March 2002 posts

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Why was it Willow? -- Earl Allison, 08:53:41 03/14/02 Thu

Why was it the loss of Willow, or threat of loss, that caused Buffy to "snap out of it"?

Shouldn't it have been her flesh-and-blood sister, Dawn, who she DIED for? Why Willow?

Was there some deep, abstract reason, or are we setting up to make Willow's turn to the Dark Side, should it occur, even more tragic for Buffy?

Take it and run.

[> Re: Why was it Willow? -- Rob, 09:50:21 03/14/02 Thu

I don't think it was Willow that snapped her out of it. She yelled, "Willow," because she, at that moment, was about to be harmed by the demon.

I think it was Tara, whose entrance inspired Buffy to have her mother, in her asylum hallucination, tell her just the right words she needed to hear to fight the demon and get on with her life.


[> Re: Why was it Willow? -- Kathy, 12:11:57 03/14/02 Thu

I think it was Willow because the writers have obviously been trying to remind us that hey...buffy and Willow are SUPPOSED to be best friends. However, between Willow's problems with magick and Buffy's apathy....the distance between them has been way noticiable.

I think it was as Earl said...they're trying to set us up for a huge rift between Buffy and Willow down the line. I mean, its Willow who 'always comes through'...not her whiny sister...and certainly not her past sex slave...who she doesn't deem important enough to stash in the basement...and who is too selfish to even wait around to see if she takes the antidote...

ok...sorry..i digressed...i'm not a fan of spike

[> [> I think you misunderstood Spike's point -- Sophist, 13:13:53 03/14/02 Thu

As I saw it, Spike was saying that the antidote wouldn't cure her. Oh, it would get rid of the demon poison, but it wouldn't cure the underlying problem she has faced since her resurrection. The only way to do that was to decide to LIVE. Somewhere. Anywhere. If she couldn't do that, the antidote wouldn't mean much.

I thought it especially significant that Buffy made that decision before taking the antidote.

[> [> [> Re: I think you misunderstood Spike's point -- Devil's advocate., 13:28:02 03/14/02 Thu

Not taking the antidote (getting well) could have ended Spike's universe with Spike in it.

So was encouraging Buffy not to take the antidote an act of self-sacrifice or suicide on Spike's part?

[> [> [> [> Re: I think you misunderstood Spike's point -- Devil's advocate, 13:32:02 03/14/02 Thu

Sorry for posting twice. The computer froze on me.

[> [> [> Re: I think you misunderstood Spike's point -- Devil's advocate., 13:29:34 03/14/02 Thu

If Buffy didn't "take the antidote" and instead got well, it could have ended Spike's Universe with Spike in it.

So was Spike encouraging Buffy not to take the antidote and instead free herself from her "hero complex" and act of self-sacrifice, or suicide on Spike's part?

[> [> [> [> I don't think he encouraged her not to take it. He thought it wasn't enough. -- Sophist, 13:38:20 03/14/02 Thu

As you point out, he was not likely to exist if Buffy chose the asylumverse. But he could hardly have known that.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I don't think he encouraged her not to take it. He thought it wasn't enough. -- Devil's advocate, 13:56:03 03/14/02 Thu

I don't think he totally believed in the asylumverse but he did seem like the only one of them (besides Buffy) to entertain that possibility(though I think Dawn will begin to entertain it as a possibility).

Given that, even risking that it might be a possibility, and then making her doubt whether or not to take the "antidote" seemed strange.

And I did get the idea that he kind of known what he was doing, if only subconciously. He is a good manipulator and a key observer of human behavior and interactions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Sunnydale Bumper Sticker -- Devil's advocate, 13:58:22 03/14/02 Thu

Live for today. For tomorrow Buffy might get well.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmm, naw. I'm sticking with "WWBD?" .......... ;-P -- Solitude1056, 21:59:30 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: I think you misunderstood Spike's point -- Kathy, 14:08:14 03/14/02 Thu

I think that Buffy didn't take the antidote because she didn't want to exist in a world anymore where a 'vampire that she hates' pushes her buttons so.

[> [> [> [> I think you might be misreading both of them -- Kevin, 16:19:22 03/14/02 Thu

I agree with that you seem to be missing Spike's point. He's not trying to manipulate her into to doing anything. It's her choice. I think that's precisely why he doesn't make her to take the antidote or not...he leaves the decision up to her. It won't help her live for him to force her to do anything.

And the problem Buffy's having with Spike is not that she's sleeping with a vampire she hates. It's was made pretty clear at the end of last season from Intervention through Restless, and again at the beginning of this season that Buffy has a much more complex relationship with Spike than simply hating him.

At the beginning of NA, she's in the cemetary near Spike's crypt. As I pointed out somewhere else, there's 12+ cemetaries in Sunnydale, there's no way I'm going to believe she just happened to be outside Spike's crypt when he was coming home with his groceries. She denies it, but Buffy is the denial queen.

She seeks out his friendship. She could have walked away from him and his groceries, but she doesn't. She shares what's going on with him. They're having a normal conversation until Xander & Willow show up and Xander makes his opening nasty remark. Buffy then acts like she thinks she's suppose to and pretends she's not sitting there having a pleasant conversation with a friend.

The problem Buffy's having is not that she's sleeping with a vampire she hates, it's that she doesn't hate Spike and she hasn't been able to work that in with her view of who she's supposed to be yet.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I think you might be misreading both of them -- Lilac, 17:19:23 03/14/02 Thu

I think that you're absolutely right. She obviously doesn't hate him (even leaving their physical relationship out of the equation), she has been seeking out his company and his advice for a long while now. She just can't tolerate the idea of not hating him. She has to deal with it internally, and be willing to deal with the reactions of her friends before she will feel better.

Actually, I say "reactions of her friends", but really I think that she has to deal with how Xander will react. Tara didn't drop dead at the news. Willow leaves Spike with delusional Buffy knowing she is safe with him and has had her own relationship secrets to expose in the past, so I think she would cope with it too. Dawn is as close to Spike as she is to any of the others, so I doubt she would be too upset, unless she felt competitive about it. But Xander will blow a gasket when he finally figures it out. Buffy has to realize that Xander's reaction is his own problem.

[> Re: Why was it Willow? -- luvthistle1, 09:20:21 03/15/02 Fri

The loss of Willow snap Buffy out of it, because Willow has always come thru for Buffy. Willow has always been supportive in whatever Buffy did, or said, rather she believe in her or not. She never judge her. she just accepted her.

[> Buffy/Willow Friendship (spoilers) -- Sarah, 11:43:56 03/15/02 Fri

I really didn't buy a lot of the Buffy/Willow scenes in this episode. It seemed clear to me that the writers were very blatantly reminding us of this friendship, in order to shock us with Willow's betrayal later on. I was extremely annoyed by Buffy's line about Willow "always coming through." It just didn't seem like something Buffy would say at this point. Not after Willow almost killed her sister, violated all of their minds, and pulled her out of heaven, not to mention how pathetic she's been through much of this "addiction" nonsense. I think Buffy's been very disappointed in Willow lately, and because of that a lot of their interactions in this episode seemed off to me. I saw the writers strengthening the bond in order to up the angst later on.

Buffy's Construction of Reality -- Rufus, 10:07:46 03/14/02 Thu

From the Shooting Script of "Life Serial"


Buffy enters with Willow, amid a few other students flowing in and taking their seats. Buffy's forcing positive energy.

I mean, I thought it might be weird
being back. And, it is, a little
but it's a good kind of weird.
Oh, there's the teacher. Mike.

MIKE, mid-thirties, a vaguely cool academic-type, puts down his knapsack and crosses to the blackboard.

You'll like Mike.
You call your teacher "Mike?" Wow.
School sure has changed since my day.

ON MIKE, writing on the blackboard. NOTE: The class that follows operates BRISKLY, FAST PACED, emphasizing Buffy's difficulty in keeping up. Mike writes the words:

"Social Construction of Reality"
(turning to the class)
Who can tell me what that is?
WIDE ON CLASS - Hands shoot up, including Willow's.

ON BUFFY, looking around at the students eager to answer.

MIKE (cont'd)
ON RACHEL, who answer quickly and confidently.

A concept involving a couple of
opposing theories. One stressing the
externality and independence of
social reality from individuals...
ON MIKE, turning toward the rest of the class.

And the flip side?
ON BUFFY, taken aback as hands shoot up around her again.

That each individual participates
fully in the construction of his or
her own life.

ON MIKE, picking up the pace.

Good. Who can expand on that?
HIGH ANGLE - EMPTY SPACE as raised hands fill the screen.

MIKE (cont'd)
ON BUFFY, listening, watching, increasingly overwhelmed.

Well, those on the latter side of the
theoretical divide stress that social
reality is actively constructed and
restructured by individual actors.

As he speaks, Buffy leans in to Willow and whispers.

Will, I'm not following this too well.
The trick is to just get into the
rhythm, go with the flow.

Her hand goes up.

Flow-going might be easier if your
classmates weren't all big brains.
Buffy, that,s ridiculous. They,re no
smarter than you or me.


(answering a question)
Because social phenomena don,t have
unproblematic objective existences,
they have to be interpreted and given
meanings by those who encounter them.

ON MIKE, pointing.

Nicely put. So, Ruby, does that mean
there are countless realities?
ON WILLOW, pleased with herself, as she turns back to BUFFY who just looks at her.

The part in Chucks statement that is in bold may or may not have been heard in the show as we were distracted by Buffy and Willow's conversation. I feel that this bit in Life Serial is important to how we feel about Normal Again. Is Buffy just an insane person in an asylum, or is she someone who made that inward journey where the results are a Buffy who has decided to accept the Sunnydale reality as the one she is a part of ignoring all other potential realities?

From Masq's site,

The Social Construction of Reality

1. We know the world only as we perceive it.

2. Our perceptions are based on learned interpretations.

3. This learning is social: we learn from and among persons in social interaction.

4. The main vehicles which convey this meaning:

a: symbols, including language
b: cultural myths -- larger social meanings of objects, actions, signs, episodes
c: the structure and practice of our institutions
d: our rules for congruent action.

5. These vehicles of meaning together construct:

a: our world-view -- our sense of how the world works, what is valuable, why things are the way they are.
b: our sense of ourselves, our identity, purpose.
c: our ideologies -- our sense of the appropriateness of, the structure of, and the exercise of, power, action and roles in society.

6. Our selves, our societies, our institutions change continually, through interaction.

7. The "real conditions" of our existence are not subjective, however:

a: they only have meaning through social interaction
b: their perceived value, causes, and significance are socially produced.
8: Reality, insofar as it means to us, is situational, or pragmatic: the context governs our interpretation.

Is Buffy real, or is she a delusional person who has decided to interact only in the reality where she has an identity and purpose? When Buffy was brought back from Willow we got the idea of a girl who felt her life was complete, the hard part of actually living life over. The Buffy we have now has struggled to keep up, refind a place in a world that feels like it's passed her by. The idea of countless realities is facinating but we are interested in the one where Buffy is the Slayer. All other may have been the result of other choices Buffy made in her life. Buffy had craved a normal life but even in her alternate reality she wasn't having a normal life, the only chance given the 2 realities seen was to either stay in the reality of an asylum where she may or may not have ever interacted in a world again, or go back to the reality where she has a purpose that involves more than herself, a reality where she is strong. In the other reality Buffy seemed to be making an inward journey as well, both realities leading her back to Sunnydale, the reality that is real is the one that is given value by both the viewer and Buffy.

Ponder, Just for a moment... (Spoilers) -- Devil's Advocate, 10:15:09 03/14/02 Thu

Perhaps I am playing devil's advocate here, but I really think "Normal Again" gives the show an added dimension and an unique perspective to interpret the events of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

Now, on this board we have viewed the things that has happened on Buffy from many philosophical, social, physiological, and even spiritual perspectives. We have interpreted it from many angles. So I see this as offering just another perspective to view the framework of events.

I don't want to get into which world is "reality". Reality, as we all know, it that Buffy the Vampire the slayer is a television show that Joss developed. Writers develop the Buffyverse, and actors play the parts. So just for the purpose of this discussion, I want to leave out any discussion of which world is real, for the answer is at the same time both and neither.

So again, I don't think we should accept the asylumverse as "real" or "false", but a different interpretation of this work of fiction we call "Buffy the Vampire Slayer". And I ask you to consider, for a moment, just for this discussion, this interpretation, for I have found it interesting to at least ponder.

Buffy Summers is a mentally ill girl whose illness starts to manifests itself by her seeing delusions in the form of Vampires. It gets so bad that she burns down the school's gym and her parents have to send her to an asylum. There she creates her "own world", her Buffyverse, her Sunnydale, where she is the hero. Her delusions are painful of course, but she is too sick to free herself from them. Although there are times she comes close. But she protects her "Buffyverse" with the help of "friends" her subconscious creates. By protecting the "Buffyverse" she continues to sink into her own dementia. By protecting the "Buffyverse" she further separates herself from "reality."

Now consider her dementia a "reality" of its own. A reality dependent upon Buffy's illness.

In this "reality" the world (the Buffyverse) is often threatened with total destruction. Apocalypses are common. But an interesting interpretation of all these apocalypses is that they are all attempts by a part of her subconscious to get well.

So every time she stops the "evil" from destroying her world, she is actually slipping further into her illness. When her "friends" save her, they are actually the subconscious part of her keeping her in her dementia.

So depending on your perspective, the forces who are trying to destroy the Buffyverse are the forces within her trying to get her well. They are the healthy part within her, and their success in "destroying" the world would actually help to restore her mental health.

So in Season one when "Xander" saves her, actually she was close to freeing herself from the dementia, but a part of herself pulls her back into it.

And when "Angelus" attempts to "destroy the universe" (the Buffyverse) he was an aspect within her subconscious trying to get her healthy. Had "Angelus" succeeded she would have been on the road to recovery. But again, she had a relapse, and fought getting well by saving her universe at the expense of returning to "reality".

Her greatest chance at recovery was with Dawn (even the name suggests an awakening) and Glory. At the end of Season 5 she jumps into the abyss, but in reality she is actually awaken from her dementia, albeit temporary. Her health is on the way to being restored, but that puts her "Buffyverse" at risk.

At the beginning of Season 6 she has a significant relapse. The subconscious forces that makes up her little mental world of the Buffyverse pulls her back into her dementia. She becomes sick again.

So in this episode Spike was the only one that had Buffy's interest at heart. For he was the one who encouraged her to end her dementia by freeing herself from her "hero complex" thereby freeing her from her "Buffyverse" and returning her to the "real world".

We often say that mental patients are in their own little world. What kind of world is it for them? How real is it to them? For Buffy Summers it's extremely real. She has created a whole little universe within her mind. And is this a reality in and of itself?

Perhaps in the Buffyverse the "weight of the world" is on her shoulders precisely because she is the world. Her dementia has created an universe in and of itself. People exist in that world, but their existence is depended on her illness. Perhaps it wouldn't exactly be correct to say that Buffy is God, but she sustains the universe through her subconscious and mental illness.

So from the Buffyverse perspective, Buffy becoming well would mean the end of them all. I find it interesting to consider it from this perspectives for from the asylumverse all her victories are actually relapses. Tragic setbacks on the road to recovery. So who are Buffy's "friends" really? The unhealthy aspects "the Scooby gang" who are helping her maintain her Buffyverse, perceived as aiding and supporting Buffy, but actually are the unhealthy, demented part of her psyche keeping her in her in her mental illness world?. Or her "enemies" who are actually the healthy aspects within her psyche trying to get her well by freeing her from her dementia?

And how would the people in the Buffyverse react if they would to learn the truth? That their very existence depends on Buffy remaining in a state of dementia. How would her friends react? Though perhaps for Dawn she would feel it puts her on equal ground. ("I am not real. Well guess what neither are you. We are all figments of Buffy's imagination.")

