not advocating that Angel just dump his ideals or that he shouldn't also be an example. Sometime that example has to be a bit yeilding. An example from my life. I tend not to fit with most of the other military wives and southern conservatives around here because of my views. Should I just speak my mind even though it would have ramifications for my husband and children? I am a huge proponent of free speech. I want my children to feel free to speak their minds. I also want them to understand that there are consequences to this and sometimes those consequences aren't worth it.

For example, Angel's speech ends with him being unyeilding and kicking out his son. This action leads to the spiral of events that follow. Is ME really advocating his position? It is compromise that eventually saves Connor. To further support this position, the Bug priest tells Angel that he fights for the boy. What I love about Angel is that he follows his gut and then comes up with justification later. Angel didn't beat Jasmine because of his ideals. He did it for Connor. After he had done it, he could use those ideals to justify it. Something they will have to revisit next season, and I predict they will with Fred, is how the rest of the gang feels about ending world peace. Fred really didn't understand what they were doing and she was the one caught up in the Conspiracy theorist's worst nightmare. As she comes out of it, how will she feel?

Often it isn't compromising with evil, but choosing the lesser of two evils. The hard part in life is to figure out which is the lesser and when compromising becomes corruption. I can see ME exploring that on their show about adulthood and adult issues.

Ideals work rather well in a black and white world. Should Angel go back to Pylea, he should stick to those ideas. Here on Terra Firma you have to decide what is worth it? Anne took Blood Money in order to help people. Now Angel is in that position.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Different Interpretations -- leslie, 15:24:05 06/25/03 Wed

"For example, the Beast's slaughters, the rain of fire, the release of Angelus, and Jasmine's use of humans as a food supply really didn't advance the story at all beyond making Jasmine unsympathetic."

I think the fact that Jasmine eats people was very much a typical ME metaphor--her vision a perfect world devours people! The other elements, too, served much more of a purpose in advancing the story. The price of Jasmine's shiny happy world was well displayed before she ever arrived. I think that it would have been really hard to pull off Jasmine's threat to free will if she had just showed up and did her peace-and-love routine--how could Our Heroes be against that? The fact that she was responsible for so much badness planted the seed of doubt from the first. (Or the First.)

[> Just a thought....or two -- Nino, 17:44:44 06/23/03 Mon

I have such a gut feeling that Spike will Shansu...I mean, yeah its kinda obvious....but it will just be SO good...can't you just imagine how great the Spike/Angel scenes would be....realizing that Lilah/W&H intended for Angel to use the trinket in the final battle, and Spike "stole" his Shansu...maybe this doesn't mean that Angel can't Shansu...but it promises a whole season full of kick-ass conflict between these two...

...and...maybe Cordy wakes up and is disgusted by the Fang Gang for A)Not realizing she was evil B)Erasing memory of Connor C)Taking over W&H D) (and this one is out there...)For killing Jasmine, who after feeling her inside and giving birth to her, Cordy views as a benevolent force...much like Connor was blind to her evil nature.

With any of these reasons panning out, Cordy might leave the Fang Gang and refuse to work with them at W&H...maybe she and Spike end up as allies of some sort, running Cordy Investigations...perhaps she will fall to the background as someone who crosses paths with Angel, and helps at times, but refuses to be part of the group ala Kate...i dunno...all i know is, ive said it once, and ill say it again....Cordy better get some serious and kick ass closure next season if she isn't going to be a regular...i wont stand for her getting tossed aside after a whole year of being MIA...i mean, i loved Evil Cordy...great twist...but you can't leave a seven year old character like that...it just aint right!

Re: "The Last Battle" and Susan, who was NOT dead! -- Scroll, 18:29:52 06/20/03 Fri

I've gone through the entire Screwtape Letters Melee (which was a terrific read, and had many wonderful insights) and realised that there's some confusion over Susan in "The Last Battle". I feel I need to clarify : )

Susan was not with Peter, Edmund, Lucy, et al. at the train station when the train derailed and killed them all. The others had gathered together to talk about the old days in Narnia (kinda like a Convention or Board Meet, actually), but Susan, being much too busy with Real Life, decided not to join them. She had basically relegated her adventures in Narnia, and Aslan, to mere children's fairytales, a game they used to play as kids, nothing more. She didn't believe, and didn't want to waste her time talking about fairytales.

So since she wasn't killed in the train accident, we don't see her in Narnia or in Aslan's Land after Narnia is destroyed.

Now, we know that as Lucy, Peter, and Edmund get closer and closer to the top of the mountain, it seems that they can see further into the England they'd left behind. And I vaguely remember them saying that they could see their parents. Now, even if this is to say that their parents were:

a) dead and joining them in Aslan's land OR
b) dead, joining them in Aslan's land BECAUSE England is destroyed OR
c) still alive in England (which hasn't been destroyed)

none of these choices give us enough information to say decisively that Susan has been barred from Aslan's Land. We don't really know if Susan will make it to Aslan's Land in the end, once Earth is gone, or once she is dead, and I think it's ambiguous on purpose. Lewis leaves it up in the air, though I'll admit it sounds like he's saying (at the very least) that she has lost faith.

Anyway, I just wanted to set the record straight, since it seemed like a sticky point. Again, wanted to say that the Melee has made me want to pick up some old books again. And try some new ones. I have a confession to make: I've never read a single Harry Potter book. I've got two or three sitting on a book shelf in my sister's room, but I've never been motivated enough to pick them up. But now I think I will : )

[> Harry Potter -- LadyStarlight, 18:34:50 06/20/03 Fri

I bought the HP books for my oldest and have wound up reading and rereading them 4 times since buying. Oldest Spawn is uninterested in them, but I have hope that maybe later on.

Go ahead and read them, they're wonderfully written. I'm on the Reserve list for No. 5, and hoping that it'll be in my hot little hands by next week sometime.

[> [> I think I'll wait until the rampage is over ; ) -- also fresne said... -- Scroll, 18:55:12 06/20/03 Fri

Considering the hoopla over the new book coming out, I think I'm going to stay safely away from the bookstores for a few days (weeks?) until it all blows over. I like my backside without the kiddie footprints all over it ;) Anyway, I have the first 4 to read before I can even consider the 5th! I don't want to be spoiled, y'know!

And even though you didn't ask, I feel I need to correct my post above. Actually, fresne did point out that Susan wasn't at the train station in her "I love the Last Battle" post, but it got kinda buried when the subthread veered off to talk about favourite books of the Bible (Revelations being one of mine!). Just for the record :)

[> [> [> Good idea. I ordered mine from Amazon to escape the hordes. ;o) -- Rob, 19:48:44 06/20/03 Fri

Gonna second the Potter recommendation. Hype or not, and overrated or not, the series is just plain fun. Derivative and not too deep? Possibly. But very entertaining, with a fascinating story and well-drawn characters. When you begin each volume, you really do get the sense that you are visiting old friends.

And thanks for clearing up the Susan sitch. I myself only read "The Last Battle" once, and that was at least 9 years ago. I at first didn't even remember Susan wasn't in Narnia at the end, and then vaguely remembered her not being there, but didn't realize that she hadn't been on the train at all. Personally I'm glad to hear it was left ambiguous. Because it leaves open the possibility that Susan could eventually find her way to Narnia in the future. Although throughout the series, she always did seem the most "level-headed" and skeptical of the whole situation...so maybe she won't. Anyway, I'm very glad to hear that she didn't die on the train and not appear in Narnia. Because that would've been really heartbreaking. Have to say that, symbolism aside, gotta feel sorry for a girl who loses her entire family. We see the happy side, of the kids appearing in Narnia, but to Susan, her family was basically just completely wiped out in one train crash. Which is one of the things that, as a child, disturbed me about "The Last Battle."



[> [> [> [> Actually... -- Rob, 19:49:52 06/20/03 Fri

...come to think of it, it wasn't nine years ago...more like 14!


Season 7 - Season of the Fake out - Spoilers through "Chosen" -- Finn Mac Cool, 12:21:37 06/21/03 Sat

Recently, there has been a great deal of discussion over the flaws and merits of Season 7. Some profoundly hated it, others believe it to be the best season ever. I'm more positive than most, but more negative than some. However, I think I may have hit on a reason why some people disliked the most recent season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" (this is only one reason; there are others; I only bring it up because I haven't seen it mentioned yet).

Quite simply: Season 7 was the season of the fakeout.

Cassie's "someday she'll tell you" prophecy-

Expectation: Big B/S proclamations of love

Reality: Buffy tells Spike she loves him, but he realizes she's just saying it to be nice.

"Buffy won't choose you" prohecy-

Expectation: Big dilemma for Buffy, Buffy-Dawn rift

Reality: Buffy tries to get Dawn out of town, Dawn refuses, comes back home, and gives Buffy a small kick

Giles being attacked by a Bringer-

Expectation: Giles was either mystically saved or he's dead and the Giles we see later is either the First Evil or some form of mystical resurrection

Reality: Giles heard the Bringer coming, stopped his axe, and killed him

The Ubervamp-

Expectation: The season's Little Bad, will take the entire Scooby Gang and a brilliant plan to destroy it

Reality: Buffy slays it in a one-on-one fight in its third episode

Buffy's choice about Spike's chip-

Expectation: A big moral dilemma, possible rift between Buffy and Spike

Reality: Is resolved off-screen, no ill will present between Buffy and Spike

Spike's trigger/Wood's vendetta-

Expectation: Both will play heavily into the First Evil's plan for tearing apart the Scooby Gang from the inside

Reality: Both are resolved in the course of one episode with no appearance by the First Evil or lasting effect on the story arc

Faith's arrival-

Expectation: Big Scooby conflict, Faith has to try very hard to be accepted

Reality: Faith arrives without much fanfare, is accepted very readily


Expectation: Will take until the end of the finale to beat, all but invincible

Reality: Sliced and diced easily by Scythe-Buffy

Giles's new demeanor-

Expectation: Will lead him to the dark side, he becomes a clone of Wesley circa late Season 3 early Season 4 AtS

Reality: Comes around to his old self near the end with no consequences

The Scythe-

Expectation: Will be a big struggle over it, gaining it major source of conflict for end of season

Reality: Buffy plucks it easily from the stone and does Caleb in with it quickly

Angel and Buffy kissage-

Expectation: Will cause end of season soap opera, B/A rekindle their love, Spike helps the First Evil

Reality: B/A quickly part ways as friends with no immediate hope of a renewed relationship, Spike gets over it after a few rounds with the punching bag

Buffy's loss of power-

Expectation: Her attempts to rejoin the gain (in non-leader capacity) will be focus of remaining episodes

Reality: After an episode away she soon returns as unquestioned leader again

Vision of the Turok-Han army-

Expectation: Enormous battle of thousands, big, mystical Slayer mojo needed to win

Reality: An amulet introduced in the last episode destroys all the Turok-Han (and the Hellmouth) within minutes.

Buffy is stabbed by a Turok-Han-

Expectation: Buffy will die

Reality: She gets up right away and starts fighting again

Throughout the season we were given moments that seemed to be leading to an enormous threat or big dilemma . . . and they're resolved with great ease in a matter of seconds. I think that, while I can't recall anyone mentioning this trend before, this contributed to a great deal of Season 7 criticism. We were expecting something really big or angsty, and we got it wrapped up with minimal pain and conflict. That wasn't what we were going in looking for; we were going in looking for the characters to be put through a whirlwind of pain, heartbreak, and extreme danger. After all, that's what made the previous seasons great. Instead, ME decided to subvert our expectations and make everything easy for the Scooby Gang (given the great abundance of these fake outs, I doubt they were just writer laziness; I think they were done with a purpose in mind). If you didn't like these subversions, well, Season 7 would seem greatly flawed, then. But, in a certain sense, it is appropriate. After all, the Big Bad of the season was a greatly feared, primordial evil that can't actually DO anything besides talk about how evil and powerful it thinks it is. The constant fakeouts, where things look difficult but turn out not to be, kinda fits in with what the Scoobies had to learn: the First Evil seems powerful and menacing, but it's really just a pushover.

[> Very good point! -- Rob, 13:20:51 06/21/03 Sat

And actually a lot of these "fake-outs" where things that I enjoyed in the 7th season. I like have my expectations subverted. I loved, for example, in the sixth season, finding out that what was wrong with Buffy was that there was nothing wrong with Buffy. I loved how the big revelation about how Giles avoided that ax was hearing the Bringer's shoe squeaking. I loved in fact almost all of the subverted expectations that we were given this season. Didn't love so much the lack of true explanation about the plans of the First.


[> Finn, yer gettin' so good at this, it's scary. -- OnM, 14:41:46 06/21/03 Sat

Never thought of it that way, and of course I have no idea if you're right, but it does make sense, and that's what counts.

On the first two items, you also have a revisit of the 'prophecies are tricky things' declaration:

Cassie's "someday she'll tell you" prophecy-

Expectation: Big B/S proclamations of love

Reality: Buffy tells Spike she loves him, but he realizes she's just saying it to be nice.

In addition to your 'fakeout' interpretation, there is also the fact that the prophecy could have been fulfilled when Buffy tells Spike that "I believe in you". After all, Cassie never said exactly what Buffy was going to tell Spike. As you said, everyone is expecting that what Buffy was going to tell Spike was that she loved him, but instead she tells him something more important, something that allows him to survive the FE's torture and prevents him from realigning himself with the cause of evil. And, it's still a fakeout!

"Buffy won't choose you" prohecy-

Expectation: Big dilemma for Buffy, Buffy-Dawn rift

Reality: Buffy tries to get Dawn out of town, Dawn refuses, comes back home, and gives Buffy a small kick

Here, the prophecy could have been fulfilled when Dawn caused Buffy to step down as leader and leave the house. Remember, the Joyce/vision/FE/whatever said "Buffy won't choose you-- she'll be against you". The interpretation hinges entirely on how one wishes to interpret the word 'against'.

Also, isn't one main point regarding the entering of adulthood the fact that things that were greatly fear-inducing and seemingly intractable turn out to be managable with the benefit of experience? Think back to Lessons-- Just what is Buffy teaching Dawn?

[> It's a good seaon if you don't analyse it to much. -- Deacon, 16:36:58 06/21/03 Sat

It's a good season if you do not analyze it to much. The great thing about this show is that it can be anyalysed essays can be written about it and we have this disscussion board. But if you look at the shows individually they are very good.
I agree with the points mentioned. One thing that annoyed me was Caleb, he was thrown in at the end with no real explanation. If you look at the big bads of previous seasons such as Glory and the mayor, ther was a build up the entire season, droping clues along the way about what was going to happen but now after the finally it is still clear what the FE wanted.
I think the reason this season seemed so disjointed was becasue the writter were not sure where this season was going. They did not now for sure if the show was ending, if it was going to go on with out SMG, If there was going to be a spin-off, and which characters are going to Ats.

In the start of the season, they set up dawn in high school with her new friends who we never see again and dawn's character is not developed any more. Joss has said in an interview that he had wanted to do more with Dawn but he was not able to fit it in. Personally I would have liked to have seen an episode about dawn or one of the other main characters instead of "Storyteller". While that was a very good show, they spent an entire episode developing a new character when they had so little time to show one of the characters that we care about and have connected with.

The plot line of the season did not flow very well, but I can not think of one episode in particular that I did not like.
It would have been very hard to make a season that had more character devolopment that S6 or to have a big bad that was better than S5.

[> [> A defense of Caleb's introduction -- Rob, 18:04:32 06/21/03 Sat

"One thing that annoyed me was Caleb, he was thrown in at the end with no real explanation."

He wasn't actually thrown in out of nowhere. One of the few rare predictions I made for the show that actually came to pass was when the Watcher's Council was blown up. Bombs just did not seem to be the Bringers' style. So I figured there had to be some crazy person working for the First who would do things such as making bombs. And Caleb is the one who did that. So that was a hint early on that someone else was one of the First's major players.


[> [> [> Re: A defense of Caleb's introduction -- Cynicor, 18:24:21 06/21/03 Sat

That's very valid about the foreshadowing of the Council blowing up, but I think what Deacon might have been referring to is the lack of Caleb's backstory. One man in all the world, a chosen one. He alone will have the strength and evil to channel the First, etc. But he just showed up and all the backstory we received was he was some serial-killery dude who by the way also has the ability to be strengthified up by the First. He called the Bringers "his boys" but there was no real reason why; he kinda clashed with the demonic minions that the First had previously employed, and again, no reason why. It just fit in with the hurried sort of feel I got from this whole season, which is why I happen to think Finn's post was particularly insightful and brilliant :)

PS. Got that same vibe from the backstory to the Turok-Han way back then as well. "Oh by the way, turns out there are these prehistoric vampires, thought they were extinct, turns out they're not. Ordinary vampires fear them, don't ask me why. Fiddle-dee-dee, they are just like regular vamps, cept they look eviller and all the irritating rules about vampires don't apply to them."

[> [> [> [> A friend of mine showed me a spoilery bit once about Caleb -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:14:53 06/21/03 Sat

It described him as a guy who genuinely thought he was doing the right thing, and some other stuff. I think the original intent of Caleb was deeper than what they had time to convey.

[> [> [> [> [> Sounds like Jasmine, who in not many more eps than Caleb had, acheived that level of depth. Sigh! -- Rob, 13:05:16 06/24/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> She had the advantage of being the central focus -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:36:21 06/24/03 Tue

Caleb was relegated to mini-Bad status, giving him less room for exploration.

Nevertheless, I'll still take "Dirty Girls" over "Shiny Happy People" any day.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I am probably in the minority in liking Caleb... -- Rob, 11:01:52 06/25/03 Wed

...I thought the fact that he was perhaps under-explored only reinforced what ended up occurring--him not being as important in the end as he himself thought he was. The First sees all its minions as disposable, as long as it achieves its end goals. Also, I liked the way Nathan Fillion played him.

And I liked "Shiny Happy People" personally, but I did prefer "Dirty Girls". I just about always prefer "Buffy". ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I'm in the love-to-hate-Caleb camp, myself -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:28:14 06/25/03 Wed

Who couldn't love this little exchange:

Caleb: "I work in mysterious ways . . ."

(stabs Molly)

Caleb: ". . . and also some very straightforward ones."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I though Caleb was a great villian personally -- Miss Edith, 17:01:16 06/25/03 Wed

And I loved his accent.

[> [> [> Eve: Foreshadowing Caleb? -- rowena, 14:55:16 06/23/03 Mon

Looking back (love that hindsight thing), it seems IMHO that they foreshadowed Caleb somewhat in Showtime through the FE's use of the dead potential Eve - who, like Caleb, had a biblical name and a bad Southern accent - to stir up fear and lack of confidence in Buffy among the Potentials.
Also, ME's use of the name Eve, who was the original "fallen" woman or dirty girl,appears to be more than coincidental given that Caleb was presented as a rabid misogynist.

[> [> [> [> Excellent link, rowena! -- Rob, 20:11:21 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> Each season is supposed to be self-contained -- Valheru, 01:20:27 06/22/03 Sun

Many have made the argument that S7 was disjointed because no one knew it would be the last, but that's really just an excuse. The writers have always said that they treat each season as if it's the last. If Joss is to be believed, it's because they were never sure if they would be renewed each season. The only exception is S6, which ended on the SouledSpike cliffhanger, since ME's deal with UPN lasted through S7.

A lot of the blame for this is put on Sarah, but I wonder if the show would have been picked up for S8 anyway. The ratings were down, Sarah's renegotiation would have been costly, the show was already appraised as overpriced, and they probably would have completely lost Emma and Tony. And the writers knew all this before S7 even began. So if they were writing along with the presumption that there would be an eighth season, that's their fault. Besides, it doesn't make any sense: they weren't sure the show would be picked up during the golden years, but they were sure it would in the lean years?

Look at AtS. It was the show the WB couldn't wait to dump. It took a casting coup (I won't spoil it for those not in the know) to finally convince them to renew it. Despite all the critical attention and Save Our Show rallies, the ratings weren't improving (yes, that's partially the fault of the WB's musical timeslot game, but the suits don't care if they screw up). If BtVS had continued? AtS would probably be cancelled. But I don't see that affecting the writers at all, with the exception of Minear's Home, which was an executive decision to use it as a pitch for next season, but it could still work as a series finale. ME didn't drop the ball on AtS because of renewal confusion; why would they on BtVS?

[> [> [> Re: Each season is supposed to be self-contained -- Dariel, 15:50:18 06/22/03 Sun

I think they were just kind of rudderless. No one paying attention to all of the details, no one really trying to make sure the stories wove together. No one making sure they didn't get carried away with one character just because it was fun (Andrew).

Plus they ran into a big contradiction--trying to write a season that is self-contained, while also trying to set up some possible spin-offs. They brought in all of those Potentials, plus Robin Wood, brought back Faith, focused a lot on Spike for this reason. Also, although any of the other seasons could have been the end, S7 was the clearly supposed to be the last big stage in Buffy's hero's journey. I think they were so focused on creating the metaphor for Buffy's next step that they forgot about niceties like Buffy actually interacting with her sister and friends.

[> [> [> Season 5 had to be changed when they got two more years -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:18:48 06/22/03 Sun

The original plan was to have Xander be the one Glory possessed, have Glory kill Tara, have Willow go evil on magic over that, have Buffy kill evil Willow, have Giles kill Xander like he did Ben in the Season 5 we know, and have Sunnydale sucked into Hell. But, when they found out they'd get two more seasons on UPN, the plans for the season had to change. So, even though each season is supposed to be self-contained, some thought to the future must be put in.

[> [> [> [> But that's my point -- Valheru, 17:25:20 06/22/03 Sun

They planned to end the series in S5, then adapted the story when they found out they would get another two seasons. The way the S7 excuse has gone, it's that ME planned to continue the series to S8, then adapted the story when they found out there wouldn't be one. "Tra-la-la, let's do this, this, and this, we'll get an eighth season...holy crap, Sarah's not coming back, just wrap things up!" It's the reverse of how they've done every other season, which doesn't make much sense considering how bleak things looked even at the beginning of S7.

[> [> [> [> Re: Season 5 had to be changed when they got two more years -- dmw, 14:17:16 06/23/03 Mon

That's very interesting. What's your source? I've never heard anything beyond Tara's death being postponed.

[> [> [> Season 8 -- Darby, 21:44:37 06/22/03 Sun

All of the writers who have talked about said that they knew they were working on the last season when it started, because Joss wasn't planning on renewing his contract. That's probably why the SMG non-announcement was no big deal (although she might have gotten him to stay).

[> Re: Season 7 - Season of the Fakeout - Spoilers through "Chosen" -- sdev, 21:34:37 06/21/03 Sat

Agree about the fakeouts.

But the "enormous threat or big dilemma" created the angst, the tension. The problem was that the fakeouts made them fizzle out, thus no catharsis.

Buffy was not even angered by the fact that they, including Dawn, kicked her out. She just said- yeah I'm to blame. The audience was angrier than her. No resolution for us.

[> [> Re: Season 7 - Season of the Fakeout - Spoilers through "Chosen" -- Rob, 09:11:13 06/22/03 Sun

"Buffy was not even angered by the fact that they, including Dawn, kicked her out. She just said- yeah I'm to blame. The audience was angrier than her. No resolution for us.

Totally disagree on that. That was the most important aspect of the whole situation. Although we the audience may have been angry at the Scoobies, Buffy was not. It shows her level of maturity that she does not blame them for what she has done. It further feeds into her inferiority/superiority complex she spoke of in CwDP. I for one was glad Buffy didn't leave mad at them, because she would have been missing the point. Buffy the entire time she fought for her position secretly agreed with them that who was she to lay down the law like this. At the same time of course was the side of herself that said they should listen to her because she is the law. But in the end, she couldn't blame them for sending her away. There is definitely resolution for the audience. There wouldn't be if Buffy was mad at them, IMO, because we as the audience would be even more angry at Buffy ourselves. We would feel even more distant from her. But the fact that she reveals just how vulnerable she really is, and how scared she is about losing her friends and the girls in the battle shows how human and caring she really is. Being kicked out ended up being a wake-up call to Buffy.


Cool news for Xena fans ("Tru Calling" pilot casting spoiler) -- Rob, 13:23:29 06/21/03 Sat

My cousin read today that Hudson Leick--CALLISTO!!!--will appear in the Tru Calling pilot. I didn't hear anything about the character or whether she will ever reappear. But I'm quite excited now! :o)

Speaking of which, I met Hudson at a Xena con, and she's a really sweet person. Hardly factors in when you're meeting her that she plays a psycho brilliantly.


[> Isn't "Hudson" kind of a masculine name for a woman? -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:46:16 06/21/03 Sat

[> [> Her given name was Heidi Hudson Leick... -- Sofdog, 06:28:34 06/23/03 Mon

...'til she legally changed it.

[> [> [> I forgot about that. What an awful, awful name! Right up there with... -- Rob, 10:36:48 06/24/03 Tue

Anne Heche's kid, Homer Heche Lafoon.

Btw, I'm not making fun of the name "Heidi," in case anyone took offense. It's those three names together that lead to "Blech!"


[> Hmmm. Bet you've got a photo of her too, haven't you Rob? -- dub ;o), 15:33:16 06/21/03 Sat

I am in awe of you. You are like the ultimate fan, LOL!


[> [> Umm...yeah, sort of LOL. But I'm not in it, unfortunately, since there were too many people there... -- Rob, Celeb Stalker Extraordinaire, 16:25:20 06/21/03 Sat

...for her to pose for individual photos. She did smile at me though. While I'm reading off my list, I also have a photos of Ted Raimi (Joxer) and Danielle Cormack (Ephiny) from "Xena." And one of Whoopi Goldberg, from when I met her after she did "Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum," but I'm not in that one either.


