May 2002 posts

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Roster Changes (SPOILERS to Villains & Tomorrow) -- Robert, 22:40:51 05/20/02 Mon

Boy! Have we seen some changes this year. I will likely need to amend this after "Two to Go" and "Grave" tomorrow evening, but this has been a truly hard year for our beloved characters.

We started season 6 of BtVS with the following roster for the forces of good; Buffy, Dawn, Willow, Tara, Giles, Xander, Anya, and Spike.

We are now down to; Buffy, Dawn, Xander, and Anya.

We started season 3 of AtS with; Angel, Wesley, Cordelia, Fred, Gunn, and Lorne.

We now have; Fred and Gunn.

[> They need to call somebody up from the minors. ;o) -- CW, 23:17:27 05/20/02 Mon

[> [> I suggest they give a call too the Powerpuff Girls -- Shul, 03:51:47 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> Their bedtime would get in the way. -- Deeva, 08:59:44 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> it's not their bedtime I'm worried about.... it's Mojo JoJo. Could Buffy take him? -- Rochefort, 15:10:37 05/21/02 Tue

[> Ummmm, Anya? Vengeance Demon Now -- Hoping, 06:55:18 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Ummmm, Anya? Vengeance Demon Now -- Robert, 07:30:22 05/21/02 Tue

Good point, but I don't see Anya going anywhere soon. Despite the current troubles between Anya and Xander, she still has a life in Sunnydale and a career in the Magic Box. On another note, Anya as a vengeance demon seems to be ruined or corrupted. I don't think she can effectively wreak vengeance when she empathizes with her victims almost as much as her clients. I'm predicting that fairly soon she will be voluntarily giving up her talisman.

[> [> [> A terrible quandary... -- Malandanza, 15:17:06 05/21/02 Tue

"Despite the current troubles between Anya and Xander, she still has a life in Sunnydale and a career in the Magic Box."

What will she do when customers show up wanting to buy spell components for vengeance spells? Sell the supplies or grant the wish for free?

[> [> [> Re: Ummmm, Anya? Vengeance Demon Now -- Mystery, 06:54:16 05/22/02 Wed

OR! Anya could truly become a Justice Demon.

What's the Dilly- O with Cordy? (Spoilers) -- West, 04:56:25 05/21/02 Tue

So, she ascends. Right. Talk about a cryptic fate! It's not as if the show has ever given us some direct answers as to the proper echelons of the PtB, but I never thought of it as some sort of capitalistic system of achievement and advancement. What I want to know is... Is she on her way to *being* a PtB? Is that where they come from?

Also, her powers. So far we've had visions, glowing, some sort of astral projection of her inner self, time stopping, evil cleansing... I'm kinda glad they made her ascend, I was getting worried they'd just keep using her as an open-ended plot tool. Anytime the gang gets into a sticky situation, 'oh, hey, look, Cordy has a new power!'

I can see why Cordy ascended. Scratch that, I can see why it was *logical* for Cordy to ascend, in the sense of 'for the good of the many'. I'm still surprised she did. Someone mentioned how confusing the scene was where she suddenly went from 'no' to 'yes' with the faintest beat in her voice tone, and I had to rewind and rewatch to figure out what was going on. In theory, it could even come out best... If she does indeed gain PtB-ish powers, specifically the whole clairvoyance thang, then she'll know that Angel is in trouble and be able to 'dispatch' help. I mean, if she'd shown up herself, what? She'd be no match for Justine and Connor, and being part demon, she'd likely end up with the same if not worse fate. Unless, of course, she pulled out a brand spankin' new demon power to clean up with.

Yeah, I want answers, dammit! I hate the off-season.


[> Re: What's the Dilly-O with Cordy? (SPOILERS for Tomorrow) -- Robert, 07:08:58 05/21/02 Tue

>> "Oh, and on a side note: LORNE, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!"

I agree! Lorne was a most interesting character. However, I'm not convinced that he has permanently left the gang. Based upon the finale, Angel Investigations is now down to just two individuals; Gunn and Fred. I don't think Mutant Enemy can sustain season 4 with just those characters. I think that after all the dust has settled, we will probably have lost one main character and, I'm guessing, it will be Cordelia.

>> "... I was getting worried they'd just keep using her as an open-ended plot tool."

I'm not sure I understand the basis of your complaint. Cordelia resolved exactly two crises with her new found powers; the major crisis of the slug demons and a minor crisis of Stephen attempting to thrust a knife into her chest. In both cases, her power intervened only when the danger to Cordelia became direct and imminent. Thus, Cordelia used her powers only for self defense (oh yes, and as a nightlight). This was the test administered by the powers-that-be, to find out if the power would corrupt her.

Why do you think that Mutant Enemy was using Cordelia's powers as an "open-ended plot tool"? What do you mean by "open-ended plot tool"?

[> [> Re: Open Ended Plot Tool *SPOILER* -- Corwin of Amber, 07:37:37 05/21/02 Tue

What he seems to mean by "open ended plot tool" is that Cordy's as yet undefined powers would be used to get the writers out of any corner they paint themselves into.

Like having Angel in a steel vault at the bottom of the ocean.

[> [> Sorry, I don't get it -- Anne, 07:41:00 05/21/02 Tue

In order for Cordy's ability to handle power to be truly tested, two things would have to happen:

1. She would have to understand the extent of her power and

2. She would have to be put in circumstances where she was tested to the utmost of her beliefs, passion and endurance not to use those powers inappropriately -- as Willow was twice this season, once (OAFA) resisting, and the second time (Villains) not.

Sorry, Cordy has not been thus tested, nor is there any indication at all that even now she fully understands the nature and extent of her powers.

As a result, there is no way I can regard this whole story line as anything other than a giant piece of cheese -- unless the below thread in which people suggest that it is going to be shown to have an ironic twist proves to be correct.

[> [> [> ME: Glowy white things = Evil?? -- Rahael, 07:54:13 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Re: What's the Dilly-O with Cordy? (SPOILERS for Tomorrow) -- West, 15:32:48 05/21/02 Tue

Corwin's got it. ME hadn't been using Cordy as an OEPT yet, but its undeniable that the potential was there had they dragged her 'empowered' period out longer. I was getting wary with the two incidents, then today when suddenly the wierd Projection (just when she needs to come to terms with her feelings) came into play, I got annoyed. I was about to fly off the handle when suddenly she could stop time, but thankfully the whole issue was quickly resolved (if you can call it that).

By OEPT I just mean a device they can use to easily get past script problems. For as long as Cordy had powers without definition or limitations that we're aware of, the writers could just give her something new whenever the desire struck them.

But, hopefully now it's a moot point. Fingers are crossed...

Lullaby of London - putting AtS to bed for now (mild Tomorrow spoiler) -- SingedCat, 05:32:59 05/21/02 Tue

Other shows don't think about music as much as these do, we know that. I will be forever grateful to ME for playing the Pogues, and such a beautifully appropriate one for the last show of the season. Reprinted here is the song that was playing in the bar when Wesley and Lilah had their little chat. It's abpout the only closure I can get out of the episode; I'll take it where I find it. :)

If you don't know the Pogues, all I can say is, if you love punk music, or traditional Irish music, you'll hate it. But if you like both, you'll be transformed. Goodnight for now. :)

Lullaby of London

As I walked down by the riverside
One evening in the spring
Heard a long gone song
From days gone by
Blown in on the great North wind
Though there is no lonesome corncrake's cry
Of sorrow and delight
You can hear the cars
And the shouts from bars
And the laughter and the fights

May the ghosts that howled
Round the house at night
Never keep you from your sleep
May they all sleep tight
Down in hell tonight
Or wherever they may be

As I walked on with a heavy heart
Then a stone danced on the tide
And the song went on
Though the lights were gone
And the North wind gently sighed
And an evening breeze coming from the East
That kissed the riverside
So I pray now child that you sleep tonight
When you hear this lullaby
May the wind that blows from haunted graves
Never bring you misery
May the angels bright
Watch you tonight
And keep you while you sleep

------------------------------------------------------------ --------------------
copyright 1988 Shane MacGowan

[> I always like it when music I recognize shows up -- matching mole, 05:43:05 05/21/02 Tue

Being a semi-old fogey that doesn't happen very often. Yeah for the Pogues.

[> Re: Lullaby of London - putting AtS to bed for now (mild Tomorrow spoiler) -- leslie, 12:59:01 05/21/02 Tue

I agree with the eternal delight of hearing the Pogues in any context, but it also struck me: this is, essentially, Spike music. Character foreshadowing?

[> [> Re: Lullaby of London - putting AtS to bed for now (mild Tomorrow spoiler) -- alcibiades, 13:14:16 05/21/02 Tue

I've been totally thinking of Spike and Wesley on the same page recently. That's great that it shows up in the music, too.

[> [> [> Wesley and Spike, similarities -- alcibiades, 15:25:45 05/21/02 Tue

Wesley and Fred at the end of Billy:

How can you know that? Something
inside me was forced to the surface.
Something primal... something --

Do you wanna kill me?

(taken aback)
God, no.

It wasn't something in you, Wesley --
it was something that was done to you.

He looks at her now, wants to believe it.

I don't know what kind of man I am

(without hesitation)
Oh, well I do.
(but after a beat,
You're a good man.


After last night when Wesley has, um, bit into the apple at last, it chills me the extent to which this dialogue reminds me of Spike in FFL telling Cecily he is a good man. And Cecily ignoring him, so he goes running out into the night and becomes a vampire.

Well Lilah is dark-haired and dark-souled.

Billy superficially examined the kind of monsters that Gunn and Wesley would make, and Wes is able to return to himself because Fred tells him she believes in him. But now Fred has totally rejected him and told him not to come back to AI and brought him his stuff. And the monster really is in Wesley. It has surfaced. It's not an external demon, the negativity is all coming from within. How far is Wes going to fall now that his internal demon is aroused? Now that his Cecily no longer realizes he is a good man.

Billy was a brilliant set-up for Wes' fall this year.

That scene last night with Wes and Lilah really reminded me of Buffy and Spike, but I couldn't decide who was who.

Angel questions S3 spoilers to Tomorrow -- Belladonna, 07:57:00 05/21/02 Tue

I just started watching Angel in the last few weeks. Obviously, jumping in this late is a bit overwhelming. I was wondering if anyone knew of any websites that could give me a *brief* recap of what's going on. I know of plenty of sites that have 3 page summaries for every episode, but I *so* don't have time to read three seasons worth of those! :) I know on UPN's website, they have character summaries for Buffy that kind of give you a vague idea of who the characters are and what main events have occured to them. Is there anything like that for Angel? If not, does anyone feel like sharing some info with me? Like, who the characters are, and how they came to be a team; what's Holtz's story, and the woman who killed him? Who's the shady lady with Wesley, and why is he being vilified? How in heaven's name did Angel and Darla have a baby?
If anyone could help me out, I would really, really appreciate it! Thanks!

[> Some answers that might help... (S1-3 spoilers) -- lunarchickk, 08:38:05 05/21/02 Tue

I don't know of any Angel Websites (oddly enough), although I'm sure they're out there. Hopefully someone else can provide a link to one that explains all the back story -- it's rather complicated!

Here are some of the answers to your questions, for now, though:

Holtz is a vampire hunter from the 18th century whose family was viciously killed by Angel and Darla. He hooked up with a demon (Sahjan) to come forward in time to get revenge on Angel. Holtz wound up taking Angel's son to a hell dimension (Quar-Toth) where Connor was raised as Holtz's son. The woman who killed him is Justine, who Holtz originally recruited to be part of his "Let's Destroy Angel" party because her sister was killed by vampires. (The rest of the Holtzkateers wandered off after they ceased being important, when Holtz and Connor went to Quar-Toth.) Justine pretty much worships Holtz and thus was willing to kill him and frame Angel for his murder -- the ultimate act of vengeance on Angel.

Wesley's being vilified (the short version!) because he translated a scroll that prophesied that Angel would kill Connor -- so Wesley tried to run off with the baby to save him. He was intercepted by Justine, who slit Wes's throat and took Connor to Holtz. Angel entirely blames Wesley, and tried to kill him in the hospital. Wesley is bitter because no one wants to hear his side -- they've ALL taken Angel's side.

The "shady lady" with Wes is Lilah Morgan, a lawyer with the Big Evil in LA: the supernatural law firm of Wolfram and Hart. Big backstory there, but Lilah, who's always had Angel as a "special project," is now focusing all her efforts on bringing Wesley over to the dark side. She's very much a Black Hat, although the official policy at W&H is that they want Angel alive.

As for how Angel and Darla had a child... it's still one of the partly unsolved mysteries. There's a prophecy involved, although no one's quite sure why it happened. The only one likely to figure that out is Wesley -- and it seems Wesley's not likely to do so any time soon...

If you can't find any shorter summaries, try reading the longer ones for just season 3 -- that's most of the backstory for your questions. Good luck! :)

[> Brief AtS summary - with spoilers of course -- matching mole, 08:58:09 05/21/02 Tue

Here goes.

Season 1 - Angel arrives in LA, meets up with Cordelia and half-demon, half-Irishman Doyle. They start a detective agency. Doyle has visions of impending peril and a crush on Cordelia. Major enemy is evil law firm Wolfram & Hart. Halfway through season Doyle nobly sacrifices himself revealing his love to Cordelia and passing on the visions to her at the last moment. Later in the season AI (Angel Investigations) meets up with Charles Gunn, ghetto youth who fights vampires. Initially a one shot character he comes back to help them and then becomes regular. It is revealed that a big conflict between good and evil is upcoming and Angel has a crucial role to play. Wolfram and Hart want to turn Angel evil. With that in mind they bring Darla back to life (as a human) at the end of the season.

Season 2 - We meet Lorne (then known simply as the Host) the proprieter of Caritas a bar for humans and demons. Lorne can read beings while they sing. During most of season 2 he serves to comment on what the characters are doing. We also meet Lilah (I think) at about this point. She is assigned to Angel's case at Wolfram and Hart. Angel becomes obsessed with Darla especially when he discovers that she is dying. He attempts to save her while she wants him to revamp her. Then Wofram and Hart bring in Drusilla who does revamp her. Darla and Drusilla then go on a killing spree which includes a large number of Wolfram and Hart lawyers. The latter massacre is performed with Angel's complicity. Obsessed Angel then fires Wesley (who arrived after Doyle's death - forgot about that), Cordelia, and Gunn and goes all noir - setting Darla and Drusilla on fire and generally being nasty. The rest of AI go it alone. Cordelia's visions are taking a strong physical toll on her.
Eventually Angel decides that it is pointless to keep fighting and sleeps with Darla. To his surprise he doesn't lose his soul and rejoins his former colleagues. Darla leaves town. Shortly thereafter Cordelia gets whisked off to the dimension of Pylea (where Lorne is from) - the others go after her. They meet Fred who was marooned and enslaved there for five years. Cordelia meets the Groosalug (Groo) who is a champion and they fall in love. Cordelia refuses to give up her visions and role in AI and she returns to LA with the others.

Season 3 - Fred slowly returns to normal after her ordeal. Gunn and Wesley both become enamoured of her. Angel develops a crush on Cordelia. Darla returns to town mysteriously pregnant. Much confusion results. The baby's soul affects Darla who stakes herself so that the child can be born (there are complication). At the same time the time travelling demon Sahjan has brought Holtz a 19th C vampire hunter into the 21st C. Holtz's family was killed by Angelus and Darla and he wants revenge. He has a chance to kill Angel when the baby is born but fails to carry it out. Holtz also destroys Lorne's club so he goes to live with Angel and co. Cordelia's visions almost kill her but she is 'demonized' by Skip so that she can sontinue with her mission - thus her new powers. Groo shows up in LA to reunite with Cordy. Fred choses Gunn over Wesley. Wesley discovers a prophecy that the father will kill the son - regarding Connor's mysterious birth. Wes starts going slowly insane and eventually kidnaps Connor. Justine (Holtz's second in command - her twin sister was killed by vampires) attacks Wesley and delivers Connor to Holtz who escapes with the baby into yet another dimension. Wesley is banished from AI, Angel tries to kill him, Connor returns as a teenager. I assume you know the rest.

This is a very brief and quick summary. Much has been left out but hopefully this will get you caught up.

[> [> Re: Brief AtS summary - with spoilers of course -- ravenhair, 13:49:04 05/21/02 Tue

Thanks so much for the recap! I am also a newbie to Angel who started watching a few weeks ago and was scratching my head over Cordy's glow in the dark powers.

[> Re: Angel questions - Links -- LittleBit, 16:25:14 05/21/02 Tue

There are a few sites that I used to get up to date on Angel.

City of Angelus offers some nice (and short) episode synopses.

Ang el Annex has a plot summary at the start of each review, but is also on the England schedule.

Angel's Night has longer reviews that include both commentary and quotes.

Hope these help; they worked for me.

[> Thanks so much! -- Belladonna, 08:14:08 05/22/02 Wed

That's exactly what I needed, everyone! Now I finally feel as if I have a clue as to what's going on. Thanks again!

[> [> My site has full Angel episode analyses,too -- Masq, 09:23:22 05/22/02 Wed

Not chronological summaries, but it does explain how things happen in each episode (like Cordy's visions and demonization, how and why Holtz was brought to the 21st century, and all the other complicated stuff). And explores the motivations of the characters in each episode.

