March 2002 posts

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Angel's cliffhanging? (spoilers) -- neaux, 06:41:04 03/05/02 Tue

Last night's show seemed more of a cliffhanger than I'm used to.. I honestly thought it could have been a season finale.

I've only watched the episode once.. but did Sasha (sp?)(the time traveling demon) say "Hope everyone has a nice summer?"

and so its not the season finale.. but did the people at Angel know of its hiatius so far in advance that they purposely made this extreme cliffhanger?

[> Re: Angel's cliffhanging? (spoilers) -- Hauptman, 06:55:44 03/05/02 Tue

He did say "Have a nice Summer" and I had the same thought. I wonder if, when we rejoin Angel, if there won't be a time shift. Maybe several months will have passed as when Buffy died.

[> [> Re: Angel's cliffhanging? (spoilers) -- neaux, 07:35:41 03/05/02 Tue

well hopefully by then Cordelia will be back.

I wonder if her absense had anything to do with that movie she was making (in real life)

[> [> [> Re: Angel's cliffhanging? (spoilers) -- Katrina, 07:53:02 03/05/02 Tue

And I really want to see her come back with a baby-sized Hawaiian shirt and a bunch of funny straw hats for everybody only to find out what's gone on in her absense...for all of us who ever said the office was going to completely fall apart when we went on vacation...

[> [> [> [> LOL. The shock would only last a moment, but it would be worth it. -- CW, 08:28:06 03/05/02 Tue

[> When do new "Angel" eps. return? -- yez, 09:10:19 03/05/02 Tue

And can I just say how much I HATE how the WB has handled "Angel" this season and the airing of new eps., reruns, and preempting the show? Grrr, argh.


[> [> March 15, according to -- Masq, 09:35:11 03/05/02 Tue

The episode is called "Forgiving" and I am mad about no reruns, too. I accidentally taped over "Fredless"!

[> [> [> Re: I think the next ep is April 15th -- Brian, 09:58:09 03/05/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> You're right. I miss read it. -- Masq, 10:11:13 03/05/02 Tue

Now I'm bummed.

[> [> Does anyone like Glory Days? -- neaux, 10:44:11 03/05/02 Tue

I honestly havent watched the show "Glory Days", but I know its taking Angel's timeslot for a couple of weeks...

but for it to put Angel on hiatus.. makes me want to HATE "Glory Days"..

what am I going to do on Monday night?

[> [> [> Sit in a dark corner and cry... or maybe that's just me. -- Apophis, 11:14:02 03/05/02 Tue

[> [> [> Or rewatch last week's Buffy on tape, make some esoteric connections and over think the whole thing. -- Deeva, 12:14:05 03/05/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Our motto! -- Masq, 13:27:14 03/05/02 Tue

King Solomon's Choice (spoilers & speculation for ST, AtS) - very long! -- Solitude1056, 09:12:11 03/05/02 Tue

This didn't occur to me until the final showdown, after it dawned on me that Holtz' real revenge was one he'd thought up only after seeing Angel's new baby. All that workout with the pseudo-vampire- fighters was only a smokescreen for Sajhan, and perhaps himself, and definitely the AI group. It appears his goals shifted at some point from torturing Angel to really torturing Angel, in a very sweet turnabout kind of move. Okay. So the deep gravelly voice (which I just adore, btw), had me as distrustful as it had Wesley.

But when Sahjan - after all this fussing about "not being able to do anything" - just whammo! opens a portal, it's like, dude, you couldn't have just done that to Angel at some point when he's walking down the street? And wasn't the whole deal that Sahjan wanted Angel dead? When did it become "kill the baby," instead? Well, gee, if you're trying to prevent someone from becoming your mortal enemy, and you go and kill their baby, you probably pretty much just guaranteed that they now consider you a mortal enemy. So much for brilliance. I was expecting a bit more from a character who'd clearly gone through a great deal of trouble to bring all the players together - Holtz, Angel, Lilah, and the baby. Then again, he misjudged Holtz & couldn't manipulate him - that was clear almost immediately - so no surprise that Sahjan'd be out of his league with Lilah, who's been doing this for far longer.

So, setting aside the fact that my immediate response a la Sahjan's appearance was: "he wants which one dead now?!" ... the scene reminded me a great deal of King Solomon's test for the two women. The story goes that a houseservant gave birth to a baby at the same time a second servant in the house had a stillbirth. The next morning, the second woman claimed that the first woman's live baby was hers, while the first woman insisted that she'd given birth to a live baby. Unable to resolve the conflict, they took themselves to King Solomon.

He regarded both "mothers" for a long time, and finally decided that if they couldn't agree on who was really the mother, the only option would be to cut the baby in half, and give half to each mother. The second mother nodded, agreeing with his wisdom. The first mother, however, screamed and threw herself at Solomon's feet, begging him not to kill the baby. If she couldn't have the baby, she told him, rather give the baby - whole - to the other woman. Solomon reversed his decision, saying that only a true parent would grant a child life without the parent rather than see the child die. He took the baby from the second woman, gave it back to its real mother, and imprisoned the liar.

In this case, Angel is the real mother, and his response is perfectly in line with this sentiment. Better to know that Conor is alive and well somewhere in Utah (*cough*) if the only other option is that Conor dies. Holtz' response, in some ways, appears to be a "if I can't have him, no one can," but on second thought I realized that he, too, knew that Conor's death was certain if he didn't make a move. His offering to kill Conor echoed Sahjan/Solomon's test, and Angel passed when he cried out no, that Holtz should take Conor. Holtz knew then that taking Conor would be a lifetime of suffering for Angel, just as much as his own family's death had been/will be for him.

As for Lilah as a parent, just where did that notion come from, anyway? This season we've had two separate mentions now of her mother being senile but otherwise living comfortably. Previously, Lilah commented at some point in a throwaway line that so-and-so had sacrificed her firstborn to get a promotion, and that Lilah knew now her mother had been right when she'd said Lilah should have kids. That comment rang in my head when Lilah offered to take Conor, but was pushed aside by the niggling notion that there's a reason DG and company have told us twice now that Lilah's mother is thoroughly senile & doesn't know her own daughter. I might be more interested in Lilah's development (it's certainly potentially more complex than Lindsey's was) but I feel like these little sledgehammer points are worse, since I don't even have a clue why we need to know about Lilah's parental situation... but I figure it Must Be Important, or else why would they thwack us over the head twice now with this seemingly unimportant information? Guess the "throwaway line" skill that Joss perfected is still a work in progress for some writers, but it's a minor issue (at least, it is on AtS).

Okay, back to the various issues raised by this bizarre Solomon redux.

First, we've got Wesley, laying on the park lawn with his throat bleeding. As someone else mentioned, there's a correlation with Kendra's death by slit throat, but with a few variations. Hm, on second thought, maybe not. Druscilla did that little "be in me" hypnotic thing on Kendra, while Justine did the "I'm helpless" maneuver on Wesley. In retrospect, it's Justine's move that makes Wesley such a tragic figure - possibly even outweighing Doyle and Angel together as tragic figures - it was Wesley's own innate sense of right and wrong that would prompt him to help an enemy without second thought. There's also the question of whether Justine truly could or would kill Wesley that leaves open just how deep the knife blade would have gone. Perhaps she wanted the baby, figuring it was part of Holtz' plan, but her goal was always to get Angel, who represented - for her - the repulsive reality that a vampire, the epitome of evil, could live well and apparently without regrets (and with human friends to boot). The vampires who didn't know her sister existed, and didn't care, weren't nearly as satisfying a kill as the one who didn't know her sister existed, but did care. That's a sick and twisted kind of reasoning, but vengeance (as we've seen on BtVS) is hardly a just and rational mode of being.

So where do we stand? What might be happening in that 30 seconds time between what was and what's happening - that for us, will take five weeks (the WB be damned).

If Wesley is dead, well, Doyle had nothing on the potential angst. Cordelia suffered in that one only somewhat more than Angel, but now we've got Angel, Lorne, Gunn, and Fred... who get to explain to Cordelia when she gets back and wants to know why the place looks like it went to hell in a handbasket, and why they could let Wesley walk around like a zombie for two episodes and not say, "gee, Wes, what's really going on?"

On top of that, does any of them know - or will any discover - just what it was that drove Wesley to such desperate actions? So far they all appear to be relatively ignorant of the information Wes carried. I still hold that his actions were born of previous mishaps and serious mistakes when he reacted too quickly to a mistranslation, combined with his overarching love for/adoration of Angel (as discussed so eloquently on another thread). Taken together, these creating a mitigating circumstance that allows for intellectual understanding, but the emotional damage from the apparent betrayal (not that of the kidnapping, but really of the not-telling) is still a slow process to overcome.

If Wes dies, we're left with a bunch of angst-ridden AI folks who will either beat themselves up for not noticing Wesley's emotional state, or they'll resent him after the fact for leaving them with such screwed up consequences. (Not to mention they're left without a complex general and booksmart/streetsmart character like Wes, who's definitely become very hard to replace.) And if Wes lives, then the real question - and the one most interesting to me - is how the dynamics must shift as a result of the realizations that they played a large part in Wes' emotional state.

It didn't take Holtz, or Sahjan, or Lilah, or anyone else any particular effort to effect this circumstance, after all. Wesley didn't go to Holtz for any reason that first time other than to let Holtz know that AI was on to him, and for a little show of bravado. (And I still hold to the fact that Wes didn't need to see Holtz, but that it was the writers manipulating things so that Holtz could be the only one perceptive enough, and with the willingness to listen and watch, to conclude that Wes was a man on the edge.) The AI group isolated Wesley with their own selfcenteredness, and Cordelia's absence exacerbated the issue. Normally she's the one Wes confides in, and she's perceptive enough to see what's going on and say something even when she's being her most self-centered. Gunn and Fred, on the other hand, are noticing only each other, and Wes only appears to intrude on their contemplation when he's making snide remarks about personal calls on company phones. Angel, of course, is 100% all about the baby. Lorne appears only here and there, mostly interacting with Angel - another manipulation on the part of the writers, I suspect, because Lorne always has been someone perceptive enough (duh) that he'd register something was up with Wesley, even if he didn't know what. But by keeping them separate (since Lorne isn't as self-centered now as he was when still moping about the loss(es) of his club), the writers could keep Wes isolated thoroughly, leading even quicker to his downfall.

The sole person I'd expect to argue on Wesley's behalf - being the person who's known him longest, if not (at this point) better than anyone else - is Cordelia. Her absence had a serious impact on the dynamics of the crew, and it's only in her absence that we're able to see just how much she's become the true heart of the operation. Without her there, each character quickly drifts into separate circles of action, without connection to the rest.

An aside about the writer's manipulations - visible but not enough to make me stop watching, mind you - that tempt me to give them kudos for such an effort to become as clunky as the ME BtVS group. What the hell did Wesley gain by going to see Holtz again? Ooh, another showdown. We get to see Wes being a bad ass, and we get to see that Holtz is fully aware that Wes is seriously close to breaking. Ok, nothing new there, really. But it also got Wesley out of the picture temporarily - long enough for Angel, Lorne, Gunn and Fred to determine that Angel's peculiar behavior has been due to some external manipulation with Conor's blood. That explains a lot of Angel's recent behavior (including the snack comment, possibly), but it didn't let Wesley in on this news - and that news could've possibly have taken the wind right out of his little isolated sails, off in their own thunderstorm. Pity. Damn those writers.

Second, Cordelia's absence means we're without the show's usual deus ex machina - her visions. Normally, we'd get some pivotal vision at the beginning that sets the episode in motion, or one near the end when an AI person is in danger. Given the various comments through the past two seasons about how Wesley will play a significant role in some upcoming cataclysm, I was expecting a vision from the PTBs about any danger he'd face. If Cordelia had been present and not gotten a vision, we'd be left with the conclusion that either this is the 'signficant role' Wesley is supposed to play (what, that of Judas?) or that he's easily replaceable and that someone else has been found for that part, so if he dies, it's a null point.

However, with Cordelia gone via yet another deus ex machina (also known as the "I obsess about Conor's college fund for two episodes, and then give my entire savings to the girl I'm secretly in love with" routine), we're left without even a hint as to the PTB's reaction to this situation. Okay, so it freed the writers from getting painted into a corner with trying to determine the PTB's unlikely reaction (or non-action) concerning a previously valuable player, but it still seems kinda contrived, to me.

So, like someone else asked, where do we go from here? Frankly, at the end of the episode, I was disappointed. Angel's loss as a parent didn't strike me nearly as deeply as the Judas-like betrayal from Wesley, who had to stand there and convince Angel to let him go, all while knowing being revealed was only as far away as Fred stood from Wesley's desk, and the prone Lorne. Angel's shock about Wesley's betrayal seemed to flit away as Angel jumped into action - a very Angel-like reaction, it seemed to me, so not surprising - but it didn't flit away from me nearly as fast. I was still reeling with Wesley's choices well into the pivotal scene where Holtz makes his own choice.

But I wasn't exactly that thrilled with what happens next. My mind, actually, is rather blank on what might happen. It seems inevitable that Cordelia will return and lambast the rest of the crew for isolating someone they leaned on so thoroughly. (Fred was the only one who attempted to get past Wes' barriers, and naturally she was the worst candidate for the attempt, given Wes' still-hurting broken heart over her choice of Gunn.) Alright, so perhaps we'll get to see Cordelia hand everyone some well-justified crow.

Justine barrelled off in Wesley's rather expensive SUV. (Hm, what happened to his motorcycle, and how'd he get that SUV anyway? This business really is quite lucrative... unless his mother is still sending him money on the side, a definite possibility given their interaction when Wes called.) Where's she heading? And what's she going to do with a stolen car, anyway? And please, so help me godz, do not turn her into another self-hating Faith, coming back for Wesley to redeem her in a mimicry of Angel. It wouldn't surprise me if ME pulled that stunt, given their tendency for patterns, but hopefully they'll do it with enough variation that we're not left telling ourselves that at least Faith was pretty damn hot when she fought, as opposed to Justine who always looks somewhat stolidly pissed off and relatively tense. ("This is me, being mad. This is me, being tense. This is me, being worried.")

Holtz coming back (or not coming back, which would suck, since I do like his voice but I'd like to see him get his ass kicked - ME has milked the "I'm a heartbroken father and widower" all it can at this point, IMO, and I'm a little like, "get over it, dude, everyone else has to without a crusade to torture someone two hundred years later!") with a now grown up Conor might be a comic-book approach, but I Trust In Joss (TM). If anyone can do it in such a way to make us go woah, it'd be Joss. I'm more worried about that loose Justine thread than I am about Conor coming back as Sahjan, Groo, or anyone else.

No, I don't want Wesley dead - he was turning out to be one of the most complex and interesting characters on AtS. Hmm, hope this doesn't point to the notion that once you get interesting, you're halfway to dead. AtS is a bit worse at the character development (for the past two seasons) than BtVS historically has been, but it's shaped up better this year with Cordelia and Wesley leading the way. I've been waiting for more from Gunn, Fred, and Lorne, but hopefully their time is coming... just as long as that doesn't mean their deaths are soon to follow. Yikes.

