May 2002 posts

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Anya's Path (Spoilers through Villains) -- Ixchel, 22:18:25 05/14/02 Tue

I was very impressed with Anya in Villains. I think she's realizing the emptiness of vengeance. Her behavior at the end of Entropy (not letting Spike wish) seemed like a beginning for her and this appears to have been developed further in the following episodes. It was obvious (to me) that her heart wasn't really in being a vengeance demon in SR. Now, in Villains, she showed true concern (IMHO) for Willow (trying to stop Willow in her quest for vengeance and stating to Xander that she would help for _Willow_, perhaps implying not _him_). And, I believe, her look of horror at what Willow had done to Warren wasn't the flayed body (Anya's seen and done worse things), but that Willow might be lost because of this act. I'm feeling very hopeful for Anya.

I'm wondering if Spike is on a similar path, only he is where Anya was at the beginning of Entropy. I'd like to think so.


[> Re: Anya's Path (Spoilers through Villains) -- Alvin, 02:59:27 05/15/02 Wed

Since I haven't seen Villains (the joys of living in a non- UPN area where we get to see Buffy five days later, hockey and baseball games permitting), I haven't seen Anya's look of horror, but my first though on reading your post was something completely different. Remember, d'Hoffryn wanted Willow to be a vengence demon and the way Willow killed Warren would look good on a resume for a vengence position. Considering how we've seen Anya act with her client in SR, I would say Anya's having trouble making her quota for the month so maybe she sees Willow as competition.

[> [> I think probably we would disagree about Anya in general? -- Ixchel, 08:39:58 05/15/02 Wed

I really see hope for Anya's psychological growth in this episode. Maybe, once you see Villains, you'll understand why I think this, even if you don't have the same interpretation of her behavior?

BTW, that's awful that you have to wait so long. Talk about _evil_. ;)


[> [> [> I agree with you , Ixchel. -- Tillow, 08:51:30 05/15/02 Wed

I think the point of all the recent scenes with Anya(nka) is that her time as a human has changed her view on the difference between vengeance and justice. She is growing up. The question is, does she have to be human to do that? I think not because I think it is part of Xander's journey to accept her as she is now. MPO.


[> [> [> [> Thank you, Tillow. I really appreciate that... -- Ixchel, 09:28:37 05/15/02 Wed

Maybe more because I admire your ideas very much.

I was wondering if (at some point) we would see Anya smash her pendant as some sort of final realization of the pointlessness of vengeance. Of course, now that you say that about Xander, I'm rethinking this because that makes perfect sense for his character.

Can she be a vengeance demon and not exact vengeance (through her own choice)? Would D'Hoffryn take away her pendant once he realized she was no longer performing her function (I really don't believe she will again)?

Perhaps Xander will accept her and then she will destroy the pendant?


[> [> [> [> [> As for Xander... -- alcibiades, 16:40:18 05/15/02 Wed

Whatever she does about D'Hoffryn and her vengeance job, it can't be about Xander accepting her. Xander has got to grow up also. Even last night, even when he needed Anya's help, Xander was still being all superior and looking down at her. Of course, some of that was defensiveness, but it reeks of his father's prejudices. His whole prejudice system has got to be stripped away. And with his best man Willow suddenly become a bad witch, it's really going to call his values into question.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I agree. She shouldn't do it because of Xander... -- Ixchel, 17:20:53 05/15/02 Wed

But because _she_ comes to some sort of realization (I think she's on this path).

I agree about Xander's attitude, but he must have been surprised. He hasn't seen Anya like we have (the end of Entropy and in Villains _not_ exacting vengeance, trying to stop Willow), for all he (and Buffy, though she seemed more open to Anya) knows Anya has been doing her job since HB. If he'd had time to think he may have (or may not have considering the self deception of everyone this season) stopped to wonder why he wasn't presently splattered all over SD (or something more gruesome, Anya told him enough about her demon days). The having someone else wish is not really _that_ much of a hindrance.

I do believe he loves her still. For all his cruel remarks in Entropy he did try to help her at the MB and seemed concerned about her well-being.


[> [> [> Re: I think probably we would disagree about Anya in general? -- Alvin, 13:42:28 05/15/02 Wed

When I see it, I'm sure I'll agree with you; it was very early in the morning and I was feeling contrary. Sorry! And their programming really is EVIL. Try to imagine the pain and horror of having Buffy shown at 4 AM Saturday, setting the VCR to tape the episode, rushing to the VCR and finding out that you taped an infomercial because the local TV station runs its program day from 6AM to 6AM and what they, the EPTT ( Evil Powers That Transmit) call 4AM Saturday is what the rest of the world calls 4AM SUNDAY. I eventually got it figured out and hadn't actually missed Buffy, but I almost had a heartattack when I thought I had missed Entropy.

[> [> [> [> Please don't apologize. You have the excuse of being subject... -- Ixchel, 16:13:08 05/15/02 Wed

To that very cruel (well to a Buffy fan) BtVS schedule. My sympathies, truly. :)


[> Anya and culpability (more spoilers) -- Darby, 05:35:58 05/15/02 Wed

We've been shown kinda sideways what Anya's been doing for a millenium, and might have done here if Willow had let her. There's much talk here about the "rules" and how the killing of humans is absolutely wrong for the heroes, but isn't that a big part of Anya's job? Most of the vengeance suggestions she's been making these past couple of episodes would have killed the bad guys (and they weren't even Bad Guys), and although distracted, she seems at once the Anya we've come to know and the Anyanka we know she was all that time - not a human controlled by an evil demon, but a human merged with but hardly changed by some sort of demon essence.

I had that "Whoa!" moment at the skinning and flaming (does the burning hurt as much if your skin, and therefore most of your nerve endings, are gone?), but if the Scoobies and we can accept Anya, surely Willow hasn't done anything unforgiveable.

[> [> Re: Anya and culpability (more spoilers) -- Ixchel, 09:06:26 05/15/02 Wed

I really got the impression (before Willow "suspended" her) that Anya was trying to dissuade Willow. Maybe as a vengeance demon she would have been compelled to exact vengeance if Willow had wished, but maybe not. Or maybe, Anya would have done this for Willow (killed Warren) to save Willow from it. Anya is pragmatic, perhaps believing that what she did wouldn't matter (what would Warren's death be compared to other things she's done), but she worried about the loss of Willow? IMHO, Anya has learned (is learning) something. I believe she cares about Willow (and Willow her, that hug in Entropy) and doesn't want Willow to go down this path. Maybe I'm misinterpreting, but Anya's face and words implied this to me.

I'm not sure if the flaying killed Warren (maybe it did) and Willow was just disposing of the body?

As to your last statement, I think you have something here, maybe that's the point (forgiveness)? Rahael has an excellent post ("my thoughts are all a case of knives") below that expresses this beautifully.


Pain as a Barrier to Light......Willow.***spoilers to include season end*** -- Rufus, 00:10:21 05/15/02 Wed

Willow was called Buffy's "big gun" in The Wish in season five, now she's proven that some people are too immature to handle firearms. In "Villians" we get to see exactly what happens when Willow finally crosses the line in regards to magic, the one thing she thought she had power over. Tara is dead, a senseless killing, if you can make sense of why people kill, cause it's usually the same old, same old....greed, jealousy, lust. Willow was kept on an even keel by Tara, who was her link to light, and all it's meanings.........Herders Dictionary of symbols....

Light: An omnipressent phenomenon that is known in its effects but is to a great extent incomprehensible in its essence, it is a common symbol of immateriality, spirit, and God, but also of life and happiness. A yet finer distinction exists between the light of the Sun, symbolizing inspiration and spiritual union, and the light of the moon, which, as reflected light, symbolizes indirect knowing via rational, discursive thought.

-Light often occurs in contrast to Darkness, which in such cases usually represents the failure to recognize, spiritual dullness, morally underdeveloped or inferior realms and conditions, death, misfortune, or mystery. - The spatial concepts "above" and "below" (see Height and Depth) correspond symbolically to the relationship of light and darkness. -Practically all fundamental principles based on a twofold division of the world make reference to the differentiation of light and darkness (e.g., Ormazd and Ahriman, Yin and Yang, angels and demons, spirit and matter, male and female). For many peoples the idea of a ascent from darkness to the light plays an important role in the development of both the individual and humanity; numerous initation rites are also based on this duality.

-The seperation of light and darkness as the positing of the primal order at the creation of the world occurs in the cosmogonic concepts of many peoples. -Mystics speak sometimes of a darkness that lies "beyond" (in contrast to "below") the light of knowledge and that symbolizes the fundamental inscrutability of God.

-In art an Aureole, nimbus, or Halo visually expresses the spirtual illumination of a person.

Willow has always been the geek type, the insecure little girl who felt powerless, unable to see her posative atributes as she was so busy ruminating over her failings or perceived flaws. Then she found something she was very good at...magic. Willow started her trip into the magical arts like one would embark on a science experiment, then she found out that she had actual talent beyond the beaker and burner experiments in magic. Willow remained in Sunnydale to help others, keep them safe from danger. But this talent of Willows never took away that feeling that she was less, the sidekick, never the hero. Magic took her to a level of confidence she never had before until Oz suddenly left her, in pain. Willow has proven that she doesn't much like pain, wants to go through it the easy way, like in Something Blue......

Buffy: Drunk..?

(Willow laughs and picks up the bottle)

Willow: Drunk.. I mean, that's such a-a strong word. Kind of a guttural Anglo-Saxon word. Drunk.

Xander: Will, not loving the drowning of the sorrows.

Willow: Not drowning — wading. A-a-and.. See? (She points to the beer bottle) Light. No big.

Buffy: No big? Anyone remember when Buffy had the fun beer- fest and went one-million years B.C.?

Xander: Sadly without the fuzzy bikini..

Anya: Off topic, Xander.

Xander: Right. Topic now. (He gets up and walks to Willow) Will, how about you give me that beer?

Willow: No! Why should I? I've got pain, here — big-time legitimate pain.

Xander: We all have pain, Will.

Willow: Oh, like what? "Oh, poor me.. I live in a basement." Yeah, that's dire.

(Xander, offended, just shakes his head and walks back to the table. Buffy stands and takes Willow's arm)

Buffy: Okay, you know what? That's it — I'm taking you home.

Willow: (Pulls her arm away) No, I don't want to.

Buffy: Well, you'll thank me when you still have a friend in the morning.

Willow: I just can't stand feeling this way. I want it to be over.

Buffy: It will. I promise. But it's gonna take time.

Willow: Well, that's not good enough.

Buffy: I know. It's just how it is. You have to go through the pain.

Willow: Well, isn't there someway I can just make it go away? Just ‘cause I say so? Can't I just make it go ‘poof'?

Willow wants pain to go away, go poof, but the trouble is, pain can't be ignored, it has to be lived through. The pain of losing Tara isn't something Willow will find has an easy solution. No spell can take away the pain of losing the love of your life. For Willow, Tara was a connection to light, to living. Now that connection to light is gone. Willow tried to bring her back tonight...

Willow: Hear me...Keeper of Darkness!
Demon: Witch! How dare you invoke Osiris in this task.
Willow: Please....Please bring her back.
Demon: You may not violate the Laws of Natural Passing.
Willow: How? How is this natural?
Demon: It is a Human death by Human means.
Willow: But I......
Demon: You raised one killed by mystical forces. This is not the same. She is taken by Natural Order. It is done.
Willow: No! There has to be a way!
Demon: It!
Willow: (screams) Nooooo

First thing I notice is part of Willows problem....she says "but I", she thinks she is the power that brought Buffy back, instead of someone who invoked the powers that did the actual job. Willow is arrogant, thinks her will is all that is needed to manipulate a situation, she is about to pay for that. This plea to the power starts Willow back on the road to opening the door to primal forces that are closed off against this world for a reason. Willow goes and gets a power surge from the books at the Magic Shop, stopping demon Anya in her tracks, too powerful to stop by human and some demon means. Warren went to Rack to get some tricks of his own and Rack says the one thing that describes Willow best.....

Rack: Girl is running on pure Fury. I've never felt anything like it.

The word fury has a meaning beyond anger...Violent, uncontrolled action; turbulence. This brings me back to the Primal Forces that Giles warned Willow about in Becoming1 and Flooded and tonight what Buffy said to Dawn......

Buffy: We can't control the universe. If we were supposed to ...then the magic wouldn't change Willow the way it does. And....We'd be able to bring Tara back. And Mom. There are limits to what we can do. There should be. Willow doesn't want to believe that and now she's messing with forces that want to hurt HER....ALL OF US.

Just like there is a division between darkness and light, there is a division between the natural order and primal forces. Willow is screwing around with things she wasn't meant to, she can't see that because the only thing she see's....has dark. The loss of Tara is the loss of light to Willow, now all she can feel is pain, this pain has brought her to powers that aren't her friend, want to harm the world as the Scoobies know it, and Willow is only a solitary creature of darkness, cut off from the world, living in the pain. A pain that doesn't go away by killing the man who wronged her. Willow says it best to Warren at the end.....

Willow: One tiny piece of metal...destroys ripped her insides out..Took her light away....from me. From the World.

I did a post on the Symbolic use of Tara, I compared Tara the lover of Willow to the goddess of love, compassion, who brings the lost to enlightenment. With Tara gone, Willow is in the dark, but this darkness is partly her own making. Remember the symbolic use of black in Willow this episode and next....
Black: it can express both the abundance of life and its total emptiness. In the sense of the undifferentiatied and abysmal, it often appears as the designation of darkness, primal chaos, and death. As the color of mourning, it is closely associated with resigned pain(thus differing from the light color white, which signals hope).

You can kill a girl, but you can't kill love, you can't take away love, compassion, do that yourself by cutting yourself off from the living, trying to stay with the dead. By doing things the way Willow has chosen to, she has forgotten what Tara is all about, but I feel that Tara will always find her, if only by guiding her somehow back to the light.

[> Re: Pain as a Barrier to Light......Willow.***spoilers to include season end*** -- Rufus, 03:16:31 05/15/02 Wed

I forgot to add how I saw the scene where Willow takes the magic from the books in the Magic Shop. If you consider the problem of the vampire as caused by an infection, the same can be said of Willow. I see the introduction of the dark magic two ways..first like an infection introduced into a body spreading through infecting the host with darkness, or like the addiction analogy that everyone so hates, the drug or dark magic going through the body starting at a point in the arms where drugs are usually (I know there are many other points for hypes)injected, drawn up through the body creating a high. Willow seemed to view the magic as something she had control over, something she had the power to stop, like any junkie, she has deluded herself. So infection, addiction...the vampire's lot and Willows are similar, hosts acting against the norm due to an infection or in the case of dark magic, a power high. This is what Willow does to forget the pain, get it to go poof! What she doesn't know is that the power will take over, dragging her along for a ride she never anticipated.

[> [> Re: Pain as a Barrier to Light......Willow.***spoilers to include season end*** -- Dedalus, 08:12:12 05/15/02 Wed

Excellent points, Ruf, as always. In theory as well as presentation. Loved the symbolism stuff.

Okay, so in what ... *checks watch* ... in precisely twenty- two and a half hours, I'll be viewing that new tale that's still sat in a galaxy far, far away. The minute I read the spoilers on Anakin and Willow, I could see how their journeys were going to be quite similiar.

When TIME magazine asked Lucas how and why does Anakin turn to the dark side, he replied, "He turns into Darth Vader because he gets attached to things. He can't let go of his mother; he can't let go of his girlfriend. He can't let go of things. It makes you greedy. And when you're greedy, you're on the path to the dark sid, because you fear you're going to lose things, that you're not going to have the power that you need."

This parallels Willow's own descent into the dark. Buffy realizes that human beings can't control everything, nor should they try. Willow does not. And she needs, in her own words, "power." It's trying to draw straight lines all over a universe that is inherently wiggly. Like Anakin, she wants to bring "order to the galaxy." That is to say, her version of order.

So in both cases, it's about not being able to let go. It's about desiring permanence in an impermanent world. It's about a dire need for security. This is what the dark side in both cases plays upon. When you can't let go of things, you set yourself up on a mad conquest, and have to have more and more power in order to control everything. Yet as my dear bud Alan Watts points out, life is only worth living because we're not in control of it.

[> [> [> Beautiful post Rufus -- ramses 2, 09:25:18 05/15/02 Wed

Mostly lurker on this board but I love your posts.

[> [> [> Re: Pain as a Barrier to Light......Willow.***spoilers to include season end*** -- Willow's insecurity, 15:03:43 05/15/02 Wed

Poor Willow. She needs security, because she's never felt secure in herself or in relation to other people. Always afraid that what she wants will be taken away, because either she doesn't deserve it (in her mind) or because she so seldom got what she wanted. If she is in control, she won't be so afraid, and as someone stated so well (sorry- can't remember who), all the scoobies are letting their fears turn them into what they most dread.
To misquote Princess Leia: the tighter your grasp, the more what you want will slip away.

[> [> [> I agree and would add... -- A8, 16:55:04 05/15/02 Wed

that Willow has always sought the meaning of her own identity in others--first Xander, then Buffy and Gles, Oz, and finally, Tara. Never able or willing to make the effort to seek the answers from within, she's always turned to external forces to define herself--her friendships, love relationships, academics, and magic. This is the usual recipe for disaster. It reflects a basic fear to confront one's flaws, to know one's self.

It's also the classic character flaw of many an addict. Rather than tolerating the pain necessary to work through her problems she takes the "easy" route and medicates herself from without. Although I don't entirely agree with the methodology of 12 step programs, one of the more logical steps to break the addiction IMHO is the necessity to surrender the notion that one can control everything in life. In 12 step programs, it is often referred to as believing in a higher power, but in my mind it can be read to mean adopting the kind of detachment Dedalus comments on in his post, above. Buffy demonstrated her ability to free herself from attachment in The Gift, saved her friends and the world and was aptly rewarded as a consequence. That's why, despite all her human flaws, she is the show's hero.

Willow has always been the show's "Darth Vader in the wings" since she's never once exhibited the willingness to let things be. This was never so evident than when she brought Buffy back from a Hell that never existed, patted herself on the back for it and then refused to accept fully her responsibility (instead tried to cover her tracks with a spell sloppily executed and threaten those who would question her judgment) for ripping her "friend" out of a world of eternal bliss to a world of daily torment. This is why Willow could never be the hero--she has always lacked the fundamental character to be anything more than the sidekick. Everyone fulfills their respective roles here and it makes for some great drama.

[> [> [> [> Re: I agree and would add... -- Arethusa, 18:33:41 05/15/02 Wed

And in these respects she reminds me of Wesley, who is going through a similiar dilemma. He, too, is unable to confront his flaws, and therefore is unable to compensate for them. He does not (IMO) like himself either. When Wes first arrived in Sunnydale, he depended on his position with the CoW to give him authority, respect and obedience; none of which he was able to earn on his own behalf. When the Council fired him, he tried fight demons on his own, and failed miserably. Working at AI gave him back his self- respect, but since he, like Willow, looked to others to validate himself, when he lost his job and friends he lost everything. That is what makes him potentially vulnerable to Lilah's rapacious advances, and what made Willow turn so easily to dark magicks.

[> Beautiful post! -- Caroline, 12:41:48 05/15/02 Wed

I was saying something similar in my post below. Willow has to go through the pain and get to the other side, where the healing can begin. Lovely post!

[> [> The dialogue I used is from the show and Closed Caption....spoilers to end of season. -- Rufus, 14:13:45 05/15/02 Wed

Thanks Caroline, I read your post after I posted mine. I had been off taking notes and double checking with the Closed Caption transcripts. I go through the dialogue to see what state of mind the characters are in, and to see what hints the writers have left in the dialogue. They left a couple of juicy ones in what Buffy said about the power. She spoke of the force that in Willow like it is a seperate entity, one that wants to hurt Willow as well as the rest of them. That is very important in how they deal with them in the series finale. It also explains why Buffy will forgive Willow, happy to have her friend back. To Buffy, saving her friend is more important than blaming her, some viewers would do well to follow Buffy's lead. If we consider the 12 steps of AA, we should remember number step number one, hell I'll give them all....

The heart of the suggested program of personal recovery is contained in Twelve Steps describing the experience of the earliest members of the Society:

1. We admitted we were powerless over alcohol - that our lives had become unmanageable.

2. Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.

3. Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him.

4. Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.

5. Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.

6. Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character.

7. Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings.

8. Made a list of all persons we had harmed, and became willing to make amends to them all.

9. Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

10. Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

11. Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with God as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out.

12. Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics and to practice these principles in all our affairs

Buffy wants the friend she loves back, and the power in Willow is preventing that, Buffy clearly see's the power as a seperate entitiy, one that wooed Willow with promises of recognition, and relief from pain. In the series finale, and clearly in the promo for next week, Willow doesn't feel relief from pain from killing Warren, it has just brought her to a new low, one that has her in more pain. Like in the first step of AA, Willow has become powerless and her life no longer manageable. But unlike AA, the power in Willow is a force with an adgenda all it's own, unrelated to anything Willow wants or desires, it is only using Willows pain as a template for destruction. This force has enveloped Willow in darkness, leaving her lost in her despair, no high able to lift her to her former self.

[> [> [> Re: The dialogue I used is from the show and Closed Caption....spoilers to end of season. -- Caroline, 14:59:54 05/15/02 Wed

I agree with what you are saying in the sense that any feeling that Willow (or we) have about ultimate control of our lives, our selves in terms of our dark, destructive urges is an illusion. When I talk about this stuff I'm always reminded of a line of Walt Whitman's 'I contain multitudes'. Who's to say that a lifetime is enough to explore all that potential?