Start here

Wolfram and Hart

AtS character analyses--the good

AtS character analyses--the not-so-good

Observations on Tomorrow (Spoilers, of course) -- Masquerade, 08:06:18 05/21/02 Tue

Cordelia--did anyone notice that Cordelia sees herself in the future--accepting Skip's offer--in the vision she has of herself superimposed over the window in her kitchen? At the time, she's trying to make sense of Groo's claim that she loves Angel. She sees the vision of herself say, "I know it's right", and thinks her image-self is talking about loving Angel, when in fact, it's her future self talking about this whole "higher being" thing Skip claims she is. The last time Skip came to her, he presented an actress scenario, told her it was her true destiny, and manipulated her into accepting it by showing her Angel in a moment of frustration calling her a weak Sunnydale cheerleader. I believe as others do that this is a test.

Connor--part of him is how Holtz raised him to be--to seek vengeance not in the death of an enemy, but in the pain of an enemy. But part of Connor is demon. He has the strength, fighting skills, hearing and durability of a vampire, why not some inclination towards nastiness as well? As a human with a soul, he can defeat it, but he's too young and traumatized right now to fight it very well. His screwed-up love-hate of Angel manifests itself in the way Holtz taught him to behave.

Wesley--I couldn't figure out why Wesley, a man of honor, would sleep with Lilah after he discovered that the end result of his choice to take Connor from Angel didn't turn out as bad as he thought it had. Connor is back, Angel didn't lose him after all, just some years they could have had together. But since Connor returned, no one in AI has gone and tried to make amends with Wesley or even talked to him. Sure, Wesley told them to stay away, but hey, new circumstances here! It's no wonder Wesley is so disparing now that he'd sink as low as to sleep with Lilah.

[> Here are a few of my own.. (spoils) -- neaux, 08:27:59 05/21/02 Tue

I found it interesting to see the "more human than human" characters all leave A.I. and Fred and Gunn (as far as I know are truly human) and are abandoned.

I'm still trying to make sense of the ascending descending...
Cordy movin' on up.
Angel sinking lower.
Humans dropping from the sky (the helicopter scene)

or possible its an elemental reference?
Earth, and

anyone care to help me out here?

[> [> Re: Here are a few of my own.. (spoils) -- Arethusa, 09:31:07 05/21/02 Tue

Wes and Lilah sinking to new lows.

The cell phone dropping off the cliff (symbolizing the cutting off of communication in AI?). Can our product placement caller still hear from the bottom of a cliff?

Linwood pulled out of the van and onto the ground.

Groo slumped onto the setee, as low as he can go-and then he's gone.

Angel and Cordy, talking and unconsciously flirting while going down the stairs.

[> [> [> Re: Here are a few of my own.. (spoils) -- Spike Lover, 10:44:27 05/21/02 Tue

That line of Wesley's "You know that sinking feeling you get- "

[> I did notice. (Spoilers) -- VampRiley, 08:36:32 05/21/02 Tue

Cordelia--did anyone notice that Cordelia sees herself in the future--accepting Skip's offer--in the vision she has of herself superimposed over the window in her kitchen?

When PresentCordy started talking like FutureCordy, it did catch my eye...and ear.

Connor is showing characteristics of a vampire with a soul. He's deceptive towards Angel and the rest of them. He wants to learn as much as he can from Angel. And even if I hadn't seen any ep before this one, the look he gave Angel when he agreed to stay with Angel and when he was glad that Angel was happy seemed way to fast and evil. With being raised by Holtz in Quor-toth, it's no wonder why he's royally screwed up. He's letting his predatory instincts couple with his hormones, hatred of Angel and the poking and proding from Justine to become really evil. He didn't even kill Angel. Holtz probably told him that vamps don't die of starvation. So, prodigal son decides to seal him up in a box and send him to the bottom of the ocean.

As for Wesley, I think he just slept with her so he could just feel something other than what he has. And he said he wasn't thinking about Lilah when they were together, but that could have just been him trying to be mean.


[> Re: Observations on Tomorrow (Spoilers, of course) -- yabyumpan, 09:04:45 05/21/02 Tue

"But since Connor returned, no one in AI has gone and tried to make amends with Wesley or even talked to him. Sure, Wesley told them to stay away, but hey, new circumstances here! It's no wonder Wesley is so disparing now that he'd sink as low as to sleep with Lilah."

Let's not have AI responsable for Wesley sleeping with Lilah as well! I really don't see how Connor comming back really changes anything. Angel has lost 16 plus years with his son, no first words, no first steps etc. Also Connor came back wanting to kill him!

Maybe the first step to AI making amends with Wes is for Wes to start taking some responsability, I must admit bitterWes draws no sympathy from me.

A letter would be a good start or even a "sorry I lost your son for you" bouquet!

[> [> Point taken -- Masq, 09:25:04 05/21/02 Tue

"Maybe the first step to AI making amends with Wes is for Wes to start taking some responsability"

But I believe that what I said about no one in AI reaching out to Wesley after the discovery of 16-year-old Connor is probably bitterWesley's point of view, whether justified or not.

[> [> Re: Observations on Tomorrow (Spoilers, of course) -- Ronia, 09:37:44 05/21/02 Tue

No one has ever taken resposibility for causing wesley pain. I think his feelings are justified. Don't forget, it wasn't too long ago that Faith was granted asylum just minutes after torturing wes for hours, for pleasure. Wes made an honest (?) mistake and because it caused Angel to feel pain, he was toast. They don't value Wes, he is expendable, just as he always feared. By the way...isn't he the boss? How is it that he is unemployed? I thought Angel worked for him?

[> [> [> I agree -- Spike Lover, 10:51:52 05/21/02 Tue

[> Re: Observations on Tomorrow (Spoilers, of course) -- Arethusa, 09:12:25 05/21/02 Tue

1. Saint Cordy has finally become...Saint Cordy.

2. I loved that Wes only spoke two or three sentences to Lilah after he was done with her, each one meaner than the last. I don't want to see Wes evil (no matter what I said in the past!) or sleep with Lilah, but if ME wants to go that way, I'll enjoy it while it lasts.
I'm hoping that this is an extremely sneaky maneuver to redeem Lilah. (Humor me.) Wes makes her feel as bad as possible, making Lilah realize she's not the gold-plated bitch she thinks she is. She obviously thought she had the upper hand with Wes, even warning him not to have any feelings for her after they have sex. Lilah seemed both angy and perhaps a little taken aback when Wes revealed that he can actually surpass her in manipulation and undermining self-esteem. If Wes can neutralize or control her, or even redeem Lilah's soul, he'll have done something for AI that couldn't be done from inside AI.
And since W&H now knows what side Conor is on, they'll be going after him with no holds barred. AI needs someone in contact with W&H who can help bring back Conor.

3. I'm expecting a road trip to Vegas next season; there have been too many mentions of Las Vegas, and now Lorne is there too.

[> [> Las Vegas -- Masq, 09:28:55 05/21/02 Tue

I read in an article on the official J. August Richards (Gunn) website (can't remember the URL, sorry!) that Las Vegas is JAR's favorite town. I imagine he suggested that Gunn have a thing for Las Vegas, too, and the writers went with it.

[> [> [> Re: Las Vegas -- Arethusa, 09:39:01 05/21/02 Tue

Oh, bother. I thought a future trip to Vegas was why Jenoff's casino wasn't exploited further. I want to see how the gang reacts to Sin City, especially considering Cordy's (past) deep respect for money, Angel's cheapness, Fred's math skills, Gunn's love of Vegas, and Lorne's new demon joint.

[> [> [> [> Re: Las Vegas -- Deeva, 10:03:58 05/21/02 Tue

A trip to Vegas would be interesting. I personally like Vegas but I also would be intersted in seeing the gangs reaction to a place that exudes such a facade. The absurd is the norm. Demony peoples would be pretty comfy there I would think.

[> [> [> [> [> Woohoo! Vegas road trip! -- cjl, 11:20:34 05/21/02 Tue

Requested highlights:

* Lorne, singing on stage with 100 Cher impersonators

(The episode's villain: another renegade Pylean, whose ability to read customers' minds by their reactions to Wayne Newton has made him a Vegas big shot and demon overlord.)

* Gunn, getting seriously smacked down at the blackjack tables;

* Fred tries to drag him away, but Gunn gets her to count cards, and they're on their way to a couples meeting at Gambler's Anonymous...

* Angel, blowing the spiderwebs off his wallet, tries a slot machine; loses his quarter and broods for the rest of the episode.

* Groo, partying as the new stable boy at the Chicken Ranch

* Cordy is hired by one of the major casinos to temporarily replace their neon sign, smashed up during Angel's battle with the Big Bad

But seriously folks, they have to go to Vegas and get Lorne back. This series would be seriously dull without Andy Hallett and his songs for the love-lorne...

[> [> [> [> [> [> Re: Woohoo! Vegas road trip! -- MaeveRigan, 11:33:19 05/21/02 Tue

"* Lorne, singing on stage with 100 Cher impersonators"

If they go to Vegas, there's really no need to open a portal to an alternate dimension, is there?

The mind boggles.

[> [> [> [> Rain Fred? (NP) -- West, 15:23:16 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> [> Oops -- West, 15:24:44 05/21/02 Tue

Well, not only does it insert the 'NT' for me, I spelled it wrong trying to do it myself. Spelled a two letter word wrong. The shame is unbearable. ;)

[> Distractions (spoilers for Tomorrow) -- CW, 09:35:31 05/21/02 Tue

I have to think, that getting Cordy out of the way is a means for the PTB to ensure Angel passes through his ordeal alone as he 'is supposed to.' The whole scene with Cordy and Skip is unconvincing as if it's not supposed to be convincing. Cordy might well have reasons for making the decision she did, but it's happening too fast to be believable. I look at the final, club-the-audience-over-the- head-with-it scenes as more Cordy and Angel being pulled apart rather than she going up while he goes down.

There were some weaknesses in the script, as in, how does Conner make it to the point so fast, while Cordy gets stuck in traffic? But, Wesley does get one of the best lines of the season:

Lilah - Mind if a join you?

Wesley (with no expression whatsoever) - On many levels and with great intensity.

[> [> Agree whole heartedly about Wes' line!!! -- Tillow, 10:22:24 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> I agree also. His face, tone and the line were perfect. -- Ixchel, 11:08:30 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Very nice observation! -- Robert, 16:36:45 05/21/02 Tue

USA Today gives tonight's Buffy season finale a glowing review! (no spoilers) -- Rob, 09:48:57 05/21/02 Tue

It's a great review from a standpoint of a critic who didn't like most of the rest of the season. As you all know, I disagree on that point, but, other than that, a great, great review. I can't wait to see the show tonight! And don't specific spoilers. But if you're one of those people who doesn't even like an allusion to a spoiler, you may want to hold off reading it till tomorrow. I am spoiler- allergic and I had no problem with it, personally.

It's here.


[> Actually, I have to ammend that...There are some spoilers I didn't notice before. -- Rob, 09:51:21 05/21/02 Tue

...Don't read if you want to stay absolutely spoiler-free. Okeey?


[> And here's a great review from a season six fan. Yay!! -- Rob, 10:31:33 05/21/02 Tue

Click Here. Beware some minor spoilers.


[> Good news, one hopes. -- mundusmundi, 12:50:06 05/21/02 Tue

As apparently the only person on the board who thought "Villains" was rampagingly mediocre (well, besides one other person;), I'm hoping the finale ranks with the musical, "Normal Again" and "Seeing Red" as one of the highlights of whta has been for me an otherwise lackluster season. Usually I agree with Robert Bianco, so keepin' my fingers crossed.

[> [> Make it three -- dream of the consortium, 13:58:43 05/21/02 Tue

Oh, there were things I really liked - the image of Willow sucking the books dry, Buffy's Joyce-ness, Warren's slow realization that he was not the hot evil stuff he thought he was, the downright casual revelation of Anya's new demonosity and so on - but I can't say I loved it. I think part of the problem was that I was a little spoiled (though not for the finale, thank god), and so I knew where things were headed. But, I found that a lot of it was just dry - there wasn't the crackle to the writing that can make certain episodes unforgettable. The first demon (someone called it the Expository Ceiling Demon) looked ridiculous and sounded worse. The bus chasing scene seemed to just fill time (maybe they were trying to show that Willow was becoming more unhinged as time went on - so the first encounter with Warren is a quick kill, but the second a long torture? If so, I didn't find it effective). And don't even get me started on the geeks in jail - that scene seem to fulfill no purpose at all, except to make sure we knew that Jonathon and Andrew were REALLY in jail when Tara was shot. The Spike scene didn't work for me either - I like the idea of the Platonic cave and all, but, as much as I like the metaphor, the scene just seemed flat to me, a little hokey. Are you the person who says he can always tell if the show is working by whether Xander looks bored? Well, he was crackling in the opening sequence, but his enthusiasm seemed to droop. I'm sounding much more negative than I really feel - and overall, I like the season quite a bit, the episodes you mentioned most of all, but several more as well - but I did feel like this episode was functional more than fantastic. We got to where we needed to be, at long last. Let's hope tonight (which I won't see until tomorrow - sniff) will really blow us all away.

And the flaying was repulsive.

[> [> [> Re: The Xander Rule (SPOILERS for Villains) -- mm, 14:31:48 05/21/02 Tue

Yep, that was me. I didn't hate "Villains" (whereas I did hate "Wrecked" and "Doublemeat Palace"), but it was a big letdown from "Seeing Red," its tone jarringly off-kilter from the very first scene. Hate to knock somebody when she's down, but I'm really dismayed by Marti Noxon's writing this season. To see the woman responsible for crafting some of my all-time favorite episodes now churning out little more than tedious exposition and hoary cliches (no prison scene is complete, of course, without a character worried about becoming somebody's "butt monkey"), is disappointing.

Having said that, I'm cautiously optimistic about tonight. It certainly can't be any worse than the series finale for The X-Files the other night, which had Chris Carter's bald-faced contempt for the show's fans on appalling display. Following this and the hideous Seinfeld series ender a few years ago, I think it's safe to say that concluding things with a courtroom drama is a really bad idea. (I do feel for Robert Patrick and Annabeth Gish, who make a likable team. Gish's big speech, powerfully acted, was the only good moment.)

Buffy's recent trend toward "realism," however, has me concerned: could "The Trial of Buffy" be how things wrap up next year? I can just picture Xander snoozing.

[> [> I though it was lame and found many people to agree with me here, Rob :) -- Ete, 17:47:58 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> I thought it upheld ME's tradition of perfect season finales... -- Rob, 22:03:47 05/21/02 Tue

...and brilliantly wrapped up the most challenging and rewarding season yet.

But that's just my opinion. :o)


Spike/Willow: Unleashing The Monster to Hide Geek Parts I & II (long! spoilers to villains) -- shadowkat, 10:16:44 05/21/02 Tue

Spike and Willow – Unleashing the Monster to Hide the Geek

Quotes from Psyche Transcripts, ATP & B C & S board posters where noted. Very Long!! So I’ve decided to post it in sections. Right now Spoilers only to Villians!

“To create great drama or comedy, it is important to put the characters in a place where they are the least comfortable, the place they least want to be.”

Before I go into this analysis – I want to point out something: Buffy the Vampire Slayer operates on at least three different levels, any speculation regarding future character development or meaning, needs to take into consideration these three levels.

Level One: Plot – Buffyverse Mythos – this is the whole general plot line of girl is vampire slayer fighting the demons and BB and her journey. Soul canon fits here.
Level Two: Psychological, Literary and Dramatic Metaphor. This incorporates Joseph Campbell, Fairy Tales, Wizard of OZ…etc. The hero’s journey or philosophy.
Level Three: Reality, the literal view. Buffy and Spike = bad boyfriend S&M, Drug addictions. Accepting responsibility by doing an ordinary job, etc. This is how it relates to the real world.

And of course there’s irony. The writers will always do the opposite of what we expect and always take us to that dark place. My writing challenge is take all the above into account in this analysis/speculation – if I fail – I’m sure someone will tell me. I plan to do this with a little help from some great posters–hope you guys don’t mind me quoting you – but I think combined your posts show where these characters are headed and why.

Spike and Willow: The Bloody Awful Poet meets Captain of the Nerd Squad. Unlike Xander and Buffy, Spike and Willow don’t mind the monster that much, actually they sort of prefer it, the monster makes them feel powerful, important. It’s that small shy geeky nerd that resides inside that they fear and detest. This is a common theme for Joss Whedon, who realizes that as we move into adulthood, we need to learn how to let go of the pains and torments we received in the past. We need to learn new coping skills. Like Spike and Willow, we need to learn how to embrace our inner geek.

