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Mein Irisch Kind, Wo Weilest Du? (Angel Odyssey 3.20-3.22) -- Tchaikovsky, 04:35:50 03/26/03 Wed

This is a ridiculous time to post this, but frankly I can't resist sharing any longer, so if it gets immediately archived, I will re-post it on Friday or something. 'A New World' is a good episode, 'Benediction' is brilliant, (all hail Minear, once again), and for me personally, 'Tomorrow' may be the best 22nd episode of a Season ever, because it really isn't in any normal sense a finale, and therefore manages to buck trends of 8 Seasons. Anyhow, I'll return to this later. Let's try to keep a semblance of structure.

3.20- 'A New World'

This new world is primarily Connor's, and also Wesley's and Angel's. There is an interesting resonance in the title- I think immediately of the Americas themselves when the phrase is mentioned, and for Connor Los Angeles, one style of American, is the representation of the whole New World. More by luck than bad judgement, he manages to speedily find himself in some of the worst places Los Angeles has to offer. Rather like Buffy in 'Bargaining', we look at him and wonder whether, despite the infamous Quortoth, he believes that this place, not his previous home, is Hell. There are the unfeasibly fast vehicles, the casual ambushes and threatenings, the dying of his first comrade, and the police with their guns. There appear to be consolations for Connor. Chocolate. Girls. More comfortable clothes. Yet ultimately the only thing that can save him from this strange environment is a sense of identity, provided by someone who understands both him and this surreal city. In all ordinary circumstances, Connor would believe this figure is Angel. And yet the indoctrination of versions of truth from Holtz has enabled Connor to come back as not only Oedipus, but an Oedipus aware of what he is doing. More complicatedly, he has an extremely difficult struggle to understand just who is Father is. One wonders whether the line 'Hi Dad' at the end of 'The Price', is a taunt from Connor. Because while it clarifies just who this fighter is at the end of the episode, and allows the perfect repetition to Holtz at the end of this episode, one does not suspect that Connor, while knowing that Angel is biologically his Father, really accepts it as a fact of the story. Holtz is his warden, his protector, and his real Father.

While this all becomes clear to the viewer by the end of the episode, the decisions that Angel has to make, based on a completely different perspective of events, are totally different. What we do see of Angel in this episode is a slice of genius by Bell. He makes Angel the Father of the child on the verge of independence. Angel suddenly becomes the parent of a son just about to leave home, and stride out for himself. In doing this, the metaphor of the clinging over-protective parent is wonderfully played out. In real life, we have parents who, refusing to believe their children have grown so quickly, (sometimes because they largely ignored them while they were growing up, like Willow's parents), cannot accept the child can possibly be old enough to function as an adult. Here, the metaphor is that Angel has literally missed the years of Connor's childhood. So when we hear him spouting all the clichés to Connor, we see that Angel is the parent who has missed the kid's childhood, and must now let go. In this light, his ability to let Connor leave at the end of the episode is not just a right decision, but an extraordinarily brave and selfless one. He enables Connor to have the decision over what sort of contact to have, while keeping him completely informed that his hotel is always welcome for him. Of course, the Holtz twist slightly undermines Angel's logic, but for this episode at leat, we see him as an excellent father again, in a completely different way to his care for the baby earlier in the Season.

A couple of words on the Oedipus link, which I'm sure has been discussed at length before. There's a CMES, (classic ME subversion, I use the phrase so often) going on. In the Greek myth, Oedipus is taken away from his parents because of the Oracle's proclamation that the son shall marry the mother and kill the father. Here, the child is taken away because of a prophecy, (and a false one), that 'The Father Will Kill The Son'. So, while Connor is well away from Angel during his childhood years, the story has significant changes. Further to the them, Connor does know all about his Father, unlike Oedipus, who kills his father unwittingly. Yet while in the Oedipal story, the son is the strongest in battle, and finally kills the Father, in this story, for the time being Angel is stronger. This highlights the main difference between the myth and the programme, namely that while the myth of Oedipus is oddly enough about Oedipus not Laius, the series of Angel is about Angel not Connor. We are mostly focussed on how Connor affects Angel's life, not on how Angel affects Connor's.

'Steven. A good name. Not Irish'. I use Connor throughout here, but the struggle between the two names is important, basically referring to Holtz' child Steven and Angel's child Connor. Both exist. The line at the beginning of this paragraph is perhaps the crux fo rme. It suggests to me that Angel is thinking of the callow Liam, and how Connor's life is a chance to put right some of the failings here. Sometimes it appears that Angel, as well as ignoring Angelus' parenthood of Connor, prefers to think of Connor as a child of Liam than of Angel. But as was shown in the vampire face in 'Dad', and is echoed here, the vampire part of Angel is important, and is part of Connor's heritage, as well as Steven's. Angel as a Father is now more than Liam. Yet it is interesting if a little abstract to discuss whether Angel is American or Irish. I leave that for sometime else. The Irish name line though reminded me of the phrase in my title. A brief feeling of smugness for anyone who can fill in the preceding two lines.

Connor's acceptance or otherwise of the face also recalls Buffy kissing Angel in vamp face all the way back in 'What's My Line I'. That acceptance of all of the being's nature, not just some of it. Also, the vamping out of Angel for Gunn in 'That Old Gang of Mine', so as not to make the decision any less obvious. Angel's vamp face is an important piece of symbolism through the series.

Meanwhile, a few other murmurings. Wesley and Lilah are electric form their first moment together. The relationship works brilliantly through the end of the Season, and the whole Dante's levels of hell speech is a fascinating spin. Of course, what Wesley misses in Lilah's manipulative presentation is that Wesley didn't knowingly betray Angel as Judas did Jesus. He was attempting to do right by Angel. The concept of loyalty was a lot more complicated than selling Angel to be killed for thirty pieces of silver. Yet the seduction was perfect from Lilah.

Cordelia is more interested in Angel than Groo as usual. This is a story-line which was discarded when Cordelia went on holiday, and then brought back rather carelessly, only now reaching any real development form way back in 'Couplet'. As good a little story as it could have been, I find it hard to believe that the Cordelia who is so perceptive about others' problems and emotional angst is unable to see how she is side-lining the Groosalugg. I found it hard to believe they came back form the holiday together, but at least the story progressed in the sensible way in which it had been set up eventually. And those blue eyes are starting to scare me.

Talking of blue, we have Lorne's friend the blue hair woman, who sums up Angel's feelings. She has spent such a time in spatial altering that she keeps moving discontinuously. This is Angel's situation- the Lewis-like time differences leading to a jarring discontinuity in his life, just like the lady accidentally apparating behind Cordelia. The fighting was unusual too. I don't know stuff about fight scenes. Suffice it to say they slowed time down. Another weird warping of time. Such crucial moments in Angel's unlife happening with such speed.

Good episode, not spectular, certainly dwarfed by the might of Minear in

3.21- 'Benediction'

To what blessing does the title refer? Perhaps the most obvious one is the apparent blessing of Angel as Father to Steven by Holtz. This was one of the most charged and wonderful scenes in the Season, bringing together two characters who have in many ways had very parallel journeys, and yet by human and not-human frailty have injured each other physically and emotionally so much. I personally believed that Hotlz' transformation was complete, and was for a while loth to believe that the markings on Holtz' neck were more than co-incidence. I wanted to believe that, over the years in Quortoth, Holtz might really have understood that while 'My hate kept us alive', it is really true that 'loveis much more powerful'. I think perhaps he did, and yet to the last he was bargaining, interested in an unfairly personal mode of justice, where he himself was arbiter. He needed to give Connor a final reminder of the his view of Angel. That he should do this is many times wrong. Angel has revealed his true self, and anyone who has done the quantity of obsessing over Angel's character [why am I thinking of myself not Holtz here?!] would know that this new character, Angel not Angelus, does not usually harm humans unless given no option. His vendetta was still too personal for it ever to become justice rather than vengeance, whatever he claimed. Holtz dies a character unredeemed- which is a sad conclusion on someone who appeared to have learnt so much form where he was before. In a sense, he really had learnt a lot. Yet his blind spot for Angel never cleared. If I had only one scene for Holtz,it would be the one where he tells Justine that not everything is black and white, there is good AND evil, and then, when asked about Angelus, tells her, 'He is Evil'. This was his eternal problem. His insistence on calling Angel Angelus is important. While he completely understood the importance of calling Steven by his own, new name, andthus creating a person strongly influenced by him, the fact that Angel is not simply Angelus was something he could never understand.

There's a lot of intelligent writing going on in this episode, as one would expect. Here's some highlights:

-The Groo/Lorne scene is brilliant. Yes, it's a setpiece talking about different things, but firstly Groo sets it up, and then Lorne acknowledges the game: 'There you are getting all sneaky with the subtext'. This truly signals the end of the relationship, with Groo finding strength enough to understand that he is not Cordelia's prime obsession. Despite a little criticism of his pointlessness as a character in some of the mid-to-late season episodes, I enjoyed here his ability to understand that the person he really saw as a Princess, a one true fairy tale love from a fairy tale Universe, was not to be a love that could last. It took courage and selflessness.

-We have the sweet scene where Connor re-appears, although prompted by Holtz. The acting between the two is classic adolescent son to confused parent. However, Angel does something that it takes Buffy a season to do with Dawn, albeit that Connor shows a greater aptitude- he allows Connor to come fighting with him- integrating him into all aspects of his life. This is what gives Connor the first glow of ambivalence- perhaps Holtz' stories are not all true. And yet, powerfully, it is not Connor who realises this. His prejudices against the vampire are engrained. It is Holtz who sees how Angel is good for the child, how their togetherness seems right somehow.

-Wesley and Lilah sizzle again. Lilah is showing herself to be as clever and sneakily manipulative as ever here. She does not approach Wesley head on, but instead by constantly twisting what Wesley expects of her, so the initial evilness is muddied by playfulness or moral ambiguity, (here meaning that Lilah may not be all bad, rather than not all good).

-I've written down 'Connor/Wesley parallel' and now forget what I meant. It may have been a little clearer than this, but for now let me say that both are surprised by how the new, supposedly evil sections of life opening up to them are in reality a lot more grey. Angel appears to be doing some good. Lilah isn't as straight-down-the-middle Evil as Wesley would like to be, and of course he has had his ongoing struggle since 'Billy' with the question of whether he is a Good Man. For the moment, like Dawn, he may believe that 'I may not be Evil, but I don't think I can be Good'. He is yet, as far as I have seen on screen, to help Lilah in any way, and his tryst with Lilah, while symbolic of a beige-ening, does not actually constitute helping the dark side as much as consorting with it.

-We have glowly Cordelia again. At this stage, it appears that she is able to dispel hate extremely easily, and act to dispel many problems. One wonders why she is thus so uncertain about her own relationship with Groo, and also why she has ignored Wesley. Although Angel is her primary concern, and he clearly does not wish to see Wesley again, one wonders why she decides not to go behind his back.

-We have Connor admiring the Sea; another New World. Yet his wonder is cut short by his excellent hearing. As usual, the wonders of the New World are not simple. There is always a cactus for every rose, (apologies to those who enjoy or even watch catci).

-There's the re-affirmation of the importance of the name to the perspective as Angel cheerfully proclaims 'Connor', Holtz worriedly mumbles 'Steven', and then Connor himself shows where his heart still lies when he again says 'Dad', this time referring to Holtz.

Brilliant episode. Haven't seen 'Firefly', but am starting to understand why people are grumpy that it was cancelled, because with Whedon and Minear at the helm, it cannot fail to be wonderful.

This just leaves Greenwalt's sortie episode:

3.22- 'Tomorrow'

I'd love to preface this outburst with the phrase 'I hate to crow', but it simply wouldn't be true. Lorne is Greenwalt!!! OK, sorry. I also am spoiled enough to know that Lorne returns to the show, although hasten to add I know nothing else about this. So clearly Lorne in Season 4 will not be Greenwalt. However, here is as big a confirmation as ever that he is. Lorne decides to pack up his bags and leave in this episode. He is going to a place where people gamble, in other words gambling his future on a new venture. He has loved being part of a team, but has decided to move on, to have a new individual life away from his old friends. I might even mention that the weird surreality embodied by Caritas, the wacky moments and bizarre twists, have been less self-evident than in previous seasons- in a sense, new writers have knocked down what his original 'Angel' stood for. Perhaps this is taking it a little far. In any case, I enjoyed the parallel, for Greenwalt's final adieu to the show.

The cityofangel review for this episode is frankly a little grumpy. It's all very well to have cliffhangers, it contends testily, yet to leave so much up in the air is just plain unsatisfying fo rus viewers. Well, I may not have the agony of the long summer hiatus after this episode, but I for one thought it was genius. Now we already now that Angel works a little differently from Buffy. There are those little arcettes rather than the sweeping season-long arc. Both finales have, after a cheery resolution, foisted on us a new revelation to keep the fanbase pondering. But this is rather different from Darla and 'Buffy...'. This time, it is not the tidbit, but the major direction of the show. Gunn and Fred, who, while Cordelia has slowly been turning into Mother Teresa, have become the every men of the show, finish off the episode by asking confusedly, 'Where is everyone?' To state the answer baldly, Angel is in a box on the sea-floor, Cordelia is in a star of 'higher' dimension, Wesley is sleeping with Lilah, and Connor has just exacted eternal vengeance on his Father. Not your average, all-tied-up finishing number. But brilliant.

I think, for me at least, a key aspect to understanding this Season, is Fred's little speech in 'Fredless'. I love that episode, one of those really cheery ones where a new group dynamic is instilled, and everyone seems in a happy state of equilibrium. Anyone who needs any evidence that happy state of equilibrium is not an ME staple need only consider Fred's simple summation: 'Angel is the Hero. Cordelia is the Heart. Wesley is the Brains. Gunn is the Muscle. And I'm...'. By the end of the Season, the first three of these have been shown to be grotesquely simplistic if not quite wrong. From the clear, well-defined roles, we are propelled into a Season of melt-down. That the Season should end in total confusion and characters literally worlds apart is for me a triumph of unexpectedness. I loved it. I'm pretty sure some people will disagree with me on this, but that's half the fun of it.

Here's some of the specifics that motored the Season to its conclusion:

-Holtz reaps the consequences of his life where hatred was more important to him than love. His final decision against this has come far too late to affect the lives of his one-time family. Interestingly enough, while Connor and Justine collaborate, they never really bond. Justine deceives Connor, still wishing to complete what she believed was Holtz' eternal mission statement, to dispense with Angelus. Connor is more devious, having understood better exactly Holtz' aim. So Justine keeps distance from Connor. And Connor accidentally keeps distance from Justine, by explaining the Steinbeckian farm in Utah, (think alfalfa), but without Justine as the mother. Justine once again feels excluded. And yet these two people who were closest to Holtz after he lost his first family, team up to enact Holtz previous wishes. It reminds me a little of that outrageously startling end to 'The Trial', where Angel is starting to make peace with Darla, only for one inalienable echo of his past to take it away from him: Drusilla. Justine and Connor become Holtz' legacy, in the same way Drusilla was Angelus' twisted gift the world.

-Cordelia and Groo finally break up, and we have the parallel conversations with Angel and Lorne and the other two. This apparent resolution has been tidily hinted at all the way through the Season, and I felt that Whedon and Greenwalt had earnt C/A because of the careful construction all the way from 'Heartthrob' through 'Provider' and 'Waiting in the Wings' to 'Couplet', and finally C/G's slow degeneration. That they didn't give it to the fans after such a perfect genesis was another reason why the ending worked for me- it eschewed what we might expect in virtually every way.

-There are some really good Greenwalt lines in the faux-happy sections in the second and third acts. It was clear by this stage that Connor having assumed Angel killed his Dad, and the lack of apparent struggle for resolution, that the happy ending was unfeasible, but it still felt lovely while it lasted. I particularly loved Fred's vampire impression and the response, 'You're a vampire, you're not in Cats'.

-The cinema scene is interesting. Greenwalt is gently playing on fantasy versus reality. Everyone seems to believe that taking Connor to the cinema is a good idea, but perhaps the last thing he needs is escapism. When reality mixes with fantasy, with the real helicopter, Connor's world is again confused. It's rather like the propaganda of Holtz, mixing turth about Angelus with falsehood about Angel.

