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On a show like BUFFY, how do you define Manhood? (slight spoiler for the finale) -- cjl, 10:24:08 05/17/02 Fri

(This was a response to a discussion on Manhood in BtVS started by Mark Tyler on the BC&S board.)

How do you define manhood on BtVS?

I think this is an interesting question, and one that all of the major male characters have wrestled with during the course of the series. When a show is specifically about
female empowerment, the traditional role of the man (protector, ass-kicker, take-charge guy) is diminished, if not rendered completely redundant. So how does BtVS
handle the theme of masculinity?

As shadowkat and many other posters have noted, one of the big sub-themes of masculinity in the series has been the monster within the man. Giles has his inner Ripper, Oz has the raging werewolf locked inside of him, Angel has Angelus lurking within his well-coiffed exterior, and even Riley had the makings of a Frankenstein monster like his "brother" Adam. Each of these characters has spent an enormous amount of air time dealing with his inner beast. Interestingly enough, none of these gentlemen could resolve their inner conflicts within the confines of Female Empowerment Central, and all them skipped town. (Sometimes, a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do.)

You'll notice I didn't mention Spike. I didn't lump in with the others, mainly because ME has approached him differently. While Spike certainly has his raging beast, we
(and Spike) have always taken his beast for granted. His conflict is more with the remnants of the sensitive, "feminized" male he used to be--his inner William. As a
demon, Spike has always suppressed these qualities, reveling in his bloodlust and destructive power; but even when he was the Big Bad in Season 2, these qualities kept
peeking through, mainly in his devotion to Drusilla and his little speech about how he loves this world, and those five billion Happy Meals with Legs walking around on
it. Now Spike has gone to Africa to purge Sissy-boy William once and for all. (Fat chance, Spikey.)

But if there's one character who embodies the journey to manhood in this series, who makes it real for the rest of us, it's Xander. Xander has always vacillated between two poles of masculine behavior: the Conquistador and the Comfortador (to quote from "Restless"). We've all seen Xander the Conquistador, most recently in Entropy: angry, violent, axe in hand, charging out to cut down the soul-less infidel. It's clearly his father's path. On the other hand, there's the Comfortador, the supportive, funny Xander, the Xander who talks to Buffy in The Freshman and tell her she's his hero.

Xander isn't a whole person, a complete man, if either the Conquistador or the Comfortador dominates. If he indulges in stereotypical masculinity, we get Xander the Jerk, who punches Spike in Normal Again--mainly because he's feeling like crap and Spike is a convenient target. But if the X-man is too soft and squishy, he loses self-confidence, and we get Xander the Wuss, who bails out of the wedding in the first place, because he doesn't have the stones to face his future.

There have been times in the series when both sides have come together and we see the kind of man Xander could be: his impolite discussion with Angel in Prophecy Girl; his utter coolness at the end of The Zeppo; and his take-no- prisoners speech to Buffy capping off Into the Woods. I think we'll see another great moment of Xanderness in "Grave," but he's still got a lot of growing up left to do in Season 7.

In conclusion: the key to successfully attaining manhood on Buffy is achieving BALANCE. (Then again, the key to EVERYTHING on Buffy is balance.) Balance between the traditional masculine role (which is still a great source of power for the men on the series), and the traditional feminine qualities, which are developed in the shadow of the empowered women of Sunnydale.


[> Re: I love this! -- Wisewoman, 11:04:24 05/17/02 Fri

And perhaps the key to everything in Real Life is balance, too?


[> Re: On a show like BUFFY, how do you define Manhood? (slight spoiler for the finale) -- shadowkat, 11:06:32 05/17/02 Fri

Great post cjl.

I have been thinking about Xander off and on, sort of like that nagging headache that won't go away. Xander's quest for manhood in many ways parallels Buffy's quest for womanhood and balance.

We especially see this in Season 5 with the Glory/Ben
duality. In the Replacement the Xan-Man is split in two instead of Buffy who was the intentional target.

In that episode - Xander is split into geeky Xander with the crazy clothes and insecurity and bad jokes and suave Xander with the confidence, security and ability to comfort.
Geeky Xander goes to Willow for help. Suave Xander goes to Giles, Buffy and Riley. Neither Xander can handle the fact that they are one and the same. Geeky Xander believes suave Xander is a horrible evil double. We don't really see Suave
Xander's point of view on this. I got the impression in watching this episode, that Geeky Xander may have been a little afraid of his suave counter-part. It's interesting because this fear is the exact opposite of Willow and Spike's fears. Spike fears the geek inside him, to the extent that he wants that geek stripped away. But it is the geek that fell head over heels in love with Buffy, just as Willow did. Why? Because from the beginning - Buffy sees something worthwhile in the sensitive geek. In fact I think that's the part of Spike she fell for and often calls by name. Just as it's the part of Willow she loves. Xander is the opposite he is looking for the strong woman, the Glory persona, Cordelia, anya and Buffy represent this image to him. In this way Xander reminds me a great deal of Angel.

Angel also likes cheerleaders and strong women. Angel also has troubles with his father, the disapproving father figure. Suave Angel = Angelus, evil horrible the worst nightmare. Geeky or broody Angel = Angel who Xander had to yank out his malaise to help save Buffy in Prophecy Girl.
Xander and Angel can't stand the sight of each other - why?
Buffy? Or was there more going on there?

Now let's look at Ben - who just wants to help people, to be the doctor. The normal, joe average guy. With a monsterous woman lurking beneath the surface. Ben like Xander struggles to keep her restrained. He also fears the monster. The monster, whether it be the big bad bigoted dad, the disapproving cruel father, or the monsterous mother - is what they fear. They can't let it loose, look
what happened when Angel did = we ended up with a bunch of dead lawyers, a horrible spell, and Jenny got killed. Look
what happened when Ben did = we get Glory. And how about poor dear William? We have Spike.

Yet...there's one man who has found balance. Giles. He
has Ripper underneath the surface and he lets Ripper out occassionally - accepts that Ripper is a part of him. Xander could strive for that same balance...if he can only
accept that part of himself that lives above the basement.
That part that he fears.

If he doesn't? Well look at Ben. What would have happened if Ben found a way of dealing with glory? Instead of taking drugs to restrain her? Or Angel? What would happen if Angel found a way to handle Angelus- could he be closer on that path to redemption? Maybe he is

The road to manhood or womanhood is paved with tough choices and the ability to deal with that part of ourselves we can't stand = whether they be the monster or the geek is part of the process.

Just my $.02 ;-)

[> [> "The Replacement" and "Shatterday" -- cjl, 11:41:16 05/17/02 Fri

Thanks 'kat.

"The Replacement" is one of my favorite eps of Season 5 (duh), and I've pondered the dynamics of the Xander split on and off since then, trying to sort out the dynamic between Suave Xander and Butt Monkey Xander.

Since this is a board with a ton of Harlan Ellison fans, I think Ellison's "Shatterday" is a good guidepost. For those unfamiliar with the story, Peter Jay Novins, a rat bastard of the first order, wakes up one day and finds that a mysterious double has stolen his life--and just like BM Xander, the double is doing a much better job. Novins tries desperately to take back his life, but eventually, he comes to realize that he's WASTED his life, and the doppelganger is his future--the direction his life MUST take if he is to survive. After a final confrontation with the doppelganger- -more of a passing of the torch, actually--Novins fades away and "Jay" takes over and proceeds to rectify the mistakes of his former self.

I think Suave Xander is Xander's future. Instinctively, BM Xander knows this, knows that he's going to "die," and it scares the living hell out of him. We're dealing with that fear in Season 6.

[> [> [> Re: "The Replacement" and "Shatterday" -- redcat, 12:42:48 05/17/02 Fri

great posts, cjl and 'kat -- and I think there is another male character ME is using to tell us stories about the struggle for manhood -- Jonathan. Within the Troika, he acts as Xander's shadow self, in this case the "wounded heart" part of that metaphorically damaged structure. Even though he started out as a relatively minor character, Jonathan has always been constructed as someone for whom one of the central issues in each his various crises has been his sense of manhood. It is not an accident that the very character with whom Harmony humiliates Cordelia, bringing on the Wish (and the Wish-verse Dark Willow, BTW) is Jonathan. And one of the most intriguing embodiments of the monster-in- the-man/man-in-the-monster theme is Jonathan in the badly- fitted monster's skin bringing Warren his great balls of firepower in SR.

So many levels, so many metaphors to work with!
Thanks for the energizing thoughts, cjl (and 'kat, as always!). - rc

[> [> [> [> Re: "The Replacement" and "Shatterday" -- shadowkat, 15:26:26 05/17/02 Fri

You know...up until recently I kept comparing Jonathan to Willow, but after re-watching Superstar - I think you're
right redcat. Jonathan is Xander's shadow self.

In Superstar - Xander is crushed when Jonathan is exposed.
Superstar is the episode in Season 4 where Jonathan dupes the world via a spell that he's the slayer, James Bond, and
everything in between. Anya worships him. Xander identifies
and believes that Jonathan's worth gives him worth. He would rather have Buffy get beaten by the monster than lose Jonathan's world.

Other Jonathan/Xander comparisons: In Inca Mummy Girl (season 2 Btvs) - when Impata the Mummy Girl starts losing her energy - instead of sucking it from Xander whom she's fallen for - she goes after Jonathan, who gets saved at the last minute by Xander.

In Earshot - Giles suggests Buffy take Jonathan to the Prom and Buffy says who am I St. buffy. She prefers to go with angel - this eches Prophecy Girl from the year before, when she turns down Xander for Angel.

In the Prom - it is Jonathan that gives Buffy the umbrella
reward which Xander helps her recapture in The Freshman.

Jonathan also has been questioning Warren and Andrew all season long just as Xander questions Buffy and Willow.

So is Warren - Buffy's evil self (works since Warren also
compares well to Spike...)
Is Andrew - Willow's?

[> [> [> [> [> Evil selves (small spoilers for Villains) -- Traveler, 16:28:28 05/17/02 Fri

I would suggest that Warren is Willow's evil self, since they both have issues with power and control. When Willow adopts her "evil power," Warren is no longer necessary.

I also like the Jonathan/Xander comparison. I think it fits in many ways, but I'm not sure who I would pair Andrew with. He and Willow have both had "follow the crowd" mentalities, but I think the similarities end there.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Fascinating thoughts, Traveler. If Warren is the embodiment... (Villains spoilers) -- Ixchel, 21:08:47 05/17/02 Fri

Of Willow's "evil", then, maybe, the fact that he killed Tara (accidentally) represents the danger this aspect of Willow contained for Tara? Very insightful suggestion that Warren becomes unnecessary once Willow manifests her "darkside" (almost as if he _must_ cease to exist being only a projection).

This suggests (to me) that Buffy was fortunate to have failed at killing Faith (GD2), her "darkside" of S3 and 4. Perhaps she wouldn't have become lost (as Xander feared, GD1) because she seemed horrified at what she'd done, but it would have damaged her severely (IMHO).

Again, very interesting post.


[> [> [> [> [> [> Andrew's obvious... -- Solitude1056, 06:26:40 05/18/02 Sat


Remember all the "he'll come back for us" comments - perhaps Tara's spirit is echoing the same thing about Willow... that in her evil rampage, she will somehow "come back" despite it all.

And, of course, a few other geeky traits, including shyness and being in the background, etc.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Willow & future (speculation & spoilers) -- Fred, the obvious pseudonym, 16:14:21 05/18/02 Sat

Now that Black Willow has been unleashed, who else may become the targets of her wrath?

Obviously, Andrew & Jonathan -- cohorts of the now deceased W.

[In previous posts, I had opined that when Willow was done with Warren the latter's remains would fit into a small matchbox with room to spare. Seems I overestimated the volume required.]

But I think that Willow's long history of geekiness-born insecurity will come back to haunt many in Sunnydale; the second-most fearsome individual is one who is dreadfully insecure and frightened -- and has immense power. Sound like anyone we know?

Other possible targets:

Her parents -- thanks, Mom, Dad, for not noticing all my adolescent agony. Time for payback.

Cordelia -- from the charter member of the I-Hate-Cordelia Club. "Hey Cordy! Remember the softer side of Sears? How would you like to eat polyester!" [Cordelia is, of course, safe on another network.]

Xander -- for his long history of betrayal of Willow. Also his most recent betrayal -- IIRC Willow did have some liking for Anya, so . . .

The entire Sunnydale High graduating class of 1999 -- all who helped make Willow miserable. [OK, so Carrie did it earlier -- Willow doesn't have to be original, only wrathy.]

Giles: "Do you know what you've done?" "Don't p**s me off, Giles . . . " well, maybe even complaining about Willow's initiative went too far.

Even Buffy. "Gee, Willow, thanks but no thanks for bringing me BACK FROM THE DEAD! and never mind all the times that I put you and Tara in harm's way and how popular and pretty I was in high school and, incidentally, I'll just displace you without thought or effort from the leadership of the Scooby Gang . . . "

Now, of course, in her right mind Willow wouldn't mind all this -- water over the dam, et al -- but I'm not sure "her right mind" would describe her current mental state.

Even more so -- will Willow turn her anger on herself? By raising Buffy Willow was clearly the instrument that began the chain of events leading to Tara's death. What will she do when she lets herself realize this?

Uh-oh. Willow's come to Sunnydale, and hell follows after.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Tucker's little brother = Buffy's little sister -- Malandanza, 09:53:35 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> [> more on "shatterday" -- anom, 21:59:41 05/19/02 Sun

Nice parallel, cjl. I always thought the title of "Shatterday" applied more to the entire story, which takes place over a week (each section being named for a day of the week, w/slight variations, like Duesday--not too hard for a man from Paynesville). By the end, the last day is really more like Shadowday, w/the fading away & all.

BTW, Ellison's middle name is also Jay.

[> [> [> [> Harlan "Jay" Ellison -- cjl, 11:43:48 05/20/02 Mon

RE: Harlan Ellison

You mean that cruel, small-minded SOB, Peter Jay Novins, is (to some degree) autobiographical?

I'm shocked.

[> [> [> [> [> lol -- verdantheart, 12:24:58 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> Re: On a show like BUFFY, how do you define Manhood? (slight spoiler for the finale) -- aliera, 14:29:01 05/17/02 Fri

That strikes a chord. The bigger questions go begging also...what makes a person/demon good? whole? human?

The Willow arc through "Villains" (spoilers) -- Len, 14:38:20 05/17/02 Fri

Before this episode it occurred to me that they set up a terrific situation in which to put Willow. She raised Buffy from the dead - and her life (and Buffy's) hasn't been the same since. I think some people have raised the question of what the "terrible price" was for Willow's raising of Buffy - and in the absence of a terrible price, why doesn't this happen all the time. I think the 1st, most obvious price that Willow paid is that the use of such terrible and powerful magics pushed her over the edge from the safe use of magic to the dangerous side. A lot of criticism has been heaped on ME for what is perceived as the changing of the nature of magic into a drug-like substance much different from what we've seen in s1-5. I've never quite seen it that way. Yes- they ARE making a heavy-handed metaphor for drug abuse. However - I see Willow's corruption as being more of a reference to the age old situation of power corrupting. Willow got a heaping taste of that power when she invoked the forces that she did in raising Buffy. Think of it: she brought the DEAD back to life. If power is EVER going to corrupt - this would be the time. So from a pure psychological point of view - Willow not wanting to give up the feeling of power (not necessarily the addictive sensation of magic) worked perfectly for me - and her continued use of magic seemed perfectly consistent with this idea. Alternatively, if you want a less psychological, more direct explanation for Willow's addiction to magic - perhaps the "price" for resurrecting Buffy is the addiction itself. Either way - she had a problem.

But Willow is a hero on a show about heroes. As she said to Buffy in s3's "Choices":

Things just, kind of, got clear. I mean, you've been fighting evil here for three years, and I've helped some, and now we're supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that that's what I want to do. Fight evil, help people. I mean, I-I think it's worth doing. And I don't think you do it because you have to. It's a good fight, Buffy, and I want in.

So she overcame her "addiction" to the power of using magic. And she's stayed on the bandwagon since that point. And then the woman she loves more than life itself-her most intense relationship to date (sorry W/O shippers - but that's how it seems to me) - DIES.

So what should she do? She's a hero - but her love has been KILLED. So she flips out. That she didn't grieve for Tara - makes perfect sense. A switch has been tripped in her head - SHE'S seeing red. All she can think about is vengeance for Tara. And then she compounds her problems by absorbing the black magic and we have Evil Willow (tm). This is great stuff. For me, the key line in Villains is when Xander warns Willow that there may be no turning back - and her response: “I'm not coming back.” In her mind – she’s gone – she now has absolute power – and with that, absolute corruption. And she uses her power to murder Warren.

So what happens next? I think Buffy touched on this briefly in the episode, but her explanation was sort of weak. Dawn and Xander want Warren dead. Buffy says that it’s not their place to kill people. They kill vampires and extranormal villains – demons, goddesses, etc. But they don’t kill people with souls. That’s for the “normal” world to deal with.

So let’s look at this from the normal world’s point of view. Is Willow responsible? Looks like it – but it’s not 100% clear. Is she temporarily (or permanently) insane? Perhaps? To what extent is the black magic within her playing a role in her decision-making process? From a strict legal sense, if there was a trial, she COULD reasonably argue temporary insanity. From a strict legal sense of course, she would probably get away with the murder of Warren because I don’t think the law recognizes magic as a way to kill someone. Warren’s death would appear to have been caused by spontaneous combustion. Even if Willow walks into a police station and tells the cops that she killed a man by invoking an incantation which caused him to burst into flames, I don’t think she could be convicted (committed perhaps, but not convicted). So from the “normal” worldview, she’s safe.

But how about from the extra-normal world? First, we get into a capital punishment question. Warren killed Willow. If the penalty for murder is execution – who carries out the sentence? Since we’re talking extra-legal here- I’ll skip the step of a trial. We know Warren killed Tara – he did it. So if you believe in capital punishment, he should die. Without the need for legal process- and looking at this from an abstract justice sense, Willow is within her rights to kill Warren (I mean someone has to do it, right?). But what if you do not accept that capital punishment creates justice? Then Willow is a murderer. But who will punish her? Will Buffy? Assuming Buffy could defeat Willow in battle, what would she do? Imprison Willow? Send her to a hell dimension (in which case she can come back in a few days having done a 20-year sentence)? There’s no clear answer here. I would speculate that Buffy would answer this question in the following way: If she can convince Willow to give up the magic and become a regular Scooby again, she will – and Willow will have to live out her life with the knowledge that she’s killed a man – punishment enough. If she can’t convince Willow to give it up AND Willow is killing people, Buffy will have to try to kill Willow out of a sense of responsibility of fighting evil in the world.. If Willow isn’t killing anyone, then I’d think Buffy won’t do anything – what can she do and why would she do it?