I'll stop here, cause I'm starting to ramble but hopefully at least you get what I mean. I had a few ideas that seemed brilliant when I thought them, but now I'm not sure if they made it into pixels. Then again, I also thought the philosophical ramifications would be earth-shattering, if anyone ever resolved the eternal debate: "which should be softer, toilet tissue or facial tissue?"


[> pixels are present and accounted for - great work! -- Liq, 10:17:24 03/05/02 Tue

[> Re: King Solomon's Choice (spoilers & speculation for ST, AtS) - very long! -- Rufus, 12:11:21 03/05/02 Tue

Do you think that Holtz capable of keeping his promise to love Connor/Steven as he were his own son? There was that end declaration that seemed desperate, desperate to the point of killing the baby. Is it just all part of the vengeance gig, or was Holtz attempting to turn back some time and make up with Connor what he couldn't with his own dead child? Or will he spend his time manipulating his child into a male version of Justine and the rest of the "cult"? Why tell Angel that his son would be loved? I can understand the not telling the child that he was "adopted", but can Holtz honestly put aside his resentment of Darla and Angel to love Connor, or is he just another fanatic with a dream?

[> [> love and manipulation (some spoilers) -- purplegrrl, 12:35:10 03/05/02 Tue

Holtz is fairly twisted in his quest for revenge on Angel -- he makes deals with demons, for heaven's sake. So I think it's possible that Holtz will "love" Conner/Steven, not as his own child, but because he represents the continued torment of Angel. He will "love" Conner/Steven as a symbol, not as a human being.

I didn't really understand why Holtz would want to create his own little nuclear family with Justine and Conner until I thought back on when Holtz refused to kill Angel immediately after Conner's birth. It was at that moment when the direction of his revenge shifted. He knew that it would make his revenge that much sweeter if he could make Angel suffer the loss of a child as Angel had made him suffer. And now with Holtz and Conner in a dark dimension, if Holtz has retained his consciousness and sense of self, he must be very happy with the direction his revenge has taken -- for Angel to be separated from his son across dimensions rather than just the distance from California to Utah, and Angel not knowing if Conner is alive or dead.

(P.S. Excellent post, Sol.)

[> [> Eye for an eye, the sins of the father, and "family" -- Solitude1056, 14:21:55 03/05/02 Tue

Do you think that Holtz capable of keeping his promise to love Connor/Steven as he were his own son? There was that end declaration that seemed desperate, desperate to the point of killing the baby.

I have to watch the episode again, but it seemed to me at the time that Holtz was pretty much telling everyone that the child would be dead before Holtz would give it up. He's a stubborn man, he made up his mind, and he'll destroy everything sooner than give way. Okay. I can respect that this is Holtz' fatal flaw, because if he weren't like that, he wouldn't even be here - he would've told Sahjan to get lost, two hundred years ago. It seemed to me, while watching it, that Holtz was both giving this message to everyone, and at the same time testing Angel - "are you parent enough to let your child live" - that whole self-sacrificing thing we see so often in parents, who'd do anything for their child. Angel's response confirmed Holtz' suspicions (IMO), and thus gave Holtz the satisfaction of knowing that whatever the outcome, Angel would suffer if the outcome didn't include Conor back, safe and sound in his own arms - and that possibility was pretty much ruled out by the intervention of so many other present parties.

Is it just all part of the vengeance gig, or was Holtz attempting to turn back some time and make up with Connor what he couldn't with his own dead child? Or will he spend his time manipulating his child into a male version of Justine and the rest of the "cult"?

It really depends on whether Holtz believes that the sins of the father will taint the son. If Conor were five or six, this might be an issue, since Conor would clearly be old enough to have some vestigial memories of a different father. But Conor's only four or five months, at most. It takes a truly hard heart to bear hatred against a small child for something it had no part in, and based on Holtz' grief at the destruction of his own family, I really don't think Holtz is that kind of man. Bitter, self-absorbed, and single-minded, but not necessarily one who'd torture a small child emotionally for something the child didn't do and isn't even aware of - hence Holtz' emphasis on the fact that the child would never know of Angel's existence.

In Angel's own quandry, however, that takes a certain maturity and love (and is really only feasibly presented once we remember that Angel's spent the past few episodes worrying about how he can be part of Conor's life when there are so many things he could never do as a parent, like go on school field trips or be present for father/son day at the preschool, etc). Angel is very aware that Holtz, as a human, presents a much better chance of being fully involved in Conor's life, even if Holtz' love suffers by lack of blood-link. It's better than a dead Conor, so it's an option that Angel takes willingly.

Although I did get a chill when Holtz said to Conor, "I'm your father," as if perhaps the prophesy doesn't care whether "father" means "biologically related," but merely where the title is used. Technically, Holtz is a father even if his children are now dead, as is Angel even though Conor is dimensionally a billion miles away. So it could be either one, because we don't know how literal the prophesy is - "the father will kill the son" is a bit different from "the father will kill his son," after all. And even then, what if the "his son" refers to someone else's son, and not necessarily the father's? For that matter, Wesley, Gunn, Angel and Holtz are all "sons," even if their parents are alive now or have been dead for centuries. So once you get into the semantics of a prophesy, you can see how easily they could be twisted into a variety of interpretations, and not just the most likely based on immediate situation (like Wesley did, to assume "father" = Angel, and "son" = Conor).

Why tell Angel that his son would be loved? I can understand the not telling the child that he was "adopted", but can Holtz honestly put aside his resentment of Darla and Angel to love Connor, or is he just another fanatic with a dream?

Again, this is my take on it - YMMV - but it seemed to me that Holtz was both reassuring Angel and at the same time subtly implying that as a human, Holtz could "love" the child where Angel could not. Holtz may operate by his own bitter rules, based on his own private ethics, but he appears to be honorable while staying consistent only with himself. The problem is that we don't know enough about Holtz' inner ethics other than the behavior we chance to see, such as his consideration of Wesley as a guest (albeit a dangerous guest), and his care in manipulating Justine and the rest of the crew. It is entirely possible that Holtz' personal idea of honor demanded that he do the little exposition, letting Angel know the child would be loved but that the child would remain ignorant of his true origins. While it seemed remarkably like botched exposition to me (smacking of Giles' little speech to Ben), it's also arguable that Holtz was acting on his own understanding of honor, as Wesley had been as well.

Certainly I think Holtz could put aside his hatred of Darla and Angel, because his possession of Conor would mean he'd won. Purplegrrl is right, though, that Conor would remain a symbol to Holtz, though I don't know if this would be a permanent state, or if Holtz would eventually mellow into a state of love. It's also a toss-up whether Holtz would remain silent to the end about Conor's origins; if he did say anything, I suspect it would only be while on his death-bed and only then if he had determined, long after the act, that he had acted dishonorably towards his adopted son.

More Buffy Season 2 DVD Set Info!!! -- Rob, 14:26:05 03/05/02 Tue

Hey, guys...I'm so excited, I can barely type! The set, for those of you who don't know, is coming out on June 11th, and the special features have finally been announed. Those of you, like myself, who were disappointed with the low number of features in the first set, should be very happy with this one.

Got this from --:

"Buffy fans, Season 2 is upon you! Arriving on 6/11 is Buffy The Vampire Slayer: The Complete Second Season. Presented in full frame and 2.0 surround, extras are plentiful this time around, and include audio commentary for the episodes "Reptile Boy," "What's My Line?" (parts 1 and 2), and "Innocence" by writer and director David Greenwalt, co-writer Marti Noxon, and writer and director Joss Whedon, respectively, interviews with Whedon on "Surprise," "Innocence," "Passion," "I Only Have Eyes For You" and "Becoming," three featurettes on "Designing Buffy," "A Buffy Bestiary" and "Beauty and Beasts," still gallery on the set designs and monsters and additional still photo galleries totaling 150 stills in all, scripts for "Reptile Boy";"What's My Line?" and "Innocence," 2 UK TV spots, 6 domestic TV spots, "Angel" video trailer, season 2 "Buffy" DVD trailer, and updated cast bios. Retail is $59.95."

Sounds exciting...and it will give us some new Buffy stuff to do, just around the time of the year we're usually going into Buffy-withdrawal. No, they're not new eps, but watching them on DVD's almost like watching them for the first time anyway. And am I the only one who can't wait to hear Joss' commentary for "Innocence"?!? His commentary for "Welcome to the Hellmouth" was the first commentary track I ever sat down and listened to the whole way through!


[> Transcript of Joss Commentary for Innocence is Dec Archive -- Rahael, 15:12:58 03/05/02 Tue

Not quite the same, I know. But saves waiting!

[> [> urgh. I meant November -- Rahael, 15:18:09 03/05/02 Tue

[> [> [> Here's the link -- d'Herblay, 15:22:43 03/05/02 Tue

Read and enjoy!!

(And before someone starts complaining about the lack of a December archive, I just want to say that I finished coding them Friday night. They're out of my hands now . . . )

[> [> [> [> Did you get those zip files I sent you? -- Masq, 15:44:59 03/05/02 Tue

And when you got them, did you groan and pitch'm in the recycle can? : ) : ) : )

[> [> [> [> [> I got them. -- d'Herblay, 16:12:38 03/05/02 Tue

Found lots of good stuff in there: fiction by mole and Moose, a comparison of "Tabula Rasa" with "Restless," a long post where Dedalus refers to himself in the third person, and countless updates on the progress of Rob's first essay . . .

[> [> [> [> [> [> Not all of which needed to go in the archives... -- Masq, 16:31:48 03/05/02 Tue

Most notably, Rob's updates.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Awwww . . . I thought they were cute! -- d'Herblay, 16:49:51 03/05/02 Tue

And they did veer into some interesting stuff, such as advice on how to choose an essay topic. I suppose that my policy is that if someone starts a thread, that person wants it to last unto posterity. There's some goodies buried in the board-business threads, so I tend to be very stingy with my excisions.

You don't like it? You can fire me! Jes' don't throw me into the briar patch, B'rer Masq!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I trust you to put in what you see fit... -- Masq, 16:57:13 03/05/02 Tue

And if you continue to help me with these archives (please, please grovelingshamelesslyandkissingyourtoes), I'll send you what I've downloaded off the board for a particular month without editing out threads I consider unnecessary first, so you can use your most wise descretion.

'cause all those things you mentioned I remember taking out. I'm still thinking server space is at a premium, but so far that beautiful Goddes, Liquidram, hasn't complained. So do as thy will, d'Herb : ) : ) : )

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> LiqGoddes just thanks the stars daily that she doesn't have Sir dH's job -- Goddes, 17:22:06 03/05/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> By the way, the December archives have been posted . . . -- d'Herblay, 23:05:51 03/05/02 Tue

. . . here.

[> [> [> [> Cool, thanks, guys...Saves me that pesky waiting! -- Rob, 16:57:19 03/05/02 Tue

[> "I can't f*cking wait!" and "Oooh, my moneybone." -- yuri, 21:14:37 03/05/02 Tue

[> thanks for all you do rahael, d'herblay, and masq. you all rule! -- juliaabra, 23:20:59 03/05/02 Tue

Comedy, horror and the Loa Burger - spoilers for Loyalty and Sleeptight -- lulabel, 15:14:00 03/05/02 Tue

These last 2 Angel episodes have just been incredible in so many ways - gripping story, amazing acting. One scene in particular, Wesley vs the Loa Burger, knocked my socks off - at first for its silliness, then for its audacity in juxtaposing high campiness with emotional horror. Here is Wesley, a man whose growing dread is fast sending him around the bend, being confronted with the a big talking hamburger-oracle. It reminded me of David Lynch's Twin Peaks, where comedy and horror were often played off the other. Upon further rumination about this comedy/horror thing, I identified at least 3 different uses of comedy in Angel and Buffy shows (there are undoubtedly more)

1. Humor for its own sake - it's fun, and it's part of the human condition
2. Comic relief. Unrelenting drama becomes dull, monochromatic. Comedy can be used as contrast, as punctuation for the drama. This is a classic Shakespearean device, and is commonly used in the Buffy and Angel shows, as well as other popular drama shows such as ER.
3. Comedy which drives/fuels dramatic tension - this is the kind that the Loa Burger typifies. This type of comedy does not interrupt or punctuate the drama, but heightens it, intensifies it.

Throughout these last 2 episodes of Angel, there has been a growing sense of dread, over the prophesy, over Wesley's actions, Holtz's actions, etc. Wesley in particular is moving past the point of being able to deal rationally and effectively - his perceptions are becoming skewed in his panic and desperation. When he encounters the Loa Burger, there is an hallucinogenic quality to the humor, as if Wesley has conjured this demonic oracle from his own feverish imaginings. The campiness is not in contrast to the drama, it is actually adding fuel to the fire.

There is a similar quality to Angel?s overactive wit and excitability at the beginning of "Sleep Tight". Yes, it?s funny, but one also gets the distinct impression that he is beginning to channel Angelus. In the scene were Lilah and Angel were trading witty repartee in the bar, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Angelus to appear and start rearranging body parts.

This use of comedy to fuel dread was also used in "The Gift" rather effectively - Glory's campy, crazy bitch number added to the overall uncertainty and horror.

Do I have a point with all this? Not really, just some observations on an interesting dramatic device. I'm still flabbergasted by the whole Loa Burger thing after a week!

[> A truly inspired scene -- matching mole, 18:08:21 03/05/02 Tue

I'd have to agree that the Burger Loa scene ranks among the most powerfully surrealistic in the history of the Buffyverse. Symbolically powerful as well as a wicked little piece of satire. Wesley goes for guidance to a marketing tool, something designed to get people to purchase food. And what does he get? Truthful but misleading information about eating.

I'll forgive quite few plot holes just for that scene.

[> [> Hey, it *did* mislead him; Wes should have been on the lookout for a 'whopper' (BWAHAHA!...) -- SingedCat, 05:32:42 03/06/02 Wed

Being amoral vs. being evil; not the same thing -- Mindtrekker, 16:56:45 03/05/02 Tue

I must disagree that to be amoral is to the same as being evil, although I will agree that many people who are evil are amoral. (hope that made sense :>)

The term amoral is defined by Websters as "neither moral nor immoral," or "lying outside the sphere to which moral judgments apply." The dictionary gives two examples of amoralism--science and infants. Infants have no moral sensibility because they have not yet learned one but we would not say they are evil. Science is amoral because it looks at the world in purely pragmatic terms, not attempting to make moral judgements but merely trying to understand the how things occur in the world. Is this evil? Should we look at the mating habits of a female preying mantis, which will eat her mate after sex, and call her evil? (I must admit she did seem pretty evil in the Buffy show devoted to the preying mantis in season 1 - :>)

Fire has throughout history killed many people every year. Is fire therefore evil? Are people who use fire evil? Are people who use fire RECKLESSLY evil?

The amoral view has it place. It is just as problematic to apply a moral prism to absolutely everything in this world as it is problematic to never apply a moral prism to absolutely everything in this world.

The other distinction I would make between being evil and amoral is that someone who is evil or being evil, like Lyla in Angel, knows they're evil. Someone who is amoral doesn't recognize that there's a moral question to be asked or if they do recognize it, do not see it as all that significant. They do not see themselves as evil. They see what they find in the world, including the things we talk about as evil, as merely the way it is, as part of how the world works and do not challenge it to change or be anything other than what it is.

