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Fang Gang Vs. Scoobie Council. Call it! -- Hauptman, 11:58:00 03/04/04 Thu

You have to call a winner in the strength and intelligence department. For example I think the Fang gang could out fight the scoobies, but the Scoobies are smarter. Fred's dead, the scoobies are smarter.

Then give an overall winner and a brief scenario.

You may consider all members (Conner, Anya) but not the awakened slayers, Dark Willow or Angelus as they are not actual members.

This is ment to be a What if kind of question. Like what if the Soviet Union and USA fought a nuke war.


[> Does Connor have his memory? Which team is Spike on? (NT) -- Athena, 16:14:27 03/04/04 Thu

[> [> Re: Does Connor have his memory? Which team is Spike on? (NT) -- Hauptman, 17:02:59 03/04/04 Thu

Good question. I'd say yeah, he remebers everything. Iguess he might join the scoobies, eh?

[> Fang Gang -- DorianQ, 16:14:53 03/04/04 Thu

Depends why they are fighting (ie. if they are going to use lethal force) If so, the Fang Gang wins hands down on both counts. I'm including Illyria on the team, but even without her, they still win. Giles and Willow by themselves are not smarter than the department that Wesley runs (full of skilled shamans and researchers) and Wesley has the source books as well. Illyria could definitly take on Glowy Willow and I think she'd win too. W&H assault teams are well trained with weaponry. They would take down the Slayers (who would probably only come with melee weapons) at long range. That's what I would guess anyway. Both organizations are in bad places right now. The council is suffering from a lethal amount of elitism and have already started to turn to doublecrossing as acceptable behavior (in Damage), and W&H are realizing they don't have as strong a read on the doings of the employees of their workforce (Knox getting past Lorne, Gunn's upgrades). Both could stand to be taken down a couple notches, as Angel just was.

[> The Scooby Gang -- Finn Mac Cool, 20:22:23 03/04/04 Thu

*Note: I'm going to be counting solely the core groups here, not their extensions through the Watchers Council and Wolfram & Hart.*

Total Fang Gang members: Angel, Cordelia, Doyle, Wesley, Gunn, Fred, Lorne, Connor, Spike

Total Scooby Gang members: Buffy, Giles, Willow, Xander, Cordelia, Angel, Oz, Spike, Riley, Anya, Tara, Dawn, and possibly Faith, Wesley, and Jenny if we stretch the confines.

I am going to take each character at their most powerful state on the series in question and ignore factors such as the implausability of Angel fighting on both sides silmotaneously (or however you spell that).

Let's begin:

(Scooby Gang) Spike vs. (Fang Gang) Angel - they have been shown to be roughly equal in strength, and each has possessed the Gem of Amarra on one of the shows; I'd say that they balance each other out.


(Scooby Gang) Angel vs. (Fang Gang) Spike - again, roughly equal strength, and both have used guns at some point on the show; I'd say these two vamps tie once again.


Riley vs. (Fang Gang) Wesley - both are skilled at hand to hand combat, have wielded guns of several varieties, and have used hand grenades on one occasion each; however, Riley was briefly amped up through medication, making him stronger and able to keep fighting despite pain (such as gun shot wounds); I give this fight to Riley.


Willow vs. (Fang Gang) Cordelia - both of these characters are hard to judge since exactly how powerful they are is unclear; while it was said that we couldn't count Dark Willow, Giles said that the magic she absorbed then was still inside her, so she's theoretically as powerful as she was in "Grave", just not using it as much; Cordelia recieved a lot of power during Season 3 (the most impressive feat being cleansing the hotel of demonic worms), but exactly what she could do and how competent she was in doing it is unclear. Due to lack of information, I'll call this a draw.


Buffy vs. Connor - both possess supernatural strength, speed, and fighting abilities; however, on several occasions, Buffy has shown herself to be at least equal if not superior to Angel in fighting; considering Angel has handed Connor his ass on several times, I'd have to say the advantage goes to Buffy, even without the Scythe or a rocket launcher.


Anya vs. Gunn and Fred - both Gunn and Fred have developed some pretty good fighting skills over the years and have each wielded guns and flamethrowers; however, while a demon, Anya had the ability to go toe to toe with Buffy, and we've seen beings with Slayer strength and reflexes handling gun wielding humans before; factoring in that a demon which can't be killed by stabbing probably can't be killed by bullets, and I think calling this fight a draw is fair.


Xander vs. Lorne - on each team, both are the characters voted least likely to be useful during a fight; however, Lorne does have that whole screeching thing he's used on a couple occasions, so I gotta give the fight to Lorne


Oz vs. Doyle - both are, in their normal states, pretty much normal human beings; however, Oz has become a werewolf and occasion and Doyle has that whole half-demon side; about all I can judge about their power in these forms is that their both stronger than humans but weaker than Buffy or Angel, so I'll have to go with another tie.


Of these matches, most were ties, with each team having two victories. However, there are several Scooby Gang members who haven't even been accounted for yet. Cordelia, while far weaker than after joining the Fang Gang, is at least another body to throw spatulas around. Dawn showed herself to be a somewhat competent fighter, and could easily shift the Xander/Lorne fight to at least a tie. Then there's Tara, who has enough witchy powers to at least give the Fang Gang a little trouble. And this is all without counting Faith, Wesley, or Jenny as Scoobies (when Faith was on Angel doesn't count since those were really guest appearances, while she was one of the Scoobies for a little over half a season). I'd have to give the fight to the Scooby Gang.

[> [> Re: The Scooby Gang -- Hauptman, 07:48:18 03/05/04 Fri

Great post. I can really see it. However...

Riley vs. (Fang Gang) Wesley - both are skilled at hand to hand combat, have wielded guns of several varieties, and have used hand grenades on one occasion each; however, Riley was briefly amped up through medication, making him stronger and able to keep fighting despite pain (such as gun shot wounds); I give this fight to Riley.


I would have to take issue with this one as Riley may be the superior soldier, however Wes has turned into a ruthless 'killer'. I think Riley would hesitate and Wes would kill him immediately.

And while I would agree that Faith was with the Scoobies longer, I think her loyalty would likely be to Angel and she would feel more kinship with Dark Wes. I don't see her fighting on the Scooby side. I assume you used similar math to place Spike on the Scoobie side.

[> [> [> Re: The Scooby Gang -- Finn Mac Cool, 09:04:48 03/05/04 Fri

Regarding the Wes/Riley battle: I agree, Wes is more ruthless, but that wouldn't really be an issue if Riley had one of those taser shooting weapons.

Regarding Faith, you have to understand, my scenario is one which simply couldn't actually occur due to different versions of Spike and Angel for each side and the fact that things like half-demon Cordy, demon Anya, and uber-powerful Willow didn't all occur at the same time. As such, while in a real fight Faith would probably go to the AI gang rather than the Scoobies, that doesn't matter, only which one she was really more a part of. While Faith was the Fang Gang's enemy on one occasion and their ally on another, she never really spent a great deal of time with them like she did with the Scoobies. Also, please notice that I counted Faith as being a Scooby if we stretch the confines a little, which is why I didn't use her in the regular matchups.

I do plan on making another post to this thread dealing with what would happen in a real fight between the two teams, but I need to do some more thinking on the subject beforehand.

[> [> [> [> Fanfic -- Hauptman, 10:34:11 03/05/04 Fri

Regarding the Wes/Riley battle: I agree, Wes is more ruthless, but that wouldn't really be an issue if Riley had one of those taser shooting weapons.

LOL. Well, I suppose that is true, but in my scenario Wes just keeps him talking until he can throw something really sharp and nasty at Reily. If Wes were a Demon, that might be something else, but I don't think I have ever seen Reily hurt a human. Wes doesn't seem to have a problem in that area. At least not these days.

You are right, it is difficult to imagine what the roster of the two teams at war would look like. If we could pull them out of any time and at max power that would give us Dark Willow, military Xander, Buffybot and Ubermerged Buffy. That's just crazy talk , though. I look forward to your next match up list.

I wish there was a next season and a war between the two groups with all the characters back. Now that's really crazy talk, but I would love every second of it. Someone write some Fanfic for Goddess sake!

[> [> [> [> [> Technically, Ubermerged Buffy is four characters, though -- Finn Mac Cool, 13:27:49 03/05/04 Fri

And I had forgotten about Soldier!Xander.

