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Some questions from abroad, inc. an OT one for the guys (Spoilers for Villains, and S7 speculation) -- Marie, 07:13:34 05/20/02 Mon

Before I get to the questions, some things that made me go "Mmmm!" (and that's not the "Mmmm" of the yummmmy kind):

1. I noticed that both Xander and Buffy had changed clothes in the what-to-do-with-Dawn-scene. Nothing wrong with that. Blood 'n everything. But does Xander keep clean clothes at Buffy's, or did he take the time to go home and change? And Buffy was looking beautiful and glamorously fashionable - which I'm not denying she is, of course, but, well, I couldn't help but wonder if I'd be so 'together' after I'd been shot, lost one friend irretrievably and another to the vengeance trail. Not exactly a criticism, just an 'mmm…'.

2. Someone else has mentioned the lack of police presence, so I won't go into that again, except to say that I would've expected them to be in an interrogation room for at least several hours, not to mention having to explain themselves to some social worker somewhere along the line. Again, 'mmm…'.

3. In the ER, I realise that Willow was using a spell on the doctors and nurses, but would it've killed them to act it? They just walked out, sort of normally, if you know what I mean. Bad editing, you think? I'd like to have seen it appear more, er, spelly…

There are more, but most have been discussed here very eloquently already.

And one thing (in two parts) that made me go 'Aaarrgh!"::

Again with the application of the bandage-thingummy on top of the clothes! I can't tell you how annoying I find this! Well, okay, I am doing, but still… Richard-of- the sword-wound fared no better, but that was at the hands of the Scoobs. These guys were paramedics! And again in the ER! Ach! The doctors didn't even cut away her clothes to get the bullet out! "Aaarrgh"!

Now to my questions (who said 'About time!'?):

1. What are bugles?
2. What is 'Country Time'?

And my third is OT, and for the guys, mainly -

Now, I can look at Charisma Carpenter (pre-latest hairdo, I have to say!) and think "God, she's just gorgeous!", in a very admiring, non-sexual way, as I know many of my female friends do about other females. And I was watching 'Sleepy Hollow' at the weekend, and thinking "God, he's just gorgeous!" about Johnny Depp (pause for a sigh). So do men think that about other men, at all? Straight men, I mean. Do you look at James Marsters and admire his cheekbones? I asked a colleague that today, and he was horrified, though he did admit to looking at men's physiques, "in a very manly way", he hastened to add. I just couldn't understand why he was so appalled at the question, so I thought I'd put it to you.

And, finally, my speculation:

I think I was the first on the board to speculate that ME had nowhere to go with Spike now, other than make him human. And I just wanted to say, after hearing the cave-demon's dirty laugh, I am more convinced than ever that this is the way they'll go. Spike's not going to be the vampire he once was, he's going to be the man he once was.


[> Re: Some questions from abroad... (villians spoilers) -- Solitude1056, 08:11:06 05/20/02 Mon

First, I agree about the no-cutting-clothes away. You could argue "mainstream teevee" but they do it on ER, so why not stick to the realistic element here, too? Xander always seems to wear an undershirt - he could've just handed her his shirt. Minor amusement factor, too. But whatever.

1. Bugles are a type of little crunchy snack, made from corn (I think) and taste sort of like popcorn that's been redone into a bugle-like shape.
2. Country Time lemonade is someone's advertising idea of concentrated lemonade (or worse, powdered form).

Both, curiously, are brand names - as opposed to just saying, "I was going to fix up some lemonade" or "I have munchies" - but that's what I would've expected from Spike. Clem, on the other hand, seems far more grounded in the "real world" by specifying the brand names, as if he does go shopping and hence knows the particular flavors/brands that he likes & buys. I don't think it's product placement so much as a subtle awareness that there's a difference between saying "I'll put on some jeans" versus "I'll put on my levi's." Kinda implying that you know there's a difference - and that makes sense for Clem. (I also liked the note in the shooting script that clarifies that Clem "likes folks to be happy.")

I'm still ambivalent about the idea that Dawn had to be "sent somewhere to be safe" - and why not Janice, anyway? - but it's not an issue with Buffy and Xander, since it was Dawn who decided, not them. And now that I think about it, Xander and Buffy had already been semi-attacked by Willow (in electrifying them on the highway) so I guess it does make sense that Buffy would want Dawn out of the way. Just seems that everytime there's something in town, Dawn has to be put "out of the way." Getting rather old, IMO...

[> [> Deep thought on Bugles -- dream of the consortium, 09:35:05 05/20/02 Mon

Just to add to the "why" of the choices here - these are not cool brands. These are the snacks your grandmother might pick up with a coupon because she knows you're coming for a visit.

Dawn needed to be put out of the way in part because Warren was still loose, and because she's been through trauma and shouldn't be left alone - she needs to FEEL safe, not just be safe. The whole "someone needs to look out for Dawn thing" is getting a little old, admittedly, since she is as old as the Scoobies were when they started, but there is also a truth to it. Buffy is, essentially, a single mother. Single mothers cope with child-care issues all the time. And they are tiring and annoying and never let up. I think that's part of the point of always showing Buffy caring for Dawn - Dawn is her responsibility, all the time. I assume she can't go to Janice's because, well, poor Dawn! She's just spent the day with a the body of someone dear to her, she can't explain it all without getting into the fact the her sister was shot as well, but is better now and in fact out looking for a very angry out-of-control witch. Her wanting to be with Spike made sense to me, and when Clem was there instead, it made sense that she would stay there.

The hospital and emergency worker and police stuff - much harder to explain. (Unless you assume, as I have chosen to, that Buffy's address is marked in the police computer as "ask no questions, leave quickly.)

[> [> [> Maybe Clem is so anti-cool, he's cool? So Clemsnacks are cool too? -- Ixchel, 16:56:09 05/20/02 Mon

What can I say? I'm a Clem fan (he's endearing, alleged kitten-noshing aside).

I believe you have excellent points about Dawn. And if Buffy seems overprotective, well there's no guarantee that Dawn is no longer a villain-magnet (something that Buffy must subconsciously recognize). Also, Dawn's relationship with Janice must be superficial because Janice can't really _know_ her (Buffy was lucky that Willow and Xander stumbled into her secret and then didn't run away). That Dawn would feel safe and more at ease with Spike is understandable (he knows about her "real" life). While Clem doesn't know about Dawn (though he knows Buffy's the Slayer, which is interesting as he's not afraid of her), he would understand unusual events (his calm at the birthday party is a good indication of this).

I think your assumption that Buffy's house is flagged in the police computer is a good one. It makes perfect sense.


[> [> [> [> Clem is definitely wrap-around cool!!!! -- dream of the consortium, 07:10:17 05/21/02 Tue

He's so cool he doesn't care if he eats Grandma snacks. Bring on the strawberry hard candies with the squishy centers!

(I love Clem - was just pointing out that ME seemed to choose brands that implied a sort of sweet squareness.)

[> [> [> Re: Deep thought on Bugles -- ravenhair, 14:24:04 05/21/02 Tue

I found Clem's hospitality (offering comfort food & Spike's "comfy chair" to Dawn) wonderfully refreshing. Clem can give the SG a lesson in manners and coach Spike on how to be a gentleman...or gentledemon.

[> [> Country Time -- RichardX1, 08:29:22 05/21/02 Tue

2. Country Time lemonade is someone's advertising idea of concentrated lemonade (or worse, powdered form).

I'm reminded of an episode of The Simpsons where the Springfield kids were trying to get their stolen lemon tree back from Shelbyville. Martin (the kind of chubby smart kid) sees a child's lemonade stand, and demands to know where the child got the lemons from.

"Uh...this is Country Time lemonade mix. There's never been anything close to a lemon in it, I swear!"

(Thanks to The Simpsons Archive ( for the quote)

[> Answers and evasions -- Darby, 10:38:31 05/20/02 Mon

My wife and I point out good-looking people to each other all the time, so we both notice attractive members of the same gender (and are pretty attuned to each other's tastes), so I guess that's a "yes" to the guy question. Funny, JM's basic looks don't really suit my wife's tastes (same thing for SMG and me), but charisma, talent, and familiarity all can change that.

The Sunnydale Police are a problem better ignored as much as possible. You could kinda sorta pass off their blindness when we discovered that the Mayor was influencing things from above, but who's running things now? Is it a former "minion" who knows just enough to stay out of certain people's ways (what would an investigation of the Ascension have turned up about Buffy's involvement)? Is it another power source with dark intent? Is it just bad writing? There certainly could be a good story there if someone wanted to think things through.

And I like Bugles, every once in a while. A great salt fix, but I spend most of the rest of the day picking them out of my teeth (too much information?)...

[> [> Sunnydale Police (SPOILERS for Villains and Tales of the Slayer) -- Robert, 11:10:31 05/20/02 Mon

>> "The Sunnydale Police are a problem better ignored as much as possible. You could kinda sorta pass off their blindness when we discovered that the Mayor was influencing things from above, but who's running things now? Is it a former "minion" who knows just enough to stay out of certain people's ways (what would an investigation of the Ascension have turned up about Buffy's involvement)? Is it another power source with dark intent? Is it just bad writing? There certainly could be a good story there if someone wanted to think things through."

We might view the police situation in a slightly different way. It has been only 3 years since Mayor Wilkins was removed from authority. How long did the mayor control the police and the city before then? The answer is; since the founding of Sunnydale in the 1800's. This is revealed in the "Tales of the Slayer" comic book. David Fury wrote the relevant story "The Glittering World", where he revealed that Richard Wilkens knowingly and purposely established the town on top of the hellmouth.

Mayor Wilkens established and ran the bureaucracy for a hundred years. If he purposely designed a police department to be incompetent, 3 years under new administration won't fix that. We know the Sunnydale police were incompetent 3 years ago (Principal Snyder told us they were). Though their actions (or the lack thereof) are proof enough. Would it be reasonable to believe that a new administration could change the course of the bureaucracy and rebuild a police department in just 3 years? Bureaucracies take on a life of their own, and it is very difficult to change them.

[> [> [> Well said, Robert. I believe it's a self-perpetuating system. -- Ixchel, 16:20:34 05/20/02 Mon

Direction from above is no longer needed to maintain the incompetence of the SD police department. In fact, I would imagine a sort of natural selection is going on among the regular patrol officers. The ones who are curious, thorough, whatever would run into the more interesting inhabitants of SD and get killed. The ones who followed regular procedures (established by the Mayor) and ignored anything beyond the mundane would probably live to see retirement. Of course, this would be subconscious, I doubt the majority of SD admits anything to each other or themselves about the truth of their town.


[> [> What irritates me is that the Sunnydale PD occasionally has GOOD days... -- cjl, 11:17:54 05/20/02 Mon

For instance, whenever Buffy is falsely accused of murder ("Ted," "Becoming") the cops are on her skinny butt in a nanosecond. When Spike dumped Katrina's body in "Dead Things," they were remarkably efficient in dredging the river and finding it on the SAME NIGHT. Apparently, the Sunnydale PD is either efficient or incompetent when their action/inaction causes the most stress on our main characters. [Must remain calm...must look at series metaphorically...don't examine details too closely...hum soothingly to yourself, and the plot holes will disappear...]

Bugles...washed down by Country Tyme lemonade. Mmmmmmm...I can feel my arteries dissolving already....

[> [> [> arteries aren't dissoving, they're clogging -- MI for a good cause, 12:10:19 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> When you combine the salt & fat fom the Bugles and the sugar from the lemonade...they're dissolving. -- cjl, 12:14:59 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> which is why you should just eat chocolate at a time like this, -- redcat, 13:05:40 05/20/02 Mon

like I suggested before. Then at least you'll *enjoy* the experience of having your arteries dissolve... I mean, Bugles and powdered lemonade, ughh!

and don't even THINK of bringing up the liverwurst....

[> [> [> [> [> [> i feel that old allan sherman feeling coming on... -- anom, 22:38:00 05/20/02 Mon

"and don't even THINK of bringing up the liverwurst...."

When you go to the delicatessen store
Don't buy the liverwurst
Don't buy the liverwurst
Don't buy the liverwurst....

(to the tune of Down by the Riverside)

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> yeah, but can you carry a tune? -- redcat, 09:07:22 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> actually, yeah--i'm pretty good -- anom, 11:14:54 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Internal hemmorhaging from eating bugles and drinking country time -- matching mole, 13:06:25 05/20/02 Mon

Never heard of such a thing - doesn't mean it hasn't happened.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Bugles are quite poinky and lemonade is acidic -- disastrous combo -- pr10n, 16:07:22 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> Human physiology -- matching mole, 05:32:58 05/21/02 Tue

Might I point out that by the time the Bugles get to the blood stream they are no longer pointy - they are individual molecules. And the acidity of the blood is well regulated - if it changed too much then you would have some nasty health problems long before your arterial walls started dissolving.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Wanted: Comedic Exaggeration font -- cjl, 08:27:10 05/21/02 Tue

The dissolving arteries comment was not meant as a serious scientific dissertation on "the effect of high-glucose/high- fat concentrated beverages/snack treats on the human cardio- vascular system."

I think this segment of the thread needs an angioplasty, stat.

[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Human physiology -- pr10n, 11:13:59 05/21/02 Tue


Point taken. Still, if one were to hurl an open bag of Bugles into the air, and then lie down, then a certain number of them would fall poinky side down, and possibly pierce one's skin horribly, like little corn-flavored funnels just waiting for lemonade to be poured into them.

Hence the agonizing acidic interaction.


[> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Human physiology -- Arethusa, 11:28:17 05/21/02 Tue

Which begs the question: If you dropped a DmP burger, which is mostly cellulose, let's say from something like sawdust, from a great height, could it be considered a stake (if not steak) and kill a vampire with junk food?

[> [> [> Re: Good Days for Sunnydale Police (various old SPOILERS) -- Robert, 14:10:00 05/20/02 Mon

Let us look at your examples of the competence of the police.

>> "...whenever Buffy is falsely accused of murder ("Ted," "Becoming") the cops are on her skinny butt in a nanosecond."

Starting with "Ted", Buffy was not falsely accused of murder. You need to view the episode again, but Buffy confessed to killing Ted without any prompting. The police were called to the Summers' house, presumably by Joyce, to deal with the body. Buffy confessed and submitted to custody. The police did nothing beyond the very routine.

On to "Becoming", the police show up at the school library. Somebody called them (presumably Principal Snyder or maybe one of Angelus' gang). I leaning toward Snyder since he showed up at the same time to stink up the place. The police assume with no evidence and no interrogation that Buffy is the guilty party, just because she happened to be at the scene and Snyder declared her to be trouble. The police take her into custody without hearing or wanting her explanation. Then, as she is escaping, they take pot shots at her rather than attempting recapture her. Surely two fully trained police officers should be able to run down and tackle an 17 year old highschool girl. Obviously not, since Buffy is the slayer, but neither Snyder nor the police knew this. This whole scene appeared to me to be a thoroughly unpleasant screw-up by Snyder and the police.

>> "When Spike dumped Katrina's body in "Dead Things," they were remarkably efficient in dredging the river and finding it on the SAME NIGHT."

Regarding "Dead Things", the police did not dredge the river, because Katrina was found on the river bank. Spike screwed up once again. He thought he had cleverly dealt with the body, that no one would ever find it, that Katrina effectively didn't exist. Well, he was wrong.

Here's an excerpt from the shooting script.

What did you do?
I took care of it.
What did you do?!
What I had to! I went back and took
care of it. It doesn't matter now.
No one will ever find her.
COP #1 (O.S.)
Where'd they find her?!
COP #2
The river. She washed up half mile from the cemetery.