-Linwood and Parks again attempt to do something fiendish and fail miserably. We're supposed to recognise how lame they are, and we do. This contrasts effortlessly with Lilah's relaxed, wonderful seduction of Wesley. The screen almost explodes every time the two are together. I'm really in danger of losing my 'I like watching the plot develop' status and becoming a shipper here, although it's certainly not good for Wesley in the long run, one imagines. But just look at them!

-Cordelia. I for one think this scene is not supposed to be the right thing to do for the character. I'm not quite sure why. Possibly because of the way both Angel and Cordelia are so excited about the imminent consummation. Certainly because of the way that Cordelia's absence indirectly triggers Angel getting locked in a submarine box. Surely if she is supposed to do mroe good, that could start by saving the Champion for the Powers? I don't know. I am a big fan of Skip's character, and I can see how Cordelia might take the option, but there are a lot of issues to be resolved in her journey next Season.

-And so we are left sans Lorne, sans Cordelia, sans Wesley and Angel sans everything with Fred and Gunn, the confused bystanders to the Season's ending, standing in the giant deserted Hyperion. A great end to the Season.

Now this was to be the end of the Odyssey, but it's now not quite so simple, as I can probably go on to Season Four. Not quite sure if the Odyssey will survive in this form, as I will be watching some Buffy as well. Possibly I could do an Angel Odyssey and a Buffy Bumble, but I'm not quite sure yet. I'll keep you posted, literally.

Finally, here are the numbers. Usual disclaimers: the reviews are a better explanation of my thoughts: and any time I said I preferred one episode to another and have now reversed it is due to the hindsight of the rest of the Season.

Heartthrob: 9
That Vision Thing: 6
That Old Gang Of Mine: 7
Carpe Noctem: 5
Fredless: 8
Billy: 8
Offspring: 8
Quickening: 9
Lullaby: 8
Dad: 4
Birthday: 9
Provider: 3
Waiting in the Wings: 8
Couplet: 5
Loyalty: 10
Sleep Tight: 9
Forgiving: 9
Double Or Nothing: 2
The Price: 5
A New World: 6
Benediction: 9
Tomorrow: 9

Great Season. If I had a little time, I'd like to add up the scores from each Season to see whether it reveals more love for Season Two or Three, because I'm currently havng great difficulty deciding. Anyhow, thanks for reading.


[> "Oh my America, my new found land!" -- Rahael, 05:28:30 03/26/03 Wed

Lovely reviews. More later!

(oh, and I so loved that Gru-Lorne conversation also - "there you go being sneaky with the subtext". Brilliant.

[> Preserving this against the Voynak monster -- Masq, 06:48:10 03/26/03 Wed

'cause I love 3.20-3.22 of AtS and want to be able to yap about it despite all the BtVS posts today and AtS posts tomorrow!

[> Directions to missing eps -- tomfool, 07:37:20 03/26/03 Wed

TCH, thanks so much for posting this whole series. Unfortunately, I'm way behind on the Angel curve and am just now moving through S1 on DVD (while watching and taping S4 live). So I haven't wanted to read your reviews until I see the eps. I've gone through the archives and found almost all of your Odyssey posts and copied them to a Word file. But I'm missing a few.

This may be more of a question for Masq, but could you direct me to the location of S1 eps 4&5? It could be in a subthread I couldn't locate. Any help would be appreciated. I'm also missing S3 eps 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8, but I assume those will show up in the March archive at the end of the month.

Thanks again and just want you to know that your views and insights are being read long after the original posting.

[> [> I believe... -- Masq, 07:48:44 03/26/03 Wed

All his threads are titled "Odyssey", so if you go through the index of each month of the archives searching on that word (or Tchaikovsky, or TCH) you should be able to find them.

If they for some reason didn't make it into the archives (which would be a total mistake and not intentional), I can look through my back-up copies of the voy archives (yes, I am totally anal) and see if I can locate them. Let me know if you still can't find them.

Or perhaps TCH has his own back-ups.

[> [> [> Re: I believe... -- The first post, 08:28:25 03/26/03 Wed

Wasn't labeled Odyssey. Here's what I find in the archives:

1. Couple of thoughts on early Angel -- Tchaikovsky, 04:11:28 01/14/03 Tue (includes eps 1.1, 1.2, 1.3)

2. Angel devours the board! (Angel Odyssey 1.6-1.10) -- Tchaikovsky, 03:25:53 01/16/03 Thu

I don't find anything by TCH in between. Not a big deal, but I'm kind of anal too and a bit of a completist. I should have been filing them off all along, but I didn't realize how much of a compelling epic TCH's reviews would turn into in their own right.

And Masq, am I right in assuming that any posts that drop off the current 5 pages of archives above will reappear at the end of the month when the archives are compiled? If so, I'll just get them at the end of the month and that will take care of all my missing S3 reviews. Thanks!

[> [> [> [> Sorry, that was me -- tomfool, 08:33:16 03/26/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> Mostly yes -- Masq, 09:18:34 03/26/03 Wed

Not every thread gets into the ATPo archives, but usually the only ones that don't are board business (messages about updates, complaints about Voy), requests for chat, and other non-content posts. Just about every on-topic and off-topic thread of any substance gets in the archives. Certainly, all of TCH's Odyssey threads should be in the archives.

[> [> I found them! -- Masq, 09:25:47 03/26/03 Wed

Buried in a post by yabyumpan:

Those sneaky Brits, always hiding things...

[> [> [> Your complete compendium to Tchaikovsky AtS Season 1 -- Masq (sorry for all this extraneous posting!), 09:38:55 03/26/03 Wed




[> Somnambulist (Angel Odyssey 1.11) -- Tchaikovsky, 06:20:19 01/17/03 Fri
Buried in this thread as well


[> Hors d'ouevre for this week's Angel, (Angel Odyssey 1.15-1.16) -- Tchaikovsky, 05:03:51 01/27/03 Mon
Buried in this thread as well


[> Re: Angel spreads its wings- with help (Angel Odyssey 1.19) -- Tchaikovsky, 06:09:37 01/28/03 Tue
In this thread as well


[> [> [> [> Thanks! -- tomfool, 09:42:09 03/26/03 Wed

Many thanks! Yes, sorry for all of this extraneous posting. Now that I have all the reviews, I'll go off silently and digest them ;-)

[> [> [> [> Your complete compendium to Tchaikovsky's Odyssey S 2-3 -- Masq, 11:49:09 03/26/03 Wed

Season 2


[> Behind the scenes of...(Angel Odyssey 2.4-2.5) -- Tchaikovsky, 14:51:37 02/20/03 Thu
In this thread as well


[> Wodehouse, Yeats and Kafka (Angel Odyssey 2.9-2.11) -- Tchaikovsky, 08:26:58 02/23/03 Su
In this thread as well




[> Laughs and grumbles ctd (Angel Odyssey 2.19) (sp 7.16) -- Tchaikovsky, 06:15:57 03/04/03 Tue
In this thread as well


[> The green, green grass of Pylea ctd (Angel Odyssey 2.22) -- Tchaikovsky, 04:45:09 03/05/03 Wed
In this thread as well

Season 3



[> Fred and Fitzgerald ctd (Angel Odyssey 3.5) -- Tchaikovsky, 14:33:36 03/10/03 Mon
In this thread as well


And in Voy archive 5

And in Voy archive 3


Voy archive 2


Voy archive 2


Voy main index

The ones still in Voy will probably be archived this weekend and be available sometime next week on the ATPo archives.

[> [> [> [> [> Thanks Masq! -- Tchaikovsky, 15:03:12 03/26/03 Wed

Sorry for making you do all that work- I do have them on back-up, but was away after I posted this morning. On a couple of points of the Odyssey's evolution, which could only possibly be interesting to me- I adopted the name from 1.6 after various kind supporters, (Rahael springs to mind, there were others), had said that they were worth reading. Having a quick scan now, it's interesting to note how I was satisfied but not bowled over by anything until 'Sanctuary'. As my enthusiasm grows, so grows the length of my posts, so that while 'Lonely Hearts' gets a sensible paragraph, something like 'Epiphany' gets more like 1500 words. I start to understand where all my revision time's been going. And that embedded 1.4-1.5 was the only incident of sneakiness; promise I won't do it again!


[> [> Thanks Tomfool -- Tchaikovsky, 14:53:47 03/26/03 Wed

And apologise for my absence from the board meaning that the Boss had to do all the irritating admin work. But then she got that line in about sneaky Brits, so perhaps I feel a little less guilty...;-)


[> Fathers, sons, and tragic flaws -- Masq, 07:42:18 03/26/03 Wed

Because I am such a huge Connor fan (and Holtz fan) I have a lot to say on these episodes!

A New World: TCH, as I'm sure you must be vaguely aware, Connor once again gets likened to Oedipus in Season 4. So I love how you demonstrate how even in Season 3 he is already playing that role--the son taken from his parent as a baby and who then returns as an adult to his former home.

Of course, in the play, Oedipus doesn't know that it's his real father and in there lies the tragedy. In AtS, the tragedy lies in the fact that Connor/Steven can't accept his father as his father, and tries to remain emotionally disconnected from him, because Angel is a demon, because Angel(us) is he who killed Holtz' family, because Connor still suspects there will come a day when he will have to kill Angel.

And Angel, who desperately loves his son and wants to connect with him, is afraid of chasing him away permanently.

The vampire face scene is a compelling one, because as you mentioned, there is an earlier episode where Angel can't get baby Connor to stop crying until he showed him his vampire face. Then the baby was content and gurgly. Contrast this to the horror on Connor's face when he sees Angel's vamp face as a teenager. "That's what you are!" One imagines that if Connor had grown up with his real father, he might have retained his infant reaction to Angel's face. Or maybe not. Teenagers look for things to rebel against, and perhaps a Connor who grew up with Angel would have eventually rejected him for being a vampire at any rate.

"A New World" is the episode that turned me (I'm not ashamed to admit) into a hopeless Connor/Angel 'shipper. The angst Angel goes through in the abandoned apartment trying to connect to a son who sees him only as a monster is heart-breaking. But of course, you don't really become a 'shipper until you see hope of love returned, and that comes in "Benediction".

Benediction: Connor was impressed when Angel took the bullet for him in "A New World", and there is a small part of him that wants to do as Holtz suggests--get to know Angel better.

But Holtz thrust Connor towards Angel with dual purposes. If you've read my episode analysis by now, TCH, you'll see that Minear says that Holtz is never dishonest in this episode. When he says Connor needs to be with Angel now, he's telling the truth. When he warns Connor to be on his guard and not let the devil tempt him, he's telling the truth. So naturally, Connor goes over to Angel's angry and confused. The only father he's ever known is telling him to go get to know "the monster" as a person but still believe him a monster.

And our Oedipus, of course, does not want to believe that Liaus, the man he encountered at the crossroads is his real father, someone to connect to. And yet they do connect. Connor can't deny that there is something of Angel in him. His strength and super-senses are clearly vampiric in origin. Their love of a good fight is mutual. The scene where they kill the vampires in the night club shows what Connor and Angel could be if they ever got along.

But one of the things Connor symbolizes (or embodies?) in the series is teen-aged rebellion, and like many teenagers, he finds something in his parents to disdain (Angel's vampirism) and rejects him and his counsel for that reason while being totally unable to see those same traits in himself.

Meanwhile, Holtz sees that exactly what he suspected would come to pass comes to pass. Connor connects with Angel. And though he knows he must leave and let them be together, he won't let it happen happily. This is the real tragedy of Holtz, and why I think he is one of the finest villains on either show--he has a tragic flaw, and in the end, it is his undoing. People have called AtS one big Greek Tragedy, and that is true so often. Not everyone gets to be redeemed.

Tomorrow: There is some debate on this, but I happen to think that Vincent Kartheiser (Connor) is a brilliant actor. He can be vulnerable and innocent, angry almost to the point of appearing psychotic, a normal rebellious teenager, and a panicked child. Plus his resemblence to Julie Benz (Darla) makes this a casting coup for ME, in my opinion. I was very relieved when I found out he'd be back for Season 4.

This cliff hanger got mixed reactions, as you noted, TCH. While Angel being sunk to the bottom of the pacific was brillian, some people really had a problem with glowy self-righteous Cordy ascending to the heavens. I know I did the first time I watched it. I thought it was lame being the telling of it. When someone posted to the board that perhaps it was not what it appeared to be, that perhaps Cordelia made the wrong choice, I grasped onto that theory with a vengeance.

And it makes a certain amount of sense precisely because Cordelia hasn't been herself since she returned from Mexico. Angel&visions-obsessed, annoyingly saintly, and--ugh--blonde. If she were really being rewarded by the PTB's for her behavior and for powers she really didn't have much control over, it would have been lame.

Cordelia's tragic flaw, methinks, is her arrogance. Her self-importance. It always has been, but we have been lead to believe she got over that in Seasons 1-3 of AtS. But has she really?

We're still waiting to see how it all works out in Season 4. But I for one would love to see your Odyssey continue!

[> [> Masq, I should be your minion! -- Scroll, minion of the First Evil, 14:43:57 03/26/03 Wed

Since practically everything you say about Angel has me nodding my head and going, "uh-huh, what she said." : )

I really loved "Benediction" for the tight, eloquent scene in the bar. The actors don't actually have a ton of lines, but the body language, the facial expressions, the decisions made and the instincts followed -- all helped to readjust the vector of the characters' path for Season 4: Lilah really scoring her first hit against Wesley (he actually has to think about whether he'll save Justine); Wesley recognising Connor right off; Justine recognising Connor; Angel and Connor fighting back-to-back and bonding through violence (theirs is a different love :) )

And of course Holtz's final revenge is just so perfect and tragic. He secures himself first place in Connor's heart. To Connor, Holtz becomes the martyred Good Father, and Angel is the Devil who nearly seduced him with "bright things, many colours". Everything Angel says to Connor from this moment on is filtered through Connor's belief in Angel's deceitful and murderous ways.

As for Cordelia... What to do about Cordelia? Masq, I'm totally with you on the Cordy was fooled into thinking she deserved to ascend to a higher plane of existence. Because Skip's logic? Does not resemble our earth logic. Heck, it's not even insane troll logic, which I could've accepted with a bit of fanwanking.

Wesley, Wesley, Wesley. Lilah, Lilah, Lilah. I remember reading a review of "Tomorrow" in which the reviewer stated the Wes-Lilah scenes were the best six minutes of the entire season. Now, I'm not sure I would go that far, but neither am I made of stone! Alexis Denisof and Stephanie Romanov are positively electric together.

I don't want to go too much into this for fear of spoiling TCH, but I have to say -- the same writers who had an entire season to build Angel/Cordy into a feasible relationship and failed miserably? (at least in my case) Managed in a few brief scenes in a total of three episodes to turn Wes/Lilah into a powerful, complex, and believable pairing that is not only sexy, but dark, dangerous, and wrong on so, so many levels.

BTW, if any of you are into fanfic, I really want to recommend Jenny-O's Wes/Lilah site Double Indemnity. Warning: most of the fanfic there has spoilers up to Season 4, so you might want to avoid, TCH.

[> [> [> Holtz lives on (Season 4 spoilers up to Orpheus) -- Masq, 15:11:35 03/26/03 Wed

In my analysis of "Soulless" I have a quote from the board that I think is the key to understanding Season 4 Connor's attitude towards Angel.

If Connor tells himself that Angel isn't "real"[, that he] is an "illusion" (something Angelus "wears") then he can kill him and not be restrained by his love for that "illusion". ...he will be free of the feelings that tear him in two. [A]ny love he has felt for Angel must be marred with a feeling of betraying Holtz. Now, with Angelus, Connor is presented with an opportunity to take Holtz' vengeance for him and not suffer guilt at killing a father who obviously loves him. Of course he surely would feel guilt, but I doubt he knows that (Ixchel 3/05/03 17:26).