In Spike's case, he does not actively or personally participate in evil acts. Granted that one might argue that storing human-killing demon eggs is an evil act, but there's no evidence that Spike knows the nature of the eggs--in fact, he's clearly ignorant because he doesn't store them correctly. Spike figures he's clean because he won't be personally involved in whatever the eggs are used for. He's just a conduit for the buying and selling and after all if he didn't do it someone else would. So the evil would occur anyway. And he just won't ask what that evil is.

Spike's is amoral toward every situation and that is arguably evil but it's not evidence that he's evil.

I could write a lot more but don't have time. Hope I haven't completely botched this explanation of this view of things.

Sleep Tight and the Terminator -- Dochawk, 17:22:54 03/05/02 Tue

I brought this up last night in chat, but as I watch Sleep Tight a second time I was wondering about Terminator. Why does Sahjan want Angel dead? Since Angel doesn't recognize him, something Angel does in the future is destructive to him. Now I think it was something Angel adn Connor did together. Since Connor is "innocent" and Angel isn't, Sahjan decides to kill Angel. This is the same thing that happens in Terminator. The Terminator is sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor prior to her son's birth. Once her son is born, the new Terminator is sent to kill him. So Sahjan, a time shifter comes from the future to kill Angel or his son, just as the Terminator. Of course, as has laready been mentioned, Connor's name is a direct link to the story.

Anyone else?

[> Re: Sleep Tight and the Terminator (sorry spoilers for ST above) -- Dochawk, 17:28:34 03/05/02 Tue

I can't even comment on whether I liked "Hell's Bells" or not...(HB spoilers) -- Rob, 18:08:14 03/05/02 Tue

Because I don't know.

This episode has despressed me more than I think any episode in the show's history ever has.

I enjoyed everything until the end. Now, I'm not saying that it wasn't a great episode (because I think it really was), nor am I saying that, plotwise, it may end up being a great thing...but for now I just feel so sad for Anya, especially after hearing her speech about learning about love.

If Xander had only been able to hear those vows, perhaps he wouldn't have changed his mind.

As it is, this is the first episode in a long time I don't think I'm going to be able to rewatch, at least for a while.


[> Re: I can't even comment on whether I liked "Hell's Bells" or not...(HB spoilers) -- Dawney, 18:18:02 03/05/02 Tue

Yea I agree I really, really feel sad for Anya and for Xander. He was so scared and sad himself. It was awful....

However, the interchange between Buffy and Spike was nice and civil. I very much enjoyed their honesty for once to each other. Willow and Tara looked very snuggly too - so it looks like there is hope there.

I don't know if anyone knows about next weeks episode, but it looks awfully sad....I think Buffy has had enough of the tragic and horribly painful. I wouldn't mind watching her be happy for a bit again......

TTFN - Ta Ta For Now!


[> Re: I can't even comment on whether I liked "Hell's Bells" or not...(HB spoilers) -- gds, 19:06:58 03/05/02 Tue

If Xander had only been able to hear those vows, perhaps he wouldn't have changed his mind.

He would probobly even been more detrmined in his decision. It was not not about her, it was about the fear he would be an abuser like his father. Some time ago someone made a post here saying Xander was afraid of marriage because as the child of an abuser he was at extra risk of being an abuser. That poster obviously was correct.

[> [> Re: I can't even comment on whether I liked "Hell's Bells" or not...(HB spoilers) -- Wisewoman, 19:17:33 03/05/02 Tue

Totally agree, gds. Xander's absolute horror was over having hit, and possibly killed, Anya in his "vision" of the future. I think that's what was on his mind most when he was trying to tell her why the wedding couldn't happen. And we saw ample evidence that Mr. Harris was not only physically abusive, but emotionally abusive to his wife as well. If anything, Xander's probably even more concerned that he'll follow in his dad's footsteps that way. It's a short step from the snappy quip to the cutting insult.

And I can comment on how I felt about HB: sure it was sad, but I absolutely loved it. One of the best written, directed, and acted eps of the entire series, not just this season, IMO.

[> [> [> You know what, gds & WW? You're right... -- Rob, 20:25:01 03/05/02 Tue

You guys helped me understand Xander's reason for not going through with the wedding more than before. It also, ironically, shows how much he truly loves her.

FakeFutureXander(FFX)'s motis operandi in the visions he gave Xander was to make Anya look like a monster. What he didn't realize is how much Xander is truly in love with Anya. Throughout those visions, although they were skewed to put Anya in a negative light, Xander never blamed her for anything. Xander saw himself as the abuser. He didn't care about how he might be treated badly in the future, as FFX wanted him to. He cared that he will end up destroying the woman he loves. And that is what he can't bear to live with...that he might end up hurting this woman who loves him so unbearably much, it aches.

I don't think there's ever been a greater example on this show of true love. Xander would be willing to suffer for the next 30 years of his life. But he can't bear the thought that his love might suffer, or that he might cause her harm. Ironically, this revelation is the reason he breaks up with her.

And WW, I agree with you. This was a brilliant episode, and I feel that even more strongly after reading what you wrote. This was truly one of the series' (not just this season's) high points, despite the sadness of the situation. It analyzed my two favorite characters, Xander and Anya, in a way that has not been done in a long, long time...And I cannot wait to find out what results from D'Hoffryn's offer (Although I will wait, since, when Willow gave up magic, I gave up spoilers!).

In fact, you've inspired me to rewatch it right now.


Rob :o)

[> This one's gonna have to stew awhile...(HB spoilers) -- JBone, 19:13:44 03/05/02 Tue

Now, I'm not saying that it wasn't a great episode (because I think it really was), nor am I saying that, plotwise, it may end up being a great thing...

I think you're right. This is the first time since we saw Buffy swan dive off the tower, that I was sitting here shocked at what I was seeing. That's what happens when you lead a spoiler-free lifestyle.

[> Re: I can't even comment on whether I liked "Hell's Bells" or not...(HB spoilers) -- pagangodess, 19:42:26 03/05/02 Tue

You are right about depressing. Especially, when it comes to Buffy. Her line 'it was supposed to be my light at the end of the was a TRAIN' is going to stay with me for some time.

Lots of other issues here as well. I'll have to let it simmer.


[> Re: I can't even comment on whether I liked "Hell's Bells" or not...(HB spoilers) -- Terrapin, 20:28:32 03/05/02 Tue

Well, another tear jerker. I feel that I am crying as much as laughing. But you have to take in account that I cried when Mufasa died in the Lion King. But good god, I loved this episode so much.

Another stellar performance from Emma. Her vows were not only acted perfectly, but they were written perfectly too. Emma definelty shined in this ep. Just the look on her face when she's walking down the isle. The last scene with D'hoffryn was very deep too.

And Xander, poor Xander. I totally agree with Willow when she says that she should hate him for what he's done, but she just can't. Neither can I.

Also, I really like how the B/S interaction was played out. Short, but sweet. Now I find myself loving Spike once again. I don't think I can ever make my mind up.

Well, at least there's hope for Willow and Tara. There scenes were just so cute together. In the scene with Anya, Willow, and Tara, did anybody else notice Tara's look when Anya is talking about taking care of her heart. Ahhhhhh. But Willow to the rescue. hehe.

Again we go back to the episode Restless.

[> On my second viewing... -- Rob, 21:35:17 03/05/02 Tue

It was a lot easier to watch the episode a second time. Already knowing what would happen, I was able to prepare myself for the blow, and take more time analyzing the episode on a deeper level.

One thing that really stuck out at me was Willow's comment that the dead demon didn't go "poof." And how she then suggests that they "cover it with flowers." While this was meant as a joke, it is also symbolic of the situation, and reminiscent of OMWF. Just as the affect of Sweet's songs remain long after he is gone, this demon's death does not drive the seeds of doubt he planted, from Xander's mind. Anya attempts to "cover it up with flowers," by going on with the wedding, and totally discounting the old man's visions. And in a way, she is right. After all, it is very unlikely that this future will ever happen. She tells Xander that the purpose of the old man's visions were to paint her as a monster, after all.

But, with typical Jossian moral ambiguity, Xander is right, in a way, too...He does not want to call off the wedding b/c he thinks Anya may turn into a monster, but because he's afraid he will. He is afraid he will abuse Anya in the future, and, whether his beliefs were founded or no, it may be wrong to get married so soon after experiencing those horrible feelings. My heart doesn't just hurt for Anya, but Xander, too, to have to do something like that, b/c he felt he was helping the woman he loved by separating himself from her.


[> On my second viewing... -- Rob, 21:35:18 03/05/02 Tue

It was a lot easier to watch the episode a second time. Already knowing what would happen, I was able to prepare myself for the blow, and take more time analyzing the episode on a deeper level.

One thing that really stuck out at me was Willow's comment that the dead demon didn't go "poof." And how she then suggests that they "cover it with flowers." While this was meant as a joke, it is also symbolic of the situation, and reminiscent of OMWF. Just as the affect of Sweet's songs remain long after he is gone, this demon's death does not drive the seeds of doubt he planted, from Xander's mind. Anya attempts to "cover it up with flowers," by going on with the wedding, and totally discounting the old man's visions. And in a way, she is right. After all, it is very unlikely that this future will ever happen. She tells Xander that the purpose of the old man's visions were to paint her as a monster, after all.

But, with typical Jossian moral ambiguity, Xander is right, in a way, too...He does not want to call off the wedding b/c he thinks Anya may turn into a monster, but because he's afraid he will. He is afraid he will abuse Anya in the future, and, whether his beliefs were founded or no, it may be wrong to get married so soon after experiencing those horrible feelings. My heart doesn't just hurt for Anya, but Xander, too, to have to do something like that, b/c he felt he was helping the woman he loved by separating himself from her.


[> [> 2 viewings, 2 postings! LOL...Oops! -- Rob, 21:39:49 03/05/02 Tue

Hells Bells -- dfrisby, 18:17:46 03/05/02 Tue

Yes, poor Anya, and Xander too, assuming vengeance is on the way. Anyaka as the big bad this season? Causing Buffy to find herself in an asylum for the past six years???!!! Has Joss lost it? And William and Buffy are really cutting ties? This was depressing. At least Willow and Tara are looking up. I simply must assume that the asylum is a one episode situation. I don't like Dallas things where whole seasons become dreams. Season 7 needs to end with the end of all demons and magic for centuries (Fray). And Willow must be the big gun for that, with help from Tara. And now, with Anya into vengeance, Xander will return to Buffy when she most needs him. ------ This soap opera is really heady stuff. I can't wait until the Ph.D. dissertations tackle the series as a whole -- of course I also dread it ending. Where will you go next Sara? Buffy will now live forever.

[> **SPOILERS ABOVE FOR HELL'S BELLS** -- Your friendly neighbourhood early warning system, 18:33:45 03/05/02 Tue

Non sequitor: "Buffy Archetypes and Me" -- Katrina, 18:38:40 03/05/02 Tue

This is a belated reply to the thread started by Eric about Buffy characters in one's dreams, if you're still interested. At the time I read the post, I hadn't remembered any dreams with Buffy characters in them, but I had one over the weekend. Did thinking about this question from the discussion board actually cause my dream? Hmmm. Anyway, I dreamed that I was Cordelia, and I was returning from a trip on a Greyhound bus that was dropping me off at a city bus stop. Someone was supposed to pick me up, I don't know who, but there was no one there, so I waited around, getting annoyed. The odd thing was that I was carrying a box like a chocolate box, only wooden, that contained Angel's soul, which I was holding onto for safe-keeping.
That's it!

[> Hmmm. Bus stop. Chocolate box. -- WW, 18:42:36 03/05/02 Tue

Are you sure you were Cordelia and not Forrest Gump?


Okay, I've changed my mind (**SPOILERS** for Hell's Bells) -- Wisewoman, 18:39:11 03/05/02 Tue

...about two things:

1. BtVS has not gone down the tubes, jumped the shark, or any of those other things I was worried about. Hell's Bells was wonderful.

2. Spike is not the most attractive, sweet, charming, sexy, "let-me-bear-your-children- type" male in the Buffyverse--Clem is!


[> Re: Okay, I've changed my mind (**SPOILERS** for Hell's Bells) -- Rufus, 18:43:22 03/05/02 Tue

I loved it....that show has been forshadowed since Restless. Xander's feelings of insecurity have never gone away. His snapping at Anya here and there must have been eating away at him because he feared a replay of his parents marriage. I find that I agreed with him cancelling a marriage he was clearly not ready for. Just as Anya finally got what love really means it was snatched away from her by someone from her past. I can't wait for next week. Oh and for WW the Buffy and Spike talk was nice too.

[> [> Yeah, but Ruf... -- dubdub, 18:48:39 03/05/02 Tue

I don't care about Spike anymore! I'm cured--I'm totally a Clem girl now!!


[> [> [> Re: Yeah, but Ruf... -- Ruf, 19:47:55 03/05/02 Tue

Poor Spikey.......oh well onto bigger and more layered men, demons...whatever....he is a very nice fellow (except the kitten munching bit, can't forgive him for that)....:)

[> [> [> [> maybe not? -- anom, 10:31:30 03/06/02 Wed

"(except the kitten munching bit, can't forgive him for that)"

Does Clem actually eat them himself? Or do they all go to Sharkhead? If this has been specified, I missed it. Not that supplying kittens to be eaten is any better than doing the eating....

[> [> [> Yeah, but where was Sophie? -- d'Herblay, 20:32:12 03/05/02 Tue

Clem/Sophie shippers unite!!!

[> [> [> [> And while I'm being all shippy . . . -- d'Herblay, 20:39:44 03/05/02 Tue

. . . could Dawn and that demon have been any cuter?

Ok . . . this is a good sign for the Jossverse. First Angel has me paying rapt attention for two episodes without Charisma, now Buffy has me shippin' like a schoolgirl. If schoolgirls were to ship.

[> [> [> [> I'll make him forget Sophie ever existed!! -- dubdub, 21:17:55 03/05/02 Tue

Hey, he could have brought her. He came stag. He's available.

Clem's entire raison d'etre (with the little triangle on top of the first e) seems to be to make everyone feel as comfortable as he possibly can. Did you notice that he didn't once participate in any of the brawls that broke out? Who can resist a, a being, with such sensitivity and restraint?

Not me. ;o)

[> [> [> [> [> There's still this Kitten thing........he's going to have to stop...;) -- Rufus, 00:15:28 03/06/02 Wed

Plus who wants a demon who has to floss kitten from his teeth? Do you think there is a chip that would work? As soon as he says "Here Kitty, Kitty".....Zzzzzzappppp!

[> [> [> [> [> [> It's all a ruse -- dubdub, 10:39:45 03/06/02 Wed

I've decided that Clem really doesn't eat kittens--he just goes along with the rest of the gambling guys, so that they won't feel bad about it, and then, whenever he wins, he finds good homes for his kittens!

[> [> [> [> [> [> kitten migraines.....:) :) :) -- purplegrrl, 13:42:16 03/06/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> not to mention... -- anom, 10:21:13 03/06/02 Wed

"Who can resist a, a being, with such sensitivity and restraint?"

& one who knows about the roots of the circus in commedia dell'arte--even though he's not really circus folk! He's more worldly, even scholarly, than he's let on before. (Don't worry, dubdub, I'm not in the market for him....)