I. Origins of William & Willow: Bloody Awful Poet & Captain Nerd

In Season 1, Btvs we are introduced to shy, nerdy Willow, who wears odd clothes and spends all her time in the library. She squeaks when she speaks like a scared little mouse, jumping when Buffy asks her a question. When Buffy discusses going after Vampires – Willow suggests somewhat timidly calling the police. As Caroline points out in her post, Willow’s Journey Through the Underworld posted 5/14/02 on ATP board, Willow of Season 1 is a girl with a lot of fear inside her. “We’re not privy to details of her pre- Buffy life or her life with her parents, but I think it’s fair interpretation that the child of two psychologists may have some issues. Willow’s parents seemed to have practiced a form of benign neglect. As long as she got good grades, didn’t put crosses on the wall and wasn’t a witch, everything was okay. I think Willow is a good example of the adapted child. It’s quite possible that many of the traits she expressed as a child were frowned on by her parents and she eventually developed an external persona that was more pleasing but this is a false sense of self.” Caroline’s argument is backed up in several different episodes of Btvs. In Passion, Season 2, we see Willow mentioning off-hand, that she’s going to have find a way of explaining crosses on the walls to her father, Mr. Rosenberg. In the third episode of Season 3, Faith, Hope, & Tricks – “Willow protests leaving campus for lunch, even though she now has permission: Oh, but, no! What if they changed the rule without telling? What if they're lying in wait to *arrest* me a-and, and throw me in detention and mar my unblemished record?” Then later in Gingerbread, here’s the scene between Willow and her mother:

Willow: (surprised) Grounded? This is the first time *ever* I've done something you don't like and I'm grounded? I'm supposed to mess up. I'm a teenager, remember?
Sheila: You're upset, I hear you...
Willow: (stands up) No, Ma, hear this! I'm a rebel! I'm having a rebellion!
Sheila: (smiling) Willow, honey, you don't need to act out like this to prove your specialness.
Willow: Mom, I'm not acting out. I'm a witch! I-I can make pencils float. And I can summon the four elements. Okay, two, but four soon. (her mother doesn't react) A-and I'm dating a musician.
Sheila: (disgusted now) Oh, Willow! (Gingerbread, Season 3, Btvs.)

Breaking the rules – is a big thing for Willow. Clearly her parents wanted her to be the perfect little prodigy – go off do your studies, don’t bother us. Having met a few of these children in my lifetime, they tend to adapt to the world as Willow has by being quiet good students, and eventually retreating into drugs. They look for ways to hide. In fact the biggest drug users often tend to be people who have spent their lives trying to be someone else.

Spike is very similar to Willow in this regard. His parents may have also expected him to make tons of money and uplift their status by being a Gentleman. They no doubt sent him to quality schools, hence the scholarly demeanor and interest in poetry. As I’ve learned from my own experience, it takes more than schooling and money to learn the manners needed to fit within refined society, to be accepted by the elite. To deal with these demands, William developed an external persona that was more pleasing to his parents and teachers, but was false sense of self, easily shattered when he became a demon. (Yes – I know, William’s soul is gone, but as Buffy mentions in Lie To Me and Darla states in Dear Boy, the vampire retains the memories and personality of the human it inhabits. The soul may be gone – but the personality and memories remain. So who William was and what William felt is still vitally important to the development of Spike.)

Like Willow, Spike was a geek as a human or as redcat states: William represents a certain recognizable historical character type from the late 19th century. The neurasthenic male. She decribes this person as “thin, slightly stoop- shouldered, fussily-dressed, clean-shaven, wearing glasses, carrying a book…A common linked attribute of this type of character ….was his over-identification with a usually widowed but always over-protective mother and the real or implied absence of a strong father.” (See redcat’s reply to Rufus’s thoughts on Spike, 5/12/02, ATP board.) In this manner, William actually has quite a bit in common with Buffy, who also has the over-identification with the strong – over-protective mother and absence of the strong father figure. A point that both her mother and Professor Walsh comment on. Joyce mentions it in Becoming Part II – stating – “maybe this (vampire slaying and fighting) is the result of not having a strong enough father figure.” Professor Walsh echoes her in A NEW MAN (Season 4 Btvs), telling Giles, that maybe Buffy’s actions are the result of the lack of a strong father or disciplinarian. A point that Giles takes as an inherent insult. Redcat goes on to mention that SBuffy as the hero exhibits a number of the significant attributes that have been traditionally coded as “masculine.”” Interesting – so William appears to take on more feminine attributes due to the lack of the masculine role model while Buffy takes on more masculine attributes – perhaps as a reaction to the lack of said model? In contrast to Willow – who has two parents who spend little or no time with her that we know of. So, do our parents create us? Are they inherently responsible to what we become?

Spike and Willow also mirror one another in their struggle for sexual identity. Willow is neurasthenic female, which is described in 19th century terms as “strongly feminist”, pursuing intimacy with women, bookish, physically weak, reliable – all points that Willow initially works to refute. Her denial of these traits is seen as early as “ I Robot You Jane” – her interaction with Moloch, showing Buffy and Xander that she too can interact with boys, albeit via a computer. Or later, when we see her dating OZ in “Surprise”. She also refutes it in “Doomed”, announcing that she is hardly a geek any longer because she is dating “a musician. In Dopplegangerland, she refutes Xander and Buffy’s remarks about her being “old reliable” and Snyder’s use of her bookish tendencies as well as Percy’s comments by stalking off in a huff and deciding to eat a banana before lunchtime. Just as William’s reaction is to ignore the aristocrats and go after Cecily, and after she rejects him, flee the scene in tears. It’s not until the introduction of Tara and Drusilla, that Willow and William actually find an identity. Drusilla literally hands William his, by turning him into a monster and making him her sexual mate. Through Drusilla he is able to refute the weak-willed shy virginal William, by becoming the sexually aggressive, snarky, in your face Spike. The same thing happens with Willow through Tara. Tara enables Willow to embrace her homosexuality and access magic. With Tara- Willow has the power and is the controlling party. Before it was OZ who called Willow, baby. (Wild at Heart, Season 4, Btvs.) Now it’s Willow calling Tara baby. In the scene from HUSH – we see Tara literally bolster Willow’s magical powers, something she continues to do throughout Seasons 4 and 5. Although it may not have been intentional, Tara may be part of the reason Willow is as powerful as she is today.

Another important factor in the creation of the Spike persona was “the social class” William came from, which from the evidence presented in Fool For Love and Spike’s subsequent reaction, appears to be the low middleclass. We could state this is similar to Willow, class-wise, but we have to be careful in the comparison. Since these two characters are separated by at least a century. A better comparison is how both are seen as outcasts in the social realities they inhabit.

William is described in the Shooting Script to Fool For Love as a sissy or “nancy-boy” –a perfect descriptor “of dear, sweet, slightly pathetic and clearly virginal William.” (redcat, ATP board) If Joss Whedon is truly a fan of Jane Austen, then there is another literary image we can reference – the poor lower class relation often featured in Austen’s novels. As Malandaz points out, “I see William's family as being thoroughly middle class, but with a father who made money in some trade (unworthy of the aristocracy) like the up and coming families in Jane Austen's novels. They are treated with disdain by the old landed gentry….. His father made money through hard work and either his father or (more likely) his mother wanted to see William become a gentleman. But While William's money may buy him admittance into the upper class, it cannot buy him acceptance.” (Malandaz, 5/13/02, Response to Rufus’s thoughts, ATP board.) In Jane Austen’s novels this relation was often the son or daughter of a solicitor, who while being accepted in the drawing rooms of their wealthier relations, remained on the outskirts, sneered at and never fully accepted. Money was very important to them, because money = class and potential acceptance. Without it, the individual was doomed to remain on the outskirts. Although in English society, even money didn’t necessarily equal class, you had to be born into it, which Malandaz eloquently stated above: “it may give him admittance (hence the drawing room scene with Cecily) it cannot buy him acceptance (Cecily and the aristocrats utter rejection of him.)” Perhaps as a reaction to this, “ William was not into participating in society, he was a more solitary type, one who was a bit of an academic snob in that he wasn’t going to get his hands dirty with ‘ugly business’ he clearly wouldn’t be involved in.” (Rufus, post on Spike on ATP Board.)

MALE PARTYGOER: Ah William. Favor us with your opinion. What do you make of this rash of disappearances sweeping our town? Animals – or thieves?
SPIKE: I prefer not to think of such dark, ugly business at all. That’s what police are for.
(Fool For Love, Season 5, Btvs.)

Does this remind you of anyone? Willow – in Season 1, Btvs, sits and struggles with breathing when she discovers there are vampires. Like William she almost gets vamped, seizing the moment with a vampire. She has just been rejected by Xander – the guy she adores and asks Buffy how to get a guy – Buffy suggests seizing the moment and off she goes. Lucky for Willow, Buffy is able to save her. William runs off after Cecily rejects him and is approached by Drusilla and likewise seizes the moment. When questioned about vampires – both mention talking to the police. Both are somewhat snobby and solitary – preferring libraries and books to people and mooning over the objects of their affection from afar. Willow dreamily listens to Xander practice asking Buffy out in Prophecy Girl while William dreamily writes poems to Cecily. (Fool for Love) When they approach the objects of their affection, both are summarily rejected. Willow is called one of the guys (Witch, Season 1) and William is told he is beneath her. (Fool for Love, Season 5).

The difference between William and Willow – is partly time period. As redcat notes – William was the product of his society. In doing their research – the writers carefully chose a model of the male outcast in English Society of the 1880s. Someone who was not born into the upper classes, was reduced to the scholarly or lower middle class and was tolerated by his wealthier relations and acquaintances. A character that populates most of Jane Austen’s novels. Willow is the outcast of modern day society – called “Captain of the Nerd squad” by Percy in Doomed, Season 4, Btvs. The class brain who wears the weird clothes and hides her nose in books. Awkward in her own skin, Willow doesn’t appear to know how to talk to her fellow classmates and her voice often comes out like a squeak. William’s is halting and somewhat fussy like Giles, with a slight stutter. Both are gutsy in their own way – Willow striving to get closer to Xander in season 1 and William pursuing Cecily. Neither deal with the resulting pain well. As a possible result of this rejection – when the opportunity arises – both choose to reinvent themselves.

II. Reinvention of Self : Becoming the Monster

A. The Drug/Alcohol Metaphor – Buffyverse as Real World

Halfway through Season 2 , Willow begins to delve into magic, and it is at that point we see her begin to gain confidence in herself and her place within the gang. Willow’s magic use, even at this early stage, can be used as a metaphor for drugs. As one poster mentioned, I forget who, hallucinogenic drugs have a similar affect on the user as magic – it changes your mental reality. The side effects are also similar: nosebleeds, dizzy spells. Mind- Altering dugs such as LSD, Ecstasy, and other milder hallucingenics can make the user feel freer creatively, more powerful, uninhibited, or in some regards merely different. Some drugs may even give the user a false sense of security or confidence. (Prozac, Paxil are current remedies.) In the 1960s, Timothy Leary and Robert Anton Wilson used drugs to reach another level or higher level of consciousness. (See “Sex, Drugs & Magick” by Robert Anton Wilson.). In controlled settings drugs were used to alter personalities of psychopaths and schizophrenics. The government also experimented with drug use – just as Riley and Sam’s shamans experiment with dark magics in the jungle. (As You Were, Season 6, Btvs) Unfortunately a prevalent side-effect of repeated/unmonitored use was the complete breakdown of the patient’s psyche. Some users’ minds were simply gone – reduced to states of catatonia in which they would never return. A description that is quite similar to Sam’s description of the shamans in As You Were. “ They got addicted, there was nothing left, they were simply gone.”

This metaphor can be compared to Spike’s reliance and craving for blood. Unlike Willow, Spike cannot exist without blood. But Spike could choose to exist on pig’s blood instead of human blood. (This point was made by Leslie, Sophist, Rufus and Malandaz in my Angel/Spike comparison on the ATP board.) Spike’s addiction to human blood –on a realistic level, works as a metaphor for alcoholism. If he bites the girl in Smashed – the implication is he won’t be able to stop. The chip is what holds him back – but the desire for it remains. He lusts after it like an alcoholic peering in the window of a liquor store. “Look at all the goodies.” He says in Smashed, just before he finds one and argues with himself about biting her. The argument reminded me of a drunk falling off the wagon after a fight with his girlfriend. (Smashed had two characters flirting with this – Willow in the Bronze, and Spike in the alley.) Just like biting the girl in Crush – implies that he has fallen off the wagon. (Season 5). Both times, he reacts to the temptation the way an alcoholic would, teary-eyed, debating it either aloud or internally, I shouldn’t do this…but what the hell, I’m evil, and no one’s looking and …But like the alcoholic, one bite is enough. Just as Angel begins to crave Connor’s blood in Sleep Tight, Ats Season 3, because his pig’s blood has been spiked with it. Angel makes this point on more than one occasion – that he can’t bit humans, because if he does, he’s lost, the bloodlust takes over. (See Season 1-2 Ats.) Human blood may make the vamps feel more powerful, just as Willow’s use of dark magic makes her feel more powerful – but the consequences are that they end up falling under the compass of chaos. Chaos tempts them and they succumb – Willow in the Bronze, who after awhile wonders if there’s anything bigger and Spike who tries to do it in the alley only to be curtailed by the chip. (Smashed Season 6) Just as the drug user and alcoholic become chaotic under the influence: they believe they are in control, but they aren’t, the false sense of control is one of the side- effects. What’s interesting about Spike, is the writers haven’t stopped with the implied blood = alcohol dependency metaphor, they’ve also made Spike addicted to alcohol, he spends a good portion of Lover’s Walk (Season 3), Entropy (Season 6) and part of Seeing Red (Season 6), drinking. Like Willow, Spike uses outside means to numb his pain.

Another far less literal and more psychological metaphor for Willow’s magic and Spike’s vampiric urges –is unleashing the dark part of their psyche or monster to hide the geek.

B. Changing Personas Through Costume and Outward Appearence

The more Willow uses the magic, the more confident and cocky and self-assured Willow becomes, almost as if she is putting on a costume, something she does literally and figuratively before and after she starts practicing witchcraft. In fact, both Spike and Willow change costumes to express the persona they wish the outside world to see.

Willow seems to wear many costumes in the beginning of Season 2. In Inca Mummy Girl, she is wearing an Eskimo suite that literally hides every portion of her body but her face. Later in Halloween, Buffy tries unsuccessfully to get Willow to wear a funky mid-driff revealing outfit instead of the ghost costume she bought at Ethan Rayne’s. Willow freaks out, feeling overly exposed by the sexy clothes and puts on the sheet instead. Buffy tells her: “Willow, no one is ever going to see you if you don’t stop hiding.” In Halloween the ghost costume turns Willow literally into a ghost and everyone sees the revealing costume underneath. Willow’s costume doesn’t protect her. But, Willow doesn’t get this. Instead of letting herself be truly seen as she is, she just finds another costume – this one being magic. In Restless – Willow is told repeatedly that she needs to remove her costume. But by Season 4, Willow’s identity has become so tied up with her outward use of magic that she no longer knows it is just a costume until it is literally stripped from her.

Willow’s use of magic or adoption of this costume starts after Jenny Calendar is killed in Passion. Willow takes over her classes, her computer and her studies in magic, discovering another way to hide. And it doesn’t hurt that she is really good at it. But
Willow doesn’t just use magic to hide, she also uses it to feel valuable to the group. She started out helping with her ability to hack into computers, but as time passes she uses magic. As Rufus states in her essay about Pain as a Barrier to Light, “Willow has always been the geek type, insecure little girl who felt powerless, unable to see her positive attributes as she was so busy ruminating over her failings or perceived flaws. Then she found something she was very good at – magic. Willow started her trip into the magical arts like one would embark on a science experiment, then she found out that she had actual talent beyond the beaker and burner experiments in magic.” Rufus goes on to point out that Willow remains in Sunnydale to help the others, keep them safe from danger.

Buffy: Okay, well, there are safer schools. There are safer prisons. I can't let you stay because of me.
Willow: Actually, this isn't about you. Although I'm fond, don't get me wrong, of you. The other night, you know, being captured and all, facing off with Faith. Things just, kind of, got clear. I mean, you've been fighting evil here for three years, and I've helped some, and now we're supposed to decide what we want to do with our lives. And I just realized that that's what I want to do. Fight evil, help people… (Choices, Btvs Season 3)

In using her magic to aid in the good fight, Willow comes forward out of the dark library and computer room. She is no longer hidden. In The Zeppo and Choices (Season 3), we see Willow with Buffy on the front lines, casting spells. Xander, who used to be the one fighting alongside Buffy in Harvest and Prophecy Girl (Season 1) and Innocence and Becoming Part II (Season 2) is now relegated to Zeppo status or left out as the weak party. Willow has taken his place.

Before Spike becomes a vampire – we see him in a tweed suit and glasses, not unlike the suit he is wearing in Tabula Rasa or the suit that Giles wears through the majority of Season 1 Btvs. He’s accent is refined scholarly English – similar to Giles and Wesely’s English accents. (See Fool for Love, Season 5 Btvs) After he is turned into a Vampire and changes his name from William the Bloody to Spike, we see him in worker’s clothing, suspenders, a white shirt, and overalls. His accent is North London, cockney similar to the accent Alex uses in A Clockwork Orange or Sid Vicious of the Sex Pistols. The suspenders and loose white shirt are the clothes he wears when he kills the slayer during the Boxer Rebellion. It’s interesting to note that his clothing, accent and overall demeanor is much more lower class than Drusilla, Darla and Angelus’ who wear full suits befitting upperclass ladies and gentleman of the period. Spike’s outfit makes him appear to be their hired hand or servant. His hair is tied back during this period and still a natural light sandy blond. (This is his first costume – Spike wears on in his quest to distance himself from “nancy-boy” William, whom he detests. (See Fool for Love, where Spike insists on using the name Spike. Or the number of times he uses the word “nancy-boy” or “poof” to describe someone who is fussily dressed or poetic. In Season 2, in response to Buffy’s comment, “do we really need weapons?”- he states “No, but they make me feel all manly,” stroking his groin as he says it.(School Hard, Season 2.)