As far as Riley hurting humans, I imagine he wasn't placed in a demon fighting organization from the moment he enlisted, so he probably joined the military expecting that at some point he'd have to hurt and possibly kill other people. And, as I said, I think Riley's super soldier phase would let him handle a gunshot well enough to still fight back. While he might hesitate to shoot with a gun, I doubt he'd hesitate to tase a gun weilding guy out to get him.

a few questions (spoilers for angel 5.16 and buffy season 7) -- buffyguy, 15:10:43 03/04/04 Thu

what was gunn signing in his hospital bed? was he being fired and signing a paper that says he coulndt "make any more decisions"?

also in a previous post someone said that wolfram and hart doesnt really have a place in the buffy part of the jossverse. that got me thinking. didnt wolfram and hart directly affect the outcome of the huge fight between buffy and the first by sending the amulet to spike? so couldnt it be said that wolfram and hart had a vested interest in the outcome of that fight? and since they knew that spike would be able to be resurrected, didnt that mean that they wanted him to be resurrected but bring him to LA and have him there for some purpose?


[> Re: a few questions (spoilers for angel 5.16 and buffy season 7) -- mrsubjunctive, 07:22:29 03/05/04 Fri

Not sure it was Wolfram and Hart exactly. Lindsey also seems, or seemed, to have a vested interest in Spike being around: I haven't noticed the Senior Partners seeming to care much one way or the other about Spike. I'd have to rewatch, but I think W&H assumed Angel would be the one to get and use the amulet.

I had the impression that Gunn was signing something which relieved him of at least some of his authority, yes, though it's not yet clear exactly to what degree.

Why Did They Join? -- LadyLavinia, 13:26:34 03/04/04 Thu

I know why Angel made the decision to incorporate the gang into Wolfram & Hart.

What I'm curious about is why did the others allow him to make the choice for them? Why? I know that both Gunn and Lorne were tempted by the prospect of working for the law firm. But why did Wes and Fred - who were both reluctant - give in? Why? What did they think they were going to achieve?


[> Re: Why Did They Join? -- Tymen, 14:02:34 03/04/04 Thu

Wesley joined in order to attempt to free Lilah from her contract, still attempting to redeem her. He also joined to keep an eye on Angel and the others.

Fred joined because she trusted her guys and assumed they knew what they were getting into.

[> [> Re: Why Did They Join? -- Sofdog, 19:56:08 03/04/04 Thu

Wesley didn't join for that. He came on the tour for the opportunity to free Lilah's soul. Which couldn't done.

I don't remember when Fred stated why she went along with it. She was pretty surprised when Angel said they were taking the offer.

[> Re: Why Did They Join? -- LittleBit, 15:35:26 03/04/04 Thu

Gunn didn't "allow Angel to make the choice" for him. He was taking the deal whether or not anyone else did.

[> [> Re: Why Did They Join? -- Bodhi, 16:16:51 03/04/04 Thu

also, all of 'em were like kids in a candy store. W&H in some way appealed to all of 'em. well, maybe except angel.

[> [> [> Re: Why Did They Join? -- Jane, 20:07:57 03/04/04 Thu

It seems to me that all of them had decided to take the offer before Angel announced his executive decision. Gunn said he was going to take it regardless; I think the big black cat in the white room gave him some idea that he could be more than muscle. Fred was pretty excited about all that neat science stuff, and was flattered by the prospect of being the head honcho of the Labs. She still seemed to be the most doubting of them, though. Lorne was in his element with all those celebrity clients. Wesley's motives I'm less sure about,but maybe he still thought he could save Lilah. And Angel - Connor's life. Just my thoughts. Yours may differ.

[> [> Gunn's Choice -- Claudia, 14:10:44 03/05/04 Fri

"Gunn didn't "allow Angel to make the choice" for him. He was taking the deal whether or not anyone else did."

As I had indicated in my first post, both Gunn and Lorne had planned to accept the offer from Wolfram & Hart. However, Angel went ahead and accepted on everyone's behalf before Gunn could express his choice to Angel.

[> [> [> What do you think? -- Random, 06:10:52 03/06/04 Sat

I imagine that Angel didn't force them to accept, and therefore his "decision" was pretty much a moot point unless the others chose to follow.

So do you have an opinion on this issue, LadyLavinia/Claudia/whatever the hell you're calling yourself? I'd be interested in hearing it. Perhaps you could contribute to our understanding of the shows and the characters.

Fred's soul (spoliers for Shells) -- skeeve, 16:54:51 03/04/04 Thu

None of this really matters.
The characters are going to behave in whatever way the plot drives them.

Buffyverse humans are suspected of having three parts:
a body, a spirit, and a soul.
If true, Fred might yet be brought back.
We know from Buffy's second resurrection that even a decomposing body can be reapired.
We at least suspect that Fred's personality resides in her spirit which seems not to have been destroyed.
Fred's soul might be replaceable.
We know from Darla that one can be affected by a soul that is not native to one's body.
We know from Kathy that it's possible to take a little bit of a soul.
If five people donated a fifth of their souls,
they could give Fred one soul, leaving themselves with four fifths of a soul each.

Even if the above would work, 'would be major mojo that would need Willow.
Willow is working on the premise that Buffy was in heaven and that bringing her back was a major unfavor.
Instead of asking her to raise Fred at the earliest opportunity,
ask Fred if she wants to come back.
Getting Willow to make a long distance call should be easier than getting her to raise the dead.
Willow is already on speaking terms with Osiris (sp?).

If Fred's spirit is gone, the problem is harder.
We need to bring back last Wednesday.
Said power exists in the Buffyverse, though getting to it might be harder since the deaths of the Oracles.


[> I was gonna bring this up....kinda (spoilers thr "Shells") -- Nino, 17:09:56 03/04/04 Thu

This whole "Fred's soul was burned up" thing is worrying me...death is one thing, but if her SOUL is burned up...does that mean poor Fred completely ceases to exist? No "heaven"? Did her soul not go where all souls go in the Buffyverse, however loosly defined that is?

If this is the case, that is a pretty awful fate for a beloved character, I can't imagine this is how ME would want it.

Am I missing something here? Any "Buffy" metaphysics I'm not taking into consideration, masq? Is it possible to completely destroy a soul?

[> [> That's pretty much it -- Doug, 18:09:34 03/04/04 Thu

Lightbulb on, lightbulb off. The fire goes out and there nothing left but the shell of the physical body. Oblivion.

From the context that they were talking about the soul I presume this was basicly her essence and spirit, everything that made Fred a distinct entity beyond the physical form, was destroyed in the process of ressurecting Illyria.

I don't seem to be having as hard a time with this as a lot of people seem to; the most obvious explanation for this is that since I'm agnostic I'm used to the idea, while I'm open to the idea of an afterlife I figure that this is the most likely fate any of us face after death in Real-life.

On the subject of destroying a soul; I don't remember any references from the Buffyverse on the subject.

[> [> [> I'm agnostic as well...but...(more Shells) -- Nino, 21:14:35 03/04/04 Thu the Buffyverse, souls GO somewhere...Buffy's did. When they talk about sireing, they talk about the soul leaving, so we know that people don't just cease to exist when they die in the Buffyverse. So if it is the case that Fred's soul, as an exception in the Buffyverse, was destroyed (as opposed to say, Cordy, whose soul, presumabley went somewhere similar to Buffy's) then it is indeed a sad ending for Ms. Burkle, no? Religion aside, comparing the fate of Fred's soul to the fate of all other souls in the sucks.

[> [> [> [> Assuming, of course... -- LittleBit, 22:05:22 03/04/04 Thu

That the doctor knew what he was talking about. It's not the sort of thing one gets to study much. For the time being, I'm considering the source before getting too upset.

[> [> [> [> [> good point...i too am skeptical of doc...but still a little upset -- Nino, 22:23:38 03/04/04 Thu

[> [> [> [> [> I agree with LittleBit.. -- Jane, 22:26:20 03/04/04 Thu

the evil doctor doesn't strike me as the most reliable source of info about the soul's whereabouts. And I wonder what the point of noting that Willow was Astral travelling around that time is..maybe she might have a role to play here.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Willow -- Claudia, 13:49:50 03/05/04 Fri

"And I wonder what the point of noting that Willow was Astral travelling around that time is..maybe she might have a role to play here."

Wouldn't Willow be reluctant to resurrect Fred from the dead, considering her past experiences with Buffy? I can understand Willow helping to regain Fred's soul, so that it can move on. But resurrection? I don't know if that is such a good idea.

[> [> [> [> [> This is my hope, too -- Wizard, 00:09:32 03/05/04 Fri

As far as fates go, if her soul is gone, then she's got the worst of anyone on either Jossverse show. Cordy ended up with the Powers, and so did Darla, if Connor's vision was the real thing. If there's any justice, Joyce, Anya, Tara, Jenny, etc., ended up in Heaven; Lindsay... I'm not even gonna speculate... and Lilah's still serving the Wolf, the Ram, and the Hart in Hell.