Again, I don't think this should be the definitive interpretation of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Just an alternative interpretation that I find interesting to ponder.

I don't want Joss to make this the definitive interpretation. The vagueness is what makes it fun. Just set it out there for us to ponder about. I fear though if he suggests this interpretation too much further it could really jar the audience's willing suspension of disbelief beyond recovery.

I think it would be interesting. Just for the sake of discussion, to consider the events of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer", from the perspective of the delusions of a sick girl. And consider the actions and the events we have seen so far from that perspective, as the struggle between insanity and wellness going on within her. As Spike says, in some ways it makes sense. And that's what makes it fun to ponder, though I wouldn't want to accept it as the only interpretation. Just one of many.

[> Re: Ponder, Just for a moment... (Spoilers) -- Xander Fan, 10:27:46 03/14/02 Thu

From the asylumverse perspective all her victories are actually relapses.

Doesn't that make "Buffy the Vampire Slayer the ultimate tragedy.

[> [> It certainly changes ones perspective -- What if, 10:54:01 03/14/02 Thu

Buffy's friends want the best for Buffy. But their very existance could be harmful to getting her well. They aren't evil. They want to help Buffy. But by helping her 'save the world' they are keeping her in her own mind.

[> [> Re: Ponder, Just for a moment... (Spoilers) -- Robert, 12:16:05 03/14/02 Thu

>> "Doesn't that make "Buffy the Vampire Slayer the ultimate tragedy."

I thought it always was a tragedy.

[> [> [> Re: Ponder, Just for a moment... (Spoilers) -- Devil's advocate., 12:20:07 03/14/02 Thu

Even Buffy's successes can be considered defeats. For every time she "saves her Buffyverse" she retreats further into her own mind and away from "reality"

[> [> [> [> Re: Ponder, Just for a moment... (Spoilers) -- Robert, 12:54:52 03/14/02 Thu

>> "Even Buffy's successes can be considered defeats. For every time she "saves her Buffyverse" she retreats further into her own mind and away from "reality""

Very true! But, even outside of this interpretation, I still think of BtVS as a tragedy. Even without the asylumverse, nearly every success in BtVS takes something away from Buffy and the gang. Some of the losses are bigger than others. If you add them up, Buffy has surrendered and lost a huge portion of her life in fighting her battles.

[> More Thoughts... -- Jimbo, 11:42:12 03/14/02 Thu

If we re-interpret "Restless" with this in mind, interesting things emerge...

Remeber, the events in "Restless" were brought on by the scoobies "merging" and becomeing "Superbuffy". But if all the scoobies are just different aspects of (let's call her) AsvBuffy's subconscious, this would really be a partial re-integration of AsvBuffy's mind.

In other words, the "spell" really served to bring these different aspects, which AsvBuffy had been keeping at arm's length to support her psychosis, together into one consciousness. This had the effect of awakening a dim awareness within AsvBuffy of the nature of her plight.

Forward to "Restless". The Scoobies have a "shared dream" - of course, since they are all really the same person. The "First Slayer" run's through the dreams, trying to kill the scoobies. Finally she confronts Buffy, saying:

"No... friends! Just the kill. We are.. alone!"

Could "We are Alone" really be some primative part of AsvBuffy's awareness trying to convince Buffy of her true predicament?

In Season 5, it is the "First Slayer" who again emerges to convince Buffy that "Death is her gift". This is what later convinces her to "kill" herself. What if, again, this apparition is the deepest part of Buffy that is trying to bring her back to health?

I suspect we'll be arguing about this for many months to come. God, I do love this show!

[> [> Oh.... clever ! I like this vision :) -- Ete, 12:41:43 03/14/02 Thu

[> Wonderful interpretation! -- Robert, 12:23:45 03/14/02 Thu

This is wonderful. I don't for a minute believe that this is the direction Joss is taking BtVS. But imagine what could be done with this theme in the right hands. If BtVS were the only show in the franchise, then this might fit. I don't believe that Angel and Fray could be reconciled with such an interpretation however.

Disturbing thought (spoilers for Normal Again) -- vampire hunter D, 10:25:12 03/14/02 Thu

Ok, here's something I saw when I rewatched Normal Again. I'm sure it's been pointed out that Buffy's refusal to take the antidote was due to what Spike said to her. I totally agree. But now here is a line of thought that led me to realize something disturbing:

Ok, first, I don't think the Asylum was real. It was all in her head (to some degree). The doctor and her told her things she wanted to hear, and Hank and Joyce were thee to back him up with encouragement. Enter Spike. Spike threatens to tell the others about them. Buffy, for whatever reason, still doesn't wantthem to know (despite the fact that it probably would be better for her if they did. Spike was right about that). Now, it became clear to Buffy that they were going to find out, one way or another. Bufy refused to take the antidote not to escape the Slaying, her responsibilities, or even Spike himself, but out of a desire to not let her friends find out. She asks the doctor what she needs to do to get healthy (read "How can I stop them from finding out). And what does the doctor say? That she must kill her friends.

This leads me to the conlusion that the real reason she was trying to kill everybody was just to stop them from finding out about her sexcapades with Spike! and really, that is the only way she can keep the secret forever. How disturbing is that? She is sao determined to keep a secret that she would kill her friends to stop them from learning it. And notice, the only one she didn't set up to kill was Tara, who already knew (Anya being AWOL, doesn't count).

Anyone else disturbed by this?

[> Your mind works in very interesting ways, vhD! -- Rob, 11:03:50 03/14/02 Thu

I hadn't thought of that at all...I'm gonna need to think on this one.


[> Very interesting, except ... -- Robert, 12:06:29 03/14/02 Thu

>> "This leads me to the conlusion that the real reason she was trying to kill everybody was just to stop them from finding out about her sexcapades with Spike!"

I don't buy it! By this reasoning Buffy is willing to kill Dawn to preserve a secret (which she had already devulged), but would not kill Dawn to save the world.

[> [> Re: Very interesting, except ... -- Farstrider, 12:22:14 03/14/02 Thu

I thought the same thing VHD and Robert thought: that thing she wanted to escape most was her embarassment, and how that was pretty lame.

Also, did anyone else get the impression that the parts of this episode and HB dealing with the Spike/Buffy Arc were shown out of order? Why now does Spike want to tell X, W, & D about "us" when there is no us? And, if it bothers him that much, why could he be civil to her last week but (justifiably) infuriated with her this week, when nothing has really changed? The arc would make more sense if the "Spuffy" interactions of HB were swapped for the "Bike" interactions of NA.

Or am I just craz?


[> [> [> No... -- Rob, 12:32:47 03/14/02 Thu

I don't think she wanted to escape her embarassment about Spike, but the cause of that relationship- -her feelings of disconnectedness from the world this year, since her resurrection. Her relationship with Spike may have been a large thing weighing on her mind this year, but it is not the relationship that bothers her as much as its psychological implications. When she lost the possible "escape hatch" that she might have "come back wrong," Buffy now strives to find another reason for what is wrong, inside herself. And that is the meaning of this episode. Luckilly, Joyce is able to help her at the end, and as I've said numerous times before, we'll have to wait until the next episodes in May to see, but I think Buffy now may finally be...NORMAL AGAIN!!


[> [> [> Misunderstanding -- Robert, 12:46:14 03/14/02 Thu

>> "I thought the same thing VHD and Robert thought: that thing she wanted to escape most was her embarassment, and how that was pretty lame."

I believe you misunderstood me. If embarrassment was Buffy's motivation for attempting to kill her friends, then that would be an extremely lame example of writing. I don't believe this to be the case. I do not believe that embarrassment was her motivation. Instead, I believe that she was so mind- fried that she could no longer determine reality. Note that I define reality here as ME has presented it to us through BtVS for the past 6 seasons.

Recall the scene in "Normal Again" where Buffy is chasing down Dawn to stick her in the basement with Xander and Willow. The following excerpts were taken from Buffy's dialog about 45 minutes into the episode.

"You're going downstairs with the others. It is the only way I can get healthy."

"Sure it is! What's more real, a sick girl in an institution or some kind of supergirl chosen to fight demons and save the world? That's ridiculous! A girl who sleeps with a vampire she hates? Yeah, that makes sense!"

These lines support my contention that Buffy could no longer distinguish reality, but that she knew something was wrong and was trying to fix it. Furthermore, if she had already decided to kill Dawn to avoid embarrassment, I don't think she would pick that moment to divulge her big secret.

[> [> [> [> Re: Misunderstanding -- farstrider, 13:01:07 03/14/02 Thu

Good points, and I also think that we are talking about two different time periods. When she pours out the antidote into the garbage, that was triggered (and in part caused) by Spike's threat to tell her friends (tell them what? that they used to boink like bunnies? that would be less worrisome for them than if she wanted a continuous relationship with him, although Anya would be disturbed by the bunny reference, but I digress).

I agree that when she is chasing Dawn around, she is motivated (assuming a crazy person is "motivated" in the rational sense of the term) by something other than embarrassment.

I also see your point that she is upset not about what she is doing with Spike, but rather, the flaws within her that make her do those things. What I don't see is why one has any more embarrassment than the other? Is she afraid her actions reflect on herself? Of course, that's why embarrassing actions are embarassing - because they reflect poorly on oneself. Like my inability to spell "embarrass."

Finally, I agree that Buffy did not reveal her relationship to Dawn deliberately. She was raving at that point, talking to herself.


[> [> Well said Rob and Robert... -- Ixchel, 13:15:10 03/14/02 Thu

I do think Buffy was "mind-fried" by the demon toxin, her own brain working against her and, in a perverse way, for her in providing a seeming "escape" from her life.


[> Adolescent Angst and Murder/Suicide -- Ishkabibble, 12:20:04 03/14/02 Thu

"This leads me to the conlusion that the real reason she was trying to kill everybody was just to stop them from finding out about her sexcapades with Spike! and really, that is the only way she can keep the secret forever. How disturbing is that?"

Yes, very disturbing indeed. I applaud you for being disturbed rather than apathetic.

Because I work with patients who are dealing with some of these issues, this really hit home for me. I'm glad it did for you, too. Although I realize that you were talking about murder in this instance, your post brought to my mind the issue of the high suicide rate among adolescents. The concept is the same: frantic individuals who can see no other solution to imminent exposure, be it that they wrecked the family car, got pregnant, failed a graduation requirement, experienced public humiliation or rejection, whatever. They resort to a permanent solution (death) for a temporary problem (which 10 years down the road won't seem so dire).

Sometimes having a friend who listens when we are in need (or in Buffy's case, a network of friends), makes all the difference in how we react to a perceived catastrophe. You sound like a person who is probably a very good friend.

[> [> Re: Adolescent Angst and Murder/Suicide -- vampire hunter D, 14:37:58 03/14/02 Thu

"You sound like a person who is probably a very good friend."

then you don't know me very well

[> [> Re: Adolescent Angst and Murder/Suicide -- Cydney, 07:10:54 03/15/02 Fri

Interesting, Ishkabibble. I maintain that Buffy's 'sacrifice' in the Gift was only partly that - the rest was the early 20's desire to not have to deal with the world and its harhsness- i.e. suicide. Buffy clearly states to Giles that she can't go on if this is all life is and everything gets stripped away. And her friends brought her back from her 'suicide,' but haven't really been there for her. Only Spike understands (and maybe Dawn) how horrible her job at the DMP is. The others just think she will adjust.

[> You're right ! Great thinking vhD. And it's coherent with tWotW -- Ete, 12:46:15 03/14/02 Thu

[> Re: Disturbing thought (spoilers for Normal Again) -- Rufus, 13:13:12 03/14/02 Thu

This leads me to the conlusion that the real reason she was trying to kill everybody was just to stop them from finding out about her sexcapades with Spike! and really, that is the only way she can keep the secret forever. How disturbing is that?

I don't see Buffy's actions as based only upon the fear of detection from the Scoobies. I think her biggest problem is with her own perception of reality. Reality is based upon what we know and also what we think is right. Buffy is a vampire slayer and to be sleeping with a vampire she "should" hate threatens the reality of her status as a slayer. She feels that what she is doing with Spike is wrong but for whatever reason she constantly seeks him out. As she can't understand her own actions based upon her perception of reality, she is retreating into herself, hiding from some truths of her own behavior. In the end her mother told her that she was strong...she needed to hear that. Spike is only part of her problem, a symptom of her detachment from the Sunnydale reality, her mothers words a call back to who she really is, the Slayer.

Joyce: I believe in you...Be strong, baby..OK?...I know you're afraid. I know the world feels like a hard place sometimes. But you've got people who love you. You've got a world of strength in your heart. I know you do. You just have to find it again. Believe in yourself.

Buffy's journey into herself was almost a gift from the three pathetic men who have been making her life miserable. Spike isn't the problem that she would kill to hide, but a part of her bigger problem with trusting herself.

[> I had a different take on it -- Sophist, 13:31:56 03/14/02 Thu

I think we all agree that she decided not to take the antidote after Spike spoke (word play time). I am willing to assume she poured it out because of what he said. I just don't agree that it was the threat of revealing their relationship that was most significant.

Spike made 2 related points to her. One was that she had to decide to live. With her friends. With him. Somewhere. The other was that, either way, she had to deal with her relationship with him. He had to be in or out, wherever she chose.

As I saw it, the reason she poured out the antidote was that she hadn't yet made the choice to live. She was still being tempted by the false security offered by the hallucination. It's the same choice she has faced, in varying degrees, since Bargaining.

The reason she put her friends in danger was not embarrassment, it was the lure of the safety and comfort offered by her vision -- she would no longer have to exist in a world where the hardest thing to do is to live in it.

In the end, she chose life. Why she made that choice is still being debated. I believe, borrowing from Rahael, that she made an existential choice when faced with the loss of Willow. The most significant point of all, though, is that she made the choice before she took the antidote. She took Spike's advice.

[> [> Well said Sophist... -- Ixchel, 14:06:30 03/14/02 Thu

Maybe I have to watch again, but I don't believe it was only Willow that she couldn't bear to lose.

I think you are correct that the important thing is her final choice even in her poisoned confusion and that she made the choice without the antidote.


[> [> [> Re: Well said Sophist... and spoilers from NA and Prophecy Girl -- Kathy, 14:23:01 03/14/02 Thu

Willow isn't the only thing she can't bear to lose...but she was the final straw. Afterall...Willow is the one that always come through.

Willow was the reason she decided to fight the Master in 'Prophesy Girl' and Willow's pain was the reason she decided to strike against the demon's whose name cannot be pronounced in "Normal Again". One other point I'd like to of the few times shes seemed the least bit connected to life has been when shes been concerned about Willow and her addiction.

Perhaps Willow represents to her what is good in the world...what is worth fighting for.

[> [> [> [> Willow and Buffy have a very strong bond... -- Ixchel, 15:05:12 03/14/02 Thu

I have no doubt about that. I just don't see her as the _only_ reason Buffy was able to break through her confusion and decide.


[> [> Re: I had a different take on it -- Kathy, 14:18:48 03/14/02 Thu

>> Why she made that choice is still being debated. I believe, borrowing from Rahael, that she made an existential choice when faced with the loss of Willow.

I totally agree with that point.

>> The most significant point of all, though, is that she made the choice before she took the antidote. She took Spike's advice.

I have to disagree with you here though. I think she made the choice because she took the advice of Joyce in the Asylum verse...which was really an echo of what she had told Dawn before she jumped.

Why does everyone think Spike is so significant?? If he were...she would have locked him up in the basement too! I mean afterall...hes been one of the problems she has had to deal with since being ripped from heaven.