[> [> [> [> [> [> AND... -- dubdub, 11:00:11 03/06/02 Wed

Clem is so secure in his masculinity (if that's what it is?) that he was easily able to express his appreciation of how cute Richard was in OaFA. And he had the guts to sit on Xander's side at the wedding, with all the bigotted Harrises.

Clem is perfect!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: AND... -- Mystery, 12:56:00 03/06/02 Wed

I too love Clem, but don't worry WW, it's in the brother-sister kind of way.

All in favor of Clem being a regular next season (and thus even out the estrogen-testosterone imbalance) say "EYE!"


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> EYE!!!!!!!!!! -- VampRiley, 13:55:20 03/06/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Eye-eye-eye!! -- dubdub, 15:38:31 03/06/02 Wed

[> [> [> Frailty, thy name is *wise*woman! -- notquiteHamlet, 03:09:23 03/06/02 Wed

[> Re: Okay, I've changed my mind (**SPOILERS** for Hell's Bells) -- pagangodess, 19:19:20 03/05/02 Tue

I'm glad you have, WW.

My husband does not seem to be able to do that, so it's now that much harder watching the show with him. I'm still loyally rooting for Buffy, but I can certainly see why my other half prefers 'Angel'(which I also like, btw).

I loved Hell's Bells, the Anya/Clem offspring was just too funny. Imagine going through highschool with those ears!

B/S dialogue was sweet and very mature.

I'd love to agree with you on #2, but....c'mon visualise Spike (yum), now visualise Clem (not so yum).


[> Re: Okay, I've changed my mind (**SPOILERS** for Hell's Bells) -- Robert, 20:43:13 03/05/02 Tue

The favorite part of the episode was Xander's visions. They represent every man's pre-wedding doubts.

[> Yeah, but ... -- listening, 20:43:45 03/05/02 Tue

... Spike was awfully cute tonight.

[> Glad ya feel that way, WW! The ep that changed my mind about this season was "Dead Things"... -- Rob, 21:38:42 03/05/02 Tue

...but, after a brief lapse in perfection, with OaFA and AYW, this was a nice reaffirmation of just how damn good this show still is. I defy any others shows to crank out such brilliant hours of television, as "Hell's Bells" in the middle of their sixth seasons!


[> Re: Okay, I've changed my mind (**SPOILERS** for Hell's Bells) -- Rattletrap, 06:59:17 03/06/02 Wed

Well, the verdict across the board seems to be overwhelmingly positive, but I'll add my voice to the chorus anyway.

Becky Kirschner amazes me for her ability to shift from wacky, over-the-top comedy to hard drama without missing a beat. This episode shares that characteristic with "Tabula Rasa," her previous offering. I didn't catch who directed this episode, but that, too, was well done. I especially loved the lack of a background score when Buffy and Spike have their conversation--it really highlighted the awkwardness and emptiness of the moment, there were several other nice subleties like that that left me quite impressed. I also love that we finally got to meet Uncle Rory, who has been the drunken uncle perpetually in the background since S2, and a great continuity touch mentioning his trade as a taxidermist. It was also nice to see some B/X and W/X friend interaction, maybe that will be the best thing to come out of this mess.

WW, I can't comment on preferring Clem over Spike, but he seems like he would be a cool guy to hang out and maybe have a beer with.

Anyway, just had to get my $.02 in


[> This is a long and rambly response, but what an episode! -- dream of the consortium, 08:13:50 03/06/02 Wed

I am with you on both counts. This was a fantastic episode, and Clem is my new dream guy. (It says good things about Spike that Clem is his friend, by the way.)

So many good things to love in this episode! Dawn talking with demon boy, very different from the sort of guy Buffy would have been drawn to at that age, but just right for Dawn. The familial interactions of Xander/Buffy/Willow were very touching. Spike and Buffy's interaction was right on. The dresses were perfect - I don't know how they managed to find a dress for Anya that was such a horrific cartoon of a wedding dress and yet still made her look beautiful, just right for Anya's character.

I liked the litle touch about Xander gaining weight - an indication of the degree to which he had been worried about the wedding, but also traditionally one of the ways in which young men first start worrying about becoming their fathers ('My God, I'm getting a gut like Dad's'). The visions of the future were, as someone pointed out, every man's fears upon marriage, but they were also uniquely Xander's. He fears most of all becoming spiteful and violent, but also having no relationship to his children, failing to fulfill Anya's rather voracious sexual and material needs (note Anya remains attractive), failing as a Scoobie (Buffy's death), losing his livelihood as a result of physical injury(he still has no faith in his ability to do work which is not based on physical labor). Oh, and having demon children - did anyone else think that Xander would have found his father's narrow-minded comments about the circus folk a little uncomfortably familiar? Despite his love for Anya, Xander has always been the one to draw the line most clearly between demons and humans, us and them. In many ways, it is not surprising that Xander would believe that he can not overcome what he believes to be his nature - he has always had the hardest time accepting that someone (Angel, Spike, even Anya, at first) could change what he considered to be basic to his/her nature.

And Anya finally having to reap some consequences from her time as a vengeance demon. A call for speculations: how far do you think ME will take this? Could all the focus on Spike at the beginning of this season be a red herring - the redemption we needed to be thinking about was the one we were taking for granted, Anya's? No one (none of the characters, I mean) had serious issue with Anya's love for Xander bringing her to the side of good, but, as has often been mentioned on this board, the differences between her situation and Spike's are pretty small. All of the discussion in this episode of what love is didn't have nearly the strength of the what the events showed love isn't: a answer to everything. That's been a major theme of this season in regards to Spike and Buffy, even Buffy and Dawn, and this variation with Xander and Anya reinforces the point marvelously.

On a lighter note, the Willow/Tara interactions were charming and graceful. I loved the two of them flirting while dressing Anya - it struck me as very daring and intelligent to center a fliratious scene between two women around them dressing another woman.

I can't wait to watch this again.

[> Oh, and one more thing -- dream of the consortium, 08:53:46 03/06/02 Wed

I liked how Anya's line at the end about how she just wanted to be able to stop crying was so close in spirit to Willow's desire to just have the pain over with in the episode where she is offered a position as vengeance demon (Something Blue?). D'Hoffryn seems to offer people the chance to bury unbearable grief in the anger of vengeance - which is why people often turn to vengeance in real life, too. Revenge can be easier than pain that doesn't seem to end.

Oh, and I love the "I survived" t-shirt Buffy was wearing at the end.

And Spike explaining why he was intending to take the "Manic Panic" chick back to his place by shrugging and saying "Evil" - that was hilarious.

I have to stop now.

[> [> Re: Oh, and one more thing -- dubdub, 17:47:31 03/06/02 Wed

Funny thing, your speculation about where ME intends to take this for may know that I am an inveterate Spoiler Trollop (and proud of it!) but we have heard nary a whisper of what's coming down the pike in this regard. In fact, aside from very basic things (like TV guide descriptions) there's not much happening spoiler-wise. It's a drought!

I'm so used to knowing what's coming up weeks or months ahead of time, I actually find it difficult to speculate any more. This could be another reason to avoid spoilers, I suppose....nah.


[> [> [> Re: Oh, and one more thing -- dream of the consortium, 05:43:59 03/07/02 Thu

I noticed that (I lurk in spoiler-land). A big, blank nothing coming up. Even last week's preview was very limited. I like it - gives the sense that anything could happen.

Parallels in S6 (SPOILERS for "Hell's Bells' -- DEN, 18:43:55 03/05/02 Tue

Now each of the Scoobies has turned away from someone who loves them deeply. Perhaps this may be some kind of turning point. I hope so!

[> Re: Parallels in S6 (SPOILERS for "Hell's Bells' -- Terrapin, 20:31:30 03/05/02 Tue

Restless also seems to play in affect with season six too!


I've been reading through the board and I keep running into ambiguous mesaage sounding alot like this is Buffy's last season! Did I miss something? Is this the end for the Slayer? PLEASE SOMEONE OUT THERE - SAY IS ISN'T SO. :-(

[> Okay, "It isn't so." -- WW, 19:11:09 03/05/02 Tue

As far as we know, BtVS has at least one more season to go (next year). All the regulars except Tara are signed for a 7th season.

And hey, remember to breath...


[> [> Re: Okay, "It isn't so." -- Angelina, 03:57:21 03/06/02 Wed



[> Re: IS THIS BUFFY'S LAST SEASON - OH MY GOD - HAVE I MISSED SOMETHING -- gds, 19:17:13 03/05/02 Tue

This is season 6. For practical reasons (contracts etc) many people think season 7 will be the last on TV (with possible movies to follow), but I haven't heard any official confirmation of that. In the words of the Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy "DON'T PANIC!"

Spoilery question about AtS -- Darby, 19:57:24 03/05/02 Tue

First, I have to say that I haven't seen much of Angel lately - usually I get home in time to see maybe the last third; I have to tape it and I haven't even seen the tapes. But I've seen some, and read a lot of what has been here. I was discussing the threads here about the shifting intents of the time-travel guy with my wife and she had an fascinating possible explanation...

The future is changeable, presumably - could whatever is happening at each of his appearances be changing the future he goes back to - and his own history - enough to completely change what he feels he must do when he "returns"?

As I said, I don't even feel that I have the basic knowledge to judge validity here - what do you think?

[> Re: Spoilery question about AtS -- luvthistle1, 08:21:23 03/06/02 Wed

I think you on to something. I think the Gruselag is Conner now grown up. If that turns out to be true, Than Cordy and Angel already change the future,when they went to Pylea. Which would explain why Angel could walk in the sun.

[> Re: Spoilery question about AtS -- matchng mole, 12:28:04 03/06/02 Wed

But if he is capable of travelling backwards and forwards in time then Sahjan's chronology on the show could be different than ours (e.g. what we perceive as his first appearance in LA might from his point of view be his fifth). This doesn't invalidate your point, just makes it more complicated.

Or you could simplify things (and reduce time paradoxes) by saying that every time he goes into the future he can only return back to a point ahead of when he started from. In other words Sahjan has a personal time line and he can't violate it by going backwards out of it. He can jump forward out of his time line but when he goes back he has to return to the timeline at a point ahead of when he left. This would fit in well with your wife's explanation. Sahjan tries things out in contemporary LA, leaps ahead to see what's happened and then returns to LA at a time after he left it to try and effect more changes.

Maybe he learned how to open dimensional portals during one of those jumps as well.

Why I think Xander did the right thing tonight *Spoilers* -- Charlemagne20, 20:28:56 03/05/02 Tue

Tonight was the best episode in a long time and I salute Joss Wheldon for....DIE YOU MISERABLE BA...err sorry that was my inner moppet on making me like Xander/Anya. Never did I like Anya who struck well a lot of things but for the first time I believed she'd actually repented of what she'd done and it broke my heart.

But I have to give kudos to Xander Lavalle Harris.

His nightmare sequence was mixed with something that I have to honestly salute him for and that was the courage not to drag down the woman he loved into a much more painful and dark life.

Xander's pain when Buffy died in battle showed in my mind something he has to come to terms with for the rest of his natural life and something I respect deeply. Xander is in love with Buffy and loves her more than he ever will be loved in return. He loved her in the first episode of Buffy the Vampire slayer the moment his eyes laid on her on his skateboard and when she died in Season 5 he loved her still. He didn't tell anyone I realize now about the wedding because he never could have gone through with it no matter what Anya's hopes because HE wasn't ever going to get over his feelings for Buffy.

I really hope Anya doesn't become a vengeance demon because of this due to the fact that she misunderstands Xander a great deal in what he feels-even if it is no less painful. Waking up to Anya the beautiful Emma Caulfield's gentleness and wonder every morning would be a lie to her and insult to her honor and the very vows he would make to love, honor, and protect her.

Xander knew Love could never settle for another and knew that making Anya settle for a man who loved her second was the most vile thing a man can do.

As a man whose known love and lost it in the real world and known that he could only have one person for him in the entire world but she didn't feel the same for him, this episode spoke to me in a way that suddenly made the 3 season arc that we've been going through become startling sense with Xander's character.

My only real question was what was up with that Willow scene? Is Xander also torn with an attraction to Willow? I don't somehow believe that but I give again kudos to Xander and pray your able to make peace with yourself and those you care for

As painfully horrible as the seperation was, may others learn from your example

[> I don't think that's why he did it... (spoilers) -- Apophis, 20:58:31 03/05/02 Tue

I think Xander got over his romantic intentions toward Buffy a while ago. He does indeed love her a great deal, but not in a romantic fashion. She's his hero and his friend, but he stopped courting her in Season 2 and moved on by Season 3. Xander called off the wedding because he feared that his and Anya's marriage would degenerate into the kind of life his parents lead, only with the added aspect of demons.

[> [> Well the reason why Xander didn' know *spoilers* -- Charlemagne20, 21:20:08 03/05/02 Tue

He refused to touch his wife after Buffy died, that's pretty blatant in feeling as far as I can tell.


[> [> [> Re: Well the reason why Xander didn' know *spoilers* -- Rob, 21:25:16 03/05/02 Tue

I don't think he stopped touching her, because he loved Buffy so much. If he did, he never would have started touching Anya in the first place. The problem was not that it was Buffy who died, but that the FakeFutureAnya believed it was Buffy's fault. Anya was being villified by FakeFutureXander, remember, so what better way to make her look like a monster than have her taunt Xander for being sad over the death of his friend?

The point of the story, however, is that Xander saw through that. He didn't see Anya as the villian, but himself, for being abusive to her (and possibly finally killing her)...That is why he broke up with Anya. He was afraid of turning into his father.


[> [> [> Re: Well the reason why Xander didn' know *spoilers* -- Robert, 13:19:25 03/06/02 Wed

>> "He refused to touch his wife after Buffy died, that's pretty blatant in feeling as far as I can tell."

Neither Xander nor we have any reason to believe that this represented a true future. The visions were orchestrated either by one of Anyanka's victims or possibly by D'Hoffryn himself.

[> [> Yeah, I agree...I think you read it mistakenly, Charlemagne. -- Rob, 21:21:26 03/05/02 Tue

[> Got to disagree too -- Darby, 05:39:58 03/06/02 Wed

I thought that we were quite clearly shown what Xander feared becoming. He was looking at his parents when he steeled his resolve.

Incidentally, the "touching" comment came two time jumps after the Buffy comments and seemed to be much more related to Anya's dalliances (Xander talked about her extracurricular touchings) than Buffy's death.

And the X/W scene discussed the original Spring Fling formalwear "fluke" and they talked about how much they had changed. W: "If I weren't gay..." It was a great scene.

[> [> I agree somewhat with Charlemange--SPOILERS -- Eric, 06:47:04 03/06/02 Wed

I think Xander's main reason is that he realizes he's probably going to die fighting evil alongside Buffy and Willow--that he'll never leave Sunnydale or his friend's side and that they and helping in the fight against evil will always come first. I don't think he loves Buffy or Willow in a romantic way anymore, but he is married to them just the same. They've been together so long, and they're so close that most other people can't get in and will never understand. I don't think Anya would have been able to. She seemed more and more like she just wanted a happy life. You can see it in the scene with the demon at the end, when at first he hestitates, and then finally chooses Buffy (and the fight against evil) over standing back with Anya and having the normal life she wants. He's too loyal to the group and knows he won't be able to put that over loyalty to anyone else, even someone he really loves. I think that its the same with Willow. She could have left SD and been anything, but she too will be with Buffy until the end of the line.
It would be like a normal person trying to marry an X-man. The team will always come first, and I don't think Xander wanted to do that to Anya because he does really love her.

