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That infamous Scene...Lasting impressions in NA (spoilers) -- curious, 18:30:05 03/17/02 Sun

Hey all. It,s been a really long time since I last participated in any serious posting. Not since last year,s finale, but after last week,s ep., I just had to find the time to lurk again. I,ve seen some seriously interesting post and some are just plain brilliant. Thank you all for such interesting read.
Anyway, I saw a lot of posts concerning the last scene which is fast turning out to be "that infamous shot in the Buffyverse. So just to pitch in my .02 cents worth, as if we don,t have enough to consider already, here goes.

Bear in mind that I,m attempting to analyze this scene from the point of "film language, which in itself leaves a lot room for interpretation, as well subjective interpretation.

Where to start.

In visual story telling, the luxury of the written narrative isn,t readily available, and the best the visual story teller can do is to guide, the viewer through it using the camera, the angles, the form, the lighting, ect., ect. Most of this is unconsciously perceived by the viewer, though any viewer who watches a lot of TV and film are already quite well versed in film language. For some are more conscious of it that others. (Like our resident film expert, OnM : 0) )

After Buffy does her He-Man thing and refuses to rest until she has the anecdote we cut to the Asylumverse. We cut to a CU (close-up). CU,s are frequently used by directors and editors to establish intimacy with the subject, and at first, I thought it was a point of view CU. Buffy,s POV as her last perception in that reality before she fades into her catatonia. But then I realized it couldn,t be, because the screen direction is all wrong when we reverse the POV. Buffy was ALREADY catatonic at this time, so I,m forced to return to seeing it as storybook narrative. The CU of the doctor, then Buffy and back to the doctor along with the dialogue guides the viewer to disconnect from asylum Buffy. The verdict is that she is gone; she retreated so far into herself that the asylumverse no longer exists for her. She has chosen to live this side of Sunnydale. So resolution #1. The choice is made.

But ME,s resolution #2 is so deliberately ambiguous that my first instincts (well, first after a lengthy pause where my synapses simply stopped firing all together), was to call it a stunt to provide climatic shock value, a "cheap shot. I was indignant. "Are you trying to tell me Buffy & Co. aren,t real. "? Damn you all to hell, ME, I,m thinking. Off course, that,s probably what they want me to think and feel. So I contained those irrational feelings and watched the scene again to get a clue. It,s the Pavlov effect we BtVS viewers have been conditioned to.

The last shot is a CU of Buffy. The camera starts to move out and we see the grieving parents of a tragic event, leaving us all with the impression that this tragedy is the real deal. For some viewers, it may have left the impression of her consciousness leaving her as she floats away. (But this doesn,t fit either, as Buffy,s world is inward and not outward bound.) I strongly suspect that this shot comprised of 2 or 3 steadycam zoom shots edited together and played in reverse for its final edit as it is physically impossible to move the camera through a wall. (I could be completely wrong too, since there are many ways to skin a cat.

I wondered why if ME merely wanted to create a shocking ending to this ep, bothered to move the camera at all. Why not just use a simply LS (long shot) to establish the reality of the asylumverse. The LS is frequently used to establish the subjects with their environments and its intended to be an objective POV. This would be way more cost and time effective and gets the job done very effectively. Why go to the trouble of a more complex dynamic shot.

Why am I making a big deal of a moving shot? 2 reasons. Good filmmakers usually make use of moving camera shots deliberately and with motivation. Secondly, moving shots introduces new information and draws attention to itself. When coupled with the fact that this moving shot also happens to the final frame, it becomes highly significant. The final shot of a film is the most important shot of the entire movie. It is powerful in that it can put an entirely new spin on a film or provide clarity to the message of the show. And didn,t ME do both here? It is entirely possible that it,s just me, but I feel there is a subtle message here that supports the message of this season. What subtlety? What information?

As the camera moves out, it doesn,t just zoom out to that final frame. I wondered why not? It moves, changes course and direction and more importantly, it CONTINUES to move WITHOUT a final static image. My feeling is that the camera move is itself a metaphor for the changing psychological course for Buffy, especially as it finally rests outside of the room where all the action has just taken place. The "hullucination confined. Furthermore, it rests of a point of light near center of the field of vision. I,m inclined to believe that light is associated with Buffy, representing the "light at the end of her tunnel. I mean, if the light wasn,t significant, why bother to have turned on for the scene. Its was definitely off the last time we saw it.

Isn,t it interesting that the candescent lamp is essentially pointed in the direction of Buffy? If you notice the use of lighting, the first window and the lamp cast in Buffy,s corner separates her from the harsher blue light cast on the Doctor, Joyce and Hank. The proximal window to the viewer is lit with a blue light, the proximal window to Buffy is a simulation of sunlight. Why? No way do you expect to find a parallel light source with such qualities in the real, world. Cross lighting is often deliberately used to generate a sense of surrealism, and it was abundantly use in the Asylumverse. Is the Asylum then, "the hallucination? Rather than an alternate reality, and we should just move on as the camera suggests? Back to the true course this side of Sunnydale where Buffy may finally be in touch with her center, her light? Will she now be able to redirect her life in a positive direction? Isn,t this the message of the show this season where Buffy is concerned. This is my redirected "Last Impression.

Off course, I could be just insane and talking rubbish or just seeing things where there are just plain continuity errors. Perhaps I,ve just had to many "Don,t use fancy moves and techniques gratuitously and without motivation unless you want to work for MTV lectures. I completely acknowledge the possibility that I,m reading way too much into this.

Anyway, I,ve waffled a lot and provided no illuminating answers to support either interpretation, but hopefully, I may have provided some tidbits of information about "film language. And I hope I have not unintentionally insulted anyone,s intelligence.

I just have to add though, that I find the possibility of Asylum Buffy to be a fascinating idea, not as an end, but as a beginning to another tale.

[> Re: That infamous Scene...Lasting impressions in NA (spoilers) -- Traveler, 19:36:02 03/17/02 Sun

"I just have to add though, that I find the possibility of Asylum Buffy to be a fascinating idea, not as an end, but as a beginning to another tale."

You mean the tale of Buffy's life in Sunnydale?

[> Great post. I know nothing of these technical details, and this helps a lot. -- Sophist, 19:55:08 03/17/02 Sun

Growing up and growing apart- -thoughts on the core Scoobies in S6, so far. (Spoilers through NA) -- Dyna, 18:35:04 03/17/02 Sun

What with five weeks of reruns ahead and all, I've been sharing in the general "what's up with S6 so far" contemplation, and I've had a few ideas about how the season's theme of "growing up" is being played out in the plots involving the core Scoobies. Since if I wait for myself to come up with a better topic sentence than that, I'll never get this out, I'll just dive right in:

First, the "growing up" part: Part of the process of growing up is figuring out where we belong, taking our place in the adult world that awaits us. Sometimes, in the course of that, we lose our connection with our childhood friends--this is inevitable, and an experience most of us have had.

In the case of the core Scoobies there's a fundamental complication in this process: Buffy's "world"-- her nature, her fate, her destiny--isn't the same as Willow and Xander's. As much as they love and help her, they are not supernatural; they're ordinary humans who by chance have been given the opportunity to play a role in a world that's not theirs. If the process of growing up means moving more definitely into your adult world, it would seem that what awaits the Scoobies in the future is a widening of the very real gulf between Buffy's fate and that of her friends. Buffy will move more fully into her Slayer world, and Willow and Xander into their human ones.

It seems to me that part of what we're seeing this season is Willow, Xander, and Buffy's reactions to this inevitability. Someone last week posted a script snippet from "Doomed," in which Spike tells Willow and Xander that they're "still the 10th grade geeks they always were" and that they slow Buffy down because she's always having to save them. The "rift" between the Scoobies was a big conflict in S4 that a lot of people complained was resolved too easily, with the gang joining up their various strengths to defeat Adam at the end. I would argue, though, that the conflict wasn't actually resolved then, and now we're seeing more of its fruition.

(It's notable that "Primeval" didn't end with the defeat of Adam. The gang had their moment of union that affirmed how important each member's strengths were to the "team," Adam was defeated, and then--Spike reappears. Spike, who *is* of Buffy's world, whose main contribution to the S4 was to give voice to and aggravate the real divisions among the Scoobies--and he's been with them ever since. Note too, that the first episode of the next season brought Dawn, another supernatural character, made out of Buffy, and as such, closer to her than Willow could ever be. Are Spike and Dawn supernatural foils for Xander and Willow? Two characters closer to Buffy--in kind, if not always in affection--than her human friends can be? I think the timing of Spike and Dawn's ascendance, following a season that promised so much conflict between the Scoobies, but seemed to sweep it under the rug at the last minute, wasn't accidental, but another step in what's turned out to be a multi-season arc about the core Scoobies becoming divided from each other. At least, that's my theory!)

Anyway, this season, we've had two really dramatic plot turns with Willow and Xander: First, Willow's abuse of magic. Willow got into magic as a way of helping Buffy, and was fueled to go deeper and deeper into it by the sense of worth and importance it gave her--as she says to Buffy in "Wrecked," "If you could be plain old Willow, or Super Willow, which one would you be?" But, she adds, "I guess you don't have an option on the whole 'super' thing." What becomes clear in Willow's arc this season is that she still sees herself as the "10th grade geek" Spike called her in S4--she even tells Tara she was a "total spaz" when she was 15, perhaps not coincidentally the year she met Buffy. Willow's remark that Buffy doesn't have an option on the "super" thing expressly connects Willow's desire to become "super" through magic with the fact that Buffy is already "super"--Buffy doesn't have a choice, because it's her fate, her life. Willow seems to believe that it's her ability to participate in Buffy's fate, her role in Buffy's "mission," that gives her worth as a person. The prospect of losing that--whether by losing her magical abilities, losing Buffy herself, or losing her connection to Buffy as they grow up and apart--is terrifying to her.

On to Xander: As we saw in Xander's visions, he too carries deep insecurity about what he would be without Buffy. In his imaginary future world without Buffy, Xander is no longer a "man"--he's his father. He's unable to work, abusive to his wife, possibly impotent, definitely sexually inert, cuckolded (by Clem?), hated by his children, maybe an alcoholic. Xander, like Willow, seems to have hung his self-esteem almost entirely on being valuable to Buffy, and he clearly fears that when that's gone, there will nothing worthwhile left in him. It also seems significant that Xander backed out of marrying Anya. If growing up often means becoming divided from our childhood friends, it makes sense that Xander would have cold feet about this, the most obvious rite of passage into adulthood. I don't think it's necessary to think Xander is carrying a torch for Buffy. It's probably enough to say that he realizes that marriage to Anya will mean putting her needs ahead of Buffy's mission, and it scares the hell out of him. It's a catch-22 for Xander: The thing that makes him feel like enough of a man to believe he can get married (his ability to help Buffy) is the same thing he stands to lose if he goes through with it. No wonder he backs out!

Both Xander and Willow need to grow up and realize that they have value beyond just helping Buffy. It doesn't seem like either of their storylines have reached anything like a conclusion--Willow's abstention from magic hasn't gone very far toward addressing the underlying issue of her discomfort with her own "normality." Willow still wants to be "Super Willow," just like Xander still needs to believe he's Buffy's only "go-to guy"--a need that comes bursting out in his incessant, almost hysterical blathering about Spike. I think that Xander recognizes there's a strong connection between Buffy and Spike, and even though he may be in denial about its nature, he's way too obsessed with the possibility that it's sexual for me to believe he doesn't get it, at least on some level. Spike is a threat to Xander because he's a part of Buffy's world in a way that an ordinary human man can't be. Even if they wind up enemies, Spike will always have a connection to Buffy, a means to understand her that Xander doesn't share.

It's not just Willow and Xander that seem to be having a growing up/growing apart freakout--Buffy's getting it too. I would argue that this season, between her resurrection and her inexplicable (to her) relationship with Spike, Buffy's already several giant steps past the fork in the road where her world diverges from that of her friends. But Buffy's having just as hard a time accepting this as Xander and Willow are--after all, we're talking about a character who has invested huge amounts of energy in longing for, creating, and holding onto the appearance of a "normal (read conventional) life." Buffy's friendship with Xander and Willow has always represented a tie to normality for Buffy, just as Buffy has represented a tie to some higher purpose for her friends. Also, we've had many reminders that Buffy is unusual for a Slayer in having these "ties to the world," and that these have kept her alive and been a source of strength for her. The possibility that growing up will mean increased distance between herself and her friends must also frighten Buffy, and probably has a lot to do with her seemingly overblown fear of them finding out about Spike. If Buffy lets her friends see how "different" she is from them, she fears it will mean the end of the friendship, and with it, the support that has kept her (mostly) alive and functioning up to now.

At the same time, on some level I think Buffy is aware of how important being important to her is to her friends. Over and over again, she's been called upon to reassure them that she needs them, that they're vital to her mission, that they "always come through." The problem with this, though, is that they don't always come through--sometimes they *are* liabilities. Willow and Xander's willingness and *need* to be part of Buffy's world has led them at times to put themselves, Buffy, and others in danger--and Buffy always forgives them, with almost no discussion, as if she takes the responsibility on herself for their mistakes. Even just this season, we've seen Buffy forgive Willow for attempting to erase her memories of heaven--a violation of her mind that Tara took seriously enough to break off their relationship; she's forgiven Xander for summoning a demon who would have made her dance herself to death were it not for Spike's intervention; she's let the entire Scooby gang off the hook for resurrecting her, venting her emotions only to Spike, while maintaining the fiction to the others that she was "in hell" until forced by Xander's demon to admit otherwise. When Willow crashed the car and injured Dawn, Buffy even took responsibility for that--"You were drowning," she tells Willow, even though Buffy herself had been suffering unnoticed by her friends for weeks by that time.

In "Normal Again," we have a crisis point for Buffy. Since her calling, she's been holding on to a wish to be "normal again"--to be free of the responsibilities and obligations and plain abnormality of her existence as the Slayer. It's interesting that it's not only the vampires and demons that are gone from her Asylumverse delusion; it's also her friends. In Buffy's hallucination, her parents refer to her as "our little girl," talk about taking her home to take care of her. She's free of responsibilities, removed from the role of caregiver, no longer obliged to take care of Dawn *or* to support her friends. She's reduced to a childlike state again. The Asylumverse, where Buffy is schizophrenic, ought to be a vision of hell for her, but it's actually compelling. By erasing six years of history, the Asylumverse frees Buffy from her anxiety about growing up and away from her friends by removing not only the friends but the need to grow up. Also absent are the characters who most represent what Buffy fears about growing up--Dawn, who represents Buffy's responsibilities, and Spike, who represents her fears about who and what she is, what kind of world she's really destined to inhabit.

When Buffy chooses to return to the Buffyverse, it seems to be a sign that she's chosen, that she's ready to give up the wish to be "normal" that's been holding her back from living her life. It's important to note, though, that simply returning to the Buffyverse isn't the same as finding and accepting her adult self. Buffy's made a move in the direction of letting go of unhealthy regrets and trying to live her life as it is, but it's still a life in transition, and her story feels just as unresolved as Willow and Xander's do at this point.