My thought on this subject was that the doctor was either mistaken or lying. It wouldn't be the first time. I would love to see Fred back, or to at least know that she ends up where she deserves to be.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: This is my hope, too -- skeeve, 08:52:47 03/05/04 Fri

To me, the most likely scenario that brings back Fred is that Illyria gets so depressed that it decides to go back to the Well and goes back retroactively.

Presumably this would happen in the season or series finale.
In the meantime, Amy Acker would get to chew the scenery as Illyria.

[> [> [> [> Crisis of faith for another agnostic -- Tyreseus (feeling existential), 16:41:18 03/05/04 Fri

You know, I've actually avoided the board for the last two days because of how disturbing I found the idea of Fred's soul's destruction. I've always claimed agnosticism when really pressed, but my response to the idea of complete oblivion of a person (even a fictional one) bothered me so much I'm re-examining my beliefs.

I've read what other people have suggested... that the doctor might not really know, that Fred's memory survived in Illyria, that the soul, spirit and body all make up the person... but as much as I care for the character of Fred, I think ME is doing the right thing in granting her oblivion. Permantently. On a purely philosophical level, it has inspired me to more thought than I've given this subject in a long time.

Like everyone else, I was thinking about the bag of tricks available to ressurect Fred - from Willow's mojo to the spell Dawn tried with Joyce or the trial Angel did for Darla or even the W&H spell that brought Darla back - but I don't think that ME put too fine a point on it. She is gone, forever. It's practically unprecedented in a universe where souls and magic and ressurection are almost common (at least to our characters).

Now we get to talk the bleaker philosophies. Now we (and our characters) must face the idea that there is no great reward, that no amount of goodness can conquer this kind of death. It's a fascinating place to be, and more than a little frightening.

[> [> Depressing... -- Belladonna, 19:13:17 03/04/04 Thu

I am in the exact same place here. I always find it sad when a favorite character dies. But, at least in the Buffy verse, there is an established heaven. So though it was sad when Jenny Calender, Tara, and Cordelia died, at least you knew that they were still in existence - happy and at peace. The thought that our sweet little Fred has been completely obliterated really depresses me. Plus, it annoys me. I feel like they are hammering that into us just to establish that they can't bring her back. Frankly, couldn't they have done that another way? Perhaps I'm just sappy and sentimental, but I'm really unhappy that one of my favorite characters was given such a sad, final, end.

[> [> [> The characters defying the laws of nature for loved ones is actually freaky to me -- Charles Phipps, 22:25:56 03/04/04 Thu

We can hope of course as a matter of faith that they didn't know what they were talking about with Ms. Burkle and there's a Heaven even beyond oblivion BUT...

Honestly aren't Spike, Wesley, and so forth smart enough NOT to causally talk ressurection. The Urn of Osiris was destroyed and it was the last one....

Dead is (usually) dead in the Buffyverse, this is not D&D

[> [> [> [> But... -- Wizard, 00:17:33 03/05/04 Fri

...remember what Osiris' minion said when Willow tried to bring Tara back. IIRC, he said no because she wasn't killed by magic, not because Willow lacked the Urn. If this is the case, then the Urn is a focus or facilitator of some kind, and the most powerful of magi (like a certain witch we all know and love) don't need it.

[> [> [> [> Re: The characters defying the laws of nature for loved ones is actually freaky to me -- Cypres delurking, 00:35:38 03/05/04 Fri

You're joking,right?They *usually* stay dead??
How can someone take seriously a death in the Buffy or Angelverse?Brought back:Darla(so many times!),Buffy(idem),Spike,...If JW wants a character back,he always find a way to do it.
Doyle,Cordelia,Jenny,Anya are dead,yeah,but the actors were fired(CC,GQ) or didn't want to come back(EC,RL,AB?)
Of course,secondary characters(Jonathan,Jesse,Merle,...) stay dead most of the time...
How can they play with death and hope we're moved when they can so easily twist the fate(Hey,it's a fantasy show,you can do everything you want!)
I was moved by Fred's death,but I can't take it seriously.If JW wants *dear Fred* back,no problem.I bet that's what he's going to do.IMHO,it's an error,death is death:final and all the horrible mojo they're using every time to resurrect someone is not scary,it's plot device and very boring and a little ridiculous.It lessens the emotional impact everytime someone dies and I'm surprised that they don't realize it.May be it worked at the beginning(Darla at the end of Ats 1),but,now,they have used this trick so many times.
Where you sad when Spike died in *chosen*?Everybody knew he would be back in Angel.Buffy in *the gift*?The deal with UPN was already done(sixth season without the main character,who could believe that?).
Between recycling plot lines ad infinitum and resurrecting people every time they feel like it,I(and it's only my opinion,but I'm not the only one,believe me)can't watch anymore without being annoyed at their lack of imagination.
May be I'm harsh,but when you have high expectations(JW,ME),you can't be happy with mediocrity.They can do better,they did for a long time.Now?Well,if they can't do better,may be it's time for closing the curtains and find new jobs.

[> [> [> [> [> Lessons of S6 - Consequences -- Claudia, 14:05:18 03/05/04 Fri

It seems that so many are desperate for Fred's resurrection that many have forgotten the lessons of S6 and Willow's resurrection of Buffy.

Mystical death or not, I really don't think it is a good idea to resurrect Fred. There are consequences to consider. The Scooby Gang had to face many consequences from Buffy's resurrection - her depression, Willow's misuse of magic and trip to the Dark Side, and especially Tara's death. Spike, of all people, should remember this. But like everyone else, he seems so desperate to bring back Fred that he has forgotten his words to Xander and Anya - when dealing with magic there are always consequences (sorry, not verbatim).

I think we should accept the fact that she is dead.

[> [> [> [> Protesting too much? (unspoiled spec for A5, spoilers for Shells) -- mrsubjunctive, 07:00:19 03/05/04 Fri

Everybody in Shells, I thought, was making rather a big deal about this. I got kinda annoyed with it.

Fred is gone, really gone, no bringing her back, gone gone gone, no more Fred, no magic resurrection thingy, no soul to return, really really super totally mondo mega gone, body's fried, soul's burned up, she's gone, gone, gone, doobedoo, gone, etc.

Which makes me think that they're totally bringing her back. Illyria has some of her memories, which is established in Shells, we're given hints that something bigger still is en route (Spike and Angel, at the end of the episode -- and God knows there are more than enough loose-end potential apocalyptogenic items floating about the season right now to occupy everybody a good long while), and Wes, for his own disturbed little reasons, is going to have some kind of relationship with Illyria. It looks to me as if ME is setting up a big bad which will be *so* big, and *so* bad, that Illyria will have to fight on the side of the MoG in order for them to even have a fair chance at defeating him/her/it/them. Which if she's also going to be kinda-Fred, we could wind up with something more or less like Fred-with-Dark!Willow-superpowers.

Perhaps I'm just paranoid. (Anybody seen Marti Noxon around lately? I get nervous when I don't know where she is.) Maybe all the Dead!Fred stuff was there to head off just this kind of speculation. But it seemed like they were hitting it a little too hard, to me.

(P.S. Disagree if you like, but please give me props for the word "apocalyptogenic." I'm really proud of it.)

[> [> [> [> not to me -- skeeve, 08:47:01 03/05/04 Fri

I see no reason why mystical medical problems should not entitle good guys to mystical medical benefits.

[> [> [> [> [> Amen! -- Wizard, 16:21:49 03/05/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> It's not medical if it causes nothing but misery -- Charles Phipps, 17:31:41 03/05/04 Fri

Buffy's ressurection brought nothing but misery to both herself and others. While the issue of taking Fred back from Heaven is a moot point, its stated as Buffy shown that Earth becomes like Hell to a person whom it happens to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Nothing but misery? -- Random, 20:29:07 03/05/04 Fri

Somehow, I don't see that as a valid point. Buffy eventually discovered happiness again by the end of the season. The rest of the Scoobies were overjoyed to have her back, and even during her most depressing phases, never indicated even the slightest wish that they hadn't brought her back. They focused on how to help her, not how to send her away again.

And then there's Season was kinda nice to have Buffy around to lead the charge to, you know, save the world.

Nothing is quite so simple as pure weal or pure woe.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> True but there's impliance the First was because of Buff -- Charles Phipps, 21:05:03 03/05/04 Fri

Some mystical treaties or whatnot were broken and hence the Buffster unwittingly unleashed the horror that was the First's plan.

At least one interpretation.

Also Willow wiped everyone's memory after "Once more with Feeling" upon finding out about the Heaven business. That's a pretty deep regret.