[> [> [> I agree in part -- Sophist, 15:08:39 03/14/02 Thu

She did listen to Joyce. The irony in the scene, of course, was that she took that advice and then did the opposite of what asylumJoyce expected. Since I see the Buffyverse as real life, and the asylum as an hallucination, she decided to believe in herself (Joyce's advice) by living (Spike's advice).

Why was Spike not in the basement? Good question. My view is that W/X/D were insisting that she stay in their world. Tara refused to judge her, and Spike said it didn't matter which choice she made, as long as she made one. AsylumBuffy didn't need to kill them off to break her ties to SunnydaleBuffy. Therefore they weren't in the basement. This is also, in part, why I think Willow was the key to the basement scene, not Tara, as has also been suggested.

[> [> [> Spike's role -- Kevin, 15:57:32 03/14/02 Thu

I believe Spike is very significant *because* he's not locked in the basement. See "Buffy's Basement" post above. I agreed with ponygirl's thoughts on it.

[> [> [> Re: I had a different take on it -- Arya Stark, 00:21:56 03/15/02 Fri

>>Why does everyone think Spike is so significant??

Because throughout the series Spike has had a habit of speaking the truth when nobody else has been able to see it. In Lover's Walk he tells Buffy and Angel that they'll never be just friends. He's the one who sees how much pain Willow in in after her break-up with Oz.

When a character has a history of telling the painful truths, we should listen to him (as should the others).

[> [> Willow's role -- Traveler, 07:51:07 03/15/02 Fri

Buffy decided to live in Buffyverse when Willow was in danger, but not just because Willow was her best friend. She was also probably the only one who could make the anidote, so her death would also represent Buffy choosing Asylemverse once and for all.

[> Re: Disturbing thought (spoilers for Normal Again) -- Vegeta, 14:33:58 03/14/02 Thu

I can definetly agree with that assessment. It also supports my personal opinion that Buffy is one of the least likeable characters on the show.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love BtVS. But NA is a good example of what not to love about her.

[> Re: Disturbing thought (spoilers for Normal Again) -- alcibiades, 01:40:10 03/15/02 Fri

"She asks the doctor what she needs to do to get
healthy (read "How can I stop them from finding out). And what does the doctor say? That she must kill her friends.
This leads me to the conlusion that the real reason she was trying to kill everybody was just to stop them from finding out about her sexcapades with Spike! and really, that is the only way she can keep the secret forever."

Not only is it the only way she can keep the secret forever, and note, Buffy hasn't told the doctor about Spike in the alternative universe (well unless Spike is the doctor, and then there is always patient-doctor transference as a reward for doing what the doctor asks, but let's leave that aside for a moment), but it is also very convenient. Buffy's id has figured out a way to undermine her suger-ego, the part of her ostensibly directing her from insanity to order. Because if she kills all her friends, there is nothing to prevent her from having Spike -- no criticism or rejection she has to face from anyone. It's the perfect solution. Her id has figured out a way truly to be in the dark with Spike without any objections.

Not only that it's a spectacular id existence. Her vision simultaneously means in one dimension "complete" love from the parents taking care of her every need and in the other dimension, perfect sexual satisfaction from Spike, who also loves her non-judgmentally and "completely." The only problem is she has to turn into a vampire to do it.

And note Buffy's reaction to Spike who is finally laying down ground rules for her: she does the childlike rebellion thing...I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to do it. It only lacked her sticking her thumb into her mouth.

[> [> Re: Disturbing thought (spoilers for Normal Again) -- alcibiades, 01:53:05 03/15/02 Fri

I wrote: "The only problem is she has to turn into a vampire to do it."

I should have said moral vampire. And after all, the other person in the Buffyverse that we know who killed all his family to dwell happily in the dark was Angel.

[> Re: Disturbing thought (spoilers for Normal Again) -- alcibiades, 01:41:28 03/15/02 Fri

"She asks the doctor what she needs to do to get
healthy (read "How can I stop them from finding out). And what does the doctor say? That she must kill her friends.
This leads me to the conlusion that the real reason she was trying to kill everybody was just to stop them from finding out about her sexcapades with Spike! and really, that is the only way she can keep the secret forever."

Not only is it the only way she can keep the secret forever, and note, Buffy hasn't told the doctor about Spike in the alternative universe (well unless Spike is the doctor, and then there is always patient-doctor transference as a reward for doing what the doctor asks, but let's leave that aside for a moment), but it is also very convenient. Buffy's id has figured out a way to undermine her suger-ego, the part of her ostensibly directing her from insanity to order. Because if she kills all her friends, there is nothing to prevent her from having Spike -- no criticism or rejection she has to face from anyone. It's the perfect solution. Her id has figured out a way truly to be in the dark with Spike without any objections.

Not only that it's a spectacular id existence. Her vision simultaneously means in one dimension "complete" love from the parents taking care of her every need and in the other dimension, perfect sexual satisfaction from Spike, who also loves her non-judgmentally and "completely." The only problem is she has to turn into a vampire to do it.

And note Buffy's reaction to Spike who is finally laying down ground rules for her: she does the childlike rebellion thing...I'm not going to do it, I'm not going to do it. It only lacked her sticking her thumb into her mouth.

Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- Caroline, 11:26:48 03/14/02 Thu

I'm not a psychiatrist so I have little to go on here but a layman's knowledge and perhaps someone can help me out or correct me. I was under the impression that schizophrenia is a biological condition that is managable with neuroleptic drugs. The symptoms that asylumverse Buffy was having of grand delusions, hallucinations etc do fit the symptoms of the disease. But, could the doctors have had so little success with managing it for SIX years? The schizophrenics I know usually only require outpatient treatment after the major symptoms have been controlled in the hospital. I can understand the explanation that every time she fought off a demon or a vampire or an apocalypse she was fighting off someone trying to administer drugs or some other form of therapy to her. But since the disease has a biological basis, it's just a matter of finding the anti-psychotic drugs that work for her and send her on her way. And the doctor and Joyce telling her that she can fight this thing by killing the 'friends' keeping her in Sunnydale is just ridiculous in this context. The disease has a biological basis and can't be fought by making a 'decision' to get healthy again. (If only mental illness was like that). Can anyone out there provide some insight - I'm quite willing to be wrong on this and it's really bugging me.

[> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- Devil's Advocate, 11:38:45 03/14/02 Thu

They had a little success the first year. They almost got her lucid again, but she slipped back into her fantasy world.

They also had some success the year later, but somehow the poor Summers girl kept on pulling herself within further and further.

There was a major breakthrough a year ago. The doctors thought they had her finally on the way back from her dementia. But a few months later she retreated back into herself again.

No doubt about it, tough case. Dr. Giles, the British specialist who was on her case, finally gave up. He was an expert on such matters, but even he couldn't help the poor girl.

Tried a drug on her last week. That seemed to help at first, but now she is worst off. I don't know what can help her. She just sits there and stares, in her own little world.

[> [> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- Devil's Advocate, 11:50:25 03/14/02 Thu

Not saying that this is the "right" interpretation or the "only" interpretation, just an alternative one.

[> "Schizophrenia" is just the name given to B's parallel dimension -- Rachel, 11:50:54 03/14/02 Thu

One explanation -- It might not be true schizophrenia that we're talking about. There's just not a word for those who slip in and out of parallel dimensions...yet!

[> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- dream of the consortium, 11:53:51 03/14/02 Thu

I don't think it's nearly that easy - although there are schizophrenics for whom drugs allow "normal" functioning, there are also many who do not respond to drugs, or who respond for a while, and then don't, etc. It seems likely that you know schizophrenics that have the disease under control because, well, those who don't aren't exactly making a wide range of acquaintances.

The greater point, however, is that you are absolutely right - if the asylumverse is "real" (in the sense that, within the structure of the Buffyverse the asylum is meant to be a sort of framing device for the entire series), then there is something deeply wrong with the sort of treatment Buffy is receiving. If you take the asylumverse to be the result of Buffy's hallucinations (and as such an expression of her desire to be normal and cared for and part of an intact family and free of the responsbilities of her life), then you would expect the institution to be some sort of amalgamation of things Buffy picked up in her brief stay (assuming you don't believe that the memory of the initial visit is part of the hallucinations bleeding into the world - I don't, I think it's typical Summers family repression at work), ideas Buffy would have picked up from movies, and things she would want to believe (she can be perfectly normal). No real doctor would expect his patient to make herself better by repeating over and over that her hallucinations aren't real. I am not certain about this, but I believe that, if a successful drug is found, hallucinations just become less frequent and then stop. Work toward recovery is not expected to happen within the hallucination.

That's part of why I don't believe the writers want us to accept that the asylumverse as a framing device. If they do, they wrote it without doing their research, and did a poor job representing the "realism" that should be the strength of that vision. If they want us to believe that the Slayer is "ridiculous" compared to a sick girl in an institution, they had better make the reality of the institution believable. And they didn't. But, if they want to portray a hallucination with great appeal for Buffy in her current state of depression, a skewed image of an institutional setting will work out just fine. I assume the writers are smart enough to write an instituion absolutely perfectly if they wished to, so I'm going with the other reading.

[> [> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- Devil's Advocate, 12:16:51 03/14/02 Thu

"That's part of why I don't believe the writers want us to accept that the asylumverse as a framing device."

I think the key word to remember is ambiguity. I don't think the writers want us to "accept" anything. Just keep an open mind.

I see the aslyumverse as a possible framing device. But only a possible one. Still I find it interesting to re-evaluate the series through that perspective, though I am not saying that perspective is the "right" one.

It's just another perspective to analyse the show by.

Whether it becomes the definative perspective is up to the writers to decide. But for me, I would perfer that the writers keep the issue in ambiguity. Leaving it out there as always a possiblity, but never actually coming out saying that it is the framing device.

By leaving it in ambiguity, it leaves us open to all kinds of Matrix like discussions. I hope that they never get definitive on the issue, but leave both possibilities open.

[> [> [> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- dream of the consortium, 12:32:02 03/14/02 Thu

Oh, yes, indeed. I think they want to tweak the viewers, and I like that. As I mentioned below, the perfect fit of the Dawn explanation was wonderful. But I do find that there are a number of not-so- small things that dissatisfy me about the asylum as a framing device - the asylum as the "real" Buffyverse" - that are not problematic if I look at it the other way. If someone is "having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis," my point is - they don't have to. The structure of the show allows it to be viewed the other way.

And I would prefer it left ambiguous as well - unless, of course, they are willing to go all the way into a multi-dimension storyline, as OnM suggests below.

[> [> I'm not sure... -- Jimbo, 12:24:37 03/14/02 Thu

We need a proper psychiatrist in here to set us straight, but it seems to me that schizophrenia, like many aliments, is both physical and mental in origin - that is, in order to get better the patient needs to not just be freed of the biological defect that causes the delusions (which may not be entirely possible), but to WANT to free themsleves of them.

From what I've heard (and again, take whatever I, a layman, says with a horselick's worth of salt) one of the problems with treating schizophrenics is that the delusions they suffer are seductive - they, like Buffy, are a heroic figure upon whom the entire universe seems to depend. Getting "well", then means stepping down from that pedestal into the workaday world, just another ordinary human - worse, one with a dibilitating illness.

Those who have seen "A Beautiful Mind" (which, exaggerations aside, has been praised by mental health practictioners for it's portrayal of schizophrenia) will remember how John Nash decribes his delusions as "a habit I no longer indulge in" - there are still ther, he just learns to ignore them. That seems to me to be what the doctor was trying to convince Buffy to do - as a first step to a cure, she needed to decide to get well.

All this is not to say that I agree that the Asylum was "reality" - it could have been a delusion brought on by the demon poison (perhaps incorporating elements from a recent viewing of "A Beautiful Mind"!). The point is that both viewpoint are plausible, and there's really no way to say, at this point, which is "true".

[> [> [> Re: I'm not sure... -- dream of the consortium, 12:42:52 03/14/02 Thu

I'm a lay person as well, as so no expert on this. I do believe that there is a seduction to the hallucinations, but I don't think it normally takes the form of acting out rejection of the hallucination within the hallucination. Then again, I'm don't know for sure. I am thinking of a piece on This American Life, in which Scott Carrier describes a job he had interviewing schizophrenics in their homes for a public health program. He found the disease horrifying, baffling. He decribes one woman who explains that she is visited by the Archangel Gabriel. She used to take medication, and the medication stopped the angel from coming. She decided to stop taking the medication, because she was lonely and missed the angel. That's how I've always understood the seduction of the hallucinations to worked - the (correct) medications stop them entirely, and adjusting to life without them proves difficult, so people go off the medication. (Similar, perhaps, to a manic-depressive deciding life without mania is worse than life with depression - something I have unfortunately had close personal experience with.)

Aren't there any psychiatrists on this board to give us the skinny on medicating schizophrenia?

[> [> Agree completely, well said dream! -- Ixchel, 12:41:42 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> Nicely said. I agree -- Sophist, 12:43:31 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> Agree completely, well said dream! -- Ixchel, 12:44:12 03/14/02 Thu

[> Some info on schizophrenia ... and a very intriguing article -- Solitude1056, 12:16:36 03/14/02 Thu

Here's some basic information. If you want to know more, I recommend the page this came from, since it's full of easily understood explanations in plain english, including treatments, different types, and how to handle it. From: Excerpts From "Surviving Schizophrenia" by E. Fuller Torrey, MD.

The Predictable Signs And Symptoms

Alterations of the senses

These changes range from enhancement in the early stages of schizophrenic breakdown to a blunting of sensations in the later stages, e.g., pain. The patient may experience flooding of the mind by sensory stimuli or thoughts. Some patients develop excessive religious preoccupation and have "peak experiences."

Inability to synthesize and to respond
- also known as "thought disorder"
The patient's difficulty in synthesizing visual and auditory stimuli results in inappropriate responses which hamper interpersonal relations. The altered synthesis produces thought patterns characterized by impaired logic, loose associations, blocking, ambivalence in responses and actions, neologisms, and "word salad."

Altered sense of self
Due to the inability to synthesize and to sort visual and tactile stimuli, which enable us to differentiate our bodies from the external world of objects and persons, the schizophrenic person experiences distortions and confusion regarding the boundaries between his/her self and other people or things. Body parts may be experienced as dissociated or detached, with lives of their own. Or the person may be confused about his/her sexual characteristics.

As an outgrowth of body boundary distortions, sensory overacuteness, faulty synthesis of incoming stimuli and inappropriate responses, the schizophrenic person experiences:

These are basically false ideas which the patient believes to be true, but which cannot be or are not validated by members of his/her culture and to which he adheres in the face of reason. Delusions are also the product of a person's culture, experienced as a logical and coherent pattern, and can only be evaluated in this context. Two common kinds are:

paranoid delusions, characterized by a belief that one is being watched, followed, controlled, persecuted, attacked (when frightening enough, they may precipitate an attack in self- defense) and

grandiose delusions, centered on the belief that one is an exalted figure, often political or religious, and that the patient can exert mind control over others.

Hallucinations can be auditory (the most common kind), visual, or auditory-visual combined. They may originate in a stimulus, but are a gross distortion of sensory overacuteness - even to the point of representing something that is not there or was not said.

Changes in emotions
The earliest changes are fluctuations and exaggerations in feelings. Guilt and fear often predominate. The emotions expressed may be inappropriate, laughter at death, crying over a joke, or they may be flattened, thus impairing empathy with another or others. The physical result is apathy, slowness in movement, lack of drive, often thought to be drug effects, but in actuality a product of the disease itself. Mentally, the person may exhibit poverty of thought and speech; emotionally, he becomes detached from objects and people.