[> Definitely cool. -- AurraSing, 17:45:18 06/21/03 Sat

And yes,she does do psycho very,very well. Curious to see what she's asked to do this time.........

[> Hudson Leick was amazing as Callisto.... -- cjl, 18:55:12 06/21/03 Sat

She's a beautiful woman, but there wasn't an ounce of vanity in her portrayal. I remember Callisto's long, blond hair constantly caked with sweat and/or mud, a crystalline gleam of anger in her eyes, a force of vengeance right up there with Anyanka.

I know she's not a regular, but is Hudson's appearance on "Tru Calling" just a one-shot, or is she a possible recurring character?

[> [> Haven't heard anything about the character. -- Rob, 23:34:36 06/22/03 Sun

"She's a beautiful woman, but there wasn't an ounce of vanity in her portrayal. I remember Callisto's long, blond hair constantly caked with sweat and/or mud, a crystalline gleam of anger in her eyes, a force of vengeance right up there with Anyanka."

Exactly! This is why I always thought the description of her as "Psycho!Barbie" was off. Barbie would never allow her hair to be mussed, or get as down and dirty as Callisto would. I loved how Callisto sometimes seemed to be teetering on the edge of having a heart, but then prove that she doesn't. A favorite moment comes to mind by a campfire where Gabrielle, having an in-depth conversation with Callisto, hoping to evince some genuine human emotion from her, asks about her family having been killed when she was a young girl. After a few moments of seeming vulnerable, like the little girl she once was might come out and open up to Gabrielle, she looks up with venom in her eyes and asks, "When I sliced open your husband, how long did it take him to die?"

And that lilting, almost musical laugh and high-pitched scream. Ah, I've missed her! :o)

Speaking of which, the 2nd season is coming out on DVD in September...with some of her best episodes..."Return of Callisto," "Intimate Stranger," and "A Necessary Evil"! Oh, and "Ten Little Warlords," which is not one of her best, but is quite a curiosity none the less; the episode would be mostly unremarkable except for the fact that she is playing Xena.


[> [> I don't remember that... -- Sofdog, 06:31:32 06/23/03 Mon

Her hair always seemed as squeaky clean as Xena's. It got ever blonder and wilder, but I don't recall any mud.

I've always thought she was a ringer for Halle Berry.

[> [> [> Nope. -- Rob, 07:29:06 06/23/03 Mon

Watch carefully. It was mussed and wild more often than not. ;o)


[> "Tru Calling" Connections -- dub ;o), 09:17:15 06/22/03 Sun

Okay Rob, there's just an outside chance that I might go you one better and get a photo of Eliza. Tru Calling is shot in Vancouver and a good friend of mine was recently hired as an art department assistant on the show. She's really excited because it's her first gig in film/TV. She's a lowly gopher on the totem pole, but who knows?

Unfortunately, one of the first things they made her do was swear an oath not to reveal any spoilers, LOL! Then she made me swear not to ask her for any spoilers...the nerve of that girl!! I'm the one who introduced her to Buffy in the first place!!


[> [> That's so cool! -- Rob, 09:59:09 06/22/03 Sun

Unfortunately, one of the first things they made her do was swear an oath not to reveal any spoilers, LOL! Then she made me swear not to ask her for any spoilers...the nerve of that girl!! I'm the one who introduced her to Buffy in the first place!!

I've found that relentless nagging and guilt-trips can work wonders. ;o)


[> [> You should have said you've given up swearing ;o) -- CW, 10:16:04 06/22/03 Sun

[> She can go from psycho to angel in half a blink. -- WickedBuffy, 13:05:41 06/23/03 Mon

Can anyone find the themes behind these motifs? (Spoilers through "Home" and "Chosen") -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:34:38 06/21/03 Sat

Over this past season of "Buffy" and "Angel", there are two interesting motifs I've noticed (one for each show). However, I'm not really sure what the message or theme (if any) behind them is. If anyone here can puzzle it out, I'd be grateful to hear.

On "Buffy":

Eye injuries. In "Same Time, Same Place", Buffy kills the Gnarl demon by shoving her thumbs through its eyes and into its brain. In "Showtime", Buffy stabs a piece of wood into the Ubervamp's eye right before she beats the crap out of it. In "Storyteller", we see some of the possessed kids have mutilated their own eyes in the style of the Bringers. In "Dirty Girls", Caleb pokes out Xander's eye. And, of course, there's the constant presence of the Bringers and their carving-in-place-of-eyeness. While it seems to be a trend, I don't really know what it means. My guess is something to do with point of view, since that seems so important this season, but what I do not know.

On "Angel":

Memory. In "Ground State", Angel sketches Cordelia's face from memories 3 months old. In "Supersymmetry", Angel confirms that he's got a photographic memory and uses it to do a mental replica of the lecture hall. In "Spin the Bottle", the AI gang loses all memories from after their teen years. In "Habeas Corpses", Angel uses his photo memory again in finding the right button to enter the White Room. In "Long Day's Journey", it is revealed that Angelus possesses a memory of the Beast while Angel doesn't. In "Players", Angel uses his memory to visually reconstruct the texts that Angelus read. And, in "Home", we have Angel rewriting everyone's memories so that, as far as everyone knows, Connor is part of a warm, loving, and normal family. Any thoughts on what this use of memory could mean?

[> Re: Can anyone find the themes behind these motifs? (Spoilers through "Home" and "Chosen") -- Luvthistle1, 00:18:49 06/22/03 Sun

On Buffy:

you forgot that Xander is the one who see all. plus what was the deal with the window? I notice that a lot of thing in season 7 was done in the view of another one perceptive. In selfless,Xander got to view things from Buffy perspective, when Buffy had decide she had to kill Anya. I also now believe that when we saw two Buffy, one sweet and one dark slayer Buffy that was one person perspective of what had happen. I believe that Xander looked at Buffy telling spike to leave the school basement, as her being the slayer, spike saw it as her caring about him. two Buffy , two perspective. ( note: i know some people believe it was the first evil, but the script never mention rather or not it was the first evil)

I guess it could mean that things are not always what they seem to be.

On Angel:

People learn from memorizing their mistake. but if a person do not have memory of making a mistake, does they run the risk of repeating it?

The memory game is a hard one. I suppose I would have to take a wait and see approach to that

[> Re: Can anyone find the themes behind these motifs? (Spoilers through "Home" and "Chosen") -- CW, 09:42:10 06/22/03 Sun

The Master also puts out one of the vampire Colin's eye's for failing him early in season eye. It shouldn't kill him, but we don't see him again. Kakistos, the ancient vampire has a huge scar over one eye from a fight with Faith, but I believe his eye is still there though blinded (?) Why vamps don't seem to recover from this kind of damage wasn't explained, though they seem to recover completely from all other injuries that don't kill them outright.

[> [> I think vamps would recover, but it'd take time -- Scroll, 11:25:27 06/22/03 Sun

I'd bet Colin eventually recovered from his eye injury. Though if he was damaged, that would cut down his ability to hunt, thus his ability to get blood needed so he can heal properly. And being blind in one eye and weaker from lack of blood probably made him an easier target for Buffy. Either that or the Master killed him anyway.

As for Kakistos' eye that Faith put out, she may have used a blessed/holy weapon. Or maybe it's because she's a Slayer and that affects the vamp's healing process. Cuz I remember that the Chinese Slayer was the one to give Spike his eyebrow scar.

Since Angel and Spike have all been stabbed, tortured, and punctured by various implements, and Darla and Dru were set on fire, and yet retained no lasting scars, I'd say it's either the fact that Kakistos and Spike were injured by Slayers or a blessed/holy weapon. (Though in "Becoming", Buffy shoved a blessed sword into Angel's heart and he never got a scar, so that theory might be flawed.)

[> [> [> We don't know how long ago it was that Faith blinded Kakistos -- Finn Mac Cool, 15:17:20 06/22/03 Sun

It may only have been about week. Given that eye injuries don't heal in human beings, I'm guessing it might take a while, even for a vampire like Kakistos, to fully heal his own eye.

As for Spike's scar, the only explanation I can think of is that part of the Slayer's sword chipped off in making the cut, thus a little sliver of metal was embedded under his skin. This might stop the wound from healing properly.

[> [> [> [> Re: We don't know how long ago it was that Faith blinded Kakistos -- Cynicor, 03:01:59 06/25/03 Wed

I forget where I read this but the Chinese slayer's weapon was holy and blessed by a priest or somesuch. This gave it the ability to wound vampires and why Spike still carries the scar.

[> [> [> Not to mention... -- Rooks, 21:58:02 06/25/03 Wed

Glory shoving her hand into Spike's guts. You'd figure THAT would leave a mark...but nothing. And getting to see Spike parade around with no shirt for the next two years, someone would have noticed even the slightest imperfection there, I'm sure.

[> Re: Can anyone find the themes behind these motifs? (Spoilers through "Home" and "Chosen") -- Arethusa, 12:42:21 06/22/03 Sun

These are just my interpretation. Has ME discussed the themes of Season 7 in any interviews?

Buffy-An important part of growing up is learning to see the world in new ways. If your point of view is always that of a child, centered on and filtered through the self, you'll never mature. You might as well be a vampire. Healthy adults learn to see themselves subjectively, and to see the world from multiple points of view. ME emphesizes sight because of its metaphoric connection to the changes in how we see ourself and the world as we grow up.

Angel-I think Angel's photographic memory was emphesized for plot reasons. It was necessary for AI to get certain information very quickly and having Angel be eidetic was convenient. The memory losses in Spin the Bottle and Connor's mindwipe were both part of Angel's character development. He's been haunted by his memories for over two centuries and was unable to watch Connor go through that kind of endless suffering.

[> [> Memory and identity -- Caroline, 13:36:41 06/23/03 Mon

Memory is a part of who we are. Take away out memories, take away a part of who we are.

[> [> [> Re: Memory and identity -- Anneth, 13:57:47 06/23/03 Mon

Memory is a part of who we are. Take away out memories, take away a part of who we are.

A concept which casts an interesting light on Angel's decisions re. Connor and Buffy. However painful and burdensome his decisions have been for him, he did end up altering Buffy and Connor, without their consent. Essentially, he took away a part of their existences. (Well - nearly the sum of Connor's existence.)

With that in mind - his S1 decision to take Buffy's memories away, and then his S4 decision to rewrite Connor's history - it doesn't surprise me one whit that the writers have emphasized his memory to the extent that they have. There's a series-long underlying tension on AtS, one that comes to a head in S4: Is reality what *is* or what *we make*? Angel has now taken it upon himself, twice, to "make" reality for another - but does he really have that right?

[> [> [> [> Re: Memory and identity -- Arethusa, 08:27:38 06/24/03 Tue

Angel must have a very complex attitude towards memories. Memories do make us what we are, and that's a double-edged sword. Connor's memories are a source of torment. He has no memories of love or happiness. Angel puts practical considerations over theoretical arguments. Connor is in pain, changing his memories removes that pain, so Angel recreates his memories. He doesn't have that right, any more than Willow has the right to change Tara's memories to make their relationship easier. But his son is suffering, and Angel will always do what he can to help him, because he loves him, and believes people shouldn't have to suffer as they do. Every time he received a message from The Powers That Be he changed people's fate. He didn't ask if altering their fate was the right thing to do, or theorize over the implications of changing people's fates. He could ease suffering and save lives, so he did it.

(How much of Angel's decision was for Connor's happiness, and how much was so Angel didn't have to live with the guilt of failing his son, however inadvertantly?)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Memory and identity -- Plin, 09:53:17 06/24/03 Tue

How much of Angel's decision was for Connor's happiness, and how much was so Angel didn't have to live with the guilt of failing his son, however inadvertantly?

That is exactly my question, and one reason I'm so curious to see how this plays out next season. I can sympathize with Angel's desire to give his son a good life, a happily family--but it's the family Angel himself has always dreamed of (as we saw in Home). Is he, like many parents, trying to live vicariously through Connor? To what extent is he trying to undo his own past? That's something that he, of all people, should know is impossible. We all have to live with our past mistakes, we can only try to avoid repeating them in the future.

I can't imagine that, in the Jossverse that prizes self-determination and the existentialist message that "we can never rest," things are never easy because we are always responsible for making our own decisions and dealing with their consequences, Angel's choice will be shown to be a good thing.

Lots of interesting angstiness to work through next season, which is always a good.

[> [> [> [> [> Interesting ideas here -- s'kat, 11:15:01 06/24/03 Tue

The idea of changing or altering someone's memories and how that affects us is something that is continuously explored in science-fiction.

We have Philip K. Dick explore it in : I can get Wholesale (made into the film Total Recall)

Alfred Bester - in Demolished Man - where criminals are altered by erasing and rebuilding their memories.

A new movie Paycheck - is coming out about a Scientist who agrees to erase his memories of a project upon completing it which also causes him to forget the Assistant he fell in love with and everything else.

Robert Ludlum's book The Bourne Identity about a man who wakes up with no memory of who he is yet has the skills of an assasin

On Btvs and Ats - they've also explored this and it's never been positive.

We have Willow attempt to erase Tara's memories twice. She erases Buffy's and everyone else's once with dire consequences.

We have Cordelia get her memory wiped by the PTB when she is returned to AI. It takes a spell to restore them.

Mind control is also commented on in the series.
With the behavorial modification chips from The Initiative which are implanted in demon's brains or a human's heart - controlling their actions. Or Jasmine's ability to control the minds and hearts of everyone in LA.

I rewatched the episode that came after I Will Always Remember You recently and was struck by something very interesting, that I'd forgotten. It's in the first 20 minutes of Hero. In this episode - Angel tells Doyle what happened in IWARY and fills him in on the memories he swiped from Doyle's head, by erasing the day for everyone but himself. He tells Doyle - that " The Oracles told me that I was released from my duty. Buffy and I were together until - we realized it couldn't be. - We don't belong to ourselves. We belong to the world, fighting. - So, I went back to the Oracles and I asked them to turn back the clock... as though that day had never happened."

What hit me as interesting was the word "we". Buffy never made this decision, in fact in IWARY - he went to the oracles, came back, and told her he made it without even discussing it with her first. Yet, Angel has somehow justified it, by remembering it as a mutual decision, he repeats the story to Doyle with the added twist that Buffy and Angel discussed it first. We decided...then I went. Uhm no. It was I decided, I went, told her, and she reluctantly understood...Not the same thing. She even argued with him about it. Here's the scene in IWRY for comparison:

Buffy: "Where have you been?"
Angel: "I went to see the Oracles. I asked them to turn me back."
Buffy: "What? - Why?"
Angel: "Because more then ever I know how much I love you."
Buffy backs away from him: "No. No, you didn't."
Angel follows her: "And if I stayed mortal one of us would wind up dead, maybe both of us. You heard what Mohra said."
Buffy: "Mohra is dead. We killed him."
Angel: "He said others would come."
Buffy: "They always come. And they always will. But that's my problem now, not yours, remember?"
Angel: "No, I won't just stand by and let you fight, maybe die, alone."
Buffy: "Then we fight together."
Angel: "You saw what happened last night. If anything I'm a liability to you. You take chances to protect me, and that's not just bad for you, it's bad for the people we were meant to help."
Buffy: "So what? You just took a whole 24 hours to weigh the ups and downs of being a regular Joe and decided it was more fun being a superhero?"
Angel: "You know that's not it. How can we be together if the cost is your life, or the lives of others? (Buffy just stares at him and after a moment he takes her into his arms) I know. I couldn't tell you. I wasn't sure - if I could do it if I woke up with you one more morning."
Buffy sniffling: "I understand. - So, what happens now?'
Angel: "The Oracles are giving us back the day, turning back time, so I can kill Mohra before his blood makes me mortal."
Buffy: "When?"
Angel looks over at the clock (it's 9:00): "Another minute."
Buffy crying: "A minute? No. No, it's not enough time!"
Angel: "We don't have a choice. It's done."
Buffy: "How am I supposed to go on with my life knowing what we had? What we could have had?"
Angel: "You won't. No one will know but me."
Buffy: "Everything we did."
Angel: "It never happened."
Buffy shakes her head: "It did. It did. I know it did! (Puts her hand on his heart) I felt your heart beat."

Angel: "Buffy.."
They kiss. Buffy looks over at the clock. The minute is almost up.
Buffy: "No! Oh God. It's not enough time."
Angel is crying too now: "Shh, please. Please."
The hold each other tightly both crying.
Angel: "Please, please."
Buffy: "No. I'll never forget. I'll never forget. I'll never forget. I'll never forget."
White flash dissolves to Angel's office the previous day.

She never really agreed to it. He threw it at her after he'd done it already. Buffy never made the choice. They never discussed it. Even if she begged him to change it, it was done. She realizes this...in the midst of their discussion.

What's interesting about this scene, is what happens afterwards in Btvs. Buffy goes back to Sunnydale and engages in a relationship with someone she believes is a normal guy (not a superhero) and the guy turns out to be a demon hunter. They have the relationship that Buffy might have had with human Angel and Angel is forced to see it in Yoko Factor. Also Riley does the same thing to Buffy, Angel does, he decides he's not worthy of her without the super powers. In OOMM he gets upset b/c he's lost them, and spends the next couple of episodes trying to prove he can keep up with her. Buffy even chides him on it OOMM - where she tells him that she's not that shallow. The conversation - where she is attempting to get Riley to save his own life and not let himself die just to be superpowered is oddly reminiscent of her conversation with Angel.

But..(back to the topic) Angel chooses to believe Buffy agreed to this. We, the audience, know She didn't. And she certainly did not agree to forget it. HE made those decisions for her, even though he chooses to remember it differently.

Angel makes the same exact mistake with Connor. And how much you want to bet, he'll do it with Cordy - if he gets the chance. Yes, it seems like the best thing he could have done for Connor. But couldn't we say the same thing about Willow's decision in TR to remove Tara and Buffy's bad memories? Or for that matter JAsmine's actions in controlling people's minds? Where do you draw the line?
Is Angel really in a position to play "god" with others choices and memories?

Who would buffy be today, if she still remembered IWARY?
Would she have gotten involved with Riley or Spike? Would she have died in the Gift? Would she have died sooner?
Angel's act changed Buffy's entire life. Did he have the right to do it? It also changed Cordy and Doyle's lives - since they too lost that one day. What might have happened if Angel didn't make that decision? Would Doyle still be alive?

Same thing with Connor. That act not only changed Connor's existence, it changed everyone around him, including the new family he was placed in. Not only Connor's memories appeared to be altered, but so are everyone else's.

Is this all that different than what Jasmine did? OR Professor Walsh? OR Willow?

Is it permissible to tamper with someone else's identity
on any scale? OR for any reason? OR is making this judgement a bit too absolute morality wise? MAybe it is permissible in certain situations?

I'm curious to see where the writers take this, assuming it's not just another plot device to turn the story into a new direction.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Interesting ideas here--Spoilers for AtS through Home -- Arethusa, 12:43:33 06/24/03 Tue

Making decisions for others regardless of the consequences has always been one of Angel's failings, from deciding what Buffy can and can't know or do to taking over W&H without consulting the others. This is bound to be a problem next year because his decisions will affect many more people. One of the aspects of existentialism is developing the criteria for making choices. Angel tends to make decisions based on self-interest. He often ignores the repercussions, such as the deaths that resulted from his attempt to get back baby Connor. I think that's why Spike will make such a good foil for Angel next year. He's the one who pointed out that everything has consequences, often beyond imagining. And he is a little more likely to let others make decisions for themselves, as his relationship with Buffy usually (but not always) showed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree. Good post. -- s'kat, 11:35:44 06/25/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> The IWRY spell -- Valheru, 13:19:36 06/24/03 Tue

To put it bluntly, the choice in IWRY was not Buffy's to make. Angel made a decision about his life, his destiny.

The blood of the Mohra demon made Angel human. Because he's human, Angel and Buffy can have the relationship they always wanted. But if Angel wants to change that? It's not Buffy's call. It would have been polite and boyfriend-y if he had consulted her, but it's ultimately his choice to make. Just because it was thoughtless doesn't make it wrong. What would have been wrong is if Buffy had gone to the Oracles and made the change. Besides, I don't see a lot of people complaining that he didn't consult Doyle or Cordy, even though his decision affected their lives more directly (their fortunes were more tied to Angel than Buffy's was at the time).

And as much as it appears to be one, the spell was not a memory spell. It's not like Willow deciding to alter the memories of Tara and Buffy, or even Jasmine messing with free will. What Angel did was turn back the clock. He didn't remove anyone's memories of what happened, because what happened didn't happen. The only reason Angel remembers is because that was the price set by the PTBs; in effect, what they did was pluck Angel out of the present and insert him in his place in the past. He's a man who has lived one more day than the rest of the world.

Connor wasn't the same, either. Angel didn't go back in time and make a different choice about Connor in S3. What he did was physically alter reality into a new reality. The only thing in common between IWRY and Home is that Angel remembers. Like IWRY, Angel is basically taken out of reality as the spell is worked, then set back in it (which, to think about it, is similar to the reason why Angelus remembers the Beast). No one's memory changed, but rather history did. It's the Dawn spell.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The IWRY spell -- Anneth, 16:46:42 06/24/03 Tue

To put it bluntly, the choice in IWRY was not Buffy's to make. Angel made a decision about his life, his destiny.

I disagree, for two reasons. Firstly, he and she were in a relationship, a partnership. By making the decision to become a vampire again, without consulting her, he blied that idea. I believed that Tara tried to make this point to Willow in Tabula Rasa (I may have the ep mixed up with another) by explaining that people in a relationship shouldn't make decisions about that relationship without talking them over with the partner; it's fundamentally unfair and belies the equality that a relationship ostensibly creates. Secondly, the decision did not only effect Angel's life and destiny. Someone has already made this point, so I won't reiterate it.

You're right; the IWRY spell wasn't a memory spell. But it had a similar effect; it wiped away all recollection of certain events. A memory spell (as in Home) would make the events apparently not have happened, while the IWRY spell wiped the events away in fact - but the reality is, after both spells, the events might as well have never happened, since there is no way they could affect future events.

Connor's spell both is and isn't like Dawn's. Both recreated reality. But Dawn was merely inserted into what had already taken place, while Connor was pulled out of what had happened and then reinserted. Connor's spell was both creative and destructive, while Dawn's was basically only creative.

If that makes any sense at all... I'm typing while on hold for the Department of Consumer Affairs. Shanaia Twain does not good background noise make.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The IWRY spell -- Valheru, 18:08:34 06/24/03 Tue

Firstly, he and she were in a relationship, a partnership. By making the decision to become a vampire again, without consulting her, he blied that idea.

I agree, but only in general. Should Angel have discussed it with Buffy? Of course. He owed her that much out of respect if nothing else. Yet it was still Angel's choice. He could have consulted her, she could have been adamantly against it, but in the end, the decision is his to make. But yeah, doing it behind her back was a sort of slap in the face.

Secondly, the decision did not only effect Angel's life and destiny.

But it was his life and destiny. He had to make the best choice for himself, first and foremost. After all, he's the one who has to live with himself. Sure, staying human gave him cookie dough ice cream, the sun, a reflection, and Buffy, but how could he live with himself knowing that he was trading his Champion-ship for it? Could Angel give up his responsibility in favor of his happiness and still be happy? He realized that he couldn't. Did his choice hurt Buffy? Unfortunately it did, but I don't think that means it's a bad choice. Besides, what would it say of Buffy if she convinced Angel to sacrifice his responsibility in favor of her happiness?

It wasn't an easy choice. Both options had some pretty heavy cons. Angel just chose the one that he thought was best. I guess I just get riled up when people act as though he did it to Buffy. He didn't do anything to Buffy that he didn't do to the rest of the world, it just had a more personal impact on her. And he's paying for that every time he remembers that day.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: The IWRY spell -- s'kat, 21:08:52 06/24/03 Tue

It wasn't an easy choice. Both options had some pretty heavy cons. Angel just chose the one that he thought was best. I guess I just get riled up when people act as though he did it to Buffy. He didn't do anything to Buffy that he didn't do to the rest of the world, it just had a more personal impact on her. And he's paying for that every time he remembers that day.

But didn't it have more affect on Buffy? Because of changing history he did change her life. Think of things that may have happened differently if she just remembered that day? If he had made it possible just for her to remember it? He does make it possible for Cordelia and Doyle - he tells them what happened and why he did it.
At this point in the story forward, Cordelia knows Angel better than Buffy EVER will.

Buffy leaves LA believing Angel doesn't care much about her.
As Doyle states in the beginning of HEro - Angel had five unresolved minutes with his ex. Those minutes are relived again in Sanctuary and in Yoko Factor - where they are FINALLY resolved. With Riley - Buffy at least gets a little closure, Angel NEVER gives her that. Because Angel is once again playing father knows best and he does it over and over and over again.

Is it something he DID to Buffy? No. But it is a choice that may have detrimentally affected her, that he never informed her of. It is a secret that will always stand between them. And it is one that affected her choices afterwards.

If you don't think she was more affected than the others.
Cordy or Doyle? Ask yourself these questions:

1. How would Buffy react if she found out?
2. What would Buffy have done if she'd known he'd been human and decided to undue it? How would she react differently?
3. How would this have possibly affected her own decisions?
4. Would she have entered a relationship with Riley?
5. Would she have gone back to Sunnydale?

