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'Buffy Quits' Article in Entertainment Weekly -- MayaPapaya9, 17:32:28 03/03/03 Mon

The March 7th issue of EW has a nice interview with Sarah on her reasons for leaving the show, and a bit on the future of "Angel". There are only some interesting casting spoilers, both of which I already knew even though I've been spoiler-free for like years. They're pretty obvious. So you're safe to read it unless you're absolutely hardcore spoiler free and its kind of impossible to be that pure so...I suggest you go buy EW its on newstands now!!!!


[> Some quotes -- Miss Edith, 18:24:27 03/03/03 Mon

Some interesting comments from that article. Sarah says her favourite episodes are The Prom, The Body, This Years Girl/Who Are You, and Becoming. She misses quippy Buffy and didn't enjoy much of season 6 and where it was going as she felt she was out of character and couldn't believe in Buffy. She found the balcony sex scene a particular low point. "It wasn't who Buffy was, or why peope loved her. You don't want to see the dark heroine; you don't want to see her punishing herself. You want to see her killing vampires and making quips. It didn't feel like the character that I loved".

Interestingly the fan speculation about Joss not being as involved with season 6 as was claimed are given credibility by Sarah "when he was creating Firefly he wasn't really here at all". Although according to Joss there have been tensions between him and Sarah in the past "We haven't always gotten along".

She feels she needs a rest as "Teachers get sabbaticals-acotrs don't" hence her quitting. Also after season 6 she feels season 7 is a return to form and wishes to leave on a high note. An interesting read.

[> [> Re: Some quotes -- Miss Edith, 18:36:43 03/03/03 Mon

Sarah also says her awards from the kids for best buttkicker mean more to her than an emmy which I throught was sweet. The fans seem to mean a lot to her. She mentions being addicted to watching American Idol and Joe Millionaire. Sarah seems to think a lot of Joss and misses having him on the set. Sarah also mentions that she believes Xander and Buffy were once a possibility as a romantic couple.

[> [> [> More quotes and the url, for those avoiding spoilers -- s'kat, 18:56:39 03/03/03 Mon

I wasn't overly fond of the article, but it does state some interesting tid-bits.

If you want to read it yourself: scanned photos are available at Summary and key quotes at,6115,422783-6-6~3||427099|1~sarahmichellegellarwhy,00.html

also found on

Here's the best quotes from it, in my humble opinion:

"Time for some exit interview questions. Has there always been a ''Buffy'' master plan?
Joss has had certain episodes planned from the get-go. I knew Dawn was coming two years in advance.... Willow was always supposed to go bad. Willow was supposed to go bad a year before she did, but Joss loved Tara and Willow, so that story line was pushed a year.... I honestly believe his original intention was to put Buffy and Xander together. I really do believe that."

"What was it like announcing your decision?
At the beginning of this season, Joss and I had a conversation outside my trailer. We both kind of felt that this was the end, that we should make that decision and say it publicly. And then...we didn't. We didn't even talk about it for a while... [But] the fact the show's been so good [this season] decided it for us. It was a realization that we all came to."

"Favorite episode?
I loved ''The Prom'' [season 3]. It stood for everything Buffy was about: the fact that she so badly wanted to be part of the other kids' lives. I think ''The Body'' [season 5, featuring the death of Buffy's mother] is pretty amazing. I loved the episode in which Buffy and Faith switched. That was one of my all-time favorites because I thought Eliza was so great. And also when Buffy realizes she has to kill Angel and she kills him and he comes back. Those are my favorites."

"You've mentioned how much you disliked the sixth season. Why was that? And how did you feel about Buffy's depression, and her sexual obsession with Spike?
It wasn't who Buffy was, or why people loved her. You don't want to see that dark heroine; you don't want to see her punishing herself. You want to see her killing vampires and making quips. It didn't feel like the character that I loved.
Joss always explained that season as being about your 20s, where you're not a kid anymore, but you don't know what you want to do [with your life]. He always said that I didn't understand last year because I've always known what I wanted to do, and I didn't have that confusion, [that] dark, depressive period. But I think the heart of the show lies in the humor of the drama. I felt like Buffy's spirit was missing last year."

[I strongly disagree with her on this as did the writers. Proof that Joss Whedon was involved in S6 and pitched the dark episodes. ]


[> Is the article safe to read if I haven't watched since December? -- Meritaten, 04:26:45 03/04/03 Tue

- I'm trying not to learn what is happening until I watch the video-tapes my frineds are making for me!

[> [> Definitely not safe! -- Dead Soul, 04:37:16 03/04/03 Tue

There was one spoiler in it that I'm annoyed that I saw and I'm all caught up with the North American episodes of both shows.

My own stupid fault for not being more careful.

Overrated/Underrated -- Jay, 17:47:50 03/03/03 Mon

Everyone has their top ten/twenty list or the like. I always see episodes that I would rule "middle of the road" episodes in someone else's top ten. Or I'll see an episode that I kinda liked that someone calls one of the worst. I'm not factoring in the current seasons of Buffy(7) and Angel(4), because I'm not sure what I think about a few of the episodes so far. I'd rather wait for the end of the seasons for a more well-rounded opinion.


10. Hero A1 - In some ways, a top notch episode to send a beloved character out, in others, giant plot holes that beg to be ignored.

9. Angel B1 - A good episode, definitely one of the better of season one, but not the milestone others point it to be.

8. Family B5 - Another good episode, but more of a yawn to me than any single Joss written episode in the course of the series.

7. I Will Remember You A1 - This one seems artificial all the way through. It had some good scenes, but it never seemed real (or real in the Buffyverse sense.)

6. Ted B2 - A nice guest star and some foreshadowing ahead to Faith, but John Ritter just gets on my nerves.

5. I Only Have Eyes For You B2 - An entertaining episode that I forget pretty quickly, but B/A shippers worship.

4. Graduation Day Parts 1 & 2 B3 - Definitely better that your average episode on either show, and I may still be somewhat colored by the delayed airing of Part 2, but I have a "let down" residual left behind by these.

3. Buffy vs. Dracula B5 - This board was probably the least offending, but some praise this one to no extent; I thought it was fluff.

2. Smashed/Wrecked B6 - Probably too high on this list, since I know many others disliked them as much as I did, but I had a hard time watching them then, and have no desire at all to re-watch them now.

1. Fool For Love B5 - A nice "origin" episode that ain't everything that B/S shippers believe it to be.


10. Waiting in the Wings A3 - Too much focus on whether Cordy and Angel don't or do have chemistry distracts too many from a classic.

9. Go Fish B2 - As far as I'm a concerned a classic episode, maybe not belonging in the top ten, but no where near a bottom feeder as many peg it.

8. Welcome to the Hellmouth/The Harvest B1 - First season brilliance that stands on its own.

7. Spiral B5 - A big part of the end of season 5, that hardly anyone mentions.

6. As You Were B6 - I still don't get why so many hate it. If it wasn't in the bottom ten of a lot of others lists, I wouldn't put it here.

5. Untouched A2 - I'm not even sure what it is, but I love this episode.

4. The Initiative B4 - As I was completely and utterly unspoiled back in those days, the Selina Kyle/Bruce Wayne identity games riveted me.

3. New Moon Rising B4 - Oz's last appearance (sans dream sequence in "Restless"), and Tara and Willow's relationship revelation to Buffy make this for me.

2. Sanctuary A1 - Worlds collide, how can you not love it? Faith repents, Buffys on the blood trail, Wesley spurns the council, Angel puts his foot down, and Kate is pissed. Love it, love it, love it.

1. Prophecy Girl B1 - Buffy dies before the spring dance, and it's in no ones top ten list?

Tear it up, rip me apart, or if you're really insane, agree with me.

[> Re: Overrated/Underrated -- Rob, 18:12:12 03/03/03 Mon

I disagree with your entire "overrated" list especially FFL

As for underrated...I disagree Go Fish but I agree about all the others.


[> [> Somehow, this doesn't surprise me, Rob -- Jay, 18:23:37 03/03/03 Mon

[> [> [> I'm nothing if not predictable. At least my overzealous enthusiasm keeps me from being boring! ;o) -- Rob, 18:50:52 03/03/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> I was wondering if you would have any kind of an overrated list? -- Jay, 18:54:12 03/03/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> I really don't know if I could come up with one, because... -- Rob, 20:21:42 03/03/03 Mon

...the ones that have been praised to death, I pretty much agree with. I do have a bunch of underrated ones I could name. Here's my list, in no particular order:

Lie to Me
Inca Mummy Girl
Life Serial
Seeing Red
The Real Me
I Was Made to Love You
The Freshman
Living Conditions
Where the Wild Things Are
Dead Man's Party
Killed by Death
The Pack

No time for explanations right now. Maybe later!


[> [> [> [> [> [> so, basically... -- anom, 20:37:06 03/03/03 Mon

...just about every episode that any noticeable number of other people don't like! Um, y'know...not as much as the other eps. @>)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Pretty much! Although, I do side with the masses on... -- Rob, 21:05:14 03/03/03 Mon

I Robot You Jane, Bad Eggs, Go Fish, Some Assembly Required, and Reptile Boy

Besides some character or plot arc moments in each of these episodes, I don't much care for the bulk of these episodes.


[> Re: Overrated/Underrated -- leslie, 18:22:42 03/03/03 Mon

I think this is always a question of subjective opinion, but I would like to chime in on the general skin-crawliness of John Ritter in Ted, and also the way in which the general metaphoric goodness of BtVS gets just a little too literal in the domestic abuse sector there. And I, too, am less than thrilled with Buffy v. Dracula, possibly because after all the complex vamps we have learned to know and love (or tolerate), Drac seems kind of crude--you know, "How can you look at yourself in the mirror in the morning knowing you are such a blatant stereotype?" I assume the lack of reflection is, again, just a little too literal here.

On the other hand, I am constantly blown away by Fool For Love, and not because of the B/S shippy stuff--the narrative structure of the episode is brilliant. The way we start taking Spike's narration at face value, come to realize that there is a rather severe disjunction between what he's saying and what we're seeing, and then see narration and reality come together, it's amazing. And as I've said before, when Spike comes after Buffy with the shotgun is one of the few times that I have been truly frightened in this show. I think the importance of it is not so much in the evolution of the B/S relationship as it is an opportunity to see inside Spike's head in a way we've never really seen before or since--maybe the speech at the end of Beneath You is the closest, and that's when he's completely beat and can't keep his persona up any more. What we see in FFL is the evolution of that persona, the forces that created it, and what a distance there is between his persona and reality.

[> [> Re: Overrated/Underrated -- Jay, 18:46:08 03/03/03 Mon

I probably should have gone into more detail into each episode, but I found ten minutes to throw something together with an idea I had and went with it. I consider Fool For Love (FFL) one of the top half of episodes in season 5. Highly entertaining and fun to watch. But as I see it pop up on the top of many various top ten lists (not just here), I just disagree with that. I'll continue to enjoy it in reruns, but to me, it's still another above average episode to me. Not the be-all and end-all it is to some.

[> JMHO, but I'd say the most underrated episode is 'Lie to Me' -- Sophist, 20:09:36 03/03/03 Mon

[> [> Agree totally with this. It's a classic. -- HonorH, 22:25:27 03/03/03 Mon

It was an early favorite of mine, and still remains in my Top 20 (Top 10s are for wusses).

[> [> Strange, I thought most would agree that LTM is one of the best. -- Ixchel, 22:47:41 03/03/03 Mon

I'm actually astonished that there isn't a consensus on the brilliance of this one.

One episode that I have noticed being underrated is WSWB. IMHO, this episode is complex and challenging. It gave us a preview of Buffy's Slaying-scarred psyche. And it did so with a smooth plot, witty dialog and other character insights. Also, it gave us one of the creepiest scenes in the entire series, Buffy's nightmare (Giles is _so_ disturbing in this dream). After all this time, it still unsettles me.


[> [> [> I love WSWB too Ixchel -- Rahael, 03:41:18 03/04/03 Tue

I used to watch it over and over again.

[> [> [> [> Me three! -- ponygirl, 09:36:10 03/04/03 Tue

WSWB is a sentimental fave because it was the first BtVS episode I saw. I was completely blown away... and went out and bought the Cibo Matto CD, my first Buffy-related purchase. I think Lie to Me and WSWB get lost in the shuffle because of all the drama that follows in season 2. Neither of them had huge events, just amazingly well-written explorations of themes and characters with some of Joss' tightest direction ever. Extremely list-worthy!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Me Four! -- Slainey, 10:07:29 03/04/03 Tue

On top of everything else said here, Hank was a real person, not a nightmare, not a cliche.
(I guess it's too much to ask for Dad resolution in the last six epis.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> i love WSWB....a truly fabulous ep..and the best season opener ever -- Alison, 12:49:19 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> Excellent point, I want a Dad resolution too! -- Scroll, 13:25:58 03/04/03 Tue

I think after every guy Buffy has gone through who has ended up leaving her (in one form or another), she really needs to finally meet up with her dad and say, "You had an impact on my life -- a negative impact. I have struggled for 7 years to overcome it and haven't always succeeded. But now I have."

It comes down to what she told Holden in "Conversations With Dead People" -- she has a superiority complex, and an inferiority complex because of it. And it's all tied up together with how she views men and, specifically, her father. Because Dad cheated on Mom. Dad abandoned Mom. Dad abandoned Buffy. And Buffy has never really gotten over it.

BTW, welcome to the board, Slainey!

[> [> [> [> I'm so pleased to be in such good company. And I agree, Alison. -- Ixchel, 16:07:07 03/04/03 Tue

Rahael, WSWB has so much depth it requires repeat viewings. I loved how it showed us that traumatic events will affect the characters of BtVS, _will_ change them. And that Buffy's dying wasn't without consequences to her. It wasn't a "cheat", she didn't come away unscathed.

ponygirl, good points about both WSWB and LTM. I suppose my favorite part of WSWB (aside from the above-mentioned creepy Giles) is the exploration of Buffy's character. That she is a "real" person, fragile in some ways and strong in so many others. I agree with those who say that Buffy in WSWB is a sort of template for Buffy of S6.

Slainey, good point about Hank. WSWB does show him as a real person, but it also shows the beginning of his distancing himself from her (JMHO). Not because he's a "bad" person, but because he doesn't know what to do. So he lets go, it's easier.

Alison, again I agree that WSWB is the _best_ season opener. The others just can't compete. It gives the viewer psychologically complex information wrapped in a clever, interesting and well executed plot (as the very best BtVS and AtS tend to do). The other season openers try for this also, with various degrees of success, but I think WSWB still holds the title of best.


[> [> [> What is WSWB? -- Jay - who is slow with abbreviations, 05:59:50 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> When She Was Bad - Season 2 opener -- Dead Soul, 06:21:11 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> I rarely see it on anyone's 10 best list or mentioned as a classic -- Sophist, 09:13:55 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> I don't know about it being in my 10 best, but definitely in the 20 best. -- Ixchel, 14:58:49 03/04/03 Tue

A 10 best list would be extremely difficult, aside from the (IMHO) obvious episodes like OMWF, TB, Restless and Hush. I suppose the main difficulty for me would be leaving off an episode like LTM for lack of space and (knowing my own tastes) that beloved humorous episodes like TR, SB and BB&B would be neglected in favor of the more dramatic ones.

I believe I could do a 20 best though. I'm kind of curious now, maybe I'll do it later (just for myself, I suppose posting this sort of thing is somewhat of a waste of boardspace). :)


[> [> [> [> [> Re: I don't know about it being in my 10 best, but definitely in the 20 best. -- Alison, 16:52:17 03/04/03 Tue

I can't even narrow it down to 20- I've managed to do a top 50, but thats by picking what i consider the best of each season..and top 50 was hard!

[> What do you mean by underrated or overrated? -- Robert, 20:21:26 03/03/03 Mon

To claim that something is overrated is to say that in your opinion, somebody or some people are rating it too high. So who's ratings are you declaring as overrating or underrating?

[> [> Jeez, lighten up already. -- getting sick of it, 05:22:01 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> This is really uncalled-for. -- Sophist, 09:04:14 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> Robert's got an excellent question. -- HonorH, 10:18:38 03/04/03 Tue

He's not being snarky or mean; he's asking honestly why this poster feels certain eps qualify as "overrated" or "underrated". I'm curious as well. You, my dear, need to lighten up.

[> [> [> [> It isn't scientific or anything. -- Jay, 16:16:46 03/04/03 Tue

But first, I apologize for the delay in responding. When I first read Robert's post last night, I think I was already asleep. And this morning I just had no time for anything for other than a quick read.