The episode did not provide us any evidence of a competent police investigation. All they had was a body and no suspects. They were not even looking for a body, because they didn't know a crime had taken place. Presumably, someone saw the body on the river bank and called to police to deal with it. How do they deal with it? They discuss in public the details of the crime. By overhearing these details, Buffy determines who the perpetrator is. Again, I don't see any of this as competent work on the part of the police.

[> [> [> [> OK, you've convinced me. Their track record remains completely blemished. -- cjl, 14:18:04 05/20/02 Mon

Oddly enough, though, confirming this history of gross incompetence by law enforcement officials doesn't comfort me.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: OK, you've convinced me. -- Robert, 16:23:54 05/20/02 Mon

>> "... confirming this history of gross incompetence by law enforcement officials doesn't comfort me."

And well is should not! I have lived in places where the police were terrifyingly incompetent. It can be a bad situation. However, I do believe that Mutant Enemy has been consistent and deliberate in regards to the competence of the Sunnydale police. This is one of the things that makes the Sunnydale setting so creepy.

It also feeds into the overall metaphor of seasons 1, 2 and 3, in which high school is hell and authority figures can't not be counted upon for protection. The ultimate authority figure in Sunnydale (Mayor Wilkens) intended upon eating the graduating class. He would not want a competent police department getting in the way of his grand scheme.

[> [> [> [> Katrina's body -- alcibiades, 15:40:52 05/20/02 Mon

I still think it was the trio who messed up Spike's enterprise with Katrina's body in DT. And that Warren and co. think that Buffy and Spike colluded over it, which is why they refer to it as Buffy's game. Otherwise this little exchange makes not much sense.

Wasn't that hard messing her game up.
She figures it out, we'll take care
of her.

[> In the ER (Spoilers for Villains) -- Robert, 10:38:48 05/20/02 Mon

>> "3. In the ER, I realise that Willow was using a spell on the doctors and nurses, but would it've killed them to act it? They just walked out, sort of normally, if you know what I mean. Bad editing, you think? I'd like to have seen it appear more, er, spelly…"

Actually, I liked it this way. The situation came across as more ominous. In the past we would see some evidence of a spell being cast, but now Willow has become so powerful that she can effortlessly take control of the emergency room personnel.

My thoughts were more toward the type of spell Willow might have used. Did she control the people's actions, or did she control their will or desire? Did she physically force them to walk out of the room or did she psychically make them want to leave? I am leaning toward the second possibility. It appeared to me as if the ER personnel just decided to be somewhere else. I didn't see any battle of wills or efforts to regard control of their bodies.

[> Re: Some questions from abroad, inc. -- JR, 11:11:14 05/20/02 Mon

The greatest thing about Bugles is that you can wear them on your fingers like super-long witchy finger-nails and then eat them off one-by-one like olives.

The worst thing about Bugles is that the total saturated fat content of one serving(not much) of regular Bugles is equal to that of a regular-sized Snickers candy bar. Sad, but true. Now I KNOW that was too much information

[> yep, I agree with everything you said.... -- Rochefort, 11:27:13 05/20/02 Mon

First.... I blame Marti Noxon for the plot holes and I wouldn't tear off her skin or anything but maybe we could just tie her between two trees for a while so she can think about it.

Second, I TOTALLY agree with you that Spike is going to be human which I think will be totally great.

Third, American men do not find other men attractive at ALL! Don't ask us if you do not wish to seriously challenge our masculinity. But if we diiiiiid find someone attractive it would probably be Spike. BUT WE DON'T!


[> [> Re: yep, I agree with everything you said.... -- Robert, 14:14:32 05/20/02 Mon

>> "I blame Marti Noxon for the plot holes and I wouldn't tear off her skin or anything but maybe we could just tie her between two trees for a while so she can think about it."

Rochefort, you're taking this a little too personally aren't you? I worry when a fan threatens bodily harm on a writer.

[> [> [> no no no..... not bodily harrrrrm. Psychological. It's a whole different thing. -- Rochefort, 15:13:32 05/21/02 Tue

[> I don't notice other guys at all -- vampire hunter D, 12:15:47 05/20/02 Mon

I just don't get it. I can't even figure out what it is that girls are looking at. ANd I have tried. I've looked at James Marsters, I've looked at Tom Cruise, and David Boreanes and Mel Gibson, and still can't figure out what everyone likes so much. I see them and it's like looking at a wall to me. Man, I am so not gay.

I had this conversation with Etrangere a few weeks ago, and she can't get why girls can tell if another girl is hot, but guys can't see it in other guys. And I had no answers for her. I wondered if lesbians can see it (not bi, but totally lesbo, like Tara). But since neither of us knew any to ask, that question went unanswered.

Uh, any lesbians out there who can answer that?

abd on another topic, I don't like Bugles, or COuntry time. I prefer Potato chips or something like cheezitz. And I prefer real lemonade to concentrate

[> Re: guys looking at other guys -- pr10n, 12:37:05 05/20/02 Mon

> "in a very manly way", he hastened to add.

This then is the theme of my post: Manliness and looking at other men.

I look at other guys for two reasons: to say "Whew, glad I don't look like that," or "Man, I wish I looked like that."

Movie star examples: I have always admired Tom Selleck's looks, becuase I just have to think the chicks dig him. Strong but funny, chin-dimples-hair-physique, charming.

I think that if I woke up looking like Willem Dafoe I would scream and find a paper bag to wear on my head.

Like you say, non-sexual. I have a difficult time imagining the intricacies involved with same-sex physicality. I can't get past the boring sameness. Charisma Carpenter, OTOH, her I can imagine intricacies with. [pauses to catch breath, looks around for coworkers]

Still, if I had to remake myself I would definately know what male features I'd choose from the menu. I look at guys -- James Marsters with the flat stomach, arms, cheekbones and jaw, "strong and mysterious and sort of compact but well- muscled" -- I "hate" them for my own fatter, flabbier, weaker self-image problems, but I know why the chicks dig him.

I'm taller, though. :)

[> Re: Some questions from abroad -- Cactus Watcher, 13:38:49 05/20/02 Mon

I wouldn't necesarily agree that women always know what guys are going to think looks great in a woman, after all guys tend to disagree about it among themselves.

Have to admit that never once in my life have I ever said to myself "God, he's gorgeous!" about anybody. Do I have opinions about how guys look? Sure. But, it's not as if I'd judge them personally on that basis. Young men are generally shallow enough that that cannot be said about their opinion of young women. Sorry, just one of the sad facts of life. And men do usually learn better as they get older.

But, men have a rather different set of standards for themselves than women do for men. Would I like to look like a young Tom Selleck or a young Sean Connery? Sure. But, James Marster's? No offense, but I see a great actor, with a hollow chest and a bony face. Interesting guy sure, but great looking? Better as some girl about that! When I was fairly young there was a famous athlete named Joe Namath here in the US. Women thought he was gorgeous. I thought he was on the homely side. Now that he's a lot older I think most men and women would agree the guy is down-right ugly. I think men tend to separate looks and personality into separate categories more than women do. Then you mix in the difficult-to-define quality of charisma and everybody is all fouled up, both men and women.

[> [> Speaking as a young man of 22... -- VampRiley, 19:33:31 05/20/02 Mon

...I can only agree with part of that.

Men do go out, and after a while of rejections and relationships that you know aren't gonna work from the get go, many young guys just want to "sow their wild oats". Sometimes priorities change and they just want to satisfy their urges without getting emotionally hurt or sometimes they get pressured by their peers.

When it comes to any kind of relationship, whether it's men/women, men/men, women/women, business or personal, there are two areas -- the mental and the physical. And the physical is the most readily available. Both men and women can look at someone and think if they are attracted to them. That's a given. But there a lot of men, who aren't shallow, who look at someone, for the most part, mentally, while a lot of woman, who are shallow, who can look at a man, for the most part, physically. Many men protect themselves from getting emotionally hurt by hiding behind a macho, "all-I- want-is-sex-and-I-don't-want-to-get-involved-emotionally- with-anyone.-Just-want-cheap,-meaningless-sex" attitude. They fool themselves into thinking that this is healthy. That there is safety in it. And there is safety. But it's the safety of loneliness and despair with no real emotional connection to make them feel alive. The safety that only disgustingly cheap and meaningless sex can provide. They don't want to take the chance of getting hurt. Only they don't realize that getting hurt is a necessary risk if you want to find someone to be happy with. The only way to avoid pain is to close yourself off emotionally from the rest of the world for the rest of your life.

But while I can't speak for other guys, I've looked at women and thought of whether or not I'd sleep with them or looked at certain parts of their anatomy. There's nothing wrong with appreciating the human body. But I don't stand there like some sort of freak oogling and salivating at the mouth as a woman walks by. Or give them horny leers that would disgust them and make them want to puke up stuff they swallowed when they were five. My appreciating is usually left to just movements of my eyes as I walk by, that is, I do that when I'm not already with a woman. What can I say? I'm just an old soul. But I just can't really think much about who they are mentally unless I know something about them or have some sort of conversation. And I can't stop and talk to everyone of them.

As for men, I see them. Don't really think much about it. But I'm secure enough with myself, and who and what I am, that I can say it and not worry what others might think, kinda like how Clem is. Some guys grow up insecure, like most people. Now, while they may find nothing wrong with someone who is gay, they are worried about those that do discriminate against those that are gay and they don't want rumors to spread that they are gay. They find life is tough as it is and they don't want to have to defend what they are. Many people will believe a rumor to be true no matter how much you try to convince them otherwise. There are some people who do judge others by their sexual orientation. No matter how far we have come as a culture and a nation, there are still some that do believe this, either from their our misinformed life experiences or how they were raised. This isn't a justification. It's, unfortunately, just how some men view it.


[> [> [> and as a young woman of 22... -- celticross, 21:24:22 05/20/02 Mon

There are a lot of women who make themselves physically available for the same reasons men do, and for others. They think it's what men want, and many times have so little self- respect that they feel they have nothing else to offer. It's a sad thing that many young women feel there's nothing special about them, so the only way into a secure relationship is to be sexually available, then badger the guy into marriage. I personally find this method of finding a partner rather ridiculous, but maybe I'm an old soul, too.

And thanks for not drooling in a completely obvious way, VR. :) It makes a girl feel good to know she's attractive, but leering just makes a guy look pathetic.

[> [> [> [> Thanks, all of you. Some very interesting answers! -- Marie, 02:32:13 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Glad to help. Information is contagious -- VampRiley, 10:03:50 05/21/02 Tue

[> Judging the appearance of the same sex -- RichardX1, 08:38:29 05/21/02 Tue

Now, I can look at Charisma Carpenter (pre-latest hairdo, I have to say!) and think "God, she's just gorgeous!", in a very admiring, non-sexual way, as I know many of my female friends do about other females. And I was watching 'Sleepy Hollow' at the weekend, and thinking "God, he's just gorgeous!" about Johnny Depp (pause for a sigh). So do men think that about other men, at all? Straight men, I mean. Do you look at James Marsters and admire his cheekbones? I asked a colleague that today, and he was horrified, though he did admit to looking at men's physiques, "in a very manly way", he hastened to add. I just couldn't understand why he was so appalled at the question, so I thought I'd put it to you.

Basically, I go by the criteria of "Would I be at least as comfortable with my appearance if I looked like [whomever] as I am with my real appearance?" And from that perspective I can say, yes, James Marsters is certainly handsome enough that I wouldn't mind looking like him.

Soliloquy -- JM, 12:12:56 05/20/02 Mon

Sorry, guys. I've been off the boards for a while now. And haven't done a very good job of keeping up with you all's posts. (Half of April is lost to me until the archives go up.) Hopefully I don't ruffle any feathers or rehash subjects that are closed. It'll all be moot by tonight I'm sure. Good to be back finally.

Okay, the wedding, the reception, the honeymoon, and all the ensuing madness is finally done. So too the post-honeymoon glow where I tried to express my ineffable adoration by cleaning, brushing my cat, and trying to get on top of the thank you notes. I finally snapped and took a four-hour lunch break in order to go home and watched all my horded up “Angel” and “Buffy” eps. Now I’m all catched up and sufficiently ‘Netted up to be feeling the trapped bird of self-expression beating wildly in my breast. So onward Christian essayists.

One sad admission I must make is that hoarded volume and absence from the boards actually enhanced my viewing enjoyment. For once this season I have been able to revel in the vacuum of received opinions and entertain none but my own, allow not but my own enjoyment. For almost the first time, I could truly sit and savor the work. Approve and treasure clipped Cordy’s wisdom and compassion, marvel at her angelic gifts. Cherish Groo’s insupportable innocence. Appreciate Angel’s intensity and attempts at decency. Adore how intimately Gunn and Fred know one another, he her perfect day, she his true nobility. (Never takes her more than two guesses.) And, because this is me we’re talking about, marvel in the inscrutable marvel that is Wesley.

Reel in shock at his final first speech and then relish the perfection of it. I, like just about everyone else, assumed these long weeks, near months, that Wesley would be the picture of desperation for forgiveness. We remember his arrival in LA, his natural penchant for groveling, his recent devastation at the end of “Billy,” that tiny flinch of despair when he learned “it was all for nothing.” The writers, without ever once making it explicit, have built on that expectation of the audience. And then proceed to casually smash it an instant, without letting us for a moment doubt the terrible sincerity or inevitability of it.

I’m mostly back out here again because of the need to form a response. The human desire to strike back in defense of our loved ones is too strong to be denied. And when I say loved ones I mostly mean Wes, and AI, and the writers, and ME, and especially Joss and Greenwalt, and those critics with the understanding to appreciate the brilliance of the season, and . . . well, maybe the list is getting a little long.

(Let me preface the rest with an assurance that I have always found this board the exact contrary of the pockets of fandom that drove me to this unsolicited defense. All debate is adult, informed, mature, and open minded. Perhaps I would simply be best off never wandering farther.) I understand that the world of fan enthusiasm is filled with strong emotions, quick fingers, greatly differing tastes, and conflicting personal moral codes. On a certain level I appreciate the diversity and utter freedom that the petrie dish of the ‘Net provides for the cultivation of all expression, even that of dubious sensibility. However, some recently consumed opinions have sparked in me a serious appetite for a thorough Apology. Unfortunately I only have material and drive for a little one.

There are a couple of strong, and I personally suspect, hasty opinions that have inspired me to muse about what I have indeed perversely liked about the last quarter of the season. One is the blame game. Some boards have been consumed by shrill advocates clamoring for Wesley’s blood, usually opposed by lopsided defenses that waver between hagiography and blinkered insistence in laying the blame entirely on the doorstep of the remaining team AI. Any reduction to such simplicities is an insult and an injury to the delicate and complex gift we have been given by the writers: a situation where every action is built on the noblest ideals of loyalty, heroism, and familial piety, but simultaneously tainted by humanity’s darker emotions and a mortal’s limited perspective. It is not who is to blame, it is who will be destroyed?

Another strain that peeves is the attribution of Wes’s vicious little speech to playing the martyr and seeking pity. I doubt not that there is a more than a little self- pity, though I suspect touched with self-mocking irony. I doubt gravely that he sees himself as any form of martyr. And I know he would disdain their pity. What he wants is a tendril of loyalty, a shadow of trust. But what he demands above all is any indication of love. That the burning love he felt for every member of his team, the motivator to do the terrible desperate, lonely thing he did, was ever returned at all by any of them. And this he is now convinced never was. It truly was all for nothing.

I also doubt not for a moment that the self-hatred he expressed to Justine for the unforgivable action he was about to take still burns as brightly as ever. He knows who and what he is. He admitted as much to Lilah. That probably feeds his despair more abundantly than the ultimately futility of the false prophecy. Unfortunately hatred of self is no bar to hatred of others. In the darkness and silence and solitude, he looked deep into himself and found a bitterness that is serving to bear him up in his pain as successfully as hope kept him alive that night. Only time will tell what part of the gentle Wes we once knew will be irrevocably consumed.

