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Dilemma: To Read or Not to Read Spoilers? (NOT A SPOILER...I'm just talking about them in general.) -- Joie (d V), 22:02:21 05/07/02 Tue

I'm suffering from an intense desire to read spoilers regarding the remaining part of the season! I just stumbled upont the Angel X spoiler site for the first time tonight. I began to read the beginning of next weeks (Villains) episode. I quickly exited out after reading the beginning of what I assume is a plethora of further spoilage. Now I'm in a heated battle with myself. In the past I would choose "to read or not to read" with relative ease. Making this choice today, however, is entirely different...its conflicted.

I'd like to hear some different view points on whether it is better to read or not to read spoilers. To those of you who read them, do you ever feel that the episode is in fact...spoiled? To those of you who do not read them, do you struggle with this same overwhelming temptation? Or do you stand unshakeable in your conviction of an unspoiled existense?
I'm glad to say, writing this has helped me to curb the temptation for a while. I'll continue trying not to succumb while I wait and ponder your responses.

[> Re: Dilemma: To Read or Not to Read Spoilers? (NOT A SPOILER... -- sTalking Goat, 22:15:11 05/07/02 Tue

I never really got the whole thing about not reading spoilers. But then again I've been called a Paranoid with Serious Control Issues.
Even if you know exactly what's going to happen, its not the same as seeing it is it? Of all you people who knew what was going to happen in Seeing Red, weren't you still suprised when it played out?
While I won't call myself a serious spoiler seeker. I do browse the occasional spoiler site. If I come across something, its just more incentive for me to make sure my VCR is set.
But Thats Just Me.

[> [> Re: Dilemma: To Read or Not to Read Spoilers? (NOT A SPOILER... -- JBone, 22:18:54 05/07/02 Tue

I first found out what spoilers where in the beginning of season 5. I knew a lot of what was going to happen early in that season, and I knew EVERYTHING that was going to happen in Buffy vs Dracula. I watched that first episode and felt a huge letdown. I knew all the jokes, all the scenes. What should have been a great viewing experience turned into a hollow exercise of matching scenes to words. I haven't read a spoiler since.

[> [> [> I avoid them like the plague -- lulabel, 22:38:00 05/07/02 Tue

I hate being spoiled. The only time I deliberately spoiled myself was over Christmas vacation when I was travelling and would not see the current episode for a couple weeks. The episode was "Gone" which was a fun but not earthshattering episode. I did not regret doing it in this case, but I have not deliberately spoiled myself since.

A couple weeks ago I realized that I was being inadvertantly spoiled for some of the remaining episodes of this season through fanfiction, of which I read quite a bit. It wasn't just one fanfic, but several, all of which were NOT labelled for spoilers. I've stopped reading newly posted fiction and will continue to do so until the end of the season.

I just enjoy watching un-spoiled, it's a much more visceral experience when you don't know what's coming. I think the emotional impact is much greater. There's also the problem with reading and viewing a scene - a bit like reading verses viewing a play, it's not really the same thing.

Just Say No!

[> Re: Dilemma: To Read or Not to Read Spoilers? -- Cactus Watcher, 22:25:46 05/07/02 Tue

It's really all about how YOU feel about it. Personally, when I started getting closer to being completely spoiled last season, I found the episodes themselves less enjoyable. Half the fun for me is following the clues ME gives us. Much of what will happen is foretold. And those things that are supposed to be a shock, are better left a shock in my opinion. But, if you really want to know, go ahead and find out. There sure is no law against it. Just try not spoil it for everyone else if you do.

[> Don't do it!!! -- MayaPapaya9, 00:13:33 05/08/02 Wed

I used to read spoilers like some people read the Bible, but I stopped about mid way through Season 5, and oh my god. You would not believe how much more I enjoyed the show. I was not prepared at all for Buffy's death. I was yelling at the TV and bawling like a baby. In a spoiler-free viewing, every emotion you feel is times ten. There's no substitute for genuine surprise. Don't cave in and read spoilers! It takes a lot of self-control, but everything in life takes self-control. Dieting, getting good grades, everything. Trust me, it'll make the experience so much more satisfying.

[> [> Re: Don't do it!!! -- maddog, 14:15:54 05/08/02 Wed

See but that's just your opinion...we all have different feelings. I don't mind spoilers(though I don't always read them) and I knew Buffy was going to die...and I still cried like a baby. For me it's all in the acting. And I really think you need to experience both ways and make the decision for yourself.

[> Re: Dilemma: To Read or Not to Read Spoilers? (no SPOILERs) -- yuri, 00:54:49 05/08/02 Wed

A bit of a reiteration of CW and MP, but there are two definite reasons why I remain unspoiled.

1. Looking for clues and cues as to what will happen is one of my favorite things to do, and makes me more involved in each episode. (I can see how some would say the opposite - that knowing what will happen is fun b/c you can see all the little things building it up that you may miss - but whenever I've been spoiled - always inadvertantly - I've never enjoyed that as much.)

2. Emotions come stronger. If you're anticipating something its arrival is less impacting than if it is a suprise. I value the power that art has to make me feel things above pretty much anything else it can do, so I'm not about to dull my reactions.

[> [> Re: Dilemma: To Read or Not to Read Spoilers? (no SPOILERs) -- Cyndey, 07:34:06 05/08/02 Wed

I got accidentally spoiled for AYW and knew about Buffy and Spike a month ahead of time. Absolutely ruined it for me. It isn't worth knowing in advance - the emotional impact is lost - and that is what makes the show so great.

I agree - don't do it.

[> Speaking as an admitted spoiler trollip,... -- VampRiley, 13:17:24 05/08/02 Wed

...I've got to weight in, given the responses so far.

As CW said, "It's really all about how YOU feel about it."

I, for one, like being spoiled. You start hearing how things might go and you wonder how it is they're gonna pull it off. Or whether or not they have the balls to actually do it. I find spoilers to be like a tease: just a little to get you excited and interested. But that doesn't mean that if you get too much of it, the actual viewing will be better for you.

For some, spoilers keep people interested if they think some of the season isn't as good as they thought it would be. But for me though, I'll even read portions of shooting scripts that are leaked. I probably wouldn't read the "entire" script if it was put out before I saw the show (I've never come across this).

I have never come across a time where being spoiled ruined it for me. In fact, all they have ever done is enhance the pleasure I receive from watching it. While reading a scene is and using my own imagination is fine, watching it and seeing how the actors play their parts is much better for me.

I'm not just limited to viewing it with just my own vision of it. I get the vision of so many people. Sometimes I, if I'm spoiled about a scene, I'll compare either during or afterwards. Sometimes I think my way is better, sometimes theirs. That's part of the fun for me when watching these shows. And I will think for hours on end on how it could have turned out different if some things were different.

Hearing about spoilers can also lead to some very wierd, but fun, speculation, like mine on how BabyConnor could have been Sahjhan or Holtz. I liked those. I enjoyed coming up with them. Thinking how the implausible could be plausible is a joy I freely admit to.

The admittence is all part of the 12 step program I'm in. I get kidnapped for being a Buffyholic, and since I don't want to get rid of my addiction, they try to force this curse (I mean "cure") in me head. Bloody pillocks. Jokes on them. I'm just playing along until my timely escape.

VR, the committed one

Karma and Chaos ........Seeing Red spoilers for SR and Villians -- Rufus, 22:31:49 05/07/02 Tue

Entropy seems to have achieved the results of entropic chaos...the whole world of the Scoobies fractured with most of them travelling in seperate directions never to find each other again. The one exception is Tara and Willow who have the most healthy relationship in the show. They came back together to the joy of everyone even Spike. But lots happened tonight to further seperate the gang in ways we never could have considered. The Troika has emerged as a real problem, and they seem to have gotten away with everything from robbery to murder. Well, until tonight. I think about Karma when I consider the events that are rapidly unfolding. Chaos seems to be winning, if you look that bit closer there is some order there. I read an article in the Yoga Journal relating to Karma and here is part of it.....

The Law Of John Schumacher and Patricia Walden

According to karma, what is happening right now depends on the sequence of events that came before. As a result, you are constantly experiencing the karmic results of choices made in the past - and making choices that will help create your future.

Webster's New Twentieth Century Dictionary defines the word "sequence" as the "coming of one thing after another; order; a continuous or related series of things following in a certain order or succession; a result or consequence."

Karma is, more or less the law of cause and effect. When something happens, that event produces results in the future: con-sequences. Each moment in you life is the karmic culmination of a series of events - a sequence. Choices you make flow in a sequence, one after another, and lead to the circumstances of the present moment. This is where the cliched phrase, "You create your own reality," has some real meaning. Not in the Pollyan-ish sense that you get what you wish for (so wish for nice things and everything will be peachy), but in the sense that you get what you've set yourself up to get.

There are lots of mitigating factors involved in examining the presence and role of karma in life: the existence of free will; the interplay of consequences from all our past actions; the presence or absence of conditions suitable for certain sonsequences to manifest themselves; our collective as well as individual karma, the wider web of causality in which we all move. But basically, the law of karma says that what is happening now is predicated on the sequence of events that came before. You are always simultaneously at the beginning, the middle, and the end of many sequences; while you are at this mement experiencing the karmic results of choices you made in the past, you are also making karmic choices that will help create the moments you will experience in the future. This is ver important to understand because it means you have a lot of say in what comes your way down the road.

Everything that happened tonight is the result of a sequence of events that have merged together to bring us tonights show. The posative side of it was the fact that Xander is finding a sort of peace, even if he is still hurting. He went from angry accusations to seeking out his friend and making up with her.





Every character in the Scooby Gang has made mistakes that they aren't proud of. Xander wasn't honest with Anya and the consequences are for now he has lost her. Buffy hid her relations with Spike and paid for it by being even more alienated from her friends. Willow began to see magic as the only answer to any problem, losing Tara til she stopped. Last week Willow had come far enough that Tara met her half way and resumed their relationship.

Then there is the Troika. Warren is an evil man. He started by playing with dolls because he couldn't relate to people. He then decided to use anything and anyone to get the power he never had as a nerd. He brought his friends into his scheme causing them to do things they wouldn't have done if they had stuck to building Boba Fett models. Warren is a killer, he killed Katrina, he killed Tara, and tried to kill Buffy. Warren arrived at the house to kill Buffy, he didn't intend on having lemonade with a former schoolmate, he wanted to kill her for making him feel less of a man. He got Tara, an innocent victim, and next he will find out what happens when you start a sequence of events that lead you to a future you made for yourself. I know that many will say that Tara died in a stupid way, but in real life most death I have seen has been for similar reasons, and it's stupid but people continue to kill each other. All this done with souls, the element that is supposed to help us find the right star.

Then we have to deal with Spike. He attempted to rape Buffy, get inside to make her feel for him the love he feels for her. This violation is no way to force love from an unwilling partner. Buffy can't love Spike as he is, and his actions only proved her point. She can't trust him to always make the right choice when his lack of soul compells him to prefer evil. One mistake could cost so much that the risk isn't worth it to Buffy. Spike left his coat at Buffy's house and went back to the crypt a broken monster/man/nothing.













When the chip was installed in Spike it started a sequence of events, Spike was forced to think before he acted. Now he feels he has nothing, needs to change....we may be left to guess if he will come back to Sunnydale to make a Slayer toothpick.

Everyone in the show has a certain amount of control over what happens in their lives. Buffy knew what she was doing sleeping with Spike, ignoring Dawn, being less than truthfull with her friends. Xander would have been better off if he had put the wedding off before the dress was on. Willow could have just said no to magic and then maybe we wouldn't have had Buffy back. I'm sure each character has done things they wish they could change. Everyone may not be able to change what they already have done, but they do have control over what they do next. Everything they do will have an influence over what comes next in their lives. I feel that no matter how bad things get for Willow we can get her back. She has done so many things right, that I feel that what she does next shouldn't be the only thing we judge her on.

In the Buffyverse there is the cycle of fall and redemption, a motif of forgiveness. This season makes us question who can we forgive, and what do we base forgiveness on? Is Spike unforgiveable because he is a demon? Same with Anya? Or is it the actions a being makes that count? The humans this years could give a monster a lesson or two on how to get evil right. But just like in the human world not all demons are evil. There are exceptions, and with humans exceptions to the soul = good assumption. Buffy now has to deal with a man, because he is a murderer, not a monster in a visible way. All the characters have to grow enough to realize that no one is perfect and learn to forgive the mistakes we are all so capable of making. Coming back to life has been much harder than completing a spell, it has been hard work for everyone. Can they fix what they have done, make it right before it's too late....I'd say yes, to some. Oh and Yay! Jonathon for preventing Warren from killing Xander, and helping Buffy....I hope that's a start for Jonathon to make it better for himself, even if it means much more time in the big house.

And words can't express the loss of Tara, except that she is the element of love and compassion that a simple piece of metal can't take away forever.

Right now with the death of Tara, there will be true chaos in Sunnydale, a chaos that may wipe the town off the face of the earth...and I don't just blame Willow for it as she started off a victim....I look to the pathetic creature who could have stopped all this before he put the batteries in his first poseable Barbie.

[> Seeing Red, random thoughts (and therefore spoilers) -- Rattletrap, 05:13:56 05/08/02 Wed

"And words can't express the loss of Tara, except that she is the element of love and compassion that a simple piece of metal can't take away forever.

Right now with the death of Tara, there will be true chaos in Sunnydale, a chaos that may wipe the town off the face of the earth...and I don't just blame Willow for it as she started off a victim....I look to the pathetic creature who could have stopped all this before he put the batteries in his first poseable Barbie."

Well said, as always, Rufus. My sentiments precisely.

Other random thoughts on last night's eppy, piggybacked under this thread to save board space:

+ Kudos to Steve DeKnight for a fabulous script. The pacing was absolutely perfect in that I found myself continually frustrated with not knowing what was about to happen.

+ The Spike/Buffy rape scene was completely unexpected and thoroughly shocking. It also calmed some of my ethical concerns about this season. As a firm believer that "no" means "no," I have been a bit uncomfortable with the way Spike and Buffy frequently begin their sexual encounters, and I'm glad to see that finally addressed, albeit in an even more uncomfortable way.

+ Fabulous acting all around by every cast member, I can't think of a single performance that went astray. Special mention to Buffy and Spike in the rape scene and Buffy and Xander in the reconciliation scene at the end.

+ Compare Dawn in "Seeing Red" with Dawn in "Real Me." We've come a long way, folks. I'm loving the new, more assertive, more mature Dawn and want more of this for the next 3 hours and for S7. That scene in the crypt w/ Spike was amazing.