The stupid lists were just something I came up with in about twenty minutes and with hardly any planning. The overrated list are episodes that I have a general feeling that they are well thought of. And this is only something that I've gleaned reading the board for a while now. The opinions are me shouting at the moon.

The underrated list are episodes that I've sensed a negative impression of, or at least a mixed impression. And I just thought more of them than others have expressed. It's not like these lists *mean* anything. It's just me shooting my mouth off. Don't tell me you don't like that.

That said, I believe the obvious top tens/twenties get the appropriate amount of accolades. I expected the hell I caught for Fool For Love, but I'm surprised that more noise hasn't been made on my Graduation Day comments.

[> Underated? Overated? Likes vs. Dislikes... -- s'kat, 20:58:52 03/03/03 Mon

Can we ever come to a consensus on which episodes of Btvs/Ats are the best and worst? Or is it really just a matter of our individual personal taste and therefore impossible? (The fact we all like Btvs should probably be enough. Heck we can't even get everyone to come to consensus that Btvs and Ats are equally good...;-)Some people insist Ats is better and some insist Btvs is and refuse to watch Ats...personally, I like them both.)

I've pondered this question for a while now. Is ranking of episodes like yours above and others I've seen really just come down to a matter of personal taste?

I went over to Television without Pity and boy are their rankings interesting. Don't really agree with them, well except for Storyteller. (Note: if you disliked Storyteller - go to TwoP for a nice laugh...if you liked it? Avoid it.)
Then I jotted over to and looked at their reviewers Worst Episode Ever List - did not agree with it, nor did half the people who responded.

Oh here's a few of the participants on the forum's choices for Worste Episode Ever;

Pangs, The Zeppo, Amends (quite a few people detested it),
Superstar, Bad Eggs, Beer Bad, Sleeper, Dead Things,
Prophecy Girl, Go Fish, Ted, Angel, As You Were, DMP.

(Personally? I adored Pangs, Dead Things, Sleeper...these grow on me every time I see them. I think I like and appreciate Pangs more now than I did then. Amends on the other hand - I loved when I first saw it and now can barely make it through it without hunting something else to do, it bores me. Beer Bad - hated when first saw it, think it is hilarously funny now. The Zeppo - liked when I first saw it, find it tiresome now. Same goes for Prophecy Girl - liked when first saw it, find it boring now. Tastes change apparently. And Dead Things? Think it's the riskest and most ambitious thing I've seen. Very interesting - although increasingly painful to watch for some reason.)

I've seen literally every episode in both Ats and Btvs appear on someone's Worst list and every episode appear on someone's best list (well except for "She" - everyone seems to despise that episode, only one I've seen any consensus on. Tempted to re-watch to see why.) No one has a consensus on the best episode. There are people out there who despise OMWF and HUSH...yes, odd I know...but there you go.

My favorites of the moment? I consider the best episodes those episodes that I can watch a million times and still be entertained and never bored, that seem absolutely flawless, that always have something new to see, and always give me a thrill.
One's I truly can't find anything wrong with. Work alone and with everything else.

In no particular order here are my favorite picks:
*Fool For Love (it advances the story, gives us a bit more on the mythology, even turns it on its side and subverts it, advances character arcs, and flawlessly jumps from one scene to the next never losing momentum - it als connects beautifully with Darla)

Darla (on Ats - same thing beautifully shot)

Hush (after seeing it a million times it can still scare me and it blends humor, suspense and romance beautifully and utilizes every single character and advances all of them.)

OMWF (same thing as Hush, uses a gimmick - but you barely notice it, the gimmick works in the plot it advances the stories without distracting the audience and developes all the characters.)

Becoming Part I & II - first use of flashbacks seemlessly used, advances all the characters and flips them on their edge. Has suspense. Surprises.

The Body ( the best dang examination of a death I've ever seen visually. )

The episode in S2 where Angel sets Darla and Dru on fire - brillant, Angel stays silent throughout and the tension never stops. Art in motion.

Dear Boy - the interlay between past and present of Angel and Darla, with a wonderful sexually charged scene between the two of them in a parking garage.

(Holding off until the end of this season to list any from S7.)

Regarding your underrated list? There's only four on the list I don't like. The rest hit my favorites list.

The four are:

Waiting in the Wings A3 - I was bored through most of it.
It felt half done like something was missing. I never understood the point of the whole ballet sequence. I think the reason for this is that they had to cut out a whole fantasy dance sequence between Wes and Fred that appears in DVD.

Go Fish B2 - Sorry bored me and squicked me. I found the Xander scenes incredibly embarrassing and the Buffy scenes with the boys offensive. Most of the time I was just bored.
Nor did it advance anyone's story or arc that much outside of maybe Cordy and Xander who were the only things I liked in the episode or can remember from it. It comes on? I skip it. I don't even think I bothered to tape it off FX.

As You Were B6 - it bored me. Riley, a character that I had actually liked - turned into a drone I wanted to beat repeatedly over the head with a bat. His wife acted like a robot...with less facial expression than the April and Buffybot's which is saying something. The only part I liked in it were Xander and Anya and Buffy and Spike or the scenes Riley was not in. I think the problem was it was rushed, the script wasn't finessed and they didn't have enough shooting time with Blucas. At any rate - the writers saw it as a buddy-movie. I saw it as an anti-buddy movie.

Prophecy Girl B1 - was fine first two rounds. Find it dull in repeat viewings. Outside of maybe four scenes: Giles/Buffy/Jenny, Xander/Angel, Buffy/Willow and Willow/Cordy and the dead boys...didn't do much for me.

I agree with Sophist on Lie To Me - one of my all time favorites and an incredibly important episode.

See? It depends on personal taste. What makes up our taste?
Well several factors: age, gender, education, family background, religion, religious beliefs, experience, geography, race, culture, orientation -sexual and otherwise, what we eat, what we wear, what we like to read.
These are impossible things to determine from a computer screen and posts. But due to all these various factors, it's actually surprising we agree as often as we do. Our disagreements on episodes and characters seem sort of well pre-ordained in a way. I think it's hard to fathom why some of us prefer one episode over another...just as it is hard to fathom why "I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of HEre" got higher ratings than say "Btvs" last week or "Miracles".
Or why "Friends" and "ER" are at the top of the ratings along with Law & Order and Btvs and Ats aren't. I don't get it. But I've accepted the fact that I never will. Let's face it, my tastes differ from the majority...c'est la vie.

[> [> Putting the match to an old (really old) Flame....that would be Redefinition....;) -- Rufus, 23:11:18 03/03/03 Mon

[> Homecoming is one of my all time favourites -- Helen, 01:56:33 03/04/03 Tue

Cordy does the best Slayer impression ever, and Faith telling Scott the rash will clear up if he uses the ointment. God I love it!

[> Agree with a fair number of thse, but... -- Tchaikovsky, 03:14:30 03/04/03 Tue

I have the completely opposite reaction to 'Family'. It's not one of Joss' 'Genius Auteur' episodes, (which I like as much as the next man), just a thought-provoking tear-jerking story. I tend to think it gets under-rated as an episode because of the other things Joss is doing around it- his previous episode was 'Restless' and the next one 'The Body'.

And Buffy telling Tara's dad the Scooby Gnag is her family? And Willow and Tara floating in the air? I'm sorry, but it makes me tearful- always.


[> Overrated/Underrated Seasons -- Gyrus, 08:23:18 03/04/03 Tue

This list strikes me as a bit odd, because some of the eps you list as "overrated" don't seem to me to be that popular (ex. Ted, Family, Buffy Vs. Dracula), while some of the ones you label "underrated" seem to be generally well-liked (Waiting in the Wings, Sanctuary, Prophecy Girl).

Thinking in terms of seasons, I consider S4 underrated. Many people didn't like Adam because he wasn't as funny as any of his predecessors, but his frightening level of confidence and charisma (I love his "Tony Robbins" speech to Spike in The Yoko Factor), combined with his near-invincibility, made him a more formidable villain than any we'd seen before. I also thought Buffy's transition from high school to college was handled well; the Initiative plot made perfect sense to me (if there really were demons, the government would certainly study them); and we got to hear Giles sing for the first time. :)

On the other hand, I thought S5 was definitely overrated. For all her power, Glory was a dull, one-dimensional villain. Also, the sense of Scooby unity established at the end of S4 was extinguished by the introduction of Dawn, and the promises of character development made in "Restless" and reaffirmed in "Buffy Vs. Dracula" went virtually untouched for the rest of the season. (I did like Buffy asking Giles to become her Watcher again, but was disappointed when nothing came of it.) Not to mention that watching Riley's slow but inevitable crash-and-burn was like ripping twenty feet of duct tape off a very hairy man.

What do y'all think? (I live in Texas and am required by law to use "y'all" at least occasionally.)

[> [> Taking the 'Rob' perspective -- Tchaikovsky, 09:48:09 03/04/03 Tue

I agree that Season Four is under-rated. Joss Whedon said that he thought that episode by episode it was as strong a Season as any, it's just the over-arching plot was less engaging. I tend to agree: I think 'The Freshman', 'The Harsh Light of Day', 'Wild At Heart', 'Hush', 'A New Man', the Faith double, 'Wild At Heart', 'The Yoko Factor' and 'Restless' (still my favourite of all), are all outstanding, and that's almost half the Season.

On the other hand, I tend to think Season Five is justly rated very highly, for having a pulsing startling forward momentum through to a beautiful conclusion, and for both introducing a character, (Dawn) and expanding a character, (Spike), in quite exceptional ways. I also think 'The Body', 'Forever' and 'Intervention' is the best run of three episodes in the BtVS canon (although out-done in Angel Season Two IMHO).

This is called the 'Rob' perspective. Claim everything's underrated and nothing's overrated. It's great fun, and very cheering. Actually, I really do like all the Seasons, with slight reservations about Season One, although I think it's an unfair comparison, as it only has 12 attempts to show how great it is, whereas the others have 22.


[> [> completely agree -- tim, 10:44:37 03/04/03 Tue

Of all the seasons on either show, S5 is the only one I would consider not buying on DVD (and it has FFL and The Body, which IMO are worth buying the whole season for, so it's not like I'd consider it very seriously). While the concept for the Glory arc is intriguing, it never came together for me--the revelation that Buffy's blood was "the same" as Dawn's came via a sister-bonding moment, and never convinced me that it should be taken literally (and even if it was, how did Buffy know?). Also, after teasing us at the end of BvD that we would learn more about slayer origins, the only real taste is in FFL. I would have liked to see more time spent exploring slayer history in preparation for what could very well have Buffy's final battle.

Also agree that S4 is largely underrated. Shadowkat has published many excellent essays on how Restless has played out in later seasons. Her basic thesis, IIRC, is that S5 is about problems when the hands go out of balance with the other elements, S6 the spirit, and S7 the heart. (Apologies if that's not quite correct.) Looked at in that context, I think S4 is primarily about the mind out of balance with the others. The Initiative is a nice way to discuss the problems with over-intellectualizing the slayer's duties (they're just animals, etc.), and Adam, in addition to being underrated as a bad-ass, is part computer, an interesting twist on the Lex Luthor-style evil genius that fights the hero with his mind rather than his brawn. (I'm not a terribly gifted literary critic; if anyone thinks there's anything here of merit and wants to make a more convincing argument than I'm making, you have my blessing.)

Additionally, Buffy's struggle to find her new place in the world is handled well, and nicely, if unintentionally, foreshadows the season-long struggle she'll have after returning from the grave.

JMHO. Thanks for giving me a chance to express it.


[> [> [> Elements out of balance -- Gyrus, 11:36:56 03/04/03 Tue

[Shadowkat's] basic thesis, IIRC, is that S5 is about problems when the hands go out of balance with the other elements, S6 the spirit, and S7 the heart. (Apologies if that's not quite correct.) Looked at in that context, I think S4 is primarily about the mind out of balance with the others.

This is an extremely interesting idea. I'm having trouble making the S5/hands connection, but the rest of it makes a lot of sense.

The Initiative is a nice way to discuss the problems with over-intellectualizing the slayer's duties (they're just animals, etc.),

The Initiative, IMO, was meant to illustrate that some things cannot be understood by intellect alone, and that to assume otherwise is arrogant and dangerous.

and Adam, in addition to being underrated as a bad-ass, is part computer, an interesting twist on the Lex Luthor-style evil genius that fights the hero with his mind rather than his brawn.

Adam had a lot of brains AND brawn, but yes, he ultimately lost because his purely rational model of how the world works was incomplete. It is interesting that the first and only time he ever shows fear is when he is confronted with something he can't understand. ("You cannot begin to grasp the source of our power.")

[> [> Disagree. -- Rob, 11:16:14 03/04/03 Tue

I adored the fifth season, and would probably count it as my favorite, although the seventh seaosn may take its spot. I'm waiting until the end of the season to decide for sure yet, though. I very much loved the "family" theme of the fifth season. I felt throughout the year that the show and its characters were completely cemented in perfectly. I loved the yearlong story arc, I loved Glory, I loved all the twists and turns. Although I do agree with you on Season 4, which, in fact, was the season that made me adore the show the way I do now. I was a casual watcher through season 2 and 3. I liked it a lot but wouldn't freak if I missed an episode. The Initiative plot and Adam are what really reeled me in and made me a hardcore fan. So to each his own, I guess!


[> [> I think S6 is underrated. -- HonorH, 11:16:21 03/04/03 Tue

It wasn't very pretty, but it was something that I think had to be explored. They got each character down to his or her lowest point, and now they're all still rebuilding. Certain aspects were fumbled--magic as addiction, indeed--but Buffy's sinking into depression and her slow climb out of it were, I thought, just genius. Depression's hard to watch (harder to go through), but they handled it well, and realistically.

[> [> [> Low points -- Gyrus, 11:48:27 03/04/03 Tue

I agree that it was necessary to show these characters hitting their low points; I think the only problem was that Willow and Buffy did it in the same season. Somebody mentioned that Willow's magic-abuse arc was originally intended for S5 but was postponed for a year because people (me included) liked the Willow/Tara relationship so much. But maybe doing it in S5 would have worked better.

[> [> [> [> Actually, *everyone* hit bottom in S6. -- HonorH, 12:13:37 03/04/03 Tue

Buffy with her depression and Spike-shtupping, Willow with her magic abuse, Dawn with her kleptomania and feeling ignored while all the adults fell to pieces around her, Xander walking out on Anya, Anya becoming a demon again, and Spike realizing, thanks to the attempted rape, that he really *wasn't* good for Buffy, and all his illusions shattering so badly he went in search of a soul. Plus, Giles left, and while Tara didn't hit a low point per se, she did die, which had to ruin her day (and a lot of other people's). It all kinda got people down.

[> [> Yes and No -- luna, 12:02:40 03/04/03 Tue

Can't agree on most of 4, though it has some excellent things (Restless, etc). I find Riley the dullest character ever to appear on Buffy, and the whole time he's around I tune out. But my feelings about that continue into 5, in spite of The Gift, a truly great episode. If I'd been a regular viewer then, I probably would have deserted the show. Maybe not--I started with 6, which drove most people away.

I like 2 and 6, and think I'm really liking 7. I know 2, with Angel and Angelus, is probably on everybody's list, and it looks like 6 is getting more popular in the light of 7. So I probably go along with the crowd.

[> [> Massive agreement re:Glory -- KdS, 12:56:17 03/04/03 Tue

To be honest, it's the portrayal of Glory that convinces me that all ME are militant atheists, because no-one else could conceive a god as uninteresting as Glory. Would could we have had? Something truly alien, unimaginable, genuinely on too much larger a scale to have any comprehension or compassion for humans. And what did we get? S1 Cordelia with adamantium reinforcement.

It's all Connected.....vague spoilers and speculations for Buffy -- Rufus, 18:26:34 03/03/03 Mon

If you have been watching both shows you can see that some themes are continual through both shows I'll start with the issue of power......

Season two Angel

Psyche's transcripts

Holland: "Lindsey, - haven't you learned anything? No one has their own life. We're all part of something larger."

Lindsey: "Like Wolfram and Hart."

Holland: "I handpicked you when you were a sophomore at Hastings - not because you were smart - not because you were a poor kid who had to do better than anyone else - but because you had potential - potential for seeing things as they are. It's not about good or evil - it's about who wields the most power. And we wield a lot of it here, and you know what? I think the world is better for it."

Season seven Buffy "Lessons"

Psyche's transcripts

Cut to the basement. Spike is crouching on the floor with his arms wrapped around himself, rocking slightly.

