May 2002 posts

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What Should Happen to Warren -- Dochawk, 21:41:03 05/12/02 Sun

After watching seeing red again, I wondered exactly do I want to happen to warren? I think Willow should wish vengeance upon Warren and Anya can make him Andrew's sex slave and the Summers household house boy. He can dres in Katrina's little french maid outfit and do the domestic work that the Summers girls hate 9and make sure the trash is out on time etc0. And then at night he could service Andrew. Andrew has to pay too, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

[> Psst! Possible very minor spoilers in above post for DT and SR -- Rob, 23:01:08 05/12/02 Sun

[> Re: What Should Happen to Warren -- maddog, 08:12:26 05/13/02 Mon

YOu really think they'd want to see Warren's ugly mug every would be a reminder of who took Tara from them. I think he should be prosecuted for murder(not sure on the degree). It can't be first, because he didn't intend on shooting Tara...that's almost manslaughter. But he did intend to kill Buffy. That's why I say murder, just not first degree. Let him rot in jail and be some horny guy's....well, you know.

[> [> Re: What Should Happen to Warren -- skeeve, 08:30:10 05/13/02 Mon

My recollection is that it doesn't matter who one tries to kill. If one tries to kill someone and someone dies as a result, it doesn't matter whether they're the same someone. Warren might get stuck with felony murder which includes a homicide committed during a felony. Felony murder statutes can produce some really strange results. My recollection is that in CA, felony murder gets the death penalty.

[> [> [> CA murder statutes -- Vickie, 10:53:06 05/13/02 Mon

Disclaimer: I am NOT an attorney, nor do I play one on TV.

That said, felony murder CAN get the death penalty, if the crime qualifies and if the district attorney chooses to seek it.

The qualifications involve special circumstances. I don't know all of them; they include torture, other felonies involved, and killing a policeman.

The "going for it" involves, I believe, the profile of the crime and whether the DA thinks he can get the conviction and sentence. If the public is screaming for an accused's blood, the DA is more likely to ask for the death penalty. (Top DAs are elected.)

I'm sure a legal eagle on the board can fill this in better than I. But from where I sit, it looks like Warren is guilty of murder, but not special circumstances. Unless Katrina's death is considered. That one was murder during kidnapping and attempted rape. That might qualify.

[> [> [> [> Re: CA murder statutes -- Dochawk, 11:03:42 05/13/02 Mon

Well first off my original post was supposed to add some levity to a very serious down week, but here we are talking about a serious subject.

I presented these episodes including future one's to a friend of mine who is a DA in the rape unit for the State of California. She thought with what Warren has done so far, he would be up for 1st degree murder, but not the death penalty.

[> [> [> [> Re: CA murder statutes -- Anneth, 13:44:00 05/13/02 Mon

"Warren is guilty of murder, but not special circumstances. Unless Katrina's death is considered. That one was murder during kidnapping and attempted rape."

I *think* Warren could argue that there was a mitigating factor to Katrina's death; heat of passion. There was no premeditation/deliberation for killing her, merely kidnap (presumably) and attempted rape. After all, didn't he kill her by smashing her over the head with what was at hand, a champagne bottle? Warren doesn't have the heat of passion defense for Buffy's attempted murder, though. Taking the time to procure a deadly weapon is a classic example of premeditation/deliberation.

[> [> [> [> [> Please quote carefully (spoilers for Seeing Red, Dead Things) -- Vickie, 14:54:06 05/13/02 Mon

What I actually posted was: But from where I sit, it looks like Warren is guilty of murder, but not special circumstances [for Willow's death]. Unless Katrina's death is considered. That one was murder during kidnapping and attempted rape. That might qualify.

While Katrina's death was not premeditated, CA law often considers a killing committed during another felony to be murder. Kidnapping and attempted rape are felonies, hence certainly a murder accusation if not murder one.

And, again, I'm no attorney.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Argh! typing, not thinking! -- Vickie, 14:56:53 05/13/02 Mon

That's "for Tara's death" of course. Assuming she doesn't make a miraculous recovery.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Please quote carefully (spoilers for Seeing Red, Dead Things) -- skeeve, 08:12:31 05/14/02 Tue

Perhaps more importantly, Katrina was killed to conceal those felonies.

Also, Buffy was a witness to the armed robbery. That might be a factor in whether Warren would get the death penalty for Tara's death.

[> [> [> [> Another thought on Warren (Seeing Red spoilers) -- Vickie, 15:16:47 05/14/02 Tue

Warren killed Tara accidentally during an assault and attempted murder (Buffy). So he qualifies for the death penalty if the DA wants to go for it.

Who knows if he'd actually get it. I believe that, even if convicted, the jury could still give a lesser sentence for murder one.

[> Would that be in high heels or clunky shoes? -- LittleBit, 10:35:27 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> 7" stilletos I think -- dochawk, 11:37:35 05/13/02 Mon

why make it easy on the guy?

[> While it may not be karmicly good for me... -- Kitt, 14:45:56 05/13/02 Mon

I have an idea that for what to do with Warren that Willow might appreciate: doing a trans-sphneoidal bilateral ochiectomy using a curare based muscular relaxant. Which, for those non-medical types translates into paralysing the a** (so he can't move but can feel Everything), and taking his testicles out through his nose. You think he was upset when Buffy smashed his spheres, huh?
{grins maniacally}

[> [> You aren't related to Maggie Walsh are you......;) -- Rufus, 00:49:41 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: You aren't related to Maggie Walsh are you......;) -- Kitt, 06:25:24 05/14/02 Tue

Nope... this is actually my standard threat to guys who are acting like jerks. A group of female friends and I came up with it while we were in med school. For some reason, guys just seem to be really attached to those little dangly things {wicked grin}

[> [> [> [> LOL, attached.......;) -- Rufus, 16:08:21 05/14/02 Tue

They can't really put Angel on against Firefly? -- Me duele el cabeza, 01:15:23 05/13/02 Mon

I read that the WB is moving Angel to Sundays at nine next fall. I also read that Firefly is supposed to fill the X- Files' timeslot, Sundays at nine.
Can somebody in the know please allay my fears?
Why would they do this to me? I'm in pain just thinking about it.

In the meantime, you can see some Firefly pictures at

Too bad Rebecca Gayheart has left; I liked her in Earth2.

[> Who's doing what with the what now? -- West, 03:08:05 05/13/02 Mon

Okay, I'm confused. Not about the timeslot, which sounds like a horrible thing to do (though it sounds like something Joss would fight against), but what exactly *is* Firefly?

I know it's Joss' new show, but is it based on a comic book or something? The webpage seems to be pretty ahead given that the show hasn't started yet (I think - the first ep is listed as being aired in 2000?). It's way too late/early for me to try processing these things!

[> [> We love anything by Joss! -- Me duele el cabeza, 03:31:21 05/13/02 Mon

The 10.02.2000 is just a typo. IMDB says filming began Mar. 5, 2002, so the premiere will be Oct. 2.

I don't know about comic books, but Fray is set 500 years in the future and so is Firefly, but I think that's just a coincidence. I don't think Firefly is set in the Buffyverse.

Here's a c&p from a news article:
Whedon said he's been "kicking around the idea for a couple
of years," and that the concept fully came together for him
after reading an account of the Battle of Gettysburg and the
Reconstruction era. He came up with a concept that's part
Western, part space drama.

"I wanted to make something that's about a guy who fought
for the South, lost and doesn't like anybody anymore,"
Whedon said. "This show isn't about the people who made
history; it's about the people history stepped on. It's about their lives and their struggles to keep their ship alive -- as well as the search for meaning in a very dark place."

[> [> [> Not Moi -- LeeAnn, 05:11:37 05/13/02 Mon

After Seeing Red I don't feel inclined to watch Firefly or any other Joss Whedon product. Even took Angel off my VCR. Will hold on to Buffy for James and Spike but that's it. But there's a hot rumour on various boards that Fox may not pick up Firefly. That they aren't happy with it.

It seems right that Fox, the company that Rupert Murdoch owned and controlled should be Joss's as well. Given the shared simplistic views on evil and the structuring of a universe where whole groups of sentient beings are all evil.

[> [> [> [> I think you may be wrong. -- DickBD, 11:38:23 05/13/02 Mon

I recall reading someplace (here perhaps) that Joss was an atheist. Most atheists do not think in terms of good and evil except as a convenience of fiction. Also, they are usually more inclined to tolerance. The quote from Angel, "In a meaningless universe, a single act of kindness may be the most meaningful thing of all." would tend to bolster my assertion.

[> [> [> [> Re: Not Moi -- Robert, 20:51:00 05/13/02 Mon

>> "After Seeing Red I don't feel inclined to watch Firefly or any other Joss Whedon product. Even took Angel off my VCR."

Ouch! If I understand what you wrote here, the BtVS episode "Seeing Red" caused you to stop watching Angel. Could you please explain this?

[> [> [> [> Harsh, but theraputical -- Apophis, 22:58:56 05/13/02 Mon

Personally, I don't think I'll ever be able to watch anything with vampires in it ever again unless ME rectifies the incredible injustice done to the character of Spike. I may not ever be able to expose myself to any form of media ever again unless ME drops everything and devotes their entire creative power towards promoting JM and the fact that he's so darn attractive. I just might go so far as to seal my eyes and ears over with wax if anyone ever again utilizes the concepts of good and evil in a heroic story. Right now, I'm going to book a flight to Tibet so that I can join a Mahayana Buddhist monestary and devote myself wholly to attaining existence on another plain of reality, as I can no longer stand to live in a world where the storylines on TV shows don't go the way I want them to.

[> [> [> [> [> Heh! This post just made my day - thank you Apophis! -- Marie, 08:52:54 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> A correction. -- LeeAnn, 19:27:04 05/14/02 Tue

Buddhism in Tibet is mostly Theravada, not Mahayana.

[> [> [> [> [> We'll miss you.....good luck little monk -- OtherEric, 20:42:11 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> reminds me of a button (surprise...) -- anom, 10:19:02 05/13/02 Mon

"Whedon said...that the concept fully came together for him after reading an account of the Battle of Gettysburg and the Reconstruction era. He came up with a concept that's part Western, part space drama.

'I wanted to make something that's about a guy who fought for the South, lost and doesn't like anybody anymore....'"

The button says, "I bought the Star Trek chess set and the Civil War chess set. Now I have the South fight the Klingons."

[> What date/channel will Firefly air on? -- Traveler, 08:20:43 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> Sunday at 9pm -- Rufus, 13:52:44 05/13/02 Mon

This was confirmed by Tim Minear who posted at An Angel's Soul, and Robert Kral who posted at the Bronze Beta.

[> Fall schedules are probably not firm -- Vickie, 10:14:08 05/13/02 Mon

I've heard that Firefly might replact the X-Files, or that it might replace Dark Angel (Friday night). Also, please note that the date mentioned by Headache is a Wednesday (Oct. 2).

We just don't know yet. The networks probably don't know yet. And yes, if it suits the networks, they'll put Firefly up against Angel.

[> [> firmness of fall schedule -- Me duele el cabeza, 00:20:20 05/14/02 Tue

Yahoo news says as of today,
"The WB Network finalized its fall schedule during the weekend."

"Veteran drama "Charmed" will move off Thursday to the Sunday 8 p.m. berth, with "Angel" rounding out the night at 10 p.m." ihw/the_wb__abc_making_fall_picks

Another thought about "the scene" in SR -- alcibiades, 09:55:14 05/13/02 Mon

There has been a question of why ME had to do an AR scene -- why go there. And the answer has mostly concerned Spike -- something has got to happen to shake up his depressed complacency, something that will cause him to change existentially.

OTOH, someone last week, forgot who, wrote a fascinating post about how the AR is showing both sides of the story fairly, not just Buffy's. It's multivalent, showing the story from several angles, a fact reflected in the camera work that was used to shoot the scene.

So here is a different take. What does the AR mean in terms of Buffy's story arc?

Buffy begins her fling with Spike by declaring,

"this isn't real,
I just want to feel."

The fling, which he wanted to be a love affair, ends with an AR. In that scene, like a real girl, Buffy progreses through an emotional spectrum of anger, the beginning of empathy when she realizes Spike's depressed enough to be suicidal, then fright, fear, panic, betrayal, terror. Finally she reaches re-empowerment.

After the scene is over, and Buffy is sitting alone in the bathroom, she is crying and, according to the shooting script, feeling the shakes. Moments later, Buffy is scared that when she is talking to Xander and the door slams, it is Spike re-entering the house. She's not scared that Xander will kill Spike or try to. She's scared of having to confront him again like a real girl who has just been the victim of an AR.

During Buffy's confrontation with Warren, also according to the ss, she is still feeling the negative effects in her body of the confrontation with Spike. That is also something that would happen in the real world, to a real girl.

Buffy's sure feeling now. But not at all what she wanted to feel when she callowly began the affair by saying,

"this isn't real,
I just want to feel".

So the AR accomplishes not only making Spike question his whole existence and decide him to act for good or ill. But it causes Buffy to look into herself as well and, I think, to begin to understand that her behaviour has had really nasty consequences that have rebounded on her in a terrible way.

For the first time ever, she is questioning her behaviour with Spike, not just wondering why she is sleeping with him. But actually thinking about how her behaviour towards him has effected him to make him reach that stage. She understands finally that the way she treats him, the things she does to him, are real. Her abuse of him is real. His feeling were real. She can't just deny them because she is immune. His feelings have finally broken through her shell of unconcern, but not in a pleasant way.

I think that is a huge step for her in her return from depression and apathy this year.

[> A brief addendum -- alcibiades, 12:12:26 05/13/02 Mon

Considering that Spike was (at least temporarily) in the throes of remorse for his actions in the AR scene, his words at the end of the musical:

I died
So many years ago,
But you can make me

don't appear to have resulted in what he was looking for either. He's ended up for the first time in his unlife feeling for and empathizing with his victim.

However, this side of the process has already been discussed extensively.

[> Interesting... -- LeeAnn, 13:02:57 05/13/02 Mon

It's a damned shame we have to get that from the shooting script instead of from Gellar's performance.

I wonder where Buffy will go with her new insights.

I still think her reactions during the AR were out of character for her..unless she is in love with Spike.

[> [> Re: Interesting... -- ponygirl, 13:25:24 05/13/02 Mon

If we look at the scene on a metaphorical level it could be seen as all of the emotions she has been either numb to or trying to contain coming at her with a terrible force, represented both by Spike and by her own reactions. I don't think Buffy has given much analysis to her feelings towards anyone of late, so I would suppose that any emotional reaction she has is going to come as a surprise to herself and to us.

[> [> Re: Interesting... -- Anneth, 13:53:13 05/13/02 Mon

"It's a damned shame we have to get that from the shooting script instead of from Gellar's performance."

If the production team (apologies; I don't know what they ought to be called) didn't think SMG had conveyed what the script called for, wouldn't they have reshot the scenes? The scenes as scripted and as shot do convey different feelings, and have slightly different emphases, yet they don't strike me as wildly inconsistent. Broadly speaking, the same exaustion and sadness and fear is conveyed by both, only in different percentages.

[> [> SMG's Acting -- Dochawk, 15:45:39 05/13/02 Mon

I understand your valid admiration for the fine acting talents of Mr. Marsters, but your continual condemnation of SMGs acting is getting bothersome. You see her acting through Spike colored glasses, but there is a reason why she has won an Emmy and is continually considered (and frequently gets, Scooby-doo may be a dud, but when it was cast it was considerred a plum) for significant parts. She is a remarkable actress who makes JM look that much better in their scenes together. No matter what you think of the character of Buffy, there is no reason to denigrate her fine job (it doesn't make James look better).

[> [> [> Re: SMG's Acting -- Dariel, 16:07:47 05/13/02 Mon

Yes, SMG is terrific. I started watching in Season 5, and first found Buffy dull in comparision to the other characters. However, SMG blew me away in "The Gift." She said more with the hunch of her shoulders than most actors could convey with a page of dialog. Of course, JM is also a great actor.

[> [> [> Re: SMG's Acting -- LeeAnn, 18:26:45 05/13/02 Mon

You may be right. I can't see it but that doesn't mean it isn't there. The thing is I can remember when I liked her acting better. Hell, I can see it on F/X most days. But this whole season, for me, she has been so unreactive that I'm frustrated with her portrayal. DeKnight (I think it was him but it might have been one of the other writers on the Bronze: Beta) said that Buffy was supposed to be ambivalent about her feelings for Spike. I just haven't seen that in her performance. She always seemed pretty clear about hating him despite boinking him. Even as recently as Entropy, there were two scene where someone was supposed to know Buffy had been sleeping with Spike just by looking at her face. First when Spike and Anya were on the computer Dawn is supposed to see the look on Buffy's face and know. Dawn must be much more observant than I am because I couldn't see that she had any reaction but leaving the room. Second, in the scene outside the Magic Box, Xander is supposed to be able to look at her face and know Spike is telling the truth but the expression on her face didn't change from what it was before Spike opened his mouth ( I thought JM was a bit off in that scene as well.)

