March 2002 posts

Previous March 2002  

More March 2002

Tired over all the serious talk? Read this great Interview with Alyson Hannigan! -- yffub, 12:01:04 03/15/02 Fri

I'm not sure how old this interview is, but I haven't seen it yet so maybe some of you haven't either.

[> Interesting but kind of R-rated... -- Darby, 13:48:46 03/15/02 Fri

And she sounds very different in the audio clip!

[> [> Re: Interesting but kind of R-rated... -- yffub, 14:17:31 03/15/02 Fri

I know! But it is refreshing to hear Alyson outside of the Willow influence.


[> [> [> Re: Interesting but kind of R-rated... -- nightfox7, 17:05:28 03/16/02 Sat

Also, the visual when she refers to her boyfriend is weird because her boyfriend is Alexis Denisof(Wesley).

[> Thank you so much for posting that! It lightened up some of the serious thoughts here... -- Rob, 23:00:54 03/15/02 Fri

...and I think that Allyson is hotter than ever now, after reading that!

Man, she is awesome!


Buffy Dead -- Curby, 12:09:19 03/15/02 Fri

When Spike says Buffy came back "wrong" what does he mean because she looks pretty human(de to the lack of spikes and scaly skin). Nothing's been mentioned about her powers being different(eg plus or minus skills) and she doesn't seem to have a completely psycho attitude(the lack of running round screaming wielding a battle axe to smash anyone's head off with- is it simply because Willow didn't complete the ritual and so minimal energy ressurected Buffy? Maybe something happened to her mind like lack of memories she had before death but she just hasn't had time to think about things she used to know but now doesn't but then again if you can't remember remembering something then you won't be remembering the memory in the first place!

[> Re: Buffy Dead, Spike's Chip, the Buffybot Prophecy (spoilers) -- Darby, 13:18:53 03/15/02 Fri

It's all because he can bop her one without getting a chippy headache. The chip is supposed to respond to humans and ignore nonhumans. Explanation? She came back "wrong."

It's interesting that the Buffybot told Spike that he could hurt her if she wanted him to. How many times did he have to hear that before he began to believe it, and how much does his belief system affect what the chip does and doesn't react to? This has been debated here before.

This also means that Tara could be part demon, but Spike can hit her because he's sure that she's human.

[> [> Ummm....thats not how the chip works.... -- OtherEric, 20:49:45 03/15/02 Fri

Its been established that the chip can actually sense what is human and what isn't and that is how it determines whether or not to hurt Spike. It seems to also be able to tell if Spike thinks hes actually going to hurt something he isn't supposed to (that the chip detects as human) as opposed to feinting, it pains him. Its not based on who 'he thinks' is human vs. demon/vamp. The chip is also not properly attuned in some ways. It could not distinguish between a replica gun and a real one. If that was not a factor, once 'Spike realized' he couldn't hurt humans with the gun (as it was fake), he would have been able to point it at them. Its the chips sensors, not Spike's beliefs. As for why he can hurt Buffy--we already have been given the answer but not the full explanation or metaphysics of it yet. You hurt the one you love. Thats it. We shall have to wait to see why exactly that is a factor in this (if we ever get to find out, that is). That really seems to be it. It just doesn't make sense yet and we don't know why it is so. Or maybe its just a stupid cliche. But either way, thats not how the chip works.

[> [> [> You're making assumptions that are probably not true... -- Darby, 07:06:52 03/16/02 Sat

...That has been presented as an assumption. The only people who should have known what the chip was supposed to do, the Initiative, asserted that Spike would be "unable to hurt any living thing" after a certain period of time, and that's obviously not accurate.

Keep in mind that your assertion requires the chip to be magic, something vehemently rejected by the Maggie Walsh Initiative, while mine just requires it to be a behavior modifier tied into the subject's perceptions, which is exactly inside Walsh's area of expertise and alluded to on numerous occasions (including the way that Riley's chip worked). I'll admit that there's no obvious thought to how it works exhibited by the ME people on occasion, so they've used it as a minor deus ex machina, and its "magical" properties have seemed evident.

But almost everything the chip has done can be explained in terms of what Spike can detect (and what he believes) about others. Remember, if a vamp tries, they can tell if someone is human or not (presumably by smell, the same cue that the Initiative used technologically!). It's like any subtle sense, and vamps may often miss the cues, but Angel (smelling blood), Spike (with the Buffybot who was Buffy), and various other vamps have been shown being able to tell what something was by paying attention to their senses. This indicates that the senses are registering, and could cue an embedded chip. How else would a piece of computer hardware inside someone's skull make any sense of the world? Spike thinks the chip is doing the sensing (and that's the only "truth" we've been told), but how would he know that? The show is full of information that everyone accepts (filtered through a character who may or may not know) until it's shown that no, that isn't really what's going on. Example: remember when Anya rewrote in one brief statement what everyone had accepted about the "demons" they had been fighting?

And watch the gun scene again - the chip is basing its response on Spike's perceptions of whether the gun is a true threat or not, just as his actions in Fool for Love demonstrated that if he didn't "mean" to hurt Buffy (actually, he believed that she would evade the blows)when he threw punches at her, it wouldn't activate.

If there's one thing that Normal Again should have taught us, it's not to accept everything we're told, or even "shown," about the Buffyverse.

[> [> [> [> Yeah, but so are you... -- grifter, 08:07:26 03/16/02 Sat

You say that if the chip works depends on if Spike believes he´s hurting a human. That´s not the case. In "Smashed", he attacks the human muggers Buffy is fighting, assuming they are vampires, and the chip hurts him. So it doesn´t matter if Spike THINKS he´s hurting a human being...therefore, your "Tara is a demon"-theory stinks as much as all other "Tara is really evil"- theories! ;)

[> [> [> [> [> Yeah--I agree with him disagreeing with you.... -- OtherEric, 08:30:58 03/16/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Yeah, but so are you... -- Darby, 09:06:29 03/16/02 Sat

My point was that Spike's senses would have been registering their "humaness" even while he was taking them on. It also fits the accusation of ME using the chip however it seems convenient. That's a problem I discussed in a thread recently - the ME group is pretty bad at establishing and following rules for their universe. But that's also why I gave the backstory from the Initiative that refutes most current assumptions about the chip.

My "Tara" point was just that the ONLY reason we have for "knowing" that Tara isn't a demon is Spike's being able to hit her, which could just mean that his senses, even the subliminal ones, don't register her. And we have her family's reaction, which SEEMED to confirm that it was all a manipulation. I don't think that she's a demon, but the possibility has not been conclusively buried.

[> [> [> [> [> [> There's another reason too though.... -- mundusmundi, 16:40:21 03/16/02 Sat

In the context of the episode, Whedon was saying that homosexuality shouldn't be "demonized," that folks like Tara are people too. You're right that technically Spike's our only evidence she's not a demon, but going back and making her one would negate the metaphor and the theme, and I just can't see Joss doing this.

[> [> [> [> Two triggered operation? -- TRM, 11:50:28 03/16/02 Sat

I don't see why there has to be a conflict between what seems to be a differentiation between detection (is the target a demon or not) and perception (do I believe the target to be a demon or not). I simply wish to present an alternative functioning of the chip which provides for a greater technological simplicity than much of which has been previously proposed.

First, the chip has two functions. First, it detects whether or not a target is fully human (or non- demon, there are slight differences in these two). This does not need to be magically-based. The Initiative was able to track demons without having previously tagged them, thus demons might be emitting some sort of demon-pheremone. My statement about non-demon is here relevant in the argument that perhaps demons don't emit some sort of demon-pheremone but humans some sort of human-pheremone. Buffy's resurrection can those be more easily explained as Buffy losing this human-pheremone rather than her acquiring a demon one.

This is the first process the chip goes through. Process two involves the "harm" or more precisely the intent to harm. Here the chip is patched into Spike's perceptions -- whether Spike believes he is going to harm a target or not.

Only when the chip registers both human as being true and intent to harm as being true does it activate. This does not require the chip to have to differentiate whether an act is harmful (e.g., a false gun), only the intent -- which we presume can somehow be tracked by the electrical discharges of Spike's brain. With Tara, the chip detected that she was human and that Spike intended to harm her and thus there was feedback; the same is true with the muggers. With resurrected Buffy, it's Buffy that fails to trigger the human switch despite the fact that intent to harm is true -- such is the case with his attack on demons. Spike attacking Buffy (pre-resurrect) but expecting her to be able to avoid them activates human but not intent to harm, this again fails so he has no feedback.

Of course, if the chip operated has been suggested to operate with one trigger: an intent to harm humans. But it didn't seem to me, in Family, that Spike was definite that Tara was human before he attacked her -- he used it as a litmus test, testing Anya's hypothesis (assuming that she indeed was trying to poke holes in Mr. Maclay's story and wasn't really interested in what kind of demon Tara was). Even more compelling evidence against this is that there was no indication that Spike assumed Buffy was not-human when he attacked her post-resurrection, yet he wasn't hurt.

[> [> [> [> [> Very clever, TRM, best theory so far -- Scroll, 12:39:07 03/16/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Two triggered operation? -- Darby, 18:16:13 03/16/02 Sat

I agree with the suggestion, but add that to be really simple, the pheromone detector most easily accessed is Spike's own senses. It's hard to come up with a chip buried in someone's cortex that can pick up airborne molecules any other way - note that Riley always took his detectors out and held them up in the air. The main reason I suggest this is that the simplest, most technologically acceptable way for the chip to work is to a) piggyback it off environmental cues from Spike's own sensory processors and b) feed it through cues from Spike's intentions. The sole basic function of the chip is to process brain patterns and feedback into them when necessary to produce pain - that's pretty simple. And it could use the input as a power source - any kind of independent detector should require more of a power source than it could have nestled in Spike's brain matter.

The Superhero in NA (spoilers) -- neaux, 13:55:18 03/15/02 Fri

I,ve had a discussion with a few people in chat about the superhero role and who qualifies as Superhero/Superhuman and who does not. Specifically in "Normal Again.

From Merriam Webster,s website:
Main Entry: su·per·hero
Function: noun
Date: 1917
: a fictional hero having extraordinary or superhuman powers; also : an exceptionally skillful or successful person

If a Superhero is defined by their Super Powers (as in the first definition), would that mean Buffy Tara and Spike are Superheroes?

Since Dawn, Xander and Willow were captured, would they classify as civilians?

I had proposed in an earlier thread that Buffy really was trying to reclaim her superhero status in NA by purposely capturing Dawn, Xander and Willow. She was therefore setting them up in Scene 1 with actors A B and C to be attacked by Monster D. So when she was able to resolve her mental conflicts, she would be able to save them in the nick of time as most superheroes do and therefore regain her title as Super hero.

Unfortunately Tara, actor X, arrived at the nick of time and saved the day.. moreso than Buffy did because it took Buffy longer than expected to awaken from her shifting Mental State.

Anyway that was my own little view of the episode, I don,t expect anyone to see it that way or agree with it

but Here are some great questions!!

Can the other characters become Superheroes or claim superhero status? Are they already heroes?

Is Wilow,s promise of NOT using magic what is keeping her from being a superhero? She was the only one last season to actually Harm Glory.

Can Xander ever be a hero? Is the everyman hero something that Season 6 is trying to promote? for example the United States recognition of the FireFighters of America as heroes.

If Dawn has locked up powers, how soon shall we see them?

Will the Scooby gang ever be a full fledge Justice League of America?

Please respond.. I think this would be cool to talk about. ^_^

New Question from Normal Again -- Spike Lover, 19:46:26 03/15/02 Fri

Buffy lies -to herself, her family, her friends (past and present)

I found it stange that in an ep where Buffy was so blatantly speaking the truth, they should call it "Normal Again". There was very little normal about it.

She spoke the blunt truth at least twice in the ep. She told Dawn that they had to talk about the stealing, the slumping grades, etc, that Willow had been doing her chores for her. -Rather than avoiding these subjects, Buffy admits she knows about it all and it is time for a reckoning, something she has not been able to bring herself to do. (She has been practicing avoidance by working, slaying, patroling, investigating, and screwing.)

Then she speaks the blatant and unforgivable truth to Spike: She has been screwing someone she hates. Is hate the right word? Maybe a better word is 'despises'. This I think is exactly how Buffy really feels. And I hate her for it. All this time we have been lying to ourselves: Surely Buffy feels something- Surely she is just denying it.-

I fear she feels hate. Perhaps it is because she can not love herself. Perhaps it is because she hates all men because they leave her. Perhaps she hates him because he proves her wrong all the time. (By the way, Xander has just joined the Men who Leave club-) This makes Spike the true exception. I know from my own experience that when you find one that seems to be an exception, you are tempted to continue to test them to see if they too will eventually succumb to your worst fears.

Here is a question: What, in your opinion, will it take for Buffy to finally love Spike, body and soul?

[> Re: New Question from Normal Again -- OtherEric, 21:21:44 03/15/02 Fri

I think she broke up with him because she was starting to love him and did not want to face it...maybe. He does seem (except for the occasional stupid scheme) nicer and more sensitive and just plain fun than Angel, and understanding in a way Riley couldn't bring himself to be (he took Buffy's self-involvement too personally), whereas Spike's approach to her is much more Xanderish: support her in every way and place her before his own self-interest very matter of factly without ever dwelling in the way she can take people for granted sometimes and isn't always (its not like she never is, but she does get pretty pre-occupied at times which is pretty understandable) appreciative enough of things. He didn't go to highschool, but we saw in FFL that he was as big a nerd in his era as Xander was at Sunnydale and even came off dorky during his siring (ow, ow, owww, ouch, ow...and so forth). He very often serves as a foil character for Buffy in the same way Xander has and always has those moments when he is dead on or totally right about something which parallels Xander throughout the show. His similiarily to Xander isn't my main point, its just interesting.

I think that, strangely enough, Spike (despite the missing soul and all the killing which is nicely solved by his McGuffin chip--hee hee) is a nicer and more sensitive guy and more understanding and therefore better (only in some ways of course) than guys Buffy has been involved with who did have souls! If she can ever get over the lack of a soul thing, they might have a shot.

I've always wondered why no one ever thinks of using the restoration to put Spike's soul back (s'pose its too late now that Willow quit magic). Although, unlike Angel, who was a dick even with a soul, Spike probably would kill himself out of grief or something (heart of a poet and all).

He's such a weird character. Does his secret relationship with Buffy (despite being over) and acceptance issues surrounding it parallel the old Xander and Cordelia thing? Geez...I think so. They really are a lot alike. Spike has the whole 'seems to like people and really enjoys being around them without having to kill and eat them but won't admit to others due to his rep' thing going on. I really hope he somehow grows as a character and becomes strong enough to not need the chip. To not change--as he will always be a violent sadist without a soul, but to reserve those impulses for demons and evil as a matter of choice whilst relearning to enjoy the company of people and how much he does enjoy fitting in and being a part of things (like civilized society)--retaining his dark edge, but using it for good (and also fun) in ways that do not compromise his ability to enjoy and interact with innocents. Maybe he'd finally gain some self-respect and the respect of others in the process.....but nah, he's too much of a screw-up for anything like that to happen ever. Which is why he's so damn cool!

[> [> Re: New Question from Normal Again -- O'Cailleagh, 21:50:06 03/15/02 Fri

I've said it before and I'll say it again...Vampires have souls-demon souls. And, as we know, demons are capable of good and evil just as people are. A lot of what is considered to be evil-done-by-demons is not really so evil when you consider their POV that they are trying to return to their world, after we drove them out (much like what happened with most native peoples). There is also the fact that for a number of demons (especially vampires) we are merely food, so you can see how we might be viewed as inferior or unimportant, much as the world at large views animals such as cows and sheep (this was refered to in Angel, with the Pylean cows being people!)