SPIKE: I had a speech. I learned it all. (shakes his head) Oh, god, she won't understand, she won't understand.

He moves his arms to cover his head. Someone walks past him, pacing.

VOICE: Of course she won't understand, Sparky.

It's Warren. He stops behind Spike and addresses him.

WARREN: I'm beyond her understanding. She's a girl! Sugar and spice and everything... (gestures dismissively) useless unless you're baking.

Spike listens, holding still now, staring at the ground.

WARREN: (walking forward) I'm more than that. More than flesh...

Warren morphs into Glory (Season 5 villain).

GLORY: ...more than blood. I'm ... you know, I honestly don't think there's a human word fabulous enough for me.

Spike watches her over his shoulder warily.

GLORY: Oh, my name will be on everyone's lips. Assuming their lips haven't been torn off.

Spike looks down at the floor again.

GLORY: But not just yet. That's all right though.

Glory paces forward again and morphs into Adam (Season 4 villain).

ADAM: I can be patient. Everything is well within parameters. (turns) She's exactly where I want her to be. (looks down at Spike) And so are you, Number 17. (Spike looking wary) You're right where you belong.

Adam starts to kneel down, and morphs into Mayor Wilkins. He crouches next to Spike.

MAYOR: So what'd you think, you'd get your soul back and everything would be jim-dandy? Soul's slipperier than a greased weasel, why do you think I sold mine? (laughing) Well, you probably thought that ... you'd be your own man. And I respect that.

The Mayor lifts his hand to touch Spike's face.

MAYOR: But you-
DRUSILLA: -never will.

It's Drusilla's hand that caresses Spike's cheek as he continues to not look at her/it.

DRUSILLA: You'll always be mine. You'll always be in the dark with me. Singing our little songs. You like our little songs, don't you? You've always liked them, right from the beginning. (leans closer, whispers) And that's where we're going.

Drusilla morphs into The Master, and he stands up again.

MASTER: Right back to the beginning. Not the bang ... not the word ... the true beginning.

He begins to pace again. Spike continues staring at the floor, hugging his knees.

MASTER: The next few months are going to be quite a ride. And I think we're all going to learn something about ourselves in the process. You'll learn you're a pathetic schmuck ... if it hasn't sunk in already. Look at you. (scornfully) Tried to do what's right. Just like her. You still don't get it. It's not about right. Not about wrong.

The Master paces past Spike again. Close on Spike's face still staring at the floor.

Pan across Spike and back over. But now it's Buffy, standing there with her arms folded.

BUFFY: It's about power.

WILLOW: I don't have that much power, I don't think.

GILES: Everything is connected. You're connected to a great power, whether you feel it or not.

WILLOW: Well, you should just take it from me.

Willow gets up. The flower closes up and sinks back into the ground.

GILES: You know we can't.

Willow walks away from the tree with Giles following.

GILES: This isn't a, a hobby or an addiction. It's inside you now, this magic. You're responsible for it.
Giles catches up with Willow and they walk side-by-side.

WILLOW: Will they always be afraid of me?

GILES: Maybe. Can you handle it?

WILLOW: I deserve a lot worse. (they stop walking) I killed people, Giles.

GILES: I've not forgotten.

WILLOW: When you brought me here, I thought it was to kill me. Or to lock me in some mystical dungeon for all eternity, or ... with the torture. (frowns) Instead, you ... go all Dumbledore on me. (Giles smiling a little) I'm learning about magic, all about energy and Gaia and root systems...

GILES: Do you want to be punished?

WILLOW: (softly) I wanna be Willow.

GILES: You are. In the end, we all are who we are ... no matter how much we may appear to have changed.

Psyche's transcripts

Holland: "Things are often confusing for you, aren't they, Lindsey? - Especially, it seems, when it comes to this woman. - You allowed yourself to be ruled by your emotions."

Buffy ep First Date.

Psyche's transcripts

Angel: "You like to hurt women, do you, Billy? That make you feel like a man?"

Billy: "I have never hurt a woman in my life. - I just like to watch."

Cordy: "Billy Blim makes people crazy."

Lilah: "Not all people. Just men. He brings out a primordial misogyny in them. Turns them into killers."

Fred smiles and shakes her head: "That wasn't you."

Wes: "How can you know that? Something inside me was forced to the surface. Something primal, something..."

Fred: "Do you wanna kill me?"

Wes: "Oh, God, no."

Fred: "It wasn't something in you, Wesley. It was something that was done to you."

Wes: "I don't know what kind of man I am anymore."

Fred: "Well, I do. - You're a good man. - Will I see you back at the office?"

Buffy 7.16 Storyteller

Wood stands and turns to face her, furious, threatening. He takes a step toward her. His eyes are CLOUDED, BLIND (contacts, not CGI) - It's a startling and scary moment, as he growls:

WOOD (cont'd)You're with the vampire. Screwing the vampire. You Filthy Whore!!

Angel season 2 Reprise

Angel: "Why fight?"

Holland: "That's really the question you should be asking yourself, isn't it? See, for us, there is no fight. Which is why winning doesn't enter into it. We - go on - no matter what. Our firm has always been here. In one form or another. The Inquisition. The Khmer Rouge. We were there when the very first cave man clubbed his neighbor. See, we're in the hearts and minds of every single living being. And *that* - friend - is what's making things so difficult for you. - See, the world doesn't work in spite of evil, Angel. - It works with us. - It works because of us."

And with that the elevator comes to a screeching halt.
The doors open and Angel looks out to see a homeless person pushing a loaded shopping cart across the plaza in front of the Wolfram and Hart Office building in LA.

Holland: "Welcome to the home office."

Angel: "This isn't..."

Holland: "Well, you know it is. - You know *that* better than anyone. Things you've seen. Things you've, well - done. You see, if there wasn't evil in every single one of them out there (Angel watches as some people in the plaza start yelling at each other) why, they wouldn't be people. - They'd all be angels."
The glove drops from Angel's right to land on the floor of the elevator and Angel slowly shuffles out of it. Holland calling after him as the doors close: "Have a nice day."

From Buffy season 5

Psyche's transcripts

BEN: Need a ... a minute. She could've killed me.

GILES: No she couldn't. Never. And sooner or later Glory will re-emerge, and ... make Buffy pay for that mercy. And the world with her. Buffy even knows that... (reaches into his pocket, takes out his glasses) and still she couldn't take a human life.

Shot of Ben listening.

GILES: She's a hero, you see. (Giles puts his glasses on) She's not like us.

BEN: Us?

Giles suddenly reaches down and puts his hand over Ben's nose and mouth, holding them shut. Ben struggles weakly as Giles keeps him still. Giles keeps his calm expression throughout.

GILES: But I've sworn to protect this sorry world, and sometimes that means saying and doing ... what other people can't. What they shouldn't have to.

Buffy season two "Halloween"

Psyche's transcripts

Ethan: Who you are? The Watcher, sniveling, tweed-clad guardian of the Slayer and her kin? I think not. I know who you are, Rupert, and I know what you're capable of. (considers) But they don't, do they? They have no idea where you come from.

Who are you? Do we really know who anyone is on Buffy? I've put some Angel quotes in this post and they will begin to make sense starting around ep 17......the Billy stuff in 18...but take the thoughts from Billy and consider how a Harbinger is made.

Some things to consider.....Nietzsche and the superman, eternal recurrence, and how that may be applied to the Slayer. Is there a parallel between Nietzsche, Yeats and what is to come on both Buffy and Angel? And what's with all the references to comics from Star Wars to Batman? Dawn was a glowy green key.....what does that have to do with having a soul?


FIRST SLAYER: You are full of love. You love with all of your soul. It's brighter than the fire ... blinding. That's why you pull away from it.

BUFFY: (surprised) I'm full of love? I'm not losing it?

FIRST SLAYER: Only if you reject it. Love is pain, and the Slayer forges strength from pain. Love ... give ... forgive. Risk the pain. It is your nature. Love will bring you to your gift.


TARA VOICEOVER: You think you know ... what's to come ... what you are. You haven't even begun.

[> Link to transcript of today's Chat with Kristin...guests David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter -- Rufus, 18:38:41 03/03/03 Mon

Trollop group

There are no real spoilers just hints to tempt us to watch.....Like I need to be tempted...;)

[> [> Re: Link to transcript of today's Chat with Kristin...guests David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter -- Dochawk, 19:17:27 03/03/03 Mon

The one real interesting point I thought was DB saying that Angel whispering Buffy's name implied that Buffy remains his true love, not Cordy. And I am in no way a A/B shipper.

[> [> [> Re: Link to transcript of today's Chat with Kristin...guests David Boreanaz and Charisma Carpenter -- Peggin, 20:46:32 03/03/03 Mon

I noticed that, too, and I don't get it. Is DB saying that Angel can be "perfectly happy" if he sleeps with someone he doesn't really love, as long as he thinks about Buffy at the last moment? If Angel is still that much in love with Buffy, wouldn't thinking about her while sleeping with someone else kind of shatter the moment and make it less than perfect?

[> [> [> [> Let's just wait and see how this one plays out -- lunasea, 21:02:09 03/03/03 Mon

Last year David was saying that Buffy was just a crush and he lost interest if the chick wasn't actually around. The one who really should be answering those questions is Joss because he is the one that actually knows the answer. David plays Angel how he is told to.

My take is that Angel has been in serious denial mode trying to forget Buffy (and vice versa). His perfect moment reminded him of his time with Buffy (hence the way the shooting script read) and it prompted his Buffygasm. We will see how this plays out. At least there has been some serious backpeddling in the press since Greenwalt left about Buffy and Angel. That gives me lots of hope.

But DAVID ANSWERED MY QUESTION!!!!!! He liked the idea too. David answered my question AND liked my idea. I don't know what is better. I feel like a teen again.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Let's just wait and see how this one plays out -- Peggin, 21:25:16 03/03/03 Mon

I'm just saying, I would be fine with the idea that Angel is capable of loving more than one person in his lifetime. I believe it's even possible for someone to love two people at the exact same time. Angel could be in love with Cordy right now and still be in love with Buffy, too. Many people never completely get over their first love, but that doesn't mean they never love anyone else. I could even see Angel's calling out Buffy's name as an indication that he feels a little guilty over the fact that he does love more than one person.

OTOH, I would totally lose any love I ever had for Angel if he could use Cordy's body as just a "thing", just a substitute for Buffy, and could achieve perfect happiness in that manner. Perfect happiness is supposed to be a huge deal, and if Angel could get there in the act of using someone who was nothing more to him than a body, it would make me seriously dislike him.

And I know it didn't actually happen, but it was real enough in Angel's mind that it doesn't make any difference whether it happened or not. In his dream, Cordy was all about how much she loved him and only wanted him. If he could just use her as a Buffy subsititute and be perfectly happy, while at that very moment believing that she was completely in love with him, it means he hasn't changed since his days as Liam. He still has no problem casually using women and tossing them aside without any concern for their feelings. I just really hope that's not where this story ends up, because if that's the case, then I will lose all respect for him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Neither said 'I love you' -- lunasea, 21:36:23 03/03/03 Mon

Sleeping with Cordy wasn't about love. It was about approval and forgiveness. In his fantasy, Angel made everything in his world OK, that included what Cordelia said in Apocalypse Nowish.

Angel probably is IN love with Cordy. He truly loves Buffy. There is a difference.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Neither said 'I love you' -- Peggin, 21:53:39 03/03/03 Mon

No, there's not a difference. Not to me there isn't. If that's all sleeping with Cordy meant to him, then I would find it (and him) pretty disgusting. Which would seriously depress me, because I don't want to feel that way about Angel.

[> [> I'm famous -- lunasea, 20:43:34 03/03/03 Mon

They asked my question!!!!!! I was hoping he would give more but hey, David Boreanaz answered MY QUESTION. I liked the answer. Now I can go to sleep and have happy dreams.

I missed the chat because I was feeding my kids. Thanks for the link to the transcript. I was going to have to wait until they put it up Tuesday.


DAVID ANSWERED MY QUESTION!!!!!!!! Can you feel my excitement?!?!? I am almost as excited as I was the night before Angelus was coming back. Now if I can just make it to the season finales without exploding.

everyone write the WB, AtS to continue next season with Angel as human. I want to see that. I need to see that. Here that Joss. THAT is an awesome story to tell.

[> [> Beg to differ--at least one fairly serious spoiler -- Vickie, 21:15:19 03/03/03 Mon

Don't read if you are a purist. I'm hardly pure, so no harm done.

My analysis of 'Storyteller'is up -- Masquerade, 20:33:47 03/03/03 Mon

Here. The first time I watched this episode, it annoyed me. All farcical episodes of BtVS annoy me the first time I watch them because I imagine some new viewer tuning in for the first time that night and deciding that BtVS the series is as campy as the movie and never bothering with the series again.

It's been my mission these past four years getting people to take this series seriously, and this board has contributed to that cause even more than my site. So sometimes I take the show a little more seriously than I should. I had a good giggle the second time I watched this episode. That said, "Storyteller" does have its philosophical depths, as most of the eps do. Plus I think I finally figured out my problem with the relationship between the Seal of Danthalzar and the Hellmouth.

[> Excellent analysis, Masq! -- Rob, 21:12:30 03/03/03 Mon

And I'm glad you were able to enjoy it a bit more on a second viewing. From the start, I really saw it as one of those farce episodes that have hidden depths. Of course, it always depends on our state of mind while viewing it. I hated "Him" when I first saw it, because I saw it as too campy and farcical. On later viewings, I came to enjoy it. Why did I instantly hate "Him" but love "Storyteller" which used similar farcical devices (parody being a big one)? I can't really say. But there really were greater depths to "Storyteller" than what the surface held, and I'm hoping that "Him" reveals similar depths to me when I rewatch again once the season is over. At this point, I've reached the "enjoy Him but don't love it" gang. But I'm curious, as there have been some rumblings at the board that the seemingly throwaway story may have some significance and importance when viewed in light of the events of the final six episodes.

Anyhoo, enough rambling for now!

Oh, and great Hellmouth analysis. I agree!



[> [> Farcical episodes -- Masq, 22:24:09 03/03/03 Mon

I don't always like farcical episodes on second viewing. Some other farical episodes I still don't like very much:

Him (Some episodes make fun of characters and actually say something by doing that. This made fun of the women of the show and said very little).
Life Serial (still campy, always campy. Hate the kitten poker. Hate the way the Trio was introduced. Didn't like the Trio until Dead Things gave them bite).

Farcical episodes I appreciated more the second time:

- The Zeppo (This was the first real farce episode. I remember everyone going "huh?" afterwards until they realized it was meant to be metanarration, the show making fun of itself, especially it's own melodrama)
- Something Blue (there was a while there where you could always tell a farcical episode because Buffy had weird hair. I still can't watch the Spuffy parts of this episode but I like the Willow parts).
- Double Meat Palace (the first time I saw this I hated the slooow pacing and the overdone creepy atmosphere. Of course, that was deliberate, to give the sense of despair and surrealness that comes from working fast food).

[> [> [> What about Superstar? -- cougar, 22:35:14 03/03/03 Mon

[> [> [> [> Wasn't impressed the first time -- Masq, 06:50:41 03/04/03 Tue

Didn't hate it, but wasn't impressed. Still not tickled by it, but three seasons later gives you perspective and you see the ep in the context of the season it was in, and in the context of the whole long Jonathan arc and you don't mind it so much.

My most visceral reactions to farcical episodes are always on the first viewing. Being unspoiled, I'm never psychologically prepared for the show to become its own butt-monkey. I sit there and cringe and think, "Lame!" A larger perspective of the season always helps, but there are some episodes where the jokes will always fall flat for me.

[> [> [> [> [> Think about me! -- Rahael, 10:05:22 03/04/03 Tue

Developing intense dislikes for episodes/plot arcs/themes before I even see them based entirely on other people's (positive!) responses!


My most visceral reaction happens months before I see them!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Wasn't impressed the first time -- purplegrrl, 11:03:02 03/04/03 Tue

Sorry to differ, Masq, but this is one of my favorite episodes. Mostly because it is so over the top. I love the way Jonathon is inserted into the opening credits -- especially the slow-walk-down-deserted-alley-while-wearing-black-duster ala Angel at the end.

And the reference to Jonathon inventing the Internet (Al Gore, anyone?). The sight "gags" (Jonathon comic books) and pop culture references are everywhere.