In the AR scene in Seeing Red she did a great job of portraying Buffy distraught and in pain. I still think that was out of character for Buffy but Gellar did do a good job showing us those emotions.

But overall this season I have found her performance distracting at best. But hey, I'm glad you enjoy her. She gets movies, she gets Emmys and JM can't get either, so I'm wrong and you're right.

Joss' commentary on Restless - Buffy DVD S4 Part I (xtra longer than usual) -- Rahael, 14:15:54 05/13/02 Mon

Here it is, much awaited and completely fascinating. Usual disclaimers re spelling mistakes and typos - I just sat down and typed away as Joss spoke. Haven't re read it.

A huge point of interest (to me) - Buffy and Riley's relationship was never quite right, and in her dream he portrays the Government, the Suit, the businessman,- basically her enemy.

Her dream rejects the big climax the big finish, because that's not what she's about. Both of these support a lot of Manwitch's postings here about the rejection of the Grand narrative, and the political and philosophical sensibility of Buffy.

Just thought I'd get those parting shots in, in case no one reads all the way. Also, if you appreciate the work, keep the thread alive through the two new eps, cos I shan't be back to keep it alive. (Unless I find time to do the Hush commentary)


Commentary by Joss Whedon

I wanted to do a commentary for this because it is different to anything I’ve ever done, and I thought it would be fun to go through and talk about what the literal meaning of all these vague dream images were to me. You’ll notice that there was no teaser and we went straight through to the credits. I didn’t want to put the credits over the dreams because it would take away from the importance of them.

A lot of people commented on the fact that we didn’t finish over the big wow explosion finish, because we had done that twice in a row, it was nice to do something different and I thought a nice coda to the season, which had been very anarchic and sort of upheavely season would be to do a piece that just commented on the four characters we had grown to know and love, and where they were in their lives, what they felt about things and each other, and so we built the structure based on the idea of dreams, one dream per act, beginning with Willow, then Xander, Giles and Buffy. The running thread in all of them being that they would be attacked by the spirit of the first slayer who would be killing them in their dreams one by one until Buffy had the sort of strength and spirit to make her go away, much like Freddy Krueger now that I think of it.

This was a great big departure for me because everything I’ve done has been very very carefully structured, every story, every bit of every story is structured before I write a word. I can’t write a word until I have an idea of where I am going. And though I did have a general idea where I was going, in this instance I literally had to just let it flow and make sure the images were true to the characters, true to the flow of the energy, so there is some momentum, so that things become creepier as we go along. But basically, I had to free associate in every act, which for me was very liberating. I knew a lot of people would be alienated by it and would not get it, quite frankly, or not want it if they did get it but to me it was as great an exercise as Hush in learning about how to write.

Willow’s Dream

Here they talk about the kitty and finding out it’s real name. This scene is largely about their intimacy and trust and the safe place in her life that is her relationship with Tara. Someone actually pointed out to me something I hadn’t noticed, which was they talk about letting something tell you its name, and then Riley talks about naming things, specifically. The idea of the masculine and feminine version of how to experience the world. The feminine version of letting it come to you and the masculine version of sort of conquering it and codifing it yourself. That is actually someone on the internet, who mentioned that.

(Image of Willow writing on Tara’s back.)

This is one of the most sensual images we have ever done. This is just something which seemed very dreamlike to me. That by the way is a love poem by Sappho which was researched by Todd Macintosh our make up guy who is a genius and who has been with us forever. He went the full nine yards and went and painted it on exactly.

The desert that Willow is looking out into is real. We catch our first glimpse of the primitive.

(Willow walks down Sunnydale High Corridor)

Then we’re in school, again a very dreamlike thing. The idea of late for class, everything is just very dreamlike, everything is sort of just a little bit off. That joke of Xander’s (two women doing a spell) is a bit cheap since it’s not really Willow’s experience, it just made me laugh when he said it so I kept it in. But actually we lose her for that moment which is not very dreamlike.

(Willow is backstage)

This is of course a classic actor’s nightmare and Willow already had a dream about being in a play in Season 1 so she is more open now to taking drama class but it sort of vaguely terrifies her and this comes out, and the idea of role playing..the point is that Willow is feeling like she is wearing a disguise, she isn’t telling anyone the truth. The mislead is that what she’s talking about is her sexuality. In fact she’s talking about is that she still considers herself to be a big nerd. Giles’ overly directory speech, the sort of poncy authority figure was fun. And here we introduce the primitive which is just half seen and just half understood becomes a menace. Everyone’s priorities are completely not your own and when you have a sense of dread and no one else is paying attention to it. Tony plays it like Jack Buchanan in the curtain call scene in the Bandwagon. Just overdone.

And now we come to what many people consider the crux of the entire show, the Cheeseman. What is the meaning of the Cheeseman is the question I get asked constantly, which shows me that we are getting it right because he is the only thing which has no meaning.

(Willow walks through the red curtains)

The red curtains is something that many people associate with twin peaks but it was not a direct hommage. It was a somewhat more literal image, again of comfort and safety, a place where she finds Tara, between the red folds of the curtain. I’m not going to explain anymore because children might be listening to this! But I was being vaguely literal and sexual there. At the same time the idea that there is a space where there shouldn’t be a space right next to all the bustle that’s going on, to me, is extraordinarily dreamlike. In a moment we’ll come back to the play and see, what is for me, a common experience, the play doesn’t have any resemblance to the play it’s actually supposed to be. This is always the case when I dream about plays or anything like that. Again images of womanhood and manhood and the very silly roles that they play sort of come into the play. It’s sort of playing gender roles; that’s why Giles listened to Riley and give the exact same answer to Harmony. Its all part of how we perceive and who we listen to.

(Shot of Harmony crying over a dead man in the background while Buffy talks at an impassive Riley)

Sarah just great at reciting these insane long speeches just rapid fire. She’s got that old school kind of delivery which I knew she could do better than any one.

(Shot of Willow nearly getting stabbed by a knife through the red curtains)

So, talking about maleness, that’s a knife, which is scary, and dreams are awfully bad. And then we go from the safety of the curtains into the classroom.

She’s protesting that she’s not the kind of person who should be in any kind of trouble. And when we reveal the costume ……she swears that she’s not wearing any kind of costume. Willow episode one. Her two old lovers, who seem to be very intimate, both of whom are staring and laughing at her.

No one paying attention while Willow gets ripped apart.

Xander’s Dream

Here we play with, what to me is a classic dream thing. The movie I remember seeing and really liking as long, strange, cheesy and really boring. Giles says that it’s all about the journey, and that’s particularly true in the case of this episode. It’s the journey of life, it’s a journey through these people’s psyches. It’s not about the reveal. We don’t play it in the classical sense, though we have a mystery solved, a demon defeated, or a Slayer in this case. But it’s not about the twist, it’s not about the end, it’s about the journey. You could say that about the show as a whole.

(Scene between Xander and Joyce)

The sexual dream about your friend’s mom. I’m sorry to say it happens, it happens to most of us……I hope. Anyway, Kristen is very lovely and it makes perfect sense that Xander would have these thoughts in his subconscious. At one point she’s not speaking, but we hear her voice, that was deliberate to give it a more dream like quality. There were a couple of movies I thought of when I did this. The one that came up the most was ‘The Limey’. The Limey has a lot of off-centre cutting, dialogue where there’s no dialogue and that seems to fit. The whole disjointed style works really well here.

(Xander in the bathroom)

Anyone who hasn’t had this dream, I would be very surprised by. I think that’s probably the best use of the Initiative we had all year. We really wanted to get that big paranoid space and nothing says that better than going to the bathroom in front of a lot of people with clipboards.

(Xander in the basement)

And now we find that the door leads to his basement, and of course this becomes a constant theme for Xander, the way disguise is for Willow. The journey always seems to end up in the same place for Xander, and it’s the place he doesn’t want to be. Partially, because it gives him a sense of failure, and partially because of something in there that frightens him.

(Giles and Spike on the swings)

We made things overly bright, so we get a very dreamy out doorsy scene. You’ll notice Spike in his tweedy suit. That’s something we managed to pay off in episode 8 of Season 6 where Spike actually puts on a suit like that, loses his memory and assumes he is Giles’ son. So that was fun.

Xander sees himself working in an ice cream truck. Series of really bad jobs, a guy with no future, and all roads leading to his basement. A sense of danger.

Here we have some serious music cues over an entire lack of action or dialogue, just images. Just really letting things sit, letting the images themselves take on meaning and resonance because they were held so long.

(Xander and Anya in the truck)

My dream was to have shot this on rear screen projection, like Vertigo or any of the old great movies where they are driving around a lot. Unfortunately, setting up a rear screen projection is really difficult on our tiny stages. So instead we went with green screen, which looks a little more modern, but you still get a sense of an incredibly fake travelling background which is what I very much wanted. A sense of no movement where there should be a sense of the most movement. A static feeling.

(Xander, Tara and Willow)

This is Xander’s dream. I make no apologies for this, this is how his mind works! The fact that he deals with most of the characters in the show sexually in some way or another is kind of a Xander thing and in fact we comment on it when he calls himself a conquistador, because men are into conquest.

This is the kiss, the longest lesbian kiss on tv. They actually asked us to cut down his reaction shot, but we held it for as long as we could, because we thought it was amusing to have biggest kiss and not show anything. He refers to himself as a conquistador, and Joyce suggests that what he’s really looking for is comfort, and he says that he is also a comfotador. And what I was really saying with that was Xander is looking for love, not just trying to get into the pants of every pretty girl he’s friends with, but really looking for some comfort, some love that he’s clearly lacking from his family life.

(Xander crawls)

I wish this could have gone on longer, it’s very important that the ice cream truck becomes the basement. Right back where you started.

The Cheeseman – again, meaningless. Because I needed something in the show that was meaningless, because there is always something in the dream which is meaningless.

(Green everyone talking French scene)

I love the colour scheme here, I love that we got to go to the very heavy greens and oranges, again Soderburgh in the Limey was a big factor in some of this, but so was Apocalypse Now, because Xander not only incorporates watching the movie into his dream, but also a scene from it which we shall see.

Everybody speaking a different language, everybody is ahead of him, everybody is growing up, moving on and he’s stuck and he doesn’t understand why. He can’t figure anything out, which is part of what his dilemma is about.

(Xander gets carried away)

This shot is taken from Apocalypse Now, where they turn Martin Sheen over right before he meets Marlon Brando.

(Principal Snyder)

We actually had Apocalypse Now on video, and we played this scene, as much as possible, shot for shot. This scene is kind of Apocalypse Now paraphrased, but it’s also all about Xander and of course the idea that Kurtz would turn out to be Principal Snyder is a delight to me. Armin played this so beautifully, not parodying Brando or doing a pastiche. He’s playing on the theme of Xander not being worth much.

(Giles’ apartment, and the First Slayer pursuing Xander scene)

We have so many different sets, stacked up against one another, I said let’s use it to our advantage. Figured out which things led to where, and gave us this sequence where Xander goes through all these different sets and ends right back in the basement. Another movie I studied was ‘Eyes Wide Shut’ which has a similar dreamlike quality to it, and I believe that Kubrick said he shot the walking through halls with a steady cam on 7 lens, so I did that a lot for Xander. I wanted to get that sense of motion. A wider lens gives more of an impression of walls rushing by. (Xander’s father rips out his heart) The evil father there, a real problem. The heart of his story, the heart of his misery. He can’t stop being a Harris, that’s his real fear. He does though, later.

[> Re: Joss' commentary on Restless - Part II -- Rahael, 14:20:23 05/13/02 Mon

(Just another quick note from me - men, women, and gender roles! Yay for Joss. Pretty significant, in my view - okay, back to Joss)

Giles Dream

(Giles and Buffy scene)

The way Giles talks to Buffy is very mentor-y, but he also talks about men and women in relationships. The laugh, the giggle from Sarah, I just started making faces unexpectedly
from behind the camera to get her to laugh.

Fairground scene
Now Giles of course has become the father figure, his girlfriend is pushing a stroller though it’s empty and Buffy is his little girl. The whole world is a silly Vampire carnival.

Now we see Sarah with her face all muddied. We’ll see that again, the primal Sarah.

(Crypt scene)

Now black and white is something that gets used a lot in dream sequences. But I didn’t want to use it for its own sake. It felt right to use it here. Spike is like an old 1930s movie villain, and he’s playing it up, and he’s playing it to the camera, and he’s such a showman, it makes perfect sense. Giles’ big problem is he can’t decide who he wants to be. Should he be going of and being a father, having a real life, what’s going on.

(The Cheeseman says “I wear the cheese, it does not wear me)

Not a lot of people figured out that it was a line from the Man in the Iron Mask – ‘I wear the mask, it does not wear me’.

(Giles in the Bronze)

We just stuck Giles’ living room in the bronze. This just highlights Giles’ problem because should I raise a family? Should I be a rock star? Or should I give the boring exposition in every episode of Buffy? And of course we combine the two by getting him to get up and sing the exposition. Anya as a stand up comic just killed me. I wrote a boring exposition (there’s Chris Beck on the piano) , set it to music and Chris arranged what I wrote. Obviously, this was a precursor to what the musical would eventually become.

The song doesn’t pan out, and once again we go into the small private place, searching for something we can’t quite entangle – I told you I was literal. The pocket watch brings him back to the idea of being the Watcher, the idea of what he’s supposed to be doing. He figures out what’s happening, but it’s too late, and she still scalps him.

Buffy’s dream

(Buffy in her bed)

Buffy’s dream has a lot of references to Dawn and what’s going to happen in next year, not something I usually do, but we had made reference to her in the dream that Buffy had at the end of Season 3. So we made a lot of references to Dawn in this scene, and the idea that Tara would be her spirit guide made sense because she didn’t have that particular a relationship with Tara, and Tara has a kind of Wiccan mystical energy. I met Michelle that day when we shot that scene, her first day on the set, she was a big Buffy fan, and she had worked with Sarah before. I spent some time talking to her that day, and afterward Sarah said to me ‘you should get Michelle to read for the part of Dawn, she’s just great’. So I think there’s a little bit of fate going on there, that she comes on set the first time the character is ever mentioned.

(Buffy talks to Joyce in the wall)

Some people saw it as morbid, and although I knew that Joyce was going to die but I didn’t play it that way on purpose, just seemed correct that mom lived in a wall. I would say that the other movie, apart from Eyes Wide Shut and the Limey, I really had referenced for this, was Orson Welles’ version of Kafka’s The Trial. Kafkaesque is by its very nature dreamlike, and someone living in a wall just seemed perfect for that. And then of course, she ignores her mother when she does ask for some help because she’s off doing the next thing.

(Riley, Adam and Buffy scene)

Marc playing Buffy’s fear of what he could be, the Government incarnate, the businessman, the suit, evil corporate CIA guy. This shows that the relationship is not entirely stable, and even though she loves him, in her dream he is someone who doesn’t get her and who doesn’t belong in her world.

Adam here is also very clean cut, very All-American guy, and all American guys don’t understand the feminine mysticism of the Slayer. These guys are playing with their weapons.

(Buffy dips her hands in mud and smears her face with it)

This is the idea that Buffy gets very primal. Her first reaction is that she’s looking for something and all she can find is gunk. But then her second reaction is that she wants to be in it, she wants to crawl around in it. She becomes primal. Here we go into negative. Partly because it looks really interesting, and partially because the sequence came out a little less primal then we hoped, it looked like she was giving herself a facial, so we wanted to do something to make it look stranger.

(Riley and primal Sarah)

There we see the side of her that really is primal, and we can see the demon within, sort of, and Riley can’t seem to handle that.

(Buffy walks into the desert)

Another one of our transitions, it’s all about the journey you see. The sense of isolation and grandeur that is the life of the Slayer is really embodied in the shot (the camera pans out to show Buffy standing alone in the desert)

(Buffy, Tara and the first Slayer – Buffy looks at her cards)

And we learn the point of the thing. The Slayer must be alone, must be a beast, by herself and Buffy just won’t put up with that. What separates her from other Slayers, we learn, is that she is not alone, she has friends, she has a life. That is as important to her as the part where she’s a Slayer. That’s what makes her the greatest slayer that’s ever been. And here comes the cheeseman to let her know that it’s a dream, and Buffy decides that she’s had enough of this. She doesn’t put up with it.

(Buffy wakes up, the Slayer attacks her)

So it was all a dream……..or was it?? The classic but inevitable twist. But then Buffy decides she’s really had enough of this. Some people thought this was anti climactic, but that was the point, that she defies the notion of climax, that she defies the notion of the tragic tale of the Slayer. The more mundane it gets, the closer she gets to waking up. Which makes sense, and so she saved everybody in that respect.