+ Willow and Tara, 'nuf said.

[> [> Re: Seeing Red, random thoughts (and therefore spoilers) -- neaux, 10:36:54 05/08/02 Wed

I was a bit jarred by the editing in the bathroom scene and bankvan heist.

The appearance of Spike in the bathroom was shocking.
Again when Buffy appeared to Warren on top of the van.

Both characters just appeared. and both scenes jumped trememdously with quick edits. The van flipped. Warren opening the door. Buffy appears and a fight ensues.

Spike appears from nowhere in the bathroom and when the door closes we are baffled to see quick shots of Buffy being battered against the shower. Thuds and bumps.. again quick edits.

Anyone care to elaborate why?

[> [> [> From the spoilers I read on Seeing Red -- Rufus, 16:33:58 05/08/02 Wed

I remember AngelX stating that they cut the bathroom scene and it had been much more graphic than what we eventually saw.

With Six Eyes he was weeping - Inferno and A New World - spoilers -- fresne, 23:36:20 05/07/02 Tue

With six eyes he was weeping and over three chins dripped tears and bloody foam.
Inferno Canto XXXIV

I can't say as I expected to come up with new Dante/ME parallels this quickly, but AtS started it! This is actually quite pleasant in a post Seeing Red, oh my God haze. Ah, yes. Dante. Angel. New World.

Keep in mind, there is something very juicy about a character named Lilah (after Delilah of Sampson and D fame) trying to sway a man to give up closely guarded knowledge. To betray his cause.

Also in a moment of parallels, interesting that on both BtVS and AtS, Earth has been compared to Hell. Heaven it seems, lies elsewhere.

So in the final Cantos of Inferno, Dante and Virgil get to the bottom levels of Hell. Sinners, who have betrayed family, guests, and benefactors, are frozen in ice. The greater the betrayal, the more trapped they are in the crust. However, before we get started, remember that despite all of Hell's punishments, the greatest misery in Hell is the lack of God's light, warmth, love. Everyone in Hell has focused solely on what they want, on what they need and it has damned them.

The source of the ice, the source of the cold wind that sweeps across this level of Hell is derived from Satan's wings, which constantly beat. Satan himself, as the ultimate betrayer (sorry Judas, but you're no Morning Star), is embedded in ice up to his waist and has been trapped there since his fall from Heaven. The trick is, Satan could go free at any time. The ice that traps him would melt if only he would stop beating his wings. But he can't because all sinners in Hell are trapped into the behavior that caused their fall from grace. Turning away from heaven was after all a choice. Just as none of the sinners can admit their own complicity in their sin and ask for redemption. They all deny responsibility. All shove the blame onto someone else. Are angry or sad. Want to be remembered. Want to be forgotten. Constantly ask for Dante's tears and sympathy.

The last sinners that Dante and Virgil encounter, who can speak, are Count Ugolino and Archbishop Ruggier. Frozen in the ice up to the neck, they share one frozen space while Ugolino gnaws with bitter hatred at Ruggieri's neck, wiping his mouth in Ruggieri's hair in order to speak so that he can bring Ruggieri greater shame. Ugolino was betrayed by Ruggieri, who walled Ugolino up in a room with his children (slightly more complex in real life). Dante has Ugolino describe his children begging Ugolino for a moment of emotional connection, which he didn't give. He turned to stoic stone instead. Waiting too late until they were dead and then weeping, he gave into grief. Now Ugolino and Ruggiere are trapped in Hell together forever. For you see, Ugolino was a traitor in his time too. Ruggieri says nothing during the exchange. There are several distinct parallels in the scene's language which link the first sinners Dante spoke with, Paolo and Francesca, who died for passionate love, and Ugolino and Ruggieri, who are forever linked in passionate hate.

Ugolino reminds me of Holtz, who was absent when his wife and children died, when his daughter was changed. Who killed his daughter, rather than let her live as a demon. Perhaps, part of his inability to forgive Angel, is his inability to forgive himself. Note his eternal vigilance, his inability to truly emotionally connect ever since, his passionate focus on his revenge. Of course, Ugolino also reminds me of Angel, who was in a sense frozen. Filled with cold rage. Angry and hurting over the loss of his son. As he sat grieving, Angel's expressions were blank. He wasn't weeping. No gnashing of teeth. No sack cloth. He wasn't talking with his friends about the pain. He shut that part of himself down.

Holtz to Angel. Angel to Wesley. Wesley to himself, his friends, his computer.

Ugolino rants at Dante because Dante won't weep for him. Dante, who fainted when he heard Francesca's story, now is a bit more discriminating and extends his pity not to Ugolino, but to the innocent victims in the story, "Even if Count Ugolino bore the name of traitor to your castles, you still should not have put his children to such torture."

It's also important to remember that Ugolino is one of the damned fathers, saved sons/descendants pairings of which Dante is so fond. His grandson, Judge Nino, who Ugolino himself betrayed, is in Purgatory.

From there, Dante and Virgil walk to Satan, who does have three heads (3 - like the 3 ladies that prompted the trip, the 3 furies, the trinity, etc. Also, it's from a painting in the Florentine Duomo's Baptistery.).

In each mouth, Satan chews on one of the three greatest betrayers of all time: Brutus and Cassius (who betrayed the empire) and Judas (who betrayed God.). These are not personal betrayals. Brutus may have betrayed his friend; however people who betrayed friends, Romans, countrymen are off frozen elsewhere. They, in Dante's estimation, are lesser offenders. The true crime is to betray the unified, structured, gall durn it I'm tried of fractious infighting war, empire. Dante wanted order, structure, hierarchy. A blow against Julius Cesar, who's hanging out in Limbo, wasn't a blow against a man, it was a blow against all of society. (Although, oddly Cato is in Purgatory, but whatever.) Likewise, Judas' offense wasn't that he betrayed a friend with a kiss, but that he betrayed his God with a kiss.

Since Judas' betrayal is the more significant (God trumps Empire) he is slightly worse off. He's not only being clawed, but he is denied speech because he is being chewed head first, rather than feet first like Brutus and Cassius. Also, nicely symbolic for how God is the head and the empire is the feet in the whole trinity as the universe parallel.

Satan is also silent, his mouths are full. Pure evil it seems is kind of boring and repetitious. Where have I heard that before? Oh yeah, when it snowed in Sunnydale.

For Lilah to parallel Wesley's "betrayal" to that of Judas, Angel and/or Connor must be taken as Christ/God/Powers that Be/chosen champion of Powers that Be.

Within the parallel there is that lovely construction that Wesley has been denied speech. His voice has been disrupted to rough sibilants by the slash of a knife. Denied the presence of his friends in order to give speech purpose. If a betraying friend speaks explanations to an empty room, can anyone hear it? Or is it all the sound of one hand clapping? To steal from Hannibal Lector's speech on the same subject, common medieval tradition had Judas hanging himself from remorse. A rope around his neck, which cut off his breath, rendered his speech rough and choking. Consider how Angel tried to kill Wesley - by smothering his breath, cutting off his speech. Although, Holtz's voice isn't winning any mellifluous contests.

And so Wesley sits typing on his Apple computer. Yes, it's product placement, but it's also symbolic. The apple is a symbol of the loss of innocence, the fall from Eden, the knowledge of good and evil. The serpent's betrayal of its creator. And then Wesley glances at Judas devoured. Perhaps, he wonders if Judas' intentions were good or bad or irrelevant because whatever his intentions, there is Judas, naked and devoured.

Wesley, like all those in the lowest level, has also been frozen out and frozen in. Wesley has been denied as the AI crew's friend at Angel, the leader's, direction. Wesley in his turn freezes out/almost turns away when Gunn comes to him for help. Somewhere in all this denial of friendship I feel a Peter denying Christ's acquaintance three times before the cock crowed, i.e., the dawn, parallel.

Ultimately, until the fallen angel's wings stop beating, until the characters accept their own culpability, ask for and grant grace, everyone will remains frozen. Hungry for revenge. Longing for speech. Wanting to be heard.

[> Re: With Six Eyes he was weeping - Inferno and A New World - spoilers -- yuri, 01:15:15 05/08/02 Wed

aah, wonderful. well, I've really been putting it off, so i resolve to go get me some Dante tomorrow. This board has done more for my literary education than my english teacher.

Anyhow, you say:
despite all of Hell's punishments, the greatest misery in Hell is the lack of God's light, warmth, love. Everyone in Hell has focused solely on what they want, on what they need and it has damned them.

In my interpretation, Wesley was not focused solely on what he wanted. Does this disqualify him from Hell? In general (because I don't think this is exactly what Wes did) does a person who performs a heinous and terrible act of betrayal in order to save/aide someone else belong in Dante's Hell, or no?

And could you help a very embarrased girl out and quickly explain the story of Samson and Delilah? I'd normally find it myself somewhere, but I have just researched my ass up the wall (and of course the post SR oh my god haze) and I have a feeling I'd have to wade through some jargon to figure it out.

[> [> Re: With Six Eyes he was weeping - Inferno and A New World - spoilers -- fresne, 07:03:06 05/08/02 Wed

"In my interpretation, Wesley was not focused solely on what he wanted. Does this disqualify him from Hell? In general (because I don't think this is exactly what Wes did) does a person who performs a heinous and terrible act of betrayal in order to save/aide someone else belong in Dante's Hell, or no?"

Hmmm…not so much Wesley was focused on his desires as he had a very narrow focus. Rather than sharing his knowledge, spreading the grief, connecting with someone, anyone, he did what he thought was right, alone.

And ummm…I forgot to mention that in the Ugolino story one of the more controversial lines (i.e., what doe this mean) is after his sons die, "therefore I gave myself to groping over them and for two days called on them after they were dead. Then fasting had more power than grief"
Which some people interpret as he ate them, while others say, nope he died. Hard to say, earlier in the story Ugolino recounts how his children, upon seeing him bite his hands in sorrow, believe that he is overcome with hunger and offer themselves to their father as a Eucharistic sacrifice, "Father, it will be far less pain for us if you eat us. You clothed us in this wretched flesh and you can strip us of it." He comforts them briefly, but then, "That day and the next we stayed all silent." And upon the fourth day his son Gaddo's last words (echoing the last words of Christ) before dying are, "My father, why do you not help me?" The implications within the Canto are that Ugolino misspent his last days with his sons. Rather than seeking connection, he turned to stone inwardly and was silent when it mattered.

Now, personally I say Wesley isn't so much deserving of Hell as needing Purgatory/therapy, but that's not the book Lilah gave him.

"And could you help a very embarrased girl out and quickly explain the story of Samson and Delilah? I'd normally find it myself somewhere, but I have just researched my ass up the wall (and of course the post SR oh my god haze) and I have a feeling I'd have to wade through some jargon to figure it out."

Samson was one of (insert number here) the Judges of Israel. See Judges in the Old Testament for serious details. God told his parents when he was born that was very special, would cause Israel's enemies no end of problems and oh, never give him a hair cut. He became really, really strong, did lots of wild carousing, etc, oh, and slaying of Israel's enemies. Eventually, he takes up with this prostitute Delilah. Now, she has a mission to find out why he's so strong, so she can give the info to his enemies. They sleep together, she asks for the info. He lies. It gets tested. Nope not true. Eventually, he tells the truth and guess what, a quick trip to the barber, no more super strength and bad things happen, slavery, blindness, etc. However, eventually (I love the way these things turn) he's taken to a big ol' party being held by his enemies. Everyone, whose anyone, is there. So, there he is, his hair grown back, standing between the two principal support structures in the building. Push and anyone who is anyone is now smooshed, along with Samson. Payback is apparently not only a feminine canine, but a blind, long haired, old man.

Oh, and good luck with the Dante and picking a translation that you like. If I may suggest, not one that tries to translate and rhyme. Italian is a rhyming language. English is not. Forcing the issue can get a bit, tortured.

[> [> [> prayer, not hair -- skeeve, 09:09:48 05/08/02 Wed

My recollection is that Sampson's renewed strength was the result of prayer. His hair might have grown back a little, but that didn't matter.

I read John Chardi's (sp?) translation. He used to (and might still) have a Public Radio segment called "Good Words To You". I read Dante's Inferno because of the inspiration provided by Niven and Pournelle's Inferno, a sequel to the former. What amazed me was the number of things that N and P did not make up.

[> [> [> Samson -- Sophist, 09:13:27 05/08/02 Wed

The key to the story of Samson is that his power comes from God. However, when Delilah asks him the source of his power, Samson denies God by saying that it comes from his long hair. As punishment, God deprives Samson of his strength when his hair is cut. Samson is then captured and tortured by his enemies. He regains his strength only at the end, when he regains his faith in God. That allows him to destroy his enemies, and himself, by pulling down the temple in which he is held captive.

[> [> [> [> why only hairy lies? -- skeeve, 12:40:39 05/08/02 Wed

My recollection is that Samson told Delilah at least two other lies about the source of his strength. D tested both of them. Samson kept his strength both times. Is this a case of the third time is the charm?

[> KABOOM!!! This is amazing. -- Tillow, 08:17:04 05/08/02 Wed

[> OK it's time to correct that deficit in my education -- matching mole, 09:00:03 05/08/02 Wed

How can I resist the combined forces of fresne and ME? I'll just open the hinge on the top of my head and pour Dante in. and if that doesn't work I'll actually read it.

Great post.

Interpreting the Title (Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Anneth, 00:23:53 05/08/02 Wed

I'm currently working on an essay about what the titles mean, on different levels, as a whole and separatly, for this entire season. But I wanted to throw out a couple of lines for tonight's episode.

Seeing Red: Literally. T and W's sheets. Blood. Spike's "spiked" blood.

Seeing Red: Figuratively: The red flag before the bull, meaning "attack!" and the streetlight, for "stop!" Also, could be a play on the idea of some of the characters being morally "bankrupt" (morally in debt doesn't have the same ring to it.)

On the most obvious level, Seeing Red was about blood. Specifically, Buffy's and Tara's blood. Which Willow and Xander see. But ME has a long history of investing blood with a lot of meaning. From "Love isn't brains, children, it's blood" (Tara and Willow, getting back together although they haven't fully resolved their issues) to Spike's attraction to Buffy (He's a vampire, so wants to drink her blood, but he's also in love with her, which according to his own logic, would mean that his blood is in control of his "better vampiristic feelings" and makes his desire for her more than physical.)

But this episode was also about attacking, and about braking.