I think that where I differ with you is that I think that this is all coming from Willow, that the lack or emptiness that she feels within herself has certainly attracted to herself all these dark forces she is becoming involved with. Willow's use of darker magicks has been slowly escalating for the last few seasons and now she has stepped over the line. The reason that she's gone off the deep end is that she hasn't really learnt the lessons from the previous encounters. So life has a way of making you face the same issues over and over again in an ever more powerful form until you get it right and learn the lesson. But I do believe that Willow has what is necessary within herself to shine the light through the darkness. She's not just the person who is doing all sorts of horrible stuff because of the pain she is in, she is also the sweet, loving caring person we have seen throughout the series. The depth of the love that she had for Tara will show her that and I believe that love is what will eventually save her. When she feels that she is worthy to feel that love of herself, not just others.

[> [> [> [> Good and Evil......spoilers to end of season -- Rufus, 16:06:14 05/15/02 Wed

Notice in the twelve steps that even though a person may become powerless in regards to the substance they abuse they have to take responsibility for their actions and make amends. Good and evil exist in us all waiting for the things that can bring out either in us. Willow has always been considered a person of light, but her hidden insecurities were there waiting to be exploited. The power that threatens the world may be around by Willows invocation, but she would never have let the power loose had she been in her right mind. Remember Buffy says the power wants to hurt Willow and us, that is an important line to take over to the finale next week. Willow didn't just wake up one morning and go "Hey! I'll destroy the world, great plan!", she had to be guided into a state where she no longer cared, be it Tara or something else, the influence that has Willow only had time on it's side.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Good and Evil......spoilers to end of season -- shadowkat, 19:25:39 05/15/02 Wed

"Willow has always been considered a person of light, but her hidden insecurities were there waiting to be exploited. The power that threatens the world may be around by Willows invocation, but she would never have let the power loose had she been in her right mind. Remember Buffy says the power wants to hurt Willow and us, that is an important line to take over to the finale next week. Willow didn't just wake up one morning and go "Hey! I'll destroy the world, great plan!", she had to be guided into a state where she no longer cared, be it Tara or something else, the influence that has Willow only had time on it's side."

Agree - it wasn't just Tara that pushed her, its what drove her to magic in the first place. Remember what she tells
Buffy in Wrecked? "Who would you rather be? Just a girl or
a superhero - oh I guess you never really had that choice."
Willow was the Captain of the nerd squad. Amy gets her to
go out in Smashed with the line: "do you just want to stay home like you did in high school?" (none of this dialogue
is exact - because my home system doesn't access two sites
at once well - but you get the gist). This is the reason she started magic in the first place - partly as a rebellion to her parents, partly to be considered valuable and partly to change her image, to gain empowerment.

The series is about female empowerment and how we seek it.
Buffy has it - but she gets it from her moral compass, from her ability not to just kill anything - to be the hero, like Giles states in the Gift when he kills Ben. Willow - doesn't have Buffy's inner strength. She's insecure about herself. Her parents barely notice her. Until Tara came along, Willow felt alone like a third wheel. Tara was her's.
Remember what Tara says in New Moon Rising (I think that's the episode) when Willow tells her she just wants something that is hers, something or someone who makes her feel special. And Tara says - "I am you know. yours." Now that
has been ripped from her. It's more than just losing a girlfriend or a lover, more than even Buffy losing Angel, or
Giles losing Jenny, it's losing your spirit, your heart,
what makes you want to get up in the morning. (And remember what Buffy and Giles did when they thought they were losing Angel or Jenny? Buffy went recklessly after Spike and Dru and knocked a piano on them, she went to hell after sending Angel there and left her calling. Giles went after Angelus on his own almost getting killed.) Willow's spirit was ripped from her without warning and nothing she
can do can bring it back. Without that spirit, that calming light - all of Willow's emotions have been released, boiled
up and taken over. And what Giles says in Pangs is true - once vengence begins - it's never sated, it never ends. All
it wants is to kill. Buffy is right - Willow has lost control of her emotions of her power - it has consumed her.
What we see is not really Willow any more. It's Willow's id, the emotional core.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Good and Evil......spoilers to end of season -- Rufus, 20:22:23 05/15/02 Wed

What we see is not really Willow any more. It's Willow's id, the emotional core.

Look at the dialogue between Buffy and Dawn about Willow and tells you what has happened to Willow. It's no longer Willow running the show, she drew dark magic into herself and has become something else. It was a big hint to what happens next week.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Good and Evil......spoilers to end of season -- Caroline, 07:26:30 05/16/02 Thu

Still disagree. It think that the good and bad parts are all coming from Willow. Noone else. And that's what she has to take responsibility for. In psychological terms, she has to recognise that these things are parts of her, she has to understand why she's like this, forgive herself for it, and accept herself as she is. That means that she still is who she is, good and bad part all, but that she has enough of her own identity to hold and contain all the parts of herself so that her rage does not spill over to everything else and destroy the world. Her anger right now is the anger of a child - but I'll stop here 'cos I'll just be repeating my post on her journey and there's work to be done!

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Quote from David Fury interview.....spoilers for Two to go and Grave -- Rufus, 14:46:30 05/16/02 Thu

C: How are the fans going to come back from this? Fans are protetive of Willow.

D: She could skin you alive.

K: Horrific and gruesome, not just killing him.

D: You have to consider the fact, will be more clear when you see the last two episodes. This isn't Willow anymore. She is something not of herself. The same thing Willow did, Spike commited attrocities. Some people are forgiving of that. You blame the demon.

D: It's not a soul issue, is she the Willow that we know? She has so much power now and so much in here. You will see next week, it's not really her. She will have a lot to deal with, and btw this is no paralell universe, no alternate dimension. Willow will be paying for it and dealing with it next season.

When I originally wrote my post I hadn't heard the Fury interview, it was what Buffy had said about the power that wanted to hurt Willow, hurt us, that sent me in the direction I went. So, all we can do is wait til next week and see what happens.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> If she's not responsible, why does she have to pay? -- Caroline, 21:21:09 05/16/02 Thu

Of course Buffy doesn't want to think that Willow is capable of this. But it was a possessed person I saw grieving over Willow, asking Osiris to give Tara back, seeking the dark magic in her resolve for vengeance against Warren. That was all Willow's choice, not a demon's. To me, it was the logical progression of her past behaviour. To cop out and say it's not her would be as horrible a plot point as the addiction thing and it would have the same effect - Willow would learn nothing, she wouldn't find the causes of her behaviour and all she would be doing is being the good adapted child and pretend like everything is good on the outside and still have the same problems inside.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: If she's not responsible, why does she have to pay? -- Rufus, 00:42:37 05/17/02 Fri

Hey I'm not the writer that said that it wasn't Willow anymore....we have to wait til next week to see how well they pull that one off. I still think of all the recovery stuff where the person may be powerless over the thing they are addicted to, and that they do things they wouldn't normally do, but in the end the person has to make amends for what they have done in a drugged, drunk, magic drunk state.

[> [> [> PS - I printed off both you posts - and enjoy the many others I read. Thanks! -- Caroline, 15:04:40 05/15/02 Wed

The Power of Three, Ramses 2 and Yeats. Spec on Season Seven and Beyond. *Spoilers, Long* -- EMCEE with many references, 00:34:56 05/15/02 Wed

First off, introductions.

I am a regular poster to The Buffy Cross and Stake Spoiler Board. My name is Melissa Carter. I am from Vancouver B.C., I am a nurse and my age is 30. This is my first post ever to this board.

Wow! Ramses 2 (a Buffy Cross and Stake Spoiler Board (BC&S) poster) your post earlier and the responses it received sent me on a journey of deep contemplation, research and spoiler speculation for season seven and beyond. Thank you.

In Ramses 2 post, she mentioned The Power of Three. The following is an excerpt from her post 'Metaphors, semiotics, power outages, the power of three (spoilers)' :

“ I was in the middle of post to eeyore when everything went dead, cast in darkness. well there we we're, my little family eating stew, yes stew huddled around candles, each reading our Terry Pratchett book. My son wondered aloud about the number three. Why did it seem so important. We each refered to an example. The witches in Macbeth. Father, son, holy ghost. Mother, father, child. A third is important in telling a story. Was it Aeschylus or Sophocles that added a third player to Plato's dialogs, birthing the art of theatre?
In BTVS, we've had the scoobies centered by three. Willow,xander, buffy. I think we have another three as well, Dawn, spike, buffy. Each is a family unit. Maybe the scoobies represent Buffy. Head, heart and hands. Giles leaves so she can get balanced. Rely on herself, her own two feet. Her own, head, heart, hands.”

She goes on to focus on the Buffy/Dawn/Spike triad. Buffy has a human or an emotional side represented by Dawn and slayer side or a dark side represented by Spike. Both of these elements, in her view, work to balance each other out internally within Buffy. She states that Buffy hasn’t accepted, is fighting against or is ashamed of this violent or dark side of herself and uses the examples of almost killing everyone in NA, the beating Buffy gives Spike in DT and the rape scene in SR. She includes that Buffy has become “emotionless” by distancing herself from Dawn.
Next she talks about how this season is rich in metaphor, contrary to what she has seen published on the boards and says “this season has been brilliantly written” which I happen to agree with very much. She then tells us that these metaphors have been used to explore the heroine, Buffy in the contexts of “death”, “rebirth” and acceptance of the monsters within her. She concludes her piece with “I'm guessing end of season we have a Buffy who accepts her fate. Just as Spike shrugs his off. Hero and anti-hero.”

People were very positive about what Ramses 2 had to say which included many examples of threes and to the idea of “rebirth”. Also people were very enthusiastic on her stance on Spuffy which I will counter.

In the posts following The Power of Three was detailed as a positive, balancing concept between all aspects of life such as relationships (parents and child), kingdoms of nature (animal, vegetable, mineral), base colors (red, yellow, blue) and the world (air, sea, land), and the nature of man (body, mind and spirit).
*Special thanks to Ian for supplying one example and aardvark for including Ian’s example and the rest. (Both posters to BC&S)

Being realistic unfortunately, ME stands the positive concept of the The Power of Three on it’s head with regards to relationships. TGWShark (BC&S poster) provided Pythagoras’s Theorum and questioned what it had to do with Buffy and my answer is a great deal! Pythagoras's theory describes right angle triangles with uneven sides, just as ME’s relationship triads are. Looking way back to Season fives, Triangle is a great way to illustrate this point. The relationship triangles that were present in the ep were most obviously Buffy/Joyce/Dawn, Riley/Buffy/Spike, Willow/Xander/Anya and Giles/Anya/Willow, though there are a few more. Both the Riley/Buffy/Spike and the Giles/Anya/Willow relationships are severely unbalanced by having Riley and Giles, for part of the ep, gone. The family triad is exceptionally unbalanced due to both Joyce being ill at that point and Dawn showing signs of mistrust of her family in her self-questioning (this was before she knew that she was The Key). What the ep focuses on is the angst ridden Willow/Xander/Anya grouping. If you recall both Willow and Anya had difficulties working together to run the Magic Shop when Giles is gone and put Xander in the middle of their bickering. Xander was forced to vent his discord with Spike during the ep. Also Xander is put on the spot by having to pick who dies, either Anya or Willow, at the hands of Anya’s ex-troll. Fortunately for us, he couldn’t at the time. The most telling point that ME shows us of this unstable trio is what they ultimately produce, a Magic Shop in shambles.

In looking ahead to next season and beyond, the question remains what could happen that would promote the most unstable triangles within the current Scoobies? Well I think that the second most destabilizing factor would be the pairing of Buffy and Xander. If one walks through the triangle mixes, it is easy to spot how this pairing would disrupt things on many levels. This sets up an animosity between Buffy and Anya in a Buffy/Xander/Anya trio. It causes the same animosity on the flip side of the equation between whatever Spike becomes and Xander within the Buffy/Xander/Spike grouping. Also, with Buffy and Xander together, it creates an unevenness within the Willow/Buffy/Xander triad which I feel along with many posters is going to be the chief focus based on the Joss proposed theme of “Back to the Beginning”. Where does this leave Dawn? Well it leaves her in a confusing place amongst all of the groupings I foresee but it opens up an interesting and exciting triad with what I feel would be a solid basis for The Slayer: Next Generation that has been speculated on. This in my view is Xander/Dawn/Spike trio. Both whatever Spike becomes and Xander would be great to play off of and guide, Dawn, the logical choice for the next slayer spin off. What about the first? I will get to that later.

The William Bulter Yeats poem has been bandied about recently in speculation due to it being referenced in Entropy. This poem is revelvent to the discussion because implies a rebirth of a different nature contrary to Ramses 2 assertion. This the poem:

The Second Coming -- W. B. Yeats

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all convictions, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

Certainly one can see that this first stanza outlines or parallels some the key aspects Season six BVTS. The falcon/falconer could obviously be likened to the lack of communication between all the Scoobies. This interruption in communication has shaken their strength and has eroded their friendship or their “center”. The next two lines clearly mirror the events leading up to and of Villians with mayhem or “anarchy” created by The Troika within the Scooby Gang drawing the “blood” of both Buffy and Tara. The finish of Buffy and Spikes multi-season long relationship in the bathroom scene could be summarized in the sixth line, their “innocence” gone and replaced with mistrust, anger, unease and the establishment of boundaries. The final two lines sum up the Scooby Gang when examining the sides of each member individually. Each Scoobies bad side of themselves or their worst fears have exploded onto the stage with “passionate intensity” while their more positive attributes have been passively sitting in the nose-bleed section “lacking conviction”. To give an example, Anya’s worst fear of failing at being human has come up to the plate with her turning to her VD ways while her new found love of humanity has been benched (special thanks to Willows Familiar, BC&S poster).

What of the second stanza? This is another foray into my speculation for next season. What first struck my eye are words “second coming”, “lion/man”, nightmare by a rocking cradle” and the full last line “slouches towards Bethlehem to be born”. “Second coming” suggests all sorts of meanings for me the most important of which is Satan (oh, the Omen overtones). What is interesting is that this “Second Coming” is going to happen immanently or so it seems to Yeats in a time where the world is in great upheaval. The lion and the man, obviously a Sphinx reference leads me to think that this is an Oreo incarnation, an evilness inside disguised in a human casing outside. Two things are interesting with the poetry surrounding these standout words. The locale of this bad cookie is in the desert, the barren, uncivilized wasteland and that death becomes this creature with the vultures/desert birds which are close at hand. The next two phrases “rocking cradle” and “to be born” coupled together point to the possibility of the birth of some horrible thing in some place geographically important (oh The Bad Seed overtones). In a nutshell, the Yeats reference outlines how the big bad of season seven will come to be for BVTS.

Playing connect the dots with what Yeats says and what I know is to come is easy but there are other discoveries and conclusions to be made. In my view there are three persons who fall into the Yeats Prophesy. Firstly Spike is going to a desert to be become something else, who knows at this point what. I don’t think that he will be the second coming of the Evil Oreo as foretold by the clues in Yeats for a number of reasons which I am sure are detailed in GeordieGirl’s post called 'Practical Reasons Why Spike Will Not Come Back Evil' and in the following replies. My rational is that Spike has never achieved the status of the big bad only the little bad in the five years that we have been with him. I don’t think that he will start now. If he were to become a black character, his three dimensional status as a gray character would be lost, making him zzzzzzzzz to watch which doesn’t add up to great TV or ratings. Additionally, he was bad and we have been there and done that. In line with the Joss proposed “Back To the Beginning” theme of next season, Spike will likely be some sort of human/vampire mix gaining soul-like attributes. It has been speculated that Buffy will explore her slayer roots with the African looking first slayer leading the way in the season seven with the well-known theme. While I think that Buffy will rummage around in her slayerness and will be forced to go to dark, desolate, barren places similar to the ones described by Yeats’s prose on her guided journey, it is a laughable concept to think that Buffy will be the Big Bad. The third well, I will get to that next.

Well I have left several unanswered questions throughout my discussion. Firstly, what do relationship triangles and The Second Coming have to do with each other? What would the most unsettling trio of them all be for next season? Lastly who is the third person I could see fall into Yeats prophetic yarn? Well to bring it all together, I think that Satan or some one equally as evil will be born out of the loins of baron wasteland of death which is the Hellmouth, a geographically important, tumultuous place. This will occur in the first few eps of next season. This evil will be disguised in human form and I feel that Amber Benson will play this Big Bad Cookie. What? Look at my reasoning and it is long. Firstly who spoke the line which the Yeats was referenced. The following was taken from the shooting script of Entropy.


Things fall apart, they fall so

From a popular shooting script site (PSIW)

Secondly, this would be Amber Bensons “Second Coming” to the BVTS. Thirdly, it adheres to many of the principles outlined by Joss. The first of these being “careful what you wish for”. Haven’t the Kittens and some of us been screaming for Tara to come back? Well they and us could have Amber Benson playing an anti-Tara. The second is the theme “Back to the Beginning”. Where better take the story but back to the Hellmouth where the first big bad, The Master, was trying to escape. The third principle is “give them what they need”. Well I think that having Tara come back as a spirit guide would be nice though it would not be what we would need. What we need is great storytelling and this would make for a big WOW. The fourth principle has to do with the BVTS canon. It has always stated that using serious dark magic always comes to no good. A Tara looking Satan would be the ultimate come uppance for Willow and her misdeeds this season with killing Warren as she did tonight and raising Buffy from the dead. For more practical and financial reasons, it would allow ME to keep a such a beautiful talented actress just as it would allow us the viewer to see her talent shine playing a bad and keep to their story arc in of Season 6. Also, it is known that she is contracted with options next season and by doing this it would seem like Steven DeKnight wasn’t lying after all. Lastly and I still haven’t gotten to the triangles though it must seem obvious to you. What an ultimate rough ride with the grouping of TaraSatan/Willow/Scooby Gang befitting of the ME way. That is what I see. I hope that you have enjoyed your stay.


CC Joss's Stakehouse, BC&S Spoiler Board

[> Re: The Power of Three, Ramses 2 and Yeats. Spec on Season Seven and Beyond. *Spoilers, Long* -- Ronia, 00:54:12 05/15/02 Wed

Wow...and may I add bravo? I think quite a few people noticed the yeats refferrence in entropy, but none (including myself) had taken it beyond "the center does not hold" I was dimly thinking "what rough beast, it's hour come round at last, slouches toward Bethlehem to be born", but hadn't gotten much beyond that. It sure would be interesting. Hope Joss is reading this. And it would be even more interesting (and likely) because Tara has not been allowed any faults this season, so we remember her fondly. Too tired to check spelling, should stop and go to bed. Welcome to the board.

[> [> Excellent! -- Cactus Watcher, 06:11:43 05/15/02 Wed

We have at least two more posters from Vancouver. Hope you'll stick around!

[> [> [> Emcee I found you (great post but here's more argument) -- ramses 2, 09:11:01 05/15/02 Wed

I had a little bit more on my take on three. Here goes:
But i think Buffy is learning. In the story of Bodhisattva we have an androgynous (Buffy, little delicate blonde who kicks ass and saves the day) character who goes through two seemingly opposite adventures. The first, meeting with the godess, is sexual, the character discovers, "two halves of a split peas," the second is atonement with the father. Erasing the lines of father/son. The first could be seen as B/S, think the door scene. Or Buffy's plaintiff,"Why can't I stop?" The second adventure, could be B/D. The line between parent/child is all but erased.
At the end of both journeys it is discovered that the bodhisatta is actually remembering that in both cases it is herself that she came to find.(The slayer, you only think you know)
In the myth, like the erasing of lines between father/son, we see an erasure of lines between life and death. There is a rejection of nirvana. (this season anyone? Torn from heaven. Going through the motions but wanting to feel alive. I touch the fire but it freezes me)
Now Nirvana is the "extinguishing of the threefold fire of desire, hostility, and delusion." Spike, slayer, dawn. Buffy rejects Nirvana, she wants to feel the fire. Her journey is to walk through the fire and control it.
Buffy has been wrestling with herself this whole season. Every bit of what we watch is reflective of her struggle. We have to watch the show metaphorically or we lose a part of her struggle. This includes SR scene.
The Bodhisattva truimphs in the end, he controls the three fold fire(the power of the universe) within him, keeping it an ember inside himself. With this, he is able to live like other human beings. A savior among us.
Buffy will have to accept everything she rejects about herself.(DT scene with Tara(godess), tell me I'm wrong. Why do I feel this way?) AYW has her trying to reject Spike completely. She can't. She needs him.She tries again in SR. NA is Buffy struggling with delusion. Rejecting the truth about herself. This whole season has been her struggling against herself, yearning to be like other people. Funny thing is, if she accepts herself, both Buffy and slayer than she would be able to live comfortably amongst the people she saves.

[> Welcome, EMCEE! ;o) -- Wisewoman, 11:25:26 05/15/02 Wed

How wonderful to welcome another Vancouverite to the Board, and with such an interesting, thought-provoking post!

You're a nurse? Well, politically, my condolences, and is there any chance we ran into each other at VGH recently? Just a thought...


[> [> To Cactus Watcher and Wisewoman..... -- EMCEE, 15:28:17 05/15/02 Wed

I am finding more and more that I am less and less alone here in Vancouver in my love of Buffy. It makes me smile.

Thank you both for taking the time to read my post.

I will be doing these thought things from time to time. I enjoyed my journey with this one. Gave me a greater appriciation for my fellow posters.

Wisewoman, I work at St. Pauls not VGH and no I have not gone there recently. Thank you for your concern, the changes will not happen overnight.

Email me if you both wish with the Vancouver Perspective on Buffy in the future. I would be interested in what you had to say.


[> [> [> Hey, I go there........... -- Rufus, 15:55:40 05/15/02 Wed

I used to go to that Hospital to see a friend....which part do you work in......says Rufus who used to work downtown.