And finally the last accusation that rankles me with unfairness: inconsistent characterization. On one level an entirely irrational response is provoked, inspired entirely by the proprietary. These are ME’s characters, not our own, no matter how deep our attachment. Anything they have them do is therefore automatically a part of their character. However that is really no defense at all.

I still think the charge is entirely unfounded. I’ve stated before that I think the focus on “Angel” is drawn a step or two back from what it is on “Buffy,” where we are entirely in the emotions of the moment, nearly inside the skin of the characters. On “Angel,” even in the most intense of emotional scenes we are still relegated to the realm of the observer, aware of the larger implications of the characters’ actions, the wider canvass against which they are being played out. On “Angel” our heroes’, and villains,’ inner selves remain much more hidden to us. We know that at anytime we are catching only a glimpse of who they are. I really won’t allow one technique as superior to the other, simply recognize them as distinctive approaches.

I personally find nothing “out of character” in the characters’ most recent behavior. There have long been hints in each and every one of them that they are a mix of noble and base impulses, intertwined to craft the complex people that they are.

Yes, Wes has often been a portrait of gentle nobility, loyalty, devotion, and chivalry. There have also been more than a few hints of a nasty, petty side to him as well. As much as he fought to deny those emotions when it came to Gunn and Fred, the selfish resentment slipped out at least a few times. And although it was mutual, Cordy and he were absolutely vicious to each other for quite awhile. There has on several occasions been a hint of cattiness to his interactions with the Host. For that matter his treatment of Giles when Wes first arrived in Sunnydale was largely unprovoked. It’s just that now that he has lost everyone, the petty emotions that lurked below have been entirely unleashed and developed to a rather toxic base.

And more than a few mentions were made last year about the fact that Wes’s sometimes incompetence was a response to fears of other’s perceptions. He now believes that he can sink no lower in his friend’s perceptions. And he is rapidly convincing himself that there is no one’s whose opinions he any longer cares about. Is it any wonder that the bumbling self he once self-consciously was has been replaced by a chilling cool? Despair has granted him a freedom he has never known.

Is it out of character for Angel to seek oblivion of pain through work? Well, for one thing it’s understandable. This is a loss that can never be compensated for. And we were given hints early this season when he attempted to deal with Buffy’s death. He has arrived at a formula for what to do when you lose a loved one irrevocably, an experience he has had more than once. And on some level he must have recognized the reality that he would likely outlive Connor eventually. It just happened far sooner than he expected.

Cordy. She will never again be the shallow, self- referential queen of snark. Deal. It is impossible that feeling the pain of so many others she would remain untouched. There is at least one philosopher who believes that true wisdom can only be achieved by those who are dying. Cordy herself faced the greater portion of this season with a secret death sentence over her head. On top of that, how many moments before death has she experienced thanks to her visions? Her perspective is largely due to this experience that we as normal humans can only imagine. And we have been granted whispers of the old Cordy. Her blasé attitude toward Holtz’ death. Her off the cuff “assi.” Her relationship with Groo, which reminds one of what she once sought with exchange student Sven.

Gunn, in his relationship with Wesley. Gunn was quite respectful of Angel before he went off the deep end. And then quite brutal afterwards. It is unsurprising that he is even angrier at the perceived betrayal of one he trusted far more. Some one he actually acknowledged as his superior. Something “The Shroud of Rahmon,” indicates he never actually did with Angel. And he identifies with Angel’s loss in a way, through the vehicle of Alonna. Although she was only his sister, he felt the same sense of responsibility. However it is notable that despite this, he, with Fred, hunted for Wes. Even after he was convinced Wes did really kidnap the child, for whatever reasons, he was desperate to preserve his life. And that was out of pure friendship, not whether or not Wes deserved to live.

Fred. Well, It was a bit shocking that it was she who leveled the devastating blow at Wes. (One that I suspect hurt him far more than Angel’s attack.) But we’ve been given frequent reminders, like in “Billy,” that there’s a harder core to her than the face she usually chooses to present. One that I think has been coming out more since Cordy’s absence. Although she never expressed a romantic interest in Wes, and seemed almost, though not entirely, unaware of his in her, she does seem to take their friendship quite seriously. We’ve seen them working quite closely with the research. And her knowledge of the diaries (holdovers from the Watcher’s journals) indicates a greater awareness of his habits than the others expressed. Neither can I forget her desperation to find and exonerate him and the ferociousness of her attack on Justine. She may not have been in love with him, but she seems to have loved him all the same. “Wes wouldn’t have left . . . . Not without telling me.” But he did. And although she remains his most tireless advocate, she seems to be taking this as a very personal betrayal of their friendship.

So all, in all, I have been enjoying the denouement of what was so carefully and subtly set up before. And I, for one, am very interested in tonight’s semi-final installment.

[> Wow -- SingedCat, 13:46:34 05/20/02 Mon

That was one of the most beautifully written and well- thought out commentaries on recent developments I've seen yet (though to be fair I don't read the *whole* board...;))
And it was great to read such a terrific commentary from somebody who has had a free mind to approach the subject. (Not to mention someone so sympathetic to Wes and non- judgemental to the rest of the crowd!) I too, await with happy anticipation what will happen next. But I have expressed my reasons elsewhere why I continue to hold out for Wes. In brief, he has always followed his own conscioience, pissing off the Scoobie Gang and the Watcher's Council in the past. Each time has resulted in rejection by the group, and each rejection has led not to Angel's response of guilty brooding, but a very different response of personal growth from devastating circumstances. He might be destroyed, but I've seen him alone before-- I'll wait and see what happens.

[> Double Wow... -- Scroll, 14:43:47 05/20/02 Mon

You're on the money for practically everything. Even Cordy, whom I admit I've had little patience for ever since her demonisation, you've managed to exonorate beautifully. She really has grown up. You're right in that every character has acted *in* character this season, even though most of us were surprised at Wes' hostile reaction to Gunn showing up at his place in "The Price". It really makes perfect sense in hindsight, and I can't wait to see the new Wesley that will emerge from the rubble of this disaster. Maybe he'll go back to being a rogue demon hunter, with the black leather pants and kick-ass motorcycle we all adore. I know, or at least strongly suspect, that ME will reconcile Wes with the rest of Angel Investigations, but I want the group to really *work* for a renewal of trust and friendship. I don't want it to be easy for any of them. And I really want Cordy and Wes to have a real fight and then make up (we haven't seen the two of them together since before Cordy went on vacation!)

[> mazel tov, jm...& oh yeah: wow -- anom, 20:48:41 05/20/02 Mon

[> Great analysis -- lulable, 20:51:13 05/20/02 Mon

Really nice, you've done a wonderful job at stepping back and looking at the big picture.

I particularly agree with your comments on the "out-of- character" debates. I think the fact that we may be surprised or even shocked by a particular character's actions speaks to the depth of these characters and the risks that the writers are willing to take. After all, in real life, people are not predictable, especially in times of stress.

I love how Wesley's character commands so much interest and discussion. It's remarkable that someone who gets a relatively small fraction of screen time can invoke such response. I suspect the writers have given AD such a juicy part because they know he's really capable of carrying it off.

Last of all thanks for making an "Angel" related post. I'm trying to help keep such posts active by posting a reply - I notice they tend to fall of the board quickly due to slow reply rates.

[> And for a change of pace: Whoa. -- yuri, 00:41:52 05/21/02 Tue

So beautiful.. I also agree with nearly everything, but the only thing that I feel able to comment on at this late hour is your mention of watching episodes untainted by the net, and how this enhanced your enjoyment. This has been something I've wrestled with for many months, because I don't like the fact that when I watch an episode from the first time I'm thinking "Oh, so-and-so would say this" or "Ooh, I should remember this point so I can write it down," or "That totally supports so-and-so's parallel to [fill in the blank]." I love being on this board and reading all these amazing ideas and contributing to them myself, but there's no doubt in my mind that in doing so I have distanced myself from the more intense emotions I once felt as I watched BtVS and AtS. There's no answer or anything to this non-question, I just felt I needed to get it out.

[> [> Re: And for a change of pace: Whoa. -- JM, 04:18:18 05/21/02 Tue

Thanks so much all of you. Got to catch a flight, but I'll be back in a couple of days. Still weighing the season finale. There's a lot of wow to go round on this board. Yuri, caught myself doing that last night too.

What happens when series end? -- A.C.S., 12:38:29 05/20/02 Mon

I've heard talk that there's going to be only one more season of Buffy. Things aren't looking so good for Angel, either. Anyway, even if cancellation doesn't happen now, we know it's probably going to happen within the next few years. So what happens to ATPOBTVS? Does analysis/discussion continue? What will be the focus?

[> Maybe we'll all finally go get lives -- vampire hunter D, 13:02:47 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> Never! We all know we'll just be watching the reruns over and over again... -- Rob, 14:10:37 05/20/02 Mon

...just like we do now. ;o)


[> [> [> We can hop into our protective Buffy bubble. They'll never get us out. :o) -- JCC, 14:14:23 05/20/02 Mon

[> They'll be movies and perhaps that dratted Dawn spinoff -- Dochawk, 14:39:38 05/20/02 Mon

And Angel is guarenteed through year 5 remember, so at least two more years of Angel. And I had hope of an 8th year, until an interview this weekend with SMG said she was tired of the tv grind and she needed a break.

[> [> I'll take whatever Jossco (tm) can muster -- pr10n, 16:02:17 05/20/02 Mon

Don't forget there's the animated series, and Fray in comic book form (for the nonce).

And interminable YA books for the blossoming Biffs and Buffys in our Jr. High schools.

And lunch boxes.

[> And whatever happened to the Animated Series? I think that's still in the works as well -- Goji3, 16:48:41 05/20/02 Mon

[> We stop taking our medications so we can be Normal Again. -- Sophist, 16:57:54 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> good one =) -- shul, 18:18:27 05/20/02 Mon

[> I find a real job with something else to do all day? -- dream of the consortium, 07:06:24 05/21/02 Tue

S.J. Gould dead at age 60 -- matching mole, 13:00:17 05/20/02 Mon

Just came across this on Yahoo while avoiding work. Gould was diagnosed with cancer years ago which I understood to be in remission but I guess not unless it was a second and unrelated malignancy. Happily he lived long enough to see the culmination of his life's work published.

[> That is so sad. Thank you for letting us know. -- Sophist, 13:44:55 05/20/02 Mon

I guess the recent publication of his last 2 books had a strong motivation. I'll miss him.

[> Yes, thank you, matching mole. What a loss for the world. -- Ixchel, 15:08:43 05/20/02 Mon

[> Re: S.J. Gould dead at age 60 -- Copper, 18:41:02 05/20/02 Mon

Yes, it is sad. I didn't agree with him on some important issues related to human evolution, but he was a major figure in the field and will be missed.

[> Going to take a while to sink in... -- Darby, 21:57:34 05/20/02 Mon

No wonder no one was really editing him these last couple of years! But at his best, few could spin such interesting stories about tricky subjects.

"Classic" CJL: Spike and the Whedonverse - - cjl, 13:17:40 05/20/02 Mon

[For the intolerable stretch between Monday afternoon and showtime.]

Ladies and gentlemen of the ATP first post. Three months ago, I stopped lurking on the BC&S board and started putting my money where my mouth is. (I never transferred this over to ATP, because I didn't KNOW about ATP.) Looking back on it now, I think it has a charming simplicity, compared to some of my later, more obsessively detailed posts. I've also changed my mind about some things. (But we'll deal with that in the postscript.)

And now, let's take the Wayback Machine to early February...

I’ve been following the debate about our favorite bleached blonde vamp for a while now, watching with a mixture of amusement, fascination and amazement as the flaming posts fly back and forth across cyberspace. "His love for Buffy has completely changed him," say the Redemptionistas, "and he’s evolved past the whole demonic bloodsucker phase." "He’s got the chip in his head," say the Condemnistas, "and once it’s out, Spike goes back to his regular diet--Happy Meals on Legs." Point: "He was SO going to bite that girl in the alley!" Counterpoint: "He spent five minutes working himself up into a frenzy and he STILL wouldn’t have bit that girl!" Down to basics: "He’s a hero!" "Hero?! He’s a soulless monster!"

("He’s a floor wax!" "He’s a dessert topping!")

First of all, before I stick my head in the hellpit that is "R" vs. "C" warfare, I want to say that I agree with a lot of points on both sides of the debate, and I like the sheer passion of the debate (even if it gets out of hand every once in a while). Joss always says he wants BtVS to provoke strong feelings, to get people involved on a visceral level, because he’s writing about the joys and traumas--the rites of passage--common to everyone. (That’s why I’m here too.) But maybe we all can achieve a bit more clarity if we step back and explore some of the terms we’re using in the debate and examine where all the characters--including Spike--fit into the big picture of the Whedonverse.

IN THE BEGINNING, there was Joss. And Joss looked down upon his blank computer screen and conjured the forces behind the conflict in his realm. Many people have noted that even though BtVS uses the standard Christian vampire paraphernalia (crosses, holy water, etc.), the Whedonverse isn’t strictly a Christian conception; there is little doubt, however, that Joss created a dualistic universe. On one side, you have the Powers That Be, and all their various agents; on the other side, you have The Old Ones and all their minions. The conflict between these forces has been going on since the beginning of time, and it’ll rage on centuries after Buffy has died. (If we’re accepting "Fray" as canon, that is.)

It’s tempting to call the Powers That Be the good guys and the Old Ones eeeeeeeeeeevil, but that’s too easy, and maybe a bit too much of a simplification. I prefer to think of them as two forces with opposing viewpoints on how the universe should be run. The Powers That Be are big fans of Order, the preservation of life, rationalism and Free Will. The Old Ones and those who followed their way on Earth are Agents of Chaos, entropy (hint), and Primal Instinct.

[Yeah, I know, the Master was a charming rogue, and for an agent of Chaos, he seemed to be a stickler for tradition, founding the Order of Aurelius and all. Still, even though he had a sneaking respect for human civilization, in "The Wish," we found out his idea of the zenith of human culture was the abattoir. ("Excuse me, did you say ‘knives’?" "Rotating knives, yes.")]

Neither side has been able to win the battle for a very good reason: if there wasn’t a balance between Chaos and Order, the Universe couldn’t function. (Respecting the balance of nature is a major tenet of Wicca, and yes, this does relate to the treatment of witchcraft on BtVS and Willow’s current problems with same. [I eventually covered this topic in my second major post, "The Trouble with Willow."])

Humanity is obviously the major instrument of the Powers That Be in the Whedonverse. Human beings have souls (Joss’ famous "moral compass"), and when they’re in proper working order, people have built wonderful civilizations, and dedicated themselves to improving the quality of life for everyone. In order to give humanity room to grow, the Powers somehow managed to chase the Old Ones off the planet. But things are never easy in a Joss Whedon universe; the last demon out forgot to turn off the lights, and bit a passing human instead. Presto--the first vampire.

So the conflict continues. In order to battle the new enemy, The Powers have called upon Slayers, Champions (welcome, Cordy!), Seers, and Mystics, all dedicated to protecting the human race from the vampires and half-breed demons who feed upon and ravage the populace. And in their hiding place in a demon dimension shimmering just beneath the Hellmouth, the Old Ones are waiting for their progeny to wipe out the human pestilence and welcome them back to Earth.