(Scene in the kitchen)

We end with the typical scene of order restored. By the time I got to this, it was hard to remember how to shoot a normal scene! It was really complicated to shoot a bunch of people sitting at a table, talking. We end with a sense of there’s more to come. This was one of the years where I was pretty convinced that we would actually be picked up for another year, so we left a lot of things happening. But I felt that if this was the last episode we ever filmed, it would be a good one because it gets us into the minds of our characters, who I love. It was never a game, it was me being true to the show

[> [> Yay! Yay for Rahael!! -- ponygirl, 14:35:12 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> Rah! you're here!!! Thank you.....from the Commentary Ho -- Rufus, 14:38:21 05/13/02 Mon

Let me take this time to tell you I'm going to so rip you off with this commentary....;) I will of course put your name in lights, well I'll quote you.

[> [> Thank you! -- Vickie, 14:42:12 05/13/02 Mon

and thanks to your poor digits, for all that typing!

[> [> [> Makes me wish we were up to season 4 in the US -- maddog, 08:56:48 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> (screams of hysteria) Rahael, you're the one ! thanks for taking the time and work to type that ! -- Ete, 15:32:54 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> Great stuff. Thanks, Rah. -- mundusmundi, 15:54:43 05/13/02 Mon

Need to gather my thoughts on the big things...for now, just a couple miniscule observations:

1) Somebody here a week or two ago commented on how forced SMG appears when she does laughter, how she's better with angst; her giggling in Giles's dream is perhaps the most natural laughing she's ever done -- guess we can thank Joss's funny faces for that.

2) Somebody (was that you Rob?) also posted recently the Whedon interview where he comments that he ends every season sans cliffhangers, in case they're not renewed. At the end of his "Restless" commentary, Joss contradicts this somewhat by admitting that he concluded S4 on a more open-ended note. Since a S7 is guaranteed, and with so many loose threads still dangling, I'm wondering whether this season won't end on a slightly ambiguous note as well?

[> [> [> Re: Great stuff. Thanks, Rah. -- maddog, 09:38:08 05/14/02 Tue

I know I talked about the season enders before, but I may not have been one to bring up the topic. I did read that interview. I don't think he contradicts it as much as he's saying he left it more wide open than the previous 3...still works good as a series finale if need be. Cause any finale leaves something in the air(however minscule).

[> [> Thank You! (Season 7 Speculation) -- Just George, 16:15:42 05/13/02 Mon

I am a huge fan of interesting commentary.

I think that Joss' words are illuminating. He makes it clear there is a level of metaphor going on in the Restless. However, it was not consciously written on too deep a level (as opposed to the depth some fans find in the episode). Joss even talks about some of the imagery as superficial.

I think there are deeper metaphors in the episode. I just think that most deep metaphors comes from the writer's unconscious. Given the writing process that Joss described, much of Restless comes from his unconscious.

I am also interested to note that Joss confirms the speculation that the 'inner slayer' is a form of 'demon- like' power:

"There we see the side of her that really is primal, and we can see the demon within, sort of..."

But, Joss also trumpets the mundane part of Buffy's life: her friends and her 'normal' life:

"What separates her from other Slayers, we learn, is that she is not alone, she has friends, she has a life. That is as important to her as the part where she’s a Slayer. That’s what makes her the greatest slayer that’s ever been."

I think this quote is revealing for where Joss' may be taking the series in Season 7. He has publicly described it as "Buffy Year 1" and described Buffy as "...the most powerful woman in the world..." To maximize her power, Buffy can accept the demon side of her heritage AND rebuild the friendships and 'normal' life that have fallen apart in Season 6.

Thanks again for the transcript. I would LOVE to read what Joss had to say about Hush.

[> [> Wow, very cool stuff. Thanx Rah! -- trap, 17:22:22 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you -- agent156, 17:41:16 05/13/02 Mon

And might I add thank you.

[> [> Thanks, luv. -- VampRiley, 17:50:21 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> Thank You Rah! You're the best! -- LittleBit, 18:29:04 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> Thank You, Rah! -- ravenhair, 19:26:30 05/13/02 Mon

[> [> *Bows before the greatness that is Rah's transcript* THANK YOU!!!! -- Lyonors, 06:17:04 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> Thanks! Really appreciate and been waiting for this -- shadowkat, 06:45:47 05/14/02 Tue

Doing a quick scan - I realized, well at least I got the
mom in the wall bit right...and the whole thing about Giles
difficulty figuring out what he wanted to do. Have to read the rest to see how closely my analysis follows the writer's intent.

Although I agree with Just George - in that writers often say more than they intended. So much is conveyed subconsciously. Actually that's where metaphors live - in our subsconscious minds. So Restless being almost all metaphor conveys what Whedon subsconsciously thought about his characters and how they saw each other.

Interesting. Thanks again Rahael. Great post!

[> [> Re: I really enjoyed that - thanks Rah -- Dedalus, 14:02:23 05/14/02 Tue

[> Wonderful! Thanks, and a question... -- Lonesome Sundown, 18:01:25 05/13/02 Mon

>> My dream was to have shot this on rear screen projection, like Vertigo or any of the old great movies where they are
>> driving around a lot.

What is a "rear screen projection"?

On a totally unrelated note, which is of course very appropriate since this is a Restless thread, this is one episode that I badly wanted to tape and screwed up. But hope's around the corner: the FX season 4 reruns should be getting to Restless soon. Looking forward to freeze frame the scenes as I read the commentary :)

[> [> Re: Wonderful! Thanks, and an answer . . . -- d'Herblay, 18:43:58 05/13/02 Mon

As defined h ere, "rear screen projection" is when "a previously filmed background scene is projected behind actors on a screen in a studio, to create the illusion that they are on location." It is a predecessor to the green-screen technique commonly used now. It was often used during the forties and fifties in driving scenes: the actors would be filmed in a stationary car on a soundstage with motion of the car suggested by the changing background projected on the rear screen. This was used to comic effect in the film Airplane!, in the scene where Robert Stack drives to the airport.

[> Re: Joss' commentary on HUSH - Buffy DVD S4 Part I -- Rahael, 18:16:23 05/13/02 Mon

More fabulous commentary by Joss. Lots of Willow - Tara, Buffy Riley relationship goodness. Looks pretty clear that Buffy and Riley were always doomed.........

Umm. Please excuse typos. Really am quite tired now!


Commentary by Joss Whedon

(Dream scene in Walsh’s class)

One of my best episodes of the season, at least episode I thought so. Here we start with a dream sequence. I love dream sequences, whether or not they reveal themselves right away because they just work on their own internal poetic logic. What is that Flintstone looking shirt that Sarah Michelle Gellar is wearing in that scene? One of the things that really didn’t bother me at the time, until I saw the footage and said “it’s Bubbles and Bambam, what the hell was I thinking?” but that’s the problem with television, you can’t control everything.

I wanted as many people as possible in the background for the kissing scene. If you look very carefully at the top right hand corner where Buffy is sitting, you can see Andy Hallett. Everybody who happened to be there that day got shoved into this scene, so we could get a sense that they had to kiss in front of a giant crowd. They have never kissed on the show so this is a big deal, so big it makes the sun go down. We are into classic dream sequence stuff, we get to make with the creepy, and there’s nothing creepier than a little girl singing a nursery rhyme about the bad guys. It was fun to come up with a little rhyme for the girl.

What we are dealing with here – I early on, wanted to do a show where people didn’t talk. As the show went on, I became more and more obsessed with it because I felt as a director I was degenerating. I was turning into a tv hack, over, over, two shots. Shot of him, shot of her, they’re talking to each other, shot of them both, and back….and I was beginning to fall into a shorthand. One thing that I don’t love about tv is that a lot of it is what I refer to as radio with faces. If you want to shoot a scene quickly, you put someone up against a wall, have them say their lines, and boomf, it’s done. From the start, one of the important things about Buffy is that I wanted the show to work visually, so much so that a Fox executive told me that I was putting too much visual information on every page, that it was not going to be possible to shoot it. In fact that;s been a great struggle but a struggle well worth, it is great when you have something which is visceral, and visual and cinematic and not just people are yakking. Though people yakking can make for great shows sometimes.

By the fourth year, I had kind of fallen into the people are yakking without really thinking about it, and I wanted to curtail that in myself. And so, on a practical level, the idea of doing a show where everybody lost their voice presented itself as a great big challenge, because I knew that I would literally have to tell the story only visually. That would mean I could not fall into tricks.
The first scene is pretty normal in this sense. (Joss describes how it is a very simple shot).

(Credits Roll)
What was fun about it, which I experienced with both Restless and OMWF, was the absolute surety that I would fail, that this could not be done by me, nobody would put up with it, that people would get bored or confused or possibly just bored. So I came into it with real terror in my heart, which is a wonderful wonderful feeling to have on a television show because it means that you’re doing something new.

(Giles on the telephone in his apartment)

What’s more important is that as I was writing it I discovered having outlined the entire thing and knowing exactly what was going to happen, I discovered what it was about. I hadn’t figured it out while I was writing the story. I had a general notion that what it was about was the idea that when people stop talking they start communicating. That language can interfere with communication, because language limits. As soon as you say something you’ve eliminated every other possibility of what you might be talking about. We also use language to separate ourselves from other people, we also use language as white noise, we also misuse it horribly. All of those things appear on the show. Once I realised that the episode was about communication I then found that absolutely everything I wrote was completely on theme, that is to say that every line of dialogue embodies the theme of the show.

(Scene of Anya and Xander arguing)

- Hey, they’re having a weird hair phase! - Because it’s about language. So I deliberately put things in - everything being about how annoying language can be.

(Spike on the couch, Xander and Anya arguing in Giles’ apartment)

For example, in this scene, I hope we learn that Xander can’t express himself. He can’t tell Anya how he feels because he’s not that kind of guy, and she of course says something inappropriate because her understanding of language is very rudimentary and straightforward and like it’s her second language, because it is! She’s ex-demon. Also the fact that everyone keeps talking and Giles desperately wants them to shut up, he can’t take all the noise. Later on in the Wicca scene, the misuse of the word empowering. People just using language to block themselves from expressing themselves.

(Willow and the Wiccas scene)

All of these things fed into the main theme, in a way that nothing else I write ever will. It is so inevitably coherent because it’s about talking. Love these girls, love the idea of this wicca group just being ‘we are earthy, and crunchy and useless’. This scene is also close to my heart in a big way for the other other obvious reason. Seth Green, who played Oz, left rather abruptly, and we weren’t sure where to go. And then she, Amber Benson, appeared, sort of made up our minds for us. We had the idea of introducing the character Tara, a very shy girl who falls for Willow fairly on, because college is the sort of place where people expand and explore their sexuality. And the idea of somebody who thought Willow was great was interesting to us, and the idea that basically had a new Willow, because Willow had become so self confident, and at ease with herself. She wasn’t as helpless as she used to be, so we wanted someone, particularly in this episode, who could act as a kind of Willow character, somebody we were invested in, somebody who could be put into danger, who would not necessarily know how to take care of herself right off the bat. Willow and Alyson herself had matured to the point where it took a lot to get them into that kind of peril.

Amber Benson, obviously, a mainstay of the show now and their relationship, extraordinary, didn’t know for sure. I was thinking of someone more physically like Alyson, smaller and less womanly than Amber. It was Marti Noxon, when Amber auditioned who said – she knew the physical type I was thinking of, because I wanted that vulnerability – “Amber’s got it in spades” so we brought her back. Marti gets the kudos for that one, though I like to take the credit whenever Amber is around, so make sure Amber doesn’t hear this!

(Riley and Forrest inside Initiative complex.)

Here is another long, long takes. I love long takes, that go through as many visual areas as possible. I did that also in the beginning with Giles and Spike. There’s a bit of the Woody Allen in that, because I like the way he will use the frame as long as it can be used. I’m not thinking so much of Brian de Palma, in your face, look I’m still using the camera, so much as making a frame usable for as long as possible. The more you can accomplish in one shot the better, it keeps you in the reality.

(Joss basically talks right over the ep until we get to the morning without voices part of the ep)

Now we get to the heart of the piece. It’s nice to know that the Slayer actually has to go to the bathroom in the morning like a normal person. Again, the mundane is what I’m going for here. I get up, I go to the bathroom, I brush my teeth, I do this, I do that, I notice something slightly wrong, but I don’t really figure it. Just the daily routine stuff, until we get to the part where…..filming the first silent scenes was extraordinary. Everyone had to a different type of acting.

(Riley and Forrest in a lift)

The only dialogue we hear are from machines, and newscasters, who are like machines, which I think adds to the creepiness a little, and also occasionally gives me a short cut, which is nice. (Walsh pointing out to Riley and Forrest they could have used the stairs). Classic sense of guys, very together, completely getting it wrong in a state of a emergency, thinking they are behaving incredibly rationally, but actually they are panicking.

(Tara in the roomful of silent students)

Getting a whole townful of extras to act as though they are distraught, and in the moment is difficult. The big crowd scenes were difficult

(Buffy and Willow walking in Sunnydale)

The idea that the bank is closed but the liquor store is damn well open. Religious craziness going on whenever there is a problem, and of course, rampant capitalism whenever there is a problem (shot of man selling message boards). I can’t help thinking now, looking at this, of people selling American flags within 5 seconds after the World Trade centre incident.

(Buffy and Willow walk into Giles’ apartment)

The girls walking in with message boards was one of my favourite key moments. Notice the little look from Anya “Does he care more about them than me?” to highlight the idea of her relationship with Xander not being defined yet, and then Willow’s insistence that “Oh my God, I know exactly what I must do (hug Giles) and it being something so mundane. Alyson Hannigan, cutest thing on the planet. I always thought of her as a silent movie star, because she has such giant eyes.

This was the first scene we shot as a group. People had problems figuring out the moments, figuring out how to let things progress, without using the words as their milestones. When we first did the scene, it took 12 seconds, because everyone did everything all at once because they didn’t how to wait, how to act in a silent movie.

(Buffy patrolling the streets of Sunnydale, about to bump into Riley scene)

This was going to be the episode where Buffy and Riley were going to have sex. We knew that they were going to get together in the middle of the season, and I figured okay, Buffy and Riley will get it on in episode ten, and that will be 3 minutes of silence I know people will want to watch. But unfortunately I realised that it was too early. They can’t sleep together. They are not ready, they haven’t earned it. I lost my crutch, I was terrified. I felt, my God, I really can’t write this, there is no way I can maintain the momentum. But I did have a first kiss, so I felt that was worth something, though it wasn’t three minutes long. This scene introduces the Buffy Riley love theme, which I particularly love. I think it is better than the Buffy Angel love theme, which is very straight ahead romantic. This has a plaintive quality which is a little bluer and stranger. It points the way to how the relationship is going to go. To me, it’s more adult than the B/A theme.

Cutting now to the real introduction of my boys. We hired mostly mimes and guys who had done creature work. Here they are suspended on wires, and in the next shot, they are on moveable dollies.

[> [> Joss on Hush: Part II -- Rahael, 18:19:00 05/13/02 Mon

Olivia is useful here, in the way Tara is, because I needed people who, if not helpless, then not as savvy and canny about everything what’s going on than our people. People who might be expendable, people who might be in real terror of what’s going on. So the scariest moments were reserved for Tara and Olivia.

(Gentlemen floating down student halls of residence)

They have footmen to do the dirty work, because I felt they would not sully themselves with such things as strangling the victim. They just float at you. We are coming to the most dreamlike scene – finally a character who really is expendable. I don’t like hurting people which makes me very bad at doing horror shows but in this particular instance I had no choice. I had to traumatise little children. This image is from a dream of my own, the image of a man floating at me as I lay in bed. My favourite thing about these guys is how polite they are. What I basically set out to do, though I realise it was very ambitious, was to have a generation of children say, ‘do you remember the Gentlemen from an episode of the Buffy show’.

What I was going for very specifically with the Gentlemen was a Victorian kind of feel, because that was very creepy and fairy tale like. The politeness, the suits, the crazies who were like the crazies in the asylum in Dracula, the metal teeth still representing science, defeating cavities. Everything is very Victorian era, and for me that bespeaks total creepiness.

When I designed them, I was drawing from everything that had ever frightened me, including the fellow from my dream, Nosferatu, Pinhead, Mr Burns, anything that gave that creepy feeling. I wanted guys that will remind people of what scared them when they were children, and I believe what scared us when we were little children, were old people. It’s the idea of age.

(Giles’ slide show)

I like the idea that Giles brings his own theme music for his slideshow presentation. This scene fell out very quickly during the writing process. In this episode he has the slide show, in Restless he has to sing it, but poor Tony always gets the exposition scene. To have him have to do it with a slide show was great fun and Tony did more with his slides than I ever expected. Thinking this was going to be a difficult scene to write, it actually fell together pretty quickly. I love the drawings, very childish. Giles not a professional artist, but big with the gore! Choosing the music for this was very difficult. Aly once again proving that a great silent comedian has been lost to us by the introduction of sound. I believe the hips thing was actually pitched by Sarah. She thought the drawing made her look fat, which is a classic actress reaction but a very funny little moment.