[> [> What must Buffy do to love Spike/ -- Spike Lover, 20:09:04 03/16/02 Sat

Let me rephrase the question. I don't believe at this point that Spike or anyone else can do anything more than what he or they are doing. I think the reason why Buffy does not love him lies within Buffy herself.

So what must change (within Buffy) so that Buffy will love Spike, Body and Soul? What would that change look like?

[> [> [> What must Buffy do to love Spike/not the question, What must spike do for Buffy (future spoilers) -- Dochawk, 11:18:15 03/17/02 Sun

Spike must do 2 things for Buffy to be able to love him. 1. He must stop trying to manipulate her, but this is dependent on the 2nd thing - he must stop being a vampire. It is simply not in the slayers nature to love a soulless being. It isn't Spike, but all vamps. We've already done Vampire with a soul, he needs to be turned into something different, either a human again or a different kind of demon. We've seen this happen on Angel already (the demon making Angel human for one episode, the PTB making Cordy part demon). And of course we have Halcily who could answer his wish (but they never seem to go as the wisher desires). And if future spoilers are correct, Spike seems to realize this as well.

[> [> [> The real question may be: "What would have to change for Buffy to admit to loving Spike?" -- bookworm, 11:49:22 03/17/02 Sun

I said it below and I'll say it again -- her feelings for him are incredibly strong, and if it's not love it looks an awful lot like it. You don't beat someone you're indifferent to into a pulp when he tells you something you don't want to hear; you don't screw an evil, soulless vamp you're indifferent to in an abandoned house. You kill that vamp, plain and simple, and move onto the next one. You break up with the lover you don't love and don't want to see anymore. You don't keep going back to him for comfort and companionship and help with your problems. He may be more a shadow twin, a soul mate, a reflection of herself than he is the love of her life like Angel. He represents and makes her face everything she hates and is uncomfortable with about herself -- her aggression, her sexuality, her anger, her pain. As Spike has said, "It's not pretty, but it's real." Maybe against their intentions, the writers have shown how well matched they are physically, sexually, even in interests and in personality. Spike IS a member of the Scooby Gang; he's a good fit for her work; he's the one she trusts to protect her little sister. Buffy doesn't realize it, but Spike is even accepted by her friends. Willow takes it for granted that Spike will help get the antidote for Buffy and stay with her to make sure she drinks it. Xander invited him to his wedding; Willow invited him to Buffy's birthday party. Tara accepts that it would be OK for Buffy to be with Spike because he does love her and he's done a lot of good things. So what's the problem? It's all in Buffy's twisted, tortured mind. If she's every going to admit she's in love with him and be comfortable with it, she needs to be comfortable with herself -- all of herself. She needs to grow up. "Normal Again" was rich with dialogue that could be read in various ways. The demon who poisoned Buffy was a good representation of Spike. He poisoned her, but he also carried the ANTIDOTE to his poison. The cure for Spike might be more Spike? Buffy looks at Dawn and says, "I should be taller than you." Dawn says, "Maybe you're not through growing yet." Buffy's 21. She's not going to grow past 5'2". But that line does indicate that she's got more growing to do as a person. At the end of the episode, she chose Sunnydale again, the harder world, and the challenge of growth. There's some hope for Buffy and for Buffy and Spike.

[> Re: New Question from Normal Again -- gds, 23:35:30 03/15/02 Fri

"Normal Again" refers to the end of the episode. She is the Buffy of season 5, not the Buffy of season 6. Tara told Buffy she was not brought back wrong. That was not true. All the pieces were there, but they were not properly assembled. By the end of NA she has put the pieces back together. She is normal again.

The following dialog from Babylon 5 seems relevant.

Lorien: You,re afraid of life, unwilling to let go. You must lay down the burden of life

Sheridan: I can,t. The others need me.

Lorien: You can,t turn away from death simply because you,re afraid what might happen without you. That,s not enough. You,re not embracing life. You,re fleeing death. And so you are caught in between. Unable to go forward or backward. You,re friends need what you can be when you are no longer afraid. When you know who you are, and why you are, and what you want. When you are no longer looking for reasons to live. But can simply be.

Sheridan: I can,t. I don,t know how to do that.

Lorien: Then I cannot help you and you will be caught forever in between. You must let go. Surrender yourself to death: the death of flesh, the death of fear. Step into the abyss and let go. It's easy to find something worth dying for. Do you have anything worth living for?"

Buffy has been (metaphorically speaking) in the asylum ever since her resurrection. Her life since then has been incoherent, inconsistent. She really had been a split personality, not an integrated whole. She has been ineffectual in everything - including slaying. When she finally faced her fears, disclosed her secrets, let the person she had become die - that's when she became able to live. She became normal again.

The following song seems to describe season 6 in general and NA in particular. The last verse is about where we find our answers. I have always believed that in the end we must find them in ourselves. We can find inspiration in many places, but the answers must come from within.



From the canyon,s of our minds
We wander on and stumble blindly through the often-tangled maze
Of starless nights and sunless days.
While asking for some kind of clue, a road to lead us to the truth
But who will answer

Side by side two people stand,
Together vowing hand in hand
That loves embedded in their hearts,
But soon an empty feeling starts to overwhelm their hollow lives
And when they seek the hows and whys
Who will answer?

On a strange and distant hill
A young man,s lying very still
His arms will never hold his child
Because a bullet running wild
Has struck him down
And no we cry dear god oh why oh why
But who will answer

High upon a lonely edge
A figure teeters near the edge
And jeering crowds collect below to egg him on with
"Go man, go
But who will ask what lead him to his private day of doom
And who will answer

If the soul is darkened by a fear it cannot name
If the mind is baffled when the rules don,t fit the game
Who will answer?
Who will answer?
Who will answer?

In the rooms with darkened shades
The scent of sandalwood pervades
The colored thoughts in muddled heads
Reclining on rumpled beds
Of unmade dreams that can,t come true
When we ask what we should do
Who will answer?

Neath the spreading mushroom tree
The world revolves in apathy
As overhead a row of specs
Roars on drowned out by discotheques
And if a secret button,s pressed
Because one man has been outguessed
Who will answer?

Here,s our hope in walnut shells
Worn round the neck with temple bells
Or deep within some cloistered walls
Where hooded figures pray in halls
Or from old books on dusty shelves
Or in our stars or in ourselves
Who will answer?

If the soul is darkened by a fear it cannot name
If the mind is baffled when the rules don,t fit the game
Who will answer?
Who will answer?
Who will answer?

[> [> Excellent, gds! -- Rob, 07:52:27 03/16/02 Sat

[> [> Yeah! Cool! -- OtherEric, 08:26:42 03/16/02 Sat

[> [> Mr. Spock & Dr. McCoy -- Spike Lover, 20:03:52 03/16/02 Sat

I remember watching an episode of Star Trek or maybe one of the movies, where Dr. McCoy is hashing it out with Spock. I will attempt to (mis)quote:

'You're not a afraid of dying, Spock, because you are too afraid of living. -Afraid that you are going to lose control and show an emotion.'

You get the gist, but I did not quote it well. (And it is much more powerful with the theme music playing in the background.)

Anyway, I don't think Buffy is afraid of dying, I too think she is afraid to live- and it goes back farther than her death last season. I think it goes back to season 2 when she made her first MAJOR adult decision: To sleep w/ Angel.

Let's look at the consequences: 1) He turned on her, stalked her family and friends, and tried to destroy the world 2)She heard a lot of 'I told you so's from Xander. 3)Because Angel turned evil and went in w/ Dru and Spike, he was in on the plot to suck the world into Hell -which was when her mom found out that she was the slayer and kicked her out of the house. 4) Giles was captured and tortured by Angel.

When Angel arrived back from Hell, the group grungingly accepted him back. Giles had harsh words for Buffy.

Anyway, for some reason, I tend to think all this at present continues to have to do w/ Angel (who you will remember left her a second time, this time w/ soul intact) --and I don't think she has excised these demons yet.

[> [> [> Penalties for adult decision -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:36:50 03/17/02 Sun

You left out the death of Jenny Calendar.

[> Maybe her honesty was a side effect of the demon's poison -- bookworm, 11:21:20 03/17/02 Sun

I don't think Buffy was really aware of what was real or unreal in this episode. She had a high fever; she was fading in and out of lucidity. Her bluntness with Willow and Dawn may have been a little like the situation with Spike in "Afterlife" -- she could tell them the truth because she wasn't sure they were real, or maybe it was just like talking to herself. Does she hate Spike? Probably as much as she hates herself. What keeps coming across is how very strongly she feels about him. She hated the Master; she didn't screw him against a wall. I doubt it ever occurred to her. She can't stay away from Spike, even after she broke up with him. Love is the flip side of hate. The Buffy characterization that is coming across is that she's depressed -- feeling detached is a classic sign of depression -- and that she's overwhelmed and confused by adulthood. I'm confident that the asylum is a delusion. It's exactly what she's been wanting all season. She wants there to be something wrong with her to explain why she sleeps with Spike, the "vampire she hates." She wants Dawn to go away so she isn't required to be responsible for someone else. She wants to be a normal girl and she wants her old life back. Here the doctor is endlessly understanding and supportive. Her mom and dad are together and love her. They all agree there's something wrong with her and it can be fixed. She also continues her pattern with Spike in Normal Again. Note that she's getting ready to drink the antidote until Spike comes in and tells her the complete, brutal truth about herself and threatens to out her relationship with him. After he flounces out, there's a look of defiance on her face, that "He can go to straight to hell; I'll show him he's wrong" look she's had in previous episodes. She dumps the antidote in the trash and gets ready to kill all her friends so she can be a good girl again. Better they die than hear that she's been banging Spike? Whatever, Buffy!

[> When she knows that Spike can choose to leave... -- Dariel, 11:33:52 03/17/02 Sun

...but doesn't. In Smashed, Buffy says "Admit it--you like me because you enjoy being beaten down." Spike does not argue with this, because he knows there's a strain of masochism in his feelings for her. Which he proceeds to demonstrate in later episodes.

Spike is trapped by his chip--he really can't leave Sunnydale and live like a real vamp. When he's actually in a position to choose being with Buffy over the vampire lifestyle, then she might trust that she can love him. Might.

(I know Spike rejected Dru in Crushed, but what he did there was simply dismiss one dependent relationship for another. His inability to hunt would have put him in an inferior position with Dru. And we know how she behaved the last time he had to depend on her--she betrayed him with Angelus.)

Where are all the posters? -- O'Cailleagh, 21:18:16 03/15/02 Fri

It's usually much busier in here around now!

[> Some of us are worn out! ... ( Also a note on the CMotW column for this week ) -- OnM, 05:28:40 03/16/02 Sat

I've decided to put off the posting of this week's CMotW column for a day or two, partly because I'm nearing the end of my third 6-day workweek, and just didn't get the chance to finish it up. I'll probably post it tonight or on Sunday sometime.

Also, the column takes up some space, as it usually does, and I really don't want to push any of the current discussion into the archives.

So, those're my excuses. Can't speak for anyone else!


[> [> I'm stumped -- Hauptman, 12:16:00 03/16/02 Sat

I am stumped by the current incarnation of Buffy and the goings on on Angel. I am having a lot of trouble processing all of the unanswered questions that abound. All I can do is guess, and that doesn't seem to be the right thing to do here. I am enjoying the posts, as usual, but like Buffy, we seem to be talking more about the writers, contracts and networks more than we used to. I took part in several of those discussions and I am burned out on it. And i am pissed off by the delay in new shows. I feel like a junkie waiting for a fix and I am not even sure what drug will be offered. wil it be a good or bad trip? I wish I had the DVDs to see me through. So, basically, I am in a bad mood. Still love you guys, though.

[> [> [> Worn out, midterms and stumped....Buffy junkies of the world unite!!!!!!! -- VampRiley, 15:27:30 03/16/02 Sat

These last two semesters have been too excruciatingly important. Haven't had time to post, which mightily sucks...

Got a spring-break midterm that's leaving me mentally drained...

I've been better at posting when the stuff was more like it was in past seasons. So far, I've just been waiting patiently to see just what's going to happen...

All the while I've been going through Buffy withdraw. Thanks to FX, I now have every episode of Buffy on tape. Got all of the Angel ones too. But watching the old ones just isn't doing it for me. Neither is reading fanfic.

I think my head is gonna explode and leave little pieces of me all over my computer.

I think the only "cure" for me would be to get new eps. But they're still another month away.



(He posted right before his head exploded.)

[> [> [> [> But... the princess didn't scream... -- OnM, 06:59:14 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> Re: the princess? -- VampRiley, 09:18:32 03/17/02 Sun

I'm the God of Links and the Float/Unfloat buttons. Who is this princess you speak of?


[> [> [> [> [> [> See *Hush*. All will be clear. -- OnM, 11:04:45 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hush?! I can't believe I didn't think of that. (banging his head on his computer desk...) -- VampRiley, 11:27:26 03/17/02 Sun

...over and over and over and over and over and over and over and...


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Because it feels so good when you stop, right? ;-) -- OnM, 14:40:57 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> If I want to stay conscious, yeah. -- VampRiley, 20:01:55 03/17/02 Sun

And if I don't want to accidently smash my head into my monitor.


[> [> I am alternately appalled and intrigued by what I see -- Aquitaine, 06:45:24 03/17/02 Sun

on BtVS this season and don't feel I have anything new to add to what some very astute posters are saying lately. I'm in wait-and-see mode.

I'm enjoying A:tS unequivocally this season, but I've always found it difficult to encapsulate my ideas about that show. It's a show I live in the moment and then recall because of its emotional impact.

Sending hugs out to all of you,


[> [> [> Re: Hugs - Back atcha, Aqui ! Post 'em when you got 'em. -- OnM, 07:01:19 03/17/02 Sun

[> I'm suffering from not being able to see season 6 yet! -- Nevermore, 08:31:10 03/17/02 Sun

[> I've been hiding from spoilers... -- cynesthesia, 22:12:49 03/17/02 Sun

since a very unfortunate click of the mouse on the WRONG thread left me with a little too much information. What can I say? I'm weak and my mouse is eeeeevil.

[> Seems plenty busy to me... -- Eric, 04:11:30 03/18/02 Mon

Lots of cogent (if gloomy) analysis on recent eps. In fact I've posted some stuff myself but most got deleted for excessive frivolity. :(

[> [> Where are all the posters -- Nina, 08:31:32 03/18/02 Mon

I mostly lurk now as my thinking quotient is about 1/10 right now . It is always wonderful to read so many insightful thoughts though, I just don't feel I have anything to contribute.

What a shame, now that I am spoiled beyond belief I don't even have the brain to share it! :)

Big hugs to all of you!

[> [> Posts virtually never get deleted here -- Rahael, 10:00:22 03/18/02 Mon

I can only remember one time when Masq has deleted a post - it was a flurry of spam referring to weird conspiracy theories - something about the Illuminati. You may have noticed that even Twiz spam is left alone on the board.

If there is a lot of board activity, some posts which have had less activity go into the archives.

Of course, you may know all this, and I might have missed the ironic tone of your post!! What can I say, I'm not good with the playfulness!

[> [> [> I am SO mentally challenged...they were just shot into way into Archive 2 -- Eric, 13:18:43 03/18/02 Mon

Its not like they were great contributions though. One was a post about and with links to Buffy fan sites in France. Another an amusing (attempt anyway) bit o' fan fic with a challenge attached.