Interesting questions. Will they all be fleshed out? I doubt it. There’s only 2 episodes left – but the fact that we HAVE these questions is a testament to the quality of the show. What will happen?

I have no knowledge aside from my speculation based on zero rumors, news, or anything (so PLEASE be careful if you have more info in terms of posting with proper spoiler tags!). My gut feeling is that they won’t kill Willow. So I think Willow will be brought to see the light. Buffy and Xander will appeal to the good heroic Willow that we know is at the pit of her soul. She’ll renounce the magic. Although it means that next season we’ll have the same old problem of Willow being tempted to use magic whenever they are in trouble. One solution to this will be that the weight of murdering Warren will be enough so that Willow will never be seriously tempted to use magic again – i.e. she knows that if she does, she might kill again. An alternative would be if Buffy & co. can figure out a way to magically neuter Willow.

But here’s 2 extra pieces of wilder speculation: (1) Willow will resurrect Warren. Warren dies of “magical means” – so as far as we know, perhaps he can be brought back to life. This would absolve Willow of the bulk of the guilt of the murder – and allow her to function again as a clear “hero.” (2) Anya can intercede. Anya is a vengeance demon. Warren’s murder is a vengeance-related event. Can someone wish for him to come back to life? Can Willow make the wish? Or Buffy? Or perhaps only someone who loves Warren can make that wish. Someone who loves Warren and wants vengeance against Willow. Hmmm…who can that be? Andrew perhaps? Interesting food for thought, eh? Perhaps Anya will grant Andrew a wish and Evil Willow will be de-powered (and Warren brought back).

[> Re: The Willow arc through "Villains" (spoilers) -- O'Cailleagh, 21:24:02 05/17/02 Fri

Oooooh. Nice post. Very good points throughout. I especially liked your final speculations....I'd been wondering if they were going to do anything with Andrew and that does seem the likeliest...and they have hammered into us the mystical death/natural death thing...that's a whole bag of pondery goodness.Hmmmmm

[> Re: The Willow arc through "Villains" (spoilers) -- Shul, 23:19:19 05/17/02 Fri

Warren brought back to life!
Dont say that!
I am the acting chairman of the We want to see Warren Dead Club (WWTSWD for short).
I say willow will defeat buffy but then blow herself skyhigh.

[> [> Additional -- Shul, 23:21:15 05/17/02 Fri

Andrew and the other guy are officially "Deadmeat".
Willow gonna lay the smackdown.

...Bored now.

[> [> [> Re: Additional -- AgnosticSorcerer, 00:37:38 05/18/02 Sat

Whoa. I especially liked the speculation about Andrew wishing Warren alive again. That is interesting and when I read that suggestion I literally said, "Awesome!" But what about what happens when Andrew finds out that Warren never loved him--that Warren just preyed on his crush and repressed sexuality to manipulate Andrew?

O/T: I'm seeing Star Wars: AOTC tonight, at 1:30 in the morning! Yay! -- Rob, 15:02:18 05/17/02 Fri

I've heard that seeing it in digital projection is the only way to go, so I'm going to the Ziegfeld Theatre in NYC, one of the very, very few theatres showing it digitally. Lucas really misjudged this one filming it digitally didn't he?!? I've heard the film transfer is muddy and poor, and makes the f/x look very underwhelming...but that the digital version is pristine and amazing. Can't wait!

I'm not getting any sleep tonight!!


[> I'm seeing it tonight! Can't wait! -- MayaPapaya9, 16:24:01 05/17/02 Fri

[> You sleep? -- d'Herblay, 18:39:51 05/17/02 Fri

[> I already Saw it -- vampire hunter D, 18:47:38 05/17/02 Fri

at 12:01 AM on the 16th

[> [> One word review...Good bad, or so-so? -- Rob, 19:19:56 05/17/02 Fri

[> [> [> Re: One word review...Good bad, or so-so? -- vampire hunter D, 22:19:20 05/17/02 Fri


the action scenes were cool, but the plot tended to drag a little. But the last 45 minutes were awesome.

[> [> [> [> I agree... -- Rob, 10:46:17 05/18/02 Sat

...the movie was slow in spots, especially around the middle, because there was just sooo much plot. And the Anakin/Padme acting leaved a bit to be desired.

But, those great heights that the movie reached, when it reached them, were usually awesome. This was a much, much better film that "Phantom Menace," and maybe even better than "Return of the Jedi," although time may have to tell on that one, since ROTJ had a faster-moving plot.

I also loved getting to see the seeds of the story and all the various players come into place. If Lucas is as on- target for Episode III as he was for this one, it will be amazing (although, considering the inevitable ending, probably quite a downer!).

On the whole, If I ranked 1 star=poor 2 stars=fair 3 stars=good 4 stars=very good 5 stars=excellent, I'd give it 4 stars, and perhaps even 4 1/2. Because when the movie worked, it worked so well that it made up, I believe, for the weak spots. For anyone who may be reading this who doesn't want to be spoiled, I won't give anything away, but I must say: YODA, YODA, YODA! You are in for the biggest Yoda surprise ever! Oh, and some cool C-3P0 and R2D2 action, as well.

This movie has made me proud to be a "Star Wars" fan again! :o)


[> [> [> [> [> I'll disagree slightly... (spoilers for AotC) -- DaveW, 11:07:30 05/18/02 Sat

It seems like pretty much everyone agrees that the last 30- 45 mins of the movie were the best part, and I'll add my voice to that chorus. However, what remains of the film is pretty terrible. Hayden Christensen is high-school-play bad, and he drags Portman down with him. Even the early action scenes felt pretty flat; the speeder chase on Coruscant lacks any of the kinetic thrills that ROTJ's speeder chase on Endor provided. And probably because Lucas is so insistent on using digital, the picture quality is muddy throughout; if I go see it again I'm gonna try and catch it at the AMC 30 in Schaumburg on a digital system. Still, if you can hang in there 'til the end, you'll be rewarded. Also, kudos on the visual design of the cloner's home planet - I thought that was pretty sharp.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'll disagree slightly... (spoilers for AotC) - - Rob, 12:58:46 05/18/02 Sat

No, I thought the rest of the film was brilliant, just slow in spots...Christensen, also, I think was not the weak link acting-wise, but Portman. She was flat to the point of having no affect. I think Christensen was very believable. What I don't believe is that Portman's character could fall in love with him.

I read one review that, whether the original "Star Wars" cast were great actors or not (and many people think they're not), you could feel real chemistry and real emotion from them. Luke and Leia, Luke and Han, Han and Leia...they all had great chemistry. You could really believe the feelings of love and friendship between them. Padme and Anakin fall in love, it seems like, because they have to...and yet, it shouldn't feel that way, since they are the ones who set the story in motion in the first place!

In Ebert's review, he wrote that watching it non-digital really affected his whole like of the film. He was so distracted by the muddiness that it brought down his whole opinion of the film, which was greatly improved when he saw it in digital. He said he would have given it a far better review if he saw it that way first. So perhaps you'll enjoy the movie if you can catch it in digital as well. I saw it in digital, and I have to say, the movie really made me feel like the "Star Wars" fan I was when I was a little kid. I thought the story was sharp, the action scenes kick-ass, the special effects amazing...and best of all, I got such a thrill out of seeing the Jedis in their glory days, before their fall. I loved this movie!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My Review of AOTC! -- Dedalus, 17:54:31 05/18/02 Sat




[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Short. Sweet. To the point. Wonderful review! :o) - - Rob, 18:07:26 05/18/02 Sat

...Sure, it isn't "Howard the Duck," but it's still!


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Short. Sweet. To the point. Wonderful review! :o) -- Dedalus, 18:14:58 05/18/02 Sat

Thanks Rob. Love the enthusiasm, as always. I love the excess exclamation points, the whole deal.

I've applied to be the contributing editor for SW at, and if that comes through, I will be writing a more formal review to be sure. We'll see. I have about a dozen articles I already want to write about this movie. If nothing else, I might be on staff at writing editorials for the rest of the summer. In either case, I will be posting all the lengths here.

Hayden was amazing, I thought. Stand-outs were the Tatooine scenes. Portman gets a bad rap, I feel. No one can tell me her love pledge before the arena battle wasn't superb acting.

I saw it twice Thursday. I don't think I've ever had a movie experience as great and surreal as that in my entire life. It was unbelievable. Every audience I've seen it with loved it. I've never seen a crowd go so wild as when Yoda gets ready to fight. Geez. I practically had tears come to my eyes a few times.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Short. Sweet. To the point. Wonderful review! :o) (spoilers for AOTC) -- Rob, 18:41:36 05/18/02 Sat

You know what? I think I would have been less harsh on Portman if it weren't for the audience I saw the movie with. I, unfortunately, was cursed with being in a theatre full of people who were laughing every time she opened her mouth. In fact, they laughed uproariously at some very not funny things, like Shmi's death. It really enraged me, since I was taking the story so seriously. And the fact that everybody was laughing at so many parts really colored my opinion. Thinking back on it, I think Portman was very good. And I may have liked her in it as much as you did had the audience been more...respectful, I guess is the right word.

And that Yoda scene...I agree...was probably the greatest movie moment I have ever experienced. Left me totally breathless. And I loved how, when it was done, he picked up his cane and started walking like a little old man again. And earlier, I adored the Yoda-training-the-Jedi-kiddies scene.

This is definitely a movie I'll be watching over and over. In fact, I really did love it, and really wish I could have seen it with a better audience. They accounted for most of any fidgetiness I had around the middle of the movie, etc...and you know what? I loved "Phantom Menace" also...along with Jar Jar!

Hope you get that SW position at Suite101. Otherwise, I'll keep reading your SW editorials. Loved the Jar Jar one, btw.

When TPM came out, I thought the problem most people had with it was that it was the first part of a trilogy that came out differently than they had expected. I think, in years to come, "Phantom Menace" may grow on the audience, just as "Jedi" did. In fact, I haven't yet been disappointed by a "Star Wars" movie. I'm not one of those fans who say they're a SW fan, but then pick apart everything about all the movies (and I know a lot of those fans)...I love every character, from Luke to C3P0 to the Ewoks...and I frankly think Lucas is a genius.

So I agree with basically everything you wrote...and I'd like to see if my opinion of the Padme/Anakin scenes change if I can see it with a quiet audience. I'll try going back in a few weeks.

Rob :o)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Short. Sweet. To the point. Wonderful review! :o) (spoilers for AOTC) -- Dedalus, 21:26:58 05/18/02 Sat

I'm amazed, but I could literally hear people sniffing and blowing their noses after the scene with Anakin's mother.

The response at my theater, and the response of the fan community, has been overwhelmingly positive. So much so, frankly, I'm stunned. Especially after TPM.

Definitely check it out again. Way too much to take in the first time anyway.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My Review of AOTC! -- Humanitas, 15:51:45 05/19/02 Sun

Glad to see you're still around, Ded! I've actually been wondering what you thought this past week. Have you had the opportunity to see it in a digital theater? We've got one locally, and they gave the group I work with a sneak preview on Monday night. I then saw it on Friday in a traditional theater. I loved it both times (how could I not?) but the digital projection was much clearer than the celluloid.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My Review of AOTC! -- Dedalus, 07:00:36 05/20/02 Mon

I just took part in a poll by EW and AOL. About 53% of the people who voted thought that it was the best SW movie since Empire. And that was like 50 thousand votes. So wow.

Anyway, I've seen it at a digital theater. The film does look amazing. It's almost like watching a big screen DVD. The DVD, btw, is already set to come out in November. I saw the previews of the movie on celluloid, however, and they looked grainy and dark and horrible.

I do promise to be more of a presence on the forum this summer, but when those SW sirens call ...

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: My Review of AOTC! -- Humanitas, 11:56:41 05/20/02 Mon

Hey, I hear ya. I haven't been around much, either.

The celluloid print that I saw wasn't too bad. You're absolutely right about the superiority of the digital, but the traditional film isn't bad, it's just not as clear as the digital.

This is easily the best one since "Empire." "Jedi" and TPM, while still good films, are much more kid-oriented, and I think that threw off a lot of fans, especially with TPM. I like both of them, but I'm very happy to see the more "grown- up" feel return with AOTC. In fact, I'm starting to have some ideas about parallels between AOTC and this season of BtVS. I need to see AOTC a few more times before I can really dig into it though. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> AotC, good movie, not a masterpiece **spoilers for AOTC** -- Corwin of Amber, 20:13:40 05/18/02 Sat

What happened to Portmans acting skills? She was far better as a child in The Professional. Heck, Jar-Jar was a far better actor. :)

I liked that it didn't just hand you all the answers in the beginning, like 90% of movies today. And it actually managed to surprise a few times. When Mace Windu stepped out onto the balcony...I thought "oh crap! HE's the Sith Apprentice!" :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> What I liked and what I missed- -- Spike Lover, 11:04:23 05/20/02 Mon

It had great sets- and so many, they were a bit overwhelming. It had good action- maybe too much. It had NO humor. I missed (once again) the truly likeable and humorous character type of Han Solo.

Other things (subtle) that I did like: The music. The cunning political manipulations of the future emperor. The (blinding) pride of the Jedi council (including Yoda) that are unable to see how they are being manipulated to dark ends. Anakin's childishness and desire for simplicity in a complicated world. How out of control his feelings and emotions are- (remember how Luke was constantly lectured on controling his feelings-?)

Obi-Wan's character brilliantly played by Ewan McGregor. His performance again is very subtle, but when I watched him, I saw a young Alec Guiness, not a completely different actor playing a younger version of a character.

What I did not believe: the love story. I also had no idea why she would love him. We were told he had been dreaming about her for years. Who had she been dreaming about? Also, No chemistry.

In fact, I started laughing every time Padma changed her clothes. When they arrive at her home planet, she wears her backless outfit around someone who is basically studying to be a monk. Then she wears a shoulderless thing on a picnic. Then she tells him (unsure of the order)that there can be nothing between them. Then they go to him home planet of Tutonee (?). She wears the skin tight white outfit that really made her breasts stand out. (I just laughed out loud shamelessly.)

The other thing that really bothered me was the LACK OF CONSEQUENCES for the incident with the Sand People. If you have seen it, you know what I am referring to.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: What I liked and what I missed- -- Rob, 09:35:16 05/21/02 Tue

Well, there isn't really a lack of consequences re: the Sand People...

He does become Darth Vader after all.


[> [> BUT how did Dracu- uh, Christopher Lee do in it?*nt* -- FriarTed, 10:17:41 05/20/02 Mon

[> Re: O/T: I'm seeing Star Wars: AOTC tonight, at 1:30 in the morning! Yay! -- Grant, 19:22:41 05/17/02 Fri

Lucas actually only really miscalculated in thinking that more theaters would be digital by this point. Using the digital technology was by all measemurements an incredible success for this film. It allowed Lucas to get pretty much whatever shots he wanted out of the scenes. In fact, a lot of the closeups in the film weren't necessarily shot as close-ups. They just shot the entire scene and Lucas was able to go in later and zoom in on what he wanted to show and basically produce the shots he wanted out of what was available. He could do this in digital and not before because in digital you can zoom in 250% and only recieve the same loss in quality you used to get by zooming in 50%. I have seen the movie twice so far, and I haven't really noticed any loss of quality or mediocre effects. Everything seems good and clear. Of course, if I ever get to see it on a digital screen I may change my mind, since I hear in that medium the effects and sheer beauty of the imagery completely blow you away.

As you could probably tell by the fact that I've already seen it twice, I loved this movie. It had a great plot, excellent acting, and extraordinary action. I honestly don't know what movie most critics saw when they say that the acting was wooden, pretty much the entire cast gave incredible performances, with special kudos to Hayden Christensen, Natalie Portman, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Lee, and Frank Oz with the ILM team that animated Yoda. Yoda simply rocks in this movie.

[> Loved it, but my only gripe.. -- MayaPapaya9, 10:29:22 05/19/02 Sun

...was the terrible acting. It's really sad that the love story between Anakin and Padme, which sets off the rest of the saga, was so poorly done. I mean, who really BELIEVED that they were falling in love? I was sitting there in the theater thinking that they looked like two people being paid to say lines, not two characters falling in love.

I'm gonna go ahead and compare it to Han and Leia in Empire Strikes Back. I really believed that those two were in love, their chemistry was so obvious. For a moment, I was just in the story. That didn't happen, for me at least, in Episode 2, until the last 45 minutes which were completely breathtaking and I agree with the person (I think it was Dedalus?) who said it almost inspired tears. I was very emotional by the end. It's just unfortunate that in the first half, the actors all delivered their lines like automatons. Oh, for just one human emotion on Natalie Portman's face!

But don't get me wrong, I still loved this movie. The last part made up for everything. And I thought that Hayden Christensen did a really good job in general, I could definetely believe that he was capable of turning to the dark side. I wish they had also developed his relationship with Senator Palpatine a bit more, but maybe they're saving that for Episode 3!

[> [> Re: Loved it, but my only gripe.. -- Lonesome Sundown, 11:08:44 05/19/02 Sun

Okay, I'll be fifty third person here to say that I enjoyed the movie, especially the little green guy getting into the thick of things :o)

The love scenes were cringe-worthy. I wouldn't blame the actors, it was terible writing. The romance was just forced in there because it is essential to all that has gone before and all that is to come. So you have some sappy dialogue, platitudes about duty, rolling around in the grass (instead of a roll in the hay ;), teary-eyed actors (possibly thinking of the quality of the script). Gah!

The fact that Lucas forced the romance in there prob'ly saved the rest of the film. The romance felt so divorced from everything else that I could just put it out of my mind when it wasn't on screen and enjoy the unfolding story. Not like Jar Jar in episode 1 who seemed to be in every damn scene.

Okay, I'm calm now :)

[> Just got back (spoilers for SW2: AOTC) -- Rattletrap, 14:08:18 05/20/02 Mon

I'll add my $.02 to the growing change collection in the bottom of the ATPo coffee can.

Quite good. I'll agree with the other posters that the last 45 minutes was the best part and that Yoda getting into the fight was very cool. I'm now definitely looking forward to the 3rd installment. The acting was a bit cringe-worthy in spots, but this is almost a Star Wars tradition. Even at her worst Natalie Portman was better than Mark Hammil at the beginning of the original--and in neither case did it seriously detract from my enjoyment of the movie. A must see for those who haven't.