I got really frustrated in "Orpheus" when Connor was still insisting on Angelus' death in that black-and-white way. The others were working hard to find a way to re-ensoul Angel, and Connor's just like, "We aren't going to find a way, and even if he did, he should die!" I wanted Connor to have some sort of misgivings about killing Angelus, and they seemed to be missing. I forget he's known Angel less than a year and knew Holtz for seventeen.

Of course, later in the episode, when Cordelia tells him to kill Angelus against all her previous advice, Connor does hesitate. It might be more over confusion about why Cordelia would say this, since he does try to do as she asks, but... 'shippers can dream. And of course, his, "Yeah, I get it, I screwed up" to Gunn when Gunn scolds him about knocking him out and trying to kill Angelus--is that "Yes, I did screw up," or is that "I'll say it if it'll get you off my back."?

As for Cordelia, it's odd to say to TCH that we still don't know what's going on with her or if she made the wrong choice on that frreeway yet (after seeing 15 episodes of Season 4!) but it's true. Someone mentioned that regardless of whether Evil!Cordelia is the real Cordelia or a clone or whatever, the real Cordelia is still partly responsible for E!C being there. She let herself get sucked up into the higher dimension and (if it's a clone) that allowed something evil to take her place. If it is indeed the real Cordelia, similar logic if she's possessed.

If it's the real Cordelia and she's not possessed, well, absolute self-importance corrupts absolutely!

[> [> [> [> Delurking briefly to rejoice that I'm quoted! -- Ixchel (feeling giddy and a little self-important), 16:59:13 03/26/03 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Joining in the giddyness! -- Arethusa, 20:47:49 03/26/03 Wed

[> [> Amen to all that, especially -- Tchaikovsky, 14:48:54 03/26/03 Wed

This is the real tragedy of Holtz, and why I think he is one of the finest villains on either show--he has a tragic flaw, and in the end, it is his undoing. People have called AtS one big Greek Tragedy, and that is true so often. Not everyone gets to be redeemed.

That's a great point. I hadn't connected Holtz' one blind spot with the idea of a tragic flaw, but it fits perfectly.

I was more contentedly puzzled by the Cordelia storyline than annoyed- but as I noted and you put also, I find it difficult to accept that Cordelia made the right decision. What is for certain is that the writers did not write it so unambiguously as to make it clear that she was making the right decision. But I felt that Mutant Enemy's habit with characters and themes of raising questions not force-feeding answers was being extended to plot, and I enjoyed it. The only thing I'd object to would be if Season 4 of Angel was about a completely different set of characters...


[> The episode title -- KdS, 09:17:19 03/26/03 Wed

I always thought that the ep title was a twisted Tempest reference. "Oh brave new world that hath such people in it". The twist being that while Prospero forgives his enemies and allows Miranda and Ferdinand's marriage to heal the feud, Holtz cold-bloodedly manipulates Connor into becoming an instrument of his vengeance, despite the damage this surely does to him. (I've said it before, but despite all the appalling and perverted behaviour we've seen from ME in the last seven years, Holtz's actions in the last two eps of S3 strike me as the all-time nadir, whether committed by a souled or unsouled person).

(Of course, there's also Huxley's Brave New World with the Noble Savage utterly bemused and destroyed by the corruptions of industrial society).

[> [> Oh crap, "creatures", not "people" -- KdS, 09:19:17 03/26/03 Wed

[> One cheer, two moans -- Tchaikovsky, 15:14:11 03/26/03 Wed

Well, the thread's survived past infancy, which is lovely.

Where's cjl's Annoying Series? I love that series!

Nobody's got the poetry reference. Or it's just too easy to play? Come on!


[> [> Well, I did, kind of obliquely! -- Rahael, 15:25:08 03/26/03 Wed

I already keep quoting "let me show you fear in a handful of dust" here way too often.

But I went for a new found land, rather than a wasteland for my reply title ;)

[> [> [> OK, too oblique for Old Literal here! -- Tchaikovsky, 15:29:34 03/26/03 Wed

Which is kind of ironic, considering I set the silly, oblique puzzle in the first place!


[> Re: Mein Irisch Kind, Wo Weilest Du? (Angel Odyssey 3.20-3.22) -- Masq, 15:17:30 03/26/03 Wed

Well, the thread's longevity is partially me being the TCH-Odyssey fan-girl!

I have no idea what this poem is, but I'd love a translation of the title of your above post. My Irish child....?

[> [> Inexpert translation -- Tchaikovsky, 15:27:20 03/26/03 Wed

Baldly, 'My Irish Child, Where are You?'
With a little more feeling, 'My Irish Love, Where do You Linger?'

Someone may be able to translate better than this. It just floated into my mind after the 'A good name. Not Irish' line in 'An New World'.


[> [> [> The actual sources- in case anyone's wondering -- Tchaikovsky, 07:07:04 03/27/03 Thu

It comes firstly from the first part of Eliot's 'The Wasteland', as part of the rhyme:
'Frisch weht die Wind
Der Heimat zu;
Mein Irisch Kind
Wo weilest du?' [possibly some genders wrong here].

But Eliot used a lot of cut and paste from earlier works in 'The Waste Land', and this bit in particular comes in turn from the marvellous 'Tristan and Isolde' of course part of Wagner's immense Ring cycle.


[> My Angel S3 review is coming later today; keeping the thread alive... -- cjl, 05:44:29 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> Hooray -- TCH- also rather transparently aiding ailing thread, 06:58:34 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> Hey, I can lend a hand with that... -- Masq, 09:39:07 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> Hey, you've been able to make this thread last through two nights of new Buffy and Angel -- Finn Mac Cool, 17:28:45 03/27/03 Thu

That's nothing short of a miracle, honestly. Maybe David Greenwalt's watching over you for identifying the him-Lorne connection.

[> [> [> [> That would be excellent - I'm willing to imagine! -- Tchaikovsky, 01:22:59 03/28/03 Fri

[> CJL's review of ANGEL S3 (third in an annoying occasional series; slight BtVS 7.17 spoiler) -- cjl, 11:52:49 03/27/03 Thu

OVERVIEW: Moving quickly to integrate Fred into the supporting cast, the third season started off spectacularly with the heartbreak of Buffy's demise, and Darla's stunning pregnancy. A few botched opportunities and one or two mis-steps crippled momentum, but Joss and Co. recovered in more than enough time for Connor and Holtz's mid-season arrivals, and the mystery of Sahjhan.

Unfortunately, "Waiting in the Wings" established the C/A and F/G romantic arcs, which nearly crippled the individual characterizations of three out of four regulars. The inconsistent (or deliberately obtuse) treatment of Cordy's demonization after "Birthday" didn't help either. (Boreanaz got away clean, but he'd better--he's the lead.) Granted, these eps were critical in establishing Wesley's isolation from the group, and nothing was going to slow down Alexis Denisof in "Loyalty" and "Sleep Tight"; but the unsatisfying lack of depth in the F/G and C/A relationships (kye-rumption, indeed) ruined "Double or Nothing" and turned "Tomorrow" into one of the most puzzling and frustrating finales in the history of the Whedonverse.

As always, all comments are JMO.

The ratings:

Heartthrob--Third solid opener in a row, and a superb balancing act: treating the Buffy/Angel relationship with respect, and at the same time, mocking it's "endless love" adolescent angst through the character of James. (James and Elizabeth might also be a gentle ribbing of Spike and Dru.) Loved
the lamasery bit; Joss and Greenwalt must've spent the summer watching "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" about a billion times. And that ending--as they say in American basketball, nothing but net...

9 out of 10.

That Vision Thing--Cordelia as martyr for the cause is established this episode, and it's crucial for the developments later on in the season. Extra goodness: we get Lorne, Lilah, and Phantom Dennis back in play, and we're introduced to our favorite emissary of the PTB, Skip.

8 out of 10.

That Old Gang Of Mine--One of the botched opportunities mentioned above. The conflict between Gunn and Gio and the standoff in Caritas should have been much more dramatic, but the pacing of the episode was WAY off. Still, crossroads moment for Gunn, and Wes sets himself up for the Big Fall by tongue lashing Gunn for keeping secrets.

7 out of 10.

Carpe Noctem--Always fun to see David Boreanaz letting loose playing another character, and the "seduction" scene between Angel and Lilah? Towel, please. On the other hand, ME did absolutely nothing with the body switch concept, when they should have been exploring the concept of mortality, and what it means to be a vampire.

6 out of 10.

Fredless--The Burkles were as adorable as all heck, and it's nice to know there are some GOOD parents in Joss Whedon's world. The MOW plot was almost an unwelcome distraction, as I wanted to see more heart-to-heart moments between Fred and her folks, and between Fred and the rest of gang as she's about to leave. (BTW, what was up with Lorne this ep? Keep running? What kind of advice is THAT?) Bonus points for the Continuing Drama of Buffy and Angel, as interpreted by Wesley and Cordelia...

7.5 out of 10.

Billy--Alexis Denisof and Amy Acker are terrific here, as Wes' innocent attraction to Fred metamorphoses into something darker and more sinister. Love the Cordy/Lilah interaction, the Kennedy-esque villain, and the controversial concept of primal misogyny (which I thought worked just fine, thank you). The final scene is Wes' first step into darkness; just as Angel would like to believe the demon is responsible for everything bad he's ever done, Wes would love to believe that his anger and seething resentment was something imposed on him from the outside. But he can't. Gut-wrenching.

8.5 out of 10.

Offspring-To quote Buffy at the beginning of CWDP: "Here we go." The Darla/Holtz/Sahjhan arc hits the ground at full speed, with slam bang moments all over the place, from the slaughter of Holtz' family, to Darla's dramatic entrance at the Hyperion, to the hunt in the arcade, to Holtz' dramatic reappearance after two centuries of "sleeping it off." Julie Benz does stellar work here, conveying Darla's anger, bitterness, confusion, and the glimmerings of love and compassion for the whatever-it-is inside her. (And it's now official: public transportation in the Whedonverse is about as safe as a Russian nuclear reactor...)

8.5 out of 10.

Quickening-Running in place for the most part, with Holtz playing catch-up and the gang spending most of the ep wondering what the hell they're going to do about the prophecies and their angry, pregnant houseguest. Well-executed and very funny sequence in the hospital with the various cults and mercenaries vying for Darla's unborn child, and stumbling all over each other in the process. I've always thought evil's great disadvantage isn't that the good guys have right on their side and God is looking out for them-it's that the bad guys usually work at cross-purposes, because (being evil) they don't trust anyone.

7.5 out of 10.

Lullaby-It all comes together perfectly. Holtz' agonizing decision to kill what was left of his daughter, the destruction of Caritas (again), and the redemption of Darla. (Hated to see Julie Benz go, but it was worth it.) The ending is one of the series' great moments: Keith Szarabajka's Holtz is a thrilling and intimidating presence-he lets Angel and the baby go in what looks like an act of mercy, but you're chilled to the bone wondering what the hell he's going to do next.

9.5 out of 10

Dad--A bit of a one-dimensional thrill ride designed to clear the landscape of the remaining conspiracies. Not bad for a game of one-upsmanship with W&H; and for a chase sequence (which, to me, is anti-drama), the ending holds up pretty well. Still, a bit of a letdown after the emotional high of the last three eps.

6 out of 10.

Birthday-Never one to throw away a great character, ME brings Skip back, and he was the perfect guide for Cordelia's journey of self-discovery, celestial in his pronouncements and yet refreshingly down-to-earth in relating to his fellow traveller. There's a lot of good stuff here: the brief glimpse into Angel's life without Cordelia, the "Cordy" sitcom theme and opening credits (priceless!), and Cordy's matter-of-fact decision to accept demonization (a huge leap from her distaste for demons in S1). And yet, when I think back on this episode, I get a little queasy. Cordy's life as a Hollywood big shot couldn't have been an "alternate timeline"-there were too many inconsistencies, too many intrusions from the "real" timeline to validate that interpretation. If this wasn't just ME being sloppy, then Cordy's journey wasn't a true alternative, and Skip must have rigged the game to get the results he wanted. The problem is-it's been over a year, and WE STILL DON'T KNOW. (More on this below.)

7.5 out of 10. (But I reserve the right to lower or raise the score depending on late S4 events.)

Provider--We've gone over this in previous posts. (No need to waste any more board space.)

5.5 out of 10.

Waiting in the Wings--I've made my feelings clear.

6 out of 10.

Couplet-I actually liked this episode, even though Cordelia's "Vertigo"-style makeover of Groo and Angel's jealousy hit us with Fury-like smashmouth directness. Wesley's speech about how Angel is unique and how his mission drives the rest of the gang was both inspiring and (on the other hand) chilling, and (like you) I enjoyed the way Angel used his vampiric nature to defeat the Arbor Day demon when Groo's straightforward approach couldn't. (Can anybody explain to me how a tree demon managed to get internet service? Just asking.) As of now, the F/G pancake batter lovey-doveyness is starting to get annoying, but I have no idea what's in store for me three episodes from now. Sigh. (Bonus points for the mystical brothel and the "special room." Why do I get the feeling we haven't seen the last of either one?)

7 out of 10.

Loyalty--Once again, my second favorite episode of ANGEL.

10 out of 10.

Sleep Tight-After the terrifying look inside the mind of Wesley Wyndam-Price, we pulled back to see the big picture, and it was even worse than we thought. Just like with Willow and the Scoobs in Buffy S6, Cordelia's absence removed the spiritual center of A.I. and the entropic gyre spun out of control, leaving devastation in its wake. U.S. audiences had to wait over a month to find out whether Wesley survived Justine's attack. Pure torture-but God help us, we love it.

9 out of 10.

Forgiving-Devastating, brutal episode, as Angel recklessly subverted the rule of Order to solidify Sahjhan for personal payback. The White Room was an appropriately eerie and sterile environment connecting the ruthlessly bureaucratic Wolfram and Hart to the higher (lower?) powers and perfectly symbolized Angel's single-minded quest for vengeance. (Crossover curiosity to consider: Spike's smackdown of Wood in Buffy 7.17 duplicated Angel's smothering of Wesley in "Forgiving"; both vamps wanted to make absolutely sure their victims knew they were making the decision as a creature with a soul. Significant? We'll probably see how it plays out in "Chosen.")

8 out of 10.

Double Or Nothing--Or, to use another gambling term, craps.

4.5 out of 10.

The Price-Again, see my previous post.

7 out of 10.

A New World-One of the best uses of location shooting since the pilot-a superbly paced episode with truly moving scenes between David Boreanaz and Vincent Kartheiser. With Boreanaz expecting his first child at the time, the concept of what it means to be a father, or how it might feel to miss your son's childhood must have been on his mind, and these feelings infused his performance with delicacy, nuance and compassion. Connor's open-air battle with the drug dealers and his piggyback ride on L.A.'s public transportation (I tell you, it's nothing but badness!), were a welcome change from the claustrophobic environment of the Hyperion. (Docked half-a-point for the awful make-up job on Holtz.)

8 out of 10.

Benediction/Tomorrow--With all the promise of "A New World," I was disappointed to see a generally excellent season wind down rather than speed to a climax. Perhaps my expectations have been distorted by Buffy's all-action season finales, but when the climactic moment of the season turned out to be a brilliantly executed piece of epistolary sabotage, I started to wonder if I hadn't tuned into a Henry James novel by mistake. Compared to the wild and wooly Pylea arc, Benediction and Tomorrow were too subdued for their places in the seasonal arc, and not even the ingeniousness and steel-trap finality of Holtz's revenge could leaven my disappointment.

I'm not going to discuss "Tomorrow" in too much detail, because that might involve spoiling you for Season 4. However, I will say this: you're probably right about Cordelia, but I don't think it matters either way. Cordelia hasn't been the same since "Birthday," and charting her path since then, or trying to figure out whether she's been recruited by the Powers that Be or coopted by the Forces of Evil has been an exercise in futility for everyone on the board. For all intents and purposes, Joss and ME have lifted their female lead out of the continuity of the series for over a season; and while they congratulate themselves for their cleverness, I'm forced to watch ANGEL with a gigantic hole where Cordelia used to be. That tends to piss me off.

Combined score: 7 out of 10.

On to S4. Get out your scuba gear and practice your hosannas....