Changes in behavior
- secondary signs
Withdrawal is one of the major changes. It is a defensive maneuver to slow down sensory inputs and allow time to integrate them or to avoid the horror of other symptoms. Behavior becomes ritualistic, with posturing, gesturing, parroting what others say. Repetitious movements may develop - tics, tremors, tongue movements, and sucking. These movements are, in some cases, side effects of antipsychotic medications. However, they were also observed before such medications were available and, in some cases, were caused by the disease itself.

The apparent "craziness" in everything a schizophrenic person sees and does has its roots in the disordered brain function that produces erroneous sensory data and disordered thinking. Given the disordered brain function as a starting point, many schizophrenic persons are heroic in their attempts to keep a mental equilibrium. And the proper response of those who care about the unfortunate persons with this disease is patience and understanding.

What Schizophrenia Is

A medical model definition

"Schizophrenia is a brain disease, now definitely known to be such. It is a real scientific and biological entity as clearly as diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and cancer are scientific and biological entities. It exhibits symptoms of brain disease, symptoms which include impairment in thinking, delusions, hallucinations, changes in emotions, and changes in behavior. And, like cancer, it probably has more than one cause. Thus, though we speak of schizophrenia and cancer in the singular, we really understand them as being in the plural; there are probably several kinds of schizophrenia of the brain just as there are several different kinds of cancer of the brain." (pg.2)

Early warning signs
Thought patterns became illogical.
The sense of body boundaries deteriorates.
The person experiences auditory hallucinations.
Emotions become grossly inappropriate or flattened.
The person feels that his/her thoughts are controlled by others, are not his own at all, or that he can control the thoughts of others.

Wonder if this is why we've seen so many references to St.s Joan and Theresa this season? This is an excerpt at the end, but do read the whole thing - it's quite fascinating, if you don't mind the medical/scientific speak. From The Relationship Between Schizophrenia & Mysticism: A Bibliographic Essay by Sandra Stahlman, June 1992.

Michael Siglag administered the Hood and Morris questionnaire to seventy-five schizophrenic adult inpatients. He describes the research in "Schizophrenic and Mystical Experiences: Similarities and Differences" (Siglag, 1987). Participants were chosen from a cross- section of socioeconomic status, ethnic groups and religious orientations (p.2). Among their initial hypothesis was a prediction that one-third of the questioned schizophrenics would respond positively to having had a mystical experience; in addition, those who respond positively will score equal to or greater than "schizophrenic subjects who do not claim mystical experience, on the questionnaire's factors measure experience of unity, affect, time/space distortion, and noesis.

Siglag tells us that 52% of the schizophrenic respondents reported having a mystical experience, "supporting the idea that the schizophrenic population perceive themselves as having mystical experience at least as often as individuals in nonschizophrenic populations" (p.4). In addition they scored significantly above those schizophrenic that did not report a mystical experience as hypothesized. Data analysis lead Siglag to the following conclusions:

"Schizophrenic individuals who claim to have had a mystical experience are similar to other schizophrenic individuals in that they:
1. do not feel any greater control over their experiences than other schizophrenics;
2. do not experience a greater since of coping ability than other schizophrenics;
3. do not experience any more improvement in their relationships than other schizophrenics;
4. experience terror, fear, depression, and a sense of insecurity.

Schizophrenic individuals who claim to have had a mystical experience differ from other schizophrenic individuals in that they:
1. are more likely to have experienced a sense of unity, oneness, or connectedness in the world;
2. report more of a range of affective experiences, and are more likely to have experienced joyful, peaceful states of consciousness;
3. are more likely to report time-space distortions;
4. experience more of a sense of sacredness or holiness;
5. are more likely to see their experiences as valid and meaningful than other schizophrenics" (pp.10- 11).

Siglag explains the implications of such findings; if it could be determined which patients were involved in the mystical process as well as the psychosis, therapy could be directed at integration of the "knowledge" acquired - utilizing the growth-potential of the mystical experience.

[> [> Thanks Sol -- Rufus, 12:56:50 03/14/02 Thu

I know a number of Schizophrenic patients and the religious delusions are facinating. One patient is very anti-religion when they appear more "normal", when delusional they claim to walk and talk with Jesus.

[> [> [> My aunt used to work on a psych ward... -- Rob, 13:04:20 03/14/02 Thu

She had one patient who thought he was Jesus, and another who claimed to be Socrates.


[> [> Fascinating, thank you Solitude. -- Ixchel, 14:58:45 03/14/02 Thu

[> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis - please help -- Ixchel, 12:34:44 03/14/02 Thu

As far as I know (my layman's knowledge also) drugs are the only way to treat schizophrenia and they control the symptoms only (IOW the schizophrenic is never cured). One problem with this is many (paranoid) schizophrenics will stop taking their medication because they believe someone (the government, aliens) is tampering with it. So the symptoms can assert themselves even under medication. So as you say, the doctor's instructions to destroy the Sunnydale illusion _are_ ridiculous.

I really see this as Buffy's interpretation of schizophrenia and her unconscious use of it as a framework to support her hallucination with its very compelling promise of a return to childhood and freedom from selfknowledge.

This inconsistency is one of the reasons why I believe that Buffy constructed this hallucination as an escape path (rather than it being an alternate reality or the only reality). I also believe this shows just how desperate and despairing she really is that what was probably a very frightening experience when she was younger becomes a template for her delusion (in the same way that, in some way, to her prison looked like a haven in DT).

I feel that possibly if Tara had not entered and/or the part of Buffy that is her mother had not told her what she needed to hear, the poison would have destroyed her completely and after everyone was dead she would have allowed the demon to kill her to complete the death of the "delusion" of Sunnydale.


[> Re: Having a problem with the schizophrenia diagnosis -- Robert, 12:59:09 03/14/02 Thu

>> " But, could the doctors have had so little success with managing it for SIX years"

Well yes, if the doctors were the delusion. Beyond that, I do believe that there is a class of patients who are not adequately helped with the current treatment and drugs.

[> Re: Schizophrenia . -- Darby, 13:52:59 03/14/02 Thu

Schizophrenia is apparently linked to a number of genes, each of which would be expressed differently in any individual and then work collectively together. A Danish study of extended families linked the genes to artistic, fanatic, risk-taking, "excessively" religious and other types of attitudes, which seemed to be stronger the more related to a schizophrenic a family member was. It is biological, but widely variable, and the idea that therapy is totally useless (or that all will be well if we just find the right mind-altering chemical) reflects more current science/societal attitudes than reality. And I'm not a big fan of therapy, which has its own unrealistic subculture. Buffy's treatment, scattershot and slipshod as it seemed, unfortunately could easily mirror work in any number of state hospitals in our 'verse.

One theory, growing itself out of a fringe theory that brain microtubule resonance allows us to store memories in other dimensions (kind of the Tardis theory of brain function, but it can be used to "explain" ghosts, clairvoyance, out-of-body experiences and various Afterlives), asserts that some schizophrenics may actually be able to detect other dimensions, to "see" or "hear" other realities, which ties into Buffy a bit.

[> Not A Psychiatrist.... but I have treated Schizophrenia -- Dochawk, 13:55:11 03/14/02 Thu

Finally something I have more expertise in than most people on this board. (and if I need to, have the ability to get more) as an aside I just want to say how in awe I am of some of the posts both in their intellect and their communicative ability.

Have you ever seen those street people who look like they are talking to themselves (or frequently seem to be talking to God). Many of them are schizophrenic. Most of them have had the disease for years and have been through years of treatment. And there are many patients who are significantly worse off than those you see on the streets. When I was doing my psych rotations (and I was planning for many years to be a psychiatrist) you would see young women (more common in women) who were truly catatonic. And you would meet some who had created amazing dreamworlds. Some of the world's great literature has probably been produced by schizophrenics (I can't think of an example at the moment). the asylum scenes looked very plausible to me. This doctor would not have been the first one treating Buffy. She would most likely have been to several traditional psychiatrists without success (one drug that is a near cure for one patient won't help another) and is now in some sort of alternative treatment situation which is why the doctors advice to force out the alternate reality would be believable (read some of the stories of Brain Wilson's psychiatrist and his suggestions, they were weird). There is no field of medicine that has more alternative practioners than psychiatry and more alternative explanations.

Someone has already posted a webpage that does a good job of describing the basic classes of schizophernia (there are many), so I won't repeat things, but if there more questions I would be happy to try to answer.


[> [> Re: Not A Psychiatrist.... but I have treated Schizophrenia -- DEN, 14:13:23 03/14/02 Thu

It would seem reasonable too that after six years of no progress, Buffy's treatment would be a more or less haphazard mix of "try anything at all" with increasing resignation that nothing was likely to work. Dochawk, am I right in believing that extreme catatonia in young-adult women has alnost zero prognosis?

Dimension-not makin sense -- Curby, 11:53:29 03/14/02 Thu

Right. In season 5, Giles says that dimension's walls will crumble, and effectively chaos will reign supreme BUT in Season 6 Anya says there are many HEAVENLY dimensions, so why would only the evil dimensional walls crumble? Could someone please explain to me why the good dimensions couldn't "counteract" the evil ones? Thankyou

[> Re: Dimension-not makin sense -- Devil's advocated, 12:34:39 03/14/02 Thu

Chaos or reality?

Glory opens the portals to "the other dimension" and Buffy jumps in. She had to do it to get well. She jumps "back to reality".

But a few months later she is back in the illusion filled "universe" of her own mind. She had a relapse.

[> [> Re: Dimension-not makin sense -- Curby, 12:43:04 03/14/02 Thu

Yeah I got that but if Buffy hadn't(jumped) why couldn't the good dimensions conteract the chaos created worlds that just the evil flooding in would create?

[> Re: Dimension-not makin sense -- Robert, 13:06:15 03/14/02 Thu

>> "In season 5, Giles says that dimension's walls will crumble, and effectively chaos will reign supreme"

It was Gregor, the general of the Knights of whatever who said this.

>> "so why would only the evil dimensional walls crumble?"

He did not say only the evil dimensions, but ALL the dimensions.

>> "Could someone please explain to me why the good dimensions couldn't "counteract" the evil ones?"

It is still chaotic. Gregor also said it would be forever, which is a really, really long time.

[> Re: Dimension-not makin sense -- Darby, 13:34:16 03/14/02 Thu

I suppose it's possible that the dimensions cluster and the Key only opened the Hell types from a particular cluster.

Gotta like the "chaos will reign" point Robert made - there could be a balance, but there'd be quite the war in the meantime.

The thing that really made no sense is why Glory would take a path back to her own dimension that was going to destroy it making the connection. A possible explanation here is a rotating "wheel" of dimensions accessible through the Key - a limited number would be smushed together and a limited number would be intact but reachable with the Key in the Lock. That would explain why timing and position (why a tower?) might be critical.

Would anyone have cared if Glory could return to her own dimension (where she was going to make life miserable for everyone there) if she wasn't going to screw up the Buffyverse doing it?

What shows are you guys gonna watch, to fill up the 5 next Buffy-less weeks? -- Rob, 13:13:00 03/14/02 Thu

I'm gonna obsess over my second fave show, "Six Feet Under," which, in perfect timing, began its new season 2 weeks ago, so I'll have new episodes throughout the "Buffy" drought. Last year, "Six Feet Under" began just around the time of year that "Buffy" ended, so I had it last summer, and now for this break!

Also..."Farscape" will be returning with 4 new episodes in a few weeks! It's on an equal level to "Buffy," but I think it definitely does transcend the sci-fi genre and has tried a lot of experimental stuff, which I respect it for doing.

And I'll watch the old stand-by..."Friends." I used to watch "Will and Grace," until they made that disparaging remark about Sarah Michelle Gellar. I defy that show to ever portray a homosexual relationship with the depth, warmth, complexity, and reality of Willow and Tara's relationship, or David and Keith's on "Six Feet Under." But I digress...

Other shows that'll keep my mind off "Buffy"...almost--:

***The Daily Show

***Alias--which, by the way, if you haven't seen it, is an excellent show--great acting, great stories-- lacks the depth of "Buffy," so I wouldn't call it a masterpiece, but a very, very, very good to excellent show. But I read star Jennifer Garner in an interview saying she could take Buffy in a fight. Please, you're fooling yourself. Slayer powers vs. Spec Ops training? We've seen that fight before, girl, and Slayer wins...Sorry. Oops, I digress again! lol

I'm just so glad the second season of "Buffy"s coming out on DVD on June 11...Just in time for the end of the sixth season, so for at least the first week of the summer, I'll have new Buffy stuff to play with!


[> Fall into a schitzoid solipsistic fantasy world.. -- Masq, 13:16:32 03/14/02 Thu

In which I will imagine myself to be Rene Descartes trying to prove the existence of his own body sitting by his fire in his robe by first trying to prove the existence of God from the obvious premise that his mind exists.

Come save me when the shows return!

[> [> Re: Fall into a schitzoid solipsistic fantasy world.. -- julia, 17:41:53 03/14/02 Thu

Masq: maybe you could put your efforts to work and spend some time in that cafe with the "black berets!" Who knows? Maybe you'll win the war for us philosophers.

[> I adore Farscape! -- Ixchel, 13:28:03 03/14/02 Thu

It helps me manage my BtVS obsession, especially during this break and summer.

Of course, I'm just replacing one obsession with another.


[> The next five weeks are gonna be tough -- bienbizare, 13:39:52 03/14/02 Thu

No Buffy, no Angel. A year ago, this would not be a problem, but my roommate just had to get me hooked didn't she?!? So, in the meantime, I'll have to make due w/ the reruns, "Friends," and the final eps ever of "Felicity."

I've started watching "Alias" lately too. It's pretty good, but yeah, it just doesn't have the same power as Buff (and the same goes for the heroines). Jen Garner better watch herself. lol.

[> I love Alias! -- jimbo, 13:45:26 03/14/02 Thu

Agreed. it doens't have the depth of Buffy - it's a lot of sound and fury ultimately signifying not much - but what cool sound and fury! The plots and counterplots and endless layers remind one of the early X-files (and with no "horror" episodes as filler, yet...) I just wonder how long they can keep it up before it falls apart like X-files did. Not to mention the sexy outfits (the blue rubber dress was a watershed event in the history of TV, IMO) and the coolest music on TV.

I'm also digging Smallville - this show has been fighting itself all season - a cool premise, some excellent moments, but stuck with a string of stupid kryptonite plotlines. It actaully remiinds me a the first season of Buffy, where they went a little overboard on the direct metaphors. But the writers seem to be figuring the show out - Tuesday's ep was thankfully free of K-induced villians, and started going deeper into the Lex-Clark relationship, which is the most interesting aspect of the show. I love the way they can use the mythology that we all know to add layers of subtext - we know that these guys are destined to be enemies, and yet we don't yet know how that will come about. Cool stuff.

[> [> Does anyone else here watch Dark Angel? -- JCC, 14:08:42 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> Re: Does anyone else here watch Dark Angel? -- Robert, 21:14:32 03/14/02 Thu

Yes, but not for much longer. This show has become a crushing disappointment for me.

[> [> Ditto on Smallville -- mundusmundi, 15:41:33 03/14/02 Thu

This season has been hit and miss, as you said. This week's eppy had an ambitious and interesting plot structure but didn't entirely work for me. But all the right elements are in place, and the writers seem to be using this season to developing their characters, building to what will hopefully be some compelling story arcs next year.

[> [> [> My problems with Smallville... -- Rob, 15:55:03 03/14/02 Thu

Except for Lex, I don't find one character even remotely interesting, and further, a lot of them, especially Lana, downright get on my nerves!

I love everything Superman...but I truly do not like Tom Welling, who plays Clark. His acting is very one-note and flat. He is a very boring Superman, in my opinion.

I've really tried to get into the show...and it's not just the silly kryptonite plots. I just can't muster enough energy to care about any of the characters.