[> [> Gotta disagree about Hamill...His "New Hope" performance wipes the floor with Portman, IMO. -- Rob, 14:12:04 05/20/02 Mon

[> Throwing myself off the bandwagon -- ponygirl, 06:22:17 05/21/02 Tue

Sorry guys, saw Star Wars on the weekend and ack, what a mess. Have no problems with action or effects but couldn't they have taken a few bucks off the budget and got a script doctor in to fix up the dialogue? Carrie Fisher would have probably given them a good rate. The audience I saw it with was snickering through all of the love scenes, and the Anakin's mom scene (my god that woman has been in Bergman films how embarrassing for her). Even the editing and transitions between scene seemed limp. Sure we all cheered for Yoda but those were cheers of desperation. It led to many entertaining conversations about how bad it was but wow what a disappointment.

Joss quote on Season Six -- Rob, 17:27:02 05/17/02 Fri

"A lot of people got pretty scared when we did, but we just wanted to explore the dark side of power and of growing up and responsibility. The season has a great coherence that way. I think we made some great eps."

As the Rob side of the Rox ship, I have to say...Bravo, Joss! :o) :o) :o)

To read the whole article, but be careful, there are season finale spoilers, go here.


Classic Movie of the Week - May 17th 2002 - ( Note: some spoilers for *Villians* ) -- OnM, 21:06:36 05/17/02 Fri


(This film) is about as far from the fantasy mythos... as (the director) could get. No pin-point accuracy with
19th century technology, no desire to 'play fair' and face the enemy on even terms. If you can shoot him in
the back...then do it.

............ Rob Smith ( from his review for the IMDb )


(This film) offers us none of the grandeur of the old West we've seen in countless movies before. Nobody
dies quickly or easily, but messily, screaming and crying. There are no happy hookers, no lighthearted
poker games, and no white hats -- there are only drunks killing one another in never-ending cycles of
revenge. Searing and somber, (it) shatters every myth of the Wild West that Hollywood has ever thrown at
us, and does it with an unmistakable ring of truth.

............ MaryAnn Johanson ( from her review for )


For someone who professes not to be the greatest fan of the Western film genre, I do have a habit of
returning to them at intervals, and this week happens to be one of those intervals.

In my defense, all of the Westerns that I’ve reviewed to date have been sort of-- hell, more than ‘sort of’--
unconventional, to say the least. The first one I felt obliged to call attention to was Robert Altman’s
stunning tone poem McCabe and Mrs. Miller, with it’s brilliant acting work by Warren Beatty and
Julie Christie, among other gifted aspects. Then during Buffy summer recess, I diverged into the offbeat
but clever The Quick and the Dead by EvilDeadMeister Sam Raimi. Then come fall, just before the
S6 Buffy resurrection romp came our collective way, I invoked the cinematic forces of darkness in Jim
Jarmusch’s jarring black and white meditation Dead Man.

As diverse as all these offerings are in terms of style and content and variation on the core Western themes,
they do have one big whompin’ commonality among them-- they deal in the serious implications and
ramifications of Death, oh yes indeedy. And so knowing a good riff when I see one, I hereby keep
up the slightly bent tradition with this week’s Classic Movie, director/actor Clint Eastwood’s revisionist (?)
take on the genre in general and even on many of his own previous works, Unforgiven.

This Tuesday past, we have had the pleasure (or not) of seeing ME daring to take up the subject of what
happens when a normally beloved and conventionally benevolent character goes over the edge and
commits to a level of violence that seems grossly atypical for her. Not just dusting evil demons anymore,
Willow Rosenberg is in hot pursuit of the man she feels had wronged her beyond civilized means, and she
is out for blood-- his, and preferably as much of it as she can spill.

Warren is a murderer, of this there is no doubt. Buffy, however, will not bow to murdering Warren in
return, because ‘being a Slayer doesn’t give me a license to kill humans’. Buffy Summers follows in
the classic Superman tradition, which as Andrew once pointed out prior to falling completely under
the evil sway of robo-tech-assassin Warren, means he ‘wouldn’t kill Lex Luthor, he’d just turn him in to
the police
, who would promptly park him in jail. Buffy’s plan for Warren is pretty much the same.

Willow is in a fever, however, and is hellbent on revenge, her hatred so fierce that even Anya etiolates in
response, and what with Anyanka having been the cause of some serious mayhem in her own demonic
time, that’s a whiter shade of pale for sure.

Unforgiven is about the opposite scenario-- a man now grown old in his middle age, once a
drunken, violent gun-slinging assassin for hire or for the hell of it-- who has reformed thanks to the efforts
of his dearly beloved wife, who sadly has recently died from the microscopically sized but no less fatal
bullet of smallpox. The man, one William Munny (Eastwood), is coping as best he can with the terrible loss
while trying to raise two young children and make a modest living from raising hogs. Unfortunately, the
swine aren’t bringing in the bacon for him, and one day there comes an offer that he’d prefer to refuse, but
decides that he cannot. A young ‘gunslinger’ who has heard of ‘the legend’ comes calling, saying that
there is a reward being offered for the killing of two cowboys who ‘cut up a whore’ in the frontier town of
Big Whiskey. Munny at first declines, but fearing (quite reasonably) that he has his children to look after
eventually accepts the ‘Kid’s’ offer and takes up the cause of death-dealing once more. After looking up an
old partner, Ned Logan (Morgan Freeman), who has also long since ‘retired’ from lawlessness, the three
set out on their mission.

The contrast between the younger ‘outlaw’ and his eagerness to add to his ‘badass’ reputation, and the two
old gunmen is striking. Despite the legacy of their previous lives, neither William or Ned seem particularly
enthused about what they are setting out to accomplish-- it’s just a job, they can use the money, and that’s
all there is.

Unforgiven is very unlike ‘traditional’ Westerns in it’s depiction of the realities of violence, and
about the nature of those who employ it as a tool. Nothing is ever simple, and what gets made plain over
the course of the film’s journey is that had some semblence of real justice been accomplished in the
first place, the lives of so many additional people would not need to have been shattered. The rage of the
friends of the injured prostitute is perfectly reasonable, but the solution they seek to provide just retribution
only brings about still greater evils, the greatest of which is ironically the work of the town’s lawman,
‘Little Bill’ Daggett, played with exquisite ferocious balance by Gene Hackman, who seems to be a master
of wonderfully layered performances.

This film is often considered to be Clint Eastwood’s finest work, and I certainly don’t disagree. The very
beginning and very ending of the film are perfect pictoral and thematic bookends, the cinematography is
right on at all times in capturing the moody subject material, and the screenwriting by David Webb Peoples
is masterful.

This is a fairly recent film, and many of those of you who are reading this have already seen it before, but I
urge you to pay it a visit once again, since there has never been a time in the Buffyverse that is more in
tune with the arc of this film than right now.

No one who is about to die in Unforgiven is saluting anybody. The only hands that are raised are
those that are clasping wounds from which the lifeblood flows relentlessly.

Same as it ever was...

E. Pluribus Cinema, Unum,



Technically tiny bullets:

Unforgiven is available on DVD. The film was released in 1992 and running time is 2 hours and 11
minutes. As previously mentioned, the screenwriting was by David Webb Peoples. Cinematography was by
Jack N. Green, with film editing by Joel Cox. Production Design was by Henry Bumstead, with art
direction by Adrian Gorton and Rick Roberts. Set Decoration was by Janice Blackie-Goodine. Original
music was by Clint Eastwood (for ‘Claudia's theme’) & Lennie Niehaus. The original theatrical aspect ratio
was 2.35:1, and the original theatrical soundtrack mix was Dolby SR, likely remastered to Dolby Digital
for the DVD release. No information is available on any extras that may be present on the DVD. The
review copy was on laserdisc.

Cast overview:

Clint Eastwood .... William Munny
Gene Hackman .... Little Bill Daggett
Morgan Freeman .... Ned Logan
Richard Harris .... English Bob
Jaimz Woolvett .... The 'Schofield Kid'
Saul Rubinek .... W.W. Beauchamp
Frances Fisher .... Strawberry Alice
Anna Levine .... Delilah Fitzgerald
David Mucci .... Quick Mike
Rob Campbell .... Davey Bunting
Anthony James .... Skinny Dubois
Tara Dawn Frederick .... Little Sue
Beverley Elliott .... Silky
Liisa Repo-Martell .... Faith
Josie Smith .... Crow Creek Kate


The Question of the Week:

(You can only answer this if you have seen the movie.)

In the scene where one of the guilty cowboys offers the injured prostitute a horse, the ‘finest one of the lot’
as a way to help express remorse, he seemed to be sincere in his regrets. For a moment the viewing
audience watches the expression on the woman’s face, and wonders if she will accept. The point is
rendered moot when the rest of the women react angrily and chase the cowboy and the horse away.

Should she have accepted the horse? Would she have? Might it have stopped the cycle of violence?

Post ‘em if you’ve got ‘em, and I’ll see you next week, where if all goes as planned (the BtVS season
finale not doing anything to undermine my current choice, that is) I’m going to be doing a review on one of
my all time favorites, a great but slightly obscure film that represents the very first feature-length effort of a
director who is rather supremely famous nowadays. Last year, it was Wim Wender’s Until the End of
the World
. This year, there’ll be yet another hero’s personal apocalypse presented for your viewing

Stay tuned...


[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - May 17th 2002 - ( Note: some spoilers for *Villians* ) -- Rufus, 23:28:15 05/17/02 Fri

I'd have taken the horse and gotten on with living instead of contributing to the deaths of all the men who died in the gun for hire situation. As soon as the injured young lady was overruled by her co-workers that girl was doomed to feel not only the sorrow of her lost face, but the guilt over being the excuse used to kill. That young man did feel guilty about what happened, guilty enough to find something he felt had equal value to scarred face of the whore. I would have left his fate up to time and his own actions. With all the death that happened, the young lady didn't get her face back, the effort and money used to cause so much death could have been used to ensure a secure future for the victim, instead it was used to murder all the parties to her slashing. It was a bloody, tragic, waste of time.

[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - May 17th 2002 - ( Note: some spoilers for *Villians* ) -- DEN, 07:47:31 05/18/02 Sat

"When you seek revenge, begin by digging two graves."

[> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - May 17th 2002 - ( Note: some spoilers for *Villians* ) -- gds, 08:52:39 05/18/02 Sat

This was one of the few Eastwood movies I didn't like. Sounds like you didn't like it either.

[> [> [> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - May 17th 2002 - ( Note: some spoilers for *Villians* ) -- Rufus, 16:10:51 05/18/02 Sat

Actually I liked the movie, I just found that the quest Eastwood was on was a no win situation for everyone in the story. Vengeance may seem like a good idea at the time, but usually devolves into a tit for tat pissing contest where the original reason for the contest is lost in all the pissing.

[> You reviewed 'Dead Man'!? -- matching mole, 06:09:04 05/18/02 Sat

I see it was before my time on the board. Jarmusch has been a favourite of mine for some years. I'll have to search the archives for it.

[> [> If you can't find it, let me know, I'll e-mail you a copy. -- OnM, 06:29:02 05/18/02 Sat

[> [> [> It's here -- d'Herblay, 09:18:11 05/18/02 Sat

Right here.

[> [> [> [> Thanks d'H (and OnM for the offer) -- matching mole, 10:45:32 05/18/02 Sat

If everyone was this helpful in the rest of my life I'd never have to lift a finger again.

[> Re: Classic Movie of the Week - May 17th 2002 - ( Note: some spoilers for *Villians* ) -- Rattletrap, 09:44:08 05/18/02 Sat

Good choice, OnM, especially in light of "Villains." I am a dyed-in-the-wool lover of westerns of all varieties. Unforgiven was a particularly compelling, if disturbing, film. While many films/TV shows (BtVS included) tend to paint their characters with shades of gray, Unforgiven always seems to me to use several different shades of black--the film is really short on good guys, which is one of the things that makes it so powerful (the same might also be said for Peckinpah's The Wild Bunch, another classic "dark" western).

Anyway, good review this week. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the S6 finale.


SO FIVE MINUTES AGO: Combining character names is not even remotely funny. -- The Annoy-ed One, 02:05:28 05/18/02 Sat

I was hoping that, given time, we'd all get sick of this. It seems I have again misplaced my faith in humanity. "Spuffy" was bad enough. "Spikeyanka" was even worse. But
is the straw that breaks this camel's back. Tillow? Please tell me there aren't any actual human beings out there who find this combination of syllables in any way amusing. I will be able to rest easy at night knowing that nowhere on God's green earth is someone patting themselves on the back for the stroke of genius it took to take the "T" from Tara's name and the "illow" from Willow's name and Bang! put them together in a trenchant commentary on the fact that they, uh, like totally sleep together or something.

But wait -- what other bons mots do these lyricists have in store for us? You won't be disappointed: Dillow! Get it? "Dark Willow." Oh, my sides ache! I've got one -- Fuzzy Pink Sweater Willow: FPSWillow. Don't make me go FPSWillow on your ass! Or, how about Don't Date Boys from the Internet 'Cause They're Probably Scary Demon Robots Willow: DDBftI'CTPSDRWillow. I'll even use it in a sentence: "So, guys, if Year Seven is really a return to Year One, do you think we'll see the return of DDBftI'CTPSDRWillow?" But the scary demon robot also occured during her fuzzy pink sweater phase, so that should really be FPSWilDDBftI'CTPSDRlow.

Now, let's have one final burst of hilarity to get this out of our systems once and for all:

Xanlow, Xantis, Xanffy, Xandelia, Xanyanka

Buffler, Buffgel, Buffott, Buffker, Buffley, Bike

Dawnder, Dawnstin, Dike

Willder, Willcolm, Willoz, Wara, Wamy, Woyce, Wiss Kitty Fantastillow

Rupenny Gilesder, Rupivia

Anguffy, Angarla, Angelia

Frangel, Frunn, Dargel, Ozdelia, Cordoylelia, Wardrew, Holtstine, Drusillow, Tarolaf, Cordarmony, Glorificillow, Principal Flutander, Principal Syndarla, Percuffy, Draculaster, Colonel McNaTara, Tector Gorchillow, Lyle Gorcheese Guy, Wanna Blessed Billow. Etc, etc, etc....

What fun. Now that we've seen all the main permutations and have peed our pants at how mind-bogglingly hysterical they are, I hereby implore this board to declare this trend TIRED and DEAD and OVER and banish it to the land of "Is that your final answer?" and "Whazzuuuuuuuup?"

I can picture whatever slack-jawed AOLer that first came up with this linguistic atrocity is now sitting at their computer, wearing a Starter jacket and a "Where's the Beef?" t-shirt, with their razor scooter parked against the wall, Koosh ball in one hand, Tamagotchi in the other, thinking, "Hey, don't have a cow, man!"

Well, all I can say to you, my friend, is

Forget being stuck in de debbil's mouth with Judas and Wesley, the worst circle of Hell should contain those who wander in the Desert of the Unbelieveably Stupid Fads.


[> Keep it real, dude. :) -- Colonel McNaTara, 02:44:35 05/18/02 Sat

[> Yeah, don't have a cow! :D -- blameless one, 06:10:44 05/18/02 Sat

I don't want to encourage trollishness, even if some secret part of my heart is agreeing, but...

ROTFLMAO!! leat it was creative. :D


[> [> No, no, no. -- The Annoy-ed One, 22:33:46 05/18/02 Sat

I, sir, am no troll. A troll is one who deliberately starts fights and irritates people for fun.

I only wish to cause a few laughs. VampRiley calls this board "monotonous" just a few posts down. I know, not everybody enjoys this style of humor; maybe I've been desensitized by reading the Onion every week.

The great George Carlin has spoken on this topic:

"Carlin: Well, that's not my purpose in doing my shows, to put new ideas in people's minds, but the principle I was talking about is, when a person is laughing, they are defenseless. It is a completely Zen moment. You are never more yourself than when you have been surprised into laughing. That is a moment when your defenses are down, in a manner of speaking. Most of the time, when you talk to people about, let's call them 'issues,' okay? People have their defenses up. They are going to defend their point of view, the thing they're used to, the ideas that they hold dear, and you have to take a long, logical route to get through to them, generally. This is all generalization. But when you are doing comedy or humor, people are open, and when the moment of laughter comes, their guard is down, so new data can be introduced more easily at that moment."

I know Spuffies and Tillows aren't the most pressing of "issues," but what did you expect? It's a Buffy board, not a U.N. meeting.

In any case, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go have a Crystal Pepsi and get back to organizing my Beanie Babie collection.

[> [> [> I just poke a little fun at this board 'cause I love it so much. -- VampRiley, 06:51:18 05/19/02 Sun

But my "Chaos can be good. Breaks up the monotony." was aimed at more than just the board, though there was referencing to the instances where there has been some chaos here. I've actually enjoyed it when it happens. It's not all the time, but every once in a while. We are all considerate, but sometimes we can be too considerate. There is no way even us here can be like this all the time. If major fights break out caused by trolls, so-called philosophers or even amongst ourselves, it does peak my interest. But after a while, the topic gets boring. But it's not like I'm hunch over my keyboard, anxiously awaiting for fights to break out like some sort sick bastard.

Call me demented. Twisted. Sick. But you can't say I don't get happy from it.

The comment was to include life in general. Chaos is inspiration, unpredictability, unorganization, inspiration and randomness -- these are the hallmarks of the major philosophical force for the universal potential of creation and the refusal of stagnation. This also helps to explain why I'm loving this season. That and showing all the characters from both shows are screwing up big time makes it easier to relate to them. In a world where things that are shunted to the category of "balderdash and chicanery", it makes that world seem more real than it already does.


[> Re: SO FIVE MINUTES AGO: Combining character names is not even remotely funny. -- pr10n, 08:06:26 05/18/02 Sat

The single funniest rant I have read in two years of nearly rock solid lurking.

God bless the trollage.

Got to go get my ass back now.

[> Re: SO FIVE MINUTES AGO: Combining character names is not even remotely funny. -- O'Cailleagh, 08:12:17 05/18/02 Sat

Interesting....I refer to "So guys,if year seven is really a return to year one, do you think we'll see the return of DDBftI'CTPSDRWillow?" I get that you were making a point and all, but I find it fascinating that people keep referencing this episode (without actually meaning anything by it). Is it some subconcious thing?

[> [> Uh... -- The Annoy-ed One, 22:13:04 05/18/02 Sat

I dunno; I haven't seen anybody else reference it. But now this makes me think of the line in Normal Again:

SPIKE: Oh, balls. You didn't say he was a glarghk guhl kashma'nik-illow.
XANDER: 'Cause I can't say glar-

[> LOL -- Drizzt, 18:14:23 05/18/02 Sat

Thanks dude;)

I thought most of those names were funny.

Your ranting was much funnier thought

He he.


[> ok, but i kinda liked the idea of... -- anom, 23:22:19 05/18/02 Sat

...Tallow better than Tillow, what w/the candles/magic tie- in & all. Not that it's applicable anymore anyway (sniff)....