Within this Yin and Yang dynamic, there are naturally going to be gray areas, exceptions to the rule. (Wouldn’t be an interesting cosmos without them.) You have demons who are relatively harmless (like Merl and Clem), vampires who have no interest in killing humans (the "vampwhores" in BtVS season 5) and demons who work directly for the Powers themselves (Whistler and Doyle). On the other side of the equation, just because you have a soul doesn’t mean you can’t work against the grand design of the Powers That Be. You have humans who, blessed with that nifty moral compass, nevertheless commit acts of violence and sadism that would make a vampire blush. (Hello, Warren.)

Of course, the biggest exception to the rule, the vamp who broke the mold, is Angel. The Powers and our Lord Joss have spent a great deal of time and effort guiding his path up from Chaos, prepping him for his pivotal and unique role in the upcoming End of Days we’ve been waiting for since BtVS season 1.

So where does that leave our boy Spike? (Well, I had to get to it sooner or later.) At this point, Spike is almost the definition of that freakin’ gray area, and it’s almost impossible to tell which way he’s going to go. IMHO, Joss and ME have three options:

1) He gets the chip out, and—hiding his three-alleyway- victim-a-day habit from Buffy--he goes back to snacking on the populace. [Verdict: lame, and a waste of two years of slow, steady character development and brilliant performances by James Marsters.]

2) He gets the chip out, and--transformed by his love for Buffy--he reforms completely and starts on his path to true redemption. [Verdict: always possible, but I don’t think Joss is going to go there. Over the course of both series, Joss and ME have hammered us over the head with Angel’s uniqueness, and sending Spike down the same path has a "been there, done that" sort of quality. In Tabula Rasa, when "Randy" declared himself a vampire with a soul, destined to fight his own kind for the cause of righteousness, "Joan" frowned and commented, "How lame is that?" No, Spike’s destiny is going to be very different from Angel’s….

3) With or without the chip, Spike will pretty much stay as he is: trapped between two worlds. And for Spike (and Buffy), it’s gonna suck (in a "they’ll be miserable" kind of way).

NOW we’re talking. This is Joss "King of Pain" Whedon, after all, and we’ve got the set-up for a classic, tragic love story. Let’s face it: even though he’s made a tremendous amount of progress, and has sacrificed almost all of his old ways for the love of Buffy, Spike is still a vampire. He just doesn’t have the moral compass humans do, and that’s always going to get in the way of happiness with Buffy. Over the past three weeks, we’ve seen him joke about eating decorators and maybe taking a bite out of Buffy’s blind date; when Buffy confronted him about dumping Katrina’s body in the river, Spike was simply incapable of understanding what he did wrong. Please note: I’m not saying Spike did the wrong thing in that last situation. Hell, if I were in Spike’s shoes, I would have dumped the body myself. (I would have done a better job of it….) But that’s not the point. Spike is a vampire, an agent of the Old Ones, and he sees the universe in an entirely different way than Buffy does.

Marti Noxon supposedly said Season Six and the Buffy/Spike pairing is about the kind of relationship you fall into in your twenties—great sex, but complete personal incompatibility. If that quote is accurate, I think she’s reducing the B/S story line to its most banal aspect. I think of Buffy/Spike as Heathcliff and Catherine, Tristan and Isolde, or Romeo and Juliet—except instead of belonging to rival families, Buffy and Spike are on opposite sides of a battle to control reality itself. You can see them working like crazy trying to create a middle ground--but to do it, they’ll practically have to flip the cosmos over on its side. (The crypt door scene in "Dead Things" is perfectly emblematic of their relationship.)

Spike has spent most of Season Six telling Buffy she’s a creature of darkness, and she can make a new life with him behind the crypt door. But Spike himself knows all too well that Buffy’s real strength is her love for her friends and family, and removing those people from her life would remove the aspect of her personality he loves and respects the most. I can see Season 7 as the mirror image of Season 6: Spike has given up on luring Buffy to the dark side; they get back on the steady footing of friendship they had by the end of Season 5; and now, emotionally stronger and more confident about her feelings, Buffy tries to bring Spike into the light. But it’s not going to work. Spike is what he is; Buffy is what she is. And if the literary precedents hold, it’s simply not going to end well. It’ll be heartbreaking, folks; I predict even the most rabid B/S hater is going to watch that final episode and sniffle, "Damn...they really did love each other. That poor SOB."


As I said in the preface, I've changed my mind about Spike's eventual fate. I no longer believe Spike will die the tragic, anti-hero's death. The way the plotline is running, the way they've set things up for season 7 and beyond, it seems to me that Spike has a special destiny, unique yet separate from Angel's--unchipped, unsouled, unredeemed, but turning away from the lure of chaos.

Spike has always been different from his brethren. From the beginning, despite his bloodlust and destructive power, he possessed a unique appreciation for beauty denied to other vampires. His caring for Drusilla and his appreciation of the simple pleasures of the world in Season 2 indicated a savoring of life and the fruits of order--feelings supposedly impossible for a demon. In season 4, the chip helped curtail his bloodlust; in season 5, his love of Buffy opened up a new appreciation of humanity. Now, Spike is poised to take the Great Leap: he will learn to see the beauty, not only in Buffy, but in all of creation.

He will help Buffy and Dawn (his other half and his surrogate child) fight the final battle, and he'll leave to find his own destiny. No apologies, no redemption, no touch of the divine. Yes, it technically violates the "soul canon," and for that reason alone, Joss might not do it. But that's the Spike I want to see at the end:

The ultimate existentialist hero.

[> Welcome among us, the Humanitas cjl ;) (very good post) -- Ete, 15:26:50 05/20/02 Mon

[> This plotline seems the most interesting/satisfying to me as well. -- Traveler, 15:38:57 05/20/02 Mon

[> Pull up a chair, have some tea and stay awhile... - - Liq, 20:58:58 05/20/02 Mon

[> Thanks, I've been enjoying your posts -- verdantheart, 06:44:38 05/21/02 Tue

[> Great post! -- redcat, 09:44:18 05/21/02 Tue

"Now, Spike is poised to take the Great technically violates the "soul canon," and for that reason alone, Joss might not do it."

OR, for that reason alone, Joss might just DO it. I get the feeling he's a bit irascible even on his good days.

And just wanted to say that I really enjoy your posts, here and elsewhere. I like the way your mind thinks through things.

I think because the character of Spike was not originally intended as a full member of the journey-party, he allows the shadow-self of the creative artist who lives in Joss's inner mind to come out and play, to go where neither Joss's intention or his grand design for the story's internal structure would suggest a major character should go. Such freedom can be dangerous. Luckily, Joss's instincts are very, very good and he pays close attention to them, so mostly, the character has been quite interesting to watch as he develops. Like you, earlier in the season, I would have supported the idea that Spike would either die the sterotypically tragic anti-hero's death, or commit sacrifical suicide, probably to save Dawn and possibly without B ever knowing. But now, I'm not so sure. I do not think that we have even begun to see the extent of Spike's "test" at the nadir of his journey; nor do I think we are likely to witness his apotheosis anytime soon. His, like Joss's own shadow-self's, is a long and tortured journey. At least I hope so...

Thanks again for the great posts!

Forgiveness (spoilers, long, sorry ) -- Kitt, 15:25:53 05/20/02 Mon

With the season finales of AtS and BtVS tonight and tomorrow, I guess I can’t put this off any longer. For several weeks, there’s been a lot of back and forth on the boards about how what character A (Holtz, Spike, Angel, Willow, Wesley) has done that is “unforgivable”, and been musing on the ‘softer side’, if you will. Now, I’m not nearly as adept at this sort of thing as some, and had hoped that someone with more eloquence and a higher TTMQ would take up the topic, but seeing as that hasn’t happened, bear with me and here goes:

First off, I want to point out that while all of us are nattering on about how horrible these acts are, how UNforgiveable they are, our discussions are in every sense of the word, irrelevant. On one level, they’re irrelevant because it’s just a show, and none of this has really happened. My preferred level of irrelevancy is the one that applies not only to us, but to Xander, Giles, and the rest of the gang when it comes to ‘the scene’ in SR and weather or not Buffy should forgive Spike for the attack. Spike didn’t attack us; we are not the ones threatened, our bodies were not nearly violated. If Buffy finds it in her heart to forgive him, that is HER choice (ok, actually it’s Joss’s, ya’ll know what I mean). For anyone else to try and make that decision for her would be offensive: she’s 21, in her right mind, and entitled to make her own decisions about life as well as live with the consequences. We may not approve; her choices may not be those we would make; we may even think they are foolish; none of that changes the fact that they are HER choices, and it’s her life. Unless you’re going to take the paternalistic “I know what’s best” stance, you can only try and convince her of your opinion, and when she’s made her decision, you can only either accept it and move on or reject it, and by implication, Buffy. My mother still tries to make decisions for me, and when I’m in Orlando she still treats me like I’m 12; that’s why I live in Alabama. I don’t like other people trying to make my decisions for me, and I doubt Buffy wants that now either. I KNOW Angel doesn’t want someone else to decide weather he’ll forgive Wes, or Holtz forgive Angel, or… it goes on and on. These are decisions that can ONLY be made by the individuals directly involved.

Which kind of segways into my next point; forgiveness isn’t just about the person who did wrong. It’s also about the person who was wronged. Giles was right: (edited for length and emphasis)

Giles: Well, he's obviously reliving the night of the Sadie Hawkins Dance when he killed Ms. Newman. It-it's-it's common enough for a spirit to do this, to... recreate a, a tragedy... He's, he's trying to... resolve whatever issues are keeping him in limbo. W-w-what exactly those are, I'm not...

Buffy: (interrupts) He wants forgiveness.

Giles: Yes. I imagine he does. But when James possesses people, they act out exactly what happened that night. So he's experiencing a form of purgatory instead. I mean, he's, he's doomed to, to kill his Ms. Newman over and over and over again, and... forgiveness is impossible.

Buffy: Good. He doesn't deserve it.

Giles: To forgive is an act of compassion, Buffy. It's, it's not done because people deserve it. It's done because they need it.

Not only that – in forgiving someone, we also allow ourselves to heal from the wounds we have suffered. If we do not forgive someone else, how can we ever get past our own pain? We can lock it up, ignore it, try to make it go away, but until we can find it in our hearts to forgive, the hurt remains. Not only is James trapped in the purgatory of guilt he has made for himself; so is Grace. When she died, she never had the chance to forgive him for shooting her, and in the endless loop she and James played out over the years, no one ever survived the shooting so that she had the chance to forgive – until Angelus:

Buffy looks over into a mirror, and James looks back at her. Her eyes are full of tears as she looks at him. He looks down at the gun in his hand. The camera pans down from Buffy's face to the gun in her hand. She raises it slowly, but a hand takes it and pushes it back down. She turns and finds herself face to face with Angelus.

Buffy: Grace!

Angelus: Don't do this.

Buffy: But-but I killed you.

Angelus: It was an accident. It wasn't your fault.

Buffy: Oh, it *is* my fault. How could I...

Angelus: Shhh. I'm the one who should be sorry, James. You thought I stopped loving you. But I never did. I loved you with my last breath.

Buffy lets out a few sobs.

Angelus: Shhh... No more tears.

Cut to 1955. Grace and James kiss. Cut to 1998. Angelus and Buffy kiss. They hold each other tightly as they continue kissing for a long time. Above them in the ceiling a bright light appears, and the **spirits of Grace and James** leave this world for the next.

In her forgiveness lies the release for BOTH their tortured souls. Giles willingness to forgive James is irrelevant. Grace’s innocence does not save her. It is her capacity and willingness to forgive the young man she had fallen in love with that at long last saves them both.

{Thanks to Psyche’s transcripts for the quotes… and ya’ll might want to go and read the last 2 acts of that episode [season 2, ‘I Only Have Eyes for You’]; remind you of another couple that’s broken up recently?}

[> Re: Forgiveness (spoilers, long, sorry ) -- clg0107, 15:40:33 05/20/02 Mon

Hiya, Kitt! Thanks for the, thoughts.

Fox actually just showed IOHEFY only 2-3 weeks ago (the first time I've seen it), and I was struck by the parallels, and the serdendipitous timing of it's airing.

Your points about the characters' individual prerogatives to forgive or not are well made. However, you do point out that it behooves them as individuals to find it within themselves to do so, so that everyone can heal and move on. Buffy learned this first hand in IOHEFY. She doesn't always remember it, but it is a lesson that she learned.

But then, since the theme of the season has been about growing up, I believe that the writers will bring them all, in one way or another, to a place where they have the maturity and grace to forgive. After all, the season has been about all of them doing things which warrant forgiving. From a creative perspective, there's a reason that they are all in such circumstances. They may not all respond to them the same way or on the same timeframe, but sooner or later, I suspect they all will find their way to forgiving those who have hurt them.


[> Re: Forgiveness (spoilers, long, sorry ) -- lulabel, 18:08:14 05/20/02 Mon

Very eloquent and convincing. I generally agree with your point that the question of forgiveness belongs only to the wrondoer and the wronged. However, I do think that those who love and care about the concerned parties do have a little say in the matter - after all, you hurt me when you hurt the ones I love.

And of course, it is completely irrelevant what all of us (the audience) thinks. However, that's not going to stop any of us from expounding at length! (I mean, where would be the fun in that?)

[> [> A short spec I did on Willow & forgiveness in S7 (contains implied spoiler for finale) -- belle, 21:13:33 05/20/02 Mon

How is Willow to be forgiven? She's crossed a huge line with the torture/murder of Warren, and from the looks of the promo, goes on to do quite a lot more before she's through. So, what's in store for her character?

On the one hand, she likely won't be the BB anymore (first of all, the finale looks like a climax that'd be pretty hard to follow for a whole season). On the other...she shouldn't, and probably won't, get out of jail free. (DF said as much in an interview). So, then, what? Obviously not literal jail. So I'm thinking two things.

First, social punishment: Willow's frozen out of the SG. Will they ever trust her to help them again? Will Buffy even speak to her? And Dawn? I think Dawn could have some fairly harsh things to say to Willow, if anything. Being cast out doesn't seem like much compared with skinning someone alive, but for someone as fundamentally insecure as Willow, it would be her worst nightmare come true (literally: see Restless).

Second: mystical karma retribution for magical crime.

In the BTVS world, the simplest way to accomplish would be a good old fashioned hauntin'.

I *don't* think she should bring Warren (or anyone) back to life. But what if his ghost became an unwelcome visitor to her? The visuals alone could be highly upsetting (not to mention ruin a few meals). And the conversations could be juicy:

(WILLOW, looking drained and sad, re-enters her single dorm or apartment. Flicks on a light and there he is, making himself at home on the couch or ceiling).

WARREN: Rough day?

WILLOW: Get out. (Attempting to summon up a faint memory of magics past) Begone.

A feeble flicker of green energy licks out in GHOST-WARREN's general direction and dissipates. The only result is that WILLOW is hit with a wave of faintness and nausea. WARREN clucks sympathetically.

WARREN: Losing sucks, doesn't it? Especially when you think about everything you had? It's enough to make you sick.

(WILLOW turns and sees that WARREN's become SKINLESS again, and this time does disappear out of screen, retching. When she comes back up, he's back to normal again).

WARREN: But hey. I'm sure they'll like you again. I mean, you *said* you were *sorry*, right? What's an attempted apocalypse between friends?

WILLOW: You have no idea what sorry means.

WARREN: Oh, right, I forgot. Nobody can possibly feel your pain. I sure can't, anyway. You showed me that. I'm a heartless murderer--

WILLOW (Overlap) That's right.

WARREN: Plus now, there's the whole dead thing.

WILLOW: (Pained, now) There isn't enough sorry in the universe to begin to cover what I-- I know this. And if I have to spend the rest of my life trying to make up to the people I love--loved--love-then I will. But, you? I'm not sorry. You were a selfish, worthless waste of life and now you're a selfish, worthless waste of ectoplasm. Now go back to hell where you belong.