Buffy was suicidal also along with taking up with Spike pre-soul.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> That implication never.. -- Random, 10:14:24 03/06/04 Sat

panned out, really. It was fanwanked from here to eternity, but ME rather dropped the ball on addressing what the phrase "Because she lives" actually meant or even referred to. In any event, it could just as easily refer to S1's "Prophecy Girl", which created the divide in the Slayer line...but no-one argues that Xander's CPR brought nothing but pain and unhappiness.

Willow's action was an attempt at a quickfix, not an attempt to undo what happened. Yes, she was upset...but I don't get the impression she regretted bringing Buffy back so much as she wished things could go back to her version of 'normal and happy.' Notice how it was conjoined with the spelly to make Tara forget's all centered on her selfish wish to create and force an order into her world that she considers acceptable. Keep in mind that the events of TR were an accident, a spark from the fire igniting the bag.

[> Re: Fred's soul (spoliers for Shells) -- pellenaka, 01:20:34 03/05/04 Fri

To me, the problem is that we've never seen a soul as being the essence of the person.
Even if Fred soul hadn't been destroyed (as we were told too many times), the soul they could put into her body wasn't really Fred. The only examples we have of seeing what the soul is a all about, comes from our two souled vampires but none of them serves as good examples since they both still have the demon inside of them. But the important thing is that the only visible change between Souled Spike/Angel and the unsouled version is that they like killing people, i.e. the evil. None of them really changed their personality after gettting a soul, they just got stripped of the evil.

- Did they really get their own souls back? Was is a soul? Wasn't it Fred's spirit they really needed?


Parallels between Forgivness and Shells (spoilers) -- Ray, 17:22:59 03/04/04 Thu

Gunn is now in Wesley's role. Wesley is now in Angel's role.


[> Re: Parallels between Forgivness and Shells (spoilers) -- Claudia, 13:59:01 03/05/04 Fri

"Gunn is now in Wesley's role. Wesley is now in Angel's role."

Are you sure? Unlike Wesley back in late S3 and early S4, Gunn doesn't seem to be bitter over the others' view of his actions. And I feel that Wesley is in a worse situation than Angel was back in late S3. Unlike Angel, Wes committed a murder and now he has to account for that.

A Place Called Home....spoilers for "Shells" -- Rufus, 01:36:03 03/05/04 Fri

Well, it's not hard to see anyone who looks at me
knows I am just a rolling stone
Never landed any place to call my my own.
Well, it seems like so long ago
But it really ain't you know
I started out a crazy kid, miracle I made it through the
things I did.
The things I did.
Someday I'll go, where there ain't no rain or snow
till then I'll travel alone.
And I make my bed with the stars above my head.
And dream of a place called home.
And someday I'll go, where there ain't no rain or snow
till then, I'll travel alone.
And I make my bed with the stars about my head
And dream of a place called home.
Someday I'll go, where there ain't no rain or snow, and dream
of a place called Home.

Who is Winnifred Burkle? The kid who was driving from her childhood home to travel alone? The shell that Illyria calles home? The electrical spasms that make a god uncertain? The love of someones life? Shells asks many questions and offers numerous perspectives. We see things through the characters, each seeing the same thing in just a slightly different way.

Spike: Quess she's gone then, It's like a bloody tease. It's like, here's what a bottle of Jack would look like if you actually had one. Or. Here's a drink, but it's very far away.

Angel: What does that mean, really?

Spike: It's a play on perspective.

Angel: Gone? What does that mean, that she's gone?

Spike: Well, in the world of men, a person dies - they stay that way.

Angel: Unless you're a vampire.

Spike: Or the ghost of one that saved the world.

Angel: Or Buffy - death doesn't have to be the end. Not in our world. Rules can be broken. All you have to do is push hard enough.

Rules, they keep coming and changing, everything changes, even if that change is not seen. Knox changed everything by killing Fred to get his King, his god. What did that mean to him, he had a perspective that led him to kill to get what he wanted. He sees Fred's death differently.

Knox: I'm sorry, it's just, it's not what you's, it''s beautiful...tell them tell them what happened.

Wes: The infection, Illyria, consumed her...took over her body.

Gunn: Then, it's still Fred, right? This things just controlling...

Wes: She's gone..

Gunn: You don't know that.

Harmony: Wait! I'm confused. It looks like Fred, but it's not?

Knox: She's so much more than that now. Beyond flesh. Beyond perfection. I loved Fred, I really did. She had a warmth that took you in and held you until everything cold and distant melted away. She was the most beautiful, perfect woman I ever met. That's why I chose her. She's the only one that was worthy.

Worthy, jackass, worthy! If Illyria is so great, if Knox felt that his life was incomplete without his deity, then why didn't he take a great big whiff? I guess that's the difference between worshipping and the object of worship...perspective. Knox can't worship if he becomes Illyria, the big girl is also selfish enough to want to save his own hide, if that means he is the only one of his kind left.

Wesley: I watched it gut her from the inside out...everything she was is gone! There is nothing left but a shell.

Angel: Then we'll figure our a way to fill it back up.

Spike: The thing only took over her body...just the tip of the theological

Angel: It's the soul that matters.

Spike: Trust us, we're kind of experts.

Gunn: What about her, if her organs had been liquified?

Spike: Flash fried in a pillar of fire, saving the world. I got better.

Better? I guess that is more perspective stuff talking, cause we do have to ask what is better? I guess that depends on what we are talking about and what each person thinks about it. As the episode goes on the realization that Fred as we knew her is gone hits each character depending on their place in her leaving. Lorne feels bad cause he didn't or couldn't read Knox in a way that could have stopped what happened. Then there is Gunn. Gunn so desperate to make things better before his part in Fred's death is exposed.

Doc: Always messy when you have to open them up. That's why I prefer the less invasive proceedures, never got used to the sight of blood.

Gunn: Then, this is going to be an uncomfortable conversation.

Doc: I'm disappointed in you, Mr. Gunn. All the knowledge and deductive reasoning we've implanted in your brain, and it takes you this long to sniff your way back to me.

Gunn: I've been a little preoccupied.

Doc: Ah, yes....Miss Burkle, how is she?

Gunn: You wanna get real straight with me real fast.

Doc: Of course, customers always right.

Gunn: Everything you know, or there won't be enough of you left to stitch back together, Frankenstein.

Doc: The sarcophagus contained the essence of an Old One. A race of ancient demons dead and buried for millions of years in a place called The Deeper Well.

Gunn: Not hearing anything I don't already know.

Doc: Why do you think I'm telling you?

Gunn: How do we bring Fred back? How!

Doc: You can't.

Gunn: I don't believe that, you know a way, you have to.

Doc: Get the sarcophagus released from customs in exchange for making your cerebral alterations permanent. That was the bargain, and the extent of my involvement.

Gunn: Then take it back, everything you put in my head, the law, all the knowledge. Take it back, everything. Take more, leave me a vegetable. I don't care, just bring her back...please, bring her back.

Doc: There's nothing left to bring back. Miss Burkle's soul was consumed by the fires of ressurrection. Everything she was is gone. Forever. For better or worse, you made a deal Mr. Gunn, I suggest you learn to live with it.

Live, after knowing what he has done? How does one live when they know that their need to be more than they thought they were had cost a life. Wes almost sent Gunn to a place where his actions may not have hurt anymore.

Wes: What did you do Charles?

Gunn: It was just a piece of paper. I was losing it, everything they put in my head, everything that made me different, special. And he could fix it, make it permanent. So I signed a piece of paper. It was a customs release. I didn't think anyone would get hurt.

Wes: Nothing from Wolfram and Hart is ever free, you knew that.

Gunn: I couldn't go back to being just the muscle. I...I didn't think it would be one of us. I didn't think it would be Fred.

Think, Gunn thought of his wants, need to be special in a way beyond the fist. Before the mindwipe it was Wesley who was compared to Judas by Lilah. Now it's Gunn who sold Fred for a permanent upgrade. Instead of smothering, Wes took a pointy, direct approach, that he felt was probably not fatal. Angel lost Connor, and now Wes has lost Fred. Is what he will do different than Angel?

Everyone has lost Fred and everyone has to get used to it. All of this starting with a deal. First the deal for Connor, then a deal for a mental upgrade. Deals, why do they end up going so wrong. Gunn said it best........

Harmony: How could you do that? To your friends, to Fred?

Gunn: Because I was weak. Because I wanted to be somebody I wasn't. Because I don't know where I fit. Because I never did. Because a thousand other reasons that don't mean a damn cause she's gone. She's gone and she's not coming back. Because of me. I did this...and I'm sorry....I'm sorry...(loss, regret, shamed, Gunn weeps)

Why can't Fred stay, why do the others go on? Angel does get to the point, even if it's Wes that takes that last shot....