[> [> [> Re: To Cactus Watcher and Wisewoman..... -- Cactus Watcher, 19:04:46 05/15/02 Wed

I'm NOT from Vancouver. I was just letting you know about Rufus and Wisewoman/dub-dub, in case they missed your post. Stick around and you'll have more friends in Phoenix, Arizona, too. ;o)

[> [> Re: Welcome, EMCEE! ;o) -- Rufus, 15:57:52 05/15/02 Wed

I tried to post earlier and got the lock problem. I said hi to EMCEE at the Stakehouse a few days ago. There are more people in the Vancouver area that like Buffy than I thought.
I said hi as Leora, my Cross and Stake name.

[> [> [> Just another reason... -- dubdub, 16:15:53 05/15/02 Wed have the Finale Reunion in Vancouver!


[> Welcome EMCEE and great post..(Spoilers for Villains and Spec) -- shadowkat, 19:07:11 05/15/02 Wed

EMCEE - that was brillant. I think you have something here.

Tara coming back as either "first evil" or as the Big
Bad with Tara's face - works on several levels:
1. Irony
2. Karmic punishment for Willow on a cosmic scale equaling what she did. Also her magics very well could have caused it. (Like Dawn almost did in bringing Joyce back in Forever? Also hooks the seasons together rather brillantly,
Restless images, Forever, Buffy's deaths...don't have time to run through all of it - that's another long post.)
3. Will push the series to an interesting closure with the Hellmouth and why it must be destroyed. (Tara emerges from it, after Willow accidently opens it - and they need to close it? Or Dawn does?)
4. Works metaphorically all the way back to Season 1 - we can link it to the Master, the Annoited one, to the first
evil, to Dracula, to all of them. (another long post)
5. Would move all characters forward developmentally - force
them to deal with grey and furthers the themes set up in Season 1 -6 that the villains can wear a friend's face.
(yet another long post)

I can see this happening and I can see them doing it. For
all the reasons you suggest. It tracks. Good job.

Gee here I was getting burned out on essays and wondering what the point was and if I was just overanalyzing everything and you come along with this brillant spec and get me thinking again.

Hope this rambling mess made sense...I'm sort of brain dead right now - like Buffy would say: fire bad, tree pretty.

Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- neaux, 04:57:09 05/15/02 Wed

You know that saying.. the one that could possibly qualify as a philosophy..

"When Life throws you lemons, you make Lemonade."

You probably know where I am going with this, but lemme take a little moment to elaborate why Clem is an absolutley wonderful Positive Role Model. One that is very important for Dawn. One that during an episode of extremely disturbing violence, is the only sign of Light/good in a new dark dark world.

The scene where Buffy gets Dawn to stay with Clem probably put smiles on everyone's faces. I hope so at least. Clem is such a nice guy. He points out that life is full of lemons... lets make lemonade. And he already had some just made in the fridge.

If there is any hope of helping Dawn grow up with a positive outlook, Clem did his damn best of helping her. He points out his own physical flaws and jokes about his flabbiness. But he knows there are better things in life, like eating Bugles!! Again,.. more happy!!

You actually see Buffy smile a little in this scene.

Either he made her laugh a little or more importantly put Buffy at ease. Buffy needed a good place and a good person to look over Dawn and I think that smile was a sigh of relief.

There was no whining from Dawn either. Even though Spike wasnt there, Dawn didnt say much. I mean who can turn down Bugles and Lemonade and a nice comfy chair.

There isnt much more to say in this post except think about what Clem would do. I have a feeling today will be flooded with little Nastiesabout Willow and Warren, so I wanted to write this to hopefuly put a little smile on everyone's face.

[> New Motto! "What would Clem do?" -- Darby, 05:50:46 05/15/02 Wed

[> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- CW, 06:49:49 05/15/02 Wed

Hope he didn't teach Dawn to play Parcheesi for kittens! ... He of the floppy ears is certainly there when you need him most. ;o)

[> [> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- T-Rex, 07:14:19 05/15/02 Wed

I have this vision of Clem winning at kitten poker, then setting his winnings free.

[> [> [> Interesting... -- Wisewoman, 09:38:06 05/15/02 Wed

That's exactly the stance we take at Clem's Homestead:


[> [> [> [> Excellent! I am so loving Clem. (NT) -- T-Rex, 08:42:43 05/16/02 Thu

[> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- verdantheart, 06:57:07 05/15/02 Wed

Well, Spike really needed a buddy, and I think it's interesting that it would be a demon as optimistic and supportive (and innocuous) as Clem. Quite a contrast with the minions he collected as a powerful slayer-killing vampire. I also found it interesting that he didn't say a word about why Spike left and the state of mind he was in.

[> [> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- neaux, 07:47:42 05/15/02 Wed

I found that interesting too, but Clem is not a scooby.

Only Scoobies meddle in other people's affairs.

[> [> It's in the shooting script for SR -- Traveler, 08:04:19 05/15/02 Wed

"I also found it interesting that he didn't say a word about why Spike left and the state of mind he was in."

By the time Spike left, Clem was convinced that everything was more or less back to normal, so the reasons for Spike leaving are almost as a much a mystery to him as they are to the scooby gang.

[> [> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- Ete, 13:07:58 05/15/02 Wed

>>Quite a contrast with the minions he collected as a powerful slayer-killing vampire

Let's see... Dalton, vampire who likes to read and ... er, who else ?

[> [> [> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- Vickie, 15:40:02 05/15/02 Wed

I don't remember any names, but Spike and Dru took over the Master's group. Later, he had a bunch of vamps digging for the gem of Amara. He had minions.

Where do you think Harmony got the idea? Not like the twit ever had an original thought. ;-)

[> [> Re: Positive Role Models (spoilers Villians) -- LittleBit, 15:42:43 05/15/02 Wed

Well, he could hardly tell her that they'd had a talk about how she was a nice girl but...Issues!, could he?

Of all the possible persons to leave Dawn with, Clem is an outstanding choice.

[> This is pure speculation on my part (I'm unspoiled), but -- Sophist, 08:18:33 05/15/02 Wed

didn't anyone else get a feeling of impending doom when Buffy left Dawn with Clem?

[> [> Yes, I am paranoid! -- Talia, 08:41:15 05/15/02 Wed

mild spoilers through villains, no spoilage beyond.

I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I love Clem. He's funny and sweet. But we don't really know him yet. I am concerned about Dawn's safety. If Willow or some other nasty comes through on a rampage, I'm not sure he could protect her. More important, we don't know whether Clem really is as good as he seems. He is a demon. He plays kitten poker. I want him to be a nice guy, but the fact remains that it could all be a great big facade.

Yes I am paranoid. But we've seen so many good people making bad choices (both stupid-bad and evil-bad) this season that I cannot automatically assume that Dawn is safe with Clem just because he's friends with Spike and eats junk food.

[> [> [> Yes... more's the point... -- Tillow, 08:46:41 05/15/02 Wed

Clem has made no such promise to protect Dawn until the end of the world. He's just in Spike's crypt, he's not Spike.


[> [> [> Possible but remember this year's theme -- neaux, 08:52:34 05/15/02 Wed

To be honest I was a bit worried myself.. but I remembered this year's theme about how Humans are just as bad as monsters.. if not worse

and I believe that Dawn staying with a Demon makes sense with the storyline.

and I trust in Clem!

[> [> [> [> But think of the twist possibilities... (unspoiled spec) -- DaveW, 09:37:18 05/15/02 Wed

Who was I most worried about heading into last year's finale? Willow, Tara, Xander, Anya. Who dies? The character I shouldn't have to worry about. Who am I most worried about heading into this year's finale? Willow (mostly) and Xander. Who's in a seemingly safe but unsecured spot? Dawn. I don't trust the demon, and I don't trust ME (which is why the show is so engaging, I suspect).

[> [> Do we know what sort of demon Clem is? -- Marie, 08:47:32 05/15/02 Wed

'cos I'm thinking if it's a 'Clemency demon', good, but clem as in 'to starve', then - oops!


(not to upset dubdub, of course!)

[> [> [> Really, Marie! -- dubdub, 09:42:49 05/15/02 Wed

Clem is a "Loose-skinned Demon." I think that's all we know for sure but, of course, I opt for the "clemency" interpretation!


[> [> Yes, I am paranoid! -- Talia, 08:48:21 05/15/02 Wed

mild spoilers through villains, no spoilage beyond.

I'm glad I'm not alone on this. I love Clem. He's funny and sweet. But we don't really know him yet. I am concerned about Dawn's safety. If Willow or some other nasty comes through on a rampage, I'm not sure he could protect her. More important, we don't know whether Clem really is as good as he seems. He is a demon. He plays kitten poker. I want him to be a nice guy, but the fact remains that it could all be a great big facade.

Yes I am paranoid. But we've seen so many good people making bad choices (both stupid-bad and evil-bad) this season that I cannot automatically assume that Dawn is safe with Clem just because he's friends with Spike and eats junk food.

[> [> Yes. Buffy wouldn't even have trusted a human that fast, but maybe that's the point... -- yuri, 00:10:51 05/17/02 Fri

Hmmmm, are demons that seem to be good more likely to be good than humans who seem to be good? Either it could be a developing weirdness of Buffy, or a comment on the honesty of demons (eesh). Yes, some demons may pretend to be humans and trick people (favorite pastime of vamps, apparently, and moloch et al) but it seems rare that demons are like "look at me I'm a demon, I'm good." I could be totally wrong about this part, but if I am I still think that my first point holds.

[> [> [> Re: Yes. Buffy wouldn't even have trusted a human that fast, but maybe that's the point... -- Wisewoman, 10:48:45 05/17/02 Fri

Interesting. It's possible that Joss/ME have actually succeeded in teaching us to trust demons over humans. I remember how suspicious I was of Tara's behaviour until Spike punched her in the nose and revealed her to be fully human--but that was the point, she appeared to be fully human and very "good" and I didn't trust that!

To this point I have no suspicions of Clem...maybe it's foolish, but I trust him completely.


[> [> [> [> Re: Yes. Buffy wouldn't even have trusted a human that fast, but maybe that's the point... -- redcat, 14:44:21 05/17/02 Fri

Dearest dub-dub,
We've never spoken, but I feel like I know you from all the kindness and joy you elicit in others who do. I love your Clem website, but as someone with a smattering of kitty-cat DNA, I'm in need of some soothing on this issue. I don't know if you've yet seen the shooting script for "Villians" (now posted at Psyche's transcripts - thanks! Psyche, whomever you are...), but if you haven't, here's Clem's opening line in the scene in Spike's crypt:

Buffy and Dawn step into Spike's lair. Spike, turned away from them in his old chair, watches TV.

Buffy moves quietly to the back of the chair.


Startled, the figure in the chair JUMPS, spilling a bowl of potato chips in the process. It's not Spike at all - it's CLEM the loose skinned demon.

Suffering cats! Where did you come

Clem puts his hand on his heart - like he's afraid it's going to jump out of his chest.


Now, while I'm relieved to know that our dear loose-skinned buddy has a heart, I'm still concerned about his relationship with my furry (and suffering) cousins. Please help, oh wisewoman, I beseech you. I WANT to like Clem, I really, really do...

ps - please do not give Clem my home address. thanks.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Dear redcat,,, -- Wisewoman, 15:06:44 05/17/02 Fri

Oh, my dear, cease your worry! All is well for kittens in Clem's world.

Just think about this--when startled, don't all of us sometimes resort to shouted expletives? Don't we sometimes latch on to the darkest, most vile curses we know to express our fear? And this is Clem's reaction, too. When Buffy scares the s*** out of him, Clem's instinctive reaction is to give name to one of the worst things he can think of, "suffering cats."

I believe it's because he feels that his mission in life is to halt the suffering of cats, in particular, and everyone he comes in contact with, as much as possible!

Hope this helps...


[> [> [> [> [> [> Yes, he worries about "suffering cats" la la la la.....;) -- Rufus, 17:05:12 05/17/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> [> thanks, WW, I feel all soothed now... except when I listen to Rufus laugh... -- redcat, 18:23:53 05/17/02 Fri

[> Clem -- Wisewoman, 09:49:28 05/15/02 Wed

Great post, neaux! I'm hoping to update the Clem's Homestead site later today, and one of the things I think I'll do is relate Clem's Philosophy of Life to something he says to Dawn in Villians:

YOU can have the comfy chair!

That pretty much sums him up, if you ask me.

(If you're interested, Clem's Homestead site is here)


[> [> Your website gets cooler and cooler each time I see it!! -- neaux, 10:40:57 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> And we need to send Clem a copy of "The Wedding Planner"! As a birthday present, perhaps? ;o) -- Rob, 11:41:12 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> Great site dubdub, and who'd have thought he'd look so good under all that skin!?! -- O'Cailleagh, 23:36:23 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> [> Re: Warren certainly didn't... -- dubdub, 19:56:45 05/16/02 Thu

ooops, did I say that?

[> [> [> [> Funny! and ick! -- ponygirl, 06:55:42 05/17/02 Fri

[> [> Love the website! -- ravenhair, 18:20:06 05/16/02 Thu

C_companionship; a friend to Spike & mingles well at parties

L_laughter; Clem makes everyone smile :)

E_encouragement; "Hey, c'mon mister negative..."

M_mercy; acts with compassion towards all

I love CLEM !!

[> [> [> Re: Oooooh, can I post this? -- Wisewoman, 19:15:38 05/16/02 Thu

It could be the first entry on the Odes to Clem page!


[> [> [> [> Certainly, I would be honored -- ravenhair, 19:39:30 05/16/02 Thu

[> Question -- dream of the consortium, 12:12:17 05/16/02 Thu

I add my name to the list of Clem-lovers. Hope he gets more screen time next year, because the loss of Tara is going to leave us without a certain sort of simple but mature goodness. Wouldn't it be interesting to have the most innocent character on the show be a demon?

Question: What was the movie he was watching? I assume there has to be some significance, because the shot was held long enough for it to be identified. It looked familiar, but I couldn't place it.

Also liked that he wanted to see the Wedding Planner - are we to assume that the black and white film he has fallen asleep in front of is a video of Spike's? Or just what happened to be on?

[> [> the movie was Meet John Doe -- ponygirl, 13:50:28 05/16/02 Thu

Haven't seen the movie myself, so I leave it to others to find the significance. From the imdb:

As a parting shot, fired reporter Ann Mitchell prints a fake letter from unemployed "John Doe," who threatens suicide in protest of social ills. The paper is forced to rehire Ann and hires John Willoughby to impersonate "Doe." Ann and her bosses cynically milk the story for all it's worth, until the made-up "John Doe" philosophy starts a whole political movement. At last everyone, even Ann, takes her creation seriously...but publisher D.B. Norton has a secret plan.

[> [> [> Thanks -- dream of the consortium, 06:07:30 05/17/02 Fri

Haven't seen that movie in at least ten years, so not surprised I couldn't place it. I also unfortunately couldn't begin to analyze its use in this context - though I do remember that it's a great film.

[> [> [> [> "Meet John Doe" is significant because (spoilers for "Villains") -- cjl, 07:39:09 05/17/02 Fri

It perfectly encapsulates some of Willow's internal conflicts at this moment. Like John Doe and his false populist guru persona, Willow assumed a "constructed" identity, Superwitch Willow, but never shook the feeling that she was an impostor in hero's clothing.

If you buy in to the parallel, the climax of "Meet John Doe" (on ClemTV as Buffy and Dawn walk in) also hints at the climax of Season 6--but I won't get into that right now. (I don't want to set off the board gods and get deleted again...)

[> [> [> [> [> When did you ever get deleted? -- The Board Goddess, 16:47:45 05/17/02 Fri

Moved into the archives, maybe...

Unless you were naughty and put future spoilers in your subject line, but I don't remember you doing that.


Nature of reality in Buffy -- Cate, 08:28:11 05/15/02 Wed

Hi everybody, I'm doing a philosophy presentation on the nature of reality, and I want to talk about Buffy. Any of you experts know good episodes to talk about, issues covered, knowledge claims, sources of knowledge, etc? Any help would be great. Thank you!

[> Re: Nature of reality in Buffy -- Cactus Watcher, 08:52:03 05/15/02 Wed

You might want to start with those episodes where the reality within the story is dramatically changed:

The Wish - Buffy had never been to Sunnydale.
No Place Like Home - Dawn created, Buffy experiments with heightened consciousness.

Restless - Dream world
Life Serial - The Nerd Troika plays with Buffy's reality.

[> [> Good choices - and I would add -- matching mole, 09:00:58 05/15/02 Wed

Normal Again - Buffy's consciousness jumps back and forth between two 'realities' doesn't know which is real.

Nightmares - A child's coma causes other people's fears to become real

[> [> 'Real Me' and 'Blood Ties' (Season 5) -- Rahael, 10:22:22 05/15/02 Wed

Those are the eps where the concept of 'reality', 'self identity' and memory are most strongly challenged.

Buffy's previously non existant sister Dawn suddenly appears in Sunnydale.

[> Maybe... -- Darby, 09:30:38 05/15/02 Wed

If you're looking at the intersection of Buffyverse reality with things more "real" here in our world, you could go with -

Lie to Me (Real Death and Undeath)
What's My Line (Real Futures and Buffyverse complications)
Earshot (and Real School violence)
The Freshman and Living Conditions (Real College Adaptation)
This Year's Girl / Who Are You (Real Perceptions by Others and how it forms personality)
The Body (Real Death - how the show changes its "reality" to portray it)
Flooded and Life Serial (Real Life problems, Buffy- style)

And to the nature of reality itself I would add -
Halloween and Fear Itself.

[> Doppelgangland - continues the AR of The Wish -- Lyonors, 11:39:38 05/15/02 Wed

[> Don't forget... -- A8, 17:17:41 05/15/02 Wed

Once More, With Feeling (everyone is aware they are in an altered reality, but are powerless to do anything but sing and dance along)

and Superstar (what happens when all of an already twisted reality is further altered to revolve around the ego of a single person).

Anya, Spike, Willow & Warren - Wanting to be Bad (Major spoilers to Villains! Long!) -- shadowkat, 08:40:57 05/15/02 Wed

Anya, Spike, Willow and Warren – Wanting to Be Bad

(*MAJOR Spoilers up to Villains – haven’t seen Villains or Seeing Red? Don’t read! Quotes from Psyche Transcripts.)

“When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it
doesn't get your soul. That's gone! No conscience, no remorse... It's an easy way to live.” (Angel to Buffy in ANGEL, Btvs Season 1)

“I'm serious. Responsible people are ... always so concerned with ... being good all the time, that when they finally get a taste of being bad ... they can't get enough. It's like all (gestures) kablooey.” (Anya to Buffy in SMASHED, Btvs Season 6)

“You need me to toe the line because you're afraid you'll go over it, aren't you, B? You can't handle watching me living my own way, having a blast, because it tempts you! You know it could be you!” (Faith to Buffy in CONSEQUENCES, Btvs Season 3)

Gee – you ever just want to be bad? You know knock in doors, smash computers, kill that pit-bull, be the Big Bad or just a little bad? Come on – admit it, isn’t there just a teeny weeny part of you that wants it?

We all have it in us – the desire to be bad. The desire to kick some nasty good-guy butt, but we reign it in. Have this pesky little thing called a conscience that tells us, no, no, no – mustn’t do that. Or maybe we’re just terrified of getting caught and being punished? Or maybe it’s some deep religious code that tells us – you do that, and you ain’t seeing heaven, man! You going to hell! Raise your hand if you had that type of religious up-bringing. If so, my deepest sympathies. The desire to be “bad” is what Jung may have called the id or pleasure principal or animus. The shadow self. The primal urge, the animal within. Every culture and creed has a different name for it. It’s the part of us that seems permanently stuck in adolescence, arrested. What reigns it in depends on where you are in your intellectual and emotional development. If you’re in your teens – then it’s probably your parents, teachers, school, religion and whatever construct of reality these forces have placed around you. If you are way past your teens, then it is the values and beliefs that you adopted through countless experiences. Somewhere along the line, you probably discovered that there is more to be gained from being good, which admittedly is the tougher path.

This is the lesson the characters of Btvs are beginning to learn. But in order to learn it, some of them have to be bad, it’s just their nature. They have to go the route of my old friend Alex in A Clockwork Orange – they have to be evil in order to figure out what it means to be good. Sometimes you just have to take a few wrong turns in life, get dead- ended, before you find the correct path. I know, I know – there are a few of you out there who honestly believe that you can’t change paths – once you get on the wrong one – you’re stuck. Luckily, I’ve discovered this isn’t true. I hope in time you may find it out as well. If not, my heartfelt sympathies and you may want to leap off this bus.

Life isn’t easy. It’s much harder to be good than evil. There are more rules, more boundaries, and more responsibilities. But as Anya discovered, being bad can be empty. It’s a discovery that Alex in A Clockwork Orange’s 21st Chapter made as well. After being the Big Bad, smashing and destroying everything in his path, Alex discovered much to his chagrin that there was more to be gained through creation than destruction. That playing a windup toy for the devil was actually an empty way of living. Can Spike discover the same thing? Pinocchio did in the classic story, he found out that playing the bad boy left him hollow, a toy, not real, but being good, striving to do good work – that made him real and worthy of love. It took Pinocchio a while to discover this, he had to go to pleasure island first, almost become a donkey, get swallowed by a whale and drown saving his father, Geppetto, but in the end he obtained his reward, which was his father’s love.