Spike and Warren both "see red" in that they become suffused with fury and lash out incredibly violently. As humans. Warren's emasculation at Buffy's hands signifies a final defeat to him, one that he will not suffer, and he goes after her. Not as a magicked-up dilletante, but a crazed human. Spike, too, feels debased and emasculated by Buffy, and in a dreadful moment, loses his perspective and pathos, and attacks her, not as a vampire, but as a human. Warren wants to control her by destroying her, Spike wants to control by forcing himself upon her. And, it seems, Willow is now seeing red, too, although we will have to wait til next week to see how that turns out.

I'm sure much time will be spent analysing the bathroom scene, so I won't go into it much more here.

Finally, Seeing Red is about coming to a full stop. Jonathan finally stops wanting to be a part of the Trio; he finally throws himself into Buffy's camp (literally by throwing himself at her) by telling her how to defeat an otherwise unstoppable jauggernaut. (off topic: in the X-men comics, Jauggernaut was a character who had super-strength and invincibility, but was murderously insane.) Spike's forward momentum grinds to a halt, too, in the moment that he realizes what he'd just been trying to do, in the bathroom. Xander even comes to a full stop in the backyard scene with Buffy, where he tries to listen to her, and explain why he felt as he did about her relationship with Spike, rather than fall back into "Mr. Judgmental" mode.

So there are some interesting gender issues at work here, too. Willow is the only woman to figuratively see red; Xander is the only male one to literally see red. (Warren aside; I don't remember if he actually saw the harm his bullets did.)

I am tired, and would like to spend more time thinking about this, but wanted to get my initial thoughts out there.

[> just want to say I think that's a SUPERB idea for an essay, can't wait. -- yuri, 01:19:28 05/08/02 Wed

[> Don't forget: Seeing Red is Nerd Siege -- The Sun's Up, 01:23:51 05/08/02 Wed

[> Re: Interpreting the Title (Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Kate, 05:37:58 05/08/02 Wed

And don't forget, Tara is once again seeing "Red" (Willow)

Would love to read your essay

[> Re: Interpreting the Title - Another Red Scene -- Rachel (I've been gone for a while...glad to be back), 06:55:53 05/08/02 Wed

I was struck by the crypt scene with Spike and Clem. It almost seemed to be filmed in B&W, except for the bright red bed on the coffin.

[> Re: Interpreting the Title (Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Cactus Watcher, 10:00:12 05/08/02 Wed

ME seems to have quite a thing about red sheets. As I recall when Buffy sleeps with Parker it's on red sheets (a very glaring touch of class in his otherwise messy room) and also when she first slept with Riley. I actually got kind of a chuckle one ep. when Riley and Buffy were shown on green and white striped sheets. If you can make something out of it, Anneth, please do. I sometimes jokingly think the prop people at Buffy just love red.

[> Re: Interpreting the Title (Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Purple Tulip, 13:17:28 05/08/02 Wed

I too found all of those meanings behind the title, but I also thought of another one, one which actually jumped out at me first. Willow has often been refered to as "Red" (by Spike), as the "Red-head" (by Oz), etc. I thought this title, "Seeing Red" also could indicate that we are about to see Willow (Red), see what she can really be like, and see all of the power that she has been hloding down inside of her. So essentially, "Seeing Red" could be renamed "Seeing Willow". Just a thought:)

[> [> Re: Interpreting the Title (Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- !?, 15:20:33 05/08/02 Wed

I agree with you - I think Willow could be wanting some revenge, like what she did to Glory when she brain sucked Tara.

[> [> [> (Spoilers for Seeing Red); speculation on Willow's future -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 15:48:10 05/08/02 Wed

"This is the story of the wrath of Achilles."

It's been a while since I read the "Iliad," but there are parallels that I find interesting. Achilles, the greatest warrior (the "big gun") of the Greek forces, is sitting out the combat -- long story but basically he felt he was dissed by the other Greek leaders. So he lurks in his tent and passes the time pleasantly with his same-sex lover, Patrocles.

[Willow, for different and better reasons, is sitting out her use of magic; she, now reunited with her same-sex lover, is passing time pleasantly.]

With Achilles out of the game, Hector, the Trojan's "big gun" (let's leave the Freudian implacations alone) is ripping through the Greeks like a wolf in the sheepfold. The Greeks beg Achilles to intervene; he refuses. Patrocles, moved by sympathy for the beleaguered Greeks, volunteers to put on Achilles' armor and pretend to be that hero to try to deter Hector. He knows full well that he is not as powerful a warrior as Achilles, but hopes things will work out.

[Tara, although a witch, is less powerful than Willow; she remains engaged with her friends and their concerns.]

Hector kills Patrocles. Achilles, who is, in part, responsible for the tragedy due to his inaction, mourns, gets new armor, and comes out after Hector like the wrath of God.

[Warren kills Tara. While we don't know exactly what Willow will do, it is a likely prospect that by the time she's done with Warren, his remains will fit into a matchbox with room left over for a Russian microchip and a fortune cookie.]

The analogy may collapse here; Achilles destroys Hector and dishonors his body. King Priam of Troy, Hector's father, goes to Achilles to beg the return of the body of his son. Achilles relents.

We'll see.

[> Re: Interpreting the Title (Spoilers for Seeing Red) -- J, 18:34:00 05/08/02 Wed

Perhaps it's too obvious a point to make, but "Seeing Red" seems to be the inverse of "Something Blue" in both plot and title.

Spidey Connor? -- West, 02:40:53 05/08/02 Wed

Did anyone else happen to pick up on the distinct likeness between the battle with Connor and the special effects in Spider-Man? It was definately a new approach for Angel, with the bouncing in and out of slo-mo interspliced with rotating digital perspectives. Plus, Connor's own agile movements held a lot of similarities with the Wall-Crawler, especially when he scaled the back of that bus.

Wonder what radioactive nasty he was bit by in the Hell dimension...

[> I found the slo-mo a little irritating -- Masq, 09:31:19 05/08/02 Wed

The first time it happened, it really dug in Angel's angst about fighting his own son and his friends nearly killing his son. The rest of the time it seemed kind of show- offy.

Have yet to see the new "Spider Man" yet. Waiting for the crowds to thin at the theaters....

[> [> slo-mo needs to be subtle, if done at all -- Solitude1056, 09:57:01 05/08/02 Wed

I've no problem with slo-mo, just that when it's done, it's either terribly overused or used only in really cliche situations. Gee, like Connor running away from the hotel - okay, that's a cliche. (Ignoring the whole setup blah blah blah being one huge TV cliche, no matter how well ME can handle it.) As for the fights, at first it seemed hokey - the whole slomo "nooooooo!" just screamed WE SPENT A LOT OF MONEY ON THIS SO PAY ATTENTION, IT'S IMPORTANT TO THE PLOT, OR AT LEAST IT'S REALLY IMPRESSIVE AND THE NETWORK LIKED IT. The more they used the CGI - and in some cases badly done CGI, like that leap onto the bus - the crankier I got.

Fortunately, the script itself was reasonably solid, Connor is well-played, and Wesley continued to beat DB at the brooding game. And here I was thinking no one could brood like Angel, wow, how little I knew. Next, Wes'll be in some cool black leather pants and then things will get really fun. ;-)

[> [> [> A moment of true unhappiness, and we get... Wesleyus -- Masq, 10:39:56 05/08/02 Wed

And whose neck will get snapped?

[> [> [> [> Bwahahahah! but seriously, Wesleyus would be far more frightening... -- The Second Evil, 11:00:15 05/08/02 Wed

He'd torture his victims by forcing them to do grammatical diagrams of sentences in archaic languages.

[> [> [> [> [> in other words, he'd bore them to death. -- Masq, 11:15:20 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Wesleyus -- Arethusa, 13:56:40 05/08/02 Wed

Evil Wesley. I'm definitely in with that. Wes, making insulting literary allusions. Fencing with both wit and a rapier. Treating women with disdain of biblical proportions. All stubbly and full of pain. Darn you, Masq. You've gone and made me fantasize about a tv character.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Just as long as you don't start sighing, "He's soooo cute when he's torturing people." -- Masq, 14:30:52 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Heaven forbid. May I write an essay on his moral ambiguity? -- Arethusa, 15:13:07 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> now that would be cool! will it include leather pants references? ;-) -- The Second Evil, 15:20:21 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Shouldn't that be an essay on "The evil of..."? -- Masq, 15:53:28 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> Surprisingly -- matching mole, 11:15:01 05/08/02 Wed

I found the slow motion actions sequences quite effective. I'm not a fan of combat scenes or of the use of special effects for their own sake. You could say I'm a less is more kind of guy in that respect.

Violence/combat on BtVS/AtS is usually fairly matter of fact. It isn't really glorified but neither is it shown in gory detail. Usually it is just really fast. I think the slow motion really emphasized the emotional impact of these scenes. Angel is fighting his son whom he desperately does not want to lose a second time. Connor is fighting in a strange new world with which he is completely unfamiliar. Point of view seemed a lot stronger than usual in this episode and I think the combat effects emphasize that.

[> Speaking of Spidey references (spoilers for Seeing Red) -- Humanitas, 18:47:19 05/08/02 Wed

I noticed that Warren's beat-down of his former jock- oppressor was remarkably similar to Peter Parker's fight with Flash in the current film. Almost the exact same fight, in fact (dodge-dodge-POW!) with the same character "types" (overconfident jock vs. newly-empowered nerd), yet with exactly the opposite emotional impact.

I guess context really does make a difference. ;)

Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- Anne, 03:54:17 05/08/02 Wed

I'm having a bit of trouble sorting out my reactions to tonight's episode, so I put together the following little multiple choice quiz to help myself out.

Let me know what you think.

1. The Profound Message of the season based on tonight's episode, is:

a. That's what you get for mixing with Their Kind.

b. That's what you get for mixing with Your Own Kind.

c. If You're the Slayer You Don't Have to Take Responsibility for Beating Your Boyfriend Because the Writers Will Give You a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card in a Subsequent Episode.

d. "Trust in Joss" translates into English as "Run like the dickens!".

2. The central premise of the show is that the Slayer is a tiny blonde girl who can lift a Troll Hammer like it's a number 2 pencil, while a super-powered vamp like Spike can't even budge it.

This premise was suspended during one scene in SR because:

a. Steve DeKnight really prefers watching the "Gilmore Girls", and they forgot to tell him about the strength thing.

b. Spike had a chunk of Kryptonite in his pocket

c. Joss thought that next season's theme of the "joy of female empowerment" could best be set up by turning Buffy into such a mewling victim that we would never hold her accountable for her own earlier abuse of Spike.

d. It was the only way ME could think of to make the audience hate Spike as much as he deserves to be hated for being more popular than Buffy.

3. The scene in which Tara was shot needed to be extremely graphic because:

a. Not everyone in the audience had started puking yet.

b. That's what you get for mixing with Your Own Kind.

c. It made that joke of having Amber in the credits for the first time just before her character got killed off so much funnier.

d. It was the only way ME could think of to make the audience suffer as much as they deserve to suffer for liking Tara better than Buffy.

4. The folks at ME:

a. Are a bunch of geniuses

b. Have many years of therapy to undergo before becoming useful members of society.

c. -- can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em.

d. What the heck is ME?

[> Do fans think Buffy deserved to be raped? What ever she has done she doesn't. -- moneyman, 04:17:15 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> QED -- Anne, 04:39:09 05/08/02 Wed

Nobody, including certainly me, thinks that Buffy or anybody deserves to be raped.

But I do think that it was a misconceived plot contrivance, and that it was designed precisely to produce the kind of emotional reaction you just had to Spike's action, to divert attention from what Buffy had done earlier. I am talking about what the writers have contrived to do with respect to a character, not about what anyone deserves in real life.

Because you are so upset (rightly) at the attempted rape, you will never again even consider holding Buffy responsible for her own actions with regard to Spike. The writers have manipulated our knee-jerk responses in order to give their protagonist a free pass.

And that's why I say QED.

[> [> [> And Spike didn't? ... (rant, possibly Spoilery, too) -- Earl Allison, 05:01:17 05/08/02 Wed

Let me start by admitting my bias -- I've said on these boards once, and I'll say it again, I have a bias for Willow
and can forgive her despite what she does in these last few episodes, evil or not.

Now, we have comments that Spike's act here diverts attention away from Buffy's earlier bad behavior, and excuses it.

Assuming that is true -- so what?

(some) Spike redemptionists have been excusing or ignoring Spike's behavior for SEASONS -- somehow it's wrong only when applied AGAINST Spike?

We see Spike attempt to bite a woman once he thinks the chip is deactivated -- the excuse is "oh, we don't know if he would go through with it." Well, assuming that was his only reason, to test the chip, why not take a poke at someone? Or point a gun at them? We know that even the act of pointing a gun at someone, a real gun or not, triggered the pain response -- why even go through the motions of attempting to kill someone?

We've seen Spike treat Harmony like crap -- and even casually attempt to murder her -- why? Because she prattles annoyingly? She's his own KIND at this point, and she genuinely loves him, and he treats her badly - maybe his treatment from Buffy is karmic justice. He gets her to indulge his kinks by dressing up as Buffy and constantly manipulating her -- even after he was chipped -- but somehow this gets forgotten when Spike, Paragon of Virtue (TM) is brought up, as opposed to Buffy, Purveyor of Evil and Violence (patent pending).

Why does a brief period of decent behavior absolve Spike, or make him acceptable? It's odd, because most of the posts praising Spike and/or condemning Buffy also seem to want to damn Willow for her actions, if she kills Warren and rampages.

Why does Spike's brief flirtation with Good absolve him, and yet Willow's potential brief flirtation with Evil should condemn her and wash away the majority of her life, a life fighting for the Good?

At least try for consistency, won't you? (as a group, not any one person)

And the chip itself can be argued as a plot contrivance, devised to make viewers forgive Spike's previous actions and absolve him of blame -- much as it seems to have already done.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> [> Re: And Spike didn't? ... (rant, possibly Spoilery, too) -- Anne, 05:25:16 05/08/02 Wed

The difference is, we are not being asked to absolve Spike. Everybody on the show blames him, he blames himself, and it seems pretty clear that the writers are going to put him through some more suffering for it. And good for them, I say. But that doesn't let them off the hook for having Buffy get clean on what she has done.

And morally, the issue always is what you do, not what somebody else does. There is nothing Spike, Warren, Willow, Satan or the Great God Pan can do that absolves the protagonist from responsibility for her own actions. And if and when the writers do so (and by the way, to be fair, the final results are not in on this; the writers may yet give me what I'm looking for on this) then they are writing a show that is morally bankrupt.