(WARREN shrugs and smiles)

WARREN: See you later...

And finally:

Tara. Possibly a benevolent spirit guide, as many have speculated; but given the Buffyverse, more likely another plain old ghost, I'm thinking. For maximum angst, she could be lost--able to communicate with Willow but literally unable to recognize her (which would be a nice metaphor for Willow's character change).

Maybe her (partial) redemption could be finding some way to provide closure for both spirits--without magic or (much) help from her friends.

[> [> [> Gonna be hard for Buffy to shut her out ... -- Earl Allison, 03:30:13 05/21/02 Tue

Social ostracization is an interesting idea, but ultimately a BAD one.

After all, splitting up and not TALKING is what made Season Six the mess it was -- to repeat that error, by punishment or accident, would only recreate the problem.

And if the Scoobies DO shun Willow, they become (some of them) massive hypocrites.

Buffy bailed on the team, hurt them more than once, during "When She Was Bad," by abandoning them at the close of Season Two (how much guilt would there have been had one of the Scoobies DIED trying to carry on while she ran away?), by becoming self-absorbed in most of Season Four, and even by spending more time with Faith than her other friends in mid-Season Three.

I don't mean to drag Buffy down to make Willow look good (especially given my stance on people doing it to others to make Spike look good), but the social punishment idea, while a good one in concept, just would fall flat given what has gone before -- and been forgiven.

Take it and run.

Angel season finale -- Ronia, 19:08:27 05/20/02 Mon

A round of applause. I admit I have been dissappointed with Angel for the most part, but tonight...has changed all that. Only a few minutes ago I watched a finale that had me internaly shouting NO and YES at the same time. Can't go into depth now, the wounds are too fresh, too much to absorb, wish I could have taped it. So is CC signed on for next season, or was this her goodbye? Any thoughts, comments? In terms of revenge it was perfection. Did they all forget that Connor/Stephen is DARLA's son too? How could they with those eyes staring out at them. Everything about him tonight WAS Darla. He should have told him what he promised Darla he would. Bravo to the cast, and especially to the newcommer. May he and "Angel" have a long, long time to sort things out. Years even.

[> Re: Angel season finale -- Ronia...Forgot to write SPOILER, 19:10:08 05/20/02 Mon

[> Disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- Rahael, 20:31:12 05/20/02 Mon

Wesley/Lilah scenes - Magnificent!!! loved it.

Connor - incredibly devious, cunning and Dumasian. Liked it.

Angel - poor old Angel. Love called him to a cliff top and he got thrown off it into the depths of the Ocean while Cordelia gets to ascend to the heavens.

Cordelia - talk about OOC. She loves Angel but knows it's right that she leaves?? after everything that's happened with Connor? Darla? Buffy? Why is that so right? What kind of message is AtS putting out? That love is a mere nothing compared to ascending to another plane? Isn't it love which should raise us? In this finale, we had love imprisoning a father in an iron box, love killing a man to frame someone else, love leading to treachery. And Cordelia, in a space of one show sends Groo on his way, realises she loves Angel, and then decides that her destiny is more important. The old Cordelia would have told Skip to take a running jump of a cliff.

[> [> Is it just me? (Spoilers) -- VampRiley, 20:50:38 05/20/02 Mon

Or does Groo seem to be growing eyebrows the longer he's in earth's dimension?

What's Dumasian?


[> [> [> Dumasian -- Dochawk, 23:29:33 05/20/02 Mon

Alexander Dumas wrote the greatest vengeance novel of all time, The Count of Monte Cristo. In the book, Edmund Dantes is framed for a murder and escapes from prison becoming fantastically wealthy. The rest of the book is Dantes, acting as the Count of Monte Cristo, bringing about vengeance upon the people who framed him.

[> [> [> [> Thanks. -- VR, 06:28:19 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- alcibiades, 20:50:54 05/20/02 Mon

Rahael wrote:

"Cordelia - talk about OOC. She loves Angel but knows it's right that she leaves?? after everything that's happened with Connor? Darla? Buffy? Why is that so right? What kind of message is AtS putting out? That love is a mere nothing compared to ascending to another plane?"

Since they are being so Platonic, technically it is the good which inspires love of doing good. Eros to do more good is acquired while doing good.

But I don't think Cordy has been so good lately. Her eros seems entirely directed at Angel and not so much at doing good.

Rahael again:

"Isn't it love which should raise us? In this finale, we had love imprisoning a father in an iron box, love killing a man to frame someone else, love leading to treachery. And Cordelia, in a space of one show sends Groo on his way, realises she loves Angel, and then decides that her destiny is more important. The old Cordelia would have told Skip to take a running jump of a cliff."

I think that is going to end up being the point. Cordelia has become totally self-involved so that either her ascension involves ceasing to care for the people she loves -- which is pretty horrific fate for a human with a capacity to love, or it means that she will continue to care for them and won't be able to do anything about it.

It is actually perfect punishment for what she did to Wesley -- here Wesley is completely desperate for contact, for help, for anything, even to be yelled at by friends who care about him and she is too self-involved with Angel to do anything for him.

By way of punishment now Angel, the one being she cares for, desperately needs her help and she won't be able to intervene for him.

It's extrememly chiastic and very mean-minded of Joss and co.

Point two which is also chiastic. Cordy kept on barging in on Connor-Angel bonding time -- first last week to rescue Justine and then this week, so she could have a romantic rendezvous with Angel which she finally realized what she was feeling -- uh it waited this long, couldn't she give Angel and son a night together without bargining into their space? And her barging in sets up the perfect opportunity for Connor to exercise his plan.

So now, when Cordelia really needs to intervene between Angel and Connor, she won't be able to.

So I think either Cordy failed the test and should have chosen Angel and to stay on this plane, or she'll flunk out of higher demon school once she gets there and the shock of what is going on below sets in.

Given how she has acted lately, arrival of Skip or not, there is extreme hubris in doing what she did.

And BTW, does anyone think Skip might have an agenda?

[> [> [> I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- Rahael, 20:54:58 05/20/02 Mon

Yes, Skip did look rather sly, didn't he?

Hope you're right.

[> [> [> [> Re: I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- cjl, 21:13:39 05/20/02 Mon

I tend to agree.

One of two things happened with Cordelia's departure:

1) Charisma is leaving the show for whatever reason, and they decided to give her a BIG sendoff. Frankly, I don't believe this for a minute; but then again, this is Hollywood, and stars have left their meal ticket before. (See: David Caruso, McLean Stevenson, David Duchovny.) If Charisma really is leaving, we have witnessed the ascension of St. Cordelia, and in my opinion, the annihilation of her character in heavenly light.

2) The more likely option: after a couple of hundred years (in extra-dimensional time) fighting battles for the Powers that Be, Cordelia is tossed back to Earth (shades of Buffy's resurrection), because her soul simply was not ready to live on the higher planes of existence. However, Cordelia will pay a price for her return to Earth: the demonic force inside her will eventually be corrupted by the mortal plane, screwing up her potential relationship with Angel and maybe bringing on Dark!Cordy. (And no, I don't mean the Cordy from BtVS season 1.)

Speaking of the big guy--geez, lousy summer vacation for Angel: an ocean cruise without the "cruise" part. Want to bet Wesley, employed by W&H, will haul the box out and save his undead butt? (The big question is: which version of Angel will come out of the box? Three months down there is a long time for a starving vampire, and sanity is very often the first thing to go...)

[> [> [> [> [> Re: I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- alcibiades, 21:39:39 05/20/02 Mon

"Speaking of the big guy--geez, lousy summer vacation for Angel: an ocean cruise without the "cruise" part. Want to bet Wesley, employed by W&H, will haul the box out and save his undead butt?"

Yeah I was thinking exactly the same thing!!!

I'm pitying evil!Justine already once Connor realizes she killed his father and totally played him about Angel. Boy will he be pissed.

And I bet Angel is going to have to get Connor not to take revenge on Justine. Heh. Which will karmically be his repayment for Wesley saving his butt.

And yeah, Cordelia's ascension is a lot like buffy's leap/fall into light. I wonder if she gets tossed out, demands to leave or gets "descended" by someone on earth messing about with bad magics.

About Connor -- I can tell why I'd be afraid of him -- but I still don't get why the glow-in-the-dark white slugs from Quortoth were afraid of him. Unless he thought of them as lunch.

I love the kid, he's great -- but JM does a much better evil look -- it's less bug eyed.

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- mucifer, 05:42:04 05/21/02 Tue

I dont think Connor is supposed to be evil, just mislead. Not to mention an over top angry teenager who doesnt understand his dad and gives him hell.

[> [> [> Re: I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- Simone, 21:46:30 05/20/02 Mon

I hope you're right too because, taken at face value, this is too lame for words.

[> [> [> I COMPLETELY agree. -- yuri, 23:03:52 05/20/02 Mon

Throughout her entire "should I, shouldn't I" scene Cordy's face and vibe kept growing more and more self satisfied, and I hardly think this is the attitude with which one can ascentd to a "higher plane." Finally, when she makes her decision and gets all floaty (which I hated, by the way, and can only hope that that was the intended reaction) I kept waiting, all the way up to that final sploosh bam of light, for the earth to rumble or something and for Skip (or perhaps some big rumbly voice) to say that whoops, she actually failed the final test.

I think that there are two possibilities, both involving her failure:

1. To "ascend" one must indeed transcend love for the general good. Cordelia failed because, as alcibiades says "Her eros seems entirely directed at Angel and not so much at doing good," and it was just sort of wistful and self rightous of her to think that she was this vessel of pure good, doing good for the good of it, etc. Someone said a while ago that when she accepted the offer to become a demon, when she weathered the visions, it could have all been seen as doing so for Angel, or at least in order for Cordelia to feel good about herself.

2. It is not necessary to "transcend love" in order to ascend, and indeed Cordelia failed because she denied her love, her reason for good. She acted like she was more than she was.. Pride, the perfect Cordeliaesque sin, which could warrant her fall from grace...

but then... do we often see pride punished? I am asking genuinely here, I am not good with remembering backstory, unfortunately, but generally it seems to me that we've seen Cordelia's pride and bluntnesss and self-confidence as virtues. Hmmm.

Okay, I'm not gonna proof read or anything so sorry for typpeoos. This is basically a reiteration of your ideas, alcibiades, so thanks for those.

[> [> [> [> Re: I COMPLETELY agree. -- Traveler, 00:12:17 05/21/02 Tue

"it seems to me that we've seen Cordelia's pride and bluntnesss and self-confidence as virtues. Hmmm."

Yeah, it rather does seem that Cordy can do no wrong. Also, she has been acting like a martyr for a while now. I'll be glad to see that stop, either because she fails the test or because she becomes all transcendental and goes away.

[> [> [> Re: I wasn't disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- shadowkat, 06:15:29 05/21/02 Tue

Oh I like your analysis and you just about saved that
whole scene of Cordy's ascension for me. What if it was
just a trick? After all Skip is a demon? Maybe she didn't really ascend after all?

I completely agree with your assessment of Cordelia.

"Given how she has acted lately, arrival of Skip or not, there is extreme hubris in doing what she did."

Since the very beginning of the show - Cordy's greatest
sin has been hubris. She's always been the princess who believes she deserves the world on a silver platter. She should have been the super-hero. She should be head cheerleader. She should be the star. Everyone should love her. Vanity and hubris. Silly me - I watched it literally, forgetting that you shouldn't watch anything ME does literally. You need to hunt the ironic metaphor.
This scene by the way reminded me a lot of Riley and Sam
ascending into the helicopter at the end of As You Were,
so I spent most of last night railing at ME for rewarding undeserving, hubric (is that word?) characters, who get everything handed to them - ie. the
jock and the cheerleader, while punishing poor geeky characters who work so dang hard, like Xander and Willow
and Weseley and Fred. What happened to their empowerment
and outsider themes?? But if I look at it as ironic
and not literal...then well, hmmmm.

Thanks - now I may rewatch an episode I didn't like the first round with new eyes.

One more thing - was anyone else disappointed that they didn't give us more of Lilah and Wes? I mean we get tons
of Riley/Buffy in Where Wild Things ARe and Angel/Cody in Sleep Tight and Fred/Gunn (none of which have a shred of
on-screen chemistry) but very little of the Lilah/Wes
who explode? Just Lilah getting out of his bed? Where's the kiss? Someone needs to give ME a lesson on how to
take advantage of on-screen chemistry and what to do when your actors don't have it. It's important in
a visual medium!!! (But maybe that's just me...;-) )

[> [> [> [> "hubric (is that word?)" -- no, but you're close, it's "hubristic" -- the vice-president of the I Love Dictionaries Club, 10:06:46 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Wesley and Lilah (the same spoilers as the rest of this thread) -- RichardX1, 15:07:58 05/21/02 Tue

but very little of the Lilah/Wes
who explode? Just Lilah getting out of his bed? Where's the kiss? Someone needs to give ME a lesson on how to
take advantage of on-screen chemistry and what to do when your actors don't have it. It's important in
a visual medium!!! (But maybe that's just me...;-) )

I think that was the point. There may be a connection between Wesley and Lilah, but it isn't anything romantic. I wouldn't be surprised if the entire... coupling took place with very little that barely resembled romantic passion and had more to do with animal instinct. Neither even had it in them to even sarcastically ask, "Was it good for you?"

I probably failed to get my point across, but I said it how I knew best.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Wesley and Lilah (the same spoilers as the rest of this thread) -- West, 15:39:58 05/21/02 Tue

I'm with you, Kat! I absolutely love the exchanges between Wes and Lilah, and I'd love to see it go farther. It's seemed to be that Lilah has been being distanced from W&H lately and towards AI, or more specifically, the grey area between. With AI suddenly down to two people... Dare I dream that Wes and Lilah will come in to fill the vaccuum? After all, Angel is gone so there's no one to keep Wesley gone, really. Granted, it would likely mean a much more somber turn, but from the looks of things that's pretty inevitable for next season.

[> [> completely agree! (spoilers for season finale) -- Solitude1056, 20:54:43 05/20/02 Mon

It sure sounded like Cordy was telling Skip to take a hike. Then cut to a different scene (keeping in mind that Skip's last words in previous scene were something to the effect of "running out of time" or "little time left") - and then we cut back & she's going with the offer. Uh. Waitagoshdarnminnitrightthere, folks. What was the whole freakin' point, then, of having her go-demony so she could continue to get the visions and continue to help the helpless, etc, etc? We go through all that, with almost two seasons of building, and now the PTB say, gee, you've grown up so fast, time to graduate already? I just don't get where the story is going on that one, since it just seems, at some fundamental level, illogical in terms of these supposed PTBs functionality. Or perhaps they're like american democracy - at regular intervals someone new is in charge with a completely different idea of how to fix welfare and health care? Sheesh.

Groo leaving, though. *sniffle* I really did like him. And Lorne leaving? That was out of the blue, although I wasn't surprised that he wouldn't want to be around given that the prodigal son has a thing for demon hating. I didn't see the Wesley/Lilah bit coming, err, so to speak - but boy, Wes sure has turned into a bit of a bastard. Yikes. And it did seem that he managed to outdo even Lilah, to the point where I think she was either hurt that he really could care less, or hurt that he'd managed to one-up her. I'm putting my money on the latter.

Guess now we've proof that AtS doesn't follow Joss' system - of assuming each season could be the last, and therefore to wrap things up... cause this is about as unwrapped as I'd think it could possibly get. To hell with being spoiler-free - quick, someone tell me what happens this fall! puhhhhhllllleeeeese, eddie, tell me now! ;-)

[> [> [> Don't forget! (spoilers for season finale) -- alcibiades, 21:02:44 05/20/02 Mon

Don't forget. Angel screwed up Skip's mission earlier this year. Now maybe Skip is screwing up Angel's mission for his own reasons.