It seems to me there's a lot of denial and fear going on among the core Scoobies, as these three friends find themselves facing approaching adulthood unsure of what they are without each other. At the same time, they seem to be either unaware of or unable to articulate these fears--a situation that's bound to increase, rather than decrease, the likelihood that their worst fears will be realized, and they'll wind up separated and estranged. I don't know how or even if this conflict will be resolved this season--it hardly seems like something that can be wrapped up in a few episodes, so my money is on it continuing into S7.


[> Wow. Great analysis! -- Dariel, 19:12:28 03/17/02 Sun

[> First rate, Dyna. Nice work! :-) -- OnM, 19:31:50 03/17/02 Sun

[> Nicely put. -- Traveler, 19:45:37 03/17/02 Sun

[> Great job Dyna! -- Sophist, 19:49:53 03/17/02 Sun

One point I would add to reinforce your comments about Xander. Riley went through the very same process you describe about Xander -- let's hope Xander finds a better way to deal with Buffy's connection to the dark side.

I need more time to process the rest of your comments. The trouble is, we've had so many great posts over the last week, I feel like I'm running at 366 megaherz in a 1.6 gig world.

[> I second that "WOW". -- curious, 20:25:16 03/17/02 Sun

--"and Buffy always forgives them, with almost no discussion, as if she takes the responsibility on herself for their mistakes. Even just this season, we've seen Buffy forgive Willow for attempting to erase her memories of heaven"---

And she automatically takes the blame for Willow's "addiction" too. Is Buffy a messianic figure that takes upon herself the 'sins of the world'? I've always thought her speech to the Scoobies at the end of Afterlife the most selfless, compassionate thing I've seen the entire series.

Really great read, thanks.

[> Great Work Dyna! -- LeeAnn, 04:55:03 03/18/02 Mon

[> The core of a scooby -- manwitch, 06:07:50 03/18/02 Mon


One of the things Buffy and the scoobs have always done is find a way to forge a new existence, a new "normalcy." They do not feel themselves a failure if they need to make new "conventions." While I agree that Willow and Xander see/feel the tension between their normal human lives and the life of helping Buffy, I think its (uh-oh, school flashback) a false dichotomy.

I think Buffy does have a choice. Maybe not in whether she was the slayer, but definitely in how she was the slayer. We have seen her decline slayerhood a number of times because of the terms on which it was based. And she only takes up the mantle again when she is comfortable with the "interpretation," one might say, of her slayerness. What I find significant about that is that Buffy is not really so different from Willow and Xander. She must decide who she will be, what she will do. And she chooses love of her friends over being The Slayer. She makes being a slayer accommodate the fact that she cares deeply for these people. She doesn't care about them because she has superpowers. Or one might argue that they are her superpowers. So I don't think Willow and Xander need superpowers either. They don't help buffy through super strength (sometimes they do, but I don't think that's the point). They help her through love. They help her through choosing to be part of Buffy's life and Buffy's fight, regardless of whether or not they have superpowers, just as Spike does regardless of the fact that he's evil.

My guess would be that the conflict you describe will need to be resolved by the forging of a new space, in which you can have Anya, and be a normal geek, and fight with Buffy. Cuz Buffy's fight isn't about punching someone in the face, its about doing the right thing. The kind thing. Xander and Willow are intrinsically kind. They should be able to find a way.

It makes me wonder though, what would happen to Spike, how would he react, if Xander and Willow embraced him? If he found not just a lover in Buffy, but a whole family? How would he respond?

[> [> Great posts Dyna and manwitch -- Caroline, 07:40:12 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> Re: X / W / S -- Darby, 10:05:54 03/18/02 Mon

Just a general question: if an acquaintance of yours had put you through the events of Lover's Walk or the attempted events of The Initiative, how quick would you be to forgive them and be all warm and cuddly? I might be able to push it to the back of my mind if I was working with the person a lot (between The Gift and Bargaining), but the less I saw of someone, the more the dramatic negative interactions I had had with them would color my reaction to seeing them. I'm more of a grudge-holder, like Xander; I can see Willow being a bit more magnanimous, but I totally understand Xander's attitude toward Spike without interjecting a lot of jealousy or the repression of current observations (those certainly could be part of the mix, though). I might be inclined to blame / link my friend's lingering darkness to his dark influence on her, though...fairly or not.

I'm just sayin'...

[> [> [> Re: X / W / S -- manwitch, 10:17:25 03/18/02 Mon

I would be all warm and cuddly with Willow in a heart beat.

Oh, you mean what Spike did in Lovers Walk. Yeah, I agree with you.

I just wonder. Xander is passionate, but he can do the right thing when its required. I love his little speech to Angel in Prophecy Girl. That to me is Xander. It reaches a point for him, where it isn't about his feelings about Angel, its about trusting someone else's feelings. Xander loves Buffy, and if Buffy loves Spike, maybe Xander can find a way.

But my question is, what would Spike do? I think being loved by Buffy would be one thing for him. But would being accepted by Willow and Xander be too much for him? I wonder if he wouldn't be like Faith, and find that realizing the love people have for Buffy doesn't make him feel loved, but just isolates him all the more.

I guess its not a very important question til it happens. You are right. Now it seems a pretty long way off.

[> [> [> Re: X / W / S -- Sophist, 10:26:00 03/18/02 Mon

I might agree with this argument, except that there is evidence aplenty that Xander has never accepted good deeds from vampires. His attitude toward Spike today differs little from his attitude toward Angel in S1. Kill first, ask questions later.

Sure Xander has reasons to be suspicious of Spike. He also has reasons to be grateful to him. It's the fact that Xander ignores the latter entirely that makes his conduct hard to justify.

Interestingly, Xander adopts a very different attitude toward others. He forgives Anya for trying to alter their reality in horrific ways, as well as for encouraging vampires to kill Willow. With full humans, he is even more forgiving. In IOHEFY, he agrees with Giles about forgiveness: "You don't forgive someone because they deserve it. You forgive them because they need it." I guess he used this standard for Cordelia.

[> [> [> I agree, in principle... -- Dyna, 10:28:13 03/18/02 Mon

..that Xander has reasons from the past to be unfriendly to Spike, but I don't actually see Xander raising those issues. His badgering of Spike is obsessive on a few specific topics--Spike's "pathetic," no reasonable woman would be sexually attracted to him, his love for Buffy is "obsessive" and not real, etc etc. When was the last time Xander (or any Scooby actually) mentioned Spike's past history of wrongdoing, let alone cited it as a reason they dislike him? I'm not saying those motives can't be there, but what the writers are surfacing this season in Xander's response to Spike seems to be very much centered on Spike as a sexual threat, and very little on Spike as a bad influence or malign presence in their midst. This could change, of course--the writers are quite capable of hiding one issue under another in order to surprise us with our own complacency later. Maybe what they have in store for Xander will be some kind of comeuppance where he realizes that his obsession with keeping Spike away from Buffy sexually caused him to misjudge some other danger. It will be interesting to see, whatever it is. :)

[> [> [> [> Re: I agree, in principle... -- leslie, 12:24:48 03/18/02 Mon

Except that Xander seems to see *every* male as a sexual threat. Even though he does seem to develop a bit of hero-worship for Riley, he was the one who first raised the question of whether it was a good thing for Buffy to be dating Initiative-guy, and he did it specifically in the context of Buffy's romantic/sexual relationship with Riley. Even the episode where we see Giles singing in the coffee bar and Willow, Tara, and Anya all commenting on how unexpectedly sexy Giles is, Xander reacts with panic--he just Does Not Want To Hear It--Giles sexy?! Ack! No! To go even further, when Xander gets split in two, he sees HIMSELF as a sexual threat! To Xander, all threats are sexual threats.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree, in principle... -- ponygirl, 13:43:20 03/18/02 Mon

Good points! Talk about a neurosis! Threatened by an aspect of himself. I wish we could see more of Xander at work, here's a person who has no male friends and is generally threatened by the presence of other men thriving in a traditionally macho workplace. I get the feeling that Xander compartmentalizes his life a great deal. His comments to Buffy in Life Serial about demons aren't supposed to come to his job, and his quick abandonment of Buffy to another supervisor makes me think that he would not react well to having these two worlds colliding.

It's interesting that Xander's greatest strength, his compassion, does occasionally peer through all the hang-ups -- his conversation with Spike in Spiral, his sympathy for Spike after the beating in Intervention, his expression of pity to Buffy just before he gets smacked with the frying pan in NA. In all those cases he needs Spike to be weakened in some way -- physically wounded, or the possibility that Spike might be crazy -- before he can let any other emotions come out.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree, in principle... -- Ian, 19:35:19 03/18/02 Mon

Excellent points!

While I'm just jazzed about Willow's lesbian awakening, I must admit I was suprised that it was she, and not Xander, that turned out to be bisexual or gay. Hopefully I'm not simply projecting here (I'm gay as it turns out), but Xander's near obsessive preocupation with sex and his own discomfort with being a sexual being seems to me a big flashing question sign. I think that the degree to which Xander finds men a sexual threat signals deeper conflicts than simply "that guys moving in on my turf."

While it is not at all uncommon for straight men to be uncertain of where and how they "fit in" to the realm of sexuality (especially if they are sensitive), Xander's attractions have always come across as somewhat strained or forced to me. Perhaps he is trying too hard? From personal experience and just watching people around me, Xander is strongly reminiscient of people not only uncomfortable with sex, but uncomfortable with their own sexual identity. I can't build the strong cases I've seen posted here, but there are a few things I've noticed that just force me to raise an eyebrow.

From his obvious attraction to strong personalities (Faith, Cordellia, Anya anyone?) who act as the aggressors and initiate sexual contact, it seems safe to say that Xander seems most comfortable taking a more passive role in any relationship. Being with these woman who have such highly developed sexual identities lets Xander reciprocate affection and prop up his own insecurities, without ever having to initiate. Although his affection for Cordelia and unmistakable love for Anya are genuine, his terror at even hearing about the desirability of another man seems telling. I wonder if Xander doesn't see the men as competition with the girls so much as a threat to his own fragile sense of sexual identity.

I think that Xander may identify not with the men seeking out the affections of Buffy, Cordellia, etc. but with the girls who are being sought out. I know that came out clumsily, but Xander rarely seems threatened by other men "moving in on his turf," so much as he is threatend by how attractive and strong HE perceives them to be.

Let me know if I'm just completely off base here, but this could be another slice of the complicated pie that is Xander.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Not at all ... -- verdantheart, 19:47:08 03/18/02 Mon

Takes me back to the little discussion we had recently about the writers occasionally bringing out things like Larry's assuming Xander was gay, Xander's comments about Spike in "Intervention," etc.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I think you're right on. -- Sophist, 20:08:02 03/18/02 Mon

Joss even said that they considered having Xander be the one to explore his sexual identity, but decided on Willow for essentially social reasons (viewers).

[> [> [> Xander vs. vampires -- skeeve, 11:56:37 03/18/02 Mon

Xander took a stand and said that vampires are bad.
IIRC Buffy never told Xander nor anyone else why Angel fed on her. Xander doesn't know that Buffy beat Angel into submission. It's possible she no longer remembers. Xander appears not to have noticed that Angel took Buffy the hospital, behaviour not part of the normal vampire-victim relationship.

An interesting question is why Xander hasn't staked either Angel or Spike.

[> [> Interesting post, Dyna and great response, manwitch! -- Ixchel, 14:22:31 03/18/02 Mon

I agree there is a false dichotomy implied, a normal world that Xander and Willow must inhabit and a supernatural world that Buffy must inhabit. IMHO there is just the one world, and being both normal and supernatural (often at the same time) is its nature. Some of those in this world only see half of it, either through luck (the reality has never touched them) or willful denial. That Willow and Xander have been touched by this reality (the true nature of their world) has fundamentally changed them (WTTH and TH). Being Buffy's support is not all they are (and it shouldn't be), but it is an important part of how they react to the truth of their world. They don't get a permanent resident visa for denial-land (as the majority of people in the Buffyverse seem inclined to do), they ask Buffy how they can help.

I really liked manwitch's statement about how the Scoobies forge their own normalcy. They've had to, those around them refuse to see the entire world.

Also, IMHO, they are more than friends, they are a family. Bound together by acceptance of the truth, profound experience and a deep love.

In response to manwitch's question regarding Spike, I would like to think he would respond positively (his interactions with Dawn in general, and with Willow and Xander in Spiral, TWOTW and TG seem to support this).


[> [> [> Thanks, all!:) A few more comments, in reply to manwitch.. -- Dyna, 19:26:11 03/18/02 Mon

Manwitch said--

"One of the things Buffy and the scoobs have always done is find a way to forge a new existence, a new "normalcy." They do not feel themselves a failure if they need to make new "conventions." While I agree that Willow and Xander see/feel the tension between their normal human lives and the life of helping Buffy, I think its (uh-oh, school flashback) a false dichotomy."

I totally agree! I think a big part of what ails the Scoobies right now is the result of misplaced fears-- their own insecurities, unshared, that have fueled a sense of separation that doesn't have to be there. This is a group of people whose dedication to and love for each other have enabled them to integrate the unknown and unthinkable into their world and make something new--a "normalcy" that encompasses not only demons and vampires and Buffy's mission, but can accomodate an imaginary sister, a sexbot-turned surrogate Buffy, an ex-vengeance demon, a neutered vampire, wrinkly demon party guests and a wedding full of "circus folk!" This is especially clear in the period between Buffy's death and her resurrection. When we first see the Summer's household at the start of "Bargaining," we're given a firsthand view of the way that the world of the Scoobies shapes itself to the needs of its members--with Willow and Tara taking over as "parents," the Buffybot reprogrammed to impress teachers and conceal Buffy's death, both so Dawn can remain with her sister's friends as she wishes; we see Spike given purpose in his role as Dawn's protector, and everyone working together to continue Buffy's work. (Not to mention Willow tackling the incredibly complex task of reprogramming and maintaining the Buffybot, without so much as a hint of magic.)

What seems to be wrong at the moment isn't that there really is a binary opposition between the "normalverse" of Willow and Xander and the "slayerverse" of Buffy--it's that the Scoobies fear there is, or will be in the future, and are reacting to this fear in counterproductive ways. The longer they bottle up their fears instead of sharing them, the more likely they are to become self-fulfilling. Willow seems to believe that without magic, she is ordinary, boring, a geek. "Tara doesn't even know that girl," she says, and she's not talking about the Willow of yesteryear, the "spaz" that Tara never met. Willow believes "that girl" is who she really is, and that Tara wouldn't love her if she "knew." It feels wrong to us, and sad, because we see Willow's goodness and worth, and know what her love and friendship have meant to Buffy. Something similar is also the case with Xander--he's the "heart" of the group, the loyal friend, the steadying influence. But what does his vision of the future tell him about his value to Buffy? It's as a body, an inadequate body that's not strong enough and gets injured and "couldn't save her anyway." Both Willow and Xander seem to be struggling with distorted self-image, where they each exaggerate their own "ordinariness" and underestimate their real value to Buffy.