Jonathon does everything and is everywhere, yet still has time to have coffee with friends and to meet and greet his fans. It's almost as if he is some sort of farcical Nietzschean super-man.

I always look at this episode as sort of a standalone. Except for when Jonathon gives Buffy relationship advice about Riley, which sets it firmly within the arc of the season.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wasn't impressed the first time -- Rob, 11:25:24 03/04/03 Tue

I loved how this episode started in a universe that seemed very different, and yet it was clear that something had to have changed since the last episode, because although everything has changed around them, Buffy and Riley are still arguing about him having slept with Faith.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wasn't impressed the first time -- maddog, 12:54:39 03/04/03 Tue

It's amazing how Buffy does that too. She completely pushes both Angel and Riley away when it comes to Faith. In Angel's case he did what she asked him to, and in Riley's case he can't exactly be held responsible for not knowing that wasn't Buffy....yet somehow she held both of them accountable...fickle, fickle Buffy. :(

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I can't agree -- Sophist, 14:05:07 03/04/03 Tue

I don't think Buffy was fickle at all, especially when it comes to Riley. In the first place, she had nothing to do with Riley's interaction with Faith, so "fickle" hardly seems fair.

More importantly, I think her reaction was entirely justified. It's one thing for the SG to be fooled in a short conversation. It's altogether different for Riley to sleep with her and not realize the difference in personality. You don't have sex with a body, you have it with a person. Riley's failure to realize the difference called into question his devotion to Buffy as a person (rather than as a sex object).

There is a better case that she was unfair to Angel. Yes, she did ask him to pretend to go evil. I don't think, though, that either of them expected that he would have sex with Faith, which is the way I interpreted the implications of Enemies. I think Buffy expected that Angel would have found a way to refuse and was disappointed that he didn't or couldn't.

In any case, she did get over it quickly and accepted Angel back. As she did with Riley.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Angel never had sex with Faith -- Scroll, 14:34:32 03/04/03 Tue

In "Sanctuary", we find out that Faith only had sex with Riley, never with Angel. Of course, this could be ret-conning to the extent that they're stating something in opposition of something previously implied.

I agree that Buffy wasn't "fickle". More hurt because her boyfriend didn't quite measure up. And I think her measure of "good boyfriend doesn't sleep with evil Slayer stealing my body" is a little too high for Riley to realistically reach, IMHO. That Riley doesn't realise it's not Buffy he's sleeping with says a lot (that he doesn't really understand Buffy, see her as a person, etc) but maybe I'm being lenient because I think Riley (and all the Initiative folks) had absolutely no comprehension of magic. Sure, Buffy might've seemed weird to Riley but he would've never even had a glimmer of the possibility that Buffy's body had been taken over by another personality. It would seem too much like Star Trek!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel never had sex with Faith -- Sophist, 15:45:10 03/04/03 Tue

Well, ok. But I sure thought so when I watched Enemies. And I'll avoid the term "retcon", but I find it really hard to believe that Faith's character, at that moment in time, would not have had sex with Angel.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Agree, I personally think Faith had sex w/ Angel -- Scroll, 15:50:14 03/04/03 Tue

Despite what Faith herself tells us in "Sanctuary". It just makes everything that happens later much more fun and meaningful if Faith and Angel really did have sex. And makes for some very... interesting fanfic :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> In my mind - they did. More than once. ;> -- WickedBuffy, 19:33:29 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I read it more as Buffy THOUGHT she could see His act and not have it affect her... -- Briar Rose, 01:09:29 03/05/03 Wed

However, the fact that Angel played the part too well was what ultimatly caused her to become distrustful of what did and did not happen.

It's like the whole trendy "Three-some" crap... Poeple think it won't affect the relationship. Sometimes they just consider it something that's "expected" now in a relationship. I once heard it called "the blow job of the 90's.*L"

But it's amazing that of the many couples (more than 20) I know that have done it - over 80% are not together for long afterward. Trust tends to go out the window. Along with feeling "Special" when you know that your partner is able to treat someone else and your time together as "It's just another body..." and that it's not supposed to make a difference that if that person is "just another body" then doesn't that mean that YOU become "Just another body" to your partner in that act?

Okay - I won't get into ISSUES here.*LOL

Anyway... It was a natural response from Buffy. She set up something that she thought she could handle. Then found out that she couldn't handle it.

Faith didn't sleep with Angel. That is BtVS cannon. But it doesn't change the fact that, in Buffy's mind, Angel could have and she'll probably never be TRULY able to look at Angel's face again without imagining the back of Faith's head in front of it. It's an emotional thing, even if she knows it didn't actually happen. It sure happened that way with Riley. And not just Faith, but also the Vamp chick she saw him with....

Buffy was being "just a girl" in both cases. And in a way, I think that's why so many people relate to BtVS as they do. Life is hard. Stuff happens. You live. You learn. You hurt. You work to heal. You lose your trust. You learn to live for living.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> 'Faith you and I never slept together' Angel from Sanctury -- Miss Edith, 05:01:23 03/05/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Angel did NOT sleep with Faith -- lunasea, 17:33:54 03/04/03 Tue

1) no time between leaving mayors and going to get Buffy. Angelus' first priority was to torture that Slayer that was giving the Mayor so much trouble. It was not the next day when he gets Buffy. He "lost" his soul and tortured Buffy all in the same night. Somehow Angel/Faith sex would take a while.

2) Angel was scared of sex. He thought that sex period would cause him to loose his soul. He wasn't going to risk that while undercover. It wasn't until Darla that he realized it wasn't just sex.

Buffy just didn't like him kissing/feeling up Faith. He looked like he was having so much fun acting that maybe he wished he wasn't acting. He went too deeply into the role, but he wasn't about to risk actually loosing his soul.

3) Angel says they didn't have sex in "Sanctuary." Faith mentions sleeping with Buffy's boyfriend and Angel says that they never had sex. The look on his face is pure pain when Faith tells him "the new guy." That is also how Angel knows that Buffy is sleeping with Riley and where the line "You actually sleep with this guy" came from. It was him lashing out. Have to watch both series to get the full flavor of the Buffyverse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wasn't impressed the first time -- lunasea, 17:10:59 03/04/03 Tue

In Angel's case he did what she asked him to, and in Riley's case he can't exactly be held responsible for not knowing that wasn't Buffy....yet somehow she held both of them accountable...fickle, fickle Buffy. :(

Why can't she hold Riley accountable? It wasn't just that he slept with Faith. It was that he didn't know it wasn't her. She intuits Giles when he is the demon and she wants him to do the same when Faith took her body (why do you think that episode preceeds it). It is something very important to Buffy. She wants someone who can really see her. She also wants someone who wants her. Faith in Buffy's body didn't act like Buffy. If Riley slept with (and worse said I love you) to that Buffy, then he mustn't want the real Buffy. Not saying I agree, but I can see where she was coming from.

Buffy asked Angel to go undercover. What he did undercover was another thing. He didn't have to bring up sending him to hell or punch Xander. He didn't have to look like he enjoyed it so much. I can see how watching him nuzzle Faith was a bit much. The writers were trying to explore what happens when you go undercover like that. Angel got too into the role. Again, not saying I agree, but I can see where she was coming from.

Buffy does have massive abandonment issues. She is just looking for her man to leave. Them being with another woman who is hot and a lot of fun doesn't fill her with security.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Riley and A New Man -- Rufus, 02:23:03 03/05/03 Wed

There is a big difference between Buffy being able to tell that a very large demon had her mentors eyes and Riley being able to tell the difference between Buffy and Faith...considering Faith was wearing Buffy's body, and Riley knew nothing about Faith as reference for being able to tell the difference. I think it boils down to what you think of Riley...I may not have thought he was the best boyfriend for Buffy, but I don't fault him for not being able to tell the difference between Faith in Buffy and Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Riley and A New Man -- lunasea, 05:03:57 03/05/03 Wed

There is a big difference between Buffy being able to tell that a very large demon had her mentors eyes and Riley being able to tell the difference between Buffy and Faith...considering Faith was wearing Buffy's body, and Riley knew nothing about Faith as reference for being able to tell the difference.

And that would be? Buffy had no reason to think that was anything other than a demon. Why on any level would she think it was Giles? It was one of those moments that showed how special Buffy (and her relationship with Giles) really was. It wasn't that Riley didn't know it was Faith. It was that he didn't know it wasn't Buffy.

I loved how he took the way Faith was acting and brought her to a very tender place. It was one of those moments that showed how special he was (and I loved Riley. I married someone just like him). Still, he thought that Buffy would act that way. I can see Buffy being upset.

The other thing is Buffy didn't know how Riley took Faith's behavior and brought her to that tender place. She probably just thought he loved the wild girl. She does tend to worry about that. In "Bad Girls" Angel does not like Naughty Buffy and Buffy still worried after "Enemies." Riley pretty much was the same way Angel was, but how does Buffy know that? Buffy could trust Riley because she didn't think he wanted a bad girl. This totally blew that.

Just trying to explore the character's motivation. I don't think she was completely unreasonable and her reaction shows us something very important about Buffy and what she is looking for.

We can look at the event completely logically, but Buffy isn't a creature of logic. She works on instinct. Her partner needs to have strong instincts as well.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Well, that's just the thing -- Masq, 11:41:11 03/04/03 Tue

Mostly because it is so over the top

I always dislike over the top episodes the first time I see them. They just grate on me like fingernailss on a chalkboard. Now "Superstar" makes me laugh, as it was originally intended to do. And I now like "The Zeppo", "Something Blue" and others.

But some episodes still grate, like Him, Life Serial, and Sense and Sensitivity.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> What's your opinion of 'Bewitched, Bothered, and Bewildered'? -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:54:24 03/04/03 Tue

While it's not farcical to the extreme ends of "The Zeppo", "Him", or "Superstar", it still did make fun of itself in some ways (I'm mainly thinking of the misdirect about it having an Angelus plot, and also how it played with the B/X and B/W ships).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> It worked for me from minute one. Enjoyed every minute, still do. -- Masq, 16:25:41 03/04/03 Tue

It never struck me as over the top. It starts out normal, then Xander does something he shouldn't. He gets warned he shouldn't do it, then wackiness ensues.

It was just so much more well-written then some of the other eps mentioned above.

Kinda cringed when Drusilla came on to Xander, though. That fell into "moments we thought we'd never see". And Angelus kind of fit artificially into what was a Scooby-centered episode.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Just to set the record straight - Al Gore NEVER claimed to have invented the internet -- Dochawk, 19:43:53 03/04/03 Tue

He claimed to have taken the "initiative to create the internet" in a discussion about funding programs. First Wired News clipped his quote and went on a rampage against him then the Republican party changed it to he claimed to invent the internet.

Whatever else you think about Al Gore, he was in fact the prime mover in Congress for the funding of the backbone of the internet.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Al Gore gets misquoted by the media a great deal... -- Rob, 21:16:07 03/04/03 Tue

There's a whole section in Sarah Vowell's "The Partly Cloudy Patriot," where she discusses a speech of Al Gore's that was misrepresented by the media (interestingly, another chapter on Gore also has a large section devoted to BtVS...highly recommended!).

Here's the real speech:

"Let me tell you a quick story. Twenty years ago, I got a letter from a high school student in West Tennessee about how the water her amily was drinking from a well tasted funny. She wrote me how her grandfather had a mysterious ailment that paralyzed part of his body, that she was convinced was related to the water. Then her father also became mysteriously ill. People thought she was imagining things. We investigated, and what we found was that one mile from her home a chemical company had dug a big trench and they were dumping millions of gallons of hazardous chemical waste into the ground. It had seeped down into the water table and contaminated her family's well and the wells of other families in that rural area. I called for a congressional investigation and a hearing. I looked around the country for other sites like that. I found a little place in upstate New York called Love Canal. I had the first hearing on that issue and Toone, Tennessee--that was the one you didn't hear of. But that was the one that started it all. We passed a major national law to clean up hazardous dump sites. And we had new efforts to stop the practices that ended up poisoning water around the country. We've still got work to do. But we made a huge difference. And it all happened because one high school student got involved."

So, in this speech, he was really crediting a high school student with starting such a great anti-pollution move. But Vowell relates how 'The New York Times' misquoted Gore as saying "But I was the one that started it all." That's when the whole backlash against him happened, with jokes on Jay Leno about Gore claiming he started everything. Interestingly, The Washington Post misquoted him too, Vowell says, as if they so had the idea of Gore being a pompous blowhard in their head that their minds inserted these words into his mouth. Just one little word (which Gore didn't even say!) and he came off looking like an ass again!


[> some thought in response -- anom, 22:33:58 03/03/03 Mon

"When Jonathan died, his blood seeped over the entire Seal, causing it to glow."

Was it really his blood we saw spread over the Seal? That's not the way blood usually flows. When that episode 1st aired, some people thought something like snakes or worms--something wriggly--emerged from Jonathan's body. On repeated watching, it looked to me like reddish waves of energy, not anything physical. And ME has no trouble showing blood & making it look like blood. This didn't.

"...why bring Andrew all the way up from Mexico to perform this ritual murder?"

Apparently the knife was in Mexico to start with, since Andrew bought it there. So maybe the choice of destination was influenced by the First, not just the decision to return. Could the First have appeared to Andrew as Warren before he knew Warren was dead? Did he have to go to Mexico to get the knife & bring it back to Sunnydale to activate the Seal? Hmm...I guess the time frame is a little iffy on that one. And I suppose the First could have influenced whoever had the knife to bring it to where Andrew was & sell it to him. So, as usual, we don't really know.

"Getting someone like Andrew to voluntarily commit murder may have been just the ticket to releasing the power of the Seal."

Is it possible that was what activated the Seal, & not the blood itself (see 1st note)? or at least, not only the blood? The fact that Xander's blood released (almost) a 2nd Turok-Han made me think that maybe the ritual (murder + blood + the knife) primed the pump, so to speak, & after that it didn't take anywhere near all of a person's blood to make it pump out an übervamp. (I don't know if Xander's announcement that the captive Andrew was "primed & ready to be pumped" is a clue to this--whaddaya think?)

"I found [Andrew's realization] to be very Lutheran. Buffy asked Andrew if his blood and his death would redeem him, to which he tearfully answer no. The message is that Andrew cannot redeem himself. None of us can redeem ourselves. If we get any redemption, it is from God (or whatever passes for God in Joss' mind)." (Robert, 2/25/03 20:30)

I'm not sure those amount to the same thing. No, his blood & his death wouldn't redeem him. But maybe his tears & his contrition did, or at least started him on the path to redemption. In any case, Joss may only be saying that more blood is not the way to redemption. You can't fight evil w/evil; you can't redeem it w/evil either. That doesn't necessarily mean Andrew can't redeem himself at all, & given Joss's atheism, I doubt he's saying redemption comes from something that "passes for God." He may be saying it doesn't come at all, given the way he dealt w/that question on Angel. [Disclaimer: I don't know much at all about Lutheranism & what it says about redemption.]

"Rioting students block Wood's wood until the influence of the Hellmouth is damned up,..."

"Damned up"? Did you do that on purpose? @>) And I like "Wood's wood"!

[> [> Re: some thought in response -- Rahael, 03:53:27 03/04/03 Tue

I'm not sure those amount to the same thing. No, his blood & his death wouldn't redeem him. But maybe his tears & his contrition did, or at least started him on the path to redemption.

Oooh! That reminds me. That phrasing struck me when I read someone else's post. Andrew's blood and death wouldn't redeem him?

The metaphor of blood ("which my God tastes as blood but I as wine") is pretty steeped in resonances of redemption and sacrifice. Together with Anya prepared to give up her life but not having to - I think I'm starting to see a theme for the season finale.

In my reply to Masq, I talked as if Buffy had said that nothing that Andrew could do would redeem him (which was the tone of the quote I was reacting to), but saying that his death wouldn't redeem him is an even clearer, non Lutheran message. It leaves open the question that Andrew's repentence and grief may indeed put him on the road to redemption. The implication of Buffy not saying that would be that Spike should kill himself as soon as possible, in an attempt to redeem himself, instead of trying to keep on living. Because, after all, in the Buffyverse, to keep on living is the courageous, the strong thing to do.

Luther is famous for the doctrine of Justification by Faith alone - you can only be saved by your faith in God, not in any actions you may try to do in a vain attempt to save yourself. Only God has the power to save. Only God has enough mercy to forgive your sins. Because all of us, are so far from salvation, and forgiveness, and even our rational thought, which tries to lead us to God, only takes us further away, no mere effort of ours can accomplish this incredible task.