[> [> Re: CJL's review of ANGEL S3 (third in an annoying occasional series; slight BtVS 7.17 spoiler) -- aliera, 14:56:14 03/27/03 Thu

Ahh great! I've been waiting for this. I'm too tired now to make with the maths since my dogs think it's amusing to actually rise with the sun and pounce on the woman who's in charge of breakfast (can we please have shorter days again? Soon? Creature of the late nights here.) but how would you rank the seasons against each other?

And apologies if you already mentioned this and I missed it. So far my fave is season 2 (I'm remaining open minded though) ;-)

[> [> [> Current ranking of ANGEL seasons: 2, 3, 1 (S4 pending) -- cjl, 15:41:39 03/27/03 Thu

But if the last six episodes tie in to the last six Buffy eps, ANGEL season 4 could be #1.

Just looked over the S3 commentary, and I can't believe I short-shrifted the Wesley/Lilah dynamic and the snark-ening of the Groosalugg in the last three episodes. The W/L pairing was nothing short of incendiary, and I smile every time I think about Groo in "A New World." ("Angel is our leader. We must always consider his feelings.") Who knew the guy had it in him? And, as TCH pointed out, Groo's sad, resigned conversation with Lorne in "Benediction" was almost poetic.

(Aw. Big-hearted dumb lug. Miss the Groo.)

[> [> [> [> Hmm, really? Right now, mine's 3,2,1 with me wavering over whether 4 will come before or after 1 -- Masq, 15:44:40 03/27/03 Thu

I liked Season 4 up until the past couple episodes. Now I'm starting to wonder where it's going and if I'll like that.

[> [> [> [> [> Wow, so far mine's a tie on 4 and 3, then 2, then 1. -- Rob, 19:30:00 03/27/03 Thu

Does this include "Players," Masq? Because I personally thought that was a great improvement over the Faith arc, which, although littered with moments of brilliance, IMHO, wasn't a perfect cohesive whole.

And once we do get answers re: Cordy and other issues, do you think your rating might rise? It just seems wrong that I'm enjoying AtS this season more than you are. ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Wow, so far mine's a tie on 4 and 3, then 2, then 1. -- Calvin, 23:50:24 03/27/03 Thu

I'm right there with you, Rob. I have been amazed at the development of this show. I can't think of any other show that has gotten better with every year. Not even "Buffy". And I also agree about the Faith arc. I could believe I was just a bit dissapointed, but for myself, I think it was a case of too-high expectations. That has been my problem with "Buffy" this year. Not that I haven't been loving it, but I think that I am holding the show to unrealistic standards. Then again, I think most people who take the time to write about a television show probably do that as well (and I place myself firmly in that camp).


[> [> [> [> [> [> I think I'm just cranky, Rob -- Masq, 06:10:21 03/28/03 Fri

Kinda psyching myself out if the show gets canceled. "Oh well, it sucked anyway."

But truthfully, I do like Seasons 2 and 3 more.

[> [> [> [> I'm with cjl -- Tchaikovsky, 01:06:50 03/28/03 Fri

Season One is definitely my least favourite season. I really couldn't tell whether I preferred Season 2 or 3- my hunch was 3. But when I added up the scored out of 10, I ended up with Season Two two points clear. So presumably my general grumpiness with 'Dad', 'Provider', 'Double Or Nothing' and 'The Price' jst pushed the scales in Season Two's favour.


Appendix [!]
Season 2: 158/220
Season 3: 156/220
Season 1: 147/220

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm with cjl (no spoilers) -- Rob, 07:26:27 03/28/03 Fri

For a while, I was up in the air about whether 2 or 3 was the best season. But then 4 came along, and I couldn't choose 3 tied as the best! Not counting 4 yet since it isn't over, I would say 3 was the best, because despite having a number of below par episodes (more perhaps than season 2), the episodes that were brilliant, IMO, outshone the most brilliant eps of season 2. Season 4 I'm intrigued by because it is, again, breaking all the rules. Not sure yet though I guess about how successful it is until the end of the year. For now, I don't get everything that's going on, but I'm just along for the ride and hope we'll get some answers by the end of the season!


[> [> [> [> [> [> A couple of questions -- Tchaikovsky, 13:05:49 03/28/03 Fri

Interesting Rob. Actually, when I went back to look at the Season Two rankings as opposed to Season Three, I found that I'd been more generous with the very top episodes, and personally I stand by that. I only gave 'Loyalty' a full 10 in Season Three, while 'AYNOHYEB', 'The Trial', and of course the 'Reprise/Epiphany' double all garnered top marks in the previous Season. It's only a minor thing, as I gave no fewer than 7 episodes a 9, but I thought for the really most outstanding episodes, Season Two had a better share.

To the question: did it seem weird to you after your supersonic Odyssey through Seasons 1-3 to slow right down to Buffy pace for Season 4? Just curious.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: A couple of questions -- Rob, 13:24:21 03/28/03 Fri

To the question: did it seem weird to you after your supersonic Odyssey through Seasons 1-3 to slow right down to Buffy pace for Season 4?

YES! It was very weird. For one thing, just the fact that besides spoiler trollops, when I got the fourth season I was watching and learning all the new details on AtS along with everybody else, instead of feeling very behind. I know how you must have felt posting your AtS reviews, making predictions about what was going to happen, character analyses, etc., knowing that there are probably tons of people who already know the answers to your questions, and maybe snickering whether you made wrong assumptions!

Also, for the week or so it took me to watch AtS, I feel like that's all I did for the week. I lived and breathed AtS, with occassional bathroom, meal, and school breaks. Other than that, I got so addicted so quickly that it was very weird for the supply to cut off and then only get it once a week. And then, only 7 eps into the season, it was on hiatus for like 2 months! That was torture! I will say are that when watching all the episodes together in a row, you perceive things differently. For some reason, although I was a fan of Gunn while watching all the episodes in a row, I grew annoyed with him this season. I think part of this reason was that I didn't feel the same flow that I did seeing the whole story play out one episode after another. Now, I have actually grown to like Gunn again, but that's just one example of how you can be affected differently by seeing a show all in one sitting versus it being drawn out.

A downside, I would say, to seeing it all together is it gets hard to differentiate between episodes when you saw them all in a row. There are quite a bunch of episodes of AtS where I still sometimes have trouble remembering which plot was for which episode, a problem I never had on BtVS, watching them all spread out.

Now, I'm not sure which I liked better. There's something cool about a mystery where you're not the only one wondering about what's going on, and there are thousands of other people right there along with you. On the other hand, it was very nice to not have to wait weeks or months after cliffhangers, particularly after killer ones such as after "Sleep Tight"!

(Btw, while I loved Season 2, episodes such as "Lullaby" and "Sleep Tight," "A New World, " and "Tomorrow" left me so swept in the story, so breathless, that I couldn't give any of them anything less than 10s. While there were many brilliant eps in Season 2 (AYNORHEB, The Trial, the Pylea arc to name a few), I didn't feel the "oomph" that the major 3rd season eps gave me.)

But, yeah, to answer your question, it was very weird. You really get a whole different feel for the show week by week as opposed to all at once. Here's another example. I found Cordy/Angel and Fred/Gunn very convincing, seeing the evolution of their relationships play out in a small time. I noticed little things from early seasons that could prefigure a romantic relationship with C/A for example, so I never found it weird when it happened, whereas many posters here who saw the eps as they aired didn't like the relationship and felt thrown for a loop in "Waiting in the Wings". I think when eps are stacked back to back, you notice details flowing from one to the other that may make things more convincing or logical. Sometimes with a week break in between chapters you forget little points, which alter the flow of the story in your mind.

And I just completely rambled. Hope I was at all inteligible or maybe a little interesting. ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Interesting with a side of perceptive, as always! -- Tchaikovsky, 13:50:08 03/28/03 Fri

A couple more thoughts:

It was very weird. For one thing, just the fact that besides spoiler trollops, when I got the fourth season I was watching and learning all the new details on AtS along with everybody else, instead of feeling very behind.
I'm never quite going to get the caught-up feeling, suffering from my Britishness! I have made up for being unable to watch Season Seven by turning myself into a mini-Rufus, (complete with love of cats), and reading all spoilers I can find. Desperately, desperately trying not to do that with Angel Season Four, so I can go on with the Odyssey without a palantir, (OK, any more metaphors for that little mix?)

I know how you must have felt posting your AtS reviews, making predictions about what was going to happen, character analyses, etc., knowing that there are probably tons of people who already know the answers to your questions, and maybe snickering whether you made wrong assumptions!
Yes, exactly! I tried to cut out all but my favourite speculation, and concentrate on the episodes in hand, because I'm diabolical at speculation at the best of times, and snickering is not something that calms me. It even took me a little while to realise that the fact I didn't have the perspective of the future episodes was actually a strength of the Odyssey, because it seemed fresh and startling.

A downside, I would say, to seeing it all together is it gets hard to differentiate between episodes when you saw them all in a row. There are quite a bunch of episodes of AtS where I still sometimes have trouble remembering which plot was for which episode, a problem I never had on BtVS, watching them all spread out.

I had that with Buffy Season Six, which I bought when it came out on video. With the Angel experience, it's been somewhat different. Not only have I been forced myself to slow down by posting reviews before watching more episodes, but also the fact that I made myself meditate on each episode individually, trying to tease out themes and parallels and so on, mean that I have a very clear idea in my mind of what happens where, (possibly even clearer than when I watched Buffy on terrestrial TV pre- my finding of this wonderful board.

I think when eps are stacked back to back, you notice details flowing from one to the other that may make things more convincing or logical. Sometimes with a week break in between chapters you forget little points, which alter the flow of the story in your mind.

I agree totally. I find it much easier to see a link to an episode I watched five or six days ago, even if that span is half a Season, than I do if it's three months.

Ultimately, however objective we can attempt to be, our watchings of the programmes are not only coloured by our personal experiences and so on, as is often discussed here, but also by the shape of our viewing around each episode. If I have a stressful busy day, finish all I need to do and sit down to watch 'Reprise' at 9pm with a bottle of red wine, it's going to be a hit. If I then try to watch 'Epiphany' in my stuffy room the next morning with slight hangover and a feeling I should be revising for 'Combinatorics', it's goign to go down less well. That's one reason I save my ranks until the end of the Season, filtering out some of that irrelevance. But the first impression is often powerful and misleading.

Rambled right back at you!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Awww, go on! -- Rob, 14:31:38 03/28/03 Fri

"It even took me a little while to realise that the fact I didn't have the perspective of the future episodes was actually a strength of the Odyssey, because it seemed fresh and startling."

I agree. They were some of the most entertaining posts ever here! If there were any I didn't respond to, it was just me restraining myself from spilling future events! Btw, how soon till you get to see the fourth season? (See how greedy I am! Wanting you to get to see them just so I can read more Odyssey! I think I'm addicted on that now lol. But honestly, I really can't wait to hear your always unique perspective on some of the goings-on this year.)

"If I have a stressful busy day, finish all I need to do and sit down to watch 'Reprise' at 9pm with a bottle of red wine, it's going to be a hit. If I then try to watch 'Epiphany' in my stuffy room the next morning with slight hangover and a feeling I should be revising for 'Combinatorics', it's goign to go down less well."

LOL! Brilliant! "Reprise" might even deserve two bottles. ;o)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree too! -- Masq, 15:29:15 03/28/03 Fri

"It even took me a little while to realise that the fact I didn't have the perspective of the future episodes was actually a strength of the Odyssey, because it seemed fresh and startling."

Nothing like revisiting old episodes through fresh eyes. I have all the episodes of both shows on tape and DVD and can watch them whenever I want, but after a while, you get kind of numbed to things that really turned you on the first time around.

But as I re-watched episode in anticipation of your Odyssey posts, I felt all those old feelings again. It was great, watching it and thinking, "TCH will just love this part!"

I had a friend who I introduced to BtVS a few years ago. I had a similar experience with her. She's a much more expressive television watcher than I am--I generally don't "Ooo" and "Aaaa" and scream at the television (unless Giles is kissing Joyce, or Connor's doing something really annoying), but she did that and it made it extra fun, reexperiencing it through her perspective.

Later, she turned around and introduced BtVS to another friend of hers. She always thought I was bored rewatching the episodes with her the first time around, but after she watched them with her newbie friend, she called me up and said, "You're right. This is fun!"

[> [> Great reviews; mostly agree -- Tchaikovsky, 01:44:46 03/28/03 Fri

A couple of stream-of-consciousness thoughts:

-I still love Phantom Dennis. It's just due to my very stunted sense of humour, but his name still makes me giggle maniacally.

-Agree on 'This Old Gang Of Mine', and in Minear's reviews of Season Three (in thread at, all hail shadowkat), he himself says that he was disappointed with the episode, which repeated things and had wrong pacing. Nice to see that Minear realises his mistakes, particularly when virtually everything else he's written is stellar.

-I think the Lorne lines in 'Fredless' as advice to Fred are more his problems than genuine advice. Firstly, after attempting to go back and reconcile with his family in the Pylea arc, (against his better judgement), he sees Fred's psituation as entirely parallel. Secondly, he is feeling very shaky about commitment after the shooting up of Caritas, and therefore has a tendency to give advice which favours not trusting other people. And a definite 'Hooray' for the Cordelia/Wesley interpretation of Buffy/Angel. Priceless.

-(And it's now official: public transportation in the Whedonverse is about as safe as a Russian nuclear reactor...)
LOL. There's definitely an essay somewhere about how the Whedonverse is propaganda for the car above public transport. How many times has the car been the way out of a tricky situation, (remember the absolute dread on Xander's face as he see his wrecked car in 'Two To Go'), and yet public transport seems to be more a buffet for the supernatural. Darned sneaky advertising for the American Oil industry I say. What do you mean I'm projecting? It's a disgrace! You can't restrict my freedom of sp-[censored by important American conglomerates]

-Agree that the end of 'Lullaby' is one of the defining moments of the series.

-(Can anybody explain to me how a tree demon managed to get internet service? Just asking.)
Just log in. OK, scurrying away before hurt by various heavy objects being thrown..

-(Docked half-a-point for the awful make-up job on Holtz.)
Before Connor said 'Hi Dad' in 'A New World', I thought it was Sahjhan, the make-up was so strange. Minear again apologises for this in his reviews, but also says that it doesn't matter because of Holtz' (elegantly-named) actor. I tend to agree-- I think he's brought a lot of depth to the character.

-but when the climactic moment of the season turned out to be a brilliantly executed piece of epistolary sabotage, I started to wonder if I hadn't tuned into a Henry James novel by mistake.
I like that kind of weirdness, but that's just me.

Scuba gear being given a dusting as I type...


[> [> [> Lorne's advice to Fred. -- Arethusa, 04:49:56 03/28/03 Fri

When Lorne told Fred she hadn't run far enough, I thought he was saying that she couldn't go back to being what she was before Pylea.

Lorne: "Easy! Easy! Forget the singing, sweetheart. Your aura is practically screaming! - Yeah, you are in a bad place, aren't you doll? - You thought you could outrun them - and maybe you were free. - But those old monsters hunted you down. - I know why you're running away, Fred. You know what your problem is?"

Fred: "I'm not strong enough to stay and face my fear."

Lorne: "No. You haven't run far enough."

Fred walks over to her parents: "Look - I could go home with you and pretend the last five years didn't happen. - I could even pretend to have a normal life. - But the truth of it is... Well, I'm not normal anymore. (Roger and Trish exchange a look) I guess what I'm getting at is... - I-I missed you both so bad. But - I belong here.

She had to reach a new place that was neither staying in Pylea or running home to mom and dad, by accepting what had happened to her and that she would never be the same.

Still, it's an awkward line, whose main purpose seems to be to perpetuate the feeling that Fred's parents are dangerous.

I'm a big fan of Keith Szarabajka. I reccommend his "Golden Years," a limited tv series written by Steven King. It's available on DVD.

[> [> [> [> Quote by psyche -- Arethusa, 04:51:00 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> Extreme Pride and Prejudice -- cjl, 07:31:41 03/28/03 Fri

"I like that kind of weirdness, but that's just me."