Dochawk is right when he/she states in posts that Spike is not a truthsayer. Far from it, Spike may occasionally reveal emotional truths about the others – but this is either by accident or to further his own opportunistic ends. Spike is constantly lying to himself. When it comes to his own situation – Spike is essentially blind. Most of what he says is a lie or a charade. He plays the Big Bad for all it’s worth. Because the alternative, the pathetic, weakwilled, William he once was – is something he can’t stand to contemplate. Yet Spike’s version of the Big Bad is nothing more than a black and white 1930’s villain. A poser or sideshow freak. Not a true threat. (See Joss Whedon’s commentary on Restless, Season 4 DVD, as posted by Rahael on ATP board.)

When Spike next appears in a subway train attacking the NY slayer, he is punk rock Spike, with white hair, cut short to his head and slicked back, eyeliner, a safety pin through one eyebrow, sliver rings on both hands, a sliver necklace and pierced ears. He is wearing black jeans. A sleeveless white t-shirt and a black leather vest with sliver studs. He looks like a combination of Sid Vicious and Billy Idol. This is when he picks up his trademark leather jacket. (Fool For Love, Season 5 Btvs, flashbacks).

When Spike first enters Sunnydale – he wears the long black leather duster, red shirt, black t-shirt and black jeans with black boots. His hair is platinum blond or white. His fingernails are painted black. And we seldom see him wearing any jewelry. He also drives a De-Soto with painted windows. When he returns to Sunnydale in Season 4, he is still wearing this outfit, only occasionally dropping the red shirt or the jacket when he’s indoors. But the jacket is still clearly part of his persona – which he makes sure he always has nearby. It is not until Season 6 after he starts his sexual relationship with Buffy, that we begin to see a few alterations in this costume: he starts wearing jewelry, his fingernails are no longer black, and he begins wearing button-down shirts instead of the trademark black-t-shirt. Also we see less of the red shirt.

Then in Seeing Red, he does the unthinkable, he sheds the trademark black leather duster, leaving it behind. Now he rides a motorcycle not the black De-Soto. He wears a long- sleeved black t-shirt and black jeans. No jewelry. Spike has changed his costume.

Willow also changed her costume. She goes from wearing fuzzy pink sweaters and clothes that make her look like a child or a as she puts it in Wild at Heart like a “birthday cake”, to wearing cool t-dyed t-shirts, leather jackets, peasant shirts, and regular t-shirts.
In Season 1, she wears the school girl uniform, complete with tights and tied back hair. This is similar to Willaim’s tweed suit – symbolizing Mommy & Daddy’s good little girl. A doll that they’ve dressed up and sent to school. In Season 2, she wears clothes that almost completely hide her physique such as the Eskimo costume, but starts to loosen up when she begins dating OZ and practicing magic. In Season 3, she’s practicing more magic and wearing t-shirts, jeans and fuzzy sweaters. At this point – we see warm, fuzzy, loving Willow. By the time we reach Season 6, Willow has begun to wear black leather jackets, jeans, and peasant shirts. This is confident, cool, in control of the world Willow.

In Seeing Red, Willow has red hair, white peasant shirt and blue jeans. She continues to wear this outfit until the end of Act I in Villains, when she changes to black jacket, black jeans and her hair becomes completely black. Willow like Spike becomes stripped of color in Villains. Her skin is white, her hair black and her clothing black. Spike’s hair is white and his clothing is black in Seeing Red.

Both characters have changed their costumes to fit their new persona or the persona they wish to convey, which at this point is one of pain and rage. The Big Bad person, the monster that prefers simplicity and has no need for artifice. Through these alterations in costume or outwardly appearance, the writers have been able to express how the characters wish themselves to be perceived. As both characters grow in confidence, they begin to choose the costume that they feel best expresses their feelings about the world and themselves in general. In this case the absence of color is important, because prior to this both characters liked a spot of color. Spike often would throw something on to make himself pretty for Buffy. Willow did the same for Tara. Their clothing was an expression of the sexual identity, an expression of who they were. It was also used to impress those around them. As Willow fusses over her shirt in OAFA when Tara shows up or Spike changes to the blue shirt and necklace in Smashed to impress Buffy. Now that Buffy and Tara are gone, Spike and Willow have stripped themselves down to the bare essentials, basic black and white.

(Okay end of section one and two. Coming up – Spike and Willow’s trajectory, use of dark power to do good and problems with that in Jossverse, Tara and Dru as guides, and whatever else I dream up…)

Thanks for reading. Feedback appreciated as always!

;-) shadowkat

[> Re: Spike/Willow: Unleashing The Monster to Hide Geek Parts I & II (long! spoilers to villains) -- Alice, 10:33:08 05/21/02 Tue

I agree with just about everything you said. Just wanted to say that. I will read through again in more detail and see if I can string together anything resembling a coherent thought, but that was very good.

[> [> Re: Spike/Willow: Unleashing The Monster to Hide Geek Parts I & II (long! spoilers to villains) -- Tach, 12:12:57 05/21/02 Tue

Well played Shadowkat! Well played.

[> Willow, pain and death, part I (Spoilers though Buffy Seasons 1 to 6) (Long) -- VampRiley, 19:08:17 05/21/02 Tue

I agree. They do seem to enjoy the monsters they have, even if it is a little.

But since you got this up before I could put up mine, and since your's does involve hiding from who they really are, I'm just gonna put mine as part of this thread. But it is mainly about Willow with a coment about Spike from the season finale.


Exchanges taken from Joan the English Chick and Alexander Thompson's transcripts

Many have said that Willow's recent behavior is not consistent with her character. But I just don't see it.

Season 1

We first meet Willow as the sweet girl who likes getting shiney nickles for helping her friends. She's quiet and insecure. Taking verbal abuse from others like many
kids her age. She isn't interested in causing trouble. She just wants to be able to hang out with her friends, laugh, play...she just wants to be a kid.

In walks Buffy. Willow sees her with Cordelia in the hallway. If she's with Cordelia, then I'd better watch my step. She thinks as Cordelia makes their presence
know. She notices the look Buffy gives Cord as she talks. Willow's walking away and turns back to them when she reaches the next hallway. She takes a second
look because something doesn't seem right with the situation as she first precieved it to be.

Later, Willow is sitting on a bench getting her lunch out as someone walks up to her. She's surprised to see it's Buffy. Thinking the new girl is already part of
Cordelia's entourage, she acts the way she's acustumed to behaving, by offering her seat. She is surprised again to find that this girl wants to just talk, not trying to
take her seat or put her down. This leads her to talking about books, one of her favorite subjects, only to stop herself as she realizes that she must sound boring.
Willow's happy Buffy doesn't find her boring. Later, when Cordelia walks over, she acts so to protect Buffy from the same fate that she has acquired, even if it
means losing a potential friend.

She learns from Buffy to "seize the moment, 'cause tomorrow you might be dead" that night. So, she does. She walks up to a boy, who we later find out is a vamp
and they end up in a crypt. Followed closely behind them is Jesse with blood coming from his neck. We don't really get to know much specifically about Jesse's life
prior to this ep, but from what he says to Xander when he's a vamp in the Bronze later on, his life seemed to be like Xander and Willow's. Willow knows what it's
like to be the subject of someone elses cruelness. So, she stands up to Darla. Willow is now the defender of the defenseless. Then, Darla vamps out which freaks
her out. Then, Buffy does the whole hero thing and saves them. But, they end up losing Jesse in the end to vampirism and then to dusting.

Willow knows the pain of unrequited love. She's known Xander since they have been at least 5. And somewhere since then, she has developed real feelings for him.
But he doesn't see her as girlfriend material. She thinks Xander being a virgin is really sweet, but quickly says she'll never bring it up again after he picks up a long
bladed weapon, inches from her face -- not threatening her with it, of course. The light from the basement reflected off the metal. She knows what it feels like to have
someone say things that she doesn't like about herself in her presence. She doesn't want to lose him completely, whether it's like what happened to Jesse or not.
She's known him too long. So, she continues her hyper- awareness of the boy with shaggy hair that dances wierd and makes jokes. When Xander was possessed by
a hyena, he was cruel to her and she's crushed. She's worried at first if it's something she's done, then she thinks it's because of Buffy being with them. She hates the
idea that someone, a girl, who has become her best girl friend is unintensionally causing her oldest friend to be mean to her. Buffy is someone she likes being around.
She's happy she's there. But she also hates that she's there if it's causing Xander's attitude. He's never been mean to her before and she now thinks it's because of
Buffy. Luckily for her, that wasn't the case.

When they learn that Angel's a vamp and that it doesn't seem that he's attacking humans, she comes to his denfense on how he's a good vamp. She doesn't want him
to be estranged from the group. She sees that Buffy's happy with him around and she wants her friends to be happy.

When vamps attack the rec room or whatever and leave the kids bodies there, with their blood smeared all over the place, a part of her inside is destroyed.
Something she thought of that was "their's" (the other students and non-vamps) has now become " theirs' " (the vamps and the other evil bad guys). Somewhere
where she feels safe is no longer safe. She's so upset that we see that she has been crying when she talks to Buffy later.

After Xander talks to Buffy about going to the dance, Willow finds Xander throwing a ball against a wall and catching it as it bounces back at him. She feels sad and
already knows what her answer was. But again, she knows what it's like to be not have the other person like you the same way that you like them. She
goes to him just the same.

Willow sees Xander throwing a ball against the wall in a classroom.

Cordelia: ...I'd be really, really grateful! I mean, I'd talk to you at the dance and everything.

Willow: Sure. (looks back at Xander)

Cordelia: Great! Tomorrow at ten?

Willow: Sure.

She goes over to Xander in the room.

Willow: Hey!

Xander: Hey! (throws the ball)

Willow: How'd it go?

Xander: (throws the ball) On a scale of one to ten? It sucked. (throws the ball)

Willow: Oh.

Xander: Well, I guess it could be worse. (throws the ball) I could have gangrene on my face. (throws the ball)

Willow: Well, what'd she say?

Xander: Apart from 'no', does it really matter? She's still jonesin' for Angel, and could care less about me.

Willow: At least now you know.

All of her words are carefully chosen to allow for the gratest of amount of venting possible that he wants to do, though it isn't much. She wants to be able to take his
pain away. She hates to see him like this. Then Xander gets an idea:

Xander: Yeah, you're right. The deal's done. The polls are in, and it's time for my concession speech. (has an idea and brightens) Hey, I know what we'll do! We
can go! Be my date! We'll, we'll have a great time! We'll dance, we'll go wild... Whadaya say?

Willow: No.

Xander: Good! What?

Willow: There's no way.

Xander: (exhales) Willow, come on!

Willow: You think I wanna go to the dance with you and watch you wish you were at the dance with her? You think that's my idea of hijinks? You should know

Xander: (exhales) I didn't think.

Willow: I'm sorry it didn't work out for you. I'll see you on Monday. (leaves)

Xander: That's okay. I don't wanna go. I'm just gonna go home, lie down and listen to country music. The music of pain.

He throws the ball again and lets it bounce wild.

She knows he's hurting. She feels his pain. But she won't do this. Not for him. She's willing to let herself be put down by the likes of Cordelia, Harmony and the rest
of them, but she'll be damned if she goes along with his plan. She does have some self-respect, damn it! She loves him, but she won't be treated as some sort of
accessory for Xander, no matter how hurt he is. Later, she's sitting in her room. She looks at a picture of her and Xander. Sighing, she picks up the phone and calls
him. She wants to do something to make him feel better. Only, he picks up the phone, puts it back down and then takes it off the hook.

Season 2

As she walks in on Xander and Buffy talking, she feel very happy when he says he loves Willow, but deflates when he says he doesn't think of her as girlfriend
material. When Ampata shows up, and Xander shows much interest, this hits Willow hard. When the students are at the costume dance at the Bronze, Willow
watches as Ampata and Xander walk up to her. When they leave, she sighs, longing to be in Ampata's place.

And again Willow comes to the aid of those she cares about.

Willow stares at the window in fascination. Angel casts no reflection in it.

Giles: (to Willow) What are you doing?

Willow: Oh! Sorry. The reflection thing that you don't have. Angel, how do you shave? (the men exchange a look) South wall. That's near the college and... the
fraternity house!

Giles: A fraternity?

Willow nods nervously.

Angel: Could they be taking these girls? (Willow nods again) Let's get out there!

Giles and Angel start to go. Willow holds back.

Willow: Buffy!

Giles: Wwwe don't know that it's concrete. Uh, let's not disturb her until...

Willow: Is there! With Cordelia. They went to a party at the Zeta Kappa house.

Giles: She lied to me?

Willow: (nervous) Well...

Angel: Did... she have a date?

Willow: Well... (Angel huffs) Well, why do you think she went to that party? Because you gave her the brush-off! (to Giles) And you never let her do anything
except work and patrol! And I know she's the Chosen One, but you're killing her with the pressure! I mean, she's sixteen going on forty! (to Angel) And you! I
mean, you're gonna live forever! You don't have time for a cup of coffee?!

Angel and Giles are speechless.

Willow: Okay, I don't feel better now, and we've gotta help Buffy.

Giles and Angel are two people she cares about, but she will stand up to them and yell and make herself heard if one of her friends is in the defensive position.

Willow has her first date with Oz. He's cool. In a band. A senior. He likes her. She likes him. But where do they go? A birthday party. Specifically, Buffy's 17th
birthday party. Something that we all know from later attempts to be the social event of the year.

After Buffy's 17th birthday and she runs out of the library on the verge of tears, Willow knows something really wrong is going on. She sees how upset Buffy is. Giles
wants to press the matter, but she tells him to shut up.

Before she finds out Oz is a werewolf, she has concerns about the hot and cold signals she's getting from her beau. So, she confronts him. Only, he wolfs out and
attacks. Later, she looks sad as she looks at an unconscious Oz-wolf that she just shot with a tranq dart. The next day, she continues with the "seize the moment"
mentality and goes to Oz. They talk and have an understanding and decide to continue their relationship.

Up till now, Willow has regarded Jenny as someone to be respected and liked. She thought of her as a friend. When she hears that Jenny is dead, she breaks down
and sobs loudly in Buffy's dinning room.

When buffy says she wants Willow to try to give Angel's soul back, she is a little apprehencious. She doesn't want to be their "only hope" She doesn't like that kind
of pressure. But she goes through with it, only to have it interrupted when the vamps attack. Later, in the hospital, she tries the spell again and invokes something and

Season 3

After the beginning of her senior year, we learn that she has been into magick recently. "Floating feather, fire out of ice" and other small things. She's also picked up a
few things from going through Jenny's files.

Willow and Xander's romantic feelings are starting to be felt mutually at the same time. They're trying their best to keep things under control, but are having a tough
time. When they get kidnapped by Spike and have their kiss, Oz and Cordelia walk in on them. Willow is devistated by what she's done and has really done some
damage to two relationship, though Xander is equally to blame. Later, at the Bronze, she won't even hold hands with Xander in a friends kind of way, saying her
hands are for Oz only now. Even later, to prove who comes first with her, she sets things up so that she gives her virginity away to Oz, though he knows it's right to

When Buffy talks to Willow about Angel leaving her and town, she tries to be the best friend and make Angel seem so totally wrong and bad for doing this even
though Buffy doesn't want it.

Season 4

When Oz starts to notice someone else, she gets worried. She embarasses herself in front of Veruca and Oz with her talking and her clothes. She even changes to
leather [baribble dibble, bubble he thought as the image resurfaced in his mind] She backs off, a bit hurt, when he isn't interested in sex, thinking that there's
something really wrong. Possibly with her. She later finds Veruca spooned up behind Oz as they lay in his cage, her arm drapped over him, all in their naked-ness.
Hurt, she isn't even thinking about the outside world and almost gets run down if not for the heroic efforts of Captain America. Two thumbs up.

Angry, she starts a spell to hurt him, but she can't go through with it. After Oz-wolf kills Veruca-wolf, she crawls to touch him, but he charges at her and Buffy
shoots him with a tranquilizer dart and Willow sobs in Buffy's arms. She goes to his place later and finds him packing. She doesn't want him to go. She wants them to
work together to try to repair the damage. But he goes anyway and it devistates her. She stands their crying her eyes out. She tries beer (Lite! So, no big.), magick
-- nothing works. She only ends up hurting her friends. But she did prove that it was possible to turn Amy back, even for a second.

At this point in her life, Willow has matured from her innocent roots by now. They wanted to introduce a new character to take the place of Season 1Willow.

Da da da da da!!!!

Heeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeereeeee's Tara!!!!!!!!!