Buffy has similar fears, but in her case it's that she might be the one who's too different, who can no longer live in the world she and her friends have created. What if she's so different now, so "wrong" that even the broadest of the broad Scoobie minds can't accept her? (I'm reminded of Buffy's remark to Willow and Xander during their big blowup in S4: "If I was any more open-minded about the choices you two make, my brain would fall out!" Yet when it comes to herself, Buffy's afraid to risk asking the others to extend that kind of open-mindedness to her.) Buffy's fears are one of the things that give Spike so much power to affect her--if she wasn't already worried that she "came back wrong," or that she may actually be a "creature of darkness," Spike's words wouldn't carry so much weight. It's significant that after Buffy shared these fears with Tara, Spike's influence seemed to diminish. But Buffy is still struggling, because she's allowed her fear of what she might be--of her "nature," her Slayerness--to fester, afraid of what she might learn if she looks too closely. But, as we've learned over and over again, in the Jossverse denial is never the right path, and I think what we're seeing now are some of the consequences of that denial.

Thanks for your insightful comments!

[> Brain food for the dry spell! Thanks! -- Kimberly, 06:14:58 03/18/02 Mon

[> Very nice -- thanks. -- yez, 09:29:33 03/18/02 Mon

Versus -- JM, 19:10:14 03/17/02 Sun

I'm posting this here in a response to a continuing argument on the TWoP boards about the comparative characterization methods on Angel and Buffy. The argument broke down largely over taste lines. One faction found Buffy stagnantly soap-operatic because issues progressed incrimentally from ep to ep. Other's found Angel sloppily erratic in their lower level of intense character exploration. I'm sharing here because I think you're the most intellectually rigorous and dispassionate audience and because there aren't space restrictions. I'm using you. Hate me if you must.

OK, just wanted to put in my one or two cents. I,m a little out of step since I,ve decided to approach the "versus in the thread title as comparison instead of competition. I,m sure I won,t throw off the vibe too bad though.

I think that the shows are linked and related but slightly different approaches to similar concepts and concerns. They share similar worldviews but different perspectives on exploring them. For starters they are based around different settings and basically different age groups of characters. I posit that BtVS uses monster settings and monster metaphors to primarily explore characters and emotions. Exploring how humans deal with certain situations and how internal and external factors lead to certain reactions to the events of life. AtS seems more focused on exploring concepts, such as honor, responsibility, and redemption and uses the characters to express this exploration. I am not saying that the writers are manipulating them into situations, simply that the focus is slightly adjusted.

The characters and their relationships are also distinctly different. On the BtVS the core characters have intimately shared six formative years together, the spheres of home, family, romance, school, work, and vocation mixing haphazardly. Although they are not psychically linked and keep personal secrets, I think that there is very little in each other,s fundamental characters that they are not privy too.

In AtS, the characters are largely out of physical adolescence. The people they perceive themselves to be have largely been formed. They of course continue to change, even dramatically, in adulthood, as we all do, but not as self-awarely as one does during the physically and culturally demarcated crossroads of adolescence. They have know each other closely for much less time and their sphere of interaction is mostly work, with only some overflow into their minimal social lives. They are also each very private people, each in their own way, and, as is common in work-place interactions, share with each other only a face of their own choosing. Each character has parts of themselves they hold private for their own reasons, the survival of their own psyches, and the construction of the person they consciously choose to be.

Although we the audience know a lot about each of the characters on AtS there is more that we don,t know. And in some ways they know each other even less intimately than we do. A different version of dramatic irony? The most distinctive example was Cordelia,s situation as it was revealed in "Birthday. The revelation was to both the audience and to her companions. Although her reaction to her wounds in "That Vision Thing makes it in character, it means that all of us are now forced to reevaluate every interaction with Cordy. For possibly the past year, every thing she has said and done has been overshadowed by her knowledge that she has a possibly fatal condition. Whether it was denial or her literally religious faith in the PTB or her terror of conceiving of herself in a position of disempowerment, she has chosen to keep this horrible secret. A personal privacy that contrasts with the familiarity she assumes as her right with all the other characters. She,s not a saint (she can still be very caustic with her friends), she,s a convert. And it,s a mostly private religion. Wonder how much her friends know about her deal with Skip.

And even though Angel is our protagonist, we,re often reminded that there,s two-centuries of experiences we know little about. He,s the guy who goofs over hockey or broods about Buffy. He,s also the guy who has the occasional sweet dream about perpetrating atrocities and didn,t think it signified much that his beloved son was looking tasty. Makes you wonder how much other horrible stuff is bopping around casually in his brain any given moment. Wesley, more than any character in the Jossverse, has severe parental issues. We know little, his friends know even less. The most important influence of his life is one I can,t imagine him ever explaining. Everything he is, good and bad, has its source in that man. His unflinching code of conduct, his loyalty, his chivalry. His ruthless single-mindedness, his shrouded misogyny, his self-doubt, his self-loathing.

Gunn has a central, horrible incident in his past. One whose memory causes incapacitating grief and a complete break with all the people from that past. One he never talks about. And his behavior in "That Old Gang of Mine shows that his instinctive reaction to a conflict between his past and present is to betray everyone equally in an attempt to keep the one from invading the other. Fred hid within herself, coping by creating a fantasy life that completely negates the reality of her existence. A dichotomy she expresses to no one. I think she continues to live in the world of her own mind not out of deceptiveness but because she thinks on a level that she can,t communicate to anyone around her. Lorne is outgoing and inviting, but it was nearly a year before we penetrated his veneer of cool and even learned his first name.

My convoluted point is that the differences in characterization are not necessarily a lack of skill, but a conscious stylistic choice. Also, it seems that there is more time implied between Angel eps than Buffy eps. BtVS is closer to a continuous narrative, AtS, a periodic visit to a consistent universe.

If I had to choose I would prefer AtS, mostly because AD just blows me away. His acting is marvelously subtle. Wes is a painfully tragic character. Full of potential, full of regrets, full of self- loathing, full of fatal flaws. AtS is not necessarily darker, but somehow emotionally more austere. However, BtVS has provided me some of the most amazingly effective artistic emotions I,ve ever experienced on television. Do I have to choose?

[> Luckily, you don't have to choose :) -- Traveler, 20:22:32 03/17/02 Sun

This hasn't been my favorite season of Angel. I liked season two better by far. It's not that I think the plot/characterization is worse; I just haven't liked the execution as well. However, I agree with you description of the differences between the shows. Angel has always struck me as a little darker and more mature. Wesley is also one of my favorite characters. I've discovered that I like Angel a little evil. Silly/happy Angel just seems wrong somehow.

I've been thinking a lot about the age difference between the characters on the two shows, and I haven't come to any hard conclusions. However, I might suggest that the characters on both shows are dealing with the same issues, just from different perspectives. Wow, thinking about it, I see a LOT of comparisons.

Buffy/Angel (single parents, with huge responsibilities)
Xander/Wesley (social misfits screwed up by their fathers)
Anya/Cordelia (somewhat superficial, but open and honest)
Willow/Fred (socially awkward, low self-esteem, prodigies)
Spike/Gunn (sensative artist hidden under bad boy exterior)
Tara/Lorne (compasionate, insightful, and supportive)

What do you think?

[> [> Re: Luckily, you don't have to choose :) -- JM, 21:16:31 03/17/02 Sun

Can't think too much a litle blown away by your comparisons. The best description I ever heard of AtS is as a show constantly reinventing itself. The writers' central mission is exerting control of tone and emotion over the audience. In this regard every season has been rewarding. Plus I suspect that we are being shown that giddy Angel is just not artistically wrong, but cosmically inappropriate. His greatest personal revelations have always been gained through moments of pain. I suspect that this season will not result in fun times with Connor. (If it does, then more power to the writers for bucking conventions. What, I'm easy. Haven't you figured that out yet?)

I loved the mirror characterizations. B and A are obviously appropriate. X and W I think was accurately expressed in one of the anniversary posts. The only difference is the extent of the damage and the potential for recovery. Xander I find much less deadly to those he cares for. To me your grand slam was G and S. There's something there. The cool badass as completely inaccurate reflection of the delicate romantic within. Just not capable of going farther right now. Also like T and L. The personal is equally self-contained but no less delicately vulnerable.

I wonder if mirror characters are another expressioon of the existence of only seven vital plots in Western literature.

[> Re: Versus -- gds, 20:26:33 03/17/02 Sun

I don't choose. In fact I have always considered them perspective A and perspective B of the same show. I loved the fact they used to be shown back to back, and am looking forward to the time they will be again. It is also why I especially love the crossovers - even the implied ones (e.g. the one this year where both shows referred to a B/A rendezvous). I love the fact that they frequently are in counterpoint. When one is seriously depressing, the other is probably very comical. Together they strike a balance.

[> [> Back-to-back -- clg0107, 12:15:58 03/18/02 Mon

I used to enjoy them back-to-back for the same reasons. I recall how ... stunning it was to watch the AtS gang return all happy and laughing from Pylea at the end of last season, to find Willow at the Hyperion with the worst news ever.

Buffy's death hit me all over again, even though I'd just watched it an hour before -- because I'd gotten sucked into the next story and forgotten for a while.

As with so many things in Whedon-verse...nicely done!!


[> Re: Versus -- Apophis, 21:52:35 03/17/02 Sun

No comments, no criticisms; just want to say that this was a bloody marvelous post. Thank you.

[> Re: Versus -- manwitch, 05:38:46 03/18/02 Mon

You've described the differences well. I'm curious as to what you think is the significance of the difference. If you are correct, as I suspect you are, that the differences are not the result of lack of skill but rather stylistic choice, then what do you think is produced by that choice? Also, is the difference applicable to a comparison of all seasons? Or just the current ones?

ps. my only point of difference here would be that, while Angel is a great show that is fun to watch, Buffy is an event in the history of American Film and TV, possibly in American Lit. The characters on Buffy are great characters. The only new character of interest and significance that AtS has produced is Lorne. He could have his own show. I like Gunn, but I think they could do so much more with him than they seem willing to do. I know that argument has been handled here on the board before and I don't claim to bring anything new to it. I just come down on the side that, while I like him, I wish they would breathe a little more life into him. Fred's cute, if awefully thin. But I watch the show to keep up with Angel and Cordy, and occasionally to shake my head at Wesley, either because of how far he has come or because of how far he hasn't. And I see everything they do through the prism of Buffy. I know why Angel is in LA. I know why Cordy knows him and fights with him. I know why Wesley is in the States at all, and why he ended up a rogue demon hunter. No matter what they claim to dredge up in Angel, I was witness to the most significant events of all their lives on another show a few years back. Its hard for me sometimes to get into Angel, because I feel like they are all stuck in neutral. The irony is that they are supposedly the older, more adult characters, and yet they are just trying to get back to where they were, to make up for what they've done, to get another chance. Whereas every step Buffy takes is gut-wrenchingly new territory. Because Buffy doesn't need to make up for anything, she doesn't need to be redeemed.

I don't mean this as a knock on Angel. Its a lot of fun and certainly this season has retained the quirky charm that Buffy is perilously close to losing, along with its audience. But as long as Angel's mission is the same one it was when he went to Sunnydale, not much new is gonna happen. Let him be redeemed and see what he does with it. That would be a twist, and something new to watch.

Anyways, I got side-tracked. Probably the result of not getting to the board as often as I might like. What I meant was, what do you think is the significance of the stylistic differences you describe? Why one and why the other? Just curious.

[> [> Perhaps Two Different Methods of A Coming of Age Parable? -- AngelVSAngelus, 11:14:04 03/18/02 Mon

The two shows both strike me as coming of age stories, but from two different perspectives. Buffy being the originator, and having started during the youths of its characters, concerns itself with the growth of adolescents into adulthood, and becoming. Where as, it seems to me that Angel concerns itself with adults becoming something else in spite of their pasts. The lead characters of each show embody both of these themes.
Somehow I get the feeling that my post is kind of shallow and doesn't at all address your question.... but I tried *shrug*

[> [> [> Very good points and not shallow at all! -- Scroll, 11:16:59 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> Re: Perhaps Two Different Methods of A Coming of Age Parable? -- JM, 17:09:10 03/18/02 Mon

No, Apophis, thank you.

gds and clg, I remember those nights. I used to be completely useless Tuesdays. I miss the crossovers (those sly writers have done a good job with sneaking references in though) and liked the balancing of tone. However I've lately been enjoying the fact that there is a little time to digest one show without immediately being swept up in the next.

AvA, that's not shallow, that's exactly how Greenwalt has described the differences and what I took as my jumping off point. Good eye.

manwitch, the challenge. I'm pretty deep thoughted out but I'll take a stab. I agree that BtVS is ground breaking TV. Not just are the characters tremendous acheivements who have grown believably like those on no other show, but the conventions of the medium have been tested repeatedly. I can't think of any other show pulling off a musical, a "Hush," a "Restless," and a "Body." Few could pull off just one.

I think the differences have several possible sources. Although AtS I think challenges the expectations of the genre (I'm thinking particularly of the one-two punch of "The Trial" and "Reunion" leading unexpectedly to the existentialism of "Epiphany") but it does take the confines of the medium more seriously than BtVS. BtVS is more self-consciously meta, deliberately invoking the artistic experience.

Another difference I've noted is that the focus seems pulled back a few steps on AtS. BtVS in intensely intimate. Spacially it feels as if the stage of action is larger in LA than in Sunnydale, with it's familiar main street. Contrast the Magic Box and the Summers home to the soaring cathedral ceiling of the Hyperion.

The best way I can explain it, though probably completely innacurate, is that BtVS is a hero's journey, AtS is an epic. The Odyssey versus the Iliad. BtVS is really all about Buffy. Although one of a long line the story is about how this responsibility affects and changes her. On AtS, it seems less about the centrality of Angel to how a pawn in an eternal struggle is functioning in that mysterious role during his brief participation.

I think that the actual non-centrality of Angel was a core concept of the show from the beginning, only growing stronger with time. The original plan was a weekly case where Angel was simply the agent of change in the guest star's life. It may be a necessity for a show with character who's never allowed to participate in a fully realized romance. I suspect it may have more to do with the guiding light of each series though. Joss is involved in all at a high level but BtVS is his brain child. David Greenwalt is the Power That Is for Angel. Joss is a professed atheist. I've heard rumored that DG is either a Catholic or raised Catholic. A world in which the most important thing is what we do now with the brief life we are given is fundamentally different than one in which there is an involved higher power with designs that transcend any one person.

On BtVS the personal is central, while on AtS it feels that the quest is more important than the actors. I'd contrast the death of Doyle with the death of Jenny. (Yes, I know that there were backstage factors.) One was a acceptable sacrifice, right in the eyes of the universe; the other was a disgusting perversion, an unacceptable result of flawed intentions.