Love. Is that all it takes to redeem the villain? Not according to last night’s Angel, Benediction (Season 3 Ats). For those of who that don’t watch Angel, Holtz is a man who traveled centuries to revenge the deaths of his family on Angelus. Holtz has recently returned from a hell dimension with Angel’s son Connor, whom he kidnapped. In Benediction, we and Angel are led to believe that Holtz was reformed by his love for Angel’s son and has pushed aside his hatred because of it. For a moment we are convinced, then he tells Justine to make it look like Angelus killed him, so that Connor/Stephen will inherit his legacy. So clearly it takes a bit more than love to cure Holtz. What about Anya? Anya became a vengeance demon as a result of cursing Olaf who had scorned her by sleeping with another girl. For years she wielded the power of the Wish and was probably, although they don’t know it, the SG’s most formidable foe. Her Wishverse was far worse than anything the Scooby Gang ever faced. If Giles hadn’t smashed her amulet, Xander, Willow, Cordelia, Buffy, Angel, and OZ would have died horribly. Anya managed to alter an entire universe with just one wish. Unfortunately for Anya, smashing her amulet not only succeeded in undoing her wish, it also rendered her human. So now, she’s had to experience all those pesky emotions humans have. Anya believes if she were a demon again, if she had those powers, then everything would be okay. Spike believes the same thing about his chip. As they discuss in the Bronze two seasons ago, in Where the Wild Things Are:

ANYA VOICEOVER: Boy, I miss those powers.
(Cut to Anya and Spike sitting on a couch at the Bronze, holding beers and looking morose. Spike has his arm along the top of the couch,almost touching her.)
SPIKE: Yeah, tell me about it.
ANYA: A year and a half ago, I could have eviscerated him with my thoughts. Now I can barely hurt his feelings. (Sighs) Things used to be so much simpler.
SPIKE: (wistfully) You know ... you take the killing for granted. (Anya nods nostalgically.) And then it's gone, and you're like, "I wish I'd appreciated it more." Stopped and smelled the corpses, you know?
ANYA: Yeah. Now everything's complicated. (Where the Wild Things Are, Btvs Season 4)

Now, that Anya has her powers back she can be the big bad. She can eviscerate people with her thoughts. After all – as she tells D’Hoffryn way back in Season 3, Dopplegangerland,: “For a thousand years I wielded the powers of The Wish. I brought ruin to the heads of unfaithful men. I brought forth destruction and chaos for the pleasure of the lower beings. I was feared and worshipped across the mortal globe.” Watch out Xander, she thinks, here I come. But there’s a catch – she can’t scorn Xander herself, someone else has to. So she wanders about Sunnydale attempting to trick one of Xander’s friends into doing it. And fails miserably. Spike has a similar problem. Now, due to a fluke, Spike can actually hurt Buffy, bite her, suck her dry. She’s scorned him too. Made him feel like dirt. Told him it was never real for her. She’s really sorry of course, but hey it was just a fling, time to move on. So what’s keeping him back? Why can’t he just kill her already? The chip isn’t holding him back. Her cellular structure changed enough to make it null and void. (See Smashed – Dead Things). Life used to be so much easier. In Entropy, during a scene that is incredibly similar to the one two seasons before in Where The Wild Things are, Anya and Spike meet up at the Magic Box, and like the previously mentioned scene, all they can think about is how to get past the pain. Both yearn for the good old days, the days when life was simpler, when they could just be “bad” without remorse.

ANYA...thing about it is, none of this was my idea. I didn't ask to be
SPIKE Right! An' I didn't ask for this bloody chip in my head-
ANYA To tell the truth, all I wanted was to use him and lose him. I hadn't had a good tumble in a thousand years-
SPIKE Me too. The using part. I just wanted to know what I was missing, move on. (Anya grows more pained and melancholy. Spike follows suit.)
ANYA Then he was all bumpy in the right places and nice to me...
SPIKE She was so raw. Never felt anything like it...
ANYA Next thing I know, I'm changing to please him. I care if he cares.
SPIKE Right.

So instead of eviscerating their lovers, they merely engage in some mind-numbing sex. They don’t intend for anyone to see it. It just happens. It wasn’t meant to hurt Buffy and Xander – it was meant to numb the pain. What’s interesting is that here are two demons acting extraordinarily human. At this point they are both demons. Spike still has his chip, but he’s still a vampire and now, he can kill the slayer if he wants to. Anya has regained her powers and is once again an immortal vengeance demon. Yet here they are talking about love and trying to figure out why they feel it so deeply and why it doesn’t appear to be returned. It was so much easier being bad. Why can’t they go back?

They both try to in Seeing Red, in different ways and with different results. Anya tries to go back to being a vengeance demon. Spike inadvertently attacks Buffy in her bathroom – I don’t believe he went there intending to do it. Nor do I believe that he intended on hurting her. I think he got caught up in the attempt to recreate a past moment between them and went too far, forgetting she was there. Anya also gets caught up in the moment – she intends to wreck vengeance – to assist a girl at a bar, instead she acts like a human, commiserating with the girl, sharing her own problems. When you contrast Anya and Spike’s intents and their resulting actions – you’ll see how much these two have changed.

ANYA I know how you feel. Maybe I can help.
BLOND How could Carl do that to me? That…

BLOND (cont'd) I wish Carl's flesh were being gnawed off by a thousand angry --
ANYA He keeps saying it's not me, but how can I believe him? He knew he didn't want to get married. Deep down he knew, but he lied to me every day for months.
BLOND I wish --
ANYA He lied and lied and then lied a little more, 'cause hey - who's gonna notice with all the other lies flying around like monkeys. And now he thinks he can just sweep the carnage under the rug by saying –

What’s going on here? We have a vengeance demon ignoring a wish? Lucky Carl. Anya is at the bar in business mode. She is planning on being the vengeance demon again. Has started the conversation to enact vengeance. Instead she just commiserates with the girl, ignoring her wishes. Apparently it’s not as easy going back to being “bad” as Anya thought.

Spike. He continues to fascinate me. If I hadn’t been spoiled, I would have been surprised by that bathroom scene. But if I really think about it, why? Remember what Angel told Buffy about being a soulless creature: “When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it doesn't get your soul. That's gone! No conscience, no remorse... It's an easy way to live.” It’s Spike’s nature. He’s a soulless vampire. He has never claimed to be anything different than what he is, right? As Dru would say, “your’re a bad dog.” Spike is. He has killed at least two slayers in the past and I’m sure he’s raped a few people in his time, although we have never seen it. His life with Dru was certainly violent and heavy on the S & M, after all Dru had a thing for torture. Spike wasn’t into it as much – but who’s to say he didn’t do it? And if it’s the only thing he knows about sex – wouldn’t it stand to reason that S & M, rape and violent sex all get a bit muddled in that demon brain? So why doesn’t he rape Buffy? Why doesn’t he keep attacking her after she throws him off? Why doesn’t he kill her? Actually while I’m at it – why doesn’t he make her like him, a vampire? Then he’d have her, right? She’d be willing to join him in the darkness? She’s been weakened. Her back cracked twice. He knows she’s injured. The door is shut. There are no stakes anywhere around. He said it himself, in Fool for Love (Season 5, btvs)–“Lesson the first: a Slayer must always reach for her weapon. I've already got mine.”

So why didn’t he do it? The act in the bathroom as disturbing as it was –appeared to be more Spike’s attempt to force his love on an unwilling party than actual rape. Sure it was violent, it was painful, and I for one, will probably not be able to watch it again any time soon. (Twice was quite enough thank you. Even read the shooting script.) But what continues to needle me about this controversial scene is that Spike, our resident vampire, did not attempt to kill or vamp Buffy after she succeeded in throwing him off. Instead he leaves utterly humiliated, ashamed, furious with himself and tormented. He is so upset that he leaves his beloved coat behind – a trophy from the second slayer he killed. The slayer he describes to Buffy in Fool For Love as reminding him of her. “She had a touch of your style. She was cunning, resourceful... oh, did I mention? Hot.” Odd that he leaves it behind. Doesn’t even try to go back for it. It’s not the attack that seemed out of character, it was his reaction to the attack that did. To him and to me.

SPIKE What have I done? (then) Why didn't I do it? What has she done to me?
(edited for length and emphasis) Why do I feel this way?
CLEM(shrugs)Love's a funny thing.
SPIKE Is that what this is?
CLEM Well, I don't know. Drinking, breaking stuff -- how's your appetite? You been eating?
SPIKE I can feel it. Squirming inside my head.
CLEM Love?
SPIKE The chip. Little Jiminy Cricket, gnawing bits and chunks. (Spike puts his fingers to his heads probing harshly as if he's going to gouge the chip out with his bare hands. Clem eyes him with concern.) Everything used to be so clear. Slayer. Vampire. Vampire kills Slayer, sucks her dry, picks his teeth with her bones.
CLEM (queasy) Metaphorically?
SPIKE That's how it's always been. I've tasted the life of two Slayers. But with Buffy... (hating himself) This isn't the way it's supposed to be. It's the chip. Steel and wires and silicon. It won't let me be a monster. And I can't be a man. I'm nothing. (Spike's self-loathing hits an all time low. Clem gives him an encouraging pat on the shoulder.)
CLEM Hey. Come on now, Mr. Negative. You never know what's just around the
corner. Things change. (Spike considers that, his wheels turning.)
SPIKE They do. (a beat) If you make them. (Clem grins, slapping him on the back happily.)

In Villains, we learn exactly how Spike wants to change. He goes to Africa and enters a cave where a demon confronts him. The demon tells him that he used to be a great dark warrior and now he’s a pathetic fool. Castrated by a woman. Spike agrees, stating he wants to be returned to the man he was, his former state. He wants to show Buffy that he’s not beneath her, that she isn’t better than him. I don’t have the quote from Villains, but here’s the one from the Shooting Script of Seeing Red which is similar to it: “She thinks she knows me. She thinks she knows who I am. What I'm capable of. She has no idea. I wasn't always this way. It won't be easy, but I can be like I was. Before they castrated me. Before...(a beat) Then she'll see who I really am.” Spike, like Anya, desperately would like to be Bad again. It was easier. As the demon states in Villains, he was a dark warrior, a force to be reckoned with, the killer of two slayers, now he’s just a pathetic shell of a monster. Castrated. He wants to do the same thing Pinocchio wanted to do in the classic story, smash jiminy cricket, kill the artificial conscience. If I can’t be a man, let me be the monster I once was. This, this is torment.

Onto the leader of the Troika, Warren, who unlike Spike, has a soul. He is gifted with a moral compass – which he resolutely ignores. Yet, ironically enough, Warren has done more damage to Buffy and the Gang than Spike ever did, without the chip. In the past year – Warren has :1) turned Buffy invisible.(Gone) 2) stole from a bank.(Flooded) 3) hired a demon to destroy Buffy. (Flooded) 4)got Buffy fired (Life Serial) 5) changed her perception of reality four times.(Life Serial, Dead Things and Normal Again) 6) framed Buffy for murder. (Dead Things) 7) filmed her ex-lover and a friend having sex. (Entropy) 8) attempted rape on Katrina and killed her. (Dead Things) (A rape scene that I found far more disturbing in retrospect than the bathroom scene, for two reasons: no remorse on the part of the attacker and the woman was being manipulated like a rag doll. Spike surprisingly enough actually showed remorse, he despised himself for feeling it – but the fact that he, a soulless evil thing did and Warren a human did not, is very disturbing.) 9) shot and almost killed Buffy and actually killed Tara. (Seeing Red) I think Warren actually beat Glory, a hell god, in the evil deed tally this year. Angelus in Season 2 may have been the only villain that came close to equaling Warren’s track record against our gang. And Warren like Angelus wants to be recognized for it. In Villains – he goes to a demon bar to brag about killing the slayer. In his arrogance, he believes he’s a force to be reckoned with, that they will join up with him. Instead they merely laugh at him. This must confuse Warren, the perpetual outsider. He couldn’t fit in at high school, the genius who got kicked around by all the jocks. He created a robot girlfriend to love him because he couldn’t find a date. Warren finds life unbearably hard. He’s the geek and he’s bright and people should revere him. They should bow down before him. In Warren’s mind it is grossly unfair that this hasn’t happened.

It’s interesting that of all the demonic forces that Buffy’s faced, Warren has been the worst. Of course Warren discovered how much easier it was to be “bad” than good. Instead of earning money at Doublemeat Palace, he can rob a bank. Like Faith says in Bad Girls – “take, want, have.” This has become Warren’s creed. You don’t need to worry about winning your ex-girlfriend’s love – when you have a cereberal dampener to make her love you. Something that never occurred to poor Spike who tried it the old fashioned way. As he tells Anya in Entropy: “I was always going above and
beyond. I saved the Scoobies how many times? And I can't stand the lot of you.” Now, if he had a cereberal dampener – but then that wasn’t what he wanted either. Spike wanted love not sex like Warren did. Spike says as much in Gone, when he tells invisible Buffy that if he can’t have all of her, there’s no point. Warren wouldn’t have cared. Warren enjoyed taking advantage Katrina. Just as he would have enjoyed killing Buffy. As Willow aptly states in Villains – killing Buffy was your big “O”. I love the scene in the demon bar where Warren tells the demons that all it took to kill the slayer was a gun. Again the easy way. No hand to hand combat. No danger. Wonder why Spike never thought of that? He could have even hired someone to do it. With a gun, you can kill a superhero, you can kill all those idiots who excluded you and tormented you in high school. Would Warren have become the psychopath he was, if people hadn’t tormented him? If he had been accepted? We’ll never know. But it is interesting that in both Entropy and Villains – Warren goes to bars seeking just that acceptance. In Entropy he goes after the kids who tormented him years ago. They no longer remember him, of course. But he does. And in Villains, he brags to demons, possibly thinking that being evil – they’ll appreciate it in him. Warren has yet to learn something the demons already know – being bad tends to be empty. Friends, family, acceptance aren’t the rewards. It’s an endless contest of one-upmanship and destruction. That’s all.

Willow also needs to learn this lesson. If Warren is the human version of Spike, than Willow is the human version of Anya. Poor Willow, she started out as the geeky nerd in high school. No one paid any attention to her until Buffy came along. Cordelia tormented her with comments such as “did you just find the softer side of Sears.” Boys only saw her as the brain. Like Warren – Willow wasn’t really appreciated. And like Warren, Willow was always having to live down the term “nerd”. In the episode Doomed (Season 4, Btvs) Willow is reeling from being called a nerd and finding a dead body. From the following scene – it’s clear that the nerd comment bothers her more:

Cut to the gang at Giles: “It just made me feel like I was right back in high school.”
Xander: “Dumb jock! If it wasn’t for you he still would be.”
Willow: “I mean, I know the - Percy thing isn’t really important, it’s the - dead guy on the bed.”
Xander: “Yeah, that’s bad, too.”
Willow: “Ooh, and something else. He, the dead guy, was- was propped up, like whatever killed him wanted to drain the blood out of him. So I’m thinking the whatever took a bunch of the guy’s blood with it. And I haven’t been a nerd for a very long time! Hello dating a guitarist, - or I - was.”

Two years later, in Smashed and Wrecked, we see that Willow has still not gotten past this. In Wrecked – she tells Buffy, that before the magic she was just some girl, no one important. And in Smashed – Amy coaxes her out of the house, asking if she’d rather just stay home alone like she always did in high school. Willow like Warren has sought otherworldly means to handle the rejection she received in high school. Warren did it through science. Willow through the dark arts. Both are sadistic. Warren tortures Katrina with a cereberal dampener. Willow tortures Warren with magic. Of the two – Willow is more powerful and cruel. Willow’s torture in Villains makes Warren look like a pathetic boy, hardly worth worrying about. Yet is he? Isn’t Willow’s desire to be “bad” fueled by something better than Warren’s? After all – Willow only turned bad after Warren killed Tara, right?

Prior to Tara’s death, Willow has practiced magic. She only just recently gave it up, for Tara. We were lead to believe it was a drug addiction. Xander even uses the term “fell off the wagon” in Villains. But was it? When did Willow truly start to bend towards the dark side? She has acquired quite a bit of power now – but that power and confidence was built up over time. She slowly built it up, doing dark magic. First with that spell in Becoming – which made her feel like a valued member of the team, then the spell in Choices where she exclaims with pride to Angel and Buffy : “yes, I’m bad!” and finally that spell in Something Blue, where D’Hoffryn almost makes her a vengeance demon.

Spike, Anya, Willow and Warren all want to be bad. They all want to go on a wild rampage. They all want to hurt someone. Why? What caused them to start down that path? What makes them want to do it now? Vengeance? Or was it something simpler, something closer to home? Rejection? Rejection by loved ones, by peers, by society? Every single one of these characters has suffered massive amounts of rejection. Spike and Anya were both rejected by significant others. People they loved. A Thousand years ago Anya was scorned by Olaf. A hundred and thirty years ago, Spike was rejected by Cecily, who told him he was beneath her. Both turned to the demon world for recourse. And both reaped massive amounts of destruction on the parties that rejected them. Now hundreds of years later, they have been rejected again. Anya was stood up by Xander at the altar. Spike was told by Buffy that he was beneath her and she could never trust him enough to love him. Both want to be demons again. They want to go down the same path they did before. It was easier. Warren and Willow were rejected by the “popular” group. Excluded. Called the Captains of the Nerd squad. Both joined small groups of outsiders. Warren created the Troika. Willow became part of the Scooby Gang. They sought recourse through knowledge of science and the black arts. Willow initially used her knowledge for the forces of good, while Warren used his to become a super-villain. Now Warren has taken the light of Willow’s life and Willow has turned to magic to remedy it, like she has for the past five years. Of the four characters, Willow has never been “bad”, not really. She may have made a few mistakes here and there, but she has never deliberately used magic to hurt people. Yet, like Warren, Willow has never gotten past those old high school wounds and the desire to be bad, howls inside her. The desire to wreck vengeance on a world that refuses to be the way it is in her head. She does not understand why Tara can’t be brought back. Why the natural order of the universe must be followed. Why her life must be so tough. When she has the power to change it. Anymore than she can understand why Buffy will kill demons but not a human psychopath. The rules have become too hard and Willow has become tired of being “reliable”. All that resentment she’s been keeping bottled up since Season 1 is finally boiling to the surface. Tara had managed to keep it in check – now, without Tara, Willow doesn’t care. What’s the point – she thinks – of being good, when there’s no one around to applaud me, no one to make me feel comfortable and safe. She doesn’t recognize Buffy and Xander – possibly even resents them a little for not helping her kill Warren. Her resentment of Buffy may go deeper than that – after all Buffy represents all the things Willow couldn’t be: the cheerleader, the superhero, the popular girl, the girl Xander wanted. Buffy never excelled at school – Willow had to help her. Deep down inside there’s a part of Willow that must wonder why Buffy got everything – the caring mother, super-powers, boyfriends, and a second chance at life. Willow is finally ready to explode and as Rack states so succinctly in Villains, she will tear Sunnydale apart.

Buffy has also been bad this season, but in a smaller less ground shaking way. She slept with the villain. Not only slept with him, used him, beat him up, and threw his feelings for her back in his face repeatedly. Not a good idea. Now the villain, bad boy Spike, wants to be the bad boy he once was. He wants to make her pay. The weird thing is, what’s holding him back? A chip? Please, it doesn’t work on her any more. Nope, he’s holding himself back. He just can’t understand why. Maybe he’ll figure it out in Africa. OR maybe he’ll revert to the big bad he once was with a twist. Maybe he will come back the Lucifer of Lucifers. Maybe this season isn’t so much about growing up as it is about reverting back to form?? Or maybe there’s a third option for Spike…that is similar to Anya’s in The Wish? The option that was Pinocchio’s and Alex’s in A Clockwork Orange? (I don’t know…all I have is hunches.)

Buffy also has neglected her friends. She didn’t confide in them about Spike. And she didn’t notice that Willow’s dependence on magic had gotten way out of hand. She thinks she took care of that. It was just an addiction. So why did they leave those dark magic books at the Magic Box?? Why didn’t Giles at least take them? I’m not sure Buffy ever understood what drove Willow – how can she? Buffy’s never been called Captain of the nerd squad. Buffy used to be Cordelia, she understood Cordelia. She knows what it’s like to be alone in a crowd or to be rejected because you are weird. But she doesn’t understand the fear of being a “geek”.

And she has neglected her duty to the community she serves. In Gone – she tortures a social worker, costing the woman her job. In OMWF – she tells the gang she doesn’t really care and in fact does very little until her sister disappears. And in As You Were, she shrugs off the demon eggs to sleep with the villain. She hasn’t taken the Troika seriously since they tried to turn her invisible. Barely even tries to run after them in Gone.

Buffy has always walked the line between good and bad. It hums inside her. That primal beast that can destroy her friends, her world. They don’t know it exists. Spike does. The demons do. But Xander and Willow don’t. They’ve never seen it. Buffy saw it in Faith and she sees it in Spike – it’s why she’s so attracted to him. Take, Want, Have – being bad – are constant temptations to someone who has super- strength. Someone who could hold up a bank or kill a boy like Warren without thinking twice. But as Buffy states in Villains – being the slayer doesn’t give her a license to kill. Touching the bad side – taints you. She has to follow the rules. You can’t change the natural order of the universe. Doing so – results in chaos. Willow doesn’t understand that. Nor did Warren. They don’t appreciate these things. They believe I can just be bad – no serious consequences. I have control over my world. Anya and Spike, on the other hand, do understand these rules. They appreciate them. As demons it was their job to cause chaos. They may have reveled in it – but they also understood it. They knew it changed them. They knew it had consequences. True, being demons they felt nothing. No pain. No remorse. It was fun being bad. What is it Angel says in episode 7, Angel: “When you become a vampire the demon takes your body, but it doesn't get your soul. That's gone! No conscience, no remorse... It's an easy way to live.” Except for one thing, it’s empty. It does not get them what they want. It doesn’t get you love. The rewards were short-lived. Anya at the end of Hell’s Bells – thought why am I bothering with being human, I can’t seem to get love either way, might as well go back to what I know, be a force to be reckoned with again, something powerful, instead of something domesticated. Spike in Villains thinks – why did I bother with that bitch, let her castrate me, I want to go back to what I was, a remorseless powerful dark warrior, instead of a castrated shell of a monster. Willow in the beginning of Villains thinks – why did I give up magic? I can’t bring back Tara. I’ve lost her. Buffy won’t kill Warren – even though he’s worse than any of the demons she’s slain. I know – I’ll take it up again, I’ll do what Buffy couldn’t. Even if it means being bad. What’s the point – Tara’s gone.