And the act of saving those who give themselves to God, trust in him and open their heart in faith to the action of grace - this demonstrates God's mercy.

[> [> [> One more nuance regarding justification by faith -- Sophist, 08:46:27 03/04/03 Tue

Luther is famous for the doctrine of Justification by Faith alone - you can only be saved by your faith in God, not in any actions you may try to do in a vain attempt to save yourself. Only God has the power to save. Only God has enough mercy to forgive your sins. Because all of us, are so far from salvation, and forgiveness, and even our rational thought, which tries to lead us to God, only takes us further away, no mere effort of ours can accomplish this incredible task.

As Robert correctly stated, people cannot reach faith in God even by their own actions or efforts. That faith depends first on an act of grace which allows it. Every step in the process depends entirely on God.

I'm not sure that JW intended this message in Storyteller, but I can see that it's there for those who want it.

[> [> [> [> Umm Soph??? -- Dochawk, 11:17:14 03/04/03 Tue

I assume you are talking about the lutheran view of faith and redemption??? Something I would know nothing about, but it certainly is not the view across the Judeochristian spectrum. Mainstream Judiasm believes that redemption begins with forgiveness from the victim (you ask for that forgiveness before coming to G*D on Yom Kippur). It makes murder the only crime that can't be forgiven/redeemed by G*D because you cannot obtain the forgiveness of the victim (even his family cannot give it to you).

[> [> [> [> [> Yes, Lutheran (though other Protestants also). As Peggin and others have said, -- Sophist, 12:23:01 03/04/03 Tue

even other Christian denominations have different views, much less other religions.

[> [> [> [> [> [> A Lutheran speaks -- lakrids, 15:23:46 03/04/03 Tue

I am Lutheran (member of the Danish State Church), but I am defiantly not and expert in theology. But as I understand in the concept of redemption build on Luther teaching

Only God knows mercy

You can only trust God about redemption, and nor what people, yourself included, think and means about forgiveness of God.

None can speak on the behalf of god. Man is directly responsible over for God, for his actions and thoughts, there is not a layer between God and man ( The Pope and or Church ).

Redemption is not a spreadsheet where a good deeds cancels out bad deeds, and you go to heaven if the end result is positive.

This is only my layman belief what it means to be Lutheran, God knows :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> That's how I understand it also. -- Sophist, 15:50:45 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> i meant thought*s*, of course...& here's another -- anom, 15:47:39 03/04/03 Tue

"It leaves open the question that Andrew's repentence and grief may indeed put him on the road to redemption. The implication of Buffy not saying that would be that Spike should kill himself as soon as possible, in an attempt to redeem himself, instead of trying to keep on living. Because, after all, in the Buffyverse, to keep on living is the courageous, the strong thing to do."

This makes me think of a passage from the Yom Kippur liturgy that says God doesn't want the death of the wicked but rather that they turn from their ways & live. Putting that together w/your last sentence above makes me think that's not letting 'em off easy.

[> [> Re: some thought in response -- Peggin, 04:31:35 03/04/03 Tue

No, his blood & his death wouldn't redeem him. But maybe his tears & his contrition did, or at least started him on the path to redemption.

I think you're right about that, but I think there's more to it than that. This is largely influenced by my Catholic upbringing, but I think that, before someone can truly begin to seek redemption, he has to:

(1) admit that he did something wrong,
(2) be truly sorry for his actions, and
(3) resolve to change his ways.

IMO, if you skip #1, you can spend 100+ years doing #2 and #3 and it won't get you one step closer to redemption. And that's what Andrew had been doing. He kept saying he was sorry, that he was seeking redemption, blah, blah, blah. But he never really owned responsibility for his actions. Saying "I'm sorry" was never going to be enough until Andrew admitted that he had killed Jonathan. Not, "I killed him, but The First tricked me into it" or "I killed him, but I thought we were all going to be gods", but simply "I killed him." He needed to admit guilt (at least to himself -- in terms of redemption, I don't think he needed Buffy to act as his Confessor, but I do think Andrew would never have admitted responsibility if Buffy hadn't taken that role upon herself), and he needed to do it without diluting it with excuses or rationalizations.

I also think that's the reason for the difference between the way Buffy had been treating Andrew, vs. the way she has been treating Willow, Anya, and Spike. Yes, they had each killed people, too, but none of them has tried to shift any of the blame for their actions to someone else. (Buffy even tried to give Spike the option of saying that he wasn't guilty of killing the people in the basement because he was under the control of The First, but he still accepted full responsibility for those deaths and told Buffy, "There's no one else.") IMO, there can be no truer expression of remorse than expressing a willingness to die if it can in any small way make up for a crime, and Willow, Anya, and Spike have each done this (Willow to Giles in Lessons, Anya in Selfless, Spike in Never Leave Me). And each of them seems to have resolved to never repeat their sins again. IMO, this puts each of them on the road to redemption, but Andrew was nowhere near that road until he actually accepted responsibility for what he had done.

[> [> [> A few more thoughts. -- Arethusa, 08:18:18 03/04/03 Tue

It's possible that the entire idea of redemption is merely a mislead, as it was for so long for Angel. In AtS and BtVS, the characters aren't punished for their actions-they're punished by their actions-the repercussions of their mistakes. I think that, looking at what Andrew actually did, the most important part of redemption in this show is really seeing yourself for what you are, and accepting the consequences for your actions. Andrew finally saw himself as a killer and stopped lying to himself. He is finally able to communicate honestly and accept responsibility. Ironically, it's the powerless ones that learn this lesson first-Dawn and Xander. They know that just seeing and being there to do whatever they can is the most important thing they can do-the only thing. It's the ones with power, either innate or acquired, that become unable to really see themselves. All they see is the power; it blinds them to the true nature of everything. And the FE?-it literally blinds people, corrupts them with its thoughts, helps them decieve themselves. And it offers them more power. (Which is yet another reason Buffy was probably very wise to reject the Shadowmen's power.)

Why would ME spend so much time on Andrew and his moral delimmas right now? Perhaps it's to say that dying for your sins doesn't change anything or help anyone. (I'd be very suprised if a character had to sacrifice him/herself in the finale.) That redemtion isn't a quest and can't be found through someone else. It's using the experiences and the knowledge of yourself that is gained to work for good, to help others, to bring the truth out into the light.

[> [> [> [> Re: A few more thoughts. -- lunasea, 09:34:31 03/04/03 Tue

I don't think redemption was a mislead with Angel so much as rather than ask what is the path to redemption, the show asks what is redemption.

If anything, the characters are punished by themselves. We put ourselves through hell. The characters get as much suffering from supposedly good things as they do from their mistakes; however, suffering doesn't necessarily mean punishment. I think the audience may make that leap, but ME doesn't necessarily. Maybe that is what ME has been trying to tell us wtih Storyteller, not to make all these leaps.

Both shows seem to be about how the characters see the world as much as they are about their identities. Angel tells Faith in "Consequences" "Time was, I thought humans existed just to hurt each other. But then I came here. And I found out that there are other types of people. People who genuinely wanted to do right. And they make mistakes. And they fall down. You know, but they keep caring. Keep trying."

I think ME spent an entire episode in the fan's mind because it wanted to snap us out of all the shipper molds and our conceptions of the Buffyverse to get us ready for what is to follow. Based on Spike's lack of appearances, I would say the next episode is his. After that we start the rocket ride to the end. If we go in with all our fan ideas, we will be disappointed.

It wasn't about Andrew's redemption, so much as used that redemption was a vehicle to get us to see how we view the show and how that doesn't jive with what the Buffyverse is. It was like "Forever." "The Body" dealt with the feelings about Joyce's death. "Forever" used that as a vehicle to show how needy the characters are. I bet 7.16 and 7.17 pack the same 1-2 punch as 5.16 and 5.17. (or 6.16 and 6.17)

[> [> [> [> Andrew the symbol -- Masq, 09:45:53 03/04/03 Tue

Why would ME spend so much time on Andrew and his moral delimmas right now? Perhaps it's to say that dying for your sins doesn't change anything or help anyone. (I'd be very suprised if a character had to sacrifice him/herself in the finale.) That redemtion isn't a quest and can't be found through someone else. It's using the experiences and the knowledge of yourself that is gained to work for good, to help others, to bring the truth out into the light.

I, too wondered what the whole point of focusing on Andrew was, and of keeping him around when there are already too many players on the board. He's a bit player from a season that is now passed. Frankly, I found him silly and not worth the time spent on him.

But someone on the board mentioned Andrew being a symbolic representation of Spike. First, they made some deliberate allusions to Andrew dressing like Spike. Andrew wanting to see himself as the ultra-cool "Big Bad" or "villain". Then in Storyteller we get the lesson of how Spike's redemption would or should probably play out by getting a short-hand version of it through Andrew.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Andrew the symbol -- Arethusa, 10:12:54 03/04/03 Tue

Jenoff said some interesting things about this episode, especailly a bit about Andrew being Whedon for this episode. If so, then a lot of Whedon's beliefs are encoded in the show. That even if you love someone with all your heart, belief and love arent't always enough. (Xander/Anya). Redemption isn't a prize to be won-it's how we live our lives. We're all going to die, including people we love very much, and nothing can change that. This isn't a fantasy we can make up and rewrite as we go along, it's life, and life is real and hard. (Buffy's speech to Andrew.) What you do has consequences, even if it takes a century for them to catch up with you.

Or maybe TWoP is right, and it's all pointless. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Andrew the symbol -- leslie, 12:16:30 03/04/03 Tue

"Then in Storyteller we get the lesson of how Spike's redemption would or should probably play out by getting a short-hand version of it through Andrew."

In which case, it's interesting that Spike's appearance on Andrew's tape is revealed as a complete act, and the persona Andrew wants him to project is Spike at his most (Sid) Vicious. Which in turn ties back to the whole issue of Spike killing Nikki at the height of the punk era (1977).

I thought the tears were a very significant touch because, Judeo-Christian theologies aside, they are a completely fairy-tale motif and as such echo the kiss that restores Willow to her own self. The thing is, in fairy tales, they are not the tears of the contrite but the tears of the innocent. For all the discussion of Andrew's guilt in the activities of the Band of Evil Weenies and his murder of Jonathan, maybe we should consider to what extent he is, not innocent, but an innocent. To what extent did he truly understand what he was doing? He says that he knew, deep down, that it wasn't Warren who incited him to kill Jonathan, but for all Andrew's demon-summoning skills, how much does he really understand about the magical universe? Very little. He sees it as being completely coterminous with the universes of Star Trek and Star Wars, as an artistically created world, a fictional world. I would say that Andrew really is an innocent up to the point that he admits--he realizes--that he murdered his best friend. That is the moment he loses his innocence and grows up--he realizes that magic is real.

I would say that this parallels Spike very well. Spike had no idea what he was getting into when he told Drusilla that he wanted "it." What did he think he wanted? He wanted sex, he got immortality and a new set of dietary restrictions. Deep down, he thinks that being a vampire is equivalent to being a superhero--that comes out in Tabula Rasa. As long as he retains that belief, he is still an innocent. He loses that innocence when he tries to rape Buffy. His realization of his loss of innocence comes more quickly than Andrew's, but the loss of innocence for both is when they realize that this is real; it isn't a story, and if it were a story, I'm not its hero.

So, I would say that Andrew does symbolize Spike here, but in retrospect (encapsulating what Spike has done) rather than in prospect (showing what he should/will do).

[> [> [> [> [> [> Why the 70's -- lunasea, 13:52:15 03/04/03 Tue

Which in turn ties back to the whole issue of Spike killing Nikki at the height of the punk era (1977).

Actually the reason is Doug Petrie wanted to write a Shaft-like Slayer. He had to sell Joss on the time frame and got it approved when he said that Spike could get his leather jacket from the NY Slayer. It had nothing to do with punk.

I love both tidbits like this and things that we read into the shows that weren't put there.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Why the 70's -- leslie, 14:35:45 03/04/03 Tue

Except, for whatever reason they chose the 70's, Spike is dressed as a punk when he kills Nikki and he's been established as Mr. Sex Pistols from the beginning and he has Billy Idol hair and, all around, the persona we know today as "Spike" is a punk. And he can't have been a punk until there was punk for him to adopt. Look at, say, the gangsters in Performance and even the Monty Python version of the Krays, the Pirhana Brothers--that's what the prepunk British tough guy was, and it isn't exactly what "Spike" is. ("Out. For. A. Walk..... Bitch." is a pure punk attitude, not only what he says but the tone of voice in which he says it. So is screaming with delight when Nikki shoves his head through the subway window. Prior to this, the tough guy was restrained and menacing; punk was rage for the sake of rage, the exhiliration of letting rip.) The aggression is there, but it's expressed differently. The point where he kills Nikki is where he gets his coat, but it's also a point when he has to have adopted a new persona all around as well--the coat symbolizes this new persona, and he's wearing it and acting punk in the scene that Andrew films and it is shown to be an act. For whatever reason that scene was chosen to take place in 1977, it works in very well with the character that has already been established for Spike. What would we have thought if that scene between the two of them were presented as a Shaft-like Slayer battling a disco king--another possible persona for the time? First of all, I don't think we would have bought it as really being Spike she was fighting! If we're seeing him in the 70s, he's gotta be a punk.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I had to do this..... -- Caroline, 14:43:23 03/04/03 Tue

This reminds me of a bit of dialogue in Sleeper, where Buffy is questioning the bouncer on Spike's whereabouts:

Yeah, yeah, I know the guy -- Billy
Idol wannabe?
Actually, Billy Idol stole his look
Never mind. Has he been here?

The part I love is where Buffy cuts herself off from saying that Spike's style was the original and Billy Idol was derivative. Could Spike have been an originator of the punk look? The mind boggles (lol!).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Unless of course. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 14:44:30 03/04/03 Tue

Spike invented punk. We already know that Billy Idol stole his look from Spike; what else might the peroxide vamp have inspired?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Look up Finn - jinx!! -- Caroline, 14:49:45 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Billy Idol stole his look from Sid Vicious -- Masq, 14:54:54 03/04/03 Tue

That's how I read that line in that episode. Where Sid got it is another matter.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike is Sid -- lunasea, 15:06:29 03/04/03 Tue

At least he used to be. Now he is Phil Collins.

That is what Joss wanted, Sid and Nancy. Stealing is such a strong word :-)

Now we can figure out who came first, the chicken or the egg, but Spike is supposed to be Sid. The NY Slayer is Shaft. I was contesting that it took place in 1977 because it was the height of the punk movement (wonder if Spike hung out at CBGBs). It took place in the 70s not for Spike, but because Doug Petrie wanted to write a specific Slayer. Spike isn't punk because of the year, but because that is what Joss wanted S2. Spike really is form following function.

Not sure why Doug Petrie chose China, unless it was because of what happened on "Darla." They wanted the Fanged Four to really intersect that night and the Boxer Rebellion really fit with Angel/Darla's story (time frame and because it was about religion). That probably came first and Doug wrote from there.

told you I loved all these tidbits

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Probably China because. . . -- Finn Mac Cool, 16:10:19 03/04/03 Tue

In "School Hard", Spike made a reference to the Boxer Rebellion when recounting his past Slayer kills. The Chinese setting was just another continuity detail.

Oh, and this brings up something I've been wondering for a while: who is Sid Vicious?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Lead singer of the punk band The Sex Pistols -- Masq, 16:28:09 03/04/03 Tue

Who, if you remember from Season 4, Spike is a fan of.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Lead singer of The Sex Pistols was actually Johnny Rotten -- leslie, 16:32:55 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I know far too much about this for a nice little folklorist.... -- leslie, 16:34:11 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Who Is Sid Vicious??? -- leslie, 16:31:38 03/04/03 Tue

Founding, floundering member of the Sex Pistols, serious drug habit, had a girlfriend named Nancy Spungeon (who was the one who bleached her hair, incidentally, not Sid) whom he allegedly knifed to death in a heroin-induced stupor except I have been told by a reliable source that she was actually killed by drug dealers the two had gotten in bad with and Sid took the blame for fear of more people getting killed if he talked. Anyway, shortly after Nancy's death, Sid died of an overdose. Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse (depending on your fashion sense).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Who Is Sid Vicious??? -- lunasea, 16:41:25 03/04/03 Tue

Live fast, die young, and leave a good-looking corpse

And look what he has become. Spike needs to go out flaming with the wheels up and buzz the tower to make the air traffic controllers spill their coffee.

Sid CAN'T go out in some BS gesture to Buffy. He can't go out as Phil Collins. He has to go out as boldly as he came in. I felt cheated that I didn't get to see him run over the Sunnydale sign when he came back.