[> The board could use a break... -- Masq, 10:32:26 03/18/02 Mon

It gives us time to soak in all that's happened this season and speculate on the big season endings to come,

and voy is getting a bit twitchy with high-volume boards these days. Seems the BC&S spoiler board has been asked to pay money to voy. (knock on wood!!!!)

Isn't it ironic that just when "Buffy" goes on a break, we get more posts on the show than ever! -- Rob, 22:13:48 03/15/02 Fri

We're desperate for new episodes...Desperate...and it hasn't even been a week yet! More like 3 days!

Grr aargh!


The Concept of Dread -- Cleanthes, 22:56:42 03/15/02 Fri

Beforehand lamentation:

I missed watching this episode Tuesday night, and again Wednesday. Finally on Thursday, I popped my tape into the old VCR. Well, I didn,t get a chance to read much on this board until today (well, it was still Friday when I started writing this!). Shucks, and I wanted to comment, but I,m sure that unless I,ve read every word that I missed, I,ll be repeating something. Aw, heck. Well, all this has been my little trap, nothing like Buffy,s mental trap. So, apologies to all of you who have detailed the similarities in this episode to various of Kafka,s works and to that silly lover in Kierkegaard,s "Repetition. Here,s how I felt about the central frame-busting aspect of `Normal Again`:

Existence precedes essence.

Yet, people imagine that the essence of a thing is what it really is. Really [sic] things, though, are objective. The cat is either on the mat or the cat is not on the mat. Walk across the mat - if you trip on something that snarls, then maybe the cat was on the mat. End of story.

Except, what to make of it. Why trip on a cat? Doesn,t the cat have feelings? What kind of person are you, tripping on poor defenseless cats?

Oh, but you were distracted. You didn,t see it. It wasn,t in your "universe. But you chose to walk across the room. You must remain you; the you you choose is the you that exists, not some you that can make excuses for tripping on cats or finding out one fine day that you,ve awakened as a cockroach. You did it; anything else is you faking yourself out.

This business of existence does NOT depend on objectiveness. It comes before it; all objective things have a contingent quality further evidence can destroy any seeming certain fact. Maybe the sun won,t rise tomorrow, or some physicist will discover the errors in Newton or Einstein, or your love will leave you at the altar. You don,t own a cat you tripped on a delusion and heard the squeal in lunacy.

Only your existence doesn,t have this contingent quality. You choose, you live, you remain asleep, you go insane, you die. In any of these cases, that,s it; let the dogs bark and the snakes hiss.

Buffy had her existential moment back in `The Gift`. She died authentically, without a bit of bad faith. She earned whatever reward great Zeus bestowed. But then she was pulled back. Since then she has not lived authentically, but has wallowed in bad faith and nausea. Now she must chose a life.

Thus, wherever Buffy chooses to exist, that,s the real universe. Had she chosen to stay in the asylumverse, then that would have been real.

(I think Xanderfan made this point, pretty much, in a response of OnM, on the thread about to hie off to archiveville "I don't think it's important which world is "real". What's important is which choice she made.)

[> Very well said. Ditto -- Sophist, 08:22:40 03/16/02 Sat

[> Brava! (Bravo?) ;o) -- WW, 08:37:24 03/16/02 Sat

I may not remember your gender, Cleanthes, but I applaud what you just said!

[> [> Re: Brava! (Bravo?) ;o) -- Cleanthes, 13:46:01 03/16/02 Sat

Thanks WW. I got in early with the "Meet the Poster" pics of Masq's so I got a good one. She gave me Lindsey, and I'm so pleased. I wish I looked so good, but, at least I am male and lawyerish, even is ... Well, rather older than Mr. Kane, but we'll forget about that for the moment.

It's just as well, too, because were I female, I'd want to be Buffy.

[> Re: The Concept of Dread -- Rufus, 17:11:04 03/16/02 Sat

Thus, wherever Buffy chooses to exist, that,s the real universe. Had she chosen to stay in the asylumverse, then that would have been real.

That's pretty much how I saw it. Of course I'm biased cause I'd be less interested in an asylmverse...;) Nice to see you again Cleanthes.

[> [> Re: The Concept of Dread -- Cleanthes, 13:57:54 03/17/02 Sun

I wrote:
Thus, wherever Buffy chooses to exist, that,s the real universe. Had she chosen to stay in the asylumverse, then that would have been real.
Rufus replied:
"That's pretty much how I saw it. Of course I'm biased cause I'd be less interested in an asylmverse...;) Nice to see you again Cleanthes."

When I mentioned cats, I had you in mind. :-)

The asylumverse would be bad TV. That place, prosaic, mundane and with a know-it-all doctor in a white coat reminds me a whole lot of regular TV. Say what you will of Buffy's choice, but I say she demonstrated aesthetic discernment!

[> [> [> I thought so.........:):):) -- Rufus, 16:11:49 03/17/02 Sun

I couldn't see you saying anything about tripping over a dog, or a lizard on a mat......aesthetic discernment.....and I was thinking she got to wear better clothes (forget the bridesmaid dresses)and sleep in a bed without special attachements.....:)

[> My thoughts exactly -- grifter, 08:30:12 03/17/02 Sun

Posted something similar, just not on the same level of semantic and philosophical skill, on the kitten board some days ago.

[> [> me too. (but my post was here.) -- yuri, 16:20:40 03/17/02 Sun

RE: Sahjhan --What's he on about? -- Ayanna, 00:02:16 03/16/02 Sat

I would like to know if anyone has any theories about who Sahjhan is and what Angel did to him. I've heard several theories that are laughable at best --- my fav is that Sahjhan is a fully grown Connor now conditioned to hate his father by spending untold decades (or what have you) in a Hell Demension and raised by Holtz. The only one have heard that holds my intrest for more than a mo'(mainly b/c it is my theory) is still a far reach but here you go:
Sahjhan is actually Angel's father - demonized and making his way thru time to cause Angel hurt. One Reason i believe this is that i don't recall Sahjhan refering to Angel as Angelus. By all means correct me if I'm wrong. If Sahjhan's beef is with ANGEL it stands to reason that what ever led Sahjhan to vengence occured BEFORE Angel became a vampire or that the only Name (Vampire or Not) Sahjhan has ever known Angel by is Angel. WHo better than an unyeilding father disrespected by his shiftless, worthless son who later became a demon and killed not only him but his entire family, to take revenge. What do you all think ?

[> Re: RE: Sahjhan --What's he on about? -- O'Cailleagh, 00:19:57 03/16/02 Sat

That would be a good theory if it wasn't for the fact that Angel was called Liam when he was still alive.....Angelus was the name of the vampire version, and when his soul was returned to him, he went by the name Angel

[> [> Re: Liam or Angel -- Ayanna, 09:21:48 03/16/02 Sat

Angel's younger sister is the one who began calling him Angel, his father knew that. Add to that the fact that Sahjhan appeared to be almost hurt when Angel didn't recognize him in the bar. Makes me believe that Sahjhan is someone who Angel SHOULD know on sight - someone who SHOULD mean a lot to him

[> [> [> Re: Liam or Angel -- O'Cailleagh, 16:19:10 03/16/02 Sat

Nah, his sister just thought he had returned as an angel, then Angelus killed Liam's father before he had time to process any of it.

[> [> [> [> There goes that theory -- Ayanna, 17:20:04 03/16/02 Sat

there goes that theory, i was strecthing any way.

[> [> [> [> [> Its Owl-Stretching Time -- O'Cailleagh, 17:37:39 03/16/02 Sat

Yeah..grasping at straws is all I've been doing since i only get to see the occasional new ep (living in Britain with terrestrial tv) and catch up here. Season six will be starting on the BBC next month, and still no news of AtS s2, let alone s3!
You should hear some of my crazy theories....the ones too crazy to make it as far as posting.........

The Shadow Side of Sunnydale -- Rob, 11:49:05 03/16/02 Sat

I am currently reading the excellent essay anthology, "Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to 'Buffy' and 'Angel.'" Something struck me as very interesting in the opening essay, so I'm going to reprint that section here. I found it very thought-provoking:

"...the relationships between individual characters are made even more complex by set of shadow- double relationships. Characters are alternate versions of each other--Buffy and Cordelia (Buffy before her powers), Buffy and Faith (Buffy without family and friends)--or recapitulate aspects of each other's careers--Angel and Faith. Angel and Spike are not only related through their ties to Drusilla and to Buffy, but by being respectively dark and blond and by being originally called Liam and William. One of the reasons why the poet William becomes the streetfighter Spike is because the roisterer Liam has become the moody sadistic aesthete Angelus and the role of the family intellectual is taken.

"The regular use of doppelganger plots--Willow and her evil twin in 'Doppelgangland' (3.16), the two Xanders in 'The Replacement' (5.3), the Faith/Buffy body switch in 'Who Are You' (4.16), Spike's acquisition of a Buffy robot for sexual purposes in 'Intervention' (5.18)--is only one special case of the ways in which these patterns of doubling and opposition are used to enhance the show's exploration of moral ambiguity, especially in the context of its almost obsessional reflexivity. One example will serve here--in the aftermath of Buffy's sleeping with Angel in 'Innocence' (2.14), he experiences agony and turns into Angelus, whereas in the aftermath of sleeping with Darla in 'Reprise,' he experiences a similar agony but does not; both women, deeply confused by the behaviour of the man they love, utter the same line: 'Was I...was it...not good?'"

I don't have much to add. I thought others here might want to comment. Perhaps a discussion could be made about Asylumverse Buffy being the shadow-double of Normal Buffyverse Buffy. And, by the way, I'd like to again recommend this book to everybody here.

Kaveney, Roz. "She Saved the World. A Lot: An Introduction to the Themes and Structures of 'Buffy' and 'Angel.'" Reading the Vampire Slayer: An Unofficial Critical Companion to Buffy and Angel. Tauris Park Paperbacks: London, 2001.


[> Re: The Shadow Side of Sunnydale (some spoilers up to now) -- leslie, 14:42:36 03/16/02 Sat

I'd go further and say that as the two series split, the casts have evolved into an equilibrium reprising the original functions of the characters on Buffy. Cordelia has essentially become Buffy-- the girl with supernatural powers that serve to save the mortal world from evil. Spike has become Angel--the sexually attractive vampire with redeeming social value, although he's not really sure what it is and what he should be doing with it. Fred supplies the Willowesque geekdom. Gunn and Xander are the working-class heroes with a tendency towards seeing things in black and white (har har har). Tara and Lorne provide the connections to other worlds. Wesley's struggle all along has been how to become Giles. Anya has certainly replaced Cordelia as the materialistic, tactless girl (does Xander have a type or what?) but that role does seem to be lacking on Angel as Cordelia has evolved.

Furthermore, Angel has fallen in love with Coredelia precisely in synch with her increasing Buffyness; the romantic relationship between Gunn and Fred is almost an inversion of the romantic relationship between Xander and Willow, in that it is the two newest members of the gang who pair off, as opposed to the two who have known each other the longest. In each case, the relationship threatens the overall balance of relationships within the group, and Wesley and Cordelia cannot help but be deeply hurt by them. (Parallel the piercing of Cordelia's chest/heart and the slitting of Wesley's throat?)

Yet the relationships are all still evolving--I see them as a kaleidoscope, where each shift (each turn of the season?) reconfigures the shards of glass within. (Or as Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm put it, the shattered jewel of myth.) I loved Linda's pointing out, below, that Spike actually *has* become Buffy's Watcher this season. He's turning into the mediating figure that bridges the initially irreconcilable opposites of Angel (vampire) and Giles (watcher). (Or if we want to get postcolonialist about it--and I'd really rather not--the Irishman and the Englishman.) Of course, Angel and Giles already began mediating that opposition by the one having a soul, the other being willing to "throw out the handbook."

[> Re: The Shadow Side of Sunnydale -- Rattletrap, 15:03:36 03/16/02 Sat

The characters often seem like opposites of each other because they are all mythological archetypes. Joseph Campbell argues that everyone the Hero meets along the journey represents some aspect of Self. This idea is derived from Carl Jung's psychological research into dreams, and Campbell essentially believed that myths function on a social level by offering self-exploration and guidance through universal truths much as dreams do the same thing on an individual level.* Everyone that Buffy has contact with, then, represents something in herself with which she must deal--Angel, Faith, and Spike her inner darkness; Giles her intellect and her calling; Xander her loyalty and her fun-loving side, and so on and so forth. What is particularly cool about this in Buffy is that each character is also on her/his own Hero's journey, and so every character represents certain aspects of every other charcter, just more of the fun of participating in the Buffyverse.

The book sounds interesting, Rob. How are the other essays in it?

(*) This is my poor attempt at a quick layman's explanation of Jungian psychology and its relationship to myth. I will gladly defer to my betters if someone can offer a clearer or more accurate one.

[> [> About the book... -- Rob, 17:53:05 03/16/02 Sat

I am up to the fourth essay now, and the book is fascinating. I'd really recommend it. So far, the essays have ranged from very good to brilliant. Actually, a lot of it is similar to the posts here. Some of the posts here are better, some not. But all of the essayists' ideas, so far, whether I agree with them or not, are very intriguing and thought-provoking. I always like hearing other's opinions of the meanings of "Buffy."

So far, as a brief overview...

The first essay is an introduction the main themes of "Buffy" and "Angel," including a brief overview of the major symbolic motifs of each season of both of the shows. It also focuses on the group dynamics on the show, and how they split between the villians and the Scoobies, and how, in cases like Faith and Spike, they sometimes intersect.

The second essay is a fascinating look at Southern California, and explains how, although "Buffy" can be read as symbolic of any place in America, there is special significance in setting it in Southern California. It describes environmental occurences of SoCal that are metaphorically represented on Buffy through demons. It talks about the irony of having such a bright, sunny place hide such secrets, and how California is really a facade in itself...a beautiful, safe-looking place that, at any moment, could be swallowed up by earthquakes or other natural disasters. Which makes the apocalypses of the Buffyverse very geographically relevant!

The third essay looks at the institutions on "Buffy" and "Angel" and shows the socialistic implications of the show--how knowledge found in the ancient texts of Giles' library, and the Scooby Gang, representing the common man, can be used to fight the institutional evil represented through the Initiative, Wolfram and Hart, the Sunnydale political system, etc. This was the most incisive and thought-provoking of the three, so far.

The fourth essay, which I'm in the middle of now, is an examination of the shows' humor. It describes how the humor, both low and high, and cultural references, both pop and high, elevate the show from standard sci-fi/fantasy or even melodrama to be something truly special--and how the show's humor functions both to offset, and sometimes even heighten, the inherent tragedy of the shows.

I am truly very impressed with this book, and I am surprised, since the cover really didn't look all that promising. It's this ugly purple book that just screams "cheap, knock-off tie-in by people trying to make money off ME's creations," but this is not like books like the unauthorized episode guide, "The Buffy Chronicles" or that silly SMG biography, "Slay Me." This is some truly brilliant stuff, and has real substance.

I really recommend it.

Hope that helped, 'trap. ;o)


[> [> About the book... -- Rob, 17:55:09 03/16/02 Sat

I am up to the fourth essay now, and the book is fascinating. I'd really recommend it. So far, the essays have ranged from very good to brilliant. Actually, a lot of it is similar to the posts here. Some of the posts here are better, some not. But all of the essayists' ideas, so far, whether I agree with them or not, are very intriguing and thought-provoking. I always like hearing other's opinions of the meanings of "Buffy."

So far, as a brief overview...

The first essay is an introduction the main themes of "Buffy" and "Angel," including a brief overview of the major symbolic motifs of each season of both of the shows. It also focuses on the group dynamics on the show, and how they split between the villians and the Scoobies, and how, in cases like Faith and Spike, they sometimes intersect.