I know, I shouldn't be limited by genre expectation. But I can't help it: when it comes to the season's conclusion of a horror/adventure TV series, I want Joss Whedon and David Greenwalt doing Lovecraft and Stoker, not Henry James or Jane Austen. It just Besides, imagine if, 300 pages into "Pride and Prejudice," the reverse happened:

ELIZABETH: Truly, Mr. Darcy, you have no conception of what goes on in a woman's mind.

DARCY: Perhaps my education has been a bit lacking. But there are other problems in the world to consider before I bother with such trivial concerns.


DARCY: Indeed. The pageantry and silly chatter of the parlour is inconsequential when you consider the evil that has arrayed itself just outside our town.

ELIZABETH (stunned): Mr. Darcy, is this some ill-advised attempt at humor?

DARCY: Certainly not. It's quite possible that many a good man will die this night.

ELIZABETH: Is it--is it a marauding band of highwaymen?

DARCY: Uhhh...yes. Precisely.

(Gunn enters in modern dress, carrying his trademark hubcap axe.)

GUNN: Darcy--hey man, we ready?

DARCY: Almost, Charles.

ELIZABETH: Mr. Darcy, who is this person?

DARCY: Ah. My manners. Elizabeth Bennett, Mr. Charles Gunn.

ELIZABETH: How do you do, Mr. Gunn.

[ELIZABETH gracefully extends her hand; GUNN grabs it roughly, and distractedly gives it a vigorous shake. He really doesn't have time for social niceties.]

GUNN: Yeah, how you doin'. [To DARCY] The vamps are hanging back in the meadow, near that open-air concert venue thingie...

DARCY: You mean the gazebo.

GUNN: Whatever. How many guys are on board?

DARCY: About ten. I've been training them for this very night.

ELIZABETH: Training?

[GUNN takes his hubcap axe in both hands, and puts on his game face.]

GUNN: Sundown in fifteen minutes. Time to get this show on the road.

[DARCY pulls a stake out from his inside coat pocket, and poses dramatically. He and GUNN are about to head off to battle, when...]


DARCY: Elizabeth, there's no time....

ELIZABETH: Mr. Gunn--did you...did you say there were vampires in our midst?

[GUNN looks at DARCY. DARCY gives him a nod.]

GUNN: Yeah, that's the situation.

[ELIZABETH ponders that for a moment.]

ELIZABETH: It's as I always suspected. [Pulls a stake out from the folds of her dress.] You are not the only one who's trained for this moment, Mr. Darcy.

DARCY: Elizabeth, it's not a woman's place to...

ELIZABETH: Nonsense. You're going to need all the help you can get.

[DARCY sighs in resignation. GUNN, ELIZABETH, and DARCY head off for a night of vampire slaying. GUNN grins broadly as he looks back and forth between ELIZABETH and DARCY.]

GUNN: Darce, man, I told you this girl was The Bomb. What's your problem with her, anyway?

[> [> [> [> You're evil. I like you. -- Arethusa, 08:07:27 03/28/03 Fri

But now I want to see Rochester stake Blanche and St. John Rivers go to Africa to get a soul.

[> [> [> [> [> The problem with the Brontes..... -- cjl, 11:51:19 03/28/03 Fri

The ME cast of characters would fit in a little TOO easily...


SPIKE as Heathcliff
BUFFY as Catherine Earnshaw
WESLEY as Edgar Linton
HARMONY as Isabella

[> [> [> [> [> [> Hmmm. -- Arethusa, 12:23:10 03/28/03 Fri

How about Angel and Cordelia as Heathcliff and Cathy? [Once I start doing this, I can't stop. I'm utterly addicted. ;)]

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Good either way. But I kind of saw Angel as the Rochester type. -- cjl, 12:27:44 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> He'll just have to do both. -- Arethusa, 12:34:48 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> LOL! -- ponygirl, 08:37:40 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> Now that's a 19th Century novel I'd read -- Tchaikovsky, 12:55:52 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Actually fresne did an amazing BtVS P&P -- ponygirl, 14:09:24 03/28/03 Fri

The link to her site is in the archives:

I still can't figure out how to make a fancy link. Sigh.

Agonising attack of obsessive compulsive disorder... -- KdS, 09:26:57 03/26/03 Wed

OK, I really don't want to insult any of the several people on the board who seem to be confused about this issue, but when I keep seeing such things it's almost physically painful to me. If you feel attacked by this post, dismiss it as the ravings of a crazed obsessive.

Lose: verb meaning "to no longer have possession of something, to no longer be able to find something"

Loose: adjective meaning "opposite of tight". May be occasionally used poetically as a verb meaning "to let go of", but not usual in regular English.

[> THANK YOU! -- HonorH, 10:36:56 03/26/03 Wed

It makes me twitch, and *everyone* seems to be doing it nowadays. Repeat this mantra, people:

You lose a loose tooth.

We all good on this now?

[> [> Resource -- Gyrus, 11:54:35 03/26/03 Wed

Here's a site that lists some of the more common errors like these (which are becoming increasingly frequent in this age of automated spell-checkers):

[> Ditto on the thank you -- Cheryl, 14:51:30 03/26/03 Wed

That's something that has bothered me a lot lately, too. It just jumps out at me every time.

[> [> Thank *you* all -- KdS, 15:00:53 03/26/03 Wed

I was convinced I was going to get flamed!

[> [> second that ditto! -- anom, 22:23:29 03/26/03 Wed

[> Also thanking you -- LadyStarlight, 19:18:34 03/26/03 Wed

And adding my own two personal 'things that make me go gahhh!':

lit/lighted - I know that lighted is technically correct, but it makes me feel like someone's drawing their fingernails down a blackboard every time I see it

peek/peak - Mountain peak; you peek around a corner

[> [> Don't forget -- Veronica, 20:34:18 03/26/03 Wed

Site and Sight.

Thanks for the link to the Blue Quill. I am preparing a series of "business lesson of the day" emails for a group at the office, and I will include many of these.

Any others?

(who's sick of hearing them say weary when they mean wary)

[> [> [> not only that -- anom, 22:33:35 03/26/03 Wed

"Site and Sight."

And "cite"! That one means to quote or make reference to. "Site" means to locate or to set something's location, as well as the location itself.

[> [> [> [> Adding to the list. -- Darby., 07:26:59 03/27/03 Thu

I could add another whole list, but I'll stick with one thing: what U.S. administration decided to lift the embargo on British grammar?

For about a decade now, I've watched the spread of the British rules for quotation marks (even on the main ATPo site!). I'm wondering if we shouldn't just change our rules and be done with it.

For anyone who's curious - and I should face it, the only folks still reading this thread already know the rules, but anyway - punctuation at the end of a quote goes inside the close quote, unless having it inside materially changes the tone / meaning of the quote. Commas and periods virtually always go inside; exclamation marks and question marks go outside if the original wasn't that kind of statement (is statement the right word there?); major phrasing breaks, like semi-colons, generally go outside.

- Darby, who in graduate school only argued with my major professor when we discussed grammar in my papers.

[> [> [> [> [> British vs. American punctuation rules -- Gyrus, 15:52:07 03/27/03 Thu

For about a decade now, I've watched the spread of the British rules for quotation marks (even on the main ATPo site!). I'm wondering if we shouldn't just change our rules and be done with it.

The British rules, IMO, are much more logical. I'm an American, but I still use the British system whenever I can get away with it.

I read somewhere that the American rules are different only because, in the era when American English began to diverge from its parent dialect, printing presses couldn't easily put a comma or period to the right of a quotation mark. (I'm not sure why.)

Anyone know the details? Or is this just a grammatical urban legend?

[> [> [> [> [> [> printing punctuation -- anom, 21:55:57 03/27/03 Thu

"I read somewhere that the American rules are different only because, in the era when American English began to diverge from its parent dialect, printing presses couldn't easily put a comma or period to the right of a quotation mark. (I'm not sure why.)"

I've read that in the days of hot-metal type, those tiny punctuation marks tended to break off if they were set outside the quotes. Don't know if it's true or an urban legend. How that accounts for the difference btwn. U.S. & U.K. typesetting I don't know.

[> [> [> [> [> I'm a little confused. -- Rob, 16:33:42 03/29/03 Sat

If it's not too much trouble, can you write out two versions of the same sentence, one in the British style of punctuation and one with the American so I can see the difference?


[> [> Don't forget the other one -- Peanut, 16:01:42 03/27/03 Thu

peek/peak - Mountain peak; you peek around a corner

Whereas your interest is piqued.

Another one I see horribly misused is people going around "wailing" on each other. Cripes. You wail and gnash teeth, but Buffy whales on demons.

[> [> [> yes--*thank you*! -- anom, 21:57:21 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> And you pique someone's interest -- Vickie, 12:42:52 03/28/03 Fri

[> My-- picky aren't we? OK, here's mine... ;-) -- OnM, 20:57:09 03/26/03 Wed

Phase as opposed to faze.

"He is just going through a phase."

Or (in the electronic usage) "The balanced line operates on a phase-inversion principle."

As opposed to "The staggering 42-page length of the Combined Evil's post did not even slightly faze the First Virtue's intrepid printer."

Now, I have a question for ya'all-- Which is the correct usage:

"There is a period at the end of this sentence."

"There is a period at the end of this sentence".

"And what", he said, "if there's a comma there? Or a question mark?"

[> [> Oh, me, me! -- Arethusa, waving her arm in the air., 21:35:22 03/26/03 Wed

The punctuation goes inside the quotation marks, unless you are asking a question about a quote that is not a question. For example: Who said, "Love makes you do the wacky"?

I've read the British do the opposite, but don't know for sure.

I sure hope the incorrect and promiscuous use of hyphens doesn't bother people-I use them all the time to indicate run-on thoughts.

[> [> [> Quite right, but... -- Random, 21:53:08 03/26/03 Wed

I loathe that rule in most cases, and having a higher degree in English gives me the confidence to ignore it. The period, exclamation mark and question marks are all terminal marks. That means they terminate the sentence. If you put anything after them, it won't be part of the sentence. Hence: "The doctor," he said, "will be here shortly". I'm willing to let that slide, though. But I almost never tolerate the period inside parentheses. I will write: He came to the show and saw his doctor (though the doctor didn't see him). It's against the standard rules, but who cares! It makes more sense. (OnM, another rule...the placement of commas: And what," he said, "if there's a comma there? Or a question mark?" In America, at least, the first comma goes inside the quotation marks. Logical? Dunno.)

[> [> [> [> Re: Quite right, but... -- Arethusa, 22:30:58 03/26/03 Wed

The period is always outside the parenthesis, unless the entire sentence is in parenthesis. Ex:

Buffy was ready to sacrifice her life in "The Gift" (but did not have to do so). (Dawn was ready also.)

I think the use of a comma before the quotation mark in a split quotation is logical, since it represents a pause.

[> [> [> [> Re: Quite right, but... -- anom, 23:38:42 03/26/03 Wed

Hokay, here's how it goes. In the U.S., commas & periods go inside the quotation marks. All other punctuation marks--semicolons, colons, dashes, question marks, exclamation points--go outside the quote marks unless they're part of the quote. In the U.K., all closing punctuation marks, incl. commas & periods, go outside the quotation marks unless they're part of the quote. In other English-speaking countries, I don't know how it's done--can anyone weigh in?

On parentheses, Arethusa's right. Your example is correct: "He came to the show and saw his doctor (though the doctor didn't see him). It's against the standard rules, but who cares!"

No, it's not against the standard rules. That's exactly what the rules say for a phrase in parentheses within a sentence. On the other hand, you apparently do tolerate the period inside the parentheses in some cases: "...inside the quotation marks. Logical? Dunno.)" And you're correct there too, because the entire sentence is (or rather, sentences are) inside the parens.

[> [> [> [> [> Oh lord... -- Random, 05:03:45 03/27/03 Thu

How late was I up when I posted? Sigh...

[> [> [> Hyphens, dashes, and ellipses -- HonorH, 00:20:49 03/27/03 Thu

Hyphens are strictly for hyphenated words/names, like Wesley Wyndam-Pryce. If you want to set a parenthetical statement aside in the middle of a sentence--like this, for example--a dash is needed. To wit, a hyphen is one little horizontal mark, and a dash is two. However, dashes, like ellipses (. . .) should be used only sparingly.

Lit majors *rock*!

[> [> [> [> or just use commas! -- Helen, 02:54:20 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> I only go so far -- Rahael, 03:27:54 03/27/03 Thu

The lose/loose, their/there thing is kind of an obstacle to appreciation and enjoyment because it jerks you out and you have to mentally correct it.

However, I'm one of those people who think that such things should be the slave and not the master to communication.

I think this poem certainly might qualify for overuse of hyphens:

After dark vapours have oppress'd our plains
For a long dreary season, comes a day
Born of the gentle South, and clears away
From the sick heavens all unseemly stains.
The anxious month, relieved of all its pains,
Takes as a long-lost right the feel of May;
The eyelids with the passing coolness play
Like rose leaves with the drip of Summer rains.
The calmest thoughts come round us; as of leaves
Budding - fruit ripening in stillness - Autumn suns
Smiling at eve upon the quiet sheaves -
Sweet Sappho's cheek - a smiling infant's breath -
The gradual sand through an hour-glass runs -
A woodland rivulet - a Poet's death.

John Keats

Or maybe I'm just saying that because I love nesting my parentheses and over-using hyphens in informal writing. And I am the person who once ended a long and eloquent answer to a tutor with 'and stuff'. The grammatically challenged need have no fear of arousing my ire!

[> [> [> [> [> It's only in informal writing that I let myself be so dashing. -- Arethusa, 04:05:48 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Me, too. (And parenthetical!) -- dream, 08:35:20 03/27/03 Thu

I can forgive all sorts of funky punctuation on-line, because the formality level of the writing seems to be somewhere just above a note posted on the fridge. Run-on sentences don't bother me, or fragments, or overuse of dashes and parenthesis. The loose/lose, you're/your, they're/there/their, try AND instead of try TO, would OF instead of would HAVE issues are something else entirely. Every time I see these things, I have to stop and mentally rewrite the sentence. Very distracting. Of coure, I always think of Tara, and that helps.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> You should try and resign yourself... -- Darby, 13:55:25 03/27/03 Thu

It drives me crazy, too, but the "try and" folks have just gotten too widespread - I fear the rules are on their way to changing.

And hey, is anyone else here addicted to

[> [> [> [> Re: Hyphens, dashes, and ellipses -- Darby, 07:36:41 03/27/03 Thu

Just from a visual aesthetic, my dashes are space-hyphen-space. I think that writers, like abstract artists, are allowed to break the rules for intent (but feel that they have to know the rules to break them properly).

And I can't live here without ellipses! I do, however, use them sparingly when doing "real" writing...

Again, the end of that last sentence reads slightly differently than if it just had a period on it.

[> [> [> [> [> hyphens & dashes & how they get switched -- anom, 22:57:55 03/27/03 Thu

I prefer to use 2 hyphens (w/no space before or after) as a dash. Lately I've often seen a single hyphen where a dash belongs. I think it happens when people write their posts in Word--& maybe other word-processing programs--which converts 2 consecutive hyphens to a long dash (called an em dash), unless you tell it not to. When the copy is pasted into a window like this one, or into email, the em dash registers it as a hyphen. This leads to some very strange pseudo-compounds (e.g., you would've seen "programs-which" above).

If you have to use a single hyphen as a dash, pleeeaassse put spaces before & after it!

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Hyphens, dashes, and ellipses -- Millan, 03:17:54 03/28/03 Fri

This is great reading!

I'm a nit-pick myself, but wouldn't presume to tell people here how to do things, not having English as a first language.

But when on the subject of ellipses and at the same time talking about spaces and hyphens I have to tell you about my pet peeve at work.
I have a couple of collegues that uses space-ellips-space, which irritates me immensly.
I also know a person who at the end of sentences with question-marks and exclamation-marks makes a space between the last word and the mark. Like this !
Very annoying.