[> [> [> Cliff-hangers (SPOILERS for Tomorrow) -- Robert, 23:02:22 05/20/02 Mon

>> "Guess now we've proof that AtS doesn't follow Joss' system - of assuming each season could be the last, and therefore to wrap things up... cause this is about as unwrapped as I'd think it could possibly get."

I've never before seen such a compelling cliff-hanger. Regarding "Joss' system", I believe that Mr. Whedon received ample notification that AtS would be renewed next season. Given that, he need not assume that season 3 was the last, thus freeing him to give us this fantastic cliff-hanger. Normally he would not know until after production ended for the season whether the show would be renewed or not.

As I see it, we have 3 major unresolved story lines,

1. The fate of angelic Cordelia.

2. The fate of Angel in his submarine sarcophagus.

3. The fate of Wesley and taste of forbidden companionship.

and 2 minor story lines.

4. The fate of Lorne in his new Las Vegas gig.

5. The fate of Conner/Stephen as he tries to find a life after vengeance.

Some might include the story line of Gunn and Fred's courtship. However, I don't think there is any cliff-hanger element here, except what they are going to do with Angel Investigations, now that everyone else is gone or missing.

[> [> [> [> Re: Cliff-hangers (SPOILERS for Tomorrow) -- West, 04:45:51 05/21/02 Tue

It seems like you're all making the assumption that these are situations that need to be resolved. The two major fates of the episode, Cordy and Angel, were both set up to be 'final'. Cordy ascends, and thus goes to a higher plane forever. Angel is trapped for eternity with the knowledge of his betrayal and lost love, the ultimate tragedy (with love being his hubris). These both seem like VERY final notes to leave a season on, if you ask me. I think AtS was sticking very close to Joss' usual style, though I'm pretty thankful next season will be back anyways.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Cliff-hangers (SPOILERS for Tomorrow) -- Robert, 07:23:30 05/21/02 Tue

>> "These both seem like VERY final notes to leave a season on, if you ask me."

They can be final notes only if the series ends here. We know that The WB has renewed the show for season 4. Just as I knew that Buffy would return for season 6 of BtVS, I know that Angel will return at some point for season 4 of AtS. I do agree that the finale may be the last time we see Cordelia. If so, I will be sad, for she was my favorite character is AtS.

>> "It seems like you're all making the assumption that these are situations that need to be resolved."

Well, I don't know if you can make that assumption, as I never actually said as much. Some story lines beg for resolution more than others. It may be that we never see or hear from Lorne or Cordelia again. However, if Angel is gone from the show, then I don't think we have a show.

Regarding Angel's fate at the ocean bottom, you have got to love Conner! He sure knows how to wreak vengeance. For me the scene of Angel slowly sinking into darkness was particularly poignant as I had just viewed the movie "AI" on Sunday.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: Cliff-hangers (SPOILERS for Tomorrow) -- Rattletrap, 09:13:10 05/21/02 Tue

Hmmmm, interesting point West. For almost any other writers, what happened on Angel last night would constitute a cliffhanger, but I could almost see Whedon and Greenwalt deciding to permanently end a series with something exactly that annoying and depressing.

[> [> Re: Disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- celticross, 21:13:25 05/20/02 Mon

Why should it be a surprise, Rah? Love's never gotten anyone anything in the Jossverse.

[> [> Re: Disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- OnM, 22:53:14 05/20/02 Mon

I agree 100%. (OK, 98% -- Leave some space to move when I find out I'm wrong. ;-)

I personally dislike these kind of extreme cliffhanger endings, when it's months to go until things get resolved. Last years Buffy was technically a cliffhanger, but yet Joss left things so that you could also feel that there was an 'ending'. No such luck here.

*** The old Cordelia would have told Skip to take a running jump off a cliff. ***

I think that the 'ascension' is going to turn out to be a lesson or test of some kind for Cordy-- I agree that it's very out of character for her. I think that the writers intended a comparison with Angel making the 'right' decision in telling Conner not to blame himself (because Angel is right, he will eventually find out about Holtz's and Justine's treachery, and then he will feel guilty.

Cordy, on the other hand, made the 'wrong' decision. ME has twisted the visual allegory so that the being who chose correctly 'descends' into the cold and darkness, and the being who choose incorrectly 'ascends' into apparent warmth and light.

Would have liked to see this arc about 5 weeks ago, and then spend the remaining weeks of the season resolving it.

[> [> [> I'll second that (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- Traveler, 23:59:22 05/20/02 Mon

"Would have liked to see this arc about 5 weeks ago, and then spend the remaining weeks of the season resolving it."

Please, anything to replace the first half of the season, which seemed incredibly unfocused and badly done to me.

[> [> [> [> Thirded. -- yuri, 00:19:40 05/21/02 Tue

I don't know if I think the first half was unfocused and badly done, but I do think that the plot twist and the allegories are too, uh, big, or something, to end the season with. They're more major season arc kind of material that require immediate development, IMHO, not long months of pondering. My kind of season finale is one that leaves me emotional, satieted but contemplative. Buffy's have always done that for me. I'm not one for the season finales that make you scream OH MY GOD WHAT'S GOING TO HAPPEn, that leave you itching for the resolution. It's just annoying. It doesn't allow for the good sort of pondering that can happen during a hiatus. Leave the itching to Friends.

[> [> [> Arch structure on Angel... -- Tillow, 06:28:50 05/21/02 Tue

I think Angel operates on a different structural basis than Buffy. It's a little frustrating but it lends itself to more action throughout the year.

Season 2 we had the whole Wolfram and Hart drives Angel crazy culminating in him sleeping with Darla and his epiphany. Then it was almost as if they wiped their hands clean of it and started over with Pylea. But then this year we saw the eventual culmination of the Darla storyline mid season with her sacrifice and ultimate death. (And Pylea reenters with Groo. )

Darla dies. In comes Connor. I think it is safe to say what we just ended with won't clear up until Feb sweeps season 4. And perhaps we will see the Pylea arch come back into play around that time with Wolfram and Hart. Perhaps they will pull in those priests to really go after Connor.

I like the multi-tiered structure on Angel. It's refreshing. I equally like the long, slow build on Buffy but... it has put me through the wringer a bit. It's good that the two shows go their own way.

[> [> [> Gumbling, sighing, contemplating (angel finale spoilers) -- fresne, 14:03:17 05/21/02 Tue

Well, that was an "in-ter-est-ing" finale.

I agree, I'd have preferred this much earlier in the season. Given these points time to develop. Not because I dislike cliff-hangers. When Picard went Locutus of Borg, I was on the edge of my seat. When Joe was shot on Highlander? Who shot J.R? Who shot Mr. Burns? Okay, actually I hate them. But in a can't wait, must know, on the edge of my seat sort of way. My mind hums with possibilities.

I had problems here because they left me with perhaps not the intended reaction. I think I my housemate's succinct reaction summed it best, "Well, that sucked. How can I possibly watch Angel next year?" Much was our commiseration on that point. Heck, a friend of my called to say she knew that I must be fuming. We complained some more. Nothing quite like bashing a show that you wanted to like and heck were enjoying the build up on. I feel like Angel was playing Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and stopped in mid play.

However, I won't go there since I'm not really interested in starting/finishing/middling a it was the best thing since the invention of love, it was the worst thing since the genesis of uni-cellualar green (not brown, not multi- cellular) slime, no it was better than Cats, no it was worse than An Ode to Spot…debate.

Although, it did make me realize that I've been more traumatized by Star Trek than I knew. As soon as Skip started talking about Cordelia the Higher Life form I went nooooooooo, not Cordelia/Wesley STNG-ship. Ahem, anyway.

What's nice is that, well, in a does logging onto the internet enrich or sully a watching experience, I've got to say, if it weren't for this board, I don't know if Wesley (the broody damaged one, not the higher life form one) love would be enough. So, yeah, Cordelia made the wrong choice based on hubris. I can dig it. I have to dig it. I'm desperate to dig it.

Because that was a visually stunning end note. Now that I'm a little distant from my immediate (stop pushing my fiction squick buttons) emotions, that final image of Cordelia disappearing into white, while Angel sank, not into black, but into murk, was just incredible. Angel confined to a box. Cordelia spreading out across the infinity of sky. The sheer loneliness of Fred and Gunn in that huge hotel. The over head shot of a couch centered on the sigil on the floor. Connor/Stephen, wild lost boy, sailing away into the wine dark spread of night with the woman who killed one father and framed the other.

Angel/Holtz/?. Darla/Justine/Cordelia. What an interesting set of parents. So, Cordelia went into air. Angel into water. Holtz to fire. Darla dust to dust earth. Yep, Connor- Stephen the boy with two names, has an interesting future ahead of him. As Wesley noted, he contains an infinity of possibilities.

And to end on a clothing note gripe/praise, seriously, Cordelia is going to tell a man that she loves him, see beautiful moonlit beach, in a somewhat shapeless flowy angel white dress that doesn't accentuate her chest, waist, hips, legs, hair, anything - not I think her first choice in wardrobe. Maybe not high heels, but give the girl some pride. Take a tip from Lorne, who as always, looked simply fabulous and is hereby awarded my personal Fred Astaire award for being stylin'.

[> [> [> [> Excellent (and amusing) post, fresne. I agree. -- Ixchel, 16:49:53 05/21/02 Tue

I too believe this is some sort of test for Cordelia. A test that appeals to her vanity and insecurity. To be told you're so important and worthy must be a heady thing. Especially since a great deal of her self-worth is based on the visions. I really wonder about the PtB, as I get a definite vibe of everyone (Angel, Cordelia) just being pawns on the chess board to them.

Wonderful description of the ending. Yes, poor Gunn and Fred. They reminded me a little of the SG at the end of S2 BtVS.

I'm with you on the dress too. Maybe it was a practical costuming decision (to mask the harness, or whatever, used for the "ascending" scene)? And, yes, Lorne looked great as always.


[> [> [> [> With you all the way -- matching mole, 07:11:29 05/22/02 Wed

You've summed up my feelings about the Angel finale very well, including the TNG flashbacks.

And re the genesis of unicellular green slime - do you consider having oxygen in the atmosphere a bad thing? You must really dislike rust.

[> [> Re: Disappointed (Spoilers, Angel finale) -- KKC, 04:31:17 05/21/02 Tue

Rahael writes:
"Cordelia - talk about OOC. She loves Angel but knows it's right that she leaves?? after everything that's happened
with Connor? Darla? Buffy? Why is that so right? What kind of message is AtS putting out? That love is a mere
nothing compared to ascending to another plane? Isn't it love which should raise us?"

One of the questions that Christians raise about the afterlife is whether or not they will be united with loved ones or a spouse after death. One of the less satisfying theories on this point is that in heaven, each soul's love for the holy spirit is so overwhelming and consuming that it supersedes any other love expressed in the mortal world.

Is it possible that part of Cordelia's feelings for Angel also include a desire to honor his mission? Cordelia loves the man, but respects and honors what he fights for. If the mission is just and everything the PTB's have indicated is true, then the BEST way Cordelia can express her love is to continue the fight where she is needed, even if it means they have to be apart.

Huh. Almost sounds like I was describing Buffy, not Cordelia. :)


[> [> Bemused -- matching mole, 05:27:06 05/21/02 Tue

I don't know if I have anything new to offer. Taken at face value Cordelia's ascension strikes me as the worst plot development in BtVS/AtS history. I have twin biases at work here. One is that I have always hated storylines in which characters become higher beings. The other is my great love for Cordelia the character from day 1 of BtVS right through 'Birthday'. The demonization seems to have resulted in her becoming very boring.

However I have faith that Alcibiades interpretation is at least somewhat correct and that all is not what it seems. I do think that one of the problems is that in the second half of the season everyone else's stories got pushed to the sidelines by Angel's and Wesley's personal sagas.

And Lorne's departure is a sad note as well although he was crimminally underused this season. Perhpas now he can make a couple of interesting guest appearances next year.

[> [> [> Wesley -- MaeveRigan, 06:14:14 05/21/02 Tue

"one of the problems is that in the second half of the season everyone else's stories got pushed to the sidelines by Angel's and Wesley's personal sagas."

And what about Wesley, eh? Even Wesley's personal saga has been "pushed to the sidelines"--partly to effectively dramatize his alienation from the rest of the AI crew, but the minimized presence of Wesley on AtS this season seems somewhat analogous to the disappearance of Giles on BtVS--a vanishing voice of wisdom and a much-needed guide. Only with Wesley, we also see the guide losing his own way.

Maybe it's also because every time Wes appears, AD's intensity galvanizes the screen, but the tragedy of Wesley's plotline is also part of it.

More Wesley, please.

[> [> Further thoughts the day after (spoilers, Angel finale) -- Rahael, 07:42:28 05/21/02 Tue

I have been thinking about Alcibiades' post. Perhaps Cordelia did fail the test. At least I thought she did. I'm still slightly puzzled, and waiting for spoilers to allay my fears.

Angel's last words to Connor were about love. Love and acceptance. He may have been punished, scheduled for a lifetime of being alone in his broodiness, but we see Angel reward vengeance with forgiveness, prejudice with faith and love.

Cordelia on the other hand forgets about love, forgets about the people who, basically, helped make her a better person and goes off to a greater destiny. I'm left a bit cold. Personally, I see nothing wrong with someone's love being focussed on one person. Buffy's love was focussed on Dawn, but it still served as a way for her to encompass the whole world. Angel's love for a single person, rescued him. Is the love of a single person which motivates us to a better life somehow lesser than a disinterested and benign love for mankind? Seems to me that the second follows from the first.

I guess I'm more satisfied with Angel/Conner than with Cordelia. Connor attacks his father, just as Angel attacked his. A chip of the old block indeed.

Mostly, I just don't want Cordelia to float away. Come back!! I watch Angel for you!!

[> Plotholes -- Sophist, 09:56:28 05/21/02 Tue

No one yet has mentioned what were, to me, really annoying plotholes:

1. Cordelia's choice of a meeting place. First of all, nobody living in Los Angeles would choose that location even for a private meeting. A coffeshop maybe. A restaurant. A bar. But Pacific Coast Highway and Kanan Dume road?! That's absurd. It's even more absurd for Cordy, who despite her recent annoying "saintliness" is far too materialistic to choose a spot with no creature comforts.

Also annoying to me (though you wouldn't know this unless you lived in LA), the freeway Cordy was driving on was not PCH. PCH does not have the protective dividers down the middle. If she was on some other freeway, then she was really late, because the meeting place is very far off any other freeway (there actually are such places in LA).

2. How was Connor able to have all the equipment ready for Angel's entombment on such short notice? He had at most an hour or two. There is no marina from which the boat could even get there in the time allowed, assuming he had all the equipment ready to go.

3. Dropping the phone off the cliff? Please.

The scenes with Wesley and Lilah were great. I hope alcibiades is right about the rest; lame would be far too weak a term if not. In any case, I wouldn't worry about Angel. He's had lots of practice brooding by himself. One short summer shouldn't be too much of a challenge.

[> [> Re: Plotholes -- Arethusa, 10:06:18 05/21/02 Tue

1. You're right. If I were Cordy I would have chosen the nearest nice little coffe shop. In a motel.

2. Justine. She had time in between burying Holtz and Conor's arrival at the beach. I think.

3. Angel can't work the phone anyway.

4. Surely Angel isn't going to be under water all summer! And remember what Spike said about vampires who don't eat- walking skeletons. Plus, once he got out he would have a blood-lust so severe that anyone rescuing him would be at grave risk.