The second essay is a fascinating look at Southern California, and explains how, although "Buffy" can be read as symbolic of any place in America, there is special significance in setting it in Southern California. It describes environmental occurences of SoCal that are metaphorically represented on Buffy through demons. It talks about the irony of having such a bright, sunny place hide such secrets, and how California is really a facade in itself...a beautiful, safe-looking place that, at any moment, could be swallowed up by earthquakes or other natural disasters. Which makes the apocalypses of the Buffyverse very geographically relevant!

The third essay looks at the institutions on "Buffy" and "Angel" and shows the socialistic implications of the show--how knowledge found in the ancient texts of Giles' library, and the Scooby Gang, representing the common man, can be used to fight the institutional evil represented through the Initiative, Wolfram and Hart, the Sunnydale political system, etc. This was the most incisive and thought-provoking of the three, so far.

The fourth essay, which I'm in the middle of now, is an examination of the shows' humor. It describes how the humor, both low and high, and cultural references, both pop and high, elevate the show from standard sci-fi/fantasy or even melodrama to be something truly special--and how the show's humor functions both to offset, and sometimes even heighten, the inherent tragedy of the shows.

I am truly very impressed with this book, and I am surprised, since the cover really didn't look all that promising. It's this ugly purple book that just screams "cheap, knock-off tie-in by people trying to make money off ME's creations," but this is not like books like the unauthorized episode guide, "The Buffy Chronicles" or that silly SMG biography, "Slay Me." This is some truly brilliant stuff, and has real substance.

I really recommend it.

Hope that helped, 'trap. ;o)


[> [> [> Oh, and, in the third essay, on the socialism of Sunnydale... -- Rob, 19:40:19 03/16/02 Sat

...there is a great case made for the idea that Glory represents the all-encompassing, all-powerful consumer! The essayist sees her "hobbits" as the ultimate personal shoppers! You have to read that part....Brilliant!


[> Re: The Shadow Side of Sunnydale -- Rufus, 19:25:30 03/16/02 Sat

I've ordered that book and it's in the I will comment when I've read it.....sounds good though.....anyone got a copy of Fighting the forces?

[> [> that out yet? -- Rob, 19:37:21 03/16/02 Sat

[> [> [> Yes...... -- Rufus, 22:54:08 03/16/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> Re: Reading the Vampire Slayer -- Brian, 03:22:40 03/17/02 Sun

I picked up a copy at Barnes & Noble. They file it in the Science Fiction section either under the author's name or in the Buffy fiction section. Good Hunting.

[> [> [> [> Cool! Thanks! I ordered it... -- Rob, 08:47:50 03/17/02 Sun

My Ideal Ending For Season Six!!!!!!!! -- Dedalus, 14:33:34 03/16/02 Sat

Okay, this is it, so fasten your seat belts -

Buffy has finally located the Trio in their evil lair. She kicks open the door and storms in, furious at what they did to her mind back in Normal Again. Only Jonathon and Warren are there, their partner having been zapped into an alternate dimension of angry mutant bunnies in a freak accident involving one of their latest experiments. Feeling betrayed, Buffy immediately goes after Jonathon. He endures hit after hit. All the time Warren is cackling in the background, telling Buffy to kill the little dweeb, that she should be the one who should be at his side. Jonathon, now paranoid beyond belief, tells Buffy the same thing.

"I'll never join you!" Buffy shouts, throwing Jonathon against the wall, nearly putting him through a Dr. Who poster.

"I know you have a sister, Buffy. Spike was wise to hide her from me. If you will not join me, then perhaps she will," Jonathon mutters back, trying to stand up.

"Dawn?! NEVER!" Buffy yells, going after Jonathon with renewed aggression. She beats the guy into a pulp, rips off Boba Fett's head right in front of him, and then pulls out her stake. All the stress of the past season has finally driven her to the breaking point.

The moment before she plunges the stake into Jonathon's heart, Warren laughs again. He calls out to her. "Good. Your hate has made you powerful."

Then snaps Buffy out of her rage. She then takes a look at her hand, which is covered in blood. Jonathon's blood. Human blood. With this, she leaves Jonathon cowering in the corner, and strides back over to face Warren.

Throwing her stake away in disgust, Buffy tells him, "You failed Warren. I'm an adult, like my mother before me."

For a moment, Warren seems to retain his composure. "So be it ... adult." Then he snaps. "If you will not refuse to grow up ... then you will be DESTROYED!" With that, he raises his hands, and magic lightning shoots out of them, like the kind Willow used on Glory last season. Apparently he has been learning some spells from Jonathon.

Buffy is hit full force by the lightning, which throws her backwards. Her body lands not far from Jonathon, who is now struggling to his feet. Warren takes his time coming over to her, knowing he has the upper hand. Then he stands over Buffy, zapping her again and again, the electricity tearing through her body. "Young fool. Only now, at the end, do you understand."

Buffy can't stop herself from screaming as the magic lightning hits her again. Out of the corner of her eye, she spots Jonathon. Even as she writhes in pain, she remembers how she helped him back in high school. There was still good in him. She knew it. "Jonathon! Please help me! Help me!"

Jonathon has been standing behind Warren the whole time, his entire body aching from the beating she gave him. But clearly, he is in another kind of turmoil. He looks at Warren, and then at Buffy, and then back again. Another second, and Warren would have killed her, but Jonathon suddenly grabs him as he unleashes a final salvo of magic lightning. Warren screams out in fury, and repeatedly zaps Jonathon, but the young boy holds on with all his might, and carries him all the way over to toss him over into a reactor shaft that had been built to fascillitate interdimensional travel. Warren falls down the shaft, screaming all the way, lightning still shooting from his hands. And then he is gone.

Jonathon immediately collapses, seriously injured. It takes Buffy a moment to recover, but when she does, she crawls over to his side. Cradling his head in her hands, she looks down at him and feels the tears forming. He had saved her at the expense of his own life.

"Buffy, help me take ... this mask off. Just one more time ... let me look on you with my own eyes." Jonathon pleads to her, gasping for breath.

"Mask? What are you talking about? You're just delirious. You're dying," Buffy reasons, but then she spots how torn his face seemed to be around the edges. He was wearing a face mask! Reaching down to the corner of his shoulders, she pulls it off, and then is truly shocked.


"Da ... Dad?!"

"Yes," Jonathon/Hank Summers admitted in shame. He reaches up to touch her face, and then he readies himself to die. "Go my daughter. Leave ... leave me."

Buffy was not about to leave her father now that she had finally found him again. "I'm not leaving you here in this basement. I've got to save you!"

"You already have ... Buffy," he weakly replies, fondly gazing up at her. "Tell your sister you were right about me. Tell your sister ... you were right ... "

"Father!" Buffy cries out, and he dies in her arms. She just hugged him, and then carried his body out of that dank hole of a basement.

Later that night, the whole of Sunnydale is celebrating. The evil Trio has been defeated. Barbeques are blazing in backyards. Children are singing in the streets. Fireworks explode in the sky. Furry demons do somersaults outside the Magic Shop. The Scoobies are all hugging and rejoicing.

Buffy however, stands alone. On a bluff outside town, she has built a funeral pyre and layed Hank Summers across it. She then sets it on fire, watching the mask of Jonathon burn up in the flames. After it's over, she joins her friends, comforted in their circle of Scooby love.

[> someone's been smoking the local shrubery... (NT) -- Kitt, 15:03:54 03/16/02 Sat

[> Now *that's* entertainment ! ... ;-) -- OnM, 15:24:02 03/16/02 Sat

[> ROFLMAO ;-P -- I needed that. -- VampRiley, 15:36:10 03/16/02 Sat

[> Brilliant! Five star entertainment! -- Rob, 17:41:05 03/16/02 Sat

[> LOL - Now *that* was amusing!!! -- Kevin, 18:11:22 03/16/02 Sat

[> Now why does this seem a little familiar? Hmmm. No, wait. I know this, really I do. -- Deeva, 20:17:49 03/16/02 Sat

[> Re: I give a little bow ... :-) -- Dedalus, 09:33:49 03/17/02 Sun

[> Hahahahaha I saw Return of the Jedi last night...very nice! -- MayaPapaya9, 11:00:54 03/17/02 Sun

[> Re: Delightful and much needed....How about a sequal....but -- curious, 11:55:23 03/17/02 Sun

please don't make me wait 17 years....

[> [> Hank Summers: The Early Years? -- dubdub, 13:07:46 03/17/02 Sun

I don't think so...


[> [> [> Re: A sequel, not a prequel.... -- curious, 13:23:24 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> [> Re: And besides, why not Darth Hank? ; ) -- curious, 13:29:38 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> And besides, why not Darth Hank? -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:33:50 03/17/02 Sun

Wouldn't it be more eponymous if it were . . .

Hank Vader?

(Or has that been done?)

how we "read" Buffy -- leslie, 15:09:10 03/16/02 Sat

I have spent most of the last few days at a Celtic Studies conference, listening to people present papers mostly on medieval Welsh and Irish mythological narratives, and was struck, again, by how similar the way mythologists approach mythic texts is to the way this group approaches BtVS and AtS. And it isn't just in terms of finding symbolism or arguing over what's real. What it comes down to is, all of us are trying to make sense of unfinished--or unfinishable--narratives. The attraction, and also the frustation, is that we don't know how it ends or where it's going--well, and in the case of the Celtic myths, we don't even really know where it came from, either. That's the real "power of myth" (I have to confess to being a non-Campbell fan--if I want Jungian archetypes, I'll just go straight to Jung). It's the power to make us want to figure it out.

That said, in terms of where Buffy is going, I also realized that one of the problems with a television series, or a mythic narrative cycle, is that it really cannot be a tragedy. It just plain lasts too long. It can have a pessimistic world view, but I think that real tragedy has to be much more compact--blows into town, knocks you over the head, and leaves. And also, tragedy is based, ultimately, on the irrevokability of death, on the understanding that you die only once and forever, so if you have failed in this world, there's no possibility of remediation. I hardly need to point out how this is completely NOT the case on BtVS. The Buffyverse may be hell, with everyone compelled to keep pushing their own particular Sisyphean rock up that hill, but even Joyce *could* have come back--it may be hell, but it isn't tragedy. On the other hand, despite all the big yuks, it isn't exactly comedy, either--I don't see Willow and Tara, Xander and Anya, Buffy and Spike, Dawn and Horny Teenage Demon Boy all skipping off hand and hand into the twilight for a quadruple wedding to wind up the series. (I recall someone in my Shakespeare seminar summarizing the difference between comedy and tragedy as "comedies end with weddings and babies, tragedies end with everyone dead.") But then, mythological cycles don't end with weddings or funerals, either. They end with some characters dead, others married or reconciled with their spouses, others going off to new adventures; some go home by the short route and get murdered by the wives they left behind, some take the long road and have to kill off the suitors who have gathered around their wives in the interim, some marry deities and become the progenitors of new nations. The cycle doesn't really end because there is always the possibility of finding or creating a new story, and each new story in it reverberates back and forth with all the other stories. Honestly, the more I read the analyses on this board of new episodes in relation to old ones, the more I suspect that that's exactly what the writers are doing as well--they're looking back at what's already been written and saying "oh, well maybe we can elaborate on that little point three seasons back--it all makes sense now." But still, what we are all doing is reading myth.

[> Aristotle and Chaucer on Tragedy and how we read buffy. -- totori, 23:18:21 03/16/02 Sat


as i was reading your post, i started to remember some of the classes i had recently that dealt on the subject of tragedy.
according to Aristotle, in his work Poetics, tragedy does not really depend on lenght. a tragedy can't be too long or too short, it just has to have the fundimental elements to be called a tragedy. A tragedy is basically a reversal of fortune that cannot be reversed, and therefore tragic. a tragic person does not necessarily have to be a good guy/gal, but it can also work for a bad guy(bad guy has good fortune but then turns bad). The difference in the tragic hero/heroine being a good/bad guy is the level of pity/sentiment from the audience. if a bad guy becomes a tragic figure, sure it's sad, and will get some pity, but not as much as a good hero/heroine who falls into bad fortune. so for aristotle, the best type of tragic hero is the one that arouses the most pity and sentiment from the audience. and usually that type of hero is often like the people in the audience targeted(a hero/heroine people can relate/associate to, so the person usually can't be a super saint or a terrible terrible person). this way, when the tragic moment/ending occurs, you have a moment of 'katharsis'(i think this is how it's spelled). it's the moment that invokes emotions, pity, and fear. one reasoning of this is that the audience, if they associate with the tragic character(s), will reach a moment where they realize their fear of "this could happen to me", and pity and feel for the fallen character and their situation.

On the topic of lenght of time, aristotle does mention it actually. it's in the part where he talks about how much content a tragedy should have. i think what he basically said was that if part of the content does not contribute or add to the tragedy, then it should be taken out. it's the same for an epic, it can be as short as Locke's "rape of the lock", only a couple pages, or as long as 300 pages, like Milton's "paraside lost". you just have to have the basic elements. the lenght, i think, it's up to the author and his ability/intent that he wants to produce on the audience/readers.

with these two things somewhat established(what is a tragic character/story in the first place / how long can it be) from what i remember, i think it's too early to assume that the buffy show is a tragedy. In terms of buffy, she has the elements to become a tragic heroine: she is someone that most of us can associate with, and if she falls from the grace of fortune, would probably evoke a large amount of pity and emotions from us. but because the show isn't over, we do not know if buffy is a tragic character or not, or even if the whole show will be tragic overall. if anything, because of the lenght of the show, associating/understanding buffy and other characters has actually become stronger, so if the show has a tragic finale, it would be alot more emotional than if buffy was just a one year series, or even a movie. what happens in every episode could be like chapters in a tragic play, assuming buffy is a tragedy. so tragedy doesn't have to be a drive-by, but could take as long as it wants assuming that it's goal is to reach the highest level of 'katharsis' at the end.
tragedy doesn't always have to be based on death. for Chaucer, who my professor said was the guy who 'invented tragedy'(though i think he meant to say chaucer was the guy who 'defined and set the precedent for the english audience of what tragedy should be, which is a simpler version of Poetics), said that for chaucer tragedy is basically a reversal of fortune. in his work the canterbury tales, in the tale of the monk, the monk tells about 10+ short summaries of tragic stories: hercules, adam, caesar,samson, etc.. many of them do end in death, but some tales don't. in adam and eve, the tragedy is eating the apple and the banishment of mankind from paradise, and in the tale of the queen zenobia, whose rule was absolute even among men of power, her tragedy was her fall from power and enslavement by rome, forever in the servitude of others. so for most of the time, a reversal of fortune is all that's needed to cause a tragedy. death, being irreversible, is a popular form of tragedy, because of the strong emotions that it evokes, but i think tragedy can still happen without it. it's like if you were to win a 200 million dollar lotto, only to lose it to your greedy co-worker on a legal technicality. tragic(because it's unfair), huh? or how about spending your life working in a dead end job, like in a burger joint. tragic(because it's sad, especially if you had dreams or wanted more from life) too, right?

I agree with you that buffy probably won't have an entirely comedic ending/closore. but to talk more about this would be speculating on an ending that isn't yet written(or at least revealed to us viewers ^_~).

As for me, i don't know how this whole show will be interpreted at the end. if buffy was to be left unfinished, then yeah, i would agree with you that it would be like trying to solve an incomplete puzzle, like myths or the canterbury tales,but unlike these 2, buffy is still being written, so we'll have to withold judgement i guess until the end. ^_^

ok, that's it. sorry if i got any of aristotle's arguments wrong, it's been some time. as for chaucer, i think i mispelled alot of the names there. sorry for that too.