A general thank you for all information about rules for punctuation and so on. I realize that in those things as well as in other areas I probably use a mix between British and U.S. rules which annoys me quite a bit. :)


"Well, it doesn't matter anyway. I mean, when in the real world am I ever gonna need chemistry or history or math or the English language?"
- Buffy, Becoming, 1

[> [> [> That's what I get for posting before reading the whole thread... -- Darby, 07:29:46 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> Agree completely on the misuse of 'phase' and 'faze' -- Dariel, 07:25:02 03/27/03 Thu

I can forgive a lot, but this one makes me berserk. Fanfic writers are big offenders on this one. Perhaps it's just a phase, and someday I will remain unfazed by this misuse?

[> [> Speaking of picky -- Vickie, 16:20:28 03/28/03 Fri

If that is several, combined Evils to whom you are referring, it would be Evils' post.

I'll go now, before *I* make a booboo and get called on it.

[> ooh! My turn - 'there', 'their', 'they're'. Sort it out people! -- Helen (OCD fellow sufferer), 01:23:01 03/27/03 Thu

[> Come now -- Cactus Watcher, 09:28:32 03/27/03 Thu

People are getting a tad over zealous, here. There is nothing wrong with helping people with their grammar, but this isn't the Cathedral of the Sainted English Language. This is an informal forum, isn't it? People are going to make mistakes. Some, like me, more than others.

I do know all these things. I successfully wrote a Master's thesis and a dissertation after all. I'm a very good 'spelling-bee' speller. But, because of my dyslexia, I have almost no awareness of the difference between 'their', 'there', and 'they're' or 'its' and 'it's' in written context. Some times it's worse than that. Good heavens, I wrote 'proclude' in a post the other day. Having errors pointed out to me is a waste time and people here been very generous about it to me. Unfortunately, now and then, they aren't as generous to others with similar, but far less marked problems. We have people with vision problems here. And yes, we have a few people with grammar problems here. But, frankly, I think if you can understand what the person is trying to say, getting upset with their grammatical and typographic foibles is a little silly. Didn't anyone learn anything from the problems Etrangere had getting anything of hers read here?

In short, I think KdS' original post was appropriate. But perhaps some of the piling-on here ought to be beneath us.

[> [> Don't worry. We're just airing our Buttons. -- HonorH, 10:45:00 03/27/03 Thu

I'd *never* criticize someone's grammar in their post. Not unless they were asking for feedback on their English skills, of course. We're just having a discussion amongst anal-retentive English-type people, not criticizing anyone particularly. Feel free to ignore.

[> [> [> buttons? did you say... -- anom, 17:24:41 03/29/03 Sat

...buttons? I have 2 that are directly relevant, pinned to a cloth on the door of my home office, along w/other editing/proofreading-related ones.

Quote them? Why, of course--glad you asked: "There's a typo in this sentence, but it slides away when your eyes move toward it" & "Which is correct, typos or typoes? They're both wrong."

[> [> Coming... -- Veronica, 10:47:54 03/27/03 Thu

I hope no one thought I was talking about specific errors I've seen in posts here. I thought we were all having a bit of an off-topic laugh about the things we obsessives notice with regards to grammar. I piled on only because we were specifically not responding to anyone's particular posting on another subject. In fact, I was mostly thinking about the silly sales people I work with (where grammar and spelling really do count).


[> [> Not wanting to criticize posters at all, CW. -- Arethusa, 11:11:16 03/27/03 Thu

I was an English eduction major and for me it's just fun to discuss grammar. I make mistakes all the time; almost every one of my posts has at least one missing letter, misspelled word or misplaced punctuation mark.

[> [> from beneath us bandwidth is devoured -- lunasea, 17:03:02 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> BTW, anyone know the Spanish for: *It eats your bandwidth, starting with your modem* ? -- OnM, 19:13:52 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> but there's 1 thing everyone on *this* board should get right -- anom, 23:14:31 03/27/03 Thu

"Joss." Not "Josh." With a double "s." "SS," not "SH"! There, now I feel better. A little.

Oh, and (what, you thought I was gonna leave it at that?):

"But, frankly, I think if you can understand what the person is trying to say, getting upset with their grammatical and typographic foibles is a little silly."

The problem comes when these mixups make it hard to understand what the person is trying to say, & it can happen when the wrong word that sounds like the right one but is spelled differently is used. Of course, now that I need an example, I can't think of one, but there've been plenty of times I've had to go back & disentangle the sentence to figure out what word that was supposed to be, 'cause it didn't make sense the way it was spelled.

[> [> [> I've even wrtten Josh by accident. Sigh -- CW, 06:36:49 03/28/03 Fri

I'd like to say the misunderstandings are rare, but I don't know. I'm kind of a special case. I apparently don't exactly read like everyone else, although the result is much the same. I have far less trouble reading than I do with writing strange things that I can't weed out later in proofreading, because I know exactly what I wanted to say and can't see it. It's only once in a great while that my subconsious guess-work fails, and I have to read somebody else's text over and over to figure out what I guessed wrong. I have trouble seeing other peoples' spelling mistakes in context, unless there are lots of them in the same text (or related texts, as in grading student's papers). But, when we're not talking about homophones, I can usually see grammatical/lexical mistakes others have made the first time through. I cannot see my own.

I can't think of one, but there've been plenty of times I've had to go back & disentangle the sentence to figure out what word that was supposed to be, 'cause it didn't make sense the way it was spelled.

If I remeber correctly, you're proofreading as a job. That's a different matter, and a lot more serious one than anything that happens here. I don't want to belittle the problems you face at work. I do exactly what you said you occaisionly have to do, except 9 times out of ten it's because I've guessed the meaning of a word wrong while reading not because the person writing made a mistake. And yes, I do sometimes subconsciously guess the intrepretation the writer wanted, never noticing a word is wrong in the text. I couldn't do your job.


[> [> [> [> Goss! You spelled Josh's name wrong? -- Random, 12:18:38 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> [> [> nope, i meant here too -- anom, 15:17:40 03/28/03 Fri

"'re proofreading as a job. That's a different matter, and a lot more serious one than anything that happens here."

It happens on the board too. But here I can't charge for the time it takes to figure it out! Even here, when I see "Josh," my 1st reaction is "Josh who?" before I realize the poster means Joss.

"I couldn't do your job."

Well, I'm sure I couldn't do yours either. Wait--you're retired! I could do that!...if I could afford it....

[> [> [> Surely you're joshing! No one here would do that, would they? -- LittleBit, 10:09:53 03/29/03 Sat

[> 'Oh, piffle' or 'Oh, pish!'? Which do I use here? -- LittleBit, 12:35:43 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> That's an excellent point, Bit, but I think, 'Oh bosh!' is traditionally preferred -- Random, 12:37:58 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> 'Pish-tosh' is also considered correct in these situations. -- HonorH, 12:43:20 03/27/03 Thu

Though failing that, "Bugger this!" always works.

[> [> [> [> 'Pish-tosh'? English teachers always said that 'Pish-posh' was preferred in formal writing -- Random, 12:57:07 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Of course it is, but the board is *informal*. Thus, 'pish-tosh' is correct. -- HonorH, 13:55:02 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> [> Bowing to HonorH's wisdom. Good point. -- Random, 15:19:05 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> Also, 'Oh, bother!' is correct, but not just 'Bother!' -- HonorH, 13:57:47 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> Re: At present, I am posting, but presently, I will be reading my post -- Brian, 14:32:32 03/27/03 Thu

[> Ever heard of a mute point? -- Sara, who was struck moot on seeing it, 16:13:58 03/27/03 Thu

[> [> Oh hush,'s a moot point now :--} -- Random, 12:12:07 03/28/03 Fri

[> A (thankfully) short story -- d'Herblay, 09:13:36 03/28/03 Fri

After Rah told me about this post, I knew I wanted to tell a story, but didn't think I'd have the time. Luckily, if there's anything that can perservere against Voy, it's discussions of spelling and grammar! Anyway, back when I was taking Logic & Rhetoric (my University's version of Freshman Comp; I used to call it "almost a completely trivial course"), we had an assignment to write a paper comparing the dictionary definition of a word to its colloquial usage. Logic & Rhetoric was taught to eight-student sections, so you pretty much had a 12.5% chance of having your paper critiqued the next class. For the paper in question, we critiqued the essay of a young woman who had written about the different meanings of loser ("someone who loses things" vs. "schlub," I guess). After she finished the reading, our instructor opened the floor to comments. The rest of the students were quiet, but I sheepishly raised my hand. "I usually don't like to point out niggling little spelling errors," I lied, "but you've consistently spelled 'loser' L-O-O-S-E-R throughout this paper and I think it affects the meaning somehow." I just hope I didn't make her feel too much like a loser.

(By the way, can anyone tell me why Swiss keyboards have the Y where I expect the Z and the Z where I expect the Y? I'm not expecting a deeper insight into their culture or anything; it's just reallz annozing.)

[> [> Hey!! You have internet access! -- Rahael, 09:34:24 03/28/03 Fri

[> [> On Teutonic kezboards -- Tchaikovsky, 12:49:34 03/28/03 Fri

With a little help from my Austrian co-tenant:

In German words with z in are much more common than words with y. While we have soft words like 'pretty' and 'lovely' and 'daffo-down-dilly', they have 'zusammen' und 'zahlen' und 'Liebnitz'. If you look at the English/American version of the keyboard, the 'z' key is tucked away under your left hand, where it requires effort to move, (similar story with the unpopular 'x'). Meanwhile, our unofficial sixth vowel 'y' is in the middle. This, being inconvenient for the buzzing Germans, is inverted.

It wound me up too, when I tried to write on Konrad's keyboard.

TCH- wondering if this demonstrates aptly that no matter how esoteric your question, Voy people have the answer.

[> [> French keyboards are the worst! -- Caroline, 13:40:52 03/28/03 Fri

I used to go to Paris regularly for meetings and discovered that in France they do not use the 'qwerty' keyboard used in English-speaking countries, instead they use the 'azerty' keyboard. Among other horrors, the q and a keys have been reversed. Why????? I started lugging laptops instead of using hotel or the OECD's computers.

[> [> [> If I can picture it correctly... -- CW, 12:18:20 03/29/03 Sat

Russian keyboards generally correspond to "fivapro" where qwerty has "asdfghj" which is a least so different that one is not likely to be tripped up over just one or two letters in transferring sounds from Latin to Cyrillic letters.

[> [> [> [> Hijack! Has any country seriously adopted the Dvorak keyboard? -- OnM, 16:31:08 03/29/03 Sat

Or is that one pretty much gone forever?

[> 'Her and me went to work' -- aarrgghhh! -- Lilac, 13:02:36 03/28/03 Fri

[> Commas between subjects and predicates for no reason -- oboemaboe, 14:39:11 03/28/03 Fri

I see this all the time. It seems more common when the subject contains a relative phrase, especially one that ends in a verb. Can't put two verbs in a row! Must separate them somehow!

The man who went to the store, bought a loaf of bread.
People who jog, live longer.
The president and his advisors, discussed the issue.
Cats, are my favorite pet.

Willam/Spike - the construction of persona and identity(spoilers to LMPTM, long) -- Caroline, 09:38:51 03/26/03 Wed

LPMTM has given us much juicy backstory about Spike, particularly the relationship with his mother which I have always felt that I needed before doing a decent analysis of his character. Thanks, ME! This post is also the other half of my previous posts on Buffy in S6 and Mother's Milk is Red Today. I think that in previous posts I have shown why Spike has been important for Buffy's journey in S6 and S7 - in varying ways. I'm trying to show here why Buffy is so important to him and why they are so intimately psychologically linked. (Hope you enjoy, dub!)

Mothers and Son

We see in LMPTM that Wood is manifesting an Oedipal struggle in his attempt to kill Spike. Spike may not be Wood's father but he was the man responsible for taking away his mother and Wood needs vengeance for that early wound. Some posters have mentioned in the past that Spike/William, too, is suffering from an Oedipal conflict and still has 'mother issues'. I agree that he has issues concerning maternal/erotic figures but they are not Oedipal. Spike is stuck in a pre-Oedipal stage. In the first year of life, the newborn experiences the world as a part of himself - everything in his world is him and he cannot distinguish between self and other. He is intimately bound to the body of the mother from which he came - and bound to the breast that provides all sources of nourishment - physical and emotional. At around 5-6 months of age, the child realizes that mother is not all, an 'I' and a 'You' or a 'me' and a 'not me' being to emerge. But the mother is in charge of care and nourishment, she means the difference between life and death. The way that the child resolves this dilemma (and contain the rage he feels at the power of mother to give life/death) is to split the image of the mother into two - good and bad and try to court the good mother or impress her, so that she will want to remain in that blissful, undifferentiated mother/child symbiosis that the child thinks is so necessary for survival (some of you will recognize the influence of Kleinian envy here). Witness William entertaining his mother with poetry etc in LMPTM. I think that this is the stage where William is with his mother. He wants a blissful, undifferentiated union with her and he must do this by impressing the good mother and keeping the destructive, dark mothering abeyance. There is no rival for her affections, no-one else to challenge his role as the child to his mother's sun but he still has to make sure that she does not neglect or reject him.

Moreover, William's mother is a widow (I assume) and an invalid - two wounds that cause her pain and suffering and perhaps a sense of powerlessness. It is possible that she was very needy emotionally and, in the absence of a husband, she may create, with her son, the divine child who will save her, who will redeem her pain and suffering, who will live the life that she cannot live. Beneath the sweetness and resignation lie anger, rage and resentment about her condition that unconsciously binds the child to her. The child must become the white knight, he must save the mother, he must fulfill the desires that she cannot. That is a large burden to put upon a child and it is no wonder that William remained so tied to the apron-springs because he was never allowed to cut them.

William's erotic love for Cecily is expression of the maternal pattern. He tries to impress her with his poetry and when that rather obviously fails, he tries to impress he with his character, that he is a good man. When this doesn't work, when he comes up lacking and rejected (even without an obvious rival), he has been rejected by the dark mother, the mother who has the power to take away life, to destroy. It could quite possibly be the first experience of rejection he has had, the first quarrel in a relationship where afterwards nothing is ever the same. He immediately falls into the arms of another mother, one who seduces him into believing that she thinks he is the beautiful, wanted, loved child. She is already impressed with him. Drusilla tells in him in FFL that "I've seen you. A man surrounded by fools who cannot see his strength. His vision. His glory....Your wealth lies here (touching his heart) And here (touches his head) In the spirit and imagination. You walk in worlds the others can't begin to imagine". Drusilla destroys the rejected, unloved William and creates the newborn vampire, who is loved, who wants something glistening and effulgent. The fusion broken with the rejection by Cecily is recreated with Drusilla and William's siring.

William has Drusilla but there is still the primary link and bond that he has with his mother. In a rather funny scene, William actually thinks that he can sire Mum and that he, Dru and Mum can have a wonderful time going about together and having loads of fun. This is the gleeful, innocent child, aching to save the mother from her suffering, aching to share the fun of a newfound world, with no consciousness of the inappropriateness of this behaviour in an erotic, sexual sense because that is not the kind of union he has with his mother. He seeks the bliss of the womb, where two hearts beat as one. He doesn't realize that one must separate from mother. When Spike sires his mother, he unknowingly creates the devouring mother, the mother who rejects and destroys her offspring. Mum wanted to be rid of him as soon as he 'slithered' out of her. She had to listen to his awful poetry and doesn't thank him for the siring. The loving mother fell away, leaving the anger and resentment of a woman who was in pain and suffering for years, the mother that hated her child, the mother who sought to destroy and devalue the dependent child. Spike experienced both mothers and is devastated by his destruction of her love for him and his creation of her hatred of him.

Out of horror at the monster he has created, the destructive, rejecting mother (not the charming, fun, healthy, 'glowing' companion for the opera) William stakes her. The impact upon him is lasting - he is moved to a desire to save the loving mother and wipe out the destructive mother in an endless effort to heal this wound. Additionally, he is particularly attracted to women who are wounded, who need rescue in some way, because they represent the wound within him and, in that way, he is also saving the good mother within himself.