Also how would you feel if your wife/girlfriend/husband or spouse turned back time so you never got together, you never had a life together and you forgot the entire life you had. (Probably nothing since you can't remember it - it's a nifty twist on It's A Wonderful Life or a host of other what-if scenerios. Just as Tara would have felt nothing if she never found out that Willow made her forget an argument as if never was. Is Angel's actions really that big a leap from Tara's or even Jasmine's?)

Also think of all the other lives changing time might alter?

I'm sorry but it wasn't just his decision to make - because it was a decision that greatly affected others around him.
He changed time. And he did it for incredibly self-involved reasons. One of Angel's greatest flaws is he tends to think the ends justify the means - that it's the big picture and he's big Daddy who must make the tough decisions. It's what JAsmine called him on and the irony - Jasmine was the result of many of those decisions and Jasmine was just like her Grand-daddy - thinking about making the hard choices for the populace. When you go back and change time - even if it's something as small as stepping on a butterfly - then there are reprecussions. One wonders if the oracles might still be alive if Angel hadn't turned back time?
Would Cordelia have gotten the visions? What rips in time did Angel's decision to "remain" the vampire champion cause?
I'm not saying that Angel didn't believe he did the right thing - the big sacrifice, nor am I saying it is necessarily the wrong thing - but it seems to me this gets back to Whistler's statement in Becoming and Jasmine's in
Peace Out and Darla's it's about being able to make those choices. And in making them - not making choices for others in the process. The show really loves ironic twists - and I keep wondering if the irony in Angel is every time Angel makes that big "heroic" difficult choice - he's not just damning himself and everyone else to hell. The choice on the surface appears heroic and selfless, but dig a little deeper and we wonder if it isn't in reality a little self-centered and easy, a choice that manages to allow Angel to feel he's still in control and the champion? Wouldn't it be a kick if that was the case? But hey maybe I'm just overestimating the writers again. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But what if he knew from the beginning what Mohara demon blood would do -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:21:56 06/24/03 Tue

Suppose that, before ever fighting it, he knew that Mohara demon blood would turn him human, had considered the pros and cons of that, and so took special care to avoid touching its blood. People's reactions to it wouldn't be the same, I imagine. And, theoretically, shouldn't turning back time be exactly like going into the same situation with different knowledge? How is Angel turning back time different from the situation I mentioned above? Also, while his decision did affect Buffy, it affected Angel greatly. Heck, it affected his species, his issues, and his ability to be a Champion. However much it affected Buffy, it affected Angel more, and so, in the end, really would have been his decision anyway (if Angel and Buffy had discussed it, Angel's vote for what to do would have counted for more than Buffy's, and the conversation wouldn't even have done Buffy any good, since she wouldn't remember it).

Now, I do have a question: I haven't seen Season 1 of Angel yet, so I must ask whether the Oracles offered him the choice of becoming human again, right at that instant, or turning back time so that he was never human? If he was offered that choice, then I'd say you'd have a point. But, if he didn't have it, I wouldn't fault him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Here's the dialogue, so you can make your own mind -- s'kat, 22:37:28 06/24/03 Tue

Okay, Finn, here you go - the actual dialogue, so you can make up your own mind like the rest of us. I'm not going to try to persuade you. My take? Angel did what Angel always does - make the decision, be the Daddy. Treating Buffy like the girl he needs to protect. (Man and Woman are the oracles btw. Not a great episode. And Angel's motivations at this stage in the game seem really off.)

This scene takes place after Angel turns human. Instead of just accepting it, he forces Doyle to take him to the oracles to explain it. Doyle mentions them when Angel says he needs to understand what's up.

Man: "Well?"
Angel: "What's happened to me?"
Woman steps to one side of Angel: "It's true then, brother."
Man on Angel's other side: "He is no longer a warrior."
Angel: "It was the demon's blood. It wasn't the Powers-That-Be that did this?"
Man: "The Powers-That-Be? Did you save humanity? Avert the Apocalypse?"
Woman: "You faced a Mohra demon. Life goes on."
Angel: "My life as a human. I'm not poisoned or under some spell?"
Woman looks up, after a beat: "The Auguries say no. If it has happened it was meant to be."
Man: "From this day, you will live and die as any mortal man."
Woman: "Privy to all the attendant pains - and pleasures."
Man: "That which we serve is no longer that which you serve. You are released from your fealty."
The woman and man walk away form him.
Angel: "That's it? I'm free?"
Man holds up his hand and Angel goes flying backwards out of the arc to land on top of Doyle.
Doyle helps him up: "Angel, it didn't work?"
Angel: "Yes, it did."
Doyle: "You just went in this instant."
Angel staring at the arc: "What?"
Doyle: "Look at your watch."
Angel: "I can't do that, Doyle. Next time remind me to bring a gift?"
Doyle: "I knew I forgot something. So, what happened? What did they say?"
Angel: "They're a little confusing, but.. - the gist of it is - it's real. - I'm free."
Doyle: "I can't believe this."
Angel: "Me either. I mean, what do I do now? - I have this whole new life spread before me. I don't know where to begin."
Doyle: "Right. It's overwhelming. You can pretty much do what ever you want now. The question is, what do you want?"

Here's the scene where he goes back to the oracles to ask them to make him a vampire again, because he can't be a superhero or champion without powers. He thinks he's a liability to Buffy. He does not tell her he's doing this by the way or his problems.

Man: "You again."
Woman: "What have you brought me?"
Angel: "Famille Rose vase. (Throws her a black vase) Ching dynasty. Circa 1811."
Woman: "Lovely."
Man: "Why are you here, lower being?"
Angel: "The Mohra demon said the end of days had begun. That others were coming, soldiers of darkness. I need to know if he was telling the truth."
Man: "As far as such things can be told."
Angel: "What happens to the Slayer when these soldiers come?"
Woman: "What happens to all mortal beings. Albeit sooner in her case."
Angel: "She'll die? - Then I'm here to beg for her life."
The Oracles turn and walk away: "It is not our place to grant life or death."
Angel: "And I ask you to take mine back. (The oracles stop walking and turn back to him) Look I can't protect her or anyone this way, not as a man."
Woman: "You're asking to be what you were, a demon with a soul, because of the Slayer?"
Man turns to leave again: "Oh, this is a matter of love. It does not concern us."
Angel: "Yes, it does. The Mohra demon came to take a warrior from your cause - and it succeeded. I'm no good to you like this. I know you have it in your power to make this right. Please."
Man: "What is done can not be undone."
Woman: "What is not yet done can be avoided."
Man: "Temporal folds are not to indulge at - the whims of lower beings."
Woman: "You are wrong. This one is willing to sacrifice every drop of human happiness and love he has ever known for another. He is not a lower being."
Man: "There is one way. But it is not to be undertaken lightly."
Woman: "We swallow this day, as though it had never happened. Twenty-four hours from the moment the demon first attacked you, we take it back."
Angel licks his lips: "Then none of this happened and Buffy and I.. What - what'll stop us from doing the exact same thing again?"
Woman: "You. You alone will carry the memory of this day. - Can you carry that burden?"

There's the two scenes. Finn. I personally hate this episode. It doesn't work for me and Angel's choice still seems incredibly Teutonic Male and Chauvinistic. Prior to it, there's this scene where he decides to go fight the Mothra demon alone and not wake Buffy.

Doyle: "I had a vision. It regenerated itself."
Angel: "Where?"
Doyle: "In the tunnel where you fought it. Then it was in some sort of factory. I thought I tasted salt. Could have been the margarita."
Angel pacing: "No, it needs a lot of salt to live."
Doyle: "Well, it was very much alive in this vision, and angry if I might mention."
Angel: "I'll have to kill it again."
Doyle: "Yeah, but you're human now. They released you."
Angel pulling on some pants: "You want to let that thing roam free? You saw it in a factory. There is a saline plant in Redondo, We'll start there."
Doyle: "Yeah, but if it can regenerate itself, how can you kill it?"
Angel: "We'll figure it out. Just grab the book of Kelsor. You'll read, I'll drive. (When Doyle stays silent) Doyle?"
Doyle looks at Buffy sleeping on Angel's bed: "I think we should bring someone a little - supernatural?"
Angel pulls a sweater over his head and looks where Doyle is looking.
Doyle: "Don't you want to wake the girl?"
Angel: "Not for the world."
Cut to the saline plant.
Doyle reading in book: "Okay. This is not good. It doesn't just come back - it comes back bigger and stronger. I think we should go back and get Buffy."
Angel: "I know what I'm doing."
Doyle: "This isn't your average demon we're fighting here. It nearly licked you before and now your mortal."
Angel: "If this thing with me and Buffy is going to work, I need to be able do this on my own. I can't keep risking her life every time some minion of hell.. Just tell me how to kill it."
Doyle reads from book: "Uh, 'It regenerates until the dark future it envisions is upon us.' Oh, 'to kill the beast one must bring darkness to 1000 eyes'."
Angel: "Funny, I only saw two."
Doyle: "Keep up the glib. It makes me feel like we have a chance. (Angel sees two corpses and gags from the smell) Take it easy, mate."
Angel coughing: "The blood."
Doyle supporting him: "It's never an easy sight. It's part of being human now."
Angel: "I'm going to kill that thing."
Doyle: "Just remember that it's brutal, deadly, and (looks up) here!"
This scene reminds me of a scene in Out of My Mind, which may have been the discussion that would have taken place between Angel and Buffy, if he'd given her the chance.

BUFFY: Riley?
She rounds a corner and finds Riley punching the rock wall. There's a large cavity in the wall where he's clearly been punching for some time. He's shiny with sweat and looks tired.
RILEY: (not looking at Buffy) You know, this doesn't even hurt.
BUFFY: Your hand is bleeding.
RILEY: (looks at her) Don't feel a thing.
He moves to punch the wall again but Buffy stops him.
BUFFY: This stops now. I'm taking you to the doctor.
RILEY: The one from the government, you mean? Like the ones who did this to me in the first place? (Puts up a hand in a "no thanks" gesture and backs away)
BUFFY: (moving toward him) He's the only one that understands what's wrong with you. He's the only one that can help.
RILEY: What's wrong with me? I'm more powerful than I've ever been, Buffy. Most people would kill to feel this way.
BUFFY: Yeah, and this feeling is *going* to kill you. Riley, your body was not built for this kind of strength-
RILEY: I can handle it. This is my deal, Buffy, just ... back off.
He walks past her. She turns to watch him.
BUFFY: What is this?
He stops walking, turns back to her.
BUFFY: What's happening to you?
RILEY: I go back ... let the government get whimsical with my innards again ... They could do anything that- Best-case scenario, they turn me into Joe Normal, just... (sighs) Just another guy.
BUFFY: And that's not enough for you?
RILEY: It's not enough for *you*.
BUFFY: Why would you say that?
RILEY: Come on. Your last boyfriend wasn't exactly a civilian.
BUFFY: So that's what this is about? You're going to die, all over some macho pissing contest.
RILEY: (shakes his head) It's not about him. It's about us. (Buffy shakes her head, not understanding) You're getting stronger every day, more powerful. I can't touch you. Every day, you're just ... a little further out of my reach.
BUFFY: You wanna touch me? (walks toward him) I'm right here. I'm not the one running away.
RILEY: Not yet.
BUFFY: So you have this all figured out? I'm bailing because you're not in the super club.
RILEY: (shrugs) It's human nature.
BUFFY: (angrily) Don't Psych 101 me. (Riley looks away) Not now. Not after everything that ... Nobody has ever known me the way you do. Nobody. (Riley doesn't look at her) I've opened up to you in ways that I've never opened up to ... God, you're just sitting back there thinking that none of this means anything to me.
RILEY: (still not looking at her) I never said that.
BUFFY: (teary-eyed) Because it obviously doesn't mean anything to you. Do you really think so little of me-
RILEY: Buffy.
BUFFY: No! No. Do you think that I spent the last year with you because you had super powers? If that's what I wanted, then I'd be dating Spike. (quietly) Riley, I need you. (He looks at her, looks apprehensive) I need you with me ... and I need you healthy. But if you wanna throw it all away because you don't trust me, then ... (firmly) then I'm still gonna make you go to that doctor.
So you tell me, is Angel a hero? Or a male chavinist dweeb who deserves to carry this burden for the rest of his life? I'm still on the fence with it. I hated IWARY. It urked me then, it does now. Oh a bit more fuel for thought, in the episode prior to IWARY, Harriet says the following to Angel about Doyle, it reminds me oddly enough of what Buffy might say to Angel.

Angel: "No?"
Doyle picks up the glass and looks at it: "Harry is right. This stuff's does me no good."
Angel sits down: "So, - you two hadn't been in touch at all since you split up?"
Doyle: "Oh, the end was rough. - We weren't even twenty when we got married. - Crazy about each other. - And when things go wrong and you're young like that, you don't just say 'Hey, thanks for the blender, I wish you well'. You fight. - You tear each other apart until one of you can't take it. - She did the walking. But she had reason. I wasn't exactly the man she married. - I changed."
Angel: "You shouldn't blame yourself. I mean, you were kids. It's only natural.."
Doyle: "What, the sneeze and sprout demon face? That's decidedly *un*natural, my friend."
Angel: "What, you didn't tell her before you got married?"
Doyle: "I didn't know. I never met my dad. He was the demon. And my mom, well, she figured she'd wait to see if I'd got his genes before she got all confessional."
Angel: "So your demon self didn't present.."
Doyle: "Until I was 21 - and Harry and I - we were talking about having kids of our own. - Huh, put a damper on the discussion, you can imagine."
Angel: "That's tough. - I'm sorry."
Doyle: "It's probably best in the long run. (Sighs) I'm too much of a wild man to be the stay-at-home type anyway, - you know? Hey, this Richard, you know, he looks like he'd give her a good life."
Angel: "Yeah."
Doyle: "Seems like a nice - friendly fellow, don't you think?"
Angel: "Definitely friendly, - only - he seemed a bit.."
Doyle jumps up: "Exactly! I knew he was no good! And even though we're ex, I mean, it's still my duty to watch over her, right? But I can't go trailing after her intended myself. I mean, it just wouldn't look right. (Leans down on the table) Angel, you think you would.."

Then after Angel follows Harry's New man..Richard:

Harry: "You don't have to explain, Richard. Doyle put you put to this, right? - Man! Years go by, nothing changes. Doyle decides what I need.."
Richard: "Now, now - it's understandable, honey. He can't help but want to make sure you'll be in good hands. (To Angel) I can assure you.."
Harry to Angel: "Tell Doyle that I'm in the best hands. Richard and his family own this restaurant. They're Ano-movic demons. Peaceful clan. Totally assimilated into our culture."
Richard massages Harry's shoulders: "Harry is an ethno-demonologist, and a damn fine one, too. We met while she was scouting clans in South America."
Angel to Harry: "You study demons? That's your profession?"
Harry: "Do you have a problem with that?"
Angel: "No! It's just.. - Doyle said.."
Harry: "That when he first went through his change I freaked. Which is true. But after I adjusted, I realized here is this whole, rich, interesting world just waiting to be explored."
Angel: "But you didn't tell him that."
Harry: "Of course I did! I even tried to get him to go out - meet other demons. At least go to one mixer, you know? But he couldn't accept himself, - or them. So then he was just angry, and pretty much a bitch to live with."

Harry and Doyle are clearly meant in the episode to parallel Buffy and Angel and it is in this episode that Doyle gets the vision of Buffy in danger - sending Angel to his guest appearance in Pangs, where he lurks outside of her eyesight the whole episode. She shows up in IWARY to call him on making decisions about her welfare without discussing it with her or even given her the benefit of the doubt. HE is making choices about them, about her, without involving her in them. And that's why she shows up.
And look what happens? Angel does it again. From Angel's pov which we are in btw, Angel is saving Buffy's life. But from Buffy's pov, he doesn't need to. He didn't turn the tide in Pangs. He didn't save her life. And he didn't save her life in IWARY. And he didn't save the day directly in Chosen. Or the Gift. He wasn't even in the same universe in The Gift when Buffy died. But from Angel's pov and in Angel's show, it's all about Angel's needs, he is saving her life and by becoming human - he risks her life. The hubris - is why what happens happens.

You see, unlike everyone else? I think Angel could have found a way to be a Champion without being a vampire. Wesely did. Gunn did. Fred did. Xander has. Dawn has.
Angel couldn't let it go. It's what Buffy tries to tell him and Riley...but they have to be the mission, they can't handle being the mission's girlfriend or side-kick.

It is the difference between Angel/riley and Spike/Xander.
And that was the reason both men did what they did. It really had nothing to do with Buffy herself, yet...Angel's decision unlike Riley's in Into the Woods or OOMM, does affect her. Because he turns back time. By turning back time, he doesn't just erase what happened with the Mothra demon, he erases the time they made love, a day they made love without consequences, and once again he leaves her in bed - just as he did before in Surprise, except the man not the demon leaves. And when he returns? He's the demon again and the day never happened. She makes love to Angel - and EVERY time he rips out her heart. In Surprise he turns evil.
In IWARY - he goes off to kill a demon by himself almost gets killed then sluffs off to the powers to get time turned back so he can be a champion again, erasing all Buffy's memories and everyone else's in the entire world of that one day. That day never happened. Nifty. Wish I could turn back time like that. Oddly enough, he can't do it when Doyle dies. So maybe...in this one case, he really didn't affect very much outside of himself and Buffy...but he still affected her and in a major way.

Make of it what you will.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Here's the dialogue, so you can make your own mind -- sdev, 23:39:20 06/24/03 Tue

"This one is willing to sacrifice every drop of human happiness and love he has ever known for another."

Ambiguous wording here. Is he sacrificing for another, on Buffy's behalf to help her? Or he is sacrificing his love of Buffy, her being the "another".

One makes his sacrifice for this reason--

Woman: "You're asking to be what you were, a demon with a soul, because of the Slayer?"
Man turns to leave again: "Oh, this is a matter of love. It does not concern us."

The other makes it for this reason--

Angel: "Yes, it does. The Mohra demon came to take a warrior from your cause - and it succeeded. I'm no good to you like this. I know you have it in your power to make this right. Please."

Did he offer the taking a "warrior from your cause" as a means of persuasion or was that his real motive?

Either way I see Hubris. He is told "If it has happened it was meant to be," and yet he cannot accept this. Angel at great personal cost to himself and others takes a drastic move to reclaim his power. And it is a very interesting contrast to the end of BtVS. Buffy longs to lose some of her power, and in the end happily shares it. She shares it in direct contravention of what was meant to be when the Slayer was created.

Angel's decision does not mean he did something to Buffy but in total disregard of her wishes and desires. I can't help thinking of a situation where a woman opts to terminate a pregnancy. IMO it is her decision to make, her body, her life, whether or not the father agrees. But I still think, in most cases, certainly when there is a current and amicable relationship with the man, that he has a right to know.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Kudos...you figured out that post & expanded on it -- s'kat, 00:04:48 06/25/03 Wed

Thanks for that. After I posted it, I wondered if anyone would figure it out and it occurred to me that I shouldn't be doing this at 2:30 am in the morning. LOL!

I'm hoping poor Finn can makes or tails of it. Sorry Finn, that post I wrote with all the dialogue was badly organized...

Either way I see Hubris. He is told "If it has happened it was meant to be," and yet he cannot accept this. Angel at great personal cost to himself and others takes a drastic move to reclaim his power. And it is a very interesting contrast to the end of BtVS. Buffy longs to lose some of her power, and in the end happily shares it. She shares it in direct contravention of what was meant to be when the Slayer was created.

Angel's decision does not mean he did something to Buffy but in total disregard of her wishes and desires. I can't help thinking of a situation where a woman opts to terminate a pregnancy. IMO it is her decision to make, her body, her life, whether or not the father agrees. But I still think, in most cases, certainly when there is a current and amicable relationship with the man, that he has a right to know.

Yep. I agree. I'm pro-choice. But, in a case where there is a relationship (not a rape or a one night stand or some other really good reason for not telling the father, like uhm incest) the father has a right to know. Just as in this case, where Angel's decision affects Buffy's life and their relationship in a drastic way - Buffy has a right to know. He should have told her before he made the decision and after the memory was gone. He should have let her know what happened. As a result - it will stay between them forever - as a ghost. Just as the fact he had a son with Darla and erased memories of that son's life will stand between him and Buffy and everyone else like a ghost. His decisions which are based on Hubris are what isolates him.

Ironically in Chosen, Buffy chose no longer to allow her power to isolate her. Angel's words to her before the cookie dough speech - actually they are the words that inspire the cookie dough speech - are: "It's because you're the slayer" - this is in response to why she can't have a relationship and in a sense a projection of his own scenario. We can't have love because we are heros or slayers and that isolates us. Buffy corrects him and says no, that's not it. This has nothing to do with that. It's because I don't know who I am. Angel allows his identity to be limited by the Champion title (the ideal of being a champion in and of itself is not bad, btw, it's the fact that he limits himself to it that is - something Doyle tried to convey to him all the way back in City of...Angel defines himself only by that term and he likewise defines Buffy as a "champion" or "slayer".), while Buffy refuses to limit herself to the "slayer" she knows she's more than that.

By choosing to share the power - she stops being isolated. But she does more than that...she expands on Angel's speech in Deep Down where Angel says you have to earn the role of champion, Buffy tells the potentials it's up to them, not her, she's giving them the choice to be slayers. To take the power and not only that she sends that power to all the others out there that she doesn't know. She gives up her role as slayer, yet holds onto the power it gives her to be strong and capable - she shares it.

I'm not sure Angel's ready to share the decisionmaking power, the hero role - he still wants the control. He still needs approval...from the sun (God) and from his dead father. Buffy...otoh I think has moved beyond that need somehow.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> sdev hit it right on the head -- Valheru, 00:35:31 06/25/03 Wed

I think you and I were just trying to get at the same conclusion from different angles, skat. Sdev cleared it up for me, too. And I agree with everything else you said.

I particularly like how you brought up the contrast between Angel's actions in IWRY and Buffy's in Chosen, which also have another connection: cookie dough. Cookie Dough Fudge Mint Chip was the ice cream Buffy was eating while she and Angel enjoyed their perfect night, and it was of course the subject of her famous speech. Anyone see a further connection there? Is Joss trying to point us to something with the cookie-dough?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> So, the only thing we really disagree on -- Finn Mac Cool, 10:18:16 06/25/03 Wed

is whether or not Angel should have told Buffy about what happened after he turned back time, not whether he should have turned back time in the first place? OK, that makes a whole lot more sense. I was just kinda going under the assumption that something like time distortion isn't the sort of thing you really explain to other people, though I don't really know why (guess I was just being influenced by too many movies like "Back to the Future"). But, you're right, telling Buffy probably would have been the right thing to do (though I can see why he wouldn't want to; she might get angry at him for doing so).

As for Angel's motivation: I saw it differently than Riley's. In Riley's conversation with Buffy, he never once mentioned a desire to really help people. His reasons all revolved around his relationship with Buffy. Angel, on the other hand, had established himself as wanting to help people in previous episodes and described that when talking to the Oracles. From what I've read about the episode and from the citations s'kat showed me, I really don't see any reason to question Angel's motivations. There was never any hint that he didn't like the idea of being with a woman more powerful than him; what I got was that he didn't like the idea of not being a Champion, of not being able to protect people. Also, if Riley kept his powers, he'd die prematurely; Angel wouldn't, so there's a difference there, too.

Finally, I'm surprised there aren't comparisons to the episode this is the most similar to, in terms of plot: "Helpless". In both eps, the main characters lose their powers and get what they thought they wanted (Buffy got to be a normal girl; Angel got to be human). However, they found the reality to not be as pleasant as they thought it would be. I've never seen anything questioning Buffy's desire to become the Slayer again in "Helpless", so I don't see why criticism should be leveled against Angel for the same desire.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: So, the only thing we really disagree on -- s'kat, 11:02:54 06/25/03 Wed

Actually, I'm still on the fence about turning back time and not accepting the hand that your dealt regardless of who you hurt in the process. Feels a bit self-centered and hubric in my opinion. So I still think what Angel did might be a bit...morally ambiguious when seen in a certain light. (I really did not like IWARY) But since I'm on the fence on that one, I'll let it go. But it does continue, for me at least, - Angel's moral ambiguity. Although I have a feeling the writers - saw it less ambiguously and more heroic than I did - from Doyle's speech to Angel when Angel second-guesses himself, in Hero. But again, it can be argued either way. Suffice it to say - I serious moral issues with it and with whatever message the writers were trying to convey.

As for Angel's motivation: I saw it differently than Riley's. In Riley's conversation with Buffy, he never once mentioned a desire to really help people. His reasons all revolved around his relationship with Buffy. Angel, on the other hand, had established himself as wanting to help people in previous episodes and described that when talking to the Oracles. From what I've read about the episode and from the citations s'kat showed me, I really don't see any reason to question Angel's motivations. There was never any hint that he didn't like the idea of being with a woman more powerful than him; what I got was that he didn't like the idea of not being a Champion, of not being able to protect people. Also, if Riley kept his powers, he'd die prematurely; Angel wouldn't, so there's a difference there, too.

The difficulty here - is whose pov we are in. In IWRY - it's Angel's. In OOMM - it's Buffy's. That's important.