Angel: You're about as low as it gets, Knox, but you're a part of humanity. That isn't always pretty, but it's a hell of a lot better than what came before. And if it comes down to a choice between you (Illyria) and him. Then, yes I would fight for his life, just like any other humans - because that's what PEOPLE do - that's what makes us.......(shot fired, Knox is dead...Angel looks to Wes).....Were you even listening?

Now to the end, Illyria gets to her kingdom, to her Warriors of Doom....and they are all gone. Her world is long resurrection for them. Illyria now can see that the meaning it's life had is gone.

Illyria: You're too late. My army will rise. This world will be mine again. (Illyria can see her temple is rubble, her warriors, ashes)
No! It can't be. It's gone. My world is gone.

Wes: Now you know how I feel.

So much for Illyria as the Big Bad of this year. Illyria is lost, no home to call her/it's own. She ends up back in the lab with of all people, Wesley.

Illyria: You grieve still - for a single life?

Wes: Why are you still here?

Illyria: I - I'm uncertain. This place was part of the shell.

Wes: Don't call her - the woman you killed had a name.

Illyria: This is important to you, things have names. The shell, Winnifred Burkle...she can't return to you.

Wes: I know.

Illyria: Yet, there are fragments - when her brain collapsed, electrical spasms channelled into my function system...memories (Illyria holds her hand and forms sparks with the voice of who her shell once was) "Please Wesley - Why Can't I Stay?"

Wes: No! Leave.

Illyria: I've nowhere to go. My kingdom is long dead.....long dead. There's so much I don't understand. I've become overwhelmed, I'm unsure of my place.

Wes: Your place is with the rest of your people. Dead and turned to ash.

Illyria: Perhaps - but I exist here, I must learn to walk in this world. I'll need your help, Wesley.

Wes: If I were to help you find your have to learn to mustn't kill.

Illyria: You killed the Qwa ha xhan in defiance of your leader.

Wes: He murdered the woman I love.

Illyria: And that made it just.

Wes: No - it wasn't just - I'm probably the last man in the world to teach you what's right.

Illyria: But you will...if I will help me.

Wes: (softly)Yes

Illyria: Because I look like her?

Wes: (barely a whisper, his face pained beyond comforting) yes.

Illyria: We cling to what is gone. Is there anything in this life but grief?

Wes: There's love - there's hope - for some. There's hope that you'll find something worthy. That your life will lead you to some joy. That after everything, you can still be surprised.

Illyria: Is that enough? Is that enough to live on?

Illyria now reminds me of Dawn. Dawn changed from a ball of energy and was able to learn to love the humanity she lived with so much that she was willing to save everyone, even if she died. Dawn is the ultimate change of perspective. The soul is the thing. Does Illyria have a soul or does some fragment, electrical spasm that was Fred inform what is now the shell with an Old One in it?


[> Re: A Place Called Home....spoilers for "Shells" -- Arethusa, 04:13:39 03/05/04 Fri

Illyria's being forced to regard humanity from a new perspective. Humanity was small and far away from the Old Ones, and who knows or cares how ants interact or if they feel? But now they are near, and much larger, with their emotions and concerns clearly visible on their primitive faces. Illyria must interact with them now, but will it change her perspective, her opinion of them and how they should be treated by the "gods"?

What a little hero worshipper Knox is, from his adolescent fixation on a drawing to his Rick Springfield screen saver. His perspective is skewered too, where the object of his devotion becomes wildly out of perspective, growing huge and taking over his life, although he makes sure someone else is the one who actually dies. (BTW, Rick Springfield played the vampire cop in the pilot to Forever Knight.

[> [> Re: A Place Called Home....spoilers for "Shells" -- Gyrus, 07:15:29 03/05/04 Fri

Humanity was small and far away from the Old Ones, and who knows or cares how ants interact or if they feel?

E.O. Wilson?

Sorry. >:)

[> [> Re: A Place Called Home....spoilers for "Shells" -- MaeveRigan, 10:21:25 03/05/04 Fri

OMG! It's another metaphor for fandom!

We've seen variations on the theme in "Superstar," in the Nerds of Doom of B6 (read KdS's insightful analyses in the ATPo archives), and in Andrew as "Storyteller."

Knox didn't love Fred, although he appreciated her lovable qualities. He idolized an image and tried to turn Fred into that image. He was a fan[atic], not a lover. Fred wasn't a person to him, any more than Joss, Marti, Sarah Michelle Gellar, James Marsters, or the characters they play on TV are people to most of their fans. They are images. We want them to be what we want them to be.

The episode asks--what if we change? What if Angel ends? What if we're not who you think we are? Then what?

[> [> [> Right! -- Arethusa, 12:16:47 03/05/04 Fri

How many of us have BtVS or AtS iconography? Quite a few, I'll bet, including myself. Yet our image of the characters (sometimes) and the actors (usually) don't have anything to do with reality. We reinterpret them through our own perspective, which is fine, and even what Whedon had in mind when he said he wants to create a mythology. Unless we identify so fully with an icon that (board) wars break out. Which of course none of us do, right? (lol)

I also saw it as a negative commentary on the deadlier aspects of religious zeal, but the I always do, don't I? That's my own skewered perspective.;)

[> [> [> Any Different? -- Claudia, 13:35:51 03/05/04 Fri

"Knox didn't love Fred, although he appreciated her lovable qualities. He idolized an image and tried to turn Fred into that image."

In the end, was Knox any different than Gunn, Wesley, Angel, Lorne and Spike?

[> [> [> [> Yes -- Random, 10:07:35 03/06/04 Sat

[> Re: A Place Called Home....spoilers for "Shells" -- Dlgood, 07:56:27 03/05/04 Fri

Live, after knowing what he has done? How does one live when they know that their need to be more than they thought they were had cost a life.

I also see this as, in small part, a metaphor for Angel and Spike. How Liam and William had eached wished for a life that was more than they had, only to get a most horrible twist upon those wishes. And how they now must each find ways to live with their bloody pasts.

[> Perspective....spoilers for "Shells" and previous -- fresne, 10:15:18 03/05/04 Fri

díH brought up Swampthing elsewhere, and so I ponder.

I havenít been posting much, to Cypresís thread above, because in general my life am currently quite busy. Forward momentum, etc. Although, my father thinks that I became so PC when I went to a corrupting liberal college. Since this is the same university that produced Eve, Mssr. DeKnight and Madame MK, eh.

Alec Holland. A scientist in the swamps studying. Creating. And the rituals in place. First there must be fire, as a man consumed. Then there must be an emersion in water. Then a death. Then a rebirth. Alec burns, falls into the swamp, dies, and is reborn a monster. Green and strange. A thing. And so he does that classic wrestle, how to turn back time? How to become once more the man? That dream of the Shanny Sue. Shoe. Soul. Burning.

Thereís a hole in the world where those who are not dead, but sleeping dwell. Waiting for the return of some king. Queen. A Cthuloid sculpture writ only in dust. Not just Ozymandius, but the Colossus of Rhodes cracked and echoing.

The Wolf and the Ram and the Hart arranging the return of the kingdomless to the kingdom that they locked up. Because Gunnís knowledge did fade after a taste. Just sign the wood pulp paper and eat again. Become someone. The mind. The muscle.

Consumed. Liquefied. Burning what came before into some new alchemic mix of electricity and stone and crystal. Like powder propelling tiny bits of metal at high velocity through some controlled explosion. Expansion. Forward momentum.

Cum catapultae proscriptae erunt tum soli proscript catapultas habebunt.

Itís a Night in the Lonesome October/March and I ponder the happy meals on legs approach to evil. The Wolf and the Ram and the Hart are minor in their old Seniority. Or they were. Or they are. Or they are just really sneaky. Who can say what role they want Angel to play in that someday apocalypse.

Time. If only there were someone around who controls time. Someone with the power to punch another hole in the world. Possibly better not.

Swampthing, who thought he was a man who became a monster, but it seems no. Alec Hollandís bones lie not so much full fathoms five as Mark Twain and the swamp plays tidily winks with his fingers. Swampthing is not a monstrous man, but a god, who has the memories of that man. He is the Eryl King and his heart is a lump of wood that does nothing but take up space. So, he lets it shrivel away. To not even the size of a walnut.

Nut. Seed. Tree. Flower. Fruit. Nut. Fall.

It is spring on the trembling edge and Persephone is making her way from the earth and the waiting dead into world above. Into the sunlight and the Kore maiden green.