[> [> What do two witches need so many long, thick candles for, anyway? -- The Arous-ed One, 23:39:55 05/18/02 Sat

Even I'm embarrassed to suggest Wil-do or Dild-illow.

This thread must end before it gets X-rated.

[> [> [> Oops. -- The Abash-ed One, 23:55:20 05/18/02 Sat

Well, that was untimely. I feel compelled to add:

I have loved Tara deeply ever since Hush, but I was spoiled about her demise a month or two ago, so when it finally happened, it didn't affect me at all. I had even seen the screencaps from the week-early wildfeed. I wish I had the willpower to stay away from spoilers, because as soon as I read it, I kicked myself and said, "Damn. I wished I hadn't read that."

So, those of you who are still in states of mourning, don't take my absurd jokes as intending any disrespect toward one of my favorite characters.

[> [> [> [> And for the record -- Tillow, 06:13:17 05/20/02 Mon

Peoples rants usually don't get a reply from me at all but I do feel compelled to point out that my screen name has nothing to do to any alliance to a specific ship. (Although I do love Tara.) It's just the result of a spoonerism and it made me laugh the day I first posted.

But really, why care about such a small thing?

Spike's trip (Villains spoilers) -- KKC, 09:54:59 05/18/02 Sat

Something about the last episode made me think of this passage from 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer : The Monster Book' by Golden, Bissette and Sniegoski...

"Given Whedon's history of vampires, and the manner in which the first vapire was created, one is forced to wonder if the very first vampire ever created is still alive.
"'Good question,' he responds. 'I'm not ruling it out.'"

The identity of the demon that Spike visits in Africa hasn't been a hot topic of debate, given all the other food for thought on the table. But given that the first Slayer was African, would it stand to reason that the first vampire was created in Africa? Could the demon in the cave be the first vampire? This might explain why Spike would go there, and why he treats this particular demon as any kind of authority.

Just a thought. Wanted to share.


[> Re: Spike's trip (Villains spoilers) -- aliera, 11:16:12 05/18/02 Sat

It's an interesting idea...I have been wondering about this character too (and also as a sidenote about the older vamps and the lack of any vamps of note this season.) I was most struck by the eyes though and they didn't remind me of a vampire; but as someone mentioned in a very good post earlier... the first vampire was made by a very powerful demon one of the *old ones* after he was chased out of this world. They await his return and the return of the *old ones*...

[> Re: Spike's trip (Villains spoilers and maybe beyond too) -- Arethusa, 14:20:53 05/18/02 Sat

Whedon said BtVS is going "back to the beginning." What if he didn't just mean "three close friends bond through fighting demons," like in the first season, but that Buffy also goes back to her beginnings, examining (and maybe finally incorporating) her Slayer ancestry. That would also be a good parallel to Spike, if he is back in Africa discovering his roots too, so to speak.

[> [> Re: Spike's trip (Villains spoilers and maybe beyond too) -- KKC, 15:41:29 05/18/02 Sat

Whether or not the demon is the first vampire, there's still something bugging me about Spike's presence there to begin with. I think that it's the deus ex machina of Spike even having that knowledge to begin with... Yes, he's old and experienced, but doesn't make him all knowing. I'm having a harder and harder time suspending disbelief about Spike knowing everything he does; about Rack's existence, about Warren's talents, and now about the existence of this demon in Africa. If it is the first vampire, Spike might not necessarily be aware of that.

On the other hand... If you believe that vampires can be divided into worker bees and queen bees, then Spike definitely falls into the queen bee category. I suppose being the type to lead others means that you'll pay attention to and retain knowledge that others of your kind wouldn't.

-KKC, who expects to see Amy, Giles, Whistler, The Master (TM) and maybe Jenny Calendar in the season finalé. :)

[> [> [> Re: Spike's trip (Villains spoilers and maybe beyond too) -- aliera, 17:36:57 05/18/02 Sat

The Africa thing has puzzled a lot of people...hopefully, next week will help with this a bit.

[> [> [> [> Re: Spike's trip (Villains spoilers and maybe beyond too) -- Yellowork, 08:59:13 05/19/02 Sun

Was the first slayer ever actually seen on the show? What we did get to see looked like a figment or eidolon considering the context of the episodes she / it appears in. And this eidolon could represent the abstract power of the slayer; she is an archetype of the 'ideal' slayer, the source of the power, and would therefore pre-date the first human slayer. And besides, there is a difference between the racial group, 'African' or 'Negroid' which does not prevail in all parts of Africa and does exist outside, and the national identity of an African nation; for example, people in the Middle East, Austrolasia and Asia can be classed as 'negroid,' if this is taken to embody 'nappy', wooly hair, dark brown skin, and strong 'Bantu' features (though this is only one racial sub-type). There is the additional factor that we may be dealing with a line of slayers which goes back to before the present-day formation of the five main continents, too ...

[> [> [> [> [> I'm having issues with the "Africa equals primitive and/or evil" business.. -- belle, 11:36:32 05/19/02 Sun

I mean, I'm wanting to believe that ME's conscious of racial issues, but it's getting hard for me. I mean, first we had the "Primitive," who followed hard upon the image of Forrest, one of the few multi-episode non-white humans on the show, turning not just evil but, well, kind of primitive- acting. Now Spike has to go to Africa? I mean, okay, inner voyage, underworld, I get that symbolic riff, but hello? swallowing the whole "Africa=heart of darkness" without adjustment or irony goes against ME's vision for the show, I thought. I kept hoping the cave was actually in Montevista or something...seriously, though, why not, say, top of Finland, the Northern Lights? That's pretty remote, and it taps into a good source of myth.

It's just, you know, and then I read MN's shooting script, which specifies that the villager is carrying a *spear* fercrissakes. At least the director had the good sense to drop that particular piece of stage business

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm having issues with the "Africa equals primitive and/or evil" business.. -- KKC, 12:09:54 05/19/02 Sun

Well, the shooting script isn't necessarily canon, and it's been completely ignored before. For example, in the script for 'Hell's Bells' Anya's last conversation with D'hoffryn is supposed to take place in her apartment. But the actual footage suggests that Anya has returned to Arashmaharr instead, given the all-black background and that we know that she's now a demon again.

I'm willing to entertain the possibility that Spike isn't in Africa. Perhaps he's in Brazil, or the West Indies or somewhere? That would make the length of his trip more believable, and there's precedent since he's got contacts and experience in the area. The spare tires on the beach made me think of Sao Paolo, for some reason. The Buffyverse certainly has no shortage of cave-dwelling demons in either hemisphere... Although if the villager who was warning Spike away was actually speaking Swahili or Luganda, the 'not-in- Africa' explanation might not work out after all. :)


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I'm having issues with the "Africa equals primitive and/or evil" business.. -- aliera, 15:39:15 05/19/02 Sun

Just when ya think its safe to come out of the water...

I'm afraid I hadn't thought of it in this light before. There's been an Afican connection since Bargaining with the Urn of Osiris and the spell. Willow uses Osiris's name again in Villians. I was looking at the location in Villians (and the depiction of the first Slayer) as showing that the struggle has been around as long as man.

Based on the early scripts, and someone else's post which I would credit if I weren't so lazy as to not want to go through the archives, the vamps were born as the major demons were leaving this world, perhaps driven out by the encroachment of man? It isn't said. I think the slayer arose at that time as the opposing force.

As far as the cliched appearance of the first slayer? I don't know. I didn't take it as evil just the way that most would conceptualize early man of woman. I particular like the part where Buffy talked about weapons and pulled out the mud? face paint? because early masks in primitive mythology were a weapon, sometimes an aspect of the god/goddess, etc.

You'd be hard put to find a group or 'ship or individual that hasn't been disturbed by some of the things the ME has done. Like the Piscean I am, I can swim either direction on this. Sometimes the use of a particular thing is as much to challenge the cliche as anything. Sometimes not.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> It was Lugandan. I think more symbolism is involved -- Anne, 16:56:26 05/19/02 Sun

This repeats some info I have in a post some way down the page, but since it seems to be relevant --

The shooting script specifies that the villager is speaking Lugandan. That language is spoken in Buganda, which houses at least some of the sources of the Nile. That location can indeed therefore be connected Osiris and to other Egyptian symbols, even though it is not in Egypt itself.

As has also been noted elsewhere, Tara's words "things fall apart" may be taken to refer to the poem "The Second Coming", in which there is a reference to a Sphinx creature, another Egyptian symbol. (And the Sphinx sat outside Thebes posing a riddle to passersby, i.e. putting them to the test. And the answer to the riddle was "a man").

Africa is generally thought to be where the human race originated, and northern Africa and the Middle East are frequently called "the cradle of civilization". I see nothing wrong with drawing on these connotations and certainly do not find them in any way pejorative.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: It was Lugandan. (poss spoiler finale) -- aliera, 18:26:02 05/19/02 Sun

thank you...I missed your post below and this is first new piece of info I have had in a week.

I have not placed either demon in Villians and the Cairo line had been bothering me for a while. There was a spoiler posted last week in a couple of places that says Willow calls on Proserpexa? next in her attempt to end this world.
Proserpine/Persephone would be an aspect of Isis in her role as Queen of the Underworld. There was already at least one reference to her in OMWF and also of course reference to Dionysis, another horned god. Anxiously awaiting the finale...

[> [> [> [> [> [> not the only one -- zooey, 15:57:52 05/19/02 Sun

[> [> [> [> [> 'Things fall apart ' - Yeats and Chinua Achebe (Spoilers for Villains) -- Rahael, 16:53:43 05/19/02 Sun

Away from home, no time for a detailed post. But its worth remembering that the line 'Things fall apart' doesn't just have a resonance from Yeats - a beast slouching its way toward western civilisation from the deserts of Africa.

Chinua Achebe specifically meant 'things fall apart' as a rejoinder to Western writers such as Yeats and Conrad, who saw Africa as the home of all things uncivilised and barbaric.

My take on the primal slayer was simply a nod to Africa as the cradle of civilisation. Tying Africa in with Buffy specifically was very important, I felt. And I repeat an earlier argument I made. The Uber Vamp family is very white, very European. And Spike journeying to Africa, is like his whole journey this year - touching the heart of the primal slayer, connecting with Buffy.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Interesting points. (Spoilers for Villains) -- Traveler, 20:37:23 05/19/02 Sun

I hadn't thought to ask myself why Spike went to Africa for his answers. You've answered a question I didn't even know I had :)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Interesting points. (Spoilers for Villains) -- Egyptophile, 02:26:00 05/20/02 Mon

A few nuances:

1. The Sphinx who delivered riddles and tests to humans was a Greek concept.

2. Wesir (known to the Greeks as Osiris) was never reborn in the modern or western-mythological concept of the word. If one were to say that Wesir was reborn, the only place He would have been reborn in was Duat, the afterlife. There was a brief instant where Aset (Greek- Isis) used magicks to bring Her murdered husband to life again to beget a son, Heru (Greek- Horus).

3. Aset (Greek- Isis) was never known as the Queen of the Underworld nor is She a goddess who usually frequents the Underworld (Duat).

Your friendly neighborhood,

Parallel myths, remembering the Self, and Buffy( Longish) -- ramses 2, 13:21:38 05/18/02 Sat

It always amazes me when people say this season's BTVS is lacking in metaphor. This season has taken quite brutal 'real' scenes and made us question the mythological tale unfolding in the now sixth season. We, like the characters are expected to grow up and start to question.
Like why is the soul such a big deal? Sure, the writers keep saying that the soul is absolutely needed for redeemption. That it's BTVS canon. But, is it what the story is saying? I think not. I think it's a christian construct that ME wants to shake up.
And how better to do this than to show rich symbols of other thoughts. Other cultures. Drawing on myths from many people to show that some beliefs are woven tightly into each of us. Making us the same. Making us human.
What makes us human? What defines the human experience? Buffy and Xander would, without thinking say the soul. Many of us would. We see Xander tell Buffy that Spike is just a dog on a leash. That take that chip out and it's back to the world of happy meals on legs. Buffy routinely calls him evil souless dead thing. But look at the season, we see Spike do some amazing things for an evil souless dead thing. He protects Dawn. Worries about a newly ressurected Buffy, saves her life, Giles and Xander's.He stands up for Willow. Is the only one who who empathizes with Anya, and gets her pain. He is disgusted that Dawn has witnessed the tryst and finally, after committing a horrible(human)act, he is shown having deep remorse. Not sounding so 'souless' is he?
We also have the trio this season. Humans. They come equipped with souls. The scoobies never take them very seriously, instead, when the camera is discovered it's comfortably assumed that Spike did it. Best to look for unsouled one when looking for bad guys.
In DT, the trio is seen plotting rape but the music is funny, light. The dialog is funny. Later, the balcony scene, where Spike tells Buffy something very similiar to what Gile's has said on that same balcony first season. He is echoing her thoughts. Yet the music is sinister, our reaction is how dare he? How dare he tell her those things the evil vamp.
I believe it is this naive assumption that a soul makes you human, and therefore less apt to be evil that is responsible for Tara's death. So, I think that ME is not headed for a soulful redeemption for Spike.
So what are they trying to say this season? Exand your mind, open yourself up to new thoughts. It's the only way to grow up. And that's where the parallel myths come in.
All season we have seen hands crop up as symbols. Buffy fights a hand. There is a robot hand by Spike's head. In TR, there is an upturned hand at the bronze by Spike. It's in a covered cake dish. I think this introduces us to the concept of ying/yang. Buffy, is the right hand representing strength. Moral and physical. Spike, is the upturned left. He represents weakness and love. We see that this is ying/yang unbalanced. The beating scene of DT and the sexual assault scene of SR can be viewed as set pieces. Both scenes were necessary. The beating showed that moral strength not softened with love becomes furies justice. Doing what's right even when it's wrong. This makes a dangerous slayer. The bathroom scene shows love not tempered with moral strength becomes obsessive and hurtful.

Now on to the next myth, 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?)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.
And now on to the third myth and conclusion. That of Osiris,Isis, and Set. Like the Bodhisattvas, this is a tale of resurrection and creation. Of balance. Life/death. Osiris was a great king who hated violence. But his brother yearned for the throne and so killed him. He shoved him into a sarcophagus and threw it into the Nile. Osiris' mate, Isis rescued the body. She had sex with the animated corpse,bringing him back to metaphorical life by having a child. (Buffy has been having sex with Spike and we have seen a rebirth of humanity.) Set discovers the body and rips it into pieces. Isis finds them, all but one. His penis has been eaten by a crocodile. (Crocodile on demon bar, and the demon calling Spike castrated.)She pieces him back together, but now he has to stay undead. Apart from the world of the living. She represents life though she is queen of the undead. He rules the world of the dead. He is often symbolized by a bull.(Spike is seen near bulls as well)
My guess, during Spike's trial he is torn in two. One is human but has a demon soul, the other is vamp with whatever he has been self creating inside himself.(Randy) Since this is ultimately Buffy's story, she has to choose. And that's where all the myths tie in. Buffy, through saving the vampire Spike, remembers the Slayer. She discovers herself. Balance is restored. She recovers her mate. Next season they battle the Council(Set) to restore the proper balance in the world.

[> KABOOM! ;-) -- Drizzt, 18:09:12 05/18/02 Sat

[> Re: Parallel myths, remembering the Self, and Buffy( Longish) -- AngelVSAngelus, 21:48:32 05/18/02 Sat

I agree with the things that you said, that it is possible that what you describe may be the writer's intentions for this season. This season has been about growing up, and perhaps it is in reality a naive assumption to make that a soul or the common denominator of humanity would predetermine that we be morally upstanding.
However, I tend to expect and enjoy continuity and consistency as far as my fiction is concerned. Certain things were established at the series' genesis that are in direct opposition to the possibility for a demon's being able to have a conscience and feel remorse for transgressions. I enjoy the metaphorical theme of expanding one's perspective of morality and what makes us human, but what I do not enjoy is when the expression of that theme contradicts the very reality in which the show is constructed.
I fail to understand how a chip preventing Spike from acting upon his violent, demonic impulses inexplicable causes the genesis of a conscience within him. Sure, demons can love, but have they ever before been illustrated to love in a healthy and unselfish manner? It used to be that I could say Spike was pantomiming a good guy, doing what he learned from emulation of Buffy and the others to please her, but it seems they've made a point of making some things seem non-selfishly motivated. Contrary to alot of fans, it would seem, I actually liked the Seeing Red AR scene (and jesus, no one interpret that to mean I condone or enjoy that occurrance) because of its illustrating that Spike, in the end, is still a vampire. I don't think the fact that they've illustrated Buffy's mistreatment of him being wrong in any way illustrates him to not be an evil soulless creature.
Personally, I think that perhaps the season has a different method of conveying the growing up theme, though admittedly the catalyst for this theory forming was the promo for this week's episode, not having actually seen it yet.
When I watched the promo for next week's episode I thought it of note the contrasts they were presenting. Willow's monochrome dark duds and Buffy's earthtone garb, coupled with their specific usage of the phrase "its Good vs Evil, winner take all" caught my attention, and made me ponder for a moment if maybe part of the theme of growing up is seeing past the "gray" smoke screen, not allowing it to convolute your moral judgement. Xander criticized Buffy's judgement of Spike, accusing her of forgeting what he really was, and now Buffy's got to avoid her judgment being convoluted by personal ties to her new adversary.

[> [> Re: Parallel myths, remembering the Self, and Buffy( Longish) -- tost, 09:05:45 05/19/02 Sun

BTVS more then any show I have ever seen forces me to consider the source of any information which is given. Is there a reason for that source to lie or obscure. Does that source have a distorted view of that information.
This seems very true of "the soul"
I liked "Ramses 2" post very much

[> [> [> Re: Parallel myths, remembering the Self, and Buffy( Longish) -- Egyptophile, 02:33:22 05/20/02 Mon

Ehhh. Wesir [Greek- Osiris] was tricked into getting into the chest and then locked into it. Not shoved into it.

[> So the Council... -- Dariel, 10:25:54 05/20/02 Mon

is Set? I don't get the connection.

Like your idea about a split Spike. Much more interesting than him coming back human or evil again.

7th Season -- Magus777, 10:29:18 05/19/02 Sun

I've seen this in a Daydream.

In my Daydream I saw Jonathan, Andrew and Amy working together to form another trio only Amy's the object of desire of the other two and the leader.

[> Re: 7th Season -- O'Cailleagh, 11:57:20 05/19/02 Sun

I also see Amy being a large part of S7, but I'm not too sure about Andrew being attracted to her....he seemed more interested in Warren than in girls.

[> [> Re: 7th Season -- Magus777, 19:52:22 05/19/02 Sun

Agree on the Andrew part, his slips on the love for Warren is undenialible. What I want to know is what Amy would probably do in Season 7. I can think of a few possiblities.