Actually, from Angel's pov and remember in IWRY - we are only in Angel's pov, never Buffy's, Angel believes he's weak and would die if he weren't the vamp or worse Buffy would die - b/c he can't save her. In OOMM, we are in Buffy's pov, NOT Riley's, so in Buffy's pov - Riley will die if he keeps the superpowers and without them, he needs to be protected. Something he actually fights against and proves her wrong about in the episodes that follow - Fool For Love - where he saves her life and others. Buffy never gave Riley the benefit of being a hero without the powers, possibly b/c she was still hung up on the whole super-power thing as Riley states in OOMM (ironic that).

Finally, I'm surprised there aren't comparisons to the episode this is the most similar to, in terms of plot: "Helpless". In both eps, the main characters lose their powers and get what they thought they wanted (Buffy got to be a normal girl; Angel got to be human). However, they found the reality to not be as pleasant as they thought it would be. I've never seen anything questioning Buffy's desire to become the Slayer again in "Helpless", so I don't see why criticism should be leveled against Angel for the same desire.

There's a difference between Helpless and IWARY. Although that is a good comparison to bring up actually.

1. Buffy isn't a monster, her power is not necessarily from an evil source nor does it connect her necessarily to an evil source, it may be the power of a demon - but it does not require her to be dead or immortal nor does having a moment of happiness cause Buffy to become evil. And it does not cause her to want to hurt humans or crave it. Her power is to be strong enough to defend herself and others against vampires.

Angel is a monster (as Xander would state: vampires are monsters, they make monster movies about them). His power comes from drinking blood. From a demon. He is not alive.
He's dead. Undead he has power and that power comes from an evil source. He has hurt Buffy twice because of the fact he is a monster. He is deadly. His power is deadly. There's nothing redeemable about the demon inside him. There is something redeemable about the man.

2. When Buffy loses her power in Helpless - she can't fight an ordinary human guy, she can't defend herself at all. At first.

Angel isn't powerless as a human. He has the exact same strength as Doyle, Wes, Gunn, etc. He just isn't supervamp
any more. He goes after an extreemly powerful demon, who he had troubles fighting as a vampire. Unlike Buffy he is not
put in a position where he had too.

3. When Buffy in Helpless has to defeat Kralik - she does it with ingenuity, she figures out a way without using superstrength.

Angel can't seem to defeat demons with his brain, he needs superstrength. HE doesn't even try. Buffy saves him.

Buffy passed the Cruciatum(sp?) test something tells me
Angel would have failed it?

4. Buffy's powers are taken from her by drugs and by someone she trusted like a Father. She becomes weak. It's not a plus.

Angel's powers are taken from him - he's turned human, something he yearns for, his main goal in life. What he wants more than anything. He gets it? Does he like it?
Well at first. Until he thinks oh if I don't have superpowers I can't fight alongside Buffy...I'm a weakling.
(Guess he really doesn't think much of Xander). She'll die protecting me. I'm the liability. (Which makes me wonder why on earth does he want to Shanshue and become human anyway? He'll just have the same problem he had in IWRY. But whatever.) And he's still pretty strong as a human, he's not a weakling. HE just isn't superman any more.
Or ultrastrength batman. Also this happens because he touched demon blood - not because he was drugged, not because of some test, just fate - a fluke.

And to change it? Doesn't require stopping someone from poisoning him - it requires the ability to turn back time and erase the events of a day. Also everyone knew about what happened to Buffy, including Angel. Angel hides the news from her regarding his decision to turn back time.

Big difference.

So, yep, Angel's decisions and reactions are a little more ambiguous morally than Buffy's were.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Power outage -- Valheru, 12:15:16 06/25/03 Wed

As I said before, I don't particularly like how IWRY is written because the writer (I forget...was it Renshaw?) can't balance the plot with the metaphor. The theme is trying to be "your responsibilities must come before your heart's desire" or somesuch, but the resolution makes the intended "right" choice come in a wrong way.

Angel being infected by the Mohra's blood was a natural (in the Buffyverse sense) event, almost like getting poisoned by a snakebite. The blood made him human in the due course of time. Just like everyone else, he must live with the consequences whether he likes them or not. Shit happens.

The Oracles' solution should have been wrong. Angel shouldn't be allowed to change the past, even if it's for the greater good, because it requires a violation of the natural timeline. We've seen this presented as a wrong thing before: Cordelia's wish in The Wish, Dawn's attempt to resurrect Joyce in Forever, Willow's resurrection of Buffy in Bargaining, Wolfram & Hart's resurrection of Darla in To Shanshu in L.A., and Sahjhan's time-tripping in AtS Season 3. Even though Angel's motivations weren't as selfish as the others', it's still a perversion.

So we get a mixed message that I don't think the writers intended. IMO, they wanted to show Angel making the difficult but correct choice. But I can totally see how people view it differently because the episode mistakenly allows for such wildly varying interpretations.

The comparison to Helpless is nice, but I think it's more of a combination of Helpless and Prophecy Girl. The personal theme for Angel is PG redux (or In the Dark redux), what with him putting duty before want. The plot is supposed to be Helpless, with Angel losing his powers. But in trying to marry the plot with the theme, in this case, both get derailed. It got pretty messy.

I wonder, though...is there a comparison to The Wish to be made anywhere? If we are to condemn Angel, should we not also condemn Anyanka and Cordy? Or are the spells of vengeance demons considered a "natural" event? Does that mean that WishverseGiles was wrong to reverse events back to the Buffyverse, just as Angel was wrong to reverse time 24 hours? Or is Angel's manipulation considered natural as well?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Choose-y Patterns (spoilers Ats 4) -- fresne, 12:36:48 06/25/03 Wed

Personally, I find Angel's choice interesting as part of a pattern of behavior. Angel wants a family, but he wants to be dad. The champion. Find the grail. Not be stuck in the grail's parking lot.

Angel decides to break it off with Buffy.
Angel decides to re-break it off with Buffy.
Angel decided his friends would be better off away from Darkish-Angel.
As Angelus, he decided who to torture and how. Control. Art. No rock demon is going to tell him what to do.
When Connor goes a-quortothing, Angel decides what risks are worth taking.
Angel chooses who will stay and go at the Hyperion of the rising sun.

Admittedly, when presented with a choiceless world, Angel chose choice, but ummm...Angel wants to be chooser.

I mean, his name is in the title, so there's a certain sense in him being the big leader. And yeah, there is that period after the epiphany when he excepts second billing, but I'm not really sure that I saw much of a change from Angel's need to be the one in control. His life is so out of control. Titanic evil forces, whims of fate, demons inside, his father's voice telling him he'll never be worthy.

That's one of the things I enjoyed watching with Wesley and Angel in roughly the same boat, they're both kind of controlly sorts of people. They have similar things to prove.

Given, this take on Angel's character, there is a potential for some really interesting plot lines now that Angel isn't the under dog fighting the good fight against the man. He is the man. He has all this power. To erase memories. Change history. Pull at the tapestry threads to make things better. Right. Good. Perfect art.

Since one of my favorite episodes of ST:NG was the Tapestry, I'm really intrigued to see where we're going to go with this.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree with this take. Well said. -- s'kat, 16:43:56 06/25/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: So, the only thing we really disagree on -- sdev, 15:47:43 06/25/03 Wed

Tell when- before or after the fact? That is an important distinction which could make a difference in his decision. Buffy got five minutes to dissuade him and it was already a done deal.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Angel's hubris -- Valheru, 00:21:21 06/25/03 Wed

I'm with you totally about Angel's oftentimes overbearing Daddy-ness. And I do believe that that's one of the reasons he makes the choice to go back to the Oracles--it's something he brings up many times:

"If this thing with me and Buffy is going to work, I need to be able do this on my own. I can't keep risking her life every time some minion of hell..."

"She'll die? - Then I'm here to beg for her life. [...] And I ask you to take mine back. Look I can't protect her or anyone this way, not as a man."

But while this is the most specific reason for Angel's decision, it's only a part of his larger reason: "I can't protect her or anyone this way, not as a man." He also tells the Oracles (conduit to the PTBs), "I'm no good to you like this." He's not just doing this to protect Buffy, he's doing it to be useful to the world. To Angel, being a normal human means he's no longer a key player for the Good Guys, perhaps even making it impossible to make up for his deeds as Angelus (this is before his many epiphanies, remember). The Oracles even tell him this: "That which we serve is no longer that which you serve. You are released from your fealty."

Basically, my position is that while Angel's handling of the situation was bad, the decision that he made was for himself.

Also how would you feel if your wife/girlfriend/husband or spouse turned back time so you never got together, you never had a life together and you forgot the entire life you had.

Faulty analogy. Perhaps that's the metaphor ME was going for, but that's not what's on screen. A real-life metaphor would be something like:

You inherit Microsoft. Because of this, the girl/guy who loved you but couldn't because you were too poor can now be with you. But before, you were a firefighter, and now you're just a suit making money. You don't feel like you're contributing to the world anymore. So you are given the opportunity to go back in time and turn down the inheritance, even though that means you don't get your lover.

So...what? Do you turn down the chance to turn things around, to become a useful person again, because you don't want to betray your lover? If you do turn it down, then aren't you putting her wants before your needs? 20 years from now, will you be satisfied with your choice? If you two are still together, isn't there going to be some resentment? And what if things just don't work out between you two after all? Then you're stuck as a corporate suit in an unfulfilled life, while she gets to run off and find true happiness.

Angel has to put his needs first because it's his life. And frankly, his need to live a fulfilling life is more important than who Buffy gets to have sex with.

And I really don't think you can determine the impact the spell had by what happens (or might've happened) in the future. The decision must be made in the present because that's all we have to go on. Besides, if anyone, it had the greatest impact on Doyle: if Angel stays human, chances are pretty good that Hero never happens and Doyle lives. And I doubt that if Doyle's ghost came to Angel tomorrow that Doyle would blame Angel for not consulting him.

But... I do completely agree with you about how Angel did this. He snuck around. He kept Buffy completely out of the loop. That's pretty crappy of him. He shows Buffy very little respect. And then he doesn't even tell her about it later, but he tells Doyle. Again, a crappy thing to do.

Actually, the thing I find that irritates me the most is the episode itself. It makes Buffy look bitchy when she's supposed to be justified, makes Angel look controlling when he's supposed to be sacrificing, and makes Cordy look like an even bigger buffoon than usual. Pretty much the only one who comes out cleanly is Doyle. And the PTBs...here's a question: were the PTBs really unable to make Angel a souled vampire again without turning back time (seems messing with the timestream would be more difficult), or did they just set up the scenario to mess with their Champion and the Slayer? Makes Jasmine's actions seem less against-type in retrospect if her fellow Powers are that manipulative.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Okay agree with this -- s'kat, 11:32:08 06/25/03 Wed

But... I do completely agree with you about how Angel did this. He snuck around. He kept Buffy completely out of the loop. That's pretty crappy of him. He shows Buffy very little respect. And then he doesn't even tell her about it later, but he tells Doyle. Again, a crappy thing to do.

Actually, the thing I find that irritates me the most is the episode itself. It makes Buffy look bitchy when she's supposed to be justified, makes Angel look controlling when he's supposed to be sacrificing, and makes Cordy look like an even bigger buffoon than usual. Pretty much the only one who comes out cleanly is Doyle. And the PTBs...here's a question: were the PTBs really unable to make Angel a souled vampire again without turning back time (seems messing with the timestream would be more difficult), or did they just set up the scenario to mess with their Champion and the Slayer? Makes Jasmine's actions seem less against-type in retrospect if her fellow Powers are that manipulative.

This actually pinpoints my problems with the episode. I really couldn't watch it again. It made me hate Angel, it made me hate Buffy and it made me hate the two of them together.

They really don't write Buffy and Angel guest shots well.
Another reason I don't want SMG to show up on Ats next year.

You inherit Microsoft. Because of this, the girl/guy who loved you but couldn't because you were too poor can now be with you. But before, you were a firefighter, and now you're just a suit making money. You don't feel like you're contributing to the world anymore. So you are given the opportunity to go back in time and turn down the inheritance, even though that means you don't get your lover.

So...what? Do you turn down the chance to turn things around, to become a useful person again, because you don't want to betray your lover? If you do turn it down, then aren't you putting her wants before your needs? 20 years from now, will you be satisfied with your choice? If you two are still together, isn't there going to be some resentment? And what if things just don't work out between you two after all? Then you're stuck as a corporate suit in an unfulfilled life, while she gets to run off and find true happiness.

Uhm, you do realize that this sort of happened in Home, right? Angel inherited the big corporate monster Wolfram and Hart (ME's version of microsoft) and he still isn't with Buffy. LOL! Ironic that.

You are right my analogy sucked. I think sdev did a better one. My problem with Angel's decision is here we have a guy who desperately wants to be human - basically yearns to be Riley, yet when he gets to become human - he hates it b/c he is no longer the "chosen"/"special" one. The PTB's prince. It's not Buffy he's protecting here - so much as his own status.

Now Doyle looks at this as heroic, because Doyle at this stage in the game chooses life, being human, etc over the
hero game. Or so he thinks. Doyle's problem is the opposite of Angel's - he is denying his demonic half, pretending it doesn't exist even though when he's demonic, he's stronger.
Angel even asks him in Bachelor Party - why he doesn't be the Brachen demon more since he's stronger in that aspect and able to fight. But Doyle rejects that part and would rather be weak. Ironically, in Hero, Doyle finally comes to terms with the Brachen demon side - reveals it to Cordelia, and sacrifices himself - because he is half human - he dies.
So what he does at the end of hero is sacrifice the human side to save the demons. And what inspires him is Angel's sacrifice of his chance to be fully human - in order to fight as a demon.

Another interesting contrast is Cordelia (god I wished they'd done that better) - in order to continue to be a champion - she keeps the visions, twice. First time in Pylea - she chooses not to give them to Groo, because she wants to keep fighting the big evil and sees herself without the visions as being useless. In Birthday when the visions are literally killing her, she chooses to be made half-demon as opposed to giving them up entirely - again so she can continue being Champion and Angel won't go insane.
HEr actions are also the result partly of hubris. She gives up a portion of her humanity and becomes demonic - with horrific results in S4, for some of the same reasons Angel gave up humanity in IWRY. She does it for Angel and ultimately for herself.

Her re-entrance to LA in THAW - happens partly because she interfered. Angel was in danger of losing his "destiney", so Cordy interfered, thinking she had the power and right to. She even asks the question - one repeated by Jasmine in
Peace-Out (I believe) - what point is there if we can't help? Why just watch? When we can make things better, we can make these people's lives better - the ends justify the means. The hubris behind that statement should make you shudder. And it goes to the root of Angel's flaw and the reasoning behind what he does in IWRY, Redefinition, The Trial, Peace-Out, Home, Awakenings...countless other episodes. He wants to be human, but at the same time he wants to stand above humans as a champion - this gives him the same dilemma Nick Knight had in Forever Knight. He's too busy being "Champion" - as Connor points out in PEace-Out, to actually figure out what it means to be a father or a lover or be human.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But isn't defying "destiny" what Buffy did in "Chosen"? -- Scroll, 15:40:31 06/25/03 Wed

I'm not saying the two situations are analogous, but isn't defying the "natural order of things" exactly what Buffy does by sharing her power with all the potentials? And I don't know if Buffy's assumption/knowledge that the Shadowmen had consolidated the power in one girl so they could keep control of her as sufficient reason for Buffy to assume that One Girl wasn't the natural order of things.

Buffy has always been about subverting destiny. While I agree that Angel's decision in IWRY was incredibly paternalistic, I don't see it as necessarily a metaphysical no-no.

OTOH, what he did in "Home" I find much more intrusive and more likely to have bad metaphysical/karmic consequences.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: But isn't defying "destiny" what Buffy did in "Chosen"? -- s'kat, 16:22:32 06/25/03 Wed

Hmmm...I don't think Buffy's decisions were metaphysical no-no's, she just basically came up with a better idea than the Shamans/shadowmen/Watchers - her idea was the Guardian's idea more or less. Which instead of having one girl (acting as a weapon) to be weilded by a bunch of (paternalistic) men, she decided to have a whole slew of girls - making the choice how to fight in this world and stand up on their own. (I have issues with the whole thing at the end of Chosen...but that wasn't one of them.)

At any rate - I don't think the Shadowmen were the "natural order of things". Whedon goes out of his way to show us that the Shadowmen perverted the natural order of things and as a result upset the balance. How? Showing that the initial creation of the slayer was a literal rape of that girl. Buffy turns down that option. Then the introduction of our deux ex machina scythe and Guardian - who are shown to be the antithesis of the Shadowmen. the Guardian even tells Buffy that the Shadowmen weren't good. The Scyth divids the power in the natural order. The Shadowmen thought they should control the power - they are an example of "hubris" or pride. We can give the girl power and we control the girl. This is echoed by Quentin Travers who tells Buffy on two occassions that she's just his weapon, he's the general - she's a disposable solider or weapon.
When Buffy has Willow disperse the power in the scythe - she states Willow has more power than those silly old men did. They had to rape a girl with their power to create a slayer. Willow gives the girls the power and they can choose whether to use it. Willow's hair turns white when it happens, the shadowmen's power is dark black. So it's pretty obvious that Buffy's plan is the natural good order of things and the Shadowmen's bad. (Now I have problems with how they conveyed all this, it was rather clumsily done in my humble opinion and a bit off in places, but I think that's the symbolism they were going for.)

While I agree that Angel's decision in IWRY was incredibly paternalistic, I don't see it as necessarily a metaphysical no-no.

More so than Buffy's since, Buffy's decision gave women power and took away the negative role of the Watchers/Shadowmen. No longer were women raped to get power, now they were naturally imbued with it. Also her decision did change the world - but positively in the sense that she gave these potentials the ability to defend themselves.

Angel's decision was all about Angel and being the Champion.
HE didn't really save anyone by it. And granted he didn't turn back time, the oracles did - so I'm not sure we can categorize it as a metaphysical no-no in the true sense of the word. But by giving into pre-destination and his own pride in being a part of it (Angel seems to feel better if his fate is predestined than if it's out in the open...not sure if that's just me or what's on the screen at this point. So that may be open to your pov ) Angel alters time and for what? So he can still be Mr. Supervampire? Special?
Did he really accomplish anything good by doing this? Not sure. Buffy on the other hand clearly did. But maybe that's the point? By giving into the pride and easy way out of pre-destination or fate - you cause more harm than good. By taking the existential path of setting your own destiny and not counting on divine intervention and making your own hard choices in life - you do more good than harm? Is that it? Don't know. The show seems to contradict itself in places.

OTOH, what he did in "Home" I find much more intrusive and more likely to have bad metaphysical/karmic consequences.

Completely with you on this one. I'm just not sure about whether the writers are. And that worries me. Lots of people see his actions in Home as heroic. I see them as incredibly self-serving, hubric (word?) and harmful. Guess we'll have to wait and see how the writers view it.

Hope some of that made sense, Scroll. Brain has been muddled today. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wouldn't being supervampire make him more capable of saving lives in the future? -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:20:14 06/25/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You'd think...but I'm not so sure... -- s'kat, 19:08:48 06/25/03 Wed

You'd think being the supervamp would make him more capable of saving lives. But actually Cordy, Wes and Gunn seem to save more people in the last few years than good old Angel did.

And, there's also the problem that being a vamp cursed with a soul makes him more capable of taking lives. Being supervampire or vampire (although he does seem more super than the other vamps) means he can be ultra villian if he loses his soul. Or ultra-villain just because he wants to be. (Although we haven't really seen ultra-villain on Ats.)

Hmmm...also the whole Jasmine/Connor thing - never would have happened if Angel hadn't stayed supervamp. Also has he really saved that many people? Not sure. He seems more concerned with other issues. Pylea? Nope, that was Groo, Wes, Cordy, Fred and Gunn. Darla arc? Nope - killed more people than saved there. Connor arc - nope. Jasmine? Actually Connor killed Jasmine. Hmmm...maybe he would have saved more remaining human?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Some replies -- Finn Mac Cool, 21:23:23 06/25/03 Wed

First off, expecting him to forsee manipulation by a former PTB to bring a half-vampire into the world to be its father isn't really fair.

Second, what do you think keeps Angel Investigations up and running? While Gunn, Fred, Wesley, and Cordelia have learned to fight demons, there are still many out there that you'd need superstrength to fight (note in "Deep Down" that Gunn and Fred needed the help of the supernaturally gifted Connor in order to beat a small group of vampires). I was thinking more on the level of monster-of-the-week threats, beyond the simple mano-y-mano vamp stakage, but below the world devouring hell god thwarting.

Third, the episode made certain to emphasise the disadvantages of being human: Doyle repeatedly reminded Angel how helpless he was against the Mohara, and of course there's his inability to really fight it.

Fourth, your point about ultra-villain kinda seems a little pale in light of the fact that, when Angelus finally got released, it was only because Angel allowed it to be done, and we didn't even get any confirmed kills. In light of this, the threat of Angelus doesn't seem as severe (granted, this is in retrospect).

Fifth, if the threat of Angel turning evil was so great to outweigh his evil fighting abilities, then, theoretically, he should kill himself to remove that threat.

Sixth, finally, from what I've read, at that point in the series, the emphasis was far more on Angel as the resident butt-kicker than those around him. In later seasons the ability of others to be action heroes has increased, but, from all the information I've read, that was a later developement. In early-Season 1, Angel was the only one who was really showed as capable of fighting evil forces (again, according to what I've heard).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Some replies-don't agree -- sdev, 22:31:14 06/25/03 Wed

"And, there's also the problem that being a vamp cursed with a soul makes him more capable of taking lives. Being supervampire or vampire (although he does seem more super than the other vamps) means he can be ultra villian if he loses his soul."

Have to agree here. Especially given the number of times Angelus has emerged and the havoc and near calamity he has wreaked.

However that does not mean that he should be killed in his souled state prophylactically. The good that souled vampire Angel does versus the possibility of his becoming Angelus means he should not be killed in his souled state because he might at some later point turn. Also, it is not moral to kill a souled being on speculation of future possible evil. But becoming human would obviate these concerns without a moral dilemma or violation. And he could still do good.

I have trouble with the concept that only a super-being can do good. Does that make Cordelia's, Xander's, Willow's and Giles' years of contribution worthless? They are Champions in my mind as well. And as Xander points out to Dawn (Season 7, Potential), "They'll never know how tough it is, to be the one that wasn't chosen." In a unique way, their only human contribution makes them emotional champions of a higher caliber. To fight the fight without super-strength requires strength of character, emotional fortitude. For instance, Xander in Prophecy Girl was unbelievably heroic- he went in there with Angel, who he was afraid of and who warned him not to go, and saved Buffy from her prophesied death. His courage staved off the certain outcome of the prediction. It is not really heroic when you are bigger and stronger than everyone else.

Angel could have become invaluable as a human demon fighter with his wealth of knowledge and experience. I think he was afraid.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, once again you did a better job -- s'kat, 23:15:34 06/25/03 Wed

While frolicking on another board - fanforum which listed all of Angel's transgressions and good deeds, I realized i was a bit harsh. (Still smarting from a David Fury interview on city of Angels...where he states, Angel is morally unambiguous. Uhm...is he watching the show??? Yes, I know taking anything Fury or Marti say in interviews seriously is sort of silly, but there you go.)Anyways..this is a much better argument and hits my point far better.

I have trouble with the concept that only a super-being can do good. Does that make Cordelia's, Xander's, Willow's and Giles' years of contribution worthless? They are Champions in my mind as well. And as Xander points out to Dawn (Season 7, Potential), "They'll never know how tough it is, to be the one that wasn't chosen." In a unique way, their only human contribution makes them emotional champions of a higher caliber. To fight the fight without super-strength requires strength of character, emotional fortitude. For instance, Xander in Prophecy Girl was unbelievably heroic- he went in there with Angel, who he was afraid of and who warned him not to go, and saved Buffy from her prophesied death. His courage staved off the certain outcome of the prediction. It is not really heroic when you are bigger and stronger than everyone else.

Exactly. Notice how efficient Wes is on his own in S4 Ats, actually he's more efficient than Angel in getting the demons and the information. Or how incredibly efficient Riley is - in Fool For Love. Riley, with 0 super-powers, proves he can do quite a bit of good. (Yeah AYW was lamely plotted - but Riley does accomplish quite a bit as a normal human with his normal human wife.)

Or how about Xander, Wood and Giles - all clocking serious demon killing time. Actually they may have killed as many monsters as Angel did. If not more.

And it is a valid point that in Prophecy Girl - it was Xander who saved Buffy's life. Angel couldn't - because he was a vampire. Angel's only assist was showing Xander where she went and he had to bully Angel into doing it.

Angel could have become invaluable as a human demon fighter with his wealth of knowledge and experience. I think he was afraid.

yes, I think he was too. He's biggest issue is "failure" or "not measuring up". That's his biggest fear - failing.
In IWRY - what happens when he goes after the Mothra demon alone with only Doyle as back-up? He fails. He more or less sets himself up for it. Instead, the girl he left in bed, saves him. He couldn't wake her up to help.

I think it's a combination of fear and pride. I think the two emotions build on each other. And the contrast with the Doyle character - really makes them interesting. Doyle is afraid of being the hero or being the demon, Doyle figures he is a failure. Doyle is afraid of success. Angel in contrast is afraid of being human, of failing at it, likewise he's afraid of failing as the Champion. I think Angel's fear may be two-fold - failing as a human (which he believes he did in life - he didn't, but he believes he did as we see in how he views his life as Liam - flashbacks in his pov, and he fears failing as the champion of the helpless.