Champions. Half human hybrids. Although really, what is Illyria now but a part of a whole? The shell shaping what is inside.

Illyria. Land of music and girls dressed as boys and twins and confusion. And mourning too long. Waiting too long in the realm of the dead and memory. Who we were, shaping shell who we are. And the characters stumbling. Perhaps not so much in the dark, but in the glaring light after too long in the cool cave with its flickering shadows on a wall.

You know cave paintings are a marvel in imagination. The paint applied over features on the cave wall to create a sense of perspective. And when viewed by a flickering torch, because of the way they used contrasting tones, the images appear to move on the wall. Itís all in the perspective. Up close. Far away. Light. Time.

Hunks of metal hurling themselves through space. Europe is ten, no four hours away. WH has really good jets. Lyrical Illyria isnít the only one who can manipulate time.

Rocket man, watching the tiny earth below. Itís lonely in space.

[> A Place Called Home is by Kim Richey -- Rufus, 17:41:38 03/05/04 Fri

Her CD is called "Rise" and the song was also played on the series "Alias". You can find her stuff at

[> [> I have to add........ -- Rufus, 20:02:23 03/05/04 Fri

This is the second CD I've bought because of ME. The first was "Lost in Space" by Amiee Mann, now "Rise" by Kim Richey.

[> As I mentioned elsewhere... -- Random, 20:21:13 03/05/04 Fri

I found Illyria's scene at the end poignant...and troubling. It felt forced. What we have of Illyria thus far suggests s/he is utterly removed from human sentiment, and that would include the sentiments s/he expressed to Wes. The fact that s/he was a very powerful demon, probably on level with Glory or the like, tends to make any sudden redemptionista story troubling. It was very sudden, even given hir reaction to the despoiling of the temple. I really didn't buy the meek, confused Illyria at the end -- I didn't much establishment of groundwork for it. Personally, I would have been much more convinced by an angry, lashing-out Illyria.

Of course, as others have noted, it could all be subterfuge. But that isn't any better. It strikes me as entirely too subtle a course for a creature like Illyria.

The problem is, it reminds me of Anya and Glory...powerful nonhumans struggling with the humanity within themselves and the human world around. It's been done before. And if this turns out to be a case of "Fred influencing Illyria", then I shall be a little disappointed at the lack of originality after having seen it in a slightly different form in the "Ben/Glory" character.

Wes is indeed a complicated character study this season. He was reacting as though he had some exclusive claim on Fred, forgetting that others loved her as much as he did (and, yes, I believe they did, just not in the same 'romantic' way.) When he stabbed Gunn, it was an act that marked him in a far more profound way than, say, stealing Connor did. The critical divide of character was breached -- and I desperately wanted to see Angel finish his pimp-slapping of Wesley even after the news of Fred's irrevocable obliteration was delivered. An organization can survive mistakes. But, while Gunn's actions were criminally negligent, Wes finally became a model W&H employee by stabbing one of his own friends.

[> [> Re: As I mentioned elsewhere... -- Rufus, 20:51:19 03/05/04 Fri

But, while Gunn's actions were criminally negligent, Wes finally became a model W&H employee by stabbing one of his own friends.

First thing in the episode was Wes planning to do a Lilah on Fred/Illyria, except the axe blade roke..........leading to the question, why all the sword play on a being who is impervious to them?????

Now to what you said. Wes did exactly what Angel did except he did miss all the vital organs. Both guys reacted in a homicidal way when they lost the people they loved. Gunn is Wes and Wes is Angel this season when it comes to reactions. Now, how does one recover from doing wrong? Gunn was stupid and self-centered but he did realize just how wrong he was and notice that Wes realizes in the last scene that he is every bit as wrong as Gunn and more because he intended to hurt the other person. But, he does get it that what he did to Knox and Gunn is not just, is wrong. Maybe Wesley is the one to teach Illyria a thing or two, not because he is the wisest man on earth but because he understands just how wrong someone can go, and hope that there are some surprises in everyone that can lead to some joy.

Oh and Illyria, I'm okay with her being the way she is as she has been brought down a peg or two like Anya was when she became mortal. She wants to learn to walk in this world and one can only hope it isn't just to learn how to squish a human bug or two. This leads me to the thought I had about what David Fury mentioned before about the soul being the "philosophical ghost" in the vampire. Angel says the soul means the most, and I have to ask what is the difference between memories and personality and the soul if the end result ends up the same? What does the electrical spasms of Freds memory mean to the package that is now Illyria?

[> [> Re: As I mentioned elsewhere... -- Rook, 23:32:03 03/05/04 Fri

"Of course, as others have noted, it could all be subterfuge. But that isn't any better. It strikes me as entirely too subtle a course for a creature like Illyria."

However, they made a point of VERY clearly having her take note of humans as "sneaky". The first time in her conversation with Knox (Where Knox tell her humans are sneaky, and she calls them "decievers", and again when fighting Angel...and that time with unmistakable admiration in her voice. IMO, there's a big hint being dropped right there about her real intentions (Unspoiled spec on my part)

When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- Cypres, 01:46:46 03/05/04 Fri

After reading a lot of the post here these last days (catching up)and being a long time lurker(I don't post here,I'm not smart enough,but I do,you know!on other boards),I realized how this board has slowly become(most of the time) a place for JW's worshippers.
I love the show(s),but a little (or a big one) criticism here and there has never killed anyone.And they are rare these days!
Everybody here is taptoeing carefully when they dare(!)to give a negative opinion or they stop posting.Is it because the show is being cancelled?Don't want to kick a little a man's down?Come on,the show is not perfect,you can find a little something to criticize or have heated discussions about!
It's so much fun and it's a lot more constructive and good for the brain than weeping because the show is ending.Negatives or mixed opinions don't make you a Mutant's Ennemy's ennemy.On the contrary,it shows how passionate you are about Angel and I'm sure the networks executive dont lurk here(no time).They won't know!
Are we all obliged to behave like the show is so wonderful(I like it sometimes and I think this season was very weird and weak or incoherent with great moments or eps in between!I'm not afraid of my feelings or the reactions of other posters.I watch,I love or dislike,I think it,I say it!(Cordy much?)And I try *most of the time* to be positive!
We can try to find another home for Ats and stay ourselves:people obsessed with a show and eager to nitpick,rant(graciously!)or argue about the plot!
I don't want name calling or catfight,but the show is not dead yet.Please,please,stop cheerleading half of the time or mourning,let's enjoy or discuss or spit on the current season with good arguments.
This board was so interesting and alive!Now,every time I come here ,I feel like going to funerals.
It's a little depressing(I feel it too)to lose our last JW's show,but it's just a (good,very good sometime) TV show,not a life and death situation and they're is always hope for a renewal and,if not,well,another show will come and make us happy .It's not the end of the world!
Humor and lucidity,friends!


[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- Rook, 04:01:52 03/05/04 Fri

Maybe it's because there's been a run of excellent episodes? Personally, the last episode I had any problem with at all was Harm's Way, and the only thing I didn't like about that was the stunt work.

Or maybe it's the fact that most of the internet is already a cesspool of whining and complaining, and people don't feel like carrying the negativity in here?

[> [> Positivity isn't PC, necessarily. -- Darby, 05:08:18 03/05/04 Fri

As someone who isn't universally positive, I think that some of the nature of a board like this, with Buffy gone, Angel on its way and Firefly sort of in limbo, the folks with the most positive feelings stay engaged and talking the longest. The more important aspect here, though, is that for the most part negativity is not discouraged - at least as long as the negativity is thoughtful.

There's a bit of the martyr effect at work now, too - with the networks' last two actions on his shows, it feel like going too directly after Joss is kind of kicking someone when they're down.

Plus, with the knowledge that bad Whedon still tends to be better than most of the stuff out there, the anticipatory salivation over his next creations gets, maybe (maybe!) ...unreasonable? For just me, the more I watch the drek that's out there now (what's happened to you, Doug Petrie?), the more I'm driven back here for some hope.

[> [> [> Stray thought - Janet Jackson & quality television. -- Darby, 08:01:43 03/05/04 Fri

I was just talking to someone about the Fred / Illyria situation - has a principal actor ever been changed into a brand new ongoing character in a show before? - and the thought of it maybe ME, as the ME of old, was giving us something no one else had before got me thinking about innovative television in general.

In the storm arising out of the Super Bowl Incident, mentions get made about changes to the Grammys, Oscars, and NYPD Blue, and it seems to be giving the broadcast networks an opportunity to say that they aren't originating programs like The Shield or Nip / Tuck because quality goes hand-in-hand with envelope pushing and controversy, and they aren't really allowed to do it(!). Of course, what's really true is that no one expects quality on broadcast networks, and the good shows can't build an appreciative audience fast enough for the overnight-ratings-obsessed execs to leave them on the air.