[> [> [> [> Re: My problems with Smallville... -- Alvin, 15:58:25 03/14/02 Thu

I'm so glad I'm not the only one. I've tried to get into the show, but I can't. I keep turning the show on, watch for about fifteen minutes, and decide I'd rather read a book.

[> [> [> [> Gotta disagree (big surprise! ;) -- mm, 16:04:05 03/14/02 Thu

I didn't really give Welling enough credit at first, but lately I've started noticing just how priceless some of his reactions and doubletakes truly are. He took me a while to get used to, but he's really a perfect Superman because he is so secretive, you can see the wheels rolling around in his head all the time. All the actors are a little green, but the cast is beginning to click, the characters are starting to get more interesting, and the future looks bright.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Gotta disagree (big surprise! ;) -- Andy, 06:36:35 03/15/02 Fri

I agree. I don't watch Smallville (comes on at the same time as 24 and 24 always wins :)) but I have seen an episode here and there thanks to other people's Replay TV's and I think Welling is excellent as Clark. He really seems to *get* Superman's presence without completely losing that adolescent edginess that the show relies on. It's an especially stark contrast to someone like Dean Cain, who always struck me as being no more than a stuck up jock wearing a costume on Lois & Clark :)


[> [> [> [> [> [> There was a great review a couple months ago -- mm, 07:20:21 03/15/02 Fri

in Esquire about Smallville by critic Tom Carson, which I'd link if the magazine had one. In it, he explained what gives this version of Superman so much resonance -- that Clark basically has to save the world from himself, from all the mutations and such that got spawned from his inadvertent arrival via meteor shower all those years ago. My only worry is that they're going to start going overboard on the angst as Buffy has done sometimes. I'd hate to see Clark lose his sneaky, stubborn humor. So far, though, they've done a good job keeping the angsty stuff in check, or at least distributing it equally among everyone.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I guess my problem with Tom Welling is... -- Rob, 09:27:59 03/15/02 Fri

...that he doesn't seem to be having ANY fun as Superman. Buffy carries the weight of the world on her shoulders all the time, while dealing with her own personal problems, but that...almost...has never stopped her from cracking a joke. And Superman was always a proud character, but full of good humor, or at least a bright outlook. He may feel bad about not being able to save everybody, and be conflicted about that...but he is not as unfun as Welling seems to paint Clark. The boy who played the teenage Clark in the short Smallville section of the first Superman movie nailed the character better than Welling does in any episode of "Smallville," I believe. He captured a sense of awe, wonder, and excitement about his powers that I just don't see Welling having. He acts, in my opinion, as if these powers are merely a burden, or another worry. But attempting to use these powers as a metaphor for the problems of all teenagers is too "Buffy" for Superman, and is misguided, I believe. Superman is a different type of superhero. He usually fights in the light, in the comics, but in "Smallville," he's always fighting some odd kryptonite-flavored villian in the dark. The show tries to rip off "Buffy," except the characters aren't as three-dimensional, and the metaphors aren't as deep (or they're non-existent).

I'm sorry, Clark Kent should (a) be a lot more nerdy than Welling...Clark Kent is NOT a GQ model! and (b) not be so angsty! He's Superman, for chrissake!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I guess my problem with Tom Welling is... -- Rendyl, 10:27:58 03/15/02 Fri haven't checked out Superman comics lately? Clark was never a nerd, even in the early days. (if glasses make you a nerd then poor, poor Spike if anyone ever sees his)

After 'Crisis' he was even less so. As for GQ, no, grin, Clark is likely a little too big for a good photo shoot. There is a great bit where Lois picks up the weights he has out in his apartment as props to explain his muscles and comments that she 'works with more weight than this'.

As for angsty (can you feel the evil grin comin' on?) try the comic storyline where he has to execute the phantom zone criminals and it drives him insane. Or the one where Mongol attacks him with a creature that traps Clarks' mind in a reality where Krypton never exploded.

I agree the krypto-villian of the week was getting old, but they are basing that off accepted Superman lore. After Crisis kryptonite was radioactive and could harm humans as well as Superman. (Lex had a ring made to keep Supes at bay and then lost his hand to radiation poisoning from it)

If you (as other people have mentioned) caught 'Zero' this week then you might see some hope for the show. (yes, I loved the ep but I am getting this 'thing' for Lex so I am not an impartial judge.)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ok, change "nerdy" to "gawky." ;-) -- Rob, 11:36:16 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Superheroes just wanna have fun.... -- mm, 11:49:27 03/15/02 Fri

Although the dark angsty stuff is a concern down the road, as I mentioned earlier, right now there seems to be a nice balance between teen melodrama and lighthearted humor. There was a terrific throwaway joke early in this week's "Zero" when the characters discuss a class project where they had draw a classmate's name out of a hat and interview that person, and Clark's buddies joke about his "luck" at selecting Lana's name. (Not luck at all, of course, since it was clealry implied Clark used his X-ray vision. What made the joke great -- besides Welling's slyly mischievous grin -- was that the writers knew we'd have enough intelligence to deduce this without having it spelled out.) And there was another episode recently, "Leech," where Clark temporarily loses his powers and has much more fun without them than Buffy had in "Helpless." It is sticking pretty closely to the BtVS gameplan, but that's not a bad thing until it finds its own identity. Elle (i.e., Aquitaine) recently pointed out to me that the character who gains Clark's powers in "Leech" has the last name of "Summers." I see Smallville as a homage, not a ripoff.

[> [> [> [> [> I wouldn't have it any other way. ;-) -- Rob, 11:37:43 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> Re: IAALL! -- Darby, 05:44:29 03/15/02 Fri

...or, It's All About Lex Luthor.

That's the only really compelling part of the show, for me - when the plots deal with Lex, whose "frontstory" we all know, it's fascinating to watch the writers and actors fiddle with a mythology that has to, at some point, fit into the canon.

Every week they make the evil Lex Luthor that's to come that much more of a tragic figure, because you can see the potential for it, and movements in small increments toward that goal. But they force us to realize that it's going to take something BIG to really push him over the precipice.

And the relationships established among the characters are interesting. Forget Clark and Lana (who is really Lois, anyway); it's the Clark - Lex chemistry that's the draw (and no, no slash fic from me).

But we have to believe that Clark will at some point put on some glasses and no one will remember what he looks like without them?

[> [> [> [> Or, Lex and the City, as someone else recently posted. -- mm, 07:31:38 03/15/02 Fri

...or, It's All About Lex Luthor.

That's the only really compelling part of the show, for me - when the plots deal with Lex, whose "frontstory" we all know, it's fascinating to watch the writers and actors fiddle with a mythology that has to, at some point, fit into the canon.

He's a great character, and fun to watch because he's not nearly as cool and together as he wants everyone to think he is. That creates great tension, even when he's by himself and not playing off anyone.

And the relationships established among the characters are interesting.

Yeah, Chloe loves Clark, who loves Lana, who loves her jock boyfriend (who's refreshingly not a complete jerk), etc., etc. They're definitely following the Buffy formula from seasons 1-3, with everybody chasing somebody else.

But we have to believe that Clark will at some point put on some glasses and no one will remember what he looks like without them?

*chuckle* I think they'll reimagine that concept. Maybe he'll wear contacts.

[> [> [> [> Yeah, I agree...I am fascinated by the Lex plots...It's why I watch the show when I do. -- Rob, 23:02:46 03/15/02 Fri

[> Jennifer Garner vs. SMG -- Dochawk, 15:02:56 03/14/02 Thu


I don't think you got the whole quote. JG said that if they weren't allowed to use superhero powers she would be able to take SMG. Given the special ops training, probably true (the talk show host on my radio is talking about great ratings of the pseudocelebrity boxing match last night, imagine the ratings if it really was Buffy vs Sydney (I see a celebrity death match at the very least)).

And what did W & G say about SMG? I stopped watching when they started to take themselves too seriously and stopped being funny.


[> [> The evil Will and Grace line... -- Rob, 15:26:50 03/14/02 Thu

Grace was reading an article in some magazine that was an SMG interview. She tells Will, "Sarah Michelle Gellar is a freaking genius!" She goes on to say that she talks about world peace, the federal budget, and stuff like that. Then Will inspects the magazine. It turns out the pages stuck together, and Grace has been reading an interview with Colin Powell, or someone like that. The rest of the SMG interview reads something like, "And that's why, after all is said and done, I think limos are like totally way better than normal cars."

That just really annoyed me, because SMG is a very smart woman, and even wrote that letter to the editor of the NY Times a few years back, to argue that teen actors are hard-working and smart people, and not superficial. And then they make a joke out of her, calling her superficial, again. I thought it was an unfair dig. "Buffy" gets enough disrespect from Hollywood, and it didn't need that as well.


[> [> Re: Jennifer Garner vs. SMG -- Rob, 22:14:19 03/14/02 Thu

Well, if that's what she said, that's pretty stupid...Yes, in real life, SMG may not be as in shape as JG, or as strong. But why would they fight?

She put that "no superpowers" thing in 'cause she knows that, if their characters fought, Buffy would win hands down. What a wimp!

:-D :-D :-D


[> Glory Days, CSI, and Survivor Marquesas... -- WW, 16:12:57 03/14/02 Thu

...okay, on that last one, I'm a sick, sick person and I know it.


[> [> Re: CSI Yay!! NCAA BOO!! -- neaux, 07:56:15 03/15/02 Fri

it sucked that CSI wasnt on last nite!! :( my thursday was shot to hell.

[> [> [> Totally agree-Had to watch "The Beast" to get my William Peterson fix (NT) -- Calluna, 18:25:56 03/15/02 Fri

[> 24 -- Vickie, 22:34:58 03/14/02 Thu

[> Watch Greg The Bunny with Seth Green! -- neaux, 04:37:05 03/15/02 Fri

give Greg the Bunny a chance.. it debuts Wednesday March 27th at 9:30 pm...

besides it has Seth Green in it!

[> [> I'm afraid -- matching mole, 07:08:52 03/15/02 Fri

In my opinion the shows that Fox has put out in its history as a network seem to fall surprisingly often into two very discreet camps - a high proportion of the very best that TV has to offer (e.g. The Simpsons, early X-files, Adventures of Brisco County Junior, Titus) and most of the very worst that TV has to offer (a very long list and I don't want to offend anyone). So while I am intrigued to see a new show featuring two actors formerly on two of my all-time favourite shows (SG and Eugene Levy from SCTV) I am also afraid to see two such talents wasted.

SG I don't mind so much, as I understand it, it was his decision to leave BtVS. But two decades of seeing my TV comedy heroes of the late 70s and early 80s appear in (mostly) minor roles in bad to mediocre films has had a depressing effect and I dread watching Levy in something really bad. There have been a few brighter spots for SCTV alumni such as 'Waiting for Guffman' and Dave Thomas' role on Grace Under Fire (although he was underused). So I'll give it a try.

[> Witchblade -- Traveler, 07:55:07 03/15/02 Fri

Based off the comic series, this show has great acting, special effects, and plot. However, it's very linear, so it's really hard to figure out what's going on half-way through the season. For those of you who are interested, it's on TNT, opposite Angel (Mon, 9pm EST). I normally just tape it, but since Angel is in reruns too...

[> Re: What shows are you guys gonna watch, to fill up the 5 next Buffy-less weeks? -- Rendyl, 10:45:37 03/15/02 Fri

I love Farscape and am soooo ready for new episodes. I have (blushes) been watching Charmed this season. It comes no where near Buffy but this season at least it is fun. I would swear they got a completely new writing staff. It gets sappy now and then but they have some good ideas this season.

The Invisible Man (big sigh) is no more. In deference to all reading I will skip my Ode to Darien's Hair. I also watch Andromeda. I know, I know, but there are these great little moments that keep me hoping the series will find itself. If you guys haven't tried it out yet The Chronicle is great. In a fun way, not in a profound way.

If you can catch some early episodes of 'Samarai Jack' on cartoon network watch it. It is a little hard to follow without the backstory but it is wild.

Most of any tv time I have left is spent living on DYI or Home and Garden channel.

BTW - has anyone seen The Shield? Should I try and catch it on?


[> [> The Shield -- Eric, 15:12:29 03/15/02 Fri

If you like sordid cop dramas, The Shield is your cuppa. The star makes NYPDs Dennis Franz look like a boy scout (and is a corrupt cop as well). You're likely to be entertained, though not uplifted.

[> [> [> Re: The Shield -- MaeveRigan, 07:37:28 03/16/02 Sat

Personally, I'm boycotting The Shield simply because I'm so freaking sick of the way FX pushed it incessantly for MONTHS before it premiered. It's not enough that the syn. repeats of Buffy are edited to pieces, we have to endure endless FX self-promotion? I know, I know--I should be grateful. I'm not. I'd rather see CHEESE commercials than one more shot of Michael Chiklis and his phone book.

*rant off*

[> Suggestion for Darby, Mole, and others similarly inclined -- Sophist, 12:45:18 03/15/02 Fri

I went in to the bookstore at lunch today. Gould has a new book out, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory. It'll give you something to do during rerun hell. Have to warn ya though, it's a little long. Compared to War and Peace.

[> [> Stephen Jay Gould -- Darby, 13:12:36 03/15/02 Fri

Confirms what I've noticed lately -

Gould is a great writer, but the more famous he gets, the less he gets edited, and the guy NEEDS editing. His column in Natural History got almost unreadable in the last year or so that he did it regularly. I just read a new one he did on baseball - weird, interesting, way too long.

But if anyone wants an understandable introduction to evolutionary theory, his early books are great. I use his info on Darwin to introduce students to the human behind the theory.

[> [> [> Big front page article on him in this week's Chronicle of Higher Ed -- mundusmundi, 13:33:59 03/15/02 Fri

In it, SJG jokes about the length, implying that it was written for a 19th century audience; and others comment that this was done intentionally in order to be Gould's magnum opus, staking his claim on modern evolutionary theory and its ties to baseball, Gilbert & Sullivan, et al.

[> [> [> [> He should post here. We don't think anything is too long. -- Sophist, 13:53:34 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> Gould is wonderful, but I have to agree with Darby... -- Ixchel, 17:40:40 03/15/02 Fri

some of his later work is quite, well, lengthy.

As much as I like him, I'm not sure I'm ready for a War and Peace kind of commitment (a little daunting).

Thanks for the info, Sophist.


[> [> [> Just think though........ -- Sophist, 19:01:04 03/15/02 Fri

Dawkins will want to rebut him word for word.

[> [> [> [> Is it meant for a general audience? -- Ixchel, 23:26:17 03/16/02 Sat

I've only ever read his collected essays, etc.

My knowledge is fairly limited, I just find Gould interesting.


[> [> [> [> Is it meant for a general audience? -- Ixchel, 23:29:54 03/16/02 Sat

I've only read his essay collections, etc.

I probably couldn't handle something meant for academics.


[> I finally saw the 5th Season finale and I feel really sad...probably wont bother with TV for a while -- Eric, 13:58:17 03/15/02 Fri

[> Re: Tough question... I'm thinking Buffy reruns -- Philistine, 20:18:29 03/16/02 Sat

[> Probably not watch any new shows, but try to catch up... -- OnM, 08:07:01 03/17/02 Sun

...on the reviews and columns I'm behind on getting written.

Of course, this assumes that things slow down a bit at work, which is certainly not a given.

Also about to start working on some of the CMotW guest columns, of which I now have a few submissions on. Gee, my first experience as editor! (Run away! Run away!)

Actually, they look very good so far, as I expected knowing the talents of the people who hang out at this board. So, not likely much in the way of actual editing, mostly assemblage duties.

As to TV, Alias started out great, has meandered at times, now is getting interesting again, but of course it's on hiatus, too. Still catch Law and Order if I don't fall asleep before 10:00 PM.