Part of growing up is learning that destroying things, taking short cuts, being bad doesn’t solve anything. It doesn’t keep us warm at night. It doesn’t bring back loved ones who died. The vengeance – merely leaves us hollow, lost, like Holtz in Benediction when he forces his adopted daughter Justine to kill him in order to set up Angel for the crime. Or like Willow at the end of Villains, who has grown bored of torturing Warren and merely jumps to the next thing. Killing Warren didn’t bring back Tara. It didn’t make her feel better. All it did was make her a little more hollow inside. Buffy is beginning to learn this. That working a double shift at the Doublemeat and taking care of Dawn and forgiving Spike long enough to trust Dawn to his care, while far more difficult, is the more rewarding path in the long run. Hitting Spike, shagging Spike and abusing Spike while amusing for a little while eventually lead to more violence and shame. Being bad – as fun as it sounds isn’t all its cracked up to be. And some of us, have to learn it the hard way.

Thanks for reading. Feedback appreciated as always!

:- ) shadowkat

[> Major spoilers for Benediction on Ats Angel as well! -- shadowkat, 09:00:10 05/15/02 Wed

[> Ooooh. (sits back to mull all that over) Great post!(NT) -- Talia, 09:46:48 05/15/02 Wed

[> kudos for another great post! -- ponygirl, 10:33:39 05/15/02 Wed

I realize that I am eagerly awaiting the season finale not only so I can finally finally see what happens, but also so that you can put it all together for us in one (or more!) of your essays!

[> [> More bad -- (spoilers for The Gift, SR, Villains, others) -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 14:43:19 05/15/02 Wed

Well said, Shadowkat; but isn't there another one flirting with the bad side?


In "The Gift," he does what Buffy can't -- finish off Ben (hence stopping Glory.) It may be necessary to ensure the world's safety -- but it's also murdering an injured and helpless human being. Giles has walked with the dark before, and that may be part of the reason he was so severe with Willow in "Flooded".

But does he have such a firm moral point to stand on? Doesn't Willow know he killed Ben -- and so what's the gigantic difference between that act and finishing off Warren? (Of course, one victim threatened the world -- the other just killed the only real love of Willow's life.)

Giles was the leader/mentor/father (or at least rakish uncle) for the Scooby Gang. What lesson did he leave with them in "The Gift?"

I could never trust you, the DT dream (spoilers) -- ramses 2, 09:20:12 05/15/02 Wed

This morning I had an epiphany, wait I lost it, No I have it again, Buffy's issues of trust are completely self contained. In SR she's says she could never love Spike because she could never trust Spike. But is this true?
She has relied on Spike for seasons now to watch her mother, sister, back. If something comes up the gang turns to him either for muscle or research. He has saved their lives or attempted to on numerous occasions. He has risked death rather than hurt Dawn or Buffy. And Buffy acknowledges this, it is Spike she entrusts to take care of her sister when she dies. Sounds like trust to me. And I won't even bring up the handcuffs okay?
So let's look at the dream in DT. It starts with rather sweet comforting sex, then it appears that Buffy is the agressor, handcuffing Spike. And then we have Katrina, the innocent, being handcuffed by Buffy. Buffy asks, do you trust me, then it appears to change, Katrina is Spike, then A sleeping(innocent)Spike is staked, changing into Katrina. What does this mean? Buffy doesn't trust herself. She is afraid of who she is, the slayer. Can she be trusted to not hurt innocents? To not hurt the ones she loves?
All season long we've had Spike challenging Buffy, trying to figure out just who she is. This makes Buffy very uncomfortable. She doesn't want to know, she's afraid to know.
She begs Tara to tell me I came back wrong, what she's really begging for is the knowledge that the slayer is not wrong. Evil. Dark. Capable of turning on those she should protect. Buffy's carried alot of guilt around since we've met her. She not a normal girl, yet, family, friends, school all expect her to be. She's full of anger, we've seen that this season. She feels like a martyr.
Throw into this everything the council has ever told her about right and wrong, good and evil. Her feelings towards certain vamps, well they're wrong. No questions asked. pile on the shame.
And now we have Spike, who asks things like, is that the kinda demon you are love, I know what kind of girl you are, you came back wrong, you're an animal. He's not letting this go. Spike senses a familiarity here, he's senses it from the start. But he's conflicted too. Spike needs Buffy to stay above him, non demon. But still, he's gotta push.
Buffy starts the season relying on Spike. Confiding in him to the exclusion of the others. But when the relations start, she pulls away from him emotionally. She refuses to talk. Have any kind of conversation with him.
Not because she doesn't trust him. But because she's afraid of her. The slayer. The one who always ends up alone. Buffy is terrified that spike will leave her. Abandon her. Like all the others. She doesn't want to feel the pain.(TR,talk with Giles)The watcher tells her two things, love, forgive and you only think you know. They are intwined. If Buffy could find out about the Slayer, find out the truth of who and what she is, then she could love. And forgive.
In SR, she is scared, terrified, she begs Spike to no, don't hurt me. I think this should be examined with Spike's you only hurt the ones you love. Buffy is terrified that if she agrees that she loves him, agrees that they have the kind of love that burns,( The fire she wants so badly OMWF) then he will leave her.
OAFA brought us a Spike who forgave Buffy. We couldn't understand that. We called him a wimp. Next episode we see Buffy bringing Dawn to him and missing him. We will call her crazy.
ME calls it building a relationship

[> Nicely expressed, Ramses. -- Dyna, 10:03:28 05/15/02 Wed

[> Could explain why... -- Dariel, 10:26:36 05/15/02 Wed

..I had the odd feeling that Buffy was relieved in Villains. Spike finally exploded, finally hurt her back. When you abuse someone and they keep taking it, it's got to make you feel guilty. Now, Buffy doesn't have to feel guilty anymore.

[> love and trust and confrontation in SR -- cj, 12:53:04 05/15/02 Wed

i've been combining some thoughts in my head and have a similar thought to the SR scene. if you accept that the buffy this season is different, but mainly different because she can't feel, can't love. she can't connect with her friends. she's a fighter w/o the heart, w/o the fun, w/o the love. the love for her family, her friends, spike, but mainly even the love for life has left her. if you accept that spike's role is often one of the truth. or as someone pointed out pragmatatism. then...
in SR truth grabs buffy and shakes her into admiting she does love. or she can love if she lets herself. and buffy pushes truth away and admits she doesn't love because she doesn't trust.
and her i don't mean trusts spike. as ramses 2 is saying, i think it's about trusting herself, trusting life. NA was about acceptance. and i think we've seen a change in buffy since NA. but acceptance is not the same as whole hearted participation. her trust issues stem back as far as hank, s2 with angelus, s3 faith, and on and on. and i'm sure the whole dieing resurrection hasn't made trust any easier.


[> [> Re: love and trust and confrontation in SR -- Caroline, 13:52:48 05/15/02 Wed

Great posts Ramses 2, Dariel and cj. I agree that Buffy seemed relieved in Villains. It reminded me of OAFA. Buffy had just majorly beaten Spike up yet he still crashes the birthday party, tries to seduce her etc. No apology or explanation about the fading black eye etc. He just went back to the normal stuff. Buffy's reaction to Dawn wanting to go to Spike in Villains was similar. Just a sigh and an alright. When she walks into the crypt, she calls out to him like any other time she's crashed his crypt and asked for his help. Same old, same old. And she wasn't exactly happy to learn that he's gone. I think there's more to develop in this relationship but I'm not sure whether there'll be time enough to do it in the last two episodes of this season.

[> [> [> I have a real problem with her doing that -- Spike Lover, 17:36:38 05/15/02 Wed

I guess it is a complete lack of respect for Spike? Maybe not.

When you tell someone who wants a relationship with you that there is no way, that you don't even like them or value them... When you tell someone you have been sleeping with that it is over and to get out of your life... When you tell someone who is having a very, very hard time accepting that you really don't/can't be involved with them anymore that you don't love them, that you couldn't love them, and you can't and shouldn't trust them...

You can't just go back the next day to 'business as usual' and not confuse them. If Spike had been there, I believe he (and Dawn too) would have believed that she was 'over the assault' thing and that things were going to return to hot and heavy or hot and cold. She may not be 'saying' that she wanted him back in her life, but by her actions she is inviting him in again. I am so relieved that Spike was gone. I could only see a person reacting in 2 ways. One would be to believe as above- Buffy has forgiven me and come back to me because she does love me. Or he could realize that Buffy was playing with his feelings, 'leading him on', and he could lash out against her through Dawn.

But Buffy can't see what she is doing or what she did. And Xander could only see potential harm for Dawn. He does not know the true nature of the S/B relationship. If he had, he would have been able to more articulately tell her "Hell NO! Dawn can go to the neighbor's." And what exactly does it say about Buffy that she would entrust her sister to a demon she knows next to nothing about (except that he is a friend of Spike's.) If she thinks that poorly of Spike, why would she leave her sister with him? (I think highly of both Clem and Spike.)

[> [> I agree- bathroom scene could have had symbolic level -- Spike Lover, 17:13:50 05/15/02 Wed

I said that a few days ago, that that scene in the bathroom, (the strangest of all places to be attacked) could have been a symbolic choice, to mean, perhaps, Buffy's most private retreat, her most private thoughts, and perhaps this fight she had was symbolically suppose to depict the innerturmoil she has been secretly enduring. Her tendency is to love Spike who she does trust w/ her friends and family and her own life, who she enjoys sexually, who she can confide in, who obviously loves her. But she rejects that love because she is wholeheartedly afraid to love him. So if Spike is actually symbolic of her love for him, the whole scene makes a little more sense(to me). She cries and begs for mercy, not from a vampire she can easily whip, but from her own overpowering feelngs. She ends up 'wrestling' with her feelings of love. She kicks those feelings of love away from her, telling them that she could never 'trust' her love. The truth is that the last person she loved (Angel) betrayed her twice. She has not really loved anyone else sense. Well, that is my take on it anyway. ...And I know itis not the popular- 'Spike is evil' interpretation.

[> [> [> I think the further we come from the scene -- ramses 2, 17:35:07 05/15/02 Wed

The more we question just how Buffy viewed the scene. It reminds me of OAFA. This season must be viewed metaphorically. Buffy is estranged from he emotions.

Cave paintings, african statues in the bushes, is Tara coming back?(spoilers) -- ramses 2, 10:21:26 05/15/02 Wed

I have long felt that Spike and Tara's fates are intertwined. I was hoping that Spike would ask for a soul, be put into the ether of souls and there meet William. As he is about to meld he hears Willow's anguished cries, he turns from william and his chance at Buffy to help. He finds Tara and tries to con the demon, 'you didn't say whose soul.' Tara is returned to life but Spike is frozen, neither dead or alive. Buffy must save him.
Why do I think this? Apart from Spike needing something big to redeem himself and for him to discover that even soulless he's gotten to a good place? Well the crypt song.(Out of my mind, out of this world. Just want you to save me) Tara being the only one to know about Spike.(godess mother) the cave paintings depicting what is happening in Sunnydale and the african statue right outside the door after the coroners leave(Thank you undeadpatient!)
We also have the african masks in TR,(always over Randy or Giles). Am I being delusional here?

[> DANGER! SPOILER in title above! -- Robert, 10:48:52 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> Oh no, I was too excited about posting! Mostly wild speculation -- ramses 2, 10:55:09 05/15/02 Wed

Please erase!

[> Re: Cave paintings, african statues in the bushes, is Tara coming back?(spoilers) -- Cern, 11:46:14 05/15/02 Wed

i had a weird thought when i saw Spike in Africa-isnt that where the First Slayer was from? Combine that with the paintings on the wall, and maybe the Cave Demon has something to do with the Slayers?

[> [> I had the same thought -- vampire hunter D, 12:44:25 05/15/02 Wed

I'll have to go back and look at the cave paintings, I don't remember exactly what was portrayed

High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Spike Lover, 10:26:26 05/15/02 Wed

Ok, I LOVED this ep and have to share. Maybe it was that M.N. wrote it?

I did experience some agitation. I was annoyed that the paramedics showed up and went to Buffy only. WHo called them? X? Willow? The neighbors? Where were the cops? Why didn't they ask if anyone else was hurt? Why didn't anyone go in the house? When Willow heard the siren, why didn't she scream for help? Why didn't the neighbors show up? Why didn't Xander go scream for Willow to help Buffy? ***MOst of all, why was it 30 minutes into the show before X and B knew that Tara had been shot? But perhaps that was intentional to show how disconnected and self-centered our heroes are.?

I liked the change in Willow. In Bargaining, she humbly and respectfully invokes Osiris on Buffy's behalf. In Villians, she demands his presence and shouts orders. Very cool. Enjoyed the coloring of Willow's hair to pitch black.

Liked the semetry of the characters. Willow was the only one who was changed and affected. Xander was still Bitter. Buffy was still ineffectual and wishy-washy. Specifically, I REALLY LIKED when W shows up at the hospital and states "It is time to deal with Warren." Yes, it was time. It was way past time. Of course, they could have simply started with a phone call to the police (weeks ago).

Buffy is like- 'why?' no real harm done, just because I suspect he killed Katrina and he has shot at everyone. Since I didn't die, (this time) it does not really matter. He is just a child (like me.) ***I would pay to see Sipowitz from NYPD blue give Buffy a talk on her apathy to use/work with the police.***

It is not until Willow finally tells them that Tara (who NO ONE HAS EVEN THOUGHT ABOUT) is dead, that Buffy is shocked and concerned. (Maybe she felt flattered that Willow was being vengence girl on her behalf?)

Buffy seems to be slow at letting go of her childlike/innocent mentality that 'it must have been an accident or Warren and the trio are not a threat to society because they are our age or just human or whatever, or this can't be true'. (I remember her lame response when Anya finds the stolen jewelry in Dawn's room, and Buffy says "Dawn, tell them they are wrong! That this is a mistake!" Give me a break.)

They seemed to stress Buffy's ineffectualness when the ambulance people were taking Tara's body away. I swear they had her hair look exactly the way Joyce wore hers, and you know how ineffectual Joyce was.

Buffy gave that speech about humans being regulated by society and police, but it was just lip service. None of the sg utilize the police. In fact, you could say that Buffy is partially to blame for Tara's shooting because if she had gone to the cops earlier with her suspicions about Warren killing K, they might have had him locked up or on the run so that he would have had more to worry about than robbing amusement parks or killing Buffy.

Then you have Buffy doing the strangest thing (for a potential rape victim or even date-rape victim). Agreeing that her sister could stay w/ Spike. I object on a couple of levels although I TOTALLY believe that Buffy is so wishy- washy that she would completely do that. (And if Spike had been there, it would have completely given him a mixed message -again -that there was still hope or trust, or feelings or whatever-) Because you do not trust your family (or friends) around people you do not trust. It makes me wonder Once again how she really sees that bathroom incident. Xander saw it pretty much cut and dry.

Xander still bitter- about Spike, and boy, he had the nasty comment for Anya when she revealed that she had gone back to her original profession.

The guy who plays Warren is an amazing actor! The expressions on his face in his final scene with Willow was So believable. Once again the writers were FOILing (Comparing or showing both the similarities and differences) Spike/Warren. Loved the "BORED NOW" statement!! Loved the ripping of the skin off. Rock on!!

I loved the Clem scene. Maybe I will change my name to "ILIKECLEM". Spike Lover is probably easier.

From watching the previews for next week, I wonder if "Grow Up" means that in leaving childhood, you have to leave your childhood friendships behind as you all choose a path to walk. And maybe Buffy and X need to understand that you can't make your friends choose what you think is best for them (parents either). (even if you think they are going to ruin their life by their actions.) You can only do what Tara did - which is separate yourself from what or whom you find to be intolerable.

Also, I am excited that they may finally deal with Willow's jealousy of Buffy- that Buffy was the slayer and Willow was only Slayer support. I am excited to see the fallout. By the way, where is the social worker?

I apologize for the length.

[> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Traveler, 10:46:32 05/15/02 Wed

1) Buffy was probably planning to find Warren, beat him up, and turn him over to the police. She simply objected to Willow killing him.

2) Buffy didn't trust Spike. She trusted his chip. There's a world of difference.

[> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- JustAsking, 11:23:18 05/15/02 Wed

2) Buffy didn't trust Spike. She trusted his chip. There's a world of difference.

Sorry, I don't buy this at all. The chip only prevents Spike from directly hurting humans. It doesn't make him "good". When he found out he could pop Buffy, the first thing he did was go out and look for a kill.

There's nothing in the chip that wouldn't allow Spike to passively watch Warren (or any other evil agent) kidnap Dawn, which (at least in theory) is what Buffy is worried about. There may be something in *Spike*, which is, his loyalty and feelings for Buffy, but there's nothing about the *chip* that makes him a protector.

But only the audience is seeing Spike sympathetically right now. Buffy's last words and thoughts concerning Spike were out of anger and betrayal. The bathroom scene - in my mind - was to dramatically end any thought of Spuffiness, to all parties. Seeking him out the next day is lazy writing.

Just saying.

[> [> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- clg0107, 11:40:40 05/15/02 Wed

>>The bathroom scene - in my mind - was to dramatically end any thought of Spuffiness, to all parties. Seeking him out >>the next day is lazy writing.

Unless the writers want to show her as still a bit conflicted about her thoughts and feelings. And, they want him to still be a factor in their lives. Frankly, I'm not all that surprised, given everything that's gone on over the last 2-3 seasons, that when the chips are really down and they need someone, they still go to good old reliable Spike, who must be hanging in his crypt waiting to be needed....


[> [> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- DickBD, 11:41:38 05/15/02 Wed

Lazy writing? I think there is some purpose there to show that Spike is still considered a friend. He does have a history with the group now. And Dawn has always been fond of him. I think it is good writing to have a seemingly evil character have some good points. It is something of a metaphor for real life. Besides, I happen to be in the camp that thinks the Spike character is one of the most interesting of them all. I am also with the group that believes that Spike got mixed messages from Buffy; hence, the attempted "rape" is somewhat forgivable.

[> [> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Traveler, 13:42:15 05/15/02 Wed

"There may be something in *Spike*, which is, his loyalty and feelings for Buffy, but there's nothing about the *chip* that makes him a protector. "

No, but just because we know better doesn't mean that Buffy does. She sees the chip in the same way Spike does, as a sort of artificial conscience.

[> [> [> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Kevin, 17:03:37 05/15/02 Wed

I just realized a parallel between Buffy and Spike this season:

Buffy blames her actions and feelings(or lack of them)- her 'darkness' this season on coming back 'wrong', that it's not really her darkness. She wants to have come back wrong so she doesn't have to own her feelings and see herself as a complete whole - dark and light together.

Spike is on the other side blaming his feelings and conscience (his humanity) on the chip, that it's not really him, that without the chip he would still be a monster - pure evil.

I diagree with the people who suggested that Spike blamed his attack on Buffy on the chip. What he blames on the chip, when he realized that Buffy was hurt and that he had crossed the line, is that he cared. As a monster, he shouldn't care. He shouldn't feel remorse. In the first season Angel explains to Buffy that not having a soul means not having conscience and that it is a very simple way to live, to not care about others. As a vampire, Spike shouldn't care, but he does. That's the conflict that's driving him crazy.

He blames the chip for giving him feelings, but the chip has nothing to do with it...It can only restrain his physical actions. It shouldn't change the way he feels, how he wants to behave. The chip can not create feelings, or conscience, or soul...They have to arise from Spike himself. The same as Buffy's resurrection has nothing to do with her feelings.

Both of them are looking to be pure - One light and the other dark. They're both struggling with the reality of grey.


[> [> [> [> [> Don't think it was the caring part that was the issue -- Spike Lover, 17:22:40 05/15/02 Wed

I liked your comparison.

I rewatched that scene. Some people thought he said "Why did I do it? Why DIDN'T I do it?"

I watched it carefully, but what I heard was "Why did I do it? What didn't I do?" Very different. I guess we will have to watch it in subtitles to see what he said.

Anyway, I think he blames his whole situation on the chip, not particularly his feelings of remorse. I think he feels as he has stated before, that he should be killing the enemy, not sleeping with it. He feels it is basically wrong of him to give up his old life (and what he knows vampires do)-

Another way to look at it is to berate yourself for having an inner-racial relationship. It is wrong to love something other than your own kind. It brings heartache.

[> [> [> [> [> [> The exact quote. -- Traveler, 10:24:49 05/16/02 Thu

I paid careful attention to this line when I rewatched the episode, so I'm pretty confident I have it right.

"What have I done?" (beat)
"Why didn't I do it?"

The emphasis he puts on the words leads you to believe he is feeling horrible guilt and doesn't understand why.

[> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- West, 11:58:18 05/15/02 Wed

You made a lot of good points, but I think you're being a bit critical about the whole 'ignorance of Tara' thing. Xander didn't know that the last shot went through the window, and since I don't believe he even went inside when he showed up, he didn't even know Will and Tara were home. His first priority must have been Buffy and getting her to safety (clear thinking isn't always a big thing under stress like that).

I doubt it was Willow who called for help. Well, not the police or ambulance anyways, she was busily invoking the spirit of Osiris. She wasn't screaming for help because she knew how to get her own, and if that didn't work, then nothing else would. Then she snapped and went all vengance- y. Again, not big with the clear thinking. Since the whole Buffy scene did happen in the backyard, I find it plausible that no one would have found a very silent Willow and Tara upstairs.