The chemistry between them after they move the vending machine and the next day is very palpable and they're just plain extremely cute. More so than when she
was with Oz. Before she has had others to do magick with, like Giles, but those time have been when it has been nedeed to be done. There was also Amy and
Michael. But, Amy's a rat. She tried to save herself from the possessed parents and our red head hasn't been able to change her back yet and keep her in human
form. There was Michael, but he's nowhere to be found. So, their coven was short lived. Wanting to find others, she goes to a wiccan group meeting at UC
Sunnydale. Only they aren't the wiccans she's looking for. She makes the suggestion of them doing actual wiccan magick, only to be shot down by women who only
think of wicca as just female empowerment with seasonings. She wants to do more than float a pencil and other basics. But a shy and quiet bleach blonde speaks up
for the magick suggestion, which catches Willow's attention.

Later, they spend a lot of time together, doing spells, like floating a rose, a demon search spell, contacting the spirit world. First, she was doing magick so she wasn't
just plain, old Willow. She now thinks of herself as SuperWillow. She's thinking that being a magick wielder is what makes her special. But, just as she hid herself in
high school, she's still hiding. Instead of looking at herself positivily and looking for strength within and who she really is, she still thinks of herself negativily as she did
in high school. Only her exterior has changed. Being with Tara has allowed her to progress to levels of magick and pseudo-change she wouldn't have been able to
achieve so quickly. But being an experienced witch lets her do the uber-Buffy spell to fight Adam.

Season 5

Before Drac shows up, Giles tells Willow that he's gonna go back to the mother land. She doesn't want him to go. She doesn't feel that the only reason he's still there
is because he was training Buffy. She feels that they have become real friends, just like he has become friends with the others. She wants him to stay because he has
very close friends there and she doesn't want to lose another one. Even if he isn't dying, he would still be moving away. And a phone call isn't the same as being with
someone and speaking to their face. After Drac makes himself known, everyone gets together at Giles to talk. Willow more than once tries to say how inportant
Giles is and tries to get the others to agree. How she was thinking what would Giles do when faced with Drac and how she couldn't have found what she found on
the net without his help.

As Willow and Tara are unpacking in their room, they talk about finding Fogerty's body with Dawn at the magick shop. Tara is concerned for Dawn. She says she
knows what it must be like for her, not being able to help. Tara wants to help. But given the "slayer circle" closeness, it's hard to get into that. She's very familiar with
being the outsider, as we learn later on. Willow says she isn't one. When Tara is adament, ConcernWillow shows through, thinking someone's been making her feel
like she doesn't belong. She wants Tara to feel like she is very important to the others, especially her. She makes the suggestion of a scoobie initiation, but Tara
declines, thinking it might be good for Dawn.

Willow may be an experienced witch, but she's getting irresponsible with magick. She's stealing ingredients to enhance spells that are dangerous. Before when Giles
has been upset with her getting into magick she isn't supposed to, she tries to say why it's okay that she's doing it. The same thing happens when Anya is in Giles'

Cut to: magic shop. Anya is working at the cash register. Willow stands behind her with her back to the camera, holding a book. Tara is standing by the shelves
behind the register, where there are jars of magical supplies.

WILLOW: Good, and, and hellebore. It's up and to the right.

Tara takes down a vial and gives it to Willow.
TARA: Hellebore, one of my favorites.
WILLOW: It's powerful stuff. (She and Tara walk out from behind the counter) I tried to use it to de-rat Amy, and it didn't work. But I think it might have made her
really smart. (They approach the table, where a variety of magical supplies are laid out. Willow puts the vial into a rack with some others.) She keeps giving me these
looks like she's planning something. Rubbing her paws together.

Anya comes out from behind the counter and walks over to them.
ANYA: (annoyed) Hey. What are you two doing?
WILLOW: Oh, we're gonna try out a few spells.
TARA: There's this thing you can do where you create light, and we thought, what if you could make, like, simulated sunlight?
WILLOW: Yeah, so then, you know, there Buffy is, middle of the night, and she finds this whole nest of vamps, a-and then she just goes, "Presto!"
TARA: Only it won't be "presto" exactly.
WILLOW: And, and voom! There's a, a floating ball of sunlight. Vamps get dusty.
TARA: You don't wanna look right at it, though.
ANYA: That's swell, but you can't use this stuff. Giles has only been gone two days and you're already causing trouble. You shouldn't do things while he's gone.
WILLOW: (smiling) You're the fish!
ANYA: What?

Tara grins.

WILLOW: The, the fish in the bowl, in The Cat in the Hat. He was always saying that the cat shouldn't be there while the mother was out.
ANYA: What are you talking about?
TARA: It's a book. This cat does all this mischief.


[> [> Willow, pain and death, part II (Spoilers though Buffy Seasons 1 to 6) (Long) -- VampRiley, 19:17:36 05/21/02 Tue

WILLOW: It's so cute. He balances a bunch of stuff, including that fish in the bowl! A-and, but don't try it for real when you're six, because then you're not allowed
to have fish for five years.
ANYA: (upset) You're referencing literature I have no way to be familiar with. You're trying to make me feel left out, and you're stealing!
WILLOW: I'm not stealing. I-I'm just taking things without paying for th... (pauses) In what twisted dictionary is that stealing?
TARA: Willow, maybe we should just pay.
WILLOW: Anya, Giles would be totally fine with this. Come on, it'll be fun. (Gets an idea) We could show you how to do some stuff! You could be floatin' pencils
by the end of the day.
ANYA: Sometimes I miss having powers. (Willow grins. Anya realizes something) Oh. Oh! I know what this is! (shaking her finger at them) This is peer pressure!
Any second now you're gonna make me smoke tobacco and, and have drugs.
WILLOW: Look how easy.

They all look at the table. A small stick of dried sage and a vial rise off the table and float in the air.

ANYA: Hey! Don't float the merchandise! (grabs the items and puts them back on the table)

Willow turns. A few items on the counter rise into the air.

ANYA: Stop that!

Xander appears, walking past the floating stuff without noticing.

XANDER: Hey, look at this, my two favorite girls! (to Tara) Three favorite girls.
ANYA: Xander, Willow's stealing. She's a burglar.
WILLOW: Right, the cunning, broad daylight in front of everyone burglar. Xander, I'm just doing a spell to help Buffy.

Xander nods.

ANYA: Xander, Giles left me in charge. Tell her.
XANDER: Hey, hey, Judge Xander requesting a recess here.
TARA: You really shouldn't pull him into this.
XANDER: Yeah, see? Tara's with me. (moves to stand behind Tara) Protect me, Tara.
WILLOW: (walks back behind the counter, holding a mortar and pestle) Xander, what I'm doing, it's a good thing. And if it doesn't work, Giles never even needs to
know about it.

She puts the mortar and pestle on the counter, takes a pinch of something out of the bowl, and sprinkles it on the cash register. The register disappears in a puff of
pink smoke.


Anya rushes over. The others come over as well.

ANYA: The cash register! What did you do with the cash register? Dear god!
WILLOW: I'll fix it, I'll fix it! Recursat. (latin translation: revert/return)

Another pink puff, and the register reappears, now with the receipt paper hanging out of it in long curls. Smoke rises out of it.

WILLOW: There, all back. Good as new.
ANYA: Money. Did you hurt the money? (Opens the cash register and coughs as more smoke (not pink) comes out) Money good? (takes out some money and
shakes it at Xander) She endangered the money! (Xander shrugs)
WILLOW: Of course, that's what she cares about. (imitates Anya) "I like money better than people. People can so rarely be exchanged for goods and/or services."
ANYA: (horrified) Xander, she's pretending to be me!
WILLOW: Well, can you even believe how she's acting?
XANDER: Okay, you know what? I'm tired of being the one in the middle. I'm not gonna let you pull me into this.
WILLOW: I'm not.
XANDER: Whatever the issue is between you two, just figure it out without me.

He begins to walk out.

ANYA: Xander, don't go!

Xander slams the door behind him.

WILLOW: (softly) You made him mad.
ANYA: (angrily) Me?!
WILLOW: Tara, who do you think he was more mad at?
TARA: Um, you know? I think, uh, maybe, maybe you guys have some stuff you need to work out, you know, just really

She leaves. Anya and Willow look at each other.

If Giles was there, she wouldn't talk to him like she did Anya. She feels Anya will hurt Xander, turn him into a troll or something. She definitily has a problem with
sharing her friends with others she doesn't like, like she told Buffy once when the topic was Faith. She wants to protect Xander from pain, like she has before. But
now, she's being mean to protect. Definitily not Season 1Willow. At first, Tara was for what they were doing, but after hearing Anya, she urges the non-stealing
route. And if Giles was there, she certainly wouldn't be floating the merchandise and definitily wouldn't be floating Tara's stuff if she said not to. Anya said no, but
Willow doesn't care. She likes tormenting Anya, making fun of her by calling her a character Willow doesn't like. Someone who's for responsibility -- the fish from
The Cat in the Hat. This is very telling to how Willow feels about her life. She's in college now. She's an experienced witch. She's able to do a lot. She remembers
how she was in high school and she doesn't want to think of herself like that. She wants to get as far away from that as possible, much like what Spike did after he
became a vamp. They were both quiet, meek -- something they don't want to be again. They're both for irresponsiblity, just with Spike being a bit more
irresponsible. Anya doesn't know the story, which makes feel more of an outsider. There isn't anything Anya can do to stop Willow from what she's doing and
Willow's enjoying seeing Anya upset. Willow thinks that being in college gives you freedom. And it does, but she's taking it too far.

She doesn't want to get Giles upset that she's doing the spell. She knows what she's doing is wrong, but she doesn't care how Anya feels or even if she sees it. How
can Giles side with Anya and not her? Anya was "evil girl" for over a thousand years. How can Giles not side with sweet, kind Willow? If she messes up, she doesn't
want to take responsibility for taking his things and wants to keep her screwing up a secret. She fears how Giles will react if he found out. This could make him turn
against her using magick if she's irresponsible. It's one thing if they were her supplies, but they're not. When Xander sees she screws up, she tries to deflect
responsiblity and attention from her to Anya, who is very worried about the money in the register. She doesn't want them to see the real Willow that we met in
season 1. She doesn't want to be seen as someone who isn't the person she projects to the world -- a confident and capable woman. She doesn't want them to lose
confidence in her. Their opinions about her are very inportatnt to her. She continues to belittle Anya, making her seem like she isn't a good person if she's concerned
about the money that Willow made go away and may or may not have returned in good condition. She even tries to get Xander and Tara to side with her, but neither
will have any part of it and leave.

In fear of Glory, she does a teleportation spell only to get knocked to the ground with a major headache while saving Dawn. Continuing in that fear, she keeps
practicing this spell. The nosebleeds may have stopped, but the headaches remain. She progressing, but too far and too fast.

When Joyce dies, it's killing her. Her "adoptive mother" is dead and she can't even decide on what to wear or be able to do anything. She wants to be strong, but
she's barely keeping it together and is constantly slipping, only to be continuosly caught by the mega sweetie -- Tara. She doesn't think anything she has is good
enough. She's angry she isn't taking it well and asks why she can't be a grown up. Grown ups can handle things. They can make things better. Why can't she? She's
disgusted that her clothes have all these little things on them that kids might like. When Anya is trying to understand what to do, Willow lashes out. She can't believe
what she's hearing. When Anya tells her that she doesn't understand what's going on and how much pain she's in, Willow retreats back into herself and is sad that
Anya's hurting so much and that she lashed out like she did.

When Spike comes to drop flowers off for Joyce, she feels good that he could do something so nice and not leave any evidence it was him that did it. She doesn't
want him and Xander to fight there on the front lawn. She doesn't think it's right, not with Buffy and Dawn so close. She doesn't want them to find out. They've been
through enough already.

Being a softy, she tries to comfort Dawn with Tara, but it isn't working. The next day, she points Dawn to a book that can help Dawn ressurrect her mother. She
wants to take someone else's pain away. When Tara discovers that it's missing, Willow doesn't tell her what she's done and becomes very worried for the teenager.

Tara tell her that she is concerned with how fast Willow's going with magick. Willow hates that somone is saying this, trying to curb her thirst to become a very
powerful witch. She doesn't think Tara trusts her and storms off. At the Magick box, she's upset they fought and wants to make up. Then, she learns that Glory is
after Tara. She rushes to the fair only to get there too late to keep her from going looney. After she leaves Tara with the others at the hospital, she goes to face off
with the hellgod with dark magick. She's all anger, but doesn't last long and gets away, slightly injured.

After Glory takes Dawn and Buffy goes catatonic, she goes further with the dark magick to get her out. Before she can do this, she takes charge with a dangerous
and quiet tone, forcing her will on the others, like with Xander and Spike. Inside Buffy's head, the real Willow shows up again, the Willow that makes her special and
super, and convinces Buffy to come out.

When Buffy tells Willow that she's her "big gun", InsecureWillow makes an appearence. With reassurance from her blonde friend, she tells her that she may have a
way to make Tara right again. She feels bad that a lot of her attention has been used for helping her girlfriend, but Buffy tells her that that is what she should have
been doing. Because she loves Tara, she performs a very dangerous reverse brain suck and is glad it worked.

Season 6

During the summer, Willow continues with the dark magick by continuing to use her newly gained telepathy to co-ordinate the group's attacks against vamps. Hurting
that Buffy is gone, she, Tara, Xander and Anya bring Buffy back from the dead. She lies about what she needs and how she gets it. She's afraid of what the others
may think of her. When she sees Buffy's at home, she and the three others who helped bring her back are asking her questions all at once to try to make her better.
But it isn't doing any good.

When she's confronted about what she's done by Giles, she can't understand why he's furious. He thought she understood better then to try to do something like a
resurrection. The possible harm she could have caused is enormous. She's full of herself and thinks she was the only one that could have done what she did. She's
expecting him to be grateful, not mad. Again she's believing that her force of will brought Buffy back when it wasn't her. She just called on someone else to use their
power. And she arrogantly threatens Giles. When Giles looks away, she returns to SweetWillow and tries to make things better with a few words, but it doesn't

Tara continues to be concerned about Willow's continuous use of magick. Still arrogant, Willow thinks nothing can go wrong if she just shifts everyone who isn't a 15
year old girl into another dimension temporarily. She's now using magick for everything. She tells Tara that she thinks she should keep her mouth shut and Tara
leaves hurt. Later, Willow uses a spell to make Tara forget they fought.

Thanks to Dawn, Tara finds out what really happened.

Open on exterior shot of Xander's building, night. Cut to inside. Anya, Xander, Willow, and Tara sit around the table.

ANYA: Do you think she ... walked around on clouds, wearing like ... Birkenstocks and played a harp? 'Cause those are just not flattering. You know, the clonky
sandals, not a harp. (softly) I mean, who ... doesn't look good with a harp?

The others just look at her. They all look grim.

ANYA: What? I'm just saying what everyone's thinking, (to Xander) right baby?
XANDER: You are attractive and have many good qualities.
TARA: It's totally not stupid to wonder what it was like for Buffy. But it could have been any one of a zillion heavenly dimensions. All we know is that ... it was a
good place and she was happy there.
WILLOW: And we took her away from that. We wrecked it for her.
XANDER: We didn't wreck. We didn't know.
WILLOW: We didn't wanna know. (Tara looks sadly at her) We were so selfish. *I* was so selfish.
XANDER: (shakes head) Maybe we were. I just feel weird feeling bad that my friend's not dead. It's ... too mind- boggling. So I've decided to simplify the whole
thing. Me like Buffy. Buffy's alive, so, me glad.
TARA: Not to be Miss Psycho Pep Squad, but we have *got* to stop obsessing about what we did and start trying to make things better for Buffy.
ANYA: I'm with Miss Psycho Pep Squad.
XANDER: Ah, we need to spend more time with her, just hang out. Maybe have ... weekly dinners over here, or, uh ... a book club. Short books. Videos.
WILLOW: I can fix it. I know a spell.
TARA: (angrily) No! No more spells.

Xander looks from Tara to Willow, confused.

WILLOW: (to Tara) Then what? This isn't something that's gonna be fixed by a video club. I know I messed up, okay, and ... I wanna fix it.
TARA: I can't believe that we are talking about this again. You know how powerful magic is, how dangerous. You could hurt someone, you ... you could hurt
WILLOW: (shaking head) I know a spell that will make her forget she was ever in heaven.
TARA: (angrily) God, what is wrong with you?!
XANDER: (getting up) I'm gonna go get that ... phone you probably don't hear. High-pitched ring, ears like a dog.
ANYA: I'm gonna help you with that.

Xander and Anya flee into the bedroom leaving Tara and Willow alone.

TARA: Do you think I'm stupid? I know you used that spell on me.
WILLOW: Tara, I'm sorry, I-
TARA: Don't! Just ... don't. (shakes head) There's nothing you can say.
WILLOW: Tara, I didn't mean to-
TARA: To what? Violate my mind like that? How could you, Willow? How could you after what Glory did to me?
WILLOW: Violate you? I ... I-I didn't ... mean anything like that, I-I, I just wanted us not to fight any more. I love you.
TARA: If you don't wanna fight, you don't fight. You don't use magic to make a fight disappear.
WILLOW: But I-I just wanted to make things better. Better for us.
TARA: But you don't get to decide what is better for us, Will. We're in a relationship, we are supposed to decide together.
WILLOW: Okay. I'm ... I realize I, I did it wrong.
TARA: You did it the way you're doing everything. When things get rough, you ... you don't even consider the options. You just ... you just do a spell. It's not good
for you, Willow. And it's not what magic is for.
WILLOW: (anxious) But I ... I just wanna help people.
TARA: Maybe that's how it started, but ... you're helping yourself now, fixing things to your liking. Including me.
WILLOW: Tara, no!