I do disagree about the lack of change in the character's lives. I think that Angel actually rejected the quest for personal redemption in "Epiphany." It's notable that his biggest opportunity to address a past wrong -- the present existence of Holtz -- coincided with the event that has turned Angel most in toward himself -- the birth of Connor. BtVS was the catalyst for the changes that Cordy and Wes have experienced, but without their interaction with Angel, they wouldn't have gone very far.

I suspect that some of Gunn's characterization has been a result of the difficulty of writing for a black character when none of the writers are. I think they've done a admirable job of subtly developing though. I think his comforting presence was an unexpected end point from someone who originally looked like the stereotypical angry rebel. I've found the journey believable and contrary to expectations.

[> [> [> [> holy smokes! -- manwitch, 18:20:33 03/18/02 Mon

can't wait to hear what you have to say when you have the energy for deep thoughts!!

many thanks. this is for me one of the most interesting posts I've yet read.

VampRiley - Have question for you -- Rynn01, 21:55:19 03/17/02 Sun

I read something in one of your posts that I would like to ask you about. I don't know if my question ia allowed on the board though. Would you contact me at so I can ask you about something?
Thanks, Rynn

[> Re: Just ask your question, do not worry about so-called rules! -- Sloan, 07:59:40 03/18/02 Mon

Internet is a free service, rules do not apply here, especially on boards like this one! You're supposed to speak your mind on boards, so bite me if you're not allowed to say whatever the heck you want. But I know by experience that you should be careful because those guys do not hesitate to shut your access down for no reason (my access has been prohibited because I post a message from somewell- known website's webmaster). Anyway yada yada and I'll die for you LIBERTY!

[> [> Rules of Etiquette -- Kimberly, 09:20:42 03/18/02 Mon

Internet is a free service, rules do not apply here, especially on boards like this one!

In one sense, you are correct. As this is a free service, there are few "rules" in the sense of "laws" which apply. In another, more important, sense, however, you are missing the point. The "rules" people here are discussing have nothing to do with legal rules; they have to do with etiquette.

This is a forum attached to Masquerade's web site to enable those of us who enjoy her site to discuss issues which are of mutual interest. Those issues are primarily about BtVS and AtS in a philosophical sense, but they are not limited to it. Although there are few "legal" rules, there are certain rules of etiquette that exist: some are stated in Masquerade's FAQ; some are fairly common; some are specific to this board. Those who break the etiquette rules are informed of this fact, in order to keep the experience here an enjoyable one for all.

To give you an example of the etiquette of this board: Lengthy posts are allowed, welcomed, enjoyed and wanted. Some of my favorite posters here (and, judging from other's comments, I'm not alone in my preferences) frequently post long, thought-filled and thought-provoking essays. Some will break them up; others don't (seems to be a matter of taste.) On other boards, long posts are not wanted and those who would make them are discouraged. Both are correct for their respective boards.

My favorite author, Robert A. Heinlein, was made a point about rules of etiquette that I have remembered and have observed to be true over the years: The more closely you interact with someone, the more important good etiquette is (he actually said something along the lines of "Moving parts require lubrication."). In a forum such as this, in which posters get to know one another, following the rules of etiquette becomes important: mostly to keep our heads free to discuss different interpretations of the shows we discuss here.

Differing opinions and interpretations are welcome. And company manners are always appropriate. (And, yes, I AM a mother!)

[> [> First amendment spoken here -- Masquerade, 09:58:12 03/18/02 Mon

Oooh, it would be truly scary to me if this were a board where people did not feel free to ask whatever question they might have, whether it is OT on BtVS/AtS episodes, or reflects the diverse intellectual hooliganism we enjoy here on the board, or is completely not OT.

I guess, like Kimberly, the only exceptions I can think of are those involving questionable etiquette-- like those questions posed by our late visitor, Jim Boke--thinly veiled insults meant to "shake up the board" but having so little real content that there is no way to respond them in any way that does not involve negative emotions, personal insult and other fallacious forms of so-called argument.

O.K., I think I've made that clear as mud. : ) : )

Bottom line, go ahead and post your question, whether it is off-topic or addressed to one individual. It may be ignored, it may get the response you wanted, it may start a long OT thread on differing standards of etiquette and free speech--you never know. But if someone tells you certain questions are no-nos, there will probably be someone else (or several someone elses) you will jump in to say otherwise.

: )

[> Ask away! I will respond. (he typed, nodding his head definitively) -- VampRiley, 12:06:45 03/18/02 Mon

Attention to the Illustrious First Evil - There is a New Potential Evil for your Consideration! -- The Third Evil, 22:16:21 03/17/02 Sun

It has been duly voted upon by a legal consortium of ATPo members on this day of March 17th/18th 2002

that ATPo regular Malandanza be elected to the honored post of

The Eleventh Evil

We beseech your noble presence in the official confirmation of this enactment.

Thank you very much.

[> 11th? Did we skip 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th? -- Masq, 22:46:51 03/17/02 Sun

'cause I'd be happy to name Malandanza the 5th evil.

[> [> Re: 11th? Did we skip 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th & 10th? -- O'Cailleagh, 22:49:14 03/17/02 Sun

Mal wanted 11th so thats what we voted he could stay out of the top ten or somesuch

[> [> [> Who am I to argue with that?! -- Masq, 22:58:59 03/17/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> Entirely too much Evil here. ;o) -- Cactus Watcher, 05:47:13 03/18/02 Mon

The board is far too unbalanced with Evils. I have no problems with Malandanza what-so-ever, but since I often am thinking contrary to the general opinion of the board maybe I ought to be called the 11th Virtue. Just kidding. Really just kidding!

I'd like to join in chats more often, but constantly getting kicked off annoys the heck out of me. It's my Internet provider's fault not the chatroom.

[> [> [> [> I do believe that D'Herblay is the *Fifth Evil*... -- T3E, 07:35:29 03/18/02 Mon

And if I recall correctly, Humanitas is the Fourth Evil.

(Where the heck is Hu these days, anywho?)

Uhhh.... will the Fourth Evil please stand up??

Mal stated that he figured sometime or another someone might come after the 'Top Ten' Evils, so if he was Eleventh, he'd escape the big slaughter.

Such an optimist!


[> [> [> [> [> Re: I do believe that D'Herblay is the *Fifth Evil*... -- Malandanza, 09:50:04 03/18/02 Mon

"Mal stated that he figured sometime or another someone might come after the 'Top Ten' Evils, so if he was Eleventh, he'd escape the big slaughter."

I will lurk out of sight, just below the surface, like an evil manatee avoiding the speedboats of justice.

On the second thought, maybe I need a different analogy.

But I'm in favor of an opposing group of Virtues, as CW says. I'd vote for Masq as the First Virtue, in her benevolent aspect. Who else? WW? or is she too morally ambiguous these days? (the things she said to poor Boke!) :) Rufus should probably make the list. Too bad Spotjon left us and Ryeui (sp?) has been gone for awhile.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Rufus should be the First Virtue -- Masq, 10:01:11 03/18/02 Mon

She has been campaigning hard to be a board good-guy and all. I can see it now, Ms. Kitty Fantastico with a little halo over her fuzzy head....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Should we make Rahael the Fifth Virtue to be the equivalent of d'H ? :) -- Ete, 11:20:15 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> How sweet of you Ete! But........ -- Rahael, 14:55:47 03/18/02 Mon

When I'm good, I'm very good, but when I'm bad, I'm better!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Give Rahrah whatever title you like, but... -- The Second Evil, 15:00:43 03/18/02 Mon

*I* will always think of her as Our Lady of Ultimate Exoticness. Alternately, Our Lady of Unbelievable Eloquence. Hmm... OLUE for short?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> awwww -- Rahael, 15:21:19 03/18/02 Mon

and you were the only person to get my belle dame sans merci reference!! I always fancied being light of foot and wild of eye.

Unfortunately, I'm obviously not pitiless enough. The Chevalier d'Herblay is neither wan or palely loitering. He's sunning himself in the Carribbean!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Rahael as a faery's child, that's ok for me :) -- Ete, 15:28:40 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> ah-hah, lurk all you like, D'h, but when you leave a treasure like Rahrah unguarded... bwahahahahah! -- The Second Evil, 18:47:54 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Careful, S.E., d'Herb's lurking... -- Masq ; ), 15:22:01 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I second that nomination for First Virtue... err, so to speak. -- The Second Evil, 14:58:23 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> LOL..........of course a Halo......I wouldn't be complete without one......;) -- Rufus, 15:08:40 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> What?! and I'm not evil enough for you? *sniff* -- Liq, 11:11:40 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah, but you are the *queen* of virtues abounding -- Masq, 14:08:37 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> sheesh, being a WebGod isn't enough for ya, now ya gotta be evul, too. (Heh!) -- Solitude1056, 15:11:14 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I just wanted to fit in -- Liq, 15:55:35 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> ROFL!! ;o) -- dubdub, 11:22:59 03/18/02 Mon

I'd settle for "The Prime Ambiguity." I'd like to be virtuous, but some people just push my buttons!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I had exactly the same idea !!! -- Ete, 12:03:06 03/18/02 Mon

But then I prefer the number Two so it is great ! ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wait, aren't dubdub & Rufus already the Wonder Twins... -- Solitude1056, 15:06:55 03/18/02 Mon

Something to do with grabby hands, chocolate, and Spike... ;-) or is that Lady Starlight 'n Rufus, now that dubdub is a confirmed Clemite?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wait, aren't dubdub & Rufus already the Wonder Twins... -- Rufus, 15:14:04 03/18/02 Mon

Rowan is the Grabby hands of Spike (or is that for Spike), and I'm the Grabby hands of Chocolate......but I can have more titles as I earn them...:)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Aha! Thanks for explaining that one... where is your other Wonder Twin, anyway? -- Solitude1056, 15:16:57 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I hear she is under the weather....leaving me all the Grabby work to do on my own.... -- Rufus, 15:50:59 03/18/02 Mon

And it's a hard job being that Spike isn't my type...;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Hands, grabbiness, chocolate...sounds like rowan to me! -- dubdub, 15:23:14 03/18/02 Mon

I believe it was she and Rufus. Rufus was grabby chocolate hands and rowan was grabby Spike hands.

On another note, isn't there a paradox implied in having a Canadian DEMON Cat Worshipper as the First Virtue? Or is this just part of the graying of our Buffyverse?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> DubDub is the Grabby Hands of Clem -- Masq ; ), 15:24:28 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Oh,'ve made me happy, I... -- dubdub, 15:48:27 03/18/02 Mon

I...can hardly type...*sniffle*


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Understand that is officially "Evil Grabby Clem Hands" -- Masq, 16:20:13 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Grey.......I have loads of grey on my head.....;) -- Rufus, 15:27:46 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> Nope! D'Herblay is our TROLL SLAYER! ;-) -- The Second Evil, 14:55:48 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> I think we need a list of the evils, cause I don't know who's who -- vampire hunter D, 12:37:30 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> See FAQ glossary under "Nicknames" -- Masq, 14:23:26 03/18/02 Mon

Hero's Journey article -- Sofdog, 07:19:56 03/18/02 Mon

A bit rough around the edges, but a capable analysis I think:

"The Body" and me -- Sloan, 07:54:15 03/18/02 Mon

I was watching "The Body" the other night and let me tell you something, this was, is and certainly will be the best buffy episode ever. But why? I mean it's an episode all about death, a mom's death. But then it got me thinking, thinking about how I might react if my own mother should die. Would I react like Buffy did? Would I cry my eyes off? I dunno but I think it's the first time ever a television program has such a big influence over me. And I don't know if I should be glad or worry about it.

Sloan, the girl people like to hate for no real reason, go figure! :-)

[> Re: "The Body" and me -- manwitch, 08:52:25 03/18/02 Mon

I think it will certainly be one of the best episodes. I would include the Gift, Intervention, Tabula Rasa, Restless, Prophecy Girl, Halloween, and probably about 80 other episodes in a tie for best ep.

But I think part of why is the way the show leverages its past, both in terms of its characters and even in terms of its camera work. The Body is cool because of how they deviated from their normal way of composing images. Things were off center, characters were facing the wrong way, on the wrong side. The camera didn't seem to be where it was supposed to be. It always seemed like something was missing.

And, of course, it was. Joyce was missing.

My wife pointed out to me the number of times the camera follows characters without cutting. Normally, Buffy would get up and walk towards the Kitchen and it would be CUT TO Buffy entering the kitchen. The expanse of space between is cut out. In the Body, we follow Buffy every step of the way and linger as she drops out of frame. The space seems to open up in an eerie emptiness. Time drags out, as we actually have to experience the time it takes to walk to the kitchen for the first time in our lives.

And of course, the absence of music, frequently used in film and TV to enliven dead spots. But here, the whole point was the dead spots.

Its a masterpiece. But it wouldn't be if it were the first episode. It depends not only on the characters it has built, but our (conscious or un) knowledge of how they film and construct Buffy episodes. Because it deviates from the norm at every turn.

[> Re: "The Body" and me -- Wisewoman, 11:16:38 03/18/02 Mon

I don't think anyone here hates you, Sloan...we don't even know you, really.

My comment in the other thread was based on your rather abrupt and seemingly rude comment that the post was "too long."

Also, you posted on the TWIZ board that ATPoBtVS "sucks big time," so I'm a little surprised to see you here.

If you stick around here a while and get to know us I'm sure you'll find that's not true.


[> [> Re: "The Body" and me -- Sloan, 08:40:17 03/19/02 Tue

I said "sucks big time" because they shut my access down for no reason, that's all.

[> [> [> Re: "The Body" and me -- Malandanza, 11:53:18 03/19/02 Tue

I think part of your hostile reception was that you arrived at our board right after even the most ardent free-speech advocates had grown weary of Boke. So you picked up a little of the remaining hostility. Personally, I see nothing wrong with the TWIZ site -- it does have an archive of transcripts. I prefer Psyche, however, because it has the shooting scripts and it is easier to get to the scripts and transcripts for which I am searching.

[> [> [> But there was a reason... -- VampRiley, 12:45:11 03/19/02 Tue

There has to be. Masq doesn't ban people for no reason. Maybe you should go right to the source and talk to her.


[> Re: "The Body" and me -- TRM, 14:20:01 03/18/02 Mon

I think its interesting to see people differentiate between the episodes, because what I've often seen on other message boards is that after every single episode would be some comment along the lines of "That's the best episode!" without a real objective consideration of the episodes' placement within the series and in fact the possibility (or even probability) that not all the episodes are necessarily great.

With regards to the comment, my personal favorite episode was "The Body" as well; this is fairly certain in my mind. Indeed, much of the artistic work that went behind the body that was mentioned -- the uncomfortable silences, the lingering shots, my personal favorite being the silent shot of Buffy telling Dawn -- contributed to the strength of this episode.

Aside from that, it was also unique in its literal realism. As noted by manwitch, it would be less forceful without being couched in the rest of the series. It also had the force of nonmagical cause that BtVS has employed various times (though many argue on how true these are) such as with Tara and Buffy's humanity, comforting and discomforting in those two cases respectively. Metaphors don't always represent the truth but sometimes misrepresent them.