As for the police, this could be said for pretty much any situation Buffy has dealt with, but it kinda leads to a major plot problem... If they called the police each time, Buffy's job is useless. However, they've been riding the idea that the police have no power against mystical problems (which the Troika dabbled in) and would end up getting killed, which would be on Buffy's conscience. This is her duty, yadda yadda yadda.

I love what you said about Buffy looking like Joyce. I noticed that too, but I didn't realize the whole 'weakness' association. Also loved Clem. And what was Xander's biting reply to Anya? The damn phone rang when that scene came on.


[> [> Buffy looking like Joyce, Dawn being like Buffy ? - - Etrangere, 12:38:10 05/15/02 Wed

Okay I gonna answer about that because that's like the only thing praise-worthy I found in that episode (hum)
Dawn finding the body of Tara was thus put in the same position than Buffy when he found the body of her mother.
And with that, Buffy has never been as Joyce-like in her good sense and dealing with stuff.

[> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- clg0107, 12:46:57 05/15/02 Wed

>>I love what you said about Buffy looking like Joyce.

There have been a number of eerie moments of this over the last two seasons, even before Joyce died. I like it. It's like she's still there, in a way.


[> [> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Spike Lover, 16:44:28 05/15/02 Wed

Thank you for your kind comments about my comments. Admittedly if the police were more involved, there might be less for Buffy to do- but maybe not. Remember, the first season of Angel had him working w/ the cops also (or just one.)

Well, let me see here if I can paraphrase it close enough. They opened the scene w/ X helping Anya walk, asking her if she could talk yet. She could. He told her that Tara was dead. She already knew. She said that W came in a sucked the dark arts books dry. He said he needed a locator spell. She said she could find W easily because she could feel her need/thirst for vengence. X asks, 'feel her need for vengence? Is that a risidual from being a vengence demon?'
'No, it is not risidual' A replies. 'Well, when did THAT happen?'
She snaps, 'When do you think'.
Buffy comes in and you get a recap of the above. B is also 'shocked' that A has returned to her old profession (as if she would not have already suspected that 2 eps ago) but anyway.
Xander says something like, 'So you can feel her need- and don't you go to her? Isn't that what You do?' (I guess it was that way X said it that made it so hostile.)
A replies, 'Yes, normally, but in this case no'
'Because she wants to do it herself-' Buffy finishes.

[> A few points (to everyone) -- vampire hunter D, 13:23:30 05/15/02 Wed

1) While I agree that Buffy should have called to police on Warren and Andrew, the problem is that you can't make accusations without proof. Buffy had suspicions, and speculations, but no proof. ANd without that, the police are helpless at best. In fact, they probably would have been apathetic and even annoyed at her for wasting their time (she's just throwing around wild theories when they know damn well Katrina committed suicide). So, the police were not an option, ever.

2)I liked how Buffy was willing to take Dawn to Spike. First, it shows that Spike is not all bad, no matter what he did. And to JustAsking, she wasn't taking Dawn there to protect her, but so that Dawn wouldn't be left alone after such trauma (she already spent most of the day alone with the body of her dead friend, so she had to be left with somebody). Besides, saying no might have meant telling Dawn about what happened in the bathroom. ANd in case no one noticed, Buffy shields Dawn from everything and ANything that might hurt her.

ANd in any case, there is no way Spike could ever hurt Dawn. No matter what.

[> [> Re: A few points (to everyone) -- JBone, 21:13:17 05/15/02 Wed

I thought that Buffy looked very relieved when she found Clem instead of Spike. And Dawn proved that she needed protection in the way she reacted to finding Tara's body.

[> [> Snyder had it right: Sunnydale police are deeply stupid -- Cleanthes, 21:14:09 05/15/02 Wed

[> Buffy in "Villains" -- Kerri, 16:50:00 05/15/02 Wed

Well, I read this episode very differently in a few areas. First of all: Buffy.

My take on her was not as immature and ineffectual but as resolute, strong, and mature.

They seemed to stress Buffy's ineffectualness when the ambulance people were taking Tara's body away. I swear they had her hair look exactly the way Joyce wore hers, and you know how ineffectual Joyce was.

I don't think that this scene showed Buffy as ineffectual. Yes, she was overwhelmed, and let Xander handel the coronor, but she was trying to comfort Dawn. After the police and cornor left Buffy took charge. She stood resolute on beliefs and took the lead in the effort to help Willow.

I'd suggest that the reason Buffy resembled Joyce was to point out how mature Buffy is. How far she has come in the past few episdes since she spoke to Joyce in the assylum- verse.

Buffy seems to be slow at letting go of her childlike/innocent mentality that 'it must have been an accident or Warren and the trio are not a threat to society because they are our age or just human or whatever, or this can't be true'.

I see the childlike mentality as being Willow'. Children take revenge. If another child hits them they hit back. It is only a special, mature, individual who is able to not tak revenge. Buffy wasn't saying that Warren wasn't a threat (on the contrary she seemd to treat them as more of a threat thn and of the other scoobies-in fact, willow ignored them as a problm entirely in SR, perhaps adding to the guilt she feels in Tara's death.), instead she felt that it wasn't her place to take another human life.

If we think of BtVS in terms of Buffy's journey than now is the time that she must encorporate Tara's lessons into herself. Perhaps, we saw some of that last night.

Just a few more random comments:

I am so happy that Buffy and Dawn are close again. I loe their relationsip. It's so sweet, and just further's the comparisio of Buffy to Joyce as Buffy becomes more of a mother to Dawn.

I'm not sure how Ifeel about Buffy leaving Dawn with Spike. Yes, he did try to rape her, but Buffy is right Spike would never hurt Dawn. Maybe, she blames herself in part for what Spike did. But, I think that Buffy's forgiveness and understanding that Spike is not all evil is impotant. Afterall, that is what originally changed Spike.

[> [> Re: I agree very much with what you've said -- Artemis, 19:58:47 05/15/02 Wed

She seemed very mature. More worldly. But rather than remind me of Joyce, I swear my first thoughts were she reminds me of Giles. Thinking the problem through vs blindly going forward. Trying to think rationally. Portraying a woman who has seen so much and is now starting to understand it . I really liked her in this scene . Though I always liked Buffy . The journey has been fascinating .
I hope Buffy doesn't feel Blame for what Spike did . And I know that it's just semantics . But it seems that Maybe she understands that She and Spike together are responsible for the explosion which was there relationship. She seems to matured enough to understand that relationships are complicated . We're probably saying the same thing.

[> [> [> Re: I agree very much with what you've said -- JBone, 21:15:43 05/15/02 Wed

I agree about Buffy sounding like Giles, it's like the writers were making a mission statement through Buffy.

[> Re: a small point on Buffy/Dawn (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Valhalla, 22:15:17 05/15/02 Wed

I thought part of the reason Buffy agreed to take Dawn to Spike was because she just didn't have time (or the emotional energy) to get into a big thing with Dawn. Also, Dawn's request came at the end of a line of real negatives - Dawn finds Tara dead, Buffy saying no - Dawn don't say Warren should die, you dont' really feel that Warren should die, we can't let Willow kill Warren, we can't control the universe, no you can't come with me to help save Willow. It was probably easier to say yes to Dawn than rack up another 'no' in that situation.

Buffy wouldn't have given in if she didn't think Dawn would be ok with Spike (as others have said more cogently than I), but she was eager to save Willow, and she didn't feel she had a lot of choices.

[> Re: High Praise for "Villians" (SPOILERS for Villians!!) -- Malandanza, 23:47:17 05/15/02 Wed

"Then you have Buffy doing the strangest thing (for a potential rape victim or even date-rape victim). Agreeing that her sister could stay w/ Spike. I object on a couple of levels although I TOTALLY believe that Buffy is so wishy- washy that she would completely do that. (And if Spike had been there, it would have completely given him a mixed message -again -that there was still hope or trust, or feelings or whatever-) Because you do not trust your family (or friends) around people you do not trust. It makes me wonder Once again how she really sees that bathroom incident. Xander saw it pretty much cut and dry."

I am essentially in agreement about Buffy's visit to Spike's crypt. To even think of leaving her sister with a sexual predator is appalling (I don't care how good of pals Spike and Dawn are -- get a few drinks into Spike and he's capable of anything). The only logical conclusion is that Buffy didn't see Spike as an attempted rapist when she took Dawn to Spike's crypt. I do think that when Buffy kicked Spike into the wall she thought of him as a rapist -- she has since changed her mind.

When Buffy first realized that Spike was obsessed with her, she blamed herself. When Spike chained her up and threaten to kill her, she was defiant at the time ("The only chance you had with me was when I was unconscious") but almost immediately turned to Spike to protect Joyce and Dawn from Glory -- déjà vu, anyone? I see the bathroom scene as being very in character for Buffy -- she blamed herself for sending mixed signals and mistreating poor "William." Her martyr complex strikes again.

Additionally, Buffy seems to regard attempted crimes as trivial. Mere lapses of judgment, hardly worth consideration. Just look at Buffy's attitude towards Willow's vengeance: before Buffy knew about Tara's death, she was puzzled as to why Willow would be so upset about an attempt on her life that had very nearly succeeded. Spike's attempted rape would fall into the same category.

Which is not to say that I view the bathroom scene as ambiguous -- I'm pretty much with Xander on this one. But Clem is right -- Buffy has issues,

"Also, I am excited that they may finally deal with Willow's jealousy of Buffy- that Buffy was the slayer and Willow was only Slayer support. I am excited to see the fallout. "

I have also thought there was some rivalry (entirely on Willow's part) between Willow and Buffy -- especially since the resurrection. The show down has great potential, but I'm afraid they'll ruin it by having Willow win, but saving her at the last minute by an appeal to her humanity. I want to see the Slayer that the vampires in the bar fear and respect knock the hubris right out of Willow.

"Make me, skin job" (spoilers, SR and Villains) -- Traveler, 10:39:11 05/15/02 Wed

You know, it occured to me that we've been seeing a lot of "layers" being removed from people recently.

He wore a monster suite, but it didn't fit him well. Underneath, it was obvious that he was still just a normal guy. This symbolizes his relationship and eventual betrayal of the Troika.

As Willow stalked him, Warren gradually lost his toys until he was left with only his clothes, leaving him powerless and desperate. Then, even his skin was stripped away, reminding us that, for all his evil, he was still a human being underneath it all.

Willow and Spike
Both were stripped of color and revealed desires and fears that had been hiding under the surface all along. Others have written much more eloquent posts on these two.

She was stripped of power and purpose. As a vengeance demon she was forced to offer her services to Willow, but was turned down. When Anya tried to stop her from reading the black books, Willow paralyzed her, the effects of which didn't wear off for some time. Anya goes with the gang to help them stop Willow from taking vengence.

She has lost her sense of security and a bit of her innocence. Also, she feels like she is losing Spike.

Not sure about him. Hopefully we are seeing him start to lose some of his black and white views about good and evil.

Of all the scooby gang, only Buffy seems to have maintained her sense of self and purpose. Having already seen the darkness in herself, perhaps she is beginning to come to terms with it?

[> really liked what you wrote about Jonathan and Warren =) -- neaux, 10:44:22 05/15/02 Wed

[> Nice insight on Warren, in particular. -- yez, 11:12:25 05/15/02 Wed

It must be significant that his skin is removed, as you note. Also, we have Willow emulating the "dusting" that happens to vampires -- she incinerates (?) the body. So she's trying to follow the same Slayer pattern with a human? Why? Is that just the way things are done, as with all the vampire slayage they've done over the years? You kill them and then you don't have to look at what you've done? Or is she intentionally destroying evidence -- showing that she still realizes that what she's doing is wrong and could get her in trouble?

Not so sure I agree with you about Buffy. Something about her little speech and her actions bothered me, but I'm still trying to pinpoint what exactly it was.


[> [> Re: Nice insight on Warren, in particular. -- clg0107, 11:32:46 05/15/02 Wed

>>You kill them and then you don't have to look at what you've done? Or is she intentionally destroying evidence -- >>showing that she still realizes that what she's doing is wrong and could get her in trouble?

I saw it as her almost erasing his existence. There's nothing left of him when she's done.


[> [> [> Makes sense. -- yez, 11:42:00 05/15/02 Wed

Might explain her going after the other two, too? Getting rid of everything associated with Warren?


[> [> Re: Nice insight on Warren, in particular. -- pr10n, 11:55:48 05/15/02 Wed

I was watching "Innocence" last night and I noticed that the Judge's burning FX look similar to what Willow did to Warren. ["Can we incinerate people with more creative burnings, please?"]

Willow has decided to make decisions about people's fates, like a judge. She as much said so to Buffy, and Dawn agreed. "Good," was the pronouncement from Dawn and Xander about Willow killing Warren, but Buffy brought Xander back around.

I really like your idea about "dusting" though, since the preview shows Willow in slayeresque mode.

[> [> About Buffy -- alcibiades, 11:56:25 05/15/02 Wed

"about Buffy. Something about her little speech and her actions bothered me, but I'm still trying to pinpoint what
exactly it was."

They lacked Buffy's fire, her anger fueling her fire which has always aided her. Buffy seemed at a distance to me. She still isn't totally back yet. She's not involved the way she has been in other years.

[> [> [> Yeah -- it just seemed flat. But I don't know if it's Buffy or SMG. -- yez, 12:07:42 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> [> Re: About Buffy -- LittleBit, 13:54:46 05/15/02 Wed

Given that Buffy had just been shot, and then revived by Willow's magic to learn that a good friend, and one of the very few she trusted with her secrets, had been killed by the same person who shot her, then discovered that her best friend had given herself over to whatever dark powers she could use to wreak vengeance for Tara, I don't think it's too surprising that Buffy may show a less than fiery passion for all the reasons they can't tear Warren limb from limb. She had to have been feeling much the same way as Dawn and Xander but was forcing herself to be reasonable and recognize that it isn't acceptable.

Xander gives as his reason for supporting Willow's actions the fact that he's had the blood of people he cares about on his hands, and therefore wants retribution. Buffy's blood. Buffy's third death (yes, she flatlined). And yet Buffy believes enough in the principles she's always held to as the Slayer to stick to them, however unenthusiatically. Buffy's concern is for Willow, to stop her from destroying herself. She knows what it can mean when someone starts down the dark paths not caring about returning. She went through it with Faith.

I read her somewhat flat argument as reminding herself as well as Dawn and Xander, what was allowable in the large picture. And also, she was already thinking forward to what may be required to prevent Willow from self-destructing

[> [> [> [> New Slayer? -- yez, 14:02:39 05/15/02 Wed

That's right, she did flatline -- unless that was an effect of Willow's electrical disturbing entrances.

So... new Slayer?

[> [> [> [> [> Nope, Only 1 Slayer Per slayer exchange so sayeth Joss -- Dochawk, 14:15:40 05/15/02 Wed

But I wonder if all this is going to start Dawn onto the potential of the key. I always wonder "she is made of me"; if slayer traits are passed by blood, then Dawn has slayer hidden inside of her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Oh, thanks. Maybe, but just can't see MT working that. -- yez, 14:41:03 05/15/02 Wed

Also, wouldn't we have seen some of her slayer strength, etc., by now? She's done some clobbering of things, and she did stake that vamp (using his own body weight, though), but I don't know.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: New Slayer? -- tam, 15:16:30 05/15/02 Wed

no new slayer. the line is with faith now.

[> [> [> I believe Buffy's still emotionally detached... -- Ixchel, 16:57:40 05/15/02 Wed

She's trying very hard, but I agree, alcibiades, she's still not completely back.

Maybe others would disagree with me, but I believe SMG's has been and is portraying depression excellently. I think this must be difficult to do for an actor.

The flatness of Buffy's behavior and interactions with everyone has displayed (to me) the emotional flatness of depression. Looking at a loved one (Dawn) and knowing you're supposed to feel _something_, but there isn't anything inside. That profound hollowness.

The more frequent (progressively since OMWF) signs of emotion surrounded by the flatness just highlight the depth of her previous lack of emotion. I think Flooded first illustrated this (the training room scene with Willow).

JMHO, of course.


[> [> [> [> Whether or not SMG's masterfully playing depression... -- yez, 20:39:24 05/15/02 Wed

... I'm just not sure of the merits of having the lead character of an action/adventure/fantasy/drama series be depressed for an entire season. I mean, there's a reason that in real life, people avoid other people who are depressed, negative, etc. -- it's just very hard being around them.

A movie about a depressed person, even a book, OK. But week after week of Buffy: The Depressed Vampire Slayer... just got to be a little much and kind of killed the "appointment TV" thing, at least for me.

But as I said before, with the way memory compresses things, it may turn out to be worth more than it was at the time.


[> [> [> [> [> I think I understand what you mean... -- Ixchel, 22:38:38 05/15/02 Wed

It's been somewhat depressing for me, to be honest. Or at least wearying?

I do really like this season (the emotions, risks taken, complexities, ideas expressed), but it's been difficult to watch at times.

Good point about how time can change your perception of a season's merit.


[> Interesting, but I think Buffy still hasn't been stripped yet *Spoilers* Villains -- Anne, 11:59:53 05/15/02 Wed

Your "stripping down" analysis is interesting to me because, as far as I can see, Buffy is the only one who has kept her armour on and that's her problem. The only scene in which she stripped it off was in her "confession" to Tara. But as I have argued at length elsewhere, this was clearly a bad confession -- she admitted to using someone sexually, but not to abusing someone verbally, emotionally, and physically; not to brutally beating someone who loved her into a bloody pulp. The "Dead Things" confession was a beginning, but never followed up on. She has never really had to humble herself, to open herself up, or to be completely honest with herself or anyone else. And as I result I disagree strongly that she still has a sense of "self" and "purpose".

The AYW breakup was another example of Buffy still with a full suit of armour on. Yes, she needed to break up with Spike. But instead of acknowledging her own monstrousness in the relationship, she started out by emphasizing his ("that's just you") and went on with a forbearing, saintly, and let's face it, holier-than-thou demeanor to say that she had to stop because she had been using him ... and it was killing her. Not that it was bad because it had been hurting him; no, it's still the Great I Am.

I like your analysis of people being stripped down. But I still don't see that Buffy has gotten there. I will say this, though: the girl did seem to be picking up a bit in "Villains," mostly because she was showing the first signs of warmth I've seen in her for donkey's years. Still, I think she's got a long way to go. Maybe in the finale -- the way they've started to pace things, I think it's possible.

[> [> Re: Interesting, but I think Buffy still hasn't been stripped yet *Spoilers* Villains -- Ronia, 13:00:56 05/15/02 Wed

I agree wholeheartedly, maybe that is what has been bugging me this whole time...saint Buffy. It must be infuriating for everyone around her (including me) to try and approach her with THEIR feelings, only to be shot down in a monotone, sensible, oh just see reason already sort of way. It is detached and selfish, and I am having a hard time empathizing. It is a bit sociopathic even. Almost as though other people don't really exist on their own merrit, only in how they affect her. Hoping to see her snap out of it. I admit to being a little sad about the recent turn of events, some part of me hoped that Willow/Warren would be the next ship. Before you chase me off with boos and rotten fruit...hear me out. They seem to me like the male and female version of the same person, and in "Gone" when Willow is looking through their stuff, she looks...well...impressed. This is right up her alley, these are her people. I'm not necessarily implying a romantic relationship, but at least the death scene should have been more personall/intimate, all the face/dialogue scenes were shot from a distance. Oh well, all my plans blown up in my face...what else would I expect from ME?

[> [> [> female/male of the same person -- Dochawk, 15:03:21 05/15/02 Wed

I have a totally different reaction to Buffy then you do, i don't find her saint anything, but these are feelings/reactions, not script based so I don't think these are worth discussin, just noting that different people are affected differently.

I find your second comment most interesting, because I have felt since Superstar that Jonathan and Willow were the same person, seperated only because of the love and friendship Willow received from buffy and Xander and the lack of anything like it that Jonathan ever got. Both were nerdy, lonely really smart high school kids, but Jonathan never found his way out, so he wanted to kill himself in Superstar. Without the SG couldn't you see Willow having done the same thing? And then Jonathan uses magic to make himself popular, to make his pain go away in Superstar. And this season he uses his magical skills to feel part of a group, except that he really doesn't belong witht he Troika, because he may have been isolated, but he never hated (which is why he was going to kill himself in that tower, not other students). Even if Willow manages to survive this descent into darkness, she will never be able to retain her magical abilities and remain a Scoobie. I speculate that Jonathan will be joining them, finding a good place for his magic abilities.

[> [> [> [> Jonathan has been a full-on supporting character since S1 -- pr10n, 16:17:17 05/15/02 Wed

Your speculation is that between now and S7 he will be "promoted"?

That would be great. I have always liked his mousiness, and his red-shirted, throw-away aspects. Seeing him grow into a full character would be interesting.

[> [> [> [> Re: female/male of the same person -- Ronia, 16:59:51 05/15/02 Wed

I think Jonathan tried to kill himself in earshot, make himself popular in superstar, but otherwise, I definately see your point. Here's hoping to Jonathan as a full cast member s7.

[> [> [> [> Re: female/male of the same person -- AgnosticSorcerer, 20:27:56 05/15/02 Wed

"Even if Willow manages to survive this descent into darkness, she will never be able to retain her magical abilities and remain a Scoobie. I speculate that Jonathan will be joining them, finding a good place for his magic abilities."

-- I absolutely MUST disagree here. There is no way in sam hill that Willow will ever be replaced, especially by the likes of Jonathan. Joss Whedon, himself, has declared that in Season 7, Willow will become a Scooby once more and although she will still be "magickally inclined", she will not be a "magick junkie".