(Scene showing the Initiative getting ready)

Here we have the classic male response ‘guns, guns, guns’ – okay, tazer guns. Marc is someone else who reminds me of the old days. He has a calm, very expressive face.

(Tara walks through UC Sunnydale)
The little girl wandering through the woods. Amber gives you so much. She can even fall down – the classic! It drives me crazy when girls do that in stories, but its so perfect for this kind fairy tale classic old movie nightmare all those wrapped up in one moment. And the boys are coming for her. So happy, so polite, such nice guys!

(Tara knocking desperately on doors)

The idea that society is crumbling that everyone is too frightened to help her, very important. The helplessness, the vulnerability, and yet the strength in Amber, you can see them all. She will wander through many many halls in this show, and they’ll all be the same hall!

We’ve finally got the two of them together (Willow and Tara).

(Riley and Buffy face each other, crossbow to crossbow)

Bit of a John Woo moment. But also a big emotional moment. “Hey!” Hitting a theme, through violence, fisticuffs and the pointing of weaponry, that people aren’t always honest about who they are and sometimes when they shut up, they learn more about themselves and each other than they expected to. Sarah doing her own high kicks, she’s got great extension there. She can sell a fight. Riley realising here that this girl is stronger than perhaps I thought.

(Scene with Giles and Spike in Giles’ apartment)

The cup of blood. This was another of the scenes that involved tricky setting up so it didn’t look completely contrived. Xander realises his true feelings for Anya by beating the hell out of Spike, which is just adorable. Of course, it leads to the other great gesture of the episode which the network had a bit of a problem with. But we also get to see Anya’s transformation as she realises he really does care about her, which is one of the sweetest moments in the whole show. And then….that. The network’s reaction was much like Giles’, but it was too damn funny.

This is another well known scene, the ‘we can move the drinks machine’ scene. Some people took this as a sign that they would definitely have a relationship, some people didn’t, but it is meant to be a very sensual and very powerful image of two women, whether or not, - and we hadn’t at this point decided how far the relationship would go – but we wanted it to be a moment which was very physical and very empowering and very beautiful between the two of them. It set off some fireworks, and also moved the drinks machine. It’s a very empowering statement about love. Two people together can accomplish more, a great deal more than if they are alone. Greater than the sum of their parts. Looking back at it now, it seems as if there is no other way we could have gone, it really is one of the most romantic images we have filmed.

(Buffy and Riley fight the Gentlemen)

Actually deigning to stab her! Buffy sees the box from her dream. And the big moment, here he goes (Riley smashing the jars). I just love that, his little smile for approval, but he picks the wrong thing. The scream. Not Ms Gellar, though she did scream her head off.

(Tara and Willow talking the next day)

The love is readily apparent. Ten episodes later, when Willow actually refers to Tara as her girlfriend, and we got all the angry letters and emails, my first comment was “Urrrr….where were you all for the last ten episodes? Did you see them join hands? Did you see them float the rose? Did you see the spell in Who Are You?” Their love has always been very physical, and earthy and sensual. Anyone who missed it, even though at the time we weren’t sure if we were only going to play it on a metaphor level, it soon became apparent that we couldn’t do that. Anyone who missed it from the start hasn’t seen very many films.

(Giles and Olivia)

Poor Giles. He has trouble keeping a girlfriend. At least his one lived. She never did come back.

(Buffy and Riley)

The last scene. There was really only one way this show could end, and that was the idea that once we got our voices back, we stop communicating, after we were doing so well. I made a mistake here though, I shouldn’t have ended on a two shot, I should have just ended on one of these shots (shot of Sarah looking nervous). The two shot gives away the idea that it’s the end of the show. I should have cut off on a close up, so you really did expect somebody to speak.

[> [> [> *HUSH* TRANSCRIPT JUST ABOVE! IN CASE ANYONE DIDN'T REALISE -- Thanks for the thanks, guys. My pleasure., 02:50:12 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: Thanks so much - mine is still mid-Atlantic, and a question -- Dead Soul, 12:39:49 05/14/02 Tue

I'm so spoiled (not in the knowing what's going to happen kind of way). My Season 4 BtVS DVDs aren't even here (California) yet and my question is: Does anyone know when Season 5 will be released in the UK? This fall?

Dead Soul

[> [> [> More thanks -- agent156, 06:56:45 05/14/02 Tue

Thank you yet again.

And this post should help keep the thread alive a little bit longer.

[> [> [> Thanx again Rah. -- Rattletrap, 13:06:36 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> rockin' rahael! -- julia, 18:37:08 05/13/02 Mon

that's your new name, lady. beautiful work on the transcription and oh so helpful for those of us still living in the 20th century sans dvd. thanks for you hard work!

[> Thank you so much, Rah!!! :o) :o) :o) -- Rob, 18:46:17 05/13/02 Mon

[> Bow down before Rahael! -- Talia, 20:24:14 05/13/02 Mon

All hail the mighty Rahael, invaluable bringer of Joss commentary! This is great. I remain convinced that there are deeper levels of meaning that Joss either didn't consciously realize or chose not to comment on, but just the little anecdotes about filming alone would have been priceless and this is much more than that. I love Restless for so many reasons, and reading the commentary just reminds me of how cool it was and how much it continues to be relevant. Thanks!

[> *CuPR* -- Thanks so much for all your hard work on this Rah-- This is really insightful! :-) -- OnM, 21:06:54 05/13/02 Mon

And so good to see you here again. Looking forward to reading the 'Hush' commentary also!


[> wow wow wow, thank you SO much, Rahael. -- yuri, 23:00:42 05/13/02 Mon

[> "Rahael, the Goddess of Great Transcriptions" - i'd say someone needs to start making t-shirts -- redcat, 09:02:01 05/14/02 Tue

[> Thank you, Rahael. It's wonderful to see your name on the board again. -- Ixchel, 11:43:06 05/14/02 Tue

[> Thanks. -- oceloty, 00:07:52 05/15/02 Wed

One more drop in the sea of gratitude for you, Rahael. Fascinating reading.

SMG discussing strong female heroines on ABC (50 Greatest Shows) Special at 10pm tonight -- Dochawk, 18:01:47 05/13/02 Mon

[> And the earth moved -- Vickie, 22:11:24 05/13/02 Mon

Just as Buffy bent in to kiss Angel, my station (CA Bay Area) went to coverage of the earthquake. For just long enough.

Grrr Arrrgh!

[> [> Re: And the earth moved -- Buffyboy, 22:25:20 05/13/02 Mon

And we all know the significance of earthquakes in the Buffyverse. "Yes! Yes! Shake, Earth! This is a sign: we are in the final days. My time has come. Glory! Glory! What do you think? 5.1?" Well actually, they're saying its a 5.2.

[> [> [> 5.2, 1.7, 2.5 1.4. (Credited to Vickie). And I thought it was just the bus. -- yuri, 23:06:53 05/13/02 Mon

Well, I guess I'd better chow down...:D Spoliers for tonight's Angel -- SingedCat, 19:17:15 05/13/02 Mon

Let's see... where's that quote from me...? Ah, here it is, dated last week:

... Holt does not love the boy more than Angel does. To Holt, all this time he has been nursing something more precious to him-- his vengeance. He has raised
this boy as an instrument of that vengeance, never forgetting that it's Angel's progeny that will deliver the final blow to him. If at any time his love for Conor/Stephen
had become his priority he would have discarded his vendetta and taken the boy into his heart. But he hasn't done that. At best Conor lives in his heart alongside his
precious hatred, and it's a tossup to me whether his ideal vengeance would be to have Connor kill Angel and return to Holt-- or to let Angel see Holt kill Conor just
before he expires.

*Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* *Munch* ...

Nothing like a good repast of misconceptions to finish off a great episode-- nope, I never saw it coming. Did anyone else cry like a schoolgirl? Makes me hungry...

Mmmmm... mixed metaphors tossed in a light academic lingo... tasty!


[> I'm not so sure about that... -- Masq, 05:10:20 05/14/02 Tue

I too, thought Holtz had changed being in Quortoth. He seemed to be putting Connor's needs before his own--the sign of love--in telling him to go be with his father. Holtz also did this to Angel, telling him he was giving Connor back.

He built both their hopes up. Then at the end, he had Justine made it look like Angel killed him. Now all Connor wants to do is avenge the only father he's known.

Holtz played both of them. Deeply, and emotionally. He was all about vengeance in the end.

Did anything Holtz said mean anything? Did he really love Connor at all?

[> [> ^ also spoilery for Benediction ^ -- Masq, 05:12:14 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> Re: I'm not so sure about that... -- matching mole, 05:26:55 05/14/02 Tue

Like many a film noir the characters' motivations, in particular those of Holtz, have become so convoluted that trying to unravel them is a monumental task.

Perhaps Holtz himself doesn't really know what he wants. His plan definitely appears to be to fool Connor into thinking that Angel killed him (Holtz). However its apparent success relied on Connor finding out about Angel's duplicity and racing to the scene. For all Holtz knew, Angel would hand Connor Holtz's letter and that would be the end of it (can Connor read? was there any paper in Quortoth?).

[> [> [> Spoilers for Benediction in my post as well -- matching mole, 05:28:18 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: I'm not so sure about that...spoilers Benediction -- alcibiades, 06:00:46 05/14/02 Tue

Yeah his plan also posited that Justine would have to see Connor at that night club and realize who it was from watching him fight with Angel, then figure out where Holtz was staying. It sure hung on a lot of intangibles.

Did anyone figure out what they were trying to point to with all the bathroom function references -- toilets flushing, emissions, spiritual colonics.

I suppose the toilet flushing after Holtz meant that he is filled with crap. Kind of primitive as imagery, but ultimately in keeping with his role.

And of course next week that genie in the bottle demon (forgot his name) has to emerge so that Connor can kill him.

So has anyone figured out what Connor is? extra-human hearing, extra-human fighting skills, vampiric parents?

[> [> [> [> Speaking of what are they... (spoils) -- neaux, 06:22:02 05/14/02 Tue

Does anyone else thing Angel is becoming more "Regular" compared to his super-powered friends?

Cordy got "the full package" alright. Seems like she can do anything. Stay in her own visions, watch as a 3rd party, dematerialize weapons.

Also, Connor fought with more pizzaz than his dad last night and add to that superhearing.. wow!!


[> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of what are they... (spoils) -- SingedCat, 07:11:34 05/14/02 Tue

I get the idea that he is a human being with all the abilities of a vampire-- best of both worlds. Plus...raised from birth to do the one fighting demons thing-- I'd say when that stufff happens there's not a lot else in his head to distract him.

Bad luck on that hearing thing-- isn't that the second time Fred has misjudged vampiric hearing?

Mole, you have a huge point there about noir and people's motives not being clear. I didn't realize that was a major point in noir, but now it makes sense, and I reflect on Bladerunner. Nicely, nicely done, ME.

I had the impression watching the show that the dual wounds were just bad luck-- that Justine was too hesitant the first time, struggling with Holtz's hand, and didn't puncture anything properly vital. But I guess not. But his ambiguity is pretty easy to see. Why in the alley? Why not in the apartment if he wished to be found? Connor would be able to smell that Angel was there, it would look more specific, less possibly a random vampire killing. And if he didn't, why in the alley right outside his place?

Was his actual aim perhaps more ambiguous than triggering a murderous rage in Connor? Maybe more like throwing a test on their relationship, or a reminder to Connor not to trust Angel completely?

Maybe he did it, as we do sometimes, with a range of possibilities in mind, all of which were more or less fine by him if they transpired.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Bad luck? (still spoilery for Benediction) -- Vickie, 08:52:12 05/14/02 Tue

If Holtz only wanted to die, Justine could have killed him in any number of ways. Those two little holes in his neck were deliberate deception.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that (spoilers for Benediction) -- matching mole, 10:06:25 05/14/02 Tue

There is nothing in the entire episode that indicates that Holtz has changed his feelings about Angel one iota. What has changed are his feelings for his/Angel's son. Holtz clearly sees that simply getting Stephen to carry out the mission won't work. Either Stephen will refuse to kill Angel or he will kill Angel but then hate Holtz for it. Hence his plan. However the flaw in the plan is that it will leave Stephen fatherless. Holtz carries out his plan but only in a half-hearted way.

This is just like the is Spike evil or good debate. Or the were Wesley's actions good or evil debate. There isn't a simple answer. Holtz is consumed by the need for revenge and he is consumed by love for his son. He can't have both - either he gets his revenge or he does what is best for Stephen.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that (spoilers for Benediction) -- Ronia- slightly off topic, 10:23:38 05/14/02 Tue

Did anyone think that knife blade looked a little wide to make precise little toothlike holes? Also it got shoved in pretty far, that would be a dead givaway wouldn't it? I don't think the entire scene was played out very plausibly, vampires usually drink the blood, not let it drain all over the sidewalk, as if two little pokeholes could drain you. He looked like he just needed a bandaid. And just where was all that blood? It had to go somewhere! Grrrrrr...where is Joss when you really need him, has he given up on this series?

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I thought of that as well (Benediction spoilers) -- matching mole, 10:34:00 05/14/02 Tue

Holtz's death could not be made to appear vampire caused under careful scrutiny without a lot of work and it appears he didn't even try. More evidence of ambiguity on his part or just sloppy writing? But his death doesn't seem to have been very well thought out. We're back to neck injury issues again. If the pick severed a major blood vessel then there should have been blood all over the place - making it seem very unvampiric. If a blood vessel wasn't hit then Holtz's rapid death is a little hard to explain unless the pick went into his brain stem or something. Hard to figure.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I don't think anyone is disagreeing with that (spoilers for Benediction) -- maddog, 11:14:02 05/14/02 Tue

I'm not quite sure I'd add Wesley in there because his
Motives don't seemed to be agreed upon. I never saw him as taking Connor to Holtz(which many did). Cause if he doesn't get that baby out of the hotel, Angel would have destroyed Connor. Not because of the prophecy, but because W&H pushed the circumstances surrounding it.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of what are they... (spoils) -- Ronia, 10:17:21 05/14/02 Tue

Human with vampire strength and abilities...male slayer? They made referrence to slayers last night with Justine. Just a random thought. Any comments?

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re:Alleys -- SpikeMom, 19:51:35 05/14/02 Tue

Liam died in an alley and so did William.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> More Alleys (still with the Benediction spoilers) - - oceloty, 23:32:18 05/14/02 Tue

And Connor was not-born in an alley (where Darla also died), and Angel lost his soul in one (Buuuuffffy!). There's history in them thar alleys.

Holtz couldn't remember if vampires required invitations to motel rooms. Maybe he staged the "attack" in the alley to leave no niggling invitation questions that could have exonerated Angel, just in case.

[> [> Re: I'm not so sure about that... -- Lilac, 07:35:16 05/14/02 Tue

I believe that Holtz did love the boy in his own twisted way. One of the benefits of the plot he is set in action is that it will keep Stephen/Connor loving him. Had Holtz kept to his original plan of having Stephen kill Angel, Stephen would probably have had doubts about the justice of his actions as he saw the kind of person Angel is -- which is not the kind of person Holtz has been telling him about his entire life. If Stephen carried out his task, he would (most probably) end up hating Holtz for making him kill his biological father, who did love him and was not a bad person. This way, Holtz looks like a father who is willing to sacrifice his life-long dream of vengeance in favor of what is best for his son. By framing Angel for his murder, he gives Stephen reason to hate and ultimately kill Angel, who so cruelly slaughtered Holtz when he was doing the right thing, and ensure that Stephen puts Holtz on an even higher pedestal than he already had him. Pretty fiendish plan overall, but the driving force behind it is making sure that Stephen's love for Holtz is not diminished.

[> Re: Well, I guess I'd better chow down...:D Spoliers for tonight's Angel -- maddog, 07:54:48 05/14/02 Tue

Cry? Are you kidding me? He steals Angel's kid and jumps into a hell dimension....only to come back having that kid hate his father...and now Connor thinks his dad killed Holtz.

[> [> A Few Thoughts on Benediction -- matching mole, 08:34:27 05/14/02 Tue

Well I have to say that I am enormously impressed with Holtz as a fictional creation. In my opinion he is the greatest 'villain' that the Buffyverse has produced since the demise of the Mayor (Warren comes close but he just doesn't seem complicated enough to make it into the top echelon). His lust for revenge has evolved over the years to a point where he is at an impossible impasse. He wants revenge on Angel and he wants Stephen's love. But he can't have both. For this reason his final scheme is brilliant and inconsistent, leaving far too much to chance.