1. Making a new Villian group, only more trouble than the Trio.

(I believe that if Amy was in charge other than Warren, the group will be stronger. While watching Warren, we saw that he was quite a disturbed fellow. Though he was smart, his desire to be #1 overcame him. We saw that he craved to be "popular" in Villians. Since High School is over and he knows he has no chance of doing any spells to be in the in- crowd of High School, he tries to be in the in-crowd with Daemons. I believe that Amy's objective will be entirely different. I believe hers is to have fun and make life a party by using Majicks. This may be harder for Buffy. Buffy's Magic using enemies used Magic to commit tasks, Amys only using it for her own entertainment.

2. What bigger trouble is there than to pull Mommy from her cage? Return of Catherine?

3. If Willow is still alive or not in a mental hospital...

Maybe Amy could use the same "Potestas spell" on Willow to give her her Dark Magic back. And here comes Dark Willow again.

[> [> [> Re: 7th Season -- AgnosticSorcerer, 02:37:21 05/20/02 Mon

Though many people have wanted to see the return of Catherine and believe that she could potentially be a big- bad, personally, I would find that to be a disappointment. Compared to Willow and Amy, Catherine would not be outdated. Both Willow and Amy have far surpassed Catherine in their magickal abilities and practices. We can see this progression throughout the years and it would seem that in the Buffyverse the less ritual and the less time it takes for your spell to manifest--the more powerful you are.

Willow or Amy could easily whoop Catherine if it came to it.

Ratings question -- Hauptman, 12:22:01 05/19/02 Sun

Hi, Gang!

I have heard that "Dark Angel" has been given the boot off of Fox (maybe it will show up somewhere else like so many other "undead shows.) And "Roswell" is now DOA. "X-Files" bows out tonight.

I don't know how to formulate this question, so bear with me. I was wondering how the ratings system works regarding a show like "Buffy". I tend to glance at the ratings evrey now and then, and Buffy never seems to make it into the top 50. So how is it that a show with a relatively small audience continues to escape the ax? Dark Angel always beat Buffy in the ratings (as far as I can see). I wonder if there are other elements involved like the type of viewer, fan loyalty or viewer consistancy.

Don't get me wrong, I hope Buffy goes on and on (mostly), but I worry when I see shows with higher audience share getting chopped. Not only does it continue, but stations fight over it, and Angel has a deal where if one station cancels it, the other one will happily pick it up.

Is it me, or does this fly in the face of television-as- ususal? I'm sure someone out there has the answer.

[> Re: Ratings question -- Dochawk, 13:06:25 05/19/02 Sun

I'll take a crack at this, my ex-girlfriend was a vice president at Neilsen's before she moved to LA, we have had many long discussions about ratings (she would explain this a whole lot better).

Ok, Neilsen's (and a second co, I believe Arbitron) does demographic research. They put little boxes attached to all the televisions in a number of homes that are supposed to demographically represent America (there are like 1600 total boxes in the US)(not the fact that Spanish stations are underrepresented in the numbers suggests this isn't quite true). These boxes are on all year. In addition, 4 times a year, 4 week blocks known as sweeps, fill out forms are sent to a significantly greater number of homes and these numbers are used by advertisers to determine who is watching what. This results in a great number of specials and first run episodes during the months of November, February and May, so that shows can pad their numbers.

Anyway, the number you see listed on the itnernet is the overall viewing number. Advertisers really don't give a damn about those numbers. They care about the demographics. Maybelline (since they feature our heroine) doesn't want to advertise on a show that appeals to 49 -70 year old men (for example Major League Baseball) so it wants to know what shows appeal to its target audience, say 12 -19 year old girls. So the demographic numbers are much more important to advertisers (who of course pay the bills). So though Buffy does poorly in the ratings, it does excellent numbers in certain very sweet demographics (do you know anyone who spends money as freely or is as influenced by pop culture as 12 -19 year old girls?). And since Buffy is considered a positive role model for young women its reputation adds to the amount an advertiser will pay. BTW Buffy does well with ayoung adult demographics as well (18 -45, both women and men) and among this group well with college educated (Nielsen's really breaks this down, I was a sweeps rater once, in order to participate, they had to know what I did, what my income was, education etc). College education young adults tend to have more spending money, thus ads for extravegances.

Angel is a slightly different story, it also has a pretty good demographic, but it truly was on the edge last year. But, since Fox Television owned both shows and changing networks is seldom done, Fox was able to swing that requirement from UPN to get Buffy to move. Angel has done far better this year in the ratings (without Buffy to back it up).

One additional caveat, these shows are on the netlings, not the major networks. Buffy wouldn't survive withthe numbers it has on CBS. (Although now that CBS and UPN are owned by the same company, Viacom, don't be suprised if the Dawn spinoff [rumored] ends up on CBS which is trying to lower its age demographics, if it does, it could fail with much better viewership than Buffy has).

Hope that helps

[> [> Re: Ratings question -- Ahira, 14:10:47 05/19/02 Sun

Very good post Dochawk. One of the reasons I like to come is all the nifty tidbits I pick up. Just wanted to add another factor that can sometimes extend or end a show. Syndication. There is a lot of money made syndicating shows, but to go into syndication, you really need a pool of shows. Generally, a station likes about 3 seasons worth. That way they aren't repeated too often. So, a show doing reasonably well in ratings or demographics for the advertisers has a good chance of making 3 seasons. After 3 seasons, unless the show tanks, doing 5 is pretty much a lock. Adding to that pool and increasing the time between repeats. Going up from 5 seasons, stations start to consider the cost of this pool of episodes. Unless a show is doing very well, it usually doesn't get up past about 9 seasons. It simply gets hard to sell that many in syndication.

Now, I don't remember my source for this as I kinda read lots of things in lots of places. I might have even seen it here so could be a repost of someone elses research. Just wanted to throw this into the mix for my 2 cents.

[> [> [> Syndication -- Dochawk, 15:53:58 05/19/02 Sun

Although exceptions exist, Syndication usually happens at 100 episodes per drama (5 years) and 120 for a sitcom (also 5 years since sitcoms usually produce more episodes per year). Also depends on what type of following a drama has. Note how much better Buffy has done in syndie than Ally McBeal or even NYPD Blue. And syndication is why we waited for the Buffy DVDs and why we have a couple of more years to wait for Angel (unless your like me and buy a multiregional DVD player so you can catch up on your Angel).

[> [> [> [> Re: Syndication -- ahira, 20:24:12 05/19/02 Sun

Thanks for the clarification. I think now that what I saw was commenting that if a show could make it to 3 sesaons and the network wanted to keep it, 5 is close to a sure thing so the network can get it's syndication money.

[> [> Oh God. Please no. No. Seriously. (Spoilers for a new Buffy series? Let's pray not.) -- Ian, 14:59:38 05/19/02 Sun

Dochawks post:

"don't be surprised if the Dawn spin-off [rumored] ends up on CBS"

Oh. My. God.

No. Please. No. Have pity on this poor Buffy fan. Please, I'll do almost anything. Almost.

A Dawn spin off? With Dawn? Centered ON Dawn? Like, Dawn 24/7?

Does ME hate me? Do they want me dead?

All respect to MT, who is a wonderful young actress, but Dawn the character exists to punish. She lives to hurt and to maim. She lives to blind me with her shiny hair and luminescent lip-balmed lips. She lives to shatter ear drums and create clients for the hearing aid industry.

My ears have been known to bleed after a Dawn outburst. Like, great big bucketfuls of blood. Days after the episode OaFA aired, I could walk into a quiet room and hear a faint "Get out! Get out!! GET OUT!!!" echo into the silence.

I'm sorry to post this non-philosophical, non-intellectual post here, but my visceral reaction to this "rumored" Dawn show was far too powerful to contain. If ME wants to do a Dawn series, I say, "Fine. But first, you have to create an ENTIRELY NEW character for MT to play. Also, de-shine her hair. Please."

[> [> Not on CBS -- vampire hunter D, 16:49:37 05/19/02 Sun

If there ever is a Dawn spinoff (or any spinoff), it had better not be on CBS. CBS has a major phobia regarding Scifi and Fantasy shows. the only one I can think of that they didn't cancel even before the typical 13 week trial run is Lost in Space. Look at Wolf Lake for example. It was hailed a one of the best new shows of the season (THE best ws 24) and CBS killed it after only 5 weeks.

ABC and NBC aren't even this bad. While they don't have large lineups of shows of this genre, tehy are wilingto run them (NBC had classics like Star Trek SeaQuest and Quantum LEap. while ABC had Pretender).

Of course, most Scifi and Fantasy shows air on other networks. Fox, WB and UPN seem to have no problem with airing shows like this. Also, the Sci-Fi channel is all about running these shows. So, if there is a Dawn spinoff, it had better be on one of these, otherwise we probably won't ever see more than 2 episodes.

[> [> [> Re: Not on CBS -- O'Cailleagh, 17:29:19 05/19/02 Sun

Not sure if I'd like to see a Dawn spin-off, unless of course she were to discover her Amazing Key-Girl powers. I would, however, watch an Anya/Xander spin-off...a sitcom type thing,in the style of Bewitched, or I Dream of Jeannie. A and X of course would take the 'Samantha and Darrin' roles, with D'Hoffrn and Hallie as her mischief-causing relatives, Clem as their housekeeper, and a resurrected Snyder and his wife (widow?...was he even married?) as the nosy neighbours!

[> [> [> [> Okay. That was good. :) -- Ian, 18:05:54 05/19/02 Sun

[> [> [> Dawn Show... -- Drizzt, 19:28:41 05/19/02 Sun


Interesting rant;)

Personally I like Dawn and I would enjoy watching a show about her; anything done by the production crew of Joss & CO would be worth watching.

[> [> [> [> Maybe not Joss -- Darby, 07:32:36 05/20/02 Mon

...when I ran across the rumor it was linked to Marti Noxon's production deal...

[> [> Great Answer! Thanks. I get it now. -- Hauptman, 19:14:38 05/19/02 Sun

[> [> [> Re: Great Answer! Thanks. I get it now. -- cjc36, 09:23:28 05/20/02 Mon

And one other point: Could UPN fill the Tuesday's 8-9pm hour with anything that would remotely provide the demographics? Right now, no. There has been a slide with BtVS, but the good thing is that season 7 is pretty much locked in.

I wonder if the show lost casual viewers due to the dark turn of the storyline?

On Spike and Buffy and Dangerous Play -- AmpCoyote, 15:53:12 05/19/02 Sun

I've looked for a thread on this topic and haven't found it; if one exists, please point me in that direction. If not:

When Spike and Buffy began their fling I felt a curious sense of deja' vu and was reminded of my own more youthful encounters.

Buffy had her first love, who was sweet and loving and everything you'd want out of a first lover. Now she's older; she's been hurt deeply and bears scars.

Spike is the kind of lover you take when you want to live dangerously, the one you have when you can't feel anything because the pain seems to mar it; playing on the sexual edge of BDSM lets you feel and makes you feel alive. Buffy's too young to have experienced this need before; Spike's never had the need before either. They're both young in this kind of game.

Neither one even thinks of the need for safewords or codes or any of that: they never think of the day when one or the other won't want or won't need to play out this sexual frenzy. That's youth and inexperience, nothing more.

When Buffy and Spike began their relationship I was dry- mouthed: here was Buffysmut I could get into. The passing thought drifted through my head that if this was the real world Buffy or Spike--more likely Buffy--would probably get hurt and raped from this kind of recklessness, but then this was TV, not reality.

Hah. This is the single most real show on TV in terms of dealing with human relationships and psychology. Silly me.

What happened to Buffy in the bathroom with Spike made the breath go out of me. Let me digress into a little personal back story here: I was young and dumb and so was my partner. Our sex was wild and dangerous and left us breathless. One day he came in and tied me up, gagged me soundly and began playing. I had a flashback to some nasty stuff that happened to me as a child and suddenly couldn't stand his hands or the gags or the nice padded handcuffs. But I couldn't get out, couldn't speak. My mouth was gagged and even though I tried to tell him, I couldn't. He saw my terror as play.

End of story. *His* fault? Not hardly. *Our* fault? Entirely. He felt horrible afterwards, like he'd raped me; even though he hadn't.

When Buffy said "no" earlier, she didn't mean "no" she meant "only after some really rough foreplay, buddy." Spike responded to her cues. That's the danger of playing on those terms; when you really mean "no" your partner doesn't know that, and you've never come up with a way to express real "no's".

So when Buffy was assaulted, my eyes widened. I shoudda' known. My second thought was that now Spike has added something new to his repertoire of non-Vampiric behavior: A conscience.

A conscience is understanding when something you do hurts someone else and feeling pain because the other person is hurt. Spike's shown an ability to care for others, but never to exhibit remorse or to feel pain for his actions up until this point. This assault was, from my mind's eye, not solely his fault: it was a shared blame and the sin was only in not having the understanding of how you can get hurt in a relationship like the one Buffy and Spike have had, but neither Buffy nor Spike have ever had any chance to develop that understanding.

Welcome to the human race, Spike. Of course it hurts. It's what makes us human, creatures with souls and spirit, and not monsters.

I really, really want to see where we get taken with Spike after this. Spike is, essentially, acting like a very young child who has just started developing a conscience; he wants to get rid of the pain anyway he can. More complex behavior isn't really in his grasp at this point; he hasn't learned all the complexities of how we deal with guilt.

[> Re: On Spike and Buffy and Dangerous Play -- Dochawk, 15:58:17 05/19/02 Sun

Nice post, though I disagree on Spike developing a conscience, but its a mute point to the future. I want to add that Spike already had an edge play relationship. His relationship with Dru definitely bordered on S & M, though we never saw that much of it.

[> [> Re: On Spike and Buffy and Dangerous Play -- belle, 17:08:44 05/19/02 Sun

Yeah, neither vampires nor Faith were ever big on the whole concept of "safewords," apparently.

I might have agreed that some of the bathroom scene might be chalked up to lack of pre-negotatied boundaries, had they presented the general idea of the scene differently. As filmed and written (and acted), though, sorry...can't blame anyone but Spike. The woman's got an injury, first of all, and her body language as well as her words clearly say "no." Repeatedly, and loudly: the relationship's over, and by the way, please get the hell out of my bathroom. Once he starts with her, she's very resistant; nothing at all like she's been when turned on.

Spike, whatever his faults, is very perceptive. Clearly he shoudl've and could've seen that "no" meant "no" this time-- if he'd wanted to. He didn't. End of story.

[> [> [> Re: On Spike and Buffy and Dangerous Play (spoilers here & in above posts for seeing red) -- anom, 20:47:44 05/19/02 Sun

I agree w/Belle. We've seen Buffy fighting w/Spike before sex, which she has initiated during the fighting, & we've seen her say "don't" but not resist physically. (Spike should have respected her wishes when she said "don't," but at least he didn't try to physically force her.) As far as we've seen, she's never fought against his trying to have sex w/her. I mean, does anyone really believe Spike ever had to hold her down before?

I can think of 2 times we've seen Buffy react the way she did in the bathroom scene in Seeing Red: in Nightmares when the Master is burying her alive, & in Helpless when the vamps are chasing her & she doesn't have her Slayer power. It sure doesn't look like something she'd imitate as sex play.

A lot of posters seem all too eager to assume rather than just speculate about exactly what Buffy & Spike did together. We know they've gotten violent, but from the broken furniture (& building!), it doesn't seem as though it was anything as elaborate, if that's the word, as S&M. Maybe someone who knows more about it can tell me if that's wrong; I just know some folks who've posted seem to reeealllly want that to be what they've been doing, & I don't see enough evidence in what we've been shown to definitely support it. It looks more to me as if they just go at it--& each other-- w/great abandon, & my admittedly not-very-informed impression is that S&M is more, um, structured than that. We've seen the handcuffs only once, & it looked as though that was the 1st time Spike had suggested using them, or why ask Buffy if she trusted him? And how much can we assume from seeing the cuffs? Some people have been talking about B&D/S&M as though you couldn't have one without the other, but that also sounds like an assumption.

I thought it was quite clear in the bathroom scene that Buffy was not a willing partner, & I haven't seen anything in the previous sex scenes that implies that her reactions in that scene were sending mixed signals.

[> Thank you for your personal experience (spoilers to SR) -- Just George, 00:26:58 05/20/02 Mon

AmpCoyote, thank you very much for your post. It was a difficult post to read. I'm thinking it might have been difficult to write. Thank you for sharing your experience and how it illuminates what happened on-screen.

The impact of "the scene" is effected by the entire history of the relationship between Buffy and Spike. I think Spike's actions were wrong. He should have respected her "no". He should have backed off when she resisted. He should have noted Buffy's injuries and realized that now was not time. He did none of these things.

However, the history of the relationship set Spike up for failure. Buffy's previous history of "saying no but meaning yes" to Spike's advances reduced the chance that he would recognize Buffy's real "no".

After Buffy and Dawn's rebuffs earlier in the episode, Spike was in a near panic state about the prospect of permanently losing Buffy's love. Every other time Spike had initiated an advance, Buffy may have said "no" but she never made the slightest move to stop it. In his panic, Spike ignored Buffy's physical resistance, the first time we know of that she resisted. In his panicked state, Spike's normal insight was blinded. He stopped looking at what Buffy wanted; Spike was looking only at what he wanted.

Finally, Spike didn't realize the extent of Buffy's injuries. Spike has more reason than most to respect Buffy's strength. He probably mistook her weak resistance as another example of "no meaning yes".

None of this absolves Spike. His panic is not an excuse for ignoring his partner's feelings. Buffy had been clear about her wishes since the end of As You Were. Spike should have taken the hint.

However, I find AmpCoyote's line about her own experience illuminating: "*His* fault? Not hardly. *Our* fault? Entirely." And AmpCoyote is in a better position that I am to have an opinion. I still think Spike was wrong, but I can see why he might have made his mistake.

I think "the scene" is a part of the overall Spuffy morality play. Buffy is paying for "saying no but meaning yes." A lot of characters have been paying for their mistakes this season.

Thank you for giving us your personal background. It made me take another look at this important scene.

Season Long ATS- BTVS parallels (long) -- alcibiades, 17:25:10 05/19/02 Sun

I'd been re-watching early Season 3 Angel episodes and starting seeing tons of BTVS-ATS parallels – although I only have about half the season. I started to make a list of parallels I could see.

I have a sense that the shows are dealing with the same issues from the same or a similar philosophical perspective rather than that any of the narrative arcs are turning out to be the same. IOW, many similar issues pop up, but they do not consistently appear with characters who are stand-ins for each other in the shows.

1) From Heartthrob, the first Angel episode:

Cordelia to Angel:

No. If you were a loser, if you were a sick obsessed vampire, you'd go to a snod demon or whatever and get your heart cut out. But you're not. You're a living, breathing -- well a living, anyway -- good guy who's still fighting and trying to help people. That's not betraying [Buffy], that's honoring her.