Tara looks away. Beat.

TARA: (tearfully) I don't think this is gonna work.
WILLOW: Hey. It is, i-it's working. (Tara just looks at her, looks down) Tara, please. I need you, baby. I need you. I don't need magic, I-I don't, I ... let me prove
it to you, okay? I, I will go a month without doing any magic. I won't do a single spell. I swear.

Tara looks at her, nods.

TARA: Go a week. One week without magic.
WILLOW: (excited) Fine. Fine, that's easy!
TARA: (nods, not convinced) Go a week, and then we'll see.

Willow's face falls.

TARA: I don't know, I just ... think we both need some ... I don't know, space. (Willow looks upset) Oh, I can't believe I'm saying this.
WILLOW: Are you saying you're gonna leave me?

After they find out where Buffy was after she died, Willow wants to do a spell to make Buffy forget she was there, not even thinking about whether or not Buffy
actually wants it. She again wants to impose her will on someone else. She can make the connection that she was being selfish in bringing her back, but she can't
make the connection about where she's going with magick. This infuriates Tara, who tells Willow that she knows about the spell she used in front of Xander and
Anya. After the non-magickal humans leave, Tara tells her girlfriend she doesn't think they're gonna last. Willow says she's sorry for what she did. But she isn't sorry
for what she did so much as she's sorry she got caught and Tara is now mad at her. Now, would she have felt bad for what she did later on and told Tara? We'll
never know. Tara found out before Willow felt sorry about it. But judging by how things were going, she probably wouldn't have. ArrogantWillow shows her face
again when she says she can go a month without doing any spells. But what does she last...til morning? She uses a spell to change her clothes. Now, one can assume
that the next spell is to make Tara and Buffy forget, only it effects the whole group, including Spike. When the black crystal is smashed by Xander's foot, Willow and
Tara are about to kiss. They get their memories back. Tara stands and is disgusted and angry that she took the chance with Willow and leaves. She packs up her
things and moves back into the dorms.

After Tara leaves, her friends know it was about Willow using too much magick, but Willow dismisses it as not a big deal. She de-rats Amy and they go out on the
town. The next morning when Amy is retelling their activities, Tara is pissed again. Willow tries to stop Amy from talking about it, but she can't take her eyes off of
Tara. She sees how upset Tara is. She goes upstairs to bed and finds can't use any of her powers. Amy tells her about Rack that night.

She says she wants to spend time with Dawn, but they take a detour to Rack's before they go to a movie. Willow gets her fix, but tells Dawn everything is all right,
eventhough she has spent the last 55 minutes getting fixed and Dawn has had to be around a bunch of creepy-looking people and she missed the trailers, which she
likes. As they leave, they get attacked by the creature Willow saw the first time she was at Rack's. They both jump into a car and Willow uses magick to make it
move. Only, she isn't watching where she is going and they crash into a concrete pillar. Dawn gets out and is atacked by the monster. Buffy comes in and fights it, but
it dies or at least goes away with Willow using magick. Seeing Dawn hurt knocks her back into reality and she realizes what she has been doing. That all her
problems recently were her own doing and she vows to give up magick permenantly.

While Willow goes back to her net girl roots, she's drinking a lot of water, but the temptation to use magick is great and almost gives in when the computer finishes
its search. When Xander confronts her about how he thinks she's been using magick again, she's hurt and forcefully tells him later that what she found, she found out
without magick. She tells Buffy later how tough the non- magick way of doing things is.

Amy visits Willow and gives her a "gift" of magick that came from her and not Willow herself. Amy doesn't want Willow to go the magick free route and tries to
bring her back to the way Amy wants her to be. Just like what Willow was doing, Amy is trying to impose her will on others to make them the way she wants them
to be. Whenever Willow used magick, it was unintentional and tries her best to keep it from the others. After the "gift" left her, Amy returns wanting to borrow
detergent. Willow tells her to stay away. She now hates Amy for what she did. She doesn't want to be friends. She wants to get better and she can't do that with
Amy around.

When they get stuck in Buffy's house because of Dawn's wish, she is pressured by Anya to work her magick to try to get them out of there. She refuses, which is a
credit to her. With the temptation of death present, she still refuses to fall back into her old ways. She wants to change and she isn't letting anyone stop her from
doing that. Anya is furious that Willow got into so much magick. Anya blames them still being stuck on Willow. Spike sticks up for her. But Tara crosses at least 3
feet to step between Anya and Willow, saying for Anya to leave Willow alone. Willow is happy and lets a small smile cross her face. But Tara hasn't forgotten that
Willow kept some things. She's angry Willow did that. She said she would be doing the spell alone. Willow said she kept them so she wouldn't have to worry if
something really major happened (and I'd call this major), though it didn't help, and she could concentrate on getting better without having to worry about what might
happen. Tara is happy she said no to magick, but wants her to stop using crutches.

Tara desperately misses Willow and gets back together with her. But their reunion is short lived. After Buffy stops the trio from robbing the armored car, Warren
shows up to shoot Buffy. He hits her, but a stray one flies through the window and hits Tara in the left side of her back. Blood splatters on Willow and a large blood
stain appears in front of Tara's heart and she falls over. Willow pleads for Osiris to bring her back, but he can't. Tara died a natural death. She lashes out and hurts
the floating head with an energy blast eminating from her mouth.

She goes to the Magick Box and absorbs all of the knowledge and magick from the books. After being duped by RoboWarren, Willow finds Warren. He runs off,
but she ensnares him with plant life. Warren says he's gonna get out of it and Willow's gonna be sorry. She's unimpressed. When she learns Tara wasn't Warren's
first kill, she shows him Katrina. The shooting script says "a living corpse", but she could have just been a mental projection from Willow while using info from
Warren's mind. Things do get changed at the last minute with them. She gets him to say why he thinks he killed her and she says he liked it. He didn't feel he had any
power with her until he killed her. She realizes that's why he continued after Buffy. Killing a regular human was one thing, but to kill a vampire slayer? That would
have been the best for him, as we saw in the bar after he shot her. But Willow isn't done. She takes the bullet she took from Buffy and leaves it hanging in the air as
she says that the feeling from being shot is not like in comics. She moves it slowly into his chest with her mind. As it moves inward, she slowly describes what it's like
to be shot. As he groans in pain, she makes stitches appear that close his mouth and all he can make is painful moans. She remarks how something so small can ruin
life. She gets angrier as he continues to moan and wants to hear his pain. She removes the stitches and he begs to be let go. He tries to reason with her, saying how
she isn't a bad person and that she doesn't really want to do this. He wants to live. What do you expect? But his words fall on deaf ears as her torture of him no
longer interest her and she flayes him and burns his body into nothing and disappears.

Some have said that the way she's now acting is wrong, given how she was when Glory brain sucked Tara. She should be more visibly angry and hurt. But I see this
as real. I see this as the next stage for her extremism. When she was hurt when Oz left her, he was still alive and there was always the chance that they might get
back together. When Tara was robbed of her sanity, she was alive, but left insane. From her pain, Willow felt rage. But she can't bring Tara back now. There isn't
any way for her to come back that Willow knows. What she's experiencing is the kind of pain that breaks people. As she walked out of the house, found out it was
Warren and went to the Magick Box, she's feeling a deathly calm that is beyond anything else. The kind of rage where you may even smile. You know what you
want to do, but the goodness in you has been submerged almost completely. Your blood isn't pumping fast, only slow. Maybe slower than normal. Your thinking
becomes crystal clear. You're focused on achieving one goal. All your fears and worries no longer exist. They seem like such a distant memory that feels like they
were only a dream. They never really existed. Why she helped Buffy isn't so important as what she wants to do. She wants to make Warren feel evil, soulless torture
for what he's done. As she continued her torture of Warren, it does stop being about Tara and it became about herself. She can't stand to live if Tara is dead. She
doesn't know how to.

Willow has grown a lot since we first saw her. She's now a strong, confident woman. But she's always been one with a lot of pain and anger buried inside as well.
Often, when she stands up for herself, or for her friends, to her other friends, she retreats and swallows it back up when it seems she has hurt them with her words.
From what we've seen, she has always kept the traits of someone who wants to relieve the pain of others. As time went on, the more of life she experienced, which
also treated her badly, the more her anger has intensified. And as time went on, the more powerful a magickian she became. The more she gets hurt, the farther the
extremes she goes to in reaction. But none of the pain she has had before has ever compared to what she's feeling about what happened with Tara. Willow's always
had it rough when it came to relationships. She got what she always wanted from Xander, whom she wanted for such a long time, at the wrong time. Her first real
boyfriend left town, only to return...changed and found out that being near her brings out his wolf side. So he had to leave. She felt she had finally found the one for
her with Tara. She and Tara were able to share things that she couldn't have been able to share with either Oz or Xander or anyone else...and not just magick. But
Warren took that away from her. The only thing she can do is make those who hurt her hurt like she's hurting. But it isn't enough. Nothing will ever be enough. She's
so mad, she can't think clearly. She's never been in so much pain. She just wants the pain to stop. But she has also absorb all the dark magick from the Magick Box.
She has become corrupted by it. She doesn't have the experience nor the training to get in control of it and still be herself. The corruption has amplified the darkness
within her. She begins using magick in plain sight of the local populace (at the police station, throwing cops into windshields, taking control of a large truck while
standing on top of it) She attacks Anya, Buffy and Giles and takes his powers away. But she had already taken Rack's before hand. Taking his powers causes her to
be connected to everyone. She now feels all their pain and misery and it's too much for her. She can't handle all that misery. She may be powerful, but she's still only
human. The good part of her that wants to relieve the pain of others emerges. Only this time, all she can think of is destroying the world. She wants to stop all the
pain of everybody. But Giles got her with good magick when she absorbed his powers, which let Xander have a chance to reach her.

For me, this seems like a logical progression for her.


As for Spike, I just want to go on record as saying that this is some F***ed up Sh** right here. A soul and a chip? How f***ed up is that? He just better not have some stupid happiness clause or whatever. If they're giving him a soul, which I want to say again is stupid, do it differently. If he has some sort of back door that would let him lose it, then he might as well stop bleaching his hair and sit in his crypt and brood for the next century.


[> [> [> Re: Spike (Spoilers for Grave) -- shadowkat, 20:28:14 05/21/02 Tue

"As for Spike, I just want to go on record as saying that this is some F***ed up Sh** right here. A soul and a chip? How f***ed up is that? He just better not have some stupid happiness clause or whatever. If they're giving him a soul, which I want to say again is stupid, do it differently. If he has some sort of back door that would let him lose it, then he might as well stop bleaching his hair and sit in his crypt and brood for the next century."

Well, I wouldn't assume he still has that chip
or that he doesn't come back human for that matter.

Also just because Angel reacted to the soul thing like a great big "poof" doesn't mean Spike will. Remember Angel
was cursed, it wasn't given to him, he didn't exactly work for it. And he wanted to be rid of it. Also he wasn't in love with Buffy at the time. He was wandering about sewers - Whistler found him - took him to Buffy, who reminded me
of Lolita with her lollipop and said here's a reason to be good you great big oof - get cracking. And he did sort of
try, but certainly wasn't all that great at it until he finally left her and got his own show.

Spike - well, a) Spike was William not Liam, very different
people. b) spike fell for Buffy without a soul, c)Spike
feeling guilty for hurting Buffy and reeling from the pang of not being able to be with her and sort of going insane, goes to africa to get chip out. He wants a change. Gotta
give the boy credit - he takes action in his life, makes things happen. Angel has a tendency to wander about and
brood. Haven't ever seen Spike brood. Don't know why everyone assumes Spike will become like Angel - two completely different characters. Different roots. Different
needs. Without a soul Angelus was nothing like Spike. Why would Spike be like Angel with one? Think outside the box.

Personally I can't wait to see what they do with it. Bound
to be interesting.

[> [> [> [> That was just me venting. (Spoilers) -- VR, 20:45:01 05/21/02 Tue

Since it seems he has a soul, I just want them to do it differently than the way they did Angel.


[> [> [> [> [> Re: That was just me venting. (Spoilers) -- shadowkat, 21:16:53 05/21/02 Tue

Don't worry they will...they already have.

Wolfram & Hart vs. Connor ...? (spoilers for Tomorrow) -- Solitude1056, 11:09:29 05/21/02 Tue

All along, W&H has emphasized that it won't kill Angel because he'll be too valuable in the upcoming something-or- other... and that there's always the chance they can "turn him bad." So now Connor comes along - equally of interest to W&H but less so because of any 'big plans' - and does away with Angel for all intents & purposes. What kind of a position does this put W&H in? Seems to me, at least, that W&H then stands to gain from digging Angel out, keeping in mind that a 3-month starved vampire at the bottom of the ocean might not be the sanest kind of guy... which would suit them perfectly. Connor, on the other hand, is sitting wide open and completely ignorant of the fact that W&H has designs on dissecting him (and little interest in any role he might play in future). Unless, of course, W&H gets the bright idea that they can sway Connor to their side by virtue of his ignorance about who's who and what's what, in this brave new world.

Any other ideas? We've got four months and counting...

[> Re: Wolfram & Hart vs. Connor ...? (spoilers for Tomorrow) -- Masq, 11:30:02 05/21/02 Tue

I don't think Connor will be an easy mark. One, he's paranoid of this new world. Two, he's a good fighter and hider, three, if any major events happened between Wolfram and Hart and Connor in the next four months, we wouldn't get to see them, and the first ep would be a lot of back story, "While you were away, here's what happened."

Of course, that could be said of a few other story lines in the season ender--the only ones that come close to being good for a four-month-long cliff-hang are Angel in the depths (but he better be skinnier!) and Connor ducking W&H.

The Cordelia and Wes stuff could have new events happening tomorrow, it seems.

And I really wish I could be there when Gunn and Fred realize no one is coming back to work any time soon.

[> [> Re: Wolfram & Hart vs. Connor ...? (spoilers for Tomorrow) -- neaux, 11:54:50 05/21/02 Tue

It's funny how The ultimate cliffhanger took place in the ocean and not on "The Cliff" as I thought it would.

but to any extent I see Angel's peril as more of a David Blane Stunt or Harry Houdini. I dont know why but that's what I thought of when I saw all the trouble Connor took to encapsulating Angel.

1. So either this experience will make Angel extremely wiser and intune to his senses.. or

2.This set up is an elaborate Ruse later to be revealed by the masked magician.

3. (the perverted old man theory) That big breasted mermaids appear and free Angel from his binds. Since Angel The series is good about showing skin, its a possible scenario.

[> Re: Wolfram & Hart vs. Connor ...? (spoilers for Tomorrow) -- Sofdog, 12:33:17 05/21/02 Tue

Given the importance of Angel in the coming battles, it's reasonable to venture that Wolfram & Hart might be the ones to rescue him. Who else has the resources, the deep-salvage capability to dredge him from the ocean floor? They might just put Angel back in the game for their own reasons.

Connor has a destiny and nothing has really thwarted that so far. I doubt Wolfram & Hart are going to get far with their plans.

[> [> Re: Wolfram & Hart vs. Connor ...? (spoilers for Tomorrow) -- Sablehart, 16:59:20 05/21/02 Tue

A couple of weeks ago, I read that David Boreanaz was going to lose weight over the summer. Maybe it will be for his roll as a semi-starved vamp next year!

[> Re: Wolfram & Hart vs. Connor ...? (spoilers for Tomorrow) and shooting script update. -- VampRiley, 20:10:46 05/21/02 Tue

Just sneaking in here for a shooting script update. Benediction.


As for W&H position, I think they're in a good one. Yes, they wanted Angel dark, but why? Because he's a warrior for the good side. With Angel out and about, he could go either way no matter how much poking and proding they do. But locked up, he definitily won't be helping anyone or fighting the good fight.


[> [> Thanks, VR! -- Masq, 09:12:26 05/22/02 Wed

SMG's spec on Season 7 and beyond -- Deeva, 15:38:58 05/21/02 Tue

The Resurrection of "Quippy Buffy"
Tuesday, May 21, 2002

TV Guide

Over the course of its first year on UPN, Buffy the Vampire Slayer has gone from wonderfully witty to downright depressing. However, leading lady Sarah Michelle Gellar promises that after the finale (airing tonight at 8 pm/ET), the series will resume — as the title heroine would have put it in cheerier times — making with the funny.

"[This season] was a little dark even for me," she admits to TV Guide Online. "So I think we're going to go back to a much lighter Buffy. This whole arc was, she was buried alive, she got out, and now she realized that she wasn't living and she wants to. So I think it's going to be — and I'm hoping for — the fun Buffy. I miss quippy Buffy."

The rising movie star — who will hit the multiplex next opposite fiancé Freddie Prinze Jr. in Scooby-Doo (opening June 14) — won't reveal whether she plans to continue on as Buffy after 2003. "Everything is one day at a time," she insists. "That [decision] is about everyone sitting down and [evaluating whether] there's story to tell and if I think it'll be, you know... interesting."