[> [> Re: Interesting, but I think Buffy still hasn't been stripped yet *Spoilers* Villains -- alcibiades, 13:26:08 05/15/02 Wed

She was still tacitly lying in Villains - she didn't let Xander know why Spike can hurt her and how that made it different from what he could do to Dawn -- not that I believe Spike would hurt Dawn.

I think it shows Buffy still has anxiety about what she came back as -- she may not fully believe what Tara told her. And indeed it may not be the whole truth.

[> [> One nitpick -- Traveler, 13:29:51 05/15/02 Wed

"But instead of acknowledging her own monstrousness in the relationship, she started out by emphasizing his ("that's just you") and went on with a forbearing, saintly, and let's face it, holier-than-thou demeanor to say that she had to stop because she had been using him ... and it was killing her."

She said that last part in response to Spike, when he said "Not complaining here." She was telling him that she wasn't ok with what was going on, even if he was.

[> [> [> Re: One nitpick -- Anne, 15:51:42 05/15/02 Wed

Okay, I'm going to note here something that is on the subjective side but: to me, if you listen to how SMG read that line, she read it very specifically as though she continued on with the sentence just as though he hadn't interrupted her -- I had no impression at all that what he said changed the way Buffy finished that sentence.

But as I say, that's a bit of a subjective call, and if you heard it differently, I couldn't prove who's right one way or another.

[> Stripped of attachments... -- Caroline, 15:25:22 05/15/02 Wed

I really like the theme you have going of everyone being stripped down. Part of the death/transformation/rebirth theme going on this season (otherwise known as maturity) if the element of taking away all the things that one is attached to that are no longer useful to who you really are as a person. The pain that we feel comes from the fact that we identify so hard with the things that life appears to be taking away from us. This is very Buddhist of ME. Buddhism talks about the 84,000 (if I remember correctly) attractions and repulsions that we must neutralize before we reach enlightenment. It also relates to many ancient and mythical stories. The Egyptians have the story of the Phoenix, the mythical bird that is burnt and consumed in fire, stripping away everything yet rising again, whole and renewed. Inanna is killed by her sister Ereshkigal in the underworld yet is revived and released to once again rule the heavens. Persephone is 'raped' by Hades and becomes queen of the underworld, and finally learns the mysteries and secrets of life, death, birth and womanhood.

In each case, an old, worn-out part of the identity must be let go to allow something new to take it's place. It is a dark, mysterious process, like puberty, like growing into adulthood. In puberty we experience it in physical terms, in adulthood in psychological and emotional terms. But the message is the same - the old is stripped away so that something new and better takes it place.

But I agree with Anne about Buffy - she is still not being entirely honest with herself - very good analysis Anne.

heroes -- shari, 11:49:13 05/15/02 Wed

This is just an invitation to comment. I was reading a book this morning about moral exemplars in Afghan society and one paragraph in particular struck me:

'what this etymology signifies to me is something that scholars of greek myths have long realised: as praiseworthy as heroes might be, they are also dangerous. Noble and memorable, indeed, they also stand outside the normal orbit of human interactiuon and are never entirely fir for ordinary society. In Afghanistan, no less than in other cultures at other times, heroes are an ambivalent blessin. On the one hand, they embody through their deeds the axiomatic truths by which societies define themselves.On the other, they strain the limits of what societies can tolerate if they are to survive. The hero rarely knows his place; he creates his own space at the expense of others and in doing so almost invariably trasgresses the limits and agreements around which the normal commerce of dailylife takes shape'(Edwards; 1996;21)

a)I started thinking about the scooby gang and also Joyce. any comments?

b)I was also thinking about whether buffy was a hero and if so what kind? Macintyre argues that in homeric texts the narration fo heroic acts are as integral to the nature of social action as the deeds themselves. either buffy isn't that kind of hero for the most part unrecognised, or the OMWF song bnuffy sings epitomises Joss as the narrator, can the buffy saga be read like the illiad( not saying in quality). or is buffy part of the ordinary hero saga? fairly confused thoughts i admit but suggest away. most of this has been written abut indirectly before but nothing like reviving an old chesnut

[> Re: heroes -- Rahael, 12:13:01 05/15/02 Wed

Thanks for the quote - very interesting. I'll think and respond later. Though I think you need to expand on your points and do a kind of thing, such as: how do you think Buffy herself is axiomatic? And what does McIntyre's argument actually mean in jargon free English?

I think it kind of ties in with the New Statesman article I quote, about the need to transcend ordinary life, and evil and good having the same common root. What do you think?

Ps, you know, you're typing is completely atrocious!!!!! LOL

Oh, and an unofficial, warm welcome to the board!

[> [> Sisters ! Re: heroes -- shari, 13:27:48 05/15/02 Wed

· Macintyre. Right to explain Macintyre jargon free would assume that I am similarly unencumbered….erm. I’ll try my best. Macintyre in ‘After virtue’ looks at Homeric society as a ‘heroic society’ . He essentially ( and please someone correct me if I’m wrong) argues that narrative structures, storytelling, is integrally linked to moral ideas. Telling the story of heroism is as integral to being a hero as doing heroic acts. The story telling follows a structure axiomatic of that society’s ideas of the virtues. Not only does it reflect moral mores but also is part of the process of creating them. . So Macintyre says 'so in heroic society to understand courage as a virtue is not just to understand how it may be exhibited in character but also what place it can have in a certain kind of enacted story'. To do is also to be told. To be told is also to do.

The book I was reading on Afghanistan took three different types of moral exemplars- the Islamic saint, the king and a tribal khan, and show that they have different types of moral authority and also different narrative forms. If the show used the different characters as axiomatic of different values, as many people have commented they do Xander heart etc, than would the way the story is told change radically?

That is, if we are living in a heroic society I don't think that buffyverse is a Homeric one. That’s my best attempt to render Macintyre jargon free Rah! but as you know it isn’t just my typing that is atrocious!

That said maybe Buffy as ‘hero’ if we see her as such than perhaps she embodies a certain idea of heroism. Is it the ordinary hero? Is it the white hat? Is it …? I don’t know to tell you the truth

It might be easier if we look at the idea of moral exemplars. They don't just reflect a given society's moral universe they also create and construct some of it through their 'acts'. Buffy however has not necessarily chosen to be a hero, her acts she sees as born out of necessity as a reflection of who she is. While angel to a certain extent does embark on his heroism because of who he is, a souled vampire, he is hoping by his acts to become a hero. Buffy doesn’t have that choice she will be the slayer till she dies, she just is. She obviously does heroic acts but because she also can't not. Running away to LA she still in the end has to accept what she is. On the other hand I might be building a very specious argument.

I think the buffyverse is axiomatic. Joss takes central concerns in American lives and questions, interrogates and further extends them. I remember writing an essay about the home in Euro-American society and using buffy, as vampires have to be invited into the home, home is seen as sacred as inviolate a haven in a heartless world. However that has been turned upside down in this season. Instead it is home which is unpredictable and threatening, there are demons in the wall contrasted to previously. When we were dealing with vampires the invitation was stressed constantly, with humans the lines change, all domains can be affected.

I agree entirely with your post today. There is no separate sphere of evil and good. We are generally ambiguous beings with equal ability to commit good and bad. I think that point is also true , to bring it back to heroes, heroism doesn’t necessarily mean good. When people take it upon themselves to commit acts that others cannot than they lose also the ability to distinguish or live by everyday rules. They trade in an heroism as a currency rather than good or bad( not that I’m admitting that there is such a clear line in daily life).

To return to the book about Afghanistan Edwards discusses az man who bent on revenge gets trapped further and further until he cannot escape the consequences or the dreadful consequences of enacting the logic of revenge. He reflects on stories and says ‘ the sum of my experience is this: simplistic stories devoid of morally ambiguous characters and narrative complexity wear quickly thin…the worst of all stories are those that seek to be charming, but a close second are those stories that rework classic fairytales gutting them of their contradictions, their violence, their perverse strangeness….what matters most in this story are precisely in moments of excess and transgression, for it is in these moments that we come to see the story’s horrible fascination and glimpse the troubling contradictions that rest at the core’( ibid; 50)

Sorry rah I’ve just read over this and realised I haven’t answered anything really just quoted and rambled. But hopefully potentially comment evoking.

[> [> [> Re: Sisters ! Re: heroes -- alcibiades, 13:52:43 05/15/02 Wed

In light of this, it is interesting that all of the main characters in the Buffyverse are outsiders. They do all have heroic aspects -- including Spike.

Xander however earlier this year, in LS, tried to keep his work separate from his Buffy-involved existence. Didn't want those two realms mixing.

Sounds like an interesting book.

[> [> [> [> Re sisters! Re heroes! -- Shari, 13:59:54 05/15/02 Wed

David Edwards- 'heroes of the age. Moral faultlines on the Afghan frontier' worth a looksee. Thanks for your comments- going to contemplate them over dinner and get back to you.

[> [> [> [> [> Chollavendaam! -- Rahael, 14:32:48 05/15/02 Wed

Special effects in "Villains" (spoilers) -- Rob, 11:54:33 05/15/02 Wed

No, this isn't the deepest post ever, but, frankly, "Villains" has still left me so stunned, and, like "Seeing Red," shellshocked, that I find it very hard to write anything analytical about it, because my emotions are still too strong. I will say, though, that this was not just a passing flirtation--I am deeply in love with Season Six! And, while, somewhere mid-season, I had some slight worries that I wouldn't get that sweeping, epic-y feeling I'm used to getting from "Buffy," I can now rest assured. These past few episodes have left me complete breathless, and blown- away. I wish the season finale would air right away...and I wish it would take longer to get there, so that the summer break doesn't have to start!

Anyway, focus, Rob, focus...

I had to just post on how incredible the effects for this episode were, most particularly when Willow literally dipped her hands into the Dark Arts books and sucked them dry. All of the ancient texts's words visually streaming through her body was, I think, one of the best visual effects we've ever seen on the show. It was dark, disturbing, and beautiful. That CGI-dark-eyed-Willow who looked up a second later was a little less convincing (I thought it looked a little too Lara-Croftish), but the words on Willow's arms were true magic, as was the map of Sunnydale, in Tara's blood.

And of course, the skin-strip of Warren, which was so dark, so disturbing, and so perfect. When I saw last week's promo, with Buffy saying, "What have you done?" I assumed Willow had done something horrific to Warren, worse than just kill him. Her tone of voice showed true disgust at whatever actions Willow had done...Actually, make that horror. Buffy sounded absolutely horrifed at what her best friend had done, and so I assumed it would be something horrifying...but I never could have imagined anything that gruesome. It was visually brilliant in just how repulsive it was...It really nailed the truth about Willow home. She is far worse than we've ever seen her before.

From her ominous, "One down..." line to the fact that next week's first episode is entitled, "Two to Go," I have one thing to say regarding Jonathan and Andrew: Gulp!


[> It is always a joy to read your postings! -- Robert, 11:59:56 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> Wow, thank you. That's a very nice compliment. :o) -- Rob, 17:08:01 05/15/02 Wed

[> Re: Special "3D" effects in trailer for "2 to go" (spoilers) -- pr10n, 12:07:08 05/15/02 Wed

Did you notice the red/blue 3D look around Willow during the trailer? I have misplaced my red/blue glasses but if anybody has some, I'd like to know if there's an effect to be found there.

[> Now here's a post I can get behind! Thanks! (NT) -- MaeveRigan, 12:36:21 05/15/02 Wed

[> The greatest 'ship of all! Rob/Season 6!! -- ponygirl, 14:11:15 05/15/02 Wed

[> [> ROFLMAO!!! -- Rob, 17:10:52 05/15/02 Wed

Since all the ships combine two names (Buffy + Spike = Spuffy, for example) what should mine be?

Rob + Season Six =


Regardless, you are all invited to the wedding. ;o)


[> [> [> Rox? -- d'Herblay, 04:32:53 05/16/02 Thu

[> [> [> [> LOL...I like that one. :o) -- Rob, 13:20:24 05/16/02 Thu

[> [> [> ROFLMAO times 2! And I thought I'd never be a shipper! Rox 4-eva!!! -- yuri, 00:14:24 05/17/02 Fri

[> [> [> or how about rovi (as in the roman numeral)? -- anom, 21:55:25 05/18/02 Sat

[> [> A ship I'm proud to support. Rob helps me realize what I love about S6. -- Ixchel, 17:23:37 05/15/02 Wed

[> Re: Special effects in "Villains" (spoilers) -- dubdub, 16:20:34 05/15/02 Wed

I have to say, Rob, it disturbs me how satisfied I felt when Willow skinned Warren. I'm trying to attribute it to the fact that he was a homicidal misogynist, and stupid enough to continue to talk down to her while completely at her mercy.


[> [> I agree, dubdub! -- Rob, 17:06:36 05/15/02 Wed

The moment he said to Katrina, "Cause you deserved it, bitch!" I was very, very ready for him to be very, very dead in a very, very painful way"...and I was not disappointed. Perhaps a little disturbed at the whole bloodthirst thingy but secretly very happy. ;o)


[> [> [> Re: I agree, dubdub! and metaphors in Villains! (spoilers for Villain) -- shadowkat, 20:00:23 05/15/02 Wed

You were not alone. Must say I love DarkWillow. Her whole
scene with Warren was well worth the ride. Although - the skin ripping off was quite gross...but hey, just me.

I particularly love her short to the point statements.

1. Busy
2. Talk over
3. Bored Now

Alyson Hannigan is a truly wonderful actress.

Yes - Rob, I am still enjoying Season 6 along with you.
Even though Villains did seem a little off for me plotwise, it was amazing on a metaphorical level. And I'm a metaphor gal, so who cares about annoying little plot points anyway - it's a fantasy show, let's employ suspension of disbelief. (That was serious not sarcastic by the way.)

1. The text crawling up her arms - almost as if it was invading her like a bunch of parasites. She says at the end: that's better.
2. Stripped of color - just like Spike is now stripped of all color. Willow has black eyes and hair and white skin and
black clothes, Spike has white hair, dark eyes and black - it looks like a cat suit, tight fitting. Makes it clear to me that these two characters are being paralleled big time.
3. Stripping of Warren's skin revealing he's human and weak
underneath. Then becomes nothing but dust - just like a vampire that Buffy makes go poof. How many times has Willow
asked - why can't we just make him go poof?
4. Tara's forgotten body...symbolizing how Willow is so consumed with vengeance that she has literally forgotten Tara who she left in a pile on her bedroom floor for Dawn to find. (The flash of light when Dawn finds her which reminded me big time of Be Back Before Dawn in Restless which Tara says from the same upstairs area and is bathed in light and a flash.) Dawn's huddled body in the corner grieveing as Buffy and Xander drift half in shock in room.
5. The blood on Xander's hands - "I've had the blood of friends on my hands all day" - his culpability for ignoring the Troika - blaming Spike and others and not going after them as a serious threat? Also his culpability in aiding Willow in bringing back Buffy and encouraging her use of magic in OAFA and Bargaining?
6. Blood still staining Buffy's white shirt and Blood on Willow's - Blood on White - stain on innocence - taking of innocence. Which also goes back to Dawn and flash of white light on seeing Tara - her surrogate Mom dead
7. Who does Dawn want to stay with? Surrogate Dad - Spike.
Interesting. Tara has been acting as surrogate mom since
Bargaining. spike as surrogate Dad since Checkpoint. Buffy
protects Dawn from negative information on Spike - ie. Dawn can't lose both surrogate parents in one day?
8. Spike loses Buffy - goes into heart of Darkness, cave drawings have images of hearts torn out and ripped off skin, look a bit like Willow's torture of Warren. The demon is hollow, glowly green eyed and makes me think of a big spider mixed with a snake. Blood-sucking and sex?
9.Willow loses Tara and howls at Osiris - looks like a long
whirlwind of pain. Rack describes her of living off Fury - Fury goes back to Xander's line in Bargaining Part I - get out of my head Willow - I know I can answer you, but I saw the Fury and that ended really bad. Also David Fury?
Willow is in white shirt - stained with blood, innocence
gone - she goes to all black.
10. The scene with the bus on the road - made me think of
Spiral btw. Warren's a robot - goes back to Buffbot and Glory's line - did anyone else know the slayer was a robot?
It distracts Willow but doesn't defeat her. Just as Buffbot
didn't defeat the demons. Also robot - hollow man - Warren is hollow, a man who ignores his soul. Making him soulless
and hollow in Willow's perspective.
11. The woods - we lose our innocence - we go into the woods. Like in Stephen Sondheim's Into the Woods - remember Joss Whedon is a huge Sondheim fan. Into the woods is a musical based on Grimms fairy tales in it a bunch of characters get lost in the woods and confront their innermost fears and darkness until it is no longer clear who is bad or who is good. Giants can be good guys, Witchs kind and Princes cruel. Into the Woods also is a metaphor for adult hood and sexual growth. Loss of Innocence.
Willow and the gang run through the woods after raising Buffy from the dead. They hide from demons in the woods. Here Willow chases Warren into the woods. And destroys him there - tainting herself forever. She has gone into the woods and will emerge another person. As will her friends who followed her. Parallels Spike's journey into the cave - he'll leave the cave altered as well.

Okay done now - it's late and must go to bed. I really should do an essay on this sometime, assuming someone doesn't beat me to it. ;-)

[> [> [> [> The metaphors in "Villains" worked great , but... -- cjl, 21:20:09 05/15/02 Wed

Mixed feelings about this ep.

'kat, you know I love your take on the metaphorical underpinnings of Buffy. Even though Marti isn't famous for seeing into the deeper levels, I think she handled this aspect of the story brilliantly. But on a surface, "this is what's happening now" level of the story, there were plot holes large enough to drive a Greyhound through.

Another Season 6 case of the production team/story editors not quite able to juggle three balls at the same time: the storyline qua storyline, the psychological aspect, and the metaphorical/allegorical aspect.

You know my theory about Marti and overdetermined plot points. More for the archive:

1) Marti had to have Dawn discover Tara's body, and stay with it as a way of leaving childhood/releasing the surrogate mother. But after a wild shooting spree in broad daylight, the police department should be crawling all over the house, looking for stray bullets, picking up clues. This is a level of Sunnydale PD incompetence even I can't believe, and it drags down the story. And, as Ozmandayus said on the BC&S board, are we really supposed to believe Dawn wouldn't call the cops back to pick up the body?

2) BlackMagic!Willow pursues Warren into the forest, a perfect metaphor for Willow's descent into total darkness. But why is Warren bolting into the forest? Why doesn't he book a flight to Aruba with an aura-shielding spell from Rack? (Hell, if Spike can go to Africa, why can't Warren go to the Carribean?) Maybe if the script SPECIFICALLY stated that Warren was going to make his stand in Sunnydale (because he knew Willow would find him anywhere in the world) it might have been more believable. Otherwise...

3) Buffy and Xander run frantically around town after Willow for the entire no effect whatsoever. Yes, I get it: they're not SUPPOSED to stop Willow, and their "one- step-behind-edness" is part of the point. But as DRAMA, as events taking place up on the screen, this doesn't add a lot of punch to the episode. In fact, if Alyson and Adam Busch hadn't been at the top of their game, this episode might have been a huge disappointment.

Sigh. Let's hope they pull it all together for the finale.

[> [> [> [> [> Dawn in shock... -- Caroline, 13:17:01 05/18/02 Sat

I think anyone who has experienced a significant loss and goes into shock could quite possibly fail to call the police at a time like that. When you're in shock you tend to leave behind rational judgement and good decision-making skills and you're just totally inside your own feelings and experience that doing anything except being slightly catatonic is difficult. And afterwards, the memory loss or jumbled up memories can be difficult to deal with. From my own experience, one thing I know that ME does very well is the human response to a human death.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The metaphors in "Villains" worked great , but... -- anom, 23:04:20 05/18/02 Sat

"But after a wild shooting spree in broad daylight, the police department should be crawling all over the house, looking for stray bullets, picking up clues. This is a level of Sunnydale PD incompetence even I can't believe, and it drags down the story."

I suppose they could have talked to Xander off camera at the hospital, but still, the hole in the window was visible from the street, & you'd think someone would have checked things out inside the house. And who did call 911? Xander? Does he have a cell phone? Or did he run inside the house to make the call (& not even hear Willow's cries & the thunderings of a god in response to them, or notice the amazing gathering of energies upstairs), leaving Buffy bleeding in the yard? Maybe neighbors heard the shots & called.

"And, as Ozmandayus said on the BC&S board, are we really supposed to believe Dawn wouldn't call the cops back to pick up the body?"

Caroline has a point below about Dawn's being in shock; besides, if she had called the cops, they'd have taken Tara's body away, making it feel all the more real that she was gone...& leaving Dawn alone in the house where it had happened. I can certainly understand her not being ready for that.

But what I can't understand is that nobody tried to reach Dawn after the shootings. OK, of course Buffy couldn't, Willow wasn't about to, & Xander's priority was staying w/Buffy. But why didn't he call Dawn's school from the hospital as soon as Buffy was taken into surgery, or try to find out where else she might be? The writers could have included a line to the effect that he'd tried & couldn't locate her. And even though they needed to stop Willow, wouldn't Buffy's 1st thought after Willow healed her be to get in touch w/Dawn & let her know what happened?

[> [> [> [> Re: I agree, dubdub! and metaphors in Villains! (spoilers for Villain) -- fresne, 10:07:25 05/16/02 Thu

1. The text crawling up her arms - almost as if it was invading her like a bunch of parasites. She says at the end: that's better."

Ah, yes, Villains was so full of chocolaty linked up metaphorical goodness that I'm still boggling.

I was particularly intrigued by some of the repetitions. And apologies if someone has already mentioned any or all of theses. Sometimes, our verboseness defeats efficient reading.