[> [> [> [> [> And Spike didn't? ... (rant, , too) Spoiler for SR -- alcibiades, 07:28:54 05/08/02 Wed

Angel hasn't been getting a get out of jail card free lately. With Connor, it looks like he's going to be paying for a lot of suffering he caused and mistakes he made.

I don't think Buffy is going to escape having to pay either, or dealing with the beating, her own capacity for privately committed evil.

The difference of course is that Xander already knows something about what Spike tried to do to Buffy. Buffy is so ashamed of what she did that she hid it from everyone, even from Tara. I have a feeling, however, that it was very much on her mind in that final scene with Xander when she admitted she had been making a lot of mistakes lately, and did he want to compare.

Spike's already been proved right once -- her life got a lot less miserable once the truth was out. She had one uncomfortable talk with Xander, and Willow never even bothered to ask her about it. And poof, forgiven. Everything mended. Buffy made such a mountain out of a molehill and tortured both herself and Spike for so long on this issue. So I kind of think that next time something relating to the beating comes up, Buffy is going to face up to it and not be such a coward anymore about taking responsibility for her own actions and failings.

Unless this is just another fleeting Buffiphany. But I really, really hope not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: And Spike didn't? ... (rant, , too) Spoiler for SR -- Anne, 08:29:32 05/08/02 Wed

I think there's a chance you're right, I'm just not sure -- well that's one reason I keep watching, right? And in any case, it's not that I want to see the poor woman punished or have to pay for anything -- I think we've seen the punishment all season, and I for one have had enough. It's just that I want to see her tell the truth and act accordingly.

[> [> [> My take for what it's worth (Spoilers for SR of course) -- shadowkat, 07:30:12 05/08/02 Wed

I've been posting this take on soo many threads..why not
one more. ;-)

Yes it was an intense scene but actually not as bad as others on Btvs or any where near what everyone is yelling about. People calm down.

LEt's look at some past history for comparison purposes and think about it objectively for a moment. If you can do that - you might see some of the exciting stuff I saw last night.

1. Harsh Light of Day - he does try to rape her in this episode. I've seen it five times now and the push against
the pole was definite attempt. He showed no remorse. He wanted to hurt her.
2. The Initiative - he tries to rape Willow on the bed and can't. Shows no remorse, just embarassement at being unable to carry this out. The show is shot for laughs - but I always found the metaphor disturbing and scary and ironic.
3. Consequences - Faith attempts to rape and kill Xander and shows 0 remorse. Xander was trying to help her in the
4. The PAck - hyena Xander attempts to rape Buffy at school, she knocks him in the head with a desk, but there
is a moment that she's at his mercy. No remorse. He denies
any memory of it.

Now let's talk about last night's scene. It was not just a
device. That scene accomplished several things at once if you were paying attention:
1. Spike is going insane, he doesn't understand why he hurts so much, why he cares so much, and why he can't stop.
He also doesn't understand why she can't give in to her feelings for him - feelings he can sense and are in fact
mentioned to him by Dawn. This character is on the verge of a nervous breakdown - he's losing control of his identity, the new version of himself he worked so hard to build, everything. Dawn gives him a branch and he's desperately holding on to it. Buffy knocks it away. Their dialogue
is telling - he actually apologizes and tries to explain what happened with Anya. She tells him that she can't trust
him. He tells her trust isn't important, only passion is - that makes sense, he's a romantic, he's arrested, he loved
Dru passionately for 100 years, he never trusted her. Buffy
tells him that without trust - love can't be sustained. It will burn itself out - this is what she discovered with Angel and Riley and everyone else. Trust - she's learned is essential. Spike hasn't learned this yet. Desperate to prove to her and himself that she has feelings for him, that
he's not insane, that what he feels is returned, he attempts
to force them out her, what does he say? "I'll prove you
feel for me" - it reminds me a little of what he said way back in Fool For Love -"come on, give it to me Buffy, hit me". He is trying, albeit unsucessfully and pathetically, to recreat the scenes in Smashed and Wrecked. But she's hurt this round and feeling lousey and it doesn't work, instead he just hurts her - horribly. He didn't intend to, but the demon got out, the emotions took control and he couldn't stop. This doesn't excuse his actions...of course.

He believes he could have stopped after she knocks him across the room. But she states that he wouldn't have, if
she didn't stop him. She says "Ask me again why I can't love you?" And the look on his face is filled with horror
at what he did, pain, loss, and remorse - the last time I saw a look like that on Spike's face - Doc had thrown him from the Tower in the Gift. He tries to convince her otherwise, but he knows he can't he knows that because of his actions - he's lost her and he leaves quickly without
even stopping to pick up his beloved jacket. That's how fast
he takes off.

2. Buffy - she blames herself. She tells him she should have
stopped him long ago. She tells him she does care about him but she can't love him because she can't trust him. When Xander finds her - she's devastated, not about the violence, she sees that every day, but about the loss. Xander threatens to go after Spike and she stops him.
She pushes it aside. But it is clear from her position on the floor, she was standing when Spike left, that she feels
pain for the loss. She should - she feels weaker for it,
he represented her id, her darker self, the part no one could handle but him. Rejecting him means in a sense she must reject it as well - just as she rejects it at the end of her dream in Restless. HEr left hand is gone and what happens next? She's shot.

3. Spike in his crypt - what an amazing scene - so full of character development. Spike is tormented. He can't stop reliving the violence of the scene and it hurts so much as we can see on his face. He literally breaks a glass in his hand. He asks himself what did he do then why couldn't he do it. He is at war with himself. When Clem comes in - he asks Clem why he feels like this. Clem believes he's talking about love. But it's more Spike tells him - it's the pain in his skull, the crawling squirmy feeling, like
jiminy cricket. He didn't use to feel like this. He'd killed
two slayers. He's a vampire and vampires kill slayers. That's how it works. Why can't he go back? It must be the chip. The chip won't let him be a monster and he can't be a man - so he's nothing. When Clem asks if he broke up with her again - he says we were never together - she'd never sink so low as me. He considers himself beneathe her.
I'll never get to her level.

When he leaves - he's going to get the chip removed, because
Spike, the Scoobies and 80% of the audience believe that's
the only thing that keeps him in check, that he can't change. As Xander puts it - he's a dog on a leash. I think
the chip is irrelevant now. Spike has changed. He just
doesn't know it yet.

This episode and that scene had to happen in order for him to find out. In Btvs - a character has to hit rock bottom before he can learn what he's made of and trully change. Spike just did.

[> [> [> [> Two quibbles -- Sophist, 08:20:14 05/08/02 Wed

I think you've mentioned the scenes in HLOD and The Initiative before in your posts. I remember disagreeing then and wanted to say something now. Before I do, let me say that I like the rest of your post.

In The Initiative, it is clear to me that rape played no part in the scene. Spike came into the room and announced he was going to kill Willow ("no choice about that"). He offered her the option of staying dead or of being vamped. His assault was a bite for the throat, nothing else. The aftermath, which is my favorite scene in all of BtVS, would not have been funny if rape had been involved and would never have played that way.

In HLOD, Spike was a pig about Buffy's sex life, but I saw no rape attempt there either. He intended to kill her, but was playing with her first. Tormenting her, insulting her; sure. But no sexual assault per se. At least I never saw it that way.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Two quibbles -- shadowkat, 08:36:42 05/08/02 Wed

Two things that made me think it was a "rape" metaphor:

1. He pushes her sensually and agressively against a pole
in HLOD - it's hard to catch b/c it's quick, but it
is sexual, seen it four times now. She reaches back, grabs
his neck, he backs off.

2. Initiative - he straddles Willow on the bed, presses
down and moves towards her neck - first attempt. Also
Vamping has always been a rape metaphor. The Initiative
is about date rape...letting the guy in...and how
she goes on about how he can't perform b/c it's her -
the script reads out of one too many scenes i witnessed
from friends in college. It's amazingly subtle but effective.

They aren't important - except to show how differently
he reacted last night.

Thanks by the way on the other...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two quibbles -- Malandanza, 08:46:49 05/08/02 Wed

The best analysis of the scene from The Initiative that I've read is Masquerade's (from the ATPoBtVS main site):

Sexual violence: It's another cute Spike and Willow moment until we stop thinking of him as the emotionally sensitive vampire we think we know and look at the situation from another perspective. A man enters a woman's college dorm room, threatens her, and when she tries to run, he throws her on the bed, turns up the stereo to block out the sound of her screams, and then attacks her. The only thing that saves Willow is Spike's Clockwork Orange impotence. From this point of view, Willow's need for reassurance about her desirability is not so funny. A vampire's bite is about predatory violence, and in this case, revenge. To think of it as sexy is to equate all such attacks with the more benevolent moment from Graduation, and to forget how even then Buffy had to coerce Angel to feed on her and that she almost died as a result of it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Thank you - Masq and you said it better than I did -- shadowkat, 08:56:00 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Sorry, still don't see it. -- Sophist, 09:31:04 05/08/02 Wed

ME has used the biting=sex metaphor, but they've also frequently (in fact, much more frequently) shown that a bite is just a bite. It's food or the kill, not sex.

That's still how I see the scene from The Initiative; there is no dialogue or physical action on Spike's part to suggest sex was involved. I can't see letting an inconsistently applied metaphor override the actual words and actions in the scene, especially when those words and actions reinforce the usual goal of vampire biting for food or kill. And I have to say that the irony of the aftermath would be entirely lost if rape had been involved; there is no humor in such a case.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I agree, Sophist. The difference is.. -- Tillow, 11:51:25 05/08/02 Wed

... the two other scenes use sexual violence as a metaphor of the monster. This was a direct attack from Spike/William, the man. I don't think we can even compare. This, I think, is by far the worst moment of Spike's character on the show because not only has he committed an act against Buffy, he's committed an against his moral code. He moved from being love's bitch, to a dark obsession's bitch.

My small quibble with the above post would have to be that he let his demon out. I think the far more disturbing thing is that he let the man out, and the man is having a crisis that led him to a truly violent and horrible act that is against his nature.

This wasn't Spike of Harsh Light of Day. This was Spike if Entropy, comiserating with Anya... now going mad.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree, Sophist. The difference is.. -- shadowkat, 12:31:47 05/08/02 Wed

Interesting:"This, I think, is by far the worst moment of Spike's character on the show because not only has he committed an act against Buffy, he's committed an against his moral code. He moved from being love's bitch, to a dark obsession's bitch."

And may actually be the point of change - I think that
hitting rock bottom in this way - betraying his moral code - has shaken him to his core. And may be what he needs to
climb onto the (hesistant to say road to redemption) but
another higher path. Sometimes you have to do something
horrible to realize what's wrong. I believe the act will torment him more than her in the days ahead.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree, Sophist. The difference is.. -- clg0107, 12:21:10 05/09/02 Thu

This probably ties in with the whole quesion of the duster.

William was dominant in that scene in the bathroom, not the demon. There was no vamp face...just a man begging to be loved and not understanding -- anything.

Yet again with the disclaimer: That doesn't excuse that he reached a point where he was attempting to force himself on her.

But, in the fact that this was not his intent, and in light of their past relationship, and simply the fact that sex and violence are so mixed up in his mind anyway (because we don't honestly think that William was getting any back in 1880 -- his only experience w/sex have been as a vamp...)

The point is that he didn't mean to hurt her, and he did anyway, and he knows it and it's torturing him.

I find it fascinating. What a catalyst. The act wasn't healthy. But him being spurred to figure it out, make a choice, take some action, something. That's healthy.

Yes, this season has seen everyone hit bottom, so that they can start fighting their way back. This is how it's happening with Spike. William. One of them. Both of them.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Two quibbles -- Derik, 09:04:25 05/08/02 Wed

It is interesting how this season the vampire/sexuality metaphor has changed from being an metaphor to a reality.

Which goes along with my new theory, that this season is about subverting some of the previous metaphors of the show.

[> [> [> [> [> [> My turn to quibble (spoilers for seeing red) -- Traveler, 11:11:07 05/08/02 Wed

I generally agree with you and can see the rape metaphor in some of your examples, but there is still a big difference between metaphore and reality. We could forgive Spike more easily for trying to bite Willow that we could for trying to rape her, especially considering that he offered her eternal life as a vampire (something he would consider a gift). In "Seeing Red," there is no metaphore and we are exposed to gritty reality. Perhaps that is a sign of growing up too. As when Katrina accused Warren of rape, perhaps now Spike may see some of his earlier actions in a different light. At least, we can hope he eventually comes to his senses.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My turn to quibble (spoilers for seeing red) -- shadowkat, 11:46:57 05/08/02 Wed

Interesting:"We could forgive Spike more easily for trying to bite Willow that we could for trying to rape her, especially considering that he offered her eternal life as a vampire (something he would consider a gift.)"

Apparently you have no trouble with Spike killing her?
Because that would be what he'd be doing.

So if Spike tried to bite Buffy and almost killed her instead of trying to force himself on her like he did - you'd forgive him? I actually have less problems with the
scene in the bathroom than the scenes in HLOD and Intiative.
The scene in bathroom was harder to watch - yes, but I didn't feel she was in danger like I did Willow in Initiative or Buffy in HLOD.

Also I sensed regret in him and desperation in the bathroom
scene, the other two scenes I sensed pleasure and enjoyment.

It's ironic that the gritty filming of the scene unsettled us more than scenes in past episodes that were far more violent and disturbing, ie. The Pack and Consequences and
even to a small degree Angel's scene with Darla last year
and Wesely's attempt to kill Fred. It goes to show you how powerful direction and filming can be.

I think it was supposed to disturb us more - because this
scene was all about why she can't trust him. That was the message and she finally got *him* to see it ironically through his own actions. Until now, HE did not understand
why she couldn't trust him. I believe that moment will live
to haunt him more than it will her - I think it will rip
him apart inside far more. And I may be the deciding factor in his future growth. Until now - I don't beleive Spike understood that his actions had consequences, that he could truly hurt something he loved. It's a defining moment for him. Be interesting to see where it takes him.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Trusting -- Spike Lover, 14:25:20 05/08/02 Wed

If Buffy can make that argument, then each pair can. I, also, do not know why she feels she can't trust Spike unless it is because he is a vampire, and B learned the hard way she could not trust Angel.

Spike can't trust Buffy to tell the truth/be honest about anything, to herself or anyone else.

Anya can't trust Xander to follow through with his promises.

Earlier in the year, Tara could not trust Willow to stop using magic.

No one should trust Dawn about anything.