Yet she believes that the show could — and should — forge ahead, even if a new Slayer must be chosen. "Absolutely," she says. "I don't know if it would be Buffy the Vampire Slayer per se, because you kind of need Buffy for that. But it doesn't mean that there's not [Buffy's kid sister] Dawn and [reformed vengeance demon] Anya. There are a lot of characters that could easily go on, and I'd hope that they would."

As a matter of fact, she hints that the powers that be may already have started to set the stage for a changing of the guard. "I think next year is really going to focus on Buffy teaching Dawn," she suggests. "Of course, this is totally speculation, because I really have no idea.

"I could tell you it's about Buffy joining the Peace Corps, and it could be just as accurate," she adds wryly. "Designer Peace Corps."

Hallelujah! Quippy Buffy is back! — Charlie Mason with Tim Williams

[> If you haven't seen the beginning of S6, this isn't spoilery. Just SMG's opinion. -- Deeva, 15:41:11 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> For anyone in Paris on June 28th, JM will be in your neighborhood. -- Deeva, 16:03:23 05/21/02 Tue

I didn't want to start a new subject line for this because I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested. But if he (or any of the BtVS or AtS people) were in my general area I'd want to know. Anyway, he's doing a signing event on the 28th and the next night he'll be performing with his band. You can go here for updates.

[> [> [> I think i'm the only one concerned and I already knew, thanks anyway Deeva :) -- Etrangere, 16:51:53 05/21/02 Tue

Of course if anyone else is to be there around that time i'll be pleased to meet them (there will probably be other french buffy fans with me)

[> Re: SMG's spec on Season 7 and beyond (Finale spoiler) -- Doriander, 22:40:05 05/21/02 Tue

I like the idea of Buffy teaching Dawn, for it writes off this scary thought I had since "Restless" and the rampant speculation that Dawn will be the next slayer. Since Restless many essays have been written that Spike will assume the role of a watcher to Buffy. This season, some said he somewhat did already. But I've always thought that that he started in back S5, with Dawn. Giles is Buffy's watcher, Spike is Dawn's. Cool, so long as it's not official. Then, tonight's finale happened: Spike becomes human (or souled vamp, who knows?) and it appears Dawn has some slayer abilities. Oh. God. No. Please, no.

So knowing that BUFFY will be the one to teach Dawn is extremely comforting.

[> [> Re: SMG's spec on Season 7 and beyond (Finale spoiler) -- Egyptophile, 01:50:15 05/22/02 Wed

I don't think it's known whether or not Dawn has any slayer ability. I've watched Xena and Buffy religiously since their inceptions and I have picked up a few moves myself.

SEASON FINAL SPOILER -- spiky hair, 19:01:44 05/21/02 Tue

since Spike got his back, does that mean the happiness cause is in place? or was that just a gypsy thing?
If so, then theres no sex.

[> Re: SEASON FINAL SPOILER -- Egyptophile, 19:08:17 05/21/02 Tue

The happiness clause only applies to Angel/Angelus. It was the gypsy tribe's way of enacting their revenge upon Angel/Angelus. Spike, on the other hand, was granted a soul since he passed those trials and, unless the Cave Demon decided that just to be evil he'd insert the happiness clause, Spike can have as much sex as he likes.

[> [> Re: SEASON FINAL SPOILER -- Jem, 20:07:23 05/21/02 Tue

He can have as much sex as he likes...but will it be any good? I know that I should be pondering the philosophical, mystical and emotional ramifications of the last scene of Grave, not the sexual prowess of Spike...and I am trying to keep in mind the bathroom scene with Buffy from Seeing Red, which was not pretty. But I do support the idea of Spike and Buffy.

So here is where my pondering comes in - many others have noted the opportunity that sex with Spike has offered Buffy - a chance to really let go (among other good and not-so- good things). Although Angel was a vampire, Buffy may have been a little inhibited her first time at bat. Simply by virtue of being human (even super-strong-Initiavely-drugged human (Riley)), all of Buffy's other lovers have required her to hold back in some way - they may have needed to be protected from the joy of full force slayer lovin'. So if Spike really is human again and can in some way be with Buffy...will he really be all that she deserves?

Oh, dear, there are so many more deep and spiritual elements to consider in such a union, why, oh, why am I hung up on the sex? Ack!

[> [> [> Re: SEASON FINAL SPOILER (AtS spoiler) -- cynesthesia, not thinking philosophically either ;-), 22:50:16 05/21/02 Tue


I don't see that a human or human/vampire hybrid Spike would necessarily be just an ordinary mortal. Being a vampire for over 126 years might tend to change a guy, even if he does become human again.

On AtS, Connor is human but has super strength, speed, and hearing. So I think the writers would have some room to manuever(sp?) in deciding how exactly Spike would be human again. The relationship aside, a re-created William wouldn't be much good on patrol. And they've done 'Never Kill a Boy on the First Date.' ;-)

My speculation/wish for the finale was that he might become a human without a soul, which would have been a huge challenge to the canon, but IMO would have been fun to play with.

Cynthia, hoping to be more philosophical at a later date

Spoilers for "Two to Go/Graves" -- RichardX1, 19:02:18 05/21/02 Tue

Finally, after 6 years, a happy ending!

And OnM was right, which option was the "Xander tells Willow he loves her" one again? Although it was "just" platonic love, but I think that's purer anyway.

Did anyone who hadn't been spoiled expect Giles' return? All hail the Ripper!

And finally, do you think perhaps Spike wanted his soul back so that Buffy could get what she deserved? Namely, a being with a soul, that dark vampy-ness, and no "moment of happiness" clause, who loved her and whom she could (possibly) love in return? If so, he's going to have a whole lot of group distrust to get over. Nearly raping someone isn't something she (or worse, her friends) are likely to forget. Remember how Giles dealt with Angel in season 3 after he returned. All he could see at first was the being who tortured and killed the woman he loved, and then set her body up in a way for him to find in the most emotionally traumatic way.

[> Addendum: Dawn (still with spoilers) -- RichardX1, 19:24:18 05/21/02 Tue

Personally, I wasn't really that surprised by Dawn's prowess in fighting the zombies alongside her sister. After all, if Buffy was enough of the Key to seal the dimensional barrier in "The Gift", then Dawn would logically be enough of the Slayer to kick her share of gluteal tissue.

(It better *$!#in' post this time...)

[> Re: Spoilers for "Two to Go/Graves" -- Egyptophile, 19:37:53 05/21/02 Tue

"Did anyone who hadn't been spoiled expect Giles' return? All hail the Ripper!"

-- No, I did not expect Giles' return! I saw the green stream of magick energy and immediately thought of Amy, but then the Ripper made his appearance! I was literally jumping and hopping around my room.

I do not think the happiness clause pertains to Spike. The clause is upon Angel as punishment for the death of their beloved gypsy kin, whereas Spike's soul was restored because he was tricked by the Cave Demon. The character toil for Angel is that he can feel all the emotions of a human being, but he cannot have one of the most intimate expressions of being human: sex. Spike on the other hand wanted all of his emotions stripped. He wanted to be the farthest thing from human. He wanted to be dead/undead again. Spike's toil is that he now has to deal with his humanity that he doesn't want. He now gets the full range of emotions that he only had inklings of as a vampire.

Just my two cents.

[> [> Re: Spoilers for "Two to Go/Graves" -- Corwin of Amber, 20:22:25 05/21/02 Tue

Actually, the curse has little to do with sex...the trigger is "a moment of true happiness".
He had sex with Darla and it didn't trigger the curse.

But i agree that regaining his soul is the last thing that was on Spikes mind. Don't make deals with demons. :)

[> [> [> Why is Angel's curse still in effect? (some spoilers at the end re: Spike and Grave) -- Ted Tso, 06:42:52 05/22/02 Wed

I've always wondered why Angel's curse was still in effect after he lost is soul, and then it was restored to him by Willow at the end of Season 2. Why was it really impossible to separate the part of the spell which put his soul into the Orb of Thessula with the curse which would cause him to lose it if he had a moment of true happiness?

A mark of true irony would be if in fact the curse was a one- shot deal, but he's been avoiding true happiness because he thought it was in force, but really wasn't. I imagine, though, that if that were the case, it would never be revealed until the very end of the Angel series, just because it's such a convenient plot device.

While we're on the subject of assumptions, it's interesting that everyone assumes that Spike is going to be a "vampire with a soul". Note that Spike always asked, "make he as I was", but he never was explicit about WHEN. So it could be that demon didn't just give him a soul, but took his words literally, and made as he was: a human, before Drusilla turned him into a Vampire!

One reason why I like the de-vampire theory is that in satisfies the true ME pattern of never using the same idea twice, although they do take advantage of previous patterns in an attempt to fake out the audience to thinking that it will go the same way as last time.

[> [> Re: Spoilers for "Two to Go/Graves" -- maddog, 20:28:43 05/21/02 Tue

I disagree...I don't think he was tricked...I think the demon gave him what he knew Spike wanted deep down.

[> [> Re: Spoilers for "Two to Go/Graves" -- Dead Soul, 02:11:55 05/22/02 Wed

When I saw the green bolt, my first thought was that it had something to do with Dawn - that her key energy was being used in some way. I was completely unspoiled about Giles coming back. (He must have used the same super-duper-sonic airline that Spike took to Africa.)

[> Re: Spoilers for "Two to Go/Graves" -- maddog, 20:24:36 05/21/02 Tue

I think he was ambigious as to what he wanted so we could be surprised that down deep, he wanted a soul so he could be with Buffy.


I agree with Maddog. I had brought this thought up last week in a post. The cave dialog between Spike and the Demon was purposely ambiguous so as to make us, the gullible audience, believe that Spike wanted to Big Bad it again to give Buffy what she "deserves". But what Buffy deserves is a man with a soul, someone who will treat her with love and tenderness. And you know what, I don't even think he got just a soul - I think he got the whole package, HUMAN package that is. I wouldn't be surprized if Spike is now William. And I hope that Buffy could love Willam. I really do. Cause our Spike is going to be up sh*ts creek without a paddle! SUPER GREAT EP.

[> [> [> Re: SPIKE GOT EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTED *SPOILERS* FINALE -- Malandanza, 09:39:52 05/22/02 Wed

Spike has always wanted to be Angelus -- the Cave Demon tricked him and made him Angel instead. As for Buffy ever loving "William" -- I would find it to be terribly ironic if Buffy decides she does need some monster in her man after all and leaves poor human William to play dominoes with Clem.

If Spike emerges from Africa anything like William, I'd rather see Buffy with Andrew than that simpering, effete fop.

If Spike is human it does let him off the hook for the attempted rape: it wasn't William that did that -- it was nasty, wicked Spike. The Angel defense (to be fair, Willow is probably going to be excused along the same lines -- the devil made her do it). Maybe Spike will try the Darla route to try to get re-vamped (although where he will find someone as insane as Dru to vamp him again is beyond me -- most of the vamps would regard William with the same distaste Spike had for Ford in Lie to Me: "I've known you for two minutes, and I can't stand you. I don't really feature you livin' forever." And what's Spike going to do when he can't kill demons and vampires any longer? Between the chip, the soul and the loss of his superpowers, what use is he? How will he live? Can you picture William ever having had a job? Will the former "Big Bad" adjust to working at DMP and taking orders fom a teen- aged manager?

But I don't think we are going to see Buffy in any romantic entanglements next season any more than we saw Joyce dating in Season One. Dawn will become Buffy's life. I do see Willow and Xander falling back in love again, but Spike and Buffy?

[> [> [> [> Now that's the best line of the season. -- Sophist, 10:23:44 05/22/02 Wed

If Spike emerges from Africa anything like William, I'd rather see Buffy with Andrew than that simpering, effete fop.


[> [> [> [> Re: SPIKE GOT EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTED *SPOILERS* FINALE -- Arethusa, 11:14:19 05/22/02 Wed

Wedon said "back to the beginning." That's Buffy being intrigued/courted by a vampire with a soul (not going there). Willow with no boyfriend (or girlfriend), but close to Xander, and Buffy. Xander being attracted/repelled by female demons (Anya?). A sense of fun instead of impending doom all the time. Vampire fighting. High school setting- maybe more of Dawn in school with her friends.

All we know about Spike is that he was given a soul, and the demon gave him what Spike wants, what Buffy deserves. Nothing else is a given. What does Spike want? to get the chip out. I, too, suspect he secretly wants to be like Angel-respected by the demon world and loved by Buffy, but we don't know that for a fact. What does Buffy deserve? That's easier-all things good.

My uneducated guess: a chip-less, souled Spike. We have two examples of characters who were given their souls back: Angel and Darla. Both were confused, torn between memories of the demon that possed them but no longer directly influenced them and the need to find out who they now were. Angel did not become Liam. Darla did not become that nameless girl. They became new people entirely, especially Angel, who was souled for much longer.
Both were filled with regret for what they'd done as vampires and for the vampire power they'd lost.
Does Spike want to be human, or have vampire stregnth? Does Buffy deserve a helpmate that can keep up with her while fighting or in bed, or a human man she can grow old(er) with? We'll see.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: SPIKE GOT EXACTLY WHAT HE WANTED *SPOILERS* FINALE -- rose, 13:11:19 05/22/02 Wed

even if spike were human he wouldn't nessarly be like willam and he will probably still have his memories .
Angel didnt become liam in IWRY after all nor did he forget the last two and a half centuries so why would spike/

Delete it if you must, but THAT *&%$##in' ROCKED! -- SingedCat, 19:09:07 05/21/02 Tue

[> No, it didn't.... -- Darth Bored, 19:15:06 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Re: No, it didn't.... -- Egyptophile, 19:42:14 05/21/02 Tue

Yes, it did.

[> [> [> I agree(spoilers) -- maddog, 20:21:46 05/21/02 Tue

That had to be one of the best episodes of the year(just under OMWF). And as Buffy finales go...very well done...almost as good as last year's...I mean...Xander saved the much cooler can it get?

[> [> Ummm... -- Darby, 20:45:59 05/21/02 Tue

But wasn't it just two hours of chases and fights with a little - very little - filler that actually involved the characters pretty much continuing to do what they've been doing for the last few episodes?

Buffy was alternately concerned, nasty Slayer and weepy.

Willow was SuperBigBadWillow, except when she wasn't. Cool, but how many commercial blackouts can you do the same damn way? And my wife read her attitude as so full of self- loathing that she couldn't have ever had a relationship as successful as she did with Tara.

Dawn was alternately assertive and whiney.

Spike was "all manly" and questy. At least we don't have to spend the summer wondering what the green-eyed monster granted him.

Xander was conciliatory and full of love and pain, with some sniping thrown in.

Giles was "Look! Up in the sky! It's a deus ex machina! With powers and knowledge, because we say so!"

And when has Giles ever reacted to a tense situation with cathartic laughter? With Buffy, who never sees the lighter side of her own angst? They might have built to a reaction like that, but not with the pacing they established in the scene.

Anya was - well, we liked Anya. She needs Dawn to wish up a little shop renovation, though.

And I'm starting to think that a little bit of Clem goes a long way...

[> [> [> Re: Ummm... -- maddog, 22:11:51 05/21/02 Tue

You must have watched a different episode than I did.

Xander was not the Xander of old...because for once he pulled it out in the end. Willow got as dark as she possibly could...she wasn't even this bad at the end of the last episode. Giles was more powerful than ever, reminding us that sometimes our elders aren't as useless as we make them out to be. Anya became even more human, not only in her talks with Xander but also her interaction with Giles in the last half hour. Dawn took action instead of just whining. Buffy finally got it...the point of her resurection...of this whole season. Hell, even Jonathon got the point of the season...too bad he still ran in the end.

[> Best. Finale. Ever. (minor spoilers thru Grave) -- lunarchickk, 19:53:19 05/21/02 Tue

Fury. Is. God.

(ok, so The Gift was very awesome too... and Becoming 2... but this one had a happy ending!)

[> [> agrees, agrees, agrees -- ahira, 20:15:27 05/21/02 Tue

After it was over and I could talk again without a quaver in my voice, turned to my roommate and said, best season ending ep I have seen in a long time for any show.

[> [> I agree, and so did my friend who watched it with me. -- Traveler, 20:18:00 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> Re: Best. Finale. Ever. (minor spoilers thru Grave) -- LeeAnn, 04:54:57 05/22/02 Wed


[> SCREAMING AGREEMENT HERE!!!!!!!!! More coherant thoughts later. -- Tillow, 20:26:21 05/21/02 Tue

[> Season ending prognostication = Wrong! / S6 best season ever = Right! ... Told ya! (Hee-hee). -- OnM, 20:41:55 05/21/02 Tue

Oh nooo! Joss isn't writing or directing the season finale!! The show is doomed!!!

Yeah, right.

The torch has been passed, methinks. Or maybe the sword.

Sleep now. Much too much thinking later.


[> [> OK, someone will inevitably ask, so here's the song lyrics. (***Spoiler*** for *Grave*) -- OnM, 21:07:21 05/21/02 Tue


"Prayer Of Saint Francis"

Lord make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.

O divine master grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
To be loved as to love
For it is in giving that we receive-
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned.
And it's in dying that we are born to eternal life.