He needs to go out screaming "Anarchy in the UK" not "You'll Be in My Heart."

If Dru can stay crazy, Sid can stay, well, SID.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Ah, someone else who loved and misses the old Spike -- Masq, 16:57:21 03/04/03 Tue

Those were the days...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Ah, someone else who loved and misses the old Spike -- lunasea, 17:50:42 03/04/03 Tue

I am tired of every character having to be redeemed and become a good "person" who gets a grip on who they are. I don't want shades of grey. I want the colors of the rainbow. Everyone is becoming Kodax Grey cards that are used to say what a midtone is. The good becomes less good and evil becomes less evil. Yuck!!!!

If we go back to Good Buffy, we need Mega evil Spike.

Or does Angelus balance her out now? When Angelus is resouled, can we have evil Spike back? Maybe. Spike sees Buffy and Angel kiss and I don't think he will react calmly.

I can dream.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> How the mighty have fallen -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:11:23 03/04/03 Tue

Spike used to be my favorite villain EVER. Not just on Buffy or Angel. My favorite villain from ANYTHING (though evil Faith comes close)!

This may just be me, but I'm hoping the First's sleeper power over Spike becomes more powerful, letting it turn Spike into a brutal killer WITH a personality. That would be so cool.

And, has anyone noticed that, while characters who started off evil can become good and stay that way, characters who started off good can't seem to go evil without reforming. If I had a super-evil alter ego, it would be screaming.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: How the mighty have fallen -- lunasea, 06:59:33 03/05/03 Wed

This may just be me, but I'm hoping the First's sleeper power over Spike becomes more powerful, letting it turn Spike into a brutal killer WITH a personality. That would be so cool.

Nah, I want him to do it all on his own. EVIL with a soul and no puppetmaster.

As for best villain, my vote would have to go to Angelus. Not only is there the extreme emotional dilema because he is also Angel (so I was right there with Buffy when she had to kill him), but the things that come out of his mouth. I want to ask him if he kissed his mother with that mouth, but I know his answer would be he *ate* his mother with that mouth and then something incredibly ripe with sexual overtones about what else he could do or has done with that mouth.

I loved the bravado of Spike and how he revels in himself, but nothing beats the style of Angelus and how he truly revels in being evil. Spike physically intimidates people. Angelus cuts them to their core.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Glenn Matlock would object to the first word of your post -- d'Herblay, 16:46:05 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Indeed, he would (and some 'poetry' for Rah) -- Dead Soul, 19:33:49 03/04/03 Tue

Sid Vicious doesn't even play on Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols.

Urgh, just looked at the CD. My bad, but I'm not sure that the songs that credit Vicious on the CD were on the original vinyl. Point being, Vicious was a publicity stunt that came later.

And here's the part for Rah:

You were my little baby girl
And I knew all your fears
Such joy to hold you in my arms
And kiss away your tears
But now you've gone
There's only pain
And nothing I can do
And I don't want to live this life
If I can't live for you

Poem allegedly found by Sid Vicious' mother when she discovered his body after his fatal overdose on February 2, 1979.

A great documentary if anyone's interested in the Sex Pistols is The Filth and the Fury. Forget Sid and Nancy, although John Lydon will never forgive it.

Dead (but still never knowing which titles get italicized and which should be bolded) Soul

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Indeed, he would (and some 'poetry' for Rah) -- Rahael, 02:44:13 03/05/03 Wed

Thanks Dead Soul!

All this only makes the Spike association even more appropriate!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> You didn't like Sid & Nancy, DS? -- ponygirl, 08:28:20 03/05/03 Wed

It's been years since I've seen the movie so I'm not sure how it holds up, but screaming "Sii-iid" down the halls was one of my fondest memories of high school. I always liked that shot of Sid and Nancy clinging to each other and staggering calmly away while a riot is going on around them. I can see why John Lydon would hate it though. I was impressed in The Filth & The Fury with how hurt and angry he still was, so many years later. Nice to see some punks don't mellow with age.

It's amazing how the 1977 scene stands out on the "previously on" packs. There's something so menacing and feral about Spike's old school punk look. Can't imagine the same effect from Teddy Boy Spike or Mods & Rockers Spike. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike is Sid -- leslie, 16:26:47 03/04/03 Tue

"I was contesting that it took place in 1977 because it was the height of the punk movement (wonder if Spike hung out at CBGBs)."

Ah, I wasn't saying it took place in 1977 because of Spike, I was saying that punk was a seminal persona era for Spike and therefore Andrew having him do the punkish attitude as an act for the camera was significant for the symbolic relationship between Andrew and Spike. I think the scenes where we see him kill Nikki are important because even in 1998 he's somewhat modified his punk look--no rips in his jeans, his hair is slicked back rather than spiky, he wears complete shirts, usually layered, his jewelry is jewelry, not actual hardware--but in 1977 we see a full-blown punk.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Actually the NY slayer is modeled on Cleopatra Jones -- Shiraz, 08:51:54 03/05/03 Wed

A female black action hero from the 70's.

I'm far too white to know any further details. :)


[> [> [> [> Good post. Agree completely. -- s'kat, 15:36:27 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> Re: some thought in response -- Malandanza, 10:36:00 03/04/03 Tue

"IMO, there can be no truer expression of remorse than expressing a willingness to die if it can in any small way make up for a crime, and Willow, Anya, and Spike have each done this (Willow to Giles in Lessons, Anya in Selfless, Spike in Never Leave Me)."

Actually, I think that ME has rejected suicidal guilt entirely. Angel and Spike both wanted to die for their past sins and to prevent any future relapses. Faith wanted Angel to kill her. Willow expected to be killed. Anya is the only one who offered to exchange her life to repair the damage done, and even she was rejected. Death is the easy way out -- a grand gesture ending the pangs of conscience, the ultimate refusal of responsibility. Instead, each of the characters is forced to live with the knowledge of what they've done -- although, so far, only Angel and Faith have shown any real, consistent progress. Spike, Willow and Anya don't seem to be particularly distraught. They haven't mended their ways -- there's still plenty of denial of responsibility. As lately as The Killer in Me, Willow said she killed Warren for a reason, as if there was a way to justify what she had done. Spike still wears his trophy coat. Anya draw rather arbitrary distinctions between herself and Andrew.

"I also think that's the reason for the difference between the way Buffy had been treating Andrew, vs. the way she has been treating Willow, Anya, and Spike. Yes, they had each killed people, too, but none of them has tried to shift any of the blame for their actions to someone else."

I don't think they've accepted responsibility the way Andrew has -- before his trip to the Seal, Andrew admitting having killed Jonathan. It wasn't until he put himself in his victim's place, however, that he really understood what that meant -- at that point he accepted responsibility. An admission of complicity in a crime is not the same as understanding that you don't just need to "feel responsible" but accept that you "are responsible."

The difference I see in the way Buffy treated Andrew was that she needed Andrew to feel remorse to shut down the seal. She tried her hardest to save Andrew for his sake and the sake of the world. She's a busy woman and just doesn't have time to play confessor to each of her friends -- they must make part of their spiritual journey for themselves.

[> [> [> [> Help with a quote? -- Scroll, 13:44:12 03/04/03 Tue

I vaguely remember a conversation between Willow and Buffy that goes something like this:

Willow: ...and I feel really responsible --

Buffy: That's cuz you are really responsible!

I can't find which episode this comes from. I'm thinking it's from an earlier season. Pre-Season 6 at least. And it might not have been Buffy, it could've been Xander or Cordelia replying to Willow.

OTOH, I do think Willow has accepted that she killed Warren, that it wasn't the magic that killed him. But she doesn't seem to feel any remorse that she took a life. I don't even see her feeling remorse for killing Rack who, while a total creep, didn't really do anything meriting death, IMHO.

[> [> [> [> [> STSP -- Malandanza, 14:11:35 03/04/03 Tue

The quote is from Same Time, Same Place but it's between Anya and Willow, not Buffy and Willow (I can't even imagine Buffy saying it!)

WILLOW: Neither. But I have been studying. Working really hard. I'm going to be fine.

ANYA: Oh good, because I remember the last time you said that. I've spent a lot of the time since then cleaning the debris out of my ex-livelihood, stuff like that.

WILLOW: I want to help any way I can with that. I feel really responsible.

ANYA: You feel really responsible?! You are really responsible! You broke my store! Plus, you killed two people

I love Willow trying to comfort Anya with her "I'm going to be fine" line -- as if Anya had the least bit of concern for Willow's well-being. It also suggests that Willow is still in her "I need help" mind set -- what's important is that she's trying and will be okay. Never a thought for the people she killed. Then her offer to help "any way I can" -- very nice sentiment. Too bad there was no follow through. I thought this was a brilliant episode simply because it portrayed Willow exactly as I have seen her (I believe this is also the episode where Dawn asks if anyone's going to blame Willow).

And Anya being more concerned about the destruction of her shop, adding in the murders as an afterthought, was also perfect.

[> [> Agreeing with anom and Rah -- Caroline, 10:03:46 03/04/03 Tue

I must also come in on the camp that differs with Robert's interpretation of the events at the seal.

I don't think that Andrew rejecting the idea that his death and blood will lead to redemption an affirmation of a Lutheran view of redemption, or that God is the only one who can redeem. I think that what Joss is trying to say here is that sacrifice is too easy a path - one must live and atone and do good works. If anything, that is a rejection of the protestant idea that all you need is faith for redemption. When one says that one must live and do 'good works', he's stepped out of Protestant territory and into Catholic territory. Part of the rejection of Catholicism by Protestants is the idea that only faith in God is required, Catholics stress faith and good works. (I'd really like to see some stress laid on the Orthodox view which is redemption through faith, good works and love).

So Joss is not really being Lutheran here, he is being very, very Catholic. But I believe that it is inadvertent, because unlike Catholicism or Christianity in general, we don't have the concept in the buffyverse of a god or power who will weigh or souls on the scales on the day of judgement and grant us redemption. I just think that Joss was saying something about the process of redemption - to acknowledge one's sins and then resolve to change and do good every day from then on is a lifelong process. Kinda like being an alcoholic is something one always is but it doesn't mean that that is what one is.

[> Excellent as always -- Rahael, 03:18:37 03/04/03 Tue

But I have to agree with Anom's last point about the Lutheran message.

I wrote a long post disagreeing with Robert and then deleted it, because I didn't want to come off as hostile or mispeak in some way about a relatively minor point.

Firstly, yes, I can see how it may be seen as Lutheran. However, what would be the point of having justification by faith if the faith part was absent? Wouldn't it then be entirely meaningless in the Buffyverse? If Luther had simply said "we miserable worms can never hope to excise our sin" that would have been a despairing message. His corollary was that the mercy of God was so great that there was no need to spend years brooding and atoning. If one had true faith in God, the action of grace on the soul, on the heart would heal and redeem.

Now, were we to see Spike finding Christ, I'll start believing that Joss is contrasting him with Angel (Catholic - must atone, must repay - that's the Lutheran dichotomy I'm portraying, not the real complexities of Catholicism) while Spike simply has the necessary faith in God to redeem him.

I prefer to think that Joss isn't entering into complex and contentious theological arguments, and instead simply dealing with the difficulties and complexities of real life, as opposed to the fantasies that Andrew dwells.

I mean, I believe that people who murder can never, in the most important sense, ever make it up. How can they? Can they restore the person to life? Can they replace all the moments of beauty and wonder and sadness that make our lives meaningful? Can they give back to the loved ones anything that will fill the empty void? Can they replace a smile, a glance, a touch? No.

They'll never make it up. They have to live with that knowledge and keep on living with it, and yet, still find meaning and solace and happiness in the world. Does this make me a Lutheran? No because in Lutheran terms I'm a heretic who is beyond the pale! I mean, what was Buffy supposed to say? Andrew weeps because he realises the first time the enormity of what he's done, murdering his best friend, and Buffy just says "oh, that's fine! That's okay! I forgive you! I mean, Jonathan can't but who cares about him? He's dead!!!" What else was she supposed to say? What would we have said to him? Can his tears make up for it? Because if Buffy hadn't said this to him, there would be posts about how his tears healing the hellmouth was a metaphor for redemption and forgiveness.

(Do I believe that God may redeem all sins? Perhaps, deep down, I do. Perhaps God will indeed forgive even the unrepentent, the undeserving, the unfaithful. I know that if God really were to exist - I can hold two contradictory thoughts in my head at once - God exists, doesn't exist - he would forgive the thing I find unforgivable. In fact, for me, that is necessary on a deep level. My crisis of faith occurred because I started to notice that a lot of people who had faith in my community were deeply convinced that everyone they hated was going to hell. If faith is simply a way of continuing conflict in the heavenly sphere, even after death....well, that disgusted me. Now that I've edged back a little, I simply do not think about the afterlife. It probably doesn't exist, but if it did, it's not my business.)

[> [> Spoilers for Storyteller above, and a minor correction -- Rahael, 03:22:21 03/04/03 Tue

Healing the portal thingy, not the hellmouth. I get these little details so confused!

[> [> If I may say so ... -- Helen, 03:51:24 03/04/03 Tue

for me you have summed up my own faith - that God can and will forgive the unforgivable.

And I entirely agree with your discomfort for those who consider those they disagree with to be eternally damned. To quote good old Amy, "Who died and made you Queen of the World?"

[> [> [> This is where I reveal -- Rahael, 04:24:17 03/04/03 Tue

that I spent most of my childhood a very serious Christian, reading through the Bible countless times, having little prayer meetings with my grandmother (she told stories. It was fun!) and still occasionally being deeply moved when I attend services.

Even now, I can find meaning in Wyatt's plea for God to build Jerusalem of the heart, inward Zion.

I was so serious about my faith that when I was troubled about things that didn't match up I spent a lot of time worrying about it. Then I realised that in my head, God and my Mother bore a very strong resemblance. LOL.

I also realised that my period of militant atheism was probably the time when I had the most belief in him. I felt the absence of him/her. And for me to feel the absence, surely I had to have faith. Nowadays, I know that I have virtually no belief in an afterlife. I find the world beautiful and meaningful on its own. Jerusalem of the heart. Inward Zion. The Republic of Heaven. This world is so beautiful, and its beauty is here, now, and shines more strongly in its darkest places.

(I guess this is why I'm a heretic!)

Thanks Helen. I always feel frightened about revealing aspects of my faith because I have been told countless times that I'm 'bad' and that I'm a 'bad Christian'. This seems to still have the power to affect me.

Once I was told this by a colleague because I told her that I didn't agree with the interpretation she placed on certain aspects. When I quoted something from memory from another part of the Bible, she admitted that she actually hadn't read it all the way through!

[> [> [> [> I'd like to recommend a book -- Shiraz, 12:33:36 03/04/03 Tue

"Small Gods" by Terry Pratchett. Its my all-time favorite. It helped me coalese some of my ambivalent feeling towards God, religion, and orthodoxy.

Its also hilarious.


"It is a popular fact that nine-tenths of the brain is not used and, like most popular facts, it is wrong. ... It is used. And one of its functions is to make the miraculous seem ordinary and turn the unusual into the usual.

Because if this was not the case, then human beings, faced with the daily wondrousness of everything, would go around wearing big stupid grins, similar to those worn by certain remote tribesmen who occassionally get raided by the authorities and have the contents of their plastic greenhouses very seriously inspected."

Terry Pratchett
-Small Gods

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks Shiraz! -- Rahael, 16:46:04 03/04/03 Tue

I've added it to my list of book recommendations.

[> [> [> [> Beautiful, Rah! An idea of the Kingdom of Heaven... -- Scroll, 14:49:51 03/04/03 Tue

Nowadays, I know that I have virtually no belief in an afterlife. I find the world beautiful and meaningful on its own. Jerusalem of the heart. Inward Zion. The Republic of Heaven. This world is so beautiful, and its beauty is here, now, and shines more strongly in its darkest places.

Hmm, I don't agree with the after-life thing, but I don't believe I have any business telling you or anyone that they're "a bad Christian". :)

My Sunday school class has been studying Matthew, which has a lot about the kingdom of heaven. Comparison of the old Jewish idea of the KoH and the new version preached by Jesus. And I'm starting to think that one major aspect of the kingdom of heaven is that it's not (just) heaven with God and all the saints and loved ones who've gone before, but that the kingdom is made up of everybody here on earth who seeks truth and mercy and love. That the kingdom is the people, and their search for God. That every act of compassion and mercy is a building block of the Kingdom of Heaven.