William creates the persona of Spike directly in response to this maternal experience. It is the mask that he uses to mediate that experience. Spike reminds me here of the Greek god Ares, (Mars to the Romans), son of Hera. He has no father, rather he springs parthenogenically from Hera. Ares is born in vengeance - Hera's husband Zeus has just produced Athena parthenogenically - in direct insult to the domain of childbirth over which Hera presides. Ares does not spring from a male, therefore he does not spring from the masculine principle of logos, from the spiritual or intellectual part of the masculine force. So while Ares is male, he is angry, stupid, clumsy, he has the bloodlust of battle in his head. (This appears similar to the Berserker but I know little of Norse and Teutonic myth). Ares is tamed by Aphrodite, which means that he responds to desire, pleasure and eroticism. Ares is a very raw principle, a male god with a very feminine force within, who can be tamed by the more pleasurable aspects of the feminine energy. He is really an ungoverned child, given to extremes, reveling in his strength, satiated by pleasure. Many of these aspects apply to Spike. The Spike persona is without a father, he is the apple of his mother's (Drusilla's) eye, he is created out of vengeance and rejection (of his biological mother) and he must redeem that pain and suffering in some way. He has a great deal of bloodlust in battle, his fighting style is less than circumspect, he revels in battles where the odds of winning are not necessarily in his favour, he likes having his back to the wall and the unpredictability of outcome.

Spike and the Slayers

Spike is on a mission to redeem his wound - to save the loving mother/feminine and destroy the dark mother/feminine. For a vampire, there's nothing darker than a slayer. As soon as Spike finds out what a slayer is, that vampires are her prey, he makes it a life mission to kill them, drawing the ire of the more experienced vampires around. For Spike, every slayer he kills also means that he kills the devouring mother, the woman who rejected him and his poetry. Spike projects the good mother onto erotic figures like Drusilla, where he exhibits all the tender care and devotion he gave to his good mother. But he introjects the dark mother deep within his psyche, repressing it and killing its manifestations in the external world - the slayer. He kills the Chinese slayer in the Boxer Rebellion and Nikki in New York. The Chinese Slayer mentions her mother just before Spike kills her, we now learn that Nikki was a mother herself and that Spike prolonged their 'dance' because he enjoyed it so much. He takes her coat as symbolic of the triumph over the dark mother. In killing the slayers, what Spike really wanted was to reconcile the loving and rejecting mother duality, and in that moment of the death of his victim, the pain of the rejection is gone and the ecstasy of union is created. At the moment of death, there is no dichotomy, no pain of rejection and humiliation, no feeling of inferiority, no feeling of not being good enough and that's why Spike needed the dance. In killing the slayers, he is destroying the bad mother, the one who can destroy him and uniting with the good mother. It's even more fitting that the slayers wish to die - he doesn't have to feel the guilt of wanting to kill his own dark mother.

Spike and Buffy

We know from FFL that Drusilla rejected Spike because of his obsession with Buffy, his attraction to her. Spike seems unable to kill Buffy despite several opportunities. The Gem of Amarra was brief hope that the less-than-circumspect part of Spike completely fouled that up and the chip completed his inability to kill her. Given that Spike has a well-established obsession with slayers, his inability to kill her would make him extremely frustrated - he cannot kill the destructive mother, he cannot redeem his wound. But once he is chipped, Buffy does not try to kill him and even helps rescue him from the Initiative. In S4, Spike does some rather good deeds for the SG, mixed in with some rather bad ones but he is gradually becoming more integrated into their dynamic (I think that the essays on Spike as trickster are really appropriate her to this season and his actions in season 4 really fit with the behaviour of Hermes/Mercury, the trickster god of Greek and Roman myth). He continues the bonding in S5 that he began with Buffy's mother in S2 and S3 (remember Lover's Walk?), with Joyce representing the good mother, who made him nice cups of hot chocolate and listened to his relationship problems and was generally sympathetic. Buffy is no longer a threat to his physical existence, he no longer can dance the dance of death with her, that desire is transmuted to a dance of life and creation. Buffy, initially bearing the projection of the dark mother like all slayers, now bears the projection of the opposite - a loving, erotic, sexual feminine, triggering Spike's dream at the end of OOMM, bringing to his consciousness his current feelings for Buffy and how opposite his feelings towards her are from those he should have.

The feelings Spike has for Buffy lead him to assist Buffy in the fight against Glory and he protects Dawn even after Buffy has died. When Buffy is resurrected, he becomes he good friend, the 'only person I can even stand to be with' (Life Serial). Spike makes no overtly sexual advances to her in the early part of S6, he is the guy who is there for her, demanding nothing of her, not even that she lightens up her depression. He is understanding, caring, compassionate and lets her do whatever she wishes. This is Spike as the chivalrous romantic, the man who will do anything for his ladylove to save her. Buffy is the one who shows some awareness or acknowledgment of sexual feelings between them when she misinterprets several of Spike's conversations with her in a rather sexual way - 'rough and tumble', 'pump me for information' etc.

By OMWF, Spike is sick of playing Enki's mourner, sacrificing his own feelings and needs for Buffy's and he spills out his feelings and why he thinks Buffy is denying hers. When he finds out that he can hurt Buffy, he is determined to have some kind of confrontation with her, to dance with her. It ends up in building-destroying sex and a secret sexual partnership that they both thoroughly enjoy on a physical level. They enter a relationship plagued by mixed signals, miscommunication, self-deceit and extreme self-judgement. I've already explored Buffy's side of this relationship in previous posts - her journey to the underworld and how Spike played Hades to her Persephone, trying to seduce her into the darkness. But I'd like to focus on Spike. He is initially made very emotionally cocky by Buffy's strong physical desire for him. It turns him into 'rocksbackSpike', who lectures her in Wrecked that she should be nicer to him or he'll bite her. The yes/no duality that their relationship is built on continues until Dead Things, where Spike reveals that, as usual, he has both good and bad instincts. He cannot fathom why protecting Buffy from the consequences of confessing to Katrina's death is so wrong, but he is willing to allow Buffy to use him as her punching bag in order to work out some of her own judgements about herself - that she came back wrong, that there's nothing good or clean in her. Even after Buffy ends things their physical relationship, he's willing to hold out for crumbs from her ('not really complaining' in AYW).

Buffy ends their fusion and Spike is lost and confused. In another time, he may have tried to destroy the rejecting dark feminine as he killed his mother and the previous slayers but now he cannot because Buffy also bears of the projection of his good mother so he wants to unite with her to rekindle the union they had (in HB, he tells her that she 'glows'). The rape attempt in SR is the act of the child who wants to regain the blissful union with the good mother in a desperate violent way, using any means necessary because the pain of rejection is too great (some or you may be familiar with this view from Klein's paranoid-schizoid position). It is the parallel to Spike's siring of his mother. Upon Buffy's rejection, Spike realizes that he has introjected the darkness within himself and is horrified at his behaviour - and this is extremely significant. With this, Spike finally develops an ego (rather than a persona or mask) that can contain both the positive and negative feelings towards Buffy and women in general without having to kill to resolve the psychic pain and dilemma (contrast this with OMWF - he can't decide whether to save/kill her). He sees that Buffy is both the destructive and the creative feminine - she has the capacity to care about him but still set a boundary in terms of her relationship with him. Mother/Buffy does not wish to devour him. She contains those feelings, allowing him to contain the destructive feelings that he has within. For the first time in his entire vamped life, he unites the some of the good and dark facets of the mother within himself and realizes the effects this has on his relationships. The formation of an ego that allows both positive and negative feelings to be contained rather than compulsively acted out is an important stage in Spike's development - he is moving away from relating to others as a child to an adult. He goes on a mission to complete this growth by winning his soul. Siring his mother led to the creation of the Spike persona, the attempted rape of Buffy actually led to Spike's journey to redeem the past, not repress it.

The Herculean trials that Spike undergoes are a testament to his psychological development but there are more trials with the acquisition of a soul, which appears in the Whedonverse to have a similar function to the superego - that of a conscience. And Spike now must pay for the acts committed as a vampire/child, thus his suffering in the early part of S7. Just because Spike has finally developed on ego does not mean that he is psychologically integrated and complete. It just means that now he is able to take a step back from his compulsive behaviour and explore its underpinnings in the unconscious. He needs to bring to consciousness the dynamics of his internal split of feminine energy from all those years ago. The unconsciousness of that split is what allows the FE (perhaps also a manifestation of the introjected and repressed dark feminine energy within Spike?) to control him with the song his mother used to sing to him. The song represents the love of the good mother that Spike sired and the guilt of that siring in terms of the total destruction of the good mother. It also represents the dark mother that Spike killed and introjected. The song gains its power because Spike has the dark mother deep inside in a hidden place and only when his ego shines the light of consciousness onto that dark and hidden place and he understands why he was so unconsciously and compulsively controlled by the FE. But no more.

What does all this mean for Spike? I don't think he's going to become a choir boy. He has moved beyond William, beyond the Spike/Ares persona and can create a new identity based on greater self-knowledge and not the blind acting out of unconscious drives. He can bear the pain of his past and the disappointments to inevitably come in a less compulsive way. I think that he learnt that in his final conversation with Wood. He says about his sired mother's vitriol: "It was the demon talking, not her. My mother loved me with all her heart. I was her world". He finally knows who his mother is and who he is. He knew that his poetry was bad, that he had flaws but that he was a good person, a good man and his mother loved him and said nice things to him because she didn't wish to hurt his feelings. She contained her negative emotions towards him and it was okay that she had them. He knows that love is not simple and uncomplicated - that one can have negative feelings towards a desired object but still love it (in Kleinian terms he's resolved the breast-envy issues). He also doesn't have to be ashamed of being William anymore, William is a part of him and there is nothing wrong with the part of him that is a good, noble man. As for his relationship with Buffy - this is the first time in their long history together that I feel that he would actually be a good bet in a relationship. He has new psychological skills and awareness that are definitely assets for a romantic relationship. I think that he can finally love her freely and not have all his baggage being front and center. But whether Buffy is ready now is another matter. I've already stated in previous posts that she has some work to do on her own denied feminine - and that has not yet been completed.

[> Re: problem with Ares -- leslie, 11:27:12 03/26/03 Wed

Oi, I'm only part way through this, and I like it so far, except I have to stop and note that Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera--their only shared offspring. The son that Hera gives birth to in reaction to Zeus's production of Athena is Hephaestus, the crippled blacksmith--crippled because she was so disgusted with him that she threw him off Olympus as soon as he was born. Yet Hephaestus is Aphrodite's legitimate husband, as opposed to Ares as her illicit lover; Hephaestus is also linked to the figure of the shaman by his lameness and his role as blacksmith, and with the artist in his role as creator of wonderous objects. At the same time, Hephaestus and Ares, as half-brothers, are in some ways inverted reflections of each other. What's interesting is that neither are particularly loved by their parents--aside from Hera's disgusted repudiation of Hephaestus for his deformity (which would seem to echo's William's mother's rejection of him in his newly deformed vampiric incarnation), Ares is admired but not really loved. He's the good son, the one who conforms to social expectations of manliness, but you don't hear about Zeus or Hera loving him (or Apollo, for that matter, Zeus's other, illegitimate son). Not sure exactly where this is going, but I think there is a lot more Hephaestus in Spike than Ares--that's where the rage at rejection comes from.

[> [> Differing accounts....the variety of Greek myth... -- Caroline, 12:07:32 03/26/03 Wed

I've read rather different accounts of the origins of both Ares and Hephaistos (the Roman Vulcan) and the sources all differ. Some refer to Ares as the parthenogenic son, others to Hephaistos. I just used the account that seemed to ring true to me psychologically as William created the Spike persona. I think that the Ares persona was the one William put on after the rejection from this mother, not the Hephaistos persona. After the rejection, Spike tried to make himself a warrior, a true badass and he deliberately sought out slayers - the most dangerous prey. This reckless behaviour is far more like Ares than Hephaistos, who stayed at his forge all the time. Perhaps one could link William to Hephaistos but all William created was bloody awful poetry whereas Hephaistos healed and created many useful items for the gods.

I've been trying to use the mythological analogies more carefully, so that Sol doesn't accuse me of using them eisegetically!!!

[> [> [> More myth -- ponygirl, 12:48:29 03/26/03 Wed

Caroline, another stunner of an essay! Much to digest...

I was thinking today though not of Oedipus in relation to this episode (though lots of references to eyes and seeing, quite the theme this season) but of that other wacky parent-killing Greek guy, Orestes. We've had Spike driven mad this year, tormented by Furies in the form of the FE, we've had various characters sitting in judgement with only Buffy arguing for him as Apollo does for Orestes (was it Apollo? it's been a long time since I read the plays). We've even had a Cassandra. Ultimately the Furies accept the judgement of mercy for Orestes and in doing so are transformed into the more benevolent Kindly Ones - could a transformation rather than a defeat solve the problem of how to fight the FE? Hmm, ponder ponder.

[> Interesting post. Thanks. -- Sarand, 11:33:20 03/26/03 Wed

Just wanted to let you know that I really enjoy your psychological analysis posts - this one and your previous post about Buffy. Thanks for taking the time to do them.

[> Excellent, thank you! -- Rahael, 11:56:38 03/26/03 Wed

[> Another trip to the printer...thanks Caroline! -- aliera, 13:01:19 03/26/03 Wed

[> So interesting! Thank you! -- Dyna, 16:23:31 03/26/03 Wed

[> Truly Excellent post. Some additional pts. (Spoilers LMPTM & Orpheus) -- shadowkat, 19:43:31 03/26/03 Wed

I've decided to take a break from the boards for a while, but am delurking to compliment you and leslie below on two truly excellent posts. Leslie's response to dream down in Rufus' thread - presents the Buffy/Giles/Wood end of this.
And is a perfect compliment to this post. I printed them off and read them together tonight.

If anyone wants to know what I thought of LMPTM and where Spike and Buffy are headed? Read Caroline and leslie's posts they say it far more eloguently than I could.

A few adds/questions - if you don't mind:

1. You mention:only when his ego shines the light of consciousness onto that dark and hidden place and he understands why he was so unconsciously and compulsively controlled by the FE

Wondering if metaphorically Willow and prophelytic stone serve the purpose of the light of the ego here? At first I was going to say Giles/wood, but I don't think they are meant to represent the ego/super-ego so much as the parental figures who wish to keep the child back in time, under their control. Giles - through the chip. Wood - through the trigger. They both want to control Spike and Buffy and team up to do it. By killing Spike - he stays arrested, the beastial id, and Buffy stays the controlled slayer, the girl? But it is interesting, I think, that Giles who seemed to have such magical prowess in Grave and Two to Go, needs Willow to perform the spell that sends the prophelytic stone that shines the light of ego on Spike's subsconscious and on the dark feminine deep deep inside him.
(Beneath You - "It's deep deep inside me"). Considering it is in this episode that Fred contacts Willow to come to LA and techincally perform the same function for AI - she shines the light of ego on to Angelus - re-ensouling him, while it is Cordelia who wishs to kill Angelus before that can happen - so she can control him. Is Cordy paralleling Giles??

2. leslie below mentions TB as the disease that Anne/Spike's mother has. TB is a disease that is associated with vampirism. So perhaps William would have died anyway by his mother's hand via TB? And in LTMP - Anne does try to kill William prior to his staking her. They wrestle over the stake. When he wins, She seems to almost goad him into doing it. Turning into the vampire, when he hesitates, which motivates him to do it. Leslie mentions below, forgive me leslie if I misquote you, that TB may be a metaphor for the emotional vampire Anne may unwittingly be?

Some metanarration points:

1. Forever - isn't it interesting that Spike tells Dawn in Forever that she could potentially bring back Joyce wrong and insists on helping her so at least it is done right or without too much risk??

2. The whole Buffy came back wrong bit in S6 - Spike decides Buffy coming back wrong would explain her coming on to him - I wonder if this may be an echo of anne in his head? Especially since we know Buffy's middle name is Anne.
Also remember - Spike is somewhat discombobulated and upset by the fact that Willow and gang brought Buffy back from the grave and thinks she may be demonic now. (Again metanarration??)

3. Dr. Gull - I learned on another board was the name of Dr. William Gull - the Victorian Doctor of the Queen and in Alan Moore's comic "From Hell" - the proposed alias of Jack The Ripper. A doctor who killed filthy whores.

4. Crowley - is the same last name of the dark prince of necromancy/occult and tantric sex rites - Aleister Crowley - mentioned both in Alan Moore's Promethea and in the movie Ghostbusters. Another hint about watchers.