[> [> [> Thanks :*) -- MayaPapaya9, 22:11:03 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> Thanx OnM, very fitting. -- trap, 22:33:56 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: OK, someone will inevitably ask, so here's the song lyrics. (***Spoiler*** for *Grave*) -- Rob, 23:04:22 05/21/02 Tue

And wouldja look at that? They made the drug metaphor all make sense...I predicted earlier this year that the occurences of "Wrecked" would make more sense by the season finale. And they do! Yay me...and yay, you! :o)


[> Hell, yeah! :o) :o) :o) SPOILERS FOR TTG & GRAVE -- Rob, 21:40:09 05/21/02 Tue

I couldn't have gotten more if I had begged for it...

I loved it...

Xander saved the world...






But I loved it. The whole 2 hours were taut, tense, suspenseful, breathless, brilliant.

Dawn slayed a zombie!!! Dawn slayed a zombie!!

Spike has a soul....

Oh, man, this is gonna be the longest summer since...last summer.


P.S. And you guys thought that the world wasn't going to be threatened again this year. :o)

[> [> Re: Hell, yeah! :o) :o) :o) SPOILERS FOR TTG & GRAVE -- maddog, 22:15:02 05/21/02 Tue

Those were my two favorite parts too...Dawn's...well, just because it was cool. But Xander got to me...cause he's always been the screw up...sure, he helps on occasion, but overall...more or less useless because of his lack of special powers....and yet that's exactly what he needed. He needed to be just Willow's friend...not a threat magically or physically...just Willow's friend. And in the end, human emotion won out. Scary how that always works out.

[> [> Oh, and...(spoilers for season finale two-parter, of course) -- Rob, 23:00:19 05/21/02 Tue

...Gile's and Buffy's laugh-a-thon was the type of ecstatic, lighthearted moment in a time of such grave danger that makes me fall in love with this show all over again. It was so simple, and honest. And was the perfect and best reaction that any character has yet had to Buffy's "I'm having sex with Spike" revelation. For a split second, I thought Giles was laughing because he didn't believe her. But then I realized, this was a laugh of relief, a laugh of understanding, and a laugh of love. Giles finally got Buffy to lighten up...and from that laugh onwards, I have high hopes for Buffy being a happier girl next year. And she deserves it!


[> [> [> I have a feeling... -- cynesthesia, 23:17:50 05/21/02 Tue

that laugh ended up being as cathartic and much-needed for the audience as it was for Buffy. It was for me at least. S6 has been a long slog at times and that one little moment counterbalanced a lot of angst. To quote Joni Mitchell, "laughing and crying, it's the same release."

I was spoiled for both Giles' entrance and the laugh and I think to some extent those two moments may have been spoiler- proof. Not that I'd want to tempt anyone into the terrible addiction of spoilers. Nuh-uh, I'm going clean. :)

[> Great Finale Loved it !/ Also Continuity and Willow -- Artemis, 21:45:14 05/21/02 Tue

I know a lot of people haven't liked the addiction or drug metaphor this season. But I was watching an old episode"Fear Itself" and the metaphor is there too. Willow is in the cafeteria with Buffy and Oz and she mentions "experimenting"(refering to magic)And Oz fears that she could lose control. I'm paraphrasing of course. But it seems Joss knew where he wanted Willow to go back then. And the illusion to drugs wasn't just kicked in this season . I've loved this journey and specifically chapter 6 in the saga of Buffy .Can't wait for chapter seven

[> Best. Finale. Ever. (Spoilers for S6, especially 21 and 22)) -- Rattletrap, 22:16:25 05/21/02 Tue

It is roughly midnight CDT as I write this. I've now seen the episode twice and have managed to get beyond the initial Woohoo! to a few more coherent thoughts, and I'm in no danger of going to sleep any time soon, so here goes. In my mind, these episodes eclipsed the Graduation Day duo as the best finale(s) the series has ever aired. On a second viewing, I am even more convinced, there seems to be not a single scene that goes astray. Petrie and Fury have done above and beyond on this one. I'm still formulating my thoughts on S6 as a whole, so I'll reserve those for another post.

+ Great surprise in Giles reappearance, I'd given it up as hopeless and was blown away when he walked in the Magic Box door. Tony Head hit every single scene he was in out of the park tonight, but two merit special mention. The first was when, after binding Willow, he turns to Buffy as remarks on her haircut--one of the sweetest and most touching moments I've seen on this show (or any other) for some time, and completely unexpected. The second is his response when Buffy tells him she slept with Spike and he bursts out laughing--again, strangely touching and completely unexpected.

+ Kudos to the stunt choreographer. The Buffy vs. Willow fight rivaled Buffy vs. Faith in GD1 for intensity. The Buffy and Dawn underground swordfight also merits mention because it didn't degenerate into the heavily stylized fencing typical of most TV swordfights--it actually looked like real people in combat. MT did a nice job handling a sword like someone who has some skill, but very little experience (leading with her arms, most notably). This season in general and this episode in particular have been up to par, or even better than, Jeff Pruitt's best work in S2 and 3.

+ On the same note, I'm delighted to see Dawn's character go in the direction of a Slayer-in-training. I've been hoping for this story since last season and I'm anxious to see where it will go. Buffy's final speech to Dawn actually got to the heart of what I think the problem has been between them all season.

+ The cinematography was incredible. I'm thinking particularly of the shot of Buffy and Dawn crawling out of the grave, a near perfect mirror of the same shot in "Bargaining." I'm also gratified to see that they shot that bit in a real cemetery instead of the parking lot mock-up. There was also some very nice use of lighting and color, but I stil haven't worked out exactly what it was. Anyone care to hazard a guess?

+ I loved Xander's final confrontation with Willow. It seems fitting, in retrospect, that he should be the one to pull her back--probably her oldest and dearest friend. It was great to see his character rise above the insecurities and doubts that have nagged him for the second half of the season and go above and beyond, as he has so many times in the last 6 years.

+ AH and SMG were both phenomenal. 'nuf said.

+ I like leaving the Jonathan and Andrew storyline open for a possible return, even if they never actually tell that story.

+ Props to my fellow posters who predicted the Spike storyline letter for letter--good job ATPo!!! I love the idea of him "giving Buffy what she deserves." That has tons of great potential in so many different ways, IMO.

Final thought:

Count the various homages to past episodes and popular movies:

Lord of the Rings (Giles on the ceiling)
The Mummy (Spike and the bugs)
Jason and the Argonauts (swordfight with skeletons--maybe a stretch here)
Becoming 1 (Buffy running through the park to save Jon and Andrew)
Bargaining (Hand coming out of the grave)
The Trial (Spike's tests--maybe a stretch here too)

I caught a few more, but I'm coming up blank on them right now. Anyone see anything else?

[> I loved the finale! (Spoilers) -- Exegy, 23:36:32 05/21/02 Tue

The last two episodes blew me away! They totally exceeded my expectations. The effects, the acting ... so good. What a way to capture the darkness that was this season while indicating a new hope for the future. I cannot wait to see what Joss and ME have in store for us!

This is going to be one long summer.

[> High praises for the Finale & S6 !! -- ravenhair, 08:54:21 05/22/02 Wed

How did Xander know where Willow was? Was he just stopping by the local satanic temple? -- Rochefort, 19:41:40 05/21/02 Tue

[> Can someone delete that!? So SORRY for the minor spoiler!!!! Can it be deleted? -- Rochefort, 19:42:52 05/21/02 Tue

[> Re: How did Xander know where Willow was? Was he just stopping by the local satanic temple? -- Mike J, 20:07:18 05/21/02 Tue

As Dawn somewhat stated, Xander heard Anya telling Buffy about where Willow had gone [he had been standing at the top of the hole, listening].

[> DANGER ... DANGER ... MAJOR SPOILER IN THE SUBJECT LINE -- Robert, 22:07:58 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> i wouldn't worry about it...won't mean much to the unspoiled without a context -- anom, 23:08:10 05/21/02 Tue

Final scene: the spectacular non-crossover?! (Spoilers and questions for finale) -- Exegy, 19:51:15 05/21/02 Tue

This episode has finally jolted me out of lurkerdom. What a finale! The special effects were impressive, and the performances were solid. AH and EC really shone. A lot of this season's developments were addressed (if not entirely resolved). I can't wait to see where season 7 will pick up! What will happen with Willow? Will the Duo of Doom ever reappear? How about Amy? Will Dawn start training with her sister? Will Giles stay for more than an episode?

And what about that final scene with Spike?!

Now there are apparently two vampires with souls! Is it possible that *Spike* might be the vampire of the Shanshu prophecy? This theory does make a weird sort of sense. Shanshu is African (proto-Bantu) in origin. Spike travels to Africa, an admittedly strange location, in order to seek restoration. He wants to return to the way he was so that Buffy can get what she deserves. Spike's request to the demon is deliberately ambiguous. The viewer is led to believe that he wants to become the demon that he was; maybe he actually desires to reconnect to the man that he was. In Spike's mind, his transformation would give Buffy what she deserves--a vampire with a soul. Exactly what she had and couldn't keep with Angel (due to the Gypsy curse).

My argument assumes that Spike desired a soul throughout his trials. It is possible that the cave demon tricked him. We won't know for sure until next season. But the situation stands--Spike apparently has a soul. I think that this "cliffhanger" may be the spectacular non-crossover JW has alluded to in interviews. What could be more spectacular? Something the viewers (well, at least the viewers of A:tS) have been led to believe for the past three seasons may not have been what it seemed. I mean, everyone on A:tS assumes that the Shanshu prophecy refers to Angel. No other "vampire with a soul" exists. But now there are two such entities. And one received his soul in Africa, the land of the original prophecy, apparently of his own free will. This may change everything.

So where does this leave Angel? Even if my theory is true, I think Angel will still have something special in store for him (like playing a critical role in the upcoming apocalypse). His fate just may not be what everyone has anticipated.

Wow, what a mindbender!

One last detail to add. The song that led into the final scene spoke of dying in order to live again. Isn't that the gist of the Shanshu prophecy?

Sorry about all these disjointed thoughts. I was so thrown by this episode and the implications of the last scene!

Please weigh in on my theory. I really respect the opinions of the people on this board. Nowhere else have I found such artful appreciation of my fave show. Thanks!

[> Re: Final scene: the spectacular non-crossover?! (Spoilers and questions for finale) -- Cleanthes, 20:00:53 05/21/02 Tue

Good point about the non-crossover crossing of concepts.

Just before Giles appeared to stop Willow, I was thinking that maybe Cordelia could use her new power to glow some sense into Darth Rosenburg.

Do you think Spike retains his chip? So he'd have a soul and still couldn't even belt Andrew as needed.

[> [> The chip -- alcibiades, 20:14:43 05/21/02 Tue

Nah the scarab beetle crawled up his nose, burrowed into his brain and ate it.

[> [> [> We can only hope. -- VR, 20:17:53 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> Re: The chip -- Mike J, 20:43:24 05/21/02 Tue

I think the scrab beetle[s] was [were] just another test to be done by Spike, but we'll just have to wait three months [oh, the agony!] to find out.

[> [> [> [> Actually four...don't new episodes start in Oct? -- shadowkat (wishing it was just three), 21:20:51 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> four months, give or take -- Vickie, 22:21:18 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> [> [> Re: The chip and the bug -- alcibiades, 22:31:25 05/21/02 Tue

But, according to a friend of mine, scarab beetles are associated with rebirth and resurrection in ancient Egyptian culture and in Taoism it is associated with spiritual maturity and immortality.

So the disgusting fact that the scarab entered his nose meant that all this symbolism is being internalized.

[> [> [> [> [> Re: The chip and the bug -- LittleBit, 09:53:30 05/22/02 Wed

Doesn't it just seem fitting that the bug could have destroyed the chip? After all, if there's anything that can cause technology to fail, it's a bug. ;)

[> [> [> [> [> [> LOL -- alcibiades, 10:57:43 05/22/02 Wed

[> [> [> eeeewwwww.... talk about imagery! -- Kitt, 22:11:36 05/21/02 Tue

[> [> That Pesky Chip -- Exegy, 23:03:20 05/21/02 Tue

My feeling is that the addition of a soul has destroyed or deactivated the chip. After all, the soul certainly destroys the chip's purpose. The writers no longer need that device to allow Spike interaction time with the Scoobies. He now has an internal rather than an external means of controlling his behavior. What Spike chooses to do with his new freedom will be up to him ... and will make for far more interesting television, IMO.

[> Metaphoric crossover! (Spoilers for Finales of BtVS & AtS) -- Scroll, 20:18:02 05/21/02 Tue

Not only is there the whole soul issue that resonates across the two shows, we've got the whole Willow goes up to cliff/Angel goes to cliff for final confrontation, and Buffy & Dawn falling into the ground/Angel sinking into the ocean, then Buffy & Dawn crawling out of the grave as if "resurrected"/Cordy leaving this plane of existence like an angel. Wowowow, if I wasn't in love with ME before tonight, I'd totally be a worshipper after seeing the finales of both shows. Wow. Hmmm. Wow.

I have to admit, I'm not going to totally jump onto your theory about Spike being the one to Shanshu, for three reasons: 1) Angel & BtVS are still on separate networks and I don't think they'll be sharing guest spots let alone apocalyptic prophecies. 2) Angel is clearly being groomed by the Higher Powers for this role, whereas Spike is only seeking out this African demon for his own purposes. 3) And while I adore Spike, he just doesn't have that whole Champion of the Greater Good vibe working for him the way Buffy and Angel and Cordy do.

[> [> Re: Metaphoric crossover! (Spoilers for Finales of BtVS & AtS) -- Exegy, 22:27:56 05/21/02 Tue

Thanks for the response, Scroll. I must admit that I did not catch the season finale of AtS (work, aarrgh!), but I'm pleased to note that the ME shows continue to parallel each other in subtle and not-so-subtle ways. For example, I think that the vengeance theme has worked wonderfully on both shows. And the little details that crop up on the two programs are just wonderful.

As for the Spike theory, I realize that there may be too many factors set against it. The Great Network Divide lessens the likelihood of such an outstanding non-crossover. What would the people who only watch AtS think if a character on BtVS fulfills the Shanshu prophecy? This development would have to be explained ... hard to do if actual crossovers are not an option.

I still think that the Spike Shanshu would be an interesting twist, if only for the ultimate irony factor! The issues that make the theory less likely are the same ones that make it so compelling for me. Yes, the Shanshu prophecy has only been mentioned on AtS, and The Powers That Be guide Angel in his role as Champion. Angel is the dark and broody hero of his show, the warrior who helps the helpless; Spike is the anti-hero of BtVS, the sympathetic monster who basically serves his own needs and would be a highly unlikely candidate for a Shanshu scenario. One would think that Angel deserves the prophecy more than Spike at this point. But characters don't always get what they seem to deserve (just look at how the curse affects Angel/Angelus). A Shanshu might not await Angel. Maybe there is something entirely different in store for the vamp hero. It would be just like Joss to bide his time and then throw a huge monkeywrench in the works.

I do know one thing: I am definitely going to watch both BtVS and AtS next year to see what happens to those two soulful vamps!

[> A simpler explanation may be in order (Spoilers for finale) -- Traveler, 20:29:18 05/21/02 Tue

As cool as I think you idea is, I suspect that Giles is the "non-crossover" character. He was suppose to have his own show by now, but unfortunately doesn't yet. Otherwise, it would have been a Buffy/Ripper crossover.

[> Re: Final scene: the spectacular non-crossover?! (Spoilers and questions for finale) -- Doriander, 20:50:58 05/21/02 Tue

No other "vampire with a soul" exists. But now there are two such entities. And one received his soul in Africa, the land of the original prophecy, apparently of his own free will. This may change everything.

Two vampires with souls? What Spike demanded and the demon granted was restoration to what he once was. Has Spike ever been a vampire with a soul? The only time Spike ever had a soul was when he was human. So I strongly believe Spike isn't a vamp anymore. Of course this is me hoping we don't get another souled vamp.

It'll be an intriguing storyline though if you're right. It's cruelly misleading, which I kinda like. I've been really annoyed with the Angel-gets-a-son storyline because I felt it's a reward for such a careless act. I know, he's son exacted vengeance upon him, still, I'm cool if another reward like the Shanshu prophecy didn't actually refer to him.

[> Wow! Not sure if it's true, but I like your theory! -- Talia, 21:16:00 05/21/02 Tue

[> Re: Final scene: the spectacular non-crossover?! (Spoilers and questions for finale) -- lindabarlow, 22:27:49 05/21/02 Tue

FWIW, this was my partner's reaction exactly "ah hah, we finally have the spectacular non-crossover crossover." I certainly think it's going to throw Angel for a loop once he discovers he's not the only vampire with a soul running around.

Assuming he ever finds out. So far, TPTB haven't had much to do with Buffy's world, and I'm not aware that anyone back in Sunnydale knows about Connor's existence.

But it would be good to finally have an explanation why Spike went all the way to Africa -- he needed a demon who speaks proto-bantu! ;)


[> Hee, late for lunch again. -- EMCEE, 04:38:01 05/22/02 Wed

I posted something like this on the BC&S board not too long ago.

I am glad that I am not alone in my thinking.


[> Thanks to everyone for replying! -- Exegy, 13:53:24 05/22/02 Wed

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