P.S. Anyone else notice that halfrek is played by the same actress that played Cecily in Fool for Love?

[> Re: your analyais of Xander *Spoilers* -- Robert, 06:59:07 03/06/02 Wed

I don't believe that Xander left Anya at the altar because of Buffy. Assuming that D'Hoffryn was not at the center of all this, I think it more likely that Xander was worried about becoming his father, and abusive drunk. We know that the visions given to Xander were false. Xander did not cut Anya off from sex when Buffy died nearly a year ago. I don't see why he would if Buffy should die in the near future. He seemed more shocked and upset by the vision of him beating Anya with a frying pan. The implication is that he believes he is capable of doing such. This brings me back to D'Hoffryn. Can anyone else comment on the possibility that D'Hoffryn set this whole thing up? Before this episode, I would not have thought that D'Hoffryn would want Anyanka back, but he did just offer her her old job.

[> [> Xander didn't marry Anya or announce it until Buffy's return either -- Charlemagne, 09:56:19 03/06/02 Wed

Basically he became ever more aware of his feelings for buffy I think thoroughout this season....the final straw was the visions

[> Re: Why I think Xander did the right thing tonight *Spoilers* -- grifter, 09:18:36 03/06/02 Wed

Man, I have to disagree with you a lot lately, Charlemagne20... :D

I think you´re on the completely wrong train with your thoughts about Xander´s feelings towards Buffy and Willow.

[> Xander's motivations -- ponygirl, 09:42:21 03/06/02 Wed

While I will jump on the disagreement bandwagon for the possibility of Xander's romantic feelings towards Buffy, I do find it interesting that Buffy's death played such an important role in Xander's visions. Considering that the visions came from Xander's own fears it is worth noting how much he viewed a third and final Buffy death affecting him. In Xander's nightmare he had failed at everything, husband, father, provider, and it seemed clear that he had also failed to help save Buffy. Thinking back to Restless and the scene where Xander tried to warn Buffy about being in the sandbox and they shared that connection when she called him "brother" it may be that his feelings are more protective than romantic. It also may be that Xander sees Buffy and his role in her demon-fighting as the only thing that has saved him from the life he thought he was meant for, which is his father's life. Removing Buffy would leave Xander without a barrier from the ordinary life which he feels may destroy him. It may be for Xander Buffy is his light at the end of the tunnel, but in his dependency on her, she may also turn out to be a train.

[> [> yes, very good point! I had forgotten his evolving big brother-ness to Buffy -- shiva, 11:40:14 03/06/02 Wed

[> [> kudos for putting it so well, ponygirl ;-) -- Solitude1056, 21:06:34 03/06/02 Wed

[> [> I second those kudos! Excellent insight, ponygirl! -- Dyna, 10:20:03 03/07/02 Thu

[> [> kudos do brighten a dreary day! Thanks! -- ponygirl, 10:35:27 03/07/02 Thu

[> Re: Why I think Xander did the right thing tonight *Spoilers* -- skeeve, 10:07:50 03/06/02 Wed

Xander shouldn't worry too much about turning into his father. Forewarned is forearmed and all that. If they need to do better, they can make a rule that alcohol is forbidden in their residence and to those who reside there. Announcing said rule to their common friends might help also.

Even supposing Xander still loves and lusts after Buffy, he should have still married Anya. Xander and Anya love and lust after each other. They also have the more mundane resources to have a life together. Xander is not going to cheat on Anya after promising not to. Anya would not get jealous. She already knows about Xander and Buffy and has seen them dance together.

Given what did happen, I see a rift coming between Buffy and Anya. Xander's logic isn't as applicable to Buffy. Xander could marry Buffy if they wanted to.

Strategy for Anya to get Xander back: establish the rule unilaterally and send a Xander a message to that effect. It could be something along the lines of "Come home sober and don't bring any alcohol with you."

Whatever happened to Mr. Pointy? What about the wedding present that escaped?

[> [> Re: Why I think Xander did the right thing tonight *Spoilers* -- DEN, 12:24:50 03/06/02 Wed

It seems to me that Xander is reacting to a complex network of feelings, rather than one dominant emotion. Fear of becoming like his father, committment to the Scoobies, and lingering unresolved feelings for Buffy are all present, with first one and then another surfacing to shape his immediate behavior. That's common enough in life: very few real people, as opposed to fictional characters, have single factors shaping their major behaviors. And in this case the script and NB's acting skill support all three sets of motives.

[> Re: Why I think Xander did the right thing tonight *Spoilers* -- Lyonors, 13:05:02 03/06/02 Wed

Interesting perspective....but I have to disagree with ya...

"Xander knew Love could never settle for another and knew that making Anya settle for a man who loved her second was the most vile thing a man can do."

-If- this is his true reasoning, I think that he has totally lost his concept about love that he gained in "Goodbye Iowa" (i think thats the one....Riley leaves) The whole speech he gave Buffy made me(a cynic at the time) believe that love really is possible thru trying times....But I still disagree and think its the whole he-thinks-hes-capable-of-killing-her-thing.


Random Stuff on Hell's Bells -- MayaPapaya9, 21:35:18 03/05/02 Tue was very good. This episode had so many things that have been lacking this season. I loved that Buffy and Xander had their moment, and Buffy got teary...I got teary as well. Just think, we met Xander when he was about 16...and now he's getting married (but not really).

I also enjoyed seeing Xander and Willow acting like they used to, like the best friends that they are supposed to be. The relationships between Buffy, Xander and Willow were the foundation of the show in the earlier years, and I didn't realize how much I missed seeing them together, supporting each other, until I got to see it again tonight.

Did anyone else sorely miss Giles? He should have been there. He's been like a father to all of them and it didn't seem right without his presence. What can I say, I don't like change. I'm still clinging to the group dynamics of the second season.

Anya's face when she saw the guy she had punished. For the first time, I think we got to see her feel bad for something she had always shrugged off as her "work". The look in her eyes, her voice, completely made me believe that she finally understood what she had done. This episode was probably the best acting I have seen Emma do. And she looked beautiful, especially when having her final conversation with Xander. My heart broke for her. After her optimistic, adorable vows about learning what love is because of him!

And poor Xander. So we finally get to see his family. I'm pretty sure he believed that he was doing this for Anya's good. How terrible to grow up seeing those people as a model for what marriage is. It made me grateful that my parents are happily married. I suppose before Xander and Anya can get married, Xander has to realize that he doesn't have to be his father. He is his own person and can make his own choices in life. Well, wow, I never thought I'd say Anya was the more emotionally healthy of the two.

And maybe they can elope. Without the pressure of their crazy relatives, I think things would go much more smoothly. Small, small ceremoney, strictly Scooby Gang and of course Giles.

A quick word on Spike and Buffy. Very nicely done. It was just awkward enough to be endearing but incredibly realistic. They acted like friends. In fact, they acted exactly like me and my friend in a similar situation. I related wholeheartedly to that scene. Spike still loves her, he isn't going to go on a vengeance rampage. And they were FINALLY being honest with each other. No games, just honesty. How refreshing. I think this can still work. It just wasn't the right time.

Okay now I have to go finish up my homework. Comments are much appreciated and they boost my fragile adolescent ego :) By the way, who wrote this fabulous episode?

[> Re: Random Stuff on Hell's Bells -- juliaabra, 23:00:17 03/05/02 Tue

maya: great comments. i'm with you all the way there. and i think the writer was rebecca rand kirschner.

[> Re: Random Stuff on Hell's Bells -- yuri, 02:51:51 03/06/02 Wed

For the first time, I think we got to see her feel bad for something she had always shrugged off as her "work".
The look in her eyes, her voice, completely made me believe that she finally understood what she had done.

Yeah, that was really an amazing moment which then begs the question - could she really go right back to being a vengance demon? In any case, EC just blows my mind. I really wish she'd do some more projects, since I'd like to see her in different roles. (Though she so accentuates Anya's many layers that one can get a good sense just by watching BtVS.)

[> [> Re: Random Stuff on Hell's Bells-longish rant -- Lyonors, 13:32:09 03/06/02 Wed

>>For the first time, I think we got to see her feel bad for something she had always shrugged off as her "work".
The look in her eyes, her voice, completely made me believe that she finally understood what she had done.

Wow...agreement....serious head-nodding.

I don't know about anyone else, but when I saw that last scene with Anya and d'Hoffryn, I -knew- that she wasn't gonna take his offer. Look at her face when the old man tells her what she did....she finally understood....*click* if you will. Yeah, sure, vengence is her game, but I think she knows exactly what that demon showed Xander...she -was- a vengence demon ya know, she knows how to do it people their worst fears, and if she's no dummy, she knows what Xander's worst fears are. She will turn to vengence, I have no doubt of that...its her nature, BUT Anya will turn to a new kind of vengence....I think that last look she gave d'hoffryn was one of sheer determination to get her man back. You can't say she didn't see something coming:

"I’ve read this tale
There's wedding
Then betrayal
I know there'll come the day
I'll want to run and hide"

Yeah, she's hiding now, but you just wait until she gets her crap together and goes after Xander. She wants him back and knows that they are supposed to be together....and she is going to make sure it happens (to quote buffy) "if I have to kill everybody in town to do it."

And one thing you can say about Joss---he never let's them get away happy without a fight....Anya and Xander always seemed tooo easy to me....She will fight for him....


the time shifter -- mcfly, 21:37:48 03/05/02 Tue

theres been alot of theories about connor becoming the time shifter. i say thats bullsh*t.

i dont get it though. if the time shifter really wanted to kill connor, there are so many other ways he couldve done it. here are two:

1. somehow completely stopping wolfram and hart to bring back darla. he can travel in time, why not go to the root.

2. sending some minions with TNT and blowing up angel investigations with connor there.

connor's role has to make sense in the grand scheme of things. his existence was permitted, afterall, by the powers. so, whats his role?

Anyone want to do a brief "Restless" analysis regarding "Hell's Bells"? -- Rob, 21:42:52 03/05/02 Tue

A bunch of people have alluded to "Restless" in regard to "Hell's Bells." I haven't seen "Restless" in a while, and I'd appreciate if someone could refresh my memory with a quick analysis of how it relates to "Hell's Bells" and the sixth season in general.

Thanks, whoever feels like writing! LOL. :o)


[> Re: Anyone want to do a brief "Restless" analysis regarding "Hell's Bells"? -- Rufus, 00:52:21 03/06/02 Wed

No analysis but a few quotes from Psyches transcripts.

XANDER: (whispers) That's not the way out. (The door bursts open. Xander looks down at himself, then back up the stairs.)

VOICE: What the hell is wrong with you? (Xander looks chastised.) (We see a man silhouetted in the doorway above. It's Xander's dad.)

DAD: You won't come upstairs? What are you ... ashamed of us? Your mother's crying her guts out!

XANDER: You don't understand.

DAD: No. You don't understand. (Starts down the stairs, stomping angrily) The line ends here with us, and you're not gonna change that. (Xander looking down, unable to look at his dad.)

DAD: You haven't got the heart. (Suddenly Dad shoves his hand into Xander's chest.

Xander spends the time in his dream trying to get out of his parents basement only to find himself in a dead end, with his heart torn out of his chest by his father. He also mentions something to Anya about rules....

ANYA: Do you know where you're going? (Xander looks at her, surprised.)

ANYA: I've been thinking about getting back into vengeance. (We see her playing with a lollipop in its wrapper.) (Xander takes his striped hat off, puts it on the dashboard.)

XANDER: Is that right?

ANYA: Well, you know how I miss it. I'm so at loose ends since I quit. I think this is going to be a very big year for vengeance.

XANDER: But ... isn't vengeance kind of ... vengeful?

ANYA: (petulant) You don't want me to have a hobby.

XANDER: Not a vengeance hobby, no! It's dangerous. People can't do anything they want. Society has rules, and borders, and an end zone. It doesn't matter if- (He hears giggling, turns.) (We see Willow and Tara in the back of the truck, snuggling and nuzzling. Both wearing exaggerated eye makeup.)

XANDER: Do you mind? I'm talking to my demon.

He also has a fear of Anya returning to her old ways as a vengeance demon. Anya isn't a conventional girlfriend but it doesn't mean that they weren't meant for each other. In the end it's Xander's fear of his own inner demons caused by an abusive upbringing that scare him into a motel room, without his bride. In Hells Bells, Xander ignored his heart and listened to his fears about his capacity to become his father. Now we will get to see if in this year of growing up, if both Xander and Anya can overcome their fears and reunite.

I feel for Xander, he has had many cards stacked against him. He lived in a home where he found he had to spend Christmas outdoors to get away from the constant fighting. He has been looking to escape a life situation that he feels has made him a victim unable to get away from the family legacy of abuse. We didn't get to see much of Xanders home life but got enough to know that it wasn't a home that could have been a happy place to be. When the "future Xander" showed him that image of attacking Anya with a frypan, he was horrified because he honestly believed himself capable of that type of violence. Just because Xander seems visibly unscarred, doesn't mean that he doesn't carry plenty of anger and helplessness around with him wherever he goes. It was what he faced in The Replacement, his two selves, the one he can be and wants to be, and the results of years of emotional battering, a Xander afraid to trust himself. To grow up, Xander is going to have to face that fear of returning to his roots and reject the worst of his upbringing, to become the type of person he already is but is too insecure to let emerge from the basement of his childhood.

[> [> Oh, and about Mr. Harris.....spoilers for Hells Bells -- Rufus, 01:36:02 03/06/02 Wed

Mr. Harris reminded me of the bullies in school that Xander was always running from. He hated those guys and slowly was able to confront them. Now he has to do the same with the overaged bully that is his father. That man sucked the life out of any room he was in with his rants and insults. I only saw a man full of self pity. For Xander to grow up he will have to reject the basement and confront the biggest bully in his life. He may not change his family, but he does have a choice to not become them.

[> [> [> Re: Mr. Harris & Xander's heart (probably obvious symbol interpretation.) -- yuri, 03:05:16 03/06/02 Wed

Xander's dad tears his heart out -
Xander's dad (as a symbol of all of Xander's family issues) is the reason Xander abandons (or maybe the reason he's incapable of having) his "heart" - Anya.

(btw, as much as I liked Anya's last vows, I liked the heart ones the best.)

[> Re: "Restless" analysis regarding "Hell's Bells"?and all of season 6 -- luvthistle1, 08:43:04 03/06/02 Wed

Season four "restless". was the dream episode, where the group are stalk by the 1 slayer. If you watch "Restless" you would see that it mirror all that happen this season. Restless- Tara tell Willow if people know what she done , she'll be punish. In season 6, buffy/spirt ask Willow do she know what she done? Restless-Giles teaches Spike to be Buffy watcher, in season six, Buffy turn to Spike after Giles left. He in some way became her watcher, with benefits. In "restless' Anya is thinking of taking up vengeance as a hobby in Older and far away Anya tried to grab halfrek tailmans
when she thought she was dead. In restless Tara tells "You think you know," Tara says, "What's to come . . . What you are. You haven't even begun." In "dead things"
Buffy goes to Tara to find out what she is.In restless Buffy loses her friends This season her friends sorta lost her.