I like the main plot line of AtS that I'm not really all that bothered, for the moment, with the secondary characters who have mostly been left dangling in the breeze. I am concerned about Cordelia's character development. I've always had a strong bias towards Cordy and I've generally thought that her character's evolution has generally been the most successful of any on either show. It has seemed relatively subtle and unforced. But ever since she's been demonized Cordelia has really been blanded out. I'm hoping that whatever transpires with this Cordelia/Groo/Angel business that we get a Cordelia in which the bitch and the saint are both present and accounted for.

I've now given up hope that Lorne is going to do anything interesting by the end of the season. We have one episode left and I can't imagine how they are going to even partially resolve the Wesley issue, the Holtz/Connor/Stephen/Justine issue, and the Cordelia/Groo/Angel issue in 44 minutes of air time. But I can't wait to find out.

[> [> [> Should read... I like the main plot line of AtS **enough** -- matching mole the bad editor, 08:36:55 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: A Few Thoughts on Benediction -- RichardX1, 10:06:47 05/14/02 Tue

Well I have to say that I am enormously impressed with Holtz as a fictional creation. In my opinion he is the greatest 'villain' that the Buffyverse has produced since the demise of the Mayor (Warren comes close but he just doesn't seem complicated enough to make it into the top echelon). His lust for revenge has evolved over the years to a point where he is at an impossible impasse. He wants revenge on Angel and he wants Stephen's love. But he can't have both. For this reason his final scheme is brilliant and inconsistent, leaving far too much to chance.

Personally, I haven't seen such effective villainy since season two of Beast Wars.

[> [> [> [> Beast Wars? -- fresne, 11:49:13 05/14/02 Tue

Okay, I have to ask, to which villany are you referring.

Then again, I'm not sure I saw S1 or just S2.

fresne - having a sudden image of Spike as Dinobot.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Beast Wars? -- RichardX1, 13:05:10 05/14/02 Tue

Megatron's. He's probably the most effective toy-show villain I've ever seen. But seriously, in Season 2 he gets the two golden disks and we come to realize he knows exactly where the characters are (a mystery ever since the pilot episode). Then, he makes a play against the human race (still in their hairy years). And finally, we discover he'd been acting on orders the original Megatron left back in the Voyager disk that no one ever noticed! And in the end of that season, he's willing to risk his own existence rather than be defeated by the Maximals.

He blows up the head of the dormant Optimus Prime.

[> [> [> How about 88 minutes? I hear next week is a 2 hour show.:) -- SingedCat, 10:33:30 05/14/02 Tue

[> Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- Wisewoman, 08:18:35 05/14/02 Tue

Okay, are we absolutely sure it was Holtz who wanted his death to look like a vampire attack? Wasn't it Justine who was holding the ice pick? Doesn't she have just as much reason to hate vampires and wish them ill?

Admittedly, the choice of weapon was Holtz's, and it certainly lends itself to the creation of double puncture wounds, but until I see the shooting script I'm inclined to keep an open mind about this particular plot point.

As to who Connor/Stephen is, as I mentioned last week, it's beginning to look as though ME is presenting him as a Hunter, the male counterpart to a Slayer. He appears to have special skills that are at least equal to Slayer-strength, etc. Hunters and Slayers were originally supposed to be paired. I wonder if that means Connor is destined to be with Faith, or Faith's replacement?

Loved this ep, BTW.


[> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- alcibiades, 08:57:56 05/14/02 Tue

"Hunters and Slayers were originally supposed to be paired"

Just curious where this info comes from as I've never heard of Hunters -- is it from the books or previous Angel's?

[> [> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- Wisewoman, 09:51:06 05/14/02 Tue

This is something I remember discussing at length here last summer. I was recently reminded that the whole notion of a Hunter came directly from Joss, but I don't recall where or when.

[> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- Cactus Watcher, 09:09:26 05/14/02 Tue

Doesn't Holtz tell Justine "Again!"? I thought the intent was clear.

[> [> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- maddog, 09:24:21 05/14/02 Tue

Me too...some people still hold out for Holtz coming out with a heart in all of this. He's all about revenge. Always was...even when he found out Angel was feeling the pain of all the suffering he caused...the intent was still there.

[> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- maddog, 09:20:13 05/14/02 Tue

Wow, I like that idea...the male counterpart of Buffy. Hell, do I hear spinoff? :)

[> [> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- DEN, 09:50:04 05/14/02 Tue

Connor and Dawn, with Tara as spirit guide and Buffy for occasional guest appearances!

[> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- Dead Soul, 09:53:08 05/14/02 Tue

My thought exactly re double puncture

[> [> Re: Whoa! ***Spoilers*** for Benediction -- Ronia, 10:35:23 05/14/02 Tue

Oh...was it an icepick? I couldn't rewind to the glance I got I thought it was a knife. Well that really takes the wind out of my sails for the rant I just had...hmmm. Still though, where was all the blood? Also, he was forcing her hand, he must have intended for it to be two holes or he could have done it himself. Maybe a barbeque fork (as suggested on "Angel") would be a better choice?

[> Help, please -- how did Cordy do that?! -- yez, 10:33:48 05/14/02 Tue

After Connor grabs Cordy and pulls out his knife, how does Cordy get away? What did she do to him to "detox" him? Was it another one of those zappy white light things, like last ep.?

My local station cut in too many commercials and cut back in when Angel was talking to Cordy and Lorne about what had happened.

Thanks for any help.


[> [> Re: Help, please -- how did Cordy do that?! -- SingedCat, 10:41:08 05/14/02 Tue

Just as you suspect, yez. The white light comes from Cordy's eyes and surrounds her & the knife-- the knife disappears. The light doesn't disappear-- it continues to grow until it surrounds the boy, and all the time she's looking in his eyes, saying "you don't need that, honey, it's all right...let it go.." and then he collapses crying in her arms.

In all the excitement over the last scene, I guess I forgot how good that was. Good work from CC, the most compassionate I've ever seen her.

So I guet the idea that her power is a reaction to personal threat. OK.

[> [> [> Thanks. -- yez, 10:47:00 05/14/02 Tue

Damn my local station -- that sounds like a great scene!

I'm glad they're starting to define Cordy's powers, even though it's sounding kind of video game-ish. I wonder why she and Gru got knocked out the time she tried to activate it herself (last ep.)... Sounds like it could have some unintended consequence potential for anyone who inadvertently threatens here; I wonder if they're setting up something like this with one of the Angel gang.


[> [> [> [> Your Local Station Recut Scenes? -- Dochawk, 11:28:07 05/14/02 Tue

UPN has a contract with that station and local stations don't have the right to recut scenes, those rights on a first airing belong to Fox and UPN only (in the US). Either you just missed it or your local station is breaking its agreement.

[> [> [> [> [> I didn't miss it -- I actually watched all the commercials. -- yez, 11:38:23 05/14/02 Tue

There were just too many local commercials added, it looks like. They've never done that before -- it looked like someone messed up, not intentional, as the show came back right in the middle of one of Angel's lines.

Interesting about the agreements, though.


[> OK, OK, I won't eat them yet-- but can I nibble around the metaphors? Mmm...Lots of irony! :) -- SingedCat, 15:21:03 05/14/02 Tue

Baby, baby, where did my thread go? (Spoilers for Seeing Red!) Sophist, please read -- Valhalla, 20:38:05 05/13/02 Mon

Ok, I can't imagine that was an original subject line, but maybe it will help people forgive me for reviving an archived thread (I was going to post to it last night! I swear!). Please forgive me if this is simply 'not done' – I really wanted to answer Sophist's point (full message at end of this post).

I think, at the end of the day, we are not all that far apart. I do think the scene itself was fairly sophisticated (although brutal to watch). At the very least, it was a very unusual scene for tv, not just because it implicated sexual assault (more on that later), but because the story and character development preceding it was long, complex, and dare I say it, nuanced and sophisticated. Hell, forget tv – I think it's fairly rare in real life that you get so much background leading up to an incident like this. Even in court, the depiction of the alleged victim and the accused tend to be very black and white, once the two sides start telling their stories. We know all about both characters and their relationship, that neither has acted flawlessly, they both have, errrr, 'issues', we've seen the feelings they have for each other (running the gamut from love to hate), etc. Even if ME didn't intend it to be nuanced, as you said, we can adopt our own interpretation!

On whether it was attempted rape if Spike didn't intend to make her have sex with him against her will: Yeah, the legal definition of rape probably would not cover my interpretation of this scene. But the legal definition kinda stinks. And really, I'm not just saying that because otherwise I'd have to retract my interpretation in order to make my other point legitimately. I'm trying really hard not to get into a discussion about the merits of the legal definition, however, I do think that if one person is so wrapped up in themselves that they don't or can't see that the other person is saying 'no' for real, then their actions are as morally blameworthy as if they had the specific intent for rape.

Or nearly as blameworthy. One analogy (there are many both ways) would be to vehicular homicide while DUI; if you get in a car while drunk and kill someone, it doesn't matter if you were so disoriented that you didn't realize you were driving badly, you're still responsible (and punishable) for the life you took. Or, you can be convicted of second degree murder if you acted with reckless indifference to an unjustifiably high risk to human life (damn you Sophist! You made me drag out my Barbri books, font of all legal wisdom. Or mine at least). An interesting question that falls from the latter (discussed elsewhere) is did Spike know, or could he have reasonably known, that Buffy's 'no' in the bathroom was different from earlier 'nos'. It was different, even Spike realized that eventually, but at what earlier point should he have realized it? (ok, not going down that road here).

I'm pulling out other crimes to argue that Spike's actions (or my interpretation of them) would make him legally culpable for attempted rape, or should (although I might given half a chance), but that his moral blameworthiness is the same, or nearly the same as if he had specific intent.

But I'm guessing you don't disagree that what Spike did was bad or morally blameworthy – this is where the reconciliation comes in. Your original point was Spike as attempted rapist was OOC. I think we do agree – even when Spike hated Buffy, he often tried to kill her but he never tried to rape her. And others have discussed the fact that sexual assault was never part of his implied Big Bad past, as it was or may have been with Angel. But on the question whether what he did do (however defined) is within his character, it seems like we agree (or in the ballpark of agreement).

Previous (now archived) post:

Date Posted: 08:55:38 05/12/02 Sun
Author: Sophist
Subject: This is going to sound really odd, but
In reply to: Valhalla 's message, "Re: Definitions" on 08:55:38 05/12/02 Sun

I was lying in bed last night thinking about your original post (too much information, I'm sure), and I was wondering if I could reconcile your views with mine. You new post expresses almost precisely what I was thinking (in part; I'm still not buying the stalker point):

My interpretation of the bathroom scene was that Spike's desperation to be with Buffy and for her to show that she has feelings for subsumed his other sensibilities. I don't think he intended to use force to make her have sex with him. His sin was that for a few minutes he was so wrapped up in himself that he was utterly blind to her feelings. In fact when he realized that she really didn't want him, that it wasn't a replay of previous encounters, he looks stunned and horrified. And I don't think he was horrified simply because Buffy would never get close to him ever again, but because he realized that he had almost forced her to have sex with him because he was so wrapped up in his own thoughts and needs.

Ok, back to word 'rapist'. It's true that there's not much evidence (none, really) to show that sexual assault is Spike's primary way of relating to women. In that sense, it's not right to say Spike's character is that of a rapist. But there is evidence to show that Spike, when his obsession with Buffy is running strong, will ignore the usual stricture defining acceptable behavior, to be close to her. And I'm not sure that the fact that we never saw Spike force Dru to have sex with him is dispositive; first, I don't read Spike's intent in the bathroom as being an intent to force himself on Buffy. Second, Spike may never had forced himself on Dru, but we certainly saw that he went to great lengths to keep her (conspired with Buffy to get her away from Angel, eg) or get her back (followed her down to South America). His behavior with Dru may not have foreshadowed that with Buffy, but nothing about his relationship with Dru is actually inconsistent with what he did later.

I think I understand this and agree with it, but I want to make sure we're on the same page. I'm going to re-state part of it; please let me know if I understood you correctly.

What you're saying is that Spike was obsessed with Dru and then Buffy. In both cases, when he lost the woman's love, he tried to force her to love him. In Dru's case, that started with a spell and then a suggestion of torture (not to have sex, but to make her remember why she loved him). In Buffy's case, he first tried to do something he thought would please her (staking Dru). At the end, the only connection he could think of that worked was sex. His behavior was a way of saying "Please have sex with me. That way you'll remember the good times when we loved each other." In that sense, it's parallel to his promise to torture Dru to make her love him (doing what he believed the woman wanted to see in him).

If I have this right, then I agree with you and I can see this as in character. However, there is a serious consequence to this view that may arouse some strong feelings (judging by the posts above).

You say "I don't think he intended to use force to make her have sex with him. His sin was that for a few minutes he was so wrapped up in himself that he was utterly blind to her feelings." If so, then there was no attempted rape. I'm speaking as a lawyer here. The legal definition of attempted rape is that the perpetrator specifically intend to rape the victim. Spike's behavior, as I understand you to describe it, does not fall within this definition.

This is a very sophisticated and nuanced view of the scene. I'm not at all sure that ME intended it this way. If they did, it was an extraordinarily bold decision. If they didn't, hey, we can still adopt our own interpretation can't we?

Please let me know what you think.

[> Ya'll are breaking it down way too far (Spoilers for Seeing Red!) -- JBone, 21:07:21 05/13/02 Mon

Let me put it this way, if I found a female friend of mine, bruised up, with her previous "boyfriend's" coat left conspicuously behind... Forget the weasel law definition, I'm taking a trophy off the SOB.

It maybe "cowboy justice", but it speaks to me. Cut out the courts and the law, and just settle things the best you can. Unless you know a honest lawyer. LOL.

[> [> No such animal (NT) -- agent156, 07:13:45 05/14/02 Tue

[> Thanks. I really appreciate your thoughts on this. -- Sophist, 08:59:38 05/14/02 Tue

I do think we're in general agreement. When I say it's not attempted rape within the legal definition, I am in no way condoning Spike's actions. However, the term "rape" is so loaded that I think using it blinds us to the richness of the build-up and the characterization that you rightly praised.

A few other points. I'm the one who earlier asked the question about exactly when Spike should have realized that, this time, "no" meant "no". **Grins evilly** You say you don't want to go there, but I don't think you have to. Under your current view, Buffy's "consent" is not really at issue, something that really bothered me about other interpretations that were suggested. Under your view, the issue rightly remains Spike's state of mind.

You made the analogy to involuntary manslaughter. Whether justified or not, the legal system does not treat rape the same way it does murder. There are no degrees of rape; it is or it isn't. lulabel commented in the archived thread that not all sexual assault cases were the same and was, IMHO, unfairly berated for suggesting that (sorry lulabel, I should have defended you in the original thread). I think it's a legitimate point even if the law doesn't currently recognize it.

In the long run, the key issue is how ME lets the story line play out. If they are careful enough to keep it ambiguous, then we can write dissertations on it years hence. If they force us to call it attempted rape (in legal terms), then I guess I'll just regret a really bad decision in an otherwise great show. I've survived the ending of ItW and all of AYW, I can survive this. I hope.

Again, thanks for your original posts and for following up.

[> [> Excellent posts Valhalla and Sophist. Sophist,... -- Ixchel, 15:43:42 05/14/02 Tue

Thanks for your last paragraph especially. I really like your outlook on the situation as it relates to the story as a whole (I'll try to follow your example). That the scene (and its entire year long context) is complex is an understatement (though _that_ statement could be accurately applied to the entire show). I'm sure others have stated this, but I believe that Buffy's reactions, thoughts and behaviors that follow from this scene will give us a lot more information for analysis.


Why don't they bring Amber back as a different character? -- Me duele el estomago, 03:36:14 05/14/02 Tue

It's part of the magic of television: Brian Thompson is both Luke and the Judge and nobody cares. Zachary Kralik is the same guy as Rack. Tom Lenk is Andrew and one of Harmony's minions. The crazy who accosts Dawn is the doctor who removes James' heart. Andy Hallet appears in Hush (see Joss' commentary thread). Ken from Anne is Richard from The Bachelor Party. Xander's dad in Restless isn't the same as in Hell's Bells.
And so on and so on. Nobody complains about this -- we are willing to suspend our disbelief. Just as when Joss himself appears as Numfar, we think it's fine -- we don't say it's "fourth wall breaking."

So I say, why not dye Amber's hair, give her some glasses, a new name and stick her back on season 7. Or stick her on Angel. Or Ripper. I don't care. I just hope they make her new character a cleavagey slut-bomb. (Tara's mild frumpiness should have gone the way of her stutter and lack of eye contact. As she gets more confident personality-wise, the more boobies we should get to see. That's how the world ought to work. Remember Joss's fourth law: Nudity, nudity, nudity. When she went out to lunch with Dawn, she was wearing a brown burlap sack, for Pete's sake. I've got the screencaps right here. Here's the beautiful woman hiding under those slightly schoolmarmish outfits: )

No, I'm not serious. But yes, life without Amber Benson has no meaning. Remember when Joss said that each one of the main characters on Buffy was strong enough to carry their own spinoff? The man oversees five tv series already, what's an extra one gonna hurt? The Amber and Dawnie and Miss Kitty show. I'd tune in every week.