But, no one else is saying anything about trust, which is rather ironic since trust and broken-trust is a major theme.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Trusting -- shadowkat, 07:27:02 05/09/02 Thu

Actually...I'm waiting for cjl to post his trust essay - dang him! I decided not to do one b/c I like his idea
better. Watch for it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My turn to quibble (spoilers for seeing red) -- Traveler, 20:14:55 05/09/02 Thu

"Apparently you have no trouble with Spike killing her?
Because that would be what he'd be doing."

No, but I could more easily forgive him. Would Willow have had any qualms about dusting Spike if she had the opportunity? They were mortal enemies, and Spike was simply a champion for evil, just as Buffy was a champion for good. At least Spike gave Willow the opportunity to switch teams. When was the last time Buffy gave a vamp that opportunity?

"So if Spike tried to bite Buffy and almost killed her instead of trying to force himself on her like he did - you'd forgive him?"

You describe to me a plausible situation where he bites her and almost kills her, and I'll tell you if I could forgive him for it.

"It's ironic that the gritty filming of the scene unsettled us more than scenes in past episodes that were far more violent and disturbing, ie. The Pack and Consequences "

I found "The Pack" very disturbing.

"I think it was supposed to disturb us more - because this scene was all about why she can't trust him."

I'm not so sure about that. If it had happened in season five, I would be right there with you. But you're essentially telling me that most of season five and six was a sham. Sure he helped Buffy. Sure he saved her life several times. Sure he saved Dawn's life and Xander's life and Giles' life... but you can't trust him! I can see why Buffy shouldn't trust him now, but really he has been extremely trustworthy for quite some time. The attempted rape required a LOT of build up and a LOT of bad water under the bridge before it became plausible. Why should it convince us that he was never worthy of Buffy's trust? Even now, I wonder if things would have gone the same if Buffy had just talked to him when he walked through that bathroom door. Buffy has constantly told Spike that he is an evil thing, a creature not worthy of her trust. Why are we surprised that he finally lives down to her expectations and believes the same thing about himself?

"That was the message and she finally got *him* to see it ironically through his own actions. Until now, HE did not understand why she couldn't trust him.

I saw it more as an experience that will force Spike to choose between being a man or a monster, a catalyst for his future development. It isn't that he now understands why Buffy didn't trust him. Rather, now he doesn't trust himself. He decides that he really is beneath Buffy and that she could never love him. Does he really want to be the Big Bad again, or is it just that he lacks confidence in his ability to be good?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My turn to quibble (spoilers for seeing red) -- vh, 09:46:07 05/10/02 Fri

"I wonder if things would have gone the same if Buffy had just talked to him when he walked through that bathroom door." -- one of the things that really struck me, too.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My turn to quibble (spoilers for seeing red) -- celticross, 14:36:11 05/08/02 Wed

"In "Seeing Red," there is no metaphore and we are exposed to gritty reality. Perhaps that is a sign of growing up too"

But don't we see and understand metaphor better when we grow up?

[> [> [> [> [> I'm with Sophist on the vamp biting issue-- "metaphor for sex" does not equal "sex" -- Dyna, 11:01:57 05/08/02 Wed

Vamp literature has a long history of using vamp biting as a metaphor for sex, but to leap from that to equating it literally and precisely with an attempted sex act is a misreading of the text, in my opinion. There's some literary precedent for viewing vampires as incapable of sex, so that biting becomes their only form of sexual intercourse, but in the Buffyverse this is manifestly not the case. Our vampires are capable of sex, they're capable of biting, and *the two acts are entirely separate and different.* To say that in the scene in The Intiative where Spike tries to bite Willow he's actually trying to have sex with her is a stretch that just doesn't work, however much the writers may have drawn on the literary tradition of vampirism and metaphor for sex to mine comedy from the aftermath. It's still a metaphor.

[> [> [> [> [> [> biting and rape -- alcibiades, 20:04:31 05/08/02 Wed

What makes the difference clear in Spike and Willow's interactions is that in Lover's Walk Spike implies both that he will bite and rape her. And it is very explicit. It is also interesting that Spike desists as soon as Willow says firmly, "there will be no having of any kind."

In the Initiative, the subtext or metaphor might be college rape, but there is no real need to go there. It doesn't illuminate much about the "text" to think of it that way.

By the way, shadowkat, I really enjoyed the post that opened this discussion.

[> [> [> [> [> I agree- Sophist, Particularly about the Willow scene -- Spike Lover, 14:00:17 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I agree- Sophist, Particularly about the Willow scene -- leslie, 15:12:58 05/08/02 Wed

The thing is, "rape" is not about sex--rape as a crime is about violence and power, but also "rape" itself means "carrying off" or "abducting" (Paris's "rape" of Helen, which begins the Trojan war, is not an act of sexual violence--Helen was more than willing--it was an elopement; likewise, most of the "rapes" of classical mythology are abductions for the purposes of sex, but not violations against a person's will, as we currently define rape). In this sense, I think that Spike's attack on Willow *is* an attempted rape in a very Greek sense. Going back to the Hades and Persephone theme--he's offering to "rape" her into the Land of the Dead, or the Land of the Undead--her choice, but he's carrying her off one way or the other.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Maybe I'm too much of a lawyer (isn't any too much?), but -- Sophist, 17:17:16 05/08/02 Wed

isn't the theft of a life not rape but murder? Whether in mythology or otherwise?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Maybe I'm too much of a lawyer (isn't any too much?), but -- leslie, 08:35:22 05/09/02 Thu

In mythology, I would say no--not if the mythology includes a specific location where one exists in an afterlife, and not if the person doing the "raping" is in the postition of a "lord of the dead/underworld." But this is purely in mythological terms--in real life, yes, killing someone is murder, but then, in real life, vampires don't exist, so the whole question is moot.

Within the framework of BtVS, I would say that murder is when someone is killed and that's it--the assistant mayor that Faith killed, the science teacher killed by the preying mantis lady, the Doublemeat Palace employees devoured by penis-head lady. Harmony, however, and all the other people who are vamped, are clearly in a different category. Yet I wouldn't necessarily term the circumstances of all their vampings as "rape," (though maybe I would), I'm just pointing out that the antecedants of the term "rape" do not conform to what we currently call the crime of rape, and that what Spike was trying to do to Willow has a lot more in common with mythological rape than the current argument realizes. (Tangential note--in Irish mythology, there are two kinds of stories in which men and women run away together for sexual purposes--one is called "aitheda", "elopement," and it always is in the context of the *woman* forcing the *man* to run away with her, and they always end badly. Stories in which the man grabs a woman and runs off with her are called "tochmarc", or wooings, and they usually end reasonably well, even though the woman has no choice in the matter.)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Interesting. Double standard much? -- vh, 09:41:15 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> Re: My take for what it's worth (Spoilers for SR of course) -- yuri, 09:29:53 05/08/02 Wed

thank you for explaining Spike's side of it in relation to Buffy's so well. I don't want to lose or put aside the amazing angst and confusion he went through in Seeing Red. The Gift look (I saw it too, it makes sense because in a way he lost her right there almost as surely as if she died) and the tomb scene were powerful. I didn't interpret Buffy's mood afterward as you did - I really felt like she was sitting there sadly hating him and herself and all, feeling remorse and general relief that it was over - but I could buy it, if it played out that way.

There is talk in this thread of how vampire feeding often connotes rape, but I am suprised that no one has discussed the ambiguity of Spike's motives. To my eyes, he first seemed to be trying to force himself upon her sexually, but then he was going for her throat, and I assumed he in some way wanted to turn her. If that was his motive, what does that change about the scene? If he had fed on her rather than raped her, how would people's reactions change? Some of your references to similarly disturbing scenes are ones that imply feeding, not rape, but you draw the parallel as if they are no different. Even if one metaphorically represents the other, doesn't the actual act make a difference?

Oh yeah, one more thing - your bring up the point that Dawn, in her relative ignorance of their relationship, may have given Spike some dangerous hope about Buffy. That's pretty key. I was sitting there watching the scene with her in his crypt and cringing, knowing that it couldn't be good.

P.S. heh, after reading this I realize I sound like a huge Spike fanatic. I'm not at all, it's just what the post sparked in me. I was horrifyed at the bathroom scene, one hand clapped over my mouth and the other over my forehead, just leaving a little slit to see through. I do suppose that was what was intended.

[> [> [> [> Thanks! -- verdantheart, 11:14:49 05/08/02 Wed

Good points -- 'specially about Dawn. Couple that with the "Like hell" from last week and you have a recipe for disaster.

[> [> [> [> parallels -- Solitude1056, 11:16:28 05/08/02 Wed

Don't know if anyone else has mentioned this, but Spike confessing to Clem that it must be the chip sure reminded me of Buffy protesting to Tara that it must be because I came back wrong - both wanting something external that would justify their actions, absolve their responsibility...

[> [> [> [> [> Good observation. -- Wynn, 14:55:42 05/08/02 Wed

Didn't Steven S. DeKnight write Dead Things too? There seem to be many parallels between the rock bottom of Buffy (the alley beating) and Spike (the bathroom scene).

[> [> [> Get Out of Jail Free cards -- Malandanza, 07:53:19 05/08/02 Wed

"I do think that it was a misconceived plot contrivance, and that it was designed precisely to produce the kind of emotional reaction you just had to Spike's action, to divert attention from what Buffy had done earlier."

I felt the same way about Spike's torture by Glory -- it erased his serial killer/stalker activity and his kidnapping and bondage games with Buffy and Dru. No one remembers (well, except me, Dochawk and Earl Allison) that Spike threatened to kill Buffy if she didn't agree to have sex with him. One instant erased every vile deed he had every committed or tried to commit and excused all his future deeds.

"If You're the Slayer You Don't Have to Take Responsibility for Beating Your Boyfriend Because the Writers Will Give You a "Get Out of Jail Free" Card in a Subsequent Episode."

"Get out of Jail Free" cards abound on Buffy -- Willow and Spike seem to have inexhaustible supplies. But Buffy used her only one after she tried to kill Faith -- she has always suffered for her actions, and suffered far out of proportion to the crime. In the alley scene (that the Redemptionistas can't stop talking about) Spike was preventing Buffy from going to the police. Imagine if one of your co-workers decided to prevent you from leaving your work -- getting in your way, forcibly detaining you and dragging you back when you tried to push past -- what would you do? Just stand there? Let him manhandle you? It was Buffy's decision -- not Spike's.

"The central premise of the show is that the Slayer is a tiny blonde girl who can lift a Troll Hammer like it's a number 2 pencil, while a super-powered vamp like Spike can't even budge it.

"This premise was suspended during one scene in SR..."

This premise was also suspended in The Body when Buffy had difficulty defending herself from a newly risen vamp. Similarly, when Buffy faced Sunday, she was easily beaten. In times of emotional distress Buffy is weakened. When angered, she is strengthened.

"It was the only way ME could think of to make the audience hate Spike as much as he deserves to be hated for being more popular than Buffy"

Plenty of us hated Spike long before it was cool to do so. What I can't understand is how so many Buffy "fans" can bear such hatred for Buffy. Hasn't she suffered enough? What do you want from the girl?

Personally, I don't think the rape scene was necessary to have Buffy hate Spike. Sleeping with Anya and revealing the secret to Xander at the moment it would hurt him most ought to have been sufficient; however, Spike just used yet another of his "Get Out of Jail Free" cards and the whole thing became Buffy's fault -- she should have defended him (but didn't she save his life by stopping Xander?), he did it to protect Anya, or maybe it was Xander's fault (things usually are, right? If he hadn't been so mean to Spike all along, Spike would never have slept with his ex-fiance).

I also think the rape scene gave Spike yet another "Get Out of Jail Free" card. He came across as a confused Frat boy, surprised that his girlfriend thought he was being too forceful -- isn't that what she wanted? It's really her fault, for all those mixed messages. On the other hand, we heard Buffy say something like "This time I stopped you" which suggests that all those other times also contained a strong element of non-consentual sex.

"It was the only way ME could think of to make the audience suffer as much as they deserve to suffer for liking Tara better than Buffy."

Tara's death is all about Willow, not Buffy.

Seeing Red was consistent and well written. The problem you have with Spike being held accountable for his behavior is not the fault of the writers.

[> [> [> [> Xander gets lots of GOoJF cards (spoilers to Seeing Red) -- Vickie, 11:38:15 05/08/02 Wed

Xander never seems to have to pay for his "crimes;" at least, not until this last (Hells Bells and later) sequence.

Others have compiled more comprehensive lists, but just off the top of the noggin:

Xander blackmailed Amy and, with her help, cast a spell that backfired causing all the women in Sunnydale (except Cordelia) to obsess over him. We don't know if anyone was hurt (nothing was shown), but given the level of violence we saw, it seems likely.

Xander lied to Buffy about Willow's message in Becoming2, leaving her to fight Angelus without the knowledge that he might suddenly become Angel again.

Xander summoned a singing/dancing demon to "make sure we got a happy ending," and at least two people burned to death. Buffy nearly did. Dawn almost went to hell on a honeymoon.

And then he doesn't even use the information he gets from that summoning to ensure his happy ending with Anya. Seems as though, after singing his way through I'll Never Tell, he and Anya should have had at least one heart-heart-talk, no?

I love Xander. But he gets away with (everything except) murder on a regular basis. Until now. Should be interesting to watch his reactions.

take it and shred...

[> [> [> [> Re: Get Out of Jail Free cards -- verdantheart, 11:42:22 05/08/02 Wed

"we heard Buffy say something like "This time I stopped you" which suggests that all those other times also contained a strong element of non-consentual sex.":

Ahem. Maybe Buffy would like to believe that, but I don't think so. Several times Buffy started out saying she didn't want it, but ended up initiating it. She could have stopped it in any occurrence and should have if she did indeed mean no. As a woman, I still believe that a woman has some responsibility to be unambiguous about her intentions, which I can hardly say about Buffy -- she herself was confused about what she wanted. How is Spike not supposed to be confused by this no-means-yes behavior? He should just lay low and let her continue to initiate (or not), but screws up (in his desperation) as usual.

Again, I don't believe Spike was justified in what he did, I simply understand why it happened.

[> [> [> [> [> You understand? That's sick, your just as blind. -- gabby, 16:01:54 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: You understand? That's sick, your just as blind. -- vh, 09:03:32 05/10/02 Fri

I sorta expected this sort of response. Like I said, I understand it, not condone it. I think I have a pretty good understanding of why serial killers (incl. the sexual sadists) do their thing. Does this mean I approve of them? Hardly. Do I think Spike was justified? No. Did Spike think he was justified? No, he was pretty appalled by his actions; he didn't think through what he was doing, he let the moment carry him, as usual and now has time to regret at leisure. Does he want to become purely evil again (get rid of the chip?)? Yes, trying to be good hasn't worked out very well for him (I can't be a man). Does the fact that the event can be understood and that Spike is remorseful make Spike a good guy? No. Could he become a good guy (re: remorse)? Deck's stacked against him; that's what makes it interesting.