I think his motivation in IWRY may have been fear. Coupled with Pride and a desire to be a hero.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> But there's one thing you guys are forgetting... -- Valheru, 00:02:19 06/26/03 Thu

...as a vampire, Angel will outlive them all.

I agree that the series' often show the humans being more resourceful and even (as you both have pointed out) more successful in quantity. But Angel's most important role, sort of the one he learned from Buffy, is that of guide.

Post-IWRY, what would Angel have probably not done if he had remained human? Remember, he most likely would have abandoned L.A. and gone back to Sunnydale with Buffy (in which case, many of these events wouldn't have happened, but try not to think that deep into it):

1. As a human, Angel would be cut off from the PTBs, therefore Doyle would have to go elsewhere. Sure, that means Doyle wouldn't likely die in the same fashion, but that also means all the persecuted demons in Hero would be dead by now.

2. Cordy would not become a Champion. She would probably have just gone back to being a full-time unemployed bad actress.

3. Wesley would still probably be an ineffectual rogue demon hunter.

4. Faith might still be evil. The events of TYG/WAY would stay pretty much the same (except Angel would fill the Riley role). It's very unlikely that a) Faith would take any steps toward redemption with Buffy anywhere near the picture, b) that Faith would accepts Angel's wisdom if he weren't struggling with his own demon anymore, and c) that a human Angel could even tame Faith's anger in the first place.

5. Gunn would still be in his gang. And while he might get more kills in the gang, the risk was also very high that he might be killed himself.

6. Angel's presence in Sunnydale would keep Riley in the Initiative, which would mean Maggie Walsh would not have turned on Buffy the way she did, which would mean that she might not be dead, and since it was her death that more or less broke up the Initiative, the Initiative might still be in operation (not to mention that Adam wouldn't have gone rogue if Mother had been around to tell him what to do). There's no telling what kind of mess the Initiative would have made of things if it had remained active.

7. Spike would almost definitely not be around if Angel was in Sunnydale; once he gets the chip, Angel would turn him away in a heartbeat, if Spike even thinks to ask for asylum anyway.

Yeah, I know a choice shouldn't be judged in retrospect like that, but it really shows the intangible impact Angel-as-a-vampire has on the world. And just think that all this has only been in the past five years. The guy's immortal. There's no telling how much good he could accomplish in his unlifetime.

But I do agree about Angel's subconscious reasons for not wanting to be human. He's like a racist--humans aren't as useful in the Good Fight as souled vampires. Which looks good on paper, but Giles might very much like to test that theory. Though I will say that it's just inconsistent writing/stunt coordinating when any human starts fighting better than S3 Buffy, Faith, Spike, and Angel (see: Robin Wood, Charles Gunn, Wesley Wyndham-Price, and Chosen's Anya Jenkins).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sigh...this is an issue I know well -- Doug, 08:09:23 06/26/03 Thu

Power levels of combatants is something that neither show has really done a good job keeping track of the power levels of combatants. Probably the characters showing the most fluctuation in combat skill are Riley, Spike and Xander; with Connor coming in close behind. (I can come up with examples if you like.) Spike tends to be randomly written as being incredibly weak; in Season 4 he was able to hold off Riley's entire team even with the chip in his head in the dorm fight in The Initiative. Yet Riley (sans demon drugs) is supposed to be able to send him across the room with on push in AYW, and a puch from Xander is supposedly enough toknock Spike over in Normal Again. In short, don't expect logic in that area.

But that is a digression. Personally, I think that if Angel leared how to fight smart (started using more weapons, became a good marksman, learned how to set up battles to gain an advantage, and for the love of God stop having conversations in battle.) he could regain a lot of the effectiveness he would lose with his superpowers. And on top of that he could run his Investigations agecy i LA and spend weekends in Sunnydale. And yes, there is an increased possibility of him dying; but as it is he's already a corpse, he might have gotten a few years of life.

I'm looking over your list and I have to say I disagree with most of them.

1. Would you mind explaining this one? Doyle was the one with the visions (the link to the PTB)so I don't see how he "needs" Angel in order to sacrifice himself.

2. Possibly,or it's possible she would have still gotten the visions from Doyle, and would have had to get her own allies and continue the fight (see below).

3. Would he have stayed inept; or would the fire of necessity that turned him into someone who was dark, ruthless, and efficient in Season 4 simply have started burning sooner?

4. Would been and entirely different story; I'm not sure that Faith couldn't have pulled herself together by herself, or with the help of one of the six billion other people on this planet. Angel helped Faith, but she saved herself.

5. Yeah, he probably would have stayed with his gang, and maybe Cordelia and maybe even Wes would have become allies of his as well. And yes the risks are high, but if he couldn't stand risk he wouldn't be fighting the good fight, with or without supernatural allies. (because as Xander will attest, supernatural aliies are sometimes not enough to prevent harm in battle)

6. Adam would probably have speared Walsh anyway, and then Riley would likely have died alongside the other spud-boys, I fail to see where this is a problem.

7. Spike had already been given sanctuary by Giles before IWRY occured; and while Giles didn't really like Spike I doubt he would break his word due to a command from a human Angel. Plus, Xander might have seen "pissing Angel off" as one more reason to let Spike room with him.

Would things necessarily have turned out like this? Maybe not. But I think it is an injustice to all these characters to assume that none of them are capable of running their lives, and that they need Angel to run their lives for them.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think you missed the worst -- KdS, 08:37:21 06/26/03 Thu

My personal biggest problem is the incredible fluctuation in Wesley's dexterity and combat ability between Bad Girls and mid-S2 AtS, depending on whether the writers wanted him to be respectable or comic relief.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree and some clarification -- s'kat, 08:46:27 06/26/03 Thu

Agree with almost all of this.

Also I think you both bring up a great point about the writers inconsistencies. Spike's battle abilities have been written all over the board. So have Buffy's. These two characters appear to either be incredibly strong and invulnerable or incredibly weak and vulnerable depending on the dictates of that week's script. They are actually more consistent on Angel, who tends to have the same fighting skills week after week without so many confusing fluctuations. I think whomever ran production on Angel was just a little more organized and had an eye for detail.
Although the loose plot structure on both shows comes across in some of the character and plot inconsistencies, most of which I have no trouble turning a blind eye towards.
The whole Initiative fighting thing for instance, I shrug it off. You have to hit me over the head for it to bug me like they did in S7 on Btvs (scythe, amulet, Guardians..) and in S3-4 Ats with Cordelia's plot arc.

But as Doug states, that is a digression...I agree Angel
could have been as sucessful as a human. If you re-watch Redefinition through Epiphany - you'll note that AI was doing quite well without Angel. He fired all the members and went solo. What's really interesting about those four episodes is that Cordy, Gunn and Wes save more people with Cordy's visions and do more good than Angel does solo. And they do it without the moral ambiguity. Granted they run into some difficulties here and there, but Angel doesn't really save the day. When Angel rejoins them - Wes is still boss. And in Pylea - it's made pretty clear that Angel wasn't the hero. An odd choice for sure, but there it is.

1.1. Would you mind explaining this one? Doyle was the one with the visions (the link to the PTB)so I don't see how he "needs" Angel in order to sacrifice himself.

Okay, having just seen Hero, I can clear this one up. Doyle had visions of people in trouble. But he did not envision the bomb/cleansing/purification device that the scourge plants in the ship which is designed to call all the hybrid demons. Angel gets that information while posing as an agent of the scourge. Angel comes to the ship - the scourge got the info from the Captain Angel is blackmailing, and
the device is set off. Doyle knocks Angel out of the way and sacrifices himself.

If Angel had been human and stayed with AI, they probably would not have known about the device - not that this mattered, since Angel didn't give them info on the device until it was too late anyway - Angel comes to the ship to give the info, but the scourge sort of got there before he did and everyone is trapped. So Angel getting the info?
Useless. Didn't change or help anything. Would a human Angel been able to get the ship? Yeah. He threatens the Captain but the Captain doesn't really know if he's a vamp or not. Would a human Angel and Doyle attempted to save the people - assuming Angel stayed in LA? YEs. Angel could still hide them and find the boat. Angel's vamp abilities only came in handy fighting the scourge and he still didn't save the day - that was Doyle. Would Doyle have done it if Angel was human? Probably - since Doyle would have been the only one strong enough. So the big question is - would Angel have stayed in LA or moved back to Sunnydale? Don't know, assuming he moved back to Sunnydale - then yeah those people may have died - but that's assuming Doyle wouldn't have tried to help them and we have no way of knowing that.
The important thing to remember about hero is Doyle is the hero in the episode not Angel. Angel tries to save the people, but all he really does is motivate Doyle - which could have happened through another source.

(Hero isn't a favorite episode, has tons of problems)

Doug's also right about Spike. Giles took Spike in, not Buffy. Buffy was against it. And Giles convinced Xander to house him. Giles and Xander aren't big fans of Angel, so I seriously doubt Angel would have had much influence over their decisions.

But I think it is an injustice to all these characters to assume that none of them are capable of running their lives, and that they need Angel to run their lives for them.

Absolutely agree. Especially when the show keeps telling us that they do quite well, if not better sometimes without him. Redefinition - Epiphany shows that. Wes in the beginning episodes of Season 4 demonstrates that. Gunn and his Gang demonstrates it in the last episodes of S1.
Pylea arc also demonstrates it.

[> [> [> Ahhhh I feel an Angel quote coming on....from ATS: Inside Out -- Rufus, 00:44:11 06/24/03 Tue

The Powers have sent me to give you a message.

You can't be my mother.

(softly) I have her memories, her feelings. Isn't that what makes a person who they are?

[> Sight and Writerdom -- parakeet, 00:23:01 06/23/03 Mon

Buffy has come to an end; that's all she wrote (or rather, he). Whedon has stated that he identifies with Xander. Xander is the one who sees (according to Caleb, Xander himself, and occasionally the viewer's perspective). The writer is blinded by the end. OK, a bit melodramatic.
How about...In the country of the blind the one-eyed man is stoned to death. Caleb is a disillusioned (fanatical, hypocritical) preacher -- the worst religion has to offer (not the only it has to offer, of course). He half-blinds the creator's alter-ego. Meanwhile, he has created the truly blind, the followers, the Bringers. Caleb hates Truth; he is the Denier, the enemy of the Creator, the follower of the First who would create anew through destruction. He's not keen on honest observation; maybe he's trying to deny all that interferes with his first and only thought, which may only be a vague impression of faith.
Buffy stabs the ubervamp in the eye. Well, she'd already tried the heart, hadn't she? Meaningless.
In the end, perhaps, an atheistic creator confronted his own creation; his alter-ego is half-blinded by the champion of mindless faith. Then the ultimate in empowered heroines triumphs by her faith in herself and those she has come to rely on, including Xander. The kingdom of sight triumphs over the blind.

[> [> Re: Sight and Writerdom -- sdev, 01:30:06 06/23/03 Mon

Angel is 240 plus years old. Many years to go back for your average memory. His torment, his curse is to remember all the terrible deeds he has done over that expanse of years. This is magnified to the enth degree by a photographic memory which can recapture in vivid detail, to the point of a drawing, every kill, every torture, every maiming.

[> Buffy and eyes -- manwitch, 20:04:08 06/23/03 Mon

In Season 7 it seems as though Buffy achieves what might be called "spiritual bliss." She overcomes her limiting sense of ego as the Slayer by sharing that power and ceasing to be unique. In a sense she ceases to be individual buffy and becomes the eternal power that informs Buffy and now, after Chosen, informs everyone else as well.

She also overcomes binary oppositions, most notably represented by Spike. When attached to ego, one thinks in terms of right and wrong, good and bad, good and evil, light and dark, male and female, human and vampire, dead and alive. Pairs of opposites that cast us out of bliss. Think of the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Thinking in terms of these opposites is what casts us from bliss, not the ascendancy of one or the other in the pairing.

Buffy overcomes these opposites by "loving Spike," by allowing that which is not her to become part of her. "He is in my heart," she says.

So, in a lot of mythology, this sort of insight that there is a middle way, an eternal way, through the pairs of opposites is depicted by eyes. In Hinduism and Buddhism there is what is called the "third" eye, the eye in the middle of the forhead. It doesn't give triocular vision, it represents a vision that does not see duality. the left and the right eyes see everything in terms of duality, of the pairs of opposites. Because they're a pair. When one of those eyes is lost it frequently means transcending that limited vision of duality. So what seems like a bad thing in its image is actually a good thing in its reference. This is, I think, true of Xander. Xander, the heart who sees all (and he is Buffy's heart, remember, not his own), overcomes this dualistic vision. Or, to put it another way, when Buffy sees past the pairs of opposites by seeing with her heart (He is in my heart) rather than her eyes, Xander, her metaphorical heart, no longer has need of his dual vision and is left basically with only the third eye open.

I suspect the other examples you indicate in some way relate to this, if in no other way than in highlighting that blindness and therefore an "other" form of sight is a theme of the season, thus allowing the Xander example to be more recognizable.

Season 7 Balancing issues SPOILERS -- Shul, 01:55:36 06/22/03 Sun

The greatest problem I had with BtVS s7 was that as a series ender, it failed to address the fundamental inbalance of the buffyverse. Let me explain.

NOTE: I am fully aware that I could be accused of, and maybe even convicted of reading too much into the show.

The inbalance in the buffyverse originates from the fact that was created from the realworld... the "realverse", instead of creating a new world.

--(This made it easier for the writers to manipulate the subtext of the show while simultaneously making it more compatible with modern marketing concerns.)--

Though I understand and agree with the reasons for using the realverse as the template for the buffyverse, this created over time a huge moral inbalance.
As the buffyverse grew from season to season the morals and subtext of the show stayed contemporary and grounded in the realverse. As time went on the modern moral arguments and subtext started becoming less and less relevant....less and less logical.
To me the glaring hole in season 7 was either its inability or unwillingness to deal with this unbalance, as it was the last show of the series. Let me provide you with a few examples of where the buffyverse has grown beyond the contemporary subtext of the writers.

--The slayer does not kill humans even if there working for demons bent on eating the world.
--The slayer is not above the law even if this law directly or indirectly causes the death of a large number of innocent people by demonic means.
--"The powers that be" do nothing while countless evil deities, demons, and other assorted baddies are RELATIVELY free to paint the town red or whatever color they wish.
--All human systems for dealing with the otherworldly threat are the equivalent of the Royal Canadian Mounties defending against the full might and power of the US Armed Forces. (The Slayer is defined as a non-human system for the purposes of this example)
--The Demonic/Otherworldy threats posses a severe technological advantage over all known human/gov systems as presented in the buffyverse or currently available in the realverse. Examples of this advantage include mind-control, exponential population growth with no regard to natural energy intake requirements, inability to be killed except by extremely elaborate measures, relative immortality, teleportation, magic, shapeshifting, and so on...

These examples help demonstrate that the contemporary moral subtext provided by the show is sometimes less then logical. Thus in my opinion creating a moral inbalance that has never been properly adressed, and has infact grown more unbalanced the more the show has continued.

This inability to balance the show is especially disapointing because infact they had a way to completely balance the equation. I of course refer to !!crazy sanitarium buffy!! as explored in season 6. There were countless ways to use this plot thread without negating any of the investment by people in previous seasons.

Though it was not the only way of balancing the equation, it was the only way to make the whole buffy experience REAL.

[> Re: Season 7 Balancing issues SPOILERS -- Deacon, 09:49:38 06/22/03 Sun

I agree with your points. The last episode was very good but it seemed to be more of a stand alone episode
I think that the season and parts of the entire series start to wrap up before "chosen", when buffy was kicked out of the house it refelected problems that happened through out the series.

In the start of S2 and S3 and the end of S4 there was friction between Buffy, Willow, Xander and Giles, they always worked it out but never totally resolved the issues. And Buffy was always telling Xander not to get in danger, she was always afraid that he would get hurt, and he never really had any powers. In S3 there was a Slayer, a Vampire, a Witch, and a Werewolf, and Xander felt like a tag along. These points were shown in "the Zeppo".
I was disapointed that Xander did not play a bigger part in the last fight, but Buffy trusted him to take care of Dawn and that was the important to her. I think the reason he did not go back for Anya is because he was taking care of Dawn.

One of the major conflicts, was buffy usually wanting to do the fighting by herself. Towards the end the theme in alot of the posts seem to be "what kind of hero is Buffy". This was concluded with buffy being kicked out.

[> Re: Season 7 Balancing issues SPOILERS -- Darby, 11:28:20 06/22/03 Sun

There have been implications that the Watchers' Council was more broadly involved in these issues than just supervising the Slayer.

We also know that things like the British coven exist, perhaps to also balance forces.

I also think that Angel addresses some of the issues.

Beyond Sunnydale, the underground battle goes on, fought by rogue demon hunters, balancing demons, and a plethora of magic types.

Bottom line, though, is that the Buffyverse has never been intended as a fully-realized universe with internal logic. The stories and metaphors have always been more important, which is a perfectly valid choice - although a little irritatin to us who'd like some sense in what happens.

Love, Faith and the Church: Direct address to "God" in 'Beneath You' and 'Peace Out' -- Abby, 08:11:04 06/22/03 Sun

I tried. I tried to believe. I wanted it.... I know she's a lie. Jasmine. My whole life's been built on them. I just... I guess I thought this one was better than the others.

The act of worship is to me synonymous with love: the celebration and internal relationship with something or someone which you hold as "holy", set apart beyond normal reality. It may be a deity, person, or simply a concept you hold as precious. The most moving scene in 'Peace Out' found Conner in a deserted church, delivering a heart-felt soliloquy to the comotose Cordelia. This was his form of worship, directed at the person whom he loves. Love was set apart from the 'lies' of his life, Cordelia giving hope to him and therefore he followed her demands of sacrifice because to loose faith in her would be to consign her to the roll-call of 'betrayal' he had experienced.

I had to, to know that you're still here... with me. (close-up to show the person on the altar is Cordelia)
it is what you wanted, right? Why you came to me?

He comes to find her to question: Jasmine, and even Cordy's relationship with him. He is doubting, searching, and vocalising his fears in the monologue from which he can expect no answers. Becuse expecting answers to these questions is futile, as in questioning prayer.

"The kingdom of God is inside you. And all around you. Not in buildings made
from wood and stone. Split a piece of wood and I am there. Lift a

I was struck by the symbolism of the Church, with Cordy as the alter to which he directed his worship and questioning. His 'spiritual' relationship is not with "God" but Cordy- his faith is in love not religion. Just as the sign outside the church directs them to worship Jasmine- preaching love between all, Conner has no religious basis other than his love.

Churches hold special significance to me, the paradox is fascinating. They are a concrete symbol of faith, imbubed with a spiritual significance from history. Empty, I find them calming and beautiful- in theory crafted from the ideals of love, such is the connection forged between this building and intense emotion. But at the same time, from experience I am repelled from organised religion. Envious at the faith others enjoy within the community, but intensely suspicious of the "necessary" intermediaries of ritual and verse. In fact, as the archives (briefly skimmed) discussed, Jasmine as "God" ties in more to the concept of organised religion, preaching love but in a controlled and specific way, rejecting all others as "hateful" and not of their kind.

A church is a symbol of physical connection between ourselves and the concept we have faith in. It is a space for this questioning- to power or idea that has no place except inside of us. Just as we may pray to our own God, so too does Conner: the idea of family, belonging and love. It is when this faith falls that Angel fears he has lost his last connection to the world.

"I want to stop. Stop fighting. I just want to rest. God, I want to rest." Conner

"Can-can we rest now? Buffy...can we rest?" Spike

The other moving church scene, was of course Spike in ' Beneath You'. He also answers to and questions the symbol of his faith, Buffy, while in torment. Finally echoing Conner in his plea to rest having reached the limits of what he can stand of this world, draping himself on the cross in what can also be seen as a suicidal act the like of which Angel fears from Conner.

Like Conner he questions the love that brought him to his current torment.
It's what you wanted, right? (looking at the ceiling) It's what you wanted, right? (presses his fingers to his temples, looks down, and walks toward the altar).

To Spike the church held very real religious significance aside from his faith in Buffy and love, as previous discussions of William's religion has shown. What we saw was a juxtaposition of the two: seeking redemption from both of his "makers": God and Buffy who brought about his 'rebirth' as a souled being.

The church is his place of solice, safety to externalise his inner torment. The direct addresses of Spike and Conner mirror the monologues we all have when our faith falters, to the 'higher presence' we hope exists, or merely an agonised expression of our dearly-held belief. The church is the physical manifestation of this need for connection between these transcendant and intangible ideas and reality: They are the temples for our soul.

[> Re: Love, Faith and the Church-Question -- sdev, 10:29:04 06/22/03 Sun

I have been wondering for a while, what religion was part of JW"s upbringing?

[> [> Re: Love, Faith and the Church-Question -- s'kat, 10:56:32 06/22/03 Sun

"I'm a WASP, so it's not Jewish or Catholic guilt; it's just there. " From the Ten Questions Interview with NYTimes.

He also went to Weselyn College in Conneticut. And studied film.

The church Spike is in reminds me of Methodist. As did the one Connor was in. But I can't be sure.

[> [> [> Re: Love, Faith and the Church-Thank You -- sdev, 22:27:35 06/22/03 Sun

[> Re: Love, Faith and the Church: Direct address to "God" in 'Beneath You' and 'Peace Out' -- Arethusa, 12:09:35 06/22/03 Sun

Connor's delimma is fascinating and heartbreaking. The very situations that made him "worship" family love also made him incapable of understanding or feeling it. He finally loses faith in his religion, and can't deal with the emptiness inside. I'm suprised that Holtz did not raise him to be devout, since Holtz's belief in God seemed to be very genuine. Maybe revenge became Holtz's religion, superceding Jesus's message of love with an Old Testament-type of belief.

[> [> Questions of Holtz -- Abby, 09:54:55 06/23/03 Mon

Good point about Holtz and religion, and you're probably right about the Old Testament style. What period was Holtz originally from? The 'Jesus and love' New Testament teachings may not have had predominance in that era. Also, the concepts of love therein were completely incompatable with the doctrine of revenge he raised Connor with, whereas vengance, 'justice' and the wrath of good/evil tied in well to the strict nature of demon equalling evil Holtz taught.

It was the breakdown of faith in his religion of love and family taking clear form within the church that made it such a poignant juxtaposition to me. He seemed entirely oblivious to the significance of the traditional religious setting, blinded to everything but his 'worship' of Cordy's form. The questions he was asking, "Was this your plan for me?" (paraphrased) directly echoes the questioning of religious faith that the church must have seen in prayer.

[> Heavenly. Nice job, Abby! -- Valheru, 16:11:52 06/22/03 Sun

[> The numinous -- lunasea, 13:33:30 06/23/03 Mon

Sorry if this comes out disjointed. After two weeks of not thinking, it is hard to put things linearly again.

Dr. Peck writes some great things about what is considered holy. I really recommend his book "In Search of Stones," as much as I would "The Road Less Traveled" and its sequels or "Different Drum." Actually, I would recommend "In Search of Stones" for the book club.

The holy is an interesting topic. What people consider holy varies from person to person, but no matter what the object is, we all tend to react the same way to whatever we consider holy. Not our individual actions that it spurs, but the feeling itself. It is a moment of perfect happiness. Holy tends to have a very religious connotation to it, so I prefer the word numinous.

Holy is a good word, though, because it sounds a lot like what it is touching. When we connect with something we find truly holy we feel whole. One of the lines that Joss wrote for the Cookie Dough speech in "Chosen" was "I've been looking for someone to make me feel whole, and maybe I just need to be whole."

One thing that Abraham Maslow noticed what that mystics tended to reach self-actualization more than others. They are in touch with the numinous more than others (or at least feel that way, which is what matters, how we feel) and are able to maximize their potential because of this. It caused him to re-evaluate his original heirarchy and add to it.

Poor Connor and Spike. They make Buffy look like she is on the bakery counter being bought by some lucky person who is going to now enjoy warm delicious cookie me. Connor so badly wants that feeling of wholeness that we all crave. It is wired into us. It is what pushes us to individuate. It is an arduous procedure that is built like Maslow's heirarchy, one block on top of the other. Connor doesn't even have the basest foundation. Spike isn't much better off.

These are the two characters that appeal to the holy in an attempt to feel whole. Both address objects that are religious in a sense, but neither gets this feeling of the numinous from them. To me, that is what makes those speeches so moving. They are tantamount to when Jesus is dying on the cross and asks "My God, why have you forsaken me?!?"

How each reacts to this feeling is what makes Connor irredeemable and Spike redeemable. Connor takes drastic action to test how much his father loves him. Spike just accepts his fate and he is rewarded in the end by being able to feel his soul for the first time. He finally does touch that numinous and experiences that feeling of wholeness.

the monologue from which he can expect no answers. Becuse expecting answers to these questions is futile, as in questioning prayer.

It depends on how you define answers. God answers all prayer. Not only is the answer frequently no, but it tends to be more a feeling than knowledge or what we are actually praying for. When a loved one dies, we pray for his/her soul and we recieve comfort. "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."

Grace rarely appears as a banner held by saints or crosses in the clouds. It appears as epiphanies and feelings. It appears as all those things the Beatitudes promise: the kingdom of heaven, inheriting the earth, comfort, being filled, mercy, seeing God, being a child of God. That is what Connor is seeking, even if the can't put a finger on it. As he says, he just wants to rest. He just wants that feeling of being filled, being complete.

He wants to touch the numinous, not just talk to something that should be holy in a place that is holy. That is what was so powerful in those scenes. In places that are holy to many, neither man found any comfort. That is how powerful their disconnection was.