[> [> Aristotle's definition of a tragedy -- Sophist, 18:38:13 03/17/02 Sun

"A tragedy is an imitation of an action, serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude. In the form of embellished language...and through pity and fear effecting a proper catharsis of these emotions."

You are right that death is not essential to the definition. For example, Oedipus Rex, taken out of the trilogy, is still a tragedy because of the reversal of fortune. That and the catharsis seem to be the key elements.

Whether BtVS fits this definition depends on how you break the show down. Since it's not over, we can't look at the arc in it's entirety. If you focus on certain episodes, they clearly qualify as tragedy even though death was not central to the emotion subject to catharsis (Wild at Heart). In other cases, death was important to the emotion.

As I mentioned below in response to a post by Rahael, comedy, in classical terms ended with a wedding. It wasn't necessarily funny. Thus, Dante's Divine Comedy is not a comedy because of humor, but because of a wedding.

We can "read" the show in many ways. Classical terms work well for me, but I find great value in posts here which emphasize myth and other techniques of analysis. Each leads to different insights.

[> [> Re: Aristotle and Chaucer on Tragedy and how we read buffy. -- Cleanthes, 16:18:43 03/18/02 Mon

it's the same for an epic, it can be as short as Locke's "rape of the lock", only a couple pages, or as long as 300 pages, like Milton's "paraside lost".

Sorry, but the fusspot has taken me over. Fie on me! I can't help myself though! Anyway:

Alexander Pope wrote "The Rape of the Lock". It's more like a couple dozen pages long, too.

Here the link:

None of this is meant to contradict your point - tragedy is over when it's over. I agree.

[> Re: how we "read" Buffy -- Caroline, 11:53:05 03/17/02 Sun

Really good stuff leslie. Thanks for the eye-opener. I just hope this doesn't mean a Buffy franchise that just goes on forever a la Star Trek! (Also agree on the Jung - he's the source).

[> [> Re: how we "read" Buffy -- leslie, 17:33:38 03/17/02 Sun

I also hope that Buffy won't become an unending franchise, but I definitely anticipate that the tenor of our readings will change once it is ended.

By the way, as I recall, Aristotle did say (and I don't remember where) that however long a time the events that lead to a tragedy may take, the events of a play should take place within the span of a single day--tragedy may build over a lifetime, over generations, but when the blow falls, it comes hard and fast.

[> [> [> Don't know much about Greek tragedy... -- TRM, 18:59:18 03/17/02 Sun

... but classical tragedy I have some experience.

In terms of keeping the play realistic, a classical tragedy generally sticks with the three unities: time, place, and action.

The events of the tragedy must take place in a fairly limited expanse of time (a day is usually good), in a fairly restricted setting and should be tied into the central action (alternatively, some have stated that no action such as fighting must take place on stage).

The argument for these were primarily one based on reality. That it's unrealistic to portray the passage of year within the duration of a one hour play, or to continually change the setting when the play-goers are certainly sitting in the same place they were a while ago. We have hints at the unities, certianly in most Greek tragedies (though the pre-dating of the writing questions the intentionality of this), for example in Oedipus Rex. Some argue that Romeo and Juliet's short love affair was a result of Shakespeare's adherence to a unity of time. A much clearer and concrete example might be Racine's Phèdre or Corneille's Le Cid -- which are considered classical tragedies.

[> [> [> [> Re: Classical Tragedy -- Brian, 03:24:42 03/18/02 Mon

To be a classic tragedy:

1. the protagonist must be of noble birth.

2. What happens to the protagonist must be 50% his own fault and 50% fate.

3. The protagonist must have a tragic flaw.

4. There is a unity of time, place, and action (Greek plays start at the climax and move backward and forward. Each play focuses on one event, but there are usually 3 plays per cycle that travel over time and space. Example: Oedepus, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone.)

5. There is a catharsis in the audience (moved to pity and tears)

6. There is recognition and redemption of the protagonist.

7. Each protagonist has a strong antagonist. (for Oedipus, it is himself.)

Hope this helps.

[> Reading Buffy and Mr. Campbell -- manwitch, 08:14:42 03/18/02 Mon

I think one of Campbell's major arguments, and you can tell me if its swiped from Jung, is that myths actually serve a function, or a number of functions. So when we say something is "mythic" or that we read it as a myth, we don't mean simply that it makes reference to other myths or figures of mythology, nor that it is fantastical or unreal, but rather that it functions in certain ways.

For Campbell, there are four functions of a "properly operating mythology."

The first is the "mystical function: to waken and maintain in the individual a sense of awe and gratitude in relation to the mystery dimension of the universe, not so that he lives in fear of it, but so that he recognizes that he participates in it, since the mystery of being is the mystery of his own deep being as well.

"The second function of a living mythology is to offer an image of the universe that will be in accord with the knowledge of the time, the sciences and the fields of action of the folk to whom the mythology is addressed. In our own day, of course, the world pictures of all the major religions are at least two thousand years out of date, and in that fact alone there is ground enough for a very serious break-off.

"The third function of a living mythology is to validate, support, and imprint the norms of a given specific moral order, that namely of the society in which the individual is to live.

"And the fourth function is to guide him, stage by stage, in health, strength and harmony of spirit, through the whole foreseeable course of a useful life.
(Myths to Live By, pp221-222)

Campbell calls this fourth function the Pedagogical aspect of myth and describes it as "how to live a human life under any circumstances.

It is part of Campbell,s argument that in our current point in space and time, the third function has totally taken over, and that we are bound to a moral order that, in light of his comment on the second function, is totally out of accord with how we actually need to live. So in Campbell,s view, what we desperately need and crave is the pedagogical aspect of myth. He argues that it is present in all the myths, but that people, focusing on the scientific truth or historicity of their own myths and the creative ignorance of the myths of others fail to recognize that the myth is offering basic life instruction. It does so by way of the fact that "all of the symbols refer to you. When separated from the specificity and historicity, myths become a guide for how to live with the inevitabilities of human life.

It seems to me that, whether the argument comes from Campbell, Jung, or anybody else, Buffy does this. I am Buffy. I have been chosen to fight the powers of darkness, to behave morally in this hellacious world. Others seem to be able to cut corners or behave immorally, but I do not feel absolved of my own moral obligations. Nor does it matter if anyone knows of my moral struggle and victories, that they appreciate what I have done or the sacrifices made. It is my fate, regardless of whether or not it is appreciated. I can try and run from it, or I can die to my child-like self and come to life as a willing participant in this destiny. I will face betrayal and loss, the conflict between love and duty, but I will participate unto death itself.

I think that pretty much describes the experience of being a person. At least the existential point of view. Buffy shows us, in Campbell,s words, "how to participate decently. She shows us how we can do it, how we can maintain our humanity in our actual world that we live in. For my money, the show offers better real life instruction, appropriate to the needs of the time, than anything else on television, and better than most film and even literature.

So that,s the sense in which I would "read Buffy as myth. It,s a set of symbols that refer to me, that open up my eyes to the mystery of the world and my place in it, cloaked in images of my actual life possibilities, validating a specific moral order and giving me instruction on how to participate compassionately in the inevitabilities of life that I will face until I depart.

I,m no classicist, but that seems to transcend the tragedy/comedy structure.

I know little about mythology, and I would guess that you know much. I think you are absolutely right about the continuing struggle to form new narratives. Which we do everytime we try to interpret, not just with unfinished works. I agree with Sartre, that the spectator becomes the real artist, by viewing the finished and limited piece, and then fashioning the model in thin air.

[> [> Sartre and the Eumenides -- Sophist, 10:12:53 03/18/02 Mon

I like your quote/paraphrase from Sartre.

Classical Greek drama was intensely moral. The plays were staged publicly as part of religious festivals at Athens. They were intended to provoke public discussion about the correct basis for moral behavior. Often that meant reinforcing conventional Greek ideas of proper behavior, but there are many instances of plays clearly written to change the accepted views.

The Eumenides by Aeschylus is a clear example. The Furies were the vengeful gods who pursued wrongdoers. In his play, Aeschylus argued that they were converted into agents of justice and law. He specifically wanted to move away from attitudes of revenge towards justice under law.

By creating dialogue among the viewers in this way, Greek drama allowed the spectators (here I depart from Sartre) to construct or reconstruct the moral nature of their society.

I agree entirely with your comments about Buffy and our world today.

[> [> [> Re: Classic Tragedy Part 2 -- Brian, 10:59:34 03/18/02 Mon

Does BtVS fit the classical defintion in any way:

1. The protagonist must be of noble birth: Buffy was born to be the Slayer. It is a noble profession.

2. What happens to the protagonist must be 50% his own fault and 50% fate: Being the Slayer means fighting the monsters. Buffy's choices take her down a very hard road. She never ops for the easy way out.

3. The protagonist must have a tragic flaw: Buffy's abandonment issues might qualify. And her determination is both a strength and a weakness.

4. There is a unity of time, place, and action (Greek plays start at the climax and move backward and forward. Each play focuses on one event, but there are usually 3 plays per cycle that travel over time and space. Example: Oedepus, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone.): There is a thematic unity to each season.

5. There is a catharsis in the audience (moved to pity and tears): Without question.

6. There is recognition and redemption of the protagonist:
Each time Buffy triumphs, she learns a little more about her profession and herself. She strives to be better.

7. Each protagonist has a strong antagonist. (for Oedipus, it is himself.) Thee Master, Angelus, The Mayor, The Inititive, Glory, and in Season 6, herself.

[> [> [> [> Very good. -- Sophist, 13:40:20 03/18/02 Mon

[> "C'est une entreprise d'amour, la cruauté... je veux dire la Tragédie" -- Etrangere, 11:59:45 03/18/02 Mon

Which, roughly translated mean "it is a work of love, cruaulty... I mean, Tragedy."
That's from Electre by Gireaudoux, a play which has no link whatsoever with Buffy, except the concept of the "Becoming" of the characters, except a moral dilemna over Pragmatism vs. Idealism (where in reverse to the Gift, it's pragmatism that meant saving innocent lives) and those lines that describe so well the end of S5 :

"Comment cela s'appelle-t-il, quand le jour se lève comme aujourd'hui, et que tout est gaché, que tout est saccagé, et que l'air pourtant se respire, et qu'on a tout perdu, et que la ville brule, et que les innocents s'entre-tuent, mais que les coupables agonisent dans un coin du jour qui se lève ?
"Demande au mendiant. Il le sait.
"Cela a un très beau nom, Femme Narsès, cela s'appelle l'aurore."

which, again very roughly translated, means :

"How is it called, when the day is breaking, like today, and when everything is spoiled, and when everything is ravaged, and yet the air can be breathed, and when everything has been lost, when the city is burning, when the innocent are killing eachothers, but the guilties are dying in a corner of the day that is breaking ?
"Ask the beggar. He knows it.
"It has a very beautiful name, woman Narses. It is called dawn."

[> [> Re: Ah, Warming my mind on thoughts of Gireaudoux. Thanks! -- Brian, 14:09:55 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> Next time I'll compare Ondine to Anya ;) -- Ete, 14:37:06 03/18/02 Mon

Meant to bring this up earlier(Spoilers S5, NPLH) -- Vegeta, 15:51:11 03/16/02 Sat

I meant to bring this up when I watched the episode "No Place Like Home" on FX a couple of weeks ago. Remember Buffy casts the 'A Tirer la Courture' (pull the curtain back)spell to see if her mother's sickness is magical and discovers that Dawn isn't real. During the sequence they pan past the front door and there isn't any trace of the spell Tara and Willow casted to keep Harmony out of her house a couple of episodes earlier. I mention the front door because there is a scene where they're actually casting on the door itself and talking to Joyce.
So, why isn't there a spell signature?
Is it because a home is naturally protected from vampires, so casting the spell returned to it's normal state? Was it an oversite by ME? Just was wondering if I was the only one who noticed...

[> Re: Meant to bring this up earlier(Spoilers S5, NPLH) -- Forsaken, 17:37:48 03/16/02 Sat

I think it's because the "pull back the curtain" was meant mostly to see the effects of a spell in order to track the caster. If Harmony had attempted to walk through the door at that moment, maybe Buffy would have been able to see the invisible barrier that keeps vamps out.

[> [> Re: Meant to bring this up earlier(Spoilers S5, NPLH) -- Vegeta, 18:02:20 03/16/02 Sat

The spell, from my understanding, is only meant to reveal that a spell has been cast upon a thing(ie Dawn) or person. I don't think it is meant to reveal who cast it. Otherwise, Buffy would have known that the monks created Dawn before the monk told her. Since she didn't find out about the monks til the end of NPLH.

What if?-A rerun induced speculation for AtS & BtVS -- Calluna, 16:24:13 03/16/02 Sat

Maybe someone's already thought of this but....
For next season and beyond:
Holtz takes Conner to the hell dimension (how many of these places are there anyway????)and assuming that time works in a different way there, brings Conner back as, say, a 16 year old. So Holtz takes a wrong turn in the HD on his way back to LA, and they end up in Sunnydale. Where, Conner being a typical teen, takes a runner, shows up at the Bronze (teen hangout radar not being affected by the time in the HD) and meets a nice girl. She's there with her sister and her friends, who all think he's a nice, but somewhat broody guy with a penchant for wearing black. All make nice, until they encounter some vamps on the way out. Much fighting ensues and dear old "Dad", Holtz, shows up to join in. Dawn and Conner feel an immediate connection, what with both "not meant to be born" and all. Mystically they are meant to be together, but their families have to get over a number of problems. Like, Conner being Angel and Darla's son. Holtz's vendetta against Angel. Conner's problems with Angel. Buffy's unwillingness to meet with Angel. Angel's thing for Cordy. Ditto with Buffy and Spike. The two shows being on seperate networks. Just few minor hurdles.
It would be an interesting idea. They're halfway there anyway. Maybe I'll become the first Dawn and Conner 'shipper.

[> Re: What if?-A rerun induced speculation for AtS & BtVS -- O'Cailleagh, 16:32:19 03/16/02 Sat

I like it! I must admit, I had been thinking along similar lines myself at one point......and didn't I hear that the two shows were going to be on the same network again?
Just think, the Dhampir raised by the Vampire Hunter, the Key, sister of the Vampire Slayer...together fighting the forces of evil as the survivors of the coming apocalypse...raising their only son, Sajihan!

Milla vs Buffy. Resident Evil the Movie -- neaux, 17:36:41 03/16/02 Sat

I really dont have much of a parallel other than they both kick ass. Milla Jovovich and Buffy would be a good fight though.

So, has anyone else seen Resident Evil the movie? Thoughts?

I saw Resident Evil last night. I say its a must see for horror fans. I Havent see a zombie movie in a long time, so it fed my hunger. Lots of cool deaths and LOUD enough to make you jump out of your chair about 3 or 4 times. The cinematography was kickass too. Very cool camera work.

Here is a very very very general Q&A about the movie.

Bloody? Sort of.

Nudity? yes

CGI? Good and Bad. The monster could have been rendered better but good concept.

Ending? OFF the CHAIN! Very Very Bizarre. Makes sense if you've played the video games.

Do you need to play the video games to enjoy it? NO!

[> Re: Milla vs Buffy. Resident Evil the Movie -- O'Cailleagh, 17:39:07 03/16/02 Sat

I can't wait for it to hit our shores.....I loved the games!

[> [> Re: Milla vs Buffy. Resident Evil the Movie -- mama-san, 17:57:57 03/16/02 Sat

I haven't played the game or seen the movie, but I keep thinking it sounds like a local newspaper Spike's printing up in his revamped (sorry) subcrypt:

The Sunnydale Resident Evil
Your Guide to Unlife on the Hellmouth

This Week, Beginning an Ongoing Series:
How Not to Be Staked

Part One: Avoiding BtVS Sets and Locations


[> Re: Milla vs Buffy. Resident Evil the Movie -- Andy, 19:37:34 03/16/02 Sat

> I really dont have much of a parallel other than they both kick ass. Milla Jovovich and Buffy would be a good fight though.