This definition is still a work-in-progress, of course. But something I've been struggling with lately.

OT: If you're at all interested, I posted my idea of fundamentalism over in Archive 2. I was trying to figure out exactly where I fell in the spectrum of "liberal" vs. "fundamentalist".

[> [> [> [> [> Spiritual Architecture -- Rahael, 17:48:22 03/04/03 Tue

I agree with you, Scroll. I totally agree with your idea about an invisible church, made up of actions, of compassion, a process of edification if you will!

It has a deep resonance and meaning for me that goes beyond the idea of heaven, that goes beyond for me, the different confessional disputes. In fact, I've tried to articulate it for the last hour or so, and have decided that I am not yet able to do so, not yet. It is still something I'm grappling with.

And thanks for pointing me toward your other post - I think spectrum is a very useful way of thinking about it.

[> [> Re: Excellent as always -- Masq, 06:29:01 03/04/03 Tue

I must admit I took the author's word for it being "Lutheran". I do that sometimes when I use quotes from the board that express philosophies that I am less familiar with. That said, I still like the quote because it expresses a philosophy of coming back from evil (I won't use the word "redemption") that, while some may not agree with it, we've seen expressed on the shows before, particularly in the case of Angel(us).

Angel can never hope to redeem himself for all the things that he's done as if it were a mere matter of commerce (I do good things, it makes up for all the bad things I've done). This trivializes the pain and suffering of his victims. All he can hope to do is genuinely repent of his evil and go on to lead a good life. This shows that he really has changed.

[> [> [> Re: Excellent as always -- Rahael, 06:58:36 03/04/03 Tue

I actually agree with the sentiment that Robert expressed, I just disagreed with a minor point, which was why I deleted my response.

The thing is, I don't think it was intended to be Lutheran. I agree with what Robert was saying. But it's not only the Lutherans who believe that killing someone isn't something to be lightly put aside, or easily atoned for (Angel's speech to Lorne about how he can never really make up for what Angelus did). Just like its not only Christians who believe in being forgiving and being merciful.

The reason I disagreed is because it introduces the element of Faith, which is what Luther's belief in forgiveness from God is contingent upon. And in fact, if Angel rediscovered his faith in God, and really did believe, or Andrew for that matter of fact, what he did in the past would be forgiven by God. Luther said that he was freeing the minds of the faithful from being burdened by guilt. He claimed that his doctrine was actually liberating. So, the question of evil perpetrated in the past, becomes null and void, and I think this contradicts the other message about it being hard to come back from doing evil.

But it was really only a pedantic quibble which I decided to post on the second go. The sentiment expressed in the quote stands undisputed.

[> [> [> [> I should add -- Rahael, 07:08:09 03/04/03 Tue

The question of evil perpetrated in the past could be seen as null and void. It's all very complicated, and then along comes Calvin and the waters get even more muddied.

Bah! I blame Augustine!

[> [> [> [> [> Good default position -- d'Herblay, 08:11:47 03/04/03 Tue

I tend to lay a lot of blame on Augustine in spiritual matters, and a lot of blame on Rousseau in matters temporal. This means that I lay a whole lot of blame on Plato, or at least (pace Cleanthes) on people's readings of Plato. It's a simple rule; makes for a simple life.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Good default position -- Rahael, 08:27:08 03/04/03 Tue

Yes, too true!

Oh, I'm glad to see you are posting. I was a little concerned for your sensibilities after my posts on Christianity this morning. LOLOL.

[> [> [> [> Spike sees Buffy as God -- lunasea, 07:25:44 03/04/03 Tue

Spike's redemption fits in with Luther. Spike's is about Faith, faith in Buffy. "she believes in me." Buffy hasn't said that Spike is redeemed, yet. She has said that she believes he can do it. If she ever did pronounce him redeemed, he would believe it so.

[> [> [> [> [> True -though strangely, Spike also seems to believe in a Christian God as well -- dream, 08:18:09 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Not his God, but his Church, and his Priest (spilers for 'beneath you') -- Doug, 17:08:14 03/04/03 Tue

In "Beneath You" Spike screams to God, trying to divine what the Almighty wants him to do; but he doesn't get a voice from heaven, only the First Evil gnawing away at his mind. So he figures "Buffy is a better person than I am, so she must have a better understanding of how to be good than I do. So I'll just do what she tells me to." This is entirely an aside to him loving her; he also doesn't feel ready to make moral choices on his own; so she becomes "mother church", the arbiter of sin and redemption.

That was a little incoherent, I don't know how to make it better, but it'll have to do.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Actually, you said it quite well, and I think you're right - that's more accurate -- dream, 07:13:20 03/05/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> The Priest is supposed to be the face (or hands) of God on earth -- lunasea, 08:32:51 03/05/03 Wed

That is one reason there has been such a resistance to women priests in the Catholic Church. The priest is a direct reflection of Jesus Christ.

Per the Catechism about Holy Orders
1538 if confers the gift of the Holy Spirit that permist the exercise of a "sacred power" (sacra potestas) which can only come from Christ himself through his Church.

1549 Through the ordained ministry, especially that of bishops and priests, the presence of Christ as head of the Church is made visible in the midst of the community of believers. In the beautiful expression of St Ignatius of Antioch, the bishop is typos tou Patros: he is like the living image of God the Father.

The Church is often refered to as the "body of Christ." This even appears in Roman Pontifical which is the prayer which ordains priests, bishops and deacons.

The priest acts in persona Christi Capitis

In Mediator Dei Pope Pius XII says "It is the same priest, Christ Jesus, whose sacred person his minister truly represents. now the minister, by reason of the sacerodtal consecration which he has received, is truly made like to the high priest and possesses the authority to act in power and place of the person of Christ himself (virtue ac persona ipsius Christi)

But does Spike see Buffy this way, as the face or hands of God or as God herself? Is Buffy the intermediary or what he is really seeking? Is Buffy the instrument for the Church or Christ Himself?

I would say that Spike sees Buffy as Christ, who is God. She believes in me. Buffy is Spike's god. He went to see a guy about a girl.

[> [> [> [> It's interesting -- Masq, 09:08:45 03/04/03 Tue

That when Angel had his epiphany in Epiphany, and said he was no longer working for redemption, and that the "smallest act of kindness is the greatest thing in the world", he had essentially given up on faith. He was going to do good for the sake of good, not to redeem himself, because he no longer believed he could redeem himself that way, and not to do the Powers' bidding--his faith in "god" had slipped. And it made him a better man.

[> [> [> [> [> Exactly -- Rahael, 09:31:00 03/04/03 Tue

And that statement has been my guide in interpreting many such issues in the Jossverse.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Exactly and... -- aliera, 09:50:09 03/04/03 Tue was echoed again in his words to Connor at the beginning of this season?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> But those words aren't right -- lunasea, 10:08:33 03/04/03 Tue

it was echoed again in his words to Connor at the beginning of this season?

Angel's champion speech was great, but aren't we seeing how that view of himself and the world is causing him problems? The speech at the beginning of a season sets up where he is growing from, not where he should be.

If he alread got it, where do we go from here?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Indeed. And very OMWF-ish. :-) -- aliera, 10:11:33 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Hmm. Could you go into detail about that? -- Shiraz, 13:59:07 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I did further down (spoiler Bring on the Night) -- lunasea, 14:27:51 03/04/03 Tue

What Angel needs to be human

Basically, the "Champion" Speech in Deep Down serves the same function as the "It is going to choke on me" Speech in Bring on the Night. It makes the audience go "They finally got it. Hurray!!!" It gives the audience what they want. Then ME shows us why that isn't what the heroes should be thinking and why we shouldn't want them acting that way.

If Angel has it figured out in the first episode of the season, where can they go from there? Where is the room for development? ME doesn't just throw stuff at their characters. They do it so the characters grow. Angel's speech was not the way he needs to be thinking.

If you want to figure out where the season is going, figure out what he does need to be thinking and how recent events can lead to this.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: It's interesting -- lunasea, 10:04:06 03/04/03 Tue

He was going to do good for the sake of good, not to redeem himself, because he no longer believed he could redeem himself that way, and not to do the Powers' bidding--his faith in "god" had slipped. And it made him a better man.

But it made him unable to deal with things he can't pummel, just like Buffy. Before he was working for redemption and reward, now he is working to be champion and an example. Not much difference there.

There are people that say that AtS could have ended with S2. S2 just started what he needs to learn. He still needs to have faith, in himself. Getting him away from "god" was just the beginning. Now he needs to get away from "good."

Angel has a strong heart/conscience. He still doesn't trust that. He still logics himself out of things.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Season 2's epiphany was a necessary step (spoilers up to Calvary 4.12) -- Masq, 10:45:29 03/04/03 Tue

There are people that say that AtS could have ended with S2. S2 just started what he needs to learn. He still needs to have faith, in himself. Getting him away from "god" was just the beginning.

I agree. If Angel becoming human is indeed his "reward" or his "redemption", he isn't going to be worthy of it by doing good deeds in order to earn it. He has to do good deeds because he believes in doing good. Angel had to lose faith in the Powers that Be, he had to lose faith in the Prophecies of Aberjiran. He had to reject these promises of rewards and do good because he believes it's the right thing to do.

But he does continue to put a lot of stock in his "champion" status. It's the core of his self-esteem. It's what keeps him from falling back into despair. Part of him is still thinking, "If I'm a good boy, I'll get a reward. The PTB's think I'm a good boy! They made me their champion and gave me a son to follow in my little champion-y footsteps! Now I just gotta kill this Beast!"

When he comes back from his bout as Angelus this season, his self-esteem may be shaken to the core. It's a reminder of what still lurks inside him under this bravado. Angel won't be worthy of humanity until he makes peace with the Angelus side of his nature--accepts that it is part of who he is, not something separate, not JUST a demon within, but truly a reflection of the dark side of him human self.

The vampire demon itself is just a dumb animal. All that is truly evil and cunning in Angelus comes from the human side of Angel, from his childhood, from his hurts and disappointments, from his bitterness, his rage.

Which is why, I suspect, Shanshu-ing or becoming human ISN'T REALLY the "reward" it seems to be. If Angel stops the apocalypse this season and becomes human, it's just another step on the road. Humanity may seem like a gift to him now--sunlight, food, sex, happiness without strings--but let's face it, being human is not a picnic. He'll have to deal with being an ordinary man without powers. No more "big vamp hero" stuff. He'll still have all that psychological sh*t inside of him--the rage, the sadism--just without the demon to set a fire under it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel/Xander -- AngelVSAngelus, 12:21:08 03/04/03 Tue

I've always really drawn alot of paralels between all the men that revolve in and out of Buffy's life. Xander, Angel, and Spike all came to or still continue to rely heavily on her for self-identity and validation of their purpose. Angel today defines himself by his own internalised sense of being a Champion, but that internalization was of something that he gained first by watching and then by joining Buffy.
Spike went and got himself a soul to redefine himself according to what he thought she'd want him to be.
And Xander still defines himself alot by his association with the Slayer and her cause. Its always been a compass of purpose for him, and any time he felt less than useful to that cause he questioned the meaning of his existence and his worth.
Anywho, the thing that I found interesting upon reading your post was the scenario of Angel becoming human, and how much like Xander he may be. He'd still want to be involved with the evil-fighting cause, but may doubt his power to do so without being a supernaturally powered being. He already felt his individuality threatened when Groo hung around.
Angel puts a lot of stock into his own uniqueness. THE vampire with a soul. THE Champion. It'd be interesting to see what he'd do without these elements.
But I guess he shouldn't feel too threatened. Contrary to the Scooby Gang, the very human members of Angel Investigations seem to handle themselves well in that fight (Gunn, Wes).

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel/Xander -- Masq, 13:19:40 03/04/03 Tue

But I guess he shouldn't feel too threatened. Contrary to the Scooby Gang, the very human members of Angel Investigations seem to handle themselves well in that fight (Gunn, Wes).

Ah, yes, but then he'd be "just one of the boys". He wouldn't be special. He wouldn't be the champion. There wouldn't be any reason to call their business "Angel Investigations". One thing that can be said of Angel, he has a certain vanity, and it's not just about staring at himself in Pylean mirrors.

I'd like to think that if he became human he'd fight along side the rest of the human gang as one of them, and I think he would, but being an ordinary guy would soon turn into something of a let-down for him. How do you prove your specialness when you're just like the others? When your son can beat you in a nano-second in arm wrestling? He's still got 275 years of life and unlife to draw on and leadership skills that are real, but it's going to be a very jarring experience.

Speaking personally, I don't really have any desire to see a Angel-is-human-now story line. I like the vampire metaphor he struggles with too much for that.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel/Xander (spoiler Help) -- lunasea, 13:45:57 03/04/03 Tue

I'd like to think that if he became human he'd fight along side the rest of the human gang as one of them

I don't think so. I think he would ultimately have to find his own way to fight evil. He might not be in the demon hunting business. He might turn to more mundane evil. I do find that story to be interesting.

We have Buffy as a counselor now. She is fighting the good fight by helping the kids every bit as much as she does pounding demons. Cassie tells her that she will make a difference, correcting Buffy's misconception that she is making a difference by saving Cassie from the arrow.

Angel talks in "Hero" how fighting demons is the same thing as being a player in the apocalypse. It is all fighting the good fight. Angel needs to take that good fight to something other than demons. Wonder what a human Angel would become? Buffy was set up to be a counselor by doing well in Professor Maggie's class. I always saw Buffy as a nurse because of how many times she had to nurse Angel back to health.

What would Angel do? I liked the exchange between Spike and Angel in "In the Dark" "Because you are vampire detective now? What's next? Vampire cowboy? Vampire fireman? Oh, vampire ballerina." The only other real talent the show has shown has been art. I love when he talks about art. We see it this season with drawing Cordy and the Beast. How could that be used to make a difference?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel the artist -- AngelVSAngelus, 14:00:16 03/04/03 Tue

With his representational drawing skills (which are okie. He's got to try for more gray values...) he could do a number of things.
A fine arts career could have him yielding paintings that visually conveyed a tortured guilty soul.
He could mine his broodiness for introspective lyrics and dark tunes, starting a very Trent Reznor-esque career.
Or he could take his tales of demons, Slayers, vampires and human heroes and turn it into two primetime hits with penchants for metaphoric drama :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> He can't sing -- KdS, 14:05:57 03/04/03 Tue

(Obvious comment about Reznor removed on grounds of taste ;->)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Angel the artist -- Utopia, 16:07:27 03/04/03 Tue

"With his representational drawing skills (which are okie. He's got to try for more gray values...) he could do a number of things.
A fine arts career could have him yielding paintings that visually conveyed a tortured guilty soul."

Hate to be all literal and argumentative here, but since he seems to only makes your basic (well done) tenth grade representational drawings I doubt that he'd be successful as a fine artist...Unless he was a street corner portrait guy, or one of those original print/hack types like Robert Bateman. Making posters for the living rooms of America.

(Also the last thing he needs is more gray. Contrast=Drama, baby!)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Season 2's epiphany was a necessary step (spoilers up to Calvary 4.12) -- lunasea, 13:30:36 03/04/03 Tue

If Angel becoming human is indeed his "reward" or his "redemption", he isn't going to be worthy of it by doing good deeds in order to earn it.

I don't think it is a reward and it can't be earned. That was Wesley's interpretation, and we know how accurate his stuff is. He assumed that because Angel Shanshus after the Apocalypse it is a reward. The Blue Fairy came down in the form of Doyle and said if you save others souls, you might save your own. Then when Pinocchio does his destiny another Blue Fairy will come down and say "you were brave, loyal and trustworthy so you can be a real boy." Poof Angel is human.

What did Tim say when it looks like they are following a standard convention? They typically have some twist to it. Doing good for goodness sake isn't a twist.

What is a champion? To answer that we have to ask what has Doyle/Cordy's visions been doing. Ouch my head. Ok Angel, here's another monster for you to go pound, here is another helpless to help. Way to go Angel, you are doing good. Why? Because to quote Faith immitating Buffy, if he didn't "It would be wrong."

There are plenty of monsters to pound, plenty of helpless to help. Why those particular ones? Cordy felt the pain of LA unleashed. Why do the PTB only send certain ones? What are they up to? More importantly why are they up to that?

When Whistler found Angel he was pretty much nobody with the potential to be somebody. Whistler's comments to Angel were about making him into somebody. That is what the PTB are doing, they are making Angel into somebody specific (which is beyond amusing because that is exactly what Joss is doing). What that is is what is required for whatever destiny Angel has. He needs a little help in becoming that. The potential is his, but he has an awful lot to overcome to realize his potential.