[> [> [> [> [> Agree with you, vh. Doesn't help that the sitch just isn't cut-and-dried. -- Solitude1056, 21:13:40 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Get Out of Jail Free cards -- Dochawk, 16:12:32 05/08/02 Wed


Not suprisingly I agree with everything you said 9and you say it way better than I do). I would like to add one point, whcihI dont get. The idea that Spike has some remorse from his actions. I need to see the shooting script but my interpetation of his encounter with Clem and his leaving statements were that he couldn't stand that the chip keeps him from being the monster that he is, that he wasn't able to finish the job he started. I thought it was more chilling than the actual rape attempt scene.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Different Take On It -- SpikeMom, 17:15:16 05/08/02 Wed

It played out to me that Spike is going to get the chip out so that Buffy can see he is capable of loving her as a Vampire and without the chip. That in spite of being a fully functioning Vamp he can and will choose Good over Evil.

Buffy's trust argument is just an excuse. No matter who she is involved with, trust will always be an issue. She couldn't trust Riley and he was the original innocent farm boy. She isn't brave enough to trust so she uses Spike's inhibited Vampirism as an excuse to push away the relationship.

He tells Buffy to get all comfy (and I think he means in her excuses and what she chooses to believe about the relationship); he's going to remove all the excuses and then we'll see who is really capable of love and who's not.

I also thought Spike's description of the "Jimminy Cricket" chip and creeping wires, etc. sounded just like Dru's description of it in Crush.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Different Take On It -- Rufus, 14:51:57 05/09/02 Thu

The Jiminy Cricket reference I did't hear but saw on Closed Caption...did they take that obvious hint out?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Different Take On It -- Lilac, 15:12:54 05/09/02 Thu

Rufus, you have made me feel better -- I have seen "jimminy" refered to many times, but I didn't hear it either time I watched the episode. I was beginning to think I was going deaf. Now I have to try with the captions on -- that reference seems pretty important, doesn't it?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> In a word.....yes -- Rufus, 19:23:21 05/09/02 Thu

Add in the reference in OMWF to "being a real boy someday" when Spike refered to Sweets minion.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I sure didn't take it that way -- verdantheart, 06:53:04 05/10/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Get Out of Jail Free cards (SR spoilers) -- Arya_Stark, 11:37:10 05/10/02 Fri

Spike certainly was able to finish the job he started. The chip doesn't work on Buffy. The chip had nothing to do with stopping him.

Spike may blame the chip, but it has nothing to do with his interactions with Buffy. He can still be the Big Bad and kill the Slayer if he wants to because the chip doesn't work on her.

[> [> [> [> Hallelujah! Keep on speaking it, Malandanza. -- JBone, 17:41:58 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Evilistas Celebrate!! -- LeeAnn, 13:26:28 05/09/02 Thu

No one remembers (well, except me, Dochawk and Earl Allison) that Spike threatened to kill Buffy if she didn't agree to have sex with him.

When did this happen cause I'm one of the people who don't remember it either.

I remember Spike making what I thought was an empty threat in Crush to kill Buffy or Dru and trying to get her to give him something, any admission that there might be something between them, some crumb. (Spike: Just ... give me something ... a crumb ... a barest smidgen ... tell me ... maybe, someday, there's a chance.) That's different than "have sex with me or I'll kill you." He had her shackled. If he wanted to have sex with her that much he already had the chance when she was unconscious. But Spike wanted her to admit an emotional connection, not force a physical one. At least in Crush.

Now in SR he wanted an admission of an emotional connection...AND tried to force a physical one on her.

Happy now. Spike betrayed his love. Proved it was worth nothing. The people who believe Spike is evil have won. Celebrate.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Evilistas Celebrate!! -- Doriander, 18:29:58 05/09/02 Thu

Happy now. Spike betrayed his love. Proved it was worth nothing. The people who believe Spike is evil have won. Celebrate.

Erm, I'm "evilista" Spike fan. He's mainly the reason I'm drawn to the show. I'm in the I-like-Spike-and-but-still- consider-him-evil camp (tm AngelVSAngelus). I never saw him on the path to redemption. I never considered him redeemable.

And you know what, I'm not celebrating, because I stand corrected after this episode. Why? He showed remorse. He doesn't recognize the guilt he's feeling, but it's there. I would have thought this is a breakthrough for the redemptionistas' camp. Do I hate this ep for undermining my stance? No. In fact now I'm more eager than ever to find out what's next for my favorite character. Spike is unpredictable. However his previous unpredictable acts: intent on killing Buffy ends up comforting her, not ratting on Dawn because it'd kill Buffy, etc. can all be attributed to his love for her. And Spike has been love's bitch from day one. But guilt, recognizing that he has done something wrong (What have I done?), even if he amended it a second later, that's new to me.

As for Spike betraying his love, he betrayed Dru (conspiring with Buffy against Angelus) before. It shouldn't be surprising. Forcing himself on Buffy to make her love him, not much different from tying up Dru, torturing her till he loves him again. But Spike set out to torture Dru with a gleeful attitude, while he left Buffy haunted with her pleas, disgusted with himself.

It's not true that his love for her meant nothing. It meant so much that it drove him to examine himself (even for a few minutes). Before, he tried to be good for Buffy. Helped out the Scoobies and watched over Dawn to honor Buffy. Told her over and over that he’s changed. He's basically conforming to the kind of guy Buffy would like. He's done the same with Dru ("I want Dru back, I've just gotta be the man I was, the man she loved."). Buffy’s gave lip-service to not believing him, not trusting him, he can’t change cause he’s not a man. We, however, know she trusted him enough. The tragedy of that scene is that his action proved what Buffy has accused him of, at the same time, it’s the moment that he did change. But it’s too late. He’s done something unforgivable. Buffy will probably never forgive him, nor will the Scoobies, or a constituent of the fan base. But this episode showed me redemption is possible for him after all, should he choose to take it on.

Now I'll retreat over to the fence bet. Evilista and Gray!Spike.

[> [> [> [> I'm with you except for this one bit... -- Dyna, 14:36:44 05/09/02 Thu

"On the other hand, we heard Buffy say something like "This time I stopped you" which suggests that all those other times also contained a strong element of non-consentual sex."

I didn't hear that--I thought what she said was something to the effect of "you stopped because I stopped you." He's starting to apologize, to say he hadn't intended to harm her, and she tells him the only reason he didn't is that she stopped him before he could. Given the context, I took this to be referring to what had just happened.

I don't think we've had any reason to believe that their past sexual encounters were nonconsensual, and it would be very strange for the writers to be retconning that now. Buffy's been in denial about her motives for initiating and continuing the relationship, but she's never denied being a willing participant, i.e. to Tara, when she confesses she's been "using him."

[> [> [> [> [> Retcon..spoilers thru entrophy -- LeeAnn, 16:34:45 05/09/02 Thu

Buffy retcons her relationship with Spike for Dawn

BUFFY : Dawn - I did the breaking up. Spike was obsessed with me.
DAWN : Oh. I just thought-
BUFFY : I'm serious. He was acting like a total stalker-

It was Buffy who came to Spike again and again and initiated sex with him. (Spike in AYW:You know what I am. You've always known. You come to me all the same.) In Smashed. In Gone. In As You Were. But now that she has broken off with him she's lying about why she broke it off.
It was because HE was stalking her. I think once you're sleeping with a guy it's supposed to be a good thing if he comes to see you occassionally. She didn't seem to mind when she made it with him at the DMP or in her yard but now that it's over, that was stalking. That was why she broke it off. Not Riley making her ashamed of boinking Spike.

[> [> [> Sometimes it scares me the ammount of women who defend Spike... -- Goji3, 13:50:36 05/08/02 Wed

I mean, He's a big ID with an externally imposed physical Ego (I hope I don't confuse Ego and Super-Ego...)forcing His Brain, which, is in the prosess of decomposing (joke), to act as an Super-ego.

Think a little about that. He does 'Good' only when there is the prospect of a reward for him.

Remeber, when Buffy broke up with him for the umpteenth time, he admited that there relationship was not a 'good' one. and he followed it up by saying that he didn't care.

He has little, if any morals. Notice that after his initial disgust at what he did in SR, it quickly turns into blame towards someone else. or, rather, something else IE: his Chip.

He reminds me of the 'Jerks' and 'Assholes' portrayed in the work of Jhohnen Vasquez, specifically: "Johnny the Homicidal Maniac" and "Squee"

vile, amoral beast who spout such lines as:

"Not...grasping. she speaks of my manliness, but in...what...a negative way? CONFUSION!?"

"Awww Yeah, I see girl...ohhuhuohhh...i touch"

"Me and some freinds were standing out in front of the 24-7. just trying to get my mind of this girl. she broke up with me, she was always telling me what to do - 'Stop hitting meeee! Quit asking me where I've been! Stop kicking grandma! Don't do that to my Hamster!' I mean, Shit, I'm just me, and if that's not goof enough..."

"So Weak! Look how he makes me seem tougher!"

Caption bubble for pannal done in "Asshole-vision" - (2 side notes "Degredation is easy to do!" and "It is easier to laugh than to face one's own ignorance - Confucious")
"Puny Muscles = just BEGGING to have ass kicked"
"Looks like Dork = Dork"
"Stands out in a croud = Must be ridiculed"
"Skinny = Fag!! Threat to manliness!"
"Weird, leather boots = San Fransisco (And you know what THAT means.)"
"Just plain looks funny = gets my mind off of how amazingly stupid I am"

As well as Idiots who spout such memorable lines as:
"You're Right, I'll agree with you cuz your in a band and I want you to like me"

Before I go On, the author included a note about the works:
"STUPID PEOPLE: i would ask you to keep in mind that this should NOT be taken as a source of moral guidance (THAT WOULD BE MOVIES). Put away the knifes and never allow yourself to fogret YOU ARE STUPID - JVC"

Satire is fun.

Anyway...whoa, Kinda lost my train of thought,

Ah, here's a more pertenant quote, applies DIRECTLY to B/S
"Woeful Deceit. Soon will you keep each other's company merely to sustain your own gutteral desires. Enjoy yourselves while your simple lust is veiled by dillusions of complex affections" -- True, this is from Wobbly Headed Bob, but still, its in J:tHM

Buffy knew that is was a lust thing...Spike did not. He was in the 'Dilusions of complex affections' thing. Buffy was not, and all B/Sers want her to have them.

I'm glad she learned her lesson from Angel. Honestly, do you WANT to go through that again!?!

Here's a special one for Spike, as an explination of Buffy's stance with him (before the rape-attempt) as told by Wobbley Headed Bob:
"You're pathetic delusion flatters me! How open you are in exposing your defective and Easily misled mind!"

And now, Bob explains the Whendoian truth!
"That smile on your face is all the proof I need to see that you are miserable. You're "Happiness" is little more than the setup for an old, yet hideously cruel Joke: the punchline being your ineveitable, pathetic realization that you've wasted so much time thinking that somebody could actually 'love' you!!"

Bob's a pesimist.

The thing that gets me as to why people forgive spike is That he has no regret for what he has done in the past! people who don't regret past offences scare me. on Buffy, ya gotta brood about um too:

(Quick cut to Vasquezian take on Faith's situation w/Finch)

Buffy: You killed a man

Faith: yeah, it was an acident. Sorry, ok. Can we move on now?

Angel: NO! You gotta brood about it first!

(Return to topic)

Ok. Now, what was the point of this?

Oh, Yeah. Spike has no regret for any past actions, he is like the Assholes portrayed in J:tHM, yet, people want to forgive him.

That kinda scares me, actually.

Then again, Nny said it best about this kind of over- anylization:

"Any Pile of stunted growth unaware that enertainment is just that and nothing more, deserves to doom themselves to some dank cell, somewhere, for having been so stupid!! Movies, Books, TV, Music - they're all just entertainment, not guidebooks for damning yourself!"

This from a guy who kills people on a daily basis. I enjoy about him, but, I know he's not all there...hell, he even knows he's pretty messed up. and he even has felt remorse for past actions (blowing up a coffe bar for no real reason--that's not his 'Style')

Where the HELL does Spike get off with this redemptive bull! He's just as bad, if not worse, than Nny, yet, people defend him!?

I remain confused as to why?

Please, don't go the rout of 'JM is a good actor', It does not apply here. Go away.

And not even his attempted Rape of Buffy, who punishes herself constantly (who the hell says she's not paying for this! Whatever happened to the Trade Mark made on BroodyBuffy (TM)?) changed there minds about Spikes nature.

God, I really don't like Spike, and this just gave me the boost to be Pompous, Vindictive and Condecending!


this is a big post!

[> [> [> [> Amen! I don't understand the girls who fawn over this rapist, make me sick. -- gabby, 15:58:41 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Re: Sometimes it scares me the ammount of women who defend Spike... -- warped, 18:28:45 05/08/02 Wed

What are you trying to say? Of COURSE Spike has no morals. Of COURSE he has no remorse for his killing in the past. He's a vampire, for pete's sake. He's supposed to be evil. What do you expect him to do? Act like a man? I don't understand the redemptionists' argument. Spike shouldn't be redeemed because 1) boring storyline - saw that with Angel and 2) he doesn't have a soul. Why should he be redeemed? Or want to be?

What makes us like him (or at least just me) is the fact that he transcends his demon nature to accomplish some clear acts of good. It's amazing how much Spike has done to help the Scoobies. Now, whether or his intentions were honorable or not is debatable - yes, I agree his want of love from Buffy and lust for killing were his prime motivations in helping the SG, but the actions he committed remain stellar because they are so for a vampire. Compare Spike to Angelus. Both without souls, both evil. But look at how far Spike has come. Angelus would never commit acts so foreign to a vampire. This is why I find the bathroom scene so disturbing. In it Spike violates his own moral code. He feels remorse! Vampires aren't supposed to have a moral code! After the writers set us up in the past seasons to accept Spike's capabilities for good, they blow us away with this awful, awful scene in which all his effort is thrown away. (I'm still deciding whether or not this is bad writing/ out of character) He hits rock bottom, just like Buffy did when she physically abused him in Dead Things. The war between man and monster in Spike is agonizing.