* Also, like in Xander Dream in "restless" he father accuse him of being ashamed of his family (which he is)in "hell's bell. he's afraid of turning out like them.
*In Restless" Riley calls Buffy a killer, this season she thought she was.

humans vs. demons -- nite walker, 21:49:03 03/05/02 Tue

why is it not okay in buffyverse for buffy and angel's posse to kill humans? lets face it - in war, people die. you kill beings to stop them from doing evil even if they are human. its been proven that there are some humans without a soul anyway and some demons (like lorne) that have to have something. i say if you show no mercy to a evil demon, you should show no mercy to an evil human.

another issue was seen in this recent angel episode, where they somehow said humans can be "infected" by some kind of microbe and become demon. those musicians guys seemed harmless. yet, angel and gunn tore through those rockers showing no mercy. would they show the same compassion to humans who were infected life threatening diseases that are communicable like HIV?

Buffy - Slayer or killer? (long) -- Ixchel, 21:58:59 03/05/02 Tue

I've been lurking a bit and decided that I'd like to post something (hopefully exorcising some of my thoughts about BtVS). I must admit to being a little intimidated by this board simply because of the brilliance of analysis presented here. Maybe I should start by saying that I feel season 6 is, for the most part, sublime, so knowing this you might get a general feeling for my point of view ("A vague disclaimer is nobody's friend"?). Also, I apologize for the poor writing, it's been awhile.

I have been thinking lately about the various hints we've had regarding Buffy's uneasiness with the Slayer aspect of herself and I've tried to develop some coherent questions regarding what I believe some aspects of the Slayer to be (with Buffy as the primary focus) and what the psychological ramifications are for a person who is the Slayer.

First question: Is the Slayer (Buffy) a killer? I would say certainly, Buffy kills sentient beings (vampires and other demons exhibit the traits of sentient beings some more than others obviously) and so is a killer. Now I limit this to the discussion of the killing of sentient beings (hereafter called sentients) because you could argue that I am a killer of chickens because I had a chicken sandwich for lunch and I would agree with you, but this is outside of the scope of my discussion. Now starting with the premise that killing sentients is morally wrong, how can Buffy reconcile a view of herself as a moral person (as I believe she is) with the fact that she regularly kills sentients? I would argue that her actions are necessary. Yes, vampires (demons) are sentients, but they are extremely powerful ones who believe that other sentients (humans), who are mostly helpless, are their primary food source. I think Buffy realizes the necessity of her actions. Now Buffy seems mainly to deal with three types of killing: 1) Vampires that are just out of the grave and seem to be looking for a first meal. 2) Vampires/demons in the act of attacking a human (sometimes Buffy herself). 3) Vampires/demons with a clear objective of world destruction. I maintain that these killings are necessary, however we have seen Buffy in other types of situations that raise definite moral questions. For example, Faith finds a vampire "nest" and she and Buffy kill vampires that were apparently sleeping (Bad Girls). Now surely these vampires were not model citizens, but this was unlike Buffy's usual behaviors and I believe was meant to give the viewer a sense of uneasiness and further insight into Faith's character dysfunctions. We know from various episodes that some vampires/demons can live in Sunnydale and escape Buffy's notice, either by simply keeping a low profile (vampires who wisely avoid her, such as the patrons of Willie's bar who slip away once her presence is noted and who possibly prey upon the criminal fringe of Sunnydale) or exercising some selfcontrol and being part of a vampire suckhouse which we find out about in Into the Woods (there are probably at least a couple of these in town and their existence makes sense). Now regarding the latter, Giles seems to accept the moral ambiguity of these places and probably Buffy would have also, if she had not been emotionally involved. This brings us to another morally questionable killing, that of the "vampho" who, it seemed at first, Buffy was going to let get away. Again there is a sense of uneasiness in the viewer at this scene. So, IMHO, Buffy is a killer, but (usually) she is a killer with a clear moral idea of when killing is necessary and when it is not. Also we know that being a killer is an identity that Buffy struggles with, she objects to being solely a killer (Restless), she is concerned about the killing changing her emotionally (Intervention), and she despairs at the idea of the Slayer being "just a killer after all" (The Gift). This is in contrast to pre-prison Faith, who had convinced herself (at grave cost to herself and others) that being a killer was all she was and ultimately, that it was unimportant who she killed. I hope that Buffy can realize and accept that while the Slayer is of necessity a killer, she (Buffy) is not and never has been "just" a killer as her compassion, kindness and gentleness proves (please note that I realize recent events of season 6 don't completely support this, but I believe this is due to her extreme depression, confusion and fearfulness at this time), and with careful consideration of her actions and a resolve to look at herself honestly, she never will be.

Second question: Is the nature of the Slayer predatory? I would say yes, however this is an aspect of Buffy that she has in common with all humans (in real life). History and anthropology (along with study of the great apes, etc.) shows us that humans have predatory inclinations (which can be harnessed in positive ways, such as competitive sports, etc.). Are Buffy's predatory behaviors more extreme? Yes, but I believe this is an adaptation of existing inclinations to the circumstance of being the Slayer. That Buffy finds these inclinations disturbing I think is clearly shown, which to me means that she has a clear idea of where she does not want to allow these inclinations to take her (pre-prison Faith). Examples of predatory inclinations: In Buffy vs. Dracula, Buffy is shown "hunting" and deriving satisfaction from the "kill". Now this is after the events of Primeval and Restless with Buffy's "encounter" with the First Slayer which seems to have tapped into more basic Slayer characteristics. Buffy goes to Giles with her fears about this, but does make a statement concerning controling these behaviors toward making herself a better Slayer. I believe this is actually very useful because just as a lion must in someway "enjoy" the hunt, for Buffy to be a sucessful Slayer (and hopefully live longer) maybe some part of this must be incorporated into her personality without losing her (I believe) essential kindness. Another somewhat predatory aspect is first brought up by Faith (Faith, Hope and Trick) where she states that slaying makes her "hungry and horny" and this clearly makes Buffy uncomfortable. It is possible that the "hungry" part could be a predatory aspect in that the culmination of a kill for predators is feeding. Also, to put another biological slant on it, it could be that the Slayer's supernatural body (sustained by regular food) is burning calories at a phenomenal rate during slaying and the hunger is simply an indication that the body needs more fuel quickly. Regarding the "horny" part, this seems to me a result of adrenaline build up, which often leads to sexual behavior in humans (after the threat or illusion of danger has past). Possibly there is a link to predatory behavior in that for predators (such as lions) sex is a somewhat dangerous undertaking. Again, I hope that Buffy can accept these aspects of her nature as in fact natural, and realize that they are not by any means shameful or deviant.

All in all, I find these questions regarding Slayer nature fascinating ones that lead in all sorts of interesting directions (when is killing necessary, etc.?).

Thanks for reading and your thoughts are welcome.


[> Re: Buffy - Slayer or killer? (long) -- LeeAnn, 03:05:38 03/06/02 Wed

Nice essay. I agree with you but the fundies seem stuck in the "Vampires are Evil" and "the only good vampire is a dead vampire" mindset. So, for the fundies, it's okay to kill them anytime, any place, for any reason or for no reason because "They are evil." They are souless (we are told) and therefore have no right to live.
This makes it okay for Buffy to use, abuse, and humiliate Spike because he's an evil vampire who only deserves staking. He's a lesser moral being therefore cannot expect compassion, fairness, or forgiveness. It reminds me of how indians and blacks were once viewed and, for me, is the most disturbing element of the Buffyverse.

[> [> Re: Buffy - Slayer or killer? (long) -- Ixchel, 13:29:42 03/06/02 Wed

LeeAnn, thanks for your response. My first response, "I'm so pleased!" I guess it's safe for me to assume I'm not a fundy! I don't believe in "evil", I only use the word jokingly because (seriously) it doesn't make sense to me.

I do think though that the show hints at when we are supposed to be disturbed by Buffy killing vampires (my examples above).

Concerning how Buffy treats Spike, I was far more disturbed by her hitting him in AYW (actually the first time more than the second) than I was by the extreme beating in DT. In AYW, that first strike was just uncalled for and the second, the look on her face (they made a point of focusing on her expression) was very chilling. I understood (not condone) her behavior in DT because she was so obviously projecting and the mimicry of the Faith/Buffy beating scene in WAY (both scenes are brilliant IMHO).


[> Predator and Prey, Tyger and Lamb (be warned, long, rambling) -- Rahael, 04:02:12 03/06/02 Wed

and much poetry quotage.....


Thanks for those very interesting thoughts – especially the ambiguity that ME likes to keep about Buffy’s ‘dark’ side. Its interesting that you bring up lions. I was discussing with Etrangere only a couple of days ago, the cat motif that has been running through the last couple of seasons. Cats, wild, tamed, predatory and cute. I may miss some sightings, but here is what I can recall so far. We have the cat on the bed in the graduation day dream between Faith and Buffy. We see a flicker, and the Faith’s body turns into a cat, and flickers out. Now this could either be a reference to Dawn, whom they are discussing, or the nature of slayerness.

Then we have the dream in Restless – the leopard/lioness (?) that is prowling outside in the sunlight. Again, could be a reference to Dawn because we have a conversation between Tara and Willow about someone who is nameless, or a reference to the first Slayer. Then in Intervention, we have the big cat which leads Buffy to her first Slayer/guide.

We’ve had Miss Kitty Fantastico, and the little kittens bartered in games of poker this season. Has there been any other animal that has come up so frequently in BtVS (apart from Amy’s rat? – and here’s a nice symmetry! Predator, and prey). I think these extremely ambiguous images (ambiguous in context, in reference and in meaning) kind of echo the ambiguity about Buffy’s darkness.

Anyway, to top off all these ramblings, I thought of two poems, both by William Blake, his ‘Tyger’ and his ‘Lamb’, since Buffy has been portrayed as both predator, and prey, Tyger and Lamb.

"Tyger Tyger. burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
In what distant deeps or skies.
Burnt the fire of thine eyes!
On what wings dare he aspire!
What the hand, dare sieze the fire?
And what shoulder, & what art,
Could twist the sinews of thy heart?
And when thy heart began to beat,
What dread hand? & what dread feet?
What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!
When the stars threw down their spears
And water'd heaven with their tears:
Did he smile his work to see?
***Did he who made the Lamb make thee?***
Tyger, Tyger burning bright,
In the forests of the night:
What immortal hand or eye,
Dare frame thy fearful symmetry?"

And here’s the lamb:

"Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Gave thee life & bid thee feed.
By the stream & o'er the mead;
Gave thee clothing of delight,
Softest clothing wooly bright;
Gave thee such a tender voice,
Making all the vales rejoice:
Little Lamb who made thee
Dost thou know who made thee
Little Lamb I'll tell thee,
Little Lamb I'll tell thee:
He is called by thy name,
For he calls himself a Lamb:
He is meek & he is mild,
He became a little child:
I a child & thou a lamb,
We are called by his name.
Little Lamb God bless thee.
Little Lamb God bless thee."

The lamb and the Tyger are counterpart poems, two sides of the same coin. Similarly, Buffy is both meek, gentle and compassionate, as well as wild, dreadful and deadly. Season 6 seems to be all the characters facing their darkness, not just Buffy. In Season 6, I think the characters are learning that the ‘darkness’ is part of them just as much as the ‘gentleness’. And that darkness isn’t defectiveness, it is just as ‘symmetrical’ and essential to wholeness. Just to clarify, I mean that darkness isn’t evil, but tying into Caroline’s points re As You Were, as well as Age’s re ‘balance’. Last week we saw a dichotomous presentation of ‘light’ and ‘dark’ just as we have all season. Perhaps the season climax is hurtling toward integration.

[> [> Cuddlies -- Darby, 06:00:40 03/06/02 Wed

The show has a long history of referencing cute lil critters - but it's been puppies, mostly, in speech (it gets annoyingly distracting sometimes), although only one has been shown. Lately it has been more kittens, especially shown, and bunnies, which through Anya I think is being used as partly an "in" joke.

Ixchel, I have to disagree with your starting premise - there is nothing inherently wrong with killing sentients in the Buffyverse. I, like you, have a problem with that, and it has been addressed on several levels by the show, but it does continue to be a foundation premise.

Agree with you on a lot of the predatory stuff, though. One could also analyse a lot of the same material from the standpoint of "Slayer as soldier," another image the show has toyed with.

[> [> [> Re: Cuddlies -- Ixchel, 14:33:46 03/06/02 Wed

Thanks for your thoughts Darby! As I stated to LeeAnn, responses, "I'm so pleased!"

I do believe that it is inherently wrong (as you say), but perhaps unfortunately and sadly necessary given the situation? I suppose my premise has to do with the fact that many of the sentients of the Buffyverse are so completely dangerous and unwilling or unable to behave differently (I completely understand why you disagree though, or at least I think I do!). I've thought of posting why I think that Angel and Spike are special cases and their (unintended) reformations are probably not reproducible, maybe I will if I can solidify my ideas.

I do understand the "soldier" aspect of Buffy, but I think where as the finale of season 3 seemed to support this perception of the Slayer, season 4 onward seemed to accentuate the gulf between being a soldier and being the Slayer.


[> [> More rambling on beast & innocent figures -- Etrangere, 06:58:43 03/06/02 Wed

If there is a theme that is found all over BtVS, that's certainly Doubles and Duality... and the dichotomy of the Predator and the Prey is central to it to. The Victim and the Monster are, after all, the main characters of every horror fairy tale. But since Buffy was to be subversive it took the matter on the other side, and the innocent blond girl who was supposed to be killed in act II, the little red hood, becomes the Slayer, a fierceful creature and made of the monster her victim, and reduced the wolves to mere puppies. That's all it is about.
That's why a girl is the one chosed to be a Slayer in the first place. Is there anyone else supposed to be more helpless and innocent and in need of protection than young girls ? And is there a power and an energy greater than those of young girls ?
Buffy always wants to separe this two aspect of her self, the girl and the Slayer. In the two first seasons, Cordelia was used as a reflection of who Buffy used to be before being called. Often in danger (especially in s1 and early s2) she needed to be saved from the many monsters of the Hellmouth. Yet, Cordelia was standing for a monster of her own kind, with her selfiness and rudeness making her a true predator of the HighSchool jungle. Homecoming closes the duality by showing that in Cordelia is desire as strong to be like Buffy than Buffy would like to be still like Cordelia.
In s3 and a bit of s4, Buffy's double becomes Faith, her shadow self. Buffy herself becomes then the innocent one, Faith bearing strongerly all the wheight of the predatory aspect of the Slayer - to its full autodestructive tendancy. Bearing all the guilt Buffy has for those aspect of her character, victim from her own ferocity, Faith is also a lost girl, a scapgoat, a lamb.
Dawn is the last character standing for the innocent in Buffy, the innnocence she must so preserve in the Gift, that she should not sacrifice to her duty as the Slayer, to her predatory aspect. But Dawn is also the key, she can unlock different aspects. Thus in Glory/Ben, the innocent human takes on some aspect of the monster, and the cruel beast feels restrained my the human's conscience. All barriers disapear. And Buffy the Slayer becomes the lamb of sacrifice instead of Dawn to save the world.
If we look into Tales of the Slayers, we find again the same duality of the beast and the lamb, the monster and the innocent, the killing and the sacrifice : all those girls fighting to save humans that bann them from their life, all those girls who know the most alike themselves are the ones they hunt.
A young girl and a lion, a beast, it's what is depicted on the Strength card of the Tarot. More precisely a young girl dominating this beast. Because strength, true strength, courage and willpower, comes from defeating the inner ferocity, the wild impulses, into tamed power.
And it's about feminity also, because this inner ferocity stands also (as in the Devil card, where it's dominating, and as in the Little Red Hood tale) for sexuality.