In Villains, Spike turns to a snod-Joss demon to take out the chip which he believes will uncircumcize his heart, so to speak, or in non-biblical language to remove his heart.

Many people are now convinced that unfortunately the evil snod-Joss demon will give Spike not what he wants, but the painful thing he needs. Which all of us need too. Yeah, thanks Joss.

2) In WitW, when Angel and Cordelia are in the hot-spot, the ballerina says through Cordy to Angel, "I'm only alive when you're in me".

This directly parallels what Spike said in the "scene" to Buffy in SR.

Essentially Spike is saying to Buffy, you love me when I am inside you and that makes me feel alive and I need that. Or, for another version of this statement, there is RIP from OMWF: "I died, so many years ago, you can make me feel like I’m still alive."

3) The gist of what Angel tells the ballerina in WiTW is if you want to stop the despair, to stop echoing both the true steps of the ballet as well as the mistakes, change the dance.

In Seeing Red, just when Spike's despair has become unbearable, the following discussion takes place between Spike and Clem:

Clem: Things change.
Spike considers that, his wheels turning.
Spike: They do. (a beat) If you make them.

4) In Loyalty, Justine says that Wesley has visited Holtz in order to stab them in the back.

In Afterlife, Buffy visits Spike in his crypt. He ascends from the depths of his crypt and says:

SPIKE (cont'd) (gentle):You should be careful. Never know what kind of villain's got a knife at your back.

A few lines later:
SPIKE (cont'd) Spike puts down the knife.

Willow's getting pretty strong, isn't she? Bringing you back. Hard to a good night's death 'round here.

This sequence clearly foreshadows Willow as the Big Bad for the Season.

5) Also, there is a comparison between Wesley misunderstanding the Hamburger Loa's telling of the prophecy about Angel devouring Connor and the way that Spike has approached the Joss-snod-demon, forgetting to frame his question specifically as though he doesn’t know that magical requests must be specific.

Both Wesley and Spike appear to be too far off their game emotionally to adhere to the kind of verbal specificity that they normally would think about. Similarly, at that moment, both Spike and Wesley feel suicidal.

JOLLYBURGER: You risk your life, human, calling on the loa. Perhaps what you truly seek is death. The pain in your heart begs for it.

Wes knows it's true. But he only says, coolly:
WESLEY: Then do it and be done. Nothing else will stop me.

JOLLYBURGER: Simple mortal. Your pain is just. Betrayal and agony lie in wait, and time is running out. Yet you still ignore the question...

Spike in Seeing Red: "You should have let him kill me," referring to Xander's attempt to kill him in Entropy.

6) When Angel loses the person he loves most, he resorts to black magic and evil red pentagrams to get him back and take revenge. (Can someone explain to me why red pentagrams are evil please.)

So, too, Willow. After Tara dies, in Villains, the red pentagram slides up the middle of her face.

7) In Sleep Tight, Kim the demonically possessed singer sings:

"My soul is aching for you/My heart is breaking in two/No love/No light left/No you..."
Suddenly her face (C.G.I) CONTORTS, we see a HIDEOUS DEMON FORM just below the surface. Her VOICE turns DEMONIC, TERRIFYING. Green foam at her mouth as she ROARS:

Willow in Villains squeezes robot!Warren’s throat until his eyeball falls out.

8) The whole time Angel is in his black magic/grief phase, he keeps on returning to his burned out "cave", without light, which looks a lot like Spike's burned out crypt/cave without light, including for both of them, burned out bed. Angel leaves his "cave" only after he starts acting on Gunn's behalf, in order literally to save Gunn's soul and this helps him to begin to forget his need for vengeance (all very nicely Platonic since the pursuit of the good and the just will create or in Angel's case, recreate the desire in you to pursue the good and the just, etc.)

The obvious parallel in the next two episodes in for eVillow to find herself a hole or a cave as well.

There is also a question of what price Angel and Willow both will have to pay for the use of black magic in seeking

9) Wesley and Willow are both lost in the woods.

From the final scenes in Forgiving:
He [Wesley] ask for me?
GUNN: Naw, he can't speak yet. Trachea's all messed up. Lost a lot of blood.
It's just good you came.
FRED He's not completely "out of the woods yet." You being here can only help.

The final part of Villains has to do with Willow, the betrayer of the SG values, still being in the woods.

From Villains:
I'll help. But I'm helping Willow.
(then) She's close to him. In the woods.

So Willow, is still, literally, in the woods.

10) Wesley can’t speak because his throat has been slit. He can't scream when Angel tries to kill him

Warren’s mouth is sewn shut. He can't scream for a large part of the time that Willow kills him.

11) Angel has no clue that Gunn and Fred are dating. He’s been too preoccupied with his own affairs even before Connor’s disappearance.

Neither does Willow have any idea that Spike and Buffy were together. She, too, was pre-occupied.

12) Spike returns from the well lit bathroom scene to "his cave" in Seeing Red where he gets all confused by the images in his head. Are they truth or are they evil images which are confusing his former way of seeing things? At that point, he decides what he is feeling/seeing makes no sense and he wants to revert to his previous intellectual state – which was easier to assimilate. So, in Villains, he retreats deeper into "the cave" – it’s a darker, scarier cave, he sees shadows on the wall dancing in the dim light. His lighter blows out. There is no external light at all -- certainly not the sun.

After Cordy cleanses Connor with light, she tells Angel that it was dark and confusing in Quor-toth but that is where Connor thought he belonged.

As far as I can make out w/out shooting script, Holtz tells us that Connor followed the whatever monster into the light, so that Connor was in effect seeking the light. Either the monster or Connor was responsible for ripping the fabric of reality to get into the light. Which is another very Platonic image = ripping the fabric of reality to get from the dark into the light. But Connor has equivocal feelings about the New World. The dark "cave-hell" of Quortoth feels like home to him. He says he wants to return to it. Holtz tells him it was their prison -- in the cave allegory the prisoners are chained so that they can only see what is in front of them, not move their heads freely.

13) Intra-Angel parallel:

In Sleep Tight, Holtz gives Wesley one day to make up his mind about taking Connor away from Angel or he’ll take Connor and hurt Angel and co.

In Double or Nothing,the demon guy gives Gunn one day to turn himself in to give up his soul or else he’ll take Fred’s soul as well.

Both Wesley and Gunn, take the deal without talking about it to anyone they know or love. Each abandons the ones they love to save them.

In Gunn’s case, Fred figures out what is going on. He has a loved one to speak up for him, to motivate the group to act on his behalf when their initial reaction is take what Gunn did at face value.

In Wesley’s case, there is only Lorne insisting that Wesley betrayed them with Holtz, and although Fred says something must have been behind his actions, she is not as powerful and convincing as she is with Gunn and is unable to prevail. Ultimately, Fred abandons Wesley for Gunn and Angel.

The moral seems to be -- to have someone you love on your side is good, as though we didn't know that.

Why is Lorne able to read that Wesley "betrayed" them with Holtz, but is not able to read what Wesley’s intentions were, which was to save both Angel and Connor and everyone else worse pain?

Connor also reacts badly to Lorne. Is Lorne totally a good guy, or does he have an agenda as well? He is the one who suggests that Connor did not say Hi Dad, but wtte of "you're dead." He also loses it and acts threatening after Connor, a strong but vulnerable and extremely mixed up kid, returns and insults him a few times. After watching these shows together, I'm much more suspicious of Lorne than I was before.

14) Also, cool theme, in Loyalty, Holtz offers Wesley a slice of apple to eat.

In A New World and Benediction, Wesley is shot staring into, reading or writing on his Apple as he contemplates Judas in Satan's mouth with the red wrapping paper very prominently displayed in the tableau.

Like the Loa monster promised, Wesley is tasting his own betrayal, but he is also now in a state of being beyond the knowledge of good and evil personally.

15) It is notable that Holtz manages to persuade Justine to do all his dirty work, viz humans. He gets her to "kill" Wesley, although she doesn’t succeed at that, and then to kill him as well in a final betrayal, as Angel has just saved her life that day. Will Justine go to Wesley or AI and tell them what she has done, in order to redeem herself? Or will she continue her path in the dark, unable to feel happiness or anything light? Justine is also in the "cave" – she inhabits Sajhan’s den which is lightless.

16) The paint colors in Wesley’s room, grey with white trim and occasional red tones (including red wine in Benediction) matches the tones of Angel’s rooms, newly repainted. In his Bedroom, Angel says: we can't lose anyone else in this family and the scene cuts to Wesley in his identical looking room.

17) Things I’m wondering about. How does Connor kill Sajhan? Do Wesley and Justine team up or does Wesley stop Justine? Does Connor team up with Justine?

[> Forgot to say Spoilers through Villains and Benediction in above post (NT) -- alcibiades, 18:12:27 05/19/02 Sun

[> more ATS-BTVS parallels (same spoilers as above) -- lulabel, 19:53:06 05/19/02 Sun

These are really great parallels that you've noticed, very targeted and insightful.

I've also noticed a lot of parallels, but in much more general, thematic sort of way. A major one throughout both series has been the trust/betrayal dichotomy. This has been manifested in many instances through the dangerous keeping- of-secrets. I think just about every character in both series has been guilty this season of keeping secrets which could or eventually did lead to harm. In the last Angel episode, we've seen yet another whopper in the making - Angel deliberately does not tell Connor that he is going to visit Holtz. If he had, then the train wreck that is about to happen may have been averted.

The other major thematic parallel is the vengence/forgiveness dichotomy. This has obviously been a major part of Angel for the entire season, and has only recently become a major focal point in BtVS with Willow.

It's been well understood that this season's BtVS is about "growing up" - I think in examining this season's Angel, one could also argue that this has been a similar theme. The characters in Angel are on average older and more fully formed adults, so it's not quite as obvious as on BtVS. But I think there have been many instances where we see the AI team not only learning to take more responsibility for their own actions, but also taking on the responsibility of caring for others.

Ooh - I just thought of another specific parallel to add to your list. The "miracle" births - Buffy's resurrection, and Connor's non-birth.

[> [> Re: more ATS-BTVS parallels (same spoilers as above) -- AgnosticSorcerer, 03:03:46 05/20/02 Mon

"6) When Angel loses the person he loves most, he resorts to black magic and evil red pentagrams to get him back and take revenge. (Can someone explain to me why red pentagrams are evil please.)"

Eh. I wouldn't pull out too much hair on this subject. Many magickal systems, mostly ceremonial magick, hold that the Pentacle is the microcosm to the Universe being the macrocosm. What you perform in/on one universe (the pentacle) will happen in/on the other (the physical world).

Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- OnM, 21:10:59 05/19/02 Sun

One beneficial thing about paying visits to a collective analytical community such as ATPo is that you can’t
help having your own thoughts influenced by others. On first viewing, Villains seemed a lot to me
like Gone or Doublemeat Palace, which might seem strange considering how much ‘action’
there was in Villains compared to those two episodes, but in each case I saw the story unfold in a
way that suggested the episode was mostly a ‘connective’ work, a transition piece leading up to something
‘bigger’ that would occur in a future ep.

More ‘action’ or no, nearly all of Villains is a lead- in to Willow’s turn to the dark side, which really
doesn’t occur until the very end of the show. Up until this line in the sand (or forest), she has the choice to
slow down, stop, even turn around. Her friends passionately encourage her to do so. She does not-- the
call to wreak vengeance is too powerful, so powerful that it all but consumes her soul.

This last Friday, I posted my usual weekly ‘Classic Movie’ recommendation, which was the Clint
Eastwood directed film Unforgiven. In the last year and a half of writing my favorite movie
recommendations, this one flick has probably come the closest to detailing the sensibilties of what
transpired in a Buffy or Angelverse episode than just about any other. So, if you don’t habitually check out
my film column, I would at least suggest you revisit Unforgiven again at soonest opportunity. The
resonances with Villains are startling, and pretty much encompass my thoughts as to the overall
vengeance theme of Villains

Returning to the DMP/Gone ‘transitional ep’ theme, I was (pleasantly) surprised by the level of
metaphorical depth that other ATPosters have uncovered in what I initially perceived as a merely
‘connective’ episode. Frankly, after reading about ‘Plato and the Allegory of the Cave’ and work of
similarly brilliant quality, I’m not sure just how much I have to say that could intelligently add on to what
has already been better said, but I’ll wend my way more-or- less chronologically through the ep and ‘give
you what I got’.

The teaser opens the show with a long, continuous camera shot-- Steadicam, I presume-- of an ambulance
pulling up to the Summer’s house, and paramedics following Xander into the back yard, where Buffy lays
bleeding and dying, brought down by Warren’s (phallic?) bullet. This seemed to be a good technical
choice, with the ‘immediacy’ of the continuous shot grounding the sequence in the ‘real world’. Then we
cut to Willow and Tara in the upstairs bedroom, where a more conventional ‘cinematic’ rendering of their
scene is presented, complete with multiple edits and special effects. This acts to visually seperate the
‘realverse’ of Buffy’s current existance from the ‘magicverse’ that Willow exists in. Buffy has rejected the
fantasy world of the asylum and elected to live in reality. Willow, despite her temporary abandonment of
magicks in order to win Tara back to her, has never really set aside the influence that world holds over her.
She has buried it away, but it isn’t buried very deeply.

Both women have been shot. Xander’s first thought when Buffy is shot is to call for an ambulance, the
same as any human would do when a someone has been seriously injured. Willow’s first reaction is to
invoke not only magicks, but dark, dangerous and primal ones. It’s the same old ‘want, take, have’, the
global ramifications of which never enter into the equation for Willow any more than they did for Faith.
One of the first thoughts that came to my mind was just how spiritually heartbroken Tara would be if she
was somehow watching this happen.

Of course, Willow’s rage and grief are understandable, but you know that this isn’t going to turn out well
when we return from the commercial break and see Willow essentially ignore Buffy’s predicament as the
medics place her into the ambulance for the trip to the hospital, and instead concentrate on her vengeance
‘duty’ towards Warren. Now, you could argue that Willow felt she could help Buffy better after she made
a trip to the Magic Box to ‘stoke the furnace’, but she didn’t seem to need much help in destroying the
demon who manifested at her call, and who refused to help in returning Tara to life.

Now we cut to the scene of Jonathan and Andrew in the holding cell at the Sunnydale police station. As
the ‘comic refief’, this was rather well handled, I thought, with the dialog between the two just the right
combination of humor and pathos. Andrew is still delusional, still living in a world where video games and
movies are ‘real’, and still convined that Warren is going to show up ‘anytime now’ and ‘save’ them.
Jonathan understands the situation far more clearly. Butt- monkey paranoia aside, Jonathan is pretty much
grounded in reality and plainly sees that Warren isn’t coming back; that in fact Warren isn’t even remotely
thinking about doing so.

This is duly confirmed in the very next scene, as we see the man himself striding arrogantly into a demon
bar and very quickly bragging up the fact that he ‘did in’ the Slayer, and with a gun, no less. This revelation
is greeted with both amusement and disdain by the bar’s inhabitants, who first of all probably think that
resorting to using such a mundane methodology against a supernatural entity such as a Slayer is for lack of
a better word, sort of gauche. A real demon would use personal strength, complex dark
magicks, or at least intricate subterfuge to accomplish the demise of a respected enemy. Pulling out a
gun and shooting your foe? How pathetic-- what typical ‘lower being’ behavior. Then, to
add further insult, the new ‘big evil’ didn’t even get the job done. Warren is stymied yet again, and
wisely decides to get out while the getting is good.

Now we return to Willow, who bursts into the Magic Box and in one of the most elegant uses of special
effects in the season ‘conjoins with’ the dark magicks contained in the books, an apt image for someone
like Willow who has always had an intimate relationship with reading material. I was also struck by how
very human and ordinary Anya looked in this scene. For someone who is again a demon, and is supposed
to be suffused with power because of it, she looked both lonely and somewhat frightened. The loneliness is
understandable, we have already seen in past episodes that a return to her demon nature hasn’t brought
Anya any relief from her annoyingly lingering positive feelings for Xander. As to the fearful look, it won’t
be made clear until somewhat later on in the show that the fear isn’t just for what an angry Willow could
potentially do to Anya.

Back from commercials again (at least this week, the scene transitions around the commercial breaks were
well done, and less intrusive than they often are) we get to see the second most chilling moment of the
episode, where Dawn comes home to an apparently empty house and discovers Tara’s body still lying
where Willow left it. I liked that there was no dialog after the ‘discovery’, that as ME has done in the past
(such as when Buffy returns home and hugs her mother in Anne) that there is just the reaction shot
and then fade or cut away, leaving the image lingering in the mind’s eye. This kind of understatement
nearly always works better than a more agressive introduction of horrific elements, but as evidenced at the
show’s end, ME also understands when an understated approach is not called for.

Then Rack is back, and as creepy as ever. This continues the ongoing degradation of Warren as he finds
that once again, the town’s existing ‘badness’ seems both unaware of and/or indifferent to his ‘Trio’s
activities, rightfully dismissing them as the actions of ‘amateurs’, or as Rack declares, ‘kids’. Warren’s
concept of grand evil is severely limited by his inherent pettyness and misogyny. Compared to the more
sweeping scope of the past BtVS big bads, he can only manage to descend to simple hated and murder.
While this is more than evil enough by human standards, it pales next to what the Old Ones have been able
to conjure up over the centuries. Warren is so out of his league, something the Black Widow is
about to make painfully clear to him.

The Widow, meanwhile, appears at the hospital and saves Buffy magically by levitating the bullet from her
body and healing her damaged body. It is interesting that this moment is the closest that Willow comes to
being her normal self along this otherwise dark path she is walking upon. Her love for her friend Buffy
momentarily cuts through the grief, and she does snap out of vengeance mode long enough to do some
genuine good. It doesn’t last long, unfortunately, and even the pleas of both Xander and Buffy to stop
before it’s too late have no effect-- there is yet another chilling moment when Willow solemnly declares
that she’s not coming back after the robo-Warren encounter in the desert. (And there’s that
Restless desert theme again... hummm... ‘something out there’)

It’s now nighttime, as Buffy and Xander return to the Summers’ home and discover Tara’s body, and then
poor Dawn, in shock, huddled in the corner staring helplessly at it. I have to confess after viewing
Villains about four times now, this abandonment of Tara’s body by Willow is one of the saddest
things I have ever seen any major character on the show ever do, and no matter what Willow does in future
I have to wonder if this will ultimately be the image that haunts her if/when she finally pulls back from the
dark side and returns to what passes for normalcy. Dawn’s shock understandably prevents her from doing
the logical thing and calling for the police, but neither does she abandon her friend; in fact I found her
response both very touching and realistic under the circumstances. Buffy again shows her strength and
maturity by looking after Dawn’s welfare even though she herself is barely holding it together. Joyce would
be proud.