Connect the dots and draw Season Seven! -- Darby, 13:31:36 06/22/03 Sun

Okay, I can't not join in and try to explain the unexplained. What follows is pure speculation, connected to as many points actually present in the text as I can manage without having my head explode.


Somewhere, perhaps buried in the archives of Wolfram & Hart, is a companion volume to the Shanshu prophecies. It also involves a vampire with a soul, but the main player is a Slayer who returns from Death. This Slayer has the Potential to tap the power of the Guardian's scythe, used to dispatch the last vestiges of the demon who was itself used to create the Slayers. The Scythe can further tap the demon's power and activate all Potentials all at once. The change in power balance is forecast to lead to a Golden Age, with demons and dark magicks driven from the human plane for centuries. This connects it to Fray.

No living human has read the prophecy, or at least realized its significance, but the First Evil is tapped into the consciousness of all who have died, and it is quite aware of every prophecy read or written. Being a basic Balancing Force (Evil Division), it is continually on the lookout for indications that the pendulum is about to swing the Good Guys' way, and around about Season 2, it became aware that Buffy had died and come back, and was working with V-with-S Angel.

But no, then Angel loses his soul and scoots off to Hell, until Buffy's Love (and production decisions) haul his resouled ass back to Dodge. Before long, he and the Slayer are working together and the First needs to step in. Best case scenario, get them both, but Buffy is the bigger threat, so she becomes the target. But if Angel, the only vampire with a soul, offs it, that will work too - we hear the First say that.

So what is the First? It is bad thoughts, it is arrogance, it loses to Buffy but can't in the aftermath take her seriously. She was only dead for a minute, other wedges are driving Angel away from her, how can this little snip of a girl challenge the forces of Evil? This can't be the Slayer of the prophecy. Can it?

But then she dies and comes back. Yes, it is because she lives that the Slayer line would be inexorably altered - Beljoxa's Eye might not know the future, but it too would know the prophecy.

Wouldn't it be interesting if, in the Buffy-Angel meeting after she came back, it was Buffy meeting with Angel-First and Angel meeting with Buffy-First (if Giles can avoid touching things for episode after episode, the First can dance around it for an awkward meeting)? No wonder they returned from the meeting freaked (and conveniently didn't mention it in Chosen).

Hard for the First to ignore prophecy now, but keeping Buffy and Angel separate should stave it off.

Yes, dear viewers, it really is All About Spike. He manages to survive the Trials that compel Lurky the Demon to grant him his soul. So now we've got another vampire with a soul to deal with. The prophecy is looking more and more nigh.

Meanwhile, the First sets up an operation to remove the foretold threat from another direction - take out the Potential Slayers. Working through a human agent, Caleb, the First organizes the Bringers and develops a way to find the Potentials (easy, with access to all those dead psyches) and track them (not so easy, even the Watchers can't do it that reliably). It also coordinates with another aspect of itself to temporarily take out access to the prophecies by eliminating Wolfram and Hart and keep Angel occupied in Los Angeles - don't want a second souled vamp comin' round to screw up the developing scheme...

Spike puts the First in a Catch-22: the closer Spike gets to the Sunnydale Hellmouth, the more influence the First can exert on him - it can't keep him from returning, but it can turn him progressively more squirrelly, drawing him to the focus of maddening energy under the school. It just needs to keep him away from Buffy to negate the prophecy. But what are the chances that Buffy will go into the basement in the new school?

But Spike knows - threaten the Little Bit (no, no you, Little Bit). Of course Spike knew all about the talisman spell - he cast it! Guess the First can't watch him 24/7...

But Spike can't deal with Buffy in his souled-squirrel condition. But gradually, since the condition is partly from the Great Taunter's influence, and partly because of his Great Buffy Love, he creeps back to sanity.

When later captured, Spike is manipulated by the First to
see Buffy as his redemption. The First needs Spike rescued, needs them to be together for the reasons explained in a bit - later would have been better than sooner, but the First, being a balancing force, is all about adaptation.

The First actually institutes the plan to take out the remaining Slayers. It also might have been involved in the return of Amy, the appearance of Rack, and connecting Willow to a particularly nasty form of magicks as laying groundwork, but who knows? As the First Evil, it certainly could have influenced the all-too-human troika, which it will continue to do with the surviving duo in Mexico, leading Warren in particular to his fatal skin condition.

For you see, at some point, the First has undergone a fundamental change of attitude, seeing some sort of loophole that will allow this building prophecy to shift its role from incorporeal Wormwood to human-as-Hellgod. No more balancing jobs, no more cares for the world of mortals. It can use Buffy and the Slayer power, which after all is rooted in Darkness, to accomplish this. Buffy herself has shown that the letter of a prophecy can come true but the results can be very different than expected.

Willow continues to be a threat (the only magic manipulator the First wants around at the end is its own), though, so it works to remove her or at least neutralize her input - at the end, the Guardian (which it knows about because the other Guardians are, y'know, dead) can lead Buffy to the use of the Scythe. It eventually turns out that the Guardian isn't necessary, though, and may know too much - when Buffy does connect with her, the First has her killed. The Guardians' dream of a Slayer linked to a network of Potentials without the patriarchal Watchers in the mix has died, just as a widespread cultural shift in roles for women has made it finally possible! Drat!

Giles is also a threat to find out too much. He is kept busy, annoyed, and distracted with a houseful of Potentials left purposely alive, and nightly whispers on the very edge of his consciousness that drive him into a deep depression, especially around what's left of his life's work.

Robin Wood is steered to Sunnydale, where he will conveniently provide a way to further energize the Slayer (and ultimately, the First when its plans succeed). This plan isn't entirely successful, although collaterally it sets up Wood to negate Spike's trigger, there all along to be found and provide an easy way to convert Spike to "trustworthy" when eliminated.

Just to not arouse suspicions, it would sent an Assassin after Faith, but one with no hope of succeeding - we'll send one who couldn't kill Buffy with a whole modern arsenal and just give her a Bringer's knife. If anyone catches on, it will look like Faith's on the list but hard to access. The First, unlike everyone else, was unlikely to forget that the Slayer line actually runs through Faith.

Okay, what else needs to be tied in?

The Hellmouth had been adjusted by Bringers to be a portal to the Turok-Han. A single one, the strongest of a wildly overhyped race (we know demons are drawn to hyperbole), to keep Buffy occupied (ever wonder why it didn't finish her off after knocking her through that wall?), and an army to quickly dispatch all Potentials during the endgame.

So what was the plan?

After laying the proper foundation of suspicion and despair, Buffy would be steered to take and activate the Scythe (it also required activation, like the Seal had, to work). The Caleb taunt and attack leading to the Mission mission were part of this.

At the proper moment, Wolfram and Hart were reactivated and means set up to deliver a certain amount of information and an amulet to Sunnydale. Angel should have been too distracted, it should have come with Faith, but it's tricky to get all of these details to works out right!

The First was counting on a couple of details to redirect the prophecy. First, It was probably certain that the amulet could not be effectively worked by Spike - he was, we've been told, a legendary Dark Warrior and obtained his soul through demonic means, so Spike + Amulet should have = sputter. This is why Spike needed to be a participant - that pesky prophecy put the amulet in the mix, but its effectiveness needed to be neutralized. As it was, if it had sputtered and just burned out the wearer, that would have been perfect.

The plan, in detail:

- Get Buffy, Faith, the pre-activated Scythe, and the remaining Potentials together. The Hellmouth would be the best place, energy-wise.

- Wipe out the remaining Potentials (those still out in the world were too young or old to be immediate Potentials - I don't care what age the actresses looked, go away!). Leave the Power nowhere to go beyond the gathered group.

- Move into Buffy's body after weakening her with a mortal wound. Because, you see, when Buffy was resurrected, she came back wrong, and could be directly inhabited by the First if physically and emotionally weak enough. This is why her refusal to go down was the real turning point of the battle, and the First vanished when that opportunity was gone. This might have worked with Caleb (if he hadn't split), but Buffy was much more suitable.

- Have First-Buffy kill Faith with the scythe, freeing the Slayer force to go into First-Buffy, solidifying the First's hold on the body and charging the body to near-Hellgod levels.

- Invade the world with an army of leftover Turok Han. Wackiness ensues.

Okay, this has been largely stream-of-consciousness, so I know I've missed stuff. Does it hold together? Can I say this was the ME staff's subconscious plan all along, taking pretentiousness to new heights?

Or should I find a basement to curl up in?

- Darby, who knew all of the rationales posted this week were touching him in some dark dangerous part of his inner demon. It kinda tickles.

[> Trying to stave off Voynak -- Darby, shamelessly trying to get through to Monday., 20:59:40 06/22/03 Sun

[> Need to sleep now, but copying to check out later, because it looked so lonely here by itself. -- OnM, 19:50:03 06/23/03 Mon

[> Need to sleep now, but copying to check out later, because it looked so lonely here by itself. -- OnM, 19:51:04 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> It does connect in a stretchy sort of way -- skpe, 06:41:16 06/24/03 Tue

Dreamer Easy in the Chair That Really Fits You - Thoughts on *End of Days* & *Chosen* - Part III -- OnM, 19:28:50 06/22/03 Sun


Baptism of fire, I never knew what that meant
But now the flames are rising higher, I guess I haven't seen anything yet
Because it's coming down around me and I am rising up
Like a phoenix from the ashes, wings across the blue
The only way out is through

Forest of fury, kindling of fear
Oh see how dark the woods have grown after all these years
And now they're coming down around me and I am rising up
Like a lily from the shadows, glistening and perfumed
The only way out is through

All the detours taken never lead you home
What a maze you find yourself in and still alone
Oh you thought it should be easy so the truth eluded you
The only way out is through

Baptism of fire all happening within
Illusions burn like tall grass in a wild and reckless wind
And now they're coming down around me and I am rising up
Like a great bell resurrected, ringing loud and true
The only way out is through

............ Julie Snow


And she turns to me with her hand extended / Her palm is split with a flower with a flame

............ Suzanne Vega, from Solitude Standing


I want the fire back.

............ Buffy, from Once More With Feeling


It's about 20 minutes to 8 PM, Eastern Standard on Tuesday May the 20th, 2003. I left my workplace at
about the usual closing time, stopped to pick up a few groceries at the supermarket on the way home, and
walked in the old home door about 7:30-ish. Some frozen foodstuffs destined for my dinner go for a ride in
the microwave while I log on to the board to see if anyone else is getting revved up for the possible BtVS
equivalent of Moulin Rouge's 'Spectacular Spectacular!'.

Except I'm not really revved up-- there is serious anticipation, yea and verily and all, but it's a
controlled anticipation, desire tempered by reason. And with very good reason, I might add,
because how can whatever artistic thought taking physical form between 8 and 9 this evening possibly live
up to my expectations? It isn't even a whole hour, just a mere 42 minutes or so to wrap up oodles of plot
points (or not) and sum up the seasonal theme (or not) and furthermore sum up the entire series, all seven
years of it (or... not) and leave me all shaken and breathless and gloriously WOW!!-like.

Or Not. One of the surest ways to diminish your enjoyment of any experience is to get so high on
the theory before the principle actually connects with reality that you end up wishing reality wasn't. So I
duly note that the board is pretty quiet, considering, and then I wonder if some other fans aren't feeling the
same way. I log off, switch from defrost to cook, and start cuing the VCR's into pre-launch mode.

The Eightnight Hour arrives, and then passes, and all too soon it is 9, and I am left thinking hummm...
that was... an ending, all right.
Beyond that, I wasn't quite sure what to think, except that the
24 season finale was also just starting up right now, and I had to quickly change mental gears to a
different ratio(nale) and get psyched to view what will happen on my second favorite TV show of the last 2

The next hour passes, and 24 also winds out and over, with This Year's Twist once again suitably
torquey and perverse. 10 PM, and time to rewind and re-Buffyize, since the evening ain't over until the thin
lady smiles. ( I clearly remembered how very much I liked the final scene and many other nifty bits, but the
rest was kind of a blur in between the usual miserable %&!*$# commercials. How could it have been over
so very soon? ) As I expected, the second time through the show proved much more rewarding and besides
which FAST FORWARD BUTTON past the %&!*$# commercials, bonus!!

With all the anticipatory tension gone from the vibes surrounding this last-ever-original-airing-thang, I got
to relax and release my desires and preconceptions and simply partake of the offering as presented. As I did
so, previously Jossed-over details appeared. The flow of show-time, while still very rapid, became far more
natural and right-feeling. A few odd points that had bothered me initially didn't this time, or bothered me
much less. The stuff that I really liked on first viewing I adored by the second, and I even forgot to be
pissed that my two major hoped-for wrap-up scenes didn't even remotely appear. The Mona Lisa Buffy
smile emerges once again at the end and we cut to black, and I think Oh, this is cool. He's done the
impossible again-- he ended the show without ending the shew, the really big shew, that is.
promised, the Buffyverse lives on, although this one big honkin' portion of the neverending story has duly
concluded. The original 6.5 to 7 rating I had quickly pegged the show with on first viddy rose a solid
point-and-a-half-ish to 8.5.

10:45 PM. Be kind, rewind, and watch it again:

Dawn: Dumbass.

Xander: It's a Summers' thing. All very violent.

Giles: I think it's bloody brilliant.

Willow: That was nifty.

Buffy: I love you.

Spike: No you don't. But thanks for saying it.

The handclasp, the look in the eyes, the fire.

Robin and Faith.

The Sunnydale sign falls into the gaping crater.

That smile. So simple, so perfect. Bloody brilliant indeed.

11:30 PM and I go to sleep thinking about it. I wake up a few hours later, and noting that the show should
have aired on the West Coast by now, I log on to ATPochat and there are like 30-some people there,
which I am pretty sure is a record of some kind. All in all, a pretty good night. The Slayer lives-- long live
the Buffyverse.




It begins right where it ended, from episode last-- Angel appears miraculously with intent to smite down
the evil Caleb, but on her request steps back to watch Buffy have the last word-- or smitening, as it were.
After gut-slashing Caleb in much the same manner that the Bringers employed on the protos, Buffy and
Angel look longingly at one another and move on to some kissage. Buffy steps back to bask a little, then:

Buffy: Okay. I'm basked. What are you doing here?

Angel: Not saving the damsel in distress, that's for sure.

Buffy: You know me. Not big with the damseling.

They chat a bit more, and Angel is about to introduce the official Wolfram & Hart First Evil File Folder
and matching Elizabeth Taylor Mystical Scrubbing Bubbles Crystal Amulet, when sure enough, jenoff was
right on the money, for lo, Caleb the I'm-not-quite-dead-yet! misogynist rises up and smite-ifies Angel a
good one upside the head. Angel goes flying, apparently knocked out, and Caleb quickly reminds Buffy
that dead or not, 'bitch' is still his favorite all-time word. We cut to the (~sob! whine!~) last ever BtVS
opening credits sequence and (~Grr! Arrgh!!~) stupid opening endless commercial set.

OK, it only seems endless, because eventually we do return to the actual adventure and Buffy reasonably
requesting just how many times does she have to kill Caleb? Ballpark?

After some additional serious back-and-forth fighting, Caleb displays some of his very best book-learnin'
when he accurately comments that Buffy doesn't possess any testicles, and Buffy follows up with some
very best Scythe-matterage when she deprives Caleb of his. Now, this might seem just a little too radical
feminist for some metaphor-wise, but rest assured there is a higher purpose involved. Since Caleb doesn't
seem to have much in the way of verbal response to Buffy's (re: balls) "Who does these days?", she
follows through by yanking upward on the Scythe and apparently slicing the C-man in two.

Angel regains consciousness, ready to fight, but quickly discovers that Buffy has brandished her ultimate
weapon in the fight against Evil-- bad puns:

Angel: Okay, now I'm pissed. Where is he?

( Buffy indicates the floor to her left. Angel looks. Then she indicates the floor to her right. Angel looks,
then back at her, impressed. Buffy smiles girlishly. )

Buffy: He had to split.

One of the first of many favorite moments in this final fling is what happens next-- Buffy laughs, a goofy,
snorting, belch of a laugh that seems totally in character only because Joss had the audacity to script it and
Sarah the consummate acting ability to make it seem perfectly natural. And of course, why stop with just a
bad pun when you can make it work on yet another level, namely that Caleb was known to refer to women
derisively as 'splits'. As I said, not the act itself, but what it was leading up to-- all prime Jossian stuff.

Angel goes on to give Buffy the W&H file, and the crystal pendant, stating that he doesn't know the actual
nature of what the pendant is supposed to do, only that it needs to be worn by someone with a soul, but
more than human-- a champion. Naturally, he assumes that this means him, but Buffy points out it could
just as easily be her. Angel doesn't care for that idea, because he is afraid that using the amulet might have
bad consequences for the wearer, and he won't have Buffy risk it. (In all fairness, since W&H was the
provider of this 'weapon', Angel would have pretty good reason to be suspicious of there being a 'gift
with purchase'.)

Buffy then realizes that Angel wants to be directly involved with her and the rest of the Scoobies in the
coming battle, and she tells him calmly but firmly that she doesn't want him to help her that way. Angel is
surprised at this rejection, and wants to know the reason why. Buffy tells him that if she fails in her quest to
stop the FE and its army of Turok-hans, she will need a 'second front' to take over for her, and that Angel
would have to be in charge of that. It's a logical and reasonable plan, but Angel suspects that there is some
other reason that Buffy is reluctant to inform him of, and he guesses correctly-- it has to do with Spike.

Sometime during this exchange, Spike has snuck back out of the pyramid after hearing that Angel wants to
fight at Buffy's side, reasonably assuming that now that Buffy's old boyfriend is back, he's going to be out
of the picture, or at best playing battleground second banana to Angel. (There is a bit of a timing-continuity
problem with this scene that I'll mention in just a little while when we get to the scene where Buffy returns
to Casa Summers). Buffy leaves the pyramid, and Angel follows insisting on some clarification, wanting to
know if Spike is involved with Buffy in a more personal way:

Angel: Is he your boyfriend?

Buffy: Is that your business?

Angel: Are you in love with him?

( Beat. Buffy can't answer. )

Angel: Maybe I'm outta line, but this is kind of a curveball for me. We are talking about Spike

Buffy: It's different. He's different. He has a soul now.

Angel: Oh. Well.

Buffy: What?

Angel: No, no, that's great. (mumbling) Everyone's got a soul now.

Buffy: What are you, pissed?

Angel: No, it's great. One for our side.

Buffy: He'll make a difference.

Angel: (almost to himself) You know, I started it. The whole... having a soul. Before it was all the
'cool new thing'...

Buffy: Oh my god, are you twelve?

Angel: I'm gettin' the brush-off for Captain Peroxide, it doesn't bring out the champion in me.

Buffy: It's not the brush-off. Having both of you here would be... confusing.

Angel: For who?

Buffy: Everybody! Why are you so-- Are you gonna come by and get all Dawson on me every
time I have a boyfriend?

Angel: Aha! Boyfriend!

Buffy: He's not! But... (thinks about it) He is in my heart.

Angel: That'll end well.

Buffy: And what was the highlight of our relationship? The time you broke up with me or the time
I killed you?

This exchange leads to another of those bizarre moments when you hear something, and can't quite believe
that you just heard what you heard. Deja who? Did she just compare herself to cookie dough? Ye gods...

Buffy: You know, I've always figured there was something wrong with me, 'cause I never made it
work. But maybe I'm not supposed to.

Angel: Because you're the Slayer?

Buffy: Because... okay, I'm cookie dough, okay?

Angel: Yet another curveball...

Buffy: I'm not done baking yet. I'm not finished becoming... whoever the hell it is I'm gonna turn
out to be. I've been looking for someone to make me feel whole, and maybe I just need to be
whole. I make it through this, and the next thing, and the next... maybe one day I turn around and realize
I'm ready. I'm cookies. And then if I want someone to eat m-- or, to enjoy warm delicious cookie-me, then
that's fine. That'll be then. When I'm done.

Angel: Any thoughts on who might enjoy... do I have to go with the cookie analogy?

Way back when at the end of season five, I had a very similar reaction to the epitaph "She saved the world.
A lot." when I first saw it. Huh? Here we were, literally seconds after an emotionally devastating moment
and The Joss is being flippant. "A lot." ? Even armed with the well-known spoilery foreknowledge
that the Buffster would rise again in the fall, it just seemed too out there on first reading, like the
envelope was pushed too far. Some time and many re-viewings later, I can't possibly think of the
now-famous remembrance being anything else-- it was a perfect fit to both the show and the character, and
Joss knew it, and I just had to move my mind around to better grab the gestalt of it. So it is becoming with
the cookie-dough speech-- it really is yet another classic Buffy riff, and again kudos to Sarah for making
the words work-- with the efforts of a lesser actor, it would have remained ridiculous instead of endearing
no matter how many times you heard it.

So Angel gets with the current program, and the two old soulmates part once again, with the sitch
cunningly leveraged to neither confirm nor deny future B/A shippage. (This kind of storyline ambiguity is a
recurrent theme throughout the entire episode, and I can't help but admire how so many future possibilities
were left extant. For a series 'finale', there was relatively little finality to the universe itself. This may
bother some fans, but I greatly appreciated it. I'll be discussing this aspect of the writing in a bit more
detail near the end of the essay).

Buffy returns home, and no sooner gets in the front door than she notices that Xander and Dawn are there,
along with Anya, Willow and Giles. Xander looks kind of worse for wear, and Dawn looks... pissed. Buffy
walks over and stands in front of her sister, who, after a few seconds, kicks her in the shins. No whiny
Dawn here, dear friends-- all cool focus and intent. Just think, if the fans who had wanted Dawn killed off
sometime during the past several years had gotten their way, we would have never gotten to hear the

Buffy: Ow...

Dawn: Dumbass.

( Buffy looks over at Xander, who just throws up his hands. )

Xander: Don't look at me, this is a Summers' thing. It's all very violent.

Buffy: (looking back at Dawn) You get killed, I'm telling.

While the main focus of Chosen is undoubtably about Buffy, I admired the way that each of the
characters were given some great moments, even if they were fairly brief in terms of screen time. Dawn
gets a number of other good moments besides this one, some subtle and others less so, but the moments
collectively add up to defining her character perfectly as it currently exists at this point in the mythology.
The same is true with Anya, as in this last scene and the one following, where she shows her affection for
Xander in minor but expressive ways, such as when she gently pats his head after the 'eye-socket' joke falls
flat. While it might be questionable to presume that Anya's affection for humans extends much beyond
Xander, (despite last week's Andrew/Anya interaction) her role in the final battle proves otherwise. In
getting past Xander's past betrayal and accepting that she loves him anyway, Anya has learned that this
forgiveness stuff humans keep going on about really is more personally satisfying than vengeance ever was.

If we haven't begun to realize it already, it soon becomes more and more apparent that the overall tone of
this season finale is different than all of the ones that have come before. There has been a fair amount of
commentary posted to date that attempts to place Chosen either stylistically or thematically in
groups with previous season-enders, with varying degrees of success. I think that one of the primary
reasons why this is such a challenging effort is that Chosen really isn't like any of the previous

It is my personal observation that the ME crew in general and Joss in particular have worked hard to make
each and every year of BtVS end differently in some important way. The yearly endgame needs to serve
what are normally contradictory requirements-- the seasonal arc must have a sense of resolution or
completeness, but at the same time it can never definitively 'end' things on a macrocosmic scale, to allow
the possibility of future stories. While to some degree you can revisit the same basic human issues over and
over again as the characters grown and change, literal repetition of events quickly leads to boredom. Joss
promised that the seventh season would be about going 'back to the beginning', but at the same time both
he and we know that this can't be done, not literally anyway. It is impossible to capture the raw energy of
the first few years, not unless you are willing to let your characters live in a perpetual time-warp. If
Chosen lacks the firey energy of Becoming or Graduation Day, I'm not sure that is
because the writers have gotten tired or are running out of ideas, but more likely because the adult world
just doesn't have that kind of energy, at least not most of the time. Who the hell would ever make 30 if it
did? One of my fave ironic/funny quotes over the years has been the one another 'Blondie' penned, namely
Die young, stay pretty. Well, that may be true, but on the other hand-- dead, ya know? So
Chosen is a show who tempo modulates to a more adult rhythm, as did most of the last season. It
has allegro measures, but also counterpoints them with more evocative andante stretches.

One of which is up next, as Buffy descends the basement stairs and finds Spike has been working away at a
punching bag with a crudely drawn paper image of Angel taped to the top front of it. She seems more
amused than angry, certainly a sign of growth on her part:

Spike: So where's tall, dark and forehead?

Buffy: Let me guess. You can smell him.

Spike: Yeah, that and I also used my heightened vampire eyeballs to watch you kissing him.

Buffy: It was a... hello. I was surprised.

Spike: Most people don't use their tongues to say hello. Or, I guess they do, but --

Buffy: There were no tongues. Besides, he's gone.

Spike: Just popped round for a quickie, then?

Buffy: Good, good, I haven't had quite enough jealous vampire crap.

Spike: He wears lifts, you know.

Buffy: One of these days, I'm just gonna put you two in a room and let you rassle it out.

Spike: No problem at this end.

Buffy: (warming up to it) There could maybe be oil of some kind involved...

Spike: Where's the trinket?

Buffy: The who-ket?

Spike: The pretty necklace your sweetie-bear gave you. The one with all the power. I believe it's
mine now.

Buffy: How do you figure?