What the hammer? what the chain,
In what furnace was thy brain?
What the anvil? what dread grasp,
Dare its deadly terrors clasp!

That makes me think about the tale of how the wolf Fenris was chained. They tried to put him into chains of the hardest metal, but he was able to break them all. Then they used one made with the sound of cat's feets or woman's beard and other such ingrediants, and, because Fenris was suspicious, the god Tyr who had raised the wolf since he was a young pup put his hand into the wolf's mouth when they were chaining him, and when Fenris found he couldn't free himself, he teared Tyr's hand out.
They chained him with trust, an courage, and sacrifice.
That's how the lamb wins agains the beast, that's how Buffy ultimely could close Glory's portail, that's what being the Slayer in all about.

[> [> [> Lovely. -- Sophist, 08:33:43 03/06/02 Wed

[> [> [> Yes, great post! -- Rahael, 09:04:00 03/06/02 Wed

"Dawn is the last character standing for the innocent in Buffy, the innnocence she must so preserve in the Gift, that she should not sacrifice to her duty as the Slayer, to her predatory aspect. But Dawn is also the key, she can unlock different aspects. Thus in Glory/Ben, the innocent human takes on some aspect of the monster, and the cruel beast feels restrained my the human's conscience. All barriers disapear. And Buffy the Slayer becomes the lamb of sacrifice instead of Dawn to save the world."

And this point is very, very well put. I can only echo remark to you last night - please write more essays, Ete!

Another seminal episode - Innocence also deals with the duality of innocence and monstrosity. Where an act of love, entered into trustingly, innocent of the implications of the curse, unseeing of the future turns Angel into a Monster, and Buffy plays the innocent.

I'm sure I'll have more comments to add to Ete's post when I get to think some more about it!

[> [> [> Having a Riley moment... -- Darby, 09:27:58 03/06/02 Wed

Just a twinge of jealousy and other ego spasms when you once again remind me how much stronger you are than me in making these thematic connections. I love reading them, and the "Aha!" moment that goes along. Thank you.

[> [> [> Re: More rambling on beast & innocent figures -- Ixchel, 14:55:48 03/06/02 Wed

Etrangere, glorious post! Of course all your posts are wonderful, I thoroughly enjoy your insights.

From a practical standpoint, I have my little theory about why a girl would be made the Slayer and also why the effort by the CoW to isolate Slayers from family, friends and Watchers who have familial feelings for them (I'm sure mine isn't a novel theory though). I suspect the original idea was that a girl would be easier to control than a man. As for the isolation, at first (in ancient times) it would have been natural for society to shun the Slayer from fear, then later I believe the CoW knew what they were doing by reinforcing the isolation because, again, who is easier to control an endless string of naive, confused, young girls or a twentish (or more), confident woman? I think they knew the anchoring and strengthening effects of having family, friends and an emotionally involved Watcher.


[> [> [> [> Blushing now :)) -- Etrangere, 19:45:03 03/06/02 Wed

I think i agree with your theory. Tales of the Slayers confirm they *feared* her power. That's why they did summon only one. And I also that's why they summoned only a girl. I think they were very wrong to think she would thus be easier to control actually :)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Blushing now :)) -- Ixchel, 21:06:43 03/06/02 Wed

I agree wholeheartedly!

Thanks for your response.


[> [> Re: Predator and Prey -- Kevin, 13:12:47 03/06/02 Wed

The idea of the cat has come to my mind on several occasions in reference to predators and "evil". What's the inherent difference between vampires who by their very nature have to live off of blood and a predator like a cat who has to live off of flesh. It brings into question the concept of what is "evil". We don't think of cats as evil per se, but from the mouses' point of view maybe they are.

In bargaining Spike is happy that Dru bagged a Slayer (something that wants to kill him and his kind) but then he acknowledges that from Buffy's standpoint, it's not a good thing. It's all about perspective.

I keep trying to decide what make's something evil. Angelus was evil to me, because he didn't just eat people to sustain his own life, he tortured them for pleasure.

It seems that the show has reflected this theme more and more. It's not whether a character is a demon/vampire or a human that makes them evil or not, it's their actions. A much grayer area, but more real than a fundamental black and white demons evil/human good.

As I watched the show over the years, it seems that the character have had to grow up past the simple black and white view of the world first presented in the early seasons to the more ambiguous view that we have now.

This weeks episode with the humans and demons all together for a family function, a wedding, seems to be bringing this thought out.

[> [> [> Re: Predator and Prey -- Ixchel, 15:23:16 03/06/02 Wed

Kevin, I think you have a good point. I suppose I would answer that the only inherent difference would be that a vampire (having once been human and retaining the memories of this and, well IMHO, basically having the behaviors of a human) can consider what his/her prey is thinking/feeling (vampires usually just don't want to or don't care), where as a cat presumably could never conceptualize what a mouse thinks or feels (or probably what any other creature thinks or feels).

I don't really believe in "evil", but Angelus did seem to try to be "evil" with a passion. However in AtS we learned quite a bit about why he acted the way he did, his molding by Darla, etc. It explained many aspects of him to me anyway.

I agree about the ambiguity of the more recent BtVS. I think the growth and change of the show is what has kept it so fascinating for me.


[> [> Re: Predator and Prey, Tyger and Lamb (be warned, long, rambling) -- leslie, 13:13:57 03/06/02 Wed

I've definitely noticed the cats theme, and it also compares with the depiction of dogs/doglike monsters. Dogs/wolves/hyenas are dangerous due to packlike behavior--hyenas, hellhounds--and take a look at Oz, whose wolfiness is controllable when he is alone during his transformation but becomes dangerous when he is exposed to another werewolf (who encourages him to, essentially, "join the pack"). In contrast, cats hunt alone, and that loner-ness seems to be presented as a good thing.

Yet, at the same time, the cats that show up in the show are all "group" cats--Buffy's spirit guide (a lioness), and domestic cats. These cats do tend to hunt alone, but they are very much part of a supportive group otherwise. (For instance, a fact I find fascinating, a nursing domestic cat will feed her own kittens first, then the kittens of her sisters, and then any other kittens who happen to wander by in need of a drink. There is a definite hierarchy of need here, but there is also an altruism once the needs of flesh and blood are taken care of. And I really want to know--how does a cat identify her *sister's* kittens? It must be smell, but it is fascinating that this extended-family priority exists in between "my babies" and "generally needy babies.")

This cattiness, for want of a better word, fits in well with the idea of Buffy being an exceptional Slayer precisely because she has family and friends. She's depicted as a social cat, not a dog (too mindlessly packlike) or a lone cat (who both hunts and lives alone, and therefore is without social support).

[> [> [> Re: Predator and Prey, Tyger and Lamb (be warned, long, rambling) -- leslie, 13:49:07 03/06/02 Wed

And while I'm at it, isn't the Tarot card that Dru draws, which seems to foreshadow Kendra coming to Sunnydale (though we later realize it's the erzatz policewoman assassin) a tiger? A lone cat.

And since we're quoting William Blake, how about his theory of "radical innocence", that people are born in a state of initial innocence, become "experienced" (disillusioned, corrupt, etc.), but then can become "radically innocent" with the knowledge acquired through experience but the open approach to the world characteristic of innocence. (In fact, I believe "Tyger, Tyger" is from the book _Songs of Innocence and Experience_, which was intended to express this concept. I am remembering most of this from freshman English, however, which was half my lifetime ago!) Still, I think that if Buffy is to get out of her depression and especially if Spike is to be "redeemed", radical innocence is their only hope.

[> [> [> [> Blake, Cats, Dogs, Sheep, etc. -- matching mole, 14:27:20 03/06/02 Wed

I really like the radical innocence concept. I'm a big fan of Blake although it's been a while for me as well since I read him. The two poems Rahael quoted (are you doing this from memory?) are counterparts in the Songs of Experience (The Tyger) and The Songs of Innocence (The Lamb).

Regarding the animal imagery, leslie's first post made me think of Etrangere's post in a new light. Blake's poem not only set up savagery and mildness as opposites but solitude and sociability. Sheep are mild mannered (although from personal experience they can be quite stubborn) and social while tigers are solitary and savage. I think these pairings would fit in with an 18th century European worldview although Rahael is vastly more qualified to comment on that than I am.

The archetypal horror film/book/TV program features the lone monster, the predator stalking the helpless members of human society. As Etrangere points out on BtVS the hunter becomes the hunted. But also the monsters (at least the really dangerous ones) are not generally solitary. The 'traditional' view of the Slayer is that of a solitary hunter that is trained to her task by her Watcher. Buffy clearly does not fit into this mode. So the twin dichotomies are smashed. Sociality does not equal mildness and solitude does not equal savagery.

Your point about the solitary/social nature and symbolism of domestic cats is pretty interesting. Domestic cats are the most social cat species except for lions. Most other wild cats have no long-term social bonds except for those between mothers and their offspring which can remain into young adulthood. It is thought that the relatively high level of sociality in domestic cats results from selection for the retention of juvenile characteristics into adulthood. Domestic cats are friendly with humans and with each other because, behaviourally, they don't grow up. An interesting, although I'm sure entirely coincidental parallel with the fragmentation of the Scoobies as they 'grow up'.

A couple of incidental but possibly interesting side notes.

The cat that escorted Buffy on her spirit journey was a North American mountain lion (cougar/puma) rather than a lioness. It is a solitary cat, perhaps representing the traditional solitary nature of the slayers.

Lions are just as much pack animals as wolves, hyaenas, etc. although the details of the respective social structures vary. Male lions don't hunt at all (unless they aren't in a pride and have to). Females may hunt alone or in groups where they may be as cooperative in catching prey as wolves are.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Blake, Cats, Dogs, Sheep, etc. -- mama-san, 19:32:54 03/06/02 Wed

The puma is not only a solitary cat, but indigenous to the New World, like Buffy (as opposed to the Watchers' Council, which seems to be predominantly Old World.)

[> [> [> [> [> "The Soul Recovers Radical Innocence" -- Rahael, 04:37:36 03/07/02 Thu

"Considering that all hatred is driven hence
The soul recovers radical innocence
And learns at last that it is self-delighting
Self appeasing, self affrighting
And that its own sweet will is Heaven's will;
She can, though every face should scowl
And every windy quarter howl
Or every bellows burst, be happy still."

Yeats, ‘A prayer for my daughter’

Heartily agree about the radical innocence point that Leslie made, though I’ve never really thought about it as a phrase with regard to Blake – it’s always been associated in my mind with the above Yeats poem. So I may put the wrong interpretation on it, and I’m definitely coming at this from a Miltonic standpoint.

I think Joss makes this very point in ‘Innocence’. Buffy has sex for the first time, an act that for caries images of impurity and experience for a lot of Western Culture. In fact, carnal/sexual knowledge, or an awareness of sex is what signifies Adam and Eve’s loss of innocence in the Garden of Eden. But Joss makes a point of saying that Buffy is still ‘innocent’ at the end, even though she’s had sex, even though she’s been emotionally scarred by the cruel and vindictive Angelus. The point is that one can come through experience and have an enhanced innocence, a more meaningful kind of innocence. Philip Pullman revists this beautifully in the last book of his ‘His Dark Materials’ trilogy. And this is also the point that Riley makes to Buffy in As You Were. Buffy can be in degrading circumstances, without her humanity being degraded. In fact, by undergoing this, she can regain even more of her humanity. She can be the slayer without getting a heart of stone (another Yeatsian phrase, as Ded has pointed out previously).

Re the Tyger and the Lamb, what I liked about them was that they are also poems about the act of creation. The Tyger reminds me of the descriptions of the creation of the first Slayer, the Lamb, the creation of Dawn. Reminds me of the Deer that Willow kills in Bargaining. The Lamb has a sociable aspect, but there is also the story of the Good Shepherd, who goes to rescue the lost lamb, strayed from the pack. I would think that in the 18th Century world view, lambs invoke ideas about Arcadia, Pastoral life and the rural idyll. For example, there was a fashion for having a little flock of sheep, so that the lady could dress up as a gloried and fashionable Shepherdess. I have vague recollections of Marie Antoinette keeping such a farm, but I could be wrong. Tigers of course are awesome and fear inducing, the noble savage. Unlike wolves, who carry an overtone of treachery, Tigers are beautiful and rare: ride them at your peril! I personally think that the Tiger and the Lamb represent two different sides of the Christ figure – gentle and meek, awe-worthy and terrible. There is another level to the predator/prey image in Christ of course – his body is consumed in the ritual of Holy Communion, and in death lies new life.

That’s are really interesting point about sociability and loneliness, since these are themes that the Scoobies are definitely grappling with this season. A newly delurked poster above pointed out that kittens will become cats with time, and Mole also brings up this point about childishness. Kittens/youth/innocence are being bartered over poker tables this season. Just as Vampires, once vamped never grow any older. I often think that the biggest difficulty in Sunnydale is actually growing up to be an adult, in the fullest meaning of the word. Going back to the idea of Arcadia – Willow and Tara wander through a beautiful garden, full of charms, and love and innocence. They don’t know the heartbreak that lies ahead. And yet they have to leave the garden, have to undergo the heartbreak, so their love can become even more meaningful.

Leslie – I can’t believe I forgot about all the wolf-dog imagery in BtVS. Good point - among many others!

As for poems, I know lots of lines and verses off by heart, either because I’ve learnt them (yes, I am a poetry geek) or because I’m so familiar with them. They often flit across my mind during the day, describing and investing ordinary life with much more meaning and beauty than I could ever manage by myself! But I’ve tried to stop quoting from memory to this board – I check things out on the net, or look it up in a book to stop myself misquoting. I’ve even started building up a pile of poetry books on my desk at work – Robert Graves, the Complete works of Thomas Hardy and the Penguin book of Love poems so far.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "The Soul Recovers Radical Innocence" -- leslie, 09:00:54 03/07/02 Thu

Once again remembering that I am remembering 20-year-old college material, I think that Yeats's reference to radical innocence is meant to refer back to Blake. (That seemed to be one of the reasons the professor chose to cover both Yeats and Blake in the same class!) But going off on another tangent, let me offer another Yeats quote that is perhaps relevant, from "Lapis Lazuli":

All perform their tragic play,
There struts Hamlet, there is Lear,
That's Ophelia, that Cordelia;
Yet they, should the last scene be there,
The great stage curtain about to drop,
If worthy their prominent part in the play,
Do not break up their lines to weep.
They know that Hamlet and Lear are gay:
Gaiety transfiguring all that dread.
All men have aimed at, found, and lost;
Black out; Heaven blazing into the head:
Tragedy wrought to the uttermost.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: "The Soul Recovers Radical Innocence" -- Ixchel, 12:33:48 03/07/02 Thu

Rahael, very interesting post and beautiful poem.