Try to never miss 24, which is superb, period, and conveniently is on right after Buffy on Tuesdays.

Lastly, there is always the big stack o' DVD's I haven't gotten to viddy yet. I've mostly stopped buying new ones until the pile gets worn down a little.

Mercy & Hate -- clg0107, 13:20:05 03/14/02 Thu

I tried to post this in a thread which, among other things, addressed similarity of themes between BtVS and The Last Temptation of Christ. But before I could post, it got archived. So, at the risk of committing some sort of board faux pas, I begin a new thread. My comments didn't exactly reflect the specific thread, but the thoughts were inspired by it, in the midst of a sub-thread about Mercy and Hate, and Spike's evil nature and the human foibles of all the characters.

I find myself reflecting on the paradox of Christian forgiveness -- Christ and the one thief would both find themselves in Paradise immediately, even thought the sum-total of the goodness of their lives was very different. It was the recanting of the bad, the recognition and acceptance of a better way that mattered to the fate of the thief's soul.

The point being that all the evil that Spike has done can be countered by one true resolution to turn away from it thereafter. If such a redemptive moment happens is, of course, up to the writers. But his current path at least makes the discussion worthwhile.

Now, because our human minds find this paradox to be "unfair", we've invented intellectual constructs like purgatory to deal with the "saved" who have still done wildly varying amounts of sinning. (If someone wants to set me straight on the origins of the idea of purgatory, feel free -- I have never run across it in the Good Book myself, but then, I've also never asked a life-long Roman Catholic to explain the doctrine on which the notion rests.)

Just my tuppence. I love the calibre of conversation on this board, and will make it a regular haunt henceforth!


[> Re: Mercy & Hate -- LeeAnn, 13:41:50 03/14/02 Thu

Totally agree. The Christian idea of forgiveness and redemption used to be common currency. No more. Now people want accountability. Punishment. Forever.

Spike cannot be forgiven and redeemed because so many people only think of punishment, not change. The best they would grant him would be never ending guilt, not forgiveness.

The Upanishands say "As one acts and conducts himself, so does he become. The doer of good becomes good. The doer of evil becomes evil. One becomes virtuous by virtuous action, bad by bad action." By those lights Spike has become more virtuous since falling in love with Buffy and doing good to please her. The good is not negated by the motive behind it, especially when the motive behind it is love.

[> [> I'm not sure about that -- Earl Allison, 15:28:07 03/14/02 Thu

If I understand you, the claim is, motive is irrelevant, the ACT determines good or evil.

I can't disagree more.

While intent is something that, in most cases, only the Almighty could divine, it most certainly determines if the action is good.

One cannot DO good or evil without intent. If I intend to kill someone and take their money, but the person I kill ends up being a serial murderer -- does that make me good? My intent was bad, but I had the (mis)fortune of picking an "acceptable" target -- clearly my act, while it had good results, was neither motivated by nor intended to be good.

Worse, it implies that someone who TRIES to do good, and fails, is not good. If I try to resuscitate a drowning victim, and fail -- have I failed at being a good person?

Anyway, on to Spike ...

Spike may be BETTER than he was, but he's yet to do anything BECAUSE it was right. And he still hasn't acknowledged that the actions of the past were wrong -- a MAJOR problem, in my view.

Why did he start killing demons? Because it was the only way to vent his murderous urges. Sure, he's changed a bit, but even the Christian idea of forgiveness involves ADMITTING when you committed wrong -- and Spike has failed to do that -- to then say that all people want is for him to suffer is grossly inaccurate.

Remember the old joke? "I'll recant on my deathbed"? Spike hasn't recanted anything -- until he does, he hasn't earned a measure of forgiveness at all.

I want to see him admit his wrong behavior. I want to see him, WITHOUT chip and WITHOUT possibility of being caught or seen have the opportunity to kill and/or feed -- and pass it up. THEN I might acknowledge that Spike deserves forgiveness.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Re: I'm not sure about that -- clg0107, 15:44:15 03/14/02 Thu

>I want to see him admit his wrong behavior. I want to see him, WITHOUT chip and WITHOUT possibility of being caught >or seen have the opportunity to kill and/or feed -- and pass it up. THEN I might acknowledge that Spike deserves >forgiveness.

I'm right there with you Earl. Which was kind of my point about all it takes is that moment. After that, adding up all the evil acts beforehand cannot negate the grace received by such a change.

I am (obviously) a redemptionista -- I've come to look at the chip as something like enforced behavior modification that gives Spike the opportunity to, like an alcoholic, resolve (at some point sans chip) to "stay on the wagon" by choice. He's now seen it can be done. His habits of life have excluded feeding on humans for over two years now. He knows that he's capable of it.

But will/would he make that choice. I want to know. And, of course, I want him to choose the wagon. That's still not an overt act of contrition, but it's 3/4 of the way there...

As always, I wait on the edge of my seat for what Joss and his cohorts have in store for us. I am the first to admit that they are much smarter than I am, at least in terms of telling a ripping good yarn! I'd never have thought of most of this stuff. Which is why I'm in my living room and they are Mutant Enemy (Grrr, arggggh)! So, I doff my hat and see where they take us!


[> [> [> [> Re: I'm not sure about that -- Kevin, 16:01:34 03/14/02 Thu

Does not eating or vamping Buffy count since the chip doesn't work on her anymore? He's partially acting chip free these days.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not sure about that -- Doriander, 16:20:21 03/14/02 Thu

Well see, he loves Buffy.

I think one major criterion should be that it's someone he doesn't have any emotional connection with. Not Buffy, not the Scoobies. Like the alley girl.

[> [> [> [> [> [> *Forms the "I Like Spike's Character But Still Consider Him an Evil One" club* -- AngelVSAngelus, 16:28:58 03/14/02 Thu

I concur entirely, and find myself confounded by the fact that anytime I happen to share the view point of mine that Spike's "redemption" is dependant on his admittence to his past committed attrocities, people seem to think that I'm a "Spike Hater" or overly judgemental. Well, I suppose I am judgemental. I can't help but "judge" an unrepentant killerm, and that doesn't sway my love for his character either. I just think alot of people misunderstand it.
Incidentally, for the record, I'm a slightly bigger fan of Angel (the character) :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> You summed up my feelings as well, AvsA -- Masq, 09:13:14 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike-ON Topic 4 once -- Eric, 14:32:26 03/15/02 Fri

I brought this up a while ago. Spike has no soul. It went bye-bye and a demon took up residence, assumed William the Bloody's image, knowledge, and mannerisms - and changed everything it didn't like. Now the soul, broadly hinted at in the Buffyverse, is the seat of humanity, and does much to determine whether an individual is good or evil. Now having one or not doesn't actually DETERMINE whether that Buffyverse person is good or evil. Some soul less demons characters choose good, others with souls like Faith and the trioka do not. But it does tend to weight the average. Especially since the soul is held accountable for those actions in the afterlife. Again, Spike has no soul. He has a demon essence which is/can not be held karmically accountable for any of his evils. Repentence for him is superflous, no matter how much it might satisfy you or me.
Now here's the tricky part. Just what the hell IS a soul? Its not like an appendix. Its an intangible. Yet its supposed to incorporate a person's essential personality, right? But how much is there of that once a person shrugs off the meat, memories, chemicals, even the environment that impacted them? It could be argued that at least a great part of what a soul is is why and what one values whether it be people, things, ideas, etc. With this reasoning Spike, valuing Buffy, Dawn, and by extension the Buffyverse at large, may be on the verge of "growing" a soul or might even have one already.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not sure about that -- skeeve, 12:29:34 03/15/02 Fri

Doriander: "I think one major criterion should be that it's someone he doesn't have any emotional connection with. Not Buffy, not the Scoobies. Like the alley girl."

Got it in one.

Spike is evil and has been for many years. Spike is nevertheless loyal to his friends and has been for many years.

All that has changed is his friends. Instead of Dru, he now has Buffy and the other Summers woman, Dawn. Both Buffy and Dawn would be extremely distressed if Spike ate the Scooby gang, so Spike won't eat them regardless of the chip. Other humans are another matter entirely.

That said, one's choice of friends does matter. Sometimes one's friends can cause one to do something permanent. An interesting question is how far would Spike go for acceptance by Buffy and the Scoobies? In the absence of an emergency, the resouling spell could be done with as much planning and as many safeguards as are deemed necessary. He could even be turned completely human. It's been done at least twice before.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm not sure about that -- clg0107, 07:39:28 03/15/02 Fri

I think it's a start. But Spike wouldn't want to destroy the Buffy that he loves.

Now, if he was sufficiently selfish, he might just ignore that part of what he loves about Buffy is that she's alive. And think that vamping her is all that's necessary to keep her with him for good. In that respect, he's had motive, means and opportunity.

But the thing is, we already know from Tabula Rasa that for whatever reason, he doesn't want to bite her. He doesn't know about his chip at all, and he just accepts that it feels right for him to fight evil beside B. They mock the whole Angel scenario as a ridiculous idea. But we can only conclude that Spike's instincts have changed. Because in TR, they are reacting without any of their specific notions, just on the instinctive natures of their personalities.

So, um, yeah...what he said!


[> [> [> We judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions. -- Sophist, 16:42:09 03/14/02 Thu

There is no doubt a divinity can and probably should judge actions at least in part by motivation. The practical problem for us as humans is that we can never know another's intent. We can draw inferences from the act itself, and from our prior knowledge of the person, but we can never have absolute assurance of intent.

This means that we are not, in fact, ever judging people by their motives. We judge ourselves by our motives and others by their actions. From their actions, we infer a motive, which is circular reasoning any way you look at it.

IMHO, we need to look at the action itself first. If we have other, direct information about intent (like a confession), fine. If not, we need to be certain we're not applying a double standard, generous to those we like, harsh to those we don't. That seems to happen a lot IRL and I think it happens as well in some of our judgments about characters on the show. Especially with Spike.

[> [> [> [> Too true, unfortunately. -- Ixchel, 20:30:50 03/14/02 Thu

[> Punishment and purgatory............ -- Rufus, 13:57:10 03/14/02 Thu

Forgiveness and punishment......who is the one with the ultimate right to do either? Here's a link to the Catholic Encyclopedia.

Will there be a redemptive moment or a series of moments that eventually add up to redemption. Unless Spike does an act of ultimate sacrifice, I don't see him doing "one" thing that makes it all better.

[> [> Re: Punishment and purgatory............ -- Arethusa, 15:17:40 03/14/02 Thu

It's my impression that in Catholic theology one only needs to acknowledge one's sin, genuinely repent, and try very hard not to sin again, and then one will be saved. This might be a little simplistic, but my daughter's studying for her first confession and communion, so my latest refresher course is a little juvenile.
(Oooh-just remembered a fascinating movie called "The Rapture" with Mimi Rogers and David Duchovney that addresses this dichotomy.)
As long as Spike repents and reforms, he will be "saved"
and does not need anyone's forgiveness-he has God's.
"Judge not lest ye be judged," says Jesus. "Go forth and sin no more," and the sins are forgiven.
The notion of purgatory has gone out of fashion in the Church, at least in America.
None of this really would affect those in the Buffyverse, since nobody except Riley seems to follow the dictates of an organized religion. (I don't count Willow because while she is Jewish, she doesn't seem to observe many religious practices.) Buffy sees her relationship with Spike as evil, because he has not repented for his past deeds and would kill again if he could. She's also ashamed to be seen with someone the Scoobies have mocked as a loser (IMO). Her feeling of shame and guilt have been magnified by her depression, and are preying greatly on her peace of mind, as we have seen since the affair began.
Perhaps confessing her "guilt" to her friends will allow her to forgive herself for making some bad decisions. She might even be able to see Spike as a mixture of good and bad, and stop thinking of herself as bad because she's attracted to eeevil Spike.

[> Redemption, sin and an article I read today... long -- Rahael, 05:04:09 03/15/02 Fri

I read a very thought provoking article about evil this morning. It seems tie into our current discussion (and not only in this thread) on several levels. It is about the nature of evil, and actually made me think and reassess some of my own beliefs. That is pretty rare most days.

I read it in the New Statesman, and its actually an article by an American journalist, Jennifer Szalai

Ordinary people do extraordinarily horrible things when their constitution compels them to do so; and while the moralists and relativists may differ in the terms they use, they share an unwillingness to address the role of individual choice; no matter how constrained or limited that choice might be. Evil if applied to that dark space between necessity and excess, can - only reside within the boundaries of the self. Its source lies in the very thing that makes us human: the impulse to transcend the reality that surrounds us, to abstract from our concrete experience and to free ourselves from necessity. As such, the human capacity for good is inevitably tied to the human capacity for evil: both account for those actions that lie beyond the necessary requirements of everyday survival.,

She refers to Conrad,s Heart of Darkness: (which Apocalypse Now was based on)

Marlow detects what lies behind the horror of Kurtz: "There was nothing either above or below him, and I knew it. He had kicked himself loose of the earth. Confound the man! He had kicked the very earth to pieces.I saw the inconceivable mystery of a soul that knew no restraint, no faith, and no fear, yet struggling blindly with itself. Here is evil stripped bare of all attempts to justify itself. Tearing himself away from the reality that surrounds him, Kuurtz lives entirely within that dark space of the soul, a void limited only by its infinite aspirations toward transcendence.

Writing on the subject of evil, Sartre maintained that "knowing its causes does not dispel it, that it is not opposed to Good as a confused idea is to a clear one, that it is not the effect of passions which might be cured of a fear which might be overcome, of a passing aberration which might be excused, of an ignorance which might be enlightened, that it can no way be turned, brought back, reduced and incorporated into idealistic humanism..Therefore, in spite of ourselves, we come to this conclusion, which will seem shocking to lofty souls: Evil cannot be redeemed.

Szalai argues that we should "recognize that evil exists; that it is part of what constitutes human reality; that its realisation lies at that final moment of choice: all of that is necessary if we are to live in a world where the technological capacity to annihilate each other requires us to make a conscious decision not to.

I find that she picks up on something that I,ve often thought about. Being a liberal it,s very hard for me to say that people are evil,. But I do want to say that evil choices exist. And all sorts of people can make them. Ordinary people. Your neighbours, ourselves.

And BtVS this season seems to be exploring choices. We all have that moment of choice that Szalai talks about. And I find that point she makes, that the attempt to transcend our surroundings and our realities particularly thought provoking with relation to Willow That great goodness and great evil can have a common root, especially after reading CJL,s essay. We,ve had a foretaste of this re Warren,s choices, Andrew,s choices and Jonathan,s choices. I think at the latter end of the season, the White hats will have to start making choices.

I don,t think of evil/good in terms of damnation or repentence. I think of it in terms of being ever vigilant; considering your choices, and never thinking that somehow out there in the world, there are bad, evil, people, and that you could never belong in that category, or that you would never do anything bad.

I believe passionately in the capacity for good choices, in heroism. But there are terrible things happening in the world, and I,ve seen these at uncomfortably close quarters. I have known, and know people who have killed other people. Some of my former classmates are now walking around somewhere, cyanide capsules around their neck, carrying guns. I have no doubt that some of them are suicide bombers (apparently we have the worlds highest, and most successful rate of suicide bombings). I find it so difficult to decide about forgiveness how can one ever forgive oneself for such a terrible thing as murdering an innocent human being. Could it ever be possible? And isn,t it a joke to talk about redemption in such circumstances?

(On a side note, let me make it clear. I am not in favour of capital punishment. It fills me with a deep horror. After all, my father was put in prison by an oppressive government for five years without trial. Even the chance of one innocent person is too much for my conscience. Let alone the fact that I don,t think I have the right to end any person,s life, and by voting in a democracy which sanctioned it, I would feel that that was what it amounted to. I,m not attacking anyone else,s beliefs here; nor do I want to start a debate on it.)