Does he need help in learning how to pound monsters? He is pretty good at that. Practice never hurt, but I have a feeling that whatever Angel has to do doesn't involve pounding (which is why this season may be the one).

Does Angel really believe "If I'm a good boy, I'll get a reward. The PTB's think I'm a good boy! They made me their champion and gave me a son to follow in my little champion-y footsteps! Now I just gotta kill this Beast!" I didn't get that impression when he spoke with Cordelia at the hotel in "Long Days Journey." I really felt how little he did believe in all that. It hit me hard.

Angel believes in absolutely nothing, other than doing good for goodness sake. He believes in people that believe the same thing. He does do things because he believes it is the right thing to do. Great Champion Speech in "Deep Down." But is that what all those visions were aimed at? Is that why Angel was called "not a lower being?" I don't think so.

What makes Angel special? Why did the PTB give him a chance? Why do they need him? Believe it or not, it was all that brooding. In that brooding, his heart showed. Why did Angel hurt? "You have no idea what it's like to have done the things I've done... and to care." Spike got his soul back. How much does he really care? Spike is doing just fine. This is what makes Angel and Buffy the heroes of the Buffyverse, they care the most.

What have the PTB been doing? Giving Angel a chance to see this. They showed him Buffy. He saw her heart and wanted to protect and warm it with his own. He learned that he could care. He also learned that caring hurt, so he cut himself off from people again. He shied away from his bright fire.

So along comes Doyle with a vision of Tina. Again Angel gets involved and he tries to help her. In the process he starts to care about what is going on with her. The visions tend to result in the same thing. It isn't Angel doing something because it is right. He does it because he cares.

That is what the PTB have been trying to bring out, Angel's incredible ability to care. Why? because it will make sure he does good? I don't think so. I think it is this ability to care that will be what is needed in the apocalypse (again this is the perfect year for that). Angel (and Buffy) will finally release his huge heart. He won't shy away from the fire. That will defeat whatever big bad AND it will cause Angel to Shanshu. The demon will not be able to withstand that any more than the big bad can. No Blue Fairy required. No reward. No earning. Just making his physical being match his inner being.

Why is Angel clinging to the Champion identity? Because he can do good without caring then. Buffy does the same thing with being Slayer. They both HAVE to do good. We have seen this time and time again on the shows. If they cling to the Champion and Slayer image, they can do good without caring.

Sorry that was so long. We are in basic agreement. I just think dealing with all that psychological shit is required before he Shanshus. They have set it up so this season he will have to deal with it. He Shanshus himself by doing this by unleashing his heart.

[> [> [> Re: Excellent as always -- lunasea, 07:22:11 03/04/03 Tue

Angel can never hope to redeem himself for all the things that he's done as if it were a mere matter of commerce (I do good things, it makes up for all the bad things I've done). This trivializes the pain and suffering of his victims. All he can hope to do is genuinely repent of his evil and go on to lead a good life. This shows that he really has changed.

But Angel isn't human yet (which means he has more to learn) and he does that. At this point he really is that Uber-champion who has repented of his evil ways and tries to lead a good life. He still isn't redeemed.

Angel not only trivializes the pain of his victims (he especially tends to blow off what he did to his parents), but his own. He realizes he can never make up for it, but he has his own coping mechanisms to move beyond it, which really don't deal with anything. Angel has moved beyond things, he hasn't dealt with jack. His brooding is denial cleverly disguised.

Has he ever really dealt with being sent to Hell? He brings it up in "Enemies" when he is acting, but he couldn't have done that if it wasn't bugging him on some level. In "Deep Down" he uses it to draw a parallel to what Connor did, not just the physical horror, but being hurt by someone you loved. He could have just said "stuck in a hell dimension" and left off the "by my girlfriend" part. He still has some feelings about that.

Angel is in an incredibly horrible place. These things that have hurt him did so because of crap he did. How does he deal with that pain? How can he be upset with Buffy or what she did when the reason she did it was because he was sending the world to Hell? What about what Cordy said in "Apocalypse Nowish." That really cut him. We still need to get a reaction to Spuffy.

Wesley was great because he did let himself feel pain and anger rather than just dismiss it as "Wes did what he thought was best and I *am* a vampire, so I might have hurt Connor." He (and Buffy) tend to logic themselves out of their feelings. Thing with Wes is that he attributed his feelings to the love he had for Connor (which are good) rather than his feelings about Wes not trusting him because of what he is. That is what precipitated the extremity of this reaction. If he actually allows himself to feel upset that people don't trust him because of what he is, rather than just dismiss it because they are justified in feeling that way, he won't be such a brooding pain. Everyone is entitled to their feelings. The reason the AI team feels about Angel doesn't negate his feelings. He needs to learn this.

How about the desoulings, all three of them? Darla vamped him because he wanted to see her world (he was being a bit more than the standard womanizer Liam was. He was actually connecting with her. In Vino Veritas. I love the switch from the man on the prowl offering his "services" to really allowing himself to be vulnerable). The first time after the curse was an act of love with/to Buffy. The next time was him trying to save the world. How can he deal with the good intentions that lead to horrible actions?

What about his issues in regards to his father? Eating him doesn't remove the pain that is there. Angel lets everyone off the hook, but himself, when he does evil to them. Just as good actions can't erase evil, lashing out and evil actions can't erase the pain. As Angel said in "Billy," it was all about the pain and the pleasure, not the things that Billy brought out. Where does Angel think that pleasure comes from?

He won't be redeemed until he finds a way to deal with his own feelings and finds where his pain comes from and gives himself permission to feel this.

[> Re: Thanks Masq -- aliera, 05:32:21 03/04/03 Tue

This is more related to the series of thought provoking posts up thread than the analysis. Just a few stray thoughts. Sorry if they've already been mentioned.

Does it really make sense?

>>>>There's still a number of things not making sense yet actually!

Bringing you here to talk to it?
This thing doesn't understand words. It
understands blood.

>>>>I believe that ritual (magic) is more for the sake of the state of mind of the magician. So if Buffy is correct it is not the ritual but the blood/tears and what they represent.

Stop that! Stop telling stories!
Life is not a story!

>>>directed to the viewer? Reminder of OMWF? Life is living.

Shut up. You always do that, make
everything into a story so no one's
responsible for anything because it's
just like, following some script.

>>>Ok funny. Buffy's "life" actually is a script, except to the extent that she may live in us.

Life isn't a story. Life is a bunch
of stuff that we choose to do.

>>>>again to the viewer I think.

You're not a tragic hero. You're a
guy who killed his friend. And I'm
not some--


I don't know half as much
as you think I do. I'm making it up.

>>>>Important. But I don't necessarily see it as a flaw.

And I don't like having to give a
bunch of speeches about how we can
all come through this thing if we
work together, because we can't.
People are going to die. Girls.
Maybe me. Probably you. Probably
right now.

Don't... please...
Buffy pulls him over to Seal and bends him back over it, his neck and head over the Seal. The knife is still digging into his neck.

When a river of your blood pours out,
Andrew, it might save the world.
What do you think of that? Does it
make you a world-saver? Does it buy
it all back? Are you a hero redeemed?

>>>I thought of the Gift here. Which wasn't 'the end'.


Andrew starts to cry.

ANDREW (cont'd)
Because I killed him. Because I
listened to Warren and I pretended
that I thought it was him. But I
knew it wasn't. And I killed
Jonathan. And you're going to kill
me and I'm afraid and I'm going to
die. And this is what Jonathan felt.
A TEAR rolls down Andrew's face. It falls...

>>>>Somehow in spite of the pathos, this bothers me. Is it really all about Andrew? Jonathan's life was cut off.

INSERT: The tear falls through the air. The tear lands on the Seal.


Buffy lowers the limp and helpless Andrew to the ground.

ANDREW (cont'd)
It stopped...
It didn't want your blood. It wanted
your tears.

Buffy helps Andrew stand up. She is being gentler with him than she ever has. His voice is still choked with tears.


That's okay. I'm sorry I had to...

>>>This was important to me. She didn't actually have choose the script she did on a number of levels. But she was sorry.

They head toward the door.

Did you know it was the tears? Or
did you really think it was blood and
then you saw that the tears worked?
Buffy gives him a little smile.

I just told you, I usually don't know
as much as you think I do.

Other stray thoughts:

>>>>Buffy led Andrew to redemption through fear.
>>>>Buffy sought and alternative to the Prophecy
>>>>The epiphany was Buffy's as much as Andrews
>>>>There are again a series of mini-epiphanies
>>>>Her instincts/intuiton are still good

Buffy turns to exit.

[> [> Re: Thanks Masq -- lunasea, 06:13:38 03/04/03 Tue

Somehow in spite of the pathos, this bothers me. Is it really all about Andrew? Jonathan's life was cut off.

This sentiment reminded me of Willow in "Killer in Me" about Tara. It is about Andrew (and Willow). They are the ones that are alive.

[> [> [> Re: who is it about. -- aliera, 09:42:04 03/04/03 Tue

I think that it is actually more about Us and ME...

[> [> But.... -- pellenaka, 08:12:31 03/04/03 Tue

They head toward the door.

Did you know it was the tears? Or
did you really think it was blood and
then you saw that the tears worked?
Buffy gives him a little smile.

I just told you, I usually don't know
as much as you think I do.

This wasn't in the episode, just in the (white) shooting script.
After Andrew asked her what she would have done if the tears hadn't worked, she didn't reply and just walked out.

[> [> [> Re: But.... -- aliera, 09:46:11 03/04/03 Tue

Thanks for the correction, pellenaka. They also decided not to use the scene of Buffy outside the crypt listening to be sure the potentials were OK.

"All very interesting", said the confused one (me). :-)

[> Product or process? -- Gyrus, 15:33:39 03/04/03 Tue

Very interesting review.

As you point out, "Storyteller" seemed to highlight the way the First has manipulated both Andrew and Wood up to this point -- by appealing to the worst aspects of their natures. Wood wants revenge, so the First capitalizes on that desire. Andrew wants to pretend he's not responsible for the bad things he's done, so the First helps him weave various fantasies to achieve that goal. And there are plenty of people whom it has manipulated through fear.

What interests me is that the First seems almost more interested in manipulating people than in the results of the manipulation. It claims to have plans for Spike, yet it doesn't seem to mind putting Spike at extreme risk of death (first from Buffy, then from Wood). Similarly, in "Amends", the First seemed to want to corrupt Angel, but later decided that his suicide was also an acceptable outcome.

Are the FE's plans are so flexible that taking individual players out of the game isn't a problem? Or is the plan itself less important than getting people to participate in it? Is the process of evil more important than the product?

[> [> Going by the concept of evil itself -- Masq, 16:35:52 03/04/03 Tue

I'd say the purpose of the First Evil is to corrupt, to always corrupt people to evil, and if people won't play Its game, to let them die rather than lose them to the side of Good. Like Holland Manners of Wolfram and Hart once said, evil has always been around and always will be. You don't defeat it for all time, it's in the hearts and minds of everyone. The First wants to encourage that. To bring out the evil that is already in them.

That's why, if the First Evil just is the Evil in people personified in some way, or if it feeds off that evil in some way, Buffy can't defeat it. She can't "kill" it. It's still going to be around.

I have to wonder what the FE's "big plan" is. To get rid of the Slayers so that the evil in the world has a better chance of doing it's thing? Not sure. The FE's actions/motives this season puzzle me.

[> [> [> Going by the act of evil itself (speculation possible vague 7 spoilers, not sure) -- WickedBuffy ::just waiting around for Wednesday::, 18:57:40 03/04/03 Tue

"The FE's actions/motives this season puzzle me."

FE keeps puzzling me, too. I keep trying to look at it ("it" is used in the loosest sense) from all different angles. To see if it looks any different. Thinking out of the box. :>

What if The First Evil was originally an action? The First Evil ever done? The First Evil was the first evil deed? Gathering up enough energy to become a concept and the FE we are seeing on BtVS now?

No one can undo it or destroy it - it's already been done. As posted before, restoring the balance that existed before it started its concrete and focused actions against the Slayer (and all) seems to be a very possible scenerio.

Anyway, it's just a thought to speculate on and figure out from that possiblity what its actions mean and motives are. Was The First Evil action done named so because it was so horrendous? Could it have been the forced demondust infusion into the girl who then became The First Slayer? (Maybe both the "Firsts" happened because of the other, at the same time?)

Did vampires come before The First Slayer or after? I've read how it was a demon mixing with a human that created them. But was The First Slayer the first human to be mixed with demon? If so, that might be considered The First Evil done.

Anyway - it might not have anything to so with the First Slayer. It still could have been The FIrst Evil action completed. How is an "action" righted? or put back ito it's previous perspective? It appears an action is what allowed it to come into a more powerful postion (Buffys death? Buffys coming back? Spike getting souled? Xander getting a real girlfriend?)

Maybe a deal was cut a long time ago that allowed one Slayer to exist using demon power to fight evil. Otherwise there wasn't a fair balance between evil and good - good was always losing. (Some all-powerful Neutral Force decided this.) Now two Slayers living broke the pact, allowing all this to happen. Rules are out the window.

The only way to regain balance (which isn't eradicating all evil, even in Buffyverse that's probably not possible) is to reseal the pact and bring the world back to its original one Slayer system.

[> [> [> [> Is the First Evil a ghost? -- Finn Mac Cool, 19:45:41 03/04/03 Tue

At first, the characters thought that the First Evil's manifestations were the actual ghosts of dead people. Perhaps that was more than just a misdirect. Maybe the First Evil, as we see it, is actually the ghost of the first, original act or being of evil. Maybe there once came into being a spirit or entity which was pure evil. It died in the creation of the world, but left its mark on all that would come. Also, its deceased spirit could still be summoned through the Bringers in order to torture the living, like all good ghosts do.

Also, I tend not to see the First as the sum of all evil, but rather that it started evil in the world, and thus all evil is spawned from it.

And both shows have been very obtuse towards villainous motivations this season. Last season, it was obvious what the major villains wanted. Warren wanted to be a super-villain king of Sunnydale. In other words, he wanted power. Then there was Holtz, who was motivated almost entirely by vengeance against Angel and Darla.

This season, not so. The First Evil and the Beast have been very mysterious. Their final aims both seem to be Apocalypse, but what they're currently doing (destroying the Slayer line; letting demons run free in LA), while very destructive, don't seem to directly cause the end of the world. Also, unlike previous seasons, we don't see the main villains alone very much. We get one, brief scene of the Beast giving an offering to some higher being, and the First Evil with just it's minions for maybe half a minute in "Showtime", but that's it. The main villains are much more mysterious since we know only what the characters know.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Is the First Evil a ghost? -- Sofdog, 06:52:29 03/05/03 Wed

I always think of Evil as an influence, a force of nature. It predates creation of the solar system at least. And it doesn't need a body, because it can influence others to do anything it wills.

For some reason the First Evil always makes me think of Stephen King's "It." There's quite a bit in the novel about what existed before the universe, a giant turtle and It. The turtle vomited and that was the universe, but the turtle was powerless to prevent It from running amok. It's been better than 10 years since I read that, but I always think of TFE as a giant spider in the void. Hm.

[> [> [> [> Re: Going by the act of evil itself (speculation possible vague 7 spoilers, not sure) -- Gyrus, 22:48:02 03/04/03 Tue

What if The First Evil was originally an action? The First Evil ever done? The First Evil was the first evil deed? Gathering up enough energy to become a concept and the FE we are seeing on BtVS now?

This is an intriguing notion. In a sense, you are suggesting that the FE is the embodiment (so to speak) of original sin -- maybe not in Biblical terms, but at least in human ones.

Was The First Evil action done named so because it was so horrendous? Could it have been the forced demondust infusion into the girl who then became The First Slayer? (Maybe both the "Firsts" happened because of the other, at the same time?)

In "Lessons", the FE mentioned that it was "done with the mortal coil", and with the whole notion of balancing good against evil. Maybe it didn't mean that it wants the destruction of good by evil. Perhaps, instead, it is weary of the unending struggle between the two sides and intends to destroy ITSELF. If there is a connection between Slayers and the First, as you suggest, it may be necessary to end the Slayer line in order to accomplish this self-destruction.

[> Thank you for quoting me. It was an honor to be able to contribute to your analysis. -- Robert, 19:50:43 03/04/03 Tue

[> [> You're welcome : ) -- Masq, 20:23:35 03/04/03 Tue

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