This force of truth is the permanence and impact of death. This is perhaps one reason why I didn't cry at the end of the Gift. I certainly was sad, but in some sense, knowing that Buffy would be back, knowing that death wasn't permanent rather detracted from the impact of this sacrifice.

Thus artistic direction, force of truth, and finally a certain honesty in its portrayal -- again through the lack of magic and fantasy. Certainly, this is not a speech against the wonderful metaphors that we find through the fantastic elements of Buffy but rather the brilliant placement of such utter realism among the metaphors that make it so much stronger. In some sense, while one may draw many conclusions as to what Joyce's death meant, the strongest meaning that it carries is Joyce's death itself. Her death was completely natural, completely of "our world" and sometimes the best way to describe our world isn't through metaphor but through the representation of itself.

On a different spin, I'm wondering what people's least favorite episode(s) of the series are? Dangling near the bottom of mine is "Buffy vs. Dracula" which, while I picked up on the foreshadowing of the darkness of Buffy's nature, proved to me largely non-comic attempts at camp with roughly filmed shots; though certainly I may be missing much of the subtlety of the episode.

[> [> Re: "The Body" and me -- Rynn01, 19:53:45 03/18/02 Mon

As for my least favorite episode, it would have to be Superstar. That's the only one I can't really watch w/o losing interest. Even the first time I watched it, I kept doing other things. Usually I won't even answer the phone, even during episodes I've seen 2 or 3 times.

I didn't notice all the effects during the Body, of course I never do until I get on this board! That's why I come here, and to feel less than intelligent reading all your in depth critiques! But I agree, after you pointing it out to me, that the fact that it was such a real episode in Buffy, where our real life can be considered an alternant universe, defintely made a huge impact.

[> Re: "The Body" and me -- Valhalla, 19:55:27 03/18/02 Mon

I don't have a literary or cinematic analysis for this one. But my dad died 2 years ago and the characters' reactions were painfully realistic. I've seen other shows where an important character dies and not been nearly as affected. One thing is that although each character reacted differently, I felt like I had each of their reactions at one point, from Buffy's stunned shockiness to Anya's painful questions about how it could even be.

My dad was the first person I've lost who I was really close to. Of course I knew before it happened that to lose a parent would be horrible, but after it happened I realized I had had absolutely no idea how it just blows a hole through your heart. And I would have said if you haven't been through it, you just can't know. But the reason The Body blew me away was because there it was all on the screen. And I never even liked Joyce, it's just that The Body was so damned evocative of the real feelings that I sat stunned for at least an hour afterwards.

I'm sure I'm like a lot of people on this board -- I read obsessively and watch way too much tv, but I've come across few things in print or on screen that could rival that episode for conveying the real deal.

[> Re: "The Body" and me -- anom, 21:43:46 03/18/02 Mon

You can never know how you're going to react until it happens. And everyone reacts differently, but there's also something deep underneath those reactions that I think is the same for everyone. It depends on a lot of things, especially your relationship with your mother. My mother died about 2 weeks before The Body aired. (OK, yes I do know exactly how long it was: 2 weeks and 2 days.) I had these strange contradictory feelings watching the episode, of shock--that it actually happened in the episode, that they were showing it this way--and anticipation--not the good kind, but knowing the kinds of things that were going to happen afterwards. They got so much right, except for the fact that real life isn't written so well.

As they so often do, they gave Tara the wisest lines. It is always sudden, even when it isn't. And it's always different. And you find yourself thinking strange things. I found my time sense all screwed up--what day or time was it, how many days ago did this happen, when was that going to be. Now that I think of it, one thing they didn't show was how you don't adjust right away in the little things. You know the person is gone, but you don't realize what that really means. My brothers & I split up the list of people we had to call to tell them about Mom, & one of my brothers was trying to decide who should call one of her friends & caught himself thinking, "Mom should really make this call." I think one thing the unusual camera angles conveyed was that a parent's death really alters your reality. Everything seems out of joint. And they caught how hard everything is, & gave it an atmosphere that showed the pall that hangs over everything you're doing.

If the episode gave you some feeling about what it's like when a parent died, & made you think about it, I don't think it's something to worry about. It's probably good to think about it before you have to. It doesn't matter that it was a TV show that got you thinking; what's important is that you are thinking about it. And what you do about it. Is there something you want to change about your relationship with your mother? How would you do that? (I'm not asking for answers here on the board, just saying it's something worth thinking about.)

Doctor's Eggs (spoiler for Riley episode) -- Rochefort, 08:06:54 03/18/02 Mon

Can anyone explain to me exactly what Spike's intentions were? What was his motivation? "i'm evil" isn't cutting it for me. I was at a friend's, and so maybe I missed a line, but it was not clear to me at all what Spike was thinking. Money? Destruction? Didn't seem consistent to me with how he's been lately. The risk to wrecking things with Buffy didn't seem to have a big enough pay off for him and he hasn't been interested in mass destruction in quite a while.

Also, can someone give me the writers for the last three episodes?

[> Re: Doctor's Eggs (spoiler for As You Were) -- Darby, 09:05:03 03/18/02 Mon

First, the writers: As You Were, Douglas Petrie; Hell's Bells, Rebecca Rand Kirshner; Normal Again, Diego Gutierrez.

The leading theory about Spike and the eggs was that he's raising money to somehow deliver Buffy from her life of slime at the Doublemeat Palace. Another leading theory is that he really didn't know the whole story about the eggs, or he would have stored them someplace a) safer for him; and b) someplace Buffy would be unlikely to see them.

Buffy grows up in Normal Again (possible small spoilers plus slight speculation) -- purplegrrl, 10:28:34 03/18/02 Mon

In another thread Solitude1056 bemoaned that the Mutant Enemy writers have been beating us over the head with Buffy's inability to accept her life since her return from the dead. On one level I can totally agree: in previous seasons we have seen Buffy (and the other Scoobies) move on very quickly in their journey to adulthood. So why the constant circling around and around, with Buffy unable to deal with her life? I think it has to do with her continuing to want what she can't (or thinks she can't) have: a "normal" life.

I believe we have seen the end of Buffy's inability to accept her return to life, being a parent to Dawn, etc. I've been watching Bill Moyers' interviews with Joseph Campbell ("The Power of Myth" filmed in 1987). Campbell makes a statement that crystallizes and validates Buffy's decision to return to the Sunnydale world in "Normal Again":

"It's childish to say no to life and all its pain."

The demon's poison gave Buffy her epiphany. Ever since she became a Slayer, Buffy has expressed the fervent desire for a normal life. And yet when she is truly offered that "normal" -- two parents, no slaying -- life (although an illusion perhaps), she turns it down. She decides she can no longer be childish. She says yes to life and all its pain. This *is* a normal life.

How will the epiphany manifest itself? I don't know. Like everyone, I have to wait another 4 weeks until we get a new episode. But I do think we will see a Slayer with a renewed sense of purpose. Buffy may still be working at Doublemeat Palace, dealing with Dawn's feelings of inadequacy, adjusting to Spike's attraction for her (and her possible attraction for him), and everything else, but it will not overwhelm her as it has previously. She has accepted what her life is. She has grown up.

[> Re: Buffy grows up in Normal Again (possible small spoilers plus slight speculation) -- Caroline, 11:13:53 03/18/02 Mon

I hope you are right in your predictions but knowing ME, I'm sure there is more pain to come. As for Buffy going around and around instead of growing up - it reminds me of the loop-the-loop time thing in the Magic Box in Life Serial. She kept selling the mummy hand until she satisfied the customer. That seems to be a metaphor for Buffy and growing up this season. She's going to keep going around in these circles until she learns the lessons. Also, there is the possibility that Buffy may grow up but Xander is certainly messed up and who knows about Willow? Much more potential for pain from them.

[> [> Re: Buffy grows up in Normal Again (possible small spoilers plus slight speculation) -- Sophist, 12:58:03 03/18/02 Mon

Rather than say she's grown up, I'd say she made the decision to grow up. The process itself undoubtedly will involve the pain you predict.

[> "Normal Life" (spoilers for Normal Again, Life Serial) -- Vickie, 12:41:06 03/18/02 Mon

You both make excellent points. On the "normal life" topic, I'm reminded of another excellent show. In Babylon 5, one character wants to postpone marriage until he can give his intended "some kind of normal life." (He has a pretty serious drinking problem.)

She tells him, "There is no normal life, Michael. There's just life." This is, I think, what Buffy needs to learn. That other people's lives may look "normal" from the outside (whatever that may mean), but there is just life. Or saying no to life.

As regards going around in circles until she learns the lesson, this is the belief of many world religions. (Apologies to experts and believers, I am just a student here.) Many who believe in reincarnation believe that we keep getting the same life lessons until we GET them. Then we can move on to others.

my $.02

Wesley's motives in Sleep Tight -- Len, 10:49:49 03/18/02 Mon

Are Wesley's motives in meeting Holtz clear? If he meant ot take Connor, why would he bother going to talk to Holtz first? Any thoughts?

[> Note: my Sleep Tight posting has spoilers! -- Len, 11:13:35 03/18/02 Mon

[> Re: Wesley's motives in Sleep Tight -- JM, 13:49:10 03/18/02 Mon

It's never entirely clear. We the audience know only a little more about what's going on in Wes's head than the other characters do. It seems that the initial visit to Holtz was Wes taking advantage of the opportunity that Aubrey presented. At that point he wanted more information on Holtz and based on his interactions with grieving mother Aubrey and Angel's characterization of Holtz, Wes has some hope at least of diffusing the situation. A situation that is already becoming dangerous to his people.

What he doesn't anticipate is that Aubrey has found out at least enough to know that Wes is afraid for Connor's safety and that Holtz is planning to manipulate Wes using that information. (Probably why Aubrey was making a move on him at the office.) At the first meeting Holtz plays up Wes's fear and expresses concern for the child.

At the point of the second meeting, Wes has seen the signs and figures Connor fate is virtually sealed. Before he meets with Holtz, his comment of taking Connor for a couple of days indicates that he has already formed the plan for taking Connor away. He also knows that if he leaves with Connor, he won't be able to return. He'll be leaving the people he is responsible for to fight off whatever it is that Holtz has been planning. In his last act as the leader of AI, he makes final appeal to Holtz and also indicates that he may be willing to accomodate Holtz somehow if it will protect his team. Holtz makes his ultimatum.

Holtz never demands that Wes bring him the baby, he knows that would be a deal killer. He simply makes sure that that is the end result. In a classic jujitsu move he offers his enemy something he wants to do something he already wanted to do, but will now do on Holtz's time-table. And Holtz isn't so lame after all. He succeeded in getting the baby from Angel. Something that a vampire cult, a paramilitary force, a biker gang, and some Lillith demons had failed to accomplish.

Wes never gives any indication that he is handing Connor over. His actions are a betrayal, but not that extreme a one. He doesn't trust Holtz or the purity of his motives or his real intent. He witnessed Holtz pull a knife on Justine, something I don't think was staged for his benefit. He makes his move before his time runs out, probably because he doesn't expect Holtz to keep his word - - he just can't afford to assume he won't.

More evidence Wes is taking the baby himself, not bringing it to Holtz: At some point between his visit to Holtz and his return to AI (about the entire day) he changes clothes. So he's probably been home to make long term plans. He's packed for himself. Apparently he's purchased or rented a new vehicle. He draws on Justine and doesn't lower the weapon until he sees she's injured. Doesn't seem like he intends to take the baby to Holtz and like he expects to be double-crossed. Just not triple- crossed. He knew that good-night at AI was really a good-bye for him and his team, as much as for Angel and Connor.

[> [> Re: Wesley's motives in Sleep Tight -- Len, 14:20:15 03/18/02 Mon

A reasonable analysis JM. I just felt it was a little strained that Wes would go back that last time. It worked more in terms of setting op the finale than in terms of something Wes would logically do.

I wonder if they were trying to imply that he was considering giving Connor to Holtz and then changed plans once he saw how irredeemable Holtz was?

I like the idea that Holtz was able to play on Wes' psychology to push him into taking Connor in a manner in which Holtz could ultimately get Connor.

Great stuff.

OT to Ixchel -- Sophist, 10:57:43 03/18/02 Mon

The thread with your question about Gould's book got archived before I saw it.

The book is written for a non-specialist. It is not a light read, though. It's a detailed history of how evolutionary theory got to it's current stage, a critique of certain interpretations of it, and an offer of a future path. It would help if you're familiar with Dawkins and Gould, as well as Niles Eldridge, and with the sociobiology wars.

BTW, I haven't read it. It's 1343 pages long, with small print. What I said above I gleaned from flipping through it in the bookstore. I bought it, but it will take awhile to read it and process it.

[> Thanks, Sophist! -- Ixchel, 12:20:52 03/18/02 Mon

It sounds like it'll be well worth the effort. But the commitment!

I probably know just enough to be utterly confused, but it seems fascinating.

Thanks again for the information.


[> [> Let me know what you think. I'm sure it ties in to BtVS somehow! -- Sophist, 12:51:58 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> "Season 6 and Punctuated Equilibria?" It's got potential. -- mm, 15:06:41 03/18/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> ROFL. How about "The Spandrels of Sunnydale and the Redemptionist Program"? -- Sophist, 16:19:25 03/18/02 Mon

A Bit of Nostalgic Reminiscing -- AngelVSAngelus, 13:28:59 03/18/02 Mon

Ah the good old days. Not that these present days aren't good (in regards to Buffy, I mean. Of course the present days of my LIFE aren't), but my how watching mid season two episodes brings a nostalgic smile to my face.
The other day, whilst on my way to the newest episode analyzation on ATPOBTVS, I decided to take a look back at things of the past. I went over the moral ambiguities of different characters, and was struck by something.
While looking at the page devoted to Angel in particular, I noticed a fan reaction to his still being alive, a vehemently passionate reaction involving the fan's desire to see a vicious killer be slain by the Scoobs.
I'm not entirely sure why this struck me as so amusing, really. It seems to bear retrospective relevance to the current "heated debate" of Spike's character in relation to a number of things, Buffy the primary among them. I just find it interesting that back then I seem to remember ALOT of people opposing my and some others high (and still so) opinion of Angel in favor of his being a vicious killer, and now I (in the vast minority, I think) tend to oppose others' opinion that Spike is not one. (and don't worry, despite my thinking he IS an unrepentant killer, I still love his character and remain appalled by Buffy's beating him and whatnot. No one, not even remorseless murderers, deserve that kind of treatment.)
Reminiscent meanderings. Sorry :)

[> Re: A Bit of Nostalgic Reminiscing -- Masq, 14:05:05 03/18/02 Mon

Oh, I agree there is a double standard where Angel and Spike are concerned. I'm not sure why. Both are played by attractive actors and were respectively swooned over by fans during their respective times with Buffy. I'm sure there are folks that will tell you Angelus was just so much more horrible than Spike, but this is a matter of debate and short memories. Likewise, they'll tell you Angel could become Angelus any moment now and go on a killing rampage while Spike dechipped would just never do such a thing. And they'll have complex metaphysical arguments concerning human predecessors and chips and souls and whatnot why this is so.