Eh. Nothing against Jovovich, but everytime she switched into ultimate superchick mode I had to suppress laughter. I guess I didn't think it fit the nature of the story they were telling.

> So, has anyone else seen Resident Evil the movie? Thoughts?

I went to see it just because I like zombies but I can't say I liked it at all. It just didn't have what I was looking for in a zombie movie, and I hated the amount of cheap shock moments they used.

I liked the dogs, though :)


[> [> Saw it. Liked it. Fell in love with Milla. -- Traveler, 20:14:55 03/16/02 Sat

From the previews, I went to RE expecting it to be an action flick with horror thrown in. In fact, it was more of a horror movie with action thrown in. I thought Milla did a great job with her action stunts, and she was as believable as Arnold ever is. As for cheap shock moments--it's a horror flick for crying out loud! Of course there are cheap shock moments. However, I thought they were really well done, far better than Event Horizon or What Lies Beneath (for example). I took a friend with me who absolutely hated Mortal Combat, so she was afraid she wouldn't like this movie either. Afterwards, she pronounced it, "much better" than she was expecting.

[> [> Contemporary Horror and Cheap Scares -- AngelVSAngelus, 11:39:30 03/17/02 Sun

I'm in total agreement, dude. It should be noted here that the opinion I'm about to express is, of course, completely subjective. Not stepping on any toes or opinions, just expressing mine.
That disclaimer having been given, I really, REALLY get annoyed by cheap, "loud scares" that make no sense. A creature the group thinks is dead opening its eyes to the sound, inexplicable of course, of a huge metal grate slamming, combined with the grating, and dialogue-obscuring loud score, eloquently (tchha...) provided by one Marilyn Manson. It just bugs me, and doesn't really work very well at all for me (I didn't jump once. I like to be scared by creepiness, not annoyed to death by noise.)
Combine that with Paul Anderson's tendency to replace exposition and plot with name dropping from his list of prerequisite videogame references he's got to inject into each scene to appease the fans, and you've got 2% of why I loathed it when I saw it. Oh yeah, and the fact that NO ONE in the movie had any character. Oh, and the fact that about 50% of it had nothing to do with the game. If it was written better, I would've forgiven that.
But hey, *shrug*, that's just me. Wasn't my bag.

[> Re: Milla vs Buffy. Resident Evil the Movie -- vandalia, 10:55:07 03/17/02 Sun

Much better than I expected would have to sum it up too. I will admit I am a total girl when it comes to horror movies; I don't generally like them as my overactive imagination gets the better of me. (To give an example, the scene in every commercial for this movie for the past month, in which the woman floating in the water suddenly opens her eyes? I knew it was coming, I knew it was that particular scene, and I still screamed loud enough to make the people sitting in front of us turn around and give me a 'you must be stupid' look). A million years ago, I'm the monkey you would have wanted on watch in the middle of the night, cuz I'll scream at any cheap thrill horror movie scene, no matter how foreseeable.

Anyway, back to the movie. I have played the games, and the shout-outs (the house was set up to look JUST LIKE the video game, which I really appreciated. Down to the lightswitches! The dogs were great, too) and the Red Queen was really really creepy (what is it about evil little blond girls...) The whole mood was well-kept, there were a few surprises, and the ending was _great_. I really loved it, its just how RE2 starts :)

How does Milla Jovovich stack up to Buffy? She doesn't. Hands down, SMG has more acting ability in her toenail clippings than Milla J. does on her best day. I'm sorry, I know she's very pretty, but she. Can't. Act. (see 'Night Train to Katmandu' for an example of her early work, where she single- handedly sinks what could have been a very charming movie with her horrible, horrible acting). The only reason she was good in Fifth Element is because she had no lines. She was acceptable here, but I agree with the giggling at her action scenes line that someone posted above; I just didn't buy it. I wasn't the only one to judge from the giggles in the audience I saw it with, either.

Anyway, good enough if you let the zombies have your brain at the door and go with the ride. Very fun if you've played the games.

[> My take on RE vs BtVS redux -- Traveler, 12:52:51 03/17/02 Sun

I really like this movie and was suprised to discover that there are a fair number of people who didn't like it. Since then, I have been polling everybody I meet who has seen it. So far, people's opinions are almost exactly split. In other words, most people either love it or hate it. The people who didn't like it, were turned off for one main reason; they couldn't suspend their disbelief and get into the mood of the movie. On this board, people have mentioned Milla's acting, actions scenes, or "cheap" scare tactics.

Quite frankly, I'm amazed that so many people didn't like Milla in this movie. Personally, I found her at least as believable as Angelina Jolie, Arnold Swartzenegger, or Bruce Willis. I'm probably going to get lynched for saying this, but the action sequences were far better than most of what we see on BtVS. Milla did a much better job of convincing me that she is a badass than SMG (and her stunt doubles) ever has. If you really want, I can list examples from specific fights in the movie and BtVS to support my argument.

This segues nicely into my next argument. It seems like many people went to this movie expecting a pure horror story, like "The Shining" or "What lies beneath." However RE is not pure horror and never was. It would be best described as a sci-fi action horror flick; all three elements are equally important. So to be accurate, RE should be compared to similar movies, such as "Event Horizon" or "Aliens." In my opinion, it compares quite favorably to most of these movies. Also, I appreciate the touches of realism that are often absent from these types of films. Likeable characters die. People run out of ammo. And the explanation for how the zombies came into being and why they act as they do is the most believable I have ever seen (then again, note that people who have a strong medical background would probably laugh at it). Furthermore, for all the "cheap scares" that people complained about, I thought there were a fair number of genuine suprises, both pleasant and not so pleasant.

But, many people were able to supsend their disbelief and thus had a much more enjoyable experience. So, for those of you who haven't seen it yet but are interested, I recommend you give it a chance. You just might be pleasantly suprised.

[> [> Good Points!! What makes a good Horror Movie -- neaux, 15:10:53 03/17/02 Sun

I must say I agree with you Traveler. I also think some movie goers do not GET what makes a horror movie. These people like going to movies, but are not really horror fans.

For the most part, horror movies are bad. Horror Fans know this. They know B-rated trash. But they also LOVE B-rated trash. And for that reason, Horror Fans look for the GOOD in the BAD.

Usually, the GOOD consists of the following things:
The GOOD also consists of 2 parts. THE GOOD in the movie.. and THE GOOD of the THEATER.

Lets start with the GOOD Elements in a HORROR MOVIE

1. Gratuitous Deaths.

2. Cool Monsters.

3. Nudity.

4. Unique Deaths.

5. Camera Work.

6. Humor

1. A Packed Theater. (If a horror movie is packed, The audience can easily make any bad horror movie good)

2. CHEAP SCARES (very important for #3)

3. Scaring 15 Year old GIrls (if the younger crowds are scared.. their screams usually scare you more than the movie)

4. The Big DUDE in the Back of the Theater TAlking BAck at the Screen (He often provides Humerous remarks.. or even goes as far as using profanity to Save a Horror Movie's Victim) For example: Oh SH*T! That Mutha F$#@ Dont Go in There!! Your ASS is going to Die!

For these reasons, if you GET horror movies, then you know how important these elements are. When I saw resident evil, It was in a packed theater, full of underage kids and talking back at the screen. Great Deaths and decent monsters. For these reasons, it made the Movie very very enjoyable.

another legitimate reason why I like the movie is that I loved the ending. The ending was just soooo cool, I hadnt seen an ending that good since Deep Rising.

[> [> [> Another addition to the atmosphere -- Traveler, 19:16:04 03/17/02 Sun

It also helps you to appreciate a horror movie when you are there with a girl and she keeps squealing and grabbing your arm during each "cheap scare" moment.

[> "I hear it's like watching a video with a bunch of strangers and a sticky floor..." -- DaveW, 23:07:56 03/17/02 Sun

... or whatever the exact Xanderism was. Personally, I dug RE. Maybe it was the low expectations set up by various reviewer's slams (Ebert gave it one star after giving the markedly inferior Ghosts of Mars three[?!]) or the fact that I caught the bargain matinee, but I liked it.
Criticizing Milla's acting here is a low blow; I've read stories off the back of cereal boxes that had more depth. She looked perfect for the part (besides just looking perfect in general) whether wielding an axe or pumping a shotgun, and she didn't really have anyone or anything else to play off of. It's an action/horror/sci-fi movie; if you went expecting Hamlet, I think (in a non-judgmental way) that's your own damn fault.
Everybody keeps saying the sound was really loud; either I'm going deaf or my local theater has a crap sound system. I thought the music was pretty good if a little overwhelming at times. What can I say? If they brought Milla back, I'd watch a sequel. May even go see this one again. And Blade II next weekend; life is good for the action/horror/sci-fi fan with indiscriminate taste...
Bringing it all back to Aha! Would the Slayer's innate healing ability have protected her from the (possible spoiler) T-virus?

Through a Slayer Darkly (spoilers for Philip K. Dick novels and life) -- matching mole, 20:41:51 03/16/02 Sat

My week of frustration is finally over. I was able to resist temptation for five days and not read a single spoilery post of the uncounted hundreds that have been posted since Tuesday evening. Two hours ago I finished watching Normal Again. It was pretty cool. I have a lot to do tomorrow before I leave town so I'll be brief tonight.

First a word of sympathy to Wisewoman about her cat. I know what you're going through. My wife and I went through the same thing about a month ago.

In a couple of posts Rahael alluded to the work of Philip K. Dick. Dick's work popped into my head almost at the beginning of the show. And his influence on me, having read the majority of his fiction, effects my interpretation of NA which is similarly to views posited below by OnM and the other mm, and possibly others (haven't read all the posts).

A few weeks ago I wrote a post analyzing OaFA in the context of JG Ballard's Empire of the Sun. Ballard is a big fan of William Burroughs whom Ballard believes is one of the few authors to present the truth rather than artifice in their fiction. Ballard aspires to the same. But what can he mean by that? Burroughs' fiction is filled with explicit homoerotocism and drug addiction, violence and moral and physical corruption. Ballard writes of the erotic potential of car accidents and the psychological fullfilment to be found in the destruction of western civilization. Ballard's response is that the only truth, the only honesty that it is possible to express is what is inside of you. The power of Ballard and Burroughs (although I will confess that I've never made it more than 50 pages into a Burroughs' novel) is in their ability to show you their unique perceptions of reality.

I am a scientist, and as such, I have a vested interest in an objective reality. But our ability to experience reality is purely perceptual. Does it really matter if Sunnydale or the asylum are real or if both are? If Buffy perceives where she is as real then in some sense, it is, even if it is not objectively real. Philip K. Dick made the perceptual nature of reality a cornerstone of much of his fiction. Parallel worlds, drug induced hallucinations, mental illness, and divine intervention all function in his works to show us that the world may not be what we think it is, in fact it almost certainly isn't. What we think of as reality is in fact only what we are seeing.

A couple of examples from Dick's work stand out as particularly closely related to events in Normal Again. In the novel 'Through a Scanner Darkly' the main character is an undercover narcotics agent who is taking a drug that is destroying his mind. He is trying to track down a drug dealer but is unable to realize because of the effects of the drug that the dealer is himself. In the first of his 'religious' novels 'Valis' two characters (one of whom is the narrator) are suddenly revealed to be separate personalities of a mentally ill person who is cured by divine intervention.
The first part of the book is actually more believable as the second deals with the intervention of god in the affairs of humanity. We replace a sick person who thinks he is two people with a sane one but introduce god on earth. Which is real?

This is parallel to Dick's own life. Dick wrote incredibly prolifically in the 1960s publishing up to half a dozen novels a year at his peak. Attempting to maintain this grueling pace (for financial reasons) he developed a serious drug habitat and his personal and professional lives more or less collapsed (he was actually homeless briefly). At some point in the early to mid 70s he claimed that some supernatural force spoke to him. Over several months it gave him explicit instructions on what to do to regain control over his life. Which he did and went on to publish several more brilliant novels, including the two I've mentioned, before his death.

I read an interview with Dick that was done in the late 70s in which he describes his divine visitations. The interviewer states in the text that he (the interviewer) doesn't really know what to make of this. Dick appears completely rational and calm. Dick clearly questions the reality of his experience but can find no other explanation for it (especially as it worked) other than some sort of divine intervention in his life. The important thing is that he perceived it as being real so it was.

Now of course perception can only go so far. I might believe that I can fly but if I jump off a cliff I'm likely to be disappointed. But I think that the point of this episode is not which world is real but which one Buffy chooses. If Dick had ignored the voices in his head he probably would have died several years before he actually did and never have written some of his best work.

[> Oh and maybe a vague spoiler for Normal Again -- matching mole, 20:51:14 03/16/02 Sat

[> O/T: Thanks, mole. -- WW, 09:10:16 03/17/02 Sun

The really difficult part is that she's trying so hard to hang in, and she doesn't appear to be in pain, so my husband is holding out hope that she'll get better. I fear's her time to go. Anyway, we've moved into palliative care mode now and it's just a matter of time. It is exhausting, though. I feel as if I've been grieving for a week and she's still with us! This is the point at which I promise myself that we'll never have another cat. That's a promise I've broken twice so far. This place just isn't home without one.


Texas Loves The Black Man *(spoilers for AtS "Sleep Tight")* -- JBone, 21:04:44 03/16/02 Sat

I apologize for bringing this up so late, but after the show initially aired, there was the X/A wedding episode right away, and I've been hopelessly behind ever since. I expect to get caught up with the rest of you in a couple of weeks.

Wesley gets such a meatier part in this episode than Giles rarely ever got in BtVS. But you can say that about the part of Wesley ever since he joined the cast of Angel. In fact, I'd argue that the part of Wesley has been one of the three most fascinating this year on either show. I kind of took part in a thread like this after the show aired, and I believe I was pretty kind to Mr. Alexis Denisof by ranking him second to Sarah Michelle Gellar for the jobs that they had done to this point in their respective seasons. Anyway, I mean to talk more about ST.

I love the references to the Rat Pack. Let's see, Angel is Frank, he's the boss, the rest of the gang listens to him no matter what he says. Gunn is Dino, he's the lover that never lets Frank get under his skin, and Sammy is jealous of. Wes is Sammy, the short, one-eyed Jew, that everyone thinks is undeserving of whatever status that he has earned. Lorne is Peter Lawford (am I right on the name?), who has all the connections that Frank wants and needs. I could use a little help for the rest. But I will say that Groo is Elvis, who Frank hates. I'm really open to hear what someone else thinks this could mean, I'm just hoping to get some dialogue started.

I have to go back to Wes since Cordy's gone. But this may be the point, that Cordy is missing. Anyway, Wes is so freaking out there on the edge, David Boreanaz has to work his ass off to try to match his on-screen stress. And the ungodly creepy moment when Wes is humming a lullaby to Connor, and Lorne reads him. Geez, how "The Shining" can you get.

As for what happens after Wes gets his throat cut, I think that Wes is dead. Holtz and Connor will never be heard from again. Wolfram and Hart will quit bothering Angel. And Angel lightens up. Basically, whatever is the opposite of what I've written is what I really believe will happen.

The thing that rubs me raw is how Holtz uses Connor's prophecy against Wesley. Especially after we see Angel "devour" Connor by drinking his blood spiked into the pigs blood. All this is nasty business. Nastiest is promising to watch someone's kid only to have an ulterior motive.

Have a good summer.
Oh, and have a Happy St Patrick's Day!