It is easy to identify with Dawn’s anger in the following living room scene, and I thought that Buffy came
off just a little too matriarchal in her ‘reasonable’ response, but after additional viewings it seems to
work OK-- I’m just not yet completely used to Buffy being this adult and in control, I suppose. In addition,
past events have established that the writers place great importance in having Buffy rise above adversity
and behaving heroically (in the best sense) when it really has to count, and this may be another one of those
times. Even Xander and Dawn are falling prey to the lure of vengeance, and Buffy understands that this has
to stop before it goes any further. At the same time, she doesn’t discount the basis for their feelings, and
shows that in the way she speaks with them.

At Spike’s crypt: I wonder if Clem is the demon world’s answer to Jimmy Carter? He seems to get along
with just about anyone; human, demon, whatever. You would think that the other demons wouldn’t like
someone who pals around with humans, but maybe the kitten poker makes it alright somehow. He’s a
special guy, no two ways to it. I liked the ‘besides, I don’t have a TV’ remark and ‘just about to mix up
some Country Time’. I’m trying to imagine what Buffy would have said to Spike if he had been at his crypt
instead of Clem.

Spike is in for some changes, that’s pretty much a given. Not sure how he got to Africa so quickly, what is
it, all of a day? Maybe he called in a debt to some sorcerer who zapped him there, else how would he get
literally halfway around the world in 24 hours, keeping ahead of the sun?

The debate on what will happen if Spike ‘gets his wish’ is fully underway, I’ve noticed. I admit that I have
no clue as to what direction ME is going to go with this. Human? Unchipped and lethal again? Unchipped
and still the same old/same old? Despite nearly being raped by him, Buffy still apparently believes that he
would not harm Dawn. Why, and what does this foreshadow, if anything? Spike blames the chip for
causing him to develop a conscience or soul-emulator, but when filled with murderous rage in Fool for
, he not only couldn’t kill Buffy, he ended up trying to comfort her. Even if he loses the chip, I
still wonder if he could bring himself to kill her. And how would he face Dawn if he did manage to do so?

Finally there is the attempt to stop Willow from killing Warren, which of course fails, as I expected it to.
I’ve already posited a theoretical link between Willow raising Buffy from the dead and Tara’s death being
‘the Price’ of same. While it may appear at first glance that the statement of the demon in the opening act
as to Tara’s death being of ‘natural’ (i.e. fully human) causes discredits this theory, I would take pains to
point out that 1) demons lie, not always but often, and 2) even if they aren’t strictly lying, it is still
quite possible that Warren was in the right place at the right time because of some background
manipulation of a demonic/FoD nature. After all, it’s a tradition among gangster types to make sure they
are nowhere around when the hit actually shits the fan, and so always have an alibi to present before the
judge. Why should the Forces of Darkness be any less legalistically savvy? Thus, Warren appears to
be acting completely out of free will, but a little nudge in this direction or that could very well have
happened behind the scenes, so to speak. Further, is ‘the price’ even paid in full yet? Is Willow herself part
of the price also? What was that phrase the Master used, wasn’t it ‘degradation most holy’? The FoD may
certainly have an interest in degrading Willow. One down...

Back in the Magic Box, once again I notice that Anya is very human looking, everything from her
dress and hairstyle to her body language and facial expressions outwardly denies her supposedly
re-demonized nature. She seems genuinely distressed at what Willow is doing, whereas in the past she
would have been rapturously gleeful-- regret is hardly the norm for the vengeance professional. Anyone
thinking that Anya will turn in her amulet/power center before the end of the season? I vote yea on that.

Alyson Hannigan really shows off her acting chops in this episode, making the transition to portraying
Darth Willow without apparent thespial effort. There have been some fears expressed that ME could lose
viewers by taking this risk, making a basically well-meaning and warm-hearted soul such as Willow into a
creature of evil, but to be fair, ME has never refrained from showing the shadowy side of human behavior,
including that which lives or hides within the personalities of it’s heroes. I am also wondering if this season
will be the one to answer the question asked years ago when Willow had Buffy spare the life of
VampWillow in Doppelgangland. This choice seemed so illogical at the time, and the reasons
presented by Willow to the Scoobies for doing so very specious. Will the finale unfold in some way that
resurrects this prior theme?

As to Warren’s horrific demise, I was immediately reminded of the ‘Hellraiser’ films, with the clear
implication that Willow was indeed acting to raise the forces of hell with her magicks. If Willow starts
sporting giant pins stuck all about her face, I suggest everyone run, real fast.

In just a few days, ME will have to sort this all out in some satisfactory manner, or there will be a large
number of very unhappy fans out there in Buffyland. My confidence remains high that they will somehow
pull it off, as they always have in the past. I am personally glad that I have almost no spoilage for the last
two eps (or two-parter single ep, whatever), since unlike last year I really have little idea as to how they
are going to resolve things, which is a high compliment to the writers. I am pretty damn sure that
the butler didn’t do it.

Not bored now!


P.S. -- My sincere thanks to the poster who thought up the ‘Black Willow/Widow’ name. I love that! I
don’t know if anyone else has used the ‘Darth Willow’ moniker yet, but Dedalus certainly should have
come up with that one, methinks!


[> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... -- Cactus Watcher, 22:45:36 05/19/02 Sun

Fine summation. As every year on Buffy there are sign posts for what is going to happen at the end of the year. I don't plan to discuss in detail what I think about the end, because every year I turn out to be half-wrong. This is the time I really feel sorry for the spoiled because they miss the pleasure of seeing their expectations fulfilled in ways they can't imagine; the thrill of knowing what is going to happen without being told; the amusement of seeing some of their predictions go haywire.

As an aside it was Luke (the vessel) who spoke the words 'degradation most holy,' but the phrase fits.

[> [> You are right, it was Luke. Thanks! :-) -- OnM, 05:39:50 05/20/02 Mon

[> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- AgnosticSorcerer, 03:17:24 05/20/02 Mon

You mentioned the possibility of the bullet that hit Tara being a phallic symbol, which instantly made me think of the scene where Willow magickally extracts the bullet from her friend and says, "It's so small." This, in turn, made me think of the post about manhood defined in the Buffyverse. I have not read that thread yet so if someone mentioned it already, ignore me.

[> [> Yep, on 2nd viewing, thought the same thing. Another recurring theme, it seems. -- OnM, 05:44:09 05/20/02 Mon

[> Thoughts mostly about Warren -- Malandanza, 07:32:10 05/20/02 Mon

"I was also struck by how very human and ordinary Anya looked in this scene. For someone who is again a demon, and is supposed to be suffused with power because of it, she looked both lonely and somewhat frightened. The loneliness is understandable, we have already seen in past episodes that a return to her demon nature hasn't brought Anya any relief from her annoyingly lingering positive feelings for Xander. As to the fearful look, it won’t be made clear until somewhat later on in the show that the fear isn't just for what an angry Willow could potentially do to Anya...Anyone thinking that Anya will turn in her amulet/power center before the end of the season? I vote yea on that."

I think that this episode gives us further evidence that Anya still has a human soul and probably always had one during her past stint as Anyanka -- she just hadn't been using it. We see just how much Anya has changed during her association with Xander and his friends. I also thought that Anya's comment about helping for Willow's sake was Anya lying to herself -- she never liked Willow. She's helping for Xander's sake.

I think Anya's demonic powers will play an important role in defeating Willow -- someone will make a vengeance wish, whether it is Willow (and the wish backfires) or Buffy or Xander making a wish about Willow. In any event, we know that wishes are reversed if the amulet is destroyed -- so if Anya helps defeat Willow, she may have to remain a demon (in spite of her desire to become human again) in order to keep Willow from reverting to her Dark Willow state. So my vote is nay.

"Then Rack is back, and as creepy as ever."

I thought it was interesting that Rack did help Warren for money. Rack started out by mocking his customers' greed and desperation (they would have shown Warren the way for $5 rather than $20) yet he agrees to help Warren in exchange for money -- and Rack knows how dangerous Willow is. I'd like to see a Rack and Willow confrontation -- Willow has reason to attack him since Rack did help Warren (the robot had Warren's "essence" emanating from it and Warren had a magical toy from Rack). My guess is that Willow won't taste like strawberries next time she sees Rack (but maybe Willow is the one who will do the tasting this time around).

As for Warren and the action in this episode -- I am reminded more of Innocence, another very fast paced episode -- or the post coma Faith episodes.

Warren was at his most interesting. I know it won't be popular to say Warren is anything less than the most evil villain we have ever seen on BtVS or AtS, but I think that this perception of Warren is absolutely mistaken. Consider that Warren's two murders were accidents -- now compare Warren to Angelus, killing Jenny and leaving her in Giles' bed with rose petals and candles. How about Darla demanding that Angel eat the baby to prove he's evil or massacring an entire gypsy village out of vengeance? Or Marcus the child- killing vampire with a torture fetish? Of course, Spike hired Marcus because Spike was too squeamish or too impatient to do his own dirty work, so I would add Spike to the list for hiring Marcus (Spike was fully aware of Marcus' past and his decision to hire Marcus makes him just as culpable). Then there's Ben, who was so evil that Giles murdered him -- willing to trade the life of a 15 yr. old girl for a slice of immortality (and who cares what happens to the 6 billion people that die in the process?) The Initiative doctors and their gruesome Nazi-doctor experiments on the sub-humans. All the world destroyers -- the Master, Angel, various apocalyptic cults...

I see Warren as paralleling Faith's path -- an accidental death, covered up. A conscience buried under greater evil and increasingly out-of-control action as he tries to forget. But I believe he was suffering the pangs of conscience. Warren still had affection for Katrina, warped and twisted though it is. He tried to win Katrina back with charm and reason before hypnotizing her. He has been unsettled by Jonathan's frequent dead girlfriend remarks and these remarks pushed him towards getting rid of Jonathan (although not, apparently, to murder Jonathan since the plan seemed to be to leave him at the mercy of the law). Warren's rampage through Buffy's backyard is not much different from Faith's rampage after her coma. Both were stymied in their attempts at revenge on the slayer and both tried to flee. Buffy tracked Faith down, but I don't believe that she ever intended to kill Faith -- in fact, she tells Faith that if Faith apologizes she will beat Faith to death -- implying that Faith will not be killed otherwise.

One of the big criticisms leveled against Warren is that he didn't seem to be concerned about Katrina shortly after her death -- he was too busy making plans to dispose of the body. This episode we see that the ability to think quickly under extreme pressure is part of Warren's personality -- he shoves everything else aside and focuses on the immediate problem. When Warren discovers that the slayer is dead, he doesn't mope and cry about how life is unfair, he doesn't rage against the injustices of the universe or the good fortune of the slayer and he doesn't withdraw into himself - - he comes up with a plan.

That Warren was feeling guilty about Katrina is, I think, clear when Willow creates the Katrina illusion. I say illusion because I do not believe that Willow summoned Katrina's shade from its eternal reward/punishment -- such magic requires more ritual. The phantom Katrina came from Warren's head -- Willow read Warren's thoughts and pulled Katrina from his mind. The things that phantom Katrina said to Warren are the things Warren's conscience had been saying to him all along. He pathetic justifications and bitter final response to her must have sounded as unconvincing to himself as they did to us.

My feeling is that Warren could have been reformed, just as Faith was. Willow didn't just torture and murder him, she killed him before he had a chance to repent.

"Finally there is the attempt to stop Willow from killing Warren, which of course fails, as I expected it to. I've already posited a theoretical link between Willow raising Buffy from the dead and Tara’s death being ‘the Price’ of same. "

I don't like the notion that Tara's death is part of the price of raising Buffy. It excuses Warren -- he becomes a plaything of fate rather than a being responsible for his own actions. Free Will -- they all have it. Even Willow -- her destruction of Warren's body after he was dead was as disturbing as the actual murder -- she left no traces for her friends. Imagine Buffy and Xander's reactions if the skinning alive hadn't instantly killed Warren and they were left trying to say a skinless screaming victim while Dark Willow teleported off to stalk her next victim. Or even imagine them having to dispose of Warren's body -- there is something left inside of Willow that is trying to hide her most horrible actions -- sweep Warren's ashes under the rug. It's not the actions of a demon possessing her.

"and I thought that Buffy came off just a little too matriarchal in her ‘reasonable’ response, but after additional viewings it seems to
work OK-- I’m just not yet completely used to Buffy being this adult and in control, I suppose. In addition, past events have established that the writers place great importance in having Buffy rise above adversity and behaving heroically (in the best sense) when it really has to count, and this may be another one of those times."

In times of trouble (especially after a near-death experience) Buffy does rise to the occasion. She becomes focused and everything becomes clear to her. This is Buffy at her best. Perhaps the recent story line with Buffy floundering in the real world has let you forget that in her element, she is unstoppable -- just ask those vampires at the bar.

[> [> Thoughts mostly about Evil Warren: Weevil (?). Spoilers through Villains. Unspoiled Spec re finale. -- Sophist, 10:49:07 05/20/02 Mon

I also thought that Anya's comment about helping for Willow's sake was Anya lying to herself -- she never liked Willow. She's helping for Xander's sake.

I agree completely.

I know it won't be popular to say Warren is anything less than the most evil villain we have ever seen on BtVS or AtS, but I think that this perception of Warren is absolutely mistaken.

I'm not so sure about this. For one thing, I think you understated Warren's evil deeds. Putting aside his minor stunts like stealing the diamond and freezing the guard, there's much more to his conduct than 2 "accidents". Here's my list:

1. He attempted to kill invisiBuffy in Gone.

2. He attempted to rape Katrina. This was done quite cold- bloodedly and showed clearly both his misogynist tendencies and the power and control issues stereotypical of rapists. And, I might add, torturers.

3. He killed Katrina. I agree with you that this was unintentional, but I don't think "accident" is the right word. Voluntary manslaughter is the crime: he intended to hit her and hurt her, just not to kill.

4. He attempted to foist responsibility for her death on Buffy (much more effectively than Faith ever did).

5. His comments to Andrew demonstrate a plan to kill Jonathan.

6. We don't know what happened to the 2 Brinks guards, but they were certainly injured when he turned over the truck at the amusement park.

7. Attempted murder of Buffy by means of the buzz saws in the lair. Can't set up "spring guns" in CA.

8. Attempted murder 1 for Buffy. He might talk a jury into attempted murder 2 if they believed he acted out of passion rather than premeditation, but I doubt it in light of the buzz saws and the ray gun in Gone.

9. Murder 1 or 2 of Tara. No, he didn't intend to kill her. He did intend to kill Buffy. The legal system is likely to treat that as murder 1 under a theory of either transferred intent or felony murder (homicide while committing another felony).

10. Attempted murder of Willow (twice) while she was chasing him. I suppose he could argue self-defense, but then so could every vamp Buffy has ever dusted.

Take this all together, add in the taunting and cruelty not just to Buffy but to Jonathan, Xander, and others, and I'd say his only real rival is Angelus. If someone wants to declare Weevil worse, I certainly wouldn't argue.

My feeling is that Warren could have been reformed, just as Faith was. Willow didn't just torture and murder him, she killed him before he had a chance to repent.

Well, I'm a known redemptionist, so I will agree in theory. I will say that I didn't see any signs of repentance in him, but being a redemptionist means never saying never.

I don't like the notion that Tara's death is part of the price of raising Buffy. It excuses Warren -- he becomes a plaything of fate rather than a being responsible for his own actions. Free Will -- they all have it.

I'm like OnM -- I saw Tara's death as the price. In fact, I realized about 3 weeks ago that that was the price which made the most sense. Kind of spoiled SR for me in that sense. I have to stop thinking so much.

The problem of free will certainly is raised by the price theory. That problem is inherent whenever "higher powers" are invoked. Don't see any good answers.

As for Willow disintegrating the body, you could see that either way. It could be that some part of Willow was shamed at her own actions, or it could be that a demon possessing her didn't have full control. Or it could be something else entirely; since I'm unspoiled, I certainly don't know.

[> [> [> Free will and responsibility -- RichardX1, 16:15:29 05/20/02 Mon

I had to change the subject because adding "Re: " to it pushed it over the size limit. Anywho...

{I don't like the notion that Tara's death is part of the price of raising Buffy. It excuses Warren -- he becomes a plaything of fate rather than a being responsible for his own actions. Free Will -- they all have it.}

I'm like OnM -- I saw Tara's death as the price. In fact, I realized about 3 weeks ago that that was the price which made the most sense. Kind of spoiled SR for me in that sense. I have to stop thinking so much.

The problem of free will certainly is raised by the price theory. That problem is inherent whenever "higher powers" are invoked. Don't see any good answers.

Well, it's kind of like what Morpheus said to Neo in "The Matrix": "I can only show you the door; you have to go through it." The question is, how much of the responsibility does the power that points out (maybe even opens) the door have for the result, even if it doesn't push anyone through it?

Also, talking about free will and being an agent of the PTBs' will is like what Jesus said about Judas at the last supper--he was fulfilling God's plan, but that didn't mean he'd get off the hook for betraying his master.

[> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- Lonesome Sundown, 07:54:42 05/20/02 Mon

I guess this has been discussed already, but I'm one of the victims of rescheduling who has been avoiding the board to avoid getting spoiled and haven't had a chance to go through the archives. Apologies for flogging a probably dead horse, but hey, if you flog it hard enough maybe it'll come back to life!

PS: sorry for the poor formatting of OnM's quotes, looks like I'll have to learn some HTML soon...

OnM wrote:
>> There have been some fears expressed that ME could lose viewers >> by taking this risk
>> making a basically well-meaning and warm-hearted soul such as
>> Willow into a creature of evil, but to be fair, ME has never refrained >> from showing the shadowy side of human behavior, including that
>> which lives or hides within the personalities of it's heroes.

And the dark side of the Scoobies has been one of the main themes of the season, so to exempt Willow would have been a dilution of the thematic structure of the show. As for losing viewers, if this board is any indication, many viewers are drawn to the show BECAUSE it raises these

>> I am also
>> wondering if this season will be the one to answer the question asked >> years ago when Willow had Buffy spare the life of VampWillow in
>> Doppelgangland. This choice seemed so illogical at the time, and the >> reasons presented by Willow to the Scoobies for doing so very
>> specious. Will the finale unfold in some way that
>> resurrects this prior theme?

Actually, the choice to send VampWillow back to her own dimension seems to be consistent with the way the Buffyverse operates. The alternate dimensions in the Buffyverse seem interact with each other under stringent rules, i.e. you may be pulled into an alternate dimension, but ultimately you go back to your original dimension and live out your destiny: Angel in Season 2/3, VampWillow, Olaf the Troll in Season 5 (okay we don't know that he went back to his origianl dimension, but let's stretch a point here), Buffy herself, Fred in AtS. There might be something more to say about this, but I'm out of steam (and ideas)....