Spike: Someone with a soul, but more than human... Angel meant to wear it, that means I'm the
qualified party.

Buffy: It's volatile. We don't know...

Spike: You need someone strong to bear it then. You were planning on giving it to Andrew?

Buffy: Angel said... this amulet is meant to be worn by a champion.

( A beat, as he deflates. Then Buffy holds it out to him, and he understands her meaning. Slowly takes it. )

Spike: Been called a lot of things in my time...

Buffy: (quietly) Faith's still got my room.

Spike: (looks up) Well you're not staying here! Can't buy me off with shiny beads and sweet talk --
you've got Angel breath.

( She looks down, nods quietly. )

Spike: Won't just let you whack me back and forth like a rubber ball. I've got my pride, you know.

( She starts to go. )

Buffy: I understand.

Spike: (moves to block her) Clearly you don't, since that whole "having my pride" thing was a

Buffy: (very relieved) Oh thank god.

Spike: I don't know what I would have done if you'd gone up those stairs.

~ ~ ~ ( Continued in Part IV ) ~ ~ ~

[> Re: Dreamer Easy in the Chair That Really Fits You - Thoughts on *End of Days* & *Chosen* - Part IV -- OnM, 19:39:10 06/22/03 Sun

~ ~ ~ ( Continued from Part III ) ~ ~ ~


Me, I got so much strength I'm givin' it away.

............ Buffy, from Same Time, Same Place


In fact, the entire previous exchange where Buffy offers Spike the crystal amulet shows a great deal of
maturity on the part of both individuals-- they speak honestly and up front about what they feel, and have a
keen understanding about what the other is feeling. There is also the undercurrent of humor that is used to
emphasize the commonality of feeling, not deflect or detach from it.

Another common theme that runs throughout the ep is that real, positive power is something that is to be
shared, not hoarded. Last fall, Buffy gave Spike something much more important than physical love, she
gave him respect, and a belief that he was worthy. Now, she offers this gift of respect yet again by handing
him the amulet after stating that it need be worn by 'a champion'. Spike is nearly speechless as the meaning
sinks in. Later on, Buffy will share the one thing that has made her unique within her own generation,
enabling others to become as she is, and most importantly, giving them the choice to accept or reject that
power in a way that neither she nor those hundreds of Slayers before her had been able to. This last scene
with Spike is a preface to the later scene with the proto-Slayers, and also keeps with the continuity of the
last several episodes that has Buffy beginning to share her power with others.

We transition from this scene to one that is obviously taking place several hours later. Buffy is awake and
lying on the basement cot next to Spike, although the impression I got when I watched the scene suggested
that they didn't have sexual relations, that instead it was a mutual comfort situation simillar to what
happened in Touched. (The shooting script tends to confirm this). Spike rolls over a bit, still asleep,
and Buffy gets up and walks slowly over to the window, and looks out-- we see moonlight bathing her face
and upper body. As she stares out into the night, the First Evil in the form of Caleb appears and speaks to
her. Buffy recognizes immediately that it is the FE and not a resurrected Caleb, and doesn't seem overly

The FE laments its loss of Caleb, but goes on to assure Buffy that she will still lose the battle because the
FE has an entire army of Turok-hans and Buffy has only her Scooby gang and the 'pimply-faced' protos.
As it taunts Buffy, it morphs into Buffy's visage, exactly copying her down to the clothes she is currently
wearing. To the best of my recollection, this is the first time this entire season that the FE appears to Buffy
as Buffy.

Buffy/FE: Into every generation, a Slayer is born. One girl in all the world. She alone will have the
strength and skill to fight the... well there's that word again. What you are. How you'll die. Alone.

( Buffy takes this in, says nothing. )

Buffy/FE: Where's your snappy comeback?

Buffy: (softly) You're right.

Buffy/FE: Mmm. Not your best.

One of the things that I have wondered about as I've watched the interaction between the FE and Buffy, or
for that matter the interaction between the FE and Caleb is that somewhere buried down below the taunts
and evil boasting the FE seems to have a certain faint, begrudging respect for this particular Slayer. (Note,
for example, the very odd comment the FE makes to Buffy regarding Caleb-- 'you killed him right and
.-- as if it approved of the methods and intent if not the end result.) I also noticed in particular
that the FE didn't seem to share Caleb's misogyny, only the root evil behind it. I guess another way of
putting this is that the FE is an equal-opportunity evil entity-- like Maggie Walsh's Adam, it cares less
about the means than about the ends-- fear, destruction, violence, chaos. Whatever brings those qualities
about suits its purpose, and possibly also acts to feed it in some supernatural way.

Back in Amends, Buffy effectively dismissed the FE from her presence by not being afraid of it.
Many viewers have commented over the past season that the FE has very rarely appeared before Buffy,
and I recall stating many months back that I thought this was the reason. Perhaps this is what entices the
FE-- Buffy is so powerful that the FE realizes that if it can triumph over her, the power it would gain when
the cosmic scales tip would be enormous. One of the mysteries left unanswered when Giles and Anya met
with the Beljoxa's Eye was just exactly what 'the Slayer' did to cause the FE to mount its attempt to
become corporeal. We have been left to assume that it was Buffy's resurrection (either the first or second
one), but I cannot recall any subsequent event for the entire remainder of the season that confirmed this

Ever since the events of Restless, we have been made aware that there is an air of prophecy that
surrounds Buffy herself-- Buffy appears to be a Chosen One's Chosen One, or as I postulated years ago, a
sort of Buffyverse Kwisatz Haderach. The resurrections themselves may not have been the world
changing events, they may have been the signs that Buffy was special, much as in Christian
theology Jesus' resurrection was offered as proof of his divine nature. Revisiting Showtime, we are
in the vortex dimension where the Beljoxa's Eye entity resides:

Giles: If The First has been around for all time... why hasn't it attempted something like this
before? Why now?

Beljoxa's Eye: The opportunity has only recently presented itself.

Giles: Opportunity?

Beljoxa's Eye: The mystical forces surrounding the Chosen line have been irrevocably altered.
Become... unstable. Vulnerable.

Anya: Why? Something The First did?

Beljoxa's Eye: The First Evil did not cause the disruption. Only seized upon it. To extinguish the
lives of the Chosen forever.

Giles: Then what caused the disruption? What is responsible for letting this happen?

Beljoxa's Eye: The Slayer.

Later, as Giles and Anya emerge from the vortex dimension:

Anya: I just... still don't understand how Buffy's death mucked up the Slayer mojo. It's not like
she hasn't died before.

( Giles stops and turns to her. )

Giles: It's not her dying. The Beljoxa's Eye was clear... in its enigmatic way... It's because she
lives. Again. (pause) Buffy's not responsible for that.

Anya: No. It's our fault. Willow and me and Xander and... and Tara. We brought her back... We're
the reason The First is here. The reason all those girls were murdered--

Giles: Anya...

Anya: So the whole world would've been better off if Buffy had stayed dead?

Anya gets it wrong, although what she says seems reasonable on the face of things. It has been repeatedly
suggested over the last seven years that a 'balance of power' of some kind must be kept in the Buffyverse
cosmos. Perhaps we have been considering this balance in static terms as opposed to
dynamic ones. If the cosmic chess game is one that lasts an eternity, then conventional rules that
call for a beginning and an end where the game is won or lost definitively have no meaning. (Someone
posted a very eloquent treatise on exactly this concept much earlier this season, my sincere apologies for
forgetting the author). However, if a move is made that radically changes the nature of the game, then the
other side must have the ability to counter it, so the balance is kept. The prophecy concerning Buffy was,
in all probability, one that foretold the expansion of the Slayer line from a serial to a parallel one. For the
forces of chaos, this is a bold move, and therefore it must be countered with an equally bold move.

Millenia ago, the Guardians planted the seeds of this change by forging the Scythe and then burying it to
await the future calling of the 'Kwisatz Haderach'. (In the Dune universe, the Scythe would be the 'Water
of Life' which Paul Atredes partakes of to eventually become the Kwisatz Haderach. In the King Arthur
universe, Arthur pulls Excalibur from the stone and goes on to unite England. The implement may not even
be corporeal, it could be purely a power of mind or of faith, such as with Neo in The Matrix or
Joan in the Joan of Arc legend).

However, the implement of and by itself is not enough (Scythe, Water of Life, Excalibur, Mind, Faith,
whatever)-- the implement must be mated with a prophesied warrior, a righteous defender of the
downtrodden. And, there must be 'signs' that offer absolute proof that the prophesied individual is the real
deal. Giles was right in his interpretation-- It's not her dying. It's because she lives. Again. I don't
think it was the first death or the second, it was both. And how was this possible? Because Buffy has
, friends who in each case brought her back to life after death, who did so because they loved
her. When love triumphs over death itself, the universe changes, and the source of all Evil sits up and takes
notice of the paradigm shift-- a shift that could risk becoming permanent if something isn't done.

Unfortunately for the First Evil, it talks too damn much. Back in Conversations with Dead People,
it appears before Willow and tries to suggest that Tara wants Willow to commit suicide and so join her
lover in death. Willow, who has been buying into the apparition's line up until this moment, stops cold
when she realizes that Tara would never suggest this. In Chosen it tries to discourage Buffy
by telling her that she will fail and die alone. (BTW, did you notice that the cadence of speech that the FE
used exactly mimicked that of the spirit guide/Tara in Restless-- "Who you are... what you will

As with Willow and the suicide suggestion, this plan backfires, because it inspires Buffy to think about the
problem in different terms and then gain a sudden insight. Wisely, Buffy doesn't let on to the FE that it has
tripped up, and we quickly get confirmation that something is truly up when Spike wakes suddenly from a
dream where he is "drowning in footwear". Besides the sole/soul pun, we get the clever connection to
Buffy and her 'stylish but affordable shoes'-- a classic metaphor for how Buffy has always made a virtue of
being unconventional. Buffy looks towards Spike, and then back to the FE, who is gone just as suddenly as
it appeared. Buffy tells Spike that she has just realized that 'we can win'.


The next scene takes place in Buffy's bedroom, where she has apparently just finished outlining her grand
scheme to defeat the First Evil:

Buffy: Well? What do you think?

Xander: That depends. (sincere question) Are you kidding?

Buffy: You don't think it's a good idea?

Faith: It's pretty radical, B.

Giles: It's a lot more than that. Buffy, what you're talking about flies in the face of everything
we've ever... that every generation has ever done in the fight against evil. (pauses, smiles) I
think it's bloody brilliant.

Every year, to some extent, Buffy and her friends have a falling out of some kind. Every year, they get
back together again. What is significant about this year is that the reasons for the estrangements have been
pretty serious, and yet the situation is resolved and forgiveness granted quickly and without lingering
bitterness. Consider, for example:

~ Giles behaves bizarrely for the bulk of the season, and caps off the collective weirdness by betraying
Buffy with his Wood-inspired conspiracy to kill Spike. Considering Giles' long history and the fact that
Buffy sees him as a father figure, this is the one rift that should have been nearly impossible to repair.
Nevertheless, Buffy does forgive him and here in Chosen lets him know that she still values his

~ The betrayal by Wood is not as severe as with Giles, because Buffy understands Wood's motivations.
She lays down 'the law' to him, which many viewers felt was going to lead to a future betrayal by Wood.
This didn't happen, and Wood and Buffy make up with one another in record time. (Note: I'm not
counting the events of Empty Places as another betrayal by Wood, since he was only one of many
involved in the 'mutiny', and again, Wood isn't a member of the 'inner circle'.)

~ Ahh, Faith. Here is someone Buffy should be against 100% considering their past, yet Buffy pushes
aside her misgivings and gradually offers an olive branch (or at least the chance to wield the Scythe) to her
former arch-enemy-- the only one who ever 'made me feel like a victim'., as Buffy put it in the AtS
episode Sanctuary. This particular turnabout is even more critical because it reinforces Faith's
still-fragile sense of personal worth-- she knows full well that Buffy has no real reason to forgive her, even
if she does try to make amends.

~ Acckk! Xander, Willow and Giles refuse to support Buffy in her plan to storm Caleb's hideout for a
second time. While they may have had good reasons to do so, Buffy was still badly hurt emotionally by the
lack of support. Now the same people are backing her up once again, and once again it's 'bygones be

~ Dawn. Gee, you save someone's life, even give your own in exchange, and even she doesn't
want me to stay in my own house?? Gosh, well I just better... think about whether or not I am right
after all. This Generalissima stuff sucks bigtime. There must be a better way. (And there was).

~ Anya. Tough love, baby. That was you who decided to start up again with the vengy slaughter.
Don't blame me for having to put you down after that-- and even then I didn't cut your head off first thing,
I made you think about what you really wanted, and between that and Xander and Willow, of all
people! -- you decided to be human after all. Now stop your damn whining and either help or get out. (And
of course, Anya eventually does-- help, that is).

~ Andrew is actually pretty easy to forgive-- you have to make allowances for actions taken while
mentally impaired and under the influence of a much greater evil. Besides-- who knew that *Buffy-- The
Slayer Who Knew No Fear would be such a prescient statement in regards to the method of defeat of
the season's Big Bad.

~ The Protos aren't sure whether Buffy is either a genius or a wacko, a leader or a martinet, and from
their perspective those are pretty reasonable thoughts either way. Not too much forgiveness required on
Buffy's part here, after all she was pretty much making the Patton emulation up as she went, and she knew
that all too well. As for the Protos forgiving Buffy... they're going to have a choice in that, very soon.

So, there is a plan, and the Scoobies all seem good to go with it, even though Willow is frightened of the
huge responsibility she will have handed her for her part in it all. We go to the next scene, where the
Scooby Gang and the collective Protos get to hear just one more inspirational speech from the Buffster--
but they are in for the unexpected this time around. I liked very much the way that Joss set this up, but then
held off on revealing the specifics of the plan until later on in the ep-- a very theatrical approach which
certainly helped to build suspense.

So we cut to everyone preparing for the final battle in different ways, and all of these were great, with the
possible exception of the Willow/Kennedy scene, which while OK, I thought really lacked some of the
cleverness and wit of the other characters' 'moments'. Breakin' 'em down:

~ Faith and Wood: Oh, this was fun. I'm sure many BtVS fans have been wondering for years just who
would be the kind of man to get Faith to, if not settle down, at least take off her bra and stay a while.
These two are just great together-- she has father issues and he has mother issues, but they're working on
them, you know? I'm sorry, I know this riff is already beyond ridiculously long, but I just have to
do the dialog here, 'cause da wordage is just so fine, yo:

Wood: It's a hell of a risky idea.

Faith: Buffy's wacky that way.

Wood: There's one more vent right by the stairs. We block that, they got no sewer access, should
drive them up into the school proper.

Faith: That's assuming they get past us.

Wood: Which, no offense, I am.

Faith: Come on, you gotta have a little faith.

Wood: (sardonic) Think I've had my share, thanks.

Faith: Well I trundled right into that, didn't I? Look, I'm sorry if it seemed like I was blowing you
off the other day. I was just trying to, you know... blow you off.

( They start covering the vent by the stairs with stuff. )

Wood: I figured that out all by myself.

Faith: It's nothing personal, it's just... after I get bouncy with a guy, there's not a whole lot more I
need to know about him.

Wood: That's bleak.

Faith: Way of the world.

Wood: Good to know. For a second there, I was mistaking it for more defensive, isolationist
Slayer crap.

Faith: And he comes out swingin'...

Wood: Faith, there is a whole world you don't even know about, and a lot of the men in it are
pretty decent guys. They'd surprise you.

Faith: Guy looks at me, let's just say his priorities shift.

Wood: 'Cause you're so hot?

Faith: Is what it is, yo.

Wood: Please. I'm much prettier than you.

( Faith stares in open-mouthed, victorian shock -- she actually puts a hand to her breast. )

Wood: And for the record, our little encounter didn't exactly change my world.

Faith: You're tripping! That was rock 'em sock 'em!

Wood: Oh, it was nice enough. You're very... enthused... and with a little more experience I think
you'll really...

Faith: Dude, I got mad skills!

Wood: No, of course. (re: work) Let's finish up.

Faith: Hell with that. We're going again! You're gonna learn a little respect here, pal.

( She starts pulling off her shirt, Wood stopping her with: )

Wood: Faith. Make me a deal. We live through this, you give me the chance to surprise you.

Faith: (suspicious) Well, what would be the surprise?

Wood: You do know the meaning of the word, right?

Faith: Fine. Deal.

Wood: Good enough.

( They start moving heavy stuff again. )

Faith: No way are you prettier than me.

Wood: Little bit.

OK, now... damn! That one made me momentarily forget about all the seeingly endless annoying/vacuous
commercials that were excreting all over my final-ever-new-Buffy-episode (~sniff, sob~) and even during
the taped repeat viewings was one of those scenes where I stop, hit rewind, and watch the scene again
before getting on with the show.

First off, this was a condensed illustration of the perfect combination of the 'new Faith' with the 'old
Faith'. The old fire and the witty snarkiness are there, but she's now devoid of the nasty cruel streak that
would always surface in the past, revealing her inner bitterness and rancor. If Wood had tried that bit about
questioning her sexual skills in the old days, Faith would have decked him, and some additional fun little
asphyxiation games wouldn't have been ruled out. Now, she simply parries back without a trace of

Wood holds his own too, which is why I think this works. Wood has the same basic charismatic quality
that drew Faith to Mayor Wilkins, but without the evil part. Faith is drawn to powerful figures, but the
power has to be one that accepts her own in turn. In the early days after coming to Sunnydale, Faith had
developed this kind of power relationship to Buffy (and to Giles), but then became convinced that they
either looked down on her as an inferior or would ultimately betray her in a clinch. Of course, this only
reinforced the general distrust of authority figures that apparently pervaded her youth, and drove her to
take refuge with someone on the side of evil, who at least offered her respect and acceptance.

One little detail from the original shooting script that you might have noticed was changed for the finished
version-- Faith doesn't start to take off her shirt, she starts to take off her pants. This was a
good call, dunno if Dushku suggested it or Joss figured it out, but the Faith we know and love wouldn't be
so coy under this particular circumstance to do a shirt tease first-- she'd get right down to it, so pants it is.

~ Giles, Xander, Andrew, Anya (and Amanda): Another great scene, with this group playing-- of all
things-- Dungeons & Dragons. Andrew, as usual, is fully immersed in the 'story', wrapped up in a red
hooded cloak affair, playing the role of something called 'Trogdor the Burninator'. Giles rolls the dice, and
immediately falls prey to Trogdor, his 'bag of illusions' no use againist a Burninator (silly British man). The
night before a great battle, there is nothing quite like being reminded of how your personal skills seem to
be of little value to everyone else. Amanda manages to come through, however, surprising everyone:

Andrew: Step down, girlfriend, you can't just --

Amanda: Ninth level sorcerer, and I carry the emerald chalice. Trogdor is frozen in time, deal with

Xander: Smackdown on red riding hood! This could get ugly.

Giles: Could it possibly get uglier? I used to be a highly respected Watcher. Now I'm a wounded
dwarf with the mystical strength of a doily. (rubs his eyes) I wish I could just sleep.

Amanda: What kind of person could sleep on a night like this?

( The camera angle widens to find Anya, head on the table, snoring away. Xander puts a hand on her head,
affectionately. )

Xander: Only the crazy ones.

Besides the fact that Giles seems to have returned to his old self (and it damn well took long enough!) we
get to see Xander counterbalance the scene earlier in the show where, attempting humor, he says
something that makes no sense. Anya, who is standing right behind him, just tenderly pats his head,
smoothing his hair. Here, after making the 'only the crazy ones' quip, he affectionately scrunches her hair--
a quiet, lovely moment.

Naturally, the fact that Andrew is losing and Amanda is winning at the game suggests that this will be the
outcome of the eventual real battle. After all, Amanda even had her own entire episode (Potential)
and she seems to be a winner type. Andrew has been preparing himself for death for several weeks now,
ever since the events of Storyteller. He knows that he has very few useful fighting skills in any real
world terms, not counting his knack for summoning demons. Do things play out as expected? Consider
that Giles is feeling generally useless and here sitting next to him is the next generation, the hope of
humanity-- two of whom will die. Sorry, the obvious is generally avoided here.

~ This leaves Spike and Buffy, who very interestingly are now seperated and alone with their own
thoughts, in stark contrast to the couplings/groupings of the other characters. Buffy is standing outside on
the porch, again staring out at the moon, which is very bright, and bathes her in its cool luminosity. Spike
is in the basement, sitting on his cot, staring intensely at the crystal amulet that Buffy gave him earlier, the
one that Angel brought from L.A. The lovely metaphor behind this beautifully framed and composed scene
didn't occur to me until later viewings, because initially I had no idea of what kind of power the amulet
was going to provide to Spike. Once we discover that the amulet channels the energy of the sun through
the wearer, meanings start to drop into place.

~ ~ ~ ( Continued in Part V ) ~ ~ ~

[> [> ***Spoilers*** for Eps, Natch. Parts V and ( egad! ) VI up between now and Wednesday night. -- OnM, 19:45:13 06/22/03 Sun

And it keep gettin' niftier every time I see it!!!

[> [> [> I agree...and amazing essay, OnM! I can't wait for the last parts! -- Rob, 20:44:03 06/22/03 Sun

Honestly, you could write a 300 page essay on Chosen, and I would read it cover to cover.

I agree with you big-time on the Dune parallels, that Buffy is a Messiah's Messiah and that the Beljoxa's Eye was implying in his words that the FE was seizing on an opportunity before the Slayer line could be split. Hey, there's another "split"!

Also agree with you on how well the character moments were done in this episode. I was astounded at how economical and brilliant Joss' writing was that in only 42 minutes he made me feel as if every character were given enough screen time, he made me oooh and aaah, he brilliantly wrapped up the story arc (even though every question this year may not have been completely explained), and did a great trick of making the last episode an ending and a beginning in one. But back to the screentime, one of my major complaints with this season (and I have very, very few) was that a lot of the time it didn't feel as if the supporting characters were being given enough. And yet in this episode where some of them may not have had much if any more screen time than they usually have were given material that made it feel like they were given more. That's because there was practically not one wasted moment of screen time. Every line every character uttered added to their character, or at least displayed why we love them so much And sometimes in very few words. Willow's "That was nifty" was an example of great writing, and great acting, saying so much about the character and how far she has come, using very little words, perfect blend of most powerful witch in the world and her inner geek.

And if there was any doubt in my mind whether Joss is truly a genius (yeah right), he even made me like Kennedy in this episode. And that is an ENORMOUS accomplishment. Possibly because he had her come out and say, "I'm a brat," but where I found her relationship with Willow to be strangely awkward in every other episode, this one I found it quite sweet, especially when Kennedy called her "Red."

I personally never would've thought Joss would be able to fulfill Buffy's series-long wishes of being more like other girls and still allow her to continue on as Slayer. And yet he did and I applaud that.

I came in expecting to love it (I was not going to allow any nit-picking to ruin what would be my very last new episode of my favorite show ever), but I was also nervous that I wouldn't love because of things that I wanted to happen possibly not happening and things that I wanted to be addressed not being addressed. True, there were some things that I wanted to happen that didn't or that I wanted to be addressed that weren't, but I wouldn't have it any other way. Because what was on screen, to me, was so right and so perfect. And that smile at the end just said it all for me.

Some thing I thought was brilliant, that I'm sure you'll mention in your last part, but I can't help jumping the gun, is how in the final scene Buffy says one word, "Spike" at the start. All of the quipping and chatting happens around Buffy, who just stands there, looking at all they have acheived. And her final line remains unspoken and is a smile. Right after "Empty Places," I said to my friend who is also a Buffy fan, that I wish that the very last moment of the last show would be Buffy with a smile on her face, the weight of the world finally lifted from her. And that actually happened.

And I couldn't possibly be happier.


[> [> [> No no no no no! Don't want suspense! Want the rest now! -- Caroline (throwing a tantrum!), 21:48:30 06/22/03 Sun

[> [> [> Awesome! Waiting eagerly for parts V & V1... -- jane, 22:03:00 06/22/03 Sun

[> [> [> Hey! No fair! -- HonorH (coming up for air), 22:48:58 06/22/03 Sun

Okay, OnM, I'm immersed in OBAFU, plotting the new Buffy branch of the PPC (people who protect the Buffyverse against badfic), and reading the new Harry Potter. I came here for a break, hoping to find the rest of your inimitable take on "Chosen," and you pull a fakeout. Bad OnM!

Plee-he-he-heaze post the rest soon!

[> [> [> Thank you OnM -- Just George, 00:11:32 06/23/03 Mon

Reading your essay was like watching the last two episodes with a good friend. Someone who shares my love of the show and has lots of cool things to say about the episode.

It's kind of like watching Star Wars for the first time, with an audience that ohhhs when the Star Destroyer flies overhead, boos when Darth Vader enters through the smoke, and cheers when the Death Star blows up. It makes the whole experience that much more enjoyable. (I was lucky enough to see the original movie with such an audience, back when it first came out.)

I liked Chosen a lot. Thanks to you, I like it even more now.