It just seems to me that both sides on the recurrent Spike debate tend to discuss the good/evil issue as if it,s academic. But Spike isn,t just evil, full stop. Evil in Sunnydale isn,t about good guys and bad guys. If it ever seemed that way, I think ME are clearing up that ambiguity this season.

I don,t know how self confessional this is going to be what I,m about to say is public knowledge to everyone in my country. I,m marked out, known for, this. It,s the most known thing about me, and it,s all over the internet anyway. While we were living in the warzone, my mother and some of her friends wrote a book. They recorded all the instances of human rights abuses committed by all kinds of people. They got angry when other people turned their faces away. They gave shelter when some locked their gates. Not only did she get angry; she was compassionate. She understood why some people made the choices they did. She helped anyone who was in fear of their life; terrorist, soldier or civilian. Because her view of morality was that the choices you made defined who you were. She understood all too well, what humanity was worth how valuable it was, and what depths it could sink to. Her consciousness of this led to her constantly questioning herself, and pointing out to my sister and I, to be critical, to think, to be compassionate. To always speak our minds, be the first to point out injustice, but never be self righteous. To always understand that we could be capable of doing evil, privileged, protected and complacent as we were.

My mother left my life when I was 11. I heard her leaving it, and it was punctuated by five bullets. The person who did that was following orders; he did it ruthlessly, calmly, efficiently. Was he evil? Is there a spectrum of evil? I don,t know. All I know is that he committed great evil that day. Have I forgiven him? I don,t even think that comes into it. I,m not consumed by anger and bitterness, that I do know. Should he be punished? I don,t know. I have to contemplate that for political solution to be achieved, for peace to finally come to us, men like him must be reconciled, brought back in, given a measure of power. Should our political society forgive him? Yes. Should he ever forgive himself? No.

Where does redemption come into this? It seems to be a meaningless word to me. It only makes sense in the framework of Christian theology, and in my view, and speaking as a Christian myself, it makes no sense in the real world. I don,t go around thinking of myself as a member of the elect, or the damned. Nor do I think that I can earn a place in heaven. I don,t even know if it exists. The only reward that seems available to me is to be a good human being. No incentives. No redemption. No Shansu.

Buffy,s darkness isn,t about the origins of the Slayer. Its about the darkness in all of us. The Buffy who tied up her sister is the same Buffy who saved her. She didn,t come back wrong. I am full of admiration for season 6. I have never seen such a thoughtful, evolving and compassionate discussion about the nature of humanity on television.

[> [> stopping with the hero trip -- Anne, 05:45:05 03/15/02 Fri

Brought tears to my eyes -- and is probably about as good an exposition of what Spike means by telling Buffy to "get over the hero trip" as it is possible to make.

[> [> Re: Redemption, sin and an article I read today... long -- Etrangere, 07:11:29 03/15/02 Fri

I remove what I said, Rahael, you're not one of the wisest person I know, you the wisest.
Thank you so much for sharing this, thi sis one of the best exposition of the interrogation of evil in the world. Thank you.

[> [> thank you, Rahael -- ponygirl, 07:54:49 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> Rahael, your posts amaze me. -- Sophist, 08:55:43 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> Adding my thanks -- Simone, 09:11:01 03/15/02 Fri

I've always seen BtVS as having a rather existentialist sensibility - its morality is not about rationalist, (divinely) given notions of right and wrong. It's about caring, about pain and suffering - choosing to cause it, or choosing to help minimize it. In that sense, one cannot really talk about someone being good or evil independently of their choices/actions.

I'm grateful to have this confirmed by someone who has experienced the evil in this world much more directly than I.

[> [> [> Re: Adding my thanks -- Rahael, 09:22:52 03/15/02 Fri

A bit embarrassed now. My usual meanderings about this kind of thing in real life just make my friends go "she's off again!". Its either this, or Buffy, and as you can see, I've started combining both!!

One of the most moving things I've heard someone say occurred when I watched an interview with a much loved English actor, Paul Eddington. He gave his last interview, with the final stages of cancer clear on his face - he looked very, very different to his usual self, and his personality was much meeker than his well known roles. When asked what he'd have as his epitaph, he said he would like 'He did very little harm'. I was moved to tears by that, and struck by the thought of how very few of us could ever say that.

[> [> [> [> "He did very little harm" -- Rufus, 11:52:53 03/15/02 Fri

The close proximity of death frequently brings a peace to someone that they may not have had before. Death is inevitable, we can fool ourselves into thinking it's something that happens to the other guy, but eventually we all become the other guy and our time is up.

You spoke of evil, the fact that the darkness exists in us all, it's the choices we are forced to make that can lead us to become more evil than we had ever intended. There is choice in evil, even if that choice was made under duress, which is a staple for the evil types to get someone as corrupted as they are. If you can find what a person fears the most you may be able to get them to do almost anything. If you convince some poor schulb that they will get the first class to a greated reward in the hereafter, you may be able to mould someone into doing almost anything. But it's the day to day small evils that can add up culminating in an atmosphere of suspicion and hate.

Rahael, your mother was brave, she told the truth even though she knew exposing that truth would lead to death. The types that murdered your mom may have been able to convince themselves and others that what they do is righteous, but your mothers truth threatened their big fat lie...enough so they could not allow her to go on. Your mom never closed that gate she walked right through it. The "people" who killed your mom are the scrappings of the bottom of the barrel of humanity, they even know it, but using intimidation and fear they go on without a care to the consequences of their actions.

A bit embarrassed now. My usual meanderings about this kind of thing in real life just make my friends go "she's off again!".

I suspect that you may make your friends uncomfortable because many of them may never have lived through what you have. I would rather you talk about evil and it's consequences...the alternative would be to fall into the same evil pattern of revenge and retaliation. Your mom is alive in you, cause I feel though I will never know her, she speaks through you. She taught you well.

[> [> Evil is never really academic -- Eric, 15:06:02 03/15/02 Fri

Most people posting here may believe they've never seen evil up close and personal simply because they've never seen it in concrete terms. It IS there, its just subtle and waiting. Many people are citizens of Sunnydale. Sometimes I can smell the brimstone even in my relatively tame environment and profession. I believe St. Augustine of Hippo was right in defining evil as a warping of good. So any where there's good, there's gonna be a little bit of evil.
But discussing it helps bring it in perspective. Rahael is right in saying that it pays to be vigilant and understand that when you meet the enemy, he might be you. An understanding like this allows for smiting evil or showing compassion where appropriate.
Rahael, yeah your stories of your life sometimes make me uncomfortable. So what? Your mom was one of the few brave people who stood up to tyranny and oppression with the gall to treat people with compassion. No life like that is ever in vain. Remembering, and telling of it, ensures this.

[> [> Re: Redemption, sin and an article I read today... long -- Rattletrap, 05:30:43 03/16/02 Sat

Thank you. A wonderful post, Rahael.

The line between good and evil does not divide the world between good people and evil ones, it runs right down the center of each and every one of us. As you say, "ever vigilant . . . ". I share your appreciation for S6 in all of its muddy, ugly, morally ambiguous glory; even as it sometimes hits too close to home.

[> Purgatory -- leslie, 11:11:19 03/16/02 Sat

Purgatory is actually an Irish invention, and may well be linked to Celtic ideas of the Otherworld inside the Sidh, or fairy mounds. There is a place in Ireland called St. Patrick's Purgatory, which is a deep cave in which people were supposed to undergo a kind of tormenting "vision quest" which would, in essence, pre-qualify them for entrance to heaven, since the torments and tests they underwent there purged them of their sins. Caves were believed, in pre-Christian times, to be one of the types of entrance to the Otherworld. This literal and mortal-world purgatory is believed by some scholars who have spent much more time on the subject that I have, to have eventually become a spiritual, afterlife concept. I know that some work has been done on tracing the influence of Irish clerics on wider Catholic beliefs, and how, for instance, this Irish belief would have influenced Dante (who, I believe, is the earliest major explicator of the idea of Purgatory, in the Divine Comedy.)

[> [> Re: Purgatory -- Rattletrap, 15:23:32 03/16/02 Sat

Actually, the concept of purgatory predates Dante by quite a bit (I don't have a date readily available, sorry); but the earliest visions of it have lots of stuff about pushing rocks up neverending hills and purification by fire. In contrast, the modern (post-Dante) visions involve lots of time sitting in quiet contemplation and penitence, but very little actual toruture. I belive the modern vision derives from Dante's Purgatorio but owes its theological basis to the older version. It also seems to me a bit more likely that the concept existed before Christianity reached Ireland but received a special emphasis there because of its pre-Christian origins (the sacrament of confession shows a similar history). Certainly I would have no trouble seeing the transition from purgatory as a place of tortue to a place of contemplation as something with its origins in Celtic vision quests. BTW, the Biblical justification is typically attributed to the 12th Chapter of 2nd Maccabees which says some stuff about sacrificing and prayer liberating the dead from their prison.

Just my $.02


Buffy's Basement (Spoilers for NA) -- Kevin, 13:31:52 03/14/02 Thu

I'm not terribly good at reading symbolism, so I'm hoping other people might help me out with this...

The first thoughts I had, even before the episode was over, was about Buffy's basement. It's been a long time since my college psychology and mythology courses, but I have a strong recollection of Carl Jung analyzing a dream he had of his house and going down into his 'basement'. He associated the basement with his subconscious and what's in the basement is in his subconscious.

If the basement is Buffy's subconscious, I'm trying to figure out what locking up Dawn, Xander, & Willow there, as well as the demon, represents. The shot of Buffy locking the door and zooming in on the lock made it seem very significant.

Are her friends part of herself she's trying to deny, locking them away? Is the demon that she turns loose on them part of herself - the demon inside her subconscious, or something outside of her?

Buffy doesn't actually release her friends from their bonds, Tara comes in and does that. Is Tara part of Buffy's subconscious too, or an outside force come to help her bring them out of her basement?

And Spike isn't down there. His role in this episode seems to be one of bringing out unpleasant truths. (Unpleasant at least to the parts of Buffy that are in denial about herself.) She's not locking him up in the basement to be killed with the others. If she destroys them, will he still be there on the outside waiting for her or will he be destroyed with them?

My reading of the scene with Spike where she doesn't drink the antidote was that he wasn't trying to convince her to be with him per se. He offers that as a possibility, but he just wants her to be alive again no matter what direction that takes her in. He seems to realize that she needs to get it all out her basement/subconscious and deal with the parts of herself she's repressing in order to be alive.

I also read his use of the line "tell them about us" to mean both their past relationship - however you want to define it and their current friendship post physical involvement. It's obvious Buffy is still seeking him out, she denies she's looking for him in the cemetary, but with 12+ cemetaries in Sunnydale, that she would be out near his crypt without wanting to find him is not credible.

Many of you seem very good with symbolism, does the whole basement / subconscious thing seem to be a correct reading of what the writers intended in this episode?


[> Down in the basement -- ponygirl, 15:01:07 03/14/02 Thu

Good catch, Kevin! I was trying to muddle through some thoughts on all the basement symbolism in this episode myself, but it was hard to concentrate on good old-fashioned symbolism with all the dimensional craziness whirling about.

If you want to have a mind-blowing experience check out Rowan's essay on the house metaphor in Smashed and Wrecked, it certainly has made me look differently at this episode. Here's my spin on the subterranean stuff.

The first basement we see in Normal Again is with the Troika. Significantly they have rented an entire house but choose (or in Jonathon's case is forced) to stay in the basement, creating a replica of the previous basement they had been forced to flee. They have all their toys but the once cool hideout has now become a place of confinement. By staying in childhood fantasies they are pushing themselves further from sanity.

When the demon is brought to Buffy's house it is left chained in the basement, symbol of all things unconscious, secret and icky. Xander and Willow immediately leave, heading back to the safety of the above, Spike volunteers to stay and guard the demon. Being a creature of darkness himself he has no difficulty staying in the darker parts of the psyche. As the basement represents Buffy's unconscious it makes sense to have Spike down there with the other monster-- he is Buffy's dirty little secret, representing all of the parts of herself she wants to hide. But Buffy has never been able to control Spike, so he leaves his post and goes to Buffy's room on the upper floor, which would symbolically represent her higher thought, her superego where the rules and restrictions of her psyche are maintained. He cannot come into the light yet, when he tries to approach Buffy in the sunlight he is burned, but he won't stay quiet, and he doesn't go back to the basement. He instead threatens to bring out everything into the light. His departure causes Buffy's decision to accept the asylum as reality and turn on her friends.

Significantly she decides to put them down in the basement, to repress them and ultimately destroy them as the doctor urges. He tells Buffy to make the destruction of her friends as easy on herself as possible so she uses the convenient demon. It is as though the darkness Buffy had always feared about herself is finally going to rise up and destroy those she loves.

When Tara arrives, she very definitely stays on the stairs, not descending fully into the underground, demonstrating her role as both a guide and a higher being than the other Scoobies. It is Buffy who sends Tara tumbling down into basement, where she is now unable to work her magic. It is finally only Buffy who has control over the situation she has created and she kills the demon, not with a weapon put by plunging her own hand into it, a demonstration of ownership perhaps, or absorption of her own darkness? I noticed that the music used during the fight scene was the same as in fight scene between her and Spike in Smashed. It suggested to me that perhaps Buffy had had a chance to get out of the basement of her psyche in Wrecked, but she lost that opportunity by denying her feelings, her darkness and Spike. At the end of Normal Again she is in the basement still but she refuses to leave or rest until the antidote is ready, an incredibly hopeful vision of her taking control of her reality, of perhaps finally finding the way out of the basement.

Whew! That was long, but oddly satisfying! Thanks!

[> [> Awesome analysis ! -- Etrangere, 15:08:26 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> Wonderful. -- Sophist, 15:11:32 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> Brilliant! -- Ixchel, 15:55:31 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> Bloody brilliant, ponygirl! And what about the flooded basement in "Flooded?" -- Dyna, 16:31:55 03/14/02 Thu

Ponygirl's post makes me realize, suddenly, how many basements we've seen this season--the LoD's lair(s), the abandoned house's in "Smashed," Spike's undercrypt, Buffy's in "Normal Again." I wish someone with more brain cells to spare than me would use the five-week hiatus to come up with a unified theory of the Basementverse!

Until then, I wonder if ponygirl or anyone else would care to comment on how the flooding of Buffy's basement in "Flooded" might relate to this theme? In that episode, it's Spike and Dawn, in the first and last scenes respectively, who come to sit halfway down the stairs and address Buffy on the subject of what's up with "her" basement. If Tara's position at mid-stair is important in NA, what might that say about Spike and Dawn's roles in Buffy's journey this season? Is it significant that in NA, Spike and Dawn are the two characters who confront Buffy about the Delusionverse and object to her desire to retreat into it?

[> [> [> Re: flooded with emotion -- ponygirl, 20:28:36 03/14/02 Thu

Oooh good one! I'm sure it was stated on the board about the water in the basement during Flooded being all of the sudden force of life and responsibilities that Buffy was faced with, she being quite literally flooded as she emerges back into the world. It's interesting that in that episode Buffy's home itself was portrayed as being negative -- just by being there it was draining her resources. Perhaps the house represented the old structures that would later come to hold Buffy and the rest of the Scoobies back this season.