And one more thing: VampWillow represents Willow's darker side (duh!) and as expressed in 'The Real Me', completes OurWillow. So of course you can't stake her. Besides, I think the 'Because it's cool!' principle is operative here ;- )

[> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- redcat, 10:30:24 05/20/02 Mon

Very interesting observations, OnM. Thanks for the gift, a delight to read early on a workday morning. I agree with many of your observations, especially the way you interpret Jonathan and Andrew in the jail cell scene. You've added another layer to my understanding of the structural relationships between the troika and the SG.

Just a tiny quibble re: your statement that Willow "didn’t seem to need much help in destroying the demon who manifested at her call, and who refused to help in returning Tara to life." I don't read the end of that scene as Willow destroying the Osiris-demon-god-thingy who takes over her bedroom ceiling. I think she gives him one hellava painful shock and he pulls completely back, retreats to his own dimension very quickly. She has (at this point before her trip to the Magic Box) enough of her own inherent power to hurt a god [to Glofy, "I owe you PAIN,"], but not to destroy one outright, especially one to whom she has to go in supplication, even though her power IS enough to force him to respond to her when she calls. When her scream of rage and refusal hits him, he seems to waver in shock from the bolt, but then dissipates. I read this as her sending him back to whatever dimension he came from with a major jolt of mogo, kinda like Dawn shouting "GET OUT, GET OUT, GET OUT!!!" during OaFA, but with better special effects and lots more consequences.

Also, I'm rather new to the board and have not checked the archives to see if you've already done this, but I think it would be interesting for you to review _The Searchers_, the old John Wayne western that Eastwood has noted was at least one of the major sources for his _Unforgiven_. It's such an important movie in the dark-western genre that my sense is Joss Whedon would also be familiar with it. Might make an interesting comparison. Just a thought, and if you've already done this, could you please point me to the thread? Thanks.

And thanks in general for your posts and reviews. I always enjoy your contributions to this "collective analytical community" (great phrase, BTW).


[> [> According to the shooting script (Villains spoiler) -- Sophist, 10:54:52 05/20/02 Mon

Willow did kill the demon. It was not Osiris, but a flunky making sure the boss wasn't disturbed.

[> [> [> Re: According to the shooting script (Villains spoiler) -- redcat, 12:49:59 05/20/02 Mon

Thank you, Sophist,for pointing this out!! I had no idea, having not read the shooting script. It completely supports OnM and refutes my response to him, so thank you for the correction, and I apologize for the quibble, OnM, you were right! Hmm, does this new information also shift my perceptions of Willow? Not sure.. have to think on it. But thanks again for the quick correct.

a-humbled-and-conspicuously-licking-her-hardest-to-reach-fur redcat

[> [> [> [> No reason to apologize-- I thought exactly the way you did. -- OnM, 22:58:36 05/20/02 Mon

And wouldn't have known otherwise except for having read the shooting script. All a matter of timing, didn't get to read it until Sunday afternoon, and then I went back and corrected my post, since I knew someone would eventually call me on it.


Even if you knew everything, the access time would be enormous.

............ (author unknown)

[> [> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- shadowkat, 11:05:05 05/20/02 Mon

Hi redcat & OM - I did the Searchers briefly as a comparison for
my essay on Vengeance.

Redcat is absolutely correct - Searchers is perfect - but
even more so for Holtz/Angel story.

In the Searchers - Ethan (played by John Wayne), an old cavalry officer and Indian hunter, who despises Indians and is extremely racist to
the extent that he has demonized them as savages, has returned home to find his neice kidnapped by an Apache who is the mirror image of Ethan, despising the white man, and
has killed most of Ethan's family. Ethan takes his nephew,
a child of mixed parents with him on a five year quest for his neice (played by Natalie Wood). He intends on killing the girl when he finds her. His nephew becoming increasingly uncomfortable with his Uncle's quest hopes to stop him. The movie is one of the darkest westerns, and
hits the group of Westerns we called in cinema class = the end of a genre. It was filmed by the amazing John Ford and
I can't imagine a film major not seeing it. Also Joss Whedon is a huge western fan - who has said in numerous interviews that he is basing Firefly on the westerns.

If you get a chance to see the film - it's long and slow in places - play close attention to the final scenes between
Ethan and the Apache, the use of light and shadow is similar
to what Whedon and company did in Villains. Also similar
to the scene between Angel and Holtz in Benediction.

The difference? Searchers actually ends on a happy note.
In some ways I prefer the Searchers to Unforgiven for cinematography. Eastwood clearly studied Ford.

Other Western's worth studying: Eastwood's Man with No
NAme films. Red River - Howard Hawks take on Vengeance.
And of course my favorite - The Wild Bunch.

It was over 15 years ago - but my old Cinema studies still
stay inside my brain. ;-)

[> [> [> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- Arethusa, 14:34:26 05/20/02 Mon

How interesting that Wedon is basing "Firefly" on westerns; Gene Roddenberry said his concept for "Star Trek" was "Wagon Train" in the stars. Westerns and SF are often anthologies, which offer lots of opportunities for variety and action. One of the writers on "Angel" said they intended it to be an anthology too, but the writers "fell in love with the characters," and changed their minds.

An off-topic aside: One of my favorite movies, John Carpenter's "Assault on Precinct 13," was based on a Howard Hawks western, "Rio Bravo." And Gunn (or was it Wesley?) mentioned it in an episode of "Angel"!

[> [> Re: Unforgiven / Jesus Wept ... Thoughts on *Villains* ... (***Spoilers***) -- anom, 15:32:57 05/20/02 Mon

"I don't read the end of that scene as Willow destroying the Osiris-demon-god-thingy who takes over her bedroom ceiling. I think she gives him one hellava painful shock and he pulls completely back, retreats to his own dimension very quickly. ...When her scream of rage and refusal hits him, he seems to waver in shock from the bolt, but then dissipates."

I agree w/redcat's understanding of this part. Plus, I really liked the special effect of her cry rippling through the air in the room, & maybe through reality. I think it's my favorite in the ep.

[> a few selected responses -- anom, 16:24:25 05/20/02 Mon

"The Widow, meanwhile, appears at the hospital and saves Buffy magically by levitating the bullet from her body and healing her damaged body."

I wonder if what she did was reverse not only the bullet's path but also its effect as it's drawn out--after all, there's no blood on it. Did she return Buffy's body to the state it was in before she was shot--including her brain, which seemed to hold no memory of what had happened even though Buffy was conscious as she lay bleeding in the yard?

"I thought that Buffy came off just a little too matriarchal in her ‘reasonable’ response, but after additional viewings it seems to work OK--I’m just not yet completely used to Buffy being this adult and in control, I suppose....Even Xander and Dawn are falling prey to the lure of vengeance, and Buffy understands that this has to stop before it goes any further. At the same time, she doesn’t discount the basis for their feelings, and shows that in the way she speaks with them."

I thought this was one of the best scenes--they really got the stunned tone & stumbling conversation right. Buffy's adult reaction may come from having been through this before, with her mother (minus the vengeance aspect).

"At Spike’s crypt: I wonder if Clem is the demon world’s answer to Jimmy Carter? He’s a special guy, no two ways to it."

I hope we're going to get more of Clem's story. How does a demon get to be such a sweetie? Does he have any kind of dark side?

"Despite nearly being raped by him, Buffy still apparently believes that he would not harm Dawn. Why, and what does this foreshadow, if anything? Spike blames the chip for causing him to develop a conscience or soul-emulator, but when filled with murderous rage in Fool for Love, he not only couldn’t kill Buffy, he ended up trying to comfort her."

Not that he wouldn't harm Dawn (although that might be true) but that he can't (as she says)--the chip is still working (so far). And in FFL, I wonder if Spike would have gone through w/killing Buffy if she hadn't been crying & had reacted w/anything more hostile than "What do you want now?"

"After all, it’s a tradition among gangster types to make sure they are nowhere around when the hit actually shits the fan...."

Heehee...anyone remember which comic book had a character in a gov't. meeting say something like "the ship of state is heading for a sandbar, & if we don't change course the ship is really gonna hit the sand"? Maybe X-Men?

Absolutely agree about Hannigan's acting chops. We hardly need Rack & Anya to tell us about Willow's broadcasting her fury.

[> "So, take your best shot Snow White," Spoilers for Villains and Hellraiser -- fresne, 18:11:01 05/20/02 Mon

Okay, first of all as always, excellent review.

Unforgiven was on television quite recently, however the parallels, while rich, are a little more complex than I'm ready to take on.

Instead, I'll address the other movie parallel that you quite cleverly refer to in your title, "* /Jesus Wept*"
(spoilers for Hellraiser I and II to follow). That was exactly the moment in Hellraiser that I was thinking about when Warren was so swiftly flayed.

Both Warren and Frank are stretched into that Crucifixion like pose. Both are human (okay, it's a little questionable with Frank, but he did start out human). Both are, well, petty. Frank is bound and flayed, because of his pursuit of pleasure, fueled by his boredom. He wanted, he took, he messed with things he really shouldn't have and a trip to hell ensued.

It's one of the funny things about Hellraiser I and II, that while the Cennobites are demonic, grand, epic, get great lines ("Angels to some, demons to others" or "It is not hands which call us, it is desire."); but they aren't actually the main villains of Hellraiser I or II. That role lies with Frank and Julia (Hellraiser I), who are killing people to further their goals or Dr. Channard (Hellraiser II), who willing sacrifices people he should be caring for/protecting/curing in his quest for knowledge.

It's also interesting that at the end of Hellraiser I, Frank isn't being flayed of his own skin. He's wearing his brother's skin, having lost his own. The concept of borrowed skin as costume makes me think of Willow in Restless, whose outer skin/clothing is stripped away to reveal the inner geek.

Willow, like Frank and Dr. Channard, seeks dark knowledge, while at the same time denies that knowledge/experience/pleasure can have a price. Both Frank and Channard become monstrous as a result of their quests. Well, actually just about every evil-ish character starts out human (Leviathan the floating rubic cube being a possible exception) and is transformed as a result of their own choices. We'll see how things go for Willow. Is she the evil step-mother, the wicked queen, or Rose Red in a Celebrity Death match with Snow White?

As long as Tuesday doesn't lead to Hellraisers III and IV, I'll be happy.

[> [> Symbolism of flaying: a sudden realization -- belle, 20:53:02 05/20/02 Mon

At first I thought it was just a gratuitous piece of grue (as such, it works!) Actually, though, intentionally or not, it goes well with the idea that Willow's projecting her own fears/issues onto Warren. Having your skin ripped off is a grossly (!) literal expression of Willow's fears as expressed in Restless: stripping away of her (false) self, her costume, or armor. "The audience wants to find you, strip you naked and eat you alive, so hide." If that's how she feels about being "found out," no wonder she's been hiding all these years...

[> [> Thanks, fresne! (Spoilers, Villains) -- OnM, 23:16:59 05/20/02 Mon

Like you, seeing the flaying scene with Warren immediately conjured a link with Hellraiser in my mind, and then later I saw you reference it in a post, so that actually became the inspiration to combine it with 'Unforgiven' in the review title.

I'm not really very much for the gorier end of the horror film spectrum, but anything that is well done and intelligent is worth a look to me, and a number of people spoke well of 'Hellraiser' so I steeled myself to watch it. I've never forgotten that 'Jesus Wept' line in conjunction with what transpired on screen. Perfect moment of cinema, no matter how grotesque it was objectively.

*** As long as Tuesday doesn't lead to Hellraisers III and IV, I'll be happy. ***

Second that motion! :-)

[> [> [> flaying scenes (not for the weak-stomached) -- anom, 23:47:39 05/20/02 Mon

"I've never forgotten that 'Jesus Wept' line in conjunction with what transpired on screen. Perfect moment of cinema, no matter how grotesque it was objectively."

I haven't seen "Hellraiser" & have been wondering about the "Jesus Wept" ref. Can someone fill me in?

BTW, OnM, do you remember which film Bela Lugosi gets flayed in? He's tied to some kind of frame thing & you only see the beginning of the flaying (by Karloff?). I think it's The Raven, but I'm not sure.

And BTW everyone, flaying does not kill instantaneously. It's a slow & very painful death, since all the internal life-sustaining systems are still working. Some posters have said Warren was dead when Willow torched him, but it looked to me like he was still twisting & screaming (yuck).

OK, that brings on another bout of Allan Sherman (although this one makes me wonder if I'm sicker than I thought):

"Ya gotta have...Skin!
All you really need is skin
Skin's the thing that if ya got it outside
It helps keep your insides in...."

Oh yeah. Definitely sicker.

[> [> [> [> Re: flaying scenes (not for the weak-stomached) -- Forsaken, 05:31:40 05/21/02 Tue

The scene being referenced is at the end of Hellraiser. Frank (wearing his brother's skin, not his own) is being punished by the Cennobites because he escaped their "delightful pain." He is on his knees, dozens of chains tipped with hooks latched into his skin. The line is spoken "Jesus wept" and the chains all tear apart at once, flaying him alive.

[> [> [> [> Re: flaying scenes (not for the weak-stomached) -- RichardX1, 08:01:58 05/21/02 Tue

And BTW everyone, flaying does not kill instantaneously. It's a slow & very painful death, since all the internal life-sustaining systems are still working. Some posters have said Warren was dead when Willow torched him, but it looked to me like he was still twisting & screaming (yuck).

Oh, yeah. The Assyrians (whom I would consider to have elevated torture to an art form if I were a totally sick f***) developed a method of removing every square inch of skin from a victim without killing him. It was probably a slow and agonizing process, considering that they didn't have the psychokinetic abilities to just pull it off in one yank like Willow did, but the victim survived it, unfortunately, though I doubt he would survive it for very long.

... and if you think that's bad, think about all the failed attempts before they figured out the correct method and order to do it.

(DISCLAIMER: Just because I know this stuff doesn't mean I enjoy or endorse it. I don't. This is ultimate-level sick sh**, and anyone who even thinks about doing stuff like this should have their heads dunked in ice water a few times.)

[> [> Could be worse fresne, remember there was also a Hellraiser V... -- Forsaken, 04:11:04 05/21/02 Tue

With all this talk of vengeance I just had to bring up The Crow. Not the TV series, which sucked beyond belief. Not City of Angels (no pun intended, different broody dark coat- guy) or any of the other hideous sequel crap. The Crow, the original movie. It's odd to me the way that story was portrayed. Eric Draven was forced to watch his beloved fiance raped and murdered, then was shot and thrown out a fourth floor window. But in classic movie fashion, he doesn't stay dead, he stays angry. And when he gets his vengeance, I cheered him on. Now Willow has gone over the lines of vengeance, and I can't bring myself to urge her on. Not even when she was killing Warren, who I thought deserved it (I won't be able to condone it at all if she kills Jonathon or Andrew). Eric did horrible things to his victims, to be sure, but he didn't torment them the way Willow tortured Warren. Perhaps this is because Eric was gifted with his powers just for the job of killing Skank, Fun Boy, Tin-Tin, and T-bird by the Crow. And, since the Crow is only a messenger carrying souls from one realm to the next, some higher power must have judged the situation. That means that Eric's quest wasn't just vengeance, it was justice (this further evidenced by the repeated use of "restoring the balance" and "put the wrong things right" inherent in the Crow's legend). I found it particularly appealing the way he killed the gang's boss Top Dollar, by sending all thirty hours of Shelly's pain into his head. "All at once. All for you." It was fitting. I always loved The Crow, Eric got good lines and a cool image just like the Cennobites, (gotta love Pinhead and Chatterer) but in a good way. Which reminds me of your comment fresne, about how most evils (with the definite exception of Leviathon) begin human. All the Cennobites were originally human, it was Leviathon who rewarded their desires for pleasure. So, I'll end my pointless ramblinf with a quote from each movie. "And if you try to trick us again, little girl, your suffering will be legendary. Even in Hell!" "I'm not going to kill you. your job will be to tell the rest of them that Death is coming for them. Tonight. Tell them Eric Draven sends his regards.

[> Buffy's maturity ("Villains" spoilers) -- Rob, 09:33:09 05/21/02 Tue

First off, "great review" goes without saying, although it seems I already did. ;o)

"I thought that Buffy came off just a little too matriarchal in her ‘reasonable’ response, but after additional viewings it seems to work OK-- I’m just not yet completely used to Buffy being this adult and in control, I suppose. In addition,past events have established that the writers place great importance in having Buffy rise above adversity and behaving heroically (in the best sense) when it really has to count, and this may be another one of those
times. Even Xander and Dawn are falling prey to the lure of vengeance, and Buffy understands that this has
to stop before it goes any further. At the same time, she doesn’t discount the basis for their feelings, and
shows that in the way she speaks with them."

The first time I saw this scene, I actually had the reaction that you had after repeated viewings. In fact, I was surprised, upon arriving at the board the next day, to see a great deal of people questioning Buffy's behavior in this scene. I thought it made perfect sense, however, basically due the reasons that you just outlined. Buffy has had a great deal of trouble with life lately, and has made many mistakes in the past, but the aspect of her life in which she is darn near close to flawless is in her calling. Buffy is a great Slayer. There has been a great deal of greying in the Buffyverse with regard to the rules--all demons are not necessarily evil (or unreformable) anymore, for example--but one area that has never changed is the idea that a Slayer (and, by extension, her friends) cannot kill humans. And Buffy will not cross that line, even if that human is just as evil or dangerous as any demon.

Buffy made a very good point that the world is held together by rules, and there should be rules, or there would be chaos. In the mystical battle between Slayer and Demon, the rules are that the Slayer will bring the Demons to justice. She will slay them. And the use of the word "slay" over "kill" is important; "slay" connotates a more epic, noble purpose. But the human world has its own rules, and does not have a warrior to dispatch evil, but a justice system. And whether that justice system works or not, the mystical rules of the Slayer/Demon world cannot be applied to the human world.

Rules are important, and rules are, at the moment, the bane of Willow's existence. Rules are what allowed Buffy to be returned from the dead, and not Tara. Interestingly, the demon world has as firm a stance on the rules as Buffy does; they both keep them in line. Just as Buffy will not interfere with the human rules, neither will the demons or dark forces. They will raise a person killed by their own mystical, supernatural rules, but one killed by human means is out of their domain.

At the moment, Willow is playing a dangerous game, because by immersing herself in the dark powers in this way, she is losing all of her humanity, and, in essence, becoming something that Buffy can, at least by the rules if not in actual execution, kill. If Willow isn't stopped soon, there truly may be no turning back.


[> Great review OnM! -- ponygirl, 10:11:23 05/21/02 Tue

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