[> That makes Cordy...Shirley MacLaine! ;o) -- WW, 08:52:27 03/17/02 Sun

And the top o' the mornin' to you, too, JB!

[> [> Re: That makes Cordy...Shirley MacLaine! ;o) -- matching mole, 08:55:53 03/17/02 Sun

I actually thought of Fred as Shirley MacLaine and Cordelia as Angie Dickinson. But I'm pretty much a Rat Pack ignoramus.

[> [> [> Nope...I forgot Fred. I'll go with your choices. -- dubdub, 09:11:35 03/17/02 Sun

Where is our fearless SWE1:TPM spokesperson? And really not as OT as you might think... -- Solitude1056, 23:02:57 03/16/02 Sat

So this afternoon, at the end of my so-called "spring break" during which I did nothing but run three errands and bloody well study nonstop the rest of the time (except for a lot more naps than usual, but hey, I earned it)... I decided to buckle down and finally see that Episode I Phantom Menace whatever it is.

Well. Hm. Joss really does have me spoiled. I mean, I think four years ago I wouldn't have even noticed when three different characters - at completely different points in the story - all used "yippee" as expressions of excitement. Uh. Hunh. Guess there used to be only one form of exclamation in a galaxy far, far away.

And for the record, Jar Jar Binks was the only character I liked. (With mandatory exceptions for C3PO and R2D2, natch.) Hell, everyone else was strutting around in fabulous costumes or had nifty moves and was so in charge of whatever they were doing - not to mention the whole "hey, look at me, I'm in a Very Important Movie" - very important since SW is hardly just a semi-low budget cult film now. Loooong way since the first one filmed, where 99% of the cast were total unknowns, the storyline was literally out of this world but still universally ancient, and the sound effects came from two guys beating on stuff with a screwdriver while a third held a tape recorder. Ok, so color me nostalgic. But the whole seriousness of the endeavor was just off-putting at times. Boy, sort of like what's gotten under my skin at points - and not in a good way - about BtVS season 6, too. So very serious, so very aware on some unconcious level that this is An Important Film, or Episode, or whatever. I suppose JJB was relatively immune to this since, well, computer-generated, hardly going to develop that selfconsciousness.

Okay, so I cringed at a number of the rastafarian-induced lingo for the JJB family, and longed for the days that the dialect was either just regular american or some mixedup run-through-a-system- backwards nonsense. I don't recall Yoda being that green, and sure, I was bored by the fact that the movie focused on "hey, this is an action series" and I knew there was more going on to that political stuff than we got to see. But then, I've been spoiled by Joss - there is a way, y'know, with a good writer (or less self-impressed actors), to let the audience know that there's undercurrents without beating us over the head with the music (or dramatic looks) or giving up & just glossing it over, rationalizing that we wouldn't understand and wouldn't care if we did. Intrigue! Where's the damn intrigue? Blah.

But getting back to that most hated of SW characters, the aforementioned Mr. Binks... Dunno why I liked him - maybe for the same reason I like Xander so much, even when he's being an utterly blind or bigoted fool like these past few episodes. He's me. JJB fell over stuff, screamed in terror, was confused by the furtive plans and fancy ideas, didn't know which end was up sometimes, got in people's way, and generally played the whole fool routine. Same way Xander does - I recall the opening scene in The Zeppo:

As it starts to move and Xander laboriously pulls himself out of it.

I'm good. We're fine over here. Little bit dirty.
(dusts himself off)
Good show, everyone. Just great. I think we have a hit.

Are you okay?

Tip top. Really. If anyone sees my spine
lying around, just try not to step on it.

Xander, one of these days you're
gonna get yourself hurt.

Or killed.

Or both. You know, with pain and then
the death. You shouldn't be leaping into
the fray like that. You should be fray-adjacent.

Excuse me: who, at the crucial moment,
distracted the lead demon by allowing
her to pummel him about the head?

Yeah, that was pretty manly the way
you shrieked and all.

I think you'll find that was more
of a bellow.

Hell, if I were to turn the corner some evening and find myself face to face with any of the demons featured on BtVS, it'd take a nervier person than me to not shriek as my head was getting bashed in. In other words, I can relate to Xander, the same way I could relate to JJB being klutzy enough to drop the screwdriver, get zapped by the energy stream, and then get his hand stuck. Oh, yeah, that's the falliable foolish human, right over there, who's somehow taken a sidetrip onto the wrong movie lot and ended up surrounded by heroes in cool costumes who know all the moves and hold all the cards.

Or maybe the reason a lot of folks don't like Xander is the same reason they didn't like JJB - in a movie where everyone's a hero, it's kinda uncomfortable to watch someone making all the mistakes we suspect we'd be making if we were in there with those heroes. And we'd want to see ourselves as the fancy Jedi Knight or gorgeously impressive Queen, or the fiery witch or the chicken-suave vampire... chipped or souled, it all adds up to a black coat and leather pants and lookin' good. (Another reason I prefer DB when he's playing Goofy!Angel... I can relate better to that than when he's doing the whole Broody!Angel and never trips or drops anything or gets confused.) Either way, what is it about the stories with larger-than-life heroes that prompts such disgust in the audience when a small-as-life-sized wise-fool character is tossed into the middle of the plot?

Okay, so I seem to recall that this got discussed to some extent back when TPM came out in theaters, but given the reactions to Xander's oh-so-human stupidity (and ensuing frustration with himself and the demon-standin, Spike, afterwards) I was wondering if that's what it boils down to... especially now that I've finally seen TPM and am trying to figure out all the animosity towards this single character in TPM. So perhaps it's time to ask how or what (if any) wise-fool lessons there remain to learn from Xander.

Other than the most basic obvious one: don't dump a girl who used to be a vengeance demon! File that one under "duh."

[> Uh-oh... I sense a storm a-brewin'... -- OnM, 07:21:39 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> Re: Yep, best to lay low for this one...NT :) -- curious, 12:37:08 03/17/02 Sun

[> ROFL! You go, Sol!! ;o) -- dubdub, 08:48:32 03/17/02 Sun

[> Re: Actually, mesa kinda liked it ... -- Dedalus, 09:55:35 03/17/02 Sun

Compared to the Great TPM Gusher/Basher War of '99 that went down in the Jedi Council Forums, that wasn't bad at all. I'm not use to reading coherent criticisms of TPM. It's usually just "Lucasrapedmychildhoodand miseledusandJarJarisworthlesstupidIhateallofyoumylifeisoverLucasisahack" kind of thing. And they're usually posted by guys named LucaSux and JarJarStinks.

Sigh. I like the Jar Jar/Xander parallel. I never thought of it. Someone once said that Han Solo is the character we all wish we were, when in reality Jar Jar is the character we probably are. There was a good Jungian review of TPM that I once posted a link here to, where Jar Jar is identified as the "other," when in fact he is just the clumsy, bumbling part of ourselves.

As for the charge of everyone being so self-aware and stiff, well ... duh. This is a "more civilized age." We're not seeing through the eyes of spice pirates and wide eyed farmboys, we're seeing through the eyes of politicians and royalty and basically samurai. The Jedi were raised like that, to largely shun emotion. Which is of course, much of the problem we will see in AOTC. It was intentional. No doubt there. As Natalie Portman said, they used lack of expression as a means of expression. Not unlike acting negative space. This just really sets the stage for the emotional whirlwind that is Episode Two.

BTW, Qui-Gon is still my favorite Jedi. There's always a bigger fish.

[> [> Hm. Setting up the chess board may be a prologue but it doesn't make for good watching. -- Solitude1056, 10:19:08 03/17/02 Sun

[> Mesa nota thinks so -- vampire hunter D, 12:55:30 03/17/02 Sun

Mesa thinkings the reason wesa all hating Jar JAr isa that Jar Jar is annoying.

Jenoff's review of "Normal Again" -- Rufus, 23:09:01 03/16/02 Sat


[> Attn: Masq-- Lots of *very* quotable stuff in this one. Also, a question for discussion... -- OnM, 07:47:06 03/17/02 Sun

... if it hasn't been brought up already. If it has, please point me to the thread, there has been so much stuff posted in the last week I haven't had time to get to all of it.

In his 'parting shots' section, Jenoff asks the same question that has also puzzled me:

*** Some quick final thoughts. Why does the demon, after knocking Buffy out, leave her? Why doesn't it kill her? ***

OK, yeah, why? Any ideas? Did it just expect it's poison to to the job, and so it left after 'poking' Buffy?

[> [> My reasoning for why the demon didn't kill Buffy-- -- Rob, 08:46:41 03/17/02 Sun

--was that the demon's purpose wasn't to kill, but to inject the hallucinogen. Had he gotten to the other Scoobies in the basement, I assumed that he would have injected each of them similarly, not killed them, leaving them all in their own mad hallucinations.


[> [> [> Makes sense. -- VampRiley, 09:25:36 03/17/02 Sun

This is pure speculation on my part since I'm only 7 hours and 41 minutes away from seeing if the wildfeed is any good or better than the videoed (is that a word?) ep.

Maybe that demon is like the Hansel and Gretal demon from Gingerbread. He doesn't want to kill humans directly, but wants to see the chaos and evil nasties that will occur after they have done their job (injecting people with the drug). He might have enjoyed watching them go crazy or revel in the joy of making people crazy.

After watching it tonight, if I come up with anything else, I'll post.


[> [> [> [> Re: Makes sense. -- DEN, 11:35:47 03/17/02 Sun

Also, the troika is about illusion and distortion--"now you see it, now you don't, and what you see ain't real" has been their consistent theme.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Makes sense. -- JM, 14:19:00 03/17/02 Sun

Also the demon may not have been particularly agressive, just instinctive and sub-intellegent. It may very well have felt threatened and engaged in it's one mode of serious defense. An effective one that disorients the threat, allowing it to disappear. It's initial attack on Buffy could have been the effect of the summoning Andrew used. It felt threatened again when Spike and Xander stumbled upon it. In the basement it recognized some antagonists and was probably ignorant of the mode of egress. And it had lost it's bite.

Like a rattlesnake perhaps it doesn't actively hunt humans, but everyone's the better when an encounter is avoided. Also isn't anti-venom based on snake venom, I can't remember.

Buffy in Overseas -- Eric, 00:43:59 03/17/02 Sun

I'm sure its well known that Buffy is overseas. But after watching the season 1 DVD in french (its a hoot), I couldn't help myself and surfed there. I found the following odd facts: The same voice actors that do Joey and Rachel in "Friends" do Xander and Drusilla. The voice actress that does Buffy does Lois in "Lois and Clark". Kendra's voice actress does Pheobe from "Charmed". Here are some link pages to French sites and one German fan site.

Your not going to find anything very new (pics, critiques, etc.) except for Buffy fanfic as it should be written - in French.:)

[> Spike=Piccolo in german! -- grifter, 03:16:01 03/17/02 Sun

How cool is that? The voice of Spike is also the voice of Dragonball Z´s Piccolo! He really has the bad- guy-voice down! He´s the only voice I really like in BtvS´ german version...

Living Inside Buffy's Brain -- Valkyrie, 06:52:13 03/17/02 Sun

The many thought provoking and revelatory observations of "Normal Again" have been fascinating! Thank you all! While I enjoy reading other's views, I find myself compelled to seek my own perhaps simplistic solu tion. I started with the fact that Buffy Summers was about 15 years old when she supposedly entered the asylum and descended into a catatonic state. I asked myself, would it be possible for a young girl to imagine the world we've been viewing for the last 6 years? I don't think so. If everything we have seen emerged from Buffy's psyche, we would have to accept that this ordinary teenage girl speaks Latin and other languages, has a broad knowledge of literature and world history, is familiar with Bernini and Dadaism, possesses an understanding of religion, philosophy and psychology. She also demonstrates a wide and sometimes sophisticated knowledge of films and popular culture. I could cite dozens of examples--it's what this board delights in every week. At the end I always return to the fact that no child of that age, no matter how bright, would have enough life experience to imagine the world of Sunnydale. It is simply too complex, too full of erudite detail and too multi-layered to be the creation of an immature and sheltered schoolgirl mind.

[> Short and sweet ... :-) -- OnM, 07:50:25 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> Re: Heya OnM.....long time no "see".... -- curious, 12:10:52 03/17/02 Sun

I started lurking around the last week to see people's reactions to this ep, and all I can say is, "My God":) Looking forward to reading your review:)

And to think that practically every tv critic seriously dissed this episode???

[> [> [> Re: Heya curious-- good to be seen, right? -- OnM, 14:29:58 03/17/02 Sun

It might be a while until I get the full review out, but there's more than enough other good stuff on the board from many, many posters to catch up on from this past week-- we've been especially prolific here recently. Also be sure to check on jenoff's review of Normal Again (see Rufus' thread for the link), he loved it muchly.

Glad for the de-lurkage. Tell us where you've been!


[> Convincing. 'Nuff said. -- Wisewoman, 08:54:38 03/17/02 Sun

[> Willow as Buffy -- Darby, 09:30:33 03/17/02 Sun

This is assuming the Buffy of the fantasy is like the girl havng the fantasy, but maybe she was more the child geek prodigy, immersed in cultural minutiae and already withdrawn from the world (the potential Joss of her universe, as I've suggested elsewhere). Maybe it was that Buffy who got the great SAT scores, because we weren't shown a fantasy Buffy who could do that...

And how come up to now we've accepted such obscure references in the individual teen characters, but now not collectively in a single girl?

[> [> Yes, but... -- Valkyrie, 10:12:59 03/17/02 Sun

I understand what you are saying, but I have an easier time believing that the various characters have their areas of knowledge and experience than that all of that information is wrapped up in one 15 year old brain---even a prodigy or a geek or whatever you want to call her. There's also a level of maturity and sophistication in many of the ideas expressed, that simply don't work for me as being the product of a 15 year old imagination. Thanks for your comments.

[> Up to the minute fads and fashion changes also appear in the delusion. -- bookworm, 10:56:46 03/17/02 Sun

Now how would a girl who's been confined to an institution for six years know about changes in music, movies, dances, computer technology and fashion? Willow's got an up to the minute laptop. Xander and Anya dance to music from the 1940s, a style that wasn't in vogue in 1996. If Buffy's been catatonic for 6 years, she's not partaking of any of the movie nights or magazines that might be available at the institution, and her education is probably no more than sophomore level. Buffy's bright, but she doesn't apply herself. She was a popular, Cordeliaesque teenager who spent most of her time at the mall. She's not an intellectual. She didn't spend her first 15 years reading fantasy and science fiction, much less Shakespeare and Latin! No 15-year-old could have invented this sophisticated a world.

[> [> Re: Up to the minute fads and fashion changes also appear in the delusion. -- TRM, 11:42:43 03/17/02 Sun

... though you are making the assumption that if asylumverse were real that it would be our universe. However, what if asylumverse is not our universe. Then Hamlet might be as real as the Codex, Latin might be as real as some demon language, the music from the 1940s as relevant as the ages when demons walked the earth.

[> [> [> And maybe their sky is green and Robert Downey Jr. is president. -- bookworm, 12:14:59 03/17/02 Sun

Sure, there could be endless variations in the asylum universe, but I doubt it's likely. Even if different things are popular there, they CHANGE from year to year and the characters grow emotionally from year to year. They mention popular movies that are also popular in our world; they mention the Internet. Willow and Giles and Xander all have their moments without Buffy in them. They all have knowledge Buffy doesn't possess. Is she supposed to be all of those people, with their skills and talents? There's a sophistication in the stories of the past six years that doesn't ring true if it's coming from an adolescent's mind, much less a mind that would be as disjointed as a schizophrenic's would be. Even assuming that asylum Buffy was a genius, a kid who read lots of sci fi and fantasy and played with computers and invented popular, pretty, all-powerful Buffy because she was who she wanted to be, it doesn't ring true. Emotionally, the storyteller is much older and richer in experience than an adolescent schizophrenic.