It may boil down to the respective attitudes towards shades of gray in earlier seasons than these later seasons. Fans now are much more readily able to accept the presence among the Scoobs of a domesticated ex-killer or two.

And there's that mysterious something that makes all of us, for no apparent reason, find one of the two characters more compelling than the other. It's like anything that's a matter of taste--no accounting for it, it just is. And it's very difficult, if impossible, to make someone change their mind.

For me, I've always liked Angel better, and I could give a long list of reasons, but my reasons are as much a matter of taste as the character I prefer. So I won't bore ya'll on why a brooding, earnest, bookish, always-Angelus-lurking vampire appeals to me more than a irreverent, vulgar, obvious, is- he-evil-or-isn't-he vampire.

But if you want to engage in pointless debate about it, by all means, do! It is the dry part of the season at the moment : ( : )

[> [> Just a little OT note to AvsA -- Masq, 15:00:18 03/18/02 Mon

When are you going to submit a "meet the posters" profile, young man? If having no favorite philosopher is stopping you, remember it can be anyone with or without a pulse!

[> [> [> Re: Just a little OT note to AvsA -- AngelVSAngelus, 15:50:26 03/18/02 Mon

Sorry! I really have wanted to do so for a long time, but I don't actually know how... *shuffles feet* um... help?

[> [> [> [> Re: Just a little OT note to AvsA -- Masq, 16:15:21 03/18/02 Mon

1. Go to

2. See the section titled "Answer these questions, and email Masquerade"

3. See many illuminating examples on pages

4. email Masquerade at

a. give Masq your answers
b. tell Masq which unclaimed character you would like to have represent you.

5. Wait a month or two, stewing vigorously

[> [> [> [> [> Just emailed :) *stewing* -- AngelVSAngelus, 16:22:45 03/18/02 Mon

[> Re: A Bit of Nostalgic Reminiscing -- Rendyl, 14:47:57 03/18/02 Mon

I like them both but I do agree with Masq that more seems to be expected and less forgiven with Angel.

For me Angel is much harder to give any slack to because of the nature of his relationship with Buffy. I don't want to step on the B/A shippers toes but this was not a good thing. I won't recap the enormous age and experience differences except to point out how it affected the balance of power in the relationship. From the first moment we (and Buffy) see Angel he is calling all the shots. This never changes. I believe that he loved (and possibly still loves) her, but the relationship was always about protecting her and making choices for her. It was not an equal partnership. He continually made decisions for her and the relationship. He kept doing things to protect her but what he accomplished was to shut her out of any input.
Much is made of how unhealthy B/S is but I don't feel her relationship with Angel was any healthier.

And no, the above is not a good reason to grant Spike more slack than Angel but it does affect how I see the characters. Spike just seems more honest in some ways. He does worry about her but he also seems comfortable letting her make her own choices. Or maybe he just likes the subtle influence rather than the outright choosing for her.

(of course I liked evil non-chipped Spike while Angelus just creeped me out but that soooo obviously can't be the reason-grin-)

I also (many moons ago) had the "billowy coat of pain" brooding, angst-ridden boyfriend and it finally became unendurable so I may not be unbiased.


[> [> *hides billowy leather coat of pain* um... yeah, hehe... those are ridiculous... -- AngelVSAngelus, 15:52:56 03/18/02 Mon

New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! -- Buffyboy, 16:09:13 03/18/02 Mon

Looks like Buffy's needed on the other side of the country.

If you haven't already seen this story (I just saw it), you might want to check out the New York Times website. The article is entitled "Florida Town Finds Satan Offensive Unto It" by Rick Bragg and it appeared on March 14, 2002. If you're not registered with the Times you'll probably have to do so, but it's free. Search "Florida Town Finds Satan" as

[> Re: Oh that's just too weird! ;o) -- WW, 17:30:49 03/18/02 Mon

[> Good lord. So weird it's funny "..hasn't been what I would call a mathematical drop in crimes" -lol! -- yuri, 17:59:25 03/18/02 Mon

[> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- Rufus, 18:19:45 03/18/02 Mon

March 14, 2002

Florida Town Finds Satan an Offense Unto It


NGLIS, Fla., March 13 " Carolyn Risher, the mayor of this little town, never saw Satan riding in the back of a Cadillac down U.S. 19.

She never saw him buying grapefruit at the curb market, or ordering up a soft-serve chocolate and vanilla swirl at the convenience store, or trying to trade in a stereo speaker at the pawn shop.

She never saw him buying shiners at the bait shop, or clinging to a pole at the firehouse, or sunk down in a pew at the community church.

She never saw him.

"Never," she said. "But I have felt his works." She felt him every time she saw a molested child, or a burned house.

"I can't see the wind blow, really," Mrs. Risher said, "but I have felt its effects.

"People call and ask me, `Carolyn, is Satan there?' And I tell them, `Satan is only where we let him.' "

So Mrs. Risher, the mayor in this town of 1,400 residents for as long as many people can remember, sent him on down the road.

She has made international news by banning Satan, by mayoral proclamation, from the Inglis city limits.

She has drawn praise and condemnation and has become the butt of jokes.

"It doesn't bother me," she said, "either way."

To some people, it is a most heinous violation of the separation of church and state. To others, there was too much separation there already, and it took Mrs. Risher, a 61- year-old from Florida's Gulf Coast, to pinch church and state together again. Mrs. Risher, who is known to drive a wrecker for her husband's towing business when she is not handling city business, did not plan on any of that.

"I did what was best for my town and my people," Mrs. Risher said. She did it, she said, because on a late night more than four months ago, God told her to.

Inglis, about 75 miles north of Tampa, was in the grip of what could only be surmised by religious leaders here as Satan.

To an outsider, cruising down this open stretch of U.S. 19, it would not have looked that way. It would have looked as it always does, slow, a little sleepy, a place where tall, slim palms jut above the live oaks and pines, a place where vendors sell the freshest oranges on earth and deep green creeks cut through the unforgiving Florida scrub.

But people here had noticed a creeping presence.

It was Halloween, the season of the witch, and religious leaders and some parents were dismayed at the way young people were dressing and behaving. Some wore all black, painted their faces ghoulishly " all the time, not just for the season " and it was rumored that drug use was on the rise. There had been a rise in spousal abuse and child abuse.

The Rev. Richard Moore, pastor at the Yankeetown Church of God, told the mayor of his plan to help cleanse the town of its evils by installing four hollowed-out wooden posts at the four entrances to town. In the hollow of each post would be a prayer.

The mayor thought that was a good idea, but on Halloween night, as she sat alone at her kitchen table, she was moved by the spirit of God to banish Satan " by proclamation " and insert that banishment into the posts, into the very ground. She takes no credit for the words. God guided her hand, she said.

"Be it known from this day forward that Satan, ruler of darkness, giver of evil, destroyer of what is good and just, is not now, nor ever again will be, a part of this town of Inglis," she wrote. "Satan is hereby declared powerless, no longer ruling over, nor influencing, our citizens.

"In the past, Satan has caused division, animosity, hate, confusion, ungodly acts on our youth, and discord among our friends and loved ones. No longer!"

The language leaves Satan very little wiggle room.

"We exercise our authority over the devil in Jesus's name. By that authority, and through His Blessed Name, we command all Satanic and demonic forces to cease their activities and depart the town of Inglis."

Other town officials would later say that the mayor was only speaking for herself, but the proclamation was printed, signed by the town clerk and stamped with the official seal, before being encased in the posts and sunk into the ground.

The jokes started almost immediately.

The phone would ring in Town Hall and the caller would say, "Hey, it's Satan." The city employees would just answer, "Yeah," and hang up.

One day the mayor walked into her office to find city employees gathered around her desk, listening to a call on speakerphone.

"Carolyn?" the caller said. "This is Satan. I know you want me, baby."

Then, last week, someone stole the posts and the messages buried deep inside. The posts were resunk on Tuesday, again with the prayers and proclamations inside. The mayor believes the proclamation is working, though she cannot keep Satan from the hearts of all 1,400 residents, of course.

"There hasn't been what I would call a mathematical drop in crimes," said Lt. Steve Morris of the Inglis Police Department.

But it has brought a unity to the community that will pay off, said Lieutenant Morris and others.

While some residents disagree with the mayor's official stance against Satan, most people seem to support her.

"I think the law-abiding citizens have banded together and drawn some strength from what the mayor has done," Lieutenant Morris said.

Pastor Moore agrees.

"We as Christians have got to take a stand for God, and reclaim our town for God," he said.

Others in town were less enthusiastic. "Count me among the embarrassed," one Inglis merchant said.

Most who disagreed with the mayor asked not to be named, afraid that, by speaking out against the mayor, they would be perceived as speaking for the Prince of Darkness.

Legal experts said the mayor might be headed for trouble. The separation of church and state, they said, requires that the government not take sides, even in what seems to be a simple choice, between good and evil.

"On one level, it seems like something everyone would agree on," said George Gonzales, professor of political science at the University of Miami, "but it also seems aggressive and threatening to others who don't specifically abide by that belief."

The proclamation "would open up the town to accusations of a preference of religions," said Jim Hashek, who teaches First Amendment law at Loyola University in New Orleans, and is a First Amendment consultant for the American Civil Liberties Union.

Mrs. Risher is not worried that someone, guided by the hand of Satan, will steal the posts again. They were sunk in reinforced concrete.

"He ain't going to take them this time," she said, "without some real work."

At dusk, in this small place, it is easy to believe that the devil really has been banished. The sunlight fades to burnished gold and the clouds darken to purple, and people who work with their hands for a living drift peacefully into the stores and restaurants, laughing, joking.

But it does make people here pause a bit, as dark falls, as they head out of town and pass that city limits sign.

[> [> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- O'Cailleagh, 18:51:23 03/18/02 Mon

Well done Mrs Risher...*that* oughta do it!

[> [> [> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- Ian, 20:08:33 03/18/02 Mon

Just a thought to terrify the Mayor. What if Satan doesn't drive into town? What if, crazy thought here, he simply walks in, and not on the main highway?

Four posts, even set in concrete, may not be enough. She may be righteous, but I don't think she's thought this thing out.

[> [> [> [> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- O'Cailleagh, 07:59:32 03/19/02 Tue

Yeah.....she needs some kind of large wall or fence around the entire town with 'No Satan Allowed" signs on it.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- Wicca-in-Training, 09:23:01 03/19/02 Tue

Wait a minute, 4 posts, one on each enterence to a town, (let us assume one for each main direction), with ritual message encased inside of them!

You could say that the Mayor is praticing Witchcraft! In trying to ban the Prince of Darkness, she has unknowingly sucombed to his will!


Satan always wins!

Lol. But really fokes, if what she did brings comfort to herself and the people that she serves, then what harm can it do?


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- O'Cailleagh, 11:17:59 03/19/02 Tue

the harm comes in accepting the existence of a being created to act as a scapegoat for the 'wrongdoings' of people and then trying to force her town into this belief. She should be accepting the fact that people are responsible for their actions, not giving them a way out....

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: New Hellmouth Discovered in Florida! article inside -- Arethusa, 09:06:29 03/20/02 Wed

I taught at a middle school with a fundamentalist science teacher-go figure. I can only guess he wanted a crack at teaching the kids creationism before those dang secular humanists got ahold of them. Anyway, one Halloween he handed out anti-witch tracts, scaring the heck out of some of his pre-teen students. One came to me, worried that Satan really wanted to steal her soul. People in positions of authority shouldn't use that power to foreward their own (nutty) agenda. The naive, weak minded, or very young could be hurt by their actions.
I realize, of course, that some religions (including my own) believe in the existance of Satan and I dislike offending anyone, but people shouldn't be allowed to just do or say anything in the name of their beliefs. A killer isn't allowed to murder in the name of God or Satan (as Andrea Yates now knows), and lesser offenses need to be examined too.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The Mayor is nuts! -- VampRiley, 12:41:47 03/19/02 Tue

I saw on The Daily Show where one town like outlawed Satan or something. Don't know if this is the same one. It's been a while.

If she knew just what Satan is and what he represents, she would realize what she's doing is futile and that she is insane. She wants to get rid of Satan in her town, then she should just go from house to house with an AK-47 and same grenades and do the same to herself.

Anyone who knows what Satan actually is can't help but feel one of two things:

1) First, she's nuts.


2) Laugh...laugh long and loud, like I did.


[> [> [> [> [> [> I had the same thought, WiT ;o) -- Wisewoman, 12:59:42 03/19/02 Tue

She'd be beside herself if she knew just how pagan-inspired her little ritual is! LOL

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Separation of Church and State -- TRM, 14:32:47 03/19/02 Tue

And we are neglecting the ultimate purpose of separation of church and state. What if (1) people who don't live in the town don't believe in Satan or even to a higher degree (2) people who live in the town believe in Satan?

Now, I personally have no idea behind the inner workings of Satan worhship, but what I have heard about it is that most of these fellas don't consider themselves to be particularly evil -- though I could be wrong on this and just be fooled by a very clever ruse. Evil or not, though, our government has no reason to dictate what we choose to believe as long as we don't harm others. This mayor claims that Satan is harming her constituents which is all fine and dandy, except she's not only scape-goating the mistakes of these people on Satan but she is placing the blame on what is in fact an established religion, thereby hinging on religious persecution. Imagine if she banned Jesus, Mohammed, Vishnu, or Buddha from her town.

After writing that last sentence, I actually have realized that it can be more serious. I know a very devoutly religious christian who feels that "Hindi gods" exist to mislead people from the right path. Is it too much of a jump for a mayor like that to ban Vishnu as a practitioner of Satan's wills? Just food for thought...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Separation of Church and State -- O'Cailleagh, 19:21:31 03/19/02 Tue

Yeah...this is where I was coming from.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> And Satanism has been declared a protected religion under the First Amendment by the SC -- vandalia, 07:47:46 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> well said. -- yuri, 07:09:04 03/20/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I had the same thought, WiT ;o) -- O'Cailleagh, 19:18:39 03/19/02 Tue

Yeah...I noticed it too.....sorry if I came across as snarky (I think thats the right word...I'm British).

How has Spike manipulated Buffy? -- LeeAnn, 19:02:47 03/18/02 Mon

A recent poster (can't locate the post) referred to Spike's manipulation of Buffy but I can't remember that manipulation. How has Spike manipulated Buffy?
He did get her to sleep with him but that seemed the working of pure (impure) lust rather than any deep manipulation on his part. (Many of us feel the same lust for Spike without him manipulating us.)
He tried and tried to get her to talk to him and failed.
He tried to get her to let him in and failed.
He tried to pull her into the dark and failed.
He tried to get all of her and failed.
He tried to keep even their sexual relationship going and failed.
Spike may have tried to manipulate her but it was about like us trying to manipulate a ten story builiing with a pair of pliers. It just didn't work. The last successful manipulation I can rememer him doing on anyone was in The Yoko Factor.