Is it true? Will this be the fate of Wonderfalls? Is this why Tru Calling started off as a chases & jiggle show? Is there any hope beyond cable? I don't hate every show on the big net's, but I'd hardly describe any of them as "high quality," especially with Vic Mackey and Tony Soprano poised to return soon.

What's out there that's any good? What'll we watch to fill the Angel void? Is this how reading will really make a comeback?

[> [> [> [> Answering your question... (major spoiler for "Alias", Season 2) -- Rob, 08:38:24 03/05/04 Fri

...has a principal actor ever been changed into a brand new ongoing character in a show before?

Sidenote, but yes, last year on Alias, Sydney's best friend, Francie (not a main character, but in the opening credits) was killed by an identical double. From midway through the season and onwards, the actress, Merrin Dungey, was playing a different character. Plotwise, the two shows have equal levels of coolness, but Amy Acker's acting is superior to Dungey's.


[> [> [> [> [> also -- skeeve, 09:05:38 03/05/04 Fri

On Babylon 5, Tim Choate played Zathras in Babylon Squared and later played Zathras.
According to Zathras, his nine brothers' names were pronounced differently, not that Ivanova could tell.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I kinda meant beyond the twin, but I'm not sure the distinction matters -- Darby, 10:42:36 03/05/04 Fri

[> [> [> [> Another answer... -- Raven_NightDragon, 21:22:58 03/05/04 Fri

Does that whole thing in Star Trek: TNG where Tasha Yar got killed off and came back later through a bunch a weird circimstances as her half-Romulan daughter a few times count?

[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- Foobar, 05:10:53 03/05/04 Fri

Well, there's the TV Without Pity board, where people (including the moderators) reflexively try to outdo each other on the whininess.
Can be fun, actually, in small doses.

[> A open letter to everyone -- Cactus Watcher, 05:27:51 03/05/04 Fri

I like to call things as I see them. I often gripe quite a bit here. But I think that with the show on the edge of oblivion, people are feeling pretty badly. I don't say that everyone has to stop posting negative things here, far from it. But for me I think it's time to back away from being too critical here. I'll still make a few negative comments if I think they are appropriate, but in general, here, I'd rather emphasize that I'm enjoying the show this season.

I'm still being just as critical within a smaller group of friends. But they're people who've known me for a while and know I'm not trying to mock something they care about very deeply.

So bear with us Cypres if things are a little subdued and one-sided right now. It may not be quite as fun to read, but we're still trying to battle with the big issues ME hands us every week. Masq is still turning out her fantastic analysis on every episode at the main site. We may not be feeling the best right now, but as Masq keeps saying, we aren't going anywhere. We aren't leaving here anytime soon.

[> It was right around the time my Mac Plus broke down. -- Gyrus, 06:45:19 03/05/04 Fri

[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!) <--- either am I -- Sebastian, 08:02:37 03/05/04 Fri

I would like to being this by stating that this is not a criticism of the board or anyone in particular ñ but an expression of what Iím observing:

I rather have to agree with Cypres on this point.

I've been lurking/sporadically posting on this board since late 2001. And although, this is still is my favorite ME-related board to read posts - the vibe on here is noticeably different.

I understand the prior points about everyone feeling defensive about the impending cancellation. However, a ëforumí is no longer a forum if posters feel that they cannot express a critique that is the opposite of the consensus.

I've noticed in a few of the responses to this original post - that there were remarks about 'whining' or how one can got to such&such board for 'complaining'. I think statements like that are rather unfair - and indicative of the point Cypres is raising.

I don't advocate combative behavior, but I do have a problem if people ëshut-downí someone who expresses an opinion that is opposite to what they are feeling.

My favorite posts were when people debated the issues not only because one read differing perspectives - but because it also made one think.

[> [> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!) <--- either am I -- Masq, 11:56:55 03/05/04 Fri

A lot of the reason the "vibe" has changed around here is that in the past year or so, there has been a lot of negativity on the board, and what you're witnessing is a response to that.

Sadness and stress over the end of Buffy and the changes on AtS in season 5 created some very polarized opinions, and there was, sadly, a rise in hostility among posters to each other. Not unsurprising, given the upheaval in both shows.

I think people who post now want to concentrate on getting along with each other, and sometimes that means posting less extreme views and concentrating on what is good in the show, especially in light of the recent cancellation of Angel.

Internet boards are like people--we have moods, and the moods change over time in reaction to what's going on in the larger world of fandom. It doesn't mean it will stay that way.

[> A tiny whisky bottle, or a matter of perspective? -- Plin, 09:17:26 03/05/04 Fri

To me, it's not really a matter of being critical or not wanting to "kick the show when it's down". One of the aspects of this place I've always appreciated most, compared to other fanboards and forums, is that the discussion tends to focus primarily on noticing and grasping the meaning and various parallels woven into the show. There are plenty of places where fans can go to state whether or not they like certain episodes/characters/arcs/etc., and some of those places also have some interesting discussions about themes. But the latter aren't the focus of the conversations there, as they are here.

I have nothing against people expressing their dislike of various facets of the show, or criticizing things they think are not done well. I'm just not all that interested in talking about it: I'd much rather focus on the meat of the episodes. Especially, yes, now that the show appears to be nearing its end, but even before we ever learned of the cancellation.

Different strokes, and all that. Depends on what you're looking for.

[> Self-selection -- Sophist, 11:00:32 03/05/04 Fri

The people still watching AtS are those who are its most dedicated fans. It's hardly surprising that you'd find a narrower range of views than you would if the audience were larger. Those who have serious criticisms of the show simply don't watch and therefore don't post.

[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- heywhynot, 12:08:03 03/05/04 Fri

Actually going through the posts for the latest episode, I actually find a number of criticisms of the show (yours included) ranging from people upset about the way it seemed Giles refused to help Angel, the fact the Buffy gang is mentioned so much this season, the lack of chemistry in some people's mind between AD and AA, the humor following Knox being shot, etc. There are a number of people who are posting here who really enjoyed the episode. Nor have I read any attempts to put down critiques of the episode. I have seen people debating and challenging one another to think about what we saw & what it means. Which really is the point of this particular board IMHO. It is not a board where we post our reviews but rather to discuss the meaning of the show & what the creators are trying to get across.

[> [> The above post has spoilers for AtS 5 up to Shells -- Pip, 09:21:44 03/06/04 Sat

[> [> [> Sorry about that! Thanks for Catching it Pip (nt) -- heywhynot, 10:41:55 03/07/04 Sun

[> Not sure what you're complaint is.. -- Random, 13:06:43 03/05/04 Fri

Are you complaining that people aren't attacking each other and getting into flame wars as much as you'd like? Or are you saying that the people who have had a generally positive perspective on the recent string of episodes are wrong in their opinions? I'm getting the vibe of "I am feeling very ambivalent about this season, so why aren't all of you!?!?" here, and, really, if your opinion seems to be less-embraced than the alternative, one need not look to some sort of conspiracy of silence and/or praise as the first explanation.

Admittedly, I'm fairly dubious about the latest plotlines. I see Illyria/Fred as a rehash of S4 with Jasmine and Cordy. I see the Dark!Gunn as just a carousel of Dark!Characters, starting with Angel in S2, then Wes in S3&4, and Cordy in S4. I'm not sure the payoff of connecting Gunn back to Wes' unremembered actions will be worth the retread, but I'm hopeful. And the weak, doubting Illyria at the end of the last episode made me groan in annoyance. I don't want another Anya or Spike trying to connect with humanity, or a Glory dealing with the confusion and the influx of human feelings from Ben (who, like Fred, was the "container" for his counterpart...though he survived the implantation process, lucky him.) And I think the last two episodes have been spectacular, but overly-soap opera-ish, and strained my credulity with regards to certain characterizations.

I haven't been posting much lately, so I haven't contributed to debate and argument. But one must note a difference between conflict because there is genuine disagreement and conflict because one feels conflict is necessary. At least one poster I can think of meets your criteria for offering all sorts of negative opinions about every character (except the one that s/he loves and defends and obsesses over.) The problem is, that one, and certain others, tend to offer up inflammatory statements without ever engaging in debate or support. It does no good to call Wes a sociopath, to use a random example, if all one does is cite certain scenes and say, "These prove my point" without either actually making a case of sociopathy (e.g. defining the damned word in a supportable manner) or acknowledging the efforts of people who do attempt to make a lucid case, albeit against the original premise.