A key theme in this season is that humans can be just as bad, or even worse, than demons themselves. Spike's actions with Buffy in SR are not excusable in any way; nobody's forgiving him here. But it's understandable. And Buffy's treatment of Spike (mixed messages/leading him on), along with Xander's treatment of Anya (the corrections etc.) and Willow's treatment of Tara (mind-wipes) aren't excusable either. Spike along with the SG are moving into more and more morally ambiguous territory. Both humans and demons have done evil and good here.

...And one more thing. We don't "fawn." Spike is an intriguing, ambiguous, extremely complex character. And I treat him as such.

I think I took some of the above posts a little personally, so excuse me for that. I don't know if any of this was coherent, but I hope maybe this affords an interpretation into Spike's character and why some of us like him so much.

[> [> [> [> [> I can turn your agruement on its head... -- Goji3, 10:41:08 05/10/02 Fri

By saying that his acting good was out of character due to external forces acting upon him.

And, Without Morals, can one truely be good?

[> [> [> [> That scares you sometimes, that the Spike character is popular....really..... -- Sturm and Drang, 19:09:09 05/08/02 Wed

Its just a tv show kids. I like Magneto an awful lot and Darth Vader, too. Does that frighten you?

And I usually root for the heels in the WWF.

Stop taking pretend stuff so seriously. The melodrama over this has gone from amusing to boring, fast.

Sabertooth is really cool, too. Why, the time he stayed at the X-mansion as Professor X's 'guest' and nearly killed.....oh probably don't want to hear about it.

[> [> [> [> [> No, it scares me because some people seem to support a a rapist, doesn't matter if its on TV. -- gabby, 20:30:29 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> [> Liking them as characters is fine, but ... -- Earl Allison, 02:08:38 05/09/02 Thu

I really think you're missing the point.

Yes, BtVS is a television show, but one that is taken "fairly" seriously on this board, where posters use incredible insights of logic and/or philosophy.

Like Magneto (especially the early Claremont Magneto) and Vader all you want, but are you, in that liking them, excusing their actions, saying that they are great people who don't deserve to be labelled villains?

THAT is part of what Goji3 is saying, that Spike is being excused for pretty much anything he does, and that IS scary.

If it were just "Gosh, Spike is an interesting, complex, entertaining character," that would be fine, but that's NOT what's being said. Spike has in the past, and even during "Seeing Red," committed some truly awful actions -- and way too many people are willing to turn a blind eye to them. Which would also be fine and dandy, were it consistent, but it ISN'T. Many of them then slam Xander, or Willow, or Buffy, because somehow they don't stack up to poor, put-upon Spike the serial killer.

As for the Sabretooth story arc -- IIRC, it was received rather badly by fans exactly because it was stupid in the extreme. Sure, let's let a feral, already-proven- irredeemable killer in the Mansion where he can get loose and kill lots more people. I will always think the X-Men weren't firing on all cylinders for that one.

Take it and run.

[> [> [> Hasn't changed my view of Spike, but its changed my view of the writers.... -- OtherEric, 18:51:46 05/08/02 Wed

They've gotten lazy, and apparently think they can do whatever they want without people starting to hate them and dislike their bad writing and therefore the show.

Even before this episode, their attempts to make me hate all the main characters (in non-subtle, awkward forced ways) have left me wanting it to become the Spike + Clem + Troika show. Oh well. Sooner or later most Joss types fail us. Lucas did, JMS did....only Toriyama has never failed me.

Vegeta could show up and destroy the whole town and everyone in it and wouldn't even care. I'd just probably watch more Angel. They're not a bunch of walking clusterf#cks in the field. There appears to be this wild new notion of there being some sort of concept of a team.....

And if Marti thinks every relationship that doesn't end in tragedy is boring, then it makes even more sense that the only comic she ever read was Richie Rich. Stupid writers........maybe they'll get me back. Trey and Matt did, but it took time, and ME has pulled their own terrence and phillip except they've done it on the level of a whole season. Good work, crew. The Vorlons would be so proud. I keep waiting for the first one to show up or some other 'genius' macguffin or deus ex machina device. Perhaps, since they apparently needed Spike to leave town so badly, they could have had Sheridan and Delenn show up and just tell him to go away. It worked on the Shadows after all.......stupid bastards.

[> [> [> [> Deus Ex Machina ... Like Cordelia last week? -- Earl Allison, 02:11:42 05/09/02 Thu

I'd have been a bit more convinced if you hadn't mentioned that -- you like Angel -- after the deus ex machina of Cordelia's demon powers being used last week?

Just looking for consistency.

Take it and run.

[> [> No one Deserves to be Raped, EVER!! -- Wolfhowl3, 06:06:12 05/08/02 Wed

Now I love the Character Spike, but last night, I thought he so deserved to have a close encounter with Mr. Pointy!


[> [> [> There is not one single person saying that they do. And QED again -- Anne, 06:20:39 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> Re: No one Deserves to be Raped, EVER!! -- verdantheart, 11:24:17 05/08/02 Wed

I wholeheartedly agree.

However, some victims put themselves in situations that are rife with danger. Take for example the coed who goes to a frat party of her own volition and gets very drunk and is then raped by several frat boys. Are the frat boys guilty of rape and generally completely reprehensible behavior? Of course. But the woman was extremely stupid to put herself in that position.

Buffy put herself in a dangerous situation by boinking an emotionally unstable vampire who is by her own admission evil and obsessive. She compounds the problem by refusing to communicate with said vampire and punishing him for loving her (and making her feel something for him, although God knows what exactly that something is). Do I think she deserved what she got? No. Do I think she might have expected something like that to happen? Yes. Could she have avoided it? Yes, by not boinking said vampire and getting his hopes up while humiliating herself. He was extremely respectful and did not push until she started kissing him.

[> [> Not so subtle SPOILERS IN ABOVE POSTING SUBJECTS!! -- LittleBit, 06:54:57 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> a different question -- skeeve, 08:07:07 05/08/02 Wed

Did Buffy deserve to think that she was about to be raped?

[> [> [> No -- monkey, 08:37:58 05/08/02 Wed

[> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- Etrangere, 05:23:31 05/08/02 Wed

1. The Profound Message of the season based on tonight's episode, is:

e. Never trust anyone you love, either you'll be betrayed by the one you love, either your happiness will be destroyed in a gruesome way (TM). Oh, just never love or trust anyone, it always ends in a bad way.

2. The central premise of the show is that the Slayer is a tiny blonde girl who can lift a Troll Hammer like it's a number 2 pencil, while a super-powered vamp like Spike can't even budge it.

This premise was suspended during one scene in SR because:

b. Spike had a chunk of Kryptonite in his pocket
And I believe that Kryptonite is called "trust"
Once Buffy actually tried to use force to defend herself from Spike she had no problem.

3. The scene in which Tara was shot needed to be extremely graphic because:

e. We've already killed aplenty in previous seasons/episodes and there's been a lot of BSD rumours. We've got to do it /really/ horrendious so as they get the point

4. The folks at ME:
abcd all in a row :)

[> [> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- DEN, 05:38:22 05/08/02 Wed

The kryptonite=trust image is BRILLIANT! Buffy can't quite believe it's happening until it almost does! The scripted injury, which heals by the time of her fight with Warren, is also shown as slowing her down--but she doesn't WANT to throw the switch at first

[> [> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- Anne, 05:42:42 05/08/02 Wed

To be fair, I think you've got a point about number 2 -- maybe that's what they meant to convey, but it just rang false to me. It came across to me as a device, not a natural outgrowth of the characters and assumptions of the show. But it obviously worked for you, and there's no way for me to claim that my take on it is the objectively right one.

It has also occurred to me that you might be right about number 3. However, I think they might, as some speculate, be planning another one of their bring-her-back thingies, which would vitiate the impact. I hate to root against it, in deference to all Tara lovers, but if they bring her back it will expose this violence as gratuitous.

I agree with you on number 4, of course. I'm teed off about a few things but I do love 'em.

Number 1 is the most difficult. I don't really believe in "Profound Messages", in the sense that I don't believe in didacticism in art. That's one of the things that makes me profoundly uneasy about Marti Noxon's interviews this year: she seems to think her job is to teach us little life lessons about correct dating procedures in your twenties. I'm just hoping there's more to what they're doing here.

In order for the attempted rape scene to really contribute to the story, we have to see two things, in my opinion. First, the story of Spike has to contain something other than his coming back comic-book 2-dimensional evil. And I don't actually think they're going to do that, but they might. The other thing, which I've harped on enough elsewhere to just touch on briefly here, is for Buffy at some point to specifically acknowledge that in her relationship with Spike, he was not the only monster.

[> [> [> Profound Message and Trust *SR spoilers* -- Tillow, 06:27:25 05/08/02 Wed

First point: I absolutely agree about the trust thing, Estrangere.

As she is saying she doesn't trust him, perhaps she is realizing that she has trusted him more than she would like to admit all along (her earlier conversation with Xander where she defends him with the same redemptionista arguments used over and over... you fought beside him, you trusted him with Dawn).

But in this scene he breaks her trust, truly. I can't see how they will get it back, ever. Even though I will concede, Anne, she has done horrible things to him, he walked into that knowingly "put it on me...put it all on me" while Buffy pleaded and begged and appealed. "Spike, I'm hurt."

Second point: I think the profound message goes back to the musical. Understand we'll go hand in hand but we'll walk alone in fear. Tara and Willow finally got it back. External forces took what they had away. As callous as it may sound, that does happen sometimes and as Buffy tells Willow in Something Blue, you have to "Work through the pain." The reason Tara is such a wonderful character to me, is that she was always able to work through her pain, she was a grown up. Now, perhaps we'll see Willow again faced with a situation she can not face.

Walking alone in fear has been 1) Xander, resorting to alcohol. 2) Anya has fallen back on D'Hoffryn but it seems her heart is not in vengeance anymore. I love what they are doing with Anya. 3) Buffy who has relied on her relationship with a dead man "whisper in a dead man's ear, doesn't make it real" Now she is finally opening up to people other than Tara (xander and dawn). Perhaps this was the manus/hands in restless. I've seen a lot of talk lately about it being about Dawn and Spike. But perhaps it is just about her accepting help, and in doing so, reentering the land of the living.

Her journey in restless was about rejecting the manus/hands but at the same time, "Give me back my friends." Hope she finds them all!

[> [> [> Hello, my name is Etrangere and I'm a Buffy addict -- Etrangere, 17:04:43 05/09/02 Thu

Well, I agree with your point about "profound message", I did answer this in a non serious way. I don't think this were the message they want to convey ;)
I don't know wether MN really wants to go in the deep into the After-school effect. But one thing has always been true about Whedon, he wants to give us what we need and not what we want (i'm paraphrasing one of his quote), so he's at least somewhat of a moralist (in a very weird, non conventionnal way) but for me, as long ME keep its work ambiguous enough as we can interprete it into several ways, along several morals, it's ok. Take a look at the discussions on the board, what do you think ? :)

This scene had two effects on me as a Spike fan and a B/S shipper. I'm very doubtful about the ship now, not in a "i don't think it will ever happen" way, but in a "I don't think i want that to happen" way. I just have trouble imagining Buffy actually want Spike after that.
And I'm convicted that they're aiming at a redemptionnist storyline from now on. There's just no way they could do anything else. This scene was awful, horrendious, because, as other have pointed already, it was realist, real, it was a man's crime, not a vampire's crime. (which makes it all the more ironic Spike's blaming of the chip). Yez pointed about the importance of Spike not being in game-face, someone else mentionned the scene with Willow in The Initiative that also had rape undertone and that was played for laugh ! because at that point Spike's character wasn't human enough to be expected anything else from. So it wasn't a big deal. But now stuff are different, and we've seen Spike feel guilt, actual moral qualm for the first time. He made me think of Angel in Five by five (in the Flashback), who's trying to go back to the simpler life of evil... but just can't do it, when he blamed it on the chip.
So, no, I've no doubt that the story for Spike from now is redemption - and that needed him to do the worse possible thing.
There's one thing we must admire with ME, whatever else we can criticize. They dare everything.
You know what ? The fans might be seeing red, ME might be seeing red, but i'm going to watch that bull right in the eyes and say double-dare and when he comes I'll take him by the corns and enjoy the ride.

What can I say ? I'm a masochist.

Bring on the angst ! :)

[> [> [> [> Hello I'm Shadowkat and a Buffy addict! Agree on all of above -- shadowkat, 18:48:19 05/09/02 Thu

[> In defense of Spike (SPOILERS! SPOILERS! SPOILERS) -- Darby, 06:00:11 05/08/02 Wed

Please let's not forget that not everybody has access to the new shows yet...

Oh my God! They killed Tara! Those bastards!

Sorry, had to get that out of my system.

The "rape" scene has an interesting structure - watch it a second time (c'mon, I know everybody here has it on tape). There are repeated cuts from far and "body" shots (I'm going to have to compare it to the alley scene in Dead Things - I suspect some resonance exists) which portray a vicious crime, interspersed with shots of the faces of the two protagonists -

Spike's face is amazing - a mixture of desperation and distance, the face of someone trying to convince Buffy that she loves him in the only way he's been able to elicit passion from her, while not quite being aware of how this has turned from sexplay to assault.

I'll grant the "trust as kryptonite" analogy, but I would also add guilt, and the continuation of Buffy trying to fend off reality (Ete footnote) with as little effort as she can get away with. This is not being played as a helpless victim being overpowered, but as someone who is faced with a situation of their own creation that they desperately wish would go away. And when it becomes obvious that violence is needed, it's delivered, swiftly, and ends the exchange.

And THAT is what Spike reacts so extremely to - the realization that Buffy is completely out of his thrall, that she could really excise the hold he had over her, that he had accepted as the proof that, down in her darkness, she really loved him. (Shades of Parker & Buffy!) The understanding that, in going through some legitimate changes to please her, he may have irrevocably changed his own nature (I'm not saying that this is true, but at the moment he doesn't even know himself - he needs that chip out to discover the truth). And that sends him packing.

I don't think that this was physically ever any more of a rape than B&S's other sexcapades - but the crime is in the motives, at least partly, isn't it? Spike was looking for acceptance, for consent, yes doing some physical coercion, but was quick to stop when the answer (which he in no way wanted to hear) was clear.

As for the rest, I'm still processing. Those bastards!

[> [> Re: In defense of Spike... my two cents (Spoilers through SR) -- Wynn, 06:55:21 05/08/02 Wed

"They killed Tara! Those bastards!" I very much agree. I love the character of Tara, and I love Amber Benson as an actress. I will miss Tara very much. On a side note, the SG are really on their own now, forced to grow up; they don't have Giles, Joyce, or Tara anymore- all arguably the most mature and understanding characters on the show.