1. Clem calls attention to his loose skin in reference to junk food.
2. The demons at the bar are very clearly demony. Vamp face, demon face, rough skin. In-human.
3. Warren calls attention to Wrack's facial scarring, which highlights in a classical villain sort of way that Wrack has big time mojo. Look evil scars. Warren wants to buy mojo, but not skin care advice.
4. Willow drawing the text up her skin. While the ink on the page was black. The words themselves were red, as if they were written in blood. I particularly liked the pentagram which crawled up Willow's chest. Representing perhaps the eyes which have been bypasses as Willow sucks knowledge up through her hands. It was also interesting that Willow's skin merged with the pages of the book to allow her suck up knowledge.
5. The robot Warran's skin peeling back a bit from it's eye (Window to the soul?) to reveal it's nature. It is not Warren.
6. The images in the cave. Lots of peeling skin and blood.
7. The skin of Warren's mouth growing together to silence him.
8. Willow peeling back Warren's shirt to push the bullet in.
9. And of course, Willow peeling back Warren's skin to reveal the human beneath. Not a demon or a robot, a human. This moment was an abrupt shock and made me think very much of one of my favorite horror movies, Hellraiser I (okay and Hellraiser II). The vulnerability of skinlessness. The opposite of power.
1. Tara's blood. And yes, like the fawn, it is the blood of the innocent. Note: when Willow goes to become Black Magic Willow woman, she changes clothes. In vengeance, she no longer wears Tara's blood.
2. However, seeking Warren, the spell using Tara's blood on Willow's shirt. Up until that point, I believed that the spells had changed Willow's clothes. But they didn't. Like in the Body, where Willow was so very concerned about the appropriate clothes to wear, she changed her clothes to suit the occasion (i.e., to painfully kill someone.) These were then clothes in her wardrobe (unless she made them out of darkness). Not black, but deepest darkest denim, with silver points of light for buttons. Not sure what to make of it.
3. Buffy's blood. Welling from her body. On her clothes for much of the episode. On Xander's hands and clothes.
4. Again with the words on Willow's skin. Written in blood. Representing dark magic. The knowledge that she's been flirting with for so very long.
5. Willow is running on pure fury. Just want to pull a bit of mythology. The Furies. The Kindly ones. Vengeful forces from the underworld. Sometimes depicted in art as bathed/splattered with blood.
6. The intriguing shift from stashing Dawn with Spike (blood in his fridge) to stashing her with Clem (lemonade in the fridge).
7. Again with the cave paintings and the blood.
8. Warren, who didn't bleed much from the bullet (not the bullet that shot and killed Tara, but the one that shot Buffy), but did bleed quite a bit later.
1. Spike's lighter flickering and going out in the cave. Spike's been paired with fire all season. Should I be nervous that his light is going out? Whatever. It's the lighter that he used to torch a vamp in the first episode of the season. What he uses to light his movie shorthand, "hey, look I'm evil" cigarettes. The lighter that Buffy (I'm surprised Dawn never tried to swipe it) hid in her pocket.
2. Willow referring to Tara as a light in the world, which has now gone out. This parallels Tara calling Willow a light in OMWF.
3. Willow's change into Goth Willow. It's interesting that her hair isn't so much black as really dark brown. Her eyes don't actually go totally black. Instead of all black eyes, her eyes are still human, with occasional black and red flashes of power.
Not really a metaphor, just interesting.
1. Spike refers to Buffy as a Bitch 3 times. Warren uses the same language to talk about women. On one hand this reinforces the Spike Warren parallels, and yet, I can't help but contrast Intervention and Villains. Two men with robo- toys. Both get tied up by a woman. Completely different motivations and choices from there.
2. This was a bit more ephemeral, but there was also some interesting parallels between Spike and Willow. Back again to last season 5, Spike's complete understanding of Willow going knify on Glory's wide and lopsided posterior. In Villains, we have both of them trying to change what's wrong. But whereas, Willow is external, changing the world; Spike is internal, trying to change himself. Willow goes into the woods. Spike goes first to Africa and then the heart of darkness a cave.
3. Bored Now. As so many have commented, this was an utterly chilling line and a real complement to the viewer. Part of the lines power relies on a back knowledge of VampWillow, of the discussions of the human you are informing the vampire you become. Up until that moment, Willow was filled with vengeful anger. Sending a bullet into Warren, right or wrong, was understandable. But the moment before she skinned Warren, incinerated him, disappeared in a flash of fire herself, she embraced the dark side. Glad I'm not ME, so I don't have to figure out how to get her back.

[> [> [> [> [> Great points all around! -- ponygirl, 11:21:50 05/16/02 Thu

Great observations fresne! Each one could spawn several threads. I am wondering about the significance of Spike's lighter going out in the cave, ominous and also a sign of him going completely into the unknown, as though there were other images on the walls that he could not yet see. I'm hoping someone far more well-read than me can look at all of the Plato-y allusions with the cave and the shadows on the walls.

[> [> [> [> [> [> I'm so odd, I was thinking why does he need the lighter to see? -- Ixchel, 18:30:23 05/16/02 Thu

I was remembering Angel's statement in the dark cafeteria in Choices that he could see fine. However, I immediately decided Spike would need the light to see _colors_ (cats can see in very dim light, but I think a certain amount of illumination is necessary to see colors). This may not be scientifically accurate, but it pacified me and stopped my mind from going off on a weird tangent.

Very interesting reference to Plato, ponygirl. Perhaps in keeping with the questioning of reality this season?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm so odd, I was thinking why does he need the lighter to see? -- ponygirl, 06:47:58 05/17/02 Fri

I like your explanation for the lighter! Science comes to the rescue of the plot!

I did a bit of poking around on the Plato's allegory of the cave, and it's verrrrry interesting when applied to Spike. The idea of people living all their lives in the darkness, mistaking reality for the shadows on the cave walls, and an individual being able to escape and go into the light of day. Hmmm, and double hmm.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm so odd, I was thinking why does he need the lighter to see? -- Arethusa, 09:05:07 05/17/02 Fri

Here's a creepy thought: television watchers sit, often in the dark, mistaking the shadows on the screen for reality. Only a brave individual would reject the "reality" fed to the audience, turn on the lights, and find out what is truly real. What rough beast will skitter into the shadows, frightened by the light of reality?

Gotta stop watching "Twilight Zone."

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> I think we're on to something - more on Plato's cave (long) -- ponygirl, 11:28:49 05/17/02 Fri

I thought the following is very applicable to Spike and his journey, not just his current state but over the last few seasons.

With a bit of editing and I can't vouch for the translation:

From Plato's Republic
"Let’s compare our own education and understanding of the world to people in a cave—to human beings in an underground, cave-like dwelling with a long and wide entrance open toward the light. From childhood on, the people who live in this cave have their legs and necks chained so that they can see only straight ahead in front of them. The chains keep them from turning their heads in any other direction.

"The only light in the cave is from a fire burning far above the people and behind them. Between the fire and the chained people there’s a road, built on a kind of stage structure such as you find in theaters—again above and behind the people—along which move other people and animals, some carrying things, some not, some speaking, some not."

"This is a bizarre image of of bizarre prisoners," Glaucon said.

"But they’re just like us," I replied. "Do you think they can see anything of themselves and one another? Or do they merely see the images or shadows that fall on the side of the cave facing them, cast by the fire above them?"


"Then for sure," I said, "what the chained people held to be the truth would be nothing more than shadows."

"Now let’s imagine," I said, "what freedom from their chains would be like. Suppose one of the chained people, a man, was released and immediately forced to stand up and look toward the light. He’d necessarily be doing this in pain, because the light would be dazzling. At first, he wouldn’t be able to make out the shapes of the men and animals walking up on the elevated road in front of him—which he’d seen before only as shadows.

"What do you suppose this man would say if someone told him that he’d only been looking at shadows and now he was seeing real things? And how would the man reply if he were asked to describe the nature of these real things [the shadows of which he’d been looking at all his life]? Wouldn’t he feel at a loss? And wouldn’t he be tempted to think that what he’d looked at all his life must be truer than what he’s seeing right now?"

"What if the man were forced to look right into the light of the fire? Wouldn’t it hurt his eyes? Wouldn’t he turn away from it? And further, wouldn’t he turn back to the shadows, thinking them more clear and therefore more true than the light itself?"

"Now," I said, "what if someone were to drag that man up to the light, forcing him through a steep and rugged ascent into the light itself—where he couldn’t see anything and his eyes hurt? Wouldn’t the man be distressed, even angry? And wouldn’t he be unable to see anything, even what was being presented to him as the truth of things?

"He’d need time and practice, perhaps learning to perceive the truth in stages—first seeing the dim images of things as he had with shadows before, maybe then seeing things reflected in water, and then finally being able to look at the real men and animals that had before just been shadows on his cave wall. As for the bright sky, he’d have to start by looking at it first at night, seeing only the light of the moon and stars, and that way gradually accustom his sight to the full light of day."

"Then as he was able to see the sun, he’d be able to contemplate its nature, to realize that it was the source of seasons and light and the shadows that he and his cave companions had been staring at all their lives."


"Now, let’s imagine what would happen if that man returned to his place in the cave. Wouldn’t his eyes be blinded, as a man coming into darkness suddenly from sunlight?"

"And what if the man—before his cave-sight returned—were to try to compete with other cave-dwellers about the shadows? Wouldn’t he seem ridiculous to the others? And during the time while his sight was adapting to the darkness, wouldn’t his former friends say that his sight had been ruined by going up to the light? And that he should never try to go back up to the light again, because it would destroy his sight again? Might not his friends even say that anyone who tried to lead him back to the light ought to be stopped, even killed?"

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> WOW ! that's so right on. Great spotting, ponygirl, thanks for the quotes -- Etrangere, 13:02:54 05/18/02 Sat

The pain from the light (Wisdom-Sophie) that Spike feels right now is the pain from remorse
and ofcourse, he wants to go back to the painless obscurity where he would be a mere Shadow of himself (like every vampires are)

This is so.. neat :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> KABOOM...and fits so well with the dark/light theme... -- Caroline, 13:19:48 05/18/02 Sat

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Brilliant post, Etrangere. That Spike would want to return to... -- Ixchel, 21:07:05 05/18/02 Sat

A state of "invunerability" where remorse and guilt can't touch him makes perfect sense (to retreat from the light). Of course, his imperviousness as a vampire was an illusion (IMHO), Drusilla could affect him and did (though, I believe, not as profoundly as Buffy and Dawn have). But in his present pain now, he can't see this. As an aside, it could be argued that his vulnerability to Drusilla left him open to the path he has followed since Becoming 2 (to the changes the chip and his love for Buffy have initiated).

Really interesting image of vampires as shadows. To further that they could be described as angry and hungry shades/ghosts. Haunting the world, forever acting out their rage at the "slights and sins" perpetrated against their human selves.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> "The light which puts out our eyes is darkness to us." -- Dyna, 09:01:58 05/20/02 Mon

I wish I had profound thoughts to go with this beautiful quote, but, you know, work, Monday, blah blah. I was reading Thoreau this weekend and this quote struck me as nicely related to last week's discussion of light and darkness.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Spike and the Cave -- alcibiades, 11:40:16 05/17/02 Fri

Isn't that fascinating -- the big old cave metaphor complete with shadow puppets on the wall. I've been thinking about that since yesterday morning

-- this scene also bookends really well with Buffy's emergence from the cave into the natural sunlight in AYW, which is also the place where Buffy destroys Spike's lamp, his other "false" light source.

Course, not being a philosopher, but a woman of action Buffy didn't realize she was crusading for Plato. And neither did I, because if I had it would have reconciled me to her actions in AYW a whole lot earlier.

If AYW is about Riley, ugh. But, hey, if it has allusions to Plato, well then that's another story. Which makes me realize just how cheap I am, since I hated AYW.

Now if I can only figure out how to interpret away the demon eggs...

With any luck, I'll post more about this today or tomorrow - -

And the scariest question of all?

Can Marti Noxon be a Platonist?

No way!

It must have been Joss.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike and the Cave -- Arethusa, 14:29:26 05/17/02 Fri

We still don't know the facts surrounding the eggs-we only see Buffy's point of view. She sees the shadows of the situation-Riley's accusations, the physical presence of the eggs, Spike's lack of explanation-but she doesn't yet know the reality of the situation. To see the truth, she'd have to know *all* the facts.
To get back to Plato-Buffy would have to climb out of Spike's cellar (dark cave, anyone?) and find out the entire truth. Buffy's been wilfully blind about nearly everything this year; it takes a lot of energy to deal with others' problems, and she wouldn't even face her own. She became angry at Giles when he insisted she see his point of view-he was hurting her by staying, and he wanted to go home. Buffy repeatedly threatened or attacked Spike when he insisted she see his point of view-he wanted to drag their seamy affair out into the light (so to speak). Will's and Xander's insecurities were also ignored. Buffy complains about how bright the world is, and then closes her eyes, heart, and mind to the pain all around her.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Spike and the Cave -- shadowkat, 20:13:03 05/17/02 Fri

Cool thread!

Alcibiades - I also immediately thought of AYW when I saw the Plato statement about coming out of the cave and seeing light - the immediate image I saw was of Buffy her head tilted towards the light. Also i remember her being blinded
by the light in Afterlife. Then we have her at the end of Afterlife - leaving the safe den of the Magic Box and the group hug to the bright outdoors - only to retreat to shadows with Spike, whom she states she can be alone with.
From Afterlife - AYW - we seldom see Buffy out in the daylight - unless you count Gone and invisible Buffy.

Then AYW onwards - we do see her in daylight, but she seems weaker somehow. Easier hurt.

Onto Spike...when Buffy leaves him in AYW, he's heartbroken
in his ruined cavelike crypt. Now we have him entering another cave - looking heartbroken, using artifical light..
hmmm, I'm wondering if the last scene of the year will be Spike walking out of the cave into sunlight???
(No clue, but would be a cool echo of AYW)

Wasn't overly fond of AYW either - very clunky episode plotwise and not worthy of the usually fantastic Doug Petry. (I think the writers were trying to mix James Bond
and X-files...with an old Nazi propaganda film or at least it looked like it.) But I do think that Spike was the Doctor, what strikes me as weird is - Spike asks if the doctor is human??? Also the eggs?

Now Needs a Life on the B C & S board did a very good post about eggs - she said the destruction of eggs in Liturgy
stands for a sort of rebirth of a relationship. Or the wrecking of one stage to go onto the next. She also says, and my memory is foggy here because this was posted way back in February - that eggs are representative of hospitality and fertility, showing domesticity and comfort.
The metaphor can be turned upside down to show something untrust-worthy underneath. Examples: The Bad Eggs episode
in Season 2 Btvs where parasites sprouted from eggs. Or the resurrection eggs of Ghorra demon in Forever of Season 5 Btvs.

I think here - the eggs metaphorically represented the underlying distrust in Buffy/Spike relationship. On the surface they appeared to have a comforting, hospital, romantic one, but it was rotten inside because they couldn't trust each other and were both unbalanced. By destroying the eggs and his crypt, Buffy destroys this unbalanced tricky unhealthy relationship. I think that's the metaphor they meant...wish i could remember needs a life's post better, so it would make more sense.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Fascinating posts, ponygirl, Arethusa and alcibiades. -- Ixchel, 20:06:55 05/17/02 Fri

ponygirl, brilliant insight! Thank you for the compliment on my makeshift theory of vampire eyesight (I _am_ odd). I think (hope) this bodes well for Spike. I wonder, Tara's song in OMWF describes her life as being in shadow and then being bathed in light, is there some connection?

Arethusa, I'll stay in my cave if BtVS is there, enlightenment is overrated. :) Excellent point about Buffy, they've _all_ (except for poor Tara?) been in the cave this season.

alcibiades, interesting point regarding Spike's crypt in AYW. I do believe there is more to that episode than is readily apparent (as many of the wonderful posts after it aired showed). Also, I have a great deal of admiration for DP's other episodes, so I can't dismiss it (and, IMHO, the Buffy/Spike and Xander/Anya scenes were well done).


[> [> [> [> [> Lovely, fresne! -- Dyna, 16:20:29 05/17/02 Fri

[> [> [> [> [> Willow's clothes and the Furies (Villains spoilers) -- Ixchel, 21:42:38 05/17/02 Fri

Wonderful post, fresne! My head is spinning with all the interesting points you've described.

I noticed (as did Dyna in an above thread) that Willow is wearing the same jacket (and possibly pants) as she did in DT (it looks like black denim to me). Could this mean something?

The Furies definitely seem reflected in Willow in this episode. The names of two, Tisiphone (blood avenger)and Alecto (unceasing in pursuit), seem especially relevant. I'm not sure about the third, Megaera (jealous).

Again, excellent thoughts.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Willow's clothes and the Furies (Villains spoilers) -- fresne, 08:19:43 05/18/02 Sat

Well, when my friends and I decided be the Furies one year for Halloween, we dug up: Alecto, whose anger is unceasing; Tisiphone, avenger of murder; Megaera, jealous of the world; and (since there were four of us - non traditional, but couldn't be helped, we threw in,) Nemesis, unceasing retribution. I was Tisiphone.

Anyway, sharp eyes on the DT jacket and pants connection. Not sure what to make of the DT scene itself, but it does seem to prove that those are her clothes.

And as someone who does a lot of costuming, I can't help but see significance in her garb. She took the time to change. Before going to heal Buffy. Before seeking her revenge. In the same way that she has shed all those cutsey shirts which have something on the front. Dressed to be someone dark, tough, dangerous. I want to imagine the changing scene, again in contrast to the Body. She goes the Magic Box, splattered in her lover's blood. Paints her hair and eyes in dark magic. Then goes home to where her lover's body lies and changes her clothes. This time I imagine no hesitations, no Willowish looking for the blue sweater. Just cold decisions to put on her new skin.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Willow's clothes and the Furies (Villains spoilers) -- Ixchel, 17:02:39 05/18/02 Sat

What a creative idea for Halloween. Did you have to explain your costume or do you hang with a mythologically literate crowd?

It _is_ interesting, I suppose it's Willow's sense of the appropriate (what to wear when taking revenge?). This could be related back to Restless (surprise), another Willow facade?


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Jealous of the world (*spoiler* for finale, mostly implied by promo) -- belle, 14:41:43 05/19/02 Sun

..."Now I get to be the Slayer" certainly suggests some deep resentment of Buffy finally coming to the fore, no? Certainly it'd be very believable that Willow has seething envy backed up along with everything else; and it would provide depth (not to mention plausibility) to her going after her friends.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Jealous of the world (*spoiler* for finale, mostly implied by promo) -- belle, 14:43:24 05/19/02 Sun

..."Now I get to be the Slayer" certainly suggests some deep resentment of Buffy finally coming to the fore, no? Certainly it'd be very believable that Willow has seething envy backed up along with everything else; and it would provide depth (not to mention plausibility) to her going after her friends.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Willow's clothes and the Furies (Villains spoilers) -- fresne, 08:53:37 05/20/02 Mon

Well, we helped things along by circling people in a menacing fashion and asking if they knew where Orestes was, killed any relatives lately, and talked A Lot about revenge. That said, we had a fair number of people who took one look and courteously greeted the Kindly Ones.

Oh, and in a slightly relevant way, this was at the Ball de Vampyre.

Okay, yeah, Restless, to which all roads lead. Randomly, I think about Willow starting by painting a Sappho poem on Tara's back and then resolving with her "costume" ripped away to reveal her 1st season clothes. As Anya paraphrasingly said at the time, "It's like a Greek Tragedy, but without the Greeks." Now we get to the tragic driven hubris part of things. And in a really reading into things here, Buffy's the Lion, Willow's the Witch, the Wardrobe is where they keep all their appropriate to the occasion outfits.

And thanks to the various who have been referring to Willow as the Widow. Makes me leap over to Queen Victoria and the whole bizarre cult of mourning.

[> Re: Special effects in "Villains" (spoilers) -- dream of the consortium, 11:17:53 05/16/02 Thu

Personally, I found the skin-peeling so gruesome I felt nauseous - but I did feel a little bloodthirsty listening to Warren. Just not that bloodthirsty. Could have lived without that degree of graphic eewwww-ishness.

Really loved the text into the flesh thing. Knowledge is power, yes? Certainly for Willow, whose only power pre- Buffy came from being a good student. And then, in the Buffy early years, from research. Finally, as she delves in dark magic, she learns from books again and again -spells can be bought, apparently, (prepackaged, perhaps?) but Willow always seems to get her spells from books. So it seemed right that she would pull her power right out of the books, drain them clean. (It's also an image for readers - which of us has not turned to our books for solace in hungry pain.)

This is a bit off-topic, really belongs to the discussion of Willow's psychology, butI've lost that thread somewhere below - so I will mention it here. I don't have a working tv, and I have a drawing session on Tuesday nights anyway, so I have a fellow Buffy-watcher tape the episodes for me and I watch them the next day. He often fails to tape the previews. When I watched "Villians" for the first time last night, I absolutely believed that when Willow said "One down," the implied "one to go" was herself. When she went all poof, I thought she had destroyed herself, like the shamans Sam mentioned. Willow had said she didn't plan to come back (from the dark), and I believed that she would rather kill herself than live without Tara (the tendency to overidentify mentioned below). It wasn't until my second viewing (I was so emotionally wrought from the first viewing I was unable to do anything else) that I realized she could have just been doing something magick-y, and maybe Jonathon and Andrew were the "two to go". But I spent an evening convinced that they had killed off Willow and Tara both, which was just crushing. So I want to know -was I the only idiot who didn't get that right off?

[> [> LOL. I thought the same thing. The preview, which I usually don't watch, allowed me to breathe again -- Sophist, 13:12:10 05/16/02 Thu

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