I'm glad you want debate. I love debate. But when the general consensus seems to lean a certain way, one cannot fault the people for having their own opinions. If you don't think you have enough people jumping in and agreeing with you, that cannot be helped. If you post something that goes against what most people happen to think on a topic, and I happen to agree with you, and happen to feel motivated to post on the topic...well, there are all sorts of factors. But there's no monolithicism here. I respect most of the posters here enough to assume that their reactions, positive or negative, are genuine. If they claim to like something, and if they have lots of other people agreeing, I'm not gonna assume that debate is being stifled. Particularly since I feel perfectly free to say that, for instance, I think Joss has shown deep flaws, especially of late, and believe that neither of his episodes this season rank in the top 5 -- and considering that there have only been 16, that's significant. But I do consider several of the eps to be absolutely excellent examples of TV at its best, from Bell's "The Cautionary Tale..." to "Destiny" to "Smile Time". I even liked "Harm's Way", apparently more than most people.

Basically, I agree on one all the time I've been here, the intense philosophical debates have been the mainstay, and the thing that made this Board worth coming to. Personally, these last two episodes have had me skimming the Board and seeing that there were 20 new topics started that mostly said essentially the same thing or raised essentially the same issues for debate...and I just didn't bother trying to figure out which one interested me the most. But just because I agree that debate is good doesn't mean I agree that you have a valid point. Yeah, there have been character wars of late, and that makes people leery when they can result in massive flames. Not that those worry me, heh, but most posters here prefer not to be subject to that. And, let's face it, lots of posts that have no philosophical or intellectual depth beyond "OMG, this is how I feel!" But if I choose not to respond to that, it's my choice.

[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- Corwin of Amber, 17:51:34 03/05/04 Fri

In my case, I had a lot of trepidation about the "new direction" the show was supposed to be taking, and fears about Angel becoming Spike: The Series. In both of those I was proven wrong (Thank God!), plus I can honestly say I've enjoyed every episode this season, on a simple "Hey, that was fun to watch!" level. Actually, I've enjoyed this season of Angel far more than the final season of Buffy. But if you need some complaining, here are my gripes about the season, in order of importance:

1. ANDREW. The character just rubs me the wrong way. Why bring the worst thing about Season 7 BTVS over to ATS? I would have prefferred the Cheese Guy. "I cut the cheese, it does not cut me!"
2. It wasn't enough just to kill Fred, no they had destroy her soul. Grrr.

[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- Foobar, 01:38:28 03/06/04 Sat

While this is an open board where anyone can read and post, there's a distinctive 'vibe' here we should all respect and maintain.
The few who come here do so to post their well-reasoned feelings and analysis of the stories (in complete paragraphs and even essays!, seriously how you people even find the time and energy, I'd never know).
My apology if I came off a little rude in the above post, I was only trying to say that if you wish to engage in discussions along the line of:
a) OMG, ____ is sooo hot/ugly ... etc,
b) I was so bored by this episode ...
c) ___ is murderer/rapist/sociopath ... (without supporting essays and bibliography, that is ;)
, then there are better places than here.
The exception is when things get traumatic, thing like cancellation, for instance. In which case, a few choice swear words to the responsible culprits wouldn't go astray.

[> Re: When did you all become so PC?(I'm not a troll!)... -- Hero of Canton, 17:58:08 03/07/04 Sun

Though I love Angel--I would see it die if it leaves many clamoring for a new Joss show (and also an old Joss show):

Always leave em' wanting more.



Poor Lorne (Spoilers for "Shells") -- Vegeta, 08:05:14 03/05/04 Fri

I had mentioned in a previous post about Lorne's "checking out" of "Shells". I at first thought he may have more to do with Illyria then we know. After a little futher thought IMHO I think he feels incredibly guilty. NOT because he had anything to do with Fred's death, but that he had no power to stop it. He could not see it coming. I believe that Lorne thinks his powers are waning if not gone. To him, without his reading ability, what good is he to the Fang Gang. What has made him special is disappearing, maybe Wolfram & Hart either destroyed his ability in S4 or are slowly sapping it away. Sadly, Lorne is in a deep period of self doubt and likely has been this entire season. I am unsure of what he can do to redeem himself in his mind. Poor Lorne.


[> I agree Vegeta (spoils Shells) -- Briar Rose, 13:03:52 03/05/04 Fri

Lorne has always relied on his ability to read people as his way of contributing to society, and personally as his tool to always being able to play "Host" to the best of his ability.

I have noticed that whenever Lorne is seen lately, it is more about frustration than any thing else. He lost it in the last ep with Eve because he couldn't read her AND he felt that she was playing a role in Fred's emminent demise. But in Shells, he didn't even seem to want to try and test his abilities. That could mean that Lorne has totally lost his sense of self. That his inner deamons are coming to the surface.

It's interesting to me that ME chose Lorne to portray the most human of all the FangGang. He has very human emotional traits as we see whenever he's frustrated. He turns to escapism. Drink is his most common choice.

Sure - we've seen other characters in the Joss-verse booze it up from time to time. But Lorne portrays the un-repentant alchoholic in this series. He turns to alchohol whenever he wants a boost of confidence OR when he needs to escape the problems in the real world. I don't think that has been dealt with as openly in any other ME project, unless you count Dark!Willow.

Now I'm wondering if the whole "Magick as Drug abuse" was a natural way for ME to give a human a dependance problem, since we see that their natural inclination is to give a deamon an alchohol problem? Sort of a juxtaposition of human fraility versus deamon fraility.

I don't know.... It just seems like there was a conscious effort to make Lorne more human than most of the AtS characters by giving him the most common human addiction.

[> [> Re: I agree Vegeta (spoils Shells) -- Raven_NightDragon, 21:13:54 03/05/04 Fri

Didn't Lorne mention once that alcohol actually doesn't effect him? I could of swore I heard him mention that once in Season 3 or 4 sometime...

[> [> Except... ( spoilers for AtS S5 up to 5.16 Shells) -- Pip, 15:36:46 03/07/04 Sun

But Lorne portrays the un-repentant alchoholic in this series. He turns to alchohol whenever he wants a boost of confidence OR when he needs to escape the problems in the real world. I don't think that has been dealt with as openly in any other ME project, unless you count Dark!Willow.

I think other characters in the Jossverse did more than occasionally 'booze it up'. Spike quite openly used alcohol as his solution to over-stress in BtVS, shown most spectacularly in BtVS S3 Lover's Walk . Giles was also shown drinking too much in BtVS S4, as his reaction to having no job and no real role as a Watcher.

So ME has pretty consistently used 'drinking way too much' as a character solution to stress, for both demons and humans. It wouldn't be surprising if a stressed out Lorne was drinking more.

Frankly, I'd think Spike is more the guy with the incipient drink problem in AtS S5 - he goes on a three day bender at the end of Destiny / beginning of Harm's Way. He isn't drunk during Soul Purpose - but he buys three sets of drinks (one whisky, has frostys in the fridge when Wes and Gunn call, and has been out to buy another six pack when Lindsey arrives again). In You're Welcome he wants to drown his embarrassment in 'a few pints', and in Shells he's complaining about the lack of large whisky bottles in the jet - because he can't get drunk. [I may have missed other examples]. And we're not told why Spike's car ended up in the drink in Smile Time , but I'll lay odds that it ended up in the drink because Spike'd had too much drink [grin].

My personal guess is that we're being given a clue here that Spike is much, much more stressed out than he's showing. He's keeping up his 'don't care' front for Angel and the Fang Gang, but he's drinking/getting drunk a lot. Like most of the main characters this season, he's sending out a 'stress signal'.

There's also quite a difference between 'drinking too much due to stress' and being an alcoholic. Alcoholism is a disease, which appears to have a genetic component. It may start when someone becomes stressed, but an alcoholic will keep drinking excessively even after the original stress has gone away. Someone who is drinking due to stress (but isn't an alcoholic) will generally cut back to their pre-stress drinking level when the original stress goes away.

[> Re: Poor Lorne (Spoilers for "Shells") -- mayfair, 21:23:54 03/05/04 Fri

I disagree, Vegeta, on your view of Lorne. I can't help but remember his shock and dismay when he heard Fred singing 'You are my Sunshine' to Wes on the stairs. If Fred had not gone into convulsions, I think Lorne would have articulated whatever it was that he obviously read for Fred.
I believe that Lorne has gone into total withdrawal and despair as indicated by his opting out of the effort to save Fred, his comment 'i am going to pray' (what god or goddesses do demons pray to?), and turning to drink to blot out whatever it is that he knows.
In future, Lorne is going to come clean and show that he is the shell of what he once was, as Wes is a shell of himself, and as Gunn has been destroyed leaving only a shell.

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