[> [> Re: Plotholes -- leslie, 13:18:53 05/21/02 Tue

"Also annoying to me (though you wouldn't know this unless you lived in LA), the freeway Cordy was driving on was not PCH. PCH does not have the protective dividers down the middle. If she was on some other freeway, then she was really late, because the meeting place is very far off any other freeway (there actually are such places in LA)."

Looked to me like the 101 westbound as it goes through Hollywood; given that they all appear to live mostly downtown, she was at least heading in the right direction.

[> [> [> That's what I thought too, but couldn't tell for sure. She was at least 45 minutes late. -- Sophist, 13:45:53 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Plotholes -- alcibiades, 14:32:28 05/21/02 Tue

Sophist wrote:

"Cordelia's choice of a meeting place. First of all, nobody living in Los Angeles would choose that location even for a private meeting. A coffeshop maybe. A restaurant. A bar. But Pacific Coast Highway and Kanan Dume road?!"

A California dwelling friend of mine just pointed out that the point seem to be that they met at Point Dume!

Ridiculous or not as a locale at which to meet, and as you say, I wouldn't know, the name's the thing.

[> [> [> I'm sure that's right. But to Angelenos, that is an old and very stale joke. -- Sophist, 15:11:06 05/21/02 Tue

[> It just did not do it for me -- Spike Lover, 10:35:52 05/21/02 Tue

I thought it was a cliff hanger. But overall, I keep wondering who these new writers are. I will admit that the season finales on Angel have never satisfied me. I hated the Pylea one last year. This one- made even less sense. Angel always peaks (for me) in mid-season. -Last year with the killing of the lawyers (a good start) and this year, with the birth of Conner. You could argue that it is so climatic, that everything else can't compete.

I don't know... Is Charasima leaving the show or not? Or is she suppose to replace the "ptb" that were slaughtered months ago. (Will Angel start bringing her an "offering" of a gucci bag or whatever?)

What does she mean she 'loves' Angel? She had too level a head to love him. THe girl knew about the sex clause, afterall. She knew what had happened with Buffy. (and Angelus). I think the writers should have expounded her thoughts on these things more, explain her rationalization of why this was safe or feasible or a good idea- rather than just have her pick up the phone and call him. What was she planning? To get it on beachside after she had told him?

In that scene w/ Skip, I am glad that Cordy & Skip knew what they were talking about because I didn't. And if she is ascending, perhaps the writers plan to reunite her with Doyle (which I think would be totally cool- but probably not.)

The Wesley/lawyer scene-- Eeewwwwww! Gross!

I continue to wonder why no one went to Wesley to find out what the prophecy said or what exactly motivated him to steal that baby. I don't think his notes gave a clear enough picture. Why do the lawyers want him so badly?

The one thing I really like about Buffy is that the season finales have not cliffhung. They did not tie many ends together at all on this Angel finale. I am largely dissatisfied with this.

I hope Lorne is not really gone.

[> [> Re: It just did not do it for me -- West, 15:55:18 05/21/02 Tue

"Why do the lawyers want him so badly?"

Lilah's stating that she wants him for his genius, but I don't buy it, given the extensive resources for W&H. I'd imagine she wants his connections to AI, which will eventually be renewed, I hope, and she sees this.

[> Cordelia ... -- Earl Allison, 13:28:41 05/21/02 Tue

One major nit -- WHEN did Cordelia have the opportunity to abuse the powers she was "loaded" with? Cordelia could hardly control them, or even determine when they were going to activate (which made her manifestations Deus Ex Machina in the extreme).

Are we to assume something behind the scenes? Cordy only gave Connor a "soul colonic," zapped the slug-creatures, and floated once while having a vision -- at what time did she, or COULD she, manipulate/abuse her power?

This just smacked of poor writing -- and if the writers were to continue with St. Cordelia -- I'm glad she's gone. Maybe Angel and the others will find the pod under her bed, and sarcastic, tell-it-like-it-is Cordelia will return :)

Take it and run.

[> [> Yes! -- West, 15:56:50 05/21/02 Tue

"(which made her manifestations Deus Ex Machina in the extreme)."

Exactly what I was trying to say in my 'What's the Dilly-O with Cordy?' post. DEM was exactly the term I was looking for. Danke. ;)

[> [> [> Speaking of Deux ex machina -- alcibiades, 16:01:31 05/21/02 Tue

But isn't her final manifestation the opposite.

She rises in the rectangle of light precisely so she won't be able to get Angel out of his box.

What's the Latin for demon stuck in a box anyway?

[> [> [> [> Re: Speaking of Deux ex machina -- Earl Allison, 16:07:32 05/21/02 Tue

Her final manifestation is alone -- Angel isn't there, and Cordy didn't even know he was in trouble.

I know this is just my opinion, but both of the other manifestations smacked of poor writing, and was something I was afraid of ever since Cordy gained "demon powers."

Still, back to my question, did Cordy ever consciously control her gifts? I don't think so, and that seems to make Skip's compliment rather flat.

Take it and run.

[> [> Re: Cordelia ... -- Katrina, 18:09:01 05/21/02 Tue

I agree. When Skip started talking about her becoming a Higher Being, I half-expected her to say something bitchy like, "Please, I've always been a Higher Being." I miss the gal who could scare off vampires with just her mouth.

Second Annual 11th Hour Buffy Endgame Speculation ... (*No Spoilers*) -- OnM, 22:26:00 05/20/02 Mon

Friends, Romulans, Buffsters... lend me your fears!

In keeping with tradition (having done this all of exactly once before), I hereby offer you the chance to
participate in this year’s OnM sponsored Buffy endseason speculation/prognostication event!

First prize - Big pat on the back for yourself for being so doggone smart!

Second prize - Gentle pat on the head, and consoling words, such as ‘And you were so close!!

Third prize - Sorry, there isn’t one. Budget’s kinda restricted here, if you haven’t already noticed.

To participate fairly you must not be spoiled to the extent that you actually do know what’s
going to happen. Other than that, just choose from one of the options below, and if you just want to post a
subject line response only, you may use the handy signifying letter that precedes each quality-crafted
contemplation. As I did last year, I’ll place my own personal guess up first, then list some other likely (or not)

Go for it!


A > Willow becomes progressively more and more submerged in dark magicks, and nothing anyone can do to
try to pull her back out of the pit of evil is working. In desperation, Buffy, Xander and Dawn go to Anya and
ask her to grant a ‘wish’. Things get tricky with this, since the granting of the wish is supposed to hinge on
the need for vengeance, and wishing that Willow would return to the way she was before isn’t really
vengeance in the strictest sense. Buffy argues that Halfrek called herself a ‘justice’ demon, and where is the
justice in Normal Willow turning into Darth Willow? She urges Anya to branch out a little. Anya debates this
and eventually agrees, but cautions that changing reality can have unexpected consequences. Buffy thinks very
hard and finally decides on a carefully worded wish, hoping to avoid having things get worse. They wish,
Anya says ‘done’, but nothing happens.

Baffled, Anya tries yet again, but still nothing changes. Xander indicates the power center amulet around
Anya’s neck and asks, “That thing doesn’t need like, recharging or something, does it?” Anya gives him the
evil eye, says no, there is only one possibility-- a vengeance wish has already been cast, and they are all
currently living within it. Only the vengeance demon who cast the spell can undo it, just like with Dawn’s
wish, and until that is done, no other vengeance demon can make a wish within the wish to change it’s

Meanwhile, Spike is on his way back to California from Africa. He has survived the trials, and the chip is
gone. So is his need to avoid the sunlight-- he’s been made human again, as the cave demon has taken ‘poetic
license’ with Spike’s demand to be made ‘what he was before’. (The CD still isn’t too pleased about Spike
allowing himself to lose his Dark Warrior-hood to the Slayer, so he uses a ‘weasel clause’ in the ‘contract’ to
get out of making Spike a fully unencumbered evil creature again.

Surprisingly, Spike isn’t feeling all remorseful about his previous badness since getting a soul back-- in fact,
he’s pretty pissed that he held up his end of the deal and got ‘rewarded’ with ‘weakness and mortality’. Like
Darla before him, being human again carries no real interest- - he wants to be a vampire again. And since he
can’t render ‘payback’ to the CD in his present state, he figures that at least he can get back at the person who
put him in this sorry state. Guess who that might be, and who can’t just kill him now that he’s human.

Willow is almost gone, she’s now trying to kill herself. Anya summons D’Hoffryn to try to find out who has
cast the wish and see if they can be influenced to rescind it. D’Hoffryn is not amused at this, and laments that
the humans are still weakening Anya, even though she is now a demon again (a parallel to Spike and the Cave
Demon, natch). Anya, surprising herself, tells D’Hoffryn off, saying that it hasn’t exactly been a poker table
full of kittens being on the receiving side of someone else’s curse, and she wants to at least know what the
circumstances are behind the wish she is now locked into. “How am I supposed to do my job?”

D’Hoffryn relents, and tells her that the spell is one of Halfrek’s. “I’m not getting in the middle of this”, he
states. “I love all my demons equally.” D’Hoffryn departs. Anya summons Halfrek, who explains that Andrew
was the child who was ‘in pain’, and made a wish for someone to care about him. The vengeance (or ‘justice’
as Halfrek puts it) angle was that nasty homophobia that surrounded Andrew for the last several years of his
life, particularly that of his father, and made him angry and resentful towards the rest of the ‘straight’ world.

( The wish then acted to bring Andrew in ‘closer’ contact with Warren, who while secretly gay, is in serious,
angry denial about it and unfortunately was already half psychotic to boot. His psychosis deepens as Andrew
becomes more and more ‘familiar’ with him, and his already warped perceptions of women rampage out of
control. (This repressive scenario offers a mirror to the healthy, more open relationship of Tara and Willow.
In each case, the relationship was sabotaged by someone who is unwilling to understand their own true
nature, and integrate it into themselves a positive way; thus evil gains a foothold. )

Anya bitterly complains to Halfrek that this is really mighty damn sloppy work on her part, like
f’rinstance where is the justice? Andrew is in jail, Warren has killed several women, and that certainly
isn’t ‘taking back the night’, and now another woman is about to kill herself and maybe half the town along
with her. Halfrek complains that Anya has spent way too much time with humans, and is getting caught up in
all those ‘little petty details they’re so fond of obsessing about.”

“This ends NOW!” declares Anya, and grabs the power center amulet from around Halfrek’s neck while
shoving her roughly to the ground. She goes to smash the amulet, and Halfrek shrieks “STOP! I’ll lift the
spell! Don’t make me one of them! I’m so not cut out for mortality!” Anya allows Halfrek to cancel the spell,
and tells her to leave and never come around this way again. Halfrek departs, overtly pissed but secretly
grateful to still be non-mortal.

Buffy, Xander and Dawn gather again with Anya to make the wish to save Willow and the world. Buffy asks
Anya one last time whether the world she’s going to wish for might end up worse than this one they are living
in now. Is she sure that the new one is going to be a better world? Anya looks very solemn-- she doesn’t
really know for sure, but she looks Buffy in the eye and softly says,

“It has to be”.

Grrr. Arrgh.


B > OK, something like the above that involves a wish to restore things, and Spike getting his chip out.
Willow is saved, but Tara is still dead. Spike is still a vamp. Life goes on.


C > There’s no wish, Buffy eventually convinces Willow to quit the evil bit, and Tara is still dead. Spike gets
his chip out and also gets to be human again. Like in ‘A’, he’s not remorseful, he’s angry. He wants to kill
Buffy, and now that he’s human she can’t kill him. Dawn thinks someone should vamp him again.


D > It is revealed to Willow that she is responsible for Tara’s death, it was the ‘price’ for her
resurrection of Buffy. Willow is shocked out of her downward spiral-- all this time she was blaming
everything and everyone except herself. She wants to commit suicide, but Buffy and Xander won’t let her.
Willow goes to Anya and wants to know if she can cast a vengeance wish upon herself. She wants to be
stripped of all her magical abilities, and be fated to never fall in love with anyone again. Anya refuses. “You’ll
have to live with your mistakes, and maybe learn from them. That’s vengeance enough.” Anya goes to visit
Xander. She stands in front of him and asks him if he still wants to marry her. He doesn’t hesitate this time,
and says yes immediately. Her face morphs into it’s demonic visage. He’s startled for a few seconds then
recovers. “Even if I look like this? Even if I am a demon, and not human? He meets her eyes, and again
without pause answers yes. She sees the sincerity in his look. “All right then. Let’s do it.” They kiss, she
leaves, saying she’ll be back later. The next scene shows her with D’Hoffryn, who is asking her, “Are you
sure, Anyanka? This is what you really want?”

“I’m sure”, replies Anya. She hands the amulet to D’Hoffryn. “It was a very interesting 1100 years. Especially
the last three.” She turns to go.

“I suppose this means you’ll be keeping the wedding gift?” D’Hoffryn calls after her. “You have been feeding
him, haven’t you?”


E > Willow has beaten back all of the Scoobies, and is about to kill herself with one final burst of dark
magical energy when suddenly she finds herself in the midst of a desert tableau. Oh wow, magic
, she thinks, then just as suddenly a spirit coalesces before her. It’s Tara, and she doesn’t look
happy, in fact her visage is so incredibly sad, that Willow falls to her knees on the sand and begins to
spontaneously weep.

“Don’t look at me that way”, Willow sniffles.

“How could you do this, Willow?”, replies the spirit. “I knew the end was near. You should have known it
too. It’s why I came back to your heart and to your bed, to be with you for however long we had. And this is
how you repay me, with this anger and lust for vengeance.”

“But he killed you! He took your light away. He had to pay.”

“He would have. You need only have waited. Trusted in me, trusted in your friends. Now look at what you’ve

“What do I do now?”

“You know the answer already. Go home. Live. Forgive.” The ghostly figure walks over to Willow and
touches her softly on the cheek.

The desert fades and dissolves into a field of blinding whiteness and Willow is back in Sunnydale.


F > Spike gets his chip removed, becomes a badass vamp again, and returns to Sunnydale, where he finds
EvilWillow terrorizing the town. He immediately forgets all about both Dru and Buffy and sets out to win her
heart. Season 7 opens with Willow and Spike having S&M sex in his crypt. She is wearing a fuzzy pink
sweater, a leather harness, and nothing else. He isn’t wearing anything. The camera is positioned so that some
convenient objet d’art blocks our view of the naughty bits. UPN gets very, very nervous.


G > Spike gets his chip removed and becomes human again. Buffy, desperate, and out of other options,
retrieves the chip and has it implanted in Willow, with the settings re-adjusted to prevent the use of magic.
Willow falls in love with Buffy during Season 7.


H > Mulder and Scully appear in the last few moments of Episode 22 and want to know what the job
market’s like in Sunnydale.


I > None of the above. Your theory goes here.



Counting down to 8-0-0...


[> Note: By 'No Spoilers' I mean for Eps 21 & 22. There *are* spoilers for prev. eps. -- OnM, 22:34:55 05/20/02 Mon

[> None of the above...sort of -- Kitt, 22:48:58 05/20/02 Mon

I've already posted what I think is gonna happen to Spike - Spike becomes a 'real boy' and, desperate for help, looking more pathetic than in Pangs, shows up on Giles doorstep begging for help. Yeah, he's gonna have a 'Darla' phase, and Dru will no doubt put in an apperance at some point, but I think that he will come back to Buffy, ... maybe as her new Watcher? In any case his story is gonna be dragged out over the entire season.
I have absolutely no idea what Buff and the rest are going to do with Willow... but that's half the fun!

[> How about ... -- Cactus Watcher, 23:07:07 05/20/02 Mon

J) Rachel decides to move to Sunnydale and raise Emma with Clem. OK, a 'Friends'-'Buffy' crossover is unlikely, but she was pregnant for over a full year. The kid has to be part demon!