[> Second that motion... -- Scroll, 06:36:03 05/14/02 Tue

[> Re: Why don't they bring Amber back as a different character? -- maddog, 07:41:24 05/14/02 Tue

She's too recognizable to bring back on Buffy...and please don't let them go the soap opera angle and have her be some long lost sister. But it would be cool to see her on Angel at some point next year.

[> [> bring her back as -- skeeve, 08:29:27 05/14/02 Tue

Xena. Lucy Lawless played played several other characters on Xena and there is enough magic floating around the Buffyverse to realize a fictional character. The story could even be made to fit into the Xenaverse: Xena is tired of being dead, but shouldn't show up the real world, so she heads for the Buffyverse. This implies that she should show up on Angel or Ripper where she can argue with Fred or Giles about which verse is real.

[> [> Ripper -- Dochawk, 08:35:25 05/14/02 Tue

There is hope she will be back on Ripper as a ghost, of tara. Ripper is supposed to be about Giles and ghosts. Tara the friendly ghost has a nice ring.

And btw, how many ghosts on Angel (more of them there) are there because they died violently, maybe she'll be like Phantom Dennis and we'll see her floating around the Summer's household.

[> [> [> Re: Ripper -- SugarTherapy, 20:45:24 05/14/02 Tue

Yes! Phantom Tara! I love it :)


[> [> Re: Why don't they bring Amber back as a different character? -- Ronia, 09:49:18 05/14/02 Tue

Actually, putting Tara on Angel could be pulled off in my opinion, that show needs a really strong female lead actress, and dare I say that Tara's slight dorkiness and habit of being insightfull might ease the pangs for Doyle? Then Cordelia can have her personality back. It seems that most of the characters on the show are all portraying different versions of the same person. Amen to a breath of fresh air. It's plausible because Tara is herself a strong witch, and maybe she won't want Willow to know she's back after her untimely demise, or can't let her know...or SOMETHING...wouldn't that be nice? Comments?

[> [> The Zombie Tara Theory -- Malandanza, 22:22:05 05/14/02 Tue

Willow has the power to bring Tara back -- not with the Urn of Osiris (there was only one of those and Osiris is probably sulking after his last encounter with Willow), but with any of the other resurrection spells out there. Like the one that was so easy that a 15 yr old girl untrained in magic could do it with only a few hints and suggestions from the less seemly denizens of Sunnydale. It wouldn't be perfect -- maybe some visible decay (nothing that a glamour couldn't clear up) or some motor skill issues. But Willow does have the ability to raise Tara, and Willow has never been a bastion of self-restraint.

And that would give Joss and company a neat way to wrap things up. Tara (naturally) would be unhappy about being resurrected as the zombie concubine to Sunnydale's own Queen of the Damned -- she'd want her pains redressed. Who better to help an injured woman than Anyanka, Patron Saint of Scorned Women? One wish and all those dark powers Willow's been playing with would be gone forever -- no more magic -- possibly carrying off a little bit of Willow's psyche in each claw and they vanish back into the ether. Off to the asylum for bit for Willow as she works through her new identity issues and emerged late next season mostly redeemed. Zombie Tara either gets her eternal rest as a reward (if Amber has movie projects in the works) or could stick around as the new morally ambiguous monster (she could even room with Clem in Spike's abandoned crypt).

The main problem I see with this theory is that it would not allow a showdown between Willow and Buffy (or would require that Buffy lose the showdown). From Villians, it appears that there is a battle in the works. In the demon bar, we are reminded how scary Buffy really is -- we've forgotten how terrifying she can be with the whole Spike arc since Our Heroine has allowed the nasty thing to manhandle her. But the demons remember -- she scares them. Alot. Then there's Rack -- he's afraid of Willow, not Buffy. Sunnydale's underworld may not know who the Troika are, but they'll want to know who wins this bout (I'd place my money on Buffy).

Spoilery Angel thread temporarily removed--stay tuned, it's not erased -- Masquerade, 08:53:21 05/14/02 Tue

[> OK, here is the original post and the two OT responses- -carry on! -- Masq, 08:55:31 05/14/02 Tue

Date Posted: 07:55:03 05/14/02 Tue
Author: Angelina
Author Host/IP: /
Subject: Cordy - "I'm In Love...With Angel".....

Is anyone else ready to barf, or is it just me? I CANNOT believe how LAME this is. Giving her super powers was bad enough, but now THIS! What, because she can now "glow in the dark" that makes her sexy? NOT! Her being in love with Fred makes more sense, if you get my drift. I don't like Cordy's character, and I never did or will, so I am biased, but PAAAAAAAALEEEEEEEESEEEEEEEEE - There is NO chemistry between Angel and Cordy AT ALL! Their attempt at a "love scene" in Waiting in the Wings made me gag (some of which I am sure was caused by CC's lack of acting skills). Prehaps they can hire Amber Benson as Cordy's love interest on Angel. That I can understand! But Angel and Cordy NEVER NEVER NEVER. Has everyone forgot the Passion that you could almost taste, smell and hear everytime Angel and Buffy were together?????? Compare those sparks to Angel and Cordy and you get moldy ashes! This is really upsetting me, since I think that giving Cordy all this power puts her on a level with Angel (is she now immortal since she is "part demon"?) Again, I feel woozie, give me a minute....Ok, better - and now the writers think they have justification of Angel being with a mortal, which means they are really going to go for this hidious story-line development. UGH.

Date Posted: 08:03:48 05/14/02 Tue
Author: maddog
Author Host/IP: /
Subject: Re: Cordy - "I'm In Love...With Angel".....
In reply to: Angelina 's message, "Cordy - "I'm In Love...With Angel"....." on 08:03:48 05/14/02 Tue

You should be reading some of the discussions about Buffy and Spike and how there are certain types of love...what Buffy and Angel had was passionate...but that's not all love is. There's more to it. And they're really pushing Cordy towards that kind of love. And poor Gru gets the bad end of it. This is a much more mature situation.

Date Posted: 08:11:20 05/14/02 Tue
Author: Angelina
Author Host/IP: /
Subject: Re: Cordy - "I'm In Love...With Angel".....
In reply to: maddog 's message, "Re: Cordy - "I'm In Love...With Angel"....." on 08:11:20 05/14/02 Tue

I can understand your point, but I do not agree. I think there has to be some sort of "magic" in a relationship, and I don't mean that in the "Buffyverse" sense. I mean it as a feeling between two people. Those romantic/sexual feelings are not there between Cordy and Angel. The mature thing to do here, is for Cordy to love Angel as her brother - which she already does - and help him and love him in that regard. I think the audience can accept that, but I don't think that the majority of fans would really totally accept a Cordy/Angel love story, and as I said before CC is not that good of an actress to make the audience BELIEVE - she cannot pull that off.

[> [> Re: OK, here is the original post and the two OT responses--carry on! -- maddog, 09:10:21 05/14/02 Tue

I see, so it's a dislike of Ms Carpenter that is at the heart of the issue. I'm not saying there won't be the magic that you're refering to. I'm just saying it can't be JUST that. Otherwise they're falling into the Buffy/Angel high school-ish type relationship from the first three seasons. I think what we're seeing is Cordy slowly realizing that the feelings for Angel are more than just a family type thing. SHe cares way too much. I know that there will be some sort of split(I don't speak for the fans, I'm merely speculating). There will be one half that'll love a Angel/Cordy relationship. And why not? On the other hand there will be people that will always consider the Buffy/Angel relationship the end all, be all of things. They'll hate this new pairing. Angel shouldn't have to consider Buffy his one and only ever...that's not fair to him. He should be able to move on. She certainly has. I think lastly I just want to say that I think that the magic you speak of will be there. It's whether you're willing to give Ms Carpenter a chance to convince you of it that counts.

[> [> [> ANGEL SPOILER RE CORDY/ANGEL -- ANGELINA, 12:14:00 05/14/02 Tue

I cannot believe that. We have been watching these two shows now for going on seven years. There was always the tweek with Buffy and Spike. Yes, but that was simply a strong sexual thing and boy did it spark and burn and fly! No matter WHAT the writers cook up for The Angel and Cordy Love Affair - it is going to fall flat. That was tried in Waiting in the Wings, and watching that episode was like watching paint dry. ME is making a huge mistake with this storyline and the ratings are going to show it next season. I know ME loves CC and they should, she's been with the shows from the get go, but SHE CANNOT ACT and since there is no chemistry between the two actor's playing these roles, being Angel's lover is going to require talent to create the sparks. SHE AIN'T GOT GAME! She was tolerable as the vapid high school chick, but if she says "I'm now part-demon" one more time.....GRRRRRR ARGGGGGG. I just don't want to see Angel go down the tubes and that is where this show is heading.

[> [> Changes (spoilers) -- Cactus Watcher, 09:18:44 05/14/02 Tue

Thanks Masq. Even though it crashed my computer (I was trying to post a reply at the wrong moment), it was the right thing to do.

Is anyone else beginning to wonder if the title Angel now refers to DB's character or to Charisma's? I liked the episode, but I really don't care for the direction the show is heading. I like the person Cordy is now better, but the old Cordy was a better fit for the show. I may be watching Firefly next fall.

[> [> [> Re: Changes (spoilers) -- Rufus, 16:05:26 05/14/02 Tue

I like Charisma Carpenter, I love Cordy. This season they have tried to connect Angel and Cordy romantically, it ain't working. They just don't work as a romantic couple. I watch the show for Wesley, as long as Wesley is on the show I'll watch.

[> [> [> [> So you're the one who calls it "Wesley: The Series" -- Masq, 16:53:51 05/14/02 Tue

They are just now giving Wesley a meaty story line and the season is ending. I predict (or at least hope for) something interesting for Wes in Season 4.

'course, you would know more about that Spoilery stuff than me...

[> [> [> [> [> Sorry, I can't take credit for the name WTS...some beast made it up....;) -- Rufus, 21:04:51 05/14/02 Tue

I do prefer Wesley as a character over Angel...but I do admit that Angel as a character has improved...too bad I can't say as much for Cordy.

[> [> [> [> I love the new Cordy and could caress about Wesley - but I am a XY not a XX -- gds, 20:24:52 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I love the new Cordy and could CARE LESS about Wesley - but I am a XY not a XX -- gds, 20:27:54 05/14/02 Tue

The major difference a tiny typo can make.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Too late! You've made it into the Typo Hall of Fame! :- ) *coming soon to a fictionary page near you* -- The Second Evil, 23:08:19 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> You and me both Rufus -- shadowkat, 11:33:09 05/15/02 Wed

Yep completely agree with what you said. When I thought they killed Wesley - I almost stopped. (Pretty unspoiled
for Ats..) But I heard he wasn't and continued.

When Weseley's on the energy goes way up. When he's off, it
slows to a crashing halt. Same thing with Lilah and Holtz
and Justine.

Hmmm - I'm watching a show for all of the twisty villains.
Maybe I just like dark characters? Or maybe I like characters that I know less about?

I know too much about Cordy and Angel and the two actors
don't buzz for me. Cordelia was more fun when she was nasty.
Angel is also more fun when he's nasty. Yep - definite
trend here - I like my dramas dark and agnsty. Probably
why I love Season 6 Btvs so much. ;-)

[> [> [> [> [> Dark characters vs. complicated characters -- matching mole, 14:55:08 05/15/02 Wed

Cordelia's greatness is in the contrary elements within her. Even back in BtVS season 1 she isn't just the nasty popular rich girl although she plays that part magnificently. She is also intelligent, brave, and honest (although her honesty is somewhat coloured by her self-centered view of the universe). And she was written so that one aspect of her personality never compromised the other. Although her personality changed I'd argue that this held true up until the end of StS season 2. Although there have been flashes of her former greatness AtS season 3 Cordelia has been sliding downhill becoming more and more one dimensional.

Time wise I have the opposite reaction with Holtz. As single minded vegeance guy he was OK but he didn't really capture my interest until Benediction when the conflict between his love for Steven and his desire for vengeance came into play.

Angel is an odd case. He has several aspects to his personality but he only seems to be able to express one at a time. He can be obsessive Angel, somber and thoughtful Angel, or goofy Angel. I think the individual aspects are alright but I think he would be a much more compelling character if he could be all those things at the same time.

[> [> Re: Would that be OT = On Topic... -- dubdub, 11:00:30 05/15/02 Wed opposed to O/T = Off Topic?

Angel's on Sunday's next season -- Julianne, 10:05:08 05/14/02 Tue

Hot off the wire...The WB has announced that Angel will follow "Charmed" on Sundays 9p EST next season. My job involves knowing this type of riveting info...

[> Re: Angel's on Sunday's next season -- maddog, 10:33:00 05/14/02 Tue

So Angel and Alias on at the same time...there goes another night of taping for me. :(

[> [> Re: Angel's on Sunday's next season -- yez, 12:41:55 05/14/02 Tue

Angel, Alias and Six Feet Under for me -- I am so glad HBO rebroadcasts!

Thanks for the info.


[> [> Re: Angel's on Sunday's next season -- verdantheart, 14:01:23 05/14/02 Tue

And I thought I was going to be OK with X-Files exiting ...

[> [> [> Re: Angel's on Sunday's next season -- Amber, 23:21:02 05/14/02 Tue

add in the fact that Joss's new show Firefly is also expected to be taking that timeslot and you have to wonder what was motivating the WB...

[> P.J.W.E.O.S.S. -- can I be Anne?, 11:22:46 05/15/02 Wed

I understand why they don't just put ATS on tuesdays @9. It would be easier for us fans and better for ATS to get the lead-in from Buffy, but they probably want ATS fans to also watch whatever comes on their network at 8:00(Why Angel now comes on after 7th Heaven is a question for the ages)Moving the show to a slow night on the WB with stiff competition from Fox et. all seems to me like a demotion. This confuses me because I had thought ATS to be a highly rated, critically popular show from the Powerful Joss Whedon Empire Of Successful Shows(P.J.W.E.O.S.S.). Moving the show around at all creates a risk of confusing and losing viewers. ATS is obviously a very expensive show to produce so I wonder if this is just a bad decision that will hurt the show.

[> P.J.W.E.O.S.S. -- Can I be Anne?, 11:25:13 05/15/02 Wed

I understand why they don't just put ATS on tuesdays @9. It would be easier for us fans and better for ATS to get the lead-in from Buffy, but they probably want ATS fans to also watch whatever comes on their network at 8:00(Why Angel now comes on after 7th Heaven is a question for the ages)Moving the show to a slow night on the WB with stiff competition from Fox et. all seems to me like a demotion. This confuses me because I had thought ATS to be a highly rated, critically popular show from the Powerful Joss Whedon Empire Of Successful Shows(P.J.W.E.O.S.S.). Moving the show around at all creates a risk of confusing and losing viewers. ATS is obviously a very expensive show to produce so I wonder if this is just a bad decision that will hurt the show.

[> P.J.W.E.O.S.S. -- Can I be Anne?, 11:29:24 05/15/02 Wed

I understand why they don't just put ATS on tuesdays @9. It would be easier for us fans and better for ATS to get the lead-in from Buffy, but they probably want ATS fans to also watch whatever comes on their network at 8:00(Why Angel now comes on after 7th Heaven is a question for the ages)Moving the show to a slow night on the WB with stiff competition from Fox et. all seems to me like a demotion. This confuses me because I had thought ATS to be a highly rated, critically popular show from the Powerful Joss Whedon Empire Of Successful Shows(P.J.W.E.O.S.S.). Moving the show around at all creates a risk of confusing and losing viewers. ATS is obviously a very expensive show to produce so I wonder if this is just a bad decision that will hurt the show.

[> [> Sorry, everyone for the above mistake. Those three posts are the same. -- can I be Anne?, 12:17:34 05/15/02 Wed

Absent Characters (spoilers for Benediction) -- Solitude1056, 11:14:41 05/14/02 Tue

All the talk of the Cordy/Demon, Angel/Stephen-Connor/Holtz sound & fury makes me wish we'd gotten to see more of Groo. I read somewhere (I think on the AICN review) that Groo is fast becoming a favorite character, and I concur. Too bad if his relationship with Cordy goes south (as seemed to be implied in the final moments of last night's episode) that we'll be seeing the last of him. I've said it before, but I've no problem repeating myself - he was dorkness personified at first, what-with the naivety and complete enthusiasm, but he's turned out to be a character played with sweetness, vulnerability, and a certain level of self- awareness that I hadn't expected. Reading through the scripts, it seems that the characterization is loose enough that that the actor could've easily made him more macho, more abrasive, more demonstrative. And thus I put a great deal of the credit on the actor's shoulders, for introducing such calm, centered, yet quietly sorrowful elements in these past few episodes as he realizes what no one else has picked up on.