[> [> [> More, more, more! -- ponygirl, with a rebel yell, 08:39:29 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> Wood holds his own too.....*giggle fit*.......;) -- Rufus regressed to an adolecent state., 00:59:09 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> Ahh, my. You work hard, try to be subtle, and... someone actually notices. (~sigh~) ... ;-) -- OnM, 07:06:43 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> You are right.....it does get better every time you watch....the episode that is....;) -- Rufus, 00:38:38 06/24/03 Tue

I remember somehow finding a copy of the scripts in question and just loving them. I found the cookie dough reference inane til I remembered the reference in Lessons to Women and baking by the First as Warren. The shoes reference can also be taken a few ways....one Spike has a dream of drowning in footwear and then Buffy has a sudden "shopping for shoes" craving.......it's all connected...;) When you get to the end it's clear that Spike is in a similar situation as Buffy was in "The Gift"....this time Spike gets to save her and the world....both times the sacrifice was out of love for a person and the world. Both did what they did because they felt they had to. Buffy thought she ended up in Heaven...I wonder where Spike/William landed?

[> [> [> [> [> BTW....still waiting for a writers shoutout to Rufus's Magic Clause....<g>..:):):) -- Rufus, 00:40:50 06/24/03 Tue

I'm waiting for the Dr. who coined the term "The Osiris Complex" to want royalties.....nothing out of nothing...equals strangely enough.....nothing....;)

[> [> Re: Dreamer Easy in the Chair That Really Fits You - Thoughts on *End of Days* & *Chosen* - Part IV -- Dochawk, 01:58:26 06/23/03 Mon

OnM - looks fabulous, I just printed it here. I'll read it on the ship, but I'll never get the other parts, so PLEASE PLEASE email them to me!


[> [> [> No problem, Doc. How long will you be outa town? -- OnM, 07:12:50 06/23/03 Mon

[> [> this is where you leave off? aarrgghh! -- anom, 10:08:42 06/23/03 Mon

"Once we discover that the amulet channels the energy of the sun through the wearer, meanings start to drop into place."

You bum! How can you leave us hanging like that? Hanging like the meanings that haven't yet dropped into place, for me anyway....

OK, all I can come up with is Buffy/moon/cool, Spike/sun/hot. C'mon, OnM, don't be a bum, tell us! My arms are getting tired--y'know, from hanging!

[> [> Directions to Parts I & II -- tomfool, 10:56:31 06/23/03 Mon

I've been away for a few weeks and missed the first two parts. I couldn't find them in the archives - could some kind soul post a link to I & II? Thanks!

[> [> [> Link to first two parts inside -- Tchaikovsky, 14:07:32 06/23/03 Mon

It's at http://www.atpobtvs.com/existentialscoobies/archives/may03_p37.html#8


[> [> [> [> Danke! Off to digest -- tomfool, 14:53:26 06/23/03 Mon

Harry Potter Book 5 Discussion! Spoilers Ahead! You Have Been Warned! -- Wizard, 03:13:02 06/23/03 Mon

Well, a new Rowling gem has been released yesterday, and it is very discussion worthy on a board devoted to philosophy. I thought I'd start the discussion of Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.


There is so much that can be discussed: the morality of Dumbledore's actions (and inactions), the parallels between the wizarding world now and the international situation prior to WW2, the suggestions of the nature of life and death according to Rowling, the darkening nature of the books, the relation of chaos to good and order to evil, and so many other things that I'm probably overlooking.

I'll start. His actions, while defensible at first, reveal some arrogance. He thought he could avoid the trap of caring too much, and he didn't. In Harry's first year, his actions are very defensible. How do you tell an eleven year old child that he is mystically linked to the man that killed his family and tried to kill him, and that he can only be free if he kills Voldemort?

Second year- Still somewhat defensible, but by now Dumbledore should have had a better idea of what Harry is capable of. He admits it though, but Harry had just found out about his parallels to Voldemort. If there was any natural time to tell him, it was then.

Third year- he should have told Harry. Harry had just become mystically linked to the man that betrayed his parents, the man who is Voldemort's servant. This link is perhaps a parallel to the link that binds Voldemort and Harry. Harry had been repeatedly attacked by Dementors, and went back through time to save Sirius. Dumbledore should have trusted Harry enough to tell him everything, especially since Harry became linked to Pettigrew.

Fourth year- Dumbledore's position became completely indefensible. Harry had witnessed death and rebirth, and- oh yeah- VOLDEMORT WAS BACK AND BADDER THAN EVER!

Fifth year- motivated by guilt and a belated need to distance himself from Harry, Dumbledore dropped the ball a few times: not keeping Harry informed, not teaching him Occlumency, and above all by not telling Harry the whole truth. Dumbledore's attempts at distance were not just a case of 'too little, too late,' they backfired.

Dumbledore is a great man. In this case, he fell victim to his greatest strength- the strength of his feelings. Hopefully, he won't make that mistake again. He can't afford to, and he knows it. Just like Harry knows that the only way Voldemort can truly die is if Harry kills him. The Second War Has truly Begun.

[> A good summary (spoilers continue) -- Tchaikovsky, 06:27:28 06/23/03 Mon

Three characters are particularly smudged in this book

I expected that Dumbledore, throughout the series of seven books, would be a stalwart character. The Gandalf or even Aslan of Hogwarts, who would be a paradigm of the correct mode of expression and leadership. There is no point in the first four books where Dumbledore's actions betray anything other than sense, control, good humour and, most importantly, openness. He is surprisingly open both with Harry and with the school's population in general.

Yet even Dumbledore, the least cynical, least dicatatorial, least inhuman, in short, least Umbridge-ian of all the characters, ends up falling short of the required standard of self-determination. Rowling's books have a general tendency to agree that being responsible and empowered to make choices based on a full understanding is a good thing. Following rules or even Laws is not always a good idea- the face of the Law is benevolent but incompetent and threaded through with too much failure of courage, failure of belief in self- Cornelius Fudge.

Harry's father James, the boy who Harry should try to be- comes across as vain, careless, and a bully. Of course, Harry has gone through more than his parents could ever have dreant of at there age, but the realisation of the human, teenage fallibility of James was an important and wonderful piece of writing. Rowling established many times how much Harry missed his parents, how good they were at heart. And yet they are not painted as always perfect. Harry's spiritual growth has far exceeded what James was doing in his carefree schooldays.

Sirius is fallible. He 'lives through Harry'. He gets an understandable chip on his shoulder about his parents.

All these surprised me. Who came out of this book unscathed from Rowling's deepening? Only two characters:

-Remus Lupin, who appears wiser and more calm every moment. He reminds me of Oz. Although I knew he was a werewolf too early for the plot from his rather self-explanatory name, (good job children don't do Latin these days!), he always reminded me a bit of Oz.

-Hermione. Even Hermione's seemingly indefensible support for house-elves who don't want to be let free is beacktracked on in this book- where it becomes clear that her suggestions for treatment of Kreacher could have made a big difference. Hermione actually comes off as wiser than Dumbledore in this book, which is a minor miracle- and I've got to say that her character is easily my favourite in the books. I guess her only real fault is her lack of recognition, despite her bickering with Ron, that they are both madly in love with each other. Just give it time, folks...


[> [> Re: A good summary (spoilers continue) -- Dee, 06:57:52 06/23/03 Mon

Did anyone else find Harry a bit "off" in this book? I became more and more uneasy about him as the book progressed. He was angry, short with his friends...it seemed that he was playing right into Voldemort's hands (discord/distrust). Did I miss something?

[> [> [> I assumed... -- Tchaikovsky, 07:04:30 06/23/03 Mon

He was becoming in a rather loose, metaphorical sense, more like Voldemort. That the conenction was somehow affecting his behaviour.

However, I also think it's because this is the first book where JK Rowling has decided to portray adolescence in Harry rather than largely a kind of intelligent childishness. I have to say that I think the age of 15 is a little late to start on this- but then characters in children's books often seem to have an age older than their actions suggest- because I assume children tend ot gravitate towards books with slightly older protaginists than themselves rather than slightly younger ones.

But I think I'd go as far as to say that reading this Harry, I started feeling that previous Harrys were out of character, rather than this one. This characterisation seemed strong and painful and complicated and realistic.



[> [> [> [> somewhat rambly response to both of TCH's posts -- Alison, 10:12:09 06/23/03 Mon

Harry seems to be showing the signs of the same "superiority-inferiority" complex that Buffy had- and as Hermione pointed out, a hero complex. He currently blames his anger and viciousness on Voldemorte, and his arrogance on his similarity to his father- yet these are Harry's feelings alone, and while its hard for the reader to see a charater we love become darker, after what Harry has seen and done, what else could possibly happen? While the world around Harry gets greyier, he still has a black and white veiw of the world. He can't understand his fathers flaws, and cannot understand that people can, and often must, change. He's learning though.
Anyway, I loved the book. I loved almost all of the supporting characters, especially Sirius, and to my surprise, Snape. I really hold out hope for his character- Rowling may take him the other way, and make him dark again, but his total redemption could be one of the most interesting parts of the series.
Very interesting was the exploration of Harry's parental figures. All of them love him, yet none seem to be able to think rationally about what is best for him.
And as for Ron and Hermione...I can wait...but my patience had BETTER be rewarded!

[> [> [> [> [> Parents -- Wizard, 17:03:20 06/23/03 Mon

I thought that the exploration of the parental figures was both very important, and long overdue. And still incomplete.

We have got a look at James and Sirius, at Dumbledore, and even at the Dursley's (a bit), but Lily is still unexplored.

James, Sirius, Remus, and Peter: Ever since Book 3, I thought that they were intended to be a reflection of the current 'Hogwarts Four,' with James being a parallel to Harry, Sirius to Ron, Remus to Hermione, and Peter to Neville. Think about it- James and Sirius being the brave, bold wizards, Remus their studious and (slightly) more cautious friend, and Peter the boy that tries so hard but still doesn't quite fit in. In Book 5, we find out that the current bunch are better people than they were at that time: Harry is not a vain bully, Ron is not arrogant, Hermione is not afraid to speak her mind even if it means telling her friends off, and Neville has never been a sycophant.

Lily: As promised, we found out more about her, but she is still something of an enigma. We know that she can't stand cruelty. Okay, she left Snape to get tormented, but he did just use the Wizarding World's greatest insult on her. I think it's significant that Harry looks like his father but has his mother's eyes. Of course it is- we've been hearing that since Book 1. The eyes are the windows to the soul. The eyes represent the way we see the world. For all of Harry's similarities to James- Quidditch, insane courage, great cunning, willingness to flout rules- Harry looks at the world the way his mother did- kindly, compassionately. Like his mother, he will not allow anyone to be bullied or tormented if he can stop it. In this, Harry can be said to have the best qualities of both of his parents.

Dumbledore: I've already done my piece on him.

The Dursleys: We finally get an answer to a question we've been asking ourselves since Book 1- why did they keep Harry? Well, we finally find that it is mostly Petunia. She does actually feel a small (okay, more like infinitisemal) sense of duty and obligation toward Harry. We also find out that she remembers some of what she learned about the Wizarding World. Maybe she will get more depth in Book 6 & 7. I know I'd like to read about a Muggle that isn't a complete asshole (my major gripe about the books- all the non-Wizards and Witches we see in depth are jackasses- well, except Mrs. Figg, but she's a special case).

Sirius: Sirius has family issues. Okay, given his family, it's understandable. He also seems to live vicariously through Harry. Given that he's cooped up- something he clearly despises- that's also somewhat understandable. He's also self-aware enough to realize that he was something of a jerk when he was in Hogwarts, but unlike Remus, he doesn't show much regret for it.

Perhaps Remus and Harry will grow closer. I hope that happens. Remus isn't quite a parental figure- he's not Harry's godfather, and when he spent the most time around Harry, it was as a teacher, and he kept his distance (as much as he could- he cares a great deal for Harry).

A final note: about Snape. We know more about why he hates James (and Harry) so much, and perhaps by extension, why he so favours Malfoy. If the scene that we saw in the cauldron (completely blanking on the exact name) is indicative of James' and Snape's relationship, then it is clearly James who was the aggressor. Remus and Sirius both said that Snape got his licks in, but it still seems that James was the aggressor. Contrast this to Harry and Draco. Draco is the arrogant, vain, bullying aggressor, and Harry is the guy who puts up with it, and who gets his licks in and usually doesn't start anything. Snape's hatred blinds him to this little fact, or perhaps even prevents him from caring. Perhaps Snape will be completely redeemed- I hope that he will. He's wicked, but he's not evil. There is depth to Severus Snape- we just haven't plumbed it yet.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parents -- Alison, 17:35:03 06/23/03 Mon

The Weasley's are also prominent parental figures, though perhaps the most beign. They seem to have no ulterior motives, they simply love Harry and want to protec him. They symbolize everything he wants from family, but also why he must ultimatly depend on himself. He, like Buffy, is journying away from the bonds of friends and family. His specialness means he must be alone...but his ability to love is friends so deeply is his greatest strength. So he must struggle to find balance. He can have parental figures, but must not let them dominate him. I doubt that the Weasleys will ever be shown to be less than what they currently seem : good people who love their children and Harry. All other characters cannot have their futures summed up in such blanket statements...Rowling is constantly changing our perception of them.
A question: do you think that Harry has the ability to defeat Voldemorte because of who he is, or because Voldemorte inadvertantly made him his equal?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Parents -- Wizard, 21:37:09 06/23/03 Mon

Yes, thank you, I quite forgot the Weasleys. Because they love Harry, they (Molly much moreso than Arthur) made the same mistake that Dumbledore did- they tried to protect him a bit too much.

As for your question... that's a toughie. It depends on how you view what Voldemort did to Harry. We simply don't have enough information. We know (barring any reversals by J.K. Rowling) that Harry is a Parseltongue because of Voldemort. What else did Voldemort give him- that's the question. Also, Voldemort made Harry his equal when he was a baby, so unlike Buffy, we don't know what he was like before, and we have no way of knowing what he would be like if his life had been happier. I think the answer is ultimately both- he can defeat Voldemort because of who he is- Voldemort's equal (if that makes sense). I'm trying to say that this is one more way that Harry is like Buffy- Harry is Harry, but he has been shaped by being Voldemort's equal and by everything that has happened to him as a consequence of that, just as Buffy, as a person, has been shaped by being the Slayer and by everything that went along with it.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: somewhat rambly response to both of TCH's posts -- lulbelle, 22:31:36 06/23/03 Mon

"Harry seems to be showing the signs of the same "superiority-inferiority" complex that Buffy had"

I thought the same thing. Ah, how I can make Buffy relate to all I analyze. :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: somewhat rambly response to both of TCH's posts -- Wizard, 23:03:23 06/23/03 Mon

Maybe some anonymous Death Eater will try to psychoanalyze him next book :)

[> [> Point of view and graying of characters -- lulabelle, 22:28:21 06/23/03 Mon

I just finished posting a bit up the board about looking at BtVS from Buffy's perspective instead of the writers and using this to understand the layers of meaning. I think this concept works just as well, actually, I'd say, better for HP.

The books are obviously done through Harry's point of view and as he matures so does the entire HP universe. For his world to mature, the characters need to be blurred. But maybe the reason we see this side of Dumbledore is becuase it is what Harry is now seeing. HE lets himself realize that Dumbledore is fallable. Maybe even wants to see it. This might go along with his masochism in the scene with Umbridge. He wants to just accept the pain and accept that his life sucks and the world is bad. And in doing this he sees more of characters unpleasant sides.

Maybe, POV explains why we get less of Ron or Lupin? They are not currently central to Harry's universe. Ron has faded. He is a supportive best friend and Harry may not want to see that right now. He's too angry and caught up in his own pain to see it and thus, the readers don't get to see it either. I wanted more Lupin, but I guess I can accept his limited role. He is old and familiar to Harry and in a way unneeded. Harry doesn't ned a parental role because he has Sirius and Molly. He doesn't need a link to James because Sirius already gives him this. Tonks and Moody may get a little more attention because they are new and therefore more interesting. MAybe this is why Lupin isn't deepened too much- he isn't vital to Harry's development at this point in his journey.

Harry comes across as angry. Purely angry. We see little of the underlying depression and self-hatred. This bothered me a bit, but maybe we get this because Harry refuses to see it himself.

JKR has said Lupin is her favorite character. Why then wouldn't she take this oppertunity to develop him more. Certainly there would be room in 870 wonderful pages. I certainly wanted more Lupin. (Actually, I found myself wanting more of lots of the peripheral characters, who are sometimes, IMO as (or occasionally more) interesting asharry) I wanted to see his reaction to Sirius' death. But we got none of this. Maybe, this can be explained by the use of Harry's pov.

JKR even made her writing match Harry's maturation. Her styule is more adult. She uses more metaphors and double-entendres. To reflect Harry's way of thinking perhaps?

A few things about OotP-
Just cause I feel like saying it: I loved this book. I thought it was great.
I loved the darker feel.
I loved the character development and deepening.
I loved Petunia. The hint that Dudley is more than just a bully.
I liked the negative sides of James and Sirius coming out (destruction of the father was big in the book)though I wanted a little more of the fatherly Sirius mixed in with the immature one we got a lot of in this book. I wanted more Lupin, as I said before.
I LOVED McGonagall. I've always liked her, but she got to shine. Liked her scene where she comforted Trelawny especially, she really got to shine.
I liked Dumbledore becoming more human. I din't find myself disliking him at all (like I did a bit with Sirius who is still a fav character of mine).
Loved the deepening of Snape.
Obviously, I liked it a lot. Pretty much all of it.

[> [> [> One more thing I liked -- lulabelle, 23:15:32 06/23/03 Mon

Once you've seen death your connected to everyone else who has. Harry and Luna hear all the voices beyond the veil. They may not understand death, but they share something with each other. Death as an isolating, yet unifying force is a big existential cornerstone and something we've seen before on Buffy.

[> [> [> [> Exactly - and the Thestrals -- Rahael, 16:00:59 06/24/03 Tue

What a wonderful metaphor the Thestrals were. Invisible in the early novels but always there. Just like the darkness we are only noticing now. It was always there, just invisible to Harry.

The idea that those who had seen death see an uglier side of life.

I am getting to be a major, major Rowling fan.

[> [> [> Re: Point of view and graying of characters -- Alison, 07:09:05 06/24/03 Tue

I definitely felt the emphasis on POV in the order of Phoenix, far more than in the first four books. And Rowling, IMO, clearly wants us to differeniate between what Harry sees, and what is "true"- Harry still has a lot of growing to do, and his world veiw will always be somewhat skewed. But this book was even more Harry-centric than usual...and while, I, like you, wanted more Lupin, I feel that overall, the deeper into Harry we go, the better the story gets.
I also didn't feel Sirius suffered at all from being revealed to be more flawed than originally thought- his story was the one that touched me most. And his immaturity and selfishness with regards to Harry is understandable when you think about what he has in his life other than Harry : virtually nothing. A past full of pain, no family, and no future.

[> [> About Hermione -- Alvin, 13:49:37 06/24/03 Tue

I thought Hermione came off as arrogant in that she knew
what was better for the house elves than they did themselves and she was trying to force them to be free. Did you notice the Fountain of Magical Brethern (I think) at the Ministry? It had a witch and a wizard standing heroic while a centaur and an elf looked up at them in adoration. At the end the fountain is destroyed and Dumbledore comments that the fountain is a lie, that most wizards are arrogant and do not value other magical beings and that is why the wizardly world is in trouble. Hermione managed to tick off the elves so that they wouldn't come in to Gryffindor tower to clean and she angered the centaurs so badly that they're trying to keep wizards out of the forest. In both cases she angered magical part-humans by assuming she knew what was best.
As part of that trend we also have Hagrid deciding he knew what was best for his brother, Dumbledorr what was best for both Harry and Sirius, and Umbridge what was best for everybody.

[> I've decided to appproach the series from an "X-Files" POV. -- AurraSing, 09:55:50 06/23/03 Mon

Aside from the trio of Harry, Hermione and Ron, I've learned to really read the books with a "trust no one" attitude. I think JKR hinted that the apple cart as we know it will increasingly get upset,loyalties will be tested and found wanting and Harry may end up virtually on his own so I would think his trust level may shrink even more as time goes on with this series.

Every since this line from GoF I've been a little leery of calling Dumbledore a truly great man....

"For a fleeting instant,Harry thought he saw a gleam of something like triumph in Dumbledore's eyes."

This just after Harry stated that Voldie now had the protection of Harry's blood in him.......

And another thing that has always bothered me about Dumbledore. Since he is headmaster,has he been the person who has been hiring the DADA masters all this time? And if so,why has he never seen the true nature of those he has been setting in place to teach the children of Hogwarts?? Because let's face it,Harry has come very close to dying at the hands of all the DADA teachers in the first four books. Seems a little odd,doesn't it??

[> [> The exception... -- Kitt, 12:01:16 06/23/03 Mon

to that theory would be Lupin, who was always looking out for Harry's best intrest... and Mad-Eye Moody too, when he was hired. How was Dumbledore supposed to know that Crouch had done a stwitcheroo before Moody got to Hogworts? You're right about Quirrell and Lockart, they were dangerous (Quirrell) and incompetant to the point of negligence (Lockart).

[> [> [> Ah but Lupin did have his dangerous side....... -- AurraSing, 12:14:30 06/23/03 Mon

....the threat of a werewolf attacking the students could not be discounted,since Lupin was painfully aware that keeping his secret made keeping him "normal" all that much harder.

As for Mad-Eye Moody,did Dumbledore never audit the classes?? Teaching the kids about the "Unforgivables" is one thing,using on the students is another. Agreed that Crouch Jr. managed to stay in character around Dumbledore till the end but paying some attention to waht was going on in class may have exposed him sooner. In fact Dumbledore seems much more a "mop up the troubles after they've happened" sort of headmaster in the first four books...a style which of course has left poor Harry in the dark and resulted in some bad things for the students. Is this just JKR's approach to the character or could there be something more sinister in this inaction?

Plus a majority of the DADA teachers have been very poor instructors and clearly ineffective in preparing the pupils for what may lie in front of them in the near future. Makes me really wonder why Snape has never been allowed to teach that course since he is straightforward and meticulous in his approach to the subject matter,unlike Lockhart's ramblings and Quirell's mumblings. Where lies the responsiblity of a headmaster-to the teacher or to the pupil??
I'm thinking it's to the pupil.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ah but Lupin did have his dangerous side....... -- Kitt, 15:50:38 06/23/03 Mon

Lupin, I credit to Dumbledore giving a basically good man a chance to prove himself. I'll give you, watching over Moody more closely might have blown Crouch's cover sooner... but look at Dumbledore's perspective - this ia a guy he's known for 20+ years, and a first class Auror, he doesn't need the boss vetting every decision, he respects him.

Snape's another issue. I think that the thing of Snape applying for the job and Dumbledore turning him down over and over again may be a cover, to give Snape more credibility with Voldemort. After all, Dumbledore is 'thwarting' Snape's ambitions, just like Voldemort's. It would reinforce to someone on the outside the reasons Snape is working for Voldemort. They may have some agreement about the job, or Snape may only be acting, but I think it's part of his cover.

[> [> [> [> Re: Ah but Lupin did have his dangerous side....... -- Xaverri, 20:10:16 06/23/03 Mon

It does appear that Dumbledore frequently has a "mop up after" attitude. I believe, though, that that's because he trusts people to do their job first without his interference. As a high school teacher myself, I wish that more administrators took this perspective. :) Basically, except with Harry, Dumbledore is a leader. He gives out tasks and expects those tasks to be completed. He doesn't butt in, enforce HIS way of doing things, or question the loyalty and ability of those he works with. As for the DADA teachers, Quirrel, if I remember correctly, had been there forever, and was at one time a good teacher. Lockhart was a popular man who brought a lot of recognition to the school. The choice was fluffy, but it may be that not that many people applied for the job. Especially considering the fact that the last DADA teacher had died on the castle grounds. You can't select a better candidate than the ones who apply. Lupin was an excellent choice. Dumbledore has no problem with half-humans or werewolves or any such thing, and he was making sure that Lupin took his potions as he was supposed to. Mad-Eye was another good choice, but as he doesn't interfere in his teacher's classes, he didn't realize what was going on. It does surprise me that Crouch managed to trick him for as long as he did. It is easier to impersonate a dramatic person than a normal one, though. I don't think that Dumbledore's choices were bad in anyway. Maybe a little more trusting than most people, but not evil.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Ah but Lupin did have his dangerous side....... -- Wizard, 21:44:30 06/23/03 Mon

You and I agree. I don't think that the substitute Mad-Eye was so much a failure on Dumbledore's part as a success for Crouch Jr. I think that Crouch did obtain the permission to use the Imperius Curse on the students before he used it- all it would have taken is for one student to have said the wrong thing around the wrong person and his plan would have gone up in smoke faster than Harry can fly.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ah but Lupin did have his dangerous side....... -- Tom, 08:04:23 06/24/03 Tue

Also, Crouch Jr.'s lessons taught Harry enough that he was able to keep Voldemort at bay. Without the experience of breaking the Imperius Curse, Harry would likely have been unable to break it. Additionally, I think Dumbledore deciding to show the students what the darkest magics looked and felt like is consistent with his general philosophy so I think it was his idea to begin with and Crouch Jr. just taught it.

[> Question for all the Harry Potter fans on the board -- lulabelle, 15:20:29 06/23/03 Mon

Would anyone be interested in having a chat devoted to Harry Potter. I know its off topic, but possibly because its summer it would be ok? A change to discuss HP on a higher level that we're used to outside of this forum since so many regard it as a children's book. Anyway, just thought it might be fun. Anyone up for it? Tonight? Or tomorrow evening? What time's good for you?

[> [> Re: Question for all the Harry Potter fans on the board -- Alison, 09:33:38 06/25/03 Wed

maybe thursday at 11?

Current board | More June 2003