Seriously or at least sort of.
I) Tara's death does not close the circle opened by Buffy's resurrection. Innocent blood was on Willow's hands the first time and will be on them again. Either Willow will die or she will 'snap out of it' to regret what she has done, but won't be able to reverse it. Someone, probably Dawn, will react in horror to what has happened and will make an ambigous wish, not out of vengence, but out of desperation for peace. Anya acting as a 'justice demon' rather than a vengence demon will grant the wish as the show ends. The audience will be left wondering what exactly happened over the summer... Spike is 'out of town' for an extra reason; so that the wish will not affect him.

[> [> ' I ' is good. I like ' I '. -- OnM, 23:24:25 05/20/02 Mon

[> LOL, I vote for F :P -- Traveler, 23:46:16 05/20/02 Mon

Spike/Willow sex. Mmmmmhhhh.... juicy.

[> Re: Second Annual 11th Hour Buffy Endgame Speculation ... (*No Spoilers*) -- Malandanza, 00:16:00 05/21/02 Tue

Anya: You can't fight Willow. She has the powers of a god.

Buffy: God. Huh. I guess I'll need to use the hammer.

I don't think Spike will play any part in the finale -- in fact, I think that his one day trip to Africa was last episode so it wouldn't interrupt the finale with irrelevancies. ME needed the Spike/Demon encounter for next season and had to set it up this season.

Anya will be the key in her capacity as a vengeance demon (ME has spent too much time dwelling on the vengeance aspects for it not to play a role).

Willow is uninterested in conflict with the Scoobies and Buffy. She heads to the jail to kill Andrew and Jonathan, blasting her way in. She kills Andrew and is about to kill Jonathan when he pulls one last magical trick -- a glamour spell to look like Tara. Willow is rattled (Human weakness) and flees -- Jonathan escapes through the rubble...

Where he is captured by Buffy (he just can't get a break). He tells her everything he knows and begs for asylum -- she grants it and sends him off to exile in Spike's crypt with Dawn and Clem.

Buffy, Anya and Xander put together a plan to defeat Willow using the resources of the Magic Box (Anya lets them have the supplies -- mostly protective devices -- at 10% over cost, since it's an emergency and for a good cause). From Jonathan's description of Willow they believe that there is enough of their friend left that they can save her, but are reluctant to use Tara to attack Willow.

The attack goes badly. Willow has anticipated their every move. Buffy gets a few good hits in, but Xander, Anya and Buffy are easily defeated while Willow gloats. Xander tries to remind Willow of who she was, but receives pain and derision for his efforts. Willow moves to finish Buffy (beaten but still defiant) when Xander makes a wish. W/X is still around -- all along Willow and Xander (in spite of their other loves) have been in love. Anya realizes everything the moment Xander makes his wish. She is forced to grant it -- Willow's magical powers are torn from her forever. Now impotent, Willow is pummeled by Buffy and collapses, broken physically, mentally and spiritually.

In the aftermath, Willow is committed to an institution (the best money can buy -- nothing's too good for the Rosenberg's little girl). With the realization that Xander always loved Willow, Anya is gone for good. She must remain a vengeance demon as long as Willow is alive or the spell will be reversed. Xander realizes that he always loved Willow and is horrified that his wish left her institutionalized. And Dawn returns from exile with a crush on Jonathan and carrying a basketful of kittens won during poker night. Buffy's ok! She sufffered enough this season.


Dawn has begged to be a part of the Scoobies -- now she gets her chance. The Willow war spills over into life and she finds herself fighting alongside Xander and Anya, trying to save Buffy from Willow. Buffy has been captured, but not killed -- Willow wants Buffy alive to gloat over her triumph. Dawn is instrumental in freeing Buffy and the second time around, with the support of her friends, Buffy beats the hubris right out of Willow. Willow consents to having a spell cast that will prevent her from ever using magic again.

Willow Brings Tara back from the dead (yes, the Zombie Tara theory!) but there are problems. Willow enters the jail to kill Andrew and Jonathan -- kills Andrew and we get an interrogation scene like the ones in Go Fish and Earshot. Willow decides that Jonathan could be useful (a glamour to make Tara look less like a zombie) and keeps him as her slave (with suitable slave costume -- hey, Katrina had to wear the maid's uniform, Jonathan shouldn't mind a Eunuch uniform). Zombie Tara is key in defeating Willow.

[> [> Re: Second Annual 11th Hour Buffy Endgame Speculation ... (*No Spoilers*) -- Rattletrap, 08:56:25 05/21/02 Tue

I humbly throw out my own version of "I" for the board's discussion. Mal has made some good points that have me thinking, so I'm piggybacking this under his(?) subthread.

"I don't think Spike will play any part in the finale -- in fact, I think that his one day trip to Africa was last episode so it wouldn't interrupt the finale with irrelevancies. ME needed the Spike/Demon encounter for next season and had to set it up this season."

I agree. I think we will see a couple of token Spike appearances in each hour for contractual reasons, but not enough to seriously advance that storyline. Given that Angel ended with such a terrible cliffhanger, I'm expecting Buffy to have a slightly neater ending this year, but they wil leave us hanging on a couple of stories, and I think this will be one of them.

"Dawn has begged to be a part of the Scoobies -- now she gets her chance."

I agree here too. I think this will be the other major story point already opened that remains unresolved after the show tonight. ME has gone to great pains in the last few weeks to set Dawn up as a bit more mature and extremely hungry for some action. I see two ways this could possibly play out: (1) Dawn runs off from Clem's care and gets involved in the battle, she ends up saving Buffy's life at a key point as the scoobies go on to triumph, (2) same beginning, but Buffy has to save Dawn's life at some point, Dawn gets in some trouble, but Buffy becomes less reluctant about letting her patrol. Both of these would set up a Dawn the Jr. Vampire Slayer storyline for next season, which I feel almost certain is the direction ME will go. Of these two possibilities, I think the 2nd is more likely.

Willow's dark magic bender will continue. She goes to the jail and kills Andrew, but Buffy intervenes before she can finish off Jonathan. This leads to a climactic Witch vs. Slayer showdown in the 2nd hour. Willow taps darker magics than we've ever seen before, but right as she's about to best Buffy, her power fizzles out, almost killing Willow in the process. S7 opens with Willow in a coma in the hospital. Jonathan vanishes until another token appearance late in S7.

As OnM predicted, Xander gets back together w/ Anya and agrees to love her even if she's a demon. Anya goes to D'Hoffryn and renounces her demonhood. S7 opens with them already married (please . . .) so we don't have to sit through another season of wedding planning.

Tara does not appear in the finale, but shows up as a spirit guide in Willow's coma fantasies during early S7.

I suspect I am wrong on most of this, but I look forward to more discussion.


P. S. Honorable mention to both the Spike+Willow S&M, and X- files crossover ideas--we can dream.

[> You already know my answer, now spoiled I know the end so I have to just sit back and gesture..;) -- Rufus, 00:32:31 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> I guess being 1/8th spoiled is too much for thread -- shadowkat, 05:56:57 05/21/02 Tue

Not as spoiled as Rufus...but since I agree with Rufus.
I will also have to sit back gesture. Realized as I was
writing my response...and reading the above, that
knowing 1/8 of what was going to happen was probably
too much for this thread. ;-)

[> [> Spoiler Trollops at the Pearly Gates -- Cactus Watcher, 06:34:20 05/21/02 Tue

St. Peter - Well, my child, you've led a very sinful life... But, you were a fan of Buffy... I guess I can give you one last chance to redeem yourself. Answer this well and you may enter Paradise: What is the most important thing you learned through living?

Spoiler Trollop - Before I answer, could I just check the 'wildfeed' on this?

[> [> [> OK, now *that's* a hall o' famer! ROFL! -- OnM, 06:49:30 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> Hey! That would be "Study Guides".....I feel a gesture coming on right now...;):):):):) -- Rufus, 16:46:50 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Forgiveness is a wonderful gesture ;o) -- Cactus Watcher, 06:17:56 05/22/02 Wed

And maybe St. Peter liked that answer...

[> [> Bummer! But those are *emphatic* gestures, right? ;- ) -- OnM, 06:44:28 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Mmphf mmhhmu...sigh. I'm with you Ruf. But could be a good game of charades! -- Deeva ;o), 09:11:46 05/21/02 Tue

Too spoiled to respond but not spoiled about how it really ends as for some mysterious, reason I've chosen not to read the wildfeed. Is this what will power feels like? Not sure I'm liking it.

[> I. is for "I don´t have a clue but I´ll try" -- grifter, 02:48:13 05/21/02 Tue

I have to admit that I´m slightly spoiled for individual scenes, but i will not include these her and I have no information on the bigger picture and the details.
Here´s how it could turn out:

I. Willow realizes Tara´s death is part of the prize of Buffy´s resurrection. She has a little talk with Osiris and is told to get Buffy back into her "Grave" to get Tara back. Big fighting ensues, Willow is winning, but in the end realizes she can´t kill Buffy. Something good is still in her and tells her Tara wouldn´t want her to. With her last hope to get Tara back gone, she decides to end her own life. She is talked down by the others and ghost-Tara, who serves as a spirit guide or something in season 7, and, in the end, is brought back by the PTB as a gift to the SG.

Spike gets nothing in Africa. He passes the trials, but the CD just hates his guts and doesn´t remove the chip. He doesn´t tell him though. Spike comes back to SD believing to be his old self. Painful realisation that he has been played follows soon...

[> Shul knows best? -- Shul, 03:55:05 05/21/02 Tue

My visions say that buffy will be defeated, but she will be saved at the last minute when willow is attacked by a hundred thousand empathic bunnies.

[> I like F. Can you bring back Faith too for the BDSM fun of S7 ? -- Etrangere, 05:06:29 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Great minds think alike Ete. I second this. And given the topic, we're looking for a third. -- Sophist, 08:38:01 05/21/02 Tue

[> I like H -- matching mole, 05:51:32 05/21/02 Tue

except that I'd expand it. Cancer Man, having miraculously escaped death once again, shows up to offer Willow some expert advice on vengeance. The ghosts of the Lone Gunmen show up to bolster the depleted ranks of the Scoobies. These examples of what a life long pursuit of either evil or justice can do to you (become an emaciated husk blowing smoke out of your trachea or an impoverished nerd) causes all the Scoobies both dark and not so dark to pack it in and take up surfing. Mulder and Scully start a bizarre offshoot of the Catholic Church which features aliens, porn, and surfing. Scoobies join this church, become brainwashed, and end up in a mental institution thus proving that the asylumverse of Normal Again is the real thing.

[> [> Changing my vote now... ;-) -- OnM, 06:55:09 05/21/02 Tue

The 'S-Files'?? Cue the Beach Boys music...


[> [> Re: Oh please, let this be it! -- dubdub ;o), 16:13:36 05/21/02 Tue

Not since Twin Peaks has there been so intriguing a plot outline! I'm a fan already...

[> K: DarthWillow tears a hole in the fabric of space-time to enter the Star Wars dimension... -- Lonesome Sundown, 06:27:36 05/21/02 Tue

... and promptly becomes a Sith apprentice. Living in the Star Wars dimension is a dream come true for Jonathan and Andrew, who bust out of jail. Anakin and Andrew fall head over heels in love and get married. In episode 3: the miraculous birth of Luke! the vengeance of a bad ass lesbian Sith-Wicca (Sicca? With?) !

[> [> Re: The "miraculous birth of Luke" -- cjl, 08:54:41 05/21/02 Tue

If Andrew and Anakin get married, who gives birth to Luke?

On second thought, don't answer that question.

[> E.... honorable mention to F! -- Tillow, 06:45:45 05/21/02 Tue

[> Here are my half-baked ideas... -- lunarchickk, 07:20:51 05/21/02 Tue

My spec is all based in the musical. As in the last scene of Tara and Giles' "Wish I Could Stay," where Buffy and Willow are face to face as Tara and Giles gaze at them, the climactic battle comes down to Buffy and Willow. It's a draw -- Willow has the sheer power to easily defeat Buffy, but lacks the control. And Buffy manages to bring Willow to a standstill, but she lacks the self-preservation to not get herself killed now that everything's been torn away this year.

And like the end of the musical, the only way to stop this self-destruction is to be interrupted by someone. In OMwF, Spike stops Buffy from incinerating with advice on living. Perhaps he returns, newly human and suddenly understanding what he's done to her. Or perhaps it is the spirit of Tara - - I'm partial to the ending of E, above.

However, all that suggests that there will be actual closure! After watching Angel's season finale last night, I'm pretty convinced that tonight will end in one of two scenes:
a - close up on Anyanka, as she intones, "DONE."
b - mid-shot of Spike, looking all bad-ass, with no explanation, just a leer and a quip along the lines of "I'm back"

*sigh* Because either option will leave us in pain all summer...

However, I do have a scenario I'm rooting for for Season 7:

At the end of this season, the battle between Buffy and Willow, with Xander, rages on. It's a standstill -- no one can get the upper hand for long. So they break off the fight, regroup, continue. All. Summer. Long.

By fall, we tune back in for the season premiere to find Anyanka sitting alone in a bar somewhere, lonely and tired of vengeance, when lo! The spirit of Tara appears. Anya, being a demon, can see her, much to Tara's relief. The battle between Buffy/Xander/Willow is breaking poor Spirit!Tara's heart, and Anya nods. She understands -- she feels the same way. At this point, Clem wanders in with Dawn, and Dawn's magical key-ness helps Tara materialize enough for the four of them to feel a bond.

And so we have Demon!Anya, Ghost!Tara, Clem, and Dawn pick up the war against evil in all its wacky forms, as the B/X/W war continues to rage in the background. Kind of like in The Zeppo. Around November sweeps, who should appear but Spike - - he's been raging helplessly all the way back to Sunnydale after the Cave Demon made him human. Anya thoughtfully asks if he wishes he was a vampire again. Hell no, says Spike. He's just gotten used to being human again, and he's come to confront Buffy. The four anti-scoobies warn him against this with much yelling and gesturing, explaining the never-ending battle the others are waging (while forgetting entirely about their friends). And so, Spike joins our motley little group in fighting for Christmas and puppies and all that.

Finally, at some point our five heroes realize that the B/X/W war (which is still raging) is going to tear the town apart -- and continue until Dawn has grandchildren -- and they plot a way to fight Sunnydale's newest big bad -- the self-involved core scoobies. (dum dum DUM!)


[> wish upon a demon -- skeeve, 08:44:07 05/21/02 Tue

From what I've seen, Willow just does what she wants. The Scoobies lack the combination of intellect and power to stop her. I expect that she would stop at 3, at 4, or at 6 billion, most likely 3. Having killed the trio, Willow comes to a major 'now what?'. She can't stay in Sunnydale. All her friends are afraid of her. She needs to go somewhere people don't know how powerful she is. If she decides to cure Oz, she should find and cure him before her other friends tell him what happened. Does AH have a contract for next year?

Maybe the Scoobie gang is a little brighter than I gave them credit for. One of them makes a wish that undoes the shootings of Buffy and Tara (nyah Osiris). Maybe they even think carefully about who makes the wish and who grants it.
The wish, who should make the wish, and who should grant it are left as exercises for the reader. The Scoobies would probably need the granter to remain a demon.

If they're a lot smarter than they have shown, they might do the Solomon thing and wish might for the wisdom to know what to do.

[> My "I" -- RichardX1, 18:15:30 05/21/02 Tue

I know it's a little late for speculation, but a deus ex machina would never appear before the last 30 minutes (if that early). So...

(I) ME pulls a Pheonix on us and we discover that Willow's been displaced since sometime last season.

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