As for Wesley, whew. He broods much longer, he's gonna get an invite to the Angelus Hall of Fame, and a visiting professoriate at Buffy University in How To Brood For Fear And Profit. He's getting more ambiguous by the episode. Okay, that's cool, but I sure liked him on the good side, although I imagine the actor's been waiting long enough to flex his theatrical muscles and do a bad-guy turn.

And Lilah! Sheesh. Every episode she's been in this season, I keep thinking, I wonder if the W&H Board isn't kicking themselves for letting Lindsey get away. They could've had a contender, instead, they end up with... Lilah. I just ain't skerd of her no more. She's easily manipulated, reacts too fast, and has plenty of good plans that get trompled right away or backfire. Either she's getting backstabbed by that sleaziest of sleazies, that real estate guy (and what happened to the whole "we'll condemn and evict you" plotline, anyway?) - or she's getting bamboolzed by AI as they somehow come out on top and she ends up doing the 40's film noir version of screeching that next time, she'll get them. I mean, how incompetent is she gonna have to look before more folks start asking the same question I ask, which is, just how in the sam hill did she get as far along as she did, given that the majority of her evil schemes tend to either blow up or fizzle out? She's turning into Angel's Spike (pre-chip), where it was a lot of sound and fury, but signified jack.

While I'm on the topic, I really do wish Lilah would screw her head on straight and come up with something really good - not necessarily to mess up AI, but just to one-up and shut- up, once and for all, that sleazy smarmy real estate guy at W&H. That guy really bugs me, and I've grown fond enough of Lilah in all her incompetence that I'd really like to see him get squashed, like I'm sure she could if she put her mind to it. *sigh*

[> Re: Absent Characters (spoilers for Benediction) -- Cactus Watcher, 11:32:47 05/14/02 Tue

I enjoyed Angel more when it was about Angel helping the helpless. Now there seem to be two themes, first as Sol says, who can brood the most, and second how many characters wanting to make Angel's life miserable can ME squeeze in. With Buffy on the depressing side still, it's hard to get more enthusiastic about gloom and angst on Angel.

[> Re: Absent Characters (spoilers for Benediction) -- Corwin of Amber, 12:37:12 05/14/02 Tue

Groo is a good contrast to all the jaded, broody types we see on the show. I'll definately miss him, and I think a lot of other fans will. Maybe they'll bring him back for an update on what he's doing sometime next season.
Actually there are a lot of characters I'd like to see come back once in a while. I liked Boone, from the second season, quite a bit.

[> [> Which one was Boone? -- vampire hunter D, 13:38:10 05/14/02 Tue

ANd btw, they also need to bring back Anne

[> [> [> Re: Which one was Boone? (spoilers for whatever episode Boone was in -AtS S2) -- matching mole, 13:47:26 05/14/02 Tue

Boone was a large and tough demon that Lindsey and Lilah hired to deal with Angel when they were donating money to Anne's shelter as a promotional stunt. However Boone and Angel double crossed Wolfram and Hart in some way I don't really remember (it involved a videotape). Boone had some sort of past history with Angel.

Bringing back Anne would be nice but they already have two many characters on the show. They don't seem to be able to find time to deal with them all effectively.

[> [> [> [> Re: OT but I can't sit on it any longer(spoilers for whatever episode Boone was in -AtS S2) -- Dead Soul, 16:51:53 05/14/02 Tue

The episode with the Wolfram & Hart sponsored fundraiser for Anne's shelter made me, as a former private not-for-profit director, absolutely squirm. This may have all been discussed when the episode aired, I wasn't an Angel, or even a BtVS watcher yet, and if so I apologize for rehashing, but...

Never in a million years would those donors have been contributing cash - they wouldn't have been able to write it off! Donors who wish to remain anonymous will occasionally donate cash, but these donors would never, in my experience, have attended a public event such the Big Hold-Up (or whatever they called it).

Genuine not-for-profit organizations have to submit 990's with the IRS and these forms, listing all types of income and expenses, become part of the public record. Any potential future donor (or foundation) will scrutinize those records for signs of mismanagement and one big sign of mismanagement would be a $2 million dollar grossing fundraiser that only netted $100,000.

Sorry for the rant, had to get it off my chest. Although I've been away from private fundraising for several years, I still cringe when I see the media getting it completely wrong. As I'm sure this board's lawyers, biologists, professors, etc., do - they're just better at restraining themselves!

Thanks for reading.

Dead Soul

[> [> Re: Absent Characters (spoilers for Benediction) -- Chris, 14:55:09 05/14/02 Tue

"Groo is a good contrast to all the jaded, broody types we see on the show. I'll definately miss him, and I think a lot of other fans will."

I was rather ambivilent towards Groo initially, but I'm really starting to like him. I actually felt bad for him when he told Lorne: "If my princess asks tell her I've gone for a walk.... only if she asks."

[> [> [> Re: Absent Characters (spoilers for Benediction) -- Corwin of Amber, 00:03:37 05/15/02 Wed

"If my princess asks tell her I've gone for a walk.... only if she asks."

That line touched me too. Groo oozes class and honor, even if he is a little dopey. At least, the current Cordy wont rip his heart out of his chest and stomp on it, like she would have in high school...or i HOPE she doesn't. Man, that would be hard to watch.

[> the "we'll condemn and evict you" plotline (early S3 spoilers) -- agent156, 13:58:47 05/14/02 Tue

That plotline was squashed by Lilah almost immediately. Once Gavin told her about his plan, she asked her secretary to get a forger on the phone, and then later in the episode she delivered a stack of papers to Angel that showed the hotel had everything it needed. This took place in the epsiode where that old man switched bodies with Angel. In fact it was when she delivered those papers to Angel, that the old man who was in his body started making out with her.

[> [> yes, but... ;-) -- Solitude1056, 17:55:42 05/14/02 Tue

She gave the papers to someone else in Angel's body, and there was no indication that Angel would therefore be aware of these papers... and then no mention afterwards whether AI found the papers & used them, or should we assume that Gavin saw her counterploy via his bugs, and decided to drop his whole purpose in life and go on and do something else? It wouldn't take much, just a comment, but such continuity is nice, especially when we see the sleazeball hanging around so much, and so clearly "in the know" even ahead of Lilah. (Okay, so that last part might not be hard, but still. Give the girl some credit at least for her tenacity.)

[> I rather like Gavin; he's refreshing -- verdantheart, 14:07:49 05/14/02 Tue

Kinda puts the shoe on the other foot for Lilah ...

[> Lilah and Gavin -- Can I be Anne?, 19:08:46 05/14/02 Tue

I constantly wonder as I watch the show, why Lilah and Gavin keep hanging out in each other's offices, spilling secrets and truths about their evil plans. They're like villians on the Batman cartoon! The continuing ineptness of W&H, Lilah most outstandingly, is the biggest gaping hole in the show, IMHO.

[> Re: Absent Characters (spoilers for Benediction) -- Valhalla, 20:39:17 05/14/02 Tue

Yes! Entirely with you on the Lilah thing. It's hard to understand her continued existence at a firm which prides itself on capital punishment for mistakes.

Spike as Truth Analysis - Finally - Long -- Tach, 12:00:52 05/14/02 Tue

I would like to thank the Board Momma for allowing me to submit this post; it is quite long.

I would also like to thank Linda DeLurked and Shadowkat, whose wonderful Irish influence has brought me to submit this analysis.

You know, initially, I started this out as an essay or thesis of Spike as a symbol of truth, I am no longer certain it applies. True, Spike is a complex character, and JM does a wonderful job of portraying him. I think that the choices he has made for Spike have been great and grand, leading us into a well developed character; who in truth was not supposed to really stick around as much as he has, let alone have the overall impact on the development of the show, or the development of the other characters that he has.

Soooo, I took a look at truth:

truth Pronunciation Key (trth)
n. pl. truths (trthz, trths)
1. Conformity to fact or actuality.
2. A statement proven to be or accepted as true.
3. Sincerity; integrity.
4. Fidelity to an original or standard.
a. Reality; actuality.
b. often Truth That which is considered to be the supreme reality and to have the ultimate meaning and value of existence.

Hmm, doesn’t quite sound like Spike does it? I mean, overall, I see spike as Joss does (I hope). Spike is the younger version of Giles, or what Giles could have been. But I also see Spike as Joss’ avatar. Joss has always said that he likes to give the audience what they need, not what they want or like. Spike does the same for the Scoobies. Where does this lead us?

Soooo, I took a look at Pragmatism:

Bruce Kimball identified six points of pragmatism in The Condition of American Liberal Education. They are:
1. that belief and meaning, even truth itself, are fallible and revisable;
2. that an experimental method of inquiry obtains in all science and reflective thought;
3. that belief, meaning, and truth depend on the context and the inter-subjective judgment of the community in which they are formed;
4. that experience is the dynamic interaction of organism and environment, resulting in a close interrelationship between thought and action;
5. that the purpose of resolving doubts or solving problems is intrinsic to all thought and inquiry; and
6. that all inquiry and thought are evaluative, and judgments about fact are no different from judgments about value.

Funny, as a self proclaimed pragmatist, it struck a nice chord with me. It also struck an odd chord that Spike would be a pragmatist, but I think it fit. Why odd? You may ask. Well, pragmatism is a uniquely American philosophy, one of the few. I guess I just find it interesting that somebody who grew up in Victorian London, would turn to a uniquely American philosophy. Although, I do not particularly find it surprising.

As nicely illustrated in “Lie to Me”:

Spike: Well, (slams the book and strides to Ford) I don't go much for tradition

Spike goes through great lengths to establish these nuances to his personality; mostly that he has rejected many of the standards of his Victorian past. We’ve seen this in Fool for Love (The most over quoted episode in Spike analysis, I will keep mine limited.), but also in “All the Way”:

SPIKE: It's Halloween, you nit! We take the night off. Those are the rules.

VAMP 1: (gets up) Me and mine don't follow no stinkin' rules! We're rebels! He takes a swing at Spike, who blocks it, head-butts him, and then kicks him in the chest. The vamp slams back against a tree trunk and slides down it to the ground.

SPIKE: No. I'm a rebel. You're an idiot.

Again, sweet, simple, direct and true. Rebellion does not mean doing what is in line, or fashionable to rebel against. It means going your own way, for your own reasons. Sometimes your rebellion may fall in line with the consensus of society at that time; sometimes it may not.

However, I digress.

Let us take a look at Spike’s first appearance; maybe we can see a little of that pragmatic spirit right off.

Spike first appeared in the episode “School Hard”, just finding his way around and poking a little bit:

Spike: So. Who do you kill for fun around here?

Collin: Who are you?

Spike: Spike. You're that Anointed guy. I read about you. (growls at vampire#2) You've got Slayer problems. That's a bad piece of luck. Do you know what I find works real good with Slayers? Killing them.

Collin: Can you?

Spike: A lot faster than Nancy-boy there. Yeah, I did a couple Slayers in my time. I don't like to brag. (can't keep a straight face) Who am I kidding? I *love* to brag! There was this one Slayer during the Boxer Rebellion, and...

Great! Here’s a little bit of honesty. “I love to brag!”, yeah, nothing wrong with it. When it’s true it’s not self- indulgent, just matter of fact. He does love to brag, but he’s earned the right to.

Buffy: (holding the ax) Do we really need weapons for this?

Spike: I just like them. They make me feel all manly.

Again, a nice little admittance in his opening episode. I’ll take a second to point out that at this particular time in the series, Spike was not intended to be a really recurring character, that was set up for Dru. He’s just taking his time to tell us who he’s about. He’s a bad*ss. Why? Because he’s earned the right to be. Look at him, he’s just a young vamp, by overall vamp standards and he’s the one who’s knocked off two slayers.

Taking a moment to reflect upon Spike’s rebellion or pragmatism, I want to look at one more little scene from “School Hard”, then we’ll move on.

Spike: I was rash, and if I had to do it all over again... (breaks out in laughter) Who am I kidding? (stands up) I would do it exactly the same, only I'd do this... (grabs Collin)

Collin: No!

Spike: ...first!

He carries Collin over to the cage. Vampire#2 tries to stop him, but Spike kicks back and knocks him out. He sticks Collin in the cage and closes and locks the door. Drusilla watches as Spike starts pulling a chain, lifting the cage up from the floor.

Spike: From now on, we're gonna have a little less ritual... (stops pulling the chain) ...and a little more fun around here. ‘

Here’s a vampire who hasn’t let go of something, and we know it. Look at that last little bit about ritual. He went off and killed the annointed one! Why? He was bored, sick of rules. This tells me something. I mean, the annointed one was supposed to be able to bring down the slayer. It was prophecy and whatnot. Yet, Spike doesn’t want it the easy way. He’s the cat, she’s the mouse. And with this particular slayer, he may be able to have some fun.

The other two slayers were about battle and fierceness, and honestly, a little bit of luck. We know this already. He didn’t really get the chance to strategize or study her, he didn’t get the chance to know her.

We see a different aspect of Spike in “Halloween”:

Spike: You see that? The way she stakes him with that thing? That's what's called resourceful. Rewind it again.

He’s studying, admiring, whatever you want to call it, but he’s intrigued, he’s having fun playing the chess game. But he’s also “man” enough to admit that she’s better than he previously had thought.

Here’s one of my favorite pieces of pragmatism. Spike’s first real hit at honesty, at being truthful; letting us see behind the façade (which he so nicely does at times). It comes through in “Becoming Part II” and again, has been quoted several times (Which means it’s important, right? )

Spike: We like to talk big. (indicates himself) Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' (looks at the officer) That's just tough guy talk. (steps over to the car) Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. (sits on the hood) The truth is, I like this world. (pulls the cigarette pack from the officer's shirt pocket) You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. (pulls one out and drops the pack on the officer) And you've got people. (exhales) Billions of people walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. (lights the cigarette and takes a drag) But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real... (exhales) passion for destruction. (takes another drag and looks at Buffy) Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Picadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You know what I'm saying?

Here really is a guy that knows his place, he admits that he doesn’t really want to destroy the world. I also personally wonder if this is where they decided that Spike was going to be a recurring character? It shows a deeper level to a bad guy than we’ve ever seen. It let’s us see concern, regret, hope, happiness, worry; a lot more than we are used to in a typically two-dimensional bad guy character.

Why is that? Why is it that he can simplify things so much? I think that it falls back to pragmatism. It falls back to being as honest as you can with yourself, now if that honesty includes knowing yourself as a liar; well, so be it. Again, though, I’ll back to the whole piece about Joss. Again, in “Becoming Part II”:

Spike: (faces them) You're *not* friends. You'll never be friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both. You'll fight, and you'll shag, and you'll hate each other till it makes you quiver, but you'll never be friends. (points at his temple) Love isn't brains, children, it's blood... (clasps his chest) blood screaming inside you to work its will.

Neither Buffy nor Angel want to hear this.

Spike: *I* may be love's bitch, but at least *I'm* man enough to admit it.

Again, some pretty hard stuff to admit. But then again, Spike’s a rebel isn’t he, he’s a pragmatist. He understands his role in life, and where he plays out in it. He tells you what he feels, and in his mind, it’s truth. Although this does sound a little rambling, take a quick look at “Pangs”:

Spike : You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what caesar did, and he's not going around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.

Simple, harsh, but to the point. Again, Occam’s Razor “Sometimes the simplest explanation is the right one”. This theory and aspect of Spike are well put to the test in “Family”:

ANYA: E-excuse me. What kind?

BETH: What?

ANYA: What kind of demon is she? There's a lot of different kinds. Some are very, very evil. And some have been considered to be useful members of society. (Smiles proudly. Xander turns to smile back at her.)

BETH: Well, I-I ... what does it matter?

MR. MACLAY: Evil is evil.

ANYA: Well, let's just narrow it down. (Xander nods)

SPIKE: Ohhh. (looks around) Why don't I make this simple.

Spike walks forward and taps Tara on the shoulder. When she turns, he punches her in the face.

Yup, sometimes the simplest explanation is the best one. There may have been other ways to prove Tara (poor Tara) was human, but this was the quickest and most effective. I will take a side note here to point out that this physically hurt Spike, yet he did it anyway. Again, pragmatic, proving a point.

I am not certain if Joss is a pragmatist, I am not absolutely certain if Spike communicates to the Scoobs for Joss, as Joss communicates with us. In “Into the Woods” Spike show Buffy what Riley has been up to, not for his own personal gain, but because she “needs to know”.

SPIKE: I wanna show you something.

BUFFY: (realizing he is serious) What?

SPIKE: You need to see this.

One of the nicer aspects of this particular episode his Spike’s much misunderstood diatribe with Riley:

SPIKE: (chuckling) Oh, man. You are really under it, aren't you?

RILEY: (angrily) What?

SPIKE: Look at you. All afraid I'm hot for your honey.

RILEY: (walks back toward Spike) Because you are.