To the Spike/Buffy scene- I find Spike's forcing himself on Buffy equivalent to Buffy's beating Spike to a bloody pulp (a beating rivaled by the one he received from a god). Just because Spike didn't try to stop Buffy in Dead Things like Buffy tried to stop him in SR doesn't make her actions in DT less horrific. Nobody deserves to get beaten like that- no matter if they ask for it or if they're a soulless demon; just like nobody deserves to be raped. Both Buffy and Spike were completely ruled by their emotions in DT and SR and both acted horribly.

I am saddened by the situation between them. They're fight in Smashed summed it up perfectly for me- they don't know where they fit in or who they are anymore, and they are trying desperately to discover who they are now. I believe that both have hit rock bottom; hopefully things will begin to improve. I don't know if I can handle any more angst between them in addition to whatever poor Willow is planning to do in the next few episodes.


[> [> [> Re: I don't find it equivalent (Spoilers through SR) -- LittleBit, 11:29:56 05/08/02 Wed

The thing that made "the bathroom scene" so different for me was the change in tone. Spike arrived there fresh from Dawn's revelation that his actions had hurt Buffy. He wants to, needs to, talk with her. Yet, the first thing he asks is, "are you hurt? You're not movin' so well." And Buffy responds with the obligatory "Get out."

Spike doesn't and asserts their need to talk. Buffy syas she doesn't need to, Spike reminds her that it isn't only about her. She tells him to leave. He goes on to quietly apologize because he needs her to hear it, not because he thinks it will matter. She ask why, he tells her he cares, she responds with an understandable accusation regarding sleeping with Anya (whom she calls 'her friend'). [accusation 1 - founded]

Spike tries to explain, the instant evil assumption pops out and then he begins the frustration of never being given the benefit of the doubt. [acusation 2 - unfounded] He, with emotion, lets her know he just wanted the feelings to stop (not unlike Willow in Something Blue, which interestingly enough is the first time we see Buffy & Spike as a 'couple').

She understands this; it hits home. He says she should've let Xander kill him; this hits home ever harder and she has to admit she couldn't allow it, that she does have feelings.
She even catches herself in the middle of telling him she doesn't and has to stop and admit it.

But she isn't able to take it to the level Spike wants / needs. Not love. No trust. Spike scoffs at the trust issue (after all he never trusted Dru) and tells her how he sees love. "Great love is wild...and passionate...and burns and consumes..." Buffy: "Until there's nothing left. Love like that doesn't last."

This is what she had with Angel, what she had to deny for Angel. And for the first time she may be starting to admit that she has moved on, that the great love has waned. She is also not denying that she may feel that way about Spike, she's asserting that she doesn't feel the kind of love she wants in a partnering. It's also why the scene continues as it does.

And then things change. Spike does believe that what they have is wild and dangerous, and also that this is why they have it. Spike is determined to prove to her that she feels the same way. Buffy's response shows that she has started to trust him, whether she admits it or not. She asks him to stop, uses "please, no" and tells him it hurts, pleads with him to stop, not to do this. But by this time the 'animal' in Spike is too dominant and he is incapable of hearing that the dialogue (if it can be called that) is not the usual trading of insults that leads to the unbridled passion he is seeking but the pleadings of the woman he loves (and this is his pov) not to hurt her. Until she realizes that he is past stopping, and forces him to.

Then and only then does Spike begin to comprehend how different this encounter was. When Buffy says, "Ask me again why I could never love you," he realizes that everything that had been so precariously built between was destroyed beyond repair; Humpty Dumpty had fallen. [accusation 3 - founded]

The encounter was not entirely unexpected. Given the tenor of their relationship so far this kind of horrendous misunderstanding was nearly inevitable. Spike has rarely (not never, just rarely) taken into account someone else's need for time to adjust. He could be the poster boy for Inability to Delay Gratification. In a 24 hour time period, Buffy accused him of spying on her and seemed to walk out of his life for good; he went looking for a spell to make his feelings stop; she learned he had sex with Anya; Spike went public with their relationship; Xander expressed his profound disappointment and disgust with Buffy and Buffy actually defended Spike; Dawn inadvertently gave Spike hope; and they actually had a nearly civilized conversation.

Spike's reaction to this remains fully in character. He is devastated, he shows the same near suicidal depression he did about Dru. He knows what happened was his fault. But his larger question seems to be why. He knows what he is. Just a day earlier he told Anya he'd bite the "lot of them" if he weren't chipped. He knows what he's supposed to be. He doesn't focus on how he could have better handled this situation with Buffy, but on what the chip is doing to him. It may be that because he'll never be a man, he wants to be the monster. This is in stark contrast to The Gift when he knew he was a monster but appreciated that Buffy treated him like a man. Not something she's likely to do again any time soon. So he goes in search of a remedy, he wants to unleashed monster back. And he leaves his black leather duster behind. Just as Xander says he never lost sight of what SPike was, neither did Spike, really.

Buffy's reaction is harder to read. While Spike posts them on his face for anyone to read, Buffy buries hers so no one can know them. She doesn't want revenge on Spike, she does realize that she played her part in getting to the place they have reached.

The one question that I keep asking myself is: How different would it have been if she had told Spike, when he asked, that she was hurt and needed time to heal.

Hope this is coherent.

[> [> [> [> Great analysis. -- Sophist, 13:08:55 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Agree, great analysis -- Kevin, 17:39:23 05/08/02 Wed

Wonderful analysis. These are complex characters and situations which can't be reduced to simple black & white, right & wrong reactions like some of the ones I've been reading.

It's what makes this show fun to think about...

Thank you

[> [> [> [> At the risk of being repetitive - Great analysis! - - ponygirl, 10:11:31 05/10/02 Fri

A very insightful take on a difficult scene! I've been hesitant about coming back to the board until after some of the storm dies down from that scene, but I am in total agreement with your take on it. In many ways Spike never seemed more human, a horribly messed up and wrong human, but human nonetheless. With the guilt, the pain and the consequences. Whatever Spike has gone searching for I don't know if he'll be able to find his monster again.

[> [> Aaargh! I screwed up my footnote! -- Darby, 07:51:38 05/08/02 Wed

That'll teach me to try to get clever. (And why can't I ever use that word without thinking of "clever sheep," and "Mra-a-a-a-a-a - THUMP!" ?)

The reality thingie should have been TM Shadowcat, of course.

[> [> [> Re: Grrr Aaargh - thump -- pr10n, 13:33:06 05/08/02 Wed

Ah ha! Another metaphor for this season:

"Notice that they do not so much fly as...plummet."

[> [> A quibble -- Caroline, 09:00:00 05/08/02 Wed

I interpret Buffy's emotions a little differently here. I think that when Spike is using force to try to make her understand his love, she is feeling betrayed by the way he is doing it and that is why she is pleading with him to stop initially rather than pushing him away. She has admitted that she has 'feelings' for him, so she's no longer in denial, but won't let herself go further with those feelings because she doesn't trust him. But how horrible it is when someone you have feelings for tries to force himself upon you, and also to know that your own behaviour kinda gave them the green light for this sort of interaction. Buffy's waking up and becoming more aware and she's faced the consequences of her own actions. This was a positive step for her in many ways.

Can't post more - too much work - but I totally agree with your interpretation of Spike.

[> [> [> Agree... -- Darby, 09:16:20 05/08/02 Wed

I just was saying that Buffy was evading the rejection, which prolonged the scene way beyond what it would have been and making it look much worse than it would have been if she had just remained steadfast and halted it at the outset. And I'm not sure that she has any clear idea of what her "feelings" for Spike are. Part of her may be feeling that a pity breakup boink might be acceptable, but she can't bring herself to submit. If he'd caught her in a different situation, who knows -?

Another point that I would have expected to be posted about by now - for commission of an apparent act of predatory violence, we never see Spike's vampface. It's just Spike, the confused lover. JM gives good face, no doubt about it.

[> [> [> [> Ahh, sorry for the misinterpretation...that means I liked ALL your post! -- Caroline, 11:47:21 05/08/02 Wed

[> [> [> [> Good point about lack of vamp face -- significant, I think. -- yez, 08:19:17 05/09/02 Thu

[> [> [> Pleading and betrayal -- lulabel, 20:15:48 05/08/02 Wed

For me, one of the most gutwrenching aspects of this scene was Buffy's pleading - which I would actually describe as frantic begging. Some have commented on how Buffy's lack of forceful resistance seems out of character. Well, we've definitely seen this kind of begging once before - in "Helpless" when a weakened and terrified Buffy under attack frantically called for help. I can't think of a single other instance in the entire series where Buffy has demonstrated this sort of helplessness.

My first reaction to the bathroom scene was that she was off her game because of her injury. This of course is the most obvious reason (I tend to be a rather literal person!) Of course as you, Darby and Etrangere have pointed out, it was also the shocking violation of trust which really threw her. Evidence that she had at least some level of trust for him before the attack, despite her denials (of which there were SO many)

I agree that the culmination of this scene was a positive step for Buffy. I intepreted her calmness and resignation when Xander found her on the bathroom floor as recognition on her part that she had some hand in driving Spike over the edge. (definitely NOT saying his actions were justified) It's a sign that she's retaking control of her life, that she's crawling out of her house of denial.

The other thing I saw as positive in all of this was Buffy's reaction to Spike's assertation that Love is All About Burning Passion, etc. When she says that love like that doesn't last, I actually believed that SHE believed it. Spike's view is the adolescent view, the same view that Buffy had about her love with Angel. She now recognizes that there has to be more to love than passion and pain. What a great leap forward.

[> [> [> [> Re: Pleading and betrayal -- Ishkabibble, 20:45:19 05/09/02 Thu

"My first reaction to the bathroom scene was that she was off her game because of her injury."

Something that crossed my mind is that the injury which she sustained was to her back. Spike has repeatedly said "I've got your back." Is it just a coincidence that once she split from Spike, who protected her back, her back becomes vulnerable? Is this a hint that Buffy is stronger (metaphorically) with Spike in her life?

[> [> Nice job, Darby and LittleBit -- helps explain some stuff for me, thanks. -- yez, 14:19:08 05/08/02 Wed

[> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- Cydney, 07:27:53 05/08/02 Wed

Reading some of the posts in this thread has changed my mind a bit - but all I could think about during the B/S bathroom scene was that both of them were acting out of character. Or as the writer's have drawn the characters lately!

Spike has gone out of his way to be careful with Buffy and never, even when sparring, dishing out more that she can take. Buffy has always given as good or better back. Why suddenly the victim and the attacker? A rape like scene?!

It does seem those evil ME writers want us to hate Spike. Hrumphh. I'm mad at the writers for yanking us around where Spike is concerned. And, I thought Buffy was finally going to wise up and understand how she really feels.

I wasn't happy to see Buffy still be so disrespectful of Spike, but so respectful of judgemental Xander - who at least admitted his error there - good for him. But why is he thinking more about Buffy with Spike than his own situation with Anya? Hmmm.

Dear ME writers: Please don't put Buffy and Xander together - yuk!

IMHO - Cyd

[> [> Completely agree. Spoilers for Seeing Red. -- Sophist, 08:50:25 05/08/02 Wed

What struck me about THAT SCENE was how out of character it was for both Spike and Buffy. Spike has never been shown to be capable of or interested in rape. In fact, numerous posts on this board have commented how the women in his life dominate him. Whatever his faults in the past, rape is not one. Nor was there enough in the episode to explain how he could have so suddenly changed character (he was drinking, sure, but he didn't appear drunk in the scene). It sure seemed to me like pure contrivance.

Nor did I find Buffy's behavior more believable. I'm aware of nothing in her past which would suggest she would allow an actual attempted rape to last as long as this purportedly did. Again, it came across to me as pure contrivance.

I have only 2 ways to react at this point: to write off the scene as the most unbelievable scene in the entire history of the series (and since it has to beat out the ending to Into the Woods and all of AYW, that's quite a challenge), or to agree with those who are suggesting that Spike wasn't "really" attempting to rape her. But in that case, I think ME was irresponsible in treating such a serious subject in that way.

It's a little off topic, but I completely agree with you about Xander. He continued to misbehave until the very last scene, when he finally did something right. Bander? Ick.

[> [> [> Re: Disagree. Spoilers for Seeing Red. -- derik, 09:31:36 05/08/02 Wed

Nor was there enough in the episode to explain how he could have so suddenly changed character (he was drinking, sure, but he didn't appear drunk in the scene). It sure seemed to me like pure contrivance.

Changed character? Haven't we seen him perform a number of desperate acts to regain love? He was willing to put a spell on Dru to make her come back, instead he decided to go back to South America and torture her until she gave in (or something to that affect).

He is changing character, but I don't think it as drastic as people want to believe. In this case it was a bit of a change back, but considering his and Buffy's rather violent sexscapades of late, I don't think it is all that surprising.

[> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- skeeve, 08:24:03 05/08/02 Wed

Tara's death scene wasn't all that graphic. The blood spatter didn't last very long and it served a purpose. After that, all we saw was a blood spot on her shirt just like the one we saw on Buffy's shirt.

Now we know why ME sped up the Tara/Willow reunion. It was a wholly unnecessary plot device. (I'll take that back if Dawn goes off the deep end over Tara's death.)

Did anyone happen to notice that Warren and a gun did more damage to the Scoobies than the entire troika and all their gadgetry and magic? Do you suppose that this will cause a realverse crusade to keep guns out of the hands of nerds?

[> [> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- derik, 09:45:04 05/08/02 Wed

Did anyone happen to notice that Warren and a gun did more damage to the Scoobies than the entire troika and all their gadgetry and magic?

Or than most of the other enemies. Guns are the one device that Buffy has never really had to contend with. It's one thing to find a demon hand to hand, but someone from a distance just shooting at her, does not make that Slayer strength all that useful.

It is not the metaphorical monster that is the demons this season, it is the real human monster, and human monsters use guns sometimes.

[> Re: Profound Messages, kryptonite and other matters. *spoilers* for SR -- maddog, 14:55:35 05/08/02 Wed

Bitter much?

I really don't know how to answer number 1. But with 2, Spike never said he couldn't lift it...he just told her it was really heavy. She fights vamps on a daily basis...and she gets trust me, they're on the same level as her. She tends to be better in battle. As for three, it was graphic to make the scene much more intense. You're supposed to be shocked...and that did it(and I even knew it was coming). and 4, I'd say C. Cause they drive me nuts, but in the end I enjoy the product.

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