Just some thoughts to keep this great post and thread alive!!


(PS: never got the chance to respond to your response to me on the masculine thread - so in a phrase? I agree with everything you stated. I think you have a great grasp on where ME is headed.)

Tell Me How You Really Feel (Re: Lies) -- Spike Lover, 10:11:23 03/26/03 Wed

Enjoyed the ep. Particularly the fight between Spike & Woods. -Though I did not like how they had his hair in the flashback. It was much better before.

Enjoyed the irony of ... 'You have never loved anyone.' and here Spike vamped his own mother because he loved her. (Poor guy.)

(Actually, I thought Dru was probably going to stake her.)

What is going on with Giles? I did not see the rationality of his actions or his words. Did you understand it? Maybe it was to show that Buffy is beyond him.

And what was that part about -that she is now willing to sacrifice Dawn to save the world? Is everyone now expendable? Ok, maybe. (Reference back to Conversations...)

One of the things I really love about Spike, which they reiterated last night was his self-assurance and lack of remorse. He is different from Angel in that way.

"You killed my mother."
"I killed lots of mothers."

"It is the way the game is played."

So true.
-So virile.

I am not disappointed he does not feel remorse. (or is over it.) But I wonder how y'all "Redemptionists" feel. Are you sad that he is not crippled with remorse?

[> Did you really mean to say 'virile'? -- Solitude1056, 10:36:14 03/26/03 Wed

[> [> 'Manly in a Sexy sort of way' -- Spike Lover, 11:00:50 03/26/03 Wed

'Lies My Parents Told Me': The Super-Evil Review -- Honorificus (Poetry In The Flesh), 12:48:04 03/26/03 Wed

So completely happy this week! Not only is my Super-Wimpy Alter-Ego in the grip of a virus, which, let's face it, always does my heart good (one of my hearts, at least), we now get a new dose of emotional bloodletting from the Fury and NewDrew. Plus, Wood in a tank top. Must take a Moment.

There. On with the review!

Fashion Statements
The Good
Wood. Wood. Wood. The suit at the beginning, the dark blue short-sleeved button-down, and the TANK TOP! *Sigh!* Must take another Moment.

Buffy's sheer white blouse over a black tank top. The cut suited her perfectly, and the overall effect was fashion-edgy, yet tasteful.

Spike's punk look. You know, on some guys, it just looks pretentious. On him, it still looks pretentious, but the attitude carries it.

Drusilla's Victorian wear. Loved the hair, especially.

Speaking of hair, Mrs. the Bloody's improved greatly after she was vamped. See what I mean about going evil improving one's appearance? Try it sometime and see for yourself.

The Bad
I need a new category of "Bad". Maybe I can just label it "Anya". The polka-dotted sundress/nightmare froofy hat combo this week transcends all badness. I'm surprised a portal to a brand-new fashion nightmare dimension didn't open up right underneath her. A Sartorial Tragedy demon should have manifested and swept her off to be its bride. What in the name of all Hells is the Wardrobe Department thinking when it outfits her each week? "Newly human and strangely literal--does that go with wimpy violet or fire-engine red? Or perhaps both?" The only redeeming factor was that she was onscreen for all of 30 seconds. Any longer and I'd have had to send a minion to fetch me a new set of eyeballs from the fridge after mine spontaneously combusted.

William's clothes and wig. Do they not have any good wigs for men in Costuming? Judging by AtS and every single BtVS flashback, I'd say no.

Victorian nightware always left something to be desired, as Mrs. the Bloody demonstrated.

Buffy's hair was rather lacking this week.

The Iffy
I hate to say this, but Giles' coat is looking rather tired lately. Couldn't he bring out that lovely trenchcoat he wore to smack down Willow last season? I loved that coat. Had a nice Immie vibe. Half expected him to produce a broadsword from an inner pocket.

Plot in a Nutshell
Spike's still all triggery, and Giles, after handling more serious matters like the overabundance of computers in the library, tries to defuse it. Unfortunately, Spike's feeling all defensive and attitudinal, which Buffy finds hot. Therefore, Robin strips down to a tank top, causing me to go into a hormonal swoon, and attempts to end Spike's unlife. But Spike gets all epiphanied and pissed off, which puts an end to that. And Buffy's now none too happy with either Giles or Robin.

Demonic Quibbles and Comments
Biggest quibble of the week: just how did William get back into his house after his vamping? He'd still need an invitation. See Angel needing his little sister to invite him into the house in "The Prodigal", for instance. I got the impression Mrs. the Bloody hadn't seen her sweet little boy since he died, so she couldn't have invited them in. Perhaps a servant? That would have explained the smell of viscera about the place, come to think of it.

Body Count
A few Random Vamps at the beginning, plus Richard the Fledgling and Mrs. the Bloody.

Giles getting all indignant about the library. I love a prissy man!

The chip/soul/trigger game of "Who's on First?" (and my, isn't *that* a beautiful pun) between Giles, Buffy, and Robin.

Spike's lovely tantrum in the basement, complete with thowing the bed at the Twerp.

Giles and Robin . . . ahem. Oh. Yes. Two hot Good Guys conspiring against Buffy. Pardon, please. I'm leaking hormones.

Robin stripping down to his TANK TOP. The only thing that improved that was strapping on the Smackdown Gear and getting all sweaty. I just wish I could've smelled him.

Mrs. the Bloody's attitudinal makeover. *Sniff!* Reminds me of my third mother. Took me forever to get around to killing her.

Spike and Robin beating up on each other. Yummy!

Spike's ass-kicking announcement that he was going to kill Robin. While I disapprove in principle of killing the Hot Principal, I love me some Dark Spike.

The dearth of Potentials.

William's poetry. Gak.

Did I mention Anya's so-called outfit? And the hat, did I mention the hat?

Wood's lovely face getting marred.

Burning Questions
Why in Beelzebub's name is UPN feeling compelled to interrupt this last string of episodes with gods-bedamned RERUNS? These people are evil, and not in a way that I like.

The Immoral of the Story
Never listen to your mother. Leads to all kinds of problems.

Overall Rating
So much juicy goodness. I must give it a kiwi over g on the Non Sequitur Scale simply due to the Hormone Factor.

[> Re: 'Lies My Parents Told Me': The Super-Evil Review -- Cheryl, peeking in hesitantly, 13:24:28 03/26/03 Wed

I know I must be out of my mind to respond to a post by the ever-evil Honorificus, but here goes . . .

William's clothes and wig. Do they not have any good wigs for men in Costuming? Judging by AtS and every single BtVS flashback, I'd say no.

When JM was on Craig Kilborn awhile back he talked about how big his head is and that it was really, really difficult to find a wig to fit him for FFL.

Okay, now slinking back into the shadows and hoping the Big H doesn't find me.

[> You're glowing! -- cougar, 13:25:50 03/26/03 Wed

[> Slightly different moral (Danger, terribly inane response) -- Robert, 13:40:45 03/26/03 Wed

>>> The Immoral of the Story
>>> Never listen to your mother. Leads to all kinds of problems.

I saw this wonderful episode as providing that same moral as provided by the great P.D.Q. Bach choral calamity known as Oedipus Tex. For any of you who should doubt my sources, just check out Telarc CD-80239 and weep.

In the finale we are told, and I quote;

Well the moral of the story is of course,
don't love your mother, pardner, save it for your horse.
I guarantee you will be filled with great remorse,
if you give your mamma love you should be saving for your horse.

Save it for you horse.
You've go to save it for your horse.
Don't be a prisoner of remorse;
Take love and save it for your horse.

Sniff, sniff! Pardon me. I get teary-eyed every time I read these lyrics. Truths such as these just don't come to us very often.

[> Simply delightful -- Vyrus, 15:43:52 03/26/03 Wed

How I enjoyed your comments on this episode, Honorificus. I knew you would appreciate it -- it's so full of the betrayal, vengefulness, and bestial snarling that make life worth living.

So completely happy this week! Not only is my Super-Wimpy Alter-Ego in the grip of a virus,

Oh, the little darlings. Please say "hello" for me.

Speaking of hair, Mrs. the Bloody's improved greatly after she was vamped. See what I mean about going evil improving one's appearance? Try it sometime and see for yourself.

It's so unfair -- TURNING evil does wonders for the hair, but BEING evil guarantees neither stylishness nor quantity.

The only redeeming factor was that she was onscreen for all of 30 seconds. Any longer and I'd have had to send a minion to fetch me a new set of eyeballs from the fridge after mine spontaneously combusted.

It's good that you didn't -- I think I put the the last ones in my martini at your cocktail party last week. So sorry.

Therefore, Robin strips down to a tank top, causing me to go into a hormonal swoon, and attempts to end Spike's unlife.

If there has ever been a more masculine fellow named "Robin", I cannot think of him.

Spike's lovely tantrum in the basement, complete with thowing the bed at the Twerp.

Man's aim needs improvement, if you ask me.

Robin stripping down to his TANK TOP. The only thing that improved that was strapping on the Smackdown Gear and getting all sweaty.

I MUST get myself a pair of those gloves. So many occasions coming up.

Mrs. the Bloody's attitudinal makeover. *Sniff!* Reminds me of my third mother. Took me forever to get around to killing her.

Do tell that story again sometime. I get positively misty-eyed when I hear it.

The dearth of Potentials.

Remove the letter "r", my dear, and you'll make me the happiest creature on Earth. Or under it.

[> [> We are *such* unsouled-mates! -- Honorificus (The Statuesque, Yet Petite One), 23:40:27 03/26/03 Wed

I knew you would appreciate it -- it's so full of the betrayal, vengefulness, and bestial snarling that make life worth living.

So very true. Merely human reviewers simply can't appreciate these things properly. I rather despair for my Loser Alter-Ego. Well, when I'm not attempting to find a way to separate the two of us for good, preferably killing her in the process.

*So completely happy this week! Not only is my Super-Wimpy Alter-Ego in the grip of a virus,

Oh, the little darlings. Please say "hello" for me.

They say "hello" right back. Such cute little things, and you wouldn't believe the dreams they've been sending her.

It's so unfair -- TURNING evil does wonders for the hair, but BEING evil guarantees neither stylishness nor quantity.

Which is precisely why one constantly needs to replace one's hair. I've been contemplating a redhead with great follicles lately with an eye toward stealing them.

*The only redeeming factor was that she was onscreen for all of 30 seconds. Any longer and I'd have had to send a minion to fetch me a new set of eyeballs from the fridge after mine spontaneously combusted.

It's good that you didn't -- I think I put the the last ones in my martini at your cocktail party last week. So sorry.

Don't worry about it. Number one, it's what they were there for. Number two, I refresh my supply every week. Eyeballs just don't keep, you know? Five days, and then you either have to turn them into freezer jam or throw them to the basilisks.

*Spike's lovely tantrum in the basement, complete with throwing the bed at the Twerp.

Man's aim needs improvement, if you ask me.

No kidding. Willow was right there, and I think Xander was nearby as well. Had he done it right, he could've gotten three with one throw. I swear, getting a soul has ruined him.

*Robin stripping down to his TANK TOP. The only thing that improved that was strapping on the Smackdown Gear and getting all sweaty.

I MUST get myself a pair of those gloves. So many occasions coming up.

Doesn't your mate have some? Or did she borrow the pair she wore with her cocktail dress last week?

*Mrs. the Bloody's attitudinal makeover. *Sniff!* Reminds me of my third mother. Took me forever to get around to killing her.

Do tell that story again sometime. I get positively misty-eyed when I hear it.

It never gets old, does it? The good stories stay fresh forever. That one about your grandsire and his littermate's spawn, for instance, always gets me.

*The dearth of Potentials.

Remove the letter "r", my dear, and you'll make me the happiest creature on Earth. Or under it.

*So* very with you, brother. But then, aren't we all?

Wonderful chatting with you! I trust you'll be at Prosepexa's sacrificial feast next new moon--we'll have to catch up then.

[> Demonic Quibble -- Saguaro Stalker, 15:52:52 03/26/03 Wed

Biggest quibble of the week: just how did William get back into his house after his vamping?

Just shows how evil and pure you are, Great, Mighty, and Pleasantly Pine Scented One. Any goody, goody will tell you (What can I say? Sometimes I hang out with the wrong crowd.) that all good Victorian era British children always politely rang the bell and asked the butler if they might please come in, everytime they'd been outside, even after skipping merrily around the front yard for all of ten seconds. This was especially true, if they were thirty-plus like William and were stupid drunk and merrily skipping around the front yard. In which case, the butler usually let the noble scion in the servant's entrance around the back, so Mumsy wouldn't catch him.

[> Re: 'Lies My Parents Told Me': The Super-Evil Review -- leslie, 16:27:44 03/26/03 Wed

"Biggest quibble of the week: just how did William get back into his house after his vamping? He'd still need an invitation. See Angel needing his little sister to invite him into the house in "The Prodigal", for instance. I got the impression Mrs. the Bloody hadn't seen her sweet little boy since he died, so she couldn't have invited them in. Perhaps a servant? That would have explained the smell of viscera about the place, come to think of it."

What I want to know is, who the hell buried him? Mrs. Bloody the Elder obviously hasn't seen her son since he went off to Cecily's party, and her reaction--"where have you been, sonny boy?"--doesn't sound like the normal reaction of a mother who finds her dead offspring cavorting on her favorite chair with a crazy lady several days after she buried him. (Although, did anyone else notice that this was the one scene in their entire relationship where it seemed that Dru was the sane one and Spike/William was the one off his nut?) Yet, Spike says to Buffy, when she returns from the grave, that he knows what she's been through clawing out of the coffin because he did it himself. So, if Mrs. Bloody didn't bury him, who did? Dru? If his body were found in the alleyway where Dru vamped him, surely it would have been brought to his home--he was a nicely dressed young man, and Dru did not, as we saw, get his wallet, so he would have been identified, not tossed into a pauper's grave. The best I can come up with is that the servants got William buried without telling Mom, for fear it would upset her, but then, that rules them out as the inviters-in, since they, too, would know that there was something odd about the dead guy coming home.

[> [> See 'Reunion': Dru's a traditionalist. -- HonorH, 16:37:09 03/26/03 Wed

She gave Darla a symbolic burial so Darla could do the traditional vampire thing of rising from her grave. Makes sense that she'd have done the same thing for William.

[> Re: 'Lies My Parents Told Me': The Super-Evil Review -- Sophomorica, chewing on William's wig, 17:55:49 03/26/03 Wed

Two things about this episode that pissed me off.

1. Giles' lecture about killing something souled/good for the benefit of humanity. Was I the only one listening for the name "Ben" to come up? Did anybody bother to tell Buffy that Giles killed Ben? I was disapointed that Ben wasn't mentioned and thus couldn't figure what Giles' point was....that Buffy should kill Spike? Buffy already knew that one.

2. When Buffy realized that Giles was stalling her. That was a huge jump in logic to conclude that Giles was stalling her to let Wood kill Spike. Maybe it was just me...

On the good side:

Giles. He seems to have mellowed some. I see more and more of Ripper in Giles with each passing month.

Buffy's braided hair. Is it just me or is she starting to look like the (Oh, sh*t! Sophie has overdue library books!) alternate-Buffy in the "Wish"?

[> [> Re: 'Lies My Parents Told Me': The Super-Evil Review -- Victorinox, 22:17:22 03/26/03 Wed

1. Giles' lecture about killing something souled/good for the benefit of humanity. Was I the only one listening for the name "Ben" to come up? Did anybody bother to tell Buffy that Giles killed Ben? I was disapointed that Ben wasn't mentioned and thus couldn't figure what Giles' point was....that Buffy should kill Spike? Buffy already knew that one.

Does anyone know that Giles killed Ben? There was a lot of chaos, fighting, sobbing incoherently goin on at the end of The Gift. If they just found Ben dead, and Giles never said anything, they may not know.

When Buffy returned, Giles wasn't there. The others would only have told her what they knew, if she asked. On Giles return visits, there was again too much going on.

As for The Wish Buffy, oh yes. Especially in the basement scene. Her makeup was very subdued for our Buffy, very like the "no makeup" look of that other Buffy.

Not a good sign.

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