SPIKE: Well ... yeah. But that's not your problem. Even if I wasn't in the picture, you're never gonna be able to hold onto her.

Riley puts his hand over Spike's hand that is covering the wound. He pushes his hand deeper into it.

SPIKE: Ow, bloody hell!

RILEY: Maybe I didn't almost kill you enough.

SPIKE: (in pain) Come on. You're not the long haul guy and you know it.

RILEY: Shut up.

SPIKE: You know it. Or else you wouldn't be getting suck jobs from two-bit vampire trulls.

Riley looks annoyed, lets go of Spike. Spike continues panting.

SPIKE: The girl needs some monster in her man ... and that's not in your nature... (He pushes away from the pillar, still holding his chest, and goes to sit in his chair) matter how low you try to go.

Spike is speaking the truth here, in the most simple terms. Not necessarily because of what Spike wants, or knows about Buffy’s prior relationships, it’s because he is “riffing” in pure Spike manner. Off the cuff, letting it roll, but telling Riley what he needs to know; he’s not the one for Buffy. We all know it, Buffy knows it, the Scooby’s know it, and somebody, anybody has to tell Riley. Spike just happens to be in the position of the guy without so much remorse, bad guilt or whatever may hold the rest of us back from telling Aunt Sue that her hat is not that pretty!

What I find very funny is the way Spike is often treated, I wonder how Joss feels? Do we, as fans, do the same to Joss as the Scoobys do to Spike? (I feel like a weird kind of flashback guy; umm, let’s roll “Blood Ties” here):

BUFFY: How could you let her find out like that? From books and papers? You hate me that much?

SPIKE: I was just along for the ride. Not like I knew she was mystical glowy key thing. Nobody keeps me in the bloody loop, do they?

BUFFY: (bangs the lid, steps back) You could have stopped her.

SPIKE: Oh, yeah, here it comes. Something goes wrong in your life, blame Spike. News flash, blondie. (Heaves the lid up off of him, tossing it aside) If kid sis wants to grab a midnight stroll, she'll find a way sooner or later. I just thought she'd be safer with big bad looking over her shoulder.

BUFFY: (glares at him silently for a moment) She shouldn't have found out like that.

SPIKE: You didn't think you could keep the truth from her forever, did you? (angrily) Maybe if *you* had been more honest with her in the first place, you wouldn't be trying to make yourself feel better with a round of Kick The Spike.

This scene was after Dawn found out she was “The Key”, which is going to have much further impact on the show later, but we’ve discussed that already. Spike was just along for the ride, but he’s still right. Take a look at what happened, everybody hid the truth from Dawn. She got a clue about it, and decided to break into the Magic Shop. Spike accompanied her; that’s it, not particularly evil. The blame he receives is unwarranted and undeserved, but the action had to happen; the pragmatist is the catalyst.

Some more great moments, again, we are not talking soul, good or anything like that; just pragmatism, in “Forever”, Spike helps Dawn in her effort to bring Joyce back from the grave. There are some great Dawn and Spike moments in here, but the one which most exemplifies what we are discussing here (pragmatism) follows:

One of the demon's heads bites Spike in the stomach and he screams with pain. He shoves it off and gets up as Dawn backs away quickly.

SPIKE: No, that's it.

Spike gets up, holding his side with one hand. With the other, he grabs the axe from the demon's neck and slams it into the demon's chest. The demon screams as blue blood seeps out. Spike pulls the axe out again.

DAWN: Spike!

Spike joins her at the stairs. The demon continues screaming.

DAWN: Sorry!

SPIKE: Did you get it?

Dawn holds up the egg to show him.

SPIKE: Don't be sorry then.

He might as well have said “Nobody forced me to come, I knew what I was getting into, and you got the results we were looking for, so don’t worry about it.” A little bit more of a translation, but the intonation is all there. Some really nice changes are seen in Spike as his love for Buffy grows, one of the best is in “Tough Love” when Dawn, Buffy and Spike are talking about Willow’s revenge, which nicely ties into this season:

DAWN: It's all my fault.

BUFFY: No. (brushes Dawn's hair back) Sweetheart, it is *not* your fault.

DAWN: (teary) How's Willow?

BUFFY: (continues stroking Dawn's hair) She was looking to go all payback-y on Glory for a minute. But I cooled her down a little. Actually a lot.

SPIKE: So she's not gonna do anything rash then.

BUFFY: No. I explained that there was no point.

SPIKE: (walks a little closer) Mm-hmm.

BUFFY: What?

SPIKE: You - so you're saying that a ... powerful and mightily pissed-off witch ... was plannin' on going and spillin' herself a few pints of god blood until you, what, "explained"? Buffy frowns, looks at Dawn and back at Spike.

BUFFY: You think she'd ... no. I told Willow it would be like suicide.

SPIKE: I'd do it. Buffy stares at him.

SPIKE: (looks down at the ground) Right person. Person I loved. (looks at Buffy) I'd do it.

I think that this scene is incredibly foretelling for what we are going to see next season; we got to see DarkWillow in this particular episode, and I also think we get to see a little bit more of Spike. But outside of the emotion, and the ties and his love for Buffy and all the blah-blah-blah of this scene is the honest; “Yeah, she’s going to do it.” Which, we all know, Willow did.

One of the most honest moments with Spike is in “Afterlife”. I think this is one of the most honest scenes ME has given Spike, and the one which most openly shows the truth of his pragmatism.

SPIKE: Listen. I've figured it out.

Spike lets go of Xander but doesn't move away, continues glaring at him.

SPIKE: (angrily) Maybe you haven't, but I have.

Spike still has tears in his eyes. He points toward the house.

SPIKE: Willow knew there was a chance that she'd come back wrong. So wrong that you'd have ... that she would have to get rid of what came back. And I wouldn't let her. If any part of that was Buffy, I wouldn't let her. And that's why she shut me out.

XANDER: What are you talking about? Willow wouldn't do that.

SPIKE: (sarcastic) Oh. Is that right.

XANDER: Look. You're just covering. Don't tell me you're not happy. (Spike scoffs) Look me in the eyes, and tell me when you saw Buffy alive, that wasn't the happiest moment of your entire existence.

Spike gives Xander a "you just don't get it" scowl, turns and walks off.

SPIKE: (as he walks) That's the thing about magic. There's always consequences.

It’s not just about the magic, but the fact that Spike would not let them hurt Buffy, no matter what. Spike knows this about himself. No matter what happened to her, whether she was evil, cursed, crazy, he would continue to love her, support her, help her, be with her, do anything for her; like he did with Dru….(Kind of funny,eh?)

I don’t want this to get into a Spike’s love for Buffy debate, so I am going to exclude some pragmatic examples which would be negatively influenced by Spike’s love. A lot of this season has focused around this relationship, as well as some of the inner developments of the Scoobys. I agree with Linda DeLurked and Doyle, that a lot of Yanks don’t particularly like this season. It’s too dark, too sad. Again, I fall back to the whole theory of mine that most Americans are raised on trivial fluff of entertainment. Too many “happy endings” and “half hour solutions”, no wonder we’re all going nuts over here. Adding a little diet of “the Irish” wouldn’t hurt, eh?

However, I digress from the analysis. There are a couple more points to make on the pragmatic avatar of ME which is Spike. They follow:

As you Were

SPIKE: Well, that's bloody funny coming from you! No more games? (Buffy rolling her eyes) That's all you've ever done is play me. You keep playing with rules you make up as you like. You know what I am. You've always known. You come to me all the same.

Hell’s Bells

SPIKE: (quietly) It's nice to watch you be happy. For them, even. I don't see it a lot. You, uh... you glow.


Normal Again

XANDER: I shoulda known you'd be tagging along.

BUFFY: (stands) Hey, guys. I, uh ... I found Spike and was, uh, trying to figure out what kind of dangerous contraband he had.

SPIKE: (looks disgusted, gets up) Tell you what, Slayer. (drops his cigarette and grinds it out with one foot) Let me get out of your way. (picks up grocery bag) I'll stop bothering you.

XANDER: Yeah, maybe you should do that, Spike, just run along.

SPIKE: You know, I guess you know all about that, don't you? (going over to Xander) The king of the big exit. (Xander lookng upset) Heard it brought the house down.

XANDER: I don't need this crap from you.

SPIKE: Right. Let's not listen to Spike. (turns to look at Buffy) Might get a bit of the truth on you.

Ouch! I love it!

Normal Again, again…

SPIKE: (slightly calmer) I hope you don't think this antidote's gonna rid you of that nasty martyrdom. (Buffy still not looking at him) See, I figured it out, luv. You can't help yourself. You're not drawn to the dark like I thought. Buffy looks up at him now, still frowning.

SPIKE: You're addicted to the misery. It's why you won't tell your pals about us. Might actually have to be happy if you did. They'd either understand and help you, god forbid ... or drive you out ... where you can finally be at peace, in the dark. With me. Either way, you'd be better off for it, but you're too twisted for that. (pauses) Let yourself live, already. And stop with the bloody hero trip for a sec. We'd all be the better for it.

I think that this is kind of a nice note to leave this little ramble of thoughts on. “Might get a bit of the truth on you” and “Stop with the bloody hero trip for a sec”. This does not include pieces from newer epis, but I’m pretty certain the whole pragmatic attitude still applies. Spike’s revelations in both “Entropy” and “Seeing Red” still apply. I think especially his turnaround regarding “Can’t be a monster, can’t be a man”.

Now, I’m not going to go into who Spike is, and how this affects him, but I definitely see him as Joss’ avatar. He gets to say what nobody else does; I guess this leads me to wonder if Marty’s avatar is Anya? Spike is definitely a pragmatist though, telling us what we need to hear, not what we want to and being honest in his own dishonesty and how he affects his universe.

Thank you for reading.

[> God, I am jealous of you lot ;) -- The Last Jack, 12:46:24 05/14/02 Tue

Brilliant post first off. Secondly, I wish I could write posts like that. Every now and then I will write a popular post that people respond to, but ultimately, I know I just don't have it in me to write something that will make people go WOW. Ah well, we can't all be great ;)

[> [> Re: God, I am jealous of you lot ;) -- Lyonors, 13:24:24 05/14/02 Tue

Wow--that was an awesome analysis of Spike. For me, at least, you summed up all the reasons I love him, (besides that little fact that he is just a bit sexy---but I digress...:o) he says what needs to be said at every turn, no matter how much it hurts. If I weren't running out of work right now, I would expand with the recent eps, maybe I will do that tonite before I go to bed.....


[> Re: Spike as Truth Analysis - Finally - Long -- Thomas the Skeptic, 12:54:10 05/14/02 Tue

Yes! Thank you, Tach! Pragmatism, the nature of truth (or Truth if you prefer) and the suggestion that Spike's penchant for speaking unpleasant facts to the Scoobies is like Joss telling his painful stories to his adoring audience? Brilliant! This is the "All Things Philosophical" I come to this board hungry to read.

[> Light, Dark and Entertainment; an Irish Tale -- Fred the obvious pseudonym, 13:41:17 05/14/02 Tue

"Ah, and there you go . . . thinking it's an American story, while it's been Irish all the time."

-- Frankie McGuire (Brad Pitt) in "The Devil's Own," 1997

A major factor in my enjoyment of BtVS is that the creators are true to the situation and their characters. [I think that there have been a few exceptions to this, but it is the rule far more than in other network TV series.] Many endings aren't happy Hollywood clones; people become hurt; actions have consequences.

In it's essence Buffy is a tragedy. She is our sacrifice to the forces of evil; there is no way out for our gladiator. Slayers need no retirement plan. There is no Saigon year, no thirty-mission tour; the only to leave the job is in a box. Buffy will never grow old -- except inside.

She knows this. "All Slayers have an expiration date -- I just want mine to be Cheetos." She has no future, only an eternal Now of struggle until she loses and the Powers that Be decant a new Slayer to be our new sacrifice for our survival.

Like the Irish Republican Army, once in never out.

[> [> Russian stories aren't that upbeat either -- The Last Jack, 14:08:59 05/14/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Light, Dark and Entertainment; an Irish Tale -- clg0107, 14:47:35 05/14/02 Tue

>>In it's essence Buffy is a tragedy. She is our sacrifice to the forces of evil; there is no way out for our gladiator. >>Slayers need no retirement plan. There is no Saigon year, no thirty-mission tour; the only to leave the job >>is in a box. Buffy will never grow old -- except inside.

Which is why, in Buffy's case, Spike had a point in SR -- that's she's looking for old married love. But her life isn't going to be like that. So he's right that for her, grabbing at the passionate sort of thing that's available is about as much as she can hope for. And that's true, no matter with whom she seeks or finds it.


[> [> [> Re: Light, Dark and Entertainment; an Irish Tale -- Simone, 15:28:10 05/14/02 Tue

I think there was another point that Spike was making with the "old marrieds" comment. Real trust comes with time and the passing of many, many trials. But first you must be willing to take the risk. The only thing that's guaranteed is that, if you don't give it a chance, it's not going to work. Riley was absolutely right in "Doomed" and Buffy still hasn't figured it out.

[> [> [> [> Excellent point -- I didn't get that from what he said at first. Perhaps on second viewing! -- clg0107, 08:06:15 05/15/02 Wed

[> Spike the master Manipulator -- Dochawk, 15:09:48 05/14/02 Tue

The common perception around this place is exactly what youlaid out. That Spike tells the Scoobies what they need to know, not what they want to hear and ofttimes its true. But Spike frequently lies, misrepresents the truth and shades his interpetations to the darker side for his always selfish desires.

I dont have the time to go through all of your episodes and points, so I'll just discuss one, cause its a biggie. Its the first time Spike and Buffy become allies, Becoming II

From your essay:

"Spike: We like to talk big. (indicates himself) Vampires do. 'I'm going to destroy the world.' (looks at the officer) That's just tough guy talk. (steps over to the
car) Strutting around with your friends over a pint of blood. (sits on the hood) The truth is, I like this world. (pulls the cigarette pack from the officer's shirt
pocket) You've got... dog racing, Manchester United. (pulls one out and drops the pack on the officer) And you've got people. (exhales) Billions of people
walking around like Happy Meals with legs. It's all right here. (lights the cigarette and takes a drag) But then someone comes along with a vision. With a real...
(exhales) passion for destruction. (takes another drag and looks at Buffy) Angel could pull it off. Goodbye, Picadilly. Farewell, Leicester Bloody Square. You
know what I'm saying?

Here really is a guy that knows his place, he admits that he doesn’t really want to destroy the world. I also personally wonder if this is where they decided that
Spike was going to be a recurring character? It shows a deeper level to a bad guy than we’ve ever seen. It let’s us see concern, regret, hope, happiness,
worry; a lot more than we are used to in a typically two- dimensional bad guy character."

Spike tells Buffy he wants to help her save the world. But does he? Dru is knocked unconsious and Angelus and Buffy are fighting to the death. Angelus has Buffy defenseless, Spike carrying Dru walks by, sees this and says "he's gonna kill her" does he go to help save the world? Nope he leaves because he has gotten what he wants, Dru. Spike tells Buffy what she needs to hear to get her to help him with his goal.

There are many other instances, another famous one I discussed below, regarding "all slayers have a death wish". I will leave the further arguement to those who write and argue much more brilliantly than I can. But, this uncritical view of Spike as truthsayer is simply not supportd by his deeds.

[> [> These are really different subjects. -- Traveler, 20:11:33 05/14/02 Tue

"Spike tells Buffy what she needs to hear to get her to help him with his goal . . . but, this uncritical view of Spike as truthsayer is simply not supportd by his deeds."

Tach wasn't suggesting anything about Spike's character or motivations. In fact, he was struggling mightly to stay away from just the sort of discussion you are starting. Rather, he was simply noting that Spike often is often put into the role of a truthsayer, and there is a lot of evidence to support this.

[> [> [> Re: These are really different subjects. -- Tach, 04:57:41 05/15/02 Wed

Yeah, what he said. :)

I agree that Spike is not a truthsayer, this is why I changed the overall arc of my little essay. I think my main points here, if I actually have any other than rambling, are that Spike is Joss' avatar and that Spike is a pragmatist.

Looking at the latter first, I think that even Spike's betrayals and last minute switch arounds have supported him as a pragmatist. (Such as his whole relationship with Adam, but final turnaround there.)

As Joss's avatar, I don't think that he is acting in this role constantly, but it definitely pops up.

Again, Spike lies, definitely. However, he's aware of this, and accepts it. This is a part of pragmatism.

[> [> [> [> OK I can buy that -- Dochawk, 07:01:29 05/15/02 Wed

[> Just a short note... -- Wynn, 20:32:16 05/14/02 Tue

I enjoyed your essay. It was a fresh analysis of Spike, well thought out and written in a conversational manner (which is a good thing in my book because it makes the essay easier to "get into"). Anyway, loved the essay. I'd be interested to read more of your BtVS related essays/analyses.


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