Xander and Willow were never shown going into the basement in Flooded, only Dawn and Spike were willing to venture down and then both stopped on the stairs unwilling to plunge in with Buffy. Arguably they are the two who love Buffy the most, yet with their own problems and identities that they are unwilling to submerge. They'll sit on the stairs and offer commentary and suggestions (Dawn ultimately fleeing from a sudden burst of water/emotion as she has done for much of this season) but they can't help Buffy with the pipes or the demon -- it's her psyche, her job. It is interesting that Dawn and Spike are the most hurt by Buffy's delusions in NA. Willow and Xander take it in stride, but Spike and Dawn take it quite personally that Buffy would not see them as part of her life. Dawn and Spike play pretty catalytic roles for Buffy this year, summed up best perhaps in OMWF, where Dawn in peril sends Buffy out into the fire again, and Spike prevents Buffy from destroying herself. Conversely in other eps. it is Spike who most often sends Buffy into reactionary spirals and Dawn who is most likely to call Buffy back to the world. Buffy herself has turned the two into oppositional forces in her mind, her line in AYW about by letting Spike in she'd be letting Dawn down is very telling. In that scene once again the house plays a part -- Dawn's inside, Spike's outside. Buffy seems to see the acceptance of one tied into the denial of the other.

[> [> [> [> Nicely put. -- Traveler, 08:09:42 03/15/02 Fri

"In that scene once again the house plays a part -- Dawn's inside, Spike's outside. Buffy seems to see the acceptance of one tied into the denial of the other."

My only guess for why this might be is that Buffy sees her relationship with Spike as an escape from her responsibilities, including Dawn. So rather than "letting him in," she keeps him outside of her circle of family and friends.

[> [> [> [> Re: flooded with emotion -- Simone, 08:44:44 03/15/02 Fri

>>Buffy seems to see the acceptance of one tied into the denial of the other.<<

Exactly! If Dawn represents the "better" Buffy, the girl she was before all the pain/horror and whom she refused to sacrifice at the end of last season, Spike is the personification of everything in herself that she hates and disowns (at least up until NA).

And Buffy's determination to keep these two aspects of herself (the innocent and the killer) separate is a grave mistake. Significantly, Spike and Dawn really like each other and get along just fine. He was there in her darkest hour, trying to help save her, promising to always protect her. She understands and accepts him just as he is and her presence brings out the best in him. And she feels safe and understood in turn. They are not mutually exclusive, incompatible opposites. Quite the contrary. Buffy's efforts to keep them apart have had a bad effect on them both, making them feel isolated, alone and lost.

Buffy's been on the verge of "getting" this so many times - OMWF, "Smashed", Tara's "It's not that simple" in DT - and she always managed to narrowly avoid it. Consequently, she almost succeeded in destroying precisely what she was trying to preserve. Dawn almost fell victim, along with the SG, to the demon in Buffy's basement. What exactly her final confrontation with the demon means in terms of her future attitude towards Spike is unclear. But I too tend to think it's positive - her putting her hand inside the monster, in an almost non-violent fashion, has connotations of merging, of integration. I think she finally gets it, although it may take a while for her to think it all out (and I hope it's not too late by the time she does).

Lovely, lovely analyses on both basement scenes, ponygirl.

[> [> [> [> [> Great observation about Spike and Dawn, Simone! -- Dyna, 10:40:29 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> I agree completely. Well said, Simone. -- Ixchel, 14:10:40 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Ponygirl, you rock! Brilliant analyses both. -- Caroline, 09:54:55 03/15/02 Fri

[> [> Great! Thanks for fleshing out my thoughts (NT) -- Kevin, 08:09:30 03/15/02 Fri

[> Re: Buffy's Basement (Spoilers for NA) -- Spike Lover, 20:04:24 03/15/02 Fri

I am not good with psychology or symbolism, but...

The 3 that are tied up in the basement are Dawn, Xander, and Willow. The mental hospital people, I can't remember who (Joyce or the doctor) suggests to Buffy to get rid of the traps indirectly (without getting her hands dirty) meaning don't kill your friends directly- let the monster do it.

What stands in the way of Buffy's uninhibited relationship with Spike? Xander, Willow, and Dawn. If they are out of the way, She can run to him, be with him, escape with him. If you want to talk about Buffy's dark side, you should probably mention her subconscious temptation to take out her friends and family. (That is right up there with Angel killing his family, remember? If you consider a vampire as one whose desires both conscious and unconscious, run rampant.)

Anyway, so following this line of thinking, why attack Tara? Well, her intention is to save W, X, & D. But she is the only one who knows the truth about Spike. Perhaps it is an unconscious fear that Tara will tell W, X, & D the secret. Tara and Spike both have the power to let things continue the way they are progressing or to intervene and potentially save the day. (Remember that Tara had already intervened during B's birthday party- with her comments to Spike to keep him off or at bay from Buffy.) Could she not easily intervene in other ways as well?

Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Vegeta, 13:39:17 03/14/02 Thu

I've been reading many of the posts and I think some of you are taking NA a little too seriously. I am going to interject a few thoughts I've had...

Must I remind you that the asylumverse didn't appear until after the demon stung Buffy. Isn't it possible that Buffy's claim that she was in an institution six years ago, is part of the 'poison'? Since she never mentioned it before, maybe that event never happened.

If everything is in Buffy's head then basically the Nerds of Doom (aka enemies she made up in her mind) were actually trying to save her by sending a demon after her that would ultimately bring her back to reality, thus destroying the Buffyverse. What would motivate the 'enemies' she made up to do this?

I'd throw down a couple more points but I am on the clock and only watched NA once. Personally, I think the asylumverse is completely a product of the demons poison... Nothing in this episode even remotely made me think otherwise. And I am somewhat disturbed that so many of you are completely convinced that the Buffyverse is not the reality on the show. Honestly, if you believe that the asylumverse is the shows true reality, I have a bridge to sell ya...

[> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Devil's advocate, 14:09:00 03/14/02 Thu

What would motivate the 'enemies' she made up to do this?

That's the irony of the situation. In the Buffyverse the "enemies" are actually the healthy aspects of her mind trying to "destroy" her illusions and bring her back into reality.

To her, anything that harms her "Buffyverse" is evil and she subconsciously fights to keep herself in the state she is in. Remember as painful as Sunnydale is, she must get something out of it, as it was created from her own subconcious. She fights desperately to hold on to her delusions. That's a result of the illness. But in reality if the evil ones would win and destroy the "Buffyverse" she would be on her way to recovery. She would return mentally to the "real world".

Her "friends" are keeping her in her delusional state. For they help her protect her "Buffyverse". They are actually the harmful elements of her subconcious caused by the mental illness, though they view themselves as helping her.

So it would be using the asylumverse interpretation of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer."

[> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Simon A., 20:50:32 03/14/02 Thu

>>>>"Her "friends" are keeping her in her delusional state. For they help her protect her "Buffyverse". They are actually the harmful elements of her subconcious caused by
the mental illness, though they view themselves as helping her.'<<<<<

That's the doctor's interpretation. I would say that she is suffering from fragmented personality, bordering on multiple personality disorder. The scoobies are elements of her personality that need to be reintegrated for her to get better. It is the spirit of the first slayer that represents her mental illness. This at least has the virtue of explaining why the first slayer was soo pissed off at the end of season 4.

N.B. there's a fascinating movie which realy plays with the "which reality is real" question called "Jacob's ladder"

[> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Devil's advocate, 15:13:23 03/14/02 Thu

"Honestly, if you believe that the asylumverse is the shows true reality, I have a bridge to sell ya..."

I think it's plausible "true reality" though I hope the writers don't pursue it to a point when it becomes the "definitive reality". I hope they leave it out there as a "possibility."

I think it's fun to discuss though. I have been quite fascinated by looking at the series and re- interpreting it from an asylumverse point of view.

And also from a point of view of that despite being Buffy's delusions there's a reality to these characters. They might be only within Buffy's sick deluded mind but they are "real people" too.

I was thinking of the movie "the Last Action Hero". In it a movie action character becomes real and finds out that his whole life has just been some script that some actor acted out on the movie screen. Everything that was his life was written just for entertainment. All the emotional pain he went through, all the lost (including his son I believe), just part of the show.

Talk about predeterminism.

That must have felt awful for him. But just think how you would feel if you found out that your whole life was just the delusions of some poor mentally ill girl. And that your very existance could end the moment she gets well.

[> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Vegeta, 15:24:23 03/14/02 Thu

I don't deny that this was an extremely interesting episode, with nearly limitless possibilities to debate. And I have seen Last Action Hero and understand the parallels.
And as interesting and thought provoking as the episode and your points are, you're still not addressing my first point. There is nothing other than Buffy's admission (stated after her poisoning) that she has ever been in a mental institution. I personally think NA is just more on the basic theme this season that real life is the 'big bad' and NA is a continuation on the fear of facing it...

To be continued...

[> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Devil's Advocate, 15:48:06 03/14/02 Thu

"There is nothing other than Buffy's admission (stated after her poisoning) that she has ever been in a mental institution."

I think it's open to interpretation. That's what makes it so fun. Buffy did leave LA for a reason, so it's not inconcievable that her parents did take her in for treatment. But again, you are right. We only have Buffy's word for it.

I think both possibilities were left wide open.

[> [> [> [> Re: Or, a 3rd option.... -- mundusmundi, 15:57:33 03/14/02 Thu

Both "realities" are real. I think I like this one best. It's fun to ponder, like you said.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I just keep waiting for Morpheus to show up .... -- Dedalus, 18:32:29 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Or maybe Delirium and her doggie! -- Rob, 21:48:18 03/14/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> The horror..... -- Simon A., 05:38:32 03/15/02 Fri

I'm getting a bad feeling here, what if we end up with a late Heinlein "All imagined realities are equally valid, we're all just characters in someone else's book (read halucination)" theme. In his later books that seemed to be the only ending that he could conjure, where all of his characters get together, and skip through the multiverse together. Although there is something kind of absurdist about us postulating about which "reality" is actually "real."

[> [> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- OtherEric, 18:36:20 03/14/02 Thu

I agree that most are reading way too much into normal again. Making your already somewhat unstable but powerful enemy insane and putting them in a fake reality to either destroy them or get them out of the way is a time honored comic book/sci-fi cliche and convention. And the Troika were behind it? They've only seen that scheme on Star Trek and in the X-men a thousand times---of course it was just another one of their stupid plans. Its also pretty obvious that this show has a least two different audiences. Sci-fi/fanboy geek-nerds who play D&D and another group who isn't them. The latter group tends to read a lot into the show on many levels and I'm not saying that its not valid a lot of the time and much of it makes me think. But I also see that their unfamiliarity (or lack of hardcore obsession with) the lexicon and ways of being a sci-fi/fanboy geek-nerd D&Der cause them to sometimes read a whole lot into a particular episode or theme that to those of us in 'the know' (come on...Joss and the writers are card-carrying members of the first audience of the show I describe) easily recognize as something that always happens in stories and settings that work more or less like comic books on a structural and character level. Granted we're wrong or miss some stuff too, but to really understand this show, it helps to have read comic books. I recommend it to those who have not tried them. The show also (amusingly enough) occasionally is very D&D like, what with the party assembling, grabbing weapons or magic stuff, with each playing their own role as part of larger team--and then going off and killing monsters. A lot of monsters. Constantly. There's as much if not more fighting in most episodes of Buffy than even on shows like Xena or Hercules. A get a lot more out of it because it is meant to be very iconic in a comic book superhero kind of way, and that was always Joss's intent (according to interviews), and its worked. It has built up to this and seemed more drama/goth/horror/highschool hijinks at first but really turned the corner in season 4. Adam's plan was totally insane in a comic book villain crazy way. His lack of personality and utter over the top arrogance may have been due to insufficient acting (or maybe not), but it made him reminiscient of someone like Apocalyspe. And they beat him using another time-honored comic book cliche---'the team combines all their powers into one person'--there may have been deeper metaphor their too, but the cliche was the main point of it. And to us geeks, overuse of time-honored cool cliches is a form of serious art. Then there's the giant underground battle in the initiative. That would have fit right in any issue of X-men, Justice League or any other comic book world. Season five continued when the kind of stuff started happening that seemed to come from the pages of Dr. Strange or What if?. And then they fought a god. Not a real god drawn from an actual mythological tradition, but something more like a Marvelverse interpretation of a god. She was also complete cliche. A powerful, bitchy, spoiled, trapped in a limiting human, but still powerful goddess that wears dresses and pumps and has freaky little minions that constantly complement her with much over the top (but extremely funny) dialouge is very comic book.

To get back to NA--it was just like the time Shipwreck got captured by Cobra in the old (but as Spike would say--as he is also a geek--'bloody brilliant') G.I. JOE cartoon! Its not just like but similar to the time on DS-9 that the Dominion put Sisko and everyone into a fake reality to determine how they would react to a major assault on the wormhole! Its not unlike how Wolverine for years had a complete set of memories that were totally implanted and another set that were totally supressed and all the coolness that ensued from watching sort thru it all over the years!......and so on. There aren't two worlds, the asylum was never real and I've seen this all a thousand times before and love it because its excellent nerd subtext and a sacred part of our tradition and ways. The bad guys always try this one! And the hero always reaches in and figures out the fake reality and saves everybody or herself or kills a bunch of something or whatever and so on....

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- fresne, 08:58:39 03/15/02 Fri

Hmmmwell, speaking as someone who, in my time, has hopelessly overanalyzed:

G.I. Joe (Destro and the Baroness forever!), He-man (created by child psychologists), X-men, Batman, Swamp Thing, Hellblazer (until the boring Devil freaking wouldn't stay dead, damn him, and I stopped reading. Ahem, I have issues), Hellraiser, Enigma (ah, Enigma. So, enigmatic. Actually you can't over analyze that one. It's a cipher told by a talking lizard, who may be insane.), and well others

Where was I?

Oh, I'm not sure how useful BtVS source in a rich "comic" tradition (anyone else read Gaiman's Harlequin Valentine? Ah, identity is a set of clothes) is as a counter argument, at least for me. I mean, I saw Queen of the Damned and was fascinated by the implications of vampires moving superfast (their perception of time is faster than ours) and standing unmoving in a crowd (their perception of time is slower, as we speed and flow by them in our mortal way). And come-on, that was brain candy of a movie. Although, it represented vampires as they should be. Die. Come back with a great fashion sense.

I'm sure there is quite a bit of ME authorial intent to recreate/pay homage to the standard plots in classic horror/comic geekdom. However, I also thing ME likes to mess with us. Cause you know, they're evil. That's why I sacrifice time at their altar.

[> [> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Robert, 22:07:34 03/14/02 Thu

>> "That's what makes it so fun. Buffy did leave LA for a reason, so it's not inconcievable that her parents did take her in for treatment."

And we know the reason. Buffy left LA because her mother moved to Sunnydale. The stated reason Joyce moved to Sunnydale was that Buffy burned down the gym at her previous high school. Never previous to Normal Again did anyone state that Joyce moved to Sunnydale because Buffy was committed to an institution.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Devil's advocate, 22:24:20 03/14/02 Thu

"The stated reason Joyce moved to Sunnydale was that Buffy burned down the gym at her previous high school. "

And you never wondered how the school in LA just let Buffy leave, without being arrested for burning down a whole gym?

Perhaps she was committed instead.

Jonathan, if you remember was forced by the school district or local authorities to seek mental help. Don't you think the people in LA would demand that Buffy seek such help as well?

After all she was accused of burning down a whole gym. You just don't get to pick up and leave town after that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Robert, 22:52:17 03/14/02 Thu

>> "You just don't get to pick up and leave town after that."

Well, since denial and forgetting are re-occurring themes in BtVS, maybe you do.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Let's take a deep breath folks (spoilers for NA) -- Devil's advocate, 22:57:46 03/14/02 Thu

The authorities wouldn't had let Buffy. She would have been at least tried for her "crime."

Unless, due to her mental illness, the authorities required her parents to get psychological treatment for her instead.

The authorities would have forced her to be committed to a clinic. Where it is possible that she is still being treated.

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