I think you're right about Marie Antoinette, was it called Petite Trianon (or am I imagining things)?

One thing I find very fascinating about this whole discussion is the abstract concepts that humans tend to associate with animals that sometimes even have very little to do with the actual characteristics of the animal itself. For example cats being solitary, when in fact (environmental conditions permiting) cats are quite social, it's just that their sociality is much more subdued than dogs for example.

I like your ideas of leaving "the garden" (childhood?) in order to have a deeper, more meaningful life. This says a great deal to me about the characters' trials in season 6.


[> [> Re: Predator and Prey, Tyger and Lamb (be warned, long, rambling) -- Ixchel, 14:07:17 03/06/02 Wed

Rahael, love those poems!

I guess cats do seem appropriate symbols in BtVS. I suppose the frequency of cat symbols was in my mind when choosing a predator to discuss regarding Buffy (also she is a pretty predator like they are!). Domestic cats have an obvious predatory side yet they are also loving and gentle (and small enough to control). Lionesses are fierce and deadly, but also family oriented and affectionate. It's interesting (to me if I remember my Egyptian mythology correctly) that two Egyptian goddesses represent this duality: Sehkmet the lioness goddess, fierce and terrible, a bringer of death and Bastet the domestic cat goddess, joy, sexuality and fertility (or life).

I do see a definite need for the characters to recognize all aspects of their personalities. Balance is definitely needed. I like your idea about integration being part of the season's end.


[> Oh, Goody, Cats...... -- Rufus, 16:31:48 03/06/02 Wed

Buffy is a killer, her title slayer says as much. So, what value does her job have to the world? I have to wonder sometimes. Vampires are the result of an infection, possession of a human form by a demon. This demon hybrid has a mission and that's to create chaos and wait for the old ones to return. The Slayer is the reaction of humanity to the presence of the vampire. One girl, the chosen one, the alone one. For society to continue on it's merry way, the Slayer was created to protect the interests of humanity, ensure the survival of man. Her reward, a solitary, short life.

Why create one girl to fight the war that should take thousands of men? Why isolate this same girl and leave her alone to fight an eternal battle? If they wanted vampires eradicated, why use one girl, even a very strong one?

I can't get that teary eyed for vampires who have outnumbered the slayer, and have killed with no thought or care as to why. Buffy may be a killer, but she is only one because the vampires began the killing. If a vampire doesn't attempt to kill Buffy, it's not because they had a warm fuzzy feeling about her, but because they considered the fact they would lose a fight with her.

Now to Spike....he can be a very charming fellow when it comes to someone he loves, but what about the typical victim he would kill without any thought? There are kills that Buffy has done that I have felt uncomfortable about, but they aren't the norm for her, her restraint far outdistancing any vampires. She has shown compassion in a way that proves that she doesn't enjoy her job but understands the need for her skills. Do I think she should kill Spike at the moment, no, but I'd never trust him completely to not give into the lure of human blood if the opportunity should present itself again. I always hold the hope that Spike could rise above his infection, the possession that has ruled his life. But I'm also practical enough to realize that he may have to be killed.

Now to cats.....nothing about them in this post other than the title, I just love when they are a topic of conversation.

[> [> Re: Oh, Goody, Cats...... -- Ixchel, 17:28:26 03/06/02 Wed

Rufus, thanks for your response. I greatly admire your posts.

As I stated above, I believe that Buffy's actions are necessary. However, I do think a point has been made on the show regarding morally questionable killings (particularly with Faith).

As to Spike, I think perhaps I might like it if, given a chance to be without the chip, he chose to keep it. If he is limited somehow by his demon nature and can never care for other humans beyond Buffy, Dawn and the SG (I believe he does care about them now to some extent), then if he chose to keep his artificial "conscience", this would work for me.


[> [> [> Would the experiment be worth the risk? -- Rufus, 18:39:34 03/06/02 Wed

As to Spike, I think perhaps I might like it if, given a chance to be without the chip, he chose to keep it. If he is limited somehow by his demon nature and can never care for other humans beyond Buffy, Dawn and the SG (I believe he does care about them now to some extent), then if he chose to keep his artificial "conscience", this would work for me.

I agree about keeping the chip, I'd be fine with it because I wouldn't be fussy about having that type of risk loose in the population. Something that Angel said in Loyalty stuck with me.....

Angel: "When somebody becomes a vampire there is no turning back. (Wes looks over at Angel) No matter how much you want to believe there is some part of him you can save, all that's left is an evil thing."

Because Spike is such an appealing character, can we be totally objective in the desire to see him change his demon nature? Is Angel right and no matter what Spike does and for how long, that all there is really left is an evil thing that will find a very gory way to remind us all of our folly in hoping for a miracle? I still go with the hopes Giles expressed in The I in team in season four..

Giles: Um, thinking about your affliction and, uh, your newfound
discovery that you can fight only demons; it occurs to me that
(chuckling) I realize this is completely against your nature but
I-I-I-- Has it occurred to you that there may be a higher purpose--

But then there are the words of Adam in The Yoko Factor that I can't forget....

Spike: (offended) Hey, watch it, mate. I don't fear anything. Just
know my enemies.

ADAM: Do you? Then why haven't you killed this Slayer yet?

Spike: Because . . . (trails off) Stinking, rotten luck is why. On
top of that, now I got this buggering chip up my head.

ADAM: Yes. Your behavior modification circuitry. I know what you

Spike: (scoffs softly) Not likely.

Adam stands in front of him.

ADAM: You feel smothered. Trapped like an animal. Pure in its
ferocity, unable to actualize the urges within. Clinging to one
truth. Like a flame struggling to burn within an enclosed glass.
That a beast this powerful cannot be contained. Inevitably it will
break free and savage the land again.
I will make you whole again.
Make you savage.

Can Spike fight that flame that struggles within? Can he love enough to extend that love past Buffy, past a possible relationship with her, or is time running out and the savage waiting to savage the land again?

Both Spike and Anya are in a similar position, both have been dumped and both are capable of violent retaliation. Which one will opt for vengeance? Which one will grow past that urge to get even? It would be nice to see more than the humans grow up in the Buffyverse, but are they going to?

[> [> [> [> Re: Would the experiment be worth the risk? -- Ixchel, 20:54:45 03/06/02 Wed

First, I will admit to a strong Spike bias, I don't want to mislead you. Also, though I understand it as presented in the shows, I don't believe in "evil" as so absolute.

Well, I started with the premise that if his demon nature limits him, it's also possible that it doesn't. That he can relearn to value human life by example? Also, if he chooses to keep the chip, I think this makes a statement of progress in itself. I suppose I come from a position that nothing is unchangeable. The tricky part is getting the right convergence of variables to obtain a positive outcome in vampire "reformation". And, unfortunately for most vampires (but I suppose fortunately for us, as mass vampire reformation would make for a boring show), this trickiness basically renders (IMHO) Angel and Spike unique.

Also, I believe in the basic individuality of individuals (even demons). Switch out Angel and Spike and I think the end result may have been a completely insane chipped Angelus and a suicide souled Spike. I believe what Angel said is true (particularly as applies to himself as Angelus) at one level, but Angel only knows, what _he_ knows. So yes, vampires in their "natural" state are extremely dangerous and should be summarily dispatched when necessary, and the events that lead to changes in Angel and Spike are effectively irreproducible so this is not some alternative that can be considered for all vampires.

As to Adam's words (and for the record I prefer Giles' words also), isn't the potential for savagery in all of us? Something that does somewhat bother me about the use of words like animal and beast (and it is fairly frequent in BtVS) is firstly the implication that humans are not animals themselves (albeit very peculiar ones), and secondly that animals or beasts are solely ferocious. The same wolf that kills and devours a deer is also a loving parent, etc. Surely, vampires' ferocity is greatly amplified, but again IMHO it is not absolute (nothing is). And I would consider the source, Adam understood ferocity and violence, but I doubt he understood love. Even if Spike can never have a romantic relationship with Buffy, this doesn't mean IMHO that love for her can't change him in a fundmental way.

In answer to your last question, can Spike and Anya grow up with the rest, I vote for yes. I'm optimistic (and I've gone on much too long with this post).

Thanks for your thoughts.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel's point of view -- leslie, 09:13:51 03/07/02 Thu

Somehow, there seems to be a natural inclination to take Angel's point of view on vampirism as being objectively true rather than his subjective experience. As Ixchel points out, what Angel says is only what *he* knows. And there is something about his worldview that seems to me to be highly colored by an Irish Catholic approach to guilt and original sin--yet another of these pesky carryovers from his mortal self. It's interesting that Angel (again, I am assuming that his mortal self was Catholic, but it's a reasonable assumption given the time and place) is overwhelmed by issues of penance for his sins, and believes, or wants to believe, that it is somehow possible to atone for his sins. But he also very much buys into the notion of original sin--I would say that even as a mortal he felt he was damned, so why not go all the way and be a vampire? Spike, on the other hand, would have been Anglican as a mortal, and one of the points where Anglicanism tried to distinguish itself from Catholicism was in the concept of confession and penance. The idea of penance for one's sins would not have been part of William's mental baggage, and therefore Spike is not interested in it either.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel's point of view -- Ixchel, 11:26:31 03/07/02 Thu

leslie, thanks for your support. I think you have a very interesting and valid point here concerning religious influence.

Regarding Spike, I think his speech in Pangs illustrates his view on the ineffectiveness of guilt.


[> [> Is vampirism an infection or just another species? -- bookworm, 21:05:56 03/06/02 Wed

If you follow the original premise of the show, then vampires are EVIL with a capital E and the only good vampire is Angel and only because he has a soul. I'm not convinced, mainly because they've deviated so much from the original premise. Spike's as capable of loving and selfless bravery as he is of killing just for the sake of killing. Holtz's daughter, little Vamp Sarah, on ATS seemed less interested in feeding on her father than in being comforted by him. Angel, Darla, Drusilla and Spike had their family and affection for one another. Vamps have a culture. The vamps Buffy kills as soon as they rise have the potential to be something other than evil killers. It doesn't mean she shouldn't kill them since they are dangerous to humans and get pleasure from killing and tormenting humans, but I think Buffy's as much "killer" as "slayer/human's champion." I view Spike and Buffy both as cats/predator types. Cats are capable of a lot of cruelty. Watch a cat playing with a mouse sometime. It's FUN for the cat, just like it was fun for Angel to torment Drusilla and Buffy or for Spike to snap the parent's neck in School Hard. Tomcats kill kittens that aren't theirs so the female cat will be free to bear their own offspring. Other female cats will hide the kittens or fight the male cats to save the babies. There's a glint in my male cat's eye right before he gets up and decides to beat up my other cat. He's doing it because she's there, he's bored and he gets a kick out of showing her he's the boss. Cats are even sort of vampiric. My cat makes a show of licking my skin just before she bites.

[> [> [> Re: Is vampirism an infection or just another species? -- swyrlz, 08:42:33 03/07/02 Thu

on that note ..why do cats hate sleepwalkers? :D

Friendly Warnings... -- Teri, 22:21:56 03/05/02 Tue

Kay so...I just wanted to share this because I WISH someone had shared it with me now that I am in PANIC MODE and can't BELIEVE this has HAPPENED to me...

Ready? Bout to share some serious STUFF...

Instead of taping BUFFY tonight..I come home plug in the vid and low and behold I've got GILMORE GIRLS...why? I FORGOT TO CHANGE THE CHANEL from WB to UPN! I'm warning all of you now...cause I don't think ANYONE should have to suffer as I am SUFFERING NOW...

DONT Do's not cool...

There. Cant say you weren't warned!

And on the off note. Damnit I did what I knew I shouldn't DO and plugged in the musical CD into my car two days ago on the way to work and the dang SONGS are STUCK in my head...good's the amber tony song that's stuck the MOST and NOT the David Fury got the MUSTARD OUT song that got stuck LAST time! But still, theyre stuck!

Anyone got a cure for this?

Really appreciate...


[> Re: Friendly Warnings... -- juliaabra, 22:57:32 03/05/02 Tue

i had a similar experience tonight with a new vcr! must be a change in the weather or something. but i freaked out and thought i hadn't programmed upn but rather wba nd had some sweaty forehead moments figuring out what i'd done--nothing! it all worked out in the end. thank the joss.

as for the musical, well it's in permanent rotation in my brain and the only thing i know of that will unjam any jammed song is 'puff the magic dragon.' try it. it is guaranteed to remove any stuck song without becoming lodged itself. a true miracle when you can't get the doublemeat palace jingle out of your head.

[> Re: Friendly Warnings... -- Robert, 07:12:29 03/06/02 Wed

>> "Instead of taping BUFFY tonight..I come home plug in the vid and low and behold I've got GILMORE GIRLS...why? I FORGOT TO CHANGE THE CHANEL from WB to UPN! "

If someone else can't help you, I could loan you my scratch tape. I live in the Pacific northwest. Drop me an e-mail if you want to take me up on my offer.

[> Re: Friendly Warnings... -- luvthistle1, 08:03:31 03/06/02 Wed

I have the perfect cure, for getting a song out of you head.
all you have to do is hum "it's a small world after all".
It works all the time, but unfourtunatly that song is more than likly to stick in your mind. .Than you just sing, "the song that never end" Do you know that song? it goes like this's the song that never goes on, and on my friend..some people started singing it ,not knowing what it was, and they continue singing it forever,Just because!This is the song that never end........

[> [> Re: Friendly Warnings... -- Teri, 08:57:27 03/06/02 Wed


Thank you thankyou for the offer!

Fortunately my friend Joey doesn't have the same VCR handicap I seem to have, going to her house tonight to watch!


Both brilliant suggestions!

My brain is a very VERY dark dangerous place that nothing as sweet and innocent as musical songs should be lodged in. I'm afraid if Puff and Small world don't do the trick...other things will...

Thanks for the help!

[> Re: Friendly Warnings & Music Fixation -- Farstrider, 11:52:47 03/06/02 Wed

Or just think about this:

. . .
Well that's great
But I don't want to play
Because being with you touches me
More than I can say
So if I'm only dead to you
I'm saying stay away . . .

Mwah ha ha!

[> [> Re: Friendly Warnings & Music Fixation -- Teri, 14:20:44 03/06/02 Wed

Kay, * you're * just EEeeeeevil...I like you.

[> Problem easily me -- zargon, 14:45:25 03/06/02 Wed

[> Re: Friendly Warnings... -- anom, 23:12:17 03/06/02 Wed

I can sympathize, Teri--did the same thing last week, only in reverse. Instead of Loyalty, I taped The Parkers & Steve Harvey (I think it was). But I put out an appeal on the board & got a tape lent to me. (Thanks, Kimberly! Appreciate the offer, Dochawk! Don't worry about it, Darren!)

As for the tune stuck in your head...that happened to me the other night. They were playing that stupid song w/all the women's names ("a little bit of" [fill in name of interchangeable woman]...) & I could not get it out of my head after I left. The cure? Sing some song you like better. Out loud. It's the only way.

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