[> Re: How has Spike manipulated Buffy? -- Anne, 04:47:58 03/19/02 Tue

First of all, LeeAnn, I'd like to say that I always like to see your name on a post because we are similarly fond of Spike, so I know even before I click on the link that I'm going to enjoy your perspective.

However, I'm going to start by playing devil's advocate on this one because I also have been troubled by this "manipulation" charge and I'd like to really get to the bottom of it. In the end, I do think that Spike can be said to have tried to manipulate Buffy -- mostly or entirely during their sexual liaison -- but in the end I would still maintain that one of the most striking and hopeful things about Spike in relation to Buffy is his directness.

First of all we need a definition of manipulation in the context of relationship. And one thing that needs to be clear is that "trying to get someone to do something" is not automatically manipulation. There are two ways in which we try to get others to behave in a certain way: the first way is persuasion, which involves presenting others with our point of view, and/or pointing out to them certain features of their own beliefs and feelings which we feel they may not have adequately recognized or accepted, in such a way that they may of their own free will and intelligence reassess their point of view and change their actions accordingly. Of course, they also may not change their perspective and actions: that's part of the deal. This method is not only completely legitimate, but is one of the two or three great maintstays of human communication and of our ability to work together.

The second way to "get someone to do something" is to bypass their consciousness, intelligence, and will, and instead to play directly on their emotions: their fear, anger, resentment, whatever, in order to make those emotions push them in the direction that we want without the sanction of their free choice. That's manipulation.

Was Spike's getting Buffy to sleep with him a manipulation? He never made any bones about what he wanted. He was the one who wanted to talk about it; she was the one who wanted to ignore the whole business -- and therefore the one whose libido eventually burst its bounds, expressing itself by violence rather than rational speech, in Smashed, causing her to initiate the sex. So sorry, no way that was his manipulation.

However, it does seem to me that once the sexual relationship had been started, he did start being manipulative in his attempt to pull her into the dark, and away from her friends. He knew she was at emotional low tide, disposed to think ill of herself, and I believe at some points he did try to play on this. In the Bronze scene for instance I do think he was using sex to try to promote this "you belong in the dark with me" schtick, and playing on her negative emotions to try to move her in that direction.

But throughout the seasons, including 6, there have been many more scenes in which Spike unflinchingly tells Buffy uncomfortable truths that, if anything, are more likely to make her angry at him or drive her away from him than bring her closer. The whole point of his talk in "Fool for Love" may also have been "you belong in the dark with me", but it was not manipulative precisely because it was completely up-front: an eloquent and persuasive presentation of a point of view. The "you're better than this" speech in "Doublemeat Palace", the "the only reason you're here is that you're not here" speech in "Gone", the "you're addicted to misery" speech in "Normal Again", are all cases in which one adult is speaking to directly to another adult with full respect of their independent intelligence and will -- quite the opposite of manipulation. Unfortunately, in many cases Buffy's reaction to being spoken to in this way -- at least her first reaction -- is to run and hide. Something she's going to have to change pretty soon if this season is really about "oh grow up".

So bottom line I'd say: yeah, Spike sometimes tries to manipulate Buffy -- there may well be more examples of it than I've cited. But is he, in general, any more manipulative of her than most people are with each other? I would argue, to the contrary, that he is more than ordinarily straight on.

[> [> Re: How has Spike manipulated Buffy? -- Spike, 08:41:12 03/19/02 Tue

I thought I'd join in here because I'm a B/S shipper as well. I do disagree with LeeAnn about Buffy, but that's not the subject at hand. I come to the same conclusion as LeeAnn about Spike, but for a different reason.

Anne is right that we need to define "manipulation". She said manipulation tries "to bypass their consciousness, intelligence, and will, and instead to play directly on their emotions: their fear, anger, resentment, whatever, in order to make those emotions push them in the direction that we want without the sanction of their free choice." I can't agree with this definition.

Preliminarily, I don't agree that emotions and reason are separate and distinct like this definition assumes. I am influenced in this by a great book, Descartes Error, by Antonio Damasio.

Even apart from the science of it, I believe that an appeal to the emotions is a legitimate form of communication. Virtually all art appeals to our emotion. That doesn't make Michelangelo's Pieta manipulative. A great deal of speech also appeals directly to the emotions; for example, "I have a dream". In fact, I doubt that any form of communication is devoid of emotional content. Physicists who work with relativity theory speak movingly (!) of the "beauty" of the equations. If something as seemingly dry and rational as a mathematical equation inspires this reaction, it's hard to think of a communication that would not.

I think the concept of manipulation is much more limited. I would argue it applies in 3 narrow circumstances:

1. When physical force is used to overpower someone. This does not apply to B/S, though Spike hinted at it in Crush and maybe Smashed.

2. When someone tries to induce a powerful emotional reaction leading directly to the desired result without time for any reflection at all. An example of this would be shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater (fear leading to panic).

3. When someone uses deceit under circumstances where the other cannot reasonably learn the truth.

Based on this limited definition, I don't think the concept of manipulation applies to Spike. Or to Buffy. But note that it also doesn't apply to most things people today commonly think of as manipulative, like advertising.

[> [> [> I'm an idiot. That is my post above. -- Sophist, 08:43:44 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Aw, gee, and I got all excited! ;o) -- dubdub, 09:28:25 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Sorry if I manipulated your hopes, WW -- Sophist, 10:35:35 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: How has Spike manipulated Buffy?-veering off the topic a bit -- Arethusa, 09:54:28 03/19/02 Tue

Advertising appeals to emotions in a manipulative way, and so do certain people. When Amy wants Willow to go on a magic tear, she insinuates Willow is still as friendless and unwanted as she was in high school. Amy uses her knowledge of Willow's insecurities to manipulate her.
She knows she can get a powerful, immediate reaction from Willow by saying certain things.
Advertisers appeal to people's insecurities and innate desires in a similiar manner, hoping for a knee-jerk reaction at the sight of a sexually desireable female, phallic-shaped car, or perfectly presented food, and so on. So do television producers. Would we be as interested in Buffy, Angel et al if they had average looks? They are what most people want to be-exceptionally beautiful, articulate, graceful (well, except for early Wes, and he was never meant to stick around), and charming. Not to mention powerful and mysterious. It's interesting that some posters on other boards have said they are not interested in watching conflicted Buffy, goofy Angel, gay Willow, or interracial G/F. I tip my hat to ME, for giving us what we need, and not what we want. End of rants.

[> [> [> [> Manipulation and moral responsibility -- Sophist getting the name right this time, 10:34:13 03/19/02 Tue

I wouldn't use the term "manipulation" to describe any of the acts you mention. To me, use of the term with this broad sweep suggests that we are relieved of moral responsibility for our own actions: s/he made me do it.

I can't say how we would all react to BtVS if the actors were less physically attractive. Given the harsh reaction to Riley compared to the favorable reaction to Clem, I think the answer is not at all clear.

I've seen some of the posts you mention. We all have our tastes that affect our enjoyment of the show. We're all willing to overlook some flaws; we all obsess about others. I can't recall any TV show which focused solely on people's virtues or strengths, and I think the reason is that such a show would be boring.

[> [> [> Great definition of "manipulation," Sophist. I completely agree. -- Dyna, 12:33:15 03/19/02 Tue

Predicting the Future based on mirroring between Season 5 and Season 6? (Spoilers) -- LeeAnn, 19:42:12 03/18/02 Mon

I've expanded on my previous mirroring list and I've posted it a couple of other places. Someone suggested I post it here as well for those who don't read other forums.

Predicting the Future based on mirroring between Season 5 and Season 6?

Season 6 seems to be a deliberate mirroring of season 5, especially where Spike is concerned. Let me list some of similarities and make some predictions based on this mirroring.

Spike has a scar over his eye.
Riley now has a scar over his eye(really a more Warrenish scar).

Riley had Buffy's body but not her love.
Spike had Buffy's body but not her love.

Spike had dreams of kissing Buffy and fighting Buffy and having sex with Buffy in Out of My Mind and in Family.
Buffy had a dream of sex and violence and Spike in Dead Things.

In Forever Doc directs Spike and Dawn to get the egg of a ghora demon to use in Joyce's resurrection. Egg of the ghora gives life.
In As You Were Spike is holding demon eggs for a friend and Riley accuses him of being "The Doctor." The eggs come to life.

Spike breaks up the relationship between Buffy and Riley by showing Buffy Riley has been doing something bad.
Riley breaks up the relationship between Buffy and Spike by showing Buffy Spike has been doing something bad.

When Spike approaches Buffy to show her the bad, she is naked, vulnerable in the bed where she has sex with Riley.
When Riley approaches Buffy to show her the bad, she is naked, vulnerable in a sort of bed where she had sex with Spike.

Buffy torches the house where Riley had been doing the bad.
Buffy bombs and burns the crypt where Spike had been doing the bad.

In Crush Spike's old girl friend Dru returns to remind him of happier times and try to pull him back into his old life. This involves participating in the hunt together but is ultimately unsatisfying.
In As You Were Buffy's old boyfriend Riley returns to remind her of happier times and try to pull her back into her old life. This involves participating in the hunt together but is ultimately unsatisfying.

Buffy was chained and threatened and menaced in Crush.
Spike was handcuffed in Dead Things and tormented in As We Were.

Spike allowed his old girl friend Dru to attack and insult Buffy while she was chained and not able to fight and Spike threatened her himself.
Buffy allowed her old boyfriend Riley punch and humiliate Spike while she watched or participated and Spike wasn't able to fight because of the chip.

Dru offers to kill Buffy.
Riley offers to kill Spike.

In Shadow when Joyce is in the hospital, Riley hugs Buffy and tries to get her to trust him enough to depend on him, to let go with him. She refuses.
BUFFY: I can't. (sniffles, pulls back) Not now. (glances toward the hospital room) They need me. If I start now ... I won't be able to stop.
In Into the Woods after Spike has taken Buffy to see Riley getting a suck job from a vamp ho, there is a confrontation during which Riley tries to get Buffy to hit him. She refuses and walks around him.
So Buffy won't put it on Riley. She won't trust him with her grief or her anger.

In Dead Things, Buffy trusts Spike to get her home and to try to take care of Katrina's body. In her dream she and Spike are tender. In the alley scene, Spike tells her tells her to put it all on him and she does.

Buffy wouldn't let herself put it on Riley, she wouldn't depend on him or trust him or physically hurt him but she put it on Spike. And, like she promised, she wasn't able to stop, at least not until Spike was broken and bloody.

Riley left town in Into the Woods and after Crush Spike was isolated from both Buffy and the SG in the most hurtful way. This resulted in his visit to Warren to have the Buffybot made.

The relationship that Spike has with Buffy in Season 6 mirrors the relationship he had with the BuffBot in season 5. He got what he thought he wanted from Buffy except that it's Spike who gets to be the sex toy in Season 6.

BUFFYBOT: "Spike, I can't help myself. I love you."
BUFFY: "Tell me you love me. Tell me you want me."
And Spike can't help himself.
SPIKE: "I love you, you know I do. I always want you."

But Buffy has mirrored the Buffybot too.
BUFFYBOT: You're evil.
SPIKE: And that excites you?
BUFFYBOT: It excites me, it terrifies me ... I try so hard to resist you and I can't.
SPIKE: Yeah? (grins)
BUFFYBOT: Darn your sinister attraction.

Spike can't help loving Buffy and Buffy can't help wanting Spike.
She tried to resist him and can't so Spike got what he thought he wanted, a Buffy that couldn't resist him sexually. But it wasn't enough. And didn't last.

In Into the Woods Riley gives Buffy an ultimatum.
In Real Again Spike gives Buffy an ultimatum.

So what happens next?
After Riley gave Buffy the ultimatum, he left for Central America to deal with a demon tribe in the rain forest.
Spoilers say that Spike will be dealing with a demon in Africa to get the chip out.

Riley returned from the jungle a better more secure man.
Will Spike return a more self-actualized monster??

Riley returned with a wife ..but I REFUSE TO GO THERE.

Riley had some kind of sexual/thrill relationship with a demon.
Spoilers say that Spike will have a sex with ex-demon Anya.

Buffy saw Riley with his demon lover.
Spoilers say that Buffy will see a tape of Spike and his ex-demon lover Anya.

Buffy killed the vamp that she saw Riley with.
Does this mean that Buffy will kill Anya, accidentally or on purpose? Would human Anya becoming Vengeance demon Anya fulfill the mirroring?

Last year Spike foght for Buffy. This year will he fight against her?
Last year Buffy made him feel like a man. This year does she make him feel like a monster?

If the mirroring continues will Dawn end up on a tower again, this time with Willow trying to use her keyness to breach the dimensions. Will Willow try to make a gate between the world of the living and the world of the dead to bring Tara home? Will Buffy have to risk her life to save Dawn? And this time will Spike succeed where he failed last year? Will he save Buffy and Dawn? Instead of Buffy dying this time will Spike die? And will it be Spike who is resurrectedwrong?

If a vampire comes back wrong, would he come backhuman?

[> Re: Predicting the Future based on mirroring between Season 5 and Season 6? (Spoilers) -- Rob, 20:46:28 03/18/02 Mon

"If the mirroring continues will Dawn end up on a tower again, this time with Willow trying to use her keyness to breach the dimensions. Will Willow try to make a gate between the world of the living and the world of the dead to bring Tara home?"

What awesome ideas, LeeAnn! If the fates have it that Willow will become an antagonist to Buffy, that would be a brilliant way for it to happen. The only thing that would cause Buffy to kill or fight one of her friends (on purpose) would be one of them threatening Dawn. What if Willow finds that she needs to use the key to retrieve Tara (if Tara is the BSD)? That would be an amazing plot...and would make Willow as villian, should that happen, much easier to understand.

The only thing that could cause Buffy to harm Willow is if Willow threatened to harm Dawn, and the only thing that would get Willow to harm Buffy or Dawn is if they stood in the way of her returning to Tara.

I wonder if that really will happen. Either way, the idea is brilliant, LeeAnn...I can't wait to see if you're right!


[> Re: Predicting the Future based on mirroring between Season 5 and Season 6? (Spoilers) -- Ishkabibble, 21:16:50 03/18/02 Mon

Great ideas, Lee Ann. And, I hope your predictions mostly are right. Can I play too?

Your post "Last year Spike foght for Buffy. This year will he fight against her?" Or, maybe he fights for himself (makes it his priority to save/rescue/change himself?)

Your question "Last year Buffy made him feel like a man. This year does she make him feel like a monster?" Or, maybe he validates for himself that he is worthy as a man and ceases to need Buffy's affirmation).

[> Re: Predicting the Future based on mirroring between Season 5 and Season 6? (Spoilers) -- lindabarlow, 23:15:22 03/18/02 Mon

Thanks, LeeAnn, for an intriguing and insightful post!