[> not necessarily -- yez, 12:00:13 03/17/02 Sun

I used to have these dreams after cramming for tests where people would be whispering to me the test questions and all the answers, and the dreams were great, everything made sense, it felt an epiphany... until I realized that it was all gibberish, I really couldn't understand any of it.

IMHO, the accuracy of Latin, complex demonology, philosophy, fashion trends and the like don't really disprove that BtVS is a chronicle of Buffy's delusions. Buffy's delusions would seem real to Buffy, and because we're supposed to also be immersed in them, they would be conveyed to us in ways that make them seem real to us, too -- by using elements of our reality, just enough so that we also accept all the fantastical aspects.


[> Re: And also -- curious, 12:29:48 03/17/02 Sun

While I,m inclined to agree with you on a conscious level, we can,t presume to know what its like to have schizophrenic delusions, or that the delusions are manifestations comprised entirely of conscious knowledge of that patient. As schizophrenia enters into that vast and unknowable world of the unconscious, I,d say anything is possible. If we,re to give any credence to Jungian psychology, (and personally, I do), Buffy could be tapping into both the "inherited biology of the collective unconscious as well as the "personal biography of her own experience.

But having said that, I truly don,t want the asylumverse to be the primary verse,. And as already stated, you make a good case:)

[> Another reason it doesn't hold up... -- DaveW, 12:58:56 03/17/02 Sun

Um, Buffy died, right? How could she die and then bring herself back if it was delusional? That seems odd...

[> Re: Living Inside Buffy's Brain -- Forsaken, 14:14:43 03/17/02 Sun

Lets also not forget the events taking place weekly in L.A. Buffy doesn't know much about what Angel is doing anymore, she can't be making him up. She can't be imagining Cordy and Wesly anymore. The fact that Angel and all the stuff that goes on in L.A.exists at all proves that the Jossverse is real, not the Asylumverse.

[> [> Re: One more reason (possible time travel) -- Valhalla, 18:59:09 03/17/02 Sun

This is a pretty small point amid many big, more convincing points. I was thinking about what the Doctor said about this season's villains -- that Buffy's enemies have been devolving to being just geeks she knew in high school. But didn't Buffy only meet Jonathan in what, in the Asylumverse, would be her hallucinations? That was the point of Jonathan's tower/rifle scene - that no one, including Buffy, had ever noticed him before? I can't remember about Warren, but wasn't Andrew someone's brother who Buffy again only knew in what would be her hallucinations? So how could she making villains out of people she really knew if she only met them in her hallucinations?

Was this just a slip by the Doctor? I suppose (to counter my own point), you could say that Buffy knew Jonathan before her supposed schizophrenia but forgot, and fantasized about him being so neglected out of guilt that she never noticed him except in some sort of subconscious. Ugh. Forget it.

[> [> Just a short remark about iBooks and DSL. -- Buffyboy, 19:13:42 03/17/02 Sun

. In NA, just after Buffy returns home from her shift at the Dog Meat Palace, she talks to Willow who is using her brand new iBook. Buffy ask her something to the effect: "What'ya doing ...DSLing?" If the normal Buffyverse is simply a fantasy, then how could Buffy possibly know what an iBook and DSL are? (Well, maybe someone in the asylum said: "I just got a new iBook" or "I just got DSL" or maybe see might have somehow seen a TV ad for the iBook or DSL.) Maybe, yet how could the asylum Buffy ever know that you-can-use-your-iBook-to-check-for-email-through-your-DSL- connection-while-sitting-at-your living-room-table. Merely hearing mention of the iBook and DSL could never give rise to an adequate understanding of this iBook-email-DSLing activity.

An analysis of the Convention of Psychosis in Normal Again -- Amperage, 11:58:53 03/17/02 Sun

(Brief note to analysis: I'm new and I've always been a lurker, but I couldn't let this episode go; I've worried it like a cat with a lizard. Hopefully, it makes some sense--my first degree was English, but since then it's been all Psych.)

This episode was possibly the saddest Buffy episode I've seen, even including The Body. As usual, Buffy stands an accepted TV device on its head: In Newhart's finale, we discover that the inn and all its occupants are merely the musings of a psychiatrist. In St. Elsewhere, the world we've been following turns out to be the inside of a snowglobe, held in the hands of an autistic boy. (If I remember correctly, ST:TNG did an episode that mirrors this Buffy episode in some respects, where Riker is held by aliens who try to convince him that the Enterprise is a psychotic delusion, but we have outside influences in that episode, so the device is stood sideways perhaps, but not completely on its head.) In the standard device of which I refer, we viewers discover that the world we've been following through episode after episode of a TV show is merely the delusion/fantasy of one character. In Normal Again, the device is flipped. The real world is the one of demons and monsters, but Buffy can choose to retreat into the delusion/psychosis that it is not, that her responsibilities are not hers.

Last season, our hero chose to do the most selfless act we humans can conceive of, laying down her life so that another might live. Now, she must face being brought back into this world, a world that doesn't seem real after the gifts that she gained in death. The evil she faces is more difficult than it has been--the Master, Glory, all the evils she's faced have been comic book evils, but this season's evil have not sprung from the Hellmouth, but from the kids next door, humans with all the moral ambiguities that come with fighting another human. Her protectors have gone: Joyce is dead, her father is somewhere in Europe, Giles has run off on the excuse of making her fight her own battles, Angel can't live in the same town with her for fear of making the beast with two backs. What she has been left with are responsibilities and people who cling to her with their needs.

Buffy has been brought back from a place of calm and peace, where she understood things and all was well and all was right. The gift the first slayer gave her and every slayer since the first was roughly yanked from her hands by selfish friends and family using the excuse of "rescue". (Indeed, one wonders why the First Slayer's spirit is still wandering, able to be called up, if the others are in heaven, unless there is some Angel-like karmic payment going on.) The only person who doesn't want mothering is Spike and he still wants something, but he's willing to give back as well, for he is almost unique: Xander wants reassurance about his wedding, Willow wants help from her addictions, Dawn wants a parental figure. Tara is the sole exception beyond Spike.

In "Normal Again" she's given the opportunity for a psychotic break. "Reactive Psychosis" was the clinical term in the DSM-IIIR, although it's been moved to "Psychotic disorders, reactive and other" designation in the DSM-IV. An individual under severe and long term stress wakes up one morning psychotic: delusional and hallucinatory. A few weeks later, if you give them supportive care, and help them get rid of the stressors, they're "Normal Again" and about as likely to experience another episode as you or I are. The psychoses in this form of disorder tend to tie into the stressors quite handily. (If anyone out there watches the X-files, Mulder suffered a classic case of Reactive Psychosis--except, of course, for the fact that he wasn't exactly psychotic--in the episode *Folie a Deux*). She can escape the vampires and the demons, regain people who love her, lose the weights and responsibilities. She isn't the Slayer, she never moved to Sunnydale. Her parents are both alive and are still married. She can be the cosseted, sick little Buffy whose parents will take care of her and be happy she's alive. No worlds to save, no little sisters expecting her to parent them, no dead mothers or irresponsible fathers, no demon lovers who present a gorgon tangle of moral complexities.

This psychosis is the perfect fantasy for Buffy: the mental illness gives her a loophole to convince herself that the psychosis is the reality, and gives her an out in this elaborately constructed fantasy world: if she's among the psychiatrically disabled, she can live her whole life as "The Summer's Sweet Little Girl" who needs people taking care of her, without one iota of guilt or accepting the first responsibility. She will be their sole focus as long as they and she live.

Then there's reality. On the educational/vocational front, She has a dead-end job and she's been rejected by the local university. In her love life, her current lover is a blood-sucking fiend; her past lover is doing very well without her. Then when it comes to family and friends, she's not doing a very hot job parenting her sister; one of her best friends just abandoned someone at the altar; her mentor's run off to England and one of her other best friends is a recovering junkie. And top it all off, she was happy for one summer and knows what she's missing.

That the casual viewer won't recognize that the alternate world is just a little too perfect, compared to Buffy's real world, but will be left with the disquieting feeling he's just been St. Elsewhere'd or Newharted is the crowning touch, because on the surface of it, Sunnydale is the perfect comic book world, and the alternate is the mundane world. Of course, without deeper thought, it would seem that we're being subjected to a wretched St. Elsewhere view.

This, of course, leads to the startling, disquieting realization that we, the TV viewers, want Buffy to keep her responsibilities--including her responsibility to the viewer--rather than go off into the psychosis where she can be happy. We, the viewers, feel cheated at the very thought that maybe Buffy isn't the slayer, shouldn't do all the things that we want her to. After all, would she have been brought back to life if another season weren't demanded? She could have stayed dead and happy. But no. We, the viewer, are put in the same moral place as those who brought Buffy back from the dead; our needs, our wants superceding hers. We're no more morally superior than Willow, Dawn, Xander, and everyone else.

Marti Nixon used some great devices to drive this theme home in the episode. First there's the house: the house has held symbolic importance to Buffy this whole season, and this episode is no different. The episode starts in the Nerd's basement--their home, and thus, in some ways, a mirror of the symbolism in Buffy's home--viewing this through psychoanalytic theory-the basement is symbolic of things that go on below the surface, what happens in the subconscious, what we don't admit in the daylight of our minds. We find that Buffy is searching out the Nerd's home, and that the Nerd's are hiding in the basement: perhaps the basement isn't just the subconscious, but the id, the place where our selfish needs comes to the forefront. Where what the I wants take precedence over what everyone else wants (Buffy's basement floods and she gets it taken care of because she's responsible--even those places where there should only be the I, she's forced to accept responsibility for everyone else.).

The Nerds release, from this basement of the Id, the selfish wants, a demon with a stinger that "pokes" Buffy(many people have commented on that obvious entendre and its correlations, so I won't belabor the, ahem, point.) She gets the first glimpse of her psychosis and heads to work. At work she experiences the second episode and discovers she's failed in a work responsibility--she burned the fries.

Coming home, in the living room, the most frequented room in any house, Buffy is faced with Willow's and Xander's and Anya's problems as soon as she comes home.

We then go to the cemetery. The cemetery, which should be a universal symbol of death and dread, has over the past 7 years, become something completely different to Buffy. It is a place of the dead, yet the place where she meets the one person she can speak to honestly. It is the place she feels comfortable in. Here she just talks to another being. Spike, who is humanized with his groceries, into something like a neighbor, just a normal conversation.

Of course, her friends, her responsibilities intrude. The cruel argument between Xander and Spike is not unexpected; Buffy isn't allowed to calm, easy of anything without conflict. And, so in the middle of this, of being responsible for making these people get along, Buffy has her third episode. Her friends pull her away, rejecting Spike's offer of his crypt. Back to the house, where everything is responsibility, away from the quiet, normal of the cemetery. Spike even makes the suggestion of putting ice on Buffy's neck because "She likes that." He's not thinking about Spike here, or what he will do. He's thinking solely about Buffy's health, and Buffy's needs at that point, unlike anyone else.

In the house, Buffy confesses her stay in the clinic, her fears about the other reality. She has a photo of herself as a child, an only child, cherished and cared for, with no responsibilities, no other needs. We then see her in the bedroom, and in a place that is usually a place of cherished comfort and solitude, we have Buffy being responsible again, parenting Dawn.

Dawn is understandably upset with her sister for shutting her out her fantasy world, but we've already seen the exact reason Buffy would shut Dawn out of the fantasy. Dawn needs her. Buffy doesn't want to be needed, but wants to be the one needing.

When Spike shows up (what is he doing out and about? Someone really should design a cloak or something for vampires who want to make afternoon visits.) He stands in the doorway to Buffy's room, doesn't intrude further. But then he doesn't want Buffy to take any responsibility for him. Either Buffy takes responsibility for her own actions or Spike will take that responsibility. Spike gets what Buffy doesn't: no one can make you do what Buffy is doing: she's accepted all this because she has. She can reject the responsibility for everyone else's problems and lives, be only responsible for herself and yet still care for them. She doesn't have to stay in this place. Spike knows he can force the issue. If her friends are aware of her relationship with him, they will either wake up and take some responsibility for Buffy (God Forbid!) or they will completely reject her and she'll be free of them. Spike's hoping for the latter and not the former (If you were in Spike's place, tell me you wouldn't hope the same!), but he'll take either one.

But facing what she has to do to resolve her problems in the real world is enough to drive Buffy back into her psychosis and reject the antidote. In that psychosis, she is given a way to destroy her problems, to escape her responsibilities.

The monster that has given her a way create a world of selfish fulfillment, no matter how false that world is, is of course, chained in the basement, the place of the Id. In this place, Buffy captures and chains Xander, Willow, and Dawn. Then she releases the demon, the monster of the Id, and sits back to watch the carnage, as her responsibilities (the superego) are destroyed.

If the pipes hadn't burst earlier in that basement, it would be tempting to think that Buffy could just curl up and let the Id destroy the superego. But the pipes burst, and what did Buffy do? She had them fixed, had everything replaced. In the same way, even in Buffy's Id, she is not purely focused on self.

It is the image of Joyce, the voice in the deepest past of Buffy's soul, the one person who has never betrayed Buffy, who always cared for her daughter (Who, let us not forget, liked Spike.) that Buffy's mind uses to bring her back out of the psychosis. It is the voice of the soul in Buffy that convinces her. At that moment, just before this occurs, Tara walks in. Tara has come to be a form of the Ego for Buffy: A compromising force, who can accept Buffy sleeping with someone like Spike, but leaves when Willow becomes a junkie. Tara fights the demon, and tries to hold the battle at a draw, although, just as in Buffy's mind, the Id is winning, until Buffy herself decides what she must do.

Buffy destroys the demon, destroys all possibility of her psychotic world, although the basement is still dry and stable. The ending, which saddened me so much, shows us that Buffy has irredeemably left the safety of her psychosis; she cannot go back to that comfort. She has to face what comes, has to deal with what will be. It's not an easy world, or a comforting one, and it's definitely not one a 20 year old should be forced to conquer; a world where her lover is an unrepentant blood sucking fiend and her future is a line of burgers waiting to be flipped.

[> Kaboom! -- Rattletrap, 13:02:25 03/17/02 Sun

Let me be the first to say welcome to the board, and that I love your analysis. Kaboom! indeed.


[> I hope you post again soon because this was an excellent analysis. Welcome! -- Aquitaine, 14:37:29 03/17/02 Sun

[> Excellent -- Sophist, 16:41:40 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> Re: Excellent -- DEN, 19:56:27 03/17/02 Sun

Excellent post. Your take on the basement reminds me of the old scifi "Forbidden Planet," where the sleep of reason also produces literal "monsters from the id."

[> Re: An analysis of the Convention of Psychosis in Normal Again -- Cactus Watcher, 20:12:35 03/17/02 Sun

For once I cheated (ie. didn't stay spoiler free)and lurked here this week, because once I knew it was going to be an 'alternate unverse' type story and what the setting of the other universe was, I knew it was going to be fairly predictable. I had an essay on alternate universes all set to go even before I saw the episode this evening to help straighten things out for people with doubts. But, Amperage's essay covers the Buffy side of it much better. So, I'll scrap mine.

After trying to figure out the particulars from everyone's posts this week, I must say the first thing I thought after seeing the ep. was 'what was all the fuss about?' I think this episode was one that reminded everyone to take a second look at all the pat answers to difficult questions we've had about the show. Nothing more or less.

Current board | More March 2002