[> Re: Predicting the Future based on mirroring between Season 5 and Season 6? (Spoilers) -- Kimberly, 07:57:49 03/19/02 Tue

Instead of Buffy dying this time will Spike die? And will it be Spike who is resurrectedwrong? If a vampire comes back wrong, would he come backhuman?

I like your entire post, but this is my favorite. You'll have to repost this after the season's over so we can see how close the two seasons match. (I think closely; it feels like ME.)

Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- verdantheart, 20:05:42 03/18/02 Mon

I've missed some posts lately, so please pardon me if this has already been discussed at length. In OaFA, when Anya and (interestingly) Xander were urging Willow to use magic to help them out of their predicament, and before Tara jumped to Willow's defense, Spike pipes in with a "Look--" and moves to help. However, with Tara jumping in, he didn't have to follow up.

I'd be interested to hear what posters make of this. Dare we assume that Spike is interested in Willow's welfare? It's interesting that Spike defends her right not to act whereas her close friend Xander is urging her to fall of the wagon -- albeit temporarily. Is it that Spike has greater awareness than Xander does of the cost of dark magic?

Is there some foreshadowing of the future here? Why involve Spike in this scene at all? Why not just have X/A/W/T?

Anyway, thanks in advance for your thoughts.

- vh

[> Re: Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- luvthistle1, 01:06:15 03/19/02 Tue

Spike has always supported Willow. When Oz first left town without telling Willow (in "something Blue) Spike was the first to point out to Giles and Buffy that she wasn't o.k with it, that she was hangin' on by a thread. He notice because he cared. He also was one of the first to acknowledge her as a powerful witch (besides Tara)and when he treaten to bite her after he was de-fang in "lover walk" willow tried to make him feel better. she also tried to stop him from killing himself in "in doomed" . If there is someone in the group he cares about outside of Buffy and Dawn it would be Willow. I think it is forshadowing of him saving her life in the future.

[> [> Re: Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- Malandanza, 13:10:10 03/19/02 Tue

"Spike has always supported Willow. When Oz first left town without telling Willow (in Something Blue) Spike was the first to point out to Giles and Buffy that she wasn't o.k with it, that she was hangin' on by a thread."

I don't think Willow was "hanging by a thread" in Something Blue. Oz wasn't the great love of her life -- he was the cool boyfriend who made her feel good about herself. She rebounded pretty quickly -- even before Tara, she was living vicariously through the burgeoning Buffy/Riley relationship. In fact, I think Willow came across as rather self-involved and self-pitying. Her friends, in fact, had been through similar experiences (Buffy and Angel, Xander and Cordelia, Giles and Jenny) and could identify with her pain. I think the script supports the idea that 9/10 of Willow's pain was Willow wanting attention and 1/10 was real:

WILLOW: No! Why should I? I've got pain here. Big time, legitimate pain-

XANDER: We've all got pain, Will-

WILLOW: (cutting him off) Like what? Poor me, I live in a basement? Oh, yeah - that's dire!

Xander's genuinely stung by this. Now Buffy moves to Willow, takes her by the arm and leads her slightly away from the others.

BUFFY: I'm taking you home now.

WILLOW: I don't want to -

BUFFY: You'll thank me when you still have a friend left in the morning.
GILES: I only meant that you're grieving, and it might be best if you took a break from doing spells without supervision.

WILLOW: So I get punished 'cause I'm in pain.

GILES: It's not punishment. I'm saying this because-

WILLOW: (cutting him off) You care. Right. Everybody cares. But nobody wants to be inconvenienced. You all want me to "take the time to go through the pain" as long as you don't have to hear about it anymore!

GILES: That's not fair.

WILLOW: Isn't it? 'Cause I'm doing the best I can - and that doesn't seem to be enough
for you guys!

GILES: And I see how you could feel that way. I do-

WILLOW: No! You don't. You say you do - but you don't see anything!
BUFFY: Spike escaped.

WILLOW: (meekly)So you're going? Right now?

BUFFY: Sorry. Duty thing.

WILLOW: But - what's the rush? I mean. Spike can't hurt anybody, right? I figured,
seeing as how I'm kinda grievey, we could have a girl night. You know - eat sundaes and then watch Steel Magnolias and you could tell me how at least I don't have diabetes-
WILLOW: ...I mean, I'm going through something - and you'd think, every once in a while Buffy could make best friends a priority.
WILLOW:: Spike's more important than Willow. I get it.
WILLOW: It's just not fair.
WILLOW: (sulks) Great. Now you're mad at me too.
XANDER: (still thinking) Something about Willow and her grief-y poor-me mood swings. So, so tired of it.

ANYA: You mean I don't have to be nice to her anymore?

BUFFY: We're all tired of it, but what's it have to do with what's going on?

So why did Spike think she was unusually distraught? First, he didn't see Willow as often as the other -- a consequence of being chained in a bathtub in Giles' bathroom. Second, he is melodramatic. The speech by the imaginary psychiatrist in the Asylumverse could have easily been made to Spike -- Spike really did invent a larger-than-life alter ego. He does imagine himself to be more important than he is -- surrounded by mighty enemies, braving the world alone, sacrificing everything for the women he "loves." Even his romance with his dark princess, Dru, is pure, overwrought melodrama -- right up to the end where he offers to sacrifice her as a testament to the new woman (and it's no wonder Spike loves soaps). Does he care about Willow? I doubt it. He cares about Spike. He cares about other people only to the degree that help or hinder his plans. But with Willow, there is the added suspicion that she is dangerously amoral -- remember his chat with Xander when he discovered that he'd been left out of the resurrection plan -- that Willow would have been capable of destroying Buffy had she come back wrong -- a statement that shocked Xander primarily because he recognized it as true. Would he like to have sex with her? Probably. He's threatened her twice -- in Lover's Walk and in The Initiative:

SPIKE: I'll give you a choice: Now, I'm going to kill you. No choice in that. But ......

Willow backs up against the far wall, cowering. Spike keeps coming, slowly, all the time in the world.

SPIKE (cont'd): I could let you stay dead ..

He slides down the wall, brings his face close to hers. Speaks in a soothing tone. Like a lover.

SPIKE (cont'd): Or bring you back. To be like me

He MORPHS into vamp-face. Fangs near her throat.

WILLOW: I'll scream.

SPIKE: Bonus.

Willow screams but can't be heard - Spike easily reaches over to the volume knob of her CD player, turning it up full. Willow breaks away. Spike grabs her. None of this is pretty or well- choreographed. It's ugly and awkward and violent. Spike falls on Willow hard, knees first. She bats at him. He grabs her wrists. Smiling at his own power. Holds her down. Opens his mouth, rears his head back, showing fangs, and flashes down. Sinks his teeth right into her neck. Willow struggles. Spike feeds, sucking, deeply and desperately with his raw animal strength ...

Looking at the "friendship" from the other direction, Willow's perspective, I don't think there's much there either. Most recently, Willow and Xander shut Spike out when he offered to help with Buffy in NA after her collapse in the cemetery. He's not their friend -- just someone who helps them out occasionally. I don't think we can blame Willow and Xander for excluding Spike -- in the past when they were being civil to him, he rejected the Scoobies. Now he wants to be part of the gang and they're the ones who aren't interested.

(quotes from Psyche's shooting scripts)

[> Re: Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- Tillow, 06:25:19 03/19/02 Tue

I had also posted earlier that I thought the significant line in OaFA was Tara's line to Willow "It's time to work without the net" and perhaps we will see the continued metaphor of "it's time to rely on your own power/make your own decisions" with Spike if something happens to his chip. Perhaps he will have the chance to prove that he isn't just a serial killer in prison and it will be Willow who brings this out of him. She has been willing to believe in him more so than the others and the emotional baggage he has with Buffy wouldn't get in the way, or the guilt of not saving Dawn. She is the closest thing he has to a friend. My best guess..

[> [> Re: Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- leslie, 09:24:24 03/19/02 Tue

Also noticed in rewatching The Gift that Willow can apparently communicate telepathically with Spike--she's telling him to get to Dawn up on the scaffolding and no-one can hear her but him. Originally I had thought she was talking through some kind of pipe that is directly behind his head, but then I realized that when we see her giving him directions, her lips are not moving, and she has her (what does she call it?) determined face on. Is this simply because Spike is the one she wants to communicate with, or is he the only one she *can* communicate with this way (perhaps because of his nonliving status and supernatural sense perception)? How exactly *did* Willow tell him about Buffy's birthday party?

[> [> [> Re: Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- T-Rex, 09:37:05 03/19/02 Tue

Hate to burst your bubble on this one. Willow was communicating telepathically with the other Scoobies in the first ep of this season, when she was standing on the crypt giving them directions during patrol. Remember how they complained about feeling violated when she "entered without knocking" later on?

[> [> [> Re: Significance of Spike's defense of Willow? -- Kevin, 09:38:02 03/19/02 Tue

In Bargaining I think she talks to Xander 'telepathically' as well (maybe others I've seen the ep once) while they're hunting vampires in the cemetary. I think Willow chooses who she's talking to and only they hear it in their heads.

In The Gift, she chose to speak to Spike because he was the one who had a chance of saving Dawn.

Also on the Willow/Spike connection, he trusts Willow when he runs at the tower. He has no way of knowing what she's going to do, but he runs directly at Glory's minions without a second thought. She blows the minions out of the way when he gets to them, but again, he doesn't know she's going to do that for him. Spike and Willow definitely having built a trusting relationship over the last few seasons.

Now, for something entirely article on Lorne......maybe some spoilers -- Rufus, 20:26:22 03/18/02 Mon

The Host with the Most
Mon, Mar 18, 2002 12:42 PM PDT

by Kate O'Hare

On a recent Monday afternoon at the Santa Monica production offices of UPN's "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and its spin-off, the WB's "Angel," series creator Joss Whedon was seen entering the office of writer/producer Tim Minear ("Angel") and singing songs from "Moulin Rouge!" During a subsequent phone call, more songs were exchanged.

Outside later on, as Minear smoked a cigarette, he was accosted by "Buffy" star Alyson Hannigan, who hurled herself upon him, saying, "My fellow 'Moulin Rouge!' fan."

So, you see, when Whedon asked "Angel" cast member Andy Hallett to accompany him to a screening of director Baz Luhrmann's Academy Award-nominated musical on Cape Cod (Hallett's home, and Whedon's vacation home) last summer, he could hardly say "no" -- but he wanted to.

"I never watch movies, ever, ever," Hallett says, "because I can't sit still for that long. My girlfriend gets so mad at me. I hate going to the movies. But Joss made me -- made me -- go see 'Moulin Rouge!' That was the last movie I saw. I enjoyed it, but it's only because it was a dark, rainy night on Cape Cod, nothing to do."

Although this is his second season as a recurring character on "Angel" (which returns to The WB's Monday-night lineup on April 15), Hallett has retained his anonymity. Actually, that isn't hard, since Hallett spends his working life underneath a latex mask that transforms him from a tall, dark and handsome guy into a red-eyed, green-skinned demon with a hooked nose and horns.

The makeup -- which takes three hours to put on and 30 to 45 minutes to take off -- so alters Hallett's appearance that he generally goes unrecognized -- except at conventions. "I don't know why," he says, "but they do. I guess it's because they're pretty big fans of the show -- or good guessers."

Hallett plays The Host (aka Krevlornswath of the Deathwok Clan, aka Lorne), a flamboyant, Rat Pack-esque demon from another dimension who used to run Caritas, a Los Angeles karaoke bar for supernatural creatures (until it was blown up, twice).

"I know," says Hallett of the second destruction. "Just when I got it back up and going."

Lorne's demon knowledge and ability to read people's (or demons') innermost feelings when they sing has proven useful to crusading vampire-with-a-soul Angel (David Boreanaz) and his evil-fighting cohorts (Alexis Denisof, Charisma Carpenter, J. August Richards and Amy Acker).

Fans may get to see Hallett on film without the makeup, upon the eventual release of "Chance," a black comedy written, directed and produced by "Buffy" cast member Amber Benson (Tara). The low- budget film also stars "Buffy" regulars James Marsters (Spike) and Emma Caulfield (Anya), and series writer David Fury.

"I haven't seen the finished product," Hallett says, "but I spoke to Amber, and she says it's done. I'm dying to see it, because I know she worked really hard on it. I'm sure it's going to be a really fine piece of work."

"Watching her was amazing. She did everything. I worked on that, and I worked on Mere Smith's project. She's one of the writers on 'Angel.' She wrote a movie called 'The Enforcers.' I play a real greaseball character in that."

"I'm a dirtbag who works at this sleazy motel. I'm stashing money in the walls. It was funny. I get to swear in it, use nasty words. My hair is all greased back. I've got a wife-beater T-shirt on. It's a stretch from The Host."

Hallett's first career, as a singer, inspired Whedon to create the Host character in the first place. Since the "Angel" gig came along, though, Hallett has concentrated on acting, but he hasn't abandoned music.

There may even be a way to combine his talents. "Joss and I have been talking about doing a Host CD," Hallett says. "We're working on it. I'm all for it, make it kind of Las Vegas, lounge songs. We're in talks about it right now. Hopefully it will materialize."

As for choosing between acting and singing, Hallett says, "I love to do both. I would take either one in a heartbeat. I'm trying to figure out which one people like better -- but that's not a good way for me to decide. I should do what I like best, and I like doing them both."

This season on "Angel," Cordelia (Carpenter) has found romantic entanglements with Angel and Groosalugg (Mark Lutz), a champion from Lorne's home dimension; and Fred (Acker) and Gunn (Richards) have canoodled, to Wesley's (Denisof) dismay. Thus far, though, Lorne remains romance- free (he did show some interest in Cordelia, but believed her out of his league).

"I have to say, I've been so thrilled just to have gotten what we've already done with the character," Hallett says. "The next best thing I could recommend would be some kind of romantic interest for him, which could be a hoot. It could be anything -- creature, demon, any kind of human."

"I don't know what would work best. Joss was saying it would be funny to have some sort of outrageous creature, but I said, 'I don't want it to be too outrageous.' I'd like it to be something sexy."

"I don't know. Wouldn't it be hilarious if it was this gorgeous bombshell of a girl? It would be his complete opposite."

CYBERSPATIAL ANOMALIES: To see the true face of "Angel" cast member Andy Hallett, visit his official web site (, which features a chatroom and posting boards. Among fan- run sites are "Destiny's Voice: A Tribute to Our Favorite Host" Destiny's voice; "The Heart of the Host" HotH; and "Love Lorne" LL, which also features a fan-fiction archive.

[> this....(I think it was Vickie anyhoo...or maybe Teri...) -- O'Cailleagh, 08:10:23 03/19/02 Tue

In the above interview, it has the name of Amber's film.....which is 'Chance' if you can't be bothered to read it!!

[> [> Thanks! -- V, 10:04:21 03/19/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: Thanks! -- O'Cailleagh, 11:05:26 03/19/02 Tue

don't mention it! looks like a good film...esp if Lorne is in it too

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